When Ellison sits across from the John Henry, he sees—he doesn't know what he sees.
(Abomination, his brain says, death and a dead man's eyes, it adds with sickened disgust. Good people dying flash in front of him, unstoppable but familiar and easily relegated to the back of his brain.)
"We don't factor mineral content into human worth," is what he replies, instead, steady and calm as he can be.
"Oh," John Henry says, and tilts his head at him, eyebrows drawing together as if he truly is some child who has found a new knot to untangle. Ellison's stomach twists at the thought. "I don't know why, Agent Ellison. It seems as if you must be undervaluing them."
Ellison tilts his head, slightly, in an unconcious mirror of the machine. He breathes out.