The transporters have been going haywire for the last week. Tim and Barbara have been working nonstop to fix the problem, but it's taking longer than either one of them originally anticipated. Odd things keep ending up in the weirdest places because of it, but Dick is fairly certain that this is the strangest thing yet. He's not really sure how he's supposed to deal with it, but Dick can't refute that he's probably the best man for the job, given his history. He was fully briefed before he even entered the cave, but that still doesn't stop the laugh that is bubbling up.
There's something just innately hilarious about an adult, half-painted, live elephant standing in the middle of the cave. Dick's laughter is abruptly cut short, however, when he sees how distraught the poor animal is. He knows exactly how terrifying it can be, being in the cave for the first time, and he's sure that the experience is only more so for an elephant. He steps into the elephant's line of vision with his arms up in a placating gesture. If it wasn't obvious that this is a domesticated elephant, Dick would never be stupid enough to pull such a move, but, as it is, he figures it's the least that he can do to help settle the creature. "Shhh, it's okay, girl. No one's going to hurt you. I know it's a little dark, and probably a hell of a lot different than what you're used to, but it's okay."
Dick moves slowly toward the controls for the lights. He knows that elephants' night vision is about the same as humans, and he doesn't want the poor creature to get spooked and hurt herself on anything. He's also hoping the added light will help calm the clearly scared animal. However, the moment that more lights begin to turn on, the elephant lets out a little distressed noise, and starts looking around frantically. Dick resumes his previous position, with his arms up, and allows the animal to back away from him.
She only takes a few steps away, and then the elephant just stares at him, obviously waiting for him to make a move. Dick slowly lowers his arms, and then just continues to stand there for a few moments. "It's alright. You're alright." He speaks softly to the still startled animal. "You're safe."
The elephant is calming, but not enough for Dick to try to get close to her. He's concerned about her running into the cave walls, so he keeps talking trying to lull her more with his voice. It always used to work with Zitka at the circus. "I know it's a little cramped for someone of your size, probably a bit too cold and damp, as well, but the cave's not so bad. Sure, the bats can get annoying, but all in all, it's kind of cool, and I'm sure that you'll never see anything like it again, right girl?"
The animal seems to quiet down quite considerably the more Dick talks. At least, she sure doesn't look as agitated as when Dick entered the cave. He continues speaking in low tones to the poor creature. "You know, I used to have a friend like you. Surprising, I know, but I did. Her name was Zitka, and she was the best circus elephant. She sure as heck didn't get to be all painted like you, but, I assure you, she was still loved. I bet getting ready for The Elephant Festival is just as fun for you as getting ready for a show at the circus was for her. "
The elephant takes a few steps closer to him, and Dick smiles encouragingly. "Hey girl, yeah, you can see it's not so scary after all." She gets close enough that Dick can rest his hand on her trunk, and it only makes Dick's smile widen. "Hey, there. Yeah, you like to have your trunk scratched too, huh?" Dick continues doing just that while he inspects the rest of her body. "It looks like whoever was painting you for the festival didn't get a chance to finish. How would you feel if I finished the job?"
The animal makes a little pleased sound, which makes Dick laugh as he moves to scratch the back of elephant's ear. "Yeah, you sound like you like that idea a lot."
Dick knows that Bruce is going to regret telling him that he would get him anything that he needed to soothe the agitated animal when Dick tells the man over the comm that he needs some elephant safe paint-and lots of it. Bruce, for his part, doesn't even bother questioning Dick about his requests. He simply asks in a gruff voice if there's a specific color that Dick needs. Dick can't keep the amusement out of his voice when he answers red, green, blue, and purple.
When Alfred brings down the aforementioned colored paints, he doesn't even raise an eyebrow when Dick runs over, takes them, and begins painting the elephant with his hands. He does, however, make a pointed comment about the fact that he brought down paintbrushes for a reason. Dick merely smirks and tells him that this way is better.
Dick never realized that one of his desires in life was to paint an elephant until he got the opportunity, and he's a little surprised that the elephant in question seems to be enjoying it as much as he is. He knew that she would be placid once he started. After all, this is an activity that she's most likely used to, but the fact that she's just lying down looking like she's relaxed enough to fall asleep is interesting to him. "We're gonna get you all painted, and then we'll find a way to get you back in time for the festival. I bet you'll be the prettiest elephant there. After all, what other elephant will have a blue bat symbol on the back of each ear?"
Dick giggles as he glances at both bat symbols, and then continues painting the rest of the animal's hide. He finishes the already half-started design leading down the elephant's front legs, and then moves to make some of his own designs on her back. Dick doesn't even notice he's humming as he works until the elephant starts making low sounds that echo the song he's been humming. When Dick finishes his work he's covered in about as much paint as the elephant is. "Well, it looks like we're both ready for the festival." Dick chuckles as he rubs her truck, gently so that he doesn't rub away the paint there.
Dick takes a long look at his work, and then laughs as he reaches for the comm. "Bruce, she's ready for transport. Call Clark."
He can imagine a small (almost imperceptible) smirk on Bruce's lips when he hears, "Done." over the speaker.