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Fanfic: The Great Random Xander Story - Iteration Two (1/1) [Mar. 1st, 2011|09:38 am]
M. McGregor
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This is NOT THE SAME STORY AS ITERATION ONE. This is a new story, a much shorter story, and a much more depressing and half-assed story. (I'm really selling it, aren't I?)

Because I feel the need to explain myself, there will be some explanations after the story itself.

Warnings: Crossovers I don't know how to write, character death, lack of detail

Title: The Great Random Xander Story - Iteration Two
Author: M. McGregor
Disclaimer: Not only are these not my ideas, I can't even claim to have put much effort into putting my own spin on them. Read at your own risk of boredom.
Summary: Three random changes to Xander's life, submitted by readers and *cough* "written" by M. McGregor.

I asked all of you out there to submit to me a bunch of ideas for things that could happen or become true for Xander. Then I used a random number generator and the AXIS (Alternate Xander Idea Selector - thanks, learnedhand_dj) to choose three random consecutive episodes and three random ideas, and I wrote a story based on those ideas. On a random episode a new random idea is used, until eventually all three ideas are used.

Authors: please feel not only free, but actively encouraged to attempt your own Great Random Xander Story, using the AXIS listed above. I can tell you from personal experience, it's actually kind of fun and a very interesting writing exercise. Writing a story where you know at least two more major changes are coming but you don't know what they are going to be or when they will occur is pretty wacky. Try it out, and be sure to share your results with the rest of us!

This is the first attempt at that story, but will not be the last, so keep submitting your ideas. (We're up to about 150, I believe. New goal is 200!)

On with the story:


Highlight Here for Idea Used
41. Xander is sent to Julius Caesar era Rome via a portal. (mymatedave)
End Highlighting Here


“Oh God! Oh God!”

Xander clutched at the bars of the cage. His head was still throbbing from whatever Ms. French had put in his drink, but he was coherent enough to know he was not at all happy about his situation. He grabbed at Blayne’s shirt.

“Are you all right?” he asked. If Blayne was okay, then maybe he would be okay too.

“Oh God! You gotta get me out of here!” Blayne cried, grabbing at Xander’s shirt in desperation. “You gotta! She-she-she gets you, and, uh...”

“What?” Xander prompted.

“She-- She--”

“What does she do?”

Blayne began to tremble as he slid backwards. “Oh God! Oh no, oh no!”

“Blayne!” Xander barked. “What does she do?”

“She, she, she takes you out of the cage, and she ties you up, and, and she-- she starts movin’, and throbbin’, and these eggs come shootin’ out of her and sh-- AHHH!”

A fantastic boom echoed around the basement, and a burst of bright light filled the room. Xander and Blayne both shielded their eyes from the intensity of it. Squinting, Xander tried to see what was happening.

A rolling ball of purple and white light was floating in the center of the room. Crackling strands of electricity snapped and sparked around it as it rolled slowly in place.

“Uh, is this what she does?” Xander asked as he backed up. His back pressed against the cage, and he swallowed nervously as the ball began to slowly move in his direction. “Blayne?”

“Oh God! Somebody help me!” Blayne wailed.

Xander’s breathing quickened as the ball of light came closer. It passed seamlessly through the bars. The hair on his arms stood on end as it came ever closer. “Not good,” he said to himself. “Not good. Not gooooooood!”

The light touched him, and Xander’s world turned into a whirlwind. Lights and colors flashed past him as his entire body lurched in one direction after another. It felt as if he were being tossed around like a ragdoll, never quite staying in one position long enough to become accustomed to it. Sounds whooshed by his ears, and his scream was heard by no one, least of all himself.

“Quid est hoc!?”

Xander groaned. His entire body hurt. His eyes fluttered open, and the blurry image before him gradually settled into the face of a middle-aged man staring down at him. The man was balding and was dressed in what looked to be a bedsheet.

“Unde venis, puer?” the man babbled. He cautiously poked at Xander’s face.

Xander sputtered and slapped the man’s hand away. The man took a frightened step back, and then scowled. Xander frowned at him as he sat up, but then he noticed his opulent surroundings. He was in a large, spacious room held up by what looked to be marble columns. Gold and red colors adorned the walls, and there were intricate patterns on the tiled floor. Wherever he was, the owner of this place was probably really, really rich.

“Uh, where am I?” Xander asked, scratching the back of his head. “Not that this isn’t a big step up from psycho-lady cage, but uh, I don’t really remember how I got here.”

“Ignoro verbum tuum,” the man replied, and he looked shaken and very scared. He continued to back slowly away.

Xander grunted and pushed himself up to his feet. He was easily six inches taller than the man, and much more solidly built. The man also seemed terrified of him, so Xander wasn’t too worried about him. What he was worried about was that the guy was a crazy person dressed in a bedsheet and babbling nonsensically.

“Uh, which way is out?” Xander asked. He pointed to one doorway, then to the other. “Exit?”

“Exit?” the man repeated. He stared at Xander, then pointed to a different doorway. Xander smiled at him.

“Thanks, Mr. Bedsheet.”

He quickly made his way out the door and through another opulent and beautiful hallway. A beam of sunlight at the end of the hall told him he was going the right way, but he didn’t even have time for his eyes to adjust before he realized something was very, very wrong.

He was in a city, but it was unlike any city he had ever seen before. There were no skyscrapers. There was no cars. Everywhere he looked people were walking around in rags or sheets or strips of multi-colored cloth. He towered over almost everyone that walked by, and many people gave him curious looks as they went. There were animals in cages and people selling fruit in the streets.

A sinking feeling began to form in the pit of his stomach. This was impossible. There was just no way it could be true. Was he dreaming? He had to be. This had to be a dream.

The sound of scuffling footsteps made him turn around, and Xander came face to face with four men armed with short swords. They were wearing small tunics and had sandals on their feet, and there wasn’t a single one of them over five-foot-five. Still, they were armed and he wasn’t, and they did not look happy to see him.

“Uh, I come in peace?” Xander tried.

One of the men, the one closest to Xander, met the eye of one of his compatriots, then looked back up at Xander.

“Quid? Qui es?”

“Uh, mi llamo Xander?” Xander asked, hoping they were speaking Spanish, and further hoping that what he remembered from eight grade Spanish class held up. “Donde esta, uh, telephono?”

“Magica est! Daemon! Cecidit de cælis; Mortem ei!” another voice cried. Xander looked over the four soldiers to see the middle-aged man he’s met upon waking. He was red faced and shaking, and he was pointing at Xander. “Mortem ei!”

“Demon?” Xander said, recognizing that word at least. “Me? I’m not a demon! No es demono!”

The lead soldier looked to the middle-aged man, then back to Xander. Finally, he pointed behind Xander.

“Permoveo illuc,” he said. He pointed again, and nodded to Xander meaningfully.

“Move-o? Move-o there-o?” Xander tried.

The soldier frowned, but nodded again. Xander hoped he was understood him properly. The soldier just wanted him to move, that was all. The ancient maybe-Roman-maybe-Spanish-maybe-a-hallucination soldier wanted him to get out of this guy’s house.

“Okay, I can take a hint. I don’t want any trouble.” He raised his hands innocently and slowly turned around. “I’ll just be--”

Something clubbed him on the back of the head, and his world went black.



Highlight Here for Idea Used
143. Xander joins the military and is recruited by the A-Team. (skarman)
End Highlighting Here

Willow wept openly in Buffy’s arms as they stood above the destroyed remains of Moloch’s robotic body. Buffy did her best to comfort her, but she knew that there was nothing she could say or do that would make Willow feel any better.

Xander had died over a month ago, apparently eaten by Ms. French before Buffy had even arrived on the scene. Since then, Willow had been nearly inconsolable. She had spent days crying, had skipped almost two weeks of school, and was so miserable that sometimes Buffy was seriously concerned that her only real friend might try and kill herself.

Then, just as Willow seemed to be coming out of it, her internet friend and the one distraction Willow had from the loss of Xander turned out to be an ancient demon trying to take over the world. It was the kind of blow that Willow just couldn’t accept.

She was doing better than Willow, but only marginally. She was used to people dying around her, but she had never expected to lose Xander so quickly. Somehow, she’d expected Sunnydale to be different, even after the death of Jesse. It seemed like she was going to make a new start there, but already her life was exactly the same. People died, and she could not protect them.

“Come on,” Buffy whispered to the shaking and sobbing Willow. “Let’s get out of here.”

Life, Buffy was relatively certain, sucked.


“What’s this?” Lieutenant Templeton “Faceman” Peck asked.

“This?” Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith said, grinning through the cigar in his mouth. “This is the burial castket of Sandar.”

“Casket of what now?” Master Sergeant B.A. Baracus asked, frowning at the large box in the center of the room.

“Sandar,” Captain H.M. Murdock said, running his hands along the box. “You know, Sandar the Barbarian?”

“What’s this fool talkin’ ‘bout?” Baracus demanded. “This some kinda comic book thing?”

“No,” Colonel Smith said. “It’s a legend.”

“Remember that movie with Charlton Heston?” Peck asked. “They show it every Thanksgiving. Where he’s this big slave with no past that winds up defeating the devil or something?”

“That’s the version the church came up with a few hundred years later,” Hannibal said. “In the original legend, he just kills a demon, not the devil. Still, it’s a good story. More importantly, it’s good history. The legend of Sandar might be a bunch of fiction, but the man himself did exist, and this is his casket.”

B.A. eyed the box distastefully. “There’s a body in there?”

“There is. Sandar himself. Tomorrow afternoon, the Los Angeles Museum of Ancient History is going to put Sandar and his casket on display as part of their series on the legends of Rome. Our target is going to be there, and that means we need to be there too. Welcome Sandar to the A-Team, gentlemen. He’s going to get us inside.”

“You tried,” the Master breathed in a cold, seductive voice. Buffy trembled as she found herself frozen to the spot. She couldn’t move. She couldn’t win. She was destined to die, and this was going to be that moment.

“It was noble of you,” he hissed. “You heard the prophecy that I was about to break free, and you came to stop me. But prophecies are tricky creatures.”

She tried to find the willpower to move, but nothing came. Who was she, anyway? Just a girl. She was going to die, just like so many others had died because she could not save them.

“They don’t tell you everything,” the Master said as he drew a hand up the length of her neck. His fanged mouth went to her ear and he spoke in an excited whisper, “You’re the one that sets me free! If you hadn’t come, I couldn’t go! Think about that!”

A moment like an eternity drew itself out in between the beats of her heart, and then she felt the piercing pain of his fangs against her neck. Her body went cold, even as she flushed with dark, hidden pleasure.

The Master drew his lips back and looked up to the ceiling. “Oh, God! Such power!”

Buffy dropped to her knees. The world faded away from her as she tumbled forward and into the small pool of water before her. The last thing she heard was the Master’s gloating comment:

“I like your dress.”

Two minutes later, Buffy Summers was dead.

Twenty minutes later, the Hellmouth burst open, and the horrors came forth.

Two hours later, those unfortunate souls that were still alive knew the ultimate truth: the world was ended, and all hope was lost.


Highlight Here for Idea Used
26. Xander becomes temporarily stranded in Eureka (from the show of the same name). (Anonymous 3)
End Highlighting Here

In a dark wood in a land of misery, lightning struck beneath a blood-red sky. The ever-present screaming of the world could not be drowned out by the thunder that followed.

There was a time that this land was called Eureka, and it had housed many wonders. Men and women of surpassing genius had poked at the fabric of reality, rewritten the book of destiny, and made discoveries that might have one day led to a better world.

Now it was like every other place on the face of the earth. Now, it was a place of horror. Giant lumbering demons slept in the forest, and fed from whatever smaller creatures were foolish enough to venture within, but those creatures were never human.

The last human had died screaming in the first days after the opening. They had been burned away from the earth to make way for its true masters. The untold horrors that had existed beyond the breach of the Hellmouth had swarmed the world, and it was not long after that the Old Ones re-awakened and re-took their old forms.

It was the beginning of an eternity of darkness, and it was all because of the boy who had never been intended to be a legend. It was all because destiny had gone off course, and he who would have made another’s legend possible became a legend himself.

Dark portals of energy were common since the opening. The most powerful of the Old Ones could predict their passage, but most did not care. There was not a single being who gave a second thought to the thunderous boom that echoed throughout the hollowed-out-husk that was once the town of Eureka. It was just another portal. It was meaningless.

After all, what did beings of such ancient power care that the casket containing the dessicated corpse of a human had appeared in the middle of the town? The time of human legends were over, and Sandar the Barbarian -- once known as Xander Harris -- had lived his life over two thousand years ago. His glory had come and gone, and with it had come the doom of the world.

The casket remained there for several thousand years before it was finally and completely destroyed in the wake of a battle between Illyria and Narnett. With its destruction, the last remnant of Xander Harris was wiped from the face of the world; a world that would remain forever and always in total darkness.


The Explanations:

As you can see, I half-assed it through this one. I might have done a long Xander-in-ancient-rome story, but I felt the important thing was that Xander was there and he was never coming back -- at least not unless one of the next two ideas made it possible for him to return. Alas, that was not the case, particularly because of one problem:

If Xander is back in Ancient Rome, then all of his changes (which are tied to specific episodes) don’t happen until well after he’s dead! So because Xander had no changes that could have conceivably gotten him back to present day BEFORE he went back in time, he just shows up there and is stuck.

Now the other problem is that, genius that I am, I’m not an expert on Ancient Rome. I know the basics, and I guess I could have made an argument that whatever was inaccurate was just because this is the Buffyverse Ancient Rome, but I decided against it largely because of laziness. Also, I would have to have a LOT more google-translated Latin dialogue, and that's just time consuming and also highly inaccurate.

Still, if you want a basic idea of what I think happened to Xander, it’s basically this:

Xander, being a guy from the modern day, would have been much bigger than almost anyone else in Ancient Rome, who apparently averaged somewhere around 5’2” to 5’4”. He’s also much better nourished and healthier overall. I suppose I could have gone with the “Xander’s supergerms kill the entire planet or at least wipe out Rome” idea, but I decided against that.

So Xander is taken is as a slave since he has no identity and doesn’t speak the language. His clothes are stolen from him and he’s probably thought to be Jewish thanks to being circumcised, but he doesn’t speak Hebrew or any other language and doesn’t look like the Jews that the Romans know, so nobody can really figure him out.

Going the cliche route, it’s decided that because he’s so big, he’ll be used in gladitorial games or other such things. Seeing as how Xander is capable of at least holding his own against vampires now and again, I wager that a Xander forced to learn how to fight and being much bigger than most of his opponents is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Eventually Xander winds up saving someone from a vampire attack, and probably eventually hooks up with the Watchers and possibly even a Slayer. When a demon attack threatens the city, he goes out and fights and possibly dies saving everyone, and becomes a legend. Of course, everyone thinks his name is Sandar, and the Scoobies in the future never expect that the legend of Sandar could be their friend Xander, especially since they think he just got eaten by the Mantis Lady.

As for the A-team stuff? Well unfortunately I don’t know jack about the A-team. I’ve probably seen an episode once, and I saw the movie a year ago I guess, but it didn’t exactly stick with me. So yeah, I’m faking it big time with their scene, and that’s part of the reason it’s so short. That, and because the whole joke is Xander “joins them” despite being dead.

And finally, since Xander never saves Buffy, that means the Hellmouth stays open when the Master escapes in Prophecy Girl, and the entire world goes down the crapper. Xander showing up in Eureka is basically a moot point by then.

So I hope this is a good example of how the randomness of this exercise can produce something very different from the first iteration. I hope the people whose ideas I used don’t feel too bad about how I didn’t write a 250k epic on their ideas like iteration one, but hey, that’s the luck of the draw. Also, don’t take the shortness of the story to be a critique of the ideas. If they had come up in a different combination, it could have gone much, much differently.

Although as I’ve mentioned, I may get rid of the few crossover ideas on the list that I just don’t know. The Roman stuff I was willing to fudge, but the A-Team I just felt so completely out of place writing. I felt I was probably doing a disservice to the people who are actually fans of the series, so I kept their stuff to a serious minimum.

So there you go. Iteration Two. Not quite as exciting as Iteration One, but them’s the breaks. Who knows what Iteration Three will bring?


From: (Anonymous)
2011-03-01 03:09 pm (UTC)


you have chosen poorly.


yeah, did you mention what the three ideas for this ARE? xander in rome, xander joins the A-team. whats the last one, and what is were the three in ITIRATION 1? brainxander, robofaith and what?
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[User Picture]From: m_mcgregor
2011-03-01 03:18 pm (UTC)

Re: ethan

The third idea for this one was Xander winds up in Eureka.

As for Iteration One, so far we're still just on the first idea: Xander as a super-scientist. Robofaith is just an extension of that, as is everything else that's happened so far in that story.

It will hopefully be made clear once we get to the second idea, which I have yet to actually reveal to myself yet, so I have no clue what it's going to be.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tara_li
2011-03-01 03:32 pm (UTC)

Re: ethan

That was always going to be an issue with this idea - some ideas simply are incompatible, or as you point out with Xander going back to Rome, have knock-on effects that end the story early.

After all, you can't have "Xander gets turned permanently into a woman" as idea one, and then "Willow and Tara invite Xander to inseminate them." as idea two. You could possibly cheat and go into cloning stuff, but that really does violate the spirit, at least, of the idea.

So really, you did the best you could with this trio of ideas. Once Xander goes back to Rome that early in the series, everything after that goes boom.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2011-03-01 03:50 pm (UTC)

Re: ethan

I really, really shouldn't bother arguing, but... (can't resist)

You know Xander went back in time, therefore it is conceivably possible that he'd find some way to go back forward in time to the present before it all goes to hell. It's not especially likely, but hey it wasn't especially likely that Xander would be hit with weirdo-mystic-glowing-ball-of-light that would send him to old Rome. He could totally annoy the wrong creature and get hit with a literal snow ball from hell, sending him back from whence he came (a la Harold Shea).

I like this iteration - it serves a good counter balance to Iteration I - but there are other ways it could have gone. I'm not sure there are any ideas that are completely incompatible, it's just that for some of them you'd have to bend over backwards so far....Ok sorry. They are incompatible and I'm just blathering on.

In conclusion...the above is just arguing for the sake of arguing.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: m_mcgregor
2011-03-01 04:05 pm (UTC)

Re: ethan

I could have had Xander come back somehow, that's true, I just decided against it because it would have been a little contrived. I'd also have to decide how long Xander spent in Rome and when he returned, which would both be arbitrary decisions. Also: laziness.

Really though, I kind of like the idea that Xander disappears early on and as a result the entire world just ends, so I wasn't trying too hard to get away from that.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mushmeister
2011-03-02 05:14 am (UTC)

Re: ethan

To be fair, having Xander come back would've been no more contrived than having him disappear in the first place. The portal thingy got no explanation at all, so there's no particular reason you couldn't have had him find/make/track down another one to bring him home from the past after however much time you wanted him to spend there.

On the other hand, there's no reason at all things wouldn't have worked out the way they did, either. So if that's the way you wanted it, it makes perfect sense to me.

One question, though. Why was your aftermath of the Master's escape so much worse than the canon-ish one from "The Wish?" In that one humans were still alive and fighting a couple years later, not wiped out within days.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: m_mcgregor
2011-03-02 07:08 am (UTC)

Re: ethan

My rule is basically that I can get away with not having logical explanations for something that happens as a result of an idea. It's just a freak random magical occurrence on the Hellmouth, and that's that. The readers all understand it happened because that was the idea that was chosen, so I'm off the hook with coming up with a reason why it happened. After that, however, I feel more obligated to explain things and have them make some kind of sense, so having Xander magically return home after an indeterminate amount of time would be cheating, I felt.

As for the Master's escape, recall that in the Wishverse he escaped because Buffy was not there to stop the Harvest, not because Buffy fulfilled the Prophecy allowing the Master to go and opening the Hellmouth. The Master escaping because of the Harvest is a different means of escape than in Prophecy Girl, and thus has different repurcussions.

In Prophecy Girl, the Master's escape leads to the Hellmouth opening and the crazy Cthulhu-esque tentacle monster to start forcing its way into our world. With no Buffy to kill him and stop the Hellmouth from opening, I figure it gets yanked wide open and the whole world goes bye-bye.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: m_mcgregor
2011-03-01 04:00 pm (UTC)

Re: ethan

Well I'd always try to follow the letter of the idea, if not the spirit. If Xander is a woman and suddenly Xander also has to inseminate someone, then I need to come up with a reason why that would happen. Just like in this story Xander winds up with the A-team and in Eureka, he's just not actually alive when it happens. That's part of the fun of this whole exercise: seeing how I can explain how those things happen.

It's just that sometimes the way things would work out is like the above. Really part of why I wanted to post this was to show that as good as things can get thanks to a positive change in Iteration One, they can become equally bad (if not worse) with a negative change.

So I'll always make sure that whatever the idea is actually happens, even if it's seemingly impossible for one thing to compliment the other.
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From: (Anonymous)
2011-03-01 03:39 pm (UTC)
Not quite what I expected.

Oh, if only it had been a couple of seasons later for the first idea:
Jesus was a carpenter; Xander is a carpenter. Coincidence? I think not!
It's the end of the world as we know it... It's the end of the world as we know it... And I feel fine.

Thanks for writing. I'm looking forward to more Iteration 1 & possibly Iteration III.0

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[User Picture]From: m_mcgregor
2011-03-01 04:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, there'll almost certainly be an Iteration 3.
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[User Picture]From: jedibuttercup
2011-03-01 06:11 pm (UTC)
*snickering* Yeah; that's a great counterbalance of a story. It makes me worry a bit about what might happen when you hit the next idea(s) in Iteration One, though, given that these were so incompatible!
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[User Picture]From: m_mcgregor
2011-03-02 07:09 am (UTC)
I have to admit, it's a little bit of a worry. I've got a whole new AU going on with just the first idea, and it's been chugging along for the in-story equivalent of about three years now. The next idea could be a complete wrench in the machinery and change everything, or it could be something completely stupid that does nothing at all.

But that's part of the excitement!
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[User Picture]From: hjcallipygian
2011-03-01 09:06 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, this was pretty hilarious given what you had to work with.
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[User Picture]From: m_mcgregor
2011-03-02 07:10 am (UTC)
Thanks, I suppose it's funny in a "Once upon a time there was a good guy but then he died!" kind of way.
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From: jlbarnett
2011-03-01 09:56 pm (UTC)
well, all I can say about this is that's three ideas out of the way.
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[User Picture]From: m_mcgregor
2011-03-02 07:10 am (UTC)
Perhaps. I'm not sure if I'll be removing them from the list after using them.
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From: jlbarnett
2011-03-02 10:56 pm (UTC)
Oh. That kind of messes with the odds though, doesn't it? You could end up doing one idea several times before you do one idea once.
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From: (Anonymous)
2011-03-05 01:22 am (UTC)
I only have one comment to make. I need more SIGHTS UNSEED. Thank you.
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From: jlbarnett
2011-03-07 02:24 am (UTC)
out of curiousity what's most likely next more of iteration 1 or giving three a shot to see if you have better luck?
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[User Picture]From: marcieinvisible
2011-03-10 07:13 am (UTC)


So what did you want the Latin to say? I didn't get more than a few words from google-translating it.
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