Young Melody Jacobs was found living on the streets by the monstrous Abomination
, who took her to his subterranean homeless shelter. There, Jacobs was nicknamed Threnody by a kindly old woman after the mournful song she sang. Weeks later, Threnody's mutant power of absorbing the energy released by the dead and dying flared explosively out of control, killing the woman and her husband. Cast out by the Abomination, Threnody returned to living on the streets in Los Angeles where she was found by the local police near the hospital where the mutant Infectia lay dying of the Legacy Virus
. Absorbing the ambient neuroplasmic energy. Threnody unwittingly killed two policemen and fled. Seeking shelter in the laboratory of Gordon Lefferts, the first recorded victim of the Legacy Virus, Threnody encountered several X-Men
when they arrived to investigate. Fleeing from them, she encountered geneticist Mister Sinister
, who offered her control over her abilities in exchange for her servitude. Despite the X-Men's objections, she accepted and left with Sinister.