act 3



Fade In:
Radio Air Studio – Night

“Sorry about the break,” Tracey said into the microphone. A sound monitor on the wall bounced from nothing to green to yellow when she spoke. ‘Too bad we have to take them in the middle of the story, but rules are rules. Anyway, when we left our intrepid hero, also known as me, I had a kid on my hands for the indefinite future.”

Cut To:
Tracey’s Apartment – Night

As Hugh attempted to climb over her, one hand trying to get a boost from her shoulder, Tracey sighed.

“I learned some new things about Hugh that night.”

Cut To:
Tracey’s Apartment – Night

“He doesn’t eat,” Tracey said, as an unidentified pinkish substance hit her in the face.

Somewhere, Hugh was giggling.

Cut To:
Tracey’s Apartment – Night

“Or drink.”

Tracey hardly even winced when a cup of apple juice was thrown in her face.

Cut To:
Tracey’s Apartment – Night

“Or go to the bathroom.”

Tracey stood helpless in the center of her destroyed living room; everything that might have once been on a shelf was now on the floor. Hugh was squealing a single high-pitched note as he ran around her in circles.

Cut To:
Tracey’s Apartment – Night

The bombastic brass of a John Williams score could be heard, reflected colors playing across the faces of the transfixed Hugh and relieved Tracey as they sat on her couch watching the television.

“Instead,” Tracey said, “we stayed up all night watching Star Wars. The original trilogy, of course – not those newer imposters. He now knows everything there is to know. Though dozing off during The Empire Strikes Back isn’t really the best idea…”

Cut To:
Cloud City – Ridiculously Large Reactor Shaft

Her Jedi robes flowing around her in various shades of blue, Tracey warily backed up along a long, thin platform. She held her glowing blue lightsaber defensively in front of her.

Regally, with a sweep of his black garments, Darth Vader stepped through the door at the hub of the platform. His faceless black mask seemed to glower, despite its lack of features. Without a word, Vader activated his bright red lightsaber.

“I’ll never join you!” Tracey yelled.

Don’t make me destroy you,” Vader said in his deep baritone.

With a sound somewhere between a buzz and whoosh, Tracey and Vader’s lightsabers came together in a shower of sparks. Tracey strained against the pressure of her enemy’s weapon. “I know you’re evil! Your lightsaber’s red!”

“Heck yes, I’m evil,” Vader replied. “Soon you will come over to the Dark Side.”

“Never!” Tracey shouted, as she broke the stalemate with a quick retreat. Vader attacked above Tracey’s head, but Tracey made two parries over her head, then stopped a lower attack.

“It is your destiny,” Vader insisted. “You were never told what happened to your father.”

“Umm…he lives in Fairview Park with my mom,” Tracey said, confused. “We had dinner at Applebee’s last weekend.”

Vader’s weapon whined when took a swipe at Tracey, but she avoided the blade by performing a spectacular front flip over her opponent, landing easily on her feet. She tried to catch Darth Vader from behind, but he was too fast for her and stopped her lightsaber with a quick turn.

“No,” Darth Vader said. Then he took a step back and removed his black helmet, revealing Vi’s face.

“Tracey, I am your father,” Vader Vi said.

Tracey’s expression was one of utter shock. “That…doesn’t make any sense.”

“Search your feelings,” Vi told her, “you know it to be true.”

Tracey looked like she was thinking about this for a couple of seconds. Then she shook her head.

“Heck with this!”

With a swift thrust of her lightsaber, Tracey attacked Darth Vi again. Vi was able to block the first strike, but with the riposte, Tracey caught her full in the chest. Darth Vi looked down in shock to see the green blade of light sticking straight into her chest.

Tracey tugged her weapon out of Vi’s chest and grinned. Darth Vi stumbled toward the edge of the thin platform and slipped off, falling into the seemingly endless abyss below. Cautiously, Tracey peeked over the edge. She grimaced.


Cut To:
Tracey’s Apartment – Morning

“Ow,” Tracey repeated, opening her eyes. Hugh was hitting her repeatedly in the head with a remote control.

“What does this do?” he asked, not stopping with his assault. Tracey sighed, making no attempt to defend herself.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Basement – Same Time

Dawn snored a little, her head resting on Tracey’s shoulder. “It turns out that I wasn’t the only one who dozed off,” Tracey said, turning her head towards the sleeping girl. “Okay,” she announced. “Wakey wakey. Sorry, my right arm’s starting to fall asleep.”

Dawn stirred, blinking her eyes. “Morning, Skye,” she said sleepily. Suddenly realizing that she was in fact on a bench across from the cell of her now-undead girlfriend, Dawn shot upright. “Oh, hey Skye. I must’ve…were you just watching me all night?”

Skye sat cross-legged on the floor in the center of her cell. She never seemed to blink. “Yeah,” she admitted. “Kinda romantic, if I do say so myself.”

“I was gonna say ‘stalkery,’ actually,” Dawn said. Tracey was still flexing her shoulder and clutching and unclutching her fingers, as if trying to get the feeling back in them.

“I’m tryin’ my best here, okay?” Skye defended. “It’s not like I have a…” she trailed off. “Yeah.” Both girls looked uncomfortable.

“Awk-ward,” Tracey commented in a sing-song voice.

Skye tried to change the subject. “So, does your sister know you’re down here?”

“Nope,” Dawn said.

Skye smiled a little from her spot on the floor. “Sneaking around behind Big Sis’s back, huh? Just like old times.”

“Well…” Tracey began, “except for that part where you’re evil. Oh, and you don’t have a pulse, and Dawn’s broken all the laws of Wicca in a failed attempt to restore your soul. Other than that, everything’s exactly like it was in the good old days.”

Dawn bit her lip. “Skye…it’s never gonna be the same again. You’ve gotta realize that.”

“Why not?”

“Why do you think?” Dawn said incredulously. “You’re not the same person! The Skye I knew would never sneak around killing people! The Skye I knew would never freak out and start throwing beds around!”

Skye looked down at the floor, just for a second. “You heard about that, did you?”

“And the Skye I knew would not sit in the middle of the floor all night staring at me.”

“Sure, I’m a little different,” Skye said, “but at least now I’m not going anywhere…unless your sister decides to stake me.”

“Buffy’s all talk,” Dawn assured her. “I mean, Spike’s still alive.” Dawn’s brow suddenly furrowed. “I think.”

“But, deep down,” Skye continued, “I’m still in love with you. You know that, right?”

Dawn looked down at the floor for a moment. “Yeah, I know,” she agreed quietly.

“And I know that, deep down, you’re still in love with me.”

“Yeah.” Dawn’s voice was barely a whisper.

“Awwwww,” Tracey purred. “Teenage vampire-warlock love. It’s like an evil version of Saved By the Bell.”

Skye stood up and walked towards Dawn and Tracey, stopped only by the bars of her cell. “If we love each other, give me one good reason why we shouldn’t be together?”

Dawn stood up as well, still avoiding Skye’s gaze. “Because if we let you out of that cell, you’re just gonna kill more people.”

“No, I’m not,” Skye told her. For all appearances, the vampire was sincere.

“What’s gonna stop you?” Dawn asked suspiciously.

Skye paused a moment before responding, finally holding Dawn’s eyes with hers.


At that single word, the lights in the cellblock began to dim.

“What’s going on?” Tracey wondered, confused.

The entire cellblock soon melted into blackness, except for a single bright spotlight, in the center of which stood Skye, her head bowed. There was no longer any sign of the bars holding her back. Then the rhythmic strumming of an acoustic guitar could be heard, backed by a drumbeat and some notes plucked on a bass. Skye began to tap her foot in time with the beat.

“Since when is there a guitar down here?” Tracey asked, glancing around herself in the gloom.

Dawn was transfixed. Raising her head, the vampire began to sing, her voice a beautiful contralto.

I keep a close watch on these fangs of mine.
I stop myself from wringing necks just fine.
I yearn for the taste of blood all the time,
But ’cause you’re mine, I walk the line.

“Johnny Cash?” Tracey said, cocking an eyebrow. “Classic,” she added approvingly.

Then a full, unseen orchestra kicked in, mimicking the tune played by the guitar. Simultaneously, Skye ripped off her clothes in a single motion to reveal a slinky gold dress. As a platform rose from the floor to lift Skye above the proceedings, the lighting changed to reveal a motley chorus line of incarcerated demons behind her. All the demons were dressed in fancy sequined suits. A top-hat finished off the ensemble, for those demons that could fit a hat over their horns. A bright red demon with a face similar to a bulldog climbed Skye’s platform to place a tiara on her head.

“Let’s go, boys,” the vampire cooed, and with a demon on each arm, Skye began to descend a set of stairs from her platform. Below, Dawn slowly began to keep the beat on her hip. Her eyes never left Skye, who once again began to sing, louder this time.

I find it very, very easy to be true.
I just ask myself what you’d want me to do.
Yes, I’ll admit that I’m a fool for you.
But ’cause you’re mine, I walk the line.

The demons formed a line behind Skye and began to kick in unison, like an unholy Rockettes. Or at least they tried to be unison. Some of the demons had trouble kicking very high.

You’ve got a way to keep me on good’s side.
You give me cause for love that I can’t hide.
And yet still no one thinks I can abide
But ’cause you’re mine, I walk the line.
Hit it!

Skye did an intricate soft shoe as a loud brass section took over the melody. The demons stopped their own dancing to surround Skye on the stairs, as she did a series of crossover steps. Then the number turned into a tap dance, the music dying away into a series of stings. Her heels and toes making a distinct clicking noise whenever she set them down, Skye descended the last few stairs to find herself directly in front of Dawn.

Skye daintily held out her hand. “May I have this dance?”

Dawn hesitated for a moment.

“Now’s the moment where we find out if it really runs in the family,” Tracey said over the continuing beat of the orchestra.

Dawn’s expression changed, the uncertainty leaving her eyes. She smiled, taking Skye’s hand. The orchestra swelled into a louder version of the melody as the pair swept off together.

“It’s genetic,” Tracey deadpanned.

The two girls waltzed quickly around the room, gazing into each other’s eyes. The room seemed to spin around them. Now Skye’s singing seemed to be only for Dawn.

While it’s true that my heart doesn’t beat,
It still skips when you smile soft and sweet.
Each and every moment I’m with you’s a treat.
And ’cause you’re mine, I walk the line.

Then Skye and Dawn kissed, the sort of kiss that only happens in the middle of a musical number between two lovers who haven’t kissed in months. When it was over, Skye let go of Dawn and ran back up the stairs until she reached the top of the platform. The orchestra performed a gradual crescendo that grew with every step Skye climbed. When she reached the top, Skye belted out the final verse of the song. Behind her, some of the more nimble members of her demonic chorus line were doing cartwheels.

I keep a close watch on these fangs of mine.
I stop myself from wringing necks just fine.
I yearn for blood all the damn time.
But ’cause you’re mine, I walk the liiiiiiine!

With a big finish, the orchestra cut out, and then the lights went out again in the Council basement. When they came back on, Skye and all the other prisoners were once again confined in their cells. There was no orchestra to be found. The look on Dawn’s face was one of pure, glowing adoration.

Cut To:
Radio Air Studio – Night

“And that’s exactly how it happened,” Tracey said. “Well, approximately exactly. I wasn’t actually there. Anyway, at breakfast that morning, I found out that my beautiful Andrew had done his homework.”

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Later that Morning

A pair of eggs were expertly broken on the sides of a skillet. Their contents plopped into the pan with a loud sizzle, before being poked at by a long black spatula.

“You look tired,” Andrew remarked, jiggling the skillet a little by its handle as he stood over the stove. Nearby, Tracey was twisting the cap of a plastic bottle of soda. With a hiss, the bottle opened and the soda proceeded to fizz wildly, splattering over Tracey’s shirt and onto the floor.

“Crap!” Tracey yelled, finally running out of patience. She slammed the bottle down on the counter, causing it to fizz even more. “Crap, crap, crap!”

“Here,” Andrew said. He put down the skillet and grabbed a paper towel, which he handed to Tracey. “I don’t know how you can drink that stuff this early in the morning.”

“Us non-coffee people need caffeine like everyone else,” Tracey explained, dabbing at the stain on her shirt. “I just didn’t get any sleep last night, what with my kid and everything.”

Flash To:
Watchers Council – Dining Hall – Day

The Next Day

A group of young slayers sat at a circular lunch table. “Hey,” one of the girls said, “you know what I heard? I heard that girl who works in the kitchen has a kid.”

Flash To:
Watchers Council – Classroom – Day

Three Days Later

A group of young male watchers chatted among themselves as they exited Robin’s class. “Did you hear about how the girl in the kitchen got knocked up?”

“With Wells?” one of his buddies asked. “You’re kidding me?”

“Well, I don’t know if the kid is his…”

A worried expression crossed Robin’s features as he watched the group leave.

Flash To:
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Day

Five Days Later

Robin walked through the swinging doors into the kitchen, finding Andrew setting the oven to pre-heat.

“Andrew,” he said seriously, “I think we need to have a talk.”

Andrew looked at the new arrival. “About what, Mr. Wood?”

“Parental responsibility.”

Andrew’s eyes got very wide.

Flash To:
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Morning

One Week Later

Andrew and Tracey worked side-by-side on a mix of pancake batter. He repeatedly glanced over at her nervously.

“Tracey, are you pregnant?” he blurted after a moment.

Tracey looked utterly clueless. “Umm…no?”

Andrew breathed a heavy sigh of relief. “Oh, good. That’s good.” The pair went back to work, though Tracey cast Andrew a suspicious sidelong glance.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Morning

Back in the present, Andrew went back to his batch of eggs, while Tracey continued to wipe off her shirt. “I’m sorry Hugh kept you up,” he said.

And destroyed my apartment,” Tracey added.

“But your apartment always looks like that,” Andrew teased.

“You’re one to talk, mister.”

“Anyway,” Andrew said, “I wish I could tell you more about him, but I just can’t find anything. Nothing in the database matches Hugh’s description.”

“Well, I had my doubts that he was just a ‘plastic monster’,” Tracey said, putting air quotes around the last part of the sentence. “That would be just a little too Doctor Who.” Her eyes suddenly widened. “Hey, you don’t think he’s a robot, do you?”

“You think Hugh is a Dalek?”

“No, I mean, maybe that’s why he looks synthetic,” Tracey replied, a little absently. She seemed like she was still trying to work things out in her head.

“Nah,” Andrew told her. “I told you before, I’ve seen humanoid robots. They might look like Hugh, but they sure don’t act like Hugh.”

“You mean Warren’s toys?”

Andrew saw Tracey looking at him. “Yeah, he used to make them. He always said he would build me a girl to…”

Tracey raised an eyebrow.

“…help out,” Andrew back-pedalled. “You know, with laundry and stuff!”

Tracey just smiled knowingly.

“Anyway,” Andrew continued, changing the subject, “he still might be some sort of demon. The database is incomplete when it comes to juveniles.”

“Well, either way,” Tracey said, “we need to figure out what to do with him soon. I have a busy life – I’m in college, I work here, I’ve got you…I’m not ready for a kid!”

“Hence my investment in condoms,” Andrew pointed out.

“Exactly,” Tracey agreed. “Brell’s not complaining, but I can’t keep calling him to babysit.”

Flash To:
Tracey’s Apartment – Kitchen Nook – Same Time

“Hugh, come down!” Brell shouted, frantically trying to reach the small plastic boy who now sat on top of Tracey’s refrigerator. The blue demon winced as a frying pan was dropped on his head.

From atop the refrigerator, Hugh giggled.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Resume

“I’m not sure what else to do,” Andrew said.

Tracey sighed. “All right. I’ll talk to Callaway, and then we’ll do the best we can.”

“We always do,” Andrew agreed.

As Andrew went back to his work, Tracey resumed her storyteller role. “And now, back to the riveting vampire story!”

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Infirmary – The Night Before

Dr. Miller came out of the exam area and met Rowena in the waiting room.

“What can you tell me?” she asked.

“Something I hadn’t expected,” he said. “All of the victims of this new vampire nest had one thing in common.” Rowena cocked her head, her interest definitely piqued. “They all had cocaine in their systems,” the doctor continued.

Rowena showed eyes got bigger, then her forehead wrinkled and she looked at the floor for a moment. Finally, she just sighed. “Just when I think we’re getting somewhere, things just get murkier and murkier.”

Cut To:
Interstellar Spaceship – Engine Room

In a Trek-style engine room, filled with smoke and the roar of struggling engines, a red-shirted Tracey lurched dramatically to her left and then just as dramatically to her right, before stumbling to the communications console.

“She canna take the murkiness, Cap’n!” Tracey yelled in a heavy Scottish accent. “We need to reboot the moral clarity drive!”

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Infirmary – Resume

Dr. Miller and Rowena still held perplexed expressions on their faces.

“Maybe they’re ‘drug-dealer’ vampires,” he offered.

Rowena shook her head. “That doesn’t make sense. Why would they eat their best customers?”

The doctor shrugged, apparently all out of ideas.

Rowena sighed once again. “With more questions than answers, we’re gonna need some more time to plot our next move. Keep me posted on whatever you find.”

Cut To:
The Sunset Club – Same Night

With a crunch, the deformed face of a vampire was forcefully smushed against a pool table.

“I don’t know anything!” he insisted, with an edge of building hysteria in his voice. As vampires go, this one looked wimpier than usual. He had a large bald spot on top of his head, clearly visible in his current position.

“Ow!” A pool ball bounced off his head and into the side pocket.

“Sorry,” Tracey said absent-mindedly, holding a cue in her hand as she sized up her next shot. She stood at one of the many pool tables in a not-very-well-lit dive. A permanent fog of cigarette smoke hung in the air, though no one in particular could be seen to be smoking.

Tracey didn’t look up as she continued. “While the grand old lady known as the Watchers Council has gotten cold feet from being burned one too many times…” Tracey paused, her brow furrowing for a moment as she considered the mixed metaphor, then shook her head, “…the new start-up in town – Spurned Brunettes, Inc. – is taking a more direct approach.” Tracey turned back to the table. “Six ball, corner pocket,” she called, lining up another shot.

“Let him up,” Faith told Marissa.

The less experienced slayer pouted her lips. “Do I hafta?” Faith just cocked an eyebrow. With a sigh, Marissa hauled her catch upright.

“You’re slayers, right?” the vampire asked, still gasping. “From the Council?”

“You’re half right,” Faith replied. “I’ve gotta confess, Joey, I’m a little surprised by your sudden attack of amnesia. A good authority told me, between screams, that you know everything that goes on in the Flats. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that if somebody takes time out from a good scream to tell ya something, they’re probably telling the truth.”

“I don’t…” Joey began, but he was cut off when, at an almost imperceptible nod from Faith, Marissa slammed his head back into the pool table.

“We jarrin’ any synapses?” Faith asked. At Marissa’s confused look, she elaborated. “They’re the spaces in the brain where there’s electrical…” Marissa’s expression changed to one of surprise. “I went back to school,” Faith said with a shrug.

“Ah,” Marissa nodded, smiling a little as the vampire squirmed beneath her. “I never finished. Never was much for sitting still.”

“You should think about it,” Faith told her. “Did wonders for my sex life.”


“Guys…” Tracey motioned to the vampire with her pool cue.

“Oh, right,” Faith said, shaking her head. She leaned down, putting her face closer to the vampire’s. “I’ll ask ya nicely one more time, then I’ll allow the Mistress of Pain here to do whatever she wants. Your choice.” Faith looked at Marissa. “Pull him up.”

This time Marissa complied without question. “Thanks for the nickname. I like it.”

“Figured you would,” Faith replied. She turned her attention back to Joey. “A new vamp nest. Warehouse District. Possibly west of there. Have ya heard anything?”

The vampire allowed himself a long sideways glance at Marissa, who was attempting to smile innocently. “Maybe I heard something,” he admitted. Nearby, Tracey sank two more balls with a perfect shot. “I-I-I don’t know about any nests, but there’s a whole group of guys, they’ve started hangin’ out at Destiny.”

Faith inclined her head again, and Joey once again got a close-up look at the pool table. “The latest, coolest spot in town,” Marissa observed, “even for vamps.”

“I’m telling the truth!” Joey gasped.

“I know,” Faith said. “I just want you to keep on doin’ that.”

“Off the vampire’s head, corner pocket,” Tracey called. She executed the shot and sent the nine-ball off Joey’s head, though it stopped just short of its goal. Tracey furrowed her brow in disappointment.

This time, Marissa pulled the vampire up without having to be asked. “They’re into some weird stuff,” Joey said. “Drugs. Coke, I think.”

“Vampires with drugs?” Faith put a hand on her chest in mock surprise. “I’ve never heard of that before. Whatever shall we do?”

Marissa smirked.

“Anything else?” Faith asked.

“Listen, that’s all I know. I swear,” Joey said.

Faith sized up her captive for a long moment. “All right.” She gestured to Marissa. “Guess it’s time we checked out the latest, coolest spot.”

Reluctantly, Marissa released her captive. The vampire flexed his hands, a pained look on his face. Marissa moved closer to Faith, who was turning to leave.

“We really just gonna let him go?” she asked.

Faith considered this a moment. “We don’t know if he’s killed anybody…that seems to be Council policy.” Faith saw Marissa’s disappointed look. “I’ll tell ya what, though. In my field manual, a vamp’s a vamp.”

A wicked grin immediately appeared on Marissa’s face as she pulled a stake out of her back pocket.

Cut To:
Marting Hall – Computer Lab – Day

“Okay, everybody,” Dr. Callaway said, standing at the front of her class, “I’m gonna need your projects on my desk before you leave. Have a nice weekend!”

Tracey slowly got to her feet as the rest of the students dropped off compact discs containing their projects on the desk in the front of the classroom. When she was the only member of the class left, Tracey sidled towards the front of the room.

“You have your project, Tracey?” Dr. Callaway asked, erasing the dry erase board on the front wall of the room.

“I thought we talked about that,” Tracey said. “I took care of your problem like you asked.”

“Well,” the professor noted absent-mindedly, “I hope you have it finished soon. We’re near the end of the semester.”

Tracey bit her lip before continuing.

“Was there something else you wanted, Tracey?” Dr. Callaway asked.

The younger woman sighed. “I’ve still got that kid in my apartment,” Tracey said. “You know, the one I found in your basement?”

Her professor looked spooked. “You didn’t tell anyone, did you?”

“What would I tell people?” Tracey asked. “I don’t know anything about this kid!”

“Oh, good,” Dr. Callaway said, breathing a sigh of relief.

Tracey slammed her notebook down on the desk, making Dr. Callaway jump.

“You listen to me!” Tracey’s voice was raised almost to a shout. “I am a busy gal. I can’t take care of a kid right now, do you understand? You can’t just dump this off on me.”

“You are getting an extension…”

“To heck with the extension!” Tracey growled. “I’m not gonna let you mess with lives like this, both mine and the kid’s. Do you know who I work for?”

Dr. Callaway looked confused. “Umm…not really.”

“We have people there. People who can bend solid steel with their bare hands or make other people burst into flames just by looking at them. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Tracey raised an eyebrow, then turned away from the visibly shaken Dr. Callaway. “I never get tired of threatening people with physical violence,” Tracey commented. “Does that make me a bad person?”

“What do you want from me?” Dr. Callaway asked.

“I want some answers,” Tracey said firmly. “What is he? I’ll bet my PSP you know.”

Dr. Callaway stuttered. “I…my husband and I separated recently.”

“What does that have to –?”

“We separated because we couldn’t have children,” Dr. Callaway explained. “He wanted them, and I couldn’t…” The professor trailed off, casting her eyes down at the desk.

“Normally,” Tracey said, “this would be the part where I say ‘I’m sorry,’ but…”

“He was really nice about it, but it was never the same,” Dr. Callaway said, wiping an eye with her hand. “So after he left, I was really depressed, and I just…I guess I wanted to prove myself somehow.”

“What did you do?” Tracey asked warily. “Please don’t tell me I have an escapee from the Island of Dr. Callaway destroying my kitchen.”

“I figured I could put some of my programming skills to use,” the professor continued, “so I…built a little boy.”

Tracey held up a hand. “Wait, you’re telling me Hugh’s a robot? He doesn’t act like a robot. He acts like a real kid. An insane kid, sure, but a real one.”

“I couldn’t quite get it to work right,” Dr. Callaway said, “so I used magic to…y’know…get it to work.”

Tracey was silent for a moment as she processed this. “Let me get this straight. You wanted a child, so you built a magic robot?”

Dr. Callaway gulped. “Um…yeah, basically,” she said in a small voice.

Black Out


End of Act Three

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