Authors Note: Thanks to everyone who emailed me about this fic – I went with what the majority wanted but to the people who wanted to see a fic about Jesse and his father – I'll do a separate piece at some point if you really want it.

Big thank you to Tasha – who told me just how Jesse should be done and nagged me till I did it.
Hope it was worth the wait folks – please RR
Next up will be Brennan – anything you want to see particularly – send in your emails!!!!

Pre - Mutant X
by PsiGen

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

The young man stared at his reflection in the bathroom mirror, the cold touch of the white tiles seeping through the soles of his feet, making him even colder then he already was.

This place, this white hell from which there seemed to be no escape – its walls closed about him more with each passing day, threatening to crush him entirely – or so it seemed.

Studying his reflection he could see new stress lines, he seemed so much older then the day he'd first been brought here. To Genomex.

The young, blonde haired reflection stared right back at him, and for an instant Jesse Kilmartin fancied it was mocking him, mocking his inability to fight back at his captors and escape the situation he currently found himself trapped in.

What would it be like to be normal? He wondered. He wouldn't know the answer to that question, because he was anything but normal. He was a freak – that's what the guards called him when he first came to Genomex. God, that seemed like a lifetime ago, but he still remembered the helplessness, the pain of being abandoned by his own family and all because he was different. A freak.

Oh, he had entertained notions of escape, had formulated several strategies in his head for escaping the facility – but where would he go? Not to his family, they would simply send him back here. What was out there in the big bad frightening world for Jesse Kilmartin? And did he really want to find out?

Such questions plagued him, keeping him from acting out his desire to escape the tests, the torments – the pain. Sometimes he even wished they'd just put him into stasis as he had seen happen to other 'freaks', but he was terrified of what it must feel like being trapped in such a small face, unable to move, to speak – but always conscious. A living death.

Being a freak with the ability to move through solid objects, such a thing wouldn't have been a problem for Jesse, but of course the subdermal governor device they'd implanted into his neck prevented him using such abilities, not that Jesse had all that good a control of them in the first place. Genomex it seemed, wasn't interested in helping him get to grips with his new ability – just in finding out how he had received them. The guy responsible, had apparently taken his research and gone into hiding – Jesse heard snippets here and there about operations to recover the scientist and bring him back to Genomex. He had hacked a few files to get further information, but had had to be careful lest he get caught. So far, his captors had no clues as to where this elusive scientist was, and even though he didn't know the guy personally, Jesse was glad. Glad that someone else was getting the chance he deserved.

If he can do it, what's stopping you? What's your excuse? The taunting voice in his head asked. Jesse shook his head, forcing back the tears threatening and looked once more up into his reflection, but the last question kept repeating itself in his head. What was stopping him from at least trying?

"What am I so afraid of?" Wondered Jesse aloud. His reflection had nothing to say, however.

Jesse was lying on his bed in the square box of a room, when he heard the commotion. Getting up, he walked to the door, peering out of the glass panel inset and into the corridor beyond.

What he saw amazed him


He heard her before he saw her – a voice that loud, it would be very difficult not to, and craned his neck – hoping to catch sight of the woman in question, who was giving so much grief.

He wasn't disappointed. No less than four Genomex guards were employed with the task of moving one blonde girl – no woman, and having a hell of a time in doing so. As Jesse watched one yelped in pain as she bit him, another's foot got crunched under her stiletto heel as she generally lashed out, punched and kicked everyone and everything within reach.

As the group passed his door, their eyes locked and for a split second there was nobody else but them there. She smiled at him, her soft blue eyes twinkling at him, and he found himself shyly smiling back. She said something – but naturally he could not hear her through the glass... Shamir? No Shalimar – it must be her name. Something about that one word – it just made him feel better inside, less of a freak.

Time started moving forward again, she was dragged past – but not before Jesse had mouthed his name back at her. He didn't know if she had heard or even understood – but Jesse could at least cling to her name, the syllables rolling off his tongue. He wasn't alone anymore.

And then Jesse's eyes narrowed as he realized what that meant.

Could he stand by and watch them experiment on her, even kill her?

Having been dumped unceremoniously into her cell in another room, Shalimar was thinking along the same lines. Except it wasn't the GSA she was thinking about it was Adam. Her friend, leader and mentor – he had expressly forbidden the Feral to go out alone, as she wasn't ready yet and it was too dangerous. Of course that had made her want to prove otherwise, and the first chance she got she had hopped into her car , gone into town – and been picked up by Genomex.

Worse still, she knew damn well that Adam would come for her, maybe get caught himself and she hated the very thought of that. Their shared night time talks had often hinted at the terrible severity his return to Genomex would bring about, both for her and for him – no Adam being caught was totally unacceptable.

Her thoughts continued... turning to the young man she had seen out in the corridor – he had mouthed his name to her – Jesse. What was he doing here? What had he done to warrant his captivity? Was he a New Mutant – perhaps he could help her escape – Adam would be looking for her by now. What on earth was she going to do?

Her descent into despair was suddenly interrupted by a very slight knocking at the door.

As soon as he had heard the guards enter the elevator at the far end of the corridor, Jesse opened his door, and crept down to the end room where Shalimar had been taken. Looking through the glass plate, identical to his own door, he could see her on her bunk looking lost and more than a little scared.

Just like you were... are... Whispered that inner voice.

Jesse ignored it, and tapped the door lightly to attract her attention.

At first she didn't seem to hear, but after repeated attempts she looked up, immediately coming over to the door so their faces were mere inches apart.

"I'm gonna try and get you out of there." He mouthed, making hand signals and gestures with his adapted card key.

It had originally belonged to one of the many staff that came and went at Genomex – using his computer know-how; Jesse had augmented it so it could open doors for him, since all the doors were card indexed. He had yet to try it out on the main elevator shaft however, and absolutely no idea if it would work on Shalimar's door either but it had to be worth a shot.

Evidently his low self-confidence in his abilities was not well founded, for the door opened first attempt, and Shalimar stepped out cautiously – checking to see the coast was clear. It was!

"Thanks – that wallpaper was driving me mad. I'm Shalimar, a Feral. You're Jesse right? What's your New Mutancy?" She asked as she checked this way and that to ensure nobody was sneaking up on them.

Jesse stared at her as if she were from another planet.

"New Mutancy? What do you mean?"

"Well I'm a Feral, I can sense stuff, move faster and have greater agility. What's your special power – why are you here?" She asked directly, staring at him – waiting for his answer.

"I... I can walk through walls and go rock solid... I'd show you but.. they...put this device –"Jesse stammered, unsure of how much she would understand. If he told her about being a freak would she leave him behind in this place – even though he'd helped her?

Instead to his amazement, she simply nodded.

"They suck don't they? And they don't go with anything you wear either. Don't worry Adam'll have them off in two seconds when we get outta this dump. You're a molecular then?"

Jesse was dumbstruck – he was a molecular? This was serious news to him indeed – and who was this Adam. Perhaps he was another Molecular? Eagerly Jesse turned to ask more questions but Shalimar's eyes had narrowed.

"We have to blow this joint now. That thing work on the elevator we came up in?" She asked, not looking at him but everywhere else instead.

"Yes.. there's no reason it shouldn't.. but how are we going to get past the security?" He asked as she bustled them along the corridor to the waiting elevator.

Everything was going fine up until they got to the ground floor. Suddenly alarms rang out, personnel began to run towards them, some of them armed.

"Oh hell... what do we do now?" Muttered Shalimar. Prospects of Adam grounding her for eternity suddenly seemed way better then the option they were faced with now. They were surrounded.

"Well, well, well. So the freak has a backbone." Mason Eckhart himself sauntered in, condescending glare firmly fixed on his pale features.

"Ms Fox – I believe you and I share a similar acquaintance. Perhaps later the three of us can have a reunion. Take the boy to the stasis containment area – take Ms Fox to a one of the more secure holding cells. And insert a governor on her for goodness sake. We don't want any further trouble." Eckhart ordered, giving Jesse one more glance before turning his back on them and leaving.

Jesse's mind was whirling. Stasis? He was dumbstruck – numb to the very core. Two agents took him by the arms and dragged him away – he couldn't see where they took Shalimar, but he could guess what they were about to do to her.

At that thought, his paralysis was broken and he grabbed one of the agents' guns, pointed it at them – even as a third crept from behind and smashed him over the head with the butt of his own gun. Darkness took Jesse Kilmartin.. a darkness from which he feared he may never wake from again.

He did wake though, but not in the floating coldness of stasis as he had expected. He woke in the back of a speeding car of all things! Sitting up groggily focused on the front of the vehicle – seeing the blonde hair of someone he recognized all too well. Shalimar!!?! But they were going to... he was supposed to be... what the hell was going on here?!?!

Jesse didn't understand.

Shalimar turned then and gave him a dazzling grin, settling his nerves in a second. Wherever they were going, whatever was happening it couldn't be any worse then where he had been – still he had to ask the question.

"What's going on?"

"Adam busted us out of Genomex. You took a nasty hit to the head – you'll have concussion so don't try to move around too much when we get back." She soothed.

"Adam? Who's Adam?" He muttered thickly, already feeling light headed and wanting to return to the comforting silence of sleep.

"A friend. You'll meet him properly when we get back home, Jesse." Shalimar stroked his hair out of his eyes gently – her gaze one of warmth and sincerity. Jesse felt safe.

"Home..." he murmured, and fell back to sleep.

Looking at the taunt, calculating features of Adam Kane – Shalimar put on her best puppy dog expression.

"So can we keep him?"