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NaNoWriMo 2016
Mine is called 'That one inspired by Alien' and I have been planning it for the better part of the month, which never happens.

You Gave Up Being Good When You Declared a State of War
((Toby continued from The Cuckoo's Calling))

Toby hadn't slept much. What little had been snatched had been near enough force of habit from the days looking after the kids, studying, kids, studying, exercise... her schedule had beaten into her to steal somerest when she was able to. It's just that didn't come along too much. Always too much to do. Always too much on the schedule. Sucked, that way. She'd wound up curled in a little alcove in a bleak and dank corridor somewhere in the asylum, cold and aching, but at least able to lie down.

Maybe a tiny little fragment of her thoughts were clinging to the old-fashioned notion that things would look better in the morning.

Ha. Hahaha. Ha.

Abby had killed herself. One of her best friends, maybe even one of her two closest friends. This experience, this... place had been too much for her. She- Toby didn't want to dwell on the reasons. She didn't want to understand, or even really try to understand. Abby was a kindly, caring person - the person who more than anyone else would try to make Toby slow down, spend a little time caring for herself than everything else in her life and-

She was gone. Dead.

She-

Toby didn't cry. Wouldn't cry. She wanted to scream. Would've done, if not for the other worry.

Because, other than Abby - and thinking about her tore away at her resilience, over and over and over - other than Abby - there were killers, not just suicides.

Toby wasn't naive enough to call all that death accidental. Kimiko. Isabel? Once, one person, then maybe... but more than one incident, and in Isabel's case, multiple murders...

No. Deliberate. Premeditated.

Half of Toby wanted to be sick again. Except perhaps it wasn't half, perhaps it was less than half as, bit by bit, it sank away into a boiling, seething rage. How dare they. How could they? If not for people like that - and Toby might have known them before but that was then and this was now, then maybe Abby would still be alive. Maybe Toby wouldn't be standing here staring down the barrel of a world without that smile and sincere affection and goodness.

Too late. Too, fucking, late.

Voices, from an open door up ahead. Prickles ran down Toby's spine. Had she heard any of those before? ...Wait, that tone, that cocky drawl... Great.

Jerry Fury. Not who she wanted to see right now, but...

Well, he knew Travis too, and right now Travis - or even the idea of Travis - was what was keeping her together long enough to actually concentrate on something other than her blinding, white-hat anger. Maybe Jerry would know a little more than her.

She took a step forward, put a hand on the wall, just before the door. She could see the frame, but not inside - not who Jerry was talking to, nor he himself.

"Hey in there," soft, but enough to carry. "It's Toby."

Call Me Maybe
Enzo folded their arms. Let out a breath.

They were this close to biting Tessa's head off. They wanted to cry and scream simultaneously, and Tessa's constant niggling smugness was not helping in the slightest. Where was she even getting off right now? Was she some kind of freaking robot? Enzo was having emotions - so fucking sue them. It was worse - way, way, way, worse, to act like this somehow wasn't bothering them. Newflash. It really fucking was. People were dead. d.e.a.d. Here. Now.

How was that something worth being so blasé about?

"Explain."

Short, clipped.

Enzo didn't say that if the next word out of Tessa's mouth wasn't the start of actual sense they were out of there.

But they were feeling it one hundred percent of the way. Last chance, Tessa, last fucking chance.

Call Me Maybe
So, base camp, kinda.

They managed to spend the night there and Enzo was just glad that Cameron, hurt as she was, had the opportunity to lay back and quite literlaly put her feet up. Unfortunately it was also way way too much time to think.

Vinny was twitchy, there were no two ways about it. Every sound had their hair standing on end, heart hammering a thousand beats a second. What if that gust of wind brought with it someone else? What if that startled animal was a sign of an approaching person?

Enzo felt horrible looking at things that way. They didn't want to have to be paranoid. Hated, hated, hated it. They wanted to trust the people at Cochise, they really did.

Only, them being who they were, Enzo knew that it wasn't always so simple. It wasn't just a matter of it being bad people doing bad things. There were classmates, schoolmates at Cochise that had hounded Enzo, there were people that Enzo hadn't liked just because. In a situation like this, was it really so far from harassment to... to...

Fuck.

And morning brought with it those horrible truths.

Enzo hunched over. Their back and neck were killing them. Bad night on a lumpy, mouldering sofa, call it.

They knuckled their eyes wand blinked back threatening tears. That wasn't right. This wasn't right.

"Would rather..." they trailed off, shook their head. "I wanna be safe, y'know, Cam? But we have friends out there."

New General SOTF Discussion Thread
WHY DID WE EVEN NAME AN AREA 'STAFF LOUNGE'

The Cuckoo's Calling
Toby shook her head slowly and folded her arms across herself.

"Nobody. Not a soul."

She looked intently inward at the unwelcome visitor, noticing but not noting that the girl who'd first stumbled upon her was in the process of leaving.

Yeah.

"I have things to do. People to see," it came out bitter. Sardonic.

She raised a hand in a facsimile of a wave. "Stay out of trouble. Stop sneaking."

Toby turned, looked after where the first girl had gone.

"Later."

((Toby continued elsewhere))

Call Me Maybe
Tessa blanked them. Jerk.

They did appreciate Cameron connecting the dots and laughing, though. That made everything feel a little bit more normal. Which still meant they were levelling out at ridiculously far from normal altogether, but hey, one step at a time and maybe they'd walk on water all the way back home.

Vinny raised both arms, wiggling their fingers. They were tempted to make ghost noises.

"Oh okay. 'Things that've happened'. Sure. Those vague and nebulous 'things' that don't actually add up to anything. Thanks for that, Roswell. Gone a real long way to showing that you're not talking shit. Wait, no. The exact opposite. You've gone backwards. Nice."

They didn't make much of an effort not to glower. Enzo was starting to feel like a lot less of an asshole for wanting to pass up Tessa for people they knew better, which so far as they were concerned, was entirely her fault for continuing to act like this. Their estimation did not rise when Tessa nudged open her bag, revealing something Enzo had seen before only in dumb shooting games.

"I liked what you said up until you flashed the fucking landmine, Roswell. There are ways to set up warnings without blowing people up! Are you insane?"

Official V6 Away Thread
With a shameless copypasta, here is the new and improved V6 Away thread.


If you're going to be spending some time away from the site, this is the thread to let us know in. To keep things easy on the staff, and to make tracking inactivity simpler, we ask that everyone follow the template below when posting away. If you do not do so, your away post will not be counted, and you will not receive any extra time against inactivity.

This is not the thread to post that your activity will be reduced, as doing so clutters it up and makes it harder for staff to track. Instead, there is an entirely new thread for that.

Template:
 
Handler: Your name goes here. Use your forum handle, so we can easily find you in the list.
Dates Away: Post the dates you are away for here (January 5 2011-February 7 2011, say). Please spell out the months, so we can tell what you mean; dd/mm/yy is not the standard in every country. Do not leave this open-ended; if you have to, estimate high and return early or renew as required.
Days Away: The total number of days away goes here. This saves you from staff math errors late at night. DO NOT give a range. Pick a single, specific number. If in doubt, estimate high and then come back early if you are able. If you give a range, staff will give you the lowest number you put in.
Reason for Away: Here is where you say why you're gone.
Characters: List your characters here.

After this, feel free to put whatever you want, but you must have this template completely filled out to be counted as away.


Here's the code version:
Code:
 
Handler:
Dates Away:
Days Away:
Reason for Away:
Characters:


Next, a note on babysitting. While this trend is no longer so prevalent, the rules on it stand. Having someone babysit your characters has no effect at all on their inactivity. You post yourself away for however long you are away for, and your inactivity dates are adjusted based on that. If you have a babysitter, that's fine, but it is only to keep up your characters' momentum/keep things going with their threadmates. You are still responsible for posting with them by their adjusted inactivity date, and failure to do so will bear the usual results.

Finally, do not edit any away posts in this thread. Do not post edit posts to say you are back. Do not change your dates away. If there's any issue, repost, or we won't find your changes and you may run into inactivity troubles. If you need to extend your away for whatever reason, that is totally fine. Just repost to cover the new dates (and only the new dates) that you will be away.

Also, please note the following rules with regards to inactivity:

* If a handler has not posted 'away' for the entirety of one month, then they must post at least once per character in said month to be considered active.

* One day inactivity notices do not count towards the inactivity timer, as they are not considered to be significant enough to prevent posting.

* Any given handler cannot post as 'away' for more then four weeks of any six week period, barring severe real life extenuating circumstances (being in the hospital or another country without internet access, not being busy with schoolwork). Away notices exceeding this cap will be ignored and the inactivity timer will continue.

* Posting on the general boards, or spending a lot of time in chat, will be considered violation of an away notice and the timer will start again. If you have time to shoot the breeze in chat or mess around on the board, then you have time to dash off a post. We get that sometimes you only have fifteen minutes and want to stop in to say hello, and you won't be slammed for that, but if you're around the site for hours, staff will cancel Away notices. Abuse on this front was common and problematic in V4; therefore, for V5, this will not be a toothless threat.

*If you are Away but find yourself with time to dash off a post, feel free to do so! If you're still Away and the spare time is a one-time thing, just PM any staffer to let them know, and your Away notice will not be canceled. It would be absurd to punish handlers for being responsible above and beyond the call of duty, especially since it's something we love to see.

So, yeah. Start using this thread presently. Remember, no editing, no uncertain numbers of days away, and no not-really-Away-but-limited-access posts in this thread. We're going to be real taskmasters about this, because keeping track of activity for over a hundred and fifty characters is a huge headache even when everything is perfectly filled out; anything less than that wastes phenomenal amounts of time. If there are problematic posts, I'll try to note it through Help, but there's no guarantee of that happening, and failure to properly adhere to the rules of this thread will not be a thing in your favor if you have to appeal a staff decision, since everything's really clearly spelled out here.


V6 Reduced Activity Notices
This is a thread to informally note that you'll have lower activity for a span of time. There are no templates or rules here, and nothing posted in this thread will grant you extra time to make posts (use the official Away thread for that). The splitting of these functions is to allow staff to better track who is Away, for bookkeeping purposes.
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The new one wasn't actually new. So now have a new one which is actually new.

I'm covered in beads!
I really like the chocobo and chopper, ricky!