DARIA VS. THE LAWNDALE ZOMBIES

A demented Daria B-Movie fanfic by Erin Mills

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(We open on a cargo plane flying through the night. A thick blanket of clouds lies underneath it while the bloated white disc of the moon hangs in the sky. We go in closer to see the words "SPILLINSON CHEMICAL MANUFACTURING" stenciled on the side.

(Cut to the cockpit where a half-asleep pilot sits, bored, letting the autopilot do most of the work. After a few minutes, the co-pilot comes into the cabin and sits down.)

PILOT: Everything all right back there, Bill?

CO-PILOT: Oh yeah. No problem. There was a fight over the stewardesses, but I took care of it.

PILOT: You're a funny guy, Bill.

CO-PILOT: Oh, come on, Jim. You're just as bored as I am. Let's face it, babysitting some fifty odd barrels of toxic waste bound for disposal twice a month is not the most exciting job in the world.

PILOT: Pay's good though.

CO-PILOT: It would have to be, wouldn't it? I mean who wants to ride with a crapload of potentially damaging radioactive goop in an old WWII relic like this?

PILOT: Look, if you don't like it so much, why don't you quit?

CO-PILOT: Quit? Two more flights and my house is paid for.

(The pilot snickers. At that moment, the plane hits a pocket of turbulence, causing it to shake violently. A light begins blinking on the instrument panel.)

PILOT: Oh shit. The cargo bay doors have been shaken loose!

CO-PILOT: I'll take care of it.

(He gets up and dashes back out of the cockpit, leaving the pilot to wrestle with the controls. The co-pilot makes his way back to the cargo hold, where a mass of barrels with the biohazard symbol shake. One of the barrels has fallen on its side and rolled away from the group. At the back of the plane, the cargo doors are open partway and the barrel is rolling towards them. The co-pilot's eyes widen and he hurries around the barrels to the cargo doors, trying to reach the emergency shutdown switch before the barrel rolls out of the plane. Intercut between the two as they both get closer and closer, and the doors open wider. The co-pilot makes a last minute leap and hits the button, but too late. The doors stop opening, but the opening is wide enough for the barrell to roll down the ramp and out of the plane. The co-pilot looks on in horror.)

PILOT: (Through the intercom) Bill? What's going on?

CO-PILOT: We lost one, Jim...oh Christ, we lost one...

(Cut to an evening in the 'Burbs...Lawndale to be precise. Lovers' Lane in particular. We see a car parked over the quarry, moving in the usual way of most B-Movies. Pan across to the bushes, where we see Upchuck lurking with a 35 mm camera and the usual telephoto lens. He's taking pictures rapidly, and getting quite excited himself.)

UPCHUCK: RRRRR...Oh yeah, work with the girl, move with her...oop, watch the bra strap...Ahhh, there you go...

(Cut to a shot of the sky where the aforementioned barrel of toxic waste is falling rapidly...then cut back to Upchuck, who runs out of film, and stops to change the roll.)

UPCHUCK: Drat. (Begins fiddling with the camera) Lousy, stupid, 400 dollar-

(A whistling sound is heard. Upchuck stops fooling around with the camera and looks up in time to see the barrel heading right for him.)

UPCHUCK: Oh, sh-

(The barrel lands on him, bursting open and showering the immediate vicinity with glowing green ooze. We pan across the ground and see Upchuck's seared hand coming out from under a fragment of the barrel with the biohazard symbol on it. After a minute, it stops moving and we fade out...)

(Fade in on the hallowed halls of Lawndale High. Our Heroines, Daria and Jane, are next to their lockers. Around them are banners announcing the upcoming Halloween Dance.)

JANE: So, any plans at Chez Morgendorffer for Halloween?

DARIA: Oh just the usual, Quinn's going to the dance with three or more guys, Mom will be working late at the office again, and Dad will be sitting in the bushes with a garden hose and a Colt 4500 water jet attachment ready to take on anyone who threatens the resale value of the house.

JANE: And what will you be doing?

DARIA: Shoving razor blades in the candy..same as always.

JANE: Are you aware that your sense of humor gets increasingly morbid this time of year?

DARIA: I know. I'd be worried if it wasn't for the fact that Mom and Dad are going to yet another marriage seminar and I'm going to do what I've done every Halloween since I was twelve..sit at home with a copy of "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and hand out the candy.

JANE: I thought you didn't like kids?

DARIA: It's not so bad when I only deal with them for 30 seconds at a time.

JANE: What about Tom? Isn't there some big country club shindig his family's involved with?

DARIA: (quietly) He hasn't asked me...

JANE: (uncomfortably) Ah...

DARIA: (not wanting to be on the hook anymore than Jane does) So what's happening at the Lane household?

JANE: Kinda the same thing. Trent and the band are playing at the Zen's Halloween party, so I'm going to be woodworking.

DARIA: Ah, more fun with the power drill.

JANE: (with obvious relish) Chainsaw, actually. Maurice is back from the shop.

DARIA: Maurice?

JANE: My chainsaw. I bought it last year for a big woodworking project.

DARIA: How come I never saw it?

JANE: Turns out that petrified wood plays hell with chainsaws. You would think a Hack & Wrecker would be more resilient, wouldn't you? Anyway, I didn't have the cash to repair it until last month. The shop delivered it yesterday. I need to get some oil and gas and then...VRRRRRRRUNNNNNUNUNUNUNRRRR!!!.

DARIA: Easy there, "Chainsaw" Jane.

(At that point the Fashion Club passes by)

SANDI: So, we're in agreement then. We're holding an emergency meeting tonight at my place to discuss our outfits for the Halloween Dance.

STACY: Wait till you hear what I'm planning to wear. It's so cute!

QUINN: What are you wearing?

STACY: A GREAT cat costume.

(Dead silence)

SANDI: Right. Tiffany dear, put a note on the agenda, remind Stacy of the difference between a Halloween costume and a Halloween outfit.

TIFFANY: Riiiight.

(The Fashion Club continues down the hallway. Close up on Stacy, looking mortified...as usual. Dissolve to later in the day. Stacy is walking down the street towards her house, still embarrassed and berating herself.)

STACY: How could I have been so stupid? "A great cat costume." What was I thinking? I'm such an idiot.

(Suddenly, a voice comes out of nowhere...)

VOICE: No, you aren't.

STACY: (Not noticing that there isn't anyone visible.) Yes, I am. I'm surprised Sandi hasn't thrown me out of the Fashion Club.

VOICE: That's just it. You'll never be thrown out. Who would she manipulate then?

STACY: (looks up and sees no one) Huh?

VOICE: You aren't an idiot, Stacy, my dear...You just lack some basic self confidence...

(Stacy begins to look around for the source of the voice, while the voice keeps talking to her...)

VOICE: Your problem, Stacy, is that you are a doormat. I also was a doormat...a doormat for the entire school....

STACY: (approaching a large hedge which appears to be the source of the voice) Really?

VOICE: Oh yes, and then something wonderful happened. Something that changed my whole outlook on life...and I want to share it with you. I promise you it will help you stand up to Sandi and the others.

STACY: (looking into the hedge.) You really think it will help me stand up to Sandi?

VOICE: I guarantee it.

STACY: (Considers for a moment, then looks into the hedge) Okay. What do I have to do?

VOICE: Die..

(At that point, a pair of green glowing hands burst from the hedge, grab the front of Stacy's shirt and yank her into the hedge. Stacy begins to scream as she's yanked in. After she vanishes into the hedge, it shakes and moves for a few seconds, then abruptly stops and Stacy's screams are cut off...)

(Over to Casa Lane. Daria and Jane are in their usual positions; Jane's painting an abstract of a field of man-eating Jack O' Lanterns, while Daria is reading "Frankenstein" on the bed. Sick Sad World is on the TV.)

SSW ANNOUNCER: Are the works of George Romero actually based on a true story? "The REAL Night of the Living Dead" tonight on Sick Sad World.

JANE: THAT'S what's been missing around here!

DARIA: What? Brain eating zombies out to take over the town?

JANE: Close, but no. I didn't see Upchuck at all today.

DARIA: I rarely notice Upchuck when he IS around.

JANE: I'm serious. He usually shows up after I get out of Math with his latest inane come on like clockwork. I didn't see him today. You?

DARIA: Now that you mention it, I don't remember seeing him at lunch.

JANE: Maybe somebody finally put him out of our misery.

DARIA: Forget it. We couldn't possibly be that lucky. (She looks at her watch) I gotta go. Tom's picking me up in an hour.

JANE: Wanna borrow my lipstick?

DARIA: You never quit, do you?

JANE: (smiling) Nope.

(Cut to Sandi's house. Sandi, Tiffany, and Quinn are sitting in the living room, paging through fashion magazines, looking annoyed.)

SANDI: God, it's nearly 7:30. Where is Stacy?

TIFFANY: Maybe she got caught in traffic...

QUINN: I tried calling her place before I came over here, but there was no answer.

SANDI: Well, as much as I hate to suggest it...maybe Stacy has decided that she's too good for us.

QUINN: What do you mean?

SANDI: Well, I'm sure you've noticed that Stacy hasn't exactly been...how can I put this...relevant to our current goals?

TIFFANY: You're right.

QUINN: You mean you're thinking of throwing her out of the Fashion Club?

SANDI: No, nothing like that. I'm just saying that maybe Stacy has decided that she doesn't want to be a part of the Fashion Club anymore-

(At that point, the lights suddenly go out in the house. Because it's late October, this means that the room is in darkness, with only the street lights outside illuminating the scene. The girls cower closer together. Then, a loud pounding comes at the door--)

SANDI, TIFFANY, QUINN: AAAAAAAHHH!!!!

SANDI: Wh-Who is it?

STACY: (O/S behind door) Guys, it's me! Let me in!

(The three look at each other, then back at the door. As Sandi gets up the pounding starts up again, louder. Sandi hesitates.)

STACY: What's the hold up in there? Open the door!

(Sandi looks confused. The voice sounds like Stacy's but it was never that forceful.)

STACY: OPEN THE GOD DAMN DOOR!!

(Sandi, startled by the anger in Stacy's voice, dashes back to Tiffany and Quinn. The three girls huddle together in fear. The pounding on the door starts up again. Whatever's out there is DEFINITELY kicking the door. Three sharp loud pounds are heard. On the third one the door flies open, and a female silhouette with wild tousled hair comes into the house. It turns in the foyer towards the cowering girls. Then it speaks, and it is definitely Stacy's voice.)

STACY: (mocking her usual voice) Hi, guys...Sorry I'm late.

(She walks into the room, and her eyes begin glowing a demonic red...)

(Cut to Chez Morgendorffer, the next day. Daria is reading in the living room, when Helen comes into the room.)

HELEN: All right, sweetie, your father and I are leaving now. If you need anything over the weekend we'll be at the Hilton in Lakeside.

DARIA: I don't suppose you could bring me back a spiffy hotel towel or some samples from the mini bar?

HELEN: (ignoring the crack) Have you seen your sister?

DARIA: Not since she left for the meeting of the Fashion Drones.

HELEN: Well, I suppose she must have spent the night at Sandi's. I'll talk to her about it when we get back.

(Jake comes into the room with the suitcases.)

JAKE: (muttering) I still don't see why I can't bring my golf clubs...

HELEN: (exasperated) Jake!

JAKE: I know, I know! (reaches into his wallet and pulls out a couple of bills) Here's some money for the weekend, kiddo. Fifty each for you and your sister.

HELEN: (looking at her watch) Jake, we really have to leave now. Daria, if Quinn doesn't call in the next couple of hours would you call her and tell her to come home?

DARIA: Oh, sure. (Thought VO) And after that, I will repeatedly pound my head in with a ball peen hammer.

HELEN: All right then. We'll see you tomorrow night.

JAKE: Don't have too much fun without us!

HELEN: ("oh I almost forgot" expression) And Daria, if any boys drop by-

DARIA: (sighing) Tom will be out of the house by ten…and I'll get out the cattle prod to remove Quinn's fan club at the same time.

HELEN: All right, Daria. We'll be back Sunday.

JAKE: See ya, kiddo.

DARIA: Bye.

(They leave. Daria returns to reading. Cut to a clock showing the time as 10:43, dissolve to 12:00. Back to Daria. The phone rings. She puts down her book and picks up the phone.)

DARIA: Hello?

(split screen. Tom is on the other end.)

TOM: Hey.

DARIA: Hi.

TOM: The parental units left yet?

DARIA: A couple of hours ago. I'm calling real estate agents now.

TOM: Well, before you get too involved with selling the house out from under them, wanna get some pizza?

DARIA: Sure. No one's met my price yet anyway.

TOM: Cool. I'll be over in a few minutes.

DARIA: Bye.

(Later. Tom and Daria are driving down the road.)

DARIA: Oh, wait a sec. Can we make a stop over at the Griffin's?

TOM: All right, who are you and what have you done with my girlfriend?

DARIA: She's gone on to a better place. A planet where she has a horde of Sloane Clones to do her bidding and cater to her every whim.

TOM: Drat. Those clones spoil everything for me.

DARIA: Seriously. Quinn didn't come home last night from Sandi's. Mom wanted me to tell her to come home.

TOM: Ah. No problem.

(Tom's car turns a corner and pulls up in front of the Griffin house. Immediately we can tell something is wrong. The front windows are broken and the door is wide open.)

TOM: (frowning) This doesn't look good.

(Daria doesn't answer but gets out of the car and goes up the walk. Tom follows.)

(The house is a complete mess. Furniture is broken, the windows are shattered. Glass lies scattered around. Daria is clearly worried.)

DARIA: Hello? Mr. & Mrs. Griffin? Sandi? Quinn?

TOM: I'll look upstairs.

(Daria goes into the living room and looks out at the backyard. The sliding doors are broken, and there's some dark spots on the patio. Daria frowns and steps through the door. Out on the patio, she kneels down and touches the one of the dark spots, it comes away wet and Daria recognizes it for what it is: drying blood. She stands back up in horror.)

DARIA: Quinn! Quinn! Dammit, Quinn, where are you?

(Suddenly there's a rustle of cloth and the splash of water.. Daria turns toward the Griffin's Jacuzzi.)

DARIA: (thought VO) Now, if this were a B-Movie, I would say something cliché like "Is there anyone there?" go over, pull off the hot tub cover and get attacked by a monster. Sorry, not today.

(She turns, goes back into the house-

--and is immediately pounced upon by a gruesome looking Sam and Chris. The two boys tackle Daria to the ground. We get a good look at them. Their eyes are glowing red and their skin is pale and peeling off. There is only a mindless rage in their eyes. Normally, this would be standard for Sandi's mutant little brothers, but the fact that they're trying to rip out Daria's jugular with their teeth kind of destroys that illusion.)

(Daria doesn't scream, but struggles to throw the two boys off of her. She manages to get one leg up and smashes it across Chris's nose. The bone snaps audibly and Chris backs off enough for Daria to stand up. Unfortunately, Sam is on her back, with one arm thrown around her neck . Daria keeps trying to loosen his grip so she can breathe, while Sam continues to try to bite her. As it looks like she's about to pass out, Tom appears with a nine iron and brings it solidly across the back of Sam's head. Sam cries out and lets go. He recoils for a moment, then tries to attack Tom. Tom is ready, however, and brings the nine iron down again and again until Sam's lifeless body falls to the ground. He turns away from the scene, sickened by what he's done, and helps Daria up.)

TOM: Are you all right?

DARIA: (coughs) Yeah. Fine. (sees Sam and Chris's bodies) What did you do?!

TOM: Don't ask. I feel sick enough as it is. They were going to kill you.

DARIA: (approaching hysteria) This is weird...this is really weird...this is-

TOM: (grabbing her shoulders) Daria! I know this doesn't make sense, but now is not the time to lose it!

DARIA: (recovering) Okay..okay...you're right. But what happened to them?

TOM: I don't know. But we better call the police and let them know what's happened.

DARIA: Right. (she walks across the room, not looking at the bodies. She picks up the phone) It's working. (she dials 911)

PHONE RECORDING: We're sorry, you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service-

(Daria hangs up, more apprehensive than ever.)

DARIA: The phone's dead at the police station.

TOM: Oh hell.

DARIA: (suddenly realizing.) Jane!

TOM: (after a moment) Right.

(Daria dials again. There's no answer.)

DARIA: Nothing.

TOM: Disconnected?

DARIA: No, it rang, but there's no answer.

TOM: Well, there's a good sign.

DARIA: Let's get the hell out of here.

TOM: Right. (He pick up the nine iron. To Daria's look) Just in case there's more of...them. Out there.

DARIA: (considering) Where's the rest of the clubs?

(Cut to Casa Lane. We see Jane walking up the street, a gallon can of gasoline in one hand and a small plastic bag from Deuce Hardware in the other. She turns onto the walk up to the house.)

JANE: (singing) Oh, I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay...

(A nearby cat hisses and runs off.)

JANE: Everybody's a critic.

(She goes into the house and down into the basement.)

JANE: Trent? You home?

(Not getting an answer, she shrugs and goes back upstairs to the garage and turns on the light. Sitting on one of the work tables is a large red Hack & Wrecker chainsaw. Underneath the gas tank is the monogram "Maurice" in a jet black series of strokes, obviously Jane's work.)

JANE: (theatrically) Ah, Maurice, I have returned with the life fluids you need. Soon they will suffuse your being and you will live...Live...LIIIIIIVE!!!

(With great ceremony she fills the gas tank and pours the chainsaw oil into the oil tank. She grabs a pair of safety goggles , places them over her eyes, picks up Maurice, turns to a mammoth block of wood sitting in the middle of the floor, and yanks the pull start. Maurice roars to life with smoke and sound. A look of sheer sadistic bliss comes over Jane's face and she begins attacking the wood.)

(Cut to the outside of the Lane house. The Tank pulls up. The side door opens and a decaying foot flops out. Followed by it's mate and several others.)

(Cut back to the garage. Jane has carved the hell out of the block of wood. She stops Maurice and puts it down. She shoves the safety goggles onto her forehead and goes into the main part of the house and up to her room.)

(POV shot from the outside of the house. We move through the Lane house, up the stairs, down the hall and into Jane's room where we see Jane looking under her bed. Change to view of Jane looking under her bed.)

JANE: Where the hell is it?

(Three pairs of decaying feet appear next to her. Jane stops looking for whatever she's looking for and sniffs.)

JANE: Hi guys...band practice over?

(Suddenly, three sets of hands grab Jane around the waist and legs and drag her out from under the bed. Jane starts to struggle and manages to flip over onto her back, and her eyes go wide at what she sees.)

(Nick, Max, and Jesse are towering over her, their skin the same decaying white that Sam and Chris's were. Their eyes glow a blazing red. Max still has a hold of Jane's left foot.)

JANE: Oh, Jesus.

(She brings up her right leg and smashes her foot into Max's hand. He doesn't notice. Jane keeps kicking. After a few whacks, Nick grabs her leg and Jesse hauls her up by her waist--)

JANE: HEY! Watch the hands, pal!

(She grabs the side of her mattress, trying to break away, her hands slip under her bed, and she manages to grab something smooth and cylindrical. As she's dragged upright, she pulls the object out with her, revealing it to be a baseball bat.)

(Not wasting any time, she swings it around and connects solidly with the side of Jesse's head. Jesse reels and lets go, giving Jane a chance to backhand Nick with the bat. Doing so causes him to let go. Jane brings the bat down on Max's arm. The bone snaps and his grip slackens. Jane shoulders her way through the zombies and out the door of her room, baseball bat in hand.)

(Cut to the outside of the house. Tom's car pulls up and the two of them get out, golf clubs in hand. Looking around, they can see the neighbors out in their yards doing yard work, unlike the Griffin's street which was deserted.)

TOM: Well, there's still people here. Maybe it was just the Griffin's street.

DARIA: I'll believe that once I'm sure Jane is all right. Come on.

(At that moment, Jane comes charging out of the house, bat in hand. She blows by the two of them, knocking Tom down. Daria and Tom look at her, as Daria helps him up. Jane reaches the car and opens the back door.)

JANE: GO! NOW! QUICK!

DARIA: You want to try being a little more articulate?

JANE: THERE'S THREE ZOMBIE MUSICIANS IN THE HOUSE WHO WILL KILL ALL THREE OF US IF THEY MANAGE TO SORT OUT THEIR LIMBS! NOW GET IN THE FUCKING CAR!

(Daria and Tom, rather than arguing, comply and get into the car. As they drive off, the Spiral Zombies stagger out, look at the retreating car, then turn their attention to the rest of the neighborhood…)

(Cut to Tom's car. Tom is driving, Daria is in the passenger seat and Jane's in the back, hyperventilating.)

DARIA: So let me get this straight, Jesse, Nick and Max attacked you?

JANE: It was them, but they weren't THEM.

TOM: You wanna run that by me again?

JANE: I've known those three deadbeats since I was seven years old and I KNOW they wouldn't put a finger on me…out of fear for Trent killing them and then turning the remains over to me. Not that it would've mattered to them, the way they looked.

TOM: What do you mean?

JANE: I mean they were DEAD! Skin hanging off, inarticulate, even for them, glowing red eyes. We're talking straight out of George Romero's brain ZOMBIES here!

(Daria and Tom exchange glances.)

JANE: (misinterpreting the glance) What? You think I'd make up something like that?!

DARIA: You want an honest answer?

JANE: All right, maybe I would...but not in this case!

TOM: Jane, calm down! We believe you!

JANE: Huh?

(Daria proceeds to tell her about their encounter at the Griffin's. As she does so, Tom continues driving. He looks to the left and sees the houses passing by, then to the right. As he does so, he realizes something's wrong. He comes to an intersection. It's the only car there. He frowns.)

JANE: So what happened to Quinn and the rest of the Mascara Brigade?

DARIA: (quietly) There was no sign of them...

TOM: They aren't the only ones.

DARIA & JANE: Huh?

TOM: (pulling over) Take a look.

(He gets out of the car. Daria and Jane follow suit.)

(The streets are deserted. No kids playing in the street, no cars driving, no lawns being mowed.)

DARIA: Great, we've driven into "Night of the Comet."

JANE: No. I don't see any piles of dust or discarded shoes...

TOM: Can we dispense with the sarcastic comments, please?

DARIA: It's either that or we both break down screaming right here.

TOM: Okay. Fair enough. But my point is that there's nobody around. It's Saturday afternoon...

DARIA: ..and there's nobody around out here.

JANE: You don't think...we're it? Do you?

DARIA: Wait a second, you said Jesse, Nick, and Max attacked you at your house, right?

JANE: Right.

DARIA: Where's Trent?

JANE: (eyes widening in horror) Oh, my God. They were setting up for the gig at the Zen tonight.

DARIA: We're going to the Zen.

TOM: Wait a second-

(Jane holds up the baseball bat threateningly.)

JANE: I don't care if you are dating my best friend, my brother may be in trouble at that damn nightclub and we're going. No arguments, Tom, or so help me I'll knock your damn head off.

TOM: Okay then.

(They pile into the car and drive off.)

(The Zen. The street is as deserted as the rest of Lawndale. Tom's car pulls up and our heroes get out with their weapons [one baseball bat, a 9 iron, and a 3 iron] ready to attack any unwanted advances by the vitally challenged.)

(Zen interior. Daria, Jane, and Tom, weapons ready come into the main room. The lights are dim.)

DARIA: Hello? Is there anyone here?

JANE: Yo, Trent! C'mon wake up and get your butt out here!

TOM: I'll get the lights.

(Tom feels his way across the club to the switch behind the bar. He flips it.)

(Cut to the main room, where several piles of dead bodies lie. Daria and Jane stare in shock.)

DARIA: I think I'm going to be sick.

JANE: Look.(she points across the room)

(Trent is up on the stage, sitting down, leaning against the back wall. He is holding his guitar, staring at it in shock. The other three come over to him. Jane kneels down beside him.)

JANE: Trent? Trent, it's Jane.

TRENT: (dazed) They're dead.

JANE: Trent, it's okay..they were-

TRENT: I killed them.

(Jane looks at him, eyes wide. Trent turns to her.)

TRENT: We were setting up the instruments, and they came in. We thought it was too early and Nick went to find out what was going on. They--

JANE: What happened, Trent?

TRENT: They ate him..then he got up and got Max, and then the crowd got Jesse...I didn't want them to get me too, so I picked up the guitar and I--I--(at this point he seems to come out of it slightly, enough to realize what he did and he breaks down.) OH GAAAAWWWDDDD!

(Jane hugs him tightly and makes soothing noises.)

JANE: It's okay Trent...it's okay. They were already dead...they were already dead...

(Dissolve to later. Tom and Daria have cleared away the bodies and taken them out behind the club, while Jane comforts Trent and tries to bring him out of shock. Eventually, Trent pulls himself together.)

TRENT: I'm okay. Thanks, Janey.

JANE: Hey, what's a little sister for?

TOM: Okay, now that Trent's more or less coherent, what do we do?

JANE: Could we try the police again?

DARIA: (coming over) Already did. Looks like the phones are out of commission all over town. I tried next door, nothing.

JANE: So what now?

TOM: (looking at his watch) It'll be dark soon.

TRENT: Why don't we just go to the police station ourselves? I mean, they have to know what's going on, right?

JANE: (smiling) You know, once in a while, this boy comes up with a good idea.

TRENT: Hey, I have lots of good ideas!

JANE: Like the one about turning on the air conditioner in the house during the dead of winter and pouring water down the stairs to make a ski ramp?

TRENT: It could've worked.

JANE: Mom never let you watch "Real Genius" again.

TRENT: Hey!

JANE: (quoting) "And what about that time I found you naked with that bowl of Jello?"

(appropriate shocked looks from Daria and Tom.)

TRENT: (keeping up with her) "You did not!"

JANE: (to Daria and Tom) "This is true."

TRENT: "It was hot and I was hungry!"

DARIA: Oookay, walking away now with WAY too much information.

(Jane and Trent laugh. After a moment, Daria and Tom realize they were kidding and they all share a few moments of tension breaking laughter.)

(Cut to the outside of the Zen. The sun is setting. Tom and Trent are throwing the bat, the golf clubs and a broom handle they found in the club in the back seat. Daria stands a few feet away looking up the deserted street. Jane comes over to her.)

JANE: You okay?

DARIA: It's so quiet. I can't remember the last time it's been this quiet.

JANE: Probably not since the Zen started going grunge..

DARIA: I'm serious. The last time I remember being anywhere this quiet was back in Texas.

JANE: THAT'S where you moved here from?

DARIA: (not hearing her, lost in memory) We were driving home from..somewhere, back to our quaint little hellhole of a town. We got a flat tire...we were out in the middle of the desert. Quinn was asleep in the back seat. Mom asked me to go out and help Dad. When I went out there, the hubcap rolled away…into the desert. (she swallows) I went after it. Dad didn't notice. I wandered out there, looking for the damn hubcap.

(She turns to look at Jane, a genuinely haunted look on her face.)

DARIA: It was just as quiet out there as it is now. I got lost. I heard something in a bush next to me and saw the hubcap. I went over there, and tripped over a damn rock.

(She swallows)

DARIA: I rolled into the bush...and right into a rattlesnake's nest..

JANE: (eyes wide) What happened?

DARIA: I was there, on my stomach, staring at this huge rattlesnake...and it didn't rattle. This thing was staring at me, and it didn't rattle. Just me and the snake and the silence of the desert.

JANE: How old were you?

DARIA: Seven. I just laid there...eventually, Dad got fed up and chucked the wrench. It landed right behind the snake and it struck at it. I ran like hell. Ever since then, when there's been silence where something is waiting out there…

JANE: That was a snake,these are zombies.

DARIA: Both monsters, Jane...and both just as deadly.

TOM: Hey, guys! Let's go.

DARIA: Don't tell either of them. I wouldn't have told you except...

JANE: I know. We'll play the radio loud.

(They get into the car and drive off. Pull back to see Sandi's convertible pulling up at the end of the block. Cut to the other side of the convertible, to see the three J's looking out of the car. Their skin is a putrid yellow, and they have ubiquitous glowing red eyes and evil grins...)

(Cut to the Lawndale police station. Tom's car pulls up, and our heroes get out and look up at the façade of the building. The lights are out, the windows are shattered and the doors hang loosely off the hinges.)

DARIA: Wonderful. Looks like the hordes have been here already.

JANE: Well, if nothing else, we can get some weaponry, right?

TRENT: Sounds like a plan to me.

(They go in, Daria hesitating slightly, then after a moment she follows them in, 3-iron at the ready.)

(The interior of the police station isn't much better. It looks like the zombies attacked the cops en masse...and the cops lost. The desk is smashed, the furniture is tossed around.)

TRENT: Damn...

TOM: Let's find where they keep the guns.

(They go around the booking desk and head back into the offices. They make their way back to the armory. There are wire cages of guns and rifles along one wall. Tom goes up and tries to open one.)

TOM: No good. They're locked.

JANE: You think we could bust through?

TOM: (shaking his head) This is a police station, and I doubt even Lawndale's finest would be stupid enough to invest in cheap cages for the weaponry.

DARIA: Should I ask what we're going to do then, O Fearless Leader?

TOM: Well, we've got two choices. We can either keep looking around here for a key of some kind. Or we can try someplace else.

JANE: What about the mall? They've got a huge sporting goods store. They're bound to have guns and ammo, probably in display cases we CAN break open.

TOM: Okay. The mall it is.

(They leave the police station. As they do so, Trent trips over a desk laying on it's side. One of the drawers slides open and a 9 mm pistol drops out. He picks up the gun and checks the clip. It's full.)

JANE: What's the hold up?

TRENT: I found a gun.

DARIA: You know how to handle one of those things?

TRENT: Oh yeah.

DARIA: Do I dare ask?

TRENT: It involves that thing I have with bookstores, Daria, I don't wanna talk about it.

TOM: (checking another desk. He comes up with a revolver.) Well, it's a gun..(he checks the cylinder) and it's loaded. At least that's something.

JANE: Great, now that you boys have your toys, can we please get the hell out of here? This place is starting to give me the creeps.

(They go outside the police station. As they're about to get into the car, a bloodcurdling scream echoes through the streets.)

JANE: The hell?!

TOM: Trent and I will go check it out. You two stay here.

(Trent nods his agreement and they go off.)

JANE: This was not how I wanted to spend Halloween.

DARIA: I know. (beat) All right, let's take stock of the situation.

JANE: Right.

DARIA: Zombies have taken over the town...

JANE: Right.

DARIA: The police can't help us...

JANE: Right.

DARIA: The phone lines are out of service...

JANE: Right.

DARIA: The nearest town is over fifty miles away...

JANE: Right.

DARIA: Your brother and my-guy I'm dating have just gone off to investigate a bloodcurdling scream...

JANE: Right.

DARIA: And all we have to defend ourselves with is a 3-iron and that baseball bat.

JANE: (with a ferocious grin) Right!

DARIA: We're screwed.

JANE: Oh, yeah.

(At that point, Kevin comes around the corner in a ripped version of his usual football uniform, skin is peeling off his face, but his grin is as vacant as ever. He taps Jane on the shoulder.)

KEVIN: Hi, Jane!

JANE: AAAAAAGGGH!!! (she begins pounding Kevin senseless with the bat. After the first blow, Kevin falls off screen. Jane keeps wailing on him.)

DARIA: Ummm, Jane...

JANE: (WHAM WHAM WHAM!)

DARIA: Jane!

JANE: (WHAM WHAM WHAM!)

DARIA: JANE!

JANE: (stopping with the bat upheld) What? (she brings it down again.)

KEVIN: (groans)

DARIA: I think it's just makeup. (She peers past Jane at something OS)

JANE: (looks down at Kevin, then back up to Daria) So, what's your point?

DARIA: (who is looking past Jane with mounting horror.) That I don't think the same can be said for Brittany!

JANE: Huh?

(She turns to see Brittany, with the usual peeling skin and glowing red eyes. She's wearing a tattered pink princess dress.)

JANE: Oh hell...

DARIA: I think now would be a good time to get the hell out of here.

JANE: I agree.

(They both break for the car. Brittany doesn't notice but proceeds to hunker down and snack on Kevin. Our Heroines, in panic mode, start the car and peel out, Jane driving.)

DARIA: Oh hell.

JANE: What?

DARIA: The guys! We left the guys back there!

JANE: Aw, shit!

(Jane flips a high G U-turn and heads off in the direction the guys came from. As they drive along, looking for Tom and Trent, the convertible pulls out of an alley and begins to tailgate them, flashing the brights.)

JANE: What the--? Who the hell is that, they've got two other lanes to choose from!

(Daria turns to look and when the brights go off, she sees three pairs of glowing red eyes in the passenger compartment.)

DARIA: SHIT!

JANE: What?

DARIA: Looks like Quinn's entourage has joined the ranks of the undead.

JANE: Oh...shit.

(The two cars race through the streets of Lawndale. Jane handles the ancient studebaker well, but the convertible is more maneuverable and has the advantage of speed. Enter an endless series of twists, turns, the occasional Ben Hur like forcing off the road only to have a last minute recovery. The words "Done To Death" appear subliminally in the film...)

(Cut to the underside of Tom's car as Jane makes a hard left into the residential area of Lawndale. As the car hops the curb, the front axle scrapes, then breaks completely! Cut to the interior of the car, Jane suddenly finds that her turning the wheel is doing nothing whatsoever. For the first time, both girls start screaming. The car skids out of control, hops another curb and plows across the front lawn and into the living room of a house, where it comes to a crunching stop. The convertible slows down and the three J's laugh evilly and high five each other.)

(And since this is an annoying place for the narrative to switch tracks, that is precisely what the narrative will now do...)

(Cut to Tom and Trent dashing down an alleyway. Both have their guns drawn, and are looking for the source of the scream.)

TOM: (looking one way) Nothing over here.

TRENT: (Looking the other) Nothin' here either.

TOM: Where the hell did it come from?

(Suddenly another scream, this time in a much lower register, comes from OS left.)

TRENT: Probably where that one came from.

TOM: Let's go!

(They run out of the alley, and cross the street to a decent Italian restaurant. Mack is out in front of the restaurant, looking disheveled, staggering across the parking lot.)

TOM: Hey, isn't that Jodie's boyfriend?

TRENT: He doesn't look so good.

(At that point, Mack falls over. Trent and Tom run up to him.)

TOM: Hey? You all right?

MACK: Yeah...Yeah I think so. (They help him get to his feet.)

TRENT: What happened, man?

MACK: Jodie and I came here for dinner...you know before the dance, we ate, and then suddenly these--

TRENT: Zombies?

MACK: Yeah, burst into the restaurant and began attacking people. I tried to help Jodie, but I got pulled off. And then when I got back to her, she'd become like them.

(At this point, Tom notices an odd welt on the back of Mack's neck. It looks like a bite mark. However, we don't see it for long as Tom's car, followed by the convertible goes racing by in the back ground.)

TRENT: (to Tom) Hey, man, isn't that your car?

TOM: It's the girls! Who the hell is chasing her?

MACK: (recovering slightly) That looks like Sandi's car.

TOM: Do you have a car?

MACK: Yeah, it's over there. (points)

TOM: Let's go!

(They get into Mack's car, Trent driving, and drive after the girls. After a minute of driving they come to the scene of the wreck. The convertible is no where to be found. Trent pulls over and the guys get out of the car.)

TRENT: Whoa. (to Tom) You've got insurance, right?

TOM: I doubt my policy covers my car crashing into a suburban living room while being driven by two panicked teenage girls in the middle of a zombie invasion.

MACK: Um, as much as I hate to interrupt, shouldn't we see if they're okay?

TRENT: Right. (He walks up to the car and peers in through the windows.) They're not there.

TOM: What?

(He and Mack walk up to the car and look in. Sure enough the car is empty.)

TOM: Anyone have any idea whose house this is?

MACK: I'll check the mailbox. (He wipes his brow and walks back to the fallen mailbox. He holds it up, revealing the name "A. DeMartino") Oh hell. Hey guys!

TRENT: Oh, maaaan.

TOM: What? What is it?

TRENT: This is Mr. DeMartino's house.

TOM: Wait a sec. Is he the teacher with the bulging eye?

MACK: (returning and loosening his tie) That's him. You know him?

TOM: Daria's mentioned him from time to time.

TRENT: Anyway, he's not going to be happy that your car crashed into his house.

TOM: I'll have my dad cut him a check later. Right now, let's find Daria and Jane, all right?

(He goes into the house through the hole in the wall. Trent and Mack follow him.)

(The interior of the house looks much as you would expect it to look if a studebaker crashed through the side of the house. As the guys look around, Mack begins to develop a twitch in his neck and he begins sweating even more profusely.)

TRENT: (to Mack) Hey, man, are you all right?

MACK: I-I dunno. It's weird, I feel hot but not like a fever, you know?

TRENT: What? Like a sunburn?

MACK: No..it's...Jodie! Jodie! I see! I SEE IT ALL!

(At that point his skin undergoes several changes, his face starts to blister and smoke, his skin takes on a greenish undertone, his eyes begin glowing red. During all this his rantings get more pronounced///)

MACK: THE KING DEAD WILL LEAD THE WAY! THE WAY TO THE FUTURE! ALL WILL BE UNITED! AND AFTER TONIGHT'S MEETING THE WAY WILL BE SHOWN TO EVERYONE! ALL ARE ONE WITH THE KING DEAD! THE KING DEAD IS ALLLLLL...(His voice changes until the words are garbled and he is only capable of unintelligible zombie grunts. At this point the transformation is complete and Tom and Trent are forced to deal with the latest Lawndale zombie [HA! Betcha didn't think I could work the title in here!])

(Mack leaps over the hood of the car, grabs Tom by the lapels of his jacket and thrusts him up against the wall, forcing Tom to drop his gun.)

TOM: (struggling) TRENT! Do something!

(Trent raises his gun and sights along it, but he can't get a clear shot at Mack without hitting Tom. After a second's indecision, he puts down the gun and tries to move around the car to get a better shot. In the meantime, Tom manages to get one leg up on Mack's chest and pushes hard. Mack loses his balance and staggers back, releasing Tom, who drops to the floor. Trent immediately raises his gun again to get the shot, but Mack turns, snarls and leaps back across the room, slamming into Trent and knocking him to the floor. Tom begins a frantic search for the pistol he dropped. Mack growls in Trent's face and starts to bend over to rip a chunk out of him-

(--when suddenly there's and explosion. Split second shot of Mack with a large hole in his head, then the body falls to the floor. Trent looks up to see Daria standing in the doorway with a pump action shotgun. Behind her is Jane with a .44 Magnum. Both guns are smoking, and both girls look like they're going to be sick.)

TOM: (getting up and going over to the girls) Thank god. Are you two all right?

(Daria just stares at Mack's body, while Jane looks at Tom)

JANE: We just blew out the brains of one of the few people in this town who was actually pretty cool and probably could have been counted as a friend--DO YOU THINK WE'RE ALL RIGHT?!

TOM: (Holding up hands) I'm sorry! I'm sorry! You're right. That was a stupid thing to say.

JANE: It wouldn't be the first time--

TOM: Hey!

DARIA: (whispering) Stop it...

JANE: God, you always stick your foot in your mouth, Tom. You did that a lot when we were dating.-

DARIA: (still whispering but louder) Stop it...

TOM: Look, I don't know what you're getting all agitated about! I apologized for making that dumb comment! What more do you want?

(Daria whirls on them.)

DARIA: (exploding) WILL YOU BOTH SHUT THE FUCK UP?! THERE'S ZOMBIES ALL OVER TOWN TURNING EVERYONE THEY FIND INTO ONE OF THEIR OWN! NO ONE CAN HELP US, AND WE CAN'T RUN AWAY BECAUSE THEY'D JUST SPREAD OUT. MY SISTER IS MISSING, MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF TOWN, AND YOU TWO ARE STILL FIGHTING ABOUT YOUR DAMN BREAK UP! LET IT GO, GET OVER IT, OR AT THE VERY LEAST SHUT UP ABOUT IT WHILE I COPE WITH THE FACT THAT I HAD TO KILL MY FRIEND! ALL RIGHT?!

(With that outburst, she slumps down and sits on the floor, shotgun propped against her knees. Jane and Tom look properly chagrined.)

JANE: (mumbling) 'msorryIlaidintoyoulikethat.

TOM: Yeah, I'm sorry too. That was a dumb question.

TRENT: Where'd you guys get the guns?

JANE: (opens her mouth to rip into Trent, but decides to go with it for Daria's sake.) The basement. Looks like DeMartino had a nasty little secret he didn't want anyone to know about.

TOM: What do you mean?

(Cut to the basement. Jane switches on the light and leads the way down. They come into a large room filled with gun racks, guns of various sizes, calibers, and degrees of legality. Not to mention ammunition...LOTS of ammunition.)

TRENT: Whoa...there were always rumors but-

JANE: Yeah, they turned out to be true.

TOM: (sighting along a rifle) Okay then. At least now we have more weaponry.

JANE: And we do what?

TOM: Huh?

JANE: As far as we know, we're the last normal people in town. So we have guns, we can't just keep blowing the heads off everyone we meet.

TOM: I know, but it's like Daria said, if we don't stay, they're going to spread out to other towns.

JANE: What makes you think they haven't already started spreading already?

DARIA (OS) Because they're waiting for something.

(The other three look up to see Daria coming down the stairs, reloading the shotgun.)

DARIA: Mack was yelling about it before he...changed. There's a meeting. A meeting of all of them. Tonight, most likely. (she finishes loading the shotgun) We're going to crash the party.

JANE: Daria, those are our-

DARIA: No, they aren't. They were once, but not anymore. We're doing them a favor. (She goes to a drawer and pulls out a box of shells and a ammo bandolier. She starts placing the shells in the slots of the bandolier.) Mack mentioned a "King Dead." Odds are that's the one whose holding the meeting...and the one who's responsible for all this.

JANE: Come on, Daria. They're mindless zombies. Zombies don't get organized.

DARIA: (slinging the bandolier over her shoulder and head) Think about it, Jane. In one night, they've managed to take out the police, incapacitate the phone lines, and convert nearly everyone in town. Not only that, Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie seemed to retain enough intelligence to drive a car. Even if the individual zombies aren't that smart, this King Dead is smart enough to remove nearly all the threats to his power base. That speaks of intelligence to me.

TOM: What do you intend to do?

DARIA: I'm going to find out where they're going to have this meeting, I'm going to go there, find this King Dead and make him tell me where my sister is…and then, I'm going to kill him.

JANE: Alone?

DARIA: I'm not going to make anyone come with me. If you want to help, I'll welcome you. If you want to run, I won't blame you. But I'm going, even if I have to do it alone.

(Jane, Trent, and Tom look at each other.)

TRENT: Well, if we're gonna help, we better get loaded up.

(As our heroes arm themselves, cut to Daria, who has a small smile on her face. Dissolve to a few minutes later. Trent and Tom both have taken high powered rifles, while Jane has taken a couple of 9mm pistols with hollow point ammo along with the .44. Daria takes a similar pistol and the shotgun, placing two more boxes of shells in the pockets of her jacket. Tom looks the car over and stands up.)

TOM: No good. The axle's shot.

DARIA: Is there anywhere else we can get a car?

TRENT: Lover's Lane is always a good spot.

JANE: Wait a sec, remember when you guys came by earlier? There were still people on my street. Some of them may have seen the band coming and managed to hide or something.

DARIA: All right then. Tom, you and Trent go to Lover's Lane and see if there's anyone out there. Jane and I will go back to Howard Drive and see if anyone is there. It's 6:00 now. We meet back here in two hours.

(She doesn't bother to see if anyone argues, but picks up the shotgun and walks out of the wreckage of DeMartino's house. After a minute, the other three decide to follow Daria's instructions.)

(Cut to Howard Drive. It is now like the other streets of Lawndale. Deserted. Daria and Jane are walking down the middle of the road, weapons ready. As they get closer to Casa Lane, they begin to talk quietly.)

JANE: Looks like the guys took care of my neighborhood.

DARIA: We'll split up, just in case. I'll check the house across the street from yours, you check your house, and get anything you think you need and can carry if we have to get out of town.

JANE: Right.

DARIA: And be careful!

JANE: Right.

(We follow Jane into the house. She kicks open the front door and charges in, gun ready. She checks each room methodically, before going upstairs. In her room she quickly grabs some clothes, a tube of colored pencils and a sketch pad and stuffs them into her backpack. She slings her backpack on her shoulders, then makes her way back downstairs. When she reaches the bottom of the stairs--)

JANE: Damn. Maurice.

(She turns to go into the kitchen...and comes face to face with Max, Nick, and Jesse. They look up from where they appear to be snacking on a mailman.)

JANE: (surprised) Oh, hi guys. Didn't know you were still here. Well, I see you're busy so I'll just be going--

(As one, the band roars and springs to their feet.)

JANE: --right now! (And with that she dashes out of the kitchen, gun momentarily forgotten. The zombies split up and try to surround her.)

(Jane comes back into the living room, knocks over the sofa and dives behind it. Max comes into the room after her. He looks around, sniffing. Jane pops up from behind the sofa, guns ready.)

JANE: Guess who?! (She begins firing indiscriminately, the shells thudding into Max and in some cases going through him. After a moment, Jane realizes her mistake and begins aiming for his head. Max drops to the floor and scrambles across to the sofa. As soon as Jane runs out of ammo in the guns, he pops up, snarling-

(--and immediately assumes an expression of surprised stupidity at the .44 Magnum pointed right between his eyes. Jane smirks.)

JANE: And you call yourself a criminale.

(BOOM!)

(Jane quickly picks up her spent weapons and returns them to the holster she took from Demartino's. She checks the cylinder of the Mag.)

JANE: Damn. Only four shots left. Note to self: Head shots…only head shots.

(She raises the revolver and begins to make her way back toward the kitchen to the garage. Behind her, Nick and Jesse close in for the kill...)

(Cut to the outside of the house, Daria is making her way across the street, having stuck out on finding either survivors, zombies, or car keys. As she walks up the driveway, there comes the sound of four gunshots in quick succession, a bloodcurdling scream and a whole cacophony of sounds from the garage. Daria freezes, then readies the shotgun and starts to creep closer to the garage. Abruptly, the screams cut out. Daria holds her position for a minute, then the garage door opens. Daria raises the shotgun. Cut to the garage door where we see a slender figure silhouetted against the light of the garage. The figure is loosely holding a chainsaw at it's side. It takes a step forward, revealing itself to be Jane. Her clothes are disheveled and she has a spaced out grin on her face. She grasps the top handle of the chainsaw and--)

JANE: WAAAAHOOOOO!

DARIA: (one eyebrow cocked) You do realize that you enjoy yourself with that thing entirely too much.

JANE: Ooooh yeah. But that's not the half of it. Maurice has an even greater effect on me than inspiration. (She walks over to Daria and whispers in her ear. Daria looks shocked for a moment then--)

DARIA: That's really sick, Jane.

JANE: (shrugs) So, it just means that I don't need to worry about finding a boyfriend anymore.

(Daria shakes her head.)

JANE: But, all fun aside, I discovered something really weird. Come on.

DARIA: Jane, I realize we're close and all, but I don't really care to get to know your power tools that intimately.

JANE: Get your mind out of the gutter. Something's not quite right here.

DARIA: What do you mean?

(Jane leads Daria into the garage. We see several puddles of blood around and things which look like Nicholas leftovers, but we also see Jesse, more or less intact, trussed up and apparently, unconscious.)

DARIA: Is there a reason why you've decided not to send Jesse onto his eternal reward?

JANE: Look at him closely and tell me what's wrong with this picture.

DARIA: This is hardly the time-

JANE: Just trust me, dammit. Look!

(Daria looks at Jesse. He lies there, his chest rising and falling, and slowly eroding away. Abruptly, Daria's eyes widen and she gets closer to Jesse, placing two fingers to his neck. She draws away and looks at Jane, astonished.)

JANE: So I wasn't crazy.

DARIA: My God, Jane, HE'S ALIVE!

JANE: I know.

DARIA: That doesn't make any sense! He attacked you, his eyes are glowing…

JANE: I don't understand it either, but what if...

DARIA: What?

JANE: What if the process isn't instant? Like it's a virus or something…maybe it takes time to kill the person and make them a full zombie?

DARIA: Oh, God, now I really feel like we've fallen into a reject from the Late Late Late Show.

JANE: You too huh? But it's the only thing I can think of.

DARIA: Wait a second. Do you remember what Mack said just before we-

JANE: What, the quasi-religious rant about the King Dead?

DARIA: Just before we...interrupted him, he yelled out "All are one with the King Dead. The King Dead is all." What if he wasn't speaking figuratively?

JANE: What? You mean we kill the King Dead and-

DARIA: Anyone who hasn't become a full fledged zombie yet might revert back to normal TV zombies instead of the flesh eating kind.

JANE: It's whacked…but it makes some kind of weird sense.

(Jesse stirs and groans.)

JANE: Uh-oh. Looks like Sleeping Ugly's coming to.

DARIA: Let's get out of here and tell the guys. We have to find that meeting. If we're right, he'll be back to normal...well, near normal, by morning.

(They leave the garage, leaving Jesse trussed up.)

(Cut to Lover's Lane. Trent and Tom arrive. There's three cars sitting in the "parking area," all deserted. They check each one, looking for keys.)

TRENT: (from one car) No luck over here.

TOM: (from another) Not here either. Dammit, can't we ever get a break?

VOICE: (from, seemingly, nowhere) Sure, I'll give you a break...

(A figure drops from the tree in front of Tom. It stands and reveals itself to be a zombified Monique. Her skin is the same putrid yellow as the three J's , her eyes glow a fearsome red, and her fingernails are more like claws. Her hair is frizzed out like crazy and she looks dangerously homicidal.)

MONIQUE: I'll break your little preppie neck...how about that?

(With incredible speed, she shoots out a hand, claws extended, reaching for Tom's throat. Tom freezes like a deer caught in a set of headlights..unable to move or defend himself-when Trent fires a shot from the rifle and grazes Monique across the bridge of her nose. She howls in pain, snarls and leaps across the clearing to land solidly on Trent. Her hands close around his throat.)

MONIQUE: (seductively, but with blood running down her face) Relax, lover, I'm gonna show you things you've NEVER seen before.

(Trent struggles and swings the butt of his rifle around, clubbing Monique in the side of the head. Monique rolls off of him, but before Trent can recover, she springs back onto him and sinks her teeth into his neck. Trent drops the rifle and cries out in pain. Tom comes out of his stupor and runs over to them. He places the barrel of his gun squarely in Monique's face and pulls the trigger. An explosion and the now lifeless body rolls off Trent, who sits up.)

TRENT: Thanks, man. But you're too late.

TOM: What?

TRENT: She bit me, Tom. I'm gonna go the way of Mack.

TOM: You don't know that.

TRENT: (smiling sadly) Come on, you saw the bite mark on the back of his neck as well as I did...and that's what happened to Nick, Jesse, and Max at the club. It's only a matter of time. You better get going while you have the chance. Go find Janey and Daria. Let them know what's happened.

TOM: What are you going to do?

TRENT: Look at the stars, maybe catch some sleep. (he begins coughing but it's not like his usual cough. He cramps up and coughs up a large gout of blood.) Jesus...it's worse than I thought. (he looks up where Tom stands apprehensive) Look, will you just go and find the girls before I cough up anything else and look like a reject from Poltergeist II for Christ's sake?

TOM: But-

TRENT: (annoyed) JUST..GO!

(Tom hesitates, but eventually takes Trent's rifle and leaves. Trent leans up against one of the cars. He turns his head skyward.)

TRENT: I'm a refugee of the zombie war/can't remember what I'm fightin' for…damn, that's good. Wish I had a pen...

(Cut to the front of DeMartino's house. Daria is sitting on the curb, Jane is pacing back and forth, Maurice in hand.)

JANE: What time is it?

DARIA: 7:50.

JANE: Dammit, where the hell are they? Anything could have happened to them.

DARIA: They probably couldn't find a car and had to come back on foot.

(Jane gives her a "yeah, right" look. Daria shrugs, indicating that she didn't believe it herself. After a few moments, there comes the sound of running feet. Daria stands up, shotgun ready, while Jane grips the pull start on Maurice. But their fears are both relieved and increased by the arrival of Tom...alone.)

DARIA: Are you all right?

TOM: (out of breath) Fine...had to...run...to get here...on time.

JANE: Where's Trent?

TOM: (shakes his head.)

JANE: Where is he, Tom?

TOM: We were attacked by one of them...some Goth girl...tall...black hair...nose ring.

JANE: Monique!

DARIA: What happened to Trent?

TOM: She bit him. I killed her, but the damage was done. Trent insisted on staying.

JANE: (whispering) Trent...no...

DARIA: (quickly) It's okay, Jane. Remember? If we're right, we might be able to stop it before he converts.

TOM: What are you talking about?

(The girls quickly explain their theory. Tom listens and nods.)

TOM: That makes sense...weird sense, but somewhat logical.

DARIA: All right, now we have a plan. The question is, where's the meeting?

JANE: I don't know. I mean, where do zombies go when they want to meet, get down and boogie?

DARIA: (muses) Boogie...Have we been anywhere near the school yet tonight?

TOM: I don't think so.

DARIA: Let's get more ammo and reload. We'll see if we can find more gas for Jane's chainsaw.

JANE: What are you thinking?

DARIA: What's the only major event that you knew was happening tonight before we were attacked by the Hordes of the Mostly Dead?

JANE: The only thing I can think of is...the dance!

DARIA: Right. Seems like a logical place to start to me.

(Cut to Lawndale High. Sure enough, there are a number of zombies staggering their way towards the gym. A zombie O'Neill and DeMartino [whose eye has now popped completely out of it's socket and hangs by the optic nerve] are holding the doors open and ushering the zombies inside. Pull back to see Daria, Jane, and Tom looking over a row of hedges across the street.)

JANE: Nice deduction, Holmes.

DARIA: Doesn't do us much good though. Looks like everybody in town has been converted and they're all coming here. Whoever the King Dead is, he's going to have his whole army in there with him.

JANE: So what do we do then?

TOM: I hate to say this, but I say we go in and fight our way through.

JANE: Have you gone totally mad? They're still alive, even if they're in the process of becoming full fledged zombies!

TOM: I KNOW that! But I'm saying we may not have a choice. They're going to be out to get us the second they see us, and as Daria already pointed out, there's a hell of a lot more of them than us.

DARIA: He's right. But let's not get irrational about it. Shoot to kill if you have to, but if not, try to incapacitate them. I'm sure that these people would rather be unable to use a limb than be dead, if it turns out we're right. But if it looks like it's too much for you, start running. Sooner or later someone's bound to notice Lawndale's cut off and send in the State Police, if not the National Guard. But if we can stop this now, so much the better.

JANE: I guess you're right...but if I find Trent in there...

DARIA: He'll understand.

TOM: (pointing) Hey, look.

(They do and see DeMartino and O'Neill looking up and down the street, which is now devoid of zombies. They turn and nod to each other and go in themselves.)

DARIA: Wait...give them a chance to all get into the main gym. (she silently counts to 60 then,) Let's go.

(The three of them hurry across the street, guns ready. They manage to get across with no problems and enter the gym. They head down the hallway to the double doors leading into the gymnasium proper. There are a couple of thin windows in the doors and our heroes make use of them.)

(It looks like the entire zombified population of Lawndale is here. There are some white skinned ones which shamble about aimlessly, while the fewer in number yellow skinned zombies move purposefully through he crowd and seem to have retained most of their original personality. After a few minutes, the speakers come to life and a familiar voice comes through them. It's the same voice that spoke to Stacy from the bushes.)

VOICE: Attention...your attention, please, my friends.

(The zombies continue to mill around. After a moment Stacy's voice comes through the speakers.)

STACY'S VOICE: SHUT YOUR HOLES, YOU DEGENERATING PUS BAGS! THE KING DEAD IS TALKING HERE!

(Sure enough. It works. The zombies stop milling around and turn to face the stage. The camera pans up and over the crowd to the stage where there's a dais with a throne on it, it's back to us. Surrounding it are the zombified members of the Fashion Club in evening gowns. Sandi and Tiffany are yellow skinned and their hair is wild, but stylishly so. Quinn appears to be a white skinned zombie, but it's obvious her skin tone is in the process of changing to yellow. Her hair is also stylishly disheveled. Stacy on the other hand looks REALLY different. Her skin is charcoal gray, her eyes a deep glowing crimson, she wears a psychotic grin, and her hair, unbound from it's usual braids seems to have grown longer, almost to her waist and sticks out in sharp points. She has a microphone in one hand, which she passes back to a glowing green hand that emerges from behind the back of the throne.)

KING DEAD: I'm so glad you could all make it. True, we are missing a few dozen of us, but I'm afraid that the conversion of the flock was not entirely as bloodless as we had hoped. Oh well. Que sera sera.

(The King Dead laughs. Several of the yellow zombies do likewise.)

KING DEAD: In any event, tonight we meet before the final strike. Once we're finished here and all of you are completely converted, we will move out and begin conquering other towns and cities. They will not be able to stop us if we're already dead. It is true what they say, death is very liberating and (the hand emerges again and caresses Stacy's cheek) has it's benefits. Rrrrrr...

(Cut to our heroes. Daria and Jane are looking at each other in shock, having hear everything.)

DARIA: Was that--?

JANE: It can't be! Not even a zombified Stacy would-

KING DEAD: And now, before we go out, it is time---

(The dais suddenly begins to rotate revealing the face behind the title…the King Dead is none other than Charles Ruttheimer the Third. His skin is a glowing neon green, his eyes glowing red like the other zombies. His blood red hair stands on end. A glowing pink scar runs from under his left eye down his cheek. He's dressed in an actually stylish black tuxedo with a gold vest. He stands up as the dais finishes turning.)

UPCHUCK: --TO BOOGIE!

(Cut back to our heroes.)

JANE: All right, Monique turning my brother into an undead, I can handle, zombies spreading out to take over the world? Fine. But Upchuck in charge of all of them?

DARIA: Let's nip this in the bud.

(MUSIC CUE: "The Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet. During the opening drum solo, we see a quick montage of Daria pumping the shotgun, Tom slamming clips into his guns, and Jane pulling out Maurice from the improvised harness she's been carrying it on.)

V/O FROM MUSIC: You ready, Steve? (cut to Daria holding up shotgun and nodding) Uh-huh...Andy? (over to Jane who holds up the .44 and has a hand on Maurice) Yeah...Mick? (over to Tom who holds up both pistols and clicks the safeties off) Okay...

V/O FROM MUSIC: All right fellas...(We see them stand up and take two steps back from the door, Daria in the lead) LET'S GOOOOOO!

(The following happens in slow motion…As the guitars from the song kick in, Daria kicks the double doors open with her boot. The three of them charge into the room and spread out. )

Oh, it's been getting so hard, living with the things you do to me...

(Daria takes out two zombies with a well placed shot to the legs. Tom fires his guns and incapacitates another.)

My dreams are getting so strange, I'd like to tell you everything I see...

(Cut to Upchuck standing on the stage with a look of shock and rage on his face. Close up and we can see how enraged he is)

Oh, I see a man at the back as a matter of fact
Whose eyes are as red as the sun...

(Cut to a close up of Daria who has a "Let's Dance" look on her face)

And the girl in the corner let no one ignore her
Cause she thinks SHE'S the passionate one.

OH YEAH! (Daria unloads a round into the speakers up on one side of the stage which promptly explodes)

It was like lightning, everybody was frightening
And the music was soothing, and they all started grooving
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah YEAH YEAH!

UPCHUCK: GET THEM! (Everything returns to normal speed)

And the man at the back said "Everyone attack!"
And it turned into a ballroom blitz
And the girl in the corner said "Boy, I wanna warn ya
It'll turn into a ballroom blitz!" Ballroom Blitz...

(The zombies begin to attack en masse during this verse and the next. Cut to Jane who shoots down one zombie and yanks the pull start on Maurice. The chainsaw roars to life and Jane gets that look again. She grins widely and lays into a cluster of zombies. Meanwhile, Tom begins firing around Jane, trying to give her cover, while shooting down the occasional zombie that gets too close to him. Daria, meanwhile, begins clearing a path through the crowd towards the stage. At one point a zombie leaps out at her, but Tom sees it coming and shoots down the new Lawndale High disco ball which falls from the ceiling and lands on the offending zombie. Daria is holding her own otherwise, clearing large groups with the shotgun , and holding off the zombies with a pistol while reloading the shotgun with one hand.)

DARIA: (after yet another blast.) JANE! TOM! THE DOORS!

(Jane and Tom look around and see what she means. There are three entryways into the gym. They begin making their way separately through the crowd to the side doors. Upchuck meanwhile looks really agitated in time for:)

Now the man at the back is ready to crack
As he raises his hands to the sky

(Cut to Daria, who smirks, then turns and aims her shot gun at a large wooden bat decoration hanging over the doors they entered from.)

And the girl in the corner is everyone's mourner
She can kill you with a wink of her eye...

OH YEAH! (KABLAM! The shotgun shatters the supporting cables, sending the large wooden bat crashing down and blocking the exit, as well as crushing a couple of zombies in the process. She turns back to Upchuck, while simultaneously shooting another zombie which is trying to sneak up on her.)

It was electric, so frantically hectic
And the band started leaving cause they all stopped breathing

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah YEAH YEAH!

(Chorus as above)

(As the song progresses and eventually plays out, Jane manages to carve her way, literally, through the crowd and get out the side door. Before the zombies can follow her, she grabs the top of a nearby vending machine and heaves, pulling it over and blocking the doors. It's obvious that the zombies don't have the leverage on the door to push the machine out of the way. Jane, in a state of chainsaw induced orgasmic frenzy, starts Maurice back up and lops off a couple of zombie limbs as a warning, before cutting the gas and dashing back down the hallway to get to the only available entrance to the gym.)

(Tom, meanwhile, has reached the other door. After a minute, Daria joins him. Throughout the following, they are firing their weapons and reloading any chance they get.)

DARIA: We need to barricade the door...keep them in here.

TOM: Where's Jane?

DARIA: She got out the other door and I blocked the one we came in from. As soon as she gets in here, we jam this thing shut somehow.

TOM: Would you mind telling me exactly why we're barricading ourselves in here with these things?

DARIA: To make sure that Upchuck doesn't get out. If we can get him, we'll be okay. I've figured it out!

TOM: What?

(At that point, the door opens and Jane comes in. Several zombies surge forward, but three simultaneous shots quickly dispatch them.)

JANE: Did I miss anything?

(They begins to barricade the door with the refreshment table while Tom provides cover.)

DARIA: I was just saying that I figured out how to tell who's alive and who isn't. Anyone with a pale white skin or some equivalent is still alive, anyone with a different skin tone is beyond help.

JANE: So you're saying that Upchuck and the Fashion Fiends are full fledged zombies?

DARIA: Not Quinn, it doesn't look like it's set in permanently with her yet. She must have managed to run from them for a while. Judging from Stacy, she was probably Upchuck's first victim.

JANE: Figures.

TOM: Either way, we probably don't have a lot of time here. We need to get to that stage.

JANE: No problem. Stand back. (She starts up Maurice and begins to plow her way through the crowd, Daria and Tom following and giving her cover.)

TOM: We really should consider taking that thing away from her. She enjoys it too much.

DARIA: You have NO idea HOW much...

(Cut to the stage where Upchuck is surveying the carnage as his zombies are being decimated or milling about randomly. Most of the intelligent ones have been dispatched by our heroes.)

UPCHUCK: Ladies, our party crashers have ceased to be amusing. I think it's time they joined our ranks. (He looks at Sandi, Tiffany, and Quinn.) Sic 'em.

(Surprisingly enough, the three in question follow his orders as if hypnotized. Stacy comes over and places an arm around Upchuck's waist.)

UPCHUCK: Stacy, my dear, I think the time has come for us to repair to more hospitable surroundings. It appears that they've sussed it out.

STACY: I'll do anything for you, Chucky.

UPCHUCK: (smiling) Rrrrr...You are a feisty one, especially after your illumination. But unfortunately, amour will have to wait, my love. Come, we have much to do...

(The two make their way backstage.)

(Down in the confusion, Sandi, Tiffany, and Quinn leap into the crowd and land right in front of our heroes.)

SANDI: That's far enough.

TIFFANY: We're not going to let you paaaass.

QUINN: Especially not looking like THAT.

JANE: Is it just me, or does this sound like a bad Sailor Moon battle cry?

SANDI: It doesn't matter. We're not letting you get any farther.

DARIA: I think you've forgotten one small detail. (Pumps the shotgun) We're holding the guns and the chainsaw.

SANDI: (smiles, then grabs Quinn and holds her like a shield) And you would harm your own sister?

QUINN: You KNEW?!

SANDI: Oh, grow up, Quinn. I'm not a complete idiot.

JANE: No, just 3/4th of one. (With that, she brings up Maurice and neatly severs Tiffany's head from her shoulders, while Daria charges forward and clubs Quinn unconscious with the stock of the shotgun. Sandi staggers under Quinn's dead weight and falls to the floor. Our heroes start to pass, when one of Sandi's hands snakes out and grabs Tom's ankle, causing him to trip and fall to the ground. He loses his grip on the guns and they go flying into the crowd. Daria and Jane whirl around to see Sandi climbing on top of him and positioning herself in a manner that means neither of them can shoot without hitting Tom.)

TOM: Just go! I'll take care of her!

JANE: This is not the time to be heroic, Sloane!

TOM: Look, you get Upchuck. If you're right, this won't matter!

SANDI: Enough talk! Time to eat! (With that she opens her mouth wide and chomps down on the back of Tom's neck. Tom screams in pain, and Sandi holds up her head to laugh at the girls.)

(Except that Daria has her pistol out, and blows the top of Sandi's head off. )

SANDI: Oh..this...sucks...

(She slumps down and lands on the floor. Tom sits up massaging his neck. Daria and Jane don't move. He looks up at them.)

TOM: Well, now you don't have a choice. Get going. I'll hold them off for as long as I can. If you don't make it...well, first round of drinks at St. Peter's Bar and Grill are on me.

(Daria says nothing but looks at Tom sadly. Jane grabs her arm)

JANE: Come on, Daria. He's right. Upchuck's getting away.

(Daria still doesn't move. Tom stands and goes to her.)

TOM: Go. Blow the bastard's head off. Otherwise, we won't get to do this anymore...

(With that, he kisses her. Appropriately sappy music plays in the background.)

JANE: All right! Knock it off! (the record scratches off) You got company.

(She points. The zombies have regrouped and begin to close in. Jane hands Tom her pistol, Daria does the same.)

DARIA: Be careful. (she gives him a quick kiss)

TOM: You too. (he turns to the crowd of zombies approaching him, guns ready) Okay, folks, who's up for a rousing game of "Is There A God?"

JANE: (to Daria) Let's go!

(Daria nods and follows Jane up onto the stage. Neither she nor Tom look back.)

(Backstage. Daria and Jane enter the stage left wing, weapons ready, meaning the shotgun is loaded and Maurice is idling. They spread out slightly, looking for any sign of Stacy or Upchuck. Cut to one of the fly ropes. It begins to slacken, reeling through the flywheels. Daria hears it and manages to get out of the way as a huge sandbag slams into the floor inches from her. Daria whirls and fires into the flies above her. Another flywheel begins to turn and Stacy, on a fly rope, drops into view.)

STACY: Hi there!

(She backhands Jane across the face, causing her to lose her grip on Maurice. The gas cuts out and the chainsaw goes sliding into the shadows. Jane herself goes flying and crashes into a pile of discarded props.)

STACY: (grinning at Daria) Oops.

(Daria brings up her shotgun, but Stacy moves faster and knocks the rifle out of her hands, while grabbing her jacket and pulling her forward.)

STACY: Uh uh uh! Naughty, naughty...

(She turns sharply and sends Daria flying back out on the stage...weaponless. Stacy turns and makes sure Jane won't be interfering for a while, then leaps across to Daria with an impressive bound, landing right over her.)

STACY: You just couldn't stay out of it, could you? You and your friends could have just left town and enjoyed a few more years of normalcy, but you had to be heroes.

DARIA: (propping herself up on her elbows) Standard B-movie procedure. Look in the handbook under "Acting Appropriately Stupid."

STACY: (snickers) Well, you certainly did that. Too bad they were lousy last words.

DARIA: Not as bad as yours, though...

STACY: (frowning) What do you mean?

DARIA: I mean "aaaarrrgh" is a lousy legacy to leave the world.

(With that, Daria kicks Stacy's legs out from under her, causing the zombie to fall to the stage. Daria quickly springs up and runs to the other wing. Stacy gets to her feet-only to get a boot to the head as Jane swings in on a fly rope, Maurice in one hand. Stacy snarls and leaps off the stage into the crowd. Daria returns.)

JANE: You all right?

DARIA: Yeah.

JANE: Upchuck climbed the ladder to the catwalk. I think he's heading for the roof.

DARIA: Thanks. What about--?

JANE: (yanks the pull start on Maurice once again) Maurice and I will deal with her.

DARIA: (nods) Good luck. (She hesitates) And if I don't see you-

JANE: (smiling) I know. It's been great for me too.

(beat)

JANE: Would you just go already? He's getting away!

(With that Jane leaps off the stage and begins carving her way after Stacy. Daria returns to the stage left wing, picks up her shotgun, reloads and begins climbing the ladder to the catwalk...)

(Cut to the roof. Daria appears out of a hatchway. She climbs up and readies her shotgun. We follow her as she looks around for Upchuck.)

UPCHUCK: (O/S) Ohhh, the irony of this situation is delicious, don't you think?

(Daria says nothing, but tries to locate the source of the voice.)

UPCHUCK: Didn't you once say that my personal space was the last place you intended to boldly go? I was so convinced that eventually you'd come to me...and I was right.

(Daria frowns at this, but still says nothing.)

UPCHUCK: What's this? No jibes? No sarcastic remarks? This is a first...the divine Miss Mmmm, speechless?

(At this point Daria straightens up, whirls and fires at a storage shed across the roof. An impressive hole appears in it, but nothing else. At that point Daria frowns and looks behind her...to see Upchuck.)

UPCHUCK: I was over there. (He gestures to an air duct, smiles, then grabs the barrel of the shotgun and hurls Daria to the far side of the roof. She hits, hard, cries out in pain and slides to the small restraining wall around the edge. Upchuck tosses the gun aside and begins to stride toward her. Daria sits up, nursing her arm. It looks like it's broken.)

UPCHUCK: (malevolently) Rrrrrrr...feisty. (He gives an downright EVIL grin.)

(Cut to the interior of the school, Jane has managed to hack her way through he crowd and sees Stacy wiggling out of the gym under the wooden bat. Using Maurice to ward off a few zombies, she exits the same way Stacy did and gets out into the halls, looking for her. She stops, cuts the gas to Maurice and listens. From down the hallway, she hears footsteps running away from her. Jane smirks and begins dashing down the hallway the footsteps are coming from. Pan up to see a sign that points down the hall labeled "Swimming Pool.")

(The Pool. The only lights on in the room are those coming from the pool itself, bathing the room in a mix of blue light and shadow. Jane creeps in quietly, slowing the door so that it doesn't slam shut behind her. She walks along the edge of the pool. She creeps back to the doors of both locker rooms, only to find them closed. She begins walking the perimeter of the pool towards the diving boards and the deep end. As she walks towards the high dive, she hears a metallic clang, she turns quickly, but doesn't see anything. She frowns and turns back the way she came.

(Just as she passes under the mid level diving board, Stacy suddenly swings down from the board and her feet connect solidly with the back of Jane's head. She loses her grip on Maurice, which skitters away. Stacy grabs Jane's arm and twists it up behind her back.)

STACY: That makes us even...and now, PAYBACK!

JANE: (through clenched teeth) You know, I liked you better when you didn't have a backbone.

(She swings one of her legs back, hooks Stacy around the ankle with her foot and pulls the zombie off balance, causing both of them to crash into the pool. Cut to underwater. Jane has managed to break free of Stacy's grip and begins to thrash her way to the surface. Stacy, however, being dead has a decided advantage. She kicks her way up after Jane, her eyes glowing evilly in the dim pool. Jane bursts to the surface, inhaling deeply. She shakes her hair out of her eyes, and sees Maurice lying next to the pool near her, she reaches out to grab it, when Stacy bursts through the surface, wraps an arm around Jane's neck, and tries to drag her back under. Jane manages to get one hand up against Stacy's face to push her away, while the other flails around trying to grab Maurice. Stacy releases her grip on Jane's neck and instead hooks her arms under Jane's shoulders and dives underwater, dragging Jane with her. As Jane starts to go under, she makes one last lunge and snags Maurice. Underwater, she kicks her way free, and violently yanks the pull start on Maurice. Miraculously enough, it roars to life, bubbles pouring out of the exhaust. Cut to an overhead shot of the pool, we see two shadows in the water. one swims over to the other, the water around the shadows churns violently, and a red tint begins to spread throughout the rest of the pool. In seconds the entire pool is a reddish-orange shade. Cut back to the side of the pool. A thoroughly water damaged and now useless Maurice is tossed up onto the pool deck, follow closely by a nearly half drowned Jane. She rests her arms on the side of the pool, panting heavily and not entirely from lack of air. She grins sadly and looks over at Maurice.)

JANE: Alas, poor Maurice, I used him well...as Stacy could attest if she hadn't gone to pieces over him. (She giggles out of exhaustion, hauls herself out of the pool and flops onto her back, legs dangling over the edge back into the water.) Well, Daria, I made it. I hope you can handle Upchuck on your own, 'cause I can't move.

(Cut back to the roof, where Upchuck slams Daria into the aforementioned air duct. Daria drops to the roof, in obvious pain. One of her lenses is cracked and she's bleeding from a nasty cut in her forehead and from the corner of her mouth.)

UPCHUCK: You know, you could just give up right now. I'd be more than happy to make you one of us. You'd be as powerful as Stacy, as I'm sure Jane is finding out right now.

DARIA: (spitting out blood) She lays one finger on Jane and I'll-

UPCHUCK: Ah, ah, ah! You should be more worried about yourself. You see, my recent conversion wasn't quite as simple as all the others. I was converted through a falling barrel of radioactive industrial byproduct.

DARIA: What?

UPCHUCK: I'm mildly radioactive, my dear Daria. Oh, not enough to kill most living people outright, but I'm sure all this prolonged exposure to me has drastically shortened your own life span. By say, ten years or more? I don't know, I never bothered to do the math. But that's where having an army of zombies comes in handy. They're already dead, so the radioactivity doesn't bother them. Why do you think I converted the town? The fact that they follow my orders unquestioningly is an added bonus.

DARIA: You're crazy.

UPCHUCK: (kneeling down) Indeed. Quite mad...with passion!

DARIA: (eyes wide) Excuse me?

UPCHUCK: I have admired you from afar, sweet Daria, and now I have the power and clout to make you mine. Yet to merely take you in such a manner would be meaningless, as you would become nothing more than a puppet like the rest of the Fashion Club. (He turns to look out over Lawndale, obviously trying to impress her) For only when one gives themselves to me voluntarily can they remain free of even my influence. Stacy was such a one, but all the others were taken by force...

(While he's talking Daria's good arm inches along behind her, looking for a weapon when, in the tradition of all B-movies, she comes in contact with the barrel of the shotgun. She slowly turns it so she can get a better grip on it, when Upchuck turns back to her, she quickly returns to her original position.)

UPCHUCK: I am king of all I survey, Daria, but what is a king without a queen? I know how resourceful Jane is, and with her newest little toy I'm sure she will find a way to decimate dear little Stacy. Besides, even with a backbone, she has the intellectual depth of a stunned gerbil. And while I can appreciate such a character trait, I'm sure that in time it would chafe...

DARIA: Get to the point...Charles.

UPCHUCK: (Surprised) "Charles?"

DARIA: (shrugs) Upchuck just doesn't seem appropriate anymore.

UPCHUCK: (grinning broadly) Indeed. You see, I doubt even Stacy would be that perceptive! (He kneels down beside her) Be my queen, Daria, with you by my side, we will be able to rule this town the way you think it should be ruled. Your slightest wish would be law. Popularity and conformity would be a thing of the past!

DARIA: (thought VO) And you obviously didn't notice the contradiction in that one, "Charles."

UPCHUCK: (continuing) Just say yes, and it can all be yours. Anything you want.

DARIA: Jane would stay unharmed and unconverted?

UPCHUCK: If that is your wish, and provided she was willing to leave everyone else alone as well, of course!

DARIA: Same with my parents when they return from their marriage seminar?

UPCHUCK: (leaning closer) Yes...

(Daria gives him a naughty smile, takes off her glasses, and unzips her jacket in a slow seductive motion.)

DARIA: Then...take me, Charles...Just be careful of my other arm.

(She lies on her back, and Upchuck's libido takes over. He leans over her and bites into her neck, causing Daria to cry out, he gently moves her broken arm up over her head, then brings the hand back down and, predictably, cups one of her breasts. Cut to Daria's face as she looks simultaneously disgusted and determined as she forces her broken arm to grab the stock of the shotgun. As she drags it down, she moans loudly to cover the sound of the gun scraping the roof.)

DARIA: Wait...wait, Charles.

(Upchuck stops and looks up at her.)

UPCHUCK: What is it, Dearest?

DARIA: (give a small smile) I just need to adjust myself. (She slide over, positioning one leg between Upchuck's) Oh, and just one more thing, Charles.

UPCHUCK: (smirking) Yes, dearest?

DARIA: You drool like a dog. (She quickly snaps one leg up, nailing Upchuck in the crotch, he howls in pain and doubles up. Daria struggles to a sitting position, grabs the gun, and tries to slide back.)

UPCHUCK :YOU LITTLE BITCH! (He gets to his feet and grabs her throat. Daria struggles for pump the shotgun, as Upchuck slowly applies pressure. She then becomes aware of an itching around her neck and an odd heat. It's obvious that Upchuck's radioactivity is affecting her. She winces through the pain, itching, and heat and brings the shotgun up as high as she can.)

(Switch to Daria's POV. Her vision is beginning to darken around the edges, as well as blurry from not wearing her glasses. We see the fuzzy outline of the barrel of the shotgun. There's a flash and an explosion)

(Back to the roof. Upchuck collapses, holding his leg in pain. Daria gets unsteadily to her feet, she transfers the shotgun to her good hand and pumps it. Then she grasps the stock with her bad arm, winces, and gets the shotgun in the correct position. She walks over to Upchuck and aims the rifle squarely at his head. Upchuck looks up at her, terror covering his face.)

DARIA: (deadpan) On second thought, Upchuck, find your queen somewhere else. I hear Hell's got some great singles bars.

UPCHUCK: WAIT! Think about it, Daria! I'm radioactive! You shoot me, I could explode! Do you really want to die that badly?

(Daria appears to consider for a moment, then...)

DARIA: I'll take that chance.

(boom.)

(Cut to the gym, abruptly all the white skinned zombies freeze up and collapse. After a moment, they start sitting up looking around in confusion. Across the room, Tom sits up, grabs the guns he dropped and begins to systematically take out the few remaining full zombies. After making his way through the crowd, he runs into Trent, who apparently made it to the dance, and is doing what he can with a 2 X 4.)

TRENT: Hey. Nice to see you made it.

TOM: Nice to see you too. Anymore jaundice victims?

TRENT: (looks out at the crowd.) Looks like we got all of them.

TOM: Good. I'm sure the police can handle any stragglers.

TRENT: Have you seen Janey or Daria?

TOM: No, I went the way you did. I haven't seen them since they went after Stacy and Upchuck.

(At this point, Jane comes in through the doors under the wooden bat, carrying Maurice.)

JANE: Trent! Tom! (she drops Maurice and pouncehugs both of them.) You're all right!

TRENT: Yeah, Janey, we're fine.

TOM: We took care of the ones who we couldn't save. I don't think any of the stragglers should be a problem.

JANE: And Stacy's been...cooled off.

TRENT: Looks like Maurice is going back to the shop, though.

JANE: Yeah, there's another six months of one topping pizza. (she looks around) Where's Daria?

TOM: I thought she was with you?

JANE: No, we split up. Upchuck went up to the roof.

TOM: Let's go!

(Cut to the roof. Jane, Tom and Trent appear out of the hatch. The roof is charred, blackened and smoking. Evidently, Upchuck was right.)

TRENT: Whoa.

TOM: Jesus!

JANE: Oh God...Daria!

TOM: Daria!

TRENT: Hey, Daria! You alive?

(Tom and Jane give him a LOOK. Trent rubs the back of his neck with an embarrassed expression.)

TOM: DARIA!

JANE: DARIA! Come on, you've got to be alive...IF YOU'VE DIED, DARIA MORGENDORFFER, I WILL NEVER SPEAK TO YOU AGAIN!

DARIA'S VOICE: (faintly) Well, gee, I better hurry up and die then, shouldn't I?

(Jane turns to find the voice is coming from the wreckage of the storage shed. The three of them begin throwing fragments of metal aside. After a few moments Daria emerges, singed, with a broken arm and with more cuts and bruises, minus her glasses, but alive. Jane, overcome, throws her arms around Daria, who winces)

DARIA: No, I'm not dead Jane, but you will be if you don't get off MY BROKEN ARM!!

(Jane quickly releases Daria. Daria looks at her in relief.)

DARIA: Thanks. Everything back to abnormal around here?

TOM: The sheep have returned to the flock.

DARIA: Stacy?

JANE: Clogging the pool filters.

DARIA: What a waste. It was nice to see her standing up for herself.

TOM: Well, I know one thing. I'm glad I got to do this again.

(He leans over and kisses Daria, while Jane and Trent look on, smiling. After a minute they separate.)

DARIA: I'm glad you do that a hell of a lot better than Upchuck.

TOM, TRENT AND JANE: WHAT?!

(Dissolve to Chez Morgendorffer, Sunday night. Daria, Jane and Tom are watching TV. Daria's arm is casted and in a sling. Tom has his arm around her. After a moment, Helen and Jake come in.)

HELEN: Honestly, all I ask you is to listen to the traffic report on the way home. Otherwise we wouldn't have lost an hour and a half detouring!

JAKE: But Helen, there was a roadblock!

HELEN: That's beside the point! All I ask is-(she sees Daria's arm in a sling.) Oh, my God, Daria! What happened?

TOM AND JANE: It was my fault!

(They look at each other. Daria shakes her head then speaks.)

DARIA: It was my own damn fault, guys. We all went out to a movie last night and got feeling a bit childish. We went to the playground at the elementary school. I was clowning around on top of the monkey bars and fell off. Broke my arm. Luckily, we managed to get to the hospital and it was a slow night. I'm fine.

HELEN: Well, I'm glad you're all right, Daria. Just be more careful.

JAKE: (OS) GAAAAHHHH! THE LUGGAGE!

HELEN: Oh for crying out loud... (she leaves)

JANE: Since when have you clowned around on monkey bars.

DARIA: I wasn't always the mature sensible woman you see.

JANE: Oh yeah, blasting a radioactive zombie with a shotgun, real sensible.

TOM: Are you going to tell them?

DARIA: What? "Hey Mom and Dad, while you were gone a horde of zombies took over the town and we beat them, except we had to kill several of our friends...oh and since we killed all the other members Quinn's the new president of the Fashion Club?" Better if we just go with the feds on this and keep our mouths shut.

JANE: Shame about Mack, though.

DARIA: I know. I hope Jodie can forgive us.

JANE: We'll have to beg. It'll make it seem more sincere.

TOM: Hey, heroes don't beg.

DARIA: (blushes) 'M not a hero.

TOM: Sure you are. If you hadn't killed Upchuck, the whole town would have been overrun.

JANE: Hey, she's a hero for letting Upchuck grope her.

DARIA: Don't remind me. Are we watching a movie or what?

JANE: Yeah...(picks up the TV Guide.) HEY! Here's a good one!

TOM: What?

JANE: (smirks) "Evil Dead."

(Daria and Tom look at her.)

DARIA: You do it, my arm hurts.

(Tom picks up a pillow and begins chasing Jane around the living room. Jane picks up her own and the two start whapping each other. Close up on Daria who gives one of her usual smiles--

--right before her eyes start glowing red.)

(Fade out. Roll credits.)


THE END...?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Daria" is copyright (C) 2001 MTV Networks and Viacom International