Jesse had been high when the Master eliminated ten percent of the human population. He had assumed it was a bad trip, nothing worse than that, and it took until the next day to sink in that the Death Star had really arrived, or the Borg had; Skinny Pete and Badger weren't able to be clearer than that. The British Prime Minister turning out to be an alien was about the only thing about this whole nightmare that made sense. All the best bad guys had British accents, after all.
Jesse soon lost the taste for sci fi jokes. So many people dead: His parents, and now the last thing he'd ever remember about them would be his father saying how disappointed he was and his mother silently crying. Jake, who'd been with them. Wendy, who he'd lost his virginity to when she'd just started turning tricks for meth. But wouldn't you know it, his stick-in-the-ass chemistry teacher from high school, Mr. White, was among the survivors, him and his ball-busting wife. Jesse ended up in the same shelter with them and their son. The worst thing about that was that Mr. White wouldn't shut up about how scientifically impossible the Master's mere existence was. But then he found a new subject to be angry about, because as it turned out some of old friends or business partners or enemies of his were among the companies chosen to provide the Master with resources. Maybe they didn't even want to collaborate, and just complied because they didn't want to be among the next ten percent of the human population to die, but Mr. White decided then and there he'd start the Resistance, Albuquerque branch. It would have been funny, except it wasn't, not at all, not with the Toclafane, those spiky metal balls flying around and talking in their eerie childish voices, there to dispense death. When Jesse saw one of them slicing a kid in half because she simply hadn't understood an order, he decided he didn't care whether Mr. White was on an ego trip or some vendetta or whatever. He joined the resistance then and there.
As it turned out, Mr. White was really good at coming up with crazy plans that actually worked. He even came up with a formula that made the metal around a Toclafane melt. Unfortunately, it melted everything else inside, too, so they couldn't find out what was inside those death balls. Mrs. White first thought this wouldn't achieve anything, but then her son lost his crutches and wasn't deemed worthy to get new ones by what passed for medical care now, and then she came up with a method to finance the resistance that was the weirdest thing so far. Maybe, Jesse later thought, it was his fault, because he'd complained about the lack of meth or at least some weed once too often. Or maybe it was her sister, because Mrs. White's brother-in-law, who'd died in the first decimation, had been a DEA Agent, and the sister wouldn't shut up about him, either. In any case, Mrs. White decided that the one thing you could be sure off in a dictatorship was that people would want to do drugs now more than ever. And Mr. White, as it turned out, knew how to make them. So here they were, a few months later: the best financed Resistance Cell in the US. It was awfully shady, but it worked.
Then she came. The one they kept hearing about. At first, it was just a rumour, and everyone thought it was a made up tale, but later people heard from people who'd actually spoken to her: Martha Jones, who walked the Earth and knew a way to defeat the Master. "Then why hasn't she done so already?" Mr. White asked, and maybe that was just Mr. White being cranky about someone stealing his thunder, but Jesse was wondering the same thing. He also wondered whether this Martha Jones chick would turn out to be some double agent. In the movies he recalled from what seemed another life now, there usually was a bad girl in the service of the evil overlord bent on seducing the good guy who ended up recruiting her for the cause, or something. Since Mr. White was a married man, Jesse decided he was ready to sacrifice himself and be the Resistance member to welcome Martha Jones.
She was a babe, that much was true. But she definitely didn't have seduction in mind. Five minutes of conversation, and she'd figured Jesse was using. As it turned out, she'd been a doctor before the Master's invasion.
"So are you going to lecture me or what?" Jesse asked, because he'd gotten the "this is stupid and self destructive and maybe we have to sell this stuff to keep the operation going, but we're not using it!" speech from the Whites already.
"No," she said, and her big brown eyes were filled with such sadness that made something in him flinch. "I just think it's sad, what the Master is doing to us. You're bright, you're funny, and you obviously care what happens to people. You must have been great in your old life. And now he's reduced you to doing drugs to cope with the hell he's unleashed."
Jesse looked at her and wondered how she could still be so naive, given all that she must have experienced, if even half of the stories were true. He opened his mouth to make some quip about how he hadn't needed the Master to discover meth, thanks, and now at least the quality of the stuff was better. Or some more cutting remark about how she financed her crossing the world anyway, and whether she ever wondered how her helpers did. But she kept looking at him as if she really saw someone who could have been, well, awesome. Suddenly he imagined meeting her in Albuquerque before the invasion. But that was stupid; he'd have made a pass and she'd have thought he was some stupid meth head. She certainly wouldn't have been impressed by the old him.
"Come on," he said abruptly. "We're meeting the others on the Navajo reservations. You said you wanted to talk to as many as possible, right?"
She nodded. That night, he heard her talk of the Doctor, and explain her plan. It sounded completely insane. But Jesse listened, and thought that maybe, just maybe, it was worth trying, and if it worked, then he himself could try to be that guy she had thought he'd been. After all, there was no way Mr. White would want to produce drugs in normal circumstances, just no way, so the good quality meth would be gone anyhow.
He'd try to be whom she'd seen in him, Jesse decided. If he survived, and her plan worked. Oh hell, he'd try anyway. There were worse ways to spend the potential last months of his life.
He kept on trying until Martha Jones confronted the Master, time reversed itself and everyone but the few who'd been on board the carrier Valiant forgot the year that never happened. But Martha Jones did not forget any of the people she'd met, and that was to have consequences.