A brunette of average height adjusted her hair meticulously. “Okay, we’re rolling!” She said, after a quick makeup check.
Her cameraman, Sam Jones, checked over his camera and complied.
“I’m here at the scene of another horrific outbreak of “lulz”. What was originally a harmless play on the chat room term “lol” has become a deadly pandemic, with ghastly symptoms. What is most terrifying about this disease is how quickly and easily it is spread. As you can see, this apartment complex has been quarantined. That won’t stop me, Sandy May, from getting you the full story.” She headed through the apartment complex’s parking lot, closely followed by Sam, who was eagerly filming dramatic angles on everything in sight. “Wait! Do you see that?” Sam quickly angled over to what Sandy was indicating. “What you see before you is an infected citizen. I mentioned how ghastly the symptoms were earlier. I will now clarify just what those symptoms are: extreme personality change, gruesome disfigurement, lack of reasoning ability, and a horrific obsession with stupid, tasteless, etc, acts all in the interest of “lulz”. Watch the infected carefully, and you will see.”
The infected man wandered aimlessly about, unaware of their presence. Sam zoomed up on him. He turned to face the pair. “LUUUUULLLLLZZZZ!” He bellowed, charging at them.
“You still filming?” Sandy asked anxiously, as the infected man grew closer and closer to their position.
“Yup.” He replied.
“You’re going to need to take this out during editing, but I want you to make sure I look good if this guy kills us.”
Sam gawked. “But-they never kill their victims, they only-”
There came a torrent of babbling from the infected. “LUUUUUULLLLZZZ! Fap fap dong dong epic fail! I do it for theLUUUUUUUUUUUULZ”
“Okay, make for the elevator!”
The pair ran for the elevator in a dark corner of the parking lot. Sandy jabbed at the call button impatiently, looking over her shoulder at the approaching mutant.
With a cheerful ding, the elevator arrived. “Get in, get in!” Sandy hollered, darting into the elevator.
Sam followed, turning back to get a shot of the mutant as the elevator doors closed.
Sandy turned to Sam. “Shall we start at the middle?” She jabbed an elevator button without waiting for a response.
After a minute or so of slow elevator travel, the doors slid open. Sandy stepped cautiously into the hall.
Most of the apartments were open. Various noises pounded out of them.
Sandy motioned for Sam to follow her as she snuck down the hall to one of the apartments. She glanced inside and smiled.
Sam pointed his camera into the apartment.
Gathered around a computer was a large crowd of the infected. The monitor was visible from the door. The group was toggling between Youtube and 4chan/Encyclopedia Dramatica and whatever favorite bully haven site of the month, uploading and posting like their lives depended on it. All the while, they were cackling and howling like idiots, and uttering mostly nonsense with a few english words mixed in, just enough for a listener to get the idea these poor mooks were laughing at the expense of others.
"EPIC FAIL! Derp derp duuuuuuuuuuuuuuurp!"
"He's doin it wrong!"
"You're doin it wrong!
"Dong dong dong!
"Hahah, LULZ! Butthurt! Look at tihs butthurt!"
"TLDR Scroll down to where teh comments start!"
"HAHAHAHAHAHA LULZ LULZ LULZ LUUUUUUUUUUULZ It says here Sindee's taking down her art page!"
"LULZ! And somebody's upset about our Meganhaditcoming blog! Taht was so EPIC LULZ that girl killed herself!"
"Yeah! She's doin it wrong! Epic FAIL! LOSER! LULZ!"
"And taht guy taht's autistic? LULZ! He doesn't liek what we said about him what a LOOSER! LULZ!"
"And taht girl taht we started teh LULZY rumors about being a pregers fapping gambler and put teh porno pics of her and taht goat we photoshopped up up on our site! EPIC! EPIC! She's so butthurt! LULZ!"
She aksd 4 it she's a Christian fundie."
Lulz Christianity is fascism!"
Noes it's cancer! "Just stoopid."
"Oh look at tihs! A burning kitten! Lulz lulz LULZ Taht'll get teh kitty-lovers mad!"
"Is it really?"
"Course not, LUSERZ! It's fake, liek everytihng else on our EPIC Lulzy site, but tehy don't know taht!"
"IN LULZ WE TRUST! WE DO IT FOR TEH LULZ!"
“What we have here is a classic example of what “lulz” does to an individual.” Sandy whispered. “See what they’re posting? That kind of mindless drivel is their lifeblood.”
One of the mutants looked up then. “Hey, guys! A reporter! Let’s get ‘er!”
“And now we run.” The pair bolted away from the door, speeding down the hall. Sandy looked frantically around for a place to hide, eventually settling on a storage closet. The duo darted into the closet, locking the door behind them.
Sandy sat down on the floor, leaning against the door.
Shouting could be heard outside the door, the mutants began pounding vigorously on it.
“As you see, “lulz” is a dangerous addiction, comparable to meth and other dangerous substances. If interrupted in the process of getting their “lulz” fix, the infected will react in a violent, reckless manner. They enter a type of berserker rage that often exhausts them to the point of collapsing. If the infected do not vegetate while indulging in a source of “lulz”, their brains enter a state of little or no useful function. While in this state, the infected have been known to stare idiotically at nothing while drooling and mumbling “lulz” occasionally. It is debated that the only reason the infected are so difficult to dispel is due to their hive mindset.”
The roaring of the mutants turned to a terrified shrieking. Gradually the shrieking subsided.
Someone pounded on the door. “Excuse me! Whoever you are, you have to get out of here.”
Sandy stood and opened the door, her demeanor the same as someone opening their front door to an errant stranger at three AM. “Well, I can’t do that. I have news to cover.” She said in a clipped tone.
“Look, miss, I don’t think you understand the situation.”
“Oh, I do.” Sandy looked over the man who had taken care of the mutants.
He was wearing a SWAT uniform, and had short black hair.
“How did you KO all these mutants?”
The SWAT man displayed an iPhone. “I showed them some intelligent writing. Knocked ‘em out cold.”
“Impressive. But we’re not going anywhere. Isn’t that right, Sam?”
Sam nodded enthusiastically, filming a dramatic angle of the SWAT-man.
The response was a raised eyebrow. “You mean to tell me you intended on exploring the building with that pipsqueak to watch your back?”
Sam was of average height, but exceptionally lanky. His shaggy blond hair didn’t help inspire much confidence in him either.
“Hey, I fight just fine!”
“I’m sure you do, squirt.” the swat man turned back to Sandy. “If you insist on continuing, I may at least offer my services. You can call me Styx.”
Sandy gave an apprehensive frown, but nodded slightly. “Just don’t get in the way. And I don’t mean to be calloused, but are you the last one of your regiment?”
“Yeah. You should have seen the guys when we got jumped by those mutants.”
Sandy nodded. “Well, I think that’s all the footage we need of this floor.. Let’s go up.”
The trio made their way cautiously to an elevator. Sandy jabbed the button for the top floor. The doors closed noisily.
“So. What kind of name is Styx?” Sandy asked casually.
“It’s a nickname.”
Sandy nodded, smiling.
“Interesting.” Sam frowned, contemplating what kind of person would gain the river of the Underworld as his nickname.
“As in the river or the band?” Sandy asked.
Styx smiled, cracking his knuckles noisily. “The river.”
Sam swallowed nervously.
The elevator chimed.
“Ah. Here we go.”
As the doors opened, a familiar cry rent the air.
"IN LULZ WE TRUST!"
“Oh, crap.” Styx muttered.
The roof of the elevator gave in, a mutant tumbling to the floor.
“Get it, get it!” Sandy hissed, poking at the woman with her shoe.
Styx grabbed his iPhone, shoving it in her face.
“Noooooooo-my beautiful lulz-smashed! Aaaaaiiiiuuuregegreggg…” She went limp, drooling copiously.
“Oh, seriously?” Sam barked tersely. “These were new shoes!” He attempted to kick the mutant spit off his shoes.
The trio exited the elevator, Sam still shaking spit off his shoes and muttering in disgust.
There was a large meeting room on this floor, and it was there the trio headed.
Sandy poked her head in the conference room. “Get a load of this, Sam!” She whispered excitedly.
Sam filmed the scene eagerly, catching everything as dramatically as possible.
A large troop of mutants sat facing a podium. A mutant was giving an enthusiastic speech.
“In Lulz We Trust! We must bring lulz to the world!"
"In Lulz We Trust!" the others answered back.
He continued. "Only the foolish do not appreciate lulz!
This was briefly interupted by some of his listeners so that it took on a twisted, perverted version of a charismatic church or cult meeting.
"They're doin it wrong!"
"For with lulz, anyone can do anything, with no reprimand!"
"Epic! Epic! EPIC!"
"Is this not a noble and most holy gift?"
"Some stupid jerks (he used much harsher words than these,) say lulz is only an excuse! I beg to differ! Lulz is so much more than an excuse-it is an über excuse!”
The mutants cheered loudly at this, and started up a chant of "EPIC! EPIC! Dong! Dong! Epic Epic Dong Dong!"
The leader and a few of his dopes stared at a computer screen with the Encyclopedia Dramatica page on its display.
"In Lulz We Trust!" he exclaimed, and kiss-drooled all over the screen.
"In Lulz We Trust!" the others repeated, and started up another chant of "Fap fap fap!" While that chant was going on, each of them took a turn fapping (making a public display of affection to put it politely) to the computer screen with the display of their beloved page, and to a small mirror on the wall next to the monitor.
“That is sad.” Styx muttered, shaking his head.
“Yeah, but it’s news!” Sandy said loudly.
The mutants looked back at them.
“Oh crap. Run!”
The group ran hastily away from the conference room, looking for an escape route. They eventually chose a stairway to the rooftop.
Styx looked back at the hoard of mutants behind them. “In retrospect, perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to head for the roof.”
“You think?!” Sam shrilled.
“Hey, break it up! Styx can just KO ‘em with his iPhone, and we’ll be out of here with plenty of footage!”
Styx took out his iPhone and frowned.
“It’s, um…out of battery.”
“Oh. Well then, we’re screwed.”
The leader of the mutants stepped forward. “Soon, you will be one of us or you will be butthurt FOR THE LULZ!”
“Don’t count on it, pal.” Sandy said curtly.
“It’s so much better to be one of us! Just let us take you-”
“Ha! I’ll take you all on!” Styx shouted, standing ready to box their brains out.
The lead mutant shook his head. “Oh, I was afraid it would get like this. Attack!”
“Attack! I said attack! What the heck is the matter with you freaks!? Attack!” Only he said a lot worse, cussing a blue streek, Encyclopedia Dramatica lulz-addict style.
He turned around to face his troops, to find they had collapsed and were drooling messily.
Sandy smiled. “You moron-if you go without lulz for more than an hour, you can’t function!”
“What!?” The lead mutant shrieked. “I…don’t…believe…” He slumped to the ground, drooling.
Sandy looked from Styx to Sam, smiling. “Let’s blow this taco stand. We’ve footage a plenty, and these guys are giving me the creeps.”
The group headed for an elevator, glad to be getting out of that madhouse.
“Who knows-maybe they’ll come up with a cure for lulz someday! You two can cover that story.”
“Ha! Like that’ll happen. But if it does, you can count on me and Sandy to cover it.”
“Right, I want to cover these guys again after this creep-fest. At least the lulzers are idiots.”
“Isn’t that kind of the definition of a lulzer?”
“Yeah, mostly. It doesn't go quite far enough.”