Chapter Two


A few minutes later, having been unable to rouse Daria from her slumbering state, Jane was having problems. It turned out that despite her diminutive 5'2" frame and skinny appearance, Daria was actually quite heavy and Jane wasn't able to lift her into a position where she could carry her and be sure she wouldn't get hurt. Jane hesitated. She didn't want to leave Daria just lying here, but she didn't have a cellphone, and her house was just around the next corner. This particular road was one of the few relatively undeveloped ones in the town, and there were no houses closer than her own. Biting her lip, she turned to Daria.


"Uh... Don't go anywhere...right."


Jane turned, mentally smacking herself, and sprinted down the road.




Trent was having a rather odd dream. He was playing a huge concert with the Spiral at an outdoor stadium, and a capacity crowd. But suddenly he looked around, and everyone was wearing a military uniform, and they had guns. Then the stadium was gone, and they were standing in an open field. There was a giant monster attacking the crowd and sending people flying all over the place. But it suddenly turned into Janey, and looked directly at him, and yelled "Trent! Wake up! Come on, you narcoleptic lump! Get up!"


Trent opened his eyes with a start to find his sister leaning over him. He was lying in bed, face up, wearing his pants but not his shirt, and his guitar lay on his chest.


"Woah, Janey. What happened? Are you OK?"


"Trent, I don't have time. I need your help. Get up!"


"But what's-"


"Come on! We've got to go. You'll find out in a second. "


"Alright, I'm coming." Trent sat up on his bed and took his guitar off, placing it gently on his bed. He paused for a moment, and looked around.


"What now, Trent?" Jane was frenetic, pacing back and forth on one of the clearer sections of the floor.


"Uh... have you seen my shirt?"


Jane stopped. "Wha-? You-? Oh. Here. Let's go!" She picked up Trent's shirt off his bed, threw it in his face, grabbed his arm, and dragged him outside as fast as she could.


Trent didn't say anything for the short trip outside. He let himself get dragged along and he put his shirt on. Janey's been a little weird lately... well, Daria did go missing and all… She must still not be over it yet. Well, no harm in going along with it.. Trent was one of the few people who really knew how hard Jane had taken the last two years. She didn't really talk to anyone else but him.


As they rounded the corner, Trent noticed the person lying on the ground. Huh. Must have been some party...wait, there's no houses around here. Weird.


"Hey Janey, what's up? This guy's like... sleeping on the sidewalk. I mean, I do that, but I really-" Trent's voice trailed off when he saw the face.


"Woah! It's Daria. That's- that’s crazy."


Jane, exasperated, rolled her eyes.


"Excellent observation, Watson. Now get over here and help me carry her to the house."




Daria drifted slowly back in consciousness. She was only slightly aware of the bed under her, or the fact that she wasn't wearing her trench coat or pistol belt. Her head hurt, her back hurt... lots of things hurt. It took too much energy to keep a count, so she stopped trying. She opened her eyes slightly to find the world a grayish blur. Good god, or emperor, or whatever deity pleases: Where the hell am I? She leaned over to the right and groped around in the blur. Her hand found a nightstand. She searched for her glasses on top of it, but the instead encountered the warm rubber grip of her bolt pistol. What the... Oh yeah. I'm an idiot. Damn optical implants. She ceased her search, and instead tapped a small metal skull protruding from the side of her temple. She heard a small whir, and the world flew into focus. It consisted of a small room with a white ceiling and yellow walls. Suddenly, she heard a clank above her to the left.


Instinct kicked in. Daria rolled to her right, grabbed her pistol as she rolled off the bed, landed, came to a crouch, flicked the safety, and put a round in the direction of the noise before she even had time to consciously think about what she was doing.


BANG-hiss-BOOM! The source of the clanking noise, Penny Lane's former "room chime," was blown to pieces by the explosive shell that detonated within an inch of it.


"GAH! Jesus Christ, Daria! Don't shoot! It's me! Don't shoot!"


Daria was confused. Daria? She called me Daria? No one ever calls me by my first name... She stood up and looked around, pistol at the ready. There was someone on the other side of the bed, lying on the ground with her hands over her head. She had a familiar red shirt on, and a very familiar short black haircut.


"Jane?" Daria relaxed a bit and let her arm fall to her side. Jane got up from the floor and faced Daria. She was still a bit shocked from having a .75 caliber handgun fired within feet of her face. WhatamIgonnasay whatamIgonnasay whatamIgonnasay! Something… special…uh…


"I see you're up."


Damn! Old habits die hard.


"How'd you figure that one out?" Deadpanned Daria.


They stared at each other for a tense second. Memories flooded back, and their emotional dams burst. They ran towards each other and embraced.


Daria and Jane's moment together was brief, though, because seconds later, they heard the sound of feet pounding the floor in the hallway. They both looked up to see Trent burst through the door with a 12 gauge shotgun in his hands.


"Janey! Daria! Are you OK...Oh. Hi Daria. Did I, uh, interrupt something?"


"Uh, hi, Trent." Daria couldn’t help but notice, detachedly, that Trent was holding the gun all wrong and he’d probably have broken his wrist had he tried to fire it.


Jane was incensed. "Trent, what the hell? And where did you get that shotgun?"


Trent looked at the weapon in his hands as if he had forgotten that it was there.


"Oh, this. It was under my bed."


"How did it get there?"


"Long story. I don't want to talk about it."