What is Memory? By Love Gordon
A sort-of sequel to Behind The Pom-Poms. Daria finds a baby in the snow. Quinn
quits the Fashion Club. Oh, and the United States is almost taken over by Communists...
Quinn peered into the window of Dega Street Books, but she didn't see her sister.
Suddenly, the door next to her opened. The bell jangled loudly, and Quinn jumped about a
foot into the air.
"Eep!" she shrieked.
"Calm down, Quinn. Too much Ritalin isn't good for your system." Her older sister
patted her on the back. Quinn still didn't move. Whether she was trying to figure out what
her sister had said or if she was still in shock was anyone's guess.
"Come on, Tonto, we've got to get a move on. Christmas shopping's done. Mom's
going to meet us at the Sound Hole in fifteen minutes, and we'll be late if we don't hurry
up." said Daria.
Quinn sighed. "Alright, let's go. Just don't surprise me like that again."
As they walked off, Quinn asked, "Why do you always call me Tonto?"
"Someday, I'll tell you, sis..."
"Daria..." Quinn muttered. She jogged her elbow. Daria sighed.
"Yes, Quinn?" she replied. They were standing outside the Sound Hole.
"I quit the Fashion Club."
This time, it was Quinn who sighed. "It's kind of long and complicated, but since
there were a lot of openings in the Latin club, I signed up. I really do like Latin!" she said
to Daria's incredulous face. "But Sandi was being a total jerk about it, so I told her that she
was full of faeces tauri. I walked out of the meeting. The Fashion Club kind of collapsed
on its butt on my heels."
"Wow, Quinn. I have to say, I'm impressed." And Daria was. Her sister had done a
lot of growing up in the last year and a half, while she was away. Now Quinn was a senior,
she herself in her second year of college. "But won't it look bad on your college
"Daria!" Quinn dissolved in giggles. "You really thought the Fashion Club was a
school activity? It was just a bunch of really popular freshman girls hanging out together.
We called ourselves the Fashion Club because Sandi thought it sounded official, though we
did function as a club until Stacy left last year." Quinn looked sad about the latter.
Too bad, thought Daria. Stacy had been Quinn's only real friend, and now she was
in some student exchange program in Australia so she could be with her boyfriend, Ted.
Quinn spoke up. "Hey, wasn't Mom supposed to be here a while ago?"
Daria looked at her watch, and at the snow now lightly falling on the road. "Yeah...
That's weird." She turned on her cell phone. "I'll call Mom."
Helen Morgendorffer was stuck. She and Jake would have to rent a hotel room, that
was all. The office's holiday party was in Leeville, and now, according to the radio
announcer, the town was snowed in.
Suddenly her phone rang.
"Mom! Where are you?" yelped her eldest daughter at the sound of her voice.
"I'm in Leeville, honey. I almost forgot about this party, and my boss called to
remind me just in time. By the way, we'll be spending the night: we're snowed in. Why are
you calling?" Helen replied.
"You were supposed to pick us up at the Sound Hole thirty minutes ago! And it's
Helen gasped. "Oh my god, I totally forgot about it. Are you two all right?"
"Safe and unharmed. However, we're going to turn into popsicles soon. Don't
worry-" Daria said, anticipating her mother's shriek of anguish, "I'll get one of the Lanes to
drive us home."
They said good-bye and hung up, and Helen flopped onto a couch with sigh. Why
couldn't she be a better mother? Even Daria took better care of Quinn than she did.
Jake sat down next to her and handed her a Martini. Well, at least one
Morgendorffer around here remembered things.
"One of the Lanes?" Quinn raised her eyebrow suspiciously. She knew what was
going on here. "I knew it! You've been seeing Trent all this time! Why don't you tell me
Daria raised a hand to silence her. "Whoa. Wait a minute, sister. Before you go off
hitching us up and marrying us in Las Vegas, let's face the facts. Just because he and I both
live in New York City doesn't mean we're dating. Hell, Jane and I are so busy at Julliard
and Columbia, respectively, that we don't have time for that sort of thing."
Quinn frowned at her. "Daria..."
"So we went out for pizza. Once!"
Quinn kept frowning.
"Okay, three times."
"Quinn, don't look at me like that. So it was three pizzas and a movie!"
"Okay, Quinn, you win."
Daria peered in the window of the Sound Hole. She was slightly startled when the
door beside her swung open, but only slightly.
"Hey, Trent." she said. A little too breathlessly. "Quinn and I are stranded here.
Can you give us a lift home?"
"Sure thing." he replied with a smile. "Hey, Daria, how's it been?" She hadn't seen
him in a few days, now that she thought about it.
"Yeah. Just checking in with Jesse. I've been in the basement for a couple of days,
putting in some acoustic tile. We're setting up a recording studio there."
"Really? I didn't know you two were still working together."
"Well, since I started my own record label in New York, I thought it would only be
fitting if Jesse and I were the next ones to ascend to fame." Trent's digital media label had
been the first to release their music exclusively in mp3 format. Babyboomers screamed in
outrage. Teens loved it, and immediately propelled PennyLane records to major label
status. All five of its first signees had gone on to become platinum downloads within a
week. New technology encoding the files prevented Napster-like happenings from
sabotaging the label, as well.
Daria, who ran the website and had played a crucial part in the development of
PennyLane Records' patented encoding software, nodded in agreement. "Yeah, that'd be
"Come on, guys, let's head for the car." said Quinn. The three strolled down the
sidewalk to the car.
A woman in a soft, clingy black dress climbed out of a silver Mercedes. To the
chauffeur, she murmured to keep the car waiting for her. He nodded, and she walked up
the sidewalk with a warm bundle in her arms, swaddled cozily in a thick, grey wool
She kissed the child that was the bundle on its forehead. The woman who was
staying inside was someone she knew she could trust with this, her most precious
creation. If only she could keep her baby with her... But it would be dangerous enough.
She had to leave.
She pinned the note to the warm blanket.
I know that you, of all people, will be as good and
kind to my baby as I, her mother, would be. Her name is
Amalia Vivianne, and she is six months old. Trust in me, I
will be back for her. If I am not, my lawyers will reach
you, for in my will it says where she is. I pray Amalia is
not a burden to you, but there is nowhere else to go.
The woman in black wiped a tear off her cheek and settled her daughter on the
doorstep. Then she walked back to the car, and she was gone.
"A baby on your doorstep?" inquired Jane, once they were safely in the Lane
fortress, a home familiar with babies and fleeing Morgendorffers. "Do you have any idea
whose it could be?"
"No idea," Daria replied, cradling the baby. She was a beautiful little girl, with soft
golden hair. "The note... well, read it for yourself."
"Oh, so there's a note?" Daria handed it to her, and Jane quickly scanned it.
Quinn had gone upstairs, to dump her stuff in Penny's room, but Trent, who stood
behind her, peered over her shoulder curiously. "She's a cute baby." he said. "Nowhere
else to go, she said?"
"Yeah. It's really funny. I mean, who do we know who might have a baby?"
"Jodie- well, we can cross Jodie and Mack off. Amalia's too pale." said Jane
"Let's call her Molly." Daria said. Right now, Molly was sleeping contentedly. I
could get used to this, she thought.
"Straight Edge, and anti-drugs, anti-alcohol activism. Really unlikely."
"Upchuck- no one in their right minds would mate with him. Kevin- married and
working in the fast-food industry. Two kids, with that cheerleader Angie. Ted- in Australia
with Stacy. They probably haven't even gotten to first base yet."
"Jane, she's not only a lesbian, she's a single, lonely, depressed lesbian."
"She is? How do you know?"
"I am so happy that there happened to be a bus waiting outside the Zen that night."
"She made a pass at you?!?"
"I never said that!"
Trent cleared his throat. "Umm, Janey, aren't we getting a little off the subject
"You're not freaked out? I'm freaked out! This girl was your girlfriend, Trent!" Jane
"Look, when she called me Jill when were... you know... I kind of guessed that she
swung both ways."
"Too much information!" Daria said, backing away. "Molly doesn't need to hear
this. Do you, Molly?"
Molly opened her eyes, smiled cherubicly, and burped.
"So, you're quitting school to write a book, work in a record label, and raise a baby
that was left on your doorstep?" Helen said incredulously. They were in the kitchen of the
Daria nodded. "It was a sign, Mom. My scholarship wouldn't allow enough money
to feed me and Molly, and I couldn't give her up. She's... mine now. Besides, I'm a CEO,
not a mere employee. It's a good job. It pays well."
"Well, Daria, I hope you know what you're doing. I'm just worried about telling
"Don't worry, Mom. I broke the news to him. He was playing with Molly. He
looked at her, then at me, and said, 'Can Grandpa Jakey visit?' Personally, I think he took it
"Well enough, indeed. So, where are you staying? Now that you're not going back
to your dorm and all."
"I'm crashing at Trent's for now."
"Trent? Daria, I didn't even know you were dating him. And you're moving in
"No, no! It's not like that! I'm just camping out on the couch until I find an apartment.
Jane's roommate smokes, drinks, and has orgies on Monday nights, so I figured I'd better
stay clear of her place."
Helen, who had been standing in front of the stove, plucked the screeching kettle off
the burner and poured water into two mugs, adding two tea bags in the process. "Good. We
don't want another headfirst-in-the-guacamole heart attack."
Daria chuckled. "Just wait until he finds about Quinn quitting the Fashion Club."
"She quit the Fashion Club?"
"Yeah. Didn't she tell you?"
Helen shook her head. "She never tells me anything now. Even you told me more
about what was going on. Now, she just leaves the house and I just have to assume she's
over at her boyfriend's house."
"Quinn has a boyfriend? This, I need to hear."
"That nice Sloane boy you used to date. Thomas?"
"Tom." Daria raised her eyebrows. "Well, tell her to use protection."
"So. This is it." Daria eyed the living room, and Trent hoped it would be okay for a
short stay. He'd fixed up well enough for himself, but seeing it through a stranger's eyes
made it look a bit shabby. The furnace worked well enough, though; it was still chilly in the
middle of January.
"What, you've never seen my apartment before?" he said jokingly.
"Nope, actually. You moved in, um, probably in early November, I was busy with
term papers, etc., and I missed the housewarming party because of the flu." said Daria,
who, in fact, actually wasn't looking so hot.
"Weird. You feeling okay, Daria?"
"Not really. I haven't had a decent night of sleep since Molly showed up. I'd kill for
a night off. She's a sweet girl, Trent, but she has a ravenous appetite at 3 in the morning that
can't be neglected." Daria sighed. "She's adjusting, but she must have been a terror as
"Yikes. Listen, why don't you take a nap? I'll look after Molly for a little bit."
"Trent, you are a saviour sent from God. Her stuff is in the diaper bag." And with
that, Daria collapsed on the couch.
After a night of Molly-watching, Trent began to see why Daria was losing her
sleep. Molly was a sleepy angel during daytime, but at night she stayed awake. Her
schedule was getting reset, but it was obvious her mother- whoever she was- must have
been accustomed to staying up all night for some reason. That was interesting.
The woman stood up and shook hands with her chief officer. She did not wear
black now, but a loose azure dress that outlined and emphasized her perfect body.
Another, man entered the vast, immense room, and he kissed her on the cheek
half-heartedly. He spoke to her for a moment, and her face fell from its former
enthusiasm. She dismissed her chief, and the woman and the second man, who was quite
tall, sat down at a table.
The woman spoke first. "Amalia is safe. I have made sure of that."
However, the man shook his head. "With the one you told me about? Won't she
"She will, Lorenzo. And Amalia will be safest. You didn't know me then. I was not
Ani then." She pronounced Ani as Ah-nee.
Lorenzo was not satisfied. "Ani, they will find out."
"Amalia is not her daughter, Lorenzo. She being the girl I was. My name was
different, then. There is much you don't know."
"Amalia's father and I are married. This is a breach of protocol, for he did not
want them to find me, you understand. We would have parted, but by then I was
already..." Ani blushed. "He will be found, you understand? If not, I will die trying.
Amalia is in better hands than mine."
"We have a lead."
Lorenzo left the room before he could see Ani's eyes empty with pain. Where was
Daria awoke lying on a soft couch in Trent's living. She looked at the time. 10 am.
Ah, fifteen hours of sheer bliss: sleep. She rolled over and closed her eyes.
Then she sat straight up. Where is Molly?, she thought, panicking. She should have
been asleep in her crib next to Daria, but no, she wasn't there! Now Daria was worried.
She knocked on Trent's door, and he came out, carrying Molly.
"Oh, there you are, Molly!" Daria exclaimed, scooping the little girl up. "Thanks,
Trent. I was out for hours. You get any sleep?"
"Yup." Trent replied. "I got up once to give her a bottle and change her diaper, but
after I put her to sleep with her blanket she dozed off."
"Yeah, the one she came wrapped in. Doesn't she always sleep with it?"
Daria smacked herself on the forehead with her free hand. "So that's why she never
sleeps! I should've known." She sighed. "I feel just like my mom. I'll never be a good
"Look, you've been re-arranged your entire life to accommodate Molly. I think that
says something." Trent patted her on the back.
"I guess. It's just such a hard job. I love her to pieces but-"
"I know. It would be easier if you didn't have to do it all by yourself."
"How do you know?"
"Janey. I was changing diapers before I lost my first teeth."
Jane's roommate, Cassie (another former Lawndale resident), had just lit up a
cigarette. She inhaled deeply.
"Listen, J. I hear ya out. I know ya think Molly-girl's gonna stay here forever, grow
up, and when's she's in college her real Ma's gonna show up and do the hello routine. But I
just don't know. The note- it just doesn't sound like a college student ditching a baby on
somebody's doorstep 'cuz she can't afford to take care of it."
"Why do you think that?" asked Jane, adding a slash of green to her painting. She
and the easel stood in front of the room's window.
"Well, it's to Daria, of all people. And somebody's gotta know her schedule well to
know she's in Lawndale for a week of the Christmas hols. And then there's that shit about
the will. Come on, who would have a freakin' will unless it's important?"
"True." Jane frowned in thought. "I'd thought about that myself. Molly's divine,
Cass, and I'd hate to lose her, but one wonders. Her mom was no illiterate slob. Judging by
the blanket Molly came with, I'd say she's not poor, either. Who on earth could have parted
with such a sweet baby, as well? And 'there was nowhere else to go.'"
"J, can I let you in on a secret?" Cassie took another drag on her cigarette, and blew
smoke delicately out.
"You remember Brittany Taylor?"
"You bet I do. Blond bimbo, cheerleader?"
"Yeah. Listen, she wasn't always that way. She- well, she disappeared for about six
months, after her mom tried to kill herself and left for California. Brit used to listen to riot
grrrl music, didn't bleach her hair, which was honey blonde, and she was real smart. She
drew a lot. She wanted to be an artist.
"When she came back from her hiatus, she transferred to Lawndale's public school system.
I was her best friend. She came to me, and told me to forget anything that she'd ever said or done before.
To forget about her. And when she ran away, I always wondered where she really went."
"She went to California, Cass. To be with her mother." Jane said, mystified.
Cassie just looked at her. "J., you crack me up. You mean you really thought her
mom was in California?"
"Well, that's where she left for. But everyone knows what happened. Viv Taylor
missed her connecting flight in Chicago, rented a boat, and drove out on Lake Michigan.
She had bought one of those fifty-pound benchpress weights in a store somewhere. She tied
a long rope to it. The other end she tied to her ankle. However, some fisherman saw this,
and one of them was able to pull her up. It was relatively shallow where she was, her head
was only five feet below sea level. But she's been in a hospital in New York ever since.
She's slightly brain damaged from being underwater so long, over a minute."
"Whoa." Jane was shocked. "So, do you mean that Brittany killed herself?"
"No one knows. I believe she's alive. She's left tracks, ya know? Over two years ago, can you
believe it? I know why she left, too."
"How come? She seemed so happy."
"She wasn't. When she disappeared the first time, she was committed to Manson Asylum. I
assume she faked her way out, because I saw her drop her guard at least once after she
went into bimbo mode. Brit, she was brave, and she was one hell of a good actress, I'll
give her that."
"Cass, it's an interesting story, but what does it have to do with anything?"
"Because I know where she went, when she left. I know that she really did think her
mother was somewhere in California, because her father hadn't told her, but I also know
that where she did go, she didn't go to die. Brit took her boots, and when she took them, I
knew that she was getting out of here, out of her cheerleader persona. No one even realised
what the boots meant. Idiots. She’s walking on this earth, Brit is. And I wondered, because
she was so like Daria, and Molly’s middle name is Vivianne…"
“I suggest that we find her. I think that Brittany Taylor, as we knew her, is dead. But
I think the girl that was born to that name is here, somewhere. Someone must know
something about what happened to her.”
“You are getting way too carried away, Cass.” Jane shook her head. “It’s a
convincing story, and I will say I didn’t know Brittany too well, but I don’t believe she
was capable of that. No one is.”
“Like you say, J., you didn’t know Brittany.” Cassie stubbed out her cigarette in an
ashtray. “Ignore me if you want. No one believes me. I know what they did to her in that
asylum, I do. But no one cares.”
Jane shrugged, and continued painting. Cassie was a little weird, but, hey, she
didn’t mind Jane’s paint fumes or loud music, and what more can you ask for in a
“We’ve just signed a big band. A really big band.” said Daria.
Jane looked up from one of her paintings. “Oh?” she inquired.
“What would you say to Sonic Youth?”
They were standing in Jane’s dorm room, which reeked of turpentine and cigarettes.
“Um, change the name? But seriously, you signed Sonic Youth?!?”
“Oh yeah. Dinner’s on me.”
“Wow! You’ve got a babysitter for Molly, too?” Jane shrugged on a woolly black
“No. Trent said he’d watch her.”
They went out the door.
“So you still haven’t found a place yet? It’s been four weeks.”
“I know. But it’s so hard when you’re in New York. I don’t want to blow my
budget, but I don’t want to live in a hovel either. And I make a lot of money, believe me.”
“That’s none of your business…” Their voices echoed down the hall.
Deep in a dark warehouse, two men in military uniforms spoke in hushed tones.
The younger and taller of them sighed, then walked away. He picked up the cell phone
he'd left in a shadowed crevice as soon as the other man was gone.
He dialed a number: 0151 709 5264
"Could you connect me to Director St. Maris? Thank you," he spoke into the
The voice on the other end of the line came through, and he spoke once more.
"Chief? It's Lorenzo. No, we've got the President, but he's not with him. Bush
will be fine, there was no major torture or anything of the sort. Yeah. We'll be en route
to Washington tomorrow. Yes, I know, tell St. Maris we tried, but the guard shot himself
before we could get a word out of him. The Kremlin, definitely. See you Monday."
Without further ado, the man called Lorenzo hung up the phone, exited the
building, and entered the waiting helicopter.
Part Four (A Overview Of The New Government)
An excerpt from Elitist Russia Files on the United States, dated February 2002
Written by A. Baron
Since the destruction of the USA's Executive and most of its Legislative branches of
government, much has changed, but little affects the average American. The CIA now runs
the country, with an elite group of members left over from the fall of the Senate
compromising the Board.
The Board's chairman is the CIA's president, a very young man, not yet 22, named
John Ansley. No one knows if that is his real name, but after his predecessor, an incredibly
wealthy and corrupt man named Rudy Armsworth, was assassinated, Ansley, a young
agent, rose to power in a coup d'etat of fantastic proportions.
Armsworth was assassinated the same day that George W. Bush, the newly sworn-
in President of the United States, was kidnapped by unknown terrorists, on February 1st,
2001. While no civilians are aware of the fact that these were actually Russian Communist
forces, the CIA has confirmed this. We, a militant Communist factor called the Elite
Fighters, had annexed most of Siberia by early January, and we invaded Russia's major
cities and installed ourselves as the new government on January 21st.
However, our agents failed to take over the United States as they had planned. The
House of Representatives was taken hostage and flown to our POW outpost in a remote
area of Siberia, along with much of the Senate. The President was flown to an unknown
With the country in chaos, a keen Ansley named the CIA as the governing force, and
gathered the shreds of the USA back together to form a functional, if not exactly
democratic, government. Most Americans consider Ansley a hero. The country still runs
much as it did before, though now only the Board and their designated subordinates can
pass laws. All states have ratified the new government.
The conflict between Elitist Russia and the United States is currently at a stalemate.
The United States, with its new government and enhanced military, definitely has the upper
hand. However, there is an government, unknown to the CIA, backing us, that may or may
not be a force to reckoned with as far as the US is concerned. While, over a year later, the
two countries have not made a truce or any sort of agreement, any fighting is at a standstill
and no threats have been made. Unlike during the Cold War in the second half of the 20th
century, Elitist Russia is not in a position to fund any war, nuclear or not. Our officials are
more concerned with the Russian people, who, unfortunately, are suffering due to the
awkward and badly planned governing system. However, with one minor incident between
the two countries, with Russia being in the wrong, the USA would easily engage in combat.
On the weekend of June 23-24, 2001, Ansley was captured by our forces, and he is
being held hostage. We had thought that without him the government would fall, but we
have since decided that continued efforts to control the USA are fruitless. A woman named
Annalise St. Maris took control of the chairmanship, though she did not appear in public
until mid-September, apparently because she was out of the country. Little is known about
Annalise St. Maris, except that she is the CIA's Director, an undefined position. It is
possible that this is a token title and a cover for something else.
While we were interested in Ansley, we are now more intrigued by the director. On
January 30th, 2002, the CIA's forces recaptured George W. Bush, though they have yet to
find Ansley. However, the government is run far more agilely and efficiently under St.
Maris, and she has easily dealt with many disputes and problems since her appointment as
a temporary chairman.
It has been ascertained that Annalise St. Maris is not her real name. The real
Annalise St. Maris seems to have been about the same age, but she died in a New York
subway accident over two years ago.
Elitist Russia File on Annalise St. Maris, updated February 12, 2002
Compiled by A. Baron, R. Gormanoff, and C. Feng
Alias: Annalise Celeste St. Maris
Real Name: Unknown, but is sometimes called Ani (pr. Ah-nee). Some do not
think this is an abbreviation for Annalise.
Stated Birthdate: October 12, 1980
Actual Birthdate: Late 1981/ Early 1982
Age: about 20
Hair Colour: (uncertain if natural) Honey Blonde
Eye Colour: Pale Blue
Skin Tone: Light
Height: 5'2" to 5'4"
Weight: 110-120 lbs
Next Of Kin: Unknown
Other: Annalise St. Maris is the Director of the CIA. She runs the United States
and is temporary chairman of the United States Board. Her only known allies in the CIA
are Agent Lorenzo Harding and Gen. Maxwell Landigan, Chief of the US Military. She is
rumoured to have been a close acquaintance of John Ansley's, even before his entrance to
the CIA in 1999. Her reluctance to appear in public before September 13, 2001 is
unexplained. As far as Elitist Russia Agents have been able to ascertain, Annalise St.
Maris did not exist before John Ansley took control of the CIA. She is suspected to be one
of the few who know the true identity of John Ansley, and what his plans and ambitions for
the CIA are. St. Maris is the only enigma in the workings of the CIA. She was never
officially a CIA agent, or any type of government agent whatsoever, as far as we can
determine. However, she is apparently wealthy, as John Ansley is. In short, other than surface
facts, Annalise St. Maris is a completely unknown factor.
March already. As Daria sat in a chair next to Molly's crib, she thought about the
time that had passed.
In only three months, she'd become a foster parent to this tiny baby girl, dropped out
of college, and gotten the job of her life. PennyLane Records was signing more bands every
day, leaving labels like Geffen, Virgin, Capitol, and Warner Bros. way behind in the dust.
However, she was still stuck in the dust as far as a house went. For all she knew, she'd be
living in Trent's apartment until Molly graduated from college. Not that the thought wasn't
appealing, but still...
Daria looked down at the baby in the crib. More and more, every day, she thought
of Molly as her own daughter. It was so dangerous. Any day now, Molly's mother could
appear and take her away. Oh, God no, I couldn't bear it. Where would she go, without
Molly, what would she do? God, she was already thinking about Molly in college, Molly
in grade school, Molly tomorrow, Molly later today. She was her daughter, if not
It angered her so. How, Daria thought, does any woman have a right to take back
this baby if she gave her away? But she knew Molly's mother did. It was the note. Daria
knew exactly how that woman felt. She was so afraid for her daughter, she knew that she
must do what was best for Amalia. Molly. Not matter what happened to her, she would
make sure Molly was happy and safe. Both of them would.
But she was interrupted from her reverie by Trent, who threw open the door
"Daria! PennyLane Records is being honored by the Chairman of the United States
Board for our innovative technology! She's going to present me, you, and Jesse with an
award in May, at the annual Technical Innovation Awards," he announced excitedly.
"Wow!" exclaimed Daria in surprise. Trent scooped her up in a big hug and planted
a kiss on her lips before either one of them had time to think.
"Wow." said Daria a little breathlessly.
Cassie sat on a bench outside the New York Public Library. She lit up the cigarette
and inhaled deeply. Damn! Why do things like this always happen to me?, she thought.
The wind blew her long, dark cherry hair into tangles. She sat there for almost an hour.
When she went home, she lit up a joint of marijuana, grabbed her boyfriend, and mellowed
When Jane came home that night she found her roommate lying on her bed. The
room smelled of smoke and ashes, and the window was open. It was freezing, and Cassie
wore only a thin tee-shirt.
By the time the room was warm and food was on the table, Cassie was somewhat
cognizant, but she didn't really make any sense until the next morning.
"J, girl, we've got an interesting situation on our hands. I went to the library to
research my project on art in NYC, and used the computer system there, 'cuz my internet's
down for repair until tomorrow. Look what I found."
Jane looked at the document. It seemed to be a newspaper clipping from the
previous year. Someone had scanned it in and left it for the internet archives of that
particular newspaper, The Berkeley Herald. It read:
New Art From Promising East Coast Artist August 30, 2001
Tonight, the Moonview Gallery here in Berkeley, California, is exhibiting a show
of a wonderful New York artist, Ani Armsworth. Her last show was in February of the
this, and she has some great new material.
"I like her grasp of the concept and depth of color," says Prof. Ralph Jamison of
Armsworth. "Also, she's a magnificent painter. I love those black-and-white photos of
Amalia, where she's painted her into color and all else is monochrome."
Did we mention that all of this artwork is featuring her newborn daughter,
Amalia Vivianne? Her paintings and sketches feature her baby girl, who was born just
two months ago. It was quite a spur-of-the-moment show.
The artist on the show:
"I'm delighted that everyone is so excited about the show. I was afraid it was too
much of a transition from my 'ROCKST*R' series, but all the people I've seen were quite
happy about it. Amalia's timeless, but I think rock stars can get kind of old."
For pictures and more information about Ani Armsworth, check out her website
"I printed out the pictures. It's Molly. She even has the grey wool blanket." Cassie
Jane shook her head in disbelief. "My god. It's eerie. Well, at least we know Molly
isn't Brittany's daughter."
Cassie nodded. "How are we going to tell Daria?"
"I don't know, Cass, I really don't know."
"Shit, Lorenzo! First your soldiers screwed up and let the guard blow his head
off, then you decide I have to present this freaking award to these PennyLane people! I
should blow your head off, just to see how you like it!" Ani raged. She was in her office,
the vast room where they had last visited.
Lorenzo was wide-eyed with surprise. "Jesus, Ani," he said, "Don't take it so
harsh! We're going to find Armsw-"
She smacked him across the mouth. Both stood still with shock. Then she spoke in
"Don't ever forget that Elitist factions invaded this country and kidnapped our
democracy. They even made it through my husband's defenses, and they took him too.
He's hardly even seen Amalia. Our baby. One slip, and- she may not be there for him to
"You just made a slip, Lorenzo. PennyLane's CEO is a girl I knew in high school.
You should have asked me first. I don't know if I can fake my way through this one. I
know that her best friend is rooming with Cassie at Julliard. Do you realize what that
"Cassie... She's the one who-"
"The one who's been right on our trail, searching for me. She was a friend, a
good friend, long ago, and she refuses to believe I'm dead. I'm worried about Berkeley's
article. She's been asking about Ani Armsworth. If the Elitist agents make the
Lorenzo gulped. "Shit."
Molly giggled as Daria tickled her feet. She was playing with her toys on the floor,
and it was a fine May night .
"Now, you be a good little girl for Jane, or no apple sauce tonight, okay?" the latter
"Don't worry, we'll be fine. I've got the window open so the paint fumes won't
bother her. I know your cell phone number, etcetera, etcetera. You guys just go out and
enjoy yourselves," Jane said with an evil smirk.
"Jane!" Daria yelped. Despite the fact that she had cheerfully given up her
apartment search over a month ago, Jane was still a yenta-ing the hell out of her.
"We'll be back by midnight," said Trent, and he whisked his girlfriend out the door.
Jane locked the door behind them and resumed painting. It was a pretty ordinary
night, as things went. She and Molly ate dinner, played for a while, and then Jane tucked
her sleepy charge into her crib.
As Molly slept, Jane stood over her crib. She still hadn't told Daria about Molly's
mother, and truthfully, she didn't intend to. Not until she knew the full story. She'd
mentioned having an old friend by the name of Ani Armsworth who thought she knew
Daria, the other day, and Daria hadn't recognized the name. Yet this Ani woman obviously
knew Daria. You only had to read the note. "...there is nowhere else to go." "I know that
you, of all people, will be as good and kind to my baby as I, her mother, would be."
Who was this Ani Armsworth? She was a complete mystery. All Jane knew was
that she was an artist, and she had given birth to a daughter, that, if not Molly, was her
identical twin or something. A total enigma.
Come to think of it, couldn't she do some sort of check on this Armsworth person,
just to see about who she was? To find out about Molly, so that someday, when the little
girl asked, "Aunt Janey, who's my real Mommy and Daddy?", she could answer?
Jane sat on the bed (where Molly's crib now resided next to) and booted up Daria's
computer. In a matter of minutes, she was online and reading what she was searching for.
Armsworth, Amalia Vivianne, born to Ani and Jonathan Armsworth, Tuesday,
June 17, 2001, at the New York City Hospital, in New York, New York.
She next performed a search on Ani and Jonathan Armsworth, guessing that their
certificate of marriage would have been from NYC as well. It took a moment for her to
realize what she was seeing.
B. (Ani) Louise Taylor and Jonathan Randolph Armsworth
Married November 12, 2000
St. Lucas's Chapel, 1245 Donahue Lane, NY, NY.
Below was more information about the bride and groom, but she didn't need to read
it. Jane already knew. Why hadn't she believed Cassie? But never mind that-
Donahue Lane was ten minutes away.
When Daria arrived home that night Jane seemed unusually edgy, but she didn't
think much of it. Probably just jitters from being caffiene-deprived, something that often
happened to her friend. She'd done a good baby-sitting job, though. Molly was sound
asleep, something that didn't happen often.
Quick as a wink, Jane was out the door, out of the apartment. Daria shrugged this
off, as well, inventing more excuses for her friend. What did it matter? It was probably just
some little insignificant thing...
At 11:39 pm, Jane knocked on the office door of the church. Surprisingly, the light
had been on, and, sure enough, a man opened the door. He was a short, round man was
curly white hair, probably in his late fifties.
"Hello, I'm Father Kirkpatrick. What can I do for you?" he said, with a heavy Irish
"I'm searching for an old friend, who was married here about a year and half ago.
My name is Jane Lane," she replied, extending her hand. The priest shook it, and invited
her in his office.
"Come in. I believe we may have the records you're looking for, though I don't
know if they will have any information that will help you locate her. What is your friend's
name? Can you give me the date?" said Father Kirkpatrick.
Jane stepped into the office and shut the door behind her. "She was Brittany Taylor
when I knew her, and she was married to Jonathan Armsworth on November 12, 2000."
Father Kirkpatrick stepped into a back room, emerging a minute later with a book
in his hand. He flipped it open to November 12th.
"Ah, here we go. Brittany Louise Taylor and Jonathan Randolph Armsworth. They
didn't leave any other information, but, in fact, I do remember this couple. I had just
transferred from a parish in Dublin, and I watched Father Roberts perform the ceremony.
Your friend was very young, blonde? Yes, a blonde. I remember her husband much better,
though. He was a very nice man, about a year or so older than her. Looked a lot like that
John Ansley fellow. From a parish near SoHo, he said. Of course, I didn't question him."
"Do you remember anything else?"
"Actually, I do. They were moving into a house on Manhattan. On Moore Drive. I
remember that very distinctly, because the girl was very quiet, almost silent, throughout the
entire ceremony, and very distant afterword, but she did mention the house. I was talking to
her husband, and she said, 'We're moving to Moore Drive, and we've got a house with a
cupola.' She seemed very pleased about it. Apparently there aren't any other houses with
cupolas on Moore Drive."
Ani unlocked the door to her home in New York that night, opening the door just
wide enough to slip in without out Pixie or Megan, the cats, being able to slip out.
Sliding down onto the floor, she leaned against the door and sighed.
She'd been staying here since yesterday. The technology awards were only two
days away, in Carnegie Hall, no less. She was so, so worried. They would know her,
Trent and Daria both.
The phone in the hallway rang, and she answered it.
"Hello," she said, still sitting. "Lorenzo?"
A long pause stretched between "Lorenzo?" and her next words.
"Oh, no. Dear God, is he- You don't know. I'll be there as soon as I can."
She hung up the phone, flung open the door, and saw Jane Lane pulling up in her
"Screw the government," she muttered. Ani shut and locked the door, and walked
down the driveway.
She tapped on Jane's window. Jane promptly rolled it down.
"Jane? It's me, Brittany. Could you possibly give me a ride to Washington,
"So, how did you find me?" Brittany asked her once they were on the road.
"Article in a Berkeley newspaper," Jane replied. "From there, Amalia's birth
announcement in the paper, your marriage license, and Father Kirkpatrick. He said it was
the house with the cupola."
"Good. I'm glad it wasn't Cassie. Now, I've finally outwitted her. She knows about
the marriage, but she wasn't able to talk to Father Kirkpatrick. Thank god. You know where
we're going, right?"
"Yeah. I listened to the newscast on AM WETT 580, and everything clicked.
Especially when you wanted to go straight to D.C."
"They've finally got Jonathan out of that hell. But... they didn't say if he would be..."
"Look, he's hung on for a year in China. Now that both China's and Elitist Russia's
governments have crashed, and he's in a nice, safe hospital, he's got a good chance of
survival, I'd say."
"Don't you ever call a hospital safe! What he went through at Manson-"
"Manson wasn't a hospital. It was a freaking slaughterhouse. How do you think
Andrea turned out like she did?"
"Her mother signed her in. It was two years before her father got custody and got
her out of there. She's never been the same. Some people there did have real problems, but
most were just... different."
"I know. Jonathan was signed in by his uncle, who wanted the family fortune he had
custody of until Jonathan's eighteenth birthday. He did have an incident with drugs, but he
was totally clean by the time I met him."
"Was Rudy Armsworth Jonathan's uncle?"
"Actually, no. He was his mother's cousin, and when Jonathan got out of Manson,
Rudy gave him a place to live, and later, a job. The corruption stories had little base in the
truth. Jonathan was a very good agent, to give him credit."
"So, what is America going to know about Molly?"
"Molly? Oh, you mean Amalia. Well, now that it's safe, I'm planning to come clean
about our identities."
"That's all good and well, but what about Daria?"
Brittany sighed. "Well, Jane, I figure I'll just have to tell her, after John gets out of
the hospital. I hate to do that. She's Molly's mother as much as I am, and Daria was always
the person I admired in high school. If I hadn't been in danger of being sent back to Manson
if I acted normal, we would've been friends. How is Amalia?" She hastily changed the
subject. "I mean, Molly, since I guess that's what we'll be calling her now."
"Molly is crawling all over the place. She took her first steps a month ago, in April.
She's a sweetheart." Jane smiled, thinking of the little girl.
"I remember. I didn't officially take up my duties as chairman until September, so I
could spend time with her. She was all I had, with Jonathan gone."
"He'll be okay."
"I hope so."
Two days later, word came over the television, radio, and internet that Chairman
John Ansley was going to live, and had been moved out of the ICU in the Washington
hospital where he was a patient. Fireworks were set off that night in every town.
In a city called New York, a man, a woman, and a baby girl called Molly sat on a
balcony and watched the fireworks' glow. With them were two other women. Both were
famous in their own ways. One was a brunette.
The other was a blonde.
What is Memory? copyright January 2001 by Love Gordon
Brittany, Kevvie, etc belong to MTV, but she's protected by that Supreme Court decision
regarding dervitave content, yadda yadda yadda. But if you steal her story, there are many
other Supreme Court decisions she can list that will say exactly what happens to YOU.
(vague mention of relatives in Mafia.)
Notes: I have nothing against Communists, they were just the people that, in this story, were
the villains. Remember, communes worked fine for many people in the sixties. I hope I
didn't offend anyone, Russian, Chinese, Communist, or otherwise.
You can reach me at email@example.com, now, with your complaints or words of thanks.
Whatever the hell you want.
XOXO: Thanks to my friends, esp. Fangso and Pean. These two were my inspiration for
Elitist Russia, since they're militant communists factors in their own right. Also, thanks to
family, and fellow fanfic writers. And to YOU, the reader, because you need an ego-
enhancing statement to convince you to read more of this drivel... not!
Albums That Convey General Mood of Story
Sonic Youth, Dirty
Smashing Pumpkins, Machina II: Friends And Enemies Of Modern Music
Soundtrack That Makes Me Recommend Having Napster And/Or My Record Collection
Part One: Sonic Youth, Drunken Butterfly
Part Two: Bratmobile, Panik
Part Three: Boredoms, Super Going
Part Four: Butthole Surfers, Goofy's Concern
Part Five: Smashing Pumpkins, Home
Part Six: Beck, Devil's Haircut
Part Seven: Sonic Youth, Theresa's Sound-World