RESEARCH

A "Daria" QuickFic

by Erin Mills

Mistress...Mistress! Mistress, wake up!

Daria Morgendorffer, the Earth's last sorceress, groaned and rolled over in her bed, pulling her comforter over her ears to drown out the voice of her diembodied servant. "'leeme 'lone, Nix. Sleepin'."

I would if I could, Mistress, but someone has gained access to the Library...

Daria was sitting up in bed in less than a second. "The Library! How the hell did they get in there?"

I do not know, Mistress. All I know is one moment, the Library was empty, the next, it was inhabited.

"Who is it? Someone from the Foundation?"

Not anyone known to me, Mistress. I do not believe it is anyone from the Foundation.

"No, of course not. They follow the Rules."

Daria climbed out of bed and threw a robe on. She then opened her closet, shoved her jackets aside and slapped a blue gem embedded in the closet's back wall. The gem began to glow with an etherial light which spread to cover the back wall. Daria took a deep breath then stepped through the portal leading to the largest respository of all human knowledge in the universe.

Down in the Library, the red cloaked intruder tossed another book aside in frustration. Dammit, it HAD to be here. There was no other place it could be. It was the Library for God's sake!

The intruder paused and smacked her forehead under her hood. Unless she was in the wrong version of the Library. It was notorious for doing that. Hiding last extant copies of books in other versions of itself. Well, she'd just have to try another one then.

Suddenly the silver heart shaped locket around her neck flared with a electric white-blue flame. The intruder smiled. So...another one. Time to add to the trophy room.

Daria summoned an energy sphere to her hand as she crept down the marble stairs leading to the Library's thousands of shelves. She didn't want to risk alerting her prey just yet.

"Nix," she whispered, "Where are they?"

"Twelve aisles over. A female in a hooded red cloak.

Daria nodded and concentrated on the aisle in question. The sound in the Library as a whole faded out and the saound on the desired aisle was amplified. Books being taken off shelves, flipped through, then tossed aside carelessly. Daria frowned. She hated it when people abused the books.

She shifted her focus and allowed herself to float just above the surface of the floor. She glided over to the row in question and flattened herself against the end of the shelf. She took a deep breath, centered herself, then rounded the corner, hurling the energy sphere like a baseball.

"YAAAAAA!"

The sphere connected and exploded, sending a mass of shrapnel, oil, and gears hurtling across the floor. Daria frowned as the smoke cleared, revealing the wreckage of a simple robotic device that appeared to be programmed to take the books off the shelves, ruffle through them, and toss them aside. Daria blinked a few times, then fell to the ground, crying out in pain, as a second explosion sounded behind her, and a large hole was ripped into the small of her back, paralysing her from the waist down.

She heard the heavy boots of her assailent approaching her. She forced herself to roll over onto her back so she could see who had shot her down.

The intruder was dressed in a matte black catsuit and floor length hooded red cloak. Only the lower part of her face was visible under the hood. She held a sawed off shotgun which she was placing back inthe folds of her cloak. But around her neck was something that made Daria's eyes widen and her heart sink into her stomach.

A silver heart shaped locket surrounded by white blue flame.

"Where--" Daria gasped. "Where did you get that locket?"

"This old thing?" The cloaked woman giggled. "Took it from a dead Japanese guy who didn't need it anymore. You have no idea how helpful it's been."

Daria coughed, and noted with dismay that blood appeard to be mixed with the phelgm she spat out on to the floor. It was also getting very cold and sticky down here on the floor. Another bad sign.

"You shouldn't be here." she said, fighting to keep from going unconscious. "It's against--"

"The Rules. I know." The hooded woman said. "Everyone I talked to to find this damn place told me that. And I'm going to tell you what I told them..."

Suddenly the woman was screaming at the top of her voice, and kicking Daria in the stomach with each worth she uttered. The sorceress cried out in pain with each blow.

"I. DON'T. CARE. ABOUT. THE. FUCKING. RULES!"

No sooner had her tormentor finished than Daria vomited up her dinner, some phlegm and a disgustingly huge quantity of blood. Not good.

Daria closed her eyes, tried to focus. Needed to get the magic to work or she wasn't going to be able to warn anyone.

"Oh no you don't." Daria felt her skull split and stars danced in her eyes as her attacker kicker her in the side of her head. Daria insticntively covered her head as best she could, as her body controted into a half fetal position. When her vision cleared, she saw the woman standing over her. The hood had been pulled away from her face. Her eyes glowed with the same blue flame that surrounded the locket, but it glowed oddly, as if it were reflecting off something.

The last of the green stars in her vision disappeared and she moaned as she realized that her assailent wore her own face. The flame was reflecting off the glasses her lookalike wore.

"Everywhere I go, it's the same fucking thing." Daria's doppleganger ranted. "I just need to run an errand and there's always one of YOU there. A goody two shoes Green Jacketed Snot Nosed Bitch in the way. I can't get away from you. It's like a curse. It's why I stopped using your name. I don't want anything to do with ANY of you. But you keep popping up. I mean, is it any wonder I snap?"

She knelt down to the delerious Daria. Daria tried to summon the magic agian, but there was too much pain, too much blood loss. She was going to die. The lookalike smiled again.

"Is it any wonder why I kill every single one of you I meet?"

With that, she kicked Daria as hard as possible in the open wound on her back. Daria screamed as pain wafted through the half of her body she could still feel. She forced her eyes back open and stared at her clone.

"Who..are..you?"

The bogus her grinned. "Tell your friends at the Foundation that my name is Judith." With that, Judith grasped the locket and laughed. The blue flame surrounded her and faded, taking her with it, until Daria was alone in the Library.

Mistress! Mistress! Nix's voice came to her inside her head. What shall I do? I can go for help!

"...no time...Nix..." Daria murmured. Her vision was going dark aroudn the edges already. Not much time left. "...go to...Foundation...tell them...the locket...the locket's back..."

She coughed again, vomiting up more blood in the process. She couldn't feel her arms now.

"...tell them...her name is..." Daria's eyes closed involuntarily and her head lolled to one side.

"...Juditthhhhhhkkkkkkkrrrr..."

The magical lighting in the Library dimmed and finally went out as it's caretaker passed from the mortal realm, leaving Nix alone in the dark.

"Daria" and related characters (C) 2006 MTV Networks and Viacom International