EXT.: MORGENDORFFER FRONT DOOR.
(Music: "Mantra for the Lost", Catatonia)
(Daria rings the doorbell. Fast cut to her other hand -- a stake is there, held tightly and professionally, ready for any nasties that may be on the other side. The door opens, it's her aunt Amy, aka "Aleph". [Just to clarify: Aleph/Amy is Daria's aunt Amy Barksdale, Tav/Amy is the former rat and witch Amy Madison.] Pity Daria doesn't know that, as she discreetly puts the stake in a pocket and goes into the house with something that might just be a relieved smile for her aunt.)
INT.: MORGENDORFFER DINING ROOM.
(Music continues. Daria's sitting down at the dining table, looking exhausted.)
ALEPH/AMY: (O/S) You look like hell. Just get back?
DARIA: Don't even joke about that. (Aleph/Amy sets down a couple of mugs of coffee on the table and sits down next to Daria.) You don't know what you're talking about.
ALEPH/AMY: (rather too much like classic Daria) Excuse me?
DARIA: (can't stay mad) It started when... (drops her head) It's too much. We -- Jane and I -- were back at the Zen. Backstage. You know Jane's brother's band, they'd just come off stage, and we saw him... in a stranglehold, with a claw at his throat.
ALEPH/AMY: (credible imitation of surprise) A claw?
INT.: MORGENDORFFER MASTER BEDROOM.
(Helen is in the bed, sleeping a little too peacefully. Tav/Amy Madison comes in with Jake, also unconscious, held over her shoulder sack-of-potatoes-style and dumps him unceremoniously on the bed.)
INT.: DINING ROOM.
(Aleph/Amy is smirking, just a little, knowing what Daria's talking about. Daria's still looking away, her head in her hands, and doesn't notice.)
ALEPH/AMY: (face becoming sympathetic) A claw, Daria? But what...
DARIA: (looks up) I can't talk about this. (Aleph feigns sorrow and even a little chagrin) I can't. (shakes head) Can I...
ALEPH/AMY: Have some time alone? (Daria nods) Sure. (She leaves, Daria looks after her aunt uneasily, in what could be suspicion)
(Music: "The Waitress", Tori Amos )
("Tav" is just coming down the stairs, but stops near the bottom on seeing "Aleph". She opens her mouth to speak to her fellow Amy, but stops to a quick ssh! gesture from "Aleph".)
TAV/AMY: (quietly) Why'd you want to just knock the parents out, Aleph? As opposed to, say, killing them as potential threats? This's the kind of mistake that makes you lose all respect for Bond-movie villains.
ALEPH/AMY: It's supposed to be traditional for vampires to torture and/or kill their loved ones at the first opportunity after getting turned, so I figured I'd better play it safe.
TAV/AMY: It is? Damn. So why didn't you...?
ALEPH/AMY: (shrugs) As priceless as the look on Mom's face would be, it just wasn't worth the trip. But if she asks me to another one of those anniversary celebrations... (shakes head, is that a shudder?) And as for you, you told me about "Catherine the Great"  and you never asked about your dad.
TAV/AMY: Well maybe I should have.  (pause) But why do you want to turn her, anyway? She knows what we are, and... she's a Slayer for Hecate's sake! What if there's some weird side-effect when they get vamped?
ALEPH/AMY: (rubbing a small silver ring on her right forefinger) Then we deal with it. Daria's my niece, and the only relative I've got who I'd want to spend ten minutes with, let alone eternity. And she could use the confidence boost.
(Turn up the music... o/~ if I did it fast, you know that's an act of kindness o/~ ... and pause)
(f/x: quiet bootsteps from near the door)
(The two Amies look at each other and head straight for the noise)
INT.: DINING ROOM.
(Daria is back in her seat, trying to look nonchalant. And failing miserably. One hand is on her stake, the other on the cordless phone.)
DARIA: (to phone, urgent, quiet) Willow? Move. Two vamps, one's the one we met at the Zen, they've got my parents sedated upstairs and want to turn me. And I don't even want to know what they've done with Qu-- (Aleph/Amy comes through the door, a familiar deadpan frown on her face.)
DARIA: (stands up, drops phone, kicks chair under table, safety in deadpan) Thanks, Aunt "Aleph", but I want to hold onto my soul for now. You wouldn't believe how much they're going for on the free market.
ALEPH/AMY: I'm guessing it's enough to cover a pair of contact lenses.
(Restart "The Waitress", the chorus, nice and loud...)
(Daria looks at Aleph/Amy, incredulous, and each waits for the other to make the first move. Sounds of a car roaring up the drive...)
(Aleph/Amy goes game and leaps forward around the table, lunging for Daria's head. Specifically, her glasses. Daria dodges... but not quickly enough. The glasses clatter into a chair leg, and one of the lenses cracks badly.)
(Cut to Daria's POV -- blurry and astigmatic, worse than in Through A Lens Darkly even. She can just make out an Aleph-shaped blur around the table, moving quickly towards her, with her running away, at opposite sides of the table following its edge. Round once, change direction, round again...)
(Daria moves around the table and near to the wall. Cut underneath the table, Amy makes a sudden lunge to one side, grabs the edge, and gets a kick around to Daria's legs. Vampire regains footing, Slayer hits the floor.)
("Tav" takes the opportunity to enter through the door "Aleph" came through, and both move towards Daria, who isn't looking like she'll be getting up anytime soon.)
ALEPH/AMY: Slayer sight not kicked in yet?
(Daria's POV again -- it's a lot less blurry than before and getting steadily clearer with time )
DARIA: Actually... (sweeps "Tav"'s legs out from under her and rolls, knocking the fallen vampire out of the way and climbing onto her feet as "Aleph" dives for her and misses.) It has. (Slams the door behind her)
(Music continues. Daria rushes up it and stops at the top, looking back and hearing a door downstairs rattle open.)
DARIA: Damn horror-movie instincts... (turns and runs down the hall)
(The other door is thrown open. Willow and Tom lead the way, the
latter with a crossbow cocked and ready, the former armed with what looks
like some kind of ceremonial knives. Tara and Jane follow, with assorted
spell paraphernalia and slightly less ceremonial knives respectively. We
just see "Aleph" disappearing the way Daria did, and "Tav" staying for
(Music continues. Daria slides in the door and shuts it none too gently behind her. Seeing her parents apparently alive and uninjured on the bed, she lets out what might have been a sigh of relief if she wasn't panting so much (out of desperation rather than exhaustion). Quickly, she turns the thumblatch on the door and grabs a chair to blockade it. Not happy with the setup but unable to see anything better, she goes to the bed to check on her parents, Helen first.)
DARIA: (quiet and urgent) Mom? Mom? (touches her, no response) Mom? (shakes Helen) Wake up, dammit...
(f/x: someone knocks on the door)
(Daria moves, with speed best depicted with heavy use of a motion blur, pulling a stake out of her jacket and moving the arm up, to the door, which gets blown off its hinges by a hip-and-shoulder from "Aleph", and all in the same fluid movement, Daria's stake plunges into the incoming vampire's side.)
DOWNSTAIRS: DINING ROOM.
(Music: "Rabbit With Fangs", Magic Dirt)
(Jane, Willow, Tara and Tom are at one end of the room. "Tav" is at the other. A crossbow bolt is embedded in the door ten centimetres to Tav's left. Neither side looks to be making a move. Can you say stand-off?)
TAV/AMY: Now, I'm kinda new to this whole final battle thing, but isn't someone supposed to be attacking? (She looks at her opponents. Jane is smirking to cover up nervousness, Tara and Tom aren't smirking, Willow is unreadable) Or moving, even? (no reaction, she shrugs) Well, if you insist... (lunges for them)
TARA: (quickly, quietly) Deixe o Ãblo seus dusero justos e o bon melhor receber do que... 
("Tav" freezes in place a few inches from Willow's throat, unable to move)
JANE: (deadpan, deadly) We insist.
UPSTAIRS: MASTER BEDROOM.
(Music continues on until further notice. Daria gently pulls the stake out, replaces it in her pocket and lets "Aleph" slump to the floor, apparently motionless. Breathing hard, she stares at the vampire, not fully believing what she sees. Breaking the gaze, she turns back towards the bed, to check on Jake. "Aleph" opens an eye, then slowly, quietly gets up, into a sprinter's starting pose. Daria is at the bedside, looking sadly down at her father. Then "Aleph" jumps for her.)
(Daria spins around, her left boot outstretched, swatting "Aleph"
in the head. The vampire half-lands on the far end of the bed, rolls off
and back up into a fighting pose with a growl. She's bleeding badly from
the wound... makes you wonder why neither Buffy nor Faith nor Kendra thought
to wear steel-toe boots...)
("Tav" still can't move. Willow and Tara are scattering some kind of fine, pale orange powder around the room. Tom and Jane have moved in nice and close to the vampire to play "bad cop, worse cop".)
JANE & TOM: (simultaneous, both half-growls, Jane's barely a whisper, Tom's reminiscent of Giles in Ripper mode) Where's Daria, you bitch?
(They glare at each other)
("Aleph", backing out of the room, gets helped along by a movie one-two from Daria. Picking herself up, she sees Daria trying the same move again, bobs and weaves, and gets a nasty cross of her own into Daria's neck, enough to get a break in the exchange.)
ALEPH/AMY: Ah, youth. (Daria winces) You don't know much about fighting, do you?
DARIA: (catching breath) First night out.
ALEPH/AMY: It shows. (goes game, telegraphs a punch to Daria's lower stomach) Believe me, it shows. (the Slayer only just gets a block down in time) Aren't you forgetting something? (Daria remembers her stake, pulls it out, and "Aleph" starts showing a little more respect...)
DOWNSTAIRS: DINING ROOM.
(Jane and Tom look like they're not sure who to throttle first, "Tav" or each other, while Tara and Willow especially are busy trying to ignore the other three and get on with the spell (p)reparations.)
TOM: (realises Daria'll be happier if he throttles the vampire first) Is the spell messing with your hearing or something? Where. Is. My. Girlfriend?
JANE: (realises she'll be happier if she throttles the ex first) Girlfriend? I knew you mov--
WILLOW: (à la "The Dark Age") SHUT UP, you two! There is a Slayer under attack somewhere in this building and I for one would like to see her alive come sunrise!
(Daria launches a long kick, quite awkward in a skirt and heavy boots. "Aleph" is dressed more practically, and dodges out of the way.)
ALEPH/AMY: This really isn't getting anything done.
DARIA: No problem. For me, anyway. What time's sunrise again? ("Aleph" barely bats an eyelid, Daria looks disappointed)
ALEPH/AMY: You think you can hold on that long?
DARIA: (Buffyesque smirk) I don't know. Can you? (sweeps a leg at the vampire's shins, "Aleph" gets knocked over. Daria moves in, delivers another kick to the ribcage, and leans over, stake raised...)
DOWNSTAIRS: DINING ROOM.
(Jane and Tom are still glaring at each other, resentful. Willow looks militant. Tara looks worried. "Tav" sees an opportunity.)
TAV/AMY: (quietly, quickly) Eu quero destruir este serveuse...
WILLOW: Don't let her finish!
TAV/AMY: ...conheço-a que é... (Tom gets his left hand around her neck) (choked) ...ãm... b-bont--é... (Tom covers her mouth with his other hand. She goes game -- he pulls away, clutching at his bleeding right hand) (clearly, triumphant) da ação! (now free from the spell, she snaps a front kick at Tom's knees and pushes him away.)
("Aleph" catches in both hands the arm holding the stake and pushes it away with some effort, then sweeps her own legs around and takes Daria down. Standing up, she takes the opportunity to stomp on her niece's kidney before picking her up and throwing her, with great velocity, at the closed door behind them. Not shut properly in the first place, it flies open.)
(Daria's fall is cushioned by a padded wall -- she's been thrown into her own bedroom.  She coughs, not just from any dust. Pulling herself back onto her feet with unslayerlike effort, she moves into a more attacking position, the Slayer instincts reasserting themselves.)
DOWNSTAIRS: DINING ROOM.
(Jane moves in with a fist raised. "Tav" blocks with an arm and punches her once, twice, delivers a kick to her stomach, watches her fold, and turns to Willow and Tara.)
TAV/AMY: (shaking head, obligatory villain-demoralises-hero speech) You never were much of a witch, Willow. I got stuck as a rat for most of a year and all you could do for me was put in a damn exercise wheel. Then something changes me back, think it called itself the First or something,  and sends me the way of your Slaying friend's freshly-vamped-from-Hawaii aunt... I remember it all pretty well, it's the big moments like that which change your life. (pause, nobody moves) But one thing I do forget... why am I wasting time playing tell-all biographer? (moves fast and casually, grabs Tara around the throat) This is more like it. New friend, Wills?
UPSTAIRS: DARIA'S ROOM.
(Daria and her aunt, quite simply, start laying into each other. They're maybe arm's length from one another, the stoic frowns on each face barely masking a grim kind of determination. Blows fly back and forth at random... "Aleph" relies on experience to keep her fighting. The Slayer relies on luck, instinct and the expertise of the good Doctor Marten. Good enough, clearly, to knock another nasty wound into the vampire's hip area and send her sprawling into her desk. The computer jolts as "Aleph" looks up to see...)
DARIA: (very bitter sarcasm, stake ready) Ah, the aged. I shouldn't have done that, should I? Arthritis and all that...
ALEPH/AMY: (blithe) Ah, youth. One thing you're gonna have to learn, kid... It's not smart to gloat until you've (goes game, roars, snap kicks into Daria's wrist) finished the job!
(The stake goes flying off at an angle and clatters near the door. Daria hesitates momentarily, glancing in mild shock at her empty hand, and in that moment "Aleph" is back on her feet, with the Slayer in a bear hug, and fangs in her right shoulder. Blood spurts wildly. Daria struggles violently, and in one sudden jerk manages to tear her shoulder out from under her aunt's fangs, which take a fair chunk of her flesh out with them and brush the still-bleeding wound in Aleph's forehead over the bite. Spitting the flesh out, the vampire pulls pack, and briefly looks over her now tired, injured niece. Then she surges back in, smashing Daria into the wall, not allowing for any resistance as she starts feeding again.)
DOWNSTAIRS: DINING ROOM.
(Tara, unable to see her assailant or, for that matter, breathe very well, is quietly trying not to whimper, her face absolute fear. "Tav" merely grins at Willow like the cat that swallowed the low-fat non-dairy cream substitute.)
WILLOW: Put her down!
(Jane is still on the floor, and sees Tom see where the vampire's attention is directed and quietly start edging his way around the room.)
TAV/AMY: (after a long pause) There's so much I could say to that. (goes game and makes a shallow cut in Tara's neck) But I'll stick with a simple "no". (slowly licks the blood from the wound)
WILLOW: (pulls a stake from a pocket, waves it threateningly) Put... her... down.
TAV/AMY: No... no... (growls) NO! (puts her fangs in the cut, starts to feed)
WILLOW: (to Tom) Now. (Tom, now directly behind "Tav", tries to crash-tackle the vampire and is able to disorient the vampire enough for Willow to drop the stake, jump in, and get Tara out of harm's way.)
TOM: (breathless) Aaergh...
(We see him wresting with the vampire. Very close, very personal, very unpleasant. They keep rolling on the floor like that, someone might get the wrong idea. Jane picks herself up off the floor and starts bashing at the pair, aiming to get "Tav" off Tom. She succeeds... the vampire goes rolling towards Willow, who's still nursing Tara. With a cry, the vampire extends her claws and somehow pulls herself up to attack her former classmate. Willow, moving too fast to think, scrabbles for a stake and rakes it across Tav's chest. The vampire's sheer momentum pushes her onto the stake just as it goes near her heart, and a cloud of dust scatters over Willow and Tara.)
(The four just stare at each other in shock and exhaustion. Then Jane casts her eyes in the direction of the door the other Amy went through...)
UPSTAIRS: DARIA'S ROOM.
(Music: "Image of You", Red Snapper)
("Aleph" stops feeding, and sets a nearly-unconscious Daria against
the wall. Lightly cutting part of her neck with a claw, she gently pulls
her niece's mouth over the cut.)
(Music continues. Jane, Tom, Willow and Tara reach the top of the stairs and, by unspoken agreement, go to one door each. Jane sees the damage to Quinn's door and moves quickly that way, Tara goes to the master bedroom, Willow the Morgendorffer daughters' shared bathroom, and Tom waits a little before approaching Daria's room.)
TARA: Well, at least the p-parents l-look all right...
WILLOW: Bathroom's fine.
JANE: It looks like they were in here...
TARA: T-tom? Are you OK?
TOM: (O/S, from inside Daria's room, choked) No, I'm not.
INT.: DARIA'S ROOM.
(Jane rushes in, closely followed by Willow and Tara. They all stop just past the door in shock... Amy and Daria are conspicuously absent, the window is in pieces on the floor, and there's a note above the bed. Written on the wall in what looks like blood.)
MY FAVORITE NIECE
(Slow fade out. Roll credits to "Image of You".)
 Just to clarify -- Brian Taylor is one of my favourite authors, but I haven't taken much inspiration from him (I had this ending planned months before he even started writing Dariafic, though any resemblance will be more obvious in the sequel, if I ever get it written). This song is the one exception. Saw it in his MB sig, got curious... [back]
 See the Buffy episode "The Witch". [back]
 Line from Kara Wild's classic "None in the Family" too ironic in this context to leave out. [back]
 Just to make things clear (groan), my theories on Slayer sight... We've never seen a Slayer need glasses, and any kind of vision problem would get in the way of Slaying, so I'm assuming that they have a greatly-accelerated of the normal human eye's adjustment properties, meaning that they'd adapt in a few minutes/seconds/nanoseconds (depending on plot demands) to give a clear image regardless of what weird "corrective" lenses may be in the way. This would also require them to readjust when the lenses are removed. </pseudoscience> [back]
 I suck at coming up with good spell incantations, so the lines above are ones I picked at random, ran through the Babelfish translator from English to French, French to German, German back to English, and the resultant gibberish into Portuguese (the least used, so I figured it'd be the worst translation) and changed one or two letters, and words which had stayed in English for whatever reason (if the good folks at Altavista Translations are to be believed, those poor Portuguese don't have a word for evil...) [back]
 The First Evil, as seen in the Buffy episode "Amends", possibly as foreshadowing of or a counterpoint to the First Slayer ("Primaeval", "Restless"), I'm not sure. Right down there with the Oracles/Powers That Be for the Crappiest Idea Ever To Escape Joss's Mind award. A thin, lame concept IMHO, so I figured I'd use it for a thin, lame excuse. [back]
 Memo to confused Buffy fans: the previous owner of Daria's family's house kept his schizophrenic shut-in mother in what became Daria's room. Hence the padding... and the handrails (which, if made out of any hard material, would probably totally defeat the purpose of the padding...) [back]