This is my entry for the "Surreal" diehard challenge. I do not own Sanctuary…which I find myself decidedly glad about. This is a one-shot and I do not intend to continue on with it. It's just a little scene in my head that I thought would work with the theme.

Basically, in this Helen was the one who went insane and though I am not going to explain it, I have the basic logistics in mind. She still preserved Ashley, but the Sanctuary was never founded and thus they never met Henry.

Imperfect World

John Druitt looked down at his desk and sighed. There was so much to do. Not for the first time in over a hundred years, he found himself wondering if he was entirely sane, to have undertaken a project of this magnitude. Then he thought back to his darkest days and realized that he could not have done anything else.

"Dad," A familiar voice called.

John smiled. His daughter never failed to brighten his mood. "In here Ashley."

The young woman, bearing striking resemblance to her once intrepid mother, enter the cluttered room. "Dad, do you need anything? You've been in here all day."

John readied himself for the discussion ahead. Trying to temper any irritation, he reminded himself that Ashley worried…and after all, he was all she had. The only family she had ever known. "I am fine, my dear. I think I have had a breakthrough."

Ashley stared in disbelief. Then shook her head and looked back at him in resignation. "Dad, we need to stop this. It's been a hundred years. She doesn't want our help…and we don't need her."

"Ashley," He began, reining in his anger. "I don't blame you for being wary. All you've ever known of your mother is insanity, but she was not always like this. Once, she was a very good person. There has to still be some of that goodness in her or you wouldn't be here at all."

"Dad, that was a long time ago. So what if she preserved me a hundred years ago. A lot has happened between now and then and if she got the chance she would kill me faster than you could say child abuse." Ashley snapped. He could almost mistake this bitterness for anger, but he knew the truth because he felt it too. It was pain. Longing for the family they had both be denied.

"Ashley," he calmly started, "I found you all those years ago, and I found somebody to carry you to term, because I knew that your mother would never harm you. You are perhaps the only person that she could not hurt."

"Really, cause last time we saw her, I do believe she tried to hack me into little bits and if you hadn't showed up when you did I would have bled to death. Not really my idea of mother daughter bonding."

John knew that she had a point. He had never come so close to killing his lost love, then when he saw her standing over Ashley, dark menace in her eyes.

Ashley was fading quickly, but still refused to use deadly force against the older woman. John made a decision and took aim firing a shot into Helen's shoulder, stopping her from delivering a killing blow to his daughter. He had transported his daughter, the only light he had left in the wake of Helen's descent into madness, to the only person he could trust to treat her.

Gregory Magnus took very good care of his granddaughter and she had made a full recovery, but he made sure to let John know what he thought of his foolishness. He didn't believe that his daughter could be saved. After meeting John and Ashley years after he had last seen the former, he held with the notion that the most merciful thing would be to put Helen out of her misery. It had pained him to say it, but he knew that his daughter as she had been before the experiment, would have been horrified at what she had done to her own child.

John found himself unable to argue with the older man and though he had no intention of killing Helen, he was not willing to lose Ashley. From then on he instructed his daughter to try to save Helen, but if it was a choice between her life or her mother's, she was to choose her own.

While being physically at a hundred percent after that run-in , Ashley was still not healed emotionally. She truly feared Helen now…even if she didn't want to admit it. For years she had agreed with her father, even against her Grandfather who she had met at twelve and instantly adored, that the only possibility was saving her mother. That was the only option that they had let themselves think of, but now after all that had happened, she wasn't sure anymore.

Even, Uncle James had been urging her father to give up on her mother, especially after it became necessary for him to wear his exo-skeleton at all times, effectively taking him out of the fight and putting Ashley in. He had wanted to protect his niece, but Ashley wanted to help. Surely, with her beside her dad, saving Helen Magnus would be easier.

But, Ashley Druitt had been wrong. Her mother didn't exist in the way her father wished she did. It was time to put away childish things and get to the job that needed to be done. "Dad, maybe it's time that we face the truth. That isn't Helen Magnus anymore and she isn't some fluffy little abnormal. She isn't harmless and we can't keep letting her lose on the world and hope that she doesn't find a way to destroy us all. She almost killed me, what if next time it's you?"

"That's enough Ashley." He barked. The girl visibly flinched and he found himself regretting his tone. She wasn't just scared. She was afraid for him. "I am going to be fine. One day, we are going to look back at this time and know that it was all worth it. You, me and your mother. I promise that I won't let anything happen to you. I said so the day I found you, again the day you were born and every day since. All I ask is that you trust in me and what we are working for."

Ashley hesitated. "Okay daddy." She whispered. "I think I am going to go to bed. Can I bring you anything?"

"No, sweetheart, good night." He placed a light kiss on her head as she left.

He turned to face he unexpected guest. She had been there since before Ashley had come to check on him. "Hello Helen."

"She's right you know, I'm a lost cause. I almost killed her. What if it's you next?" Helen asked.

"As long as I can save you, I will die happily." He promised.

"You can't save me. There is nothing to save." Helen answered.

"Look at me, look at our daughter. You love us. You can't deny it. Now, tell me you really believe that we can't bring you back." John pleaded.

Helen turned to leave through the window as she had entered. "You can't save me, so save yourself and Ashley. Stop trying." Then she was gone.

John simply smiled and said, "Never."

The end. I did not have this beta'd so it is probably full of errors, but it's not terrible for half an hour of work.