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Why Y'all Gagging?
Bad news: The radio tower was a complete bust in terms of actual usefulness. However, this was at least tempered with the good news that Rene had managed to find a friendly group of people who actually seemed to have some vague framework of a plan. That was definitely something that she could live with, no problem. Plus, these were people that she actually liked, so bonus points there.

But back to the plan. Rene's new friends wanted to go somewhere that probably wouldn't be overrun with people. This was a good plan and Rene agreed with it. Even better, she had a pretty good idea of where people would probably be around that time, so she could actually help out a bit in that regard.

"All right, so you wanna stay away from people?" She questioned with a declarative finger. "Well, I heard some bells a while ago, so we'd probably want to stay away from the bell tower or anywhere near it. I'm pretty sure if people weren't there before, they probably are now"

As if the universe had been waiting for this exact timing, Rene heard another loud chime as a wave of sound rolled through the area. She didn't change her expression in any major way. She just angled her eyes in the direction of the chime and waited for the ringing to run its course before getting back to her suggestion.

"So as I was saying, we definitely want to stay away from the bell tower or anywhere near it."

Little Pig
They had a split decision on their hands. Bart and Jennifer wanted to stay away from the bells, while Kizi wanted to investigate. Bart was absolutely not planning on changing his stance on the issue anytime soon. There was no way of knowing who rang the bell, much less what their plans were. True, there really wasn't any choice they could make that could really be deemed safe, but he would rather not take the risk of walking into what could very well be a trap as far as he knew.

Jennifer had brought up the issue of whether they should stick around the art room or go elsewhere. Just like the previous scenario, Bart had already made up his mind. The scattered, ruined paintings that littered the room were making him immensely uncomfortable, and he wanted to leave, preferably very soon.

"I vote to leave." He called, trying to make sure his voice was heard. "I don't wanna stick around here."

Three sentences about your kid: Critique experiment.
Now that his story is complete, what would you say to Barry Banks?

V6 First Rolls
Barry has officially dropped out.

The force of Alvaro's unexpected push sent Barry stumbling back into a railing. He had expected it to catch him, similar to how the railings on the stairway had kept him from falling after Nancy and Clarice had charged past him. However, this rail happened to be in much worse shape that the rails on the stairway, and its rusted framework collapsed when Barry had backed into it. Shocked, he lashed out with his arms in a vain attempt to grab something that could keep him from falling over the edge. His fruitless efforts did nothing as he tumbled over the edge and out of sight.

He flipped over as he fell, giving him a good view of the ground below him. It was a long drop to the bell floor, and there was nothing in the way to save him. He still kept flailing his arms, giving the image that he was trying to swim through the air to escape the impending impact. These movements continued to be as ineffective as they were when his feet were on the ground.

His momentum caused him to flip over once more in air, and now he was looking up at the platform he had fallen from. He could see the spot where the railing had broken, Alvaro against the wall, and Jonathan still on the balcony. He still didn't know what had happened to Alvaro, or why he had pushed him, but now it looked like he wouldn't get the chance to find out.

There was still hope for him, though. Barry knew that people had survived long falls with minor injuries before, so maybe this could be one of those times. Sure, he would probably still be hurt, but if he's still alive, then maybe he can help with whatever Alvaro's dealing with. Maybe he could still help Jonathan with their plan to escape. There were no certainties, but there was still hope.

Barry started to flip again, and he looked up to see that the floor that he was hurtling towards head-first was now mere inches from his face.

His neck broke on impact, and the rest of his body collapsed on top of it, his limbs flopping limply from the force of the landing. His body fell flat and came to a rest under the bell that had been a futile symbol of his hope.

B006: Barry Banks- Deceased
102 Students Remain

Barry's smile faded into a look of concern. Alvaro was still trying to get away from him, and he had no idea why. Was it something he had said? He was only trying to be friendly. He didn't really think that anything he had said to Alvaro could be taken as a threat, at least not unless the shorter boy was already starting to get paranoid from the stresses of the island.

"What's wrong, man?" He asked with a twinge of nervousness in his voice. "I'm just trying to-"

He paused once Alvaro backed himself against a wall, not only because the other boy was obviously scared, but because with the sun now illuminating his face, Barry could see some pretty distinct injuries across his face. It looked like he had just come from a fight not too long ago.

"Whoa, what happened?" He leaned in a bit closer to try to get a better look at Alvaro's wounds. If he could help treat them, then maybe that would finally put Alvaro at ease.

Barry tilted his head in confusion. Why was Alvaro so freaked out? They knew each other, so he would have expected their meeting to happier than this. They weren't going to get anything done if Alvaro wasn't willing to talk, so Barry took it upon himself to make him feel more comfortable.

He walked over to his teammate, still putting on a friendly face. "Hey, it's really great that you're here. There's something that I've really gotta tell you." He explained as he came closer. "Seriously, you don't know how great it is that we found you."

He reached out to Alvaro, hoping for a handshake, or maybe a fist bump. Something to reestablish a link of trust and friendship between the two.

Why Y'all Gagging?
"Seriously, I'm not making the part about the Nixon guy up." Rene insisted upon hearing the joking skepticism of the others. "The guy had a mask and everything. It's just too bad he didn't get the rest of the act right."

Now that she was inside, she took the opportunity to look around, not that there was much to see from her viewpoint. Just a radio station with some old junk lying around here and there, all of which had definitely seen better days. From the looks of things, nobody had attempted to send or receive anything resembling a radio signal from there in a long, long time. By proxy, this meant that her hopes of sending an SOS were pretty much dashed right there.

Well, shit.

"So let me get this straight." Rene held one hand in front of herself as she spoke. "What we're looking at here..." She waved her hand in a circular motion, gesturing to the area around her. "Is a whole lot of nothing, am I right?"

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

I just logged on, and I saw this right away.

I'm really hoping he's okay.

Same here. I saw it right when it got posted.

All right, me and the good Detective did some digging, and she'll have a post up in a bit.

Fingers crossed for something positive...

zIg zAg (Admin)
Hopefully this will answer some questions.

Come on, show us something good. Please.

Hen with a Tie
Does anyone else have a really bad feeling in their gut right now?

Lady of Blades
I'm trying my best to think positive thoughts right now. We can't give up hope before we know anything.

Great Detective (Admin)
Grave and I have done some cursory research, and have made some discoveries that are relevant to the situation at hand.

Among the list of students abducted is one who seems to have many similarities with BartToons. He was noted to be a fan of animation, and according to social media, he was a fan of many of the series that BartToons has expressed admiration for on the forums. In addition, we have uncovered that this student's email address was the same one that BartToons uses.

With this information, we have reason to assume that BartToons was in fact one of the students abducted that day in Kingman.

We will keep his suspected identity a secret out of respect for his privacy. For now, all we can do is hope that he is returned safely.

Hen with a Tie
This is what I was afraid of...

Oh no...

Trust me, this wasn't what I wanted to find either.

Vixen Supreme (Admin)
This is very troubling information, and we all need to wish for the best for BartToons in these awful circumstances.

Lady of Blades
This is awful...

What the fuck, man. What the fuck.

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((Skipping with permission))

Barry kept looking at the ocean. He had never been to the beach growing up, so he never really had a chance to appreciate how beautiful it was. Once he got home and made it big in the pro leagues, maybe he could buy a nice beachfront house and look at a scene just like this every morning. That would be nice.

Suddenly, he heard a faint noise come from behind. He turned back. Had someone shown up already?

It was Alvaro, one of his friends from the soccer team. Out of all the people that could have shown up, he was pretty high on Barry's list. He seemed to be just hanging out by the doorway. He had probably just shown up. After all, it hadn't been that long since Barry had rang the bell.

Barry smiled and waved to greet the new arrival. "Hey Alvaro! Good to see you!"

Barry released his hands from their grip around the bell rope. He had held it so tightly that his palms were beginning to turn red and sting a bit from the friction. He shook them for the briefest moment in a vain attempt to quell the burning sensation. Now he understood why old shows about high school always portrayed the rope climb in gym class as something to be feared: because ropes hurt, especially when you suspend your weight from one.

When Jonathan announced his intention to head to the top, Barry gave him a thumbs-up and followed him up. Heading up there was actually a pretty great plan. Not only would they be able to see across the island, but they could probably flag down people who were walking by. Well, provided that those people could actually see or hear them. It was a pretty big island, and their voices weren't as powerful as the bell's chime. They would only carry so far.

Once they reached the top, Barry realized that the plan he had just come up with probably wouldn't be very plausible. They weren't even facing the rest of the island, so there was no way that they would be able to get anyone's attention from up there.

That didn't really bother him too much, though. The view from the top was amazing. The ocean stretched far beyond the horizon, the rays from the sun creating points of light that dances along the surface. The ocean was a reminder of how large the world really was, and how small of an area their island was in perspective. It represented many things: freedom, opportunity, and most importantly, life. When they escaped, they were going to cross that ocean and leave all of this behind them.

While Barry was admiring the view, he heard Jonathan start talking and turned around, assuming that he was speaking to him. His assumption was proven inaccurate when we saw Jonathan talking into his assigned tape recorder, making a not of their actions. Once there was a lull in the skater's speech, he took a step closer and leaned over, speaking loud enough to ensure that the tape recorder would catch his voice.

"He's right, you know."

With that, he turned right back around and continued to stare at the scenery, waiting for people to answer their call.

Barry removed himself from the railing he had been clinging to and rubbed the area on his back that the old iron had been pressed against after he was shoved into it. It was a little sore, but he figured that the pain would subside in a master of minutes. Besides, he had been hurt worse before. This was nothing.

Jonathan proposed the idea of ringing the bell again. Barry knew that there were advantages and disadvantages to this plan. True, the bell had drawn them to the tower in the first place, so they knew that they had a chance to gather people with it. Problem was, as they had just learned, some of those people might not be the most trustworthy folks around. It was a matter of weighing the good with the bad. They had a tool at their disposal that could be incredibly useful for their stated goals, but was it worth the risk? Barry rested his elbow on the rail and mulled it over for a minute or so. He tapped his foot sporadically, causing a rhythmic echo in the tower. When he came to his decision, he stood back up and looked to Jonathan with a smile.

"We should ring it. It's gonna be worth it."

Barry walked up the rest of the stairs and looked at the bell. Despite its age, it was still a rather impressive piece of architecture. It was the beacon that had brought him and Jonathan to the tower, and now it was once again going to play a similar role. It was more than just a bell, it was a symbol. This moment marked a turning point for himself and Jonathan, he could tell. They were taking charge of their own destiny now.

He reached up and gripped the rope tightly with both hands, looking straight up at the underside of the bell. He stood on his toes for a brief moment to give himself a little extra leverage, then yanked on the rope with all of the strength he could summon, dropping himself into a squatting position as he did so in order to put more weight into his pull.

The bell's mighty chime rang out once more, announcing their presence to the island. Barry, still with his hands on the rope, turned back to flash a huge grin at Jonathan.

He had a really good feeling about this.

V6 First Rolls
I'm swapping Barry Banks in place of Rene Wolfe.

Death ideas are now being accepted.

Little Pig
Kiziah bringing up the Boko Haram attacks did nothing to make Bart feel better. In fact, it did the opposite. All it did was remind him about how this wasn't just some isolated incident, and SOTF weren't the only ones doing this kind of thing. That made Bart feel far worse. Not for himself, but for the state of the world in general.

Bart picked himself up off the ground. He didn't want to be in this room anymore. All of the pictures scattered on the ground in a destroyed setting... it hurt him to see work ruined like that. Even if they were just casual paintings made over the course of an afternoon, they were still art. It reminded him of his sketches back at home. He wouldn't want to see those scattered all over the floor, and he was starting to envision that the longer he stayed around.

He was going to announce his intentions to the girls, but was beat to the punch by a bell ringing somewhere in the distance. His head jerked around for a few moments as he tried to figure out where it came from, eventually staring in the direction of the noise. He hadn't checked his map before, so he didn't know whether there was a church or a town hall or whatever other sort of building would have a bell on it nearby. There had to be, unless the terrorists were playing a joke on them by pumping the sound through a loudspeaker or something. That would have been pointless, but Bart could imagine the terrorists trying to mess with them like that.

"I think they're trying to call people over." He said, still looking where he had heard the chime. "I dunno if they're trying to find some friends, or... you know..." His voice faltered as he thought about the other reason why someone in this situation would try to draw people closer to them. He took a short step back as the mental image firmly implanted itself in his brain.

"I don't think we should follow it."

Almost as though his words had lit a metaphorical fuse, everything became unraveled as soon as Barry had questioned the scene. Nancy had attacked Clarice out of nowhere, and left a bloody gash in her shoulder that Barry could see from the staircase. That sight alone made him feel more than a little nauseous. Nancy then took the opportunity to rush past him on the stairs, making him feel very thankful for the railing as he was pushed against it.

He cringed as he looked back at Clarice, or more specifically, her injury. He had seen some pretty rough injuries on the soccer field, but he'd never seen anyone's skin torn open with blood flowing so freely. It was even worse when Clarice came running past him as well, giving him a closer look at the wound. The sharp smell of blood that came with her as she passed caused him to crinkle his nose in shock and disgust. He could actually feel his stomach churning in a repulsed reaction to the unwelcome sensation.

With Conrad charging out the door as well, only Barry, Jonathan, and Jeremy were left in the vicinity. His escape plans were definitely not off to a very good start.

Barry just started at the door wordlessly, still trying to completely process the chaotic minute of his life that had just passed. He turned to look at Jonathan, who he assumed was just as shocked by recent events as he was. He cleared his throat nervously and said the only thing he really could after everything that had just occurred.

"So, uh... what should we do now?"

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

zIg zAg (Admin)
I have a very worrying announcement for everyone. As I'm sure you know by now, three days ago a group of high school students was kidnapped in Kingman, Arizona. I'm sure that you're wondering why I'm posting about this here instead of in the Current Events section, and I will explain that now.

One of our members, BartToons, has always posted from the Kingman area, and he has not been online since the morning of the abduction. We do not wish to jump to conclusions, but considering the circumstances, we may have to fear the worst.

We are looking into the issue at the moment, and we will report any new information we find as soon as we can.

Vixen Supreme (Admin)
This probably goes without saying, but I'll mention it just to make sure we're clear.

Trolling in this thread will get you banned. No exceptions.

Man, I knew I hadn't seen him on the boards the past couple days, but I never thought something like this could happen...

The Sixth Titan
This is scary. You never think that you could be affected by things like this until it actually happens.

Please be safe, BartToons.

Hen with a Tie
I usually don't like jumping to conclusions, but this sure doesn't look good right now.

Lady of Blades
I hope we can find him soon. I'm praying that the two events are unrelated.

Great Detective (Admin)
Me and Grave are doing some research about the incident. I'm hoping to provide some updates by this afternoon.

Has anybody heard from him since then? Like, through Skype or something like that?

The Sixth Titan
I don't think he ever Skyped, at least not with anyone from the board.

Shit. I was gonna say we could send him a message through there, but I guess that idea's shot now.

Please give us some info, Detective.

Don't rush her, 11037. She already said she's working on it.

Sorry. I get snippy when I'm stressed.

I want to think this is all a big coincidence, but the way his disappearance coincides with the abduction doesn't make things look too good.

Hen with a Tie
That's why I'm so freaked out about this.

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Why Y'all Gagging?
Rene's smile turned into a toothy grin, and a fit of laughter escaped. Oh man, it felt good to be around people with a sense of humor again! "All right, all right. You got jokes." She said, putting her hands up. "Either that, or the terrorists in charge of this thing really need to fucking fire their communications guy, because he's got no taste."

It really was nice to be in the company of friends again. Noah and Sandra had always been awesome, and Blair... honestly, Rene didn't really know her too well, but she was probably cool too. If she could follow up on Rene's radio joke as quickly as she did, then she had to be all right.

"Okay, so you guys would not believe the day I've had so far." She said, putting her hands down and smirking. "I woke up on the ground right next to a bed, then met a cut-rate Nixon impersonator. The guy didn't even say 'I am not a crook'." She used air quotes to put emphasis on that last part. "It was a real disappointment. So anything like that happen to you guys?"

Meanwhile idea
This sounds like a good idea to me. It would really drive home how the community is affected by the SOTF attacks.

V6 First Rolls
I really don't want to have to give up on Rene yet, since I still have more plans for her and I feel that she still has a lot more to offer. Any heroes for her would be greatly appreciated.

Why Y'all Gagging?
((Rene Wolfe continued from Wolfe Crossing))

The radio tower caught Rene's attention as soon as she saw it, and really, how could it not? It towered over everything else in the area, no pun intended, and looked pretty remarkable compared to the rusty, musty environment that surrounded it. Basically, it was cool, and she wanted to check it out. That was pretty much the extent of her motivations for going there. It really did look like the nicest piece of architecture she had seen thus far. Of course, considering its only real competition was a crusty old asylum and a rusty old bridge, that wasn't exactly a grand accomplishment.

As she approached, her attention wandered from the tower itself to the shack next to it. It didn't look too shabby, and she figured that it would be a nice place to crash for a little while. She wasn't in the mood to turn down some free shelter, after all. Hell, there might be some stuff inside that could be useful. Maybe some tools or a radio. If she was lucky, she might even be able to MacGyver up some kind of system to send out an SOS message and get some help to the island.

... Okay, the last example was probably never going to happen, but a girl can dream, can't she?

Rene walked up to the shack's entrance and pushed the door open, revealing that she was apparently not alone in thinking that the shack seemed like a nice place to stay. Having rudely upon and now staring down three ambiguously-armed classmates, she needed to say something. Maybe something witty to defuse the tension. Something to keep things from going too far south too quickly.

"Any good stations?"

Yeah, that might work.