This Too Shall Pass 3 4 12

(13:36:39) Sept: Sera's work day was over, but his investigation continued. He paced the corridors of the Dorian clad in his usual unofficially professional red-coat-and-dark-shirt set he'd seemingly adopted as his science department uniform, maybe to invoke Elisha's authority. It probably didn't fool anyone.-
(13:38:17) Sept: Regardless, his way took him to the 100% safely reinforced halls of the bioexotic petting zoo. Sera's prey for the day: a Mr. Awala.
(13:54:02) Minaplo: [The Extremotarium (a name that Sera had heard… Somewhere) had been recently expanded. The old residents were there of course, like the massive, yet lithe Armored Lion mother and a pair of rapidly growing cubs, or the Great Spider, brooding in its pen, occasionally leaping across the room with its magnetic spurs.-
(13:55:06) Minaplo: [But now there was a brand new resident. Sitting placidly on the ground, its disproportionately thin legs splayed out in front of it, was a silent Annihilator, staring out towards the hub of the great room.-
(13:55:49) Minaplo: [Within that hub of course were two people- Remy, clad foot-to-neck in a thick skintight environmental protection suit, and Alexandre, wearing a dark long-sleeved t-shirt with a pair of jeans.]
(13:59:52) * Sept stopped on his way to look over each of the beasts, taking the longest with the Annihilator.
(14:02:07) Minaplo: ["Hm, what do you think, Sera?" Asked Alex.]
(14:04:02) Sept: "Not a fan, obviously," he said before turning to face the two. "Hey. This a bad time?"
(14:09:11) Minaplo: ["No." Said Remy. "We're just doin' a bit of casual research, hey."]
(14:09:57) Sept: "Research on what?"
(14:10:07) Minaplo: ["The Annihilator."]
(14:10:44) Sept: "What about it?"
(14:23:45) Minaplo: ["All kinds of things." Said Alex. "Testing the strength of our control, trying to refine the commands, its reaction to certain stimuli."]
(14:28:27) Sept: "Mm," Sera nodded, giving the Annihilator a parting glance and approaching the pair, rubbing his hands together idly. "Do you have time to entertain me with the story of how this happened?"
(14:36:31) Minaplo: ["Which 'this'?"]
(14:39:13) Sept: "Your device. I know you did a tour of Africa with the 'last son' guy, but how did you develop this thing in the first place?"
(14:47:52) Minaplo: ["I'm clever, hey." Said Remy with a grin. "Some of it's eva tech- same basis as synchronization stuff. See, what it does is it scouts the Angelspawn's AT Field, then dispatches signal bursts which mimic a 'mother' entity's commands. If done right, it'll override the Spawn's AT Field and trick it into thinking you're its mother."]
(14:52:55) Sept: "Sounds easy. Do you think it only works with Spawn that are used to being controlled by a 'mother'?"
(14:57:53) » Suzunap is now known as Suzune
(15:02:18) Minaplo: ["As opposed to what other kind of Spawn?" Asked Alexandre.]
(15:10:10) * Sept shrugged awkwardly. "Split-field things like me, or something like Ban-Ban? There's exceptions, so I'd rest easier knowing what exactly it is you're abusing."
(15:19:56) Minaplo: ["You're not really a Spawn." Said Alexandre. "And Ban-Ban has his own soul nowadays, so he's more of an ex-spawn."]
(15:22:02) Sept: "Yeah, that. So you're confident this method's only good for soulless Spawn, in its prototypical, minion-like definition?"
(15:22:49) Minaplo: ["Yeah."]
(15:25:52) Sept: "Cool," Sera nodded after a beat. "And you're analyzing the Spawn's AT Field to figure out the specific kind of signal it'd accept? I don't suppose you could learn anything about its actual mother the same way?"
(15:26:39) » Minaplo is now known as AdEvaGM
(15:26:56) » Part: Suzune (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS)
(15:26:56) » Join: Vera (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|areV#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|areV)
(15:27:22) AdEvaGM: ["Nah, the Angelica can do that sort of quick analysis in the field, but further study lets us enhance the signal, hey." Said Remy.-
(15:27:42) AdEvaGM: ["Besides, we know about this one's mother. It's Metatron's, which is why it was so easy to control- no competing signal, and it doesn't have a virus."]
(15:28:59) Sept: "Mm. Fair enough," said Sera, not entirely satisfied. "And you don't think it's grossly inhumane?"
(15:32:37) AdEvaGM: ["To what, the Spawn?" Asked Alexandre.]
(15:33:05) Sept: "Yeah?"
(15:34:17) AdEvaGM: ["Do you?"]
(15:36:42) Sept: "Don't know. Haven't ever been pleasantly controlled by foreign AT influence."
(15:38:24) AdEvaGM: ["So you're not sure if it's inhumane, but you feel like needling us about it anyway?" Said Alexandre drily.]
(15:40:25) Sept: "I'm not the expert, Alexandre," said Sera patiently. "Do you think it's humane or ethical, Remy?"
(15:43:24) AdEvaGM: ["I think it's not a bad thing hey." Said Remy. "It's not like I'm slamming a big spiky brain-jack helmet on its head and torturing it, you know. I'm using a process it was designed with to control it. This is exactly what the mother does, hey."-
(15:45:24) AdEvaGM: ["I'm not doing this for kicks." Said Remy. "As far as I'm concerned, the Angelspawn we got on this planet now is something that not only do we gotta live with, but something we should embrace. They deserve their own little corner, hey? But we need to know how to live with 'em before we can do that. We gotta figure out their impact on ecosystems and how we can integrate them."]
(15:48:50) Sept: "Cool," said Sera again, simply. He took a look over his shoulder at the Annihilator. "Is there anything I can help you with?"
(15:53:55) AdEvaGM: ["Of course." Said Alex. "How do you feel about testing the Angelica in certain conditions?"]
(15:57:22) Sept: "I can do that. Should I get one of those space suits?"
(15:59:13) AdEvaGM: ["Sure."]
(16:02:15) Sept: "Alright, let's science it up. You've got some over there, right?"
(16:21:20) AdEvaGM: […-
(16:22:38) AdEvaGM: [And so Sera was sent a hundred metres away, down to Deck Fourteen, with the Angelica strapped to his arm and a commbud shoved in his ear.-
(16:22:56) AdEvaGM: [It was deserted where he was. It seemed that he'd been sent to an empty room.-
(16:23:01) AdEvaGM: [("Come in, Sera. You read?")]
(16:32:42) Sept: "Yeah, I'm here. What're we doing?"
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(16:39:32) AdEvaGM: ["The Angelica's on?"]
(16:43:34) * Sept checked the controls on it. "Yeah. Says it is."
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(16:50:35) AdEvaGM: ["Alright, do you see the glowing button marked 'Action'?"]
(16:52:20) Sept: "Uh huh," he said, resisting the urge to push it.
(16:57:32) AdEvaGM: ["Push it."]
(16:59:25) * Sept did, his right hand hovering over the controls as he waited for the consequences.
(17:07:32) AdEvaGM: [It opened up a sub-menu. A dizzying array of options sprang to life, including 'Walk forwards', 'Walk Backwards', 'Orient Left', 'Orient Right', 'Stand Up', 'Kowtow' and 'Peace Sign'.-
(17:07:47) AdEvaGM: ["Can you hit 'Orient Left' twice, then 'Orient Right'?"]
(17:11:53) Sept: "Yeah, you've really weaponized it, haven't you…" Sera followed the instructions.
(17:31:48) AdEvaGM: [Silence.-
(17:31:50) AdEvaGM: [Then-
(17:32:00) AdEvaGM: ["Sorry, we messed up. Can you hit 'Stand up' first, then do all that again?"]
(17:35:45) Sept: "Mm. Stand up, left, left, right. There."
(17:53:30) AdEvaGM: ["Great! Thanks. Now…"-
(17:53:36) AdEvaGM: […-
(17:54:51) AdEvaGM: [Sera would spent about an hour and a half on this chore. Testing the range. Testing weather conditions- which required Albus to chase him around the ship, creating localised storms and blizzards around him- and testing it for possible interference from nearby AT Fields, which also required Albus to chase Sera around the ship, throwing AT slaps at his legs.-
(17:55:12) AdEvaGM: [Eventually Sera- sopping wet, legs bruised- would be permitted to return to the hub.-
(17:55:22) AdEvaGM: ["Hey, great job." Said Alex.]
(17:59:21) Sept: "Hey. No problem," said Sera, sounding tired as he walked past him to hang up the protective suit. "Hope that helped?"
(18:00:00) AdEvaGM: ["Yeah, that was a great help." Said Remy. "Looks like my baby's all-terrain, hey."-
(18:00:32) AdEvaGM: ["One extra chip in the 'this is totally worth it, Zhang' pile." Said Alex drily.]
(18:02:34) * Sept stuck his tongue out in disgust as he peeled off the soaked layers of space fabric off his arms and legs.-
(18:02:38) Sept: "How'd you convince her to approve this, anyway?"
(18:05:49) AdEvaGM: ["Yeah, about that…" Alex coughed. "So it's a great story, but I'll let Remy tell it."]
(18:12:50) Sept: "Hah. Doesn't sound good for her." He got rid of the used, wrinkled suit and threw on his coat without caring about his also-soaked undershirt.
(18:29:15) AdEvaGM: ["Our mission was to bag an Angelspawn for study." Said Remy. "But… I figured, if we had to bring one in, we may as well do it with the Angelica, hey? Although I uh… Neglected to tell Yanmei, 'cuz I figured she'd refuse."]
(18:34:53) Sept: "…right. Forfeiting your lives in the process."
(18:37:39) AdEvaGM: ["Right."-
(18:38:11) AdEvaGM: ["My idea was that I'd use it in the field, bring back a perfectly fine, placid Annie, and hey, she'd be so impressed that she'd forget she was angry!"-
(18:38:16) AdEvaGM: ["The first part went fine…"]
(18:40:27) * Sept barked an amused laugh.-
(18:40:57) Sept: "The second part did, too, since you're still on the ship! What do you think that makes her look like?"
(18:42:46) AdEvaGM: ["Trust me, she definitely did not forget to be angry." Said Remy darkly.]
(18:43:07) Sept: "So what's your punishment?"
(18:48:04) AdEvaGM: ["… She's still thinking about it." Said Remy darkly.-
(18:48:17) AdEvaGM: ["Albus offered his head." Said Alex brightly.]
(18:50:21) Sept: "I submit that that's Yanmei being as fair as she possibly can."-
(18:51:08) Sept: "But you should enjoy the time you've got left, in either case."
(18:55:05) AdEvaGM: [Remy shot Sera a look.-
(18:55:26) AdEvaGM: ["She admitted that the Angelica had its uses." He said. "But she told me it was a shitty thing to do, hey."]
(18:57:40) Sept: "Sure. I know all about those kinds of decisions." Sera flapped his coat about a bit in an effort to dry out his shirt.-
(18:58:13) Sept: "The spider's hers, right?"
(18:58:46) AdEvaGM: ["Yeah. Gift from the Great Spider Clan."]
(19:00:46) Sept: "Oh. I thought it was from you. Mind if I help you take care of it sometime?"
(19:01:15) AdEvaGM: ["No problem!" Said Remy brightly. "Ain't it great when people learn to love 'em?"]
(19:01:50) Sept: "Couldn't say."

-

(13:19:51) AdEvaGM: ["Yeah, Sera's not really the squeamish type, luckily." Said Alexandre.]
(13:23:44) Sept: "Luckily?"
(13:28:10) AdEvaGM: ["Well you don't want to be squeamish, do you?"]
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(13:30:22) Sept: "Yeah, I guess not. I don't have to deal with anything weird on a regular basis either."
(13:33:11) AdEvaGM: ["Eva."]
(13:34:00) Sept: "I should shut up, huh."
(13:38:01) AdEvaGM: [Remy snickered.-
(13:38:29) AdEvaGM: ["On the topic," continued Alex, "Eagle Squadron's having a little soiree next week if you want to come and patch things up with Evangeline."]
(13:41:49) Sept: "'course I do," Sera said immediately, perking up. Then, giving himself a pause, he continued, "I want to try. But I'll leave it up to you to consider if it's a good idea."-
(13:42:19) Sept: "Not 'take responsibility', just whether or not you want to allow it."
(13:51:31) AdEvaGM: ["Sure. Worth pursuing." Said Alex.]
(13:52:43) Sept: "Mm," Sera nodded with visible apprehension.
(13:53:00) AdEvaGM: ["Would… You like someone to coach you?" Asked Alex gently.]
(13:53:28) Sept: "…"
(13:54:13) AdEvaGM: ["Nod for yes."]
(13:55:22) * Sept closed his eyes and sighed. "Yes. What do you suggest?"
(14:01:05) AdEvaGM: ["I suggest a gradual process." Said Alex. "First of all, is there someone you've managed to piss off around here for a relatively trivial reason?"]
(14:04:53) Sept: "I'm pretty sure the issue's always centered somehow around absolutely crucial matters. From my point of view."-
(14:05:32) Sept: "I don't know. They all seem equally impossible."
(14:07:25) AdEvaGM: ["Okay, is there someone around here that you managed to piss off for something that totally wasn't your fault?"]
(14:08:15) Sept: "Probably not!"
(14:12:00) AdEvaGM: ["Okay, is there someone who you've managed to just mildly irritate?"]
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(14:20:42) » CakeyCake is now known as Yanmei
(14:21:33) Sept: "I don't know." Sera shifted his footing uncomfortably.-
(14:21:37) Sept: "Maya's upset with me, but maybe I could reason with her. I've got no common ground with Ni, or Eva, or Yui… Hm."
(14:24:55) AdEvaGM: ["Ah." Alex's expression lifted. "There you go. We can start with Maya, then move onto more tricky confrontations."]
(14:28:36) Sept: "Right," Sera said, looking unconvinced.
(14:30:19) AdEvaGM: ["Have I led you wrong before?"]
(14:32:04) Sept: "I don't think so. Have you led me before?"
(14:33:19) AdEvaGM: ["Just then, with the testing."]
(14:38:31) Sept: "I got completely drenched!"
(14:41:47) AdEvaGM: [Alex reached up and coolly adjusted his glasses. "Well within parameters."]
(14:42:42) Sept: "So's your face," Sera muttered.
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(14:43:41) AdEvaGM: ["That's… True, yes."-
(14:43:47) AdEvaGM: ["Are you with me or not?"]
(14:46:58) Sept: "Yes. I don't know what you're offering, but I'm with you."
(14:57:56) AdEvaGM: ["Good." Said Alex. "Let's tidy up here, then when we're done we can move to enact our plan…"]
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(15:01:08) » Minaplo is now known as AdEvaGM
(15:01:15) Sept: "We're not moving anywhere before you explain the plan, Alex."
(15:02:58) AdEvaGM: […-
(15:03:29) AdEvaGM: [Despite Sera's best efforts, they had in fact moved before he explained the plan. They were now in Blue's Bar and Grill, the three of them; Alex looked smug, and Sera was still plan-less.]
(15:04:29) Sept: "Alex?" Sera had, however, managed to negotiate himself a change of shirt in between. But that was all.
(15:05:00) AdEvaGM: ["The plan is simple." Said Alex.]
(15:05:22) Sept: "Why the fuck does it have to be at Blue's?!"
(15:08:06) AdEvaGM: ["Because this is where Maya will be."]
(15:08:48) Sept: "This is not a safe place for mediation, Alex."
(15:09:37) AdEvaGM: ["I disagree. What better place than a relaxed social environment with access to refreshment?"]
(15:10:41) Sept: "Somewhere everyone isn't listening?"
(15:11:44) AdEvaGM: ["Oh please." Said Alex. "Everyone here's talking, there's music playing-"-
(15:11:49) AdEvaGM: ["Bad music, hey-"-
(15:12:13) AdEvaGM: ["… And frankly, people aren't that interested in you. You're fine."]
(15:15:05) Sept: "Fine. Why's it better to steal her free time for this than do it somewhere I'd see her naturally?"
(15:21:07) AdEvaGM: ["Because she's working then."]
(15:25:09) Sept: "O…kay."
(15:31:26) AdEvaGM: ["Listen, personal issues should be solved in personal time. Work is for work." Said Alex.-
(15:31:34) AdEvaGM: ["… Now what happened with Maya exactly?"]
(15:38:01) * Sept glanced at Remy briefly. "She… thought I was dating Ritsuko and Tsubaki, or something. And I got mad at her for stalking me angrily because of it."-
(15:38:37) Sept: "And she doesn't agree with me on how to treat Tsubaki while she's struggling with her situation."
(15:39:32) AdEvaGM: ["Ah. So."-
(15:40:05) AdEvaGM: ["Probably not best to open with an offer to buy a drink, got it." Said Alex hastily. "Not to worry! All you need to do is approach her in a warm yet polite way and explain the situation calmly."]
(15:41:50) Sept: "What situation?"
(15:44:31) AdEvaGM: ["That you regret that she had the wrong impression and you want to make amends. That situation."]
(15:45:16) Sept: "But I still disagree with her, and that's why she's upset."
(15:45:49) AdEvaGM: ["Disagreeing over what?"]
(15:46:35) Sept: "Over Tsubaki."
(15:47:36) AdEvaGM: ["C'mon. How much of that was just fallout from your earlier tiff?" Said Alex airily. "Make amends over the earlier problem, then if necessary extend an offer to solve Tsubaki's problems in a co-operative, facilitative manner."]
(15:51:07) Sept: "Mm. Alright. And you two'll be here watching creepily?"
(15:51:38) AdEvaGM: ["That's a dysphemic way to describe it." Said Alex. "Consider me your Operations Director for this mission."]
(15:52:44) Sept: "Don't think I will."
(15:53:39) AdEvaGM: ["When have I lead you astray? I'm hurt by your mistrust."-
(15:54:01) AdEvaGM: ["Alex is good at making up, Sera." Said Remy. "He lives with Asuka, hey."-
(15:54:04) AdEvaGM: ["Oh shut up."]
(15:57:24) Sept: "Asuka's way different. Do you two want to eat something while I apparently just wait for Maya to show up?"
(15:59:50) AdEvaGM: ["Yes, actually." Said Remy. "Hey! Bro, hey!"-
(16:00:23) AdEvaGM: [A few seconds later, Zhang Zhengsheng appeared at the end of the table. "Hi."]
(16:08:24) * Sept got up at that point. "… I'm getting a drink. Anyone else need anything?"
(16:11:15) AdEvaGM: ["I can bring you your order if you want to give it to me." Said Zhengsheng.]
(16:13:02) Sept: "Nah, just give me a moment. I need to think."-
(16:13:40) Sept: With that, Sera absconded towards the establishment's tender perch.
(16:14:15) AdEvaGM: […-
(16:15:40) AdEvaGM: [Sera had his beer; Remy had a small bottle of vodka and a plate of fries covered in cheese and mince; Alex meanwhile had a glass of red wine and a bowl of Langley-Soryu pizza, which he was ignoring in favour of his phone.-
(16:16:49) AdEvaGM: ["Field Intelligence says the target is eta five minutes." Said Alex.]
(16:18:36) Sept: "Are you texting Tsubaki?"
(16:18:52) AdEvaGM: ["Oh please. Give me some credit." Said Alex.]
(16:19:11) Sept: "Are you texting Asuka?"
(16:19:24) AdEvaGM: [Alex gave him a dirty look. "No."]
(16:20:01) * Sept took a sip of his beer. It didn't taste very impressive at all.
(16:23:01) AdEvaGM: ["If you must know, I'm communicating with the only person I trust to be able to follow someone inconspicuously and report on their process at the same time."]
(16:27:47) Sept: "Alright. Unpaid mercenary work?"
(16:28:27) AdEvaGM: ["No."-
(16:28:37) AdEvaGM: ["In any case, let's review our plan." Said Alex.]
(16:28:46) Sept: "Uh huh."
(16:29:25) AdEvaGM: ["Go on."]
(16:31:25) Sept: "I non-threateningly approach Maya after unethically finding out she's here. And then explain to her I don't want there to be any ill will between us."
(16:32:15) AdEvaGM: ["Good…"]
(16:32:54) Sept: "I basically always do all that, though."
(16:34:36) AdEvaGM: ["This time will be different."]
(16:35:48) Sept: "Because we're at Blue's."
(16:38:07) AdEvaGM: ["And because I'm your Director."]
(16:40:43) Sept: "Hrmm."
(16:50:38) AdEvaGM: ["Drink your beer. Soon you will taste success instead."]
(16:52:22) * Sept just glanced back at the front entrance instead.
(16:55:29) AdEvaGM: [And indeed, just a few minutes later, in came Maya. She quickly ordered a drink from Zhengsheng, giving him a bright smile, before sitting by herself.]
(17:01:01) * Sept took off from his table without a word (or a beer) and approached Maya's table, hopefully from an angle that didn't encourage several moments of awkward expectation.-
(17:01:57) Sept: He cleared his throat and inclined his head a little as he addressed her. "Maya? Can I sit down for a moment?"
(17:04:50) AdEvaGM: [Maya had been reading a book; as Sera approached she looked up, frowning slightly. "… Alright. Is something the matter?"]
(17:06:22) Sept: "Well, no," Sera said, sitting down opposite her. "But I wanted to clear things up between us. We got off to a bad start in a lot of ways."
(17:19:57) AdEvaGM: ["Ah… Okay."]
(17:27:01) Sept: "I know there's rumors about me, and I do things you disagree with and other things that are just plain stupid. Um." He paused for a moment, lost for words.
(17:28:02) AdEvaGM: ["Yeah." Said Maya slowly.]
(17:33:03) Sept: "But…" Sera frowned, pausing again. "Okay, first and foremost, I care a lot about Tsubaki, and I'm grateful for everything you and Ritsuko have helped me with. I want to still have all of those things, and we're on the same side in the war. That- should all be obvious, too."
(17:37:17) AdEvaGM: [Maya was staring at him.]
(17:46:12) Sept: The staring had the effect of making it difficult for Sera to face her directly. "So I want to be on friendly terms with you, not just have you help me around because it's your job. I-If there's anything you think I could help with, with Tsubaki or anything, I want to be there."
(17:57:06) AdEvaGM: ["… I see." She said eventually.-
(17:57:12) AdEvaGM: ["What brought this on?"]
(18:02:30) Sept: "I've always been doing 'this'. It's just… a more embarrassing way of doing it."
(18:11:13) AdEvaGM: ["Embarrasing?"]
(18:17:01) Sept: "Yeah. Is that surprising? I regularly make mistakes with people, so I'm trusting their advice with these things."
(18:17:51) AdEvaGM: ["Oh… I see."-
(18:18:01) AdEvaGM: ["So you wanted to make amends and asked for help…?"]
(18:19:14) Sept: "When you put it like that…"
(18:19:29) AdEvaGM: ["That's really sweet." Said Maya.-
(18:19:43) AdEvaGM: [Finally, she smiled. "You must really mean it if you're doing this."-
(18:19:54) AdEvaGM: [Sera could hear the veritable shing! of Alex's glasses.]
(18:24:29) Sept: "It's not like I ever turn down help, I ask for it all the time!" Sera protested.-
(18:24:34) Sept: "Just talk to me if you think I'm being shitty. Don't just ignore it."
(18:25:11) AdEvaGM: ["… Alright. For Tsucchin's sake, right?"]
(18:26:25) * Sept nodded. "If you want."
(18:27:29) AdEvaGM: [She nodded. "Okay. I'll keep it in mind. Thank you, Sera."]
(18:35:33) Sept: "Right, thanks. Have a good day." Sera nodded to her with a half-smile and got up to leave. He considered heading straight past Alex's table.
(18:38:10) AdEvaGM: [Alex was smirking. His glasses were shining.]
(18:40:39) Sept: "Fuck off, you did nothing!"
(18:41:35) AdEvaGM: ["I disagree." Said Alex smugly. "Success is success, and as the Director I take credit. Good job, Social Officer de Pteres."]
(18:42:04) Sept: "Uuugh."
(18:42:21) AdEvaGM: [Alex held out his wine glass.]
(18:47:38) * Sept tried his warm beer sourly. The taste was unchanged.

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