1435: Arkham Asylum – Chapter ThreePosted: June 5, 2016
Title: Arkham Asylum
URL: Chapter Four
Critiqued by BatJamags
Gary Stu count: 4
Running the Asylum count: 11
Out of Character count: 4
Hello once again, dear patrons! I’m your guest host (Are you still thinking about that too hard? Stop that!) BatJamags, and this…
This is Arkham Asylum.
I thought this one wasn’t too offensive, that it would be easy to riff. But I just had to notice that bit about mental illness, didn’t I? And to top it all off, my co-riffers keep making my life miserable.
So, last time: Batman developed an interest in Hairy Stu because of a drawing, the Void was ridiculously Formless, and then the fic regurgitated its own plot. Twice.
I’ve been digging through my notes for someone I can riff with who I won’t strangle, but for the moment, I’ll just go on my own. No use in rambling any further, let’s get down to business.
Here we are at chapter three.
NO, REALLY?! HOW COULD I HAVE KNOWN? THANKS FOR MAKING THIS CLEAR, AUTHOR! YOU’RE JUST A REGULAR HELPER, AREN’T YOU!
I can’t do it.
*Gets up, runs to the door and starts pounding on it*
I CAN’T DO IT! I CAN’T TAKE THIS! LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT!
*The door slides open*
*Kane casts Sleep on me*
Kane: *Stepping inside* I was reading.
*The door *SLAM!*s shut behind him*
Kane: Damnable contraption. Well, I suppose since I find myself trapped, I may as well finish what he started. First, I should do away with this nametag.
Critiqued by Kane
BatJamags: *Mumbles something about “hijacking my riff” in sleep*
Silence, fool. As a scholar of the arcane and unknowable, I doubt this fic holds anything beyond my capacity to maintain my composure. My introduction was somewhat rushed in the introduction to this dreck, so at the risk of rambling, I shall take this opportunity to introduce myself properly.
As has been indicated previously, I am Kane. I am born of an in-progress setting for a Dungeons & Dragons game and its associated prequel story. I was an ambitious, and naïve, young student at the Imperial Magic Academy from across the ocean. One day, I set out to gather arcane knowledge beyond what my instructors had to teach. I’d prefer not to discuss what ensued, but upon returning, I had made a pact with an eldritch horror beyond mortal comprehension, granting me unimaginable power. I’d discuss my current whereabouts and goals, but those are… private information.
Let us continue.
The Joker grinned down at his new… Minion? No, that wasn’t right.
My dear fellow, don’t be ashamed to call them what they are. It’s impolite when addressing them, but for the love of all things unholy, don’t bother lying to yourself. If you do not think of an imbecile such as this as a minion, you truly have a poor grasp on the nature of scheming. Perhaps it is due to our Hairy friend’s… nature?
Now, how does this counter work again?
Gary Stu count: 5
Yes, that will do nicely. And as for your reluctance to call him a minion:
Out of Character count: 5
Friend? He snorted. No. Not a friend. Companion? He hummed and nodded to himself. Yes, that would work.
Technically accurate, I suppose. Proceed.
The hair-blob dipped to the side a bit, as though the person beneath it had tilted their head at him. He copied the motion, mirroring the hair-blob-creature as it tilted to the other side as well. He chuckled again.
Truly, the clown is easily amused. Shall I jingle BatJamags’ keys in front of him next?
They had managed to get away easily enough, there having been neither hide nor hair of the bat,
Likely because the vigilante failed to do his self-appointed job. I’d be disappointed, were I to care.
and had found themselves in a safehouse Ivy so conveniently procured for them before busting them out. A simple abandoned factory on the edge of town with a few smaller building surrounding it; one of which had a few skylights and had been converted into a greenhouse for Ivy’s precious plants. The factory appeared to have been responsible for making shoes at one point and the whole area smelled like old leather.
While I admire that the author has attempted to create setting, this raises two questions.
First: Why did Ivy aid in their escape? She’s stated to be close with Harley Quinn, but from what I’ve seen of their relationship in canon, their escapades are generally at the Joker’s expense, not for his benefit.
Second: Why would Ivy want to be within a mile of such an obtrusively industrial establishment without first razing it and replacing it with her own infrastructure?
The Joker had taken up residence in another of the smaller buildings, dragging his little furry puzzle with him and slamming the rusty metal door in Harley’s face.
I was under the impression that fur and hair were two different things.
“I really think,” He started, “that you could use a haircut.” The hair-blob’s form became very still, the pale little hands that peaked out clenching into fists. The hair-person made a wide shaking motion that he interpreted as it shaking it’s head.
It shook it is head? Oh, please, do explain what in the Nine Hells that sentence means.
He frowned, catching the first scent of fear off the figure. This little oddity wasn’t afraid of him, a murdering sociopath, but it was afraid or getting it’s hair cut?
Perhaps you might consider that he does not know you are a murdering sociopath, if the latter term is even applicable.
Also, if you continue to use the wrong form of “its,” I may be forced to adopt our dear guest host’s tendency for pistol-whipping the fic with… *picks up Benny the Imaginary Handgun* this.
I am not certain how something Imaginary has a consistent enough physical form to be picked up, but perhaps it is simply connected to the Formless Void or the Situationally Dependent Quantum Flux.
“Please?” He asked. Begging wasn’t his style, but for whatever reason, he didn’t want to force his funny hair-blob. “I wanna see that face of yours though. Pretty please with sugar on top?” The hair-blob didn’t shake it’s head again, but the hands remained clenched in fists and it made no movement.
Also? I was under the impression that the Joker wouldn’t have compassion over a single individual’s hair.
Gary Stu count: 6
Out of Character count: 6
Hmm… These counters are quickly growing… *glances at DRD alarm* duplicative.
*Nice try, nerd*
It was worth the attempt.
*DRD agents burst in, Kane rises to face them*
*Kane removes his mask*
GAZE UPON THE TRUTH SOUGHT ONLY BY THE MAD!
*The DRD agents’ eyes erupt in flames*
DRD Agent: OH GOD WE WERE JUST GOING TO CITE YOU A CITATION!
*Kane puts the mask back on, and turns back to the fic*
It jerked in a surprised flinch as he placed his hands on either side of it, squeezing a bit in a bastardized attempt at comfort. He wasn’t so good at this kind of thing but he had seen some things on the television. “What’s there to be afraid of?” The hair-blob remained tensed for a few moments and the Joker came to wonder if perhaps force was necessary.
Allow me to spell it out for you:
The Joker. Does. Not. Care.
Is that clear?
Out of Character count: 7
With a rougher voice, he tried again, squeezing what he felt was shoulders beneath the hair tighter. “You do realize,” He drew out the word with a growl, “that I will cut your hair whether you want me to or not?” The final word clicked slightly on his tongue and he offered a dark grin.
Then perhaps the false overtures of compassion were unwarranted?
His smile grew wider when the hair-blob slumped in defeat and he let go. “Well then!” He spoke loudly, but his new little fascination didn’t jump or flinch. He picked it up like before, and once again was left without resistance.
Odd. If that is all it takes to get Hairy Stu to surrender his hair, then why, perchance, were the professionals at Arkham not able to remove it?
Running the Asylum count: 12
The little building was filled mostly with metal and tables not unlike a science classroom. There was a tub of sorts in the corner that had no nozzle, but a drain. There was a hose hooked up outside and it was long enough for him to drag it inside to use it; knowing already that (who had been staying here with Ivy) had set up the plumbing to work properly.
While the author seems to have word there, it was rather considerate of to set up the plumbing. Indeed, I have often found to be a hardworking and loyal friend.
Coincidentally, that is also how the name of an eldritch associate of mine appears when one attempts to write it.
He set the hair-blob down next to the low tub, which only came up to maybe his ankles or so, and was perhaps better described as a basin.
Then perhaps you should have done so to begin with.
“If you’ve got clothes on underneath all that I suggest you ditch ’em sweetheart. Unless they need a bath too.” He giggled and ran off to fetch the hose. When he came back be found his soon-to-be-not-a-hair-blob sitting in the basin (or at least he thought it was) with a typical shirt and pants uniform from Arkham flung carelessly on the floor a couple feet away.
So the orderlies at Arkham managed to clothe this fellow underneath his hair without discovering his gender.
Running the Asylum count: 13
The Joker looked around a bit before noticing a hook hanging from the ceiling. He looped the hose up through the hook and fixed it so that it would spray down on the little grey mass and ran back to turn it on. He returned again to see the water beginning to soak the mass of hair and wondered how heavy that hair was while wet.
This room is part of a shoe factory, correct? Then what is its purpose? Why does a shoe factory need a basin with a hose and a hook? Did the shoes come off the assembly line dirty? I demand knowledge. Then again, I always demand knowledge.
Already the water running down the drain is grey and filled with filth. The Joker doesn’t bother to remove his own clothes as he steps into the basin and kneels next to the grey-blob, pulling out a knife as he does so.
At least he lacks Seiko Sue’s preciousness when it comes to water.
It’s a sharp little kitchen blade, and as he grabs a bit of hair to saw through it before throwing it to the side. It lands with a splat on the floor. It’s a funny sort of sound that makes him giggle, so he continues, if only to hear it again.
I’d think that he would continue because he set out to give the Stu a full haircut, not to cut one lock off and hear what sound it makes.
He laughs louder and louder with every bit of skin that is revealed and soon becomes aware that his hair-blob-turning-person is a male.
Really? I’m shocked. It’s not as if the author has already established this fact.
As he continues, the little strange being pulls up his legs and buries his head in his knees, wrapping his hands round himself.
You do not need such abstract terms for your Stu any longer, author. The point-of-view character knows his gender.
He is shivering, and Joker supposes this is because the water is so cold, but he makes no effort to make the male more comfortable.
“Male” is hardly better, author. It’s three letters, repeat after me: m-a-n. Man.
He continues onward and frowns angrily as his work reveals a very thin sickly frame in which he can count every rib and the vertebrae of his companion’s spine is well defined.
It is entirely possible that this sentence could be phrased more awkwardly. For example, in the Eldritch Tome of there is a passage which is phrased so awkwardly that those of lesser intellects than I who are exposed to it go mad from the revelation. That is the truth sought only by the mad I spoke of earlier. Only one who is already a madman would dare risk madness to gaze upon it.
He recalled knocking a tray out of the male’s hands, but did he ever actually eat? When was the last time his little strange one had been fed?
I would presume that he ate within the last few weeks or so, otherwise your little strange one would be a little strange corpse.
He cuts until the hair it a mess of soft fuzz on top of the males head. Even wet it seems to twist and spike and flip in every direction in an untamable sort of way. It comes down past the oddity’s ears now and the Joker is conscious of the fact that the little male had continued to hide his face in his knees and so he has yet to see his face. He is also aware that his hair is now white like snow, rather than the grey mass it had appeared to be due to the excess of dirt.
Is dirt not brown rather than grey?
“Look at me.” He orders with a strained grin. He does not like that his little puzzle is so thin, and he especially doesn’t like the fact that he cares enough not to like it in the first place.
On the second point, we find common ground.
Out of Character count: 8
The little white-haired being shakes his head and the Joker growls. “Look at ME!” He snarls, and is surprised that the male doesn’t even flinch. He does however, after a moment’s hesitation, lift his head to look up at the Joker as ordered.
The Joker is entertained by mysteries. Our esteemed author once again takes him for the Riddler, who prefers to know all the answers.
The Joker stares in shock, taking a step back before he can catch himself.
Ah, our criminal mastermind has just realized he’s in a bad fanfiction. It will take but a moment to acclimate.
His little oddity is beautiful like an angel.
I did not sign up for this.
*Looks hopefully at the door*
*It doesn’t move*
Pale, unblemished skin is stretched a bit too tight over his cheekbones perhaps; making them stand out more than they should, but it does not steal from the teen’s beauty. And he must be a teen, for his face is very young, but, there is a sense of age in his eyes that suggests he is older. Perhaps he is in his twenties then?
Come to a decision and move on. I do not need this much information on Hairy Stu’s face.
Rather androgynous, in the right clothes he could be taken for being either gender.
Does the author still intend in keeping this man’s gender a point of confusion? It has been rather clearly established.
His eyes are very large, too large on his small face, and are framed by lashes as snowy white as his hair. They are a strange sight. A bright purple flecked with little spots of green, and they reveal nothing in the way of the boy’s emotions.
One day, there will be a Stu or Sue with brown eyes. On that day, I’m sure we shall all rejoice. And, as I know BatJamags would inflict untold horrors upon me for failing to make this reference:
His nose is small, and angular, a nice contrast to his large round eyes. His lips are a shade of pale pink, matching easily with the overall paleness of his skin, and like his nose they are small.
I still do not need this much information.
But that is not why the Joker stares.
No, it is what lies upon the boy’s lips that have surprised him.
I truly did not sign up for this.
*Looks hopefully at the door*
Door: *Implied nope*
He tentatively reaches out a hand and touches them, the thick black thread feeling rough beneath his fingers; the dark color standing out starkly against the male’s skin. Little scabs mar the skin where the tread meets it, and he doesn’t think this is freshly done, but rather they are old wounds that tear open occasionally.
Take note of this, patrons.
His eyes narrow after a moment and he nearly snarls. He had claimed this little puzzle as his companion. His possession. Someone had dared to hurt what was his. He cupped the male’s cheek. He understood now at least. This explained why he was so thin, why he clearly didn’t eat. It explained why the Joker had yet to hear him speak. It explained why he had been so against showing his face.
For someone, for whatever reason, had sewn his puzzle’s lips shut.
This buildup would have been appreciated had the state of the man’s lips not been previously explained. As it stands, this is simply pointless padding. It also means that the man should almost certainly be dead of starvation.
Perhaps these bastardized line breaks are not worth quoting any longer, but their sheer persistence warrants attention.
This was fun to write. I feel I should warn you right about now at the possibility of slash.
*Quickly looks at door*
Door: *Implied through silence* lolno
Not guaranteed of course.
This does not make me feel better. I am still disturbed by the prospect of someone like the Joker taking advantage of a teenager.
BatJamags: *Mumbling in sleep* Creepy enough when Deathstroke did it…
There may be moments where it seems like it though, but for now there is not. I may or may not however pair our little former-hair-blob with a male, or a female, or I won’t pair him up at all. Nothing in this story has been planned so I really don’t know.
BatJamags: *Sitting bolt upright* You motherfucker.
I simply did-
BatJamags: *Brushes Kane aside as he storms over to the computer* OUTLINE YOUR DAMNED STORY BEFORE YOU WRITE IT YOU HACK!
BatJamags: *Retrieving Benny the Imaginary Handgun from Kane* I’VE GOT YOUR REVIEW RIGHT HERE!
*PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!* *PISTOL-WHIP!*
Ah, about my usurpation of your riffing duties?
BatJamags: Oh, trust me, I’m going to deal with you. *Cracks knuckles ominously*
I’d like to say that is as intimidating as you think it is, but really, I’m more impressed by your previous display of violence.
*BatJamags grabs him and drags him out the door*
BatJamags: C’mon, smartass, we’re gonna have another chat.