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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
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June 1st, 2015, Afternoon

"Hello. My name is Kelly Whitley. I'm Noah's mother."

"I'm Angie Whitley, and I'm his stepmother."

"And I'm Edie MacIntyre, his grandma."

The three women sat beside one another facing the camera on top of Noah's computer. Kelly sat in the middle, her blonde hair tied tightly back and her eyes slightly red and puffy. Her mother, Edie, sat on her right, clutching Kelly's hand tightly. Angie sat up straight, her hands clasped tightly and resting on her lap.

"We're here to discuss something quite important," Kelly said.

"As you might have noticed," Angie continued, "Noah hasn't posted any videos to his channel in a few weeks. His social media accounts have also ceased to update regularly. This is not intentional on his part, and we're here to address the concerns some people have made in the comments."

"We know there have been a lot of questions and concerns from his fans," Edie said. "We appreciate your concerns and know why there have been some worries."

"As you might have heard, a group of students from Cochise High School in Kingman, Arizona, went missing in early May," Kelly said. "Noah has made it no secret he lives in Kingman, as many of his Pina Bucket videos have made clear where he has likened Kingman to something from an Ed Wood movie."

Angie briefly smirked, but turned serious. "We know there have been many comments about this. People have been asking if Noah was one of the abducted students, if he was dead, if he was sick. We've seen messages wishing him well, and we've also seen some quite tasteless messages now."

"Unfortunately, we're here to confirm that your suspicions are in fact correct," Edie said.

Kelly sighed. "Today, a video was posted online, revealing that Survival of the Fittest has returned for its sixth incarnation. The students participating are the missing students from Cochise High, and to our absolute horror, that includes Noah."

"We're here to make a plea to all of Noah's fans, to his friends, and to anyone who comes across this channel because of Survival of the Fittest," Angie replied.

"Please. Please do not watch Survival of the Fittest," Edie said.

"If you watch Survival of the Fittest, you are supporting the terrorists who abduct our children and force them to fight to the death," Kelly said. "You are engaging in a spectacle that reduces human beings to nothing but animals for the slaughter. It's not just that our son, our stepson, and our grandson was abducted. It's that these are the children of many families on our community. Our town is hurting, our town is suffering, and viewing the footage only adds to the pain these families are suffering."

"There is something you can do," Angie said. "Please avoid watching the footage. Send your wishes to the families who are suffering. But do not trivialize the students and their lives."

"With regards to Noah," Edie continued, "we ask that you put aside any issues you have with his character, his videos, or his sense of humor. He's still a person, and he's in a situation that no one should ever have to take part in."

"We're going to be actively monitoring his social media accounts and his channel for the duration of this time," Kelly said. "Anything inflammatory or insulting will be deleted and blocked. Noah may have made a name for himself as a comedian and a character on the internet, but right now, he's just a person stuck in a dark situation."

"We wish that people would think about Noah as he is and not how he appears on his shows and how he may come off on Survival of the Fittest," Angie said. "He may only be my stepson, but he's a wonderful person. He's creative, humorous, well-meaning, and a great big brother. I may only get to see him when he visits his father in Las Vegas, but I love him as if he were my own son."

"Noah is my only grandson," Edie said, wiping her eyes with a tissue. "I've seen him grow up from an energetic and wild little boy to a proud, goal driven young man. I'm so proud of everything he has done."

"Noah is everything to me," Kelly said. "He was all I had when I got divorced, and he's what has kept me grounded over the last few years. There were so many times I felt like giving up, but Noah was there to make me smile. He's completely figured himself out, and he has such a bright future ahead of him. It pains me to think that all his potential and his dreams might be crushed because of something so horrible."

Kelly started to sob. Edie pulled her close and let her cry into her shoulder. Angie's eyes started to water as well, but she faced the camera.

"So please," Angie said. "Do not watch the feeds, and please be respectful of the victims and the families in this situation. This isn't the time to be petty or cruel, but the time where we need to be there for one another and to love. We'll be sure to keep you updated on everything, but I think we need to take a break, shut off, and all help each other."

Kelly continued to cry into her mother's arms. Angie moved forward and stopped the video.

"Okay, I think we're good," Angie said.

Angie rubbed her eyes. The three women sat there in front of the computer and didn't say anything. They'd post the video to Noah's channel in a few hours, but for now, they had to face the reality of the situation.
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