Zane's BC - Final Day

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Zane's BC - Final Day

  1. 1. Here it is: the final day. Nothing witty or flippant to be written on this opening page. Nothing at all, really except: Dear God, I hope it makes sense and you all like what I've done. ***
  2. 2. The hot tubs were empty when noon came around, and it was quite apparent that they were going to remain that way.
  3. 3. “A bit unconventional, wouldn't you say?” Samantha asked as she leaned back on her hands.
  4. 4. Zane cleared his throat and sighed. “No, not really. The entire purpose of sitting in the hot tub is so we can talk to each other, right?” He blushed slightly and cleared his throat again. “Well, the hot tub makes it hard for me to...concentrate, and in the end it gives me a headache. So, I kind of figured that we can still talk to each other without my getting...er, rather, without the distractions.”
  5. 5. “Distractions? Oh, you mean the entire part where you lock up mentally because you can't handle a little bit of racy talk about spatulas? Or are you referring to the part where you lock up mentally at the thought of all of us being practically naked?” Tina had a smirk on her face as she asked this.
  6. 6. Blushing even more, Zane continued on as if Tina hadn't interrupted him. “We can talk about books, travel, the supernatural, art. Any of those topics would be interesting.”
  7. 7. He then forced a smile, or what he hoped was a smile, on his face. “Heck, we can even talk about how loveable of a person I am. That..that would be rather nice to hear, actually,” he finished softly.
  8. 8. “Really? I thought you knew. In fact, I know you know, as in you have the knowledge, but maybe you just don't realize it. Things might not be ideal for you here, but Zane, this isn't be all, end all of your existence.”
  9. 9. Tina glanced sideways at the other woman. “What are you talking about?” “You're admitting that you don't know something, Tina? It's not that big of a surprise, I suppose. I mean, you're really only part of him here. You're not everywhere that he is,” Samantha replied simply.
  10. 10. Something in the back of his mind tickled and he tried hard to concentrate on it. It nagged at him and he got the vague feeling of...something.
  11. 11. In a brief flash, he saw a scene of himself, but not himself, wearing clothes that he's never owned holding hands with a girl he's never met. He could sense that he was happy, cared for and genuinely liked. Other images of other families and other lives were vaguely present, and he got the sense of himself being fairly well-adjusted and...happy. Picture courtesy of Professor Butters from the Squeaky Clean Legacy
  12. 12. The image disappeared just as suddenly as it came, along with the happy feelings that had accompanied it. For a moment, he almost believed. Then his self-doubt came crushing down, full force upon him. That's not me, he thought. That's someone completely different. Same name, sure. Statistically he's probably the same. But that's not me. He has friends, parents who love him, and I'm pretty sure that he's not a freak or a monster like...like I am. That's not me. But I wish it were.
  13. 13. “Zane, are you keeping secrets from me? For me to love you, I have to know everything about you. What is Sam talking about?”
  14. 14. An irrational sense of protectiveness over those happy people who looked so much like him overwhelmed Zane. He intuitively knew, for some reason that he couldn't explain, that Tina was never to know about them. Feeling a bit flustered, as he was not prone to lying, Zane blandly replied, “I don't know what she's talking about. Not that it matters as it has no affect on me anyway.”
  15. 15. Sam threw a quick glance at Tina, then narrowed her eyes and threw up her hand. “Oh, yeah, it has absolutely no bearing on how you feel about yourself. None what so ever.”
  16. 16. Realizing that she was missing something, Tina narrowed her eyes and changed the topic. “So, are we about done yet? I want to eat so we can get on with tonight's festivities.”
  17. 17. “Because, believe me, after tonight, there will be no question on who is going to win Zane in the end. No question at all.”
  18. 18. Sam threw a meaningful look at Zane.
  19. 19. “Zane, you need to be very careful tonight,” she said, ignoring Tina's glare. “Tina's right, as much as I hate to say it. Everything hinges on tonight, so be careful!”
  20. 20. Zane wrinkled his brow at Sam's warning. A feeling of apprehension started rising up. And what happens if I'm not careful? He thought.
  21. 21. Tina gave Zane a huge smile. “Oh Zane, just ignore Sam's warnings. I'll take very special care of you, don't you worry.” ***
  22. 22. As the three of them sat down to dinner, Zane noticed that Tina seemed distracted. The small look of satisfaction on her face caused his head to pound again. Something's wrong. This isn't right. Be careful. Something's wrong. This isn't right. Be careful. Those words pounded in time with the throb behind his eyes.
  23. 23. Samantha was silent as well as she watched the two of them at the other end of the table. Something's wrong. This isn't right. Be careful.
  24. 24. Something's wrong. This isn't right. Be careful. “So, Zane. Which color do you prefer: black or red?” “Um, black.” “How very appropriate for someone in your state of mind, wouldn't you say?” “What?” Something's wrong. This isn't right. Be careful.
  25. 25. “Watch it, Tina.” Something's wrong. This isn't right. Be careful.
  26. 26. “What? What do you mean? I'm only pointing out the obvious. It's not my fault that he just doesn't realize it yet, is it?” Something's wrong. This isn't right. Be careful.
  27. 27. “So tell me Zane, which do you prefer: lace, satin or cotton?” “Wait, what? In what context?” Something's wrong. This isn't right. Be careful.
  28. 28. “Zane...” Something's wrong. This isn't right. Be careful.
  29. 29. “What? I'm serious. In what context is she talking about? Cotton is comfortable, satin feels nice, and lace is pretty, but it depends on what it is.” “Don't you dare, Samantha Carter. Don't you dare interfere. It's too late. Give it up!” Tina growled. Something's wrong. This isn't right. Be careful.
  30. 30. “Zane! Something's wrong! This isn't right! Be careful!”
  31. 31. “I...” Something'swrong.Thisisn'tright.Becareful.Something'swrong.Thisisn'tright.Becareful.Something'swrong.Thisisn'tright.Becareful.Somethin g'swrong.Thisisn'tright.Becareful.Something'swrong.Thisisn'tright.Becareful.Something'swrong.Thisisn'tright.Becareful.Something'swrong. Thisisn'tright.Becareful.SOMETHING'SWONG.THISISN'TRIGHT.BECAREFUL! “I think I'm going to be sick. Please excuse me.”
  32. 32. Fortunately, he wasn't physically ill, though it had been a close call as he gagged over the toilet for a few moments before he went into the private room. His headache didn't completely go away, but the throb behind his eyes was no longer accompanied by actual words.
  33. 33. He was still rubbing his head and eyes when Tina walked into the room.
  34. 34. She smiled down at him.
  35. 35. “Poor baby,” she said, which made him sit up straight. “I can make your headache go away, you know.” “You can?” “Yes, I can.”
  36. 36. She sat herself in his lap and put her arms around him. “This has been very hard for you, hasn't it? So very hard and confusing.” Zane smiled as he held her in his arms. “Yes, it has been.”
  37. 37. She hugged him close. “Silly, don't you know that if you choose me that nothing else will matter? Your job, your mother, Tina, the rest of your family, nothing. I can make your pain go away. All you have to do is just embrace me, and for the rest of your life I will be with you. Just fully embrace me, Zane.”
  38. 38. “And look, I can even make it pleasant for you.” When he looked down, he noticed that she was only wearing black lace underwear. His mouth went dry as desire rose up within him.
  39. 39. He held her close and lightly ran his hand down her back. He inhaled and noticed that he could smell the perfume that Tina always wore for as long as he could remember. He remembered that he loved how she always smelled so nice. He exhaled against her neck. “Just do it, Zane. You know you want to. When you do, I will be yours forever. I promise.”
  40. 40. Zane's resolved crumbled as he leaned her back and kissed her passionately. As he did so, he realized that he didn't care. Nothing mattered other than this moment.
  41. 41. He let out a small moan as he leaned her back on the couch. He saw that even the black lace undergarments had disappeared as he held her unclad body against his. Kissing her again, harder this time, he realized that all he needed to do was remove his own clothes and...
  42. 42. “NO!” Samantha screamed, appearing in the room at that exact moment.
  43. 43. In an instant, Tina was out of his arms and fully clothed. “You're too late. He wants me and there's nothing you can do about it.”
  44. 44. Ignoring the other woman's words, Sam strode up to Zane and shoved him. “You idiot! I told you to be careful tonight. Did you lose yourself completely? Did you? Did you symbolically embrace her?”
  45. 45. Zane moved to the other side of the room. “I..hugged her, yes.” “Did you sleep with her?” Samantha stressed. Did I? I know I wanted to. God, how I wanted to. “I...” His mind was foggy and he found that he couldn't remember the last few moments clearly.
  46. 46. Tina got up and shoved Samantha. “I told you, you're too late. Butt out. He's mine. I won.” “He didn't take you fully though, did he?”
  47. 47. “It doesn't matter. The intent was still there.” Sam glared at Tina. “Actually, it matters very much.”
  48. 48. Tina turned to face Zane. “Don't pay attention to her. You're mine and I'm yours. You chose me. Now wake up like a good little boy and get everything over with.”
  49. 49. Sam grabbed Zane by the shoulders and shook him violently. “It's not too late! She doesn't possess you fully. Don't you see what's going on? Don't you see what you've been doing? Don't you realize what you've done?!” Zane stood there numbly as she shook him. “My God, you really don't know,” she said astonished. “You haven't fully realized that this is not just a simple dream. It started out as that, but it became something more. You have no idea that everything represents part of you, and you've been eliminating them from yourself.”
  50. 50. “Lilith represents your aggression, the little bit that you have. You have decided to continually be passive and so thus, you struck her out of your personality.”
  51. 51. “Sandy represented your most basic desire for intimacy. For some reason, you feel that those feelings are monstrous and wrong and you are embarrassed by those desires. You're a Family Sim, Zane, and it's healthy to want those things, to feel that close to someone that you love.”
  52. 52. “But, as she herself pointed out, you want it, but you can't have it at this moment in time. You have totally given up on the hope that you'll ever be that close to someone, though, because you feel that you are a freak. So, you've eliminated her.”
  53. 53. “And then there's Lucy. Poor Lucy. Didn't it strike you as odd how she reacted to your choosing Tina? She knew what was happening and she even told you outright what was wrong with you.”
  54. 54. “Lucy is your poor, battered ego and confidence. With all of your self-doubts, even I'm surprised that she lasted as long as she did.”
  55. 55. “And don't forget Meadow. She's your innocence, the innocence, youth, and fun that you feel was taken away from you. You held on to her longer than expected, but innocence and what Tina represents here cannot coincide.”
  56. 56. “Cassandra. Cassandra is your anger, Zane. The anger that you feel for everything that has happened to you. You have a right to feel angry.”
  57. 57. “But as she also knew and even stated to you; you kept her close, but in the end rejected her because you feel that being angry is wrong. One by one, you've struck out some rather important aspects to what makes you you.”
  58. 58. “But even then, you made it seem like it wasn't you who was doing it. You made it appear to yourself that it was they who wanted out. You even went as far as making it seem like it was a higher power who was eliminating them so you wouldn't feel guilty. But, it was you all along. It is you who is emptying yourself of everything, until in the end, you are an empty shell.”
  59. 59. “And do you want to know what I am to you, Zane? I am your voice of reason and sense of self-preservation. I am that nagging voice in the back of your head that keeps telling you that there's something wrong. Who do you think has been the cause of your headaches? Who do you think has made sure that you made it this far? And, as your voice of reason and sense of self-preservation, Zane, I am telling you here and now that if you choose Tina, then all hope is gone. I won't be able to fight against her anymore; she's too strong.”
  60. 60. “I told you that she's dangerous to you. What do you think she represents? She doesn't care about what happens to you.”
  61. 61. “She's openly mocked you and played on your insecurities.”
  62. 62. “She made sure that she was the most prominent aspect to you, to hell with what you may have wanted, or what might be good for you.”
  63. 63. “And most damning of all, she made sure it was easy by choosing the form of someone that you most desire. And, you fell for it.”
  64. 64. “Tina is your depression, Zane. Your all consuming depression that has taken hold of you. If you choose her, you will die... And she won't care, because that's what she wants!”
  65. 65. “So, you know that important information that I needed to tell you? Well, here it is: You are going to kill yourself due to profound depression. You feel worthless and unlovable and you've already decided that when your Uncle Sebastian and Aunt Kitty die, and you have to collect them, you're going to off yourself afterward. In essence, you are on your own suicide watch, and you aren't doing anything to stop yourself.”
  66. 66. Zane fell to the floor, stunned. He felt that the wind had been knocked out of him and his mind was spinning.
  67. 67. “Depression? Suicide? No, that can't be! I..I value life and I'm envious of the fact that other people get to have it. I wouldn't do that to myself.”
  68. 68. “But, then again, I'm not alive. I'm dead so it doesn't matter. So yes, it makes sense.” In that moment, he realized that everything Sam told him was true. And he retreated. ***
  69. 69. Zane was very familiar with the place that he retreated to. It was where he mentally went when he would hide in his bedroom from his mother. It was where he mentally went when he brooded and wanted to be left alone. In this dream, he supposed that it was the deepest part of his subconscious. It was black, void, and silent in this area and he wondered what would happen if he stayed there forever. Would he wake up?
  70. 70. He pulled his legs up and rested his head upon his knees. He felt small, alone, insignificant, and most of all, sad. So terribly sad. Depression makes sense. She was right. But really, what is the point? It's not like anyone would miss me. Heck, they had completely forgotten that I had existed and I only just re-entered their lives. Sam was right; I can't do this anymore.
  71. 71. “You never really gave me a chance, you know. I only came in handy twice, and neither time was for yourself.” Because it's wrong to be violent and destructive. Look at my mother. “True, but nobody said that you had to be like her. Besides, you need me when dealing with Thaddeus. If you decide to end it all, he just might become the main Reaper. Somehow, I really don't think that would be very beneficial to the people on this realm. You need to live if you care about them. Can you imagine Karen being handled by him? I don't think he'll be gentle.” Karen doesn't know who I am and she never will.
  72. 72. “I'm not all that bad, Zane. It's completely natural to have these feelings. Besides, you're a Family Sim and to you guys, the next best thing to having babies is doing the act that produces babies.” What's the point of being a Family Sim when I can't have babies, though? “Well, what about Tina? Not the effed up version that you are dreaming about, but the real thing?” What about her? She doesn't want me. Nobody wants me. “But, if you decide to end it all, you'll never be sure.”
  73. 73. “I'm just a little bit bruised. Well maybe more than a little bit, but things will get better.” How can you be sure? “How can you not be sure?”
  74. 74. “Zane, if you die, then you'll never get to swing on the swings again!” I felt stupid doing it. “No you didn't. You felt like you were flying and you were laughing. You had fun! Besides, you'll never go to another birthday party again and have cake. And you'll never get to pick out toys and presents for Karen and leave them for her. You can do that for everyone and it's a lot of fun to go to the store and look at the nifty things.” I'm not effing Santa Claus. I'm the Grim Reaper. I don't leave happiness, I take it away.
  75. 75. “I'm gone, but not forgotten. You can't get rid of me that easily.” It's wrong, just like Lilith is wrong. “Like I told you before, you have to work for it; nice people always do. But in the end, it's satisfying. You don't have to stay angry forever because that's not healthy, but you can't be a complete doormat. The world will eat you alive if you are.” But I'm already dead. Too late to get angry about it.
  76. 76. “Remember what I said, Zane. You're doing this to yourself. You can stop it.” It's too late. “It's never too late. It's not over until the fat lady sings, as the saying goes.” What does it matter? Nothing matters.
  77. 77. “That's right. Nothing matters, Zane. Furthermore, nobody cares. Nobody likes you. You know what else? You scare them. You can be all nice and smiley, but you and I both know the truth. You creep everyone out. You did before you became the Grim Reaper, remember? They'll just use you and then reject you. Look at Tina. She hates you, you know. She can't stand being in the same room as you. She probably shudders when you aren't looking. Everyone probably does. If you like and love them so much, it's just better for you to stop scaring them and put yourself out of your misery in the process.” ...You're right.
  78. 78. Nobody would miss me if I were gone. Nobody would notice. What am I to them? I'm just the creepy kid who became the Grim Reaper. I can be as nice as I want, but everyone would still think of me as either someone who steals their happiness or, even worse, just associate me with my mother. They don't want me around. Right? Of course right. Nobody cares.
  79. 79. Nobody cares.
  80. 80. Nobody cares.
  81. 81. Nobody cares. … Wait... THAT'S NOT TRUE!
  82. 82. “I care! I care very much!” He firmly stated out loud.
  83. 83. “Tina. Wait, no, never her name again! Depression, I reject you. I don't choose you. I don't want you.” Samantha breathed a sigh of relief and smiled.
  84. 84. “What?” She hissed at him. “It's too late, you chose me.” “No, I didn't, and I won't. My life might suck, but it's the only one I have and I'll be good god damned if I'm going to reject any possible future happiness that I might have because of some insecurities. I'll never work those out if I choose you. And you know what? I do want to work them out. I realize that, now.”
  85. 85. “So you're going to choose her? She hates you and you hate her!” “I don't think she hates me and I might not be too fond of her at the moment, but yes, I choose her over you.”
  86. 86. Sam hid a smile. “The voice of reason is very rarely liked. As long as it's listened to more often than not, I really don't care.”
  87. 87. “It'll never work, you know. You have way to many issues, especially when it comes to having to collect your loved ones. Just you wait and see when Uncle Sebastian and Aunt Kitty die. Or Karen. Or Tina. That's right, I said Tina. She can't stay with you forever because she's going to be found out.”
  88. 88. “I'll cross that path when I come to it. Until then, leave! I reject you! And...and don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out!” Sam smiled over Zane's shoulder and gave a flippant wave. “Buh bye. I told you not to be so confident about winning.”
  89. 89. Tina took a deep breath. “Fine. I'll leave. And, I dare you to strike me down with lightning, because I know you won't.”
  90. 90. She walked out the door.
  91. 91. And, she even made it all the way down to the end of the driveway.
  92. 92. Without a backward glance towards Samantha and Zane, who had followed her out, Tina got into the waiting cab and left.
  93. 93. “You didn't strike her down.” “No, I did not,” Zane blandly replied.
  94. 94. “Why didn't you?” “Would she have been completely gone if I would have?” “...No.” “That's why. So, the other aspects that I eliminated, are they gone forever?” Sam smiled. “No. Now that you're aware of it, they'll slowly come back to you in time.”
  95. 95. Upon hearing those words, the sun rose and broke through the haze of pink and red that had been present for most of his dream, making the sky blue and natural looking. “Good. I'm glad to hear that,” he said softly.
  96. 96. The two of them stood there looking up at the blue sky. Sam slung her arm around Zane's shoulder. “I think you're going to be okay. Not perfect, and it might take you a while, but I think you're going to be fine.” Zane placed his hand on hers and grinned. “I feel...good. I actually feel good!” She smiled and gave him a one-armed hug. “Yeah, you're going to be fine. Are you ready to wake up now?” “Yes. I..I have a lot of work to do and...and I really want to get started.”
  97. 97. Sam stepped away and mysteriously disappeared as Zane threw his arms out and tilted his head up to the sky. “Okay self, it's time to wake up. WAKE UP!”
  98. 98. A bolt of lightning shot out of the sky and struck him.
  99. 99. Then, a second bolt struck him, making his vision see different colors.
  100. 100. The third bolt made his world void of all color.
  101. 101. And then, everything was black. Am I dead? No, I can't be. I feel...something. What is it? Something was touching his forehead where the bolts of lightning had hit him and then trailing back into his hair.
  102. 102. He slowly opened his eyes and blinked the blurriness away.
  103. 103. It was Tina, and for a split second, Zane almost recoiled from her touch. Then he became aware of his surroundings and he realized that he was awake, and it was actually Tina hovering over him. She had a distant, thoughtful look as she stroked his brow and hair, and Zane didn't move at first as he was savoring the gentle touch.
  104. 104. After a moment, he reached his own hand up and lightly stroked her hair. Tina blinked and was brought out of her own reverie as she looked down at him. “Sorry,” she whispered, “I didn't mean to wake you. Ruth told me to let you have your rest. But, it looked like you were having a bad dream and...” “No, it's okay. You didn't wake me.” As if she suddenly realized what she was doing, Tina shifted uncomfortably and stood up to walk away.
  105. 105. Zane quickly sat up. “Wait,” he called out to her retreating form. Tina stopped, but didn't turn to face him. “I'm really sorry.” Confused, she asked, “What are you apologizing for?” He looked down and tried to still his fidgeting hands. “I really handled all of this badly. I mean, I know I didn't have the time to consult you on the matter at the time when I took you from the Mortal Realm, but everything afterwards...I just...I just handled it badly, and I'm really sorry.”
  106. 106. Boldly, he stood up and took her hand, forcing her to face him.
  107. 107. “Look, I like you. Okay, it's a lot more than like, but I don't want to creep you out or anything. As for why, I don't know other than it's probably a lot of carry over from when we were kids. But, there's something else, too. You...you make me feel almost alive again. Every time I see you, or think about you, I get butterflies in my stomach. You make me nervous, and sometimes, in a really good way. Every new day gives me hope that you'll smile at me or talk to me, and I get real hopeful that someday you'll feel the same way about me. But, I also realize that by bringing you here, it was essentially me forcing my attentions on you, and I don't want to do that. So, I would be okay, now, if you don't feel the same way about me ever. I just want to know where I stand.”
  108. 108. “Zane, I'm flattered, really I am. But, I don't know you. I vaguely remember stuff from when we were kids, and I know it's not your fault about my not remembering you, it was your mother who did something to my memory. But, still, I'm different and you're different and I don't know who you are. The same thing goes for you! You don't know who I am. And, you don't talk to me! Look at it from my point of view. I was in a really bad place when I did what I did, and I really regret doing it. I miss my daughter and I miss my life, as crappy as it was. Then, next thing I know, I have the Grim Freakin' Reaper interested in my welfare, but instead of him explaining things to me, he scares me, and then ignores me. I know now that you didn't mean to scare me, but the ignoring part was confusing for me. I know I really haven't been handling all of this very well, and I'm really sorry. I'm sorry for causing you stress and I'm sorry for being stupid, believe me on that part. But, do you realize that this is the longest conversation we've had since I came here, and even then, I know nothing about you other than you like me?”
  109. 109. Startled by this revelation, Zane was speechless as he ran his hand through his hair. Could it really be that simple? He asked himself. “You..you bring up a really good point. You don't know me, and I don't know you. A lot has changed for the both of us.” A short, rueful laugh burst from him. “Okay, I know this isn't really a good selling point for me but, I'm an idiot and kind of messed up in the head.”
  110. 110. “Oh my God, who isn't? Look at me! I don't hold that against you, and I won't as long as you don't hold it against me. I'm not perfect, Zane, so don't put me on a pedestal. Well, no, you can, just not too high of a one,” Tina joked.
  111. 111. “Look,” she patted his shoulder as she continued, “why don't we just take this one day at a time? Talk to each other, get to know one another, that sort of thing. What I do remember from us being kids is that I liked you, even though I realize that I treated you horribly. And, I'm also really sorry about that. I've done a lot of thinking, you see. Anyway, why don't we find out if we can be friends first before we move to love, alright? I've made some really bad decisions in my love life and I really don't want to do that again, especially since this situation seems to be a bit more permanent. Okay?” “So..so I actually do have a chance?” he tried not to sound too hopeful, but he couldn't help it. What she was saying did make sense.
  112. 112. Impulsively, Tina kissed his cheek. “Yeah, you do. And I'm not just saying that because you're the only available guy here. I really mean that.” She blushed a little and she turned and left the room.
  113. 113. Zane grinned the first genuine grin he's had in a long time as he watched her leave the room. He felt better than good. He felt great. He felt...hopeful. ***
  114. 114. So, that, as they say, is that. I really hope it made sense and the ending was satisfying to you guys. I played the BC legit up until right after the make-out date. There was no way that Samantha was going to win, but in all honesty, there was no need for her to, as I had decided after everything went south that Zane was going to pick her in the end, despite the score (I played most of the BC in one sitting, so I knew that Sam was going to make it that far). As Sam herself pointed out, not everyone likes the voice of reason all of the time. I did end up fudging with the scores after the make-out session because I needed Tina to pick a fight with Zane and for Samantha to kiss him (the grabbing the shoulders and shaking him is actually her Smooching him). Zane is doing a little bit better now. He's sped up his emotional growing up process and while he is still a bit fragile, you'll see that he'll have lightened up a bit in the upcoming chapters. I'll be putting together a Cutting Room Floor post on my LJ soon, which will include the best First Kiss picture in the history of First Kiss pictures. I'm also super excited that I'll get to write for the main legacy story again, finally. Malcolm and Frances have been most patient while their chapter sat on the sidelines because I was writing this. Thank you all for reading and for all of your awesome comments! Happy Simming!

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