1650: Heroes and Villains – Chapter Twelve, Part TwoPosted: January 11, 2017
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
Hey, Patrons! Welcome back to the second half of chapter twelve! Strangely enough, this chapter has had more actually happen in it than any chapter leading up to it! It had one, almost two things happen! It was all poorly paced, but hell, I’ll take it! Eliza, hit us with those happenings!
“First up, Willow’s crew started their heist! They broke into the part of the void that makes the wonderflonium and then stood around discussing uninteresting things. That was the thing that almost happened. The thing that actually happened was that Buffy attacked and then was taken down by a mook who was doing a bank transaction! When last we left her, she was bleeding out on the ground of the bank with Jimmy having a panic attack and being rather unhelpful in keeping her alive.”
You know, phrased that way, it makes it seem like her attack was unprovoked.
“Wasn’t it? Jimmy indicated that they had some sort of plan that went down without a hitch, likely some kind of tracking device hidden in the money. Which means Buffy attacking the guy was unnecessary.”
Hey, you’re right! Wait, they already know where Willow’s hideout is, why would they need to put a tracking device in the money? They have no reason to suspect that the money is bound for anywhere other than her hideout.
“The same reason that Willow couldn’t have just moved the money around electronically.”
Ah yes, ‘because stupid.’ How could I forget. Anyway, let’s jump on into the second half of this bad boy.
With Elsa gone and Boss and his boys busy down in the computer lab, Willow was left with very little to do.
Great, another scene with Willow doing jack shit. We definitely needed another one of those in the fic.
“Well, it’s a little different this time.”
“Usually she has a lot to do but is sitting around doing nothing. Now she legitimately has nothing to do.”
That doesn’t actually make it any better.
“I said different, not better.”
After she hung up with Elsa, she wandered the halls a little, stopping by the laboratory to make sure everything was prepped for Doctor Horrible’s arrival. If things went well, he would be back by around 8:30 P.M., perhaps enough time to have dinner before calling it a night.
She’s pretty confident for somebody who is trusting her heist to a bunch of people who want to see it fail.
Hopefully he would be approachable enough to ask if he had any preferences or allergies.
“If nothing else, there’s enough time to knit him a scarf or crochet a beanie hat for him.”
She should at least make sure there’s clean underwear for him.
At 8:30 she went outside and sat on the front steps, staring out at the horizon. There was another blizzard on the way.
This is a lot better than seeing what’s going on in the heist.
“Not many heist movies realized that it would be much more fascinating showing people waiting for the heist team to come home than to see the actual heist in action.”
Missed opportunity, Hollywood.
What was it with winter coming early these days?
Normally Willow is a lot less completely stupid than this.
Hopefully it would pass them by. She turned her head towards the ice palace, and saw a cyclist coming up the road. She stood, shading her eyes with her hand, and saw that the cyclist was carrying something on the left handlebar. As he approached, she called out “Can I help you?”
“And more importantly, why are you riding a bicycle up a mountain in the face of a coming blizzard?”
Delivering something, obviously.
“Heya, Will!” the cyclist greeted her, pulling up to the front steps, panting heavily. “Me again.”
“Jesus Christ, kid,” she sighed as the man dismounted and took off his helmet.
“Oh, it’s just Jesus.”
At least now I’ll have an answer for those people who keep asking me if I’ve found Jesus.
“Why are you here this early in the morning?”
Ooooh, it’s 8:30 am. See, this is why being vague really hurts your story. I was going on the assumption she was worried because her heist crew was late. As it turns out, she’s still got a full day of nothing ahead of her.
“I got your stuff for ya,” he replied, handing her the cloth bag. She looked inside it and couldn’t help but smile as she pulled out the box of computer parts it held.
Big heist going down? Seems like the right time to work on your sweet rig!
“How much was it?” she asked.
“‘Bout $500,” he estimated. “Give or take ten dollars.”
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but not a lot of people order stuff by courier these days, right?”
Generally you only see this kind of courier service in large metropolitan areas, yeah.
She pulled out her wallet and counted out $750, handing him the bills. “Here’s that and extra.” She chuckled a little. “Why do I always pay you extra? You’re just gonna pay me that back next time.”
“Probably has something to do with him riding his bike out to the middle of nowhere at the crack of dawn to deliver stuff.”
Honestly, I’d expect him to charge more for door-to-door white glove service like that.
“Because that’s the only way to convince you to allow a next time,” he laughed.
*Squints* Is… is he her boy toy?
“Otherwise you can’t allow it out of the goodness of your cold, blackened heart.”
The fuck is that even supposed to mean!?
“By paying him a lot of money, it frees her cold darkened heart to allow her to have a next time with him.”
That didn’t help.
“You’re gonna get yourself killed doing this one day,” Willow sighed.
Because if there’s one thing that’s bad for the body, it’s exercise.
“So I’m told,” he replied unconcernedly. “But a lot less likely than the world ending, which is good.”
“So death by overexertion is much less likely than the world ending?”
It makes more sense if you read the dialogue like it was intended to be viewed: without any brain cells.
“What does the apocalypse have to do with this?”
“Because the deal on those parts was apocalyptically good!”
I’m pretty sure that isn’t a thing.
“It should be!”
“Absolutely nothing whatsoever.
Glad it was brought up then. Solid writing. Not at all a pointless waste of the reader’s time.
I tried to make a comparison and failed.”
“This might be the author insertion.”
Or at least the fic’s own self-awareness personified.
They stood up. “So, I guess the same time next week?”
“Most likely,” Willow agreed.
“Okay. See y’later,” he said, mounting his bicycle, and rode off.
“Wow, she certainly likes to upgrade her computer a lot.”
Parts become outdated so fast these days. By the time you finish updating all the drivers, you need a new video card.
Willow sighed again. “Goddamn it, Denali, one day you’re gonna get jumped or something if you keep this up,” she muttered.
Such is the life of a computer-part delivery boy.
It was a dangerous world out there, even for her. A normal 22-year-old man wouldn’t stand a chance against the demons and monsters of her world- but that made her appreciate his errand-running all the more.
“Just because there are spookies going bump in the night doesn’t mean the guy doesn’t still have to make a living. Hunger will kill you just as dead as a demon will.”
Not to mention getting $250 for a single delivery is a decent way to make money, even with having to dodge a few demons along the way. Depending on how long it takes him to bike up the mountain, of course.
Some things were hard to come by, but he had a knack for easing tensions with her various suppliers and business partners, none of whom were particularly thrilled to help her, more or less to the same tune of fear of discovery by the world at large.
Plus he had a Best Buy rewards membership. Those don’t just grow on trees either.
“Your company is bad news,” they all said. “You’re gonna get us all killed by mobs of ax-crazy people one day.”
“I guess that whole ‘going incognito’ and ‘operating from the shadows’ thing is not going so smoothly.”
Well, she said that was the plan, not that her company was very successful at it.
But he could cool them off just long enough to get her supplies and get out before they changed their minds.
“It also helps that he doesn’t start every purchase by announcing who he is buying the merchandise for.”
Maybe he’s the real puppet master.
It was the ‘just’ part that bothered her. She didn’t want to have to deal with the aftermath of his death, which would no doubt mar her reputation substantially, and she really didn’t want to have to deal with being asked questions by the world at large about the murder.
Best way to avoid that is by not murdering him.
“Look, you can’t make an omelet without killing a few people.”
I’m not sure that’s how the saying goes.
“It’s a raptor proverb.”
His silver tongue was the only thing that kept him in the workings.
“Ah! Get him out of there, he’ll be crushed!”
Look, if he wants to put his silver tongue into the gear assembly, that’s his business.
She stayed out a while longer, watching the blizzard near. Didn’t look like they were going to manage to avoid it. Drat.
“You strip naked and run screaming into the blizzard. You succumb to the elements almost immediately.”
Just as she was preparing to go inside, the doors opened, and Johnny came out, panting and holding a briefcase. “Morning, Miss Rosenberg,” he got out between giant breaths.
Why hello generically named lackey! I hope your day has been sufficiently bland!
“Hey, Johnny,” she greeted him with a puzzled look. “Doing okay?”
“Remind me to hold my breath before going through that godforsaken portal again,” he huffed.
“I did, before you left,” she reminded him. “You even did it before you left.”
That added a lot.
“Thirty-seven words, in fact.”
Ah, my bad,” he apologised as he handed her the briefcase. She opened it up and was treated to the sight of hundreds of $10,000 bills divided into stacks of 10. “It’s all here?” she asked Johnny, slipping out a bill and feeling it in her hands. Texture checked out.
You do know that ten-thousand dollar bills were de-circulated, right, author? While there are technically enough of them still in circulation to make three-million dollars, banks are legally required to turn them over to the government for destruction if they come in. There is no way you could make a withdrawal from a bank in them. Especially since all of the 336 of the remaining bills are in private collections and are worth far more than face value on auction.
“Yep,” he nodded. “Checked ’em before I came back.”
“Typically if a minion says this, you want to carefully count the money you had him in charge of.”
We both need to stop hanging out with Crunchy.
Man, I didn’t know they still made high-denomination bills like this,” she laughed, holding it up to the light- and something caught her eye.
And, in fact, they don’t.
Or rather, the lack of something. “Johnny- why am I holding a bill that doesn’t pass the hold-it-up-to-the-light test?”
Because the bills were minted about sixty years before that was a thing?
“What?!” he asked incredulously.
She tested another one. “Johnny, these are fakes!” She whirled, facing him. “You didn’t switch them out, did you?!”
You know, this is sorta reasonable at a certain level. The fact that ten-thousand dollar bills aren’t a thing does make them being fake the most likely scenario. It requires Johnny to be stupid in order to retain plausibility, but we’re not exactly swimming in bright underlings. And Willow has to be stupid to think that the bills would need to be scrutinized to recognize them as fake.
“Which, given her track record-”
Yeah, also plausible. So, you know what, given the lack of mental power of the characters in the fic, this is actually a reasonable scene!
“Yay! Author, you did minimally acceptable work!”
“No, no, on my life, Miss Rosenberg! Got this straight from the teller!” Johnny swore, crossing his heart for good measure.
“The teller?” Willow asked. “Wh-what did he look like, what did he sound like?”
“H-he was old- whitish-gray hair, sorta British accent- he was harmless!” Johnny answered, his voice rising as the sentence ended.
“Something was up with that withdrawal,” Willow said. “Anything happen while he was getting it?”
“N- come to think of it, yeah! I got jumped!”
Which he didn’t bring up because, as mentioned before, he’s powerfully stupid.
“Who attacked you?”
“Blonde chick,” he answered. “Short, thin- packed a helluva punch, though.”
Yet despite her superhuman strength, I punked her!
“Buffy Summers,” Willow whispered.
“Don’t worry, though, she ain’t getting up for a while,” Johnny promised. “Knocked her out cold before I left.”
“That teller must’ve been Marlowe,” Willow realised. “Wait- did he ask for the account number?!”
“Yeah, ‘course!” Johnny replied.
That’s actually almost clever.
Well, Buffy attacking him makes absolutely no sense, nor does Marlow being behind the counter on such short notice. Nor does them using bills that would be easily recognizable as phony.
Yeah, it’s like so many other things in the Library. A framework of a good idea filled in with shit.
“Like a house made of poo!”
Thanks for that mental image.
“They still withdrew our money,” she realised. “They still withdrew our freaking money.” She grabbed Johnny by the shoulders. “I’m going down, and I’m gonna find them and get our money. Hold down the fort while I’m gone, got that?”
“Sure thing, Chief,” Johnny nodded, and she ran for the portal.
Holy shit! Is she actually going to do something!?
“I wouldn’t get your hopes up. You always get disappointed when that happens.”
I can’t help it, it’s my natural optimism!
“Vad tid det är?” muttered Elsa anxiously as she and Horrible waited outside the door for the others to come back with the wonderflonium.
Look! Suddenly Elsa is speaking her native language! Halfway through the fic! Out of nowhere!
“It’s a character trait!”
Yeah! Cause she isn’t English! See!? She speaks a different language!
“…Yo no hablo español,” Horrible replied after a moment.
Those who speak languages other than English may feel free to be offended right now.
“Can I feel offended?”
I… honestly don’t know.
“Neither do I!”
“What time is it?” Elsa asked.
“Uh… 11:00. Hour left.”
Horrible glanced at her. “What language was that?”
“Swedish,” she replied tersely.
“Swedish?” Horrible asked. “Aren’t you from the Norwegian area?”
Oh here we go. They’re going to go blathering on about an irrelevant topic in the middle of what should be a tense heist scene. Strap in folks.
“Arendelle was a Swedish vassal,” Elsa replied. “We were actually in talks about assimilating- but of course, the sticking point was my ‘condition’, as they put it.”
“Elsa is pregnant!? With a little Elsa!? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-”
Oh sweet crap.
“Jesus,” he breathed. “Is there some thing where almost every leader ever has foot-in-mouth disease or something?”
The hell? Was he listening to a different conversation or something?
“It’s more interesting if you imagine something else whenever Elsa or Willow starts saying something.”
Can’t argue with that.
“What?” Elsa asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Pun on ‘foot in your mouth’.” Horrible explained.
Yeah, even with that explanation his comment still doesn’t make any sense.
After another brief pause, the others came through the door. “Let’s book it,” Horrible told Elsa, and the group began to run for the car.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the worst heist ever written.
“I imagine it’ll be even more disappointing when they actually air this episode.”
They all got into the car, Horrible driving again, and drove away as fast as they could before hitting the first red light.
Being chased by… fuck all.
“Gotta hurry, the void is catching up!”
It’s too late! They’re completely surrounded!
All of them were out of breath, but all of them were on an adrenaline high.
Generally that’s about when the vomiting starts.
“That was awesome!” Horrible enthused.
Dude, keep your enthusing in your own room, preferably with a sock on the knob or something.
“I haven’t pulled a heist like that in a while.”
“One where you sit around doing nothing for three hours?”
To be fair, not many heists are like that.
“I’ve never pulled a heist in my life,” Elsa laughed, disbelieving.
And you still haven’t.
Doc held up his hand, and after a moment he saw understanding flash in her eyes, and she high-fived him. She checked her phone for the time. “11:15.”
“Why is he happy that the heist succeeded. Didn’t he want it to fail.”
We have mentioned that everyone in the fic is intensely stupid, right?
“We should be back by 11:45,” he replied. “Assuming traffic isn’t bumper-to-bumper all the way to freaking Anaheim… Disneyland isn’t so great when it takes literal hours to get to from Los Angeles itself.”
Trust me, Sparky, Los Angeles traffic has nothing to do with Disneyland, since they are over sixty miles apart. In fact, Disneyland traffic is only bad really late at night after the fireworks show lets out. And even then, it’s not nearly as bad as trying to drive through the pickup at LAX.
“Disneyland?” Elsa asked.
“Amusement park,” he explained.
Portable computer that you can use to talk to other people.
“‘The Happiest Place on Earth’, so they say.” He laughed. “Try calling it happy when the lines are up to an hour long for a 5-minute ride. Waste of time.”
Cookies take like an hour to make and each only only takes seconds to eat! Complete waste of time!
“Books can take over a year to write and then some people read them in only a few days! Why even bother!”
“It sounds like an interesting place,” Elsa said politely.
“…It is,” Doc admitted. “Despite the lines, there is fun to be had. There’s this one ride I really like there called Space Mountain- it’s awesome. Some might go so far as to say it’s legendary.”
Igor is very not good at consistent characterization.
“This place sucks! Except for the things I like about it!”
It’s like this is written by a teen who likes to impress his friends by hating mainstream things or something.
“Must be your imagination.”
“It’s a nice little place. A good escape from reality.”
Not bad, for a shit hole that’s a waste of time.
“The best part about the place I totally hate is the rides! They’re super fun for being so awful and stuff.”
“I should see about going one day.”
“Definitely. One has not lived until they’ve visited the sprawling whirlwind of insanity and giddiness that is dubbed Disneyland. Rides, food, fireworks- it’s a popular tourist destination for a reason. But again, the downside is that it’s absolutely packed on Fridays through Sundays. The best time is probably Monday through Wednesday.”
And while they’re riding Splash Mountain, they could talk about what it was like to be on a heist.
“Overrated. Lots of standing around doing nothing followed by running and then a thirty minute drive. I don’t know why people bother with heists. But at least it’s good exercise, and the rush isn’t too bad if you wait until the off-season.”
There was a pause, and he suddenly realised that Elsa in Disneyland might be a bad idea.
He wasn’t sure if she knew people knew her in this world. If she didn’t- that could be an issue. And even if she did- people would hound her.
“Lots of very small people.”
And horny assholes.
Perhaps he shouldn’t have suggested that.
Huh, logical redundancy.
“I wouldn’t worry about them this week. I had Bifocals convert the hall into a treadmill.”
You’re really serious about helping them trim down after the holidays.
“I prefer them lean. Much more flavor.”
“So- why did you come here?” he asked, trying not to sound too awkward about it.
“Um, how do you mean? Here, or here here?” she asked.
“Here here,” he replied.
‘Here here’ here or just here here?
“He’re hear here.”
“Politics,” she spat, a scowl forming on her face.
“Didn’t want a deposition?” he guessed.
“Exactly,” she laughed humourlessly.
That’s one way to look at it.
“The other being chickening out and running for the hills when things got a little tough.”
Her version sounds less bad for her image.
“Nobody trusts a queen who could freeze you solid with a flick of her hand- especially when you cause an eternal winter at your own coronation.”
To be fair, that would kinda make people leery around you, yeah. Still, given the end of the movie, people seem to have gotten over it.
“Running on the ‘free snowcones for everyone’ platform might have allowed cooler minds to prevail.”
If nothing else, eating those gave them time to calm down and chill out.
“Not exactly something people warm up to, exactly,” he quipped, stealing a glance at her expression to see if she’d smile. She didn’t.
Ice puns or go home, Billy.
“She certainly gave him the cold shoulder.”
The reception of the joke was rather icy.
“No,” she agreed.
“…So how does it feel?” he asked. “No more ‘Queen Elsa’ now.”
“Funny thing,” she chuckled darkly, “I still get called “Snow Queen” and “Queen Elsa” from the people at the company.
“It’s like how ex-presidents are still called Mr. President by certain people.”
Wait, is that why everyone still calls Swenia ‘Queen?’
“Naw, we do that because it annoys her.”
“Really?” Doc raised an eyebrow. “Interesting.”
No, it really, really isn’t.
“Not quite like I never left Arendelle, though,” she admitted.
Not quite like we didn’t not refuse to not stop riffing.
“Never is,” he agreed.
“Definitely never not isn’t won’t.”
“And then, of course, it continues to go downhill from there,” she continued.
“What’s downhill from being called the Snow Queen?”
Ice princess? Frost Lady? Wintery-Mix Dutchess?
“Because my sister, her boyfriend, and my snowman all left a few months after we got here.”
What the flying fuck does that have to do with being called Snow Queen by your minions!?
He gave her a wide-eyed look of disbelief. “You’re kidding.”
“Silly Horrible. Just because something defies all logic or previous characterization doesn’t mean it didn’t happen!”
“Whoa. How’d it get that bad?!”
“Well, one thing led to another and I ended up telling her that I didn’t think she’d be a good queen.”
Yup, still stupid in the retelling.
“My sister thought that leaving wasn’t necessary.”
“And you- disagreed so much that you split up?”
“It wasn’t my choice, but yes.”
“Dang… That sucks.”
Look, it may not be a good plot, but it’s all we have!
“It was not a good day.”
Certainly irritating, that’s for sure.
The time was 11:20.
And with that, the chapter ends.
“What’s with the sudden time stamps?”
I dunno, probably a cheap ploy to drum up tension by making things seem like they’re on a tight deadline. Basically a poorly executed ripoff of 24.
Anyway, catch you all next time in chapter thirteen! It’s the last chapter before Igor loses the last shit he has to give and the random poetry and song lyrics start showing up in earnest.