EPIC: The Powers That Be

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Tegan, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. EPIC: The Powers That Be

    Episode One: The Watched Pot Never Boils


    The Turkey Vulture Pub and Grill

    “A lovely little seaside pub owned and operated by some of Cornwall’s most animated characters. The bar features a variety of local ciders and ales alongside the typical drinks list, so even the most discerning of palates can be sated. The food selection is varied, usually daily specials posted by their excellent cook, and moderately priced. However, the ‘box standard‘ of pub food: chips, crisps and nuts are always available and quite satisfying. Be sure to chat it up with the barman, a friendly old man with loads of interesting stories about his days in ‘the service’...”

    The posh young man stared, smiling nervously, into the depths of the barman’s hooded face, trying to make out any distinctive qualities--other than the clothes that seemed to be part hoodie and track pants, part necromancer’s robes.
    “Hello!” He squinted to read the long name on the barman’s badge. “Krowgar Devourer of Souls...” There was a deep, eldritch rumbling from within the darkness of Krowgar’s cowl that Gordon could only assume was a greeting. “Er, right. I’ll have a pint of pear Rattler, if you please, and do you happen to have anything gluten free for my wife?”
    The barman turned with the slow creak of centuries, disappearing from this realm of existence for one moment, before re-existing again. Gordon’s pint rested on the bar mat in front of him alongside some mysterious fizzy concoction that smelled vaguely of elderflowers. A maggot disengaged itself from somewhere within the shadows of his hood and plopped into the fizzy drink, writhing in agony as it drowned in the fruity liquor.

    “Er, sorry, but, she’s, um, vegan.”

    There was an infernal shriek, the wails of a thousand burning souls, from somewhere within the barman’s form as he raised both arms, skeletal fingers weaving arcane symbols in the air. There was the distinct balloon squeak of Gordon’s sphincter tightening protectively as he tried to ward of the transparent phantoms suddenly swirling around him. “Sorry! Sorry!”

    And then all was silence. The drink again pristine, as if the maggot never existed. With one shaking hand, Gordon withdrew three one pound coins from within his coat pocket and placed them on the bar before Krowgar.

    Only silence from Krowgar.

    He found Priscilla seated in a booth near the back, flipping through the This. Is. Cornwall her grandmother had gifted her with before her trip from America. She smiled warmly at her husband, taking the offered drink with a quiet thanks. “Well, did the barman have any good stories for you?”
    “I don’t think the barman had a face.” Gordon shook his head in disbelief as he slid into the seat across from her. “Listen, Priscilla, I think this pub might be run by--”
    A high-pitched yelp escaped Gordon’s throat as something perky and upbeat dropped down from the ceiling. “Hi hi, you guys!” A Korean girl now stood before their booth, notepad ready, her short apron, knee high socks and black mini-skirt betraying her as the barmaid. “Welcome to the Turkey Vulture! Is there anything I can get for...you...” The girl deflated somewhat, giving a small sigh of disappointment. “Oh, seems you’ve already got your drinks! Then I guess that means you’ve met Krowgar. Don’t worry about him, he may not talk much, but he’s alright (I think),” the girl stuck the pencil behind her ear. The eraser end looked like it had been dipped in blood and plunged into a shark tank. She was a chewer. “Just new at the job. It’s my first day, too, actually.” She seemed to forget exactly why she was there for a moment, before she noticed the couple’s slack-jawed expressions. “What’s the matter? Don’t like your drinks?”
    Gordon shook his head, and brought his hands up frantically. “No no! It’s just, er, they never mentioned in the guidebook that this pub was operated by, er...” The barmaid’s brow remained cocked in quirked position, Priscilla decided to help her new hubby out. “Powered folks...”
    Realization dawned in the girl’s brown eyes. “Oooh...” Without asking for permission, she plucked up the tattered guidebook and flipped to the first page. “This guidebook was written in 1984.” She said, deadpan.
    “Oh, I see! I see!” A pause from Gordon, “...What does that mean exactly?”
    The barmaid rolled her eyes, before reciting, as if from a book. “1984, six years before the World Wide De-masking and Protection of Powers Act.” She looked like she was going to explain further, but a noise from outside distracted her. “Ooooooh! Those darn seagulls are in the garbage, again!” Without a second glance to the couple, the girl flew, literally flew, outside to shoo away the pesky birds.

    “...Yes, Priscilla?”

    “This drink does taste kind of funny.”
  2. "It ain't right! It ain't fakkin right!"

    "Fear not, my friend," declared Chip Hupper, owner of the Turkey Vulture, as he stood with hands on hips behind his desk. "In every generation there must be fresh meat to fly the nest. These new recruits shall be our backbone, and through that backbone shall flow a lifeblood of gall and spittle."

    Gribble dragged on his cigarette. "It's them cunts from the Ministry, innit? Directive five-hundred-stroke-alpha-nine-dash-fuck-me-bollocks-up-yer-arse and all that wank. They fink we need more nig-nogs and slitty-eyed towel-'eads comin' down ere with their Tikka Masala!"

    Chip maintained his pose, pretending to understand his friend's accent. "It is true, Young Gribble. We are in need of more minorities in our operation."

    Gribble... the two foot tall junkie rabbit... blinked at the pub owner. "AND WHAT THE FACK AM I, YOU NAZI-'AIRED PONCE?!"

    "I mean real minorities," Chip waved a gloved hand dismissively, "Ones who can do math."

    "Yer'll be countin' moi fists in a minute, mate!"

    Chip stood by the window, looking out over the fishing port where old sailors were vomitting and dogs were battling seagulls for pasty crusts. A clutter of shipwrecks had clogged the cove, and it was raining as usual. With one arm behind his back, he breathed deep of the fishy air. "I tell you, Gribble, this is the start of something glorious!"

    The shadows of the window-blinds sharpened as his eyes narrowed. "I'LL MAKE THE MINISTRY REGRET WHAT THEY DID TO..."

    "I'm telling ya, French Fry," Gribble interrupted as he started rummaging around under Chip's desk "This is just 'ow the An'iChrist loiks to infiltrate small businesses."

    "Not with the AntiChrist again..." Chip ran a hand down his chiselled face, sighing.

    "He's eluded me before, in foive poorly-produced prequel advenshas. But this toim..."

    "Oh, piff and paff, Gribble," Chip waved his hand again. "We have nothing to fear from the new staffers."

    "Where's yer charlie, monkey-boy?"

    "I have no need of your mortal narcotics." The owner clenched his fist. "We Hesponians are born with the strength of fifty tigers and the speed of bears! BEAAARS!"

    Gribble vanished further under the desk. "Gonna get me fixings an' find aat which of them spear-chucking cockgobblers are the An'iChrist and then I'm gonna shit 'im right up."

    Chip turned and scowled. "Anyway, what are you doing in my office?"

    "I'll be loik 'Dooch! Dooch! 'Ave it ya Russian cunt!'"

    Chip grabbed the rabbit by his ankle and pulled him from under the desk. "You are lucky, young lagomorph. I am using only the tiniest fraction of my Hesponian strength. Were it my inclination I could snap you like a salmon."

    "OI! PUMME DOWN, YA KNOB-JOCKEY!" Gribble thrashed around, waving a flick-knife as he spun.

    "Your primitive blades will not puncture my reinforced flesh! Now be gone from my inner sanctum."

    He opened the office door and tossed the bunny across the bar. Gribble slid along the beer-soaked counter and came to rest on the pristine square of wood that Krowgar the Destroyer of Souls was polishing.

    The rabbit, splayed on his back, blinked up suspiciously at the hooded abomination. "Alroight guv?"

  3. With the nicotine-soaked rabbit ejected from his inner sanctum, Chip sighed and returned to his desk.

    Through the window the rain was falling heavily across the small cove and seagulls were squabbling in strange accents.

    There was the sound of crashing from the main bar, accompanied by necromantic shrieking and cockney grunts as Gribble and Krowgar got to know each other.

    It was how things were done.

    Chip's hand caressed the silver-framed photo of Denby MacGregor, his old barman and mentor, whose untimely death had precipitated this latest recruitment drive. It was testament to the old man's ability that his position needed to be filled by TWO staff members (the precise ability being Denby's habit of detaching parts of his body and leaving them to function autonomously).

    Chip felt a flashback coming on.

    With another sigh, Chip reached past the photo of Denby and picked up a letter from his desk. It smelled of cinammon and featured the sensuous, luxurious strokes of Madame Teufall. Her sultry Asian tones resounded in his mind as he re-read.

    Dearest Chippy-Whippy,

    It is with heavy heart and tearful eye that I must send you this condolence. Denby-Sama was friend to me as was to you and maybe greater for the years we spent in Shanghai. So much I owe him and in my fortune feel his presence always. I pray you are no less a gentleman for his passing and keep up you broad shoulders and strong eyebrows, that make you what you are. Persevere he must, the truest gentleman, against life's heartaches. Without Denby-Sama we would not have known each other as intimately as we did, and so forever we remember him.

    As token of the times we shared and debt I owe our dearest Denby-Sama, please be accepting my daughter Freefall as apprentice in his art. I have included a home video of her early days. As you can see, she was of great burden to me, but weren't we all once, dear Chippy-Whippy?

    Chip pressed the play button on his remote and the corner TV showed a number of shakily-filmed clips:

    Chip sighed and turned the letter over:

    Only a mother is understanding the struggle of raising a child who manipulates gravity at will. We had an inhibitor fitted as early as possible and taught her to be controlling her powers. The rest I leave to you, dear Chippy-Whippy, as a superhero of great reknown. With mighty Hesponian powers you know too well the responsibility that our kind must carry. I trust that you will mould my daughter into a waitress of great prowess, to walk in Denby-Sama's footsteps.

    You never could refuse me, my little Chipper. Do not refuse me now. This is my gift to you, and my honouring to dearest Denby-Sama.

    Yours ever more,
    Madame Teufall​

    Chip sighed, lifted his eyes to the window, lowered the paper...

    ...and got a paper cut. "Aagh! Dammit!" He stopped himself, glanced around nervously, then hid his hand under the table.
  4. "Look, all ah'm sayin' is: terrorists 'ave got a shit deal. Ah mean, they can't go on 'oliday, can they? No fucker lets 'em in the airports. I ain't surprised they get all fakkin arsey. Ah'd blow up a plane meeself if someone kept scuppering me travel plans. Wot they need, right..." Gribble adjusted his elbow as he leant on his pint glass, while his other paw pointed at Krowgar, the Devourer of Souls, "Wot they need to do, right, is let the terrorists INTO the airports an' get 'em on the planes. Give 'em special priori'ee access, y'know? That way they can fack off to Ibiza and put their feet up. It'll chill 'em right out, I tell ya. An' they wunt feel the need for all tha' jee-ad bollox."

    Krowgar, the Devourer of Souls issued a hideous shriek, his cowled head lifting in exquisite pain as one skeletal hand clawed the drinks shelf. Several liquor bottles turned to poison and began to bubble. He wasn't really enjoying his conversation with the rabbit.

    "Anyway," Gribble lifted the pint glass, which was almost as big as him, and guzzled his Cornish Ale. "Wot I'm tryin'a say is, I ain't got a problem wi' you foreigners, so long as you ain't all uppity about some shit. Cos y'know, you lot've got a cunt-switch when certain sabjects o' conversation are raised." He drummed his chest with his paw and stood up straight. "Them Aussie tossers gave my people Myxomatosis, but yer don't see me 'arping on about it. I don't run round crashin' planes inta kangaroos."


    "So yer Chinks and yer Towel-'eads, they're alri-- WOAH!" Gribble was cut off mid-sentence as Freefall lifted him under the arms. The waitress started twirling with him. "OI! FACK OFF, YA SLAG!" His ale went flying, dousing Krowgar in great spurts. "AH'LL KICK YER FACKIN 'EAD IN!"

    "My name's Freefall, and I'm gonna be your mommy little guy, yes I am!"

    "AH'LL CUT YER TITS OFF!" Gribble got his flick-knife deployed but such were Freefall's mad swirls (both on and above ground) that he could not get a good stab on his assailant.

    But luckily the doorbell rang.

    Freefall's eyes and mouth were wide. "A new customer!" She dropped Gribble in a heap and glided to the door, throwing it open with a beaming smile. "Why hello there! And welcome to the Turkey Vulture Pub and Gr-wuuuh?"

    She cocked her head and stared at the tree trunk now blocking the doorway. "Hmm... I don't remember there being a--"

    There was rustle of leaves, a creak of wood. The tree shifted slightly, its roots resettling, before a deep and tree-like voice boomed from the trunk.


    Freefall peeked beyond the doorway, looking up at the wide expanse of branches and bark. "Er... hi. Welcome to the Burkey... Grulture... Var... and Tr--"

    "It's oookay, I'm not heeere to driiink. I've just moooved to the area and thought I'd introduuuce myself."

    "Oh, a new neighbour? Cool! I'm Freefall. It's a pleasure to meet you, mister! You're gonna just love this neighbourhood!" As Freefall said this, a pack of seagulls were busy ripping wing-mirrors off the vehicles in the car park.

    The tree seemed to shuffle again, then cleared its throat, nervously. "Erm... uuur... I also have to infoooorm you... that I am a registered sex offender."

    Freefall's smile faltered. "Oh..."

    "Yes. By law I have to tell everyooone on my streeet." There was an awkward pause. "So... erm... yes."

    Behind them, in the bar, the posh couple looked on whilst sipping their rancid drinks. "Hmm," remarked Priscilla with a sniff. "A pervert tree, for the pilot episode? That's what they're going with?"

    Her husband, Gordon, shook his head. "I'd like to see how that ties in with the episode title."

    "Yeah," Priscilla answered. "It's almost like they chose the title at random, before even planning the episode content."

    The both shook their heads. Behind them, Gribble was pulling himself up on a bar stool and muttering racist abuse.

    "Anyway," Freefall was saying as she continued talking to the tree in the doorway. "It was sure nice meeting you. What kind of tree are you, anyway?"

    "Erm... I'd rather not talk about it."

    "Aww, come on!" She poked his trunk with a smile. "You can tell little old me!"

    "Alriiiight. Give me a shaaake."

    "A shake?"

    "Just a little shaaaake."

    "Er... okay..." Freefall stepped nervously over the threshold, into the shadow of the giant tree, and carefully placed her hands on either side of the trunk. She glanced up, swallowed, bit her lip, then gave the tree one quick shake.

    Something dropped on her head. Something heavy and sticky, which slowly slid down her face and fell to the floor. She looked down, blinked, then her mouth dropped open. "CHEESEBURGERS!"

    The tree chuckled and shook again, raining delicious cheeseburgers down on the girl as she danced and giggled. Several of the burgers bounced into the pub, while others hit parked cars and set off their alarms. The greasy branches rustled happily as Freefall twirled.

    At the bar, Gribble narrowed his eyes. "Ah don't trust that tree."

    Behind him, Krowgar, the Devourer of Souls, nodded.
  5. "As a waitress at the Turkey Vulture Bar and Grill, you must be courageous. We have no place for the faint-hearted or squeamish."

    Chip rammed his finger courageously into the anus of the dead pig. The carcass convulsed slightly, and on the other side of the kitchen counter Freefall raised an eyebrow.

    Chip removed his finger. "You must learn to be comfortable around dead things. To think of food as anything but food is the gravest error." He then stuck his finger into his mouth and sucked it with gusto. Freefall raised her other eyebrow. "Now your turn, my dear."

    Freefall stared at the dead pig, then at her manager. "I... have to..."

    "Yes, my delicate flower. Shove your finger in the pig's sphincter then lick it."

    "I...er... really?"


    "Er... okay then...." Nervously, Freefall pushed her finger, ever-so-slowly, into the orifice of the dead animal then, trembling, pulled the finger out and, shutting her eyes and turning pale, put it in her mouth.

    Chip nodded and put his hands on his hips, puffing out his chest. "At the Turkey Vulture you must also learn to be observant. I put my index finger in the pig's anus and licked my middle finger."

    Freefall doubled over and retched. "You son of a bitch! I can't believe you did that! I hate you!"

    "Yes, yes. All part of your training, my little peach." Chip slid the pig back into the fridge.

    "This place blows! You're all jerks! I'm leaving!"

    "Fine. See if I care."

    Freefall stormed through the door and Chip suddenly ran after her. "Wait! I care!"