View Full Version : [DH] The Ceremony of Innocence: Inquisition
10-11-2012, 01:59 PM
The Ceremony of Innocence
OOC Thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13984288)
“She will see you now.”
The guards, as always armed and armored, disguised behind faceless visors, summoned them each in turn. They had spent several weeks confined to small, windowless rooms, seeing only guards and servitors. Led silently through a long series of corridors, utilitarian plasteel suddenly gave way to polished marble and carved wood trim. Not a single door they passed was labeled.
Eventually, they were led into a large chamber. The walls were lined with shelves and cabinetry, stacked with books, weapons, and devotional relics. Arched windows sat above the shelves, providing the first true sunlight any of them had seen for days. Though it was filtered through the hive smog, they were clearly high up the spire, as the outside air was closer to blue than brown.
The room was certainly the largest depository of the written word any of the feral worlders had seen. Before any of them had a chance to examine the shelves in detail, they were whisked across the thick, geometrically patterned carpet to six deep red leather chairs, arranged in a semi-circle. The chairs faced a large desk, carved out of nalwood, with inlays of stone and ivory. The desk was bare, but for six data slates, six palm sized black boxes, and six highly polished keys. Another chair, appearing identical to their own, sat behind the desk.
Shortly after they were all seated, one of the wood panels on the wall retreated into the ceiling with a faint hiss, and a figure entered.
"Let’s keep this quick, shall we? I am due at the reception for Admiral Anastasius shortly."
She moved towards the vacant chair, midnight blue dress and silvery sashes flowing, with almost too much motion. A few silver rings and armbands, elegant in their simplicity bedecked her arms, and around her neck she wore a tight choker, her Inquisitorial rosette on display for all to see.
To the unaware, she would appear about 55, despite her hair, pure white and worn up in broad shapes. Her skin showed some signs of juvenat work, though it was clearly of a much higher calibre than normal. Her piercing grey eyes gave them each a slow study before she took her seat.
"So what shall we call you all?"
10-11-2012, 03:12 PM
Tybalt Constantine, Son of Dispater
The first feral worlders face hardly registers anything as he is brought into the room. Admittedly, libraries weren't new to him. Not that he knew how to read, but the people who had his services used as an unexpected present for loved ones often had libraries.
Of course, he considered his best work to be done on rooftops and in churches, but that was merely a professional quibble.
His yellow cat-pupilled eyes darted around the room, not that he expected the inquisitor to have him killed, especially with the money she was saving by not paying for his services. It was more a matter of caution. Not that there appeared to be any immediate threats, but he kept a loose hold on the long suitcase he was carrying.
His stormcoat hung loosely into his frame, and one of his hands was kept deep in one of his pockets.
He casually inspected the Inquisitor as she entered the room, making a cursory check for armaments. Not seriously, of course, but he needed to maintain appearances. Such was expected of a Son of Dispater.
"I am designated Tybalt Constantine," He responded, taking care to use the word "designated" rather than "named". Tybalt hadn't been named, really, so much as designated. "A further explanation of my talents may be provided upon request.
His voice was strange, with every syllable exaggerated ever so slightly, so as to give the impression that he had learned the Gothic language later in life. His pronunciations seem slightly off, although he was not entirely certain exactly what his words meant, despite the precision with which he spoke.
10-11-2012, 03:37 PM
Caio is wrapped in a tatty, dirty robe and he clearly doesn't others coming near them, angry eyes darting from under his hood, something he lowers as they're gathered at the chairs.
He regards the Inquistior sourly but warily, well aware of the powers she can bring to bear and just how easily she can kill them all if she wants.
"What's the ****ing job then? Must be major, to have this lot all together?"
10-16-2012, 03:18 AM
"Arbitrator Alis Kaster."
The young woman with the short black hair leaned against the wall offered a half-hearted salute. "And the slumdog's right: what have we been gathered for? I can't believe you know our service records but not our names."
10-16-2012, 09:55 AM
"Arbitrator Kaster, it would seem to be bad practice to question one of the most powerful individuals in the system, much less the one who is bankrolling us. Although I will agree with you that it beggars belief, I cannot help but think M'Lady has reasons for her activities." Tybalt said in his strange little accent.
An arbitrator and some sort of twitching witch-kin, probably a psyker. The arbitrator would likely have some detective skills, also displaying logic and clear head, in addition to being tough enough to take a few shots. Method of elimination, should it be required: Sever head from behind while unaware, preferably using a flexible bladed weapon. Alternately, wait until head is unarmored, then target from 75 meters away while hiding in heavy cover. Ideal weapon, Fykos-forge Nomad Hunting Instrument. Minimum power required, hot shot Long Las, outfitted with an overcharge pack. Third possible method: grenade while unarmored, preferably asleep. Do not engage. Methods 2 and 3 would probably result in too much wasted resources. Method 1 would require loss of valued secrecy. Conclusion: Engagement too costly with current resources. If conflict is initiated, evade.
Pskyer. Exhibits nervous twitch, lack of education. May be feigned. Psykana education comprehensive, but often lacks in physical. Cloak obscures most of features, and variety of psychic talents makes precise determination of abilities difficult. Conclusion: more data required. Acquire whenever possible.
Doubtless, these two could be potent allies, best keep on good side. Stay aloof, avoid personal interaction where not necessitated.
"If brevity is required, M'Lady, perhaps you should transfer all necessary information for us. May I assume we are working in a cell, as opposed to individually?" Tybalt said, walking up to one of the data slate-box-key arrangements. "May I presume this includes assignment details?"
Being polite, professional, and having a plan to kill everyone but the Inquisitor. Oh, I missed the paranoia of Dark Heresy.
10-17-2012, 02:36 PM
"Indeed", comes the rich reply from thin lips and piercing ice-blue eyes. "Astute deductions, Mr Constantine." The Inquisitor's gaze locks onto Tybalt's, the slightest sign of a knowing smirk creasing her almost unwrinkled face.
Skirts whisper across the cold stone floor as the Inquisitor stands, appraising each newly-minted Acolyte with but a glance, then she saunters over and leans at the windowsill. Looking at her from across the room, this lady who holds their fates, who holds the doom of billions in her hands...
...She seems but a wisp, a speck of blue and white silks against the filth-choked sky beyond. Around her and over her, the masonry had slowly lost its marble elegance. Only great hewn stones of brute blackness loom over her in the great window's arch.
An errant wind gusts in. The acrid tastes of heavy industrial smog carry with them the telltale traces of the scents of not-too-distant bone-ash. A rumbling cloudbank rolls in, the air thick with the aroma of an imminent storm.
"Rot" she says without looking at them, the singular word cutting through the silence. "There is something rotten on the world of Lo. Your job is to cleanse it. You will not be alone in this endeavour--- not only do you have the Emperor watching over you, you have each other"
Now, she turns, beckons to each of them with a curt gesture towards the table and its slates, boxes and keys. "Heh. Come, now, one set apiece. And yes, there will be another cell like yours, working on similar goals. You might meet them, you might not. Maybe you'll fight and come to blows or maybe you'll work together."
Walking over to Caio, two of the Inquisitor's well-polished crimson-painted fingernails hook under the Feral's chin and lift his cowled gaze to meet hers. Though her voice is but a harsh whisper now, all could hear her clearly. "My dear, I have dozens of little cells like yours. The many minors make the great major, as you so charmingly put it. The great piece of drokk here that necessitated bringing your various talents together..."
She then slips off the table's edge and whips from seemingly out of nowhere a slender cigarette-holder, pointing at Arbitrator Alis, then at Tybalt. "Gangers, smugglers, strongarms. I trust you've known your fair share of these scum? There's scum aplenty as well amongst the higher orders of society, sad to say. Powermongers, deviants and their ilk. Certain informants have hinted that Governor Kalas of Lo has aspirations of secession. He might well be tapping into the black market and procuring the services of certain alien and criminal elements. Or it might well be his rival nobles. Be that as it may, you are to sniff out the true traitors and snuff them out."
"If there are no more questions..." she says as she crosses her arms across her chest. "...go, with the Emperor's smile upon you. Those dataslates contain all currently consolidated data regarding your mission. Your caskets contain grade-zero Inquisitorial badges of office... among other things. They will be enough to deceive the foolish, but will not have any true legal or technical power. Also, if the situation becomes desperate, remove the bottom-piece and you've got yourself a knife. Remove them from their neck-chains, and you've effectively pulled the pins off of three-second-delay high-explosive grenades. You will also find inside mag-cards, your tickets for passage onboard the cargo hauler Charlie-73 bound for the hold of the light tramp freighter Xu Sheng, to make a run to Landunder, Askelphion, Monrass and then on to Lo"
Alrighty, fellows, let's get this trainwreck rumbling, shall we?
Awareness [Very Difficult]
Common Lore :Imperium or Navigation :Stellar or some other justifiably similar skill [Challenging]
10-17-2012, 03:47 PM
Caio snarls with suppressed instincts at the grip to his chin, wild and apparently unfocused eyes glaring up at the Inquistior. He holds himself still, but tension shows throughout his frame.
When she releases him, he retreats back into the shadows of his hood, approaching the table, but still keeping back from the others.
10-19-2012, 10:46 AM
In the intervening quiet, the click of leather boots on the marble floors outside echoes throughout the hallway. As they stop, the doorknob begins to turn, and a tall figure, draped in Ecclesiarchical robes, steps into the office. A tall, pale man, Samiel cuts an imposing figure, the black of his garments constrasting with the red and gold trim on his sleeves and gloves, spelling out words of prayers to the Emperor. A hint of flak armor can be seen beneath his sleeve, which rides up as he closes the door behind him. The sword at his waist, the longlas on his back, and the pistol on hip appear very well kept, immaculately oiled and maintained. His hair parted to the right, oiled and perfumed, no evidence of stress on his face, he looks as if he was ready to begin a service or a confession, except for the weapons on his body. And, of course, the small, but perceptible, stain of blood, halfway up the blade.
I must apologize, madam, for my lateness. I beg your forgiveness, Madam Inquisitor, and ask that I may be granted the chance to atone for my insult. A cleric in the Crystal Palace had a ...crisis of faith, and I had to rescue him from his... error.
10-19-2012, 10:55 AM
"Preventing secession. Rooting out traitors. Sounds plain enough." Alis met the lady inquisitor's eyes smoothly. The idea of being intimidated simply didn't occur to her.
10-19-2012, 10:20 PM
"Investigation followed by strategic elimination of key personale. This plays to our demonstrated strengths based on apparent careers." Tybalt monotoned in his peculiar accent, as though he were reading off some text inside his head. "I posit that we do not detain M'lady further, and commence planning. Father, if you require information, I am sure present company can provide relavant data.
Priest. Likely rank, confessor. Shows armament for long-ranged combat, but short-range and melee are demonstrated. Armor visible. Flak, making grenades substantially less effective. Clearly dogmatic, lethal, possibly with psychotic faithful tendencies. Well-heeled, takes pains to keep apparences. Data as marksman necessary, but preferred method of elimination will be long ranged, targeted at head. Preferably while unaware. Stay respectful, aloof, avoid becoming close. Offer no concrete data on self.
"Father, I am afraid I did not catch you name. May I take the liberty of assuming you have one, although, if possible, I would prefer a call-sign or encoded name. For safety purposes."
10-19-2012, 11:47 PM
Samiel nods, and, bowing deeply to the Inquisitor, turns on his heel and marches out, the tension of barely contained fanaticism lending energy to his steps. As he turns to face the Feral assassin, a quick flash of distaste flits across his face, echoed when he looks at the psyker nearby. Quick as it was there, though, it is gone, replaced with a sincere, affable smile.
"I am pleased to make your aquaintances, sirs and Madam Arbitrator. My name is Samiel Grammaticus, but you may call Sam, or Father, if such a name makes you more comfortable. I believe we shall have a splendid working relationship, will we not? Removing the stains of corruption from the body of the Imperium, one heretic at a time. What, might I ask, are your names, and your talents? I like to know my companions in heretic hunting a little before we begin our ventures. I specialize in firearms deployment, as well as conversing with nobles or my peers within the Ecclesiarchy."
10-23-2012, 02:27 PM
"Excellent" purrs the Inquisitor Rathbone at the priest's pronouncement. "I am sure Him On Terra heard his confession loud and clear"
A copper-plated voxcaster on the table chimes. The Inquisitor's thin lips quirk in a smirk, then she waves her Acolytes away. "Don't let the auto-flaps hit you on the way out." she calls. "Oh, and take Agent Axe with you. Works cheaper than a cyber-mastiff. The Emperor protects."
Even as the office's nameless steel doors hiss closed behind the Acolytes, a figure detaches from the shadows beside the doors and seemingly glares for a moment at them through a helmet’s faceless visor. The figure stands almost as tall as the late-come priest, and the harness of matt-black Guard-issue flak adds to an already muscled mass. Moving with panther-like grace, easily hefting a laden backpack, a high-calibre autogun, she takes the lead, a holstered laspistol and a tell-tale axe-haft on either hip.
“Marshal, Father, Mr Weaver, Mr Mechanic” she says, her voice seeming clipped, forced, a little more than a growl. “Agent Axe, at your service, and the Emperor’s. Y’all ‘ave yer trip slaights?”
She gives a slight jerk of her helmeted head, then begins marching, talking on the way. “Wot y’all say be wise. False names an’ wot y’all do best, eh? Me? I get stuck in, rip things apart. Up close and from afar” At this, she purrs and pats her weapons affectionately. “Skirra an’ Dakka, we’s go back a-ways, that we do…”
At the end of one corridor, pair of large potted indoor palms flank a lift. The lift’s stainless steel doors open with a chime. Its passengers--- a trim woman in a business suit, a thickset enforcer with a shouldered shotgun and clad in a flakweave stormcoat and an red-robed techpriest using an axe as a cane--- greet them with affable but noncommital utterances of “Ave Imperator” then step off, heading up the way the Acolytes had come.
Agent Axe holds the doors open with the tip of her boot and gestures with a jerking chin for the others to get in.
10-24-2012, 10:49 AM
Samiel flashes his affable smile at Agent Axe, turning his gaze from his other erstwhile comrades.
"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Agent Axe. I'm delighted that we can have the pleasure of another accompanying blade of the Emperor's Fury to aid our venture. Your zealous pursuit of heretics with your weapons seems commendable, Agent."
When greeted with Ave Imperators, Samiel responds in High Gothic "Nomen Imperatoris beetur." As Agent Axes holds the door, he bows, and moves past her quickly, making his way into the elevator.
10-24-2012, 10:52 AM
Caio rumbles, leaning towards Axe as his eyes blink lazily under the shroud of his hooded cloak. "Ripping, tearing, killing.. you know it? Good.. in your eyes, good.." Sharpened teeth flash in what's either a smile or a snarl.
10-24-2012, 02:10 PM
A gauntleted hand slaps at the console once the last Acolyte has cleared the lift's threshold. Inside, their mostly uncouth combat boots' tromping is muffled on a thick carpet. Brass handrails and a singular brass Aquila at the centre of the wall reflect the luminator's glow above.
Agent Axe sets herself against the wall closest the door, shouldering her assault rifle but keeping one hand on her axehead. She grunts at the priest in response and returns the feral's gesture with a jag-toothed grin of her own.
She grunts impatiently while the lift grinds and chimes slowly upwards towards the ground floor. Axe nods towards the arbite and the assassin. "Way you stan' an' talk, you be a right hopskippin' facemasher whilst lookin' at wot yer totin', you fix things clean-like. Izzat so, gennelfolk?"
10-26-2012, 04:44 AM
Alis inspected the other woman, as if marking her out of ten. Finally she made the smallest tilt of the head indicating... acceptance? and turned to face the lift door.
Oh, good. A feral, or a ganger?. A meat-shield, perhaps. Lets hope this one can take orders without being told that i'm the conduit of the sun-king or something.
10-27-2012, 09:26 AM
"Yes indeed, Agent Axe," Tybalt had heard far worse low gothic. Often he was the one speaking it.
Axe, to Tybalt's knowledge, would have to be outthought, rather than outfought. Thought, in this case, consisted of high explosives. Even with growing up on a feral world, most things died when detonated. Although he prided himself on his ability to take any number of measures when it came to inhuming a target, Tybalt believed in bombs with the fervor that some men believed in the God-Emperor. There is nothing that promethium and det cord in sufficient quantities couldn't solve. It lacked a certain subtlety, but it did work astonishingly well.
"May I take the liberty of asking what you did to attract the lady's attention?" Tybalt said with every apparence of idleness.
10-27-2012, 04:32 PM
"Pectorals?" Alis asked, without turning away from the door.
10-29-2012, 03:31 PM
The visor-hidden face rises an inch as Axe seems to consider Tybalt's question. The lift's numbers slowly scroll by. Jaw muscles clench in thought, then she frowns and shrugs as she answers, "Survived the guts of a Chaos cruiser. Ten years, mebbe more, mebbe less. In... there... Ain't no real reckoning of time. 'Cept that yer still breathing, is what"
Above them, the floor indicator shows a backlit “G”. Before she could answer the arbite with anything more than a blank face of incomprehension, the doors ding open.
“W’elp” Axe says as she grunts and shoves aside the outer folding brass door. “Welcome to the outside world, buggers. And no, she jess gave me a route and some coin, warped if I be knowing whyso.”
Inside, the air had smelt stale and musty yet still clean, to an extent. Outside, the scents of rotten garbage, human filth and promethium fumes bombard their lungs.
A dirty old man with neither pants nor shirt shivers beside a stack of half-rotted wooden crates. The hand that lifts a cheap bottle of rotgut trembles as if with palsy or fever. Rheumy eyes don’t even blink a door disgorging a group of mostly clean, well-armed people.
Tent-flaps and shanty doors hastily slam closed. A teeming mass of wary eyes peer out of the shadows between plywood panels and rusted corrugated iron sheets. Across the grime-encrusted ferrocrete walls of the towering buildings forming the sides of this alley, letters sprawl, spray-painted in neon green--- the design of a winged skull.
The Acolytes make their way through the cramped colony of dregs to the mouth of the alley where a black van sits with its engine idling. A taxi’s “HIRE” light crowns its roof. The grimacing driver takes one look at them and jerks his thumb behind him, the side door’s locks popping open.
At the alley’s edge, a filthy kid grubs about the refuse in a trashcan. He seems to be talking to the rat perched on his shoulder, seemingly oblivious to all else as he triumphantly snatches out a small crumpled carton with a mostly untouched fried chicken leg inside. Brushing and blowing off some of the squirming maggots, he tucks in…
…and suddenly spits and snarls when he hears heavy footfalls behind him. Feral eyes glare at the Acolytes, then with unexpected speed, snatches at the priest’s hand, plants a greasy kiss on Samiel’s priestly digits, then scampers off, away into the shadows, muttering of “bletschingsh”.
Once all have boarded, the van trundles off, merging into the regular traffic of downtown Sibellus.
10-31-2012, 02:02 PM
Upon being accosted by the small child, Samiel is too shocked to speak. As the orphan scampers off, his fingers twitch towards his sidearm, and a look of fury transfixes his features, and he screams.
"YOU MISERABLE LITTLE RAT! HOW DARE YOU ACCOST A REPRESENTATIVE OF HIS MOST HOLY ECCLESIARCHY WITH YOUR DISGUSTING HANDS! MAY YOU PERISH IN HOLY FIRES, YOU MISERABLE CRETIN!
He proceeds to withdraw a cloth from his personal grooming kit in his knapsack, and wipe down his gloves, attempting to remove the grease before it stained the fabric.
Sheepishly, he looks at his assembled companions, aware of the commotion he had caused.
"I must apologize for the outburst. The child startled me, that is all."
10-31-2012, 02:30 PM
The feral worlder snarls, an ugly face thrust towards Samiel's own. "Attention, notice!" He huffs in annoyance and backs off, looking sharply towards Tybalt and seeming to hold him as leader, at least for the moment. "I'll not stay with such noise. I'll watch and follow, and come when needed."
And with that, he moved off, robe twitching as he pushed through the staring crowd.
Let's see how I do with shadowing. +10 from his cloak.
11-01-2012, 05:18 AM
"You know in the arbites we used to have a thing called a 'low profile'?" Alis asked. "Yeah. I'll be back here, maintaining one."
For the rest of the journey to the van, Alis walked several steps behind the rest of the group.
In the van she kept as quiet as ever, taking the opportunity to polish her shotgun's barrel with a scrap of scarf.
11-01-2012, 08:46 AM
"You know in the arbites we used to have a thing called a 'low profile'?" Alis asked. "Yeah. I'll be back here, maintaining one."
Samiel winces at the chiding he is receiving from his comrades, and adopts a concilliatory posture and expression. In a voice full of remorse, he says "My apologies, Madam Arbitrator. I forgot our place for a moment. I shall endeavor to remain more inconspicous in the future."
As he gets in the van, Samiel reluctantly removes his gloves, and flips up the collar and sleeves, hiding the intricate needlework.
11-01-2012, 12:59 PM
Tybalt stays completely silent throughout priest's loss of control, carefully observing. The priest easily loses control. Now that he is likely an ally, that will have to be controlled. If the priest blows us all out of cover...
On the other hand, the priest's arrogant rage could probably be used if necessary. If moved to it, then it his ability to defend himself should be compromised. Possible melee combat is possible. Victory probable.
Tybalt walked on, unconcerned about not staying unnoticed. With the rest of the party scattering, he would hardly stick out as a member of a covert cell.
He enters the van in equal silence, and quickly settles into a chair. He hefts his weapon case onto his lap, fiddles with the latches for a few seconds before opening it. His eyes gloss over the contents before quickly closing it again.
11-03-2012, 02:53 PM
At Samiel's outburst, the squatter colony suddenly stilled. When earlier they were understandably nervous and guarded at having unwittingly encamped at an Inquisitorial backdoor, now there is an air of seething hostility. The Acolytes' well-trained ears hear more than one scrap-gun being readied as well as the selfsame street urchin's muffled cries as some frightened parent's hand clamps about the kid's mouth.
Inside the van, the aircon is a misty old unit, but still functional. The midsection of the passenger seats are in the standard forward configuration but the seats in the back are arranged such that they face each other. The driver jerks a thumb over his shoulder as he calls to his riders, "Cooler in the back's got drinks, plastek bag atop it's packing groxwitches. Don't trust the catsup, 'scouple months rimward o' good-by"
The van drives along through one of the myriad roads honeycombing the vast metropolis of Sibellus. It is one amongst a multitude of other groundcars and trucks, buses and trains rolling along to the countless destinations in a day that keep a hive city going.
Along the way, around a mouthful of lettuce and grill-peppered grox sandwich washed down with an ice-cold bottle of mineral water, Axe asks the lot of them, "Offereshun like dish, whosh our--- ahhhh--- our alpha? Team leader? Boss-bugger?"
Monoliths of steel and stone and glass as wide at the base as entire ctiy blocks leer at motorists and pedestrians below through the granite gazes of a thousand dripping gargoyles. Belching manufactoria couple with the conglomerated vehicle exhausts to make the city's smog almost a living thing.
Billboards sprout along the roads every so often, like multi-coloured mushrooms on a rotting log. Half of these are government advisories such as a gigantic portrait of a grim-faced Bronzecoat--- which many might recognize as the holovid hero, Arbitrator Foreboding--- with a digital display beneath, scrolling lines such as "DRIVE SAFE OR BE DRIVEN TO JAIL" or "TO BE JUST, THE LAW MUST BE HARSH" or "BREAK THE LAW, WE BREAK YOU" alongside standard traffic and weather advisories as well as the usual gamut of religious platitudes. The other half are regular advertisments for food, clothing and other goods and services.
At a certain intersection, Mendicantine and Hospitaller ministers preach to the public and ask for donations for a new underhive hospital in the works. Few people amongst the herd of pedestrians actually stop to truly listen, but most slow their walk or drop a Scint or two and say a swift prayer more out of obligation than concern or charity.
Eventually, the Acolytes arrive at the Sibellus Starport, only to once more forgo the main gates and stop at a side door, near the loading docks. Axe tosses the driver a fat wad of Scints and he calls out to them as they exit, "Th' Emp'ror protects".
Inside, a flash of their idents and tickets gets them past starport security guards in flak coats and shotguns. They are taken to a series of landing pads where lines of servitors load up haulers and shuttles with their cargo. The passenger hold of the Charlie-73 is dark and cramped, with a couple dozen other commuters seeking cheap fare.
11-03-2012, 07:14 PM
Samiel grabs a mineral water, sipping slowly as he contemplates the cityscape outside, smiling at the religious pronouncements he sees on the billboards outside. Clearly, his mind is still not at ease, his earlier outburst still troubling him.
When Axe asks who the team leader would be, Samiel chimes in. "As I showed earlier, I am less comfortable outside of the Ecclesiarchical halls then is useful for interacting with the common citizens of the Imperium. If we had to interact with the nobility, however, I might be of more use in guiding this expedition.".
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