First Appearance: "Into the Moonless Night."
Details: Upon introducing herself to the Mutant X team, Lexa Pierce shows them her comlink ring and tells them that she was once lived at Sanctuary for two years as a member of 'Mutant X 1.0,' a team put together by Adam Kane before he ever met Shalimar Fox and Nikki Rogers. Further details about this earlier version of Mutant X are never disclosed in the series.
Adam's Serials on Tribune Entertainment's faux website Mutant X Lives describe the earliest Mutant X team, formed during Adam's escape from Genomex: stealth molecular Paul Walker, psionic telekinetic Allison (or Allyson, or Alison) Turner, ursine feral Ben Jones and wind elemental Eli Lynch. Allison appears as the leader of the New Mutant Underground in in "The Shock of the New," and Eli appears as a GS Agent in "Altered Ego."
As the quartet steps off the Dojo platform, laughing and relieved, I can’t help but wander back in time to a different group of four: the ones who paved the way for this current line-up to flourish. My original Mutant X. The first draft.
Paul, Ben, Allison and Eli. They paid the price for my ambitions. I brought them together and made them soldiers. Through their efforts I would learn how to face the great evils I had fled. I would hone a method of operation superior to that of my enemies. I would also make mistakes the team would suffer for. It is time to give them their due…and to ask for their forgiveness.
These were the days before Stormking Mountain, when all mutants, no matter how human in appearance, were regarded as monsters. The Underground was being formed in the dark corners of antique bookstores and abandoned warehouses. The public at large was hostile, as they knew only fear and rumors about a DNA-altered breed that walked among them. There was danger in every breath a New Mutant took.
I had just confronted my own guru, Dr. Paul Breedlove, and left his oppressive genetics empire (now known as Genomex) stripped of a vital database and temporarily crippled. Blinded to its malevolence for so many years, the decision to defect nearly cost me my life. I became a fugitive from those who had nurtured my scientific mind. They were now my deadly enemies.
Where once resources were unlimited, they were now reduced to my wits and a cause: I had to change the fate of the new race I had brought into being. My single ally during the Genomex melee gave me undeserved trust in spite my past. Most people think I stood alone for, while this friend was constantly at my side, he could not be seen most of the time. Paul Walker was a Molecular Stealth, a New Mutant man who could make himself invisible. He was also the first member of Mutant X.
Stealths were a dirty secret from Genomex’s past. In an attempt to create agents with desired abilities as effective spies or assassins, Dr. Breedlove set out to control the DNA in Molecular embryos. A similar procedure had been done successfully with Ferals but in that case the genetic material manipulated was purely organic. Molecular New Mutants possess traits that defy nature. The instability of their gene-codes is dangerous even when not tampered with. The experiment resulted in the births of many short-lived monstrosities. The few “normal” children that did survive were plagued with lifelong fragile health or mental defects. Among these was Paul Walker.
One of four Stealths to reach adulthood, Paul never knew a life outside of Genomex’s walls. Security Chief Mason Eckhart oversaw that he was trained and hounded to perfect his powers in bludgeoning workout regimes that make the Dojo look like Little League. The strain Paul’s body underwent to consistently project auras to render him invisible took damaging tolls on his immune and nervous systems. Despite this, he was a sharp intellect with a teasing charm and good, dark Irish looks. Only a few years my junior, I had done my best to improve his medical condition and we became friends, at least as much as Eckhart would allow. Paul is the only person who has ever beaten me at chess.
He had mastered control of his invisibility enough to be sent on covert missions. Eckhart thought Paul’s mind had been conditioned to accept whatever assignment he was given and he’d carry it out like a drone. That was a miscalculation. Something solid and honest remained uncracked in Paul’s core. Whenever he returned to Genomex with blood on his hands, the reality of it would eventually surface. Through Paul’s whispered confessions, my own naivety in regards to whom I was actually working for got shattered.
“We’re the bad guys, Adam.” I’ll never forget the sober rasp in his voice. “We serve corrupt, power-hungry liars…the small handful that bend the world for their own profit. I’ve murdered, stolen and betrayed just to push their schemes forward. New Mutants haven’t been made to improve evolution, we’re here solely as living weapons of evil.”
At first I considered suicide. My whole life as a prodigy, scientist and miracle worker was a lie. Then came the realization that I had the ability to set it all right. If anyone could free the Children of Genomex and give them a new fate, it was the guilty soul who stared back in the mirror. And Paul. We also gained a third ally. This was a silent partner whose identity I am still sworn to protect. Suffice to say it was a woman who, feeling just as dirty and betrayed by the Breedlove Institute as we did, set up hidden wells of capital for us to utilize once we had made our escape. This angel’s sacrifice provided the last jolt to drive us into action.
Paul and I divided responsibilities in a fever-driven plot: He would steal the New Mutant database and destroy the tracking system; I would take care of Eckhart and his growing forces. Our defection became known as Incident X. It did not go off smoothly and the gruesome details are for another time, save Paul’s involvement. Ironically, his Genomex training proved perfect for the coup. Having staged a scene where it appeared he went AWOL, Paul actually remained undetected on the complex grounds keeping an invisible shield around his body for over a month. He never fully recovered from the toll this maneuver took on him. When the time came for us to strike, he was ready and ruthless. We both were. There was no other way. Do I regret the lives we destroyed? Yes. But up to that point, I had done nothing but destroy lives. This explosion had to happen to end that and begin Mutant X.
On our own with no protection but our wits, Paul and I were armed with powerful resources and no clear venue to use them. We had a small window of time before Genomex recovered and came after us. The cooperation of every New Mutant we came across would be necessary to survive.
The Underground at the time was a primitive effort run like an illegal drug operation, trafficking desperate New Mutants from one shabby hideout to the next. They were brave but without structure and needed both my input and financial resources to go on. However, Allison Turner, their current leader, was not about to trust me. A black telekinetic in her early twenties, she had inherited her heavy post when Eckhart’s crew killed her older brothers.
“It’s too late to make amends,” she warned me. “Especially with schemes that will only get more of us slaughtered or caught! For all we know you’re still working for Genomex and setting up a sting.”
We’d rendezvoused at an all-night diner in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. Paul had made the initial contact but was too ill to come with me. I came to offer service. Ms. Turner came to offer threats. “Take your snake oil guilt and shove it!” To punctuate her sentiments, she pinned me to the back of the filthy booth I was sitting in with a swiftly levitating fork. Then she walked out.
All illusions about being embraced by the New Mutant community were instantly popped. The clock was ticking. I needed a friend. The one I found was seven feet tall.
The first time I saw Ben Jones I knew we were going to get along, which was good because he was almost two feet taller than I was. Ben was an Ursine Feral: part bear, part man. His thick head of curly hair extended down to his massive shoulders from which hung column-muscled arms and hands that could easily cup a medicine ball. While there was nothing gentle about his form, he had a look of tolerance in his dark eyes that flickered in and out when you met them directly. Fortunately, that’s the only way I address a person.
At twenty-six years old Ben had spent most of his life on the run or in hiding. In the early days of Genomex’s experiments, Dr. Breedlove had allowed several breeds of Ferals to live supervised existences in public. He wanted to see how easily New Mutants would blend in with the average population and if there would be any interaction problems. It was all intended to be short term but the “freed” Ferals and their families had different ideas. Many ran away before Mason Eckhart’s security force could round them up again. Eckhart would use Breedlove’s embarrassing misstep as leverage to tighten his control within Genomex from that point on.
Ben lived with a clan of other Ursines, working mostly in secluded logging camps throughout the Pacific Northwest where their size and strength were looked on as blessings, not monstrosities. He probably would have continued this existence had Eckhart’s forces not caught up with his crew. Ben was the only one to escape capture. He decided then and there to fight Genomex and joined the fledgling New Mutant Underground.
Allyson Turner may have rejected my offer for help but Ben, her bodyguard on the evening we met, could not be so choosey. He was ill with a fever that can sneak-attack all Ferals. It affects their minds, like rabies, and within minutes Mr. Jones went from hailing a cab to furiously lifting one up over his head. Allyson froze knowing their cover was blown. I saw my chance and took it.
Drawing on courage from years of having a genius ego stroked, I stepped into the street and met Ben eye to eye.
“Why don’t you set down that cab, Mr. Jones?” I managed to get out with a slight smile. He could have easily crushed me with the taxi.
“People hate us,” Ben growled, “I’m burning up and people hate us.”
“And why wouldn’t they? Look how you’re behaving. You’re better than this. All New Mutants are.”
A series of sirens went off. I thought for certain the final curtain had dropped but I pressed on. “You’re sick. I know the type of fever you have. I’ve treated it before.”
Tears streamed down Ben’s face. The tires of the taxi continued to spin. “You’ll help me? Why?”
“Because I can. To me, your just as much a man or a freak as I am.” I never broke eye contact with him.
Sighing, Ben lowered the cab like a baby in a cradle. The terrified driver took no time in speeding off down the street. I took the giant New Mutant’s hand and turned, expecting to find an angry mob behind us.
There was only Allyson. She had used her Telekinetics to set off the fire alarms of buildings down the block and provided a distraction. That was the sirens we heard. Ms. Turner was one smart woman.
“C’mon!” she ordered. “I’ve only bought us a few seconds! Let’s get him out of here!”
It took all the strength Allyson and I could muster to shoulder Ben’s weight and duck into a network of back alleyways that San Francisco is famous for. As we trudged to safety, I kept whispering descriptions of cool rivers and breezy glades to calm him down. The heated fever in his body was raging so high, he could easily have panicked and killed us both.
Allyson used her Psionics to dial her cell phone, contacting other members of the Underground for help. The two Ursines who met us were not happy to see me but I pushed past them into their safehouse and began rolling up my sleeves to save my patient. Allyson didn’t protest and Ben was so delusional by this point he was calling me, “Daddy”. To date, he’s been the only soul ever to address me as that.
I won’t go into the details about how I culled together the appropriate vaccine to stop Ben’s virus and keep it from infecting the others. When your brain works as mine does a lot of innocent household items can be honed into suitable formulas. In the right hands this knowledge is life saving, but in the wrong…Let me just say that when Ben regained consciousness, his great maw of a hand gripped me with a hold of warm trust and allegiance that only grew with time. The others followed suit, even the reluctant Ms. Turner.
Eventually, I was allowed to take over the Underground and a solid base of networking was formed to take on Genomex. Then came the construction of Sanctuary at Stormking Mountain. And then came the Judas who almost destroyed it all.
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