Chapter Two: I Guess We All Like Video Games
The members of SourceFed and Kassem all stared intently at Dezmond, who was still standing there looking completely monotonous. Dez glanced his gaze between each of them before eyeing his pizza and grabbing a piece. He took a bite and chewed for a moment before finally speaking up.
"You're…a YouTube partner?" Elliott asked in shock.
"Yeah, for Machinima," Dez ate the entire piece of pizza in two bites. He casually grabbed another. "I have a channel called AzuriteReaction based on popular and obscure games. Let's plays. I'm mostly known for raging hardcore and not being scared by the supposedly scariest of games. Eh," Dez shrugged, "and I guess the weirdest and most bizarre games I can find."
"Wow, so you're a gamer?" Steve jumped up. "Kick ass!"
"So…" Dez finished off his second piece. "You guys are members of a channel called SourceFed and this guy," he pointed to Kassem, "is a what now?"
"KassemG," Kassem said, frowning slightly.
"We do comedic videos," Lee said. "Mostly. We talk about many random and/or important things in the news."
"I just interview random beachgoers and porn stars," Kassem shrugged. Dez raised his eyebrows ever so slightly and reached for another piece, still standing up.
"Hmm," Dez eyed Kassem curiously. "I swear I've seen you somewhere before…"
"Well, I was on a few episodes of Ray William Johnson's show," Kassem said, smiling. He wasn't sure whether to be proud of the fact that Dez may have only recognized him from Ray's show or not, but smiled anyway.
"Oh, fuck no, it wasn't from there," Dez made a disgusted face. Kassem's smiled faltered.
"What?" Kassem leaned forward. "Fuck no? What's with that face?"
"Fuck Ray William Johnson," Dez waved his hand as if shooing a bug away. "He tries way too hard to be funny. Nothing against you, I've never seen your material. Who else was it that I didn't care for…?" Dez put his hand to his chin in wonder and glanced at the ceiling.
"Well, okay then," Kassem leaned back in his chair, not looking at Dez anymore. "There's that."
"Um…" Joe scratched his chin. "I wanna know what kinda games you—"
"Philip DeFranco!" Dez blurted out. "That's who it was."
The other YouTubers' eyes widened in shock. Lee gasped.
"Well, I guess he's different, though," Dez said, not noticing the stares he was now receiving as he grabbed his fourth piece. "Ray tries too hard. Phil is all right, I just don't care to watch him."
Lee, Joe and Steve were eyeing each other, not sure what to say. Kassem was still leaning back with his eyes closed, suddenly not seeming to care. Elliott cleared his throat and stood up to speak.
"Um, uh…" he wanted to say something in retort, but paused when he realized that he didn't even know Dez's name. Dez stared at him, not sure what he was doing. Elliott hoped he would finally speak up, but when he didn't he had to resort to asking. "Sorry, I don't know your name…"
"Dezmond," Dez answered. He would have mentioned shortening his name to Dez, but he wasn't sure how he felt about these people and if he would be comfortable with them acting so familiar with him.
"Okay, Dezmond," Elliott exhaled slowly. "Um, Philip DeFranco…he's actually the guy who runs SourceFed… He created it."
Dez continued chewing his pizza, his expression still not changing. "Really? Oh." He swallowed what was in his mouth and shrugged. "Surprise, surprise."
"I can't tell if that was sarcasm or sarcasm," Kassem said, opening one eye. Dez glanced at him, lowering his eyebrows.
"What?" Dez said. "I wasn't being sarcastic. I was just expressing that I wasn't expecting that."
"Didn't sound like you were expressing much," Kassem raised his hand, twirling his finger in the air. "Do you talk in any other tone than monotone?"
"Got a problem with my nonchalant attitude?" Dez was getting angry.
"Or maybe it's not monotone, but douchy."
"I think someone's asking for a fist in their face." Dez began walking toward Kassem.
"Hey, hey!" Elliott walked around the table to grab Dez's arm. "Stop!"
"Kassem, don't start a fight!" Lee said.
"If he'd just shut his mouth, we wouldn't have a problem," Dez said, stepping back while Elliott still held his arm.
"You're the one that started it," Kassem continued pissing Dez off.
"Kassem, stop," Elliott said calmly. Kassem glanced past Dez to give Elliott a funny look.
"What?" Kassem asked, not understanding why Elliott was addressing him. "Why do I have to stop?"
"Maybe I can stop Dezmond from hitting you since he's right here, but if you keep running your mouth, I won't have much power to stop him," Elliott answered. Kassem stared at him before closing his eyes and leaning back in his chair again.
"Whatever," he said.
"Well, I think it's time I leave," Dez shuffled his arm, Elliott releasing his grip. Dez walked over to the front counter and grabbed a to-go box, haphazardly throwing the rest of his pizza in there. He closed it up and began walking out.
"Goodbye," Dez said, opening the door.
"W-wait!" Elliott called out, following him out of the restaurant. "Hold on, Dezmond!"
Dez stopped and turned around, giving Elliott a strange look. "What do you want?"
"Sorry, that wasn't a good way to get to know us…" Elliott frowned.
"What are you talking about? My intention to dining at this restaurant wasn't even to make friends in the first place. It was to get in, stuff my face with pizza, and get the hell out. You just came up and started talking to me."
Elliott opened his mouth to make a response, but wasn't sure what to say. He looked around, feeling defeated. "…Sorry."
"It's whatever," Dez said. "I'm not even from here anyway. I'm only here for the weekend."
Elliott put his hands on his head and ran his fingers over his hair. "Yeah, sorry, I'm just too friendly a person, I guess."
"Well, that's a good quality," Dez said. "I'm just not a directly friendly person, so we conflict."
They stood in silence for a minute before Elliott finally spoke up. "I-it was nice talking to you, though, Dezmond. I hope you have a good…life. I don't know. That sounded weird."
Dez didn't mean to, but he found himself smiling ever so slightly. Before Elliott could notice, Dez was back to his usual blank expression. "You, too."
Dez then turned around and walked along the sidewalk away from the restaurant. Elliott watched him until he finally faded into the crowd further up the street. He sighed and walked back into the restaurant.
"What was that all about?" Joe asked, rubbing his tummy. Maybe he had eaten a little too much pizza. But that fifth piece had looked so good…
"Yeah," Kassem said, not sounding very happy. "You should have just left him alone."
"But I invited him to sit with us, and I wasn't expecting that to happen," Elliott glared at Kassem, which the latter failed to notice. "I felt bad."
"Well, don't worry so much about it, Elliott," Lee said, grabbing a to-go box and shoving as much pizza as possible into it so that Steve wouldn't be tempted to reach for a sixth piece. "It's not like we'll ever see him again anyway."
Elliott smiled sadly. "I guess you're right…"
Dez pulled his laptop out of his bag after getting comfortable on the single bed in his hotel room. He made sure the Wi-Fi connection was enabled and immediately logged onto YouTube.
After checking to make sure his videos for that day had been uploaded properly and replying to comments on said videos, he stared at the search bar for a minute before typing in a name.
He wasn't much of a fan of Philip DeFranco, but he decided to check out SourceFed before making any remarks about it. He clicked on a few of their recent videos and spent a few minutes watching each of the five videos that they post on a usual weekday.
It seemed that they switched off between two people each video. The first video had been the girl named Lee and the mustached dude named Joe. The next one had been Lee and the bigger man whose name was Steve. And the third video had been Joe and Elliott.
Dez felt that some of the humor had been forced but some of it seemed natural, which Dez approved of. He didn't like when people tried too hard to be funny. Which maybe Dez had done that himself sometimes, but if he wasn't himself he didn't like it.
But when Dez reached the last video, which Lee and Elliott handled, he paid close attention to it. The video was about a girl with a disease that would kill her unless she got the proper treatment. The problem was that the family didn't have enough money to pay for it, so they began a website with a small donation box where they ask people to donate at least a dollar to help out and raise enough money for the operation. So far, they had about $10,000 but they were still very short on the rest. Lee and Elliott encouraged their viewers to check out the website in the link that they provided and donate, at the very least, a dollar.
Dez was moved by this. This video wasn't about humor but about raising awareness to this family in need and doing their best to help out. Dez clicked on the link and was very surprised to find out that the amount of money that had been raised was well over twenty times the original amount at $219, 987. Dez was shocked. The video had been posted less than five hours ago!
He was amazed to say the least. He decided to donate himself, throwing in five dollars. At the rate this was going, he was sure by tomorrow morning the amount might even be double.
This was a very good way to get awareness out to people. Not just about random silly news, but even about things such as this. As Lee mentioned before, SourceFed had 500,000 subscribers. Dez was actually proud of Philip DeFranco and his SourceFed team.
He had half a mind to check out Kassem's channel as well, but figured he could just do it later.
He watched a few more videos from SourceFed and sat for a moment as he pondered something. He pressed a finger to his temple, debating heavily against his next decision, but couldn't help himself.
He waved the mouse over the subscribe button and clicked on it.
Elliott sat in his room, drumming his hands on the desktop. He stared at his computer, feeling bored and maybe defeated. He felt bad for having invited Dezmond to join them for dinner, only to have Kassem attack him because of what he said about Ray and Phil. He was just giving his opinion and Kassem had to jump in and piss him off.
Elliott thought that that was the last time he would be nice to a complete stranger.
He sighed and placed his chin on the desk. He was on YouTube, but he wasn't sure what to watch. Maybe he would just quit for the night and get some sleep. This weekend was going to be big and he wasn't sure he would get much sleep, so might as well get enough now.
Before logging off, he paused. He decided to type in a channel name.
When the name came up, he clicked on the channel, where he was taken to his page full of different video game series. He searched for the videos with the most views, which he noticed a video labeled 'BEST RAGE EVER', which was the fifth part of a game called Owata. He clicked on the link.
Elliott definitely didn't recognize the game as he watched a bizarre figure jump around the screen, getting massacred by spikes and apples as Dezmond failed miserably to get the figure to reach it's goal…whatever that was. This entire game seem to be made with the intent the troll and within about three minutes of watching, Elliott wasn't even sure how Dezmond had the composure to keep playing this game.
But then a little after the four minute mark, Elliott jumped as Dezmond screamed his head off, throwing out every profanity and then some at the game. Elliott puffed up his cheeks and began laughing hysterically. When Dezmond said that he raged hardcore, he definitely meant it.
By the end of the video, Elliott was holding his sides and trying to stop laughing. He stared at the screen, which showed the part six of the series. He was tempted to click on it, but decided he should probably watch the beginning of the series before continuing.
He glanced at the time. Almost midnight. He had to be at the studio early tomorrow to film Comment Commentary so that Phil could run down the plans for the weekend.
Elliott glanced at the subscribe button and looked around as if he was being watched before clicking on it.
It was Friday. SourceFed had just finished filming Comment Commentary. It was now time to group up and go over their next course of action.
"All right, guys," Phil talked to the members of SourceFed, along with another well-known guest member Meg Turney. "Everyone's got their bags packed for the weekend, right?"
"Yep," Lee answered for the group, and everyone nodded.
"Okay, awesome," Phil gave a thumbs up. "The video game convention has already started, but most of the main activities won't begin until tonight. If we leave within the next half-hour, we should be able to get there before three. We can grab lunch before we head out."
"Good, 'cause I'm starving!" Steve rubbed his stomach. "Let's get Chinese!"
"No way!" Lee glared at him. "Chinese makes you gassy! I'm not sitting next to you in the car for two hours after you've eaten that!"
"Lee, most food makes him gassy," Joe put a hand on her shoulder and she made a pouty face.
"Dammit…" Lee said.
"Okay, let's hurry and get the rest of our equipment ready," Phil said.
"Hey." The group of six turned around to a familiar voice. Phil smiled, but everyone else gasped.
"Hey, Kassem!" Phil walked up to him. "Just in time!"
"What?" Elliot stepped closer to the two of them. "Why is Kassem here?"
"He wanted to go with, so I invited him along," Phil answered. Kassem smiled and waved.
"I'm sorry, is there a problem?" Kassem asked. Elliott shook his head.
"No, I just wasn't expecting you is all," Elliott returned the smile. "Welcome along."
The group of now seven YouTubers made their way to the table that they were assigned to for the convention. Everyone placed their bags down and began setting up their table.
"Wow, so much awesome cosplay already!" Joe said as he spotted someone dressed Lucca from his favorite video game Chrono Trigger.
"Yeah, I can't wait to get dressed in my cosplay!" Meg held up a bag that contained her Slave Leia costume from Star Wars.
"You can go ahead and get dressed, Meg," Phil said. Meg smiled and ran off to find a bathroom. Phil turned to Elliott. "Are you okay with watching the table for a minute? I think we're missing two bags."
"Yeah, I'm good," Elliott said. "Steve and Joe already took off somewhere and I think Lee went to grab something to drink."
"I'll help, Phil," Kassem raised his hand.
"Thanks," Phil and Kassem walked off and Elliott watched as they disappeared into a crowd of people.
Elliott found the bag with the SourceFed banner and was prepared to hang it off of the table when he heard his name.
Elliott paused, surprised that he had been recognized by someone so soon. He quickly glanced around for the Sharpie, figuring he was going to be asked to sign an autograph. When he didn't find it fast enough, he glanced up anyway.
"Hello! Yes, I'm—" Elliott paused mid-sentence as he stared in shock at who he was talking to. Shoulder-length black hair, eyes that looked as if he hadn't had sleep in days, over-sized jacket…
Chance meeting, hmm?
Video game convention! So many YouTubers I can shove into this arc…