1964-06-04 - A random meeting without zombies
Summary: In which Gary, Kit, Ne and one Johny Storm do not fight zombies, but do discuss equality.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
johnny-storm kit-walker gary 

The sun settles towards the horizon, and the sky is bathed in shades of red and yellow. Central Park isn't the safest place in the world to be, but lately its started to calm. Sure, there's a walking dead from time to time but its not like the horde that was there weeks ago. High up in the sky a streaking comet flies— but it banks and turns and flies straight down to the edge of the park. The moment the comet hits the ground the flame evaporates and what is revealed is a man. It's Johnny Storm. He's famous: he was a little famous before the accident in space but since then most people know him. He's dressed in a very form fitting black suit with F4 over his heart, and he looks around with a cautious expression. Is the zombie problem gone? He isn't sure. So he's checking it out.

A man in a trenchcoat, hat and sunglasses stands inside a public phone booth, putting coins into the machine. Unseen would be the code he punches in for a secure call, while a grey and black dog (that looks awfully like a wolf) sits dutifully at his side.

"Yes," says the man to a voice on the other end of the line. "Put me through to Mother…" His accent is similar to South African. "… Mother? I have all the items on the Shopping List. Yes — I beat the Rush. They're… taking it easy — oh." And he glances up at the Human Torch streaking across the heavens.

"And it looks like the relatives are here — no, one of the family of four. Hot-tempered — that's the one. Yes, Mother. I'll be nice. Goodbye."

Kit Walker hangs up and exits the booth, calling his canine companion to his side. "So how did those zombies taste, my old friend?" he asks of the wolf with a smirk.

The wolf gives him a flat stare.

Ne had actually done her own part in fighting the Zombie threat here in the park at its worst. While extreme cold didn't tend to bother the undead in itself, it certainly made them brittle enough to be desposed of. Perhaps that, or her own good mood, was reason enough that her usual illusions shielding her more obvious mutant features were lacking. Instead, her mismatched eyes and half-pink hair was plain enough to see as she calmly strides through the space, one hand casually gripping the parasol open over the shoulder of the odd figure and giving it a lazy twirl while the other handles something far more important: holding the small cup of cocoa she'd ordered from the diner at the edge of midtown.

The streaking comet that is Johnny certainly gains the young mutant's attention as she tilts her head curiously, but she's not one who would immediately approach like some rabid fan even if it was rather difficult not to hear of the 'Four'. Instead she turns her gaze over to the man walking his dog…and talking to it. Well, she's seen stranger out here. Maybe dog-walking around the park was a sign of things returning to normal?

The pair of beat up canvas shoes, pulled from a second hand store, beat along the cobblestone of the park; Wearing sweatpants that were probably in their prime a year or two ago, and a mismatched sweatshirt of similar condition, a dark-haired man slows down as he reaches some predetermined point, gulping down air as he bends forward briefly, placing his hands on his needs, "Geez, ya ponce. Let yourself go why don'tcha." He says, before breaths, his hands going up towards the top of his head as he grumbles at a stitch in his right side, the hand on that side dropping down to hold it as he makes his way towards a fence. His own eyes trace the man on fire, as the hellionesque fellow plops down a few yars away, and the bowling alley attendant takes a few moments from recovering from however long that job was to wonder, vaugely, when the world got how it got. He leans against the post.

The world was blessed with Johnny Storm becoming the Human Torch two years ago; ever since it's been blessed by him being him because, clearly, he's god's gift. Well. At least, that's what Johnny's ego thinks about it. But still. He looks around as he lands, noting people, and he lifts his hands, "Be careful, people. There's been trouble around here, especially at night. I'm not entirely sure its done with, but if its not, don't worry. I'll Torch 'em." And then, eyes flickering around to meet each in turn he grins his killer grin, "I won't let anything get to yuo, don't worry." Despite the absolute absurdity of his confidence, his tone is friendly and approachable. Hey, who doesn't like Johnny?

The man in the sunglasses and hat smiles.

The wolf.. tilts his head to the side and gives the Human Torch a quizzical look. "If ego could burn as hot as he can," remarks the man. "I'd say we could use him as an alternate source of clean energy — well, clean-ish. I'm just swell, thank you," he mildly calls up to the young Mr. Storm, and then shifts his attention back to the people nearby.

It is odd, seeing people walking through the park after recent goings-on. "Hello," he remarks to them, tipping his hat in Ne's direction in particular. "Sad, isn't it — what the park has come to, these days?"

The jogger is at least in speaking, or calling out ranger of the Torch to hear him give his little speech. He stretches his neck a little, working some tensions out. His breathing starts to slow down as he takes the time to walk, and for a moment, he just tries walking away. But, something nags at him and he turns towards the Torch, "Hey uh, Mister?" He says, motioning towards Johnny, "I mean… what're you gonna set on fire? Sick people, hobos, hipsters? I mean… uhh… what's that gonna do?"

Johnny either doesn't hear or it passes him like air, Kit's comments on his ego. But he hears the call and smiles. "Sad indeed, man." He nods to the fellow, "But it won't stand, that I promise you. We'll get it fixed." His attention then is turned over towards Gary, and he blinks. The question throws him somewhat, "Well first of all, I don't have to set people on fire. There's more to it then that. But second, these aren't sick people no matter what the news might say." He sighs and shakes his head, "I don't really understand it one way or another— Reed probably has a theory— but they're dead as dead can be. Moving still, but dead. As far as I'm concerned, whatever this is, well, its an abomination. Cremation would set these people back at rest."

Mr. Walker smiles again.

"He… doesn't set people on fire because he doesn't have to… that's… comforting." A frown follows, and he turns to look at the other pedestrians around him. "The burning one does have a point though — moving corpses. Unbelievable, true — but I'd recommend believing it. Just to be on the safe side."

The wolf yaps his assent.

Turning toward the jogger, Walker inquires: "Did you not know of the recent happenings? or is this your favourite jogging route? My friend here — ," and he motions with a hand to the wolf. " — likes the park. Or he did."

The jogger walks closer towards the conversant group, shaking his head a little bit, "There's a lot stuff I might beleive, even its a hard sell. Aliens? Sure. Mutants? Why not." He says, tilting his hand, "But you gotta tell me the different between a some weird new rabies and dead." He says, eyes switching to Kit, "Favorite? No, but I figured, Bugle be damned, I'm sick of doing my roadwork on sidewalks. I like it to. Guess your dog and I have something in common."

"Hey, like." Johnny puffs his chest up a bit, "I'm Johny. Or Torch. Not 'the burning one': that's dehumanizing, man." But he cracks a grin: he's mostly joking. Serious topics are afoot though so he nods along, "Believe or don't believe, it is what it is. And yeah, I'm one of the *heros*. Heros don't just set people on fire because they're bored." He looks over to Gary, "I'm telling you dead. But walking. Some of them have little flesh left to them, they're bones and tendons and scramblinga long barely able to move— life doesn't *do* that. I'm not the smartest guy around but I took bio in college and I know that much."

"Johnny, then," Mr. Walker replies with a nod of his head. "Kit Walker. To tell the truth, if I hadn't seen it for myself, I'd be disinclined to believe it as well…" he trails off, losing the smile and frowning.

"Not something to be taken lightly," he murmurs pensively. A little louder then, he remarks back to the Human Torch: "Your work and that of your family is appreciated, nonetheless."

Walker glances at Gary and nods his head to the man. "Something is definitely lost, jogging only on sidewalks. Too much noise as well."

"Life does a lot of fucked up things to people. People do a lot of fucked up things to people. Call it what you want, call them skeletons… call it gangrene. Dead people don't get up and walk arond. Live, sick ones do. The whole world's burning down, its the least we can have." He takes a glance towards the nearby street, scanning for the nearest bus stop, "Haven't you read the papers, Mr. Torch? No such thing as heros anymore."

"Don't get me wrong." agrees Johnny, "It's crazy, what's going on. But there were vampires a few months ago and who in the hell would believe that was real?" He shrugs in his uniform: he goes out and fights bads, and… bads are bad. But man, Weird is Weird. He then nods, "Nice to meet you then, Kit." He snorts over towards Gary, "Papers are full of shit. I'm Johnny Storm. Half the world wants to fuck me and half the world thinks I'm a monster: I give precisely zero fucks to the latter. The papers aren't reality. What's real is when someone is in danger, if I can stop it? I do. You take what you want from that and decide for yourself what you think of me."

"Oh, the papers are good for some things," chimes in Walker with a wry smirk on his face, and he pulls out today's paper from under his arm and gestures briefly with it before putting it back. "I, myself, am partial to the comic strips — although at least some of the reports coming from around the world are respectably accurate… That said, the typical reporter's gift for 'spin' isn't something to underestimate."

He lifts his chin and scritches his wolf behind the ear. "The world is quickly becoming more and more fantastical. I wonder what it'll be like in forty — fifty — years' time…"

Gary gives a shrug, "Its half-the-truth most of the time, sometimes more then that. I think a lot of reporters got an honesty bug." He responds, laughing a bit at the neat disposition of the planet's population, "Well, Mister Storm, I don't want to fuck you." He notes, pointedly, "You're a public figure, you gotta care what people say about you. Cause danger to you is just…." He shrugs, "Someones Tuesday. And there are a lot of ways to screw up someone's Tuesday. But, what'do I know? I'm just of the planets plebes."

Johnny regards Gary for a long moment, "Have you *really* read the Bugle? If an Honesty bug was near that paper ever it died of starvation." He laughs, and then shrugs, "I may be a public figure, but no, I don't have to care what anyone says about me. Maybe you don't want to fuck me, and I respect that choice, but half of them think I'm a demon born. Why do I care?" He shrugs, lifting a hand as fire erupts around it, "What matters to me is what I do with my tuesday, not what people who are nothing but talk talk about my tuesday."

"Pictures don't lie, or try not to, at least. But I'm not talkign about the Bugle, I'm talking about the Times, or the Globe." Gary responds, stepping a little to close to the uniformed do-gooder. Maybe it was huffing his way through his first jog in a few months, maybe it was the reminder that the world was moving quickly to become something that was leaving men like him behind. Maybe it was something else entirely, but the jogger found a bee in his bonnet. He leans forward, "Well not all of us talkers got the good graces to get involved in the right lab accident." He moves his hands up and opens his hands like flame, "Being able to go 'fwoom' doesn't make you better then anyone. And, jove, if you didn't care, you wouldn't be jawwing about it."

Johnny laughs. He regards Gary for a long moment as if he wasn't sure if he was serious— he is, isn't he? "Man. Getting in a lab accident isn't what makes me better then anyone else." He says such such confidence that the senence: I simply am, can be inferred or heard. "Really, please. Yes, I am the Human Torch." And as he says that he becomes it: pure fire. There's little 'human' in him actually, except for shape. Plasma in human shape radiating fire and heat. It doesn't spread as much as it should, which if someone is aware of physics may be surprised by. "That has absolutely nothing to do with why I'm better then most, though. I was Johnny Storm long before that."

"I read the papers," Walker comments dryly, although his expression is somewhat dubious — which might hint at his opinion toward Storm's prior occupation. He is smiling nonetheless.

"There is an old saying, though: the flame that burns hottest, burns shortest… There might be a little wisdom in there for you, Mr. Storm."

When the man turns into flame, Gary takes a few steps back, the natural desire to avoid… well… fire. Hot, burney fire. "And who the hell is Johnny Storm? Motor speedway champ and ladies man? Its good you're using fire to help people and all, but you weren't exactly dodging 88s before, were you? Call me skeptical, but I'm curious how you'll feel when things get /real/ difficult…" He says, pointedly, "A little ham isn't gonna kill anyone, but stay humble. Being Johnny Storm doesn't make you better then anyone either."

"It's a true saying as any other." agrees Johnny to Walker, and as he does so the red light of the fire around him turns orange, then yellow, and then white. The heat can be seen radiating off of him with intensity, but he counters it with his ability to control temperature: he doesn't allow it to travel but a foot from him before drawing it back in. "I can burn as hot as I need to. But." He nods his head slightly before he turns his attention to Gary. He is unaffected by the challenge, even as he lets the flame evaporate into him just… being. A guy in an admittedly high-tech uniform. "I see no value in humble. I am what I am: and if you don't know who Johnny Storm is, that says more about you then me. When things get real difficult? I'll stand in front of them and put an end to it." He looks to Walker then, "Really, please, Johnny. Not 'mister' anything. The point really is: those rules— the hotter you burn— those just don't apply. Pretending everyone is equal and the same is just nonsense. I don't mean my life is more important then anyone elses, I don't mean my word should have more value then anyone elses. But what we can contribute is *different*."

Walker is silent for a while. It is true — the world is very much 'unequal', and he doesn't need to say it to agree. The notion, in fact, makes him more pensive, and he glances idly down at the wolf nudging his hand.

A few moments pass, and Walker reaches into his jacket to withdraw a small card with some business details upon it. It reads: 'Walkabout', a charity dedicated to reuniting families in wartorn countries — mainly in Africa and Asia, for those who might have heard of it.

"Give this to your family if you like, Johnny," he tells the outspoken Torch. "If there's anything we can do to assist in humanitarian aid, wherever you are, let us know. I should go. Pleasure meeting you both."

"I don't know you. I'm not supposed to. I just know whats in the papers, and how you tend to treat your nightjob, now." Gary gives Johnny a completely, transparently insincere smile, "I certainly hope you will, Mister Storm, because it seems like you're apt to put yourself in the thick of it anyhow." He tilts his head to the side, "Sure. Different."

Johnny takes the card from Walter, and he nods. This family talk has him blinking: he just doesn't see the Four as family, well, besides his sister. And especially not the grumpy stone dude. BUt still. Johnny can read between the lines. "I'll keep this in mind and we'll keep in touch. The Four are always looking for people willing to take part." And then he looks to Gary, and his head tilts to the side. "You misunderstand. I treat my life a certain way, I treat my job another. The papers mostly talk about how I treat my life, and I don't apologize for that at all. Playboy, they call me. So be it. I accept it. When the fight happens? When the flame comes? That's different." And with that he nods. A moment after he slips the card into his suit and eals its pocked, flame erupts around him and he's soaring up into the sky. Johnny is good with entrances and exits. And, admittedly, totally cheats on who gets the last word.

The attendant takes another step back as the Torch goes flame-on and zooms back into the heavens like a vengeful angel. Gary turns towards the-ghost-that-walks, giving the man a wave before trudging towards a nearby bus stop without another word towards the two. He does mutter though. "He thinks he's different." Is all he mumbles under his breath, before plopping himself on a bench at the stop, waiting for the next ride.

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