Nostalgia Critic meets the FanFic Critic
Disclaimer: I own nothing (unfortunately); all rights and characters in this fic belong to Doug Walker, Megan Wessels and other respective owners and creators. I gain no profit from this; it's purely for fun.
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The machine was working into overdrive, as steam erupted out of the top like a volcano. Terl watched jubilantly, he knew that victory would be his soon enough. It was difficult for him to contain his excitement, jumping up and about like a little schoolgirl he clapped his hands together. ''Oh joy, I knew that all those years of training at the most prestigious military academies in the galaxy would benefit me someday. I wasn't sure in what way it would benefit me, and I have to admit, this isn't quite what I imagined, but still…it is glorious!'' His high-pitched shriek echoed loudly along with the sounds of the continuing gears and cogs of the machine.
Just then, a voice called out behind him. ''Boy, ham it up anymore and you could be the lead for a new Babe film.''
Terl's elated mood disappeared immediately after hearing that voice. For the alien, Nostalgia Critic's voice was the equivalent of a scorpion sting in the Psychlo privates. He balled his fists and turned around to find the two critics standing before him, ready for action. ''Curse you. How did you both escape my inescapable prison?''
''Were you really asking us that unironically?'' Nostalgia Critic snapped.
FanFic Critic gently nudged him. ''Unironically isn't the correct term.''
''Now's not the time to be a grammar-Nazi!'' He shot back whilst retrieving his handgun from inside his jacket.
Upon seeing his foe's weapon, Terl scoffed and looked on smugly. ''You must be joking. Has that already puny brain inside of your pathetic man-animal skull shrunk in the wash? You can't shoot Doris with her force field up.''
Now Nostalgia Critic and FanFic Critic were the ones with the smug looks. ''Maybe not, but I can shoot you.'' He stated and pointed his gun at Terl.
Terl's face filled with pure dread. ''Ah…it's starting to come to my attention that I didn't properly think all this through.''
''Nothing new.'' Nostalgia Critic squeezed the trigger and Terl closed his eyes ready for the bullet to strike.
However, to everyone's shock, the gun not only didn't fire, but it somehow slipped from Nostalgia Critic's grip and dropped to the ground. They all looked at the discarded weapon. ''What just hap-'' He stopped and felt some tingling in his shooting hand. He looked and saw that just like the gun, his hand was beginning to fade and disappear, slowly going up towards his wrist. ''Why am I going all Back to the Future?''
Fanfic Critic didn't have a response. She was just as dumbfounded as he was. Out of curiosity, she inspected her own hand and found that she was suffering the same fate. Her hand dwindled like a puff of smoke, slowly rising to her wrist and gradually moving up her arm. She used her other hand to feel for anything, but it passed through completely. They both started to panic as both their hands were now disappearing from existence.
Watching on, Terl raised his hands defensively. ''Whatever this is, I swear it wasn't my fault for once.'' His attention was turned back to the machine when a loud ringing buzzed in his ear. ''Doris is nearly finished.''
Running out of time, Nostalgia Critic was really starting to panic. ''What do you we do?''
''I don't know.''
Not wanting to waste this opportunity to gloat, Terl turned to the disappearing critics and smirked proudly. ''I'm not sure what's happening, but I'll take it. Not only will I destroy everything you've worked so hard for, Nostalgia Critic, but I also get to watch you be destroyed literally. Oh, happy days!'' He raised a triumphant hand in the air and hooted wildly. It felt like nothing could go wrong for him now…that is until he noticed that his raised hand had disappeared from sight. ''Um…why's this happening?''
Seeing whatever was happening effect Terl, it dawned on both the critics. They slowly turned to face each other, coming to the same realisation. ''That machine thinks that we're…'' Nostalgia Critic started.
Terl turned to them, going into a full-fledged panic as he slowly disappeared like his enemies. ''What? What? What does Doris think of me? I've been good to her, I swear it.''
FanFic Critic answered. ''It considers all of fan-related creations.''
''What?'' Terl shrieked.
''You're a parody character based on another character from a film adapted from a book,'' She replied. ''It is using the term fan-created loosely enough that it can consider us in the same category because of our shows. Doris thinks we're characters!''
Terl smirked obliviously. ''Well, I have been called quite a character…''
''Terl!'' Both critics shouted making the alien jump. ''It'll steal and delete you as well if you don't stop it. This has gone too far, you have to turn it off!'' Nostalgia Critic yelled.
''For once, I agree with your hypothesis.'' The dreadlocked alien rushed over to Doris's side. The dissolving Nostalgia Critic and FanFic Critic watched on as Terl flicked a couple of switches and pressed some buttons. Before long, a thin green line gleamed over the machine's surface from top to bottom. ''I've turned off Doris's force field.''
By now, the lower half of FanFic Critic's arms, all the way up to her elbow had disappeared, and a gaping transparent hole was starting to grow around her waist. ''Commentary later, switch off now!'' She told him.
He nodded and headed to the furthest lever on the machine. Thankfully he still had one usable hand and reached for the lever…but stopped before pulling it. He seemed to hesitate. This didn't sit well with the critics. ''What are you waiting for?'' Nostalgia Critic called out. ''Just pull it!''
Terl remained motionless. For a split second, it looked like he was about to pull the large switch down and end all of this. However, the two critics were left in shock when Terl let go and turned around to face them with a sneer.
''What are you doing?'' Nostalgia Critic screamed at the top of his lungs. ''You'll disappear too you stupid ass prick!''
Terl's voice was quiet. ''Even if I disappear forever if there's a chance to create a world where you will not longer exist, where not even a plot hole can save you, I'll watch it happen over and over a thousand times if I could.''
For the very first time, Nostalgia Critic felt genuine fear staring into Terl's eyes. The Psychlo's smirk never faltered, even as Nostalgia Critic and FanFic Critic looked at each other and tried to think up a new idea.
''What do we do now? Even if I had another weapon, I don't think I can use it.'' He cried out. The fading was now moving past his elbows and a hole formed over his chest.
FanFic Critic was finding it difficult to consider other options in her panicked state. Like her friend, a weapon wouldn't be much use even if she had…then she remembered. ''Hold on,'' She awkwardly lowered her body and used her elbows to pull out her Sweeney Todd razor from her jacket. ''I hope this works.'' As fast as she could, she pushed the shave hilt against her chin and fumbled it open to reveal the blade. Using what little strength she had left to muster, she tossed the blade towards the machine.
Everything seemed to move in slow motion as the blade spun and flew in the air. During its flight, it also began to slowly disappear. The critics held their breath and watched. Terl, refusing to let his plans be stopped, jumped forward to block the blade. FanFic Critic's heart skipped a beat, either from the fear that Terl was going to intercept their only hope or because a new hole formed over her chest. The razor would have been caught within Terl's grasp…if his other hand didn't suddenly fade away as well, causing it to zoom past. Nothing could stop it now, as the blade finally reached its target and sunk into the machine.
Sparks and electric surges shot out from the machine. With a sudden burst of energy exploding from Doris, all three of them were blasted off their feet and sent flying.
It was daunting to experience quietness after all they had just been through. But to the critics, that silence was utter bliss. Nostalgia Critic groaned and lifted himself up and rubbed his sore head. ''Finally, listening to that racket was like being in an endless Michael Bay marathon…'' He stopped when he realised that he was rubbing his head with a hand that supposedly disappeared. He extended his arm and was filled with joy when he saw that he was back to normal. ''Righty, I've missed you.''
As he proceeded to kiss his hand and as much of his arm as he could, FanFic Critic stood back up, breathing a sigh of relief to find that she was also back to normal. It was difficult to tell if that was her closest brush with death without actually dying, but this was definitely top three. She then felt her phone vibrating in her pocket.
She answered it and was instantly greeted with a memorable voice. ''Critic, are you okay?'' She had never been so happy or relieved to hear Susan's voice.
''Yeah, I'm fine. Nostalgia Critic too.''
''Bugger,'' Susan grunted, earning a light chuckle from her cousin. ''Anyway, the real reason why I'm calling you is to let you know that whatever you did worked.''
''All the fanfiction and fanart is back. Every site has everything back the way it was. Your videos are all back up and running perfectly too. Oh, and Nostalgia Critic's as well.'' She didn't sound too enthused about the last part.
With a bright smile, FanFic Critic felt like the weight of the world was lifted off her shoulders. ''Thanks, Susan.''
''You're welcome. And…uh…I'm not sure if this is related, but will you be able to explain why for a brief second it felt like I was disappearing off the face of the Earth?''
She grimaced, fearing that this would have happened. After all, if it affected her, why wouldn't it affect Susan?
Before she could answer, she heard a wounded groan coming a few feet away, and she saw Terl weakly picking himself off up the ground. Through gritted teeth and a forced smile, she answered Susan. ''I promise when I get home I'll tell you everything, but for now, Nostalgia Critic and I have some unfinished business to take care of.''
''Oh God, he's not about to kiss you is he?'' Susan questioned with obvious disgust in her voice.
''Thank bloody goodness. Take care.''
FanFic Critic hung up, just as Nostalgia Critic was done making out with his restored arm. He too noticed Terl slowly getting up. With a knowing smirk plastered on his lips, he and FanFic Critic strutted over towards Terl. The Psychlo didn't see them until their shadows loomed over him, and he was on his knees staring up at two very ticked-off looking critics. He gulped. ''In my defence…''
''You literally just tried to wipe us from existence, there's no possible way to defend yourself.''
The classic Nostalgia Critic title card and opening theme music played out, revealing the red-tie wearing critic in his usual seat ready for today's work. ''Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. Now...today's editorial video was going to be about another subject entirely, but similar in a way. Why the sudden change you ask?'' He quickly felt self-satisfied and straightened his attire for effect. ''Well, it came about while I was busy saving all of fandom from a sinister evil. Now, I'm not expecting any kind of reward, but I wouldn't object if anyone wanted…''
His video was cut off when FanFic Critic popped up on screen and cleared her throat.
Nostalgia Critic froze and rolled his eyes. ''Okay, so I had a little bit of assistance from my special guest today.''
''Your modesty knows no bounds.'' She said satirically at him before getting down to business and addressing her viewers. ''Hello, I'm the FanFic Critic. I read it, you listen. And what the Nostalgia Critic is trying to say is that the original concept of this video was to talk about the best-selling book 50 Shades of Grey.''
He faked a laugh. ''And I'm so disappointed that I won't get to talk about that.''
Ignoring his jabs at the book, FanFic Critic continued. ''Now many people don't actually know this but before 50 Shades was a published book, it was actually a Twilight fanfiction published online.''
Nostalgia Critic took his turn to comment, as the two critics smoothed into a flowing back and forth discussion to the viewers at home. ''There's still some debate amongst people on how to define the term fanfiction properly. But the easiest way to sum it up is a creative work that is created by fans of an already existing fandom. This can be anything from written stories to artwork based on existing characters, hell, it can even go as far as people role-playing as certain characters.''
''It's hard to guess when fanfiction truly began since you could even make the argument that ancient tales of Homer or adaptions from the Brothers Grimm fairy tales were technically fanfictions as they took pre-existing work and gave them a new spin or told the story from a different angle. Though modern fanfiction can be seen truly taking off with Sherlock Holmes and later Star Trek.''
''Star Trek in particular really struck a cord because of the new technology at the time…television. Whereas before with movies being a gathering between the upper class, television could expand to almost everyone, and so shows reached a wider audience like never before. Yet all that doesn't compare to the Internet nowadays, where you could spread your thoughts and ideas to the entire world.''
''Fandoms are like a community. People could not only discuss the things they liked about a certain book or film or television show, they could tease the ideas of what-if scenarios. Expand the worlds they loved so much to new heights, where these ideas couldn't be limited by budget or executive intervention.''
''It sounds pretty liberating and engaging. So then why does fanfiction get such a bad rap? Well, there's the obvious legal issue that all companies fear. Understandable seeing as many of these fanfictions is based on copyrighted work. But fanfiction does fall under fair use protection, not to mention that it's also non-profit, so the writers aren't really getting anything out of it financial-wise. No, there are a couple of other reasons why fanfiction is generally seen in a bad light.''
''First and foremost, fanfiction is written by the fans. They're not professional writers with years of practice or a master's degree in writing…maybe some are, but that's a small majority. So obviously many of it is not going to be on the same level of film scripts or published novels. It can just come down to a teenager sitting at the computer writing a chapter one afternoon. Because of this overall more casual quality of writing and story-telling, the general public will look down on these works as either simple at best, or at worst…abominations. And that's me keeping my language PG.''
''Not to mention some fans can be so protective of something they love, sometimes too overprotective. If they come across a story they feel doesn't represent their character the right way, or the story isn't going in the direction they thought it might, they consider it to be inferior and not worth anyone's time. But that's just some fan's opinions. What about the professionals working in the industry? Some are fine with it. Some actually encourage it. Though of course, there are some writers who are very against the idea of some random person taking characters or a story they dedicated so much time creating and messing with them.''
''Again, as long as the fanfiction writer isn't silly and starts making money where they shouldn't, and plays along safely with fair-use laws, there's no issue with copyright. But some professionals use the excuse that a fanfiction writer should dedicate their time to writing their own stuff, and not something from another person. They think it worked out so well for them, it has to work for others, and also they think it's not good practice to write a story using pre-existing characters. But with that statement, it shows that some people completely miss the point of fanfiction.''
''The whole point on fanfiction is to tell the stories the original writers couldn't. Whether it be something like imaging a group of characters in another timeline altogether or showing what happens to our heroes after the story is over, or showing the development of a background character that one fan saw so much potential in. And sometimes, they do write about their own made-up characters interacting with the already established characters.'' He then started talking sarcastically. ''But of course, if she's a female original character or a Star Wars lead, she's automatically a Mary Sue.''
''Unless it's just outright copying the story word for word, which seems more stupid and time-wasting than anything else, fanfiction stories are brand-new stories. They make you see things from a different viewpoint that you never thought of before, or can even grip you in a way fandom that the source material never did.''
''But of course, there's the biggest argument against fanfiction…it's terribly written. Maybe people will read one poorly written fanfic and immediately label it schlock or a wet-dream on paper…screen.'' He corrected before continuing. ''But that's the equivalent of saying all films are bad because you watched one bad one, or the same with reading one bad book. You can't sum up all fanfiction after reading just one, or even a few dozen. Just as there is bad fanfiction there is also really good fanfiction. In fact, some of them can actually better than the very thing they were inspired from. If a canon story has been going down a less than pleasing path, fans can take it upon themselves to create a new storyline that they feel should have happened, and it can sometimes turn out better.''
''Onceuponatime.'' FanFic Critic mumbled in between exaggerated coughs.
Nostalgia Critic stared at her confusedly. ''That wasn't in the script.''
She shrugged her shoulders. ''What? I coughed.''
''Mm-hmm, sure you did. Anyways, not only are some fanfiction writers providing quality work for other fans, they can even go on to work in film and TV, or even publish their own books. Some of them are actually re-writes of a fanfiction they once uploaded.''
''People and even society itself tend to look down on fanfiction and fanfiction writers for these reasons, not realising that these fans are taking the time to create something they love and are so passionate about. There are bad fanfictions, I wouldn't have a show if there weren't, but it can still be a way for people to make friends or express themselves creatively.''
''Now…I confess I was also in that kind of mind-set. I was so busy with trying to push the limits of my creative professionalism, that I think I forgot that in the end…I'm still a fan too. Professional writers and directors are fans. Fanfiction is getting more and more mention in books, cartoons, whatever. Because those who grew up in that generation are now becoming creators themselves. People are starting to recognise that fans who put so much into what they love are a blessing.''
''Whether a fanfiction story has millions of views worldwide, or it's something shared with that one friend you know, it's worth it.''
''I'm the Nostalgia Critic, and I would like to thank my special guest for joining me today.''
''Thanks, and I'm the FanFic Critic. Signing off for now.''
And with that, their videos were cut off from their viewers, leaving the two critics to talk alone. Nostalgia Critic stretched his back. ''Well, glad that's finally over.''
''I'm definitely going to sleep well tonight after nearly vanishing from the physical world altogether.'' FanFic Critic paused for a moment as something crept in the back of her mind. She threw a small smile at her buddy. ''That was a nice little confession you made.''
''Ha, yeah, I think they bought it. I find being sappy like that tends to get more views.'' He chortled but stopped when he saw the serious glare coming from FanFic Critic. He raised his arms in mock defence. ''Relax, I'm kidding. Yes, I did mean what I said. Big shock, I can be wrong sometimes.''
''Only sometimes.'' She raised an eyebrow.
He narrowed his eyes at her for a little bit. After that little banter, he asked her curiously. ''So, are you going to go back to making more videos?''
Her eyes drifted sideways and she pursed her lips, thinking for a moment. ''We'll see what the future holds. I guess I just needed a little adventure to kick me out of my rut. Besides, as long as no more mad-alien morons threaten to destroy all fanfiction, I'm not going to run out of them anytime soon.'' She chuckled. ''By the way, what did you do with Terl?''
A mischievous smirk formed across Nostalgia Critic's face. ''Oh, I put him in a place where I think he can put his talents to good use.''
''I believe in America,'' Terl yelled proudly whilst waving his hand above his head dramatically. ''America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom but I taught her never to dishonour her family…''
He was soon interrupted by a calm, monotone voice speaking over him. ''No, no, no, this is not right at all.''
Terl stropped and stamped his foot, turning around to face his director. ''Mister Shyamalan, I don't think this is going to work.''
''Whatever do you mean?'' The masked director, M. Night Shyamalan asked. He walked onto the large theatre stage to stand close to his uncooperative actor.
''I'm just not sure I can go through with your direction.''
''It is very simple. I just want you to sound as drone and static as possible while staring blankly into the distance like a lost puppy. You are throwing too much emotion into your words.''
''That's the whole point of acting!'' Terl screeched. ''And really? Are we rebooting Godfather now? Is nothing sacred in Hollywood anymore?''
''Well, our test audience seems to love it!'' Shyamalan responded and turned to point upwards towards a high row of seats, where the theatre's single occupant watches on bouncily.
''Oh my God, this is the greatest movie I've ever seen in my life!'' Chester A. Bum called out from his seat.
Terl felt like he was about to burst into tears when his director turned to face him once again. ''I was recommended you, and you are going to see this through to the end. Not to mention, you have been signed on for five sequels and any potential spin-off films. The producers are hoping we can make this into a cinematic universe. I hear there's talk of a crossover with the upcoming Shawshank Redemption prequel.''
No longer able to hold it back, Terl burst into tears.
''Ouch.'' FanFic Critic grimaced.
''What? You feel sorry for him?''
''Not at all. Just ouch. Hate to be in his shoes.'' She couldn't suppress a chuckle. Even if it was a fate worse than death, it was no less than he deserved. Suddenly, her attention was turned elsewhere when an email popped up…one linked to her fanfiction account. ''Oh, speak of the devil, I just got a review on my Lion King fanfic.''
Mildly, Nostalgia Critic nodded. ''Speak of the devil indeed.''
FanFic Critic opened up the email and was baffled to find what was inside. ''It's an anonymous reviewer…'' Her voice drifted off as she turned to look at Nostalgia Critic.
''You better read it, they might have liked it. As for me, I think it's time to say goodbye.''
She wanted to turn her attention back to the email, but something about the way it suddenly appeared and Nostalgia Critic's untroubled manner had her staring back at him. ''Yeah…I guess it is. You take care.''
''You too. And if we do meet again, let it not be when we're about to get vaporised into a potentially endless void.''
Their video feed was cut off, severing their connection. FanFic Critic now had the opportunity to read her new review. She wouldn't be able to thank her reviewer, seeing as it was anonymous, but she wasn't an idiot. With Nostalgia Critic's behaviour and the words written in the review, she had a pretty good idea of whom it was that brought a little smile to her face.
'This is a pretty good story. Obviously, you're a creative person. Until next time, take care.'
If you'd like, you can follow my original stories on Wattpad. My penname is Thomas-LF. Thank you for your time, if you do read them, I hope you enjoy them.