Fandom: Mutant X
Author: Beren (beren_writes)
Pairing: Shalimar/Brennan, Shalimar/Jesse/Brennan
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned Marvel Studios, Tribune Entertainment and Fireworks Entertainment. No money is being made and no copyright infringement is intended.
Warnings/Spoilers: explicit sexual situation, assumes season 3 did not happen
Summary: The team think Jesse is dead; killed by a fatal shot to the back, only there are things going on they could not possibly have predicted. Jesse isn't dead, but is he really Jesse any more?
Author's Notes: Thanks to Soph for the beta. This fic has been languishing on my hard drive for years, requiring three scenes to finish it, well I finally wrote them :).
Word Count: ~42,360
Links: Ch1 | Ch2 | Ch3 | Ch4 | Ch5 | Ch6 | Ch7 | Ch8
Long Fics | HP Short fics | All Other Short Fics | Series Fics
Chapter 4 The Truth
Adam was late returning and Shalimar was just about ready to go and look for him by the time he came walking back into the base. He looked somewhat excited, which caused her to hold back the sarcastic remark she had been working on about not calling in. She and all the others were in the rec area and Adam barely took a moment to throw his coat over a chair before he began speaking.
"At last I think we have something," he announced to them all.
"Your contact came through?" Shalimar asked quickly.
The older man nodded.
"I think Jesse may have been snatched by a government black ops operation," Adam explained quickly. "My contact has heard rumours of something going down to do with new mutants. All he could find out were murmurs about an accident near where we picked Jesse up, but it's a start."
"But I thought Genomex were the government black ops operation to do with new mutants," Emma voiced the thought that occurred to Shalimar as well, "and they're gone."
"Unfortunately, all their expertise was not destroyed," Adam replied calmly, "and there are factions within the military who are not so easily removed."
"But we know where they are?" Brennan put in quickly and he sounded as ready to leap into action as Shalimar felt.
At that Adam looked less enthusiastic.
"Chances are we know where they were," the leader of Mutant X replied. "From the vague reports my contact found the base was all, but destroyed."
"But there might be some clues left behind," Shalimar said firmly; she was not about to let anyone diminish this step forward.
This was the first ray of light in the whole investigation and it might lead to more. Finding out who had taken Jesse was important to all of them.
"What are we waiting for?" Jesse asked and the feral had to agree.
Adam nodded; he was obviously also of the opinion that it was time for action.
"Nothing," Adam replied. "Shalimar, Emma and Brennan get to the Helix, Jesse I want you on the computers at this end."
Shalimar's gaze went straight to Jesse and she saw the dismay and anger cross his face. Jesse had been cooped up for weeks and he was obviously not happy about Adam's decision. Shalimar was quite proud of her younger friend when he took a deep breath and brought his feelings under control.
"Adam, I don't want to be left behind," Jesse said in a calm and controlled manner.
"We could meet opposition, Jesse," Adam returned evenly, "you're not ready for that."
Shalimar could see the tension in her friend as he slowly stood up; he was working very hard to control his temper, quite a feat for an emerging feral.
"If this is where I was being held it might jog my memory," the young man said tightly. "Adam I was probably in the accident your friend heard about."
The leader of Mutant X appeared to consider this for a moment and then shook his head.
"I'm sorry, Jesse," Adam said firmly after a moment, "it's too much of a risk to you and the rest of the team."
Then he turned and walked away. Shalimar watched as Jesse sort of deflated and she made a decision. Patting her friend's arm she gave him a small smile of support and then she set off after their disappearing leader.
"Adam," she called after him, "can I talk to you?"
Adam turned slightly as she caught up with him, but continued walking.
"Yes, Shalimar?" he asked calmly.
"I think you're wrong," she said bluntly, never one to mince her words.
That comment brought Adam to a halt; he had obviously not expected opposition from the rest of the team. The scientist glanced back at where Jesse and the other two were watching them just out of earshot.
"Jesse does not have control of his powers yet," Adam said simply. "If we are forced into a combat situation he could get hurt."
"So could we all," Shalimar replied evenly. "He might not be quite ready, Adam, but he needs this. When I came back today I found him ready to tear the place apart. His feral is coming out and if you don't give him something to focus on he's going to end up phasing out of this mountain with or without your say so."
Adam took the news calmly and thoughtfully, and then he looked at Jesse again. Shalimar could see he was considering her opinion which was one thing she had always admired about Adam; he was not afraid to reassess his position.
"That does change things," he agreed slowly.
Eventually he nodded.
"Okay," Adam said evenly, "Jesse can come, but make sure he knows he is staying on the Helix until the rest of us have secured the area. I need to check something in the lab and then I'll join you."
Shalimar smiled brightly.
"Thanks, Adam," she said and then turned back to the others.
Jesse was sitting in the Helix watching the scanners; so far there was nothing on them except the other four members of Mutant X. The pictures the others were sending back from their communicators had not jogged any memories, but then from the outside the building looked like any other empty warehouse. They were only a few miles from where Adam said they had picked Jesse up and he was quite surprised he hadn't been found by his captors first.
"This place is deserted," was Shalimar's succinct opinion on the building.
The four were wandering about inside now in two groups and there had been no signs of activity at all. Jesse was itching to get out there with his friends and it was taking a lot of willpower to wait for the signal. Ever since his feral began to emerge Jesse was gaining even more respect for Shalimar; his instincts were blunted quite heavily and he was having trouble controlling them, he could not imagine what it was like for Shalimar all of the time.
"I don't feel anything," Emma added her view of the situation to the mix.
"The scans show nothing except you four," Jesse put his perception of the situation in as well and crossed his fingers.
There was silence for a few moments.
"Okay," Adam's voice came over the com, "the area is as secure as we can make it. Jesse join Emma and I on the right side of the building."
Jesse hadn't moved so fast in a long time. He almost didn't bother opening the door and phased straight through it, but thought better of it and used the regular exit from the plane. It took him five minutes to make it from the landing site to where his team-mates were waiting. He was grinning broadly when he finally arrived; he couldn't help it; it was wonderful to be out of Sanctuary.
It was only after they found the charred entrance to what appeared to be an underground complex that he began to feel a little edgy. At first it was just a slight feeling of unease, but, as he followed Emma and Adam down the concrete staircase, it grew slightly. There was no way he was going to chicken out after Shalimar had fought for him to be here, so he bit his lip and continued after his companions.
The corridor they descended into was dim, but there appeared to still be emergency lighting working, so they could just about see. Everywhere there was destruction. Every wall was scorched and the smell of smoke hung in the air.
"Be careful," Adam warned quietly, "parts of the structure may be unsafe from the fire."
Both Jesse and Emma nodded and the telempath gave her mutant companion a questioning look; it appeared that she had noticed his unease. Jesse just shrugged slightly and then turned back to his job. The trio continued down the corridor past the debris of burnt out wires and pipes hanging from the ceiling; only the shielded emergency light system seemed to have survived the disaster that had over taken the complex.
The burnt walls did not stir anything in Jesse's memory, but they did increase his anxiety. As Adam and Emma picked their way towards one of two doors quite close to them, he just stood for a moment and looked around. His eyes fixed on a charred sign with red writing almost totally burnt away and then suddenly it wasn't burnt any more. The wall was white and the sign was shiny and new with bright red writing. It was a blurred and dreamy image as if he was seeing it through a haze and from a different angle. With the image came some small knowledge.
When the present reasserted itself, Jesse turned and found that Emma was looking at him intently.
"It's a test facility," Jesse said shortly, covering the anxiety the memory caused with professional efficiency, "they brought me here to check out some of my mutations."
Emma looked a little worried about him for a moment, but she did not voice it to Adam. Jesse appreciated the trust she showed in him.
"Then let's see what we can find," Adam decided quickly and walked through the door he had reached.
Emma turned and followed him, at which point Jesse took a deep breath and made his way after them. The worry that was plaguing him was beginning to crystallise into a knot of fear in his stomach, but he was not going to let it stop him.
"There's nothing up here," Brennan's voice came over the com just as Jesse reached the room, "Shalimar and I have swept the whole area."
"Understood," Adam replied quickly, "one of you stay up there to guard our back, the other come down here. I think we've found their test lab."
Jesse barely took any notice of the information; he was frozen in the doorway. Everything in the room was black, but what drew Jesse's eyes was the chair come couch in the centre of the room that looked so much like the one back at Sanctuary. What made this one different were the large metal restraints at the four points where any occupant's limbs would have been. Jesse had gone cold all over and it took great effort to convince his legs that he should walk into the room. His heart was thumping in his chest and the instinct to turn and run was almost overwhelming.
"Jesse, are you okay?" Emma finally asked the question she had failed to voice earlier.
"No," he replied shortly, even as he walked towards the chair, "but I didn't think I was going to be."
Adam looked at him speculatively from where he was examining a burnt out computer terminal. Jesse hardened his expression and returned his mentor's gaze evenly. He was not leaving; not when he might find answers to all the questions that had been stacking up in his head since this had all happened. Adam nodded slightly as if he had decided something in his own mind and then went back to what he had been doing. Jesse did not look at Emma, he knew her worried eyes would still be watching him; instead he set about examining the chair.
It didn't take long to deduce that the restraints had been carefully designed; they were strong enough to hold a full feral, appeared to have some sort of energy circuitry to prevent a molecular escaping and the seals were electromagnetic rather than mechanical to prevent a telekinetic manipulating them. Jesse was in no doubt these restraints had been designed specifically for the worst-case scenario of all his mutations. He walked round the chair slowly, trying to jog his memory, but it was when he disturbed a pile of ash next to the device that it hit him.
His feline sense of smell flicked in so quickly that Jesse had no time to defend himself against it and there was one scent that made it passed the smell of soot; burnt flesh. It was so overwhelming that it triggered his memory.
Suddenly Jesse was strapped down and in pain; he was hot, he was burning and no one would help him.
"Subject Delta is exhibiting signs of stress," a female voice said in a detached scientific tone. "His system appears to be adapting to the drug cocktail being used to suppress his gestalt abilities and we had to employ the normal restraints this morning. Contrary to my colleague's beliefs I have been forced to consider using the restraining collar which could inhibit the development of Delta's mutations. When we have finished this battery of test I recommend returning the subject to HQ for further engineering."
A face was given to the voice when a woman bent over him. She was in her forties, her black hair was tied up behind her head and there was no emotion in her face; she was observing him like an object. Her cold demeanour made him angry and he needed to escape.
"The subject appears to be experiencing some form of thermal discomfort," she continued while still looking down at him. "The elemental mutation may require adjusting."
The burning was getting worse and Jesse knew he had to do something about it. He felt like he was on fire and his whole body was about to melt. It hurt and Jesse desperately needed to release the pressure that was building inside him. No one would help and he didn't know what to do; the pain was almost unbearable. Every breath was like taking raw fire into his lungs and he knew it could not go on.
Through tear filled eyes he saw his captor stand back from him with a look of worry on her face. She was slowly moving away when Jesse couldn't take it anymore. The agony was too much and he reached inside to where instinct lived and, pulling against the restraints, he screamed and fire erupted from his body; it consumed everything and he couldn't stop it. He barely even heard his captor scream or the cries from the guards and the technicians.
Jesse came back to the present kneeling on the floor barely able to breathe. He was trying to drag air into his lungs in short, painful bursts as panic took away all control. It was so much worse than he could ever have imagined.
Before he could lose all sense of reality, Emma was in front of him kneeling in the ash. She looked him straight in the eyes and held his gaze.
"Jesse," she said evenly, "just breathe. Try and take slow even breaths. You're hyperventilating and if you keep going you'll pass out. There is nothing to be afraid of; you were just remembering."
But it wasn't just any memory; he had killed them all. How could he deal with that? Jesse couldn't breathe and he couldn't bring himself under control; he was lost in despair. Emma grabbed him by the shoulders and he just about saw the psionic blast before it hit him. The world went away in a haze of summer flowers and gentle sunshine.
"Emma," Adam placed a hand on her shoulder and Brennan caught Jesse as he slumped away from her, "what happened?"
It was not always easy to tell what was going on in a person's head from the impressions she gained from them, but from Jesse it had been all too clear. She had no details, but Emma knew exactly what had occurred.
"Jesse remembered what happened here," she said slowly, allowing Adam to help her to her feet.
She was still trying to sort through the ideas in her head, but she knew she had to go on.
"His thermal power did this," Emma continued slowly, "it overwhelmed him and he caused all this damage."
Adam appeared confused.
"Why did he react so badly?" the scientist asked.
"There were people here, Adam," the psionic replied evenly, "the ash is people."
Adam looked shocked; it did not appear to have occurred to him that the damage to the facility could have taken life.
"Oh my god," the older man said and looked over to where Brennan was holding an unconscious Jesse. "We should never have brought him here."
"We couldn't have stopped him," Emma said firmly and was surprised to find herself in the role of reassuring Adam. "At least he remembered while he has friends around; can you imagine the damage this would have done if we hadn't been here."
Emma was in no mood to play the blame game; the overwhelming feelings of guilt and anguish from Jesse had almost been too much for her and trying to assign culpability would help no one. Adam was not about to cut himself up because he had let Jesse come here; not if Emma DeLauro had any say in the matter; of that she was very sure.
"Brennan, get Jesse back to the Helix," Adam said eventually and Emma was glad to see him fall back into leader mode, "Emma and I will finish our search down here, but there does not appear to be much left."
The leader of Mutant X went back to his examination of the burnt out lab as his orders were obeyed, but Emma continued to watch him. It had taken her a long time to even begin to comprehend Adam and she still found him confusing at times. Emma knew Shalimar could be very protective of their team leader and it was at times like this the telempath knew why. Under the calm, scientific exterior there dwelt a sensitive man who was always under pressure because of a responsibility he had taken on himself for something that was not entirely his fault.
Emma could tell the guilt was still there in Adam for what he perceived he had done to Jesse, but it appeared to be controlled. With a mental sigh she went back to work; all she could do was keep half an eye on him.
Adam sat back from his computer screen and rubbed his eyes. When the suspicion had first entered his mind he had hoped he was wrong, now he was sure and he really didn't know what to do about it. With the changes he had made to Jesse's mutation to save him, Adam's findings could be irrelevant and he did not want to put more stress on the young man, but the information could also be crucial in finding who had done this to him. As if on cue, Emma walked into the room.
"You should take a break," she said glancing at him critically, "you look tired."
Adam nodded at her; he felt tired, but it did not alter his dilemma.
"I was about to," he told her honestly, "I have just finished my latest analysis. Is Jesse still sleeping?"
"I doubt he'll wake up before this evening," the telempath replied. "Shalimar is sitting with him just in case. Did you find anything the rest of us should know?"
Her innocent expression did not fool Adam for a minute; Emma had obviously picked up on his emotions and was fishing. The young woman was very good at masking her motives these days, but not from those that knew her so well. However, the direct question was an obvious path forward and still not quite sure it was the right thing to do Adam took it.
"Whoever created the cloned body was not trying to create a stable super mutant," the older man said evenly, "they were trying to create a weapon."
Emma frowned slightly.
"I'm not sure I follow you," she replied evenly, "surely a super mutant is a weapon."
"Yes," Adam told her, "but I'm talking about a bomb; disposable, expendable and deadly. Jesse' genetic structure was never supposed to be stable and it was not supposed to manifest in separate powers; he was supposed to be a gestalt."
"A gestalt?" the telempath asked still not quite clear.
"A super mutant like Ashlocke has powers from all mutant categories," Adam offered as explanation, "which he or she may use, but each power is separate. Sometimes they may appear to be using two for the same purpose, but technically they are just using both at the same time. A gestalt's powers are linked together and feed off each other directly. I had not considered the possibility until we went to the underground facility. The evidence there spoke for itself. Jesse's elemental abilities are nowhere near evolved enough to have caused the amount of damage we saw, but in gestalt you can multiply the destructive power a hundred times."
The expression on Emma's face was a combination of mild horror and disbelief.
"Are you sure?" she finally asked. "It seems like a lot of trouble for a single use weapon."
"If you can transfer a consciousness from one body to another once you can do it again," Adam did not bother to hide his outrage, "and imagine a weapon that can walk to his target, seemingly innocent and unarmed and then destroy everything around him. I don't think the plan was ever to just engineer Jesse once, I think his captors were going to do it again and again."
Emma had now moved on to disgust.
"That's inhuman," she said as if the very thought was unclean.
"And dangerous," Adam told her evenly. "Gestalt's are inherently unstable. Combining mutant powers so they work as one, feeding off each other, creates too much flux in the mutations themselves and eventually the genetic structure breaks down completely. Genomex carried out some trials on gestalt properties and even they deemed them impractical. You know how unstable Ashlocke was with his separate mutations; making a gestalt increases the power and the instability at the same time."
"Will his powers eventually kill Jesse?" Emma asked after a moment's pause.
Adam shook his head; of this he was very sure, he had no choice, the alternative was unthinkable.
"Not if I have anything to do with it," he said firmly. "The treatments I have given him should have separated the different aspects of the mutations; he has the various abilities, but they are no longer combined. I should have realised it when we first brought him in, but I thought the abnormalities I saw were to do with his genetic instability not that they had been engineered that way. Jesse "went off" for want of a better phrase, in that test facility. His genetic structure held together the first time, barely, but if it were ever to happen again there would most likely be nothing left."
Adam watched his team calmly and his eyes kept returning to Jesse. The young mutant had woken up an hour or so earlier, but he had said barely a word to anyone since. Even Emma had failed to encourage him to talk and the look of desolation in the young man's eyes worried Adam greatly. Standing up slowly from where he had been sitting reading, the scientist came to a decision.
"Jesse," he said evenly, "please come with me."
Walking towards his office, he did not wait to see if Jesse was following; he was not about to debate this. When he reached the furthest side of the room he stopped and only then did he turn; Jesse was standing just inside the doorway.
"I want you to listen to me very carefully," he said slowly, "and I want you to believe everything I say."
He paused, but Jesse did not comment; he just continued looking at Adam with his empty, bleak eyes.
"You are not responsible for those people dying," he said firmly.
"It was my power," Jesse said flatly.
Adam walked back towards his young friend until they were only inches apart.
"You were designed as a weapon," he said pointedly, "a gestalt. Those scientists were playing with things they had no business messing with and they paid for it. You could not have stopped what occurred. It is not your fault your powers were unstable and it is not your fault they died. Do you understand me?"
Adam found that he was shouting and Jesse looked vaguely scared, but at least it was better than the blankness that had been in his face before.
"Jesse," Adam said regulating his tone, "you could not have saved them. Creating a gestalt magnifies a mutant's power by tens if not hundreds of times and there is no way to gain real control. That you survived is a miracle and it is the one I am thankful for. They didn't design you to have control; they designed you to use your powers once in an almighty explosion and you blew up in their faces. You cannot blame yourself."
Jesse blinked at him and there was just a hint of feeling behind his eyes.
"But they all died," he said in no more than a whisper.
"Yes," Adam said vehemently, "but not because of you. They died because they took control away from you. There was nothing you could have done."
As Adam watched, Jesse lent back on the wall and slowly slid down it, burying his head in his hands. Adam crouched down beside him and placed his fingers on his young friend's arm.
"You were the source, Jesse," he said much more gently, "not the cause. It was like the disease that took away your control only worse: they combined your powers and magnified them without considering the consequences."
When Jesse finally looked up there were tears in his eyes, but Adam knew he had made it through to his companion because there was feeling there to see. Adam had never been so glad to see pain in someone's expression.
"What if it happens again?" Jesse asked quietly.
"It won't," Adam said evenly, "you have control. I have undone as much of what they did to you as I know how and you are no longer a gestalt. Don't shut yourself off from us for something that wasn't your fault, Jesse."
It was obvious that the young man was trying desperately not to cry and Adam gave him a reassuring smile.
"It was not you, understand?" he said gently and breathed a huge sigh or relief when Jesse actually nodded.
It took a couple of days, but eventually Jesse bounced back. Shalimar spent the entire time keeping a very close eye on him and she was sure that he was almost back to his old self when he finally began complaining about the fact.
"Shalimar," Jesse said in a very put upon tone as he walked away from the exercise mat and she followed him, "I'm going to take a shower, I can manage by myself."
"You can help me if you like," Brennan said mischievously as he walked passed her from where he had been sparing with Jesse.
"And why would I want anything to do with a sweaty, grubby man?" Shalimar shot back almost instantly. "You stink."
"I'll second that," Jesse commented as he continued walking away.
Brennan gave a mock hurt look and Shalimar had to laugh; he did the tortured expression very well.
"Ferals," he said with a shake of his head and wandered towards his room.
As the two men departed, Shalimar looked round to see Emma standing off to one side. The two women shared a look and then Shalimar grinned broadly. Operation Get-Jesse-Back seemed to have worked nicely.
It was hard to breathe; it felt like a great weight was pushing into his chest and Jesse could not move. His body felt heavy and unresponsive as if he was not quite in control. It was one of the hardest things he had ever done to open his eyes. A blur moved to his left, but he could not track it.
"Sir, the subject is awake," the voice spoke from somewhere close, but Jesse could not identify the source.
A shape loomed over him and Jesse realised he was lying flat on his back.
"Ah, Delta, you show remarkable strength. I had not expected you to be conscious for some time yet," the dark blur spoke to him and Jesse's mind pointed out that his name was not Delta, but he could make no coherent sound to back up this thought. "I imagine you're feeling very disorientated right now; a mind takes time to come into alignment with a new body."
The voice sounded light and pleasant, but what the man was saying sent shots of fear through Jesse's thoughts. He did not understand and he could not make his panic clear.
"Calm down child," the voice continued, "you're perfectly safe. We are your new pack and we are trying to help you."
Pack? The speaker sounded like he was talking to a feral; Jesse was becoming more confused. He could not see properly and he could not move; the whole situation was terrifying.
"Dr Praeteise," another voice said, "his heart rate has increased and his blood pressure is going up, shall I abort the procedure?"
"No," the doctor's tone was entirely different when he spoke to the other person and Jesse did not like his voice at all, "the preparations have been made we cannot stop now. He's barely conscious; it is probably just a reaction to his environment."
Jesse wanted to get away; he needed to escape, but his body was beyond his control. He was trapped in a shell that would not obey him and he was overcome with complete, mind numbing fear. There was the sound of high-tech machinery moving and then something cold touched Jesse's chest.
"This may hurt a little, Delta," the doctor's voice had returned to its singsong quality, "but your new body is not quite finished yet and we need to help it grow. The machine assists Maria in connecting with your cells and she then helps your body develop."
The tone was so reasonable and reassuring, but Jesse felt only danger. He was afraid and alone and he wanted his friends. Where were Brennan, Shalimar, Emma and Adam? Why had his family abandoned him to a madman?
At first there was a slightly warm feeling where the machine was in contact with his skin and this sensation spread across his chest and down his limbs. It was not unpleasant until it had reached every part of his body and then he felt all his muscles tighten. Breathing became even more difficult and he was struggling for air, but that was not the worst. Even as he desperately tried to fill his starving lungs sharp stabbing pains took hold of every nerve in his body. It was agony and he could not even cry out his pain.
Jesse sat bolt upright in bed, a scream dying on his lips. He was breathing hard and the terror was so clear in his mind that it took him a good few seconds to remember where he was. Even as he tried to re-orientate himself to his surroundings and banish the nightmare from his mind the door to his room opened rapidly. The silhouette framed by the light from the hall announced the newcomer's identity before she spoke.
"Jesse, are you okay?" Shalimar asked quickly.
He blinked up at her for a moment still trying to escape from the dream.
"I heard you scream," the feral added when he didn't reply.
"Nightmare," Jesse said eventually as his brain caught up with reality.
A second silhouette arrived in the doorway and unlike Shalimar ,who could see in the dark, this person flicked on the light. Emma stood just behind the other woman in a robe looking worried.
"I didn't mean to wake you," Jesse apologised profusely when he saw the expressions on the two women's faces.
He felt suddenly guilty as reality made it past the night terrors, but there wasn't much he could have done to prevent the situation.
"Never mind about us," Emma said rapidly as the two women moved further into the room, "what about you? You were terrified, Jesse; I felt it from the other end of the corridor."
"Just a dream," he promised even though the images from his brain still haunted him, "I'm fine."
He pushed the covers down the bed and swung his legs onto the floor; somehow lying down was the last thing he wanted to do just then.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Emma asked, ever the psychoanalyst, and Jesse did not think he had much of a choice as the women flanked him and sat down on the bed either side of where he was sitting.
Bits of the memory were fading, but nevertheless, thinking about it was not a comfortable experience for Jesse. He was not sure if he wanted to share his fear, but he didn't want to be left alone either.
"I think I was remembering the first time I woke up," he eventually began, "after..." he paused, unwilling to voice the truth of his creation. "I don't think I was supposed to."
He let the recollections file through his head and neither of the women pushed him.
"I couldn't breathe properly and I couldn't move," Jesse found it was easier to admit this than when he had first started talking. There were waves of calm coming from Emma and they were comforting; he appreciated her effort. "There were at least three people there," he continued before the memory could slip away, "and one spoke to me. He called me Delta."
The nightmare was fading and Jesse was trying to pick out details as he suddenly felt there was something important he was forgetting.
"I wasn't finished," he said a little confused and paused again. "Mutant," he said slowly, "he was using a new mutant to finish the clone; Maria."
Jesse stared into Shalimar's eyes as he suddenly found the piece of information he was trying so desperately to recover.
"His name is Praeteise," he said firmly. "The asshole who dragged me out of my body is called Praeteise and he wasn't at the test facility when it blew."
Shalimar and Emma shared a look and then nodded as if they had come to a decision. Jesse didn't need to be a mind reader to know what it was and he was also pretty sure that they'd needed the consensus because they were worried about him. It was nice to be cared about, but in this case it was unnecessary.
"Let's find him," Shalimar said firmly and as one the three of them stood up.
End of Chapter 4
On to Ch5