Daryl Zero
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Quotes for
Daryl Zero (Character)
from Zero Effect (1998)

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Zero Effect (1998)
Daryl Zero: I can't possibly overstate the importance of good research. Everyone goes through life dropping crumbs. If you can recognize the crumbs, you can trace a path all the way back from your death certificate to the dinner and a movie that resulted in you in the first place. But research is an art, not a science, because anyone who knows what they're doing can find the crumbs, the wheres, whats, and whos. The art is in the whys: the ability to read between the crumbs, not to mix metaphors. For every event, there is a cause and effect. For every crime, a motive. And for every motive, a passion. The art of research is the ability to look at the details, and see the passion.

Daryl Zero: Now, a few words on looking for things. When you go looking for something specific, your chances of finding it are very bad. Because of all the things in the world, you're only looking for one of them. When you go looking for anything at all, your chances of finding it are very good. Because of all the things in the world, you're sure to find some of them.

Daryl Zero: I did find one other thing of interest, though.
Steve Arlo: Holy shit, those are the keys. You found the gold Swiss Army knife.
Daryl Zero: I know.
Steve Arlo: And this is the safe deposit box key. Where'd you find them?
Daryl Zero: They were in the sofa, under the cushion.
Steve Arlo: What?
Daryl Zero: They were stuck in the couch in his office.
Steve Arlo: Was he hiding them there? Is that possible?
Daryl Zero: Not possible. That's where they fell out of his pocket, over a year ago.
Steve Arlo: So... what do you make of this?
Daryl Zero: I think that just as I feared, Ms. Sullivan doesn't know a thing about these keys.
Steve Arlo: Wait - the keys are a coincidence?
Daryl Zero: Yes.
Steve Arlo: That's - confusing.
Daryl Zero: Yep.
Steve Arlo: Doesn't seem like a good thing.
Daryl Zero: Sure it is. It's good because the man has been looking for his keys for a *year*. And I've found them.

[last lines]
Daryl Zero: After investigating her, I found myself in better shape than ever before in my life. To me, she will always be a singular unforgettable event, the only time I ever took leave of my objectivity. Perhaps the most able blackmailer of her time, she was at once the worthiest opponent and the greatest ally, and the only woman I have ever... the only woman, period. And though I never would've anticipated it, in the end she did for me what I have done for so many: help solve a problem, first by observation, then by careful intervention - in other words, the Zero Effect.

Daryl Zero: I always say that the essence of my work relies fundamentally on two basic principles: objectivity and observation, or "the two obs" as I call them. My work relies on my ability to remain absolutely, purely objective, detached. I have mastered the fine art of detachment. And while it comes at some cost, this supreme objectivity is what makes me, I dare say, the greatest observer the world has ever known.

Daryl Zero: You're watching whales? Fuck the whales.

Daryl Zero: Passion is the enemy of precision. Forget the misnomer 'crime of passion'. All crime is passionate. It's passion that moves the criminal to act, to disrupt the static inertia of morality. The client's passion for this dead woman had facilitated his downfall. And the blackmailer's passion will facilitate hers. When you live with no passion at all, other people's passion come into glaring relief.

Daryl Zero: A person can't escape their nature.

Daryl Zero: A few words here about following people. People know they're being followed when they turn around and see someone following them. They can't tell they're being followed if you get there first.

Daryl Zero: When you spend enough time around the chemistry of desperation, you come to recognize the smell. One desperate element is combustible. More than one desperate element is lethal.

Daryl Zero: I've been awake for three days. Three... Just love those amphetamines. Got to love them. Got to.
Steve Arlo: Sounds healthy.
Daryl Zero: It's good for my skin. You know if you do enough of that stuff over a very short period of time, you get, like, these canker sores on your tongue.

Daryl Zero: My father was an evil, abusive man. And he killed my mother when she was sleeping. And then he slit his wrists, when I was thirteen. I don't talk about that much. I used to when it happened and then one day I woke up and, I don't know. Everything was different.

Daryl Zero: [instructions to Gloria Sullivan] Keep moving every few months. Stay out of Westernized countries for a while. Don't carry too much cash on your body. Give incorrect information everywhere, and never use your real name.

Steve Arlo: Why are we talking on the phone?
Daryl Zero: I told you. We can't be too careful. Two guys in an airport... talking? It's a little fishy.

Steve Arlo: Maybe you should stop snorting that shit.
Daryl Zero: Keeps my teeth sharp.

Daryl Zero: Gregory Stark is the son of a fat man.

[They are talking about Stark]
Steve Arlo: You know, there's a pretty severe lack of information problem here. And he won't say much.
Daryl Zero: [rasping, like a Raymond Chandler tough guy] What's wrong with these people?
Steve Arlo: I told him, there's no use lying to you. Eventually, you always figure it out. It's just slowing things down.
Daryl Zero: Did you tell him about the case of the guy who lied about his age?
Steve Arlo: [obviously lying] Of course.
Daryl Zero: Was he impressed?
Steve Arlo: Mm-hmm.
Daryl Zero: Really impressed?
Steve Arlo: Fuckin' flabbergasted.

Steve Arlo: Wait a minute. Are you telling me that, instead of calling me, you had me fly up here so you could tell me to go straight back to the computer - and then fly back again tonight?
Daryl Zero: Yeah, well, it wasn't an emergency. There was no reason to risk the long-distance lines.
[pause]
Daryl Zero: They listen, you know.

Gloria Sullivan: Alright, you're an accountant, so you would know: what is the Corrodium 3 Deduction?
Daryl Zero: The Corrodium 3 Deduction... That's a very good question because that, in fact, is probably the most widely misunderstood deduction in the book.
Gloria Sullivan: Really?
Daryl Zero: Indeed. The Corrodium 3 Deduction is an incentive used by large manufacturers who can limit their use of Class 3 decay toxins such as corrodium and... malgorium. Anything else?
Gloria Sullivan: [shakes her head]