Main character: Forrest
Disclaimer: Forrest, Riley, ADAM, all things Sunnydale are the creation of Joss Whedon. The Unicorn is the creation of Peter Beagle, from his novel (later turned into an animated movie) ‘The Last Unicorn’.
Distribution: Jinni, Paula, - anyone else, just ask.
Note: for Jinni’s 20 minutes with Forrest, mutated by my daughter trying to sing the Unicorn song while I was working.
Forrest wished that he could swear, or curse, or even weep. This... thing that Dr. Walsh had created, this ADAM. It was evil, and wrong in ways that he couldn't even begin to describe. And ambitious, mustn't forget the ambitious. That ambition was actually how he'd come to be here now, learning enough to be horrified, disgusted, shocked... whatever name would best fit the stomach churning mess of emotions.
Not that he could do anything about it. Not since he'd been skewered, slain by something, some sort of demon that seemed to have become part of ADAM. Not since he'd been brought back somehow, turned into another horrible almagation of man, demon, and machine by this insanity. He didn't even know if it had been all ADAM or if there were scientist in cahoots with the creature. But just as ADAM was the first of a nightmarish lineage, he had become the second. Part man, part demon, part machine... unstoppable, maybe even unkillable. And totally obedient to ADAM.
It had to be something in the computer parts, some program, or feedback loop... maybe even the behavioral modification research that they'd been doing on the HST's... On demons. On the monsters. Except that they had clearly been dong more than that.
He wanted to die. Again. Anything, as long as he was freed from this miserable existence, from living as a puppet to that... thing. Watching himself do things, taunting Riley about being the future, about this being what Dr. Walsh had intended all the time. What made it worse - it could have been true. This might very well be what she'd intended. The idea would have made him sick if he didn't have a demon stomach now.
And then... Hope. There was a fight, ADAM attacking the Initiative base, with an army of demonic minions. What made things more horrible was the fact that ADAM intended to turn all the casualties into the next wave of his army, a blended, piece-meal creation, neither men nor demons. Standing against him was Riley, and that blond girl - what was her name again?
Buffy Summers, the Slayer. Age nineteen, Freshman, primarily dangerous to vampires. Information surged up from something, maybe the machine parts? Had he had some sort of computer-like memory added?
And then the building was falling, and there were explosions everywhere. Dead bodies of men and demons littered the floor, and he could see Buffy fighting against ADAM. Finally, he could control his own body, act under his own will!
He ran, making his way out the side passage, through the smoke and out one of the exits. He left the door open behind him, in case someone else could try to escape by the same route. Human, demon... nothing deserved to be drafted into ADAM's army.
Slowly, he made his way to the sea, and walked into it. The waves pushed and pulled at him, potentially lethal currents of water. Who knew what they could do to the mechanical parts of him? He walked deeper, resisting the instinct that demanded that he swim, that he do something about the water washing over his chin, up his nose.
Everything swirled and went dark, and he felt like he was floating, spinning around and around.....
There was bright light everywhere, especially in front of him. Forrest blinked, wondering how he could even feel light, how he could blink. Hadn't he drowned?
The near-blinding light resolved itself into a glorious shape that stood in front of him, paleness contained in sleek grace, four slender legs barely touching the sand, a fall of shimmering mane that brushed the sand, an ivory spiral that dipped down to touch his heart, and the most glorious pair of eyes, rippling like the sky.
He gasped, filled with awe, the questions washed away by wonder. She moved, giving him space, and he sat up, still staring.
"You should be more careful. But then, you are so like him in many ways. Lir drowned once as well, being foolishly heroic and mortal. I shall hope that you can do as well with a second chance as he did. He remained a hero, ridding the world of terrible ills." Her voice was sweet, like bells and crystal as it echoed in his mind.
"Who was Lir?" The question made only a bit more sense than anything else, and he couldn't tear his eyes from her glorious beauty.
Dancing, she moved back. "He was a man. A good man, a brave man. GO, and live."
She spun on a silver hoof, and raced away, her feet skimming over the incoming waves, faster than mortal flesh could move. But something like that couldn't be mortal, could she?
Glancing down, Forrest froze in wonder. He was whole, and human once more. A man again. A man with a second chance at life.
"My life was taken away by something that shouldn't exist, and given a second chance by something else that shouldn't exist. Who would have thought that this world had room for a unicorn?" He brushed the sand from his torn clothing, and started the slow walk back to Sunnydale.
A second chance. Somehow, he would try to prove worthy of it, of her interest.
end Things that Shouldn't Be