Another One Bites The Dust

Author's Note: Written back in 2008, after seeing some clips from this show. Originally intended to be part of a bigger AU story, with an elaborate backstory for the commander. Posting here for fun.

After the Killer Queen was done with him, he lay limply on the floor, doubled up in pain. Two members of the secret police hauled him to his feet. He sighed inwardly; this was just adding insult to injury. How dare they treat him like a common bohemian?

No... it wasn't their fault. They were just looking out for themselves.

They took him down below and strapped him to a gurney, fitting the helmet on his head.

"Sorry commander," one of them murmured an apology.

He watched as one of them walked up to the control platform and then stopped. A small smile settled on his lips. This officer must have watched him erase the memories of dozens of bohemians, but no one else had ever operated the machine.

Still, it had only been earlier that day that the commander had performed the last operation, the officer reasoned, and the settings looked the same.

The officer nodded, "We're ready."

One of the others approached Khashoggi with a syringe to sedate him before the procedure started.

He rolled his eyes, "You have to roll up my sleeve first," he pointed out.

"Yes commander," he answered sheepishly, doing as he was told.

He braced himself for the needle to pierce his skin.

"Stop," a commanding female voice ordered from somewhere behind him.

He couldn't turn to see, but he knew the voice well.

"Have you started yet?"

"No ma'am."

"Good."

He heard her shoes clicking against the ground as she walked around to face him. Hope rose within him for a moment, but vanished when he saw the look in her eyes.

She ran her hand across his cheek, scraping her perfectly manicured nails along his face. He did not flinch.

"Are you sure that he is secure enough?" she asked one of the others. Without waiting for an answer, she tightened the straps that held him down.

He held his breath, not wanting to give her the satisfaction of knowing she was hurting him.

She turned away from him. "I want to do it."

That made his eyes widen. Especially when he heard her spinning the dials on the controls.

"Now, how does this work?" she asked.

"You press the red button, and then the green one, but he isn't ready yet ma'am, we have to-"

He didn't hear the end of the sentence as a there was a blinding flash of light. It felt like fire surged through his whole body and he couldn't help but give her what she wanted - a cry of pain.

"Hmm, maybe it's green and then red."

"No-" he started, but there was another flash and another surge of fire.

'Pull yourself together!' He thought sternly to himself, trying to control his shaking body.

"Commander?" a soft voice next to him asked.

"W-wrong s-setting," he answered. A stammer? He sighed, it was back.

"Wrong setting?"

"Y-yes," he sighed inwardly at how weak his voice sounded, "Black s-switch. Next to th' buttons. It s-should be down."

"Ma'am," he heard the same voice say moments later, "It's on the wrong setting. You're just shocking him."

"Am I?"

There was another flash of light. This time he couldn't stop his body from shaking.

He tried to calm himself down. He built this, he knew how to combat it. He closed his eyes and tried to empty his mind. That was the trick. Everyone always thought hard, trying to resist, that only made it easier for...

He stood in line with the other members of the Secret Police, standing straight and at attention, ready for inspection. He was proud of himself, and justly so, for he had just participated in a successful sting operation. His commander had been a bit surprised at how well he had adapted to the role of a bohemian.

"I simply know how they think sir," he had answered without a thread of pride in his voice.

"I will give you a bit of advice," his commander said, "That can be a useful or dangerous talent if the Queen finds out about it. You could find yourself as a valuable tool to the empire or find yourself under suspicion. Take care of yourself."

"Yes sir."

It was starting, and she had it on a low setting. He wasn't drugged. He would fight it - no matter how foolish it was, he knew he would fight it. One memory at a time... it would take forever.

He opened his eyes and looked around, trying to get someone's attention. She would take memories at random unless... He concentrated. There were some memories he could afford to lose. He'd give her a show...

Childish laughter burned in his ears and he pushed himself up from the hard ground. His hands hurt from where they'd landed on the glass.

"He's bleeding!" a voice screamed.

He turned around to see his tormenters fleeing the scene. One of his hands was covered in red blood, where he'd cut it on the bottle that he'd landed on when he fell.

Someone said his name, and he turned defensively.

"Let's get you cleaned up," a kindly adult voice said, "Come on."

Cradling his hurt hand in his other one, he followed the man into the nearest building.

He gasped in pain as the man removed the shards of glass from his palm and then cleaned up the blood.

Several memories later, Khashoggi had tears running down his cheeks. His eyes had a glazed over look.

"What's happening?" the Queen asked.

"He's reliving his memories ma'am," one of the officers said, "They must be painful ones."

He heard the voices, even if he couldn't see properly, and a feeling of grim satisfaction passed over him. He had given up his most painful childhood memories of being teased and taunted. He took advantage of the moments pause to think of more memories he could afford to lose. He buried the ones that he didn't want to lose.

The Killer Queen descended from the platform and walked over to the still figure strapped to the gurney. His eyes were closed and he slumped over, held upright only by the tightness of the straps.

"Wake up," she shook him sightly.

With a visible amount of effort he raised his head and opened his eyes.

"Look at me," she ordered.

He obeyed, looking up at her through dull tired gray eyes. He had a rather dazed expression as he looked up at her without any recognition.

"Who are you?" she demanded.

"I- " he started and then stopped, thinking. "I..." he tried again, "I... don't know."

"You don't know?" she repeated.

He shook his head slowly, looking puzzled.

"Do you know who I am?"

Again, he shook his head slowly.

A smile spread across her face - a smile that made him feel rather uneasy.

"Good," she said, "But I'd hate to have you forget me entirely."

She ran a hand along his face and he looked at her puzzled, "Should I know you?"

"You will now," she said, suddenly dragging her long perfectly manicured finger nails across his cheek.

He cried out in pain and turned his head away, reflexively closing his eyes.

She undid the straps that held him and he slid down to the ground, landing at her feet.

She kicked him in the side and then rolled him over onto his back.

"I would hate for you to forget this as well," she said, giving him another hard kick.

He doubled up in pain, staring up at her fearfully.

"You are a useless worm," she spat, prodding him with the toe of her shoe, "Now get up."

He didn't move, whining softly.

"Get up or I will kick you again!"

That made him scramble painfully to his feet.

"Now get out!" she pointed to the door.

He needed no further urging, half-running, half-stumbling towards the door.

The members of the Secret Police all looked away from him as he ran away.