- Apr 30, 2003Author: MagnusXXN
Disclaimer: Disclaimer: BTVS doesn't belong to me, it's Joss
Whendon's baby as is Angel. I don't own X-Men or the concept of
mutants that's Marvel's baby. I just own this story but I don't have
any money so sue someone else.
I'm a freak. I know just putting that out there like that seems odd
but I'm really a freak. Or as they call them now mutant, not that
mutant is very far away from freak. It really is funny how I found
out. I had been travelling for at least a month only stopping for
gas and food - I had left because they told me to go. Well they had
told me they'd kill me if I didn't go is more like it. Let's start
when this all began, shall we? I had been patrolling by myself ever
since Buffy and the gang had started to ignore me, so I would grab a
few stakes and a cross and head towards the nearest cemetery just to
prove to myself that I was worth a damn. The night started off slow
only one vamp staked and it wasn't anything more then a newbie, but
a few minutes after I staked it my luck ran out and his sire came to
play. Harmony didn't look pleased that I had staked her little boy
but why should I care? We ignore her cause well she's just so
pathetic, kind of like Spike but at least he helps. "So Harm sorry
about stakeing your newest reject...oh wait I'm not sorry." She
looked pissed and at the same time she looked like she was checking
me out which just freaked me out to no ends. She stalked nearer to
the young slayerette enjoying the looked of fear that had spread
across Xander's handsome face.
"Now why'd you have to go and stake my boyfriend like that, it
really wasn't very nice of you. I think your going to have to make
it up to me." A sickening smirk appeared on her face just as she
vamped out. //What the hells going on? She's a laughable vampire so
why's she acting super evil all of a sudden and why does she keep
looking at me like that?// Xander knowing something in the vamp
before him had changed reached for his cross only to find it
missing. //Damn, I most have lost it when I was struggling with that
vamp//. Xander nervously began to back away, "Um...so Harm how's the
vampire thing working out for you?" It really was a stupid line but
he couldn't think well right now enough to come up with anything
better. With out warning Harmony lunged for Xander and easily caught
him by the hair and slammed her fist into his face knocking him out.
She then picked up the still figure of the young man and slung him
across her shoulder and began to make her way back to her lair.
He woke up soon after to find him self tied to a large wooden
stretcher. //Serves me right, I should have taken the gang's advice
I'm a nobody with no training or super powers.// He then closed his
eyes and remembered the conversation that they had not long before
they had kicked him out. Xander stood between Willow and Buffy as
they argued about who's powers were better and what they had to do
about Adam. "Buff... Wills, there's no need to fight we all help."
That's when Buffy turned to him with a cruel smirk on her face, "How
could you ever help?" Then both Willow and Buffy had turned on him
and began to belittle him about being the one with no powers in this
Xander shut his eyes harder trying to force the memories out of his
mind but they just wouldn't go. That's when he heard footsteps, he
couldn't really see very well being tied down facing up and all but
he could make out was blond hair. //God I don't wont to hear Buff
right now, I can just hear it now. What were you thinking going
patrolling by your self or were you thinking at all? You're not the
slayer, your nobody just stay home and leave the slaying to the real
heroes and not people that just get in the way like you!//
But it wasn't Buffy that was making her way towards him it was
Harmony. "How's my 'lil Xanderbear doing, I hope I didn't hurt
you...much." Great I'm tied down with a crazied vampire cheerleader,
how much more could my life suck. She then began to slide her hands
from his legs towards his well more manly parts.
"WOW, what the hell are you doing, Harm? You should be like biting
me not feeling me up!"
She then drew her hands away from his body and viciously struck him
across the face. "Just be a good boy and everything will be ok, I
might even keep you around for seconds if you're lucky."
Xander's mind was running a mile a minute - she isn't going to do
what he thinks she is, is she? //She's going to rape me! Of all the
bad things that I've thought would happen to me if I was captured by
vampires this was not on the list!// Xander did the only thing that
came to mind, which wasn't the best idea...he spat in her face.
She was pissed and not just a little bit she was looking almost
Angelus pissed off here. "You're going to pay for that, loser! If
you had only let me have some fun I would have turned you and made
you my boytoy but oh no you had to go off and do something like spit
in my face, this is going to hurt you a hell of a lot more then it's
going to hurt me!"
She then walked away leaving Xander all alone but that didn't last
for long. She returned with what looked like his hand full of stakes
and a hammer. //Not good!// Without uttering a word she grabbed the
nearest stake and began to drive it through his right hand! She then
did the same to his left hand and his ankles, he was pinned to the
stretcher bleeding from his wounds. Xander couldn't think anymore,
after the first stake entered his flesh all he could think about was
the pain. It was excruciating, his screams filled the warehouse and
their only companion were Harmony's almost manic fits of laughter.
After Harm was done she grabbed the first stake she had driven into
him and mercilessly ripped it away. Then she witnessed the strangest
thing she'd seen in her after life, Xander's wound was healing
almost as soon as the stake left his skin. But that wasn't the only
thing that was happening all of a sudden Xander's arm broke the
restraints and grabbed Harmony by the neck and started to crush it.
Harm couldn't even let out a scream of surprise or pain as he
crushed her neck, he was even stronger then Spike had been as he
often would strangle her for the perverse pleasure of watching her
Xander's other arm as well as his legs also broke free and with one
swift move he ripped the stake from his left hand and drove it threw
Harmony's right eyelid. He then removed the other stakes still not
in control of himself, only thinking about the pain, and jumped on
Harmony ripping and shredding her apart with his hands and teeth.
His teeth had changed as well, the tip and bottom canine's had grown
larger almost as long as a vampires were. He had dusted her long
before he regained control of him self, Xander then looked down at
his hands which had completely healed then he reached into his mouth
and felt his larger sharper teeth. He did the only thing he could
have, he ran. He didn't even realize he was moving faster then he'd
ever been able to before. The night was full of sounds and smells
that he hadn't felt since he'd be controlled by that hyena spirit,
he prayed that wasn't the case this time. It couldn't be he was
still himself not some animal in a Xander suit like last time, but
he still felt different. Maybe thirty feet from him stood Riley Finn
who had heard him screaming as he did his nightly patrol. He hadn't
been in any hurry to get to him when he was screaming but he had
witnessed what Xander had done to the vampire and knew what he had
"A filthy mutant."
Riley then drew out his walkie-talkie and spoke into it, "This is
agent Finn we have a mutant sighting please send in the X-Factor,
the suspected mutant's name is Alexander Harris."
Xander didn't know what to do he just ran as fast as he could back
to his home/basement. He still didn't understand what had happened
to him or how he had gotten away from Harmony. He walked over to the
sink and looked into the mirror everything looked normal besides the
large fangs in his mouth. But that's when he felt the pain. It was
excruciating, there were no words for how much he hurt. He dropped
to the ground hard slamming his head against the hard wood floor but
that was nothing compared to the pain that was shooting through his
body. Xander could hear the bones in his body snapping and re-
knitting back together larger and stronger only to snap again in a
few moments. His muscles were twisting and tearing themselves apart
but like his bones there were also growing larger and stronger. His
body shook violently his spine twisting in a painful arc and his
arms and legs were flinging in all directions slamming into the
nearby walls and sink shattering them with the simplest smack. The
pain was so intense he had forgotten to even scream as it went on
but he soon remembers and opened his mouth but it wasn't a scream
that was released. No, it was an animalistic roar as if it had
escaped the mouth of a panther or lion.
The pain was just too intense and he soon lost consciousness. When
he woke up he felt different but didn't know just how much he was.
He raised himself until he was sitting and looked at his body, he
had thought that it would be torn apart from what ever happened to
him but it was torn but it was different...changed. His body had
become huge in size; his arms were filled with new and freakishly
large muscles. His legs were the same larger and ripped with huge
muscles, his clothing was what had ripped, as were his shoes. When
he looked down at his feet they were as unnaturally large as the
rest of his body but his toenails had become claw like and looked
sharp. He reached out to touch his changed body and that's when he
saw his hands, they too had become larger and also had claws where
his fingernails should be...he was a monster. He crawled onto his
feet and turned to look in the mirror, but to his surprise it wasn't
there. Well it was there but he was looking in front of himself. The
mirror was put in so that it was be at eye level with him but now it
wasn't there, in fact to was almost two feet beneath him. To his
surprise he had grown to at least 7'3" or maybe even bigger. So he
crouched down so that he could see into the mirror but the face that
welcomed him was not his own.
His teeth last night had been larger then normal but not like they
were now, they were much larger even bigger then a vampire's. His
hair had changed as well - it used to be a dark shade of brown and
cut short because of his construction job but now it had turned
solid black and had grown much longer. His hair now reached to the
small of his back, which was at least 3'6" from the top of his head.
But that wasn't the only difference. His eyes, once a rich brown
were now as black as his hair, maybe even more so. Xander didn't
know what to do or think he looked as if he was possessed by a lion
spirit or something but he was still himself, in a fit of anger he
slammed his clawed hands onto the sides of the sink and it shattered
into about fifty pieces. He hadn't even tried but still he had
crushed the sink, he was amazed at how strong he had become. He
walked over to his couch and with one hand lifted it and he still
wasn't even trying hard. //Got to go see Giles, he'll know what
happened to me//. But he couldn't go out now it was still day light
and people would notice the large lionman walking down the street
and I don't I'd fit in my car. And another reason was his clothing
was ripped and shredded and he wasn't about to go outside half
naked //speaking of naked// he then looked around to make sure so
one was looking and unzipped his pants and took a look at his...well
Night had come and Xander took off into it still without anything to
wear besides ripped up clothing, he couldn't find anything that
would fit him. He was walking down main street in Sunnydale when he
saw a Big & Tall outlet store. //Well I guess that's me now.// So he
walked over only to find that it had been locked up tight. He kicked
the door right off the frame and walked in, he found some black
leather pants and some black hiking boots as well as a large dark
blue silk shirt. He picked out a piece of paper and jotted down a
apology about the door and left about two hundred dollars for the
clothing he took. On his way out he saw a large black duster and
thought //what the hell, if I'm going out why not look good doing
it// he grabbed the duster and walked out towards Giles' house. He
could hear people speaking threw the door and could make out Giles',
Willow's,Tara's, and Buffy's voices. He opened the door and walked
in quietly, the first to notice him was Tara who let out a loud
scream. Buffy being the slay happy girl she is grabbed her stake and
headed right for him, she drew back the weapon and attempted to
drive it threw his heart. Xander only acting on instinct moved
faster then her and slammed his fist into her stomach, she went down
for the count. He then looked towards the others who all had scared
faces, "Um hi guys I was wondering if you could help me out with
It took him about half an hour to explain what had happened the
night before, they all kept quiet and listened to everything he had
to say. Buffy was still passed out and Giles had laid her down in
the back room.
Willow who had been staring at him then turned to Giles, "Do you
think he could be like possessed or something?"
Giles removed his glasses and started to clean them like he always
did when he didn't understand something. "I don't see how he could
be, he's still Xander just...bigger and with fangs and claws."
Willow and Giles had been sitting far away from him but Tara had
decided to sit right next to him. She kept poking his arm like a
small child who had been given a puppy - she was just as fascinated
by this she didn't even think to explain about mutants. Well Giles
was researching his books and Willow was using a few spells to see
if she could turn his back, nothing was working. A few hours later
Giles was still researching but Willow had given up on the magic and
went home, Tara had fallen asleep next to Xander and was snuggling
up with him like he was a pet that would sleep at the foot of your
bed at night. Buffy woke up soon after that muttering something
about a truck hitting her in the ribs when she saw the creature who
had attacked her sitting on the couch with Tara's unconscious from
next to him.
She, being dumb, grabbed her stake once again and threw it like a
knife right for him, it sank deep into his forearm and he let out an
anger filled roar that shook the whole house.
"Buffy, it's Xander don't attack him!"
She had made it all the way over to him when Giles words sunk into
her head she turned to looked at him and missed the uppercut that
Xander sent her way. She was hit so hard that she did a whole 360 in
mid-air before hitting the ground hard. Giles ran over to Buffy's
once again unconscious from, Tara looked at Xanders injured arm and
watch in amazement as he withdrew the stack and his wound healed in
a matter of seconds.
"Xander, would you please not do that again?"
Xander gave Giles a childish pout, "She started it."
After Buffy woke up the second time Giles explained to her what had
happened as wasn't able to talk with her jaw being broken and all
but she nodded to him that she understood. Tara took this time to
explain about what she had heard about mutants on the Internet, them
being the next stage in humen evolution and all. The next day
Willow, Buffy, and Tara were sitting at the their favorite table in
the lunch room.
"So is there anything we can do about Xander?" Willow asked Tara
since she seemed to know more about it then they did.
"No, he was born like that so he can't change back. Just like Buffy
can't help being the slayer."
Buffy who was still pissed at having her ass handed to her by the
*weak-link* of the group just sent an angry glare towards the shy
"Well I think its cute, its like having a real live teddy bear."
Willow pecked her girlfriend on the cheek and said, "Just remember
real live teddy bears bite, and he looks more like a panther or
On the other side of town in the Harris basement Xander was trying
to explain to Anya why they couldn't see each other anymore, "I want
you to have a normal life and dating a freak of nature isn't on the
to do list for that."
Anya just kept arguing with him, "Can't we at least have break up
sex cause if everything has grown shouldn't the little soldier be
more like King Kong?"
Xander, never being one to turn down sex, did just as she asked,
Anya left that basement with a smile that wouldn't leave her face
for at least a month. Xander lay back and got ready to sleep but
that's when the soldiers lead by Riley Finn busted into his room
firing their blasting guns. Xander reacted faster then any mere
human could ever hope to and attacked them with claws and teeth
first. He killed at least thirteen before he knew what he had done,
he looked down at his blood covered hands and forgot all about Riley
and the other four soldiers that had gotten away. They all fired
their weapons at the same time straight at his huge chest. Xander
fell to the ground but before he passed out he saw Riley standing
above him, "Filthy murdering freak!" he then slammed his boot into
Xander's face knocking him out.
When I opened my eyes all I could see was black. I couldn't move nor
speak and the only thing I felt was the cold. This is how I learned
the drawbacks of animal senses; I don't do very good isolated. With
no sense of smell and no sound I was slowly losing my mind. I don't
know when the door was opened and the room was filled with guards
all pointing their guns at me, but for my very sanity it couldn't
have been a moment too late. Once the guards were sure I wasn't
going to attack anyone they signaled that it was alright for the
doctor to enter. I'm using the word "doctor" loosely, the man's more
like a fiend. He was a tall man maybe 6'1, not that it matters now
that I can pass for a basketball player. He was in his late forties
and had short gray hair and icy cold blue eyes.
"Welcome Mr. Harris, I'm so glad to meet you."
I may have let out a low growl but all it seemed to do was make the
"Did you know Mr. Harris that your mutation is one of the rarest in
the whole world? They've only been two others recorded since this
program was first invented in the 1950s." He then began to walk
towards me and with the look in his eyes I thought he was going to
dissect me right there, but he stopped a few feet away. The guards
still had their weapons pointed at my chest ready to fire if I made
the slightest move towards the doctor. "Where are my manners? I
forgot to introduce myself. I am Doctor Edward Stark and I will be
your doctor for the remainder of your stay."
I had been sitting down during all of his explanations until he said
I was staying here. That's when I stood up and towered over him and
every other mad in the cell. "Sorry doc, I don't plan on staying."
At that moment I was ready to pounce but I never got the chance. The
guards all opened fire before I had the chance to spring on the doc.
I was surprised that bullets weren't what hit me, but electricity.
It wasn't enough to kill me, not that bullets did the job last time,
but it was enough to bring me down.
With a cruel smirk on his face Dr. Stark began to speak once
again, "I'm sorry Mr. Harris but you don't seem to have a choice in
the matter. Now I'm going to leave you here until morning and I do
hope you rest up because we will start the testing bright and early
He then turned to leave but before he reached the door he told the
guards to fire on me once again just for good measure. I passed out
after maybe five minutes of them frying me with those damn zap guns!
It sickens me to admit it but it was better them shooting me then
leaving me in this god-forsaken room! There were no sounds or smells
to distract me from what I had done. I killed people. I broke the
first rule of being a Scooby.
I know I could say it was instinct. Or that common sense would be
enough to tell me to attack at the sight of over a dozen armed men
entering my home with their guns aimed at me. But common sense and
instinct do me no good now. The simple fact that I took the lives
of... I can't even remember how many I killed and that is enough to
feel dirty. At first I wonted to fool myself thinking that I could
be a super hero like Buffy saving the world from the baddies, but I
can't now. I know the truth now and it comes to me like a lightning
strike, "I'm a killer." What right do I have to leave? What right do
I have to be among normal people? I belong here and whatever their
going to do to me is more then likely what I deserve. Maybe with any
luck they will just kill me and get it over with because if I have
to stay in this fucking room one more second I'm going to fucking
rip someone's throat out! I let out one of my lion-like roars and
launch myself towards the doors only to find that even with my
strength I still can't so much as move them.
Thoughts of self-pity and suicide are soon forgotten when dealing
with the cold, numb, and sterile room that is my prison. God why is
this so hard? It's only a room and I know for sure before I became
the freak that I am now that it wouldn't have been so bad. It's
these senses! They've been in hyper- drive ever since I changed, but
they were well enough under control, but now here! I need to hear
something besides the beat of my own heart and my breathing. Hours
pass and they could very well be days for all I know - I'm slowly
going mad. I began to claw at my clothing a while back and by now my
shirt is nothing more the ribbons. At times I've almost slipped back
into the red hot rage that over come me the moment those commandos
entered my room but the thought of Tara calling me a big teddy bear
held them at bay. She seems to be the only real friend I have
anymore. Willow kept trying to use her magic on me to turn me back
and kept muttering under her breath so quietly that if I hadn't
super hearing I would have missed it - that if I wasn't such a freak
she could change me back. And good old Buffy kept looking at me like
some kind of demon to slay, but the two haymakers I gave her might
have a lot to do with that.
When Dr. Stark entered Mr. Harris's cell he was happy to find the
young mutant so far out of it that he posed no danger... for the
moment. He called the guards and nurses in to strap him in a gurney
and take him to the operating room for the first stage in testing.
Once held down in reinforced metal clamps Dr. Stark whispered into
the young mutant's ear, "Now Mr. Harris we will see if like the
other two ferals you possess a healing factor. And if you do then
the real fun can begin."
He then walked over to his tray and picked up a large syringe and a
bottle containing a blue liquid. Once he had the syringe filled he
injected it into Mr. Harris's left arm.
Down the hall agent Finn was complaining that he wanted to be
present for the freak's testing. "That fucking bastard killed a hell
of a lot of my men and I want to make sure the worthless fuck
suffers!" But soon after animal like screaming was heard from the
back labs so high that passers by above ground could make it out.
With a smug smile on his face agent Finn said, "Never mind I'll take
your word for it."
Things changed a great deal once Dr. Stark was done with his first
round of testing. I was moved to The Compound a few hours later; I
was still weak so it was easier to move me. A lot of things changed
there and nothing more then myself. The Compound was where they sent
the captured mutants. I watch helplessly as men, women, and children
are herded into the lower levels like lambs to the slaughter. It
hurts so much because they don't know; they don't know there being
lead to a place that breeds nightmares. They're not all going to die
just some of them - the old, the young, and the weak. A few will be
preserved like myself, those who are "useful". I spend another few
hours in Dr. Stark's lab today. He still can't understand how my
healing factor works, but he knows enough to make one of his
disturbing smirks appear. What he does to me would be enough to kill
any normal person, but he holds of finishing me. I'm still "useful".
There's a closed off field in the back of The Compound where we're
kept. They wouldn't let us out into it without a collar. It turns
off our powers so we can't use them against the guards. I still have
my fangs and claws, but if the guards shot me I'd die like any other
man. I don't know how so many people can be marched into The
Compound. Someone most miss us? Then I think we're mutants and who
would care if a few of us went missing. I watch behind one of the
gates they keep us behind as they drop off another group of mutants.
An old woman carrying her grandchild catches my eye. The girl can't
be more then four years old as she clings to her grandma. She's
green and has scales but she's still a little girl. Just because
she's different doesn't make her any less of a baby! It's winter now
and unlike Sunnydale it gets cold here. The grounds covered in snow
yet those people are still marched in.
The old woman's frail and can't keep up with the others and carry
the little girl. One of the guards come over and takes the girl from
the old woman's arms and throws her a few yards away. She lands in
the snow beside the bodies of the others who couldn't keep up with
the group. They care so little about us that they don't even have
the kindness to bury the dead. I turn away now - I can't bear to
watch the girl scream out for her grandma. She tries to get up and
run after her but its cold, so very cold and she's so young she
trips and falls soon off. She cries out for her nanny but the guards
won't let the old women go back for her. She cries out for help but
there's no one that can help her here, no one. Even if we wanted to
the guards would shot us down even if we were "useful". I can't bear
to watch as she gives up and lies down on the cold ground, but she
still cries out. When I'm alone at night I can still hear the crying
from her and from people just like her.
Once the crying has stopped I some how find the courage to look at
her. She's not moving any more and all I can think is how lucky she
is. Lucky that she wouldn't have to go into The Compound with the
rest of us. Lucky that she would be spared from the labs and the
doctors. Those are things I wouldn't inflect on my worst enemy let
alone a small child. Her soul has left her body and now she's free.
Sometimes I wish I were so lucky. When I can no longer stare at her
still body I look at the snow. I have to be like the snow. It feels
no pain. It feels no guilt. It's just cold. Slowly I am becoming
just like it. Cold, so very, very cold.
I wish I were in Sunnydale. Of course I wish that, but not for the
reasons you'd think. In Sunnydale people died every day, but because
of the Hellmouth its over looked. I found out not so long again that
The Compound is in Ohio. What's Ohio's excuse for the deaths of
dozens of people? Do they have a Hellmouth too? But I'm not as naive
anymore to believe such a thing. People are dying by the handful for
the simple fact that no one cares. I haven't talked to a lot of the
inmates, not that I talk a lot to begin with. There are no
chatterboxes in here, but I hear them talk. And I hear what the
guards call us. They call us monsters and freaks, but do we send
people into places like this where they'll be experimented on? Do we
turn a blind eye as children are murdered? Humans are the monsters.
They're as evil as anything in hell. That's why I don't hate myself
and what I've become anymore. For no matter how bad I am and what
I've done... at least I'm not human.
They became bored with my suffering in the isolation cell so they
moved me into a normal one. The Compound has become crowded so I
soon had a roommate. He was thirteen years old. He didn't have
dangerous power like mine or a god- like power like others; all he
had were orange eyes. His only crime was that his eyes weren't
normal. He was a sweet kid; always tried to lift my spirit even when
his heart was broken from missing his family. I still remember the
day he died. I try and remember all the days that people died
because as long as I am alive they'll never be forgotten. I had been
here for a while and knew to watch out for the kid, but I can't be
everywhere at once. One day I was in the lab for many hours going
through their tests and surgeries that I didn't see him all day. On
my way back to my ceil I found him laying on the ground in one of
the back halls beaten and nude where one of the guards had left him
once he'd had his fun.
I tried to help the kid after he'd been rap... after he'd been hurt.
He wasn't the same after that; he'd lost that spark of hope that was
always in those orange eyes of his. There's a no-man's land around
the far walls that surround the field. He took my hand and told me
goodbye before he walked towards those far walls. I didn't even try
and stop him. What could I have told him? That it would get better?
I wasn't going to lie to him. The guards shouted for him to back
away before they opened fire. He didn't cry out and for that I thank
him; I can't go on with another cry filling my nightmares waking me
in a cold sweat I already have enough.
We were kept in separate cell blacks, the men and women. Some of the
men turned to each other for comfort. I didn't but I can understand
why they did. They wanted to be with someone when death was so close
you could fill his icy hand on your shoulder. Not that we never saw
the women because we did in the field. Some were all right, but
others wore blackened eyes, cuts, and bruises. The guards it seems
didn't just take out their perversions on out young boys, but on
mothers, daughters, and sisters as well. It wasn't just because they
were attractive even if that helped catch their eye; they did it to
show who really had the power in the world. I'm thankful that with
out shaving my face and with my fangs and claws I look more like an
animal then a man. I'm thankful I wasn't pretty enough to catch any
of the guards' eyes.
I wasn't surprised months into this that Buffy never came and saved
me. I don't doubt the soldiers that grabbed me gave out some excuse
to fool anyone that asked; that is if anyone even noticed I was
gone. Maybe Tara. The day I was set free and shown what I needed to
do with my life came almost eleven months after I was first
captured. That's the day I met Magneto and joined The Brotherhood.
We burned down The Compound with most of the guards and doctors
still locked inside. Dr. Stark I took care of myself. As I watched
it burn I thought of two things only. Not that I missed my former
friends. Not that I missed the humanity that was wiped away from me
in there. I thought the words, "NEVER AGAIN!!!"
I'd never stand by and let this happen to anyone again. And how
thankful I was above all else, "At least I'm not human."