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This was my first attempt at writing "Boldly Go," and I think I made the right decision to take it in another direction.
"Captain's log, stardate 7032.3" a casual baritone voice spoke into his station's built-in recording device. "I find myself in a rare, quiet moment aboard this ship. I'd like to take this time to pause and reflect, something I'd been hoping to do much earlier, in light of this vessel's recent anniversary. Eighteen years… my God, has it really been that long?
"Eighteen years and four days ago, this ship was launched into active duty. Not the fastest ship, or the best armed, and yet with a service record some would give anything for. In no way the prettiest, but with an… undeniable charm, a sort of magnetic attraction that pulls you in at first glance. I'm not the first man to fill this seat. I only hope, when the time comes, I can step down as gracefully as my predecessors…"
As you can see, I kept the beginning part. Doesn't necessarily mean that I liked it, but it definitely struck a Star Trek chord, so I left it in. Here's where it starts to break off.
All around him, men in brightly colored sweaters looked down at their various consoles, making a tiny adjustment to one of a dozen flashing knobs or dials. If there was nothing to fiddle with, he'd just have to sit quietly and wait.
"I'm sure I could say the same for any of my crew. They've lived and loved and bled for this ship, I couldn't have asked for better comrades on my journey. . I'd like to think, despite all our differences, we've come to form a kind of family here. Even Mr. Frege, who started out as Science Officer, later becoming my trusty First Officer, how far the two of us have come…"
A few paces to the captain's right, Lieutenant Commander Frege tried keep busy running systems diagnostics, knowing in advance that all systems were functioning within normal limits. Mr. Frege was not clairvoyant, nor did he believe such things existed. Logic dictated that running the exact same checks he'd been running all morning had a ninety-nine point two five nine percent chance of yielding predictable results. It was a simple, repetitive task, but sometimes he felt like it was the only thing that kept the veins on his scalp from bursting whenever the captain went off on one of his soliloquies.
When it came down to it, I couldn't continue with this. Captain Haupt could be a braggart, a hothead, a chauvinist pig, and pretty much everything else Shatner threw into the role of Kirk, but I couldn't have him be a totally useless blowhard. My original idea was to have him introduce all the major characters by mentioning them in his log and being really melodramatic and long-winded about it. Scrapped that idea when I realized that I was tired of writing it, and I was only at the beginning. I'm glad I got rid of this first bit because, otherwise, you might not be reading this fic at all.
"The Littlest Anti-Semite"
As you can tell by the title I came up with, you're in for a real treat here.
"Don't lie to me, Stoppable," an angry Conrad warned. "I know you got something for us."
"Yeah, we know you got something, Jew boy!" Steve piped up, eagerly. "Don't you guys always keep little bags of Jew gold around your necks or something?"
Yes, I did steal that idea from South Park, but I'm sure they stole it from someone that actually hates Jews.
For a second, time stood still. No one made a sound, not even to breathe. Almost involuntarily, the bullies seemed to edge themselves away from their diminutive cohort, who now looked up at them with slight confusion.
"Oh, whoa whoa! Time out!" shouted Vinnie, making a "T" sign with his hands. "Li'l Steve. Anti-Semitism. Not cool. We don't do that. Ever. If a kid is fat, go ahead call him 'fattie.' If a kid's smarter than you and he dresses bad, call him a 'nerd' and knock his books on the floor. If a kid has a last name that even sounds like 'butt,' heck, go crazy. Not this. Never this. This doesn't happen again. Are we clear?"
I'll be the first to acknowledge that most bullies aren't this conscientious about bigotry. I just figure that if anybody said that in a Disney cartoon, the whole thing would turn into an after school special faster than you can say "lawsuit."
"Yeah, we're clear," answered Steve, shamefacedly scuffing his shoe against the floor. "Sorry, Stoppable."
"Dude, Stoppable, I'm really sorry about this," added Junior, before turning to mutter in Steve's direction. "See, this is why we don't let him talk for himself! Nazi midget bastard."
"Junior!" said Vinnie, whipping his head around to face him. "Man, that is not helping. The correct term is 'little person.' Two wrongs, Man. Two wrongs."
And coming up now is the line that almost made me want to put this bit in the actual story…
"Okay, okay… sorry, Li'l Steve," he responded reluctantly, before adding under his breath. "Little nazi person."
That's the one.
"Look, Stoppable, this is going downhill fast," Vinnie reasoned. "Just give us the money, man. We don't look bad, you don't look any worse than you did all those other times, and you just stay out of D-Hall 'til you graduate. Everybody wins."
"You really expect me to give you anything after… that?" said Ron, anger slipping into his voice.
"I'm not saying it wasn't out of line. It was. And it ain't happening again, I can promise you that. This ain't about that. This is D-Hall. We own D-Hall. We let you walk out, we don't own D-Hall anymore. Steve doesn't think before he talks. He said he was sorry. Just make it easy on yourself and give us the money, okay?"
"And if I don't?" Sensing his cue, Conrad filled the gap that had formed between them and brought his oversized fist in front of Ron's face.
"Oh, right," he said, nervously.
And that's pretty much why I couldn't use this extended version of this scene. Ron may be the cowardly sidekick most of the time, but there was no way I could let him take that kind of garbage. I didn't want this story to turn into anything political, so I dropped it. I'm not about the hate. I'm about the love. And violence.
I love this scene. I do. I just didn't have anyplace to put it. No matter where I tried, this incredibly long flashback just wouldn't fit anywhere. I'm presenting it to you now, along with my own little discourse on Ron Stoppable and his intermittent brain power.
Here's what I think. The clearest picture of Ron Stoppable as a young child came in the "Past" episode of "A Sitch in Time." Even though the three villains being little kids didn't survive the change after the Tempus Simia broke, it's still Kim and Ron as themselves. So, what do we see little Ron doing at Pre-Kindergarten? We see him lecturing the other children about the perils of playground anarchy and using the word "opposable" properly in a sentence.
I'm here to suggest that the reason why Ron Stoppable was considered the "weird kid" even back then was not because of his use of made up words and general childlike wonder, or even his giant imaginary friend. All that stuff is normal to a four-year-old.
I put it to you that Ron Stoppable was a child prodigy.
That's where this came from…
"Ronnie?" Mrs. Stoppable shouted from the living room, noticing the television was on but no one was watching. "What are you doing?"
"Playing 'flippy pages,' Mommy!" a four-year-old Ron Stoppable called out from his father's home office.
She found her son sitting in her husband's leather desk chair with a hardback book in his lap that looked about twice as thick as his arm. "Flippy pages" was a game little Ronnie had invented at age three. He would take any book he could get his hands on, the thicker the better, and set it in his lap. Then, he would tilt the book on its side and, using his thumb to keep them all from going at once, he would watch the pages as they fell like it was some giant flip book.
"Ronnie, how many times have I told you not to play 'flippy pages' with Mommy and Daddy's books?" she asked, gently lifting the book and putting it back where he'd taken it from the bookshelf that served as Mr. and Mrs. Stoppable's personal library.
She took a quick glance at the book's spine and saw that it was one of her textbooks she'd kept from college, "A History of Western Philosophy."
Keep this in mind. It'll be important later.
"Why don't you go and watch some TV?" she asked hopefully.
"I tried, but it was too boring," said Ronnie, sadly. "Can I play 'flippy pages' some more, please?"
He looked past her to the shelf, then back up into her eyes, pleading. With a sigh, she reached down and picked her son up, carrying him back into the living room to set him back down in front of the TV.
I never saw Mr. and Mrs. Stoppable as the world's most attentive parents. That's actually going to be a recurring theme in a lot of my upcoming stories.
"It's not nice to play with other people's things without asking," she said sternly. "I'd be more willing to let you play if you'd just use your own books."
"But I already know all the stuff in all my books," he whined. "I want to play with yours!"
Neither she nor her husband could understand what that was all about. He would play with a book for a few minutes, and then never pick it up again. They'd tried to get him to go back to his own books but he'd always say he'd played with it already. Once they'd even tried to fool him by putting a new cover on an old book, but somehow he saw right through it. Not wanting to go through all of this again, she decided to change her tactics.
"Sweetie, you know that little red-haired girl from your class you told your father and me about?"
"Yeah!" he said, happily. "Her name's Kim and she's fun and she's nice and she can jump really high and do flips and cartwheels and--"
"Yes, that's her," she said, cutting in. "Why don't I call her parents and have them bring her over this afternoon to play with you?"
"Really?" the little boy beamed. "Can she?"
"I'll call and find out, but you have to be good and watch your cartoons while you wait, okay?"
The freckled child seemed to think it over for half a second before nodding. His smile drooped a bit when he turned back to the spot in front of the TV. He looked back up at her, as if to ask if he really had to do it, but she didn't budge. With a tiny sigh, he walked over and plopped down. Satisfied, Mrs. Stoppable went to go find her address book to look up the number she'd gotten from Kim's mother last week on the kids' first day of Pre-Kindergarten.
The whole "play-date" thing, I'm sure, was around when they were little. When I was a kid, that didn't really happen. You pretty much had to bug your folks for hours if your friends didn't live within walking or bike-riding distance.
Back in the living room, her son sat cross-legged on the carpet, cradling his face in his hands as he watched the whimsically animated images amble across the screen. At one point, he lifted his head and looked to his left, not like he was staring off into space but as if there were someone very tall seated in the space next to him. After a moment, Ronnie looked back at the TV, scrunching his face in contemplation.
"I don't know, Rufus," he said, finally. "Sure, I'd call Eeyore a classic example of defeatist nihilism, but I can't call him Nietzschean. I mean, look at him. He's a donkey and his house falls over a lot. According to Nietzsche, his attitude means that he thinks the world should end because he's periodically homeless and I just don't see that.
"What? No… oh, no. Don't even think about bringing Freud into this.
"Because the Freudian interpretation of a donkey building a tunnel-shaped house out of long sticks is enough to give a kid a complex, that's why not.
"Look, just watch the dumb cartoon, okay?
"Because I have to. Mommy said so, or else Kim can't come over.
"Kim is not a yucky girl.
"No, I don't want to marry her.
"No, you're in denial!"
I honestly don't care if anybody else gets it at this point. That whole conversation with Rufus was my own little gift to me.
Mrs. Stoppable peeked her head out from the hallway, watching with grim fascination as her son carried on a heated argument with thin air. While she wasn't exactly thrilled at the idea that his new friend was a little girl, anything was better than Ronnie having no one but Rufus to play with. She was sure, after the novelty wore off and the children got bored of one another, he could use the social skill he built with Kim to make friends with the other little boys his age. Mrs. Possible seemed more than happy to bring her daughter over, and it was less than an hour before the two of them were running in the back yard together.
"Wow," Kim said, looking up. "This tree's really big. Bet'cha don't know what kind it is…"
"Sure I do," he answered confidently. "It's a quercus alba, The North American White Oa--"
"Nuh-uh," she interrupted, smiling and shaking her head. "It's a big oak tree!"
"But quercus alba is--"
"Wanna climb it with me?"
"Um… okay, but," he hesitated and looked down. "I never climbed a tree before."
"It's easy," she promised, taking his hand. "Here, I'll show you."
To me, this is part and parcel of the whole "You're weird, but I like you" dynamic of their early relationship. A four-year-old Kim, bright as she might have been, couldn't begin to pronounce the words little Ron was saying off the top of his head, but she's still correcting him so, in her mind, she's the smart one. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Watch closely.
She led him to the lowest branch then let go, crouching down before she jumped straight up and caught the bough with her little hands. After pulling herself up, she lay down flat on the branch and let down a hand for Ron to grab and together they managed to get him up. About twenty minutes later, Mrs. Stoppable heard shouting behind the house.
"Mrs. Stoppable! Mrs. Stoppable!" Kim yelled gleefully. "Look how high Ron is! He said he never climbed a tree before, but I taught him and now he's really, really high!"
"He's what?" his mother screeched, turning white as a sheet as she ran into the back yard.
"Okay…" Ron said to himself, balancing easily on a branch ten feet off the ground. "Just gotta keep an even weight distribution ratio… stay on the load bearing branches. Yup, no problem. I can climb trees."
"RONNIE! YOU GET DOWN FROM THERE BEFORE YOU BREAK YOUR NECK!"
Good news was that it got him down. Bad news… The sound of his mother screaming at him totally broke the boy's concentration, causing him to lose his balance and fall headfirst. He didn't hit the ground directly. The first thing his head collided with was a lower branch. Then a lower one. And a lower one. And a lower one. And then it hit the ground. Kim and Mrs. Stoppable rushed to his side as his stiff upside-down form slowly fell flat like some tiny lumberjack had just yelled "timber."
"Ron, are you okay?" Kim her worried face inches away from his until Mrs. Stoppable pulled her away to get a better look at her son.
"Ronnie? Ronnie? Say something, Sweetie!"
Lazily, the boy's eyes drifted open. His mouth curled into a vaguely goofy smile and then it opened to let out just one word.
Again, I really really REALLY wanted to fit his into the story proper, but it wasn't to be. I hope you got a kick out of it anyway.
"Felix Says the Darndest Things"
part 1: Dating Woes
This section is dedicated to Middleton High's favorite paraplegic… You know what, I can't even do a commentary without sounding offensive. You can imagine how hard it was to write dialogue.
"Dude, we have got to find you a girl one of these days."
"Uh-huh," he muttered darkly. "Exactly what part of 'no feeling from the waist down' is so hard for you to understand? Dumbass."
I cut this bit out, despite the fact that I thought it was funny, because I felt like it was too depressing. No one really addresses this very real medical complication in other stories with Felix. They always seem to leave him his wedding tackle, so I guess I will, too.
"Felix Says the Darndest Things"
part 2: Can't We All Just Get Along?
"You're asking me to keep your brain from turning to mush in front of a pretty girl. A pretty girl that actually wants to kiss you. Why not just ask me to part Lake Middleton? Hey, while I'm at, why don't I head over to the Gaza Strip and organize an Israeli/Palestinian softball league? I obviously don't have anything better to do tonight."
This just came across as insensitive. The conflict in Israel is something that I take very seriously. Not seriously enough that this joke couldn't pop into my head, apparently, but I still couldn't put it in.
"Felix Says the Darndest Things"
part 3: Pas un travestie typical
"Thanks a lot, buddy. Ron out," Ron said warmly as he shut off his Kimmunicator. "Well, guys, I'm off. Sorry about tonight, Felix. We'll definitely catch up soon."
"Yeah, sure," he said, glumly. "Maybe if I go out and buy a red wig and get some ridiculously pointy breasts, you'll want to hang out more."
Ron and Monique stared down at him unblinkingly.
"Not that I'd want to do something like that," he said, his eyes shifting nervously back and forth.
Best. "Spines" Hatfield Line. Ever.
Have you ever come up with a joke that made you laugh for like two straight minutes when you came up with it, and you weren't even on drugs? I've had that a couple of times. Of course, what I've come to realize is that those things that really make me just break out belly-laughing at my own joke just plain aren't funny to anyone else on the planet.
You may have noticed that Mr. "Spines" Hatfield didn't have any lines in the last chapter of "To Boldly Go…", and this is why:
"If you'll think back for a moment, Sir, you'll remember that I've been here on the Ron since before the Monique was transferred to our area of operations," she reminded him. "There isn't anything I've seen that you haven't."
"I suppose you're right," the captain admitted., settling back into his seat and pressing the COM switch. "Spines… anything?"
"Damn it, Rick. I'm a doctor… with man parts."
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"Have ye ever made anythin' happen? Anythin' ye could'nae explain?"
There was a gleam in the large man's eyes that showed that he'd known the answer to the question before he'd asked it. He grinned from one end of his shaggy brown beard to the other.
"Ye're a witch, lass."
Her green eyes widened and, momentarily forgetting all about hiding her braces, her mouth dropped open.
"I'm a what?"
The envelope he'd pulled from the sporran on his kilt, the one addressed to Ms. K. Possible, The Shoe Closet in the Attic, floated down to her feet as she gaped at the letter she held in her hands.
"Dear Ms. Possible," she read aloud. "We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry…"
In the candlelit hallway, the gaggle of black robed eleven-year-olds, halted as the professor turned just short of the oversized double doors. Gravely, he gave them another appraising stare before addressing them.
"Listen up, people! In a few moments, you will pass through these doors, and join your classmates. I want a tight formation and no funny business. First years, fall IN!"
"You amateurs should watch yourselves on these staircases," the older boy said, glancing spitefully behind him. "They tend not to maintain their positions."
The redheaded girl peered cautiously over the side, even as the staircase beneath them slowly shifted, stretching to reach the open archway. Without realizing it, she inched closer to the blond boy next to her as he held the guardrail in a terrified death grip.
She glanced nervously at the wooden handle of her new broom, trying not to feel totally ridiculous as she stood with her classmates on the grassy courtyard. The instructor wasn't exactly helping. That hair…
"'Kay, all you mini-chicks and micro-dudes," he said. "Just stick out your right arm, hold it over your ride, and say 'up.' But you got to put some juice behind it, seriously."
Not sure what to expect, she looked at the broomstick intently.
"Up!" she shouted, not giving herself time to think better of it, and was amazed as it shot into her waiting hand on the first try.
"Um… Mr. L?" came a familiar quivering voice to her left, causing to forget her little victory. "Somehow I don't think I'm supposed to be CLIMBING UP INTO THE LOWER STRATOSPHERE!!!"
"Whoa, little dude!" the instructor shouted back. "Seriously, where do you think you're going? Totally not finished with the lessonage here, sh'a."
"So the… uh… scar?" asked the freckled boy, uncertainly. "Could I, maybe… you know… see it?"
She hesitated, the teasing from her cousins very fresh in her mind, but he was looking at her so intently that she finally moved aside the curtain of red hair blocking it. Instinctively, she braced herself for the inevitable look of disgust on his face and the nasty things he'd say. It was a real shock to see him smiling again, gazing up at her scar in reverent wonder.
Black painted lips curled into a wicked smirk as the professor sauntered down the aisle of the classroom, teaching robes open to reveal the tight green and black outfit underneath.
"Ms. Possible…" the words practically dripping from her mouth. "The wizarding world's own perfect little Princess."
The headmaster wasted no word or movement as he spoke. His hands remained where they were crossed in front of him, each resting in the other arm's sleeve. The tight knot of white hair on the crown of his otherwise bare head remained still as he kept his gaze steady.
"First year students should note that the Dark Forest is strictly forbidden…" the old wizard announced, calmly.
The girl, clad in her black robe and a red and gold scarf, peered through the darkness of the woods into the clearing, watching as the bent and hooded figure stalked through the mist. The dark-haired boy beside her, similarly robed but wearing a scarf of green and white, seemed to be trying to decide whether to run screaming or wet himself.
"…That no magic is to be used between the classes and the corridors…"
The smaller boy raised his wand, a cocky smile growing on his round face.
"Petrificus Totalus," he said in a clear voice as the wand made a sign in the air.
They watched as the gangly boy in front of them suddenly stopped trembling. In fact, he stopped moving altogether, arms snapping to his sides and legs jammed together.
"Oh, man, that was so cool!" the blond said, running up to their newly immobilized housemate. "Hey, if I touch him, do you think he'd be cold?"
Not waiting for an answer, he eagerly raised a finger to the boy's forehead. The light touch sent the rigid captive falling back to the hard, stone floor with a resounding thud.
"Oops… he didn't feel that, right?"
"… And that the third floor corridor is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to suffer a most painful death."
"Aren't you coming?" she asked the mocha skinned boy when she noticed he wasn't following.
"Guys, before I came to Hogwarts, I didn't even like to leave my bedroom," he practically shouted. "So no, I am not coming. I am getting my big-boned child prodigy butt to bed. You two should really think about taking it easy before you end up dead."
He turned and scrambled halfway up the stairs before looking over his shoulder.
"Or worse…" he continued, grimly. "Expelled."
They watched as he climbed the rest of way to the boy's dorm before they turned and shared a puzzled look.
"Well, at least the man has his priorities straight," the blond said, not sounding at all convinced of that fact, himself.
He looked her dead in the face, making sure she knew he was serious. Long ago, he'd learned that it took a great deal of effort to make anyone take a man in a skirt seriously.
"Understand this, lassie, 'cause it's ferr important," he urged her. "Not all wizards are good'uns."
The pale witch halted for a moment, her clawed glove still hovering under the Defense professor's pronounced chin. From beneath the fabric of the cloak, the girl watched as the Potions Mistress raised her arm and reached out into the darkness, only missing her by inches with every grasp.
The bright golden glow around her finally faded as she stared, still transfixed, at the deceptively ordinary looking stick in her hand. From behind the counter, the old man regarded the girl closely, then turned and whispered to the woman standing next to him again.
"He wishes to say," she translated, "that he believes it is clear that we can expect great things from you."
Kim Possible and the Sorcerer's Stone
Experience the Magic…
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"Captain, the hormone levels are off the charts!" a voice shouted from off to the side.
"The core temperature's spiking. Any more and we'll have a full blown fever."
"I don't understand…"
Still another voice. Behind him. It's Indlebe this time.
"They're just not responding," he said.
"Who?" Haupt asked intently. "Who's not responding?"
"Nobody, er… I mean everybody. No…," the lieutenant growled in frustration. "I mean no one's responding. I'm sending orders to every COM station on every deck of every bone, muscle, and organ. Nobody's talking back."
"Oh, my," the navigator faked a gasp. "Whatever could have them all so preoccupied?"
"You don't know?" the helmsman asked, astounded. "It's her! She's got her legs wrapped around us like a stripper pole and if she starts grinding any harder we're gonna need new shields."
As if to confirm his statement, Luloni pointed up to the main view screen which was currently showing an extreme close up of the ship in question. Every one on board could recognize the expression on her face.
"If we live through this," Propriov deadpanned, "I have got to teach you the concept of sarcasm."
"Captain, I have successfully gained access to the unidentified program's operating code," the Science Officer broke in, also deadpanning.
"Excellent, Mr. Frege," the captain reveled in the first good new since this mess had started. "Shut it down, now!"
"Captain, that would be extremely ill-advi--" Frege began, sounding almost determined.
"Shut it down, Frege," Haupt countered, fiercely. "That's an order!"
"Yes, Captain," the dutiful brain cell relented. "Initializing program termination… now."
As the last commands were keyed in at his interface, the lights in the bridge instantly regained their usual brightness. The nauseating rise and fall of the deck ceased as the stabilizers powered on.
"There," the captain grinned victoriously. "Maybe now we can get down to--"
"Captain! We have MASSIVE BLOOD LOSS!"
"Where? When…? How could there have been a hull breach?" Haupt's brief moment of optimism was shattered as he hurled questions at the officer monitoring the ship's circulatory processes. "Out with it, man! Did she bite us or something?"
"No, Sir…" the red-shirted officer answered, looking equally perplexed. "It doesn't make any sense. There's no hull breach. I don't even think any blood has actually left the body, but I'm still getting huge red flags at the system for blood loss and… No… It's us! The blood's draining from us, from the brain!"
"That's impossible!" the captain shouted frantically. "If blood was leaving the brain the lights--"
Before Capt. Haupt could finish his sentence, the cabin lights flickered out. Not dim, like a few moments before. Completely out.
"Mr. Frege," a weak voice spoke in the darkness.
"Yes, Captain," the Science Officer answered, sounding totally unaffected by the turn of events.
"Why was shutting down that program…?"
"'Extremely ill-advised,' Captain?"
"Yes, that. Why was it that?" he asked, fear creeping into his voice.
"During decryption process, Captain, I discovered a coded message recorded by Captain Pate."
Haupt cringed at the mention of the Ron's previous captain. If Pate had set up that program, he'd had a good reason to do it. Pushing aside his dread, the current captain asked a question with almost no chance of an answer that would justify his decision.
"You wouldn't happen to remember what the message said, would you?"
"'Captain Cesar Pate, H. S. S. Ron Stoppable,'" said Frege, in what had to be a pitch perfect imitation. "'Stardate 1060.7… If you're receiving this message, it means that, somehow, this ship has survived all of this. A group of our few remaining brain cells spent days working on this program, but it's too late to do us any good. Like I said, if you're getting this, we won and this program is already up and running. Under no circumstances can you ever try to alter it. Sure the side effects can be annoying, but it's better than taking the chance of that… thing getting loose. It won't be long now… The rest of the body's totally unresponsive. They've drained all the blood out of the command deck. Trapped us in here… our mighty control center is little more than a cage to us, now. The cage won't keep them out forever. We hear them... clawing their way up…
Side-Trekked: "…Where No Man Has Gone Before"
Coming sooner than you think…