One Good Laugh Ought to Do It!

"Ha... ahahaahah... ahahhaha... haha..."

"Well, this has been fascinating so far... I wooooonder what would happen if I add a little of this to the risum?"

"No... heh heh... no - haha - no more, please... hahahahahahahaha!!!"

"Hmm... leeeet's try this with a little bit of that! Here, just breathe it in~"

"HAHAHAHEEHHAHAAAHAHAHHAEE..." * gasp, choke *

...

"...hello? Helloooooo? This isn't the time for sleeping!"

"Heeheeheeeee..."

"You, uh, feeling alright there?"

"HahahahahaHAhaHAAHahahAHhHAHA..." *clang, clank*

"W-wait... what are you doin'? No, don't do that! WAAARRGGHH-"

TUMBLE-CRASH!

*****

Quackerjack glanced down in horror at the broken remains of his favourite coffee mug, which had the print of a sloth bear-pilot with a yellow shirt on it. After breaking free from his restraints with a surprising amount of super-strength, the giggling, giggling creature had stumbled over the table, flipping it over and upsetting everything by accident.

But, as quickly as the despair came, it went. No worries! He could get a new one! Right now there were some new developments... 

Specifically, the person now standing, a huge, unsettling grin on his face, right in front of Quackerjack. If he heard carefully, he'd be able to hear him giggling away from time to time. He did not seem to be attacking at all. In fact, he was just standing there, looking at Quackerjack, as if he was glued to the floor. 

The insane jester moved forward, his usual grin on his huge beak, laced with curiosity, as he examined the man from head to toe with a magnifying glass and a stethoscope, nodding occasionally like an experienced physician as he listened for the heartbeat, pulled back an eyelid, and checked for muscle spasms. 

"Interesting," he remarked. "While gaining super-strength, the subject doesn't seem to be responsive... wait, wait, lemme try something..." he cleared his throat, holding out his hand. "Hello! I'm Quackerjack! And you are?"

No response.

"Hey, I'm making an introduction heeeeere! It's rude not to answer back, you know! And I kissed your mother! On the beak!"

Again, no response. Or maybe it was that fact that the man was a dog species, which would make it impossible for his biological mother to be a bird. 

"Urgh, FINE! Be like that, then!" Quackerjack gave up, throwing his hands in the air. "Set yourself on fire, why don't ya?"

And to his amazement, he actually pulled out a lighter, clicked it, and moved it towards himself...

"No, WAIT!" Quackerjack shouted, and the man obediently stopped. Which was good... he was pretty sure that was not a nice way to go. He tilted his head to the side curiously. This was new... 

"Hop! No, touch your toes! No, spin! No no no, hand over your clothes! Ew, wait! Go sit in the corner!" he said, and to his growing delight, the man did everything he wanted. 

Holding up the vial of risum, he noted how much of it was still in there. The rest of the chemicals had been on that table before the man knocked it all over. Eh, he'd be able to get more from the chemical store, no problem! Right now... priorities. 

Soon, a chuckle of his own escaped him, growing into a full-grown, classic, evil laugh of triumph, with the right amount of insanity in his tone, as it echoed through the underground space he used for a hideout.

His experiment had not only worked... he made it even better. 

*****

Strange, yellowish fumes started pouring in from everywhere. Vents, sewer grates, or from your local villainous clown in a gas mask who would jump out from a random corner or bush at you and spray the stuff into your face. Effects would set in in mere seconds for anyone unlucky enough to get a full whiff of it. 

Friday night. The start of the weekend! So relaxing. So peaceful. So tranquil!

Not anymore. 

For one thing... where was everybody?

 

 

((OOC: I know it says 'Public Roleplay', but please, PM me before you jump in! Except for Max and Quiverwing... I've talked to them, so they are up anytime in this blog! Villains looking to exploit this for their own gains welcome too! And just so you know, anyone entering the scene now will not be affected by this, as the gas has pretty much cleared (unless stated otherwise). Also, order is not required. Just come in whenever you feel necessary.))

    • Harmonizer
      Harmonizer

      When you thought you could finally spend the night with your best friend, enjoying the tea he set up, without fighting over righting wrongs and committing crimes thanks to conflicting careers... trouble happens.

      Harmonizer had been talking with Bushroot in the greenhouse, in the outskirts of the city, concerning some of her adventures and some of his, when she heard a strange disturbance within the city. It sounded like... laughter, but it couldn't be... 

      Yes, it was. But all at once? It sounded creepy, not to mention unsettling...

      Sighing, and with an apology, she explained, bade Bushroot goodbye, promising she'd return as soon as she could, then set off to find the trouble.

      Upon reaching the city by the rooftops, she noted that the lower ground seemed to be surrounded in a strange, yellowish fog that was already rapidly clearing even as she watched. She looked around with a worried frown. Where was everybody? This was a city! It was supposed to be crowded!

      And why was she hearing all this laughter everywhere? Even with normal hearing, it was audible.

      Normally, it would be contagious for her... but she couldn't see the humour in it. It was forced, unnatural... but it just went on and on... never stopping, never ceasing...

      She scanned the city from where she stood, listening and hoping to find any sign of life. That wasn't laughing like that.

      • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
        Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

        Meanwhile, Quiverwing had managed to sneak out of the house yet again with a quiver full of new arrows she was itching to test out.  As she neared the end of the driveway she noticed a strange yellow vapor dissipating in the air from the street grates.  In the distance, she heard an unsettling chorus of raucous guffaws and realized it was the only sound on Avian Way.

        Maybe someone told a joke or played a prank, she tried to console herself as she moved toward the sound.  The problem was - the laughter wasn't stopping.  It was getting more and more boisterous, almost uncontrollable, and when she rounded the corner, she saw a group of civilians with blank grins on their faces ambling together toward a manhole.  They were but a few of hundreds of St. Canardians mindlessly giggling - but she didn't know that.

        Some kind of sewer party?

        Ew, gross... Gosalyn thought to herself, then she wondered.  Hadn't Quackerjack been about to use some kind of yellow liquid on her and that Max guy to make them some kind of chortling zombie duo?  Hmm...

        Rather than follow the group on her own, she decided to scope out the rest of the city to see if other citizens were affected - or if she was just jumping to conclusions based on her fears.

        • Max Wicked
          Max Wicked

          Meanwhile, Max was walking along the pathway casually as he kept to himself and not trying to show off too much as he watched over the public. But as he continued to walk, a strange smell caught his nose and in the distance, he saw yellow sort of gas of some kind...That's what it smelt like.

           

          As he approached where it came from, he saw a group of people right where the gas had been coming out from and it had them in some kind of uncontrollable laughter and the laughs seemed so...Forced. Max even noticed the people had forced grins and knew something was wrong and then recalled QJ kidnapping him and that young heroine...Was QJ planning ahead with that vat that he was going to dip Max and Quiverwing into?

           

          Max kept an eye on the vapor and then continued to wonder around and try to find more clues to what was causing the people to helplessly

          • Harmonizer
            Harmonizer

            Harmonizer spotted Max first, as he was nearer to the city. Her first thought had been to greet him, but she hesitated for a moment, glancing down.

            It took a moment for her to realise Max was fine. He didn't seem to be affected... or maybe whatever it was had dissapated enough to be harmless.

            "'Ey, 'ey, Max," Harmonizer called from where she was standing, also just trying to warn him away from getting towards the actual smell, falling victim to it. She wasn't sure what was going on, but maybe he had a clue? Then she could go figure out what to do.

            • Quackerjack
              Quackerjack

              Riiiiiight on cue...

              Hearing voices, the writhing, giggling creatures turned, and emerged from the darkness, slowly advancing towards the nearest source of life... Max. 

              And, if the little girl managed to check the city out by now, it was pretty much deserted by now, except for the insane, unnatural laughter always on the edge of her hearing. Should she come around Chantel Avenue, though, she should be able to see a familiar figure on the street, about to be surrounded by those creepy, smiley, zombie-like creatures, and another friend on the rooftop, looking down in horror. 

              • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                That odd group of shuffling citizens had been the only signs of life Quiverwing had come across from the long walk between the suburbs and downtown.  The eerie laughter hadn't ceased, though, and it felt strange that she could see no sign of who it was coming from.  She felt like she was trapped in a cheap horror movie.

                It wasn't until she reached Chantel Avenue that she finally saw something, and it made her adrenaline rush.

                "Max!" she shouted.  "Look out!"  She stopped to take aim and shot an arrow toward three of the would-be assailants.  It zoomed around them, pulling them together, before a barrage of balloons sprang forth from the arrow and carried them away from her friend.  There were still more coming for him, though.

                • Max Wicked
                  Max Wicked

                  Max turned around and saw Harmonizer and smiled "Just the person I wanted to see..." he said as he was about to head over to hear but could feel someone breathing down his back and turned around as he saw the emotionless grinning people and stood back but then heard a familiar voice warm him and dodged out of the way and saw a arrow get all three of them and saw the girl "Quiverwing!" Max began to rush towards Harmonizer and Quiverwing...Just what was going on with these people...? Something just didn't seem right.

                  • Harmonizer
                    Harmonizer

                    Harmonizer glanced on as a child superhero emerged, taking down some of the creatures without harming them.

                    Something about this kid...

                    Her eyes widened as her mind went back to sometime ago, where she'd met that spunky little girl, teaching her to throw shurikens and damaging the store by accident... no way...

                    It was definitely her, alright. Even if Harmonizer didn't remember anything else, the voice was a dead giveaway thanks to her super hearing. So she was a hero too? That's great!

                    "Come on, up 'ere!" she told them, gesturing to the rooftops with a grin of her own, except that hers looked more natural and real.

                    "No one told me there was a party going on!" she chuckled, then turned serious. "Any of you know what's going on?"

                    • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                      Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                      Quiverwing climbed up the fire escape, eager to get to the bottom of this and eager to get away from the few grinning figures she hadn't managed to snag with her arrow.  Without thinking, she breathed with relief when they reached Harmonizer.

                      "Whoa, am I glad to see you!"

                      • Max Wicked
                        Max Wicked

                        As Max grouped up with the two, he himself let out a relieved sigh at the close call they just had and rubbed his head "To be fair...I'm not quite clear what's going on but what I do know..Is that its a chance that Quackerjack is behind this. Quiverwing and I would know because of what happened recently. We got kidnapped by that maniac and well...He was gonna dip us in this vat of some kind of chemical...But if I have to guess....QJ is using the chemical on these helpless civilians...But the smell is different to what we smelt when we got kidnapped. So if I had to guess...He's improved it to control people. I do recall it being some sort of laughing chemical but now its also a mind control sort of thing." Max said as he explained his point of view and got the facts straight and came to his conclusion. 

                        • Harmonizer
                          Harmonizer

                          Subtle, Gosalyn... very subtle. Considering they 'had never' met. 

                          "Glad to see you too," she said with a knowing grin, though she didn't give anything else away. "And you are?"

                          She glanced at Max as he started to explain what he'd suspected, and nodded thoughtfully. She'd dealt with the demented clown before - aside from Paddywhack - and this definitely seemed like something he'd do.

                          "I don't understand Quackerjack," she said, shaking her head. "First, 'e turns ze eenteenet eento a rainbow site, and now 'e turns ze city eento a 'appy wasteland."

                          What is with this guy and crazy? Then again... who was she to talk?

                          "What are we waiting for? We need to find out what ees going on!" she said. 

                          Though, easier said than done...

                          • Quackerjack
                            Quackerjack

                            No time to linger!

                            Soon, the zombies started to climb the building they were on in an attempt to surround them. 

                            If you're happy and you know it clap your hands...

                            Haha... hahahah... heehaaahahheeehahee...

                            If they wanted to get out alive and unaffected, they best form a getaway plan right here, right now. 

                            • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                              Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                              "I'm Quiverwing Quack!" the redhead replied quickly, recognizing her mistake too late.  At least Harmonizer didn't seem fazed.

                              Hearing some poor parkour attempts, Quiverwing peered over the edge of the roof and spied the approaching group.  "Geez, these guys are worse than the reanimated ghouls in Bailout!  We'd better get off this roof, and fast!"

                              • Harmonizer
                                Harmonizer

                                Harmonizer just wasn't the responsible type. Besides, she just saw for herself how capable she was. Looking at Gosalyn, dressed as a superhero, her mind flashed briefly back to a memory of a child in messy pigtails... standing up against the group of menacingly large men in an alleyway, bracing herself for the fight of her life... 

                                She snapped out of it when she heard telltale signs of the creatures climbing up the building they were in.

                                "Can't 'urt them. They're still citizens," she said, then looked further off, noticing a lamppost not far off, and free from the insane crowd.

                                "Quiverwing... do you still 'ave one of those rope arrows?" she asked, speaking urgently. She pointed to the lamppost. "Eef you fired a line at zat, we could swing out of 'ere."

                                Please tell me you brought them...

                                • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                                  Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                                  "Hey, great idea!" Quiverwing complimented Harmonizer as she grabbed said arrow and fired it at the aforementioned target, creating a taut line they could escape down.  "Geronimo!" she cried gleefully as she looped her bow over the top of the rope and slid down to the street.

                                  • Max Wicked
                                    Max Wicked

                                    Max watched as the emotionless grins of the mindless people drew closer but once Gos had her rope set, Max looked at Harmonizer "I know this will be weird, but hang on to me tightly, Harmonizer. I'll get us down." he said as he unsheathed the Wicked Sword and put it on top of the rope and got ready to swing down with hopefully Harmonizer not struggling to hold on.

                                    • Harmonizer
                                      Harmonizer

                                      Harmonizer frowned distastefully. "No thanks. I 'ave my own way out..."

                                      She had nothing against Max, but she wanted to avoid as much contact as she could with everyone, unless it was really necessary. And this one was not necessary. 

                                      Nimbly, she swung up onto the rope and ran across it like a skilled... well, ninja, after Max got towards safety. Though she looked like it, she wasn't clumsy at all. 

                                      Reaching the other end of the rope, she swung herself around the lamppost (not being able to help it) before dropping down gracefully. 

                                      "Zat was great! Let's do zat again," Harmonizer said enthusiastically, though, remembering to whisper this time. 

                                      • Quackerjack
                                        Quackerjack

                                        Fortunately, some of the zombies that got to the top did not really know where our heroes went, and just stood around being confused and disorientated, not in any danger of falling off trying to follow them. The rest of the crowd just stood around the building with the creepy grins, not noticing they had gotten to safety. They would eventually disperse, continuing on with what they were told to. Rob the city clean, and stop whoever was in their way.

                                        If the heroes started off, walking down the streets to investigate further (quietly), they would see shophouses and the one St Canard mall being broken into, with the victims of laughter carrying out various valueable items that looked much too heavy for some of them. But they strength they posessed seemed enhanced... along with their euphoria.

                                        If they are foolish enough (gasp!) as to follow where most of them were going, they would find they were heading off into a dark alleyway, in one of the more dangerous streets. But they could easily detect whoever wasn't part of the crowd.

                                        • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                                          Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                                          Quiverwing watched some of the euphoric zombies with interest, then noticed they were going down an alleyway toward the Bad Part of Town.

                                          "Hey," she said to her companions, "I saw some of the zombies going down into the sewers earlier.  Do you think we should follow them there, or go where these zombies are going?"  She pointed to the ones in the alley.

                                          • Max Wicked
                                            Max Wicked

                                            Max watched around him as he saw the zombies with their enhanced strength heading towards a suspicious direction. Max nodded to Quiverwing "We should follow them and stay low doing so...If we follow them, we might find QJ if he is responsible for all these victims."

                                            • Harmonizer
                                              Harmonizer

                                              Harmonizer, once again, used her elaborate deducting skills to decide which way to go. 

                                              "Am, stram, gram, pic et pic et colégram..."

                                              "Ze sewers," she said, her finger falling on the location at the end of her little choosing song. Still... that would waste too much time if they wound up in the wrong place. "We split up. I go down there, you two get to ze alley and find out where they've gone!"

                                              Geez, Harmonizer, ever watched horror movies where the gang splits up and that's where the trouble starts? No?

                                              Before they could even say anything, she ran forward, ducking into the shadows, disappearing completely as she made her way towards the sewers.

                                              • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                                                Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                                                "But what about -!" Quiverwing called after Harmonizer, about to point out that very thing about horror movies.  But her friend was gone.

                                                She looked at Max.  "Well, I guess it's just you and me.  Come on..."  She crouched low and started moving after the zombies going down the alleyway.  She hoped she had brought enough arrows.

                                                • Max Wicked
                                                  Max Wicked

                                                  Max heard the suggestion of splitting up and was about to object "But Hamon---" but she was already gone....Max sighed and nods at Quiverwing "I just hope she doesn't get caught like with most cliche movies where people split up..." he said as they began to stay low and get past the zombie like people. Quiverwing wouldn't need to worry too much about running out of ammo since Max had plenty of non-lethal equipment...Even if he is using the Wicked Sword.

                                                  • Quackerjack
                                                    Quackerjack

                                                    Once they got to the dark alley, they would notice that the zombified laughing victims were gone. But, in the ground, was a hole. 

                                                    Should they choose to climb down the hole (not that they had a choice anymore... far behind them, it was clear more of the crazed army were approaching), they would sent to an underground room via a steep slide, which would end with them falling onto a soft cushion. An underground room filled with mountains of toys and stolen loot. 

                                                    It was, in a way, much like his little toy kingdom, but this looked a lot more bare and unfurnished, smaller, with a passageway leading off to another room, which looked like it would lead to more answers, and another, leading off into a more sinister and unstable looking structure of a tunnel.

                                                    That happens when you try to dig a hole using a giant toy drill, with an adorable panda head on the top. But Quackerjack wasn't thinking very much then, excited over his breakthrough. 

                                                    Surprisingly, the place was empty, so they were safe... for the moment. Now, all they had to do was choose which way to go, before the next batch of zombies deposited themselves into the underground room. 

                                                    As for Harmonizer, however...

                                                    • Harmonizer
                                                      Harmonizer

                                                      Harmonizer had been walking down the sewers, keeping to the shadows and staying invisible, while keeping a careful lookout for any zombies approaching. 

                                                      She'd been walking around for a while, without finding any sign of life, or... laugh-life, but she knew they were everywhere around the sewers. For one thing, she could hear the sounds of laughter more clearly now. And she knew that any sound she made was going to cause them to surge towards her. 

                                                      Right now, she just kept an ear out for anything that might lead her to a clue or answers. She always felt like she was being watched, but every time she turned around, no one was there. Never mind she would have heard it. 

                                                      She held back a snort as a funny thought occurred to her. This wouldn't be a fun time for that Paddywhack to be around... 

                                                      Hopefully, the others had better luck than she did.