|Vernon and the Bull|
|Season 2, Episode 1|
|Air date||April 5th, 2018|
The Strain Train
Vernon and the Bull is the first episode of the second season of The Sudrian Rejects.
Farms are very frequent across Steelhead Isle, notably livestock. Despite living in a fairly temperate climate, livestock is very common across the island, notably cows. Many of them were bred to survive cold weather, but there was one problem, they were heavy.
Livestock trains, being incredibly long and heavy, are often handled by the two strongest engines on the line, Mask and Garrett. Neither of them truly like the job, they have to stop at nearly every station and deal with noisy animals. While Garrett would just deal with it, as you can probably guess, Mask didn’t deal with it. This was especially true on a cold April morning.
Mask’s day had not been going well, having to wake up early in the morning to reach Larnwick, his first stop, he was very tried and had been jostling around the entire way there.
“Steady, boy!” Cautioned his driver.
Mask scoffed. “Why should I? I don’t even have our ‘precious cargo’ yet! I had to wake up at 4:00 in the morning today! 4:00! I have to go from Larnwick, Hwen, Leefside, Pendle, Orange Lakeside, and then take it all up to that blasted slaughterhouse in Limesville! Thus, there will be no ‘steady boy’, alright, Jeff?!”
The driver, fireman, and the vans were all too shocked to reply. It was completely silent besides Mask puffing for nearly five minutes. “So... did anybody watch the Olympics?” Called one of the vans, and with that, the conversation went lively again, once again annoying Mask.
When they eventually reached Larnwick, Mask shoved the vans into a siding, while he went to go refuel on coal and water. “Hey, watch it!” Scolded a grumpy van, but he was quickly shut up by a glare from Mask.
Little did Mask know, the van was incredibly old, and was in terrible need of maintenance. His door was now loose thanks to Mask’s rough handling, and this would not end well with the fact that he was going to be carrying livestock. Specifically, the farmer’s prized bull.
Taurus was essentially a minor celebrity across Steelhead Isle. But, he wasn’t a person, Taurus is a bull. A large bull, and despite his age, he is incredibly tough and stubborn.
While being loaded into the van, Mask eyed the cattle. The mysterious engine was not very keen on them, mostly since they were way too slow. “Come on, come on!” He boomed in his raspy voice. “This train can’t pull itself!”
“Almost done,” Replied a farm worker. “we just need to get Taurus, he’s going to a show in Pendle.”
Beneath his mask, the titular engine rolled his eyes. This is going to be a long, long day. He thought.
Once all the vans were loaded, Mask was pulling the train of livestock. Together, the cows, and Taurus, were mooing, and the latter trying to get out of the van, the vans talking, and Mask puffing, the journey was incredibly loud. Due to him sometimes being aggressive, Taurus was put alone in a van, to be specific, the elderly van that Mask had bumped too hard. “Bumpy tracks, huh?” Laughed the van, unaware that it was truly Taurus trying to ram the door open.
“Eh.” Mumbled the brake van, who was exhausted, she was with Garrett on a midnight goods train, and was only half awake.
Suddenly, everything happened at once. Taurus rammed against the door with all his might, forcing it open. Going into a panic, the guard applied the brakes on the brake van, resulting in the old van’s rusty front coupling snapping. With that, the two vans, guard, and Taurus were abandoned. “Bother.” Sighed the van.
Nobody had actually noticed that Taurus was now running amok in the uneven terrains of Larnwick until Mask arrived at Hwen. “No matter.” Sighed the stationmaster. “I shall call Mr. Greens, he can arrange for what should happen.”
Wallace Greens is the shedmaster of Grasmere Sheds. He’s the closest person that Steelhead Isle Line has to call a controller, since Sir Topham Hatt is based at Sodor. To be fair, he was much more calm and level-headed than Topham, so most of the engines preferred him.
Mr. Greens walked back and forth at Grasmere Station. “Well...” He began impressively. “the express will need to be delayed until Larnwick is safe, so Celeste, I’m appointing you to catch Taurus!”
“Of course, sir!” Celeste said, despite a twang of concern in her voice.
Vernon, however, was appalled by the decision. “Celeste?! She’s a peacekeeper! Mr. Greens, I really do suggest that you choose a different engine.”
Mr. Greens turned to the saddle tank, confused. When he wasn’t looking, Celeste mouthed a “thank you” to Vernon. “Perhaps you’re right, Vernon. Garrett, do you think you can get Taurus?” He questioned.
Immediately, Garrett tensed up. “Me?! Sir, certainly you know I can’t.”
Vernon agreed. “Yeah, Garrett’s a tad bit... wimpy.” He said, and while it was true, Garrett still pouted at the remark. “I believe the best choice is-“
“That’s it!” Exclaimed Mr. Greens. “Sadie and Sam, Vernon, you truly are a genius.”
With that, Vernon stared at his shedmaster in disgust. “Hello, I exist!” He boomed. “I was talking about me! I can get rid of Taurus, no problem!”
Celeste and Garrett both looked at one another, relieved by the fact that Vernon had volunteered to get Taurus. “Good luck!” Called the former.
Vernon grinned cynically. “I hope you know what you’re doing.” Called his driver.
“Don’t worry.” Vernon laughed. “Those matadors don’t have anything on me.”
Mid-way through Vernon’s journey, he was halted at a red signal. He was coupled up to a large van made of reinforced steel. “That’s odd.” Remarked Vernon. “Why are we stopped?”
Suddenly, however, they heard a whistle. “Mask?” Vernon asked.
Mask groaned as he passed by, still pulling cows. “What? Can’t you see I’m busy?! What are you doing with that van anyways?”
“I’m gonna catch Taurus!” Exclaimed the saddle tank.
This caused Mask to laugh. “You? Catch Taurus? Ha!” He suddenly recollected himself, knowing everyone saw him as stoical. “Uh... yeah, I doubt it.”
Vernon glared as Mask left. “I’ll show him, I’ll show them all.” He chuckled as he left to go find Taurus. “Mask, Garrett, Mr. Greens, everybody.”
Meanwhile, Taurus was harassing the van, brake van, and guard. “Can you help us get rid of this giant already?!” Called the brake van to a cowering guard.
“Me?! No way!” Replied the cowardly guard. But, to be fair, Taurus was ramming into the van in front of them. “We’ll just have to wait until somebody else can come here and help.”
The van rolled his eyes. “Oh yeah? Who’s coming to help us?”
Little did the abandoned trio expect, their prayers were answered. As they heard a whistle, the three, along with Taurus, stared in shock. “We’ve been saved!” Screamed the guard in joy.
Vernon rounded a bend, expecting cheers. Instead, however, he heard groans and laughs. “Oh great, Vernon can totally save us.” Grumbled the brake van sarcastically.
“Oh, shut up!” Vernon yelled. “I’m here to save you, don’t complain.”
“I doubt it.”
“Oh yeah?” Vernon asked in a cocky tone. “Well then, watch this!”
Vernon hissed some steam, and Taurus huffed as he turned around. “Come on now!” He teased as the gruff saddle tank backed up. “Just a grunt? You’re a bull! It’s time you give chase, eh?”
The brake van was not happy. “Vernon, stop!” She called. “Bulls don’t like movement, they’re very territorial.”
“Oh... like this?” Vernon said slyly as he lurched backwards, enraging Taurus.
The gigantic bull suddenly began chasing the tank engine. “Adios!” Vernon laughed, imitating a Spanish matador.
“Vernon!” Yelled his driver. “What are you doing?!”
No response. “Vernon! VERNON?!”
Rushing down the line, Vernon waited for Taurus to wear himself out, but there was a problem. Who would wear out first?
The answer was not what everybody wanted, Vernon. “So of a-“ He panted, although his driver cut him off.
“Keep on going, Vernon! You can’t lose!” Boomed the driver.
Vernon was gasping for air, he did not like the fact he was going so fast. “I’m... trying!” He sighed, but before he could continue, they heard a loud whistle.
“Stop right there!” Called a raspy voice, Mask charged forwards, past Vernon, heading in the opposite direction. “No bull’s gonna trick me!”
Taurus jumped into the air, making noises of aggression. Suddenly, Mask stopped. The two had a standoff for what seemed like ages. Vernon stared in shock, secretly impressed. “Now!” Mask suddenly shouted, and Vernon knew what he wanted. As he pulled forwards, farm workers and Taurus’ handler jumped out of the steel van. They immediately took Taurus down, shoving him into the van.
Vernon cheered. “Yeah! That’s how it’s done!”
Even Mask smirked a little bit. “Good job, small fry.” He teased as he went to go get the abandoned rolling stock.
Vernon, however, was insulted. “SMALL FRY?! Why I-“ But, Mask was already out of earshot, despite him lacking ears.
That night, Vernon went to Grasmere Sheds, expecting laughter and teasing. However, he instead heard cheers from Celeste and Garrett. “Hooray for Vernon!” Cheered Garrett.
“Very nice job, you two.” Mr. Greens said to Mask and Vernon. “Taurus’ owner is dreadfully sorry. I expect you two to be at the works tomorrow, you’ll be getting some polish.” He then left the sheds for the night. “Good night, you four!” He called as he boarded his car and left.
Vernon smiled arrogantly. “You did great, small fry.” Mask said cynically as he puffed into the sheds to go to sleep.
As Celeste and Garrett began to laugh, Vernon was enraged. “Oh, shut up!”
- One iteration of the script was more comedic, having Sadie and Sam take Mask’s role in the ending.