1505: Heroes and Villains – Chapter Four, Part TwoPosted: August 17, 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
Hey folks! Welcome back to Heroes and Villains, where the characters are screwed up and the canon doesn’t matter! With me again is Eliza, who will furnish us with a recap.
“Last time something almost happened! Elsa was walking along the highway feeling hungry and then gets picked up by some random goons driving a portable buffet.”
You forgot the part where Willow climaxed during the phone call.
“Silly, we’re still in the rising action!”
So many innuendos…
Anyway, we might as well jump right in with Jimmy!
It was fast approaching midnight as James Marlowe walked through the cemetery on his way home.
“You probably want to pick a better route home in Sunnydale.”
Shhh, the plot is trying to happen!
He had donned his black trenchcoat- it was starting to get cold at night again- and he was content.
Dude, trench coats are so nineties. Get yourself a duster!
“You just want him to get torn apart by Scourge Beasts.”
It was early in the school year, and already he had his lesson plans for the rest of the week laid out, so he could go home with nothing to do for a day or so.
Uh, bro, this is college. Your lesson plans should have been laid out for the year before the class even started.
He looked around, noticing the thin fog he was walking through. “Isn’t this just the sort of thing that happens in the books,” he smiled ruefully, “an old man walks through a fog-filled cemetery at night all alone- ha! They never give him credit- he has courage to be in there at all, given how close he already is to death!” He chuckled, pulling out his fob watch.
“Is it normal for the elderly to taunt the cemetery?”
Maybe? I’ve never been that old, so it could be something they do but don’t talk about.
“11:30 already? Well, that’s intriguing… Guess the place is empty now…”
“Is James actively trying to be vampire food?”
Yeah, I think so. This is the author attempting a super-subtle build-up to Jimmy being a watcher or some other warrior against supernatural evil. We should be getting our vampire attack any moment-
As if on cue, a vampire’s head poked out from a tree behind the professor’s back.
“Whoa! The fic knew you were cuing it!”
I promise not to use my powers for good.
He smelled warm blood.
Which doesn’t make any sense as Jimmy isn’t bleeding.
As the man continued to saunter through the headstones, the vamp quietly stalked through the wet grass, quiet as a snake.
“I like it like this,” Marlowe continued, oblivious to the danger mere feet behind him, “Quiet, peaceful- very good for reflecting on life…” He laughed again.
You might say it’s dead quiet here.
“Silent as the grave.”
“Look at me- I’m talking to myself… But then again…” He sat down on a headstone, looking up at the star-filled sky. Waxing gibbous. “Talking to one’s self is good for the soul…” The vampire was right behind him, trying not to breathe in the delicious scent of Marlowe’s blood as it prepared to bite. “And plus-“
I wouldn’t worry. I’m sure Marlow is about to anticlimactically resolve this whole scene.
Suddenly, Marlowe grabbed the vampire’s neck without even turning, and with a loud grunt, flipped it over his head, and it landed on it’s back in the grass with a muted whump.
Whoa there, did Marlow just hurl a full-sized vampire with one hand!?
“He’s probably a demon. They’re often rather strong.”
Can’t say I saw that coming. Certainly he’s not a watcher, then; they don’t let demons into their club.
“Except for slayers.”
Well, yeah, except for the slayers.
Marlowe quickly pinned him down, getting directly on top of it and pulling out his stake. “It makes them so surprised when you stake them,” he finished, grinning.
Ohh. Ahh. So surprising that Marlow, the only character the author has bothered describing, and who is extremely similar to Giles, turns out to be not what he seems. I’m sure there are some heavily inebriated mollusks who might not have been able to see that plot twist coming.
Anywho, we get a line break and switch over to:
The wait was over. At the god-awful hour of two-thirty in the morning, the Tesla pulled up to the main entrance of the headquarters.
“Two-thirty is ‘god-awful’?”
Depends on who you are, I guess. As somebody who’s had insomnia since they were eight, I’m intimately familiar with the witching hours. Anything before like 3 or 4 am is still what I would consider normal time. But if you’re one of those jerks who can fall asleep as soon as you hit the pillow, anytime after your normal bedtime might feel horribly late.
Willow smiled, her heart pounding with anticipation as the door slowly opened and Elsa stepped out.
Change of pants on standby.
“I’ve got the laundry team prepped and ready!”
The woman’s smile slipped- Elsa looked like hell. Nothing like what she remembered seeing, Elsa was barely standing, she was so thin.
“Ike! No! Down! Bad demon!”
Somebody get Elsa a plate of poutine and a ButterBurger, stat!
Damn, I just made myself hungry.
She couldn’t even walk unaided!
Then how the fuck was she walking down the highway, then!?
“Maybe she was crawling?”
Sure, we’ll go with that.
What. The fuck. IS THAT!?
“Our drunk narrator is also Jewish?”
Or at least a fan of Mel Brooks.
On the bright side, though, she had an empty water bottle in her hand, so at least she’d had a drink.
“Or found some trash on the way in.”
Or Willows minions were taunting Elsa by giving her an empty bottle. They are supposed to be evil after all.
She slowly scaled the elaborate staircase, meeting Willow at the top.
Seems pretty spry for somebody who isn’t able to walk unaided.
“She can’t walk unaided, it said nothing about climbing. That’s way she scaled the staircase instead of walking up it.”
“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Elsa,” Willow greeted her warmly.
“And the same goes for me, Miss Rosenberg,” Elsa replied, a weak smile appearing.
Elsa thinks it’s a pleasure to meet herself?
“You must first learn to greet yourself before you can greet another.”
Uck. “Please, call me Willow. No point in addressing me as “Miss” when we’re on equal footing here.”
“Are they? The prose wasn’t very precise on whether Elsa made it all the way to to the top landing or is on a few steps down.”
Either way, making the woman who is on the verge of collapse climb up the stairs to reach you rather than coming down to meet her certainly sends a very clear message as to who actually has all the power.
“Willow,” Elsa corrected herself, taking a look around the mountaintop and at the building with wide eyes. “This is, um…”
Where they hell are they that there’s an elegant staircase, mountaintop viewing access, a building, and road access?
*Eliza pulls out a sheet of blank paper*
“I think they’re somewhere in the Mountains. Probably near the summit of Mount Anypeak.”
“Different?” Willow grinned crookedly.
“Yeah,” Elsa nodded, “That sums it up pretty well… It reminds me of Arendelle.”
You know, if Arendelle was a single modern building located in a landlocked mountain range instead of coastal village with a 13th century castle next to it.
“She might just be trying to be polite.”
Willow turned around and examined the architecture.
*Eliza and Taco both look at the blank page*
Yes, very different.
“I like the way the architect did the thing that accentuates the aesthetic properties of the materials used.”
“I will admit I was going for an effect of… grandeur when I built the place- and as you can see-” she pointed to both sides, where two squares of concrete lay bare, one painted ice-blue, the other scarlet, “I’m also looking to add on a couple of wings.”
So, if we compile all the description of this building we have, we’re looking at a total description of: A building that has a blue concrete square, a red concrete square, and an elaborate staircase.
“It’s like we’re actually there!”
Elsa got it. “I’m guessing one for me, one for the transfer”?
“Precisely, yes,” Willow nodded.
You should probably go ahead and actually build Dr. Horrible’s wing. He sorta lacks the magical ice powers that Elsa has, so he’ll probably need you to hire a contractor.
“I’m also assuming mine will be in that blue area?” Elsa hazarded, pointing at the square.
Because subtle organization is subtle.
“Red never quite struck me as your best color,” Willow agreed, shaking her head a little at the idea.
“When Elsa got really stressed, her ice did go kinda red. Since she’s evil now, a palette swap might be a good idea.”
(Now, she said best color. I think we can all agree Elsa would look very good in red.)
*Pours the narrator another drink and slides it into the fic.* How about you keep your unsolicited opinions to yourself and just tell us the story, kay?
“I agree,” Elsa responded, her gaze still fixed on the plot.
“Elsa just find some plot! Oh I hope she shares with the audience!”
“So, shall we go inside and discuss what we’ll be doing?” Willow said.
Only if we’re going to talk in terms more specific than we’ve been getting so far.
“Sure,” Elsa nodded, tearing her eyes away.
Willow opened the doors, letting Elsa go through first, and closed the doors. For a few seconds they walked in silence.
“You live here, often?”
Only since the economy started doing its thing. Before then I was somewhere else. You?
“Just started. Seems nice, rent is good, but the landlady is pretty creepy.”
“I- have a question for you,” Elsa began hesitantly, “if you don’t mind my asking.”
“Ask away,” Willow replied breezily.
These two are getting shipped, aren’t they?
Dammit, if you’re gonna squee, do it in the hall.
“I was told a vampire was what hurt you?” Elsa asked, backing away a little.
“Dear, you can still make sentient snow golems at will.”
Willow’s stride faltered. In hindsight, she supposed that question would’ve been obvious, but still- touchy. “Yeah- got a-” she mimed a claw going through her eye stiffly, “got a lucky shot.”
“Hey! You should as Elsa to magic up you a new eye!”
Can she do that?
“Probably. She made Anna a floral dress using her ice magic; the eye is made mostly of water so should be easier than dress making.”
“Do you normally- you know- deal with vampires?” the girl continued.
“Not normally, no,” Willow admitted, relaxing a little. “I used to, but that was years ago. Nowadays I try to stay away from them if I can, and, as you can tell, I’m a bit out of practice.”
Because blasting something with a fireball only works on vampires so she’d have no reason to keep in practice with doing that.
“If this facility has a road to it served by a fancy Tesla limo, what was she doing climbing up the mountain by herself?”
She wouldn’t have been able to make it to the vampire attack on time if she’d have taken the road.
Elsa allowed a nervous chuckle. “So, who is the transfer?” she asked, anxious to change the subject to something safer.
“He works for one of my business partners in a different organization. He doesn’t know me, but his boss does.” Willow answered.
“What’s he do?”
“He’s a supervillain, like us.” Willow replied matter-of-factly.
For crap’s sake, author, I WAS KIDDING!
Elsa’s shoulders relaxed a little. “Okay- at least there’s a definite name for this job aside from “co-president”,” she laughed.
Supervillain is NOT a fucking vocation!
“So what does Crunchy do around here, then?”
Actually, mostly he’s a contractor these days. I don’t think he was making enough money on just evil alone, not that he’d say anything if it wasn’t paying the bills.
Willow grinned. “I don’t know why I never explicitly call it that in the documents- it would probably would have been easier to understand that way.”
Oh yeah, because that’s certainly something that needs to be documented. Clears a lot of things up.
“Like whether you’re signing up to be a supervillain or not.”
Elsa laughed again, more confidently than last time. “What’s the organization he works for?”
“It’s called the E.L.E.,” Willow answered, “They’re very good at their job.
“You know, I watched the series, and I’m still not clear on what exactly the League does.”
They do evil.
“You know, suddenly I realize that Dr. Horrible actually will fit in with this organization.”
For instance, our transfer shut down the NSA’s servers for a full day yesterday. Total chaos.”
In that he he did what most government IT groups do and didn’t even get paid for it.
“Is government IT really that bad?”
They’re just overzealous with the whole security thing; it’s the systemic paranoia in action. They very often push security patches and network changes to their infrastructure that break things. NSA servers being down for the day just means that somebody patched an SQL database without bothering to do a test-run first to make sure they could still access the data afterwards. Rarely a week goes by that you don’t hear about IT breaking something with security improvements.
Elsa suddenly looked very lost. “NSA? Servers?”
“And suddenly the author remembers that Elsa shouldn’t know how anything works in the modern era.”
Willow mentally facepalmed.
Authors! Stop having people facepalm in your fucking fics! It’s a visual comedy meme, not a valid literary device!
She doesn’t know about modern tech, fool.
“Ike! I will get the spray bottle!”
“National Security Agency,” she elaborated apologetically, “Servers hold information in non-tangible form- you can’t touch it, but you can use a computer or phone to access it.”
Well, that certainly clears things up.
“Oh,” Elsa replied, obviously still a bit flummoxed.
I’ll give the author some credit here. At least he realized that Willows explanation wouldn’t help explain anything.
Doesn’t make it a good exchange, but at least there’s some awareness that explaining modern technology to somebody over a hundred years out-of-date would be problematic.
“Yeah- we’ll get you up to speed on technology and the like soon,” Willow promised.
Something that didn’t manage to hinder Elsa using a phone earlier.
They entered the CRoE, where the moon provided enough lighting she didn’t have to turn on a light.
Which is helpful if they don’t have to read or look at anything with fine detail.
“So- let’s talk about what you’ll be doing.”
I’m really, really hoping we’re going to get some actual elaboration beyond ‘We do evil.’
They sat down at the table. “Basically, you’ll be doing supervillain stuff- fighting “the good guys”, getting revenge, the usual deal.
Fuck it, I’m done. *Taco gets up and leaves*
“Taco? Taco? The fic isn’t done yet. Taco!? I wonder why Carlos didn’t go off.”
Our overall goal is world domination, but that’ll take quite some time.”
“Um, the fic is still going, Taco! Are you coming back?”
“I see,” Elsa deadpanned, tempted to raise an eyebrow.
“Generally, you’ll play to your strengths,” Willow continued,
“We have plenty of generalities already, thank you. Can we home in on something specific, please?”
“For instance, if there is someone fighting us who has a weakness towards ice and snow, I’d send you to finish him off, but if he was weaker towards psychological trauma, I’d likely deal with him myself- I find that one of my strengths is getting into people’s heads.”
“That is indeed what ‘playing your strengths’ means. Thank you for providing us with the obvious, it really does help. Really.”
Elsa grew a bit timid in her chair.
“But was assertive on the table!”
*Porno music blasts over the intercom system*
“While what you propose is quite enticing,” she began apologetically, “I must tell you that I’m still not entirely comfortable using my powers. I can… lose control sometimes.”
“While partially true, in that when sick or under stress she has control problems, since the “Letting it go” incident, she’s been far more willing to experiment with her powers. By the time the short rolled around, she was using them pretty readily to do even mundane things.”
Willow smiled. “And that is why you have me,” she replied, pointing to herself, “I can get into people heads.
*Living Stone shuffles into the room*
Where tiny robot?
“He left! Here, you can use his seat.”
Living stone not sure-
“You can use his seat!”
*Living Stone sits down in Taco’s chair, which creaks loudly in protest*
What I do in there is up to me. If you want, I could help to calm you down if you feel you need it. I could also just talk you down, maybe help you out when we’re not busy. It’s up to you, of course,” she reminded her, “but I’m willing to do anything.”
*Porno music intensifies*
“We have some weird elevator music in here these days.”
Elsa smiled a tiny bit. “That would bring me a little peace of mind.”
“Good,” Willow smiled, “I want my people to feel safe here.
“And nothing makes an employee feel safer than a boss who can invade their brain at will!”
We all take care of each other, and you are no exception.” She shifted a little in her seat, resuming her spiel. “Given that we’re really just a few villains working towards a common goal, it’s totally fine to do your own thing while the grand scheme is on hold, but when we need you, you have to leave your other stuff to get back to- and that grand scheme will likely help you out with your personal plans.
Why not call it that?
“I think the author wanted a less specific term for it.”
We’ll meet here every week to discuss our next move, if there is one at the moment, and we’ll also try to help each other out with our various projects when we’re not busy; I’ve learned from experience, when you’re sitting around doing nothing, you’re going to start losing it.
She must do lot of nothing.
“Given how unmotivated she is at actually dominating the world, and how many scenes she spends just sitting at a table, I think you’re onto something. She is extremely well versed in doing nothing.”
Best to have something to keep your hands working. Keeps the voices in your head from getting too loud.”
Manager said same to Living Stone in orientation.
“And that wasn’t a warning sign to you?”
Job market not good for construct.
They both laughed. Unfortunately, they knew all too well what those voices were like.
“Confusing and vague.”
Willow stood up, and Elsa did the same. “I’ve had your building area blocked off, so you can go nuts,” she grinned.
She just say not go nuts. Now she want go nuts?
“Different kind of nuts in this case.”
Brazil? Living Stone like Brazil nuts. Crack loud when stomped!
“You can open Brazil nuts!? Oh I think you may be my new favorite magically-animated metamorphic construct!”
“Thank you, Willow,” Elsa smiled. “I think you’re right- you are the person I need right now.”
*Porno music further intensifies*
Living Stone becoming uncomfortable.
“I can get you a cushion if you like.”
YES. “Glad to hear it.” She extended her hand out to the girl. “I’m looking forward to working with you.”
Elsa took her hand and the two shook on it. “Same here.”
The Queen exited the room, leaving Willow on her own. She regarded the door Elsa had left through with a frown. “Close… so close… What’s missing? Something’s missing, what is it?” She needed to go back to that dark room again. Drat.
“Probably Dr. Horrible. Strange that Willow would have already forgotten that her third player isn’t in the game yet.”
By the time she opened the door, the figure in the chair already knew what she wanted. It could taste her question in the air around her.
“I wonder what questions taste like.”
Tart and hint of berry.
“That’s the pie.”
*Living Stone fidgets slightly*
“Do you want me to get you a pie?”
*Eliza pulls a currant pie out of the pie drawer and hands it to Living Stone*
“That drawer is the best box of commas we ever spent.”
“She wants to believe she can…” it rasped, “But her heart is too pure to agree.
What she mean?
“Elsa wants to do the thing, but secretly doesn’t.”
Ah. That not make sense.
“See, you’re catching on already!”
She says she wants revenge, which she does to an extent, but she believes there might be a chance that her sister could forgive her. You need to crush it, and then get to work on the horse.
“Badhorse. Apparently he needs repairs or something.”
Your window is closing and you know it.
“You got me. All I know about this place is the two concrete squares and the Croe’s nest.”
He won’t wait much longer for his supplies.”
“Hey, get off her case. She has to spend at least three or four days a week sitting in the conference room thinking. If she doesn’t do that, it won’t get done!”
“I’m working on it!” she snarled.
Four days think. Two days weekend. She spend whole other day on horse!
“See, a full eight hours a week! It’ll be done before you know it!”
Year at most.
She’d finally gotten around to reading that file a few hours ago, and while she could do it, she was glad she’d given herself until Friday.
What she doing?
Elsa doing thing.
“Oh, Willow must be doing the stuff, then.”
“…You say she still believes that her sister can give her her happy ending?”
*Porno music reaches deafening levels*
“Syl must be in there with her.”
“She always will…” the figure sighed, “But you need to turn that idea into a dream- she needs to dismiss it, enticing as it sounds… Convince her there’s no alternative, as cruelly as you can, and she’s yours.”
So she always believe forever. Except when she not believe.
“Seems reasonable enough.”
Willow tried not to sigh with exasperation. Enough with the tip-toeing already… “And how would I do that?” she asked.
*Ike hides behind Living Stone’s leg*
“Don’t think you can hide behind him! My glitter cannon can shoot around corners!”
“I would assume you’d know, given the doctor’s reasons,” the thing replied mockingly.
“You got me on this one. I have no idea what she’s trying to say. You would think Willow would use her ability to get into people’s heads to figure this one out, since she kept mentioning it and all.”
Living Stone just smash it.
“There are some problems that doesn’t solve.”
Always solve problem. Not always in way wanted.
“Get into her head, dearie, and break. Her. Heart.”
Still think smash better.
“Fine,” Willow snapped, “I will.”
And with that she left, slamming the door as hard as she could.
“You smash through walls to enter rooms.”
Smashing very loud knock.
sigh* Poor Elsa… She has no idea what’s about to come… and neither do you! Woohoo!
“I have a feeling, neither do you.”
Living Stone doesn’t.
I thought I’d go ahead and post this chapter early ’cause I love you guys. (And plus, I’d already gotten it half-done yesterday, so…) Enjoy it.
“Yay! He adhered to his arbitrary schedule!”
Next one should be up around the first weekend of August, but it might be a bit later, so don’t get too worried, ‘kay? Hope you enjoyed.
Arbitrary schedule well named.
“Isn’t it? Anyway, thanks for sitting in for the last little bit, Rocky. Since you helped out, I’ll let you off the hook this week!”
*Eliza pulls out her confetti cannon and cocks it*
“Mostly because I need to track down an errant librarian. You finish up here.”
*She hurries out of the room*
Oh. Living Stone not know what to do.
Living Stone eat pie!
*And he does*