Andrea came to the door and let Quinn in.
“You brought your laptop with you, good. We'll do the test up in my room,” Andrea said.
“I take it everywhere,” Quinn said as Andrea closed the door behind her.
“Ok,” Andrea said.
Andrea's room looked the same as the day before. Quinn placed her laptop on Andrea's work bench and started it.
“Multi-boot, cool,” Andrea said.
“Yeah, 2 Linux distributions and 2 versions of Windows,” Quinn said, selecting the 'Windows 98 Second Edition' option.
“Here is your objective,” Andrea said, handing Quinn a sheet with instructions.
Quinn read it over. After she was sure she understood it she put it down next to the laptop and opened the BASIC IDE. “Cool,” she said.
Jennifer walked out of the Self-Esteem Class. 'That was a waste of time as usual,' she thought. She stood to the side of the door.
Daria and Jane exited the classroom ahead of 'The Head' and the shaggy haired boy. “Jane, Daria,” Jennifer called as they walked by her.
“Did you hear something?” Daria asked Jane.
“Here,” Jennifer said, waving slightly.
“What do you want?” Daria asked.
“I was wondering if you'd like a lift home or something,” Jennifer said, softly. 'Unlikely but other unlikely things have happened this week. Like a popular geek.'
“Did that sound like what I thought it sounded like?” Jane asked.
“Yes,” Jennifer said. Unlike what most people at the school thought she did have a few friends, but they weren't particularly close friends. 'This is an opportunity. Quinn seems nice, and Jane is misunderstood by everyone,' she thought. She didn't know what to think of Daria though. 'She is an enigma.
“We could get home sooner,” Jane said, to Daria.
“Ok,” Daria said.
“Where are we going?” Jennifer asked as she drove her blue VW Beetle out of the Lawndale High parking lot.
“111 Howard Drive,” Jane said.
“And you, Daria?” Jennifer asked.
“I'll visit Jane,” Daria said, in a monotone.
“Thanks, Amiga,” Jane said.
“And in the class after the role-playing the boys and girls are separated and a female teacher talks to us about body image,” Jennifer said.
“What do they talk to the boys about?” Daria asked, although she knew what they would most likely talk about.
Jane looked at Daria in the seat next to her. “A classroom full of guys and a male teacher?” she asked rhetorically.
Jennifer pulled the car up. “Nocturnal emissions,” all three said (although Daria and Jane's exclamations drowned out Jennifer's). Jennifer then selected first gear and drove off again.
“I don't get it. You both have got the entire course memorised. How come you can't pass the test to get out?” Daria asked.
“I could pass the test, but I like having low self-esteem. It makes me feel special,” Jane said.
“Me too, but I thought that I wouldn't give Ms Li the satisfaction,” Jennifer said, as she turned into Howard Drive.
The Beetle pulled into the driveway of a cream coloured old house with an ill-maintained yard that had an interesting looking ornament in it. Daria could see that the mailbox had Jane's last name on it and that the house was near the end of the street. Jennifer pulled up behind an old blue Plymouth Satellite. “My brother's home,” Jane said, as she got out.
“Brother?” Daria asked.
“His name is Trent. You should meet him,” Jane said, smirking.
“Looks like she's going to try to set you up with him,” Jennifer said, as she got out.
“I hope not,” Daria said, as she clambered out.
“He's asleep,” Jane said as she came down the stairs.
“Asleep?” Daria and Jennifer asked in disbelief.
“He sleeps an average of 15 hours a day. You have to know him for it to make sense,” Jane said. Her eyes then widened.
“What's wrong?” Daria asked.
“The Bank!” Jane said, forebodingly. Jennifer and Daria looked outside. Two tall well built men had pulled up near the letter box and were walking up the path.
“They're foreclosing?” Daria asked.
“Not if I can help it!” Jane said. Jennifer slammed the door and locked it. “That's not going to hold for long. Try to hold them off, whilst I try to find a chequebook and forge my Mom's signature,” Jane said.
Jennifer leaned against the door. “Your Mom's not here?” she asked.
“She's in Kenya, or is it Uganda? One of those East African nations anyway. She is studying native pottery,” Jane said.
“What of your father?” Daria asked.
“He's taking photos in Namibia or Angola, or was it Botswana or even South Africa? Somewhere there,” Jane said, as she dashed off. Then the suits knocked on the door.
“This is not good!” Jennifer said, not so relaxed as usual.
“I hope the other doors are locked,” Daria said.
Jane locked the door from the garage into the kitchen and then ran and locked the back door. She shook her head. She knew that the other members of Trent's band, Mystik Spiral, had forgotten to lock the doors after their practice that morning.
The door was moving back and forth. “They're trying to break the lock!” Jennifer said.
“We're going to need a chair,” Daria said.
“You can get it. I think I'm stronger,” Jennifer said.
“You may be right,” Daria said, she then went towards the kitchen.
Jane was rummaging in the her parent's bedroom for a chequebook. So far she had emptied all the drawers onto the bed. 'One has to be here! I don't think they would put it up in the attic.
Daria returned with a chair and placed it under the knob. “Good, they are getting more restless,” Jennifer said. They both could hear rather descriptive expletives being yelled.
Jane finally found the chequebook at the back of the top shelf at the back of the walk in closet. “I don't know why they left it up there,” she said as she forged her mother's signature on one of the cheques. She then went to see how Daria and Jennifer's efforts were holding up.
The door was bulging when Jane jogged up to it. The handle was cracking as the goons tried to push the door despite the chair and the efforts of Daria and Jennifer.
“I've 3 signed cheques, but how are we going to give it to them without them giving the foreclosure order?” Jane asked.
“Go out a window?” Daria pondered.
“Good idea,” Jane said. She opened the window to the right of the door...
10 minutes later the 3 new friends were relaxing in the kitchen. “It's fortunate that you did offer to take us home, Jennifer. I would have had a very nasty surprise when I got home,” Jane said.
“You're welcome,” Jennifer said.
“Was an interesting experience, to be sure,” Daria said.
“Daria, would you like to come with me to pick up your sister from Andrea's? I don't want to go to her house alone,” Jennifer said.
“You think that Andrea's house is creepy too?” Daria asked.
“It is very creepy,” Jennifer said.
“Bad enough that Quinn thinks its creepy, but you too?” Daria asked, for clarification.
“Amiga, you haven't been there. It has a creepiness that one cannot describe!” Jane said, shivering.
Daria turned to Jennifer. “I'll come with, but why are you picking up Quinn?” she asked.
“I would like to get to know her better,” Jennifer said.
“I guess so,” Daria said.
Jane waved as the blue Beetle drove off. 'Who knew that Jennifer was actually interesting once you got to know her,' she thought. She turned to go back inside and saw Trent coming down the stairs.
“Hey, Janie. How was school?” he asked.
“I met a new friend, Daria. She has just arrived in Lawndale. You'd like her. I also made friends with someone else whom I'd hadn't considered, Jennifer. I think she has been to some of your gigs,” Jane said.
“Cool,” Trent said.
“Quite an interesting situation back there, don't you think, Daria?” Jennifer asked. 'She may seem antisocial, but she's actually shy,' she thought.
“It's an inspiration for my writing,” Daria said.
That piqued Jennifer's interest. “You write stories?”
“Amongst other hobbies, yes,” Daria said.
“Cool,” Jennifer said.
Daria and Jennifer walked up the Hecuba's front path. Jennifer rang the door bell. “I admit, it does look slightly
creepy,” Daria admitted.
“The outside is nothing compared to the inside, particularly the upper story,” Jennifer said, quietly.
“Ok,” Daria said.
“Almost done,” Quinn said.
Andrea looked over Quinn's shoulder at the code. “Very good, Quinn,” she said. The doorbell rang.
“I'll be right back,” she said, with slight irritation.
“Ok,” Quinn said.
Andrea opened the door. “Who are you?” she asked, looking at Daria.
“Daria Morgendorffer, Quinn's sister. I'm in some of your classes,” she said. 'She is quite bruesque, isn't she?' she thoguht.
“You know me,” Jennifer said, her voice barely above a whisper.
“You're Quinn's ride?” Andrea asked.
“Yes,” Jennifer said.
“Oh, come right in,” Andrea said.
“You can wait here, or you can come up to my room,” Andrea said, when she had closed the door.
“I'll go up,” Daria said.
“I will too,” Jennifer said, with a shudder. 'I wouldn't stay down here alone if you paid me a hundred bucks!' she thought, she stayed close behind Daria.
“Done, and ready to run,” Quinn said. She then saw Daria enter the room after Andrea and followed by Jennifer. “Dar-i-a! Do you have to ruin everything
?” she asked. 'Although that is an exaggeration she thought.
Andrea raised an eyebrow. 'Hyperbole much?' she thought.
“Just hitching a ride with Jennifer. It seems you are too,” Daria said.
Quinn looked at Jennifer. “Thanks,” she said. She then turned to Andrea. “I'm ready,” she said.
“Cool. Then run it,” Andrea said.
A kaleidoscope of colour erupted across the monitor.
“Very good, Quinn. You get an A for BASIC,” Andrea said.
“Yes!” Quinn said, jumping.
“Be sure to be here tomorrow for C++ before 4:00,” Andrea said.
Quinn looked nervous “Um, could we do VBScript tomorrow?” she asked.
“No, VBScript on Thursday. C++ tomorrow,” Andrea stated.
“Ok,” Quinn said.
“Where is the car?” Quinn asked as she, Daria and Jennifer got off the Hecuba's front porch, after they had said goodbye to Andrea.
“There,” Jennifer said, pointing to her car.
!” Quinn exclaimed. 'That is not good taste, and I don't get the 'it's not a car, its a time machine' argument.'
“What wrong with that?” Jennifer asked.
!” Quinn said.
“It was all I could afford,” Jennifer said.
“Sorry,” Quinn said, as she came up to said VW. 'I change my mind. She could have gotten something much worse,' she thought.
“Apology accepted,” Jennifer said.
“Where to?” Jennifer said, as she started the engine.
“1111 Glen Oaks Lane,” Daria said.
“Actually, we need to stop by the Mall. I need to get a book on C++,” Quinn said.
“What about the internet?” Daria asked.
“Dar-i-a! There is only so much help Google or Wikipedia can give
a person! A book is so much easier,” Quinn said.
“Ok, but straight in and straight out, and the Books by the Ton had better have a book on C++!” Daria said.
“Ok, the Mall and then Glen Oaks Lane,” Jennifer said as she pulled away from the curb.