Buck & Jane
A Death in the Family
Decker & Hayes
Epic Echoes
The Great Muppet Debate
Guard Duty
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Stage Blood



Like Daughter
Episode 11 - Regeneration

By Jordan D. White


Narrator: Dorothy Cherie was not an ordinary 18-year-old girl, but she was certainly trying. Most 18 year-olds don’t have a child to raise. Most 18 year-olds don’t have to constantly pretend to be 2 years older than they actually are. Most 18 year-olds don’t forge high school diplomas after learning about half their high school curriculum through hypnagogic methods. Most 18 year-olds didn’t used to be Pandora Darling of Carousel, New York.

(a baby crying)

Pandy: Shhh! Shhhhhh… it’s all right! You’re hungry? Here you go, baby, here you go… (baby stops crying, begins feeding… a knock on the door) Whoops… hang on. One minute! (door opens) Hello?

Mormon1: Hi there! My name is Elder Samson with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We’d like to talk to you about-

Pandy: Oh, I’m sorry, I’m not looking to-

Mormon2: Oh, we’re not trying to convert you. We’re sharing a message for all faiths. That’s a beautiful child you have there! What’s his name?

Pandy: Her, actually. Her name’s Hope.

Mormon1: She’s really something else, isn’t she? If you can spare just a few minutes, we’d like to share a message with you that we think you’ll be glad to hear.

Pandy: (reluctant) All right… come on inside.

Mormon2: I’m sorry, but I didn’t catch your name.

Pandy: Dorothy. But you can call me Dora.

Mormon1: Well, Dora, what we’d like to discuss with you is probably the most important topic in the entire universe: the plan of salvation laid out for us by our Heavenly Father.

Jason: Well, Pandora? Did you find your father?

Narr: Over a year before, in a previous life, Pandora had lived in Carousel, New York. She had committed multiple murders, been on both ends of a brainwashing, conspired to blow up an environmentalist gala, and was generally up to her ears in conspiracies from all factions of society. In the few months since her mother’s death, Pandora had uncovered one insane faction of the vast conspiracy CASK after another, learned that everyone she cared about seemed to be an agent (perhaps including herself), and it had all lead her face to face with the man who’d murdered her mother in cold blood: Jason Brandt. In the basement of Carousel high School, Brandt had stood smirking at Pandora, wearing a clever business suit. Beside him stood greasy Ralph from the dojo, Phil the high school Janitor, and Pandora’s former best friend, Tabitha Wentworth. Pandora’s boyfriend, Bobby Kurtzman was doubled-over beside her on his knees, holding his stomach.

Bobby: Oh, God, Pandora… it hurts…

Pandy: What did you do to him?

Jason: Bobby? Oh, it’s nothing- just a little radiation poisoning. We injected him with a radioactive isotope in order to help us keep track of you! It was only a minor dose, though he should be fine. After all, “sickness can only affect you if you feel you deserve to be sick.” Tabby, give him a shot of painkillers.

Tabby: My pleasure.

Pandy: Keep away from him! What, do you think I’m crazy? I’m not letting you stick him with another one of your needles, who knows what it could be!

Jason: Speaking of needles- how about that question I asked, huh? Did you find your father, or what?

Pandy: Yes, all right! Yes, I found the safe, I opened the urn, and I got your stupid needle stuck in my gut, are you happy?! Yes, I found my father! What do you want from me?

Jason: Oh dear… I think you’ve misunderstood me, Pandy! It wasn’t my needle, it was your sweet little mother’s. And that won’t do at all… no, no, no. Not to worry! See, fix, move ahead! Grab her boys! It’s time for “Plan B”. Say “Ah!”

Mormon2: The Lord does have a plan for us, each and every one.

Mormon1: That he does, Elder Jacobs. So, Dora… are you originally from San Diego?

Pandy: No, no- I moved here from… Portland. About a year ago… when my parents died.

Mormon2: I’m so sorry to hear that. It must have been very hard for you.

Pandy: It was. But I knew I… I wasn’t alone.

Bobby: Leave her alone!

Narr: Bobby Kurtzman had shrugged off the pain in his innards and leapt up to defend Pandora as the two CASK henchmen approached. He leapt at Ralph from the CASK dojo, while Pandora took the janitor, longtime member of Cleaners Against Subsidizing Klorox. Their unconscious fighting acumen proved more than a match for the older men, and moments later, they were looking over their downed bodies at Jason Brandt. He was still holding a pill in his left hand, but his right now held a silenced pistol.

Jason: (all serious) Game over, girl. You’re going to take this pill to prevent implantation, or I’m going to have to perforate the womb with lead. Either way.

Bobby: Implantation? B-but we…. We didn’t-

Jason: Bobby- keyword: shut up.

Bobby: (through closed lips) Yes, sir.

Pandy: He’s telling the truth. I’m still… I’m still a virgin.

Jason: (back to crazy) A virgin birth! It’s a miracle! “Just because no man would sleep with you doesn’t mean you can’t realize your own progeny!” Or progenitor, as the case may be!

Pandy: What are you talking about? And why are you talking crazy again? We know it’s all an act!

Jason: Everyone in the world, every one of us, is either a waiter or an actor! You set your goal, and then you make your decision… you either wait for it to come to you (that makes you a waiter)… or you act! I choose to be my own actor! Life will give me the Oscar of my destiny! And it may be heavier than it looks, but I will take it in my hands and hold it over my head and shout… “I did it!”

Pandy: What the hell is wrong with you?

Jason: I’d like to thank the academy!

Tabby: Calm down, sir! Calm down! (She is getting him to calm down) Breathe, sir, breathe! Deep breaths… in… out… in out…

Jason: (serious again) I’m good! I’m good. For your information, Miss Darling, it isn’t an act. It’s a disorder that I have to work- every day, I have to- … (eyes closed, to self) don’t talk about it, Jason. Don’t talk about it. Keep it together. (deep breath) Ok. Now, where was I?

Tabby: Killing the baby.

Jason: Right. Thank you, Tabitha. Why don’t you help Mr. Kurtzman, now. He looks a little shaky. Now, Pandora… there’s no way this baby is not going to be born, either because you swallow this pill, or because I make the mother unviable. You choice. You feel like meeting your maker, girl?

Mormon1: We’re never alone – our Heavenly Father is always beside us. Especially in times of trouble.

Mormon2: Which is what we’d like to discuss with you. Like most people, we believe in God. Do you believe in God, Dora?

Pandy: I… well… I wasn’t raised religious. My mother had… problems with authority figures, and could never accept church leaders. I’ve never really… I’ve never given it much thought.

Mormon1: But you haven’t ruled out the idea, have you?

Pandy: I suppose not. Stranger things have happened. On the other hand, there’s certainly a lot of suffering in the world… why would God cause all that?

Mormon2: But it’s not God who causes the suffering, Dora. It’s flawed, misguided human being. That’s why God offers us his plan of salvation.

Mormon1: It’s through God’s love that the things of beauty in the world come about. Things like love, things like joy… and things like your little girl.

Mormon2: Can you really look at the face of your beautiful baby girl, of your little Hope, and say that you don’t believe in miracles?

Pandy: I told you, Brandt, I’m not pregnant!

Jason: Not yet, you’re not… but we’re not taking any chances. Hence, the pill. Catch.

Narr: Brandt threw Pandora the Plan B Emergency birth control. Pandora caught the little white pill in her hands and looked at it. She looked down at the torso, and touched the sore spot where the needle had shot into her. The needle from her father’s urn… which the mother’s message from beyond the grave had lead her to.

Pandy: Mother? What did you do to me?

Jason: Your mother was an interesting lady. The only CASK agent on record who was able to erase override her own codewords. Well, until you of course, Potato. When she discovered what CASK was, she pledged nothing would ever stop her from protecting the world from the scourge of CASK. Nothing; not even death. Sure she could train you to take he place… but could you really replace her? She couldn’t be sure. There was only one thing to do.

Pandy: She didn’t…

Jason: She learned about Cloning Advances in the Science Kommunity, and made her move. She set things up with Chuck “already suspicious” Kane in the event of her death, loaded that preserved sample in the needle and BLAMO!! Her little daughter is carrying a clone of dear-old-dead-old-mom. (crazy again) God, that is so twisted!

Pandy: (to mormons) Oh, I know she’s a miracle. Aren’t you a miracle, my little Cucumber?

Mormon1: Cucumber?

Pandy: It’s nothing. A nickname. It’s what she smells like, when she’s all cleaned up. Fresh cucumber.

Mormon2: Adorable. And for a miracle like her to exist, there would have to be a loving God to make miracles possible, wouldn’t there?

Mormon1: The difference is that we believe in that there continue to be prophets of God alive today- prophets who receive the word directly from God, just as they did in biblical times.

Mormon2: We know this because Joseph Smith, one of these prophets, wrote of his experiences as a prophet of God.

Mormon1: “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.”

Tabby: Sir! You’re losing it again!

Jason: I’m fine! (normal again) I’m fine. Now – get swallowing. Pill. Mouth. Now.

Narr: Pandora held the little round contraceptive between her forefinger and thumb, and slowly brought it up to her mouth. She thought about the tiny, almost non-existent little version of her mother floating around inside her. She didn’t know what to do.

Jason: Come on, little girl! I don’t have all day! I’m telling you, short of an act of God Himself, there’s no way this child is ever seeing the light of day! Do you want to live or- (GUNSHOT!)

Pandy: Tabby?!? You shot Jason?

Tabby: Don’t be so surprised. I’m not some kind of crazy person! I just care about Social Knowledge! Besides, he would have killed you and Bobby, once he was certain he’d dealt with your mom completely! I wouldn’t want that… for either of you.

Bobby: Mmff, mmbbyy.

Tabby: Oh, God! Bobby- codeword: talkback!

Bobby: Thanks, Tabby! Oh, God, Pandy- I was so worried about you! And your… your baby! But now… we’ll get out of here, and we… we can raise her. Together.

Mormon1: “One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”

Mormon2: And it was as a prophet of God that Joseph Smith made this- the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. It’s through this book that God’s prophet brought to us the Only True Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and leads us all to the path of righteousness which is the only road to salvation.

Pandy: Listen… you both seem very nice, and I’m sure your religion is nice and all, but… I’m not sure I’d want to read a whole-

Mormon1: Let me ask you this: do you and your husband pray?

Pandy: My… husband… I… I’m afraid I don’t… I don’t have a husband.

Tabby: You can’t go with her, Bobby. You’re going to have to stay here.

Bobby: What? Of course I’m going with her. Why wouldn’t I? I lo-

Tabby: You heard Jason! They’ve implanted you with a tracking isotope! If you go with her, CASK will be with you every step of the way, and they won’t rest until this baby is dead!

Pandy: But why would we need to run? You just killed the head of CASK! I mean, assuming we can avoid a murder charge, our conspiracy troubles are over!

Tabby: Oh, god… tell me you’re not really that naïve.

Pandy: Excuse me?

Tabby: Jason was a member of CASK, he wasn’t CASK itself! You can’t stop CASK by killing one man! I told you- CASK isn’t one thing… it’s all the torture, the killing, the fighting! Why do you think there’s so many factions? So many Acronyms? None of them matter! They each have their own petty goals because the real CASK doesn’t care about those things at all! They just want to divide people up more and more, get them to believe in an ideology, any ideology, enough to kill! Create more fighting, more violence, more paranoia!

Bobby: But why? What’s the point of it all?

Tabby: Who knows? To undermine society? To destroy the world? To whittle the population down to a more controllable mass? Who knows! At this point it’s grown so big… Every piece thinks it’s the whole, so no one knows where the center even is! I’m not even sure if anything can stop it… but if anyone can… she’s floating around in your uterus looking for a wall to hang on to. She’s our only hope.

Pandy: So you expect me to just… just leave Bobby behind, leave my home, all my things, leave Carousel all by myself… and, what… raise this child alone?

Bobby: She’s right, Pandy. You have to.

Pandy: What?

Bobby: We can’t give in. They’re bigger than us… they’re stronger than us… and it might be completely hopeless… but if we do nothing, they win by default. This is the only chance. You can’t give in to them! The Pandora I know… the Dora I love… she wouldn’t give up.

Pandy: But, Bobby… (beginning to tear up) Bobby… how can I do it alone?

Bobby: You won’t be alone. You’ll have your mother.

Pandy: You really… want me to leave you?

Bobby: No! God, no, Pandora! I want to go with you more than anything in the world! Or I want you to stay! To go out on… dates… and kiss… and…. Everything. But this is bigger than us. You’re going to have a baby. A very important baby. You’ve got to go… and I can’t know where to find you.

Tabby: Don’t worry – I’ll take good care of him.

Pandy: Tabby… this isn’t the time to mess with me, ok?

Tabby: Pft. Sorry.

Bobby: One last thing, Pandy. No matter where you are, and what happens in the future, you can always know… no matter what… that I will always-

Pandy: (fast, just keeping from crying) Bobby- keyword: shut up!

Bobby: Mmmf?

Pandy: I couldn’t… I couldn’t hear that. Not if I’m going to leave. I’ll know it’s true later, but I can’t hear it right now. Goodbye, Bobby…. Goodbye.

Bobby: Mm Mmmf Mmm.

Pandy: I’m afraid I lost him as well.

Mormon2: I’m… I’m sorry. So much loss for one person to bear. Our condolences.

Mormon1: But clearly, God is by your side, for you to keep strong through all that. To help you support your beautiful daughter, and make this home for her.

Pandy: (sadly) Maybe.

Mormon2: We’re running a program at our church this Sunday you may be interested in. You don’t have to convert to come to it. We’re a community of people who care about one another. It seems like you might need that type of care.

Mormon1: It’s called “Caring Acts Spread Kindness”. It’s about the little things we can do for one another, and for all people, to bring a little joy into their lives.

Mormon2: Will you come with us to church on Sunday, Dora?

Mormon1: I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Pandy: I’m sorry. I can’t. I work on Sunday.

Mormon2: That’s too bad. But perhaps we can-

Pandy: I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in learning any more about the Mormon faith. You seem nice, and all but… I can’t be a part of any group that tells me how to think. I won’t.

Mormon1: But we’re not-

Pandy: I’m sorry. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.

Mormon2: We’re sorry you feel that way, ma’am. Might we stop by again when-

Pandy: I’d rather you didn’t. I’m a very busy woman, what with Hope and all.

Mormon1: All right, then. It was nice meeting you.

Narr: Dora closed the door behind the two missionaries, and returned to her couch. They had left a flyer for their “Caring Acts Spread Kindness” program on her table, just in case. Dora grabbed it with her free hand, crumpled it up, and walked it over to the waste bin. She looked down at precious child in her arms, her head nodding as she bobbed on the edge of sleep.

Pandy: (gently) Are you sleepy, cucumber? Is it nap time already? Aw, all right. Let’s get you in your box. There we go… you’re a good little sleepy girl, aren’t you? I’ll see you when you wake up baby. (closes the metal box, locks it, then, through the intercom) I love you, cucumber. Sweet dreams.

The End