1581: Heroes and Villains – Chapter EightPosted: November 2, 2016
Title: Heroes and Villains
Author: Horrible’s Igor
Media: Television / Movies
Topic: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer / Kitchen Sink
URL: Heroes and Villains (Now Defunct)
Critiqued by TacoMagic and Eliza
*Crunchy and Eliza drag Taco into the riffing chamber and tie him to the reviewing chair*
I suppose the both of you are very pleased with yourselves for cooking up that ‘noodle gambit.’
*Crunchy snorts and stalks out*
“You weren’t going to come out on your own, so we improvised.”
Still, I’m impressed you actually convinced Crunchy to help. Usually he sees himself as above such things.
Swenia browbeat him, didn’t she?
“She used the mom voice and everything.”
Welcome back, patrons. Sorry to say that I’m back and we’ve got a lot more Heroes and Villains waiting for us. Before we jump in, let’s hit the cliffnotes of what’s going on.
Willow Rosenberg has gone back to being Dark Willow and is trying to gather an elite crew of Super Villains in order to *mumble*. First on her list of recruits is Elsa, who had a falling out with Anna and Kristoff due to Elsa questioning Anna’s ability to be a leader. Since this is a mortal sin of the first order between siblings, Anna promptly cuts ties and goes off to do her own thing in Canada. Stricken with grief over this parting, Elsa decides that the Dark Side is really the only answer, and shacks up with Willow, possibly literally but we haven’t gotten that far yet. Meanwhile, Olaf gets stuck between the feuding sisters and, after third-wheeling it for a while, strikes off on his own to try to talk some sense back into Elsa. In his wanderings he runs into Buffy and
Jimmy-the-Hand James Marlowe, who are still reeling from the information that Willow is back, and evil.
After some pointless roundtabling, they all decide to go looking for Elsa. Stuff, and things, happen which results in Buffy and Jim sitting in a dungeon cell under the watchful eyes of Elsa and Willow. Meanwhile, Olaf wanders around the secret volcano lair and talks to everyone he stumbles across, which results in him tipping off Willow that he’s there. Willow drags Elsa away from the thrill that is watching the prisoners, and has her give Olaf the brush-off. At the end of the chapter, it’s revealed that Bad Horse is going to betray the agreement to transfer Dr. Horrible to Elsa’s company.
That pretty much covers everything. 25,000 words easily summarized in two short paragraphs.
So, without further preamble, let’s sink our teeth into chapter eight!
“Do you understand? I don’t hate her… I hate what she’s become …”
“We do understand. But, who’s talking?”
One of the most necessary abilities any planner needs is the ability to improvise in the event things go off-track.
Um, no. Those are opposing concepts, author. A planner needs to learn how to plan for any situation. Improvisation is the ability to act without a plan whatsoever so is not a necessary skill for developing solid plans.
It is imperative so they can maintain control of the situation, to ensure that the entire scheme doesn’t come shattering down.
“Which is also different from improvising. Should I add it to the list of words the author doesn’t understand?”
Might as well.
In essence, a planner has to be able to work around entropy.
True, but again, that’s not the same as improvising. The word you wanted is ‘contingency.’
Right now, Willow did not feel like the odds were in her favor.
“All evidence to the contrary. She has her rival locked safely in the dungeon, she’s recruited one out of the two people she was scouting, and she still has plenty of time to sit around doing nothing.”
Well, this Willow does enjoy a good mope, so maybe she just likes to paint things in the worst possible light.
All was quiet on the home front, but alarms were sounding loudly in her mind, blending into one futile scream of panic and anger. How? How could this have gone so horribly wrong?
“I’d bet it has something to do with the laziness.”
Half an hour ago, things were right on track, not a detail out of place. Now it was all holding together by a thread, and soon it would all crumble. This was, to be honest, not good.
Billy is taking Sally to the prom and not me!
“THE END OF DAYS!”
Seriously, one single cog in your machine of villainy has a wobble and and you’re ready to sell the farm.
“You aren’t very good at metaphors, are you?”
She was in the CRoE again with Elsa, minutes after another phone call. Thankfully, she’d gotten her second chance from Bad Horse, but it was so time-constrained it felt like a fool’s errand.
Second chance? Wasn’t Bad Horse being true to his name and backstabbing her?
“I think Igor forgot what the plot was and is just winging it now.”
What do you mean, ‘now’?
Unfortunately, she knew exactly why he’d given her so little to work with: he knew she would win otherwise.
Honestly, I don’t know why he’s bothering. Bad Horse always struck me as a steed who would take his victory when he has it rather than messing around with shenanigans like this.
Friday afternoon, no problem for her. He would have to give up his most promising member to the woman who would just as likely backstab him as help him.
“You aren’t making much of a case for him to play fair. So you should’t pout when he doesn’t.”
Understandable, she supposed, but for god’s sake, she wasn’t going to do anything to the guy! Bad Horse’s hamartia was his paranoia, and it was going to kill him one day for no reason.
I’m getting very mixed signals here. I’m betting Igor doesn’t actually know whether he plans to have Willow betray Bad Horse, or if she’ll honor her side of the deal. Seems like he’s trying to set up for either possibility.
“So he’s creating a contingency plan?”
Also, *GONG* don’t think I didn’t notice you fondling the thesaurus there, buddy. I don’t care if you used it correctly, ‘hamartia’ has no place in prose. Especially not prose as conversational as yours tends to be.
Willow didn’t care about him. As long as he didn’t directly sabotage something, he had no reason to be so afraid!
“Aside from her being the person most likely to betray him.”
Yeah, other than that, no reason at all.
She sighed, hands pressed to her temples as she tried to find a way to still win. “It’s approximately 11:30 on Monday night…” she mused, “so that leaves me a little over 36 hours to get everything done.”
“I don’t see the problem. You have thirty-six hours to do the thing and you have a woman at your disposal who can do basically anything with her ice magic.”
Now if they had to do stuff, then they’d be in trouble. You don’t have anystuff powers.
“You- you talked to him again?” asked Elsa, sounding a little nervous.
“Yeah-” Willow nodded, “managed to talk him down, but he’s giving us until Wednesday noon, and that’s gonna make this almost too hard.”
Almost too hard, but not actually. Should be fine.
“He wants an access-all-areas card to the Pentagon,” Willow began, “basically the defense center of the country- three million dollars cash, and 20 kilograms of wonderflonium.”
“Try under Crunchy’s bed. You’d be surprised what he shoves under there.”
“Wonderflonium?” Elsa repeated, eyebrows drawn together in pure confusion.
Yeah, it was the purposefully ridiculous name of the super-material from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Funny how it doesn’t jive at all with the more serious tone of Buffy, eh?
“It’s a new-ish element,” Willow ‘explained’. “No idea what it does, personally, but it’s supposedly volatile.”
Now Elsa’s frown became of the suspicious variety. “And you’re trusting them with it?”
Uh, no. You’re all villains, it isn’t about trust, it’s about putting together the most effective and well-timed backstab so that your opponents can’t use their new toys on you.
“It’s a deal for a reason,” Willow sighed. “I have to provide something.”
“Do you know why they want it?” Elsa pressed.
“No- but it’ll probably end in something blowing up,” Willow replied unconcernedly.
“Do they have any sort of reason to?” Elsa asked.
Elsa, you’re not getting this whole ‘we’re villains because reasons’ thing. Of course the Evil League has reasons. They’re good ones, too!
“‘We’re villains’ springs to mind.”
See, reason enough!
“I dunno, but they do seem to be very nonchalant about it,” Willow admitted. “I would say they do it for fun.”
“Ew, we preemptively agreed with Willow.”
I call dibs on first shower.
Elsa’s eyes widened with shock, eyebrows arching high. “For fun?”
Which is much worse than your reasons.
Something about reparations for the bad things they’ve done.
“So doing more bad things makes it better?”
“Just an educated guess,” Willow said.
I’m not entirely sure anyone in this fic would be capable of making that kind of guess.
“I can get doing something like that for some sort of statement or as vengeance-” Elsa began, “but for fun?!”
“Because those other two are so much better.”
Elsa isn’t so good at the whole moral high-ground thing.
“Some people are a different flavor of evil than others,” Willow shrugged.
“They sound unstable, Willow!” Elsa exclaimed.
“Is this going to turn into an after-school special about falling in with bad kids? I love those!”
“Hey, they’ve got someone I want,” Willow reminded her firmly, “and I can’t have him without giving them something back. Besides, they’re not totally off the deep end. They’re not gonna just let the world burn. They want it to stick around.”
We know this because of the thing.
“They told us that they want the world to stick around, and, as we’ve seen, we can trust their word!”
“I still feel uneasy about it,” Elsa replied, shaking her head slightly.
“I know how you feel,” Willow sighed.
If dealing with evil people makes you squeamish, maybe becoming super villains is not the best life choice.
“…So do you think we can do it?” Elsa asked.
“I think we can-” Willow allowed, “but it’ll be hard to say the least.”
“Well- what’s the biggest problem?” Elsa asked.
“The wonderflonium,” Willow answered. “Ever since something in ’08, the stuff has gotten really hard to come by legally.”
“But rather easy to come by illegally. Which is why Bad Horse didn’t just buy some himself; he needs a fall guy.”
Why the distinction?” Elsa inquired, eyebrows knit together.
“The award for most empty fic goes to… Eighth Spirit!”
So close, Igor, so close.
“I don’t want to draw attention to this facility’s… moral standing…” Willow replied carefully
“I have a feeling Willow may not know what a villain does, exactly.”
“so I try to do everything by the book if I can. However, some things must be done that cross the line no matter how you do it.”
Um… wha? I mean, I know what you were trying to say, but you didn’t really come close to actually saying it.
“Could we steal it?” Elsa tried.
“It would be tough,” Willow sighed. “It would be easier, of course, if I had time.”
So, buying it is prohibitively tough, and stealing it is prohibitively tough, which leaves what? Excreting it?
“Is there anything we can do to speed it up?” Elsa hedged.
Add ‘hedged’ to the list.
“Already on it.”
Willow thought a moment. “Well… there is one thing. I could set the facility to DEFCON 1. State of emergency. Everyone who can work on this would be sent to do so from every angle. Full-on charging in.”
First off, you’re supposed to be the boss. If making all your employees concentrate on a project requires you declaring a state of emergency, you really, really suck as a leader.
Second, DEFCON stands for “DEFense readiness CONdition.” Which doesn’t apply in this situation because YOU AREN’T FUCKING DEFENDING ANYTHING!
Finally, DEFCON 1 is the level that means “Nuclear War Imminent” which, if that’s the case, Bad Horse probably doesn’t actually need the Wonderflonium.
Stop using words you don’t understand!
“Should we do that?” Elsa asked, uncertain.
“Not unless you’re ready for a nuclear war with Russia.”
Willow tried to think of any other options, but in the end she had nothing else. “Seems it’s the last resort,” she admitted, calling security.
Because there is a wedge of cheese where her brain should be.
Ring… ring… *click*
Herr, I think you’re being paged.
“Security- it’s me. Due to a little disagreement regarding the deal, we need to go DEFCON 1 now. Get everyone you can on this. Thank you.”
*Eliza straps on an M1 helmet* “Get the President in here with his keycard! We need to ready the nukes!”
As she hung up, she felt a particularly sharp spike of pain in her forehead, reminding her that to top it all off the worst migraine she’d ever had was back again.
I really hope this migraine plot-point actually goes somewhere. Honestly, it’s one of the few setups the author has going that’s decent. The migraine is mentioned fairly often, but it’s being played off as stress related. It’s a plot twist waiting to happen.
“Do you need to lie down?” Elsa asked suddenly.
Willow looked at her in confusion. “Did I say that out loud?” she asked.
“Yeah…” Elsa admitted uncomfortably.
“She said what out loud?”
*Shrug* Nothing in the previous few sentence look like the could have been thought by Willow. I guess this is just another case of something happening which is none of our business.
“No, no…” Willow shook her head, “I just need more time… It’ll go away when we’re done, but it would be so much easier to do this if we just had time…”
Never before has an author realized the dramatic potential that scheduling discussions can bring to a fic! Thrill as they attend planning meetings!
“Stare in awe as they assign overtime!”
Gasp in astonishment as they hire temp workers to help meet their deadline!
“We can find a way,” Elsa reassured her tentatively. “We can find a way to get enough time…”
Just a suggestion: use the magical ice powers that let you do basically anything you want.
“But that would ruin the tension and short-circuit the plot!”
“Right. Not much plot to skip past, either, I suppose.”
Anyway, then we get a line break followed by:
“With my Freeze Ray… I will stop-“
“So we join Dr. Horrible mid-song?”
I guess? Wait, there’s another line break.
“Ahh, this would be the song lyrics spliced into fic like you were warning the comments section about.”
Yup. At least it’s another two or three chapters before he starts adding in the poetry.
It’s interesting to think about just how much can happen in six years, yet how much stays the same.
Yeah, the way that we now have smart phones and tablet computers, yet the standard Paas Easter egg coloring kit is essentially the same as it was back in 1880.
Six years and eight weeks ago, Doctor Horrible had been almost a fantasy to him- a character he’d played to express his anger and diabolical ideas.
All the evil things he went out and did was of course not part of that fantasy.
Though he wanted it very much, he’d been slow to realize his dream could come true.
“Is this the part where we sing!?”
No, I don-
” ♪ A Dream is a wish your heart- ♪”
When Captain Hammer had come into the picture he’d painted of his relationship with Penny, though, it had clicked for him just exactly how he could kill two birds with one stone, and funnily enough, it was to kill!
Which worked out so well for him.
Better yet, it had worked! He’d gotten into the E.L.E. without a hitch that day!
“I’m pretty sure Igor watched a different version of “Dr. Horribles Sing-Along Blog” than everyone else did.”
Either that or he completely missed the point of the ending.
“That could never happen!”
I suppose the other possibility is that our drunk narrator is lying to us again.
He finally served alongside the legends he’d grown up hearing about in his teens: Dead Bowie, Professor Normal, Fake Thomas Jefferson- and of course, Bad Horse, the Thoroughbred of Sin, whose terrible death whinny struck fear into the hearts of his foes. It was everything he’d ever- everything he’d ever…
The fic’s starting to skip.
“I got it!”
But one thing would always remain the same: his blog. The blog would never die.
We’ve tried everything! Shooting it, stabbing, beheading, poison, mulching, threw its ring into the volcano, nothing works!
“We must seal away the blog using the power of the twelve gods! We can never destroy it, but it can be contained. For a time, at least.”
He pressed Record, his face brightening up as the clock started ticking. 00:01… 00:02…
Oof. Using a ticking clock while you’re trying to do voice work is a good way for your audio to sound like ass.
Day two-thousand-two-hundred-forty-five since City Hall…” he began, as per usual.
He always says that exact same thing?
“No wonder nothing changes! He’s got a bad case of Groundhog Day!”
Counting the days was important to him. It was a great way to track just how long he’d been a real supervillain, something every good baddie should know.
I’m sure it has nothing to do with the other life-altering thing that happened there.
“We are approaching the 2250th day since my victory, which is the 1000th day in base 15- a milestone for Doctor Horrible,” he grinned, arching his eyebrows.
I see the quality of the Vlog has dwindled a bit.
“I can’t wait until he starts the trigonometry lesson.”
“It’s strange to think- a little over 6 years ago, I achieved something amazing: I defeated my nemesis. Captain Hammer, as we know, is no more- helpless against my might.”
Eight. Eight years. It’s even still on the screen. *points*
He tried to think of a way to continue down that line, but nothing came to mind. He searched for a relevant topic.
“Is it Dr. Horrible or the author that the prose is talking about?”
“…You may have also heard on the national news recently of my famously successful attack last week of the NSA- we’ll see how well they can document our every move with their servers down.
Probably relatively unhindered. Killing the servers would prevent centralized data sharing and storage, but point-of-collection would be largely unaffected. And since you’ve already dallied a week, many of their servers have likely been restored already. Even faster if they have geographically isolated redundancy.
Soon my friends, the E.L.E. will become too powerful to be defeated,” he raised his fist in the air triumphantly, “and we shall rule the United States of America once and for all!”
“So, you take down some servers at the NSA and declare victory? Is it really that easy? I kinda feel like if it was, Crunchy would have already done it.”
It’s silly anyway, the NSA is a foreign intelligence agency, so wouldn’t really be tracking Dr. Horrible’s movements anyway unless they suspected he was working for a foreign interest. The FBI would be the ones tracking him since they’re in charge of domestic intelligence work.
“Ruin the servers of the wrong agency, declare victory!”
Not to mention there are several other intelligence agencies beyond the NSA. You take a single one of them down, and the others would fill the gap.
He was silent a moment, suddenly painfully aware of how hammy he’d just sounded.
“Hammy is right up Dr. Horrible’s alley, I don’t know why he’d suddenly be worried about it.”
“I suppose…” he began, dropping his fist, “…e-mails, then!” He picked up the small stack of emails he’d printed that morning, shuffling through them.
Hey, look at that, accurate characterization! True it’s basically a rehash of a scene stolen from the beginning of the series, but I’ll take it at this point.
“We have one from D1vergent, reading: ‘Doctor- You’ve become very successful in your villain career- I used to watch your blog way back in ’06 when you were just starting out and I applaud your determination.’ – Thank you, D1vergent-
“Ew, reading gushy emails from fans. You need to set up better filtering rules, Dr. Horrible.”
“Now that you’re 6 years in, what’s your next big maneuver? Do you think you might look for a promotion of some sort?'”
What, promoted above being a member of the league?
“Just think, he could be the next Bad Horse!”
He thought about it for a moment, then answered, “I haven’t given the idea much thought- I’ve found that where I am, I can enact the majority of what I desire- but there is a good idea there.”
“See, he’s gonna be Bad Horse!”
I’m not buying it. Dr. Horrible’s goal was to rule the world, unless that’s already happened, he would always be plotting his next move.
He flipped through the stack again. “Another from WolfranBeta: ‘Out of curiosity, do you still have your Freeze Ray 1.0? How is the 3.0 coming along?’ Yes, I do-” he lifted the Freeze Ray from its stand, proudly posing with it, “right here.”
I’m hoping this ventures near a point sometime in the near future.
“Yeah, Dr. Horrible is rambling a bit here.”
I was talking about the whole fic.
His face fell slightly as he looked at it, faint flashes of memory trying to come to the surface, but he couldn’t quite remember them anymore- all he knew was that they made him more depressed than anything he’d ever experienced before.
Will you look at that, it WAS our narrator being an untrustworthy drunk. Good to know that Igor didn’t drop the ball on understanding the material. Still dropped the ball on writing a compelling and consistent narrative, but hey, I’ll take a silver lining when I can get it.
“It hasn’t- seen any action since ’08…” he continued, his voice quieter, “I thought I would keep it, like, uh, mint condition, as a sort of… tribute to- to my first- breakthrough…” Why had that been so hard for him to say?
“Probably all the ellipses. Fic authors absolutely adore them, but it makes it hard to talk when you have ellipses sprinkled into your dialogue by the handful.”
It was true. Best moment of his life. Did it have to do with those flashes? It might explain why it felt so hazy despite its importance.
“Wasn’t Dr. Horrible fully aware of what happened at the time?”
Yeah. My guess is that Bad Horse mind-wiped the guy so he’d be more productive.
“3.0 is coming along well,” he restarted, changing the subject. “I still need some supplies, though, but the E.L.E. Is hard at work with that. Once I have everything, the Freeze Ray 3.0 will be ready for testing, so- fingers crossed.”
We get it, you can copy the basic premise of the scene from the show. Can we get to something actually pertinent to the plot?
He looked through the pile again. “And one from- whoa- one from Thoreau0sin: ‘They’re on their way.’ Uh oh…”
“GirlWoman and Mr. GuyMan!”
Suddenly, three cowboys popped up behind his chair.
Author, I’m telling you now. Don’t go where I think this is going. You haven’t displayed enough talent to go where this is headed.
“Bad Horse, Bad Horse!
Bad Horse, Bad Horse!
“Oh. Oh my.”
He has been watching your blog
And likes what you’re doing there
He’s got breaking news for you
He’d like to share!
*Facepalm* *Headdesk* *BodyFloor*
Igor, I’m going to ask this as nicely as I can: WHAT THE LIVING FUCK WERE YOU THINKING!?
“Whoa there, I will break out the glitter cannon if you can’t keep it under control.”
Fine, but not without first saying this: Igor, songs have meter. You may want to look that up, because your meter is fucking atrocious here. Not to mention you’re missing the secondary rhymes.
So please listen a moment,
Just sit tight right up there!
And buckle up, listen close
Because this news is worse than most-
“Well, that was a bit closer to what the meter should be.”
Good. Now somebody just needs to create a meter version of Autotune to turn that ‘sorta close’ into ‘barely good enough.’
“Bad Horse, Bad Horse!
Bad Horse, he’s bad!
He had made a new agreement
To get the stuff we need
But the price he was given
Is quite high indeed!
“Maybe he forgot to read this out loud or something.”
Stop giving him the benefit of the doubt. He’s composed music on his Youtube channel, he should know better than to put out schlop like this. Hell, Crunchy’s lyrical rip-offs are better than this.
“Oh c’mon. His Holding out for a Raptor was downright inspired!”
It was a song about eating the audience!
“It was the BEST song about eating the audience.”
If we get it all by Wednesday
Then you will have to leave…
We’ll go to town, slow ’em down,
‘It’s hi-ho silver!’ Signed, Bad Horse!”
Well look at that, you can almost make that fit meter if you smoosh some of the words together. Shame that you dropped the rhyming scheme entirely to make it nearly fit. Not that you were anywhere close to the rhyming scheme to begin with.
And they were gone.
“…W-… I-… Tha-… Wow…” he eventually decided.
I’m with you. That was really, really bad. Luckily, I had a month to prepare for this moment, so I’m not reeling as much as Dr. Horrible is here.
“…So, to answer your question, D1vergent… Yes… Other opportunities have presented themselves.”
“That doesn’t answer the original question.”
Doesn’t matter, keep going!
“But the question was-”
Too late, there’s a line break, we’re already done with the chapter and into the author’s note!
I’d have gone with something a little stronger than that, personally.
Sorry to start off with such a short chapter, but to be honest, I literally just finished this minutes before posting it.
“And it really shows!”
Yeah, this chapter was way more pointless, half-assed, and poorly planned than the first seven, and that’s saying a lot.
I’m missing the deadline of Friday by about 10 minutes! Rrgh.
“Here’s your obligatory reminder that you don’t have a set schedule.”
Next chapter will be longer, I swear.
No, no, that’s quite all right. We enjoy the short chapters. In fact, do you think you can make them shorter?
Interesting blog, though, no?
Good way to start the new episode!
Stay tuned for more…
Sadly, there is more. A lot more. We haven’t even hit the halfway point yet.
“Which means you’re stuck with me for a while. And stuck in that chair until you prove you won’t run away again.”
I see. Until next week, patrons!