Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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Assassins and Assessments (Kaalia Voldaren)

The life of an assassin involved surprisingly much overseeing, assessing, and reviewing. By now, much of it had become mere habit or a drudgery Darth Ophidia had managed to delegate to others. However, there were some things she found far too important to delegate: The assessment of prospective assassins; persons of skill with some connection to their order, albeit not fully embraced.

What more, this one was trained by the same man who trained her. She had known him as Darth Ferus once, now he was [member="Krest"] , the Red Assassin.

Her chalk-skinned finger ran across the face of the datapad, flipping through the pages of a file. [member="Kaalia Voldaren"] , associated with the First Order. The Sith Assassins had a wide web, and in it there were many spiders. Some free, some leading factions in a direction beneficial to their order. In the end, the Assassins came first.

She studied the face of the Sith Knight before flipping through the viritual pages again, finding their target. Now, Ophidia was there to oversee and evaluate more than anything. She wished to know what Krest's new pets were good for. Would they become a threat to her? An asset to the Sith? Or mere murderous lapdogs to unleash upon the Jedi while the masters lined up for the true assault. The Pale Assassin would know by the end of the day.

Darth Ophidia stood waiting in a hangar bay on Serenno. Her ship was being fuelled and prepped for her return later in the day. They were in Dominion space, a coalition hostile to all who did not wave their ridiculous banner. Their target: A local duke by the name of Bartell Doana. There was much they could do in a place like Serenno with a duke at their back, and much the duke would do to avoid the information of this assassination from being spread.

As such, this was not a task without responsibility.

The Pale waited.
Kaalia had gotten quite used to being sent on the most unexpected of places. [member='Krest'] often sent out coordinates without any explanation whatsoever, but everytime it happened it had proven to be very eventful. She had no doubt that this time it was no exception and was already was wondering what the reason was why she was sent to Dominion territory.

As like with every mission given to her by the Sith Lord the young woman had made her way to her destination, this time Serenno, with the ship that gifted to her by him. She had dubbed it the Sonic Phantom and had quite grown fond of it. The craft that was normally used for stealth purposes now landed in a hangar of the spaceport she was told to go to like every other ship. As she disembarked the redhead looked around, but more out of carefulness than anything. There was always a degree of unpredictability when it came to the Zabrak and she wouldn't take any unnecessary risks. Content about the fact she found nothing out of the ordinary she started moving, making sure her ship would be taken care of and refuelled first.

After she finished up her business in regards to her ship the next objective was finding... Whatever or whoever she was supposed to find. She pushed out her senses through the Force to look for any familiar signatures, but found none she recognized. What she did sense however was a particularly powerful and dark aura, making her wonder if this presence was the one she was supposed to find. Steady steps quickly brought Kaalia to another hangar where she laid her eyes on the source of what she felt. She nodded, although for herself more than anything, then started to calmly make her way over. It wasn't Krest, but she was sure the woman she looked at had ties with him in one way or another.

There was only one way to find out.

[member="Darth Ophidia"]
It was not often Darth Ophidia allowed herself to be detected in this way. Often, she was shrouded under a cover of shadows and lies that mislead her opponents into thinking she was far when she was near, and near when she was far. Now, she stood as a localised beacon. Unusual circumstances and all.

Her eyes closed and the dark tendrils of her will reached out to touch each and every soul in the hangar. By touching them in the Force, she could feel who they were. There were workers dreaming of travel, and travellers dreaming of home. There were smugglers and honest gentlebeings, and then there was Kaalia. Oh yes, Ophidia could feel that this one was touched by the dark side of the Force.

She did not speak, not with her words anyway. Instead, she let the touch linger as a thread between them and she projected words through it.

'Welcome, child of the Red. I sense you come with a purpose.'

Her eyes opened and turned to the opening of the hangar. They peered under the hem of her hood like embers lingering in a face of light ashes. The eyes were hatred and intrigue, secrets and lies, and the power of dark and terrible things.

'Come. I will show you."

She walked out of the hangar, hands clasped behind her back and head carried high under the dark, heavy fabric of her hood. She walked with a grace and soundless step, like a ghost of inhuman grace. This was the Pale Assassin, one of four.

[member="Kaalia Voldaren"]
When Kaalia approached the figure she felt a connection form between herself and her. A way of communication that was much more pricate than actual speech, something import to an assassin. After all, the only one able to hear it was the one you spoke to. As she came closer she curled up one side of her mouth into a grin at the words. With a purpose I have indeed come. I have enough reason to believe I am the one you have been waiting for. Although she could not see much of her face, she did notice the palety of her features. That was all she could make out, but that didn't matter very much to her.

Then the redhead caught a quick glimpse of the Sith Lady's fiery orbs, a surge of the Dark Side rushing over her as the two made quick eye contact. There was no mistaking it, the woman in front of her was powerful and dangerous. From her experience though they were the best kind of people to learn from. More words were sent through the Force, beckoning Kaalia to follow her. The way she moved was like a ghost, something that almost felt like an aura of absolute silence surrounding the pale lady. the young Knight remained silent as her answer and simply started moving herself. Soon she would find out what brought her here and even though that was unlikely perhaps the slightest bit about the woman who clearly knew [member='Krest'].

Kaalia was a small distance behind the woman as they came out of the hangar and got going. She kept her silence, seeing no reason to speak either through the Force or in actual words. Her mind was focussed in reading the Force presence of the powerful Darksider, feeling the power coming from it. It was another reminder she still had much to learn and such things took time, but this was another step towards achieving that.

[member="Darth Ophidia"]
This red one was not entirely incapable, it would seem. She followed neatly and responded in kind. Not too much chatter, nor too little. Though she did appear a little stiff. Darth Ophidia made a mental note of it. She carried on leading Kaalia with her through the drab corridors.

'You wonder why you are here'.

She could only tell because Kaalia was focusing on her so intently, hanging on to every word and every step. It leaked out from her surface thoughts, like the rumble of a hungry stomach when scenting fresh baked goods. Oh yes, she knew the hunger well; it was unquenchable.

'I will show you something.'

She walked further and in complete silence. Perhaps she would answer questions, perhaps she would not. She thought not, but new persons had a tendency to make one rethink such things. After a few minutes of twisting and turning, coming into an older and seedier part of the spaceport, the Pale stopped in front of a closed door and rotated an exact 90 degrees. She looked at Kaalia and she did not smile, nor frown or scowl. She looked as though she was reading, or perhaps looking at something stuck to Kaalia's face. A sensation could easily settle; there is no turning back now.

Then the door opened and the woman with the burning eyes gestured for her company to go inside. The interior was dark, pitch dark. It was difficult to tell if it went far or stopped right out of sight. What awaited?

[member="Kaalia Voldaren"]
You wonder why you are here.

It was no inaccurate assessment, anything was possible. Perhaps a test, what Kaalia held as most likely, perhaps it was something different. For all she knew it could have been a trap and she was walking right into it. Perhaps such a trap was made as a lesson. There were too many variables to be certain of what the reason was the woman was sent here and so if anything were to happen, she would have to react on the fly. Doing so wasn't anything new to her, but that bridge would be crossed if it ever came to that. For now, following the woman around the spaceport posed no danger.

I will show you something.

For a moment Kaalia was tempted to ask what this 'something' was, but perished the thought quickly. If pale woman had wanted to explain what it was beforehand she would have done so, and asking would likely be pointless. Wasting words was just as useful. Instead she used those words to form a different question. Is there a name I could refer to you to? The way she asked the question was intentional. Directly asking for a name would often lead to refusal or a fake name disguised as a real one, but this way the recipient of the question would be able to give any name she would have liked. It was all that the redhead needed though, just a name to call her by. It was purely for convenience's sake.

When the duo arrived at a door, Kaalia's guide stopped and turned towards her, looking at her directly. She turned her head sideways just slightly in response, wondering what she read off her face. Ambition? Potential? Failure? Success? Perhaps she wasn't reading at all. Whatever the purpose of it was, she returned the look, her expression just as neutral.

The door then opened and as the Kro Varian peered inside she saw nothing but darkness. The scenario was similar to when [member='Krest'] had 'captured' and tortured her as a way of testing her, and the premise did not amuse her. Taking a few steps forward to stand side to side with her company she sent out the Force first, trying to sense any danger before entering. It was not going to happen again.

[member="Darth Ophidia"]
When the redhead asked for a name, all she would receive was the flickering hint of a smile and silent refusal. She had no obligation to give names. Nor did she feel the girl had earned one yet. If she performed with the excellence Krest believed she posessed, then would she be given a name. Until then, well she had two choices.

'You do not trust me?'

This smile was different. It was venomous and insolent, and very, very certain.

'Perhaps you are wiser than you look.'

Inside the door there was nothing but a hallway that trailed onwards, then a flight of steps, and another room. Inside the room one could faintly detect the presence of a person. This person was not aligned in the dark or the light, nor even a force-user. There was no strength in this person, but there was much suffering.

The ashen skinned woman did not ask again, but made what one could only guess was the hairless equivalent of a raised eyebrow. She did not in fact find the reluctance to be alarming. In fact, it was refreshing. All too many of Krest's students were reckless to the point of suicidal. She knew this better than many - most. Yet, caution ought not restrain valor. Courage must be tempered by wisdom, not reigned in by cowardice. Which was Kaalia? One would soon see.

[member="Kaalia Voldaren"]
At the woman's comment on Kaalia not trusting her, she simply grinned. Although once someone had her trust she would trust that person fully, attaining it was far from easy. that was not the only reason for being hesitant in her trust, however. All she knew about the person next to her was what she could sense through the Force. Those immersed in the Dark side were rarely to be trusted in the first place, not even [member='Krest'] enjoyed her trust.

The premise almost felt like a game, but not quite. Yet, every little gesture and word left an impression. As such, one had to always choose their words carefully, make sure their gestures were not taken the wrong way. The smile she was given, dripped in venom, did not surprise the redhead. Looks can be deceiving, but actions speak louder than words, she answered as she came to the conclusion there was at the very least no imminent danger. Yet, she felt suffering. Whoever was in this room was likely captured and tortured, but the question of why was left unanswered. Taken aback by this Kaalia was not, however. She had witnessed too much suffering on the many battlefields she had been on in her young life already, battle after battle numbing her towards it more and more.

Calm steps were taken forward as she walked into the darkness of the hallway, her connection to the Force acting as her guide through it. When the two arrived at the room, if the other would follow her along, the redhead slowly opened the door and took in the interior in front of her for a moment before stepping inside. Once more she was tempted to ask questions, the majority of them concerning the individual, but instead she once again remained silent. She would without doubt find out soon.

[member="Darth Ophidia"]
'And so you may yet be a fool. Point taken.'

Darth Ophidia followed behind Kaalia the entire way, shutting the first door behind them, then walking in the same stillness as before. There was very little presence of the Pale to be felt once she was out of sight, almost as though she did not exist outside of one's vision. Yet she was always there, at the periphery, watching and waiting.

The room at the end was lit by a single pale light from above. It created a column of cold illumination that fell upon the figure sitting on the floor facing them as they entered. The figure appeared diminutive, but was draped in a big, pale cloak. A hood covered its features, and under the cloth it seemed to shift restlessly. No words escaped it, but despite its muteness and lack of affinity with force, a perpetual sense of despair rolled off its shoulders.

"There is a man, a count, by the name of Bartell Doana. To the public, he is the face of benevolence. He donates to charities and has two orphanages named after his generosity. Yet, there are things happening in his castle some would call... unnatural-."

As the Pale spoke with actual words, one could easily hear that her spoken voice was different from her mental one. Whereas the mental voice was silken, sleek, seducing, this one had a rasping texture to it. Deep in her imperial speech, buried under eloquence there was a foreign accent. Her voice was full of malice and venom, but not pointed at Kaalia.

[member="Kaalia Voldaren"]
You never know.

Kaalia was amused by the comment. No matter what however she wanted to prove her ability through her actions, the only true way to do so. Talk was cheap.

The room she entered sported some light unlike the hallway, allowing her to see the source of the suffering she felt through the Force. She could not see their face of form, which sparked her curiosity even more. The question of the person was did not linger however, as it was answered by the one who had likely brought them here. Her voice was different from her mental voice, which did not trigger any reaction from the redhead. The fact such a thing was not the case for her did not mean that others crafted their mental voice to be like their actual voice. It was a man, Bartell Doana according the the pale woman, and it seemed he wasn't as he seemed. She smirked at the venom in her voice. It was clear to her that is was directed the man.

"Unnatural, you say..." The redhead stepped up in front of the captive, chuckling. "And what may those things be?" He was not innocent. Perhaps he believed the things he did to 'make up' for them were enough, but that did not change a thing to the Kro Varian. Bending her knees to lower her face to his, she smirked once more. "Or would you be so kind to tell me instead?" Her tone contained a mix of wonder and malice. Hurting the innocent was something Kaalia would not do, but that was not relevant here. "I would love to hear it from the horse's mouth."

[member="Darth Ophidia"]
Kaalia misunderstood perfectly.

The shape under the hood let out a groan, too loud for someone gagged. The pitch rose, higher and higher into an agonising scream. With a flick of her hand, Darth Ophidia threw the cloak back. What met Kaalia was not the face of a count, but of a pale young man. His features were fine once; his eyes a striking purple. He screamed at Kaalia with a toothless, tongueless mouth, the lips slit far up along his cheeks in a permanent grin. The crown of his head was bald, not by choice. Judging from the scars, the hair had been peeled off in strips months ago, even the eyebrows.

The thrown cloak revealed more: A near naked body, malnourished and criss-crossed with the jagged, protruding scars of flogging. It lacked limbs, four of them by the look of it; five by suspicion. The form was not bound, nor was it in fact sitting. It stood on its pelvis, where the legs had been stripped from his body. One could tell, this had been a beautiful boy once. Now, he was ruined. No wonder despair rolled off his form. Tears streamed down the chiselled face as he tried to form words with his broken mouth, but he could not.

"Did you think it would be so easy?"

It was Ophidia who spoke, not a shred of sympathy in her voice. The young man looked down at the shard of a mirror. The stumps of his arms reached, but he could not touch it. Misery incarnate.

"His name is Falx; he was one of Count Doana's playthings until we liberated him. Poor wretch."

If Kaalia looked deep in the eyes of Falx, then she would only sense two wishes: Revenge and for that shard of mirror to liberate him.

[member="Kaalia Voldaren"]
When the cloak was thrown off, Kaalia did not step back or look away. It was a grisly spectacle but she forced herself to witness it, much like she had witnessed other sights that would make others recoil or even throw up. She herself had done so in the past but that was something one got used to in time, as horrifying as the thought could be to some.

"Sometimes life throws you a bone. It's rare, but still." The fact it wasn't the man the pale woman spoke of didn't bother her too much. "I suppose I'll have to track him down then. Or something like that." She read Falx' eyes, sensed his wishes. With a small nod she stood back straight and took a step back. If it were just her and the man she would have put him out of his misery then and there, but perhaps there was something left to do first.

"So who did this to him, you or Doana? Just so we're entirely clear here. I'm guessing Doana, but you never know." For the moment she had turned her head towards the one who had led her here before tilting it back. "Not an enviable fate, yours is. I'm sorry." It was no lie, but life wasn't fair. To mourn for every suffering soul would get one nowhere. "My theory is that Doana did this. If so, it is likely people want him dead. And I am the one who will make sure that happens. Am I correct?" It was a simple hypothesis, but one that was not too far-fetched. Kaalia would have no issue ending the life of someone who committed such acts. In her mind it was good riddance.

[member="Darth Ophidia"]
Ophidia watched Kaalia resonate, her face was impassive. Honestly, she thought she had made it all rather obvious. Having to confirm it was a bit redundant in her opinion. If Ophidia had tortured Falx, would she really have admit to it in this context? The area that would have contained an eyebrow if she had hair, perked up. Her voice did not betray her thoughts, nor did they escape the iron shroud of her mind. She sounded nothing but factual.


Falx doubled down and gripped the shard of mirror with his mouth. He dropped it once, twice, then finally managed to sit up with it in his mouth.

"There are many more like Falx. Some of whom had loved ones of a certain wealth. Count Doana has provoked enough ire to drive them to us."

The ashen skinned woman stepped in a wide circle around Falx, her hands clasped behind her back and eyes resting on Kaalia, unblinking, unwavering, still like the shadows themselves and yet smouldering with the intensity of a world on fire.

"And we are giving you the chance to end the count."

She paused, having come to the opposite side of Falx in relation to Kaalia. Her silence demanded an answer. Meanwhile, Falx turned the mirrior-shard up to the ceiling, unsure of how to use it to end his existence. Blood pooled on his lips as the edges of the glass nicked the fine skin, turning rosy pink lips into deep crimson.

[member="Kaalia Voldaren"]
Removing somebody like Doana was something Kaalia would more than gladly do. She wouldn't do it without reason or something in return, but the way the woman had worded her explanation made it clear enough that a reward was indeed waiting for the one to end the life of the count. A nod preceded her answer. "Then he will die." Although the redhead would not admit to such she was going to enjoy giving the dead man walking exactly what he deserved, but until then her focus would be on successfully getting to him in the first place. He would without doubt have security and other protective measures, it wasn't going to be as easy as simply walking up to him and slitting his throat. He would have been long dead had that been the case.

In the meantime Falx was trying everything in his power to end his suffering, with Kaalia watching him desperately trying to use the glass shard to ensure he would not live any longer. Perhaps it was her paranoia that Krest had instilled into her making her think this scene was some kind of test and her brain was going over all the possible ways she could think of in which this could be one. One of the more prevalent theories, and also one of the most straightforward ones, was that this was to see how she would react. Would she take the shard and slit his throat for him, or would she leave him there to suffer even more? Which of the two was the right answer in the mind of the woman who now stood behind Falx? Perhaps this was no test at all and was she making this much more complicated than it actually was.

Throughout all this contemplation Kaalia slowly stopped thinking about the fact there was a person sitting in that chair. Instead she was occupied with finding the answer to a question that perhaps never even existed, shutting herself off from his suffering without even realizing it. It led her to the decision to leave Falx right there at least for now, seeing there was no real reason to take his life just yet. "Then I suppose Doana's estate is the place to start."

[member="Darth Ophidia"]
Darth Ophidia quite enjoyed watching Kaalia's mind work with the phantom questions she had proposed by simply not specifying. In a sense, it was a test; a test with no right answer. In their profession, one would often be faced with non-binary questions that require judgement over simple knowledge. She did not display any sign of approval or disappointment with Kaalia's action or inaction.


She said as if declining the mission was in fact a viable option.

"How to approach the count's estate is up to you to decide. As aid, I can offer you information and some advice."

She put stress on the 'some', inferring that her willingness to give it was limited. In fact, there were certain questions she would outright refuse to answer. Which ones? That was for her to know and young miss Voldaren to wonder.

Meanwhile, Falx surpressed the heaving in an attempt to swallow the angular piece of glass. It was far too wide for his mouth, but maybe, just maybe.

"How do you wish to proceed?"

This was a test, a trial, after all.

[member="Kaalia Voldaren"]
Some advice. The intonation said everything and it did not surprise Kaalia in the slightest. It was always a test, and so was this one. At least here there was the promise of a reward, a definite step up from no longer being tortured. As much as she begrudgingly respected [member='Krest'] for the power he wielded and the things he had taught her with every lesson her wish to gut him became stronger and stronger. It would've been the ultimate way to prove her supremacy over him when the time was right and she had learned everything she could learn from him, but that was something for the future.

Now, the woman had an assassination to worry about. Only now had it hit her- this was the first time in her life she was actually planning a murder. It was justified, count Doana was a disgusting man who deserved nothing but his end, but it felt different from any other life she had taken before she had even laid eyes on him. There was no time to think on that however, and so she pushed it away. A scenario like this required a different mindset, one she no experience with.

"A small number of questions to start, so I know what I am dealing with here. Or so that I can figure that out, at the very least." Any bit of information she could get her hands on was valuable, but her questions had to be carefully asked. "Four of them. One, do we know where Doana is at this moment? Two, if he is at his estate or another place, is there a layout or a map of it, perhaps including entrances? Three, is there any knowledge on his guard available? Shifts, patrols, numbers, et cetera." The first three were fairly simple, but the fourth one was one that was perhaps a bit redundant. Still, it was better to leave as little of her questions in the air as possible. "Four, can I access this information, either through you or another source?"

[member="Darth Ophidia"]
Ah yes, the questions. Darth Ophidia waited for her to finish listing them, no change in her demeanour or presence. She then took a moment to formulate the answers.

"To answer the final question first: Yes."

There was a pause, but not one that invited a retort.

"As to any maps or layouts, I will provide you with an updated virtual schematic of the Count's palace, should you require it. I cannot give you information about his guard-shifts. However, I suggest you capture someone with that information. They are individuals with free time, and their loyalties are not extreme - Given the right incentive"

That was two and three. The pale woman looked down at Falx before answering the first question asked.

"As for Doana's current whereabouts and future plans. Your only available source is about to take his own life."

Falx coughed and gagged, tears streaming down the sides of his face as he tried to end his own suffering. A smile grew on the Pale's face now; wry, wicked, thoroughly enjoying the words she had just spoken.

[member="Kaalia Voldaren"]
"That can't happen just yet."

Kaalia quickly moved back to Falx, her face showing no emotion towards the situation. In her mind he was going to be the last to suffer, and he could hold out for a little while longer for that. Carefully prying the glass shard out of his mouth she put it away for the time being, his wish would be granted later.

Without saying a word the woman went to put a hand onto the dome of his head and closed her eyes. Probing one's mind through the Force was not a thing she often did, but in this situation it was most necessary. It had turned out not immediately putting Falx out of his misery was a good thing. She had let him get dangerously close however, something that was not to be repeated in the future would a similar scene unfold in the future.

What secrets do you hold that you can no longer speak out? Where would our esteemed Count Doana be at this moment in time and the near future?

Whatever Kaalia could not gain from Falx she would have to aquire in other ways, the pale woman's suggestion being one that was still in her mind. If the available schematics were not being readied yet she would ask for those when she was finished with what she was doing at that moment.

[member="Darth Ophidia"]
As Avacyn ripped the glass from his mouth, Falx screamed. His head thrashed back and forth while his mauled, toothless jaw flapped open and shut in futility, hoping to catch the glass. He almost fell over, but caught himself by a wiggle of his hip-stumps.

Falx' mental voice was melodic, soothing, a extreme opposite to the wretched exterior. Yet his words were bumbled as his mind had long since begun to fracture.

'The Count, one five six. I mustn't say, I mustn't say!'
'The Pale one offered me relief. Sweet dreams.'
'Please, please, press no more. Let me fly away.'
'But the Count, I hate him. Hate the count. One five six'
'Will you kill me, sweet lady? Can I stray?'
'Mother, help me. The banquet. Food, and music and wine'
'Such music, and dancing through the night. Mother, can I stay?'
'Kill me, kill me, kill me, kill me! KILL ME! KILL ME!'
'That is when he finds his playthings; in the gardens. Two days away'
'The Count, one five six, eleven! South of the Palace, in the maze.'
'Secret entrance! In the fountain. That is where he takes us to prey'
'Avenge we'

But his voice deteriorated, like every word was a page shredded from a book. In the end, he was screaming internally as well as without. The Pale Assassin simply watched with immovable eyes of burning coal.

[member="Kaalia Voldaren"]
The confines of Falx’ mind was one that, considering the circumstances, gave Kaalia a slightly unsettling feeling for a moment. It was like walking outside in the dark as a child, even though there realistically was nothing that could do harm it did not always feel that way. She was able to tune it out however, giving her the focus needed to listen to what the man’s mind had to say. The other woman in the room was still there no doubt, but for the time she listened she paid her no mind.

The words were nothing if not like the insane ravings of someone who had lost their mind, yet there were things that were very much useful. For now most of those things were still a mystery, the reciting of a combination of numbers, one five six, then at the end one five six, eleven being the thing that stood out most to Kaalia. Luckily there were more tangible bits of information there, and those she too made sure to remember to write down. A banquet at his palace, in two days. Her mind pieced the picture together in her mind, concluding there was a secret entrance in the fountain in the gardens, south of the palace. The banquet could mean her way in, albeit with some effort. And the secret entrance to whatever place he took his victims would make for a perfect cover for her assassination. As to how to bait him in… Perhaps there was a risk involved, but being the bait herself seemed to be her best shot.

When there was nothing left of interest to learn from Falx’ mind Kaalia opened her eyes once more, lifting the palm of her hand off of his head. Turning on her heel she went to face the hooded woman, giving her a curt nod. “If what he said was accurate, I may have a way to get inside his palace, and close to him as well. But first…” She started walking towards the door leading outside, eying the woman as she did. “I am going to need to find some information on this banquet that is happening in two days.”

[member="Darth Ophidia"]

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