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  #1    
Old August 20th, 2017 (5:31 PM).
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    Really glad that you posted this. I've always wanted to read some of your writing, but I missed getting in at the start of your stories. At least with this one, I can be there from the very beginning.

    And what a beginning to this story. I'm really interested in learning more about Darren, like what happened to him before everything started. Something must have happened to get him a restricted license and a bitterness towards Pokemon. And not just him. Lady must have had something happen to her to get her into such a state. Can't wait to see what's revealed about these two, and how these two help each other.

    Also, I have to say that I really liked your description of Slateport. It's been a long time since I've been to a coastal town, but it felt like I was there from your description. I could hear the gull cries, smell the salt air. I really enjoyed that, and I look forward to more of your description work!

    Just a few small typos I noticed:

    Quote:
    “I wouldn’t know, Mr. Baywater” Darren mechanically replied.
    Forgot the comma after "Baywater."

    Quote:
    and seafood in every of culinary preparation
    Missing some word between "every" and "of."
    __________________
    "Now the trumpet summons us again--
    not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--
    not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--
    but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out."
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      #2    
    Old August 22nd, 2017 (12:01 AM).
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    I too have been looking for a story of yours that I could hop into from the start, since some of your other ideas have interested me and you've been kind enough in the past to review some of my works. Just something minor to start but that doesn't really matter, for mobile readers, the scroll box can be kind of irritating. I opened this up while I had some downtime at work earlier and had hoped to get started, but trying to scroll through on my phone was slightly aggravating, but it's not something super important and I see that you quite like doing it in this fashion since it's the way all your other stories are confined.

    I like the tone that you've set for the story as a whole, but there are a couple of spots that I feel could have had a little more love that would have made the whole thing perfect, particularly the last few paragraphs. Starting with
    Quote:
    As his hand touched the door, Chris shouted out, “Wait, please stop! She’ll die without you!”
    I don't feel that what you have really matches up with the rest of the post thus far. That particular line feels dead and empty, and when I read it I imagined someone who just really didn't care. If you'd had Chris move at all following it or in between his words, even just a step towards Darren then I feel it could have completely changed the way the rest of the scene was interpreted. Chris ends up coming across - to me at least - as robotic, only pretending to care about Lady enough to try and get rid of her and once that was guaranteed he lost almost all interest. Or maybe that's the way you want it and I'm just misreading it haha. Anyways, I'm looking forward to reading more!
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      #3    
    Old August 23rd, 2017 (10:02 PM). Edited August 23rd, 2017 by Bay.
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    Of course you would name another character after me, Baywater sounds like a cool last name to have haha.

    Anyways, like the others I'm very interested in more of Darren's backstory here. Interesting you have him a dark type expert since Foul Play features two dark type trainers from the games and I've always been interested in dark type experts. While I do plan to have the characters in my story have somewhat bleak backstories, looks like Darren got in quite a bit of trouble. Should be interesting to see how he handles Lady and the Corphish (soon to be Crawdaunt). Don't know where you'll be taking this, but can't wait to see how this unfolds!
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      #4    
    Old August 24th, 2017 (7:13 PM).
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      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Bardothren View Post
      He could still see the Johto League arena as it materialized out of the fog. Relief washed over him when he saw the rugged, blocky, white face, crossed by a huge blue X, glaring at him with two glowing red eyes like giant LEDs embedded in its skull.
      This is quite weird to me. I mean it does sound like some kind of match between him and the mon that is attacking him, but you refer to it as the Johto League. I bring this up since it is somewhat confusing and well a little more elaboration could help with that.

      So regarding lady, she seems to be loyal and could very well help him in whatever you have planned (which I suppose we'll know later). I do want to bring up that he is somewhat interesting in how you portray him. I'm not sure why he is in such a state, though I theorize it's either a reflection on his actions or some injury/event happened to him. He appears to know a thing or two and I'm curious as to where he'll go with this.

      Also, good job using the Mafia game, I know why you did that.
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      Old August 25th, 2017 (7:45 PM).
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      Aw, looks like Lady just wants some attention there. Stuff like electronics being unplugged can happen with any pet/Pokemon heh. I'm curious as to how his Corphish will behave. I too find it amusing over the mafia reference, heh.

      The nightmare there, Darren taking the place of his Tyranitar does make his guilt over his past more gut punching for him. Still kinda vague how what exactly happpened to him, but I'm sure more stuff will be revealed little by little.
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      Old August 26th, 2017 (1:02 AM).
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      The added width did help a bit for what I was able to read at work. The sentence you switched out in the first post is better and I feel makes a difference. All that being said, I'm a sucker for dream sequences and I love how you make it from the perspective of the Pokemon and not Darren himself, really just locking him in to the sequence (which apparently happen every so often) and forcing him to relive the torture he put his Pokemon through without any means of escape.
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      Old August 26th, 2017 (4:54 PM).
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        Darren certainly has an interesting approach to rehabilitating a Pokemon. Looks like Lady is going to do her best to break through Darren's unapproachable ways with some adorable persistence!

        The dream sequence was interesting mainly because you had it from the point of view of Darren's Tyranitar. I'm sure you had a reason for writing that scene from that particular POV instead of sticking to Darren's. It did explain why his head hurt that badly afterwards.

        We'll have to see how these two characters--Lady and Darren--handle each other when they start to open up to each other!
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        "Now the trumpet summons us again--
        not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--
        not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--
        but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out."
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          #8    
        Old August 30th, 2017 (5:18 PM).
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          Poor Lady and Darren. I wonder what made her want to fight that badly? It does give some hint to her past, if she can recognize a Gym building from that far away and is that determined to fight. It's also interesting that she was able to fight on her own, knowing that psychic moves are strong against fighting Pokemon.

          I do have to say that it does show mechanically that you weren't feeling your best when you wrote this. For one thing, I noticed in the beginning that you have quite a few small grammar errors.

          Quote:
          dawn-lit beach shores of Dewford town
          Capitalize "Town."

          Quote:
          When Darren opened his eyes, bright flashes danced before his eyes
          You repeated "eyes" here.

          Quote:
          He grabbed one, snapped off its tops, and chugged down as much as he could stomach.
          If Darren just grabbed one drink, then it would be "its top," unless it has multiple tops. You also used the word "stomach" here for a third time in such a short span in the chapter. Which is particularly jarring after you used it twice in the second sentence.

          Which leads me to saying that the second sentence of this chapter might read better with a small rewrite. Pointing out that Darren's stomach is "unusually warm" should be information conveyed in a more noticeable manner. Especially because him waking up with a warm stomach is so different to Darren that it might be enough to wake him out of his stupor a little more. Just to draw more attention to it and maybe get his thoughts on waking up to something so unusual.

          You also said that you wanted to focus a little more on character. I would have liked to have seen more of Darren's thoughts and feelings about battling for the very first time since his Johto League match. Though you might cover this in the next chapter as Darren deals with the aftermath of the battle.
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          "Now the trumpet summons us again--
          not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--
          not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--
          but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out."
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            #9    
          Old August 30th, 2017 (11:21 PM). Edited August 30th, 2017 by Bay.
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          I too think a bit more thoughts and feelings from Darren during the battle would have been nice, but otherwise Lady seems like she can stand on her own but ruthless there. I like your Brawly there, pretty chill dude and I like he wanted to help Lady out even though Darren refused it.
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            #10    
          Old September 6th, 2017 (4:27 PM).
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          Looks like Nurse Joy is familiar with what a Beater does, and she doesn't look too happy about it. Also sucks Darren lose his job there. Brawly was decent enough at least to admit he did pressure Darren into battling before. Feeling more bad for Lady, but her excited for food and sleeping on Darren's bed is still cute.
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            #11    
          Old September 7th, 2017 (5:42 PM).
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            Really cute ending to the chapter there. This also worked well to start to set up what I can guess the plot is going to be, especially since Darren is going to need an income.

            There was more of Darren's feelings in this chapter. I liked how you mentioned the reluctance of him applying to the Hano Resort. But what I particularly liked more was that you had the other characters reacting to what was going on. Like Joy realizing that Darren's a Beater, Brawly coming to Darren's defense, and even the fisherman and other trainer in the center.

            Though I do wonder what the elderly couple was talking about!
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            "Now the trumpet summons us again--
            not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--
            not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--
            but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out."
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              #12    
            Old October 5th, 2017 (9:24 PM).
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            The Corphish/Crawdaunt gets some limelight there finally, indeed he did put up a fight there. Darren was very fast getting the great balls and baton before the clerk can stop him, lol. Welp, Lady's gonna have a big dinner tonight.
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              #13    
            Old October 6th, 2017 (5:00 PM).
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              Glad to finally see Crawdaunt get some action! It's got a feisty temper, and I wonder how Darren is going to deal with that on top of helping Lady (and himself).

              There was something about your narration that I noticed during this chapter. It reads like you're putting in a lot of information into one sentence, like you're unwilling to have short sentences. The very first one that I noticed comes right at the start of the battle.

              Quote:
              Lady rushed forward, and her horn smoldered with darkness, but the Corphish blocked it with a clear, blue shield, and it countered with a claw, bubbling with water, at Lady’s left shoulder.
              In one sentence, you have: Lady attacking, her attack's description, the Corphish's defensive move, the defensive move's description, Corphish's counter attack, the counter attack's description, and where the attack landed. I mean, it is fine to have sentences this long. But readers will get lost from the beginning of the sentence to the end with all the information they have to take in, and there's also a better flow to the narration if you play around with the sentence length.

              Especially for a battle scene like this, shorter sentences work better. They're fast. They're quick. The tide of the battle changes that fast. Writing short sentences gets the reader reading at the pace of the battle. While I was reading your battle narration, it read like a meandering battle, slow and careful.

              Just something you might want to keep in mind for the future.
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              "Now the trumpet summons us again--
              not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--
              not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--
              but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out."
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                #14    
              Old October 14th, 2017 (4:15 PM).
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                As expected, my favorite chapters of this are the chapters where Darren gets to interact with other characters, and we get more of a look into his life and who he is. The end there was a punch to the heart, with a mention of Rocky liking the same sort of foods that Lady does.

                I had to go back and reread the end of chapter two to remind myself of Darren's nightmare. Since he said that waking up in a hospital was the worst moment of his life, and he was reminded of Rocky...I really wonder what happened in that final Johto League fight against the Metagross.

                I really only noticed a few small typos this time around.

                Quote:
                “For the permanent disfigurement of a Pokémon, you could face criminal charges. I need to know what happened, and who was there to witness it.
                You missed the closing quotation marks.

                Quote:
                I’d think were full of it if your Crawdaunt hadn’t told my Blissey a similar story
                Missed the "you" between "think" and "were."

                Quote:
                Darren met her stare and said, “Waking up in a hospital was the worst moment of my life, and I will not suffer it again.” The chill in his voice could freeze water and hearts alike. The nurse swallowed nervously, looked away, and said, “I guess it is overkill for just a few bruises.” She held out her hand and asked, “Could I have my phone back now? I won’t call 911, but I can call friends or family to get you home safe.”
                This paragraph should be split into two, since you have two different people talking here.
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                "Now the trumpet summons us again--
                not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--
                not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--
                but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out."
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                  #15    
                Old October 18th, 2017 (10:24 PM).
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                Like Astinus, I too enjoyed Nurse Joy and Darren's conversation there. Nurse Joy is stern but she seems to care what happens with Darren and his Pokemon. Ouch to being reminded of Rocky there.

                I'm liking your version of Brawly here. Still has this chill vibe but also I don't blame him for wanting a break after dealing with several challengers. The rematch should be fun.
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                  #16    
                Old October 19th, 2017 (5:21 PM).
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                  So glad that I had two chapters to read. Otherwise, I'd be left wondering what was behind that door! And you're writing these faster than I can read them.

                  You're right. I did enjoy chapter seven. It was such a calm normal chapter as Darren tries to recover enough to return to normal life. It was also a great showing of Brawly being just a regular person. So often, who the Gym Leaders are outside of the gym isn't shown, and this was a decent way of getting to know Brawly.

                  For chapter eight, I did notice improvements in how you handled writing the battle scene. There weren't the long sentences with too much information. A lot better to read! Only suggestion I have is how the part where Brawly drops the truth on Darren is written. It really just seemed to come out of nowhere. Even if you don't have a lot of Darren's thoughts reacting to what Brawly says, maybe you could show Brawly hesitating before saying it, or showing some emotion when he's telling Darren the story.

                  Now I'm wondering (hoping?) if Bruiser will make a return. And what Darren is going to do about that Crawdaunt.
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                  "Now the trumpet summons us again--
                  not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--
                  not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--
                  but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out."
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                    #17    
                  Old October 21st, 2017 (9:59 AM).
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                  I too thought Brawly announcing the truth to Darren seems kinda out of the blue. Maybe Brawly was surprised when Lady used Play Rough would make the truth more sense. The battle was otherwise fun, I agree!
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                    #18    
                  Old October 25th, 2017 (9:48 PM). Edited October 25th, 2017 by Bay.
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                  I enjoyed this Brawly chapter! We get a glimpse (or well, heard) of his brother here and also how he runs his gym. Look forward to the other new changes you'll make.
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                    #19    
                  Old October 26th, 2017 (5:11 PM).
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                    Much better than the old chapter seven! I know that it can be difficult to figure out which POV to write a scene in, and sometimes the first choice isn't always the right one. Going back and writing chapter seven from Brawly's POV allows for there to be more action (since Darren's unconscious most of the time) and interaction between different characters. Seeing Lady flip over the bowl of food because Brawly assumed what she liked was really amusing.

                    Between the daily tasks of ordering food for all the Pokemon and having to teach a lecture, there was more shown of how Gym Leaders are when they're not taking on challengers. Plus, we got to see a bit of how Brawly trains his Pokemon.
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                    "Now the trumpet summons us again--
                    not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--
                    not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--
                    but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out."
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                      #20    
                    Old November 2nd, 2017 (4:55 PM).
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                      The new chapter nine does work better from Brawly's POV. There's more of an explanation on why he would tell Darren about Lady so suddenly, since he's been hit with memories of what his brother did all at once. And, with the chapter coming from Brawly's side of things, it sets up more of a mystery with what Darren said about Pangoro at the end there and the research Brawly did into things.

                      I'm hoping that soon there will be some explanation on what being a Beater means, especially with the different tiers. Does that mean that there are different tiers of Beaters that can handle different tiers of Pokemon? With Darren now being conscious again and Brawly starting to get involved, hoping that soon there will be some more world-building.

                      Noticed a few small typos:

                      Quote:
                      This new nugget of information distracted Brawly from his analysis of Lady’s behavior. “Johto? Let me take a look.
                      Missed the closing quotation marks.

                      Quote:
                      Brawly cupped his hands and shouted “Laura!”
                      Need a comma after "shouted."

                      Quote:
                      Laura ran into the room with a giant of Pokémon food on each shoulder.
                      Missing a word after "giant" to describe what she's carrying.

                      Quote:
                      but he figured that wearing down Lady might earn him a clutch knock-out with his next pokemon.
                      The use of the word "Pokémon" in this sentence is missing both the capitalization and accented e.

                      Quote:
                      It muscles bulged and hardened
                      Should be "Its."
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                      "Now the trumpet summons us again--
                      not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--
                      not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--
                      but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out."
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                        #21    
                      Old November 3rd, 2017 (6:53 PM).
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                      Like Astinus, I too thought Brawly's POV in Ch 9 works better as we get more thoughts and emotions on him while the battle was going on. The reference to Bruce using rare candies sounds like those are considered illegal substances akin to the sports world. I wonder if Bruce's breeding projects and Darren being a Beater are related.
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                        #22    
                      Old November 8th, 2017 (5:46 PM).
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                        I'll let you know that I'm fine with the pacing of your story. While the plot might not be moving that quick, the characters are getting a chance to develop. Not only alone, but with each other by interacting. So we're spending time getting to know everyone and their world by the bits that you drop.

                        So I did notice that you explained what the tiers meant. And there was that mention of trainers buying and selling tier three Pokemon to get the competitive edge. That's a fascinating look at Pokemon training, where the trainers in the final battles of the leagues aren't always the ones that did the full training for those Pokemon they're using.

                        Like I said, the characters had a chance to develop in these chapters. I can't imagine the Darren that we first met agreeing to help Bruiser just to repay Brawly's kindness. With Lady and Popeye (which is actually a cute nickname!), the hard shell around Darren might actually be starting to break.

                        As I thought, Darren's now forced into traveling to make a living. I wonder what he's going to run into now that he's out in the rest of Hoenn.

                        Did notice one small typo:
                        Quote:
                        “I’m here to look into the complaints about some noise Wingull.”
                        I think you meant "noisy Wingull."
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                        "Now the trumpet summons us again--
                        not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--
                        not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--
                        but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out."
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                          #23    
                        Old November 8th, 2017 (5:57 PM).
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                        Popeye is a cute name for the Crawdaunt, haha. Darren mentioning the tiers a little more in addition to breeding makes me think it's sorta like competitive battling with underground buying/selling, and Beaters are like more serious than regular trainers.

                        That was a close call with the police for Darren there. I think you could add a bit more emotion of when Brusier had evolved, like his stomach sunk or something like that. I do agree we get to see him softened up more and his interactions with Lady and Popeye developing from when he first took them in.

                        I too wonder how Darren will fare traveling to Hoenn now. Looking forward to where you'll take this story next.
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                          #24    
                        Old November 11th, 2017 (11:50 PM).
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                        Before I comment on the latest chapter, I wouldn't worry about the world building there. My comparison/wording from last chapter probably wasn't the best and Astinus worded the aspects of Beaters better there.

                        Anyways, this is an enjoyable Brawly chapter there. Looks like Brawly is stuck with Bruiser, but he Brawly made it in time to see Darren, perhaps Darren will reconsider? The part where Brawly said "to infinity and beyond" was cute, heh.
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                          #25    
                        Old November 15th, 2017 (1:46 PM).
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                          Okay, catching up on these! I still really like how Brawly's character is coming through. With him helping Darren's old landlord, it shows that Brawly is always willing to help anyone he comes across that needs it. Explains why he was so willing to be there for Darren and to do what he thought was right for him.

                          That even goes so far as Brawly nearly leaving his Gym duties behind to make sure that Bruiser gets back to Darren. Probably to help ease the guilt of what happened to Bruce, and to make sure that Darren doesn't wind up like him.

                          Darren certainly has a lot to wrestle with now. Three million dollars is nothing to sneeze at, but he can't just give up his convictions for that and go back to training. Can he?

                          Noticed one small tiny thing in chapter 12

                          Quote:
                          Darren called back Bruiser and gathered the fragments of broken table.
                          Think you mean that Brawly called back Bruiser.
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                          "Now the trumpet summons us again--
                          not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need--
                          not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--
                          but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out."
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