1438: The cambion’s ring – Chapter Two, Part TwoPosted: June 8, 2016
Hello again, patrons! Sorry about missing last week, I had a thing and then stuff after that which caused other things to happen. But we’re back this week with the second half of chapter two!
“It’s my job to be excited.”
Oh, right, sorry.
Anyway, last time we got a flashback to Claude getting killed by his brother, Freddie. The flashback happened somewhere in Washington DC during the burning of 1814, but was otherwise extremely non-specific as to exactly why that time and location was supposed to be important. The only thing that was described was Claude’s brother’s demon form, which was a very broad equivalent to Baphomet.
“Claude’s brother has very nice joy melons!”
You need to stop hanging out with Swenia. Anyway, Fred monologues like snidely whiplash, blah blah, they fight, Claude has a moment of angsty Stuness, the two kill each other, and that brings us to now.
“Nuh-uh, Sithmas isn’t for another five months.”
Wrong kind of present day.
Xander woke in a cold sweat. His dream was so vivid, as though it was a memory, but he wasn’t in it.
So was he watching everything unfold from the narrator’s point of view? That’s pretty odd even for a dream.
And the man, Claude, seemed so familiar, as though he met him. It was weird.
I guess this means that, in this version of events, Xander doesn’t remember his transformation. I assume this will totally NOT be used as a cheap way to force tension.
He looked over at the clock. He had half an hour till school started. Groaning, he dragged himself out of bed, brushed his teeth, and grabbed the first things he saw, not really seeing them.
Somebody just ended up with a backpack full of dildos and lube.
When he was about to leave his dad called from the living room, “Why’re you playing dress up?”
“Sometimes Xander likes to be pretty, okay!? Don’t complain about his elegance!”
I suddenly know where that “Xander in Ballgown City” fanfic came from.
“What?” Xander asked tiredly.
“Your dressed funny.” His dad replied irritated.
What about Xander’s dressed funny?
“I think Xander’s dad forgot some.”
Looking down at his attire Xander saw what his dad meant. He was wearing the coat, and hat from a week ago, that he thought he threw out.
“That’s why you burn things. They have a harder time coming back from that.”
Should I be worried that “burning things” is your default solution to problems?
“Bloody ‘ell. Wait, what?” Did he just say bloody hell, in an accent? Something was wrong.
Not only wrong, but contrived.
“Don’t forget stupid!”
Yeah, that too.
Rubbing his eyes, he felt something hard, and metal touch his face.
I suddenly regret the joke about dildos.
He looked at his hand. On his middle finger was that weird ring he was going to show Willow. Filled with new resolve, he left the house and marched to school, not even bothering to change.
“Why does the ring make him so determined to go to school?”
It’s a ring of +3 learning.
“So Wills, any idea what the ring says?” Xander asked impatiently.
I honestly can’t remember if “Wills” is a canon nickname for Willow, but it sounds off. If it is canon, Joss should feel bad.
“Yeah, just gimme a sec.” Willow answered for the hundredth time in Xander’s mind.
Okay, now that, for sure, isn’t a thing. Willow wasn’t nearly super-magical enough by season two for random telepathy like that. She doesn’t get that powerful until season six.
“Okay, here it is. So it’s Latin, which is weird, and it says… ‘that is, which is directed toward to the ring, the souls of the half would be a demon’ which is fancy for whoever wears this is to host a half demon.”
Hey look, finally a literary translation of the ring! Thing is, that first thing isn’t a fancy way of saying “Who wears the ring hosts half a demon.” The literal translation is representative of the gibberish. The meaning of the phrase after being directly Googled into Latin also isn’t the same, so it’s doubly gibberish because of the drastic differences in grammar. But, I’ve said all that before.
Though this does make me wonder if AN started with that gibberish and translated it into Latin, or if he got there via a trip through the bad translator.
“That’s not creepy at all.” Xander stated sarcastically.
“Hey look! Actual sarcasm!”
Which was so obvious that stating that it was sarcasm is kinda-
*Living Stone smashes through the wall into the riffing chamber*
“Yay! I get to try out the new glitter projector! Hold still while I make you glamorous!”
*Eliza blasts Living Stone with a ray of pure glitter, leaving him sparkly*
Living Stone feel pretty.
“Really? I would’ve that’d be pretty creepy.” Xander raised an eyebrow. “Oh, sarcasm.”
“Did Willow just have a stroke?”
Naw, I think she just a word.
The entire day was strange.
Guys, shit was strange. Just gotta take the fic’s word for that. Suuuuper strange.
During his classes, especially eighteenth century history, Xander felt like he knew how it happened and why, like he already studied it most of his life.
“That’s a very specific history class, is that normally a thing?”
Only in the land of contrivance. It’s the same land where having memories of the eighteenth century would give you insight into all your classes. I guess living through the eighteenth century really gives you important insight into how and why math happened.
“Given the structure of the sentence, it’s more like he understands how and why his classes happened.”
Not sure that you need eighteenth century knowledge to know how school works.
Gym was no different.
“You did say ‘classes.'”
If nothing else can be remembered about the 1700s, their exploration of the important question: ‘Why gym?’ should be handed down through the ages.
He was faster, stronger, more agile, and more aware, coach even said he did great in basketball, which he really sucked at.
So the ring has Stu powers along with everything else.
“That sounds vaguely familiar.”
*Marcus leans into the room and flips Taco off*
Okay, whew, it isn’t a Stu Lantern ring.
All in all he was… better.
There wasn’t enough Stu in Xander in the show, so the author is fixing that by making him better.
Much depth now. Very character.
During lunch, when he ate a Twinkie, he felt like he was going to throw up. He loved Twinkies, he ate them all his life. They were his most needed resource. And when he ate it he almost puked. Why?
“Does this count as bashing?”
Maybe. Too early to tell, but I’m starting to get a feeling that the author is going to start romanticizing the eighteenth century and bashing the modern world.
“Which is strange for an author that has provided a single flashback to the nineteenth century.”
Doubly strange since it’s more likely that somebody from that era would find a Twinkie amazing due to the sweetness. Human’s love of sweet things hasn’t really changed much in the last few thousand years. If anything, easy access in the modern world has made sweets and confections less exciting since they are no longer a delicacy.
“Maybe it’s because he’s a demon?”
Possibly. I’ll let this slide if Xander starts craving human flesh.
“But I crave that all the time, and I still like Twinkies.”
Well you’re not a demon, so maybe it’s differ- wait, what?
Well, Xander may have loved Twinkies, but Claude found them detestable.
Thank you, narrator, for treating us like we’re four. How about you give us a real explanation instead of just regurgitating something a single-celled organism could have figured out?
“It’s the ring causing Xander to have all these powers!”
At the end of the day when Xander got home the first thing he did was watch a movie, oddly he enough he chose the exorcist.
Why is that odd? The show actually mentioned at one point that Xander is a bit of a classic horror movie buff. The Exorcist certainly qualifies.
As he watched it he couldn’t help but think that it was completely unrealistic, like he knew what one was like.
“Which would have more to do with the fact that he’s actually been part of an exorcism. Did you forget that he’s friends with the Slayer, author?”
Shhh! Don’t interrupt the author trying to indirectly make Claude more awesome!
He shook the feeling off, and continued to enjoy the movie.
That’s called suspension of disbelief. It’s the ability to look past small issues in a work in order to enjoy the whole. The better the work, the easier it is to do. It’s basically the media equivalent of a benefit of the doubt.
“It’s also something that badfic authors need to learn about.”
He watched horror movies for the rest of the night, till he fell asleep.
Something that actually is in-character for Xander, so good job, author.
Actually, in general, the author’s depiction of the canon characters hasn’t been that bad. A little spotty, but way closer to the mark than most of the authors I’ve riffed. If you could have held yourself back from putting in your Stuish OC, AN, you might actually have made something that was too good to riff. Not to say it would have been good, since your grammar, writing mechanics, prose, and dialogue are pretty horrible, but without Claude anchoring this thing down, it becomes a lot less bad.
The moment Claude woke up, he turned the moving, picture, box… thing, off.
What was it that the author’s note said again?
Don’t worry Xander will have most of the control, and some leftovers.
“Did not take very long to break that promise, did it?”
To be fair, I wasn’t expecting the author to be able to keep it. Claude is his Gary Stu OC, it was inevitable that he’d find a way to get more page time.
The movies the boy was watching were completely inaccurate.
“Claude is just so much better than classic movies. Suck it, 1970s cinema!”
For one why would the demon possess a little girl? Like it could do anything.
I guess the author missed the season where the foretold “Anointed One” was an 8-year-old boy.
“Or the Angel episode where the ethros demon is introduced. Ethros demons only possess children.”
Authors, it’s really important to do some semblance of research. Otherwise you tend to make your raging Stu look like a complete moron.
“Knowing what you’re writing about is just that thing which other authors do.”
To be fair, it’s also possible that Claude really is supposed to be this stupid.
And who would name something ‘I know what you did last summer’?
“That one’s fair.”
Yeah, it was a stupid name for a relatively bad movie.
Even a zombie could come with better.
Apparently zombies need really good movie titles to get off. Who knew?
“To get off of what?”
And Friday the thirteenth? They should’ve named it ‘Friday the teen hormone day’. It was a lousy excuse to show sex and beer.
Whines about bad movie names; immediately comes up with that. Legit not a bitchy-Stu.
“Why is he badmouthing Friday the 13th?”
Likely because the author can’t help but bash things he doesn’t personally like. And given the comment there, likely because the author completely missed the point of Friday the 13th and instead decided to only focus on the fact that some people had sex in it. I think the term for that is “Bashing Myopia.” Friday the 13th had it’s flaws, sure, and certainly wasn’t the greatest movie ever; I’d give it a solid mediocre on the movie scale. But, there was a deeper, more calculated reason for the way it portrayed the victims of Pamela Voorhees. Boiling the movie down to ‘sex and beer’ really does show that a point has gone totally over your head.
Still, it’s possible that this is the author reaching for some kind of characterization for Claude. Given his portrayal in the first… zeroth chapter, being a whiny tool does fit in pretty well with the whole ‘cowardly moron’ package.
Now that he was done his little internal rant, he looked around.
“A rant that added a lot to the fic.”
Tons. Everyone loves reading about a character whining incessantly about completely irrelevant stuff.
The room was a mess, he couldn’t let his host live here, it was unsightly, what if he brought a girl home, and- He stopped his inner monologue he was starting to sound like the boy’s parents, or lack thereof.
“That one’s fair. Xander is a bit of a slob and his parents are pretty awful.”
That “whiny tool” characterization is actually looking more likely. Maybe the author really is trying to make Claude completely unlikable. If that’s the case, Claude could be the next Sir Apropos of Nothing.
Claude started with cleaning out the garbage, then he moved the boy’s dirty clothes, closed the drawers, straightened furniture, mopped and vacuumed the floor, cleaned the sink tub and toilet, dusted, and laid tomorrow’s clothes out.
Okay, gotta say, if I had a second personality that only emerged while I slept and loved to clean everything, that would be pretty awesome. Provided I still got a solid night’s sleep while he was doing his thing.
“Or you could just clean your own stuff up.”
He had a small selection of dignified clothes to choose from that would fit the hot weather, but he settled on, as the locals called them, a white T-shirt, grey jeans, and a brown trench coat the boy was too shy to wear, he could use an illusion and fix that.
“I may be a naked, sentient dinosaur pulled out of an icky romance fic featuring a controlling human/raptor relationship, but even I know a fashion nightmare when I read one.”
Yeah, that’s as dignified looking as an 80-year-old man in 70s jogging shorts and a wife-beater.
“Wait, how does an illusion fix the fact that Xander is too shy to wear a trench coat. And why does shyness prevent wearing a trench coat?”
“You know, someday that answer isn’t going to work.”
He decided to make him wear the boots, just because all of the boy’s other shoes were completely impractical, at least in Claude’s mind.
Because Claude’s a moron who refuses to integrate new information. Except when he does.
“The fic is not inconsistent. It has always been at war with Eastasia.”
After looking through his work, he sat on the bed and gave control back to the boy, effectively sleeping.
Author creates Claude as his OC and gives him Stu powers. Claude’s only impact on the fic is to clean Xander’s room. I gotta give it to you, AN, you managed to underwhelm me. That hasn’t happened in years.
When Xander awoke he was suckerpunched, not literally of course.
I’m tempted to start a ‘the audience is stupid’ counter, but we’re over half done with the fic, so it’d feel a little late.
His room was clean, like not slight tidy clean, but almost brand new clean, like an army of cleaners came through. He was weirded out. He didn’t sleep walk, and if he did he probably wouldn’t clean this much.
“I’m starting to wonder what the author thought this whole cleaning scene was adding to the fic.”
Probably about 2,000 words. But if you want any evidence that the author hasn’t done any planning or any proofreading, this chapter is a pretty big clue. Usually you see this kind of focus on pointless scenes when the author doesn’t really know what to write or where the plot is going to go.
And everything was in the right spot so he knew it wasn’t his mother.
“Wouldn’t the right spot be all over the floor or something?”
Quiet! The author is narrativing!
Then he remembered Willow’s words; ‘whoever wears this is to host a half demon.’
Yes, everyone gets it, we’ve known since the first… zeroth chapter what the deal is! We are not four years old!
Though I guess you’d have to have the reading comprehension of a four-year-old to enjoy this.
What if he really was possessed? Were half demons evil? Was this the cause of the twinkies?
Protip, authors: If you’ve already shown the audience the answers to very basic plot questions, it’s EXTREMELY patronizing to ask those questions rhetorically in the narrative.
All these thoughts and more flooded his mind. Then he remembered, he had a Giles and a Willow he could save himself from this half demon no problem.
“Or he could take off the ring.”
SHHH! No pointing out plot holes!
All he had to do was get to the library, and explain to Giles. Then he remembered that it was a Saturday. Giles was probably at home drinking tea.
Which has never stopped anyone in the Scooby gang from dropping by for help when shit’s gotten real.
Wait Willow. He would just go to her and ask her if she could help. But she wouldn’t know about exorcisms. They would need Giles’ books. But he shouldn’t go disturb Giles from his tea.
So, in conclusion, the plot continues on because stupid.
“I’m starting to dread the next chapter.”
Yeah, this fic feels like it has a pretty high capacity to get worse.
Wait. Xander was possessed. To hell with Giles’ tea.
Oh, well then. He’s actually going to do the smart thing.
“Like take off the ring?”
SHHHH! We don’t talk about the ring unless the plot acknowledges it exists.
He was going there, and getting demonized.
So Xander put on the clothes laid out by Claude, not even thinking where they came from, and almost sprinted to G man’s house.
Your narrative is too casual! Tighten that crap up!
Giles was about to enjoy a lovely cup of earl grey tea.
Because he’s British, and British people are always drinking tea! Their culture literally has no other defining traits!
A thin tail of smoke lifting from the tip of the kettle, held the boiling water, like a geyser.
“You mentioned that the fic had the potential to get a lot worse.”
I honestly wasn’t expecting to see it get this much worse so soon.
While in the middle of the table, sitting on a china saucer, with some tea leaves sitting inside, was his favourite tea cup.
“Giles! That’s now how you tea!”
Shhh, he’s British, he can tea how he wants, even if that means he has to pour hot water all over his saucer then strain it into the cup.
Brought from the Napal, Giles had to fight a yeti with nothing but a book, to get that cup.
It’s not supposed to be getting this bad this quickly! At least wait a chapter, author!
“Is ‘The Napal’ different than Nepal?”
Yeah, that first one is only present in badfics.
Silver with gold engravings, this teacup was held by many great leaders; from Napoleon, to King Arthur, Genghis Kahn, to Hercules, this cup was legendary.
“First it was cleaning, and now a tea cup. Author, dear, come clean, you had no plan and no clue what you were doing, did you?”
He’s probably like most of the other author’s we’ve riffed: he had a vague idea of something he wanted to write about and expected that idea to carry the entire fic by itself.
As he reverently poured the steaming liquid into the cup, filling it halfway.
The author, as he wrote the sentence.
He gently stirred, till the tea was tea like colour.
Okay, now I think the author is actually fucking with us. This is a troll-fic, right? You can’t honestly have typed something that profoundly stupid and honestly expect us to take this whole thing as being serious, right?
He pulled the silver spoon out and gently laid it on a napkin.
Okay, we fucking get it! Giles has some flipping tea! Can we cut out all this pointless word-padding and just get on with it!?
*Eliza baps Taco with the rolled-up-newspaper, sending him flying*
“You need to calm down a bit. Anywho, at this point we get a lot more of Giles preparing his tea. Most likely this is a prelude to Xander interrupting just as he’s about to drink. I think it’s some kind of monkey humor. Tea making continues deep into the night, until:”
It was an aroma unimaginably wonderful, better than the embrace of a woman, or sex for that matter.
Those who are from Britain, or even from the Common Wealth, you can feel free to be deeply offended that this is what the author thinks your culture is.
“The tea pipeline into Lyle’s quarters is taking on a new connotation.”
Just when he was about to sip, he heard a hammering on the front door.
“Called it! … I just made myself sad.”
“Go away!” Giles called from the sitting room wanting to get back to his tea.
“It’s me Xander, open up.” A voice answered from outside.
“Go away, I’m busy.” Giles replied getting annoyed.
This is sorta canon for Giles, he often blows off Xander. At the same time, if Xander’s voice was anxious, Giles would be a lot more likely to jump up and see what’s going down. He knows that there’s a lot of demon and vampire activity in the city.
“I can’t. It’s important.” Xander answered urgently.
Giles stood up knowing that the boy wouldn’t leave till he acknowledged him.
“I guess the possibility that somebody might be in trouble doesn’t occur to him. Welcome to the fic !Giles.”
He was muttering to himself as he walked towards the door. And when he opened it his face showed great irritation.
How dare there be a potentially life-threatening emergency on the weekend!?
“What you have to say, better be bloody important.” Giles asked non too friendly.
“Giles has his sex tea to get back to.”
Sounds like a band.
“It’s a symphonic band of Darkwraiths and Ninja. Swenia formed them so she could do live music over the PA system.”
Given that the name of the band is Sex Tea, I think I know what kind of music they’ll be covering.
“What, like Chopin? I’ve heard he goes well with tea.”
“Does being possessed by a half demon who may or may not be evil count?” Xander let out quickly.
Xander, what part of ‘it’s the weekend’ didn’t you understand?
Giles was suddenly less concerned about tea.
Apparently little demon problems are more important than orgasm tea. Who’d have guessed?
AN: So I hope I pleased you with this chapter
“He certainly has an interesting way of phrasing things.”
I suppose he expected people to get there with all that dirty tea narrative.
hope you review and tell me what you think.
I’m not sure that really panned out as well as you thought it was going to.
And with that, the chapter comes to an end! You’ll all be happy to hear that we’re actually in the home stretch! Only two more posts and we’ll be done with this thing!
Anyway, until next week, patrons!
“No, really, where are we supposed to get to?”
Let it go, Eliza.