Hey there! Hope you're doing well.
So, some quick notes on this story's POV; often times, mostly in these earlier chapters, you'll notice that the point of view changes quite a bit. If I remember correctly, this is because I thought that first-person horror was scarier than third-person, though some scenes just didn't work in first-person. I actually had to rework a lot of this chapter because the POV switches were too much for even me to condone. Just know that it becomes much more static as the story gets further along.
By the way, I can't even begin to thank you all enough for 1,000+ reviews. I'm incredibly humbled and blown away that some little story I started a few years ago would achieve anything near what it has. Seriously, thank you for that.
I charged through the halls as quickly as I could, my rapidly flickering eyes desperate to find an escape. Yet again I had found myself in a life-threatening position, and the increasing frequency of my encounters with the animatronics led me to believe that they were even more tenacious now than they had been the night prior. That observation was overshadowed by my intense fear, though, which filled my mind with a long string of curses- aimed at my pursuers, sure, but also at myself for taking- then returning to- this insane job in the first place.
Over the scraping thuds that echoed through the halls behind me, I could hear my own ragged breathing- labored and occasionally broken up by dry coughs- as well as the rapid rhythm of my own heartbeat in my ears. My legs burned as intensely as my lungs did, and my stride had long-since begun to wobble with fatigue. In that moment, I would have killed for some water, a chair, and even that blasted fan in my office… However, as much as I wanted to stop and rest, a second set of footsteps and an accompanying screech reminded me that I was in no position to take a break.
I grimaced against the pain and redoubled my efforts at getting away, the fear of getting caught and killed in horrendous ways leveling off against my exhaustion. I didn't know for sure how many of those monsters were behind me, though it hardly mattered. With their robotic strength and murderous vigor, all it would take to rip me to shreds was one.
I swallowed hard and shoved the thought aside. Alright, think of a way out! You can't keep running forever, so what can you use to get away?
It was then that I skidded around a turn and saw the answer ahead of me- an open doorway to one of the private party rooms, and if memory served, it was one that was equipped with a vent grate. If I was wrong, then turning into that room was sure to mean death… Though if I was right, then I was home-free. There was a brief moment of contention as I sprinted toward the room, wondering if it was worth the gamble. In the end, though, I decided that it was the best option I had. I turned into the doorway on a dime and nearly cheered at the sight of a rectangular metal grid hanging low on the opposite wall.
Not wasting a moment, I slid across the semi-clean floor on my knees and immediately started to remove the grate that covered my escape route. The barrier served as a safety feature to prevent kids from climbing into the vents and getting hurt, though as far as I was concerned, at that moment it was doing anything but helping to keep anyone safe.
I frantically clawed at the edges with little restraint, my actions growing more feverish as the sounds of heavy footsteps rushed into the room. Mr. Fazbear had mentioned that he purposefully made the grates easy to remove for someone with adequate strength, though in my rush I couldn't help but wonder what his unrealistic perception of 'adequate' was.
Finally, though, there was some give as the plate popped off the wall. By this point, however, the animatronics' footsteps were mere feet behind me, and gaining fast. I tossed the grate aside, and it gave a metallic rattle against the linoleum as I dove into the cavity.
It was only once I had begun to pull my entire body into the cramped passage that I let a hopeful smile tug at the corners of my mouth- despite the odds, I had made it to safety! Mr. Fazbear had ensured me that the animatronics couldn't fit into such a space, and now that I was inside, I could see why- even for my lean frame, it was tight around me. I've never been very claustrophobic, but even then, under normal circumstances the vents would have definitely made me feel trapped. Now, however, they made me feel secure, and I was quick to start putting space between my feet and the entrance- or so I would have, had something not suddenly latched onto my right ankle.
At a sudden tug from behind me, I fell hard against the aluminum with a wince before shooting a look back and feeling my face go pale. Wrapped around my ankle were the purple digits of a robotic hand, which tightened its powerful grasp before starting to pull on my leg. My heart lurched as I scrambled to escape, grasping about blindly at the smooth surfaces around me in vain as I was steadily dragged back toward my hunters.
"No!" I cried between rapid breaths, "No, no, nonono!"
I flailed about wildly in resistance, though stopped when a sharp pain set my right hand ablaze. Looking over, I could see a gap between the vent panels where the cheap metal had somehow been bent. One edge of the panel was now wet with the blood from my palm, which had slammed into it in my struggle. Regardless of the pain I felt, I lifted my left hand to aid the first and clenched at the edge for dear life.
The animatronic kept pulling back, but no longer made any progress. The result was a dangerously low hiss as it gave an abrupt yank to try dislodging me. The extra force made me redouble my own efforts as well, and I grit my teeth against the searing cuts that I could now feel in both palms.
"No!" I shouted in agony, "Let go of me! Please!"
I wasn't trying to reason with a machine- those were just the words that had come out. My hands were on fire, and my ankle was straining against the robotic strength that compressed it. In the face of the pain and fear that I felt then, I was reduced to begging for it to end. Desperate for relief, I aimed a powerful kick at the purple knuckles, and cursed when my toes stubbed against the metal chassis. Obviously fighting an animatronic with flesh wouldn't get me anywhere, either… And as I found myself fresh out of ideas, I instead shifted my focus to the blessed part in the vents that was keeping me alive.
All I could hear, aside from my own heavy breathing, was a set of rattling hisses and fragmented screeches. The sweat I shed burned at the fresh slashes in my hands, and my captor was steadily pulling back with more and more force. It wasn't a good situation… Not at all. I had to come up with something fast if I wanted to survive until morning and keep my leg in the process.
Come on, think! There has to be something you can do… Anything!
It was then that I looked down and saw the flashlight that hung from a loop on my jeans. I stared at it for a moment before my eyes widened in recognition- fighting this thing myself might have been out of the question, though the flashlight was metal too. Heavy metal. I didn't know for sure if it was sturdy enough to get me anywhere, but it was at least worth a shot.
I took a deep breath before releasing my left hand's hold on the crevice. My right strained in response, as I had been pulled back a bit as a result, though I grimaced through the pain and tightened my grip before reaching down. After a bit of a struggle, I pulled the flashlight free from my pants and flipped it in my hand so that the back of it faced the animatronic.
Well, here goes nothing.
I drew back as far as I could before swinging my makeshift club toward the fingers. Given how dark and compact the vents were, I worried that I would miss my mark and hit my own leg- luckily, though, my aim was true, and the end of my improvised baton crunched against metal with a satisfying bang.
The response was immediate- a strange glitchy yelp sounded from behind me right as the grip around my ankle loosened. The pressure was still intense, though I thought it weak enough for me to pull free. I holstered the flashlight before again grabbing the crack with both hands and pulling forward with all my strength. I grunted and growled through my panting as I lifted my free leg to push me forward as well- and through the immense effort, I began to feel my foot slip through the animatronic's hold.
It felt as though my leg was tearing at the ankle, though I hardly cared. I was finally making progress, and now freedom was within my reach- I just had to pull a bit harder… A bit harder… A bit harder..!
I lurched forward and slammed against the vent's floor before the moment had even caught up to me. When fire erupted from my foot, however, I realized that the animatronic must have clamped down in a last-ditch effort to maintain its grasp… An action that had caused something on my end to give. I hissed in pain, though the blindly grasping hands at the vent's entrance convinced me to scoot a few feet away before checking on the damage.
Once I was comfortable with my distance from the cacophony of robotic screeching that echoed after me, I pulled my right leg close to my chest and ran my hands down it. An involuntary cry of pain filled the space as my fingers brushed against the area- it was already swelling, far more so than I would expect from a sprain.
"Dammit…" I shot a glare at the end of the vent, though my anger melted at the sight of the four white pinpricks that now filled the gap. With a low hiss of resignation, the eyes vanished from my sight, leaving an eerie silence in their wake.
I stared at the empty opening for a long moment, but didn't dare leave the way I had come in. For all I knew, they could be just out of my field of vision, waiting for me to emerge. The safe bet seemed to be for me to stay in the vents- after all, they couldn't reach me, and not much more needed to be said in that regard- however, I couldn't lift myself beyond my hands and knees, which was a position made all the more uncomfortable by the bleeding cuts in my palms, as well as the dull burning in my ankle. I wanted to get back to the office somehow, where there was light to better assess my wounds as well as the safety to do so.
With that as my motivation, I shifted my gaze to the stretch of vents in front of me, and sighed when I saw the steep incline of my path.
This is gonna suck.
And suck, it most certainly did. However, several painful minutes of dragging myself along later, I was met with another straightaway where the vents were level. There were also grates ahead, evenly installed in the floor, that gave relief from the unrelenting darkness in the form of faint bluish light.
I hummed. "I must be in the ceiling, then..."
I winced as I shifted my weight for the crawl ahead, pausing at the first grate to pull the map from my pocket. I wanted to know where exactly in the building I was, mostly in the interest of trudging back toward the office. However, even with the subtle- emphasis on subtle- light coming from the room below, it was far too dark to make sense of the paper. I once again drew my trusty flashlight and struggled for a moment to get it to shine more than a dim flicker.
Finally, though, its beam returned, and in the reflection of the aluminum around me, I could see a large dent in the end of the light from where I had struck the animatronic. I shivered at remembering how close I had come to dying just then… It seemed that the cheapness of this place beneath the surface had actually saved my life- after all, had that break in the vents not been there, I likely would have been ripped apart and crushed within a suit by now.
I shook the thought and instead focused on gathering my bearings… Though, no matter how I looked at the map, I was having a hard time making heads or tails of my current location. I decided that using the room below me as a reference point might help, though what waited for me there nearly made me jump out of my skin. I fumbled with the flashlight before securing it and taking a few deep breaths to calm myself. Then, with a twinge of disbelief, I lowered the light through the grate once more.
The room itself was perfectly normal- it was what inhabited it that came as a surprise. Standing directly below the vent were two dark figures; the first was a purple animatronic with large bunny ears and a red bowtie, while the next was a slightly smaller yellow one with a white bib hanging around its neck, an unsettling "LET'S EAT!" emblazoned on it in bold lettering. Both had their black eyes trained on me, their small white pupils unwavering and unresponsive even as my light was trained on them. The purple one, Bonnie, was completely still as it stared up, its eyes almost rolling into its skull to meet my own. Meanwhile, Chica had its entire head lulled back limply, as though its neck had been broken, so that it could stare straight up through the vent. More unsettling than its posture, though, was the large orange beak that hung open to reveal a set of sharp metal teeth. It took me a while to completely recover from their sudden presence in the room, though after a long moment in which neither of them moved, I relaxed enough to properly observe them.
Chica looked a lot more aesthetically pleasing than she did when he was a kid, with a lemon yellow exterior that was covered almost entirely in lifelike feathers. I could vaguely remember her irises being a bright purple, though now they were reduced to being inky black, save for the glowing pupils at the center of each. It was also interesting to note that she had been given curves; a detail that I remembered her Toy remake having, though the Chica from my memory had always been blocky and flat. Now, however, there was the obvious contour of modestly-sized breasts, and her hips protruded to mimic a slender hourglass figure- a detail that I found strange, given that "she" was an animatronic, but it wasn't my business to tell Fazbear Entertainment how to model their characters. The only breaks my eyes were given from the poppy yellow of her exterior were the orange of the legs and previously mentioned beak, the former of which were ended in cartoonishly large chicken feet. The last area of interest was her "hair", which was actually just a stylization of her head feathers. They were spiked upward and to one side in a punky manner, which didn't look bad at all considering how atrocious her original "hairdo" was.
Next was Bonnie, whose appearance baffled me at first. I always thought that Bonnie was a male character, what with its previously bulky exterior and the bowtie placed at the base of its neck. Here, however, this updated version seemed to be designed to look more female; like Chica, it had a bust and waist that simply weren't there in the past restaurants. It had been slimmed down in some areas, while… thickened in others. Also like Chica, it had no clothing beyond the signature bowtie it wore, and was instead covered by a coat of purple fur.
I hummed with thought before turning my attention back to the map. A few moments of studying the paper later, I sighed in defeat. I still had no idea as to where I was, nor where I should go. My eyes shifted toward the next vent grate down the passage, and I decided that it was worth checking into as well. Maybe the next room would have some characteristic that would better hint at my location.
My mind made up, I pocketed the map again and began crawling forward. "Later, creepy robots…"
Before long I reached the next panel and immediately lowered my light into the room below. At seeing the two familiar faces that were waiting for me there, though, I cursed and jumped in surprise so violently that the back of my head rattled the vents. I gingerly rubbed at my hair while staring down at the two with increasing unease- had the room not been a different color, I wouldn't have been able to tell that I had moved at all; they stood in the same motionless poses, wearing the same disturbing glares that they had shown previously.
Wait… Are they following me?
I slowly looked away from the room to the next vent grate ahead of me. With a hard swallow, I crawled forward to look through it, though the two were somehow in that room as well, still staring at me in the same statue-like positions.
By this point I was getting steadily more paranoid. It wasn't a mystery that they were following the vents, waiting for me to come out either of my own volition or via a structural failure. As the metal creaked and groaned beneath me with every movement, the latter seemed horrifyingly plausible. The thought of being dumped right into their waiting arms terrified me, and stoked the fearful part of my brain that was begging me to get away from them.
I crawled past more and more vent grates, hoping with each one that I would have lost my pursuers somehow- though instead, I was unfailingly met with those familiar white pinpricks. After a while I didn't even bother to shine my flashlight at them anymore… I already knew exactly how they would look.
Their ability to make it to each room before I could was deeply unnerving, and didn't bode well for my chances of escape. My crawling grew more and more frenzied as I desperately searched for a grate that they wouldn't be waiting beneath, the stinging in my palms or dull throbbing in my ankle all but forgotten.
With this increase of speed, I was able to somehow put them behind me- or, at least, I could no longer see those glowing white dots in the rooms below. I didn't slow down, though… I knew that it must be a trick. Maybe they were waiting in the halls for me to drop down, then they would block the room's exits and make quick work of me. I didn't know for certain, though I was far too paranoid to trust that I was in the clear. I wanted to make damn sure that I was as far away from those things and as close to the office as possible before I even thought about leaving my safe zone.
I only paused when I noticed something different about the vents in front of me; they were crooked and unclean, darkened in patches by rust or mold. The reasonable part of me wanted to turn back that very instant, to backtrack and find some other way around the building… However, that was when I heard shuffling footsteps on the ground behind me, and before I knew it, I was navigating through the grimy tunnel ahead. I would be fine so long as I was careful- or so I told myself at the thought of dealing with those monsters again.
I proceeded much more slowly than I had previously, careful to avoid infecting my hands with anything too undesirable, though my movements were still stoked by the fear of what was chasing me. It was only when the metal shuddered beneath me that I paused and gave my choice a second thought. It was a precarious option, to keep going through this dilapidated part of the building, though all it took was a flashback to the incredible strength that had crushed my ankle for me to make up my mind.
There's no way I'm going back toward those things… I thought while making a cautious movement forward, And I haven't heard them at all since coming in here, so maybe I'm over a part of the building that they can't get into.
As I still had no idea where I was, that last part was nothing but hopeful speculation on my part. All I knew for sure was that I hadn't had to deal with any sign of them since entering this section, and I wanted to keep it that way. My mind made up, I started forward once more in search of the next grate. As far as I was concerned, compared to being tailed by murderous robots, I would gladly risk falling through the ceiling.
I had thought that, sure, though I didn't expect it to actually happen. Fate must have called my bluff, though, because it was at that exact moment that the metal beneath me buckled and tore free from the ceiling. From there I was helpless but to cry out in surprise as I was dumped into the darkness below…
Two large shadows rushed along to the sounds coming from the vents, dead set on capturing their fleeing prey. Each time the human would cross over a room, they would stop just below the grate and wait for him to crawl overhead, waiting for the flimsy metal to fail and drop him as though he were a prize from a claw machine.
Despite the odds, though, the vents had held up surprisingly well, and now the night guard was moving beyond the stretches of the hallway that they had been following. The two paused at realizing where he was headed- it was the most unkempt and forbidden area in the whole building.
It wasn't much from the outside- just a purple curtain decorated with white stars, as well as an array of warning signs that read "No Entry", "Out of Order", and "Danger", among other things. At one time, the contents of that room were a huge part of the Freddy Fazbear's show… Though now they were left completely abandoned.
After brief hesitation, the two shadows began to rush forward once more. It was only when a large hand found rest on either of their shoulders that they stopped and turned, finding that their third comrade had caught up to them. Freddy's glowing white eyes shifted between the two before he shook his broad head, then turned to disappear into the darkness of the halls. The duo exchanged glances and eyed the curtains intently, though reluctantly complied and followed the bear after a moment.
Foxy was still sitting amid her props, looking out into the hallway. It had been quite some time since her curtains had last been open wide enough for her to look out of- not that there was much to see, just the same checkerboard tiled floor, and walls covered in Freddy Fazbear posters and other such memorabilia.
What was interesting, however, was the security camera mounted on the ceiling just outside of her curtains. The camera was currently drooped down, leading her to believe that it was out of use at the moment, but it was still easy to see that it was meant to observe Pirate Cove.
But why? She thought as she studied the device, I haven't been outside in years…
She thought about it for a long moment before a realization hit her- they wouldn't have put a camera there unless they thought she was a threat… In other words, their opinion of her hadn't changed since they removed her from the public eye.
A sniff echoed off the walls around her as tears blurred her vision. How many night guards had carefully watched the Cove through the cameras, fearing that some bloodthirsty killer would emerge and come for them? How much anxiety had she caused just by existing here?
She whimpered as her eyes lowered to the dusty ground. Maybe it was best if the curtains stayed closed, after all… That way, no one would have to look at her ugly, damaged body anymore, or be frightened by the image that Fazbear Entertainment had given her.
She contested with these familiar thoughts for a moment, though was shaken from them by the sounds of metallic banging. Curious, she traced the sound to the ceiling and watched in surprise as the tiles above her trembled with each repetitive impact. It was only after the sounds had made it a few feet into the Cove that she realized what was happening- something must have been in the vents.
She wiped the wetness from her eyes and stood from the crate she had been sitting on, her ears still perked toward the noise as she backed away from it. Just then the ceiling tiles lurched, and everything fell still for a long moment. Foxy stared up intently, until finally, a loud creak came from overhead, followed by a large section of vents collapsing through the ceiling. The sudden mayhem that ensued made her flinch in surprise, though what really interested her was what fell down alongside all the metal and tile.
There was a loud cry, cut off quickly by a heavy thud. Foxy winced against the figure's impact with the ground, then looked over at what had fallen with eyes that shone to let her see in the dark. Laying on the floor next to all the debris was a person, lying motionless on their side. They were so still, in fact, that Foxy momentarily feared the worst- though a closer look revealed the slow rise and fall of their chest, proof that they had survived the fall. Her curiosity piqued, she crossed to the human and carefully looked them over.
It was a Caucasian human male who looked to be in his mid-twenties- the age that many new parents were when they brought their firstborn to the restaurant. He had a lean build, made to look larger at a first look by the baggy clothing he wore. In his current position it was hard to see much more of him, so Foxy crouched down and gently rolled him onto his back for a better look.
Once there she could better make out the details of his appearance; he had medium-length dark brown hair that fell halfway down his neck, with some layered streaks of blonde mixed in. She wasn't sure if it was disheveled from his fall or meant to look a bit messy- either way, there were no signs that he cared much for keeping it particularly neat. His face was fair with no distinguishing marks save for the few fresh cuts and scrapes that peppered it, and his clothing was about as casual as outfits came, comprised of sneakers and blue jeans, along with a plain navy-blue tee and a black hoodie. The clothes were so unprofessional, in fact, that she wasn't even sure he was the night guard at first… However, nobody else stayed at Freddy's overnight, and the chances of someone being missed during the building's mandatory closing sweeps were slim at best.
After a moment of thought, she decided that they must have stopped giving the guards uniforms, given how many they undoubtedly went through. That mystery solved, she let her eyes wander up and down his body, noting the tears in his jeans and the dark lines in his palms. He was obviously in bad shape, and she wanted to help- though first, she would have to know what all she was dealing with.
Her face grew warm as she crouched down beside him, placing the back of her hand against his cheek. She paused as he flinched and murmured incoherently at the contact, though his response didn't seem negative, so she smiled and ran her touch down his neck. It was only once she had reached his abdomen that she gasped, as there was a wet gash in his shirt that had been stained black by blood. She carefully peeled the bottom of the fabric up until she was met by a moderate incision- one that looked nasty, but luckily didn't seem to have carved into his organs.
It must be from when he fell, she thought with a grimace, shooting a look at the sharp fragments of metal beside him. Lowering the shirt once more, she decided that she would have to stitch that up if he wanted any chance of walking out of here on his own.
From there she moved even further down, running her fingers along his legs. Luckily there was nothing there, save for a mild scrape on his knee from where the pants had torn. Finally, she reached his ankle and frowned when she felt the warm swelling of a recent injury. Slipping his shoe and sock off, she could see that it was either a very bad sprain or a potential fracture, the fingerlike indentations in his skin a clue as to what had left him in this condition.
It was easy to see that he had been through a lot that night, and she wanted to do whatever she could to help him before he went on his way. With a nod to herself, Foxy stood up and began going through the props for anything that could assist her in this situation- sparse pickings, for sure, though before long she had scrounged up some duct tape and paper from a few boxes, as well as a thin string and pin. It wasn't much, and certainly wasn't up to medical standards, but it was all she had to make work.
First, she rubbed the paper in her hand until it was soft like a compression wrap. She taped the fabric over his cuts, hoping that he would disinfect them later, then got to work creating a makeshift splint out of tape and wood from the boxes. Finally, all that was left was the gash on his stomach.
The worst for last…
Using her hook, she was able to bend a loop in the end of the pin, then tied the string through it. A deep breath later, she began stitching the gash, wincing with each sign of discomfort that the guard showed. Luckily, though, he didn't wake up- in part due to how she made sure to take her time and be as careful as possible, her good hand feeding the pin through his skin in fluid motions while her hook supported the other side of the laceration.
You'd think it strange for an animatronic at a kid's restaurant to know the first thing about medical procedures, though things like this came as second nature to Foxy. Even she didn't know why, exactly… Only that there were things she had always inherently known, ever since she had woken up. She pondered why that was for the millionth time while she worked, until she was finally satisfied with her progress.
Job done, she sat down beside him and watched the slow heaving of his chest while he slept. She didn't feel as hopeless with him around, though wasn't entirely sure why- maybe it was the company, or it could have been that she was finally given the opportunity to be productive with her time. Whatever the case, she eyed the battered guard thoughtfully, wondering what he would think about all of this once he had woken up.
Dustin's eyes shot open, only to screw shut again with discomfort as he sat up. He felt terrible- sore wherever there wasn't blatant pain. At first he had no idea why that was, though after groggily looking around at the dark room he was in, his eyes went wide with recollection. His first instinct was to shoot to his feet- an action that made him hiss with pain as he hunched over. His ankle was throbbing, and there was a dull tugging sensation in his stomach. Shooting a cautious look around him, he reached for his flashlight, only to pause as he felt some sort of cloth between his palm and the cold metal.
Getting steadily more confused, he opted to turn on the light and immediately shine it on his other hand. Wrapped across his palm was what looked to be worn paper, stained red in the middle, with small tags of duct tape connecting its edges to his skin.
Oh, right… My hands got sliced open when I was trying to get away from Bonnie.
He only assumed that the same sort of primitive bandage was on his other hand, so he skipped looking at it and instead turned the light downward. His eyebrow cocked- two short planks of wood were taped tightly to his lower leg, acting as a splint that kept his ankle in place. Mouthing a silent "what?" to himself, he reached past the wet gash in his lower shirt and lifted the hem, only to find that some sort of string was stitched across a slash that he didn't even remember acquiring.
Alright, so I know why my ankle is messed up… But where did this gash come from? He turned just enough that a mess of metal reflected the beam of his light, and after a moment, he recalled venturing into a portion of vents that were even more suspect than the previous. So… I fell through? That would explain how I got knocked out, but who else was in here with me?
While he tried to figure the situation out, Foxy was watching him inspect her work from behind a large crate. As soon as he had started to stir, she decided to hide from sight as to not alarm him- after all, even if she didn't mean him any harm, how was he supposed to know that? He had spent the rest of the night running for his life from other animatronics, so she didn't expect him to take to her presence calmly. Not that she minded observing him from a hiding place, as it was interesting to see him piece together what had happened while he had been unconscious.
Now that he was standing, she could see that he stood just shy of her height, meaning that he was an inch or so short of six feet. It was almost amusing to see his confusion as he looked himself over, though she found it much less entertaining when the expression on his face melted from curiosity to fear. He suddenly turned his flashlight on the rest of the room and began to sweep the area with it, barely giving Foxy enough time to duck behind the boxes without getting caught in the beam. He was obviously looking for whoever did this to him, and Foxy didn't know whether she should walk out to introduce herself or hide until he had left on his own.
While she disputed the best course of action in the odd situation, Dustin was looking around for any sign of who was there while he slept. Someone had obviously patched him up while he was out, which would have been touching had the only other inhabitants of the restaurant not been murderous animatronics. He knew it couldn't have been the ones he saw earlier- after all, they had done nothing but try to kill him all night. The next thought he had was that maybe someone had snuck in and taken refuge in this room until morning, but the building was always securely locked up by the time his shift rolled around. Not to mention, the animatronics surely would have caught such a person between the front door and here…
Wait a minute… Where is "here"?
He did a full turn with his flashlight, and soon recognized the area. It was a surprisingly large room, filled with dusty props and stacks of boxes that were nearly invisible in the dark. The only light source at all was a dim purple that came from a skylight overhead, though the window was so dirty that hardly any moonlight shone through. The real giveaway, though, was the iconic bow of a pirate's ship that lined the back wall. It conjured images of a red fox with an eyepatch, who called her home the-
"Pirate Cove…" He murmured, his unease temporarily diverted into nostalgic awe. "Or, at least it used to be."
If memory served him right, Pirate Cove had closed a long time ago… And judging by the state of the vents overhead, along with the fact that this place needed a thorough cleaning, it wasn't hard to figure out that it had been reduced to storage space for an act long-forgotten.
He was pulled from his thoughts by a soft shuffling in the darkness, and immediately trained his light on a nearby pile of crates and old props. Something was definitely in the room with him.
"… H-Hello?" He asked slowly as he took a few steps forward, "Who's there?"
Foxy began to panic as he walked closer- she was running out of time to make her decision. She had to act, or risk being discovered on different terms.
Well, this might be my only chance to talk to someone from outside the Cove… She thought as the beam from his flashlight drew nearer, So I at least have to try!
Taking a breath, she stepped out from behind the crate and looked at Dustin, whose eyes widened as quickly as the color drained from his face. He froze as fright overcame him, and she scrambled to show that she wasn't a threat. Stepping forward and waving at him- using her hook hand unconsciously- she opened her mouth to issue a friendly greeting. Despite her intentions, however, words failed her- or, to be more accurate, her voice box did. Instead of giving a warm introduction, a splitting shriek tore from her throat and reverberated off the walls around them.
Dustin cried out in surprise, recognizing that sound as the same that the others used while attacking, and immediately turned to run. The scream hadn't even come to an end before he was sprinting through the purple curtains, ignoring the stiff pain in his ankle as he turned into the halls. Foxy stepped forward and tried to tell him not to go, but all that came out was another distorted cry. It was only once the curtains had settled back into place behind him that she lowered her head in dismay. There was her chance… And there it went.
She walked over to the curtains to look down the hall after him, but he was already long gone by that point. With a sigh, she sat down on a crate and thought about what she had done for several moments, though some movement in the hallway caught her attention. The camera placed outside the Cove lifted into its proper position, sporting a small red light to show that it was actively watching her. She immediately stood and backed away from the curtains with a blush, and when the camera lowered once more, she felt the corners of her mouth raise into a small smile.
Maybe she had scared him away, but at least he had made it to the office in one piece. She only hoped that her care would help him to feel better quickly.
Dustin was running as quickly as he could through the halls toward the security office. Miraculously, he was able to find and enter the room without so much as seeing another animatronic, and immediately threw both doors down before collapsing into the leather chair.
What was that thing!? He thought as he caught his breath. It had happened so fast that the details were a blur… He just remembered something standing up from behind a crate, with two wide, glowing eyes and a wicked hook that waved after him menacingly. The part that really set him off was the sound it made, though… It sounded just like the others did, meaning that it must have been another animatronic. Piecing everything together, he sat up straight in his seat.
"Was that… Foxy?" He asked the empty room, "But I thought she was scrapped…"
He thought back for a moment, but there was no mistaking it; the hook hand, the red coloration, the fact that she was in Pirate Cove of all places… That was definitely Foxy the Pirate Fox.
He shook his head before grabbing the tablet off the table and cycling through the feeds. To his surprise, Freddy, Bonnie, and Chica were all standing motionless on the show stage, even though it wasn't quite six yet. Doing a few rough estimations, he guessed that he had been unconscious in Pirate Cove for at least an hour, which would have given her plenty of time to finish him off…
He slumped back with an exasperated sigh. "So why didn't it kill me, then?"
After all, weren't all of the animatronics out for his blood? That was the impression that he got from them… And yet, at seeing the bandages on his hands, he couldn't ignore the facts; the only thing in that room with him had been Foxy, and since she had not only refrained from killing him, but had also been around at the same time that he was miraculously fixed up, the evidence implied that he had been taken care of by her… An animatronic.
"No way…" He muttered while rubbing his eyes. Wasn't she supposed to have been shut down? And why would she try to heal him, only to attack him like that later?
"Unless…" His eyebrows furrowed with thought, "It wasn't trying to attack me."
That's when it really hit him that an animatronic had been helpful- a realization that maybe shouldn't have been that groundbreaking. After all, if the animatronics attacked because of some glitch that made them violent, then couldn't it be possible that there was a glitch that did the opposite? Not that he knew the first thing about that sort of stuff, but it made at least a little sense.
Focusing on the cameras again, he cycled through the feeds until he found the one he was looking for- the one that showed Pirate Cove. Through it he could see that the curtains were slightly parted from earlier, but there was no sign of the animatronic fox that he knew to be living inside.
The guard scratched his head in thought… Maybe not everything around here was what it seemed.
Like I mentioned at the top, reworking the POV for this chapter made revising it take much longer than it should have. Thank you for your patience.
So, FNaF VR is right around the corner, huh? Already looks like it will be an interesting game in regards to meta-lore, and I'm terrified to try it for myself haha.
Before we wrap things up, I want to thank OceanRyder, NecrorexSparda Juubi-No-Kishin, JustinTheSpider, AncientofDayz, Xerzo LotCN, Bluecrimsonflames, D1rtyshad0w, PyroFox117, Guest1998, Alfred7033, razmire, Draegoon, Fawkes Kleiffen, Crimson An'Xileel, MattyJones (Of course I remember you! It's great to see you again, and I dig the new profile pic!), Mark-Paul77, Sword of the Maelstrom, RabidPanzer, The13thReaper, NullSilver2005, and Viperclaw14 for your reviews! I'm glad you're enjoying the rewrite ;]
Thanks for reading! See ya soon!