I'm sorry I have to do this. But I have no other choice.

Let me preface this statement with this: I will finish this story. As God is my witness, by all that is good and holy on this Earth, I will finish this goddamned story. That is a fact. That cannot be changed.

I can already hear some of you moaning "He's gonna leave us hanging, isn't he..." I'm sad to say that that is the truth. I must take a leave of absence from writing, a sabbatical if you will. A few days, a few months, I don't know how long.

Why am I doing this? One reason would be writer's block. I have been nearly unable to think of anything to write at all for the last few months. It seems that every time I sit down to write, I get a very strong urge to just close Word and open StarCraft. I can't explain it, but it's true. I am apparently tapped out.

Another reason is stress. My life has been really, really difficult these last few months. Did you notice the length of time between my updates growing longer and longer? I just couldn't find the time or the will to write. I can't give any specifics, but it seems that my life is just falling apart around me. I can barely stand it anymore. I can't focus on the story at a time like this.

But there is one glimmer in the darkness. I will finish this story. I must. Why? If I fail at this – if I fail at the one thing I've done that nobody helped me with; the one thing that I've poured my blood, sweat, and tears into over the last year and a half – I stand to lose everything. I...will...finish. Do not be afraid that I won't. I will try my damndest to finish it by the end of this year, though I can make no promises as to that.

Another interesting tidbit is I've contracted several talented artists to draw Tobias, the General, and Tybalt. While not professional-grade, they'll give you a good idea of what these characters look like. This does not mean you shouldn't send in your submissions (OR ENCOURAGE YOUR ARTIST FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME, HINT HINT)! I can use everything I get. I'll post 'em all up when I get a good collection of them.

Once again, I'm sorry about this. But I can see no other way. I just...I can't continue right now. Maybe in a little while, things will be better. I hope so. I will finish, but I cannot say when.

And...at least I didn't end it on a cliffhanger, eh?

- Gary