[Junk XIII] The Roadhouse (K 7-8, J 7-7)

edited December 2013 in Junkworld XIII

You, Svenja and Zero are sitting at the crap-ass bar in this brand new ramshackle junky roadhouse halfway between the Ascendant and Armour. The bar is just a few mismatched stools and a large workbench set up underneath the thatch covering that functions like an awning between the three vehicles that support this place. Skilsoft, the burly balding guy who runs this place, is serving up some pricey swill and chatting up Svenja. Of course, its water only for you. Do you make your Ma stop drinking, too? What have you been chatting about?

The roadhouse is laid out like this:

A minute ago, a couple motorcycles and a truck arrived, throwing headlights into the darkened space.

From the small group, Jack walks in, a pretty girl behind him. Also, Ro is there. How long has it been?

What do you do?


  • Jack,

    You come in to see Kiddo and her Ma drinking at the weird little bar.
  • Kiddo,

    You're frakking right I made my Ma' quit drinking! Stitch said it makes the babies have problems with anger, and she's been right about everything else so far. Frak, Ma' should really know better anyway! In an attempt to make her feel better, I'm filling her in on the few big raids we did — the first attack at the Mesa where Svenja was wielding that gigantic frakking crossbow, then taking Upper's old digs from the donuts, and finally the conquest over the Mesas as we were riding north to Salt.

    I'm good and giggly by the time those bikes and truck pull in, and my jaw practically falls off when I spot Jack and Ro. I guess this is kind of a freebie. I shuffle out of my chair, and raise a finger. "Just a sec, ladies — I need to talk to them." I point over at Ro and Jack, then start waddling my way over to them, practically running to catch up to Ro, to give him a big hug. It's been like 2 years since I've seen him, and about that since I've seen Jack!


    Ha! Well what are the odds I run into two former lovers of mine who I left in tears? ... Well, she seems in a decent enough mood. I pat Ro on the shoulder, and point to Kiddo's hurried, and decisively waddled... "It would seem Kiddo wishes to speak with you... Wow, she's... Is she pregnant?"
  • "I never believed the old tale about ladies glowing, Kiddo," Ro says with a laugh, "But you make it real. Damn, Kiddo, it is so good to see you! How have you been?" He looks past you at Zero, and gawks. "Both of you? WOW!"
  • edited December 2013

    Frakking sweet talker. I giggle appreciatively, and slap him playfully as my face turns beet red. "Yup. Ma's a little further along than I am, but I'm good... we're both good. I work with Star, actually, she runs the Candies out of the Ascendant! She asked me to send you her way if I saw you."

    I look over to Jack, admittedly a little bashful, and wiggle my fingers in a friendly wave. "Hey Jack."


    I bow courteously, "Hello, my dear. You look well." She's aged considerably since I last saw her. Her hair is cut shorter, her figure... Well, hidden slightly, but none the less more womanly than before. Her eyes are harder, more confident, and her posture is equally so. That smile, though, is as girlish and youthful as I remember.

    I'm sure she's made Rinso a very happy man.


    I smile back, and nod. "I am. Who's your pretty friend?"


    How foolish of me. I reach back and guide Parfait forward to meet the young lady. "This is my wife, Parfait," I say with a smile, "Parfait, this is young Humphrey's older sister, Kiddo! An old... Acquaintance?"


    Wife? Well, well! Jack's settled down, has he? Interesting! I knew he needed someone in his life. I could always tell... Ahem... From stuff... I smile and offer her my hand, "I'd say friend, given what your husband's done for me. It's a pleasure."
  • Kiddo, Topps comes bounding up from behind Parfait and squeals, "Kiddo!!" as she throws herself into a group hug with you and Ro.

    Ro steps back to let Topps have you. "Gods, Star is a Candy? Oh, Reese would drek herself and die!" He laughs and heads over to the bar with Zero.

    Topps asks, "Hey. Where's Humphrey? He with you?"
  • edited December 2013
    Parfait let's Topps interrupt, but she's still waiting and watching you, Kiddo you don't get a possessive vibe from her, but it's obvious there's something more than "friends" between you and Jack.

    Jack, Parfait is watching you close, you can tell she thinks something is up.

    What do you do?
  • Kiddo,

    I giggle loudly, and squeeze Topps tight, "Hey sweetie! It's so good to see you!" I pull back, and look her over quickly — just to see how she's been doing. I look between them all, and snort loudly at Ro's comment, "I know, right? It's frakked! She's awesome at it though. Go see her!" I pat him on the shoulder as he passes, and turn back to Topps. "Hump's back home at the Ascendant, sweetie, helping Dad acclimatize to the new place. Gods, are you all heading up to the Ascendant? Are you staying here the night?"


    I turn my attention to Parfait while Kiddo and Topps reconnect. I put my hand on her arm, and whisper low, "What is it my dear?"
  • Kiddo,

    Ro gives you an odd look when you say Star is good at being a Candy, but he's already heading over to see your Ma and Svenja.

    Topps nods, "Yeah, Jack is headed up there for his own stuff, but I really wanted to see your brother." She swallows, looks away for a second, then says, "I brought dad up to, you know, see Jemma's grave. But... he didn't make it."


    Parfait peers at you, then asks, "Are you lying to me about her?"
  • Kiddo,

    My jaw all but hits the ground when the bomb about KellyTires drops... Even Leah stops squirming. "Oh sweetie," I whisper, pulling her into another hug, "I'm so sorry... KellyTires was a good man. Was it raiders or something?"


    I'm confused... Am I lying about Kiddo? I would not particularly call her more than an acquaintance, given how little I truly know about her... I lean in closer and whisper. "Do you mean: are we more than "friends"? At one point we might have been... I was her first in a time of great need, and I've helped her boyfriend a number of times — but we are barely more than friends my love, and I would not hide my history with her from you. If you wish to know it, I will tell you."
  • Kiddo,

    "Thanks, Kiddo."Topps replies, still looking away. You can tell from the way she stammers over her words that it's still raw. "He caught something out in the storm. Jack found us some shelter, but he... he didn't recover."


    Parfait cocks her head at the word "first". "First lover? First sex? What was her need?" She doesn't look angry, but she is curious about this. Maybe a little threatened?

  • Kiddo,

    Yeah... I know how that feels. I was afraid, maybe a little hopeful, that the stupid frakking cult got him. It'd give me an excuse to ride in there and murder folks. I guess I can just chalk it up to bad luck, and the cold weather. I lean in and kiss Topps on the forehead, "C'mon sweetie. Have you met my Ma'? Let me get you a drink. There are water rations out at the Ascendant, so you might as well stock up now."

    I look back to Jack, just to see if he's interested in joining us, but it looks like that girl of his isn't interested in us... I'll ask just in case. "You guys wanna join us?"


    I shake my head, and then nod respectively, "Sex. She was abused verbally by a former lover, and wanted someone she trusted to take her virginity. A fact that, had I been wiser, I would have figured out before bedding her... I'll simply say it was an encounter which taught me a valuable lesson about determining motive before laying with someone."

    I smile and rub her shoulders supportively, "You have nothing to worry about, my love. She is with the man who was travelling with Aquafina at the time of the crash... That she hasn't shot me likely means Rinso's opinion of me is significantly better than that of Aquafina's."

    I look over to Kiddo when she asks her question, then raise an eyebrow to Parfait. "Up to you, my dear."
  • Kiddo,

    Topps raises her eyebrows, drawn out of her reflections, "Water rationing? Is Humphrey in danger? Why are you leaving?" She heads to the bar, Skilsoft is pouring some water into a glass for her.

    "It's boiled from the well I found near here, good stuff." Skilsoft says.


    Parfait listens, looks from you to Kiddo, then finally nods. "We should get water." She heads with you to the bar. There aren't enough seats. Ro hops up and offers Parfait a seat. Seems he was chatting with the third member of their group, a woman named Svenja. Ro and Svenja end up heading off to walk and chat a bit, just friendly stuff.
  • Kiddo,

    "Hump's probably fine," I answer confidently, "he knows to be careful, and Rinny and Vee are there with him. I'm just heading south to get some baby stuff." I pat my belly demonstratively. "Don't you worry about Hump. He'll be thrilled to see you!"

    I turn to Jack and Parfait, "Just so you guys know, there's a cult out east of the Ascendant, in the foothills, that like forcing people to drink their tainted water. If anyone seems particularly insistent you drink something – avoid it like the plague."


    I stand next to Parfait and order drinks, but hesitate when Kiddo mentions the cult, and quietly ask her, "Is there a way to tell which water is tainted?"


    I shake my head, "usually there are crazy folks insisting you drink it; and if you're affected by it, your eyes glow blue near it... I didn't see anyone like that, and we've been drinking it most of the night."


    I am uneasy about this... Something about this place struck Bank as odd, and I am inclined to agree. I lay a hand on Parfait's, to keep her from drinking the water just a moment, and close my eyes to listen to the whispers here.
  • Jack,

    OOC: Opening brain to the maelstrom. Roll+Weird. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 6, 6. Total: 15)
  • Kiddo,

    Topps and Parfait nod at the information, taking it as gospel. What's one more weird threat in the world, right?


    The water here is not tainted by the colony, only because the well is not deep enough. There is a massive underground lake beneath the northern shelf filled with the colony. They would have laid in a dormant and pleasant state for eternity if the increasing population of humans had not woken them. More wells drilled and more water taken for drinking resulted in a threat to their home.

    What's more, Jack, is that they are afraid of the winter coming. Now that they are awake, the active portion of the colony will freeze in their current resting place, and they must find somewhere to stay for protection. The Ascendant would be a perfect, warm place for the colony.

    They cannot be forced to back down from this fight, and they will not wait for the season to pass. Because by next season, they will be destroyed.
  • Jack,

    I open my eyes, and focus on reality again — the physical one, that is. I am ... Completely baffled. I look around, completely confused by this new piece of information. The whispers are rarely so forthcoming — so completely unambiguous — it is off-putting. I blink a few times to regain my composure, and try to hush their roaring voices back into a hushed whisper.

    "You must focus on defending your home, Kiddo..." I whisper, my head still swimming, "these creatures that reside in the water — they will not survive the winter if they cannot take the Ascendant from you. They will come in full force, and they will not yield. Your family may be in danger..."




    My jaw is on the floor. I'm cupping my glass of water, unable to move. I look between Jack, Parfait, and Topps... Jack's always been really in tune with things like this, and I know his word is usually good in matters of people — but this is so... So big. "Jack... How do you know that?"


    I'm not surprised at her disbelief — it is generally the case. If not for the fact that the whispers have told me truths for as long as I can remember, I might not believe it myself. What should I tell her? Be quiet you horrid voices! I need to focus.

    Perhaps an appeal... "I've been... I've been seeing things of late. I have visions, of my unborn son, and the people he travels with... Fleeing great tragedy. A girl who looks quite like yourself and Rinso — flowing brown hair, tanned skin, Dark-brown eyes, trim, and stricken with the need for thick-rimmed glasses, not unlike your mother's. She was with a boy who is unmistakably your father's spitting image... There is a lake underground nearby, with a lifeforce that was stirred by men and women looking for water... Things that I should not see, but do."

    I pause, "I don't know why I see them — I only know that I must act on these visions. My son is important, as is that young woman I saw... I must protect him — and if this life-force is allowed to survive the winter, then they will take from us the chance to prepare our children for the trials that come."

    I look to Parfait... There is so much evil in this world. I do not know why I have these visions, but I know what I must do with them. I know she understands.





    ... Did he just describe Leah? And my baby brother? ...

    Somebody say something. Anything.
  • Parfait is the first to speak. She says quietly, "Our son will travel with their children? They're a pack?"

    "Or maybe they're friends?" Topps interjects, as if the phrase "a pack" sits odd with her.
  • Jack,

    I nod slowly, looking between Parfait, Kiddo, and Topps, "their connection was not made explicit, but it was clear they were travelling together. They are destined to lead their people to safety."


    I don't know what to make of this... How could he know Leah's a girl, and that Ma's boy is a... well, a boy. I look to Parfait, who seems to believe him. She doesn't look very pregnant — maybe a little bit. "You're having a baby too?" I ask cautiously, "and you know it's a boy? You believe him?"
  • Zero isn't buying it, the prophecy thing. But Parfait nods, "I believe him. Always. "
  • Jack,

    I smile warmly, and rub Parfait's hand appreciatively. Her support means the world to me.


    Yeah, I figured Ma' wouldn't buy it... It's a tough sell, frankly — but have you ever had that feeling like you're being watched? It usually makes me feel all uncomfortable and shit — but sometimes, it feels like something else... Like someone loves you and is watching over you. Dad used to say it was someone from your past is thinking about you ... You're gunna think I'm frakking crazy — and maybe I am — but I ... Well ... I kinda buy it.

    Dad's mentioned shit like this before... Like he knew Hump and me were gunna be alright when we got sick with the flu after Ma' and Vicky caught it. He was more than happy to take Brillo, Rinny, and Vee in when they needed us, and he kept telling me that he couldn't see me without a guitar and a dog in my life — it was why he bred Junker for me, and gave me his guitar...

    I need to get down south. I need the South Candies now more than ever... We need folks to keep the Ascendant safe. I look to Parfait, mother-to-mother, and smile at the tenderness Jack shares with her. "Jack's a special man... I'm glad he found someone who makes him happy." I look to Jack, "I can't go back now — but Starburst runs the Northern Candies out of the Ascendant. Talk to her, and tell her Kiddo says to keep a special eye out — and that she's coming with reinforcements."


    I listen carefully, and nod silently in case Parfait has something to add.
  • Parfait nods slowly, still not completely trusting you, Kiddo. But she isn't openly hostile and replies, "I am happy that Rinso is for you, Kiddo. Jack counted him as a friend, I am sure he will be a good father for your daughter."

    She looks to you, Jack, "You are still injured, my husband. We need to get you to bed."


    You know your Ma caught the "reinforcements" bit, right? She doesn't say anything, but you know she will later.
  • Jack,

    When you're done with this, please go here.
  • Kiddo,

    Meh. Let her. Do you really think Ma' will tell me the Candies would say no to some ass-kicking? I wave goodbye to Jack and Parfait as they leave, and stay to chat with Topps and Ma'... And hopefully Ro and Svenja when they get back from "chatting".
  • Kiddo,

    Its interesting, how Topps is trying pretty obviously hard to be friendly. You can tell she likes you and your Ma, and she wants you to like her, too. She asks lots of questions about the babies, drawing Zero into the conversation, too.

    It's starting to get late, but Leah is not sleepy. She's doing some kind of jogging exercise, you think. Bad indigestion is the result of her efforts, of course. The weird gassy, sick feeling that a puke might cure, but you can't make it happen. So sit and suffer.

    Ro and Svenja come back in, he bellies up to the bar. Svenja doesn't join him, she ends up on a seat that must've been ripped out of the bus and put down here by the bar. She looks... sated? Reflective, maybe.

    Ro laughs, "Wow, what a great night. Of all the times to see you two, who would've guessed here and now, eh?" He orders a beer for himself, Topps and Svenja, and starts telling tales.

    How late do you stay up?
  • Awe... Poor sweetie. She's a decent girl, and Hump seems to like her — I'm not gunna make her work too hard, especially given she just lost her Dad. Of course Leah is making sure the sympathy I feel looks labored, and I mention that the sick look on my face has more to do with the fact that my baby girl is apparently more anxious to run marathons with Vee than frakking sleep.

    Ro and Svenja come back just as I'm poking my belly, and mutter, "Calm down in there!" Of course they would. And now I look crazy. I smile up at them, and wait for them to sit. "It's good luck, I guess," I say, knowing he'll eat that shit up, "had you showed up any day other than today we might have missed each other."

    I promised Ma' I'd drive tomorrow morning, so I shouldn't stay up late — but it's not like I can sleep with Leah learning kung-fu... So... Stories!
  • You all swap stories, Topps asking tons of questions about the Ascendant and life there. Ro shares stories about his travels, and about Jack, too. He tells the tale of the "boy with nice tits", which is about Gala, and a few others, too.

    "You seen Al around here up north?" Ro asks as the night grows long and everyone's starting to turn in. Of course, he's asking about his brother Altoids.
  • So it looks like Ro is quite close with Jack. That's nice. Jack always seemed so lonely to me... I guess everyone's got people somewhere. I asked him what happened to Jack that he got injured while he was on the subject, and shake my head when he asks about Altoids.

    "I haven't seen him in forever," I comment, taking another drink of water, "Why? Have you heard he was up here? Last I heard he was out East."
  • "Me, too," Ro agrees. "But you know Al, he gets around. He's like a bad penny, never know when or where he'll show up." He puts an arm around you, all buddy style.

    It's weird, right? Ro has hit on tons of girls, but never you. He thinks of you as much of a sister as Star, really. Doesn't he? Did you ever make a move on him or anything? What about VB? How are they?

    He leans in to whisper in your ear, "I'm glad you're with Rinnie. He's good people. You two will be great parents for this little one."
  • We kind of are siblings, when you think about it... Reese took care of me so many nights when Ma' was out riding, and Dad was stuck doing a gig that I might as well have just lived with them sometimes. I mean Al, Ro, Star, and I used to bathe together when we were kids. That's how close we are.

    Ro's hit on Vee a couple of times... She still groans about that line he used about "rubbing off on her" or something. I think Ro may actually have been Vee's first, now that I think about it... It was either him, or Nova... I don't think she counts Nova though, on the count of the fact that he couldn't keep it up long enough to stick it in her for more than five seconds... Well you remember when we saw him last — Nova's into dudes.

    I smile when he puts his arm around me, and nod along with his assessment of Altoids. He smells like lavender... Normally I wouldn't mind, but Leah's made me a little sensitive to smells. I'm not sneezing or anything, 'cause it's not very strong anymore, but I don't think I could stand to take a whiff of that soap long.

    I think every ounce of blood rushes to my head when he compliments Rinnie and me as being great parents... "Awe... Thanks Ro!" I peck him on the cheek, and give him another hug, "Vee's gunna be there too — I'm pretty sure between the three of us we'll make decent parents. Have you met anyone special?"
  • Ro shrugs, "Sure, lots of special people," he glances over at Svenja, who is out cold on that comfy chair. "But nobody serious." He senses that you're bothered by his closeness, but maybe he doesn't exactly know why. "How is little Vee? Still a heart-breaker?" He grins.
  • Well, the indigestion doesn't exactly help things... I pat his chest, "don't worry sweetie. Your soap is just really strong. I still love ya!" A wide grin cracks my face in half, like back when we were kids, and I giggle pleasantly.

    I melt a little when he asks how Vee is, "She's great. We've been working on making ourselves a little home back at the Ascendant — she's still got those rich tastes that break the bank, but she adds richness to our lives, y'know? We got really close back when Rinnie left to deal with some shit a few months back. She's been amazing. You should drop by our place when you're over there! Heck, the whole family would be happy to see you!"
  • Ro seems to catch on a bit, but just to be sure, he asks, "Really close? Like... saphiccally close?" He asks the question with a mix of dread and sex-hope. Then he reads the answer in your eyes, "Holy drek! You converted her!" He elbows you, even offers a grin, "Well, damn. There's one more off the market... really serious. I didn't even know she could be really serious. You must have one talented tongue..."

    "Ro," Zero warns. "Watch your tongue. That is my daughter."

    Has Zero ever claimed you like that, Kiddo? Protectively? How does that make you feel?

    Well, it seems to scare the frak out of Ro. He's always, always been nervous around your mom. He ducks his head, "Sorry, Zero. I didn't mean... well, okay, I did mean... shutting up." Zero glares at him to make sure.
  • Wow! Ma's never done anything like that before... I mean, she's shot people trying to kill me, but she's mostly tried to have me take care of myself when it comes to social stuff... Get me ready for "the real world" and all that junk. It... It's kinda nice, actually, having her stand up for me like that. Ro's comment didn't bother me, and even if it did, I could've handled it — but not having to? Knowing she's got my back? That's nice. A small smile lifts the corner of my lips, and I can't help but look over appreciatively to Ma'.

    I blush bashfully and roll my eyes, "I didn't convert her — I mean yeah, we're lovers an all that — but she's not really into girls, you know? I think she's just into me... And Rinnie... It's complicated."
  • Ro doesn't say it, but his eyes hop like he was "about" to make a remark about seeing VB "into you", but then he glances over at Zero and ducks his head. He can't help but smile at his own ribald joke, unspoken or not, "That's great, Kiddo. Seriously. Complicated or not, they're both awesome people."

    He spends a moment trying to figure out the lingual olympics to ask a question without making your mom mad, and ends up asking, "So, they're both back there... how's that working?"
  • I look at him quizzically, "Like what are they doing? Frak if I know... Rinnie works at the infirmary most days while our doc has a particularly large influx of patients, and Vee's taking care of my gigs while I ride south. I'd imagine Rinso's keeping Vee company at night. We share our bed with him some nights already, so the only leap is that now I'm not there."

    I look him in the eyes, "Why do you ask?"
  • Ro shrugs, "Oh hey.. no reason. Just, you know... it's complicated." He smiles sheepishly, "Right?" He withers under Zero's gaze, realizing he wasn't as clever as he'd hoped. "Well, congrats to you, Kiddo. And be happy. Because all of you folk are my family, right?"

    Tops yawns, "C'mon, family guy. We got a long ride in the morning. You need to go to bed, because I can't handle your big ride.... don't even make a joke about it!"

    Ro stops, because he was already starting one about his "big ride". His shoulders slump and he hugs you good night. Not Zero, though. No hugs for mean mom.

  • I blink a few times, squinting at Ro dubiously. He's usually so forthcoming that I don't think he really knows how to keep something secret. I stand up and let him hug me, but I'm watching him...
  • OOC: Reading Ro. Roll+Sharp. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 5, 3. Total: 10)
  • While we're hugging, I whisper, "Ro, really... what's up?"

    OOC: What's Ro really feeling?
  • Ro whispers back, "I'm okay, Kiddo. Just, you know, always liked VB. Now she's off limits. I'll bounce back, just adjusting." He pats you on the back and kisses your cheek when he stands back. "G'night, lovely ladies."

    He won't admit it, but Ro feels a little worried that he's never going to find someone. Krug's never going to return his letters and sex is fun and all, but you know, he does want somebody to actually care when the parties are over. He just doesn't realize it yet.
  • I frown at that little revelation... It's not like he stuck around long enough to tell Vee that, or anything... or even give it a shot with her, other than that horrid frakking pickup line. I'm not bitter about him liking Vee — just concerned that he thinks he can build a relationship with someone based on that kind of approach. Maybe Jack is good for him, though... Jack seems to know what's up.

    I run over to give Ma' a kiss on the cheek, "I'm gunna try and get some sleep, if baby girl will let me. Don't stay up too late, yeah? Love you!" Then I run to catch up to Ro. "Hey... I'm gunna get some sleep too." I give him a sidelong hug, and nuzzle his chest. He's a bit taller than I am, so that's not overly hard for me to do. "Don't worry Ro... I'm sure you'll find someone who fits you like a glove."

    See? I even give him low-hanging fruit for his stupid jokes now that Ma's out of earshot.
  • Ro hugs you back, all warm, "Gods, I've missed you, Kiddo." He kisses the top of your head and squeezes again. "I wish Reunion were right now, and the four of us were all together again. I miss you all the time." He steps up into the bus, following Topps. She heads down to the assigned little area for the bed she rented.
  • I look up at him and smile, "Well... Reunion's quite a ways away, but I don't think Star's really going anywhere. Do you want me to keep an ear to the ground for Al? I'm sure someone could get him up to the Ascendant eventually if you intend on sticking around for a while... It is getting cold out there..."

    OOC: What does Ro wish I'd do?
  • Ro answers, "I'm not sure how long we're staying, but the idea of us all getting back together would definitely convince me."

    Ro would love to see Altoids, you and Starburst all together again
  • edited December 2013
    I smile coyly, and skip ahead a step, blocking his path, "Well... I'll be gone a week or two, dealing with this baby stuff — but when I come back, I'll have either found Al, or sent out a message for him to meet us at the Ascendant. So you stay put, OK? And listen to Star about drinking the water... It's really important."

    OOC: How can I get Ro to wait at the Ascendant least as long as it takes for me to come back?
  • Ro looks at you with a smirk. "You're serious about this? Well, I'm riding with Jack and Parfait, and they're wanderers like me. I like 'em." He considers for a moment, "Let me talk to them. It'd be real great for the four of us to get together again. Our own little reunion."

    If Jack and Parfait will wait, he'll wait, too
  • I smile and nod, "Good. If they can't wait, then don't leave without letting me talk to them... What's one more favor to owe them, yeah?" I give him a peck on the cheek, "alright Ro, you have a good night. I'm gunna hit the hay."
  • Ro smiles, "Sleep well, Kiddo." Then he heads off to his own bed.

    --END SCENE--
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