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Ain't No Rule Saying a Dog Can't Play Pirate


DJ P4NTSL3SS

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Borite / Sindal (Trojan Reach 2219)
Kesperziaiepr
Aboard the Reclaimer's Intent, Cargo Bay, Borite Downport
019 (Harrier, Week 2) 1105, Imperial


Dazl regards the bodies of his former crewmates as you speak, and when you prompt him he is quick to answer, "Correct / you. Waiting / us." He takes a moment and seems to consider his next 'words' with a look of concentration on his face, "Help / called. Victim / us. Broken / ship." And then, "Attack / fast. Broken / console. Proof / you / seen." He finishes the soup with a long pull on the broth before setting the bowl down, once more knitting his brow as he thinks, "Broken / consoles. Soldier / me. Tech / no." And again her furrows his brow. He huffs - a raw sound, "Radio / on. Vargr / yes."

 


Borite / Sindal (Trojan Reach 2219)
Urien, Rhane, Lindsey, Eirene, Mahan
Aboard the Reclaimer's Intent, Ship's Galley, Borite Downport
019 (Harrier, Week 2) 1105, Imperial


Krrsh wilts a bit at the accusation, "I - look, you spend a few hours playing hide-and-seek with a pair of Chamax hunters! See how chipper you are!" He actually bristles, glaring in spite of his previous apprehensions, "Its been a hell of a time, so I'm not exactly on my best game!" He huffs again, seeming to have found some of his spirit in response to Urien's prodding, "I'm telling you the honest truth! I've got nothing to gain from lying or hiding things. Not after everything." And finally, with that out of his system, he seems to relax slightly again, "The survey was a shot in the dark. The whole planet gets its name from, you know, borite-rich deposits. We were hoping we might find something easy to come back and drop some drones on that the locals maybe wouldn't know about. After Torpol, we were going to need cash for repairs, and to lay low for a bit. Was wanting something small, wouldn't require much for hours or bots to get done." He huffs, shrinking back into his seat, "Fat lot of good that plan was." And as to the last question, he gives another huff, "And like I said: I don't know what the deal was. They used to be thick as thieves! But they had some sort of falling out in private, and now Redthane has a price on his head and was trying to get one of the other Lords to take him in. That was the whole point of the attack on Torpol. Wasn't money or anything. Was just to show we were dangerous. He's probably got Miria trying to sell the whole thing back on Theev, already, as we speak."

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"I think that's enough, Olaf." Mahan says softly but firmly, putting a hand up to call off Solomani. "Let's keep this cordial you two."

Even if his intimidation had failed, the appearance of being able to reign in an unruly and belligerant subordinate could work just as well for reinforcing control over the situation. It was actually a trick he'd learned from Captain Cho during their service in the navy for wrangling unruly spacers outside of Drinax's territory, with Mahan filling the role of the agitator disrupting the normalcy of conversation before Captain Cho showed his control over the scene by reigning in the Ensign. Of course normally they actually discussed it before hand, but Urien seemed like the kind of man who knew how to improvise.

"So, mutiny." Mahan continues after a moment to let the scene settle, noting it down with a slight nod. It was about what he'd expected but it was always important to confirm assumptions when you could. He might not be an investigator but that didn't mean he couldn't grasp the basic principles.

"Who led it against you, and would they have the technical skill on board to repair the Company to jump capable in the past few weeks? Under normal circumstances I'd have assumed it was your second, but you say she was the one keeping the crew in line until her passing. Why wasn't she leading the ship to begin with, if she was the one commanding that much respect from the crew? I was under the impression that Vargr crews tended to gravitate towards leadership struggles, so it strikes me as odd she wouldn't have made a play."

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"Makes sense. I wouldn't know what to do with a smashed console either. Mostly I'm here to shoot things."

The self-effacing quip served to help him hide his discomfort with the situation. The very vargr Dazl probably wanted to tear limb from limb was in this very ship. This was exactly the situation he would have greatly preferred to avoid.

"I guess that just leaves a few more things to figure out. Who owns the Delta Vee and its cargo now, if anyone? Or, let me rephrase, who could lay a claim on it? And how should we go about the funeral arrangements for your crewmates?"

He glances meaningfully at the bodies.

"If anyone knows about next of kin it's probably you. And if anyone present on this world has the last word on how we perform the final farewell, I guess that's you too."

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Eirene observed the spectacle that was unfolding before her eyes with bored expression. Neither the beaten dog act of Krrsh nor the good cop/bad cop routine from her crewmembers managed to crack the stoic facade. Mention of hiding from Chamaxes did. She snorted and gave their prisoner a long and ironical look. "I don't see why, they die easily enough." After that comment she fell silent again.

The Corsair was thinking. They were missing something. Time to attack from a different angle. Her posture haven't changed, she was still lazily slouching against the wall, hands loosely crossed across her chest, but the tone of voice she used was chilly and no-nonsense.

"This is all nice and dandy, but you still haven't mentioned Clarke attack that happened before Torpol", she started phlegmatically, sharp eyes observing Krrsh closely. "Same style of attack, you see. Whose idea it was? Yours or your second in command? The people of that planet are very unhappy with your crew, you know." Well, maybe it wasn't their doing but some other crew, if the story about conflict between pirates was true, but treating him as a main perpetrator would allow them to get another strong reaction that Rahne could use.

Edited by Niraverine (see edit history)
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Borite / Sindal (Trojan Reach 2219)
Kesperziaiepr
Aboard the Reclaimer's Intent, Cargo Bay, Borite Downport
019 (Harrier, Week 2, Day 1) 1105, Imperial


Dazl regards his crewmates. In particular, he seems to linger on the younger of the two women, holding his gaze there. Contemplating.

After some time seeming to just sit on your question, outwardly, his shoulders slump. He signs, "Gone / master." He nods to the man among the three, "Him / only. None / master." And when he seems to focus his attention on funerary arrangements, he hesitates. Once more, he stares at the bodies and purses his lips into a thin line. Finally, "Fire."

He turns to look at the assorted cargo of your own vessel, "Here / cargo / sell. Guns / need. Victim / Borite."

With the cargo bay open to the outside world, you are able to feel the warm air come in on the occasional breeze, beaten back before it goes too far by the ship's own climate control and life support systems. And perhaps it is that breeze, carrying over the trees, that masks the approaching party until you hear the whinny of a horse. A sound mimicked three more times. Several yards out from the base of the ramp, positioned in such a way that they don't fall under the shadow of the long and pointed bow of your ship, a quartet of riders are gathered together on the back of small pony-sized creatures - almost identical to Terran horses save for the four sets of eyes that look back at you. Among them, easily spotted, is Earrod. He has a warm smile on his face, and gives a small wave.

Two of the riders are soldiers, much like those who had first approached. They stay on their mounts, shifting idly with the creatures. Neither seem to be carrying rifles but they are unmistakeably in soldiers' uniforms. The older looking of the pair - still rather young - is chewing on a smoldering cigarette. Clearly the two men have very little interest in what is going on, for the most part.

Another is a woman who looks to be of similar age to the older man. She has shocks of gray at her temples and the otherwise raven-black hair is tucked back into a clean and neatly kept bun, with a braiding circling it. She is dressed in clothing similar to him, though in place of slacks she has a skirt, with an odd article of cloth-lined leather on her legs that look like some form of chaps that clearly mean she is not required to ride side-saddle. She slips from off from her mount, giving it a pat near its short mane, and walks to the base of the ramp, "Excuse me, hello!" She smiles, "I am Administrator Ura Chaln. This is the Reclaimer's Intent, yes? Earrod has told me a great deal!" And then she is fishing in her jacket, and pulling out a small booklet and a pen while looking to Kesper and Dazl sat nearby the assorted crates of goods, "To cut to the quick: I don't suppose you would be in the interest of some light work, star-farers? We'd be so grateful!" She smiles again, waving to Kesper and Dazl once more as if she might have gone unnoticed otherwise.

 


Borite / Sindal (Trojan Reach 2219)
Urien, Rhane, Lindsey, Eirene, Mahan
Aboard the Reclaimer's Intent, Ship's Galley, Borite Downport
019 (Harrier, Week 2, Day 1) 1105, Imperial


Krrsh furrows his brow, "I - how - she was loyal! That's why! Vargr aren't all just fighting all the time!" He huffs at that, rolling his shoulders again, "We'd served together for years! She was loyal to me, and the crew were - were loyal to us." Those last words again seem to make him wilt. He sinks into his chair, grumbling wordlessly as if to himself.

He grinds his teeth forward and back. Clearly, trying to gin up a memory or an idea. Finally, "Takk was one of the figureheads behind it all. He was the one who came storming into the bridge with some boys and guns. I imagine that he's the one who took 'em for... well, probably Theev, if I had to guess." He shrugs, "Takk was a pretty good engineer, and we definitely had the spare parts to make the repairs. At least to stitch things up till we got to a proper shipyard."

And when Clark comes up, he shifts, seemingly only keeping the probing corsair in the corner of his eye.

He huffs, "It wasn't my idea. None of it but hitting the trader and that other ship here in-system. Honest." As if that might buy clemency for lives, "It was all Redthane's idea. We hit Clarke to show that we can pull up tech and loot, we hit Torpol to show that we've got teeth and aren't afraid to tangle with authorities. Really show we're dangerous. Then he gets this story all sold to one of the other Lords, and once we're part of their fleet Darokyn can't touch us any more."

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Well that made the whole affair neat and tidy, didn't it? There was the small problem of Eirene making eyes at that ultralight fighter, but aside from that he doubted everyone else would be opposed to selling the rest of the Delta Vee's cargo here.

"A cremation shouldn't be hard to arrange. I just have one more question for you-oh, one minute."

Noticing the four Borites approaching, he leaped to his feet and made his way down the ramp, stopping near to the end, not quite stepping foot on Borite soil but standing in the way of them coming aboard, nonverbally indicating they should stop where they are.

"Hello hello. I'm Kesper, nice to meet you all and your..." He gestured silently at the horse-like animals for a moment, seemingly reaching for the right word, then gave up and uttered a word in his native Zdetl. It translated roughly to 'thingies'. Diplomacy was not, after all, what he had been trained for. Nor was it foreign language.

Kesper's hand twitched ever so slightly but instinctively toward the pistol on his hip as the administrator carelessly plunged a hand into her jacket, though his smile never faltered. He nearly rolled his eyes when she produced a pen and paper.

"Business? We can talk about business. But you haven't introduced these two men yet."

He pointed at the two yokels bringing up the rear of the party.

Once they were introduced, Kesper looked at them and said, "Nice to meet you as well." Then he turned back to Ura Chaln, "Just a minute, please."

Keying his radio and transmitting to the rest of the crew, he reported, "This is Kesper to all. I have representatives from the Borite Continuity Authority at the cargo bay ramp with a proposal for us."

Edited by Sneaksby (see edit history)
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Borite / Sindal (Trojan Reach 2219)
Kesperziaiepr, Urien
Aboard the Reclaimer's Intent, Cargo Bay, Borite Downport
019 (Harrier, Week 2, Day 1) 1105, Imperial

"Hrmm." Urien let the stare hang for a minute before slowly returning to his seat, crossing his arms. As much as he enjoyed tormenting the Vargr for information, there was too many cooks involved. Maybe he would check on the wolf man later, at an unspecified time and date. With actual truth serum - that went on his internal checklist. His arm buzzed.

Looking down at his multi-function device wrapped around his arm, Urien saw the notification that was reserved for approaching unknowns by the ship's loading ramp. Raising an eyebrow, he stood up with a grunt and summoned Astrid to his side with a click of his tongue. "Someone is by the ramp." He told Mahan quietly, making sure that the Vargr couldn't hear his words. "Finish up with Fido here, we will want to offload the goods as well. I do not think this planet has much for us specifically, so I would rather us depart for anywhere civilized." He flashed the vial of water to Krrsh, and then pocketed it with an evil, smug grin.

With that he left the galley and made his way to the cargo bay's loading ramp. He leaned against one of the mechanical supports behind Kesper and Dazl - close enough to listen to the conversation, far away enough that he could run to the emergency shut off button and close up the ramp, in case the locals tried storming them.

While he made no moves to his weapon, he made sure that it was visible to all parties. An exercise in trust that was undercut with Astrid mewing like a babe, running between Kesper's legs with her tail raised up. She was eager to greet the guests that didn't smell like an oversized dog, and not even the large horse offended her as much as Krrsh did.

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"Are we sure we didn't catch an Aslan in disguise?", Eirene inquired with raised eyebrows. "The attitude checks."

Her eyes followed the retreating form of Urien, her jaw set, then she shook her head after the door closed. "Apologies for Olaf, he doesn't really understand some ways of proper conduct", she started slowly, her mind already raking through possibilities. Their unfortunate and unwilling passenger was just a tool, and not a very sharp one. Sure, they could bring him to Torpol's authorities and maybe get some sort of reward but then he will definitely point to actual perpetrators and their hunt will start anew. No, it would be much better to keep the man as a grateful and chatty contact then go for a bigger fish. Like that Silverhand lass or at least Krrsh's own mutinous crew. "He's a cat person, 'fraid it skewed his sense of civility", she finished with a smirk then pulled a chair towards herself and turned it so its backrest was in front of her. Before taking a seat corsair glanced at Mahan and mouthed a silent "A moment of talk when we're done", then flopped on the chair, arms hanging over the top of the backrest, whole body once more lazily slouching forward.

"So one last question and you may finally relax. What can you tell us about that Miria? Sounds she is nearly as vital for Ferrik as your lieutenant was for you."

Edited by Niraverine (see edit history)
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Borite / Sindal (Trojan Reach 2219)
Kesperziaiepr, Urien
Aboard the Reclaimer's Intent, Cargo Bay, Borite Downport
019 (Harrier, Week 2) 1105, Imperial


Dazl rises to his feet and follows Kesper to the ramp, though he stays up at the top end of it, still able to enjoy the shade provided by the ship itself while watching the whole assembly. He even turns to look over his shoulder at Urien as he approaches, giving the Solomani man a nod of acknowledgement.

Administrator Ura purses her lips and looks about, and it is immediately obvious that she is ensuring you are all relatively 'alone'. Earrod and the two men who are clearly acting as escorts - Junior Corporal Jurod and Private 2nd Rate Pestin - are far enough back as to be considered out of earshot barring technology or powers as-yet undisclosed, but it seems she is still worried that other actors may be nearby. But after she glances around the relatively open surroundings, she seems satisfied that only your crew are within earshot, "Yes, well, of course. Sorry for secrecy." She gives a strained smile, "The matter I was hoping to commission you and your crew for is very important. It requires total secrecy." She steps just a bit closer to the edge of the ramp, closer to Kesper, "If you weren't outsiders, I'd be less willing to speak about this with you. I think you'll learn that the Oghman have spies everywhere."

She steps back again, taking up a more conversational posture once more, "The issue is with one of our mines. The atmospheric pumps have failed. I'm certain for star-farers like you it won't be any issue, but for us... " And she winces, shame-faced, "Even Earrod only knows so much. And people like him are worth their weight in gold. And since he says you all seem charitable and kind sorts, we were wondering if you might be willing to help us. Maybe your engineer could ride out with Earrod and an escort to fix the mine's pumps?" Suddenly, as if realizing she omitted it, she adds, "We can pay, of course. And we'll happily provide tools if you are willing and able to provide parts."

 


Borite / Sindal (Trojan Reach 2219)
Rhane, Lindsey, Eirene, Mahan
Aboard the Reclaimer's Intent, Ship's Galley, Borite Downport
019 (Harrier, Week 2) 1105, Imperial


Krrsh grumbles as Urien leaves, clearly something about the name 'Fido' being uttered under his breath.

But as Eirene takes a seat to level a question, he seems to come to attention. He nods, "Yeah. Her name is Miria Silverhand. I haven't interacted with her much - she mostly works on special assignments for Redthane - but, yeah. She's pretty important for him. Like I said, even if he hadn't told us I would guess she would be who he had speaking with the other Lords for him." He shudders, "She's cold. A mean little ice queen... "

After a long moment of staring into the bowl he's emptied, he seems to snap out of it, giving a whole-body shake with bristling fur, "Gonna warn you now: she's just as cagey as Redthane. I think that's why they get along so well. So if you go hunting after her, keep your head on a swivel."

Edited by DJ P4NTSL3SS (see edit history)
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Mahan takes down all that the Vargr describes on his notepad. Finally he sets it down and rises to his feet, reaching a hand out for the pirate captain to shake.

"Well, Krrsh, I thank you for your time. For the time being, you may make your lodging in the crew cabin closest to the bridge. I would advise you to stay inside, as we do have a marine from the Delta Vee onboard and I'd like to minimize altercations. Rahne, I'll entrust him to you for now. Feel free to wrap up, I don't think he'll cause much trouble for you."

As he steps away from the table he gives a nod to the remaining crewmate staying with the Vargr before stepping out towards the entry ramp. Halfway there, he stops and turns towards the only actual pirate of their pirate crew.

"What do you need, Eirene? Something he say tip you off?"

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"Not really, he seems earnest in that sad, kicked puppy way, but I have a suggestion. One that may seriously irritate few people", Eirene started slowly, voice low.

"He is a small, guilty, and not necessarily bright fish but he may be useful in the future. Why don't we take him up on his offer of putting a good word for us?", she raised her hand, a silent plea not to be interrupted and continued after a beat. "I know, not how the Navy would deal with the issue, but those contacts of his may be more valuable than whatever prize Torpol would pay us for one pushover that will definitely deny involvement in an attack." She paused and stayed silent for a moment, waiting for any protests or questions that could come.

"If we decided to let him go it would have to be sooner rather than later. Our other guest doesn't strike me as someone who would wait for any higher power to punish those who wronged him and may break Krrsh's neck if he figures out who we have on board... and it's not difficult to put two and two together."

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"We do have some crewmates with engineering knowledge, and probably spare parts too. I think we could make an arrangement."

He placed his hands on his hips, kept an open and relaxed body language. For what he was about to propose, he didn't want to come off like one of the swaggering, domineering thugs that victimized this planet.

"First I want to ask something of you, since we're doing you this favor. We know your world prohibits most firearms, which is reasonable. We have nothing but respect for your laws. But we also know the raiders target the educated and literate, and that includes myself and all of our crew. As head of security on the ship I'm responsible for their safety. So I'm obligated to ask that you give each of special permission to carry a weapon while on Borite soil for self defense. Nothing big. A sidearm for each of my crewmates."

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"As it happens," Mahan replies, "I agree. It's why I suggested giving him amnesty - he will better use as an asset than a bounty, especially when we can honestly tell Torpol he was toppled in a mutiny. My only concern is that if we're heading straight to Theev our options are to spend the next dozen odd weeks in transit, or trust Krrsh that the fuel depot is where he says it is. While I agree on your assessment that he's earnest, jumping into the void is an exercise in trust and pegging our fates to his is a good way of ensuring he's honest about the jump coordinates."

He sighs and shakes his head.

"Unfortunately, I think you're right. If we keep him and Cat-Killer on board, there'll be an incident. We'll be heading for Theev next which I... just don't know much about. It's the heart of the Theev Cluster, with all the baggage that implies, but I've never been. It should make for a decent place to drop him off and, assuming he wasn't lying, tap into his network for our own ends. The only issue is, can we keep the two of them apart for two weeks on the jump? Only other option is to drop him off here at Borite, and either give him transit later or tell him to find his own way. Maybe find him some sort of temp job with the locals for room and board until we can come back to pick him up."

Mahan takes a moment to mull over the options now that he'd laid them out in the air.

"I think leaving him here might be our best bet. We get him off the ship before he's found out, and he can't run far if he doesn't live up to his end of the bargain. Not that it'll matter if we've all starved to death in empty space, but I'm willing to take the gamble that there's a fuel dump there. Theev couldn't be the hub it is on J-3 traffic alone, so there has to be a connection into Sindal."

Edited by Emmettmcglynn (see edit history)
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Borite / Sindal (Trojan Reach 2219)
Kesperziaiepr, Urien
Aboard the Reclaimer's Intent, Cargo Bay, Borite Downport
019 (Harrier, Week 2) 1105, Imperial

Urien scratched an itch, but said nothing. Their request was reasonable, but nothing of the immediate surrounding area spoke to him about the presence of a mine. Granted, they had suggested that it would be a journey to get there, but. . .

He went back inside the ship to pick up a few tools from the nearby ship's locker. Their offer for tools was generous, but like their planet he didn't have a high opinion of their 'tools'. More than likely, it would be a few homemade hammers, wrenches and screwdrivers. Nothing in comparison to finely machined and measured tools that were the galactic standard. He made a quick pitstop by Mahan and Eirene, lugging his toolbelt over his shoulder and a toolkit under his arm. "The locals are asking for help with some machinery down by the mines."

He paused, then added: "There is a mine around here so we might be gone for a bit. We should be back by the end of the day." Urien lingered briefly to glance back at the ship's galley, then walked down to the landing bay.

"Anneer shifted ona pit-pump 'fore."I have never worked on a mine atmospheric pump before. He drawled in his best impression of a spacer mechanic from the depths of Solomani space. Pipe-talk was a linguistic development of coherent speeches - or devolution in Urien's eyes - among many of the deep spacers.

"Cannae two licks ey? Hoofer's d'pit?It can't be too difficult eh? How far is the mine?"

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Borite / Sindal (Trojan Reach 2219)
Kesperziaiepr, Urien
Aboard the Reclaimer's Intent, Cargo Bay, Borite Downport
019 (Harrier, Week 2) 1105, Imperial


Administrator Ura watches Kesper for a moment, visibly weighing the request with pursed lips, before continuing in fluent but slow Galanglic, "I... suppose we could make a limited allowance. Your engineer would be welcome to carry a long-arm while riding out with Earrod, for protection. And there will be the guards, of course. We would never ask for such valuable personnel to go un-escorted. I'm told that's common practice elsewhere, as well." She gives Kesper a small smile, someone who is speaking to cultures they have never experienced, "Else-wise I would ask you... not. Or at least, nothing beyond the out-buildings of the service area. And that you keep it to something small, on the hip. To avoid causing unrest among the public."

When Urien approaches, she seems somewhat taken aback by the rough accent coming from the man. She visibly discards the shock with a shake of the head and a strained, polite laugh after looking him head to toe, "Oh I - I believe perhaps I didn't make the nature of the matter clear. You would be riding out. Its perhaps two days of riding out to the mine? And then perhaps another two to three days securing and checking all of the pumps, according to Earrod. With another two days return, that leaves a total of a week's time. We would be happy to provision you a mount, supplies." She frowns as she looks up above all of you to the 'neck' of your vessel still sat over her head, "And I would ask that this - I'm sure, very fine vessel - not be used." She takes another step closer, "I have spoken with Earrod, and the workers who found the issue. They fear Oghman sabotage. And if any of their spies were to realize we had such a vessel contracted to us? Here, now? Well... " Her frown deepens. She doesn't continue, at first, seeming to let the unspoken point linger.

Finally, "We could pay, of course. While we do not have reliable access to credits, we have assorted rare minerals and goods that we estimate to be of approximately Cr 5,000 in value. If that would be sufficient."

Dazl none-too-subtly shifts sideways across the ramp to stand directly beside Kesper, giving him a small elbow in the side, "Gives / time. Go / cargo." And he nods his head back to the cargo bay, still packed with crate-loads of industrial goods and supplies, before gesturing vaguely skyward.

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