Amnesty – Episode 1

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"Amnesty: Episode 1," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the 1st episode of The Adventure Zone: Amnesty.

Synopsisedit | hide all | hide | edit source

Full transcript available here.

Our heroes begin a fateful day in the unassuming, rural ski town of Kepler, West Virginia. Duck answers a peculiar distress call. Aubrey puts on a memorable magic show. Ned plans his next grift.

Prologueedit | hide | edit source

"We see a carpet of pine needles laid out over the quiet floor of the Monongahela National Forest. Bright light is beaming down from the waxing, nearly full moon overhead. It is summer in Kepler, West Virginia, and it is still. In this particular neck of the woods, not a creature is stirring.

The tall pines all around are motionless, bathing in this moonlight. There are no howls from the forest’s depths. No frogs rattling in the creeks that criss-cross the terrain. No crickets whistling their summer song. Kepler is quiet too. Its citizens have long since retired for the day, the steady hum of the funicular that connects the town to the ski slopes above ceased operations hours ago.

Signs for the businesses catering to Kepler’s night owls flicker and dim as their proprietors close up shop. Soft lights in the towns’ windows extinguish one by one, save for the office window of the Amnesty Lodge, on the outskirts of Kepler’s topside, where the manager sips her evening tea, peering expectantly out of this window and into the forest beyond. And back in those woods, a stone archway stands in the centre of a small clearing, the waxing moon reaches its zenith in the starlit sky above.

The carpet of pine needles begins to vibrate in soft pulses, away from the centre of this clearing, and, in an instant, the span of the small arch is filled with the moonlight above, and the carpet of needles is stripped away as sharp winds blow outwards and away from the clearing in every direction. The moon’s reflection on the archway dims. The owner of the Amnesty Lodge finishes her evening tea and extinguishes the last light of Kepler, West Virginia."

Duck Newtonedit | hide | edit source

During the night, Duck receives a future vision of himself standing in the Monongahela Forest. Yards away from him is a stone archway that beckons Duck forward. A strong gust of wind comes off this archway and, right as it hits him, he awakes in his office in the ranger station, where he is working an overnight shift, to the sound of his desk phone ringing. Duck answers the phone and receives a distress call complaining about someone at the Park and Camp RV making too much noise and also about a big bonfire going on right in the middle of their campground, which Smokey would say is not acceptable behavior.

TRAVIS: [impersonating Smokey Bear] Woah you’ve got to shut that shit down, Duck!

Duck heads to the Park and Camp Lot 5, where he sees a parked, mid-sized RV that looks recently wrecked, and, just like the complaints said, there is also a bonfire roaring in a pit in the middle of the lot, although it's starting to die down a bit. Duck takes out his Maglite and Reads a Bad Situation.

  • Q. Are there any dangers I haven’t noticed? A. Duck hears a sound inside the RV of someone nervously loading a shotgun shell into a shotgun.
  • Q. What’s my best way in? A. Very, very cautiously.
  • Q. What's the biggest threat? A. The person with the shotgun. Obviously.

Duck calls out, "Excuse me?" to the person inside and is met with a shotgun blast to the door to the RV, which fortunately only dents it, and a yelp from the person inside. Duck pulls out his radio and calls for police support in response.

SHOTGUN PERSON: Aw shit, I’m sorry! I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry! Are you okay out there? Did I hit anybody?
DUCK: You are, my friend, in violation of now several park rules. Number one, obviously, you’ve got a fire situation we need to deal with. Number two, well it’s not ranger season, partner.
GRIFFIN : Partner? Yeah alright, no, I’m into it.

A young woman in her twenties steps out the from the RV and sets down the shotgun. Duck tells the woman his "name", which causes her to crack up, as her name is Pigeon Wilson. Duck tells Pigeon to get the fire under control, as it's a real danger to the park, but she tells him that she needs to keep it aflame as its the only thing keeping whatever she saw in the woods away. Pigeon explains that she was out in the forest looking for mushrooms with her friend, Pete, when, suddenly, they were attacked by what looked like several bears rolled up into one superbear. Pigeon managed to make it back to the RV, but Pete is still somewhere out in the woods. Duck doesn't quite buy Pigeon's story and, seeing that there's still twenty minutes before the cops arrive, decides to Investigate a Mystery.

  • Q. What sort of creature is it? A. Pigeon reiterates that it was a bear attacked her. It had patchy fur, almost like patchwork fur, had a big horn coming out of its shoulder, and was about 8-ft tall.
  • Q. Did you see which way it went? A. Pigeon points back into the woods sort of behind Lot 5 and explains that the bear pursuing her turned tail once it got close to her camp, which is why she built the bonfire. In the direction Pigeon pointed to, Duck sees a path of broken branches and disrupted leaves, all covered in droplets of black blood or ooze. Pigeon tells him that she shot it in self-defense, which she believes technically makes it not illegal. Duck begs to differ.

Pigeon asks that Duck call off the police, and Duck promises to oblige as long she promises to never to start an open flame in the forest again and only occasionally take shots at rangers with shotguns. Pigeon is grateful for this and asks that he try and find Pete, who is still out in the woods.

DUCK: Hold on real quick. Come on back, that was a false alarm there I uh-
POLICE: [muffled, radio voice] There was a false gunshot? What? False gunshot? How does that work?
DUCK: You know, I- It was a couple of kids playing with cherry bombs. I just- little over-active imagination.
POLICE: Those fucking millennials man, I’m telling you.
DUCK: I know, I hear that. I hear that. Alright, so you can wave the boys off, thank you.

Seeing that Duck is not strapped with any weapons, Pigeon leans into her RV and pulls out a hunting rifle for him to use to defend himself against whatever's in the woods. Duck promises to hold onto it only so he can give it back to Pete and make sure he has the proper paperwork for it.

DUCK: The problem I’m having, Pigeon, is about the biggest animal we have in these parts is the good ol’ Ursus Americanus, the black bear. That’s our state bear, you know that?
PIGEON: Yeah, everybody knows that, take West Virginia History, but uh-
DUCK: Quick, state flower: go!
PIDGEON: The rhododendron but I’ll tell you Duck, you’re wrong about that bud, you’ve got something way bigger in these woods.

Aubrey Littleedit | hide | edit source

Aubrey is busy doing a cheap gig on a temporary stage in the lobby of a resort in Snowshoe, West Virginia. In this lobby are a handful of half-attentive people with nothing better to do and some people attending a kid's birthday party in the corner of the room who are completely ignoring Aubrey's show.

AUBREY: Alright, now everybody? I want you to listen closely. 3000 years ago, on the banks of the Nile, the priests used to believe that if someone believed hard enough and pushed their will to the brink they could conjure, from nothing, flame itself. I am that person. With the strength of my will alone, not only can I conjure flame from nothing, but I can manipulate that flame to become whatever I desire.

Aubrey begins concentrating as her hands dance through the air, and she ignites a pile of metallic shavings that she had palmed to create a flash and a flower that she had up her other sleeve appears in her hand, all while Prince of Egypt-styled punk EDM plays in the background. This trick finally gains the audiences and some of the party patrons full attention and applause, the first applause Aubrey has ever gotten performing in a resort lobby. As she prepares for her next trick, Aubrey sees a large woman wearing a tattered brown leather duster helping one of the hotel staff wheel in a wooden sculpture of an elk.

AUBREY: Now, before I continue, if I’m going to move forward with these amazing feats of will and skill, I’m going to need the help of a wise and venerable assistant. I am about to introduce to you the true amazing wonder of my act. Folks, I’m ready to present: Dr. Harris Bonkers!

Aubrey taps her foot and a little puff of smoke from a mini pyrotechnics machine goes on, and with that, the sides of a box fall away, revealing Dr. Harris Bonkers. PhD. The audience isn't sure how to react to this and as the smoke from the machine dissipates Aubrey sees the large woman talking with the resort's manager who hands her an envelope, presumably containing money as thanks for helping move the elk statue. The imposing woman tucks the envelope into her jacket and begins watching the act.

Aubrey tells the audience of Dr. Bonker's dark past as a powerful wizard whose search for even more power cursed him into the rabbit form they see before them. She tells them that she's the only one who can still communicate with him and that he's calling for someone from the audience to help with their next trick, specifically the woman in the ragged duster. The large woman smiles but refuses and gestures to the kids at the birthday party. After another attempt to goad the woman to come up to the stage, Aubrey chooses the birthday boy, Randy, to be the volunteer in her next trick. Aubrey explains to Randy that he is going to communicate with Dr. Bonkers and, in turn, he will communicate with her. Aubrey offers Randy a deck of cards and tells him to pick one and show it to Dr. Bonkers.

GRIFFIN : Is Dr Harris Bonkers a magic rabbit? What would stop this rabbit from just like eating the card? He’s just well trained?
TRAVIS : He’s a very well trained rabbit! He’s smart for a rabbit.

Aubrey instructs Randy to hold the card he picked out in front of him, facing away from her, and concentrate on it. As Randy concentrates, Aubrey touches the back of the card, which is made of flash paper, and, expecting it to ignite into flames, snaps her fingers. However, the card instead bursts in a huge burst of flame that hangs in the air off Aubrey's hand. Randy drops the burning card and, along with Dr. Bonkers, jumps off stage. Aubrey investigates her hand and the fire starts to spread to the curtains and the pennants hanging on the ceiling.

The people in the lobby begin evacuating as Aubrey Acts Under Pressure and attempts to cull the flames with an extinguisher hidden under the stage. Unfortunately, this just causes the fires to spread even quicker, giving Aubrey the feeling that the fire is spreading in response to her actions and attempts to stop it. Some adults come and usher away the children from the birthday party, who were busy cheering and applauding the series of events unfolding in front of them, and Aubrey sees the imposing woman look curiously at her and backs out of the lobby as fire alarms start blaring.

Aubrey closes her eyes and takes a few breaths before scooping up Dr. Bonkers and getting the fuck off the stage. Recalling the many times as a kid she was in similar situations like this, Aubrey Uses Magic and attempts to calm down the fire. Aubrey manages to get the fire to retreat off the edges of the curtains and ceiling, essentially saving the building from being destroyed, although the fire still continues to burn. Aubrey is forced to retreat as the smoke and heat start to become unbearable.

AUBREY: Lady Flame out!

Aubrey steps outside the lobby and sees some folks trying and failing, due to being in the US National Radio Quiet Zone, to get an reception on their cellphones while, in the distance, fire trucks and police cars race to the scene. Standing next to the edge of the building, she sees the woman in the leather duster motioning for her to quickly come over to her. Aubrey does that, and, as she turns the corner of the building, sees the large woman training a sawed-off shotgun on her.

WOMAN: Alright then, let’s hear it. What are you doing this far from the gate? Didn’t anybody tell you the rules? Come on now, I know real magic when I see it. Fess up. You thought you’d just go around blowing up ski lodges all willy-nilly like that?

Aubrey explains that she's merely a magician and what she saw were simply tricks, but the woman how, if it was just magic tricks, she made the fire disappear. Aubrey, now cornered, tells the woman that she'll be happy to explain more in her truck, away from the police. The woman holsters her gun and tells her to hop on in as she's heading to Kepler anyways, where she believes Aubrey belongs.

WOMAN: What’s your name again?
AUBREY: It’s Aubrey, but you can call me the Lady Flame. Now, if you don’t mind, start the fucking car.
GRIFFIN : She hops in the drivers’ seat, you hop in the passengers’ seat, and turns the ignition.
MAMA: Alright Aubrey, it’s nice to meet you. [extends hand] I’m Mama.

[Money Zone]

Edmund "Ned" Chicaneedit | hide | edit source

Ned hears the bell to the entrance of The Cryptonomica chime as Janice, Kepler’s dedicated mail carrier, finishes her route. She first delivers the mail of the museum's other inhabitant, Kirby, who is busy drinking some RC Cola and typing on his MacBook on a makeshift desk next to the Cryptonomica's modem, which he comes by every now and then to plug into thanks to an arrangement made between him and Ned. Janice delivers Kirby's mail and delivers Ned some junk mail and a certified envelope. Ned signs for it and Janice, after tearing the stub off the certified part of the paper, hands him the package and heads out the door with a wave. Ned, fearing the worse, tears open the envelope and finds that inside is an eviction notice warning him that he has seven days to pay The Cryptonomica's rent, which he has not paid in two months. Ned feels a pang of anger as he knows that this was most likely issued from somebody at City Hall who is gleefully pursuing the opportunity to get rid of his establishment because of the stigma between those who have different views on how Kepler should attract visitors.

KIRBY: Well, what’d you get, Ned?
NED: I received a communiqué from the local bureaucracy, Kirby, and apparently they would like me to vacate the premises or pay them the exorbitant fees that they demand.
KIRBY: You got an eviction notice then? You gotta fix this, I like working in here, with you, it’s a good arrangement, anything you can do to drum up some-
EDMUND: Yes let’s talk about that arrangement, Kirby. What exactly do you do around here? What do you contribute to my wellbeing.

What Kirby does, exactly: Kirby runs a weekly local cryptid zine, called the Lamplighter, where he writes about cryptid activity in Kepler. He puts these zines in roadside restaurants and a couple of establishments outside of town in order to bring in customers. The arrangement he and Ned have made is that he writes about cryptids so people, if they get interested in it, will come to the Cryptonomica.

Kirby suggests that they drum up some cash by opening up a new exhibit, and he shows Ned the headline of the next Lamplighter issue, which reads: "Bigfoot! Hiding Out in Kepler?" Ned is against this however as they would need actual stuff from the real Bigfoot, and, seeing as Bigfoot isn't real, there's nothing to make a display from. Kirby proposes that, if that's the case, then Ned should dress up like Bigfoot and take some blurry pictures. Ned recalls that he has a Wookiee costume from last Halloween, and promises to go along with his plan as long as Kirby keeps an eye on the museum.

KIRBY: Yeah, I’ll do it, I dunno how late you’re plannin’ on bein’, but I can close up if need be. [sarcastically] Lemme tell ya, I dunno how I’m gonna keep up with this rush of customers, though, oh my god! You gotta remind me of how everything works ‘cause it’s gonna get so frantic in here with all the customers!
NED: [laughs] Kiss my ass, Kirby.
GRIFFIN: And Kirby laughs as he cracks open his RC Cola, and he sits back down at his desk and starts working on the next Lamplighter as Ned, you start planning your next grift! You are going to bring Bigfoot to Kepler!

[Theme Tune Plays]

Featured NPCsedit | hide | edit source

Featured Musicedit | hide | edit source

Featured Locationsedit | hide | edit source

Quotesedit | hide | edit source

The Truth is Out Thereedit | hide | edit source

GRIFFIN : Is Smokey a cryptid? [Travis laughs] Have we talked about this?
TRAVIS : [emphatically] Yes.
CLINT : [sarcastic] A talking bear wearing blue jeans, hm.

Apologize to Himedit | hide | edit source

MAMA: Alright, hop in the truck. Let’s get the hell out of here.
AUBREY: Hold on, first? I need you to apologize to Dr Harris Bonkers for pointing a gun at him.
MAMA: I’m very s- that’s a rabbit.
AUBREY: His name is Dr Harris Bonkers.
MAMA: Dr Harris Bonkers I’m very sorry for pointing a gun at you. Cops are gonna be here in about 30 seconds. Let’s get the hell out of here.
AUBREY: Hold on. Dr Harris Bonkers, do you forgive her? [pause] Okay, he forgives you, let’s go.

TAZ Amnesty Episodes

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

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

Italicized episodes are Lunar/Lodger Interludes.

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