1667: Heroes and Villains – Chapter Fourteen, Part OnePosted: January 25, 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 folks, welcome back! Let’s just jump right into the recap.
Last time we started off with a random conversation between Mr. Guyman and GirlWoman who appear to have started a relationship. They gab about GuyMan’s project a bit and going to the French part of France afterward, then the scene ends. Next up, Buffy is in the hospital with Jim when Willow jumps out of the SDQF and takes her money from them, rendering a large part of both chapters thirteen and fourteen pointless. Well, more pointless. Then Willow takes off and Olaf jumps out the SDQF. They all talk about magic and faerie tales a bit then the scene peters out. Meanwhile, Willow pays Bad Horse all his various crap and he hands over Dr. Horrible. There’s some Wikipedia regurgitation after that, but otherwise that’s everything.
“Unfortunately this week is the start of another very long chapter.”
I’m pretty sure this is the longest one in the fic. Definitely the longest of the remaining chapters. Also unfortunate is that the set of heists has just ended, so instead of anything new happening, I’m pretty sure we’re about to get ten-thousand words of reaction to Dr. Horrible’s transfer, possibly more since there are still seven more chapters after this one. I have a feeling I’m going to need to cut a lot of stuff to get through this.
Every little step she takes…
Did I mention this is also the chapter where Igor starts to go apeshit with the references, song lyrics, and poetry between scenes? Pretty sure I mentioned it.
Anyway, the chapter starts wit-
“Taco! Down!” *Eliza tackles Taco out of his chair*
Willow had always really liked the Tesla. It was efficient, it was sleek, it was fast, and the self-driving A.I. was a great burden off her shoulders. There was a steering wheel for those who decided that trusting the car to get itself to its destination safely was too big of a stretch to handle, but she never used it. With the partition cutting her off from the back, she could think idly without being distracted by her passengers- something she was rather grateful for. Doctor Horrible was not going to be very approachable for a little while, and Elsa… well, she wasn’t sure where the former queen was emotionally and mentally. The downside to her need for time to adjust was that the team wasn’t going to reach its full productive potential quite yet. Reach your full productive potential! she thought, smirking. The movement sent a little zing of pain through her eye, and she almost brought her hand to it before remembering the futility of putting pressure on it. Plus, since she’d finally gotten around to getting an eyepatch to cover it up, it wouldn’t exactly be great to get that bloody as well. No doubt she would have to limit movement on the left side of her face for a while longer while her eye recovered (as best it could, anyway).
But the other problem, the one about acclimation, still troubled her. Doc needed to know that she wasn’t shortchanging him by bringing him over to her side, and Elsa needed to soak in an environment of people who were fully devoted to the cause so she could shed her outsider skin and come into her element as a more traditional Snow Queen. Or would that be Ice Queen? Willow often heard Snow Queen used to describe a more benevolent spectre, while Ice Queen was generally used to describe one that was more malicious. It was like the difference between a benign tumour and a malignant one: a blizzard of a winter that passes through every so often and might give you first-degree frostbite, or a whiteout that consumes all and freezes you from the outside-in. If Elsa was to truly join her, Willow would need to teach her fearlessness, how to fight with and without her powers, how to instill fear, and most importantly how to let go of her lingering uncertainty. The first three she could do herself, but Elsa could only move on from her past if she let herself. She needed somebody who could help her remember that the past is in the past, and once she could do that she would rise like the break of dawn, an icy phoenix reborn, and they would be unstoppable. Willow wasn’t the person to do that, though. She didn’t have the need to leave her past behind. Maybe Doc could help her, though. Depending on how well they got on, he could show her how it was possible to immerse one’s self into the world of darkness without remorse. Very discreetly, she brought her hand to the partition, hooking her pointer finger under the handle and sliding it open a crack, letting in some sound.
Sweet crap! Been a while since we’ve had a pair that big.
*Porno music blasts over the intercom*
“Let’s break that thing up! Darkwraiths, if you would be dears.”
While you’re at it, guys, if you can just toss out the Tesla wank that would be great. I’m sure nobody here wants to see Igor trying to put his penis in the voltage receptacle again.
Doctor Horrible was not going to be very approachable for a little while, and Elsa… well, she wasn’t sure where the former queen was emotionally and mentally.
“Great assets to the team!”
Definitely the kind of people I want on my board of evil.
The downside to her need for time to adjust was that the team wasn’t going to reach its full productive potential quite yet.
There’s an upside to adjustment periods?
“Gives her an excuse to not do anything!”
Reach your full productive potential! she thought, smirking.
“Cerbs must be so excited! He gets to try out the new stealth gong!
The movement sent a little zing of pain through her eye, and she almost brought her hand to it before remembering the futility of putting pressure on it.
Wow, pretty good accuracy with that thing!
Plus, since she’d finally gotten around to getting an eyepatch to cover it up, it wouldn’t exactly be great to get that bloody as well. No doubt she would have to limit movement on the left side of her face for a while longer while her eye recovered (as best it could, anyway).
“Does that mean she’s going to give up smirking?”
Whoa now, don’t get crazy.
But the other problem, the one about acclimation, still troubled her. Doc needed to know that she wasn’t shortchanging him by bringing him over to her side, and Elsa needed to soak in an environment of people who were fully devoted to the cause so she could shed her outsider skin and come into her element as a more traditional Snow Queen.
“I suppose that means Igor forgot that Willow’s plans hinged on keeping Elsa emotionally unstable.”
Look, that plan was hatched like five chapters ago. It basically never happened!”
Or would that be Ice Queen?
I’d normally be skipping the part where Willow quibbles over the difference between a Snow Queen and an Ice Queen, but it leads up to one of the most insane comparisons I’ve seen in a while, so here it goes!
Willow often heard Snow Queen used to describe a more benevolent spectre, while Ice Queen was generally used to describe one that was more malicious. It was like the difference between a benign tumour and a malignant one: a blizzard of a winter that passes through every so often and might give you first-degree frostbite, or a whiteout that consumes all and freezes you from the outside-in.
No, the difference between an evil low-temperature queen and a good low-temperature queen is NOT the same as the difference between two pathologies, even if one is worse than the other! Sweet crap, man! Either pick up a dictionary or stop trying to look smart!
“I’ve added ‘benevolent’ to the list.”
If Elsa was to truly join her, Willow would need to teach her fearlessness, how to fight with and without her powers, how to instill fear, and most importantly how to let go of her lingering uncertainty.
“Hopefully she can find a good tutor. Willow’s personal experience with those things are sketchy.”
At least within this fic.
The first three she could do herself,
You’d have to get out of the chair to do those things.
but Elsa could only move on from her past if she let herself. She needed somebody who could help her remember that the past is in the past, and once she could do that she would rise like the break of dawn, an icy phoenix reborn, and they would be unstoppable.
I guess that means Igor also forgot that the entire premise of Willow’s organization is based on revenge, which is the antithesis of moving on from the past.
“Wasn’t it ‘reparations’?”
Both words were used. And I’m thinking Igor really doesn’t understand the meaning of either.
“Well, both are already on the list.”
Add them again.
Maybe Doc could help her, though.
“Is amnesia one of those things that can be taught?”
Apparently in this fic it can.
Depending on how well they got on, he could show her how it was possible to immerse one’s self into the world of darkness without remorse.
Which has nothing to do with letting go of the past.
Very discreetly, she brought her hand to the partition, hooking her pointer finger under the handle and sliding it open a crack, letting in some sound.
Uh, Igor, if that’s all you need to do to bring down the partition, then it’s not going to be soundproof in the first place.
“…and she had laid out no less than fifty-three mousetraps from the foot of my bed to the door!”
“Are you kidding?!”
“She can’t be because she used an oddly specific number!”
“It gets worse. She took the time to set back every single clock in the castle, and she’d removed the handle of my door! Then, she dyed the bristles of my hairbrush bright blue, so my hair had blue streaks in it and I didn’t even know it! I was livid!”
“What did you do?”
“I took her down to the town well and held her over it until she confessed. Unfortunately, she told my about my hair and I accidentally dropped her head-first.”
Wait, when did all this happen? Elsa and Anna were separated quite young. Certainly far before Elsa would have developed enough strength to hold her sister over the well. Also long before Anna would have developed the motor coordination to set that many mousetraps without hurting herself.
“Or remove a handle from a door.”
“Yeesh! Remind me not to tick you off anytime soon. Or later, for that matter.”
If you piss her off, Elsa gon’ well yo’ ass!
Well, they’d certainly bonded over the past few hours.
Pointing out the unbelievably short time-frame doesn’t make it any less stupid.
Doc must’ve had a previous… infatuation with her during the Frozen craze.
“Yet it took him several minutes to recognize her when they first met.”
To be fair, this is in Willow’s point of view, so she’s free to make whatever inaccurate observations she wants.
If he still did, that could be a blessing and a curse. Was the Frozen craze over? It was September 10th of 2014, it had to have at least begun to die down.
Sexual attraction definitely wanes based on whether something is popular. 100% how it works.
Anyway, the car finally pulls up to the secret volcano lair, Boss greets Willow, they talk about her missing eye a bit, then…
“Finally,” Willow nodded. “What’s that one trope? Eyepatch of Power or something like that?”
Igor, if you have to tell us which trope you’re trying to use, then you’re absolutely failing at your job as an author.
At this point the fic slows to a fucking crawl.
“More so than usual?”
Much more. Boss greets everyone, talks to Horrible about the facility, and then the girls lag behind to have some “boy talk” about Horrible.
“Hey! You were right about the chapter being full of reactionary dialogue.”
Not a hard one to call. Ninety-nine percent of the fic is reactionary dialogue.
Anyway, they talk about trying to get him to settle in and that there’s something not quite right about him, as if villains are the most well adjusted bunch. Eventually they stop talking in circles and decide to go have dinner. The scene then breaks.
There, I just saved everyone about 1,500 profoundly boring words.
One smile and suddenly nobody else- will- do…
“Why is Igor suddenly ripping off Chorus Line?”
Maybe he’s not a fan of Brigadoon.
Another scene break later and-
This would’ve been a lot easier for him if the place wasn’t so hard to hate.
“With all the blank, swirling mist, it really is hard for hate to find much of a foothold.”
I’m good at conceptual loathing. I can detest the very idea that this place might be a thing, even if I can’t hate the place itself due to how nebulous it is.
Smooth black walls contrasted with rectangular white lights in the walls, the low humming sound of electricity and machinery at work- he couldn’t help but start hearing Bots Build Bots in his head as he took it in. It was a bit like the League.
“Black, white, and humming!”
A zebra on Broadway?
but there was some element of it all that took it to a different level. Something about the smell. The closest that he could come to pinning it down was something just a shade off vanilla and caramel. Vanimel? Caranilla? Vanimel sounded better, but it still wasn’t quite that.
“They’re going to spend a lot of time talking about this smell, aren’t they?”
Yup, and we’re going to skip all of it! It boils down to that it’s a yummy mystery smell that nobody can figure out why it’s there or where it’s coming from. So, basically, the whole base has a Sue trait. Luckily the scene ends and cuts the conversation short.
“That was a short scene.”
Short as it was pointless, which is why we’re skipping most of it.
Here we go again-
I feel the chemicals kickin’ in…
Great, now we’ve moved on from Chorus Line to a forgettable alternative rock band.
“Honestly, I’d rather Igor leave Chorus Line alone.”
Fair enough, if you’re going to sully something with your badfic, sully a teenage-angst band.
The food. The freaking food. The fantastic, organic, fresh-cooked medley of meats, salads, sauces and spices.
I think Igor just came in his pants.
“Of course he came in his pants. Showing up without pants on would be scandalous!”
It seemed like they were trying extra-hard to please him. He would complain if it weren’t for the fact that now, dinner seemed like the perfect thing to have.
“It’s really terrible when people feed me delicious food in order to make me happy.”
Yeah, people are the worst.
“I know how you feel,” Elsa whispered as they approached the counter where the head chef was standing with a notepad in hand.
Why is the chef greeting customers?
“Blue, I think.”
“It really smells delicious.”
Oh, hey, that IS what she meant!
“I’m almost sad now.”
You should be.
“No kidding,” he nodded.
“Evenin’,” the head chef greeted them in a low Southern drawl. “What can I get for you two t’night?”
Oh great, they’re on a date at the Suddenly There® Restaurant, Trattoria, Cafe, Coffee Shop, Bar, and Grill.
“Would you happen to know how to make pyttipanna?” Elsa asked.
“Hey! The author looked up a Scandanavian dish in order to make this scene relevant!”
Shame that he used the wrong regional spelling for Norway.
“‘Matter of fact, yes,” the chef nodded. “Is beef alright?”
“It’s a common dish in the southern US.”
Actually, provided this eating establishment is run by Willow Inc., it kinda makes sense that he’d know how to make the dish. If he is indeed a self-respecting chef, he would find it a matter of honor to be able to cook regional dishes for presidents of the company he works for. Or, if nothing else, being able to cook those dishes is a good way to keep his job. Especially if Willow told him to learn the dishes so she could impress Elsa.
“That sounds like the kind of thing she would do since it doesn’t involve doing any direct work.”
“Yes, that’s fine,” Elsa nodded.
“Alright. How ’bout you?” the chef asked Doc.
“Do you make liverwurst sandwiches?” Doc asked.
“Even as an apex predator I have to question his meal choice.”
Yeah, who likes live-
“Why ruin perfectly good liver by putting it on bread!?”
“Yes we do,” the chef grinned.
“Okay. I’ll have that, but no tomatoes and don’t cut it.”
“Sounds good. Those’ll be ready in about 20 minutes or so.”
Twenty minutes to put cold-cut liverwurst on bread?
“He’s probably going to spend most of that time on Elsa’s hash.”
Wait, would Scandinavian royalty even eat hash like that?
“Thanks,” they replied in unison.
Ahh, the cherry on top of the lazy cake: speaking in unison.
He and Elsa sat down together, and he was pleased to find themselves not sitting near Willow.
And we’re glad you aren’t seated in the same reality as us.
The set-up of the room seemed like a cross between a break room and a cafeteria– it was rather large, probably large enough to fit all the employees in the building. Some couches, some round tables and chairs.
So, a mix between a break room, which is generally a small room typically having a microwave, fridge, and coffee pot at most, and a cafeteria, a large room with pre-cooked food for people to pick out and pay for by item. Definitely sounds like a place with couches and individual seating where you put in special orders personally with the chef.
“I’ll just all the words associated with cooking to the list.”
Unlike the rest of the facility, the cafeteria walls were painted a soft golden colour, and instead of the ambient hum of the lights, there was the low buzz of chatter and the sounds of the kitchen underneath that.
“What color is the rest of the facility, again?”
“They really seem to’ve gone all-out to impress,” he noted.
What with the couches, chairs, tables, and gold colored walls.
“Well, she does say that she wants everybody to be at their best,” Elsa reminded him. “She has high standards.”
And very little money sense.
There was a long pause.
Come here much?
“Do you come here much?”
Can’t say I do.
“I just remembered something very interesting,” Doc said eventually.
I highly doubt that, but maybe there’s a first time that something interesting is discussed.
“What?” Elsa asked.
“Uh… I presume you know what movies are, correct?”
Fuck, here we go again. It wasn’t enough that Olaf, Buffy, and Jim had to discuss movies, but now we’ve got to read these two fumble through the same topic.
“Maybe he’ll actually break the news to her that she’s not real.”
Even if he did, there’s probably not going to be any impact, so it’ll be totally gutted of any ‘reveal’ factor nor will it bring up any philosophical questions or ramifications.
“Well- uh… back last Thanksgiving there was this one movie released called Frozen… and strangely enough- um- it was about you and your sister.”
“Now I’m almost sad again.”
Eventually you learn to get used to it. Or at least learn to drink through the pain.
Elsa looked at him incredulously. “Excuse me?”
Well, at least she’s not buying it right away. I’ll give Igor that one.
“I’m serious. It went into great detail of recounting the events of your coronation and that whole- thing- that happened in the process.”
Where she did the stuff.
“Oh that’s right!”
Elsa laughed once in surprise. “Really? So- wait a minute-” an idea struck her- “that means that- if most people watched it- most people know who I am. Right?”
They should, but the author forgot to write in people reacting to it, so the author is probably going to toss in some kind of bandaid to address why she hasn’t been recognized.
“I think it’s more likely that it’ll be lampshaded and never addressed again.”
“I would assume so,” Doc agreed.
Elsa was silent for a moment, then burst out laughing. “Fantastic,” she said sarcastically. “I jump between worlds and forward by over 150 years, and still people know about my disastrous coronation!” She covered her face with her hands. “Absolutely perfect.”
“Unfortunately,” Doc nodded uncomfortably.
“When do I learn to stop making predictions?”
After the third or fourth drink. But the lesson doesn’t stick.
“It was a Disney film,” he continued. “It’s been wildly successful. They’re talking about opening a Frozen-themed section of Disneyland… so I guess, with this info, we’ll have to think about postponing Disneyland.”
“The fic is going in circles!”
“Crunchy would be so proud.”
Hey, he isn’t the only one around here with far too much knowledge about 80s rock.
Elsa laughed darkly. “How wildly successful?”
Google “Elsa cosplay.” That’ll give you pretty much all you need to know.
“Why are some of these wearing so little clothes?”
Dude, close that before you see- Wait, is that an Elsa version of the Leia slave bikini!?
“This Elsa isn’t wearing anything at all! Not sure what Anna doing behind her with that ice staff-”
Close the tab!
“It’s broken the world record for the most profitable animated feature of all time,” Doc revealed.
So, when coming up with Doctor Horrible’s character for this fic, were you going for a personified version of Wikipedia or was that just a bonus, Igor?
Elsa promptly broke out into a fit of angry giggles.
“Do I add anger or giggle to the list?”
Why not both?
Anyway, at this point that thrilling and super-important scene ends, and we cut to a few lines from the end of “Everything you Ever” from Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. Rather than posting them here, just go listen to the soundtrack.
But, that’s the halfway point, so we’re breaking it off here.
Sure, are you actually going to have something alcoholic this time?
“Do they make virgin strawberry daiquiris with alcohol in them?”