Rating: PG-13, just to be safe.
Disclaimer: I don't own any part of Mutant X. At All. I'm just playing with the characters. All rights belong to whoever did create them.
Spoilers: Just about everything.
Archive: Sure, but please ask me first
AN: Please read and review! This is my first story. I'm going to continue regardless, but I'd like to know what people think.
Summary: Post "The Assault." With Adam and Sanctuary gone, the members of Mutant X struggle to orient themselves and figure out their next step. But when a solution presents itself, it may be too much for any of them to handle, especially Jesse.
"Where the hell do we go now?"
Lexa's response to Jesse's question was immediate and intense. "We need to find Adam. I mean, everybody here except Jesse is living under a death sentence."
"But Sanctuary's gone, the Helix is gone, the d-, the dominion…"
Brennan stopped her from further voicing the doubts that they all felt. "No, no. They think they've won; it's not over yet."
An explosion sounded behind them. They all turned, watching for any hazards coming their way. Each of them knew, in their own way, that tonight's events would prove to be a crucial turning point in the fight to save mutants. They question was, Which direction did it turn the battle.
"It will be if we don't move," Jesse said, awakening them from their reflection. "Come on."
The four powerful mutants dashed away from the flaming building, knowing what they had to do, but not knowing how they were going to do it.
After more than an hour of running and walking, they arrived at a remote gas station, located off an even more remote highway. The journey had been mostly silent. Until Shalimar had spotted the station and mentioned it, the only sounds made were by Jesse or Brennan, who would wince if their wounds were unexpectedly jostled, and then shrug off the concerns of the others.
Instinctively, the four approached the brightly lit telephone booth on the edge of the grounds. Brennan paused. He gave a half chuckle. "Who the hell are we going to call? We don't exactly have backup here. In fact, we're usually the back up for each other. Usually someone's back at Sanctuary. Maybe if we'd left someone there when we went to find Adam, we'd have a place to go right now." His voice was escalating with each sentence.
Lexa, whose own mind was shouting similar things, looked around plaintively, searching her mind rather than the landscape. She was silent. She had no idea what to do. All her contacts outside of Mutant X were part of the Dominion. But given that the agency had assassinated a potential informant, tortured Jesse, kidnapped Adam and tried to kill all of them, she didn't know if she could trust any of them.
Shalimar, too, felt disconnected. Adam was gone, so soon after they had found him again. There was no plan, no place for her to focus her feral energy. She glanced up at Brennan's face. "There's nothing we can do now. Even if we had left someone behind, they would have had to run when the Dominion attacked. We're lucky we're all here and alive." Though she had meant here voice to be soothing, it came out harsh and grated.
Jesse had been silent during the exchange, staring at his feet and cradling his right hand, which he was pretty sure was going to be a mass of black and purple bruises in a few hours. His mind was racing, ideas and thoughts coursing through his consciousness, but he couldn't grasp onto anything. Finally, though, he did, and looked up at the shouting elemental. "Brennan, do you have your wallet?"
Brennan halted mid tirade and blinked. "Yeah, why?"
"Hand it over."
Brennan did so, not questioning the teammate he had come to see as a younger brother, but trying to figure out what he was thinking. "There's no cash in there, at least, not enough for a cab. Even if there was, where would we go?"
Jesse didn't answer. He had managed to grab onto an idea. He didn't want to respond for fear that it would break his concentration and the idea would get away. Pulling a card from Brennan's wallet he approached the phone and punched a series of numbers. The others followed and watched as Jesse punched more numbers, paused, and then several more. Finally he spoke: "Mike, it's Jesse. Yeah, yeah, but we need some help…" Jesse glanced around, searching, finally found what he was looking for, then spoke into the phone. "310-655-4598. Yeah. Use the computer's GSP12 program…ok, see you soon."
Jesse hung the phone back on its cradle, then tucked the card back into Brennan's wallet and handed it back to him. Before the other man could grasp it, however, Shalimar intercepted the small leather item. She withdrew the card that Jesse had put back, stared at it, then let loose a small gasp. "The Safehouse Codes…" she said softly.
Jesse nodded, but Lexa and Brennan looked at the two blondes, confused. Brennan took the card from Shalimar's hand. "The Safehouse Codes?" he repeated. On the back of the card was a phone number, a date and a time.
"When Adam first created the safehouses, each one had phones installed that acted normally, but could become secure lines, completely off the phone company's grids when the proper series of codes were used. Members of Mutant X were the only ones with access to those codes. The codes are written like that so that if anyone ever finds them, they just look like notes for an appointment or something."
Brennan looked from Shalimar to Jesse. "But how did I get them? I don't remember anything about those phones."
Now that he didn't have to focus so hard on what he was doing, Jesse felt relaxed enough to talk to Brennan. "When you were first made a member, I gave you the card and told you to keep it with you for emergency communications. I saw you put it in your wallet. But then we stopped using them right about the time you came on board, switching to a system that used random satellite disruption, kind of like our comm. rings. I took my set of codes out of my wallet a long time ago, but I know that you never clean out your wallet." He paused to shrug. "I guessed you'd still have them, and I was right."
"Oh." Brennan nodded, acting like he remembered. "So, who'd you call?"
"Mike Robson, the canine feral from the circus. He and his wife are still at Safehouse 13. I gave him number off this phone. He'll use map program to find and get us."
Lexa studied Jesse. His eyes were falling shut. She didn't know if the others had noticed yet, but he was also slurring his words a bit, deviating from his normally crisp, enunciated speech pattern. She moved to take a step forward, wanting to touch him, to reassure herself that he was safe and well, but was distracted by a huge sigh let loose by Brennan.
"Well," he said, glancing from Jesse to Shalimar to Lexa. "That solves problem number one. Twenty-seven million to go, right?"