2019-09-06 - Predestiny and the New Math


Hank and Hod (Holden) meet in Washington Square Park, conversation gets weird, ends with them acting very much in accordance with Hod's usual, but very much NOT Hank's.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Sep 6 04:35:07 2019
Location: Washington Square Park

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Theme Song



The fountain splishes and splashes and as the sun is beginning to set and the traffic winds it's way through the center of the Park, flows of people breaking against the fountain like river water flowing around a great stone. Sitting on one of the nearly ubiquitous benches is a thirty-something hipster looking guy who's mirrored shades are still perched on his nose despite the quickly sinking sun. Hipsters amirite? He plucks lazily at an old and beaten up resonator guitar, the sort of upbeat deceptive meloncholy notes floating across the area lightly.

"-buying bootleg liqour, champagne and wine. Lord I got busted, fell so low. Didn't have no money, no where to go. This is the truth, without a doubt. Nobody wants you when you're down and out…" he sings. His voice has that ephemeral quality that all great blues men have. If he were in any other genre of music it wouldn't work. There's to many miles on it, to much in there layered thick and deep and very little of it is happy or joyous. But with the blues, with jazz, the almost physical texture is only enhanced by the flaws making it somehow captivating.

If that's your sort of thing. If it's not, it's easy to just hear a guy quietly screetching to himself on a park bench with a busted up guitar.

Hank just got out of a lecture on some exciting new advances in chemical engineering, which — okay, most people wouldn't find them all that exciting, but Hank loves him some SCIENCE!, yes he does. Once the lecture ended, he heads out to the Park, a habit of his, very fond of people watching and just enjoying the scenery, especially the fountain.

As he approaches, the man can't help but hear the rather talented sounding blues musician, and yes, Hank is a fan of the Blues, and Bluegrass, and Classical, Country & Western, Jazz, Rock… there's probably a pattern here that is easily found.

Hank's tread is surprisingly light for a big man, though not silent, he approaches and will settle into a seat near by to enjoy both music and night-time view.

Hod isn't the sort to not notice, light tred or not, a fella Hank's size approaching. It's not like Hank is uh… shopping off the rack as it were. He doesn't bother stopping his song however and instead just keeps on going, plucking out an oldie but a goodie about no one wanting you when you're down and out. Poor and broke the songs protagonist makes plans to hold on to any money he makes after having lost his fortune. From the looks of hte singer's clothing it's not a problem he currently has. His suit, while plain, is tailored, and most normal people don't have silver capped canes of high quality with them. Well. Not since the 1900's anyway.

The song ends and the man just sort of plucks lazily at the strings, making little nonsense tunes from the instrument but not singing anymore, kinda just toying around. After a long while he speaks up without looking in Hank's direction, "Usually someone comes out here to sit down they're on their phone constantly. Rare someone comes out and just sits. New to the city?"

Not even close to off the rack, Hank's long since given up on getting shoes, he just fabricates his own in the lab as needed! Honestly, he'd rather be barefoot but colleges a funny about that - they tend to want people shod when wandering their hallowed halls. So yeah, roughly six feet tall, shoulders that span over a yard, and massively muscular under his own tailored suit? Definitely noteworthy, and that's not factoring in the claws, and the furry pelt!

When the song fades to idle plucking, Hank smiles, and then when addressed he laughs very softly. "No sir, I have been here a while. Studied here to get half my degrees, sometimes I Speak. Not new to the city, and yes, often I do end up on my phone, but not tonight."

He rises, and moves closer, offering his hand. "Hank McCoy, a pleasure to meet you, sir." That hand? Um…yes…built to scale for a guy a couple feet taller than Hank is, it could easily span a dinner plate.

Hod, of course, cannot see the hand. So it hangs there, in the air, untouched for a long awkward moment before Hod speaks up, "Ah." he's been through this enough to have caught that tension in the air, and the music stops long enough for him to hold out his own hand, slightly to the left and behind Hank's own, "Holden." he introduces himself, though his voice trails off when Hank takes the hand and he can feel it.

You know who has hands like that? Trolls have hands like that. Wide, large, coursely furry. Trolls that hate and have in the past hunted the Exiled Prince across Midgard. Though… it's been centuries. Hod's grip tightens on the hand and he stiffens slightly. Except. He relaxes again after just a second. The thing shaking his hand doesn't /smell/ like a Troll, and trust Hod, you can /smell/ a Troll. "Huh." he says, releasing the hand after the firm shake, "Well now I feel like this became awkward." because his physical ques weren't subtle and he's not an idiot. Hank had to sense the hessitation and sudden reaction from Hod. That being said, the blind man doesn't move away or anything.

The hesitation and hand placement clues Hank into the fact that Hod is blind. "Ah, forgive me, Holden." His grip is firm, and when Hod squeezed he definitely could sense great strength there, though probably not sufficient to match a troll. Hank definitely does not smell of Troll, if anything he smells of something herbal, no cologne, no scents of other kinds really save anything that he might have picked up in passing - and that depending on how keen Hod's senses are.

Definitely not Troll, though!

"Don't concern yourself, I am somewhat unusual." Okay, that and then some! He settles onto the bench near but not too near to Hod, giving him a firm sense of Hank's location. He definitely sensed the man's initial strong response and though Hank's no Wolverine, he does have beast-keen senses, so he could surely smell the surge of aggression and fight or flight response. "I assure you, I mean no harm." And his voice is quite calm, his words lovingly enunciated, cultured.

SO not a troll.

Hod makes a face and sighs, "Look son," yeah, he just called Hank son, "by it's very definition the term unusual is defined only by what someone would consider usual in their life. Trust me when I tell you, whatever you are, you don't even mark as a curiosity in mine. The hand, size, feel, reminded me of someone I knew a while back, tried to kill me. Doesn't have anything to do with unusual, saddly, it's that you seemed familiar to me and that usually means someone's gonna use me as a weapon to redecorate some landscapeing." he grins then, showing he's kidding. Right?

… Right?! …

He returns to playfully plucking at the strings, sliding his fingers along the frets making the guitar moan and sing for him. "So. What's your story? I imagine it's a doozey."

Hank takes no offense at the 'Son', he's not even a quarter century, clearly Holden is! "And in my own life experience, to most people, I qualify as exotic at least." A soft laugh. "That said, if you've shaken a hand like my own then you're definitely one who's led an interesting life, sir." Hank shakes his head, and then laughs again. "Ah, well, I promise, I've no intent to redecorate in arterial red, mm?"

Clearly the man was kidding. Hank focuses on that thought. Though now he's wondering if ninjas or the like are imminent.

"My story? Not so sure it qualifies for 'doozey'." A grin. "I am a mutant, my powers manifested when I was younger than usual, and later when I was working on a project I accidentally mutated myself further into my current furry form." Okay, that's probably interesting enough to be a doozey, if a mite sparing in the details, Hank sure didn't seem to mind sharing though.

Hod nods his head at this and seems to take it all in stride, "Not the craziest thing I've heard, but has promise. A little pizzaz here and there and you have the makings of something of an epic. Be better if you focused on the whole 'speaking at educational institutions' thing, guy your size? Goes against type, and that sort of thing always makes for a more intriguing story. Everyone loves an underdog until they are one." he offers another of those grins.

"So you're a big strong furry fella with an education. Man. The ladies must /love/ you. You're like a cat that can converse with them and is snuggleable." Hod nods sagely, "You're like… crazy cat lady bait made manifest. Oof. Nevermind. Rough gig." he offers a look of sympathy to the right of Hank.

"Well, thank you." Hank says with a deep basso rumbling of a laugh. "I'll bear that in mind for my memoirs, Holden. And it is a very true statement that underdogs are very much sympathetic characters in most stories, though in real life it might go a bit differently.

"Ah, though I know a few felines, I am not one of them, and my luck with the ladies has been somewhat sparse, doubly so since growing claws, fangs and fur. My own appearance is more simian, than anything, at least in my limbs proportions." He can't help but snicker at the crazy cat lady comment. "I seem to be good at making friends." Yup, good old Hank, 'friend' column most of the time. A shrug, audible due to moving cloth. "It is what it is, I have a lot to keep me busy, teaching, my veritable cornucopia of research projects, reading, I do a lot of reading…maintenance of various security and utilities where I live, generally plenty to do when not attending or holding lectures."

Hod nods his head at that, "You're cute son, I honestly don't know the difference between a cat and an ape, save the substantial size issue. And one smells worse." which is usually only the sort of thing one would know if they'd been near an ape. "But I'll take your word for it." he continues to pluck at the strings idely. "Welp, I don't know about research as that generally conserns reading, and that's not a big time waster for me," he lifts his strumming hand to wave at his face, "for obvious reasons. Now security! That's a profession I can get behind. Literally. I will happily stand behind you should we be randomly attacked by robot ninja pirates. Just so you know."

"And here I thought you couldn't see, how would you know if I was cute?" Hank says with a grin that the laughing overtones to his voice makes very apparent. He does feel bad about Hod not being able to read, man, that would be an absolute nightmare for Hank. He reads A LOT. "I do a lot of tinkering too, not just reading, hands on experimentation so my research isn't purely academic." Which might be a little better. His voice gets very serious at the end comment. "Oh, no, that's impossible - robotic systems for ninjas and pirates are antagonistic to one another." A shake of his head. "One or the other, but never both in the same machine. Fun fact - they can't even exist in the same legion of doom, always ends in a messy altercation."

Hod smirks at Hank's joke, "Heh." he offers, conceding to the other's wit. Most people are uncomfortable joking about his blindness, he appreciates a little social fearlessness when he can find it. Where he's from, cowardace, in any form, isn't a virtue. "Then I gotta say, you have been dealing with some real rookie legions. Back in /my/ day they were robot ninja pirate /demons/. Occasionally giants. Just cause they weren't dicks enough with the other four." he responds in the same very serious tone Hank uses, completely devoid of levity.

Hank just had a feeling it would work out, so he took a chance. It even worked out. "Robot Ninja Pirate Demon Giants? That would have an aggregate dick factor off the charts. In fact I would need to invent NEW charts to even being to track it, then invent a new math to use with the charts." Hank pauses then, studying 'Holden', and then smiles. "I like you, I think. Not entirely sure what to make of you, but whatever it is - works for you, Holden." Another rumbling chuckle. "I admit I've not had all that many encounters with Legions of Doom, not lately, at most it would be a few Squads of Doom."

Hod makes a face, "I'm surly, mopey, generally avoid running into people if I can, and yet somehow in the last three months I've met more people and they've some how decided they liked me then I have had luck with either of those thing in the previous two decades combined." he pauses strumming and gets a curious look on his face, "Did… did I somehow become so curmudgeonly I circled back around to charming?" he sounds horrified. "Bor's swinging cod, what a terrifying thought." he shudders.

"Legions really havn't been that intimidating since the Roman's did it, after awhile it was just everyone else just trying to copy them and really, you get bored. Squads are all the rage these days anyway. Small units, nimble, quick to action and easier to make disappear when required. The days of the legion are long past friend Hank. Like the cliche of the blind blues musician," he pauses both talking and playing to shoot Hank a 'deadpan look' though his aim is slightly above and to the right of Hank's face. He then returns to playing, "they're a trope of the past. Don't worry. If I've learned nothing it's that everything is cyclical. When the American empire falls as all before it have and a new dark ages decends upon us, someone will rediscover the legion and then you know what we'll have to do? Invent new dick math, cause of all the robot ninja pirate demon giant alien beserkers that'll be swarming the fields of battle." still. Completely dead pan, utterly serious. So either Hank's talking to a crazy person, or someone with solid monotone delivery.

"Now, Holden, don't disparage yourself like that - if you were TRULY cliche you'd have picked a crossroads to be playing at. Also, your garb is a radical - nay - an Avant Garde departure from the classic trope." Hod might just wonder if HE'S talking to a crazy person too! Still, beats sitting around bored, right? "As to cyclical, there's a reason there's a saying about history repeating itself. I doubt I'll live long enough to know." Beat. "Though a time jump /might/ be an option, I'd be concerned about the return trip. Jumping forward seems relatively safe, jumping backwards however, that's where you can really mess things up."

Hod pauses, once more 'looks' at Hank, and then raises a single finger in the air and swings it around them. Pointing out that they are in fact sitting in a big circle fountain area that is the intersection point of about a dozen different pathways and 'roads' so to speak. Then, remaining completely stone faced he returns to his guitar, never having addressed that comment in any other meaningful way. Then, with his thumb, he plucks at the vest he wears over the white button down, and even goes so far as to pull an honest to god gold chained pocket watch from the vest pocket and pop it open so he can feel the time on the Blind Guy Friendly face inside before putting it away. If he had a hat and a patched coat, he'd be a perfect trope.

He then shakes his head, "Naw, doesn't matter what you do you can't actually change anything. Laws of basic time travel state that by traveling back in time all you end up doing it really swapping dimensional shifts, you basically just create a new timeline to exsist in that's different from the old one. Which means anything you meant to change continues on in your old timeline entirely uneffected by you, and now you're not there to help the people you loved deal with your sudden disappeance. Future's no better, because it's just someone elses past which leads back into the same problem. The issue you're wrestling with is the understanding that free will is an illusion and all things are preordained. You're simply not equipped to notice the changes in timelines to see said changes occuring. Imagine if you were? Able to see such things. How horribly lonely a life that would be…" his words drift off and his song gets suddenly very meloncholy. "Good thing that's not a real thing, eh?" he asks, flashing that same grin again. When you don't have eyes to look into, it's very easy to lie with a smile.

"Yes, very good that it is not a real thing." Hank agrees with the softly spoken lie. "Well, I was thinking of getting some air but now I'm wondering if a few beers might not be a better choice. Can I buy you a drink, friend Holden? Or several? Seems to be a thirsty night of a sudden."

Hod tilts his head to the side, "You know what? That would be fucking lovely. Usually I have to tempt my new friends into getting them slooshed, no one's ever tried to buy mine first. You talked me into it!" he leans over and starts to pack up the guitar with an easy efficientcy that almost makes one wonder if he really is blind. But if one pays attention they can see the subtle gestures of his hands that brush the backs and sides of his fingers agains tthe edges of the case as he packs it away. It all looks so normal, as if he could see it, but it's clearly just practice. It only takes a moment or two before he's done, and he reaches out to pluck up the silver capped cane that was resting next to him on the bench, "So where to Henry?" he says, just swapping the name out randomly because. Reasons. Stuff. "Pick a bar any bar. Except Luke's on 117th. I'm um… still not welcome there. Long story."

"Oh, no worries, I know a local watering hole that will surely have just what the Doctor ordered." And since Hank has several doctorates it is both a trite comment, and a very true one. He watches as Holden gets his guitar cased again, and then leads the way in the only way that works with a blind man, he guides the man, in this case with a hand on the shoulder. Hank's so odd looking that nobody will think twice about the hand's placement! On the way a couple of younger voices call out. "Hey Doc!" 'Doctor McCoy' "Susan!" Okay, nobody calls HIM Susan, fortunately there comes a feminine reply! Shew. Once at the bar Hod might well have a good feeling, the place doesn't reek of tobacco, the food smells good, so does the alcohol. "MacTiernan's Public House." Hank names it. "The bartender is Dottie, and the bouncer is Gus, Gus has a solid right hook…" And off the two go to the bar to spend a very long while attempting to get drunk. Sadly, they're both tough enough that beer is unlikely to get the job done before Hank dies of old age.

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