The Games We Play

A Daria Fan Fiction by the Alchemist

Episode #507 - Jane

 

DISCLAIMER Ė Daria and cast are wholly owned by MTV. I am merely borrowing them for the duration of this work. I try and have them back on time, but I make mistakes sometimes. What? You thought that it was MTVís fault that they cancel Daria showings at the last minute?

 

Darkness. Slowly, a seam appears, and white spreads across the field of view. As the whiteness consumes the entire field of view, the camera slowly pans to reveal Jane sprawled in her bed, face down and fully dressed. After emitting a brief moan, she slowly rolls over and rubs her face.

Jane : (thought VO) Morning already? (moving slightly) Ouch.

 

Jane looks down for a second, then begins searching her room.

Jane : (thought VO) Now where did I put that bottle? (in Amandaís voice) Oh Jane, you should treasure it. Itís a beautiful part of your woman-hood that should be cherished. (Back in Janeís voice) Bullshit Mom, it hurts like hell.

 

Jane rummages through a drawer and removes a bottle of Advil. Opening the bottle, she takes two pills and swallows them. Closing the bottle, she throws it onto her bed. Searching the closet, Jane removes a towel and heads off to the shower.

 

Cut to the Lane kitchen. Jane walks into the kitchen, turning to see Jesse slumped forward in his chair, fast asleep on the table. As Jane begins to search for breakfast, she sniffs the air, and her face wrinkles in disgust.

Jane : (thought VO) God Jesse. Take a bath.

 

Opening the cupboard beneath the sink, Jane rummages around briefly, emerging with a can of Lysol. Walking over to Jesse, she sprays him liberally, avoiding only the hair and face. Satisfied, she replaces the can and returns to her search for food.

Jane : Well, that should hold him, for a while at least. Now where would I hide if I were breakfast?

 

Jane opens the refrigerator, and is surprised to find an egg sitting there.

Jane : (thought VO) An egg? (hopeful) Real food?

 

As Jane watches, the egg cracks open, revealing a young chicken escaping from the shell.

Jane : Figures.

 

Jane moves down and opens a large drawer near the floor. Reaching in, she removes a bag for Wunderbread. Looking at the bag, we notice that the bread inside is quite moldy.

Jane : (thought VO) Penicillin. Yum.

 

Jane drops the bread into the trash, and opens the overhead cupboards. Rummaging around a bit, she removes a can of peaches.

Jane : I guess these will have to do. Now whereís that can opener?

 

Fade to the front door. Jane picks up her backpack and opens the door to reveal the entire landscape covered in snow. Dropping her pack, she unzips it to remove a sketchbook.

Jane : (thought VO) Iíve got to have this. It just looks so cool.

 

The camera pans to show Janeís sketchbook. Jane is drawing quickly in pencil, sketching out the landscape in front of her. Finally, Jane takes her thumb to smear a few select lines. Jane looks from the sketch to the landscape, apparently satisfied with the result. Putting the sketchbook back in her bag, she zips it up and looks at her watch.

Jane : (thought VO) Shit! Iím late!

 

Jane runs out the front door, closing it loudly as she leaves.

 

Dissolve to the exterior of Lawndale High. Jane comes running up to the front door, stopping for a second to catch her breath. Renewed, she pushes the door open and heads for her locker. In the distance, we see Daria closing her locker and starting to head to class.

Jane : (thought VO) Go on Daria. You wouldnít want to be lateÖ

 

As Jane walks up to her locker, Daria is standing nearby, waiting for Jane to arrive. As Jane begins to open her locker, Daria addresses her friend.

Daria : Mix up those time zones again?

Jane : Laugh it up funny girl. I had an Ö um Ö snow related incident.

Daria : Anything broken?

Jane : Trentís car.

Daria : Accident?

Jane : No, but itís broken.

Daria : Any bodily injury?

Jane : (thought VO) Wrong kind of Ďincidentí amiga Ö

Jane : Donít worry, Iím fine. Weíd better get to class, or we could miss the beginning of econ!

Daria : Money good, taxes bad. Thatís about all you need to know.

Jane : Are you saying that you can embody all of humanity with those two statements?

Daria : Economically. For the general case, you need to add Ďsex goodí to the list.

Jane : And how would you know?

Daria : Iíve heard rumors Ö

Jane : Sure you have.

 

 

Cut to Mrs. Bennettís class. Daria is seated next to Jane towards the front of the classroom. Rather than the usual Xís and Oís, there are actual economic terms on the blackboard.

Daria : Wait, are we actually learning something real about economics?

Jane : It must be something in the water.

Daria : Wild Turkey?

Jane : But doesnít that require actual knowledge of the subject?

Daria : Not really. Just a good teacherís edition.

Bennett : Class? As you should know, weíre starting are unit on monetary policies and their effect on the overall economy. Can anyone give me a concise definition of the available money supply?

 

As Mrs. Bennett asks, Kevin raises his hand.

Jane : (thought VO) Once again, Lawndaleís finest rear their ugly heads.

Kevin : Isnít that, like the money in your pocket?

Jane : (thought VO) Gee, money would be nice Ö

Bennett : Not quite Kevin. Letís put it another way. If the government were to print an extra $100 and give it to you, how much would the money supply increase by?

Kevin : I donít get it.

Bennett : How much extra money would be in circulation?

Kevin : Like, none. Itís all mine, isnít it?

 

Mrs. Bennett sighs and turns to Daria.

Bennett : Daria? If the government were to print and distribute an extra $100, how much would the money supply increase by?

 

Jane looks at Daria, noticing a look of assurance on her face.

Jane : (thought VO) Game, set, and match.

Daria : Well, letís see. If we assume a net tax rate of twenty-five percent, a marginal propensity to spend of ninety percent, and consider a balanced rate of imports and exports, the original one hundred should result in, oh (thinking for a moment) one hundred fifty five and, um, seventy seven cents?

 

Mrs. Bennett looks at Daria with a surprised expression for a moment, then turns back to her notes.

Bennett : Um, yes, I think thatís about right Ö

Jane : (thought VO) Of course it is. Thatís why you called on her.

 

Mrs. Bennett walks back behind her desk, and begins looking through her bottom desk drawer.

Mrs. Bennett stands up with a notebook and a box from her desk. Placing the box on her desk, she opens up the notebook and begins reading.

Bennett : Class? Today and tomorrow weíre going to be playing a game. The purpose of the game is to help you to understand monetary systems and security and commodity exchanges by simulating these systems in the classroom.

Daria : (to Jane) Do you think that they use real gas in the ovens for when we fail?

Jane : (thought VO) With current prices?

Jane : (imitating Ms. Li) Ms. Morgendorffer! Do you have any idea how much gas costs? There are far more economical ways of suicide that are much cheaper for this administration Ö

 

Daria laughs softly.

Daria : Unfortunately, its not all that far-fetched. (to Mrs. Bennett) Why exactly are we playing this game now? Shouldnít we cover the stock exchange in class first?

Jane : (thought VO) What was that from the paper? Something about Ö

Bennett : Well, Ms. Li has declared this to be game week, for examining the potential of games to effectively teach scholastic concepts.

Jane : Now this wouldnít have anything to do with the big conference on new and innovative educational initiatives announced this weekend, would it?

Bennett : You would have to ask Ms. Li about that Ö

 

Mrs. Bennett looks at the class, noticing that Daria seems to be staring blankly into space. Jane looks over, following Mrs. Bennettís stare, and spies Daria.

Jane : (thought VO) Lost in thought. I hope she left a trail of breadcrumbs.

Bennett : Daria? Is something wrong?

 

As Mrs. Bennett looks on in concern, Daria slowly raises her head to look her in the eye.

Daria : How much is the grant?

Jane : (thought VO) Grant?

 

Jane watches Mrs. Bennett, noticing a slight expression of concern forming on her face.

Jane : (thought VO) Now how did she know that?

Bennett : Thatís none of your business Ö

Daria : (to Jane) And once again, the great Ms. Li demonstrates the principles on which a free market economy is based.

Jane : Oh, Iím sure that thereís a point to all this.

Daria : Metal detectors for the door?

Jane : Does that mean I canít bring my art knives without being harassed?

Daria : Jane, I donít think that an 8" fixed blade knife counts as an art supply.

Jane : Depends how you use it Ö You know, I donít think that I like all this security stuff after all.

Daria : (shaking head) Jane, Jane. I think you mean to say that security is double-plus ungood, right?

Bennett : (turning around) OK class, hereís the game. Each of you will receive a fixed sum of money and a selection of securities. The goal is to end the game at the conclusion of tomorrowís class with the greatest amount of money. Information about the performance of the individual securities will be given at sporadic intervals through selected persons, and a computer will generate book prices at the end of class.

Bennett : At the finish of class, any securities held will be valued at their book prices. Any questions?

Jane : (thought VO) Is this mandatory?

Brittany : Um, whatís a security?

 

Cut to the hallways of Lawndale High. Daria and Jane are heading towards their next class as they discuss Mrs. Bennettís class.

Jane : So it looks like weíre in for a full day of games?

Daria : So much for catching up on my sleep.

Jane : Oh, you never know. We have OíNeil next. Maybe weíll play the silence game!

Daria : If youíll remember, that didnít go over very well with Ms. Li Ö

Jane : Thatís only because you refused to talk to her.

Daria : What, you want me to become a loser?

Jane : Become?

Daria : Thanks for the friendly support.

Jane : You want support, get a wonderbra.

Daria : Like anyone would notice.

Jane : Iím sure Tom would be appreciative Ö

Daria : Is this the voice of experience?

Jane : (thought VO) Like Tom would have noticed one on me Ö

Jane : (shooting Daria a glare) The depths of my experience go far beyond your limited comprehension, mere mortal Ö

Daria : Well, now that the insanity has set in, itís time for class.

 

Fade to Mr. OíNeilís classroom. Daria, Jodie, and Brittany are sitting in three seats located in front of the usual front row. On the blackboard behind them are a number of papers taped to the board with ascending numerical values. Mr. OíNeil stands behind the desk, preparing to address the class.

OíNeil : Ok class, now that youíre all here

Jane : Iím not!

Jane : (thought VO) Since I donít think here, I must not exist here. I wonder if thatíll get me out of this stupid class?

OíNeil : What?

Jane : Iím not here.

OíNeil : Then where are you?

Jane : Whoa. Thatís way too deep for your classroom Ö

Jane : (thought VO) And anyway, I donít feel like seeing Ms. Manson today.

OíNeil : (warily) Um, Ok Ö Well, getting back to class Ö Today weíre playing literary jeopardy. Can anyone imagine anything more exciting?

Jane : (thought VO) A good game of quarters?

OíNeil : Anyway, each student will be in a group of three for a ten minute session, or until the questions run out. The winner will get a free Snickers bar.

Jane : King size?

OíNeil : Um, no. The school canít afford it.

Jane : Too bad. Iím just not motivated by a mere regular Snickers Ö

OíNeil : Actually, theyíre snack size.

Daria : In that case, bring on the questions.

 

Mr. OíNeil looks concerned, but reaches into his desk to remove a few bundles from his desk.

OíNeil : OK, who would like to start. Brittany?

Brittany : Um, OK?

 

Mr. OíNeil looks at Brittany expectantly for a long moment.

OíNeil : Um, Brittany? You have to choose a category first.

Brittany : Oh. Um, Iíll take Hysterical Geeks for, um, 100?

OíNeil : Uh, Brittany? Thatís Historical Greeks.

Brittany : Oh, (twirling hair) Ok.

Jane : (thought VO) This is gonna be a long game.

 

Mr. OíNeil removes a card and reads the answer.

OíNeil : This Greek hero made war in Troy, where he was killed by an arrow to the heel.

Jane : (thought VO) Lucky him Ö

Brittany : (ringing in) True!

OíNeil : Um, Brittany, this isnít a true/false question.

Brittany : False?

 

Mr. OíNeil sighs as Brittanyís time runs out, and Daria chimes in.

Daria : Who was Achilles?

OíNeil : Very good Daria. Would you like to choose the next category?

Daria : How about Dystopian Worldviews for 100?

OíNeil : Oh. Um, this author portrayed a dim, authoritarian future in his book named for the temperature at which paper burns.

Jodie : (chiming in) Who is Ray Bradbury?

OíNeil : Very good Jodie!

 

Cut to a few minutes later. Jodie, Daria, and Brittany are still in the front of the room. We see that Daria and Jodie are tied at 1500, with Brittany scoreless.

OíNeil : Daria, would you like to choose the final question?

Daria : Iíll take Historical Greeks for 500.

OíNeil : What famous Greek was the son of Zeus, and later went on to become a god himself?

Daria : (ringing in) Heracles.

OíNeil : Oh, Iím sorry Daria, that isnít correct. Jodie?

Jodie : Hercules.

OíNeil : Well, that concludes the first game Ö

Daria : (interrupting) Excuse me, but I think youíll find that Hercules is the Roman name for the son of Jupiter. The Greek name is Heracles, or Ďglory of Heraí.

OíNeil : Um, well, we donít actually have a book here Ö

Daria : Tell you what. Let me go to the library to check on it.

OíNeil : Well, I guess thatís OK Ö

Jane : Do you really want the candy that badly?

Daria : (to Jane) Hell no. I just saw a chance to get the hell out of here for a while. Ciao.

 

Daria leaves the room, leaving Jane slightly bemused and slightly annoyed.

Jane : (thought VO) Sure, leave me here all alone.

OíNeil : OK class, the next game will be between Kevin Taylor, Jane Lane, and Michael Mackenzie.

Jane : Great. Couldnít he just leave me out of this?

OíNeil : Come up and have a seat. Iíll just track down the next set of questions.

 

Mr. OíNeil reaches into his desk and removes another set of cards.

OíNeil : Hmmm. These seem to be a different color Ö Well, is everybody ready?

Jane : (thought VO) Would it make a difference?

OíNeil : Mack? Would you like to choose first?

Mack : Um, how about Historical Greeks for $200?

OíNeil : (reading the card) Ok Ö Between which two cities did Oedipus encounter his father Laius?

 

Jane and Mack exchange a look of concern, both clearly having no idea as to the answer. As they do, Kevin rings in.

Kevin : Um, Boston?

 

Mr. OíNeil looks at Kevin disdainfully, and shakes his head.

OíNeil : That is not correct Kevin. Iím sorry. Jane? Would you like to choose?

Jane : How about Planes, Trains, and Automobiles for $100?

OíNeil : Letís see. What was the name of the radio-gunner killed in Yossarianís plane over Avingon?

 

Silence.

OíNeil : Well, moving on Ö

Jane : (thought VO) I doubt that even Daria and Jodie would know these Ö

 

Fade to later in the class. Jane and Mack are both scoreless, and Kevin has a score of -$2400. Mr. OíNeil looks dissatisfied at the results, but doesnít seem to realize why people are having difficulty with his questions.

OíNeil : For the final answer, this is the first name of the Chiefís father in One Flew Over the Cuckooís nest.

 

No one answers.

OíNeil : Come on, take a guess.

Jane : I canít guess, I have no idea.

OíNeil : Mack?

Mack : Sorry Mr. OíNeil. These questions are just hard.

OíNeil : I wonder if thatís why I color coded them Ö

Jane : (thought VO) You mean this twerp canít even remember how he coded the cards? How Ö expected.

 

 

Cut to Mr. DeMartinoís classroom. Mr. DeMartino is at the front of the classroom, corralling the students into a confused group rather than allowing them to take their usual seats. Daria and Jane walk into the classroom, and both turn and look at the group with a little confusion. Seeing this, Mr. DeMartino walks over to the two.

DeMartino : Daria, Jane. If you would care to join us, the ENTIRE class will be LEAVING for the COMPUTER lab.

Jane : (to Daria) And if we donít?

Daria : (to Jane) Room 101. (to DeMartino) Excuse me, but what are we going to be doing at the computer lab?

Jane : (thought VO) Same thing we do anywhere, sit around and pretend to learn?

DeMartino : As you are no doubt AWARE, Ms. Li has DECIDED to replace the usual CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES with GAMES. Given that this IS HISTORY, and that WAR, conflict, and ambition are such MAJOR motivators, we are going to give you STUdents the opportunity to ATTEMPT to follow in the footsteps of OTHERS and LEARN something about creating an EMPIRE.

Daria : Weíre planning an invasion of France?

DeMartino : (laughing slightly) An AMUSING concept Ms. Morgendorffer, but regrettably, Ms. Li wouldnít release sufficient funds from the school budget. So instead, you get to TEST yourself against a COMPUTER.

Jane : A computer?

DeMartino : You will be testing yourself against the abilities of Civilization II.

Daria : The triumph of artificial intelligence over natural stupidity?

Jane : Iíll start the betting pool.

 

Cut to the computer lab. It is a predominantly off-white color, with flimsy looking tables arranged along the outside walls. On each table are two somewhat dated computers, and a random distribution of free mouse pads alongside.

Daria : Another archaeological expedition?

Jane : Nope. Same old lab.

Daria : Like I said Ö

DeMartino : Ok class, for the next two days we will be meeting down here. You will be divided into groups, so that you will not only be working against the computer, but your classmates as well.

Daria : (to Jane) Why am I not concerned?

DeMartino : We will be playing a game called Civilization II. I know that the CONCEPT of civilization may be BEYOND you, but REST assured that this will not PREVENT you from PARTICIPATING.

DeMartino : Each group will have three students, and the remainder will be comprised of computer players. Your goal is to win. Any victory is acceptable. You will be graded both on your overall performance as well as the performance relative to your classmates.

DeMartino : Ok, I have divided the class into teams. The first team is comprised of Daria Morgendorffer, Jodie Landon, and Brittany Taylor.

Brittany : But how can I be on the team? Iím a cheerleader!

DeMartino : (frustrated) Just take a seat Brittany. (Bt) The second team is comprised of Jane Lane, Kevin Thompson, and Charles Ruttheimer.

Jane : (thought VO) Life sucks.

Upchuck : Ms. Lane, if I may be so bold Ö

 

Jane turns and stares at Charles with an icy glare. Charles stops in mid sentence, and turns back to find a computer.

As Mr. DeMartino continues to distribute the rest of the class into teams, the students spread out and choose a computer. Jane pulls up a seat next to Daria, and logs into the system.

Jane : Well this is a royal waste of time Ö

Daria : Actually, the game itself isnít half bad. And you get the chance to utterly annihilate Upchuck.

Jane : After he tried so hard to get us together?

 

Daria simply turns to Jane, remaining absolutely silent.

Jane : (thought VO) Come on Daria, relax a little!

Jane : Hey, take a joke Daria! (Bt) So, any suggestions for the game?

Daria : Why Jane, is that a plea for help?

Jane : Well, my grade could use a little help, now that you mention it Ö

Daria : (thinking) Um Ö expand quickly, keep a good defense, and donít listen to anything Kevin says.

Jane : That last one goes without saying.

Daria : Youíll get the hang of it.

Jane : So, would you be up for some pizza after school?

Daria : Um, Jane? Iím meeting Tom after school today.

Jane : (thought VO) Of course. Leaving me alone once again. Although Ö I did the exact same thing when I was in her place.

Jane : (warily) Isnít it awfully early for your usual date?

Daria : Well, uh, heís taking me to dinner, then weíre meeting his friends at the bowling alley.

 

Jane turns and stifles a laugh. Daria looks at Jane in surprise.

Daria : Ok, out with it. Whatís so funny.

Jane : Oh, nothing.

Jane : (thought VO) Someoneís in for a surprise Ö

Daria : Is there something wrong with Tomís friends?

Jane : Thereís nothing Ö bad per se. Theyíre an Ö interesting bunch.

Daria : (warily) OK Ö

Jane : Come on now.

 

Jane looks at Daria, pondering the situation for a moment.

Jane : Daria! Are you worried?

Daria : Um, no. Iím fine.

Jane : Oh, you are! Thatís so cute!

Daria : Go to hell Jane.

Jane : Come on Daria! Thereís nothing wrong with being cute Ö

Daria : And if I said that you looked cute right now?

Jane : (smirking) Iíd deck you.

Daria : Women.

 

Fade to Casa Lane, living room. Jane enters the front door, placing her bag on the ground. As the camera pans, we see Trent sitting on the living room couch asleep, with an acoustic guitar tightly gripped in his hands. Jane closes the door, which rouses Trent from his sleep.

Trent : Janey?

Jane : Thatís me. Sorry I woke you.

Trent : You didnít wake me. I was practicing my fingering.

Jane : (thought VO) Musicians are not to be taken out of context. Remember that Ö

Jane : Trent, you were snoring.

Trent : Well Ö

Jane : Why were you practicing anyway?

Trent : Oh, um, weíve got a gig tonight. I thought I should be ready.

Jane : Why?

Trent : Uh, you know, I donít know. But it seemed like a really good idea this morning.

Jane : Maybe you should get some of those memory enhancing pills Ö

Trent : Um, OK.

Jane : (shaking her head) Never mind.

 

Jane starts to walk out of the living room when Trent shouts a question to her.

Trent : Um, Jane? Do you know why Jesse smelled like lemon this morning?

Jane : (continuing to walk) I have no idea Ö

 

Fade to the interior of an art store. Jane is looking through the store carefully.

Jane : Letís see. Paints. (scanning the shelves) Ah, snow white.

 

Jane picks up two tubes of white paint and a single tube of red paint, placing them in her basket.

Jane : Sparkles. What would sparkle? Glitter?

 

Jane walks over to the adjacent aisle, and checks through a number of packages before finally selecting a shimmering opalescent glitter.

Jane : (thought VO) This just might work.

 

As Jane moves towards the checkout, something catches her eye. Stopping, she looks down to see a package of play money. Picking up the package, she studies it carefully.

Jane : (thought VO) You know, I think this is the same money Mrs. Bennett was using in econ.

 

Jane ponders this for a second, and then begins to remove a number of packages from the shelves.

Jane : Hello good grades Ö

 

Cut to Janeís room. Jane is at her easel, painting on a canvas. We see that Jane is attempting to re-create the landscape from that morning, but the painting seems flat. Jane picks up her palette, mixing the white paint with the glitter, and applying it to the snow-covered landscape. While the painting is significantly improved, itís still not quite right.

Jane : Itís missing something Ö

 

Jane studies the painting for a while, looking at it from a variety of different angles. Sighing, she drops her brush and sits down on her bed.

Jane : (thought VO) Itís no use. Iím just Ö bored.

 

Jane picks up the TV remote and turns on the television.

SSW announcer : What happens when a group of psychiatrists decides to make a career in music? The vocal stylings of Pink Freud, next on Sick Sad World.

 

Jane lays back in her bed, the remote still in her hand.

 

Fade to later, still in Janeís room. Jane is asleep in her bed when the front door is heard closing loudly. Jane stirs slightly, rolling over on top of the remote.

Nick : (VO) Ouch! Watch it! I told you not to drop the amp on my foot!

Max : (VO) Well, anyone could see where I was putting it down. How can I work around those huge feet anyway?

Jane : (slowly waking up) And I thought their music was loud. Well, time to make an appearance.

 

Jane gets out of her bed, turning the television off as she does. Straightening her clothes, she heads downstairs. Reaching the living room, we see audio equipment scattered about the floor, with Nick and Max arguing about who should be moving what.

Jane : Guys?

Nick : (turning) Oh, hey Jane.

Max : Um, hi.

Jane : Is Trent around?

Nick : He and Jesse took a load out to the tank. They should be back soon.

Max : Unless theyíre waiting for us Ö

Nick : Well, if you would just take the amp like I told you Ö

Max : But youíre supposed to take the amp!

Trent : (entering through the front door) Are you two still arguing about that?

Jesse : (following closely behind Trent) Weíre gonna be late.

Trent : Here, give me the amp.

 

Trent walks over and picks up the amp, as Nick and Max guiltily pick up some of the smaller equipment.

Jane : Say, you guys got room for one more in the Tank?

Trent : As long as you arenít too picky about seats.

Jane : Anything to get me away from here Ö

 

Fade to the Zon. Jane is standing alone, watching Mystik Spiral on stage. From her left, a young man approaches her.

Man : Hey, come here often? Because Iíd think Iíd remember you. (looking at Jane) Wait, Iíve met you before. Um, Jane, right?

 

Jane looks at the man for a second, then turns her head away.

Jane : Oh, its you.

Man : Actually, I go by Paul.

Jane : Yes, I know.

Paul : Look, Iím sorry about Mike. He can be a real ass when heís drunk. Actually, he can be a real ass sober as well.

Jane : So why do you hang around with him?

Paul : Well, um, heís my friend.

Jane : I suppose its easier for you. After all, heís not likely to hit on you.

Paul : Well Ö

Jane : Youíre kidding!

Paul : (apologetic) He was REALLY drunk that night Ö

Jane : So, did you Ö

Paul : Yech, no. (matter of fact) Actually, I spent most of the night making sure he didnít choke on his own vomit.

Jane : What a pleasant picture.

Paul : Iíd hate to know someone died if I could have prevented it. Even obnoxious self-involved bastards like Mike.

Jane : Well, Iíll admit that youíre much more pleasant without him around. (Bt) Heís not here, is he?

Paul : Not anymore. He left with some blonde bimbo about an hour ago Ö

Jane : Um, this bimbo. Did she have a high, squeaky voice, and the intelligence of wallpaper?

Paul : That sounds about right.

Jane : Most interesting Ö

Jane : (thought VO) I wonder what Kevinís up to tonight?

Paul : Hey, can I get you a beer?

Jane : Um, no thanks.

Paul : Are you still annoyed at me for that whole Mike thing?

Jane : No, Iím annoyed at him, not you. I just donít really like beer. Its just, um, disgusting Ö

Paul : Stay here. Iíll be right back.

Jane : (thought VO) Iíve heard that one before.

 

Paul walks over to the bar, and after a brief conversation with the bartender, he returns with a mug of beer and a large glass filled with a colored liquid. He hands the glass to Jane and takes a sip of his beer.

Paul : Try that. I think itíll go down a little better.

 

Jane takes a tentative sip of the drink, then immediately takes a significantly larger gulp.

Jane : This is pretty good. What is it?

Paul : Uh, its called Sex on the Beach.

Jane : Sex on the Beach?

Paul : Hey, I didnít name it. Vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice.

Jane : Whatever its called, its better than beer Ö

 

Fade to later in the night. Jane and Paul are sitting at a table, talking.

Paul : So I came home from the library, only to find Mike naked and handcuffed to his bed. Apparently, one of his girlfriends didnít take kindly to his Ďdate early, date oftení policy.

Jane : That must have been traumatic.

Paul : Yeah. I almost died laughing. Thank God for digital cameras.

Jane : You DIDNíT!

Paul : Hey, as long as he meets my terms, they wonít Ďaccidentallyí find their way onto a particularly nasty newsgroup.

Jane : And how would you know about those newsgroups?

Paul : Hey, a single guyís got to do something for fun Ö

Jane : OK, more information than I needed to know.

Paul : Hey, its nothing unusual. Are you saying that youíve never looked around?

Jane : Um Ö I plead the fifth?

Paul : Typical. Well, looks like the last set is almost over.

Jane : Well, I should get going then. The bandís kind of my ride.

Paul : My condolences.

Jane : Hey, theyíre not too bad. Just water them and turn them towards the light periodically.

Paul : As long as you have a plan.

Jane : Hey, much to my surprise, it was actually nice talking to you tonight Ö

Paul : Thanks, I think.

 

Jane reaches into her pocket and removes a slip of paper and a pen.

Jane : Here, let me give you my phone number.

 

Jane scribbles a number on the slip of paper, handing it to Paul. Paul takes the slip and folds it, placing it in his wallet.

Paul : Thanks. Iíll, uh, let you get going then.

Jane : Um, OK Ö

 

After a moment of awkward silence, Jane turns and heads backstage to meet up with the band.

Jane : (thought VO) Wow, that actually went pretty well. Youíve still got it Jane.

 

Cut to Janeís room. Jane has changed into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. She looks down at the clock, which is displaying 3:24.

Jane : (thought VO) Three twenty-four? And I have to be up for classes tomorrow? (Bt) You know what? It was worth it.

 

Cut to the next day at Dariaís locker at Lawndale High. Daria and Jane walk up to the lockers together.

Jane : (thought VO) Well, no bruises, scratches, or lacerations Ö

Jane : So how was the big date last night?

Daria : Oh, it went pretty well.

Jane : (surprised) It did?

Daria : Yup. We caught up with his friends and bowled a few games. Theyíre an interesting bunch.

Jane : So, it all went fine with them? No problems?

Daria : Why Jane, is there something youíd like to ask?

Jane : (conciliatory) Was Chris there?

Daria : Yup.

Jane : And?

Daria : She said she liked me.

Jane : Liar.

Daria : Ask Tom yourself. (Bt) How did you two hit it off?

Jane : Tom had to restrain me, and Chris was laughing the whole time.

Daria : And why didnít I hear about this earlier?

Jane : (thought VO) Because you were off with your Dad, and sick of hearing about Tom?

Jane : No desire to be teased?

Daria : I guess I can accept that.

Jane : So, after bowling did you two explore bold new frontiers?

Daria : Jane, we watched movies. On the couch.

Jane : You wild woman you.

Jane : (thought VO) I wonder if Daria would even know what to do if she wanted to Ö

Daria : Hey, you know me. So how was your night?

Jane : Not bad. I went out with Trent to the Zon, sat around, the usual.

Daria : Is that it?

Jane : Well, no. But thatís all youíre going to get now.

Daria : Jane!

Jane : (playful) Nope.

Jane : (thought VO) At least not until I find out if heís going to call me Ö

 

Cut to Mrs. Bennettís room. The students are milling about, buying and selling the Ďsecuritiesí. Jane seems to be participating reluctantly, whereas Daria has a huge group of students around her desk.

Daria : Now who would like to buy some (looking at the certificate) publishing limited? Moving it out at a low price.

Jodie : And why is that?

Daria : I would like to re-balance my portfolio, and need some cash.

Upchuck : Fairest Daria, I would love the opportunity to purchase some of your stock.

Daria : Sure thing, Upchuck.

 

 

Daria completes the transaction with Upchuck, and continues to work through the line until she is out of stock.

Daria : OK, Iím all out. Find someone else to buy from.

 

As the crowd spreads out, Daria heads over to an unidentified male student.

Daria returns to her desk, and begins to look through her holdings. As she does, Mrs. Bennett can be heard in the background.

Bennett : OK class, five more minutes.

 

The announcement sends the class into a bit of a frenzy, and Daria can be seen talking with a few students about the class. Jane watches in amusement, making a scant few transactions. Finally, Mrs. Bennett calls an end to the game.

Bennett : Class, that concludes the game. Now letís all count our equities to see how everyone did.

 

The class sits down and counts for a few minutes, and finally everyone looks up, finished with the tally.

Bennett : So how did people do? Kevin?

Kevin : Um, I have, like $500.

Bennett : Kevin, you started with $50,000.

Kevin : Oh.

Bennett : Brittany?

Brittany : Um, like, $2500, I think?

Bennett : (shaking her head) Jodie?

Jodie : (disappointed) $10,000

Bennett : Um, does anyone have MORE than $50,000?

Jane : Iíve got $750,000.

Daria : Iíve got $1.1 million.

 

Mrs. Bennet looks between Daria and Jane with surprise.

Bennett : And how exactly did you manage that?

Daria : No SEC.

Jane : And no Secret Service either.

 

Cut to the hallway. Daria and Jane are heading towards Mr. DeMartinoís classroom as they discuss the game.

Jane : So, how did you manage to get so much money?

Jane : (thought VO) Or more correctly, how did you get more than me even though I cheated?

Daria : Oh, once you realize it, its quite simple. For one, I found someone with a large pool of stock, and bought up some of the same stock. I then sold theirs short, and dumped mine to drive down the price. And once I managed to corner the money supply, I was all set.

Jane : Did you get all that from our econ text?

Daria : Nope. Basic mob psychology. Lead and they will follow.

Jane : Impressive.

Daria : Now, how did you manage to do so well? I mean, we ended up with more money than we started with. Significantly more.

Jane : I paid a visit to the store where she got the money.

 

Daria turns to look at Jane.

Daria : Securities fraud, profiteering, and counterfeiting all in one day. Not bad Ö

Jane : For once, school teaches us skills applicable to the real world.

 

Cut to Mr. DeMartinoís classroom, towards the end of class. Daria and Jane are sitting next to each other, playing their games. Daria looks like sheís concentration intensely, whereas Jane merely looks resigned. Shrugging, Jane pulls her chair up to Dariaís computer.

Jane : Well, thanks to Kevin, we all managed to lose.

Daria : Kevin?

Jane : The AI destroyed him before we had a chance to, and then just rolled over Upchuck and me.

Daria : As long as Kevin went first and pathetically, I donít think you have a problem.

Jane : So, howís your game going?

Daria : Not bad. Brittany beat Jodie, which I doubt she was happy with. Now sheís bothering me up here (pointing at the screen)

Jane : Wow, youíre huge!

Daria : Youíd better be referring to the game Ö

Jane : Touchy, touchy.

Daria : Brittany is just obnoxious. She canít figure out the game very well, but sheís got a nasty tactical sense.

Jane : Huh?

Daria : Well, I think sheís attacking up here. (points to a small island)

Jane : So, youíre defending?

Daria : Actually, I canít possibly defend those cities well.

Jane : So Ö

Daria : Actually, Iím attacking her capital. Iím ready to be done with this game soon, and Brittany hasnít realized that she can see my moves Ö

 

Cut to the cafeteria. Daria and Jane are sitting at their table, eating their lunches.

Daria : How can the cafeteria manage to screw up dry toast?

Jane : They hire only Lawndale graduates as cooks?

Daria : Remind me again why we eat here Ö

Jane : Iíve got no food in my house, and youíve got Jakeís cooking.

Daria : Thanks. (looking at her tray) Starvation is looking better and better.

Jamie : (VO) Are you two complaining about the food again?

 

The camera pans around to reveal Jamie standing behind Daria.

Daria : Well, what would you suggest doing with it?

Jamie : Well, you could eat it, you know.

Jane : Not a very pleasant course of action.

Daria : We have our health to think about here.

Jamie : Well, it canít actually be dangerous, can it?

Daria : (looking at her food) Can you prove it?

Jamie : Well, Iím not dead yet Ö

Daria : Give it time.

Jane : Just donít die in front of the cafeteria. People have a tendency to disappear.

Jamie : Um, OK Ö

Daria : Jane, thatís never been proven.

Jane : Doesnít mean it isnít true.

Jamie : (shaking his head) Um, Iím gonna go eat while I can still stomach food.

Jane : (thought VO) I wonder if Daria realizes that heís got a little crush on her. I swear, that girl can be so oblivious sometimes.

 

Jamie heads off, leaving Daria and Jane alone at the table.

Jane : Yet another victim.

Daria : Shall we cut a notch in the table?

Jane : Sounds a bit triteÖ

Daria : Spoilsport.

Jane : Thatís why Iím here.

 

As Daria and Jane turn to their plates and begin to eat, Jodie and Mack sit down next to Daria and Jane.

Mack : Daria? Jane? Did something happen in economics? Jodieís, um, been in a bit of a funk since then.

 

Jodie looks at Mack with an annoyed glare, but says nothing.

Daria : Jodie? Are you OK?

Jodie : Fine.

Daria : Are you mad about something?

Jodie : How did you two do so well in that stock market game?

Daria : Do you promise not to tell?

Jodie : (warily) I suppose Ö

Daria : For me, securities fraud and blatant price manipulation.

Jane : And for me, counterfeiting.

 

Jodie looks between Daria and Jane in amazement.

Jodie : You cheated?

Daria : Yup.

Jodie : But thatís not fair!

Daria : Jodie, didnít you tell when we were looking for a loan that you were right to use all methods at your disposal?

Jodie : Yes Ö

Daria : Even if theyíre not fair?

Jodie : Um, I suppose Ö

Daria : There were no rules against it, were there?

Jodie : No Ö

Daria : Then whatís the problem?

Jodie : Well Ö

Jane : Just cheer up Jodie. Itís just a stupid assignment.

Jodie : But weíre being graded on it.

Jane : Jodie, you probably did better than anyone but the two of us. Youíll be fine.

Jodie : I suppose Ö

Mack : Come on Jodie. Itís not the end of the world Ö

Jodie : It just seems wrong, thatís all.

Daria : Get used to it. Lifeís a bitch.

Jodie : (sardonically) Youíre in a good mood today.

Daria : Actually, I am.

Mack : Thatís a bit frightening.

Daria : Thanks. I try.

 

Cut to Janeís room, later that night. Jane is standing, studying her painting.

Jane : (to painting) Youíre mocking me. I just know it.

 

Unsurprisingly, the painting does not respond.

Jane : You can be so difficult sometimes.

 

As Jane says this, Trent walks by the door. Hearing her, he stops and looks into the room.

Trent : Um, Janey?

Jane : Huh? (looking towards the door) Oh, hey Trent.

Trent : Um, who were you talking to?

Jane : The painting. Itís not being cooperative.

Trent : Oh yeah, I know what thatís like. My guitarís like that sometimes Ö

Jane : (thought VO) For instance, whenever youíre on stage?

Jane : So how do you deal with it?

Trent : Um, I donít Ö

Jane : Huh?

Trent : Eventually, itíll reach out to you.

Jane : The painting?

Trent : Sure.

Jane : Do you know how weird that sounds?

Trent : Hey man, Iím a musician. I donít have to worry about that Ö

Jane : Actually, I would think that a musician would be very concerned with how they sound Ö

Trent : Thatís a really good point. (heading away) I should probably work on that Ö

Jane : Thank you, O Brother of Mine.

 

Jane is just about to return to her painting when the phone rings. Shrugging, she drops her brush and picks up the phone.

Jane : Yes?

Male Voice : Is this Jane?

Jane : And who might you be?

Male Voice : Itís Paul.

 

Split screen between Jane and Paul.

Jane : Oh, Hi!

Jane : (thought VO) He actually called?

Paul : Um, Hi. (nervously) How are you?

Jane : (bemused) Youíre not very good at this, are you?

Paul : (resigned) No. But I thought you werenít supposed to admit that you noticed?

Jane : Iíve never been one to stand on tradition Ö

Paul : Oh. Uh, would you be interested in dinner later this week?

Jane : Iím always interested in dinner.

Paul : Youíre not going to make this easy, are you?

Jane : (playfully) Now where would the fun be in that?

Paul : Would you like to go out to dinner with me sometime this week?

Jane : Sure. Iíd love to. Now was that so hard?

Paul : Yes.

Jane : Builds character.

Paul : Now you sound like my mother.

Jane : Youíre nameís not Oedipus, is it?

Paul : Oedipus? No. (Bt) He was one mean mother-fucker Ö

Jane : Thatís horrible.

Paul : Thanks. So, how about Thursday? Around eight?

Jane : Sounds good to me. Meet you at the Zon?

Paul : Sure. Iíll, um, see you then?

Jane : Itís a date!

Paul : Well, um, goodnight?

Jane : Goodnight.

 

Collapse back to Janeís room. Jane hangs up the phone with a smile on her face. Standing up, she looks over at the painting. Grabbing a brush, she hurriedly makes a few changes to the painting. Standing back, she looks it over with a smile on her face.

Jane : Perfect!

 

Fade out and roll credits.