Ming the Merciless
Disclaimer: I don't own BtVS (Joss does) and I don't know WHO owns Flash Gordon.
A/N: FLash Gordon is one of my all-time favorite scifi movies. I love it to pieces!
Xander sat on the curb, stone-faced. Behind him the sounds of drunken shouts and the occasional crash as something – probably something of his
- was broken didn't even make him flinch. He wore a thin t-shirt and a loose pair of pajama pants, not enough coverage for a November night, not even in California.
It was his birthday today. He was ten. Willow said he was a decade, but thought sounded too much like 'arcade' to him and she frowned when he laughed at her. Jesse laughed too, but Willow didn't get mad at him. Xander sighed, the only outward sign of his less-than-happy mood.
There was a faint sizzle and then a sound sort of like the pop of a firework across the street and to the left a little. Xander watched in wide-eyed shock as a man appeared in a burst of reddish-orange light. The man was tall and dressed in a long cloak that was a red so vivid that even the dim lighting couldn't leech away the color.
He watched silently as the man looked about himself, studying the houses and the roads, even the streetlights and telephone lines. Muttering to himself all the while. It sounded a bit like the noises Willow would make when he or Jesse were being stupid, or at least when she thought
they were being stupid. Sometimes Willow had even less patience than his parents.
Xander stayed very, very still when the man looked at him. Part of him was hoping that he wouldn't be seen, but the rest was readying his muscles for fight-or-flight. His ten-year-old brain knew he didn't really have much of a chance in a fight, but he also knew that running away from his house in the middle of the night was dangerous. Bobby Green, one of his classmates, had disappeared not even a month earlier, and no-one had heard from him since.
, tell me what is the name of this… village?" his voice was snobby, like Cordelia's but kind of deep and scary, like the principal's. Now that he was closer, Xander could see that he had a sort of black hat-thing on his head and lots of rings on his fingers. His dad said men who wore jewelry were girl-men and sissies... yeah, one more thing the old man got wrong.
"Sunnydale, sir," Xander said in a clear voice. Never show weakness.
"Hmm… interesting name, 'Sunnydale'."
"Uh, I guess?"
The man's eyes focused on him sharply, "What are you doing outside, boy? Do your parents not know where you are?"
"Um. I don't think they really care." He jerked a thumb backwards towards his house just as another shriek and a crash echoed across the lawn, "I live in there, and they're pretty drunk most of the time. At least when I'm out here they'll forget about me."
"Stand up, boy."
Xander blinked, then slowly did as he was told. His instincts said this guy was trouble, but not necessarily trouble for him
. Better to do what he asked and hopefully be rid of him before too long. The man indicated that Xander should turn, so he did so, hiking up his pants a bit so they wouldn't trip him if he needed to run.
"You are an interesting specimen," the strange man muttered, twisting one of his many rings and causing it to emit a soft green glow. "Very interesting. Born here, touched by the inherent magics, but not corrupted… not yet. Yes, I think you may be of some use to me."
He started to back up a little, but was frozen by a beam of yellow light shooting out of yet another one of the man's many rings. Fight was not an option, and it appeared that it was too late for flight. Xander struggled anyways, but to no avail.
"I am Ming, called 'the Merciless'… but I can be kind, boy. I will take you from this backwater planet and this tainted town and make you one of mine. If you acquit yourself well, I may even adopt you someday. An emperor always needs strong liegemen; I can always buy your loyalty." He studied the anger in Xander's face and smiled, "You hate me now? Good. Hatred is a strong motivator. Perhaps someday you may even be the one to kill me… but I doubt it."
Orange light flashed again and both man and boy were gone.
A/N2: Suggestions always welcome!