1600: Heroes and Villains – Chapter Ten, Part OnePosted: November 23, 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
“Hi, Everyone! Look who’s back!”
“You’re just grumpy because the Darkwraiths forgot to take the soup out of the cans before loading the soup cannon.”
At this point, I don’t expect anything else from them. No, I’m grumpy because this week the fic is really stupid, and is almost entirely dialogue. Plus the author does something really inane to start out our chapter, which you’ll see when we get there.
“Isn’t it normally mostly dialogue?”
Yes, and this week Igor has done away with most of that small portion of narrative the rest of the fic has. And then, toward the end of the chapter, Dr. Horrible has a long, rambling monologue that makes me want to remove my brain and step on it.
“You make it sound so good!”
“More talking. Elsa and the prisoners shared some awkwardness before Willow bust in and sent Elsa off to renegotiate the terms of the agreement with Bad Horse. Elsa promptly forgets what she’s supposed to be doing, and instead goes and talks to Dr. Horrible. They share a ‘moment’ and then Elsa takes off without anything getting resolved.”
Sounds like I missed a lot.
A Study in Blue
Oh goody. I’m very convinced that this chapter will live up to the Doyle reference.
Let’s you and I try something new.
“Me and the narrator?”
10th Chapter Special.
Author, please stop before-
Every time you see a reference to Frozen, the Sing-Along Blog, or BtVS, have a chocolate or sweet of your choice.
Every time you see a reference to Portal, have two.
And if you see any other references, give one to the mysterious hooded figures in the dog park. Then have another for yourself.
Igor! It’s absolutely bad enough that you’re making all these inane references, but now you’re just embracing the suck! For crap’s sake, don’t draw attention to the fact that you’re doing this kind of schlop; this is supposed to be a work of fiction, not a meme-parade. I mean, you’re fic is already a joke enough without turning it into the chocolate version of a drinking game!
And, I hate to break it to you, but this isn’t a fucking TV show. I know, I know, this is supposedly a novelization of the screenplay for a TV show that you never actually wrote. But that’s the key word, novelization. Novels don’t have chapter specials!
*Eliza hides her bag of chocolate*
“Well, you know, Twix. I figured if-”
Break them out. Might be the only good that comes from this chapter.
4:22 P.M. Tuesday, September 9th.
That’s the most specific thing that’s happened in the fic. Yet, even so, that gives us little in the way of useful setting.
Willow couldn’t decide if things were slogging by or blazing past.
“Slogging. No question.”
Is there something slower and more ponderous than a slog?
Not ponderous enough.
On the one hand, it was Tuesday afternoon.
*Living Stone bursts through the wall*
Ike tell Living Stone about coffee.
*Taco sighs heavily and hands over a twenty*
“You’ll never be able to close that door again.”
I know, I should never have given them money.
“I meant the door to the riffing chamber. Stone just knocked the frame out of square; it’s never going to close without a contractor fixing it first.”
On the other, it was Tuesday afternoon.
*ALARM BLARES AGAIN*
For crap’s sake!
*DRD agents line up at the hole in the wall with hands outstretched.*
You know what, hold on, guys, I’ll be right with you. Can I borrow you’re phone, Eliza?
“Sure, what for?”
I need to call a contractor.
*Taco dials the phone*
Crunchy? Yeah, I need you to take care of a problem for me, there’s a twenty in it for you. … Yeah, Force lightning is fine. … Hold on, let me look.
*Taco eye’s up the DRD agents*
I’d say about sixty or so. Sure, I can wait seven seconds.
*Seven seconds, electricity, and a lot of screaming later*
Here you go, my last twenty.
“Lina better still have some dark roast left.”
She wasn’t sure whether to be happy or worried.
“So she settled on being woppy.”
With this dilemma facing her, yet another sat before her on the table: an empty tumbler and a bottle of scotch.
What some call a dilemma, others call opportunity.
“Or you call breakfast.”
Hey, the scotch isn’t going to drink itself!
To drink or not to drink, that was the question.
*Taco snags a Twix, dunks it in his scotch, and pops it in his mouth*
“What about the creepy guy at the park?”
Syl is probably busy stealing everyone’s coffee.
“She doesn’t even drink coffee.”
She’ll steal it on principle.
Would it be a good calming of the nerves, or a horrendous lapse in focus? Would she feel better or worse when it was all said and done?
Dude, you haven’t even had a drink yet. Maybe limit yourself to one? Is the idea of setting limits on your drinking really that foreign?
The door opened with a slight creak. Boss came in, holding his manila folder in his hand. He carried that thing everywhere. Was there something actually in it, or was it empty? She could never tell.
Can’t blame the guy, carrying office supplies around with you gives you a professional look.
“I prefer a clipboard.”
Clipboard is a harder look to pull off. If you’re not careful, everyone will think you’re trying to make them take a survey.
Boss stole a glance at the scotch. “That bad, huh?”
“You have no idea, Boss,” Willow sighed, “no idea.”
Ugh, don’t tell me she’s got a bottle of Vat 69, that stuff is really bad.
“Sorry to hear things aren’t goin’ too hot with the League,” Boss said sympathetically. “What’s the issue with them?”
Wait, didn’t Willow take the base up to a high emergency level? I thought everyone was supposed to be in on this.
“Maybe Igor forgot about that. He probably got distracted by all the tenth chapter festivities.”
“Bad Horse doesn’t want to lose Doctor Horrible,” Willow replied dully. “He’s afraid I’ll try to attack them or something- like I’d need to.”
Well, sounds like you might need to if the deal falls through.
“Wait, if Bad Horse was afraid of an attack, why is he going back on the deal? Seems like that’s the best way to get yourself attacked.”
Look, if the fic made sense, we wouldn’t be here.
‘Do we have a Plan B in case?” Boss asked.
Taking bets on if it involves attacking Bad Horse.
“I’m thinking the best thing we could do is just go up to him and try to calm him down,” Willow responded, “reassure him that I’m not gonna take over the League or anything like that-
“I’m not sure Willow really understands how to villain.”
No, she really doesn’t. Even so, if you’re trying to do business with Bad Horse, why wouldn’t you include your assurance that you don’t plan to back-stab him as part of plan A?
but it’s Plan B for a reason: it probably wouldn’t work.
Fucking hell! Plan B is the contingency plan NOT because it would be less effective, but usually because it has bigger draw-backs than Plan A. Plan B needs to have a good chance of succeeding, often a better chance of succeeding than your initial plan, because it’s there to cover the possibility that Plan A doesn’t work! It’s the ‘if push comes to shove and we need to succeed at all costs’ plan!
And that’s why there’s the scotch,” she finished, gesturing towards the bottle.
“Well, with how poorly her Plan B is thought out, I can understand the desire to drink.”
Boss was silent.
“…Oh, what the hell,” Willow finally huffed, grabbing the bottle and popping open the top. “You want some?”
*Taco covers his glass*
Dude, keep your bottom-shelf stuff to yourself.
“No,” Boss shook his head. “I’m trying to stay abstinent.”
“That was a much more polite way of rejecting her terrible spirits. Just saying.”
“Good on you,” Willow replied, and took a long sip of the scotch. “Well- things could be worse… I could have no scotch.”
*Taco raises his glass*
“Do I need to leave you alone with the fic?”
Don’t you dare.
“That’s always true,” Boss smiled.
Says the man who doesn’t drink.
“And it’ll help me calm my nerves,” she continued. “Can’t afford to stress too much. You never know when you might need that stress.”
Wha? You- you do know that’s not how stress works, right?
“I keep my stress in a box under my bed. Never know when I might need it.”
That’s not how stress works!
“Sounds like somebody left their stress box open.”
Anyway, we get a scene break and head back over to Jim and Co.
“I wish I had a bigger rock,” Buffy complained quietly as she turned a rock in her hand. “A marble… a bouncy ball… something.”
There are some things that can’t be solved with Pokemon.
“But being bored in a dungeon is one of the things that can!”
… Okay, fair point.
“This is getting incredibly dull,” Marlowe huffed
Actually, it’s been dull for quite a while at this point. The time to complain was nine chapters ago.
turning to the guard of their cell, who was wearing a mask.
Get the fuck out of this fic, 23! Nobody wants you!
To prevent them from identifying them?
“That is gorgeous pronoun abuse!”
A finer specimen you are unlikely to see.
“Could we at least have something to pass the time?”
“Can’t do that,” the guard shook their head unapologetically. “Boss’ orders.”
As it should be. You’re captives of a villain. A proper villain wouldn’t give two shits about how entertained you are in their dungeon.
“That’s not true at all!”
You’re right. A proper villain would have killed them at the first opportunity.
“Seriously?” Buffy asked. “C’mon, what’s wrong with giving us a little something to entertain ourselves. She’s gonna let us go anyway- what’s the harm in keeping us occupied?”
You know what, go ahead and add ‘villain’ to the list of words that Igor doesn’t understand. Nobody in the fic really understands the concept, and I think it may actually come down to the author’s vocabulary issues.
“This isn’t a vacation,” the guard sneered. “You don’t get that sort of stuff when you’re a prisoner.”
Thank you! Finally somebody who gets it!
“Why isn’t he in charge?”
Probably couldn’t do nothing for long stretches of time. Competence tends to interfere with that.
“But- but-” Buffy protested.
“Tell you what,” Marlowe piped up, cutting Buffy off. “You get us something- a book, say- and we’ll agree with her to stay out of this for another week after we leave.”
“Jimmy doesn’t understand bargaining either. You actually have to have something to offer when you want to cut a deal.”
“You’re funny,” the guard chuckled. “Not happening.”
Why is the fic not about this guy!?
“Two weeks,” Marlowe pressed.
“No,” the guard refused.
Jim, you really don’t understand how this works. Promising not to interfere after she lets you go is pointless, because if she doesn’t want you to interfere, she’ll just keep you in there!
“Or bump you off.”
We both know that the fic doesn’t have the cajones to harm anyone in it. If anyone DOES get hurt, it’ll be off-page and happen to some nameless drop-in who appears just to be the damage sponge.
“One month,” Marlowe tried.
The guard began to waver. “I highly doubt she’d agree.”
And she shouldn’t! Marlowe has no leverage here! He can name all the time he wants and it’s meaningless. And not only because there’s no incentive for him to keep his word.
“You’re just upset because this is going to work.”
Yes, I am.
“Two months,” Marlowe offered.
The guard was silent a moment. “Okay- I’ll call her, see what she says- and her word is final.”
Buffy and Marlowe sat silently while the guard called her.
Fucking hell. That’s Stufluence for you.
“And that guard was such a good character before he succumbed.”
He’d have been better off had Buffy knocked down the cell door with her super strength and bashed him over the head with it.
“We can still hope that happens to him.”
We’re pulling for you, man!
Willow’s phone rang suddenly.
“Do phones ever not ring suddenly?”
“Like, have you ever had a phone that rang gradually?”
Huh, apparently yes, newer phones have ringtones that get gradually louder.
“Oh!” *Eliza starts fiddling with her phone*
She looked at it, to see it was Johnny calling. Wasn’t he on guard duty? She picked up. “Johnny?”
“Poor guy now has a generic name.”
Bummer, that gives the Stufluence something to latch onto.
“Hey Chief,” Johnny replied. “Our friends here have a proposal for you.”
“Oh really?” Willow responded, intrigued.
It’s really stupid, so brace yourself.
“In fact, make sure you’re sitting and have your headdesking pillow in place.”
“Yeah- they’re negotiating for a book to read in exchange for two months of neutrality once they’re out.”
“Really?” she laughed.
She took that rather well.
“Unless her brain just broke.”
Would we notice?
“Yeah, I’m serious. They’re crazy, I’m tellin’ ya.”
“Two months…” she mused. “…Sure, why not?”
“Yeah, I am,” she nodded.
I knew it was going to happen, and I’m still angry about it.
Make it a double.
“Certain? I mean- you’re not usually this… open to suggestion, especially from prisoners.”
She’s got a bad case of stupid today.
“What are they gonna do, learn a spell and blast their way out like in Frozen?” Willow laughed. “Oh god, that’s even funnier now…”
LOOK! It’s a totally not forced reference! See! We can eat chocolate now!
“The bag is empty.”
We, uh, might have been sneaking them between commentary.
“You sure you’re okay?” Johnny asked as politely as he could.
“I’m fine, Johnny,” she said firmly. “Go ahead, give them their book.”
“Okay, then,” Johnny sighed, hanging up.”
“And please stop narrating yourself, Johnny.”
You’re not my mom!
She put down the phone, pouring herself another glass. “Science isn’t about why, it’s about why not,” she muttered to herself.
Look! Another totally not forced reference! It totally fits the scene because they asked for a book, and books sometimes have science in them! IT’S SO FUCKING CLEVER AND SUBTLE!!
“Am I going to have to get the glitter cannon out?”
I’ll be good.
“‘Why is so much of our science dangerous? Why don’t you marry safe science if you love it so much!'” She laughed.
Oh c’mon! That’s even more of a stetch! Just because you can forcibly make a reference, doesn’t mean you fucking should! Gods! What a fucking worthless pile of fucking horse-
It’s in my eyes!
I can’t see the fic, the burning sensation makes me so happy!
“Okay, one more glass, and that’s it.”
*Taco sips from his glass*
You should start using flavored confetti.
“I’ll put it on Bifocal’s list.”
*A Darkwraith walks in with a confetti cannon that has “Pineapple” written on the side*
“Jeez, took her long enough.”
A knock came at the door. “What’s up?” Willow called out.
“Hi,” Elsa answered, opening the door quietly. “How are you?”
“Been better, been worse,” Willow shrugged. “How’d it go in L.A.?”
“So, about that. I sorta forgot who I was supposed to talk to. It was Dr. Horrible, right? Right!?”
“About as well as we could expect, really,” Elsa sighed, sitting down next to Willow.
Especially when talking to the wrong person.
“Is that scotch?”
“How would she know what that is?”
It’s unlikely, but Scotch was around during her time period, and it was traded outside of Scotland. It’s a passing possibility that maybe her parents were a fan of it.
“Want some?” Willow asked. “Wait, don’t answer that.” She thought hard for a moment. “You’re 21, right?”
You’re supposed to be evil! Why would you care if she’s of legal drinking age!?
“She’s also European and from the eighteenth century. She’s probably been drinking wine for years at this point even if she was younger.”
“J-just turned 22 in July,” Elsa replied, caught off-guard.
“Really?” Willow raised an eyebrow. “When’s your birthday?”
“The 21st,” Elsa responded with a small smile.
Authors, before you write something, you need to ask yourself two important questions. Why am I adding this, and why does it matter to the story?
“Well, happy belated birthday,” Willow raised her glass in a toast. “So do you want some? You don’t have to if you don’t want any.”
Don’t do it, Elsa! Nothing is worth a mouthful of Loch Dhu!
Elsa thought about it a moment. “Just one,” she eventually decided. “There’s glasses in the cabinet, right?”
“You are correct,” Willow nodded.
Elsa grabbed a tumbler from the small cabinet against the wall, sitting back down and pouring herself a glass. When she took a sip, Willow saw her gag slightly, but the woman managed to swallow it.
“It’s rather strong,” Elsa said, her voice a little hoarse.
That’s pretty standard for your first couple of whiskeys, especially if you’re drinking the low-shelf stuff. Weird that of all the things for Igor to get right, it was that.
“And you enjoy that stuff?”
No, but it gets my sheets in the wind faster than wine.
“Was that your first alcoholic beverage?” Willow asked curiously.
“No- I had some wine at my coronation,” Elsa replied, “but that wasn’t quite as concentrated as this.”
And we go right back to not getting things right. In a European analogue, most people will have drunk their weight in wine by the time they’re twelve.
“Was it red wine?”
“Yes,” Elsa chuckled softly, “though I’m sure the irony would’ve been much greater if it was white wine that I accidentally froze when I ran away.”
How is freezing wine… you know what, just add ‘irony’ to the list.
“What is the freezing point of wine?” Willow wondered aloud.
“Around -6° Celsius, but it’s slushy for a while before freezing fully,” Elsa answered automatically.
Remember those two questions you need to ask yourself? Yeah, you should do that before you start another fic. Most of this one wouldn’t exist if you would have sat down and seriously considered them.
Willow gave her a surprised look.
“I- I sort of became obsessed with finding freezing points as a child,” Elsa explained, embarrassed. “I wanted to see how cold I could let myself get before something would freeze in my hand. So I would be able to know how long I could appear normal.”
“That’s almost like character development!”
Almost, it’s so forced and random that I can’t help but being apathetic at this point. Not to mention neither of these characters is very compelling, so knowing more about them means very little.
“Oh,” Willow said dumbly. “…I suppose that’s natural.”
Elsa nodded, taking another sip. This one went down more smoothly. “It’s yet another drawback to having powers: it’s incredibly easy to wear your emotions on your sleeve, because everyone can tell how I’m feeling by what ice I’m making.”
“That is an issue,” Willow agreed quietly. “But at least you could make millions off of snow cones.”
They laughed, perhaps slightly more than the joke warranted.
In that it merited a polite laugh. At best.
“Then there’s a scene break where we cut to … later that same scene.”
True to her word, Elsa only had one glass of scotch. Willow had also made sure to have the woman lock away the bottle after they had both finished their drinks.
“Do bottles try to escape or something if they aren’t secured?”
Only tequila. If you don’t lock that stuff up, it’ll run around the party making sure everyone gets a kiss.
That did not mean they weren’t both rather tipsy. Remember, Elsa was just starting to recover from three weeks of starvation, and was still dangerously thin- one glass was plenty. Meanwhile, Willow had had… more.
Whee, we get to see a scene of two people being drunk. That’s being written by somebody who’s only likely knowledge about being drunk comes from sitcoms.
“You make it sound so good!”
They were on the verge of having a quick 20-minute nap when suddenly, the door burst open, and Boss rushed in.
Right. Twenty-minutes. Suuuuuuuure.
“It probably would have been much longer.”
Yes, thank you, Eliza.
“Miss Rosenberg, we’ve got a problem,” he announced anxiously.
“What is it?” Willow asked.
“The prisoners- the Slayer and the Professor- they escaped,” Boss revealed.
Le Gasp! The desire to have a book was only a ruse!? Who would have ever imagined this sudden and unforeseeable turn of events!
“It was actually pretty obviou-”
Yes! Thank you, Eliza.
“What?” Elsa and Willow exclaimed in unison. “How?”
“Picked the lock with a paper clip,” Boss huffed. “The book they got was unbound.”
“Wow, even when you’re expecting it, that just sinks beneath expectation.”
Managing to out-stupid the expectations of a Librarian is no small feat.
“But- but what about the guards?” Willow asked. “They should’ve been more than able to stop them!”
Guard, singular. And yes, he should have noticed them fiddling with the lock.
“He was probably busy getting them a book or something.”
“You instituted DEFCON 1, ma’am, remember?” Boss reminded her. “Everyone except us and my boys are out getting everything for the deal.”
“And the guard who was supposed to be sitting there watching them. He was still here.”
They probably convinced him to stand near the bars so they could knock him out. Something trite like flashing Buffy’s breasts at him or something.
“Oh…” Suddenly Willow was not at all relaxed. “Well- um- uh, get the boys, a-and we’ll all go out looking for them.”
“Roger that,” Boss nodded, saluting as he exited.
“Which, with Buffy’s super-strength, will probably go very well!”
Hopefully they bring a tranq gun or something.
For a moment the Queen and the witch sat in shocked silence, looking at each other with wide eyes. Both of them felt like their stomachs had dropped a full foot down.
Quick! To the board room to do nothing!
“I- I should- g- go,” Elsa said after a moment.
“Yeah…” Willow nodded weakly. “Go. I’ll be down in a minute.”
And Elsa did.
Yes, because two drunk magic users are definitely what this manhunt needs.
“Sounds like a night drinking with the girls!”
“Yeah, I remember. No more drink nights until we finish rebuilding the equator.”
I still want to know how you guys managed to not only steal it, but crash it into the fifteenth parallel.
“None of us remembers.”
Willow slowly turned her head, staring at her empty glass for a minute. A tiny smile tugged at her lips, and she chuckled softly-
and crushed the glass in her hand.
“I’ll check that off the trope bingo card.”
She continued to laugh quietly, squeezing her fist tighter, and felt the broken glass pierce the delicate skin of her palm with a hot flash of pain, deep-red blood trickling down the heel of her hand and dripping down from her wrist.
Maybe a bandaid or something is in order?
“She probably could have avoided that by not squeezing the glass shards.”
Look, we can’t all figure these things out beforehand.
“DEFCON One…” she muttered darkly, still laughing, “DEFCON fucking One…”
See!? This is what you get for declaring a state of nuclear emergency because you need to make a delivery for a personnel transfer.
Whew, and with that, we’re done with the first half of this chapter. Which ends on what is actually a facsimile of a cliff hanger.
“If anyone really cared.”
Right, a cliffhanger does tend to require that. Anyway, until next time, patrons!