So this for Molecular 12 who kindly pointed out no one ever focuses on Jess' ability to Mass. Well, that's about to change…


Hard Shell

Adam sighed as he exited the stage. Just off to his left, Jesse followed him through the winding backstage. It was late in the afternoon, and the end of a long day for the two.

"Last seminar?" Jesse asked and Adam could hear the yawn in the young man's voice.

He smiled to himself, fatherly, and waited as the blond caught up to him. "For today it is. I have one more tomorrow. You know, you could always get Shalimar or one of the others to baby sit me," he said as they continued walking.

Jesse shrugged, "Two reason's why that wouldn't work, boredom and bulletproof."

Adam cocked an eyebrow at Jess, "Care to explain that?"

Jesse grinned, "Well, Bren and Shal would get so board they'd start a fight, and Em would probably do a little mind hopping. And if whoever is after you brings in guns, well I'm just a human sized bulletproof vest. And really good at making escape doors too."

Adam chuckled lightly and ruffled Jesse's hair before he could stop himself. Jess didn't seem to mind though. "I do have one question to your logic though," Adam began, and it was Jesse's turn to raise an eyebrow. "What if you get so board that you wonder off and thus leave me without my bulletproof vest?"

"Then I guess you SOL."

The 'father and son' laughed together as the entered the cooling evening air and as Jesse scanned the area to make sure they were clear, Adam called home to Sanctuary to reassure everyone that they were fine.

"All clear, we're good to go," Jess said, but Adam was still on the phone.

"Alright Shalimar, alright….Yes, I….he's fine….no, he hasn't had to take any bullets….Do you want to talk to him? …Alright, fine…you too. See you tomorrow evening, bye," Adam ended the call, a dazed look on his face. "I'm the one who's being targeted and she's concerned that you're going to get hurt."

Jesse's face broke into a wide grin and he shock his head, "I love my big sis…."

"Yeah," Adam chuckled, "I wonder who she loves more though, you or me?"

Though the comment was a joke, and Jess didn't lose his smile, his eyes took on a serious glint, "We all think of you as a father Adam. And Shal would never chose between you or me. She's just upset cause we can't get this guy and she's worried what that could mean."

Adam looked at the young man in front of him and for a moment wondered what happened to the scared and nearly broken seventeen year old he had rescued. Looking at Jesse he could see the confidence and self-awareness that the boy had been robed of all his life. He could also see the tell tale signs of a sleepless night.

"You know Jess, a bodyguard who could drop dead from exhaustion does little to help the one being guarded."

Jesse shrugged, "They tried to grab you once in a restaurant, once in a lab, and once in the airport. What's to keep them from trying in a hotel?"

He had a point, whoever was after Adam was determined to get him. There had been no threats, no warnings, no mad man opening declaring his hatred for Adam; but for the last three weeks it had become clear that someone was gunning for the scientist. That's why he had a body guard with him for this latest genetics' convention.

"Well, tell you what bodyguard, why don't I buy dinner and you get a nap afterwards I have some work to do and will be up for awhile, so when I go to bed I'll wake you."

Jesse smiled, "Shal would kill me, but sounds really good."

"Come on, Thai or Chinese?"


"Finally!" Jesse said with excitement.

Adam smiled, "I thought it was never going to end as well. But thankfully, that is the last lecture and the last appearance I have to make. We are free to head home," and though Adam sounded happy about it, he was disappointed. It had been a while since he had gotten a chance to spend time with Jess and this time together had been…well enduring.

"So, it's about eleven thirty, and a six hour drive to Sanctuary from here," Jesse said, giving his board fuzzed mind something to wake it up. "That'll put us there at about five thirty, six o'clock?"

"Sounds right," Adam agreed as the two left the building and headed for the car.

They never made it. Five men stepped out of the shadows and a utility van moved in from behind them.

"Dr. Kane, Mr. Kilmartin, if you would kindly come with us," said a big man who was clearly the leader. He was bald and stood about six five, with a finally built body. He wore a suit jacket over a turtleneck that flashed to occasional gun.

The other four flanked him. They too were big, and wearing turtlenecks, but were unarmed.

"Do they really think five guys can take us?" Jesse asked, and Adam sensed more then saw him shrug off his own suit jacket and prepare for a fight.

Adam for his part, was also changing his stance. He may not be a mutant, but he was no push over.

"You are surrounded, and we have the guns Mr. Kilmartin. We do not wish to harm you, but we are told to bring you in. Orders Mr. Kilmartin, orders," said the big man.

"Who's orders?" Adam asked, eyeing the four flunkies. He was betting that Jesse would take out at least one before going for the big man. That would leave him with three, and then there was the van to consider.

"You will know soon enough," and somewhere in that scientist a silent order had been given and the garage suddenly looked like bar room brawl.

Adam had been right, Jesse took out one man by simply phasing through him and then attacking from behind before taking after the big guy. However, another flunckie got in his way and Jess was forced to focus on him. Seeing that the younger man was holding his own, Adam turned to face his own two attackers. Deciding on what fighting style he was going to use, Adam waited for them to come to him.

Thirty seconds latter, it seemed like the good guys had the upper hand. Jesse had knocked down his second attacker, and Adam was just finishing up with his two, when it all went terribly wrong. In the confusion, they had both forgotten about the big guy, and had lost track of him. Big mistake, as he now stood with his gun pointed at Adam's head.

"Mr. Kilmartin, you will kindly get on your knees and interlace your fingers behind your head."

"You're well spoken for a hired gun," Jesse hissed as he did what was ordered.

Ignoring him, the big guy gave a signal to the van and three men jumped out. Two, one of them carrying a governor injector, went over to secure Jess, while one came for Adam.

Jesse struggled when he felt the cool metal of the injector on his neck, and almost managed to break the hold of the two men that held him, but for the sound of a gun cocking. "It is not Dr. Kane that we were after. It is you. Dr. Kane is expendable."

Jesse froze and looked at the man with the gun, a look of pure malice on his face.

"Behave and follow orders, Dr. Kane will live. Disobey orders and I will kill him and you will still be a prisoner."

Ever so reluctantly, Jesse lowered his head, allowing access to the back of his neck. It was over and he knew it, no use fighting. And as the governor slid home he could hear Adam call, "Jess!" And then the world exploded into pain.


Jesse woke up begrudgingly. It took a moment for everything to come into focus, but he knew that he was in the back of a moving van, with his hand cuffed behind him, and Adam…where was Adam?


"I'm here Jess. Try not to move, they activated the governor as soon as the put it in your neck. They kept it on for an hour or so, you're going to hurt," came Adam's voice with more then a little relief in it.

"How long?" Jess asked, a detached weariness in his voice for he was still waking up and had little time to think about the pain his body was in.

"You've been out for about three hours. We've been traveling for the entire time. No idea where we are going, no idea why, or who. Just rest Jess," Adam answered, his eyes examining the blond for any ill effects that the governor may have caused. He couldn't see any, but as he was in an unfit state to examine Jess, it did little to reassure him.

After the two men had dragged Jess into the back of the van, the man holding the gun on him forced him to his knees and handcuffed his hand behind him. He too was then taken to the van where he watched his attackers remove Jesse's watch, wallet and ring.

"We will be taking the same things from you as well Dr. Kane," said the gunman. And so they had.

Now three hours latter, here they were.

"Can't sleep. Hurts," Jesse mumbled as the first wave of after shock shook his body.

"I know Jess, just try to hang on. It won't last long."

There was no reply.


"They should have called in by now!" Shal growled as she paced the rec. room floor, her agitation growing every second.

Brennan, who was reading the newspaper looked up at her and carefully suggested, "Maybe Adam's cell died?"

Shal glared at him for a moment, and he sunk lower into his chair.

"It's just a thought," he said feebly."

With and agitated yell Shal stormed out of the room. Brennan let out a sigh of relief as he watched her go.

"She's really worried," Emma said, coming into view.

"Yeah, well, can't say it's unfounded," he agreed. Truthfully though, he was just as worried. Much more controlled worry, but still just as worried. He knew that Adam and Jesse could take care of themselves, and hell if Adam couldn't take care of himself, Jesse could. And it wasn't that he didn't think that they would fall into a stupid trap, it was that they knew nothing of why Adam was being targeted. Plus, Jesse wasn't home and safe, and that always made him worried.

"I'm worried to," Emma said cryptically, "And you are."

"What's up Em? What do you sense?" Brennan knew her well enough to know that when she went creepy physic on him, she sense something.

"It's a hint of…of a lot of negative things. I can feel Jess and Adam, and they're frustrated. Jesse's…he's kind of dazed, and Adam's unsure…and there's someone else, but he's farther away, like they haven't met him yet but are going to. It's just hints of stuff, but it's not very good."

Brennan shuddered and put the newspaper down, "Maybe we should start looking for them."


About an hour after Jesse came to the van pulled to a stop.

"Wha…." Jesse began as he tried to lift him up, but Adam was quick to stay him.

"Let's just see what happens for now, alright?" the elder man suggested and Jesse had little choice but to obey.

He was working on exhaustion, the after shock of the governor affecting his body more then he'd like to admit. Even now, traces of them tore at his core and caused him to grunt.

There were footsteps outside of the van that moved towards them. From what Adam could tell, there was only man and he doubted it would be any of the flunkies from earlier. He was right, it was the still unknown big man that opened the door, gun drawn and pointed at him.

The same second that the door was opened, the big guy had triggered the governor, not to the same degree as before, but enough that it made Jess cry out.

"It isn't necessary to activate that thing," Adam said, his attention shifting from the gun to Jesse who's face showed the signs of pain.

"Forgive me Dr. Kane, I have heard stories of Mutant X and Mr. Kilmartin's ability to defy odds and escape. Until he is safely in the custody of my employer, I will be cautious. Now if you would please step out of the van," the big guy said.

Reluctantly Adam did as he was told, climbing ungracefully from the van. It was then that he got his first look around. It was clear they were no longer in the city, and from what Adam could tell, they probably weren't anywhere on any map. From the bunker entrance and the barbwire fence it looked like they were on military land, but Adam wasn't sure. Maybe a covert group operating in an old military research facility?

His attention was drawn back to Jesse when he heard the soft thud of a body hitting dirt. Adam moved to check on Jess, who lay twisting in the dirt, but was ordered back with the sound of the gun being cocked.

"I insist doctor that you allow me," the big guy said as he carefully leaned in to drag Jesse to his feet. The molecular didn't fight, he much preferred standing to the dirt, however his body had other ideas and the big guy had to hold him fast so he wouldn't fall.

"Now gentlemen, your host is waiting."