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Ain't nobody got time for this
Toby wasn't sure whether she wanted to headbutt more; the closest wall, or Jerry Fury.

This was such a waste of time. Jerry fucking around being outwitted by furniture, Matt just being a ray of goddamn sunshine.

Her fault for making the school shooting analogy really.

"Great," she told Jerry, blandly. "Anyone actually in there?"

Toby stuck her thumbs in the waistband of her shorts and shrugged at Matt. Had a point, this time around. "Yeah. I know. But it's a forced choice, not a voluntary one. Put a gun to someone's head and tell them they'll die if they don't shoot someone else," another shrug. "It's as good as what's happening here, just with bombs."

She still didn't have a plan. Discussing the philosophy of it all wasn't going to come any closer to giving her a plan. Fuck. Fuck.

Where the fuck was Trav?

Shock Me
"I wasn't-"

Vanessa was still screaming at them.

"I didn't-"

She wasn't letting them get a word in, no matter how much they wanted to protest. There had been a hundred and one reasons Enzo hadn't seen what had happened. They weren't expecting it. How could they expect it? They were talking to Cameron when it all happened.

They'd just woken up.

They were trying to think.

They were trying not to think.

"I just-"

Still yelling. Like every other time in their life - like Enzo wasn't crying too, like this wasn't affecting Enzo too. How did Vanessa think Enzo felt when they couldn't stop it from happening either?


Vanessa glared at them, clinging to Cameron's bo- to Cameron- to Cameron's body, venom and hate and...

"Stop acting like it's about you!" Vinny screamed back, raw and scratching, grating in the back of their throat. "She wasn't just your friend! She doesn't belong to you!"

Vinny lashed out, shoving the closest shelf with both hands, sending a stack of boxes scattering across the floor.

"You think I just saw some psycho coming and thought 'yeah, looks legit'!?"

Ain't nobody got time for this
Jerry overtook her.

That shouldn't have annoyed Toby. It didn't actually mean anything - she was tired both physically and mentally, muscle soreness and general fatigue. Hey, maybe Jerry was even faster than her just in general; it wasn't as if she'd ever tried to footrace him back home. And honestly, whether or not she reached the tower first mattered a lot less than whether or not Travis was in there; one more place to check off the list and then get moving again.

So it shouldn't have got on her nerves. But it really, really did. That was so Jerry. Get in front of her for the pure sake of getting in front of her.

She glared at his back, and was still glaring when he turned to ask her a question about burning the building down. Or lighting it up. Honestly her temper was starting to get too frayed to pay attention to what he was saying.

Toby also didn't reply to him. At this rate she was going to cram a verbal fist down his throat if she actually addressed him.

She glanced at Matt again.

"Right, because Alvaro was just going 'round school knifing people."

Toby clenched her fists and shook her head.

"It's the place, not the people. For as long as this has been going on, you get killings. Killers. You think every person who ever killed someone in this game was a school shooting waiting to happen? Bullshit."

Shock Me
This wasn't real, right? This was some kind of a sick joke. The world's most fucked up hidden camera show, and Cam would get up in a second and be smiling and Enzo would have to stop themselves from strangling her, but would be crying tears of relief at the same time because she was still alive when they'd thought she was dead.

It couldn't be.

Vanessa said something, and it buzzed past Enzo like a static wash from a busted headset.

She spoke again, and this time, some made it through.

Vinny shook their head, shivering and shuddering. It had happened so fast, they hadn't even seen- did that even really matter? Vinny had been trying to focus on keeping Cameron alive, not, not whoever had done this to her.

They didn't want to think of it like that. Who had 'done' this. That made it real. Too real. Too real.

Their stomach was about to tear itself in half, and then inside out.

"I-I, I didn't..." their voice was hoarse, they swallowed, shook their head again. "I didn't see."

Ain't nobody got time for this
Yes she was speaking for the both of them. Shut up, Jerry.

She didn't bother saying that aloud, specifically because it was Jerry. It would be like trying to tell a brick wall to stop being a brick wall. Maybe momentarily satisfying, but then it would go right back to being a brick wall again. Jerry had the added disadvantage that he could be a wall whilst being smug. And talking.


Toby was starting to go crazy with these analogies.

She didn't make an effort to conceal her impatience at the conversation. Toby's efforts on suppression were focused on one area only; the fact that she didn't have a plan. She'd been trying to keep that stuffed underneath the surface for the past couple of days now, and whilst she'd managed to keep from saying it, she hadn't stopped thinking it. Finding Trav didn't count as a plan. That was step one of a plan. Plans, even the most basic, had more than one step.

And that was what terrified her. That was what made her want to double over and puke her guts up all over again. What came next? Find Trav, and then what? She needed him to be there because he was her friend. She'd needed Abby. She'd needed Jennifer. The list could go on. She wanted to be there to stop the same thing happening as had happened to the others, but what else was there? She'd get unlucky or her guard would drop or-

Anything. Anything would happen, and then someone else would be dead, because it wasn't a plan.

She forced the panic down.

"It wasn't Trav because you only make a shitload of noise if you don't care about people knowing where you are, or are too stupid to work out that everyone will know where you are. And you only don't care because you want to bait people in to jump them, or want attention. So again, are either stupid or a psycho. Trav isn't. It's not Trav."

She glanced at the tower again and then set off for it, forcing her weary feet into the slowest jog in the world.

"Come with, if you want," she told Matt. "But don't fall behind."

Shock Me
There wasn't anything they could do.

There wasn't anything they could do.

They needed a doctor or a paramedic or just someone who knew how to do more with, with, whatever they had here, instead of just them, who could use a stupid fucking phone and make stupid fucking videos on the internet and, and what the fuck was this- how was this- it couldn't, they couldn't...

Someone shoved them, it took again a second to realise it was Vanessa again. Enzo landed flat on their ass and couldn't even bring themself to move any further, to ...

Vinny wanted to be mad. To do anything.

They stared at their hands as Vanessa began to sob brokenly. Then their face clenched tight, eyes screwed up, and tears of their own started to fall.

Ain't nobody got time for this
((Toby continued from You Gave Up Being Good))

Having Jerry around made it difficult to concentrate. He had a tendency to chatter, disrupting Toby's train of thought. It was already difficult enough to stay focused in this situation, with limited food and rest. Any distractions were amplified threefold, and Jerry made for one hell of a distraction.

And yet, there was a slight comfort in not being by herself. Toby didn't like Jerry - he was all ego and full of hot air, but, as she'd considered when first encountering him, she knew him. Knew him well enough to establish a strange sort of trust. In that he could be trusted to be Jerry. So, as long as she kept in mind that he was Jerry (and she was hardly likely to forget), she would be well aware of what to, and what not to expect.

Sensible conversation was on the 'not' list.

Thusfar she hadn't bitten his head off. There was too much at stake to get into stupid arguments - there'd been too much at stake when her biggest concern was homework and the kids to waste time with squabbling with Jerry.

"Heard the bell. Didn't think much of it. Knew it wasn't Trav."

Because Trav wasn't stupid, and drawing attention like that was stupid.


Matt Moradi, fellow academic. Sort of.

"Oh shut up," she answered, irritated. "Noone's shooting anyone here."