The cult begins with dreams. Shared, ominous dreams, filled with storms and deer and other mystical shit Chloe Price really doesn't want to get into. Unfortunately her best friend, Rachel Amber, does. And soon half of Arcadia Bay is following in Rachel's wake.
It's during this surge of religious fervor that Chloe meets Max for the first time.
This fic includes the following tropes:
- Aesop Amnesia: Even after dying because of her desire to "fix" events in time, Max still periodically uses her powers to help people and/or personal reasons. This has quite a destructive effect on the timeline.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: After Max died, she became a sort of incorporeal being ("a sentient time distortion") who could protect reality from the paradox storm. Opinions vary in-universe as to whether this makes her a true goddess or simply a very powerful human being.
- Cassandra Truth: Several men (including Warren and David) have visions of the goddess, but the cult's misandry demands that all males be excluded from it.
- Genius Loci: Because she exists outside of time, Max has total knowledge of everything that ever has or will happen in Arcadia Bay, and can teleport herself and others anywhere within it.Im Arcadia Bay, Max says simply. Chloe looks back at her for one second, and shes still staring at the ground. Her lips are pressed tightly together when shes not speaking, like shes trying to hold herself back. Im all of it now. Holding it all together, filling all the cracks. All of it, from the beginning to the end, the trees and the ocean and every living thing, everything and everyone thats ever existed and will ever exist here- I can see all of it. Im all of it. She closes her eyes, takes a deep breath through her nose, a still sort of calmness on her face as she senses something Chloe cant. Theres so much, Chloe, theres so much emotion and age and knowledge here. Its so huge, I cant even begin to explain it. Its overwhelming.
- I'm Crying, but I Don't Know Why: Several of Chloe's emotions from the previous timeline bleed over into her present, most notably her sorrow over Max leaving and Rachel's death.
- Loving a Shadow: Several characters: a recurring theme in the fic is blind worship.
When I touched your face to kiss you, you tilted your head down, Rachel says, and she takes her hands away. She doesnt look mad, and Chloe wishes she did. She just looks perplexed. Im an inch taller than you. Its not me. Theres someone else.
- Rachel loves the goddess of Arcadia Bay, but only as a goddess- not as a real flawed human whose power doesn't define her. Upon seeing the 'real' Max for the first time, Rachel has no idea what to do or say.
- Out of loneliness, Chloe projects her romantic feelings for Max onto Rachel.
- Only Sane Man: Chloe and Victoria are the only people to think that maybe the goddess causing visions of death and destruction is bad news. A few cultists fear the goddess...but not enough to actually stop worshiping her.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Chloe gets these increasingly often as the timeline becomes more unstable.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Because Max must stay outside reality to shield it from the paradox storm she frequently disappears from the former, sometimes in the middle of conversations. The finale involves Max teleporting into the middle of a crowd.