GOD SAVE THE ESTEEM
Episode 35: I Don't Like Any Day

School was out, and for the Maleficent Eleven that meant it was time to hang around the teacher's car park looking as threatening as possible. (Until Barch hobbled out to her car, because there was a very real chance that she could beat them up) They'd already succeeded in making one of the Foreign Language teachers park three blocks away and they were hoping to get the Maths teacher next.

Ms Onepu, the new Language Arts/English/Dramatic Horizons/whatever-was-lying-around teacher was heading for the car park. Quinn nodded to the gang and they began strategically chewing gum in a challenging way. This would be-

"Good Lord!" exclaimed Onepu, her eyes widening at the sight of them. "You shouldn't be here!" (This was a good start) "You should be at home or at children's hangouts, unless… Oh no, is this the only place you can 'hang out'?" (This wasn't a good middle) "But this is so lacking in stimulus and there's the possibility of smog, this is not right, this is- If circumstances prevent you from going home, the school needs to provide you with a safer, more stimulating place to be!"

"Miss, you're giving me a headache!" cried out Quinn in confusion, horror, and confusion.

"I'll go right to Principal O'Neill and get this done – we have to look out for the children's welfare even outside of school, I always said-"

The teacher sped back the way she'd came, and the next day O'Neill proposed a school-run coffee house in town where all students could hang out and encouraged everyone to volunteer raising money. Nobody did (that'd involve work) but the damage had been done: Onepu had learned she could influence O'Neill.

And that led to a day that would live in infamy as really, really sucking.


Onepu had prepared greatly for her proposal to the staff. She'd done her research, she'd worked it out, and she'd put a lot of smiley faces on the PowerPoint presentation slides.

"…and so with the figures at thatlevel on an average annual basis, we need to have a school shooting practice drill. It's just too violent a world out there for the children! We have to protect them from the people who'd hurt them-"

"Which in this case would be other children," said Tommy Sherman.

Onepu froze, having managed to prevent herself from realising that since she'd had the idea.

"It makes a lot of sense," said Mrs Nikahd. "Hasn't the school done it before?"

"Under Ms Li," said DeMartino, scowling. "JUST before SCHOOL ENDED. EVERY damn TIME."

"Not true," said Steve. "She did it at lunchtime once."

"And we're very grateful you got Angela to understand the problems of that," began O'Neill, before Mr Ayoade added "Tony jumped out the window".

"I'D DO IT AGAIN!"

"We'll take that into account, certainly, Anthony. I believe this is a good idea: with the right planning-"

"Aw crap," said Barch, who is wise.

"-it would valuable in showing the students how we're looking out for their welfare!"

"Will it involve me and the boys having to do something?" asked Steve.

"Well… yes, Steve. You're the security guards."

"Only we kinda got used to not doing anything all day and there's a football game on tomorrow, so I can't promise we'll be any good."

Tommy Sherman perked up. "Can we start the drill at 11? Because Tommy Sherman was gonna record the game but if I can see it live-"

"But then the children might think they're supposed to watch a football game if there's ever an attack!" said a shocked Onepu.

"Oh come on, nobody's that stu-" Sherman remembered Kevin. "Oh."

Speaking of working things out, this is what some of the teachers did after the meeting was over:

"So that's decided: before the exercise starts, we tell every Eleven member in our classes that they can go early."

"Bad idea," said Barch, "they may come back. Let's send them to the roof or something."


The next day, Daria became aware that something was going on. For a start, the security guards at the door were awake (and not too happy about that), and throughout the rest of the day she'd seen one or two of them walking around. A little worried, she checked CNN's website to make sure war hadn't been declared or something.

Then in Science class, Barch told Andrea and Shaggy that they needed to go to the roof because quote "of something" unquote.

"Something really stupid is going to happen," she confided in Jane.

"Hahahaha, hey guys, lookit this, HOMO ERECTUS!" laughed Kevin at part of the textbook.

"Something else really stupid is going to happen."

"Might not," said Jane. "Maybe it'll just be moderately stupid."

"You've just been optimistic about something school-related. As I said, really stupid."

"Touché. Look, it's one minute until the bell rings and then we're onto Gym class and forget everything I was trying to say, you're right, stupidity and suck will abound."


Meanwhile, up on the roof:

"Whoa! Quinn, look at this, someone's written a dirty limerick on the water tank shack!"

"All right!"

"Hey, let's, like, add some ourselves-"

"No, stupid, if the teacher's sent us here they must've written it and if we add some we're doing what teachers want us to do," explained Quinn. "We should… uh… write it on the roof itself!"

"But nobody will see it," said Shaggy.

"God would."

"Whooooaaaaaaaa."


"Thirty seconds until we're out of a class with Kevin in it." Daria narrowed her eyes at the clock. "Twenty. Ten. Five. Four-"

The tinny sounds of a recorded WW2 air raid siren came over the school intercom, followed by the "pww pwww!" noises of someone making gun-noises with their mouth.

"Bad news, people, absolutely bad news! A gunman has entered the school – not a real gunman, of course, it's just pretend – and you need to duck and cover under your desks and barricade the door – um, that bit's not pretend, you really – oh dear. Um, I'll start again: pww pwww! Hello kids, we're going to pretend a gunman has broken into the school and practice what we'd do if it really happened. Just stay under the desks in your classes and wait until the all-clear is sounded!"

"YOU HEARD HIM UNDER THE DESKS!" bellowed Barch. "And maybe being stuck under there will teach some of you to stop sticking your used gum and picked bogeys there you know who you are!"

Daria looked and saw Upchuck was at the desk next to her. "Permission to move desks?"

"Overruled. Sorry, Daria, any place I move him now will be in letching distance of some girl or other, and I can't in good conscience sacrifice them like that."

By the time Barch had said 'overruled', Daria had already dropped to the floor so she and her skirt would be down before Upchuck could be lying down & looking up.

Extra time spent in the company of my classmates. I can survive this. I am strong. I am powerful.

"Hahaha, hey, there's a homo georgicus-"

I am going to snark constantly to stay sane.

"Everyone STAY QUIET to avoid drawing attention, especially you Kevin!" ordered Barch.

Aaaaarg.


"Coach Sherman, should we really be watching a football game during-"

"Yes," said Sherman, handing round the bowl of Doritos.


Daria looked at the clock. A minute had passed.

Daria looked at the clock. A minute and two seconds had passed.

Daria looked at the clock. A minute and four seconds had passed.

Daria looked at the clock. A minute and six seconds had passed.

"Ms Barch can I go to the toilet please-" started Mack.

"No."

Daria looked at the clock. A minute and ten seconds had passed.


"Shut up, the Devil's way cooler than Satan!" snarled Dave, punching Scarlett to get his point across.

"The Devil is Satan!" responded Andrea, punching Dave and then Scarlett. "One's, like, his regular name and the other's a stage name like David Bowie-"

"Hang on, hang on!" yelled Quinn, hitting Andrea with Scarlett ("this really hurts") and then hitting Dave with, after a quick scan, Shane ("you're nearest"). "We're getting too fucking distracted here: the point is to just write something telling God someone else is cooler than him! It doesn't matter which name for the Devil we use-"

"The Hamburglar," said Shaggy.

"Oh for fuck's- where'd I put that bottle-"

"No, no, he's right, the Hamburglar is a devil figure!" said Angel. "He, like, runs around this paradise run by The Ultimate Man and takes his stuff."

The gang looked at each other and began to write out 'HAMBURGLAR EFFED GOD'S MUM' in large letters.


Daria looked at the clock. Two minutes had passed.

Everyone else on the floor had turned to their phones and was texting. Daria turned to Jane in hope but got a shake of the head – her credit must be out. Sighing, she turned the other way to see…

Upchuck leering at her.

Daria looked at the clock. Two minutes had passed.

Daria looked at the clock. Two minutes had passed.

Daria looked at Jane's watch to make sure the clock was broken and she wasn't stuck in a time warp.


"I got a feeling we forgot something," said Quinn. "What did we forget?"

"We drew an exclamation point."

"Not that, Spike. Something else. Something I can't quite put my finger on…"

"Weren't there eleven of us earlier today?" asked Burnout.


Jackie Wentworth, just as unaware of the 'get the Eleven out of class' deal as Ms Onepu was, was spending the drill in her English class sensibly. She was napping.

The frightened, nervous whisper of Onepu came nearer, checking every student was okay and not too scared and knew just what to do and "Miss Wentworth, are you alright? You haven't passed out?"

"I'm meditating to get in touch with my positive energies," said Jackie, remembering what one of the stoners had claimed one time in History class.

"Oh! Good idea, if it helps you through this difficult and stressful situation-"

Jackie's phone went off: it was Killer. She killed the call and sent a text instead, to fit with the drill: 'cant tk calls due 2 shooter thing'.


Up on the roof, Quinn did a spit-take with her spit. "Holy shit! There's a shooter down there! Look!"

"I haven't heard any shots," said Angel.

"He must be using one of those silenting things! Fuck! That means he's a professional gun person! He's not just that creepy kid in the rainmack-"

"Upchuck doesn't have a rainm- oh, right, Alan." Spike's blood ran cold. "What if Alan's working with him? Maybe that's how the shooter got in without anyone noticing!"

"Oh man, Steve must've been wiped out!"


Steve yawned his way down the corridor, setting off a chain reaction that rippled down the guard ranks. Even the security puppies gave an adorable little yawn-bark.

"Okay, okay, you know the drill – groups of two, sweep the place, sweep back again, meet out the front, give the all-clear. Do it professionally, guys."

The guards made a noise of disapproval. It was sort of like 'uhhheeeeneeeerrrr'.

"Okay, I know, put your gas masks on and wave Tasers around. What the heck."

The guards cheered and did so.

"Move out, move out, yo Joe! I'll check the Gym!"

Steve went to the Gym, found Tommy Sherman's class, and sat down around the TV with them. "Did I miss anything?"

"Naw, it's still in the warm-up," said Tommy, handing him the popcorn.


The clickity-clackity-clickity noise of texts was getting to Daria. It was the sound of the rats in the walls, scratching out Lady Gaga lyrics in international Morse code. It was the main piece, backed up by the percussion of Upchuck's hrrrrr-haaaaaa breathing, which Daria couldn't challenge him on because it'd mean The Leer. Every so often, Ms Barch would shift and give an irritated grgrgrrgrgrgrg as she realised she was in a room of men.

Jane had betrayed her and gone to sleep. Worse, Jane kept snoring at irregular intervals; the snoring she could handle, it was the asymmetry that was getting to her. She found herself trying to sort out a pattern to the snores even though she knew there wasn't one.

And there was olfactory evidence that someone, somewhere had just dealt it.

I think, on reflection, that I'd prefer to get shot. Correction. I'd prefer everyone else to get shot.


'omg no wai omg' texted Stacy to Sandi, getting a reply of 'wai duh'. 'but nooooooo'

Stacy got another text: Jeffy. 'hey Stace doin stoopd shootin drill school how ru?'.

'Ironically, we're doing one as well! I suppose it is useful to know.' she texted back, then texted in reply to a Sandi message with 'squee!1'.

Another text: Jeffy, Tiffany, and one of the football team.

Without missing a beat, Stacy drew out her back-up phone and started to text on both at once.


"Way I see it, we've only got one fucking option," said Quinn, her brow set and her eyes harder than they'd ever been, evaluating the team before her. "One of our own is down there. Punks do not leave someone behind unless they've pigged on all the beer, and Jackie always brought her own! We need to go down there."

"Killer, I'm with you and all, but we're unarmed," said Shane, scared and trying to not to show it. "What are we gonna do?"

"I'll tell you what. We're gonna call in our bitch on the inside."


clickity-clackity-clickity
hrrrrr-haaaaaa
SNRR-SNT
clickity-clackity-clickity
hrrrrr-haaaaaa
grgrgrrgrgrgrg
clickity-clackity-clickity
hrrrrr-
SNRRRRRRRRRR
-haaaaaa

A text message came in and Daria fell on it like a lion on raw meat, even though it was from Quinn.

'Sis taking the shooter on! Need intel inside! Layout?'

She hadn't taken Quinn for a roleplayer and she'd given up after Sick, Sad Message Board's RP had gotten bogged down in continuity arguments (of course the bloody books were canon!), but what the heck. She was bored.

'2 hostiles working 2gether. Best bet is ambush w fire extinguisher, blind em: then strike.'

She wondered what Quinn would come back with.


Dave leapt down the roof stairs headbutt first, ran into no obstacles, and gestured for the others to join him. Moving fast, Quinn tore a nearby extinguisher off the wall and raised it like a machine gun (not realising it was pointing upwards now).

"Jackie texted back, she's in Onepu's class," said Angel. "Ground floor."

"Andrea, check twatical."

"Tactical," said Angel.

"Don't complicate things."


hrrrrr-haaaaaa
hrrrrr-haaaaaa

Unsure if Upchuck's breathing was getting louder or just more annoying, Daria had started to grade each one on a scale of 1 to 10 for both qualities. After six breaths she'd revised the scale so 1 meant the same as 8 on the old one. Luckily, a text came in and interrupted her growing descent in paranoia.

'oi d how we gt 2 grownd floor frm hear? – Andrea'

'Rush the stairs and corners. Hostiles will be startled and not react in time. Use that second.'

Damn. Should have said to go out the window. Maybe next time.


"Do we have to check the roof?" asked Bruce the guard, idly picking his nose as he walked (he'd forgotten his gas mask was on and was wondering why he wasn't finding anything).

"Let's just nap up there and say-" began Fred before a deafening roar of "HEY HO LET'S GO!" came around the corner, carrying punks with them. Fred started to say "double-you tee-" before Quinn opened fire.

"SHIT!" screamed Quinn, her face full of foam (or rather "shbbttt!"), and Fred finished "-eff?" before the punks came to a halt by colliding with him.

"Waaaaaa!" wussied Bruce, firing his taser at the nearest target – in this case, Burnout Girl. Before he could reload, Quinn worked out how physics worked and fired the extinguisher in the right direction, then scissor kicked him into the wall.

"Code 99 Red!" screamed Fred into his radio, "Code 99-" and then stopped because Andrea did the mother of all bellyflops on him.

"Burnout!" Quinn fell to her friend's side, terrified. "Burnout's dead!"

Burnout's living self coughed. "Whooooooaaaaaa. That was trippy."

"Burnout's dying!"

"Has my hair done that afro thing like in the cartoons?"

"Burnout's flesh wounded! Well, no more! It's an eye for that other thing now!"


Kevin yawned, and for once Daria agreed with him. When the text came, it was like a crappy little Bic lighter in the blackest night.

'assholes gt raydio + masks + called buddies! Burnout's down! TWATICAL!1'

Adequate things come to she who waits. 'Hide Burnout in nearest bathroom. Climb out windows and down to ground floor – blankside enemy as they head up.'

Pause. Then 'Angel sez that wd brake legs'.

Oh, like now's the time for realism. 'Improvise a rope or use some form of cushioning. Either way, use windows. Draw in enemy via their own radio, make the drop when they're almost on you.'

'Do we hav 2 steal this stuff?'

'YES'

'3 U SIS!11'


"Come on!" roared the gym, throwing popcorn at the TV as the home team continued to suck. "YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK YOU SUCK YOU-"

Steve's radio went off. Thinking quick, he said: "Oh no, the shooter's ambushed me. Ack" and then turned it off.


"Aw crap!" said Gutrot, looking at the radio with dismay.

With Steve gone, every guard had regrouped and was looking to him for guidance because he had a macho name. Now finding himself with command, he did the sensible thing and went to Principal O'Neill's office to tell him there were real hostiles in the building and what should they do?

O'Neill proceeded to hyperventilate and crawl under his desk to hide.

"Aw crap!"

"Should we hide under a desk too?" asked Tony.

"Yes- no, we'll get shitcanned. Er…. Right, Forley the Wuss, you're a wuss so you stay here to guard this bigger wuss and you call in the police. The rest of us, we… we go up and take down the enemy."

"Aw crap!" said everyone (except Forley).


Using all their lock-picking skills (they kicked the lockers until they opened), the nine-strong gang checked a row of lockers for anything adequate. They found nothing and texted Daria for more advice.

'Be very careful then. Or use your spider-powers.'

None of the gang would admit to having spider-powers, and since their scout Shaggy was reporting the shooters were coming up the stairs for them, they had no time to debate on who the selfish bastard was who had spider-powers and wouldn't tell their friends. It was time to drop carefully from a first floor window.

'wot if wer left outnumbred!' Quinn texted furiously.

The reply came: 'Call in reinforcements.'

That made sense. Daria always knew how to handle these things.

As the gang proceeded to move ("OW FUCK OW OW OW" yelled Shane, the first one down), Quinn sent out a text to her parents.


"…and under both the First Amendment and the precedent set by Reynods v. Lord Scumflagon, we can argue that the statue of Satan can remain in your garden but we should propose growing a hedge to cover the to-scale penis from the neighbour's eyes-"

Helen stopped in mid-legal speak as her phone buzzed. She took it out, checked the text, and immediately got up.

"Mr Weathering, I'll have to cut this meeting short due to an unforeseen emergency. I apologise and I'll call you back later."

"Where are you going?" asked the Vice-High Priest of the High Hills Satanist coven.

Helen threw on her leather jacket in a stereotypically badass screen moment. "To batter some cunts."


"-and that's how your church can look far more bitchin' and really pull in the crowds!" said Jake.

"I'm not sure I can refer to Our Father as a, ah… that m word you said," said Father Martin.

"Hmmm. Good point, don't want to drive away all of the old audience. How about we abbreviate to 'badass mofo' instead-" Jake's phone buzzed. "Just a second, I have to GAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH BACK LATER SOME BATTERS GONNA GET CUNTED I MEAN I DUNNO"


Quinn surveyed her troops with a growl. "Carefully, we said! Damn it, guys!"

"MY ANKLE AAAAA"

"THIS REALLY ISN'T FUN"

Andrea, Dave, Shane, Koichi, and Scarlett were all in a degree of severe pain and unable to do more than hobble. This left Quinn with just Angel, Spike, and Shaggy to take on a whole unknowneth of scumbags. And she wasn't entirely sure about Shaggy, since he'd smoked a joint before this had kicked off and could be lost to them at any moment.

She texted the situation to Daria. The response was quick: "Hide them in a classroom. Duh."

Quinn was about to ask how (or 'how tf?') when she had an idea.

"Hey Dave, you're not a wuss, right?"


'uh STAAAcy who else r u txting?'

'no1 Sandi!' replied Stacy while, in Sandi's line of sight, actively sending a second text.

Sandi may have thought to challenge this big lie if Dave hadn't come crashing through the Geography class window ("HA I'M NOT A WUSS OWWWWW"). Four more malcontents were thrown in after him, followed by the remaining Eleven.

"What in God's name-" began Mrs Frett.

"No time to talk, shooters are attacking the school and we're gonna attacking them first!" declared Quinn.

They left the classroom. Everyone still in the classroom, having heard 'shooters attacking', showed they'd paid great attention to the drill by utterly panicking and crying and running around and making a noise. Including Mrs Frett ("I'VE WASTED MY LIFE!").

Nobody noticed Stacy go rigid, get up, and leave the classroom, withdrawing a paintball mask from her bag.


At the sound of the window breaking, Gutrot gave a particularly loud curse. "They've doubled back somehow, they're back on the ground floor!"

"But we just ran up the stairs!" complained Medium-Sized Dave, speaking for all the other guards in being horrified at the thought of more exercise.

"Well…" Gutrot thought what would Steve say?. "It'll be quicker to go back down again, won't it? Gravity and shit."

The guards considered this a well-made argument.


Daria had time to think was that a window? before Kevin screamed "Aw man, I just got a text from Joey and there's a real shooter and he's got lots of him!"

"So we should be quiet then?" said Mack, the voice of reason.

"Bro, this ain't the time or the place!" responded Kevin, the voice of that other thing.

As the class erupted into wailing, Daria realised she'd made a big mistake. She needed to text Quinn and explain to her this was all a misunderstanding.

Then she remembered who Quinn was.

I'm going to need to draft this out.


"What's all the commo-" Defoe's words died in her lips as the Goggle-Eyes vigilante entered her classroom. "Oh. It's come to this. The gun and ammunition are in my desk-side cupboard."

"Your assistance remains invaluable,"said the masked stranger, accessing her Lawndale High cache…


"Is Steve with you?" read out Tommy Sherman from his phone. "Deleted!"

"Thanks bro."

"Tommy Sherman's no snitch, man."

"Come on pass the ball pass it aaaah you suck!" spat Mrs Nikahd.


Axl was in the middle of bribing the health inspector when Hellion Wheels and Jake the Snake entered the tattoo parlour, rusted metal chains looped round their chests and arms.

"Guys?"

"Axl, we're using these premises as an impromptu gathering point and command centre," said Hellion, her voice more deadly and serious than he'd ever heard. "We have a Code No Fun."

He paled. "Oh bugger."

"We're calling in our contacts."

"Which?"

"All of them," growled the Snake.


Quinn and the gang rushed down the hallway, fire extinguishers in all hands, trying to remember which class was English again. They finally remembered and were nearing it when a gang of hostiles reached there first.

The two groups stared. No one moved.

"Wait… for… it…" growled Quinn.

Gutrot threw the teargas canister – and Quinn highkicked it right back at his head. The guards were all throwing gas now but the Maleficent Four were advancing at high speed, blasting foam and CO2 out in a wave of suppressive fire.

Shaggy stopped in mid-run, his eyes widening and mouth drooling as the spliff finally got to him. Only three left.

The punks hit the enemy like a bomb blast, striking and spurting and headbutting their way through the ranks, taking punch and knee but still going; Spike tore his way out of the group head first…

A blow to the stomach halted Angel's advance and she was lost.

"SPIKE KEEP GOING!" roared Quinn, turning back for Angel. "OUTTA MY WAY ASSHOLES-"

An enemy raised a Taser.

Pointblank range.

And then a paintball struck his hand, jerking it back at an angle – the Taser fired and hit nearby lockers.

The doors blew off their hinges and metal and book shrapnel knocked the group to the ground, leaving only Quinn standing. Quinn and the Goggle-Eyes.

"They'll recover and there's more. We shall retrieve your friends and take position for a final stand."

"Bitchin'," said Quinn in awe.


'THERE'S NOT REALLY A SHOOTER IT'S THE SECURITY GUARDS I WAS LYING.' Daria had texted this five times but Quinn wasn't picking up.

Across the room, Kevin had got everyone to shove all the chairs in front of the door. Ms Barch was allowing this to happen, trying to get in contact with O'Neill to find out wtf, but it wasn't working.

Jane was filming everything on her phone. "Sick, Sad World is gonna love this. Fame and fortune at last!"

"Not a total screw-up then," said Daria. "Want to help me think of a plan to stop this?"

"Nah."


The LCPD had set up a cordon around the school, watching every potential exit as they waited for the State Police SWAT team to arrive. That was the protocol. That was logical.

That went out the window when an army out of Lord Humongous' wettest of dreams roared up the road, bikes and trucks and battle-scarred black cars and a Skoda; an army of filth and scum and alternate bookshop owners, armed to the teeth and led by a man and a woman with death in their eyes.

"We're here to retake the school!" snarled the woman. "And I'm claiming rights under the Second Amendment! I wrote out an argument on the way over!"

The lead cop was pretty sure you weren't meant to let people into a siege but they did have a lot of sticks.

"Look, men," he said slowly and deliberately. "It's a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. This is all above board."

"We're gonna kick down every door and window at once and bumrush the bastards and STOMP 'EM!" declared Jake.

"This is all above board."


Ms Onepu had no idea what was going on. When Angel and Shaggy's bodies were deposited in her class by Quinn, Spike and…. someone, she had even less idea.

"Don't worry, we're gonna totally beat up the remaining shooters!" said Quinn. "DEATH TO TYRANNOSAURUS!"

"Wait, Quinn, I don't mean to criticise but I think you've misunderstood the exercise-"

"There is no exercise in death, ma'am."

The three left standing strode out of the classroom, weapons ready. The last of the armed men were waiting for them, Tasers high.

Seconds ticked away.

Eyes sought out targets.

A middle-aged woman got in the way and ruined the mood.

"Wait, WAIT!" Onepu put her arms out in front of everyone, requiring her to stand side-on and keep turning her head to talk. "This is really getting dangerous, you children could be hurt! And you could hurt the children!"

"She broke my nose!" protested a guard.

"I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason-"

"He's a fucking shooterist!" said Quinn.

"Oh dear, I really… Oh dear. We clearly didn't explain the situation properly, so let me-"

The attempt at rational resolution was ruined when the forces of Dega Street came in through every breakable entrance.


Daria was already out of the classroom and walking to O'Neill's office when the punks rushed in ("hi sweetie!" said Helen on her way past).

Daria was opening the door to the office when the army was fifteen seconds away from hitting the guards.

Daria was stepping over O'Neill whimpering self and taking hold of the intercom system when the punks were ten seconds away.

Switching it on when they were five seconds away.

"Congratulations," her voice boomed across the school. "You just saved the school from the shooter." (Everyone stopped, thinking the voice meant them) "Now if you go to the Gym, you'll be rewarded with a football game. With popcorn."

The cheer shook the walls.


Steve looked up as the battered forms of over sixty people entered the Gym. Thinking fast, he dialled up Pizza King: "I've got a big order."


Superintendent Pascal descended on Lawndale High like the wrath of a particularly petty god, full of anger and a desire to fire O'Neill's worthless pasty ass for this latest outrage. All major news outlets are ringing his office non-stop, the state government was angry that another state of emergency had been caused in the Lawndale County area, and the repair bill for all those windows was going to be staggering.

O'Neill was going to die. And be fired. And then resurrected so he could be fired. Again!

When he reached the office, his opening roar died in his mouth: those bastard Morgendorffers stood between him and O'Neill.

"Hi! Jake Morgendorffer of Morgendorffer Consulting! We've just agreed with Steel O'Neill here-"

"mblblblbl"

"-that we'll help deal with the school's little marketing problem! And we can do it for you too! Not that you need us with this big a success!"

"Are you drunk, man?" demanded Pascal.

"Hey, I had half a beer, I'm cool to drive. Anyway, your trial run got a bit messy-"

"But as Morgendorffer Legal can tell you, it's the school that presses charges for most of it and it won't, and everyone's physical actions could be argued as being reasonable self-defence as defined by Maryland state law!"

"-but you've just shown that the students of Lawndale High are badasses who don't wait around for help but yank themselves up by their jockstraps and get things DONE. Because that's how they're taught here! The teachers are hardcore!"

Pascal considered this. "You're hired."


"You realise that by getting your parents to do that, you just saved O'Neill and everyone knows it," said Jane.

Daria was about to respond when a spitball hit her ("you suck!" cried Kevin). "I need to surgically remove that conscience."

"Cheer up, at least you helped make things really messy and painful for a lot of people."

"That's always a good laugh. And you know, I think I learnt something today."

"I didn't."

"I learnt that next time we have one of these drills, I'm going to sleep too and not talking to anyone."

"You do the second part anyway."

"So I'm ahead of the curve."


The damage was extensive and the school would be closed for two days. Five kids were in hospital for ankle sprains. Utter chaos had run through the school and endangered the children, and it was all her fault. All in all, Ms Onepu was no longer sure she was cut out to work in such a challenging school. Maybe she should have gone somewhere easier. Maybe…

"Ah, Miss?" It was Quinn, still bruised from the mess she'd caused for the poor dear. "I heard that you were behind the whole shooterist drilling practice thing."

"Ah, yes dear, I'm sorry, that was me-"

Quinn grabbed the teacher in a hug.

"YOU.
"Are the punkest teacher.
"EVER."

(Onepu wasn't sure this was good)

THE END

(credits roll, featuring the instrumental "Standing on my Neck" and the following Alter Egos:

* Daria as a puppeteer with a sinister grin

* Helen and Jake in suits, with briefcases and normal hair

* Superintendent Pascal as the baby chasing the dollar from Nevermind

* Jane as the mighty Thor

* Stacy in the Superman pose, pulling open her jacket to reveal... a Stacy's clothes

* Steve as Buddha, asleep

* Ms Onepu as a punk, scowling at Quinn the 1950s teacher...

(la la LA la la)

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This fic has its origins in an earlier, shorter "Modern Day Daria" ficlet I did (which first introduced Steve); The Angst Guy explained how school shooting drills really work, and it eventually snowballed…

Ms Onepu is borrowed with permission from J-D's "Not So Different" fanfics.

MEANWHILE, SIDEWAYS IN TIME...

In the parking lot of the Mall of the Millennium, Dire Daria puked her guts out and probably a few bones too. This didn't surprise Jane but it didsurprise her that Daria did so into a paper bag, as if she'd been expecting this.

"I have a plan," said Daria. "Just in case the capitalist fatcats here turn out to be exploiting us for their fucking marketing. This is revenge in liquid-and-semi-solid form."

"What are you going to do?"

Later, Daria ran out of the meeting room, went to the edge of the floor, and dropped the bag downwards. The resulting explosion was so disgusting that it caused the nearest people to vomit themselves, which caused the nearest to themto do so, and so on in a chain reaction that spread throughout the whole floor. And then the smell wafted upwards and started to cause a rising reaction...

"I may have miscalculated." Daria shrugged. "Ah, whatever the fuck. bleeeeeurg"