2010-05-02: Civet Coffee



Date: May 2, 2010


Cody learns about the legalities involved in crossing the border with live plants and animals.

"Civet Coffee"

Bronx Zoo

The bird show is coming to its close. After an hour, Dee has not only proven that she effortlessly interacts with all the birds in the show, but that she's able to make them do stuff that they barely even know. Or, at least, those are the rumours coming down the line from the other trainers. The Zoo is glad to have her back after her long sabbatical in Australia, but a lot of them can't imagine why she'd leave a prestigious job at the Australia Zoo.

All they have are guesses, really. But she's here now, and the people like her.

"Say good-bye," she says to the sulphur-crested cockatoo on her arm. The bird raises its wing and covers its head, as if it's shy. "C'mon, we're out in an 'alf minute," she encourages.

The bird peeks over its wing, squeaks, and ducks back behind it.

"I'll give you a cookie," Dee says.

The bird appears, obviously not shy anymore. "Love you all! Goodbye! Goodbye! Come back again! Goodbye!" which earns laughs and awes, and coos and everything you'd expect, before Dee hands the bird a cookie.

"Thanks. Next show's in a couple hours," Dee says, waving the free arm, and standing behind the fence so people can file out and see the bird up close as they do.

She's an expert at observation and recon. As the zookeeper moves off with her menagerie, Cody follows along the low fence until there's no one left but the two of them, and all of the birds. "You're pretty good," the blonde remarks casually, leaning heavily against the guard rail. "You were on Ward's Island, weren't you? With the rest of us?"

After that, the former Protocol agent remains silent, simply watching as the woman interacts with her birds. It's possible that Dee might recognize her, except now Cody's got hair, unlike before. "You brought all the animals, a real life saver for the rest of us."
The cockatoo on Dee's arm looks at her, tilting its head as if asking a question. The woman simply shrugs.

"Hey, Dee, we done here?" one of the other keepers calls. He's got a glove on, with a hawk perched at the wrist.

"Yeah, close the gates," she calls back, before turning back to Cody. Her voice is quiet, but audible enough to hear. "Quite a scene you 'ad goin' there," she says, looking carefully at Cody's features. She's familiar, but if it hadn't been pointed out where they'd seen each other, Dee never would have guessed. Smiling, she winks. "Yer welcome. But anythin' I coulda done to shut down that operation, I woulda. No question. C'mon, 'op over the fence. We got beer back at the staff room. If y'came all this way just to say thanks, at least 'ave one."

Hopping the fence with ease, Cody takes a few quick strides to catch up with Dee. "I didn't really get a chance to introduce myself earlier. I'm Cody Baker." She says, tucking her hands into her pockets. Though normally she would offer to shake it's quite possible that the other woman has her hands full of animals, at least she did during the show.

"I'm headed down to the Amazon and I needed to find out some things about bringing some things back." She doesn't exactly mention what but since she's talking to a zookeeper, it's possible that she's talking about animals.

"Daphne Rousseau," she says. "Dee," is amended a moment later, since that's what pretty much everyone calls her now.

At the moment, the only thing on Dee's arm is that cockatoo, but her hands aren't very shakable at the moment, and very rarely are, after a show until she runs them under a tap for awhile. Despite her love of animals, they are very dirty on the best of days. Especially birds.

"Eh? Well, if you're plannin' t'do it legally, it takes weeks. Months, even for endangered critters. It's red tape and gov'ment paperwork 'til yer eyes bleed. 'sides, most animals typically like to be left in their natural 'abitats." She arches her eyebrows. "'course, that's if yer talkin' 'bout the local wildlife. Lots o' poachers down there. If yer thinkin' of poachin', you an' I aren't friends."

Shaking her head, Cody waves off the notion of poaching. "No, I'm not exactly a collector but I am looking for something unusual. Hopefully, already dead things." She's not in the habit of killing animals if she's not about to eat them, something that the zookeeper should agree with in sentiment, if not in practice. Who knows if she's a vegetarian though.

Pulling a news clipping out of the side pocket of her cargo pants, she hands it over to Dee. "We're going to investigate these things," she starts to explain. The clipping is from The Weekly Witness, a rag magazine. "They're called Ents, they might be real, they might not be… but we're going to check it out. What would the legalities be in bringing back moving plants?"

Dee used to be a vegetarian. Then she had to hide out in Africa for a good long time, where the only way she could have remained a vegetarian was by eating undigestable grasses. She doesn't eat meat if she can help it, but sometimes… Yeah, you need to kill to survive.

"Mm. Well, if it aren't alive, that makes things easier." She takes the clipping, squinting at it. Moving plants? "I s'pose it'd fall under the same laws tha' apply to carnivorous plants. Venus fly traps, sundew, y'know the kind. Strictly no export without license and a pre-paid fee. The good news is, those documents aren't too hard t'get, if you start early." Pausing, Dee takes a few moments to read over the finer details of the clipping. "Good luck not gettin' eaten by jaguars, mate."

"How early would I need to start? We're headed down that way in a few days…" The blonde says quite firmly, she hadn't expected this much trouble over a few plants. Especially since bananas with frogs and spiders in them are transported every day. In fact, those are usually the ones that she looks for in the supermarket. Never hurts to expose the palate to something unusual.

Taking the clipping back, she folds it up and tucks it carefully back into her pocket. "Mmm… Jags, haven't considered those yet…" Cody murmurs thoughtfully, then she turns to eye Dee for a long moment. "How are you with jaguars?" The invitation is implied more than given at this juncture, as though the woman is trying to feel out the situation before risking a rejection.

But bananas are a national export, unlike unidentified wildlife, which is not. That's where the red tape comes in. In Africa, for example, transporting a chimpanzee from one country to a neighboring country involves a bitter battle between two governments over things such as payment and health, along with a whole lot of politics. "A month ago," Dee answers honestly. She laughs, though, after a moment. "Though I did manage to smuggle a meerkat out o' Africa without anyone the wiser. Now imagine if I'd put a plant in its hands."

It's easy, really. All one has to do is tell your little buddy to wait for you on the other side of security. And then on the other side of Customs.

LAWS BE DAMNED. Dee would shake a fist if it didn't look weird.

Stopping on her trek back to the staff building, she transfers the cockatoo to her other arm. "I lived with a pride of lions in Africa. They were some o' me best friends." Were. Dee frowns at the mention. "Lions and the like are smart. Just gotta know 'ow to talk to 'em, is all." It's not long before the frown turns to a smile. "And I'd jump at the chance t'ead down to th'Amazon. Never been. So if you're askin'…"

Giving the other woman a smile and a nod, Cody pulls an envelope from her back pocket. Who knows if she had actually planned the whole thing out or if she just keeps them there for this type of occasion. "I'm asking, we'll probably need someone like you to keep us from stupidly shooting everything in the jungle." Who knows what kind of trouble two soldiers could cause in a jungle, especially if one of them turns out to be a little trigger happy on spitcohol. Oh yes, they're trying some.

"Here, meet us in Manaus in Brazil as soon as possible. Sorry for the short notice, but you know how these things go." Since the woman lived with a pride of lions in Africa, it's quite possible that she's been stranded in a location or two. Not many people do that sort of thing for fun. Who knows.

The beer is passed up, for now. Instead, after the envelope is handed off, Cody pivots and head back in the direction they came. "Pack light, we're going to be carrying everything we need."

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