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The Real Folk Blues; Open
Topic Started: Jun 22 2013, 09:27 PM (2,748 Views)
tetsucabra
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Hey girl hey
[ *  * ]
((Megan Emerson continued from: Scavengers))

By the grace of God, Megan and Mirabella had somehow managed to stay alive until now. Sure, the previous two encounters with other classmates had ended up with...well...words between different members of parties, but if there was anything to be glad about it was that the two girls had managed to not die.

Now all they needed to do was survive the night.

The two of them were able to get through the woods in one piece and only got lost twice, and in the miasma of darkness that grew when the sun set they were able to find what they set out for.

Bella had been the one to pick this place out, and Megan was perfectly fine with her choice. Of course her calves were killing her even after taking breaks, but it was one of the things she didn't think about much. The schools were pretty much the first place to think of to get pens, and the multistory complexes were able to at least give some view of the area. It was safer than a one-story building, but it would never be as good as the communications tower on the airstrip.

...Oh, right, the tower. Now that was one of the things higher up on the "things to worry about" list. They had not talked about it for several hours, but Megan still regretted what she said. It felt good at the time, but calling someone "black-heart hos" or whatever was not cool. She should have just taken the high-road like Bella would have done.

But no. She let one comment get to her and dragged Bella down for the wild ride. Megan hadn't even bothered to ask her if she knew who was in there. Maybe it was better not to ask.

All they could do was move on, find their friends, and then...

Then...

...

No; can't think about these things. Everything was going to be okay. They were going to be okay.

...

The exterior of the high school looked especially creepy with the only clear illumination coming from the one flashlight, like something out of those Japanese ghost games her brother liked so much. Oh, what was it called...Fatal something. The name always escaped her, but it seemed really cool. You sucked souls up with a funky camera, but she could never handle horror games well...or horror anything, for that matter.

"Looks like we finally made it," Megan said as she turned off the flashlight. Can't be too careful with buildings like this.

"How're you doing? You ready to check this place out?"
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((Mirabella Strong continued from Scavengers))

Their somewhat erratic and at times petrifying journey through the woodlands complete, Bella gave a sigh of relief and grinned as the high school came into view. At first she'd struggled to think of a place for the pair of them to travel to, but in hindsight the school seemed the natural choice. She doubted that the terrorists would've left anything of legitimate use in the bricked building that the duo stood before, but it seemed like a relatively safe place for the two of them to bunker down in for the night.

It would have some useful things though, like odd pieces of stationary and sheets of paper. Bella was still annoyed that they'd taken away her notebook and pens, as well as her copy of A Shore Thing. She'd put off reading it for a while, and was about to give it a start on the plane. Now she'd never be able to gage Snookie's writing abilities.

It was such a stupid thing to think about, Bella knew. But it made her sad all the same. Reading was one of those little things that she'd never get to do again-

No. What was she thinking? Of course she'd get to do it again. Once she and Garrett found each other and they'd been taken from this bled perdu, then everything'd be alright. They'd all be fine and all that'd happened would be forgotten about. They'd be fine.

The thought of the inevitable morning announcements remained in her mind. It's a petty and awful and downright evil thing to think, but...as long as it isn't one of my friends, then I can cope with it. I can't prevent some of these things. I can't. I can't. We'll escape, and everything'll be fine. Fine. We'll put a stop to this, finally. Nobody else will die.

Bella rubbed the palm of her hand against her forehead. She was fine physically - although she knew Megan mightn't be doing so well - but her thoughts had become more erratic over the past few hours. Once they got in there, pills it was.

She nodded in reply to Megan's query. "Megan...what d'you think we should do now?" She whispered, beginning to slink towards one of the ovular and dust-coated windows. "Check if anybody's in there? Call out or something?"
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tetsucabra
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Hey girl hey
[ *  * ]
Megan bit her bottom lip. Yeah, Bella was right; it was possible people were hanging out here, too, like in the control tower. If that experience was anything to go by, they were going to have to be careful about this.

Megan looked in the next window over and tried to make out what was in there. Man, these windows were obscured by dirt and grime really bad. In these low light levels, there was no way to see inside unless they shone their flashlights right through the window or just went right in. However, they might as well be wearing a gaudy "HEY WE'RE HERE" sign if they were going to do that.

...And who knows if people have started to leave their bodies.

On that thought, though, Megan couldn't recall hearing anything like a gun shot on their trek to the school. Maybe no one's been killed yet. But if the terrorists were telling the truth, the collars would all just explode by sun-up tomorrow.

A mass suicide, just like Jonestown.

Stop it. Whatever happens will happen, and Megan was not going to drink the Kool-Aid just to extend the doom clock for another day.

A new fact of life.

Megan crossed her arms and joined Bella at the window she was looking through. "I dunno; I can't see anything. We might just have to walk in there and see what happens...I don't want what happened at the control tower to happen again."

Her eyes sank to the ground.
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Bella bit her lip at the mention of the altercation at the tower. That was something she'd rather forget about. They'd found what they'd come for all the same, but the fact that one of their classmates was willing to shoot both of them for a mere inquiry showed just how easily the stresses of the game affected everybody. And if Cassandra and...the other girl were so strained when they were probably quite level-headed in everyday situations...Bella didn't like to think what'd happen when her pills ran out.

I'm not curling up into a ball and crying my eyes out like when I woke up. I've got Megan at my side, and with her here, and goals on the horizon, I'm not going to pull either a bout of hysterics or go into some catatonic state. I'm going to live up to my family name for once.

"Right, then. Straight in it is."

Bella shuffled towards the entrance to the building, adjusting the strap of her satchel. Ghe loss of her books and weapon had made moving about a lot easier - that was one thing she could be thankful for. Turning back towards Megan and smiling, Bella gestured for her to move forward.

"Ready, Megan? I'm sure that anybody who's here (if there is anybody in here, mind) will be a lot more welcoming than Cassandra and company. Who knows - Gavin and Garrett might be hiding inside!"

Bella somehow doubted that they'd be that lucky, but it was good for morale.
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(Juhan Levandi continues from Despair)

It had been 5-6 long hours through the woods, and yet Juhan only sustained one gash to his knee and a really, really scratched up face. Hooray!

He had been planning to head off to the rest of the amusement park and start salvaging some stuff, but then a machine gun sounded off really close to them. So of course, he, Francis, and Takeshi ran off in the opposite direction and ended up walking through the woods for what seemed like forever.

The forest was not merciful to Juhan. The mosquitoes on this island seemed to be everywhere and bit at every exposed square inch of skin. His legs were filled with white bumps by now. Then, there was the fact that all the trees were out to get him. He almost wished that the terrorists put them on a more tropical island. Sure there would be animals like snakes and even more mosquitoes trying to bleed him out, but at least the pine needles wouldn't try to rub his face off.

But wait! It gets better. Their trek in the forest took so long that the sun set and it turned into night. And what isn't more relaxing than taking a nice little walk in the woods, with only two or three beams of light guiding you, and the possibility of your maybe axe-crazy classmates coming out and slitting your throat?

There had been one or two occasions where he felt someone touch him, screamed, and then turned around to realize it was just Takeshi or Francis. In fact, it was during one of these occasions that he lost his footing while walking down a hill and left a nice, huge, open wound on his left knee. He made a mental note to stop being so clumsy.

They treated the wound with some antibiotics, alcohol (oh gosh that hurt), and then added some gauze before walking for a few more minutes and coming upon their destination: the school.

The school looked like something straight out some Asian horror movie. He wouldn't be surprised if some Sadako-like figure came crawling out one of the windows. They walked around and found an entrance a few minutes later. He pointed his flashlight at the door and noticed two people walking towards it. He couldn't tell who they were, but they looked like girls.

He smiled even though they probably wouldn't see his face that clearly. He needed to look friendly, since these girls would probably be just as paranoid as he was at the moment. He knew he ran the risk of running into people who would simply consider them as targets, but it was too late. They already noticed him and it would just simply seem even more sketchy to turn off the flashlight and run back into the woods. Besides, he was not planning to go back there anytime soon, especially at night. He shouted, "Uh.. hey there!" Not much, but it was a start.
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G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
Weapon: Lobotomy pick.

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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Francis St. Ledger continued from Despair))

Francis was pissed. Pissed at the trees they’d just left behind. Pissed at the heavy bags he’d had to carry round for the past 6 hours. Pissed at the darkened sky, pissed at the collar round his neck, generally pissed at everything.

He had wondered when his little bubble of optimism would burst as he had taken his first few steps out of the haunted house. The answer to that, it had turned out, was five seconds later. They’d all been heading towards the main area of the amusements park, just as planned, when all of a sudden they’d heard gunshots. Gunshots and shouting. Takeshi and Juhan had ran off in the opposite direction to their alternate destination, the school, but Francis had hesitated for half a second. He could have sworn that Travis’ voice was part of the jumble of sounds coming from the central grounds.

Francis spent no more than half a second considering this, before he too was running off into the woods. Adapt and survive, that was the key. Although he wanted to find his friends, he wasn’t going to run into a potential firefight unless he was absolutely certain Trav was in the midst of it. So on Francis ran, into the forest and away from the danger.

Getting shot at might have been better than the trek through the forest, however. Bugs and insects were everywhere, tree branches were placed at inconvenient points everywhere and managed to snag Francis’ shirt a couple of times, and what’s more, it turned dark midway through the walk. Their visibility was horrendously cut, Francis was forced to sling his personal bag uncomfortably over his shoulder in order to hold the fucking blanket and flashlight at once, and every five seconds he was forced to look around because he swore he saw something, someone, move behind that tree.

Worst of all, Juhan somehow managed to stumble whilst walking down a hill and injure himself badly enough that it required the trio to stop and treat it. In terrible visibility. With the ever present threat of people with less noble intentions hiding behind every tree and in every patch of shadow. What they’d heard at the amusement park confirmed that such people existed.

Paranoid and angry didn’t do Francis’ mood justice at all as they finally stepped out of the forest into the presence of the school buildings. He wanted to hurl his useless blanket off of a cliff, wanted to break something into a million pieces, wanted to yell at Juhan for being so fucking useless back there. Most of all, though, he wanted to find his friends. Stacy, Summer, Michael, hell, even Travis and Miles. No matter what they were like at school, nobody deserved to wind up here. Like it or not, he was connected to those assholes.

That was really what drove him forwards towards the school building in his current state; the hope that his friends might be in there, somewhere. Maybe getting pissed off wasn’t really adapting to the situation, but at the very least, he wasn’t going to let it show. Hopefully, if things picked up, his mood would subside. He didn't want to isolate his current allies, not really.

Juhan’s flashlight beam found the door. It also found two people, both girls from what little Francis could see, one of whom looked kinda familiar. Still, better safe than sorry. Juhan had provided the greeting, Francis had to deal with the necessary precautions.

“Names and weapons, if any. Both of you.” Francis called out. “Not takin' a step further until I get some answers.”
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tetsucabra
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[ *  * ]
Megan broke into a smile at Bella's optimism. Right, maybe the two of them found each other and would make the job easier on their part. Wouldn't that be perfect? Hehe.

And then...shit. Right before Bella could make it to the door, a flashlight beam came from the side of the building and had managed to find the two girls. Ain't that a bitch.

From the opposite end of the flashlight beam, all she could make out were three figures, one being comically shorter than the other two. It was likely to be three guys, assuming with their voices, but she couldn't tell unless there was more light.

Friend or foe? Megan couldn't tell, not yet.

She looked to the entrance to the school. Maybe, just maybe, if they ran at top speed, they could make it in before these boys could take the two of them down. Lock it from the inside, even.

But, at the same time, all they asked was for their names and if they had weapons. Plus, if they weren't going to take a step forward...

Megan walked up next to Bella and whispered out of the side of her mouth, "Think we could make it?" She nodded her head towards the entrance.

Thump thump went her heart.
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Bella's breath caught in her throat as she heard the sounds of several sets of footsteps upon the cobbled ground. Her fingers clenched around the strap of her satchel, and her hand instinctively reached for Megan's as the other girl approached, whispering. Oh, I wasn't ready for more people, not now. I can't do this now. Where's Garrett? I need my Garrett...

She paused before giving a reply, speaking in a hushed and fervent whisper. "I...I don't know. There're three, right? They mightn't be too antagonistic. It's evening. They might just want what we want - shelter and rest and planning."

The heel of her sneaker pressed against the root of a stray weed as she took a tentative step towards the figures. She could've sworn she recognised at least one of them, but the thumping of her heart deafened her against any greeting they gave.

Or maybe it's just wishful thinking. To have found Megan so early was luck enough. To find another so soon seems too unlikely.

Another step forward. Her knees buckled slightly as she progressed along the pavement, still caught in the glare of the flashlight, her direction still unknown to herself. Her heartbeat quickened; the repetitive drumming filling her eardrums until it was the only thing Bella could hear, the distant chirping of wildlife and the heaviness of her breathing fading beneath the thumping in her chest. She recognised the symptoms - it'd happened before, many times. This wasn't the worst, oh god did she know the worst.

All the same, she couldn't help but feel a pang of fear as dizziness and exhaustion (mental and physical) fell upon her. As many times as it'd happened to her, each attack was one she endured unwillingly and barely scrapped through, and always with a smile etched on her face.

Should've probably drunken some water at some point.

Bella turned back towards Megan, and rejoined her a second later. Any thought of approaching these figures was gone from her mind. Right now she wasn't going to decide anything. Whatever she said or did would incur something terrible. She knew it. Not when her head felt so heavy, and her knees were buckling, and her eyes were...

Wait. Am I crying? Oh god no I can't...I can't I can't...

"Megan, Megan I...I don't know what to do. Fight or flight or...what?"

...I can't I can't I can't...
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((Takeshi Yoshikawa continued from Despair - sorry guys, I've been busy and ill lately))

It was sort of nice to see a building. They'd been in the woods for a long time, and it would be nice to rest if they had the opportunity while they were there. The school was a little creepy admittedly, but not quite haunted house creepy. It was more like 'everything is abandoned' creepy. Though it seemed they weren't quite alone.

Takeshi hadn't gotten a look at the girls until Francis and Juhan had addressed them. He strained to see if he could determine who they were. They didn't look like anybody he knew from one of his clubs. He continued watching, waiting to see what the girls would do. He didn't think they'd attack, but that didn't mean things couldn't still go awry.

As long as we all stay calm, we should be okay.
Edited by Zabriel, Jun 27 2013, 11:31 AM.
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The girls didn't reply to Francis, which Juhan thought was odd.

He noticed that they were whispering to each other. He couldn't see their faces clearly, but they looked scared. So no, they weren't considering he and his friends as 'targets' by any means. He decided to stick to his strategy of staying calm and looking friendly.

He kept that smile plastered on his face and shouted, "We're not going to hurt you. It's a simple question. It's all we need to know, nothing more, nothing less."
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G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
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Neither of the girls said anything in reply to Francis. No, that wasn’t entirely true, actually. They were definitely saying something, but it amounted to little more than a whisper, because Francis sure as hell couldn’t hear what they were saying. They definitely weren’t telling him and his group their names, though.

This was doing nothing but increasing Francis’ bad mood. Okay, the girls were likely scared and paranoid, he got that. He felt the same way. But all he wanted to know was who they were and whether they were packing firepower. What about that, exactly, required the two girls to have a freaking private discussion? The question was one hundred percent reasonable, under the circumstances. Francis didn’t want to approach two assholes with grenade launchers for weapons, and he was sure neither Juhan or Takeshi, nor the two girls, would either.

Juhan tried to reason with the two figures, stating they weren’t planning on hurting them. Maybe that would be a better line of reasoning; telling the girls what weapons they themselves had.

“Yeah, c’mon!” Francis called out, unable to keep the irritation and rising anger out of his voice. “I mean, how the fuck could I hurt you if I even wanted to with a fuckin’ piece of shit blanket-“

Francis stopped talking, took a couple of deep breaths, and sighed. Now he was well and truly letting his anger take control of him. That was most certainly not adapting to life on this island. Anger would not only push these two girls away, although that might be for the best depending on the circumstances, but more importantly, it’d push Takeshi and Juhan away. He couldn’t lose his two allies, not now, and hopefully not ever. It was a tactic he’d never recommend at any other time, but Francis needed to bottle his anger up and release it at a later date. Maybe he could kick the blanket around some more.

“Look. Sorry about that.” Francis started talking again, voice mostly free of anger. “But we’ve been trekkin’ through the fuckin’ woods for hours and we just need a place to rest. That’s all. Nothin’ else.”
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[ *  * ]
Megan grabbed Bella's hand and held on tight like it was a game of red rover. If there was any moment to make a break for it, it would be now. But...

No one was doing anything. No guns blazing or kamikaze strikers; just a stalemate between the two parties.

When the one guy gave their reasons for being here (after yelling at them, but Megan didn't want to have history repeat itself), Megan's breathing started to calm down. Of course she had to believe them; unless it was a tactic to get them to come closer, why would they stand there and lie about their intentions? Even then, Megan and Bella were not big girls. Surely they would be easy pickings for a three-boy team right here.

And because of this belief, Megan had to take the first step.

"...Okay," Megan finally spoke to the other party, "we don't have anything that decent, but first we need to know who's there." She flipped the switch of the flashlight with her thumb and aimed the beam at about waist level, just enough to see their faces clearly without blinding them in the process.

There we go; there's much more to work with now.

Let's see...we've got that one weeaboo Megan saw around school sometimes (If actual Asians could be weeaboos, though, would be a good question), that Juhan guy that she and Bella had a few English classes with, and...

...

Francis St. Ledger.

...

"It's Bella Strong and Megan Emerson. We're coming over."

Megan turned to Bella, who Megan just now noticed to be crying rivers. Poor girl, this was really starting to take a toll on her. They needed to find Garrett and fast, but that was going to have to wait until the morning.

Megan let go of Bella and opened her backpack, pulling out a random T-shirt that was stuffed in there. Thank God these terrorists didn't take everything.

"Here," she handed it to Bella with a smile, "it's not a tissue, but wipe your face on this. Garrett won't want to see a hotmess, now will he?" Hopefully she hasn't progressed into a full on panic attack yet.

Megan stepped forward and reached for Bella's hand. "Come on; it's okay."

After all, what could possibly go wrong?
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Bella managed a small smile as Megan handed her the t-shirt with a customary jape, and dabbed gracefully around her eyes. At least, she tried to be graceful - her attempt at regaining her composure ended with her rubbing the soft fabric all over her face. I hope Megan has some other clothes with her. I've made such a mess.

Having the tight grip of Megan's hand on hers gave more comfort than Bella could've imagined. Already she could feel her breath slowing. That meditation that Garrett told me...oh, I can't remember it. The time when I really need it and my mind goes as blank as that wall in the garden that mother always insisted that she'd plant some ivy on, but never got around to it. Oho, what a terrible simile. Mr Collins would be so ashamed.

Her mind mightn't have returned to an exactly calm state, but Bella could cope with it. As long as she had Megan at her side, then everything'd be alright. Then, as her heartbeat slowed and her hearing returned to normality, she could actually understand what was being shouted at the pair of them, although the glare of Megan's flashlight almost blinded her. One of the voices immediately registered in her mind, and her eyes widened and lit up. She could've almost screamed in joy as she saw who stood before them.

Juhan. Juhan, the academic, the debater, the writer, the friend who was so perfect and sweet that this had to be somehow be a miraculous reprieve in the hell they'd been tossed into. A grin stretched across her mouth, unbeckoned. This was so perfect.

And another boy. Shorter, Japanese. He looked vaguely familiar, but she couldn't pinpoint exactly who he was. An anime buff. T-something.

And Francis something. Francis...St. Ledger? He knows Megan, I think. Bandmates.

She clenched Megan's hand, and continued in their approach.

I vowed to myself that I wouldn't cry over something so silly again, and I broke that promise. I'm not going to let it happen again. I won't cry for these bastards. I'm not going to give them what they want.
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The girls seemed to recognize at least one of Takeshi's travelling companions. The names didn't mean much to him. He was acutely aware that they were in his class, but that described the entire island. They didn't seem aggressive and everybody they met was a source of information about the island. Knowing what others had already seen would help them determine where to go, or not to go.

He waved as they approached, remembering that they had asked who was there and that whomever they knew in his party, Takeshi was not it. "Takeshi Yoshikawa. How have your days been?" Takeshi asked as if they were still on their intended field trip. Have you been to the Haunted Mansion yet? Did you see the weird clock? Oh, this? I told my sister I'd bring her back an ear hat. Oh hey, they've got elephant ears, do you want to split one? For the first time since arriving on the island he felt robbed. Disneyland sounded like fun. Who the hell were these terrorists to kidnap high schoolers who only wanted to go to Disneyland and have a good time?

Life means suffering. The First Noble Truth. It was a pretty sobering thought, and it was irrefutable. The cessation of suffering is possible. Suffering could be eliminated through Nirodha, ridding oneself of craving and attachment. It had occurred to him a few times that much of Buddhist philosophy revolved around making not giving a shit into a spiritual discipline. He allowed himself a thin smile.
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Suddenly, everything was OK.

He couldn't help but laugh in joy as he realized that one of the girls in front of him was Bella. The fact that she was standing before him meant that she wasn't dead or running for her life. It meant that at least some of his friends were still alive and that they could spend a few more moments together. He waved at them and then started heading towards Bella and her partner, Megan. As he ran towards her, he kept on thinking of what to say. 'How are you' or 'So what's up' seemed too mundane. 'Have you seen anyone' seemed too straight to the point. When he slowed down and looked at her however, he noticed her eyes were red and puffy. He asked, "Bella, what happened to you? Are you alright?"

Good enough.

He rummaged in his bag and got some tissues. He then gave it to her and said, "Here, use this."
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G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
Weapon: Lobotomy pick.

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