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Down with the Mill

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by LassusVulpes, Nov 11, 2022.

  1. LassusVulpes

    LassusVulpes Eclipse Holder

    (Giratina (Origin))
    Level 55
    Sep 2, 2017
    Cooler Gary Oak ★★★★★
    I've posted about the Pepper cult once before here. However shortly after posting it was removed due to a site error. In english we had to write about an experience from our Junior year. And well, what better?

    This is not 1 for 1 what I wrote for my essay, as for personal reasons I have to change things to not get fucking outted. Anywho enjoy this madness.

    Down with the Mill

    We’ve all had that vision of power, to be known for something. The desire to make an impact over something even if miniscule. And I did just that, during my Junior year of High School. I created a cult, a black mill of the past.

    During the years 2021-2022 students in my school would not know of what is to come after the winter break. A large box sat in the cafeteria for what may be years waiting for something to happen. And I made that thing happen. A box full of pepper packets, around eight thousand stacked to the brim. I’ve scoured this box since my freshman year and noticed that not one person took one flake. So I changed that.

    Sitting back to my table, pocket weighted. I talked to my friends for a while before taking out around twenty to thirty packets. Being questioned I took out some more and started giving it to them. Their faces were jumbled with many emotions of “``Why, when, what, pepper?”.

    I decided to turn them into ‘Apostles’ , those who would give out the packets to random students. From that day forth we were known as ‘The Pepper Cult.’ A cult of noir and discord. Our end goal was to make us known as a figure in this school's history. And while we didn’t get in a yearbook we were still known. As the reason for why most schools statewide had to remove pepper.

    Starting small as we did not have the numbers needed for full scale distribution. The apostles gave packets to their friends, and very small quantities were handed out. Just enough to make it known we exist but not too small to undermine us, and not too large to make people suspicious and want more. Had we given out more, those who got the pepper would’ve attempted to do the role of an apostle. In the wrong hands things would’ve gone south of too much distribution and the box emptied too quickly. Unknowing of if it’d refill we kept small and stockpiled slowly. Each day taking a bite of the mound of packets piece by piece.

    With power does come those who wish to stop you. Knowing a day would come where a student and or faculty member would try and stop it. I stocked up making sure to keep at least fifty packets to deposit at home. A backlog for resupply. And the day hit, in my guitar class a kid went “Hey, did you hear the box is finally empty?”

    At the end of the day, I went over and sure enough not even one packet remained in the white box. So I waited a few days, once four have passed my question was answered. The box renewed, filled back to the brim. I grabbed my normal quantity. However I noticed that some teachers were standing closer to the box's location than normal. Typically standing near the entrance of the lunch room, where the pepper box was closer to the back.

    Not wanting to risk anyone getting caught with pepper I warned the apostles to act with caution when picking. Sure enough a kid got told to put back the handful of pepper they took not one minute prior. Thus adding more trouble to gather but a fun challenge.

    This was just the beginning of the thrill of the hunt. During one of my classes my friend texts me. “Hey, {Name} is looking for you.” With suspicion I went “For what?”

    Friend: “He’s trying to find whoever started the pepper cult
    Me: “Did you tell him my name?”
    Friend: “No, he’s been ranting about wanting to report them.”
    Me: “Figured.”

    A student wanted to try and disband the mill, and I accepted their challenge. It only fueled our blackened desires to gather as much as we could. Not one apostle has been caught, nor have I. We started hiding pepper packets around in the classrooms. Behind thumbtacks, maps, boards, if it could fit it was in. Course we didn’t want too much of an issue so only around fifteen packets were used in a classroom. Much like a ‘Where’s Waldo’ book.

    Each day more and more pepper distributed, and as each packet grabbed the teachers inched closer and closer to the box. We knew we’d have to make things up to be there, typically a utensil, napkins, straws. With the teachers close to the box we knew we couldn’t swing by multiple times in a single lunch period. So we devised striking periods of when we would gather, and when we’d stalk. Striking periods would have at least three apostles gathering, and stalking would have us watching the staff.

    Not surprisingly, with the rise of the pepper cult so did the awareness and competition. Not too long after the creation some students noticed it was us doing it. Some asked to be apostles, some called us fools, while others called us gods. During my guitar class a student came over to take a photo with me, sending it to his father claiming I was to be a god. While the others called us fools, we saw our chances and took them. Bartering became a thing with pepper, during lunch members could barter their packets for something else. Typically a chocolate milk, small toy, trinkets. All depended on their bartering skills and will.

    You might have wondered throughout all of this, “Why pepper? Why would people barter with pepper if it was all around? What became of the pepper?” And to answer those questions in the easiest way.

    Pepper was a material in the cafeteria scarcely used, light, easily hid, easy to transport and gather. It never affected any students as no student used it. Had we instead tried to do it with forks, spoons, knives, ketchup, mustard, it would’ve never worked. But pepper was something interesting, most not knowing its existence in the cafeteria.

    Another group was annoyed by the pepper cult's success and wanted vengeance. During lunch ‘Cherry tomatoes’ were given out in small plastic baggies. Beginning the Tomato Cult. Fortunately because of the nature of cherry tomatoes and being less resourceful and less transportable. It quickly fell, and nothing came of it. This showed that pepper was special in its properties. It didn’t go bad, if placed in your bag it wouldn’t explode. And best of all easiest to hide and stockpile.

    With our end goal of just getting people to see our power with this simple packet. We decided to stockpile and make it a minor currency. There was no definitive value to it, instead it was to barter and discuss wages of objects. One day a chocolate milk is thirty three packets, but another fifty three. It never had a definitive price and only worked on their negotiation skills. Whoever had more pepper packets would typically win any bartering stance. However this allowed those who had few packets become fortunate to have the power of hundreds of pepper.

    Through the end of March, the box had ceased to be refilled any longer. And pepper grew scarce. Thus beginning the pepper war. Instead of using the pepper for currency it was used for onslaught and battle. A single pepper packet was that of a bullet. Aerodynamic and can easily fly across the math room to hit friends in the head.

    It was easy at the start, throwing a pepper packet back and forth for a while, before it either went missing or went too far. And it was fun so people started throwing more and more behind the teachers back.
    Much like a game of dodgeball, getting hit in the head was an instant kill and you weren’t allowed to throw pepper for five minutes. Getting hit in the body you can’t throw for a minute, and for arm and leg shots you only lose thirty seconds. However with these conditions that was what caused war to optimize.

    Humans can only throw so well, and paper isn’t the most convenient to throw without some force to make it more accurate. That’s why the rubber band became the most useful tool for pepper wielders. Folding a paper lengthwise multiple times till it can’t fold no more. This is called a ‘Wasp’. A ranged projectile that upon contact stings much like a wasp. However once again much like a bullet, without a firing mechanism it has no use. Throw a bullet like a baseball all you want, it’ll never ignite.

    Loading the wasps into a rubber band wrapped around the pointer and middle fingers. Pulling back much like an archer. And upon letting go with a zing in the air, and with a devastating crack of the first shot of a wasp. Best used in long ranged environments to get the most air current behind the pepper. However these are one shot use, as upon contact they either shatter or fly off.

    In close combat crumpling multiple packets into a collected blast is best. A slow load but fast fire tool. Able to quickly clear out an issue for those less accurate. Chances are low of missing, especially in close corridors. Their main drawback was range, as they were so small the air would knock them all about and were very inaccurate.

    There was the normal folding of a packet a few times and throwing it. A good middle ground, not perfect at range, and also not perfect at knocking your opponent out. But can be used faster, and best used for mid range fast warfare. With a high manufacture rate these were the most common. Followed by the collected blast, then the wasp.

    Wasps were the hardest hitting but required the most practice. Once you shoot, once you’re revealed as a wasp user and typically focused. Able to get clear headshots as a wasp user made you a threat.

    Collected blast was useful for its high firepower but fell back in its slow recharge, and once done you’re stuck without any fire power. And the traditional way. It had the fastest fire rate, but lowest damage potential. Easy to learn but hard to master.

    However with everything it had to come to an end. My Mom was talking to a few students at another school district while at her job. And she mentioned the Pepper cult to them. And their only response was “Ohhh so that’s why the pepper suddenly vanished.” And as of this year 2022 - 2023, Pepper has yet to be put back in the school. Meaning we’ve taken the pepper away from the state. And throughout all of it, with teachers watching, students trying to stop it, and a war we made our impression.

    The pepper cult is in silence, but has made its mark. As an economy, symbol, religion, and power in war.
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    RadEmpoleon likes this.
  2. ChocoChicken

    Krysmus Azelv (lol)
    (Krysmus Azelv)
    Level 37
    May 28, 2018
    Misty's EmblemLegendary Triforce ★★
    Bring your own pepper to school, in a fancy box that can't be opened. Put it somewhere visible. Let the memories flow.
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    LassusVulpes likes this.

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