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A Cynical Guide to the Galaxy

Fit the First: Crazy Harry Plays With REALLY Big Dynamite
by Jill Palmer

In which the planet is blown up in favor of... oh, go read it and find out for yourself, and questions are asked and answered.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t own Daria - that’s MTV’s brainchild, kinda surprising compared to the other stuff they run. I’m not sure who officially owns the Hitchhiker stuff, seeing as it’s been in so many different forms. I think it’s property of Douglas Adams. Post this on your site if you so wish, but let me know if you do. I like keeping tabs on bits of my personality.

Daria sat at her desk, writing. Writing was good for thinking - if she didn’t have any ideas, she would let her mind wander. Sometimes that would help her work out a problem.
Other times it didn’t, but that’s how life works.
Suddenly, a muffled beeping started up, the source of which was in Daria’s backpack. She dug it out, shut it off, and read the display, which had bad news on it if one were to belive the look on her face.
“Holy mother of...” She grabbed her phone, thankful Quinn had finally wheedled a private line out of the parents Morgendorffer, and dialed a number.
“Sloane residence, Elsie speaking.”
“Hey, it’s Daria. Is Tom there?”
“I need to talk to him. Now.”
“Hold on a minute.”
Daria was glad Elsie had answered the phone. She still didn’t care for Tom’s parents, and had noticed Elsie seemed to have escaped the upper-class mentality. That could prove useful.
It didn’t take long for Tom to get on the phone, giving Daria the impression that Elsie had some notion of the gravity of the situation. Her first question was, “Does she know what’s going on?”
“Not beyond the fact that it’s serious,” Tom replied. “She’ll find out soon enough, though. I plan to bring her along.”
“Cool. Take her over to Jane’s. If I’m not there when you get there, I’ll be along in short order.”
“See you then.”
“Later.” Daria was sure if Quinn had seen that phone conversation, she would not approve of its brevity. That didn’t matter. Speed was of the essence. She grabbed her backpack, left the house, and started for Jane’s at a dead run.
Jane raised an eyebrow at Daria. “What you you mean you ran all the way down here? Not only are you barely winded, but at last check, you couldn’t run worth a crap. What’s going on?”
“We’ve got-” Daria checked her watch “-about twenty minutes before this planet ceases to exist. You tell me why I ran down here.”
Jane raised her other eyebrow. “All righty then. My next question is how you found that out.”
“Not now. As soon as Tom and Elsie get over here, we’re leaving.”
Had Jane had a third eyebrow, she would’ve raised it, too. She decided to let it slide for the moment. Daria wouldn’t leave her confused for too long.
Elsie came in a few minutes later, the expression on her face indicating she was thinking pretty hard about something. Noting the absence of her brother, Daria asked, “Where’s Tom?”
“Outside. Wanted to check on something. Didn’t really explain what.”
“I’ll go see if I can get it out of him. Jane, get some towels.”
“*Towels?!?*” Jane exclaimed, now completely confused. But as Daria was already out the door, she got no reply.
“The end of a planet is never a good thing, but I’ll be glad to get off this one,” Daria said as she headed up Casa Lane’s front walk. “Status report?”
“There’s bad news, good news, and better news.”
“In that order, please.”
Tom obliged. “Bad news. No fully intelligent life in the area.”
Daria rolled her eyes. “No surprise. They’re all as far from here as possible.”
“Good news. We can get out of here, and in relatively short order.”
“And the better news?”
Tom smirked, then reached through the open window of his car and pulled something out. Holding it up, he proclaimed, “Strawberry wine coolers!”
Daria snickered, adding, “The *fun* manner of system cushioning. How’d you remember that little incident? That was *years* ago.”
“Lucky guess, I suppose.”
“I’m guessing you filled Elsie in on some of it?”
“A little, but not too much. How much time do we have?”
Daria checked her watch. “Fifteen minutes.”
“Let’s get this party started.”
After the wine coolers were gone, Daria got to thinking. She’d noticed several people missing from the hallowed halls of Lawndale High, all for about a week, and had been wondering where they’d all gotten to.
Kevin and the cheerleading squad were the most obvious, given the group that was blowing up the planet in the first place. Andrea, Jodie, and Tiffany were complete enigmas. Stacy, who’d been gone for about a month, had reportedly gone off somewhere with her sister.
Daria vaguely remembered Jane saying that Trent had gone somewhere, and decided now was the time to ask about it.
“How long’s Trent been gone, anyway?”
“About a week, I think. Why?”
“Just wondering.” She glanced at her watch again - seven minutes. “We should probably go.”
“The stuff, not to mention our ride, is outside,” Tom said.
“So what we do is get up and go out there.” The four proceeded to do just that.
Jane woke up on the floor of wherever they’d ended up with a slight headache. Daria was sitting in the corner, sans glasses, fiddling with what looked like a personal organizer. Tom and Elsie were still out for the count.
“All right,” she said, joining her friend in the corner. “You have some explaining to do. So, explain.”
“Explain what?” Daria shot back. There are lots of things I could explain.”
“Where we are would be a good starting point.”
“Don’t know. Tom made the hitchhiking arrangements.”
“Questions all at once, or more slowly?”
Daria thought it over. “One at a time. An answer could bring up another question.”
“Okaaay... Who blew up the planet, and why?”
“Here.” Daria passed over the “organizer” she’d been fiddling with. “This is the Guide, and it can answer that particular question better than I can. It’s at the right place.”
Jane opened the cover and read:
The Joks are a notoriously stupid race, something earmarked by their inability to spell the word “jock”. The males devote their lives to playing football. The females are cheerleaders, and what with memorizing which cheers and which moves go together, are slightly smarter than their male counterparts.
Joks have been known to blow up planets and replace them with giant football fields. The easiest way to get away from one is to confuse it, which admittedly isn’t all that diffcult.

“Brings new meaning to the word Astroturf,” Jane commented, closing the Guide. “I like the cover - ‘Don’t panic’. Starting to think that may be the most sensible thing I hear for a while.”
“You’ll get used to the insanity,” Daria replied. “Next question?”
“Why don’t you have your glasses on?”
“I don’t need them. There was something in the Earth’s atmosphere that messed with my vision, and the contacts didn’t really help.”
“Understandable. Now, back to the question I asked earlier - how’d you find out about all this?”
Daria smirked. _Confused? You will be after this round of Twenty Questions._ “How would you react if your best friend told you that both she and her boyfriend weren’t really from Highland and Lawndale, respectively, but instead were both from a small planet not all that far from Gallifrey?”
Surprisingly, Jane took the news rather well. “First, I’d ask her if this meant Doctor Who was for real.”
“I’d say I didn’t know, but I’ve run into Ace a few times.”
“One more question.”
“Why’d you ask how long Trent was gone earlier?”
“Think about it. Kevin, the entire cheerleading squad, Tiffany, Andrea, Jodie, and Trent have all been gone for about a week. Three guesses as to where the QB and the insipid pom-pom wavers are, but as for the others, I have no idea.”
“One can only hope they’re safe,” Tom put in, sitting down next to Daria. “I’m guessing you filled her in?”
“All except for where we are. That was your brainchild.”
“On one of their larger ships, courtesy of a few smarter-than-their-employer staff members, headed toward the Crab Nebula.”
Daria perked up a bit at that news, if that was possible for her. “Oh good.”
“Anyone have anything I can take for this headache?” Elsie asked from the other side of the room. “A side order of where we are wouldn’t hurt either.”
Daria opened her backpack and fished out a water bottle and a box of Tylenol. Handing them to Tom, she said, “Your sister.”
Tom took the aspirin and water, and headed over to talk with Elsie. Daria resumed fiddling with the Guide.
After a while, Jane had another question.
“What’s so good about the Crab Nebula, anyway?”
“It’s sort of like a main road through a town,” Daria explained, putting the Guide in her backpack and zipping it shut. “You can get just about anywhere from there.”
Footsteps could be heard coming down the corridor outside the room they were in. A worried look flitted across Daria’s face, and she found reason to continue.
“That *is*, of course, assuming we actually get there...”

End of Fit the First

- There! My first crossover project that’s gotten anywhere in the typing area, all typed up in about two days. Prolly helped that it’s kinda short, but I rarely type stuff that fast. : )
- The title of the fit is sort of a message board in-joke. Anyone remember when Morgan asked what people would rename Mystik Spiral? Her idea was “Crazy Harry Plays With Electricity”.
- Elsie is only the first of many minor characters to make an appearance in this. Start counting.
-Daria’s _Confused? You will be..._ line originates in the openings for Soap.