1498: Heroes and Villains – Chapter Four, Part OnePosted: August 10, 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
Welcome back, patrons! We’re just going to skip right on past the normal recap this week because I’m pressed for time and nothing specific has really happened in the fic yet, anyway.
“Does anything specific happen this week?”
Sorta. Nothing happens, but it’s a specific nothing.
“Does that even count?”
It’s close enough for me.
Willow sat at the head of the big conference table in the CRoE once more, staring into space.
“Well, that was fast.”
Indeed. This chapter may be going nowhere, but you can’t complain about the pace.
“Sure we can!”
She had nothing she could be doing right now, and that meant that her thoughts were unfocused, so naturally all she could think about was her injured eye.
“Isn’t she the CEO? Surely she can find something to do.”
What’s she going to find? We don’t even know what the company does, if anything.
“Sure we know what the company does: It does evil. She should be eviling right now! Or at least laughing maniacally.”
She still couldn’t wrap her head around it.
“Her head is still wrapped around her other eye, that has to count for something, right!?”
How in God’s name did a single, two-bit vampire manage to hurt her so badly? She should’ve been able to fix herself up no problem, but she couldn’t.
It’s like it doesn’t make sense or something. Almost like it’s an event forced into the plot against all reason.
It was a really good thing Lucky Number Three was dust in the wind now- he could’ve actually killed her.
Stop calling him that, it’s insipid. Call him Steve or Henry or something.
She hoped that the Queen would still take her seriously.
“What relation is Queen to Boss?”
Well, the first boss of Queen was Norman Sheffield, so… Blue?
“You make my brain hurt sometimes.”
Nothing said undependable like a fresh wound.
A wound that, according to the dates we’ve gotten in the fic, is now three years old.
“She’s not letting this one go, is she?”
The phone buzzed on the table. She pulled it closer: No Caller ID. She answered anyway.
Your car warranty is about to expire! Press one now to speak to our warranty experts about an exciting extension plan that will keep you covered before it’s too late!
“Miss Rosenberg?” said a hoarse voice on the other end, “This is Elsa.”
Where the hell did Elsa get a phone!? She’s from the early nineteenth-century, how does she even know how to … use … Will you put that damn thing down!?
“Sorry, had to catch an Eevee that was hiding under the desk.”
Willow froze. It felt like a bolt of lightning had just struck her.
“Syl made me do it.”
“Hello there, my friend… So you looked it-”
“I’m in,” the girl replied, cutting her off. “I accept.”
“We’re no longer interested, Miss Rude Britches.”
A broad grin stretched across her face. Victory. “Perfect,” she replied. “That is perfect.”
*Eliza pokes the italics demon*
“I told you to behave.”
Why the hell did you bring it with you!?
“He looked so lonely in the isolation chamber.”
That’s the point!
“You’re right,” Elsa continued, “I do feel that there is something you can help me with:
“You see, I recently found myself separated from my sister… and I think it’s time that I… returned the favor. You say you can aid me?”
You’re going to return the favor of being separated? How the hell does that even work?
“Maybe she’s going to get further away?”
But Anna and Kristoff hopped a plane to… wherever three years ago!
“Well, it’s about time somebody developed space travel.”
Ohhh no, last time we had somebody with poorly defined powers of ICE go into space, we ended up with a sexist, egocentric, and sociopathic jackass.
“Absolutely,” Willow responded swiftly.
“I’m certain you’ll understand that I have a caveat,” she said aloofly.
Given the inconsistent formatting of the dialogue here, I have no idea who the hell just said that.
“Maybe it was GirlWoman!”
“You say I can have my own wing of your headquarters- I would like to design my own. No need for anybody to do anything, I can do it myself.”
Which, if Willow was as informed about Elsa as the fic indicated she was, shouldn’t be a surprise at all. Building ice palaces is basically Elsa’s Saturday night thing.
“Well hey, look at that!”
“And you can promise me my reparations?”
Author, stop trying to use that word interchangeably with vengeance. Those words mean very, very different things.
“I can get you exactly what you need,” she promised, her heart pounding. So close, so close…
Not one word to the Board of Licentious Activities about this.
“As long as I promise to uphold my end as well, of course.”
Oh god, so close! “Just help me out, and it’s yours.”
*The door shudders under the assault of a loud and vigorous pounding*
“I can sense some innuendo happening in there! Are you guys reading something vaguely and unintentionally dirty!?”
Go away, Swenia! And take your suggestive knock with you!
“Very well. Once again, I accept.”
YES. “Wonderful.” Yesyesyesyesyesyes. “I’ll send a car with some food- you must be absolutely starving.”
Wow, I think Willow finally got there.
“Got where? She hasn’t even left her chair.”
“That would be much appreciated, thank you.”
“Great. I’ll see you soon.”
As she hung up, she felt a rush of euphoria surge through her veins.
Wow, she has multiple even.
Cars. She has multiple cars.
“Lucky! I wish I could have multiple!”
She had done it. She had gotten the Snow Queen on board. Everything was falling into place, and at last the silver lining was appearing.
*Eliza pokes the italics demon again*
“Don’t think I haven’t noticed. You keep this up, and there will be no treat for you.”
“Yes, yes, yes!” she crowed, springing out of her chair, barely able to stop herself from literally jumping for joy.
Girl must go through a lot of pants in a day.
“Something’s going right for once! Oh, it’s Christmas!” She picked up the phone again, speed-dialing Boss.
*Shrugs* You got me, with as much as time jumps around in this fic, it very well could be.
The instant he picked up, she began talking. “Boss? It’s me. She’s on board. Get the east wing prepped for construction.”
“Or at least ready to have a lot of ice suddenly appear in it.”
“She is?” Boss replied, a bit flabbergasted by the sudden onslaught he’d just been treated to
Onslaught? He was told to prep a wing for construction. That’s hardly an onslaught.
“Given how much they usually do around here, maybe that’s asking way too much from him.”
“That’s terrific! Did she give specs or anything?”
Pretty much. You guys have been spying on her for years, you should at least suspect what she’ll do to her wing.
“I’m picturing a Mr. Freeze-style lair.”
“No, she wants to do it herself,” Willow replied.
“So, what do you want Boss to do, then?”
“This chapter is suddenly living up to your preview of it.”
“Okay, so just a basic once-over?”
“Yeah, clear the area, the usual.”
“If this is ‘the usual,’ does that mean Boss is in charge of sanitation and waste management?”
Sure, let’s go with that.
“I told ya, it was a sign,” Boss laughed. “One down, one to go, eh?”
“There are two Elsas!? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-”
Willow grinned evilly. “That’s right, Boss… One down… one to go.
*Living Stone bursts through the door, sees Eliza, and quickly leaves*
You would think by now he’d learn to check the schedule.
I’ll let you know when we’re ready.”
Ready for what? And what do you expect him to do when you give him the signal? Do nothing assertively?
She hung up, sweet, pure victory erasing all the frustration and anger from her system. She was ecstatic. She had gotten the Snow Queen!
Elsa is a magical queen who controls ice, not a Pokemon.
“Jynx is kinda-”
Come Friday, she would be unstoppable.
She would finally be ready to take over the world, and finally have the board set to prepare to snuff out her enemies- starting with Buffy Summers.
She laughed gleefully, reveling in the wonderful sensations of anticipation and triumph with all her heart.
Why are your plans impossible to execute without the power of ice? Do your plans completely revolve around low-cost refrigeration? Do they require Buffy to have low traction? What the hell is going on!?
Despite still feeling the adrenaline pumping, Buffy returned home absolutely exhausted. It was 2:30 in the morning. 2:30!
“Two. Thir. Ty.”
I remain unconvinced.
She should’ve been asleep hours ago- if she’d had a normal life that didn’t demand she stay up fighting vampires and demons and all that.
So basically status quo for Buffy. She ain’t normal, so deal, author.
Anyway, at this point Buffy announces she’s home, complains about her schedule, and then we learn Dawn is a slacker:
Dawn had left out the mail for her to look through on the tiled island in the center of the room, so she picked it up and begin shifting through it. “HSBC Bank- we want your money!” Junk. “Sign up for our obscure magazine you’ll never read!” Junk.
“Dawn, sweetie, maybe you could sort through the mail and help your sister out. I don’t give Swenia free babysitting because I like playing with children, you know.”
Yes you do.
“Okay, I don’t give Swenia free babysitting ONLY because I like playing with children.”
“And- what the heck?” Amongst the various other letters in the stack, there was one that looked like it was written on actual parchment, and it had a wax seal.
Fair enough, there are plenty of old-fashioned demons, wizards, vampires, and librarians in the Buffy universe. A letter like that wouldn’t be unheard of. Though they generally don’t go through the US mail.
She’d never seen the coat of arms stamped into the wax before: it looked like a weeping-willow tree, with a banner across the middle that read ‘SALIX’. She broke it open, and the parchment unfolded. She flipped it over apprehensively and began to read.
Subtle coat of arms is subtle.
“Hello there, Buffy- Long time, no see. I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d just let you know I’m sticking around, in case you want to meet up again- I’ve missed you. Merry Christmas. Your friend…” She got that all-too-familiar sinking sensation in her stomach, her eyes widening as she read the name. It was impossible. There was no way that she could have sent that letter. No way, no how. How? “Willow Rosenberg… Shit, shit, shit…” She went for her phone, calling up Xander. After a few rings, he picked up, his voice oddly calming despite what had just shown up. “Hello there?”
Hopefully the author will share with the audience why this is so impossible. The most recent few issues of the comic book published before this fic was written all have Willow in them helping Buffy out.
“The author probably didn’t read any of season ten. At the end of season nine, everyone thinks Willow is dead. And for good reason.”
Fair enough. It would actually explain the Dark Willow plotline, since some of the events in Season Eight allude to the reemergence of Dark Willow… a few hundred years in the future. This is a future that would have been erased with the events in Season Nine, though.
“Maybe that’s why the fic ends abruptly. The author actually got a hold of the season ten comics and realized how badly the events of the fic violate canon.”
Perhaps. I’m more inclined to believe that either the author lost interest in writing or the fics weren’t as popular as he had hoped they would be.
“Xander- it’s me-” she answered, “I just got a letter from Willow.”
“What?!” the boy exclaimed, “But I thought she was-“
“No one must ever know GirlWoman’s true identity.”
“That’s what I thought!” Buffy interrupted. “We need to figure out what’s going on.”
Yeah, if Willow isn’t GirlWoman, everything we thought we knew about this fic is wrong!
“No kidding, Buff,” Xander replied anxiously, “This is not normal.”
“Says the guy who ran a branch of the organization dedicated to training young girls with super-powers to fight vampires.”
“Dead people don’t send letters,” she agreed with dread.
No, but they do come back to life. Quite often, actually.
“For instance: Buffy has died three times by now.”
“Problem is, I’m busy tonight- got building plans to go over.”
“Yeah, I’ll call tomorrow and we can talk some more.”
“Let me know if anything else happens between now and then.”
Yeah, no need to act on this quickly. It’s probably fine.
She hung up, sinking into the couch in the living room, alarm bells still ringing in her head. “Dead people don’t send letters…”
And, again, people come back to life in this universe. It’s not common, but not unheard of.
“Though it could also be somebody just trying to mess with Buffy’s head.”
True, there are any number of enemies Buffy has made that would pretend to be a dead friend just to screw with her.
Two hours had passed since Elsa had made her phone call to Miss Rosenberg in Yosemite Village.
Whoa, now! When did Willow get to Yosemite Village!?
“I think the author meant that Elsa, while in Yosemite Village, called Willow.”
Her entire body had felt like it was zinging with electricity
Dammit all! I know one bird precursor who is going to spend an evening in the spanking machine.
with the excitement that she had been given a new purpose, a cause that she would gladly fight for: revenge.
Because that totally matches Elsa’s character. Not forced at all. Nope. No sir.
Despite what she’d heard from the books as a child, she was unconvinced that it wasn’t a good feeling- no, it was amazing.
What, being electrocuted? Takes all kinds I guess.
The stars in the sky had never been so clear and sharp, the smells of food that permeated the village never so mouth-watering and rich, and she could hear the crickets through the clamor of the crowded streets just as easily as the church bell tolling nine in the evening two blocks out.
Eliza! We need more things in that sentence!
“I’ll get the dump truck loaded up!”
And through it all, that selfsame burning in her heart was still there, still scorching through her chest, and somehow it was chilling her further- it was a cold fire, the fire of vengeance that raged in the deadliest of humans- the killers.
Author, your grammar hurts me. I know you’re trying to be pretentious here, but your awkward-as-shit grammar really hinders your efforts.
“At least we get to add another word to the list of words the author doesn’t know the meaning of!”
Yay and stuff.
It wasn’t at full strength at all, though, and only focused on one single person right now, but if Rosenberg pushed the Queen in just the right direction with just enough power, that small flame could become stronger than either of them could imagine- so the witch would need to tread carefully with the sorceress: one wrong move… could spell the end.
The fuck is up with your grammar all of a sudden, author!? And whose point of view is this supposed to be in!? For crap’s sake, pick one point of view per scene!
*Eliza lightly baps the italics demon, sending it flying*
“Bad Ike, we don’t do that in the fic!”
But that threat was far removed right now.
So, what, the worry here is that Elsa may explode someday? How and why is this a concern!? Elsa had to be pushed pretty damn hard to come even close to killing somebody in the movie, so you’ve got some ‘splaining to do, fic.
The Queen would need to go through much turmoil to be able to achieve such a level of hatred for the Earth-
How much would that be?
Like a lot or-
for now, all she felt for the world was an idle anger- anger for the fact their lives were so much happier than hers, when they had gone through so much less than she had.
“So much for letting it go.”
I’m guessing the song for this fic is ‘Let it Fester.’
“I’m beginning to suspect that the message of the movie was lost on the author.”
Maybe just a little.
It wasn’t enough to act on yet, only enough to sour her temper some: These people look so happy- it makes me sick. They don’t know what real hardship is, and yet their lives are filled with contentment and joy. I had to watch my sister freeze to death because of me and now I’m here, abandoned, and I get to watch people who have endured less be happier.
Can you check the cast list for me please?
“Let’s see here. ‘The part of Elsa this week is to be played by Bella Swan.'”
Ahh, well that explains it. Hmm, I wonder how old this author is.
*Thirty seconds of checking the profile later*
*Checks around some more*
Huh, apparently Igor has a youtube channel with some scores he wrote for the series. They aren’t bad, just a bit simple and rough. Honestly, he’s got more talent for music than writing, so he should consider refocusing his efforts. There’s also a really, really awful Minecraft let’s play video with a friend of his.
Huh, there’s also a TVTropes page. Which, in checking the history, was written by the guy who he did the let’s play with. Or possibly it was Igor and he just borrowed his buddy’s username so it didn’t look like he was doing his own Tropes page.
“Probably the second one.”
Yeah, I find that the more likely of the two. Although, if he did do it himself, he seems to have a sense of humor about the whole thing, so he might not be too terribly disappointed to find his stuff here in the Library.
Anyway, I think we’ve delayed the return to the fic long enough.
And for some reason, the thing that was bothering her the most right now wasn’t the people.
“Was it the prose?”
It’s definitely the thing bothering me the most right now.
No, against all villainous reason, the thing that was drawing her ire was the aesthetics of this world.
The fuck is ‘villainous reason?’
“Villains, especially those of the McEvil variety, tend to pick their reasons for villainy rather arbitrarily. The world being ugly is definitely on the list of acceptable villain motivations.”
Nothing like Arendelle.
*Snort* Arendelle is pretty and all, but I can think of a lot of places that look nicer.
It was so much harsher, and bright, and seemed to have devolved from the exquisite architecture she’d read so much about in her homeland to cookie-cutter towers that were devoid of any detailing- just concrete foundation, iron structure, and glass. All they seemed to be was metal, stone, and glass.
Yup, words still mean things.
“I’ll add it to the list.”
Wait. Hold up there. She’s comparing modern architecture with architecture she’s only READ about!? Wow, okay, yeah, that’s illogical even for a villain.
“How much exposure to modern architecture can she have? She’s only been in her mountain retreat and Yosemite Village. How many towers are there in Yosemite Village, anyway?”
Oh, you know … lots.
“I question her sample size.”
Look, if the damn thing made sense, we wouldn’t be here ragging on it.
Yosemite had managed to avoid most of the plague, but the road she was walking down now was simply disgusting. None of the textured cobblestone or wood she remembered having in Arendelle, but something that resembled pitch, with painted lines dictating the midline and side boundaries. And though she was enjoying the heightened senses her excitement gave her, there was always a drawback: the cars… the smell of the smoke made her positively gag, making her eyes water and sting something fierce. At least the worst they burned at home was oil and wood- these cars were nearly unbearable!
Lady, you’re from early nineteenth-century Europe. Your sewer was a trough at the side of the road that dumped into the bay. Don’t whine at us about a little car exhaust.
“Not to mention she was from a coastal town.”
“The docks are very close to the castle. The stench that would have wafted up through town to the castle would have been tremendous.”
As she drew further away from the village, she became aware again of the hollow feeling in her stomach- she needed to eat soon, otherwise she wouldn’t be able to get out of the valley on her own power.
You’re the Ice Queen who just recently embraced evil and revenge. Maybe you should have stolen a sandwich or something while you were in town.
“Or at least put on some kind of magic show for a few tourist dollars.”
Yeah, Vegas acts have got nothing on a woman who can do basically anything with her ice magic.
Her resolve to soldier on began to waver- perhaps she should return to the village and- no, she couldn’t buy something, she had no money, at least not any they’d take. The thought to search for scraps came to mind, but she tried to force it out, her nose wrinkling at the notion- she was royalty, if only by blood, and she was not about to scrounge through the streets for trash like a rat.
“It strikes me that if you dropped some jewelry at somebody working a register, they’d probably call it even and buy your food for you. Even magical jewelry made from ice.”
I still think stealing is the best deal here.
But her hunger was more important than her dignity, and soon enough she would have to turn back. She went a little further, still fighting, then- with an exasperated and dread-filled groan- turned around, crossing to the other side of the road.
Wait, how did she live in her ice castle for three years without any food?
A few hundred yards later, a car rolled past her- bigger than the ones she’d seen before, nearly one-and-a-half times longer, jet black, and not a speck of dirt on it anywhere. It suddenly slowed down, and she actually was about to pass it when it sped up imperceptibly, matching her pace.
Go ahead and add ‘imperceptibly’ to the list.
The window next to her rolled down, revealing one of the two men who had approached her at the castle.
“Can I help you?” she asked dryly.
“Yes,” the man replied, “We’re here to bring you to our headquarters. Get in the door at the back. There’s food and water in there.”
And then later we’ll take you walkies.
“Thank you,” she replied a little stiffly, but in reality she felt incredibly relieved. She forgotten that Miss Rosenberg had said she would send down a car with food- thank God for that.
“That was only two-hours ago. Anna is supposed to be the scatter-brained one!”
I’m just trying to figure out why she’s thanking God for her forgetfulness.
Despite the whole necessity-over-pride argument she’d had, she’d really not wanted to have to stoop so low to survive. She opened the door, ducking inside to find a small buffet table laid out in the center of the room.
Sweet crap, how big IS that car!?
“One-and-a-half times normal.”
The top was very recessed, thankfully, so the likelihood of anything tumbling onto the floor was slim. Miss Rosenberg had thought of everything: there was juicy meat, fresh-caught fish, and a diverse selection of fruits and vegetables.
For that matter, how much does Willow think Elsa is going to be able to eat? She’s been in an ice palace for three years eating snow cones; a ham sandwich and a glass of milk would probably keep her for the rest of the week.
“Well, wasting food is pretty evil.”
On the other side was a seat that stretched the length of the interior, helpfully adorned with seat-belts and cup-holders, and in a cooler to the side: water. Ice-cold, condensation-slick water bottles.
“IKE! No! Bad demon!”
Hey, you were the one who let him out.
Elsa could barely- well, she could remember exactly when she’d last drank something, but it felt like it had been decades.
Dude, it’s Yosemite, not the Sahara. There’s a lot of water there if you’re looking for a drink. Heck, you were in the village. Just go to the bathroom and drink out of the sink.
She hesitated a moment, then grabbed a water bottle out from the ice and sat down close to the partition. The car silently turned around and began its return journey.
(And yes, this was the aforementioned custom Tesla acquired in 2011, though extensive research conducted by the narrator has exposed the writer for the terrible research skills he has, as Tesla Motors was selling as early as 2007. [Congratulations, idiot.] But still, very impressive.)
Hey, riffing this thing is OUR job!
“It still doesn’t make any sense. Tesla has never sold a limousine.”
True. All their sales prior to 2013 were customized Lotus Elise.
“This is a weird situation where both the author and the narrator failed their research.”
Hey, at least somebody tried to do research. That’s one thing that’s been refreshing about this fic, you can actually tell that the author did some research.
“Sometimes. That car just made a three-hundred and fifty mile drive in two hours.”
Well, speeding is evil.
After a few moments, Elsa asked, “How long will it take us to get there?”
“About five and a half hours, give or take a few minutes,” the driver responded.
He failed and succeeded the same research! You just said it had only been two hours since she called Willow! Proofread, man, proofread!
Elsa nodded her acceptance, twisting the cap of the bottle open (It was one of those bottles that, in their attempt to use less plastic, reduced the cap size, which made it that much harder to grip when your hand is slippery from the condensation).
“Why is that important?”
The author needed to gripe about water bottles, I guess.
“Okay… I’ve had worse.”
A fair assessment. In the nineteenth century it would have taken several days to get anywhere more than a few miles away.
“Don’t worry,” the other one responded, “It won’t take too long.”
“Only five-and-a-half hours, to be precise.”
It’s like these two keep forgetting what’s happening in the conversation.
Elsa managed to twist open the cap, and despite her desire to finish the entire twenty fluid ounces in one shot, took a small, controlled sip- but oh god, it was hard.
The bottled water is hard!? Man, this evil organization thought of everything!
“Not only that, but it appears that the bottle was hard to open, too. Elsa only barely got it open.”
Dude, these guys don’t mess around when it comes to acts of inconsequential villainy.
After weeks upon weeks of nothing, that water tasted like the forbidden fruit- which nobody really knows the taste of, but one would assume it tasted freaking amazing, given that it was forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.
“Is this one of those drunken narrators? Again?”
Starting to look that way. He’s weaving around like it’s dollar Yagerbomb night.
It took everything she had to stop and breathe.
That must have been one hell of a sip if it left her breathless.
Somehow, she kept her composure.
“As much as possible when taking the full-body mega-sip, anyway.”
We may need to leave her alone with that water bottle for a bit at this rate.
“So what will I be doing when I get there?” she asked, her parched mouth already crying for more now that it had gotten a small taste of the deliciously cold liquid.
For crap’s sake, author, stop talking about the water! Just write Elsa having her water orgasm and move on; stop lingering on it!
“You’ll be escorted to Miss Rosenberg’s conference room,” the man on the right replied, “and you’ll talk about what you’ll be doing in your position, and discuss plans for the upcoming deal.”
“So she will be in charge of doing thing for company while Willow prepares for deal.”
“What’s this deal?” Elsa inquired, slowly bringing the bottle back up to her lips. Hopefully I can get in a decent amount before I have to talk again…
“We’re negotiating with a group called the E.L.E.” the driver answered, “We’re attempting to hire one of their workers, but the board leader wants compensation, naturally. So, we’re working to get them the things they require so we can initiate the transfer quickly.”
“An organization so evil that they go through the proper HR channels.”
Truly evil of a caliber that even Crunchy could appreciate. They probably even asked for a letter of reference.
Six and a half seconds, Elsa sighed inwardly, finishing off the last sip. “What will this transfer be doing with us?”
“He’ll be a co-president as well,” the man replied, “Miss Rosenberg admires his ambition.”
“So there’ll be three company leaders?” Elsa questioned.
“Yes: Miss Rosenberg, you, and the transfer.”
“Okay then…” she allowed. Has this transfer got a name? she wondered.
Author, it’s called a fucking board of directors. Once you have more than one or two people in charge, using co-president gets stupid very fast.
“And also-” the other man said, interrupting her third indulgence of the water, “when you meet with Miss Rosenberg, try not to stare. She’s sustained a bad injury to her face, and she’s very sensitive about it at the moment.”
I thought she was wearing an at-all-times eye patch? Wouldn’t that cover most of the stare-bait?
“Maybe the doctors screwed up and actually gave her a periodic eye patch.”
Well that gave her pause. “How did she get it?” she asked uneasily.
“Vampire attack,” he answered, “She was very weak when she got it, but she’s better now.”
“Vampires?” she exclaimed.
“You can create sentient snowmen at will, dear.”
“She’ll fill you in on the more intricate details of the job when you talk.” he answered-not-answered, “Don’t worry, you won’t deal with them often.”
And now characters are being vague to each other. The vagueness is just gratuitous, now.
“Okay…” she acquiesced, though still not placated, “That’s good, I guess.”
Take one giant step away from the thesaurus, author. Don’t make me activate the bad-touch alarm.
“Don’t worry,” the driver soothed, “You’ll be perfectly safe with our company.”
I hope so, Elsa thought, I hope so.
“The kinder, gentler side of evil.”
Are we sure this isn’t Crunchy’s company?
“Unlikely, I didn’t see the complimentary baked-goods buffet listed in the benefits. And he provides penny-farthings as the company vehicles, not Teslas.”
Right, silly me.
And with that, we hit the mid-point of the chapter and the end-point of this riff! See, you can tell this riff is ending because the words stop.
“They do? Where?”
Just down there.
“Hey, you’re right!”