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.))

    • J. Gander Hooter
      J. Gander Hooter

      Phaedra nodded, marking down the chemicals after identifiying them. She then took them and handed them to Rhoda for further examination. 

      They may have to create the formula first before reversing it... but they had to hurry.

      Mutant zombie army...? Hmm... not a bad idea.

      Really.

      "Well, come on then!" Dr Bellum shoved Max into a lab coat cheerfully, then led him towards the table. "We're about to start!" 

      • Quackerjack
        Quackerjack

        Harmonizer was laughing. Badly. Though... not in that way.

        She was in the main room, forced into a lying, spread-eagle position, with a bunch of toys holding her arms and legs down on the ground as she laughed hysterically, shaking and struggling to escape, to no avail. 

        Quackerjack was sitting down next to her, twirling feathers across her feet, and sometimes up her arms and sides, sending waves of uncontrollable laughter through her as the relentless tickling continued. 

        He could have gone for a more horrible torture, like making her listen to Mr. Trivial Buff, but, meh, everyone was already laughing. Might as well go along with the theme a little more. 

        "Ready to tell yet?" he asked teasingly, his fingers lightly pinching her sides. 

        • Harmonizer
          Harmonizer

          Harmonizer, on her part, had been doing her best to get free, as her body wracked from the non-stop laughter. She'd been straining to avoid the ticklish feathers, twisting her ankles and squirming, but she just couldn't escape them. It felt like hours... but it was probably barely half an hour. 

          She did her best to glare at him... but it only worked for one millisecond before she dissolved into laughter again, trying to flinch. But the toys were holding her down too tightly, and she had no strength to get free. 

          "N-nhehehver..." she gasped, before losing herself in her laughter again. Even if she gave in... she didn't know the answer. She was just keeping up the act, trying to slow Quackerjack and his minions down so her friends could get help... and she didn't even know if they'd succeeded yet. 

          • Quackerjack
            Quackerjack

            Quackerjack frowned, but surprisingly relented the torture, lifting the feathers off her and allowing the heroine to take a short breather. 

            He bounced over to his worktable, and started fiddling with something. His back was turned to her, and she was in a lying position, so she wouldn't be able to see what he was working on.

            • Harmonizer
              Harmonizer

              Harmonizer let out a whimper of relief, slumping down as she tried to recover and catch her breath, breathing heavily as sweat ran down her face and torso. She turned towards where Quackerjack went curiously, and started pulling on her restraints again, trying to find a weakness she could use to get free. 

              Then again... would it do any good? He was still in the same room she was in, and they were surrounded by mountains of toys. He'd just command them to recapture her again. And quite frankly, she wouldn't be able to fight them off. Especially when her tantō was currently on Quackerjack's worktable. 

              She hoped he wouldn't do anything to it... she liked that sword.

              Maybe, when he left... she might be able to get free.

              • Quackerjack
                Quackerjack

                Whatever hope she had would be dashed when Quackerjack turned back and advanced towards her... with a whirring device of some sort. He clicked once to stop it, and Harmonizer would be able to see it resembled a fan, but with feathers instead of blades. 

                "Hmmm... maybe this would work better," he mused, then glanced at her with an evil grin, as he turned it on again, this time at a lower speed, and lowered it down towards her stomach. 

                • Harmonizer
                  Harmonizer

                  Seeing what Quackerjack had in his hand, Harmonizer gulped, and tried to struggle free, despite knowing it was useless before. She settled for cringing as the fan of whirring feathers was being moved onto her middle, biting her lip and clenching her eyes shut as she braced herself for another oncoming slaught of tickling.

                  She hoped her friends would hurry... that is, assuming they were still okay. She'd overheard them earlier about going to S.H.U.S.H., and she didn't like that. But really, did it look like they had a choice?

                  S.H.U.S.H. had better not do anything to them... 

                  • Max Wicked
                    Max Wicked

                    Max was blinking as he was forcefully thrown into a lab coat and dragged to the table "Uh...Well, alright then?" he said as he got prepared for the experiment. They needed to pick up the pace before it was too late for Harmonizer. Who knows what jam she's got herself stuck into...

                    • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                      Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                      There wasn't much Quiverwing could do to help with the cure, so she focused her attention back on her dad.  "So how're we gonna clobber Quackerjack?" she asked excitedly.  "I know where his hideout is, so we could totally ambush him like in Ninja Slayers V!"

                      • Drake Mallard
                        Drake Mallard

                        "Why do I let you watch those movies?" Darkwing shook his head. "We need the cure first and return everyone back to normal so QJ can't use them against us."

                        Now he was back to pacing. 

                        "Hmm.. Could the cure be made into a gas? " He asked and then to Launchpad. "And could the Thunderquack be rigged to spray it? Like a crop duster. That way it could be spread quickly." 

                        He rubbed his hands together while plotting. "While that's being done I'll go after that crazy toymaker!"

                        • Launchpad McQuack
                          Launchpad McQuack

                          "Isn't gas what made those people start laughing and plundering to begin with?"

                          Launchpad asked. As soon as he was questioned about the Thunderquack, he grinned. That was his area of expertise! 

                          "Hehehe. If you can dream it, I can build it. Or something like that." He shrugged.

                          He wasn't actually sure what to design for the Thunderquack or if he could have it done before morning but he could always call his inventor buddy in Duckburg if his own ideas flubbed. 

                          "I still have my crop dusting equipment back at my old hangar. If the cure can be bottled up in something like a milk jug that is easy to pop open, it'll be a piece of cake to rig something for it. I'll figure something out." 

                          He took out a notebook to start doodling ideas in.  

                          • Max Wicked
                            Max Wicked

                            While Max had helped with the vials and tried to extract whatever was inside each bit of the vial, he looked over at Darkwing "If you're planning to go back out there, watch yourself. Those brainless folk might be weak, but in groups, they were tough. You'll find him down in the sewer but you should be quick! Our friend Harmonizer got kidnapped and is likely being tortured or...Even brainwashed."

                            • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                              Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                              "You mean WE'LL go after that crazy toymaker!" Quiverwing declared.  "You'll never find his hideout without ME.  Let's go!"  She started to pull Darkwing by the arm.

                              • J. Gander Hooter
                                J. Gander Hooter

                                Hooter expression shifted a little when Harmonizer was mentioned, but it was gone the next second. Perhaps it was just a trick of the light...? 

                                "Well, then we have to make haste," he said. "Now, I'm not rushing anyone..." he told the scientists. "But a life may actually be on the line here, if that's the case. We have to get this done as soon as possible." 

                                He turned to Darkwing, concern showing. "And be careful. I presume you have a plan? Remember, those are innocent citizens you may be up against, trying to take down Quackerjack." 

                                He seemed to hesitate. "And, if you find Harmonizer..." he paused, then took his head. "Never mind. Please hurry."

                                Was it just them, or did Hooter look a little bit... off, right now? Or maybe it was just the situation they were currently in. That would make anyone nervous. 

                                Right at the lab table, Dr. Bellum was complaining. 

                                "This experiment would move a bit quicker, if there were more volunteers!"

                                "No one likes being turned into laughing zombies!" Rhoda protested.

                                "Ths is for science!!! ...Oh, and the lives of the citizens out there!"

                                • Launchpad McQuack
                                  Launchpad McQuack

                                  "I don't mind a good laugh, or not thinking for a while," Launchpad shook his head at Dr. Bellum's request and pointed to his notebook. "But I'm the designated flier, so no go here." 

                                  He looked eagerly to Quiverwing and Darkwing. "Need me to back you up?" 

                                  • Agent Carol Torres
                                    Agent Carol Torres

                                    Carol froze mid-step as she tried sneaking back to her office. Drat. Lives Are at stake. The collie was a good sharp shooter and she could tackle a man taller and heavier than herself, but she was not very good at handling crowds, or creeping through strongly scented areas where sound echoes loudly.  Investigating a sewer packed with laughing people would not be ideal for her canine senses, and there were plenty of agents preset who could help the heroes. 

                                    Carol set her things down in an unlocked filing cabinet drawer, trying to hide her unease. She straightened her posture and turned back to her superiors.

                                    "Agent Torres from bookkeeping, reporting for duty. How may I assist?" 

                                    • Nigel Mallard
                                      Nigel Mallard

                                      Just as Grizzlikoff was about to address Agent Torres, the door to the lab opened and another agent -- a somewhat older duck -- entered, carrying a file folder and glancing around before spotting the director and chief agent and walking over.

                                      It was probably unfortunate timing on the part of SHUSH's newest agent, for him to walk in at this particular moment.  However, he'd been given a task... and, as degrading as it was to be taking orders from those who would be far lower in rank than him if they were employed at FOWL... he didn't have much of a choice if he wanted to continue keeping his motives unknown.

                                      "Sir," Nigel said, approaching Agent Grizzlikoff and Director Hooter.  He handed over the folder that he'd been tasked with giving to Grizzlikoff.  "Here are the, uh..." Pause.  Which forms were these again?  He hadn't exactly paid any attention to that particular detail.  "The... B-52's?"

                                      "TL-34's," Grizzlikoff corrected shortly, looking over said forms.  He still wasn't all that pleased with the man's acceptance into SHUSH.  But, he had to admit -- albeit grudgingly -- that the man was respectful, and did his job well.

                                      "Right.  Of course." Nigel then turned to the rest of the group, spotting Darkwing among them.  He knew the hero didn't like him all that much, but perhaps a gesture of goodwill -- cringe-worthy as such a thing may be -- might soften the man's disposition towards him.

                                      He approached the hero with a smile and an extended hand.  "I know we got started on the wrong foot," he said.  "But, if there's anything I can do to help, I'd be happy to."

                                      Of course, had he heard any of the conversation prior to entering the lab, he might not have been so quick to offer his assistance. Especially to a man who clearly had a grudge against him.

                                      • Drake Mallard
                                        Drake Mallard

                                        "LP, when they get the cure done get ready to spray it over the city. I can't be fighting innocent citizens!" Darkwing said be he sighed a bit. He would rather Gos stay here but he didn't know where QJ was and admitted he'll need her to show him.

                                        He didn't know why, but instinctively he drew the little girl close to him while she was still tugging at his arm when Nigel came in.

                                        "Hello." He tried to keep his composure when the drake came near him with an extended hand. The hero shook it. "As a matter of fact, you might be able to help the lab. They are needing some help."

                                        • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                                          Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                                          "Yeah!" Quiverwing piped in, momentarily forgetting she was trying to get Darkwing to leave.  "If you wanna be a guinea pig for Quackerjack's formula.  They're creating a cure, while WE go out and kick some zombie butt!  Uh...and stop Quackerjack, of course."

                                          • Nigel Mallard
                                            Nigel Mallard

                                            Pulling Quiverwing close upon Nigel's entrance had only served to show the man how protective Darkwing was of the child.  Certainly not something you want to advertise to someone whom you consider to possibly be a threat.

                                            "Wonderful," Nigel said brightly, his smile unwavering despite the hero's blatant distrust.  He had won over far more competent people in the past, so saw no reason for concern.

                                            That smile did falter, however, when Quiverwing explained that they needed a test subject for-

                                            Wait. Did she just say Quackerjack's formula? They have it here?

                                            He looked thoughtful for a moment, appearing to think it over.  If he could get his hands on some of that formula, it could prove very useful his efforts to take out High Command and take over FOWL.

                                            Degrading as it was -- then again, what part of joining SHUSH wasn't? -- it would be his only opportunity to nab a sample of the formula.  He just hoped SHUSH scientists were as brilliant as he'd heard... being stuck as a laughing zombie might hinder that whole "take over FOWL" thing a little bit.

                                            "If that's really what you need... then, I'll do it."

                                            If nothing else, perhaps volunteering would earn him a bit of trust from those wary of him.  Because who else but a completely well-meaning person would do such a selfless, noble thing?

                                            • J. Gander Hooter
                                              J. Gander Hooter

                                              Hooter had been about to address Carol when Nigel entered the room as well, handing a file over to Grizzlikoff. 

                                              He eyed Darkwing as he pulled the girl close instinctively, an unwise course of action, and noticed how close they were as well. He knew the hero still did not trust the new agent, but it was understandable. 

                                              Hooter, up to now, had not been able to dig up any records of the man, and it was very fishy indeed. Everyone had to at least have some sort of history... but Nigel's was either completely mediocre or admittedly perfect.

                                              And you know something's wrong when it's a little too perfect. 

                                              There was a slight pause as Hooter glanced at the two willing agents as he considered what to do. He knew Carol well, and knew of her willingness to help someone in need, even at her own cost. But Nigel... he was new, but he'd know by now how dangerous being a test subject at a S.H.U.S.H. lab was. And yet, there had been no hesitation nor fear from him. He was either being willingly insane, or insanely willing. And from what he saw... he was not.

                                              Something... was not right.

                                              Fortunately, he didn't have to choose. Dr Bellum immediately walked right up and examined the two willing agents, then took hold of them both, shoving them towards where Phaedra, Rhoda and Max were completing the risum formula. It had been agreed between them that they should recreate the formula first before finding a way to reverse the effects, and thanks to Max, there had been more than enough. "Wonderful! You two will do. Just in case the first one fails."

                                              Very reassuring, Dr. Bellum. Very...

                                              "Who wants to go first?" she asked enthusiastically, suddenly waving sticker bands at them, one labelled, in horrible handwriting, "Test Subject 1" and the other labelled "Test Subject 2".

                                              • Agent Carol Torres
                                                Agent Carol Torres

                                                Oh dear. 

                                                Carol's fur ruffled nervously as she uneasily followed the scientist. Her ears flattened as she caught sight of the sticker band. She wasn't exactly "insanely willing," but she cared enough to distance herself from her fears.

                                                "What would be your preference, Agent Mallard? Laughing or listening to laughter? I don't mind laughter." She was hinting that she would rather be number two, but she wouldn't force her choice.

                                                Losing all control of one's faculties sounded terrifying, not amusing. Carol did not even think the Three Stooges were funny. Hopefully this wouldn't hurt too much or last too long, since sustained laughing can be painful to the insides. She might need a vacation after this is over, but where would she go? What would she do? Let's think of that instead.

                                                • Nigel Mallard
                                                  Nigel Mallard

                                                  Nigel hid a frown as he picked up, quite clearly, the hint that Carol would prefer to go second.

                                                  He supposed this wasn't exactly the proper situation for a gentlemanly "ladies first" response, was it?  At least, not if he didn't want to appear selfish.  And it was so difficult for him to not be selfish right now.

                                                  For a man obsessed with power and control... referring to the prospect of losing control of himself as 'unsettling' was a gross understatement.  Still, he supposed there was little choice now, was there?

                                                  "Well, then... looks like I'll be lucky number one."

                                                  • Max Wicked
                                                    Max Wicked

                                                    Meanwhile as Max had prepared for the experiment to come, he was a little nervous to be testing a untested gas on real people. Max honestly thought there could have been some safer way, but there was no time to waste considering Harmonizer was in danger. It was likely for the better...

                                                    • J. Gander Hooter
                                                      J. Gander Hooter

                                                      "Excellent!" Dr Bellum grinned, handing them both their sticker bands. She then took Nigel and led him towards a glass case, instructing him to step in. It was made of extremely strong glass, and even if he gained extra strength inside it, it would hold. 

                                                      "Is the formula ready?" she asked the three working on it. Dr. Rhoda held up a vial of the sickly yellow mixture, resisting the urge to smell it... just in case it wasn't. But they all did their precise calculations and exact measurements. There should be nothing wrong.

                                                      "Yes, Dr Bellum."

                                                      "Right then! Here goes!" she said, slipping a nozzle into the test tube, and, after shutting the glass case with him in it, she let loose the chemical through an opening.

                                                      "Antidote No.1!" she shouted to Max, while her experienced eyes ran over Nigel, checking his symptoms and behaviour. 

                                                      Though she wondered... would the victims obey only Quackerjack, the casue behind this, or would they follow just anyone who infected them instead?

                                                      "Sit down!" she ordered him. 

                                                      Which, he did. 

                                                      If this do happened to unfortunately fail, she would get an idea on how to work on the next antidote. For their next... test subject.