Pup told me to do this. I blame her.
Rain poured down, forming puddles on the pavement, as the five friends dashed through the night. It was nearly too dark to see, and they needed to get to shelter. It was getting dangerously cold, and the rain wasn't helping.
Turning a corner, the figure in the lead scanned the avenue. Green eyes blazed under his baseball cap, and black hair blew in the wind.
"Look, over there. Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria," he yelled to the others in a deep voice.
The five crossed the street hastily, not bothering to check for cars, and dashed inside the pizzeria.
Inside the cheerily decorated building were rows and rows of tables, plates and party hats set out at each plate setting. It looked like a party. In the front of the room, a massive wooden stage sat, covered in props. It looked like one of those watch-while-you-eat restaurants to Silver.
Gray took off his light black jacket and hung it on one of the chairs. He grinned and clapped Silver on the shoulder, which was hard to do, as his friend was several inches taller and musclebound. "Guess we'd better stay the night and dry off!" he grinned.
Behind Silver, Pup bore a worried expression. "I don't know about this... I've heard bad things."
"Like what?" Asmo, the fourth member of the group, asked skeptically. "What could hurt us in a pizzeria?"
"Well, I suppose they probably have ovens to burn and knifes to chop," MC murmured quietly. "But if they were used for criminal purposes, the pizzeria would probably have been shut down already."
"Like what?" Asmo asked Pup again.
"Well, I heard that... um... one time, a person got bitten badly by one of the animatronics."
"Animatronics?" Silver asked, unwilling to be scared of anything a pizzeria could throw at him.
"Mechanical animals that dance during the day on that stage over there. At night, they go kind of... crazy. They come out and attack anything living in the corridors, believing they should be in an animatronic suit. But the suits have all kinds of stuff in them, and the people are crushed to death. There was one time someone's face got bitten off by one of them!
"They called it the Bite of '87, since that was the year it happened. That animatronic has never been see- what?"
Gray was giggling madly, doubled over and gasping for breath. "Bite... of... '87!" he choked, laughing harder. Silver whacked him on the back.
"But where are these so-called animatronics now?" MC mused, hand on his chin.
"Hunting us, probably," Pup said cryptically.
"If they're metal," Silver wondered, "do you think I could beat one in a fight?"
"I don't think you could," Pup told him. "Caspiea might, though... Caspiea?"
There was no reply.
"She probably just went to use the bathroom or whatever," Gray said dismissively. MC continued thinking.
Finally, he burst out, "If these animatronics are in fact real, how could their AI change so drastically between night and day?"
Pup replied, lifting her hands above her head, "Child souls. You see, one day at this pizzeria, five children were taken backstage by a man in a Freddy Fazbear-" she indicated the brown bear grinning over the pizzeria logo "-suit. They were never heard from again.
"It is believed that their souls inhabit the suits now, seeking revenge on their attacker." She shivered.
"Well, I dunno about you, but I'm gonna go to the kitchen. I'm soaked, and a hot oven might help dry us off."
MC cocked his head. "That's a logical choice. I think I'll go with you."
Silver and Pup just shook their heads, collectively deciding to stay in the lobby and dry slower. The story had thoroughly scared both of them. "We'll just wait here for Caspiea," Pup murmured, teeth chattering.
Gray, shaking his head, left with MC for the kitchens.
Silver and Pup waited in the near-darkness, the moon obscured by rainclouds. Outside, it was still raining hard.
"D'you think Caspiea got taken by an animatronic?" Pup asked suddenly.
Silver wasn't there to reply. Instead, a dry creaking answered her.
Gray and MC were having a hard time finding the kitchen. They had looked behind the stage first, and then taken a number of side corridors. The one they were in forked along two paths, leaving the two standing at the fork.
"How about we split up and the one that finds the kitchen calls for the other? It can't be too hard to hear," Gray suggested.
MC considered for a moment, then nodded. "The hallways are very good for carrying sound."
Without another word, they split up, MC taking the left hallway, Gray taking the right.
MC walked slowly along, taking moments to look at the pictures on the walls. They were all of slightly odd animals with bulging eyes, tufts of fur and strange mouths. There was the brown bear on the logo, and a strange yellow bird that could've been a chicken or a duck.
He passed a picture of a purple mammal that was probably a rabbit - its long ears were jointed and padded, slightly crooked.
"I wonder who that is," MC murmured to himself, still walking. That was when he got his answer: a quiet huff-huff-huff behind him.
Short, light-haired and logical, MC wasn't scared of anything that couldn't be explained. But he would still be on his guard.
His light brown eyes swept the hallway behind him, taking in everything. "Who's there? Advance where I can see you!" he called, hand cupped in front of his mouth.
A huge, lilac-colored... rabbit advanced into the light, slowly moving forward.
Asmo could feel rough paws on her legs, smell the stench of rotten meat on her abductor's fur. She twisted and squirmed and managed to land a hard punch on the creature's eye. It dropped her.
Asmo twisted in midair, dark eyes flashing, and dashed forward, kicking the giant bear in the stomach. It toppled over backwards, arms flailing.
Asmo saw a sign on the wall, cracked and fading. It read "Night Guard Office, This Way" with an arrow pointing around the bend in the corridor. The problem was... Freddy Fazbear was rising up right at that bend.
Putting all her agility into a sideways leap, Asmo reversed direction by pushing off the wall. She darted past Freddy, who gave chase, his lumbering footfalls echoing along the dimly lit corridor.
Asmo was fast, but the huge bear was inhumanly large, and his footfalls easily kept pace with hers as she struggled for breath. The two followed the signs to the night guard's office.
Asmo darted through the empty safety door, pressing the button to make it lower. It inched downwards... slower... slower... Freddy was right outside... his arm was under... the door was almost down... only a foot to go... Freddy's arm grabbed her ankle... just in time for the door to smash down on her ankle.
Asmo gave a cry of pain and swatted at Freddy's arm, feeling the door grind downwards. With great effort, she raised her arm and slammed the button. The door stopped, but she was trapped, and felt Freddy start to drag her by her broken ankle. It was curtains for Asmodeous Paradoxicus Z.
Gray tore down the empty hallway, entering instead into the lobby. "Pup? Silver? Asmo?" he blurted out. "Where are you?" There was no reply. Gray dashed toward the stage, vaulted up onto it, tore aside the curtain and found himself face-to-face with a second, purple, curtain. A broken and dilapidated sign read: "Pirate's Cove!" Advertisements littered the floor, torn to pieces.
Across the curtain was writing in red spray paint: OUT OF ORDER. Below that, it read: DO NOT OPEN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
Gray heard a whir behind him and whirled around, only to see a security camera in the ceiling's corner. It spun over piles of props and clothes, clicking and whirring all the while.
He relaxed, turning back around, but didn't quite make it. A pair of sharp jaws closed on his hand, and blood spattered the costumes.
MC backed away slowly as the rabbit advanced. He considered it like a wild animal: not dangerous at the moment, but to be handled carefully.
The rabbit lunged. MC dodged. They repeated this pattern until MC grew sick of it.
He drew himself up to his full 5' 4" and said in a firm, calm voice, "Down, boy. Down. No. Down."
The rabbit slowed, then stopped. It cocked its head and made a strange whirring sound.
MC was thinking hard, and his heart was racing. This was what he had had to do with his new kitten when she tried to jump up on him.
"I don't know your name, fella, but I think I'd better give you one."
He glanced quickly to the pictures on the wall, reading the golden embossed plaque on the picture of the rabbit. "...Bonnie?"
Bonnie bobbed his head and whirred, apparently pleased to be recognized.
"Can you help me get outta this place, Bonnie?" MC asked. "Or better yet, find the others?"
Bonnie whirred, then pushed past MC and continued down the dark corridor.
MC followed quietly.
Quickly, they reached the end of the long hallway. They were back in the main room.
Bonnie turned to MC, slowly.
He reached up a hand and tore off the fabric covering his face.
MC lurched back in surprise. There were just cameras for eyes, wires for blood vessels and beams for bones under there. No children, no souls either. He relaxed.
"You're just mechanical, aren't you?" he asked quietly.
Bonnie did not respond, but instead opened a panel on his chest. Words scrolled across it in jagged letters:
"I am Bonnie. I am one of the five. I am the child that died. I have a soul. I haunt the corridors. All fear me, but you did not. Your rational mind, bless you, saved me, liberated me. And before I am released, gone to the afterlife, I have two things to share with you.
"You are all in danger still from my... former friends. The sharp-toothed marauder, has chosen to attack your leader, the green-eyed boy with the dark heart. The strong man has been taken away by my fellow, a ruthless night hunter who has been poisoned by hatred. Our leader has chosen the dark girl, the one who we fear. I chose to attack you, of course. And... the fifth... the one who explained us to you... well, what has taken her is far more horrible indeed. I do not believe she will make it out.
"My request for you is simple, but infinitely difficult: you can choose to become one with me, occupy this metal and cloth body as my soul does. I will not list simple benefits or detractors, but it's your choice. You could do it, I feel. We both have similar personalities.
"As one of the children that was kidnapped, I was the intelligent and rational one of them. There was the renegade, the fighter, the tough but kind one. There was the dark-hearted, cruel one of us. They all manifest in the animatronics we now inhabit.
"So I ask you, MC Photos, are you willing to take my mantle?"
MC considered. He thought hard. And he made his decision, using 30 years of good judgement and bad judgement.
"I will. I accept your mantle."
Bonnie grabbed him, shook him, crushed him, and stuffed him in the suit. MC's broken body fell to the floor, as his soul floated out to join the metal and cloth of the animatronic. Meanwhile, Bonnie's soul floated away: "Thank you."
Silver's captor didn't last long. He struck it with one fist, the power of a tank behind the blow. It crumpled to the floor, cutting his knuckles with its sharp teeth.
Lying on the floor, Silver could see what it was. Some grotesque chicken/duck hybrid, human teeth in its jaw, beak open and a hoarse cry emanating. It lurched back up, body-slamming Silver as hard as it could. He fell to the ground, its metal body holding him down.
Silver slammed his leg into its body again and again, screaming an Irish taunt all the while.
The two dashed toward the kitchen, exchanging blows. Silver was powerful, but he couldn't break Chica's metal bones. He was battered and bloody by the time he was able to grab a pizza skillet out of the oven. It was still hot. He slammed it into Chica's head again and again, feeling his bones crack as she beat him back.
Soon, the hot skillet made the animatronic's soft cloth head catch on fire. The smell of burning meat and cloth surged through the kitchen, making Silver cough. Chica lurched into a wall, extinguishing the fire. She stumbled back towards Silver, head smoking, and beat his head with her leg. He collapsed.
Gray stumbled backwards, beating the robotic fox's head with his shoe to get it off his hand. It didn't give, its metal eyes flashing with maniacal light.
Finally, Gray wrenched his hand free, an excruciating pain drilling up his arm. As he glanced down quickly and got ready to run, he noticed a strange absence where his middle and index fingers had been: the animatronic had bitten them off.
Feeling slightly unsteady, Gray flung a cloak at Foxy, covering its face. He dashed out the door into the main area of Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria.
Foxy tried to follow, but decades of disuse had made his joints rusty and unstable. Gray was the fastest thing in the building that night, his orange shoes a blur over the red, blue and yellow tiled floor. Blood dripped from his ruined hand in a steady stream, painting a trail of blood.
Gray turned the corner into a hallway and panted, his breath returning. There was silence out in the hall. He was alone, Foxy gone.
That was when the animatronic's metal head bit at his arm from around the corner.
Asmo writhed and twisted, trying to escape Freddy's grip. She was unsuccessful. The animatronic's metal fingers crushed closer and closer around her ruined leg, and she kept being pulled by his massive, mechanical strength.
He pulled her closer and closer until her hip ground against the metal door. Groaning in agony, Asmo reached out her arm, feeling the stretch in her shoulder.
And her fingers closed around the phone. Then her arm moved, and it flew into the socket of the door. Asmo pushed the "On" switch, and watched as the door ground against the phone.
The motor, overused and old, exploded.
Bits of metal and fur flew through the hallway.
Chica lay on the floor, Silver near her. Neither moved.
Then there was movement. A muscled arm twitched against the floor... a foot stretched.
Slowly, Silver came back to life.
He was wobbling unsteadily, his head bowed, part of his hair singed off. He had multiple cuts, and his arm was twisted at an unruly angle.
But he had won. He had defeated Chica. She lay on the floor across from him, legs unmoving, like a grotesque Sesame Street parody.
Then the blue-green fire lit up in her eyes, and her legs swung with the force of a wrecking ball.
Silver flew across the room, unconscious, as the animatronic's metal legs descended on his skull.