1614: Heroes and Villains – Chapter Eleven, Part OnePosted: December 7, 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
“Howdy doodly-do, patrons! Welcome back to Heroes and Villains, the fic that puts the action in inaction.”
Bit of a shorter riff this week, unfortunately. I’m juggling some big projects right now, so expect next few riffs to be shorter ones. Anyway, if we take a look at last time, nothing happened. And nothing really new was discussed either. But Elsa got to ride in a self-driving Tesla limo, so that was something, I guess.
“You forgot the giant wall-of-text soliloquy!”
No. I really didn’t. Let’s just jump into this thing, because it starts on a note that makes me angry and I want to get it out of the way.
“We want happy paintings. Happy paintings. If you want sad things, watch the news.”
Of all the things to fucking reference in your “supernatural drama,” you pick Bob Ross!? BOB ROSS! What the hell were you thinking, Igor!? And it somehow makes even less sense than your insipid Portal references, which already make about as much sense as a toddler describing how to assemble a VCR from grass clippings!
4:15 A.M. Wednesday, September 10th.
Elsa was fast asleep in the driver’s seat.
“Usually not a good thing.”
Yeah, though we know the context here, so it’s not as alarming as it could be.
Thank goodness it was self-driving.
Hurr durr, I stoopid reeder. Cant ‘member thing from before time!
Despite having to deal with seemingly endless meetings and paperwork back in Arendelle, Elsa could never pull off an all-nighter.
“Because that’s all there is to being a queen, meetings and paperwork.”
Her absolute record was waking up at 5:30 A.M. with the sunrise one day and falling asleep at 3 A.M. the next day, coming up to 22.5 hours of uninterrupted awake-ness.
Igor! Before you type something, you need to ask yourself why you’re putting it in your story! If it doesn’t accomplish anything, then it’s pointless word filler that bogs down the prose and bores the reader. I only mention it because most of this fic falls into that category.
Today was pushing it, having woken up at 7:45 on Tuesday, bringing her to 20.5 hours- amazing, honestly, given how little energy she was really capable of producing at the moment.
“Her twenty-three hour day was back when she was a nuclear plant and could produce those high levels of energy.”
Yeah, she hasn’t been nearly as energetic since her meltdown.
The second she’d hung up after Willow called, she closed her eyes and was dead to the world in minutes.
So naturally she was plagued with nightmares.
“Naturally. Because of all the terrible things that she’s had to endure.”
Like watching Willow do nothing, or questioning her sister’s ability to lead.
Every night they were always the same- sometimes it was the whiteout
“She’s dreaming about the fic?”
Sounds like a nightmare to me.
and Hans’ sword was coming down towards her neck; others it was Anna dying in her arms, a thin film of frost covering her while Elsa could only watch in horror, her voice stolen and hands unable to move.
Being chased by a giant bottle of ketchup.
“Not being able to find my pants.”
You don’t wear pants.
“I know, dreams are weird.”
Hold up, Igor said each night dreams were the same, but then listed two very different dreams.
“I’ll add ‘same’ to the list.”
The worst one, though, was when she was in her old Palace, and had first created Marshmallow- only this time, instead of him tossing out Anna and Kristoff, he killed them right in front of her, throwing them against the wall with frightening power, their heads making a sickening crack against the ice, falling limp as their blood trickled onto the floor with horrible steadiness and their eyes stared blankly at the ceiling.
Then there’s the nightmare I had about being chased by a six inch tall T-Rex. It kept chewing through the walls of the house to get me.
“I had a nightmare that Crunchy wouldn’t share any of Grumdrop’s cookies with me. I woke up so irritated with him.”
Wait, was that the morning you set him on fire?
“He should have shared!”
This time, though, it was different.
She was back in the H.Q., and it was nighttime. No moon shone through the windows, and the lights in the walls flickered ominously. Nobody was there, but that selfsame hum she was so unused to was still there, putting her on edge.
Wow, even in a nightmare nothing is happening at Willow Co.
“They are very dedicated to the void.”
I wonder if they actually manufacture it there. I’ve always wondered where all the void comes from.
She walked through a few turns aimlessly, apprehensive as the lights continued to waver. Suddenly a loud CRASH sounded from afar, in the direction she was facing.
“If something happens in Elsa’s dream, does it count as having happened in the fic?”
Naw. Unless there’s some kind of dream-magic going on, it’s all non-canon stuff that’s usually there to build cheap tension.
Slowly she turned around, beginning to back away, when she heard a switch being thrown. She looked back fearfully, and after a few moments, she heard music begin to play.
It was a Rascal Flatts and One Direction mix tape!
It started with a harp, playing some simple arpeggios.
Basic music terminology is basic.
“I bet the harp was playing notes, too!”
In any other setting it might have been calming, but here it was scary.
“You’ll just have to trust Igor on that.”
Lazy writing 101: when you can’t build the scene yourself, tell the audience what they should be feeling and make it their job.
Some sort of wind instrument joined in- flute?
Why is she asking us?
“It’s a Mijwiz! I’d know that full and slightly reedy sound anywhere!”
Elsa must not be good at identifying instruments by sound, those sound nothing like a flute.
The two played out a haunting tune, and she began to back away again, holding her hands tightly over her chest.
It can’t be!
“But, it is!”
Then, something else began to enter into the music- something she’d never heard before-
And her world erupted into chaos.
“Does this mean something is actually going to happen!?”
Whoa there, let’s not get crazy now.
Thousands of small, black, rectangular objects with red lights in the center started crawling out from the corridor ahead, screeching with unearthly noises as they bore down on her. They seemed to burrow into the walls and floor slightly, bright lights flashing underneath them as they advanced, and everywhere they went they left the surfaces tessellated hexagons and the lights bright red.
That seems very familiar, but I can’t place it right now. But I’m almost certain that’s a reference to something.
Elsa ran, and the abominations gave chase. No matter how fast she ran, they always seemed to be right on her heels, converting the corridors into frightening red-lit halls, creating a nightmarish symphony of unnatural shrieks and beeps, unrelenting, bearing down on her with ferocious determination.
“Stargate’s replicators, maybe?”
Sorta, definitely some kind of conversion hive, but not really the same as the Stargate one. I can’t quite put my finger on it.
The music returned, and she felt another burst of terror as a male voice started singing.
“Thiiiiiiiiiis waaaaaaaaaaas a triiiiiiiii-uuuuuuumph… I’m ma-king a note heeeere: huge succeeeeeeeeeeeess.”
Well, that’s a Portal reference, but I don’t recall portal having that kind of conversion hive. Maybe one of the mods?
It’s gonna bug me because I feel like I’ve seen this before.
The voice was getting louder, and the terrifying machines seemed to be closing in on her. She burst into a full-on sprint, trying to escape the things, but to no avail. They continued to close the gap, beginning to eat away the back of her cape.
“Iiiiiiit’s haaaaaaard tooooo oooo-veeeer-staaaaate myyyyy saaaa-tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis-faaaaaaaaaaac-tioooooooooon…”
I hate those nightmares where no matter how fast you try to run, you move in slow motion and can’t get away.
“Like when being chased by a teeny-tiny T-rex?”
Don’t remind me. *Shivers*
She tried to outpace the monsters, but they were too fast. Finally, one got in front of her foot and tripped her, sending her sprawling to the floor as they swarmed over her, biting into her flesh and eating away at her muscle and bones as they continued to sound their hellish song.
Wait, hold up, if these things are small black boxes, how did one trip her?
“Maybe they’re only relatively small.”
Relative to what?
“A really big thing.”
Ahhh, it’s like I can see them, now.
She screamed in agony, tossing about frantically in an futile attempt to shake them off of her, until she no longer had the ability to writhe. Soon she had no lungs with which to scream, and then no body to move, leaving just her head to be slowly consumed.
This seems oddly familiar too.
“It brings to mind Clyde Bruckman’s dream from the X-files. Not really the same, but has a similar theme of turning into nothing.”
Oh, you’re right! Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a video of it, so I’ll just post up the quote of his dream:
I’m lying naked in a field of red tulips. I’m not concerned with where I am or how I got there. I’m at peace and it’s then that I realize I’m dead. My body begins to turn a greenish-white with spots of purple. Next, the insects arrive. The inevitable follows, putridity and liquescence. Before I know it, I’m nothing but bones. When I start fading to dust, I lose whatever care I still might have had about where my clothes are and as I begin to feel myself slipping away towards I know not what…
Not nearly as unsettling as a giant, sentient ketchup bottle, but close.
Just before she succumbed, she saw a pair of black boots approach her, stopping just short of the machines.
“Sorry about that,” the man sighed sadly, and her vision went dark.
“In her next dream, the mystery man will say, ‘Oh, dude, totally my bad!'”
That’s the kind of thing that sticks with you.
She woke up with a jolt, looking around frantically.
Shit, I’m in a moving car and I’m at the wheel!
“The first few years of self-driving cars will be pretty funny to watch from the outside.”
For a moment she was unsure where she was, until she remembered that she was going down south to L.A. She looked around to see that the entire car was coated in a thick layer of frost, and numerous icicles jutted out from the seat.
“That sounds… comfortable.”
I guess that depends on what you’re into.
Frustrated, she closed her eyes and concentrated. Love will thaw… Love will thaw… She opened her eyes, and to her pleasant surprise, she had managed to partially thaw it. She concentrated again, and when she opened her eyes again it was all gone. She smiled. Good to know that she could still feel warmth sometimes.
“So… what precisely is she feeling love for?”
“Oh, right! Speaking of which, I wonder how Crunchy’s femslash is going.”
Her heart thumped loudly in her chest, adrenaline still coursing through her veins as she returned back to reality.
“Very easy to feel love in the middle of a panic attack.”
Forget the panic attack, what is this about Crunchy writing-
Though the nightmare was quite obviously not based off anything rational, there was something that bothered her immensely. The person singing had sounded familiar, and the boots also tugged at a memory she couldn’t quite pull up.
Black boots, male, and a formal way of talking. You thinking what I’m thinking?
“I bet I am!”
“Though that doesn’t really explain what he’s doing leading an army of carnivorous replicators.”
Hans? No, his voice was lower than the strange figure’s. She knew it was someone she’d met before, someone who felt… dangerous.
So, higher voice. Probably not Gaston after all.
Really, the comic relief villain?
“Crunchy is comic relief and still immensely dangerous when he actually cares to be. Not that it happens all that often.”
Fair point. If Crunchy wasn’t enjoying the retired life so much, he’d be a lot less fun to have around.
Behind the soft voice, there was something deadly, not unlike Hans, that made her wary.
“Han’s point was that he didn’t seem dangerous at all; he was a manipulator who could paint the best picture of himself at all times despite having much more devious plans. His character was devoted to this even to the point of keeping up the act when the only ones who could possibly see him was the audience. That’s not a good comparison here if Elsa is already wary.”
Well, if they met again, she’d be sure to tread carefully.
“So she spends the rest of her days living in fear of anyone wearing black boots, the end.”
Why does Carlos let you off the hook for those?
“Well I remember to bring him cookies from time to time.”
How does that even work, he’s a cattle prod!
“See, this is why you always get zapped.”
A quick check of the digital clock revealed the time to be 7:30. A little over 3 hours of rest, and an E.T.A. of 7:45. Good thing she’d woken up when she did.
“Hope she brought a brush. Sleeping-in-the-car hair is a bad way to make a first impression with Bad Horse.”
Second impression, you forgot she went back in time and talked with Bad Horse off-page.
“If I didn’t see it, it didn’t happen.”
The phone rang, and Elsa smirked as she recognized the tune.
Look, I don’t care if she’s groggy, you don’t bash the Snow Queen without getting iced.
No, you don’t get twenty dollars to go away. We retired that gag last week.
Fine, you can use the company account for some surf and turf.
*Cerbersheep rushes out.*
“Surf and turf?”
A new special at Lina’s. A square foot of fresh sod and a bucket of water.
It was Bach’s Little Prelude 2 in C minor, BWV 934– she knew how to play this on the piano.
Look! Igor knows a Bach piece! He can even name it! Impressive, right!?
She answered the call. “Hello?”
“Hi, Elsa, it’s me,” Willow replied. “How’s everything going?”
Your ringtone is Bach! Little Prelude 2 in C minor! I even have the catalogue number if you want it.
“No, that’s quite-”
“Well enough,” Elsa allowed. “I just had the worst nightmare I’ve had in years, but it was sleep nonetheless.”
Please tell me they aren’t going to talk about the dream. You just showed it to us, no need to go over it again.
“What was it about?” Willow asked curiously.
Oh for the love of fuck.
You know what, no. Elsa launches into a carbon-copy explanation of the scene that’s STILL ON THE SCREEN, but I’m going to skip it because we literally just read the damn thing.
“…Interesting,” Willow replied eventually.
“Translation: I was just being polite, I didn’t actually want to know.”
“…How close are you to the E.L.E.’s headquarters?”
“A little under fifteen minutes away, so says the car,” Elsa replied, stifling a yawn.
I hate that this fic constantly reminds me of much better things.
“Good. I have some happy news too.”
“Oh? Do tell.”
“I managed to hack into Jordan Belfort’s account- lots of money.”
“I see that Igor is still trying to tread that anti-hero line.”
Making them actual villains would be too dark and difficult to write, especially if they try for redemption later. No room for that kind of tension in supernatural drama. Especially no room for that in a Buffy fanfic.
Who?” Elsa asked, extremely confused.
“He was a stock broker who was charged with fraud and money laundering- he was a scammer basically,” Willow explained.
“Igor needed to connect this all to the real world while dumping trivia on the audience and maintaining our reputations as heroes even though we call ourselves villains.”
Don’t spoil the secretes!
“Okay… so I presume he still has more than enough funds to help us?” Elsa asked pointedly.
Probably. Depends on which accounts you use, really. All of the ones we know about are pretty slim, but he’s got overseas accounts that are hard to touch or account for. Still, those accounts are generally held by less than savory people. Robbing from them is as likely to end with a horse head in your bed as anything else.
“No kidding- he has hundreds of millions- 3 million dollars is a drop in the bucket for him,” Willow laughed.
“Wait, didn’t the Evil League have to take out a huge loan from Willow Corp to fund the economic collapse? Surely that would be way more than three million right there.
Nope. Didn’t happen.
“I can even scroll up, it’s right there in Dr. Horrible’s speech.”
Chapters before the current one didn’t happen! Willow has no money.
“But it even says that all they do is shadow work and funding ev-”
They spent it all on Tesla cars.
It’s amazing how every chapter makes Willow’s organization look more incompetent than ever.
“So I’m sending someone from our L.A. outpost to get the cash from the bank while you’re out with the E.L.E.’s team- make sure they don’t foul anything up, y’know?”
“Why not wire the money? It’s not like a bank is just going to have three million in cash just laying around.”
Electronic money transfer didn’t exist back then!
“It’s supposed to be 2014.”
“I understand,” Elsa nodded.
“Goody. Also, just so you know, Doc’s gonna be going too. Maybe see if you can warm him up any.”
Have the guy who doesn’t want to be transferred help on the heist which will determine if he’s transferred.
“Alright,” Elsa agreed. “Will you be coming down later?”
“…I might,” Willow admitted. “But not for very long. Like I said: built up a bit of a bad rep down there. On some hit lists.”
Oh, well I guess the Mafia already wants her dead. I suppose pissing them off further doesn’t really change their response. Well, aside from some additional torture.
“Okay, I don’t understand what either of those mean,” Elsa sighed.
“You’ll have to forgive Elsa, her colloquial savviness comes and goes.”
“But something will likely get screwed up somehow,” Willow continued, “and we will need to be ready for that.”
We built our contingency plan to fail, we should prepare for that too.
“By not preparing!”
“I am,” Elsa affirmed.
“Good. And remember- Doc is gonna be a bit… disagreeable if this does go through. Let’s give him a little space.”
“This is still fine.”
“Willow, I only just met the man,” Elsa laughed. “It’s not like there was some sort of love-at-first-sight moment.”
Ruh-roh. Willow ‘gon get jealous of Dr. Horrible.
“Just saying- we’re gonna need to leave him be for a little while.”
“And the best way to give him space is to make him help us!”
“I know, Willow. I have far too much experience in leaving people alone.”
See, it’s poignant because it references her life of isolation!
“Hey, you’re right!”
Anyway, at this point we get a scene break. But, that’s all the time I have this week, so were calling it there.
“Until next week, patrons!”