Non Trek Fic: Quinn's Code (A Daria AU)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by USS Fardell, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Jul 26, 2001
    Geekery at the Mega-Mall - Part 3

    Maryland/Delaware Border
    The Fashion Club stopped at a gas station immediately on the Delaware side of the border.
    “Why are we stopping here?” Sandi asked.

    “We need gas!” Guy, the Fashion Club's driver, said.

    “Didn't you fill it up back in Lawndale, like, before you picked us up?” Sandi asked.

    “No, you were insistant on leaving so quickly!”

    “Right! I'll fill it then!” Sandi said. She went to the bowser herself.

    Guy drove the car away from the gas station.
    “You didn't have to fill the car up,” Guy said.

    Sandi turned to him “I want to get to the Mall of the Millennium as soon as possible, like with a minium of delay. We have already been in rush hour traffic, like back in Baltimore!”

    “Right,” Guy said, his eyes on the road.

    Crossbro, Delaware
    Rob drove carefully as they approached the edge of the Mall of the Millennium's outer parking lots.
    “It's going to take a while to find a park and to walk in,” he said.

    “Of course,” Wolfgang said.

    “I know,” Quinn said.

    “I will park in the first one I find,” Rob said.

    “That would be best,” Quinn said.

    “I agree,” Wolfgang said.

    Xavier looked at the clock on the dashboard. It was 10:45. 'I has to be all that traffic in Baltimore. The radio didn't really help,' he thought.

    It took a while for Koichi to find a space.

    At 11:00 Sandi stalked ahead of the Fashion Club into the Mall of the Millennium's main entrance. 'If you hadn't been late, Stacy, we would not have been, like, caught in Rush Hour traffic on the way through Baltimore!”

    “I said I was sorry!” Stacy said.

    Sandi glared at Stacy.

    Guy sighed.

    “And if we hadn't needed more gas!” Sandi said to Guy.

    “I did say I'm sorry!” he said.

    Sandi just gave him a look of disapproval.

    At 11:15 the Economics class had just entered the Mall and were already lost...
    “We're in area B, section Pink, and we need to get to area C, section Orange. So, if we just bear right at area L, section Blue... oh, wait, sorry. Wrong level,” Mrs. Bennett said, trying to get the class out of the predicament.
    Kevin noticed an interesting store. “Look, Mack Daddy! The Sports Shorts! A whole store full of shorts for sports!”

    “Uh-huh,” Mack said, too tired to try to tell Kevin to not call him by that nickname. 'Why doesn't he get it through his thick head already!'

    “Everyone, we'll walk down R Moss, and turn right at Q Canary. Please keep the flow, people, please keep the flow,” Mrs. Bennett said.

    “I could find the way if she let me have the map,” Jennifer whispered to Jane.

    “Maybe,” Jane said with a shrug.

    “Who would ever guess there'd be so many colors? The person who thought them all up must be a genius,” Brittany said.

    “Yeah, and we haven't even gotten to puke green yet,” Jane said. She glanced at Daria, who still looked queasy from the bus trip. “Oh, yeah.”

    “I hope we find the executives soon,” Jennifer said.

    “Why?” Daria asked.

    “So we can get out of this boredom,” Jennifer said.

    'That makes sense,' Daria thought.

    “Left at N Cranberry. Wait, is that cranberry or magenta? Jane, you're an artist,” Mrs. Bennett asked, unsure of the colors.

    “It's cranapple,” Jane said.

    'Very difficult to tell,' Mack thought.

    Charles Rutthimer III, otherwise known as Upchuck, noticed a store that piqued his purient interest. “Mrs. B? Can we please stop for a minute at Bikini Island? I'd like to buy a few trifles for the ladies, and perhaps you'd care to pick out something for yourself?”

    “Not now, Charles. We'll be late for our meeting with the mall executives. I had to work very hard to arrange this. These are very important, very busy...” Mrs. Bennett trailed off as she was distracted by something that piqued her own interest.

    “What is it, Mrs. B?” Upchuck asked.

    Mrs. Bennet ran over to a store and looked in. “The Fuzzy Wuzzy Wee-Bit Shop! Herbert and I collect Fuzzy Wuzzy Wee Bits! Aren't they adorable? Look, a Fuzzy Wuzzy Wee Bits cactus! And look at that little bunny rabbit with its own Fuzzy Wuzzy carrot!”

    “Great!” Daria said.

    They soon found themselves in a conference room.
    “... And of course, when you go to the mall, you look for what?” One of the Mall Executives asked the class.

    “Bikinis! Make that lovely, luscious, ladies in bikinis!” Upchuck said.

    'Of course he would say that!' Jennifer thought with a slight shake of her head.

    “I always look for security guards leading away someone in handcuffs. Shoplifters are the best judges of merchandise,” Jane said.

    “I agree. If it's so good that people want to steal it, I want it,” Jennifer said, quietly after exchanging a look with Jane.

    “I meant more along the line of the qualities you look for? The stores? What should they be like?” the Executive asked, trying to get the conversation away from the topic of shoplifting.

    'Easy to browse,' Jennifer thought.

    “I have a question. Do you think our demographic can really be addressed by middle-aged middle managers telling us what's fun to buy?” Jodie asked.

    The executives looked at each other. It was clear that they didn't expect a student with critical thinking skills to be on the field trip. One of them turned to Daria. “How about you? How many times a year do you go to the mall?”

    Daria looked annoyed. “That's none of your business. By the way, don't people usually get paid for participating in market research?”

    “Research?” the executive askd in a strangled voice.

    “Now, Daria, these busy executives have been nice enough to give their time to help educate us on mall economics,” Mrs. Bennett said. “Tell us about flow, would you?”

    Daria leaned between her two friends and pointed to where Brittany was still prancing and making cheer moves. “I bet that's a two-way mirror.”

    “Possibly,” Jennifer said.

    “You mean, if you turn out the lights you can see through it?” Jane asked as she reached back towards a light switch.

    Jennifer shrugged slightly.

    “Oh, you don't want to do that!” one of the executives said.

    Jane turned off the lights. The students could then see three observers through the glass wall. They murmered amongst themselves.

    “This is wrong!” Mack said.

    “The focus group is, um, a very important tool in mall management. We thought that with this live demonstration...” One of the executives began. He was interuppted by Jodie.

    “I feel used. I feel abused. I feel that this is not a fun mall after all and the media should be made aware of it!”

    The executive changed tack. “All right, little lady.” He reached into his pocket. “Here's a coupon for a free frozen yogurt.”

    “Don't insult me,” Jodie said with her arms crossed.

    The executive reached into his pocket again. “Make it a ten dollar merchandise coupon?”

    'You're doing it wrong,' Jennifer thought.

    “You're still insulting her,” Jane said.

    One of the other executives held out two handfuls or coupons. “Okay, a twenty dollar merchandise coupon for everyone in the class.”

    “You don't get it. There's a principle involved,” Daria said.

    “No, there isn't,” Jodie said as she joined most of the other students.

    “So much for idealistic youth,” Jennifer said.

    “Yes, there is, damn it!” Daria said. She clenched her fists and moved towards the executives. She quickly found herself being held back by her two friends.

    “Whoa there, Daria, cool down!” Jane said.

    “Getting into a 'tussle' with the Mall Executives would not prove anything,” Jennifer said. 'It certainly wouldn't!'

    Daria calmed down and sat.

    “How about a fifty dollar coupon for you, little lady?”

    “Don't insult me,” Daria said, repeating Jodie's line from earlier.

    The executive held out another coupon. “One hundred dollars, final offer.”

    “I'll take it,” Daria said.

    “What got into you?” Mrs. Bennett asked.

    “Integrity,” Daria said.

    “Good answer,” Jennifer said.

    After having looked through other stores, Quinn and her entourage finally found the Cuter Computer store.
    “Finally,” she said.

    “There is a lot of stuff here,” Wolfgang said as he looked in.

    “Of course,” Quinn said.

    “What are you getting first?” Xavier asked.

    Quinn started walking to the software aisles. “Apparently they have Photoshop Elements 4 on sale,” she said.

    “But didn't that just come out this month?” Wolfgang asked.

    “Yes,” Quinn said.

    “Interesting,” Koichi said.

    Quinn soon found it. “Here it is, Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.” She saw that it was 10% off. She picked it up and handed the package to Wolfgang.

    “You are going to make us carry all the stuff?” he asked.

    “Of course not! I will be carrying some of it,” Quinn said.

    The sophomore economics students looked at the coupons that they had received.

    “Cuter Computer, for all things to do with Computers. Aw, man!” Kevin said after looking at his coupon.

    “Books by the Ton. Interesting, maybe they could have business related stuff there,” Mack said after looking at his.

    Upchuck looked at his coupon “Incensory, for all your incense and related pagan worship needs! I don't have any use for this!”

    “Drat!” Andrea Hecuba said as she overheard Upchuck.

    “The Doo Dad Shop? What's a Doo Dad anyway?” Jane said.

    “Sports Shorts! I don't have any use for shorts for sports!” Daria said.

    “Sissor Wizard?” Jennifer said purplexed.

    “Probably a store full of sissors,” Jane said.

    “Such a store would be quite useless,” Jennifer said.

    “Daria, Jen and Jane, you'll observe traffic patterns at the food concessions, and Kevin and Brittany, you will study and report back on shrinkage,” Mrs. Bennett directed.

    “What's shrinkage?” Kevin asked.

    “Shrinkage is the retailing term for shoplifting. I'd like you to analyze its economic impact. Does everyone else understand their assignments?”

    The class murmered in assent.

    “Now, we'll meet back here at quarter to three. Remember, area F, section Moss, level three. Got it? F Moss Three.”

    Daria, Jane and Jennifer walked away as Mrs. Bennett and Kevin talked about a mnemonic device that he was going to use.

    “Where to we start?” Jennifer asked.

    “Sissor Wizard, I can actually use a new pair of scissors,” Jane said.

    “Of course,” Jennifer said.
  2. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Jul 26, 2001
    Geekery at the Mega-Mall - Part 4
    Back at Cuter Computer, Quinn and her entourage had gathered much software and hardware. “Have you got everything yet?” Xavier asked when a packet of 1 GB USB flash drives fell of the pile of stuff he was carrying. He put the pile aside and picked the packet up before hefting the pile again.

    “Almost,” Quinn said as she took a copy of Age of Empires III off the shelf.

    “Were going to need a trolley,” Wolfgang said.

    “We'll find the Walmart and borrow a trolley from there, after we're finished here,” Quinn said.
    “Great!” Xavier said.

    “Here it is, Angejarni,” Sandi said, having located the Fashion Label's store on D Moss 2.

    “Why are we here?” Stacy asked.

    “Sta-cy, Angejarni is, like heavily featured in Waif,” Sandi said.

    “Let's browse,” Tori said. Tiffany followed her in.

    “Come on Stacy,” Sandi said.

    Stacy sighed and followed Sandi into the store.

    Daria and her friends found Book by the Ton, which was larger than an usual outlet of that chain.
    “That's a large bookstore!” Jane said.

    “Come on, I'd rather be here than anywhere else in the Mall,” Daria said.

    “Sure,” Jennifer said. They went into the bookstore.

    Quinn, Xavier, Wolfgang and Koichi left Cuter Computer, with the three boys carrying most of the hardware.
    'Great! Why did I have to pay nearly a hundred dollars for a share of Quinn's stuff?' Xavier wondered. He saw that the three of them had paid for just over half of the price of the computer equipment. 'I hope she pays it back...'

    “Right, the Walmart should be in C Orange Four,” Quinn said as they started moving away from the store.

    “That doesn't sound right,” Wolfgang said.

    “Oh?” Quinn asked.

    “It was something else,” Xavier said as he thought.

    “I think it was B Amber Five,” Wolfgang said.

    “Or was it D Tangerine Three?” Koichi said.

    “One of those. Look for that general shade of color, then for the number,” Quinn said.

    “I think the shade of color is multiple floor spanning,” Koichi said.

    “Then we will look for the number and then the shade of color,” Quinn said.

    “That will work,” Xavier said.

    As they left the vicinity of Cuter Computer they didn't notice the Fashion Club coming out of Angejarni in the other direction...

    Guy exited the fashion label store carrying all of the Fashion Club's purchases (although he had noticed that Stacy had bought the least stuff). 'Why can't they carry their stuff themselves?' he asked himself.

    “Where are we going now?” Tori asked.

    “I'm sure there are other label stores here, Let's look for them,” Sandi said.

    “Suurrre,” Tiffany said.

    “Okay!” Stacy said.

    “A great idea, Sandi,” Tori said.

    “Absolutely,” Sandi said.

    Daria, Jennifer and Jane met Mack as they left the bookstore.
    “I thought I would see if there is a large business section,” he said.

    “And you got the coupon,” Jane said.

    “There's that too,” Mack said.

    “I didn't see any, but then I only looked at the fiction, history, music and philosophy sections,” Daria said.

    “Oh,” Mack said.

    “There is one there, I found it as I looked at the Computer section,” Jennifer said quietly.

    “Thanks,” Mack said.

    Jennifer gave a small smile.

    'Of course,' Daria thought.

    “Let's find Sissor World,” Jane suggested.

    “Sure,” Jennifer said.

    “See ya's,” Mack said as he went into the bookstore. Jennifer waved.

    They soon found said store, and found that it was a hair salon.
    “This is unexpected,” Jane said.

    Jennifer walked up to the counter.

    “You got here just in time,” one of the hairdressers said. She looked at Jane and Daria “You're almost in time.”

    “I have this coupon,” Jennifer said, shyly as the hair dresser started leading her to a chair. “But I just wanted a pair of scissors,” she objected.

    “We don't sell scissors, we cut hair. Which show?”

    “What?” Jennifer asked, slightly confused and starting to back out. 'This isn't good,' she thought. She wanted out of the situation.

    “Which TV show do you want your style from? Most of our clients go for a sitcom. Personally I think you would look good without your hair over your face.”

    “Um, I like my hair the way it is!” Jennifer said. 'I don't want a cut here, in an unfamiliar place!' she thought.

    “Keep your scissors away from her hair,” Daria said.

    'Thanks, Daria.'

    “She means it,” Jane said.

    “I could just style it. Choose a show and I will style it that way.”

    “Have you heard of Sick Sad World?” Jane asked.

    Jennifer frowned. 'Not a good idea, Jane!'

    The hairdresser frowned. “I saw an episode once. It was just too weird!”

    “That was scary. Although it was nice of her to exchange the coupon for cash,” Jennifer said after they had left Sissor Wizard.

    “My stomach is grumbling. Let's participate in the food court traffic pattern,” Daria said.

    “Sure,” Jennifer siad.

    “Sure, then afterwards we can find out what a Doo Dad is!” Jane said.

    “Certainly,” Jennifer said.

    Daria's stomach grumbled loudly.

    With Wolfgang pushing a Walmart trolley full of computer equipment, Quinn and her friends approached one of the food courts for lunch. “How many outlets are there?” Xavier asked.

    “Too many,” Koichi said.

    “Not sure,” Quinn said.

    Daria, Jane and Jennifer went to the end of a line in front of a take away pizza outlet.

    'Wait a minute, that short haired redhead looks familiar,' Jennifer thought. She quickly tapped said redhead on the shoulder...

    Quinn felt someone tapping her on the shoulder. She quickly turned around to find Jennifer, with Daria and Jane standing behind her. “Uh, oh.”

    “Well. What an unexpected opportunity for sibling bonding,” Daria said.

    “I'm going to be sick,” Quinn said.

    “Is that, like, a family thing?” Jane asked.

    “What's that Quinn?” Wolfgang asked.

    “It's my sister and her friends.”

    “Oh, the sophomore Economics class field trip,” Xavier said.

    “ You knew about this?” Quinn asked.

    “Yeah, sorry,” Xavier said sheepishly.

    Quinn turned back to Daria and her friends.

    “Sorry,” Jennifer said.

    Quinn gave her a smile, showing that she had no hard feelings towards her.

    “I'm sure Mom and Dad will be really pleased to hear I ran into you. Here at the mall. On this lovely school day!” Daria said flatly.

    “State your terms, Daria,”

    “It's weird. The only thing I can think of is more of our download allowance,” Daria said.

    “You wouldn't!” Quinn said.

    Daria smirked.

    “You would.”

    “There is an alternative,” Daria said.

    Quinn sighed. “What is this alternative?”

    “I wouldn't mind taking it easy around the house for a month,” Daria said.

    “That seems a bit exorbitant,” Jennifer murmered.

    “It does, doesn't it. A month, Daria?”

    “Or you can just never set foot inside a mall for the rest of your sorry adolescent life. And a ride back to the Suburban hell known as Lawndale would be appreciated too,” Daria said.

    “Oh really?” Quinn asked.

    “Uh, oh,” Jennifer said, backing off. Jane, Xavier, Wolfgang and Koichi backed off also as the Morgendorffers began to argue about their deal for never mentioning the trip to the Mall of the Millennium at home...

    After five minutes, Daria and Quinn came to an agreement. “Here's the deal, I will do most of Daria's chores for a month, She gets an additional 20 megabytes a month and we will take her, Jane and Jennifer back to Lawndale with us,” Quinn said.

    “It'll be a tight squeeze, but we can manage it,” Koichi said. He looked at the equipment. “Even with the equipment.”

    “Has to be better than the bus,” Jane said.

    Jennifer gave a small smile.

    “I certainly won't get sick,” Daria said.

    “Well, well. If it isn't like, the Geekendorffer!” Sandi said as she approached, with the rest of the Fashion Club behind her.

    “Of course she would be here!” Quinn said. “Murphy's Law and all.”

    “Uh, oh!” Jennifer said, remembering the happenings at the coffee house.

    “I see you skipped school too!” Sandi said.

    “Only for today,” Quinn said with a hard edge to her voice.

    Sandi looked at the trolley filled with equipment. “Only you would like, go to a Mega-Mall for computer equipment,” she said.

    “I'm sure others would!” Quinn said in retaliation.

    Sandi stepped closer to Quinn. “No they wouldn't!” Sandi said.

    “I would,” Jennifer said.

    “What did, like, Burnout Girl, say?” Sandi asked.

    'Not a good idea, Sandi!' Wolfgang thought.

    Jane and Tori stepped back further and Stacy ran off to a nearby table.

    “I hate that name!” Jennifer exclaimed.

    “She said that she would also go to a Mega-mall for computer equipment,” Jane said.

    “None or your business anyway,” Daria said.

    “Whatever!” Sandi said. She turned her attention back to Quinn “Now, Geekendorffer, tell me why you think that you can be popular!”

    Quinn glared at Sandi “You already know that. My whole side of the debate at the Coffee House!”

    Sandi stared at Quinn.

    Quinn stared back.

    “This is going nowhere,” Tori said with some exhasperation.

    “Oh really, then perhaps you can ask her, as President of the Fashion Club!”

    “No Sandi, I wouldn't replace you, but this confrontation is going nowhere,” Tori said.

    Jennifer timidly moved beside Quinn in a show of support. Wolfgang also moved next to her.

    Sandi glared at Jennifer, who, after a few seconds, ducked behind Quinn.

    Jane quickly replaced her. 'You are not getting away with what you'r attempting,' Jane thought as she added to Quinn and Wolfgang's stares upon Sandi.

    After approximately four minutes Sandi and the rest of the Fashion Club left the food court. “Why are weee leaving?” Tiffany asked.

    “After failing to make the Geekendorffer see sense, I like, decided to leave, and try again at a different time,” Sandi said.

    “That's not what I remember,” Stacy said. Sandi glared at her. “Eep!”

    'She's right, Sandi!' Tori thought.

    “But I'm still hungry,” Tiffany said.

    “Tiffany, dear, one good thing about a Mall the size of this one is that there are like, multiple food courts,” Sandi said.

    'Thank goodness,' Stacy thought.

    “That was strange,” Jennifer said as she watched the Fashion Club and Guy leave.

    “Don't worry about it,” Daria said.

    Jane turned to Quinn. “Where do we meet before we leave?” she asked.

    “D Lavender Five, it's close to the secondary entrance,” Quinn said.

    “You got that?” Daria asked.

    “There's nothing to it,” Jane said.

    “Easy to remember,” Jennifer said.

    The two groups then got their lunch before going their separate ways.
  3. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Jul 26, 2001
    Geekery at the Mega Mall - Part 5
    Quinn reflected on the situation. 'Why is it that, Sandi has to oppose the notion of a geek like me being popular so stridently?' She had thought about it quite a lot since the opening night of the Coffee House. She hadn't come to any conclusion. One thing was certain, she and Sandi were likely to remain enemies for the rest of their high school years...

    She also thought abou the situation with Daria. Their relationship seemed to be getting better, Jane and Jennifer having a positive influence. There discussion/arguement about the terms of her silence of the matter of her having skipped school may have been longer even a couple of weeks before.

    “What's up, Quinn?” Wolfgang asked as he finished his burger.

    “Just thinking about what just happened,” Quinn said as she sipped her diet soda.

    “You mean with Sandi?”

    Quinn nodded.

    “She'll get over it,” Wolfgang said.

    “I'm not sure she will,” Quinn said.

    “Eventually,” Wolfgang said.

    Daria, Jane and Jennifer soon found the Doo Dad shop. “ What is this stuff?” Jane asked, looking at the contents of the store in dismay.

    “Who would buy such crappy, useless junk?” Daria asked.

    “It definitely looks that way,” Jennifer said.

    “Then this coupon is useless!” Jane said.
    Kevin and Brittany then come out of the store. Kevin was singing Hundred bottles of beer on the wall.

    “Did you see the cute little thingy with the cute thingy?” Brittany asked.

    “I got it for you, babe.”

    “Oh, Kev, this is the first cute thingy that you've bought me since... wait... you didn't steal this, did you?” Brittany asked.

    “It was shrinkage, babe!” Kevin said.

    “Oo-ooh!” Brittany dragged her boyfriend back into the store.

    Jennifer, Jane and Daria then entered the store. As Jane entered a bell went off. The staff rushed up to her. “When your feeling bad or mad or sad, buy a doo dad! You'll feel glad! It's not too sad, to buy a doo dad, today!”

    Jennifer glared at the staff.

    “What are you doing to our friend?” Daria asked.

    One of the staff gave Jane an armfull of merchandise. “ You're our lucky ten-thousandth customer. All these doo dads are yours for free!”

    Jane glared at him.

    “Don't you get it? You're our winner!” the staff member said.

    “I get it, but I don't want this stuff. What is it for anyway?” Jane said.

    “You collect it,” the staff member said. The other staff members gathered around them, and a photographer took a photo of the group.

    “Look, I came here because I got a twenty dollar coupon, but since I got accosted by the staff, I'm just going to leave it on the counter and leave!” Jane said.

    “Why didn't you say so?” one of the staff said. She immediately piled additional 'doo dads' on the pile that Jane already held.

    “Look! I'm not leaving with either this stuff or the coupon,” Jane said.

    “Neither am I,” Daria said when the staff turned to her.

    “Nor I,” Jennifer said.

    One of the staff went behind the counter. “Here is a twenty in exchange for the coupon,” she said.

    Jane dumped the pile of 'Doo-Dads' on the counter alongside the coupon, grabbed the twenty and dashed out of the store.

    Daria and Jennifer quickly followed her.

    Brittany placed the 'Doo Dad' that Kevin had 'Shrinkaged' back on the shelf. “No more, Shrinkage, Kevie!” she said.

    “But Babe, Mrs. Bennett wants us to do it!” Kevin said.

    Brittany glared at him. “No, Kevie, She meant something else!”

    “Really, then what?”

    Brittany twirled her hair in thought. “To examine its effect on something,” she said.


    “Its impact on economic performance?”


    Andrea waited outside the Insensory store for Upchuck. 'He had better come and go quickly!' she thought. Then Upchuck turned a nearby corner and approached her.

    “You said you wanted to swap coupons, you feisty maiden of darkness?” he said, sleaze dripping off most of his words.

    “Yes, you creepy casanova!” She held out the coupon that she had been given, hoping to get this encounter over with!

    Upchucked grabbed that coupon and immediately placed the Insensory coupon into the palm of her other hand. Andrea then dashed into the store with a rather hasty and barely audible “Thanks.”


    Jodie and Mack met one of the food courts. Mack could see tht Jodie had bought a large number of books. More than he had bought with his Books by the Ton coupon. 'I guess there is another bookstore in this Mall,' he thought.

    “Hi, Mack.”

    “Hi, Jodie.”

    “So you used your coupon?” Jodie asked.

    “Yeah, I figured that I may as well,” Mack said.

    “Cool,” Jodie said.

    “Which coupon did you get?” Mack asked.
    “Toy Universe.”

    They continued talking about their experiences at the mega-mall.

    Daria, Jane and Jennifer entered the D Lavender Five section. They could see that Quinn and her male companions were waiting for them.

    “Hi, Daria,” Quinn said.

    “Let's go, I want to get as far away from this Mall as possible,” Daria said.

    “Sure,” Quinn said.

    “What are you going to do with all that stuff?” Jennifer asked as they headed towards the exit.

    “And how are you going to sneak it all inside, without your parents noticing?” Wolfgang asked.

    “With luck, only Daddy will be home,” Quinn said with a nervous laugh. “I'll take it all into the garage, and then take it up to my room slowly.”

    “You mean, through the lawndry chute?” Daria asked.

    “Some of it, yes,” Quinn said.

    “That would take a long time,” Jane said, with an eyebrow raised.

    “I'll just wait until neither of them are home, then take the rest up,” Quinn said as the group reached the exit.

    Mrs. Bennett did a head count as the class re-entered the bus to go back to Lawndale. “Oh dear, we're three short!” she said.

    “Jane said that she, Jennifer and Daria were heading back to Lawndale with another group of Lawndale High kids,” Jodie said.

    “She also said that the bus made Daria sick,” Mack said.

    “Oh, OK,” Mrs. Bennett said.

    Koichi drove the large group back into Lawndale on State Route 276 at 4:40.

    “Where to first?” he asked.

    “My place, 111 Howard Drive,” Jane said.

    “Sure, but that's on the other side of town,” Koichi said.

    “We can drop someone else off on the way,” Jane said with a shrug.

    “I need to get my car from the school,” Jennifer said.

    “There you go,” Jane said.

    “Sure,” Koichi said.

    They arrived at Xavier's house, at 83 Nicoll Avenue, first. “Bye, Quinn, thanks for letting me come,” he said.

    “That's ok,” Quinn said with a slight laugh.

    After leaving Xavier's house they went towards Lawndale High, so that Jennifer could get her car...

    Jennifer waved as she went to her car. “Bye.”

    After Jane was dropped off at Casa Lane, they then went to the Morgendorffer's house.
    Neither of the Morgendorffer parents were home, so Koichi backed up the SUV to the garage door, which Quinn then opened.
    “Ok, just unload it all on that bench over there,” she directed.

    “Sure, Quinn,” Wolfgang said.

    “Ok,” Xavier said.

    Daria went through the garage to the dining room as the boys started unloading the computer equipment.

    Koichi watched as Xavier and Wolfgang walked away after having said goodbye to Quinn. He turned back to Quinn. “Thanks for the trip, Quinn, it was fun,” he said.

    “Yeah, it was fun,” Quinn said with a giggle.

    “Definitely. Anyway, I must get home, my parents will be wondering, see ya, Quinn,” Koichi said. He got into the car.


    Later that night, Sandi pondered on the situation that she had found herself in earlier that day. Did she act immature when she had encountered that annoyingly popular geek at the Mall of the Millennium?

    Flashback – Mall of the Millennium
    Sandi, and the others in the Fashion Club walked away from the food court where they had encountered the Morgendorffer sisters and their friends.
    The Fashion Club sat a table after they had bought their lunches.

    “Sandi, I think you could have handled that confrontation better,” Tori said.

    “Oh, Really? What do you mean?” Sandi asked, annoyed at Tori.
    “You didn't act like the mature teenager you are, you acted more like either of your brothers would have,” Tori said.

    Sandi stared at Tori.

    Stacy slid down in her seat.

    “Gee, Tori, you like insulting me don't you?”

    Tori stared Sandi in the eye. “I'm not insulting you, Sandi, I'm telling you what I saw.”

    Sandi stared back.

    Tori continued staring.

    “Fine! But that geek, like, deserved it!”

    Tori shook her head. “If you keep it up, your popularity will continue its downward slide. Quinn is totally catching up on you,” she said.

    Sandi crossed her arms. “I suppose.”

    Tori sighed.

    The Fashion Club continued eating their lunch in silence.

    End of Flashback

    Sandi stared at herself in the mirror and frowned. 'I suppose that I did act immature.' She thought for a few minutes before deciding to stay away from Quinn and leave her alone. 'The novelty of a popular geek will go away and there will be nothing she could do about it!'
  4. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Jul 26, 2001
    Quinn's Code (A Daria AU)
    Installment 5: Morgendorffers vs. Amazon Part 1
    Monday, November 7, 2005
    Daria Morgendorffer, Jane Lane and Jennifer Burns were watching Sick Sad World in Daria's bedroom.

    An encyclopedia is an unusual product for a supermodel to promote, isn't it?” the SSW reporter asked a supermodel in skimpy clothing.

    But you see, what's different about my encyclopedia is you only buy the letters you find attractive. And it's got big margins to draw your own pictures! How do you call them? Margins, yes?”

    You say you wrote every word yourself...”

    Yes, I did!” the supermodel said.

    That's interesting.”


    “I've said it before, I'll say it again: you have the coolest room,” Jane said.

    “I agree,” Jennifer said.

    “It's got pros and cons. You can't hurt yourself in here, but you can't hurt anybody else in here, either,” Daria said.

    Jane got up from where she was scketching on the bed and walked over to the wall between the closet and the music set up. She pressed against the padding. “I wish there'd been a schizophrenic shut-in living in our house before we moved in. Of course, we've got Trent there now. That's almost the same thing,” she said.

    “Is it?” Jennifer asked.

    “Well he's narcoleptic,” Jane conceded.

    “I suppose,' Jennifer said under her breath.

    “My mother's threatening to redecorate again. Every time she brings it up, I stumble and grab a handrail. But I think she's catching on,” Daria said.

    “You need to stumble somewhere else in the house. Cut yourself badly. She'll reconsider,” Jane said sarcastically.

    'Not really,' Jennifer thought. “Or say that your music would sound rather louder without the padding,” she said.

    “Thanks for your help,” Daria said.

    Jennifer gave a small smile.
    Next on Sick, Sad World: the Malibu Primate Diet .”

    “Like anyone would replicate the eating habits of apes?” Jennifer asked quietly.

    “Are you sure?” Jane asked.

    “Not even Kevin.”

    “Maybe,” Daria said.

    As Jennifer drove home, she gave Daria's sister Quinn's friend Cindy Brolsma a lift home.

    “Thanks for taking me home,” Cindy said as Jennifer pulled out of the Morgendorffer family's driveway.

    “That's quite alright,” Jennifer said.

    “You know, Daria, right?” Cindy asked.

    “Somewhat, I know Jane more,” Jennifer said.

    “That's mostly what Quinn said a few weeks ago. I thought it might have changed,” Cindy said.

    “It hasn't,” Jennifer said.

    “Oh,” Cindy said, as Jennifer turned off Glen Oaks Lane.

    “Did you have a pont?”

    “Yeah, do you know why Daria is hostile towards Quinn?”

    Jennifer was silent for a moment as she thought. “She hasn't said anything,” she said.

    “Quinn hasn't either,” Cindy said as she thought.

    “So, what were you doing tonight?” Jennifer asked.

    “We watched a couple episodes of One Piece.

    “That's the pirate anime, right?” Jennifer asked, wondering.

    “Yeah, about this boy who wants to be King of the Pirates.”

    “Sounds cool.”

    “The way Quinn described it, yes, and those episodes support that,” Cindy said.

    Jennifer smiled as she turned another corner.

    Cindy pondered the situation as the Beetle approached her house.
    Tuesday, November 8, 2005
    “Is Mr. Thoreau really turning his back on the world by moving to Walden Pond, or is he, by his example, trying desperately to save the world after all?” Mr. O'Neill asked.

    Brittany Taylor raised her hand.

    “Normandy?” Mr. O'Neill asked, confused.

    “Brittany. He wasn't on Walden Pond because he hated the world. He was just mad at Jane Fonda. You know, he was her father in real life too.”

    Mr O'Neill didn't have time to correct Brittany before there was an interruption in the form of the Principal, Ms. Li, entering the room.

    “Good morning! I hope I'm not disrupting the learning process,” she said.

    “Oh... no,” Mr. O'Neill said.

    “I've got some exciting information for you all. A team of talent scouts from Amazon Models will be here this week as part of their national talent search, and the most promising Lawndale High student will receive a professional modeling contract,” Ms. Li said.

    'Uh oh!' Jennifer thought.

    “They got my letter!” Brittany said, exitedly.

    'I guess that explains why they are here,' Jennifer thought.

    “Why here?” Jodie Landon asked.

    “I guess they found out what a good looking group you are,” Ms. Li said. She laughed. “But, seriously, this is a great opportunity for you, and the even greater good of Lawndale High.”

    “Excuse me?” Daria asked.

    “Yes?” Ms. Li asked.

    “Isn't modeling about dropping out of school to pursue a career based solely on your youth and your looks, both of which are inevitably declared over by age twenty-five?”

    'Good point, Daria,' Jennifer thought.

    “Do you have a point, Ms. Morgendorffer?”

    “And don't fashion people squander their lives loudly worshiping all that is superficial and meaningless while the planet keeps riding a roller coaster to hell?” Jane asked.

    “Modeling is a competitive field, yes, but the financial rewards are great. As principal, I'd be cheating our student body if I didn't allow them every opportunity to fulfill their potential,” Ms. Li said trying to emphasise the advantages...

    “Excuse me. Can we assume the financial rewards are great for the school as well?” Daria asked, sure that the principal was getting something out of it.

    “That is really none of your business!”

    “But I don't want to miss a lesson in applied economics. I'm trying to fulfill my potential,” Daria said.

    'Good one, Daria,' Jennifer thought.

    “The school is receiving a fee for its cooperation, but every cent is going to capital improvements! We're finally going to get those bulletproof skylights for the swimming pool.”

    'Really?' Jennifer thought.

    “Well, I for one am very excited about this. I can feel myself getting into the modeling spirit,” Jane said with sarcasm.

    “Excellent!” Ms. Li said.

    “May I be excused? I'd like to go to the girls' room and vomit up breakfast.”

    “Ms. Lane! Eating disorders are a serious matter!”

    “Then why are you bringing in people who might encourage that sort of behaviour?” Jodie asked with a shake of her head.

    “Nonsense, Ms. Landon, Amazon encourages those who attain their standards with a minimum of risk,” Ms. Li said.

    Jodie and Daria each raised an eyebrow at this statement.
    “Not according to what I've heard,” Jodie said.

    “Then the source was probably wrong,” the principal said.

    “...Now, can somebody, tell me the name of the Emperor who invaded Britain in the 1st Century AD?” Mr. DeMartino asked.

    “Claudius,” Cindy said.

    “Very good, Ms. Brolsma...” Mr. DeMartino began. However Ms. Li chose that moment to enter the classroom...

    “Good morning! I hope I'm not disrupting the learning process.”

    Mr. DeMartino growled and gritted his teeth. 'I get an intelligent answer from a promising student and she has to interrupt!'

    The principal noticed the history teacher's agitation. “I take it that I am Interuppting?”

    Yes, Angela!”

    “You can get back right to it after this announcement.”

    'But the moment will have been lost. I waste enough time as it is!' he thought. “What is the announcement?” he asked.

    “I've got some exciting information for you all. A team of talent scouts from Amazon Models will be here this week as part of their national talent search, and the most promising Lawndale High student will receive a professional modeling contract,” Ms. Li said, repeating the speil she had spoken to the other classes.

    There was some murmering amongst the class.

    “Really?” Stacy Rowe asked.

    “Cool!” someone else said.

    “Yes,” Ms. Li said.

    “Is that such a good idea?” Quinn asked.

    “What do you mean, Ms. Morgendorffer?” the principal asked, wondering if both sisters were going to object to the classes.

    “I think she means; should a school really be pushing something that may be bad for those whose body images aren't the best?” Kristen asked.

    “What are you getting at Ms. Bell?” Ms. Li asked, remembering Jane's remark. 'I have keep an eye on her more!' she thought.

    “Should the school be having Modelling classes at all?” Cindy asked.

    “Not you too, Ms. Robinson-Brolsma!”

    Cindy just looked at the Principal.

    “Is it the place of the school to be pressing modelling on their students?” Quinn asked.

    “I'm giving students every opportunity to achieve their goals!” Ms. Li said.

    “Even if the goal is something that will not last more than a decade at most?” Quinn asked.

    “Nonsense, there are models in their thirties and fourties!” Ms. Li said.

    “But those are very rare,” Kristen grouched.

    “Nevertheless, they do exist!”

    Daria, Jane and Jennifer were eating lunch when Jodie came up to them.
    “Where's your lunch?” Daria asked.

    “I ate during student council,” Jodie said.

    “Come on, you're not fooling anybody. You fed your lunch to a stray dog. She's gonna have that modeling contract sewn up before we even get a chance,” Jane said.

    “Very likely,” Jennifer said.

    “You really ought to stick to mineral water and parsley,” Daria said.

    “You know, you don't always have to be against everything. If a kid wants to take a modeling class, you can't tell her no,” Jodie said.

    “Maybe not, but you don't have to let the fashion mob push the classes on school grounds, either,” Daria said.

    “Yeah, it's not fair to the drug dealers. They have to wait behind the parking lot,” Jane said.

    Jennifer shook her head at Jane's statement.

    “It's completely voluntary. What's the problem?”

    “No problem. But why stop at modeling? Maybe there's a go-go bar downtown that would like to come here and recruit lap dancers,” Daria said.

    “That wouldn't be good,” Jennifer said.

    “Don't mention that idea to Brittany,” Jodie said.

    “No way!” Jennifer said.

    “Of course not,” Daria said.

    “This modelling idea is not cool!” Quinn said at lunch.

    “Totally! It could make some people go over the edge in regards to their self image!” Kristen said.

    “Ms. Li is miguided!” Cindy said.

    “We have to do something about it,” Quinn said.

    “I agree, but what?” Samara Collins asked.

    “Um, no idea,” Quinn said.

    “We will have to wait and see,” Tania Kingston said.

    “I guess so,” Kristen said.

    “We watch and find out what they are up to,” Quinn said after some thought.

    Cindy nodded.

    That night Sandi Griffin looked in her mirror after cleaning her teeth. 'I'll will win that modeling contract! The Geekendorffer will not get it!!' She decided to find a way to sabotage Quinn's chances. 'There is no way that she will be allowed to win,' she thought with a slight frown. It may have had contradicted her decision after the debacle at the Mall of the Millennium to leave her alone, but she couldn't have known that modelling agents would be coming to the school.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2005
    “The fashion industry may be considered a perfect implementer of marketplace psychology. The business insures its own survival by training consumers to focus on arbitrary styling distinctions, rather than quality and durability,” Mrs. Diane Bennett said in economics.

    Some laughter announced the arrival of the representatives from the Amazon Modelling Agency.

    “Huh? You must be the representatives from the Amazon Modeling Agency,” the teacher said.

    “Well, I would hope so. We're a little long in the tooth to be attending high school,” the male, dressed in a halter top, said.

    “Speak for yourself, grandpa-pa,” the (older) female said.

    After they had talked to Mrs. Bennett for a short while; Brittany spoke up. “This is the most exciting day of my life! Being a model is all I've ever wanted to be.”

    “Uh, hey...” Kevin began to say.

    He was interuppted by Brittany; “mean besides being the girlfriend of the cutest guy on the team! Oh, and winning the national high school cheerleading championship! Oh yeah, and helping the starving kids in the desert, or wherever.”

    The lady held Brittany's chin and examined her face. “Well, let's have a look! Hmmmm... lovely. What is your name?”

    “Brittany? Is that okay? Because I was thinking of changing it to... Blue.”

    “Can you take off your coat and walk for us?” the male asked.

    “Just slip out of that jacket and do a little runaway, sweetie,”

    Brittany took off her jacket, revealing that she wasn't wearing her usual outfit of a cheerleaders uniform. Rather she was wearing a pink strapless gown. She then started walking in the classroom as if she was on a catwalk.

    “ then Ms. Li admits they're doing this to pay for new bulletproof skylights. The whole thing's enough to turn your stomach. Which I guess is good if you want to be a model; eases the transition to bulimia,” Daria said, talking to her parents, shortly before dinner.

    “You really feel strongly about this,” her mother, Helen, said.

    “What do you mean?” Daria asked.

    “Well... you're talking to us,” Helen said.

    Daria had to admit that she did, otherwise she would not have gone to her parents about. Complaining to Jane and Jennifer only did so much. 'There has to be something Mom can do,' she thought.

    “I'm glad you feel strongly about it, Daria, and for the record, I agree with you,” Helen said.

    “So do I!” Daria's father, Jake, said.

    “These people sounds like opportunists feeding off the vanity of naive young people. I pity the kids who get sucked in by them, and I pity their poor parents,” Helen said.

    Quinn then entered the kitchen. “Mom! Dad! The most terrible thing is happening at school!” She said.

    “You mean the Modelling Classes? Daria told us,” Helen said.

    Quinn nodded. “You need to do something about it,” she said.

    'This is something unusual,' Daria thought. It wasn't often that she and Quinn had agreed on anything.

    “You mean the Modelling Classes? Daria told us,” Helen said.

    Quinn nodded. “You need to do something about it,” she said.

    The phone rang.

    'Who could that be?' Daria wondered.

    Helen picked it up. “Hello?”

    Am I speaking to the mother of Quinn Morgendorffer? ” came Romonica's voice from the phone.

    “Yes, this is Quinn's mother.”

    This is Romonica... “ She then let out a sharp squeal. “Romonica DeGregory, with the New York Amazon Fashion Agency. Have I called at a bad time, Mrs. Morgendorffer?

    “Please, call me Helen,” Helen said wondering when Romonica would get to the point. “What can I do for you, Monica?”

    Please, call me Romonica. Helen, your daughter has been selected along with a mere handful of girls to participate in a complimentary class in the Lawndale High auditorium.
    “A complimentary class?” Helen asked dubiously.

    Absolutely complimentary, Helen, and an experience that we expect will generate many compliments.

    Helen interrupted. “But Quinn hasn't shown any interest in the modeling classes and she already has extracurricular activities.”

    I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but we feel that Quinn is something quite special!

    “We think she's pretty special, too, but so is my other daughter, Daria. She hasn't got any extracurriculars.”

    Daria, but she is so plain!

    “That's my final offer,” Helen said.

    Then the phone was disconnected from the other end...

    “What a strange woman.”

    “Mom, what were you saying about me and extracurriculars?” Daria asked warily.

    “You are going to join those classes, keep an eye on what Ms. Li is intending. It would also give you an extracurricular activity.”

    Daria grumbled.

    “You are going to be in the classes. End of discussion.”

    Romonica hung up on Helen Morgendorffer as the beautician ripped another strip of wax from her body. “ Aeeeeee!” 'I will get Quinn into the classes!' she decided.
  5. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Jul 26, 2001
    Story 5: Part 2
    Thursday, November 10, 2005
    Quinn met Cindy and Kristen halfway to school, near Cindy's street. “Hi, Quinn,” Cindy said.

    “Hi, guys!”

    “What's up?” Kristen asked.

    “It's these modelling classes. That Romonica called last night and tried to get my Mom to put me into the classes,” Quinn said, shaking her head.

    “She didn't succeed did she?” Cindy asked with concern.

    “Of course not!” Quinn said. She then showed a whimsical expression. “Although, my Mom did tell her that Daria will be in the classes.”

    “Daria? In the modelling class?” Kristen shook her head. “I'll believe it when I see it,” she said, with some curiosity in her voice.

    “Mom said that she is putting Daria in the classes to keep an eye on Ms. Li. I'm sure she's planning something,” Quinn said.

    “From what I have seen of your Mom, I wouldn't past her,” Kristen said.

    “Yeah,” Quinn said in agreement.

    “Daria cannot have agreed with that,” Kristen said.

    “She protested, but ultimately agreed,” Quinn said.

    “She must have her own plan,” Cindy said, wondering.

    “You can be certain of it,” Quinn said.

    “Daria, you are rather quiet,” Jennifer said as she drove herself and Daria to school.

    Daria looked at Jennifer.

    “A lot quieter than usual.”


    “You're making me look like a chatterbox,” Jennifer said.

    “Oh. It's just that my Mom has told me to join those modelling classes,” Daria said.

    Jennifer lightly chuckled, but stopped when she noticed Daria's serious expression. “You're serious, aren't you.”

    “I wish I wasn't, and to make it more difficult; Romonica will still want Quinn to be in my place.”

    “She wanted Quinn in the classes?”

    Daria nodded.

    “But Quinn is as against them as we are,” Jennifer said.

    “Doesn't make sense.”

    “So why...” Jennifer began.

    “Quinn has extra-curriculars. I do not. Therefore I have to join the modelling classes.”

    Jennifer sighed. “I guess I will have to join too.”

    Daria gave her friend an incredulous look.
    “I was there, at the Mall of the Millennium, Daria. You were about to fight the executives...”

    “And you think that I would do the same to Claude and Romonica...”

    Jennifer nodded as she saw the school in the distance.

    Jane jogged up as Jennifer and Daria entered the school. “Yo, amigas!”

    “Hey,” Daria said.

    “What's up with her?” Jane asked.

    “Her mom has forced her to join the Modelling Classes,” Jennifer murmured.

    “Bummer!” Jane said.

    “According to her, I have to figure out what Ms. Li is planning,” Daria said as the trio entered the school.

    “That would be interesting,” Jane said.

    “Certainly,” Jennifer murmured.

    “And so, we, like, shall be 'shoo in's' for the modelling contract,” Sandi said as she and the Fashion Club approached the school.

    “Very good, Sand-di,” Tiffany Blum-Deckler said, said.

    “Are you sure?” Stacy asked.

    Sandi glared at Stacy.


    Tori shook her head at Sandi's treatment of Stacy.

    “But there is one more thing,” Sandi said.

    Tori Jericho put her hand to her forehead. “I hope it's not about that geek!”

    “Yes, the geek may be interested in the contract! We have to like, be sure that she won't get it,” Sandi said.

    “Remember what happened at the Mall of the Millennium, Sandi!” Tori said, referring to an incident two weeks before.

    Sandi glared at Tori. “Yes, I do, Tori. But I won't be talking to her.”

    “How are you going to sabotage her chances? Tori asked, wondering.
    Sandi developed a scheming look, and smirked. “I will have to like, figure that out,” she said.

    Tori sighed.

    As she went between classes, Daria signed her name on the sign up sheet for the Modelling classes. “There, it's done,” she said to Jennifer.

    Jennifer signed her name below Daria's. “Same here,” she said quietly.

    “Let's get to Class,” Daria said.

    Tori noticed Daria and Jennifer signing their names on the sign up sheet. 'What are those misanthropes doing, signing up for the modelling classes?' she wondered.

    Tori wasn't the only 'popular' student to notice Daria and Jennifer's names there...

    In the period before lunch, Romonica entered Ms. Li's office. “May I help you, Ms. DeGregory?” Ms. Li asked.

    “I have noticed that Quinn Morgendorffer has not signed up for the classes,” Romonica said, her tone implying that she expected Quinn's name to be on the signing sheets.

    “Quinn Morgendorffer? I believe that she already is bringing honour and glory to this school as the member of three extra-curricular clubs.”

    “She may be, Angela, but I believe she may have potential as a model.”

    The principal noted the former supermodel using her first name, but decided not to take the bait. Instead she decided to offer an alternative. “What are you suggesting? That I make it mandatory that she attend the classes? But there is also the option of her sister, Daria. She may have equal potential.”

    “Daria? But she is so plain!” Romonica projected.

    “Ah, but that is just the image she puts forward. She's Quinn's sister. Her looks should be very similar.”

    “No! I want Quinn. Make it mandatory, if that is what it takes! Otherwise I will withdraw the classes!”

    Ms. Li narrowed her eyes at the modelling agent. 'Why focus on Ms. Morgendorffer when there are hundreds of other students, here at Lawndale High?' she pondered. After another moment she made her decision. She didn't want to lose this opportunity! “Fine! I will call Quinn Morgendorffer here.” She switched on the intercom.

    “Very good,” Romonica said.

    Quinn Morgendorffer, please report to the Principal's Office.

    “What is this about now?” Quinn wondered, as she got up.

    “It may have to do with the Modelling Classes,” Cindy said.

    “Gah! I hope not!” Quinn said as she went up to the teacher.

    Mr. DeMartino handed her the hall pass. “Come back as soon as possible, Ms. Morgendorffer,” he said.

    “I intend to,” Quinn said.

    “I know,” Mr. DeMartino said as Quinn left the classroom.

    Quinn wondered about the principal's intentions as she went towards the office.

    Quinn warily entered Ms. Li's office, still wondering what the Principal's intentions were. She immediately saw Romonica and knew what it was about.

    “Sit down, Ms. Morgendorffer,” the principal said.

    “What's this about?” Quinn asked.

    “Straight to the point, that's good,” the Principal began.

    “I'm missing History,” Quinn said.

    “Right, It's come to my attention that that you have not signed up for the Modelling classes,” Ms. Li said.

    “I'm not interested.”

    “Nethertheless, I have decided to make your attendance in these classes Mandatory.”

    Quinn was outraged. “You can't do that!” she said.

    “I'm afraid that I can,” Ms. Li said.

    Quinn wasn't ready to admit defeat, not by a long shot. “I'm sure that you can't,” she said.

    “Any particular reason?”

    “The modelling classes are not part of the curriculum!” Quinn said.

    “They don't have to be. Attendance is mandatory.”

    “Then you leave me with no option, but to call my mother,” Quinn said. 'She will know what to do,' she thought.
    “Wait!” the principal said.


    “Surely there are incentives I could give you,” Ms. Li said.

    Quinn thought for a moment and then knew what to ask. “Why are you so ardent in wanting me in the Classes, Ms. Li?” she asked.


    “Tell me, and I may think about joining them,” Quinn said.

    Romonica spoke up “I talked your principal into calling you here because I believe that you have potential.

    Quiinn knew what she meant. 'So that's it,' she thought.

    “So you see you have to join the classes!” Ms. Li said.

    “I'm calling my mother,” Quinn said.

    “Go ahead,” Ms. Li said.

    “Sure,” Romonica said.

    Quinn smirked as she grabbed her cell phone.

    Lawndale Offices of Vitale, Davis, Horowitz, Rhiordan, Schrecter and Schrecter
    “...And where is that file? I asked for it an hour ago!” Helen ranted.

    “He hasn't come yet, Helen,” her legal assistant, Marianne Kingston said.

    “What do I have to do around here to have an errand run?”

    Marianne sighed at her boss's usual behaviour as the phone rang.

    “I don't have all day!”

    “Helen, it's your daughter from school. She says it's about the Modelling Classes there,” Marianne said.

    “I told Daria that she was joining them. Tell her to join them.”

    “Actually, it's Quinn,” Marianne said timidly.

    “Quinn?” Helen walked over and grabbed the phone off Marianne. “What is going on there, Quinn?”

    Ms. Li has made it mandatory for me to join the Modelling Classes, because Romonica talked her into it!

    “Go on.”

    And that happened because Romonica wants me in the classes. You have to come here,” Quinn said.

    Helen thought for a moment. It was serious. Someone was trying to force her daughter into doing something she didn't want to do. (Of course, she was doing the same with her other daughter, but that was her perogative as a parent.) “I'll be right there!”

    Be quick, Mom, I'm missing History.

    Helen got it. “I'll be there, bye!” She hung up the phone. “I'll be at the school, something important has come up,”

    “Yes, Helen.”

    “If anyone asks where I am, tell them that I'm at the school dealing with something,” she said.

    “Yes, Helen.”

    As Helen reached her car, she took out her cell phone. “Marianne, find out all you can about the New York Amazon Modelling Agency.”

    Yes, Helen.”

    Quinn hung up. “My Mom is on the way here. May I go back to History until she gets here?” she asked.

    “Negative! She will be here in less than fifteen minutes,” Ms. Li said.

    Quinn grumbled and looked at her watch. The period was just about half over. 'Good thing Cindy shares her notes with those who ask.'

    Helen arrived at the school ten minutes after leaving work. After she had locked the car her cellphone rang. “Yes?”

    I have researched the Amazon Modelling Agency as you asked, Helen,” Marianne said.

    “Fill me in,” Helen said, as she went towards the school buildings.

    “Now, what is all this about?” Helen asked as she entered the principal's office.

    “I have made it mandatory that your daughter attend the Modelling classes,” Ms. Li said.

    “Is this true?” Helen asked
    “It is as I said, Mom,” Quinn said.

    “Ms. Li, Quinn has no interest in attending the Modelling classes. According to the county bylaws you cannot force her to join them,” Helen said. She then noticed Romonica. “Ms. DeGregory, I presume,” she said with a glare.

    “Yes, I believe that your younger daughter has potential. That is why I pressured the principal into making her attendance mandatory,” Romonica said.

    “Pressured, how?”

    Romonica remained silent.

    Helen stared back.

    “I said I would withdraw the classes from this school if Quinn is not in them!”

    “You would follow up on this threat?” Helen asked, her voice low.

    “I wouldn't make it if I wasn't prepared to follow up on it!” Romonica said.

    Whilst this exchange was going on, Ms. Li looked on it with trepidation. 'Things are getting out of control!'

    Helen smirked. “In that case, Ms. Li, if you continue to harass my daugther to join, I will bring a suit against this school.”

    “You don't mean that!” Ms. Li said.

    Helen's smile was all the answer she needed. If she had any doubts, they disapppeared.

    “Fine!” Ms. Li said. She turned to Quinn. “Ms. Morgendorffer, you are no longer required to join the Modelling Classes.”

    “Good,” Quinn said with a sigh of relief.

    “What!” Romonica exclaimed.

    “I do not want a lawsuit brought against the school!”

    Romonica smiled deviously. “Mrs. Morgendorffer may not, but I will!”

    The principal glared at the modelling agent. “If that is your wish. Nethertheless your suit would not bring the bad press that a parent led suit would. Still I beg you to reconsider, for there are other students with similar potential, including the aforementioned sister of the particular student you were after.”

    Romonica looked to be in thought. She shook her head and said “No. Quinn will be in the classes or they are off and there will be a suit!”

    “A suit you would loose,” Helen said.
    “What?” Romonica asked.

    “Depending on the contract, you may not have a leg to stand on?”

    “And I suppose you have experience in this area?” Romonica asked.

    “Close to twenty years,” Helen said, her voice low.

    “The school has no legs to stand on!” Romonica said.

    “I glanced through the contract before I signed it, Ms. DeGregory. I think Lawndale High has a chance against you. Now, if you are not going to reconsider, get out of my office!”

    “You haven't heard the last of this!” Romonica said.

    “Good day!” the Principal said.

    Romonica turned on her heel and stalked out of the office.
  6. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Jul 26, 2001
    Story 5: Part 3
    After about fifteen seconds Helen asked. “Why did you change your mind?”

    “I am aware of the reputation of the Senior Partner of your firm, Mrs. Morgendorffer. I don't want that firm litigating against the school!”

    “I see,” Helen said. She stepped closer. “Understand this, if you do pull a stunt like this again I will enter into litigation. Do I make myself clear?”

    “Crystal clear, Mrs. Morgendorffer,” the principal said. She turned to Quinn. “Are you absolutely sure you don't want to do those classes, Ms. Morgendorffer?”

    “Of course!” Quinn said.

    “Stop badgering my daughter, Ms. Li.”

    “I'm going back to class! See you tonight, Mom.”

    “See you then, bye.”

    “Wait!” the principal exclaimed.

    “You know my answer,” Quinn said as she left the office.

    “If there is nothing else, I need to get back to work. Good day,” Helen said. She also left.

    “This is just great!” the principal said to the otherwise empty room.

    As she stepped out of the school building, Romonica took out her cell phone. “Claude, it's me, Romonica. The classes have been canceled.

    The Principal didn't see it our way?” Claude asked.

    “No, and it was a lawyer parent's fault! I will see the school, and her, in court!”

    Are you sure?” Claude asked.

    “Absolutely!” Romonica said.

    As you say,” Claude said.

    Romonica hung up and clicked the phone shut. She turned back to the school. 'You haven't heard the last of this!'

    Quinn met with Kristen and Cindy after lunch.
    “What happened?” Cindy asked.

    “I'll tell you after school,” Quinn said.

    “You can tell us,” Kristen said.

    “I know, but people may overhear,” Quinn said.

    “Oh,” Kristen said.

    Daria, Jane and Jennifer entered the Hall to find many confused students there. “Ah, there you are, Ms. Morgendorffer and Ms. Burns,” Ms. Li said.

    “Yes, we were dragging our heels.”

    Jennifer laughed silently at Daria's sarcasm.

    “As I expected,” The Principal said.

    Daria looked around and noticed that Romonica and Claude were absent. “Where are the teachers of these reputed classes?” she asked.

    “Take a seat! I'll make the announcement to everyone,” the principal said.


    “Looks like something unexpected has happened,” Jane said as they proceeded to the seats.

    “Possibly,” Daria said.

    'Of course,' Jennifer thought.

    There wsa much murmuring as Ms. Li took her place at the podium. “I see that everyone who signed up for the Modelling Classes is here. Unfortunately, due to unforseen events, the classes have been canceled!”

    “What?” Sandi asked.

    “As I said. They have been canceled. Someone, who will remain nameless, sabotaged the school's chances, and they will no longer be held.”

    “That's terrible,” Sandi siad.

    “Sooo Wrong!” Tiffany Blum-Deckler said.

    “For once I agree with you, Ms. Griffin, Ms. Blum-Deckler. There may be similar opportunities in the future,” Ms. Li said.

    “I hope so,” Sandi said.

    “Me too,” Stacy Rowe said.

    “This is good news, I don't have to do modelling anymore,” Daria said.

    “But I wonder how the classes were canceled,” Jane said.

    “Her choice of words is intreaguing,” Jennifer murmured.

    “I guess so,” Daria said. 'It certainly raises questions,' she thought.

    “Now, everyone, you can go to your normal classes,” Ms. Li said.

    “Yay!” Jane said sardonically.

    Daria, Jane and Jennifer exited the hall to see Jane's brother Trent outside. “Trent? Do Mom and Dad know that you're outside the house voluntarily?” Jane asked in surprise.

    “Huh?” Trent asked, confused.

    “What are you doing here?” Jane asked.

    “I thought I would see the Modelling Classes for myself.”

    “Oh, but they've been canceled,” Jennifer said as she noticed Daria blushing.

    “Oh,” Trent said in surprise.

    “I'm sure we will find out something,” Jane said as they began to walk away.

    “Maybe,” Trent said as he thought.

    “I bet that someone had something to do with this,” Sandi groused as she headed back towards class.
    “The geek isn't responsible for everything, Sandi,” Tori said.

    “I'm not blaming her! Someone else is responsible!” Sandi said.

    ''Good,' Tori thought.

    Quinn met with Kristen and Cindy as they left school. “So you can tell us what happened now?” Kristen asked.

    “Once we're away from the school. I don't want to take any chances,” Quinn said.

    “Sure,” Kristen said.

    “OK,” Cindy said.

    Once they left the school grounds, Kristen asked “So something happened?”

    “Yeah, Ms. Li called me into her office and told me that my attendance in the modelling classes was mandatory, Quinn began.

    “That must have been a shock,” Cindy said.

    “It was,” Quinn said.

    “So, what else happened?” Kristen asked.

    “So I argued with Ms. Li before calling my Mom at her work,” Quinn said.

    “She may not have expected that,” Kristen said.

    “Maybe not...” Quinn continued to tell her friends what happened.

    Schloss Morgendorffer - at Dinner
    “So, Daria, how was school?” Helen asked when she had finished handing out the lasagne.

    “Let's see, the usual happened, and oh, yes, the Modelling Classes were mysteriously canceled,” Daria said with some disembling.

    Helen and Quinn exchanged a look.

    Daria noticed it.“You had something to do with it, didn't you?”

    “Some things are meant to be mysterious, Daria,” Quinn said. She felt that Daria didn't really need to know.

    “Possibly, but I will keep asking you, Quinn.”

    “Fine!” Quinn said.
    “Wait, Quinn. I'll tell her,” Helen said.


    And so Helen filled Daria in on what had happened in the Principal's office...

    After Dinner, Daria sent an email to one her classmates.



    Casa Lane – Later that night
    “Woah,” Trent said. He, Jane and Jennifer had listened to Daria explain what had happened to cause the Modelling Classes to be canceled.

    “That puts it succinctly,” Daria said as she filled a glass at the sink.

    “So, Romonica clears out whilst Ms. Li gets your Mom's eye on her,” Jane said.

    “She doesn't know what she's getting into,” Daria said.

    “Hmm, yes,” Jane said in thought. She knew that Daria's Mom was a rather good lawyer.

    “However, I have another idea,” Daria said. She opened her laptop, and connected to one of the Lane's neighbours' unsecured wifi network. 'It's their own fault if they don't put a password on it.'

    “What are you up to?” Jane asked as she looked at the site that Daria had loaded.

    Jennifer wasn't sure what Daria was up to.

    “Wierd idea, Daria,” Trent said.

    “It is,” Jennifer murmured.

    Friday, November 11, 2005
    Lawndale High School Assembly
    Ms. Li was at the podium. “I'm sure you're anxious to know why the Classes held by the Amazon Modelling Agency were canceled.”

    “Just what is her spin on it?” Jane wondered.

    “Probably a watered down and twisted version of the truth,” Daria said.

    “Likely,” Jennifer said.

    “Yeah,” Jane said.

    “It came to my attention that Amazon Modelling wanted students who didn't want to participate to actually participate. Hm, so I was forced to terminate their services or allow legal action to brought against the school. It's obvious what my decision should be.”

    “Fairly close to the truth,” Quinn said.

    “I agree,” Cindy said.

    “So that is what happened,” Ms. Li said.

    However, something unexpected then occurred.

    A group of men in miltary garb appeared and approached the stage. A song came from a boombox that one of them was carrying. “Kill the en-em-y! Whoever it hap-pens to be! Huh! Huh!

    “What?” Jane asked.

    “Watch,” Daria said.

    The leader of the group of soldiers took the podium. “Ms. Li, I presume. Thanks, I'll take it from here.” He signaled for the boombox to be turned off. “Students, young people, red-blooded youth of America! I'm General Buck Conroy, publisher of Brutal Mercenary Magazine, and I've come to your school today to find out who among you has what it takes to become a soldier for hire in today's exciting world of geopolitical violence!”

    “What in the name of God?” Ms. Li said in surprise.

    “Now, now, ma'am, a deal's a deal. Sad to say, America no longer engages in the kind of ground wars that made this country great! But that doesn't mean that savage hand-to-hand combat is out of your reach. Mercenary soldiers go where the money is. You not only kill, but get paid well for doing it! Whew! What a racket! Next week, we'll have a complimentary class right in the auditorium,” General Conroy said.

    “What are you talking about? Who invited you here?” Ms. Li asked in panic.

    “Why, you did, ma'am. We have the email and Paypal receipt right here!” He held up the printouts of the mentioned documents. “Oh, look! The media!”

    “Oh no!” Ms. Li said.

    “Oh yes!” Daria said quietly.

    “Let's see her try to spin her way out of this one,” Jane whispered.

    Daria walked home alone that afternoon. She left the school after Jennifer and Jane had driven off. She stopped a block away from the school and turned. She saw the person she was meeting coming along after her. She held out a twenty. “Here's the agreed upon amount,” She said.
    “It will do,” Andrea Hecuba said.

    “What do you think of the use to which I put it?” Daria asked.

    “A great use. I would have called Conroy in long ago if I could have come up with an excuse,” Andrea said.

    “Good,” Daria said with a slight smirk.

    “If you want to hire my services again, just ask. Just don't tell your sister.”

    “Like I would give her the satisfaction.”

    “Good,” Andrea said as she left.

    That night, the Morgendorffers watched the evening news.
    And while Principal Angela Li denies inviting the mercenary recruiters to Lawndale High, News Five has learned that she did recently allow a modeling school to solicit students on school grounds, ” a reporter said.

    “Wow! That's all I can say. Wow! Does no one have any ethics anymore?” Jake commented.

    “Only you and Thoreau, Dad,” Daria said.

    “You are so right!” Jake said. He looked at his watch. “I gotta call that baby formula guy.” He left.

    “I know you have something to do with this, Daria!” Quinn said.

    “What do you mean?” Daria asked.

    “I know you used to subscribe to the General's magazine.”

    “But you can't prove it,” Daria said as she left.

    'She does have a point there,' Quinn thought.
  7. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Jul 26, 2001
    Re: Non Trek Fic: Quinn's Code (A Daria AU)Quinn's Code Installment 6:

    Quinn's Code
    Installment 6: The Lab Mouse. The Geek and the Convention Part 1
    Monday, November 21, 2005
    Lawndale High School
    The sophomore Biology class was in session, with Lawndale High's head Science teacher, Janet Barch, teaching.
    “And like a husband going home to his noble and self-sacrificing wife, the rat keeps returning to the food box. That is, the positive reinforcement.” She then turned to her misandry. “Huh, if only men could be more like rats. Oh, sure, they come home at first. You feed them, you wait on them, and then, after twenty-two thankless years, they just up and leave. No note, no phone call, no nothing!” She slammed the ruler on the desk. “Just... like... that!”

    “I wonder why he left,” Daria Morgendorffer said to her friend, Jennifer Burns.

    “Now, before I divide the class into teams of two, who can give me another example of reinforcement?” Ms. Barch paused. “Fine, class. Ignore me... just like he did! Kevin?”

    “Uh?” Kevin Thompson drew out.

    “Shut up, Kevin.” Ms. Barch said, her misandry at full intensity. She turned to Daria. “Daria? Reinforcement?”

    “Hmm...” Daria began. “To make a child stop crying, a mother might say, "That's it! I'm sending you to El Paso to live with your real father." Whenever the child gets upset, the mother might wave an airline ticket in her face, or maybe even frame it on the wall by the clown picture. The ticket stops the girl from crying, or showing any emotion... ever.”

    Jennifer looked at Daria. 'Is that right?'

    “I like the way you think. Kevin... Daria will be your lab partner.”

    'Uh, oh!' Jennifer thought.

    “What!” Kevin's girlfriend, Brittany Taylor, shreiked.

    “You two will design a maze, and condition Kevin,” Ms. Barch said, she quickly recovered from her almost faux pas. “I mean, condition a mouse using positive or negative reinforcement.”

    “But babe, we've never been separated on a lab project before! What'll we do?” Kevin wondered.

    “Pass? “ Daria asked.

    Jennifer chuckled in amusement.

    “Brittany, Charles will be your partner.”

    “But Ms. Barch, I'm a cheerleader!” Brittany squeaked in protest.

    “Give me an 'R.'” Charles Rutthiemer III, aka Upchuck, said suggestively.

    “I really like doing mazes. Those ones on the back of cereal boxes are cool,” Kevin said.
    “Well, now I am excited,” Daria said.

    “Shut up, Mack!” Ms. Barch said.

    Michael 'Mack' Mackenzie raised his eyebrows in surprise.

    “Ms. Burns will be your partner,” Ms. Barch said.

    'Cool, I can deal with that.' he thought.

    “Cool,” Jennifer said.

    “So, now Kevin's my lab partner,” Daria said at lunch.

    “Next best thing to working alone,” Jane said.

    “Oh, no. He likes mazes,” Daria said.

    “I'd swap if Ms. Barch would let us,” Jennifer said.

    “Mack's not that bad,” Jane siad.

    “I'm not complaining. I've worked with him before, although that was years ago,” Jennifer said as she started to reminice.

    4 years earlier
    Younger Jennifer and Mack working on a project in Jennifer's living room...

    They were collaborating on a design for a future city.
    “So we put the hospital here?” Mack asked.

    Jennifer merely nodded.

    “Cool,” Mack said. He drew the hospital, slightly embellished.

    Jennifer gave a thumbs up.

    “So, should there be a park near the hospital?”

    They continued their work.

    “Good times,” Jennifer said quietly.

    “Cool,” Jane said. She turned back to Daria. “Maybe you could get a wind up toy to distract him,” she said.

    “His wind-up toy is working with Upchuck,” Daria said.

    “That is definitely unfair for her,” Jennifer murmured.

    “Certainly,” Jane said.

    Kevin came up to the trio. “Hey, Daria. Mind if we do the maze thing at your house? My cable's broken.”

    Daria began to get a calculating look on her face.

    'She's up to something,' Jennifer thought.

    “Sure,” Daria said.

    “Cool!” Kevin said.

    Jane looked at Daria. “You have a plan, don't you?”

    Daria shrugged.

    “Of course you do,” Jane said.

    Helen Morgendorffer clicked off the TV. “Daria, I heard you're working with Kevin Thompson on a science project. He's quarterback of the football team, isn't he?”

    Daria remained silent and looked at Quinn.

    “Brittany was crying in the girls room,” Quinn said.

    “Isn't he?” Helen asked.

    “Yes,” Daria said.

    “Science is fascinating. Tell me all about it, honey.”

    “I can't. I signed a confidentiality paper. The other scientists would be mad,” Daria said.

    Helen sighed. She turned to Quinn. “Oh, forget it. Quinn, how was your weekend?”

    “It was awesome! Cindy and I totally pwnd all the guys in Halo and Age of Empires, and then the rest of the games were pretty even...”

    Helen interuppted. “Daria, please tell me about the project.”

    Daria sighed. “It's about how behavior is affected by positive or negative reinforcement.”

    “Sounds Super,” Helen said.

    “Like... say, you have a friend who responds to everything you say with, "That's great!" This insincere reply is the same whether you saved a life or killed a bug, and thus becomes "negative reinforcement," causing you to withdraw from that person or persons,” Daria said.
    “Wow. That's fantastic!”

    Daria rolled her eyes.

    “Maybe if you and Kevin work well together, he'll associate you with feeling good and want to include you in his circle of friends,” Helen said.

    'I don't think so, Mom,' Quinn thought.

    Daria just ignored Helen.

    “Maybe I'll help with the project. I'm into science,” Quinn said.

    “Quinn, that's great!”

    “Quinn, I don't need your nerdiness in doing my project,” Daria said.

    “Dar-i-a! I've told you many times. I'm not a nerd! I'm a geek! There's like a rather large difference,” Quinn said with annoyance.

    “Not from where I sit,” Daria said.

    Helen sighed, recognising the start of one of her daughters' many arguments.

    However the doorbell rang interuppting the belligerence.

    “Door!” Quinn said as she went towards it.

    The phone rang.

    “Phone!” Helen said.

    Quinn opened the door. “Hey, Kevin,” she said.

    “Hi, Quinn. Hey, Daria, I'm ready to start this maze thing,” Kevin said.

    “I'll be helping, Let's go,” Quinn said.

    “Sure,” Kevin said.

    However, Daria had a distraction in mind. She turned on the TV. “Look, Kevin: the Pigskin Channel. Great big guys slamming into other great big guys. Fun.”

    “Cool!” Kevin said.

    The Pigskin Channel! Classic football games 24 hours a day -- every day, all this month.

    “I guess it's just you and me. Got your saw and sandpaper?”

    “Sure,” Quinn said. She looked at Kevin totally engrossed in the Pigskin Channel. 'There's no way I can get his attention away from that without turning off the TV, or changing the channel.'

    “Good play!” Kevin said.

    Daria and Quinn entered the garage from the dining room. “So you have a plan for the maze?” Quinn asked.

    “Of course,” Daria said.

    “Good,” Quinn said.

    Daria went over to where she had placed the pieces of wood.

    Mack pulled his white Valiant up in front of a small two story house, with a ramshackle yard. He got out, walked to the door and knocked on it. Jennifer soon came to the door. “Hi, come in,” she said quietly.

    “Hi, Jen, could we start on the project tonight?” he asked.

    “Sure,” Jennifer said. She lead him towards the garage...

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005
    Once again, Kevin Thompson arrived at the Morgendorffer's house. “Hi, Kev, my man,” Jake Morgendorffer said as he met Kevin at the door.

    “Hi, Mr. Morgendorffer, is Daria home?”

    “She's here, she's up in her room. Daria! Your friend is here!


    Daria was up in her room, and on the phone. “So you and Mack, have been friends a long time then?”

    Since early grade school,” Jennifer said.

    “That's a long time,” she said.

    I guess so,” Jennifer said.

    Daria then heard her father call out that Kevin was there. “Daria! Your friend is here!

    “Sorry, I have to go, Kevin is here,” she said.

    Good luck.”

    “Thanks, bye.” Daria hung up and then went downstairs.

    “Hi, Kevin,” Daria said as she came down the stairs.

    “So, am I helping with the maze thing, or watching the Pigskin Channel?”

    “Watching the Pigskin Channel.”

    “Are you sure, Daria?” Jake asked.

    “I don't need his help,” Daria said as she turned on the TV.

    “Oh,” Jake said.

    Daria then headed towards the garage, out the front door.

    Quinn entered the living room from the kitchen, carrying snacks for her friends. She saw her father and Kevin watching a football game on the TV. 'Isn't he supposed to be helping Daria?' She had helped Daria with building the maze the previous night but she didn't want to do it again. “Kevin?”

    No response.


    Still no response.


    Again, no response.

    Quinn changed tack. “Daddy?”

    “What is it, Quinn? I'm watching this game.”

    “Why is Kevin watching the TV and not helping Daria?”

    “She asked him to,” Jake said as he scratched his chin.

    “Of course she did,” Quinn realised.

    Jake turned back to the TV. “Wait a minute, I don't remember that!”

    “It happened, Mr. M.”

    Quinn sighed.

    Quinn re-entered her room and placed the platter of snacks on the table next to the computers.

    “Oh, that Daria!” she exclaimed.
    “What's up with her this time?” Kristen Bell asked.

    “She's not allowing Kevin to help her with the lab project!”

    “Did she give a reason?” Cindy Brolsma asked.

    'She says that he would interfere with what she's doing and give her a bad mark!'

    “Maybe you could ask her if she could find him something he can do and still contribute to the project,” Cindy said.

    “I will think about it,” Quinn thought. 'If only I can find a way to ask her that won't lead to an argument...'

    “Anyhow, you're ready for the convention this weekend?” Kristen asked.

    “Yes, my Ichigo costume is almost ready,” Quinn said.

    “Crossdressing?” Kirsten asked.

    “No, Kristen, Tokyo Mew Mew, not Bleach!” Quinn said with a nervous laugh.

    “Sorry,” Kristen said as Cindy laughed.

    “So, are you coming?” Quinn asked.

    “Certainly,” Cindy said.

    “I'm coming,” Kristen said.

    “It's going to be great!”

    Wednesday, November 23, 2005
    Kevin arrived at Schloss Morgendorffer a third time. “Hi again, Kevin, watching the Pigskin Channel again?” Jake asked.

    “Of course, Mr. M,” Kevin said.

    “Cool,” Jake said.

    Quinn had seen Kevin park his jeep through her bedroom window. She grabbed her cell phone.

    Jennifer and Mack were in Jennifer's garage, training the mouse. Jennifer's phone rang. Jennifer dropped the mouse in surprise. “Where did it go?” she asked.

    “I'll look for it whilst you talk,” Mack said.

    “Thanks,” Jennifer said. She pressed the answer button. “Hi.”

    Hi, Jennifer?


    It's Quinn.”

    “I know, what are you calling about?”

    It's about Daria, and Kevin. She's not letting him participate in their lab project!

    “Have you talked to her about it?” Jennifer asked, she didn't want to broach the subject with Daria.

    Not yet,” Quinn said.

    “Talk to her about it, see if she could give him something for him to do.”

    Yeah, Cindy said something similar.

    “Good, anyway I have to go, the mouse is being difficult.”

    How can a mouse be difficult?

    “You don't want to know, bye.”


    Jennifer put the phone in her pocket. She turned to Mack. “I'll help, don't want it getting into my food...”

    Quinn hung up after her conversation with Jennifer. 'I guess I would have to talk to Daria afterall,' she thought as she went to her closet to get out her so-far-incomplete costume for the convention.

    Brittany finished filing Upchuck's disgusting magazines. 'I don't want to touch them ever again!' She went back to the Rutthiemer's garage.
    “Ok, I have finished filing your magazines!”

    “There are more chores I have in mind for you, otherwise...”


    Hours later, Jennifer collasped into bed, exhusted. She and Mack had been unable to find the mouse...
  8. Sandoval

    Sandoval Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jul 21, 2010
    Is anyone actually reading this just out of interest?

    27 posts before this one and all of them yours? Doesn't that get a bit soul-destroying after a while?
  9. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Jul 26, 2001
    No. I'm persistant.

    (Besides there are over 2500 views on the thread for an average of 92 per post. Even if some people just click and don't read, that's still dozens reading each installment.)

    So are you going to critique it?
  10. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Jul 26, 2001
    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.”

    “I'm not!”

    “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?”

    Jennifer nodded.

    “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.

    Brittany Taylor
    Charles Rutthiemer

    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.”

    Daria grumbled.

    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.

    “Quinn Morgendorffer.”


    “Cindy Brolsma.”


    “Kristen Bell.”

    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 exhibit.

    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.

    Quinn smiled.

    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.

    Daria grumbled.

    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.

  11. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Jul 26, 2001
    The Lab Mouse, the Geek and the Convention Part 3

    Quinn, Cindy and Kristen came to a makeshift booth. “Tatiana?” Quinn asked.

    “Hi, Quinn, Kristen, Cindy. Would you like copies of my fan fiction?” Tatiana Olivova asked, holding out a stapled printout of fanfic.

    “Of what is the fanfic?” Quinn asked.

    “This is a Ranma fic in which the Saotomes never go to Jusenko, but the Tendos do,” Tatiana said excitedly.

    “Ranma, no way!” Kristen said, slightly creeped out.

    “Let me guess, Akane is hit with the reverse of Ranma's curse?” Quinn asked, wariness and scepticism showing in her voice.

    Tatiana glared at Kristen before answering Quinn. “Yes! How did you guess?”

    “I've started to read fics like that before. It's hardly original,” Quinn snarked.

    “Oh, then this,” Tatiana said, putting the AU Ranma fic down. She picked another, smaller, fanfic paper up. “A one shot One Piece fic set shortly after the Alabaster arc.”

    Quinn took it. “It had better be well written,” she said.

    “I have a beta reader,” Tatiana said in response.

    “Good,” Quinn said.

    “You have other One Piece fics?” Cindy asked.

    “Yes,” Tatiana said, she handed Cindy another fic. “An AU from the Alabaster arc, in which Chopper doesn't join the Straw Hats.”

    “I'm not that familiar with One Piece. I wouldn't appreciate it,” Cindy said.

    “Oh,” Tatiana said. “Good point.” She accepted the One Piece fic back from Cindy and soon handed her another fic. “A one shot Sailor Moon fic set in the first season,” she said.

    “That will do,” Cindy said with a smile.

    “And you Kristen?” Tatiana asked eagerly.

    “I'm only familiar with Pokemon,” she said sheepishly. She glanced at Quinn. “And half the first season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.”

    “Oh,” Tatiana said. “I'm afraid I don't write fic for the former. And I haven't printed out my Ghost in the Shell fics.”

    “That's ok,” Kristen said, relieved.

    “By the way, Quinn. Your Mew Ichigo cosplay is quite convincing.”


    Mack, Daria, Jennifer and Jane approached the Taylor Mansion, after Mack had parked in the street. “What if Brittany isn't home?” Mack asked.

    “Then we'll find out where she has gone,” Daria said.

    “Sure,” Mack said.

    Daria rang the doorbell...
    There was no response. She rang it again.

    They waited.

    After about a minute, Daria rang it again. No response. “It looks like no one's home,” Jane said.

    “I agree,” Jennifer said quietly.

    Daria thought. “She may be at a friend's house. One of the other cheerleaders, for instance.”

    “Do you know where the other cheerleaders live?” Jane asked Jennifer.

    “Why would I know?” Jennifer responded.

    “I do,” Mack said.

    “Of course you do,” Jane said.

    “OK, pick one at random and take us there,” Daria said.

    “At random?” Jane asked.

    “Equal chance,” Daria said.

    “Sure,” Jane said.

    “We'll go to Angie Zammit's first,” Mack decided.

    “OK,” Daria said.

    Quinn, Cindy and Kristen took their leave from Tatiana's booth. “She's actually rather good,” Cindy said as she glanced over the fanfic that she had been given.

    “Really?” Quinn asked.

    “Well,” Cindy said slightly uncertainly. “Her writing's good at least, and her characterisation of Usagi.”

    Kristen pondered “Then again, it's not that hard to characterise Usagi correctly.”

    “Not true,” Quinn said. “There's more to her than her tendency to burst into tears.”

    “Quinn's right,” Cindy said as they turned a corner and came to a Ghost in the Shell booth.

    “Cool,” Quinn said as she noticed that booth...

    Daria, Jane, Jennifer and Mack arrived at their destination, an art deco house of similar size to Daria's, ten minutes after leaving the Taylor's mansion. Jennifer rang the doorbell.

    Angie answered the door. “Hi, Mack, what brings you here?” she asked.

    “We're looking for Brittany, is she here?” Mack asked.

    “Brittany isn't here,” Angie said. “Why are you looking for her?”

    “You may be aware of Ms. Barch's reinforcement project?” Daria asked.

    “Yes,” Angie said.

    “Brittany has sabotaged Kevin and myself.”

    “She took the mouse,” Jane explained.

    “I can see why, but I still don't know where she is,” Angie said. She thought. She could be at Nikki's though,” she continued.

    “Oh,” Jennifer said.

    “We'll go there,” Daria said.

    “If she comes here, I'll tell her that you came looking for her,” Angie said.

    As they returned to his car, Daria asked. “I'm sure you know where Nikki lives too?”

    “She's also a cheerleader,” Jane answered.

    “Of course,” Daria said.

    “Her house isn't that far. It won't take longer than five minutes,” Mack said.

    At the convention, there was trouble! “What do you mean it's bad. It's well written!” Tatiana objected.

    “Look here,” a Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan, (or fanatic) said, pointing at a place in one of Tatiana's Yu-Gi-Oh! fics. “This is completely out of character!”

    Tatiana grabbed the paper out of the fan's hand. “How is it out of character. How is it out of character?” she asked.

    “Kaiba would never act altruistically towards Yugi in that manner!”
    “Oh, that! It's been established in this series that his parents didn't die when he and his brother were children,” Tatiana explained.

    “It's part of a series!? I thought it was a oneshot,” the fan said. He looked the beginning of the story over again.

    “No, it's in a series.”

    “It doesn't say it's in a series.”

    “Well, it is. The rest of it is on if you want to have a look.”

    “I don't want to have a look!”

    “If you don't like it, give it back,” Tatiana demanded. She made a move for the paper in the fan's hand.

    “NO! I'M NOT!” The fan's shouting brought the attention of nearby convention goers, including Jenna and Koichi.

    “That won't end well,” Jenna said in embarrassment. Koichi nodded.

    The fan grabbed the fic papers on both side and started ripping it up. “HEY!” Tatiana exclaimed. She placed her hands on her hips. “Do you know how much printer ink costs!” she objected. The fan continued ripping it up.

    “I know, its a complete waste of ink, and paper!” the fan said, as he scattered the pieces about. “Let's see what else you have here...”

    “Oh no you don't!” Tatiana growled as she stared the other person in the eye.

    “I will!” the fan said as he grabbed another fic...

    Mack's Valiant pulled up outside a mid-sized brown brick house with a green roof. “Here we are, Nikki Dowling's,” Mack said.

    “Let's do this then,” Jane said.

    Jennifer smiled. 'Absolutely. I hope, Brittany's here,' she thought.

    Nikki paused the playback on a video when she heard the doorbell. “Anyone going to answer that?” she called. She listened, then merely heard the doorbell ring again. 'Of course, they're too busy,' she thought. She sighed and went to the door. “Hi, Mack,” she said, when she saw Mack and the others with him.

    “Hi, Nikki. We're wondering if Brittany is here,” Mack said.

    'Brittany?' “I have no idea. She could be hiding from Upchuck somewhere where he wouldn't think she would go,” Nikki said. She remembered Brittany complaining to her about Upchuck on Wednesday. “If you ask me. It's Upchuck that you need to be looking for!”
    “Upchuck may have something to do with it, but it's Brittany I have the problem with!” Daria said.

    Nikki looked at the misanthrope sister of the popular geek (She still wondered how Quinn managed it in less than a month. Still; anyone who could knock Sandi down to size was appreciated.) “What is this problem?”

    “She took the lab mouse that I have been training for Ms. Barch's project.”

    'Of course, Kevin would be completely useless in such a project! And it's not uncharacteristic of Brittany to assume that others would want to take Kevin from her.' “I can see why,” Nikki said.

    “So you have absolutely no idea?” Jane asked.

    “No clue, although you could try Angie's house.”

    “We've already been there,” Jane said.

    “She suggested here,” Jennifer said.

    “Maybe Lisa's house,” Nikki said to Mack.

    “We'll go there, then,” Mack said.

    “You don't want to stay for morning tea?” Nikki asked. 'I could find out more about this situation, and Daria,' she thought.

    “Um, no thanks,” Daria said. “I'd like to keep looking.”

    “Come, on, Daria. We can take a break,” Jane said.

    “Sure,” Mack said to Nikki. Daria sighed. Nikki smiled.

    “What?” Cindy said, confused.

    “What?” Quinn asked, turning from a fan artist's booth.

    “Look!” Cindy said pointing.

    Quinn looked in the direction where Cindy was pointing, and saw Tatiana struggling against a security guard whom was escorting her out of the convention. “Oh dear! Looks like someone didn't like her fanfics,” she said.

    “Most likely, but why is she the one who's being thrown out?” Kristen asked.

    “She overreacted?” Cindy wondered.

    'That's likely,' Quinn thought.

    Tatiana was pushed out of the doors of the convention center. “You can't ban me from Lawndale Anime Conventions for life!” she exclaimed.

    “Not for life. Another four years. Until you're an adult,” the security guard said.

    “This is outrageous! I wasn't at fault!”

    “No, but you caused a disturbance.”

    “It still wasn't my fault!” Tatiana objected with her arms crossed.

    Mack, Daria, Jane and Jennifer took their leave from Nikki's house. “Bye,” Nikki said, after the others had said their farewells.

    “So, you also know where Lisa lives too?” Daria asked Mack as they approached the car.

    “Yes, she lives somewhere between here and Angie's. This won't take any longer,” Mack explained.

    “Somewhere? Are you sure you don't need to go back in and ask Nikki?” Daria asked.

    'Quite brusque isn't she,' Mack thought. “I know the address,” he said confidently, after noticing Jennifer wince.

    They arrived at Lisa Fisher's house 10 minutes later. The delay was due to the fact that they had to cross one of Lawndale's main thoroughfares, and the traffic signal on their street was red for about 4 minutes.

    Jennifer rang the doorbell this time. One of Lisa's many siblings opened the door. “Hi, is your sister, Lisa home?” Mack asked.

    “As far as I know,” the young tomboy (or actual boy, Jennifer wasn't sure) said.

    “Could you find out?” Mack asked.

    “Sure,” the child turned. “Lisa! Some friends of yours at the door!”

    “Who?” came the answer down the stairs.

    “A guy and three girls,” the younger sibling said.

    “I'll be down,” came Lisa's answer.

    “She'll be down soon. Come in.”

    The group sat in the large living room with Lisa's sibling, until Lisa came down. “Thanks, Lee,” she said.

    'Even the name is indefinite,' Jennifer thought. Lee then went off into another room. The sound of a video game system could then be heard.

    “So, why are you here?” Lisa asked.

    “Brittany was indulging in taking others property yesterday, and we want to find out where she is so we can talk to her about it,” Jane said. Daria grumbled at Jane's description. “Well it's true,” Jane replied.

    “What did Brittany steal?” Lisa asked, confused.

    “A lab mouse that Ms. Barch had assigned Kevin and I with,” Daria said.

    Lisa burst out laughing. “Sorry,” she said. “Well, there's your answer. She's jealous!” she continued with humor still in her voice.

    “I'm well aware of that!” Daria deadpanned.

    Lisa squirmed under Daria's glare. “I don't know where she is. If she isn't at home she could be anywhere,” she admitted.

    “We've been to Angie's and Nikki's too,” Mack said.

    “She hasn't been here. She said on Wednesday that she was planning on hiding from Upchuck on the weekend.”

    “Did she say she was planning anything specific?” Jane asked.

    Lisa then thought. “No,” she said after a significant fraction of a minute.

    “We'll keep looking then,” Daria said.

    “Yes, go ask Donna,” Lisa said.

    “Sure,” Mack said.

    “You like something before you go?” Lisa asked, trying to be hospitable.

    “We already had something at Nikki's,” Jane said.

    “That's fine,” Lisa said. She thought again. “Now you've got me curious. Can I come with you?”

    “Fine by me,” Mack said. He turned to Daria. “Daria?”

    “I guess so,” she said, although she had reservations about having a large group looking for Brittany. 'It could get out of hand.'

    “Let's go,” Jane said.

    “I'll just tell my Mom,” Lisa said.

    Tatiana sat boredly outside the convention hall. 'This is tedious!' she thought. She wished she had a yo-yo or something. She had already re-read what remained of her print-outs many times. “I shouldn't have been thrown out,” she murmured for the umpteenth time.

    The full Valiant pulled up outside a modestly sized white house with a clean yard, fifteen minutes after leaving the Fisher residence. They noticed a few other cars. “Donna's older brother seems to haven't gone back to College yet,” Lisa said.

    “Thanksgiving may not have been enough,” Jane said with a shrug.

    “I guess so,” Daria said.

    Lisa rang the doorbell. A modestly dressed middle-aged blonde woman answered the door. “Hi, Mrs. Bolton, is Donna home?” Lisa asked.

    “Yes, Lisa. She's up in her room. Come in and I'll get her,” Donna's mother said.

    “Thanks,” Lisa said.

    “The others can come in too,” Mrs. Bolton said.

    “Cool,” Jane said. As soon as Donna's mother had turned, Jane lifted the polaroid and took a picture.

    Lisa glared at Jane. “That's not a good idea,” she whispered as she stepped inside.

    “For use in an artwork,” Jane explained.

    “I guess so,” Lisa said, uncertainly. She had heard from various other classmates that Ms. Defoe considered Jane to be very good.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  12. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Jul 26, 2001
    The Lab Mouse, the Geek and the Convention (Part 4)

    A minute later, Donna entered the living room. “Hi, what brings you here, Lisa, Mack?”

    “Actually it was Daria,” Mack said.

    “I was wondering if you knew where Brittany is?” Daria asked.

    Donna looked uncomfortable. “Brittany? Actually, she's in my room,” she admitted.

    “She is?” Daria got up and headed to the stairs where Donna had come down.

    “Wait, Daria,” Jane said. She and Jennifer also got up.

    Daria waited at the foot of the stairs for her two friends to catch up. “Wait, which room is yours?” Daria said when she realized that she wouldn't know which room Brittany would be in.

    “I'm not telling you,” Donna said with her hands on her hips. “I'll go get her.”

    “I'll wait,” Daria said as she went back to her seat.

    Donna returned to her room, where Brittany was gazing out the window. “Brittany? What did you do to annoy that Daria girl?”

    “Annoy her!” Brittany squeaked. “She was stealing my Kevvy!” She paused. “Why?”

    Donna gave her a look. “You may have been worried about Upchuck, but she's here.”

    Brittany sat down. “Tell her I'm not here!”

    “She's already knows that you're here,” Donna said.

    “You told her, didn't you?”


    Donna came down. “Brittany doesn't want to see you,” she said to Daria.

    “She doesn't? Then I'll stay here until she changes her mind.”

    “If Brittany doesn't want to see you, she doesn't want to see you.”

    “I'm still staying here. Go and tell her that.”

    Jennifer placed her hand on Daria's shoulder. “I think that is not a good idea.”

    Daria was stubborn. “Maybe not, but she entered my house and took something that wasn't hers. I would rather talk to her, than involve the police.” She turned back to Donna. “Tell her that too.”

    Donna sighed. “Would you really do that?”

    “Only if I had no other choice,” Daria replied.

    Donna thought for a moment. “I will tell Brittany that.”

    “Good,” Daria said.

    Brittany saw Donna come back into the room. “Is she gone?”

    Donna gave a sympathetic look. “She won't leave until she talks to you. She also said that you took something from her house and that she would go to the police about it if you don't talk to her.”

    Brittany's eyes opened wide. “The Police? Eep!”

    “What did you take from the Morgendorffer's house?”

    “A mouse. But it was so that Daria would stay away from Kevin.”
    “I see,” Donna said. 'Brittany, Brittany, Brittany, he's not worth it,' she thought.

    Brittany looked down. “Kevvy ignored me!” she said forgetting to say that the pigskin channel was responsible, not Daria.

    “Still, talk to Daria.”

    Brittany sighed, and got up. “I'm ready.”

    Brittany came down the stairs after Donna. “I'm here, Daria. I'm not sorry that I took that stupid little animal!”

    Daria's voice was low. “I know why you would take it, but I'm not after Kevin.”

    “You are!”

    “I am not. You can have him. He's only over at my house because Ms. Barch put us together on the science project. The same reason why you're working with Upchuck.”

    Brittany twirled her hair in thought. “That's true. I would still have the problems with Upchuck though,.”

    Daria, Jane and Jennifer exchanged a look. Why would Brittany still have a problem with Upchuck if they weren't working together? “Right,” Jane said with an eyebrow raised.

    Daria turned the conversation back to her intent. “I would like that mouse back!”

    “I don't have it here!” Brittany projected.

    “Of course not,” Jennifer murmured.

    “I know you wouldn't have it here. I hope you didn't let it go,” Daria said, her face in Brittany's.

    Brittany glared back. “What do you think I am? Stupid? I gave it to my brother!”

    Jane stepped next to Daria and looked at Brittany. “How do you know that he didn't let it go?”

    Brittany twirled her hair again. “He had better not, the little creep!”

    “Now. I'll give you a deal...” Daria began.

    Brittany interrupted. “What sort of deal?”

    Daria shot back. “...You give me the mouse back, and you can have Kevin back.” She paused. “If we go to your house now.”

    “Upchuck might be there!”

    “That would be the least of your worries,” Daria said as she gave a disconcerting smile.

    Brittany flinched. “Oooh! We don't have to go now!” she said as she brandished a fist. Daria responded by grabbing the cheerleader by her shoulders.

    “Um, Daria, you don't want to do that!” Lisa warned.

    “We are going now,” Daria said.

    “No!” Brittany said, and promptly twisted Daria onto her back in a martial arts move. Daria leapt up and was promptly restrained by Jane and Jennifer.

    “You're good,” Daria said stubbornly.

    “Brittany, I think it would be wise to accept Daria's request,” Donna said. She didn't want the stand off happening in her living room to go on for much longer.

    Brittany then began to twirl her hair more intently than before.

    {Convention events?}

    Mack's Valiant and Donna's Hyundai Elantra pulled up outside the Taylor mansion. Mack, Jane, Jennifer and Daria emerged from the Valiant. Brittany, Donna and Lisa from the Elantra. Brittany looked around nervously. 'He's not here,' she thought.

    “It looks as if no one's home,” Jane said.

    “I agree,” Jennifer said.

    “Time to go in,” Daria said.

    “Follow me,” Brittany said.

    Brittany opened Brian's door to find the creepy room deserted. “Here's not here,” She said after a moment.

    “Is your father or step-mother home?” Daria asked.

    “You're not going to tell them!” Brittany said.

    “I might,” Daria said in response.

    “O-ooh! I'm not going to say if they are or not!”

    “Are they or not?”

    Brittany remained unwilling to tell Daria if her father or Ashley-Amber were home. “Daria, I think it's best not to bring her parents into this,” Jane said.

    “Why not?”
    “Brittany might accuse you of slander or something. Not in so many words of course,” Jane replied.

    “Of course.” Daria turned to Brittany. “I'm not going to tell them, but they may know where your brother is.”

    “I think they're here,” Brittany said.

    They found Steve in his home office. “Dad?”

    “Yes, sweetie?” Steve asked.

    “Do you know where Brian has gone today?”

    “Haven't a clue. Did you ask Ashley-Amber?”

    “I'll ask her.”

    Ashley-Amber was relaxing in one of the upstairs rec-rooms watching a 'Chick Flick'. “Ashley-Amber?”

    “Yes, Brittany?”

    “Do you know where Brian has gone today?”

    Ashley-Amber thought, not taking notice of the other people with Brittany. “I think he mentioned seeing one or two of his friends,” she finally said.

    “Which friends?” Brittany asked.

    “He didn't say.”

    “That's disappointing,” Jane said as she reached the bottom of the stairs.

    “We're not going to try to go around Brian's friend's places are we?” Donna asked.

    “The places he hangs out at; creepy,” Lisa said with a shudder.

    “Some are creepier than Andrea's,” Donna said.

    “And you would know this, how?” Jane asked with a raised eyebrow.

    “I had to accompany Brittany there to pick him up once,” Donna said.

    “And she had a sleepover at Andrea's in middle school,” Lisa said.

    “Never again,” Donna murmured.

    “Right,” Daria said.
    “Brittany, there would be an address book somewhere?” Jennifer asked quietly.

    “Yes,” Brittany responded.

    “You know where it is?” Daria asked.

    “Yes,” Brittany replied.

    After Brittany had copied the details for Brian's friends as described in the address book (which they had borrowed from Steve), they left the Taylor residence heading towards the closest of those addresses.

    First, they arrived at a large house on Grandstaff Drive...

    “No, he hasn't been here for months,” Chris Griffin said.

    “Our sister was angry with him for mistreating her cat,” his older brother, Sam, said.

    “Hey, whose friend are we talking about!” Chris said.

    “So you don't know which of his other friends he has gone to?” Jane asked.

    “No!” Chris said with a shake of his head.

    “He didn't tell you at school?” Daria asked.

    “No!” Chris said again.

    Daria thought fore a moment. “In that case, we'll be off,” she said.

    “Thanks for your time, Mrs. Griffin,” Donna said.

    “I hope you find this Brian kid,” Chris's mom, Linda, said.

    “So do I,” Mack said.

    None of them saw Chris's sister glaring at them from the stairs as they left...

    They visited three more of the addresses on the list, going further into downscale areas of Lawndale as they went. The ten year olds at the first two addresses had as much of a lack of a clue as Chris did. However it was a different story at the third. Brian's friend who lived there had been told by him that he would be visiting another of their friends.
    “So you know where this place is?” Jennifer asked quietly.

    “Of course,” the boy said.

    “So, you can tell us the address?” Jane asked patiently.

    “Yes,” he said. He then told the group the address. Jennifer blanched.

    “What's wrong?” Daria asked.

    “That's in the middle of Lawndale Flats,” Donna said,

    “So?” Daria asked, not sure what part of Lawndale that was.

    “It's a public housing estate, on the far eastern side of town,” Mack said.

    “However bad it is, it'll still be an improvement on Highland,” Daria replied.

    “Of course, we're chasing the mouse into Lawndale Flats!” Lisa lamented.

    Daria made to leave. “Let's go.”

    Back at the Convention Quinn came back to Cindy and Kristen with a signed Manga. “Yes!” Quinn shouted. Kristen put her hands over her ears. “Cool,” she said sardonically.

    “What is it? Cindy asked excitedly.

    Quinn pointed to the katakana phrase on the cover of the manga. “Saibakanada no toraburu,” she said.

    “Huh?” Cindy asked.

    “Loosely translated: Cyber-Canadian Troubles,” Quinn said. “It's cyberpunk.”

    “Oh, so it's like Ghost in the Shell, except in Canada?” Kristen asked.

    “Wait, how can you read it if it's in Japanese?” Cindy asked. 'She would have mentioned it if she knew the language,' she thought.

    “I understand some symbols. Besides, Koichi knows it,” Quinn replied.

    “Cool,” Kristen said.

    The Valiant and the Elantra pulled up in front of a rundown townhouse on the north-eastern edge of Lawndale. “Still think that place in Texas is worse?” Mack asked.

    “Yes,” Daria replied. She opened the door.

    The young lady warily opened the door a crack, ensuring that the chain lock was in the correct position. She saw a large group of teens just outside. A girl with long auburn hair was glaring at her. “Hello, how can I help you?”

    “Is this the Mankin residence,” the auburn haired girl asked in a monotone.

    “Yes, it is,” the young lady said timidly.

    “Is someone named Brian Taylor here?”

    “No comment. Who's asking?”

    “I'm his sister!” a very perky blonde said in a high pitched voice.

    “Oh, but not everyone can come in, only about four of you at most. There isn't much room.”

    Brittany, Daria, Jane and Lisa entered the Mankin's rather spartan (and tiny) lounge/dining room behind the young mother. They could see that there wasn't much in the way of chairs.

    “Cal, Brian's sister is here,” Ms. Mankin called.

    “Coming, Mom,” was the reply. The sounds of a ruckus in the bedroom came through the wall.

    “Would you like anything?”

    “Soda would be nice,” Jane said. Lisa and Brittany nodded.

    “Water would be fine,” Daria said.

    Brian and his friend Cal emerged from the bedroom. “What are you doing here, Brit?” he asked.

    “I would like the mouse back,” Brittany said.

    “She took it from me,” Daria explained.

    “It's not here!” Brian said with a disturbing smile.

    “What's going on?” Ms. Mankin asked, wanting to know what exactly was going on.

    Jane turned to Daria, who then explained, with some commentary by Lisa...

    “Let's see if I have this straight, Ms. Barch assigned Brian's sister's boyfriend to Daria, which caused Brian's sister to get jelous? And she then tries to stop her boyfriend from spending time with Daria by stealing the mouse from Daria's house? Is that right?” Ms. Mankin asked after some thought.

    “Yes,” Daria replied.

    “Pretty much,” Jane added.

    “It's rather stupid,” Ms. Mankin said.

    “I agree with that,” Daria said.

    “If only...” Ms. Mankin said briefly before stopping.

    “I realize that now,” Brittany said, with a slight shake of her head.

    “So, Brian, where is the mouse?” Ms. Mankin asked, wanting to get to the point. 'I hope he hasn't done something to it...' she thought.

    “Not here!”

    “Clearly!” Ms. Mankin said with her arms over her chest, and glaring at Brian. He smiled. 'He's creepier than ever!'

    “It's at home!” Brian said.

    “It's not in your room!” Brittany said.

    Brian smiled again. “It's in the basement.”

    'There's something strange about the way he's smiling,' Daria thought. “We definitely didn't look there. Let's go,” she said.

    “I agree,” Jane said.

    “Sure,” Brittany said.

    “You want to take Brian with you?” Ms. Mankin asked.

    “Yes,” Brittany said.

    “Bye, Cal.”

    “Bye, Brian,” Cal said quietly.

    The group left the townhouse. “So, we have Brian?” Mack asked.

    “Yes, the mouse is apparently in their basement,” Lisa said.

    “Let's go,” Mack said.

    “Sure,” Donna said.

    The two cars then arrived back at the Taylor's mansion, after driving across Lawndale, 20 minutes later.

    Brian and Brittany went down to the basement. Shortly afterwards, Brittany emerged from the basement carrying a box, the same box that she had taken from the Morgendorffer's garage. “It's in here, Daria,” Brittany said.

    “I wonder why,” Jane said.
    “Good,” Daria said as she snatched the box away. She opened the box and looked at the mouse. “Of course.”

    “What?” Jane asked. Jennifer repeated her question with an enquiring look. Daria showed them the mouse. “Oh! That creep!”

    “He obviously did something,” Jennifer said quietly.

    Daria closed the box.”Thanks for your help,” she said to Mack and the cheerleaders.

    “You're welcome,” Mack said.

    “Time to go,” Daria directed.

    “Sure,” Jane said.
  13. USS Fardell

    USS Fardell Captain Captain

    Jul 26, 2001
    The Lab Mouse, the Geek and the Convention (Part 5)
    However, when Daria opened the door, she found Upchuck on the doorstep. “Ms. Morgendorffer, I know Brittany's here.”

    “What is it to you? I'm sure that you have your project well in hand.”

    “Indeed I do, but I need some input from her. Ms. Barch will fail us otherwise.”

    Daria could see the truth in that statement. However something was 'off' about Upchuck's demeanour. “What aren't you saying?” she asked.

    “Who cares? Let's go,” Jane said.

    “Wait, Jane. Something's up,” Jennifer said.

    “Probably,” Jane said after a little thought.

    “Brittany doesn't want to see you, Upchuck!” Donna said.

    “True,” Upchuck admitted.

    “Kevin wouldn't like it when I tell him what you have been doing,” Daria said.

    “That big lug? The worst that he would do is try to pummel me. I have taken karate.” Upchuck adopted a karate pose for emphasis.

    “I guess...” Jane began.

    “What do you have on her?” Daria asked, interrupting Jane.

    “What?” Jane asked.

    “What?” Upchuck echoed.

    “It's obvious that you have something on her,” Daria said.

    “What is it, Upchuck?” Jane said.

    “I'm not saying!”

    “Give it to me!” Brittany said, emerging from one of the side rooms.

    “No!” Upchuck said.


    “Whatever it is, hand it over,” Daria said.

    “Even if I wanted to, it's safely at home,” Upchuck said.

    “Go there,” Daria said.

    “No, Daria. Brittany, I will tell Kevin, if you don't come now.”

    “So that's it,” Jane concluded. Jennifer nodded as she came to the same conclusion

    “That's what?” Daria asked, confused.

    “They cheat on each other, some of the time. He's caught Brittany at one of those times,” Jennifer whispered to Daria.

    “Oh, then go and tell Kevin, Upchuck. Just leave Brittany alone,” Daria said.

    “It isn't the usual type of cheating.”

    Daria turned to Brittany. “It isn't an adult, is it?”

    “Of course not!” Brittany answered, squeaking higher than usual.

    “It's a teen, but not someone from Lawndale,” Upchuck said, placing the emphasis on the town's name.

    “O-ooh!” Brittany had had enough. “So what if it's the Oakwood quarterback!”

    Donna was shocked. “Sam Stack? But he's Kevin's biggest rival!”

    “I know,” Brittany said in embarrassment and shame.

    Donna saw the expression on her friend's face. “I won't tell him.”

    “So, it comes out,” Daria said.

    Donna shot a look of annoyance at Daria. “Thanks, Donna,” Brittany said.

    “Now, it's time to go,” Jane said.
    “Yes, I need to figure out what to tell Ms. Barch on Monday,” Daria said.

    When Quinn, Cindy and Kristen left the convention for the day, they found that Tatiana was still sitting outside. “Why are you still here?” Kristen asked.

    “I had planned to be at the convention all day,” Tatiana said. Her voice showed a mixture of boredom and exhasperation.

    “So? There's are other things to do in Lawndale,” Cindy said.

    “Not many!” Tatiana answered.

    “Those options are still available,” Quinn said.

    “I guess so,” Tatiana said.

    “How are you getting home?” Cindy asked.

    “My sister is picking me up,” Tatiana said.

    “That's ok then,” Cindy said.

    “We can wait, keep you company,” Quinn suggested.

    “No need to do that,” Tatiana said.

    “Oh, OK.”

    Later that night, the Morgendorffers were having their usual dinner of microwaved lasagne.

    “How was it at the Convention, Quinn?” Jake asked.

    Quinn started into her description of events...

    “...And then Tatiana was thrown out,” Quinn said as she continued her description of the convention.

    “Well, she caused a disturbance. That's what happens when obsessions get out of control,” Helen said.

    “I guess so,” Quinn said. She considered that it was a possiblity that Tatiana was obsessed.

    “How was your day, Daria?”

    “The usual,” Daria said, deciding not to give anything away. (She hadn't been able to get the mouse to respond to any stimuli. It had just lay there, shaking. She knew she had to out Brian to Ms. Barch somehow, but without naming him.)

    “You must have done something. I notice that Kevin isn't here, watching the pigskin channel,” Helen said.

    “Yeah, where is he?” Jake asked.

    “Jake! Let me ask!”


    “He has finished his part of the project,” Daria said.

    “Are you sure?” Helen asked.

    “Of course he has,” Daria answered.

    “I know that you went somewhere today,” Jake said.

    “I go somewhere every Saturday,” Daria said. 'At least since we moved here.'

    “I suppose,” Helen sighed.

    Sunday, November 26, 2005
    Quinn, Cindy and Kristen arrived at the convention for the second day. Quinn was wearing the Ichigo outfit again. “What do you think will happen today?” Cindy asked.

    “It probably will be as exciting as yesterday,” Kristen said.

    “What make you say that?” Quinn asked.

    “Tatiana is here,” Kristen said, pointing her out.

    “Tatiana? Weren't you banned for four years?” Quinn asked.

    “I was, but it's not fair!”

    “You think you could change their mind by being here?” Quinn asked.

    “Possibly!” Tatiana said.

    “I don't think it would work,” Kristen said.

    “Sorry,” Cindy said, as they went in.

    Tatiana sighed.

    Daria, Jane and Jennifer were in the garage, with the mouse. “It's hopeless. He hasn't touched his food,” Jennifer said.

    “I know what to say to Ms. Barch,” Daria said.

    “The truth?” Jennifer asked.

    “Without mentioning Brian by name,” Daria said.

    “Good,” Jane said.

    “So, what are you saying to Ms. Barch?” Jennifer asked.

    “You'll find out tomorrow,” Daria said. Jennifer nodded.

    “But what'll happen to the mouse?” Jane asked.

    “I have no idea what Ms. Barch will do with it,” Daria said.

    “True, maybe one of our classmates?” Jane asked.

    “But which student would want a traumatised mouse as a pet? It wouldn't be worth it,” Daria said.

    'I guess so,' Jane thought.

    Monday, November 27, 2005
    Ms. Barch's class was in session. “Brittany, Charles. You're up.”

    Brittany and Upchuck carried their cage to the front. It contained a hamster tube leading to the cheese.

    “We started with...” Upchuck began.

    Ms. Barch interrupted. “ Shut up, Charles. Brittany, did you go with negative or positive reinforcement?”

    Upchuck gulped. He hoped Brittany would read from the cue card that he had given her.

    Brittany took out the card that Upchuck had printed out for her. “We used positive reinforcement to train the mouse to find the right way to the food in the center of the maze,” she said. Unfortunately she sounded dull.

    Ms. Barch took the cue card off Brittany. “Who wrote this?” she asked.

    “It doesn't matter,” Brittany said, knowing that if she did tell the teacher that it was Upchuck who wrote it, that she would fail.”

    Ms. Barch came to that conclusion anyway, but didn't want to fail Brittany. It was the best that she had done since she started at LHS the previous year. “OK, Brittany, you get a B-.”

    “That's a relief,” Upchuck said.

    “Not you, Upchuck! You get a D-!”

    Upchuck groaned.

    “Daria and Kevin.”

    “In conclusion, this mouse -- through no fault of my own, Brittany -- was repeatedly abused by a ten-year-old boy. As a result, the mouse's primary response to everyday stimuli is fear. Similar reactions also occur in humans. Take the mugging victim, beaten with nunchuks in an alleyway. As he, or she, recalls the attacker's face -- his scraggly goatee and cheap, dangly earring -- she learns to hate and fear all men, regardless of age, race or taste in jewelry,” Daria said as she concluded her presentation.

    “Really?” Kevin asked.

    “Don't interrupt, hateful scum. Excellent job, Daria. You get an 'A.'”

    “All right!” Kevin celebrated. Too soon...

    “Not you, you man. You get a 'D.'”

    “All right!” Kevin said. It was still his best lab grade ever...

    Kevin met Daria in the hallway after class. “You know, Daria, I really liked hanging out at your house and working on the maze thing.”

    “Yeah, the week just flew by. It was like you were hardly there.”

    “Thanks.” Kevin paused. “Hey, Daria?”


    “I'm having a big party Friday, and I want a lot of cool people there. Could you...”

    “Yes?” she asked with slight hope.

    “...ask Quinn if she could make it?”

    “No, Kevin, you can ask her yourself,” Daria said in reply.

    “Um, OK.”
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015