IS IT COLLEGE YET?
SCENE 56 - PIZZA PLACE
(Daria and Jane are in a booth)
Jane - So, dazzling academic achievement, eh? What a sellout.
Daria - I know. And then I had the perfect opportunity to beat Ms. Li senseless with my trophy, and what do I do? Give a heart-warming speech.
Jane - You're getting soft around the edges, Morgendorffer.
Daria - Maybe, or maybe you've got glaucoma.
Jane - To college! I can't wait! What do you think we'll find when we get there?
Daria - Hmm. That the students are shockingly ignorant, the professors self-centered and corrupt, and the entire system geared solely to the pursuit of funding?
Jane - Hmmm, yes. You know that thing I said about you getting soft?
Daria - Yeah?
Jane - I take it back.
(they clink drink cups)
(Jane looks out the window)
Jane - Do you really think he'll show? It's been two years.
Daria - Ordinarily, I wouldn't have come but we did take the money. And all he said is that we'd need to be here today and listen to what he had to say. So I'll do just that, and nothing more.
Jane - The minimalist approach. I like that.
Daria - Plus he might have another job for us that's as simple as this one. Meeting him somewhere, a couple years from now, listening to who knows what. All for a cool hundred a piece.
Jane - Ah, the greedy little bastard approach. I like that even more.
(The restaurant door opens with a jingle from the hanging bell on the door. Both girls stare at the figure walking towards them. A young man in a black)
MIB - Hello girls. I'm glad to see you both here. Shall we begin?
REPEICEING DOWN THE GIRL
by Morden Gans
THREE YEARS EALRIER
OUTSIDE LAWNDALE HIGH
(A car pulls up and two girls step out from it. They are Daria and Quinn. This is their first day of school at Lawndale High. Quinn exits the car and is soon noticed by other students. Daria walks through the crowd; the students are oblivious to her)
MS. LI'S OFFICE
(Ms Li is watching the girls enter the building from her office window. A young man in a black suit sits in front of her desk)
Ms Li - Are you certain about your information. She doesn't look so dangerous to me.
MIB - Yes, I'm certain. The agency I work for does not take these matters lightly. I understand how delicate a request like this can be. We do feel, however, that our request can benefit...
(The young man takes an envelope from out of his coat pocket. He places the envelope on Ms. Li's desk)
MIB - everyone.
(Ms Li sits behind her desk. She picks up the envelope and starts counting the bills)
Ms Li - Well, it looks like your 'documentation' is in order. Daria Morgendorffer will join the Self-Esteem Class.
MIB - May I ask how you plan on completing our request?
Ms Li - I'll have Daria and her sister take a psychological test. I'll make sure Daria fails and then I'll have a valid excuse to request the Morgendorffer's that Daria attend the class. It's nice and neat and no one will suspect. What exactly do you expect to get from having Ms Morgendorffer in the Self-Esteem Class?
MIB - I believe the 'documentation' we've prepared allows for a certain amount of, privacy? Security reasons, you understand.
Ms Li - Oh, yes of course. How long should I keep her in that class?
MIB - Until the instructor deems she is fit to graduate from the class. This investigation may last years. We cannot risk Daria suspecting we are watching. Keep discretion, and I will talk to a man I know who raises drug sniffing dogs. I can convince him to 'donate' a few to your school. Think of it, you will be the first principal in your district that is ready to meet the drug threat head on.
(Ms Li's eyes light up. A grin flashes across her face as she nods in understanding. The Man gets up and walks to the door.)
MIB - Very well, Ms Li. I leave you to your work.
OUTSIDE LAWNDALE HIGH
(The man is walking away from the school. He double presses a hidden badge underneath his coat. It's a Federation Starfleet communicator badge from the days when the Enterprise-D travelled the stars)
MIB - Mission Log supplemental. It's done. I got Helen the job that moved the Morgendorffers to Lawndale. I've also arranged for Daria and Jane to meet and become the best of friends. Next is the Sloan Kid. I've never been sure about him. I have a friend I can consult with. I'll pick him up on my way to the club, after I jump forward one year. His insight will prove most valuable.
ONE YEAR LATER
(A crowd is beginning to form in front of the stage. Mystik Spiral is tuning their gear. While two figures sit unnoticed at a table, near the other side of the building)
Cupid - You really think they'll show?
MIB - Yes. They're coming here to ask Trent to help with their school project.
Cupid - Ok Mystery Man, then explain how you got the others here.
MIB - I didn't. In every possible timeline I've calculated, the five of them are always in this room, at this exact time, at this exact place.
Cupid - Five of them?
MIB - Yes. Daria, Jane, Trent, Tom and Ted have always been here.
Cupid - Ok. I know the first three, and you told me a little a bit about Tom. But who's Ted?
MIB - Ted was a boy Daria started to like a few months ago. Ted DeWitt-Clinton was a sheltered boy who joined Lawndale High shortly after Daria did.
Cupid - Yeah, so what happened?
MIB - He got popular with the students, but unpopular with Daria. She has standards after all.
Cupid - Is he here for Daria?
MIB - No, he's here to take pictures. A hobby he and Daria share. Ted the photographer, Trent the Musician, and...
Cupid - And Tom.
MIB - Yes, Tom. He'll make Daria happy, for a while. I need to know if either Ted or Trent is the better man. I'm sending you back into the past. Just a few months back to when Daria and Ted had their first and only date. I need to know why the date ended so badly.
Cupid - Meanwhile, you'll be here sizing up Trent. Ok, man. I read you.
MIB - Here.
(MIB hands Cupid a second Starfleet communicator badge)
MIB - double tap this badge and you will be able to contact me with your findings. When your mission is complete, I'll send you back to Holiday Island. Remember, while your back there it is very important that no one sees you, or speaks to you. You have to be a ghost. Interfering with anyone in the past can have dangerous consequences in the present.
Cupid - What? Would I wake up to find I'm in a really bad 'fanfic' story?
MIB - OK, maybe not as bad as that but still. There is a possibility that you'll grow bunny ears and get addicted to kids cereal.
Cupid - Whoa, so that's what happened to St. Patrick's Day.
MIB - Are you ready?
Cupid - Can you answer me one more question? Why are you doing this?
MIB - Why do you go around man's world and interfere in the affairs of mortal men?
Cupid - Because I can make a difference for the better in their lives.
MIB - Well, I want to make Jane and Daria's life better too.
Cupid - There's more to it than that.
MIB - Yes, there is.
(MIB looks away from Cupid)
MIB- But I wouldn't be a Mystery Man if I didn't keep some secrets.
(No one in the gathering crowd notices as Cupid is beamed to the past before he has a chance to counter. At the door, Ted walks in, camera in hand. Right away he heads for the stage and starts flashing his camera bulb at the band. He seems to focus more on Nick than anyone else in the band. On stage, the band seems satisfied with their preparations and retire to the back of the club. MIB silently stands, and follows)
THE GREEN ROOM BACKSTAGE
Nick - Max, when I go ta-ta, ta-ta, ta-ta-da! You need to follow with Parum, Parum, bam, bah!
Max - That makes absolutely no sense! You need to go ta-ta, ta-ta, di while I go..
Trent - Guys, I think we'll be ok if we just do like we did in practice.
Jesse - There was practice?
Max - I'm getting a beer.
Nick - I'm going for some air.
Jesse - I better go practice.
(Trent is alone now. He looks in the mirror, thoughtful. MIB appears in the mirror now and startles Trent)
Trent - Whoa, who are you? Are you a narc?
MIB -Easy Trent, I didn't insult you. No need to insult me.
Trent - Sorry man, you just look like one.
MIB - What if I told you, I'm the voice of your sub- conscience?
Tent - Uh, I'd say you're pretty weird.
(Trent starts to turn and walk away)
MIB - Wait, I'll prove it you. Even though you earned the right to walk at your graduation, you chose not to, on the principal that you didn't feel you received the education that would validate such a reward.
(Trent stops in his tracks and turns back)
Trent - Uh yeah, right. Sure. Whatever you say, man.
MIB - When you were a little kid, you slept in your back yard for six months, just to see if anyone in your family would invite you back in.
(Trent eyes go wide. He's never told anyone about why he didn't go to graduation or the six months he spent in the back yard)
Trent - Hey, quiet man. Someone might hear you.
MIB - Lastly, ever since you broke up with Monique, you've been thinking a lot about your kid sisters friend; Daria.
(Trent is dumb founded. He sits down and just stares at the ground)
Trent - She has been on my lately.
(Trent looks up)
Trent - You really are my sub- conscience.
MIB - Not you're sub- conscience. Just its voice. And it felt it was time we had a little talk.
Trent - Talk about what?
MIB - Oh, I don't know. Her name begins with a D, ends in an A, and the letters A, R, and I, are in the middle.
(Trent stares back at the ground)
Trent - What is there to talk about? I'm five years older than she is. She's way smarter than me. Aside from Janey, we don't have much in common. Sure she can make me laugh like no other girl can and when she smiles at me? Man! I don't even wanna say what that feels like.
MIB - What if I told you, that the age thing was no big deal? What if I told you you're as smart as her but just not as confident that you are? What if you got off your ass, and told her how you felt about her?
Trent - I don't know. I guess, because I don't want to have to choose.
MIB - Choose? Choose what?
Trent - My music. Daria is smart so she wouldn't settle for a struggling musician. She'd want someone, who had, you know, one of those things.
MIB - What? Clean clothes? A car that won't explode into flames at any moment?
(MIB thinks for a second)
MIB - A job?
Trent - Yeah that's it! A job. I could never be that for her. Guess that's why I don't even try.
MIB - So if she met the man she would spend the rest of her life with today, out there, among that crowd. You would have no objection?
(Trent is thoughtful for a moment)
Trent - Maybe not today. I guess I'd need to get to know the guy first before I judge him.
MIB - OK Trent, I guess your sub-conscience can accept this. I guess, soon, you will too.
Trent - So, uh, can I go now? I sorta have a gig and I gotta round up the crew.
MIB - Yeah sure. Listen, Trent. Don't tell anyone we had this conversation. They'll start thinking you're, you know, weird.
Trent - Oh, yeah.
(Trent turns to leave)
Trent - So are you gonna stay for the show?
MIB - Oh, I'll be around
(Trent turns back but MIB is gone)
Trent - Man, that's the last time I ever eat out of the refrigerator.
THE ALLEY OUTSIDE THE ZONE
(MIB materializes in the alley. It appears to be empty but MIB soon hears the sound of lips smacking. He follows the sound behind a tall trash bin. As he peeks around it to see who's there, his communicator badge buzzes under his suit coat. He activates a tiny earpiece and whispers)
MIB - Cupid, what have you got?
Cupid - The Ted and Daria thing not happening was completely natural.
MIB - You don't say?
Cupid - Ted and Daria had a great time at the pizza joint. Then Daria invites him over to play video games at an arcade. Some bullies show and crash in on their game. Daria leaves the game but after waiting for Ted to come back out, she gives up on him and she leaves home without him.
MIB - Do you know why he stayed?
Cupid - Yeah, it turns out your man Ted is...
MIB - Gay.
Cupid - You knew?! Then why did you send me out here in the first place? Not cool, man.
MIB - Relax, diaper boy.
(MIB turns away and heads back into the club)
MIB - I just saw Ted with Nick, out in the alley. Either they're cannibalistic-flesh-eating-zombies, or Ted is batting for the other team.
Cupid - So what now?
MIB- Wait up, I'll send you home.
Cupid - Home? No way man, I want to see this through to the end.
MIB - OK, no harm in that, but this is my show. You may not understand my motives, but I have to finish what I started. You read?
Cupid - I read you.
(MIB uses his communicator badge and Cupid shortly materializes inside the club, back at the table he was last sitting at. MIB joins him)
Cupid - Man, that's a cool little badge. Does mine let me travel through time too?
MIB - Sorry, Cupid. Mine's the real deal. Yours...
(MIB press his communicator badge, at the same time, the communicator badge that Cupid is holding in his hands de-materializes)
MIB - is already gone.
Cupid - You're no fun.
MIB - Messing with time is no game. The slightest mistake, the smallest miscalculation, and wham! Next thing you know, the Statue of Liberty is washing up on shore and you're damming apes all to hell.
Cupid - I take it back. You're loads of fun.
(The crowd starts cheering as Mystik Spiral takes to the stage. Nick's hair is a bit messier, than before. Ted comes right up the foot of the stage, camera whirring with shot after shot. Mostly of Nick. The band begins to play. Tom Sloane walks coolly through the door. He hangs back at the rear of the club)
MIB - There he is. Right on, schedule.
(Cupid looks at the boy, MIB is looking at)
Cupid - That's Tom? I thought he'd be meaner looking. He doesn't look so bad.
MIB - Of course not. That's what makes him so terrible. He denies it but he's a rich kid through and through. Oh sure, he's here hanging with the regular crowd, but to him, it's all a rebellious statement to his family. "I'm normal. I hang with normal people. That's what makes me normal and not a Sloan" Even worse is his charm. It forces a young, strong willed and borderline anti-social girl to lower her defenses. A love'em and leave'em, guy. That's the real Tom Sloan.
Cupid - I'm reading Tom, and while he does have some of the colorful characteristics you just mentioned, they're not as extreme as you make them out to be. Hmm?
MIB - 'Hmm', what?
Cupid - You say Tom and Daria's relationship begins tonight?
(MIB stands up)
MIB - Not if I can help it.
Cupid - No need, man. Look. Tom's not into Daria. He's looking at Jane.
(MIB sits back down. Look of surprise and shock in his face)
MIB - What, no! No, no, no. He's looking at Daria, see?
(Daria leaves Jane alone, as she heads to the bathroom. Tom continues to stare at Jane)
MIB - No, this can't be! It's happening again! But all my calculations, how could they have been so off?!
(Mystik Spiral ends their song)
Cupid - Maybe you forgot to carry the two?
(The crowd cheers)
Jesse - Yeah!
Trent - We're Mystik Spiral. We'll be back for a second set.
Jesse - This was the first set!
Trent - Uh, yeah.
(Tom approaches Jane. MIB turns back to Cupid)
MIB - You! What did you do in the past? Someone must have seen you, heard you!
Cupid - Hey, man! I was a ghost. No one saw or heard a peep out of me.
MIB - Did you make any love connections while you were back there?
Cupid - I was tempted to. Then I remembered what you said about messing with time and I really don't like Trix, anyways. Trix are for kids, you know.
(Daria returns to Jane, Tom comes up to the two of them)
Cupid - What's the big deal anyway? A minute ago you were gonna stop Tom from dating Daria. Now you don't want him dating anyone at all?
MIB - You don't understand. Tom and Jane together spells doom for Daria, for Jane, for everyone!
(Jane and Tom leave. Daria looks upset)
Cupid - Whoa dude, chill. They're teenagers. Stuff like this happens all the time. Trust me I know. It's not like it's the end of the world.
MIB - But it very well could be.
(MIB turns to Cupid)
MIB - You wanted to see this through to the end? Ok, I'll show where this ends. Come with me and witness a future's end.
(MIB and Cupid both stand and exit the building. They don't notice two figures, a female stranger and St. Patrick's Day, silently watch their exit from the opposite side of the building)
Patrick - See? I told ye they'd be here.
FS - Were too late, however. The damage is done and is irreparable.
Patrick - What damage would that be lass? All I saw was the man in black and Cupid sit o' the table, over there. Then Cupid disappears, who knows where? The man left for a while then comes back just as Cupid reappears' out nowhere and the two o' them, then walk out' a the place, after the black suited man appeared to have tiff o' some sort.
FS - Do you see that boy over there? The one holding the camera?
(FS points to Ted)
Patrick - Eye, I see' em.
FS - That boy over there was straight when we came in this building. The man in black; my target, sent Cupid to the past and had him use his devices to turn him gay.
Patrick - Time travel? Well that's a big load o' malarkey. I've known Cupid ma whole life and even if time travel were possible, he would never a' use his powers that way.
FS - If you don't believe me. Then maybe you'll believe this?
(FS takes what looks a like a cell phone out. A picture of Nick and Ted, in each other's arms, in the alley from where MIB had spotted them before is shown on the screen. She hands the phone to St. Patrick's Day)
Patrick - Agh, take it away! Take it away! What are ya tryin' to do lass? Blind me?!
FS - To the contrary, I was just opening your eyes to the horrors these two are capable of? Just think if the target had sent Cupid to do what he did on someone like, say, Halloween?
Patrick - They wouldn't.
FS - They could. Help me. Help me uncover their nefarious plot and put an end to this once and for all.
Patrick - Ok lass, I'm in. Now that we're partners, do ya mind tellin' me the target fellas' name? Not to mention yor' own?
FS - The target's name is Morden Gans. He is wanted in my world and countless others, for crimes against time. I am Alice Stone, Timeline Protectorate of the 47th Precinct. You and I are your world's last hope. If we fail to capture and stop Morden and Cupid, it could very well be the end of everything.
OUTSIDE CEDARS OF LAWNDALE
(Morden and Cupid beam onto the road outside the hospital. Everything is dark, dirty and almost abandoned. There are empty husks of burnout car frames in the middle of the road. Litter is everywhere. The sky is a mysterious dark red)
Cupid - Dude, where did you bring us to? North Korea?
Morden - No, Cupid. Believe it or not, this is Lawndale. 25 years from where we just came from.
Cupid - Man, they really let this place go.
Morden - Yeah. Come on, we shouldn't be breathing this crap for too long.
(Morden and Cupid walk inside the hospital. As they enter the lobby, they see the sick and injured line the walls and floors. Everyone has been waiting hours while they wait to receive medical attention. Everyone is miserable. There is only one nurse at the nurse's station. She seems painfully slow and dimwitted. One of the injured gets up from the floor and staggers to the nurse's station)
Injured man - Miss, miss, MISSS!
Nurse - What, is it? (pause) I was looking at my reflection (pause) on the monitor.
Injured man - Look, I'm hurt but not as bad as that lady that's been bleeding on the floor now for the past two hours. Don't you think you ought to get a doctor down here, miss?
Nurse - Don't (pause) be rude! (pause) Call me Nurse or Nurse Tiffany, (pause) but not miss. Besides, (pause) you know the rules.
(she points to a newspaper clipping that looks to be fairly new. The headline reads:
GOVERNER SANDI GRIFFIN SIGNS INTO LAW; LIMITS ON HEALTHCARE FOR THE POOR/ UNPOPULAR)
Nurse - Only the rich and popular get quick medical attention. Now get back and sit down before I have you thrown out.
(The injured man looks defeated. He lowers his head and heads back to his spot on the floor. Tiffany returns her attention to her reflection on the blank monitor screen)
Cupid - Did you see that? What kind of hospital.
Morden - Forget it, Cupid. There's nothing we can do for these people. Let's go. She should still be on the fourth floor.
(Cupid and Morden walk past the lobby, to the bank of elevators. Cupid notices the floor directory and sees that the fourth floor is hospice care. The elevator door opens and they step in)
Cupid - Who are we here to see, anyway?
Morden- Daria. All this has always been about Daria.
(The elevator door closes)
(Cupid and Morden are walking down the hall)
Cupid - You're telling me Daria caused all this?
Morden - Of course not. When I first visited this world, in the original timeline, Daria and Jane never met. So they were never friends. Daria came to visit Lawndale when she heard about a cool band playing at the ZON. Tom and Daria met there and began dating. Then, two years later, she had her car accident that left her wheelchair bound. Eventually, Tom became bored with her and left. Daria never really cared for people after that, but at least she cared enough about her world to make a stand against injustice. She kept writing and that landed her a job as a reporter for a political magazine. She helped keep those in power in check. Nothing got better, but she kept things from getting worse. Her health began to degrade by the time I arrived.
Cupid - What caused her illness?
Morden - Organ failure, stemming from injuries from a car accident she never quite fully recovered from. She was placed here under hospice care, with little to no chance of recovery.
Cupid -Tom and Jane dating, causes the mess we're in now?
Morden - None of my calculations showed this to be a possibility. I brought us here to see the consequences if that were to be allowed.
(Cupid and Morden arrive at Daria's room. They enter. Daria is in a wheelchair, hooked up to oxygen, portable life support machines and various other portable monitors. Her head is shaven bald, and her face is pale. She is facing out the window, looking at the multiple fires that can be seen raging across the town. No emergency vehicles can be seen fighting the fires)
Cupid (whispering) - I thought only the rich and popular got medical attention.
Morden (whispering back) - I'm relieved she's still here, at all. We might be able to get some answers.
(Morden approaches Daria)
Morden - Hello, Daria.
(She does not reply)
Morden - This may sound strange but my friend and I have come a long way. We've come to see if you wouldn't mind telling us about yourself? Family, friends?
(Still no reply. Then a knock on the door)
Andrea - Are you guys lost?
(Morden and Cupid turn back and see the nurse standing at the door. She has a white nose ring and is wearing heavy eyeliner makeup. Her jet black hairdo is accented by purple bangs. The name tag on her uniform reads 'Andrea')
Morden - Good evening, nurse. We just came here to ask Daria a few questions.
Andrea - You'll need to leave. Daria does not like visitors.
Morden (Stepping towards Andrea) - Nurse, my friend and I have come a very long way on a very urgent matter. We have some questions that I hope Daria can answer.
Andrea (To Daria) - Are these men bothering you Daria?
(Daria does not respond. Morden caress Daria's hand)
Morden - Daria, I know that life has been very rough on you. You've had to endure things I can't even imagine. I'll find a way to make you happy. I swear, I will. With every fiber of my being, I will bring joy into your life.
(Daria's eyes blink, as she registers Morden for the first time. An electronic voice [E.V.] comes from a speaker built into the wheelchair. Daria is speaking through this voice, but her mouth never moves)
E.V. Daria - Are you here to kill me?
Morden - No Daria! God, no! I'm here to save you.
(A tear falls from Daria's left eye)
E.V. Daria - Then you bring me no joy. Leave.
(More tears falls from Daria's eyes, as she looks back at her window and her town being consumed by fire. The pain in her soul is beginning to be apparent. She has given up on the world)
Morden - You don't mean that.
(Morden is pleading now with Daria)
Morden - How can you just sit here and watch? People are dying, burning!
Andrea - That's enough!
(Daria turns her head violently at Morden. Her eyes now bloodshot with anger, grief and sorrow)
E.V. Daria - Let them burn! Get out, NOW!
(Morden looks dumbstruck. Daria, with the help of a joystick, maneuvers the wheelchair to face Morden, face to face. A large scar running along the right side of her face is now visible)
E.V. Daria - Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out!
(Andrea grabs Morden by the collar and almost manages to hurl him out into the hallway. Cupid follows them both. Once the door closes Daria's electronic voice stops)
Andrea - What the hell do you think you're doing agitating her like that?
(Morden is sitting on the floor, looking very despondent. Only Cupid responds)
Cupid - Andrea, wasn't it?
(Cupid begins smiling at Andrea. It has a calming effect on her)
Cupid - You went to school with Daria, right?
Andrea (starry-eyed) - A, yeah. Yeah, yes?
(Cupid takes Andrea's hand in his and starts to caress it)
Cupid - I'm sure someone as smart and beautiful as you can tell us what happened to her in high school? Why she ends up here, all alone?
Andrea - Daria kissed Jane's boyfriend.
(Morden raises his head and looks at Cupid in shock. Cupid also gives a look of confusion to Morden)
Morden and Cupid (together) - What?
Andrea (with a distant look in her eyes) - Daria and Jane were best friends in High School. They were like sisters. One day, Jane meets and starts dating this Tom guy. A year later, Daria confesses to Jane, in front of the whole school, that she kissed Tom. They stopped being friends after that. Daria and Tom dated for a while, but loosing Jane made Daria really bitter at people, including Tom. Tom dumped her six months into their relationship. Daria never really go out of the house after that, which sucked for her, because her parents were always arguing. The day they told her they were getting a divorce, she took off with their SUV. It was raining, she was angry, and ran into a 10 car pileup. Out of the 14 people that died that night, she was one of the few survivors. Not so great for her, since she spent the last 23 years of her life in a coma. After the accident, her father died. Daria's mom became an alcoholic and stopped coming to visit her, ten years ago. Her sister ran away before the accident. No one really knows where she is.
Morden - Do you know what happed to Jane and her brother?
Cupid (soothingly) - Can you tell us what happened to Jane and Trent Lane?
Andrea - Just before the accident, Trent and his band became a one hit wonder, with a single called 'Betrayal'. When Trent couldn't come up with any other songs, the band split. Besides her mom, Trent was the only other person to visit Daria, while she was in her comma. I heard he was found dead in his house a few years ago, something about food poisoning from a contaminated refrigerator. Jane, committed suicide shortly after that.
Morden (to Cupid) - Please, I've heard enough.
Cupid (to Andrea) - Now, you should feel relaxed and warm. (in a Barry White voice) Everything is cool. Everything is love, baby. I'd like you to close your eyes and sleep and dream of that particular someone who makes you feel like Queen Cleopatra.
Andrea - Upchuck?
(Andrea goes limp and falls asleep as cupid holds her and sits her down on a nearby chair)
Cupid - All this because Daria kissed Jane's boyfriend?
Morden - No, it was Tom all along. That's all he ever does, in whatever timeline. He lifts up her hopes and then brings them crashing down.
Cupid - Dude, that's just life. I may not know much about time travel but I do know about relationships. Falling in love and falling out of love are completely natural things. You've been trying to deny Daria that pain which everyone must eventually go through. When all along, you should have been there to comfort and support her, the way you tried to...
(Cupid points at Daria's room)
Cupid - in there just now
Morden - This was different. When we succeed in our mission, none of this will ever happen. Daria will never remember me. No one except you will know of my meddling through time.
Cupid - But you care for her.
Morden - Yes, I care for her well being. Otherwise, why would I have gone too all this trouble?
Cupid - No, dude. You care for her. You have feelings for Daria. I saw it on your face when you were talking to her just now. It was the same look you had at the ZON just before you thought Tom was going to hook up with Daria.
Morden - I come from a world where Daria, Jane, pretty much all of Lawndale is known to my people. She is loved by fans. Fans! Can you believe that? When I got to this world, I expected her to have lived the exact same life I'd known she lived in my world. Instead I found that she had no one. I took it upon myself to get her and Jane together. I made sure they became friends, because I knew that that would make her happy. So, yeah! I care for her. But she doesn't know the least bit about me. And if she ever did find out, well if the positions were reversed, that would certainly freak me out.
Cupid - Daria is a special lady. You know, I was severely tempted to getting her and Trent together myself, when I first met her.
Morden - Why didn't you?
Cupid - Daria has an ability to see the truth in any situation. Maybe you should think about giving her a chance? Let her see who you are. You never know what it might lead to.
Alice - How unfortunate, that you will never get a chance to find out Morden.
(Alice and St Patrick's Day come strolling in from the opposite side of the hall. Alice draws a concealed handgun. Cupid and St Patrick's Day are startled. Morden stands to face Alice)
Patrick - Color me, green! You neva said anytin' about no bloody gun, lass?!
Alice - Hurry Patrick, keep Cupid away while I apprehend Morden.
Cupid - Dude, what are you doing?
Patrick - Me? What the bloody hell are you doing turning straight kids, gay?!
Cupid - What?
Morden - St Patrick's Day, listen to me. I don't know what she's told you but she is not what she claims to be.
Alice - Shut up, Morden! Knees on the ground, hands on your head!
Cupid - I didn't turn anyone gay!
Patrick - I saw it with me own eyes. That Morden-fella there sent you to the past so you could make that poor Ted kid, like men!
Cupid - No, nature did that. Morden here sent me to the past to find out why Ted lost interest in Daria, during their only date!
Patrick - So if you didn't turn Ted gay,
(Patrick points to Morden)
Patrick - then you're not a wanted 'inter-dismissal' criminal?
Morden - That's inter-dimensional and no, I'm not.
(The click of a gun getting cocked is heard)
Patrick - She's pointing the gun at me now, isn't she?
(Morden and Cupid shake their heads in affirmation)
Patrick (to Alice) - Bollocks! I helped you find them! Were partners!
Alice (to Patrick) - Get over there, with them! Move it!
Patrick - Why are girls always pointing weapons in my face?
Cupid - You're winning personality?
Patrick - I can't believe I helped her find you guys!
Morden (to Alice) - Alice, please. I'll go in quietly. Just leave them out this. They're completely innocent.
Alice (angrily points the gun at Morden) - No one is innocent! You and all your accomplices (waves the gun at Cupid and St Patrick's Day before turning back at Morden) will be dealt with.
(Cupid and St Patrick's Day both look on in amazement)
Morden (to Cupid and St Patrick's Day) - Guys, don't worry. I'm sure Alice and I can talk this out.
Alice - Oh yeah. (sarcastically) We can talk this out. (She aims the barrel of the gun right at Morden's head) Let's start with bullet points.
Cupid -Dude! She's gonna do it!
Alice - Damn, right I'm gonna do it!
Patrick - This is gonna hurt, isn't it?
Alice - Say 'goodnight' boys.
Morden, Cupid and Patrick (together, almost mockingly) - Goodnight.
(Alice picks up on their tone of voice, too late. She suddenly begins to shake violently and quickly falls to ground. The gun drops by Morden's feet. He picks it up and uncocks the hammer. He then unloads the barrel and the magazine, before finding the nearest medical waste bin and dumping it all there. Morden returns to find Cupid and St Patrick's Day looking down at Alice)
Patrick - I love the smell of o' zone in the morning. Great going, lass!
Cupid - You saved our lives Daria! How can we ever thank you?
(Morden follows the two taser wires back to the taser in Daria's hand. She seems calm for someone that just stopped a triple homicide)
Morden - Daria, that was a very brave and unselfish thing you did. Thank you.
E.V. Daria - Is it really true? Can you change the past?
Morden (surprised) - You heard our conversation?
E.V. Daria (anger returning to her eyes) - Answer the question, dammit! Can you stop me from kissing Tom?
Cupid (kneeling in front of Daria) - Daria, what happened between you and Tom was not a bad thing.
E.V. Daria - How can you look at me and say that? How can you look at this town, the world, and say that?!
Cupid - Because I'm right. Daria, this is gonna be hard to hear but try to listen, ok? What happened to you, to this town, to the world, is no one's fault but your own.
Morden - Hey,
(Cupid raises his hands as a gesture that they let him continue)
Cupid - It's your fault because after Jane no longer wanted to be friends with you, you ran away from her and into Tom's arms. When Tom dumped you, you ran away and locked yourself in your home. When your home was falling apart, you ran away again. Only that led you to a horrible car crash and then here. When everybody else needed you out there. What happened to you, what happened to this town, what happened to this world, was all your fault. Because you wouldn't face the pain that comes with living and instead, ran away.
(Daria looks up at Morden)
E.V. Daria - If you truly love me, then help me keep my friendship with Jane. I miss her so much.
(Daria brings her hands up and begins sobbing. Morden lowers himself to wipe the tears from her face)
Morden - I promise. You and Jane will be friends for a very long time. Go back to bed, now. When you wake up, all this will be a long forgotten nightmare.
(Morden gives Daria a peck on the cheek, and then he and Cupid return to Patrick and Alice, who is still on the ground. Morden takes out his communicator badge and taps it)
Morden - Morden to Columbia. Three to beam up. One Alurian female to beam directly to the brig. (to Daria) I love you.
E.V. Daria - I know.
Morden (to communicator badge) - Energize!
(Morden, Cupid, Patrick and Alice all dematerialize. Leaving Daria alone in the hallway with a sleeping Andrea, still in the chair. Daria commands her wheelchair over to Andrea)
E.V. Daria - Andrea, you've taken such good care of me. Thank you. (Daria begins to roll back to her room door and opens it) I think I'll have a nap too. Tomorrow will be a brand new day. For all of us.
OUTSIDE OF TIME
SPACE, A DEFIANT CLASS STARTHIP SITS IN A SEA OF STARS
(U.S.S. Columbia transporter room. Three forms materialize into Morden, Cupid and St. Patrick's Day)
Morden - Gentlemen...
(Morden steps off the pad)
Morden - Welcome to The U.S.S. Columbia!
Cupid - Wow! A real life spaceship!
Patrick - I think I'm gonna be sick. Don't people bloody use a car to get them places anymore?
Morden - Sorry, I didn't have a hole in a Chinese restaurant handy for us to use.
Cupid - How big a crew do you have?
Morden - It's a ship of one. Me. Now come on guys, follow me. We have a prisoner to interrogate.
(Morden, Cupid and Patrick enter. Alice is sitting on the bunk, behind a force field. She stands and charges at the field but is immediately knocked down)
Morden - I wouldn't try that again Alice. The brigs force fields have been upgraded, so escape is not an option.
Alice (shouting) - You're dead, Morden! DEAD! It doesn't matter that you captured me! The Syndicate will send others after you. No matter how far away from the war you get. No matter how long it takes, you won't get away from their reach!
Patrick - You seem to be in her good graces.
Cupid - What war is she talking about?
Morden (to Cupid) - I'll explain later. (to Alice) I need to know how you got here. Does anyone else know where we are?
Alice - What's wrong, Morden? Afraid the Syndicate's reach will come to this world? Afraid of what will happen to your little girlfriend down there, once Keel comes here himself and imprisons anyone stupid enough to stand in his way?
Cupid (in his Barry White voice) - You should feel relaxed and warm. Everything is cool. Everything is love, baby. I'd like you to close your eyes and sleep and dream of that particular someone who makes you feel like Queen Cleopatra.
(Alice just stares at Cupid)
Alice - What is that buffoon trying to do?
(Cupid is shocked)
Cupid - Whoa!
Patrick - Your 'Barry White' trick did na work?! You've lost it!
Morden - Relax Cupid. Your powers work on the people of this world, because you are all a part of the same world. Outsiders like me and Alice here, are immune.
Alice - So Morden, this is what you're reduced to? A fat kid in a toga and his idiot leprechaun of a sidekick?
Cupid - Hey, I'm not fat! I'm a lovable.
Patrick - And I'm not his sidekick! I'm my own idiot leprechaun! Hey, wait a minute!
Morden (to Alice) - What is it going to take to get the info I want?
Alice - I'll see you in hell before I help you. I'd rather die!
Morden - Lian wouldn't like that.
Alice - Leave my daughter out of this! How dare you bring up her name after what you did to her! Monster! Butcher! Murderer!
Morden - Lian is I alive Alice.
Alice - LIAR! I saw you plant the bomb. She's dead because of you!
(Tears begin to fall from her eyes. Her anger rages)
Morden - Yes, I did plant the bomb, but it was only to mask our escape. Keel learned that you had a daughter and that he was the father. He planned to kill you and take Lian as his own. So I rushed over to Lian, hoping to find you there. Of course, Keel's men got there before you. I sent Lian elsewhere, and then I planted the bomb. Keel's men must have recorded me planting it and blamed the bombing on me, which is true, but no one died that night. Lian is happy and safe, and she wants to see her mommy very much.
Alice - I will kill you!
Morden - Computer, run record 'Lian 1' on brig cell 4 monitor.
(A hidden monitor is exposed as the panel in front of it is lifted up. An image of a beautiful young girl playing with toys is displayed. Alice looks at the screen and gets on her knees, lifting an arm touching the screen as if she were touching her own daughter through it)
Cupid - What a cute little girl.
Patrick - Must take after her father.
Morden - Begin playback.
Morden - Lian, I'm gonna go away for just a bit.
(Lian stops playing with her toys)
Lian - Are you going to get mommy? I miss mommy.
Morden - Yes sweetie. I'm going to get mommy. Keep playing with your toys till I get back. It won't be more than a few minutes, ok?
(Lian returns to her dolls)
Lian - OK, Mr. Morden. (to her doll) Did you hear that Betsy? Mr. Morden is gonna go get mommy. (Pause) Yes, she loves me very much and she'll love you too. That's what mommys do. They love you and take good care of you.
Morden - Stop playback. (to Alice) Your little girl is waiting for you Alice. I can send you to just a few minutes after I left. You can go to her, hold her in your arms, all I ask is that you just tell me if Keel knows of this universe?
(Alice's hand goes down, she stares back at Morden with killer intent)
Alice - If I don't, then you'll keep my daughter from me? Is that it?!
(Morden goes to the panel on Alice's cell)
Cupid - You're not doing what I think you're doing, are you?
Patrick - He would'na, dare! That it be suicide!
(Morden punches in a security code and then de-activates the force-field)
Patrick - Oh, boy. Were dead!
Morden - It was never my intention to keep you from your child. You should have come with us that night, but I had to move fast in order to save her. If you don't help me now, then any harm Keel does to these people will be on your conscience. Could you live with yourself knowing that you could have saved billions?
Alice - I'm a General in Keel's imperial force. I've led his troops to countless worlds, and orchestrated their take over. I'm already responsible for countless deaths.
Morden - You didn't know better then, you had no choice. You have one now. What will it be?
(Alice lowers her head)
Alice - No, Keel does not know. No one does. Keel wants you alive. I... did not. So I pursued you here, in secret, after I managed to place a homing beacon on your ship.
Morden - Where is the homing beacon?
Alice - Port warp nacelle. Set your scanners to look for a quantum signature. Can I see my daughter now?
Morden - She is on an uncharted universe, far from any known routes of travel. The only reason I found it, was my ship was damaged and was sent way of course. It's a peaceful world, where the only struggles you will face are your own demons. Make peace with them.
(Alice bows in what seems like a warrior's gesture of gratitude and farewell)
Alice - You have been a worthy quarry and an honorable foe. Thank you for saving my daughter's life. She and I will dedicate our lives to protect this world from the likes of Keel and any other tyrant who attempts to take his place.
Morden - I'll be happier if you just focus on giving Lian a loving home. (to Computer) Computer, lock on to the Alurian in the brig. Initiate site to site transport to pre-set co-ordinates 'Alice alpha 1' (back to Alice) Take care of yourselves. (to computer) Energize!
(Alice de-materializes. Morden turns to Cupid and St. Patrick's Day)
Morden - Guys, maybe it's time you both went home. Alice said she was alone, but there are no guarantees that she herself wasn't followed. It could get even harrier from here on out.
Cupid - I said I'd see this to the end. I still intend to do so.
Patrick - Where he goes, I go. I canna leave my sidekick alone, now.
(Cupid and St Patrick's Day exchange a quick glance)
Morden - Ok guys. Let's head back.
Patrick - Wait, a minute. We're not gonna be using that transport-do hickey are we?
Morden - Only way off the ship.
Patrick - Bollocks!
(Morden, Cupid and Patrick beam into an empty class room. St Patrick's Day's face is a pale color of green. He emits a low awful moan, while holding his stomach and mouth)
Patrick ( muffled) - Ugh! What are ye bloody tryin' t' do, kill me?
Cupid - Dude, your such a light weight. (to Morden) So what's the plan?
Morden - Andrea said that one year after Tom and Jane started dating, Daria confessed to kissing Tom in front of the whole school. You guys are going to follow Jane, while I follow Daria. I need to know what happened today so I know exactly what to fix.
Cupid - What if there is nothing to fix?
Morden - You saw what happens in the future. I won't allow that to come to pass. Please, help me.
Patrick - I saw that mess we came from. Count me in.
Cupid - Ok, I'm in too. Only because I've never seen St Patrick's Day this green, ever!
Patrick (to Cupid, steamed) - I hate you.
Morden -When you're done, head over to the Pizza Place. I'll meet your guys there tonight. Now, let's get out there.
(Morden opens the door to the hallway, just as Jane runs past the door)
Daria (shouting off-screen) - I'm sorry! I'm sorry!
Patrick - Looks like the fireworks have already started.
(Cupid grabs St Patrick's Day by the arm and they run out after Jane)
Cupid - Dude, let's go! We're going to lose her!
(Morden steps out onto the hallway. He sees where Jane ran away from and the crowd of people who stood witness to Daria's confessional. Daria turns to the crowd and then simply walks away)
Morden (quietly) - If I could take this bitter cup from your lips... soon, Daria. Soon.
THE LANE HOME
(Morden walks through the kitchen door. He spots the refrigerator and pauses)
Morden - Since I'm here.
(Morden opens the fridge door and sniffs the air, immediately regretting it as the foul odor assaults his sense of smell. Covering his nose and mouth with one hand, he uses the other to retrieve a box covered and frost and ice, leaving behind an empty silhouette where the container once rested. Morden sets the box down on the counter and wipes away a layer of frost where he sees faint writing coming through. The words read;
Vincent: Experimental photo developing chemicals
Amanda: Swamp Mud
Penny: Valenzuela Black Death peppers
DO NOT TOUCH, EAT, INHALE, OR THROW AWAY!!!!)
Morden - Well, three out of four isn't bad. But that smell in the fridge will last decades.
(Morden opens the door and throws the box in the trash can. He then proceeds upstairs and opens Trent's bedroom door. The room looks like a tumbler dryer filled with dirty clothes, music gear, and left over pizzas)
Morden - No way in hell I'm cleaning this mess!
(Morden spots Trent sleeping on his bed, along with some old clothes, his guitar and food crumbs. Morden coughs but Trent does not wakeup, so Morden approaches the electric guitar amp and turns the volume to the max. A slight feedback escapes and quickly dissipates. Morden strums the chords on the guitar and an unimaginable noise booms out of the speaker. Trent sits up, alarmed and awake. He spots Morden and is shocked to see him back)
Trent - It's you! My sub-conscience!
Morden (turns the speaker back off) - Voice of. We need to have another chat.
Trent - Um, OK.
Morden (finding a chair, he clears all the junk off of it and sits down)- We need to talk about Daria.
Trent - We do? Funny, she wasn't on mind this time.
Morden - Trent, Daria and Jane just had a big blow out at school.
Trent - No, man. They're over that. Jane forgave Daria for the hair thing and Daria forgave Jane for the Tom thing. I'm really glad I was wrong about Tom.
Morden - What if you weren't?
(Trent looks at Morden intently)
Trent - Just who are you, anyway? How do you know all this?
Morden - Don't change the subject, Trent. You know I'm right. You know your instincts were right and if ever Daria needed you, it's today.
(Just then the phone rings. )
Trent - That might be Janey. (He picks up the phone) Janey?
Tom - Hey, Trent. It's Tom.
Trent - Oh, hey. Janey's at school.
Tom - Actually she's not. This is hard for me to say, especially to Jane's big brother, so I'll just come out and say it. I screwed up and Jane came over to break up with me.
Trent (angrily) - What did you do? What did Daria do?!
Tom - It was all my fault! But right now that's beside the point. The break up wasn't too messy, but right now, Jane needs to be with someone. I would have taken her home myself but I'm not her favorite person in the world right now.
Trent - I need to know. How far did it go with you and Daria?
Tom - I really don't think that's any of your business.
Trent (really angry now) - Janey's my sister and Daria is my friend! I'm making it my business.
Tom (defensively) - I kissed her, ok! I messed up with Jane and I messed up with Daria! If that bothers you so much, then you know where to find me. First, find Jane and get her home safely. You can come over and kill me later.
Trent (much calmer now) - How long ago did she leave?
Tom (a bit relieved) - She left about ten minutes ago. You know how to get here, right?
Trent (gives a big sigh) - Yeah. Listen, don't hurt Daria, ok? Otherwise, I may have to take you up on your offer.
(Trent slams the phone down)
Trent (shaking his head) - I can't believe Daria would do that to Janey.
Morden - What the hell was that about him not hurting Daria? If he did it to Janey, he'll do it to her.
Trent - I need to go find Jane.
Morden - No, you need to go to Daria. She needs you right now.
Trent - Jane needs me. I can't choose Daria over my own sister. (Trent again stares at Morden, seemingly studying him) You aren't really my sub-conscience, are you?
Morden - What are you talking about?
Trent - I'm getting the same vibe from you that I got from Tom a while back. You're into Daria, too?
Morden - It's complicated.
Trent - Well, I'm going to Janey. And if you're so concerned about Daria, then maybe you should be the one to go to her.
Morden - I can't do that.
Trent - And neither can I. As much as I'd like to. I have to go now, you can show yourself out.
(Trent leaves the room. Morden is left behind pondering what he can do next. How can he save Daria from the Hell of a future waiting on the other side of midnight)
LATER THAT EVENING
THE PIZZA PLACE
(Cupid and St Patrick's Day are sitting at a booth, looking at the door)
Patrick - Do ya think he'll show?
(Cupid rolls his eyes and turns to St Patrick's Day)
Cupid - Dude, give it a rest. He'll show.
Patrick - But what if he doesn't? Are we gonna be stuck here in the future?
Cupid - It's only been a year for us.
Patrick - Still! Before that wench Alice fooled me into helping her track you an Morden down, I was making my move on Holloween.
Cupid - Your move? Did you ask to see her treats, again?
Patrick - No! I asked the lass what time it was. I tell you, me boy, my luck is charming her, it is.
Cupid - Let me guess, she wouldn't give you the time of day!
(Cupid starts laughing)
Patrick (quietly, under his breadth) - That's right. Laugh it up ya bloody overweight Ghandi look-alike. (Aloud now) No more Lucky Charms for ye!
(The restaurant door opens as the bell on door jingles to announce another patron. Morden walks in, shoulders hunched and an air of defeat about him. He makes it to Cupid's and St Patrick's Day's booth and sits down)
Morden (not looking at either Cupid or St Patrick's Day) - Ok, guys. Fill me in.
Patrick - Well, we followed Jane to Tom's place. She gave poor Tom a beating but he'll live.
Cupid - Then the break up. Jane saw it coming even before Tom and Daria kissed but I think Daria's betrayal is what hurt her the most.
Patrick - Kinda weird how Jane started defending Daria and even asked Tom to date her.
Cupid - She was confused, angry and hurt. She left and just started walking for a while.
Patrick - I don't think she knew where she was heading. She was just walking aimlessly.
Cupid - That's not completely true. Before Trent found her and took her home, she was circling the same block, over and over again.
(Morden looks up, hope in his eyes)
Morden - Where? Show me!
THE 1300 BLOCK OF HOPE AND MAPLE
Cupid - Here we are.
Patrick - Eye, this is da place.
Cupid - Do you know why she kept going around in circles?
Morden (smiling) - Yes, I do. This is near the center of town. When Daria and Jane first met, they walked together on this street, and became instant friends. It's also, where a year ago, they had their last conversation as friends without Tom in their lives. They were discussing a school project they wanted to get Trent involved... in....
(Morden goes quiet, and starts to look back at the beginning of the block. His smile widening more and more)
Morden (Throwing his hands to his head) - This is it! This is it! How could I have missed! It was right here all along! This is it!
Patrick - Cupid, what's he talkin' bout?
Cupid - I have no clue, dude.
Morden - Right here! I'll do it right here. They'll have to accept the invite. It's too tempting for both of them not to. One hundred dollars a piece and a date with mystery.
Cupid - Wait, you're going to bribe them into staying friends?
Patrick - It'd work for me.
Morden - Not a bribe. A reason for them to mend their friendship. Our last best hope for a better future.
Cupid - And just what invitation are you planning on extending to them?
Morden - I... I don't know.
Patrick - Ah, for goodness sakes. Just walk up to'em. Offer'em the money to meet you at a later date. Say, the afternoon of their Graduation day. Right after the ceremony. A long term date for what should be a long term friendship.
(Morden and Cupid are awe struck. They never figured St Patrick's Day to be so insightful)
Cupid - Dude, are you feeling ok?
Patrick - Yeah. Why do ya ask?
Cupid - You usually have a migraine after a long thought like that. Good going, though.
Morden - I'll say. Ok guys, all aboard the time travel express!
Patrick - Aw, no! No, no, no...
(All three figures dematerialize. From their perspective, the world is bathed a sparkling blue and white electric field. Their soroundings fade away and are quickly replaced by same location, one year earlier. The nighttime darkness is replaced with an afternoon sun. Only St Patrick's Day makes a sound, during their transport. A muffled moan and a splash of something soggy hitting the floor, near his feet is all that is heard. Thankfully, the mess is contained to just this period in time)
THE DAY JANE AND DARIA MEET TOM
(Jane and Daria are walking to the Zon)
Jane - I have a good feeling about this multimedia thing, teammate.
Daria - That's the nastiest name anyone's ever called me.
Jane - If we get anything above a "C" I'll get off academic probation and not have to worry about taking language arts over... and Daria Morgendorffer does not get "Cs."
Daria - Well, I could make an exception.
Jane - Come on! This is going to be fun -- you doing words, me pictures. It's exciting.
Daria - Oh, yeah. Very exciting.
Jane - I know what would make it exciting.
Daria - We do the whole thing while walking over hot coals?
Jane - How about we add a little music to the mix?
Daria - What's so exciting about that?
Jane - What's exciting is the particular musician I have in mind.
Daria - Oh, no.
Jane - Come on, Daria. Trent'll love doing some computer music. It'll satisfy the secret techno dance freak hiding beneath that cool alternative exterior.
Daria - I don't think I want to meet that techno dance freak.
Jane - Sure you do. We'll ask him at the Mystik Spiral gig tonight.
Daria - This dance freak doesn't wear spandex, does he?
(After the girls turn the corner, Morden approaches the girls)
Morden - Hello girls. Might I have a few minutes of your time?
(The girls walk past them)
Daria - Sorry, not interested.
Morden - I have a job offer and I'm looking for two unique individuals.
(The girls continue to walk away)
Morden - The job pays one hundred a piece. Up front.
(Jane stops at hearing this. Daria stops a few steps ahead of Jane. The girls look at each other)
Jane -I do need art supplies.
Daria - Whatever happened to your artistic integrity of not lowering your work standards?
Jane - Without art supplies, I have no artistic integrity. Let's at least listen to him. See what it's all about.
(Daria looks at Morden. She's sizing him up. Morden does his best to not show emotion but Daria's electronic voice from the dark future he recently visited rings in his head. "If you truly love me, then help me keep my friendship with Jane. I miss her so much! Daria notices Morden's effort to control himself. She begins to wonder what's really going on. The girls walk back to Morden)
Daria (to Morden) - Ok, talk. But if I hear the words models, van and apartment, then you should know I carry mace and I'm not afraid to use it.
(Morden smiles. The sudden show of emotion catches both Morden and Daria off-guard. Neither was expecting the other's reaction. Daria's dry comment reminds Morden of what he is hoping to preserve. Morden's smile eases Daria's tension)
Jane - What my friend meant to say is, what's the gig all about?
Morden - Quite simple, really. I give you one hundred dollars each, in return, you meet me at the Pizza Place two years from now, on the afternoon, of your high school graduation ceremony.
Daria (yelling) - I knew it! Isn't the military required to wait till we're eighteen before you recruit us in the army?
Morden - I'm not with the military.
Daria (sarcastically) - Right. Or should I say ten-four.
Jane - Relax, Daria. He doesn't seem like a jarhead to me.
Morden (to Jane) - Thank you.
Jane - He's probably Russian intelligence. Right comrade?
Morden - Girls, please. You don't understand now, but it's very important we meet at the Pizza Place, two years from now. All I ask is that we meet and you listen to what I have to say. I think it's so important that we meet, that I'm willing to give you both one hundred dollars now, with no commitment what-so-ever. Take the money, and then change your mind. Let your conscience dictate your actions.
Daria (pondering) - No strings attached, at all?
Morden - None.
Jane - So I can take the money now, and decide not to show up. And you have no problem with that?
Morden - No.
Daria - Ok, I need to ask. Are you crazy or do you drive a little yellow bus home every day?
Morden - Would it really matter?
Jane (taking her hundred from Morden's hand) - Nope!
(Daria, thinking deeply, then looks at Jane. She can see that this has enticed Jane's flair for adventure. Daria also recognizes what a unique mystery this is. She reaches out to take her hundred from Morden's hand. Her fingers slightly graze Morden's hand and a brief electric sensation shoots up her arm. Images of a broken Lawndale flash before her. She sees her schoolmates as old people in undreamt of situations, her sister leaving, her mother widowed, and her best friend and her brother dead. An image of Tom's face and the feeling of dread are the last images Daria sees before she snaps back to reality. The images quickly fade, all except the vague image of Tom's face and the feeling of dread)
Jane (concerned and grabbing Daria shoulder to steady her) - Yo, Daria. You ok?
Daria (holding her head) - Yeah, just felt dizzy for a minute. I think.
Jane (to Morden) - What did you do? Hey, where'd he go?
Daria (looking around) - He's gone? Was he really ever here?
(Both girls look down and see the hundred dollar bills clutched in each other's hands)
Jane - This is weird. Like who was he anyway?
Daria - I guess we'll find out in two years.
(The girls look at each other and smile)
Jane - It's a date.
(The girls walk away)
(In a nearby bush, Morden is starting to breathe again. Cupid and St. Patrick's Day approach him)
Morden - What the hell was that?
Cupid - Yeah, man. We saw it too. Let me look at your hand.
Patrick - Ye wer' right. There is a microchip there.
(Cupid peels what looks like a tiny confetti size piece of lint from Morden's hand)
Cupid - Yep. Daria must have slipped this on you when you weren't looking. The dark future Daria, I mean. She must not have trusted you to get the job done.
Morden - No, it couldn't have been her. That Daria was in a coma for years and when she woke up, she never left the hospital. No way could she get her hands on this type of technology.
Patrick - What did you see?
Morden - It's all starting to fade but the last image is of Tom's face, accompanied with the feeling of deep dread.
Patrick - Sounds like the message dark future Daria wanted ye to give this Daria. It had to have been her.
Morden - No matter. Jane and Daria, both took the money. Jane now has a reason to keep her friendship with Daria alive. If just to see this bit of adventure through. So guys, looks like the future is our next stop!
Patrick - Count me out!
Cupid - I think St Patrick's Day and I will take the scenic route. Besides, this is our time period anyway and you really don't need us any longer.
Patrick -If I never see bloody transport beam, it'll be too bloody soon! Let go Cupid.
Cupid - Morden. It's not too late. You've got them to stay friends. Daria said this would prove your love for her. Why not tell her?
Morden (thoughtful) - I'll think about it. Thank you both. I know this was difficult.
(Cupid and St Patrick's Day walk away. The low hum of a transporter beam is heard only by the wind)
Time passes. Jane and Tom meet and start going out, much to Daria's feeling of dread, though it's origin is faintly unknown to her. Months pass. Tom and Jane's relationship has reached a tableau. Both losing interest in each other. Tom and Daria meet at a parade. Daria, ignoring her instinctual feelings of dread for him, begins to find him amusing, even charming. Tom sees past Daria's insecurities and begins thinking of her as an intellectual equal. A trait he's never seen in a girl before. A seed is planted in both their minds. Weeks pass. Daria and Tom are sitting in a car. Both denying a passion each holds for the other. Two moments of indiscretion later and the feeling of dread returns, in full force. The next day, Daria is confronted with her most heart wrenching decision she has ever made. Tell Jane the truth and risk losing her only friend or keep the kiss hidden. Daria confesses at school. Jane runs to Tom. The breakup occurs. Hours pass, and Jane is walking in circles. When Trent shows up, she doesn't ask how he heard or how he found her. She gets in Trent's car. As they near the corner of Hope and Maple, a feeling of deep friendship surrounds her a for an instant. 'This is where we became friends' Jane thinks, 'This is where we walked home from school every day. This is where we accepted that mysterious job, where we have to meet that guy a year from now. A year from now. Can Daria and I still be friends a year from now?' When Trent asks her where they're headed, Jane goes on her one positive feeling of adventure she's had all day. "Daria's" She manages to get out. Almost choking on the name. Time passes. Feelings mend, are re-hurt and then mended again. Two girls. Two very good friends sit in a booth at Pizza Place, awaiting the arrival of their mysterious employer.
(Jane looks out the window)
Jane - Do you really think he'll show? It's been two years.
Daria - Ordinarily, I wouldn't have come but we did take the money. And all he said is that we'd need to be here today and listen to what he had to say. So I'll do just that, and nothing more.
Jane - The minimalist approach. I like that.
Daria - Plus he might have another job for us that's as simple as this one. Meeting him somewhere, a couple years from now, listening to who knows what. All for a cool hundred a piece.
Jane - Ah, the greedy little bastard approach. I like that even more.
(The restaurant door opens with a jingle from the hanging bell on the door. Both girls stare at the figure walking towards them. A young man in a black suit approaches)
MIB - Hello girls. I'm glad to see you both here. Shall we begin?
Jane - Yes, please! The suspense has been killing me.
Daria - Yes, tell us what the requirements are in the CIA. Or the KGB.
Jane - Or the CIA in the KGB!
Morden - Why don't we start with names. My name is Mor-
Daria - Your name is Morden Gans. Time traveler, meddler, and most likely the reason my friendship with Jane is still intact.
(Jane and Morden are stunned)
Jane - Ignore my friend. As a writer, her imagination can sometimes run away with her.
Morden - No it's alright. I don't know how she knows but she is correct. I am a time traveler. I have meddled. And I have worked very hard for us three to have this conversation we're having right now.
(Jane's mouth drops. She turns to look at Daria, thinking that she set this all up as a practical joke. Daria's seriousness washes away that thought in an instant)
Jane - This isn't a joke is it? What exactly did you do?
Morden - It's a long, long story. The bullet points are, I got Helen's job here in Lawndale, I had Daria take and fail a psychological test at Lawndale High and I gave you, Jane, a reason to stay friends with Daria during that whole Tom fiasco, a year ago.
Jane - You gave me a reason?!
Morden - Yes. Do you remember where it is where we first met, two years ago?
Jane - Yeah, Hope and Maple. So what?
Morden - A year ago, after you broke up with Tom. Trent picked you up and asked you where you wanted to go. Do you remember where you were when you made that decision?
Jane (astounded) - Hope... and Maple. (turns to Daria) I was looking out Trent's car window and saw that corner. I wondered if we'd ever be friends. Then, I thought about the job offer we got from Morden, a year earlier and decided to go see you.
(Daria looks down, acknowledging the pain she and Tom brought to Jane that day. She then looks back up at Morden)
Daria - I've recently recovered suppressed childhood memories. I also recall a series of images I got after my hand grazed yours, when we met two years ago. You were trying to warn me about Tom weren't you?
Morden - No, it was you. At least I think it was you. You see, we didn't first meet two years ago. We met in another time. In a much darker place.
Daria - The images I saw. That was Lawndale wasn't?
Morden - Thanks to your continued friendship, that's no longer the case. In any event, I suspect that the 'future you' planted a chip on my hand when I wasn't looking. It was a warning for you to stay away from Tom, and when you grazed my hand, it activated the chip, flooding your mind with images and her message to you.
Daria - Stay away from Tom.
Jane - Now, hang on a second. I'm in no way complaining and I am very grateful for all you've done, but you can travel through time and the best use of that you could come up with, was to save our friendship? Not prevent wars, stop plagues, but to save our friendship?
Daria - Jane has a point. Why us?
Morden - Well...
Trent - Because I asked him to, among other things.
Daria - Trent? What are you doing here?
Jane - What are you doing awake? Do you know the time jockey here?
Trent - We've met. Right, Morden?
Morden (cautiously) - Yes, we have. How did you know I'd be here.
Trent - Oh, a little bird and his green friend told me.
Jane - This just get more and more weird.
Daria - No. Finding a cheerio in your corn flakes is weird. This is outright insane.
Trent - Looks like I came just in time. Our mutual friends mentioned, you'd need help explaining things to the girls. So I came by to pick up Jane and explain things to her while you explain things to Daria.
Morden - But Trent...
Trent -It's cool, Morden. It's like you said. I need to trust my instincts and my instincts were right about you. (to Jane) Come on, Jane. Let's go for a ride. We need to go for more rides.
Jane - I need a break from all this anyway. (to Daria) Just promise me you won't go messing around in time without me.
Daria - I'll save you a spot on the beach, in front of the Statue of Liberty's head.
Jane - Damn, those dirty apes.
(Trent and Jane walk away. Leaving Morden and Daria alone. Morden seems apprehensive)
Daria - OK, so what do you have to say that you didn't want Jane to hear?
Morden - The reason for all of this. My true reason for placing this universe at risk, was for you. You are a unique and very special individual. The thought of you being unhappy, well. I just couldn't stand idly by and do nothing about it.
Daria (rosy checked) - Um, thanks. When my hand grazed yours, did you, um, feel anything. I mean, the electricity running up my arm? That was the chip, right?
Morden - Actually, that technology is crystalline based. There is no electricity involved. So does that mean you...
Daria (defensively) - It was probably just static electricity, alright?!
Morden - Wait, Daria. I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything. I meant no offense. It's just, I've been looking for someone like you for a very long time, in a great many of places. I guess, now that I've found you, I'd just like have a chance for you to get know me.
Daria - I'm sorry. This all seems like a déjà -vu to me. Tom and I just split up recently too, but you probably already know that. Listen, I think I want to know where this leads us but let's take it slow, ok?
Morden - You know? That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.
(Daria smiles that Mona Lisa smile of hers. Morden, smirks back, and the two begin a very long conversation about time travel, the existence of the multi-verse, days that will never be and the possibilities each new day will bring. The conversation lasts all night, and straight up till morning)
NOT THE END...
THE LANE HOME
(Trent and Jane are walking down the hall and stop at Trent's door)
Jane - So you're not going to tell me anything at all?
Trent - Nope.
Jane - Then what was the point of going for a ride?
Trent - I'll let Daria fill you in, in the morning. I'm pretty beat. Goodnight, sis.
(Trent closes his bedroom door)
Jane (pounding on the door) - Don't think you closing this door ends this conversation. (more pounding on the door) I can pound all night, Mister! (more pounding, then a sudden stop) Ow! Ok, then. This stops the conversation.
(Inside Trent's room, Tent hears Jane walk away and Trent begins to calm down. He is not used to lying to his sister. Especially about something this big, but he had no choice. Trent breathed a deep sigh of relief)
Trent - Oh man, I thought she'd never stop.
Sandi - It's a good thing for her that she did.
Trent - You're still here?!
Sandi - Don't worry about me music boy. Just do as a I say and we'll both get what we want.
Trent - Shelly, there must be some other way to...
Sandi - That's Governor Sandi to you, young man. Don't forget, I can make you or break you. You will help me restore my timeline and I'll give you what you want most. That great single to jump start a long and wonderful music career on. All I ask is your help in undoing everything Morden has done.
Trent - Part of that is helping Jane and Daria stay friends. I won't help you undo that, you old hag!
Sandi (slapping Trent across the face) - How dare you talk to me that way. What's more important to you? Your music or these losers? When you've made up your mind, you know where to find me.
(A low hum and the middle aged Governor Sandi beams out to parts known only to Trent. Trent lays down on his cluttered bed. Sandi asked what's was more important to him. His music or his friends. What she didn't know she was actually asking was a question he'd thought he already knew the answer to. What's more important? His music or Daria? Trent won't sleep at all tonight, as he struggles yet again with this question. He will leave early in the morning, before Jane has a chance to corner him and get him to tell her what's going on. Governor Sandi will be waiting for him.)