2007-07-27: Giraffe Stampede

Starring:

Jane_icon.gif Daphne_icon.gif

Summary: Daphne runs into Jane at the zoo, and discusses the Company, as well as the possibility of stampeding giraffes.

Date It Happened: 27 JULY 2007

Giraffe Stampede


Bronx Zoo

A noisy Sunday afternoon; won't be this way for long, though, considering the fact that the zoo will be closing soon. Before she worked here, Daphne could never understand why the zoo closed so early in the day, but since working here, she's discovered a very good reason - the animals need tending, and that's hard to do when there are a whole bunch of people vying for your attention. Most of them also don't like to see the keepers cleaning up after messes and the like. It's a logic thing, as well as aesthetic. And so Daphne waits.

Leaning on a rail outside the rhino enclosure, she's talking to the one who got away - IE, the one who somehow ended up outside his pen in order to scare all the people at the dedication of the zoo's gardens. He's a little shy around people now, but that'll change with time. It's just a matter of figuring out the right things to say."

—-

There's a woman in her mid-twenties walking along inside the zoo, one Daphne's met on a few occasions. As is customary, she's carrying instruments and a backpack. The pack and her guitar case are over opposite shoulders, a third instrument is carried in hand. It might be a saxophone. Jane is walking slowly, letting her eyes wander. They focus on the tree in the gorilla enclosure where Jade got stuck when he entered by skydiving, and despite her recent split with him she can't help but smile wistfully. Her feet stop near that area, and the lyrics to a song enter her mind to become paraphrased. "What a long, strange evening that was." Her head shakes a few times, and she moves along. The rhino area is in her path, and thoughts turn to the woman who speaks with the birds. It's been some time, and being at the zoo, she'll look her up. Eyes scan ahead for a staff person she can ask where Daphne might be found.

—-

It's a big zoo - the chances that someone would know where Daphne's at are pretty slim, but Jane's in luck today. She'll be pointed in exactly the right direction, where Daphne's staring straight at a huge rhinoceros, who's chewing on half a pumpkin while Daphne converses silently with him. Most people would just see a lazy zookeeper taking a minute out of her time to look at the animals. Maybe she's evaluating the rhino's health. Whatever the reason, she seems pretty caught up in her study, which could be a tip-off for anyone watching who's 'in the know.'

—-

The worker is thanked for the assistance in locating her, and walking continues. It takes a stretch of time, Jane's not sure how much given she isn't in the habit of checking the display to her iPhone often, but within a few minutes of walking she reaches the area where Daphne holds her conversation. No movement or speech is made that might disturb her, she stays a moderate distance away and lets her eyes wander until she's spotted and approached.

—-

The rhino looks up. Daphne looks over her shoulder.

It's too bad she can't give the rhino a pat on the shoulder before heading off, but rules are rules, and no one's currently allowed in the habitat unless the animal is tranquilised. Sad - they think they're doing the best thing for it, but they're only breaking down that tenuous trust a little more at a time. Daphne will be back later, though. She'll keep telling the rhino that it's for his own safety, but there's not a whole lot she can do at this point.

"Jane. Haven't seen you in awhile." Her voice is still accented; not as much as it has been in the past, but there's still a hint of it there. A poke is given to the guitar case, then, "You should learn to travel a little lighter. I never see you without this thing."

—-

"Daphne," she replies with a chuckle as her eyes follow the poke to her guitar case. "I play where the mood strikes, almost always prepared, unless it's a rare occasion when I'm doing lawyer things. Even then I kinda feel naked without it." She pauses, looking the woman over for a moment, before stating "I'm glad you weren't badly hurt that evening." Her eyes drift over toward the rhino enclosure, then return. "You weren't badly injured, were you?"

—-

She won't comment further on the guitar, except for a half-smile and roll of her eyes. Ah, well. Can't take the— Guitar— out of the— whatever, she guesses. Something like that. "Me? No, I was knocked out, that's all. Some guy running around, just bumped into me and I had the bad luck of introducing my head to a post. I'm fine." Eyes narrowing, she looks back at the rhino. The pumpkin it was chewing on is almost gone by now - rind, stem, and all. Those things could eat steel if they wanted to. "He's not doin' so well, though. They're talking about euthanasia. I'm trying to convince them that if they have to get rid of him, a preserve is a lot better an option. He didn't do anything wrong."

—-

She looks relieved, Jane hadn't been certain if Daphne were badly injured or not. She hadn't appeared to be, and there were people tending to her, but still. Good to see and hear it confirmed. "I missed most of it," she confesses ruefully. "I was tending to a crazy person stuck in a tree." Her eyes roll briefly, but there's also that trace of sadness about her on speaking of him. A few silent moments follow as she glances back at the onetime rampaging rhino, the silence broken when she asks "Did they discover how he got out?"

—-

The rhinoceros seems happy at the moment, Daphne notes as she looks toward him. She hates personifying them, but it's hard not to when they each have a voice. It's a preservation tactic, instinctive, the weak ones are picked off by predators. Essentially, he's fine because he needs to be, but there's more to it than what he looks like on the outside. "He, uh…" Glancing around, she notes - as usual - that no one's standing around listeing to her conversation. "He says that one second he was in his home, and the next second he wasn't. I don't know. I can only guess that someone who can… Do things like that had something to do with it." Laurel's assumption, too. There isn't a better one that Daphne can figure; it'd take a crane to lift the rhino over the fence, and there wasn't one in sight anywhere. "I didn't even know you were there. You weren't hurt, were you?"

—-

"No," Jane replies quietly, speaking the words while her brow furrows in thought over what Daphne claims. "It was mostly over when the crazy skydiver was out of the gorilla's tree. The rhino was tranquilized and people were being tended to. About how he was loose, in my experience there are two possibilities. I know someone who can cause objects he knows the location of to come to him across distances, but I doubt he could do that with something so big. And it comes right to him, from what I saw, so moving a rhino is probably a very crushing experience. Another thing I heard about, which doesn't fit, is someone making objects not be solid. It's a possibility here, but then the rhino wouldn't say he was in one second and out another. He'd have been led through the fence."

—-

"Well, the more I think about it…" Daphne starts, shaking her head to dismiss the rest of her thought. She has theories, she looks at people and wonders if they were involved, if it was an inside job, if there's anything she could have done at all, but that doesn't matter much anymore. What's done is done. "There was spraypainting on the walls. 'This was a warning.' Maybe some animal rights group just got bored, but I still worry. I mean, who's to say next time it won't be the whole pride of lions, or the pack of hyenas? Rhinos are dangerous enough on their own."

—-

She's solemn in replying here. "Very little a person could do would surprise me anymore, Daphne. I would say anyone capable of moving a rhino like that is experienced. Would have to have had the ability for a while now. Just like people as a whole, some of us are bad. There could be someone like us in an animal rights group who decided to get proactive. Probably is, considering what happened." She pauses, going quiet as she turns and pulls her hair aside so the marks on the back of her neck are showing. "Did I tell you about an association involved with people like us?"

—-

Yeah, there's kind of that whole jaded thing in that regard for Daphne, too. Nineteen bee stings taught her the hard way that people can do just about anything, and even if it wasn't Rudyard's fault, it was the catalyst to discovery in a way. Then there was the whole wasp thing, and… Daphne actually laughs when Jane shows her the marks, and holds out her arm. They're not red anymore, but there are teeny little pinprick holes along the length of it. There are some on her neck, too, and on her face. They'll fade eventually; they're not even visible unless she points them out. "Bee stings," she says. "It looks like you got stung."

—-

"I got stung, indeed," she replies with a rueful chuckle as the bee stings are looked over. A pause and a deep breath is taken before she continues. "I crossed the wrong people, and got marked by them. Then they made me forget the whole thing." Jane rubs the parallel lines a few times before letting her hair drop and hiding them again. "These marks are usually in the same area, like you saw on me. A person who has these likely has some kind of ability and drew the wrong attention." She glances at the rhino area again, then back to Daphne. "I wouldn't wish that on anyone, but people make the choices they make and face the consequences. Someone who does what happened here probably gets noticed and taken in. The association, they're… neither all good or all bad. But they are shadowy, under the radar."

—-

Can't remember? What? Daphne rubs her neck in the same spot as if feeling for the marks, but she can't feel anything; even the stings are healed enough by now so that she can neither feel them by touch nor detect any pain. Her hand pauses on the side of her neck near her shoulder, blue eyes look at Jane, then back to the rhino enclosure. "What do they do? Are you sick or…" She makes a mental note to check Laurel - and herself in the mirror - just to see if she has anything besides stings on her neck. She's recently looked herself over pretty thoroughly, considering, but she might have just mistaken the marks for stings. She sure hopes not.

—-

"I'm not sick," Jane replies softly. "I was for a bit, because they wanted to make a point with me, and created a cover for things I didn't remember. It apparently wasn't my first run-in with them. But I'm okay now. They're like a registration mark, showing someone they've come across and released." A few steps are taken, she's moving to stand behind Daphne and gently pull hair away from her neck if allowed so she can check. "May I?" she quietly asks.

—-

The worst part is, she's not allowed to be horrified, because she's still working, and she's going to be on the clock for at least another few hours. Eventually the gates are going to close; people are already starting to head for the exit. Maybe she can worry a bit after that, but—

"Yeah, go ahead," she says, half looking over her shoulder for a moment, then looking back to the front. Jane will see a few stings, almost healed, but there aren't any marks like hers there. A couple that might look similar, but not similar enough. Plus, they're definitely healing. Sure, it's a little weird, but people at the zoo - whether staff or visitors - must run into people they know all the time, right? "Anything?"

—-

"You're clean, Daphne," she reports after checking the area and not finding what she was looking for. "Nothing to worry over, and there won't be, long as you stay under the radar. Whoever messed with the rhino, though, may well have long since been captured by them. A thing like what happened here, this is what they look for. But it's possible they haven't. Keeping your eyes open is a good idea."

—-

She breathes a sigh. Stay under the radar, keep herself from getting seen. She's not going to live in fear because of this, but she doesn't want to be caught, either… Especially with the whole memory-stealing thing. That doesn't sit right with her at all… She's going camping soon. No one else around. At least she'll be able to relax there, even if she will now be setting up a perimeter of FREAKIN' BEARS to keep herself safe. Jeez, there's a lot more to this than she though. "So it's not just that guy? You know, that picture." Sylar. "You know, this was a lot easier when I was normal and boring."

—-

"Yeah, I've lived her my whole life, too," she says with a smile. Wouldn't be able to tell by listening to her, but after moving away from Quebec at a very young age, she's been a New York City girl for her entire childhood and adult life.

And… "Yeah." Daphne will admit that some of these people are dangerous. She'd include herself in that - hell, she's already threatened to stomp people with elephants. She wouldn't, but that doesn't change the fact that she could if she had to. Doesn't mean she'd give it up if given the chance, though, because she'd be lonely, in a way - she'd be giving up the constant chatter of animals, but that's become a comfort. "Sometimes I wish they'd shut up, though," she says in an almost non-sequiter, arching her eyebrows and shaking her head. "I mean, you don't know annoying 'til you're trying to sleep at three in the morning, and your cat wants to play. And tells you as much. Over. And over. And over."

—-

"Good for security measures," she offers after a moment's consideration with something of a grin forming. "Every animal within earshot, or rather mindshot, is available to be your security service. Forget ADT. Your home could have an assault response force of squirrels, birds, cats, dogs, and whatever else is nearby ready to attack anyone messing with you or your home. Nothing's perfect, no, the cat would make me a little insane, but it's mostly all in how creative you can get." She laughs. "A few months ago I was headed to a concert. Some drunk guy with a broken glass bottle tried to grab me."

—-

They are good for security. Her terrier's mind is always going. WAS THAT A NOISE WHAT WAS IT I HAVE TO SEE THE NOISE AND GET THE NOISE MAYBE IT WAS FOOOOOOOD OH YAY NOISE— et cetera. The parrots can have actual spoken conversatins with her. The cats think they're little gods. The ferrets are ten times worse than the dog.

She wouldn't trade it, though.

"I'm working on getting a wildlife rehabilitation permit. There's a couple things I'd need to do to the house, but…" Soon she can have eagles guarding the kitchen against invaders. Crows hanging out on the roof ready to act as bombadiers. Yes, the possibilities are endless, but. "I just don't want to end up in trouble for something I can't help. It's good, I live with it, I mean, hell, I've used it. I'm… Prime therapy for a rhinoceros, after all. Doesn't mean I like the fact that I could be tracked down because I could run someone over with a giraffe."

—-

That's a concept that gives her pause, the mental image of someone being run over by a giraffe. Her mouth opens and closes a few times before she manages to speak. Looks like Daphne found a way to still surprise Jane, perhaps. She hadn't seen that one coming. "I don't think you've anything to worry about, I doubt you're going to embark on a giraffe stampede spree."

—-

Well, no. No one's going to find themselves giraffe-trampled. Doesn't mean she couldn't do it if she wanted to! See? That's the problem, isn't it? She chuckles, looking back toward the rhinos, the fact that people are starting to head toward the zoo's entrance so they can get out on time. "Well, it was nice seeing you again, but if I'm not working when they come around to see who's doing what, I could be the one being trampled." RIGHT OUT OF A PAYCHECK. "See you soon." There's a pause, then, "Take care," before Daphne heads back toward the rhinos. Maybe she can make up some sort of excuse about why she's there.

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