1777: Heroes and Villains – Chapter Twenty-Two, 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

Hey, everyone!  Welcome back to Heroes and Villains, the fic that dares name itself after two groups of people that it doesn’t portray!

“Not so much as an Awesome McEvil.”

I was going to do a recap, but, honestly, all that you need to know is sunlight, fire, and decapitation.  You know, in general.

“I live my life by that motto!”

Don’t wanna know.  Let’s jump in, shall we?

Ruse

“Can we just clear the board and call it a tie?… Please?”

Um, wha?  If that one is a reference, it’s beyond me as I don’t recognize it.  It’s also beyond Uncle Google.

“Maybe it’s the author’s plea to let him off the hook for all one-thousand chapters.”

Well, he did get his wish, I suppose.

“Wow,” Xander coughed as they approached the cave. “That’s a really strong smell.”

“Yeah,” Spike agreed, rushing to the shade and removing his mask.

You been rolling in carrion again?

“It’s surprising how easy it is to find around here!”

Yaaaaaaay.

“God! Finally. This thing was choking me with heat.” They took a moment to gather themselves. “So, this is the cave.”

“Yup.  See, it’s all cavey and stuff!”

“Yep,” Xander nodded, peering into the darkness. “So where’s the others?”

“Inside, I’d reckon,” Spike reasoned.

Uh, Spike, pretty sure you’re British, not from a spaghetti western.

“Buffy, you in there?” Xander called out, cupping his hands around his mouth.

“Yeah!” Buffy’s voice rang out. “It’s safe!”

The vampires told us so!

There was another voice, too quiet to understand.

“Mrfmalmmlmaflm.”

“What?” Xander said.

See!?  This is why you shouldn’t talk with your mouth full.  Finish the cupcake, then talk to people.

“Sorry.”

“She said to come inside!” Olaf shouted.

“Did not!  I said, ‘This cupcake is delicious!'”

“Okay!” Spike shouted back. He sauntered inside without another word. Xander huffed angrily, then followed suit.

The cave wasn’t the most impressive thing he’d ever seen, but it had a foreboding quality in the air.

Those of us in the business call that quality, ‘mustiness.’

Something about the sparse lighting from the torches along the jagged walls. Go figure.

Fucking caves, amirite?

“They’re the worst.”

They rounded a corner into another chamber, and when Xander saw the woman standing near Buffy, his heart damn near stopped. She was gorgeous. The face! The piercing! Oh god, her eyes!

“Igor’s fawning over IndigoStars again.”

Yeah, I feel really bad for Igor that he was so obvious with it; I cringe for him every time he goes off on a tangent about how wonderful she looks. I’m wondering if it had something to do with the fic getting taken down.  I’d like to take credit, but it’s equally likely that he went back and realized just how obvious he was being.

No! Stop it, Xander! No more sexy demons luring you into death traps! No more!

But those eyes—

Shut up!

Um, did the narrative just have an argument with itself?

“I think Xander and the narrator just argued with each other.”

I’m pretty sure that’s not how you prose.

He quickly regained his composure and looked at Buffy.

“Xander is really well known for his quick recoveries when ogling girls!  Just like Taco was well known for his charming wit in high school!”

HEY!

“So is this one of them?”

“Nope, just a girl we found in a cave.”

See, this is why my dating life wasn’t better in high school, I did very little caving.

“What about those Ape Caves you always talk about?”

There were a lot fewer apes than you’d expect, and none of them were interested in dating.

“Yeah,” Buffy nodded. “Says her name is Alicia.”

“Alicia?” Xander repeated. “Huh.”

Alicia?

Alicia.

Ahh, Alicia!

*ALARM BLARES*

“Yay!  Just in time to test the new chocolate and sprinkle mines!”

*The bunker is rocked by a series of explosions followed by panicked screams of pain*

Using hot fudge wasn’t very nice.

“But it coats so much better than the syrup!”

“So—where are your jewels?” Marlowe asked. “May we see them?”

“Swenia said I should always insist on dinner before showing off my jewels.”

She didn’t explain that, did she?

“Why would she, it’s pretty obvious what jewels are.  Not really sure why she brought it up, though.  The only one around here with lots of jewelry is Crunchy, and he’s never required a meal to show it all off.”

“Mmm… you may,” Alicia smiled. Oh, dammit, she was French, too?!

She’s Hollywood French.  It’s like being French, but without the French part!

Why was it always him that was the most vulnerable to succubi? “Follow me.”

I think Igor was forgetting that Xander during a large portion of the show was a teenage boy.  The reason he was such an easy mark comes down to OMGWTFHORMONES!?

She led them down into the depths of the cave, and after a few more small chambers and descending a long, narrow staircase, they entered an enormous hall nearly 30 feet tall and so long that the torches at the far end were pinpricks.  Stacked neatly against the right wall was a large assortment of very bright, very shiny objects, presumably the artefacts Tara had described.  He saw a lot of gold and silver scattered throughout the collection, as well as large rubies, sapphires, amethysts, and emeralds. Most of the items were relatively small, not much bigger than his hand, but some were as big as an anvil.

“Are we sure this is the Cave of the Malkavians and not Smaug’s hoard?”

After Smaug had issues with his landlord the Malkavians picked up the lease.

“Well,” Spike said. “You got quite the stash ‘ere.”

Hoard.  It’s called a hoard.

Alicia smirked at him.

BAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

*gong*

Aww, he broke out the padded ASMR gong just for her.

“Now he will gong you.  Yes, a light, gentle gonging across your forehead.”

“We are very proud of our jewels.

*Porno music blasts over the intercom system*

That one’s fair.

With zem we hold more power than most Kindred could hope to hold in their lifetime.”

“And wiz zis power we live in ze cave.”

“Then why haven’t we heard about you before?” Buffy asked.

Something, something, PCC.

“Oh… We decided to—how do you say—stack the deck in our favour,” Alicia said mysteriously.

That doesn’t mean anything, does it?

“Of course it does!”

Oh?

“Yeah, it means Igor couldn’t think of something logical so instead decided to be vague.”

I’m pretty sure that’s the summary of this fic.

“Then this way nobody will attack us.

“Because of the metaphorically stacked deck!”

Generally stacking the deck gets you shot under the table.

“The metaphorical table?”

With a metaphorical gun.

I do not desire the power of land, but of people.

Guess Alicia isn’t a Kwame fan.

And besides… ze Camarilla do not like competition.”

What is that supposed to mean in the context of the rest of that line!?

“The Camarilla control the power of Earth so they have to go after Heart as an alternative?”

Sure, let’s go with that.

“Is that why you’re out here?” Xander asked her, trying to bolster his confidence. “Instead of being in Europe with all your buddies?”

Well, Captain Planet does recruit from all over, so Europe wouldn’t be out of the question.

She looked straight at him, and he really had to resist losing himself in her otherworldly eyes. “We do not like to sacrifice our cargo… and ze Prince of Amsterdam was untrustworthy. Ventrue are the nastiest of authorities.”

None of this means anything, does it?  Seriously, the Cainnites don’t really care all that much about material goods; they’re more about maintaining their culture. The Ventrue wouldn’t really care about you taking off with your baubles.

“Is the Prince still Maria Vanderhoff?” Spike asked curiously.

“Yes!” Alicia grinned. “Yes, yes, yes, Maria.”

Actually, it’s Arjan Voorhies.  But thanks for playing.  It’s an understandable mistake since Maria Vanderhoff is another IndigoStars character, but at least pretend to do research on the canon you’re trying to incorporate here.

“Interestingly enough, even in IndigoStars canon, it appears Maria isn’t the prince anyway, but rather is the mistress of a powerful Ventru.  Given how much Indigo likes the canon, she might be even more irate about this canon violation than we are”

Wow, that’s an epic double fail.  You have a rare talent, Igor.

“Is it alright if we catalogue what you have?” Marlowe asked, cutting to the chase.

“Didn’t the Magic Box provide them with a list of artifacts that were located here?”

More to the point, if you had this vast collection of artifacts that you were guarding, wouldn’t you have it all catalogued?

Alicia considered it. “You may see; but if you take, I will drain you of your vitae and burn your corpse to ash.”

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that these “super vamp” Malkavians are too stupid to catalogue their own cache of magic artifacts.

“Of course,” Marlowe nodded, unfazed. “We won’t take anything.”

As the resident Stu, Jim gets more offhanded death threats by nine a.m. than most people get all day.

She gestured for them to examine the gems, and they all gathered around it.

It?

“The thing!”

Ah.

“SCENE BREAK!”

EeeEEeEEEev’ry breath you-ou take…

And, without warning, Every Breath you Take.  Because why the hell not, right?

“The sun’s getting close to setting,” Doc noted as they searched the woods. “Probably less than half an hour ’til twilight. They’ll be waking up soon.”

“That’s fine,” Willow’s voice said in his earpiece. “We’re all within a safe radius of each other if someone gets jumped by them.”

“Jumped by the super vampires that are so much worse than the normal vampires.  The normal vampires that almost killed you in the only encounter you’ve had with them.”

“Do they feel pain?” Elsa asked.

“—Yeah,” Willow said, confused. “Why?”

“I was wondering if a well-placed blow would hurt them enough to get a head start.”

Get a head start on what?

“Beating the ever-loving cookies out of them, I’d bet.”

“Yeah. Definitely. I’ve done it.”

“Okay. Good.”

So these vampires are super scary, but can be stunned with a single punch.  I’m shaking in my boots.

“You’re wearing sandals.”

I know!

Doc looked deeper into the trees ahead of him, looking down the sights of his crossbow. “Nothing yet. Not a leaf on the ground.”

“Using the crossbow is much easier than just looking around without it!”

I’m going to get you placed in protective custody as well as get that restraining order.

“Do we have any idea how big this circle is, Elsa?” Willow asked.

“No,” Elsa admitted, to her frustration. “The text didn’t describe anything beyond the scorched earth.”

It’s strange that the wiki was so specific up to that point.

“They should have used Google maps.”

“Alright,” Willow sighed. “It’s fine. We’ll just keep sweeping.”

You fools!

“Just keep sweeping, just keep sweeping, just keep sweeping, sweeping, sweeping!”

Dammit all.

“I hope that we can smell the smoke,” Doc muttered. “That way we’ll actually be able to tell we’re close.”

“Wait, smoke?  What smoke?”

Alicia likes to vape as soon as it’s twilight.  The other Malkavians won’t let her do it in the cave.  Dude, it’s on the wiki, didn’t you read it?

“Sorry.”

“Wait,” Elsa said. “I’m seeing fallen leaves.”

“In a forest!?”

Madness!

“I see them too,” Willow said. “Doc?”

Doc looked around. “Nothin’ here.”

“Quite literally just misty, swirly void.”

“Okay. Join up with Elsa and keep looking.”

He jogged over to Elsa, which took about half a minute.

So they’re searching for something literally fifty meters apart.  It strikes me that there are more useful search patterns.

“Or they could just use Google maps to find the big dark circle in the middle of the forest.”

Look, if the characters were able to do the smart thing, we wouldn’t be here.

 “Jeez—suddenly Dr. Winogrodzki’s whole running thing makes sense.”

“Yeah,” she laughed. “Funny how that works.”

The leaves were starting to really crunch under their feet now.

“Hey, remember how the leaves were crunching under our feet at Stacey’s party?”

Totally, bro.

“Well, after you left, they started like REALLY crunching.  Like, not just crunching, but crunching, crunching.”

Oh man, dude, I’m sorry I missed it!

“Oh,” Doc gagged suddenly. “Oh, wow, that’s a strong smell!”

“I can’t resist the carrion, okay!?”

Elsa inhaled, then coughed loudly. “Quite!”

“What?” Willow said, a bit worried. “What is it?”

“About three-quarters DRD agent, and a quarter Darkwraith.  Might also be a hint of wildebeest in it, too.”

That’s what that tang at the end is!

“Smoke!” Doc choked out. “We’re getting close, I guess!”

Look, Alicia, you’re a vampire.  You can probably reign in the vaping.  I mean, do your lungs even do anything?

The trees suddenly stopped, and Doc and Elsa saw two very interesting things:

“I hate it when the ent parade suddenly breaks down!”

Let it go dude, sometimes they get rooted in place.

“That’s not an ice pun!”

I spent all night trying to figure out how to make a pun out of iceberg, but it turned into too Titanic of an effort.

“Too soon.”

There was an opening in the ground approximately 15 feet ahead.

If it was approximate, why did you throw in an exact measurement!

There was an angry-looking vampire standing there.

“Alicia is not happy with you getting Cainnite canon wrong.”

You keep this up, and she’ll flog you to within an inch of your life with her fake accent!

“SCENE BREAK!”

Was that supposed to be a cliffhanger?  Is this where the commercial goes?

Et donc n’envoyez jamais savoir pour qui la cloche sonne…

Seriously?  Is that what these lyrical interludes are?  Commercial placeholders?   I can’t believe I didn’t notice it sooner!

“The Bee Gees don’t appreciate being pumped through Google Translate.”

“Ah… Und was haben wie hier?” the vampire growled, stepping up to the edge of the cave’s shadow, barely five feet away. “Sind Sie Freunde, oder Feinde?”

And I guess this is here because Igor needed to have a reason for team Willow to be fluent in high school German.

“Sprechen Sie Englisch?” Elsa asked, holding up her sword defensively. “Das ist besser für uns.”

Right, because despite everyone on this team being able to speak German, there’s no reason to actually do so.  It’s like some small part of Igor realized how entirely pointless this whole German thing was, but couldn’t bring himself to not include it.  It’s like that guy who says, ‘Okay, this is probably really stupid, but I’m going to try it anyway.’  As it turns out, the thing that follows that statement is almost always pretty damn stupid.

“Yes, I speak English as vell,” he spat at them. “Zough it vas vorth a try to see how you vould react.”

“Is that a thing people do?”

It’s a thing that douchebags do.  Like an American who speaks fluent German but wanders around Berlin speaking English at everyone.

“Well, unfortunately, we’re both fluent, so you won’t scare us with that,” Doc said, aiming his crossbow at the creature.

And yet here you are speaking English anyway.  Seriously, Igor, what the fuck was the point of this!?  Hell, what the fuck was the point of ANY of this!?

“Who are you?”

“Once again, we’re reminded of better things we could be watching.”

“I am Johann,” the vampire hissed. “And you are not going in here.”

“Are you one of the Malkavians?” Elsa asked.

I’m an out of work bouncer and I like to keep in practice.  And, you know, this cave was just sitting here with nobody bouncing it.

Willow entered the clearing. Johann spun to face her and shouted, “Sie! Stopp wo Sie sind!”

Willow halted. “Warfor? Wer sind Sie?”

“He might be one of them!” Doc said. “He speaks English, he’s just trying to scare you!”

“Because German is scary!”

*A glitter mine goes off under Taco’s chair, coating the room in sparkly devastation.*

“I did warn you not to play that.”

“Oh,” Willow said, sauntering up to the edge of the shadow and looking Johann in the eye. “Got a name?”

HE JUST TOLD YOU HIS NAME!  This fic is boring enough without having to read parts of it twice!

“Johann,” he said, baring his fangs. “And you’re staying outside tonight, meine Feinde.”

“They’re going camping!?”

I can think of a few less fun things than going camping with Johann, but not many.

“We’re not your enemies,” Willow said calmingly. “We have an offer to make you.”

“Hand over the jewels and we won’t make you kill us!”

Shrewd bargainer that Willow.

“Oh?” Johann raised his eyebrows, unswayed. “And vhat vould zat offer be?”

“Your jewels in exchange for the city,” Willow said. “Free reign.”

*Facepalm*  *Headdesk*  *Bodywall*

Seriously?  Igor, get a fucking clue, please.  You spent so much work building these vampires up as the biggest threat that Willow and Buffy could possibly face, and yet you want us to believe the Malkavians couldn’t just take the city if they wanted it?  Moreover, you want us to believe that Willow would be stupid enough to think the Malkavians would need to be offered a city that they could just waltz in and take for themselves?  What the fuck, man?  Was spending more than ten seconds thinking about the plot too much for you?

“You know the answer to that as well as I do.”

I do.  It’s the elephant in the room that I’ll tackle next week when we finish this thing.  And, speaking of which, it’s time to wrap things up this week.  We’re at the halfway point and I figured this is as close to a cliff hanger as we’re going to get.  So, until next week, patrons!

“You know what we haven’t watched in a long time?”

What?

“The Running Thing.”

I’ll make the popcorn, you get the projector set up.

“Yay!”

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23 Comments on “1777: Heroes and Villains – Chapter Twenty-Two, Part One”

  1. BatJamags says:

    Ruse

    The socks ruse was a………..

    DISTACTION

  2. BatJamags says:

    Uh, Spike, pretty sure you’re British, not from a spaghetti western.

    Relevant:

    Now the fic at least has a decent soundtrack.

  3. BatJamags says:

    I’m pretty sure that’s not how you prose.

    Maybe it’s not how you prose.

    Or how I prose.

    Or how any professional or competent author proses.

  4. BatJamags says:

    Actually, it’s Arjan Voorhies.

    Any relation?

    • TacoMagic says:

      I think they’re both related to the Manchester Voorhies. Very distinguished, old money family that fell on a bit of hard times when they were all brutally murdered.

  5. BatJamags says:

    Et donc n’envoyez jamais savoir pour qui la cloche sonne…

    Ooh! French! That’s a language I sepak! Let’s see, this means…

    Fuck if I know, it’s been two years. I’m running this through Google Translate.

    “And so never tell anyone for whom the bell sounds.” Sounds more like John Donne than the Bee Gees.

    • TacoMagic says:

      Obviously John was stealing from the BeeGees.

      • BatJamags says:

        Ah. It’s “tolls” in the Donne poem as well (not to mention the Hemingway novel), I just didn’t know it was a song. Knowing Igor, the song’s probably what he was going for.

        • TacoMagic says:

          Given how much Igor loves rubbing everyone’s noses in the fact that he knows a few classics, he probably did mean the poem, but my father was a huge Bee Gees fan growing up, so it’s the first thing I thought of given my immense exposure as a child.

    • GhostCat says:

      You sepak language real good.

      • BatJamags says:

        Ye, cuz I are da goodest

      • TacoMagic says:

        6tg3e6t 69i6t q1ak 3wqafv3w v5r6yhg3w vjmn75rf vt56y0u8hnt5g t59o bjmn3e!

        (*Hey, you all leave the mug typing to me!)

      • BatJamags says:

        6tg3e6t 69i6t q1ak 3wqafv3w v5r6yhg3w vjmn75rf vt56y0u8hnt5g t59o bjmn3e!

        ACTIVATION CODES ACCEPTED. TERMINATION PROTOCOLS INITIALIZED.

        GoodJamags: And I just finished cleaning up after the last Blushing Incident, too.

  6. BatJamags says:

    “Who are you?”

    I’m Batman.

  7. Jon Arbuckle says:

    ““Mmm… you may,” Alicia smiled. Oh, dammit, she was French, too?!

    She’s Hollywood French. It’s like being French, but without the French part!”

    Pictured, Alicia:

  8. BatJamags says:

    “Because German is scary!”

    AH! Pretzels and beer cheese and bratwurst and if you’ll excuse me, I just realized I’m really hungry for some reason.

  9. BatJamags says:

    “The Running Thing.”

  10. GhostCat says:

    “Is the Prince still Maria Vanderhoff?” Spike asked curiously.

    “Yes!” Alicia grinned. “Yes, yes, yes, Maria.”

    Wouldn’t Maria be a princess, not a prince?


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