More unpolished work...
The crowd is warmed and ready. They have listened to what has been said and know that it makes sense. They have seen the ghostly Christian missionaries come, offering their food and their books of magic to those fools willing to listen and lose their souls to the foreign magic. Big Brother raises his hands.
“These devil princes and their slaves carry weapons that we are supposed to be afraid of. They have defeated the weak armies of the Manchu's but they cannot withstand us. They cannot harm us. We are protected, because we are strong. We do not touch opium, or alcohol or tobacco. We refuse to become slaves.”
Ho'Er knows that this is his cue. His chanting becomes louder. He presses his hands together in front of his chest, his first fingers outstretched. Suddenly he leaps up with a scream and begins his demonstration, leaping with his own well practised kicks, his face an expression of possession and the demon he has become. Reaching the far end of the stage he halts, becoming still once more. The crowd cheers his skills and inside he feels their faith and strength. He has no fear as the young Red Lantern, springing on her tiny feet, climbs up onto the stage, a rifle slung over her shoulder. The crowd fall silent. Even those who have heard of this act are quiet, faced with the reality of the weapon.
The girl raises the rifle to her shoulder and swings it towards a clay pot carefully positioned on the edge of the stage next to Ho'Er. She squeezes the trigger and a firework pop is followed by the sharp crack of the clay collapsing, pieces flying with the bullet's impact. Ho'Er increases the speed and volume of his chanting once more. The crowd is as still as he is. The Red Lantern tilts the weapon towards him and he looks again into her eyes. This is not the first time he has looked down the barrel of a loaded gun, looked into the eyes of the one aiming it at his heart, but he does not have any fear. He knows that he cannot be harmed. Even if there has been a mistake and the bullet loaded into the gun is real the gods know that he is fighting for them and they will protect him. She pulls the trigger.
Smoke pours like liquid from the barrel. Ho'Er raises his hands and turns to the crowd triumphantly. They are cheering him, cheering Big Brother, cheering the Red Lantern girl. Nothing can defeat them.