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To Protect Those Who Mean So Much by cabouse18

This is my first Mutant X fic. So please be nice but be critical b/c I like criticism from readers- but don't be mean. I don't own the characters of Adam, Shalimar, Brennan, Jesse, and Emma. I only own the original characters that I have created - so please don't sue me - I don't have any money anyway!!

This is a Shal/Bren fic with a little Jesse/Emma in there for those who like them.  It is rated PG-13 but some later parts will be R.

Summary: Shalimar is kidnapped and experimented on but when she begins to change she does everything she can to protect those who mean so much to her.

Part 1

The warehouse was dark but he could make out the silhouette of the man he was supposed to meet. "You're late." He said as he cautiously approached the figure.

"Actually you are the one who is late" he said as he moved out of the shadows. "I was merely watching to make sure you weren't followed. How is our subject doing?"

"Remarkable, I have never seen anything like it."

"Excellent. Keep me apprised of your progress."

"I am worried however that the mutant DNA will become unstable and the subject could lose control all together"

"That is not my problem. Simply continue with the experiment and do as you are told" And with that he lurked back into the shadows leaving his associate to ponder his last words.

Three weeks. She had been missing for three weeks and they were no closer to finding her now than they had been when she first disappeared. Sanctuary had been so quiet it was as if no one lived there. Emma spent most of her time in the garden meditating and trying to locate their lost teammate telepathically. Jesse surfed the net for any information on anyone who matched their friend's description.  Adam had locked himself in his lab exhausting all his resources and contacting all contacts several times for anything they could give him. Brennan rarely talked or left his room but when he did it was to let everyone know who was missing and that they still hadn't found her yet. The team feared that if they didn't find Shalimar soon they would lose Brennan as well.

Part 2

She wasn't sure how long she had been here or exactly what they had done to her but she could tell she was different. The sessions were getting more painful and difficult to bear yet they took good care of her. They never let her starve or get cold but they were torturing her causing her to push her mutant abilities to their limit and she was afraid of what she was becoming.

"How are we feeling today Ms. Fox?" asked the lead scientist, Dr. Strohm

"You know how damn well how I am feeling, what the hell have you done to me?"

"I am sorry but you must understand that what you are going through is a scientific breakthrough"

Flashing her feral eyes at him, which, she seemed to be doing a lot lately "I don't care what kind of breakthrough I am going through I just want it to stop" She had always tried hard to control her feral urges and tendencies but whatever they were doing was breaking that control and it scared the hell out of her.

Strohm merely looked at her. Over the past few weeks he had seen the changes in her. When she first arrived she was vibrant young woman who struggled with them at every turn but over that last week she had lost some of that vibrancy and fought them less and less every day. He was proud of his research but not proud of what his research had done to a person who had so much to live for even if she was a mutant.

Adam was in his lab when he heard his computer beeping. He looked over at the screen to see that he had an unread email waiting for him. He was intrigued by the fact that the computer couldn't recognize a sender so he opened it and began reading.

Dear Mr. Kane,

 You don't know me but I know about you and your team, specifically a feral by the name of Shalimar Fox. I know where she is and what is being done to her and it is in your best interest as well as hers to get her out as soon as possible.

Adam couldn't believe what he was reading the email wasn't signed but the sender had attached directions, schematics and guard rotations of the facility that Shalimar was being held at. Trying to trace the email Adam had little luck but he was not about to pass up the opportunity to rescue the first child he ever saved. He quickly downloaded the attachment and called everyone down to the lab.

Strohm looked at the latest test results and was more positive than ever that he had done the right thing by sending the email. Sure he could be killed for what he had done but he was sure that when the experiment was finished he would be silenced anyway so as far as he was concerned he had nothing to lose.

Part 3

"Adam what is going on?" asked Emma as she looked at the man's haggard appearance

"I just received an email from an anonymous sender telling me he knows where Shalimar is" everyone perked up

"So what the hell are we waiting for lets go" said Brennan rising to leave

"I just want to make sure you all want to do this because this seems a little too easy, I mean this person sent me directions, schematics and guard rotations after all it could be a trap"

"Adam I know you want to protect us but if there is chance we can get Shalimar back we can't sit around worrying what could go wrong" replied Emma

"All right so its settle lets go" added Brennan who stormed out of the lab towards the hanger.  As Brennan left Emma could sense his fear and excitement about finding Shalimar but she could also sense his anger towards those who had taken her.

As Brennan flew the Helix he flashed back to the last conversation he and Shal had before she disappeared.


He had just been beaten by Shalimar yet again in the dojo. As he watched her drink from her water bottle he was entranced by the beauty of her sweat glistened body as she titled her head back exposing her long neck to him. He was so engrossed that he didn't notice she had stopped drinking and was looking at him.


Trying not to stumble over his words and sound like a fool he made up a quick lie. "Nothing I was just wondering if you were going to inhale the bottle along with the water" he received a chuckle from her

"Yeah well what can I say kicking your butt always makes me thirsty" she replied slowly moving toward him. Stopping right in front of him they both became very silent and all laughter was gone as they simply stared into each others eyes. Slowly they began to lean in towards each other

Brennan's heart was beating faster and faster in anticipation as they got closer he licked his lips and just as they were about to kiss Adam's voice could be heard over their comms.

"Brennan, Shalimar I need the two of you in the lab"

Looking at each other fro what felt like an eternity they slowly backed away from the other and walked towards the lab in compatible silence.

End Flashback

There were so many times in the past three weeks that Brennan wished he had either said something to Shal about their second near kiss or just kissed her. Now for the first time in three weeks he had something to look forward to. Hang on we're coming Shal.

Nights were too quiet here. For some reason the heaving testing only went on during the day, then she would be drugged and left alone at night. Occasionally Dr. Strohm would come and give her an injection and monitor for her a little while before leaving her alone. The guards never touched her although they did provoke her sometimes asking her to flash her eyes or growl- she merely ignored them mainly because she was too weak to even bother.

The nights where no one came were the ones she thought about Adam and the rest of the team. In the latter weeks Brennan crossed her mind more and more and she found that during the more harsher testing if she concentrated on his face then she could control some of the urges but in the last two days even that wasn't working. She prayed her friends would rescue her but at the same time she hoped they wouldn't because she didn't want them to go through the same thing she was.

Suddenly she could hear and sense movement on level she was being held on. She knew the guards movements by heart and even though she was drugged she knew something out of the ordinary was happening. The door to her room opened and in walked one of the last people she thought she would see "Brennan" was all she said before passing out.

Part 4

 Brennan simply stared at her sleeping form. He couldn't believe it she was home so why wasn't he relieved. As far as he could see there were no physical injuries and maybe that's what scared him the most because it meant they had done something to her that he couldn't see and force her to admit to, instead it meant that she could hide it and keep it bottled up inside.

Looking over at Adam he could see that he was deep in thought as he looked over Shalimar's test results. Rising from his seat he walked over to the others. "Adam how is she?"

"Well actually she is fine she had only been sedated. From the looks of things they have been giving her very high doses to keep her under control."

"Why would they give her such high doses? I mean I know Shal can be hard to control when mad but this" Emma merely let her sentence trail off wanting Adam to finish what he had started

"They experimented on her. I don't know all the details but I can tell that they increased her feral DNA it has almost consumed her human DNA"

"Can you reverse it?" asked Jesse

"I don't even know how they did it."

"So is that a no?" asked Brennan

"It's an I don't know Brennan. First I have to figure out what they did and how they did it then I need to see if I can reverse. It's going to take time"

"Adam does she have that time?" asked Jesse. Adam merely looked at him "let me guess you don't know?" Adam nodded

"Right now I need to get started on finding out what they did so I need all of you to leave and get some rest" Reluctantly Emma and Jesse left the room but Brennan remained behind. "Brennan I know you care about her but I need you to leave so I can get to work"

"You'll call as soon as she wakes up?"

"Of course" and with that Brennan left. Adam turned to look at Shalimar and leaned in close to her and whispered "I am so sorry, I will figure this out I promise."

"How did they find us?" he was furious "How the hell could they waltz right in here take her and leave?" no one answered him "find her again and get her back here, NOW!"  Everyone left the room except doctor Strohm "How close was she?"

"Very close but her human DNA was beginning to be sorely affected there is a chance she could die even if we were to complete the treatment."

A month had passed since Shalimar's return and the team couldn't be happier. While she seemed fine to the others Shalimar was finding it harder and harder to control her feral side. One day Jesse cracked a joke about her and she nearly lost it and it took all her energy not to lash out at him.  She avoided working out with anyone for fear she might hurt them so she took her anger out on holograms but even then she feel herself dangling on the edge and one time she almost didn't come back.

Adam wasn't any closer to figuring out what was wrong with Shalimar and he had begun to notice how hard the feral was fighting against whatever her captors had done to her. He also noticed how much time she was spending with Brennan, it seemed the only time she didn't have to fight to control her feral side.

"Adam I think I should leave"

"What why?" he asked dumbfounded

"I am afraid I am gonna hurt one of them and you and I both know that who ever took me won't stop looking and I'll be damned if they do to them what they did to me"

"Shalimar I need you here so I can figure out what they did so I can reverse it"

"Adam can you honestly tell me that you can fix it?" he didn't reply "I'm sorry I just don't want to hurt them or you" with that she walked out of the lab.

"You can't just let her leave" yelled Brennan

"It's her decision Brennan" replied Emma

"How can you say that Em?"

"I promised Shal I wouldn't tell you but two weeks ago when we were sparring she lost control" everyone was shocked "I sent a blast her way and when she regained control she told me that she would have killed me if I hadn't did what I did. She was so afraid Adam"

"Well that is understandable"

"No she wasn't afraid of losing control she was afraid of hurting me it terrified her"

"So what we just let her go and that is it?" asked Jesse who was also afraid of losing someone he care deeply about. No one said anything and Brennan simply stormed out of the room in search of Shalimar

When he reached her room her stuff was gone and she was no where to be found. Brennan lifted his ring to him mouth "Adam Shal is gone."

Part 5

She wasn't sure where she was going or what she was going to do when she got there, all she knew was she had to get herself far away from her friends- for their own safety. She couldn't get the look of fear on Emma's face out of her mind. Every time she closed her eyes that was all she saw and it was at that point she knew couldn't stay.  Flopping down on the large bed in her hotel room she closed her eyes and fought hard not to cry uncontrollably as she thought about sanctuary and all she had left behind.

Brennan sat quietly in her room tossing her discarded ring from one hand to the other trying to understand why she couldn't trust them to find a cure and why she couldn't trust him to stick by her no matter what. Adam had told him that it was her decision to leave and while they would search for her they would have to understand that if she didn't want to be found they would have to respect that.

"Brennan" at the sound of his name he lifted his head toward the door to see Emma standing there.

"Hey Em" he replied looking back down at the ring in his hand

"Don't blame yourself" he was about to rebut her comment but she continued "you can't lie to me besides it is written all over your face"

"That obvious huh?"

"Blaming yourself won't make things easier. Shal needs to sort this out on her own and she's doing what she is doing to protect us. But if it makes you feel better I got a hit off her and she is still in the city" he smiled at this cause it meant that he could still find her and convince her to come home. Without a word Brennan rose and left the room and sanctuary to find Shalimar. "Good luck" she whispered to herself

When he left sanctuary he wasn't even sure he knew where to start looking so he started with the safe houses and hotels that were closest to sanctuary. He didn't expect to find her at a safe house but he was hoping that she at least stopped at one and maybe someone there saw her. Four safe houses and six hotels later Brennan was no closer to finding her and his frustration was becoming evident. The last hotel manager had threatened to call the cops if he didn't leave and if he wasn't so determined to find Shal he may beat the guy to a pulp and dealt with the cops. Then he realized it wouldn't help his search if he spent the night in jail.

It was late when he pulled up to one of the last hotels on his list. He had a ray of hope when he saw one of Adam's cars in the parking lot but it could've easily meant that Shal dumped it there and continued on. Walking into the office he gave Shalimar's description and the elderly man behind the desk told him she was staying in room # 11.

"Nice girl she was, managed to get rid of guy who wouldn't leave" the man said as Brennan walked towards the door

"She is still here right?"

"Yep, but she only paid for the night"

"Thank you" he replied leaving the man

He contemplated simply busting down the door and dragging her back to sanctuary but changed his mind when he thought about how bad she would kick his ass if he even attempted it. So he simply planned to knock on the door and hoped she would open it. He didn't even get that far, just as he was about to knock the door opened to reveal a disheveled Shalimar.

Part 6

"What are you doing here?"

"How did you even know I was out here?"

"I'll always be able sense you from a 100 feet away" she said looking down at the floor

"You gonna let me in or I am gonna stand out here all night?" with she moved aside and allowed him to enter the room

"Before you even start, you're all safer if I'm gone and I'm not going back."

His frustration had finally reached its boiling point and he was tired of everyone telling him that what she was doing was for the best. "How can you say that? We need you, I need you" it was the first time he had said the words out loud and he had to admit he liked the way it sounded. When she remained silent he continued, "I feel safe knowing your watching my back in a fight and I could never be afraid of what you are because I love your feral side just as much as I love your human side"

"You really mean that?" sheepishly she asked

"You know I do" he said walking up to her and cupping her face in his hands "no matter what I will love you" and with that they shared their first uninterrupted kiss.

After breaking the kiss Shal simply stared into his eyes and saw the love and compassion that he held for her. "I love you too" with that statement the floods gates opened. They kissed passionately as Shalimar removed his shirt up and ran her nails along his chest causing him to moan into her mouth. This seemed to fuel them both on as they moved towards the bed nipping kissing any exposed skin they could.

As he kissed her, Brennan could tell she was struggling to control her feral side which is why at that moment he decided to let her take control of the situation especially when she pushed him down on the bed and straddled his hips. He had to admit her flashing her eyes in a seductive manner turned him on even more than making out with her. "Just let go" he said between kisses

"I don't want to hurt you"

"You won't" and with that she let go of all her inhibitions. Sitting up on his hips she slowly removed her shirt and took his hands in hers and led them to her bra clasp, encouraging him to unclasp it she leaned down kissed him hard.

He had to admit that she was one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen. Even though she had let go and gone feral the way she moved was almost poetic. He let out a hiss of pleasure as she slowly licked her way down to the waist band of his jeans and began to undo his belt. "You keep…this up…and I won't last very long"

She smiled mischievously at him as she slowly crept her way back up his body rubbing her breasts against his bare chest. He knew by doing this she was daring him to take control or at least try to. Quickly rolling them so he was on top he methodically kissed his way down her neck, chest and stomach until he got the waistband of her pants, her purring only turning him on even more. "Turn about is fair play" he said as he began to unbutton her pants and slide them off her.

Once her pants were off he ran his hands all along her body until he reached her face cupping it in his hands and kissing her with all his might. The next thing he knew he was on his back and she was making her way down his body again. "You have too many clothes on" she said as she began to unbutton and slowly remove his pants as well as his boxers.

Her touch was electrifying as she took him in her mouth lightly sucking and licking. Unable to stand anymore he softly pulled her up to him and kissed her rolling them over so he was once again on top. Hooking his thumbs around the waistband of her panties he pulled them off in one swift motion leaving her naked before him. "You are so beautiful" he said as he ran his hands along her body committing every inch he touched to memory.

"You're not so bad yourself" she said as she her emotions over take her. Kissing him hard she leaned to his ear and whispered "make love to me" and he did just that slowly taking her to the edge and stopping, then doing it again until she could take no more.

For the next few hours no words were spoken only soft moans of pleasure could be heard in the room as the two new lovers moved as though they had been together for ages. They were no longer two people they were one moving together slowly, then fast and then slow again until they completely exhausted themselves falling into a deep fitful slumber.

Brennan awoke the next morning to the sun shining through the window of the hotel room and to an empty bed. Sitting up he noticed that Shal's stuff was gone and he was alone. Putting on his pants he saw an envelop with his name on it sitting on the end table, picking it up he began reading:

Last night was amazing and nothing will every change the way I feel for you but I can't stay it isn't safe for you or the others. Who ever took me will not give up so easily and I will not let you or the others go through what I did. Don't blame yourself and please don't try to find me. Never forget me, cause I will never forget you. Tell the others goodbye for me and that I love them.

Love always,
p.s. I love you…never forget that.

He simply sat on the bed re-reading the note over and over again letting the tears fall freely down his cheeks.

Part 7

[11 months later]

The figure crept quietly and slowly down the hall making sure the bundle she carried with her was asleep. This was the second hardest thing had had to do in the past year but she had to keep them all safe, it was her instinct to protect those she cared about even if meant hurting them. Placing a note for Adam on a table in the lab she crept towards her old room, opened the door, moved inside, and placed the bundle on her desk with another note, this one addressed to Brennan.

The tears began to fall as she looked down at her sleeping child "I know you will be safe here" she kissing the baby on its forehead "I love you" making sure to leave the door to her room slightly ajar so that if the baby cried someone would hear. With that done Shalimar once again left the place she had called home.

Adam walked into his lab and immediately noticed the letter addressed to him on the table. Picking it up he quickly read it and without a second thought ran to where the note had instructed him to.

She could swear she could hear a baby crying. Emma thought to herself as she opened the door to her room just in time to see Adam fly by her towards Shalimar's old room. Quickly following him "Adam what is..." she never finished cause there was Adam in Shalimar's room holding a small baby.

Emma was about to ask what was going on when Jesse and Brennan showed up. "What the hell is going on?" asked Jesse when he saw Adam holding a child

Adam merely looked from one to the other and then remembered what Shalimar's note had told him to do. "Jesse, Emma I want you to come with me to the lab, Brennan I believe that the note on the desk will explain everything" with that he simply moved past them and towards the lab with the baby.

"Come on Jesse lets catch up to Adam" said Emma pulling on his arm. She understood what Brennan was going through, he had told her what happened when he found Shal in a hotel in the city and the last 11 months had tore him up inside. The last thing he needed was them staring at him as he read a personal letter from the woman he loved

Picking up the letter Brennan got an instant feeling of déjà vu. Hoping against hope that the letter would tell him where to find her and confirm his suspicions that the child Adam was carrying was his, he read the letter:


  I know this the last thing you expected, I felt the same way when I found out. I wanted to contact you and tell you but the people who I have been running from don't even know about Hailey. Yeah that is your daughter's name. I am so sorry for keeping this from you and just leaving her with you but I only want her and all of you to be safe. One day I hope to return home to you and our daughter but for now I need to stay away. Tell everyone I love them and miss them. I love you.


p.s. she has your eyes

Folding the paper he just sat there contemplating what he had just read. He has a daughter, they have a daughter. Quickly he got up and ran towards the lab and towards his child.

He arrived to find Jesse and Emma making faces at the baby while Adam stood off to the side no doubt reading her test results. They all looked up when he entered. He was about ask Adam if the baby was healthy but he beat him to it

"She is perfectly fine" he said placing a hand on the young man's shoulder

Brennan smiled and walked over to his daughter and picked her up. Looking into her eyes he had to admit that Shalimar was right- she did have his eyes but she definitely had her mothers nose. He tried so hard not to cry as he cradled her in his arms and looks on his friend's faces. "Her name is Hailey" he said as the baby grabbed his finger with her hand

"I know Shalimar left all her papers in the letter she left for me" replied Adam

"What else did she tell you?" asked Jesse

"She told me where to find the baby, and that she missed us and hoped that one day she would be able to return" he replied handing the note over the Jesse to read for himself.

"She asks you to run tests to see if Hailey will have the same genetic alterations as her" stated Emma who was reading over Jesse's shoulder

"Yes she did and from what I can see, whatever they did to Shalimar hasn't affected Hailey. She is however both feral and elemental"

"What?" asked a startled Brennan.

"She is both but her feral side is slightly stronger than her elemental side. Other than that she is perfectly healthy"

"Good" was all Brennan said as he walked out of the lab still holding a now sleeping Hailey.

"Well he took all that well" said Jesse as they watched his retreating form

"He misses her so much and yet he is happy to have a piece of her here with him" replied Emma

"Why don't you two go to the store and get supplies for Hailey" Jesse and Emma nodded and left the lab. Adam walked to his desk and opened the top drawer to reveal the second part of Shalimar's letter to him.


 I've enclosed a sample of my blood for you to analyze. I am sorry that I didn't give you the chance to help me then but I want to be around to see my daughter grow up. Don't let Brennan come after me what I have to do I need to do on my own. You're probably wondering how I managed to survive this long and have child in the process. Well I had help and should you need any a man by the name of Dr. Strohm will be waiting for your call. He doesn't know where I will be so don't even bother asking him. What he does know is what they did to me. Thank you for everything you have ever done for me.


Part 8

Adam re-read his letter for the hundredth time and the more he read it the more it sounded to him like Shalimar was going after those who had experimented on her and his only lead seemed to be this Dr. Strohm who helped over the last months. He didn't want to disobey her wishes but he wasn't thinking about just her, he was thinking about Hailey too and how much he wanted her and Brennan to have Shalimar in their lives.

Brennan sat in the rec room with Hailey, Jesse and Emma. She looked so much like Shalimar and even he was surprised to see how easily he fell into the father role, it was like that night- things were just meant to be this way.

"You're really good with her" said Emma as she watched Brennan make Hailey smile

"Thanks. I still can't believe I have a daughter and that Shal went through all of it by herself"

"Well from my understanding of ferals, especially pregnant ferals, it was a good thing we weren't around" added Jesse as he grabbed the baby's hand

"What do you mean?" asked Brennan

"Adam told me that Ferals get very protective of their children born or unborn and with Shalimar already in the condition she was in..." he let his sentence trail off

"You got a point there" agreed Brennan understanding where Jesse was going with his statement. Just then Adam walked in. "Hey Adam"

"How are you two doing?" he asked motioning toward him and Hailey

"We're good. Emma and Jesse pretty much bought out the nearest baby store so we have everything we need right now" he replied motioning toward all the things Jesse and Emma had purchased.

"Adam what is it?" asked Emma sensing there was something he wasn't telling them

"Shalimar gave me a sample of her blood with a note that she left for me. So I ran some tests on it"

"What were the results?" asked Jesse

"I can't do anything for her" everyone was about to protest but Adam silenced them "I can't do anything for her by myself but Shalimar has given me the name of the doctor, who I believe, sent me the email that led us to her"

"Are you going to contact him?" asked Emma


"Good. Then he can tell us where Shal is so we can help her" added Brennan who put Hailey down in her basinet.

"Shalimar said he would help with a cure but he won't know where she is"

"She is going after who ever did this to her" said Emma

"Yes and she doesn't want us involved"

"Adam we are involved. Leaving because she was afraid of what she might do to us is one thing but to take these guys on by herself is another" complained Jesse

"Jesse is right she is gonna need our help" agreed Brennan

"Brennan I know you want to help her but you have to think about Hailey too. Shalimar brought her here because she knew she would be safe and she wants all of you to be safe also. We are going help her, but first I want to hear what this Dr. Strohm has to say about her condition then we will decide how to intervene." They all reluctantly agreed and Adam left to contact Dr. Strohm

 Brennan looked down at his sleeping daughter wondering where her mother was and if she was alright.

Shalimar crouched low in the shadows watching the activity in the warehouse. Strohm had left the project when the others rescued her and she agreed to protect him as long as she kept an eye on her child's development. She had come to depend on him like she depended on Adam but it wasn't the same. When he told her that reversing what he and the other scientists did to her would be difficult she knew she would need Adam's help and whatever research she could get her hands on.  As she snuck into the warehouse and readied herself to fight who ever got in her way her thoughts drifted to Hailey and she hoped that she would get the chance to see her again.

He knew she had arrived. He had been waiting for her to return for quite sometime. When Strohm disappeared from the project one day he knew the good doctor was involved in her escape all those months before. Now she had come back and he was ready to finish what they had started.

Strohm had agreed to meet Adam and Emma in an abandoned warehouse not too far from sanctuary. Brennan had wanted to go but finally relented that Emma would be a better choice to accompany him to meet the estranged doctor.

Strohm nervously paced the small alcove he hid in as he waited for Adam.

 "Dr. Strohm?" asked Adam

"That's me" he replied taking note that Adam had brought Emma with him "Shalimar said you would contact me"

"This is a member of my team, Emma…"

"I know who Ms. De Lauro is. I know all about mutant x" Adam and Emma merely exchanged looks

"I know you said you knew about me in the email but I had no idea you knew this much"

"The people I worked for knew everything about you and your people but Ms. Fox intrigued them the most because she was such a strong feral. I never wanted my research to be used this way, which is why I wrote you the email."

"No one is here to lynch you doctor. Shalimar said you could help her that is why we are here" replied Emma

"You don't understand I can help her but if she has gone to get Ricks then she is as good as dead"

Adam and Emma exchanged glares "you know where she is?"

"No but that is where I suspect she went especially when she told me she was dropping off Hailey with Brennan"

"How long have you been helping Shalimar?" asked Adam

"Four months after you rescued her, I left the project and she managed to track me down, I don't know how but she confronted and wanted to know if what we did to her would have an affect on her unborn child. I wanted out so made a deal with her"

"She would protect you if you helped her" finished Emma

"Yes, I never expected this to happen. Is Hailey alright? Did you run the tests?"

"Yes and she is fine"

"Good those results will help us heal Shalimar if…"

"If what?" asked Emma scared of what he was going to say

"If they haven't captured her again that is. Ricks is a patient man he knew that she would eventually return and it was just a matter of time before the experiment was completed"

"Do you have any idea where their operation is?"

"When you rescued her we were forced to move… that was a little over 10 months ago, but they could still be in that location"

"Did you give Shalimar this location?" asked Adam

"Of course not but she found me and lately Ricks' men were getting closer to us so all she had to do was follow one of them"

"Alright we need to get to sanctuary so we can work on a cure and then I need you tell us everything about the new location" Strohm nodded and followed Adam and Emma out of the warehouse.


Brennan, Hailey and Jesse were waiting for them when they arrived back at sanctuary. Adam had contacted them and informed them of what was going on and to be ready with Hailey in the lab. Brennan cradled his daughter in his arms trying not to think about what Shal could be going through right now and how much he wanted to hold her like he was holding their daughter.

When Brennan finally came face to face with the man who played a hand in everything Shal had gone through he wanted nothing more than to beat him to a pulp but when he saw the way he looked at him and Hailey his anger slowly slipped away.

"I can see why Shalimar was so convinced she has your eyes" No one in the room moved and Adam feared Brennan would lunge at Strohm even with Hailey in his arms but everyone, Strohm included, was surprised with what Brennan said.

"Thank you for helping them."

"It goes both ways. She helped me as well."

Part 9

Opening her eyes, Shalimar cursed herself for being so careless. She should have known it was too easy when she got as far as the computer without anyone seeing her. Now she was back where she started almost a year ago.

"Nice of you to join us Ms. Fox"

"Go to hell" Shalimar replied refusing to look at him

"I knew you would return and now that you have we can finish what we started" Ricks began as he slowly circled the table Shalimar was strapped to "you have exceeded every expectation of this project. You should be honored"

"Drop dead"

"Still denying what has been done to you heh Ms. Fox? Come now, in the last year can you honestly tell me that you haven't had sudden urges to return here?"

Shalimar remained silent but in her heart she knew that Ricks had been right. Strohm had told her that her DNA would continually break down until she finally decided to return to Ricks and let him finish what he started-which she hoped would keep her from dying. The only reason she lasted as long as she did was because of Hailey and the fact that she didn't want Ricks to get his hands on her.

"I am surprised you were able to stay away so long. Surely you must have started to feel the ill effects of you mutant DNA taking over your human DNA?" Still, Shalimar remained silent. "That doesn't matter now, what matters is that we can finish what we started, doctor you may begin"

As the doctor approached Shalimar with the needle she began to struggle and let her feral side take over using all her strength to try and break her bonds. Her efforts were fruitless but just as the doctor was about to inject her with the needle the security alarms began to sound.

"Continue with the procedure" said Ricks as he ordered his men to lock down the warehouse and be ready for anything.  The doctor was once again coming at Shalimar with the needle when a bolt of electricity shot across the room striking the doctor and knocking him unconscious.

Turning around quickly Ricks came face to face with Adam Kane and two members of Mutant X. "Don't bother calling for reinforcements all your men are on a 'coffee' break" said Brennan as electricity came to life on his hand

"Adam Kane and two members of the infamous Mutant X" drawled Ricks "You do realize that there is no way to reverse what has been done to Ms Fox and she will die if the procedure isn't completed"

"Actually that isn't true" said Strohm as he moved out of the shadows

"Strohm" spat Ricks "you said it yourself, her mutant DNA would become unstable and she would die and there was nothing you or Mr. Kane could do"

"Yes there was nothing that we" motioning to himself and then Adam "can do but there is something that her daughter can do" Ricks merely looked from the group and Strohm to Shalimar and then back again.

Part 10

Ricks remained silent while he processed all the information and things began to make sense to him. The feral was able to stay away so long because she didn't want him to know about the child she was carrying- she truly was a remarkable subject.

"Whatever you're thinking Ricks don't" started Adam "because Shalimar is leaving with us"

"And there is no way in hell you are going anywhere near our daughter" finished Brennan letting the intensity of the electricity in his hand grow

"Is there now?"

"Yes there is" said Shalimar who had finally managed to break her bonds and was now standing behind Ricks. As soon as he turned around she went feral and decked him "that's for me" then she punched him again, "that's for putting my friends in danger" Ricks hit the ground bleeding from his mouth and nose "and this" she kicks him as hard as she can in the ribs "is for my daughter" She continued whaling on him until Brennan grabbed her

"Shal calm down. It's over he's beaten" he said as he struggled to contain her "calm down honey its' over" hearing his words Shal's eyes turned brown and she immediately calmed down. In fact she lost consciousness. "Shalimar can you hear me?" he said starting to panic "Adam?"

"We need to get her back to sanctuary"

Once back at sanctuary Adam and Strohm took Shalimar into the lab and began the process of getting her feral DNA under control. They refused to let anyone into the lab no matter loud Brennan kicked and screamed. For hours there was no word from Adam or Strohm and they were beginning to get worried.

"How do you think it's going in there?" asked Jesse

"I don't know they won't let me in to ask" replied Brennan as he rocked Hailey in his arms

"I'm sure we'll know something soon" piped Emma trying to bring some optimism back into the room. No sooner had she said the words did Adam and Strohm emerge from the lab. Brennan was immediately upon them

"Adam how is she?"

Running a hand through his hair Adam sighed and replied "she is going to be fine it is just going to take some time. She wants to see you and Hailey though"

Brennan quickly moved passed the two men and into the lab where the woman he loved more than life itself lay on the examining table. When she saw them a huge smile spread across her weak face.

"Hey" she said weakly

"Hey, how are you feeling?" he asked taking a seat next to her

"Tired but Adam says that is normal" she said looking down at the sleeping child "how has she been not too much trouble I hope"

"No she has been great, just like her mother" he replied leaning in and giving her a quick kiss on the lips

"Mm… forgot how nice that feels"

"Well we have a lot of time to remind you" he replied as he leaned in to kiss her again Hailey woke. "Looks like someone is awake" he started to rock her when Shalimar stopped him

"Let me" she said holding her arms out. Brennan complied and placed the small child in her waiting arms. He sat back and watched as the baby immediately calmed down

"She missed you and so did I"

"Look about everything" she started but he put a finger to her lips

"It doesn't matter now. All that matters is that you are well and we are a family" she looked away and he began to panic "Shal what is it?"

"You have no idea how much I've waited to hear you say that" she choked as a tear rolled down her cheek

"I'll say it however much you want me to" he replied kissing her on the lips "marry me" he asked after breaking the kiss

"Brennan….." she started but he quickly cut her off

"It's not just because of Hailey, I love you she is just an added bonus that would've happened eventually. So I'll ask again" he started as he pulled a small box out his pocket and opened it for her to see "will you marry me?"

With tears welling in her eyes she replied "yes" and kissed him passionately as he slipped the ring on her finger "I love you" she said after breaking the kiss.

"I love you too" he replied as Hailey began to stir "and I love you as well" he said planting a kiss on the baby's forehead and then one on her mother's.

Part 11

[Six Months Later]

Hailey was officially crawling her way into everything. There wasn't a spot in sanctuary that she hadn't explored. Brennan was having a hard keeping up with her and Shalimar couldn't help but laugh whenever he asked if she was like this when she was Hailey's age.

Brennan and Shalimar had gotten married a few weeks after she was back on her feet. They moved into a joint room in sanctuary so the family could have their privacy but with Hailey moving the way she was privacy wasn't something they had a lot of.

Ricks had not been seen or heard from since that night in the warehouse but Shalimar still felt the need to be extra protective of Hailey and everyone else.  

[Brennan and Shalimar's room]

Brennan was sitting a chair reading a book to Hailey while Shalimar put away some of the baby's toys. She would occasionally glance up and listen to Brennan's soft voice as he read to their daughter. She was truly happy and thankful that everything had worked out but she had this nagging sensation that it wasn't over.

"She loves it when you read to her"

"She's only nine months old I don't think she even knows what I am saying to her"

"Maybe not but she loves the sound of your voice and that is what she is responding too"

"She's like her mother then" he replied wiggling his eyebrows. She playfully hit him in the arm making Hailey giggle. "You too?" they all laughed

"I think it is someone's bedtime" stated Shalimar glancing at the clock and picking up Hailey

"Goodnight sweetie" said Brennan kissing her on the forehead.

The baby giggled again

"Be right back"

[Dojo Area]

"Adam I've been monitoring the police bands for the last several hours and it turns out there have been three unexplained deaths in the area in the last week" said Jesse reading the info off the computer screen

"What is so important about that?" asked Emma

"Well, it is not. However who they were and how they died are" replied Jesse. "I ran their names through the database turns out they were all new mutants" he paused to gauge their reactions "gets better they were all ferals"

"Do you think Ricks is back?" asked Emma

"If he is then Shalimar and Hailey could be in danger. Not to mention any feral that he gets his hands on"

"So we stop him" added Emma

"Well it might not be that simple. He obviously has the funds to start the project over."

"Even more deadly than before it would seem" interjected Jesse

"How so?" asked Adam

"All the victims had massive organ failure and there was an unknown substance in their blood"

"Let me see" said Adam moving behind Jesse to get a better look at the computer screen. After several minutes Adam made grumbling noise

"Adam what's wrong?" asked Emma

"It seems he is taking a different approach with these mutants. Instead of trying to manipulate their existing mutant DNA he is trying to erase their human DNA"

"The side effect Shalimar was experiencing?"

"Yep he is using that as a starting point to make what he did to Shalimar succeed"

"So instead of making the mutant DNA stronger he is eliminating the human DNA altogether?" asked Jesse trying to understand the older man

Adam merely nodded in response

"Well we have to tell Shalimar and Brennan" stated Emma

"Tell Shalimar and Brennan what?" asked Shalimar as she and Brennan entered the room

The three merely looked at each other

"Some one gonna tell us or….." Brennan started

"It would seem that Ricks is back to experimenting on ferals" replied Adam

Shalimar and Brennan exchanged a look

"You don't think he is after Shalimar again do you?" asked Brennan

"He might be but from what I can see from the coroner's reports on the three victims found he would be more inclined to come after Hailey" replied Adam

"There is no way in hell he is getting his hands on her" growled Shalimar

"Of course not but we need to be on our guard when away from sanctuary and we need to put a stop this before anymore innocent people die" answered Adam

They all nodded in agreement and set about to find a way to shut down Ricks and his experiments for good.

Part 12

In the months that followed the collapse of the first project, Ricks' employer decided to switch gears and begin again with a new angle. They concluded that the side effect Shalimar had gone through was something they hadn't anticipated but the result was something they wanted to examine further. This is why they were once again going through feral mutants like they were candy on Halloween.

Ricks told his employer that Shalimar Fox was still the right choice for the project and they were wasting time with other ferals. They however, felt differently. They considered Shalimar too much of a calculated risk to go after again and instructed Ricks to use other feral mutants in the project. But now with the bodies piling up and the project going nowhere, Ricks was once again instructed to bring in Shalimar Fox and if at all possible her dual mutant powered daughter.

[The Mall]

Shalimar and Emma had decided to go shopping to get Hailey some new clothes, since she had managed to stain practically everything she owned.

"This is cute" said Emma holding up an outfit

"Yeah it is." She replied taking the outfit. "I swear she goes through more clothes than I do" said Shalimar as they looked at the rest of the children's clothes

"Well she is a growing child"

"Tell me about it. I can remember the first time I held her……….she was so tiny" replied Shalimar staring off into space

"Must have been hard to go through everything alone"

"Yeah it was and you have no idea how many times I wanted to return to sanctuary and tell all of you but…….."

"But you wanted to protect us" finished Emma

"Yeah and now that Ricks is at it again and the fact that he may go after Hailey makes me wonder if coming back was the right choice"

Emma was shocked. "Shal you're not thinking of leaving again are you? I mean how can you question your decision to come home? Look how happy Brennan is when he holds Hailey or when the three of you are together…….he loves you so much and it would kill him if you left"

"Ok hey I was just thinking out loud, I am not gonna leave. I love Brennan too much to do that to him or Hailey"

"Good" Emma replied smiling. "Let's finish shopping and get back before Brennan decides to give Hailey a bath on his own again"

"Let's hope he doesn't get that courageous" Shalimar replied laughing because the last time Brennan decided to give Hailey a bath he and the room got the bath instead of the baby.

"I don't think I've ever seen Adam laugh so hard" laughed Emma

Just as they were about to leave the mall six men in suits blocked their path.

"Ms. Fox, Ms. DeLauro?" one of the men asked

"Who's asking?" replied Shalimar

"Mr. Ricks" he replied

"Yeah well you can tell him to go to hell" she replied letting her eyes go feral

"Shal not here with all these people" stated Emma noting the all the bystanders

Shalimar nodded and the two took off for a nearby exit and to somewhere less public.

"Adam can you hear me?" shouted Emma into her comm.

"What is it Emma?"

"Ricks' men are after us at the mall"

"Alright Brennan and Jesse are on their way"

"Got it" she replied catching up to Shalimar. "Jesse and Brennan are on their way"

"Private enough?" she asked as they exited the mall and into the alley behind it


"Good" she replied readying herself for a fight.

She wasn't disappointed especially when eight more men showed up and surrounded them.  Shalimar quickly disposed of two them with a back flip and a round house. Emma made three of them think they were on fire and they were currently rolling on the ground screaming.

"Nice" said Shalimar


Two more men came at Emma and she disposed of them with several kicks and punches before knocking them out with psionic blasts. Turning around she noted Shalimar had taken out four men and was facing down the last three when one of them pulled out a tranquilizer gun and shot her with it.

"Shalimar" screamed Emma as she made her way over to her friend but instead of the men taking the unconscious Shalimar they ignored her and made their way over to her.

Emma readied herself for a fight but she was shot with the tranquilizer gun and collapsed on the ground.  Two of the men scooped her up and carried her to an awaiting vehicle while the third pulled out a tape, dropped it on Shalimar's body then followed the other men to the vehicle, got in and skidded away.

"Shalimar, Emma" screamed Brennan as they made their into the alley

Shalimar groaned as she fought back to consciousness. She sat up and noticed Emma gone and the tape on her lap. Just then Brennan and Jesse came around the corner.

"Shalimar" yelled Brennan as he rushed to his wife's side and began checking her for injuries

"I'm fine but they got Emma"

Brennan and Jesse exchanged a look before helping Shalimar into the Helix and back to Sanctuary.


After debriefing Adam on the situation Shalimar played the tape the men left behind for her.

"Hello Ms. Fox. If you are listening to this tape it means that I have one of your friends in my custody. What I want is simple. By now you and your band of friends have no doubt noticed the bodies piling up so unless you want those bodies to include one of your friends I suggest that you make an appearance at the location designated at the end of this tape. Do not toy with me Ms. Fox because if you do your friend will be the one to pay the price."

Part 13

Shalimar pressed stop on the tape and sat down.

"Adam we can't just hand Shalimar over to this guy again" stated Brennan

"I agree we have to find another way" replied Adam

"NO!" yelled Shalimar "I won't let them do to Emma what they did to me, you have no idea what it was like" she finished getting up and leaving the room

Brennan went after her and found her in their room watching Hailey sleep.

"Shal, talk to me" he said quietly wrapping his arms around her

"It was the worst during the day" she started never taking her eyes off Hailey "the tests were more like torture sessions after they injected me with whatever drugs they had on hand" she began to sob "They would push me until I lost control with rage so they could see how their genetic manipulations were progressing."

"I had no idea" he whispered

"Of course you didn't but that was just the beginning of what they did" she paused moving to sit down in a nearby chair "they'd electrocute me, starting at low voltages to see how long it would take for me to lose control or they'd scare me with fire to see if I could fight my fears it………" she couldn't continue

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"I thought it was over and I thought I could handle it. That's why I left. I was afraid of losing control like I did with Emma or one of you going through what I did. That's why I decided to trade myself for Emma"

"Shal, no we will find another way" pleaded Brennan

"If they start experimenting on Emma she won't last, I mean look at the other ferals who didn't make it past the first round. I have to help her Brennan"

"By letting your self go through that again? Let us help you please honey think of Hailey, she needs her mother and so do I"

"If this doesn't work……."

"It will work because I'll be damned if that asshole does anything to hurt my family"

"Ok" she replied wiping away her tears

"C'mon let's go talk to Adam and come up with a game plan" he said just as Hailey woke from her nap

"Looks like someone wants to help us" she said walking over to the crib and picking up their daughter

"She is just like her mother then" he replied kissing her on the lips "I love you"

"I love you too"

Adam and Jesse were discussing the location Ricks had given them directions to when Shalimar, still holding Hailey, and Brennan came into the room.

"Shalimar I know this whole situation upsets you and you are being protective of Emma but we will do this as a team we are here for you" said Adam

"Thank you. What have we got?" she replied walking over to them.

Seeing Jesse Hailey immediately reached out towards him and gave a huge smile when he took her from Shalimar

"What can I say the kid's got good taste" said Jesse as he held the small child "We managed to get some rudimentary schematics on the building Ricks gave directions to. We won't know what the security system is like until we get there but there are several entrances and exits for us to choose from"

"Alright so Shalimar you are gonna go in and pretend to trade yourself for Emma then when Emma is you guys go in and we shut them down for good. I don't want anyone else picking up where these guys left off"

"Yeah and I want a crack at this Ricks" said Brennan

"Get in line" replied Shalimar

"Personal revenge is not one of the top of priorities but you will both get your shot at him, I promise" replied Adam and they both nodded "Ok Jesse give me Hailey, the three of you need to get ready" Jesse began to hand the baby over to Adam when Shalimar interrupted

"Wait Adam can we have a minute with her?"

"Of course"

The parents took their daughter aside

"Sweetie you be good for Uncle Adam ok?" she told her daughter before hugging and kissing her goodbye

"Yeah and mommy and daddy love you." Said Brennan before copying Shalimar's actions "We'll be back before you know it"

They handed the infant back to Adam

"I'll take good care of her"

"I know you will. So let's do this" said Shalimar and the three young mutants made their way to the hangar.

Part 14


Emma had been strapped to a chair in the middle of a makeshift lab and was surrounded by armed guards as well as Ricks.

"Well Emma…… may I call you Emma?" he asked "Are you comfortable the sub dermal governor it isn't too tight is it?"

She didn't reply, she merely looked over at the tray of various instruments and needles

"Don't worry none of those are for you unless of course Ms. Fox doesn't show up"

"Why don't you just leave us alone?"

"Oh I will leave as soon as your feral friend hands herself over"

"Why didn't you just take her at the mall?'

"Simply because your friends would come busting in again and I couldn't have that so I decided to let her hand herself over using her own feral need to protect against her"

Just then one of the men from the mall came over

"Sir, Ms. Fox is here"

"Very good, show her in" he replied

Emma turned her head to see Shalimar being escorted in by three men.

"Welcome back Ms. Fox" drawled Ricks "Did she come alone?"

"Yes sir she pulled up a motorcycle" one of the men replied

"Let Emma go" growled Shalimar

"Right to the chase huh?" he replied. Turning to the men behind him "Release her and escort her outside"

"I want to see her leave with my own eyes" demanded Shalimar

"Very well we won't be staying here much longer anyway" he replied motioning toward the exit

The group made their way towards the door and just as they stepped outside two of the men were taken out by electricity that seemed to come from no where. Shalimar took out the man behind her as Jesse took out the one by Emma.

"Double crossing me was a bad move Ms. Fox" said Ricks as six other men came up behind him. "My employer will never stop hunting you"

"They better" said Brennan as charged the electricity in his hand

"Get them but do not kill Ms. Fox" he told the men behind him

Brennan shocked the man that came at him and quickly made his way over to Ricks. He was going to make sure that this man never came after his friends or family again. Punching him the face the two began a martial arts duel to which there could only be one victor.

"Not bad Mr. Mulwray, you are almost as good of an opponent as Shalimar" he drawled wiping some blood from his mouth. "Tell me, how is your little girl?" he asked secretly pulling out his gun trying to bait Brennan into rushing him

What Ricks didn't know was that Brennan saw his movements and was hoping he would give him an excuse to shock him.  Brennan charged the electricity in his hand and waited for him to make his move.

Meanwhile having disposed of the two men in her face Shalimar turned to see her husband and Ricks facing off.

"You do realize they will never stop hunting her, don't you?" he repeated

"Who are they?" Brennan asked letting the electricity in his hand brighten

"Ask Mr. Kane" cryptically he replied aiming his gun but Brennan was quicker and Ricks was electrocuted to death.

Watching his lifeless body fall to the ground Shalimar made her way over Brennan and hugged him. "What do you think he meant by ask Adam?"

"I don't know but let's get the hell out of here. Jesse, Emma let's go" he yelled

Jesse was just about to kick one of the men in the face one last time when he heard Brennan voice and decided to let him be. He and Emma made their way over to Brennan and Shalimar.

"Is he dead?" asked Jesse

"Yeah" replied Shalimar "Let's get back to Sanctuary so Adam can remove Emma's governor"

"Amen to that it is starting to itch" replied Emma scratching her neck

"Hey didn't Adam tell us to destroy all the research?" wondered Jesse

"This wasn't there base of operations. They only used this place to hold me while they waited for Shalimar"

"So then we still have to find out who hired Ricks and where they are storing the research" stated Shalimar

"Let's go home" said Brennan putting his arm around his wife before taking one last look Ricks body and heading towards the Helix.

Part 15


Adam sat in his lab thinking about what Ricks had told the others. Scanning his memory for anyone who had the capability or where with all to do something like this he could only come up with hand full of people, all of which who had no idea mutants even existed.

Looking over the latest blood scans he took from Hailey, bearing in mind neither Shalimar nor Brennan knew he took, he watched as her genes showed no signs of deterioration from the process her mother had gone through. That was the good news but he still felt the bad outweighed it by a long shot. The fact that what happened to Shalimar could be his fault weighed heavily on his heart and made his brain ache when tried to fathom who could be responsible.

He was so engrossed in his own thoughts that he didn't hear Shalimar enter the lab. Although he knew that if Shalimar didn't want you to hear her approaching you didn't.
"Adam, can I talk to you?"

"Of course"

Smirking and crossing her arms across her chest "There is that look again"

"Let me guess the guilt look?"

Uncrossing her arms she took a seat on the nearby table "that's the one. Look Adam I don't blame for what happened to me"

"Maybe I do because I….."

"You what? Should've seen this coming or had an idea of who did this?"

He nodded

Hopping off the table she walked over to him and placed a hand on his shoulder "Adam you can't blame yourself for every enemy you have made that may want revenge or every nut who sees you as a threat to their success. You can't live that way"

Sighing "I know but I have been sitting here racking my brain trying to figure out who would do this and………" he trailed off throwing his arms up

"Did you ever think that maybe your contacts aren't as trust worthy as you thought?" she asked quietly

"They were my first suspects and the only I could come up with………." Abruptly he stopped

"Adam what's wrong?"

Biting his lower lip and giving that look of epiphany he replied "I think I know who is responsible"


"Get the others together and I will tell you then, I need to test a theory first" quickly he said before running out the lab to his office leaving a dumbfounded Shalimar behind

"I guess I'll go get the others then" she said to herself before leaving the lab herself to get the others

[Half hour later]

The team had gathered in the dojo area, rather reluctantly considering the time, where they waited for their leader to make an appearance.

Rubbing his eyes and stifling a yawn Jesse fought to stay awake "did he say what he wanted us for?"

"No, just that he might've figured out who was behind this and that he had to test a theory before filling us in" replied Shalimar

"Yeah well leave it to Adam to wake us up in the middle of the night and then make us wait" added Emma who was resting her head on Jesse's shoulder

"Comfy?" he asked

"Very don't even think about moving" sleepily she replied

Suddenly a very excited Adam made his way over to the group "Good you're all here"

"Yeah where else would we be at one o'clock in the morning?" mocked Jesse

Ignoring his comment Adam continued "I figured out who is behind all this and am kicking myself for not seeing it sooner"

"You gonna tell us or do we have to guess?" asked a weary Brennan

"Do you remember the message I received that sent you and Shalimar on the mission she was abducted on?" he asked looking Brennan

"Yeah it was about the disappearance of a wealthy government investor, why?" responded Shalimar

"I remembered something when you and I were talking earlier. Something the contact said that I didn't think much of until now"

"Which was?" asked a confused Jesse

"The contact told me not to feel guilty about one of people disappearing and that he was sure the feral could handle her self" he finished but could see the blank stares of confusion on their faces "I never told him Shalimar was the one who was taken only that one of my people was missing"

"So how could he have known that she was the one who was taken?" piped in Emma

"Exactly unless the whole situation was a setup from the word go" replied Adam

"So now we know who set us up but why?" asked Jesse

"For the reason that we have always thought, they wanted the perfect weapon. After the incident with PVG I may have pissed off the wrong people and…….."

"And why keep the middle man when you can control your own powerful mutant?" finished Shalimar


"So now what do we do?" asked Brennan "Ricks said it himself they will never stop coming after Shal"

"That's why I tested a theory before I came down here. I sent my contact a message telling him that Hailey had started experiencing side effects of Shalimar's condition and I needed resources that just weren't at my disposal"

Brennan looked like he was ready to explode but Shalimar beat him to it "Adam how dare you use our daughter as a pawn without telling us?"

"Relax Shalimar, I'm not going to hand over Hailey to them nor is she experiencing any side effects I just wanted to bait them"

"I get it if you make them believe that they are the only one's who can help Hailey then they show their hand that they know what is wrong with her, thereby exposing their involvement…………" concluded Jesse

"Because they wouldn't be able to pass up the opportunity to get their hands on Hailey" finished Emma

Adam nodded

"That still didn't give you the right" growled Shalimar

Placing his hands on Shalimar's shoulders to calm her he replied "I know and I apologize but if this works we can bring down their whole operation and you will never have to worry about anyone threatening you or Hailey ever again"

"So how long do you think it will take them to respond?" Emma asked trying to breaking the tension she was sensing

"If they are as interested as I think they are then we should be hearing from them very soon" answered Adam.

Part 16


The team didn't have to wait long for a reply. Adam's contact told him to send any relevant information on Hailey and Shalimar's condition and he would get back to him as soon as possible. They had fallen into Adam's trap without even realizing it.

The group was gathered in the lab and Adam had just finished informing them of what his contact told him.

"So when he gets back to us what do we do with the information?" asked Jesse

"I've contacted Strohm and he had agreed to look it over and if it matches what he knows about the project then he has agreed to go with me to one of the highest contacts I have" replied Adam

"Any chance of you telling us who this contact is because and no offense I don't have much trust when it comes to your contacts" retorted Brennan

"All I can tell you is that he is very high up in the government food chain"

"And the contact that experimented on me?" asked Shalimar

"His name is Joel Weathers. We worked together on many different projects but I completed the gene manipulation research before he did"

"So he did all this to prove what?" asked Jesse

"We are both well respected within the government but……….."

"But if he could prove that your work created dangerous mutants who are a threat to society than you would be ruined" finished Emma

"So he's been trying to frame you?" asked Brennan slightly shocked that everything they went though was because of jealousy

"Yes and no." started Adam "Joel owns a pharmaceutical company, now I ran a check, the substance that was found in Shalimar's system, as well as the other mutants, matched a drug his company manufactured" Seeing the confused looks on their faces he elaborated "He's trying to prove I created these monsters, as Emma put it, while at the same time he has tests subjects for his new drug"

"Guy's twisted" commented Shalimar

"Yeah he was always a little……." Said Adam while making a gesture indicating that Weathers' wasn't playing with a full deck

Just then the computer chimed signaling to Adam that he had an incoming message. Moving to the computer Adam opened the file and after about a minute a large smile crept across his face

"If that smile is any indication, I take it he went for it?" asked Brennan

"Yeah he went for it" replied Adam

"Good I hope he rots in jail for the rest of his life" growled Shalimar before storming out of the lab with Brennan hot on her heels

Breaking the uncomfortable silence that followed the two members out of the room Emma asked "Is there anything we can do?"

"No I need to contact Strohm and from there we go to my contact"

There was another awkward silence

"I'm gonna go get something to eat" stated Jesse as he rose to leave "Em you wanna join?"

"Sure why not" she replied following him out of the lab

Brennan followed Shalimar to the meditation pond where they sat in compatible silence just watching the water.

Taking a deep breathe Shalimar finally broke the silence "It's finally over"

Wrapping an arm around her shoulder and pulling her close he replied "Yeah it's finally over. I love you" he added kissing the top of her head

Lifting her head off his chest and looking into his eyes "I love you too" she replied before kissing him on the lips.