1964-09-07 - Healing Kaleb
Summary: In more ways then one?
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
josh kaleb maximus 

Kaleb called Josh before anyone else. He learned to cut corners especially when covered in second degree burns that were, thankfully, on the mend. He did warn that this was mostly business. There he was though laying face down on the bed bay table with plasma burns all over which happens when a teammate goes nuclear 15' from you. Echo was, for once, happy to be sedated. Hie didn't look up and he didn't open his mouth to speak but words formed around him to greet Josh in a sort of hollowed out whole tone, "Elixir, I'm going to owe you a drink after this, man. How are ya?"

Once Josh steps in, the first thing Kaleb might notice is that he is not, in fact, gold. He's a tanned, all american golden boy— but not in the literal sense at all. But he heads over immediately and reaches out to touch Kaleb somewhere onburnt, just to scan and get a sense of the damage, "Man, what happened to you?" He asks, then flashes a grin, "Better then you from the look of it, I think."

Kaleb was singed, had a lot of smoke inhilation, several blood vessels throughout his body ruptured causing microbruising, motable in soft tissues like his eyes that was mostly superficial. Somehow he managed to get his ear drums all messed up again after Elixir so nicely fixed them too. THere was a chuckle though, a careful one. Mostly? Kaleb was tired. "Ummm Daire tell you about his trip to Iceland at all? Long and short… interrogation went… less than ideally." Echo squint. Well the smoke damage would explain why he's using sound and not his lungs to speak. More comfortable. Also he was arrogant enough to realize he could do it and it amused him if he was completely honest. "You look different. Good. Seriously, I owe you for this."

"Yeah, I'm back to normal. I go gold when I heal but… return. Its… a relief." Josh does look relieved, but then he closes his eyes— and instantly turns gold, as the golden light radiates out of his skin and pours into Kaleb. The first thing that happens is the pain completely vanishes, even despite the sedation. "You don't owe me." he says softly, concentrating then on the burns and beginning to heal them, "You tried to save people. You got hurt. I heal people who get hurt— especially people who try to do good. But hey if you wanna get me some coffee I'll call us even."

Kaleb squeezed his eyes shut and finally it was his fists that relaxed, and fianlly his back. Skin and, oh god he could hear without the thrumm. There was a deep breath. Sometimes asking for help wasn't a terrible thing. He didn't move for a couple moments. He was, perhaps, afraid of being stuck to the table but this was not the case. His hand raised to his face gingerly but no it didn't hurt. He had to ask, "I still have both my eyebrows?" There was a faint amusement to this. "Really though," he leveled, "I appreciate it. Kwabenna had the worst of it. This guy they brought back? Made him start exploding like a star or something. The damndest thing I'd ever seen. Jean, Scarlett, and Warren were also caught up in it. THe guy that caused it too. Is he ans ass? Yeah but I mean I would be too. Am really." He took a deep breath and had thoughts on what Live did. It weirdly seemed to sadden him a bit. "We do thingswhen we're used to protecting ourselves for a long time when we're used to everyone being the enemy. Society caused this. I hate giving up on our own ya know?"

Once everything is healed, the once-again golden Josh steps away and lets the glow fade, "I'll have to look up this Kwabenna— I'm not familiar with him— and see if he needs healing too." He nods his head then, smiling slightly, "I know, but be careful with the whole our own and enemy talk. I thought a lot of stuff like that and it led me to a real bad place that… well, I'm trying to make up for." He takes a deep breath, "We have to think of *everyone* as our own, or we're on a slippery slope."

Kaleb shook his head. "I'm not about to preach some anti-human gospel, Elisir. But my people are my own. Average people have people that worry about them. I don't have to think of them as my own at all. I do respect the ones that are decent though. But our people are our people. I'm proud of that man, but I get what you're drivin at. C'mont hough, if society didn't create the problem people like us wouldn't have to struggle so hard. I'm not saying smelt the people, jsut the social structure. I dunno. Been thinking on that the last couple hours. ABout fighting war with change instead of war with war. I dunno. I dunno." He swung his legs over the side and was on many minds about this. Whicle Kalen was angry he wasn't generally violent. "Want to go grab a burger? Do you even have to worry about cholesterol? You can't even get allergies can you?" Yes he was feeling better. He had 80,000 questions already.

"The Brotherhood doesn't preach anti-humans; they preach They verses Us, and that They are the ones who started this war, and that They hurt us and attack us… All this is true, which is the problem. Nothing the Brotherhood says is a lie, nothing they say is even wrong. The problem is, once you start down that path… you close off options. Options like maybe if I was there when the President got shot, and I brought him back— do you know what that could have meant? A mutant saving the President of the United States?" Josh shakes his head, sounding regretful, but then he has to laugh, "Sure, a burger. And no, I don't have to worry about… anything, but basic caloric intake and vitamin balance. I don't need to exercise, the moment I'm about to get sick I just cure it, no allergies, can't be poisoned. What I do to other people by will I to do myself almost on instinct."

Kaleb offered witha shrug, "I'd say then we can fianlly show the people we have earned our rights as citizens and equals. I'd say the President owes a debt of gratitude to our community. I'da say maybe then we can get proper funding for the resources that need it to help out our demographic? I'm not saying let's go activly arrange this, btu I'm saying then maybe there could be some sort of discussion other than teh kingmakers of the world going 'oh…them.'" Echo's thought about this a lot it seems. He took a deep breath. "I don't want a war. I want our people to get the help they need. But…I feel like I'm preching to the choir. Burgers then, I'll buy." He paused and finally said quietly, "I would… actually like to hear about your experiences in this. A few people I know said I shouldn't ask, but I think it's important. I think your perspective equally so. Something's going on and if there are strings that can be pulled so fewer people get hurt? I think it's worth looking into" he held up a hand and added, "But doing correctly."

Josh nods his head, and rolls his shoulders, then cocks his head towards the door, "You'll have to go in and order, and we can eat out or something, I'll cause a scene." But he nods, "But yeah, I don't disagree with anything you say— except that I think the more we help baselines the more allies we gain." He then looks a bit confused at Kaleb, "I don't mind sharing, but which experiences do you refer to? The Brotherhood? Or what I went through in life?"

Kaleb had a strange capacity for sympathy or at least respect in this area. "Elixir, both are important. Who we are, those things that put us into a position to choose the things we do? React? It's all substructure for the foundation." Oh architecture references abound.He considered Josh's predicament and couldn't help but to go back on his good sense and for a moment just be disgusted with public society. Vile. "C'mon. We can hit up wherever you want. They can cope or I'll buy the goddamned resteraunt and shut it down and build a support shelter there." Angry, but still civic minded? His plan of defense expressed in strange ways sometimes.

"As for my life… I always wanted to be a doctor." Josh explains, nodding as he follows with Kaleb off towards where hamburgers can be found, "And I was the golden child. I never got any grade lower then an A, in any class. I was popular. My family is not rich but more then comfortable. I excelled in school— aced my internship, became a surgical resident, then Chief Resident finally. My specialty was general surgery— think all the organs south of your lungs and north of your privates. Though I did my rotations and can't say I was bad at anything." There's simple confidence in his words. "I always just… knew. What was wrong. What needed to be fixed. I didn't realize it was a mutant ability— because until years and years later I never activated the ability to change, i only used passive scanning. Then one day a man coded, and I was giving CPR while they got the crash cart, and… I just felt his heart was the problem, and started it up. And turned gold. I was fired, my family disowned me, my fiance dumped me, I lost …my life. Everything."

Kaleb listened hearing a lot of what sounded weirdly familiar to him, and maybe too relatable. The stigma affected all walks of life, even teh very blessed. "Hey, but you saved him though. Hopefully that guy's family thanked you. Still heaven forbid a Mutant hold a position of respect. Still… wwhat you did is pretty incredible. I mean, I directly benefit so I'm biased as hell, but that's… really cool. Your fmaily, sadly… yeah." He siiiiiighed a sigh of sighs. He was actually enjoying theory with someone with similiar but also different experiences here mulling them over. "Sort of being blackmailed in that corner right now myself. Heaaaaaaaven forbid the fmaily or people associated with it find out about those, gasp, deviant Miller boys. What will the Bridge Club think?" He gave Josh a flat look taht reads: I hear you cousin. I hear you. "As for your fiance? Good. I live by a strict rule: I do not chase and do not fight to make someone stay. THey either wnat to stay, and will, and heavena nd hell, or Alien invasion won't change that, or there's ultimatiums, and leaving which… if they can go that easily? They've a- made up their mind already and really are they worth keeping around? I mean perception is not always reality. You've done, definitivly, much better for yourself. I know baout your other. I've met them. Good people." He kept it vague in case of eaves droppers. Josh's business wasn't his to give away in public. He didn't particularly welcome his business outed in public and he would certainly look out for toehrs it seemed. it helped he had a high opinion of his teammate on the away missions as well.

"I never got a thank you, no." Josh shakes his head slowly, wrinkling his nose, "What gets me is? Of all the people in the world to have an issue with a mutant— you'd think a *hospital* and *doctors* would at least get over their crap for a *healer*." He nods in sober understanding on the topic of families, "But yeah, good riddance to her. But still, at the time it stung: it was the one person I thought would stand by me." He then nods his head and laughs softly, "I've known Daire since college. We were roommates— and not involved in any way besides friends, though I made a point to get him into all the parties and tried to set him up with everyone."

Kaleb shook his head ruefully, "There's no pity, no love, man." That was his summary of the hospital's treatment. It made his bitter heart heavy. Fancy boots plodded along. He was glad he learned from his brother to always travel with a spare set of clothes. Turns out that is important. The discussion of Daire got an arched eyebrow. "I've found… recently sometimes it's less important to bow to the demands of a society that rejects us and more to the opportunity that lets us find someone that actually gets where we come from. As people, the roots of who we are I guess. I dunno. Historically? I'm bad at this. I'm hoping though we're onto something. Either way, way I see it? We've given up enough for people who aren't going to be happy, we might as well be. Sometimes that turns out to be a college roommate or someone who turns up out of the woodwork when you need help most but can't ask for it. Better than guys like us marrying some superficial dipshit socialite." So… much contempt. Still, he smiled.

Josh has to snort and nod his head, "That's as much wisdom as anyone as said in one breath as I've heard, so, I figure I'm not going to argue with a guy who is right." He grins and shrugs, then considers the earlier question. "As for the Brotherhood… Mystique found me when I was at my lowest point in my life and told me that others suffered just like I did, that the humans were just beginning— that a war was brewing and it won't be us who start it, but if we don't defend our own then no one else will. It made sense. And then … then I turned the power to heal into a power to kill." The guilt is real on his face.

Kaleb shrugged an expression with shoulders as they walked. The part about the Brotherhood gave him… much to think about. Echo grew quiet, his brow furrowing. There was a deep breath. He was quiet when he admitted to the man that saved his skin, in a very literal fashion, "I, um, when my ability manifest, fully? I brought a gymnasium half down. Took out all the windows, all the lights and there was a rain of glass… everywhere and just jabbed into us. And," he chortled with a bitter smile, "I didn't care. I thought I didn't care at the time. I crushed him, bust the capillaries in his eyes…ears..eventually gave him an aneurysm from screaming…relentlessly at him until I popped my eardrum- the one you fixed the first time, aaaand I blacked out. Woke up two days later and I couldn't see and could only partially hear. They … they told me the kid is fine and he moved schools."

He paused and gave Josh that look that suggested before he said it that he didn't believe that either. "He got blamed is the funny thing. And I …hated him… so much but as much as I did? I never wanted to kill em." He paused and emotion conflicted with his need to keep his face calm and neutral. He commiserated finally, "People think they're Billy the Kid sayin they want to be a cowboy with guns blazin, but it's not until you really hurt someone, end their potential, that you really have that 'holy shit who am I?' moment. Then? Then I guess we gotta decide. So when I say Elixir, that sucks? I truly mean that from the depths of my being man. I do get that. And for you? Well I'll imagine it's gotta be worse for a damn doctor." he was never one, he wouldn't know but he guessed. It was a very quiet very real moment that sat pregnant in the air. "Sooooo what'd you do?"

Josh listens to Kaleb's story, and nods with dark sympathy: his expression says yeah, he knows exactly what that's like. "It didn't happen all at once. It wasn't, hey, one day…" Josh shakes his head slowly, "The thing is, killing isn't even the worst thing I did. After the massacre in Mutant Town…" Some sixty seven people— not all mutants, but many— were murdered by a pro-human terrorist group called the Friends of Humanity, "…I was so, so, so very angry. We found one of the ring-leaders. I didn't kill him: I did so very, very much worse. He can't move. He can't speak. He can't hear or see. But he is in perfect health. He could live decades with the proper care." There's shame in his features, "That… was the straw that made me realize I… had become someone I didn't even recognize as me anymore. The anger, the bitterness, the *hatred*. So… I started healing people at the Community Center. For free. For anyone who needed it. Everyone who needed it. I started… just… letting go of the hate."

Kaleb took a deep breath and listened. It was jiving with him. Josh wasn't brushing off the action, or pitying him, or patronizing it. These were profound moments and changes to someone else's quality of life done with blind rage. There was, though, Mutant Town, where the money would go into the hands of those that were or supported their presence on the planet. His hand rubbed the back of his neck and nodded. "That's one way of doing it. Glad you did. The people here need that. Paints us in a good light too. Not just because you're shiny and gold." There was a wry grin. Okay so he did have a bit of humor to him.

Josh nods his head slowly, and he smiles, "Don't get me wrong, its not easy. I didn't just decide one day to stop being angry some idiots murdered a bunch of people, but there's useful anger and then there's the kind of anger that… festers. There's the kind of anger that you can let define you… and mostly, I got rid of the hatred by pitying the baselines. They're afraid, and that's what is driving this. Their bigotry says more about them then it says anything about us." He pauses, and glances at Kaleb, "I decided we have to be better then them." He shrugs, "That's why I don't charge for healing, why I don't need to be owed. I owe the universe a karmic debt. Not that I believe in karma, and when I'm finally out of the red I won't *start*… but." He pauses, then adds, "Although I met a guy who said I *should* charge people. That I should make a business out of healing. I mean, not charge mutants or those in need, but if a rich guy has cancer? The Community Center could improve… a lot. Whole services in the Town could be improved. What do you think?" There's genuine respect in the asking.

Kaleb sat quietly. Echo was decidedly not altruistic. But he know wealthy comunitiesexceptionally well. And as the heir of a great fortune finally said as a point of finance, "Tell them you won;t charge them for the healing but would welcome any donations to a charity of your choice. Set up one if you will. Funnel the cash into that and let them know they can use that as a tax write off and pretty much get it back from teh government. Sort of forces the government to finance the people that need it most and you can redirect the financial means off of it and not live out of a shoebox."

"Hmm. The thing is, I don't really trust that a rich person — even one that should be grateful for being healed — would care to do such a donation. I don't really have faith in the goodwill of the wealthy because in my experience they're wealthy for a reason." Josh slips his hands into his pockets, but soon enough they're in the car, driving off to Mutant Town and emerging, "So, yeah, while your idea is good I'm not sure the type of people I'm thinking of charging would be the kind of people that would donate voluntarily."

Kaleb shrugged and said with a faint, grin like the financial carnivore he sometimes was, "You, um, you got a name? I'd be happy to get him in touch with his joie de vivre. Seriously, just one name. He'll be fair." Was Kaleb violent? No. Hostile? iffy. Demanding? Like it was an art form in the nicest possible way. He was still grinning when he stepped out and paid the cab driver. The place he told Max they'd meet him was a couple doors down and the walk was short. On the upshot Josh really was the best at what he did: healing, not being shiny and gold though that too. Kaleb was back to walking like he was the a herald of mercy and good taste as they wade down the sidewalk. He still smelled of plasma and ozone. , but was more fit than when he woke up that morning. "Seriously there's doing a good deed, there's penance, and then there's kissing all teh wrong asses. You are not beholden to this animal, 'Lix."

Maximus is at the restaurant, arms crossed, leaning against the wall. If this were another decade, he'd be playing on a phone. But, he's left to people-watch and is probably the better for it. As it happens, he knows Kaleb's handsome guest as well! He looks the gentlemen up and down and when Kaleb comes into proximity, he sniffs the air and twitches his eyebrows. "It has been a long time since I have seen you, Josh. I had no idea you two were friends." He grins in a weird way.

"Oh, I'm not beholden. I just don't trust… and I'm trying to see if there's a way I can somehow make the Mutant Town situation… *better*. Charging some people with more money then sense was one idea. I might try your donation idea, only… besides not really trusting the wealthy, I have no idea how to go about setting up a charity." Josh has to laugh softly at the nickname'd nickname, then looks to Max, "Hey, Maximus." he greets with a golden smile, "I'm a healer. I'm *everyone*'s best friend. Kaleb has promised to buy me a burger, so I am taking wanton advantage of his generosity."

Kaleb seemed confident in this. "Well then, Josh, tell you what, as it will clearly benefit our people, and their supporters where they need it? I'll see what resources i have in Capstone. I think, genuinely, I can actually help you out here without anyone digging their hands where they shouldn't. I'm looking to start advancement projects into taking up my father's mantle that he's left laying around for claiming and seeing about refuge centers and getting infrastructure support to get people up on their feet which…seems to be today's theme. Why don't we start a non for profit? It's what spoiled rich kids are supposed to do isn't it?" He might as well. And in truth? He and Josh could more productivly reach a lot of people that immediately needed them. It…appealed. He was starting to see where Maximus got a kick out of this whole getting one's hands dirty for their people thing.

Speaking of which there was a man in long lines and a fantastic coat that demanded attention even inert. He greeted… Josh? This amused him. "Yeah he's eeeveryone's best friend especially when the shit hits the proverbial fan." He explained nothing but there was a healer involved. The smug warmed a bit to a reassuring grin to the deposed monarch. "See? Told you I'm fine. You look almost too damn good for burgers." His head nodded sideways. "Shall we gentlemen?"

Maximus did greet Josh, for sure, perhaps because his greeting to Kaleb had to wait until he was closer. He pushes off the bricks and steps in with a sway of his body. His hand stretches out and grazes down Kaleb's back, middle finger pressing into his spine lightly before glancing off him before he ends up groping his rear. It is an overt affection, though brief, "Are you trying to be magnanimously impressive again, Kaleb?" He asks in a singsong voice, "And why do you smell strange? Wait a minute…why did you need Josh? Did you injure yourself?"

Josh eyes Kaleb for a moment, but then he just nods, accepting him at his word that he can do all he said he can. "Okay." he agrees, "You set it up and do— what you do— and I'll do what I can do. If you think it would work well for this situation then I trust you to handle the business side of things — obviously you know what you're talking about." He has a sidelong look for Maximus' gesture of affection, but doesn't comment; he does look a little surprised, though. On the topic of why he as needed? Josh keeps his mouth shut. Doctor-patient confidentiality. But he does nod to Kaleb, "I could eat a whole cow." he says with a light, golden grin.

Kaleb nodded seeming to calculate all the angles in his head and finally to Josh nodded. "Well it's that or I wind up one of those people that scraps New York City into the harbour and just starts over and ya know? I'm not ready for that kinda commitment to that much real estate yet." And there were fingers and there was a bit of a smug grin answering "I might b-" his words were cut short when his ass was grabbed. "Hi, Max. I missed you too." There was, curiously no offense taken there. Though he paused and took a deep breath. looking back. He wouldn't lie to Maximus. He told him before he wouldn't do that and it wasn't in his natute. Lies were for the weak and cowardly in his mind. He didn't have time for it. "Did I? No. But a friend was almost detonated. Quite terrifying." He blinked and squint at Max sliding in the offhanded compliment to smooth the news over. "I really dig this coat on you. Does amazing things for your eyes and that whole 'what am I not being told' vibe." The eyebrow arched as if finding agreement with words and if to assuage the concern as anything to be burning the restaurant down over before they have drinks, a hand went to the small of Maximus' back and nudged him doorward. "I promised Josh his body weight in burgers. That's a bit. We may be here a while, best get started."

|ROLL| Ransom +rolls 1d20 for: 6

Max doesn't immediately put it together that Kaleb might have been fried. Maybe he's distracted by…Kaleb, in general. But, after the compliment and the distraction, a sort of 'heeeeeeeeeey' expression dawns in his eyes. "You are trying to distract me from the question. The friend was almost detonated…near you, wasn't he? And then Josh put you back together again which is why you owe him his weight in burgers." Max accuses as he leans on the table, and forwards.

Josh keeps mum on the issue of healing, still. He's serious about not sharing this sorta stuff: its Kaleb's to tell if he tells at all. So he goes, settles, gets up a menu and waits for the waiter. He does add, "Yeah lets not dump the Big Apple into the sea, that's a lot of work putting everything back together."

Kaleb dropped his foot against Max's with a tap and sat with his jaw clenched thoughtfully. Max put all the pieces together though and instead of denying it jsut asked, "Yes but is the distraction working? If it helps he didn't successfully detonate. He did…" He sighed, "destroy my grey twill trousers." That might have pained him most, honetly. Nerve endings can die, good taste cannot. His hand gave Max's forearm a queeze. "Don't worry Josh tells me I have the best life insurance policy ever. Besides, who else is going to figure out how to get the naysayers to fund this madcap venture of ours? More to the point I have shit to do." Not that Josh needed leverage to help, but it was a huge price Kaleb hoped he'd never have to ask of him. He lifted his glass to them, one than the other respectivly. "I guess to my new business partner and the very best company exceptional taste can merit."

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