“Beautiful Sky Buenos Aires” by nan palmero is licensed under CC BY 2.0
A semi-bright basement with no windows, fully depending on the one dim light and scattered lamps. A corner desk filled with papers. A stack of letters, and various papers containing blueprints and schematics. A single table in the middle of the room, scraps of metal laying on it. Extra metal in a different corner of the room, which is sold as a sort of income to pay bills. The source of the mess is the Creator.
The Creator is skinny but not to the point where it’s concerning. With no family, the Creator practically lives in that basement only coming out to go to the junkyard for scrap or to the nearby convenience store for ramen. The convenience store owner pays him no mind as the times he goes are late at night and randomly throughout the months. The owner starts thinking he’s a hobo, but never says anything.
This 5’9 male lives off ramen and his need to build the perfect animatronic. An animatronic that works like a fully functioning human. The creator didn’t want to make a robot with an AI as that was too creepy for him. So, he opted for a puppet, one that can be controlled to his whim remotely. He’s been working for a decade, trying to figure out the best way to make one. From its body to the functions, it can perform. He hasn’t started making anything, he just plans and stocks up on metal. Every idea he ends up tossing out, and he doesn’t know why nothing is sticking. Sneak peak, it’s because the idea of a puppet only made to do his bidding is pointless, it has no purpose but self-fulfillment. But he doesn’t get that.
Life goes on as usual for the Creator, barely living through each day, glued to his work. One day as he’s going through his mail, he finds a thick envelope with only his name on it. His name being on the letter draws him in, he has no family, and this definitely doesn’t look like a bill. The creator sits on his creaky chair tossing the other mail in the pile and draws his lamp closer to be able to fully see. Carefully opening the envelope, he finds it’s full of money and a letter. What the fuck. Putting the money to the side for now, he opens the letter.
I’m interested in your work. The money attached shows my appreciation. I would like to fund your work. The pay would be about 10x what you’ve received per task completed. Once a task is complete another envelope like this one will come in with your money in cash, should you choose to accept my offer. To accept, place the envelope under your welcome mat. This offer will stand for two weeks. After, another letter will never show up, I will be out of your life. The money attached has no strings you keep whether you choose to accept the offer, it really is a token of my appreciation for your work and dedication.
There are a million thoughts running through the Creator’s head. Who is this? How do they know my work? What do they want from me? Why the hell are they giving me so much? Rich people have way too much free time, especially when they want to invest in something not made. 10 times more… His thoughts pause for a moment to count the neglected money. A thousand dollars in his hand, all in twenties. It may not seem like much, but this is a godsend to the Creator. It’s more than he’s ever seen much less held. “10 times more than $1,000, but that would be 10 grand! What the hell could they want me to do for 10 grand?”
That little voice in the back of his mind reminds him about the dangers that could come with such money. The money would be amazing, but what’s the catch? The creator pondered this for a long time, weighing the options between the money and the mystery tasks. What would I be willing to do, for 10 grand as a paycheck? After pondering this for a few days, the Creator decided. The letter did state that it would correlate to my work, so how bad can it be. Holding the envelope in his hands he took one deep breath, finalizing his decision. Walked up the stairs, into his nearly vacant house, pulled open the door, and slid the envelope under the doormat.
Pushing the envelope under the welcome mat he noticed the spare key was moved from its usual spot. Not obvious to the ordinary person, but the Creator was very keen on details.
Someone was in his house. The realization hit him. Like pausing a movie, his actions stopped holding the envelope in one and the mat in the other. Slowly he looked up and scanned his surroundings. Nothing. Nothing seemed different. He slowly put the mat back down, tightly squeezing the envelope in his hand. Standing up slowly, his heart pounding, he backed up and quietly shut the door. He leaned against it for a moment before taking a deep breath and making long strides towards the kitchen.
Placing the envelope down he quietly opens a drawer taking out a kitchen knife. Seeing the knife eases his nerves but not enough to stop the loud pounding in his ears.
The Creator walks through his house checking every square inch for a person or camera. Slamming doors open at random hoping to scare them out of hiding, but nothing happens. He is searching everywhere. Walking back to the kitchen, the sensation of relief washed through him, he put the knife back. Watching the envelope like it was a bomb. “Well, that answers the question of how they knew about my work. But why would they search my house in the first place.” That little voice in the back of his mind started nagging again.
The next day he decides he needs some brain food and gets ready to go to the convenience store. Upon opening the door, there’s another letter. He looks around trying to find anything out of the ordinary in his surroundings. Before picking up the letter and bolting inside, locking the door and going down to his desk.
The deadline is coming up soon. I understand your hesitance, but I assure you I mean no ill will. I simply want you to use those skills of yours. Give it a purpose. The tasks I want you to complete need your designs and capabilities,
Make the decision before it’s too late,
“Give it a purpose…” The creator sighed, “Well I’ve got nothing better to do.” Picking up the original envelope, he went outside, placed it under the mat, and went on to the store like he originally planned.
Coming back nothing had changed, there was no new mail in his mailbox and the envelope he placed was still there. So, he went inside, ate his food and went back downstairs. Sitting down at his desk he looked through all the blueprints he had. “I wonder what purpose they can give me…” Getting fed up with looking through the blueprints he started sorting through the scrap metal. Seeing what could be used to make the frame, putting wires in another pile, all the springs and suspensions in another. He worked through the night sorting out the scrap. Eventually falling asleep on the floor.
When he woke up his whole body was sore. “That’s what I get for sleeping on the hard ground.” He mumbles to himself as he sits up rubbing his back. Getting up, the first thing on his mind is the offer. He goes outside to check for mail. Nothing.
This pattern goes on for a few days. Some days he goes out to the junkyard to get more stuff to his piles. Stockpiling, waiting for the offer details. The creator almost gives up hope on the fifth day. Sitting on the floor surrounded by heaps of metal. He hears the doorbell ring. Scrambling to get up, the Creator rushed to the front door, tripping over himself. Swinging open the door there was no one. But a big box sat on the door mat. Lugging the big box inside and downstairs. He placed it on the big table in the middle of the room. Using a nearby piece of sharp metal, he cut open the box. Taking out everything slowly there were parts needed for movement in an animatronic like digital pneumatic systems, servo motors, linear actuators, DC motors, air bladders, cables, gears, and stepper motors. He had some of this but the ones he had were old and worn out. These looked newly bought. An electronic control board which is used to control the timing of movement. As well as a laptop, which made his old one look like a trash heap. As well as cameras ranging in size. Finally, another note at the bottom of the box.
Hello wonderful creator,
Thank you for accepting my offer. The components provided hopefully aid you in making the most efficient creation. Now onto the task I need you to complete, which you can no longer opt out of. I need you to KILL. Well not really you, but your creation. I want to test the capabilities of your work as well as having my loose ends wrapped up. You will receive your money after each person is dead. Be sure not to get caught.
The Creator stared at the letter in shock. His creation would be used to kill. Take a person’s life away. “These people must’ve messed up the wrong person to be put on a kill list and have your life be worth $10,000.” With that logic he felt somewhat better about doing this. “I would be using my creation to kill bad people. My creation would be a vigilante.” Flipping the letter over he found a list of names. Pinning the letter to the wall above his desk, he got to work. First, he needed a plan. Starting a new blueprint, he sketched a design. The outline was a basic human shape with no gender. Wide middle for holding all the important wires. Thick legs for strong support. The hands would look like a tame version of Edward Scissorhands. The blades being what a doctor would use in surgery. These blades would be detachable and can be replaced for something other than a blade. The eyes would contain cameras that the Creator can view through his laptop. To properly hold everything the weight would be around 393 lbs., and the height would be 6’3. The functions or controls; emergency stop, audio sensor, deter and misdirect, proximity sensor, voice mimic.
The precise planning took him a day or two. Holding the final blueprints, he put them up next to the list. He took a step back to look at it fully and smiled, finally having a plan that stuck. As a celebration he went to the convenience store and loaded up on snacks. The owner gave him a bewildered look but was happy he’s eating more – even if it’s junk. Getting home he started working on building the animatronic, munching on some snacks every so often. The building process took him weeks, not wasting a single piece of scrap and using every part provided to him. The coding took him barely a week. This is what he’s been planning for, for the past decade, he’s finally making his creation a reality.
The testing phase is the hardest for him. Having to go back each time a servo is overloaded, or one of the control boards was off. After two months, the Creator had done it. His animatronic could walk upstairs quietly, sensing which board creaked. The animatronic could go through his whole house without making a noise. The creator even simulated a situation where someone was sleeping in a bed and made the animatronic go after it. The creator lost a pillow but gained confidence in the animatronics ability.
It was time to send out the animatronic. Using his laptop, he looked up everything he could about the first target. Getting the basic information, when it started getting dark, he sent out the animatronic to their address. It was difficult to maneuver through the streets undetected, but the darkness helped. Reaching the house, he sent the animatronic in. Going through the back door unlocking it with one of the lockpicks the Creator attached. Once inside the animatronic mapped out the house. Quietly going through the house, the animatronic diligently scans for face recognition when coming across a sleeping face in the house which was only two. Until they come across the target. It stops, scanning the room, only the target in bed sleeping on their back. With a quick hard stab into the neck, it punctures both arteries, holding a hand over the target’s mouth so no stray sounds are released. Within three minutes the person is dead. The animatronic quickly and quietly makes its way out of the house, locks back the back door, and goes home.
Once the animatronic was home the Creator took it to the bathroom and wiped off all the blood, making sure there were no traces on it or in the house. The next day the Creator went outside for mail. Finding another thick envelope, which was much thicker than the last. Smiling to himself the Creator went back inside to count the money.
This process continued without a hitch. Killing each target in different ways so no one would think they’re connected. Perfect murders the media calls them. One time the Creator messes up. One of the servos busted and made a huge commotion, the owner somehow managed to shoot the animatronic as it was fleeing the house without killing anyone. A description started floating around about the killer. 6’5 with metal covering the killer’s body. Thankfully the animatronic came back, but it was half dead. The Creator needed to restart, this animatronic was too destroyed.
The next animatronic was better. The Creator boosted its speed and strength. It took more time and effort to do. But in three months a new animatronic was born. Reviving the cycle. Each time a list is finished the Creator receives $100,000 and a new list. Pushing the Creator to make more animatronics that are more efficient and durable. So thus, the cycle continues.
Codekas, Steve. “How long does it take for a severed carotid artery to result in unconsciousness?” Quora, 2017, https://www.quora.com/How-long-does-it-take-for-a-severed-carotid-artery-to-result-in-unconsciousness. Accessed 24 October 2021.
Fair Salvage Company. “How to make money scrapping metal.” Recycling Central Michigan, https://www.fairsalvage.com/how-to-make-money-scrapping-metal.html#:~:text=You%20can%20actually%20get%20money,living%20by%20selling%20scrap%20metal.&text=Ferrous%20metals%2C%20which%20are%20the,contain%20iron%20or%20stainless%20steel. Accessed 24 October 2021.
Rogers Studios. “Parts Needed for Animatronics.” RoboRobotics, 2011, https://roborobotics.com/Animatronics/parts-needed-for-animatronics.html#. Accessed 24 October 2021.
Scott Cawthon “FNaF Sister Location Blueprints” Oct 7, 2021
The first source helped me understand and find out how long it takes to die from a severed artery, which by the way takes one minute for you to go unconscious and three minutes to die. The second helped to tell me whether you can sell scrap metal and for how much. Fun fact pricing goes by pounds, so the amount you can get for scrap metal depends on the weight, since this is a skinny guy carrying mass amounts of scrap metal to sell isn’t really feasible. This explains why he’s basically poor and giving most of his money to pay bills. The second allowed me to know what fine components are needed for certain things like movement and sound control. And lastly the final source gave me one the inspiration for this story as well as the functions needed in an animatronic. Especially the functions that can be used for more dark intentions. I also took the average height and weight of the animatronics to use for the one made in the story.
Teara Deonarine is a psychology student at Wilkes University. Aiming to be a clinical psychologist. Her family loves to tell her that they will be her first patient. Other than studying to become her families mental help, she enjoys watching YouTube videos, collecting things that just make her happy, reading and writing. Often her writing comes from her life. Now she doesn’t dream of being the perfect killer, but this story draws inspiration from one of her favorite franchises, FNAF.