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RETURN OF THE LAWNDALE MILITIA
A Daria/Gunsmith Cats/Here is Greenwood
Crossover Fan Fiction Story
By Peter W. Guerin
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With apologies to Glenn Eichler, Susie Lewis,
Kenichi Sonada, Yukie Nasu and Naoko Takeuchi.
------------------------------------------------------------

AUTHOR'S DISCLAIMER AND NOTES

None of this ever happened. This story is entirely a
work of fiction. As for continuity, this story takes place
after "The Dinner Date from Hell" and is Part 2 of the
"Lawndale Militia Trilogy."

For those who are not familiar with either "Gunsmith
Cats" or "Here is Greenwood," brief descriptions follow.

1. GUNSMITH CATS

"Gunsmith Cats" is a three-part anime series from
legendary "Bubblegum Crisis" and "Gall Force" creator
Kenichi Sonada, which is based on a manga series
appearing in "Afternoon", a monthly manga anthology
published by manga powerhouse Kodansha (and now being
reprinted in the United States by Dark Horse Comics). It
was a follow-up to an earlier effort of Sonada's called
"Riding Bean."

"Gunsmith Cats" concerns three women in Chicago who run
their own gun shop: raven-black haired Rally Vincent (who
had blonde hair in "Riding Bean"); ditzy blonde Minnie-May
Hopkins (May to her friends) and Becky Farra, who serves as
the store's accountant. Besides the gun shop, Rally and
May are also part-time bounty hunters. To that end, Rally
trusts on her CZ-75 9 mm Parabellum automatic, a Czech
handgun, while May depends on the apparently unlimited
supply of hand grenades (and rather colorful ones at that!)
she totes with her. Further, Rally and May ride around in
a Shelby Cobra GT (in "Riding Bean", Inspector Percy uses a
Shelby Cobra himself in order to stop Bean Bandit, who rides
in a customized car called Buff the Roadbuster; how Rally
gets the vehicle is never explained). At one time, Rally
and Bean were partners in Bean's semi-legitimate courier
service; Bean wasn't above serving both sides of the law.
Bean is nowhere to be seen in the "Gunsmith Cats" anime,
though in the manga its revealed that they're now bitter
enemies. For the purposes of this story, they become allies
again.

In the "Gunsmith Cats" anime, Rally and May form an
uneasy alliance with ATF agent Bill Collins in order to
expose a gun-running ring operating in Chicago that involves
a mayoral candidate, a former KGB assassin and Agent
Collins' boss. The manga has many more stories of interest.
The anime series was released in three parts by A. D.
Vision, though more recently a compilation of the series on
one tape (subtitled "Bulletproof!") was released. The
series is available either subtitled or dubbed; the
subtitled version of Part 1 has a bonus "Making of" segment
featuring an interview with Sonada. "Riding Bean" itself is
available either subtitled or dubbed from AnimEigo.

2. HERE IS GREENWOOD

"Here is Greenwood" is another anime series based on a
manga, this time based on the "bishônen" ("pretty-boy")
manga series from Yukie Nasu appearing in the Hakusensha
publication "Flowers and Dreams Comics." This series is
different from most, since there are no giant robots,
superhuman schoolgirls or post-apocalyptic scenarios
involved.

The story centers around Kazuya Hasukawa ("Ska" to his
friends), who's just your average, ordinary teenage guy.
When his brother Katsuhiro marries Sumire, the girl of
Kazuya's dreams, the younger Hasukawa decides to enroll
at the prestigious Ryokuto Academy; unfortunately for
him, they assign him a dorm at Greenwood Dorm, the home
for all the school's weirdoes and outcasts a/la/Daria.
To make matters even worse, Katsuhiro works there as the
school's nurse!

Weird does not even begin to describe Ska's classmates.
Here's a list of who they are:

Shinobu Tezuka: Student Government President and
Kazuya's next-door neighbor. He possesses strong spiritual
energy (or so Misako the ghost claims); he has a sister
named Nagisa, who's been harboring a life-long grudge
against him and who runs her own yakuza (crime syndicate).

Mitsuru Ikeda: Shinobu's roommate and president of
Greenwood Dorm. Mitsuru was abandoned at a Buddhist temple
as a baby and was raised by the kindly couple who lived
there with the temple priest.

Shun Kisaragi: Kazuya's roommate. Shun is a boy who
looks, dresses acts and sounds like a girl (in both the
subtitled and dubbed versions, female voice actors do his
part). His/her parents are innkeepers and has a "sister"
named Reina.

Misako: This ghost of a junior high school girl
appears in the story "The Haunting of Greenwood". Misako
was thinking of boys when she was ran over by a truck. The
only way she can go to the next dimension is to kiss a boy,
which results in her haunting Mitsuru. In this story, I
have her stick around as sort of the dorm's mascot.

Miya Igarashi: Miya figures prominently in the final
story called "Second Love. . .Always be There for You".
Miya is on the run from a all-girl street gang when Kazuya
(who was just elected dorm president) offers his assistance.
After solving her immediate problems, Ska finds himself in
love with her. However, she's had a relationship with a
young man named Tenma Koizumi for the past ten years. I
won't tell you how things work out here, but when you read
this story you can judge for yourself.

There are other oddball characters in this story like
the guy who lugs his motorcycle around, the Computer Club
that runs an arcade out of the room they all share, the
fundamentalist Christian preacher and the dorm lady who's
more concerned with watching her soap operas than in
maintaining order in the dorm.

"Here is Greenwood" is available as a three-part video
series either subtitled or dubbed from Central Park Media's
Software Sculptors division.

All "Daria" characters are © 1993, 1997, 1998 MTV
Networks, a division of Viacom International, Inc. All
Rights Reserved.

All "Gunsmith Cats" characters are © 1995, 1997, 1998
Kenichi Sonada/Kodansha/VAP/TBS/A. D. Vision. All Rights
Reserved.

All "Riding Bean" characters are © 1989, 1993, 1998
Youmex, Inc./AnimEigo, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

All "Here is Greenwood" characters are © 1991, 1992,
1996,1998 Yukie Nasu/Hakusensha/Victor Entertainment,
Inc./Pierrot Project/Software Sculptors, Ltd; a division of
Central Park Media Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

All "Bishôjo Senshi Sailor Moon" characters are © 1992, 1998
Naoko Takeuchi/Kodansha/Toei Animation Company, Ltd./
DIC Enterprises LP. All rights reserved.

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SONG CREDITS

"Tusk": Words and music by Lindsey Buckingham. © 1979
New Sounds Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved. Appearing
on Fleetwood Mac's 1979 album "Tusk" on Warner Bros. CD's
and cassettes.

"Drive": Words and music by Bill Berry, Peter Buck,
Mike Mills and Michael Stipe. © 1992 Night Garden Music;
administered worldwide by Unichappelll Music, Inc. (BMI).
All Rights Reserved. Appearing on REM's 1992 album
"Automatic for the People" on Warner Bros. CD's and
cassettes.

"The Rockafeller Skank": Words and music by Norman
Cook. © 1998 Polygram Music, Inc. (BMI). All Rights
Reserved. Appearing on Fatboy Slim's 1998 album "You've
Come a Long Way, Baby" on Astralwerks CD's and cassettes.
------------------------------------------------------------
PROLOGUE
------------------------------------------------------------
(The Prologue starts just as the Lawndale Militia is
about to return to try and retake the town in "The Misery
Senshi Neo-Zero Double Blitzkrieg Debacle," which is
re-presented here for your convenience. If you have not
read the entire story yet, please do so!)
------------------------------------------------------------
Downtown Lawndale looked like a tornado had struck it.
The Free Lawndalers had to hang on for another hour until
the National Guard arrived. Daria, Usagi, Ami and the
others were at the ready. Upchuck, the geeky kid at school,
went up to Daria.

"After this is all over, you want to go to my foxhole
and make love, not war? ROWR!", Upchuck said to Daria.

"Upchuck, if you don't leave me alone this instant,
I'll personally demonstrate on you what Lorena Bobbitt did
to John Wayne Bobbitt!", Daria replied. Upchuck got the
hint and got away from her.

"This is it, everyone!," Mr. DeMartino said, "This is
the battle that will either mean the end of the Lawndale
Militia or the beginning of a dark age for this town! We've
got to hold on until the National Guard arrives."

Just then, there was a commotion at the edge of town.
The Lawndale Militia was arriving! Anthony was at the front
of the troops. They had gas masks on, and it looked like
they were going to launch a terrifying attack.

On my signal, fire the sarin bombs!," Anthony said.

The troops got ready to pull the pins on the grenades
and throw them. There would be mere seconds to stop the
attack before the deadly serin gas would be released.

"Leave this up to me!," Usagi said. She spread her
wings and began to fly.

The Militiamen had now pulled the pins. The only thing
that separated Death from Lawndale was the safety handles
and a mere five seconds. They were ready to throw the
grenades.

"THROW AT WILL!," Anthony said.

The grenades were being thrown at a rapid-fire pace.
Suddenly, Usagi flew right above them, and waved her Moon
Scepter around the general area.

"MOON PRINCESS HALATION!," shouted Sailor Moon.

The energy hit the grenades and turned them all into
harmless dust, which then fell on the attackers.

"GET THEM NOW WHILE WE'VE GOT THE ADVANTAGE!," Mr. DeMartino yelled.

All the Free Lawndalers advanced on the bewildered
Militia. The fighting was fierce. Casualties were heavy on
both sides, but the superior numbers of the Free Lawndalers
was beginning to tell. Soon, one of the Militiamen was
yelling, "Everyone for himself, and the Devil take the
hindmost!" Suddenly, Anthony saw his support dissipating.

"Come back here and fight, or I'll shoot every last one
of you!," Anthony said. But it was no use. He was all
alone now.

"Give yourself up," Daria said. "The National Guard
will be here soon, and they're going to restore law and
order here."

"NEVER! I WILL NEVER SUBMIT TO JACK-BOOTED THUGS LIKE
THEM!," Anthony roared and fled to St. Eligus' Presbyterian
Church, which had a tall bell tower. Daria, Usagi, Ami,
Jane, Trent and Jesse were in hot pursuit.

Anthony got there first, and ran up the stairs, first
jimmying the door so it wouldn't open. Daria got there soon
after.

"The door's been jimmied closed. I can't open it," she
said.

"Stand back!," Usagi said; she then shouted, "SAILOR
MOON KICK!"

The door was kicked into splinters. She and the others
ran up the stairs to the top of the bell tower. Anthony was
there, armed with an AK-47, some white phosphorus grenades
and a Bowie knife.

"STAND BACK! I'LL KILL YOU ALL IF YOU DON'T!," he
yelled.

Sailor Moon stood in front of everyone else and said:

"You evil man! Trying to subvert the very nation and
government you claim to be saving! I am the pretty soldier
Eternal Sailor Moon, champion of love and justice! In place
of the Moon, you're punished!"

"You're not in Tokyo anymore, you Jap bitch!," Anthony
said, and flung his Bowie knife right at Usagi.

Daria tugged on a rope, causing a bell to ring and
strike the knife out of harm's way.

Daria now stared at him.

"Why are you waging this war for?," she asked.

Anthony replied, "To bring back constitutional
government."

Daria responded, "Then why do you want to establish a
dictatorship that is the complete antithesis of everything
that the Founding Fathers fought for in the Constitution?
About sixty years ago, another group existed that blamed
their nation's problems on minority groups and a so-called
decadent government. They eventually got into power and
killed many who opposed them. They were called the Nazis.
Groups like yours keep saying that the letter of the
Constitution must be obeyed, but you violate its spirit by
trying to deny rights to minorities and others who disagree
with you. Besides, if you really take over this country,
what is to stop the same groups you persecute from forming
their own terrorist organizations like the Black Panthers
and the FALN? Groups like yours forget that violence only
brings on more violence. Your vision of the Americana Dream
is everyone else's nightmare, and I won't allow you to bring
that to reality."

"Then you are a traitor!," yelled Anthony.

"No, you're the traitor, Mr. Corlew," Daria replied.

Anthony screamed "DIE, TRAITOR!" and lunged for the
Bowie knife. Daria got there as well and a fierce struggle
began. They were rolling around the floor, getting
perilously close first to the opening for the ropes, then to
the edge of the tower. Punches were exchanged. Blood was
spilled. Usagi and the others stood there helplessly.
Daria knocked the knife out of Anthony's hand. Anthony then
locked Daria in a chokehold and threw her up against the
ledge.

"You can't stop us all! There's too many like us all
over the country!," Anthony bellowed. "Now I'm going to
snap your neck!"

Everyone knew they had to do something now. Trent saw
the Bowie knife there on the floor and picked it up.

"I WON'T LET YOU MURDER THE WOMAN I LOVE!," Trent
yelled.

Anthony turned around to see Trent throw the knife
right into his heart. Anthony stood there for a second,
then drew the knife out.

"I'll take you with me, you welfare-cheating hippie!,"
he managed to spurt out. He was ready to fling the knife
back at Trent.

Usagi, however, ran up to him.

"SAILOR MOON KICK!," she yelled and kicked him real
hard.

The force of the kick threw Anthony clear of the ledge
and out of the tower. Anthony yelled "AAAAAAAAAA!" as he
plunged the one hundred feet to the ground. The body made a
great "SPLAT!" upon impact, then was ran over by a Humvee
troop transport, an M1A1 Abrams tank, and a National Guard
unit singing Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk":

"Why don't you ask him/If he's going to stay?/Why don't you
ask him If he's going away?/Why don't you tell me/What's
going on?/Why don't you tell me/Who's on the phone?/Why
don't you ask him/What's going on?/Why don't you ask him/
The latest on his throne?/Don't say that you love me!/Just
say that you want me!/Don't say that you love me!/Just say
that you want me!/Tusk!/Tusk!/Tusk!"

Jesse saw the whole thing and then said, "Trent, this
is bumming me out, man!"

Trent replied, "I know, man, but it had to be done."

Jesse added, "My Uncle Phil went the same way."

Daria could now see that the National Guard had
arrived.

"This is the National Guard! You are to surrender
immediately! You are completely surrounded!," a voice said
on a bullhorn.

Daria went to Trent and said, "Thanks for saving my
life."

"I'll never let anyone hurt you, Daria," Trent said as
he embraced her. They French kissed.

Some National Guard soldiers clambered up the tower.
One of them asked, "Is everyone all right?"

"Yes, everything's fine now," Jane said. She had this
satisfied smile on her face as she saw her brother and Daria
continue to kiss. She wasn't going to forget this moment
anytime soon.
------------------------------------------------------------
It was just a nondescript log cabin in Basin, Montana,
but it served as the headquarters for the Montana Militia.
Here, Bill Giroux lived and waged his ongoing war against
big government and the so-called "welfare-cheating minority
lackeys" that gave their backing to it. Bill was oiling his
AK-47 when someone knocked on his door. Bill coolly loaded
the rifle and approached the door. He took a peek through
the peephole. He breathed a sigh or relief and opened the
door. Apparently, it was a friend.

"Greetings," Bill said. "What's up?"

"I've got bad news for you, Bill," said the man, whose
name was Fred. "Your Uncle Anthony was killed."

"WHAT?", Bill roared.

Fred continued:

"He finally pulled his attempt to take over Lawndale,
but someone named Daria Morgendorffer and her friends Sailor
Moon and Sailor Mercury liberated the town. They chased
your uncle up a church steeple, where he put up a valiant
fight. However, they killed him in the end."

"I will have my revenge!", Bill roared in a savage
voice. "That bitch Daria Morgendorffer will pay for this--
with her life!"
------------------------------------------------------------
At the White House, President Al Gore* and several
other dignitaries were gathered at the Rose Garden for a
special ceremony. The Morgendorffer family was all present
for the occasion. Jake, Helen and Quinn were in formal
wear, but Daria insisted on wearing her usual outfit of
brown T-shirt, green field jacket, black knee-high pleated
skirt and those black Doc Martins boots. She clashed with
the more formally dressed crowd that had been gathered.

*President Clinton had resigned and went to a Trappist
monastery at the end of "The Prepaid Phone Card Call of
Tommy Sherman."--Monsignor Peter.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," President Gore began, "we are
gathered here to bestow the highest award this nation can
bestow--the Congressional Medal of Honor--to Daria
Morgendorffer for her bravery and courage in fighting the
Lawndale Militia several months ago. Ms. Morgendorffer is
proof that this generation does care what happens in this
nation and that they are concerned for the welfare and the
future of this great country. I now ask Ms. Morgendorffer
to please approach the podium."

Daria stood up and walked to the podium. President
Gore then slipped the Medal of Honor over her neck.

"Congratulations, Ms. Morgendorffer," the President
said.

"Thank you, Mr. President," Daria replied. She now
began to read from a prepared speech:

"Mr. President, distinguished guests, ladies and
gentlemen:"

"Our nation now stands at a crossroads in its history.
We face monumental crises that if left to fester will result
in calamity. There are issues of racism, poverty, equal
medical treatment and other issues that need to be
addressed. I know that a lot of people are frustrated over
these issues. However, taking arms and rebelling against
the government is not the answer. We already fought one
deadly civil war over the powers of the government over one
hundred and thirty years ago. If we have another one, it
will lead to the destruction of this nation. These right-
wing militias must be stopped at all costs. These militias
are the real threat, not the politicians of whatever
ideological stripe here in Washington. I can only hope
that my plea does not fall on deaf ears. Thank you for your
attention."

There was some polite applause as Daria left the
podium. Daria did not know then that her recent victory
over the Lawndale Militia will come back to haunt her.
------------------------------------------------------------
Ryokuto Academy, like everywhere else in Tokyo, had
been severely damaged from the recent attack from the
Neo-Zero. Even Greenwood Dorm--the home to the school's
weirdoes and outcasts--was heavily damaged. Shinobu Tezuka,
the Student Government President, had organized a repair
detail and everyone was working hard to get Greenwood back
to a livable condition. Kazuya Hasukawa, the dorm
president, was putting some spackle over some bullet holes
in his dorm room when Shinobu entered.

"Hasukawa, how are the repairs going?," Shinobu asked.

"At this rate, it'll take me forever to spackle every
last bullet hole I've been finding!," Kazuya complained.
"Why did that crazy bitch decide to shoot up Tokyo is way
beyond me!"

Suddenly, a head popped up from the floor, causing
Kazuya to jump and lose his grip on the trowel he was using.
The trowel fell to the floor and Kazuya yelled.

"Will you stop doing that?," Kazuya screeched.

It was none other than Misako, the ghost of a junior
high school girl who had been haunting Greenwood Dorm for
some time now. Misako giggled.

"Boy, do I love doing that to you, Ska!," Misako got
the nerve to say.

Shun Kisaragi, Kazuya's roommate, now entered. Shun
was wearing a new outfit he picked out: a lavender blouse
and denim shorts.

"Ska," Shun began to say in his girlish voice, "how
will we ever get our room fixed up if you just lollygag
around like you do?"

Kazuya was ready to pick up the trowel and throw it at
Shun when Misako suddenly waived her hands around.
Suddenly, it seemed that a cyclone or a hurricane had hit
the room. Within seconds, the room looked immaculate, with
no more bullet holes and every trace of damage repaired.

Kazuya shot a hostile glance at Misako and stated, "If
I want your help, Misako, I'll ask for it!"

"Boy, what an ingrate!," Misako said, then began to
sniffle.

"Oh, no!," Kazuya began to say, "me and my big mouth!"
Unless he calmed her down, Misako's fit would cause more
damage to the building.

"Misako, wait!," Kazuya began; "I didn't mean it that
way! I wanted to say thanks! Really!"

Misako thought that Kazuya was being sincere and began
to calm down. Everyone breathed a sigh or relief.

"Come on, Misako," Shinobu told her, "you can help fix
up the hallway." She went with him out of the room. Kazuya
and Shun just stared at each other. Finally, Kazuya rolled
his eyes while Shun giggled.
------------------------------------------------------------
Gunsmith Cats was just a typical gun shop in Chicago.
Proprietors Rally Vincent and Minnie-May Hopkins made a good
living at it, though admittedly their sideline of being
bounty hunters didn't hurt either. Rally had set up the
shop after her old partner Bean Bandit had fled to Mexico
after the Grimwood kidnapping incident. Rally was polishing
up her CZ-75 9 mm semiautomatic when the thought of Bean
crossed her mind. May (as Minnie-May liked to be called)
approached Rally.

"What's on your mind, Rally?," May finally said.

Rally gave a sigh and said, "Oh, I was just thinking
about Bean. God, I haven't seen him in years! I can't
blame him if he never sets foot here again! Inspector
Percy said he was going to nail his ass to the wall for
what happened during the Grimwood incident."

"Oh, maybe he'll come back someday," May said. "From
what you told me about him, he's one cute hunk!"

"Bean and I did have a thing for each other, didn't
we?," Rally confessed. "It's all old news to me now, I'm
afraid."

Just then, a car pulled up. Rally took a double take
when she saw what it was.

"No, it couldn't be. . .," she began to say when the
car door opened. A tall, muscular guy and a woman stepped
out of the car. No doubt about it now. It was definitely
Buff the Roadbuster, and the guy behind the wheel--Bean
Bandit. But who was the woman with him? Bean and the woman
now stepped inside.

"Bean Bandit, I can't believe it's you!," Rally finally
had the courage to say.

"Here in the flesh, Rally!," Bean answered.

"You'd better high-tail it out of here before Inspector
Percy finds you here!," Rally said.

"Relax," Bean said, "it's all fixed. George Grimwood
talked to Percy a while back, and he's agreed to drop all
the charges if I accept a plea bargain for some minor
traffic violations and pay some fines. Anyway, you remember
George's daughter Chelsea, don't you?"

Rally was surprised to find out that she was now a
grown woman.

"I owe you and Bean here for my life," Chelsea said.
"I'm going to Harvard Business School now. Daddy helped
clear Bean's name and got him back in the courier business.
I'm even his new partner now. Isn't that great?"

Rally had to be envious at that moment, but she didn't
show it. Becky Farra, the shop's accountant, now stepped
in.

"Say, Bean, Chelsea, I want you to meet a couple of
people. The blonde is my partner in the business, Minnie-
May Hopkins. The brunette is my accountant, Becky Farra.
May, Becky, this is Bean Bandit, my old partner, and the
woman who's with him is Chelsea Grimwood, who we rescued
from Semmerling back in 1989."

Everyone exchanged "Hello's" and "Nice to meet you's".

"Anyway, there's another reason why I'm here," Bean now
said. "I've been hearing rumors that someone's been
funneling Chinese weapons here for delivery to someplace
out in the Southwest. Rumor has it that there's going to
be a deal going down at the waterfront. You ladies care to
join me and find out what's going on?"

"It'll be like old times, won't it?," Rally said.

"Except now you've got black hair," Bean pointed out.

Rally got a good laugh, loaded up her gun and said to
May and Becky, "Let's roll out!"

May got to a footlocker she kept beneath the counter
and loaded up on hand grenades. She felt she was going to
need them big time.
------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 1: End Zone Huddle
------------------------------------------------------------
At a warehouse on the shoreline with Lake Michigan,
something sinister was about to go down. Several gentlemen
wearing dark blue business suite and dark sunglasses were
conducting business with some other gentlemen in combat
fatigues. One of the gentlemen, Agent F, was talking to
one of the fatigue-wearing thugs:

"I can assure you that my employer only chooses the
best weapons from the Beijing Administration. Further,
she is one of the most feared yakuza bosses in Japan, so
she gets what she wants."

He paused to grab a black briefcase and open it up. He
continued:

"Now this little number is the People's Republic's
equivalent to Russia's Sagger missile system." He held
the bazooka up to show the potential buyers. He continued,
"This baby can blow up any Federal government law
enforcement vehicle, even those mini-tanks they use for riot
control."

"How much is your employer asking for?," said the
leader of the fatigue-wearing group.

Agent F answered, "The boss is asking for ¥1.2 billion
for the whole shipment, payable in our currency, of course.
Sad to say, even with the economic troubles back in Japan,
our yen is still better than your 'greenbacks'".

"That's about $12 million!," the leader of the fatigue-
wearing group shot back. "It'll take some time to raise
that kind of money!"

"Not to worry," Agent F replied, "my boss is a very
patient woman. She'll take a down payment now and you can
pay the rest back in ten monthly installments. We will stop
by and collect on the first of each month. Where is your
base of operations again?"

"We operate out of the Lawndale Gun Club," the fatigue-
wearing group leader said.

"I thought that was destroyed," Agent F asked.

"Well, we rebuilt it," the fatigue-wearing group leader
said.

Suddenly, everyone could hear two engines revving up.
It was getting closer and closer. When it was real close,
everyone knew it was about to crash through the doors.
Everyone ducked beneath crates and barrels just as two cars
came crashing through. One was a 1971 Chevrolet Corvette,
the other was a Shelby Cobra GT. Several people now bolted
out of the cars. They were none other than Bean Bandit,
Chelsea Grimwood, Rally Vincent, Minnie-May Hopkins and
Becky Farra, known collectively as the Gunsmith Cats.

"We know you're in here, so give yourselves up!,"
Rally began to say as she whipped out her bounty hunter's
license. "We're duly licensed bounty hunters. We're
placing all of you under citizen's arrest. We've already
alerted the Chicago Police Department, the FBI and the ATF.
They're going to be here shortly. So drop your weapons,
come out and hold your hands up!"

All Rally got for her trouble was a barrage of gunfire
aimed at her. She ducked out of the way.

"May, let 'em have it!," Rally barked.

May calmly got up, grabbed a few hand grenades from her
jacket and threw them at the nearby crates where the gunfire
came from. Suddenly, several people scrambled out of the
way just as the grenades went off, sending them to the
floor. The others promptly dropped their guns and gave up,
while Rally and the others had their guns trained on them.
May stood by with some more grenades just in case.

Bean now got to one of the crates and opened it.
Inside were some AK-47s, some more Saggers and various
other weapons.

Just then, several CPD, FBI and ATF vehicles pulled up.
Special Agent Bill Collins, who was now the Agent-in-Charge
for the ATF's Chicago field office, stepped in.

"Just in time, Collins," Rally said.

"You'd think I'd miss out on all the fun here,
Pussycat?," was Collins' reply.

Rally snarled at that; she hated it when Collins
called her "Pussycat".

"Will you stop calling me that, for Christ's sakes!,"
Rally shot back.

"Pussycat?," Bean asked her.

"It's a long story," was Rally's reply.

"Anyway," Collins continued, "this is the break we've
been looking for. We've been investigating these kooks for
months."

"Tell us what you know," Bean asked.

"Who's he?," Collins asked.

"That's Bean Bandit; I was his partner in his old
courier business," Rally replied.

"Hey," Collins asked, "weren't you and Rally mixed up
in that Grimwood affair?"

"May I point out," Bean began to say, "that Ms.
Grimwood is now working for me."

"OK, OK," Collins shot back; "you don't have to get
testy. Anyway, from what we know, some yakuza from Japan
have been smuggling weapons from Red China over here to
equip one of those right-wing militia groups. If we know
where these are going, we can send some of our guys there--
in disguise, of course--and bust this wide open."

"And where do we figure in on this?," Rally asked;
she knew there had to be a catch.

"Well, we could use some extra firepower," Collins
asked.

"Well, you can't threaten us with anything if we choose
not to co-operate," Rally said; "we've got our license
back."

"True," Collins said, "but you do owe me one for when
I saved you from that bitch Radinov.* All I ask is that you
don't tell the press about this; it'll compromise our
mission."

*Former KGB assassin Natasha Radinov figured
prominently in the "Gunsmith Cats" anime. Collins saved
Rally's life when he gunned Radinov down after she bolted
out of an ambulance, wielding an ax, and running like a mad
person toward Rally.--Comrade Peter.

"Is that all?," Rally demanded.

"Plain and simple," Collins said. "And you'll have my
eternal gratitude."

"OK," Rally sighed, "we'll join you on this."

"Knew I could count on you, Pussycat!," Collins said in
reply. He then ordered the agents to take the suspects into
custody while Rally gritted her teeth at being called
"Pussycat" again.

Bean went up to her and said, "Rally, you didn't. . ."

"No, I did NOT!," Rally shot back, too quickly.
"You're the only one I've ever slept with."

May shot back, "So, you and Bean were in love!"

"Put a sock in it, May!," roared Rally.
------------------------------------------------------------
The Morgendorffer residence at 1111 Glen Oaks Lane was
well-appointed, with a brick façade and a big upstairs
window. Daria, along with her friend Jane Lane, were just
returning from school when Daria stopped to take the mail
in.

"It looks like a bunch of bills again," Daria said as
she thumbed through the mail.

"Well, it keeps the mailman employed," Jane shot back.

Suddenly, Daria stopped at one letter. It was
addressed to her. The writing on the letter was rather
crude.

"What the Hell is this, I wonder?," Daria said. She
and Jane now stepped inside. Daria put the other letters
on the living room table, then sat down on the couch. Jane
sat next to her. Daria opened the letter. Suddenly, there
was a loud "BANG!" that knocked Daria off the couch,
sending her eyeglasses flying off and landing in a corner.
Jane ran up to her.

"Daria, are you all right?," Jane yelled.

Daria slowly got up. Other than being a bit singed
around her face, she was OK. She went to where her glasses
fell and picked them up; luckily they were not the worse for
wear.

Jane then picked up what was left of the letter.
"There's a note here," she said.

"What does it say?," Daria wanted to know.

Jane began to read the letter; it was written in the
same crude handwriting as the envelope. It ran thus:

"Next time, we'll use real explosives and blow you up
to bits, you welfare-cheating nigger lover! We know you
and your stupid Nip Sailor Senshi friends stopped us last
time, but we can't be destroyed! When we take over the
country, we'll get rid of welfare, affirmative action and
other civil rights laws that benefit niggers and spics,
then execute all the niggers, spics, chinks, nips, dagos,
liberals from New York City and Long Island, faggots,
crippleds, retarts and other deviants and rule the nation in
the name of the white race. You're as good as dead, you
bitch! LAWNDALE MILITIA, ALL THE WAY!"

"I knew that somehow this was going to come back to
haunt me," Daria said in response. "I'm now a marked
person."

"We've got to let the police know about this!," Jane
said.

"Hey, remember, our Keystone Cops here couldn't stop
them the first time around?," Daria shot back.

"What will we do, then?," Jane said.

"Let's see if Mom can file a big suit against them,"
Daria replied. "At least if they're tied up in court for
at least the next ten years, they can't do any more damage
to me or anyone else for that matter."

Just as Daria finished that sentence, Helen, her
mother, came in.

"Helllloooo!," Helen said in her syrupy voice. She
then took a good look at the face of her oldest daughter,
then said, "Oh, my God! Daria! What happened?"

Jane took the letter and showed it to Helen. She
scanned it for a few seconds.

"It was attached to what looked like a concussion
charge, Helen," Jane said.

"I'm going to refer this to the Postal Inspection
Service right away!," Helen said as she ran to get the
cellular phone.

"Don't bother, Mom," Daria said; "they can't do any
good. Besides, there's no return address on the envelope."

"Well, they probably CAN do something about this, young
lady!," Helen snapped back with firm resolve as she dialed
the number for the local Postal Inspection Service office.

"It looks like Helen's going to help you, whether you
like it or not!," Jane said.

Daria just closed her eyes and put her hand to her
forehead.
------------------------------------------------------------
Back at Ryokuto Academy, life was beginning to return
to normal, or what passes for normal there.

The entire student body had turned out for a special
ceremony marking the start of classes since the Neo-Zero
attack. The principal was standing at a podium, while
sitting on seats behind him were the department heads,
the Student Government, the dorm presidents and various
other dignitaries. The principal began to speak:

"I must congratulate all you fine young men--and one
female ghost--for the commendable efforts you made in
repairing our fine school. I must say that I am impressed
and that the repairs were made way ahead of schedule. I
am even further impressed that the Education Ministry gave
us the certification to resume classes way ahead of schedule
as well. I must congratulate all of you, for this was truly
a team effort.

"And now, I ask that the President of our Student
Government, Shinobu Tezuka, deliver a few remarks."

The principal yielded the podium to Shinobu, who
looked stunning in his dark lavender hair. He began to
speak:

"Thank you, Mr. Principal. To all my fellow students
here at Ryokuto, I must say that your efforts are to be
commended. In fact, they will be rewarded. I have made
arrangements with the Administration so that we will all go
to the Yorimuri Giants home opener at the Tokyo Dome this
April. From what I've heard, they're making excellent
progress in repairing that facility.*"

*The Tokyo Dome was severely damaged in "Misery Senshi."
--Sadahara Peter.

There was stunned silence from the crowd. It took a
few minutes for it to sink in. But, then, there was a loud
"BANZAI!" from everyone that was said three times running.

Shinobu continued:

"Well, I guess that cheered everyone up. Now, let's
get down to business."

With that, the crowd began to disperse and go to class.
------------------------------------------------------------
Later that day, after class, Kazuya returned to his
room. Unusually, for a fine institution like this,
his homework load was light. Perhaps the administration
didn't want to heap on too much on the students the first
day back. All Kazuya wanted to do was to do his homework
and go to bed. It was some day. Kazuya threw his books on
the bed when suddenly someone said, "Hey! Watch where
you're throwing those books!"

Kazuya turned around to see Misako sitting on his bed,
wearing a pink teddy!

"WHAAA-AAA-AAAA-AAAA-?," Kazuya said in a half-stutter.

"Oh, didn't Shun tell you?," Misako said, "I'm going to
be your new roommate."

"Misako," Kazuya began to roar, "this room only
accommodates two people, and there are no girls allowed
here!"

"I'm a ghost, remember?," Misako shot back. "Besides,
Shun was passing himself off as a girl for the longest
time."

"Well, that's different," Kazuya shot back, hating all
the while having to be a devil's advocate for Shun. "Shun's
more like that Ranma Saotome guy, except he doesn't need
cold water!"

"Temper, temper, temper!," giggled Misako.

Kazuya was ready to blow it when Shun entered.

"Oh, hi, Ska!," Shun chimed in. "I see you noticed
that Misako's going to be with us now!" Shun was wearing
another of his after-class outfits, this time it was a pink
T-shirt with a stupid smiley face, a red miniskirt and red
high heels.*

*Quinn had worn a similar outfit when she tried to
seduce Kevin in the "Daria" episode "The Lab Brat".
--Peter the Graduate.

Kazuya turned around to face Shun and then snapped,
"Shun, how could you do this to me?"

"Hey, c'mon, Ska! Misako likes it here much better
than in Yomi!*"

*In Shinto, Yomi is their equivalent of the underworld,
kind of like the Greek Hades; everyone, regardless of
whether they were good or bad, goes there. It's presided
over by Susanô, who is also the God of the Wind and brother
to Amaterasu-Omikami, the Great Heaven-Shining Deity who
serves as the Sun Goddess. For more details, read the
appendix to "Misery Senshi."--Reverend Peter.

"Well, sometimes I wish she'd stay there!," Kazuya
yelled.

"Uh, oh," Shun now said in alarm; "you shouldn't have
said that, Ska!"

Kazuya now turned around to see Misako beginning to
sniffle. If she broke out in tears again, the results would
be catastrophic.

"Misako," Kazuya began, "don't! I didn't mean it!"

Misako was about to cry now. Kazuya ran up to her
and put his hand over her mouth.

"Please!," Kazuya said. "I'm sorry!"

Misako seemed to calm down when Kazuya said that.
Kazuya and Shun began to breathe sighs of relief.

"I've got to get out for a while," Kazuya now said,
grabbing his books.

"Don't forget about the ten o'clock curfew!," Shun
reminded Kazuya.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," was Kazuya's reply. He just wanted
to be out of here for a while.
------------------------------------------------------------
Kazuya had been out on the streets for a while. He
wasn't sure where he was, until he passed an apartment
complex that said "SHOWA EMPEROR MEMORIAL PUBLIC HOUSING
PROJECT". Now he remembered where he was. He was at the
apartment building that his girlfriend, Miya Igarashi, had
been calling home since she moved out of her mother's
apartment after the falling out she had with her old
boyfriend Tenma Koizumi. Kazuya now entered the building,
took the elevator to the tenth floor and approached
Apartment 10H. Kazuya rang the doorbell, which was answered
by Miya. She was not wearing her seifuku but instead was
clad in a red T-shirt and beige slacks. It looked like she
had just finished cooking dinner.

"Miya, I hope I didn't catch you at a bad time," Kazuya
began to say.

"No, not at all," Miya replied. "Come in, please. I
just finished cooking dinner. I was going to have some
tempura.*

*Tempura is fish stir-fried in a wok.--Chef Yan Can't Cook Peter.

"Sure," said Kazuya resignedly. He entered the
apartment. It was modestly decorated but cozy. Miya began
to serve the tempura for Kazuya.

"You know, I owe a lot to your brother and sister-in-
law for this apartment," Miya said. "After I moved out, I
didn't know where to turn. Hiro and Sumire have been so
kind and considerate to me."

Although Kazuya knew she had gotten this place, he
didn't know until now that his brother had gotten this
place for him. He didn't know that he had such a soft
spot in his heart.

"Miya, I came over here to blow some steam," Kazuya
began to say. "Shun and Misako were getting on my nerves."

"Well, a lot of nerves were frayed during the recent
attack," Miya replied; "it can't be helped."

"Miya, why can't I just have a normal life?," Kazuya
shot back. "I lost my parents; my brother marries the first
girl I fell in love with; I live in a dorm with the weirdest
people around; and now I also have a ghost living with me.
I bet not even the guys on Seinfeld have it this bizarre."

"Hey, Ska, you've got me," Miya said. She then leaned
over and kissed him.

"Thanks, Miya," Kazuya said; "that made me feel a lot
better."

"Then, eat up," Miya said; "maybe after dinner, we can
hit the books together."

That made Kazuya feel a lot better. He picked up his
chopsticks and dug right into the tempura.
------------------------------------------------------------
Kazuya managed to get back before the curfew. When he
entered his dorm, Shun, Misako, Shinobu and Mitsuru were on
the floor, doing their studying.

"Hey, Hasukawa, we missed you," Shinobu said in his
usual cordial, disarming tone.

"Well, I needed to blow some steam," Kazuya replied.

Mitsuru handed an unopened can of Kirin beer to Kazuya
and said, "You'd better brace yourself for this."

Kazuya opened the can and drank. "What?," he wanted to
know.

"I suspect that my dear sister Nagisa is up to no good
again," Shinobu began; "A friend of mine has noticed her a
lot at Yokohama recently. She owns a warehouse there. He
thinks she may be trying to smuggle some illicit materials
here."

"So, how does that concern us, may I ask?," Kazuya said
with no hint of love in his voice.

"You know we have had our tangles with her in the
past," Shinobu continued. "I fear that if we don't do
something to make her see the error of her ways soon, it
will come back to haunt us in some manner."

"Besides," Mitsuru added, "You know she kidnapped a few
of us, including Shun's brother Reina."

"OK, OK, point taken," Kazuya conceded; "but why can't
we just let the National Police handle this? Smuggling is
way out of our league."

"Yes," Shinobu agreed; "but if we get to her first, no
one will get hurt. After all, in my own weird way, I do
care for my sister. At least I don't try to disown her by
saying that she's my cousin or anything like that."

Shun and Misako giggled while Kazuya rolled his eyes.
------------------------------------------------------------
At the high-rise office building she called her base of
operations, Nagisa Tezuka received some members of the
House of Councillors, the largely ceremonial upper house of
the Japanese Diet.

"Gentlemen," Nagisa began, "do come in. We do have
some business to tend to."

The councillors took their seats. Nagisa then produced
a black briefcase, opened it, and began to toss out some
stacks of money to each member.

"There's plenty more where that came from," Nagisa
added. "All you have to do is to vote against the new
crime bill when it comes up to a vote. I've already seen
to it that I have the votes necessary to prevent an
override vote in the House of Representatives."*

*If the House of Councillors rejects a bill, the House
of Representatives, the Diet's lower house, can override the
rejection by a two-thirds vote. This is somewhat similar
to our Congress overriding a Presidential veto or the House
of Commons in the British Parliament re-passing a bill a
year after the House of Lords votes against it. For more
details about the Japanese Diet, consult the appendix to
"Misery Senshi" or go to the Diet's Web page at
http://www.shugiin.go.jp/guide.--Congressman Peter.

"Very well, Ms. Tezuka," one of the councillors
replied. "We'll do as you say."

"Very good," Nagisa replied cheerfully. "You may go
now."

The councillors left the room just as Agent L entered.

"Boss, I don't want to disturb you," Agent L began to
say, "but this is important."

"I was just finishing up," Nagisa replied. "What is
it?"

"Well," Agent L began, "we seemed to have lost contact
with our agents in Chicago."

"WHAT!," Nagisa roared.

"Word on the street was they got busted, but I'm not
really certain."

"Get a hold of some of our underground contacts
there," Nagisa shot back. "I want to know what happened.
And if the American law enforcement agencies are involved
in this, take whatever steps necessary to neutralize them."

"Understood, Boss," Agent L replied. He left in a
hurry.

"I haven't gotten this far just to have everything blow
up in my face!," Nagisa growled to herself. "I will see
this thing through!"
------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 2: Aim High, Shoot Low
------------------------------------------------------------
Back at Chicago, everything was set for what the ATF
had code-named "Operation Samurai Sword". Several ATF
agents disguised as yakuza operatives were now at the
warehouse where they had busted the yakuza and the militia
members. They had brought some members who decided to
co-operate in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
Collins was going over last-minute instructions with his
subordinates.

"If those bastards try to tip us off to their buddies,
you have my full authorization to do anything necessary to
neutralize them," Collins instructed his operatives.

Rally, May, Becky, Bean and Chelsea, meanwhile, were
waiting outside of the warehouse in their cars.

"Where the Hell are they going to go, anyway?," May
said to Rally.

"From what Collins told me," Rally answered, "this
group is based in a town somewhere in the Southwest called
Lawndale. Rather an out-of-the-way place from what he told
me about it." She took out a map, unfolded it, and pointed
the town out to May.

"Not much, is it?," May asked.

"No, I guess not," Rally confirmed. "But from what I
heard, there had been a coup attempt there a few months
back, at roughly the same time a Japan Air Lines aircraft
crashed there.* That happened while the Neo-Zero attack
was happening in Tokyo."

*That was the flight that Mizuno Ami took to go to
Germany which was then hijacked by Akbar el-Salaam in
"Misery Senshi."--Luckless Peter.

"Oh, now I remember," May said. "That was all over
the news."

"If Collins is right and they're gearing up for another
coup attempt, we've got to stop them," Rally added.

Rally now took a look inside the warehouse. Collins
had waved the convoy that was to deliver the goods forward,
and now drove up to her.

"Better take the rear, Pussycat," Collins said. "When
we get to where it is we're going, you'd better book a room.
I have a feeling that we're going to be there for some
time."

Rally just sighed as she started the car up. The
Shelby Cobra and the Roadbuster now took their places right
behind the last truck in the convoy. It was going to be a
long journey.
------------------------------------------------------------
Back at Lawndale, Daria was up in her padded bedroom.
She was trying to take her mind off the letter bomb attack,
but was not having any luck. Jane was sitting on Daria's
bed, genuinely concerned for what was going on with her
friend.

Suddenly, Daria--who was fiddling with a pencil--snapped
it in half and growled. She got out of the chair she was
sitting on, grabbed a book from her bookshelf, and flung it
against the wall with a primal scream. Jane shot up from
the bed, grabbed Daria by the shoulder, spun her around and
grabbed her trembling arms.

"Daria, get a grip on yourself!," Jane said.

"Why me?," Daria now screamed, "Why does it always have
to be me? I don't deserve this! Why do I always have to be
the outcast, the loner, the nerd?" She was beginning to
cry. Jane hugged her and patted her on the back.

"You're afraid of what the Lawndale Militia might do to
you, isn't it?," Jane said.

Daria began to dry her eyes. "Yeah, I guess so. I
thought I could keep a calm head about this."

"Well, the threat of death can unnerve you," Jane said
in a matter-of-fact way; "besides, I guess a bit of the old
shell just cracked."

"Huh?," Daria asked.

"That big shell you build to wall off your emotions,"
Jane said. "Let's face it, Daria, you keep that poker face
of yours up all the time. You don't even smile unless
you've just cut someone down to size. Then something like
this comes up, and you're not prepared for it."

"I guess I just feel so helpless about this," Daria now
admitted. "I always want to feel like I'm in control over
matters."

"Well, those creeps will do anything to intimidate
people they don't like," Jane said. "Just feel lucky they
didn't summon you to one of their 'common-law courts'".*

*Common-law courts are often set up by these militia
groups as a means of going after people and organizations
who are opposed to them; they often file "liens" against
their property. There's a good article about this in the
Summer 1998 issue of the "Southern Poverty Law Center
Review." Read it and open your eyes.--Judge Peter.

"I'd feel a bit better if I knew what was going on,"
Daria now confessed.

"Tell you what," Jane offered; "I'll call Trent and ask
him if he could drive us to the ruins of the Lawndale Gun
Club;* if anything's happening there, we can then notify the
authorities."

*Anthony Corlew blew up the Lawndale Gun Club before he
set out for his final attempt to take over Lawndale in
"Misery Senshi."--Demolition Man Peter.

"You're sure you want to risk that?," Daria asked.

"Hey, Trent won't see you get harmed," Jane replied;
"after all, he did save your life the first time."*

*Trent indeed saved Daria's life in "Misery Senshi" when
he threw a knife into Anthony Corlew's heart when he was
trying to kill her.--Encyclopedic Peter.

"OK, I guess we'll check and see, then," Daria replied.

Jane got on the cellular phone Daria kept up in her
room and began to dial the number to her house.
------------------------------------------------------------
Trent's car was going down the private lane that led to
the ruins of the Lawndale Gun Club. Daria and Jane were in
the back. Daria was nervous; she didn't know if she was
getting herself into a trap.

"Nervous, Daria?," Trent cooed.

"Maybe a little bit," Daria finally managed to force
out; "you should be a bit concerned yourself."

"Don't worry for me," Trent replied; "I can take care
of myself."

When they got to the end of the lane, all three of them
were shocked at what they saw: the gun club had been
rebuilt.

"I guess that answers one question I had," Daria
blurted out.

Trent stopped the car. All three of them came out and
warily approached the front door. Daria rang the doorbell.
A few seconds later, the door was answered by a brown-
haired, clean-shaven man.

"Hello," the man said, "what can I help you with?"

"Well," Daria said nervously, "we were surprised to see
that the gun club was rebuilt."

"Please, let me introduce myself," the man said. "My
name is Armand Harmon. I'm the new president of the
Lawndale Gun Club. I can assure you that nothing sinister
is going on here. Our days where we were affiliated with
the Lawndale Militia are over. We just want to get along
with the community, not to take it over."

"I guess I owe you an apology, then," Daria said.

"No need to apologize," Armand said; "If yourself,
your parents, your friends or their parents ever want to
join, just give us a call."

"We just might," Daria said. "Thanks again for all
your trouble."

Armand shook hands with the three of them, then said,
"I'd better head back inside; we were having a special
meeting."

"Sure," Daria said; "have a nice day." She, Jane and
Trent then went back to Trent's car.

Just as soon as Trent's car pulled away, Armand went
back inside and went to a back room. Inside there were a
bunch of people in combat fatigues.

"What the Hell was that all about?," one of them asked.

"It was that Morgendorffer bitch," growled Armand; "she
and her kooky friends were snooping around. I can assure
everyone here that once we have retaken this town, she and
her friends will be disposed of."

Armand now took a jackknife that was on the table in
front of him and threw it right at a picture of Daria that
was on the far wall; the picture had a target painted on it.
The jackknife went right between her eyes.
------------------------------------------------------------
It was early evening when the convoy arrived at the
gates of the private lane for the Lawndale Gun Club.
However, the ATF agents' cars, the Roadbuster and the Shelby
Cobra stayed behind while the convoy entered; better not to
attract too much attention in this matter, it was decided.

"That cinches it," Rally said, "the Lawndale Militia
is back in business!"

Rally picked up her cellular phone and called Bean at
his car.

"Bean, you saw all that?," Rally asked him.

"Everything," Bean replied.

"I guess we're going to be here for a while," Rally
added.

"You bet," Bean said.

Rally hung up, but then the phone rang. She answered
it to find out that Collins was on the line.

"I guess we're going to have to try and bust this
joint, Pussycat," Collins said.

Rally grimaced at that.

"For the last goddamn time, Collins, stop calling me
'Pussycat!,'" Rally yelled into the phone.

"I guess we really should book some rooms for the
night," Becky finally said.

"That's what I intend to do," Rally said. She drove
off, with the others following her.
------------------------------------------------------------
Rally had gone to the first motel she could find, the
Lawndale Inn. It was one of those cheap motels where
couples who were having affairs went when they didn't want
to be noticed. Rally, May, Becky, Bean, Chelsea, Collins
and the others booked rooms for the night. After that,
Rally, May, Becky, Bean and Chelsea hit the road again.
They were cruising the streets of downtown Lawndale, hoping
to find someone who would know what was going on. So far,
they haven't had any luck.

"Man, we need someone who's willing to spill the beans
about what's going on here," Rally said to no one in
particular.

Suddenly, May spotted two people on the street.

"Rally, why not try those two?," May said.

"Who?," Rally asked.

"It looks like two girls," May answered. "One looks
like she's got brown hair, wearing a green field jacket,
a black pleated knee-length skirt and combat boots. The
other has black hair, wearing a red jacket, black shorts,
black pantyhose and fireman's boots."

Rally turned the Shelby Cobra around and went in the
girls' direction.

Daria and Jane heard two car approach them, then saw
them stop. Rally now stepped out of her Shelby Cobra; she
was wearing her black leather jacket which had the "GUNSMITH
CATS" logo on the back, her black leather pants and her
black leather hip-hugger boots. She coolly flashed her
bounty hunter's license.

"Excuse me, ladies," Rally began, "I'm conducting an
official investigation."

Daria and Jane just stood there, dumbstruck at first.

"If Ms. Li sent you to try to intimidate us about some
imaginary things she thinks we did," Daria finally said,
"you're wasting your time."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Rally shot
back; "you're not the ones being investigated."

"Then what in Sam Hill do you want with us?," Jane
asked.

"First let me introduce myself," Rally said. "I'm
Rally Vincent, bounty hunter from Chicago. The ladies in
the Shelby Cobra are my associates Minnie-May Hopkins and
Becky Farra. Those in the red car are my friends Bean
Bandit and Chelsea Grimwood."

"OK," Daria replied; "I'm Daria Morgendorffer, and
that's Jane Lane."

"Nice to meet you," replied Rally. "The reason why
we're here is that we've heard rumors that the Lawndale
Militia has been resurrected. We had busted a smuggling
ring back in Chicago that involved members of a Japanese
yakuza and some militiamen. We decided to have the
weapons sent to their destination so we could find out
who was getting them. We traced them right to the Lawndale
Gun Club."

"Those bastards lied to us!," Daria said to Jane.

"Were you there just now?," Rally asked.

"Just a little while ago," Jane replied.

Trent, who had entered the local music shop to get some
more guitar strings, stepped out.

"Hey, Janey, Daria, who are these people?," Trent
asked.

"They say they're investigating the Lawndale Militia,
Trent," Jane answered.

"Cool," was Trent's reply.

"Oh, that's my brother Trent," Jane mentioned to Rally.

"We were going to attempt a raid on the Lawndale Gun
Club tonight," Rally said; "we might need you to point some
people out."

"If we went in there and they didn't tell us anything,"
Daria said, "what makes you so sure you can get something
out of this?"

"We've got the ATF along with us," Rally replied;
"they're busy getting search warrants out now."

"Very well," Daria said, "it looks like we're heading
back to the gun club."

"If all of you could just follow us back to our motel
rooms, we can get down to business," Rally said.

Daria, Jane and Trent went into Trent's car and then
followed the others back to the Lawndale Inn.
------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 3: A Passage to Greenwood
------------------------------------------------------------
It was about ten o'clock at the Lawndale Gun Club.
Bill Giroux and the other members of the Lawndale Militia
were inspecting the weapons they had just received. Bill
was pretty impressed with the selection.

"This one," Bill said as he was holding up a Sagger,
"is going right through the bedroom window of that
Morgendorffer bitch!"

The room where Bill and the others were echoed with
laughter.

What they didn't know was that Rally, May, Bean,
Chelsea, Collins, Daria, Trent and Jane had snuck back to
the gun club compound. They were just outside the
buildings. Rally took a credit card out and was trying to
open the door.

"If what we think is going on is right," Rally
whispered, "we've got to nip this in the bud."

Rally got the door opened. She and the others now
entered silently. Rally had her gun drawn, ready for
action. Silence hung throughout the room like black crepe.
They all went down the hallway. When they reached the end,
Rally took a look around the corner. She saw Bill and the
other Militiamen inspecting their weapons.

"My God!," Rally whispered, "we've hit the mother
lode!"

Suddenly, two other Militiamen who were just returning
from the men's room noticed Rally and the others.

"INTRUDERS!," screamed one of them; "KILL THEM!"

Bill and the others heard the scream; they ran out with
their guns.

Rally knew their cover had been blown; now it was time
to take action. She got her gun and fired point blank at
the nearest Militiaman; he fell down like lead.

The Lawndale Militia now returned fire. Rally, May and
the others were now running for cover.

"Son of a bitch!," Rally yelled; "they blew our cover,
and now we're outnumbered!"

One of the Militiamen saw Daria and ran for her, taking
out a Bowie knife. Daria stood her ground, and when he was
close enough, kicked him in the testicles with her Doc
Martins boots. The Militiaman fell down, howling in pain.

Rally exchanged gunfire with several more Militiamen.
They fell down dead.

"WE NEED BACK-UP PRONTO!," Collins was shrieking in his
walkie-talkie.

Bill now got out his AK-47 and began to fire wildly.
Bean got out his rifle and fired, just missing his head.

Several more ATF agents had now stormed into the
building.

"Aim for the head!," Bill shouted; "that's what G.
Gordon Liddy advises!"

"We've got to end this before this gets out of
control," Rally told May.

Instinctively, May opened her jacket and took out a
grenade.

"Aim for those crates of TNT there, May," Rally
instructed her.

May pulled the pin and tossed the grenade at the boxes.
It fell right on top on one box. When it went off, it set
off a chain reaction.

"NO!," Bill yelled.

"Anyone who can, run for it!," shouted someone; "only a
fool fights in a burning house!"

Indeed, the place was now in flames.

"It won't be long before this whole place goes!,"
Collins said; "We better get out of here!"

"Unless you want to become human hot dogs," Daria
added.

Everyone left the blazing facility in a hurry. Just as
Daria, Jane and Trent left, the whole place exploded.

"Get them, if you can!," Collins ordered sharply at one
of the uniformed ATF agents.

"Right!," the agent responded. He took several others
with him in the direction of the hills surrounding the club.

"Did you get a good look at them?," Collins asked
Daria.

"Quite a few did look familiar," Daria confessed; "but
the leader doesn't look that familiar."

"I think I know him," Collins said; "I think that was
Bill Giroux. He used to head a local unit of the Montana
Freemen. He was once arrested for threatening some Bureau
of Land Management officials who were conducting some
environmental surveys on his property. The charges,
however, were thrown out due to lack of evidence."

Daria felt a chill down her spine. The news was true.
The Lawndale Militia had indeed returned.

Soon some Lawndale Fire Department trucks pulled up to
the scene. The flames were soon put out.
------------------------------------------------------------
The next morning, after the rubble had cooled down,
Collins was sifting through the debris. Rally, May, Bean,
Chelsea, Daria, Jane and Trent were with him. He stopped
and noticed something interesting. He picked up a charred
piece of wood. He brushed it off and examined it.

"This is the break we've been looking for," Collins
calmly announced.

"What do you mean?," Jane asked him.

"You see these kanakaji markings?," Collins asked her.

"Just barely," was Jane's response.

"These are the markings for the Tezuka yakuza in
Japan," Collins said. "The Tezuka yakuza is one of the
most ruthless criminal cartels in Japan. It's headed
by someone named Nagisa Tezuka; she's one of very few
women who are yakuza leaders over there."

"Just how ruthless is she?," Daria asked.

"She makes Leona Helmsley look like Mother Theresa,"
Collins said grimly.

"In other words, you should make sure your insurance is
paid up before you tangle with her," Jane added.

"This situation now has international implications,"
Collins said. "Given your recent experiences over in
Japan during the Neo-Zero incident, I hereby deputize
the three of you for the duration of this investigation."
He then pointed at Daria, Jane and Trent. "You will
accompany me to Japan, where I will continue this
investigation."

"You can't be serious?," Daria said.

"I am," Collins replied, "and I just did."

"My parents aren't going to be too thrilled about us
leaving for Japan again so soon," Daria pointed out.

"Well, it's their problem now, isn't it?," Collins shot
back.

The ATF agents who were searching for the Lawndale
Militia returned.

"We lost them," one of them said.

"They must be making their way to Japan, I figure",
Collins replied. He then turned to Daria and said, "We're
going to go over to your house and explain the situation
to your parents."

Daria just shook her head in disbelief.
------------------------------------------------------------
When they got to Daria's house, Jake and Helen weren't
too thrilled to hear what Collins had just did.

"WHAT!," Helen roared out, "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!"

"It isn't like we have a choice in this matter, Mom,"
Daria said.

"And what about Jane and Trent's parents?," Helen said.
"You can't speak for them."

"We've already sent agents over to inform them of our
actions," Collins replied. "And we know all about your
legal experience, Mrs. Morgendorffer. If you try to pull
the legal book on us, we'll see to it you'll spend a long
time in jail for hindering a Federal investigation, not to
mention having you disbarred."

That last statement shut Helen up.

"Well, now that you put it that way--" Jake began to
say.

"SHUT UP, JAKE!," Helen yelled at him.

"Yes, Dear!," Jake replied meekly.

Quinn, who was also present, then said, "While you're
at it, could you perhaps forge some birth certificates
proving that Daria isn't related to me?"

Collins shot back, "Who asked you, sister!"

Rally now stood up, wearing one of her usual business
suits that featured a miniskirt. "For what it's worth,"
she began to say, "they'll be all right with me. I've got
over twenty years experience in this business. They won't
get into any trouble on my watch."

"Cool," Trent purred.

"It looks like we really don't have a choice in this
matter," Helen now admitted.

"We're going to take the next flight to Tokyo right
away," Collins said. "I assure you that your daughter and
her friends will be OK."

Collins motioned to one of the plainclothes AFT agents
to get the car warmed up.

"I'm going to be OK, Mom, Dad," Daria said.

Helen couldn't take it anymore, she ran up to Daria,
hugged her and began to cry.

"I thought we had put this behind us," Helen began
to sob.

"I know, I know," Daria said. Some other ATF agents
had brought down Daria's bags.

"We'd better get going now," Collins said. Daria,
Jane and Trent now got up and joined the others outside.

"Be careful, Daria," Helen said to herself.

Jake and Quinn put their hands on Helen's shoulders,
trying to console her.
------------------------------------------------------------
Once again, it was a long flight for Daria to Tokyo.
Just like last time, she didn't have an easy go of it. She
got off the plane disheveled, gripping her stomach as the
airline food was doing a number on her again.

"God, how many times do I have to keep doing this?,"
Daria was saying to herself. She had just gotten to the
customs declaration area when it seemed Rally was having a
rather heated argument with one of the officers.

"I'm sorry, Ma'am," the officer was saying, "but Japan
has rather strict gun control laws." He was holding up
Rally's CZ-75 9 mm Parabellum automatic and examining it.

Collins raced ahead of Daria and spoke to the officer.

"She's with me," Collins began to say as he took out
his ATF identification. "I'm Special Agent Bill Collins
of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms. We're here on an official investigation. We have
a special Federal permit to carry these weapons." He
produced a piece of paper. "If you have any doubts about
the authenticity of this, you can contact our embassy."

The officer examined the license. Finally, he said,
"I owe you an apology then, Sir, Ma'am." He put Rally's
gun back in her suitcase and waved them through.

Daria was rather impressed with what she just saw.

"Geeze, if I knew that all it took to get guns through
to Japan was a Federal permit," Daria began to say, "I would
have applied for one a long time ago."

"That's the privilege of being a Federal agent,"
Collins said to her. "Right now, we'd better go to the
hotel where we booked our rooms."

"Your stomach settling down there yet, Daria?," Jane
asked her.

"No," Daria replied, "and I doubt that even the good
old 'Plop-Plop-Fizz-Fizz' would help me now." Suddenly, she
farted.

"PHEW!," Jane replied.

"Oh, God," Daria now said; "this is even worse than
when I threw up at the Mall of the Millennium."*

*Daria did just that on the "Malled" episode.--"Blue
Light Special" Peter.

"Well, if you need to, the ladies' room is over there,"
Jane remarked.

Suddenly, Daria's stomach turned for the worse, and she
bolted right for the ladies' room.

"Talk about my excellent timing," Jane wryly commented.
------------------------------------------------------------

When they got to the hotel where they were going to
stay, everyone entered the front lobby and headed for the
desk.

"Hello," Collins began, "I was the one who booked the
rooms for the ATF."

"Of course," the man at the desk replied. He lead
Collins and the others to their rooms. However, Daria
did a double take when she realized that the "rooms" were
actually cubicle-like sleeping alcoves.

"Who do they think we are, Jane, sardines?," Daria
said in dismay.

"I guess they had Charlie the Tuna do the designing
of this place," Jane added.

"Quit your griping," Collins said. "Hotels like this
are pretty popular here in Japan."

"I doubt that it would play well in Peoria, though,"
Daria said sarcastically.*

*That last line is a tip of the hat to my good friend
C. E. Forman's hometown.--Peter "I bombed in Boston" Guerin.

"Get used to it," Collins said. "Might as well get
settled in."

Daria climbed up the ladder to one of the upper alcoves
and began to unpack. Luckily, the alcove wasn't that
cramped, and even had a small TV and a radio built into one
of the walls.

Daria soon had unpacked and had settled in for the
evening. She took out a portable CD player and slipped into
it REM's "Automatic for the People" and hit the "PLAY"
button. The first track on the album, "Drive" was starting.
Peter Buck's acoustic guitar intro wafted in through the
earphones, followed by Michael Stipe's vocals:

"Smack, crack, bushwhacked,/Tie another one to your racks,
baby./Hey, kid, rock and roll,/Nobody tells you where to
go, baby./What if I'm right,/What if you are,/What if you
rock around the clock?/Tick, tock, tick, tock./What if you
did?/What if you are?/What if you tried to get off, baby."

Daria had drifted off to sleep. Somehow, she found
herself in something like the video for "Drive" It was all
in black and white and it seemed she was body surfing.
However, the people below here were some of her bitterest
enemies. There was Sandi Griffin, the President of the
Fashion Club, Beavis and Butt-Head, Todd, Quinn, Ms. Morris,
her gym teacher, Anthony Corlew and quite a few others.
They were determined to carry her off someplace. Finally,
Daria got the courage to look where they were headed. It
was some chasm, with flames leaping out of it.

"NO!," Daria screamed. They were ignoring her.
Finally, they took her to the edge and dumped her down the
abyss. Daria screamed herself awake.

Daria was breathing heavily. She could actually see
her breasts rise and fall with her breathing. She had to
get out for a while.

Daria slipped out of the hotel and went down some side
streets. She could see that there had been quite a lot of
progress rebuilding Tokyo since the Neo-Zero attack. She
could see that a new Tokyo Tower was being constructed at the
site of the old one.*

*Tokyo's most recognizable landmark and the tallest
structure in the country (it's over one thousand feet tall);
it's seen in quite a few episodes of "Sailor Moon." It was
bombed and destroyed in "Misery Senshi."--Demolition Man
Peter.

Daria wasn't paying too much attention to her
surroundings. She didn't realize that a yakuza member had
been tailing her.

"Yeah, that seems to be the one," he was speaking into
his walkie-talkie. "It looks like the same bitch that
trashed our weapons at the Lawndale Gun Club." Somehow,
word of the raid had gotten over to Japan this fast. "I'm
going to take care of this," the gangster said, then
switched off the walkie-talkie. He calmly got out his .47
Magnum and looked like he was ready to fire it.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, it looked like some crazy
lady with pink hair leaped out of nowhere. She was wearing
a red drop-dead mini-dress and red high-heeled shoes. She
kicked him in the groin, sending him howling. Blinded by
the pain, the gangster took out his gun and fired blindly,
fortunately not hitting anything.

Daria turned around to see what was going on.

"What in Hell?. . .," she said to herself.

The lady with pink hair was beating the stuffing out
of the guy.

"So, Nagisa sent you to do her dirty work for her,
eh?," she began to say.

"Why you. . .," the gangster began to say. He shoved
her down to the ground, yanked off her dress, undid her bra
and was pulling down her panties when he saw something that
made him go "AAAAAAA!". He then dropped his gun and ran
like Hell.

Daria ran up to her. Then she noticed something: Her
mystery savior was not a woman at all; he was a man.

"Gee, I never thought I'd be saved by a transsexual in
my life," Daria began to say.

Her mystery defender began to giggle. "Well, you
should have seen Ska's face when he first found out about
it," he began to say. "By the way, I just had some
silicone breast implants put in. Pretty real, aren't they?"

"Sounds like the type of thing Fashion Club President
Sandi Griffin would do back home in Lawndale," Daria said.

"Anyway, my name's Shun Kisaragi," Shun began to say;
"I live over at Greenwood Dorm at Ryokuto Academy. What's
yours?"

"Daria Morgendorffer," Daria replied. "I'm from
Lawndale back in the U. S.; why was that guy tailing me?"

"He's from the Tezuka yakuza," Shun began to say in the
grimmest voice his girlish voice could muster. "It's headed
by Nagisa Tezuka; her brother Shinobu is one of my
classmates."

"So, how come you're done up as a girl?," Daria wanted
to know.

"Well, my parents really wanted a girl so they could
train her to be a hostess at the inn they own," Shun began
to say. "When they found out that I was a boy, they were,
sad to say, disappointed."

"Funny, most parents want boys," Daria pointed out.

"Yeah, but girls make better hostesses," Shun said.
"Thus they've raised me to be a girl."

"Have I stepped into a scene from "Rose of Versailles"
or what?," Daria said.*

*"Rose of Versailles" is a rather famous anime set in
pre-Revolutionary France; it's about a girl who's raised
to be a boy and befriends Marie Antoinette. Other famous
"gender-bender" anime include "Ribon no Kishi" (a/k/a
"Princess Knight") from famed "Tetsuwan Atom" (a/k/a "Astro
Boy") creator Osamu Tezuka and "Revolutionary Girl Utena"
from long-time "Bishôjo Senshi Sailor Moon" director
Kunihiko Ikuhara. In all three cases, its girls who are
raised to be boys, the opposite of Shun's case, who's
a boy who decides he wants to be a girl.--Boy Peter.

Shun laughed. "Man, I love that show!," he said.

Daria couldn't let this next question go unasked:

"You don't happen to know someone named Ami Mizuno,
do you?"

"Nope," Shun said; "but I've seen her and some other
girls around the area of Minatomo-ku, if that's what you
mean."*

*Minatomo-ku is the ward in Tokyo where Usagi and the
others live in both the "Sailor Moon" manga and anime
series. "Ku," or wards, are roughly equivalent to city
council wards here in the U. S., though in Japan each big
city that has "ku" has a "ward council" as well as its city
council. However, Tokyo does not have a city government;
the ward councils are directly overseen by the Tokyo
Metropolitan Prefecture (Tokyo-to) government consisting
of a governor and prefectural assembly. To put it another
way, it would be as if all fifty-one City Council
districts in New York City had their own government, but
instead of the city government it was ruled directly by the
governor and the New York State Legislature.--Peter "I did
very well in my state and local government class in college"
Guerin.

"Anyway," Daria continued, "what brings you out here?"

"I was actually out on a date," Shun giggled. "I was
going out with this cute guy from Tokyo University. Of
course, he didn't know the truth about me."

"I've got to tell Sick, Sad World about this when I
get back home," Daria said.

"One of these days, I want to go whole hog and get a
sex change operation," Shun replied. "Then I can really
be a girl."

"Of course, you won't menstruate or get pregnant,"
Daria warned.

"Well, that's two aspects of the downside of being a
woman I won't have to go through," Shun said with a telling
laugh.

Daria just rolled her eyes.

"Where are you staying, anyway?," Shun asked.

"I was staying at one of those sardine cans someone
humorously labeled as a hotel," Daria said in her usual
monotone voice.

"I'll walk you back there," Shun offered. "By the way,
nice outfit."

"Gee, thanks," Daria said, blushing. No one other than
David MacAllister had complimented her on her choice of
clothing.*

*David MacAllister was the Special Education student
who was running for Student Government President in my
second Daria story "Triumph of the 'Retart'"; Daria fell in
love with him and slept with him. In the end, he was
martyred. Read this story; it's very powerful!--"Shameless
Plug" Peter.

"You know, those boots of yours look kind of sexy,"
Shun added. "You like that lead singer of Garbage, Shirley
Manson, at all? She likes to wear boots like those."

"Are you sure you're really a boy in drag and not a
girl?," Daria asked Shun. "You seem to execute being a
girl perfectly."

"You want to see the proof again?," Shun asked.

"Uh, not really," said a truly embarrassed Daria as
they proceeded to walk back to the hotel.
------------------------------------------------------------
Bill Giroux had caught the red eye flight to Tokyo. He
had now booked a room at the Narita Hilton for the night.
As soon as he had settled in, he got on the phone to Nagisa.

"Nagisa, it's Bill Giroux," he began to speak. "The
whole operation's been blown to Hell."

"So I've heard," Nagisa said at the other end of the
line.

"I've got to get more weapons," Bill added. "Could I
speak to you tomorrow morning?"

"If that's what you want," Nagisa replied.

"This whole thing wouldn't have gotten fucked up if
it wasn't for that motherfucking Morgendorffer bitch," Bill
spat out.

"Well, I've got one of my best agents out stalking
her," Nagisa said. Then, over the phone, Bill could hear
someone entering, moaning pain throughout the room.

"Excuse me," Nagisa said to Bill. She dropped the
phone. Bill could hear the conversation, even thought it
was a bit faint:

"You messed up on the assignment?"

"That Kisaragi kook jumped me, Boss!"

"You messed up for the last time!"

Shots could be heard. Even thought Bill was used to
that, he couldn't help but flinch.

"It looks like my agent fucked up as usual," Nagisa
said as she returned to the phone. "Meet me at 9:30 AM
sharp."

The phone was hung up. Bill shrugged it off and went
to bed.
------------------------------------------------------------
Brad Schlitz served as second-in-command for the
Lawndale Militia and ran things while Bill Giroux was away.
An emergency meeting was being held as Brad's house to
discuss what had happened the previous night.

"That bitch Morgendorffer and her friends have got to
be taught a lesson that we won't stand their messing around
with us anymore," Brad growled. "Therefore, we're going to
stage a commando raid on Lawndale High School and force her
to come back here. When she does, we'll let her have it!"

"What if she doesn't come back?," one of the Militiamen
asked.

"Then we'll start killing off people, starting with
that bitchy principal over there, Ms. Li," Brad said.

"Wouldn't killing off Ms. Li be doing her a favor,
though?," another one asked.

"Who cares?," Brad responded. "We're going to gather
here at 7:00 AM tomorrow and set out for the high school at
8:30 AM. You have your orders."

Everyone filed out of the house, grumbling to
themselves.
------------------------------------------------------------
Daria managed to sleep the rest of the night without
any further incident. That morning, everyone was gathered
at the lobby of the hotel. Agent Collins was going over
his strategy for the day.

"The first order of business is going to be questioning
Shinobu Tezuka," Collins said. "He's the brother of Nagisa
Tezuka, the leader of the Tezuka yakuza. He might have some
valuable information on what his sister is up to."

"What if he doesn't want to talk?," Rally asked.

"He'll talk," Collins said. "He's disapproved of what
Nagisa's been doing for years. He and some of his friends
were even held hostage by her thugs a few times. Shinobu's
got a will of steel alloy in these matters. He doesn't
break easy with her or her thugs and he's always willing
to co-operate with the authorities."

"Why do I have the suspicious feeling that where we
going isn't your typical Japanese high school?," Daria
sneered to Jane.

"At least we can see if there's any guys who aren't
like Upchuck," Jane said.

"From what I've heard of the Japanese educational
system, the smart kids should have it easy," Daria said.
"They're all probably nerds. Japan is probably the only
country where being a smart student doesn't penalize you
socially."

Jane smirked at that remark.

"Let's roll!," Collins shouted to them.

Everyone left for Ryokuto Academy.
------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 4: Thou Shalt Loathe Thy High School Grind
------------------------------------------------------------
Ryokuto Academy was considered one of the best private
high schools in Japan. Founded in 1910 by Katsuhiko
Ryokuto, a millionaire industrialist, the school had
survived both world wars, the Kanto Earthquake, the bombings
late in World War II and protests during the 1960's.
However, none of those events had totally prepared Ryokuto
Academy for the arrival of several "gaijin", or foreigners,
driving up in souped up cars and toting guns. Special Agent
Bill Collins, ATF, was leading the way as the group
proceeded to the principal's office.

The principal glanced up from some paperwork he was
taking care of and said rather calmly, "Can I help you
ladies and gentlemen?"

Collins flashed his ATF badge and said, "I'm Special
Agent Bill Collins of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms of the United States Department of the Treasury.
I'm here on official business. Here with me are duly
appointed bounty hunters Rally Vincent, Minnie-May Hopkins,
Becky Farra, Bean Bandit, Chelsea Grimwood, and duly
deputized special agents Daria Morgendorffer, Jane Lane and
Trent Lane. We're here in regard to an alleged smuggling
operation of the Tezuka yakuza and possible connections to
the Lawndale Militia. We want to speak to Shinobu Tezuka,
please."

The principal stood up and began to speak:

"While I cannot hinder an official investigation, I do
protest the manner in which you entered this office and
imposed yourself on me. I was not informed of your arrival
here. I do intend to file a formal protest with the
Education Ministry as well as your nation's embassy."

"Duly noted," Collins sneered. "Please take us to
Mr. Tezuka."

The principal went to a cabinet that had copies of
every student's schedule. He looked up Shinobu's. "You're
in luck," he said; "He does not have any classes right now.
Odds are he is at Greenwood Dorm even as we speak."

"Where's that?," Collins wanted to know.

"After you exit the Administration Building, just go
straight down," the principal said; "it's at the edge of the
academy property."

"Sorry to disturb you, Sir," Collins said as he now
waved the others in the direction the principal pointed
out to them.

"He's definitely a take-charge kind of a guy," Daria
said to Jane.

"We'd better watch our backs with him," Jane replied;
"I think he's the type who could rip your head off and eat
it for lunch."
------------------------------------------------------------
Collins and the others had just arrived at Greenwood
Dorm. They entered the dorm lady's office and noticed her
watching some soap operas.

"Excuse me, Ma'am," Collins said as he flashed his ATF
badge again, "I'm from the United States Government. We're
here to speak to Shinobu Tezuka. Where is his room?"

The dorm lady--hating to be distracted--pried herself
from her TV set long enough to speak to Collins.

"Go up the stairs and make a left; it's the fifth door
down," the dorm lady said rather curtly.

Collins and the others now proceeded to go to the
stairs. Suddenly, a student wearing a pastor's outfit
bolted down the stairs and confronted Collins.

"God says in the Holy Bible that 1999 will be the end
of the world!," the student began to say; "it's not too
late to accept Jesus as your personal Savior! Will you
accept Jesus as your personal Savior?"

"Move it or lose it, jerk!," Collins yelled at him;
"In my line of business, you begin to doubt if there even
is a God!"

"You atheist!," the student continued unabated; "accept
Jesus now or you will go to Hell!"

"Why don't you go there yourself?," Daria suddenly shot
back like a deadly fusillade of bullets.

The student was left speechless as Collins, Daria and
the others walked past him.

"Score one for you, Daria," Jane said to her.

As they went up the stairs, they saw another student
lugging his motorcycle with him. Daria and Jane couldn't
help but do a double take on that.

"Would you look at him!," Jane said in surprise.

"I have to say I'm impressed," Daria said.

"Will you ladies stop gawking?," Collins said to them.

They now got off the stairs and headed down the hall.
When they stopped at Shinobu's room, Collins knocked on the
door.

"Mr. Shinobu Tezuka," Collins said, "I'm with the
United States Government. I want to speak to you."

The door was opened and Shinobu stepped out.

"Can I ask what this is in regard to?," Shinobu asked
in his calm voice.

"We're here in regard to the recent activities of your
sister, Nagisa," Collins said as he flashed his badge once
more. "I'm Special Agent Bill Collins, Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms. We strongly suspect that your sister
has been smuggling arms from Japan to the United States in
order to equip a right-wing militia group."

"You might as well come in, then," Shinobu said. "We
were in the middle of our study time, but it doesn't
matter." As everyone stepped in, they noticed some other
students. Shinobu pointed to them and said, "These are my
friends Kazuya Hasukawa, Mitsuru Ikeda and Shun Kisaragi."

"Man, from what I've seen of the students we've met so
far, everyone's pretty weird," May said to Rally.

"I've seen stranger people elsewhere," Rally shot back.

"You have to forgive us," Shinobu continued, "Greenwood
is where all the outcasts are housed."

"Hey, you could fit in here pretty well," Jane said to
Daria.

Daria proceeded to elbow Jane in the ribs.

"Hey!," Jane said.

"You think I'd be associated with this freakshow?,"
Daria whispered to her.

Shun noticed Daria and leapt up; he was wearing a
pink blouse and purple jeans.

"Hey, Daria," Shun greeted her; "it's so nice to meet
you again!"

"You've met Shun already?," Mitsuru asked Daria.

"It's a long story," Daria replied.

"What's a girl doing here at an all-boys' school?,"
Jane asked.

"She's actually a he," Daria pointed out to her.

"OOOOOOO," Jane said, with that telling smirk on
her lipsticked face; "one of those guys, I figure!"

Shun began to giggle.

Rally felt like she was going to lose her lunch after
that revelation.

"Hey," Shun asked May as he went up to her, "where do
you get those duds? They look very cool!"

May couldn't help but smile at that remark.

"Shun," Kazuya said, "will you knock it off!"

"Don't be such a spoil sport all the time, Hasukawa,"
Shinobu replied.

"Yeah," Mitsuru added; "you should know by now Shun
is never going to change."

Kazuya began to sigh.

"Anyway," Collins said, "Mr. Tezuka, do you have any
information about your sister's recent activities that could
help us in our investigation?"

"Well," Shinobu began to reply; "there have been rumors
that she's been receiving rather huge shipments at her
warehouse in Yokohama recently. What they are, I don't
know."

"That's a start," Collins said. "If you could
accompany us down there, we could check to see if there's
any illegal weapons being stored there."

"Sure," Shinobu said. "I have to admit that my sister
has disgraced herself by entering a life of crime, but I
still care for her and someday hope to make her see the
error of her ways."

"And meanwhile, I have a sister who--until recently--
was telling everyone at our school that I was her cousin and
wishes I wasn't even born, "Daria shot back.*

*Sandi found out the truth about Daria and Quinn's
exact relationship in "The Dinner Date from Hell."--Peter,
the Not-Quite-Frugal Gourmet.

"That is such a shame, Morgendorffer," Shinobu said.

"It could have been worse," Mitsuru added, "your birth
parents could have abandoned you at a Buddhist temple like
mine did."

"Quinn does kind of wish that had happened to me,"
Daria said in her sarcastic tone.

"We'd better get going, everyone," Collins said.

Everyone left the dorm room. There was silence for a
few seconds, then Misako--who had kept herself invisible
while the conversation was taking place--materialized.

"Those guys could be getting themselves into danger,"
Misako said to herself; "I'd better tag along with them
just to keep an eye on them."
------------------------------------------------------------
Yokohama serves as the port of Tokyo, which does not
have adequate deep-water facilities for the vast amount of
overseas shipping that it handles. It has numerous
warehouses lining its docks and wharves. One of them had
the kanakaji markings indicating that it was owned by
"Tezuka Holdings, Ltd."; in reality, the company was a front
for the Tezuka yakuza's smuggling operations, though
carefully placed bribes with the right people kept the
warehouse from prying eyes.

However, those who were now approaching the warehouse
were not bribed; in fact, they were not from the customs
service at all. Agent Collins was leading the way, with
Shinobu a few steps behind him and everyone else a couple
of feet back. Shinobu stopped and calmly pointed out the
warehouse to Collins.

"This is it," Shinobu said.

Rally had her hand on her gun just in case trouble was
about to start.

"We'd better see if they've got any goodies for us in
there," Collins said.

Collins and the others slowly approached the warehouse
office's entrance. Collins took a credit card out and
got the door opened. He and the others cautiously entered
the office, then proceeded to the warehouse proper.

What they saw there stunned them.

There in front of them was row upon row of arms
smuggled in from China.

"We've hit the motherlode," Collins snarled.

Suddenly, Collins and the others heard the sound
of guns clicking back. They turned around and saw
three of Nagisa's agents, Agents K, G, and W, aiming
dead on at them.

"You've just made a big mistake," Agent K said.

"I think smuggling weapons contrary to Japanese
laws is an even bigger mistake," Collins shouted.

Agent G fired his gun and another gunfight was
underway.

Collins and the others dived beneath boxes. Rally and
Bean returned fire. May got one of her grenades ready.

"It looks like Collin's big mouth got us into another
big mess again," Daria said to Jane.

"I wonder if they promote people in the ATF on how
big a mouth they have," Jane added.

"Will you cut it out?," Collins shouted back to them.

Agent W had Collins dead in his sights. May saw that
and threw a grenade at him. Agent W ran like Hell, just
avoiding the grenade when it went off.

Agent G shouted, "You're not getting out of this place
alive!"

"Wanna bet on that?," Rally shouted back, then gunned
Agent G down.

Misako, who had tailed the others over here, made
herself visible. She knew her friends were in danger.
She realized that she had to do something fast. She
floated up to the top of the warehouse, then swooped down
in what looked like a kamikaze attack on the two surviving
agents.

"What in Hell?. . .," Daria and Kazuya found themselves
saying simultaneously.

Misako suddenly zapped the agents. They fell down
senseless to the ground.

"They're not. . .," Mitsuru said.

"No, they're just unconscious for a while," Misako
replied.

"Who is she?," Daria asked.

Misako floated up to Daria and said, "I'm Misako. I'm
the ghost of a junior high school girl who's been haunting
Greenwood for some time."

"She got that way when she was ran over by a truck when
she was thinking about boys," Shinobu added.

"I had a rather unpleasant experience with ghosts
recently," Daria pointed out.*

*In "The Prepaid Phone Card Call of Tommy Sherman," Daria
was possessed by Tommy's ghost.--Ghostbuster Peter.

"I'm not one of those evil ghosts," Misako protested.

"Yeah, she seems to make Slimer look like a putz by
comparison," Jane said on Misako's behalf.

"Misako, how dare you tail us over here!," Kazuya now
yelled in anger. "You could have gotten hurt!"

"Ghosts can't get hurt, at least physically," Misako
said. "But you can hurt my feelings. I was trying to help
you guys!"

"Well, we can do very well without you!," Kazuya now
yelled at full fury.

Suddenly, Misako was beginning to well tears up in her
eyes.

"Hasukawa, you idiot!," Mitsuru shrieked; "now look
what you've done."

Misako began to cry, first silently, then with a loud
"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" The whole warehouse began to shake.
The sky clouded up. Thunder and lightning crashed. The
wind howled furiously. Everyone ran out and saw that a
tsunami was rapidly approaching them.

"Ska, apologize to Misako before it's too late!,"
Shun now yelled.

Kazuya hated to do this, but he knew that if he didn't
do this, there was going to be some needless property damage
and deaths.

"Oh, dammit!," Kazuya shouted.

"Dammit, it's my turn to say 'Dammit!;'" Daria shouted
back at him.

"I'm. . .I'm. . .I'm. . ." Kazuya began to say
hesitantly.

"Hurry up, Hasukawa!," Mitsuru yelled at him.

"I'm sorry, Misako," Kazuya now said; "I mean it."

Misako began to dry her eyes up. The storm now abated.
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

A National Police car pulled up to the warehouse. Two
officers stepped out.

"What was that all about?," one of the NPA officers
asked Collins.

"We've got three perps for you; one's DOA, the others
are stunned," Collins replied; "They're part of a gun
smuggling ring."

The NPA officers entered the warehouse to check it out
for themselves.

"That clinches it," Collins said. "The Tezuka yakuza
is smuggling weapons from China, then selling them to the
Lawndale Militia. Now we need to take down the boss and we
can wrap this case up nicely."

"Nothing in life is ever wrapped up nicely," Daria
warned Collins.

Little did she know how correct she was going to be.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Nagisa had her own forty-story office tower in
Shinjuku, the business district of Tokyo. Nagisa's office
was at a penthouse on top of it. Bill Giroux now entered
the office.

"Greetings, Ms. Tezuka," Bill said as he approached
Nagisa's desk.

"Let's dispense with the formalities and get down to
business," Nagisa said.

"That's fine by me," Bill said. "I think the Feds are
onto me. They staged a commando raid on the Lawndale
Militia's headquarters and destroyed it. And you know who
was leading the attack? That bitch Daria Morgendorffer!
She and those jack-booted thugs from the Feds are after me!"

"Mr. Giroux, you're extremely paranoid," Nagisa shot
back.

"Then, tell me, what do you make of the reports that
are coming out from the news media?," Bill snarled.

Nagisa decided to turn on the TV and find out for
herself. The TV was tuned in to NHK. A reporter was
delivering this item:

"In the United States [the reporter began], government
agents busted an attempt by the Lawndale Militia to stage
another attempt to take over that town when they raided
a local gun club. During the melee, which not only
involved agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms but a group of bounty hunters as well, the gun
club was destroyed when a cache of TNT was exploded. An
investigation is ongoing and NHK will have more details on
this story as they develop."

"Now do you believe me?," Bill said coldly.

Just then, Agent X entered the room.

"Sorry to disturb you, Boss," Agent X began to say;
"but our warehouse was just busted by some American law
enforcement agents."

"WHAT!," Nagisa shrieked.

"Word spread throughout the dockside like wildfire,"
Agent X continued. "I think they mean business."

"So, I see," Nagisa finally admitted.

"Now do you agree that we need to take some action?,"
Bill growled.

"Of course," Nagisa said. "And the first order of
business is to get rid of those meddling gaijin from
America."

"Agreed," Bill said.

They shook hands on their agreement. The stakes had
just been risen in this whole affair.
------------------------------------------------------------
The situation on the homefront was about to get worse
itself. Several trucks in camouflage were going down the
street and toward Lawndale High School. They pulled up into
the school's parking lot, and suddenly the whole Lawndale
Militia clambered out of the vehicles. They broke down the
doors and entered. They set off the metal detectors that
were put at each entrance by Angela Li, the principal. But
they just didn't give a damn at the moment. They advanced
onto Ms. Li's office.

Inside her office, Ms. Li was talking on the phone with
a security equipment supply company.

"Yes, if you're willing to give me a ten percent
discount on mace," Ms. Li said, "I'll take ten cases so that
the security department can be set for the school year."

Suddenly, the door to her office was kicked down.
Brad Schlitz approached her.

"What is the meaning of this?," Ms. Li roared.

Brad yanked the phone out of Ms. Li's hand and shoved
her off the seat.

"We're taking over, toots!," Brad snapped at her. He
then shoved her in the direction of two Militiamen.

"Take her to the cafeteria with the other faculty
members," Brad sharply ordered.

Brad now sat at Ms. Li's desk. "It's your move now,
Morgendorffer," he sneered to himself.

------------------------------------------------------------
At the cafeteria, the Fashion Club was holding yet
another of its emergency meetings.

"Like, now that your suspension's up and you bought
all that stuff for us, Quinn,"* began Sandi Griffin, the
Fashion Club's President, "You're fully reinstated to your
post as Vice-President."

*In "The Dinner Date from Hell," Quinn's punishment for
lying to Sandi and the others about her relationship with
Daria was that her membership was suspended for a month
and she had to buy everything the other members wanted at
Cranberry Commons on their first trip up there after her
suspension was up.--Joe Friday Peter.

"Thanks, Sandi," Quinn replied, with tears in her eyes.
"I promise you I won't lie about anything to anyone of you
guys again."

"You'd better not," Sandi warned, "or else you will be
expelled from the Fashion Club for good. And as for your
weirdo sister of yours, Daria, we're never going to admit
her as a member; she's too geeky for our tastes."

"Yeah," cooed Tiffany Woo, the club's fashion co-ordinator.

"I don't know," Stacy Nibblet, the club's secretary said, "Daria seems to be an OK person to me."*

*I owe one to Danny Bronstein for the last names for
Tiffany and Stacy; he used those for his recent "Who Shot
Principal Li?" two-part fanfic.--J. R. Peter.

"Do you want to remain a member of the Fashion Club,
Stacy?," Sandi sneered in her stuck-up voice.

Stacy then shut up.

Suddenly, the doors of the cafeteria were smashed open.
The Militiamen were herding the faculty into the cafeteria.

"Get you filthy paws off me, you man!," sneered Janet
Barch, the science teacher.

The Militiaman shoving her forward flashed his AK-47
in front of her face, causing her to faint.

"Why did I KNOW that THIS was COMING?," yelled Anthony
DeMartino, the social studies teacher, as his right eye
bulged out.

"It's not nice to treat people the way you do," said
Timothy O'Neill, the English teacher in his calm, soothing
voice.

Another Militiaman seized Mr. O'Neill's right hand
and began to crackle his knuckles, causing Mr. O'Neill
to wince in pain.

"I served in Operation Desert Storm, and I can take
on any of you with my hands tied behind my back!," shouted
Samantha Morris, the girls' gym teacher.

Brad went up to her and punched her in the solar
plexus, knocking her to the floor.

Quinn could see several other people she knew:
Claire DeFoe, the art teacher; Dr. Margaret Manson,
the school psychologist; Arlene Chase, the school
nurse, and so forth. Ms. Li was herded in last.

"All right, all right, all right!," Brad shouted.
"We're keeping you in here while we make our demands
to the outside world! If anyone tries to escape, they
will be shot!"

With that, he and the other Militiamen left, locking
the cafeteria doors tightly.

Ms. Li regained her composure and stood in front of
the other faculty members. Besides them and the Fashion
Club, there were some other students who were having lunch.

"Now, students," Ms. Li began to say, "I know we're in
a very dangerous situation, but we can see this through.
I'm going to need a few volunteers to get help.
Participation in this is strictly voluntary, but those who
don't participate will face expulsion once this whole affair
is settled."

Mr. DeMartino was not going to take this lying down.

"Ms. Li," Mr. DeMartino began, "it was your BULLHEADED
insistence about GOING on with the game between us and
HIGHLAND while they ATTACK the first time that got us
into TROUBLE then! We don't need your meddling this time!
You know you're still being investigated for what happened
LAST time!*

*Indeed, all that did transpire in "Misery Senshi."
--Bishônen Senshi Sailor Peter.

Ms. Li was cowed into silence with Mr. DeMartino's ranting.
She slunked into the far corner of the cafeteria.

Everyone now realized that it was now indeed payback
time.
------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 5: Daria Super-Paean
------------------------------------------------------------

Trent admittedly was having trouble getting used to
driving on Japanese streets. He was used to the comforts
afforded to him in his blue Plymouth Valiant back home in
Lawndale. Further, driving on the left side of the road
needed some getting used to. To make it even more
difficult, most streets in Japan didn't bother with names;
instead, street addresses followed a rather complex
numbering system based on what neighborhood in a ward the
house was located in and what lot number it was. The small
Toyota Camry he, Daria and Jane were riding in didn't
negotiate the tight corners and narrow streets pretty well.
But at last, they arrived at the home of Katsuhiro Hasukawa.
Hiro, as he preferred to be called, was Kazuya's brother and
was also Ryokuto Academy's nurse. He was married to Sumire,
a young lady whom Kazuya once had a crush on. Her
subsequent marriage resulted in Kazuya's decision to enroll
at Ryokuto. Trent stopped the car. He, Daria and Jane
got out as Trent went to the door and rang the bell.

Hiro answered the door. "Oh, there you are, Mr. Lane,"
he greeted him; "I'm so glad you took up my offer I made
when you came back from Yokohama about letting you and your
friends stay with us."

"It wasn't too difficult of a decision to make;" Daria
replied; "even if the typical Japanese house is cramped
compared to an American house, I'll take this place over
that sardine can they call a hotel we were staying at."

"And you must be Daria Morgendorffer," Hiro said. He
pointed to Sumire and said, "This is my wife Sumire."

Sumire politely bowed at the three of them.

"Oh, yeah," Trent added; "this is my sister, Janey."

"Glad to meet all of you," Sumire replied.

"Well, I guess I'll let you get settled in," Hiro said.
"I got Kazuya's room set up for you ladies."

"I brought my own sleeping bag," Jane said.

"Where do you want to stay, Trent?," Sumire asked him.

"You have a couch here?," Trent asked.

"Well. . .we do, but I can fix up Hiro's old room for
you," Sumire said, almost embarrassed that her guest could
even consider sleeping on a couch. "He used that before we
got married and we began using his parents' old room."

"Naw," Trent answered; "the couch will be all right."

"Trent isn't too difficult to please," Jane added.
"Besides, he's a heavy sleeper."

"You mean he snores a lot?," Hiro asked.

"No, he just sleeps a lot," Jane said.

"You must have a pretty demanding job for you to
sleep a lot," Sumire said.

"I'm a musician," Trent replied; "I front my own band
called Mystik Spiral. We put in a lot of practice and we
have a weekly gig at McGrundy's Pub every Sunday."

"That must take a lot out of you," Hiro said. "Then
again, from what I hear, you rock stars make as much money
at one concert than the President of the United States
does in one year."

"If I was only that lucky," Trent mused.

"Hey, someday you'll get that big break," Jane said.
"After all, you placed second recently at the Lawndale Days
talent competition."*

*Another tip of the hat to C. E. Forman there. That
happened in his two-part story "Rain on Your Parade/
Quinntet." However, the event was fixed, as you will read
shortly--John Philip Peter.

"Uh, Trent, I've got to tell you the truth about that,"
Daria said.

"What do you mean?," Trent asked her.

"Do you remember that it was the high school marching
band that won that competition?," Daria asked Trent.

"Yeah?," Trent replied.

"Well, Upchuck told me that Ms. Li bribed the judges so
that we won. She paid off that bastard Judge Cornelius J.
Reinhart--the same one who held me in contempt that day I
was with Mom for "Take Your Daughter to Work Day"*--and he
persuaded the other judges to vote for us."

*The judge did indeed throw the book at Daria in
another of C. E.'s stories, "To Helen Back"--Bailiff Rusty
Peter.

"I should have won it fair and square!," Trent now
bellowed. "I should tell the Board of Education about
this when we get back!"

"From what I've heard, Jodie Landon's dad was going to
run for the board at the next election," Daria said; "he was
going to spearhead a reform ticket that was going to take a
serious look at Ms. Li's actions."*

*I was going to hint about Andrew Landon's running for
the school board in my aborted "Daria Generic Holiday
Special," but I didn't get a chance to. Suffice to say,
I should do a story someday that will fill in the gaps.
Suffice to say, Andrew decides to run after Ted's folks
successfully sue Ms. Li (with Helen representing them,
natch) after she forces Ted to participate in an activity
that went against the family's personal beliefs. I think
I'll let this and all of her other abuses of power come
back to haunt her in my proposed story "All the Principal's
Men and Women."--"I am not a crook!" Peter.

"I'll tell him about this when we get back," Trent
vowed. "Ms. Li won't get away with this!"

"Right now, why don't we eat some dinner?," Hiro
offered. "I'm pretty sure you're starving."

"Sure," Jane said. "Just thinking of bumping off Ms.
Li makes me crave for some meat."

Daria looked at Jane rather puzzledly.
------------------------------------------------------------
It was about 10:00 PM when Daria and Jane decided to
turn in for the evening. Daria was wearing her usual
bedclothes of blue T-shirt and yellow shorts, while Jane
was wearing a red T-shirt and white shorts. Daria was in
Kazuya's old bed while Jane was in her sleeping bag.

"You know, my family's got a nickname for these bags,"
Jane said to Daria.

"What?," Daria asked.

"We call them 'fart sacks,'" Jane replied.

"UGH!," was Daria's reply as she yanked off her
eyeglasses.

Suddenly, Jane let one rip.

Daria flung a pillow at Jane.

"At times, I really hate you when you do things like
that," snipped Daria.

"Hey, chill out," Jane replied.

Hiro stepped into the room.

"You ladies all right?," he asked.

"Yeah, we're just ducky," Daria said in her usual
sarcastic tone.

"Just checking," Hiro said, completely unaware that he
was just cut down to size. He left.

"Good night, Jane," Daria said.

"Good night, John Boy," replied Jane.

Daria couldn't resist the opportunity that set-up
gave. She grabbed her harmonica from one of her bags and
played a few bars. She then turned off the lights.

A couple of hours had passed when Trent woke up. He
was finding the couch too uncomfortable. He realized that
maybe he should have taken Sumire's offer of setting him up
at Hiro's old room. He got off the couch and went to
Kazuya's old room. He silently entered and approached Daria
in Kazuya's bed.

"Daria? Are you asleep?," Trent asked her.

Daria stirred. "Uh, wha?," Daria said groggily.

"It's just me, Trent," was his response. "That couch
isn't too comfortable, to tell you the truth. Mind if you
switched with me?"

"Why not just hop in?," Daria said.

Trent climbed in. He was still in his street clothes.
He was seeing Daria in her bed clothes for the first time.

"You'd ever consider wearing something like that during
the summer?," Trent asked her. "The outfit you usually wear
can get hot during that time." Trent noticed that Daria
wasn't wearing a bra underneath her T-shirt.

"Trent, ever since the last time the Lawndale Militia
tried to take over the town, we haven't been this intimate,"
Daria said. "I was beginning to think what happened after
I returned from Tokyo was just a one-night stand."

"Well," Trent began to say--he knew he had to say this
just right so Daria didn't think he was hurting her
feelings--"I didn't know how your parents were going to
react if they knew how much I love you. After all, I'm 21
and you're 16. But you're so mature for your age. You
didn't tell them about us making love after you came home
from Tokyo, did you?"

"No," Daria said. "If that happened, both my parents
would have gone ballistic and we'd all be in therapy for the
rest of our lives. The funny thing is, they seem to like
you, even if you're unemployed and get stuck in low-paying
gigs. I didn't even tell them about the time I got
pierced."*

*That happened in the actual "Daria" episode "Pierce Me".
--Peter Guerin (who'd rather swallow cyanide than get
anything pierced on his body).

"Didn't your sister find out and tell them?," Trent
asked.

"By the time Dad asked me to show it, the piercing had
healed up. I tried to tell Dad later on that Quinn was
telling the truth, but he said, 'Well, you know your sister;
always trying to find some way to put you down. Even if you
did get a piercing, would we really care? Don't your mother
and I know by now that you're old enough to know what
you're getting into? Maybe for your next birthday I can
see about getting you a tattoo on your belly. You know,
your mother's got a smiley-face tattoo on her left
buttock.'"

"Mr. M actually said that?," Trent said in shock.

"Well, you know Dad," Daria said; "always saying the
wrong things at the wrong time. I just can't wait to see
Mom's reaction will be if Dad actually does this."

"Well, for what it's worth," Trent continued, "My folks
always liked you. My mom's always saying 'That Daria girl's
kind of special to you; don't lose her.' Dad's the same
way. After Wind met you, he had plenty to say about you.
Next time Summer or Penny are over, you should see them
as well."

"By the way, why is Penny out of the country?," Daria
asked Trent.

"Well, something bad happened at Lawndale and she got
implicated in it," Trent said. "Until then, the Lanes
prided themselves in keeping clean with the law. We may
be weird as shit but we're not criminals."*

*That is a question that needs to be asked: Why "is"
Penny out of the country? I intend to explore that matter
in a proposed fan fic I'm tentatively calling "Strange
Reunions," which will also feature an appearance by
Brittany's biological mother.--"In Search Of" Peter.

"Maybe my mother can clear her name," Daria offered.

"We'll see," Trent said.

Daria had this forlorn look on her face, like she
wanted something. Trent realized that, then slowly took
his hand and stuck it underneath Daria's shirt. They began
to kiss. Jane--who had slept through all this--got out of
the sleeping bag so she could use the toilet room.* She
saw what Daria and Jane were doing, smirked to herself,
and had to restrain herself from saying, "All right! Go for
it!"

*In Japanese homes, the bathroom has just the bath,
shower and sink. The toilet is in a separate room
altogether. Japanese toilet are becoming more elaborate
things, with built-in radios, electronic noises and bidets
as well.--Roto-Rooter Peter (who thinks that toilet humor
is an American Standard [here do the jeering note that
sounded at the end of every bad pun on the "Mister Know-
It-All" sketches of Bullwinkle]).

Daria and Trent turned around, their faces red with
embarrassment, then they saw Jane.

"And just how long were you looking at us?, Jane Coyote
Lane?," Daria snapped at her.*

*I know that Coyote was the name of Jake and Helen's
hippie friend in "That was Then, This is Dumb," but I wanted
some type of hippie-sounding middle name for Jane for this
reprimand, kind of like C. E. did when he coined Marie for
Daria's middle name in "To Helen Back" and like I coined
Louise for Quinn in "The Dinner Date from Hell."--Peter
William Guerin (who was almost stuck with "Robert" for a
middle name).

"God, you're beginning to sound like my mother!," Jane
said sarcastically. "Besides, it's mothers-in-law who are
supposed to be nags, not future sisters-in-law!"

Daria shot a furious glance at her. "Go take a leak
before I kill you!," she snarled.

Jane complied, still wearing that smirk on her face.
------------------------------------------------------------
The next morning, Shun and Misako decided that they
were going to go do some clothes shopping; there were no
classes scheduled for today at Ryokuto. They were at a
Seibu department store modeling on some new miniskirts.*

*Besides owning a chain of department stores, the
privately-owned Seibu Railways also owns the Tokorozawa
Lions baseball team. In fact, many private lines in
Japan own department stores. To put it in perspective,
it would be like Union Pacific owning Macy's and the
San Diego Padres. There are quite a few department stores
surrounding the station in Shinjuku ward in Tokyo (the name
literally means "New Station", as opposed to the older
Tokyo Central Station) and at other railway and subway
stations in Japan.--Railroader Peter (who knows for a
fact that Shaun Cassidy's family has Long Island Railroad
blood in their veins, and his great-grandfather worked for
them as well).

"What do you think of this one. Shun?," Misako asked
him as she was wearing a pair of lavender skorts.

"I always thought skorts were a fashion conundrum,"
Shun said, "it can't make up its mind whether to be a skirt
or shorts." He then giggled.*

*Daria made that same snide observation in "The Daria
Diaries."--Unfashionable Peter.

Shun was now modeling a yellow miniskirt. "This one
has such a high slit in it; people might think I'm Ashley
Judd!," he said.*

*Daria made that same comment to Quinn in regard to
her infamous red miniskirt in "Misery Senshi."--Ladies' Man
Peter (who doesn't mind if a woman is as cute or dresses
like Quinn, but she'd better not be as airheaded as her).

Misako giggled over that.

After they got out of the store, Shun and Misako were
preparing to take the bus back to Ryokuto. Shun was fishing
for the ¥150 she'd need for the bus fare while Misako was
doing the same.

Suddenly, three more of Nagisa's agents, Z, S, and W,
pulled up in a white Mercedes Benz. They clambered out of
the car and nabbed Shun first.

"Hey! Let me go!," Shun shrieked.

Agent Z got out a little rectangular black box and
put it on the floor. There was a step-on button attached
to the box with a short cord. Misako tried to float away
but Agent Z then stepped on the button. The box opened,
sucked Misako into it, and then closed.

Shun said, "Misako! No!" Agent S then covered her
mouth with a cloth doused in ether. Shun was rendered
unconscious.

"Let's go!," Agent W sneered as they took Shun and the
box containing Misako into the Mercedes. They drove away
at speeds exceeding 150 KPH.
------------------------------------------------------------
Shinobu was back at his dorm, watching the coverage of
the Lawndale High School takeover on NHK. Mitsuru was also
with him.

"Hey, isn't that the school that Morgendorffer goes
to?," Mitsuru asked Shinobu.

"That, I'm afraid it's true," said Shinobu in his calm
manner. "Knowing what happened the last time something like
this occurred, they are trying to goad Morgendorffer back
home so that she and the others won't stop Nagisa's
smuggling operations. But I know Morgendorffer; she's a
quick study. She won't be goaded back twice to stop
them. She'd rather stop them at the source here. Besides,
I am pretty sure her friends are capable in handling this
themselves."

"You know that just by looking at her once?," Mitsuru
asked.

"Misako said I possessed strong spiritual energy,"
Shinobu said. "If I'm correct, that may translate into
some telepathic abilities."

"Shinobu, you're freaking me out here!," Mitsuru
said.

Collins, Daria, Jane, Rally, May, Becky, Bean, Chelsea
and Trent now entered the dorm.

"Morgendorffer, you'd better see this," Shinobu said to
Daria.

Daria saw the report and nearly lost her stomach.

"Those bastards did it again!," she sneered.

"This makes what we have to do here all the more
urgent!," Collins now said.

The phone now began to ring.

"I'll get it," Shinobu said. He picked up the
receiver.

"Hello?," Shinobu said.

"This is Nagisa," the voice on the other end said.

"And how are you, my dear sister?," Shinobu asked her.

"Spare me your fake concern for my well being," Nagisa
shot back. "I've got Shun and Misako hostage here. If you
don't want any harm seen to them, you'd better not interfere
in any way. Tell those Yankees to go home if they know
what's good for them."

The phone was hung up at the other end.

"Nagisa's up to her tricks again," Shinobu now said.
"She's got Shun and Misako hostage."

Kazuya had just entered the dorm when he heard that.

"WHAT!," Kazuya said in shock.

"Further," Shinobu added, "she warned us not to
interfere."

"Jane, are you thinking what I'm thinking?," Daria
asked her.

"A rescue attempt sounds to be in order here," Jane
replied.

"You'll do no such thing under my watch," Collins said.
"I'm leading this investigation."

"Calm down, Collins," Rally said; she was beginning to
play the role of devil's advocate for Daria and Jane because
she saw in them what she was like when she was their age.
"I'm pretty sure they could give us something they're not
expecting at this time."

"And what's that?," Collins asked.

"The element of surprise," Rally shot back.

Daria and Jane smirked at each other.

"Tell you what," Rally said as she was fishing out some
blackjacks out from her jacket, "take these with you; you'll
never know what type of opposition you'll be facing out
there."

May dug up two grenades and gave one each to the girls.

"Don't use these unless you have to," May cautioned.
"They pack a wallop!"

"Rats," Jane said, "I was hoping you'd give me an
atomic bomb."

"You'd think I trust her with one of those?," Rally
added. She then said, "Good luck, and be careful."

Daria and Jane left to confront Nagisa and her gang.

"They must either be brave or foolish to do what
they're doing right now," Shinobu said.

"Maybe they're just plain crazy," Kazuya sneered.

Everyone, however, was hoping Daria and Jane could
pull it off.
------------------------------------------------------------
Back at Lawndale High, Kevin, Brittany, Jodie and Mack
were locked in one of the science rooms. Two Militiamen
were standing guard at the door.

"Mack Daddy," Kevin began, "how are we going to get
out of this one?"

"Don't call me 'Mack Daddy!,'" Mack snarled at Kevin.

"We'd better be planning some type of strategy about
getting ourselves out of here," Jodie said.

Brittany began to twirl her hair.

"I heard that the faculty's being holed up at the
cafeteria," Mack said. "If we can get to them somehow,
maybe we can form some resistance."

"My dad's a contractor," Kevin said. "Over the summer
vacation, he did some work on the HVAC* conduits that run
over the ceiling. If we can crawl through them, we can
get to the cafeteria."

*HVAC = Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.
--Architect Peter.

"If only we have a map," Jodie said.

To everyone's amazement, Kevin got one out from the
pocket of his football pants.

"Kevvy, you never cease to amaze me," Brittany said.

"I try, babe," Kevin answered her.

The guards were now noticing them. "SHUT UP!", one
of them roared.

The four students piped down. Suddenly, Kevin groaned
in pain.

"OOOOOO," Kevin moaned, "I think I aggravated that
knee injury I suffered last season!"

Mack knew that Kevin didn't injure the knee, but he'd
figure he'd play along with it.

"Man, that sucks!," Mack said. He turned to one of the
guards and said, "We've got to get Kevin to the infirmary."

"Why don't I look at it and see if it's that bad,"
the guard said. He approached Kevin. Mack took his chance
and struck the guard across the neck with a karate chop,
dropping him.

The other guard ran toward Mack, preparing to fire his
AK-47. Suddenly, Brittany did an incredible leap and did
a drop kick right into his testicles. He winced in pain.
Jodie finished him off by giving him the Vulcan Grip. He
slunk to the floor unconscious.

"We'd better get going while the going's good," Mack
said as he went to the grating covering the HVAC conduit
and removed it. He went in first, with Kevin, Brittany
and Jodie following him.
------------------------------------------------------------
What the Lawndale Militia did not know was that when
Ms. Li saw them storm into her office, she had tripped a
silent alarm she kept handy for emergencies. About ten
minutes later, a Lawndale Police SWAT team had encircled the
school. The SWAT officers were in their full gear,
including bulletproof vests, helmets, body length shields
and so forth. The leader of the SWAT team, Lt. Darren
Smythe, got on his bullhorn:

"Mr. Schlitz [he began], we know you and the other
members of the Lawndale Militia are in there. We're giving
you three hours to surrender to us, or we will storm in the
building. We have been given authorization to use any means
necessary to end this. Give yourselves up before there are
needless deaths."

In response, several Militiamen opened fire against
the SWAT team. Cries of "JACKBOOTED THUGS!" could be heard.

Lt. Smythe realized that they could be in for the long
run in this situation. "They can't hold on in there
forever," he said. "After three hours, we'll use the tear
gas and rush them. We might have heavy causalities, so we'd
better inform the area hospitals."

Lawndale was beginning to face its worst crisis since
the combined disasters of the plane crash and the Lawndale
Militia's last takeover attempt.*

*In "Misery Senshi," Ami's flight had been hijacked by
Akbar el-Salaam, which later crashed into Lawndale.
--Unfriendly Skies Peter.
------------------------------------------------------------
Matters had been very tense at Greenwood since Daria
and Jane left for their rescue attempt. Today was going
to be the day that Reina, Shun's kid brother, was going to
visit. Shinobu had phoned the train station and asked them
to leave a message for Reina as soon as he arrived. Soon,
a young boy with lavender hair entered the dorm.

"Reina, are we ever glad to see you!," Mitsuru said
with some relief.

"Man, not another cross-dressing weirdo!," Rally
groaned.

"Is his family all this way?," May asked Shinobu.

"Most of them are," Shinobu replied.

That answer registered on May's face with a twisted
grimace.

"What's happened to Shun and Misako?," Reina now asked.

"Nagisa's gang have kidnapped them," Kazuya answered.

"Besides, who are these people with you?," Reina now
asked.

"Long story, kid," Collins shot back. "Let's just say
that Shinobu's sister has really gotten her sorry ass into a
lot of trouble this time. When we nab her, she's facing at
least charges of gun smuggling and conspiracy to topple the
United States Federal Government."

Reina was shocked. Sure, Nagisa wasn't exactly a
law-abiding citizen, but this was way beyond what he thought
she was capable of doing.

"Don't worry, Reina," Kazuya began to say,
"everything's going to be all right."

However, an air of uncertainty hung in the air over
Greenwood. Everyone was genuinely concerned for Shun,
Misako, Daria and Jane.
------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 6: No Love--Won't be There for You
------------------------------------------------------------

It was a rather tall, imposing building from the
outside. It was one of those all-glass buildings with metal
framing holding the glass together. The penthouse matched
the building that it sat on top of. From the ground, it
looked very imposing. But this was the goal that Daria
Morgendorffer and Jane Lane were trying to reach. Two
people they had only just met were being held hostage
there, and they made a promise that they would free them.

Daria and Jane had with them the cans of mace and the
hand grenades that Rally and May had given them. Now they
were approaching their first obstacle: two of Nagisa's
agents, M and S, were standing guard outside the rear
entrance.

"I'll take the one on the left," Daria instructed Jane;
"you'll take the one on the right."

"I'm going to enjoy inflicting unlimited amounts of
pain," Jane said with her usual evil smirk on her face; "and
these jerks really deserve it!"

Agents M and S saw the two girls approach. They
decided they looked harmless enough and decided not to
reach for their guns--for now.

"What can we do for you ladies?," asked Agent M.

"This is the headquarters for the Tezuka yakuza, is it
not?," Daria said.

"Yeah," Agent S replied.

"Do you guys do pornography?," Daria asked.

Jane gave a fierce scowl in Daria's direction.

"Work with me here, Lane!," Daria snarled beneath her
breath to Jane.

"Yeah," Agent M gave with a wink of his eye. "You
know, we do the usual stuff with the schoolgirls in their
seirafuku doing stripteases and getting fucked by their
boyfriends."*

*Seirafuku or "sailor suits" are uniforms worn by
Japanese junior high and senior high school girls,
consisting of a blouse with a sailor collar, a scarf and
a knee-length skirt. They're based on the uniforms of the
old Imperial Japanese Navy, which in turn were based on
those worn by the British Royal Navy in the 19th Century,
when Britain gave Japan technical assistance for its
navy. The seirafuku can be seen a lot in anime, from
the superhuman A-ko Magami of Project A-ko to the Sailor
Senshi of Sailor Moon. For more details about the
Japanese educational system, read the appendix to "Misery
Senshi"--Guerin-sensei.

Now it was Daria's turn to scowl.

"Of course," Agent S said, "since I take it you're
still new to this, we'll just let you do the stripteasing
part. Why don't you step inside and show us what you got?"

Jane was getting nervous. Agent M opened the door.

"Do we have to do it this way?," Jane snarled at Daria.

"It got us this far, didn't it?," Daria said. "Just
wait for my signal, then attack."

They now got into a small office. Agent S locked the
door. "You," he said as he motioned to Daria, "show us
what you've got first."

Daria now began to strut her stuff like a pro. She
slunked like a panther as she removed her field jacket.
She did a bump and grind as she took off her boots. She
was really shaking it up when she ditched her skirt and
socks. Next the shirt came off. She was now down to
her usual underwear of white bra and panties. She was
reaching for the clasp at the back of her bra when she
yelled, "NOW, JANE!"

Jane now took one of the grenades and threw it right
at Agents M and S. It went off and they took for cover.

"Why you!--," Agent S screamed as he reached for his
gun. Jane, however, kicked it out of his hand. Daria now
got out her mace and sprayed it onto Agent M's face, sending
him howling. Daria then gave him the Vulcan Grip, dropping
him to the floor. Jane then maced Agent M and gave him a
karate blow to the neck, rendering him unconscious.

"That was easier than I thought," Daria said with a
self-satisfied smirk as she put her clothes back on."

"Thank God you gave me that signal," Jane said. "I was
afraid I was going to have to take my clothes off next!"

"Maybe I should have," Daria teased; "just so those
guys know you aren't too much of a prize."

Jane picked up Daria's jacket and dumped it on her
head.

"OK, Larry Flint," Jane growled, "let's find Shun and
Misako before you get any more perverted ideas!"

They now left to take the elevator to the penthouse.
------------------------------------------------------------
At the penthouse, Shun and Misako were bound and
gagged. In Misako's case, she was being held by proton
rays and her mouth was being kept shut by a neutrino gag.
Suddenly, Nagisa, Bill, and Agents C, E, H, J and P entered
the room. Agent C removed the gag from Shun while Agent H
deactivated the neutrino gag from Misako.

"You're not going to get away with this!," Shun now
yelled. "When Ska and the others find out what happened
to us, they're going to hunt you down!"

"Silence!," Nagisa said. "These two brats are friends
of my despised brother Shinobu," she now said to Bill.

"Maybe they know about what happened at the warehouse,"
Bill now said. He turned his attention to Shun and Misako.
He grabbed Shun by his chin and forced it in front of him.
"How much do you know?," he yelled into his face.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Shun pleaded.

"You know, I just might rip your clothes off and teach
you a lesson!," Bill now said furiously.

"I would advise against that," Nagisa now cautioned
Bill.

"And why the Hell should I?," Bill sneered.

"She's actually a he," Nagisa said in disgust.

"You're bullshitting me!," Bill said. He now yanked
Shun's miniskirt and then her panties. When he saw that
Nagisa was telling the truth, he recoiled in disgust with
a loud "UGH!"

"Now do you believe her?," Shun said.

"Maybe I'll have my way with the other one there,
then," Bill said. But as he was trying to grab Misako's
blouse, his hand passed through her.

"Silly boy!," Misako said teasingly, "I'm a ghost!"

Bill yelled in anger.

"Don't fuck with me!," Bill shrieked at the top of his
voice. "What do you know about the warehouse in Yokohama?"

Shun and Misako just kept their silence.

"I think they're telling you not to fuck with them,"
said a voice behind them.

Nagisa and the others turned around abruptly and saw
Daria and Jane standing there. It was Daria who had just
spoken.

"KILL THEM!," Nagisa sharply ordered. Agents C, E, H,
J, and P now advanced on Daria and Jane.

Daria and Jane stood their ground.

"Daria! Jane!," Shun yelled, "they'll kill you!"

Suddenly, Daria launched into a roundhouse kick,
sending one of her Doc Martins-clad feet into the testicles
of Agent H, who crumpled onto the floor in excruciating
pain. As she landed back on the ground, her black
knee-length pleated skirt got blown up, exposing her
panties.*

*Panty shots like that are VERY common in anime, from
the most harmless shows like "Sailor Moon" to more risqué
fare like "Project A-ko" and "Burn Up!" Also, nudity is
also acceptable in anime, even for TV (for instance, you get
to see a lot of Girl-Ranma in the nude in Rumiko
Takahashi's famed anime "Ranma ½").--Peter Hefner.

Jane took her mace and sprayed Agent P with it. Agent
P was sent howling.

Agent C was now advancing, doing some Jackie Chan kind
of karate schtick with his hands and feet. Daria matched
him blow by blow until he was exhausted. Daria then blew on
his chest, and he fell over.

Agent J now headed for Jane. She sent one of her
fireman's boots crashing into his solar plexus, dropping
him.

Daria now got the other grenade and threw it at Agent E. The explosion sent him flying into the next room, where
he crunched onto the floor in an unconscious heap.

Shun had managed to work loose the rope bindings that
bound him. He then picked up the remote control that
activated Misako's proton ray bindings. For good measure,
Daria now maced Nagisa and Bill.

"Move it or lose it, guys!," Jane said to Shun and
Misako. They didn't need to be told twice.

As Nagisa was trying to claw her eyes out after being
maced, she shrieked, "WHOEVER'S STILL AVAILABLE, GET THOSE
BITCHES!"

Bill now said, "Those two bitches were Daria
Morgendorffer and Jane Lane! I want them dead, dead, DEAD!

Daria, Jane, Shun and Misako now had gotten to the
ground floor and out the main entrance. Daria was raising
a hand to hail a taxi.

"That won't work," Shun said, "in Japan, you have to
call for a cab."

"Anyone got any spare change for the phone?," Daria
now said in disgust.

Then, as luck would have it, a cab pulled up.

"Get in!," the cabbie said.

"How'd you know?," Daria said in shock.

"Shinobu Tezuka figured you'd be out by now, so he
called in this cab!," the cabbie said.

Daria and the others now hopped inside the cab. Once
inside, the taxi burned rubber and went off like a bullet.
------------------------------------------------------------
Inside the HVAC conduits, Kevin, Mack, Brittany and
Jodie were trying to follow the map that Kevin just happened
to have.

"Now, do we turn left or turn right to get to the
cafeteria?," Mack asked Kevin.

"I think we make a left, Mack Daddy!," Kevin responded.

"Don't call me that!," Mack said.

"SHHH! Be quiet, you two!," Jodie snarled beneath her
breath. "Do you want them to hear us?"

All four of them took a left. Soon enough, they
arrived at the vent for the cafeteria. Mack peered out
to see what was happening.

"They've got the entire faculty all right," Mack said
grimly. "They've also got all the members of the Fashion
Club."

"Oh, that stupid Fashion Club!," Brittany now said with
a pout.

"Huh?," Jodie said. "I would have figured that you
would have been a member."

"MMMM, well," Brittany said as she was twirling her
hair, "I guess I should tell you guys this. But a couple
of years ago, I wanted to join the Fashion Club. We had
all started out in junior high, where there was a Fashion
Club as well. Sandi thought I'd be great as a member
because I was cute and wore a lot of neat stuff my Dad
gave me. Back then I was on the cheerleading squad as
well for the junior high's football team. But then, my
Dad's advertising agency refused to take on Sandi's father's
accounting firm for a client, and I think because of that
Sandi suddenly said I was being denied membership. I was
so devastated over that, I tried to kill myself by taking
some sleeping pills. But then my biological mother--who
was going to see me for her annual visitation--saw me and
took me to the hospital. They managed to pump those pills
out in time. I had to spend a lot of counseling to get over
it."

"Gee, babe," Kevin said, "I didn't know that about
you."

"And, you know what, Kevvy?," Brittany said as the
tears began to well up in her eyes, "I'm going to have this
pain with me for the rest of my life!" She began to sob.

Jodie put a comforting arm around Brittany. "There,
there, Brittany," she said, "it's all right."

Kevin and Mack were motionless for some time after
that.

"Man, I knew that Sandi Griffin was a bitch," Mack
said, "but this is low even for her!"

Mack now took another look out of the vent. The
Militiamen were playing cards and talking to each other.

"Kevin," Mack said, "get to the vent and try to hear
what they're saying!"

"Sure, Mack Daddy!," Kevin replied.

Mack just groaned.

Kevin got real close to the vent.

"What are they saying?," Jodie asked.

"I can't seem to make them out," Kevin said; "I'm going
to get closer."

"Be careful, Kevin," Mack said; "those vents can pop
out if you lean on them too much."

But Kevin ignored him and leaned real hard. The vent
popped with a loud "CLANG!", and all four of them fell out
of the vent.

The Militiamen now saw what happened. They grabbed
their AK-47s and surrounded the quartet.

"OOPS!," Kevin said.

"Great going, Thompson!," snarled Mack.
------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 7: Nevermind Devilwood--Hell is Tokyo!
------------------------------------------------------------
It didn't take long for Nagisa and her gang to recover
from the surprise attack Daria and Jane waged against them.
Nagisa had her white Mercedes Benz waiting for her as she
got into the back along with Bill, Agents C, H and E.
"Floor it!," said Nagisa sharply to Agent H, who was
driving. The Mercedes sped off in the last known direction
of Nagisa's assailants.
------------------------------------------------------------
It didn't take too long for Nagisa and her henchmen to
find the cab Daria and the others had taken. It was on one
of the main highways of Tokyo that seemed to tower above the
sidewalks like they were merely suspended in space, in
apparent defiance of the law of gravity. Daria was scanning
the roads for any sign of Nagisa, and then noticed the
Mercedes closing in on them.

"Shit, they found us!," Daria snarled.

Agent C stuck his head and arm out of the car, aiming
his gun right at Daria. Daria managed to pull her head back
in just as Agent C fired his gun.

"Can't this thing go any faster?," Jane said to the
cabbie.

"I'm already over the speed limit, lady!," the cabbie said.

What they didn't notice was that a NHK traffic
helicopter was above them, doing its normal afternoon rush
hour report. The reporter ordered the pilot to fly in
closer and ordered the cameraman to focus on the action.
------------------------------------------------------------
Back at Greenwood, the television in Shinobu's room was
tuned in to NHK. Soon enough, everyone there saw what was
going on.

"That's Nagisa's Mercedes there," Shinobu said in his
usual calm tone.

"It's chasing that cab!," Bean added.

"Wait a minute!," Kazuya said, "that's the cab Shinobu
called to get Daria and Jane after they rescued Shun and
Misako!"

"The shit's just hit the fan, folks!," Collins growled.
"We've got to move out!"

Everyone scrambled to hit the road. Kazuya and Mitsuru
decided to take Rally's Cobra while Shinobu decided to go in
Bean's Roadbuster. Everyone left Ryokuto Academy's parking
lot like they were Hell on wheels.

For some odd reason, Rally wanted to hear something
that would psyche her up. She had recently put a CD player
in the Cobra and wanted to get her money's worth out of it.
She asked May to put in Fatboy Slim's "You've Come a Long
Way," Baby and play "The Rockafeller Skank."

Soon enough, the song began to play, with Fatboy Slim's
repetitive vocals cutting through the air like jagged pieces
of glass:

"Right about now!/The funk soul brother!/Check it out now!/
The funk soul brother!"

Rally drove in the direction that Nagisa and Daria were
headed. Soon enough, they caught up with them.

"May, get ready!," Rally told her partner.

Nagisa, for her part, was trying to gain on the cab.

"Ram them if you have to!," Nagisa shrieked at Agent H.

The Mercedes was gaining on the cab.

"They're playing hardball now!," Daria said to Jane.

"But look who's coming!," Jane now said.

Daria looked and noticed the Cobra and the Roadbuster
gaining on the Mercedes.

Rally was now close enough. She bumped into Nagisa's
Mercedes.

"Who's that bitch?," Nagisa yelled at Bill.

"I know her!," Bill said. "That's Rally Vincent.
She's a bounty hunter from Chicago. She's serious
business!"

"She'll learn not to mess with me!," Nagisa said as she
ordered Agent H to bump Rally back.

The Mercedes slammed into the Cobra. However, Bean's
Roadbuster then slammed into the Mercedes, sandwiching it
between the other two.

Daria saw what happened. "That was a perfect set-up,"
she admitted to herself.

"Shake them off, dammit!," Nagisa ordered Agent H.

Agent H tried to steer, but he couldn't go one way or
the other.

As this rather bizarre collection of cars went down the
road, they passed a rather familiar red car. The driver of
the car rolled down his window to look.

"HMMM, I wonder if I could be of some assistance," the
rather familiar-looking man--who was wearing sunglasses--
said to himself.

The Mercedes was still wedged between the Cobra and the
Roadbuster. Agent C decided it was time to end this
stalemate and drew his gun. He aimed squarely at Rally.

"Time of back off!," Rally yelled. Simultaneously,
both the Cobra and the Roadbuster backed off.

The Mercedes now went full throttle and rear-ended the
cab. Daria, Jane, Shun and Misako were thrown from the back
seat.

Agent E got his gun out and fired. The bullets were
just whizzing past Daria's window.

"This looks like the end game, guys," Daria said.

Suddenly, the red car appeared again. It plowed right
into the Mercedes, jolting everyone in there.

Suddenly, the red car passed on the right side, and a
red rose dart hit Agent H squarely between the eyes.*

*In Japan as in Britain, driving is on the left side of
the street; thus the driver's side would be the right side.
--Wrong Way Guerin.

"AAAAAAAAA!," Agent H shrieked. He began to swerve.
Agent C removed the rose dart.

"Pay attention, dammit!," Agent C yelled.

Daria and Jane saw what happened, but didn't believe it
at first.

"Was that who I thought that was?," Daria said to Jane.

Sure enough, the red car drove by, and Daria and Jane
saw that it was none other than Tuxedo Mask.

"I see you need some help again, Daria and Jane!,"
Tuxedo Mask said.

"Funny," Daria said, "I would figure you'd drive a
limo; it would fit."

"Who do you think I am, Batman?," Tuxedo Mask said with
a laugh.

The Mercedes was gaining again. Tuxedo Mask cut the
Mercedes off with an effortless swerve.

For their part, Rally, May, Bean, Chelsea, Collins,
Kazuya, Shinobu and Mitsuru couldn't believe what was
happening.

"Who is that idiot?," Kazuya said; "he's risking his
life in assisting us!"

"Whoever he is," May gushed, "he's cute!"

"May," Rally growled, "he's probably got a girlfriend!"

May now scowled.

The Mercedes now was gaining on the cab again.

"Something's got to give here soon," Daria said.

The cabbie--a seasoned veteran of Tokyo's labyrinthine
road system--knew a few shortcuts.

"Hang on, ladies!," the cabbie warned; "I'm going to
take a detour!"

"Hey! Not all of us are ladies here!," Shun said in
protest.

The cabbie ignored Shun as he got off the highway and
headed down a few side streets.

The pursuit was still in high gear. The Cobra, the
Roadbuster and Tuxedo Mask's car were right behind the
Mercedes, which in turn was behind the cab. All along,
the NHK traffic helicopter was covering the action. The
curious had gotten outside to see what was happening, and
undoubtedly millions were watching on TV as well.

"Now I know what it was like for O. J. Simpson when
he was being chased in that white Bronco," Daria said
wryly.

"Then again," Jane said, "they were going a Hell of a
lot slower than this."

The chase wended its way through the narrow side
streets of Tokyo's wards. As Daria said earlier, something
was going to have to give soon.

Agent E got his gun out and aimed right at Daria's
head.

Misako saw it and pushed Daria down just as the bullet
whizzed past her and through the windshield. No one,
miraculously, was even grazed.

"Time to end this shit!," Rally said to May. May now
got out one of her grenades.

Bean gathered what Rally was going to do. He got close
to the Mercedes.

"Aim for the tires, Chelsea!," Bean said to her.

Chelsea took careful aim, then fired at the rear right
tire. The tire blew up like a firecracker, causing the
Mercedes to spin out of control.

"NOW!," Rally said. May threw the grenade into the
Mercedes. Everyone in there bailed out just as it went off,
bursting the car into flames. The car now plowed into a
brick wall and exploded into a fireball.

Nagisa staggered to her feet. Bill and Agents C, E and H
were fleeing for the alleyways. Nagisa joined them.

The other cars in the chase now stopped. Daria, Jane,
Shun and Misako got out to join the others.

"Are you all OK?," Rally asked Daria.

"Considering we just went through one Hell of a car
chase, we're OK," Daria said sarcastically.

Tuxedo Mask got out of his car and approached the
others.

"Sir, we owe you a debt of gratitude," Collins said to
him.

"Don't worry about it," Tuxedo Mask said. "I just
thought to repay a favor Daria and Jane did when they were
here the last time and saved Japan from those
neo-militarists."*

*In "Misery Senshi," the New Imperial Rule Assistance
Association tried to seize control of the Japanese
Government by stealing an experimental jet fighter and
bombing Tokyo into submission.--Hideki Guerin.

"Where has my sister and the others gone to?," Shinobu
now speculated out loud.

"They couldn't have gone too far," Collins said.
"We'll continue this pursuit on foot."

"Ms. Vincent, promise me one thing before we go any
further," Shinobu asked Rally.

"What?," Rally asked him.

"Don't harm my sister; take her alive," Shinobu said.
"She may be a very evil person but I know that if she was
only seen the error of her ways she can be reformed."

"You have my word on that," Rally said.

Collins now gave orders for everyone to go in every
direction and cover the area for Nagisa and the others.
The end game of this situation was about to be played.
------------------------------------------------------------
Back at Lawndale High, Mack, Kevin, Jodie and Brittany
were now huddled with the other hostages in the cafeteria.

"Now what are we going to do, Mack Daddy?," Kevin asked
Mack.

Mack was going to say his usual admonition to Kevin not
to call him that name when a Militiaman yelled everyone to
shut up.

Mack was now thinking real hard about what to do. He
had been in worse pickles than this, but this was a matter
of life and death he was dealing with.

The opportunity now came to him. One of the Militiamen
who was playing cards said, "I'm getting bored with this
game!"

Another of them now turned to Mack. "Hey, nigger!"

"I hate that name worse than 'Mack Daddy!,'" Mack
said in reply.

"You just listen to me, nigger!," the Militiaman said.
"You know any good card games?"

Mack now got up and said, "Give me the deck."

Mack was given the deck; he began to shuffle it.

"I want to show you how to play flopputs,"* Mack said.

*Any similarity between this and Captain Kirk's Fizzbin
schtick from the "Star Trek" episode "A Piece of the Action"
is only meant to be a homage, not parody or coincidence.
--Peter "Great Bird of the Sky" Guerin.

"Flopputs?," a third Militiaman said.

"Yeah, flopputs. You see, the game begins with the
dealer dealing five cards clockwise to each player around
the table, unless it's Thursday, then he deals only three
cards to each player counterclockwise."

Each of the Militiamen were grunting their assent.

"Now the player to the left of the dealer goes first,
unless it's a blue moon, then the player on the right of the
dealer goes first."

"This is a mighty confusing game," the first Militiaman
said.

"Now in this game," Mack continued, "jacks are wild,
unless it's Thursday with a full moon, then nines are wild."

"So you get only three cards if it's a blue moon
Thursday?," the second Militiaman said.

"Sure, whatever," Mack said. "The first player must
put down a red queen to start the game, unless it's Leap
Day, then he must put down a black seven."

The third Militiaman put down a red queen.

"Now the next player must put down the card next
lower and of opposite color on top of that. The object
of the game is to build up a winning hand that will
out-trump your opponents, unless it's the Queen's
Birthday, then the object is to lose."

Mack now noticed the third Militiaman's hand.

"AAAAH!," Mack said, "You've got a Regal Crap! If
you play that in sequence, you win one million points!"

The third Militiaman was nonplused.

"Huh?," he said.

"Here, let me show you," Mack said, then punched him
squarely in the face.

The other students took that for a sign, and began to
attack their captors. Quinn hit the leader of the
detachment on the knee, making him collapse in pain.
Brittany punched another Militiaman in the testicles.
Tiffany buried one of her high heels deep into the shin of
another fatigue-clad thug. Soon the students had subdued
their captors, and none too soon. For that moment, the
SWAT team used a battering ram to knock down the cafeteria
doors and stormed in. The Lawndale Militia was soon
arrested.

"Is everyone all right here?," Lt. Smythe asked.

"Yeah, thanks to Mack Daddy here!," Kevin said as he
threw his arm around Mack's shoulder.

Mack was just too proud right now to give a damn about
what Kevin just called him.

"Congratulations, young man," Lt. Smythe said to Mack;
"You risked your life to save your fellow students. You're
a hero. I'm pretty sure the chief will give you a
commendation for this."

Mack just smiled to himself.
------------------------------------------------------------
Back at Tokyo, Nagisa, Bill and Agents C, E and H were
still on the run. They finally found a hotel and ducked
into the lobby.

Agent H fired his gun and shouted, "All right,
everyone! You're all being held hostage!"

Screams filled the air.

"Now they'll have to come to us," Nagisa said to
herself. "And when they do, they'll won't live long to
regret ever tangling with me!"
------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 8: Frayed Nerves on the Edge
------------------------------------------------------------
It was proving to be a tedious search on foot for Daria
and the others. In a crowded city like Tokyo, Nagisa and
the others could be anywhere by now. Luckily for Agent
Collins, an officer from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police
Department approached him.

"Are you the American law enforcement officer who came
here to investigate the Tezuka yakuza?," the TMPD officer
asked Collins.

"Yes, I am," Collins replied.

"Ms. Tezuka and her gang have taken hostages at the
Holiday Inn around the corner from here," the TMPD officer
said.

"This is the break we've been waiting for!," Collins
said as he rushed to get the others.
------------------------------------------------------------
Tense moments were passing in the hotel lobby. Nagisa
was biding her time, waiting for the final showdown that
must soon take place.

"This will either make me or break me," Nagisa said to
herself.

Soon enough, our heroes had entered the hotel lobby.

"This is the end of the line for you, Tezuka!," Collins
said. "Surrender peacefully and no one will get hurt."

"When are you ever going to see that your way of life
does not pay, Nagisa?," Shinobu added.

Nagisa gritted her teeth. She reached for her gun and
aimed right for her hated brother. Rally, however, was
faster and fired a warning shot. Nagisa's agents
misinterpreted the intent of that shot and now opened fire.
Anyone who could ducked for cover. Rally gunned down Agent
H, while May took one of her grenades and threw it at Agent
C. This time, he was too slow and was blown to smithereens.
Agent Collins took care of Agent E.

"End this farce now, Tezuka!," Rally growled as she
coolly aimed her gun right at Nagisa.

"To quote what Shakespeare once said, 'Discretion is
the better part of valor,'" Nagisa said as she threw a vase
right at Rally. The momentary distraction bought her and
Bill some time as they fled upstairs, with Collins and the
others in pursuit.
------------------------------------------------------------
When they got to the roof, Nagisa and Bill knew they
needed to take a final stand. Soon, Rally, May, Bean,
Chelsea, Collins, Daria, Jane, Trent, Kazuya, Shinobu,
Mitsuru, Shun, Misako, Reina and Tuxedo Mask were up on the
roof as well.

"You'd better give yourselves up now," Tuxedo Mask
said, his trusty walking stick at his side.

"You ruined this for me!," Bill now roared. "We would
have gotten the weapons we needed to retake Lawndale. We
would have run the town on solid constitutional principals
and not with that damn half-baked socialism that's infecting
the rest of the nation!"

"If I recall," Daria said, "your uncle put the entire
city government on trial and then ordered them executed. If
Sailor Moon and I didn't stop them, it would have been a
fascist dictatorship running the town now."*

*All that happened in "Misery Senshi."--Encyclopedic
Peter.

"You commie!," Bill roared. "You and all your jackbooted
thug allies! You let the Beltway freaks take all our money
and hand it to lazy niggers and spics! When we take over
for good, that's going to change."

"How, by herding them into concentration camps?,"
Jane asked.

Bill now was extremely angry. "I'm going to blow
your fucking brains out, you nagging bitches!" He now
got out his gun.

Bean saw what was going to go on, and shoved the girls
out of the way, but not before the bullet grazed him on his
kevlar headband, making him temporarily woozy.*

*That same thing happened in the "Riding Bean" OAV.
--Knight Saber Peter.

Bill yelled and now charged at Daria and Jane.

"Die, fucker!," Rally now snarled, then fired a
hollow-point bullet right into Bill's brain, dropping
him.

"That just leaves one more to go," Collins said. Bean
was now recovering from the attempt on his life.

"You'll never get me alive!," Nagisa said. Suddenly,
she bolted for the edge of the roof!

"Nagisa! No!," Shinobu said in a sudden panic. But it
was too late. Nagisa threw herself off the roof, with a
loud "AAAAAAAAAAAA!"

What everyone heard and saw next was just short of
incredible.

Nagisa's death shriek was replaced with a soft "THUD!"
and a "WHAT!" Suddenly, fluttering to the roof was none
other then Eternal Sailor Moon in her flight mode.

"You set this up, didn't you?," Daria asked Tuxedo
Mask.

"Guilty as charged," Tuxedo Mask replied.

Suddenly, some National Police officers stormed the
roof. Sailor Moon dropped Nagisa off on the roof and then
landed. Soon enough the NPA officers swarmed her as they
handcuffed her.

"Nagisa Tezuka, you're under arrest for murder,
attempted murder, grand larceny, smuggling contraband
weapons and conspiring to overthrow a foreign government,"
one of the officers told her.

Nagisa now was being led away. As she passed Shinobu,
she turned around and said, "Shinobu, don't think this is
over! I'm going to beat this rap! And when I do, you and
all your friends are dead meat! You hear me, Shinobu,
you'll all die, die, DIE!"

Nagisa was hauled away.

"I guess that wraps that up," Rally said.

"Of course, there's the matter of getting the weapons
out of the warehouse and presenting them as evidence,"
Collins said, "but I think this is pretty much a closed
case now, Pussycat."

Rally scowled again.
------------------------------------------------------------
When they got back to the dorm, Daria and the others
noticed that they got back in time for the evening news.
Shinobu turned on NHK. The reporter had this to say:

"The standoff at Lawndale High School ended when one
brave student, Michael Jordan Mackenzie, pulled something
similar to Captain Kirk's Fizzbin trick and duped the
Lawndale Militia. The ruse bought time for the other
students to rise up and resist their captors just as the
local police stormed the school. 'Mack,' as Mackenzie
likes to be called, is being hailed as a hero by the
police."

Daria let out one of her Mona Lisa-like faint smiles
at that news.
------------------------------------------------------------
The next day, Daria and the others were preparing to
take the next flight home to Lawndale. The entire Greenwood
gang had turned out to wish them well.

"Thanks for everything, gentlemen, and lady," Collins
said to them.

"You've been of tremendous help to us," Rally added.

"Kazuya," Daria said, "stick up for yourself and don't
let everyone else bully you."

"And consider taking some art classes," Jane added.

The announcement was made that the flight for Lawndale
was now boarding.

"Farewell, and good luck!," Shinobu said as Daria and
the others now left for the plane.

"Man, this was just so weird!," Kazuya said.

"Now things can get back to normal here," Shun said.

"Define 'normal' for me as it applies to Greenwood,"
Kazuya challenged Shun.

"Just remember, Hasukawa, anything abnormal is normal
at Greenwood," Mitsuru shot back.

Kazuya just groaned as he and the others began the
trip back to Ryokuto Academy.
------------------------------------------------------------
It had been several days now since Daria had left for
Japan. Helen was trying not to think the worst, but
wouldn't be satisfied until Daria was back safe and sound.

"Damn!," Helen said, "you know, Eric's been on my
back about my productivity slipping, and it's all because
I've been worried for Daria!"

"Don't worry, Helen," Jake said, trying his best to
sound fatherly, "our kiddo will be back before you know it!"

"Who really cares?," Quinn said, "I'm getting used to
her not being here!"

"Quinn!," Helen shrieked, "how dare you think that
about your own sister!"

"But, Mom!," Quinn whined, "ever since the Fashion Club
found out the truth about us, I've gotten nothing but
grief!"

But before Quinn could continue, the door opened, and
Daria, her friends and everyone else entered.

"Hey, kiddo!," Jake said; "how was the Land of the
Rising Sun?"

"Daria!," Helen said in surprise, "we were worried,
weren't we, Quinn?"

"Yes. Mother," Quinn snarled.

"We busted the gun smuggling ring," Daria said. "What
happened while I was gone?"

"The Lawndale Militia took over the school," Quinn
said, "but Mack thwarted them."

"You know, this calls for a celebration," Rally said.
"Dinner's going to be on me!"

Becky groaned, then said, "Rally, all you ever have for
dinner is either pizza or Chinese!"

Everyone laughed over that remark. Life, hopefully,
was beginning to return to normal at Lawndale.
------------------------------------------------------------
EPILOGUE
------------------------------------------------------------
Several months had passed since the Lawndale Militia
last tried to take over Lawndale. Now, in a back room
somewhere in New York City, another attempt was beginning
to form.

There were two shadowy figures in the dimly lit room.
One of them procured a book.

"As you can see, I had a difficult time getting the
boys to steal this from Arkham," he said as he handed it
to the other figure.

"Just as long as I have it," the other figure said
to the first.

"You're not going to attempt this again, are you?,"
the first shadowy figure said. "The stars are no longer
in alignment."

"I have other plans for this," the other shadowy
figure said. He now left the room.

High above, peering through a skylight, was a third
shadowy figure.

"So, he's going to use that book to resurrect the most
hated person to have ever lived, then seek out the Sword of
Destiny," this third person said. "It was militia groups
like his that brutally murdered my wife and left me for
dead. Now I've dedicated my life to stopping these militias
and other groups who would destroy our nation. In the name
of Justice, I will fight, for I am GENERAL JUSTICE!"

A thunderbolt now rent the sky, lighting up the scene.
This third person was now revealed. He was a man, roughly
in his late sixties with white hair and mustache, and
wearing a five-star general's dress green uniform. At
his side was a broadsword, with a jewel at the place
where the blade met the hilt; it was yellow and had a
black design of scales in the middle. General Justice
now left the rooftop, heading for his car. The time to
act was now, before the worst calamity to ever befall
humanity could occur.
------------------------------------------------------------
THIS IS NOT THE END!
COMING IN SPRING 1999
"LAWNDALE MILITIA III: THE FINAL CONFLICT!"
FEATURING APPEARANCES FROM THE CASTS OF:
"SAILOR MOON"
"YOU'RE UNDER ARREST!"
"THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS"
AND FEATURING THE ALL-NEW ORIGINAL CHARACTERS
"THE UNITED STATES JUSTICE SOCIETY"!
PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE ULTIMATE BATTLE BETWEEN
GOOD AND EVIL!
------------------------------------------------------------
AUTHOR'S AFTERWORD
------------------------------------------------------------

There's one more in-joke I want to explain before I
wrap this baby up. It's mainly the titles for each chapter.
Except for Chapter 3, each is a pun on an actual episode of
either "Gunsmith Cats" or "Here is Greenwood." Chapter 3 is
actually a pun on the movie "A Passage to India." Here are
the chapter titles again, with the actual episode titles
they make fun of:

Chapter 1: "End Zone Huddle" is a pun on "Gunsmith
Cats'" Episode 1: "The Neutral Zone."

Chapter 2: "Aim High, Shoot Low" was the name of a
song from Yes, and also makes fun of the "Gunsmith Cats"
episode "Swing High!"

Chapter 4: "Thou Shalt Loathe Thy High School Grind"
is a pun on "Here is Greenwood's" first episode "Thou Shalt
Love Thy Daily Life."

Chapter 5: "Daria Super-Paean" is a pun on "Here is
Greenwood's" "Nagisa Hyper-Rhapsody."

Chapter 6: "No Love--Won't Be There for You" is a pun
on "Here is Greenwood's" "Second Love--Always Be There for
You."

Chapter 7: "Nevermind Devilwood--Hell is Tokyo!" is
an indirect pun on "The Making of Here is Devilwood"
episode of "Here is Greenwood."

Chapter 8: "Frayed Nerves on the Edge" is a pun on
the "Gunsmith Cats" episode "High Speed Edge."

I hope you liked this story. Keep your eyes peeled for
"Lawndale Militia III: The Final Conflict," which will wrap
up "The Lawndale Militia Trilogy." Until then, take care!

Peter W. Guerin
President and CEO, Mark Zero Fan Fiction, Unlimited
January 16, 1999
5:04 PM
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CLANG! CLANG! OUCH! I HIT MYSELF WITH THE !@#$%^& HAMMER!
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