1763: Heroes and Villains – Chapter Twenty-One, Part One

Title: Heroes and Villains
Author: Horrible’s Igor
Media: Television / Movies
Topic: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer / Kitchen Sink
Genre: Supernatural/Drama
URL: Heroes and Villains (Now Defunct)
Critiqued by TacoMagic and Eliza

Welp, we’re finally there, the home stretch.  Now that Igor is completely out of fucks to give, we enter the freefall stage.  The shark jumps, the editing dwindles, and what passes for the plot becomes even more fragmented and incoherent.

“You make it sound so good!”

Don’t I, though?

“Recap?”

Sure.  Spike does a sparring session with team Buffy, and then quickly drops that in favor of most of the group running off to go look for the very items that Willow was just told about in the previous scene.  Because that’s how good writing works.  On their way there Jim is invited to exposit his backstory, which he does.  It’s a contrived backstory, and since it’s about a character that nobody honestly gives a shit about, there’s no real need to revisit it.   After a quick chat with the embodiment of the plot, they’re directed to the same place Willow’s going.  It’s also dropped that Igor has decided to change his mistake into a plot point involving Sunnydale being completely restored.  Presumably with a “because magic” in there somewhere.  And if you’re wondering why it took the members of Team Buffy this long to think something was strange with Sunnydale being back, then you’d be forgetting that nobody in this fic actually has a brain.

“It turns out that you don’t need one to star in a fanfic!”

The chapter trails off with a scene of DEEP FORESHADOWING™ where a bunch of vampires with extremely fake accents talk about stuff that I can’t be bothered to remember, and then an ASMR vampire shows up because why the fuck not?  Igor literally had no fucks left to give when he wrote that scene, which is why I skimmed the crap out of it.

Now that that’s all out of way, let’s see what the train-wreck has in store for us this week.

New Friends

Greeeeeat, more characters to add to the blob.

“Want to guess what canon they’ll be from this time?”

Sure.  I’m going to go with Supernatural.

“I’m going to go with Almost Human.”

Let’s hope we’re both wrong.  The one thing this fic doesn’t need is to bastardize yet another canon.

And yes, Mr. Reddington is Raymond Reddington from The Blacklist.

Wait, was it not supposed to be obvious?  Oh, bad news about that, Igor…

I can’t come up with good OCs to save my life.

“This is true.”

Not to mention your ability to write existing characters consistent with their canon is somewhat spotty.

“Though still better than a lot of the fics we feature in the Library.”

This is true.  Igor actually CAN write characters that match their canon appearances.  That is, he can do it when he isn’t trying too hard to make everything pointlessly grimdark due to his teen wangst bleeding through.  His Spike is decent, but lacks punch, and his Olaf is believable in over half his appearances.  That’s way more than can be said about other authors.

This site is my best outlet at the moment; sue me. NaNoWriMo will give me some good original content worth sharing by March, and it’ll actually all be complete beforehand. Yay!

Uh, sorry to be the one to tell you, Igor, but NaNoWriMo is essentially an excuse to partake in a stream of valueless word vomit.  Sure, you can do more with it than the rules stipulate, and I applaud those who take a more proactive and constructive approach to the whole exercise (few though they are), but at its core Nano sends the wrong message.  After doing it a few times, reading the Nano forums, and reading some of the things that other people write while doing Nano, I find their message of quantity over quality completely backwards from the message they should be working toward.  Ultimately, Nano sets more writers back than it helps since it endorses writing like what we’ve seen in this fic: writing devoid of anything worthwhile due to overruling aim toward the length of the work.  And indeed it’s a disturbingly common mindset among fanfic writers, and certainly one that should not be encouraged.

I would much rather see a month-long writing challenge to write a three-thousand word short-story with a focus on doing multiple drafts, seeking criticism, doing reworks, and ultimately coming up with something that is actually, if not good, decent and mechanically sound.  This teaches all the right lessons about what it takes to be a competent writer.  This could further be encouraged with online and live panel discussions, writers’ workshops, etc that would help participants to actually learn about writing.  There is infinitely more value in being able to write something small very well than being able to spend a month padding something out to some arbitrary word count.

So, if you’re reading this, Igor, you may want to think about giving Nano a pass this year and instead find a few workshops to sit in on.  Nano is not doing your writing any favors.

Buffy’s phone rang, disrupting a silence that had been permeating the room for the past five minutes.

*The sentence bounces harmlessly off Taco’s purple-proof glasses*

Sorry, Igor, I came ready this week.

Spike looked up at her from his computer across the table. “Who is it?”

“Whoever it is, thank them for breaking the awkward silence!”

I never understood why silence always has to be awkward.  I quite like silence.

“Xander,” she said, picking it up and answering. “Did you get something?”

“Two helpings of plot coupons!  And they came with an order free breadsticks.”

Not that that’s really a good thing.  The PCC’s breadsticks are horrible.

“Yeah,” he said. “We stopped by the Magic Box, got a shortlist of places to check out

One whole place.

“He did say the list was short.”

That he did.

 uh… Kingman’s Bluff, that old temple apparently got re-buried; Sunnydale High, big surprise; and the Cave of the Malkavians.”

“One of these things is not like the other!  One of these things is provided by plot!”

“Malkavians?” Buffy asked, and Spike’s expression turned alarmed.

Ohh, ahh, what a crazy coincidence that Buffy happened to pick that one out of the list.

“Almost as coincidental as Spike knowing about it!”

Igor, you ain’t Dickens.  Knock it the fuck off.

“Yeah, Malkavians. Apparently they’ve got a cave on the outskirts of town somewhere, and they’ve got a lot of stuff, but they’re also a bit more dangerous than the average vamp.

“He’s leaving out that the ‘town’ he’s talking about is L.A.”

Igor probably forgot that this cave was supposed to be near L.A. and not near SunnyDale.  Granted, they’re only a two-ish hour drive apart, but that’s still a sizable omission.

They’ve gone crazy because of their joining the undead, and nobody’s ever approached them and lived.

“Not actually true, but I don’t think anyone told Xander why they’re crazy.  Though it’s not nice of him to just make stuff up on the spot.”

Not very in character either.  Xander is many things, but he isn’t a compulsive liar.  Wait, if no one has approached them and lived, how does anyone know that they’re there?

But the lady who was at the Magic Box said the Cave was our best bet.”

The other two places were only mentioned because Igor wanted the illusion that this wasn’t a PCC provided story arc.

“Okay. We’ll look into it and decide on a course of action when you guys get back,” Buffy said.

“Gotcha. We’ll be back in a few.”

She hung up, looking at Spike. “What is it, Spike? Have you heard of these guys before?”

“Yes, indeed I have.  In fact I just got off of the Masquerade Wiki page!  Let me exposit the entire page just for you!”

Spike nodded. “Yeah. They’re bad news.”

As opposed to the good news vampires.

“Why would they talk about Syl’s Darkwraith band?”

Wait, what?

“How bad?” Buffy asked.

He shut his computer. “So, you’ve got your regular vampires, right: they don’t like the sun, garlic, crosses, holy water, stakes, can’t come in unless invited, and they don’t have their reflections.

“Well yeah, those would be the only vampires that exist in this universe.”

Right, so these are different.  Because they are.  Look, don’t ask me to explain why or how they exist, that would require a skilled author.  Just accept that they do, and there are very good and extremely plausible reasons for it.

“Silly Taco, a skilled author wouldn’t do that kind of thing.”

You got me there.

Malkavians don’t follow these rules the same. They’re stronger than the average, and they’re also raving mad, but they get some good stuff outta their madness too.”

“Not the stuff!”

As least they don’t have the things.

“Things?  You mean like the artifacts?”

Son-of-a-bitch, we’re doomed!

“Okay,” Buffy said with a frown, “so like the Turok-Han, kinda?”

Exactly like them!  Except that the Turok-Han weren’t insane and they still followed the canon vampire rules of being weak to sunlight, stakes, etc.  So yea, exactly the same as the Turok-Han, but totally different.

“Different, and in some ways, worse,” Spike said gravely.

Well, their accents certainly are worse than the Turok-Han.

“The Turuk-Han don’t even talk.”

If only that were true of the Malkavians.

“Holy water, garlic, crosses don’t work at all. They’re not affected by ’em. Stakes are a bit more of a problem, but not lethal. They’ll be paralysed, but nothing else. They can get in anywhere, even if you haven’t invited them, they don’t need to be invited. That’s the bad news.”

Blah, blah, new threat stolen from a different canon that’s supposed to escalate things.  At this rate, there would have been sparklepires running around by chapter seventy of this turd.

“Is there good news?” Buffy asked, eyebrows raised.

Beheading still works.  And Masquerade vampires (Cainites) aren’t driven by the bloodlust near as much as the Buffy vamps are.  Even the Malkavians have a code of honor they adhere to; they’re lawful evil for sure, but it’s there.  And Cainites almost universally like to avoid being center stage, so they avoid killing people when they don’t absolutely need to.  They are actually more of a threat to each other than they are to humans.

“Yeah,” Spike nodded. “Sunlight, fire, and decapitation work just fine.

“Actually, if you have enough of a blood pool, you can spend several hours in the sun.”

Well, you do still have to roll really well, but sunlight does not always instantly kill a Cainite like it does a Buffy vamp.

They’ll actually go sorta coma-like in the day most’a the time. Also, they have reflections, so you can see them in a mirror or the like and can’t be jumped like that.”

Though Buffy should be able to sense when vampires are nearby.  So the reflection thing shouldn’t be much of an issue.

“It would be a big problem if her vampire/demon sense doesn’t work on them, though.”

That actually would be a neat thing to explore in a situation where Buffy had to go up against this kind of vampire.  Which is why I know we aren’t going to see it here.

“Awwww.”

“How do you know all this?” Buffy asked him.

“Plot-o-pedia.  It’s a new wiki run by the PCC!  If you pay for their premium service, the needed wiki pages appear before you even have to write them!”

“When I was with Angelus, we once ran into a group of them in Holland,” Spike explained. “We hung around a few decades, found out about this whole society of theirs. ‘Pparently they’re spread ‘cross the whole world, but they don’t make up much of our lot.

They’re everywhere, but you’ve never seen them before today because shut up, stop asking questions.

“Actually, wouldn’t the Cainites view the Buffy vampires as dangerous liabilities?  A Buffy vampire is not that different than a wight in the way they kill indiscriminately.  If anything, the Cainites would probably be hunting down and destroying the Buffy vampires to uphold the Masquerade.”

That’s a good point.  In an enemy-of-my-enemy situation, most Camarilla clans would serve as a decent ally for the slayer.  If nothing else, the Cainites certainly would go out of their way to make sure they didn’t run afoul of the Slayer.  Really, I’ve no idea why Igor picked the Malkavians for this sidequest, other than his general unfamiliarity with the source.  Having a Sabbat sect control the cave makes much more sense, since they would operate more as a pack and wouldn’t be worried about harming the Masquerade.

There’s a buncha different clans, mainly in Europe, and they all have different li’l knacks for things and weak spots that’re specific to their clan.

Obviously Igor is only familiar with the video games and not the complete White Wolf canon.  The Clans are everywhere, though most prominent in big cities.  Their presence in the US is deeply rooted, and though there is still a sizable Sabbat presence, the biggest cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, are under Camarilla jurisdiction.  The cave being near L.A. is the only thing about the Malkavians being there that makes sense; but with the exception of the Nosferatu, Camarilla don’t hang about in caves because it would seem odd and might endanger the Masquerade.  See, the Masquerade is all about trying to blend in with the humans when possible, and being invisible when not.

But, beyond that, the Malkavians are the seers of the Camarilla.  The average Malkavian tends to use their gift of foresight to secure a place for themselves, such as in being a stock broker, fortune teller, gambler, or some kind of advisor to the elder vampires.  Some can’t fit into those places because they’re either too insane or their visions are too strong and sporadic, but those are usually cared for by the other less far gone Malkavains.  A cave is just so unlikely the more I think about it.

Igor, you gotta do that research, buddy.

Malkavians are bonkers, so that’s their problem, but they’re able to spread that if they want, give you visions, make you think funny, but that depends on how strong they are.”

Pretty much, see above infodump.

“Jesus,” Buffy breathed. “These guys sound worse than the Turok-Han!”

Nope.

“Not even close.”

Igor, in order to establish something like this, especially something that’s very obviously not true even from reading only what’s in your fic, you gotta actually show it and sell it.  Just telling us “THIS IS TOTES WORSE THAN THE WORST THING IN BUFFY!!!!11!!” has about as much innate believability as Pennywise standing outside of a van saying there’s free candy inside.

“What is it with you and Pennywise.”

He’s freaky as shit, okay!?

“They’re not, though,” Spike said.

We’re so sorry, Buffy.  You’re canon form really isn’t anywhere near this stupid.

“Just get some fire, some sun, or a good knife, and you’re good to go.”

*ALARM BLARES*

Stop retelling us stuff we can still see on the page!

“Finally! A chance to try my new glit-”

*Alarm suddenly cuts out*

“Awwwww.”

“Good to know,” Buffy muttered, eyes wide. “This’ll be fun.”

And then a scene break saves us from even more exposition about the Malkavians.

“You mean from the fic, or from you?”

Ouch.

“La, da, da, la, da, da, ba, ba, da, ba, ba, da,” Elsa sang softly as she walked down to the gym

Yo listen up here’s a story, about a little Elsa that lived in a blue world-

*Taco is bapped out of his chair*

“Bad Taco.  No one-hit wonders from your youth!”

tapping out the rhythm on her thigh. “La, da, da, la, da, da, na, na, la, na, na, la, na, na, la…”

“That seem so familiar, what is that?”

“Oh, right!”

She opened the doors and found Willow and Doc talking with a rather muscular brunette woman who was about 5’9″ and had a kind face, but cold eyes.

“I think that might be the most description any character has gotten.  Not the most description of any one thing, but the most description of any character.”

We’re plumbing new levels of sad this week.

They all turned as Elsa entered. “Ah!” the brunette woman exclaimed. “You must be Elsa. I’m Dr. Winogrodzki.”

“Um, who?”

Can’t say I’ve seen one of those in any canon I’m familiar with.  Seems Russian or Finnish, but not familiar beyond that.  Let’s ask uncle Google.

*A quick Google break later*

I was sorta close.  It’s a Polish surname.  Otherwise she doesn’t seem to be from any canon.  Seems we have a new OC.

“That may explain why she had description.”

Yeah, that makes sense, actually.

“I am,” Elsa nodded, frowning worriedly as she approached them. “Am I late for something?”

“Oh, no, don’t worry,” the woman waved her hand dismissively. “We just started talking.”

“Okay…” Elsa said, not totally satisfied.

“Speaking of not being totally satisfied, I’ve found this fic somewhat lacking in a few areas.”

I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not, and that worries me.

Dr. Winogrodzki looked at all of them, sizing up their physiques. “Well, you all look relatively healthy. Not overweight, but not underweight either—” she gave Elsa and Doc a second glance, “—though you two are a little more on the scrawny side than most… You seem rested enough… Any health issues before? Aside from your eye, Ms. Rosenberg, of course.”

Wait, they’re doing a public physical?  Pretty sure that violates a few bits of the Hippocratic oath.

“Evil doctors.”

Yes, you keep saying.

“Been battered and bruised by vamps back in my late teens and early 20s,” Willow said. “Nothing big aside from that.”

“She forgot the part where she died and came back to life.”

Her other doctor told her that the likelihood of a relapse was low.

“Her other evil doctor?”

“I got hit by a car in ’08,” Doc said. “Well—actually, it got thrown at my head. I also got beat up regularly from about ’04 to the car thing.”

Dr. Winogrodzki laughed once. “My goodness, you’ve had a rough go of it, haven’t you?”

“Poor girl must me new to the whole treating villains thing.”

I wonder where you go for an M.D. in villainous medicine.

“Yeah,” Doc nodded. “But it’s been a while since anything like that’s happened.”

“Good,” she nodded. “And you, Elsa? Any injuries from the past?”

“Nothing more than the usual,” she said meekly.

I suppose getting knocked unconscious by a giant ice chandelier isn’t really worth noting.

“Concussions with associated black-outs are rarely worth tracking.  Especially if your M.D. is evil.  Charting is time consuming, after all.”

“Hmm.” Dr. Winogrodzki broke the circle. “So, I’m going to be your personal trainer while you’re here.

*Facepalm*

Igor, you started off so strong with the research.  In that you did the bare minimum of acceptable research; which, somewhat depressingly, puts you near the top of our fics research wise.  Doctors are not physical trainers!  You’re talking several pay grades worth of difference there.

Since you’ll be likely to get involved in fights doing what you do, it’ll help you immensely to be in good shape when those fights happen. I’ll also teach you how to fight hand-to-hand, and one of the people in R&D will teach you how to fight with weapons.”

“Which is like asking your pharmacy tech how to build a robotic pill packer.  It’s the right area of industry, but not the right person for the job.”

She gave Doc a look and said, “I’m guessing you’ll be doing that yourself soon.

Wait, what?  He’ll be teaching himself to fight with weapons?

Anyway, for now, the important thing is improving your fitness in general, cardio and weights, that sort of thing, so we’re going to stick with the basics for a little while.”

“Sounds like a solid fitness plan!”

But that’s not a plan at all!  That’s just telling them what’s in the gym, and then being vague about what they’d actually do there.

“Solid! Plan!”

She went up to the treadmills. “To start with, let me introduce you to the treadmill.

“Wait, is that Gerald!?  It’s been forever!”

Hold up, you know their treadmill?

“Know him, I dated him in college!”

Swenia has been teaching you how to tell stories, hasn’t she?

“How’d I do?”

If it had been anyone else, I’d have been fooled.

“Yay!”

I’ll be honest, you will learn to love and hate this thing, but it will be very helpful once you need to run away really fast from something.”

You know, I never really understood treadmills until I lived in the city.  As somebody who lived out in the boonies where you’d only see one car on the road every few hours, it made a lot more sense to just run outside on the road or find a forest trail to run down.  In the city, however, running outside is putting your life in the hands of some very, very stupid drivers.  Even with sidewalks, it’s harrowing as shit out there.

But, since they’re basically in the middle of a mountain forest, I don’t see why that can’t just do laps around the mountain or on the park trails.  Seems like that would provide a lot more real-world experience in running.  Treadmills are nice for training muscles and stuff, but running in the real world is actually a lot different than on a treadmill.  FPM runs quite a bit, and is constantly bemoaning how much harder it is to run outside, but that she needs to do it so she doesn’t get used to running the ‘wrong way.’

“I specialise in running away from things really fast,” Doc muttered.

“Nuh-uh!  Your PhD is in horribleness!”

“Then you’ll be right at home on this,” Dr. Winogrodzki grinned. “Why don’t we give these a spin, hmm? I’m a fan of the Couch to 5K program, so we’ll start with their workout plan for these, which means today, we’ll do a 5-minute warm-up walk, then alternate between a minute of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes.

*Taco falls out of his chair gasping for breath*

“You know, just because the sentence doesn’t stop, doesn’t mean you can’t pause to take a breath.”

Having worked closely with doctors in a hospital setting for almost ten years now, I can vouch that doctors would indeed be lazy enough to use a generic internet self-training regimen rather than do any actual work developing a personalized physical training program.  Weirdly, Igor got this one right by not really understanding how physical fitness trainers work.

Sound good?”

“It sounds very regurgitated from online.  That’s sorta good, right?”

“Hoo boy,” Willow whispered.

“You said it,” Doc whispered back.

Really?  a 40% jog cycle for twenty minutes sounds bad enough for a ‘Hoo boy?’  Wow, these people are more out of shape than I am.

“Well, there’s nowhere to go from here but up,” Elsa sighed.

The treadmill goes up, too!?

“Gerald has propellers on him.  He finds that having people run at ten-thousand feet gives them a lot of incentive not to slow down and fall off the back.”

“That’s the spirit,” Dr. Winogrodzki smiled. “Let’s get started.”

“SCENE BREAK!”

“I’m going to be feeling that tomorrow,” Willow panted as they ascended the staircase. “I also really regret having stairs here!”

Dude, if you’re allergic to doing some stair climbing, why the hell did you build your secret lair on the side of a fucking mountain!?

“Or put in elevators.”

“Fick mich sanft mit einer Kettensäge,” Doc groaned.

We get it, Igor, you like to pretend you can speak languages.  Stop.

This earned him a laugh from Willow and a horrified look from Elsa, neither of which he gave any notice to.

Igor Horrible is too cool for reacting to others.”

So cool.  So awesome.  Much swoon.

“SCENE BREAK!”

Already!?  What the fuck was the point of that scene, Igor!?

Six Moments Musicaux, D. 780 (Op. 94) #3. Put that on now.

No, go fuck yourself, Igor.  You can take your sense of self-congratulation of your elementary knowledge of music and stick your dick in it.

“Hostile much.”

Listening to a pretentious high-schooler pretend to be cultured by referencing common classical pieces really gets on my nerves.  Especially when he’s using that music in lieu of developing anything interesting, thought provoking, or emotionally engaging with his writing.

Lots of people have been in Orchestra, Igor, you aren’t nearly so special as you think you are.  Get yourself a music degree and some humility, then you can come talk to Herr about music.  In the mean time, less mood music, more actual mood!

“So, what you’re saying is: Yakety Sax.”

Damn straight!

“There, the mood is set!”

“Ohhhhhhh, it doesn’t look right!” the first one shouted angrily. “You need to put it higher up!”

“It is higher up!” the German shot back. “Your eyesight is failing you again!”

Oh look, it’s First one!  And German one!  Again!  Best day ever!

“German one’s accent is gone.”

Good, it’ll stay gone if it knows what’s good for it.

“Noo!” the first one cried as the German adjusted the stack of jewels again. “Up!”

“Nein!” the German hissed. “If you vant it higher up zhan it already is, it vill topple! Ze jewels vill stay vhere zhey are, right here, and zat’s all zere is to ze matter!”

Eliza.

“Yes, Taco?”

Get the cement shoes.  You, me, and that inconsistent German accent have a little trip to make to the pier.

“Euuuugh,” the first one groaned. “The sun is still shining wrong! It’s hurting my face!”

Bit of an understatement.

“Ze sun doesn’t ever enter ze opening, Damien!” the German exclaimed in exasperation. “Vhy else vould ve be here?”

“The author felt the need to drum up fake tension and rather than writing something clever, instead decided to rob another canon for a monster of the week?”

That seems suuuuuper unlikely.

“It doesn’t mean I can’t feel it!” Damien sobbed. “Why can’t you?!”

“You’re letting your derangement get to you!” the German growled. “You still have some semblance of reason left in zere, ja?”

“Easy for you to say!” Damien snapped. “You’re the youngest!”

“I’m ze strongest, too!” the German retorted.

If I’m honest, I’ll admit to reading this scene twice, once with the Schubert playing, and once with Yakety Sax.  The Yakety Sax fits the scene way better.

“Gentlemen, gentlemen!” Alicia’s voice sounded softly as she entered the main chamber. “Zere is no reason for such words, believe me…”

“I still feel really sorry for IndigoStars.  She obviously didn’t know what she was getting into by letting Igor use her character.”

I wonder if Igor removed the fic because he saw the riffs here, if it was a coincidence, or maybe because IndigoStars asked him to take it down.  I certainly would have if he’d borrowed some character of mine to put in this mess.

“No reason?” Damien repeated, whipping towards her with wide, childlike eyes. “Why, Mistress Alicia?”

“Hush, my little one…” she breathed, kneeling in front of him and caressing his cheek with a bloody hand. “All will be well… I ‘ave seen somezing you shall like, yes yes yes…”

“Vhat did you see, Mistress Alicia?” the German asked.

“So is Alicia like the Magic Alice Ball 2.0?”

I’m betting so.  Generally when you give a character precognition, it quickly turns them into a plot telephone that randomly gets a busy signal.

Alicia laughed. “Zere are friends on ze way… Old friends and new friends… Our coffers shall fill as zey once did in Amsterdam, and ze Kine will cower in fear again…”

Can this scene end now?  The horrible accents are making me stabby.

“We’re only halfway done with it.”

“Ddrama llama.”

“But—vhat of ze Masquerade?” the German asked, hardly daring to believe what he was hearing.

The plot told us that the Masquerade, the very core of our society, could go fuck itself.  We’re here to be a random speed-bump for the protagonists.  Because reasons.

“Yeah, why else would we be cowering in a cave?”

“Zey know ‘ere, Johann,” Alicia said with a grin, still staring into Damien’s eyes. “No Masquerade ‘ere, no no no… We need not fear…”

While true, most Kindred would insist that the humans who know of vampire existence should be either turned into ghouls or dominated and told to forget everything they know about vampires.

“Does this mean we can leave here?” Damien asked. His cheek was streaked with the blood on Alicia’s soft hand. “Walk among them like it was meant for us to be?”

“No!  The plot told us to live in this cave, so we’re living in it!”

Alicia laughed again. “No, no, mon cher… but we need not fear anymore…”

Team cave 4TW!

“Zen vhat do ve do, Mistress Alicia?” Johann asked.

“Didn’t you hear her?  The plot told you to hang out in the cave until somebody comes to challenge you.”

That seems oddly familiar.

Probably my imagination.

Alicia paused, raising a hand as she thought. “Zere will be friends soon… We must be good hosts. Ensure zat our ‘ome is properly tidied up, will you? But prepare for a struggle too…”

We get it, Alicia is quirky and dangerous stuff.  She’s the budget-rate Drusilla because the actual Drusilla is dead.  So, can we be done?  This scene is super pointless and I want to go be doing something else.  Like watching wallpaper dry.

“A struggle?” Damien repeated, voice quavering.

“No friends can come if no enemies draw zem out,” Alicia laughed, caressing his cheek again. He sighed happily, staring into her eyes. “Why are your eyes so different, Mistress Alicia? Why is one red and one blue?”

Why is Alicia suddenly talking about herself in the third person?

“Did you forget, she’s quirky, unbalanced, and dangerous and stuff.”

Right, right.  Forgot already.

“Because zhey knew I would be special to zem,” she grinned. “Anyone with eyes like mine has… more zhan zhey seem.”

More eyes than she seems?

“She keeps them in a jar in her underwear drawer.”

Classless hack.  Crunchy keeps his in a decorative display box with a glass lid.  It’s all about those standards.

Damien cocked his head curiously. “Huh.”

Not that hard, dude. She keeps extra eyes on hand.  Just in case she needs them.

“Sometimes you need a snack and don’t want to go all the way to the kitchen.”

“I’ll prepare ze Cave for our guests,” Johann said. “Vhat sort of friends are coming?”

Stupid ones.  So very, very stupid.

Alicia slowly turned to face him, blue eye catching the harsh light. “Kine, Johann. Kine.”

“Why are they expecting cows?”

Sometimes, as a vampire, you just gotta invite the cows over to party.  You aren’t their mother, don’t judge who they want to hang out with.

“I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to go for the low blow, but I’ve herd that they would be pretty cuddy guests.”

Dude, no.  Ice puns.

“Sorry, puns are such a slippery slope.  Icy one, and just can’t help doing more.”

Much better.

“SCENE BREAK!”

“Okay,” Xander said as he, Marlowe, and Olaf entered the house, “the more I hear about these Malkavian vamps, the less I like them.”

I can relate.  Those accents especially.

“We know, Taco.  We know.”

“I know,” Buffy said, curling her lip. “They’re a bit more dicey than the usual troublemakers.”

In that they hide in a cave not doing anything.  I mean compared to the normal vampires and demons who run around killing indiscriminately and trying to bring about the end of the world, that’s some serious shit.  Real rough characters, these Malkavians.

Once again, Igor, you can tell us your monster of the week is super serious all you want, but when everything you’ve shown us contradicts it, your words ring hollow.

“So they can’t be killed with a wooden stake, you say?” Marlowe asked, hanging up his coat.

“Nope,” Spike shook his head. “Crosses won’t help either. It’s sunlight, fire, or cut off the head.”

“I’ll remember that,” Marlowe nodded slowly.

“Well, do we have a location?” Buffy asked.

I like how they’ve completely dropped the pretense that the other two places ever mattered.

“Nothing too specific, but it’s somewhere on the south side of town,” Xander said.

“It’s confirmed, Igor forgot that the cave was supposed to be just north of Los Angeles.”

Those who are surprised by this, you must be new here: Welcome!  See Swenia for your orientation packet.

“Don’t get it wet.”

Well, not unless you like Top Ramen, anyway.

“It’s gonna have an opening to the north so the sun can’t get inside there.

It’s a fucking cave, moron.  If it’s deep enough, it doesn’t matter what direction the entrance is pointed in.

Probably gonna by away from people, but not too far, because—y’know—still vampires.  Gotta get your blood from somewhere, and I don’t think they’re doing the hospital route.”

“And it’s not like they can just create a few ghouls to act as mobile feeding stations.  That’s just crazy talk!”

To be fair, Xander wouldn’t know about ghouling.  Or rather he does know about ghouling, since he was one for an episode, but the only vampire in Buffy canon who creates ghouls is Dracula, and he’s reformed.

“Probably.”

Yeah, probably.  Until the comics need him to be a villain again.

“Could they pull a Twilight and drink animal blood?” Buffy asked sarcastically.

Stop referencing other canons.  It isn’t cute.

“Some,” Spike nodded. “Not the older ones, though.”

Buffy groaned. “These guys are insane! And no, I did not mean that literally too!”

Wha?  They’re insane because they feed on humans.  Just like all the other vampires you’ve had to deal with.  Yup, that makes sense.

Marlowe smirked. “Well, you’re neglecting one possible way to go about all this.”

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

*GONG*

Poor guy has been feeling pent-up lately.

“What’s that?” she asked, turning to face him.

“We offer to help them,” he said simply.

What, by letting them drink your blood?

“It’s a bold move, but one that doesn’t have any apparent drawbacks!”

What do you mean no drawbacks!?  They could di-  You’re right, not seeing any drawbacks.

Buffy looked at him like he was crazy. “Help them?!”

“In a sense,” he amended. “But since we’re assuming Willow and her associates are going to pay them a visit at some point, likely to take their cargo, we could extend our aid to them so they don’t lose it.

And two squishy humans, a sentient snowman, a lowlife vampire, and an immensely stupid slayer are going to be able to assist this coven of vampires that scare the bejesus out of the slayer.  Igor, what the fuck were you smoking when you wrote this mess?  I want some, it might make the last chapter-and-a-half tolerable.

This way the ‘Big Bads’ don’t gain an advantage over us, and the Malkavians aren’t against us, at least not as strongly, so we wouldn’t have to fight our way in or out.”

“This is making a lot of really bad assumptions about a group of Camarilla stooping to accept help from mortals for a situation that they’d probably be able to handle on their own.”

Especially if they’re supposed to be scarier than fucking Turok-Han.  That’s like telling Superman you’re going to help him open that stuck pickle jar.

Buffy thought about it. “It’s risky. They’re probably not the type to ask questions first.”

“Or at all.  They care not for the affairs of man.”

Well, they do, but only so far as it affects them.

“No,” he admitted.

“We need to figure out a way to let them know we’re friendly besides showing up ourselves,” Xander said. “Like a message or something.”

“They’re going to send in Olaf first because he’s not a tasty blood bag.”

To be fair, not a horrible plan of action.  Though Cainites are modernized, so it might be easiest to just find out their cell numbers and send them a text.  Or friend them on Facebook.

“But we don’t even know where the cave is,” Spike reminded them. “I say that’s the first thing to do.”

Stop making sense, Spike!  I don’t know what to do with myself when the fic makes sense!

“You’re right,” Buffy agreed, standing up. “So, south side, far enough away to be secluded but close enough to feed, with an opening facing north?”

*Twitch*  That last part is still really stupid.  It’s a friggen’ cave!  Even if it was shallow, they could put up some kind of barrier to keep the sun out!

“Yep,” Xander nodded.

“Alright,” she said. “Let’s grab some weapons and get searching.  Bring some long-range stuff too, in case we run into our old friends.”

“Nothing says ‘We’re here to help’ quite like being heavily armed!”

“Ah.”

“Woohoo!” Olaf crowed as they moved out. “Road trip!”

AHHH! Shit, where did you come from!?  Don’t do that, man; my heart, bro.

And, with that, we hit the halfway point of this chapter, and thus our riff for the week is concluded.

“See you all next week!”

Until then, patrons!

“So, you wanna go hang out with the kine?”

Yeah, okay.  Might take my mind off things to get a good grazing in.

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16 Comments on “1763: Heroes and Villains – Chapter Twenty-One, Part One”

  1. SC says:

    The shark jumps, the editing dwindles, and what passes for the plot becomes even more fragmented and incoherent.

    Hey, it’s still better than his sordid attempts at mimicking TV series. I’ll take it.

  2. SC says:

    Malkavians

    *Groans in Nosferatu*

  3. SC says:

    And yes, Mr. Reddington is Raymond Reddington from The Blacklist.

    *Groans even louder in Berlin*

  4. SC says:

    “Nein!” the German hissed. “If you vant it higher up zhan it already is, it vill topple! Ze jewels vill stay vhere zhey are, right here, and zat’s all zere is to ze matter!”

    *Bifocals’ pen explodes in her angrily-balled fist*

  5. SC says:

    More eyes than she seems?

    “She keeps them in a jar in her underwear drawer.”

    Classless hack. Crunchy keeps his in a decorative display box with a glass lid. It’s all about those standards.

    Hell, I have it on good authority that Ishi keeps his leeches and spare body parts in a specially-crafted shrine. Has warding talismans and incense and everything.

  6. SC says:

    Igor actually CAN write characters that match their canon appearances. That is, he can do it when he isn’t trying too hard to make everything pointlessly grimdark due to his teen wangst bleeding through. His Spike is decent, but lacks punch, and his Olaf is believable in over half his appearances. That’s way more than can be said about other authors.

    That pisses me right off when I see that an author has the ability to write well, even if it’s only one key aspect, and they simply refuse to do so. Igor has the capacity to write decent characters if he actually puts forth the effort, but he’s so caught up on being meta and edgy that the potential to build a good story off of good characters is completely lost, and it’s fucking infuriating.

  7. SC says:

    the Malkavians aren’t against us, at least not as strongly

    How can you tell? Malkavians get offended by stop signs having the nerve to tell them what to do.

    • TacoMagic says:

      That’s a bit of a technical detail compared to them never having even me the Malkavians. They haven’t done any real research, let alone even met these Malkavians; how the crap can they assume that the Malkavians aren’t against them?

  8. SC says:

    “Fick mich sanft mit einer Kettensäge,” Doc groaned.

    Google Translate says: “Fuck me gently with a chainsaw,” which is a bit of an oxymoron.

    • TacoMagic says:

      Pretty much, I originally chocked it up to a Google translate, but it’s actually a reference to Heathers. I mean, I’m sure Google translate was used, but the phrase isn’t made up. Which shouldn’t really surprise us, since Igor goes out of his way to avoid producing original material.

      Though this particular phrase reminds me that German noun genders are kinda strange and wonderful. Chainsaw, shotgun, and bomb are all feminine words.

  9. SC says:

    “La, da, da, la, da, da, ba, ba, da, ba, ba, da,” Elsa sang softly

    (Kitty’s gotten into Hamilton recently, and she particularly likes singing King George’s songs where I can easily hear her, so this was kind of a no-brainer for me.)


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