The dragon’s body lay in the middle of the street, stretching for two whole blocks. A crowd had begun to form; some were inspecting it with caution while others poked.
“Is it, like, a robot?” someone in the crowd asked.
Just then its eyes lit up, and its mouth opened, and the crowd moved back. But the dragon didn’t get up. A green mist only blew from its mouth, making everyone cough the moment it filled the air.
Luckily, Ecrion didn’t have a human respiratory system, and Techie Lou was already wearing a gas mask.
But something was happening with the people all around them…the coughs of the townspeople slowly turned into moans, and some began to lumber around aimlessly, tripping and bumping into each other. Soon they were groaning collectively, gnawing at miscellaneous items on the street: cones, garbage cans and bike racks. They all became very pale.
“Teething zombies,” said Techie Lou, “Weird.”
“Come in, Master Lee,” said Ecrion into the walkie-talkie, “What do we do about zombies?”
“Engage with them!” Master Lee replied.
“What?! You mean fight them?”
"No! Did you pick up my orange juice yet?"
Master Lee was clearly detached - and his orange juice would have to wait. Engage the zombies? What on earth did Master Lee mean? Ecrion had always thought zombies were to be slain.
Techie Lou had a retractable chainsaw built into her body armor – she’d been waiting to use it. But just when she hit the button, Ecrion said, “Hey, notice anything odd here?”
“What?” asked Techie.
“These zombies really aren't even so violent…they’re not really eating anything. See? There’s a live dog right there! And that zombie’s just petting it – well, kind of awkwardly – but the zombie’s petting the dog!”
“You’re right…” said Techie, “…I think it’s smiling.”
“I know what to do.”
Ecrion realized that, even if the zombies looked like an amorphous cloud of dust and noise, underneath they were people with names, and homes, and dreams; they liked things and wanted things, each end every one! So Ecrion did something very simple:
“Everybody listen up!”
To his dismay, they all stopped to listen. They actually drew closer to him. He urged them to form a line in front of Techie Lou – her body armor had several first aid functions. And so they did! She tended to all their bumps and bruises from the scuffle the dragon had with the city, and she got to know everyone in the process by name.
They were all happy, but still in a bewildered, zombified state. How could they most quickly reverse the effects of the green, noxious gas?
Ecrion’s walkie-talkie beeped. It was Master Lee calling for orange juice again.
“Ugh, Master Lee I’m…wait…THAT’S IT!” he cried, dipping inside a nearby grocery store at lighting speed and scooping out a cart full of OJ.
“Techie, got a hose?”
Techie Lou’s utility armor did indeed have a water hose and several nozzle options (for fire emergencies), which they used to pump orange juice into the zombie crowd. The just set it to “shower spray” and made it rain. Strangely…it worked. Everyone was normal and conscious again.
While this was all happening, a little man in a white lab coat, wearing enormous goggles, climbed out of the dragon’s abdomen (as it was, clearly now, a mechanical dragon). He watched the heroes as they saved the day, and though he could have escaped without being noticed, he shouted, “YOU’VE WON THIS TIME, ECRION! BUT YOU’VE NOT SEEN THE LAST OF DR. ANONYMOUS! I WON’T STOP UNTIL ALL OF HUMANKIND IS CONFUSED AND ALIENATED!”
A helicopter picked him up and flew out of sight.
“He’s going to have to do better than a Vitamin C deficiency if he wants to bamboozle the world,” said Techie Lou, trying to distribute the orange juice evenly.
“Don’t you love how cryptic Master Lee’s lessons are sometimes?” laughed Ecrion.
Once everyone was healed, they returned to their homes for some much needed rest. Dr. Anonymous was still in the backs of their minds, but at least they knew he could be stopped.