Constraints: Daria and others are still in high school, this fic will ignore the implied graduation time for Daria, so she is still in high school when the final series of angel occurs, this occurs between “Smile Time” and “Origin” in the Angel universe.

 

Synopsis: A girl gets dead, but not lying still in a coffin dead, more walking around drinking with your mates dead.

 

Living Dead Girls.

 

Content: extreme violence, torture.

 

Legal: cast of Daria belongs to mutant enemy, cast of Angel and Buffy belong to MTV, … … yeah, I think that’s right, also Thea helped me with this, really saved it in fact.

 

~-~

 

After the usual crap (convincing her mom she was eating properly and putting up with Daria’s wising off), Quinn headed to Stacy’s to check up on her.

 

After knocking on the door, she waited.

 

Stacy appeared as cheery looking as ever.

 

“Stacy, you’re better?” asked Quinn.

 

“Erm, yes, Quinn” she said, but that sounded more like Brittany than Stacy just then.

 

“Excellent, that case, I should bring you up to speed on last nights meeting” they headed to school, the weather matched the theme of the day by being overcast.

 

~-~

 

Daria and Jane entered the toilets and checked all the stalls were empty.

 

“Alright, Jane, so what do we need to talk about?” asked Daria.

 

“Okay, you remember when I overslept?” asked Jane.

 

“Yeah, that would be the day the earth rotated” said Daria.

 

“I mean, overslept by my standards” said Jane.

 

“Go on”

 

“Right, well, there’s something I need to tell you”

 

There was an overly dramatic pause.

 

“Okay, while I’ve been intuitive occasionally, I’ve never been psychic, so you mind cutting to the chase?” asked Daria.

 

Yeah, … Just give me a second to work up the courage to do so”

 

Another pause ensued.

 

“Okay, ready?” asked Jane.

 

“Give me a second” said Daria, then she nodded.

 

Jane's face shifted, growing heavy eyebrows, and her iris colour went yellow.

 

Huh, … I was sure that was an aspirin I took this morning, … ” mused Daria.

 

“Afraid you’re not hallucinating” said Jane, revealing extended canines.

 

“What’s with the, … ” Daria said, pointing at her own canines.

 

Ah, … those are for piercing major blood vessels so I can drink peoples blood” said Jane.

 

“Vampire huh?” commented Daria.

 

Jane looked towards the mirror, Daria glanced at it too, … “how did I miss that?” she said, noticing for the first time her friend had no reflection “and come to think of it, how does being a vampire alter the laws of physics?”

 

“I dunno”

 

“What about the sunlight thing?”

 

“Oh, I so don’t want to think about that right now”

 

“You’ll probably have to” said Daria.

 

“Ankle length coat and an umbrella?” said Jane.

 

Daria glanced at her watch “we need to get to class”

 

Jane returned her face to normal and followed Daria out.

 

~-~

 

English went as normal, Daria winding up O’Neill, then they were on to gym class.

 

~-~

 

“Tennis time, people, everyone grab a racket, a ball, pick a court, and try bouncing the ball up and down for a while”

 

Daria and Jane, being slackers, ended up with the fashion club, who were vain.

 

Daria ended up with Stacy and Tiffany again, Jane with Sandi and Quinn.

 

Tiffany kept giving Jane weird looks.

 

Sandi and Quinn were the only ones that wouldn’t do the exercise until Morris was looking. Daria, the perpetual wiseass, bounced the ball off the palm of her hand, Jane bounced the ball between her racket and the floor at speed, and Stacy bounced the ball off her racket to within millimetres of the ceiling.

 

When they got into playing, Jane quickly found her strength had increased, and every time the ball entered Daria's side, it was always Stacy who got it.

 

Daria eventually stopped and stepped well back.

 

Stacy was, … teleporting.

 

Tiffany did the same.

 

Jane just kept at it while Sandi and Quinn stopped and stepped back.

 

~-~

 

“Was it my imagination, or was Stacy faster than normal?” asked Jane.

 

“I just learned that vampires are real, so I imagine not” said Daria as they got changed.

 

“There’s another thing, just before Stacy stopped showing up for school, she had a smell I could perceive, much like that of other people, but today, she smells different”

 

“You were also faster than normal, you got a mirror?” asked Daria.

 

“No need” said Jane as she pointed out the fashion club at the big mirrors at the end.

 

Stacy had a reflection.

 

“Okay, probably not a vampire, so what does that leave?” asked Daria.

 

~-~

 

They entered the cafeteria, still discussing Stacy.

 

“OWW!” yelled Jane, she had vamped out in reflex to the pain as she hissed “fffffffuck!”

 

“What?” asked Daria.

 

Jane unvamped for a second, looking at the window, then she quickly poked a finger into the sunlight, then said “Guess that answers that question, see any clouds about to cover the sun?”

 

Daria looked out the corner of her eye, and said “nope, you pick a table, I’ll get our food, what do you want?”

 

“Ah, probably best not eating anything the cafeteria has to offer anyway” said Jane.

 

“Hmm, good call”

 

 They headed back out.

 

~-~

 

In the library, they started reading whatever they could find on the subject.

 

“I get the feeling most of these authors wouldn’t recognise a vampire if it bit them in the neck” said Jane.

 

“Yeah, this does seem to be proving quite fruitless”

 

“Doesn’t help I skipped lunch” said Jane.

 

They saw Tiffany approach.

 

“Hmm, think anyone would notice if a fashion club member showed up dead with puncture marks in her neck?” asked Daria.

 

“I dunno” replied Jane before her stomach growled “that’s another point we need to think about” said Jane.

 

“I neeeeeed to taaaaaalk, to Jaaaaane, … aloooooooooone” Tiffany said.

 

Daria and Jane looked at each other, then Daria stood up and gathered some of the books “I’ll start putting some of these back” she said.

 

After Daria was clear, Jane turned her seat to face Tiffany and asked “So, what can I do for you?”

 

Tiffany suddenly pulled something from her purse and advanced.

 

Jane grabbed her and flipped her over, the chair she was sitting in added radius so Tiffany's ass landed extra hard on the floor. Jane didn’t follow, rolling over onto all fours and standing up as Tiffany flipped again to her feet.

 

“What the fuck?” asked Jane.

 

Tiffany considered her next move, standing around with her stabbing weapon.

 

“Sorrrrry” Tiffany said, as she considered her plan of attack.

 

She then charged at Jane again, Jane got a punch in, then Tiffany got a punch in, Jane was surprised at Tiffany's strength, she grabbed Tiffany's weapon hand and slammed her back into the bookcase. No longer confident she could engage Tiffany, and also not confident she could clear the room before Tiffany could throw her weapon at her, Jane ran across the aisle and up the shelves of the bookcase, before leaping across the aisle, Tiffany was watching trying to figure out what to do.

 

Jane leapt across again, the book case she launched from swayed, the other one was nudged past its footprint and she was back on the first one again, she went over, then she leapt to the next bookcase, there wasn’t the ceiling clearance to run from case to case, so she instead leapt to the next case.

 

She heard Daria scream from behind her.

 

Daria was behind the bookcase she had toppled.

 

“DARIA!” shouted Jane.

 

She landed on the floor, then ran around.

 

She noticed someone running on the other side of the book case on an intercept course.

 

She let the other person overtake slightly, then she grabbed Tiffany and spun her around several times, and then into the bookcase, she then elbowed Tiffany in the back of her head. She stepped on Tiffany's hand to test if she was actually out cold, then, hoping Tiffany didn’t simply have excellent pain tolerance, headed off to the toppled bookcases.

 

~-~

 

She dropped to the floor and looked along the triangular tunnel, she saw Daria behind the books, crawling to her “YOU ALRIGHT DARIA?”

 

“YEAH, FINE, WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED THERE?”

 

Jane glanced at Tiffany, still unconscious, then turned back to Daria, who was almost clear “TIFFANY WENT NUTS, TRIED TO STAB ME!”

 

Daria reached the end of the tunnel and pulled herself out “okay, why couldn’t you have knocked her out earlier?”

 

“She was really strong”

 

The librarian arrived asking “what the heck is going on here?”

 

~-~

 

“Do either of you have an explanation as to what happened in the library?” asked Angela.

 

Jane shrugged and said “maybe Tiffany was withdrawing from the narcotics she’s on”

 

“This is a serious matter, Miss Lane, your flippancy does not make you look good”

 

“Look, all I know is Tiffany tried to stab me with a wooden dagger of some kind, I did what I felt I had to to escape, I forgot Daria was behind the bookcase I was jumping off of”

 

“And then you decided instead to take on Tiffany?”

 

“I had to check on Daria, besides, I formed a plan to knock Tiffany out, it seemed safer than running and hoping she doesn’t catch up” said Jane.

 

“What’s Tiffany's status anyway?” asked Daria.

 

“That is none of your business, Miss Morgendorffer, you are a part of this” said Angela.

 

“Yeah, the part it rained books on” said Daria.

 

~-~

 

Jane lifted her outer shirt and Daria's coat over her head as they left, then they ran for the nearest tree to the school grounds.

 

When they were in the shade, Jane gave Daria her coat back and put her overshirt back on “well, that was fun”

 

“Okay, you wait here, I’ll find a payphone and call Trent” said Daria, as she headed off.

 

Jane sat under the tree.

 

She thought about how much her life sucked right now.

 

Why did she go along with that weirdoes idea anyway?

 

Oh yeah, post shag euphoria, made her suggestible, he drank her blood, she drank his, and now she can’t tolerate sunlight, can’t look at herself in a mirror, and apparently attracts crazies such as Tiffany.

 

And her stomach was still growling.

 

“Excuse me, miss” she looked up at the voice, it was a cop.

 

“I’m afraid you have to move on, no loitering allowed around a school”

 

“I’m waiting for my ride, and I’m kind of photosensitive right now, I leave the shade, I’m toast” said Jane.

 

“You’re still going to have to leave now” said the cop.

 

“They won’t know where to find me if I do” said Jane.

 

“If you don’t move on immediately, I’ll have to arrest you for loitering” he said.

 

“Fine” said Jane, she stood up, looking around to see if Trent was here yet, no joy, she sighed, turned to the cop, glancing around one last time to see if anyone was watching them, and smacked him in the nose.

 

She then sat the cop against the tree, pulling his hat over his eyes.

 

Daria returned, looking at the cop on the floor.

 

“Jane?” she asked.

 

“Yes Daria?”

 

Daria sighed, and said “Trent will be here in 5 minutes, try not to get too wanted before he arrives”

 

Stacy walked into view.

 

“Stacy, how are you?” asked Jane.

 

“I’m fine, I heard you assaulted Tiffany” she said.

 

“Tiffany assaulted me, came at me with a wooden needle point dagger” Jane said.

 

“You mean a wooden stake?” asked Stacy.

 

“Yeah, a stake, you know what else, she was really strong too, as are you, you’re not going to try attacking me too are you?”

 

“No, I am not the same as Tiffany”

 

“But you’ve gained enhanced strength and speed” observed Daria.

 

“Yes” said Stacy.

 

“And you’re not a Vampire” said Jane.

 

“Correct” said Stacy.

 

“So what are you?” asked Daria.

 

Stacy looked around and said “I’m not Stacy”

 

Daria shrugged and asked “you’re not a mimetic poly alloy robot from the future, are you?”

 

“Mimetic poly alloy?” asked the thing that looked like Stacy.

 

Err, … sci-fi reference, so, … what are you then?” asked Daria.

 

Stacy looked around again, then she waved her hand, there was an optical distortion, then everything around them stopped moving, Daria looked at birds that were frozen in mid flight, then at an aircraft, it had not stopped still, the contrails showed some movement, just not a lot.

 

Stacy then nodded slightly and her clothes changed, turning into a maroon leather suit with the weirdest patterns of black, beige, and blue on it, her face and hair also changed colour, some of her hair was blue, as was the edge of her face, the middle of her face was yellow, “my name is Illyria, god king of the primordium, the shell I now occupy, the one you call Stacy Rowe, no longer exists” she said, sounding more like Seven of nine off of Voyager.

 

Jane's stomach growled again.

 

“You have not fed” observed Stacy.

 

“Correct” said Jane.

 

“Should you not be in school?” asked Stacy, or Illyria, whatever the Identity.

 

“Got suspended for trashing the library” said Daria.

 

“I probably should have fed on Miss Li” said Jane.

 

“I could bring her to you” said Illyria/Stacy.

 

“We were kidding” said Daria.

 

“I still gotta source blood somewhere though” said Jane.

 

“You wish to feed without harming others?” asked Stacy/Illyria.

 

“Pretty much” said Jane.

 

“That is unusual, … you have a soul” said Stacy/Illyria.

 

“Yeah? … Hang on, is that unusual with vampires?” asked Jane.

 

“It is, when you become a half breed, your soul leaves, it would take a magical spell to return your soul” said Stacy/Illyria.

 

“Half breed?” asked Jane.

 

“Vampires are half human, half demon” said Illyria.

 

Hmm, … do we have any idea how much blood you’d need?” asked Daria.

 

Time eventually returned to normal.

 

“So why you out here, Stacy?” asked Daria.

 

“Illyria” Illyria corrected.

 

Daria nodded and gestured.

 

“I came out here to talk to the trees, this ones roots are being crushed by the pavement” Illyria said.

 

Daria looked at the tree then said “Damn, … so, how did you come to be in Stacy’s body anyway?”

 

“Stacy was the one to touch the crystal on my sarcophagus” said Illyria.

 

“Sarcophagus?” asked Daria.

 

“Yes, it was my prison when I was being held in the deeper well”

 

“And how did you end up in the sarcophagus?” asked Daria.

 

Suddenly Illyria convulsed, then said “what have you done?”

 

Daria and Jane looked at each other, then Daria asked “you okay there?”

 

“You will not succeed” she said before disappearing.

 

Daria and Jane stared after her, eventually, Daria said “huh?”

 

~-~

 

Daria was walking back and forth, while Jane kept vamping and unvamping much like people normally tap a pen or snap their elastic watch band out of boredom.

 

Trent got there.

 

Jane got up, Daria started removing her coat, but Jane saw the ground darken and ventured out, they got in the car before the cloud cleared the sun.

 

“You know, you really shouldn’t attend school as long as it’s only doing business during the day” said Trent.

 

“Yeah, yeah” said Jane.

 

“He knows?” asked Daria.

 

“Kinda hard not to, seeing her with those eyes and fangs in the morning” he said.

 

“Morning?” asked Daria.

 

“Different shifts” said Trent.

 

“Okay, but what are we going to do about feeding her?” asked Daria.

 

Hmm, … Maybe people would pay to get bitten, you know, like a blood fetish?”

 

“Yeah, I’m sure we’re the first people to think of such a scheme” said Jane.

 

“How’d you become a vampire anyway?” asked Daria.

 

“Drank another vampires blood. I just thought it was some kinky blood play, he fed off of me, then I fed off of him. Next morning, I wake up with an ugly face I can’t see because I have no reflection” said Jane.

 

~-~

 

Helen turned to the front door as soon as it opened, and Daria entered.

 

“DARIA, WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO AT SCHOOL TODAY?” asked Helen.

 

“I had a near death experience and got suspended for it” replied Daria.

 

“AND WHAT WERE YOU DOING THE REST OF THE DAY?” she asked.

 

“Hanging with Jane, she also got suspended, Tiffany attacked her, and she was suspended for not dying” said Daria.

 

Quinn and Sandi entered.

 

“Hi mom” said Quinn.

 

“Quinn, how’s Tiffany?”

 

“She’s recovering, apparently Jane attacked her”

 

“Bullshit” said Daria.

 

“Stacy went missing shortly after, you wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?” asked Sandi.

 

“Maybe the crew of voyager liberated her from your collective” said Daria, who turned and headed to her room.

 

“DARIA, WE’RE NOT FINISHED” said Helen.

 

“I imagine not, but unless there have just been further developments, I view my presence down here as frivolous” said Daria.

 

~-~

 

Jane was watching TV, trying in vain to distract herself from the hunger pangs she was feeling.

 

She remembered what Stacy- no, Illyria, she remembered what Illyria said, about her having a soul. Vamps don’t normally have these, so she had been re-souled by someone, or by accident.

 

Magical spell.

 

Witches.

 

Wiccans?

 

Her mom was a Wiccan, if she wanted to keep Jane from being a danger without killing her, that might do it, she’ll have to ask her about it when she gets back.

 

The door opened, and Trent entered with shopping bags full of tubs of something.

 

“Janey, I got something we should try” he said.

 

Jane came over to him, smelling blood.

 

Not human, but it’ll do.

 

She grabbed one of the plastic tubs from the bag and vamped out, biting the base of the tub and cracking the lid enough to admit air.

 

After chugging the entire tub, she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and said “it’ll do, thanks Trent

 

Trent headed to the fridge to stow the remaining tubs, he wondered what kind of a life Jane was going to have now, because sunlight was pretty much everywhere during the day, so she would not have the mobility she once had, she would not be able to buy her own art supplies.

 

There was a knock on the door.

 

Jane answered.

 

“Hi” said the boy.

 

“Hi, bye” Jane slammed the door in his face.

 

“What’s wrong, Jane?” he asked through the door.

 

She opened the door and grabbed him by his clothes shouting “WHAT’S WRONG? WHAT’S WRONG IS THAT I CAN NO LONGER ENJOY THE SUNSHINE, I DROOL OVER THE SIGHT OF A BULGING ARTERY, AND I SEEM TO ATTRACT VAMPIRE HUNTERS, YOU THOUGHTLESS BASTARD!” she shoved him back and yelled “NOW FUCK OFF BEFORE I SHOVE A WOODEN INSTRUMENT THROUGH YOUR REDUNDANT HEART!”

 

He got to his feet and ran off.

 

She returned to the house.

 

“That’s the guy who did that to you?” he asked.

 

“Yep”

 

Suddenly a portal formed, and Illyria stepped through.

 

“Hey Illyria” greeted Jane.

 

Illyria looked around “this is not where I intended to go” she stated.

 

“Where were you headed?” asked Jane.

 

“I need to find Vahla Ha'nesh, my temple, so I can once again take command of my army” said Illyria.

 

“Okay, do you remember anything about your temples location? Which city it’s in or near?”

 

“None of your cities were around when I was in charge” said Illyria.

 

“Not even the Aztec cities?” asked Jane.

 

“No” said Illyria, after wondering what the Aztecs were.

 

“What time scale are we talking about anyway?” asked Jane.

 

“What do you measure time by?” asked Illyria.

 

“Seconds, minutes, hours, days, and years” said Jane.

 

“It is immaterial, the amount of time is vast. The only constraints are how long this planets host star will last”

 

“Hang on” Jane said, before heading off to find something.

 

Illyria turned to Trent and asked “Who are you?”

 

Trent Lane, I’m Janeys brother” said Trent.

 

“You are not a half breed like her” she stated.

 

“Half Breed?” asked Trent.

 

“A Vampire” clarified Illyria.

 

“Oh, no I’m not” said Trent.

 

Jane returned with a world atlas saying “I don’t know how useful this will be to you. Did you have cartographers, or the opportunity to view the planet from high orbit?”

 

“I can remember the planets terrain features from my time like I am looking at them now” she said.

 

Jane opened the book and found a full map of the world with two inset polar maps for the arctic and Antarctic regions.

 

“The continents have moved significantly since my time. The ocean you refer to as the Atlantic did not exist in my time” she said.

 

“Do you see anything that resembles the location of your temple?” asked Jane.

 

“Yes, I believe I do” said Illyria, she then made a portal and disappeared.

 

“You’re welcome” said Jane.

 

~-~

 

Quinn hung up again.

 

“Stacy’s still missing” said Quinn.

 

“Could Jane have killed her?” asked Sandi.

 

“We need to ask Daria that” said Quinn.

 

“How do we do that?” asked Sandi.

 

~-~

 

There was a knock on Daria’s door.

 

“Walk away” said Daria in response.

 

Quinn and Sandi entered.

 

“How do I get you two to leave?” asked Daria.

 

“Tell us what’s going on with Jane, she attacked Tiffany, and probably did something to Stacy” said Quinn.

 

Daria put down her book and looked up to the ceiling in consideration, then she got up and said “follow me”

 

~-~

 

There was a knock.

 

Trent answered, it was Daria, Daria's sister, and Daria's sisters friend.

 

“Is Jane in?” asked Daria.

 

“She’s up stairs in her room” said Trent.

 

They headed up.

 

The music Jane was playing seemed appropriate, Disturbeds ‘Awaken’

 

Daria knocked on the door.

 

“Yeah?” asked Jane.

 

Daria opened the door and lead the two fashion clubbers in.

 

Jane looked at them funny.

 

“I think we’re going to have to tell them” said Daria.

 

“Okay” Jane said, she then picked up a mirror and vamped out.

 

Sandi and Quinn freaked.

 

“I was turned into a vampire by my boyfriend” she held up the mirror at 45 degrees to their position and waved her hand next to it, showing them the complete lack of a reflection.

 

Jane unvamped and asked “Questions, comments?”

 

Erm, … how long have you been a vampire?” asked Quinn.

 

“Few days, why did you two need to know this anyway?” asked Jane.

 

“Tiffany and Stacy” said Sandi.

 

“Tiffany tried to kill me, and Stacy’s been possessed by a primordial god king, she’s looking for the temple of Valerie Hallie, … something, Has her army. Apparently, the Atlantic ocean didn’t exist in her day”

 

“I think we need to get back now, Mom’s still working on defending the mall against Wolfram and Hart over a mix up in deliveries: Wrong sarcophagus apparently, like there’s any difference”

 

“What would a mall want with a sarcophagus?” asked Daria.

 

“Some sort of Egypt theme” said Quinn.

 

Illyria said something about being in a sarcophagus, who was supposed to get the sarcophagus that ended up at the mall?” asked Daria.

 

“I dunno, just some client of Wolfram and Hart” said Quinn.

 

“The Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart?” everyone turned to see Illyria where she had just stepped through her portal.

 

“You know of them?” asked Daria.

 

“They were a feeble group in my day, what are they today?” asked Illyria.

 

“A law firm, … If they know where your sarcophagus was supposed to go, that might help you find your temple” said Jane.

 

Illyria made another portal and left.

 

“And the thing with Tiffany?” asked Sandi.

 

“I have no idea what her problem is, just keep her the fuck away from me, okay?” said Jane.

 

“Sure” said Sandi.

 

“Catch you later Jane” said Daria as they headed out.

 

They met Tiffany at the front door.

 

Tiffany pulled a crucifix and touched it against each girl and then said “leeeeeeaaaave”

 

“Sure, but you’re coming with, Tiff” said Daria, closing the door behind her.

 

“Iiiiiiii caaaaaaan’t, … I haaaaave aaaaaaaaa Jooooooob, … Iiiiiiiiii’m Aaaaaaaa Vaaaaampirrrrrrrre, … Slaaaaaaaayyyyyyyerrrrrrrrrr” she said.

 

“Tiffany, if you kill Jane, I’ll kill you slowly and painfully” said Daria.

 

“Sheeeeeeee’s alreaaaaaaaaaady, … Deaaaaaaad” she said.

 

“She’s alive enough for me, now fuck off” said Daria.

 

“Come on Tiffany” said Sandi, going to grab Tiffany, but Tiffany just shoved Sandi to one side. She did the same to Quinn, and Daria stepped to one side feigning submission. Then she grabbed Tiffany's head, using her eyeballs to force her head back, she then ran into the house and shouted “JANE! TIFFANY’S HERE! GET OUT OF THE BASEMENT NOW!”

 

Tiffany ran past Daria heading to the basement.

 

Jane appeared at the top of the stairs, she jumped over the handrail and left past Daria, she then ran off real fast.

 

Tiffany returned, she was starting to look irritated.

 

“Caaaaaaan’t yoooooooou seeeeeeeee thaaaaaaaat Jaaaaaaaane issssssss noooooooo loooooooongerrrrrrrrr therrrrrrrrrrrrre?”

 

“Tiffany, I don’t care what your job is, Jane is my friend, and YOU ARE NOT GOING TO KILL HER” said Daria.

 

“Yourrrrrrrrr shoooooooelaaaaaaaaace isssssssss untiiiiiiieeeeeeed” said Tiffany.

 

Daria stared at her in disbelief.

 

“Mellllllllllvin orrrrrrrrr traaaaaaaaactioooooooon” offered Tiffany.

 

Daria sighed, and bent over.

 

~-~

 

Jane eventually got to the Zen, public space, hopefully Tiffany won’t show.

 

She had pulled a number of course changes, her first course was 90 degrees off vector. That way, weather Tiffany was pointed in the correct or opposite direction, Jane’s actual destination will not be on Tiffany's search grid.

 

Then she had headed away, and turned back home, then she had ducked into a sewer (not the best smelling place without her ultra sensitive vampire nose). She had emerged beyond the Zen, and finally entered the Zen.

 

She headed to the pay phone.

 

~-~

 

Daria entered her room, barely able to walk.

 

She slowly sat down, then the phone started ringing.

 

She slowly moved towards her phone.

 

~-~

 

Jane was about to hang up when Daria finally answered “Morgendorffer residence”

 

“Daria? You sound like Brittany

 

“That’s because, in retaliation for saving your ass, I just got mine Melvined by Tiffany, damn near gave my cunt a Chelsea smile” said Daria.

 

“Ouch” winced Jane.

 

“Yeah, next time she gives me that choice, I think I’ll take massive skeletal fractures. I don’t think it’s going to be safe for you to contact me or your immediate family for the foreseeable future, you should also find a Place to hide out that I wouldn’t think of” said Daria.

 

~-~

 

Winifred logged off of her computer and stood up only to nearly collide with some demon girl with pigtails “D-AAH!”

 

“You work for the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart?” the demon girl asked.

 

“Errph, yeah, I head the science department” said Winifred, a lot scared of the short demon girl before her.

 

“You will help me find the temple of Vahla Ha’nesh” said the demon girl.

 

The, … What???” asked Winifred.

 

“Excuse me, Illyria?”

 

The girl turned to Knox, who was standing in the doorway to the main lab.

 

“You know my name” ‘Illyria’ answered.

 

“I am your Qwa'ha Xahn, you’re looking for Vahla Ha’nesh?” he said.

 

“I am” Illyria said.

 

“Right this way” said Knox.

 

About five minutes after they left, it occurred to Winifred that she needed to talk to Angel about this. She picked up the phone and managed to dial his office in spite of her adrenaline impaired dexterity.

 

~-~

 

Daria heard another knock on her door.

 

“Yeah?”

 

Tiffany entered.

 

“Now what?”

 

“Yoooou willllllllllll helllllllllllp meeeeee fiiiiiiiiiind Jaaaaaaaaane”

 

Daria got this eerie ‘inner peace’ look on her face, then she said “ … No, I won’t”

 

~-~

 

“MY ARMY! … MY KINGDOM! … It’s gone” Illyria fell to her knees in front of the remains of the statue in front of her.

 

Erm, … I don’t know what to say” said Knox, kind of embarrassed. This was not something he could have foreseen. Or prevented, it looked like this place had been in this condition since long before he was born.

 

He stood there, hoping that by standing perfectly still and not intruding in Illyrias personal space, he would not be beaten into a pink sludge by his god king, who was very understandably pained over the loss of her army.

 

Illyria shuddered and then stood up.

 

“Come, Knox” she said.

 

“Yes boss” he said, he followed her through the portal.

 

~-~

 

“This is it?” asked Faith, gesturing at the house. For some reason another potential had gone undetected here, but since the watcher and the other slayer had both been killed by the bringers, that was probably a good thing.

 

“Yup” said Willow.

 

“Okay, how do we-” started Faith, but willow interrupted “A space time distortion just occurred in the Slayers room”

 

~-~

 

Staaaaaaaaacccccccyyyyyyyy?” asked Tiffany, not moving off of Daria, whose right leg was folded in Tiffany's scissor lock. Daria's hands were pinned against her neck, and Tiffany was poking Daria’s legs and groin with the insides of a broken light bulb that was still in its lamp.

 

“Incorrect, I am Illyria, God king of the primordium, I need to know what Daria did to me” answered Illyria.

 

Iiiiiiiiii’lllllllll beeeeeeeeee doooooooooone, … Wiiiiiiiiith herrrrrrrrr sooooooooon” said Tiffany, as she produced a CS spray, an a Stanley knife.

 

Illyria approached Tiffany and Daria, watching in cold curiosity as Tiffany exposed Daria's torso and starts cutting a number of short shallow slits.

 

Daria's struggles increased in intensity as she felt the blade slice her skin, then even more as Tiffany lifted the CS spray into view.

 

The door opened, and two women entered, a short redhead and a tall brunette.

 

“Whoa, Will?” the brunette said.

 

The redhead chanted something and Tiffany was pulled off of Daria.

 

Daria sat up and was headed to the door when Illyria, after picking up the knife and the CS can, grabbed her by her hair and lifted her to her toes, and started picking up where Tiffany left off, reaching under Daria's tee shirt with the CS can.

 

The redhead chanted some more as Daria cried out in pain.

 

No effect.

 

The redhead looked at the brunette, who promptly stepped up to Illyria and threw a punch, which never made contact, because Illyria slowed time and made a portal for herself, Daria, and Knox.

 

~-~

 

“She’s the slayer” said Willow.

 

Whooooooo Arrrrrrrrrre Yooooooooou?” asked the Asian girl.

 

“I’m Faith, I’m a vampire slayer, this is Willow, she’s a witch, we’re from the watchers council. We detected a Vampire slayer here, you’re not insane are you?” asked Faith.

 

Nooooooo, … Sssssssshe wasssssss aiiiiiiidiiiiinnnng, … Aaaaaaaaa vaaaaaampiiiiiiiire

 

“Ah, right, anyway, we’re here to make contact with any slayers we detect, since all potential slayers got activated just under a year ago” said Faith.

 

Faith knew from experience that those on the front line built up experience those back at base didn’t, so she was willing to defer to the judgement of the slayers she encountered on some matters.

 

“They’re no longer on this plane” said Willow.

 

Okay, … what’s your name?” asked Faith.

 

“Tiiiifffffffaaaaany Bluuuuuuum Deeeeeecklerrrrrrrr” Tiffany said, standing up.

 

“Tiffany? You were, … You and your watcher have been out of contact for two years now, where have you been?” asked Faith.

 

Myyyy waaaaaatcher wassssssssturrrrrrned intooooo aaaaaavaaaaaampiiiiiire, … Iiiiiiii wasssssss … … ” Tiffany's face took on a look of ‘I really don’t want to go into this’

 

“Okay, we’ll come back to that later, what about this vampire you’re after?” asked Faith.

 

Jaaaaane Laaaaaane, … Sheeeeee’s Daaaaaaariaaaaaaaas weeeeeeeeiiiiiirrrrrd, … arrrrrrrrt frieeeeeeeend

 

Faith looked at Willow and gestured for her to speed up Tiffany's dictation.

 

Willow said a magic word and Faith asked her “where are her usual haunts?”

 

~-~

 

After the front door closed, Quinn and Sandi emerged from Quinns room and looked around.

 

“We’re alone, right?” said Sandi.

 

“Sounds like” said Quinn.

 

They had heard some of the conversation that had happened. One of the visitors was called Faith, the other was called Willow, and vampire slayers and witches apparently existed in quantity, and Tiffany had a ‘watcher’ who had been turned into a vampire.

 

~-~

 

ILLYRIA, I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHY I’D HAVE PREVIOUSLY WANTED TO HURT YOU, LET ALONE HOW!” said Daria, now wishing she could hurt this insane … thing.

 

After continuing the cut and spray technique Tiffany had been doing, Illyria had spent some time punching Daria into the air and catching her (slowing down time to achieve this). She was now on her back, holding Daria by her armpits above her, her knees clamped on Daria's hips, and was acting as a rack. Daria just could not shift Illyrias hands or knees off her body, it was like she was being stretched and bent by that loading mech off of aliens. Illyria had kept taking her to the point where she thought her vertebrae would separate, but not quite.

 

“She really doesn’t know of any plot against me” stated Illyria, confident her tried and tested torture would have compelled a confession detailing the plot if she knew.

 

“What about that witch we saw?” asked Knox.

 

Illyria released Daria's body and sat up, lifting Daria by the neck before opening a portal and heading through, Knox following quickly.

 

~-~

 

Faith and Willow entered the room with Tiffany, who, after some short conversation, they figured was sane, if prone to tunnel vision when it came to Jane of the dead.

 

But since they had no idea where to find Illyria and Daria, they decided that they might as well indulge Tiffany's obsession for now.

 

“Yeah, I think this is it” said Tiffany at an accelerated rate. Her voice had increased in pitch due to the Doppler effect, the spell affecting her timeframe, not her neurological clock frequency (apparently magics affecting space time were safer than magics affecting physiology).

 

“Okay, we getting anything useful?” asked faith.

 

Suddenly Willow was replaced with Daria, who promptly collapsed, her tee shirt was stained maroon in a lot of places.

 

Faith and Tiffany looked at each other, than Faith picked up Daria by her jacket.

 

“What’s going on?” asked Faith, looking extremely annoyed.

 

Illyria’s interrogating anyone she suspects of involvement in her ill health, she keeps experiencing extreme pain. … She said ‘you will not succeed’ after one episode, like she saw me attempt something in the future, but I have no idea what” said Daria.

 

“Okay, just to make myself clear, Willow is a very close and dear friend, so if you’re holding anything back-” Faith started.

 

But was cut off by Daria saying “FOR YOUR INFORMATION, I AM TELLING YOU THIS BECAUSE SHORT BLUE WMD IS LIKELY TO BECOME EVERYONE’S PROBLEM VERY SOON, AND YOU GIVE THE IMPRESSION OF BEING THE ONLY HOPE ANYONE HAS OF SEEING THAT PROBLEM SOLVED” adding in thought ‘or at the very least it would keep you two psychos the fuck away from me’

 

Tiffany then grabbed both of Daria's hands and started bending the middle three fingers of each backwards.

 

“AND I AM NOT TELLING YOU ANYTHING ABOUT THE LIKELY WHEREABOUTS OF MY CLOSE AND DEAR FRIEND, YOU GOT THAT, TIFFANY?”

 

Tiffany pushed until a crunching noise ensued, and Faith eventually calmed down and said “alright, knock it off, we need to phone the council immediately”

 

They dropped Daria right there and walked off, but then Faith stopped and said “Jane Lane died when she was turned, her soul is gone. The thing that is walking around looking like her is just some demon that set up shop in her body. If you want to do Jane a favour, you will destroy or help us destroy the thing that’s walking around looking like her”

 

They then continued off.

 

Daria didn’t feel like moving right now, or getting into a conversation with the slayers about the status of Jane's soul, seeing as it would probably keep them from being somewhere else.

 

~-~

 

Aww come on, you’re not going to try to tell me an independent pure demon is someone elses problem only, are you?” said Angel.

 

“I’m not saying it isn’t our problem too, but I can’t take the chance that your side will profit from a joint venture” replied Rupert.

 

Exasperated, Angel said “Not this again, WE’RE, NOT, EVIL, for the infinityith time”

 

“Well, we have all the information there is on the old ones, you may also have as good intelligence, but I’m afraid that while you are with Wolfram and Hart, your motives have to remain in question, and any co-operation with your side is not going to happen, I’m sorry, but that’s all we have to say on the issue” said Rupert.

 

“Fine, whatever, fuck you and good bye” said Angel, before throwing another cell phone at the wall.

 

“What is it you’re lecturing me about courtesy and respect?” taunted Spike.

 

“We may have another problem” said Winifred.

 

“Good, no such thing as too many problems, what do we have to be afraid of now?” asked Angel.

 

“When I returned to my desk, I found the radiation badge, which I clearly remember was almost clear, was now indicating a hazardous radiation dose. The only unusual thing that happened in my office was the appearance of Illyria, I get the impression that the marriage of her demon essence to the human shell she has taken is not a happy one. And given her abilities to alter the flow of time and hop dimensions at will, the energy required for that is the kind of energy you would expect to draw from the kind of astronomical phenomena-”

 

“In conclusion” said Angel, breaking off Winifreds explanation.

 

“She’s headed for a warp core breech, or the equivalent energy of, imagine the Soviet super bomb multiplied 20 times-” started Winifred.

 

But Wesley stepped in with “imagine a crater so big, you can spot it from the moon without having to so much as squint”, to which Winifred just nodded.

 

There was a long silence, then Angel asked “so now what?”

 

“Well, we have the technology, but we have no way to get it to Illyria” Winifred picked up the case she had with her and opened it, pulling this giant, shiny gun.

 

Angel leaned forward and said “excuse my ignorance, but I always thought that shooting the loudest bomb ever conceived was a bad idea”

 

“This won’t throw energy at a target, it’ll drain it. It will create a portal to another dimension for the blast to vent, like the blowholes on a tanks magazine” said Winifred.

 

“Don’t we need a line of sight on her?” asked Angel.

 

“Yes, we do” said Winifred “that’s the problem, we don’t know where Illyria is likely to go”

 

“We might be able to match her speed now” said Wesley, he got up and produced a crystal he had removed from the sarcophagus.

 

“But how do we locate her?” asked Angel.

 

“We have a satellite constellation that can detect ionizing radiation, if she appears anywhere on earth, we’ll know where” said Winifred, but she was suddenly replaced with willow, who was covered in bruises and her legs were twisted at angles that looked wrong for a human skeleton, she collapsed, the ray gun in her arms.

 

WILLOW?” asked Wesley.

 

Willow lifted her head and said “I, … ” before breaking down into tears.

 

Wesley suddenly got a horrible feeling about how Illyria might be treating Winifred right now.

 

~-~

 

Sandi and Quinn heard the front door open, they ducked behind the sofa.

 

“HELLO?” called Daria.

 

Quinn popped her head up and watched Daria limp into the house, her face contorted in rage.

 

“Daria, what happened to you?” she asked.

 

“Quinn, no offence, but your friends are FUCKING PSYCHOS!!! … .Actually, I’m sorry, I got that wrong, I retract the ‘no offence’ statement, YOUR FRIENDS ARE THE MOST DEPRAVED FUCKING SADISTS I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED!” said Daria, accurately imitating the growl of a wounded mountain lion.

 

Sandi popped up from behind the sofa.

 

“You fucking come near me, Sandi, and no piece of you will be big enough for a worm to have to chew” said Daria, as she limped up the stairs to her room.

 

Quinn and Sandi looked at each other for a few seconds.

 

Eventually Quinn said “I should check in on her”

 

Sandi nodded and headed to the kitchen while Quinn headed upstairs.

 

~-~

 

Quinn knocked on Daria's door.

 

“FUCK OFF!!!” Daria’s cry was so distorted, Quinn shuddered.

 

“Daria, I just want to check to see if you’re okay”

 

She quietly listened to Daria's snarls, then Daria responded “well, let’s recap my fun experiences with the fashion club I have had tonight. First, Tiffany GARROTTES MY SLIT WITH my own FUCKING UNDERWEAR. Then, she uses a TABLE LAMP AS A FUCKING CATTLE PROD. … Then, STACY, OR ILLYRIA as she goes by these days, CUTS ME TO RIBBONS, AND BATS ME AROUND LIKE A FUCKING VOLLEYBALL, and ALMOST PULLS ME IN HALF LIKE A WORM… Round that off with Tiffany breaking my fingers, and you can understand why I don’t want to see, hear, or PERCIEVE THE FASHION CLUB IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM, FOR THE NEXT ETERNITY! so FUCK OFF!!!”

 

Quinn hesitated for a few minutes, then asked “shouldn’t you see a doctor for those injuries?”

 

The door opened, and Daria emerged, she grabbed Quinn by the throat, shoved her against the wall next to the window and shoved her up off her feet saying “Take, a fucking, hint: When I tell you to fuck off, that’s what you do immediately, unless you want me to tear you apart like a bug, GOT IT?”

 

Quinn tried to nod.

 

“NOD HARDER!”

 

Quinn frantically obeyed, her face turning red.

 

Daria released her grip on Quinns throat, and shoved her along the hallway, punching her in one of her kidneys hard, before returning to her room.

 

~-~

 

Faith answered the phone “Hello?”

 

“Faith?”

 

WILLOW!” shouted faith “Where are you?”

 

“Wolfram and Hart, we got a serious problem, I’m gonna put you onto Wesley, he’ll explain”

 

Willow, hang on” said Faith.

 

“Faith, that demon with the blue skin and hair you saw earlier is Illyria, an ancient demon who entered a girl in parasite form. But her fusion with that girl went wrong, and she’s going to explode with a yield of around 500 teratons, it’ll make a crater with the land area of half the US. Now, Willow is going to teleport you the equipment to deal with her, that will include some instructions, the next time Illyria appears here, we’ll send her to you, understand?”

 

Faith thought about this, and said “put me onto Willow

 

“Faith?” asked Willow.

 

“That stuff he said, that straight up?” asked Faith.

 

“Yes, I’m afraid it is, are you ready to receive the equipment?” asked Willow.

 

“Fine, send it to us” said Faith.

 

The equipment (some kind of ray gun, a Geiger counter, a gemstone, and some folded sheets of paper) appeared at Faiths feet.

 

“Right, got a Geiger counter, a futuristic looking arm canon, a gem stone, and some notes” said Faith as she looked through everything.

 

“Right, read the notes, they’ll explain what to do” said Willow.

 

~-~

 

After reading the notes, Faith took the crystal and concentrated.

 

Her body felt like it was extremely stiff.

 

She stopped and read the notes again.

 

She tried the crystal again, and she conked out.

 

~-~

 

“Are you alright?” asked Tiffany.

 

Faith sat up and instantly regretted it as her head felt like it had been hit with an RPG17 “ahhhhh, fffffffuck1 … We are going to need some serious help T, know any witches?”

 

No, … Wait, there’s this brain, Quinns sister Daria” said Tiffany.

 

Faith got to her feet “Daria who?”

 

“Daria Morgendorffer” said Tiffany.

 

Faith felt another headache coming on, this one was down to stress “As in, the same Daria Morgendorffer we were torturing just now?” she asked.

 

“Yes, that Dar- … … err, … oh. … Do you think she might be mad about the torture?” asked Tiffany.

 

Faith pocketed the crystal and the notes, and picked up the ray gun and the Geiger counter, thinking about how her part, trivial as it was, would make Daria lump her with Illyria and Tiffany on her threat board, and how she was having such enormous trouble getting the balance right. Last time she was too squeamish to torture right, now she was too ready to participate in the torture of possible enemy agents. “Well, I don’t see a choice.” She glanced at her watch and said “come on, sooner we get there, sooner we get done grovelling, the better our chances of saving the world.”

 

~-~

 

“I’ve never seen her like that” said Quinn, massaging her bruised throat.

 

“What, antisocial?” asked Sandi.

 

“That was more than antisocial, she was snarling and growling like a trapped animal” said Quinn.

 

There was a knock on the door.

 

Quinn answered. It was Tiffany and Faith, Tiffany seemed to be moving faster, Faith was carrying some strange weapon, a rock of some kind, and an electronic box.

 

“Tiffany, I do not want to see you any more, and you, … ”

 

“I’m sorry about what happened, but-” Faith started.

 

But Quinn interrupted “I don’t care what either of you have to say. Tiffany and Stacy, they, … th- … and YOU, YOU COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING TO STOP THEM, YOU’RE ALSO SUPPOSED TO BE A SLAYER, … you, … have you seen, … ” Quinn was having trouble finding words that can communicate what she saw.

 

Faith and Tiffany looked at Quinn with a sense of embarrassment.

 

Faith finally said “we need Daria's help, Tiffany says she’s smart, the fate of the world depends on her, not meaning to sound melodramatic, but it does” Faith was no astrophysicist, but she imagined the explosion described would knock earth out of its normal orbit.

 

Quinn thought for a second, then said “alright, wait in the dining room, I’ll go get her”

 

Faith and Tiffany entered the dining room and sat next to Sandi.

 

They didn’t say anything to each other.

 

They eventually heard the front door open and close.

 

“Aw hell” said Faith, getting up and running to the door. She got to it just in time to see the car leave, Quinn at the wheel, Daria in the passenger seat.

 

Faith ran after the car as Tiffany got to the front door.

 

She then turned when she heard a whine behind her, it was Sandi with the ray gun.

 

“I don’t want you near me you twisted freak, what you did to Quinns sister is well beyond behaviour unbecoming of a fashion club officer-”

 

“Sandi, I’m sorry, I was just doing my job. I had to find out all I could about the Vampire Daria was protecting, and Faith was being straight up about the fate of the world thing”

 

“You’re not a person, Tiffany, not if you can do that to someone. You’re a thing, an evil, worthless, thing, and you have 5 seconds to get out of my sight”

 

Tiffany sighed, and then left at speed, looking like someone in a Benny Hill sketch.

 

~-~

 

They got to the high school.

 

“Quinn, drive around, lead Faith as far away as you can. Do not hesitate to tell her where you dropped me when captured, by then, I should have some traps set” said Daria.

 

Quinn nodded and drove off, Daria entered the school to prepare her surprises.

 

~-~

 

Illyria entered the lab and dropped Winifred on the floor as she examined it.

 

“One of the STONES HAS BEEN REMOVED” she observed.

 

“Fred?” asked Knox.

 

Winifred was curled up on the floor, her breathing was raspy, her ribcage fractured in numerous places where Illyria had squeezed it with her hands.

 

“I’m not telling you anything, you sick twisted animals!” hissed Winifred.

 

“I will” said Wesley, entering the lab, “the gem is in Lawndale

 

Illyria looked at Wesley, then created a portal, Knox followed.

 

Wesley waved through the medics, who started examining Winifred, preparing to move her to WR&Hs infirmary.

 

“Are they ready?” asked Winifred.

 

“They’d better be” said Wesley.

 

~-~

 

Sandi examined the crystal that had come with the ray gun, the other device was clicking occasionally, one of those radiation detector thingies.

 

The clicks suddenly increased in frequency.

 

Sandi picked it up, she moved it around and got a vector, something was walking along the street, she pocketed the crystal and headed out the back.

 

~-~

 

Daria finished the grenade casings (freezer bags and ductape wrapped around the charge) and started to assemble the now dry blasting caps into them. The caps consisting of 10mm test tubes filled with mercury fulminate and a quantity of diluted and corned blasting powder. The 2kg charge (she wasn’t fucking about with shrapnel, the coverage beyond the blast radius just sucks) consisted of mostly AP and RDX (~30/70) plus some kerosene to displace the air and add a little fuel for the AP. There was an additional blister of mercury fulminate on the top of the cap in order ignite the fuse, Daria had managed to find some thin strips of spring steel in the metal shop, that with a bolt taped to the back of it formed the striker. Not the absolute safest of devices, but it should do. She knew it should kill the slayers, but she imagined possibly having to find something else to use on Stacy/Illyria if she decided to join the party.

 

~-~

 

Tiffany met Faith outside Lawndale high.

 

“Quinn dropped Daria off here” said Faith.

 

“Sandi has the ray gun, threatened to shoot me if I didn’t leave” said Tiffany.

 

“Yeah, can’t say I blame her, I can’t say I’m entirely pure when it comes to that sin though” said Faith.

 

“How will we get Daria to help us?” asked Tiffany?

 

“I don’t think you’re going to be able to, and Quinn 'fessed up to dropping Daria here a little too easily, I get the impression Daria may be setting a trap” said Faith.

 

“This is not good” said Tiffany.

 

“Agreed” Faith gave Tiffany her cell phone “call the council, either Rupert or Andr- … Kennedy, update them of the situation, I’ll see if I can get to Daria”

 

Faith headed into the school.

 

~-~

 

Quinn was headed back to base when she encountered Sandi at a junction with the gun and the electronic device.

 

Sandi got on board and said “Drive back the way you came”

 

Quinn did as instructed.

 

“There’s a radioactive thing following us, I don’t know what to make of it” said Sandi.

 

“Daria might, … I think I might have been wrong to distrust Faith” said Quinn.

 

“No you weren’t, anyone capable of that kind of cruelty should not be trusted as far as Upchuck could throw them” said Sandi.

 

~-~

 

“DARIA? … LOOK, I’M SORRY FOR WHAT TIFFANY DID, AND I’M SORRY IF I FAILED TO STOP HER, BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP” Faith moved silently, listening for any movement, wondering how she was ever going to make this right and hoping Daria was crap at traps.

 

She heard footsteps from a corridor to the right.

 

“DARIA?” Faith headed to the source of the footprints.

 

She slowly approached the open door.

 

“I KNOW YOU WANT TO HURT ME, BUT YOU HAVE TO AT LEAST PUT THAT OFF, IF WE LIVE THROUGH THIS, I’LL LET YOU-” she heard a loud pop behind her, she saw a ball bounce off the left wall behind her, it had a luminescent part which was smoking.

 

She ran into the classroom and hit the floor.

 

The wall next to her was severely cracked by the explosion, and she felt the shock enter her hands, knees, toes and elbows from the floor ‘Jesus, that was loud’ she thought.

 

Faith got up and looked around, she saw a radio on the desk.

 

Daria must have some sort of- another pop sounded, she heard something roll into the room. Faith took a second to locate it, then she jumped towards the teachers desk. Four metres away was not too far for a slayer to jump, but she was still airborne when she felt the bone jarring explosion (the fact she had been involved in a bigger blast, around 200kg of composition 4 from 8 metres away, didn’t help at all, the shock still fucked with her head). She forgot what she was doing temporarily and collided with the skirting unprepared for the landing, she landed in a crumpled heap.

 

She looked up and saw Daria'standing there with another grenade.

 

Faith reached out for the teachers chair with her foot and rolled onto her back, she kicked it at Daria.

 

The chair struck Daria as she was winding to throw the grenade. Daria dropped the grenade, it ignited, Daria glanced at the device, then ran the only direction she knew would save her ass, into the room with Faith. She dived in front of the desk and the third device detonated.

 

Faith was over the desk before Daria could even think to grab another grenade. She pinned Daria's hands to the floor, she looked into Daria’s eyes.

 

“I’m not here to hurt you, … I need your help, … I’m sorry for what happened, … … please, if you don’t help us, a lot of cities will be vaporised, … nobody will hurt you, … … I’m going to release you now.”

 

Faith got to her feet, and released Daria's hands, she then stepped away.

 

Daria slowly got up, not touching the sling full of Junk Heap Wars grenades she still had with her.

 

Faith got a folded sheet of paper out of her pocket “This is supposed to explain it” she handed it to Daria.

 

Daria got out a pen sized flashlight and read it.

 

Eventually Daria asked “where’s the crystal?”

 

“Sandi has it, we don’t have much time, as soon as Illyria shows up at Wolfram and Hart-”

 

“Our time is up” interrupted Tiffany.

 

Daria glared at her and said “Tiffany, I have a present for you”, she patted her grenade sling.

 

“I’m sorry, I was-” “Only following orders? Doesn’t cut it, Tiffany, but we can pick this up later, Faith?”

 

Faith took point, Daria followed, and Tiffany took the tail.

 

“Wow, Dar, those are some decent craters” observed Faith as they left the class room.

 

“You’d be surprised how easy it is to manufacture RDX” said Daria.

 

They met Quinn and Sandi at the main entrance.

 

Sandi handed over all three items to Faith. Daria got out a roll of ductape and attached the Geiger counter to the ray gun (a Mutari generator). She then got the crystal and examined it.

 

She then vanished.

 

“Where’d she go?” asked Sandi.

 

Faith pointed at Sandis 4o’clock position, where Daria was walking towards her.

 

“Okay, looks like we’re ready” said Daria.

 

She then vanished again.

 

~-~

 

In Daria’s time frame, the rest of the world was extremely slow, she swept the muzzle around as she tried to acquire Illyria.

 

Illyria approached, Daria remained still as Illyria entered LOS.

 

She couldn’t let Illyria figure it out until she was too far from cover.

 

Suddenly, she started doubling over in pain.

 

~-~

 

Sandi, Quinn, Faith and Tiffany looked over to where Illyria was heaving, and glowing from cracks in her skin.

 

“Err, DARIA?” called Faith “DARIA!!!”

 

There was suddenly a horizontal lightning bolt connecting Illyria to Daria, who had appeared somewhere off to the side.

 

Eventually the plasma stream disappeared and Illyria was face down on the ground.

 

“Sorry about the delay, it took a second to realise that the Mutari generator was inoperable in an accelerated time frame” said Daria.

 

Knox appeared from behind a tree.

 

Then he ran off.

 

Daria approached Illyria, keeping the Mutari generator pointed at Illyria.

 

Illyria moved, Daria stopped.

 

What, … What have you done to me?” asked Illyria, looking at Daria.

 

“You still alive?” asked Daria.

 

Illyria got to her knees and waved her arms around.

 

“I can not slow time, … … I can not open portals, … … I can not hear the song of the green” she glared at Daria “WHAT DID YOU DO?”

 

Daria examined the Mutari generator and said “looks like I saved your ass, … maybe I can now restrain you and reduce you to a toy, does that sound like fun, Illyria?” asked Daria.

 

“You’re not strong enough to hold me, not even all of you together” she got to her feet, and approached Daria.

 

Daria pulled another grenade, and pulled the striker back and said “does this mean I get to kill you?”

 

“STOP!” yelled Faith.

 

Illyria stopped, Daria froze.

 

“Daria, safe that grenade” said Faith.

 

Daria reluctantly returned the striker to its safe position and placed the device back in the sling.

 

A van then entered the car park and a number of people in boiler suits got out carrying tool kits and armloads of various cleaning agents. They headed to the school, the driver got out and approached the group. The man was a sharp dressed and groomed man, but looked diamond hard.

 

“Hi, I’m Marcus Hamilton, I’m with Wolfram and Hart. We’re just hear to clean things up, so no one gets indicted for any kind of crime. Miss Morgendorffer, I’ll need those grenades”

 

Daria shrugged and handed him the sling.

 

“Thank you” he took the sling to the van and placed it inside.

 

He then returned to the group.

 

“I would just like to forward the senior partners gratitude to you all for a job well done. If any of you decide to go into law, research, or even run of the mill security, you will be welcome to wolfram and hart, we can always use skilled persons such as yourselves”

 

“Thanks” said Faith, rather sarcastically.

 

“We could even get your criminal record cleared, Faith”

 

“Really? I’ll get back to you with an answer some time” said Faith, obviously having no intention of following through with her promise.

 

“I’m sure you will” Marcus walked off to the school.

 

The group walked off, leaving the cleaners to work and Illyria to mope.

 

~-~

 

Faith and Tiffany waited for their pizza to arrive, then Faiths phone rang.

 

Tiffany handed it back to Faith, who answered it “Yo”

 

“Giles here, I thought you’d like to know that Willow has returned to base safe and sound, if a little bruised”

 

“Okay, good to hear that” said Faith.

 

“What about Tiffany?” he asked?

 

“Yeah, I’m with her now” said Faith.

 

“Can I speak to her?” asked Giles.

 

“Okay” she handed the phone to Tiffany saying “Giles wants to talk to you”

 

“Hi” said Tiffany.

 

“Hello Tiffany, good to finally talk to you”

 

“Yeah” said Tiffany.

 

“How long have you been slaying Vampires?” asked Giles.

 

“Some time now” replied Tiffany.

 

“Must have been hard on your own” said Giles.

 

“Yeah, especially when it’s someone you know” said Tiffany.

 

“Quite, anyway, I’ll look forward to meeting you, can I talk to Faith again?” said Giles.

 

“Okay” Tiffany handed the phone back.

 

“I just want to say again, good work, and I’ll see you at Heathrow” said Giles.

 

“Yeah, alright, see you then” she hung up.

 

Willow’s okay, she’s back at base” said Faith.

 

“Good” Tiffany said, she looked depressed.

 

“What’s up T?” asked Faith.

 

“When I tortured Daria, I honestly thought I was doing the right thing” said Tiffany.

 

Faith shrugged “I once tortured Wesley, in order to piss Angel off, you actually got he high ground compared to me”

 

“Daria was just being loyal to her friend” said Tiffany.

 

“Daria doesn’t realise that her friends soul has gone bye-bye, she needs waking up” said Faith.

 

“I didn’t do a good job with that, did I?” asked Tiffany.

 

No, … I can’t fully support what you did, the circumstances didn’t call for it. There are other vamps you could have been mopping up, but I can’t deny that torture sometimes produces results, y’know?” said Faith, thinking back to when Wesley busted her out of prison to help him re-soul Angel. She had trouble using torture in an interrogation in front of him, he had to take over. She was glad he was over what she had done to him, even though his forgiveness felt undeserved.

 

~-~

 

Daria, Quinn and Sandi watched the news in the Morgendorffer living room.

 

Apparently an unknown group of hooligans had broken in and started chucking firecrackers about the place.

 

“Must have done a good job disguising the cracks” said Daria.

 

“Might have been a little more difficult to disguise a 2000km crater” said Sandi.

 

“Sorry about that shit I said earlier” said Daria.

 

“We rarely interact, and you were abused by two members of the fashion club, I understand the perception” said Sandi.

 

“I was lashing out at convenient targets. I choked my sister, and attacked her for being concerned” said Daria.

 

“Like Sandi said, pain makes you pickle happy” said Quinn.

 

“I just wish I could still interact with Jane. I mean, it’s really fucked she has to avoid me now in order to avoid getting staked”

 

~-~

 

“Okay, you want a north facing room, you’re going to have to share” said the land lord.

 

“Fair enough.” said Jane.

 

“And I expect you to pay the rent on time.” continued the landlord.

 

“Shouldn’t be a problem most of the time.” sad Jane.

 

“And that other some of the time?” he asked.

 

“How long have you been a landlord?” asked Jane.

 

“Couple of weeks.” he said.

 

“Okay, like I said, I don’t anticipate problems with payment of the rent, but if they do occur, I would hope I could count on some understanding while I sort it out.” said Jane.

 

“Whatever, first month up front.” he said.

 

Jane handed over the first months rent, and he gave her the key.

 

~-~

 

Jane knocked.

 

“Some, one’s at, the door” came a singsong voice with a strong London accent.

 

‘Aww hell’ thought Jane, before saying “I’m your new flat mate, is it okay for me to enter?” asked Jane.

 

“Come, come, park your pretty bum” the singsong voice continued.

 

Jane opened the door, and entered, she found her flatmate a dark haired 20ish female who resembled the lead singer from Evanescence, only with fangs.

 

And she had a dead body she was feeding off of.

 

Jane closed the door behind her, thinking ‘ho-boy’ “I’m Jane Lane” she extended her hand for a handshake.

 

The woman took Jane's hand and examined it and said “You’re a vampire, but you’re new, you don’t like to do evil do you?”

 

‘Double ho-boy’ she thought, saying “I guess not, what’s your name?”

 

“You’re shackled with a soul, but I will cure you of that”

 

‘This is getting seriously creepy’ thought Jane.

 

~-~

 

End.