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Creeping Doom
Suddenly Blair got super serious, and Rene took notice straight away. She wanted to make absolutely sure that Rene knew that Caedyn was a bad, bad person. Sure, Rene and Caedyn had never really been what one would call "friends", but Blair sure was coming on pretty strong with her argument, like she had been sitting on some major information that no one else was privy to.

"Hey, don't sweat it. I'm not Team Caedyn. I get you." She held up her hands while she spoke, trying to keep Blair from getting too heated. "What's the deal between you two, though? Did you run into her on the first day or something?"

While they were on the topic, she might as well try to understand things a little more.

Death Is The Only Freedom...
He had been rubbing the wipe on Clarice's wound for a while, so Bart figured that it had to be pretty sterile by now. The sounds of obvious discomfort coming from her didn't do a good job of reassuring him, though. He took a peek at the wound to see what progress he was doing, and immediately winced at the sight.

The wound was bubbling, which was a good sign since that meant that it was being cleaned. That didn't make it any more pleasant to look at, though. He groaned miserably as he looked on. He remembered that hurting like hell when he skinned his knee as a kid, so he didn't want to imagine the kind of sizzling hell that Clarice must be feeling.

"Okay, uh..." He tried to keep his composure, or at least what little of it hadn't already given way to near-crippling anxiety. "I think you might be ready for a bandage?"

Death Is The Only Freedom...
Oh... oh no...

Clarice's wound looked bad. Really bad. Bart had never seen something that looked quite like it in real life before, and he wished that he never had.

To make matters worse, the sight of her blood-soaked flesh immediately reminded him of Jennifer. He saw the last time he saw her replayed once again in her mind. The gunshot, the blood exploding out of her neck, her body going limp the way it had... he was seeing all of those in Clarice's arm. He shuddered and hesitated with his wipes before averting his eyes and rubbing the wound.

"Hey, um... is that helping?" He said in a strained voice, trying his hardest not to look at the bloody mess he was attending to.

Death Is The Only Freedom...
With Kizi dealing with the bandages, Bart looked through his first aid kit and pulled out a few antiseptic wipes to help sterilize the area. "Okay, I've got some antiseptics." He said, walking over to Clarice. "Just show me where you need it and, uh... you know..."

Bart had never dealt with anything worse than putting a bandage over a few scrapes, so he was definitely out of his depth when it came to this. Heck, the main reason he knew that he was supposed to use the antiseptic wipes is because he remembered his mom doing that for him when he was a kid. If he could just remember that, then he should probably be okay.

Then Clarice wanted to know if they were all right. The answer to that was, of course, a resounding no. However, since they were dealing with a medical emergency, Bart wasnt sure if it was appropriate to segue into talking about his own problems, even though they were pretty severe,

"I, uh..." He muttered. "I mean, you know that, um..." He kept stammering through whatever it was that he intended to say, his gaze drifting slowly towards the ground as he tried to do so. "Um... I think that we should probably take care of your arm first."

Creeping Doom
((Rene Wolfe continued from Forlorn and Forgotten Knowledge))

Nightmares were the fucking worst. They were scary, they made you feel crappy when you woke up, and they took up time that would have been better spent with a nice, pleasant dream that actually makes you feel good. There wasn't a thing about them that didn't absolutely suck.

Rene wasn't really surprised that she had a nightmare the previous night, though. After all, when one sleeps in a room that is currently playing host to a grotesque corpse that had painted one of the walls with its blood, then some consequences are to be expected.

The only thing that brought her any comfort that morning, aside from the continued existence of herself and Blair, was the fact that Noah was completely absent from the announcements. Even though they had lost him, he wasn't dead. That was a good sign. The world needed Pina Bucket, or at least Rene thought so.

Dusting herself off, she stood up from her previous position on the floor and walked over to Blair, who was busy opening the door.

"So what's the word? Anything out there?"

Death Is The Only Freedom...
((Bart Cappotelli continued from If It Bleeds, It Leads))

Even after they made it to the library, Bart still felt like a complete wreck. Not only was he tired, thirsty, and hungry, but the image of Jennifer's death was still burned in his mind. He had been unable to get a decent rest the night before, and what little sleep he did get was plagued with recurring nightmares. As a result, he felt like he was dead on his feet.

Despite this, he managed to drag himself onward. Even though he felt as though it was taking all of his energy to keep up, he desperately wanted to remain with the girls. He had a feeling that he didn't really add much to the group dynamic, but he was terrified at the idea of being left alone on the island with no one around to help him out in the very real possibility that he winds up in a tight spot.

He collapsed on the ground next to Kizi, letting his bag his the floor at his side. He didn't feel like mustering the strength raise his head, so he just looked somberly at the ground. That slouch lasted until he heard Clarice speak up, notifying the two that she had been hurt.

Bart felt like a needle had just gone through his heart, and he thought he could feel his hair standing on end. they had just lost Jennifer, and he didn't want to think about losing either of the others so soon. He was pretty sure that he couldn't take it if he saw another one of them die. He was already barely keeping it together after seeing one death.

Bart tenderly picked himself off the ground alongside Kizi, bringing out his first aid kit as she did. "Yeah, uh... just keep calm. You're gonna be all right." His voice was very audibly shaking, just like the kit in his hands. It sounded less like he was trying to comfort Clarice and more like he wanted to reassure himself, which may have been somewhat true.

"... Please."

Forlorn and Forgotten Knowledge
Well, that just happened.

Blair just up and walked out, looking pretty pissed while she did so. Then Jasmine showed up, sounding even more confused about the situation than she did. And then for the hat trick, Caedyn walked out too, even more abruptly than she had arrived.

That was probably the best way that Rene could sum up the sequence of events that had just occurred. Once Caedyn had told her story, everything pretty much moved in fast forward. With the room emptying as quickly as it did, and the odd interruption of Jamsine's arrival, Rene wasn't feeling too comfortable hanging around any more. Plus, with her only known remaining ally storming off, she had a good feeling that not dropping that one connection as in her best interest.

Rene turned to Jasmine. "Yeah, I think I'm gonna go now. Nice seeing ya." She pointed out the door before following her own direction and walking out, hoping to catch up to Blair before she was out of range.

There was probably a dead body or something hidden under all those books anyway.

((Rene Wolfe continued elsewhere...))

If It Bleeds, It Leads
Bart saw the gunshot. He heard the scream. He saw the blood. He saw Clarice and Kiziah run away. He heard Clarice yell at him to run too.

Then he saw the second shot He saw more blood. He saw Jennifer stop moving. He saw her fall on top of Nancy.

He saw everything, but all he could do was watch in stunned disbelief at what had occurred before him. Jennifer was dead. She had died right in front of him, and her killer was still right there.

As if he had a delayed reaction to Clarice's plea, he began to run. He continued to stare at Jennifer's body until he passed it, at which point he refocused his vision to the path ahead, hoping that Clarice and Kizi weren't too far away for him to find them again.

But even if he found them, that wouldn't erase the fact that he had just witnessed the life of someone he knew get brutally extinguished. He had a strong feeling that the mental image of Jennifer's final moments would remain with him for the rest of his days, however brief they may be.

((Bart Cappotelli continued elsewhere...))

URGENT: BartToons Missing?
Nation of Animation > Important Announcements > BartToons Missing?

Hey, this thread's been dormant for a while. What gives?

Lady of Blades
I think that most of us are still in shock over what happened, to be honest.

Enough to totally kill the discussion, though?

Lady of Blades
The facts that we know already paint an incredibly grim picture, so I'm not sure if anyone else knows what they could add.

Still sucks to see no one saying anything, though. It's almost like people don't care.

We care, 11037. We just don't know what to say. I've never been through something like this before.

zIg zAg (Admin)
Until we learn more about the situation, the best we can do is try to offer whatever moral support we can as a community. I'll admit that it's not much, but we don't really have the power to do anything else.

Vixen Supreme (Admin)
Listen to zIg. Times are already rough, and we don't need to make things worse by arguing in the thread that was specifically set up to monitor the situation.

Wasn't the last post before DA KING's only about 8 hours ago? Threads go hours without responses all the time, don't they?

True, but serious threads like this move way quicker.

Yeah, a thread about a member being kidnapped usually takes priority over something like, say, a retro theme song thread.

It's just worrying that we haven't heard anything new for a while. I'm really concerned about him.

Hen With a Tie
That's how it always is in a crisis scenario. The lack of updates only heightens the tension

That's what I was trying to get at. This sucks.

You don't need to tell us, man. We all know this sucks.

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If It Bleeds, It Leads
((Bart Cappotelli continued from Why We Fight))

Bart was afraid.

Everything had seemed fine when they found Clarice at the radio tower. He didn't really have a whole lot to say, but he was more than willing to stand back while the others talked things out. If they were lucky, maybe Clarice might agree to join up with them. With the four of them pooling their skills and resources together, they might have a better chance at surviving.

Then Nancy showed up, and that's when things went downhill.

Bart's first reaction was to hide. He was pretty sure that none of his friends saw him slink behind a busted piece of equipment, but it wouldn't be too hard to notice if they had turned around. He felt like a coward, but he was too paralyzed by fear to do anything else. He just wanted Nancy to go away and leave them alone.

Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that Nancy was in no mood to come and go as peacefully as Kimiko had the previous day. There was a standoff, and even without anyone throwing so much as a punch, the tension in the air was oppressive. He felt as though there was a concrete block pressed against his chest when he tried to breathe and calm himself.

Once Nancy lunged at Jennifer though, any semblance of peace broke down instantly. When Jennifer called out to the others, he stood up and stepped out of cover, wanting to do something to help her. Nancy wasn't paying attention to him, so he might be able to charge her. He was a lot bigger than she was, so he should be able to stop her. If he did that, than the others would be able to rally together and chase her off. Yeah, all they needed was an opening.

He had a plan in his head, but his body didn't agree. His feet didn't move an inch, feeling as though they were weighed down with irons. He wanted to do something, anything to help, but why couldn't he convince himself to do it?

With what little courage he could muster, he shouted at the scuffle. "Hey!" He didn't raise his voice often, so he hoped that it would have enough force behind it to draw attention. He was leaning forward as he yelled, the only movement that his stunned self would allow. "Stop!" He cried again. He wanted to help, he really did, but this was all he could muster.

Hopefully it accomplished something.

Why We Fight
The girls headed out after Clarice, leaving the initial plan to stick around the storehouse a bust. Unwilling to be left alone on the island, Bart elected to follow them.

But first, he needed a little pick-me-up. He took a bottle of water out of his bag and drank about a quarter of it. Wiping the excess liquid from around his mouth, he turned around to see Jennifer and Kizi growing smaller as they headed down the path. He panicked and shoved the bottle back into his bag, trying to zip it up as he ran after them.

"Hey, wait for me!"

((Bart Cappotelli continued elsewhere...))

Forlorn and Forgotten Knowledge

Rene wasn't too sure what to expect out of Caedyn, but it sure as hell wasn't that. She'd thought that she had been having a pretty crappy time of it, but it had to beat whatever fucked-up shit Caedyn had been dealing with. Damn, now she was feeling bad. And to think that things had actually been going pretty pleasantly up until now.

"Damn, I just..." Rene couldn't really think of a response to that, because holy shit how are you supposed to respond to that, but she did her best. "Sorry about that. Guess now I know why you got the booze"

She attempted to recline in her chair, only to receive an immediate reminder that it was a hardback. Instead, she placed her hands behind her head to give herself something slightly resembling comfort. She glanced for a bit back at Blair, who still looked pretty quizzical about the whole situation. Feeling a twinge of discomfort, she brought up a different, but still relevant line of conversation.

"So hey, since it's getting late, you think it would be fine if we crashed here?" She raised her eyebrows, gave a hopeful grin, and jutted her thumb at the rather decrepit library behind her.

Why We Fight
Tensions were feeling pretty high, and Bart didn't know what he should do or how he should do it, so he took the course of action that he always did whenever he felt this way: He stayed silent and hoped that things would play themselves out.

Surprisingly, things seemed to defuse themselves pretty quickly. Kimiko and Clarice both left peacefully, and everything might as well have been back to normal, with his trio in front of the storehouse that they had planned to hole up in for the next day.

Everything wasn't back to normal, though. They had just had a very close interaction with a multiple murderer, one who made no attempt to harm them in any way, then went on with their business. That was the kind of thing that stuck with a person. At the very least, it was still lodged in the forefront of his mind, and he assumed that Kizi and Jennifer were still thinking pretty hard about it too.

Bart's heart was still racing, and he was admittedly zoning out a bit after recent events. Right now he just wanted some time to sit down and get his thoughts back in order. He turned to Kizi and Jennifer and raised his hand, trying to get their attention.

"Hey, uh... do you guys still want to head inside?" He pointed to the storehouse door. "I think the coast is probably clear now."