Some legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me, for centuries
Just one mistake
Is all it will take
We'll go down in history
Remember me for centuries
- Centuries by Fall Out Boy.
She wanted to breath, and he did too.
They were the same hard liquor, burning down your throat and to your core and to your brain. The same wayward souls. They were both fucked up - but not that much.
They were both a little dead inside.
Both a little lonely.
His hand curled around hers, rough fingers sinking into warm copper. There were tears in her eyes as the wind whipped at their faces. Lightning cracked the skies behind them. Her heart sunk when his eyes flitted to hers, blazing even in the darkness.
She gasped as her foot slipped on loose gravel.
"To the end then, beloved"
Nine Months Earlier
September 1st, 1925: Somewhere along the Eastern Front
(Fall of 1925)
London in the 1920s, everyone had a story about the impervious super soldier. Fashioned by the Gods from clay and fire and earth, The Original Eve. Power, grace and wisdom in the anatomy of the fairer sex. Sculpted right from the soils of her Grecian heritage. At least that was the story that she had orchestrated for herself, indemnity from the vulgar vultures of the press from the paper companies. It was the truth to some extent, but it was no better than a lie. Themyscira, the mother land. The place of her origin as well as her birth; that was before Father ripped her from her Mother's womb and turned her into this enhanced celestial being. In her the thirteen years she had been in Man's world she had met and fallen in love with an English spy, only to have that happiness snatched away in a cruel twist of the fates.
Diana was eighteen years old when she first felt her heart beat.
It wasn't as if she had converted to romanticism or anything. Long before, she'd made the conscious decision to break her own heart, numb it down, force herself to feel nothing and do everything without regret. She'd done that the first time Father looked into her eyes and saw something else, something from before. Diana knew she looked like her late mother, Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons - dead at childbirth - but it had been clean then. Reflected in Zeus's blue eyes staring down at her as other fathers lifted their offspring on their shoulders, whispered encouragement into their ear.
Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, Dead at childbirth.
Zeus, King of Mount Olympus, capable of nothing more than hating his own child. It was this that Diana thought about as she looked up at the train ceiling, nothing blurring into the symphony of hallucinations.
Steve Trevor had once told her that he looked at her and he saw an angel, a touch of skin and his whole body ignited. Told her, that he kissed her and he knew that he was falling in love. Then he had pressed his lips to hers and told her that he was in love with her. And in that moment, in that picturesque, divine moment she'd known that she loved him too. It had been the most real thing that she had ever had the had the fortitude of grasping. When Steve died, she was left numb and alone, and in attempt to make it stop she had retreated back to Olympus in hopes that being a God as a full time occupation would distract from the howling wound left in her soul.
But nothing helped, she still felt dead inside no matter what she tried.
It would only be years later, that her father would cast her out of Olympus. To save the world one last time. As the 4 PM Metro North dragged along its lakeside rails, Diana Prince could only imagine that this was what it would be like to descend into her very own ring of Dante's Inferno. She'd read the novel, knew it was punishment by exile – and that's exactly what she was being subjected to. An unidentifiable stench filled her nose, and the backs of her legs stuck to the maroon seats underneath her. She sighed, rolling her stockings up until they reached the very top of her thighs.
"Is this seat taken mademoiselle?"
She glanced up at the pervy old frenchman standing before her, a smarmy grin full of yellowed teeth. His eyes were trained on the dip of her button-down shirt, where the outline of her under garments showed through the fabric.
Diana hardened her eyes and dropped her leather clutch into the seat next to her.
The man huffed, the smile dropping from his face in under a second. He hobbled over to the seat in front of her, grumbling something in his mother tongue about harlots and icy bitches.
Diana set her jaw, shifting in her seat. It was nothing she hadn't been called before but darn it ... if he wasn't a pensioner she would've taught him a fine lesson in manners. Would've lynched him before he could scream. Vile, she thought. To the world, Diana Prince the name she'd adopted when she'd first ventured into man's world was, ironically, known to all she acquainted as the queen of chastity. While other shameless women counted the notches on their belts at fact or falsifier, her routine answer always remained. "I've done everything but," Either that or the blood would flare in her cheeks before she could even splutter out her response.
Diana sighed, raking her manicured nails through her hair. Outside, the day was grim, unpromising and completely underwhelming. She counted the trees as they whipped by. But appreciating the world's beauty, didn't make the time go by any faster.
She hated her father.
She'd never really pondered the fact that he might feel the same way about her (considering that he was the reason why Diana was even on this train). In fact, she rarely thought of her father much anymore at all. He was more of a commonplace entity, a blur in the background, handing out the rewards, but never sticking around long enough for the actual coronation. If anything, Diana's heart panged for Hermes, her half brother, the robust little messenger, who'd so often tolerated Diana's incessant outbursts and rants. And it was her father who had shipped her off to Man's world the moment that she had become of age, leaving her with the cryptic message of - All shall be revealed soon my Littlest God.
She hated Hera. She was insufferably jealous, her father's chosen lag-on to rebut her father's sordid affairs. That voodoo-tattered beldam had been stationed at the doorway with a sickening smile as father droned out the mandatory sympathy spiel. The falsities.
You will do this, Diana. Do not dare give me such a look. If you are triumphant, you will be free to return to Mount Olympus. It is only your love that can truly save the world.
At that moment Diana couldn't fathom the word. She made a list in her head, of all the good things she'd seen someone do. Every little thing that she could drag up, she recalled. Like a game she'd do it over and over until it would start to get tedious a while later.
She hated her sister Aphrodite. She hated blonde hair and blue eyes and take me now grins. She hated those plump lips ratting her out under the guise of being a good sibling.
"Diana has been acting a little strange as of late, Father. I think she is still in mourning."
Diana cracked her hand down on the windowsill, frightening the elder woman across the aisle. The old woman was giving her a look of something between shock and horror, the grey eyes looked between her to the cracked glass of the pane. Which spread out like cobwebs until it was indented into the crevices of the train metals as well. Horrified, she snatched her hand from the pane. She would have to get off the train now, before suspicions were raised. she shot the woman an apologetic look, half considering forcing her into secrecy and Aphrodite's face invading her mind like a virus.
Aphrodite's were the lips that were probably pressed sloppily against Diana's brother Ares at that very moment.
She hated Steve Trevor. Hated him for making her fall in love with him, only to leave her alone in this cold and terrible world that her father guarded. Diana felt her fists tighten all over again, dangerously close to striking out for a second time. But then it stopped. It was like someone had plucked away the dark cloud raging inside of her. There was the feeling of a cool pressure on her hand, a familiar warmth wrapping around it and intertwining through fingers made of ice. Diana's guise reluctantly lifted to be met with the sight of dimpled cheeks and a sea of blue. Whoosh, there went all her air.
"It's okay, darling." came that voice, that roguish rationalistic voice with all the charm she'd remembered him to have.
"Steve?" Diana whispered, tenderly.
"I know what you're going through. It's okay, Diana."
"How am I seeing you right now?" she could hear the reluctance behind her own voice, bordering on hysteria.
"It's time to wake up Diana." he shot back, shocking her. She didn't understand. What was scaring him?
"Steve, what do you - ?"
"Diana wake up."
November 15th, 2013: MetaHuman Affairs
100 years later . . .
She fell face first into wakefulness. Gasping for breath, for life. Groaning as the first hit of awareness started to succumb her. There was this odd ringing in her ears as if a nuke had just exploded in her face and thrown her away. Her being was crippled by frost, numb to all feeling. A cold surface greeted her yet she remained still as she laid on her back while her eyes took in her surroundings. The taste of blood? was dripping down her throat. It tasted like metal and in that moment Diana realized that she had never felt more innocuously awake in her entire life. A clean assailant that smelled precisely like antiseptic assaulted her nostrils, and she squeezed her eyes shut in brief discomfort at the feeling of something pinching at her arm.
Grunting out her displeasure, she started squirming against the sensation. Fighting it. She needed to see the source. Diana's head snapped up so fast, that it could've given her whiplash and there before her very eyes sat a man she didn't recognize. He hadn't realized she was watching him yet, and when he did, his eyes widened to that of saucers. Diana met his stare, dead on and livid. Sparkling blue eyes flickering wildly between the pointed thing and the bastard holding it.
"Beast." Diana snarled, eyes alight with a Goddess's rage.
She struck out grabbing the pygmy mortal by the throat and threw the ingrate from her with terrifying strength. The man let loose a wild scream, before hitting the wall and sliding to the floor unconscious. Silly child, Diana thought. The action no doubt would cause a disturbance and she had no choice but to think on her feet. She glanced down at the herself; first and foremost these things implanted in her skin needed to go. She tugged hastily at them, making quick work of trying to relieve herself of the feeling of being attached. The live wires? or whatever in Hera they were, hurt like being pricked by a thousand tiny little men with swords. They stretched her skin, as she pulled them out and blood beaded in each spot they came up from like weeds being pulled from the earth.
There was no time to wallow in the sting, she had to move quickly. She leapt to her feet, punched the door down and ran for it!
She tore up the corridors with impossible speed, knocking away everything in sight. Remember the plan. Remember the plan. She told herself, a staccato beat drilling in her skull.
All agents code 13!
A voice screamed from her right, Gods so many voices.
I repeat all agents code 13!
Another from her left.
Where was that noise coming from? she wanted to grab the nearest object and hurl it at whatever thing was culpable. Anything to make it stop! Not once did she falter her hurried steps, she ran through the fire in her lungs searching left, right, up and down. She was trapped, her eyes darted around frantically; an animal backed into a corner and she scratched and plummeted at the walls, half expecting it to crack under the force of her fists. But there was nothing, it was like someone had known that this would be exactly what she would try to do. Diana spun recklessly at a racket down the hall, to see two armed soldier waiting for her. One was coming toward her hesitantly, a look of total distress on his visage.
"I'm going to have to ask you to stop right there ma'am... whoa!"
"Θα τολμούσατε να διατάξετε έναν Θεό" Diana growled, viciously in her mother tongue. Hoisting the man in the coat of his feet, and pinning him to the wall. She narrowed her eyes, intent on ripping the man's gullet out and the click of a gun being taken of safety; when a voice sounded, a voice she had never heard before.
"Don't shoot it!"
They were referring to her as a thing!
The demand only had her tightening her grasp on the weasel's throat more. These savages thought that they could hold her?
"Put the man down. Diana," Her head turned sharply then, caught of guard by the knowledge that this skin-headed unco knew her name. This man's eyes were clever and taunting, but his smile was kind.
"How do you know my name?"
"I assure you we will answer all your questions; but we implore you to kindly let Dr Borden down, so that we can go back to the holding room and give you a clearer understanding of this pointless predicament."
"The only way I will stay in that room is if I am dead," Diana quipped, ferociously. The man in her grasp was frantic. His spindly body convulsing like a that of a fish straight out of water, he clawed and scratched at her hand in a chilling kind of distress. His face starting to turn an awful purplish color. He looked like a beetroot. Diana shifted her hold, forcing him farther up the wall. Squeezing until she was sure that he would not be of a nuisance to her anymore. And only when the man went slack did she let him go, watching with satisfaction as he dropped to the floor like a sack of potatoes.
"Speak." Diana ordered, turning fully to face the bald-patted man.
"My name is Dr. Alexander Luthor, I'm a researcher here at MetaHuman Affairs." The stranger continued on, "Our fellow researchers found you encased in a block of ice just south of the Arctic ocean. When we discovered that you were still alive we were... astounded. It's taken us months to try to revive you."
Diana's mind went haywire, trying to feel an ounce of emotion, trying to grasp onto something that wasn't there. She tried to recall what must've happened. A date, a time, a year...
"I can't remember -"
"Your DNA sample tells us, that your name is Diana Prince, permanent records tells us that you're from London." Dr. Luthor cut in, not missing a beat.
"What more than that?" Diana breathed, her body tensing.
"You're not of this world are you?" His tone wasn't condescending, but honestly curious. It was strange how some people could be about things like these, as if they were recapping A Midsummer's Night's Dream over a cup of tea. She shuddered, forgetting herself momentarily.
Diana thought hard, really hard.
"No... I don't think I am." Instead of delving into it, Dr. Luthor simply nodded, offering Diana a kind smile. One that was not returned.
"The date is still September 1st 1925, is it not?" she commanded, fiercely. A sinking feeling beginning to lodge it's way into her gut.
"No Diana, the date is November 15th 2013" He answered, facetiously. Said it as though it was the most normal thing in the world.
Diana felt her heart stop.
"November 15th, 2013." Diana tested it out, she frowned trying to make sense of the words. "Not possible." It couldn't be true, they were lying. It had to be just some fictitious story they had made up to scare her. But if that were it, that would completely go against her current situation. She wanted to believe this all to be all some magnanimous fabrication that Luthor had spun. But the necessities that presented was much more closer to what she had been sprouted, than the cautionary tale her brain was weaving for her, Truth was much more terrible than fiction.
Luthor's words were clear but the question still remained -
How long had she been asleep ...
June 18th, 2015: The JLA Watchtower
Two years later . . .
Clark Kent was a lot of things, journalist, office neek, activist and a part time superhero living vicariously through life. Yes, a tad naive at times; but stupid wasn't one of them. It would be way to easy to say; that Bruce had packed this added pressure on him simply because he's a dick. But even he knew that wasn't the whole truth of it. Clark was exhausted when he finally made it to The Watchtower to look over those papers that Bruce had practically bullied him to look at. There was hardly anyone in the cafeteria and Clark was glad for it. He glanced down at the spread sheets splayed across the table, and took a few notes on his iPad.
Bruce was right, the asset stats for MetaHuman Affairs were all over the shop. The same went for Lexcorp's. Puzzled, he ran his fingers over where the lines crossed each other before going completely off the page.
Weird, he thought.
The dots them self were easy to connect but other than that Clark was in way over his head. He was reaching for his iced mocha when something from the doorway caught his eye. Breaking his concentration, "Bruce." he paused, fighting a smile. "I know you're there"
"Nothing gets past you, Kent" the man himself acknowledged, shuffling farther into the room.
Clark didn't miss a beat, "I could say the same thing about you. To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"I've made a spontaneous discovery."
Clark thought to control his spark of interest, holding his gaze on the spreadsheet in front of him. "I think Lex has something to do with this."
"I'm all ears," Clark breathed, absentmindedly and so damn imbursed into his work.
"Amanda Waller was killed last night."
That got his attention, his blue eyes flew up to look at Bruce glowing with true surprise.
Clark's throat dried, "You're kidding?"
"I wouldn't dare." Bruce quipped, sliding into the chair opposite him.
"The news reports say it was an animal attack, but given how her heart was ripped from her chest my bet is that this was completely intentional; like the killer wanted to get caught. "
Unbelievable, once again the general public were treating this like something straight out of The Virgin Suicides and once again Superman would be ridiculed for being unable to help someone who was clearly in need of his assistance.
Clark's guilt flared to life.
"I should've done something, I could've stopped it."
"There was nothing you could've done. Superman can't be everywhere at once, none of us can. I learnt that a long time ago. Loss is just apart of the deal, that being said no matter the differences that me and Waller had... I wouldn't of wished such a brutal end on my worst enemy."
"That's not true and you know it Bruce."
Bruce said nothing, but his eyes said it all. Sometimes silence was an answer within itself. Bruce's tactic was simple, Search And Destroy. Everyone knew Batman, a bat descended straight from of the fires of hell. It was surprising to Clark how he hadn't done what most damaged souls would do; chosen the path of darkness and turned their backs on the idea of heroism altogether.
Perhaps it was because Bruce believed in something better for all of them. Clark wondered if being heartless was hereditary. He'd be the same if he'd watched his parent's assassination first hand. Bruce Wayne, had been a young boy with stars in his eyes who had, had his whole life yanked away from him but it had lead him down the path that he had needed to walk to become the man he was today. A shameless playboy trillionaire with the world on a string, someone who gave back to the people. But someone who was also void of a soul. Bruce was hard as nails.
It was the way he'd had to be.
Clark watched as Bruce took his iPad from him, and suddenly wished that he was gone, that he could weather the storm of his guilt on his own.
"Everything that is entered into the media spectrum is clocked in to the second. Take a look at these." Bruce rasped, sliding over another few sheets of research. Clark found his eyes trailing down to the papers before him, spread before him like a lamb to the slaughter.
"You've been busy." Clark said, matter of factly.
"And you've been seriously slacking." Bruce answered, harshly. With particular disdain, but he didn't look domineering or arrogant. His eyes appeared honest, his face solemn. It was a twisted way of proclaiming his rumpled emotions. And that was even worse.
Clark looked down, letting out a long breath.
"Lois again?" Clark stared up at him then, his eyes stony.
"Were not discussing that." Clark stated, hard and final. This was the side to Bruce that Clark hated the most, the observant paranoid part. The part that didn't know when to stop! to leave well enough alone. It was that same obsessive passion that had started The Justice League of America in the first place. Bruce gave him a queer look before deciding to let it go. There's a first, Clark thought.
"What does this mean Bruce?" Clark asked, growing impatient and taking the conversation away from the unsafe topic that was one Lovely Lois Lane.
"I don't know. But I have a theory, I think Lex is keeping something that has the potential to be a threat to us all." Bruce expanded, he steadied his breath his chilled demeanor as gelid as ever.
Well, this would certainly be a game changer.
"What... like a secret weapon?"
"It's quite possible, that would explain why the lines on here are all over the place. I've never seen anything like it." Bruce answered, his face deadpan.
"What do you think it is?" Clark asked, bemused.
"I don't know, but with these stats this thing is quite powerful. Strong. Maybe even as strong as you." Clark regarded his friend carefully, assessing his blank tone. "So..." Clark trailed of, raking fingers gone cold through his dark hair.
"This could mean trouble for us." Bruce said, with a finality that set his world on fire. This could only mean one thing...
They were in way over their heads.
April 18th, 2016: The Daily Planet
Present day . . .
You can't really know a place without exploring every crevice of it, every nook and cranny behind the shadow of it, on your own.
The Daily Planet was another world.
It was made up of three different buildings: The Magazine editorial section, Dexter Hall, the news room area, which held all the meetings and recreational centers. When Clark had first started out there, he had seen much of the inside, and the thought of just being a Kansas, country bumpkin who was apparently going to make something off himself had been attractive within itself. There were good days, and like any other workplace there were bad days. Clark had found this out the hard way. Which was what what put Clark in the predicament he was in right now. Watching a grey haired man, with middle age spread stub out a thick Cuban.
God, what a schmuck.
"I don't get it, Chief." Clark remarked. Because he didn't. An interview with Sarge Steel, the director of Meta Human affairs was a rarity within itself. It was like picking an apple of a pear tree. As the government's law enforcement arm specifically tasked with dealing with metahumans, Clark wondered if the focus of the article should be narrowed more to the department's involved with just Metas known to frequent Metropolis.
The paper was called The "Daily" Planet after all ... no pun intended.
Bruce would be chomping at the bit in glee right about now. That would be if Bruce had any feelings at all.
"What don't you get?" Perry White growled at him, enunciating each word with rattle snake venom. "Find out their official stance on Superman first, then the metas in Metropolis, then whatever else he gives you time for. We know what sells papers… Superman. Get it done."
Clark felt a little apprehensive. He hated asking questions about himself, or rather his other self. It felt slightly dishonest for some reason.
He walked back to his desk wondering how he was going to phrase the question. His practiced slouch, part of his experienced routine when in the office as a mild mannered reporter, became a little bit more pronounced when he wondered how he was going to react to the answers. It was a tactic that stopped questions from being raised.
Lois Lane was giving him a look of unadulterated loathing. She was angry that she wasn't given the assignment for the Sarge Steel interview. Clark knew she would have hounded the director about the department's stance on the Man of Steel like a rabid wolf hound.
Perry knew it too.
That was most likely why he was given the assignment. A bad interview with the Director of the DMA would most likely mean no more interviews until that position changed hands. Lois reacted like a shark that tasted blood in the water whenever another reporter narrowed in on Superman. She saw Superman as her exclusive domain in the paper.
It wasn't fair, but as Clark disliked interviewing himself, he was happy to let her have as many Superman stories as she wanted. She always looked at Superman with her doe eyes. Usually with Clark the look was of indifference. But when the big stories came along (especially anything with Pulitzer Prize material) indifference turned to loathing. Lois was a powerhouse, a formidable woman dead set on success and she'd be damned if she let anyone come between herself and her career. Superman was just a convenience to her, an opportunity. He knew that now. He had used to have somewhat of a crush on Lois when he first started out at The Daily Planet, dancing around her like a dog with it's tail between it's legs, and stars in his eyes. But it soon became painfully apparent that she would never look at Clark Kent the same way, she would only ever have eyes for the other guy.
It had hit Clark hard at first but he had found away to get over it.
He'd had too.
Besides Clark had bigger problems these days both in the work place and as Superman, example being the killer that the media was now calling The Passion Fruit Ripper.
A problem they'd been having for the past two years. It was clear that the beast was meta that much was obvious, but it was something else too.
This was beyond just super strength or mind control for that matter. The motherfu- ... the inconvenience was just to damn fast for even him to catch. They would be gone just the way they killed, silent and fast. And every time it looked like he was getting somewhere the door would slam shut back in his face again. The worst part of it was that Superman and The Justice League were the ones catching all the heat for it.
Bruce was outraged, he had set the whole league on it. Every failure they met making Bruce all the more hungry for vengeance.
Clark cracked his knuckles before setting out designing his article template. He motored through the article until it became apparent that it was fit to print, normally at home he could take less care. Throw caution to the wind and use his gift of super speed to get the article done in less than two minutes but here was a different story.
Clark went over his notes again. He had two other stories he was working on, but the interview was imminent, and since he would have very limited time with the director he wanted to hit as many points as he could. His extension rang, he pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose and answered.
"Daily Planet, Kent speaking."
"Yes, Mr Kent." A shrill secretary's voice answered. "Is our representative there yet?"
"Representative..." Clark said. His reporter's instinct told him he just got snubbed. "I was to have an interview with Director Steel."
"I'm afraid there has been a change of plans," the secretary's voice said in a clipped tone. "We have sent along one of Director Steel's trusted lietenuants. Have her call in when she arrives." Then the line went dead.
Clark was left incredulous.
You need a vacation, Kent.
Clark mused to himself, leaning back in his chair and drumming his fingers on the table. Unconsciously and ever the day dreamer, his eyes flayed to the window to see a sleek black Bugatti pulling up at the curb. A woman stepped out of it, her stature the picture of authority. Clark licked his lips, eyes trailing down to the tight fabrics of her skirt, stretching tight over her bottom. He'd always had a thing for brunettes - Superman had a thing for the damsels, really - But this one had striking eyes hidden behind thick black spectacles, a crisp and measured walk that tugged at something inside of him. He inched closer to the window, but she disappeared before he could get a good look. She was coming into the building.
"Kent, get over here!" a fearsome order barked; right on cue, and he knew instantaneously that the voice belonged to Perry. Clark did look up then, back going up like a soldier called to attention. He was out of his seat and rushing to Perry like a servant to an heir's beck and call. Perry gestured for Clark to follow him, and Clark snatched up the nearest pad and pen he could see.
Perry was sprouting all sorts at him. His mouth going what seemed a million miles a minute, and if he wasn't so sharp he would've thought he were talking in tongues. Clark hummed at Perry's last comment - something about "And don't do that thing when you space out on people kid."
"Wouldn't want to put the wrong people's backs up, Chief." Clark said watching his editor's face return to it's normal countenance.
"Right you are Kent. Right you are." Perry chided, his response instantaneous. The two of them stopped right in front of the elevator just as it pinged and opened and that was the moment that Clark lost all air.
Blood rising under his skin.
A tall woman stepped off of the elevator, perfectly balanced in her black pumps. Her legs bronze and long. As she approached closer he realized that her hair was black; not the dark raven he had thought it to be and the eyes... the eyes were a striking cornflour blue.
Clark swore that his heart stuttered to a stop at the sight.
"Clark I'd like to introduce you to Agent Diana Prince. She's an ambassador at Metahuman affairs."
"Pleasure to finally meet you, Mr Kent"
Things to know before you read this story: AU - Derived from The Captain America story line. Diana has been asleep for 100 years, found years later by MetaHuman Affairs she is told that she was found in a block of ice not far from the Arctic Ocean. Lex Luthor a scientist at the time at DOMA explains Diana's situation to her and she is shocked to discover that she can only remember elements of who she is. This chapter basically takes you through the series of events that lead up to present time. Which we will be continuing on from next chapter.
Like the New52 version Diana is a Goddess, daughter of Zeus and born on Themyscira. But when her mother dies in childbirth, Zeus takes her to Mount Olympus where she is raised by her aunts and siblings before she enters into Man's World.
Special Thanks: I'd like to say thank you to Torrin-El for giving me feedback on how I can improve.