New Guardians

Issue 28 - A Motley Crew

Assault on Camp Atterbury

Guardians_Number_28.jpg

We start with Baron and Bantaam

Then Dark Witch/Darlene gets involved. We contact the prosecutor to discover our plan: to offer to mitigate charges of Brigade and Bounder if those two villains decide to help.

Before this… you presented a LONG list of potential/incarcerated villains and there was a long list of empathic “no”s from the heroes. We didn’t take ANYONE there wasn’t unanimous agreement on (between our little group.) We originally thought we might get Brigade to wear three suits of armor but he wouldn’t fit into the Unicorn’s armor. The Dark Witch would be the only person who would fit into the Unicorn’s armor… and as it turns out, the Witch’s power set mirrors the Unicorns in most ways, only its obviously magickal instead of tech-based. So the Witch wouldn’t benefit from the Unicorn’s armor… meaning Brigade would wear Diddy/Piper armor and also (originally we thought) Chopper’s armor.

We talked to Earnest about wearing the Diddy/Piper armor but he adamantly doesn’t want to go into the field.

The Witch, Baron Mind, and Bantaam talk to Bounder and Brigade. Baron Mind steps up and does most of the talking, speaking as the leader of this diminished group of Guardians.

When Brigade is told the situation: Guardians captured, small group wanting to augment numbers to launch a rescue mission, Brigade says, “So what I’m hearing is you will owe me a favor?”
Bounder agrees instantly because of opportunity to rescue Fortress. Brigade demands the deal is put in writing.

Part of the original reasoning for using Brigade was to use one person for multiple suits of armor but that doesn’t turn out to be viable when we talk to him. He 1) can’t wear the Unicorn armor designed for a smaller woman and the heroes decide 2) he can’t be TRUSTED to wear the Chopper armor. Chopper’s armor is a killing machine and the heroes rightly decide that entrusting that to Brigade is a bad idea.

Earnest suddenly reports to the few remaining Guardians that there is “paranormal activity” going on, which, this time, translates into “crazed robot attack.”

MEANWHILE….

(I left with Rick and you and Katie roleplayed some opening stuff with her character…. And when I came back….)

There is a smoking hole and a skeletal robot with a blade for one hand. Lani is there. She screams and tries to get her interns out of the room. Talk of “My room” and “my engine.” Lani uses hydraulics – sucking up a ball bearing into her arm and then expelling it at the robot, doing 10 dice dm, hitting it in the crotch for 9 body. The robot then swings a blade at his water girl and discovers she is a water girl when the blade passes harmlessly through her water. (desolid) Lani picks up another something and shoots it for 12 body. The chest shot to the robot- KLANG!- does 3” KB.

Security guards arrive to shoot the robot. Robot spins around its blade to cut a hole in the floor, dropping down through it.
“The containment control is shattered!”
Robot smashes a machine to bits.
There are guys in lab coats and on the table is an unconscious green man. The guy is (Kid Green’s vegetable brother): “the hedge man that got lose downtown”  how Lani recognizes him/It

The water girl grabs up a wrench and sends it flying right through the robot’s head.

Sam starts to grow.

JUST THEN…

Baron Mind and Bantam arrive on the scene and learn from a security guard that a robot is
“going nuts.” From the guard’s perspective, only a single Guardian is here. He can’t see a shrunken Bantam.

(The Dark Witch… and Bounder and Brigade have not responded to this Emergency since they are about to mount a rescue mission and don’t want to tip their plan to the villains. From the perspective of any outsider, ONLY Baron Mind has responded to this robot attack… and General Stone already knows Baron Mind escaped him.)

INSIDE (whatever place this is)….

Lani is gathering debris into her water body as she talks to Sam, who is screaming and growing.

Baron Mind comes through the afore-blasted hole in the robotics lab and he and Lani talk…

Baron Mind: “Who are you?”
Lani: “Really? Now?”

She identifies herself as an employee here. He asks for ID. She produces it.
After this dialogue (which, because of physics, takes no time), Baron Mind creates an image of Sam’s (mad scientist) dad. This image urges Sam to calm down and it works, slowing Sam’s growth.

Bantam runs to position himself better to blast if necessary and Lani asks, “Where did he come from?”

Baron Mind hold a finger in front of his lips and says, “Ssh!”

Lani starts questioning fellow employees about what’s going on here. She is told that Sam/the Moss Monster was shipped here by Homeland Security and that he was kept from growing by being gassed unconscious (Standard Operating Procedure for every kind of monster that spontaneously grows above 18 feet tall. Duh!)

Security arrives and Baron Mind tells them, “We’ve got this under control.”
Security guard radios back, “A guy in a turban says he’s got this under control.”
“Don’t forget the alligator skin shoes!”

Bantam is clinging to the ceiling while the talking continues. (“He says ‘they’ are the Guardians but I see only one.”) Guys finally arrive with gas. Baron’s image of Sam’s dad tells his monster son that they are going to help him… but when a guy with gas approaches him, the monster instinctively flails out and sends the guy flying. Lani then approaches with the gas tank and mask. Baron has the image say, “The strange water lady is going to help you, son.”

There is more flailing but this time Sam’s arm passes right through Lani.

She gets the mask on.

Crisis Averted. Teammate Acquired.

Baron Mind goes into Recruitment Mode and learns quickly is the famous “water baby” who has (laughingly) decided to live a “normal life.” Heh. Baron Mind first clarifies that his image, would could be seen by all, was an image. Then he says to Lani, “You seem nigh invulnerable.”

Lani: “I would’t say that.”

More talk of the need for her to help and Baron tries to entice her (unsuccessfully) by mentioning our reality TV show. (SIDE NOTE—Season 1 ends with Guardians utterly defeated, with Bantaam and Baron Mind in flight…. And Season 2 then will open with the big daring rescue mission, including our first International Guest Star! Ha!)

Bantam urges thriftiness. Lani’s initial response, upon hearing Guardians are captured, is, “No, no, no!”

Baron Mind then points out that the reason the Guardians lost is because the villains knew everyone’s weaknesses…. And that it would help in this rescue mission to have help from people who’s weaknesses aren’t known.

Lani goes to see “Mark” who designed the robot. He lets slip that “General Stone is going to kill me.”

Two conversations take place simultaneously. Lani and Mark are discussing his involvement with Stone… and also Lani’s water powers… and also Baron Mind’s desire to have Lani help in the rescue mission. Meanwhile, Baron Mind whispers to Bantam that he should try getting into this guy’s computer files. Bantam zips off to another room to do exactly that.
In another room, Bantam grows, hacks into computer first as a user, then as an Administrator to dig through files about Stone. He finds financial records first for the robotics department then digs deeper and finds information on the Sentinel Program/combat robots. He eventually discovers that Stone has sent an Email saying that the time table has been moved up and they need to send “whatever they have.” CONVENIENTLY (because Luck Favors the Brave), some German Dr. Conrad is shipping stuff to Stone that very night.

A conversation then takes place among the Guardians and Lani, with the Dark Witch also becoming involved thanks to Baron Mind’s telepathy. We emphasize to Lani that General Stone is a super villain mastermind working for a dark organization within the government. He injected nanobots into the bodies of the Guardians, taking them over and causing them to commit murder. He learned their weaknesses presumably through the same method (nanobots) and defeated most of the team… but those that remain will now go in to rescue the others, hopefully with Lani’s help. She is skeptical of Stone’s involvement at first but is eventually convinced and agrees to help.

So the assault rescue (ragtag) team is Bantaam, Dark Witch, Torrent/Lani, Bounder, Brigade dressed in Ditty armor—led by Baron Mind.

“Ship whatever you have. Time table moved up,” is the message from Stone. Instead of the shipment, the van will contain the (ragtag) group of six, with Lani driving the van.

On the drive to the rendezvous with destiny, Bounder and Lani talk. Lani asks, “So you and Fortress are an item?”

“Of COURSE we are,” is the response.

The Guardians (and villains) come together and discuss the plan. Piper has tapped into satellites to give view of Camp Atterbury.

MEANWHILE…. Kid Green is in a shipping container filled with herbicide. Vapor is in a hermetically sealed container. LB finds himself in a magnetic field (that suppresses his electricity), his shield gone….

And General Stone comes to see LB to gloat. Stone, “You are under my complete control.”

LB agrees, “Yes you are.”

“At my mercy.”

“Yup. Which means you can now safely tell me your nefarious plan” LB smiles.

Stone’s plan: he heads a Top Secret project called SENTINEL, put in motion as a plan to deal with all paranormals, even the good guys. Kid Green was infected with he nanos (way back in Issue 15), which then infiltrated the bodies of everyone else.

LB repeatedly calls him a super villain once the plot is laid out. They talk about “Perspective.”

Stone mentions “The Specialist” who is coming to wipe our memories. He also mentions he plans to blow Atterbury. Numerous massive explosions are coming.

He also divulges he has superiors… he’s a mid-level super villain who hasn’t yet been fully promoted to world conqueror (from LB’s notes.  )

LB points out to Stone that while he SAYS the Sentinel Program was designed to be used against “anyone with super powers”—the people he CHOSE to use it on was HEROES. Stone is confident LB won’t remember any of this, thanks to ‘the Specialist’ (“some mentalist without any movement powers” <- from LB’s notes)… but LB remains forever the optimist. Despite being utterly defeated, he predicts the Guardians will ultimately win.

SIMULTANEOUSLY….

Bounder: “Are we there yet?”

Torrent drives them in, getting past the guards, who are expecting a shipment from her company. The rescue team drives behind another vehicle to a cluster of buildings deep within the compound. Baron Mind immediately does a mind scan of the area and finds Fortress, who is in a heated container that drains her powers. Mentally, Baron Mind tells her, “We’ll find you.” She explains that “Heat drains my powers.” Baron Mind: “I did not know that.”

Dehydrated, Fortress muttered “Water” to which Baron Mind replies, “We brought water but you can’t drink it.”

Baron Mind then finds LB, then Kid Green, establishing a mind link.

Bounder: “Tell them I said ‘Hi!’”

The Jeep that the heroes are following eventually arrives at a big hanger. The soldiers in the Jeep ahead of the heroes get out and go up to the hanger. Baron Mind has determined the location of the captured heroes is directly behind them, not ahead of them in the hanger. (see map) The Witch, Bantaam, and Baron Mind quickly discuss options (Stone is likely ahead of them and the rest of the Guardians are behind them) and decide to go for their friends. Torrent peels out, turning around, and driving to a place down the road that is the place where the Guardians were defeated. There is debris from the earlier battle. And there are numerous cargo containers containing captured Guardians inside.

Knowing the captured heroes are here, the (ragtag) rescue team piles out: Ditty/Brigade, Bounder, Torrent, the Dark Witch, Bantam, and Baron Mind.

Baron Mind immediately uses his telekinetic power in conjunction with his lock-picking skills on one of the containers. The tumblers roll; the lock opens; and the door opens. A greenish fog (herbicide) pours out. Inside, of course, is Kid Green.

Torrent moves up to a second container and blasts the lock. A wave of heat emanates from the container holding Fortress.

Bantaam goes to a 3rd container, shrinks, and moves the tumblers in another lock. This container is empty, with a big hole tore into the back of it.

Dark Witch teleports 10” (1/2 move) and pulls Kid Green out of his container using a telekinetic arm/hand projected from her wand.

Brigade in Ditty armor moves forward.

Nearby, an elevator comes up out of the ground and out of the elevator step three sentinels.

Bounder bounds forward saying, “The jig’s up!” He is looking for Fortress (and didn’t see what Torrent saw.)

Screaming down the road come three “deuces”.

Bounder: “OH Fortress! I’m coming for you!”

Sentinel 1 steps forward and shoots an electric blast that misses.

Sentinel 2 moves toward Bantaam and tries to punch him but Bantaam shrinks under the punch.

The third Sentinel is faced with Bounder and shoots him with more electricity. Bounder laughs it off. “How well does rubber conduct electricity?” (They, of course, had no knowledge of what Bounder could do.) In his British accent, Bounder goaded Bantaam and Baron Mind, “And these things beat you before?”

The Dark Witch uses her TK to yank the door off another container, shorting out the magnetic field inside. Inside this one, of course, is Lightning Bolt.

Torrent is thinking that we will get our teammates and leave. (Other Guardians have no intention of retreating; now that the team is reassembling, the goal is to Get Stone.) Torrent basically ignores the Sentinels and concentrates on the containers, opening another, this one containing Vapor.

(Discussion now about altering Fortress’s serum, which heretofore seemed ? to only boost stun? Determined it boosts both? I was out of the room for part of this.)

Bantaam shoots the Sentinel that tried to attack him, doing 42 stun and 11” KB. This Sentinel slams into vehicle and takes another 11 dice dm = 35 more stun.

Baron Mind raises his force field and saves a phase.

LB’s speed allows him to recover twice in opening phases (and still keep pace with most everyone else, except Bantaam).

Bounder blows up his fist and hits a sentinel from 4” away, stretching his arm. This punch does 4” KB. “Where is my beloved?”

Vapor crawls out of his container; Torrent helps him. The Witch cocoons a Sentinel in a darkness magical entangle (hoping that the Sentinels don’t know her weaknesses.)

A sentinel swings at Torrent and the swing goes right through Torrent, startling Sid/Vapor. They introduce themselves and, of course, Sid says, “Nice to meet you.” (Standard Operating Procedure when rescued by an unknown paranormal.)

Fortress gets out of her container and, hearing Bounder, she hides from him, going around to the far side of her container. She injects herself. (This is phase 4; the second phase LB recovers.)

There are still two unopened containers and one hero remains missing: Graviton.

Flying 2” into the air, Baron Mind telekinetically stands Kid Green up. Fortress gets on Guardian signal device (which now works since they are outside containers? Mind link? Confused a bit here.) “You brought BOUNDER?!?”

Baron Mind explains, “We were desperate.”

(That was mentally between Baron and Fortress, I believe.)

Fortress sees Diddy moving on the army cars headed their way. She picks up container and throws it to block those vehicles. Bounder, facing the other way, still doesn’t see Fortress.

Bantaam, tiny, zips over to Kid Green and aids him, giving him 11 stun back.

LB sees his shield in the rubble and runs over to retrieve it.

(phase 6) The Witch’s entangle on a Sentinel is blasted apart by a light blast, confirming for the Witch that these Sentinels also know her weaknesses.

A sentinel picks up car and throws it at Bounder. Bounder allows the car to hit his rubber body and he rebounds it right back at the Sentinel.
The Sentinel that had been hit by a Bantaam Bolt gets up and sees Torrrent in front of it. Torrent is hit with electricity = 57 stun. She is knocked out!

Discordant music rings out as Diddy attacks.

Bantaam hits Kid Green with more aid.

Dark Witch aborts her next movement phase (8) to dodge as Sentinel shoots a light blast at her.

Another Sentinel steps up to Vapor, grabs Vapor by the neck, and picks him up. He starts to squeeze Sid’s neck. 29 stun- rendered unconscious

Baron Mind uses TK, flings door (??) 13 stun to Sentinel who drops Sid.

Fortress is at the rear of the battle and sees Brigade has flipped a truck over. She picks up a second container and throws it directly at soldiers. Her aim is badly off and she hits the second truck directly, 10 dice = 39 stun – smash truck. “INCOMING!” Nimble soldiers jump out of it.

Lightning Bolt directs Bantaam and the Witch: they coordinate attacks on a single Sentinel. LB does a move through. Bantaam throws a Bantaam Bolt. The Dark Witch is the only one of the three who misses with a dark blast. LB does 29 stun physical. Bantaam does 31 stun energy. There is 1” KB into container… resulting in an explosion of silver. (One down, two to go.)

Seeing this, LB confirms his suspicion based on previous experience with nanobots; these Sentinels aren’t robots but instead are sophisticated suits of armor.

Kid Green leaps forward to do a whiplash, hitting a Sentinel with a stalk from 5” away. 16 dice attack that does 5” KB.

An unconscious Sid recovers. Torrent does too (??)

LB tells Baron Mind to try to find Matsuzaki. Baron Mind scans and locates Amy’s mind… directly below the heroes. Amy is unconscious and dying. Startled, Baron Mind asks, “Can you make a hole?”

Kid Green laughs. “Can I make a hole?”

Fortress sees a soldier signal other soldiers to head toward third (last remaining) truck. Fortress decides then to pick up the van that the rescue squad came in and throw it at the truck. Soldiers again dive for cover. Meanwhile, Brigade is cursing and has taken off his “Shit armor”, stomping on the keyboard in anger.

LB, Kid Green and Bantaam all rush into the elevator that the Sentinels came up in. A Sentinel is getting up. LB tells Baron Mind to scan for Stone. LB uses communicator to talk to Piper back at the base. Knowing Stone talked of blowing this location up and knowing that they no longer have an escape vehicle (thanks to Fortress), he has TF scrambled in the Guardians copter “for Evac.”

TF won’t make it there before the bombs go off.

Baron Mind scans for Stone (at beginning of phase 12) and detects he’s with other soldiers who are hauling ass out of here. Baron Mind asks Fortress, “Where’s our escape vehicle?”

She avoids answering by asking, “So what do you need me to do?”

Brigade gives Fortress crap about throwing the van. He also talks about how his “junk ass armor” only “got off one shot.”

Torrent and Vapor recover.

Three heroes go down into the subterranean complex. When the elevator doors open, the heroes see blinking explosives on the walls which are now down to a ten second countdown.

Dark Witch, LB and Bantaam run to three different doors along the corridor, opening them on three empty rooms. Kid Green opens a door and discovers Amy and her father… both submerged in water!

Kid Green breaks the plexiglass tank, causing Amy and Harry to splash out. LB tells everyone to flee.

Above, Torrent shoots at lock of container, misses, and then Fortress yanks off the lock. They expect Graviton inside but he’s not there. (The two empty containers were obviously meant for the two heroes that got away: Bantaam and Baron Mind.)

9 seconds to detonation.

Baron Mind asked by Fortress, “Can you scan for Graviton?” “Yes.”

Bantaam zips up wall to try to disable timer. LB goes to another door and opens it, confirming no one else is here.

Baron Mind determines there is no sign of Graviton on Camp Atterbury.

Dark Witch grabs up two innocents (Amy and Harry) and safe blind teleports them (and herself) straight up,

Torrent tries to pull Sentinel out from under car and does so easily. The armor atomizes, revealing, yes, a man in skivvies. The armor has become gray dust.

Torrent slides the guy out as Sid asks, “Where’s the escape vehicle?”

It, of course, is a smoking ruin, thanks to Fortress.

LB, Bantaam, and Kid Green get into elevator to go up.

Bounder sees Fortress for the first time. “Baby!” He drops Sentinel, who’s armor disintegrates, revealing another guy in his underwear.

Bounder bounds over to Fortress and tries to hug her. Fortress tries to dodge the hug like an attack but FAILS. Bounder hugs her, saying, “I will never let you out of my sight again! I promise to kill anyone who looks at you!”

When Fortress looks angrily at Baron Mind, he explains, “We needed someone who was motivated.”

LB, Kid Green, and Bantaam quietly ride up in the elevator.

The heroes determine Kid Green will be there means of escape, since Fortress destroyed the escape vehicle. Baron Mind teleports into a container and uses TK on one of the unconscious sentinel soldiers, bringing him inside the same container.
Bantaam and Dark Witch both go into same container.

LB and the other heroes arrive on site again in the elevator. LB grabs up another sentinel soldier and goes into the container. The Witch grabs the last of the three unconscious Sentinels.

Brigade is still bitching. “This is shit! You guys are nuts!”

Fortress tries to break out of Bounder’s hug and manages to do so. “Don’t touch me again!”

“So good to see you again!”

Baron announces he will use TK to reinforce the container. All enter the container now but Bounder, Fortress, and Kid Green. 4 seconds until detonation.

Bounder and Fortress decide to “race.” Kid Green leaps 48” noncombat. Fortress leaps 34” noncombat. Bounder is way faster than both, having mega-scale leaping.

Camp Atterbury goes up in flames, destroyed by massive explosions.

When the Guardians are clear, Fortress asks, “Who’s idea was it to bring him?” She points at Bounder.

The Witch, Bantaam, and Torrent all point at Baron Mind.

Baron Mind scans the city for Stone but can’t find him.

LB has paramedic skills that he uses to determine Harry is dead. Amy is nearly dead.

Bounder and Fortress have long exchange about how he could have “gone anywhere” but he didn’t. “Even a rough and tumble guy like me,” said Bounder, “has a heart.” Fortress assumes he’ll want to join the team now. Bounder disabuses her of that notion. “Thank God,” she responds.

Bounder suggests they release him into Fortress’s custody.

LB surmises from little evidence that Graviton has been rescued by his brother Magnus. Graviton’s container has been broken into from the outside, with what might be a magnetic power signature…. And when LB asks himself, “Who has the motivation to rescue Graviton?”—Magnus immediately comes to mind.

We go back to HQ. Lots of official stuff.

Baron Mind then returns to the scene the next day, when the fires have cooled someone. He hovers over the scene of the explosions where the containers were located. He then uses retrocognition to see backwards in time… and confirms that Graviton was, indeed, rescued by his brother.

Magnus talks of how “blood is thicker than water” and how he “needs your (Graviton’s) help.” Graviton agrees to go with Magnus.

AFTERMATH—DISCUSSIONS—

Okay, so again augment here…. Because as we talked afterwards, I did NOT take notes so I’m totally going by memory.

Stone escaped. Stone worked for the government with some superior. Dark organization with no oversight…. So we expose them.

You mentioned Arrow and Damien Darhk. Yup. It’s like a trope, I’m sure, man. LOL. But it makes sense story-wise. Villains operate in darkness and thrive in darkness so you expose them to light.

A reminder—there was that thing with Babs Bennett. IF she can come up with part of this story—if she can add something to it- then I’m inclined to give this huge story to HER. IF she can add something. She was going to check sources inside.

Right now, we need more evidence of this secret Sentinel program. We need evidence of mind controlling nano-tech…. which really isn’t MIND control at all…. More like Body controlling. Usurping the neuro pathways.

“Our” reality TV crew already knows a LOT about this Stone deal. I say the BIG thing we need to do ASAP is get ahead of the story about us murdering people in Kentucky. LB needs to do an interview and lay out this entire diabolic plot… deluded assholes who attack HEROES and make them instruments of murder and justify that with the words “national security.” I’m good with my own particular brand of spin, don’t you think? LOL

The team, obviously, needs to be consulted thoroughly on this. I volunteer to do the interview but if others want to be involved, the more the merrier. I’m not going to do anything if someone has major objections. At this point, I don’t know HOW to track Stone but I figure he’s basically crawled under some secret Area 51-ish rock and, again, best way to flush him out is to turn a spotlight… a searchlight on him. If his superior comes to the conclusion that Stone righteously fucked up—once we draw some hot public heat/attention—maybe someone Within will give him up.

Regardless, the World Needs To Know What Happened.

And it’s best it come immediately from me/us… because it’s basically going to come out anyway when our reality TV series debuts.

The Specialist. No idea which mind-washing villain that is but will see if Babs or any of OUR liasons in the government knows who that might be. **Will need to question the soldiers in the Sentinel armor too! These patsies who were left to die in the explosions.

Mustn’t forget the part where Stone DROWN the Matazukis too (or whatever their names are.)

Our weaknesses were known and we lost because of it. The villains knew us better than us. LB strongly believes everyone should basically volunteer ALL the crap on our respective disadvantages sheets. We need to SHARE. LB and Baron Mind both suggest we work on some maneuvers. Perhaps train vs the Champions. LB suggests perhaps each person has an assigned role…. And also perhaps we might try a buddy system. We ALSO need to think about how we can change ourselves so these weaknesses that nearly got us killed are no longer so detrimental. If Stone and his Sentinels return, as villains are wont to do, then we need to be DIFFERENT. Perhaps find ways around (lessening) our disadvantages with tech…. like a suit for Fortress that shields her from heat.

Basically we need to WORK on some things as a team… a brainstorming/planning session followed by a practice session. As LB, I have several ideas.

We need to check all known associations of Magnus to see if we can track him to find Grav. We’ll use the fuck out of Baron Mind’s retrocognition if possible, so be forewarned of that.

I THINK that’s about it but, again, augment based on your memories.

You talked about Jessica and how much of it is about proving mind control… how difficult that is. Less difficult by far in OUR situation because this is NOT mind control. It’s body control. And we know the cause/source: nano-technology. It was nano-tech that allowed these villains to defeat us also…. AGAIN something I want to divulge ASAP. Big News Story. Guardians Defeated… but then Guardians Escape (Uncovering Secret Government Agency Responsible for Mass Murders.) Again: the reality TV show will come out, what, 8-9 months later or something and the world will then SEE us being defeated. Best to come out NOW and admit, yes, we got our asses handed to us but, as usual, we ultimately prevailed and now a big time super villain is on the run. The explosions at Atterberry make for some great CNN live (and recorded) TV.

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