"Wow, this place looks… Orwellian," Tom's eyes widened.
He had just pulled up in front of Highland High and to the surprise of all three Lawndale residents, Highland had been transformed from a seemingly impoverished small town school to a more modern institution. The trash that usually littered the grass was gone and there were various security guards patrolling the building.
"This must be Angela Li's idea of Heaven," remarked Daria. "Highland High sure has changed."
"Do they have a good football program?" asked Kevin out of curiosity.
"Why do you ask?" Daria looked askance at Kevin. "Planning on a sixth year of high school?"
"Hey, a winning team's a winning team, right?" Kevin smiled sheepishly.
"Well, sorry to disappoint you, Kevin," Daria pointed out. "But as I recall, my old high school only had one star athlete and he was never quite the same again after Beavis kicked him in the nuts during a wrestling match."
"Aww man," Kevin looked down in disappointment at the sad state of physical affairs for Daria's former school.
"So, do we just go in?" asked Tom.
"Guess we don't have a choice," Daria sighed. "C'mon."
After Tom parked, the three got out and headed towards the main entrance.
"Who are you guys?" asked one of the security guards in front of the metal detectors. "You don't look old enough to be parents. And I don't ever recall seeing your faces in the student body…"
At that moment, Daria mentally kicked herself for not having a plan for infiltration. Then again, the long drive from Lawndale to Highland did tire her out and during most of the trip she had been lost in thought over Ted and her family's safety.
"We're, uh, here to see some of our friends," Daria told him.
"School doesn't close until two hours from now," the guard told her. "Unless you show me some proper ID, you don't get in here and you don't take any Highland students out."
At that moment, Daria decided that the best course of action would be to beat a hasty retreat. After all, she didn't want these guards to figure out who she was by showing them a driver's license.
"We'll, uh, be on our way," Daria turned around.
She could feel the guard's eyes bearing into her as she walked away with Tom and Kevin.
As soon as Daria was gone, the security guard took out his radio to contact the head of security for Highland High.
"Lieutenant Powers," said the guard. "Subject Daria Morgendorffer has been spotted."
"Ugh, I don't believe it," Daria sighed. "Should've known better than to just waltz on in."
"Well look," Tom tried to reassure her. "We're all tired from the long trip and we didn't get much to eat this morning. Of course we can get sloppy."
Now, all three of them were sitting in Burger World and within a few minutes, their order arrived.
Tom picked up his burger and bit in.
"It's not exactly brain food," Tom savored his meal. "But it'll do."
Daria and Kevin also unwrapped their burgers and began eating.
Soon, Daria felt the energy coming back to her body after her meal.
"We should've just stopped here first," Daria admitted. "Can't save the world on an empty stomach after all."
As the gang continued eating, Daria noticed a couple walking into Burger World who looked somewhat familiar to her.
The boyfriend had blonde hair and a black t-shirt reminiscent of a certain student she knew as a freshman. Except he was more fully grown up now with a more athletic build. The girl linking arms with him, however, Daria recognized much more easily.
"I think I know those two," Daria put down her milkshake.
After the couple was done ordering their meals, they turned around and saw Daria. After staring at her, they too recognized an old classmate.
"Daria, is that you?" asked Stewart Stevenson.
"Uh, Stewart," Daria said sheepishly. "You've grown. And is that Cassandra you're with?"
"It is indeed," Cassandra smiled warmly.
"Yeah, the two of us started going out in our senior year," Stewart admitted. "We attend the same local technical college together."
"Please, have a seat," Tom offered as he scooted back, as did Kevin and Daria.
"It's good to see you again, Daria," Cassandra told her. "So what brings you back to Highland?"
"Well, you wouldn't believe me if I told you," Daria sighed.
Cassandra and Stewart looked at each other and then back at Daria.
"Family visit?" Stewart ventured a guess.
"Nope," Daria confessed. "I'm here to see Beavis and Butt-head again."
Stewart's jaw nearly dropped. Cassandra's reaction was a bit more restrained but she too also looked surprised.
"You're… seeing one of them?!" Stewart could hardly believe it.
"Ugh, no," Daria shook her head in disgust. "Look, I believe their lives are in danger and if I could find them, then maybe I can help them."
"Well, what more do you need to know?" Stewart's voice hardened a bit. "They're still attending Highland High and repeating their senior year."
"Yeah, that place is like a fortress now," Daria noted.
"Yes, we have heard they made some changes at Highland High," Cassandra nodded.
"So, uh, Stewart," Daria asked. "Back in the day, I knew you hung out with Beavis and Butt-head. Got any way I can get in contact with them again?"
"What do you expect me to do?" Stewart's voice hardened. "I don't hang around those two anymore and don't plan to anymore!"
"Ouch," Kevin grimaced on the side.
"Wait, but I thought you guys were friends," Daria asked. "Granted, the friendship may have been a bit lopsided…"
"Well, let's just say I realized after all this time that they were only taking advantage of me," Stewart crossed his arms. "Sorry Daria, but I can't help you on this one. Frankly, I don't give a crap what happens to them!"
"Uh, would it help if I told you the fate of the world depended on it?" Daria said, reaching for an explanation without having to outright tell them the supernatural crisis at hand.
Cassandra looked at Daria seriously.
"Do you mean it?" she asked.
"Um, are you willing to keep an open mind?" Daria scratched her head.
"Yes," confirmed Cassandra.
"Well, uh, let me ask you guys this," Daria looked at the pair. "Do either one of you have a royal lineage?"
"Nope," Stewart shook his head.
"I do not have one either," Cassandra answered.
"Let's just say there's a conspiracy going on right now and Beavis and Butt-head are in the center of it," Daria told them. "I'm gonna need to find those two and get them to safety."
"Stewart," Cassandra looked at her boyfriend. "I know you have a past with the two that you regret, but if what Daria says is true, then we can't just leave them to die."
Tom, Daria, and Kevin all looked to Stewart.
"Oh, alright," Stewart relented. "I guess we can help."
"Come to my home tomorrow morning," Cassandra told Daria. "I may have something you need to get in to our former high school."
The next day.
"Nice place you got here," Daria complimented.
Cassandra's room was nice and clean. Various new age items and other paraphernalia decorated her living quarters. While the two of them were inside of her room, Stewart entertained Tom and Kevin out in the living room.
Reaching inside a drawer at her desk, Cassandra pulled out something.
"What's this?" Daria asked.
"During my senior year of Highland High, I was a student office worker," Cassandra informed her. "It counted as a class and also gave me valuable work experience."
"You never fail to surprise me," Daria raised an eyebrow.
"Here's my card," Cassandra handed Daria a student ID. "I believe in spite of the extra security at Highland High now, you can still get inside the building with this."
"Um, what are you suggesting?" asked Daria, unsure what was going on.
"We bear passing similarities," Cassandra told her. "We're both brunettes who wear glasses."
"Are you implying what I think you're implying?" Daria frowned.
Cassandra went inside her bathroom and got out a comb. Then she fetched one of her blue dresses from the closet.
"You do need to get inside, no?" asked Cassandra.
Daria sighed. "If only Quinn could see me now…"
"So how'd you finally decide enough was enough?" asked Tom.
"It was sometime during my junior year," Stewart told him. "Cassandra and I started dating around that time."
"I think I know where this is headed," Tom noted.
"At one point Butt-head started hitting on Cassandra," Stewart admitted. "I lost my temper and grabbed Butt-head, threatening to hurt him if he ever did that again. I already had my growth spurt around that time so the threat was pretty effective."
"I know that feeling," Kevin admitted, recalling a few times in the past Brittany had made him jealous of other men.
"After that, I never hung out with Beavis and Butt-head again," Stewart finished.
"Well, bad company ruins good morals as they say," Tom nodded.
"Yeah, too bad Daria's going to be in for some bad company," Stewart grimaced.
"Don't worry, she can handle herself," Tom told him. "She is my ex after all."
"You were Daria's boyfriend?" Stewart looked surprised.
"Yeah, it happened under less-than-auspicious circumstances," admitted Tom. "But she and I did go out until the end of our senior high school year."
"Well, it's nice to see that you two are still on good terms," said Stewart.
"Hey guys," Daria's monotone voice interrupted the conversation.
Tom, Kevin, and Stewart all turned around.
Before them was Daria in one of Cassandra's blue dresses and Doc Marten's boots. Her hair was also slicked back just like the owner of the dress. To the untrained eye, she looked very similar to Cassandra.
"Yeah, yeah, I know," Daria walked past the three awestruck guys. "Not another word…"
"Stewart, I'm going to give Daria a ride to our old high school," Cassandra told her boyfriend.
"Oh, okay, I'll just keep these guys company then," Stewart got up and kissed her.
Cassandra pulled her car up to one of Highland High's side entrances. She parked her car in the lot and took her glasses off. Luckily, the side of the school was not as heavily patrolled as the front.
"You know, it is kind of uncanny how we have the same kind of prescription glasses," noted Daria.
"All the better to complete the disguise," Cassandra agreed.
"So, it's been a while since I've been here," Daria told her. "Wish me luck."
"Stay safe in there, Daria," replied Cassandra. "On the side entrance, there's a lock that will accept key cards. Chances are, my key card will still work since the school system never really set expiration dates for them."
"Thanks," Daria told Cassandra and then got out of the car.
Walking over to the side entrance, she took out the ID Cassandra had given her.
"Here goes nothing," Daria slid the key card into the lock.
To her surprise and relief, the light on the lock turned green and the door opened.
"Whew, thank you Cassandra," Daria smiled.
Walking inside, she held on to the straps of her backpack tightly, not knowing what she would face inside.
To her respite, there weren't as many guards on the inside. The few that were there seemed to pay her no attention.
She had to admit one thing. Her former high school was now a lot nicer and cleaner than it used to be. In that respect, she also had to wonder if Beavis and Butt-head had also turned out for the better.
Veering to the right, Daria noticed a teacher's lounge and figured it wouldn't hurt to take a look.
"Let's take a peek into door number one," she opened up the door.
Inside was relatively quiet and there was no sign of Beavis or Butt-head. There were no teachers there either, as it still appeared to be class time. She did, however, see a sight that she hadn't expected to see.
"Oh yeah," McVicker sat down at a dinner table, eating what appeared to be a prime rib steak and drinking down red wine.
Daria stared at him in wide-eyed shock. Just what was McVicker doing here? And why was he not doing his job?
"Principal McVicker?" Daria asked.
McVicker looked at Daria. Fortunately for Daria in her drunken state, he could not fully see that it was her.
"Hey, didn't you graduate last year?" McVicker hiccupped. "Cassandra, right?"
Daria cleared her throat and did her best impression of Cassandra's laid-back voice.
"Yes, but I had to come back and get some of my high school records for a… college transfer," Daria bluffed.
"That's nice," McVicker sliced off another piece of meat. "Oh yeah, and I'm vice principal now. This new guy from uh…. Afghanistan, I think? He's the new principal now."
"This looks like the best demotion you've ever received in your life," Daria observed.
"Hell yeah it is!" McVicker agreed. "All these years I had to put up with the nightmare that is Beavis and Butt-head! Well now those little bastards are out of my hands and I don't have to deal with them anymore!"
"Really?" Daria took a chair and sat down.
"Yeah, the new principal is taking care of them," McVicker told her. "And ever since he took charge, things have really gotten better at this school."
Daria looked up towards the wall and saw a picture of the new Highland High principal.
"Ibn el-Khatib, huh?" Daria frowned. "Wonder how he managed to tame the dynamic duo."
"Doesn't matter," McVicker took another sip of wine. "It's out of my hands now! Thank God!"
Daria shook her head. "Well Mr. McVicker, I'd better get to the front office. I'll see you later."
"Yeah, see you around, Cassandra!" McVicker wiped away some food on his face with a napkin.
Daria stepped outside and went down the halls further. Deep down, she was even surprised that she mimicked Cassandra's voice as well as she did.
"If the world wasn't close to being doomed, I might actually consider a career in voice acting," Daria said to herself.
As she passed a few more rooms, she heard something familiar. It was fairly low level but the chuckles were unmistakable. Daria looked up. Next to her was a student's lounge.
"Bingo," Daria went over and opened up the door.
"Huh huh huh!" Butt-head laughed as he and Beavis ate nachos on a sofa while watching TV. "Who knew all the good TV came on during school time, huh huh huh!"
"Beavis?" Daria looked at the two. "Butt-head?"
The duo unglued their eyes from the TV and stared at Daria.
"Uh…" Butt-head look at Daria, trying to recall who she was.
"Hey Butt-head, isn't this that hippie chick?" asked Beavis. "Didn't she, like, graduate or something?"
"Shut up Beavis," Butt-head ordered. "I think this is, like, some other girl."
"Whoa, we actually knew another chick?" Beavis gleamed.
"Yeah, but, like, I forgot her name," Butt-head replied. "Uh, huh huh huh!"
Daria sighed. "It's me, Daria."
"Uh, oh yeah!" Butt-head recalled. "I remember now, huh huh!"
"Daria… Daria… Diarrhea!" Beavis smiled. "Heh heh heh heh!"
"Diarrhea chachacha! Diarrhea chachacha!" the two chanted together.
"Thanks for the memories, guys," Daria told them sarcastically. "But I think it's time for you to come with me."
"Uh, what for?" demanded Butt-head.
"I think she wants you, Butt-head! Heh heh heh!"
"Yeah, I'm a chick magnet, huh huh huh!"
Daria shook her head in frustration.
"Actually, didn't you tell me once that you, like, had this dream where you were tied up and Daria had this leather whip and she—"
Without warning, Butt-head violently slapped Beavis.
"Ow!" complained Beavis. "What was that for, fartknocker?!"
"Who the hell said you could make that public?" Butt-head glared at his cohort.
"Well, you never said that so I figured you wouldn't care," Beavis rubbed his cheek. "Heh heh heh!"
"Look guys," Daria told them, trying to get the mental image of herself and Butt-head in that scenario out of her mind. "As much as I'd love to see you two make fools out of yourselves here, I've gotta get you guys out of here."
"Um, you mean skip school?" Beavis raised an eyebrow.
"Hey, I dropped out of college," Daria told them. "What's skipping a day of school to you boys?"
"Whoa, you dropped out of college?" Butt-head's eyes widened. "Cool!"
"Yup, so cool, in fact, that I've come all this way to see you guys and encourage you to play hooky," smiled Daria.
"I don't know Butt-head," Beavis told his buddy. "These seats are a lot better than the ones we have at home… and TV reception is better…"
"Speaking of which, why aren't you guys in class?" Daria noted.
"Uh, that foreigner dude, like, allows us to hang out here all day," Butt-head informed her. "He said he'd pass us and help us get into college, huh huh huh! What a dork!"
"A likely story," Daria muttered. "Well anyways, what do you two care about getting an education? Don't you want to score more? And I'm not talking about the kinds of scores you get on tests…"
"Uh, who's offering?" Butt-head raised an eyebrow.
"Certainly not me," Daria grimaced. "But I'll tell you what. I know a town that's got a LOT of slutty girls you can stay at for a while."
"Whoa, really?" Beavis got excited.
"Yeah, Lawndale's full of the girls you guys would want," Daria told them.
"Um, think we should try it out, Butt-head?" asked Beavis.
Mentally, Daria apologized to Quinn and took out her cell phone to show the duo a picture she had once taken of the Fashion Club.
"Whoa!" Butt-head's eyes widened. "These chicks look like they want to come to Papa Butt-head!"
"So you wanna go?" Beavis asked.
"We're there, dude!" Butt-head declared.
"They're all yours," Daria promised. "All except Quinn that is…"
"Let's do this," Butt-head got up.
"Come right this way," Daria led the two out the door.
As she led them down the hall, she bumped into Mr. Van Driessen.
"C-Cassandra?" Van Driessen stared at her. "Is that you? And what are Beavis and Butt-head doing here?"
"I, uh," Daria had not expected to bump into him.
"Wait, you're not Cassandra," Van Driessen looked at her more carefully. "Say, do I know you from somewhere?"
"Uh, could you, like, get out of the way?" Butt-head told his teacher rudely. "Daria's, like, helping us skip school!"
"Daria?!" Van Driessen was shocked. "But I thought you moved! What are you doing back in Highland?"
Daria glared at Butt-head for just blurting out everything.
"Listen Daria," Van Driessen looked at her sternly. "If you're here to help these two skip school, then I'm afraid I can't let you—"
"You don't have a choice," Daria took out her crossbow from her backpack and pointed it at her former teacher.
"Whoa!" Beavis looked at Daria wide-eyed. "Daria's got a weapon!"
"That's cool!" Butt-head declared. "Huh huh huh!"
David Van Driessen's eyes widened. "Now Daria… I want you to put that thing down…"
"I'm sorry to do this, Mr. Van Driessen," Daria told him. "I truly am. But I need to get Beavis and Butt-head out of here."
Van Driessen wisely decided to step aside finally as Daria motioned for Beavis and Butt-head to go through the side entrance.
"Oh and by the way, you wouldn't happen to have any royal blood, would you?" Daria asked her former instructor.
"Uh, no," Van Driessen answered fearfully but truthfully. "No royal lineage in my family tree…"
"Okay, good," Daria finally stopped training her weapon on him and left the school, leaving behind a shaken teacher.
"Oh my goodness," Van Driessen frantically stepped into the principal's office. "Mr. El-Khatib! I've got urgent news! Two students have been kidnapped!"
"Really?" the new school principal stood up from his chair.
"Hey there, hippie," Van Driessen felt a rough hand on his shoulder.
He turned around and saw the imposing Dale Powers standing behind him.
"Who might these students be?" asked Ibn El-Khatib.
"Beavis and Butt-head!" declared the teacher. "I was leaving class momentarily for a brief restroom stop and I see the two being taken out of the building by a girl who used to attend here. Her name is Daria Morgendorffer and she was armed!"
"Please, calm down, Mr. Van Driessen," El-Khatib told him. "We will contact the authorities immediately and inform them that such an act has taken place. I know it must have been traumatic seeing a former student brandishing a weapon, but you are still needed for the rest of the day as a teacher and a mentor for your class."
"I… well, alright," Van Driessen agreed reluctantly.
"This former student will not get away with her crimes," the new principal told the hippie teacher. "The proper authorities will find her and bring her to justice."
"Now off you go," Dale Powers grabbed Van Driessen by the shoulders roughly. "Mr. El-Khatib is a very busy man."
After Powers had escorted Van Driessen out, he came back into the office.
"Want me to alert the cops and have them block off all exits leading out of Highland?" asked Powers.
"No that would not be necessary," El-Khatib waved dismissively. "They will not go far."
"Really?" asked Dale Powers. "How can you be so sure?"
"During one of my sessions simply hanging out with the boys, talking with them, and being their friend," explained El-Khatib, "I had gotten them drunk enough… and honest enough… that they told me of one of their escapades years ago where two domestic terrorists had planted a biological weapon in the shorts of Beavis."
"Planting a WMD in his pants?" Powers grimaced. "Those terrorists must have been desperate."
"And intelligent," added El-Khatib. "For they had given me an idea. During gym class, I was able to sew two tracking devices into their shorts while they were in the showers."
"Hmm, not bad," Powers shrugged. "Guess those two can't really get away from us. And since Daria doesn't know they have tracking devices…"
"Here," El-Khatib handed his associate a small tracking monitor. "You will be able to track down the two with this."
"Heh, I could do this with one hand tied behind my back," Powers smiled.
"Do not underestimate your foe," cautioned El-Khatib. "The girl Daria Morgendorffer has proven herself to be resourceful and formidable in her own right. It is because of her that Azi Dahaka is now vanquished."
At that moment, Mr. McVicker stepped into the office. Though he was demoted to vice principal, his disposition had never been better.
"Hey guys!" McVicker waved.
"Ah, Mr. McVicker!" El-Khatib grinned cheerfully. "How is your day today?"
"It's been great!" McVicker beamed. "Ever since you took over the reins, my quality of life has improved tremendously!"
"Good good, what may I help you with right now?" asked Principal El-Khatib.
Dale Powers nodded at El-Khatib and left the room to allow the two to talk.
"Well, I was wondering if you had anymore of that Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile?" asked McVicker.
"Why yes I do," El-Khatib got up. "Here, let me find a bottle and let us drink to your good health!"