The pieces were falling into place. A sly smile curled on Bad Horse's face as Penny stirred, blinking in the bright killer light of the computer screen. Three men surrounded her, one on each side of the chair she was tied to and the third standing behind… horribly creepy. Bad Horse loved to be creepy. With a nod, the three men started up their chorus, perfect harmony of words and voices. It was wonderful, having triplets from Arizona as your henchmen.
Bad Horse hated it. Singing was not his thing. Poetry was not his thing. Which is why Thomas was so confused as to his mannerisms. The man stood in the other corner, watching his boss and the young woman the League had kidnapped. He was so keen on this Horrible person, one that would read poetry to some un-named creature on his blog, the one that fumbled for words and was shy, the one that had never had a successful heist at anything higher than a Wal-Mart. And the use of the singing trio, of course, had always confused FTJ. He wasn't going to say anything though. Bowie was right, he was a kiss-arse.
The jist of the song was about the League catching the girl, Bad Horse wanting her to watch the video blog (vlog? What a stupid name, blog is better) and for her to wait until Bad Horse spoke to her directly. Then they tossed off. But not before clicking the "Play All" button. The two evils watched Penny watch Dr. Horrible. Jefferson had no idea what this was all about. Bad Horse gloated as recognition fell over the girl's face. She knew Dr. Horrible. He had guessed right.
It didn't take as long for her to watch the videos as it did Bad Horse. She had fingers and hands after all. God, how Bad Horse wished for fingers and hands. Not that he'd tell anyone that. Never would those words come from him. Soon enough, the videos were watched, and Penny was left blank-faced before the computer screen.
"What do you think?" It didn't scare Penny, a talking horse… not anymore.
"That's the man from the Coin Laundry."
"But he's evil. He… he can't be. He's so shy."
"Exactly." What?! Jefferson's attention snapped from Penny to Bad Horse at those words. What did that mean?
"I have a plan, Penny." Bad Horse was being nice to her. He walked carefully to her, leaning his great head on her shoulder and looking at the freeze-framed image of the frightened looking Billy, one of his experiments exploding in the background.
"He's evil. Or, can be evil. But he's shy, terribly shy. And he has morals. We can't use morals. He's brilliant, and I must have him on my team." Jefferson could not keep quite any longer. Stepping from the shadows he confronted Bad Horse head on.
"No, sir, no. Mad scientists are a dime a dozen nowadays. We don't need him. We can find someone better suited for our needs than this monkey."
Bad Horse's eyes went from the computer to his second in command, Penny drawing back at the sudden appearance of the second most feared crime-lord known to man. Calmly, the big horse took his head from Penny's shoulder, sauntered around the table, coming face to face with FTJ. Snorting, he turned around lazily, then kicked out with his hind hooves, connecting with Thomas' chest and sending him flying. Penny screamed, Bad Horse didn't care.
"Speak to me like that again, Jefferson, and it'll be your head I kick next." His words were so calm, Penny knew he meant it. Thomas coughed from against the wall, wig and hat on the floor next to him, groaning when he felt the sparks of pain in his ribs from breathing. Lovely. The singing henchmen helped him to his feet and out the door, appearing from the shadows as was their job. As though nothing had happened, Bad Horse went back to Penny's shoulder.
"Penny, you are the key to my plan. You see, he has this terrible little crush on you. He's fighting for you, you know. He says he wants to change the world… guess who he wants to change it for?" He was teasing her now, she knew that. But her heart was pounding wildly in her chest, making tears well in her eyes. No, no, don't do that. He's evil, Dr. Horrible is evil… but he's never hurt anyone. And he has such pretty eyes, such truthful eyes. He just wants to help people, he's misguided…
"Now, I want you to cooperate with us. You don't have to, it's more fun if you don't. but if you do, I have a plan. You see, we need to get rid of his morals. You saw how his contraptions don't always work the first time? Guess why. He's holding back. He's a genius, Penny. Not like what others claim to be, he is the real thing. But he foils his own equipment and his own jobs. Why? Because he's afraid to hurt people, he's afraid of being evil. Because of you."
"Leave me alone, leave him alone."
"I can't do that Penny. Here's what I want from you. I want you to die. Not just anywhere, but in front of him. He has to lose everything he's ever wanted. As, as you saw today, you're all he ever wants. The world, the League, that's all second base to him. He, he wants you. He needs to lose you. Only then can he be allowed into the League."
"Why are you doing this to me?!"
"Because I'm not going to kill you Penny."
"Huh? But, but you said…"
"I need you dead, yes. But I need your cooperation in it. So, I'm not going to kill you. Let's strike a deal. We fake your death in front of Doctor Horrible, and you get away alive, and unpestered by this fool. What do you say?"
"What if I say no?"
"Then we'll still go through with our plan, but you'll really die, instead of only pretending to die."
"Why do you want to hurt him?!" The tears were flowing freely. Love was a fairytale. It wasn't real… so why did he love her?! He had never said her name, but she had seen the glances at the Laundromat, had seen his poetry to her… a year. Maybe more. There were a lot of videos, and almost every one of them had something about her in it. He was careful about her. Very careful. He never said her name, but she was so sure that he knew it. Yes, he knew her name. But she didn't know his. She knew now that he was Dr. Horrible, but she had no idea what his real name was.
"I want to hurt him to make him truly evil. He's anti hero, and there's nothing wrong with that. But to be in the Evil League of Evil, you have to be evil. He had morals holding him back. I want to unlock his potential. Don't you agree that everyone should meet their potential? That everyone should be the best they can be? I want him to be the best he can be. But you are in his way."
"This is wrong.
"Dear Penny, wrong is what I do."