Amnesty – Episode 5

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"Amnesty: Episode 5," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the fifth episode of The Adventure Zone: Amnesty.

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Full transcript available here.

Our heroes band together to hunt down the Beast terrorizing the woods outside Kepler. Ned remembers a fateful night. Aubrey receives a letter. Duck feels the weight of destiny.

Ned, in full Wookiee garb, waits patiently in the driver seat of his Continental, which he has parked on a road a quarter mile up from Crooked Bend Cave, where the others lie in wait to ambush the Beast. As he waits, he passes the time listening to some Broadway show tunes, specifically ones from Come From Away, and wishing he wasn't fucking doing this.

NED: I wish I wasn’t fuckin’ doin’ this, I wish I wasn’t fuckin’ doin’ this, I wish I wasn’t fuckin’ doin’ this…

Suddenly, the ambient sounds of the forest go quiet and Ned hears the pained breathing of multiple mouths in front of him and he sees the moonlight glint off of a shape ten yards in front of him. Ned lets out one last, "I wish I wasn't fuckin' doing this," and attempts to gain the Beast's attention by laying on the car and turning on the headlights. The Beast sniffs the air and, catching the scent of a dozen animals on Ned's being, charges towards his direction with an echoing scream. Ned throws the car into reverse and guns the shit out of it, narrowly dodging a claw swipe from the Beast.

NED: [singing at the top of his lungs] Born free, as free as the wind blows!

Ned glances into the rearview mirror and sees the Beast pursuing him. He turns his attention back to the road, and he looks back at the mirror to see that it has disappeared. Ned turns back and sees the Beast behind the pine trees lining the roads keeping pace right beside his car. The Beast, black slime spewing from its mouth and every one of its many eyes pulsating with bright red light, takes one big, last step and jumps towards Ned's car.

NED: [singing to the tune of Born Free] Oh shit!

Ned jerks the wheel right, putting the car slightly off-road, and narrowly dodges the Beast, which tumbles and rolls behind him before getting back up to a full gallop, and his headlights catch a pine tree which he is barreling towards at a deadly speed.

Several years earlier...

Ned lies on the ground and, as he comes to, he sees a wrecked, black Imperial Crown Coupe wrapped around a tree. Suddenly, Ned recalls that he and an accomplice just pulled off the biggest job of their careers and that the wrecked car in front of him is carrying both his haul and his accomplice, who is lying unconscious and splayed out on an airbag in the driver's seat. Ned hears police sirens further down the road and he attempts and fails to open the busted up door to the driver's seat and awaken his accomplice.

NED: Well, sorry, old friend.

Ned stuffs his pockets full of as much loot as he can carry and runs off into the woods.

Several years later...

Ned, seeing the tree coming towards him, Acts Under Pressure and jerks the car left, getting it back onto the road, and as he continues to speed down the road, his headlights catch Mama and Barclay hiding out in a bush in the distance right next to a sign for Crooked Bend Cave. Aubrey, having finished spreading the oil along the floor of the cave’s entrance, waits inside Crooked Bend Cave while also attempting to find the best hiding spot. As she's doing this, she hears Ned, still singing at the top of his lungs, racing down into the cave.

AUBREY: Hi, Ned!
NED: Uh, hello, Aubrey! How’s your evening?
AUBREY: Going well!

Ned takes his position as the Beast makes its entrance, hitting the oil patch along the way, and skids to a halt in the center of the cave. The furious Beast looks at the two of them and howls, and Aubrey raises her hand and prepares to shoot some flames at it.

A few hours earlier...

Aubrey and Barclay, both holding flashlights, survey the cave before them. Barclay kneels down and asks Aubrey how she plans on trapping the Beast. Aubrey suggests that they cover the entire cave floor in oil and light it on fire, but Barclay shoots her down on the grounds that that would burn all of them to death and suggests that they strategically place the oil on certain spots of the cave. Aubrey suggests they put a big oil patch in the middle of the cave and a ring of oil around it to prevent it from fleeing.

BARCLAY: Yeah, I’ll make that second ring a, uh, [chuckles] a burning ring of fire?
AUBREY: [gets the pun] Eh?

After setting the trap, Barclay asks why she's helping the Pine Guard out and she explains that she feels it's something she just has to do. Barclay smiles and tells her he knows what she's feeling. Barclay warns her that she'll be facing down death tonight and that, if not used properly, her powers can be turned against her and the people she loves.

AUBREY: Yeah, but frankly, Barclay, the same could be said about a sword, or a gun, or a car, or anything.
BARCLAY: Or a Bigfoot. Look, I don’t mean to tell your business, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to preach, I know that you can handle yourself, it’s just, I’m speakin’ from experience, Aubrey. It takes… one misstep, it takes one moment, and you can find yourself usin’ that power in a way you will regret for the rest of your life.

A few hours later...

Aubrey Uses Her Magic and lights the oil below the Beast, lighting its fur ablaze. The Beast lets out a ground-shaking scream as tears begin to form on the shell of animals around it, revealing some of the black slime carapace within, and it turns and takes a swing at Aubrey. Aubrey rolls away in time but lands herself in the ring of fire, trapping her with it. Duck grabs his chosen weapon strapped onto his back and rushes into the cave, ready to strike.

A few hours earlier...

Ned leads Duck through the Chicanery, which contains many empty Diet Coke cans and locked display cases full of items such as George Clooney's Oscar for Syriana, Mal Evan's briefcase, and a mysterious pendant on a silver chain set with a large, bright red stone. The two of them arrive at the case containing Duck's weapon of destiny. Duck expresses reluctance as Ned opens the case, revealing a sword with a coiled blade rolled up like a whip.

BEACON: [Justin doing a Tim Curry impression] Well… look what the cat dragged in!
DUCK: Hey, Beacon. Ah, Christ.
BEACON: Well, Duck Newton, I never thought this day would come! Have you had a fun 20 years, Duck? I could sum up my time, if you like. Let me summarize: a man comes into the room. He lays some trash on the ground. He leaves. That happened a thousand times, Duck.

A few hours later...

Duck withdraws Beacon and slashes and stabs the Beast, Kicking its Ass, before burying the sword in the Beast's guts. Duck rips Beacon out from the Beast, cutting a big gash through the top of it in the process, and a torrent of black slime sprays through the air. The Beast's patchwork pelt falls away, and the Beast’s true form is revealed. Standing before the group is a figure roughly lizard-like in shape, comprised entirely of that black slime material and with a tail that ends in a razor-sharp point. Its face looks decomposed, with thin strands of slime connecting its top and bottom jaws, and its hollow eye sockets are filled with a furious red light.

The Beast lets out a shrill howl for reinforcements, but Mama and Barclay manage to prevent any of them from entering the cave. With a mighty leap, the Beast hurls itself from the flames and in front of Ned, who shits his pants, decides to Kick Some Ass and pulls his Magnum from his shoulder holster-

NED: You feelin’ lucky, punk?

-and unloads into the Beast's face. Another spray of black slime spews from the Beast as it rears back and comes back down and hits Ned with both its claws, knocking him backward. Aubrey notices the heat of the cave becoming hotter and prepares to shoot the Beast with a fireball.

AUBREY: Three thousand years ago, on the banks of the Nile, the Egyptian priests believed that if a person were to—
THE BEAST: [screams]
AUBREY: I am that person. That’s what I was getting— anyways, fire!

An explosion goes off in the center of the room, sending the Beast flying backward, and, for a second, Aubrey is able to see a faint orange light inside of its black carapace, which fades away once it hits the ground. The Beast headbutts Aubrey, sending her crashing into the cave wall. Duck sees this and decides to Help Out by tackling the monster's side, allowing Ned to Kick Some Ass by jamming his walking stick as far down the Beast's throat as he possibly can. The Beast rears its head back and yelps in pain before bringing it back around towards Ned, smacking him away from it and also tossing Duck from its back. Aubrey sits back up and grabs the walking stick sticking from the Beast's mouth.

AUBREY: Fuego, ya bastard!

Using Her Magic, Aubrey enchants the stick with her fire magic, causing it and the inside of the Beast to start to glow a bright orange, and, in a spray of black mist, the Beast explodes. The group is flung backward by the force of this explosion, and Aubrey smashes against the cave wall again. As she starts blacking out she sees the fire in the center of the cave growing even wilder, and the smoke starts to fill her lungs making it hard for to breathe.

GRIFFIN: In another flash, you look toward the mouth of the cave, and you see that wall of fire still roaring high, and as your vision finally fades, you see a figure appear in the fire. You see a large woman wrapped in her duster leaping through the flames in your direction, and then you lose consciousness.

[Money Zone]

GRIFFIN: The next day comes to you in waves. You find consciousness in these brief flashes again. A nurse comes in to check your charts. Ned and Duck swing by for a visit. A different nurse changes your IV, and in one of these flashes of consciousness, there’s Mama. And she’s in the hospital bed next to yours and her hair is a bit singed, and she’s wearing an oxygen mask, but she’s otherwise no worse for wear. And she’s… holding your hand, and she’s smiling behind her mask. And then in another flash, it’s morning, and Mama’s bed is empty.

Aubrey wakes up and sees Barclay sitting in the corner of the room, reading a Lamplighter. Barclay notices that she's awake and greets her. Aubrey asks where Mama and Dr. Bonkers are, and he tells her that Mama left last night to run an errand while Dr. Bonkers is being looked after by Dani. Barclay tells her that Mama left her something and he pulls a letter out from his peacoat and hands it to her. Barclay tells Aubrey that she did unbelievably well tonight and Aubrey request that she be given some lime green Jello for her efforts. Barclay laughs and exits the room.

Aubrey

You and I don’t know each other very well yet, Aubrey Little, so you’ll have to take my word for it that I’m not the kind of person that finds themself satisfied or impressed by the exploits of other folks very easily. I’m quick to shut folks out, and I know that. This life I live requires it. But Aubrey, I am proud beyond belief to know you. You did something last night that few folks can do. And I’m not talking about shooting fireballs outta your hands or slaying a monster the size of a Volvo, either. I’m talking about the moment that you decided to step foot into that cave.

You did something hard last night, something scary, and necessary, and you did it without hesitating. Not for a second. And that courage, Aubrey… I’d say you remind me of myself when I was younger if I didn’t think it made me sound like a self-flattering old fart, but yeah, you know. Life is tough for everyone who lives it. Not just this glamorous life of monster hunting, Aubrey. All of it. Everyone’s. Most folks just stumble through it feeling lost and directionless, no sense of purpose. I know that feeling all too well, before I started doing this work. Before the lodge.

We don’t know each other very well, Aubrey, but I know a calling when I see one. You belong here, at the lodge. You belong in the Pine Guard, protecting this world alongside me and Barclay. And Ned, and Duck too; I’m pretty sure those two wouldn’t last a second in these woods without you. I’m hoping this letter finds you in the same enthusiastic mood I saw when I first met you, Aubrey, ‘cause I got kinda a big ask.

Stay here. Help us fight back against the dark. You keep at it, I promise I will help you find out where your powers come from, just as soon as I get back. Oh, right. I gotta leave. Just for… just for a bit. Barclay will get you set up while I’m gone. I got some unfinished business needs taking care of, and that’s all I can say about that right now. I’ll catch you up next time I see you.

I’m reading this letter back right now, and I realize it’s all sounding a bit melodramatic, so you’ll have to forgive me for that. I don’t wanna scare you away with a bunch of talk about saving the world. See, in my experience, that’s a bit too intangible a goal for someone to fight for anyway. That’s the advice I’m gonna leave you with, Aubrey. When you’re toe to toe with some demon and you find yourself asking what you’re doing it all for, just do what I do. I don’t think about the world, Aubrey. I think about Amnesty Lodge.

I think about it on a nice day. Dani’s out in the garden outside, and it’s in full bloom. There’s a breeze off the river pouring in through the windows, carrying the song that Moira’s playing at the piano through the whole building. Jake and Barclay are back in the springs, and Jake’s howling about the X Games or some shit. And all these folks, folks who thought their lives were finished once… they’re together. They’re happy. They’re safe.

I don’t know about you, Aubrey, but to me? That sounds like a place worth fighting for.

Aubrey lowers the letter and sees her jacket slung over a chair in the corner of the room. Through the arms of the chair, she sees a Pine Guard patch sewed onto the coat's lapel.

Duck returns home after the hunt and places Beacon up in the cabinet where he keeps his coffee mugs. After finishing some chores in the kitchen, Duck walks into the living room where, in a flash, Minerva appears before him.

MINERVA: [thrilled] Duck Newton!
DUCK: Oh, god.
MINERVA: You’re different! You’ve embraced your destiny, haven’t you?
DUCK: Yeah, I guess.

Minerva lets out a bellowing laugh and asks if Duck is still afraid of his destiny. Duck replies that he's still afraid, even with his weapon of destiny in hand, as he feels he's opened a door that he has no idea how to shut. Minerva tells Duck not to worry and reassures him that he has her and Beacon in his corner.

DUCK: And what does that get me, exactly?
MINERVA: A friendship you will learn to treasure, Duck Newton. Duck Newton, your destiny is larger than you can possibly comprehend, my friend. With your bravery and my expert tutelage, you will find the strength you require to save—

Minerva disappears, and, many miles away, her physical form, a six feet tall woman with a shaved head decorated with paint in an intricate pattern down to her forehead and wearing a blue tunic over some bulky armor, stands on a glowing circle in a dark chamber, where she’s speaking to a silhouette in the rough shape of Duck Newton. The Duck silhouette disappears mid-sentence and the circle below her grows dim. Minerva closes her eyes and sighs and, after a few seconds, opens them back them up and letting out a smile at the progress she's made with Duck.

GRIFFIN: With several large strides, she walks toward the wall of this chamber, and she slides open a window, and we see her there, smiling as the faint orange light from outside beams down on her face as she’s filled, for the first time in a long time, with hope.

Ned returns to The Cryptonomica after a well-earned day off and he sees Kirby polishing up the place. Kirby notices Ned and asks if he's feeling any better. Ned tells him that the Chewbacca suit took the brunt of the blows, so he's feelin' fine like cherry wine.

KIRBY: You told me yesterday that you were takin’ a sick day, why were you wearin’ your Chewbacca suit?
NED: Uh, y’know what, [chuckling] I’ve kinda gotten to the point where I like it!

Kirby tells Ned that he's been cleaning up while he was gone, but Ned argues that doing so gets rid of the Cryptonomica's ambiance. The two of them prepare to get into a debate about cleanliness before being interrupted by the bell over the front door chiming as a young woman with a camera strapped to her neck and a hiking pack enters the room and asks if this is the Cryptonomica.

NED: [dramatic] Welcome to the stygian darkness that is the Cryptonomica! As you enter, you will be faced with mind-boggling sights, things that threaten your very sanity! Welcome, welcome.

In the middle of Ned's spiel, another customer comes in, making this the first time Ned has seen two customers in the Cryptonomica at the same time. Kirby tells Ned that their financial troubles are over and shows him footage of Barclay in his Bigfoot form fighting off bobcats that have gone viral and is now at 186,000 views.

GRIFFIN: And now you see the description to this footage: “For the full video, visit the Cryptonomica. 43 Bedlam Lane, Kepler, West Virginia.”

[Theme Tune Plays]

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#GiveClooneyHisOscarBackedit | hide | edit source

CLINT: But all these locked display cases- one of ‘em has an Oscar in it…
GRIFFIN: [laughing] Ned stole a fucking Oscar!
CLINT: When you look at it—
GRIFFIN: No, we gotta dial in on this, who did you steal an Oscar from and what’s the Oscar?
CLINT: It’s, uh, Clooney’s Oscar for Syriana.
GRIFFIN: That’s mean! I know, he went through so much to make that movie! Why would you steal his fucking Oscar for it?
CLINT: No, no, no, well, there’s a story behind it, but just to say that he thought it’d be kinda cool to steal somethin’ from Danny Ocean!


TAZ Amnesty Episodes
Setup

Hunt for the Beast:
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5


Hunt for the Water:
Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12


Hunt for the Calamity:
Episode 13 | Episode 14 | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Episode 17 | Episode 18 | Episode 19 | Episode 20


Hunt for the Countenance:
Episode 21 | Episode 22 | Episode 23 | Episode 24 | Episode 25 | Episode 26 | Episode 27 | Episode 28 | Episode 29


Finale:
Episode 30 | Episode 31 | Episode 32 | Episode 33 | Episode 34 | Episode 35 | Episode 36

Italicized episodes are Lunar/Lodger Interludes.

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