Blood Calls to Blood
A\N: I’ve decided to try answering a challenge. DragonHulk issued a descendent challenge and I’m going for the triple points. Enjoy. And I don’t own Buffy or Conan. By the way, I’m using the Marvel comics arc for this story instead of the original Robert E. Howard work since he really didn’t go into Doom all that much from what I can remember. (I haven’t read the original works in a couple of years, so I might be misremembering.) Neither did Robert Jordan’s version of the barbarian.
The circle of metal lay just under the surface of the sand. Wind gently blew away the sand to slowly reveal the form of an ancient torc of tarnished silver with a large ruby set in the heavy design. The ruby pulsed like a living thing, sending out a siren song, looking for someone … suitable.
Giles walked along the beach, alone with his thoughts. It had been several years since he had taken the time to do something like this. His mind wandered back to the last time he had stood on this beach. He had not been alone then. He had shared his thoughts with Jenny. With his thoughts on her, he absently looked toward the massive crater that was once the city they had lived and, briefly, loved in. He came back here every year to remember and honor those who had fought and died to protect the world. He felt it was the least he could do. Usually, he confined his visit to a stop at the memorial at the edge of the massive sinkhole, but today he felt the urge to visit the beach and feel the ocean’s winds.
As Giles walked, he felt something pull at him. At first, he felt alarm, but before he could fully raise his defenses, the alarm faded to be replaced by a feeling of peace. The pull strengthened and he quickened his steps towards the source.
Xander stood looking at the monument that stood a few dozen yards from the gaping hole in the ground that had once been his hometown. His eye read the list of names of the people who hadn’t made it out. Some he passed over, like his parents, without pausing. A few held him for a few seconds, as they had been Slayers or potentials that had died during the conflict. Finally, one name held his gaze. Anya Jenkins. His eye began to tear, slightly, as he thought back to their last night together. He missed her. He had moved on with his life. He no longer mourned her the way that he had in the beginning, but he still missed her. He drew a ragged breath and held it for a second to collect his thoughts. Slowly he expelled it and then half-smiled at her name. Reaching out and gently touching the engraved name, he softly said, “Still love ya’, babe.” He let his hand drop away. “Gotta go find G-man, now. I’ll visit again before we leave.” That said, he turned from the stone slab and headed to the beach, looking for the man who was his mentor.
The torc sensed the approach of a mind. It tasted it and found it to it’s liking. It was the mind of a scholar whose experience and knowledge could be useful. And, it possessed the taint of the black arts, long unused but there. The essence in the torc smiled. This fool may have forsaken power, thinking it evil, but soon he would feel the seductive embrace of that power again.
Giles followed the inaudible call. He saw something gleaming a short distance away from him. It attracted him beyond simple curiosity. He sped up to an almost run to get to the flash that he had seen, knowing that it was his goal. He dropped to his knees when he got to the metal that had caught his attention. He began digging almost frantically until he had uncovered the tarnished torc. As he reached for the torc, Giles mind tried to reassert control. His hands began to shake as his reason tried to override the compulsion. He almost broke free when his fingertips brushed the torc. The presence cried out in triumph as it surged through the light touch and overwhelmed Giles’ mind. Giles’ hands gripped the torc and lifted it from its resting place in the sand, bringing it over his head and settling it around his neck. The smile that played over his lips was malicious. “I have returned.” he stated in a gravelly voice. “Thulsa Doom lives again.”
Xander walked down the path that led to the beach. He paused as he crested the last hill at the edge of the beach and looked out over the ocean, appreciating the view that he hadn’t seen in years. Movement below him drew his attention and he saw Giles walking up the path away from the beach. As the man approached him, his senses went on alert. Something was wrong. His eye was telling him that this was Giles, but something about the way that he carried himself wasn’t right. Concerned, he called out to his friend and mentor. “Hey, G-man! You alright?”
Xander barely had time to see the smile that spread over the other man’s face before he raised a hand and launched a glowing orb at him, striking him in the chest, freezing him where he stood. “Never better.” was all he heard before darkness claimed his sight.
Xander woke slowly, at first, and then a sharp pain in his wrist brought him awake quickly. He exclaimed in surprise and pain as his eye snapped open. It took a moment for him to focus on the cut on his wrist. He watched the blood well up and drip into a chalice. His eye followed the hand that held the chalice up the arm until he could see the face of the man holding it. His heart froze as he saw the face of Rupert Giles. In disbelief, he watched as the man he thought of as a father pulled the cup from under the slow flow of blood to bring it to his lips and drink deeply. The man drained the cup, lowered it, and smiled a bloody smile at the bound man before him.
“A surprising vintage!” he exclaimed before he chuckled evilly. “Strong young blood with both Primal and Chaotic magic contained in it.” He smacked his lips, thoughtfully, like a gourmet savoring a fine wine. “And, there in the aftertaste, something familiar.” He pursed his lips in thought for a moment, and then smiled again. “By the Gods, I have it!” He quickly stuck the chalice back under the stream of blood and caught a small amount. Mumbling something under his breath, he passed his free hand over the cup. It glowed briefly and the man let out a self satisfied chuckle. “I was right.” The creature wearing Giles face looked at the bound Xander. “Never would I have dreamed that I would be able to exact vengeance on one of my hated enemies after so many centuries.”
Xander finally found his voice, “Alright, asshole! Who the hell are you and what have you done with my friend?” He looked around and saw that he was bound to an X shaped structure, set up on the edge of the pit that had once been Sunnydale. “And just what are you planning? Because, I gotta tell ya, while I don’t mind being tied up sometimes, I really don’t find you attractive.”
The creature wearing Giles’ face smiled thinly at the insolence displayed by Xander. “You do not find this form attractive? Perhaps this…” he gestured, raising his hands and bringing them down across the front of this body, sweeping them outwards in a slight bow, “is more to your liking?” His appearance had changed. Giles’ facial features were gone, to be replaced with the visage of a much older man. Gone also was the casual attire that the Englishman typically wore (Tweed, anyone?), to be replaced with what appeared to be very elaborate robes. The torc was on prominent display around his neck, no longer tarnished, but brightly shining with the ruby heart pulsing strongly. He cocked an eyebrow at Xander and shook his head, smiling at the look of shock that passed over his captives face. “You don’t like?” he asked in a teasing manner. He chuckled at the look of distaste that passed over the young mans face. “Ah, well, you can’t please everyone.” He turned a jaundiced eye to Xander. “You should be grateful.” he said in sour tone. “I am not this frivolous, by nature. Being released from that eons old prison has made me momentarily light hearted.” He drew himself up and wiped all expression from his face. “You asked who I was? Very well, I shall tell you. My name is Thulsa Doom and this body has had the privilege of being the vessel of my rebirth. As for my plans…” he smiled a soft, cruel smile. “I intend to rule over this pitiful world. All shall bow to Doom!”
This did NOT get the reaction he expected. Xander started shaking slightly, then snorted, and finally burst out in a full, gut wrenching, belly laugh!
Doom scowled at his prisoner. “Why do you laugh? What could be so amusing about my plans for world domination? Answer me! Doom demands it!” This produced even more howls of laughter.
Xander laughed to the point of gasping while Thulsa Doom stood shaking in rage. “Oh, God!” he gasped out. “Please stop! I can’t take it anymore!” He panted for a moment. “You don’t happen to have a suit of armor laying around somewhere, do you?”
Doom looked nonplussed by the odd question. Then his host’s mind supplied an answer. The look of confusion was replaced by a look of pure rage. “I WILL NOT BE MOCKED IN SUCH A WAY!!!” he roared. He raised a hand and cast lightning at Xander. It was his turn to smile as he listened to the young man scream in pain. “I shall tell you the rest of my plans after I summon your forebear from the ether. He must be here to witness my final triumph, after all.” That said, he turned his back and stalked away, allowing the bound Scooby to slump against his bonds and continue to bleed slowly into a large cauldron.
Xander regained consciousness with a sharp pain to his wrist. ‘That’s getting to be a habit I could do without.’ he thought to himself as he opened his eye. Thulsa Doom had just reopened the wound on his wrist to start the slow flow of blood again.
In silence, the ancient sorcerer dipped out some of the collected blood into a stone bowl. Taking a brush, he began painting symbols on the ground. After a few minutes, he stopped and stood up, looking over his work with satisfaction. Setting aside the now empty bowl, Thulsa Doom began chanting in a dialect that no human should try to speak. The geometrically patterned symbols began to glow softly, growing brighter with each passing second until they were blinding. Inside the circle, a form could be seen appearing, doing a slow reverse fade from ethereal mist to a more solid appearance.
“Damn!” Xander swore softly as he watched the man’s figure become more solid. ‘Whoever he is, the dude is freaking huge!’ he thought. The man was about Xander’s height, but had more muscles than a pro body builder. He stood barefoot with only a loincloth on so getting a good view of him was not hard. From foot to shoulder, each muscle stood out in chiseled relief. His hair was shoulder length, straight and black, held out of his face with a simple headband. The face was craggy, but handsome in a solid way. Xander, true to his nature, couldn’t help but to think that Faith would be all over this guy. ‘Hellfire!’ he snorted as he thought. ‘Every slayer on the planet would line up for a shot at this guy!’
The man was obviously some kind of warrior. The scars on his body were almost as impressive as the muscles. This idea was reinforced when dark eyes snapped open and the man dropped into a defensive crouch, his hands held in front of him ready to grapple with a foe. Those dark eyes quickly took in the circle of glowing runes around his position before falling on Doom. The look of hatred and rage that spread over the warrior’s face was frightening to behold.
“Crom’s bones!” he spat. “I thought you dead and in Hell, Doom! What manner of vile sorcery do you this time?” The man’s hand were opening and closing as if he were imagining them around the neck of this creature that he obviously hated. “Why have you brought me back from the Halls of the Dead?”
Doom smiled at the warrior. “That, my barbarian friend, was made possible by this,” he indicated Xander, “young man.” The smile widened as he continued. “But allow me to make introductions. Alexander, meet your extremely ancient ancestor, Conan of Cimmeria. Conan, this is one of your descendents, Alexander.” He turned to leave. “I’ll leave the two of you to reminisce while I prepare my spell work. I shall return, anon.”
Conan looked at the young man before him in shock. “Crom!” was all he could finally mutter.
‘Ditto that, big guy!’ was all Xander could think of as he looked at this shade from the past before him.
A\N: I’m going to stop here. Yes, I know I’m evil, but I wanted to get this in so that I could see your reactions. I originally planned for this to be a one-shot, but then realized that it was going to be very long if I did that, so I decided to split it up into a couple of chapters.