1390: Arkham Asylum – Introductory PoemPosted: April 18, 2016
Title: Arkham Asylum
Critiqued by batjamags and Kane
Greetings, denizens of this plane!
I’m your guest host (Don’t think about that too hard), BatJamags, and let me just lead off with this: I frickin’ love Batman. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t love Batman. My main introductions to the character were the Adam West series from the 60s, and the animated Justice League (to this day, West and Conroy are my favorite portrayals of the character).
I don’t know what it is about Batman in particular that’s so interesting to me, but I just love the style, setting, and characters. Unless Christopher Nolan is involved. I’ve launched a one-man boycott of his movies ever since I saw the Dark Knight Rises, because I’m petty like that. The movie wasn’t that awful, but hey.
Anyway, I figured that if I wanted to start riffing, I should start with a Batman fic. It took me a while to find one that was of a manageable length, sufficiently bad, and actually had Batman in it, but this one seemed to fit the bill, so let’s dive in!
Here’s the summary:
He doesn’t know why the silence upsets them. He likes the quiet. The silence is comfortable and safe. Maybe they don’t like it like he does? But that’s ok. He doesn’t really like the doctors anyways. But the silence upsets the bat and the clown too, and he does like them. Oh well. (short chapters, updates randomly)
Ooh, mysterious. I’m so curious what this cryptic bullshit means. So curious that rather than continuing to wonder about it, I’m going to nitpick about the fact that OK is an acronym, and therefore should probably be capitalized.
It comes from a Boston newspaper that had a running gag of using bad acronyms. OK stands for “Oll Korrect,” a bastardization of “All Correct.” It gained popularity with Martin Van Buren’s nickname, Old Kinderhook, but that was largely abbreviated OK to capitalize off of the existing popularity of the original. You didn’t need to know all that, but dammit, I researched it for this riff, so you’re going to learn it.
Chapter 1: Introductory Poem
Oh, hell no. You’re starting with a goddamn poem? I’m going to need caffeine.
*A man in dark robes and a featureless silver mask steps out of the shadows*
Kane: You called?
Yeah, get me a chai or some hot chocolate or something.
I write you, asshole.
Kane: Would it be in character for me to do as you ask?
Shut your facehole.
Right, this is Kane. He’s a creepy mysterious warlock and stuff.
Kane: I feel as if the audience understands my very soul.
*Pats Kane on the shoulder* Of course they do, Kane. Now since you’re here, help me with this riff.
Kane: *Leaving* N-
*The door slams shut*
Let’s get started then!
So this is the introduction. Sorta. It’s the poem I felt the need to write that inspired me to write the story in the first place.
This is going to hurt, isn’t it?
Kane: Were you expecting it not to?
Facehole. Shut it.
Before anyone says anything, no, the words are not meant to rhyme, the poem is meant more about expression and the way the main character of this fic sees the world than on the words themselves sounding pretty when you read it.
I ran this through a Badfic-to-English translator and came up with “I’m too lazy to write a proper poem, but I wanted to be pretentious, so I vomited some lines onto a page and called it verse.”
Kane: I did not know that such translators existed.
I can’t even tell whether you’re sassing me.
Kane: *Nods knowingly*
This fic is just an experiment on my part to integrate an OC character of mine into the Batman world. I make no promises about the story itself once we get started except to say that there will only be the one OC, and the rest will all be Batman characters.
When the entire premise of your story is just dropping a single OC in and having the story and the canon characters revolve around that person, you’re off to a bad start. That’s the premise of every Mary Sue/Gary Stu fic ever.
Not everything will be based on the movies, in fact, a lot of this will come from the Batman: The Animated Series that I grew up on as a child. I have actually yet to see the third movie at all so…
Batman Forever? No, I didn’t see that one either. I haven’t seen Batman Begins or The Dark Knight, but I’m glad that Christopher Nolan didn’t make a third movie! Who knows how badly he could’ve butchered Knightfall!
Kane: Stop harping about that film and get back to the riff. You don’t pay me by the hour.
I don’t pay you at all.
Kane: Precisely. Ergo, you don’t pay me by the hour.
I believe we very recently had a discussion about your facehole.
The chapters will be short, and I don’t know how often I will update.
The chapters are a little short, but not enough that I can adequately cover them more than one at a time.
This introduction is just the Poem, nothing else. I’ll post the first chapter in a few days.
God! Stop author’s noting at us and get to the-
GAH! The hell is that?!
Kane: It appears to be a sentence.
Kane, I know I sound like a broken record, but shut your damned facehole!
Kane: If you don’t want me to speak, then why am I here?
I hate it when my characters outsmart me.
Anyway, what you saw in the last blockquote is one of the reasons I chose this fic to riff. The author replaces line breaks with… Whatever the hell that was. It becomes rather repetitive and distracting. Like, really repetitive and distracting.
I checked the author’s other fics, and he has apparently never used a normal line break. Each fic has different ones, and these aren’t even the weirdest. I might try my hand at riffing one of his other fics sometime in the future.
Kane: If you do, please do not involve me.
Rooms made of steel bars
That’s not a very practical design choice.
Windows where they watch
Accusing eyes looking down
Like predators at prey
ATTACK OF THE DISEMBODIED EYES!
Kane: Surprisingly, I believe I’ve actually encountered those before.
I think I’d remember writing that.
Kane: You just did.
Next time, I’m riffing with someone who’s not as smart as I am.
A bed bolted down
White and cold like snow
If it’s bolted down, I would assume it’s metal. I could understand it being cold, but white? Really? Unless you’re referring to the mattress and sheets, which wouldn’t be all that cold.
Kane: I believe logic is less important than angst in this case.
Oh, hell, it’s one of those? Now I really need caffeine. *Looks at Kane hopefully*
Chains to hold and trap
As opposed to… what other kind of chains, exactly?
Oh, goddammit. Fortunately, I discovered a used volcano base within the bowels of the Library (somehow – it’s not even Crunchy’s! Just this random volcano base!) and set up my riffing chamber there, so the DRD can’t reach it without falling into the lava and dying.
*A helicopter lands on the roof*
*A DRD assault attack team bursts in the door and headshots me*
*Respawns dressed as the Mad Hatter*
Kane: *Barely manages not to laugh*
I suppose there’s worse things to respawn in.
Wet with blood and tears
*Checks back up above*
The chains? I’m pretty sure Arkham would rather you didn’t hurt yourself on their watch. Don’t know what made you bleed, but it really shouldn’t be anywhere near the inmates. I mean, have you seen the kind of crazy assholes they lock up in there?
Jackets not for warmth
Held tight across pale skin
Arms bound to body
Strapped to stretcher
Muzzle on face
Fava beans and Chianti
Wait, wrong source material. Nevermind.
Stuck against hard ribs
Doctors in white coats
Apathetic and cruel
Not here to heal sick
But contain broken monsters
Hey now, some of the doctors at Arkham just love their patients!
Needles glint in bright light
Filled with poison
Poison. Really. They’re poisoning the inmates.
Kane: That seems excessive.
Also, this is a nitpick, but I’m fairly certain the syringe would be filled, not the needle. The needle is just a middleman.
Kane: Still, if they perform lethal injection, this seems to be less an asylum and more death row.
Arkham? More like Grimdarkham.
Kane: That was an atrocity. Apologize.
Made to stop action
But not silence voices
Damn, I was hoping it would silence yours.
Kane: You could’ve convinced me to bring you caffeine at gunpoint.
I don’t have a gun.
Kane: Really? Then how else did you fire all those shots?
Now you need to apologize.
Screams no one hears
If someone screams in a forest, and no one hears it, does it make a sound?
Kane: I would assume the one who screamed would hear it.
Maybe they’re deaf?
Kane: Maybe you are a fool.
Invisible claws and teeth
Whispers in the walls
Oh, shit, it’s the Basilisk!
A cage of the mind
Kane: Do you suppose the mind makes the cage or is caged?
It’s one of life’s great questions.
There is a man with a coin
One side normal
One side not
A friend of Lady Chance
Uh… hi, Two-Face! Glad to see that those things about you which are true are… still true about you.
A woman with a rose
A lover of the plants
Framed by auburn locks
And vengeful green eyes
Does the author think he’s being creative? Anyone who would be looking on the Batman section of ff.net can tell this is Poison Ivy. Same with all these others going on down the line.
A scarecrow without a field
Muttering in the night
Tinkering with chemicals
Making men scream
So, if Scarecrow has his chemicals, then are we not in Arkham? Because the Stu (I’m not going to beat around the bush with this) whined about how he was all chained up and straight-jacketed and the evil doctors were executing him for the crime of being too goddamn emo and stuff.
Kane: I’m not certain one can “tinker” with chemicals.
You’re right, it’s more of a mechanical word, isn’t it?
A sphinx of constant riddles
Playing with puzzles
Asking strange questions
Never giving answers
Oh, hell no, it’s Inquerius from My Little Unicorn! Run!
Kane: Are sphinxes not all female?
Shit, it is Inquerius!
A lady of feline nature
Who purrs when happy
A lover of shine and sparkle
Thieving and thriving
Arkham Asylum is an institution for the criminally insane. Catwoman is one of Batman’s only enemies who does not fit that description. As such, she’d be in Blackgate Penitentiary, not Arkham. Sort of like…
A penguin in black
With gentlemanly words
Speaking of guns and jewels
And dancing tunelessly
Yeah, that guy.
A blue man
With cold skin
An icy heart
Complaining of heat
A blue man? If you say so, fic. I always thought Mr. Freeze Looked a bit like George Sanders myself.
A talking crocodile
With snapping jaws
Seeking the taste of flesh
Roaring in hunger
Just to clarify about those last two, Mr. Freeze and Killer Croc are not legally insane either, but Arkham is the only institution within a reasonable distance of Gotham with the facilities to hold them.
A sweet Harlequin
Pretty and blonde
Painted red and black
With giggles and grins
*Snerk* Sweet? PFFFT! Harley Quinn is not quite as crazy as the Joker, but she’s far from sweet.
An every-laughing clown
Like a wild dog off chains
Made of purple and green
Sort of like this fic is made of failure and trajedy?
And scarred yellow smiles
What does that even mean?
Kane: Perhaps it has something to do with this:
Sometimes a bat
Hidden in shadows
With a rough voice
And harsh fists
So, Emo Stu here is saying that Batman just kind of punches random Arkham inmates for no reason?
Kane: Are you saying that punching our whining “friend” would not be warranted?
You have a point.
Shattered and broken
Hiding in darkness
Waiting for nothing
Well, you can stop waiting, because nothing’s happened, nothing’s happening, and nothing’s going to keep happening if this damned poem doesn’t end soon.
Eyes to watch
Invisible to theirs
Ears to hear secrets
But no voice to tell them
OH HOW TRAJEK!
In my silence
I wait unseen
Yeah, you already said tha-
Well, at least I deployed an automatic turret in the hall so the DRD can’t get to me!
*DRD agents rappel down the side of the building and headshot me through the window*
*Respawns dressed in the classic Robin costume*
Yeah, so’s this fic.
And there we have it.
Done for now.
Oh, but I’m just getting started. *Cracks knuckles ominously*
Kane: That’s not as intimidating as you think it is.
Oh, I have had it with you, you little shit. We… *grabs him by the collar* are going… *opens door and drags him out* to have a little talk about your attitude.