Hey Anons. This is, like many others, first TF2 fanfic. I've been posting it on fanfic.net, but I figured I'd post it here as well.
It's pretty much a fanfic on the Pyro, sort of looking into how he got hired, and various events after that.
The sun was setting in the late afternoon, a great orange glare being cast on the reflective windows on the skyscrapers, creating the effect that the entire city was aflame. I continued my way down the street, constantly clicking my lighter on and off, on and off. It was a habit that has carried over from my childhood. My father was a smoker, and often left his Zippos laying around the house, much to my mother disproval. “What if the child gets to it?” She would nag him. “Now, I’m not that irresponsible,” He would retort in annoyance. “Look, I’ll just keep them in this drawer, see?” He said slowly, treating my mother like a child herself. “It’s too tall to be able to reach. Besides, it’s not like children are that smart.”
It was always late at night that I would reach into that drawer. I would lay awake in my room, blanket pulled over my head, as I waited for the arguing and yelling to stop between my two parents and for them to retreat to their bedroom. After that, I would sneak out as slow and stealthy as a 6 year old could and press my ear up to their door to listen. Often times, I would hear the television discussing various news before they shut it off to go to sleep. Other times, it would be my mother and my father having sex, which was followed by my father snoring. Once I made sure they were both asleep, especially my father, I would reach my little hand up, pull the drawer open, and reach in. I would wiggle it around until I felt what I was looking for. I retrieved it and sat on the floor before opening my hand. There it was, in all its beauty. My father’s Zippos lighter. Smooth, cool, almost luminescent as it reflected the moon light filtering in from the kitchen window. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen; a true treasure. I would just sit there on the kitchens linoleum floor, running my fingers over it, savoring its flawless smooth texture. Once that feeling was sated, I cautiously lifted its lid and put my thumb where I had always seen my father put it. I sat there for a bit, just resting my thumb there.
“What if I get caught?” I would always think. “What if I get caught by father. He’ll beat me like he beat mother when he found her talking to another man outside.” It was a mental tug of war. Continue my indulgence or go back to bed. But I had come too far. I had to continue or start again, and so I—
A sudden shove woke me from my reminiscence. I looked up from my lighter at whoever interrupted me and felt angry, something that was a rare occurrence.
“Hey, watch it!” A very annoyed voice said. I looked in its direction to find who was possibly the ugliest man I had ever seen. His hair was an oily, thinning mess on the top of his head. His face was likewise oily, sheening with it. His nose was slightly red and absolutely covered in black heads. But the worst of it was his eyes; black, watery, beady. The glared down at me with such malice, you would think that I ran over his cat or something. My hand tightened around my lighter.
“Sorry,” I managed to mumble.
The man straightened himself up, slightly puffing his chest out like a greasy rooster. It was only now that I realized that he was wearing an immaculate suit. How oxymoronic.
“Yes, well you should be. You’re making me late for work.” He gave me one last look down and continued on his way.
I glared in his direction before continuing on my way. I began to flick my lighter on and off again in agitation. I only just met the man, and I hated him. Him and his disgusting hair and clean suit. What was the point of wearing a suit like that if you don’t shower before, assuming he does shower. In a sudden spur of the moment, I turn around, and follow him. Not too close, of course, but enough to keep him in view. My knuckles turned white as I gripped my zippo. I hated that man so much.
Hate was an emotion that I never felt, but only on some occurrences. But when I do, its intensity is enough to engulf the world in flames.
I want to see that man burn.
Sometimes when I feel upset about something, I like to think back to that night in the kitchen when I saw it for the first time. It’s comforting, in a childish sort of way. I guess it’s like looking through rose colored glasses, but as long as it’s comforting, what does it matter? And when my memories fail to aid me, I simply look at the real thing.
I sat on the kitchen floor, my legs crossed beneath me with my thumb resting on the lighter. I lightly bit my upper lip as I thought about what I was about to do. Then, without any hesitation, I flicked my thumb down quickly like I have seen my father do so many times. Nothing happened. I tried again. A little, bright spark appeared and then the room grew dark again. I started to get frustrated. Again, I tried and without even a spark to light the way. In my frustration, I pressed even harder. And then it showed itself. A single flame. I was so surprised, I dropped the lighter in my foolishness and I was quenched in darkness again.
I continued to follow the greasy man. By now, the sun had all but set, a faint pink line on the horizon, and the street lights flickered on. It turns out that he wasn’t going to work, but to a small house on the edge of the city. Why he said he was going to work, I have no idea. Perhaps he simply wanted to sound important to the average street pedestrian.
He unlocked his door and walked inside. Man this guy lived in a fishbowl. Kind of stupid, when living in the city. Anyone could just walk by and glance into his life; or to those with financial ambition, his belongings. The curtains were wide open. Why have curtains if you are not going to use them? Idiot.
I stood across the street, flicking my lighter, watching. His, I assume, wife greeted him. Then they all sat around a table, with their child joining them, and ate. What a happy, typical, tv commercial perfect happy family. I hated it.
I crossed the street and went around to the back of their house. Stupid to not have a fence either. Although, I doubt that would keep me out. I glance around until I find what I was looking for—the stairs to their basement. Perfect. What a better place to start a fire, from the ground up. But as I get closer, I notice that it is locked with a rusty chain. Well, not really locked; the chain is sort of wrapped tightly around it. Once again, stupid. It was a damn miracle that they haven’t been robbed or murdered already. I unwrap it and place it on the grass as quietly as I can and make my way downstairs. I flash my zippo on to make some light. As miniscule as the flame is, I don’t want to draw attention to what I am about to do.
The basement is cluttered with shelves along each of the four walls, with all kinds of junk weighing them down. Above hangs a bare incandescent light bulb and there are some stairs to the right which lead to the house. I hold my flame out and search for something that could be of some use. Suddenly, I find the best thing ever—the connection to their gas. I feel a slight grin break across my face as I also find a pile of cleaning rags and a small gas can next to it. Stupid.
I collect the rags and soak them in the gasoline. I then unhook the gas to their house and lead the rags to their leak. As soon as I do that, I open the little window that leads to the outside world to help ventilate the gas. I don’t want to blow up myself.
I quickly lean over and light the end of the rag, and run like hell back to their back yard. I quickly wrap the chain back around their stair doors and make my way to the side of their house. I find the window and shut it. I don’t want to leave any trace. I can smell the smoke from the rags. I return to my spot across the street and lean on the light post. I watch them stuff their faces, flicking my lighter on and off.
Something must have grabbed the man’s attention at that moment. He glanced up from his plate, out the window, and looks me dead in the eyes. I just stare back, into those dark, watery eyes, my lighter flicking on and off. Just as his eyes comprehend who I am, I click the lighter on and keep the flame going, holding it out to him like a person would toast with a glass of champagne.
His eyes widen a few seconds before his entire house explodes and is engulfed in fire.
I stood there for a while, leaning against that street lamp, flicking my lighter on and off. I thought of how greasy that man’s face was, and I wondered if that oil made him more combustible. The idea amused me as I thought of him being the first to catch aflame, the fires tendrils being attracted to him as strongly as if he was doused in gasoline. I let out a soft grunt of amusement. The infrastructure of the building must have caught fire by now, as I can see it slowly collapsing on itself. Neither the man nor his family made it out.
I found the sight of fire to be comforting, almost like a blanket is to a small child. To feel its warm breath is like a caress of a lover, and its unbiased destruction is awe inspiring. It is pure energy. Energy that you can control-- a lion in a cage. Tame when treated carefully, but willing to kill when given the chance. I looked up at the night’s sky, the stars faint in the cities glare. They too are composed of fire. Endlessly burning orbs millions of miles away from here, yet still visible. The world revolves around the fire. It can destroy, yet create and nurture, like our sun. And those who can wield fire, those who can control it, are like gods in a sense. They hold the power to destroy. Anyone who has the power to kill is a god. A boy on the side walk watching ants is a god. If he wanted to, he could crush them and choose who lived and who shall perish. With this family, I was their god. Unfortunately for them, I chose to use my power.
I bemused over this fact until I heard the sirens of various emergency vehicles in the distance, and it was only then that I realized that the neighbors were out in the street, some crying and screaming, and other staring into the hearth dumbstruck. Others were giving me glances of suspicion and muttering to each other without removing their gaze. It is time for me to go.
I stuffed my lighter in the pocked of my worn jeans and walked down the street back into the heart of the city. It was sort of peaceful, this street. There wasn’t much traffic, or very many pedestrians. It was peaceful. I felt oddly at peace with myself, feeling relaxed. It’s moments like this where I crave a simple coffee at my favorite diner. It wasn’t that far from here, only a few blocks down, so I decided to make my way over there.
As I made my way through the growing crowds that come with getting closer to the city, I saw several fire engines speed by, followed by an ambulance and a few police cruisers. My hands reached deeper into my pockets and I stroked my lighter, now warm from my body heat, and smiled down at the side walk.
I kept replaying the scene over and over again in my head. The way I snuck into their basement, the smell of gasoline as I soaked the rags, and the look on that man’s face just before he and his family were killed. It was a sweet memory and one that I will add to my collection.
It seemed like no time at all before I reached the diner. I liked this place. Not really for the food, but for the feel. Despite it being in a large city, it felt, well, homey for me. The atmosphere was that of a mom-and-pop owned restaurant that’s been in the family for several generations. And they had the best damn cobbler on Earth.
My entrance was greeted with the gentle tingling of bells from the door. The place was fairly small—a few dozen booths that were back to back filled up most of the place, a jukebox in one corner and a counter with stools stretched its way around the open kitchen.
A young waitress with short brunette hair greeted me with a coffee carafe in one hand. I liked this waitress. Not in a romantic way, but she was nice, even though we never had a conversation. She always treated me as her friend.
“Hey, back again?” She said cheerily. “Usual seat?”
“Yes, ma’am.” I replied, and she led me to the counter and set a small menu in front of one of the stools.
“What will you be having tonight?” She asked.
I was tempted to order the cobbler, but I managed to resist.
“Just a coffee.”
“Alrighty, I’ll be right back with one.”
I simply grunted my thanks. She was so nice. She was quick too, pouring me my coffee a few minutes later.
She placed the days newspaper next to the mug and walked off. She knew me better than I expected. Then again, I did come in almost every night and she seemed to be the only waitress working here.
I folded the paper open and skimmed through the days events. I always enjoyed the news, even as a kid. It’s just so fascinating, the world. I always try to keep up on events. You know, how the economy is doing, what Russia is up to, space monkeys. That sort of stuff. If I miss even a days worth of news, I feel excluded from the world.
I took a sip from my coffee and recoiled as the steaming liquid scalded my tongue and lips. Scowling slightly, I set he mug back down on the counter and focused on the paper once I got through the usual bullshit of political campaigns and sports. The local stories are what interest me.
There was a robbery a few blocks from here, armed at a drug store. A few more blocks from there, there was a stabbing. Both suspects weren’t caught.
A follow up report on the arson from last week caught my attention.
"-Police and the fire department continue their investigation of the fire that burned down an apartment building, a suspected arson. The fire broke out at approximately 3:14 am, and crews arrived on the scene at 3:48 am. Strangely, the fire detection system within the building did not go off, and the fire was alerted to the authorities when a pedestrian on the street noticed flames and smoke spewing from the roof and windows. Screams were reportedly audible from the streets. Official reports claim that 38 people were killed in the incident, and another 114 remain in the hospital, 26 of which in critical condition, all sustaining severe burns.
-“At first we thought this was a simple accident,” stated Police Chief Watson. “We originally thought the cause of the fire was a towel left on a radiator. But upon further investigation, we discovered that the smoke detectors and sprinkler systems were meddled with and were disconnected. We are furthering our investigation and are currently looking for suspects. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims during this troubling time.”
-This incident adds to the sting of arsons that have been appearing over the city, following one that happened last month where a family of 6 died, and another 3 months ago where an elderly gentleman fell victim to sever burns, even though the fire had yet to reach the room where fire fighters found him.
If anyone has any information on these incidents, please contact either the Police Chief or the Fire Chief."
So they haven’t found the person responsible for it yet, that’s good. But they are looking for suspects. From here on out, I’ll have to be more careful. It was good then that I didn’t draw out my work like I usually do. I can’t afford to draw more attention.
With my coffee now slightly cooler, I took a large gulp and looked up at the clock that was perched over the door. 10:39. The night was still young, but I was feeling tired despite the caffeine.
As, I was digging out some change from my pocket, I heard a polite cough to my left. For a split second, I hesitated. Nobody sneaks up on me. I looked up as my hand removed the change, already formulating a false story if it was the police.
It wasn’t the cops. It was a woman. She looked older, with faint lines creasing her cheeks and forehead. Her hair was short, and a light black color on the verge of graying. She wore a purple woman’s suit top and a skirt that fell to her pantyhosed knees. She stood there, all casual, with a cigarette hanging from one well-manicured hand.
She put the cigarette to her lips, in hailed slowly, and exhaled the smoke. The smell of tobacco mixed with the smell of coffee.
“May I help you?” I asked, placing the change next to my half full mug. She looked harmless enough, but I didn’t like the look of her. She reminded me of a predatory animal, one that sneaks up on her prey and drains them slowly. A spider perhaps? But this one goes to her prey, and is too impatient to wait for it to come to her.
“Yes, you can.” Her voice had a slight drawl to it, one who speaks slowly and draws out the words. Her voice had the deepness that comes with years of smoking, but was smooth. It was the kind of voice that can be calm one moment, and hateful the next. This woman was dangerous.
“I have a job proposition for you,” She said before inhaling more smoke. She looked me up and down with a slight look of superiority, like a rich man would a tramp. “And by the looks of you, you need the money.”
I frowned at her. The last thing I wanted was to work for somebody like her. “No thank you,” I retorted as politely as I could despite what I was feeling towards her. “I don’t need a job. I am fine how I am.”
She smirked, “That’s what I thought you’d say. Here, this is my card,” she handed me a red card with the glossed letters, R.E.D., I looked back up at her before I could inspect it further. “There’s an address on the back of that, as well as your starting salary. If you are interested, please be there tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock. Do not be late.”
She went to leave and stopped. “Of course, you can always keep starting fires around the city while living off of the streets. It’s up to you.” And she left.
I stood there, kind of stupidly, with the card in my hand. I looked at it more closely:
Reliable Excavation Demolition Corporation.
Destroying you’re things since 1901!
I flipped the card over and nearly had a heart attack at the salary. That was more than enough for several cups of coffee and a slice of cobbler. I could buy the whole damn city if I wanted to. And the address wasn’t that far from the city center.
Perhaps I should give this woman a try.
Wow, Pyro sure is articulate for a child. How old is he supposed to be? You write him like a teenager and you seem to establish that he's six but yet he's able to go into a restaurant and order coffee without question, and then on top of that get hired by RED? This is not very clear and given what we know about Pyro from Meet the Pyro you've concocted one that couldn't really be any less like him. I doubt canon Pyro would even know what an oxymoron is. Unless this is an OC.
I bemused over this fact
That word... I do not think it means what you think it means.
>>4 The childhood scenes were meant to be flashbacks, and I originally typed them in italics, which didn't transfer over when I copied and pasted them over to post them here. The age of the Pyro in the worlds current time is that of a young adult. Sorry for any confusion.
Also, this Pyro is an OC, not a direct copy from the Meet the Pyro. I meant for it to be more serious, not a 'let's run around and blow bubbles' pyro.
This is a board where you have to use [ i ][ /i ] for italics. Making a post on any of the other boards, there are quick buttons for making text bolded, italicized, underlined or strike-through, and those same tags apply to the text-only boards.
Also perhaps you should have made it apparent that this Pyro was an OC and not the canon Pyro.
I found this to be a semi-interesting characteriztion/interpretation of Pyro,and well-written to boot. The grammar, word choice, syntax - all are wonderful. It just seems to lack... something. A compelling plot, perhaps. Energy. Drive. Okay now I really don't know what I'm saying (should have gotten more sleep last night) but do note at least that this is quite well-written, and now I bid you good day.
>>7 Thanks for the feedback c: I hope that you find this next installment more entertaining. Finally, some form of plot is now rolling out.
I glanced up at the building towering over me, and back at the card to make sure that the address was correct and this was actually the place I had to go. Like I thought, it was in the middle of the city, and it sort of blended in with the surrounding skyscrapers. It was tall enough, at least 20 floors or more, and its windows reflected the world around it. It had no décor on the outside, and no sign hinting at the company stored within. It was just a building.
Releasing a heavy sigh, I entered the revolving doors. I was still contemplating if this was the right decision, and kept turning over the idea if I should trust the spider woman. But when I would look at the number of my future salary, it was enough to steel my nerves.
Inside, the place was still unremarkable. Clean, orderly, with freshly waxed floors and bright cold lights. The entrance was empty, with the exception of a single secretary’s desk in the center, and two elevator doors on either side.
The woman behind the desk was typing away at her type writer as I approached, and did not look away from it. Whatever she was typing up was very important, judging by the intense look of concentration her eyes had behind her thick rimmed glasses.
I cleared my throat. She still didn’t look up.
“I expect you’re here for the interview?” She said in a monotone voice whose blandness rivaled that with the environment that surrounded us.
“Uh, yes. I guess so.” I said uncertainly as I stuffed the card back into my pocket.
She still didn’t look up. How rude.
“You really shouldn’t mumble. It makes it hard for people to understand you. Go into the elevator and go to floor 35. Not floor 12, not floor 36. Floor 35. When you get off the elevator, sit in one of the seats that are lined against the wall. You will be called in shortly after that.” She sounded annoyed, like I was interrupting her entire day or something.
I didn’t even bother saying thanks before I walked over to the elevator and pressed the arrow to go up. I stuck my hands into my pockets sort of glumly as I waited, fingering my lighter.
Despite the woman’s rudeness, she did divulge some pieces of information to me unknowingly.
I wasn’t the only one here today. Clearly, the spider woman invited several other individuals to this interview—whether for the same job or not. These individuals seem to be as confused about it as I am, and have never been here before, hence her stressing the floor.
Also, we were expected. We were probably the only people expected. That or this was routine for the secretary.
The elevator was here, and I boarded and pressed the button for floor 35.
If I was the only person, or one of many, this entire thing had a strange stench to it.
It seemed like no time at all before I reached floor 35. The elevator lurched to a stop and the doors slid open, reviling a windowless hallway with a row of seats along one wall and a simple door at the far end.
I chose the seat closest to the door, and plopped down. It wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, being made out of cheap plastic, but it was better than standing the whole time. I had no idea how long I had to be here for.
I stretched my legs out in front of me as I reached into my pocket to retrieve my lighter. I enjoyed observing the world that was reflected in its metal; so similar, yet slightly warped in the imperfections of its case.
It was maybe five or ten minutes before I heard the elevator ding and open its doors for another passenger.
It was a man, maybe in his late 20’s or early 30’s with about a day or twos worth of light growth on his cheeks and chin. He was in the strangest get up I have ever seen. At least, for this part of the city. He clearly wasn’t from around here. He was garbed in a simple pair of overalls, a plaid red shirt under it, and boots. But the thing that really set him apart was his thick, rubber work glove that was only on his right hand, a hard hat, and a pair of goggles that hid his eyes.
He looked slightly confused, which lead me to believe that it was his first time here like me. He seemed to catch his bearings and made his way down the hallway, towards the door.
I gave him a sideways glance as he sat next to me. Seriously, who picks the seat right next to a stranger when there are plenty of empty ones?
“Howdy,” he said cheerily, tipping his hardhat slightly like a true southern gentleman. He had a slight southern drawl that you wouldn’t find within 100 miles of this place. “I ‘spect you’re here for the interview as well?”
I didn’t look up from my lighter. “Yup.” I hoped that my short replies would deter any ideas he had of starting a conversation with me. I wasn’t really in the mood for talking. I rarely am.
He grunted. “You think it’s for the same job?”
“Probably. I don’t know.” I let a slight curt tone seep into my words. He seemed to pick up on them. He’s not as dumb as I though.
“C’mon partner, you really need to warm up a bit. ‘Specially if we are goin’ to work together.”
I smiled lightly at his choice of words, and flicked my lighter on to gaze into its flame.
“Warming up is the last thing people want with me around.”
I decided he was amiable enough to at least have a small conversation with. And I kind of liked the rural feel he gave off.
“Do you know why we’re here?” I asked in a lowered voice, letting my lighter go out.
His tone became conversational and friendly again. “Nope. I was just mindin’ my own business when some lady comes up to me with a proposition. All she told me was ‘We could use someone with your intelligence,’ gave me a card, and walked away. I didn’t think much of it until I saw my startin’ salary, and woo wee, was it a lot of cash. So I figured I’d come here to try my luck. Took a bus all the way from home ta get here.”
Wow, he seemed to talk a lot when you got him going.
“Same here,” I replied. Wanting to confirm my observation, I asked, “So you’re not from around here?”
He smirked. “Nope, born and raised in a lil’ town in Texas called Beecave. What about you?”
Just as I went to reply, the door opened. A young woman stepped out, a different one than the spider woman. This one had the same black hair, and a similar woman’s blouse and skirt. She looked down at her clip board and adjusted her glasses.
“Are you two here for the interview?” She asked me and the country boy. Her voice was much nicer than the spider woman’s, and sounded meeker as well.
Country boy answered for us with a “Yes, ma’am.”
She looked down at me. “I guess you’ll come in first since you were the first one here.”
As I stood up, the man tipped his yellow hard hat again. “Nice shootin’ the breeze with you.”
I simply muttered a reply back and followed the woman into the room.
Here is the next part is anyone is still interested.
The young woman led the way into the room, and I took a second to glance around.
It certainly had more character than the previous areas I had been in, although still feeling slightly synthetic. There was a single, large window overlooking the city behind a long desk, which was where the Spider Woman sat straight and tall. On the right wall, there was a single portrait of her, large and over bearing. Looking into those cold, uninterested eyes was just as unnerving as looking into the real thing. On the other wall was a metal fireplace with a fire crackling merrily inside. That peaked my interest. A fire place was a very rare object in the center of the city, and almost never seen inside of a business tower. How interesting. There was a single, leather chair in front of the desk, and the young woman led me behind it. I was about to sit, but then I caught the gaze of the Spider woman and decided it was best to be invited first.
Her lips pulled back curtly, like she just licked a lemon, accenting her laugh lines. Though I doubt she obtained those wrinkles from laughing. She looked like the kind of person who did not feel joy.
She pulled her hands just under her chin and intertwined her manicured fingers.
“You may have a seat.” She said in her smooth voice. I did as I was told. “Thank you, Miss Pauling. You may go now.” Her gaze was fixed on me as she spoke, like a cat watching a bird, waiting to pounce.
The young woman, Miss Pauling, gave a short bow and left through the door we entered. I wonder if she would entertain Country Boy.
I still didn’t speak, feeling slightly intimidated. Her gaze never left my face. After a few awkward seconds, she leaned back a bit and pulled a cigarette out of a silver cigarette case and put it to her it to her lips as she lit it. She puffed it once and took a long drag off of it, her eyes piercing and analytical and she looked me over. She leaned her head back and exhaled slowly, smoke escaping past her lips and out her nostrils. The smell of tobacco filled the air. I resisted the urge to cough.
She held her lit cigarette between two manicured fingers and pulled it away from her face, hand dangling lazily in front of her.
“So.” She said, drawing out the word slightly before taking another drag. “Here is our mysterious person. Miss Pauling had a lot of trouble with you, you know. No police records, no address, no telephone number, no place of work, not even a birth certificate. You are a more mysterious that our corporate spy.” She tapped the end of her cigarette on her crystal ashtray. “And you cover your tracks well.”
She motioned with her free hand to the files spread out over her desk. “A total career consisting of 541 arsons, almost 800 murders, and a few burglaries for food and other nonsense. You are incredibly lucky that the officials haven’t caught up to you, especially with a resume like this.”
It felt strange to here of my accomplishments. It seemed like I had only committed a few over my life. I never kept track though.
“Yes, you were hard to catch up to. Once we did, we kept a close eye on you. I have a record of everything you have done in the past 6 months, here on my desk.”
She leaned back again, took another long drag with the skill gained from years of smoking, and sighed, “So. Where do we go from here? Clearly, you are interested, or else you would not be here.”
She looked me square in the eye again. “Do you want to work for the Mann Company as part of the Reliable Excavation and Demolition branch?”
My reply was quick. “Yes.” I had no idea what I was jumping into, but I didn’t care. I came this far, why turn back? The money should be good, and it’s better than sitting around setting things on fire. But I was still slightly curious as to what I would be doing. She seemed to notice.
“Excellent. You shall be working as a mercenary with 8 other individuals, each specializing in a specific skill. I figured you would make a perfect pyro technician officer-- or just Pyro for short. Your goal? To fight the mercenaries of Builders League United. You will have different missions. From collecting vital intelligence, capturing needed areas, or simply killing each and every one of them.”
Killing people? This is getting better and better. My attention was rapt.
“And all that you need to do,” she said in her smooth voice, “Is sign this contract.”
She pushed a single sheet of paper towards me, with an ink well pen on top.
I looked down at my contract, and back up at her. Her gaze was that of hunger, a patient predator. The spider woman had me in her web, and she knew it. There was no turning back now. Yet, even if there was, what was I to do? Go back to that diner and order coffee? Continue my burning rampage across the city until the cops finally caught me and throw me in jail for the rest of my life (or worse, execute me)? I had nowhere else to go, nothing else to do. This woman knew it, and that is why she singled me out. Because I was vulnerable. I came to her. Now all that I have to do is sign my life away, whether it was for the best, or for the worst.
I grasped the pen with my fingers firmly and found the dotted line at the bottom. I didn’t even bother reading the contract. Either way I was facing the unknown. And who knows? Maybe this path will turn out better.
I signed my loopy signature.
Not even a millisecond after I finished writing out my name, I felt a sharp tug at the hair behind my head that brought slight tears to the corners of my eyes. Instinctively reaching my hand to the spot where I felt the pain, I look around. It was Miss Pauling. She gave me a quick look through her black horned glasses and walked over to stand beside the spider woman.
“It seems we are done here.” The woman said, snuffing out her burned down stump of a cigarette in her ashtray. “You may leave.”
I stood up and fought the urge to stick my hand out to shake hers. I knew she wouldn’t.
“Thank you, Miss…?”
She was focused back on my files to pay me any mind. I had already fulfilled my purpose to her. She replied a few seconds later in an annoyed voice.
“Just call me the Administrator.”
Without asking any further questions, I left.
>>7 here. I've been reading, and it is indeed getting more interesting, so I think my previous statement was probably too quick a judgement. In particular, I like how Pyro calls the Administrator the Spider Woman; it certainly fits.
This part was very hard for me to write for some reason. My writing mojo just didn't really kick in for some reason, even though I wanted to continue. Well anyways, here it is. I hope you enjoy it.
It wasn’t long before I was on a R.E.D. corporate plane to where-ever-the-hell-the-Administrator-wanted-me-to-go.
I yawned and stretched as far as my body would let me without feeling pain, thrusting my arms and legs in all directions. I didn’t have to worry about being courteous to anyone in the seat next to me. I was the only one onboard besides the staff consisting of 1 server and a pilot. Rubbing the back of my neck, I studied the files for my mission that were laid out on the serving tray in front of me.
The plane was headed to some place called Badlands, New Mexico and according to the file our team was to do some intelligence recon in an area called Teufort. We were to attempt to capture the B.L.U. team intelligence all while keeping them from getting ours. Judging by the pictures that were provided, it looked like a fairly small area with two structures on either side of a small creek. In the bowels of each structure was the intelligence room. It looked like it was going to be a pain in the ass trying to get in there.
The hostess walked by and offered me some iced water from a carafe she was carrying. I declined politely.
The file did not say how long the B.L.U, Team had been stationed there, but it did warn that they have been there long enough to know the area and enough time to build a solid defense and routine. We have only just learned of the whereabouts and are moving in. I’m the last arrival.
I yawned and stretched again.
I stood up and cracked my back before grabbing a heavy duffle bag and made my way down the aisle of seats to the lavatory.
After I entered and locked the door, I let it drop to the floor and it landed with a solid, metallic thunk. I opened the zipped and removed the optical mask that was sitting on top and placed it on the closed toilet seat while kicking off my shoes. I stripped off my shirt and tossed it into the sink before wiggling out of my pants and placing them in the sink as well.
In just my underwear, I pulled a large and slightly heavy full body rubber suit and held it out in front of me.
It was red, presumably to reflect which company I belonged to, and had an emblem of a flame on each of the sleeves, near the shoulder. It looked as comfortable as wearing a glorified trash bag, but it was a size or too larger than myself, and wouldn’t be skin tight. At least the bagginess would enable some freedom of movement.
Miss Pauling handed me this bag before I exited the limo that drove me to the tarmac which the jet was idling on. “It’s to help you with your job. It’ll protect you from your own flames and that of the other pyro.” She explained when she noticed my confused expression. “I would recommend that you wear it as much as possible. You never know when you might need it.”
I must say, she is much more amiable than the Administrator.
Slipping into it, I peered back into the bag. There were a pair of black, rubber boots, yellow tipped rubber gloves, various straps and pouches, and an air canister at the very bottom; the reason for its heaviness. I suppose it was to help ventilate the suit while I am in it.
I zipped up the front of my suit and pulled the boots onto my feet, sitting on the toilet seat after I placed the mask on the floor next to it. I tucked the ends of my suit into the boots, not wanting to look shaggy and unprepared. It gave my shins a strange crumpled look, since the suit was so large.
I decided to leave the oxygen tank in the bag since I would not be donning the mask until I needed to. I did remove the belt with the pouch and clipped it around my waist, and placed my zippo inside of it.
I put on the gloves quickly, and placed my clothes and shoes inside the bag around the tank and looked into the mirror over the sink. It wasn’t the most fashionable thing to wear, but function beats form, I suppose. I zipped back up the bag and grabbed it and my mask and exited back to my seat.
I placed the bag on the seat closest to the window lazily, the oxygen tank sticking out visibly from the material at an awkward angle, and plopped back down in my seat. The hostess walked by again; giving me a curious side glance before offering me yet another glass of water. I declined yet again and she informed me that we were landing soon and for me to put my tray back into the up and locked position. What a pain.
Shoving the papers back into the manila envelope, I stole a quick glance out the window.
The plane descending quickly through the cloudless sky, the earth below appeared to be nothing but a rust red wasteland. My imagination ran wild with images of me landing on Mars, being greeted by colonists or aliens or something. I guess that I am still more of a child than I thought.
My ears started to pop and I took that as my cue to remove my oxygen tank and shrug it onto my back, securing it in place. The attendant didn’t look too thrilled to see me standing in the aisle when I should have been strapped down to my seat like we were about to crash or something.
I could hear the mechanical sound of the wheels being moved into place, and quickly sat back down awkwardly, my tank making it uncomfortable. A few seconds later, the jet bobbed and the screeching sound of rubber meeting tarmac confirmed touch down.
For the first time, I was feeling kind of nervous. Not scared, just unsure about what to expect. I hate surprises, but this one could not be helped.
I stood up again as the jet slowed down to a stop and grabbed my mask and my bag. It was all that I had brought with me, the clothes that I wore here and my lighter; I figured everything else would be provided in the barracks or where ever we were to live. I made my way to the front of the plane and waited for the attendant to open the door and lower the steps.
It was like walking into a convection oven. Bead of sweat started forming on my brow, only to be quickly evaporated away by the dry breeze. An annoyed groan passed my lips. I would have to wear my suit in this heat. The idea of being bottled in my own sweat made me cringe. Hopefully, there would be showers in the barracks.
With one final sigh, I pulled my optical mask over my head with my free hand awkwardly. With its tinted lenses, the desert sun was not quite as intense, but it distorted my view. Everything looked slightly warped because of the imperfections in the thick glass; it was like looking at the world with someone else’s glasses. I inhaled deeply, getting used to my new perspective. The oxygen from the tank was cool, and it helped to prevent me from sweating too much, but after a few minutes the air quickly heated up and was no longer refreshing.
My gloved hand gripped the straps to my duffle bag and I slung it over my shoulder. I made my way down the jets stairs and stepped onto the dusty ground.
I must look pretty badass right now.
Next part is up! It was really refreshing to write from a new point of view, and I hope that you find it refreshing to read as well.
“Aw jeez, it’s so borin’!” I complained loudly. I knew I was getting on my teammates nerves, but I didn’t care. It almost always gives me a kick whenever I get them angry. “We haven’t seen any of ‘em blue bastards in almost three days! What’s a fella suppose to do ‘round here for enjoyment?”
Medic grunted into his chest from behind his newspaper. It was in German or something, so I didn’t bother trying to read it.
“Herr Scout, if you do not be quiet I vill perzonally vivisect you vizout putting you under first.”
A deep, throaty chuckle escaped from Heavy’s corner. He usually doesn’t speak up and say what’s going on in that bowling ball of a head of his unless it is really bothering him. I can’t really say that it’s because he can’t easily translate his words to English, or if he’s too stupid. He especially doesn’t speak when he’s all draped over that monster gun of his. He spends hours polishing it, maintaining its many barrels, or just admiring its metallic sheen. He’s a very simple man and often finds enjoyment in Medics remarks or actions. It was an overall weird friendship.
I shut my yap for a few seconds. I knew his threat was an empty one, but with him being the only one that can heal on the go on the battlefield, he’s not one you would want to piss off, or else he’ll ignore your cries for help and let the respawn take care of you.
Engie also seemed to be eves dropping from his typical spot on the lousy beat up red couch. He was messing with his guitar, strumming away peacefully. That guitar got on my nerves sometimes, but it was also kind of relaxing when everyone else was quiet. His face soured when he strummed a note wrong, ruining his song.
“If yer so bored, why don’t ya pick this pig sty up a bit,” He said, looking up at me through his goggles. “The new recruit is s’pose to get here any minute now. We wouldn’t want to look like a bunch o’ slobs now.”
I grumbled various complaints. At least this new guy would make it somewhat interesting for a while. Engie is the newest out of all of us, arriving only a few days ago or so. He’s nice and all, but he got boring quick since he seems to spend all of his time in his workshop.
“Hey, why do I got to clean up?” I groaned. “All you lazy bastards are just sittin’ around with your fingers up your asses.”
Heavy uttered another grunt, this one sounding more annoyed.
“You make mess,” he said slowly in his thick accent, like he was speaking to a child, “You clean up.”
If there’s anything I hate, it’s being called out for something. My brothers would do it all the time to me so I would always be the one in trouble. I was always either being called out or being blamed, but Ma was good and telling the difference between a lie and the truth. Sometimes.
So I just kept on lying even though it was fruitless. It’s a stupid thing I do.
“Aw, c’mon! All those beer bottles aren’t mine! I aint even old enough to drink (though that never stopped me). And those cigs in the ash tray are definitely Snipers.”
Nobody responded, or even looked up. I exhaled angrily and started picking up the bottles from the table.
The room was a real mess. The small wooden table was covered in bottles and cans of various stages of emptiness, and many more were scatted on the dusty floor. On one corner of the table, there were three cheap red plastic ashtrays, brimming with ash and burnt out buds. I didn’t smoke so those definitely were the others. Not spy of course, he was always neat and took care of his litter.
In the little corner that served as a kitchen, the small sink was piled high with dirty dishes from the night before. I won’t be touching that shit.
My arms filled with trash, I walked over and dumped them in the pathetically miniscule trash can that was next to the fridge, which looked like it was dragged out of a time capsule from the dinosaur age. That one trip filled the can, but I ignored it. Some other poor bastard will take care of it.
Back at the table, I noticed that one beer bottle wasn’t even opened. Seriously, what the fuck. Why even take it out? “I’m surrounded by morons,” I thought as I placed it back in the fridge.
“Say, what do you numbnuts know ‘bout the new guy?” I asked, closing the fridge door behind me with my foot with a colder beer in my hand.
“He iz going to be our new Pyro,” Medic replied while turning the page to his German newspaper. “Ozzer zan zat, not much.”
I plopped down on the couch next to Engie and opened my beer. He bounced up slightly and shot me a scowl.
“I met ‘em.” He said, tuning his guitar to fix a note.
I instantly perked up. “What was he like? Is he an ass or somethin’?” I took a slurp from my beer.
“Naw. Didn’t really say much, but was friendly enough. Had a nice conversation while waitin’ fer the interview with the Administrator.” He adjusted his goggles real quick with his free hand. “Seemed like they’d make a mighty fine pyro.”
Engie scratched his stubbly chin with his ungloved hand, like his was lost in thought for a few seconds. That happens a lot to Hardhat. He then stood up and left the room, guitar in hand. He was probably going down to his workshop to tinker with his sentry or dildo machine or whatever he does down there.
I lounged out more on the couch now that there was more room. Taking another mouthful of my beer, I glanced at Medic and Heavy. Both still had their noses buried in what they were doing. They probably won’t move for a while. This place got boring fast.
“Well since you two homos aren’t doing anythin’, I’ll just be on my way.” I said hopping off the couch. They ignored me like they always do. I downed the rest of my beer, crushed the can in my hand, and threw it in the corner. I’ll pick it up later.
If anyone is still reading this, here is the next part.
I like to be on the move, so I guess that meandering around the base was kind of my thing. I just like the freedom, you know?
Today was no different.
After I left the two love birds to do their thing, whatever that is, I made my way to the other end of our base. About half way there, I got a sudden shiver. Not because it was cold; it was hotter than a fucking Sox game in the middle of summer. It was the kind of shiver you get when you think there’s a freaking ghost watching you or something.
I saw a figure out of the corner of my eyes to my right, but when I went to go look it was gone. Must’ve been Spy. Freaking backstabbing dime-a-dozen snake.
He gives me the creeps sometimes. You never know if he’s there or not, or if he’s watching. I can’t even take a shit around here in peace. He doesn’t really mingle with the rest of the team either, so he’s kind of a big mystery. But sometimes, when you stop and pay attention, you can smell his cigarette smoke. That’s your only hint as to if he’s in the room with you, watching your every move.
Geez, I sound like I’m telling a ghost story or something.
I shrugged that creepy feeling off and continued my stroll. Suddenly, I felt like visiting Sniper. He would probably be up in his usual spot—the highest window in the base. He likes to keep watch most of the time, even during off days like today. He’s a camper. It’s just what he does.
Finding the stairs, I quickly jogged my way up them, enjoying the feeling of my heart quickening from the exercise. There were a lot of stairs to climb, but I didn’t mind it. I have to stay in shape somehow when I’m not running around on the battlefield.
My calves started to burn, but I pushed on. I was making it up these stairs in record time.
In not even a minute, I was at the top. I wasn’t out of breath or nothing. Not even a drop of sweat. I smiled quickly and went down the narrow hallways to the room that Sniper always hung out in when he wasn’t in his stupid camper van.
Reaching the closed door, I cracked it open slightly and stuck my head in real quick to see if he was there. He was, so I let myself in.
“Hey, Pally.” I said cheerily. He made a throaty sound that served as his greeting when he had his eye in the scope of that gun of his.
“Spot any Blu’s yet?” I asked quickly, pulling a crate over near him to sit down on.
“Nah mate. They’re all turtlin’ in their base by the looks of it.” He shifted his position slightly.
I kind of like Sniper. He’s a pretty cool guy, besides being one of the oldest ones here. He is quiet most of the time and likes to spend a lot of time by himself, but he will also come down and hang out with the rest of the team when he feels like it.
“When d’you think those chuckleheads’ll show their mugs again?” I asked.
He never took his eye away from his scope to have a proper conversation with me. “No idea.”
“I mean, we haven’t even had a good scrap in ages. They must be plannin’ somethin’. It’s kinda suspicious, don’t ya think? Maybe we scared them off last time. We absolutely rocked their shit, they didn’t even stand a chance! We outta try it again, think up some sorta strategy, you get me? See, I was thinkin’ that you could use your scope ta—“
“Scout.” He said suddenly, cutting me off. “Shut up.”
Usually that pissed me off beyond belief if someone said that to me, but I let it slide because it was Sniper.
“Alrighty. I’m cool with being quiet.”
I sat there kind of awkwardly, fidgeting. What Sniper does all day, I could never do. It’s just so boring sitting in one spot. I’d go crazy; especially in silence.
Looking around the room, I noticed that I was sitting awfully close to Snipers jarate stash. He must’ve been filling those things up all day, judging by the fact that there were 4 filled jars next to the coffee machine. Disgusting. I shifted over a little away from them.
I chewed on my lower lip, fighting the urge to say something.
I saw Sniper look at me for a split second from the corner of his eye before looking down the scope.
“Did I ever tell you ‘bout that time I got bit by a snake out in tha bush?” He asked.
When there wasn’t much to talk about, Sniper liked to fill in the gap with stories when he was with someone. Said it was the polite thing to do and better than sitting in silence most of the time. He always acted like I or other people bother him, and it does sometimes, but for the most part I think he secretly enjoys having company once in a while.
It sounded familiar. “Is this the one where you were eatin’ nothin’ but snakes for an entire month or somethin’?”
A light smile tugged on the corners of his lips from behind his rifle. “No. I was out in tha bush for a couple of weeks, just huntin’. One night when I was asleep, I felt somethin’ slitherin’ over me arm. Now, if there’s one thing that’ll kill ya out in the bush, it’s panic. So what I do is, slowly slide my blanket over with my other hand to see what’s sleepin’ with me. But this time, I forgot that rule. It was a bloody snake. I thought it was a fierce snake, so I jumped up and grabbed my kukri. It wasn’t until I killed it that I realized that the bloody wanker got me.”
“No shit? Is it poisonous? What’d ya do?” I haven’t heard this story before.
“Yeah it’s poisonous mate-- the most poisonous snake in tha world. It was only just a scratch, but it felt like my arm got run over by a bloody truck. So I took my shirt, cut a piece off, and tied a tourniquet to keep the venom from running anywhere else.”
I was completely enthralled. “So what’d ya do next?” I asked, leaning forward on my crate a little bit.
“I sucked the venom out.” He replied simply, shrugging slightly.
I scoffed. “Bullshit.”
“It’s a survival strategy I learned. If you do it quick enough, you can suck out the venom out before it does any real harm. So I sucked it out and spat if back out. Got tha scar ta prove it.” He looked away from his scope and leaned close to me to point at it. It was a faint, white line right in the middle of his right forearm. Not the kind of scar you would expect from the world’s most deadly snake. “It wasn’t until I finished that I went and took a look at the wanker who bit me. Turns out it wasn’t a fierce snake, but a brown snake.”
“That don’t sound that bad.” I don’t know a lot about snakes, but how bad could a brown snake be?
“They’re the second most deadly, but more aggressive than tha fierce.”
“Oh.” I said kind of stupidly.
“So tha next mornin’ I had snake for breakfast.” He said, smiling at the memory as he recalled it.
We both chuckled together before he stopped suddenly.
“Got someone walking up to tha base, mate.”
“Is it a Blu?” I asked excitedly, jumping up.
He frowned. “If it was, I would’ve already shot ‘em. Looks to be wearing a red suit and a gas mask.”
He finally lowered his rifle from his perch.
“Looks like our pyro is here.”
I am still reading this, and I am liking it. I can't say I've got much to say otherwise though. Keep on going, we're still here.
I'm enjoying the conversations between the teammates so far and curious to see what happens when they meet the pyro.