(Opening sequence. Music: "You're Standing On My Neck", Splendora.

Ms Li's office. Daria and Lynn looking at each other with identical looks of assessment and deadpan curiosity.

Cullen house, exterior. AP drops to his knees and begins to salaam to Daria and Lynn, who are peering out an upstairs window.

LHS classroom. Daria, Jane and Lynn stand in a doorway, smirking. Jane carries a Polaroid camera.

Lane house, exterior. Daria, wearing a white peasant blouse, green half-corset, black skirt and black cloak with green satin lining [no glasses] stares in shock at Lynn, who wears an identical outfit bar the colour of the cloak lining and half-corset [purple] and an equally shocked look.

LHS corridor. Daria and Jane watched with bemusement as DeMartino drags a screaming Lynn past them by her ear.

LHS gymnasium. On a stage rigged at one end, Trent rams his guitar through a bass drum.

Science lab. AP, wearing safety goggles, pushes a button and ducks under the desk an instant before the model of Lawndale High that graces that desk blows up.

LHS corridor. Daria, Jane, Lynn and AP watch, smirking, as Ms Li is dragged down the hall handcuffed to a policeman. A camera crew whose equipment bears the Sick Sad World logo follows behind them.

Daria and Lynn side-by-side again, smirking slightly. As the original montage sequence, the camera pulls in and then out again to reveal two interlocking circles; one contains the Daria logo and the other contains a corresponding 'Lynn' version. Underneath are the words: "Daria in…"


A Daria Fan Fiction [LAS 1:12]

(Scene: Lynn's room. Music: "Ringfinger" by Nine Inch Nails. Daria online with Jane reading over her shoulder. Lynn reading "Do You Want Fries With That? – Career Prospects for the Aspiring Writer Or Artist".)

Daria: (looking over; deadpan) Your unbridled optimism never ceases to amaze me, Lynn.

Lynn: (smirk) Enough to make you sick, isn't it? (shrug) I don't know why I'm bothering, to be fair. I'm a trust fund brat as of this New Year. My Aunt Lorna set up a pretty hefty wad of cash for my personal use – available to me if we all survive the millennium … and if I promise not to put any of it towards my college education. (smirk) She said that's what my mother's for.

Daria: Is this a Cullen or a Smythe?1 Or do I have to ask?

Lynn: She's Dad's sister … and, apart from my father, the most hated Smythe of all. She encourages my defection from both families whenever she gets the chance. In fact, she's airlifting me out of this year's Cullen Christmas Crap-fest by bringing me out to London … along with whatever friends want to come along. (beat; tempting) Feel like wreaking some havoc in The Smoke this Christmas?

Daria: I might. I'd happily skip being subjected to Mom and Aunt Rita doing their best spitting cobra impression. And though I'd miss Aunt Amy, I can't dismiss the opportunity to further alienate my parents out of hand.

Jane: (thinks) Well, Trent's probably going to be either partying or hung over for most of it anyway … and Mom and Dad have already told me that they're spending Christmas in Aruba this year… Hell, why not?

Lynn: Now that that's settled, what do you think Ms Li's big assembly tomorrow's all about?

Daria: (smirk) To introduce us to the latest batch of sniffer dogs?

Lynn: (mock stern) Now, now, Daria. You know the woman only has our best interests at heart. (snicker) Honestly, though, whatever it is, it CAN'T be good.

Daria: And that optimistic streak shines through once again.

(Scene: LHS Auditorium. We see Jane, Daria, AP and Lynn [in that order] sitting in a little row fairly far back in the rows. Jodie drops herself into a seat beside Lynn.)

Jodie: Urine tests or meeting the new narcs?2

Lynn: We must not mock. Coming up with worst case scenarios usually results in some sadistic deity saying "You thought THAT was bad? Try THIS one".

Daria: Oh, come on. What's Ms Li actually empowered to DO to us?

(Ms Li steps up to the podium.)

Li: Good morning, students! We are here this morning to bestow a great honour onto a select few students of (hushed Ms Li tone) Lawndale High. (normal) These students have achieved a level of academic excellence in a given field of study, and their achievements will be acknowledged by an invitation to participate in the Lawndale IQ Showcase … the date of which will coincide with the visit of the school board in three weeks' time. If your name is called, please come up onto the stage!

(Daria, Jane, Lynn, AP and Jodie exchange looks.)

AP: (nervous) Barch grades on a curve against guys, right? I should be safe.3

Lynn: (sigh) Not anymore, she doesn't. Daria, Jane and I saw to that around homecoming.4 I bet ALL of us are getting into this.

Li: For Economics … Jodie Landon!

(Cut to Jodie's face. She rolls her eyes – "Here we go again…")

Li: History … Daria Morgendorffer!

(Cut to Daria's face. Daria rolls HER eyes – "Oh Lord, I have suffered such fools.")

Li: English … Lynn Cullen!

(Cut to Lynn's face. She raises her eyebrows – "And you expect me to, what, be impressed?")

Li: Art … Jane Lane!

(Cut to Jane's face. She raises an eyebrow – "Oh, goodie – more censorship.")

Li: Science … AP McIntyre!

(Cut to AP's face. He gives an evil grin – "You're going to REGRET that…")

Li: Physical Education … Kevin Thompson!

Kevin: (wide grin) All RIGHT! I'm the QB!

(Daria, Jane, Jodie, Lynn and AP all raise their eyebrows – "Like we care, right?")

Li: Mathematics…

(Cut to the end of the announcement of names. Daria, Jane, Jodie, Lynn and AP are standing in a little knot as far from the podium as they can get without falling off the stage. Kevin is standing near to the podium and grinning like a maniac. A few slightly familiar student faces act as a buffer between the gang and Kevin. Ms Li gives them a benevolent smile.)

Li: In three weeks, these pupils will represent you and (the tone again) Lawndale High. You will prepare a presentation of your most prominent skills for demonstration to the school board. Participation is mandatory. Anyone who fails to contribute a presentation will not be permitted to graduate. Congratulations, and remember; bring honour to yourselves and…

Lynn: (dull) Yeah, yeah, (mockery of Li's tone) Lawndale High.

(A few snickers erupt from the audience. Ms Li looks livid.)

Li: That is all. Back to classes, all of you! (storms off)

(Daria, Jane, Lynn, Jodie and AP look at each other.)

AP: Is she ALWAYS like that?

Daria: Only when she feels her honour's at stake. And she usually does.

Jane: Can we get out of it?

Daria: Maybe … but that would involve telling my mother about it and…

(Scene: Morgendorffer kitchen. Family sitting around table. Helen is grinning.)

Helen: That's GREAT, honey!

Jake: Yeah, it's GREAT! (beat) What's great again?

Helen: JAKE … Daria is being honoured for her accomplishments at school! Well, it's about time, too, with all the work you put in.

Daria: (deadpan) I don't do it for the glory. I do it so that I can go to a top-grade university and finally be free to lock myself in my room and read without repercussions.

Helen: (exasperated) Daria, you could at LEAST be a bit ENTHUSIASTIC about this! I mean, this will look WONDERFUL on college applications!

Daria: True, but I think I would prefer being honoured for the work I do on my own instead of having an assignment dumped on me on short notice and accompanied by a threat of not graduating if I don't do it.

Helen: (shocked) You must have misheard her. I mean, I KNOW Ms Li's a little…

Daria: Hitler.

Helen: (warning) DARIA! (beat) But she can't possibly be as bad as all that. (wary) Can she?

Quinn: (emphatic) Um … yes, she can.

Daria: Remember violation of civil liberties?5

Helen: (chastened) Oh. True. (different tactic) Well, what if I made it worth your while to sort of … take your mind off Ms Li, hmm?

Daria: (deadpan) Blackmail on the one hand, bribery on the other. All you need is someone to threaten to rough me up if I don't comply for the Mafia criteria to be completely fulfilled.

Jake: (clueless) I'll do it, Kiddo!

Helen: (to Jake) Would you let me handle this?

Jake: (miserable) You take my paper away and now I can't even encourage my own kids. I never get to have ANY fun.

Helen: (attention back to Daria) Look, I KNOW it seems like we're being a little overly forceful here, but since you have to do it anyway, I thought I might sweeten the deal for you. If you're determined to see it in a negative light, then perhaps I shouldn't bother.

Daria: (shrug) Okay. I won't bother graduating then.

Helen: (brief look of "Whoops! Retreat!") A hundred dollars up front.

Daria: And I get to go to London with Lynn and Jane over Christmas.

Helen: (shocked) But Christmas is a FAMILY holiday!

Daria: (deadpan) And nothing says family like insult-flinging around the Barksdale family dinner table, right?

Helen: (sigh; Daria has a point) All right. (sees Daria's not quite done) What else, Daria?

Daria: And decrease the cut of my allowance you're putting away for college to 40%.6

Helen: 60.

Daria: 50. And I get the hundred now.

Helen: (knows when she's beat) Done.

(Helen reaches for her bag and Daria smirks.)

Quinn: (whispering) How do you DO that?

Daria: (raised eyebrows) Do you really want to know?

(Quinn nods hopefully)

Daria: (thinks) When I think you're ready, I'll introduce you to a friend of mine. She's a better teacher than I am.

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music: "F.O.D" by Green Day. Daria approaches Lynn, who's leaning into her locker so that her head and shoulders are no longer visible.)

Daria: The wages of shortness are death … if you can suffocate under locker junk.

Lynn: (muffled) Yeah, well, if that happens, I'll have got out of that stupid assignment for Ms Li. (beat) Be a pal and give the bottom of my jacket a yank. I think my shoulders are wedged in here.

(Daria yanks. Lynn falls out of her locker.)

Lynn: Thanks. (beat) On the other hand, this assignment has its advantages.

Daria: Parental extortion?

Lynn: 200 dollars up front and an increase in my allowance, plus no pressure about using the new trust fund for college.

Daria: (wide-eyed) You're good. I just got 100, permission to join you in London over the holidays and less of a cut taken out of my allowance.

Lynn: Don't sell yourself short. You gotta learn to walk before you can run.

Daria: Very Zen. (beat) That reminds me … feel up to corrupting someone new?

Lynn: Depends. Talk to me after we've made it through this newest horror.

Daria: Fair enough. (beat) Any ideas?

Lynn: One. Drop by mine after school and we'll have a look at the old idea generator.

Daria: Subversion Is We again?

Lynn: And the Temple of Subversive Literature that is my bookshelf. Got a better suggestion?7

Daria: (shrug) Good point.

(Scene: Lynn's room. Lynn online. Daria and AP sitting on the desk, flanking her.)

AP: They want our most prominent skills? Let's make them sorry they asked…

Lynn: Last week on 'Conjuring Today', we learnt how to saw a woman in half. This week we're going to learn how to saw a woman in three bits and dispose of the body.8

(AP laughs. Daria looks confused. Lynn shrugs and hits a few keys.)

(Cut to montage sequence. Music: "Genius" by Pitchshifter.

Library. Daria reading "All Things Dark And Merciless – Ten Great American Atrocities". Making notes. A librarian looks at her strangely.

LHS exterior. AP is wandering around outside with one of those measuring wheels.

English class. Lynn is looking speculatively at Mr O'Neill, writing notes occasionally. Mr O'Neill notices the fixed stare he's getting and smiles nervously at Lynn. Lynn raises an eyebrow and treats him to a very small, very evil smile. O'Neill's eyes widen and he shrinks backwards. Meanwhile. AP is reading "Let's Get Pyromanic! A Do-It-Yourself Guide To Home-Made Firebombs!" and Daria reads "America The Brutal – A History".

Jane's room. Lynn hands Jane a bunch of papers. Jane scans them. At the first page she smirks and raises an eyebrow. At the second she laughs. At the third, she goes an odd shade of green and looks at Lynn in something like horror. Lynn shrugs. Jane shrugs back and reaches for her palette, beginning to paint as if possessed.

AP walking the halls of LHS. He takes out a hammer and chisel and starts chipping at the wall. Ms Li passes by and looks at him strangely. AP waves and keeps on hammering.

Children's library. Daria is reading aloud from "Dead Stars And Prison Bars – America's Shame". Sitting at her feet is an audience of rapt children age 5-10.

Science class. Jane and Lynn are looking at Ms Barch in an assessing, fixed way. Occasionally, Jane sketches something or Lynn takes a few notes. Barch looks questioningly at them and both girls treat her to a very small, very evil smirk. Barch shudders.

Boiler room at LHS. AP taking measurements and banging away on a small calculator. A German shepherd dog approaches and sniffs at him, then growls. AP produces an aerosol can and sprays it at the dog's nose. The dog keels over. AP puts fingers to the dog's neck, then lays a hand on the dog's chest. Then he makes a few more notes.

Library. Daria is sitting among a bunch of books. She is currently reading "Burn, Baby, Burn – The Truth Behind The Salem Witch Trials". A young man starts reading over her shoulder, finds something that obviously unsettles him, and then runs off with a hand clapped over his mouth. Daria smirks.

End montage.)

(Scene: Daria's room. Music: "Comin' Up From Behind" by Marcy Playground. Daria is typing rapidly, occasionally consulting a pile of notes at her side. There is a knock on the door.)

Daria: Not now. Busy. Come back when the shooting gallery's closed.

Jake: (OS) See, Helen! Next time you'll LISTEN when I warn you she might be on drugs!9

Helen: (OS; exasperated) Jake, she's being SARCASTIC. Don't you know your daughter at ALL?

Jake: (OS; proud) Age, height AND favourite colour! (beat) Well, Jane wouldn't give me another question!10

(Daria smirks at this ridiculous conversation.)

Helen: (OS) Sweetie … can we come in?

Daria: Not without a warrant.

Helen: (OS; exasperated) Look, we just want to know how the project is coming.

Daria: Fine. Working now. Go away.

(Helen enters, Jake a distance behind. Daria immediately closes the window she's been working in.)

Helen: (sigh) Twenty dollars if we can see how you're doing.

Daria: Nope.

Helen: (stunned) You're not even going to TRY to bargain it up?

(Daria shrugs)

Helen: (eyes narrowed) Why don't you want us to see that?

(Daria shrugs again)

Helen: (determined; she'll see that report if it kills her) Fifty.

(Daria shakes her head)

Helen: (slight hiss) A hundred!

(Daria smiles and holds her hand out. Helen elbows Jake, who hauls out his wallet. Helen counts out some bills and hands them to Daria. Daria opens a file on her computer and rolls her chair away so they can see. They read and smile.)

Helen: I'm impressed, Daria! You've really grasped the history here.

Daria: (shrug) Thank you. Can I get back to work now?

Helen: Of course, Sweetie! Sorry for disturbing you.

(Helen and Jake walk out, smiling from ear to ear. Close up to the computer as Daria shuts the window down and opens up another one. Then she begins typing again, and we cut to her self-satisfied smirk.)

Daria: (to herself, smug) Suckers.

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music: "Underbelly" by Pop Will Eat Itself. Daria walks up to Lynn's locker. Lynn is struggling to open a thermos.)

Daria: Did Mommy pack soup or Spaghetti-Os this time?

Lynn: Funny girl. It's coffee. No sleep. Muse running rampant through brain and disrupting sleep patterns irrevocably. Must have caffeine or will expire. (to thermos) Open, damn you…

(Daria grabs the thermos and wrenches it open. She tries handing Lynn the cup but Lynn shakes her hand away and guzzles it straight from the thermos.)

Lynn: (wiping mouth on back of hand) Better. Brain refuelled … however briefly. (beat) From that smug look on your face, I take it the ruse worked?

Daria: You were right. Silence is a lot better than opening negotiations. And they bought that crap about America the beautiful.

Lynn: How high did it go?

Daria: (smirk) Another hundred.

Lynn: (raised eyebrow) Impressive. You learn fast, grasshopper.

(Enter AP, flipping through a notebook.)

Daria: (slightly shy) Hey.

AP: (slightly shy) Hey. How's the project?

Daria: Profitable. You?

AP: Entertaining. How about you, Lynn?

Lynn: (blinking hard) Caffeine hit wearing off. (guzzles down more coffee from thermos) Ah. Powers of speech returning. (beat) Fine. Jane and I are working really hard on a joint effort.

Daria: (looking around) Where is Jane, anyway?

(On cue, Jane shuffles over to her friends. She is pale and worn; her eyes are mostly closed.)

Jane: (groggy) Does anyone remember my locker combination?

Lynn: (concerned) Couldn't you have had Trent call you in sick?

Jane: (still groggy) Trent sleeping. Wouldn't wake up. Threw water at him. Didn't work. Bummed about Daria… (wakes up a little, realises what she's said) Whoops…

(Daria glares at Jane, who leans against the lockers in a boneless sort of way. Lynn takes the thermos lid and pours some coffee into it, then offers it to Jane.)

Lynn: Just be careful. This stuff is potent.

Jane: (shrug) Can't be as strong as…

(Jane downs the coffee. Lynn cringes. Then Jane's eyes shoot open in shock and she chokes and sputters.)

Lynn: I warned you…

Jane: How do you MAKE it that strong?

Lynn: It would scare you to find out. (sees Jane's pleading expression) Another time.

(Ms Li approaches.)

Li: Good morning, students! (looks suspiciously at thermos) What's in there?

Lynn: Coffee.

Jane: (evil smirk) Try some, if you want…

Li: (nervously) Of course not! I trust you…

(Daria, Jane, Lynn and AP raise an eyebrow and smirk.)

Li: I just wanted an update on your projects.

Daria, Jane, Lynn & AP: (in unison) Fine.

Li: (suspicious) Give me an overview. Titles, perhaps.

Daria: An in-depth study of some of America's most memorable historical moments.

Lynn: Jane and I are working on a joint multimedia effort. I call it "My Dream Day At Greenvale High".11

AP: Easy, cheap and home-made improvements of Lawndale High.

Li: (smile) Very good. I'm glad to see you four entering into the spirit of this. Good day.

(Ms Li walks away. The four share another smirk.)

AP: I skated around the truth. How about you guys?

Daria: "Forgive me, Father, for it was I and come what may, I cannot tell a lie." (smirk)

Lynn: In the same manner as we didn't lie in Operation Faeces Tauri.12

Jane: And how much faeces will hit the fan when she sees what we REALLY did?

Daria: (sidelong glance at Lynn) I would assume that someone not a million miles away has prepared for that eventuality … am I right?

(Lynn's only reply is a smug smile.)

(Scene: LHS exterior. Daria, Jane, Lynn, AP, Jodie, the few familiar faces from the assembly and, of course, Kevin are standing in a line behind Ms Li as she greets three people in suits – two men, one woman.)

Li: Welcome to (tone again) Lawndale High. (normal) We have prepared a presentation of some of the finest talents this school has to offer.

Male Suit 1: Thank you. (to the group) Hello.

(Daria, Jane, Lynn and AP look at each other.)

AP: (pleading) Just one remark. Please?

Daria: I don't think so. We don't want to over-egg the pudding here.

Lynn: She's right. Some things should only be carried so far.

AP: (disappointed) Damn.

(Scene: LHS gymnasium. Kevin is repeatedly hitting a tackling dummy.)

Daria: I'd worry about the brain cells he was losing, but…

Lynn: You never know. It might bring a few lone synapses together; make him think for once.

(The base of the tackling dummy snaps with Kevin's last blow. Kevin topples to the floor. He sits up briefly, grins and waves at the watching group, and then passes out.)

Lynn: (sigh) Then again…

(Scene: LHS science class. Music: "Warfair" by Clawfinger. AP is standing at Ms Barch's desk. In front of him are a model of Lawndale High, a spray can, and something that looks like a cross between a digital alarm clock and a distillery. On the chalkboard behind him are various chemical equations and molecule diagrams.)

AP: …any given shampoo or soap is an excellent source of glycerine and, with careful treatment, nitro-glycerine is a really easy thing to make … provided you don't overdo the heat and blow up the lab.

(Cut to the assembled masses. Kevin is wearing a bandage on his head and is weaving slightly. Daria, Jane, Lynn and Jodie smirk. The rest of them look horrified.)

AP: After experimentation with my mother's Valium and various poisons, I decided that the least harmful way to incapacitate Ms Li's bomb-sniffer dogs was to use codeine extracted from common household cough syrup in a spray-can form. (takes the spray can and steps up to Kevin) Allow me to demonstrate.

(AP sprays Kevin's face three times. Kevin looks at him, still weaving)

Kevin: Hey, dude… (falls over)

(The suits stare at him, wide-eyed. So do the slightly familiar students. Ms Li glares. The others smirk some more.)

AP: (casually making his way back to the desk) So once the guard dogs are disabled…

(Cut to a few moments later. Music plays on. The group still looks horrified, but Ms Li looks livid and Daria, Jane, Lynn and Jodie are still smirking.)

AP: And now for a visual demonstration. This model of Lawndale High is made to scale. With the right explosives set in the right places…

(AP sets up a blast shield, puts on goggles, and presses a button somewhere. Then he ducks under the desk just before the model of the school explodes. The crowd jumps a little. AP then stands up again, regarding the smouldering remains of the model of Lawndale High.)

AP: …Lawndale High could be completely levelled. Thank you.

(Daria, Jane, Lynn and Jodie clap lightly. The rest of the group join in hesitantly. Ms Li is turning a strange shade of red with fury.)

(Scene: LHS art room. Music: "Dope Hat" by Marilyn Manson. Paintings are set up in a rough horseshoe shape at the edges of the room. The three suits and the other students – minus Kevin this time – are studying the paintings and looking a little green. We only see one; the terrified face of Ms Defoe in the reflection of a kitchen knife.)

Lynn: (reading her work) "Ms March looked at her chosen prey. 'Come with me," she said to the trembling male. 'I want to try it praying mantis style.' O'Toole, alarmed but strangely aroused by the idea, stepped towards her, unable to resist…

(Cut to a short time later. Music plays on. The woman suit looks at one particular painting and faints. Jane hides a laugh behind her hand. Lynn still reading.)

Lynn: "Mr DeAntonio, half blind from when the rage finally claimed him and destroyed his eye, thrust the knife into Ms Crusoe's torso again and again, all the while howling in a voice both filled with triumph and choked with fury, 'I WARNED you not to get new wind chimes! I WARNED YOU! I WARNED YOU!…"

(Cut to a short time later still. Music plays on. One of the male suits runs out with a hand to his mouth. Jane openly chuckles. Ms Li shoots her a death glare. Lynn still reading.)

Lynn: "With the death of the majority of the football team and half of the faculty, the travesty ended at last. As the bloody corpses were hauled away, Ms Pamela Wu stared at her tragically fallen empire. She could not go on without the power the place had given her. There was only one thing for it, she knew; she took up Mr DeAntonio's discarded gun and pointed it to her temple. 'It should have been me,' she whispered and then she pulled the trigger. And the tragic kingdom of Lawndale High was truly destroyed and, while none could admit it, a small piece of every heart rejoiced at its passing." That's it.

(Ms Li looks ready to throttle Lynn and Jane. Daria, Jodie and AP each give small thumbs-up signs. Lynn and Jane take a small bow.)

(Scene: LHS history class. Music: "It'll Be A Long Time" by The Offspring. Daria has rigged up a slide show and has projected a picture of three tall ships – the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.)

Daria: (reading from her essay) Since Columbus landed on this land mass some 307 years ago, America has been viewed as a land of opportunity and wealth. But these things have come at the price of opportunism and greed. Columbus' men made unreasonable demands on the resources of the Native Americans they found when they reached the islands, chopping the hands off anyone who would not – or could not – give them what they wanted. In return for the riches of the West, Columbus and his men brought with them destruction, plague, and genocide of an entire race. And since that time, things have not improved.

(Cut to Ms Li's face. If looks could kill, Daria would be undergoing a slow and painful death. Jane, Lynn, AP and Jodie are still smirking. The three suits and the other students look shocked.)

(Cut to a short time later. Music plays on. The picture next to Daria now is a scene from the film "The Crucible", with three people about to be hung.)

Daria: (reading from her essay) The American people saw opportunities everywhere … even in the laws of their church. Using the fear of demon possession and witchcraft that permeated Christian faith, people accused their neighbours of witchcraft in order to take revenge, gain land or even covet the husband or wife of the condemned. And so the laws of the church were used to break the laws of the church.

(Cut to a short time later. Music plays on. Now the picture is a mushroom cloud.)

Daria: (reading from her essay) After complaining that the Japanese had no right to honour after their sneak attack on Pearl Harbour, the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and the Japanese were given two weeks to surrender. Perhaps they didn't realise the horror with which the Japanese have viewed failure since the late 1800's, but after four days, anxious to test their newest toy and impatient with the wait for the Japanese emperor to surrender, the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. For decades after that day, the legacy of America's impatience, pettiness and zealous obsession with being the world's greatest superpower lives on in third-generation leukaemia sufferers.

(We cut to the audience. The woman suit is crying. One of the male suits looks like he might start crying. Ms Li, despite herself, looks upset.)

(Cut to later on. Music plays on. Now the picture beside her is a riot scene.)

Daria: (reading from essay) The so-called 'police action' was waging in the east and, due to the American desire to avoid being seen as overly ruthless, the force necessary to end that police action was not used in Vietnam. When the youth of the day rebelled against being sent to die because some people in a distant, non-threatening country had a different take on politics, they were beaten back mercilessly. And so we see the American way; kill the peaceful, twist the laws to your own advantage, take what you want at any cost. A tenacious race, the American people … reminiscent of the common cockroach in their ability to survive. Thank you.

(Cut to the audience. Everyone looks pretty much ashamed of themselves … all bar Jane, Lynn, AP and Jodie, who treat her to in-unison thumbs-up. Daria smirks.)

(Scene: Pizza King. Music: "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by REM. Daria and AP sitting opposite Lynn and Jane in a booth.)

Daria: That went surprisingly well.

Jane: (wry) You mean the presentations, or the bit where we got out before the suits left so Ms Li couldn't corner us?

Lynn: Hey, if she tries getting us into trouble for this, I can remind her that she never set any conditions on the content of the presentations. And this should provide a little memory boost in case she 'forgets' what she said. (smirk; she takes out a Dictaphone) I always keep it handy these days. This little beauty's helped us out once before.13

AP: What else? You don't normally go into battle without a backup plan.

Lynn: Well, Daria informed me of a conversation her mother had with Ms Li concerning violation of civil liberties.14 I have enough notes on that to tip the balance a little more to our side, and if I bluff by saying Mrs Morgendorffer will back us up on this one, that'll help us even more…

AP: (suspicious) And then…

Lynn: (sigh; hesitant) I've been saving some bits of information for a special occasion. I won't say more yet, but I'll pull out that ace if I have to … and ONLY if I have to.

Jane: (raised eyebrow) Deadly ace?

Lynn: The ace of spades. The death card. The final, irrevocable damnation of Ms Li. But only if I have to … or at the end of my senior year, whichever comes first.

(The other three look at her curiously. Lynn shrugs and takes a bite of pizza so she has an excuse not to talk.)

(Scene: LHS corridor. Daria, Jane, Lynn and AP standing by Daria's locker. They aren't doing anything; they very much look like they're waiting for something.)

Lynn: Watches synchronised?

Jane: Yep.

Lynn: Start the countdown.

Daria: Five … four … three … two … one…

(And a voice comes over the PA system.)

Li: (PA) Will Ms Morgendorffer, Ms Lane, Ms Cullen and Mr McIntyre report to the principal's office IMMEDIATELY!

(The foursome look at each other, roll their eyes and walk off.)

(Scene: Ms Li's office. We see Ms Li sitting at her desk, looking a little dishevelled.)

Li: (choking on the words in anger) And WHAT do you four have to SAY for yourselves?

(We now see the foursome standing before her desk. They look cool and composed, and very confident in a quiet sort of way.)

Daria: The First Amendment.

Li: (livid) I can't BELIEVE you are trying to hide behind the Constitution of the VERY nation you MOCKED yesterday!

Daria: I didn't mock the Constitution. I didn't mock ANYTHING. Do you have a problem with the truth, Ms Li?

Li: (realising) You are going to try to worm your way out of this, aren't you.

Lynn: (raised eyebrow) Try, nothing. You haven't got a leg to stand on here.

(Ms Li obviously knows this but doesn't like having someone else point it out for her. She rages.)

Li: (hissing) I issue you with an informal reprimand. If you do ANYTHING to mock my school again, there will be repercussions. As it is, though, I have no choice but to let you go.

(The foursome smirk and exit. Ms Li swigs from her flask and allows herself a little grin.)

Li: (whisper) But you'll get yours … all four of you.

(Scene: LHS corridor. AP gives a triumphant grin.)

AP: All right! Brutal! That's that over!

Lynn; (dubious) I don't think so, somehow.

Jane: What do you mean? I mean, she didn't even TRY to punish us!

Daria: (catching on) That's the strange part. She'd normally be all over us on this, but she went really quiet.

Lynn: Do you think she knows about the Dictaphone and the bugs?15

Daria: Seems likely, doesn't it?

AP: (trying to lighten things up) Well, never mind that now. We've still got aces in the hole to deal with her if she gets rough. Now is the time to celebrate!

Lynn: (sigh) You heard about the grasshopper who sang all summer?

AP: The ants fed him, right?

(Lynn sighs as her best friend misses the point.)

Jane: Celebratory pizza fest?

Lynn: To be honest, I'm getting a bit fed up with pizza. Wan Foo Mai Tai out on the highway?

Jane: Then bad sci-fi movies on cable?

Daria: I think bad slasher movies are in order after yesterday. I noted the entire collection of Nightmare On Elm Street videos in your room, Lynn.

Lynn: Cool. So Chinese, then schlock horror pics.

AP: Then execute my plan to firebomb the school?

(The other three look at him witheringly)

AP: (disappointed) I can dream, can't I?



1] If you read "Lady and the Tank", you'll get a brief explanation of Lynn's family situation – and why she's a Cullen if her dad's surname is Smythe.

2] Jodie can say things like this now, thanks to her discovery of a backbone in "Grating Expectations".

3] Bringing to mind the scene in "The Lab Brat":
Barch: Very good, Daria; you get an A.
Kevin: All RIGHT!
Barch: Not you, you MAN! YOU get a D!

4] In "Run Away from Homecoming", Daria and Lynn blackmailed Barch into being fair to Mack. I don't think she wants to face the wrath of 'the Flack-Jacket Mafia' if she unfairly flunked AP…

5] Remember "Arts and Crass"? Remember "Swear to be Different"? If not, watch/read them respectively.

6] In "The Things We Do for Dough", Helen holds back a very large amount of her allowance for college. Payback, perhaps, for some of Daria's cracks in "Café Disaffecto".

7] As AP refers to her bookshelf in "And Then There Were Four".

8] Austin Loomis used this quote from 'Conjuring Today' in the prose adapt. I decided to try to find it a home.

9] Jake's paranoid delusion of the day in "Ill".

10] In "Lane Miserables", Jane allows each Morgendorffer "Maximum of three questions. No betrayals. Immunity from prosecution."

11] 'Greenvale High' and all renamed denizens of courtesy of Austin Loomis, who rightly pointed out in the prose adapt, "it didn't make sense that she'd use real names, given that even using NO names had gotten her and Daria threatened with head-candling".

12] When faced with the aforementioned threat of head-candling in "Poetic Injustice", Daria and Lynn tried their hand at spin-doctoring. Lynn referred to it as Operation Faeces Tauri.

13] That was one of the devices used to get evidence against [or at least dirt on] Barch in "Run Away from Homecoming".

14] This happened in "Arts 'n Crass" and included the phrase "big fat lawsuit". Guaranteed to put the fear of God [or at least, fear of loss of the Almighty Dollar] into Ms Li.

15] Yep, Ms Li's office is bugged, as we find out in "Grating Expectations".


Daria Morgendorffer et al are the creations of Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis Lynn but are owned by MTV, a Viacom company, copyright 1997, 2000. [Apparently this is possible by 'work for hire', a concept that eludes me.] Lynn Cullen and AP McIntyre, on the other hand, were created and are owned by me, one Janet 'Canadibrit' Neilson, copyright 1999, 2000. Touch my characters without consulting me and it will go hard with you. This is a "substantially transformative" derivative work, apparently [what a highfalutin way to say fanfic], and is protected by the Supreme Court's decision in re Campbell v. Acuff Rose Music, so keep the copyright notice where it is and don't post it for money. If you do so without my permission and that of MTV Networks, I WILL pull a Lynn Cullen on you. And then I'll call lawyers.

Back to Canadibrit's Fics