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A gentle breeze ruffled the leaves on the trees and the trolley quietly creaked on its rails. Warm summer air blew over the Toontown Central Park. The atmosphere was silent and tranquil; the sun unleashed its warm, soothing rays to the world. Usually there would be more than one toon in the park, but that was not the case today.
The toon's name was Evina. He was a red duck lying lazily on the grass with his gloves behind his head. He felt like his boredom was too much to handle on days such as this. There was nothing fun to do. He was not a toon that usually went to fight the cogs in their headquarters. He didn't find it fun at all, because he noticed that whenever someone defeats a cog, several more just fly down in its place. You can never get rid of them for good.
One strange thing about Evina that very few others knew about was the fact that he couldn't remember anything about his life prior to fifteen years ago. Most toons had impeccable memories but not him. That was around the time the cogs came to Toontown. He assumed he had hit his head or something else that may have happened to make him lose his memory.
Everyone he talked to said it was the most chaotic and dark day in Toontown's history. Because of this loss of memory, he never knew who his parents were, but he had never really been concerned about that. He didn't mind being alone most of the time.
After he couldn't lie there any longer, he decided to see his good friend Harry again. He got up and casually walked to Toon hall. Harry was a friendly, wise, old toon. He was working intently at his desk as usual. Harry was short neon-green rabbit with slightly wrinkled skin. He looked like he had gone through a hard life. Evina was one of the only toons willing to be friends with him as everyone else had left him long ago.
"Hi." said Evina dully, while approaching his desk.
Harry set down his paperwork. He didn't particularly enjoy Evina's frequent, unexpected visits during work in the summer. "Hi." he replied in the same smooth, monotonous voice before turning his attention back to his work.
"If you haven't noticed, I'm still really bored." Evina complained, leaning on Harry's desk. "Is it just me, or is there nothing fun to do around here anymore?"
Once Harry stopped pretending that Evina wasn't still standing there, he looked up at him. "I think you're right." He said, adjusting his glasses. "The reason is probably that almost all the toons have left to attack the Cog HQs and uh... max everything in Toontown. Nobody has played a trolley game here for ages. Nobody even drops by to say hello... except you of course." he smiled.
"I just wish I had someone to do something with. Wouldn't it be cool to go on some sort of adventure?"
Harry sighed and set down the paperwork he was reading again. "Why don't you get a job?"
"I'm not getting one because nobody visits the shops around here. I don't understand what work you're trying to do. There hasn't been anything really important."
Harry couldn't help from smiling. "I guess you're right. These complaints I'm getting will just have to wait. I'm sure Flippy doesn't want to have to deal with them at the moment anyway."
Evina leaned against a wall and sighed. The other workers in Toon Hall looked anxious to have Evina leave.
"I suppose you're not going to leave until you have something to do. I just remembered there are a bunch of old movies in the closet back there. I don't know about an adventure, but perhaps I can show you something that I think you'll find interesting." He warily stood up. Despite his age, he seemed to be able to take care of himself well enough. He led Evina down a very long hallway. He swung open the door of a closet and motioned Evina to walk in.
"Watch your head." Harry muttered, closing the door with a creak. He looked up and turned on a tiny light dangling from the ceiling. The room was small and hadn't been kept very clean in many years. He pulled a sheet off a very old movie projector. "I think you will like this." he said as he began searching the dusty wooden shelves. He then found the roll of film that he was looking for. He plugged in the film and flicked a switch. The projector sputtered to life and began to click as a black and white image appeared on a blank wall in front of them.
"Who is that?" asked Evina.
"That is Mickey Mouse, the first citizen of Toontown. Such great memories... this makes me feel young again."
"Mickey Mouse," Evina gasped, "And who is that dog that he is going up to?"
"That's Flippy. You see, they met when they were much younger and became friends. They found out that they had a lot in common. Mickey was the mayor of Toontown, but he was needed for work in movies and several other things in a world far away. He was also a bit frustrated with the... behavior of some toons. Mickey handed over the keys of Toontown to him and he left."
Evina stared at the black and white, moving image and then back down the hall where Flippy's office was. "But then... where is Mickey?" He asked.
"He is working on some movies and other stuff like I told you, but he should have come back ages ago. Nobody has seen him in such a long time. He left about the time the cog invasion began." The old rabbit adjusted his glasses. "I'm sure he's fine, though. He's never let us down before."
"Have you met Mickey before?"
"Oh yes, I have. It was so very long ago when I met him for the first time. I think it might've even been before this movie was made."
"Do you think that the cogs are one of the reasons that made him want to leave?"
Harry considered this for a moment. "I'm not sure, but that may be one reason. I can't remember if they came before or after he left. I think a real reason is something to do with Scrooge McDuck. He disappeared at about the same time."
"Um, where did the cogs come from anyway?"
Harry sighed. "I knew you would ask that. The truth is that nobody really knows. I've been searching for an answer for many years, but with no success." They both paused for a second.
"I have something that might help though," Harry continued, "I found this flying around the playground a few days ago." He pulled out an old tattered piece of paper and unfolded it. It had a single, quickly written, bold word on it.
Evina's eyes widened. "This is what I've been looking for!" he exclaimed.
"This is my adventure! I intend to find out where this note came from. It must have something to do with the cogs. And I want to know where the cogs came from! Will you come with me?"
"Whoa! Wait a second! That could be nearly impossible! It could take years and we might not even survive! Anyway, I have some work to get to."
"Please! I've been so bored these last few weeks. Toons live forever! The worst thing that happens to us is go sad!"
Harry paused for a second with a grim expression. He seemed to be at a loss of words. Evina wasn't sure if he wanted to stand there and find out what he was going to say. "That's just what you think." The old man shuddered. "No offence, Evina, but you are still so young. The world out there is fierce. There is a legendary substance that can make toons go away forever." he sat down on a barrel and began to tear up. "Nothing remains of them!"
"And what would that substance be?" asked Evina nervously. "I didn't know you believed those things."
"Never mind, I'll tell you later! Just please go get me some ice cream cones from the playground before I go sad!"
Evina had never seen Harry so frustrated before. He quickly jogged to the exit to retrieve the ice cream cones for the old rabbit. When Evina returned, he found Harry already back at his desk. Other toons working in the building were staring at the sobbing toon.
Harry took them and ate them eagerly. After a minute, he calmed down and started smiling again. "I'm sorry about that." He whispered to Evina. "For all I know, we could all be wrong. We may never know what danger is out there. We may never know if there is the substance that could destroy toons.
"We could find the answers if you decided to come with me." Evina said.
Harry looked up at him sadly, "I cannot do that." His words were final. "As much as I would love to go on an adventure, this is just absolutely ridiculous. Nothing like this has been done before, and I don't want to be the first to find my doom out there."
Evina left, feeling as though an anvil had just been dropped on his head. He was crestfallen that Harry refused to go on the adventure. For just a small moment, he thought his idle summer days were over. He felt like he was about to do something important for the first time in years. He sadly walked to his Toontown Central estate.
His doodle, Raspberry, looked just as bored as he did. He panted when he first saw him. Evina gave him a jellybean and went to bed.
The next morning he got up and went back to the park. He didn't expect anybody else to be there, but he was wrong. He turned a corner and bumped into a pink cat.
"Hey, will you watch where you're going?" she snapped, rubbing her head angrily.
"Oops I'm so sorry about that." said Evina. "I never expected anyone else to be here. I've been the only one here for weeks! Why are you here anyway?"
"There have been tons of little sheets of paper flying around with the word 'help' written on them. I came to ask the Toon Council what they were about. By the way, who are you?"
"I'm Evina" he smiled.
"Well I'm glad to meet you. I'm Princesspinkcat and... HEY LOOK OVER THERE!"
Evina spun around very quickly to see none other than the one and only Mickey Mouse. After checking to make sure he wasn't imagining it, he ran over to him.
"Well hello there!" Mickey cheerfully greeted them. "My movies have been going great! Now, where did everyone go to?"
"Uh, Mr. Mickey? I think... they're all at the Cog HQs."
"Cog HQs?" Mickey asked being puzzled, "I didn't know they even had an HQ! I heard they came just as I was leaving. Has it really been that long? What else have I missed?"
"Oh, tons of stuff like Acorn Acres, it's on the map now."
"Acorn Acres is on the map now?" Mickey asked skeptically. "That doesn't sound good. I thought-"
"I'm Evina." He interrupted, "and it's a pleasure to meet you, sir."
"It is Nice to meet you too, Evina. Have a swell day! I need to go talk to the Toon Council about all these papers I find flying around with the word 'help' on them."
Before Evina could catch up with Mickey, the mouse had already slammed the door of Toon Hall behind him. Evina stood there staring at the door. Princesspinkcat came and stood by his side.
"Hey what are you doing up there!" called an unfamiliar voice behind Evina.
The two toons turned around and saw an aqua duck coming up to them. Her arms were full of jellybean bags.
"Hi I'm Miss Zany Thunderhopper! I haven't been able to find any fish today and I needed jellybeans. I haven't been here for such a long time, but I didn't expect it to be this... empty. What are you doing?"
"Mickey Mouse has returned and I wanted to ask him if I could go on a quest to find out where the cogs came from."
"A quest? Oh, I WANT TO COME, PLEASE! I PROMISE I WON'T BE ANY TROUBLE!" she begged.
"Um... we don't need everyone to know about this." Evina said.
Zany didn't listen. She turned around and shouted, "HEY WORLD! MICKEY MOUSE HAS RETURNED!"
Soon Zany's voice spread the news of Mickey's return and the playground filled up with hundreds of confused toons.
"So are all three of us going on this quest?" Evina asked the other two. "I think we're perfectly capable of doing it, even without Harry."
"Yes!" The other two girls replied in unison.
"Wait," Princesspinkcat interrupted, "who's Harry?"
Suddenly the majestic doors to Toon Hall swung open and the Toon Council came marching out.
"Wow!" Mickey exclaimed, "This place sure filled up!"
Flippy took a step forward and read an official-looking document in his hands. "We, the Toon Council, decided that for the greater good of Toontown, several brave toons will go and find out where the cogs came from. This group will be led by Mr. Harry Oldman..."
"...and me!" Evina interrupted.
Flippy rotated his head towards Evina. "Excuse me" he spat, "Just who might you be?"
"I am Evina, this is Princesspinkcat, and that is Miss Zany Thunderhopper. We will be the toons who will join Harry on the quest!" Cheers emitted from the crowd below.
Flippy turned to his side and whispered something to the rest of the Toon Council. Then he smiled and turned back to the crowd. "Alright, it has been settled." Flippy announced. "The quest has begun! We wish the best of luck to Harry and his friends!"
Harry descended the steps with a scowl on his face. The crowds cheered as the group made their way to Punchline Place. Several of them asked if they could come on the quest.
"NO!" shouted Harry. "You have no idea of the danger of this journey! We might not even survive!" but the rest of the crowds just giggled. Nobody knew that there was anything worse than going sad. The group exited the tunnel to the deserted Punchline Place and stopped.
"Did you change your mind?" asked Evina.
Harry sighed, sounding highly irritated. "Uh, yes I did indeed. I think my knowledge of Toontown will help us get through this dangerous journey. From the look of these notes, it seems that someone may be in grave danger. I am also almost certain that the cogs have something to do with it. I hope you like walking, because we have a lot of it ahead of us."
"So why did they let you come?" Zany asked.
"I don't even know who you are but I'll try to explain it anyway. I wonder if they're trying to get rid of me," Harry grunted, "and I don't know why. You never give up, do you Evina?"
Evina was grinning. "Not really."
Harry groaned. "With this crazy bunch, I'm not entirely sure we'll survive a single day."
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