|Real Name||David Harstein|
|Aliases||The Envoy, Joshua Davidson|
|Wild Card Traits||Mind control (pheromone suggestion)|
|Place of Birth||USA|
|Citizenship||Citizen of the United States|
|Base of Operations||Mobile|
|Relatives||Rebecca (wife), Edie (daughter), Sheila (daughter)|
|First Appearance||Wild Cards|
|Final Appearance||Ace in the Hole|
|Creator||Walter Jon Williams|
David Harstein (nicknamed the Envoy, later known as Josh Davidson), is a fictional character in the Wild Cards series.
David Harstein was born to a lower-middle class tailor's family in the Bronx, New York City. Initially establishing a life for himself as a café chess hustler, he was infected by the wild card virus on Wild Card Day, 1946, and promptly became charisma incarnate. Not only did everybody like him, but they would also do anything he said.
He was quickly recruited into the Four Aces and used his ability to mediate disputes, settle strikes, and negotiate treaties. His crowning triumph was the "China Accord" between Chang Kai-shek and Mao Tse-tung. Unfortunately, the China Accord fell apart only a few weeks later after Harstein's influence was withdrawn from the antagonistic parties and Harstein himself returned to the United States in shame as the person who "lost China".
He was brought before HUAC, confined to a glass booth so his pheromones wouldn't influence proceedings, and made to stand as witness. He was generally uncooperative however, and was sent to minimum security prison for three years for contempt of Congress.
When he was released, Harstein disappeared altogether, or so it seemed. In truth he evaded the Special Conscription Act in 1954, changed his appearance with some plastic surgery, a little weight gain and a beard, and changed his name to Joshua Davidson. In his new life as Davison, the man who had once been the Envoy became a successful stage actor, quietly using his pheromone ace to further his career.
Wild Card Traits Edit
Harstein's body produces pheromones that causes anyone who inhales them to instantly like him. Furthermore, they will find themselves agreeing with him as if every word he says becomes the most logical and sensible thing they've ever heard. The flaw in this ability is that the effect only lasts while Harstein is within the immediate vicinity. Once people leave the area of his pheromones they often find themselves horrified by the things they have agreed to.
In his young days, the Envoy had wiry dark hair, a wry smile, and dark brown eyes. He was clean-shaven in his time with the Four Aces, but grew a beard out in later years to subtly distance himself from his more widely recognised appearance.
Harstein is a likeable rogue. He maintains a sense of duty to humanity as a whole and is driven by his ideals. He occasionally plays harmless pranks on people with his power.
- Harstein loves to play chess.