I made up the exploding chomper. He looks like a normal chomper except he is black, has a fuse on the back of his head, and can explode. (obviously)
*Taco sighs, and puts down the BGA and removes the cookie*
So close, Purp. So fucking close. Three chapters note-free, and then you give us an authors note of information that should have been provided in the narrative. Even worse, you ended it with a patronizing parenthetical. Yay and stuff.
Patronizing Parentheticals is my a cappella band that only does covers of The Ink Spots.
The frost rose squinted through her binoculars.
Uh, you know you can focus those, right? If you have to squint through them, you’re binocularsing wrong.
“Do you see it yet?” the exploding chomper standing next to her asked.
She sighed. “For the tenth time, no. Now be quiet. I’m still trying to determine their odds of survival should TUCA attack.”
Uh, who is “their” and what the hell is TUCA? Was there some required reading for this fic?
This is as bad as Linux packages that don’t list their dependencies!
The exploding chomper sighed. “Can’t I have the binoculars now? You’ve had them for a long time.”
“No. You don’t even have eyes, and besides, its your fault that you left your binoculars at home.”
Oooh, this is supposed to be funny.
She was silent for a moment as she tried to get a better angle to view the lawn at the base of the hill they were on. “Hey, I hope you asked Swirls for permission to come with me.” She sighed when he didn’t respond.
AND WHO THE HELL IS SWIRLS!?
All this pretentious vagueness is made all the worse because we got an expositive author’s note on something that was obvious. We really could have used information about what the fuck is going on here! I mean, I’d rather get the information from the fic itself, but failing that at least give me something useful in the author’s note instead of something that anyone with two brains cells could have worked out.
“You know she hardly ever lets us do anything.” he grumbled. “You would’ve suck out too.”
*Swenia wheels the Portable Porno Music Synthesizer into the Riff Chamber and turns it on*
You know, I think it was actually less intrusive when they just took over the PA system.
“No I wouldn’t.” the frost rose replied. “Because I know that she’s just trying to keep an ENTIRE PLANT SPECIES from going EXTINCT!”
*Rubs his ear*
“Plant” isn’t a species. And why would Explody looking at a lawn endanger the lives of all the plants? The lawn is basically their home turf, he has to look at it a fair amount of the time, right?
Their argument was interrupted by a soft beep from the frost rose’s bag.
I deny and resent the implication that I might have placed a bomb in rose’s bag. I had Crunchy do it.
She reached in and pulled out a small walkie-talkie. A voice came through. “Agent Sweet, do you copy?”
“Loud and clear, Agent Swirls, and before you ask, yes, Agent Cracker is with me.”
Ooof, plants are really, really bad at code names.
Hold up, these guys all get code names, but why not Agent Pea? I mean, yeah, he’s called Spy, but not Agent Spy.
Right, I always forget that consistency is just that thing that OTHER authors do. You know, the good ones.
The voice laughed and said “You read my mind.” it changed its tone to a much more serious one. “Now bring him back here. I hope he knows that this is the seventh time this week that he sneaked out.”
If he’s sneaking out like this, it sounds like he’s bored and looking for something to do. If you’re embroiled in a war with the zombies that threatens your “species” very existence, it seems like you should have a lot more that needs to be done. So far as working on keeping the “species” from going extinct, having a bunch of your agents sitting around not doing anything is doing about as shitty a job as possible. If you’re really getting pushed to the brink, you should have more work than you have manpower to handle it.
But, then again, that would all lead to having tension, and we all know tension is the bane of the badfic.
“All right, we’ll be there shortly.” The frost rose smirked at the chomper and hung up.
We are all quite fortunate that the exploding plant wasn’t the one who smirked.
As they walked away she said “I’d just like you to know, I think that ‘Agent Cracker’ is one of the weirdest names ever.”
Maybe one of the lamest, but nowhere near weirdest.
“I wouldn’t talk if I were you, Agent Sweet.” The exploding chomper grumbled.
Boring banter aside, he does have a point.
The scene breaks at this point and dumps us back over to Vampy-Sue. Imagine my delight.
Vengeance banged on the door. “Come on, Misty, let me in.”
Thank the gods that Purp knows how to use commas of address.
“NO!” the mystic flower wailed. “Leave me alone!”
The vampire flower banged again and yelled “It’s my room too you know!”
There’s a lot of banging going on in that room right now.
*The PPMS shuts itself off*
Oh, come on!
After a moment Misty unlocked the door and let Vengeance in.
“Whats wrong, Misty?” Vengeance asked.
“I’m trapped in this horrible fanfiction with an Sueish edgelord roommate and a bunch of idiots who don’t know how to pick good nicknames.”
Misty gulped and began to cry again. “You know the fire flower Carla?” Vengeance nodded. “Well, she said that I should stop studying to be a nurse because I would never be able to pass the healing tests.
Dude, you’re plants. What kinds of test could there be? Not to mention that the Mystic Flower is a special version of a sunflower, which is the healing class of PVZ: GW. If you want to talk about the most contrived, pointless plot you can think of, it’s a Mystic Flower being concerned that she can’t pass a “healing test.” That’s like wondering whether a mole could pass a digging exam.
I’m not saying you can’t write a good plot where somebody who is supposed to be good at something is really bad at it, in fact it’s a core trope of several very good pieces of literature, but it needs a shit-ton more build up than we have here. All we know about Misty is that she’s rather emotional and spooks easy, and that doesn’t have any relevance to her ability to heal.
Purp, before you try to introduce sub-plots, make sure you can introduce a main plot without screwing it up. Just saying.
She said I would be better off doing things that didn’t require skill, like fighting in the war,
*Swenia storms into the Riff Chamber*
“Are you fucking kidding me!?”
OUT! And take that damn porn music contraption with you!
*Swenia wheels the PPMS out while grumbling angrily to herself*
so I agreed to go help investigate the ruined Zombie Labs.” She took a deep breath and continued. “But when the zombies attacked, I got scared and hid.”
That still doesn’t explain why the commander was stupid enough to let somebody as unfit for duty as you to go on a mission deep into enemy territory.
Actually, I guess him being stupid is the explanation.
Vengeance frowned and said “If you ask me, the war is way harder than hanging out in the hospital healing injured plants.
This is true. Even worse is trying to heal plants on the battlefield. If you’ve got a point, you might want to start making it.
The sunflowers there have to heal and fight at the same time.
As I said. Still waiting for that point to show up.
And honestly, Carla may say that she is the best nurse in the lawn, but I think you would be way better than her if you tried.”
You know, I just realized that Carla is the only person with a reasonably normal name. And she’s being built up as some kind of minor antagonist or bully. I have no idea what I’m supposed to read into that, but I find it odd nonetheless.
Misty sighed and said “But if I become better than her, she’ll hate me even more.”
And if your frienemy doesn’t like you, what do you have to live for?
Misty picked up a book and started reading while Vengeance started writing a letter to her parents who were both working in a hospital a few hours away.
But enough of that, time for reading!
They were silent until Vengeance said “Misty?”
“Carla was assigned to heal the electro pea, wasn’t she.”
Misty sighed. “Yep.”
I’m not sure there’s a cure for plot-dependent injuries. Well, aside from maybe changing the scene to one where he needs to be uninjured. Hey, maybe Carla is also a director!
Vengeance thought for a moment before asking “You remember what I told you he did when he saved my life?”
Misty frowned and said “How could I forget? That was the craziest thing I have ever heard any plant do.”
And yet it didn’t stop the author from writing it. I have no idea why authors take such pride in parading around how bad and illogical their plots are.
“Why did the zombies listen to him? Wouldn’t they be more worried that they wouldn’t be the ones that got to kill him? It seemed like they didn’t want him to die.”
They also didn’t seem too interesting in tracking where he went, or trying to subdue him. It’s like it doesn’t make any sense or something!
Misty grumbled “Why would I know? I wasn’t even there. Now please, lets think of something a little less depressing and confusing.”
It’s pretty bad when the characters are trying to avoid thinking about the plot as much as I am.
She went back to reading and Vengeance went back to her letter. Vengeance was about to finish her letter when the alarm went off.
*Taco looks at the DRD Alarm*
She quickly put down her pen and said “Misty, promise you’ll try your hardest today. The plants you are assigned to heal should not be deprived of the best medical care possible because you are scared of Carla.”
In that case, shouldn’t you leave the healing to Carla?
And that’s the end of chapter five, onwards to the final chapter! Which, fortunately doesn’t have an author’s note.
So freaking close, Purp, so freaking close to earning that cookie.
Vengeance stood in shock for a moment when she saw the size of the horde of zombies approaching.
Purp, you used the correct form of horde. I applaud you since that’s something that I personally fuck up all the time.
Seriously, homophones are my bane.
There were so many that she couldn’t even see where they stopped. She jumped on top of the wall that separated the lawn from the zombies and started shooting them down. When she noticed that the plants near her were getting exhausted she planted a heal flower and used her heal beam.
Much action. So excitement. Wow.
After a while bosses started to approach.
Because that’s definitely a way you would reference something naturally. Totally not video game mechanics. Nope. No siree Bobo.
Vengeance turned her attention to a gargantuar that was trying to break down the wall. She didn’t notice the foot soldier on a housetop nearby lean forward.
Vengeance heard someone yell her name and looked up to see a ZPG zooming towards her. She didn’t have time to react.
Where’s your love interest now, Vampy!?
She squeezed her eyes shut and prepared for the worst but instead felt someone shove her out of the way. Then she heard it hit.
Oh fucking hell, I was kidding!
Vengeance opened her eyes to see that the peashooter that had saved her was already being taken to the hospital.
Oh, so it was just random redshirt peashooter #37. Carry on. Good thing he knocked her out of the way of that non-lethal high-explosive rocket, otherwise she might have gotten bruised. And we know how long THOSE take to recover from.
She turned and saw the same foot soldier that had led the attack when they had gone to investigate the zombie lab.
Wait, there was a zombie foot-soldier leading the previous battle? Is this the same Mustache Mctwirly from before? Purp, you need to establish shit before you dump it at us!
He seemed determined to kill her for real this time and started shooting at her.
It was then that he realized that bullets too slow!
She felt the same way toward him and returned fire.
If this ends in a cross-species romance, I’m gonna spank you, fic.
Though, luckily the fic is not long enough to really give that romance enough time to be established. Not that our author takes time to establish things before lobbing them at us.
Luckily the scene breaks before we see these two start making eyes at each other.
Misty rummaged through her drawers looking for the right bandage for the injured cactus she was assigned to.
So, there is a specific type of bandage for cactus? Even Uncle Google seems baffled by the idea that cactus needs a special kind of bandage.
She found it and was about to put it on when a voice interrupted her.
Good thing somebody interrupted her, she was about to put that bandage on herself.
“Are you sure you want to do it like that?” It came from a fire flower with an annoying smirk on her face. Carla.
Aww, you were my favorite character before you decided to go all smirky. I guess I can hope that the disgusted cactus is still around to fill the favorite character position.
“Watch me and see how its supposed to be done.”
See, you put the bandage on the patient, and not on yourself.
Misty remembered what Vengeance had told her and was able to squeak out “N-No this way is b-better.”
“See, if I apply the bandage to my face you mfrml frmlfml.”
You’re right, definitely better!
Carla snickered. “Are you sure? Do you really think that I, the best nurse in the whole lawn, would be wrong about something like this?”
When you put it that way, it seems preeeeety unlikely. Not that there are a ton of ways to apply a bandage to a cactus, mind you.
Misty gulped and Carla prepared to fire another insult at her when the head sunflower approached. “Excuse me, Misty, but don’t you have better things to do than distract Carla here?”
Given Misty’s track record of uselessness… no, I don’t think she really does have anything better to do with herself.
Carla stuck out her tongue at Misty.
Ugh, you can feel the junior high dripping off this thing. I’m going to need a shower and everything.
The sunflower didn’t notice and turned to Carla. “And as for you…” She lowered her voice so Misty couldn’t hear.
“Meet me in my office in ten minutes. I desperately need to be pollinated.”
*Swenia wheels the PPMS into the room*
I SAID OUT!
Carla smiled sweetly at Misty. “Well, I’ve got to go. You know, lots of plants really need my help.”
This is true, the middle of a battle is really not the time for backbiting between the nursing staff. You should both report to the spanking chamber for correction.
*Swenia points to the porn projector* “Are you sure you don’t need me to-”
“Rowr, somebody needs more coffee this morning.”
She giggled. “Can’t really say the same for you.”
You shouldn’t underestimate the healing power of Misty wrapping a bandage around her head.
Misty frowned. She only had two patients.
And she’s still managing to be distracted with trivial infighting instead of treating them. Truly she is a credit to her caduceus.
But enough of that, the scene cuts back over to Vengeance, because that scene is so much more interesting.
You know, if I had to chose, I honestly don’t know which scene is less interesting.
“I did it.” Vengeance gasped.
She did the thing!
She would have liked to celebrate her defeat of this foot soldier but there was a war going on.
And being out of breath after taking down a single opponent is not a good sign of her overall combat ability.
She looked around and noticed how much the plant forces had shrunk.
I hate it when my opponents apply shrink rays in battle! Dirty cheaters!
The remaining plants were struggling to keep the zombies away. She hurried to heal a group of plants hiding behind some rocks then climbed back onto the wall.
Hold up, if I’m reading this right Vengy here just spent a significant chunk of time battling down a single zombie. But, as a sunflower variation, her main role is healing. So, instead of keeping her troops alive, she allowed her forces to be decimated so she could go after ONE target.
I’m trying to decide who here is worse at their job, Misty or Vengy.
A giga-gargantuar slammed itself against the wall, causing Vengeance to stumble and fall off the wall.
The Dues Ex Machina needs to show up soon, otherwise some tension might happen.
She looked up and realized that she had fallen outside of the lawn. The giga-gargantuar glared down at her.
Glaring!? The horror!
It raised its power pole to slam it onto the vampire flower on the ground but a firey spike came flying through the air, nailing the giga-gargantuar directly on the head.
There it is! Whew, I was worried, tension almost nearly happened.
A fire cactus wearing a black mask that looked like a shadow flower’s jumped down off the wall and landed on the giga-gargantuar’s head.
Thank you. That description without a frame of reference is very helpful. This is just like when I went to Fond du Lac for lunch.
The giant zombie roared and flung the fire cactus off. It smashed into the wall and slumped onto the floor.
Uh, dude, you had a seemingly quite effective ranged attack. What the hell was the point of jumping onto the thing’s face? Well, other than “AKSHUN AND DARMA!”
Vengeance heard an all-star shout something to the zombie army and almost all of them turned their attention to the fire cactus.
Why did the zombies look at Flamey when the dude shouted the thing? The hell is supposed to be going on in this scene!?
It jumped up to avoid the power pole and was bombarded by footballs, concrete, and other zombie bullets.
Good job drawing attention to the cactus, dude, you just got him pelted with all kinds of shit.
Vengeance tried to get closer to help but quickly jumped back and hid behind a bush when an electro brainz turned her way.
All right, author, I know you didn’t get this while writing your story so let me be clear: using the name of something is not the same as describing it for the audience. I know that you know what these things look like. I know what they look like. Anyone who’s played PVZ:GW knows what it looks like. The problem is, using just the name makes it look like a generic mental snapshot of the last time anyone played the game. It’s dull, lifeless, and completely uninteresting. The real hard skill you need to learn is how to describe something in an interesting way that the audience may already have an idea of what it looks like. This breaths life into the scene and gives you characters some depth beyond just being two words on the page.
She peeked out and saw that the fire cactus was trapped right in the middle of the zombie horde.
Not to mention he’s got a pile of random crap on top of him.
Vengeance knew that was bad. But the fire cactus did not seem worried at all about its predicament.
Probably because he’s been knocked insensate from all the stuff the zombies lobbed at him.
Instead it took a deep breath and its fire started to burn brighter. Soon it was entirely enveloped in a bright fire. Then it began to spin.
Oh. Ah. He’s all glowy and spinny now.
It whirled around until it seemed to become a tornado of fire. A fierce wind picked up that soon became so strong that it blew zombies into the tornado. The wind eventually was strong enough to even blow the giga-gargantuar into the tornado.
So, uh, if he could do this, why didn’t he open with this attack? Would have saved him from getting all those chunks of concrete lobbed on him. If it’s strong enough to be sucking up zombies like a giant flaming vacuum cleaner, it doesn’t seem like gathering the crowd first was really required.
Just when it seemed that the wind would start pulling in the plants, it died down.
It didn’t pull the plants in because wind is selective like that. Giant, hulking gargantaur? Easy! Sunflower? Nope, need special wind for that.
The tornado faded and the fire cactus stopped spinning. It shook its head to clear it then seemed to vanish.
He of course didn’t vanish, but was really standing right there with his arms over his head to create the illusion of vanishing.
Vengeance looked around and saw that every single zombie had been burned and the plants were staring at where the fire cactus had been in shock.
They politely ignored the fact that he was still plainly visible.
Finally a peashooter unlocked the door and let Vengeance back in. They silently went inside and left the night watch to the mushrooms.
And they all went to bed early satisfied that their foe was beaten! That never goes poorly.
Vengeance immediately took a shower and went straight to her room.
So, for a flower, is taking a shower like sitting down to dinner, or what?
I mean, I’m sure the real answer here is that Purp forgot that Vampy is supposed to be a flower and is making her do human things in the face of all reasonable logic, but it’s an interesting question for social, intelligent plant species. Does having a meal with their families mean going sun bathing and then getting rained on?
Yeah, yeah, I know that sentient plants are super unlikely to have a societal structure anything like what mammals would have. Enough of your logic, hypothetical voice of the patrons.
After a while Misty came in. The vampire flower rolled over on her bed to face Misty and said “You won’t believe what I saw tonight.”
Seeing as every other plant on the line saw it and are probably already flapping their leaves about it, I bet she will.
Misty smiled. “I already heard.”
And with that, the fic ends. It hasn’t seen an update in over six months, so hopefully the author has thought better of coming back and finishing it. I’ll say that a fic based on PVZ:GW isn’t a terrible idea in principle, but this thing is already an unsalvageable mess of clichés and Hollywood melodrama that it really requires a complete start from scratch to make anything of the concept.
Thanks for taking this little journey into Plants vs. Zombies canon with me, dear patrons! Join me next week as I do something completely different!