Pre - Mutant X by PsiGen

A pivotal day in the lives of the Mutant X characters before they ever heard of Mutant X.

-- Adam

"They're anomalies - freaks Adam!" Shouted Mason Eckhart, eyes flashing with outrage at what Adam was proposing.

"We did this to them - we should own up and do the right thing!" Exploded Adam.

"You did this - this is your mess, Adam! All we can do is damage control the situation before it gets out into the public domain and we're all jailed!!! Nobody is going public with this." Mason was suddenly calm - his earlier anger diminished, an odd and eerily cold glint in his eye like he had just decided or realized something.

Before Adam could respond, Paul Breedlove held up his hand and silenced both men. Sighing he steepled his hands in front of him, well aware that both had presented valid points to this thorny ethical issue.

He took a few brief seconds, regarding both men - Adam, fiery and moralistic, a genius in his field and invaluable to the Genomex staff. Mason was older - brilliant but more experienced, more cynical and more cunning in comparison to Adam whose moralistic views could sometimes border on naivety.

"You are both right and both wrong. Adam if we go public with this we'll cause a panic and get ourselves shutdown. We can't help anyone if we're in jail. Mason, Adam is right - this is our mess and we will help these people. Now I need to talk to our lawyers and whatnot to find a way to fix this - thank you for your insights."

Dismissed, Adam and Mason glowered once more at each other before nodding and rising to exit Breedlove's office.

"Oh and gentlemen?"

Both men halted in their tracks, turning back to regard their mentor and boss.

"Try not to kill each other before lunch, mmmm?"

Mason glared at Adam and left without another word. Adam simply rolled his eyes and followed.

Shaking his head, Paul Breedlove returned to the difficult and near impossible task at hand. Fixing a mess without getting sued, or jailed. Or both.

Outside in the corridor, Mason Eckhart watched as Adam returned to his lab with a thoughtful expression on his face. He had known Adam a long time now, knew he would not be satisfied with Breedlove's assertions. No, Adam would have to be watched and watched very carefully from now on.

Unaware of Eckhart's intense scrutiny, Adam was thinking furiously himself - planning and evaluating ideas and routes, dismissing those that were not helpful in search of a solution - or an escape.

When he got into his lab, he picked up the telephone and dialed a number.

"Christina? I need your help...."


Everything was ready, after months of planning and preparation, it all boiled down to this night, these last few hours that would either change the future or seal his fate. Hurrying through the deserted corridors of Genomex, Adam entered Breedlove's office. It was late, the rain pouring down outside made so much noise; he thought that alone would announce his presence.

The security man Eckhart had placed outside his apartment was there - sleeping soundly, thanks to the sedative in his coffee. Probably the best night's sleep he had gotten since his assignment to watch Adam - although the poor man would probably catch it from Eckhart when the truth came to light tomorrow morning.

Sitting down at the computer, he booted the terminal - it's illumination the only light emanating in the room. Easily getting past the password encryption, Adam quickly found what he wanted - the Genomex database of the children they had 'helped'. Copying it to the micro drive he had brought, he pocketed it and took out another micro disk - which contained the virus he had carefully constructed and inserted it into the drive, closing it.

Then he took a few last seconds to consider what he was doing - what he was going to do. Was there another way? He didn't think so, but if there were....

The program had loaded, the computer asking him if he wanted to run it. No more time left...

"Adam what are you doing here?" Mason Eckhart loomed out of the shadows turning on the light and smiled thinly at the startled Adam. He had been alerted by a silent alarm triggered by the use of the terminal at so late an hour, and always on duty - had come immediately to it's source.

Discreetly clicking YES on the keyboard, Adam blocked the monitor with his body, regaining his composure and attempted to bluff his way past Mason.

"A sudden idea about the latest project Paul and I were discussing over lunch. He said he had research files on the theory, background stuff - that kind of thing." Adam remained calm, although inside he was panicking - had Mason discovered the drugged guard - was he simply playing with him? Or would he buy Adam's line about the research?

Agonizing seconds passed by, until finally..

"Did you find them?"

"Nope. Not so much as an index file. Most annoying. Guess I'll have to research it myself if I want to use it. There goes my social life"

Mason snorted with derision. Adam's lack of social life was well known throughout Genomex. Some of the women had tried to coax him out of his lab in favor of more.... entertaining sports, only Danielle Hartmann had ever succeeded but she was now long gone. Mason had seen to it personally.

"Adam go home, go to bed."

A soft beep told Adam the program was complete and he casually flicked the monitor off, affecting a yawn.

"Point taken. See you tomorrow, Mason." Adam sidled out and escaped into the corridor as casually as he could, leaving Eckhart frowning. Mason too was about to leave when he noticed the hard drive was still on. Curious he flicked the monitor back on and watched with horror as the cheery red letters spelt out disaster. A virus! Adam!!

He took off after Adam, and caught up with him as he was going through the main labs to which a fire door led out to the garages.

"Adam STOP!" He called, drawing his gun, prepared to stop Adam at all costs. Adam heard, paused mid flight and saw the gun aimed at him. He froze for mere seconds like a rabbit caught in headlights, then abruptly took off again. Salvation was only a few yards away in the form of his car - he couldn't stop now, he couldn't!!

Eckhart let off a shot - it missed Adam but struck a cylinder that was shelved next to where Adam was currently passing. The cylinder began seeping gas but Mason ignored it - ploughing forward regardless, fingers closing around Adam's collar. He had him!

"Got you Adam. What the hell...." His skin, something was wrong... it was like it was bubbling - burning him... Adam twisted out of his grasp, torn between the need to escape and Eckhart's plight. Through the pain, Eckhart's focus didn't waver - he brought the gun up a second time - still determined to stop Adam escaping. Concentrating with difficulty, he applied pressure to the trigger...

A shot rang out and Adam yelped. It had grazed his shoulder! Decision made for him, bleeding and reeling from what had just happened, Adam lurched through the final door to freedom and out into the pouring rain.

Back in the lab, Eckhart too made it to the open door, standing in the rain and scowling as Adam's car receded rapidly into the darkness.

" I will get you Adam, you and your freaks!" He vowed.

The words lingered in the rain, the hatred and fear in them hanging around in the air, then faded as they followed his enemy wherever he was headed - and would continue to haunt the man he considered his greatest enemy as long as Eckhart lived.

Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord, and Eckhart had a lifetime to act upon his... didn't he?

Editors Note: Please note that it was Adam who was responsible for Eckhart's condition, but it was Paul Breedlove who later developed the exo skin as he hints at during the two conversations he has with Eckhart in Shock of the New - Flames welcome.. reviews welcome... if I get reviews I will post the next one which is Emma's day.....