[Hyperlinks are to pictures]
April 6, 2009
Yes, that’s right. I, Trent Lane, had to hire a bounty hunter to find Daria. The CIA
manages the country so well, it’s driven private detectives out of business. But in the
underground, lawless society beneath their feet, you can still find a bounty hunter or two.
The one I was meeting in this filthy, disgusting pub in a diseased corner of NYC
was one of the best. D.D. Powers, who’d apparently taken a liberal dose of Daria’s books,
was a CIA veteran with cunning to match. Sloane had recommended her to me, after she’d
located one of Quinn’s missing Shi Tzu’s, Pooky.
Quinn. She was Daria’s sister, and Tom Sloane’s wife. But even she had no idea
where Daria had lit out for when she took herself and suitcase out of my door, five years
and three months to this day. I’d hired some of the CIA’s best, but even they didn’t have
what this Powers woman did.
She had the power to control the entire country from her PC.
Or so Sloane said
The door opened. Whoa! That was D.D. Powers. Jesus, you’d think she was sewn
into that outfit.
Her long brown hair swished about her shoulders. Despite her glasses, D.D. was pretty,
almost as beautiful as Daria, until you noticed the gun strapped at her waist.
“Hey,” she said, slipping into the booth. “Spiky hair. You must be the guy Sloane
told me about.” She flipped her ID on the table, flashing the CIA mug shot.
“I’m D.D. Powers, call me D. What’s the name?”
“And your business?”
“I’m searching for a Daria Morgendorffer. Quinn Sloane’s sister. She walked out
my door five years ago, and took my heart with her.”
“May I ask why you’re searching for her now?” D. asked.
“I’ve been searching for her, without any luck. But according to Sloane, most ex-
agents don’t have what you have.”
“What would that be, Mr. Lane?”
“Some sort of super computer system, and a good rapport with the CIA. Why aren’t
you still in the CIA, by the way?”
D. pursed her lips, irritated. “I don’t see as how it’s any of your business.”
“I’m just curious.”
“I’ve got a kid to take care of. The CIA dragged us to all four corners of the world.
At least Jimmy doesn’t have to be shot at by Iraqis in America. There’s plenty of pond
scum to feed the both us here. Bounty hunting pays well.”
“Oh.” She looked awfully young to be a mother. Then again, since I’m 32, pretty
much everyone looks young these days.
“I’ll look for her. But I can’t promise anything. Who did you hire previously?”
“McAllister. And Genevieve DuMackie, for a short period of time.”
“A hundred thousand up front. A million if you find her.”
“I’ll see what I can do.” As D. glided out of the disreputable pub, I watched my last
speck of hope follow her. She seemed able. And there was something familiar about her, as
April 7, 2009
She’d just left the pub. Checking her watch, she found it was after one in the
morning. Oh well, she thought, Jimmy’s staying with Ani tonight anyway.
She couldn’t believe she’d had the nerve. Working with Sloane, Quinn had never
seen her, but even so, she was taking a risk. But Trent hadn’t recognized her. Makeup
helps, she mused. Even though Ani was busy with her two kids, Molly and Ralph, these
days, it was actually quite informative and helpful to have the Chairwoman of the USA for
Maybe she should have given up when she walked in the pub. Only a few people in
the CIA, as well as her publishers, knew Daria was still alive, after all. She hadn’t seen Trent or
Jane in years. It hurt. And she knew she should surrender. No use holding grudges, after all.
But he didn’t recognize her. And he hadn’t known she was pregnant when she and a
suitcase boarded a city bus, away from their apartment. Then again, neither had she, but she
still didn’t have to reveal herself if she didn’t want to.
But Jimmy… oh, hell.
By the end of the week, Daria promised herself, I’ll tell him. After all, she had until April
April 8, 2009
Two days later, D. called me.
“Yo, Lane?” said the voice on the other end of the phone. It was six in the morning.
“Jesus Christ, D., what the hell are you doing calling me at this hour?”
“Shut up. Listen, I’ve got to run, but meet me at Monty’s on 4th Street at 6 pm. I’ve
got a lead.”
After that, I couldn’t get back to sleep. Maybe… Not in all the time I’d worked
with McAllister had he ever called me with a lead. I made myself some scrambled eggs
and sat down to the paper.
Daria had just released another book. I sighed. I knew that she must be alive, from
reading them, but in all other ways she seemed to have vanished. I looked at the picture of
her, taken five years ago. She’d probably look a lot like D., today. Maybe she’d even
married and had a kid like D. How should I know?
If only we hadn’t had that stupid fight over the CIA. They’d offered her a position. I
didn’t want her to go. It was so dangerous, for a man or a woman. Maybe she had gone.
Maybe she wasn’t coming back, and all these manuscripts were published posthumously.
Like I said, how should I know? I hadn’t seen her in five years.
And all these maybes and ifs weren’t going to changed that.
“So”, she said in conclusion. “I’ve got several leads to follow
up. I think I may
have located her apartment.”
“Brava,” said Trent. “Listen, D., could you- if she doesn’t want to see me, could
you give her a letter?”
“Look, Lane, I don’t think we’re in any danger of finding her right away. I’ll give
you a call if and when I do find her, and you can talk to her. Don’t screw with my job,
He sighed, running his fingers through his hair.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Just find her. I don’t care how much it costs or how you do
it, just find her, and tell her I love her, okay?”
It was hard to believe that she was keeping a secret from this man. He loved her.
But… she didn’t want tell him, for some reason. Why am I so frightened? she asked
herself. I am D., I am Daria. No matter what, I will always be myself. No one can take
that away from me.
April 8, 2009
Why was I so angry with D.? I didn’t know. All I knew was that, if she didn’t find
Daria soon, I might throw her out of a window. She seemed so… unfeeling, I guess. It was
almost as if she didn’t care if Daria was found or not.
Even working with that incompetent asswipe, Genevieve DuMackie, was better.
Genevieve was always perky, talking about her husband, their five kids, their dog… even
though she’d made no progress since I’d hired her. The most I’d been able to pry out of D.
was that she had a son named Jimmy. How’s that for verbose?
A fax came through early that afternoon.
Talked w/ ex-landlord. Remembers her, roommate, okay. Says, Soho? Checked
that out. Dead end. CIA registers a Daria D. Morgendorffer two weeks after move-out
date, in December 2004. Stationed in Iraq, 2005-2006. I remember her from Iraq,
actually. One dependent, as of August 2004. She left when her four-year contract ended,
in 2008. Current whereabouts unknown.
You can reach me by phone- killerboots969, or email- firstname.lastname@example.org
That was the first thing that registered in my mind.
I'm no English major, as Daria had once been, but I had a pretty good idea of what
that meant. Just to be sure, I looked it up in a dictionary, if that could somehow make it
dependent adj. 1: not independent; "dependent children" [ant: independent]
I remembered, in the week before our long-ago fight, Daria had
had a terrible case
of what I thought was the flu, waking up each morning and throwing up until there wasn't
anything left to come up. Truthfully, I didn't think she had known when she walked out the
door. She had a baby, my Daria, all by herself. I only wished that I could have been with
her. And now I had a child, a Molly or Jimmy all my own. It was so hard to comprehend. In
the space of days a long undiscovered truth came to light before my eyes.
Roomate? Probably one of Daria's New York friends or something. Oddly, she'd
made many, on all levels of society, since she'd moved the Big Apple in late 2000.
I picked up the phone. Janey, I had to call Janey. But before I could dial the once
familiar number of her Maine retreat, I replaced the reciever. Sadly, we'd grown apart
over the years, living in different states, without Daria to keep us all together. When I found
Daria, I hoped, we would all be as close as we had been ten years before, when Janey and
Daria were in high school.
Then I picked up the phone again.
k.. i.. l.. l.. e.. r.. b.. o.. o.. t.. s.. 9.. 6.. 9 I dialed.
Jimmy was peacefully coloring in his coloring book, she was working on a new
novel, and the stove was patiently bringing a kettle of water to boil. When the kettle started
to screech, she poured the water into two cups, one with cocoa mix, for her son, and one
with a tea bag, for herself. After it had brewed, she sipped the scalding tea warily as she
sat in front of her computer.
The phone rang, shattering the peaceful silence.
"I'll get it, Mommy!" yelped her son.
Before she could move, he'd answered the phone. "Hi, this is Jimmy. Who would
you like to speak to?"
Apparently it was her, for he handed the phone to his mother, grabbed his cocoa,
and was back to his coloring book in the nezt room.
"Hello?" she said.
"Daria?" It was Jane.
"How... how did you get this number?" They hadn't spoken since Iraq. She'd been
suddenly transferred to England on a reconnaisance mission, Jane had moved, and they'd
lost touch. She was surprised at how happy she was to hear her friend's voice.
"Ani. I heard that Trent had hired a bounty hunter to find you, and I wanted to warn
you. If you're still angry with him."
Laughing, she replied, "Jane, do you know what I do for a living now?"
"Are you some kind of pole dancer or something?"
"No, I'm a bounty hunter. He hired me to find me."
"No, absolutely serious."
"So what are you going to do? I mean, I thought you hated him."
"Iraq... Iraq changed a lot of things. My only good friend over there, Bull Schitt,
was killed by the sniper that almost got Jimmy. I have different priorities now. I want
Jimmy to be able to go to kindergarten, to live past his fifth birthday. Two years ago, there
was a large chance that neither of us might see that day. I want him to have a dad."
"But do you..."
"Still want Trent?" Daria blushed. That hadn't come out as she'd intended. "Um,
yeah. It was just me making a mountain out of molehill, and I'm actually kind of
embarrassed about the whole thing..."
"I'm coming down to New York tomorrow. Can you meet me at the old meeting
place? At three?"
"It'll be my pleasure."
However, the line was busy.
April 9, 2009
The two women standing outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art saw each other,
ran, and embraced. A little boy clung at the shorter woman's skirts, and the taller woman,
who had black hair, bent down and picked him up. They went into the museum.
They were standing in the spot where Daria, Jane, and I used to meet for our
Saturday routine of a museum and coffee. Over five years had passed since I had seen her
and Jane there, waiting for me.
How could I have been so blind? As if the fact that D. was beautiful, her wardrobe
for hunting was skintight, and her hair was a few shades lighter could disguise her.
Watching her walk in the Indian skirt, her long hair hanging at her shoulders, my sister
carrying our son, I knew. That was Daria. And that was our son, our Jimmy.
I was lucky to have passed by, I felt. But somehow, I knew it was more than luck; it
Somewhile later, they emerged. My sister sat down on the steps, and Daria stood
outside the museum, the skirt whipping about her ankles, as I walked up to her. She was
holding the little boy with black hair, who was fast asleep.
“D.?” I said hesitantly.
“It’s still Daria,” she said.
Jimmy woke up.
“Mommy? Who’s this?” he asked.
“This is Daddy, Jimmy.”
My son held out his arms, and I gave Jimmy a hug.
This is pretty weird, even for me. The kind of thing where you just
shrug, and go
“interesting.” But I wanted to explore the future with Daria, and to tell the truth, I couldn’t
see her as anything other than a bounty hunter. Sort of an Mrs. Peel/Dark Angel hybrid.
So, if you liked it, or thought it sucked, please review? even if you were entirely apathetic
on the whole? please?
Look for a prequel to this explaining the mysterious roommate, as well
as other things,
Daria, The Hunted is copyright February 2001 by Love Gordon
Chapter One-Sonic Youth, Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit
Chapter Two-Rock Rock Chicken Pox, Foreign Car
Chapter Three-Hole, I Think That I Would Die
Chapter Four-Smashing Pumpkins, Innocence