That Was Daria.




She brushed her shoulder length black hair out of her eyes as she sat at the simple wooden desk and picked up the pencil and pulled the paper to her and started to write.



And that was Daria.


It’s been almost three years since the world didn’t end, three years as everything that came before was swept aside and rebuilding started. I’m pretty well off, I guess knowing how to make things is worth something again. The old world is gone and a new one is being built from the wreckage.


I sit here in my bedroom, writing this by candle light and part of me fells so guilty for enjoying this new world, enjoying almost everything, except for one thing.


That was Daria.


I can still remember when she called me to come over and talk that morning. Everything was going crazy and the tiny spot in the sky was visible in the daylight, a tiny reminder that everyone was going to die. One day till the end of all life, I can’t remember caring much.


She had converted her backyard into an electronic junkyard with only a few tents to keep the rain out. She was wearing that damn green jacket, she looked so tiny around the various equipment that was surrounding her in the main tent.  She was looking tired and stressed but there was a resolve that chilled me.


That was Daria.


I can still remember that smell, as components burned out and the pop of the arcs filled the air with crackling. I had no idea what I was looking at, but it didn’t matter. She was my best friend and with the end of the world coming, maybe she just wanted to say goodbye.


I stood there as she puttered around, giving me small smiles over her shoulder before moving over to a half buried desk and pulled out a steaming coffee pot and poured me a cup. My heart almost broke at the sight, it had been two weeks since anyone had coffee in Lawndale. She had saved it for today, for us to share.


That was Daria.


She started talking, I won’t try to explain what she was saying, I couldn’t hope to understand it and it might confuse people if I remembered it wrong. I smiled and nodded, just enjoying spending sometime with her. She stopped and looked at me for a few seconds the laughed. I had never heard her laugh before then and it was kind of like watching Gandhi eat a hamburger or something.


She asked me about Trent and I just shrugged and faked a snore, that got a smile. I asked about Quinn and she smiled again and pointed to the house. I guess I lost that bet, who would have thought that the even the end of the world could put the princess off of dating. Daria looked at me then sighed and pointed to the contraption she had constructed and asked what I thought.


That was Daria.


I asked what it was and she smirked at me, then she answered. Salvation.


I thought she was joking at first but then I started to think she was another of the Hero’s. You can remember them, the ones that thought they could save all of us, who would have thought they were right. I guess I got a little patronizing at that point and she threatened to take the coffee away and I chilled, it had been two weeks. If she had wanted me to believe in flying turtles, for a cup of joe, I would.


That was Daria.


She told me that she would be saving the world but it might kill her, she said she was scared to do it alone. I thought then that she wanted a suicide pact; I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t say no. She hugged me and said that no she just wanted a witness, someone who would be around to explain to people what happened.


I didn’t have any hope but if she wanted to blow herself up instead of facing the death that was racing toward us from the bleakness then I would stand with her. That’s what I did back then, She made the plays and I backed her up.


That was Daria.


I don’t know what I was thinking was going to happen but my friend walking into a laser beam and her body being ripped apart as she talked about being the snow flake that causes an avalanche, wasn’t even on the list. I watched her body breakdown and become part of the beam.


I guess she knew what she was doing, she was the smartest person I ever met. After converting her to energy, the device fired at the asteroid and Daria was gone. But not really. Quinn explained it to me later on, living energy, merged with the laser’s power.

Some people claim that she just built history’s most powerful weapon but can that explain the change in direction or the way the pulse of energy seemed to search across the surface of the giant rock until finding a weak spot and destroying it.


That was Daria.


Debris fell on Earth for three days, millions died. Asia go it worse than anyone, you won’t be seeing a made in Japan sticker ever again. The pulse was the worst; it changed the earth’s electric field or something. Now nothing works, no TVs, radio, cars, all the wonders of the modern world are gone and I don’t think they’re coming back, at least not the way they were.


Quinn says the new power generators will be ready by next year’s winter, something about biological refraction or something. I just smile and nod as she talks about her work. I guess she’s the high priest of the new order of science. The first person to pick up and start carrying the torch her sister had laid down. I told her last time she was in town that she sounded like her sister, I didn’t need those ribs she crushed when she hugged me.


That was Daria.


The mayor stopped by this morning with her husband and made sure I had everything I need. She hasn’t lightened up since High School. Being the only source of pottery and light metal tools gives me a lot of swing. Trent even discovered a knack for glass work. People like to eat off plates and metal forks and enjoy some moonshine that Trent thinks I don’t know he makes in the back, in real glasses. We’re one of if not the richest family in the state.


In the beginning it was a power trip to have my old classmates from school assigned to work for us, mostly grunt work but a few decided to pick up a skill. Trent’s wife Sandi is one of the best pottery makers I’ve ever seen and Stacy can make anything with cloth. Tiffany, oh I miss her but when they setup that piece of Texas to be the new Asia and offered to transport anyone there, I couldn’t blame her, I would have gone too. She picked up skills in a little of everything while she was here and took it to help what was left of her people grow.


That was Daria.


I just looked out my window; Kevin is standing watch for any trouble. He doesn’t have to do that anymore but he still takes shifts just like all the men in the security patrol. One of Daria’s nightmares came to pass this spring, Brittany and Kevin reproduced, she would have screamed. Brittany is a great leader of the patrols and her making Kevin work his way up to second in command was respected by everyone.


I was down at the tavern enjoying some watered down shine and listening to him going on about how everything has a time, a season. He told me that he used to have a crush on her, before. He ended the night with his mantra, the life code that he uses to push himself and others. Smart did it’s part now it’s time for strong to do its.


That was Daria.


There are statues everywhere of her but her picture on the ten dollar bill was a little overkill. People come here from all over the world, to see her home, where her parents still live. Quinn is almost as famous as her sister, for being a brain of all things.


Everyone uses the light orbs and sound crystals she made from her sister’s work. I even got a few extra but I prefer candles. It gets cold at night even now and the flicker of warmth from the candle makes me feel better sometimes. It’s lonely now that the world is a small place; no one cares what some one is doing in another state, unless it’s Quinn.


That was Daria.


I spent weeks traveling for the award ceremony, I got mine for standing there I guess. They let me carry hers back to her parents. I can’t tell them my secret. The last seconds of video before everything stopped working, the beam racing back to earth. I don’t want to give them hope.


I can hear Sandi ripping into Trent for giving the baby a hammer to play with; she’s just what he needs. A strong hand to keep him from falling asleep all the time. I can’t help but be grateful that she took over the administrate part of the business, I kept forgetting who owed me money.


That was Daria


Quinn explained it to me once, you can’t destroy energy, only change it. She swears that she’s close to reversing what her sister did. I almost understand it now she claimed with a wide eyed look. I hope Quinn hurries, I miss her.


She knows the truth but not all of it, she thinks we’ll have to find her sister when she gets the fix. I was there when she changed; I saw things that I’ll never forget. Things that let me know what’s happening. Like the way light reflects the wrong way sometimes in the distance and the movement I catch sometimes when I’m outside.


That’s Daria now.


Daria came home and she’s waiting, waiting for all the fools to finish reading her notes and teach themselves the new science she left for them and maybe with Quinn’s help it won’t take more than 20 or so years.


“Just wanted to say this, I don’t know if this will work or fail but either way I doubt I’ll ever see you again.” Daria said as she powered up the device.


“What?” I asked.


“I thought about telling you before but I couldn’t. But it’s the end of the world so here goes. I love you and I didn’t want you to die not knowing that someone did love you like that.” She said looking at me with tearful eyes as a beam of light jumped into view and filled what she had called the chamber.


She jumped into the chamber and declared herself a snowflake that would control the avalanche and then she was gone.


She didn’t give me the chance to say anything.


That was Daria.