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Puppy Dog Tails #Kyky #Marcus

Rachel Balla
 

Since this wasn't her world, Kyky honestly had no qualms about gaming the system. It was all a big game in the end, wasn't it?


The royal party was so glamorous! All the ladies in their gowns, and princes and dukes all decked out: it sounded like the Disney-esque fairy tales she had grown up on! She wanted to get swept off her feet by a lord and wear jewels and sing cheesy-but-catchy anthems that woodland creatures would love so much they would start talking to her…!


So Kyky and Jaya had gotten jobs as laundresses for the day, but had snuck in with gowns rolled up under their skirts. This was way easier than trying to scrounge up hundreds or thousands of gold coins to buy a gift for the royal baby with no guarantee it would be deemed worthy. Luckily, her job as laundress helped her work out the wrinkles from her pink gown before she donned it. Unluckily, she was sent to ironing while Jaya was sent to hanging. No worries, though - they would catch up soon, as each made their respective moves. For Kyky, it was a simple matter of sneaking away to find a dark corner, changing, and escaping toward the sound of lutes and harps in the courtyard.


Light, quick steps sounded like the skipping of a happy child on the stone floors as Kyky took steps two at a time, a giant smile plastered on her face and fistfuls of skirt bunched up in her hands.


Tags Marcus!


Wearing: https://78.media.tumblr.com/72a0222a38bd78210932373f40ece4fa/tumblr_p49wrbdNWp1vdi3w5o1_250.gif

Vincent Gonzales
 

Who: Marcus

With: Kyky

Where: The King’s Castle - Courtyard

When: Thursday, February 28th, 872 RoK (Reign of Kings)


Marcus had known that the King’s Festival would be ripe with hobnobbing elbow rubbers and had dressed to fit the part, donning his finest leathers, an ornamental dagger on one hip and a pocketful of gold to bribe just the right guards, if necessary. The dagger had been the belonging of a now-dead noble, and while no self-respecting warrior would use it in a fight, the gems decorating both the hilt and the expertly etched into the blade itself made for one hell of a showpiece.


He’d planned on keeping it for himself, but the need of getting his lieutenant back for exceeded his need for a pretty blade. So when he approached the gate, he’d uncoupled the dagger, sheath and all, from his hip and offered it to the guards who waited with instructions to only let in the finest of gifts. With a few smooth words, the gift was accepted and Marcus found himself inside the castle gates. Step one, complete.


Now he just needed to get into the dungeon and free his companion. If he had to fight his way out of here, he had a contingency plan for just such an occasion, but he hoped to find a quieter way of doing things. For once.


His eyes surveyed one of the few unguarded halls, doing his best to commit the layout to memory for later when a young woman came skipping out of a door. Her skirt was finely made but the way she half-ran with her skirts bunched up in her hand with her ankles exposed...and...were those peasant shoes?


A plan began to form in his mind as he rushed to intercept her just before she came into the eyeline of a noble couple who had been watching him more closely than he would have liked. “There you are, my darling!” Marcus cried out, falling in step beside the young woman and looping her arm in with his. “I thought I’d have lost you for an eternity in this vast estate!”


The couple turned their attention away after a moment’s hesitation and Marcus muttered under his breath, “Nice shoes, by the way.”


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Rachel Balla
 

Ahead, Kyky finally saw guests of the party, and so she knew she was going in the right direction. What she didn't know was what she was going to say when they inevitably asked why she was coming up from the servant's quarters. She kinda hadn't expected to see anyone until they were outside.

Marcus: “There you are, my darling!” “I thought I’d have lost you for an eternity in this vast estate!”

Before she knew it, a handsome young man was jumping to her rescue and taking her arm. Sure, she'd had this whole fantasy about Prince Charming sweeping her off her feet, onto a white steed, and galloping off into the sunset, but she hadn't expected it to happen so fast.

No complaints, though, Kyky mused to herself as she sized him up, quickly. His clothes implied money, but not at the expense of free movement. His curls gave him a boyish look that contrasted nicely with the beard that grew him up. Kyky had to try very hard to make her smile familiar instead of dopey and schoolgirlish.

The couple turned back to their own business and Kyky followed the man along further down the hallway, quiet until his whisper.

Marcus: “Nice shoes, by the way.”

Instantly, Kyky dropped the bunch of skirt in her hand and smoothed it down her thighs, as if she could make it longer with sheer force of will. The shoes were a glaring sign that she didn't fit in, but there'd been no way around them - she couldn't exactly stuff gold slippers into her bra. She'd expected that only servants, with their downcast eyes, would notice, and expected they'd be happy for her, if anything.

And all that infatuation came crashing down when Kyky realized she wasn't going to fool this Prince Charming into thinking she was some kind of lady. "Ugh," she grunted out in complaint, and muttered back. "Do you think the guards will notice, too?"

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Ben
 

Who: Hawkins

With: Marcus, Kyky

Where: The King’s Castle - Dungeon

When: Thursday, February 28th, 872 RoK (Reign of Kings)


Hawkins was well and truly at the end of his rope. He had dealt with the superstitious crews. He had dealt with the shady captain. Shoot, he could have dealt with being thrown in jail due to said captain. But to be named an enemy of the realm and thrown in the King’s Dungeon? That was a bit much. Even worse, he was placed in a cell across from a known werewolf with the full moon approaching! Even if he couldn’t break out of the cell, that didn’t mean she couldn’t.


Casting a glance across the hall, he could just make out the werewolf’s silhouette in the dim lighting. Despite all the festivities going on outside, very little light or sound made it this far into the castle keep. He had tried everything he knew to break out over the last week, but nothing seemed to work. The walls and door were too well built, there was nothing he could pick the lock with, and the one window in his cell was way out of reach. His only hope had been to reach his sword, which was leaned against the wall just outside of his cell, but that was just out of reach too. Thankfully, they had let him keep his regular clothes to protect against the winter chill in the air.


After checking his different escape options for the umpteenth time, he slumped against the back wall. It would seem he was never getting out of there. Not unless a miracle came his way.


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On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 1:46 PM, Rachel Balla <rachelballa@...> wrote:

Ahead, Kyky finally saw guests of the party, and so she knew she was going in the right direction. What she didn't know was what she was going to say when they inevitably asked why she was coming up from the servant's quarters. She kinda hadn't expected to see anyone until they were outside.

Marcus: “There you are, my darling!” “I thought I’d have lost you for an eternity in this vast estate!”

Before she knew it, a handsome young man was jumping to her rescue and taking her arm. Sure, she'd had this whole fantasy about Prince Charming sweeping her off her feet, onto a white steed, and galloping off into the sunset, but she hadn't expected it to happen so fast.

No complaints, though, Kyky mused to herself as she sized him up, quickly. His clothes implied money, but not at the expense of free movement. His curls gave him a boyish look that contrasted nicely with the beard that grew him up. Kyky had to try very hard to make her smile familiar instead of dopey and schoolgirlish.

The couple turned back to their own business and Kyky followed the man along further down the hallway, quiet until his whisper.

Marcus: “Nice shoes, by the way.”

Instantly, Kyky dropped the bunch of skirt in her hand and smoothed it down her thighs, as if she could make it longer with sheer force of will. The shoes were a glaring sign that she didn't fit in, but there'd been no way around them - she couldn't exactly stuff gold slippers into her bra. She'd expected that only servants, with their downcast eyes, would notice, and expected they'd be happy for her, if anything.

And all that infatuation came crashing down when Kyky realized she wasn't going to fool this Prince Charming into thinking she was some kind of lady. "Ugh," she grunted out in complaint, and muttered back. "Do you think the guards will notice, too?"

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--
Benjamin Warner

Vincent Gonzales
 

Who: Marcus

With: Kyky

Where: The King’s Castle - Courtyard

When: Thursday, February 28th, 872 RoK (Reign of Kings)


Marcus had known since the first time (well...maybe the second) he’d stepped through the fairy circle that he could be quite charismatic. He’d managed to talk his way through more situations than he could count without batting an eye. He’d intimidated seasoned veterans into laying down arms despite oaths of fealty. And he’d been propositioned more than once by locals whose husbands were no longer up to the task of tending to their wife's needs. So, he hadn’t been entirely surprised when the young lady fell into stride beside him and kept pace, easing her way into the role he’d built with ease.


She could be useful, he wagered.


Kyky: "Ugh," <...> "Do you think the guards will notice, too?"

 

Marcus let out a chuckle that was half-show as they went into the room just as her skirt dropped to mostly cover her shoes. He swept two wine glasses off of a serving plate as it passed by and spun to face her, pressing a glass into a hand. He gave her a quick up-and-down and shook his head. “I doubt the guards will be paying much attention to your feet, m’lady,” he remarked, taking a sip of his wine and glancing around the room.

 

“My name is Marcus, by the way. And you are?”


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Rachel Balla
 

That sweep of his gaze and the way m'lady fell off his lips totally enchanted Kyky beyond reason, and she instantly forgot about her boot-like peasant shoes, only mostly-hidden under her long pink skirt, as she eagerly accepted the wine glass he offered. But come on, what did she need reason for? Wasn't this exactly what she had come for? If only she knew where Jaya had gotten off to…


Marcus: “I doubt the guards will be paying much attention to your feet, m’lady,” “My name is Marcus, by the way. And you are?”


For an instant, she thought about offering her real name… it sounded so much more formal, lady-like, but it was also going to add a layer of pretense between them that she didn't want.. Or maybe, that she didn't think she could sell. So she went ahead and answered, "Kyky!"


...and, immediately, realized that it sounded so simple and inadequate.


Perhaps in a defensive embarrassment, she shifted, taking a moment to drink in the atmosphere of the room. The lush suits, the sprawling dresses, the grandeur of the arching stone and romance of the lit torches as the sun waned…


Without thinking too much, a question formed on her lips before her glass pressed against them. "What brings you here, Marcus?" Curious, she added, "Are you a noble?"


Was it "a" noble, or just "noble"? Minor detail, but so were her shoes, and it was just a stark reminder that Kyky didn't know what could give her away...


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Vincent Gonzales
 

It should have been no surprise that the wine inside the castle was nothing short of exquisite. While Marcus had plundered his fair share of wines and mead over the past few years, he was certain nothing he had tasted had ever came close either here or in his old life on Earth. And it all pissed him off so goddamn much. Where most people would probably ooh and ahh over the riches of royalty, it just reminded him of everything he wanted to tear down and burn. 

But, despite all that, Marcus did his best to keep his poker face on, eyes zeroing in on the woman across from him. "Well met, Kyky," he replied with a nod of his head and a raising of his glass.

Kyky: "What brings you here, Marcus?" Curious, she added, "Are you a noble?"

He let out a short laugh and shook his head. "I work for my coin, sadly," he said, his hand going to wear his sword normally sat by habit only to rest on his belt. He hated being unarmed...

"I'm actually here looking for a friend," he said, leaning in closer, eyes darting around like he was sharing a secret. "But I think she may have gotten herself tossed in a cell, knowing her temper. Do you happen to know how we get into the dungeons from here?" 

tags!

Rachel Balla
 

Marcus: "Well met, Kyky," "I work for my coin, sadly,"


That should have been a disappointment for Kyky, who had absolutely woken up at dark-thirty to watch Kate Middleton become a princess, but it actually wasn't. Maybe she didn't stop being quintessentially American - a capitalist through and through - when she came through to Eventyr. Where nobles prided themselves on having the lower classes work for them, Kyky respected people who worked for themselves.


Marcus: "I'm actually here looking for a friend," "But I think she may have gotten herself tossed in a cell, knowing her temper. Do you happen to know how we get into the dungeons from here?"


"Oh god, well that sucks," Kyky said - her sentiment was wholly authentic, but more reminiscent of sympathizing with a friend who'd gotten a speeding ticket. The way Marcus framed it, it sounded accidental, temporary, no big deal.


So Kyky shrugged off a nod. She had seen the corridor that guards came climbing up from, carrying torches. One had stopped to help her when she'd dropped an underdress off the top of her basket and was struggling to figure out how to pick it up without dropping the whole thing. He'd blushed when he picked it up, and Kyky had supposed it wasn't all true, what they said about soldiers. "Yes, I saw how to get to the dungeons."


It wasn't until after she said as much that she realized he had said we. "We?" She wanted to go to the party! That was what all of this had been for! But the inkling of an adventure with this dashing stranger had its appeal...


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Vincent Gonzales
 

As the realization of Marcus' line of questioning fully dawned on Kyky, the bandit's smile went from charming and genteel to mischievous as he let rolled a shrug off his shoulders. "I mean, I wouldn't want to impose on your ladyship, if you wouldn't be so inclined as to help a working soldier such as myself," he said with a bow of his head, a note of humility in his voice. "I just thought with a beautiful woman on my arm, the guards would be much slower to stop me to ask questions." 

He let his eyes linger on Kyky's for a moment before shaking his head. "But that was presumptuous of me. My apologies. I can find my own way. Enjoy the party, miss." Marcus turned to go, slowly, and began a mental count in his head...

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Rachel Balla
 

Marcus: "I mean, I wouldn't want to impose on your ladyship, if you wouldn't be so inclined as to help a working soldier such as myself,"


Well that was a red-fucking-flag. He'd seen her shoes - pointed them out himself. He knew she was no ladyship. His hyperbole told Kyky that he was flattering, even if his tone was nothing but charming, and therefore that he had an agenda. She didn't buy for a second he was just some lowlife soldier. His digs didn't exactly look pilfered and pieced together.


He had an agenda. She didn't know what it was, but she guessed it had something to do with his friend in the dungeon.


Marcus: "I just thought with a beautiful woman on my arm, the guards would be much slower to stop me to ask questions."


Her lips pursed, and her chin inched over her shoulder as she cast a skeptical glance back at her working soldier. It was instinct after so long being a decidedly-average woman, but the need to doubt and verify the praise was still there. The raise of her eyebrows echoed like Amy Poehler in her famous segment Really?


Marcus: "But that was presumptuous of me. My apologies. I can find my own way. Enjoy the party, miss."

"Oh don't even," Kyky blurted out, more valley-girl than lady to be sure. For all his suspicious qualities, he pretty-much smelled like an adventure, and while she had no idea where it would take her, there was no part of her that wasn't going to show him the way to the dungeon.


But, unwilling to totally sacrifice the party she had dreamed about for weeks, Kyky dropped any pretense and went full college-student. She tipped her glass of wine up - gracelessly - and drained the whole thing in hefty glugs. Cleared her throat. Then she discarded the class on a nearby table with no more than one long stride and returned confidently to Marcus and placed a finger on his chest, pointedly. "If you think you're cutting me out of whatever this is, you're sorely mistaken."


Kyky claimed Marcus's arm before he could offer it and began walking away from the party, in the direction she knew where the dungeon entrance was.


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Vincent Gonzales
 

As Kyky further asserted herself into his business of freeing his friend, he only grinned in response. The gamble, as it were, had paid off, and he'd hooked her in completely now. He knew, with some certainty, that this girl would follow him into the literal depths of this castle to help him on his little quest for no other reason than the fact that he had told her she didn't have to. Marcus began to wonder if reverse psychology was a common term or tactic in Eventyr as the pair navigated across the vast hall and towards the dungeon entrance. 

The door was, remarkably, unguarded and unlocked, and Marcus escorted himself and his new friend down the stone steps, moving quieter now, at a slower pace. There were bound to be guards down here somewhere...


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Rachel Balla
 

"There was a guard here earlier," Kyky whispered, bewildered, as they passed the threshold to the dungeon with no interference. Maybe the party was distracting the soldiers, and they were sneaking off duty to grab food or drinks? It didn't quite make sense…


Down the steps they went, and into a dark corridor, lit with only a few spare torches. Still, no one. Kyky looked at her partner, suddenly a bit suspicious. Had he bribed the guards to be out of the way? She didn't think so - he'd said he wasn't rich, even if he clearly cared about his friend. But maybe he was more important than he let on.


As they reached the below-ground landing, Kyky looked both ways. To their left, there was a heavy iron door, and then beyond it, rows of cells. Cells lined up to their right. Five paces ahead or so in front of them, there was another staircase… behind a barred gate. It wasn't hard to tell what that meant.


"This is probably where they keep the drunks and the pickpockets," Kyky speculated, looking back at her new partner. Groans and shouts of the prisoners echoed eerily off the stone walls. Tipping her head toward the stairs further downward, she added, "I'm guessing that's where they keep the dangerous prisoners."


Watching him closely, she asked: "So, where are we looking for your friend?"


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Vincent Gonzales
 

"Shift change isn't for another hour," Marcus responded a little too-quickly for someone who supposedly didn't know their way around the castle, but the immediate concern left his guard down more than it should. Still, as they continued to move their way forward, his eyes caught the door just as Kyky pointed it out. 

"I wouldn't call her dangerous," he said even as he walked forward towards the stairs downward and the heavy iron door. 

Thankfully for the bandit captain, the latch for the door was on this side, and so he wrenched back the heavy lock and swung the door open. He began walking down the steps another set of steps just past the door and spotted light glinting off of bright eyes at the base of the stairs. His steps slowed, his grin faltering for a moment. "That you, lieutenant?" he called out, the charming tenor his voice had had gaining a rougher tone as he addressed a member of his crew. 

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Rachel Balla
 

Marcus: "Shift change isn't for another hour," "I wouldn't call her dangerous,"


Kyky's hand popped up on her hip as red flags went off left and right around her handsome companion's words. He was lying or close to it... but that just meant this adventure was more than she'd bargained for. Well good! She was missing a royal party for this, so it needed to be worth it. She trailed Marcus through the door, and she couldn't see more than the curls on the back of his head in the dim light before he spoke.


Marcus: "That you, lieutenant?"


Alessandra ascended the stairs three or four at a time in her haste, knowing that the change was only a few minutes away. Her plan was to run as far as she could - optimistically she hoped he could get outside the castle walls, using her exceptional speed and strength as well as people's innate fear of her, maybe reach the outer city. Deep down, she knew she wouldn't make it, but the sliver of even false hope was all she had….


Until she heard a familiar voice.


She nearly bowled Marcus over as she rushed up the steps, but his solid frame and her abrupt hesitation turned her momentum into the fiercest hug of Alessandra's life. "Captain," she croaked ou.  Just seeing him decimated all her composure and resolve, and for an indulgent moment she didn't have, she relished that one of her final wishes had come true, to see the man who'd saved her life one more time. To say goodbye, and thank you…


But every fantasy she had entertained in that dungeon over the last week had ended with the same conclusion: Marcus could not come for her. "No, no, no… Marcus, what are you doing here? This is what he wanted!"


Her abduction had never been about her. The Green Duke had only ever wanted to lure infamous warlord Marcus the Vile into a vulnerable enough position to capture him, either by leading an ill-advised escape attempt or sending more Marauders they could use against him. And her longtime leader, friend, and lifeline had fallen right into it. For her worthless creature ass?


Alessandra's eyes darted up the stairs as if she expected to see James Castille waiting at the top of them, but all she saw was a pretty blonde girl she didn't recognize...


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Vincent Gonzales
 

Marcus' arms wrapped around the unchanged werewolf in an embrace both fierce and chaste. "I got you, girl," he muttered under his breath as they held each other. A small reassurance, until he could get them all out of here.

"I don't give a shit what that near-sighted fool wants. We stick together, you hear? Now let's get you out of here." Squeezing Alessandra's shoulder re-assuringly, he turned to lead the way. "Kyky, this is Alessandra," he said as they came up to meet her. "Kyky here has been my guide. Now let's all get out of here before the dinner bell starts ringing."

The captain of the Marauders notioned for the pair to follow as he led them up the stairs and out into the corridor, heading away from the party and to another door where, from what he'd been told, was a staircase that would lead out of the castle. "The sooner we get outside, the better we'll be," he said with some urgency in his voice. He knew full well, after all, the kind of danger leaving a werewolf in an enclosed space could have. 

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Rachel Balla
 

Marcus: "I don't give a shit what that near-sighted fool wants. We stick together, you hear? Now let's get you out of here." "Kyky, this is Alessandra," "Kyky here has been my guide. Now let's all get out of here before the dinner bell starts ringing."


"Hi!" Kyky chirped, her voice strained in the direction of being too pleasant with how awkward and out of place she felt. Dinner bell? What the hell did that mean? There was something Kyky wasn't in on, but that only hastened her to move faster. "Let's get on with this esss-cah-pay."


Kyky's strange turn of phrase - an allusion to a children's movie from a lifetime ago - caught Alessandra's attention, but there was no time to do anything but follow.


Marcus: "The sooner we get outside, the better we'll be,"


There were remarkably few guards, but all the same, having a werewolf handy made their movement easier. Alessandra followed Marcus's lead, but knew when to hiss the three of them to a stop and wait out a pacing pair of soldiers…. Or when to grab a lone guard, snap his neck, and pass his sword to Marcus while keeping the knife for herself… and when sundown was approaching fast enough that they just needed to bolt. Her skin was itching, a sure sign the shift was on its way.


When, finally, they burst free of the dungeon, Kyky - at a run - tripped and spilled onto the floor. That which she tripped over, though, stopped the werewolf dead in her tracks by its scent alone, while her figure was still shrouded in the darkness of the doorway. She heaved out a sigh that was as much an epiphany as it was horrified as she stared...


...at the dead body of King Philip Paxton the Third.


He was splayed crudely, covered in blood. His throat had been torn out, and if her nose hadn't told her differently, she would have thought one of her own had done this, the way his royal robes were slashed as if by teeth or claws.


Not one of her own. Her.


Suddenly, it all clicked into place. The easy escape. The lack of guards. The delay in the failsafe. She had gotten this far because she was supposed to get this far. This wasn't about Marcus after all - Alessandra was being framed for the assassination of the King.


With the change upon her, Alessandra did not have time to waste on the implications. Her attention turned to the girl on the floor, who had hands clapped over her mouth trying desperately not to scream and give away their position. Blood was smeared up her left side from boot to waist, and her eyes were so wide with horror that Alessandra doubted she had seen a real dead body before.


Alessandra dropped to her knees beside the young blonde, and grasped one of her hands firmly, as if she were one of the Marauders she called family. "You're from New York?" Alessandra hoped - trusted - that she had not misremembered the girl's casual slang.


Kyky's other hand dropped to support her weight, and her confusion spread across her face in place of fear or disgust. To prove her affirmation true, Kyky chose to answer with a nod and, "Totes."


Alessandra smiled, relieved, and words spilled out from her, desperate enough that Kyky could tell, even without any context, that these were her last. "My name is Jennifer Hall. I have a son in Brooklyn, Jeremy Hall. If you can, please find him. Tell him I always wanted to come home…" The transformation to werewolf had cut her access to fairy circles off, completely, and thus any route home. "And that I love him."


Kyky nodded, gripping the other woman's hand firmly in return. "Everyone's on social media these days. I'll find him. I promise." And to affirm as much, she repeated, "Jeremy Hall, Brooklyn, New York."


"Thank god for you, Kyky," Alessandra said with a fleeting smile. In another breath, she was on her feet again, returning to her captain.


"Marcus," she chose, instead of captain. Her eyes overflowed with tears, but her words were resolute. "Thank you. You gave me years that I did not deserve. The chance to find meaning again, to love again. Please tell Evan how much I loved him…" The change was coming. She pressed her knife into Marcus's palm, meeting his eyes, her implication clear: she wanted Marcus to end her life. "If you do not do it, you know who will." If the Green Duke took down a werewolf in front of the whole court, he would be a hero, and neither of them wanted that. But even in her last moments, her final imploring words were: "I trust you, Marcus."

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