From 2001-02, Tribune Entertainment created six Mutant X faux websites as part of the Mutant X official site, in order to supplement the information from the television series. These sites featured a great wealth of background information about the Mutant X characters and plot's storylines, but they vanished in early 2005. Taken from The Internet Archives of the faux website Mutant X Lives prior to its disappearance, none of the following material is my own.
MXL Part 1: The Underground ~ MXL Part 2: Adam's Diary ~ MXL Part 3: Sanctuary ~ MXL Part 4: Adam's Serials
...on CHRISTINA (“BEVERLY PARRISH”)
So much of my past is present again. It only makes sense that I contact Christina, despite vows that I would never do so again. “Never”, I am learning, is a highly imaginative term.
Paul Breedlove, Mason Eckhart, Gabriel Ashlocke, Danielle Hartman, Dennis Malone, Charles Marlowe. They have all come out of the shadows in the past year to remind me that no matter what has happened in my complicated life, they were always in the picture. Dr. Breedlove and Charles are dead and Mason…well, he won’t be the adversary he once was. Still, their impact has been enormous. Danielle, true to form, has vanished again but had the same effect on me she always did. Most of these relationships caused pain, even violence. Yet, I’ve given them my focus once more and grown in the process. Why should I be so hesitant about doing the same with Christina?
Possibly because she is just as much an enigma as I am. Adam. Adam Kane, to some. Child genius. Genomex prodigy. New Mutant architect. Rebel leader. Judas. Solomon. Mutant X founder. Yet, the only one who knows the actual truth is my reflection in the mirror. I’ve kept a veil of mystery that any friend, family member or associate has yet to lift. I’ve had to. Only Mason came close. At the same time every person I’ve come across has always been an open book for me to read. Except for Christina.
Her actions, motivations and emotions completely took me off guard and still do. Is she just that much like me? One of the most brilliant statisticians I have ever met. A past as dark and obscured as my own. A career in espionage that seems to cross countless boundaries in loyalty and alliance. An understanding of human nature that makes her both compassionate and dangerous. And…an allure that can still keep me up at night if I allow it to. Why am I always drawn to those I cannot trust? And how many, I wonder, have said the same thing about me?
In our time together, Christina used me, betrayed me and, for all I know, never spoke the truth to me. I’m not even certain what her actual name is. “Beverly Parrish” is how I’ve been told to address her in all recent communiqués. Before that it was “Scarlett”. My head is screaming to back out before it’s too late but, for once, my heart is louder. I should hate her with every fiber of my being, but cannot. She is an unfinished symphony in my repertoire that I must play again.
Mutant X is my life now. We need the ties and lines of communication that Christina (or “Beverly”) can provide. With Genomex gone and the government in flux about New Mutants, we must tread forward with every advantage possible, even if that means getting into bed with a potential serpent. Ironic choice of words, I know. She may very well feel the same. But, then again, I never know with her.
Still, “Ms. Parrish”, I’m taking a bite of your apple again. Heaven help us both.
It would be hypocritical of me to call Genomex pure evil. That is too simple a characterization. When I was Dr. Breedlove’s heir apparent and their leading biogeneticist, I felt I was working for the good of mankind. My abstract equations advancing DNA enhancement were a step toward glorious, disease-free, evolution. If not for the intervention of a pathetic spy who hacked into my research and opened my eyes to the truth, I would still be deluded. I can only assume that most of the others in Genomex’s employ still feel they are doing God’s work. They are manipulated drones, as clueless to the inhumane terror they propel as the mutant infants they created and engineered.
I know for fact that Mason Eckhart believes he is fighting for the progression of his nation, carrying on the discoveries and pioneering spirit of his forefathers. I also know he would humiliate, torture and murder to prove his cause is the only right one. He is a walking crusade. A one-man inquisition. It is his ironclad belief, and personal hatred of me, that makes him so lethal to Mutant X.
To my dying day I will continually relive the confrontation Mason and I had that resulted in the physical disintegration of his immune system. At the time it seemed I had no choice but in retrospect, I would not change an iota of the outcome. It is certain I will burn for this sentiment but he will be right beside me. My demented time-tried enemy who unwittingly pushes Mutant X forward and strengthens us with each clash he provokes. Damnation for the Achilles heel I gave him is a small price to pay. Perhaps if I actually believed in such karmic penalties, I might lose more sleep over the matter.
Genomex has become a pack of bloodthirsty hunters, tracking down its own corrupt past. A past I had a large hand in making. By absconding with the New Mutants’ identities and vital data, the altered generation now has a lead in controlling their own destinies, but it is a small one. Therefore my life is dedicated to these Children…my children. I must keep Mutant X and myself in peak condition to face whatever obstacles Eckhart and his minions throw in our path.
In a way it is ironic that Genomex is not pure evil. They are far more dangerous thinking they are on the side of the angels. We must not make that same mistake.
...on the GENOMEX TAKEOVER
This should be a victory. Genomex as we know it is gone. It is the reason I formed Mutant X. This conclusion is what we have fought for all these years. Eckhart is finally subdued, the captured New Mutants are free and the government is no longer turning a blind eye to their own covert operation. Then…why do I feel so hollow? So unsatisfied?
“It is the best of times, it is the worst of times” to paraphrase Charles Dickens.
Perhaps my feelings are eclipsed by the fact that Mutant X had little or nothing to do with Genomex’s downfall. After all the confrontations, battles and stalemates it fell to a third party, an unexpected player, to take out Mason Eckhart: Gabriel Ashlocke, the original New Mutant. And he did it with such a relative ease that we looked like amateurs in comparison.
Somewhere in my head must have lurked the romantic notion that my team would be the ones to break open the security gates, unlock the stasis chambers and remove the subdermal governors from all those who had been imprisoned. It was a way to balance my own guilt for putting them there, I suppose. Or perhaps it was a petty desire of my unchecked ego. Dr. Breedlove always said that was my chief Achilles heel. How I hate to admit he was right.
Still, there is something else: the feeling of failure. Genomex may be a thing of the past, but Mutant X cannot rest. Ashlocke is no hero and his presence unleashed on the world could have apocalyptic repercussions. The enemy New Mutants must now face is no longer an intolerant race of human beings, but one of their own. He is a twisted prince of dark power with the combined abilities of them all to wield: Elemental, Molecular, Psionic and Feral. Ashlocke is a god in the worst sense of the word. He is Rome as it burned or the crush of Viking raiders. He is the slave trader, the senseless bloody sacrifice, the new Third Reich.
And he walks among us.
Eckhart almost seems preferable now. I wonder if he’s dreaming in his frozen state? Was it just I, or was our rivalry and hatred merely a front? A mask that men wear when they are too much alike. When both are capable of winning and know that only one can. And now that Mason is gone…did I win? The fact that I have to ask the question should be my answer.
Genomex was just the first act in Mutant X’s drama. A prologue, even. Now we are accepted, if not publicly acknowledged, by the government. They want us on their side to fight Ashlocke…and others. There is always the threat they could turn against us again, which leaves Mutant X little choice but to play along. How ironic. We are the new GSAgents. Our mission is to protect the very forces that once hunted us like animals. The New Mutant future remains in doubt.
And I am still responsible for most of it.
...on MX’s New Powers
Change and transformation are natural courses in evolution…except when the subjects are unnatural. My attire Mutant X team has undergone alterations in their powers: Shalimar has increased sensory perception, Jesse can transmute his density control over to other people or objects, Emma projects psionic bolts and Brennan can propel his body with self-generated voltage. I could make some jokes now about how it’s all a part of “growing up” but the situation is anything but humorous.
With Genomex in a state of flux and Gabriel Ashlocke wrecking havoc, now is not the time to have to relearn to walk. However, that is exactly what my foursome must do. There is some hope in that each of these power boosts is an extension of their existing abilities. My research and medical records indicate the new mutations are all what nature intended, just not as quickly as they surfaced. I’m afraid that is my fault. The accelerated physical and mental regimes I have honed the team on seem to have triggered the simultaneous enhancements. While expecting them to occur, it never dawned on me that it would happen all at once, like a contagious symptom. This is a grievous error on my behalf. It is one more reason for the team to mistrust me.
Adjustments, which should take months of retraining, now have to be made on the job. If not, Ashlocke will run rampant and his influence on the New Mutant race will destroy us all. I have clocked myself to work overtime in 72-hour shifts to help the team compensate for the untested factors in their bodies. Thus far results are only semi-satisfactory.
Viewing the problems, I can now see there is only one way to surmount them: teamwork. As always it is the solution that will bring strength and unity. This lesson not only applies to the others, but myself. Perhaps if I begin to share more of not only the good in my contributions but also the bad we will see our ultimate dream of acceptance and peace come to light.
Here’s to change.
SHALIMAR- We’re fortunate she has always been an instinctual personality. This makes her much more in tune to embrace and apply her heightened senses. Of the four, only Shal seems to have grasped the fact that this shift is organic and there is a greater need to adapt emotionally than physically. I am about to start her on an intense series of focusing exercises so she can begin to “block off” the thousands of distractions that come with augmented awareness.
JESSE – It was a difficult enough challenge to get him to apply his powers when they merely had an effect on himself. Now that he can spread his intangibility and imperviousness to others, he faces the threat of crumbling under the weight of the additional responsibility. Jesse is a studious, meticulous young man who never makes a decision lightly. I may have to lean on Shalimar and Brennan to help bring out his latent “wild side” if his progress is too slow.
EMMA – She always surprises me. Of the team, I was certain she would retreat the farthest when her new powers came to light. Instead, she has dived in headfirst to use them and seems to be relishing in having a more apparent mental arsenal to apply. It never dawned on me that Emma would feel inferior to the other because her Telempathy was less visible. This is a perception of youth I overlooked. The challenge is not draw her out, but to rein her in. Too much aggression, no matter how positive, is never a good thing.
BRENNAN – From a psychological standpoint, he has been the most effected. Brennan comes from an environment where control is the key to confidence. Now that his Elemental electricity is manifesting itself in ways he is not use to, he is becoming withdrawn and slightly insolent. I must nip this in the bud and get him on course before the attitude becomes problematic. Brennan is our strongest line of defense and Mutant X cannot afford to lose him.
Mutated barbs teach and taunt,
I know who you are.
...My Guest List
DR. RICHARD SAUNDERS - He could not accept who he was, a fact that destroys more New Mutants than Eckhart’s forces combined. A rare feline feral male, Dr. Saunders slipped under my radar, changing names and identity several times in his life to keep his true nature a secret. His impressive education, genius theories and covert work at Genomex were all fueled by one motive: to make himself normal. I look at his potential to aid others and see only waste. His tragic death was inevitable. I only hope he did not take a piece of Shalimar with him.
DANIEL BENEDICT - I held Danny in my arms when he was just an infant. Steve and Caroline were so proud. He was one of the first second generation New Mutants born. Of course, at the time we did not know how much of his father’s DNA he had inherited. The fact that he would keep his telekinetics a secret and then attempt to turn his parents over to the GSA only shows how much work I have to do with the youth I have helped create. The shame that needs to be erased and balanced with confidence will otherwise turn into acts of violence and betrayal. Daniel responded to Mutant X’s influence before much harm was done. How many others his age are on the same tightrope?
BARRY STERLING - It was not Genomex that stopped Sterling. It was fame. The brief national attention his acts as Kilohertz brought fed deep insecurities and pumped his ego out of control. A false sense of power and little control over his rare elemental abilities marked Barry as a falling star that we could only watch from a distance.
ASHLEY ELLIOT - Ashley was one of many cases I’ve seen where a New Mutant’s powers dominate their personality and cause them to behave in a way contrary to their nature. In many ways it is like drug addiction and needs similar treatment. In Ashley’s case we were successful. Hopefully the young woman will learn from the ordeal and apply it to her future.
CHARLES MARLOWE - The experience with Charles has taken an emotional toll on me. I knew him from my earliest days at Genomex when we were friends. He looked to me for help and I did my best, but in the end nothing could make him feel normal. He could not age, be injured or become ill. Many would consider this a blessing. Charlie knew different. His powers kept him from ever being close to anyone. The psychological damage of losing his wife and daughter after walking away from the plane crash that killed them forever tore apart his moral fiber. Eckhart must have known what a time bomb Charles was yet, took advantage of him anyway. Had the New Mutant virus not attacked, Charles Marlowe would have been an unstoppable force at Genomex. Fortunately, the good man I knew surfaced when he learned his DNA could stop the disease. His sacrifice will not leave me. I am forever haunted by that look in his dying eyes when he realized he was at last human.
TONI QUINTANA - I must say I am not all that disappointed Ms. Quintana is on her way via the Underground Railroad. Her talent for computer hacking combined with a heated curiosity and telekinetics made her a liability to our security. Are all of Brennan’s associates this shady? I must speak to him about it. Of course, Jesse will suffer the most now that Toni is gone. She was his first passionate romance. Being young and separated from love is a pang I too have experienced. Perhaps I need to be more of a big brother to him than a mentor to him…until the next Juliet comes along.
LT. “BEAU” LONGSTREET & SGT. ANGEL DORNE - The fate of the Dark Star task force is one of the most ironic, and at the same time, cruelest I can imagine. It seems they were continually drained of their humanity. As mercenary soldiers they were trained to target and kill without question, removing any emotional life. Then they were genetically altered into New Mutants in an experiment that could not help but fail tragically. What makes a mind take a man or woman and slowly destroy them? Only Eckhart could tell me. I’d probably have to dissect his brain which would make me no better than him. The two survivors, Lt. Longstreet and Sgt. Dorne, have a long road of adjustment now. First as Ferals, then as human beings.
CHARLOTTE COOKE - I let my guilt about turning in her father almost destroy Mutant X. There is an image in my head of Charlotte as a young girl, broken and betrayed, that I can never be free of. It blinded me to the dangerous woman she had become. Her powers (technically Molecular because they are physically transmitted) attack a person’s nerve system so acutely they twist out negativity like an over dose of cocaine. She may have been the must destructive force I’ve ever faced. I must always remember: seek the child within to understand, but never let it keep you from seeing the adult they have become.
DANIELLE HARTMAN - She still owns my heart and youth. I cannot bring myself to write much about her. She fades from me now, as always, but never goes away. I hope her daughter will not share the same fate.
NOAH KILMARTIN - I must be a better father figure than I think. At least I am when compared to Kilmartin. Here is a man who was born with every advantage (wealth, privilege, health and appearance) and still he chooses to cheat, lie and use his most precious asset, his son, to further his larcenous personal agenda. That Jesse became the heroic, kind-hearted young man he is seems remarkable to me now. It was certainly not a whim of DNA. Whatever becomes of Kilmartin I hope he finally gives his son a gift and does not share it with him.
CALEB MATHIUS - John Steinbeck wrote that some people are born monsters. It also applies to New Mutants. They can be as evil and twisted as Eckhart and it has nothing to do with genetics. Mathius was, for lack of a better word, a vampire. He knew right from wrong and still enjoyed the seduction and killing of his victims. There was help available to control his powers but he chose the life of a predator. Fortunately for us, Emma was not among his casualties.
MICHELLE BIGELOW - There was a while when Mason Eckhart and I were friends. I think, in some ways, that because we were close we remain obsessive enemies today. I lay awake at nights wondering if the slightest turn could have resulted in me becoming him or vice versa. That must be how it is for Emma in regards to Michelle. Two girls who knew each other so well and shared much together. Then they took different paths. Is their friendship any less meaningful or true? In the end, I cannot look at Michelle as another mere Genomex villain and I hope Emma does not. Now, if I could only see Mason with the same open heart. It will not happen soon.
MARC GRIFFIN - Griffin harmed me in a way that few have: he destroyed my confidence. The amnesia he induced may have been the technical culprit, but I cannot shake how much of my inner core was almost sacrificed. Perhaps it’s time I sought some outside help and examined the lapses in my inner strength. Between Griffin and Charlotte Cooke, I’m seeing that my intellect, however dominant, will not carry through my buried emotional vulnerabilities. Twice it has almost destroyed Mutant X. I cannot let it happen again.
ZACH LOCKHART - He reminds me of Errol Flynn in one of those roguish pirate movies. A real devil that you cannot help but like. I would hope that he’s out of our lives, particularly Shalimar’s, but I doubt it. That dark smirk will be back some day and we’ll probably fall victim to trusting him and pay the price. That’s how it is with certain types. Karmic irony, I guess. A side note in regards to Lockhart’s powers: he is a truly rare Psionic. A form of visual psychic who projects illusions of what he sees. Is it a shame he wastes it on petty theft…or a blessing? Used as a weapon, it could be devastating.
HENRY VOIGHT - An advanced Empath, Voight can tear through dreams like a dagger through flesh. He nearly brought down both Mutant X and Genomex. Now he roams free claiming to be pacified. Any wonder I have trouble sleeping at nights?
LORNA TEMPLETON - Is it possible the Insect feral has finally manifested? Dr. Breedlove swore it was an impossible hybrid but nature seems to have proved him wrong. It obvious the females are the dominant deadly ones. They mate, they kill. I must study Brennan’s tainted DNA samples and come up with some combatants to Ms. Templeton’s venom before she crosses our path again. It also brings new light to how to handle Charlotte Cooke in the future. Why are beautiful women so deadly?
JAY MINHAUS - He proved there is a foe that could bring us down as readily as Genomex: the press. I must reconsider my ties with Proxy Blue, the Midnight Press and all other media after this incident.
GABRIEL ASHLOCKE - New Mutant 01 has been released. The world could end tomorrow if we do not battle him back into his tomb. I helped create Gabriel, but I will not let him run amok as a Greek God. If it takes the ultimate price to defeat him, so be it.
AZIZA - It fascinates me that over a millennium ago, she was making similar discoveries in genetic mutations that rival my own. In the age of the mighty pharaohs, Aziza channeled all the available resources to create a new science and breed of human being. It would be staggeringly impressive if her motives had not been solely for power and corruption. I only had a glimpse of her, gleaming like a Egyptian goddess, but in her dark eyes was a drive that I have seen in another pair: my own. That I recognize it terrifies me more than her reincarnation ever did.
DIANA MOLLER - This poor girl found the only way she could control and hide her Psionic/Molecular powers was to reside in a mental ward. What does that say about the world I helped bring her into? Her gift of being able to generate time warps makes her a constant target of felons, politicians and zealots. Mutant X must do every thing it can to protect Diana until she feels safe enough to avoid the past and grow into her new future.
THE LINKS - Now that Ashlocke is gone, what do we do about his followers? They are all New Mutants, like those we have sworn to champion yet his poisonous mark may forever linger in their souls? Can Gabriel’s spirit be exorcised or will Mutant X eventually have to bring down their own?
MARK KEARNEY - Back at Genomex I sensed in him the same youthful hope that I once possessed. It was the wonder of science that brought him there, not the might he could wield with it. When he went with Malone’s group instead of mine it was out of vulnerability, not malice. Now he is paying the price for his choice. He’s still young enough to move beyond his past. It’s just a question of strength.
CYRUS PAYTON - Are you really gone? If not, have you been avenged? Questions to a living ghost.
COL. AARON GAUMONT - He invaded us with as swift and well-planned execution as any of his covert operative assignments. We were all rank amateurs in his eyes. Jesse was just a soulless, living weapon for him to take, use and discard. My lack of understanding the military thought process was just as much to blame as Beverly’s initial misinformation. I must up my comprehension of the mindset in the future, however repellant it is to me.
MICHAEL KEARN - You took nearly a dozen lives. Many of them innocents you had no quarrel with. You spread terror and panic and left only bloodshed in your trail. So why do I feel like we were the real beasts when all has been said and done?
CAPTAIN DAN MORRISON - Thanks to this young man, I believe in heroes again. He had no reason to trust us or keep our secret. Flying a mission over a hostile land, being mislead by his own government in the nature of this task, facing torture and death in Karakistan and then coming smack faced into the reality of New Mutants…Captain Morrison confronted more in a week’s span than most men do in a lifetime. Yet, throughout it all he never lost track of himself and his own ethics. He accepted Mutant X as equals without hesitation and refrained from dwelling on our past…or his own predicament…to keep him from correcting a bad situation in an ugly past of the world. Now he’s keeping our secret, even though it’s costing him fame and glory. Brennan was right to hold the team back until the Captain was rescued. He’s shown us strength of character that even the greatest genetic powers can only aspire to.
THE CITIZENS OF NEW HOPE - What a mixed blessing. On one hand, they’ve been cut off from a world that had grown corrupt and vulgar since their community disappeared. On the other, lack of society and interaction has left them with rules and morals that will set them at odds with most of what they will now encounter. It makes me wonder: have I protected the New Mutants too much so they’ll never be able to integrate if that time comes?
THE ALIENS - They walked among us with powers and agendas that could both harm and help. A few were corrupt but most were beings of normal character. Yet, no one could trust them and it is a relief that they are gone. This sounds all too familiar. I need to re-evaluate the New Mutants relationship with the rest of mankind.
NIKKI ROGERS - Where did I go wrong here? How could I not see the young Feral I once trained along side Shalimar had grown into damaged woman that almost destroyed us? I can’t hate Nikki, only myself. What kept me from ever checking up on her all these years? There is so much tragedy I could have prevented with her if I’d only relaxed my ambition for Mutant X to succeed. How much of Breedlove and Eckhart are really in my soul?
All throughout my youth I heard legends about the caves of Stormking Mountain. Appearing and vanishing in the mists with a seeming will of its own, this stony citadel haunted me for years, somehow tying its mystery to my future. Native American folklore, early surveyor maps used by Raleigh, accounts from miners and prospectors…they all made detailed accounts of the peak. There is even a colorful report that it served as a hidden base for General Washington’s rebel forces in the early days of the American Revolution. I have my doubts about the historical accuracy of this fantastic episode, but a faint juvenile tremor in my heart has always longed for it to be true.
Imagine my disappointment as a boy when I learned Stormking could not be climbed to the heights where the caverns supposedly existed. Contrast this with my odd satisfaction today landing the Double Helix in the mountain’s heart and see how prophetic my childhood visions were. If I were more of a Romantic, I would say it was the stuff of epic novels.
I take a certain pride that this base was the first all-mutant construction project ever and possibly the most efficient undertaking of its size and scope. The structural engineering alone would have taken a decade with normal state-of-the-art resources. Instead, MUTANT X was able to complete the entire stronghold in just over two years. With the heavy work handled by telekinetics, ursine ferals and a rare combusting Molecular, my blueprints quickly became the reality that surrounds us. And this reality, in turn, bound us together as a team…and a family. The final addition of our holographic entrance keeps Stormking Mountain’s enigmatic tradition alive and masks our whereabouts from the rest of the world. One day we will not have to hide but until then this ancient fortress will be our perfect home.
Ironically, there are many veins of caves here we did not have to utilize. The Tom Sawyer in me gets an occasional yen to explore them. Perhaps I’m a slight Romantic after all. I hope these rock walls hold in that little secret. Shalimar would never let me live it down.
The Sanctuary’s most essential piece of training equipment is also its most controversial. The Dojo is a holographic unit that can be used on a number of levels. It can induce exact images of any battle situation, replicating environments to deceive every sense. It can serve as a meditation aid, blocking out all surrounding distractions. Finally, it can be used as a defensive weapon manipulating a foe or intruder to our headquarters.
I have been criticized for employing this instrument. I’ve even been accused of using it to brainwash Mutant X. It’s said I use the Dojo to create compliant drones. This is nonsense.
The illusions fashioned in the matrix draw out latent imagination and resources that build inner strength. If anything, it balances a reality that has always been stark and cruel to my team. The Dojo is about confidence and ultimate tranquility. Not about deception. At least it is in my hands. Eckhart and Genomex would bend it to darker applications I have no doubt.
Erected from my own designs by a gifted engineer who owed me a favor, the Dojo is the heart of Stormking Mountain. Mutant X has many fronts to fight and doors to unlock. Using the Dojo gives us the key.
I have never been fond of transportation vehicles. In other words, I’m not a car guy. They never go as fast as I can think. And the ones that do, I would not risk my life to ride in. Air travel is very much the same. However, when your base of operations is located inside a mountain and the expanse of your work covers the globe, options are limited. Hence, the Double Helix, a customized jet created from my twisted blueprints that took an innocent airplane’s “DNA” and mutated it to my needs.
I was fortunate to be associated with aero-engineers who translate my outrageous ideas into an actual plane. Essentially, the Double Helix is a flying laboratory that can easily break Mach 1. It brings the primary resources of Stormking Mountain with it as well as members of Mutant X on missions. The interior is as roomy as any part of our headquarters. It has a cloaking device, sound deflectors and landing gear so precise it can park like an automobile on a dime, if necessary, and remain unnoticed. While manual drive still preferable, it can also autopilot and respond to verbal commands. It has radar, sonar and temporal components and is itself an independent computer that can link or separate from countless sources.
The cost of such a bird was, putting it mildly, stratospheric. The mere maintenance on it and its partially equipped back up could cripple a small country. I am indebted to the “angels” who trusted me with the funds…and never even asked for a ride in return.
Ironically, I am loath to pilot the thing. When pressed, I am proficient, but aviation is not one of my natural gifts. Jesse has proven to be the best, quite skillful actually, followed by Vince of Mutant X’s Underground. Surprisingly, Emma has also taken smoothly to the pilot seat, despite her reluctance to deal with anything overtly technical. Brennan, however, has far too much of a “hot rod” mentality for me not to envision expensive repairs every time he takes the helm and I won’t even mention Shalimar in this context. It’s personalities like the latter two that made me hold out for the “ghost pilot” features, despite the price tag.
So, Mutant X flies. Until transport becomes free of physical machinery, the Double Helix will remain our silent, aviary member.
The Comlinks are perhaps the last vestige of little boy in me. I remember thrilling to episodics where the space heroes communicated through hi-tech devices that looked liked ordinary watches or rings. I knew it was pure fiction, but my seven-year-old mind secretly vowed that someday I would build and use such slick, convenient appliances in whatever line of work I chose. They were so practical. So camouflaged. So…cool.
The current Mutant X rings are vital to every facet of our work: from the smooth operation of our most dangerous missions to the day-to-day routines in Sanctuary. Utilizing a unique satellite beacon, their range is virtually unlimited. They can also send out a homing signal traceable to the most exclusive, remote locations on the globe. Even Genomex cannot block the frequency thus far.
The links also serve as a team badge, symbolizing a bond to our cause and each other. Elementals, Moleculars, Psionics, Ferals and human beings are connected and equal wearing them.
I would say of all my technical inventions, the Comlink rings are the best designed and most failsafe. They have never required upgrading from the original models (and considering all the hardware we burn through at Stormking Mountain that is saying something).
Plus, they’re cool.
You’ll always know you are with a trusted, full-fledged champion of Mutant X when you spy that innocent-looking band on their finger. The seven-year-old in me is quite proud.
You are probably aware, Mr. Kane, that there have been a series of destructive raids on several chemical plants up and down the west coast over the last month and a half. Counting the explosion at the Randolph Paper Mill in Salem, Oregon last night, the tally is now up to five completed attacks. This was the first incident where there was an actual injury. A night shift security guard was severely burned over three-fourths of his body. While not a fatality, we must consider this a tragedy and apprehend those responsible before another occurs.
As of yet, the Bureau has not been able to track the terrorists. They have an uncanny way of staying a step ahead of our every move. We have combed our active team for a possible leak but the search has come up negative. No agent has turn-coated. Therefore, despite the common explosive devices employed, we must assume that the Eco-terrorists are employing high-grade espionage technology. Their top strategist must be brilliant because every counter-move employed by the targeted plants’ security systems have been anticipated and deftly skirted. It is almost as if they could predict the future.
Candidates with the level of genius required coupled with environmental causes are few and thus far, any brought to our attention have alibis or are already incarcerated. No creditable group has come forward to claim responsibility. After the paper mill incident, it seems unlikely that they ever will. Even the press has been left in the dark.
At this point, the best the Bureau can do is stake out all potential chemical plants that may be targeted and do our best to upgrade their security. As I am certain you agree, these measures are a slight cut above ineffectiveness. That is why I am turning to Mutant X.
We need your capable quartet to track and stop these villains…or at least deduce the source of their constant advantages. I well recall your politics, Mr. Kane, and realize you may be rooting for the other side. Indeed, many liberal newspapers have done the same. With the injury of the Randolph security guard, however, you must see that whomever we are dealing with are not Greenpeace but dangerous fanatics with no regard for safety. No cause merits ruthless actions. They must be stopped and your team is the one to do it.
It is believed that either Wykoff Chemicals in Long Beach, California or Jergens Pharmaceuticals in Tacoma, Washington are likely next sites on the terrorists’ lists. I have forwarded the statistics on both plants to you as well as the little data we have on the aggressors. Your Psionic (Ms. DeLauro) may prove invaluable here but I will hence trust your judgment on how you chose to handle the matter.
FROM BEVERLY: “CHRISTINA”: Miss me? Aw…
I have been informed that all the channels I use to contact you are completely exclusive and untappable. Therefore, it seems ridiculous for you to address me as “Beverly” or “Ms. Parrish” when we both know you’re always thinking “Christina”. So, why don’t you just call me that again?
You realize, of course, that I’m among a handful of Bureau agents who need multiple identities for my own protection. “Beverly Parrish” came into play when it was decided I would serve as a public liaison. If my real name and statistics had been used, I’d have been fried by my enemies the second I gave a press conference. As it is, my image is usually scrambled or I wear a disguise (“Bev” is a bit of a frump in the wardrobe department. She never wears some of the hot numbers you’ve seen me in. Remember?) It’s all pretty standard stuff in my line of work.
Adam, I know you still resent me for everything that happened when we were both at Genomex, years ago. There was so much my job forced me to keep from you. But whatever you choose to believe, “Christina” was true in heart, if not actions. Let’s bend a few rules and let that name be my identity again. Just between us.
Besides, I hate “Beverly” (I didn’t pick it).
Now, don’t get me wrong, Mr. Kane. I’m still devoted to you and your Generation X-ers. However, I’m a popular girl and there’s a sticky diplomatic situation overseas (where the genetics are normal but the humanity is sub-par) that requires my immediate attention.
Rather than leave you high and dry or to your own devices (no, no, no…) I’m bringing in another liaison to advise and oversee Mutant X’s missions until I return and work without distraction. Now, this is the part that you probably won’t like…
Your new contact is Mr. Holcomb. Settle down, Boy Genius. I know you two have rocked each other’s boats in the past. But think about it. Hol may be a controlling, double-edged pain-in-the-everywhere, but his politics have never been anti-mutant. In fact, he’s on record insisting that your test-tube babies are human beings and need to be regarded as such. It was the secrecy and the misrepresented funds Genomex ate up that always had him riled.
Face it Adam, you were a part of Breedlove’s inner circle once and despite your defection, it has always reflected badly on you. Holcomb isn’t the only one who’s found it hard to swallow your trust (even the select few of us who’ve brushed against your charming facade outside of the lab have had trouble doing that. Hmmm?)
The bottom line, of course, is you have no choice. You’ve committed Mutant X to this arrangement. It was always going to be a tightrope with personality and ethical clashes. You’ve custom-designed a new breed of human, for God’s sake! That stretches the “all created equal” line to the max (a concept that many politicians have had trouble grasping applied to skin color, not to mention hybrid DNA!) You’re lucky I was able to handpick Holcomb out of the other sleazy candidates presented to me.
Whew! I guess I’m a bit defensive. The truth is that I’m not happy about my new duties and would much rather stay and babysit you. But I knew what I was in for when I took the job. So did you. Just try and work with Holcomb. Next to me, he’s your best shot at going legit.
I’ll send you and the kids a postcard.
FROM HOLCOMB: JURGEN BARDO & THE PARTICLE DECELERATOR: Adam, this is a mere follow-up to our conversation, varifying the facts you and I were 99% certain of.
Walderson Industries has finally delivered the complete statistics and blueprints for the stolen Particle Decelerator (which I’ve forwarded to you). It can indeed freeze electron movement. If applied to mechanics, it could shut down the power grids to entire cities. If applied to organics, it could switch off the brain and central nervous systems of a body. Final adjustments and tests were only run scant weeks ago, so there must have been a leak inside Walderson’s security. I already have a team working on that.
You’ll see from the enclosed dossier on Jurgen Bardo, that I was correct to narrow down all suspects in the robbery to him. This is completely his style: entering the country under false credentials, utilizing local talent to commit the crime (and take the heat if something goes awry) and then scraping a fortune off the highest bids from an underground network of militant parties (mostly terrorists). While Bardo keeps his profile low, Secret Services have gathered enough information to eke out a few quirks (for example: he dresses well but seldom bathes, courts only German women and has been known to kill a contact rather than repeat instructions twice).
Hopefully, this will aid your profile. I reluctantly accept your decision only to retrieve the Particle Decelerator but if Mutant X crosses with my own agents who’ll be pursuing Bardo, I trust they will be no conflict (you had your chance at stroking a few interested parties by apprehending him and passed, so not chide me if we walk across your backs to make the capture ourselves).
Incidentally, I received your notification on Ms. Fox’s substitute and have issued a temporary clearance for her. However, the data you turned over on Ms. Rogers does not line up with the bureau listings, foster placement statistics or employment records currently available. Are you certain you know Nikki Rogers as well as you say you do?
I really would be cautious about dealing with this psycho, Adam. He appears to have a split personality…so, naturally, he’s been placed in a high seat of power. Ah, government.
Bergman’s been the head of his Intelligence Division for almost three years but, let me tell you, the man who sits behind his desk now is not the same one who got promoted. He has a completely different agenda. If I were a bigger fan of science fiction, I’d say the pod people snatched him and took his place.
Don’t scoff, Mr. Kane. (I can’t see you, but I know that’s what you’re doing). The oily sleezeball who recruited you and your X-tras to track help down the New Mutant serial killer has gone through a radical personality change in the last few months. I remember Bergman when he was rising through the ranks. He was one of the good guys. Levelheaded, fair, discreet. The perfect guy to investigate unexplained phenomena, UFOs and that sort of thing. (Of course, genetically enhanced metahumans were also one of his department’s priorities, but let’s not dwell on that). People enjoyed working for him, until recently.
I know you crossed paths with Bergman a few times before this and usually locked horns with him, Adam (as you do with almost any one). Maybe this is why the switch isn’t apparent to you but, trust me, it’s a drastic one.
The change seems to stem back to a routine investigation of an extra terrestrial sighting in Delaware that later proved a false alarm (most of them are). From that point on, this hard working, respected intelligence chief turned into a cold-blooded dictator who isn’t above crushing others just to gain the slightest advantage or bit of information. He’s fired most of his original team and kept only those of lower work ethics close to him. He’s also shifted the Division’s focus back to New Mutants, despite the general Bureau directive to let that situation ride a while. I’ve tried to obtain the jacket on the original UFO episode to see if there’s a clue in it as to why he went so haywire, but it’s either been lost or was never turned in. Hmmm. Coincidence? You and I know better.
I have been able to tap into Bergman’s personal research data, however (aren’t you lucky I’m on your side?). It shows that he’s accessed and picked apart nearly all the old Genomex files, even the encrypted ones. And, get this: after scanning through his department’s submitted reports, it looks like he was on top of the recent mutant killing spree almost before they happened. And now, he oversteps my authority and personally contacts you for a mission. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Mutant X is getting set up.
As for your other suspicion, the answer is “no”. The government has no use for or is sponsoring any type of mad scientist involved with experiments using New Mutant spinal fluid. That kind of tasteful program ended with Eckhart. Yet, now that you’ve helped red-flag Bergman, I might think about connecting the atrocity to his recent programs. I know you’re already on it. I am now, as well.
I’m sorry about Jesse’s girlfriend, by the way. As I was the one who originally tipped you off about the Kilmartins’ genetic links (lo, those many eons ago), I feel somewhat protective towards the boy. Take care of him.
SEAN BAILEY & THE QJ-14 PROPOSAL: Are you watching a lot of “Outer Limits” reruns lately? Because all of your recent cases have an over-abundance of creep factor. This one is no exception.
Sean Bailey was once Major Bailey of the Special Op Forces. He racked up a lot of carnage points for Uncle Sam, let me tell you. Since those bloody days he’s moved on to the private sector, building a fortune in the hi-tech weapon biz. Who says our boys in green don’t learn a trade?
A few years ago, Bailey made a pitch to the Defense Department to sell them the “ultimate warrior”. Called the QJ-14 Project, he claimed it would produce invulnerable human drones who could march through any disruption and not cease until their task was completed. Sounds reasonable, right? You’ve been involved with similar ideas. So have I. But here’s Bailey’s little twist on the scenario: he would create these particular super soldiers out of the bodies of dead ones!
Throw the switch, Igor.
How Baron Von Bailey acquired the knowledge or means to achieve this nightmare was never broached. The ghoul was quickly escorted out of the Pentagon as soon as the “reanimation” aspects of his proposal left his lips. I sat in on the meeting, Adam. It would have been comical if he hadn’t been so authentically serious.
I’ve forwarded Bailey’s dossier to you. It’s what you might suspect. A man’s man to the point of boredom. Three failed marriages, neglected children, cut-off parents. The only thing he’s ever been able to connect with was the military and killing. Surprise, surprise, he’s got real ego problems and anger issues. Did I mention he was a control freak? Psych evaluations paint a picture of a hardcore soldier who only felt remorse over the compatriots he lost on the battlefield. And what better way to connect with old friends than to raise them from the dead?
Since you connected him to Daniel Foster’s political campaign, I can only reason that he’s backed it to get a congressman in his back pocket and his dreams of the QJ-14 army o’ zombies passed. The defense contract would be enormous. I’m sure you’ve already figured that out, however.
Let me know how this one turns out. Oh, and by the way…
A NYPD surveillance photo just crossed my desk. It shows a cop car being blown up by a random bolt of electricity. Brennan, right? I’ll expect a full explanation in the near future.
Adam, Adam, Adam. When are you going to learn that if you keep me out of the loop, I’ll hang you with it?
I’m talking about Gabriel Ashlocke. My decoders finally cracked open the encrypted Genomex files on him and…guess what? Your name is all over them. That means you’ve had the 411 on this deranged demigod the whole time and withheld it from me. Needless to say, I am not pleased.
That Ashlocke was a menace was no secret. Wiping out Eckhart’s regime in the course of a week was never interpreted by my department as a fluke. That he was a test-tube created New Mutant whose combined powers could equal that of a hydrogen bomb, however, was not as clear.
You knew, Adam. All of you who worked for Genomex at the time knew. That’s why you put Ashlocke on ice when he was a kid. Yet, somehow, the information never made it back to Capitol Hill. None of your government or military superiors had any idea that such a dangerous being existed…not to mention that he was kept alive in an isolation chamber that he might one day break out of.
What could prompt such deceit? Ol’ Doc Breedlove wanting to cover up such a grave error so early in Genomex’s existence provides a motive for his crew…but not for you. After all, you defected from Genomex. I helped you do it. There was no political reason for you to keep Gabriel Ashlocke a secret from that point on. Yet, you didn’t give out as much of a hint. Not that you were much of a pillow talker.
Enough cat-and-mouse. You underestimate how well I know you Adam. You always have. Once I read those colorful files it was glaringly obvious why you omitted such crucial information. Amnesia? No. You might play the absent-minded scientist on occasion, but only when it suits you. Chivalry? Wrong again. You weren’t sparing anyone the ordeal of battling Ashlocke. Your M.O. is guilt, not nobility. That leaves pride. Bingo! Always an ugly characteristic with you former child prodigies.
Ashlocke represented a major misjudgment in your past. He was something you denied until he was breathing in your face. You risked your life’s work, your team and the blood of millions by refusing any military aid or outside scientific input just so your ego could remain in tact.
Well, hear this: we all know you were once a bad guy, Adam. It’s common knowledge that you’ve screwed up many times between bouts of genius. We’re working with you any way. We’re the US government. That’s what we do. But when I find out that we all could have been annihilated because you still can’t deal with being the rat that you are, I begin to look at you as a threat. So get over yourself and spill out any more skeletons you’ve stashed away…or the deal between us is terminated.
By the way, if Mutant X hadn’t defeated Ashlocke and I learned of this betrayal, you’d be chained and serving hash in a high-security prison cafeteria as we speak. If you think being my ally is difficult, just try being my enemy.
THE PHASED VIBRATIONAL GENERATOR: Hey! Isn’t this do-hickey one of your inventions? I thought so. You whipped it up for mining purposes, right? It probably financed the Double Helix.
Do you know how it’s being used lately?
Check out the ownership of a certain “Jaspar Mining Co.” based in North Carolina that you recently sold the gizmo to. You should do more thorough background checks, Mr. Kane. It’s all a front for the Office of Defense Testing headed by General “Blow-em-up” William Sutton. Feeling sick to your stomach, yet?
That’s right, Adam. Your vibrating hole-maker is being remade as weapon to be used against the Liberation Army of Karakistan. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s on a plane headed for that dismal spot this very minute.
Now, I know what an upstanding citizen you are and how it would grieve you to learn that a helpful device of your creation could be remade as a lethal weapon of warfare without your permission. Thus, I pass on this dirty scoop to you. (Plus, I owe you and your MX kids big time over the screw-up I made about Colonel Gaumont and the Twin Creeks debacle a while back. Let it not be said I don’t apologize…at least when averted nuclear meltdowns are concerned.)
Seriously, Adam, you might want to get on this. Like so many of his ilk, Sutton is a maniacal egotist probably compensating for his physical shortcomings, if you get my drift (never an issue with you, pet). He isn’t happy unless the enemy gets slaughtered. Mind you, the President hasn’t officially stated which side of the current Karakistan bloodbath we’re on although if you follow our oil interests in that area, it’s a no-brainer.
If I get a heads up on which plane is carrying the goods, I’ll beep you directly and maybe your capable quartet can head it off. Otherwise, stock ‘em up on sunscreen. I hear the Karaki deserts are brutal this time of year.
...Dr. Alfred Marcus & Lewiston
Ever catch that old Gene Kelly musical, “Brigadoon”? It’s about an ancient Scottish village that appears out of the mist once every hundred years to dance and sing? Well, that seems to be the story of Lewiston, USA as well (minus the musical numbers).
Al Marcus was an important government scientist who worked under the FDR administration during the 30’s and 40’s. He supposedly developed an electronic force field bubble that could cover and isolate an area as large as eighty square acres. It was slated to be deployed be the Defense Department if the A-Bomb didn’t work in Japan. Of course, “Little Boy” was a flaming success, so the project got back burnered.
Did I mention that Marcus was also a chronic sociopath? (What is it about you genius types, Adam?) The horrors of WWII convinced him the world was a sinking cesspool that would destroy the innocent small-town life he cherished so. After ranting and raving for a while, the good doctor disappeared without a trace. Coincidentally, all of his force field data and equipment went missing with him. Official word at the time was Marcus went over to the Soviets. I don’t think this was right, however. He was far too much of a patriot to defect.
After tracking camouflaged bank accounts, numerous aliases and real estate records dating back over half a century (no small feat, I might add) I think I’ve pieced together Marcus’ trail to an area about thirty miles west of Edgarstown (right where your agent’s car was found, yes?) This used to be a tiny mining community called Lewiston (pop. 149 in 1950).
Now it’s just empty space, not even a ghost town. Maps haven’t listed it for years. The trouble is, there are no records of Lewiston ever being deserted. It just ceased to exist (and wasn’t really missed, for that matter). Are you connecting the same dots I am?
What if mad Dr. Marcus with his driving desire to preserve Mayberry drove into town with a trunk load of stolen government technology and sealed it off from the rest of the festering world? Think about it. Inside an invisible barrier could live a barn-dancing-“Gee, Ma”-general store milkshake kind of community with no clue that Elvis is dead (or ever was alive!). Untouched folk that would make the Amish jealous.
It’s my guess that the Elementally-dashing Mr. Mulwray sparked a way into Lewiston and is pas-de-deuxing with a rural Cyd Charisse as we speak (the musical again). You’d be a fool not to check it out. I’ve posted the most accurate coordinates on the vanished town I could find to both the Stormking and Double Helix systems.
And Adam, if you do find Lewiston under a sheath of electronic Tupperware, leave Marcus’ machines for my crew to retrieve and we’ll call it even.
...The Walker Project
The name is misleading. “Walker” is not anybody’s name, but a euphemism for “sleepwalker”. Sit back, darling, and I’ll explain.
This unfortunate exercise was commissioned to Genomex by the military of a weapons-hungry administration several elections back (I’m sure you can guess which one). Its intended purpose was to modify a human subject to be able to take over the body of another. In essence, giving them the ultimate ability to infiltrate virtually any force, government or otherwise.
Consider the possibilities. The right person could take over the wife of a Prime Minister, the child of a political rival, or the President’s right hand man. Connect the dots and you have the ideal assassin. An “astral killer”, as it were, or a “sleepwalker”. The invaded victims would longer be in control of his or her mind and actions. The walker’s time in their bodies would eventually consume them leaving only a dried-out husk, but seemed a small price for such an affective knife-in-the-back. “Sigh”. Don’t blame me. I voted Democratic that year.
Of course, the number one candidates for “walkers” were New Mutants. Young Moleculars with phasing potential (like your own prodigy, Master Kilmartin) were selected and given “treatments” by Malone’s in-house Genomex crew (himself, Leo McAllister, Mark Kearney and a few others). The tests were disastrous and the project was dropped (I’ll spare you the gory photos, Adam, but let’s just say you owe me big for having to sort through them. I’m off red meat again).
While it appears that none of the subjects survived, I’ve siphoned out their names so you can cross-reference with your New Mutant database (Giddens, E.; Morley S.; Payton, C.; Steed, T.; Webster, W.). Officially, they are all deceased, but if one actually became a “walker” it wouldn’t be the first time an outgoing administration kept a secret from an incoming one.
Keep me up to speed on this one and I’ll keep digging on my end.
PROJECT 318: Aren’t you glad now that you followed my instincts and tracked that big, bad werewolf in the north woods? “What big teeth you have, Grandmama!”
Your kids were right about Mr. Block and Project 318. It was all a dirty secret of the space program. Almost two years ago, Genomex supplied a motley crew of ambitious scientists with two Feral New Mutants (Nathaniel Block, a Canine and Michael Ward, an Ursine) to become the ultimate astronauts capable surviving all the hazardous alien environments of the final frontiers. (You remember the days when we were all going to live on Mars, don’t you?)
Instead of superheroes they got monsters. Ward developed a violent rabies-like reaction to the numerous inoculations he was subjected to and broke them out of the compound they were being conditioned at. My guess is he’s our Bigfoot.
To be fair, Project 318 was a covert operation within the space program. When NASA hierarchy learned of its existence, they instantly stepped in and shut it down, apprehending those responsible. It’s little compensation to the victims, I know, but not as frustrating as the residue from other Genomex-related schemes.
Anticipating your request, I’ve cleared red tape and made arrangements for Block and Ward’s families. No charge for that one. How’s Shalimar?
...Sanctuary Message Board
1) FROM JESSE: Once again the Dojo has been used for fight practice and (once again) no one picked up after themselves. My room might be nearest and I do have the tendency to keep things in order but that does not mean (Brennan!) that I’m the Sanctuary butler. The next time equipment is left lying around or the control panels have not been switched off (or even worse-not wiped down) I swear I will just leave it as is. I really will, guys. Even if it piles up, creates a fire hazard and forces us into another headquarters. Just clean up after yourselves! Okay?
2) FROM SHALIMAR: The raw steak in the fridge is mine. Do not move it to the freezer, wrap it or even think about cooking it. I don’t care how much it grosses you out. The crisper may be a bit bloody but it’s not like anyone’s filling it with fresh Romaine from this crew.
3) FROM ADAM: If someone’s going out today could you pick me up some Swiss cheese? I’m pulling an all-nighter in Lab B and am running out of stables. Of course, I’ll reimburse. A loaf of whole wheat would also be appreciated. And a six-pack of bottled root beer. And a salami. Italian, not dry. How about some of those cocoa-rolled almonds as well. And some fruit juice. Anything but papaya. Or guava. Cranberry, maybe. Cran-grape. Do we have any bananas?
4) FROM EMMA: I’m not naming names (Brennan) but someone was blasting their “adult entertainment” DVD in the Dojo all night. It’s hard enough to sleep around here without a chorus of moans, groans and thumping bass music trailing in. Not to mention the heavy libido vibes that are almost impossible for an Empath to screen. Please just take a cold shower or rent a room somewhere else when the moon’s full.
5) FROM BRENNAN: What makes you think it was a DVD?
6) FROM JESSE: I am definitely not cleaning that mess up!
7) FROM ADAM: Add some cashews too. And a tin of pate. Goose liver, if they have it. Those little butter crackers go well with that, by the way. Thanks.
8) FROM BRENNAN: I’ll be in the transport stable tuning our wheels all afternoon. If Jill, Carrie, Angie or Liz call, forward them down to me. If Amber or Britanny call, forward them with a CODE RED beep. I am NOT home for Deana. Veronica I’ll take on a CODE YELLOW.
9) FROM SHALIMAR: Can someone sub for me at the Defense Class on Thursday at Safehouse #006? Let me know.
10) FROM ADAM: Olives. Greek with pits.
11) FROM JESSE: Who’s been using my imaging programs and leaving the jewel box out?!! Just ask me. Please.
12) FROM ADAM: Anyone feel like stuffed grape leaves?
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