Unfortunate Choices, Unintended Endings

Summary: **Part of the '2012 Halloween Fics' series** Buffy didn't look closely at the costume tag… Too bad for the world.

Warning: I don't know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.

Timeline: season 2 BtVS 'Halloween'.

A/N: This has been on my computer for a couple years; decided to post it now.

Thanks to my betas: zigpal, AerynSpeedleCaine and AshDawnSoulmates.

Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. X-Men characters belong to Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Marvel Comics. The O'Reilly Factor belongs to Bill O'Reilly and Fox News Channel. Jack Ryan'verse characters belong to Tom Clancy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.


Ethan smirked evilly as he watched Ripper's Slayer leave the store with her purchase in hand. The foolish girl was so excited to find a Jean Grey outfit that she didn't even question which X-Men movie it was from. The Chaos Mage was gleeful at all the extra Chaos that would cause.

He shouldn't have been.

Streets of Sunnydale

As soon as she regained her bearings, Phoenix could feel the pull of a strange energy in the area…a very powerful energy. Now that she was free of the Professor and his silly moral constraints, finding more power was her ultimate goal in life.

She completely ignored the voice in her head that sounded like Scott which warned her to exercise caution. He was just another person who wanted to hold her back from her full potential. In her arrogance, Phoenix never even considered that she didn't have the control necessary to harness the power being presented to her in this odd place. Even the Professor couldn't control Hellmouth energy.

So when Phoenix started drawing on the energy, it began a feedback loop within her, which kept building and building, until finally…

TV news program

6 days later…

"Good evening, and welcome to this evening's abbreviated edition of the O'Reilly Factor. I'm your host, Bill O'Reilly.

"Our Talking Points tonight is, of course, the mysterious disappearance of the southern half of California last week. Authorities are still stymied how it was there one minute before a bright flash of light originated in the small coastal town of Sunnydale, then a fog spread out for 200 miles in all directions, and when the fog lifted, Las Vegas was suddenly oceanfront property.

"There were no tremors to indicate an explosion or earthquake; radiological tests have come up negative; it's as if the area simply disappeared like in a magic trick.

"Which leads us to our Impact Segment. Because of the undocumented workers in the area, we may never know the full extent of the loss of life, which some politicians on both sides are callously attempting to use in their re-election campaigns. Which proves once again that some people can't see past the voting polls. You know who you are; shame on you!

"The price tag for this tragedy threatens to surpass Hurricane Andrew by a ratio of 100-to-1. Experts claim that it would be much higher if there were clean-up costs added to that figure. Not much of a bright spot to cling to – especially when economic impact may still be settling years from now.

"No groups have claimed official responsibility for this disaster. However, several have indicated that they 'know' what happened. The theories range from alien abduction to the wrath of a supreme being to an actual magic spell being responsible for the disappearance of over 12 million people and counting, 62 thousand square miles of land, and the greatest catastrophe in modern history.

"And now onto tonight's Pinheads and Patriots. Since it ties in with my last comment, we'll start with the Pinhead for a change. When comedian, Joseph Styner, heard the statement that this disaster was the result of 'the hand of God striking down the sinners', he replied with the question, 'So why did it stop short of Las Vegas?' For such an insensitive and idiotic remark, Styner earns our contempt and the Pinhead award.

"But something for all patriots to be proud of: in the border town of Blythe, California, when looters threatened to destroy the town, a small group of ordinary citizens banded together to stop them in their tracks, holding them until the authorites arrived. President Ryan commended everyone for doing their civic duty, and thanked them for not harming the looters. The last thing he wants is for vigilantes to start 'taking care of justice'. Both the group of citizens and the President are Patriots who are looking out for you.

"Finally, while I want to thank the viewers for their comments, unfortunately this evening I will not be able to answer any because of time constraints."

A/N: Not a happy Halloween fic, but they can't all be happy, can they?