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File: fd 14 low.jpg (893 KB, 1500x792)
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The alley was dark, dripping with condensation from the upper levels. The atmo regulators were out of alignment and a faint vapor hung in the air. Through a thin crack between the buildings the overhead dome glowed a faint yellow green. A vague outline of ship could be seen passing overhead, blocking out some of the few stars visible from the alley. A light shined through the fog, and at the end of the alley two men appeared around the corner.

"Looks like somebody tampered with the atmo," the taller one said to the shorter man. Lanky and thin, the dark skinned man scanned the environment with his golden glowing eyes. "I detect organic material halfway down the alley," he told the other man.

Short, stout, and gristly, the smaller man moved shining his wrist light ahead of him. The fog brightened as the LEDs passed over the mist blinding him, and he shut off the illumination. "Can you access the atmosphere regulator?" he asked the taller man.

"...connecting," the taller man responded after a moment, "Doesn't look like a glitch, the emitters are overridden with admin control." His eyes flashed slightly and after a moment he said, "Regulator reset, the fog should clear up in a second."

The foggy mist evaporated out of thin air and the overhead illumination fell into alley, exposing a corpse resting in a pool of blood. The portly man frowned and shook his head as he progressed farther down the alley. He pulled out a small pack from his breast pocket removed and lit a small cylinder. He pulled a long drag as he placed the pack back into his breast pocket.

"You know those things will kill you one day?" the tall man asked.

The stout man exhaled and said, "Yeah, well, not all of us want to live forever. You think he was murdered before the impact killed him?"

The taller man's eyes glowed blue and red as the cybernetic man scanned the body. "No, it looks like the impact ended his life, but I'm detecting multiple bullet wounds. If the impact hadn't killed him, he wouldn't have survived very long with those injuries."

The short man took took another drag, the ember brightening the alleyway and his face. He had dark hair, a bushy mustache, and chest hair curling out from under his loosened necktie and unbuttoned shirt. His eyes were sunken on his chubby face, clearly he had not had a good night's sleep in a long time. Sighing, he said, "Do you think it was him?"

The taller man didn't immediately respond, instead he continued to look at the body lying in the alley. He started walking around it and squatted across from the stout man. After a short he said...

>"It appears the bullets are still inside the body, indicating this victim was not murdered by our subject."
>"While there are multiple entry wounds without exit wounds, I detect no bullets in the body. There is residue to suggest the bullets were disintegration ammo, a clear indication of our subject's handiwork."
>>
>>3170249
>"While there are multiple entry wounds without exit wounds, I detect no bullets in the body. There is residue to suggest the bullets were disintegration ammo, a clear indication of our subject's handiwork."
>>
>>3170249

>"While there are multiple entry wounds without exit wounds, I detect no bullets in the body. There is residue to suggest the bullets were disintegration ammo, a clear indication of our subject's handiwork."
>>
>>3170256
>>3170259
"While there are multiple entry wounds without exit wounds, I detect no bullets in the body. There is residue to suggest the bullets were disintegration ammo, a clear indication of our subject's handiwork," the cyborg said.

The portly man took another drag of his cigarette, now half gone with a long ash hanging from the tip. He exhaled as he said, "Great, more fuckin' paperwork to do. We're never gonna catch this bastard if we don't move quickly, can you establish a time of death?"

The cyborg's eyes glowed green and after a moment he said, "The corpse appears to be roughly 78 minutes and 40 seconds deceased, give or take about 13 seconds."

The stout man laughed, "Those eyes of yours are quite useful, but can you find our next clue?" He seemed to ask this as if he already knew what the man would say next. A veteran detective, the man had been deployed by the SF Detective Unit for almost forty years. He looked good for a man of his age who shunned cybernetic enhancements.

The tall man looked around the scene. A rookie in the detective unit, he had only been an SF Officer for a year before he was assigned to the detective unit. His cybernetic enhancements made him a valuable asset to the force, able the scan the environment in various ways and remotely connect to local subsystems through his Net Interface. He looked up and spotted the clue, "I suggest we move up to level 37 and investigate room..." he counted windows before continuing, "206?"

"Well look at that, the rookie passed his math classes," the man said as he flicked his cigarette butt onto the corpse. "Now lets see how well you do at eliminating our paperwork, and make sure you do a scan after you're done to double check, we don't want IA on our ass."

The tall man...

>...says, "That's not standard operational procedure, we should report this body to the retrieval unit and cordon off the area."
>5d20+20 ...pulls out a wide angle vaporizer and attempts to sweep the evidence with a mesh disintegration beam.
>>
Rolled 14, 9, 13, 20, 3 + 20 = 79 (5d20 + 20)

>>3170286
>5d20+20 ...pulls out a wide angle vaporizer and attempts to sweep the evidence with a mesh disintegration beam.
>>
>>3170470
The tall man pulls out a wide angle vaporizer and attempts to sweep the evidence with a mesh disintegration beam. He starts high and presses the trigger button causing a thin disintegration mesh to cast out on the target. A sizzle is heard as he slowly lowers the mesh over the body and the pool of blood. Within seconds the mesh is flat on the ground, cooling before becoming ash and getting swept away by the atmo regulators.

The cyborg does a scan after and detects a trace amount of organic residue. He retunes the vaporizer for a narrow angle and quickly sweeps the area again. A final scan determines that he was successful in cleaning the area of all evidence. Turning, he sees his partner staring up into the crack between the buildings. He walks closer and says, "All the matter has been vaporized."

"Good!" the small man says loudly, "Now lets get up to level 37."

The cyborg walks to the man, bends over to grab him around the waist with his right arm, and points his other arm into the air. A loud "PONK" echoes through the alley as his hand shoots up at the open window of Room 206, level 37. An unbreakable thin wire reels out from his mechanical arm and as his hand grips the window ledge, it begins to retract, sending both men into the air. Within seconds, his wrist is reattached and he hoists his veteran partner up into the room.

>A loud clunk can be heard from an adjacent room.
>A loud siren can be heard echoing through the outside hall.
>As the cyborg pulls himself into the room, he lands on a very stained, blood soaked carpet.
>>
>>3170505
>As the cyborg pulls himself into the room, he lands on a very stained, blood soaked carpet.
>>
>>3170634
As the cyborg pulls himself into the room, he lands on a very stained, blood soaked carpet. The short man in front of him looks disgusted at his blood soaked knees and hands, attempting to wipe them off on the back of his pants.

"Keep your eyes sharp, we don't want to be surprised by anything," the short man grumbled.

As the detectives search the room, they discover signs that someone has recently been there. Lukewarm food rested on a plate and residual heat could be detected in a chair at a desk. Oddly, there was nothing laid out on the desk as if the person who had been sitting there cleared the desk. As the cyborg searched the drawers, he found some random scraps of paper containing poetry along with a old, leather bound sketch book with a few missing pages and no drawings. Writing utensils and paints along with a few other art materials could be found, but mysteriously the bottom drawer was completely empty.

The short detective had been going through the cupboards of the small kitchen, but had little luck. All he could find was expected living materials like plates and cutlery, dry storage food, and household cleaners. As he opened the fridge he let out a, "BLECH!" and quickly shut it.

"What was that?" the tall man asked.

"There's..." the stout man made a retching sound, but continued after catching himself, "There's body parts in there, including two heads.

The cyborg walked over and scanned the fridge. "I'm detecting DNA from at least 143 different individuals. Currently there are parts belonging to seven unique individuals inside the fridge, and five more in the freezer."

"Fuckin' hell, is this guy eating these people??" the portly man asked.

The tall man scanned the food on the table and said, "It appears as though the meat on the plate is in fact human."

"Goddammit, I didn't know we were dealing with a fuckin' cannibal! Shit..." the large man moved quickly to the sink and retched up his lunch.

"At least run the water so we can wash that into the sewer," the tall man said, but as the veteran detective turned on the water, they discovered the water wasn't functioning.

After recovering from vomiting the man said, "This district is a fuckin' slum, they don't even have running water connected to this level. I'd assume every level below doesn't have a water hookup, either."

"How do people even live like this?" the cyborg asked.

"That's what happens when you're poor and live on a piece of shit asteroid in the middle of the asteroid belt," the stout man said, wiping his mustache of vomit.

"Do we call this in?" the cyborg asked.

>"Yeah, we're definitely calling this one in, we need a forensics team here immediately."
>"The lab would have a fuckin' field day with this place, but we need to find this guy quietly, dozens of SF crawling around would send him into hiding."
>"The fuckin' paperwork for the fridge alone will take a week to do, we need to find our next clue and then forget we ever saw this place."
>>
>>3170645
>>"The lab would have a fuckin' field day with this place, but we need to find this guy quietly, dozens of SF crawling around would send him into hiding."
>>
>>3170895
"The lab would have a fuckin' field day with this place, but we need to find this guy quietly, dozens of SF crawling around would send him into hiding," the old detective said as he continued through the small apartment. Being only two rooms, the only adjacent room was a bathroom tucked behind the kitchen which the man entered. Inside was a rather clean room, a shock to the detective after landing in a pool of blood and spewing his guts into the kitchen sink. He tried the faucet and found this one actually worked and began to rinse his hands. Amazingly, the entire room was almost spotless, with a small stain in the bottom of the tub. The detective started to feel uneasy as he finished washing his hands off.

Meanwhile, the cyborg continued around the room in the opposite direction and found a bed with an end table and a dresser. He scanned both with his cybernetic eyes and determined there was nothing of value in the dresser. However, the nightstand contained a piece of identification, so he pulled the drawer open and pulled the small card out.

"I found an IdentCard," he called out to his partner, "Pulling up the Corporate Database Entry.... Citizen one zero four dash alpha seven golf slash zero five."

The stout detective exited the pristine bathroom and walked over to his partner. Pulling out his pack again, he lit another cigarette and took a long drag. The cyborg glanced over at him and said, "And now you're dirtying the crime scene?"

"Well that was ruined when I vomited in the sink," the man grumbled, "Does it look like our guy?"

The cyborg paused as the data rolled across his vision.

>"Gordon Lake, 74 cybernetic human. Multiple incidents logged in the criminal database. This guy's been to Mercury four separate times, three for murder and the fourth would have been a murder but it looks like his lawyer got him out of that one. I'm not seeing any cannibal related information, he looks more like a drug user and a drunk based on the records.
>"She is Holly Davids, 102 cybernetic human. Some of this data looks like it was scrubbed, I'm checking the logs... looks like somebody was in this database but sloppy covering their tracks."
>"I don't think so, there's no criminal listings whatsoever. Mark Dallas, 43 cybernetic human. He's from Ceres, lived a normal life, became a dock worker at a young age, moved on to a life support engineer, and then he transferred out here a year ago."
>"The citizen entry appears to be falsified, this individual died nearly a hundred years ago and various aspects of the data have been manipulated with admin control."
>>
>>3171590
>"The citizen entry appears to be falsified, this individual died nearly a hundred years ago and various aspects of the data have been manipulated with admin control."
>>
>>3171701
"The citizen entry appears to be falsified," the cyborg told his partner, "This individual died nearly a hundred years ago and various aspects of the data have been manipulated with admin control. I won't be able to access this information fully from this location, only central database access could access these change logs."

"Well I've come up empty," the old man sighed, "I didn't even know bathrooms existed that could be as clean as this fucker's is." He took another deep drag off his cigarette and then ashed it on the blood spot next to him. He exhaled smoke and said, "Anything here we miss?"

The tall man scanned the bed with his eyes and found nothing important. Glancing around the apartment, he peered into the walls and into the floors, still nothing abnormal. He looked up and spotted a broken atmo vent and scanned that, finally finding something of interest. A small package existed inside the shaft, but it was slightly out of reach.

"I see something in the atmo vent there, my scanners cannot penetrate the vessel however," he told his veteran partner.

"Now that sounds like the ticket!" the old man grunted, grabbing a kitchen chair and stepping up to pull open the vent.

BLAM!

>The old veteran's brains and all his experience splatter against the back wall, covering it with chunky, glistening brainpan.
>The cyborg's digital brain explodes out the open window of the tiny apartment, slamming to pieces against the far wall of the neighboring building.
>>
>>3171730
>>The cyborg's digital brain explodes out the open window of the tiny apartment, slamming to pieces against the far wall of the neighboring building.
I like the human
>>
>>3171730
>The cyborg's digital brain explodes out the open window of the tiny apartment, slamming to pieces against the far wall of the neighboring building.
>>
>>3171730
>The cyborg's digital brain explodes out the open window of the tiny apartment, slamming to pieces against the far wall of the neighboring building.
>>
>>3171846
>>3171877
>>3171878
The cyborg's digital brain explodes out the open window of the tiny apartment, slamming to pieces against the far wall of the neighboring building. The senior detective thinks fast and pulls his gun while standing on the chair, firing off a round through the apartment's entrance.

BOOM!

The unmistakable sound of biomechanical flesh tearing could be heard as the bullet pierced the person's arm. They fled immediately, a shadow flickering from a wall light as the person passed. The veteran jumped down and hurried over to the doorway mumbling, "Dammit Jeff, that body is extremely expensive." He peered around the corner to spot someone aiming back down the hallway at him.

BLAM!

The veteran ducked back into the apartment as a bullet ricocheted off the hallway wall. He quickly moved his gun outside and let off two rounds blindly down the hall.

BOOM...BOOM!

After ducking back in he waited and listened. The sound of footsteps running down the stairwell echoed through the hall.

>Now was his only chance to chase his partner's killer, any time stalling could mean their escape. Leaving the mysterious container hidden in the atmo vent, he heads into the hallway running after the attacker.
>The man might lose his attacker, but he had to go back for the container in the atmo vent, it could be important evidence to help him track the cannibal. Rushing over to the chair, he climbs up and reaches into the vent for the container taped to the inside of the duct.
>>
>The man might lose his attacker, but he had to go back for the container in the atmo vent, it could be important evidence to help him track the cannibal. Rushing over to the chair, he climbs up and reaches into the vent for the container taped to the inside of the duct.
>>
>>3177492
>Now was his only chance to chase his partner's killer, any time stalling could mean their escape. Leaving the mysterious container hidden in the atmo vent, he heads into the hallway running after the attacker.
>>
>>3177605
1-50
>>3180246
51-100
>>
Rolled 33 (1d100)

>>3180893
forgot how to roll dice
>>
>>3177605
>>3180895
The man might lose his attacker, but he had to go back for the container in the atmo vent, it could be important evidence to help him track the cannibal. Rushing over to the chair, he climbs up and reaches into the vent for the container taped to the inside of the duct. The sleek circular item had a seem along it's oval edge, but it was not immediately obvious how to open it. He pocketed the item and jumped down off the chair. As he quickly moved back to the hall, he peered out cautiously and listened. There was no sound of movement and he saw no one near the stairs. Rushing down the hall he, pulled a small ear piece from his pocket and put it in his ear canal. The device powered up and he heard a transmission in progress.

"...ome in, Detective Cox if you can read me, please respond..."

"I can hear you Jeff, are you alright?" the gristled man asked as he rounded the corner and peered down the empty stairwell. He began to run down the stairs as Jeff responded.

"My backup from time index five seven six dash one eight point seven seven three nine activated a minute ago. My last memory is from standing in the alleyway, what happened to my body?" Jeff asked over the intercom, his cyborg body allowed his brain to keep backups as long as he had a connection to the net, though the backups weren't constant and he didn't have memory of the apartment search.

As the man stepped onto level 36 he stopped to listen but had trouble hearing any footsteps. He spoke quietly to Jeff, "We were attacked..... somebody shot you in the head.... I landed a tracer round into their arm, can you pull up the regional scanner?"

"I'll access it from here, give me a moment," Jeff replied, "Okay I've pulled up the scans, but every level below 41 appears to have various dark spots. I last picked up the tracer on level 35 moving left from the stairwell, but about three meters down the hallway the tracer appears scrambled."

The short detective hurried down another flight of stairs and quietly peered left around the corner. Partway down the hallway was a cybernetic limb lying on the ground with a large bullet wound leaking fluid.

>4d20+30 The detective walks down the hallway and picks up the cybernetic arm.
>[Sneak] 5d20+20 The detective creeps down the hallway with his eyes peeled, walking past the cybernetic arm.
>[Wisdom] 3d20+40 The detective waits and listens, watching down the hallway with his firearm raised.
>>
Rolled 13, 4, 4 + 40 = 61 (3d20 + 40)

>[Wisdom] 3d20+40 The detective waits and listens, watching down the hallway with his firearm raised.
>>
Rolled 7, 14, 5, 10, 5, 16 + 20 = 77 (6d20 + 20)

>>3181220
The detective waits and listens, watching down the hallway with his firearm raised. Most of the lights down the hallway were out, but one at the far end flickered sporadically, casting odd shadows through hanging wires and lights from a torn apart ceiling. Some of the doorways appeared opened, others were barricaded shut. The attacker could be in any of the apartments, even the boarded up ones if they had secret entrances.

The old detective listened closely. Luckily, his hearing was rather sharp due to an organic ear drum transplant after going deaf from an explosion in his 40s. There was a drip coming from halfway down the hall inside one of the apartments, possibly a leaky faucet, but it sounded muffled. He listened closer, squinting his eyes as he did, and could tell the drip was on the left side of the hallway, about halfway down.

Popping back behind cover in the stairwell, he whispered on the comms, "I think the perp is on this level hiding down the hallway, are you able to scan into any of the systems?"

Jeff replied back, "I've been searching through the network to see if there's any accessible systems, but most of the connectivity is out on that level heading down that hallway. It would seem our suspect knows this area is a good place to hide."

The detective peered around the corner again to see the hallway hadn't changed. Listening closely he could hear a faint rustling, possibly farther down the hallway than the dripping. With his weapon raised, he walked down the hallway slowly towards the arm, stopping as he reached it. Reaching down he squatted, keeping his eyes trained down the hallway, and picked up the arm before retreating back to the stairwell.

"It looks like the tracer round has popped back up on the scanner," the cyborg said over the comms.

"That's because I retrieved it," the old man said, "Run a scan on the device, I want to know where this limb came from."

"One moment... Uh, this limb appears to have an unusual operating system, as if the core software has been rewritten," Jeff informed him.

"Well based on your analysis, what can you tell me about it?" the detective said annoyingly.

"Well it just looks like the code is cleaner than standard, sir I think we're dealing with an Architect," he said over the comms.

The old man groaned, "Damn, wish you were still here with me, I might not be able to take this guy alone."

"Not a problem sir, I can download myself to a body closer to your location and assist you directly," Jeff told him, "There's three options to choose from, let me ."

>I found servant droid on level 34, it would take me about a minute to get to you.
>There's a engineering drone on level 37 that might have some helpful tools, but it's going to take me almost five minutes to get to your location.
>I think the best option might be activating the security droid on level 45 and downloading myself into it, but I would need about ten minutes to get to you.
>>
>>3181494
>I think the best option might be activating the security droid on level 45 and downloading myself into it, but I would need about ten minutes to get to you.
>>
>>3181494
>>I think the best option might be activating the security droid on level 45 and downloading myself into it, but I would need about ten minutes to get to you.
>>
>>3181494
>I think the best option might be activating the security droid on level 45 and downloading myself into it, but I would need about ten minutes to get to you.
We camp like a noob in a fps.
>>
>>3182789
>>3183100
>>3183644
"There's three options to choose from, let me..." Jeff trailed off before saying, "I think the best option might be activating the security droid on level 45 and downloading myself into it, but I would need about ten minutes to get to you."

"That's a lot of time for me to sit and wait here," the old detective grumbled to his cybernetic partner.

"I know, but the security droid is most apt to handle what we're dealing with," Jeff informed him, "The other options available lack detailed scanners."

"Roger that," the old detective confirmed. He listened closely to the background noise. There was a slight hum of energy moving through conduits and a hiss of atmo vents circulating air. The drip down the hallway continued and the cyborg arm in his hand dripped on his shoe. He kicked the fluid off and set the arm down on the ground, wiping his hand on his coat.

"Download complete, heading your way, ETA eight minutes," Jeff said over the comms.

Peering around the corner again, he surveyed the right side of the hall. The closest door was accessible, but closed, and the second door appeared to be missing with something on the inside of the room propped up against the doorway, blocking entry. The third and fourth door appeared sealed with metal plates, and the last door in the hallway was too far to see clearly. The old man dodged to the far side of the stair landing and peered back down the hallway again. From this angle he could see the doors that were open on the left hand side of the hall. The first two doors were sealed up with metal plating, the third door was boarded with plastic, and the fourth door was slightly ajar. He noticed a fifth door, but it was too far down to see clearly.

Moving quietly, he advanced to the first set of doors and tried the right side handle upon reaching it. The door was unlocked and he listened closely to any sound that could come from inside, but try as he might there was no sound to be heard.

>The detective enters the first door to search the small apartment.
>Leaving the door closed, he advances down the hall towards the third set of doors, firearm raised.
>Backing up to the landing, the detective pops back behind cover and pulls out another cigarette.
>>
>>3184562
>Backing up to the landing
Don't we have any chewing gum instead?
>>
>>3184610
Backing up to the landing, the detective pops back behind cover and pulls out another cigarette. Lighting it quietly, he takes a drag and holds it in as he listens down the hall. No sounds out of the ordinary, so he exhaled. The smoke caused a haze with the light streaming down from above.

"Six minutes out," Jeff informed him, "This body is not as maneuverable as my previous one, some of the parts require maintenance."

"That's alright," the old man whispered to his partner, "We're in a waiting game now, I think we have our suspect trapped in this corridor. As long as there's two of us, we'll stand a better chance at capturing the sonuvabitch."

Peering back out into the hall, he quickly popped back in and took another drag of his cigarette. Patience wasn't his strong suit, so he raised his gun and popped back into the hall. Moving forward quietly, he hugged the left side and passed the first set of doors with ease. As he passed the second set of doors, he slowed to a stop and listened again. The drip was louder, and definitely coming from the third door on the left.

His element was surprise, and in one quick motion, the detective sucked on his cigarette and jumped over to kick the door in, rushing inside with his gun drawn, he saw movement to his right and he cat-rolled into the apartment popping up and tracking the source of the moment with his gun.

A cat jumped up onto a table across the room, hair raised as it observed the detective staring at it. The detective exhaled his hit and straightened up from his crouched stance and he surveyed the small apartment. It was small like the previous apartment, but far less dirty. There were signs of life on an old couch and chair, and in the middle of the room was a short table between the two. On it sat some random papers and books, an ashtray loaded with cigarette butts, and an empty plate with a fork. He reached over and hovered over the plate to feel heat, but it was cold.

The cat mewed at him from the table, a long, drawn out, cautious meow questioning the man's presence in its home. He took another drag on his cigarette and surveyed the small kitchen tucked into the corner by the cat. The faucet was dripping and there were some dishes on the counter tops. Looking around he spotted a sleeping arrangement in the back corner of the room, but it was nothing more than blankets and sleeping bags, which looked like they hadn't seen a sonic washer in years.

He ashed into the ash tray and walked over to the sink. Checking the handle, he noticed he was able to stop the faucet from leaking, making him suspect it was turned off in haste by whoever lived here. There were only so many places a person could hide.

>He moves to check the bathroom tucked behind the kitchen.
>He quickly opens the fridge, gun aiming at its contents.
>He slowly moves towards the closet behind the front door.
>>
>>3184662
>He moves to check the bathroom tucked behind the kitchen.
>>
Rolled 3, 12, 1, 20, 12, 10, 13 = 71 (7d20)

>>3184694
He moves to check the bathroom tucked behind the kitchen. The small room had no door, just a shower stall and a hole where a toilet once was. A makeshift bowl with a hole in the bottom had been made to make it functional, and a bucket with a hose attached to the wall where a sink would go allowed one to flush as most toilets 100 years before had done.

"Two minutes until arrival," Jeff informed him.

"I popped into an open apartment," he whispered back, "There's signs somebody is living here, but the place is currently vacant."

He stared at himself in a broken mirror hanging on the wall. His gruff appearance showed it had been a long time since he had a good night of sleep. The past week had been very rough on him, first his old partner dies, then he gets assigned a new one with more cybernetic enhancements than he could even think of. Now, he's on a backwater asteroid, hunting down a cannibalistic murderer in the slummiest part of the rock hurtling through space. Chasing them for three days across the asteroid had really taken its toll on the old man.

Nobody was hiding inside the bathroom and the detective exited back to the apartment. The cat had moved over to the recliner and was cleaning itself. Something seemed off about the apartment

>[Search] 4d20+20 Something seemed different about the sitting area.
>[Wisdom] 3d20+40 Something seemed different about the entryway.
>[Deduction] 6d20+20 Something changed in the kitchen area.
>[Listen] 2d20+20 A sound could be heard coming from the hall.
>>
>>3184777
>[Listen] 2d20+20 A sound could be heard coming from the hall.



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