1964-06-20 - Black And Gold
Summary: Dane and Josh meet in Mutant Town.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
dane-whitman josh 


Dinner hour has come and gone but there's still a couple hours of sunlight left. To the relief of its citizens, nothing eventful is happening in Mutant Town. Eventful usually means violence here. Dane's leaning back against a street light smoking a cigarette. Though he's not dressed much differently from others, his clothes are of generally better quality than usually worn here. Though he's not being too obvious about it, he's observing this section of the city and the people who live here.


Emerging from the Community Center… Josh doesn't blend in, not at all, not even here. Oh, he tries to keep things on the down-low: the bright yellow hoodie might draw attention, but with it pulled forward,.. at a glance someone might just assume hey, they saw a yellow hoodie. He steadfastly keeps his hands in his pockets, as he makes his way along the street towards the Eight Ball. He happens by Dane, and stumbles briefly, his golden face visible as he makes the mistake of looking the guy straight on. He's usually good about keeping his head down, too. "Ah, 'scuse me."


Dane Whitman's free hand shoots out to steady Josh as he trips. "Of course." he agrees, reclaiming his hand once he sees the other isn't going to fall. This close, the gold hue is impossible to miss and he doesn't pretend not to have seen it. "It'll be summer tomorrow." he points out. "The hoodie makes you almost as obvious as the gold. Isn't this supposed to be a haven for mutants?"


"Yeah, but there's obvious and there's *obvious mutant*." explains Josh, his voice sounding a little weary. But since he's been seen, he shrugs, and lifts a hand up and pushes it off his head. Everything's metallic gold, even his hair: it moves naturally in the air but looks like its been spun from gold. "The hoodie might make people say, hey, weirdo with questionable fashion taste, but the gold?" Then he looks pained on the question of the haven, "It is… but its also a big target. There's these assholes, the Friends of Humanity, who not that long ago came in and killed… a lot of people. So many mutants in one place is… a little safer, and a little more dangerous, all at once." He pauses, then adds, "I'm Josh."


"I heard about that." it would have been hard not to. "Dane." he replies and extends a hand. No problem with touching the obvious mutant it seems. "Nice to meet you, Josh." He looks around the street a moment then asks "Have there been recent threats as well that you're extra cautious?"


Josh hesitates a moment, uncertain how to put it, but finally he shrugs and takes Dane's hand. His skin doesn't *feel* anything like metal: the gold is clearly… just cosmetic. He's not a golden Colossus. "I didn't … used to always be gold. I … blended, until I used my power, then stayed gold for awhile before turning back. That's changed recently and… I haven't gotten used to it yet." He winces visibly, "To say I'm not feeling confident in my skin is an understatement."


"I see." Dane didn't really ask for a history. He didn't even look curious. But he pays attention as if he did. "You might want to consider a makeup artist. And some hair dye." Glancing at his cigarette, he takes one last puff then drops it and steps on the butt to grind out.


Josh frowns, and then he shrugs and lifts his hood back up over his head and tucks his hands in his pockets, "Hair dye doesn't work. Makeup… hell, that would be one epic understaking, covering every inch of my face, neck and hands with makeup, getting it look even vaguely natural? It doesn't seem practical."


"They seem to manage it for movies." And there are wigs, of course. Not that Dane has a horse in this race. "It probably would be a great deal of work though, you're right there. Be who you are and don't let anyone make you feel like you're shouldn't."


"Yeah, but don't they sit there for hours getting makeup done?" Josh shrugs and shakes his head, "Anyways, I can't afford it, so it doesn't matter." He pauses, and turns and gives Dane a long look, "Don't take this the wrong way, Dane was it? But what brings you here? There's some baselines— its not like there's a test— but its not common to … just mutant watch."


"Just getting a feel for the place." Dane answers, looking back to Josh now. "Manhattan. And the different parts of the city." There's a hint of an accent from living in England for a while. "One hears stories, of course. Like those who came here and killed people. It could have looked like an armed camp."


Josh hesitates for a long moment, and then crosses his arms over his cheset, tapping fingers against his elbow. Taptaptap. "If we had done that, it would have provoked more conflict. I'm trying to… de-escalate." He has a somewhat pained note to his voice, considering his history— not that Dane knows about that whole terrorist agenda. "Exactly how to approach de-escalation is something debated. But." He gestures to the Eight Ball, "If you're wanting to get a feel for the place, there's two places you gotta see. Our bar and my community center." Its nto really his, but he thinks of it that way, "And since I'm heading to the bar and can vouch for you…"


Dane Whitman looks over at the indicated buildings. "I didn't want to intrude." But since he's invited, he starts for the bar. "Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't I see a picture of you from Albuquerque?" How many gold mutants are there? "The story mentioned you healed that police officer. That is your ability then?"


Josh flinches, "If I could make that photo go away…" he sighs, long-sufferingly, "If you were by yourself they'd not let you in, but…" He nods to the bouncer, "He's with me." And that's enough to have the bouncer let them pass— everyone knows him around here. The healer gets perks. A nod to Dane, "I'm a biokineticist: I control organic and biological matter. I healed the officer, yea. Healing is one thing I can do. Gold used to mean I've healed someoneo recently."


"Useful talent. I could have used healing a time or two." Dane gives the bouncer a nod then looks around the interior without spending too long on any on thing. Or person. "I'll pick up the tab." he offers. Spotting an empty table, he gestures, looking at Josh to see if it's acceptable.


Josh heads towards the bar, "While the neighborhood isn't quite a sanctuary, or at least not as much of one as we'd like it to be… This place pretty much is. But we don't mind baselines as long as they don't stare and gawk and cause trouble. BUt the alcohol is bad." Still, he immediately looks more relaxed, and pushes his hood down and even pulls the hoodie up over his head. Beneath he's got a simple white fitted t-shirt: he's quite fit. And the metallic gold is over his whole arms too, though that was likely rightfully assumed. "Its useful, and… well, useful." He squints at Dane a moment, then nods to the bartender and asks for rum, "But you're… you. You can go to a hospital, they can fix you up. I *was* a doctor, a surgeon. Granted I can heal things far beyond and faster then a hospital… but the real reason I spend so much time healing around here is.. not everyone has a physiology here that doctors would understand."


Dane Whitman pulls a bill out of a pocket and slides it across the bar. It's a twenty. "Let me know if that runs out." he tells the bartender. "Like I said, a useful ability. One I'm sure they're glad to have here. Considering how much money you could make, your dedication to them speaks in your favor."


Josh hesitates, considering, "Money… See, while I might be able to make money, say, curing rich people's cancer… it'd be dangerous, too. Sooner or later someone would decide paying wasn't needed, and grab me and use me. All they'd have to do is get some innocent kid and hold a gun to his head and I'd do whatever they tell me to— and healing is only *one* application of what I can do."


"There's risk in everything." Dane points out. "And the amount you'd make, you could easily hire bodyguards. You could, in fact, do almost anything you wanted with it." Looking thoughtful, he scans the bar and those in it. "I wonder. Have you given any thought to starting a business where you use mutants and their abilities for what they're best suited to? There must be enough people who aren't bigots that you'd make money at it."


Josh lifts his rum when its delivered, and tilts it back to take a long drink: he doesn't show any signs of the rot-gut quality they have here bothering him. "I… hadn't ever thought of the like before, no." He blinks a little bit, the implications of the idea… "You know, I volunteer in the Community Center almost every day, and its crap. But we try: the problem is we just lack resources, and the people around here just… don't have a safety net. We try to take care of eachother, but we can't. A lot of our powers aren't useful that way, but… some. That's… something to think about."


Dane Whitman lifts his own glass and takes a drink, expression not showing his opinion of the quality one way or another. "It is, yes. Could be a decent investment too. Depending on what you came up with, I might be willing to bankroll it if the terms were good. I'll leave you a number and you can let me know if you're interested."


Josh blinks a moment, his brow furrowing, "Well I won't turn down the number to give it some thought… but forgive me, I'm… skeptical. I'm not used to just running into strangers who are curious about mutants one minute and the next talking about monetizing us — I'm not saying you're up to something but baselines are very rarely all that supportive of us. Not usually, not this quickly."


Dane Whitman takes a sip of his rum and looks at Josh a moment before he says "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Even if Josh hasn't heard it before, it's clear he's quoting someone. "There is evil in the world." he tells Josh seriously. "It feeds off of and encourages hatred and suffering. To give some people a chance to better their lives is an easy way to fight it. A small way but every effort from every person adds up." He takes another drink then adds "And note, I said an investment. I'm not offering charity. I expect a nice return on my money."


Josh is silent for a time, thinking, and then he smiles. A golden dude smiling is… bright, indeed, "Okay, I can agree with how you think. I'll think about it— more importantly I'll talk around, see if I can find anyone else who is interested. By myself.. while I could make money, I don't feel comfortable entirely just setting up Josh Foley, Healer Incorporated." He winces at the very thought, "And there would have to be limits. I won't reverse anyone's aging. I won't bring anyone back who died of natural causes. I can't let myself change the fundamental human condition. I was a surgeon and surgeons think they are god's gift if not god but even I don't have that much ego."


Now that makes Dane pause and he gazes at Josh over the rim of his glass. "You can bring someone back from the dead and reverse the aging process?" He obviously had no idea the 'healer' was a miracle worker. "I can see why you think some would try to kidnap you. I wouldn't let it get out that you can do that. Even a rumour would be bad."


"The police officer wasn't wounded, Dane. He was dead. He fell ten stories, every organ he had was ruptured and it was a couple minutes gone before I could get to him. And you heard about that terrorist who attacked Captain America at the fair? He was dead by the time I got to him. Its hard, its draining, its apt to put me into a coma, but…" Josh says seriously, shaking his head slowly, "You've heard of telekinetics? The ability to move matter with your mind? Or, electrokinetics, the ability to control electricity? That's me but what I control is flesh and bone: organic matter. I *control* it. Healing is just putting it back together, making certain tissues grow at an accelerated rate. What is death? Most of your cells are still alive when your heart is stopped. Your brain continues to function for minutes. And even then, its still *there* — all the cells, in roughly the right state. Life and death is just the system going or not: changing from one state to the other is almost easier then anything else. Its repairing damage so it keeps functioning after I flip the switch back on that drains me."


Dane Whitman finishes his drink and sets his glass down. "Remind me to call you the next time I get in a fight." he says but he's obviously thinking of something else. "Do you know how long you have to heal someone before their spirit moves on?" he asks after a few moments. "I'd have thought it was at the moment of death but not if you can bring them back."


Josh gives Dane a long look, and he shakes his head slowly, "I'm not superstituous. If man has a soul I've seen no evidence of it. I can heal as long as the body has not undergone significent decay: once you die bacteria starts eating you, and there's only so much I can repair before there's just not enough of *you* there to put it back together. A day. *Maybe* two, depending on the severity of the mortal wound. Longer if frozen, presumably." He squints a moment, "Get into a lot of fights, Dane? Shame to muss up that look of yours."


"I have." Seen evidence of it. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Another obvious quote. Dane shrugs though, not trying to convince anyone. "Not a lot, no. But Mutant Town isn't the first place I spent some time to get a feel for."


Josh shrugs slightly: he's a doctor, a scientist, an athiest, and he's never found anything remotely like a soul while scanning people. But, he's not going to try to convince Dane either. He nods then to the last, "Well. If you need healing you can call me at the Center. You've been … not an ass." A flash of a grin, "And though I mostly spend my effort here, its not that I am unwilling to heal baselines. As the cop proves."


"The center. Does it have an actual name I can find in the phone book?" Dane asks, patting his pants pockets. "Do you have a pen handy?" Moving his glass, he pushes the napkin to one side to use to write on.


"Ah, no, we aren't… official. Or legal." Josh grins a bit, and lifts a 'wait' gesture, and heads to the bartender. He's back a moment later with a pen, offering it, "I'm trying to make it better, but its taking time. But everyone knows to find me there and they have contact info for when I'm…elsewhere." he says the last a bit vaguely.


"So they don't have a phone available?" Dane asks, writing his first name on the napkin along with a phone number. "What about here? Would he take a message for you and track you down if needed?"


"Oh they have a phone." Josh takes a napkin, and the pen, and writes down two a number and his name on it, then hands it over, "Its just not listed and is under a random name— Ethel Grey. She lives above the place and runs the kitchen, and we drilled a hole in the wall and ran a line down into the 'community center'. Really, that's the best place to reach me. I'm either there or they know how to get ahold of me." But he takes Dane's napkin and folds it careful for his pocket.


Dane Whitman sets the pen down and takes the napkin, folding it in half before he slips it into his pocket. "I'll call you there then if there's need. Hopefully here won't be but it never hurts to be prepared for all contingencies."


"And I'll talk to my people and… consider this whole Mutants Incorporated idea." Josh nods his head, and offers a golden hand to shake again, "If nothing else its an interesting idea. Thanks. It was good meeting you."


Dane Whitman stands up and clasps the hand. "Have yourself another drink or two. Tell the bartender whatever's left is a tip. Have a good evening."


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