Rukiabi: (sighs) I wish I could write properly. Notice how the writing changes after a page. (dies) Oh, I went back and edited a little bit of everything. My writing was so formal before. I hope it's a little more casual now. And my excuse for it being almost a year late is that it's twice as long as my last chappy ; So think of it as two chappies in one?
Disclaimer: All characters of Beyblade are © of Aoki Takao.
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When he woke, the sky was a heavy red, orange, and yellow. A sunset maybe? But when he took a look at the knocked over digital clock in the ruined living room, he knew that 4:30AM meant the start of a beautiful sunrise… but a not so beautiful day. The events of yesterday replayed themselves in Tyson's mind. The stranger who had broken into his apartment room and started attacking him, reminded him of the reason why his whole apartment looked like a herd of wild boars had passed by. And why he had woken up that morning, not snuggled up in his now ruined bed, but sitting on the ground, leaning against the wall of his hallway.
His apartment was a mess. There were dents in the walls and most, if not all, of his furniture were damaged in some way. He would have to pay for the damage. He held his face with a hand. Not only was he a mess, he was IN a mess. He couldn't live there any longer.
"I can't stay like this anymore…"
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Syndicate Ch.4: Action
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He packed his last dress shirt, which was striped blue and red, into his mini suitcase. When he looked up into the cracked mirror of his dresser, he could clearly see the reflection of several knife punctures sinking into the mattress. The intruder had obviously been frustrated when he couldn't find what he wanted in his room, but when he'd left him hanging there on the precipice between life and death, he'd stated that he'd found what he wanted. Funny thing was nothing had gone missing. He never had many things to begin with in the first place, let alone to steal. But if the intruder hadn't broken into his apartment for an item, what did he take? He didn't even keep a diary or any other source of information worth stealing. What was it and why him? Why that day? Had somebody been spying on him, knowing that he had an appointment that afternoon?
Picking up his suitcase by the handle, Tyson left the room for the front entrance doorway. After unfastening the lock, turning the knob, and swinging the door wide open, he picked up a large, black garbage bag that had been behind the door with his free hand and exited the apartment. Dropping the garbage bag on the floor of the hallway, Tyson turned around to lock the door of his apartment and slip the key into his left pocket. He then picked up the large bag again and marched down the hallway to the stairs at the end, bustling down them since the apartment didn't have an elevator. And when he reached the bottom, he headed straight towards the front desk where the manager, a middle-aged man, sat behind on a corduroy-covered office chair, talking through a phone sandwiched between his chin and his shoulder as he flipped through pages in the newspaper.
"Yeah, I heard about it on the news last night. Another break in? And instead of the cops, they hired in some special ops to take care of the scene. Even heard that some of them were high school delinquents. Can you believe that they're so lazy that they'll let a bunch of kids take all the responsibility?"
The man looked over the brim of 'The Bay Times' and noticed Tyson before folding up his newspapers and answering through the phone, "Eh, Brad, hold up a minute. I've got some business in the shape of a baseball cap at my desk."
Tyson blushed sheepishly in embarrassment before letting go of the black bag and pulling back his baseball cap that he had decided to wear that day so that the man could see his face better. "Good morning Mr. Topper."
"Yo Tyson!" Mr. Topper put the phone down on the desk, "You can call my AJ, you know."
"Yeah…" Tyson scratched the side of his cheek before pulling out a large tin box and the key to the apartment and placing them on the desk before Mr. Topper. Said manager raised a brow, "What's this?"
"I'm paying for the rent."
"But Tyson, you already paid for last month's rent just a week ago…"
"Well I'm paying for a weeks worth of rent and also…" Tyson trailed off staring guiltily at the tin box, "…for the damage."
"Huh?" Mr. Topper leaned in forward with a confused expression, "What was that you said kid?"
"I gotta go now Mr. Topper." Tyson quickly imputed. "Thanks for letting me stay here and…. for everything!" The manager finally noticed the mini suitcase hidden behind Tyson's legs.
"I'll be back sometime in the next week or so to pick up the rest of my stuff. And, I'm sorry for all the trouble I've caused you. Bye." With that, Tyson swiftly exited the apartment leaving a confused Mr. Topper with a tin full of money in front of him. Like a momentary breeze, the lobby of the apartment was left calm and empty once again.
"Finally left for the stadium eh? Heh, strange kid." The apartment manager thought out loud before picking up the phone and newspaper again. "Yeah, Brad? Well… I suppose some kids can be trusted." Mr. Topper stared through the transparent glass door. "There are some nice kids around here."
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Tyson sighed in relief. Even though Mr. Topper was a nice guy and usually he would have no problems being around him, that morning, he didn't feel like sticking around to chat. Instead, it felt like if he stayed there any longer, the chances of another incident like what happened the previous night would become more and more likely to happen again and soon, his transparent intruder would be kicking down the glass doors demanding vengeance and shooting all of the residents of the apartment with a hidden gun he would pull out.
He didn't want that. No, he didn't want to hurt anyone anymore. And if the guy did ever come back, he wanted to make sure that only he would be involved and no one else.
After passing by an alleyway and throwing the garbage bag filled with small, useless broken objects and appliances into a dumpster, Tyson floated through the streets in a dazed silence. He just couldn't get over what had happened the other day. All of a sudden it was like a rusted-in-place old gear had begun to turn again, causing the whole forgotten grandfather clock to knell into life, its pendulum swinging back and forth without pause. Somewhere, someone was calling for him. Somewhere, he was needed. But maybe, that somewhere was a place he would never be able to walk to.
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Beautiful silk sleeves, blushed with hues of green and garnished in plum leaves, ranging from sienna to chartreuse, brushed against smooth khaki tinted tatami mats. Two slender hands, as if they had been airbrushed in gold, poked out of the openings in the sleeves and crossed over each other in a point. The figure bowed its head and a waterfall of indigo splayed across the mats like the rising tides.
Across from the figure knelt another person wound within overlaying waves of aquamarine, cyan, and turquoise. Sea foam crept along the hem of the gown. Thick, white fog surrounded the two figures, incasing the two in a world of their own.
The first figure, after raising its head, lifted a tea scoop and began scooping spoonfuls of powdered tea leaves into a ceramic bowl.
The second figure's face was shadowed by the fog so intensely that even its expression could not be seen. "That is not right. Remember, when we are in the room, we are all equals."
The first finished ladling hot water from a china tea kettle to the bowl and took to stirring the mix with a whisk. "But, it is always an honor to be with you."
When the tea was finally prepared, two golden palms gently pushed the bowl across the tatami to the second figure. The second figure bowed to the first, accepted the bowl and took a sip.
"Excellent." The second figure said already wiping the ceramic edge with its sleeve. "You have made a most wonderful tea."
"No," The first accepted the bowl back from the second, "I could not have done it without you."
"I believe you could have, for your talents are exceeding."
The opaque mist covered the first figure's blush. "I am grateful of your words."
It seemed almost an eternity of silence had passed between the two figures as they continued to exchange sips from the ceramic bowl. The eternity was spent with iridescent voices, floating through the misted air and whispering in the background.
"The moon was very beautiful last night."
"You were out on the balcony?"
"Yes. I was enjoying the night air."
"Remember not to stay out too long."
The first figure silently sighed in contentment as it finished sipping the tea.
"How are the gardens? You are tending them now are you not?"
"Yes, I was amazed by how they were able to stay alive for so long."
"It's good that you have decided to take care of them now. The doctors could not tell apart a flower from a chemical."
"That is true, but neither am I a gardener."
The second figure accepted the bowl from the first gratefully.
"How is your health? You are training hard everyday?"
"I am and I feel that I am in perfect condition."
Silence was good during those times but there was an end to everything, including silence.
"You are fond of him…?"
The first figure paused in mid-sip. It was a question that it had not expected.
Fond of Him? Him could have been anyone, but the first figure knew exactly who 'him' was that the second was referring to. It had been true that lately, they had been spending much more time together and the hours spent were always enjoyed. They had found many effective ways of using their days and it was always within the other's time frame. Surely, when other people saw them together, they would have seemed merely as very good friends. But how did they feel as individuals together?
The first figure set down the bowl and retracted its golden wrists underneath soothing forest green fabric. Staring into the empty void of an elliptical eye, the figure thought that the answer was evident and had been staring into both of them for quite a while; for days, months, and years. Like was not too strong of a word.
Tyson's neck had almost cracked from the sudden movement. "ARGH!" His eyes squeezed shut as his hands came around behind his head to hold against the pain. Ah, he'd been sleeping in a weird position. He must have dozed off after he'd sat down.
"Kid, this is your stop."
Oh yeah, he had asked the bus driver to tell him when they arrived at his stop.
Still whimpering, Tyson stood up whilst rubbing the back of his neck. He gave the bus driver an apologetic gesture with his free hand- "Thanks." –and stepped off the vehicle with his luggage in tow.
He walked down the busy side walk of Bay City. There were many people and a lot of them looked like business men going to their coffee breaks. Along both sides of the street were shops and boutiques of all different fashion and above them where high story buildings housing offices of important companies and media networks like 'KNN Sports News', 'The Bay Times', and 'Station BEGA'. Before he knew it, he had arrived at his destination.
He waited for the electronic doors to slide apart before walking into the BeyBlade Association's lobby. He walked up to the reception desk although no one seemed to be there.
"Hello? Is there anyone here?"
No one. Strange. Maybe they were on a coffee/lunch break as well?
He decided that he wasn't going to get anywhere just by waiting for someone to direct him. He was going to have to move himself forwards. After all, all he had to do was speak with the director again and all would be set down.
Tyson chose the elevator farthest from him this time in order to take in all that the large lobby offered that he had missed the first time in his haste.
Monsters; they looked liked creatures of incredible power sliding behind a granite finish along the walls. He hadn't even noticed until he analyzed the flooring closely that each tile had been strategically placed in order to resemble a great snake-like dragon, slithering towards the elevators and stairs.
He pushed a button and almost right away, the doors parted in order to carry him to the floor of his desire. He chose the same floor as the other day and thought back to the incident that had occurred in room 308. Tyson wondered if he would be seeing any of those agents anytime soon, especially the dual-tone haired one who had so easily brushed him aside.
The elevator came to a halt after a 'ping!' and he stepped off the marble onto carpet. Where was he now?
Tyson turned left and walked down the length of the hallway, trailing his hand across the tall glass windows on his right. He seemed to be in a different part of the building than he had been in the first time. Although the hall continued further down, he decided to turn left at an intersecting hallway.
'Maybe it's just around the corner…' was what Tyson had thought before he bumped into a plastic tray jutting out of the intersection all of a sudden, heard a surprised scream as he fell onto his bottom, and felt something hot running down his shirt and pants.
"Ouch…" A girl in a pink shirt and white skirt with brown hair, seeming to be the same age as him, was on the ground rubbing her bottom.
"Ah! Oh no, oh no, oh no!!" She exclaimed after taking notice of the mess.
"I am soooo sorry!"
"Oh…" Tyson looked down and finally recognized the scent of coffee staining his clothes.
"Ehehe," he smiled, "its okay. It was a mistake."
But before he could get up, the brunette had already taken out a napkin after kneeling beside him and was dabbing at the spots.
"No. It's NOT okay! I should have been watching where I was going and because of my carelessness, you were punished instead."
"Eh? Uh well, I wasn't really paying too much attention either—"
"Come with me right now!" The brunette picked up the spilled coffee mugs and plastic tray and started tugging at Tyson's sleeve.
"I'll have you cleaned up right away!"
"What? No—its okay--"
But he was pulled by a force he hadn't felt in a long time, the brute strength of a woman.
"Come on! Let's go, hustle up mister!"
Tyson had been pulled up to his feet and was now being lead back the way he came. Together, they stepped into the nearest elevator before the girl punched a button and the elevator moved upwards.
"It's just one floor up." The brunette added in before the elevator came to a halt. He stumbled out of the elevator and was dragged by the arm once more. After turning corners left and right, they finally reached a small white room.
"You can sit here." said the girl as she pushed him down on a stool by the shoulders, "I'll be right back." And the brunette disappeared behind a white curtain so that Tyson was left sitting alone and wondering what had just happened.
Without a say in the matter, he had been pulled away from his original route and was now stuck in what seemed to be an infirmary. He set his baggage on the ground beside the sickbed. If he hadn't been gripping tightly at his suitcase the whole time, he would have surely lost it some ways back.
The curtain was pulled aside and there stood the girl now with a white coat over her pink shirt and white skirt. In her hand, she held a wet towel.
"Here!" The girl threw the towel to Tyson. "That's to wipe your skin with so that so that the coffee doesn't stick later."
"Thanks." As he began to pull off his shirt, the brunette seemed to notice the suitcase for the first time.
"Hey, I've never seen you here before. Are you an employee from one of the lower floors?"
"Ah, well, no, not exactly…" Tyson stumbled over words.
What should he say? He was sure that the BBA kept the identity of their counterpart workings a secret from the employees working for the BeyBlade Association. If the girl knew of the existence of the BitBeast Acquisition then maybe he could inquire her about the job, but if she didn't then it would be best not to tell her anything. And the fact that he was attacked before at the same time as he had gotten himself involved with the BitBeast Acquisition didn't reassure him at all.
"Then what exactly?" The brunette pressed as she pulled out another stool from behind the curtain and sat in front of Tyson. Her legs crossed and her chin rested on her elbow on her knee. She looked as if she were a councilor ready to listen and comment on whatever was said in the next hour. If the coffee wasn't already sticking to him then the sweat was. He wiped the back of his neck with the towel.
"I came here for… a job interview… because I was given an invitation to work at the BBA."
The brunette's eyebrows were furrowed as she nodded, "Oh I see, and you're going to the interview wearing that?" She pointed to his bare chest.
Tyson's cheeks reddened, "Well I was wearing a shirt—"
"No!" the brunette interrupted, "I mean you must have some formal attire on you, not any labor clothes." She described 'labor clothes' with a wave of her hand in Tyson's direction.
"Because this is a big corporation, you have to have formal wear when you come into the building. That's your suitcase right? Let's see what clothes you can change into." The brunette lifted the mini suitcase onto the bed and unlatched the locks.
"Wait a second--" He reached out a hand in a pathetic protest for his privacy.
Her expression fell upon seeing the layers of second-hand thrift store shirts and turned sour when flipping through the tattered worn jeans.
"Hmm…" The girl's nose wrinkled in distaste, "No, these simply will not do."
She slammed the trunk shut. With quick, bold strides, she cuffed Tyson's wrist in her tight chain-like hold and began dragging him once more, this time out of the room.
"Uh-hey, where are we going?"
"Where else? Shopping!"
"But wait, we can't do this now and aren't you still working?" Tyson protested but continued to allow himself to be dragged down the hallways and down the elevators.
"Oh don't worry, everybody's on a break right now anyway."
The two existed the office building, one leading with chest up high and the other nearly on the ground, wondering how he had come to meet so many twists and bends of situational irony in his life during the past couple of days. He never expected himself to be going out shopping with a girl about his age whom he didn't even know after almost falling from a four story apartment building.
"W-wait!" Tyson stumbled over a crack in the sidewalk.
"What is it?" The brunette's heels clacked rhythmically against the cement. "We have to hurry and get you some proper clothing before your interview--"
"What's your name?"
The girl slowed down her pace and allowed Tyson to catch his breath.
"It's Hilary," the brunette looked back and smiled at Tyson, "Tachibana Hilary. I'm 18 years old, a Gemini with blood type O, and am a top nurse with a Bachelors degree in nursing employed by the BeyBlade Association!"
Tyson straightened and smiled back.
"I'm Tyson, Kinomiya Tyson."
"It's nice to meet you," her smile widened in excitement, "—now let's go!"
Tyson felt himself be dragged by Hilary's determination down the streets of Bay City and into several shops and boutiques. The grip of her hand on his wrist was as tight and tense as metal chains, hinting to Tyson that he had no choice but to follow her wherever she decided to go.
"This one here— no that one— wait across the street!!"
"Wait for me Hilary…"
Finally Hilary settled on a men's apparel shop, displaying top quality suits that only the most successful businessman would wear. The prices sticking innocently out of the sleeves were to die for. When they began browsing through the Prada and Armani suits, Tyson attempted to protest again.
"Hilary, these shops are all really expensive, I don't think I can pay for them. In fact, uh, I left my wallet back at the BBA! So maybe we should just forget it--"
Hilary stared Tyson down with a hardened jaw. "We can't give up
"We can't give up so easily!"
Tyson tried to swallow but his throat was too dry.
"What's five hundred or a thou?"
"A thousand is a lot!" He barely retorted.
"Don't worry," she beamed, "you can pay me back later!" And she turned back to the rack with the glint from her eyes reflecting off of the metal bars.
"Hmm?" Tyson looked out towards the windows. It felt like someone or something had spoken just now… from outside the shop and yet at the same time, from within the folds of his mind.
'Sleep now… so I can be free!'
There! He definitely heard that call. He had a bad feeling in his gut. Something was going to happen!
"Ah this is perfect! Hey Tyson, what do you think of this?" Hilary pulled her head out of the rack and held out the suit with excitement, only to meet with silence. The space where the blunette had previously stood was now unoccupied.
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Tyson sprinted down the street with wind flapping against his shirt, rolling past cold sweat. He halted at an intersection four blocks from the shop he left in order to catch his breath and think of what to do next. He was holding his knees and panting lightly when a sudden screeching of car tires rang through his eardrums and a splitting crash of two forces colliding shook through his bones. He looked up and saw a large truck sliding past him, spinning out of control right before his eyes.
"Look-look out!" Tyson screamed out into the open to no one in particular.
But it was too late. People screamed as they ran out of the way and cars on the road screamed out of control themselves, attempting to spin out of the truck's destructive path. Unfortunately, the truck rammed into a poor automobile and with inertia, slammed it along with itself against a brick building. Black smoke billowed out from the hood of the truck and chaos ensued.
"Oh my god, that truck, it just, it just!!"
"Are those guys alright?"
"Somebody call an ambulance! Get them out of there, quick!"
Tyson ran towards large, growing crowd of concerned witnesses and pushed his way through it in order to see the result of the crash. It was a large, 5 ton truck that had past him at the intersection and crashed into the side of a brick office building. Its hood was completely crumpled from the resistant wall and smoke poured out from underneath the hood like steam from a boiling kettle, surrounding the area in a light fog. The small automobile the truck rammed into was caught between the tail of the truck and the wall. Through despite its situation, it looked to be in better condition than the truck.
He clenched his fists. 'I have to get them out of there!'
"Excuse me!" Tyson pushed through between a man and a woman holding on tightly to the hand of her child. Covering his nose and mouth with his right arm, Tyson ran into the thick smoke. He heard some people call behind him, "Wait boy! Don't go in there!" But he ignored them. He had to do something or it else it could be too late.
He rushed towards the smoking truck first where a man sat slumped over an airbag, nearly suffocating to death. The windshield had completely shattered which had most probably caused the bleeding in the man's skull.
"Don't worry sir, I'll get you out right away!"
Tyson threw open the truck door and just as he was pulling out the fainted man, a cry like that of a hawk's barely buzzed through the broken speakers.
"Scree…bzzz bzzz… help me! …this is BEGA 99.3… bzzz…"
A radio? The call from within the radio sounds so familiar…
"Next we're…bzzz… to play 'Always Be in the Game'!"
Tyson shook his head to clear his thoughts. No, he has to think about getting the injured drivers out of the area first!
He hauled the man over his back and carried him to the awaiting crowd first, deciding to go back for the other person after he saved the trucker. He was immediately encircled by people when he emerged from the heavy smoke and praised for his bravery.
"Oh he saved that man!"
"Good job boy!"
"Thanks," Tyson handed the man to another person from the crowd, "now for the other--"
An explosion sounded from behind Tyson and everyone screamed once more. 'No!' Tyson thought, 'It can't be!'
Through the smoke, red flames grew from behind the truck. The automobile had blown up, along with its passenger.
"NOOO!!" Tyson screamed.
People ran in fear like wild fire farther away from the site of the incident. A few seconds later, a larger explosion sounded with fire and black smoke curling into the sky and the sound of a hawk's cry ending in a sorrowful screech. The fire from the small car had reached the truck's fuel tank and had blown up the truck along with it.
"No…" Tyson fell on his knees.
He wasn't able to save the other driver. If he hadn't saved the trucker, the explosion would have killed the trucker too. But even knowing that… He clenched his eyes tight to hold back the tears. He wanted to save them both!
But how did it happen in the first place? Tyson's eyes flashed open in realization. The call for help through the radio, it hadn't been human. It was from…!!! He heard it back in the shop as well. Tyson picked himself up, now more determined than ever.
BEGA 99.3. He passed the radio station on his way to the BBA! Tyson turned and began sprinting in the direction that he came from with all his might. He passed the BBA HQ, past pedestrians and other obstacles, and ignored the complaints as wind whipped his hair from side to side.
The BEGA sign floated in the distance before his eyes like a curling finger.
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"This is BEGA 99.3 and I'm your DJ Jazzman here to play the top punk rock music today for all you listeners out there so let's rock it up with 'Rise above the Storm'!"
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Tyson stormed into the building—"H-hey! Hold up there, that's a restricted area!" ---, completely ignoring the security guards and other employees surprised by his sudden intrusion, and took the stairwell towards the fifth floor.
"We have an intruder with blue hair and a baseball cap heading upstairs!" One of the security guards shouted into his walkie-talkie as he chased after Tyson.
But he can't stop to get arrested! The signs stated a broadcasting room somewhere on the fifth floor. He has to stop the broadcasting as soon as possible, before more people get caught in the BitBeast's spell.
After rounding the corner of the last set of stairs, Tyson rushed through the door and ran down the hallway of the fifth floor, checking left and right for a broadcasting room.
'Sleep… go to sleep…'
He skidded to a stop to the last room down the hall and barged into the studio.
"You have to stop airing right now!"
"Eh? Who're you?" asked the sound technician.
"It doesn't matter. Please, just stop the airing right now!
"I don't know who you are but you have no authorization to be in here--"
No, it couldn't wait any longer. Behind that sound proof door was a BitBeast capable of endangering the lives of thousands of people. If these people wouldn't listen to him then—
But just as Tyson was about to advance towards to the separated room, he was suddenly held back by two sets of arms.
"You're going to have to come with us kid."
"No!" Tyson struggled against the grip of the security guards. "You guys have to stop airing! Please listen to me!"
'sleep…help me, I just want to be free!'
"Stop the airing."
Tyson ceased struggling and looked towards the source of the command. At the doorway of the studio stood a blond man wearing an olive green trench coat and holding up a shiny, gold badge.
"Officer Mizuhara Max. I'm here to see DJ Jazzman." The blond turned to the sound tech, "Cease the broadcast please."
Tyson couldn't believe his eyes. What was HE doing there? And as a police officer!
The sound technician looked almost equally as speechless as he stuttered, "Uhh, y-yes!"
After a few seconds, DJ Jazzman emerged from the broadcast room, red with anger. "What is the problem?!"
The blond officer pulled out a set of handcuffs from his trench coat pocket. "The problem? Why, you are." And he advanced upon the radio host. Before the DJ had anytime to react, officer Mizuhara had gotten behind him and cuffed his wrists. "You are hereby under arrest for assault and burglary."
"Assault and burglary? I haven't done anything like that!"
But the officer ignored the protests of the radio host, "You have the right to remain silent," and led the poor, confused DJ out of the studio.
Tyson broke out of the hold from the stupefied security guards and ran after the blond, shouting, "Max!"
The blond officer paused in the hallway on his way to the elevators with the arrested DJ.
"Tyson." He turned around and smiled at him. "Have you decided?"
"Max…" Tyson stared into two dark blue eyes. It was as if he was attempting to find the bottom of a trench on the sea floor, an endless trench.
"If you have," Max started towards the elevators again, "then come with me."
Tyson stared at the back of the blond as the distance between them increased. The reason why he decided to go to the BBA that morning came back to him and he recalled his determination in signing up. Although he was caught off guard upon meeting Hilary, he was able to save a life thanks to her intrusive actions. But he also witnessed the loss of a life and relived the feeling of helplessness. He was helpless in preventing death.
Tyson's eyes shone with renewed determination and he took a step forward.
"I'm going to take action now."
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