Cinematic Arts’ Basilisk Escapes, Campus on Lockdown

by Rob Smat

USC — At approximately 10:15 this morning, DPS received an emergency dispatch from the Cinematic Arts Complex, where a sewer grate had been blasted off its hinges. Originally thought to be a natural gas explosion, this was quickly ruled out by flustered SCA Dean announcing:

“Our Basilisk has escaped.”

By 10:25am, DPS had initiated campus lockdown procedures, which are typically reserved for the event of an active shooter, but can also be applied to other emergencies including striking employees, renegade tour guides, or rampaging mythical creatures.

How did the Basilisk find itself on campus? Following the 2002 release of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the Basilisk was secretly gifted to USC by director Christopher Columbus. According to Columbus, “After the film wrapped, Warner Bros. and I agreed it would make a nice donation to a film school. We agreed that SC would be prime real estate for a giant serpent that can turn living things to stone.”

Should the creature’s capture require lethal force, DPS has requested that the owner of Godric Gryffindor’s sword please step forward to assist the task force, currently being lead by USC’s Keeper of the Keys and Grounds, H.A. Grid.

SCA Work Study student Luna Luftgood, noted, “I didn’t think ‘administrative duties’ would include feeding lethal creatures in the SCA basement, but $12 per hour was pretty good so I never was one to complain.”

Former SCA Work Study employees before Luna were unavailable for comment, on account of being made entirely of stone and secretly stashed in an empty editing lab and inside Edweard Muybridge.

The Department of Public Safety has issued a campus-wide alert to remain indoors until further notice. When the campus is deemed safe, all students should receive a text from DPS within no more than six hours.

At press time, DPS found an improv group in Alumni Park petrified mid-scene. After some investigation, this was not actually the result of the Basilisk, but instead an unfortunate game of Zap! where everyone had tried to zap in at the same moment, fatally freezing all involved.