An investigation into the various factors influencing the tendency of villains to kidnap Daphne Blake at a higher rate than any other member of Mystery Incorporated.

By Dinkley, V., Department of Justice Research Fellow, Coolsville Criminology Institute.

Abstract

Through the various cases investigated by Mystery Incorporated (MI) over the years since their inception there has been one common factor, the disproportionate amount of time Daphne Blake has been in need of rescue compared to other member of MI [Refs 1, 2, 3]. Her tendency to be in, or inadvertently cause, trouble at a statistically higher rate than any other member of MI has previously been analysed [Refs 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] but the results of those studies proved inconclusive though cross-referencing her genetic make-up with the base-line provided by the human genome project has revealed a higher than normal incidence of the P3-R1L and DaMSL genes and their alleles supporting the notion that there may be a genetic component to the observed phenomena [Ref 10, 11]. It is hoped by cross-correlating the results of those studies with this will provide a multivariate model of the factors involved. The approach taken for this study involved changing a single variable on a number of cases to identify the influences each variable has on the tendency of villains to target Daphne Blake for abduction and allow the construction of a simple predictive model. This model will feed into the next study which will involve changing a combination of variables.

And... save. The things I'll do to go to a conference in Florida thought Velma pushing the keyboard away. He thoughts of Florida were interrupted by a knock on the door frame of her study.

"Come in" she said turning towards the open door. "Hi Daph! You finished downstairs?" she asked as Daphne walked in.

"Yep all ready for tonight, you finally unpacked everything?"

"I think so, I keep on finding boxes full of stuff I've never seen since I was in school"

"I know where you are coming from I had the same when I moved. So you wanted to see me Miss Dinkley ma'am" smiled Daphne giving a little curtsey "I feel like I've been summoned to see the school principle." she laughed as she pulled up a chair and sat down next to Velma and plonked an apple on the desk. Velma smiled and shook her head.

"Thanks for coming round to help with the house warming while I finished this. It's taken ages to get everything sorted out, I never knew I had so many books."

"D'ya think? I don't think the suspension on the Mystery Machine has recovered yet."

"True, well I sure made good use of Shaggy"

"I'll bet you did" said Daphne quietly giving Velma a knowing smile.

"I, I mean he was useful. Anyway I want to get to the bottom of why the bad-guys nearly always grab you. I know you are fed-up with this so what I want to do is to take your place once variable at a time, so I might wear purple for one case or I'll sleep in the room booked for you, that sort of thing. If there is a common factor then we could eliminate it and you'd be peril free."

"Oh Velma you are the best! When did you come up with this?" exclaimed Daphne

"Well we, I mean Shaggy and I were talking about some old cases, you know talking about old times and, and stuff when we were at that convention, and we, I meant Shaggy and I both knew you were sick of this so we thought it was time to do something about it" Daphne tried hard to suppress a smile as Velma began to stumble through the sentence.

"You came up with this at the horror and sci-fi convention?"

"Yes"

"I've heard a lot about that."

"Oh really?" Velma replied weakly, her face resembling a tomato.

Back home Daphne approached Fred while he was wrapping up Velma's house warming presents. Scooby was there putting bows on them while Shaggy was panic-buying gifts for Velma. She sat down on a chair next to him and put her legs up on his lap.

"Well Fred?"

"Well what?" he stopped wrapping; resting his hands either side of her knees.

"Well have you noticed anything about Shaggy and Velma?"

"Don't understand" Fred gave her a quizzical look.

"I mean anything recently in their behaviour"

He began absent-mindedly stroke her legs as he thought "Hmmm let's see now… well she now sits next to him in the Mystery Machine, I mean right up next to him, I've seen her wearing one of his t-shirts from time-to-time, he carries a spare pair of her glasses even when we're not on a case and has spent ages round her new house. Man I've lost count of the number of times I found them fast asleep leaning against each other when we're out on cases. I've even seen them asleep spooning on the sofa during those Friday movie marathons at Shaggy's place. He always has his arm round her as soon as they lie down 'like I just want to make sure she doesn't fall off''" Fred imitated Shaggy's voice "and…" yes, yes go on thought Daphne tensing with excitement "and they both like the cinnamon waffles from that bakery down the road, but don't we all" Daphne deflated why do I bother?

"Reah rinnamon raffles!" said Scooby popping his up between them; Daphne pushed his head down not wanting to loose the momentum.

"Well I have it on good authority that a certain Mr Rogers and a certain Miss Dinkley were seen getting very friendly with each other at that convention a few weeks ago" Daphne raised a conspiratorial eyebrow

"Well they're very good friends so what's wrong with that?"

"Join the dots will you already! You must have noticed how Velma has behaved after some of our recent cases?"

"Yeah, she still screams a bit when she sees a newt, but so do you."

"No, not that case I mean on those where Shaggy rescued her or the one when Velma and I rescued you boys. And let's not forget the one when we rescued Shaggy and Velma."

"Oh yes, I'm not sure they wanted to be rescued" Fred smiled, finally getting the point Daphne was hinting at.

"Exactly, I mean look how awkward they are around each other at the moment when anyone else is with them."

"How do you know they aren't like that when they are alo… Have you been spying on them?"

"Only a little" Daphne replied looking very guilty

"OK Daph, spill the beans" he knew if he didn't let Daphne talk about it now, he'd never hear the end of it.

A couple fo weeks later Velma was round at Fred and Daphne's, reviewing the progress they had made on their research project. Daphne was currently making some coffee while Velma was flicking through her case notes.

The private case notes of Velma Dinkley

Project Purple

*Swap rooms with Daphne, Daphne still gets grabbed

*Sleeping in the same room as Daphne, me in the bed Daphne on couch – Daphne still gets grabbed

*Wearing purple on a case as well as Daphne – Daphne still gets grabbed

*Both sleep in my room, Daphne still gets grabbed.

*We go shopping whilst on holiday. We all end up being buried up to our necks in wet sand – still finding sand in my clothes – good job Scooby is so good at digging

*Pick a hotel at random then pick a room at random, connect our ankles via a several feet of chain and we sleep under the bed. Daphne grabbed and I wake up chained spread-eagled to the underside of the bed and gagged with my own bed-socks. Must remember to pack fresh bed-socks on future cases. XXXXX Rescued by Shaggy XXXXX

*Go to a fashion show with Daphne – wish I had been kidnapped

*Everyone wears different clothes – Daphne and Scooby grabbed.

*Go to buy an ice-cream whilst on holiday – can't remember if Daphne was grabbed I think she was. I go to get some money to pay for the ice cream and walk right into the middle of a raid on the bank vault; I'm taken hostage and locked in the boot of the crooks car then driven around for hours. I finally end up being held prisoner in the basement of a factory with my feet set in a block of cement. Still didn't get the ice cream I wanted. XXXXX Rescued by Shaggy XXXXX

*Wearing each other's night clothes when asleep– Daphne still gets grabbed

*Slightly different pairing up, just me and Shaggy, Scooby with Fred and Daphne – Daphne still gets grabbed. Odd case this one, I just couldn't get into my stride and neither could Shaggy. Fortunately case is cracked by Daphne and Scooby. XXXXX Shaggy and Velma 'looking for clues' XXXXX

*I try to look exactly like Daph - make-up brings me out in a rash - Daphne still grabbed

*Go on holiday this time Shaggy and I get kidnapped. End up being tied to Shaggy, after several hours we are rescued by the rest of the gang. XXXXX Shaggy and Velma K-I-S-S-I-N-G XXXXX

*Daphne stays in the Mystery Machine while we are on a case. Mystery Machine towed away for parking violation, Daphne grabbed from police compound while making a call to us.

*Stick like glue to Daphne, she knocks off my glasses by mistake so I get grabbed and dumped in the middle of a swamp without my glasses, sprain my ankle trying to walk out by myself. Thankfully found and carried to safety by Shaggy XXXXX Rescued by Shaggy XXXXX

*Go on long weekend holiday – don't ask – must do holidays as another research paper. All I'll say is that Daph and I won't be going anywhere near newts any time soon.

*Both of us dress like me, Fred and Shaggy get kidnapped, the girls ride to the rescue! I get to rescue Shaggy – what an adrenalin rush! No wonder the boys are so ready to rescue us, felt like I could lift a mountain afterwards. XXXXX Get to rescue Shaggy XXXXX

*Fashion show - Daphne sees thought my false beard disguise

A rue smile came over her face at the entries in bright red ink

"Daphne! Have you been writing comments in my journal again?"

"I was simply adding some missing factual narrative"

"Such as?"

"Well, Miss goes-all-doe-eyed-when-she-sees-Shaggy. The fact that you were walking on air for a couple of days after each time he rescued you, you were in low-Earth orbit after you rescued him plus you two were kissing, we saw you, and you weren't doing it to just pass the time either"

"We, we were… overcome by the emotion of the moment" Velma replied looking everywhere but at Daphne

"Har-har, from when we first saw you it took us 10 minutes to get to where you were and you two had only come up for air a couple of times by the time we reached you"

"Well..."

"You've got the hots for each other, why don't you two just get stuck in?"

After what seemed like an eternity Velma quietly replied "I'm waiting for him to..."

"Which century are we in? You ask him. He gets so nervous at times that it will take him ages to pluck up the courage."

"He is brave and courageous" said Velma defensively feeling the need to protect him

Daphne sighed "Velma, he acts like a thing possessed when you are in danger, but when you are not his nerves get the better of him."

"But what if he says no?" said Velma desperately

"What if you said no? He'll have the same worries as you"

"Oh well yes, when you put it like that"

"Look we're got a easy few day coming up, just that school reunion next week so, take the opportunity to let him know that you are serious, but go easy on him. I'll try and drop a few hints as well."

"OK Daph, I'll try"

"Don't worry Velma from the way Shaggy looks at you, you've already there"

Velma opened her mouth to speak. She was drowned out by the sound of breaking glass as a brick came in through the window and landed at their feet. Attached to the brick was a letter, a letter addressed to Daphne.