Neshae and Nathyn left the room, leaving Willie and Nillie to guard the flag. Nillie leaned against the wall, guns out and ready. “What time is it?”
Willie looked at the tablet. “A little after eight. It seems like the place either has already closed for the day or has been closed for a while. Not sure which. But I think those animatronics will be waking up soon.”
He flipped through various screens. The kitchen camera seemed to be out, which made the harthen nervous. There was no way to know what was in there without going in. But then again, the guy on the phone only described the three on the stage, hadn't he? Now that he thought about it, he wasn't sure. And he couldn't find a playback button on the phone.
He would just have to hope they only had to worry about the three. Though he had a bad feeling about a screen labled “Pirate Cove.” Maybe that puppet from earlier was back there. The harthen had seen no sign of that thing since being transported here. It certainly didn't have the same voice that had been on the phone.
Flipping to the screen that showed the bathrooms, Willie could see Nathyn look around nervously before disappearing into the men's room. A moment later he came back out empty handed and entered the women's. There was also a camera in what looked like a broom closet where Neshae was poking around. No sign of a flag.
There were two cameras in each of the hallways on either side of the office. Both were thankfully empty of animatronics. Willie noticed they didn't seem to reach the spots just outside the doors. He guessed that was what the lights were for. A chill went down his spine at the thought of an animatronic looking in at him through the windows.
“If they do get in...” Nillie hesitated, “...you'd be able to hack them, right?”
“Maybe,” he answered. “That depends on I I can do so before they kill us. I don't exactly have a turn on switch.”
Nillie nodded and didn't say anything more. Willie went back to watching the cameras. Neshae had found the stage and was poking at the animatronics. Willie sighed. The vampire didn't ake this seriously as usual.
“Neshae!” Nathyn hissed. “Stop that!”
“Why?” the vampire asked. “They haven't woken up yet. We're fine.”
“Not for long. We need to find that flag and get out of here before they do.”
Neshae got off the stage to humor his friend. He then set off to check the kitchen while Nathyn continued to look under tables. In the kitchen Neshae looked around, but found no flag. He managed to find some leftover pizza in the fridge though. He took a break from the game to help himself to a few pieces.
Nathyn looked underneath a table. No flag. He got up and looked behind him at the animatronics. They gave him the creeps. Then his heart skipped a beat as the bunny's eyes suddenly lit up. The harthen dove under the table, his heart pounding. Time was up. The animatronics were beginning to move.
The bunny turned its head a few times, then walked off the stage. Nathyn held his breath as it walked past the table he hid under. It then disappeared into a room to the side. Nathyn wondered if perhaps the flag was in there.
The chicken was next to begin moving. It left the stage and lingered in the party room before heading toward the kitchen. Nathyn didn't know what to do. He was pretty sure that was where Neshae had gone, but there didn't seem to be any way to warn him. He looked up at the bear. It seemed to be looking directly at him, watching him, but did not move.
Neshae had a slice of pizza halfway in his mouth when he heard the heavy, metal footsteps approaching the kitchen. He glanced around frantically for a hiding place, then ducked into a pantry. He closed the door behind him as the animatronic entered the room.
He held his breath for a moment, hearing the footsteps stop. He didn't hear anything else for a moment and finished eating his pizza as quietly as he could. He heard the sound of dishes clinking, like it was looking for something. Or someone.
Something on an upper shelf fell against the door, knocking it open. Neshae's heart skipped a beat and he disappeared in camouflage, He could see the chicken just outside the pantry looking in at the new noise. Neshae's heart pounded.
Please don't see me, he thought. Please don't see me. Please don't see me.
After an agonizingly long moment the chicken turned and left the kitchen. Neshae let out the breath he'd been subconsciously holding in relief. He crept to the kitchen door and looked at the window. The only animatronic he could see was the bear still on the stage. He opened the door and stepped out.
“Neshae!” Nathyn was hiding under a table. The vampire ducked under it to join him.
“If I'd known we were having an under the table party I would have brought some pizza.”
This is no time for joking. The chicken went back towards the office and the bunny is in that room over there. I think that might be where the flag is. You might be the only one that can get in there.”
Neshae nodded. They were both distracted from their thoughts as a voice began singing from the curtain labeled “Pirate Cove.”
“Did either of them go in there?” Neshae asked.
Nathyn shook his head. “There must be more of them.”
A face appeared in the space between the curtains.
“Nillie, they're waking up!” Willie exclaimed. He watched as the bunny came to life. Hopefully Nathyn and Neshae managed to hide. The bunny left the stage and went into the room containing spare parts and costumes, the room Willie guessed was where they'd be taken if found. He shuddered at the thought.
Nillie didn't say anything. She stared into the darkness outside the left door. Willie flipped through the screens, trying to locate everyone. He couldn't see anything in the kitchen but could hear clanking and a crash. On the stage only the bear remained. He checked the hall and saw a figure down the right. He leaped from his seat and hit the button to close the right door. Turning on the light, he could see the chicken looking in at him. He backed away.
Nillie had her guns aimed at it. “Can they get through that?”
“I hope not. I think the doors are magnetically sealed. My eye gets static when they're closed. That must be why it takes power to have them on. That just might keep them out.”
“Turn on the light again. Make sure it's still there. We need to save power.”
Willie inched his way toward the door. With a trembling hand he pushed the light button. The chicken was gone. He opened the door and sat back down to check the cameras again. Was that singing he heard from Pirate Cove?
Neshae went into camouflage and crept into the room the bunny had gone into. He could see the animatronic inside, staring at the camera. What hit him the most was the smell. He knew that smell. Rotting flesh. He thought he had smelled it when he had been messing with the animatronics, but in here the smell was so much stronger.
Gagging, the vampire glanced around. He saw lots of robotic parts but no flag and he wasted no time in getting back out. Taking a few gulps of fresh air he quickly dove under a table again as he noticed the animatronic pirate fox standing in the room.
Willie flipped through the camera screens. The chicken was standing by the restrooms. For some reason its head was twitching and glitching, severely unnerving the harthen. He switched over to the stage again. The bear still stood where he was. He checked the the right hallway. All was clear. He checked the left hallway and his heart leaped at the sight of the animatronic racing past the camera toward the office.
He spun to face Nillie. “Door!”
Nillie hit the button to shut the left door just as the fox reached it. It pounded on the door a few times and Willie scrambled to the other door to keep it from coming around to the other side. This one seemed smarter and more violent and aggressive than the others.
“I think it's gone,” Nillie said.
Willie shook his head. “Keep them closed for a while.”
“How's the power?”
Willie checked the tablet. “We don't have much left. I hope they find that flag soon.” They both reopened the doors. To vent some frustration Willie yanked the cord of the fan out of the wall.
Neshae had gotten out from under the table when the fox left to look in Pirate Cove for the flag, but immediately had to go back under when it came running back in. “This is getting us nowhere.”
“That's the only place we haven't looked. It has to be in there,” Nathyn said.
“Okay. I'll distract it. You go in and grab the flag and run back to the office as fast as you can.” Befoe Nathyn could respond the vampire was already out and approaching Pirate Cove. He yanked open the curtain catching the fox's attention. At that same moment the bunny and the chicken entered the area and spotted him as well. Neshae ran to the opposite end of the room to keep them looking away from the cove.
They all followed after him and Nathyn took off into the cove. As soon as he went in, the lights all went out. There was a short silence as the power went out. The harthen fumbled with his marbles. He needed at least some light to see the flag.
Willie's heart pounded. All was dark. He could no longer see through the canvas. He couldn't see anything. He heard mechanical footsteps approach the office. He pounded on the door button, desperately trying to close it. Nillie was next to him, guns ready.
Two eyes and a mouth lit up in the darkness, making them jump back. Music began playing, the animatronic celebrating his victory. There was a click as Nillie pulled the trigger on her gun, but nothing happened. There were several more clicks and Willie's panic grew.
“Shit!” Nillie exclaimed.
Footsteps raced down the other hall. A soft, gold light emanated from the doorway and hope was restored. Had Nathyn and Neshae found the flag just in time?
Neshae dodged the hook of the fox and a hand from the bunny. He rolled to the side, drawing his Fire Blade. He swore when the blade refused to come out. He was fighting blind in the pitch darkness, his dark sight only able to see so much with no light. It was only just barely enough to see the robotic limbs coming at him. He had to rely mostly on sound.
He managed to stumble into the kitchen. He hoped Nathyn hurried with that flag. He was running out of room to back up. The animatronics just kept coming at him. His stomach clenched as his back his the wall. The fox lunged at him.
A bell sounded throughout the restaurant. Neshae opened his eyes as the lights powered back on. The fox was inches from his face, its jaws gaping and its hook next to his head. The others were right behind it. They seemed frozen.
Then he was suddenly with his friends again, back in the cave where they had seen the puppet. Had it all been a dream?
“What happened?” Willie asked.
“I think we won,” Nathyn answered. “I got the flag in the office and then was just suddenly here again.”
“Well that was...interesting.” Nillie put her guns back in her boots.
“I'm glad to be away from that place,” Willie said.
“I dunno, the pizza was alright,” Neshae commented.
“Well if we don't hurry those fraternity jerks could beat us to the treasure,” Nathyn reminded them. “They weren't that far behind and we spent some time playing the worst game of capture the flag ever.”
“Yeah I'm sure they sacrificed another of their own to get past the baby dragons,” Nillie scowled as she stormed past the others deeper into the cave.
After a few minutes they were stopped again by another curious sight.
“What is that?” Nillie asked.
Neshae scratched his head. “It looks like a handy bog handling a horse while playing hopscotch on hot lave eating hummus and hot wings and watching haunted houses howl on his hiphone.”