Thursday, April 19, 2012

Demo Man

Since I can make TF2 shout outs too. Even though I'm a bad Demoman. And the only thing that really counts as a shout out here is that both topics have the word 'demo' in them. It's not even the same sense of the word. I gave up being a Demoman actually. I'll be a Sniper thanks.

Any way, Luc is going to let me post about yesterday's demonstration because it's a "house wide" thing instead of just her interest. It was definitely house wide though. Right before dinner, everyone here gathered around out on the patio. Luc and I sat in some nice deck chairs, Sammi sat on the railing like a lunatic, Diesel stood by her to keep her from falling off, Tori took the table, and even Liesical and his PTSD symptoms slunk out to watch the fireworks. Literally. Fireworks.

We were waiting around for a couple minutes before Leo came outside with his backpack. He had this huge grin on his face. I know he's ready for work tonight. It's been a long time since I've seen someone so enthusiastic to get back. That was the first time I saw him grin like that actually. It's pretty weird to see because the burn scars cover part of his lip and it gives him a killer uncanny valley effect. That's another thing we have in common.

He put down the pack and it made this huge thud. Metallic. Like the prop frames in band used to when someone dropped them on pavement. If anyone could have taken a step back they would have. But nobody could so we stayed where we were.

"Watch n' learn, ladies and gentlemen, slenderfolk of all ages." He said as he unbuckled the top flap of his bag. "I'm not gonna get a real flame going up here, but I'll show you the whole range of motions." He had wanted to find an isolated spot in the woods to maybe catch on fire for us but again we're not too keen on leaving with all the dog people down there, like Luc said. The balcony did just fine and his demo was cool enough without the fire. "It'll be a good warm up for me," he went on and looked up at us. "'cause I've gotta be out of shape by now."

We all watched like our lives depended on it as he pulled two metal bars, three feet long a piece, 4" wide and 1" thick out of the main pocket. I was sort of confused then. What does that have to do with fire starting, I thought?

"I-beam segments?" Diesel asked, confused as me.

"Just watch." Leo smirked and held the things out to his sides. His arms were open wide like a bird getting ready to dive off of a building. He stood there for about ten seconds before flicked both of his wrists downward at the same time, and then there was this incredibly loud metal clanking. Sharp. And a click at the end of the noise as the object locked itself into place.

The entire bar had folded out and I saw then that it wasn't solid at all. There were about a dozen and a half slats that had comprised the original bar that formed a heavy sort of ribbing. Each separate piece had a sharp distal end like a knife. The ribbing was connected by thick brown leather pulled taut by the slats folding out. All I could think of was Avatar Kyoshi. I mean, he sure fit the bill. Huge, stern, and with those weapons....

Lucia leaned forward and laughed. "Motherfucking fighting fans. You can't be serious." She had a huge grin on her face as Leo pulled the things closer to his body and looked over to us.

"I have to make myself unique somehow, miz."

We all watched a little skeptically at first. Fans aren't really intimidating in the grand scale of weapons. But with his first move, we all took the skeptical back and watched in awe. He lunged forward suddenly, striking at an imaginary target with the razor rim of one fan. I didn't think it would be so aerodynamic but it swung easily as if he were swinging a knife. At the same time, he brought the other arm forward with all of his force in a wide arc. It made a dull, muted roaring sound.

Everyone felt the wind come off of the blow a few seconds later. We were all standing at least twenty feet away from him but everyone's hair got blown back a bit. That's when we dropped the awe and realized that Leo is no laughing matter.

"They work like bellows," Lucia muttered sounding every bit in disbelief, "he literally fans the flames."

He made another few strikes and cuts with the rims using both arms, one at a time, each making the swooshing sound of a blade, all in different directions: backhand, forehand, parry an imaginary blow, wind up with the other arm and swing so hard I can't believe his arm didn't leave its socket. It hit me kinda slowly how strong he must be physically to handle those things like they're nothing. Or how much practice it must have taken to do that.

He looked back at us and grinned again. "I'm rusty after three weeks, sorry."

"You call that RUSTY?!" Sammi yelled from the railing. Diesel had an arm on her to keep her from falling back as she flailed all over the place. "That's fricken' amazing!"

"Heh. I'm just getting warmed up."

He went on to do more complicated maneuvers: more of the actual fanning in between a few odd strikes and parries. I could picture the air currents being forced into shape as a crazy wind whipped up on the patio. Once he even pulled back, shut one of the fans so it looked like a bar again, and swung it like a club or a bat before flipping it open again to parry.

He kept his eyes firm on his imaginary enemy moving faster and faster as he tried to kill the invisible foe. He dodged and ran in circles, always attacking or defending himself. Three minutes passed before he clicked the fans shut and threaded them through loops on this belt/harness/ammo belt thing he was wearing. He shrugged and reached for his empty thigh holster, pulled out an imaginary flare gun, leveled it at Invis-o-Bill, and said "Bang."

By the time he was done and turned back he was sweating like a monster and we were all dumbstruck. Nobody knew what to say as the displaced wind died down.

Diesel started a slow clap, though. We all joined in. Leo just bowed and said "Well, I hope watching me get my groove back was entertaining."

Oh it was. It really was. I'm glad he's on the same side as us. I'm looking forward to working with him for the rest of the month.


Tori Francis said...

And, needless to say, we all really wanna see the pyrotechnics part of his job too. I might drag Shawn along to that if it happens....

Ryan said...

I feel the need to say that I feel lucky because I get to SEE the actual fire. :D And it's awesome.

Swan said...

I feel like I should treat this man as a brother... but on the same token all I can think is I can totally kill him in a fight.

...counter productive.

Leo said...

I'd spar with ya any day, bird boy.

Ryan said...

Swan. Just enjoy knowing there's another pyro like yourself out here! Killing everyone around you IS counterproductive.