The first time Enjorlas dropped a barricade on someone, he was twelve years old. It wasn't much of a barricade, amounting to little more than a cheap dinette set falling from the sky. But Tholomyes was being such a jerk, and Enjorlas was angry, because he was wrong — so wrong, and couldn't he see that the oppression of robo-clones simply because of their inherent nature didn't make any sense?! True, many of them were violent and dangerous, but that was only to be expected if society's expectations of them were so low.
Anyway, Enjorlas had been building up a really good rage when the bar stool fell from the sky, narrowly missing Tholomyes. It was quickly followed by a trio of cheap folding chairs and a small card table, which did not miss. Enjorlas was pleased at the effect this had, as Tholomyes immediately conceded the argument, saying he wasn't about to mess with someone who could drop furniture out of the sky. As Tholomyes crawled out from under the card table, two paving stones belatedly crashed into the folding chairs. He screamed like a little girl and ran off.
Enjorlas had always regarded Ponpon as a myth, a fairy story told by his nurse about a mysterious rabbit and its enormous mustachioed baby companion. He was seriously reconsidering that opinion, however, in light of the fact that he was under attack by a mysterious rabbit and its enormous mustachioed baby companion. It bounded about, pummeling him with its tiny fists and occasionally sending the baby barreling into him. Something that small should not, by all rights, have a reach that long, but it seemed able to stretch its limbs at will.
When Ponpon nearly ran him over with some sort of huge, green horseless carriage, Enjorlas decided he had had enough. He concentrated, raised a hand to the sky, and a door came crashing down from the sky, followed by tables, chairs, paving stones, and more building materials, all falling into a small barricade. Ponpon squeezed itself out from under the barricade and made a rude gesture before scampering off.
Enjorlas chalked the incident up to some bad oysters and decided not to try eating at the café he'd had lunch at ever again.
Rumors had been swirling around Paris for weeks that the police had brought in a foreigner — Ken, some said his name was, or perhaps Rue? Roo? Something like that. At any rate, whatever his name was, the foreigner had been training the police in some sort of new technique that involved focusing the user's energy and releasing a fireball. Enjorlas had dismissed such rumors as nonsense, but now, as the rally had turned into a riot, and the riot had turned into a melee as the police arrived, it was clear that there was more than an element of truth to the rumor.
In between dodging fireballs and kneeing policemen in the face, Enjorlas caught a glimpse of a young workingman. He was fighting valiantly, fending off the police with — were those fans? But the odds were stacked against him, five-to-one, and he was no match for the police's lightning-fast fists coming at him from so many directions at once.
Enjorlas felt a swell of anger at the police, at the injustice that one man, armed only with a pair of fans to defend himself, should be so beset by foes. He cried out and raised a hand toward the heavens, summoning a torrent of furniture and building materials, which crashed down into a barricade on top of the police.
The young man with the fans looked around, confused, for the source of the barricade, which was already starting to fade. His eyes found Enjorlas, and he smiled. "My thanks, Citizen. That is quite the technique you have there."
"Your technique is a bit unusual as well," Enjorlas pointed out. "I would never have thought to use fans as a weapon."
"They're reinforced with steel," came the reply. He snapped the fans shut with a metallic snick. "I had heard about a princess in the Mushroom Kingdom who used a fan as a weapon and decided to make my own. It feels a bit wrong to imitate a monarch, but I excuse it as an exercise in widening my horizons to the worlds beyond our own."
"Not only those ruled by monarchies and dictatorships, I should hope," Enjorlas said.
"Of course not! I have the greatest admiration for the land of the Bad Dudes, and their representative democracy."
"Ah, the Bad Dudes! It's only a shame that their president keeps being kidnapped by ninjas. I would love to discuss this with you, Citizen, but — behind you!"
The young man whirled around, drawing a fan, hitting a policeman in the face, and turning back to Enjorlas in one smooth move. "But now is perhaps not the best time or place," he acknowledged. "My name's Feuilly. I work at the fan and sword shop down the street there," he said, gesturing behind him. "If you wish to stop by some evening as I get off work, we can perhaps continue this conversation in a more civilized setting."
Enjorlas hit a policeman with the butt of his rifle. "I would enjoy that very much."
"So, new guy," Bahorel said, leaning in close to Marius and grinning like a tiger that's just cornered its prey, "Courfeyrac said that you had a very unusual technique?"
"Well, I mean, it's generally just sort of punches and kicks, y'know, like most people do, nothing special," Marius said, leaning away from Bahorel in an attempt to regain some personal space.
"Oh, come now," Courfeyrac said, "What about that thing you were talking about earlier? The one that you got in such a fight with your grandfather about?"
"Oh, that," Marius said. "Er, I don't know if you really want to see it. It's a bit — people don't tend to like it very much."
"You should see the looks of horror that Combeferre's moth summons sometimes draw. Don't worry, we won't judge here," Enjorlas said. "Come, there's a courtyard behind the Corinth that is fairly private, yet should offer enough room for a demonstration."
Marius sighed, but let himself be led out the back door. "Moths?" he asked.
"Giant ones, big enough to ride on, although I've never been able to maintain them long enough to try doing so," Combeferre told him.
The courtyard was indeed spacious, suspiciously so considering the size of the buildings it bordered. Marius inquired about it. "They say old Father Hucheloup, in addition to being a fine cook, was also a bit of a wizard," Bahorel told him.
"Well, you'll have to step back, this takes up a lot of room," Marius said. "Or, no, wait, I can't do it unless I've taken a fair amount of damage already."
The others hesitated. "If that's the case, then we don't wish to hurt you," Enjorlas said.
"No, it's fine, I recover quickly."
"Are you sure?"
"You'll probably see it sooner or later, if we really are to do battle against the police and the government. It's best if you're not taken by surprise," Marius said.
"Well, if you're certain it's all right."
"Just, please, don't draw it out."
Enjorlas glanced over at Combeferre, who gave a slight nod. He focused, and reached up towards the heavens. Furniture and building fragments came crashing down on Marius, forming a barricade that, after a few quick moments, faded away, leaving Marius slightly stunned.
"Are you all right?" Combeferre asked.
"Fine, I should be able to do it now," Marius said. He closed his eyes, balled up his fists, and bowed his head. Suddenly, an army of skeletons rose out of the ground, dressed in rags and wearing tricolor sashes. Some of them looked disturbingly familiar. Everyone else jumped out of the way, although Jean Prouvaire got hit once. They quickly faded, like most large techniques.
A horrified silence followed this demonstration, broken only by the crash of Grantaire dropping his wine glass and then running off to be sick in the bushes.
Prouvaire tapped Marius on the shoulder. "I don't suppose you could teach me how to do that?" he asked.
"Does anyone else hear organ music?"
"Shh, no, you're hearing things, Marius."
"But I could swear that —"
"Shush! I'm trying to hear Lamarque speak."
"Enjorlas." A tug at his sleeve. "Enjorlas, look."
A dark figure was approaching the crowd. People were already starting to run. "Justice!" cried Courfeyrac, growing pale. "Come on, Enjorlas, we need to go. Now."
The square was quickly turning to chaos. Justice was said to only appear when there was too much power concentrated in one place, and apparently a group of this size had attracted him. It. Did Justice have a gender? It looked masculine, but one could never be sure with non-human entities.
Now was probably not the time to ponder such things. Courfeyrac had tripped and Marius was trying to pull him up. All the while, the dark figure was getting closer and closer. Enjorlas called out, but he was too far from them, and he had left his rifle at home, curse it. There was only one thing to do. He quelled his panic, concentrated it, focusing it, and summoned a massive barricade from the sky. It landed on Justice, who was almost upon Courfeyrac and Marius.
"Run!" Enjorlas yelled, as the barricade was already starting to fade, and Justice was getting up. They fled from the square.