The Lab Mouse. The Geek and the Convention Part 2
Friday November 24, 2005
Kevin arrived at Schloss Morgendorffer a fourth time (as Daria didn't want him over on Thanksgiving). “Hey, buddy, let's watch a re-run of Superbowl XXXII!” Jake said.
“Sure, thing, Mr. M.”
Quinn entered the garage from the dining room. She saw Daria training the mouse. “Daria, we need to talk.”
“About what, Quinn?”
“Could you possibly find something for Kevin to do and still contribute to the project?”
“What do you mean, 'No'?”
“Exactly what I said, Quinn. There is no way in which Kevin can contribute in a meaningful way.”
“You're underestimating him.”
“Surely, if he can be a quarterback, he can follow simple instructions!”
“He would mess it up!”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes! Damn it! Remember, I'm in some of his classes, and I observe that he's incapable of taking in the simplest of information!”
“All I'm saying is, give him a chance!”
Daria and Quinn continued arguing.
After a few minutes the two sisters stopped their argument. “What is it to you anyway?” Daria asked.
“Kevin deserves to be treated better than the way you treated that duo back in Highland.”
“He is being treated better!”
Daria watched Quinn leave the garage, heading back towards the living room through the dining room. 'Now I have to find a way to include him,' she thought. It wasn't often that Daria conceded that Quinn was right.
Elsewhere, Brittany was tired of running errands for Upchuck. “Ooh!” She entered the Rutthiemer's garage. “Okay, I shined your spoon collection, filed your disgusting magazines and
finished your shopping.” She pushed some of the shopping into Upchuck's arms. 'I wanted to do my own
shopping on Black Friday!' “Can I go now?”
Upchuck put the shopping down on a bench and took out a jar of honey. “I'm sorry, Brittany, but I specifically said I wanted the honey that comes in a bear, not a jar.”
“Ooh! You, you... weasel!”
“"And remember, Kevin, it was the week that you two had broken up, so I don't think you should be too angry with... Back-Seat Brittany."”
“Ooh!” Brittany stalked away. 'This has to stop! Kevie isn't staying at the Morgendorffer Temptresses house any more!'
Over at the Burns Residence, Mack and Jennifer were still searching for their mouse.
Brittany approached the Morgendorffer's house as the sun was beginning to set. 'I will sneak in, grab the mouse and then get away,' she thought.
Brittany came up to the side of the house and looked into the garage. It was empty. The mouse was just waiting in the maze for her to grab it! She tried the side door, next to the window. Locked! She edged along to the sliding door and looked into the kitchen. Perfect! The kitchen was deserted. “Yes!” She said. She then heard a noise above.
She heard Daria saying “Who's there?”
'Oops!' Brittany thought. She leaned against the kitchen door, so as to not be seen by Daria. 'Of course her room has to be on this side of the house!' She waited a few moments before opening the kitchen door.
She opened it a bit. It made a noise, as the ball bearings did their thing. “Eep!” She stopped. After a few moments she restarted opening the door. Slowly and slightly lifting it so as to not have so many bearings making noise...
Having opened the door a quarter of the way, she then tried to slip into the house...
However, there was a problem: Her chest. Or more accurately, the large amount of padding in her bra. “O-ooh!” 'Of course!' She then pushed the door open further, a few bearings rolled. She paused, no noise, other than that of the Pigskin Channel in the living room. 'Right!' she thought. She squeezed through. There was pressure on her chest, but no worse than what she had subjected herself to at the beginning of puberty.
Brittany; having squeezed through the door, fell sideways into the kitchen. She quickly put her leg out and ended up doing the splits next to the table. She quickly got up and looked around the kitchen. 'Now, which door goes to the garage?' she thought. She tried the first door. Dining Room.
Second door. Downstairs bathroom, and stairs down to the basement. “OK...” She went back to the Dining Room. She then saw an extra pair of doors opposite to the kitchen. Brittany smiled.
The cheerleader entered the garage. She grabbed a box which lay near the door and approached the maze. “Now don't say a word,” she said. She grabbed the mouse, which bit her hand. “Ouch! You icky, little... animal!” She trapped the mouse in the box. “Now, you Morgendorffer Temptresses. You are going to need a new excuse if you want to drag my Kevin over here now.” She quickly let herself out via the side door...
Daria came downstairs to investigate the noises that she had heard. She saw the sliding door slightly open. 'Uh, oh!'
Daria ran into the garage, she saw that the side door was open, that one of the boxes was missing and that the mouse was no longer in the maze. “Oh no!”
Quinn was playing Guild Wars
when Daria slammed open the door to the room. Quinn turned from the computer. “What is it, Daria?”
“The mouse is missing!”
“I'm surprised as you are, Daria.”
“You're saying that you had nothing to do with it?”
“Exactly,” Quinn said.
Daria could see that Quinn was telling the truth. “Great! Now I have to ask Kevin.”
Quinn smirked as she turned back to the online game. She knew that Daria was in for a tough time.
Daria came downstairs and flicked off the TV in the middle of a play. “Hey! I was watching that!”
“I have some bad news, Kevin.”
“What's so bad that you had to turn off the TV?”
“Listen, our mouse is gone.”
“Without the mouse, we fail, and we won't have time to train a new one.”
“Bummer, I wish there was something I could do, but what?”
“Did you take it?”
“What? I haven't been in the garage!”
“I see,” Daria said.
Brittany arrived home and carried the box with the mouse in it to her brother's bedroom. As always she dreaded entering that place, with its weird smells and weird décor. She opened the door slowly and walked over to where her brother was sitting at his desk. He got up making the chair fall back. “Hi, Britt!” Brian Taylor said.
“Don't let this mouse out of your sight, okay?” Brittany asked as she handed Brian the box.
“Sure,” Brian said in an unnerving tone.
“Look after it!” Brittany said as she turned and left the room. She didn't notice the evil smile on her brothers face...
At the Burn's house, there was a clattering as Mack dug through bits and pieces of old furniture in the garage.
Jennifer sighted something running out from behind an old television. She leapt for it and grabbed it. “Yay,” she said.
“You've got it?”
“Finally,” Mack said in relief.
Jennifer placed it back in the maze. “But now we only have the remaining three days to train it!” she said.
“True, but I bet yesterday was tense,” Mack said.
“We had Thanksgiving at a relatives house,” Jennifer said.
“That makes sense.”
Daria re-entered her room. 'I need to find out who took that mouse.' She opened her closet and took out a notebook. 'Time for investigating,' she thought.
She started writing out a list of suspects.
Later that night, Quinn put the finishing touches on her convention costume. “Done!” she said.
Saturday, November 25, 2005
Early in the morning, Cindy and Kristen approached the Morgendorffers house. “This is going to be a great convention,” Cindy said.
“So you say,” Kristen said. She had heard Cindy and Quinn go on and on about it for the last week, along with Quinn's complaints about Daria's treatment of Kevin.
“You are going to enjoy it, just wait,” Cindy said as she pressed the Morgendorffer's doorbell.
“Of course,” Kristen said with a sigh.
Quinn heard the doorbell as she came down the stairs. She drew the coat around her as reached the bottom and went to the door.
“Hello, Cindy, Kristen,” she said nervously.
“Hi Quinn, you're ready?” Cindy asked.
“Yeah,” Quinn said, running her hand through the chin length wig, and still showing nerves in her voice.
“Show it,” Kristen said with a smirk.
“OK, but I'll put the coat back on until we get there,” Quinn said. She dropped the coat to the floor, revealing a Mew Ichigo costume, complete with a replica of Mew Ichigo's weapon, hanging on Quinn's right hip.
“Cool,” Kristen said.
“Very cool,” Cindy said as she pulled the door closed behind her.
“Um, yeah. I'm not used to showing this much skin,” Quinn said.
“Well, there shouldn't be too much trouble at the convention,” Kristen said.
“True, but I hope that Upchuck wouldn't be there.”
“I wouldn't worry about that. Apparently he has been annoying Brittany all week,” Cindy said.
Quinn picked up her coat and put it back on. “Yeah.” she said. “Let's go.”
Daria knocked on the door at Jane's house. After a few minutes, Jane answered it. “Daria? Don't you know what time this is?”
“Time to search for the lab mouse whilst there is plenty of weekend left,” Daria said.
“Couldn't you have gone to Jen's first?” Jane said with a yawn.
“You're closer,” Daria said.
“True,” Jane said as she moved aside to let her friend in.
Ten minutes later, after Jane had put some caffeine in her system, she pondered the situation that Daria was drawing them into. “So, you want me to help you and Jennifer get the mouse back from Brittany even though you're not entirely sure that it was Brittany who took it?”
“Yes,” Daria said.
“Let me get the polaroid and I'll join you,” Jane said.
“If nothing else, I can stop you from getting too 'rash' with her.”
Quinn, Cindy and Kristen arrived at the convention.
Lawndale County Bi-Annual Anime Convention 2005
They got out their tickets as they came to the door.
They entered the main hall and saw that a great many people had already arrived. “I didn't realise that Anime was this popular in Lawndale,” Kristen said.
“I think most of the people may have come from Oakwood, Middlebury or other nearby towns,” Cindy said.
“That would make sense. They may have come from Baltimore too,” Kristen said.
“Yeah,” Quinn said as she doffed her coat and handed it to Kristen.
Kristen took the coat and put it on. She said aside to Cindy. “She's going to be a center of attention, isn't she?”
“I don't doubt it.”
They then approached a nearby Astroboy
Daria and Jane arrived at the Burns Residence.
At the convention
Laughing, Quinn, Cindy and Kristen rounded a corner. “Hi, Jenna,” Quinn said.
“Hi, Quinn. That's an amazing costume,” Jenna Schwartz said in admiration.
“Thanks. I made it myself.”
That took Jenna aback. “Wow, you sew really well,” she said.
“I'd like to improve though, part of the costume itches.”
“It's still rather good,” Jenna said.
Jennifer opened the door in response to the knocking. “Hi, Jane, Daria, come in,” she said.
“Hi, Jen. I'll let Daria explain what we're up to,” Jane said.
“OK,” Jennifer said quietly. 'What is this about?' she wondered. 'It could be a lot of things. Daria doesn't usually come around on a Saturday.'
“The mouse has been stolen,” Daria said once they were seated in the living room.
“What? Are you sure?”
“I am sure, I heard a noise. I went downstairs. I found the mouse gone, and the kitchen door and the garage side door both open.”
“Did you ask your family?” Jennifer asked. 'That's where I would start,' she thought.
“Of course. Quinn didn't know. Dad was watching the Pigskin Channel with Kevin and Mom wasn't home.”
“Quinn didn't hear anything?” Jennifer asked.
“She didn't,” Daria said.
“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely, she was totally absorbed in an online game. Guild Wars
, I think it's called.”
“I'll help you look for the mouse.”
“That's good. I'm sure I'll need all the help I can get,” Daria said.
“Besides,” Jennifer said with a glance in Jane's direction. “I don't want you getting too 'rash' with Brittany.
“That's what I said,” Jane said.
Then there was another knock at the door. Jennifer answered it. “Hi, Mack.”
“Hi, Jen. Daria, Jane? What are you doing here?”
“Her and Kevin's mouse was stolen,” Jane said.
“I suspect that it was Brittany,” Daria said.
“Brittany? I knew something of this sort would happen if Kevin was assigned to someone other than her,” Mack remonstrated as he sat down.
“So we're going to go to her house and talk to her,” Daria said.
“Is that a good idea?” Mack asked with concern. “Besides, she may not be home,” he added.
“We'll keep an eye on her,” Jane said after exchanging a look with Jennifer.
“We'll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Daria said, ignoring Jane.
“How soon are we going?” Jennifer asked.
“Very soon,” Daria said.
“The next ten minutes?” Jane asked.