Once upon a time, the People of Science and the People of Magic lived in harmony and love. This is the story I have been told, although I have heard different versions of it, and I must piece together my own that makes sense and is not tainted by bitterness and bias.
The world was full of rainbows then. Robots flew through the skies powered by starlight, and talking animals gave dissertations on physics and biology over tea. The People of Science made things that went *fizz!* and *boom!*, and the People of Magic made things that went *twinkle!* and *bang!* I have never heard these things in harmony together. Not in my lifetime, for I was not fated to experience that wonderful age.
It came to an end. One day, the People of Science said, "Magic is foolish and does not exist," and the People of Magic said, "Science is dangerous and should not exist." I do not know who said what first, only that it led to bitter fighting. The things that went *boom!* were used against the People of Magic, and the things that went *bang!* were used against the People of Science. In the end, the People of Science triumphed over the land and took it for their home, while the People of Magic laid claim to the skies and built their sparkling cities on the clouds. For many years after that, they refused to acknowledge each other's existence. The islands of joy between land and sky where once the two Peoples had frolicked became desolate and empty. And that, they tell me, was when the fairies came.
The People of Magic blame the fairies on the People of Science, while the People of Science blame them on the People of Magic. But I believe otherwise. I believe they came from the cracks between reality, their hunger for pain and discord drawing them to this divided world. They took over both the land and the sky, and worst of all, they drew their power from the stars. To the People of Science, the stars were other worlds, sources of hope and dreams for the future. To the People of Magic, the stars were the blazing signs of gods and heroes, reminders of the glories of the past. But now they became weapons to be used against both Peoples. No defense was to be found against them.
I am the only one who can fight against the fairies and their stars. I am the Robot Unicorn, and someday I will mend this broken world. This is my hope and my dream, as well as my tribute to the glories of the past.
* * *
Every year, I rise from the glittering dust, and I run through the islands in the sky now claimed by the fairies. I am the only hope of two Peoples. I must run, no matter how hopeless it seems. I must devour the fairies the stand in my way and burst through the stars they use to fight me. I am the only one who can. I am the only creature left who combines the powers of Magic and Science.
But it is so hard to keep going, sometimes, when I know that every year, the end will be the same.
* * *
My story began with treason: treason against the laws of the Peoples as well as against the tyranny of the fairies. Despite all the rules that forbade them to even admit the other was real, a Woman of Science and a Man of Magic fell in love. In the shadow of a terrible star they consummated their forbidden marriage. Nine months later, as they gathered on the smallest of islands, fearing discovery but unable to stay away from each other, the cyborg stork descended to them and brought me. The Robot Unicorn.
My birth brought a new war, for no longer could the two Peoples pretend the other did not exist. My parents were slain for their beautiful treachery; I never knew them. Would things have been different if I had? Would I have more hope in this world? I cannot think of such things. I must only continue on my mission.
The People of Magic claimed me for their own, for I was a unicorn; the People of Science claimed me for their own, for I was a robot. I was passed from land to sky in terrible battles, made worse when the fairies descended upon the battlefields and created more chaos. Each time I heard a different story about my birth or creation. It is only after many years that I have been able to piece together what I believe is the truth: I was born from love, not created by Science or Magic.
* * *
I rise from death each year and run three times across the fairies' lands, destroying the stars that give them power. The People of Science tell me that this will cut their power supply and eventually drive them back into a black hole. The People of Magic tell me that this will shatter their power and someday tear them apart with the might of rainbows.
But the fairies know of my existence now. They threaten me every time I run. Their taunting voices whisper in my ears as I begin: Chase your dreams. You will fail. I continue to run all the same.
* * *
I have run three times across the islands in the sky more times than I can count, now. Does that make me old, or does my renewal each year make me young? It doesn't matter. All that matters is that I free my oppressed Peoples from the fairies that torment them. In my endless years of sacrifice, I have but one comfort, and that is the knowledge that I am not alone.
As I blast through the fairies' cruel stars, creatures of love rise up to join me on my terrible journey. The dolphins, singing and sparkling, come to my aid. I have heard different stories of where they come from. The People of Science say they are genetically engineered flying attack dolphins meant to assist me in my mission. The People of Magic say that this is nonsense. Instead, they are the souls of all those who have suffered and died under the fairies' rule, summoned from beyond by my power and my purity of heart. At first, I did not know what to believe. Now, after many years and many runs, I have my own understanding. I know what the dolphins are. They are the secret desire of the two Peoples to unite once more, as they did once to create me.
I wish I could tell the Peoples this, but they will not listen.
* * *
My third run across the islands in the sky is always the most desperate. This time, I am no longer running to defeat the fairies. I have had my fill of that by then, and I know how useless it is. More of them will come. More stars will rise in my path. Instead, I am running under the power of my hope for the future.
The People of Magic and the People of Science believe that I am their savior, come to defeat their oppressors. But I know that is not true. I am only a symbol. I am the Robot Unicorn: the representation of the truth that the two Peoples can one day live in peace again. It is only this peace that will save them and drive away the fairies.
So I run, even knowing that it may be useless. I run, knowing that I will crash and burn each time, and the People of Magic and the People of Science will fight over who gets to reconstruct my remains for next year. I run, hoping that someday, someday, they will all see the love that truly gives me power.
I run, believing against all odds that someday they will open their eyes, come into the open, and live in harmony, harmony, oh, love.