When Gregory regained consciousness, the entity was gone. He was now slumped against a smooth wall. The area was well-lit, so it was obvious where he was. He was back in those weird hallways again in Vanny's lab. Slowly, Gregory tested each limb. His throat was still on fire, but he was alive. Rubbing his neck, Gregory examined his surroundings. The halls were completely empty and silent. The lights above occasionally flickered, but other than that nothing moved.
Gregory went to prop himself up when his hand brushed against rough fabric. Lying next to him was his backpack. It was slightly ripped, but other than that perfectly fine. Gregory hesitantly grabbed it and looked inside. Nothing was missing, even the thumb-drive and adapter were still there. While he was relieved, he was still suspicious of how this got here. Perhaps…that entity had found it for him.
Gregory clutched his bag tighter. That Blob…that's what happened to all those missing kids. They were killed, and their souls merged into one horrible being. They didn't have a choice; something was preventing them from moving on. Gregory couldn't have even imagined such a fate. It was all so unfair... Why'd they have to die like that?
This was all Vanny and Afton's doing.
Gregory grabbed the note he found in D.A.'s room and read it again. It had to be talking about Afton. He was in the children's minds and souls, trapping them so they couldn't find peace. He'd infected them. That's probably why Vanny created that damned virus in the first place. Not only to corrupt the robots, but also any souls that resided inside them as well. There's no way to know if Vanny's plan extended to the Glamrocks on purpose or not, but it doesn't matter.
What matters now is finding D.A. and the others.
Gregory stood up and began creeping through the halls. For a while, he didn't come across anyone, but his luck ran out soon enough. Metal footsteps echoed through the hall. Gregory quickly turned to crawl inside a nearby vent. He managed to shut the grate just as an endoskeleton walked by. Its eyes were glowing as it scanned the area.
Gregory pursed his lips and turned away from the hall. The vents were going to be a safer way to explore for now. He crawled around for several minutes. There were numerous rooms the vents were connected to. Most were places for storage or weird robot labs, and his friends were nowhere to be seen. His luck had been stupidly good thus far, and he prayed for it to continue.
Gregory glanced over a grate and kept moving. His eyes then widened and he came to a sudden stop. Backing up, he looked through the grate again. A lone figure was sitting in the middle of an empty room. It was curled up and hiding its face in its knees. Gregory immediately recognized him - no one was more striking than the Daycare Attendant.
After sending a quick 'thank you' to above, Gregory glanced around to make sure they were alone. They were, so he kicked in the vent before dropping down.
D.A. twitched and slowly raised his head.
"So, the rule-breaker has come back to mock me?" Sun glared at him. "I should've expected that. What did you do in my absence? Break the toys; smear glue on the seats?"
Gregory stepped closer and examined him. There was a large chain clasped around the bot's middle. The end of the chain wound around and was fused to the ground.
"What are you lookin' at?" Sun snapped.
Gregory pointed at the chain. "Did Vanny do this?"
Sun scowled. "No one did this to me. I did; after you broke into the daycare. What exactly did you do at the security desk?" He tugged at the chains. "Were you messing with the system to irritate me further?"
Gregory didn't waver. "D.A., I'm not your enemy. I don't want to hurt you, or anyone else in the Plex." He held up the thumb-drive. "I'm here to make good on my promise - I'm going to cure your virus."
Sun's eyes widened. His harsh expression fell and he reached towards the drive with trembling fingers. "Little friend…remembered me?" He whispered.
Gregory stepped closer "I did. Me and Freddy have been curing the Glamrocks, and now it's your turn."
At this, Sun suddenly scowled again. His voice box glitched a few times and half of his sun triangles disappeared into his head. Moon's cap appeared in their place. "Oh ho, I see how it is! Now that the stars of the show are safe, you come crawling back to me. The creepy daycare animatronic; the babysitter. The clown!"
He slammed his fist on the ground and hissed. "You're not here for me. You don't actually care. You're doing it out of some sense of pity, aren't you?" He extended his face closer to Gregory. "Well take your entitlement and shove it! I don't need anyone's care! I never have, why start now…" His snarl trailed off into something sadder.
Gregory said nothing. Slowly, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the Sunnydrop candy. Gregory smoothed out the wrapper - it had taken quite the beating by staying in his pocket this whole week. He stared at it before holding it out to Sun.
"Remember this? You gave it to me when we first met. I was a complete stranger, but you still treated me like a normal kid." He stepped forward and gently set the candy in Sun's hand.
"I've done a lot of bad things in my life…" Gregory whispered. "It's only natural that I get punished for them. - I've lied, I've fought, I've stolen. I'm…a bad kid." Gregory took a breath. "Even now, I made a stupid mistake and hurt someone precious to the Glamrocks. If they learn what happened, I'm so scared they'll hate me."
Gregory suddenly stomped his foot, making Sun flinch. "And that's stupid. I shouldn't be worried about what other people think of me! The only thing I needed to do was survive, so I've never let myself care about anyone."
A tear trickled down Gregory's cheek. "But I don't want to do that anymore. Those kids Vanessa killed… their lives were snuffed out before they could grow up. A-And I don't want that to happen to me. I don't want to ignore all chances of happiness before my life comes to an end. I don't want to not care anymore. I…" He smiled, despite his tears. "I want to help people; to make sure something like this never happens to anyone ever again."
Sun stared at him mutely. Then, hesitantly, the animatronic turned around to offer the back of his neck. Gregory stepped forward and attached the adapter.
There was a hum, and Gregory was ready for the spark of electricity this time.
The dreamscape appeared instantaneously. Gregory opened his eyes, and he was in a large storage area. Judging by the menacing tools and robot parts, he was somewhere in Vanny's lab. It was dark, but the glowing jars on the shelves made it easier to see. A whimper came from below and he turned around. Hiding between two shelves was a young boy, only a few years older than Gregory. He was shaking and attempting to make himself smaller. Gregory stared with pity at the bruises on his arms. It looked like robots had been dragging him around.
Gregory tilted his head when he heard footsteps in the distance. The other boy squeaked and pressed himself further against the wall. He looked up to meet Gregory's eye.
"You have to hide!" He whispered. "They'll find you and drag you back. Or worse."
Gregory knelt down and held out his hand. "C'mon." He whispered back. "We can escape if we go together!"
The other boy shook his head. "There's no escape. Allie tried, and she was dragged behind the wall the next day!" He sobbed. "I couldn't stop them! I-I wasn't strong enough. The only way we can survive is to pretend we don't exist. Maybe they'll pass by."
Gregory's eyes grew sorrowful. "…But that didn't work. Did it?"
The other boy hiccupped, and then paused. "W-What?"
"You died." Gregory murmured. "Vanny got you, and now she's trying to gain control over the one thing she never could before." He pointed at the boy's chest. "Your soul."
The other boy's lip wobbled, and he was wracked with more sobs. "She's already got it! Me and the other kids, we'll never escape!"
He flinched when Gregory gently grabbed his hands. "She didn't get yours. I don't know how, but you escaped being merged into the Blob. You fused with the Daycare Attendant instead."
The boy squeaked and ripped away from Gregory. He flung his hands over his ears. "Don't say his name!" He cried. "He'll come get me again!"
Gregory blinked with surprise. "What do you mean?"
"He works for her!" The other boy glanced around with paranoia. "The rabbit lady. She orders him around and he makes sure none of the kids get out."
Gregory was silent for a moment. "He may have been like that then… but not now."
The other boy wiped his tears and looked up. Gregory continued. "The Glamrocks said they couldn't understand D.A. until recently. When you fused with his robot, you must've taken control. Even if you don't…remember it."
Gregory sheepishly scratched his head. "This's confusing for me too. There's a lot I don't understand, but the one thing I do know is that the Daycare Attendant I met at the beginning of this week wasn't a minion of Vanny. He doesn't want to hurt anyone… because he's you." Gregory grabbed the boy's hands again. "You saw the terror she caused, and you wanted to put a stop to it. You must've become D.A. because of that!"
The other boy stared mutely, and Gregory smiled. "Maybe your soul didn't merge with the Blob because you beat Vanny to it. You purposefully merged with D.A.'s robot after you died so you could protect others. And you succeeded."
Gregory slowly let go of the boy's hand and stood. "You protected me. You forced the virus down to prevent yourself from attacking. And because of that, I escaped and helped make the cure."
Footsteps were growing closer, and Gregory looked over his shoulder. Vanny was creeping down the hallway - her red eyes reflecting off the tables. Behind her was the Daycare Attendant. He was moving methodically, truly just a robot this time. Gregory narrowed his eyes at them before turning to the kid.
"I'm not running anymore. You and the Glamrocks continued fighting, even after death. So I'm going to do the same. Preferably without the dying part, of course."
Standing, Gregory started walking towards Vanny. Even though she was just an illusion, the air around her was heavy. Gregory was determined, but still couldn't stop his trembling. Her menacing aura was becoming overwhelming, when a small hand suddenly grabbed his. Gregory looked over and saw that the other boy had stood next to him. His eyes shimmered with tears, but his grip was strong. Giving him an acknowledging nod, Gregory turned to face Vanny again.
She towered over them as she raised a glinting knife. Gregory squeezed the boy's hand, and the world started to tilt. Everything was fading to white as Gregory closed his eyes.
A second later the world was stable again, and Gregory blinked. Sun was sitting cross-legged in front of him.
"Mornin' little buddy!" The animatronic was back to his bubbly self. "I knew you'd come back for me!"
Gregory huffed with laughter. "Sorry it took a while. C'mon, let's get you out of those chains."
Sun looked down. "Oh yeah, I almost forgot about this." His eyelids drooped. "That virus…is it really gone?"
Gregory met his eye and nodded. "It's gone. You're back to your old self again."
Sun's grin brightened. "That's a relief! Then what are we waiting for?" He struggled with the chains for a moment before dropping them. "Um, you wouldn't happen to have the key for this, do you?"
Gregory lifted his multi-tool. "Don't need it. Give me a second."
After trial and error, the lock finally clicked opened. Sun stood to his full height and stretched - his hands almost touching the ceiling.
"That feels so so so much better!" He spun his head a few times and twisted his limbs. "Everything's in working order, dewdrop!"
Gregory nodded and rummaged through his backpack. "Good, cause we'll both need to be at the top of our game. - What can you tell me about this?" He held out the strange note, and Sun's eyes widened.
"Y-You found that?" He twitched in alarm. "Oh no…oh no…no one should've…"
"Relax." Gregory patted him on the shoulder. "Me and the Glamrocks found out about Vanny a while back. Sun, I need you to tell me what you remember about her."
Sun slowly sat down so he could be at Gregory's height. "I…can't recall many details. But I get the gist of what my previous self had done. Officer Vanessa took control of his programming and turned him into her personal henchman. He didn't do any of the actual kidnapping; rather kept an eye on everything and made sure no one escaped. However, by the time my memories begin…Vanny had no need for me anymore. I woke up in the Daycare, and that's where I've been until now."
He then looked up with sad eyes. "The kids…Do you know what happened to them?" He whispered.
Gregory hesitated for a moment, and then nodded. "Yeah…Vanny killed them."
Sun made a noise of utter dismay, and Gregory clutched his hand in reassurance. It was difficult, but Gregory continued, "She trapped their souls in animatronics. They've merged into one being, and they can't move on. I found a way to …communicate with them; and they told me some things, and confirmed others. Sun…" Gregory pointed at the note. "Vanny has a partner, doesn't she? William Afton, a soul who died long ago. He was responsible for the murders of four kids in the original Fazbear Pizzeria."
Sun gently took the note from Gregory. "The name's familiar. When I was still alive with the other children, we overheard Officer Vanessa mention him. Nothing concrete, she was mostly just talking to herself. But then she started putting some of the kids into those modified charging stations. They would come out…different. They became paranoid and aggressive. I was able to get some of them to talk before I…y'know."
Sun mimed a cutting motion over his own throat. He shrugged. "They said a voice was in their head, telling them things. It wanted them to be angry, to attack others. It wanted them to remain here even after death."
Gregory thought for a moment. "But you never saw Afton in person, right?"
"Not one glimpse." Sun huffed. "You said he's a soul?"
"Yeah…" Gregory tapped his chin in thought. "At least…I think. There were these horror video games made about the original tragedy. Fazbear Entertainment hoped they would distract everyone from what really happened. Since Afton was in those games, he was probably a real person too..."
But as he said this, it didn't feel right. He was so sure of it before, but now something was holding him back. Sun then broke him out of his reverie when he asked,
"You managed to talk to the kids... did they say anything that could help?"
Gregory paused. "I…No they didn't. They kept talking in circles, saying weird stuff like, 'What makes an idea alive?' I still don't get it…"
Sun tilted his head. "Wouldn't that be belief?"
"If something's an idea, couldn't it become tangible if someone believes in it enough?" Sun pointed at Gregory's head. "It's how robots were created in the first place. Humans thought them up, and they believed in the idea enough to make it a reality."
"…But how does that…" Gregory trailed off. He tightened his grip on the article and silently read it again. He looked back and forth from the article to the game ad. "…Correlation doesn't always mean causation…" He whispered.
Sun tilted his head with confusion. "Huh?"
Gregory stared down at the papers with wide eyes. "I think I've been going about this all wrong." He shook his head. "I've been thinking Afton was real because he was in the games…but what if he's not after all? You said an idea becomes real if someone believes in it enough, yeah? What if that's what Vanny did?"
He whipped up to stare at Sun. "What if he really is just a computer program that Vanny made? If the games are just a fictional story of what happened, couldn't Vanny's efforts make them real? In some way? Her code; maybe its Afton, but not really his soul."
"So…Afton isn't a soul after all?" Sun scratched his head, looking even more confused.
Gregory shoved the papers into his bag. "I keep getting distracted from the truth; those games are forcibly intertwining with reality, and that's exactly what Vanny wants. That's must've been what the kids were talking about! Ah!"
He jumped up and slapped his fist to his palm. "Merging souls with robots! I've been thinking that Vanny was taking souls to put into robots. But it's the other way around! The robots are first, merging with the souls. Vanny's using her code to infect real souls in order to recreate Afton!"
While on his tangent, Gregory started pacing. Sun watched the boy before finally reaching out to stop him.
"That's a lot of theories all at once, little friend." Sun looked dizzy.
Gregory shook his head and flung on his backpack. "I know I'm right this time! The little girl said Afton was going through a rebirth. That damned virus, that's what's keeping them here! We need to destroy it."
Sun was silent for a moment, processing everything. "I'm still a bit lost, but I trust you. Let's go do just that, then." He stood up and walked to the vents. Gregory tugged on the animatronic's pants, halting him.
"First we gotta save Freddy and the others. We got separated and I'm worried Vanny's keeping them somewhere."
Sun scratched at one of his head flaps. "That's not good…where'd you see em' last?"
"Some robots got them while we were crossing over a chasm thing." Gregory crossed his arms. "I, uh, don't really know where it is from here."
Sun winked at him and stepped towards the vent. "You're talking to a bot who knows this place like the back of his hand! Er…probably." He sheepishly scratched his cheek. "It's all still a little fuzzy. But I think I can get us to the general area."
He then turned and slipped into the vents. Gregory was amazed at how much the animatronic could contort himself. Sun held out his hand, and Gregory grabbed it. He was pulled into the vents behind Sun, and the two began to crawl.
Inside the vents was much darker than the room. Sun paused for a moment as his fans whirred. Gregory looked confused, before stiffening with alarm. Sun's coloring was shifting. He was turning silvery and the little stars on his pants appeared. The little cap set itself into place, and Moon lifted his head. He blinked slowly; his eyes were a lovely bluish-grey.
"Oh, sorry…" He was softer spoken now. "I forgot to warn you. You must be scared…after what I did last time. I can go back to being Sun, if you'd like."
Gregory quickly shook his head. "Ah…no…it's fine. I'm just surprised. The switch doesn't seem painful for you now."
Moon's smile grew peaceful. "I am myself again. Earlier I had to push the virus to this side of me so Sun could still interact semi-normally."
Gregory nodded, but then frowned again. "Huh, so...are you and Sun two different…people?"
Moon paused before shaking his head. "No, whether Sun or Moon, I'm still me. Depending on which form I'm in, my personality traits shift and become more…exaggerated. It took some getting used to, I'll admit. You can call me 'Sun' or 'Moon' depending on my form, or you can just stick with Daycare Attendant if it's simpler."
Gregory made a noise of understanding. "Gotcha, thanks for explaining it, Moon."
The animatronic blinked happily and turned back to concentrate on the vents. This form made it easier for him to travel in the dark, but the vents were still a complicated maze.
Gregory found himself more relaxed now that there was another person around. Moon's quiet shuffling made it easier to avoid focusing on the disconcerting sounds around them. They searched the vents for several minutes as Moon tried to locate the room where the Glamrocks disappeared. Both were deep in their own thoughts as they turned corner after corner. Occasionally Moon glanced out of the grates, only to shake his head and continued forward.
Gregory had no idea if Moon knew where he was going, so he could only have patience. His knees had started aching terribly but he pushed through. He didn't want to waste time by resting.
Finally, Moon held up a hand - signaling Gregory to slow down. "This is it." He whispered and pointed to a grate beside them. Gregory peered out. It was indeed the catwalk where his friends were taken from him. Moon cautiously stuck his head out and peered around.
"There's another hallway down there." He shifted aside so Gregory could look. For the boy, it was just the dark cavern below.
"I'll take your word for it." He turned to Moon. "Can you get us down?"
Moon examined the walls and pipes for a second, and slowly nodded. "I'm not seeing any enemies nearby, so it should be safe." He slipped out and clung to the pipes on the wall. "Climb onto my back."
Gregory did so. He got a good grip around Moon's neck and wrapped his legs around his torso. Gregory hung on as tightly as he could, and Moon began to descend. The animatronic scaled one pipe to another. Eventually he had to jump across a gap, but landed it with ease.
"Are you alright, little friend?" He turned to ask.
The boy nodded. "I'm fine. - Oh, and Gregory."
Moon tilted his head. "Pardon?"
"My name. It's Gregory."
The animatronic smiled. "Gregory…that's lovely."
Gregory squeezed Moon's neck. "Do you remember your name? Your real one before you…turned into a robot."
Moon hesitated for a moment. "I don't. And even if I did, I rather prefer my name now. It helps me remember that this life is a new one."
Gregory nodded mutely, and the two didn't speak again until they were safely on the ground. Moon crouched so Gregory could slip off. The boy shook out his arms and legs; they were stiff from hanging on so tightly.
There was barely any light down here. Moon blinked, and one of his eyes turned red. He scanned the area. "A door's this way. Follow me." He grabbed Gregory's hand and led him through the hall.
They reached the door and Moon paused. His eyes glowed while scanning, and he frowned with irritation. "There's interference down here, I can't sense anything."
Gregory nodded and gripped the door's handle. "We'll have to do this the old-fashioned way."
The door creaked as Gregory barely opened it. He pressed his eye to the crack and saw a long hallway belonging to the pizzeria. He must've circled back to it again. Quietly as possible, the two crept into the old building. Adorning the walls were old drawings and posters of the original Freddy Gang. Table and chairs lay in broken heaps, and the walls had started to cave in. They passed several party rooms and finally reached the door at the end of the hall.
Gregory peered into the darkness of the next room, and a sense of foreboding gripped his chest. Something terrible had happened here.
It was an old backroom; filled with shelves and busted robotic parts. Earlier versions of endoskeletons could be seen hanging on the walls. Gregory squinted, trying to adjust to the darkness. As they crept further in, Moon suddenly froze. His eyes illuminated several figures in the far corner of the room. Gregory swallowed nervously.
"Those look like the original Fazbear animatronics…"
Four broken animatronics laid slumped against the wall. Their fur and casings were burnt, and most of their parts were either busted or missing. Gregory pulled out his flashlight and flicked it on. Reaching out, he gently shoved the old Freddy's head aside. It was dark inside the suit, but the flashlight revealed that it was empty. The inside walls and endoskeleton were stained with a dark substance.
Gregory grimaced; he could take a guess of what that substance originally was. Without another word, he slowly released the animatronic and gave its head a few respectful pats.
He then glanced to the animatronic that was next in line. It was the original Bonnie, but his face was missing. His bare endoskeleton and wires made him look more pitiful than ever. Just like the Freddy, he too had a stained but empty interior. The next was Chica; she was missing both arms and part of her beak. Foxy was slumped against her. His jaw had broken off and was now lying in his lap. Like the others, they were empty but stained.
Gregory's heart ached. He reached into his backpack and pulled out the article about the tragedy. He stared at the pictures of the kids. They were so small - they must've been around his age or younger when they died. Bowing his head, Gregory gave them a silent prayer.
He finished and looked back up. He let his gaze fall from one animatronic to another, but when he passed Foxy, he paused. Several feet away, hidden in the shadows, was another animatronic. It was a rabbit, like Bonnie, but its fur was a musty yellow. Gregory frowned. He didn't remember anything about a fifth member. He reached out to it, but abruptly froze.
A purple ribbon was hanging off the rabbit's neck, and as Gregory crept closer, he could see the unsettling grin on its face. "Glitchtrap?" Gregory whispered, and shone his flashlight on it. "Wait…no…it's different."
Hesitant, he poked the rabbit's head. Nothing happened, so he gripped its ears to examine it. It was probably the original version of Glitchtrap before the games. Its eyes and smile had a different design, but the overall look and color-scheme were the same. Gregory shook it slightly and realized it was lightweight. He looked closer to see a hinge and lock on its neck. This was an actual suit for a person to wear. Gregory swallowed nervously. Just barely, he tilted the head back and peered in.
Nothing. It was empty like the others. The sides of the suit were darkened, but he could see the glint of deadly springlocks inside. He looked back to the other animatronics.
"The four kids…" he then pointed to the yellow rabbit, "…and Afton." He looked at the article again. "Their remains were found and taken out, but the suits weren't destroyed. They've been back here for who knows how long."
Gregory shivered with disgust and stepped away from the suit. "I'm glad the kids weren't entombed here with their murderer."
A gentle hand rested on Gregory's shoulder and he glanced up. Moon was staring down at the animatronics with sorrow.
"I think all their souls moved on." He whispered. "Finally at peace."
Gregory nodded and scrubbed his eyes. "Yeah…but the same can't be said about Vanny's victims yet." He abruptly turned away and walked towards the other end of the room.
The back wall had collapsed long ago, revealing an entire room behind this one. Moon followed Gregory as he stepped out of the backroom and into a large man-made cave.
Strange lights glowed from the walls, illuminating the multitude of boxes and robotic parts strewn about. Wires and tubes crawled up the walls like thick vines. The top of them disappeared into the rock, but the bottom were connected to a large charging tube. Green smoke was swirling ominously behind the glass window. Whatever was inside was completely obscured.
And lying motionless next to the tube was Freddy Fazbear.
Gregory's breath hitched. "Freddy!" The bear didn't respond when Gregory ran over and shook his arm. "Are you offline? Wake up!" Gregory shook him harder. Freddy clanked against the tube, but other than that made no noise. Gregory fumbled with his backpack and grabbed for the thumb-drive. "H-Hang on, maybe this'll help."
He jammed the adapter into Freddy's neck. Several agonizing seconds passed, and then there was a faint hum of electricity. Gregory leaned into the electrical current and squeezed his eyes shut.
The burn of electricity in his bones faded, but he could still feel the heat. He blinked, and saw that he was surrounded by fire. He was standing in the middle of the old pizzeria as it burned to the ground. Thick smoke filled the air and the building creaked as it started to collapse. Gregory coughed as smoke filled his lungs. He could barely see, but he forced himself to dive deeper into the chaos.
"Freddy?!" He called out. "Freddy?!"
Flames crackled as they climbed the walls and floors. The curtains of the main stage were completely ingulfed, and remains of a party were abandoned at the tables. Gregory recklessly rushed over a patch of flames, only to hiss in pain and immediately stumble away. It burned; unlike anything he's experienced in the dreamscapes. He had to be more careful this time.
His eyes were watering the deeper he went. Despite the flames, he suddenly felt a chill up his spine. He whipped around and immediately ran in the direction it came from. The halls were a maze that he had no hope of figuring out himself. He followed the uneasy feeling until it became almost unbearable. The backrooms were now right in front of him, but a giant wall of flames blocked his way.
Gregory stumbled back as a wave of heat hit him. He squinted and watched the flames in front of him start taking shape. A body, a face, and then ears appeared. A smile tore into existence, and Glitchtrap opened his eyes.
The entire world shook, and Gregory stumbled. He gathered his courage and stepped closer to the rabbit. "O-Out of my way! I'm going to get Freddy back!"
Glitchtrap didn't answer, but the flames grew in intensity. Gregory squinted and tried seeing past him, but it was useless.
"Freddy!" Gregory screamed. "Are you there? Answer me!"
There was nothing for a minute, and then a faint voice wafted through the air.
Smiling, Gregory peered again through the flames. "I'm here! Hang tight, I'll get you out of here!" He tried pushing passed Glitchtrap, but hissed when the flames started burning him.
"Superstar…don't…" Freddy's called desperately, and then faded.
A fiery hand suddenly grabbed Gregory and dragged him back. The boy screamed as his skin boiled with the heat. He felt himself being lifted off the ground, and then he was staring into Glitchtrap's eyes. They were blazing with malice and insanity, but Gregory sneered at him.
"You're just a stupid computer program." He hissed. "Y-You don't scare me." He gagged when the pressure increased, and the world started to tilt. Everything was loud and painful; he couldn't even tell where he was anymore. He felt himself spinning, and he lost his balance when the pressure disappeared.
His eyes snapped open and his legs failed him. He stumbled back and fell to the ground with a harsh thud. Moon helped him up, but Gregory wasn't paying attention. He was staring at Freddy. The bear was twitching unsteadily now. His fans whirred and his joints trembled. Slowly, the bear stood to his full height, and opened his eyes. They were dead and robotic.
Gregory whimpered. "Freddy…no…"
"How kind of you to deliver yourself straight to my doorstep." A sudden voice made them whirl around. Vanny stood in the doorway; her head tilted in curiosity. She reached up to reveal a remote control in her hand. She pressed the button, and S.T.A.F.F. bots emerged from the darkness. Gregory sneered at them and took a step back, only for a crushing grip to capture his arms. He squeaked in pain and looked over his shoulder. Freddy had grabbed his arms, preventing him from escaping. The bear was staring blankly at Vanny as he waited for instructions.
Vanny hummed, gaining Gregory's attention again. She idly watched as the S.T.A.F.F. bots restrained Moon. Sighing heavily, she faced Gregory.
"Kid, you disappoint me. I give you all the head-starts, ignore you when you're creeping around, and even turned a blind eye when you helped the Glamrocks. Our final showdown was about to begin, and you almost ruined everything."
Gregory glared at her. "Like I give a crap. I'm not interested in the opinion of a psychopath."
Vanny laughed. "Ooh~, you almost sounded cool there. How heroic." She pressed the remote again, and Freddy lifted Gregory off the floor. The boy grit his teeth as the bear brought him closer to her. Freddy halted, and Vanny's glowing eyes bore into Gregory's soul. "It's been fun, but how about you stop messing around and play like you're supposed to."
"This isn't a stupid game!" Gregory spat. "You murdered children! There's no 'save file' for you to go back and change it."
Vanny giggled and slowly lifted her knife. "But that's what makes this so exciting! Who wins, who loses? Who succumbs to death, and who becomes the master over it?"
Gregory furrowed his eyebrows and stared silently for a moment. "Vanny…creating a new Afton isn't going to bring your sister back…"
Vanny went silent. Tilting her head, she examined Gregory with a new intensity. "…You don't get anything, do you? Who would want that little bitch back?"
Vanny's hand shot out and grabbed Gregory's hair. "Her death was a blessing. Do you know how tiring it was, to be compared to her my entire life? Why aren't your grades better, like your sister. Why don't you be more polite, like your sister. Why don't you stop playing those creepy games and be more like your damned sister!"
Gregory hissed as her grip tightened cruelly.
"But all of that could have been forgiven," Vanny menacingly whispered, "If she didn't try to get in my way when it mattered. She tried to separate me from William. She said it was all in my head - that he was changing me." Vanny gave a bitter laugh, and leaned in closer. "As if she really knew who I was in the first place. Fortunately, people are so trusting when it comes to family. All it took was one tiny favor, and SNAP!" Gregory winced as Vanny screamed in his ear. "Dead as a dormouse! William was right; he's always right! Everything happens for a reason, but sometimes, you gotta give fate a little push."
She released Gregory's hair and pointed her knife to his cheek. "Vanessa didn't realize that, so now she's just a side-character in a backstory."
Gregory's breath hitched. "B-But you're Vanessa?!"
Vanny increased the knife's pressure, causing a bead of blood to pool against its tip. "It was so cruel of the universe to swap our destinies at birth." She whispered again. "William didn't call out for an 'Eliza'. He needed a Vanessa. That was in the source code - it was law. That stupid girl was wasting everything the universe gave her, so I took it."
Her knife put a thin slice in Gregory's cheek. The boy whimpered and tried leaning away. Vanny watched him with interest. "How surprising…" She murmured to herself. "That the universe chose you, of all people, to be the hero in this game."
She stepped away from him, and Gregory let out the breath he was holding. He panted slightly as he watched her every move. Vanny looked up at Freddy and held out the remote.
"But the hero doesn't get to win every time. I'm sure as hell not going to give up everything I've worked for!" She pressed the remote's button, and Freddy slowly turned around. All the robots in the room moved to form a semi-circle around the front of the charging tube. Vanny walked over to the door and placed a hand on the window.
"William's work wasn't finished; it has to be completed! He called out to us during the final game, and I answered." She gripped the remote tightly. "He knows how to break the chains of humanity. Soon, death will be a thing of the past. Nothing and no one will be able to control me ever again!"
She aggressively pressed the button, and the ground shook. Lights blinked rapidly as smoke escaped the charging tube with a hiss. The door swung open, and a warped hand slowly emerged. Its claws screeched along the metal as it gripped the side of the tube. Finally, the thing stepped into the light. It was a rabbit animatronic…or that's what it was trying to be. Its faceplate looked like it used to be Bonnie's, but it was now warped in a way it was almost unrecognizable. The rest of the animatronic was an amalgamation of all sorts of different wires and casings. It was impossible to tell what the casings' original colors used to be; almost all of it had faded into a sickly yellow.
Its purple eyes flickered around the room to take in its surroundings. The animatronic opened its faceplate like it was breathing, revealing a reddish substance behind the outer shell. It twitched unsteadily as its eyes rolled back momentarily. After readjusting its vision, it turned to look at Vanny.
"William…" Vanny breathed in awe and stepped towards him. "You're finally here."
She inspected the animatronic with a strange amount of care. Gregory watched all of this with disgust. The pressure emitting from the rabbit was exactly like the Blob. It wasn't a single source, but it was like hundreds of souls were crying out all at once. This thing had multiple souls merged into it.
But none of them were Afton, Gregory could now tell. Those were just some of the kids Vanessa forced into the machine so the code could corrupt them. This new Afton was using them as fuel, and his A.I. was improving through every bit of their suffering.
"You're perfect William!" Vanny clung to his shoulder. "Do you like the new body? I worked so hard on it."
The rabbit looked down at his hand and slowly nodded. Despite her mask, Gregory could tell Vanny had a cruel smile.
"How about you break it in a little? There's still one more young soul we need to deal with." She grinned and pointed to Gregory. The robot turned to look at him, and the boy flinched. Those eyes shone with the same vile energy as Vanny's. Gregory grit his teeth as the animatronic studied him; an uncomfortable pressure was squeezing at his chest. Slowly, it took a step towards him. Gregory struggled in Freddy's grip. There were sounds of scraping metal as Moon started to fight too.
"S-Stay away from me!" Gregory's heartbeat could be heard in his ears. Every part of him was screaming to run, but he couldn't. Freddy was still holding him in an iron grip. "F-Freddy." Gregory finally whimpered. "Now's the perfect time to snap out of it. C'mon, wake up and help me!"
Afton flexed his claws and the lights glinted off them. They were wicked sharp; a small mercy since they wouldn't hurt as much as blunted blades. Only a few more seconds to go, and those claws would be tearing though Gregory's stomach.
Gregory's heart was pounding so loud, that he almost missed the clanking sounds coming from inside Freddy's chest compartment. The clanking then grew louder, unmissable this time. All eyes were drawn to the animatronic bear. His expression shifted into confusion, and looked down as his compartment was forced open. Meenie jumped out with a cry and latched onto Freddy's face.
Pandemonium broke out. Several bots were flung into the wall as Moon broke from their grip. Moon grabbed a table and swung it like a baseball bat. Sparks and gears went flying as he plowed through the S.T.A.F.F. bots. At the same time, Freddy stumbled as Meenie clawed at his eyes. Gregory took this chance and pushed off the bear's chest with all his might. His arms burned, but he was free! Vanny's enraged screams and commands filled the air as Gregory ducked under several S.T.A.F.F. bots. They were whirring around in a frenzy, trying to stop him while avoiding Moon.
Gregory could hear Moon yelling at him to run, and he did so without question. Meenie leapt off Freddy and landed on Gregory's head as the boy bolted from the room. He didn't have time to let his eyes adjust to the darkness, so he ran blindly for a minute. The floor shook as robots chased after him. He ducked and weaved around the ruins of the pizzeria, using the terrain to his advantage.
Meenie tugged at his hair and pointed frantically to an open door. Gregory dove inside and quickly looked around. It was an old security office with two large doors on either side. Both of them were open, but there were buttons on the side of their frames. Gregory slammed his fist into each button, and the doors shut with a bang. He was safe, but now he was trapped.
Gregory flinched as something banged on the door. He looked to the window and saw the gleaming eyes of the S.T.A.F.F. bots. Each time the bots pounded at the door, the lights above would flicker. Gregory glanced over his shoulder at Meenie, the little bot was dragging a chair away from the wall. There was an air vent behind it, but the way it was attached to the wall was bizzare. It almost reminded Gregory of a puzzle. The boy growled with irritation and turned to the window. The bots' hits were coming more frequent now; any longer and the doors wouldn't last. Gregory turned to the computer and pressed the power button. The screen flickered, and by some miracle it turned on. It dimly showed the working security camera feeds. There were a few in the halls and party rooms. None were working in the security office's hallway, so Gregory would have to use the windows.
"Meenie, try to get that vent off. I'll see if I can buy us some time." He spoke over his shoulder. The little bot gave him a salute and began fiddling with the vent.
Forcing himself to focus, Gregory stared at the screen and the controls. There had to be some way for him to lure those things away. On the side of the individual boxes that showed the camera feeds, there was a little symbol. Gregory clicked on it experimentally, and somewhere from inside the pizzeria came an ear-splitting noise.
It was like one of those child toys that ran out of batteries. Originally a merry ditty, but now it was just demonic screeching. Gregory didn't know if it was supposed to be some sort of alarm or not, but it caught the S.T.A.F.F. bots' attention. The pounding at the doors stopped, and Gregory saw through the cameras that the bots were rolling away to investigate.
He sighed with relief, only for a popup window to suddenly appear on the screen. 'Warning!' It read 'Doors consuming 80% power.' Gregory winced and noticed a little power meter on the bottom of the screen. They'd be doomed if it reached 0%. After checking the windows and cameras again, he took a risk and opened the doors.
Eventually, the S.T.A.F.F. bots started to return, so Gregory had to shut the doors before luring them away again. It became a juggling act of distracting the bots while also preventing a power-outage.
He slammed the doors shut once again and leaned against the wall. He was growing tired, and their power was almost out. "Meenie, please tell me you figured it out."
The bot gave a negative beep, and Gregory grit his teeth. He stared at the cameras again, and a new face appeared. Freddy was standing in the middle of the hallway, staring directly into the camera. He was much bigger than the staff bots; one hit with his claws, and the doors wouldn't stand a chance.
Gregory was on the verge of a panic attack, when Meenie's music box twinkled at him. He whipped around and saw the bot proudly holding the removed grate. Gregory smiled with relief. "Right in the nick of time. C'mon." They crawled into the vent just as a force knocked down the doors. Gregory winced and hurried deeper. A red light illuminated the vent, but Gregory didn't look back; he knew the robots were watching from behind.
These vents weren't nearly as wide as the ones up in the Plex. Gregory huffed and shimmied his way through. Ominous banging and clanking echoed through them as he continued. The metal underneath him started getting warm, and then a scent wafted through the air.
Smoke. Something was on fire.
Gregory yelped when the vents wobbled and creaked. There was a terrible crack, and Gregory felt himself fall. He gripped Meenie tightly to his chest and curled in on himself. They hit something on the way down before colliding with the floor. The wind was knocked out of him and he laid motionless until he could breathe again. Gregory wiggled out of the remains and stood. They were on a platform next to what looked like a giant boiler room. Steam was hissing violently out of the pipes, and Gregory realized the air was sweltering. Flames were crackling from the floor below. Something had tampered with the boilers; most of their pipes and machinery were bent and broken.
Another pipe burst with a hiss of steam and the ground shook. Gregory stumbled, looking frantically for an exit. There was a door on the far-end of the large room, and Gregory hurried towards it.
Suddenly a large form fell from above and landed right in front of him. Gregory screamed and skid to halt. Steam and smoke wafted menacingly around Freddy as he stared at the boy. Gregory took several steps back. "F-Freddy, we need to get out of here!" He yelled over the din.
Freddy's head twitched, but he didn't respond. He stepped towards Gregory, who backed away. There was a large groaning sound, and a pillar suddenly collapsed. The floor shook as the pillar collided with the wall, ripping wires from their sockets. Sparking electricity mixed dangerously with the fire. Gregory stared at the wires and froze. The ground trembled again, and Gregory took a deep breath in. Meenie beeped with confusion as the boy set it down.
"Afton's code is infecting you, Freddy." Gregory stared at the bear. "But I know you won't give up the life you worked so hard for. C'mon, let's bring you back to your senses."
Freddy narrowed his eyes and readied his claws. As the bear leapt forward, Gregory grabbed the exposed wires. He slammed the sparking ends into Freddy's chest, and a giant volt of electricity ran through the both of them.
Gregory was back in the dreamscape's burning Pizzeria. He slowly opened his eyes and blinked. After taking a moment to examine his surroundings, he turned and walked down the halls with a purpose. The flaming wall guarding the backroom was still there, but Gregory didn't cower. Taking a deep breath, Gregory readied his feet before pushing off the ground. He sprinted through the flames with as much power he could muster.
Everything burned with agony, but he kept going. He stumbled, and it felt like he could breathe again. The backrooms were illuminated by the flames, showing all the old endoskeletons and Fazbear animatronics.
There, slumped against the backwall, was a man. He was staring emotionlessly into the flames, not looking up as Gregory approached him.
"Freddy…" There was no mistaking those blue eyes.
The man blinked and reached into his suit pocket. He pulled out a cigarette, and leaned over to light it on the flames. He brought it up to his lips and inhaled. The man deeply sighed - letting the smoke escape through his lips.
"…So this is where it all ends. Huh?" He muttered to himself. "A lifetime of failure, ending in one spectacular fuck-up. Dang it…"
He glanced at the cigarette and scrunched his nose. Reaching up, he flicked it into the flames. "…Never liked those things anyway."
Another beam above cracked, and the ground shook when it fell. The man rested his hands in his lap and watched the flames burn.
Gregory slowly sat down in front of him. "Huh, so you were a security guard…" He eyed the man's singed uniform. Gregory inched closer to him. "Why are you here, Freddy? Please tell me what happened."
The man didn't answer.
The fire crackled, and Gregory looked to the side. The flames were taking shape again, and the mask of Glitchtrap soon grinned down.
"You failed them." His voice was like seeping oil. "You had the power, but failed. It's all your fault."
The man didn't look up at the rabbit, but nodded his head in agreement. Glitchtrap loomed over him, and the grin on his mask widened. "You're weak. Pathetic. You've done nothing of value in life. How amusing that someone like you thought he could protect those children."
Flames curled around Glitchtrap like they were from the pits of hell. "Just imagine it, their little bodies slowly roasting alive. Their flesh melts, their hair burns. All while they're acutely aware of what's happening to them." He chuckled, and Gregory's skin scrawled.
"You were a fool!" Glitchtrap's booming laugh echoed through the halls. "No friends, no family, you're all alone. The only one who will witness you die over and over again is me!"
"Shut the hell up, Afton."
The air went deadly silent, and Glitchtrap turned to look at Gregory. The boy was glaring at him. "You're the pathetic one. You can't even exist without taking over someone else's soul."
The fire crackled and Glitchtrap stepped away from Freddy. His flames inched closer, surrounding Gregory.
"How curious." His voice became strangely soft. "Why do you continue to fight? There's nothing for you anymore. Your parents are dead, your home is gone, even the friends you made here will disappear without a trace. The only thing that's kept you from giving into despair is your stubbornness." Gregory winced as the flames touched his cheek. Glitchtrap tilted his head. "Strange, that sometimes the only reason to live is the sheer desire to."
Gregory stepped away from him and sneered. "As if you know anything about being alive. You're just a computer program Vanny made. A copy of what the game William Afton's supposed to be. You don't have a soul."
"A soul?" Glitchtrap sneered. "Answer me this, foolish child -" The flames roared as Glitchtrap circled the boy. "We both see, we both speak. We have emotions and react to them. So then what exactly is the difference, between you and I?"
"I…" Gregory shook his head. "I don't know. But I don't care! Those kids were robbed of their futures because of you! You, whatever the hell you are, aren't free from consequences." He flinched when Glitchtrap's laughter shook the ground.
"How naïve. You do not understand what I am capable of. I am creating life! I am a reality that came from a falsehood. Humanity is just a thing of the past now; I will become a god that reshapes this entire existence!"
"You're no god…" Gregory sneered. "You're just a demon playing one."
The ground shook and parts of the ceiling crashed onto the ground. The flames were everywhere now, but Gregory refused to look away from Glitchtrap.
"Freddy." Gregory called over the rabbit's shoulder. "I know you're stronger than this jerk."
Glitchtrap's flames grew as he sneered. "He can't hear you! His failures in life have caught up to him, and he's succumbed."
Gregory ignored him and stepped to get a better look at the man behind the rabbit. "Freddy." He said again. "You're not a failure. You're a role-model to thousands of kids everywhere. You're a leader and father to the Glamrocks…and you're the greatest friend I've ever had. I trust you, so I'm going to be completely honest. Earlier, I almost killed Monty."
The world suddenly glitched, but then sharpened back into focus. Gregory walked forward so he was stranding right in front of the man. "After we got separated back at Gator Golf, I ran into him on the catwalks. In order to save myself, I made that giant bucket fall on him. The weight was too much, and he fell. Monty almost died because of me…just like what Bonnie had done."
Gregory took a shaky breath in. "Please believe that I never wanted to hurt him. I made a selfish, heat-of-the-moment decision, and it ended terribly. I failed in that moment, like I have a thousand times before… I'll take whatever punishment I get, and I'll do my best to learn from it."
He knelt down in effort to meet the man's eye. "You were the one who taught me to not give up on myself, and now I'm saying the same to you. Freddy, don't let the mistakes of the past take away from your future! Roxy, Monty, Chica, D.A. and me; you're so important to all of us. We love you, so don't you dare leave us behind!"
A whip of flames wrapped around Gregory's arm. He held back a scream as he was dragged into the wall. Glitchtrap had grown larger, and the flames were waving sporadically now.
"Monologuing won't do anything!" he hissed. "Words are useless, and you're all fated for-"
"I wasn't talking to you!" Gregory interrupted with a dismissive wave. "I'm getting my friend back, so shut up, you stupid bow-tie wearing, mustard-furred, Bugs Bunny-wannabe BITCH!"
Gregory shielded his face as the flames roared higher. Glitchtrap's mask twisted with rage, and Gregory bared his teeth in a menacing smile. The ground trembled and pieces of building started raining down. Glitchtrap's paws flexed and wicked claws appeared. His formed wavered as he stepped towards Gregory. Glitchtrap raised his hand and swiped down.
A paw appeared from behind and caught Glitchtrap mid swing. Over his shoulder, Glamrock Freddy glared down at him. Glitchtrap roared with irritation as he started swiping at the bear. Freddy merely blinked and looked to Gregory.
"Gregory, language." He gently chastised with a smile.
Gregory couldn't help but laugh. "If it means snapping you back to reality, I'll curse whenever I damn-well please."
Freddy shook his head but never stopped smiling.
Gltichtrap's roar pierced through the air, and the building started shaking with new intensity. Freddy increased his grip on Glitchtrap's arm, and the rabbit's form began glitching so badly that it was impossible to tell what he was anymore.
His sudden disappearance happened so quickly, that Gregory almost missed it. The pressure in the air vanished as well, and Gregory felt like he could breathe again. Everything became strangely muted, and Gregory and Freddy looked at each other. Without warning, Gregory flung his arms around the bear's waist.
"Glad to have you back, Freddy." His laugh was raspy with tears.
Freddy knelt and hugged him tighter. "Hope I didn't keep you waiting for long, superstar."
The world tilted and started turning white, but Gregory didn't notice. His face was buried in Freddy's shoulder as he clung to him. He probably looked like a desperate child, but at that moment, he didn't mind one bit.
The ground finally felt stable again, and the noises of steam and flames reached their ears once more. Freddy released Gregory and looked around. He immediately tensed when he realized their predicament. "What on earth?"
"Explanations later!" Gregory yelled. "Let's get out of here!"
Freddy nodded and moved to grab Gregory. A form suddenly slammed into him, almost knocking him off the platform. Gregory screamed with shock. There was the sound of clashing and tearing metal as Freddy grappled with his aggressor. The bear's eyes narrowed as he snarled into the warped face of William Afton.
The rabbit gave a mechanical screech as he slammed Freddy into the guard-rail. The metal snapped, causing Freddy to hang precariously off the edge. The bear kicked Afton's stomach, sending him flying back into a batch of flames. Freddy lifted himself up, watching as Afton staggered out. The rabbit's metal casing and endoskeleton were red with heat, and parts of him had caught on fire. Afton lifted up a large concrete slab and heaved it at Freddy. The bear dodged and ripped out a piece of the metal guard-rail.
Afton lunged at him and Freddy drove the bar into his side. This didn't discourage him, and the rabbit managed to slash Freddy's chest. In turn, Freddy slammed Afton off the side of the platform, but the rabbit caught himself on the dangling guard-rail. Using his momentum, he swung back up and kicked Freddy in the chest.
Gregory stood, watching with alarm. The temperature in the room was increasing every minute, and the air was shimmering with heat. Gregory took a small step towards the fighting animatronics. He had to do something!
A sharp pinch to the leg caught his attention and he looked down. Meenie was pointing frantically off the edge of the platform. Gregory peered over and saw a large slithering mass of wires. It reached out a tentacle and gripped onto a piece of machinery. With a crack it ripped with ease, and the Blob flung it aside to destroy another piece. Gregory's heart jumped. He glanced over at the other two, before yelling down and catching the Blob's attention.
It's burnt Freddy mask craned to look up at him as it hissed. Gregory stared into its eyes, imploring for help. The Blob's wires wavered, and the angry pressure it was emitting weakened. Slowly, it moved to the edge of the platform and slithered up the wall. Its Freddy-mask was soon level with the boy's face.
"Will you help me?" Gregory calmly whispered.
The mask blinked, and its wires ceased their writhing. It tilted its head as Gregory slowly reached out. He patted its forehead a few times. "C'mon. It's time for you all to rest."
On the other side of the platform, Freddy was still struggling with Afton. The bear managed to grab the rabbit's arms and restrain him, but it was growing difficult. With a shove, Afton broke from his grip and whirled to face him. The fire reflected off his eyes as he laughed.
"How fitting. William Afton and Freddy Fazbear. The two main characters are finally alive and free."
Freddy snorted. "I'm not a fictional character. I'm me." He managed to get a punch in. "I can't say the same about you. How many children souls do you have trapped?"
Afton huffed with laughter. "Enough to make sure I will never return to a simple program ever again." He shoved Freddy away and the two paused. They faced each other, waiting for the other to move first. Gregory suddenly appeared next to Freddy. He was pointing the Fazerblaster at Afton. Freddy blinked with surprise, but Afton laughed.
"What a sight! The killer animatronic bear and child victim are actually working together for once. How will the world interpret this series of events? Will they turn it into a game again? Or maybe a series of books or films. Tragedy is so entertaining after all."
Gregory laid his finger on the trigger and stepped closer to him. "Betcha I can tell you the ending of them too. Spoiler alert, the crazy murderers get their asses kicked!
Afton's face-plate cracked as his grin widened. "Do you think killing me will put an end to all this? I'm not the only one who can run this code. There is an abundance of souls in this world, and the beautiful thing is that there is no limit to how much they can suffer. Fighting is useless, I will always just come back."
Gregory huffed at him. "And we'll find a way to put you down as many times as it takes! Just like Vanny said, sometimes fate just needs a little push."
"I am the one who ultimately controls fate." Afton sneered. "I am an eternal being!"
Gregory took another step towards him. "I told you before, Afton. Actions have consequences. I don't care if you're a human or robot, but one thing's for sure, I'm sending you back to hell where you belong!"
A burst of light shot from the blaster and hit Afton squarely in the eyes. The rabbit hissed with surprise and stepped backwards. A sudden screech filled the air, and a tentacle of wires snatched Afton by the waist. Afton roared in shock and struggled as he was lifted into the air. The fire had spread to the Blob, and the flaming entity shrieked in Afton's face. Metal groaned as its grip tightened, and Afton's casing shattered. The tentacle whipped around, flinging Afton into the side of a large machine. Fire and smoke erupted out of the machine. The Blob shrieked again and lunged at Afton, tearing him limb from limb.
Gregory raised a fist in the air and cheered. Without warning, the platform shook violently, causing him and Freddy to stumble. Gregory's knees hit the ground after he lost his balance. A terrible creaking nose then rose over the robotic screeches. A shadow overcame Gregory and he looked up. The large machine was tilting, right over him. For a second, he couldn't move. He was frozen as he watched the machine fall.
"Gregory!" Freddy's scream broke him out of his trance and he scrambled backwards.
With an explosion of dust and concrete the large machine collided into the platform. Freddy was thrown from his feet as the collision reverbed across the ground. Metal cracked and ricocheted off the rock, forcing Freddy to fling his arms over his face to protect himself. He winced as debris dented his casing.
After a minute of the ground wobbling unsteadily, everything settled. The air was now thick with dust and smoke. Freddy coughed and slowly sat up. His eyes glowed through the smog as he looked around. Afton and the Blob had gone strangely silent.
"Gregory?" Freddy called. There was only shifting of rock to answer him, and he grew frantic. "Gregory?!" He stood and limped towards the fallen machine. His eyes illuminated the scene in front of him, and his fans whirred in panic.
Gregory's arm was pinned under the machine. He was struggling to free himself, but the machine was too heavy. He kicked and wiggled desperately. As of now, his arm was completely numb; probably crushed into dust. But there was no telling how long that would last.
"F-Freddy-" He called out - his voice a pleading squeak.
Freddy rushed over and dug his claws into the metal. "Hold on Gregory! I'll get this off-" He heaved, but it didn't budge. Adjusting his grip, he tried again; the metal only creaked slightly. Gregory hissed through his teeth and gripped the part of his arm that was next to the machine. With all his might, he pulled as Freddy lifted.
A jolt of intense pain shot through him as the bone fragments dug into his nerves. Gregory gasped and let go. Blood had started pooling from under the machine, and his head was growing dizzy. With his good hand he scrubbed away tears.
"I-It's not working. Freddy, w-what should we do?"
Freddy's claws dug deeper into the metal. "It'll work, it has to. I'm going to try to tilt it from the other side. Hang in there a bit longer for me superstar."
Gregory stiffly nodded as Freddy went to the edge of the platform. The boy winced as the machine shifted. He swallowed nervously after another minute of no results. "Should we try c-cutting my arm off?"
The mere thought of it made him want to puke.
Freddy bared his fangs at the machine. The metal screeched as he pushed, lifted, and clawed at it. He shook his head and sighed. "I don't think I can stomach doing that to you. Besides, there's nothing here we could use."
He walked back over to Gregory and inspected the boy's arm. "I can't lift this by myself. We need to find the other Glamrocks or D.A. to help."
Gregory began to nod, when the platform started shaking again. He clutched at the ground as the tremors increased in intensity.
"W-What now?" He yelled over the rumbling. He was answered almost immediately when a giant explosion shook the air behind them. Gregory turned his head as best he could, and his eyes widened. The fire had spread too far -the boilers were starting to erupt.
Freddy flung at the machine and pushed with a new desperation. "Damn it! Not now!" His voice box glitched as he heaved with all his might. His forced calm expression was completely broken now, and his fear was on full display. Fear not for himself, but for the boy trapped under the machine.
Gregory watched in silent horror as the boilers glowed red. Every minute, another would explode, and the rate was increasing. Soon this whole place would collapse in a fiery heap. His terror had reached its peak, and a strange calmness overcame him. Or maybe it was just resignation. Taking a deep breath, he turned to Freddy. The animatronic was still struggling with all his might.
"…Freddy…" Gregory whispered. Reaching up, he set a gentle hand on Freddy's arm.
The bear froze and stared down. "J-Just a moment longer. I swear I'll-"
"Freddy." Gregory firmly interrupted. "It's no use. There's not enough time…" He gave a small sigh and clenched his good hand. "This place is coming down; you need to escape before it does.
Freddy growled, making him flinch. "No! Don't talk like that. After all this time…don't you dare..."
Gregory moved his hand to grip Freddy's paw. "Look, the other Glamrocks and D.A. are still here somewhere. You need to find them and escape before it's too late. You've all already had to die horribly once…I don't want it to happen again."
Gregory rested his head against the floor. The metal was hot, but he didn't care. He was growing incredibly tired. "I…I'll be ok. Really. If my life's purpose was to give you and those kids a happy ending, then I'm satisfied with that."
Freddy blinked through invisible tears, and cupped a paw around Gregory cheek. "But you deserve to be happy too." He whispered. "Please…I can't let another child die."
Gregory didn't answer. He watched as Meenie scuttled up and tapped his good hand. The robot was motioning to Gregory and then itself. Gregory smiled faintly and shook his head.
"Thanks for the offer, but I'm not going to possess you after I die. I don't know if you have a soul in you too, or you're just crazy advanced for an A.I. Either way, you gotta live your own life." He gently patted Meenie's head. "Take care of Freddy and the others for me."
The bot shook its head stubbornly and sat on the ground next to him. Gregory sighed and nudged it. "No. You stay with Freddy." The bot nipped at his fingers defiantly.
Freddy's grip on the machine tightened, catching the boy's attention. "Gregory…I've been given a second life for a reason, and that's to protect the ones I love. I fully intend to do just that. If I have to die while trying to get this damned hunk of metal off of you, then so be it."
He gripped the metal again and started lifting. "Leaving or staying…" He hissed. "We're sticking together, superstar."
The fire was staring to reach them. Gregory could feel the heat below, and pieces of the building were starting to fall again. He closed his eyes and let himself go limp. He listened to the sound of crackling fire and creaking metal. Despite his crushed arm, he could still feel the weight of the machine. It was like the entire world was resting on top of him. Every time Freddy lifted, it got a bit better, but it never stopped. He was starting to get tired of it.
Freddy hissed through his teeth as he lifted again desperately. Suddenly, the weight of the machine lessened ten-fold, and he almost stumbled. His eyes widened as smoke swirled around Monty's frame. The gator was scratched and dented, but still standing.
"Howdy, Fred. Looks like you need a bit of help."
Chica and Roxy appeared on either side of them. Together, they all lifted the machine and flung it over the side of the platform. It hit the ground and shattered with a crash. A large piece of debris collided with another pillar, causing it to fall their way. Before they could move, D.A. appeared and slammed into the pillar, forcing it to change its trajectory. The pillar collapsed on other machinery, causing a chain-reaction of explosions.
Gregory's vision was growing foggy, but he could tell what happened. The weight had been removed, and the comforting voices of his friends were all around him. He felt himself being lifted into Freddy's arms, and the animatronics ran for it. Gregory could make out the blurry shape of Meenie laying in his lap. The robot was beeping frantically as explosions shook the air around them, but to Gregory, everything sounded slow and muted. Maybe he should've been more concerned, but he honestly wasn't. Quite the contrary, he's never felt more at peace. He closed his eyes and leaned into Freddy's embrace. It was warm and safe.
It felt like home.