The steam had diminished completely in the Central Chamber on Tier
17. Aeryn, D 'Argo, and John sat nearby, observing the mess they
had tried to clean up the best they could. Each one of them was
covered in amnexus fluid and soot. Their faces were drawn in exhaustion.
"John. I...I 'm sorry for how I acted yesterday. I didn 't
mean to harm you." D 'Argo stated unexpectedly. John looked
to D 'Argo, noting the sincerity in his eyes.
"I know big guy, I know." John said, nodding his head
and looking down at his hands. He was still rubbing them with a
rag, trying to clean off the amnexus fluid.
"I don 't know what came over me. With Jothee approaching me
and everything...." D 'Argo said, looking down at the floor.
John and Aeryn turned to look at D 'Argo with stern expressions.
"What do you mean? What are you talking about, D 'Argo?"
Aeryn asked. She thought of her own chance meeting with a few PeaceKeeper
"On the commerce planet. Jothee was there. He had a deal for
me." D 'Argo stated and looked back up to face John with the
truth once and for all. John looked at D 'Argo suspiciously, feeling
those rattlers begin to shake his stomach.
"D 'Argo, what aren 't you telling us?" John asked, slightly
nervous. He remembered his telltale dream from the day before.
"Jothee had a message from Scorpius. If I turned you in, he
would be freed. We would be together once again." D 'Argo answered,
his voice lowering in shame. John stood up immediately upon hearing
Scorpius 's name and backed away from his friends with disbelief.
"What?!" John exclaimed.
"I knew it was too good to be true. Jothee did not want anything
to do with me. I didn 't want to do it...but, John, I have been
separated from him for too long." D 'Argo reasoned, holding
his hands out and looking to his friend. John shook his head slowly.
Aeryn glanced at him and then looked down at the floor as well.
"I was also approached by someone." Aeryn admitted. John
dropped his mouth open and looked directly at Aeryn with anger forming
in his face.
"Let me guess, you were reinstated to the PeaceKeepers."
John stated sarcastically. Aeryn 's head shot up and she stared
at him in shock. John straightened his posture and held out his
hands. "I can 't believe this. I just...frell. How am I supposed
to trust any of you?"
"We just told you things we 're not proud of. We 're still
here, aren 't we? We didn 't do anything to offend you so back off."
Aeryn retorted angrily. John dismissed her anger.
"I don 't give a flying frell what you admitted. You considered
them. That 's enough." John replied, almost shouting.
"What were we supposed to do when we thought you had blasted
a hole through your head? We rush to find you, turns out you didn
't commit suicide, and then you go off and don 't even apologize
for deceiving us." Aeryn exploded with anger. She stood to
face John. John looked away, releasing a long steady breath.
"We have to stay together if we want to survive." Aeryn
said in a calmer, softer voice.
"Half an arn ago, you asked us to trust you." D 'Argo
said, standing to join Aeryn. He looked at John with the same sincere
eyes. "We do."
"Trust. That 's not something I take lightly." John stated.
He closed his eyes briefly, thinking hard. He could feel the weight
of all the dren he had been dealt pushing down on him, pressuring
him. He had come to a frightening world where life and death was
the only way of survival. These aliens had become his only structure
in the insane Uncharted Territories. He had to trust them. He had
done so naturally for nearly two cycles. In the end of any given
day 's struggles, standing in the wake of the aftermath, they all
stood strong...united. The connection with these aliens ran far
too deep for John to just turn his back on them once and for all.
"We are here to stand with you. We did not fall to our weaknesses,
whether they were illusions or not." Aeryn pointed out.
She stepped forward until she was standing within denches of John.
She gave him a sincere, trusting stare. John felt compelled in her
gaze. He realized these beings had loyalties even beyond those of
family. They would do whatever it took to fight for one another
's lives. John smiled at Aeryn. He leaned in, not caring whether
D 'Argo was standing nearby. John pressed his warm lips to Aeryn
's, receiving the same pressure back from her. The two became lost
to each other momentarily. D 'Argo rolled his eyes, took a deep
breath, and headed off to Command.
John and Aeryn broke from their kiss and smiled at each other gently.
They felt more strongly than ever that the future would remain bright
for both of them.
John and Aeryn entered Command to see D 'Argo had already arrived
there. He was staring out the view screen, with a perplexed expression.
Chiana stood nearby, her face expressionless. Zhaan stood close
to the view screen, observing the exploding destruction of both
PeaceKeeper and Scarran ships several metras from their current
"They have not advanced any further." D 'Argo informed
them as they came to his side. "But the Nebari have arrived
and taken up protective guard with Antarus."
John looked to Chiana to see her reaction to D 'Argo 's observation.
She displayed nothing.
"No transmissions? No word from any of them? History is repeating
itself. This is just getting a little too weird for me." John
stated. The crew was briefly reminded of their position when the
war had originally begun. John couldn 't believe that no enemy ship
had tried to dock Moya yet, save shooting them into oblivion.
"That 's Talyn. When did he arrive?" Aeryn asked her voice
rising with concern as she recognized the little battleship docked
"Half an arn ago." Rygel stated. He drove his thronesled
into Command to join the rest of the crew. Zhaan looked at him suspiciously
for a moment. Only she and Chiana had witnessed the arrival of Talyn.
She wondered how he could possibly have known.
Moya shook violently, sending the crew to the floor with harsh force.
The shaking did not cease as the crew struggled to regain their
balances. Pilot 's frail image briefly appeared on the clamshell.
"Moya...seizure...ver...si...." Pilot tried to communicate
to them. His holo image disappeared.
The lights dimmed and a cold rush of air began to fill into Command.
The shaking finally stopped giving the crew a chance to regain balance.
Rygel wildly struggled with his thronesled as the center of gravity
was briefly thrown off balance.
"What the frell was that?" D 'Argo demanded to know. He
clambered up and held onto the edge of the strategy table in the
event of another sudden movement.
"Did they fire on us?" Chiana asked, straightening.
"It was Moya." Aeryn answered, a feeling of uneasiness
rising in the pit of her stomach. She looked to John and saw he
was thinking the same thing...they had to act now.
John stepped up to the view screen, rubbing his mouth with his hand
thoughtfully. He looked through the view screen, at the chaos before
them. He caught a glimpse of Zhaan out the corner of his eye, looking
at him with an odd expression. He only dismissed it as the anger
she still harbored toward him. Something clicked in his mind...telling
him what he knew all along. John spoke swiftly as he turned to face
his shipmates with a dead serious expression.
"I 'm going to Antarus. Scorpius and I need to have a little
"What?" Aeryn, D 'Argo, and Chiana cried in unison. Rygel
nearly fell off his thronesled.
"Don 't you remember what happened last time? You gave yourself
up to Scorpius! You nearly died." Chiana enraged. John only
blinked at her statement. He had expected these reactions from his
shipmates. Nothing would change his mind.
"How do you know Scorpius is on Antarus?" Zhaan inquired,
eyeing him suspiciously as she spoke.
"He 's there. Somehow, I know, okay?" John said, looking
at Zhaan directly. Aeryn walked up to John to confront him with
anger spread over her face.
"You 're crazy. I did not think you wanted to kill yourself
before...but now I 'm not so sure." Aeryn spat. John gave her
a trusting stare, confusing her even more.
"Aeryn, when we were on Antarus, we became angrier and angrier
with each other. Don 't you get it? Antarus is just a trap care
of Scorpius. We took the bait." John explained.
"You 're not making any sense, as usual Crichton." Rygel
"Now is the time you need to trust me. I have a plan...I can
't tell you the specifics yet. I 'm going to see Scorpius. When
I return...." John said and Aeryn began to speak but he continued
over her words. "When I return, we will escape together. Moya
will be ready to go when we need her."
"This is fahrbot! What could you possibly have planned? The
war is far too massive for us to simply vanish. Have you forgotten
Moya can 't even starburst?" D 'Argo charged.
"D 'Argo, trust me! I 've got a plan. All I need you to do
is stay here and wait." John informed him.
"Wait for what?" Chiana asked before D 'Argo could even
get the words out of his mouth.
"The signal." John said.
"What signal?" Aeryn urged.
"You 'll know it when you see it. I am the first human to enter
this space. So by God, I 'm going to leave a little something behind
they won 't soon forget!" John stated, his eyes blazing with
determination. He smiled at his shipmates. They were almost shocked
by his smile. How this human of all of them could be so calm at
their deadliest hour was even beyond Zhaan.
The module glistened, even in the dimmed lighting of the docking
bay aboard Moya. John ran his fingers smoothly over the front of
his project he had taken pride in since the first blueprint was
drawn up. Nearly two years of hard work and set back after set back
had brought him up to the point of D-day: the day of his demise
on Earth. That one fateful day that carried him to the present.
John breathed heavily, and turned on his heel to face his five shipmates
standing in a row before him, staring on in sadness.
They looked upon him as a man with honor and bravery. He literally
would die for each and every one of them, so they could live another
day...just as he was doing now. He never judged them or ridiculed
them for their beliefs. The human accepted them for who they were
and offered them unconditional support. Though recent times had
stretched these virtues thin, the crew still put their faith in
this man, trusting him. Trust to the point that they did not question
this mysterious plan he was about to initiate.
John walked up to Zhaan first. She looked into his eyes only for
a moment, feeling unworthy after her recent betrayal. She could
still sense issues unresolved between them. John remained silent
with a nod and moved on to Chiana. They embraced in a hug, as Chiana
grew tearful. They separated and John stepped over to Rygel.
"While I don 't agree with what you 're doing, I do trust you
will do what is right." Rygel stated. John was beginning to
feel pride for the little slug who often displayed ruthlessness
for others. John patted Rygel on the head softly and moved on to
D 'Argo. No one caught the sudden glowing smile that formed onto
Rygel 's froggy lips.
"Same as what Rygel said." D 'Argo said quietly, not wanting
to actually have to agree with the Hynerian. John nodded with a
smile; he was about to move on to Aeryn when D 'Argo grabbed his
arm gently. "We trust you, John."
"I know you do. You wouldn 't let me go alone, otherwise."
John said, giving his friend a steady gaze. He then turned to Aeryn.
Her eyes were tearful, as her emotions could no longer remain hidden.
She had finally come to terms with her feelings for the human. And
now their future was bleak. She mentally kicked herself for not
revealing her true feelings to John sooner. But somehow, the human
already knew what she was thinking. He drew her close for a hug.
Aeryn embraced him tenderly.
"Come back to us alive." Aeryn ordered in the strongest
voice she could find. John almost chuckled at her persona. No matter
how weak she was in the emotions department, she could always be
the strong ex-PeaceKeeper soldier at the most opportune times. John
placed a quick, gentle kiss on Aeryn 's lips and swiftly turned
away from his shipmates.
John entered his module and fired the ship up. The remaining crew
stepped away and watched whole-heartedly as the module disappeared
into space. As the module grew smaller and smaller, Aeryn remained
in place, the others slowly breaking away to go to Command. Her
heart filled with pride for the human...John Crichton was finally
going to be the hero, no longer standing in the shadow of his father.
"Scorpius, we received a transmission from Moya. John Crichton
is coming aboard Antarus." A PeaceKeeper Officer informed the
half-breed. Scorpius stood at the view screen, observing the ship
as if he was studying her every movement. Scorpius turned at this
announcement with a pleased yet puzzled expression.
"What are you up to John Crichton?" Scorpius wondered
out loud. The PeaceKeeper Officer stood at attention, waiting for
"Thank you, officer. That will be all." Scorpius stated,
realizing the officer was still in his presence. The officer nodded
and marched out of Command. Scorpius cocked his head and looked
back out at Moya through the view screen, a smile forming on his
"You never cease to surprise me, John."
"Scorpius! What is the meaning of this?" Crais charged
into Command, his face set in anger. Scorpius turned with a smile
and waited for Crais to continue, even though he already knew what
his concerns were. "You have given orders to seize Talyn? You
cannot separate him from his captain...we are physically linked!"
"The objective of this war is to gain technology and ownership
of the Uncharted Territories. Talyn is...well, a prize. The Scarrans,
the Nebari, and especially the PeaceKeepers would like to capture
him and we can 't have that. He stays close to Antarus; he will
thrive." Scorpius explained to Crais. He circled Crais as he
"Are they also in pursuit of John Crichton? I would think he
is a higher commodity than that of a young battleship with little
experience." Crais pointed out wryly. Scorpius paused, turning
his head to look at Crais with an annoyed expression.
"My orders stand." Scorpius hissed. Crais turned fully
to face Scorpius with a glare.
"I created my Federation in the wake of the crumble of the
PeaceKeepers. I have over one hundred ships in my fleet already.
I no longer require reporting to you, Scorpius!" Crais argued.
A smug smile formed on his face as he read Scorpius 's angered expression.
Without waiting for a reply, Crais swiftly charged out of Command,
headed back to his ship.
Scorpius snarled in his wake. He turned back to observe the events
playing out the view screen. He could see John Crichton 's module
exiting Moya and heading for Antarus. He smiled once again. Scorpius
walked over to the communications console.
"Lt. Braca." Scorpius asked for the officer over the comms.
"Yes, sir?" Lt. Braca 's steady voice replied.
"Crais has betrayed me. Kill him." Scorpius stated flatly.
He ended the transmission and stepped back with satisfaction. His
plan was playing out better than he had anticipated.
Aboard Moya, things were beginning to look grave. The crew stayed
together in Command, anxiously pacing and observing the battle,
each lost in thought. Tier 17 was completely off limits by now,
as the tear in Moya 's exterior began to wreak havoc on the entire
tier. Pilot was no longer able to maintain atmospherics in the tier,
nor establish connection with any DRDs in the area.
A loud hissing sound played into the storage bay of Tier 17, followed
by an echoing slam. A Nebari fighter ship had boarded Moya, undetected.
The ship had entered through the large tear.
Moments of silence followed before the inhabitants of the ship exited.
A blast disrupted the silence from the back of the ship toward the
tear. A thin, clear gelatin-like patch formed over the tear, creating
a breathable, manageable atmosphere once again in the storage bay.
The bluish gray inhabitants of the ship opened the hatch and entered
onto Moya, armed.
"There was a chip implanted in his neck. There was no way to
remove it." Zhaan stated to the crew as they waited in agony
for any communication from John. Her sudden revelation startled
the crew. They stared at her in disbelief. Aeryn stepped forward,
her heart pounding in shock.
"What are you talking about, Zhaan?" Aeryn asked with
panic rising in her voice. The visions of Scorpius John had confessed
to her had been real.
"Scorpius planted a version of himself within John when he
had him in the Aurora Chair. John only revealed this to me when
he had recently fallen to the hands of Scorpius. When he returned,
I tried to remove it, but the chip sent some sort of signal to the
equipment, damaging my scans." Zhaan answered. She thought
of her recent conversation with Scorpius. She needed to contact
him again... soon.
"That would explain his strange behavior." D 'Argo reasoned,
looking to Aeryn. Aeryn didn 't like the feeling that was creeping
up on her. She was worried...extremely worried.
"He told me it was no longer effective. Now I 'm not so sure."
Zhaan replied with a sigh. Her loyalties were swaying.
"You don 't think this chip could be controlling his thoughts,
his actions, do you?" Chiana pondered, stepping forward. A
strong sinking sensation was forming in her stomach.
"I sincerely hope not." Rygel stated as he watched the
human 's tiny module disappear inside Antarus on the view screen.
"Or we 're all dead."
Moya shook in the repercussion of another blast from the battle.
The interior lighting flickered. The crew exchanged anxious glances.
"Pilot is frightened and alone. I will keep him company."
Zhaan decided. She walked out of Command, her shipmates watching
her leave in silence.
"Inform us of any new updates regarding our situation."
D 'Argo ordered after her. He looked back to Aeryn. They read each
other perfectly. Things had to get worse before they were to get
better. And no one knew this better than John Crichton.
Zhaan paused near the galley. She glanced behind her, scanning the
hall to assure no one had followed her. She ducked into the galley
and made sure the door closed swiftly behind her. Once barricaded
inside, Zhaan traveled over to the small view screen. She activated
the comms to Scorpius and waited for a reply. A low chuckle confirmed
her hushed query.
"Zhaan, so nice to hear from you again. I remember informing
you that I would contact you." Scorpius stated slyly, appearing
on the view screen.
"I have something to tell you." Zhaan replied steadily.
"John Crichton has surrendered himself to me. I no longer require
your services." Scorpius said, not caring what Zhaan had to
say any longer. He grinned at her with his thin lips and jagged
"Then we are in agreement. I no longer require your services,
either." Zhaan reported her face set in a stern, steady gaze.
Scorpius 's smile faltered a moment. Was this Delvian conspiring
"You have little time left, Delvian. Danger lurks where you
do not see it." Scorpius said with a hiss. Zhaan grew angry.
"No, Scorpius. You are the one who 's in danger!" Zhaan
threatened and ended the transmission. Her emotions running high,
Zhaan leaned back on the table in the galley to gather her thoughts.
Her heart was racing and her mind began to clear. She felt extreme
shame and guilt for her actions. In order to save her shipmates,
she had done what was necessary.
Zhaan gathered her wits and pushed herself off from the table. She
opened the door to the hall and glanced around once more, assuring
herself that no one was near. She then proceeded on down the hall,
headed for Pilot 's den.
Rygel emerged from the shadows near a corner in the hall. His face
set with dread.
John walked slowly out of the docking bay on Antarus, observing
the sleek PeaceKeeper persona that had taken over the Leviathan.
He walked with caution up to Lt. Braca, who was smiling smugly as
he awaited the human. Two officers stood on either side of the Lieutenant.
John nodded to Lt. Braca. Surprised, the lieutenant stared at the
human and continued his gaze as the human swiftly passed him and
the officers by, headed for Command.
"He 's arrived and is heading towards you." Lt. Braca
reported into his comms as he stared into John 's back with hatred.
With his mind set on the matters at hand, John felt no rattlers
in his stomach. He experienced no feelings of fear. The moment he
had been waiting for, dreaming of for so long, had finally arrived.
He would face Scorpius and kill him.
Walking on through the twisting halls, John barely noticed the transformations
that had taken place since the last time he had boarded Antarus.
The walls were straighter and more rigid, colored in a bright PeaceKeeper
red. The once gentle, innocent scientist full of wonder had become
a brutal, callous individual, eager to kill. All he had his sight
set on was a future for Moya and his shipmates.
As John rounded a corner, he ran into Captain Crais, who had been
angrily charging back to his ship. Crais stopped short, staring
at John with anger and puzzlement. John stared back at him with
"Today is not a day for heroism, Crichton. Scorpius will do
whatever it takes to get what he wants. I would leave as quickly
as I could if I were you." Crais stated his hands formed into
fists at his side.
"Sounds like something only a coward, such as yourself, would
do." John bit back, accenting his words as he stared into Crais
' narrowed eyes. Crais shook his head slightly with a tight grin.
"I 'm not the one walking into a trap without a hezmana of
an idea as to what it could be, am I? Good luck, John Crichton.
You will need it." Crais stated, patting his hand on John 's
rigid right shoulder as he passed him by. John turned his head to
watch Crais leave with a piercing glare.
An uncontrollable rage was beginning to roll within him. John took
a deep breath, trying to calm himself. Heading into any confrontation
with Scorpius would be lethal if he allowed his emotions to control
his actions. He had to think smart. He was an intelligent being,
unique to the Uncharted Territories. John still had a few tricks
up his sleeve.
He advanced through the hall, arriving closer to Command. Aeryn
and his other shipmates entered into his mind. All the suffering
they had endured...especially Pilot and Moya. John could not have
them suffer at his expense. This would be the final confrontation
with Scorpius for John...if he did not succeed, there would be nothing
left to fight for. Trust me. John had begged his shipmates. They
were ready and willing, after all they had been through.
Finally, John arrived in Command. The only being within stood tall
and dark, facing the view screen in silence. John swallowed hard.
He had not advanced one step when Scorpius turned swiftly to face
him, a grin plastered onto his scarred face. Even now, John 's heart
skipped a beat whenever he encountered this demon. He stepped forward.
The closer he came to his nemesis, the better look he got at the
damage he had caused not too long ago.
The scar was long and deep, stretching from Scorpius 's right cheekbone,
back to beyond where his thermal suit revealed his face. A satisfying
smile slowly began to form on John 's lips. He had struck Scorpius
in a place he would never forget.
"John Crichton. What a pleasant surprise." Scorpius stated
with his arms held out.
"Cut the chit chat, Scorpy. What are you doing here?"
John asked in a low voice as he glared at his nemesis. Scorpius
opened his mouth and stepped forward, but John reached for his weapon
holstered on his thigh. Scorpius stopped, titled his head briefly,
"I do not need to engage in the war, for I have no concerns
over the Uncharted Territories. It was a mere fortunate coincidence
we encountered the war. Bringing Moya here, with the help of Antarus,
only secured my plan to capture you. Moya is ill, is she not? If
I did not get what I needed, all I had to do was lead Moya into
the battle. She wouldn 't last for longer than a microt, wouldn
't you agree?" Scorpius grinned as he motioned towards the
view screen behind him. The war was full-fledged by now. John noted
the Scarran and PeaceKeeper ships racing madly towards one another,
firing upon and destroying everything in their path as they traveled
forth. Scorpius began to walk to his left. John followed him with
his untrusting eyes, standing armed and ready. Scorpius stopped
at the communications console.
"I 've got them all distracted, shall we proceed?" A familiar
voice carried over the comms as Scorpius activated it. He grinned
with satisfaction at John, who in return laughed crazily and shook
his head at the recording.
"Zhaan was in on it the whole time, huh? Figures! The blue
bitch never did understand the loyalty of friendship." John
said with a smile. Zhaan had encouraged the crew, no forced the
crew onto Antarus. Frell, she had even encouraged their madness.
Things began to fall into place. John 's smile quickly disappeared,
though, as he concentrated on matters at hand. "I 'm here to
give you an ultimatum, Scorpius. You leave Antarus alone now, and
I won 't kill you slowly."
Scorpius chuckled at the threat as he circled John. John turned
to watch Scorpius carefully, always being sure to keep his back
away from the deceitful being.
"Quite a coincidence. I have an ultimatum for you, John."
Scorpius smiled, stopping in his advance around the human. John
narrowed his eyes in question and cocked his head. He had prepared
himself to expect anything...but that was beginning to wear thin.
"You have the equations. I want them. If not, Moya and your
friends will be executed immediately." Scorpius stated and
motioned with his eyes towards Moya. John, puzzled, stepped forward
to glance out the view screen. Several Nebari ships had taken up
residence alongside the frail Moya. He had not anticipated the presence
of the Nebari. This turn of events would surely alter John 's plan.
The display only angered him further. He spun around to look at
Scorpius, who had moved in to stand where John had stood previously.
His hatred for the being was swelling.
"I 'm quite surprised by you, John. For the intelligence you
have displayed to me, I would have thought by now, you would have
seen the trap for what it really was. You never even saw it coming,
John." Scorpius continued.
"Antarus. He 's not really Leviathan." John confirmed
"Not quite. He 's Leviathan...with PeaceKeeper genetics, like
Talyn. Only Antarus was originally a pure Leviathan until his capture
and injection of genetic samples. It could not have been a more
successful experiment. We 're both scientists, John. The results
are fascinating, aren 't they?" Scorpius explained, growing
excited over his project.
"You captured an innocent Leviathan and destroyed his life...sounds
familiar." John stated with a sour tone.
"More than you will ever know." Scorpius stated, staring
deep into John 's eyes. Uneasy under his stare, John looked away
"Did you think it would actually work? The Uncharted Territories
is a large place. How did Antarus find us in the first place?"
John inquired. He couldn 't believe Scorpius was actually sharing
so much information.
"Moya has continuously emitted transmissions to Talyn and he
had finally responded. It wasn 't long before we discovered your
location and starburst him to you." Scorpius answered. John
studied his grinning face.
"I don 't believe any of this." John said just to see
what Scorpius 's reply would be. He got a surprise.
"How did you think I came up with the name of this ship? I
know what 's in your mind, John. Each and every little memory. Like
I said before, you never saw it coming." Scorpius replied his
grin baring all his jagged, rotten teeth. John stepped back in shock.
He had always known the answers. He just didn 't want to face them.
"The suicide? It wasn 't real...." John feared to ask,
looking around at the strange ship once more.
"It was an ultimatum as well. An implanted memory of sorts.
It did happen...as only a realization of things to come." Scorpius
confirmed. John widened his eyes in horror. The anger within began
swirling into madness once more.
John lunged at Scorpius, screaming to startle him. Scorpius reared
back in surprise, only to be knocked to the floor. John struck him
in the face, centered on his healing scar. Scorpius hissed in pain.
With immense strength, Scorpius shoved John off of him and sailing
into the air. John landed hard on the edge of a console, falling
to the floor. He gasped for air, holding his chest in pain. John
rested his head on the cool floor of the ship and looked up with
his left eye. Scorpius loomed over him with a satisfying grin.
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