Author Topic: [GotA] (Indefinite Hiatus)  (Read 61861 times)

Offline Nighthawk

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[GotA] (Indefinite Hiatus)
« on: May 16, 2013, 02:02:59 AM »
Note as of February 16, 2015: I'm sure those of you who read this have noticed, but yeah, I've been making very little progress on GotA as of late. School is the main factor, but my inability to focus on a single project for any amount of time is also a hindrance.
On top of that, I don't think I can really overcome the gap between the original work and the rewrite. I thought I would be able to, but I realize now that a rewrite might involve a lot more changes than I originally intended.
I intend to keep all the work I've done thus far and come back to it when there's time, but I don't want to keep up the illusion that I'm actively working on the story, because the fact is I'm not.

So, to state it clear and simple - I'm putting GotA on indefinite hiatus.
I like my characters too much to let them drop into oblivion, but it may be a long time before I pick them up again, and if I do, the setting and conflict of the story they inhabit might actually be completely different. I just don't know.

For those of you who continued to follow this and give feedback, thank you again, and I'll see you around the forums.

_______________________________

Note as of December 10, 2014: I thought I should let those of you who follow this know - I have begun work on a complete rewrite of GotA. This does not, I repeat, this does not mean I will stop work on the current story. I don't think progress will slow down, either, because honestly, if it slowed any more I would be writing next to nothing and that is NOT ACCEPTABLE. But I am going to make an effort to get this rewrite to "catch up" to the current story and eventually merge with it, if all goes well. Welp, changed my mind. Read the February 16 update.

Things that will change in the rewrite:
- The plot.
The extent of the change I cannot yet know. I generally intend to keep the story the same, but tweaks will be made to add realism, and if I think an event does not really contribute to the overall story (which is pretty likely to happen) I will probably cut it and change it. The butterfly effect might thus cause the story to change drastically by the time I reach the same point I'm at now, but I'm hoping that things won't have to be altered too much.
I also want the plot to be less broken up by random strings of events, if I can manage to pull that off. I'm working on finding a way to create an overarching storyline in order to add a sense of purpose to the various (mid)adventures taking place.
- The strictness of the lore.
I want to follow the official Cataclysm and Cataclysm DDA lore much more closely this time around. While this does mean I'm limiting myself somewhat, it also means that things will make a lot more sense (since the lore does a pretty damn good job being realistic, and will give me a set of rules to stick to).
- The chapter length and number of chapters.
Early chapters in GotA v1 were far too short, and chapter length varies more than I would like. I'm going to try and stick to a similar number of words per chapter in v2.
- Perspectives.
The entire story will still be in first person, but the perspective will switch between characters (as I have begun to do in the newest chapters of GotA v1).
- Character interaction.
Jonathan was and is the center of everything in GotA v1, probably owing to the fixed first person perspective I've been using up to this point. I'm going to try and add a lot more interaction between other characters.

Things that will NOT change (much) in the rewrite:
- The main characters.
I am far too attached to my characters to get rid of them. Jonathan and the gang will be sticking around. Backstories will also remain generally the same, as far as I'm concerned, possibly with slight changes. Side-characters, on the other hand, are free game. I might remove/change/add them as I see fit, especially early on, when there was a distinct lack of people in GotA v1.
- The writing style (?).
I can't really measure how much my writing has changed and/or improved (or gotten worse, I dunno). What I can tell you is the story, being in various first person perspectives, will remain very informal and personal.

To conclude: I want to turn GotA into a story I can really be proud of. I mean, I'm proud of what I've done thus far, but I know that I can do even better. Hopefully my growth as a writer will enable me to write a truly awesome story the second time around, even if the idea is the same. Wish me luck!


Original Post Follows:

Hello there, and welcome to my ongoing Cataclysm fanfiction. A few things you should know before going on to read:

- This story is unofficially rated PG-13 for violence, blood and gore (though I don't really get excessively descriptive), minor sexual elements, and possibly other stuff which might insult or disturb you if you aren't fully prepared. Honestly, though, it's not that bad; if you watch TV nowadays, you're probably fully prepared to face whatever this story can throw at you.

- The title of this story is Gamer of the Apocalypse, or GotA ("GO-duh" is how I usually pronounce it) for short, but that may be subject to change, since I feel like it doesn't quite apply as much anymore.

- Like a lot of stories, it's divided up into chapters. They show up in big, white, bold text, so they shouldn't be too hard to spot on each page of the thread. I may make a table of contents later if the story gets to be too big and there are lots of posts between chapters... or if enough annoyed readers pester me to do so.

- This story has a lot of basis in the actual Cataclysm universe, but I take some creative liberties with it:
-- Some extra zombie types may be added.
-- Surviving within cities is much more dependent on stealth in my story. After all, actual people cannot see 360 degrees, and reanimated corpses probably don't have the best vision.
-- Zombies are not ridiculously resilient. Taking off their heads will kill them, but they'll usually "die" from just about anything that would kill a normal person. Only thing that makes them more dangerous is the fact that they don't really suffer the debilitating effects of pain.
-- Other creatures and game elements may work differently.
-- NPCs are not stupid. (Yes, that was a joke)

I'm sure as the story goes on, I will probably stray from the actual game in even more ways, but GoTA will always remain based on Cataclysm.

- Spoilers do not actually contain spoilers - they contain comments from me, as well as occasional responses to viewer posts, so don't be afraid to read them. If I ever use a spoiler to spoil something (which is seriously unlikely) I'll probably put big red text near it or something.

- I am a human male with a keyboard, not an omniscient being. As such, there will probably be some mistakes in my writing. If you see one (or multiple!), I would really appreciate it if you told me so I can address the issue and make the story better polished for future readers.

- Finally, feel free to comment whatever you like whenever you like. I can handle criticism (or so I hope) so don't be afraid to sock it to me if you think my writing sucks could do with some improvement. It'll help me in the long run, and for that I can only be thankful.

- Oh, and the chapters start really short but get progressively longer since I realized later that chapters ought to be a bit lengthier than 500 words. :P

Without further ado, the story:

______________________________________________________________

~ Chapter 1: Then and Now ~

On the day the end came, I was absolutely sure that I had nothing to worry about, because I had been around the walking dead for a while, and knew a few things about zombie apocalypses:

First and foremost, in zombie games, the zombies are slow, stupid, weak, and the main character has a surplus of guns and other weaponry.
Second, in zombie movies, the family members of the main character tend to survive, while other less important characters are killed off to make the zombies seem dangerous.
Lastly, in any zombie story, pain means very little to the main character, and the wounds that he suffers never impede him too much.

With that said, here I am: huddled in the corner of a residential building, a fork as my only weapon, the memory of my entire family, including three younger brothers, torn to pieces before my eyes, a pack of walking corpses bashing at the door, and a swollen bite wound in my good arm that I've had for two days, which burns more agonizingly every minute.

I know a few things about zombie apocalypses:

First and foremost, zombies will charge you on sight. Unless you're an athlete and can outrun a tireless beast of a man, your best chance at getting away is to distract them or kill them, because they can hear and smell just as well as you can, if not better.
Second, you should sever all ties to people you love. If you don't die, you can rest assured that they will, and you'll have to carry the guilt of knowing that you failed to protect them.
And lastly… if you do live, you'll have to learn to live with pain.

… When the end came, my fantasy, my invincibility, was shattered, and I was thrown into a world that showed me, the hard way, just how wrong I was.

But I'm learning.



~ Chapter 2: Day One ~

The first day... was mass hysteria. Noise and confusion everywhere, cars trying to flee the cities, and natural disasters hitting us left and right.

So of course, I was in my room, gaming. A pair of sound-canceling headphones and a locked door ensured that I could remain in undisturbed, video-game-induced bliss for as long as I desired… or at least, until I had to go to the bathroom. And that's when I began to realize what was happening.

Getting up and taking off my headphones, the first thing I noticed was the noise; the pounding of hands against wood, the yelling, the alarms in the streets, all formed a symphony of terror. It took me a moment, but I realized that the yelling was coming from behind my door, the source undoubtedly being my family members. I unlocked the door and my three little brothers practically came tumbling in. They were shouting all at once, and I could hardly tell what they wanted from me.
"Hey! Quiet! Jeez! What's going on?"
They went dead silent, and Tim, the oldest of the three, picked up the TV remote from the floor. Pointing it at the TV, he changed the channel, and there it was – the apocalypse, in high definition.

Cars were fleeing the city like ants flee a flooded anthill, some of them on fire, others torn to pieces. A gigantic crater replaced what once could have been a sprawling business district, a shopping center, or residential area. This was undoubtedly a live overhead feed of a city adjacent to ours; I could hear the helicopter's blades whirring from the TV. Then, suddenly, the view shifted to the side, and what I could only assume was an enormous bug – a dragonfly? – crashed into the helicopter. The camera fell to the floor of the vehicle.

Then the electricity in our house went out.

~

Despite the daylight, my room darkened visibly; the blinds on my window were closed. I dashed across the room, nearly tripping on a couch cushion indifferently deposited on the floor. Reaching the window, I stuck two fingers between the blinds and extended them, peeking through the gap. Other than the excess of cars going down the road, and the crashed automobile by the side of the road near our house, the scene seemed almost normal. I grabbed a pair of binoculars from the window-sill, and, lifting the blinds away completely, looked through the glass with magnified vision. A bloody hand was scraping at the window of the car. It slammed into the window again and again before a ghastly face pressed against the glass.

My hands, and the binoculars with them, dropped to my sides.
The end was here.
I turned to my little brothers and asked quietly, "Where's mom?"
They didn't answer the question. They didn't have to. A horrendous groan reached my ears, and I heard the door across the hall, which led from this floor to ground level, being pounded on.
"We're getting out of here," I said. I quickly ushered them into my room and closed the door. Digging through bags of chips, game cases and dirty clothes, I searched violently for the one thing that could get us away. A crash sounded through the door. My brothers joined the search. They knew what I was looking for; they sometimes snuck out with me when I was going to late-night parties, and we would stop for ice-cream on the way back. Ice-cream. I found an empty styrofoam cup still dripping with mint chocolate-chip. Next to it was the rope. The pounding had reached my door, accompanied by angry, drawn-out grunts, both of which grew louder every second. I wasted no time pulling the window open and throwing one end of the rope down to the safe ground below. I began fastening the other end to the leg of my bed, which had not moved an inch in four years, it was so heavy.
"Start climbing down!" I yelled to my brothers over the pounding on the door. They obeyed willfully, all three of them moving to the window. I finished tying the knot.

A colossal roar that sounded almost like a scream of pain exploded right in front of me at about the same time the wall exploded, showering the room with splintered wood and other debris. Something huge caught me in the side, and I felt myself lifted bodily from the ground by the force of the impact. A second crash and I felt myself being peppered with more debris. Still flying, I blindly swiped the air for hope of some handhold - and I felt the familiar texture of the rope. Latching on solidly, my momentum carried me, and the rope, out over open space, then I slammed back into what was left of the house's outer wall. Cringing with pain, and still clutching the rope with a death-grip, I glanced around. A gigantic hole now replaced my door, most of the western wall of my room, and part of the floor as well. My bed was now swinging dangerously on the edge of the hole. And below me, a gigantic beast was flailing around. It was huge. Colossal, distended limbs on a vaguely humanoid frame. It was holding something.
A leg. A small, human leg. Dripping with blood.
I felt nausea hitting the back of my throat, but I forced it back into the pit of my stomach. Tears sprang into my eyes, followed rapidly by rage clouding my mind. That monster....
It began clawing at the wall trying to reach me.
Perfect. I'd kill it here and now.
I gritted my teeth, took a deep breath, and using the weight of my body, yanked downward on the rope. The bed slid only an inch - but that was all that was necessary. The heavy metal frame came tumbling down, me along with it.
I heard a roar and a screech, felt a blow to my head, and blacked out.

When I opened my eyes I had a serious headache. For just a moment, I couldn't recall what had just occurred. Then I saw the wreck of the wall of the house, and the upturned bed beside me. A giant arm stuck out from underneath it. It was not holding any limbs, but it still confirmed another one of my fears; on the arm was a bracelet of pearl-like beads, stretched to its limit by the overlarge wrist. Mom wore that bracelet. Not real pearls. Too expensive. But she liked how they looked...
More tears.
The arm stirred. I heard a growl. The monster, still alive, began thrashing underneath the weight of the bed, trying to escape. I lifted myself off the ground and ran. When the house was nearly out of sight, I stopped, turned and looked back. Silence. Only the wind out here in the empty plains. Nobody else....
No more tears came. It was as if this had happened to someone else, not to me. Like I had simply been a bystander, watching a terrible tragedy unfold before my eyes. Maybe part of me simply couldn't accept it.
I never could accept reality. Games, movies, books here and there; I didn't live in the real world. Now that I'm forced to, it's like it never actually existed. Maybe this is just a huge dream, no, a huge nightmare, and we just have to wait until whoever is having it wakes up.
I have little hope that they will. They're probably sleeping the sleep of the dead. Selfish bastard. The dead here won't get any sleep now, will they?

____________________________________________________________
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 08:08:56 PM by Nighthawk »

Offline kilozombie

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 02:05:14 AM »
Oh god.

Amazing hook and presentation. Please write more hgahjnbm

Offline jumjummju

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2013, 04:46:29 AM »
This is very good, I must say. The intro caught my attention and kept it, and your writing style is quite good. I say, keep it up.
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Offline TheRealTenman

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2013, 09:36:07 AM »
Write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more, write more.

I think you get my point that this is awesome.
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Offline Nighthawk

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2013, 01:31:21 AM »
[This post has been edited for the sake of cleanliness, and its contents have been moved to the first post as the second part of Chapter 2.]
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 12:23:34 AM by Nighthawk »

Offline TheRealTenman

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2013, 10:27:23 AM »
Loving it!

Keep going!
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Offline jumjummju

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 03:23:18 AM »
This is actually very well-written. You get my writer's seal of approval! :D
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Offline Nighthawk

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 12:07:05 AM »
~ Chapter 3: Apathy ~

The next few days are strangely difficult to remember.

I remember that I walked a for a long time. Walked until I had forgotten which direction I had come from. Walked until the silence around me was complete, and I begged in my mind for something to come and end the terrible loneliness pervading my being.

I remember finding the city. Colossal. Tall buildings, stores everywhere you went. Salvation, I thought to myself.

It wasn't. It was infested with walking corpses. I barely managed to sneak around them. Their sight wasn't incredible, but they responded to other things, like smells, and especially sound; I had to quiet my steps.

I remember the bite: a dog dug his teeth into my arm before I realized it was no normal dog. Animals could be zombies, too. Just another lesson learned.

I remember spending a night (or was it two?) in an abandoned house. I grabbed a change of clothes, vaguely wondering what had become of the owner, looted the fridge, and sat on a bed munching on frozen foods and orange juice.

It’s only now, now that I’m probably about to die, that I realize just how apathetic I’ve been. So many people are dead… or undead, and yet I am alive. I must be one of the few people left in this world. What saved me? Not preparation, not smarts, and definitely not strength or courage. It is luck that’s kept me safe up to this point. For a moment, I think to myself, ‘maybe I’m destined to make a mark on this world – maybe I’m destined for greatness.’ Then the wound on my arm aches again, and my thoughts turn morbid.

~

They’re about to get in. I’m standing at the door, fork in hand, watching, as the door begins to splinter and several hands push through, and the disturbing moans of the dead reach my ears at an even greater volume. I savagely kick one of the limbs, disgusted. It’s a real shame this place doesn’t have any windows. If it did, I would be out right now. But as it is, I’m stuck, injured, and practically weaponless in this building. If I’m going to survive, I’ll have to fight my way out. Getting through a horde with a fork seems pretty far-fetched, but if my luck holds out, maybe I’ll make it.
The gaps in the door are widening, filling with dead faces. I brace myself for it to break completely-

-it does more than just break.

An ear-crushing explosion, and I am thrown off my feet. At the same time, I feel something slam into my abdomen. The pain is excruciating. I scream aloud, and my vision flickers around the edges. The light from the door is blocked out by a silhouette....

_____________________________________________
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 11:09:49 PM by Nighthawk »

Offline TheRealTenman

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013, 10:28:19 AM »
DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNuh


Still loving it. Continue to keep going.
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Offline jumjummju

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 03:32:48 PM »
I'm still in love with this piece of writing. Though, the main character seems screwed unless that fork is the Fork of Horripilation. Shivering Isles, anyone?
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Offline Nopkar

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2013, 08:51:10 AM »
yarp, I give this a +1 to awesomeness.

Offline Nighthawk

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 08:25:28 PM »
~ Chapter 4: Silent Fear ~

It's dusk when I awake. The sun is rapidly fading from the area, giving me little illumination with which to observe my surroundings.

This isn't the crappy, windowless building I was trapped in before. This is a house, surely long abandoned at this point. I'm lying on a white sheet on the ground, a pillow supporting my head. I sit up. On my right, sitting on the carpeted floor, is a rather large, and disquietingly sharp piece of splintered wood. It's covered with blood. A pang dull pain rings out from my midsection, and I instinctively place my hand over it. Looking down and removing my hand, I see that my shirt has been replaced by a huge bandage that wraps around a lot of my upper body. There's another bandage around my injured arm, too. The one around my chest is a bit tight, and I tug at it uncomfortably while staring at the red splotch where I felt the pain earlier. Who did this?

I twist my neck, looking all around the room, and spy the intruder. A darkened shape is sitting on a bed in the corner of the room, assumedly staring at me.
"Who's there?" I say, a bit shakily. The shadow is frighteningly bulky.
There is a moment of stillness, then the shape stirs, getting off the bed and walking towards me. Still on the ground, I try feebly to push myself away with hands and feet. The figure steps closer, walking into the light. My eyes go wide, and I stop moving away.

It's a little kid!

He's wearing a gigantic green backpack, which is probably what gave the illusion that he was so big. His face is framed by overlong black hair, which nearly covers his eyes, blue pools that sparkle with intelligence. He's no zombie.

I pull myself to my feet with an effort, wiping the dirt off my pants, and extend a hand towards him.
"I'm Jonathan Trest."
He remains silent, his only response being to continue staring into my eyes. It's a little disconcerting.
"Are you the one who bandaged me up?" I ask. He reaches into a large pocket in his cargo shorts and pulls out a piece of torn and very bloodstained fabric, parts of which appear to be the same color as the shirt I used to be wearing. That either means, 'Yes, I did bandage you up,' or 'You bled a lot.' Probably both.
"Ah."
Another moment of silence.
"You don't talk much, do you?"
I feel prompted to continue in order to make up for this child's lack of participation in the conversation.
"If you're the one who got me out of there, do you know what that explosion was?"
Again, he reaches into another pocket, and pulls out a small metallic object. I can only tell what it is because of my experience with first-person shooters.
It's a grenade pin.
"You… threw a grenade. Well, that explains a few things." I brush a hand over my latest injury again.

The kid smiles ever so slightly, as if finding satisfaction in something, and tosses me a small white bottle, which I barely catch. Then he turns around, heading back to the bed. He deposits his enormous load next to it and lies down. Whether he's going to sleep or not, I don't know, but he's quiet.

Just then, my nerves deliver another fresh load of unpleasant signals to my brain. Through eyes half-closed in pain, I look at the label on the bottle.

Aspirin. That's helpful. I pop a couple into my mouth and walk to a nearby window. We're near some woods. No sign of the danger anywhere around. I close the curtain anyway, then check the door and make sure it's closed and locked.

Making my way back to the makeshift bed on the ground, I see a plate I didn't notice before. There's some bread and beef jerky on it, and bottle of water sitting next to it. This kid really thinks of everything.

I snack slowly for the next twenty minutes or so as the light from outside fades completely, thinking about this strange acquaintance. He… he reminds me of one of my little brothers. Sad, angry memories assault my mind, and I grip the water bottle in my hand tightly, causing the plastic to produce a satisfying crunch. I put another piece of jerky in my mouth and chew violently.

This kid is just someone else who's doomed to die around me. I shouldn't think about him too much. I owe him, that's for sure, but once I've repaid that debt, it's best that we part ways.

… Best that we part ways before I start feeling responsible for his well-being.

_________________________________________________________________________

(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 12:41:09 AM by Nighthawk »

Offline jumjummju

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 03:06:21 AM »
I'd say how much I love this again, but then I'd just be a broken record. So, I'll try to find something to criticize.

...

Yep, I've failed. Unless you count "There isn't enough of it" as a criticism, and I mean the entire story in general. :P
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Offline Rexels

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2013, 03:57:38 AM »
That's some seriously good writing you've got here! Keep it up!
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Offline Nopkar

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Re: Gamer of the Apocalypse - Short Story, Fanfiction, Whatever
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2013, 08:06:47 AM »
yep! getting pretty good! I enjoy this greatly!

a few oddly worded passages but even that's not bad, just strange.