|Martian Hero Worship|
|What: Ahk'ka'tom'bar seeks out J'onn J'onzz, hoping that the hero he has long admired will accept him into the fold.|
With much to think about right now, J'onn has chosen Central Park as a place of relaxation. It's closer than most quiet places and, of course, no normal people will notice him in this quiet clearing. He's not, however, making any attempt to hide from fellow telepaths.
Another form approaches, phased out of physical space, to manifest nearby. October--or, perhaps, the Martian PI--approaches, looking a bit like J'onn save being smaller and sporting black hair. Plus, the trench coat. He stands there for a moment, uncertain. They've crossed paths before, some time ago, but they never really had occasion to speak properly. October's just been reticent about it.
A slight smile. "October." He's not that surprised to see him...possibly sensing his approach even phased out of reality. Possibly just that...relaxed...about things.
"Yes," October says. "Though the native pronunciation is quite... different." He pauses as if uncertain about that, and then he sighs, shaking his head. "I've been afraid to approach you again."
"I assure you that...as humans say...I do not bite." He indicates, as best he can, that the younger Martian should approach.
October does approach, cautiously taking a seat nearby. "It is less that. More, I know you will discover--or already know--what I truly am. I... find that difficult. I've spent my whole live trying to move away from that."
"So, you fear being judged?" He's accustomed to that. And to people who find out he's a telepath and run screaming. Or don tin foil hats (Which sort of works if your name is Magneto).
"Well. By you," October admits. "You... are Green. I was not born as such." He lowers his head a bit. "My kind... we're monstrous. I've tried all my life to live that down, and facing you makes me fear I may not have succeeded."
"Ah..." It's tension then. The war. The death. The destruction, and then he relaxes. "I will not perpetuate the war that destroyed our world here."
Lowering his head further, October says, "I know. But I fear you would think... that I would." He grimaces. "Our people were divided. I've roamed the galaxy seeking... another path. I followed yours here. You have been a mystery to me. Yet also an inspiration."
"If you do, then I will simply gather my allies and deal with you." Oh no, no stray White Martians are going to cause trouble on Earth. Stray White Martians not wanting to cause trouble? It's an effort, but he can do his best to be fair.
October lifts both hands, palms outward. "Never. I have longed for a new home, and... I believe I've found it here. I want to be as you are. I want peace. I want to defend this as my new home. But... you were here first. I must have your acceptance to be here."
"You wish to be sure I won't attack you out of hand." A legitimate concern, given the past. J'onn...won't judge him for it. And some of the same fears echo through his mind. Trusting a White martian? Not easy.
"Yes," October says. "I would... be your ally. I would be... whatever two from the same ill-fated world can be to one another." He lifts his head, and his expression shows plainly the emotions that are as easily read in his mind: fearful hope, and sincerity. "I have never known kinship. From my childhood I was alienated--my family were warlike, strange to me. So I left."
"You are not the first to try and bridge the divide...one way or the other." He thinks of his brother...not that he tried to bridge it, but he would definitely have been happier, perhaps, on the other side.
October nods and is silent for a few moments. Then he asks, quietly, "But can it ever be done, or am I chasing a futile hope?"
"I think that...much is futile now. I have come to care, though, about these people. Help them, and we are on the same side." That's perhaps the best peace offering he can really give.
A quiet, only slightly bitter laugh escapes October's lips--such a human expression. "I seek to. I'm--I'm not the hero you are. I try to help quietly. I... did not want to assert myself in a way that was beyond my right." An old pain, long buried, can be felt then. A fundamental doubt as to whether he can ever be anything other than what he was born as.
"I don't ask you to be the same as me." No two people are the same and what he senses from the other is that he would prefer to walk in the shadows.
Again, October's distress is easily felt. "But you are the only model I have ever seen that I could follow. You... are walking the path that I would walk. You are the only ideal for our people I have ever seen."
"But no two people are the same, regardless. There are, no doubt, things you could achieve that I would struggle at." Different talents, different personalities.
That brings another laugh--though this time it's a simpler emotion, a mere relief of pent-up anxiety. "Yes, true. But I'm not saying I wish to BE you, not any more than a student would BECOME a teacher. I just... I've seen what my people become. I don't want that."
J'onn J'onzz nods. "Then is it that what you want is me to teach you how to not be that? I am...not sure how successful I would be."
October's expression settles a bit, and he smiles mirthlessly. "I think it's past time for me to have a teacher in that way. I've become something of what I'll be. I meant what I said more... in the abstract sense. I have tried to follow your example already. It is less that I hope you will teach and more... that I hope you will approve."
"Validation, then." J'onn is tempted to say that has to come from within...but he's not sure October is ready for that. Yet.
Grimacing faintly, October says, "I wish I could say I had found enough of that on my own, but... yes. Perhaps that is the best word for it."
"The best validation does come from within. But it can be hard to find," J'onn admits, almost thoughtfully.
"I've found at least some of that before," October declares. "Just... not enough, I suppose."
J'onn J'onzz nods. "And after two short meetings, it's hard for me to offer anything beyond an appreciation that you are trying." Which he DOES appreciate.
Nodding, October says, "I'm not saying that my feelings are... entirely rational." He frowns, reaching up to rub his forehead. "You've been a distant figure for me. I've taken inspiration from you. I would... like to believe... we could... at least be allies?"
If he does try something, then... "I think we can be that." He may be having issues trusting him, but allies means he can keep an eye on him.
Lowering his head again, this time in something almost like a bow, October says, "Then I have cause to hope. You are the only thing I have like a kinsman. We may not be the same, but we are both children of Mars. I have never been able to call any other... family. I hold out hope to one day be able to."
"As...as do I." He lets out a breath. This may be an enemy, but he's also a fellow survivor, when he'd long since given up hope of finding such.
Smiling hesitantly, October says, "Then... you will not ask me to leave?" From his tone, he had half expected as much.
J'onn J'onzz shakes his head. "I have spent much of the last month trying to talk others out of their prejudices. It would be...hypocritical of me...to then turn around and exercise my own."
"Ahk'ka'tom'bar O'mad'katom," he says. "That was my birth name. Here I am merely October Macadam." Smiling faintly, he notes, "I've styled myself 'Martian, PI' after your moniker." He relaxes his shoulders a bit. "I will try to live up to your example, sir."
And for a time, at least, there are no more words needed.