1418: The cambion’s ring – Chapter One, Part TwoPosted: May 18, 2016
Welcome back to Wednesday, patrons! Once again we dive into the formatting nightmare that is ‘The cambion’s ring.’
Last week we got a mixed bag of plot regurgitation of the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer episode ‘Halloween’ and the introduction of a Half-Demon Stu named Claude … and some other names which are either misspelled or suffer from the modern trend of purposeful misspelling. So, anyway, Claude ends up in Xander’s body and promptly Falcon Kicks a car driven by somebody who isn’t smart enough to stop when something is in front of the car. Nobody bothers to check, so we’ll just assume the person died and move on. After downing the car, Claude acts oblivious for a bit and then faints. That’s where we left off.
With me once again is Eliza, who is noticeably less enthusiastic.
“The author ruined Xander. Ruined him!”
Now when Claude came to he was in a strange house, with a dark haired noble woman, he felt strangely attracted to.
Wha? Based on those commas, Claude is strangely attracted to the house.
“The drapes probably match the carpet.”
Do you even know what that means?
“Of course! It means the rooms are properly color coordinated.”
“He’s awake.” She said over her shoulder.
“Oh, Xander your awake!” not her again…
I’m getting mixed messages from the narrative and dialogue here. Are we talking about Xander’s awake, or her again? Those are two very different things!
“I’d rather talk about her again, an awake is nice, but a fresh again is way more fun!”
It was the redheaded ghost.
It? You mean –
“Swenia told me to bap you if you post that picture.”
“Not you aga-“his sentence was cut short as an ear piercing screech, cut through the air like a knife.
Stop screeching while the fic is trying to pad itself out.
His instincts overcoming him he jumped up, and rushed to where the sound came from,
Instincts tell you to run away from loud sounds since they usually indicate danger. If his instincts overcame him, he’d be cowering in the basement until the loud sound stopped.
only to see one of the strangest things in his life:
“Crunchy’s Bob Ross impression.”
A woman dressed as a cat was being chased by a dog man… thing, there are a lot of things here.
As he just stared at the strange sight, the annoying ghost woman, and noble woman, came up behind him.
Don’t help or anything, numbnuts.
“So his instinct is to go running toward a screech and then stare at what made the sound?”
I’m assuming that he’s half human and half lemming demon.
“Aren’t you going to do something?” The ghost asked, bringing him out of his thoughts.
“He is! He’s watching.”
Yeah, get off his case.
Claude sprinted out, and placed himself between the lady, and the man dog thing.
“tis a fine night ain’t it govna’?” He asked mockingly, before punching the thing square in the face, knocking it back a few steps.
The fuck is this!? Why is a horrible cockney accent mocking? Are all mandogthings cockney or something? Do you often find them hanging in the bars of East London?
“Why does his punch only knock this human-sized thing a few steps back, but his kick not only stops a moving car, but destroys the whole front end?”
It gave a roar before charging, to which Claude retorted with “You’re a dog, eh?”
Great fucking retort, moron. What next? ‘You standin’ on two legs, huh!?’
“At least he didn’t quip.”
A small mercy.
The man dog thing, answered with a clumsy swipe, to which Claude easily ducked under and stayed in a crouch.
“That is a great way to limit your mobility! Good job!”
I don’t think –
“Sometimes prey wants to be eaten; Claude is proof of that. And he’s doing an awesome job making himself easy to kill!”
“Don’t dogs like the moon?”
Not particularly, no. You’re thinking of a different thing.
“Is this the quip he uses right before dropping his pants?”
I certainly hope not. Granted, it would probably scare the mandogthing away.
And with that he delivered an uppercut right under the man dog thing’s jaw, sending it flying six feet into the air, probably breaking a few teeth.
The hell does the moon have to do with uppercutting a punk-ass!?
“I think he’s trying to be Buffy. She usually taunts things as she slays them.”
He should probably leave that to Buffy, he’s not very good at it.
“Now be a good dog, and play dead.”
“Hey! That one makes sense!”
So that makes him one for four. That’s 25%, which is an F-.
“Hey, thanks.” The cat lady said.
“C’mon, it’s not safe out ‘ere.”
So, does he have an accent or not?
“I think this is a Schroedinger’s accent. He both has and does not have an accent.”
“Xander? Is that you?”
“Why do people keep calling me that!?” Claude shouted to no one in particular.
“Because it’s your name?” The cat lady answered sarcastically.
“Catwoman is better at the digs than our ‘hero’ is.”
No, no, no, Catwoman is DC. This is Catlady, she’s mandogthing’s arch nemesis.
“What’s she do?”
Hangs around and collects cats, mostly.
“Best superpower ever!”
Claude was starting to wish he just left her to the man dog thing.
Because Claude is a giant pile of rancid anus.
“No need to insult rancid anus like that, Taco. What did it ever do to you?”
“Cordelia!” The ghost said to the now identified cat.
“Good thing Willow prepared identify this morning.”
Not going to do much else with a level-one slot. Unless she wants to cast magic missile a dozen times.
So at this point we regurgitate the scene where they find out that Cordelia isn’t affected by the spell because she didn’t buy her costume at Ethan’s. There are lots of asides interjected by Claude about how much Cordelia irritates him and he doesn’t like her. I’m not sure if this is the author’s dislike of the character bleeding into the fic as bashing, or if it’s an inept attempt at playing on the antagonistic sexual tension between Xander and Cordelia. Either way, it gets old fast and makes me want to pelt Claude with heavy objects until he shuts the hell up.
After a silence Claude spoke up, “Kay’. Ghost, you get help. Cat, search for anything useful. And, noble lady… try not to get killed.” He ordered pointing to each of them in turn.
“Claude is too edgycool for real names!”
You misspelled ‘douchebaggy.’
“Woops, talon slipped.”
“Okay, I know who to find.” And with that Willow ran through a wall, conveniently without Cordelia seeing her.
“Yay! Pointless information!”
Seriously, Eliza, less coffee in the morning.
“I don’t drink coffee.”
“Fine, but if we die I’m blaming you.” Cordelia said accusingly to Claude.
Why wait? Start blaming him now and avoid the rush later.
Claude had made a few makeshift barricades, around the house.
So are we still going with that whole “farmer” thing, or is that circling the drain at this point?
And the noblewoman just followed Claude around, like a lost puppy.
“Surely there is somewhere we can go? Some safe haven?” She asked.
No, there isn’t. And don’t call me –
*Eliza lightly baps Taco with a rolled-up newspaper, sending him flying*
“Look, I don’t know this place any better than you do. And I certainly don’t know what’s out there. So we are staying till, the sun rises or, help gets here.” He replied distracted.
“Schroedinger’s accent does not exist right now. Check back later!”
He had grabbed a mirror and was looking into it. He wasn’t looking back.
“He’s a comb away from turning into Danny Zuko.”
He’s certainly big enough of a jerk to be Danny.
Only the boy who was in the pictures, with the ghost, and the noblewoman.
“You know, the pictures.”
“The pictures! Over there.” *Points*
He wasn’t Claude. He was Xander.
“If you stop and think about it, each of us is Xander in our own way.”
He fainted for the second time this night.
For an awesome Demon-Stu, he sure faints a lot.
“He should probably have a doctor look at that. I’ll pen him in for a visit to Ishi, some labwork, and an extra trip through the spanking machine.”
Claude awoke to a slap across his face.
Yes! Eliza, replay that bit!
Claude awoke to a slap across his face.
I could read that all day.
When he opened his eyes staring down at him was Cordelia.
“You’re awake. Finally.”
Less talking, more slapping Claude!
“Get him up. We need to find Buffy.” Said an alien voice.
“I don’t remember any episodes in Buffy that had aliens.”
Which is actually rather surprising. Though I suppose demons from other dimensions is pretty close in most respects.
Claude, or was it Xander? He didn’t know anymore.
“Poor dear has a rather flimsy sense of self. Maybe we should get Jeff -”
No! No Jeff!
No. He was Claude. He may not have the face, but he had the mind.
Well, good thing we didn’t need any tension. Granted, we’d have to care in the first place for there to be tension.
He was Claude.
*Eliza darts out of the room*
-[One scene of extreme mech-based violence later]-
Maybe next time use weapons not based solely around glitter. I’m pretty sure we’ll all be picking glitter out of our food for the next few years after that.
“That’s fine, I used food-grade glitter.”
So, it’s edible glitter?
“No, but it’s clean!”
“Are you coming or what?” Xander turned to see the voice coming from a pale man, in a leather trench coat.
So the fic is implying that Angel is an alien? That’s … different.
“Trust me, I’m coming.”
“You’re sure she came this way?”
Out of some bushes stepped three figures.
The one who spoke, Claude Lucion Ridrey, was brushing some leaves off his coat.
“This whole scene is awkward! ‘The one who spoke,’ indeed. That’s not how attribution works!”
You know, the more I see that name, the more I hate it.
“No.” Answered one wearing a leather trench coat, Known to many as Angel.
“It’s getting even more awkward, isn’t it?”
I’m not sure how, but yes.
“She’ll be okay.” Answered the third figure, wearing a torn cat costume, named Cordelia Chase.
“And now the cat costume has a name. It keeps finding ways to become more awkward; I’m scared, Taco.”
Me too, and there’s a lot left to go.
“BUFFY would be okay. Whoever she is now, she’s helpless. Come on.” Retorted Angel.
What a sick burn. Bet the cat costume is going to be feeling that one in the morning.
As they continued the search for Buffy, or in Claude’s eyes the noblewoman, they heard a whimper.
“Point of order here: Why are they searching for Buffy? She never went missing.”
Sure she did. It was when Claude had one of his fainting spells.
“I am becoming almost irate with the composition of this fic.”
*Taco scoots a few inches away from Eliza*
Now having grown accustomed to the sound over the night, Claude turned towards the sound, and sprinted down the street, Cordelia, and Angel following close behind.
HOW IS THIS STILL GETTING MORE AWKWARD!?
When Claude finally found the source, he was unsurprised to see Buffy being attacked by a pirate.
Around here, we call that a weekday.
“Although we get attacked by a ‘free trader.'”
Yes, how silly of me.
Rolling his eyes Claude walked up behind the pirate, and tapped his soldier to get his attention.
Great, and now he’s rolling his eyes like a twelve-year-old. How on earth did the author think this would be a likable character?
The pirate turned around, about to draw his sword, only to be knocked out by a vicious jab to the face, breaking his teeth.
Suddenly, the narrator, turns, into Shatner!
“Using up some of your spare commas?”
Might as well, I’ve got so many of them from the last couple of fics.
As the pirate fell to the ground unconscious, Claude felt an overwhelming sense of closure.
“Which is a moment stolen directly from the show.”
With as much as has been stolen from the show so far, what’s one more bit?
Just as he was about to check on Buffy, a vampire jumped out.
Suddenly, and from … a direction!
Saying he was big was an understatement, this guy must have been lifting heavy things all his life.
“Now the fic is just rubbing its vagueness in our faces.”
It is taking a lot of pride in how nonspecific it can be.
Now Claude wasn’t a moron
he knew it would have been stupid to fight a vampire without a weapon.
Luckily he’s a half-demon who can stop a moving car with one kick. Not to mention Angel is there, and he just happens to have killed more vampires in his unlife than most slayers can boast, and killing vamps is their job. Even without a weapon, I think they’re okay against a single vampire.
So he did the only logical thing.
Brace for stupid, people.
He punched the vampire in the face, grabbed its left foot, and swung it around in a circle (with a lot of effort), before throwing it towards the nearest sharp wooden object, which was a tree.
“How did you know!?”
“Really!? Okay, then, what am I thinking right now?”
You’re thinking it’s silly of me to claim that I’m psychic.
“… Okay, now that’s just spooky.”
Luckily enough it worked and the vampire, impaled onto a branch, turned to dust.
Pointless vampire scene is pointless.
“So is Claude gonna rock out a guitar solo next?”
Hey now, that’s Markus’s territory.
*Marcus leans into the room and gives Taco the finger*
“He waits outside the door just for the opportunity to flip you off, you know.”
He looked over to the group to see that Willow was back, and talking to Angel about something or other.
Hey! I’m being impressive and smart and powerful and stuff over here! Somebody should be paying attention!
As he walked towards them Willow pointed towards him with a shocked look on her face, the others then assumed the same expression.
“Poor kid’s fly is down.”
Awkward. Especially for somebody dressed in eighteenth-century garb.
Claude pointed towards himself, and Willow shook her head slowly, and again pointed towards him, he turned around understanding the signal, and saw a blond haired vampire, flanked by four small monsters, and two big ones.
Let’s see here, season 2 and blond. This would be either Spike or Darla. I’m betting it’s Darla because authors usually dump in a lot more description of Spike’s hair. Though, canonically, the episode has Spike show up to chase them around.
Knowing he was outmatched, Claude did the only logical thing.
Ran like hell.
Oh hey, he actually does the smart thing this time.
“Except that means he just left the rest of his group, including Buffy, to face the music without him.”
Gods, what an ass-canoe!
As he ran he noticed the others were following him, every turn.
“I think ‘every turn’ is Claude’s new nickname for himself.”
Pretty sad that he has to make up his own nicknames.
He kept on running till he finally came across a warehouse.
“Suddenly, and at the corner of Ninth and Ash!”
“Get in ‘ere!” he bellowed, before pushing the door open, and ushering the others in, with Angel carrying Buffy, bridal style.
Schroedinger’s accent is back again.
“Glad one of them stopped to get Buffy, since Claude couldn’t be bothered.”
What a guy.
Just as Claude got in and closed the door, a hand reached in, and began trying to grab him.
It’s amazing how bland that particular visual trope is when it’s written out.
Claude simply grabbed the hand and crushed it, breaking almost every bone in it.
“Is it too late to start a Stu counter on this guy?”
I kinda didn’t want to because it’s technically still Xander’s body, but I’m getting sorely tempted. This guy is very reminiscent of Stanky in Eighth Spirit; the plot happens pretty much as it does in the episode except for small, unimportant moments of Stuing-out by the author insertion.
“I’m not sure this is as good as Eighth Spirit.”
I’m inclined to agree.
There was a horrid screech, before the hand pulled out and Claude completely shut the door, despite this they still heard scratching and growling behind the door.
Very inclined to agree.
Noticing some furniture and crates piled against a nearby wall, he ran towards them and started making a barricade.
“My he sure likes his barricades, doesn’t he? He’s done five things in the fic so far, and two of those has been building random barricades.”
“Angel are you going to help me, or am I going to do this myself!?”
“Schroedinger’s accent is gone again.”
Authors, please, avoid accents unless you’re prepared to spend a lot of time going back over all the dialogue to make sure you’ve done it consistently.
Angel became to put Buffy down
Dude, it’s simple. He became Angel in order to put Buffy down.
“Wasn’t he already?”
Yup! Which was why he became Angel.
“Your monkey logic makes my brain hurt.”
“Just stay here.” He said as nicely as possible, before moving to help Claude.
See, Claude!? That, right there, is how you avoid being a dick! It’s magic. You try to be nice to people when being an ass to them serves no useful purpose.
Buffy being rather scared, began to hug Cordelia tightly, who responded to this “Faboo. More clinging.”
“Yay! Not only is it awkward, but it’s also plot regurgitation!”
As the barricade became bigger, and bigger, they stopped hearing scratching and growling at the door. Claude began to relax, and sat in a chair.
Barricades are like monster citronella. Build a big enough barricade, and monsters won’t come anywhere near it.
“Wait, where’s Buffy, and Cordelia?” Angel asked.
Weren’t they sitting right there on the floor cuddling?
“Maybe the butter clan…”
“Over here.” Said a strongly English accent.
Ahh, so it was Spike. Speaking of accents, I always found the character kind of ironic since the actor, James Marsters, is American.
Heads turned to the back of the warehouse where there stood, the blond haired vampire holding Buffy by the throat, with another demon holding Cordelia with her arms behind her back.
AGGGHHH! Disembodied heads!
“BUFFY!” Angel shouted before making a dash toward her. Or at least he would have if all the group hadn’t been restrained.
“What just happened?”
I … don’t know. I think maybe Angel just got redacted by the story.
“Look at you. Shaking, terrified. Alone. Lost little lamb.” The vampire said softly to Buffy, “I love it.” He then tilted her head to the side exposing her neck. Buffy was balling her eyes out.
“SPIKE!” Angel shouted.
Place your bets now on whether Angel is actually allowed to do anything here.
“Actually, in canon, he doesn’t get a chance.”
True, so I guess we can let this one go so long as Claude doesn’t get to do anything either.
The newly named spike ignored him and continued to move his head closer to her neck.
“Newly named? What was Spike’s name before this?”
“Isn’t that the guy who handles your investment portfolio?”
It was, now he goes by Spike.
All this time Claude was standing still his head hanging down. One would think he had given up, he was doing the opposite.
What fake-out. Much tension.
He was actually building up his power and was about to shift forms, he was so close, he could feel the energy coursing through him, just a little more and he’d-
Sudden bullshit situational power, check!
“It’s amusing that one of the reviewers claimed that Claude wasn’t a Stu because of the fainting spell thing.”
Ahh yes, the drawback that doesn’t actually hinder him in any way during important moments. Totally not something a Stu would have.
Then Xander Harris looked up confused.
Okay, well, redemption cookie for the author here. I was expecting Claude to go Super Sayian on Spike and not turn back into Xander. Totally caught me looking the other way on that one.
*Eliza swipes at her phone*
Might order some-
*A Darkwraith walks in with a plate of cookies*
“Way ahead of you.”
Spike was just about to bite the slayer when he heard crying, not the slayer’s either.
Is it Xander? Is he going to defeat Spike with the power of tears?
He turned his head to see a bunch of weeping children, and confused adults.
“What the-” He began.
“Guess what,” Spike turned to the slayer, feeling a knot in his stomach, “I feel better.”
“Oh, right, this is the scene that coincides with the spell wearing off. Those people were actually the monsters that Spike was leading around.”
Mmm, so the author doesn’t get all the credit here, but I’ll let him have the cookie anyway. It would have been so easy to let the Stu have his moment of awesome. Oddly, I find plot regurgitation preferable to that.
The next few lines are omitted, due to their extremely graphic nature.
No! Bad author!
and with one final punch of rage and frustration, Spike was sent flying out a window.
“I think Spike just punched himself out the window.”
Probably thought it would be better to clobber himself out of the fic.
“It’s good to be me.”
Spike’s just gloating that he found a way out of the fic.
After helping the gang get the, now not demons, home, and finding Willow wandering around without the ghost, Xander went home.
“This fic could be used as weaponized awkwardness.”
We agree on this right now: we don’t tell Goeth.
After he snuck into his room and changed he decided it would be a great idea to pawn the costume in the morning.
Forget pawning it, you only paid twenty bucks, burn the damn thing!
“And throw the ring into the volcano!”
I don’t think you have to do that for all magical rings.
After an hour of sleeping a figure rose from Xander’s bed, dressed, and before leaving grabbed his favourite coat.
Wait, was Xander just sleeping with another man? Is this suddenly a very different kind of story?
*Eliza squeals with glee*
Owww, my ears.
He really needed answers.
I suppose it was too much to hope that Xander wouldn’t have a Claude relapse.
“We both knew where this was going.”
Sadly, this is true.
AN: so what do you think?
To be honest, it was absolute shit. But, it was not nearly the worst thing I’ve ever riffed. Not even the worst mechanically, though it’s certainly below average in that respect.
Please remember this is my first story, so understand my lack of skill, review if you want more.
Your lack of skill really, really shows. Luckily, future you already gave me permission to be mean to this thing, so there you go.
If you do I will try and keep a good update schedule.
“Since the fic is up for adoption and was handed over to us from the author, I think we all know how that ends.”
Also, cookie to those who know what it says on the ring and in what language.
It’s gibberish, and Latin. Though it does come close to saying: “Other things directed at the ring become half of a demon soul,” but even that is a bit of a reach as it’s far more muddled and incorrect than that.
*Taco takes a cookie off the plate and starts munching*
See, Latin doesn’t have punctuation. That was your first mistake. The other was using Google instead of a language forum.
And tell me if Claude is a mary sue, I want to keep him real.
“Yep. Big ol’ Sue.”
No question at all. About as real as a uni-
*Eliza growls at Taco*
Errm. A unipolar magnet.
Until next week, patrons!