A few years ago, there was a news story about a woman who was rescued from a ship run by Scientology’s Sea Service. On a discussion board, someone asked if anyone knew anything about the circumstances behind the dramatic rescue.
Unencumbered by the requested information yet having a few minutes of free time, I decided to read the Yahoo! News article once or twice, crack my knuckles, then fill in the blanks with the obvious back-story. It’s possible my retelling may be as much as 1% true, but that 1% might be mostly punctuation. So for the sake of the Scientology Lawyer reviewing this blog posting, I’m broke so this piece of fiction isn’t worth the standard Legal Hug Of Death.
Now, onto the story:
The Freewinds slid through the water, its powerful motors thrumming. On the bridge, the captain stood at attention, occasionally checking the course heading and nodding towards his subordinates.
The Attendant, the Church’s assigned highest religious figure and true master of the vessel, stalked in through the sliding doors, his robes narrowly avoiding their bite as they slid shut with a hiss behind him.
“Captain Monson, what is the meaning of reports I’ve just received that we just took a ship aboard?” His face hidden behind the Thetan-shielding black mask did little to quiet his booming voice.
“Lord Amalphous, it appears to be a simple fishing boat matching description of one that escaped from one of our docks nearby two days ago. It appears to have run out of gas and happened to be near our course. When we recognized the transponder code, I ordered us to rendez-”
The Attendant cut him off with a wave of his hand. “You say it was unmanned? Where are the crew?”
The captain, unfazed, responded. “One of the emergency rafts is missing, it appears they abandoned ship shortly after leaving the cove.”
The Attendant paused, thinking. Finally, “Send a team down to properly search the boat for clues. Nobody steals from the Church.”
In the rear tackle, stowed indoors alongside the ship’s two dinghies, the freshly recovered fishing boat swayed slightly. The floor panel to the bilge lifted up then was shoved aside from within as a man pulled his way out.
“We don’t have much time before they switch shifts or decide to convert this into the Church’s next special project, if we’re going to gas up, we’ll have to hurry. It was awful nice of them to store us near the ships boats. John, you find a fuel line, I hope they have gasoline. I’ll see if I can figure out this winch-crane of theirs.” He clambered out to the deck, the other two close behind him.
“I think I see some fuel stuff, I’ll be right back.” The young man tip-toed over towards the far end of the miniature boat hangar while the older man stayed behind.
“You realize that we have a unique opportunity here, don’t you? This is the Sea Service’s mothership in this region, the most visible element of their presence here.” He spoke quietly but stridently, his white beard moving rhythmically with every syllable like a snake eating a horse from the inside.
“I don’t care, I’m not here for the cause old man, I’m here to earn my money, and getting you to the mainland’s my ticket to paying off some old debts. Here, help me with this chain…” he hooked up a hauser to a winch and began stringing it through a pulley.
The old man grabbed the other end and attached it while continuing to talk. “This is the same organization that took my sister’s daughter, you know. Stole her right out from under us. If there’s justice to be done, I feel we must try.”
“Damnit!” The chain dropped, the other man nursed his bruised hand. “There’s no way we’ll get this out, the thing’s jammed. We need some tools and it doesn’t look like they’ve got any here.” He looked around helplessly.
The younger boy dragged a hose over, a big smile plastered on his head. “Found it! Looks like super unleaded too, these guys don’t cheap around.” He pulled it over to the boat and began filling the tank as the other two talked.
The old man nodded. “We’re going to have to look for some”, he announced, gesturing towards the hatch leading into the ship.
“Are you crazy? What if someone sees us?” Harmon shook his head. “They’d be able to string us up for piracy, and I’m happy with my neck the length it is.”
The old man shook his head sadly. “If we don’t get that boat out of this hangar, it’s going to be a real short trip as is. I’ll see if I can find you something, wait here if you want.” He walked towards the hatch.
Harmon followed him. “No, hang on, I’d better come with. You’re right, we’re pretty much screwed already, might as well go down fighting. Keep your eyes out for a toolkit or something.”
John secured the fueling line and hopped down to chase them out into the corridor. “Hey guys, wait for me!” They dogged the hatch behind them, leaving the fueled up boat swinging in front of the rectangular exit to outside.
Valeska wiped the back of her hands on her forehead, but that didn’t so much dry the sweat off as transfer more grime to her face. The goddamn condensers on deck three were stuck on again, and guess who got assigned swap-out duty?
As she tried again to muscle the bolt loose from it’s paint-welded position, she heard feet clanging down the corridor towards her. Affecting her most bored look possible, she looked up, ready to lay into one of her captors.
“Hey pal, mind if we borrow this?” The scruffy goatherder in front of her didn’t look familiar at all, and novelty was the most precious possession on this dull prison.
“Do I look like a ‘pal’ to you, ass face? And no, you can’t have my damn tools, they’ll take it out of my hide. Go ask your precious space bishop to buy you your own damn tools.” She spat on the deck in front of him, microscopically missing his boot.
“Holy shit, you’re a chick!” The man stood back, looking shocked. The old man behind him walked up, looked down, and his eyes almost popped out in surprise.
“V…. Valeska? Paris?” He stuttered, his composure gone.
She frowned. “Yeah, did they warn you about me or something?”
“Vally, don’t you recognize me?” He leaned in close. She recoiled.
“Hey, whatever you’re selling, go somewhere else gramps. Unless you can get me off this fucking water jail, I don’t owe you shit.” She turned her back on the three strangers and went back to studiously trying to loosen the balky bolt.
Behind her, the three looked at each other, stunned. Harmon pointed at the girl, eyebrow raised. Lafayette, the older man, nodded, dazed. John looked back and forth between the two, puzzled but quiet.
Valeska felt someone tap her shoulder lightly. She spun around, wrench in hand, but the three had stepped back and had their hands out non-threateningly in front of them.
“Ma’am, we may be able to help each other out after all. But first… could you grab your toolbox and follow us? I think it’ll be worth your while.”
The winch fixed, she put away her tools. In the boat, the young man was stowing some supplies they had grabbed while Harmon yanked some plug wires from the tenders and dinghys sharing the bay. “Won’t stop ‘em long, but should be enough to get clear”, he muttered.
The old man stood by the hatch, still teary eyed. Valaska didn’t quite understand everything he had told her, but she understood that they were agreeing to take her out of this hellhole.
In the boat, John glanced over at the hatch on the other side of the bay and saw the wheel turning. Eyes suddenly wide, he shouted “We’ve got company! Let’s get out of here!”
Closest to the hatch, Lafayette grabbed the wheel and tried muscling it back shut. They thought they had dogged it, but apparently the other guys had noticed it was locked and must have taken it apart on the other side. Straining against the wheel, he yelled at the others.
“Get in the boat! I can hold them off another minute, but you guys get the hell out of here!” Harmon Hit the switch on the winch, powering it up, and the fishing boat started to move towards the big open door open to the ocean. He grabbed Valeska and pushed her towards it.
“Jump in!” he shouted, then turned back to the old man. Lafayette shook his head. “Go, maybe I can talk my way out of this, but if she’s who I think she is, there’s no way they’ll let her off alive. Go now!” Slowly, he began to lose ground to the wheel. Harmon nodded and jumped over the gunwale of the little boat just as it began to pass out of the bay into the sun.
With a crash, the door was shoved open, throwing Lafayette aside. He lurched to his feet unsteadily, then turned to face the imposing figure in the doorway, a figure from his nightmares. Someone he had never thought to see again.
“Attendant Amalphous, we meet again.” The robed figure stalked into the bay, gesturing at the men behind him to secure the winch and retract the boat back, then turned back to Lafayette.
“Indeed we do… Former Attendant Hubbard.” The old man ‘Lafayette’ shook his head sadly.
“Nobody has called me that in quite a while, and I rather prefer it that way.”
Lord Amalphous’s dark Thetan mask reflected Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’s haggard face back at him, but the old man ignored the withered-looking image and concentrated on his opponent.
“You and the Church have done quite well for yourselves since my escape,” he mentioned, almost casually moving between the winch controls and the advancing crewmen. Behind him, he heard the starter for the little boat whine as they attempted to start the engine on the hanging boat. A few more seconds…
The imposing figure shook his head mightily. “No, L. Ron, we just finished what you started. You built this amazing structure yourself, we simply allowed it to flourish into the amazing creation it is today. You were foolish to attempt to destroy it, you know.”
L. Ron waved the uncertain-looking men back as they rapidly figured out who he was. Just a few more seconds… He laughed mirthlessly at his berobed opponent.
“Amalphous… or little Davie Miscavige as you used to be known, I built this ‘church’ as a tool for my writing, not so it could become this…” he gestured around him, “this monstrosity. Faking my death was the only way to keep my real family safe, but I wish I had managed to pull this thing apart when I did it. Little did I know that you and Heber would be so effective at keeping it going.”
Amalphous/Miscavige chuckled behind his mask. “You may not have been serious when you started this, but it is, I assure you, very real now. Why, we’ve even built an entirely new type of E-Meter with a completely new effect. I think that perhaps you’ll find it very interesting.”
Pausing for time and listening to the little starter turn over behind him, L. Ron Hubbard responded with half his attention. “Oh yeah? Where is it?” Why wouldn’t that damn motor start?
“Why, it’s all around us.” Amalphous gestured at the ship walls, and suddenly Lafayette realized what he was saying. The heavy-duty masts, the antenna, the ominous round opening near the front of the ex-cruise ship….
“My god… you’ve built it into this ship? What the hell kind of E-Meter is it?”
Amalphous burst out laughing at this. “Into the ship? Why doctor, no, you misunderstand. It IS the ship! With this new E-Meter, we can perform DIRECT injection of lawsuits in any jurisdiction in the world! The special software onboard allows us to sue thousands, even MILLIONS of people at once!”
L. Ron Hubbard gaped.
Behind him, the motor roared to life. He spun around, waving at the people in the boat. “Go, goddamnit! Get out of here now!”
Harmon swung the axe he had ready and severed the line holding the horsetackle above him and the boat dropped into the water far below with a splash. He jumped into the seat up front and firewalled the throttle, sending the deceptively quiet looking boat leaping ahead as the 1,500 horsepower Mercuries blasted. The little boat shot away from the Freewinds and towards freedom.
Seeing the boat off, Lafayette Ron Hubbard turned back to Lord Amalphous slowly. “You have created… a terrible evil, David. You must stop before it’s too late, a system like this could cripple the world legal system overnight.”
David Miscavige shook his head once more. “I don’t intend to cripple it, Mr. Hubbard. I intend to use it. No matter that one little boat got away, we’ll catch them in the net of our law system once they touch ground.”
Perhaps, thought L. Ron Hubbard, but then again perhaps not. For he knew, even if Attendant Amalphous didn’t, that the girl being sped to safety was not, in fact, his niece as he had told Harmon earlier.
The girl was in fact the sister of someone else much more powerful.
As the hood came down over his head and he was trundled off towards imprisonment belowdecks, L. Ron Hubbard smiled where nobody could see and imagined what 4chan’s moot would say when his long-lost sister suddenly showed up.
He expected it would be memorable, and didn’t envy the Church the redoubled efforts of their age-old enemy that would undoubtedly come shortly.
(star wipe) The end.