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Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV and Viacom. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged.
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"Why dad had to choose the deepest part of Oakwood National Park instead of one of the family friendly camp zones with a Ranger within sight?"
Preventing her delusional family from doing something dangerous was just like preventing Beavis and Butthead from doing something stupid, pointless and denigrating but in need to be done anyway. And it was a risky affair too, his father outweighing her by at least a factor a hundred pounds, and her mother was likewise taller, heavier and stronger.
"The next two hours are going to be hell."
The first and only one that she was able to outright restrain had been Quinn, and even then she had been slapped and kicked more than a few times before she had managed to lure her inside the SUV, and then locked her inside.
"But Daria, I must fly with the rest of the fairies, they need me to carry the glitterberries to the crowning of the queen."
"No Quinn, you need to calm down, I've already called for help, they're sending a helicopter, and that's showier than some old unfashionable pixie wings."
"And stop playing with the horn!"
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After making sure Quinn was tightly tied with both the seatbelt, Daria had went to find both her parents deeper in the forest struggling in the ground. Terrified that maybe her dad had gone violent she had foolishly gone to the rescue, all the way cursing and praying to whatever gods were playing with her. Luckily beating two sticks together had been enough to scare her father away; no mater how gentle her father was he still was from her perspective a huge man who had expended his teenage years in a cruel military academy and had survived it, if he had chosen to fight Daria doubted that she would have been left alive, much less conscious.
"Sergeant, that jelly donut in the locker wasn't mine! It's a setup, a setup I tell you! Oh no, not another blanket party, for the love of god please!"
"God bless childhood traumas," at least there was a sunny side to all of the psychological abuse her mind was getting right now. In a few years if she had a psychotic break they would be able to scare her away by showing her a few glitterberries.
"Mom, don't worry, I drove him away, now why don't you…" Ironically enough after helping Helen to get up she shoved her while she was still out of balance.
"Why you did that, he was about to properly ravage me, just as pirates are ought to do!" After saying that she went to find Jake once more, shouting about spirit animals and rituals all the way.
She would have been horrified about knowing this little snippet of her parents' sexual life, but to add injury to insult, trying to prevent damage to the cell phone she had twisted midfall and landed sideways on a rock. Hard.
It took a few moments to get her bearings back; once she could at least sit up she checked her right pocket for the cell. At least it had been worth her pain, it still worked. Then she carefully touched her left side and felt a wave of nausea hit her at once, followed by cold sweat.
"Great!" She screamed, frustrated to no end, and immediately regrets it when a second wave of pain hit her.
She was then distracted by a series of groans and moans, interceded by the occasional giggle. It seemed that the dreaded pirate Jake had finally found the beautiful queen of the Gray Fox tribe, and was currently ravaging her with great enthusiasm.
And the worst part? She couldn't even give them a modicum of privacy, if they get separated after they were done, they could get into trouble before she found them again, if she could. So she stood a few feet apart from her amorous and delirious parents doing her best not to look, and not to pay attention to the noise.
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She spend an hour and a half preventing her parents from doing something dangerous (the time to prevent them from doing foolish or embarrassing stuff had long since gone), and herding them towards each other, even if that meant a second or third show that she would need to erase from her mind with a lot of therapy and maybe some illegal drugs of her own, just to keep them in a single place where she could protect them from themselves. To pass the time she recollected some of the berries in a bush near the two lovers in case they were useful for the detox. And who knew? Maybe she could later commercialize it as a natural alternative to Viagra. Murphy then decided she was too positive, so of course the bush would have thorns, lot's of them.
The only thing she found herself considering important enough to get them out of her sight even for a limited amount of time was to gather some fuel and green leaves to prepare a beacon for her would-be rescuers.
Finally she heard the characteristic sound of a helicopter nearby, and then per the instructions of the emergency dispatcher she called the number of the office of the forestall service where the chopper was based and told them her approximate position, which was then relayed by radio.
When they were close enough she lit her copy of Warden, which lacking any other reliable way of preparing a bonfire she had been forced to use. Once the fire was big enough she added the green leaves to create large quantities of smoke. It was with a lot of relief and tears, courtesy of the thick smoke, that they headed straight to her.
The helicopter then landed on the nearby clearing and from it five men went out, one of them carrying a large backpack and other had a rifle slung in his shoulder, as they got closer to her their uniforms identified four of them as rangers and the one with the backpack as a paramedic.
"Daria Morgendorffer? I'm ranger O'Hara and these are rangers Thorne, Jones and Walker, we are part of the Oakwood National Park Conservation Office. This gentleman here is EMT Miles, and in the cockpit is Captain Abrams, they come from the county's Emergency Response Unit. Are you hurt? Could you tell us the situation of the other victims?"
"Okay, my entire family minus me ate some sort of hallucinogen berries, my sister calls them glitterberries before she ran away flapping like a demented butterfly, while I fully trusting my dad's foraging skills decided to skip breakfast. Since I didn't have anything better to do I spend some of my time collecting them for your convenience." After saying that in a monotone that the adults erroneously thought she was using to cope with the situation, instead of a way of coping with her life, she showed ranger O'Hara the plastic bag that once held her book to protect it from the elements and now was filled with red berries.
The park officer first examined them, and then carefully took one on his gloved hand and held it close to his face, first smelling it and then giving a slight tentative lick. "Well, I got no idea what kind of berry it is. Do any of you know?" He passed the bag to the rest of his team, and they pronounced themselves just as ignorant. Then the paramedic asked, "Which are the symptoms?"
"About an hour after breakfast my dad started acting more erratically than usual, that did worry us a little but then he had been acting weird since he got into the middle age crisis that brought us here in the first place, but then mom started doing the same, and finally my sister. Since I know that my father can be a glutton when he wants, and my sister is on a permanent diet, I believe that the delay was in proportion to the amounts of berries they ate. They have dilated pupils and some sensitivity to daylight, and they literally won't recognize their own names."
"That's very concise Daria. Do they show abnormal thirst, a rash or something similar, if there is any indication that their condition has worsened or improved since the onset of their symptoms?"
"No, they are just as wacky as the beginning."
"Then I wouldn't recommend they use of the tranquilizer rifle. They might have an adverse reaction with whatever is on their bodies."
"Then this is going to be the hard way, do you know were everyone is?"
"My sister Quinn is strapped on the SUV a few yards down the trail, she thinks that she's some sort of fairy and is more or less safe as long as you keep her out of the horn. Last time I saw mom and dad was a little deeper in the forest, about five minutes ago when you did that first low pass over us, then I concentrated in getting you here and I lost sight of them. Mom thinks she is some sort of queen of the forest, while dad is a dreaded pirate who thankfully is too gone to even try to talk like one. If they get together for long they start going at it like rabbits, so please get them some emergency contraceptives as soon as they get to the hospital, I really don't want to be a babysitter for the last year of high school."
"It was Thorne, the ranger who had the tranq rifle on his shoulder the one that expressed his heartfelt condolences. "Damn, sorry about that kid, that's the kind of stuff that no one wants to know about their parents."
"Yeah, try sitting six feet from it, while doing your best not to look." Then she half sat, half collapsed on a tree stump. In a second the medic was alongside her. "Were does it hurts?"
"In my side, fell sideways on it. Kind of forgot about it."
"Please take of your jacket and let me take a look." She did as told, however when he tried to raise part of the orange t-shirt he noted her hesitation. "Don't worry, got wife and thirteen year old daughter. Nothing I haven't seen before."
After touching her with a little more delicacy that she had tried before and nothing her grunts of pain he concluded, "Bruised ribs, maybe even broken. You'll need X-rays once you get to the hospital."
"This trip is getting better and better."
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For the rangers capturing her family wasn't a walk in the park either. While her sister had been an easy catch, with Daria having done all the work earlier in the morning, Jake and Helen had run off as soon as they heard them coming, so they had to separate on pairs to catch them both. But the real problem occurred when they had managed to capture Helen and they were about to cuff her, provoking Jake into coming and attacking them from the side with berserk rage and years of unarmed combat training that weren't inhibited by a gentle personality. The only reason that the two rangers holding his wife were only sprouting some bruises instead of something more serious was because he had been more concerned about her than about ripping them to pieces and as soon as she was free they both had ran away towards the landing zone.
In the end when they had approached and both the pilot, who went out for a smoke, and the medic had interposed their bodies between the two crazy adults and the injured teen, Daria took once more a couple of sticks and making a racket she started talking stuff about blankets and cadet Morgendorffer, transforming the unstoppable pirate into a shivering wreck on the floor, while her queen watched concerned. At least until all six grown up men went and threw themselves at the couple and wrested them to the ground, of course only after the slender and injured girl had all but cowed that same couple into submission.
While her family was properly secured in the helicopter Daria went to the remains of their camp and took her father's duffel bag and filled it with her stuff plus her parents' I.D.s, credit cards and every cent she could find, including her sister's. If she wasn't checked in the hospital she was going to find the V.I.P suit of the closest first class hotel to the Oakwood General Hospital and try to enjoy the remaining weekend.
Once she was done she gave the car's keys to the rangers, who were still quite embarrassed by their performance. Since there wasn't enough space on the chopper they would take the SUV to their own Motor Pool, instead of sending it to the Police Pound, therefore saving some money and time, and stress, to her parents. Every little bit would help, she wasn't worried about the hospital, but she doubted that their insurance covered Aerial Med-Evacs, ample coverage or not.
Once the rest of the patients were secured so tight than even breathing was hard, no one wanted to fly with a psycho bouncing on his seat; she was also given a seat in the second row. She wasn't allowed in front, supposedly because the EMT was better qualified for reading the instruments alongside the pilot. Daria suspected that it was because he didn't want to expend time with the crazies. It was a long trip until they arrived to Oakwood's heliport where an ambulance would pick them up.
So she just squirmed on her seat, making a little extra space by pushing forward the case with the tranquilizer rifle and the restrains that were supposed to be in case they had found her as loony as her family. At least the analgesic the medic gave her was taking effect; she was falling asleep and she almost didn't feel her ribs complain, not even when leaning on the seatbelt, and her hands weren't hurting as much anymore.
It was a shame that while worrying about her ribs, the EMT forgot to check her hands and clean them for cuts and abrasions, maybe add a little antiseptic balm. Especially since they were so itchy and bothersome thanks to the concentrated toxins found in the leaves and bushes that were the origin of the glitterberries…
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A sudden and violent movement of the craft was the reason she woke up. She was so disoriented that it took a long moment before she could even recognize her surroundings, much less acknowledge them. She was inside a helicopter, but why?
"Sorry about that, just a gust of wind."
"Shut up, she's asleep, and with all the noise that's a miracle all by itself. We'll deal with her when we reach the base."
That last comment put the rest of the place into focus, the restrained prisoners, and of course the traditional secret base. She had been drugged and was going to be sent to a torture chamber as soon as this helicopter touched the ground.
While looking for a tool to free herself from this new mess she muttered so low that only she caught her words.
"Just another day for Melody Powers…"