2007-06-05: Dial S For Stoppable

Starring:

Daphne_icon.gif Jaden_icon.gif

Summary: What does the man that has everything get for himself? A Naked Mole Rat, obviously.

Date It Happened: June 5th, 2007

Dial S For Stoppable


Bronx Zoo

Inside the small animal house, there is an office. And in that office, there are people. Enough of them that the small office is just a little bit cramped, and there are a few people waiting out in the hall for 'their turn,' whenever that may be. Coming out of that office is a young lady with a stack of paperwork, all signed, stamped, and sealed, and ready for the post; she's sneaking a look at the details before she mails them out, though, and as she flips through the papers, a couple things catch her eye.

And so Daphne stops outside, glancing upward at the sky. Its probably mid-way through the afternoon, and the park will be closed in a couple hours. It's one of those days, though, where there are a lot of people, because it's such a nice, sunny day. That means she'll probably be here until eight or nine o'clock at night, just cleaning up after them. In any case, right now, she's interested in contracts, which state the number of their new little arrivals bing sold to other zoological parks. Bronx is keeping five. There are five going to Detroit, and six going to San Diego, which leave one left over. The problem is, since these are social animals, no one's going to just want /one/ mole rat. They'll have to put enough in the budget to support one more, it looks like. That shouldn't be /too/ difficult… Hopefully.

Either that, or they sell the little guy to a zoo who already has a colony. That could work.

Daphne starts off toward the main zoo office, still paging through the contract agreements. To be sold, not loaned, animals kept in humane conditions, et al. Pretty basic stuff, really.

There's Something About Jaden… that has him at the Zoo at this particular moment. Maybe it was some sort of crazy news story. Maybe he was just passing by. Maybe he's just too Jaden Cain to not -not- be at the Zoo at this particular moment. Whatever the case may be, he's doing something he absolutely should not be doing at the moment. Running.

"Get him!" "Stop him!" Security guards are giving chase to the Skateboarding CEO. He really shouldn't be doing this in a place where there's a lot of people, but he's testing out his skills, or something. "What's wrong, boys? Can't keep up?" is tossed over his shoulder with a chuckle. Oh yes, Jaden Cain is in control of his skateboarding destiny.

Except for the fact that there's a wall right there. WHAM! Jaden slams right up against it, sending his board flying off to the side and he sliiiiiiides down to land in a pile of billionaire on the ground. Groaning as he's yanked up to his feet by the two guards, Jaden just tries to put on a smile. "Smoke if you got 'em!" And he's falling out of their grip to smack into the ground face first again. Pain.

The best thing about the zoo is that something interesting happens every day. Of course, usually it's the animals that do something fun, but every once in awhile, you get people like Jaden. People like Jaden who make things miserable for the rest of the people at the zoo. People like Jaden who can make an otherwise boring, mundane day just a little more exciting. Daphne can't help but laugh as he slams straight into a wall, and she's just going to head off in the other direction when a nearby antelope contributes <I like him!> to the conversation.

Totally random.

Seriously, why else would Daphne tuck those contracts under her arm and head over in Jaden's direction? She's just keeping the animals happy, really, though asking if any of the surrounding creatures happen to know this guy's name is pretty futile, unfortunately. So, she'll make one up and hope he plays along. "Hey, Charlie, is that you?" she asks, offering a passing glance to the guards as she holds out her hand to help the guy up. "Hardly recognise you with your face on the cement."

"Jinkies…" Jaden mutters as he ends up reaching out to grab hold of the woman's hand. Mostly, well, he's just trying to get off the ground. Which is always a good thing. Especially when there's security guards that are trying to bust him for no reason. All he was doing was a little skateboarding. There's no sign that says No Skateboarding in the Zoo! So there.

"Uh… Daph?" Jaden reaches up to hold his head as he tries to stand up straight. He's woozy. Very woozy. And there might even be a little blood. "Hey, I tried to tell these guys I was coming to see you but they just wouldn't listen!" He moves to stand behind his Protector and sticks his tongue out at those coppers. Nyah!

She's going to turn around and smack him, probably. Also, the sign that says 'no skateboarding' is right on the wall where Jaden crashed. Actually, they're pretty much all over the zoo, along with the little pictures that indicate no rollerblading. Unsaid, but that goes double if you're going to taunt the officers chasing after you. "Yeah, well, I've told you every time I see you that you're not allowed to board. Guys, I got this." She nods to the cops. "We have to get you to first aid." Because dragging someone off to prison when their head is bleeding is inhumane or something, and Daphne won't stand for it. "C'mon, Charlie."

And she picks up the skateboard, wraps an arm through his, and leads him away from the cops, provided he doesn't decide to taunt them further.
As soon as they're a decent distance away, she looks over her shoulder to find the cops gone. "Crikey, are you okay?" she asks, looking up at him with concerned blue eyes. Unfortunately, she can't seem to quite kill that accent entirely. "Seriously, I can take you to first aid, it's not too far away. What the hell were you thinking? There's signs all over the place." Shifting the contracts to her other arm, Daphne waits for his answer.

"I don't think. That's my problem." Jaden doesn't really care to taunt the cops further. He may be a wild and crazy slacker dude, but he does know when there are lines that shouldn't be crossed. And definitely, he shouldn't be crossing the ones that are being put down by the person that's trying to help him.

Jaden goes into his pocket and comes out with a napkin or two, patting at his bleeding head and then offers his non-bloody hand to Daphne. "I'm Jaden, by the way. Thanks for covering for me." At least he's polite enough to thank his savior. So he can't be a total deviant when it comes to breaking rules, right?

At least thats a bit of a relief. "Wonderful," she says with a sigh. "Well, no skateboards next time, okay? I'm obligated to tell you as much." Even if it was something to chuckle at, it really isn't a great idea to be skateboarding around the zoo when there are a whole lot of little kids around, most of whom are running after peacocks or lying in the middle of paths throwing temper tantrums.

Reaching out, she takes Jaden's hand. "You sure you don't want to go to first aid? I don't think it's bad, but you're kind of a mess." At this point, she smiles. "Anyway, you really don't want to be around the tigers with blood all over your face. It's about feeding time, and when they drool, people think they have rabies or something."

Mr. Cain just shakes his head. "Don't worry. I've had worse wounds." Jaden doesn't really say anything else, since he's talking about the whole using his powers to make himself not be in pain any more. But he can't really tell this woman he just met about his abilities. Since, well, he's too busy wiping at the blood. "Got it. No skateboards. What about…" He gets a bright idea! Going into his pocket, he yanks out his jPhone and presses a button on it, "Note to self: EvoSoft Presents… The Hoverboard." The jPhone gets put away and he smiles back in Daphne's direction. Realizing that she just mentioned the T-Word. "Ooooh. Tigers? Please tell me you've got one for sale. That would be SO SWEET!"

"Hm," Daphne says to herself, untucking the paperwork from under her arm so she can glance at it in order to give herself something to do. "No hoverboards. They'll scare the animals. Feet only." And she knows this for a fact! But of course, Daphne can't tell anyone about her power, either, because that would be stupid. EvoSoft… Hasn't she heard about them before? Dismissing that because she's pretty much technologically incompetant to the point where she has trouble working the internet, she fixates on the discussion about tigers, instead. "No. And they don't make good pets, either." Tapping the pile of paperwork in her hand, she adds, "The only thing we're selling at the moment is naked mole rats. The queen had a litter of seventeen, and we can't keep 'em all."

Jaden shakes his head a little bit, definitely trying to get himself into a position to where he can do some of his Cain Charm. Not that he really needs to charm anything or anyone. He blinks and reaches up to scratch his head. At least the bleeding has started to subside. "Naked Mole Rat?" He looks even more confused when it comes out of his mouth. He's just not capable of understanding these strange creatures. "Is that even legal? And does it have anything to do with Ron Jeremy? Because, well, if it does… that just sounds so sick and wrong." He shudders.

It's about that time for Daphne to give this guy an odd look. So she does.

"Yeah, they're rodents. Here…" She pages through the contract to the picture scans that are enclosed near the back for the buyers. They're really ugly little critters, almost hairless except for whiskers and a few stiff hairs along the legs. Wrinkly, almost blind, they aren't the most attractive animals ever.

"You ever see that show, Kim Possible? It's on Disney. That little thing called Rufus is a naked mole rat." She's not sure who Ron Jeremy is, or what it has to do with mole rats, so she conveniently skips that topic, because she doesn't thing naken mole rats are sick /or/ wrong. They're pretty cool. She does, however, think they're damn ugly.

"…THAT'S WHAT RUFUS IS?!" Jaden blinks and jumps at the pictures. Snatching them up, he's flipping through the scans with the speed of a hyperactive space monkey. He blinks a little bit and holds one particular scan up to his face, trying to make sure he's looking at it the right way. He finds himself lowering the picture and having the look of SMITTEN all over his features. His lip is even starting to wibble a little bit and the Jaden Cain Pout is in full effect. "… I want one. Please tell me I can have one."

" — Hey, those are — " NOT FOR YOU. She starts to grab the contracts back, but it's not as if he's going to run off with them, and if he tries, he'll end up meeting one of those tigers face-to-face, perhaps. "Yeah, that's what Rufus is," she says idly as he flips through the sheets. "They're really inter— No, you can't have one!" Reaching out, she grabs the contract back. "These are wild animals. They live in community, they /need/ attention daily. You can't keep them as pets." So, she'll have to dissuade him somehow, partially because he's out of his mind, and mostly — okay, /mostly/ because he's out of his mind, and partially because there's no way he could care for a naked mole rat. "Besides, each one's two hundred grand."

"That's it?" Jaden blinks as he hears the price tag. "Look…" He goes into his pocket and comes out with his checkbook. He's already scrawling his name on it and filling it out. In the next three seconds, the check is torn out and tossed in Daphne's direction. It's a check for five hundred grand. "I just want one, but consider the rest a most excellent donation from the CEO of Evolution Software. Be sure to tell the press that part." He flashes a big ol' smile. "Look, me and Ron are just alike! He's totally my second idol! First is Scooby Doo, but that's a whole different bag of Scooby Snacks. So, if you'll just lead me to the Naked Mole Rat village…"

Okay, that amount of money is a lot more than Daphne's ever seen before, so for Jaden to look at her and say 'That's it,' well, she looks at him as if he's grown a second head. "Uh, well, I— " she starts, but then she has a check in her hand, and she's staring at it, trying to figure out if this guy is for real or not. Surely a guy who's younger than she is can't throw around half a million dollars like it's…

…Nothing.

"Oh god, you're Jaden Cain," she says. Y—yeah, how many Jadens does the average person know? Not very many. She /knew/ the whole 'EvoSoft' thing sounded familiar. But… the animals!

She doesn't hold the check back out, because, dammit, she's really close to just leading him to the next box and handing him a mole rat. "I can't. I can't— I'm not— Look, you…" Sigh. With a check like this, the zoo could finish the African tram /easily./ They could renovate the birds of prey house. "We have to think of the animals." She's pleading for him to take the check out of her hands and run out of her life FOREVERS. Of course, she's not saying that, exactly, because she has a check for five hundred THOUSAND DOLLARS in her hand.

"PLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE?!"

Jaden Cain has dropped to his knees. He has to be on his knees to make this begging thing work. And he's practically leaping at Daphne's leg to cling to it. "Please, please, please, please, please! I totally wanted a Rufus ever since I saw it! I just get scatterbrained and forgot what it was called and now that I know and you're selling them, you might as well sell it to me! I mean, I'm nice! I like aminals! I! Want! Rufus!" He goes into pouting mode again and figures he's going to need to do something else. "Oh! Oh! I got it! What if I totally give you like Visitation Rights? You can come by, call, check on him any time you want! I'll even dedicate some of my precious rich guy time to volunteer at the Zoo…" He blinks a little bit, holding onto one final trump card.

What the— Okay, this guy is really getting scary, and he's making a scene in the middle of the zoo, and people are /staring./ "/OKAY,/ okay, listen," she says, reaching for Jaden's arm to hopefully haul the guy back to his feet. "There's no way the zoo is going to pass up a half million dollar donation. You just— At least read up a little on these things while I draw up a contract, okay? Because they're small, but they need a lot of attention, /especially/ if you only have one. Considering these are one of the only mammals in the world who actually have a queen and a hive, they need interaction to survive."

Yes, yes, Daphne is caving, but she caving with /conditions./ Granted, she can't fault him much. He looks like the type who gets everything he needs, and given that Daphne has had most of what she has handed to her, well, she'd be a hypocrite to call him on it. Still, this is ridiculous.

Jaden finds himself standing up again and doesn't even bother to dust off his clothes. They're not important right now. What's important is getting what he wants. "I'll buy every book on Naked Mole Rats that exists. I'll have them read by tonight." He sleight of hands a business card out of nowhere and hands it to Daphne. "Call me by midnight and I'll be ready for the Pop Quiz of a lifetime." He sounds ever too confident about this fact, but hey, whatever works, right? "I'll take good care of him. I'll never let him out of my sight! I've got big pockets!" He reaches into his pants pocket to pull it out and show off the fact that there's room for a little Rufus in there!

Okay, so he's a bit obsessive. "Before you go buying all the books ever on naked mole rats, you're going to have to come with me, Jaden." She reaches for his arm again. "I just work here, I'm not the boss. You'll have to convince him, too." But yeah, that should be easy with this kind of donation, given the fact that mole rats aren't endangered, and, well, five hundred thousand dollars. There's bureaucratic red tape that must be cut through first before Jaden can take home his Rufus. She's not happy about the fact, but the zoo needs the money more than they need another rodent, even if Daphne does like them. The contracts are tucked under her arm again, and she holds out the skateboard. "And here, take this. But you're not allowed to use it."

Before he even takes the skateboard, he's pumping his fists and fighting against the air. Mostly because he's preparing to do whatever he has to do in order to convince this other dude. Red Tape is evil and Jaden Cain's a pair of scissors. Or something. "If there's one thing I can do, it's convince people. And if I can't, I'll just set him up with my Mom." He flashes a smile and tucks his skateboard underneath his arm.

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