The Doom That Came To Theater Six

rating: +58+x

October 31st
2:00 AM

Theater Number Six contained seventy souls. Popcorn covered the floor, and the carpet was saturated by spilled sodas. The seventy in here had tried to escape. Some managed to, about an hour into the film, leaving in disgust before the second act had started.

But now, the entire audience was strapped to their seats by sets of long, clawed arms that had emerged from the backs of their chairs. Someone in the back row whimpered, and were silenced by the introduction of a handful of popcorn into their face. They thought they were going to choke on it.

The best seats in the house belonged to the Pit Sloth's guests of honor— Alison Carol and Robert Tofflemire. They had the joy of their eyes being held open, in addition to their bodies being bound. Before them, the Pit Sloth stood, wearing a body that wasn't their's.

"What, exactly, was your scheme?" The Pit Sloth shook its head. A truncated finger was pointed at Robert. "He's the weak link in your team. This plan was his, was it not?

"So what if it is?" Alison asked.

"His head is a slot!" The Pit Sloth began pacing in front of them. "He lacks brains, he looked down into the pit! My story is a canker— he denied me an anchor! And I have been here to watch." The screen behind the Pit Sloth started replaying scenes from the past month. "This man may as well crawl down a hatch! He's done nothing, accomplished no task! No hero he, barely a mask!"

"That's not true!" Robert protested.

"I stole dear Alison's mind and left her a wreck." The screen showed a pair of claws digging into Carol's back. "And the sniper Seren just barely kept me in check!." Footage played of zombies falling down in front of a burning screen. "A priss found out Tristan wasn't real., Of your site, we made a meal! You failed to halt us, others did the work!" The screen was engulfed by the image of a blue fire, and burning bodies. "Even in the pit, Alison removed you from the murk." A door with an ornate knocker fell into a bottomless pit.

The Pit Sloth leaned into Robert with a smirk. "You call yourself a protagonist, a hero, a martyr? Your tale is barely worth tinder— your story is a bad firestarter!"

"Really stretching it with the rhymes." Robert looked down at his bucket of popcorn. From his pouch, he produced a shaker of seasoning, and started sprinkling it on.

Alison's eyes widened. "What are you doing?"

"I figure, if I can't win, I might as well enjoy the show." He picked up a single kernel. "You said it yourself, the villain usually wins in horror films." He chewed on the kernel. "But it really only works if the villain kills the protagonist."

"Aye, aye, the idea you now get." The Pit Sloth tilted its head. It noticed Robert's arm starting to swell as he kept eating. "What's wrong with him?"

"He just did something he'll regret." Alison muttered, a tear falling from her eye. Before they had left, Robert had insisted on crushing up a dozen Class-A pills and placing them into a shaker. "He's deathly allergic to what he just put on the popcorn."

"Y'won't let me die," Robert wheezed. His throat was closing up. "You're not real, not yet. And you still need a good climax to convince people that…" His breathing became labored, and slowed.

"I have an adrenaline shot in my pocket." Alison stared at Robert's swollen form. "If you let me out, I can administer it to him. Otherwise, you've just gotten a really unsatisfying conclusion."

Alison realized she could hear herself twice. She looked up at the screen, and saw herself and the unconscious form of Robert, strapped into the seat next to her.

"Oh, fie, fine, very well!" The Pit Sloth's arms withdrew from Alison's arms and eyes. "But any funny moves, and I'll make your life hell."

Alison withdrew the injector from her pocket. Blue cap on the top, orange on the bottom. Removing the cap, she jabbed it right into his leg.

The effect was, thankfully, instant. Adrenaline pumped into Robert's system, and he could breathe again. "F-fuck…" he panted.

"I'll admit, this is dull." The body of Caroline Sloth fell away. "The climax of this film is void and null. I feel like a chase, make it good— or I'll make my wrath understood."

Robert felt his arms released. He looked at Alison, and the pair of them bolted from the theater.

Outside, the scene was being watched from a platoon of Foundation vehicles. Sigma-10 agents were standing guard outside the theater. Snow was falling, and the rifles of every agent were trained on the front door.

In one vehicle, Cassandra Pike was monitoring the Narrative Fluctuation Detector. The readings it was picking up from the theater could only be described as a living pataphysical singularity— and the numbers were dropping. This would have been a good thing, as it meant the singularity was closing itself, and any nearby malignant narrative would heal at an accelerated rate. But in this case, it meant the Pit Sloth was approaching a point where it would be both Real and Fictional at the same time.

"This is a world first." Sinclair stood by with bated breath. "There's not a name for what might happen here."

"There should be." Pike rubbed her hands together. "Pseudo-physical state?"

"I can never spell 'pseudo' right." Sinclair's eyebrow quirked. "But I like the direction. What about quasi-physical state?"

"Perfect." Pike's eyes were drawn to a screen next to her. Tofflemire and Carol were in the the restroom. "What the hell are they doing?"

The agents had secluded themselves in the bathroom. Robert pulled out the USB chip from his pocket. His vision swam. "Okay. Uh. I'm— I'm putting this in- in my breast pocket. Above my Epipen."

"You gonna be okay?" Alison steadied him.

"I'm fine. I'm allergic to amnestics, but they still affect me. Shouldn't lose more than a couple of minutes." He patted his pocket. "In here. In here. In here."

"I'm sorry." Alison inspected the syringe that still remained in her pocket. "For everything. I called you a jackass and an idiot so many times, and…"

"Don't." Robert stopped her. "That makes it sound like you're saying goodbye. And it's not over until the credits roll. Unless it's a Marvel film, then you're sitting there for another half-hour just to see Nick Fury call Aunt May."

Alison shook her head. "Dumbass."

The door to the bathroom blew inwards, plastic shattering against plastic. A mass of arms reached in, pawing for the agents. "Go, go, go!"

Robert dove under the arms. Alison climbed over one of the booths, into a waiting ventilation shaft— like Site-87, these shouldn't have been big enough to fit a mouse, but a certain something was aiding them.

"Did they tell you what the plan was?" Ruby Williams was helping attend to several children who had managed to get out of the theater already. The youngest was only six— his parents were still inside.

"No." Seren Pryce offered an extra-large Kit-Kat to an eight-year-old. Trick-or-Treating came a bit early today. "As far as I can figure, Toff's just winging it."

"I don't think it's that." Joseph Grey chowed down on a piece of licorice that nobody wanted. "Robert's known about this thing for months. I wouldn't be surprised if he figured out how to beat it already."

"Always the people who you don't expect." Pryce threw a bag of Reese's Pieces to a twelve-year-old girl. "He always seemed like such a goober."

"Never underestimate a fellow agent." Ruby nodded. She looked at the theater, and saw a mass of arms crawling through the halls. "What the hell?"

"C'mon, guys…" Grey clutched his licorice tighter.

Robert Tofflemire let the Pit Sloth do the work for him. He ducked beneath its arms and let it smash in the door he had been trying to get open, vaulting over its remains. Beyond the door was a long hallway, lined with projectors; gone were the days of individual booths. Digital projectors could be ran by a person with a computer and just a little training.

Robert stopped in front of the one marked 'Theater 6' and turned to face the Pit Sloth. His head was cloudy— had he taken a larger dose than he thought?

"Where did I put it?" He asked himself, patting over his body. "Come on, come on. Where is it? Where is it?"

His voice echoed throughout the theater. It was playing on the screen. The horde of arms approached. "Come on!"

He drew his gun, and fired, the other hand still searching for the flash drive. The bullet hit the Pit Sloth's mass of arms. The bullet came back around and impacted in his back, hitting his vest and knocking the wind from him. He fell flat on his front, and there was a skitter of plastic across the floor. His eyes widened— a black and red USB drive had fallen from his hand, and landed at the Pit Sloth's feet.

The drive crunched beneath a carefully placed claw. The Pit Sloth grabbed Robert's neck and lifted him upwards; the agent managed to hang onto the projector for several seconds, before he was lifted towards the ceiling.

"I see I have made an mistake." The Pit Sloth snickered. "It's a horror film— yet you're the only life I've had to take. Well, I know this will seal the deal."

The Pit Sloth threw Robert out of the hole that separated the Projector and the theater. He landed on the opposite wall with a sickening crunch, and tumbled down to the floor, out of sight beyond the first row of seats. There was a scream.

The scene on the screen then abruptly transitioned to a bottomless pit. From it, slowly, a pair of black hands with truncated fingers began to emerge, just as was depicted on the film's poster. Screams echoed throughout the theater, and sobbing. She heard people beg, and in that instant, it knew what was happening.

"I'm real."


The Pit Sloth turned face Alison Carol. She had fallen from the ventilation ducts above, one hand on the tiles. She rose, her eyes filled with fury.

"That means this should work now."

Alison lunged forward, into the mass of arms. She was cut and scratched by dozens of claws, and felt her skin burn. At the center, she found it— some kind of solid mass. She didn't know what it was, and she didn't care. She pulled out her other injector and stabbed it. It screamed, as Alison managed to read the writing on the injector.

Class-Omega Amnestic. Highly Toxic. Do Not Use.

Alison was thrown away by the Pit Sloth. The injector was empty. "Robert may be a lunk, but he's a lot smarter than you give him credit for."

"What is this?!" The Pit Sloth's mind clouded. "What have you done?! My… mind it's… starting to run."

"We knew making you real would be the only option to beat you. And we knew, for just a moment, you'd be somewhere between real and fictional."

The Pit Sloth began to shrink, but even as it did, it lunged at Alison. She bit into one of its arms, careful not to break whatever skin it had, and slammed it against the wall. She looked down at the projector, a satisfied smirk on her face. A red and black USB drive was sticking out of the projector's console.

"And did you really think he only had one flash drive?"

The scene on the screen changed suddenly. A picture of a normal sloth, being held by a woman in a green shirt, replaced the hands reaching from the screen. A voice over spoke. "Real facts about Slothses."

"You… have ruined… ruined me… I… can't die. This city… I must flee!"

"I'm sure the Duluth zoo is going to be very happy to have a new guest in its primate house." Alison slammed the ever-shrinking Pit Sloth into the projector and forced it to watch.

"I… don't want to forget. Help… me…"

The Pit Sloth stared at the screen. Its memories started to burn from its brain, and all that was left was a single bit of certainty as the movie looped before it: it was a sloth.

Several minutes later, Alison Carol was speaking on the radio with command, while stroking the fur of a two-toed sloth resting upon the projector. "I-it worked." Alison swallowed. "SCP-4040-Omega has been neutralized."

«Confirmed.» Commander March sounded grim on the other end of the line. «Sending in a team to extract the survivors now.»

"Survivors?" Alison clutched the radio tighter. "Command, what's the status of Agent Tofflemire?"

«Vital signs are negative on Tofflemire. I'm sorry, Agent Carol.»

Alison dropped the radio, and left the sloth behind on the projector, forgotten. She climbed through the aperture between the projection hallway and the theater, and ran down the aisle. It was only now that she realized that there was a large stain of blood on the screen. At the front of the theater, Robert Tofflemire laid, lifeless.

"No." Alison ran towards him. "No! Robert!" She knelt by him, flipping him to the front and beginning to compress on the chest. "Come on, come on. You have to be okay."

The door to the theater opened. Alison didn't pay it any mind as she began to blow into his mouth. She ignored the hoofsteps coming towards her, and only spoke when she heard the Goatman's bleating sigh. "You can't help him."

"Fuck you." Alison spoke between breaths.

"His story ends here, Alison. There's nothing more you can do."

"No." Alison growled, pressing on his chest. "This past month has been hell. Hell for me, hell for the site, hell for the town, and hell for him." She felt one of his ribs crack from the pressure. "He's not dying. Not now."

Outside, agents prepared to enter the building. Pike's eyes widened— the Narrative Fluctuation Detector was going crazy.

"Holy shit." Pike picked it up and plugged a cable from it into her laptop. Sinclair watched over her shoulder, and gawped.

Malignant Narrative Levels Critical. Deus Ex Machina event imminent.

"What the fuck is happening in there?"

"I- I don't know." Sinclair swallowed. "Maybe some aftereffects of its neutralization?" She exited the truck. "Don't go in yet! Something's happening!"

Inside of the theater, the air shook.

"The Narrative has said he's to die, so he's dying here." The Goatman hefted his ax. "Stop. Or I'll stop you."

"He's my friend." Alison breathed into his mouth again. "I'm not going to let him die."

"You're hurting the Narrative!" He gritted his teeth. "You know what happens when someone tries to manipulate the Narrative to create life? Bottomless Pits happen!"

Alison pulled away, and swallowed. She fumbled around on Robert, and on his vest, she found it. An Epipen. She looked up at the Goatman. "If it worked in Pulp Fiction…"

The Goatman raised his hatchet as Alice raised the Epipen. "You'll destroy this entire town!"

Alison looked up. Right at the projector, as if it were a camera.

"Like you'd let me."

She brought the injector down, right on Robert Tofflemire's heart.

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