1452: Heroes and Villains – Chapter 1, Part 1Posted: June 22, 2016
Title: Heroes and Villains
Author: Horrible’s Igor
Media: Television / Movies
Topic: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer / Kitchen Sink
URL: Heroes and Villains
Critiqued by TacoMagic and Eliza
Yeah, I know, I know, this isn’t ‘cambion’s ring.’ In a strange turn of events, Awesomenemo pulled down the fic over the last week; likely because he was reading from the lurker’s gallery and didn’t expect us to savage his work as much as we did. So, either through embarrassment or desire not to see the last little bit ripped apart, he removed it. Or, it’s also possible he went back and read it independent of the riff and pulled it down because he recognized it as a catastrophic wreck. In any case, I did not think to create a backup copy of the fic because it was submitted by the author and I figured he’d be leaving it up until I was done. So it goes.
In any case, I was having fun going back to the Buffy universe for that last riff, so I thought I’d poke around in the Buffy cross-overs until I found something. It took me about thirty seconds to find something. And, before you ask, yes I already made a local backup of this one. It’s called ‘Heroes and Villains’ and is located in the Buffy x Frozen crossover section.
“Did you say Frozen!? Yessssssss!”
I wouldn’t get too excited. Especially not after you see the summary.
Willow Rosenberg is back on the dark side, and she’s recruiting Queen Elsa and Doctor Horrible to help her eliminate Buffy Summers once and for all and take over the world.
“Um, what? Willow wasn’t trying to take over the world when she went evil. First she was taking a hard-line on crime/demons/vampires, and near the end, she was trying to destroy the world to stop everyone’s pain. Now I can see world domination fitting Dr. Horrible, since his plan was to take over and force social change, but what has that got to do with Elsa!? She wasn’t evil, just emotionally unstable! Author, are you not understanding the difference between being evil and suffering from emotional trauma!? Am I going to have to send a text to Jeff on this one?”
There’s more summary.
Buffy, with the help of her demon-fighting professor and Olaf the Snowman, must put a stop to these villains before it’s too late.
“Please tell me that we aren’t going to have action scenes featuring Olaf.”
Would you rather the author attempt Olaf’s humor in the fic?
Hey look, more summary.
What’s happens next is anyone’s guess…
“Does this mean that the author is making it up as they go?”
That’s one of those questions that only the fic can answer.
“So can you, you’ve read some of it.”
Fair enough. The answer is yes, it’s largely made up at the moment it’s written. Something which becomes pretty apparent within the first chapter. Speaking of which, since we’ve largely explored all the initial canons in other fics, let’s just dive right in!
“Did you say ‘initial canons!?'”
Not enough time to explain, keep going!
Of the things she’d expected to happen along the way back, a vampire attack on the mountain was not on the list.
You know, her. The female. Girl Woman.
“I am approaching something that feels like irritation.”
Granted, she’d had a lot on her mind lately, so she hadn’t exactly been paying much attention to the sounds of the night as she trudged up the snowy trail- it was inevitable that it would’ve happened; she just didn’t think it would be today.
*Taco falls out of his chair and writhes on the ground*
“I’m just going to go out on a limb and assume this is one of the Frozen characters. Though, if it is, I can’t say that there’s anything in the movie that really made a vampire attack seem inevitable. Well, more inevitable than it already is.”
Actually, if you follow the sentence structure, it’s her not paying attention that’s inevitable. Or possibly her trudging up the trail.
“Are we going to need a vague counter for this?”
It might be easier to count the times the fic isn’t vague.
10 points to me, she thought as she wrestled with the vamp.
Keep numerals out of the prose!
“Why is she giving herself ten points, anyway? She’s just wrestling with it.”
Maybe that’s how she wins vampire fights. She cheats on the scoring and declares victory.
He was strong, stronger than some, but she’d had years of experience fighting vampires and other demons since 1997- that had to count for something.
Oh, so it is one of the Buffy crew. That being said, why did she not expect a vampire attack? They’re attacked by vampires all the time.
“But, did her experience count for something?”
Well, it certainly had to.
“But did it!?”
It most definitely had to.
He tried to get her into a choke hold so he could stop air flowing into her lungs, but she managed to grab his hand tightly before he could.
“Since when have vampires gone for strangulation? Usually they’re aiming to get their teeth into your neck; having an arm there would get in the way.”
More importantly, why does squeezing the vampire’s hand prevent the choke-hold? Are you trying to make him feel uncomfortable?
She pushed it away and proceeded to knee him in the side over and over, hoping she could get him off her so she could reach for her stake and kill the thing before it killed her.
Still better combat scenes than ‘Eighth Spirit.’
Marginal is enough.
Unfortunately, he held on tightly, refusing to be deterred by her counteroffensive.
“Hey! Don’t refuse the counteroffensive!”
No! Do. Not! WANT!
Instead, he swiftly punched her, sending her head to the side.
YES! More pointless adjectives! They are like sentence sprinkles.
Taking the opportunity, he wound up again and slashed the left side of her face, leaving a long cut that went directly through her eye.
“Wait, what did he slash her with?”
Vamp needs a manicure, dude.
She roared in pain, renewing her struggles.
See, that’s what happens when you strop struggling mid-fight.
She finally managed to dislodge the vamp, quickly grabbing her stake and stabbing it through the heart. The vampire disintegrated into dust.
Hey, will you look at that? The end of the fight managed to underwhelm me!
“Things are looking up already!”
Blood pounded in her temples as she attempted to wipe the blood off her face, sending another burst of pain through her head.
The author is about to over-sell a facial laceration, isn’t he?
She would need to get back fast and get medical attention.
True, but it’s just a facial laceration. They initially bleed like crazy, but aren’t actually that immediately dangerous. With a little local pressure, you can typically get the bleeding to stop on it’s own.
“That isn’t so helpful if there’s a predator stalking you.”
I’ve taken the opportunity of disabling the literary transporter.
She might’ve been a good vampire fighter, but it had been a while since she’d had a brawl- going on 6 months now.
“Which means that either the author is unaware of Buffy-verse canon, or just doesn’t care. See, everyone in the Scooby Gang stayed pretty sharp after the events at the Hell-mouth that ended the seventh season. If anything, they become more formidable as time goes on. None of them really take a six-month break.”
If also formidably angsty.
“Very tru- Wait! Why is there a vampire wandering randomly around in the mountains?”
Actually, yeah, that doesn’t make any sense. I guess that means the original assertion that Woman Girl didn’t expect an attack actually was reasonable. Vampires tend to gather around humans because they need the blood. So the whole attack in the first place is nonsense!
That record would have to be changed.
“Looks like we’ve got Jimmy Cross on the turn-table.”
Oh crap, change the record!
So she righted herself, got back on the trail, and began climbing again.
Wait, so the vampire attacked her literally on the side of the mountain!?
“Must be one of those new vampire-spiders.”
Welp, good thing I didn’t need to sleep tonight.
The pain in her head, already fierce, was becoming terrific, like thousands of needles were stabbing the length of the cut with every pulse of blood in her arteries.
“And you thought it was going to be overblown.”
Red flowed over her face, and more red pulsed in her vision. She could taste it on her lips, and she knew her clothes would be soaked in the stuff.
Dammit, Woman Girl! Put a friggen’ bandage on it. Rip off a hunk of clothing and tie it across the wound. That’s all you need! It’s even cold out, so the blood flow is going to already be slowed down by that. One tight bandage and you’ll be good for quite a while.
“She sounds delicious. You sure the transporter is-”
Yes. I’ve even got Markus guarding it.
The wound was also making her head spin, making it harder to focus.
Melon brain, put on a freaking bandage!
She barely noticed when she started to speak out loud.
“Is loss of internal monologue typical of blood loss?”
I… honestly don’t know.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid. Can’t take on the big stuff yet, gotta get some strength up first.
“Uhh, it was a surprise vampire attack on the side of a sheer mountain. It wasn’t stupid, dear, it was just unlucky.”
And contrived. Can’t forget how contrived it was.
Get some mojo going, then you’ve got it made.
Pretty sure you’re a soldier against supernatural creatures, not Austin Powers.
She sighed. Either I’m losing it, or I already have. Blood loss can do that.
Not really. Typically blood loss makes you feel weak, lethargic, sleepy, and sometimes confused. But you’re not acting confused, you’re acting… quirky.
“Hang tight; always another way.” Oo, rock! She picked up a rock a little ways off the path and tried to scrutinize it through the red.
“As written by somebody who has never actually suffered from acute blood loss.”
Or ever had a head laceration.
Okay, everyone brace for the author not knowing how to write confusion and instead writing somebody who is becoming schizophrenic.
How about you? You got any ideas? You fool, rocks can’t talk. You’re talking to an inanimate object on a mountainside at 11:30 in the evening. Another 10 points. “Didn’t think so.” Are you losing your marbles? She tossed the rock away. It landed in the snow with a small crunch. “One day I’ll have the biggest rock. Everyone else’ll be jealous. They won’t have a rock as big as mine.” She stopped suddenly, swaying a little, then started to laugh maniacally, the sound echoing softly in the night. “Losing your head, girl… Keep it together. Soon, everything is gonna be golden…” She started to walk again. “Absolutely golden…”
I’ve lost my ability to even. Author, I’d smack you again for putting numbers in the prose, but the numbers are honestly the least stupid thing going on here.
“I think he deserves bonus points for that creative abuse of punctuation and the unpaired quotation mark!”
Anyway, before the author can continue to insult people with mental illness, we get a line break.
“An actual line break!?”
Yup, it’s the first fic I’ve riffed in a while that has correctly executed line breaks.
The next day she woke up feeling very sore, the left side of her face almost on fire.
Which was not where the wound was.
“Maybe she ran into a few trees on the way to wherever this is.”
A hand automatically went to her eye to- what, stifle the pain somehow?
“Ahhh! Disembodied hand!”
That’s just Thing trying to be helpful. It knows that she’s supposed to be putting pressure on the wound.
She didn’t understand why that was a thing, but it happened anyway.
Nobody really understands why Thing is, but there it is.
Thankfully, when she pressed her hand over the wound, she felt a thick bandage instead the mess that was no doubt directly underneath it, given the fantastic amount of pain it was doling out- she was getting a headache already trying to suppress it, and she hadn’t even properly woken up.
*Taco falls out of his chair, gasping for breath*
“I hope you’re proud of yourself, author.”
It was going to be a long day…
*Taco pours himself another cup of roughage*
It already is, author, it already is.
She got up slowly, wincing, and gingerly made her way out of the room. The hallway was dimly lit, thank god, so she wouldn’t have to face an onslaught of brightness when she had the equivalent of a migraine coming on.
“What’s equivalent of a migraine, but isn’t one?”
Reading this fic?
She pushed open the second door at the end, which had a gold-plated plaque that read “C.R.O.E.”.
Some wise-guy in the building had come up with adding on the “O.E.” to what had originally read “C.R.”, but she didn’t mind- the reason behind it was rather funny (enough to exempt any reprimanding, anyway):
No parentheticals in the prose!
C.R. stood for Conference Room, and with the extra letters it stood for Conference Room of Evil.
The lower-level workers and interns took it a step further and called it “The CRoE (read: crow)“- a pun on the plaque and also on crow’s nest, as one could see the entire south side of the Mount Lassen National Park from the big fancy windows in the wall.
I honestly have no idea how to mock something so monumentally stupid.
“How is ‘crow’ a pun on the plaque?”
I don’t’ know. Probably something to do with gingivitis in the avian population.
The interns were so clev
*Eliza sprays the fic with the water bottle*
“Nuh-uh. If Taco can’t get away with that joke, neither can you.”
She sat down in the head chair, starting to spin it as any human who finds a swivel chair must automatically do, but stopped quickly as she realized that that would be a very bad idea if she didn’t want to become incredibly nauseous.
Not to mention spinning around in a chair when suffering a head wound is probably not the brightest thing to do.
She righted the chair, breathing deeply and trying to stave off the sickly feeling that was toying with the idea of making her sick and wounded, and pulled out her phone, scrolling through the small list of new e-mails.
‘Toying with the idea of making her sick.’ Patrons. I think we may have just found the absolute most wishy washy phrase that’s hit the library to date. Holy crap, author, knock it off with all the extra words, it’s making your story suck a lot more than it has to!
“More than it has to?”
Hey, you were there for the synopsis, a certain base-level of suck is inevitable.
Nothing terribly interesting- just the usual transaction reports and a few updates on the various side projects the company had going.
“Nothing like checking email and finding nothing there to keep the audience glued to the page.”
The fic is just waving the emptiness in our face now. I’m starting to think the author is doing it on purpose just to annoy anyone who would try to read this.
She finished them, and put the phone on the table, waiting for the inevitable call to arrive any second.
“Is it weird that she has such pinpoint powers of phone-call prediction.”
Nah, it’s probably one of those PCC plot-interface implants. You plop one of those in your character and they get updates on the plot several minutes before it happens!
“Unless the plot needs them to be in the dark about it.”
A few moments later, it buzzed, the vibration making a grating sound against the polished wood that almost made her cringe.
We do not tell Swenia about the thing vibrating against the wood.
She answered it without even checking the name.
This is a special alert! Your car warranty is about to expire!
“Ma’am, do you have a few moments to answer a short four-hour survey on whether you’re voting Sith or Jedi in the next election?”
Oh, it was Willow, not Buffy. So… why was she climbing the mountain again?
“Forget that, why was she fighting the vampire hand-to-hand instead of using magic to lob him off the mountain!?”
“Hey- it’s Boss. I’ve got something for you: We got visuals working on the bug in the palace. She is a mess.”
“My bets are on that being Anna.”
I suppose for balance I’ll guess it to be Elsa, even though I’m sure you’re right.
“Oh?” she replied, raising an eyebrow. “How interesting.”
“She is talking about something other than the fic, right?”
She’s gotta be, this fic is as dull as it is vague.
“She’s given up. Gone about two weeks without a word.”
Holy crap, I was right in spite of myself!
“Even when we try to be wrong about fics, we end up right.”
“Two?” she laughed. “Really?”
Yeah! Ha ha. How arbitrary and unimportant a time period! So funny!
“Yeah- and even better, no sign of her friends still- they ain’t coming back. Big mistake.”
Authors, if you think talking in vague terms about stuff you haven’t shown is riveting, expect that your fics will end up as interesting as mushroom documentaries.
“I think you’re underestimating how interesting mushrooms can be.”
Or overestimating how interesting vague fics are.
She grinned. “That, that is very good.”
*Shrug* I ‘unno. I think I’d have to have the first clue of what the hell is going on to have an idea of whether this is good or not.
“She is miserable. Easy money. And, I heard reports of a snowman down south. It’s a sign, I’m telling ya.”
“Oh, that is excellent,” she exclaimed, “absolutely excellent. Do you know where?”
“Oooooh! I get it. Willow is already evil.”
Aha! So I guess that means the author is just going to skip over the part where something happens to trigger the reemergence of Dark Willow.
“Of course, that would be interesting. And we can’t have that in a crossover fic.”
Right, silly me. Still, why is her evil empire based out of a national park?
“Well, it is an active volcano.”
Crunchy would be so proud.
“Not far from your old friends. Speaking of old friends, I think we might’ve found the turncoats.”
The hell is going on!?
“I think the vague levels are increasing.”
Much mistery. Sew sekret.
Her expression soured. Last month three vampires had gone rogue, going god-knew-where to wreak havoc, likely on her company.
Wow, a whole three. That’s like, five minutes of cleanup for somebody who knows what they’re doing.
She presumed Lucky Number Three was the one who attacked her last night.
“No wonder the poor dears ran away. Even Crunchy wouldn’t name his minions Lucky Number X.”
Grand Ruler would, though.
“Do find them for me, will you?” she replied, her voice dripping with sickly sweet honey
Is this Dark Willow or Vampire Willow?
“They kinda had the same approach.”
Naw, Vampire Willow was much more likely to use seduction. Dark Willow tended to cut to the chase faster.
“I hate it when my assets fall into the wrong hands. Fail-” she cut right to the chase, dropping all pretense of kindness- “and I will skin you. I cannot afford for them to be taken. Go, and get them for me. Are we clear?”
Oh, I guess she’s both.
“When you can’t decide on characterizations, may as well pick all of them, right?”
Boss’s voice was shaky when he replied, “Crystal.”
Whoever is naming these minions needs to find a new job; they aren’t very good at this one.
“Call me when you get them,” she replied, and promptly hung up.
Ruder than the death threat?
“In raptor culture, yes.”
She leaned back, processing everything over again. “Wow… two. This… will be interesting.”
Why is two weeks that interesting or important!?
“Two is the new blue.”
She opened up her contacts list and called security.
“That’s pretty inconvenient. I would think you would keep those on speed dial. Like this.” *Swipes on her phone*
*Marcus leans into the room and gives Taco the finger*
I really wish he wouldn’t have made it an app.
After three rings, someone picked up.
Well, that added a lot.
“Like, six words.”
Three rings, she thought. Guess the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet, but that’s a while.
“Okay, more like twenty words.”
“It’s me,” she said. “There’s been a slight change of plan.
“You need to do the thing before the other thing happens.”
That’s still more specific than anything we’ve gotten so far.
We’re going to be dialing up our threat level to Yellow, and instituting the incognito protocol for about two weeks.
Thrill as Willow uses meaningless terminology!
Alert the force.
*Crunchy struts in*
*Crunchy sulks back out*
Also…” She stood up, walking up to the window and staring out at the landscape before her. “Send a little message to Miss Summers…”
Willow probably forgot that there are two of them.
“And by Willow, you mean the author.”
Yup! Anyway at this point the scene breaks again, and that’s where we’re going to end it for the week. A little short, I know, but I’m coming into some real life busytimes so I need to keep posts a bit brief for a few weeks. Until next week, patrons!