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Gryphonadmin
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Nov-23-05, 09:26 PM (EDT)
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"CoH: Second Thoughts"
 
   LAST EDITED ON Jan-01-06 AT 03:10 PM (EST)
 
This is actually not new; I wrote it back in May as a submission for the City of Heroes comic. They were apparently not interested in it, though, so, what the hell, here it is.

The apartment door swung open to admit a sandy-haired young man in a costume that would have been considered strange in most places. He was of average height, and his stocky build was accentuated by the high-tech-looking metallic armor he wore on his upper body. From the belt down his clothes were more normal a pair of black cargo pants with a broad blue stripe down both sides until his boots, which were chunky and metallic with a pattern of horizontal slats like his breastplate and gauntlets.

He switched on the lights, shut the door behind him, then took off his gauntlets and a pair of round goggles and dropped them on the couch. Without bothering to take off the rest of the armor, he sat down at a small desk near the high-rise apartment's floor-to-ceiling window. It had a great view of Freedom Corps Headquarters and the giant statue of Galaxy Girl, but he paid no attention. Instead he booted up his personal computer, sighed glumly, and started to compose a letter.

1737 Sagan Ave., Apt. 1221
Paragon City, RI 02879
August 4, 2005

Dear Carrie,

Sorry I haven't written for a while. I've been... well...

I've been trying to decide whether I should stay here.

I know, I know coming to Paragon City was all I ever wanted when we were kids, practically all I could ever talk about in high school, especially senior year. But I've been here for a little over a month, and it's just not what I expected.

There are so many heroes here. You read about them in the papers, you see them on TV, but nothing can prepare you for actually seeing them running around the streets, flying in the sky, leaping tall buildings, the whole thing. They're everywhere. A cop told me the other day that there were 158 heroes then out on patrol just in the zone I was in.

It's tough going from being the only superhero in the county to being one among thousands and a lot of them are so much more powerful than me... well, I have to wonder how much good I'm doing. You know I hate being a third wheel. Well, here in Paragon I feel like somewhere around a twenty-thousand-and-third wheel.

The bad guys are a lot worse around here, too. The other day I was just minding my own business over in Kings Row when a bunch of guys in red outfits just appeared out of nowhere ran around a corner and BAM. Next thing I know I'm in the hospital. I didn't even get off a shot.

(Don't panic, I'm OK. You wouldn't believe the medical technology they've got in this town. I got out of the hospital the same day. And for God's sake don't tell Mom.)

With things like that, and the superpowered crackheads, and those giant eyeball things, I seriously have to wonder how much use I am to Paragon City. Maybe I should come home. Go back to being Nollesemic's lone protector against the nefarious forces of taggers and car thieves. I don't know if I've got what it takes to fight killer robot zombies and gang members with superpowers. What am I doing here?

Captain Photon suddenly seemed to notice that he was still wearing his armor. He stopped typing and looked down at it, then sighed and reached to unlatch it.

As he did, his ears caught faint sounds from outside. There was the unmistakable crack of a gunshot, then a low, muffled WHUMP, almost like a small explosion. A moment later there came another familiar noise, the hollow KLONK of a baseball bat hitting a head.

Some other hero's gotten into a fight right in front of my building, thought Photon. Well, good luck to him.

He tried to go back to his typing, but something about the sounds of battle bothered him. After a few moments he realized what it was: Except for those odd muffled explosion sounds, all he was hearing was gunfire and the improvised weapons favored by low-ranked members of the Hellions gang. There was only one hero down there, and whoever he was, he was badly outnumbered.

Not my problem, Photon thought. Anyway, if he gets beaten, his Medicom will...

Except they didn't always work, did they?

Yeah, that's real heroic, Dan, he told himself sardonically. Then he bolted up from his chair, grabbed his goggles and gloves, and was putting them on with quick, practiced motions even as he slid his apartment window open and stepped out into the night.

He'd only just mastered the trick of neutralizing the effects of gravity with his energy-emission powers, which meant he could fly, but very slowly. He let Newton do the work for most of the way down, then kicked out some antigravitons at the last second to stop himself from hitting the pavement. It was a trick that took some practice. The first time he tried it, coming down from the globe in Atlas Park, he'd messed it up and nearly broken his legs.

At street level, Photon saw that he'd been right. There was just one hero down here, and he she! wasn't doing very well. Four Hellions were sprawled in various attitudes of unconsciousness around the figure of the heroine, who was dressed up in a heavy-looking white suit like the kind reactor technicians wore on TV, but there were still as many left. Worse, one of them was a Fallen, a middle-ranking gang member, packing a shotgun.

One of the Hellions swung his sledgehammer and caught the girl in the radsuit square in the sternum with a painful-sounding CRUNCH. The impact flung her up and over backward, sending her sprawling to the sidewalk on her back.

Captain Photon gathered his power within him and aimed his hands. The emitter ports in his gloves snapped open, and an instant later a blaze of blue-white energy streaked out and smashed the Slammer to the ground. He tumbled end-for-end and didn't offer to get up.

"You OK?" Photon asked as the radsuited heroine got to her feet.

She was too busy ducking away from the swing of another Hellion's axe to answer. As she slipped away from the strike, she swung a heavy-gauntleted fist for the Chopper's head. When the blow struck home, there was a flash of reddish-white light, and another of those small explosions sent the Hellion reeling.

Photon took a web grenade from his utility belt and immobilized a Hellion armed with a hunting knife. Then he concentrated his fire on the shotgunner while his impromptu teammate brought down the webbed Slicer with a withering one-two punch from her grenadelike fists.

In a few more seconds, it was all over.

"Phew!" said the white-suited heroine. "Thanks a ton. You just saved my bacon."

He turned and gave her a smile. "No problem. I'm Captain Photon."

She nodded. Her body language said she might have been smiling, though it was impossible to tell through the opaque visor of her helmet.

"They call me Detonator Girl," she said. Then she tilted her head and said, "Your DSA bio says you're a mutant. What's with all that techie-looking gear?"

Photon blinked she must have a mobile weblink in her helmet, sweet! and then explained, "I started my career in a little town up north not mutant-friendly. Built my Battle Harness so people would think I was a Tech hero."

"Clever!" Detonator Girl said, sounding impressed. "Well, hey... thanks again. I dunno what I would've done without you."

"No problem," Photon said again. There was an awkward pause. "Well, uh... see you around, I guess," he said, and made to levitate back up to his apartment.

"Hey, uh... " said Detonator Girl.

He paused in midair. "Yeah?"

"I, uh... friend of mine wants me to check out this warehouse where the Skulls might be making 'Dyne. I checked it out earlier tonight, but it's crawling with the creeps. If you're not too busy... I could use a hand?"

Photon hesitated, then grinned.

"Sure. Just let me lock up my place and I'll be right down."

Detonator Girl clapped her gauntleted hands. "Awright! Thanks!"

Captain Photon returned to his apartment, took off his gloves again so he could type, and thought for a second before appending to his letter,

Never mind what I just said. Something interesting just happened, and I think I'll have more to report in a couple of hours.

For now, stay cool, and don't worry. I think I was just reminded of what I'm doing here.

Love,
Dan


And there it is, a short adventure of Dan Hudson, the courageous Captain Photon (though he hadn't earned his title yet at the time). Cap has gone on to become my highest-level character, although I have such a bad case of altitis that that isn't saying any too much; he's level 28 (out of 50).

Players of City of Heroes will notice at least one inconsistency with the actual game here (besides the fact that Cap has an apartment). In the game, his "rescue" of Detonator Girl would probably lead to her reporting him to the GMs for kill stealing and generally being a buttinsky.

Here's Dan in costume:

Here's Dan in action:

In Second Thoughts he didn't have a cape yet.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
CoH: Second Thoughts [View All] Gryphonadmin Nov-23-05 TOP
  RE: CoH: Second Thoughts BZArcher Nov-25-05 1
     RE: CoH: Second Thoughts Gryphonadmin Nov-25-05 2
         RE: CoH: Second Thoughts BZArcher Nov-26-05 5
  RE: CoH: Second Thoughts StaticdashPulse Nov-25-05 3
     RE: CoH: Second Thoughts Gryphonadmin Nov-25-05 4
         RE: CoH: Second Thoughts StaticdashPulse Nov-26-05 6
             RE: CoH: Second Thoughts Gryphonadmin Nov-26-05 7
                 RE: CoH: Second Thoughts trigger Dec-14-05 8
                     RE: CoH: Second Thoughts Gryphonadmin Dec-14-05 9
                         RE: CoH: Second Thoughts BZArcher Dec-14-05 10
                         RE: CoH: Second Thoughts Logan_D_alt Dec-19-05 11
                             RE: CoH: Second Thoughts StaticdashPulse Dec-20-05 12
                                 RE: CoH: Second Thoughts Gryphonadmin Dec-20-05 13
                                     RE: CoH: Second Thoughts Robotech_Master Dec-21-05 14
                                         RE: CoH: Second Thoughts Gryphonadmin Dec-21-05 15
                                         RE: CoH: Second Thoughts StaticdashPulse Dec-21-05 16
                                         RE: CoH: Second Thoughts Seeker Dec-21-05 17
                                         RE: CoH: Second Thoughts StClair Dec-22-05 18

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BZArcher
Member since Nov-8-05
226 posts
Nov-25-05, 10:49 AM (EDT)
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1. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #0
 
   Very nicely done, and caught some of the in-game realities that would probably come up. (Hell, I liked it better than a couple of the backend stories they've run in the comic...or the entire Waid run of the comic...)

(And hey, I think I might have run into you on a Sister Psyche team with one of my alts. Small shard.)

---------------------------
Hope Rides Alone


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Gryphonadmin
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Nov-25-05, 12:37 PM (EDT)
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2. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #1
 
   >(And hey, I think I might have run into you on a Sister Psyche team
>with one of my alts. Small shard.)

Not I; I haven't done a task force yet. They require a bigger time commitment and a greater number of reliable teammates than I customarily have access to. One of these days,for character reasons I'm going to have to do at least the Positron and Sister P ones with Cap, though.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Admin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/


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BZArcher
Member since Nov-8-05
226 posts
Nov-26-05, 00:56 AM (EDT)
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5. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #2
 
   >>(And hey, I think I might have run into you on a Sister Psyche team
>>with one of my alts. Small shard.)
>
>Not I; I haven't done a task force yet. They require a bigger time
>commitment and a greater number of reliable teammates than I
>customarily have access to. One of these days,for character reasons
>I'm going to have to do at least the Positron and Sister P ones with
>Cap, though.
>
>--G.
>-><-
>Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Admin
>Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

Huh. Must have been similar name, then.

Sister P isn't too bad for length, (though the end is NOT FUN unless you keep a careful eye on the AV), but Posi's definently a time commitement and a half.

---------------------------
Hope Rides Alone


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StaticdashPulse
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Nov-25-05, 11:21 PM (EDT)
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3. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #0
 
   >Cap has gone on to become my highest-level character,
>although I have such a bad case of altitis that that isn't saying any
>too much; he's level 28 (out of 50).

Glad to know I'm not the only one with 28 as the highest due to altitis. :)

Very cool story. I like the email angle. Also, you have got a wonderful sense of place when it comes to Paragon City. I love how you incorporate land marks.


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Gryphonadmin
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Nov-25-05, 11:32 PM (EDT)
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4. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #3
 
   LAST EDITED ON Jan-01-06 AT 03:11 PM (EST)
 
>Very cool story. I like the email angle. Also, you have got a
>wonderful sense of place when it comes to Paragon City. I love
>how you incorporate land marks.

Come to think of it, haven't I got some screenshots showing where his apartment is?

Ah, yes. As a matter of fact I do.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Admin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/


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StaticdashPulse
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Nov-26-05, 02:31 AM (EDT)
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6. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #4
 
   LAST EDITED ON Nov-26-05 AT 02:32 AM (EST)
 
Heh heh heh. I did the same thing with Utilitarian, only he's got an entire garage in Skyway City. :)


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Gryphonadmin
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Nov-26-05, 02:40 AM (EDT)
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7. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #6
 
   >Heh heh heh. I did the same thing with Utilitarian, only he's got
>an entire garage
>in Skyway City. :)

Cap's thinking of moving out to Salamanca. He's been taking some night classes at Salamanca State College in his secret ID, and as Cap he's pretty tight with the mayor. It's a nice little town, reminds him of home a bit, and with that whole in-danger-of-sliding-into-the-spirit-realm thing, rents are cheap. Plus, you know, huge War Witch fan, so.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Admin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/


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trigger
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Dec-14-05, 02:06 AM (EDT)
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8. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #7
 
   Thanks for the link, but did I read that bit on Utena right? I'm assuming she was a natural scrapper or did you make her Melee?

Also, love the Hammer, and the Iron Chefs. Righteous.

t.
thinks the game is cool if only for the mod potentials...

Trigger Argee
trigger_argee@hotmail.com
Manon, Maccadon, Orado, etc.
Denton, never leave home without it.

"If we are marked to die, we are enough
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater the share of honour
God's will I pray thee wish not one man more" - Henry V, Act, IV Scene III


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Gryphonadmin
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Dec-14-05, 02:52 AM (EDT)
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9. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #8
 
   LAST EDITED ON Dec-14-05 AT 02:54 AM (EST)
 
>Thanks for the link, but did I read that bit on Utena right? I'm
>assuming she was a natural scrapper or did you make her Melee?

I don't remember what she was; I was mainly just messing with the costume generator. (A lot of the test characters are TOS violations of one kind or another, and I never intended to finish the tutorial with them.) She was probably a Broadsword/Super Reflexes Scrapper.

That version of her costume couldn't be made today - they got rid of the suitjacket with the different-color lower sleeves and replaced it with one on which the sleeves are separate meshes (and don't quite meet correctly with the body, blah). On the other hand, with the costume options available today, I could get her shoes closer to right by giving her sneakers with knee socks.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Admin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/


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BZArcher
Member since Nov-8-05
226 posts
Dec-14-05, 02:29 PM (EDT)
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10. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #9
 
   If you did her as a Villan (against type, but more costume options), you could probably use the "ornate shoulders" option to get something close to the shoulder boards and tassels, too. (Well, from the sides. The skulls on the top, not so much...)

---------------------------
Hope Rides Alone


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Logan_D_alt
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Dec-19-05, 12:32 PM (EDT)
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11. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #9
 
   >That version of her costume couldn't be made today - they got rid of
>the suitjacket with the different-color lower sleeves and replaced it
>with one on which the sleeves are separate meshes (and don't quite
>meet correctly with the body, blah). On the other hand, with the
>costume options available today, I could get her shoes closer to right
>by giving her sneakers with knee socks.

Luckily I made my version before they got rid of the suit jacket you mention, but since I've kept her (Utena Tenjou - Level 25 Natural Origin, Katana/Super Reflexes - Justice Server) for nearly a year, I've had access to the new shorts and sneaker/socks.




Chillin' in front of the Arena in Talos. Boy it's quiet out here...


They have a new Jacket type "Formal Military" I think it is. And even though it still has a couple of clipping issues, it has it's good points. Namely, the gold buttons and the fact that you can make the dress shirt underneath more properly match the WPI colors. Black shirt with red tie. Oh - and you can actually add shoulder bits to it, should you wish. Now if they'll ever add proper epaulets to the game, I'll be set.


I'm really kind of surprised no one has called in for a violation of EULA in 25 levels. I've been perfectly willing to take my lumps and delete should anyone report her, but it hasn't happened yet. It may be because I play her infrequently, and lately, since hitting level 20, I'm having her go around in this outfit more often. Inspired by part of the endgame on the platform with Akio and a clip from the opening credits of the original show.


Anyway, just thought I'd share.

-Logan


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StaticdashPulse
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Dec-20-05, 04:17 AM (EDT)
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12. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #11
 
   LAST EDITED ON Dec-20-05 AT 04:17 AM (EST)
 
>I'm really kind of surprised no one has called in for a violation of
>EULA in 25 levels.

I don't think they pay that close attention. I don't want to jinx my highest level character, but I've been running around with a character named Diana Drake -- which is kind-of, sort-of Black Canary I's real, pre-marriage name -- for twenty-eight levels.


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Gryphonadmin
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Dec-20-05, 12:41 PM (EDT)
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13. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #12
 
   >>I'm really kind of surprised no one has called in for a violation of
>>EULA in 25 levels.
>
>I don't think they pay that close attention.

The GMs themselves don't pay any attention at all - they haven't got the time. My understanding is that they only act on illegal names/costume designs when such are brought to their attention, usually by other players. (The developers and some of the GMs are known to play incognito in their copious spare time, but most reports come from busybody players and/or moles working for copyright holders.)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Admin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/


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Robotech_Master
Member since Nov-28-06
19 posts
Dec-21-05, 01:48 PM (EDT)
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14. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #13
 
   LAST EDITED ON Dec-21-05 AT 01:50 PM (EST)
 
Hey, what server do y'all play on anyway?

My primary is Pinnacle, where I'm part of the RP Congress...along with a certain famous fantasy novellist, with whom I've become good friends... :)


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Gryphonadmin
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Dec-21-05, 02:09 PM (EDT)
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15. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #14
 
   >Hey, what server do y'all play on anyway?

I have some characters on Virtue and some on Infinity, and a couple-three really old ones on Justice that I never play any more.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Admin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/


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StaticdashPulse
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Dec-21-05, 02:15 PM (EDT)
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16. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #14
 
   Infinity and Guardian mostly. I had a catgirl, Clawrizza, on Victory, but she kind of fell by the wayside.


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Seeker
Member since Jan-7-03
80 posts
Dec-21-05, 06:15 PM (EDT)
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17. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #14
 
   I'm playing on Virtue, myself. My current flavor of the month is Specter Blue, though I recently decided to restart Thomas Ember.


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StClair
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Dec-22-05, 02:49 PM (EDT)
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18. "RE: CoH: Second Thoughts"
In response to message #14
 
   Virtue. Just Virtue.


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