Short Games

Necropolis 2350 Advance on New Budapest

Orders from the Pope himeself! Retake New Budapest and fly the flag of the Church from every corner of the city.

Twelve offensive strikes and feints coordinated. Several Lances led by Lt. Nacho of the Orden Sacrae Flamulae to take the most hazardous mission — removal of enemy bunkers en route to New Budapest. Air support provided if needed. Calvary Main Battle Tanks (MBT’s) assigned to the primary lance.

Primary lance members: Senior Knight Nacho, Knights Francisco, Dismas, Dutch and Zeus accompanied by Chaplain Victor. An additional lance of Knight assault troopers and one of sergeants to pilot the tanks also provided.

Heavy resistance and anti-tank weaponry encountered. Lt. Nacho called in air support (though conflicting reports indicate he dismissed said support upon arrival – Nacho’s penchant for contradiction seems to grow). Zombie snipers utilized so-called “weird science” artifacts such as Hellmouth cannons and Gehenna blasters as well as conventional stolen Church weaponry such as Dove missiles. Banshee totems were quickly destroyed under Nacho’s leadership. Heavy-density minefield with corpse mines encountered, destroying one Calvary tank. Francisco and Victor took out stolen Jericho tanks and fragged bunkers using heavy weaponry.

Bunker leader revealed himself as a vampire, using Satanic powers to teleport into the middle of the group and combat Dutch with a Stygian sword. Other powers of deflection and displacement evident. Vampire struck Dutch a grievous wound. Dutch shrugged off wounds and countered attack with his holy sword. Dismas piloted a tank and ran down the vampire, knocking him prone. Chaplain Victor followed it up with 300 rounds from the Chain gun on his tank, obliterating the leader.

Bunkers destroyed and three routes to New Budapest opened. Recommend Lt. Nacho’s Lance for reconnaissance work.

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Necropolis 2350 Cardinal Error

Preceptor Master Report:

Senior Lance members: Knight Jirvan de Quattro on ‘leave’ with the Ordo Penitentia after the shopping channel fiasco. Promoted Knights Dietrich Gousins (“Dutch”). Commanding officer Nacho joined by Knights Francisco, Dismas and Cortez.

Subordinate Lance members: Critical mission requires back-up. Knights Frederick (“Fred”), Famke, Zeus and Tennyson reported to Lt. Nacho as well as Chaplain Armando.

Mission broadcast live via helmet cams to discourage further resistance operations.

Abandoned monastery on a high plateau near the Kobia border. Met by Corporate/Church liaison bureaucrat as well as PIO. Cardinal David Vespasian and retinue kidnapped by resistance force sympathetic to Corporate agenda. Nacho arranged a Cherub drop-off. Instructions to not bring weapons other than flechette rifles and swords – it would seem Nacho master-minded insubordinate approach, hiding more lethal armaments. Insubordination? Recommend leniency given the situation.

Bad intelligence regarding resistance/rebels. No living opposition. Monastery infested with covert Rephaim force. Are there cultists active in the region? How did undead arrange this without help? Trigger of Corpse Mines fragged Armando. Wights emerged. Poison talons took out Famke. Zombie grenadiers killed Tennyson. Nacho ordered suppressive fire on heat signatures, revealing/exploding other Corpse Mines. Dutch suffered a case of the Shakes for a day; chaplain has seen to it and he should be fine.

Zombie incendiary grenade nearly incinerated Nacho, as his contraband flamethrower exploded. Francisco found a stygian Greater Mummy converting the corpse of the cardinal. Thank the Lord the ritual was interrupted. Mummy called upon Satanic powers. Fear caused Fred to die of heart failure. Francisco and Lt. Nacho nearly perished, Francisco forever scarred by the experience. Nacho barely survived, Francisco reviving his heart. Lance had difficulty harming the greater Rephaim.

Closed for melee. Sledgehammers and molecular swords brought the hell-spawn down. Nacho, revived, delivered a live speech, increasing enrollment in the Sacrae Flamulae by 5.5%. Signs of insubordination countered by vigor of faith?

Mission closed.

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Necropolis 2350 Grab and Rescue

Your Lance (Squad):

  • Francisco, demolitions and ‘mcgyver’, chain smoker…fear of rabbits (Brent)
  • Jirvan de Cuatro, artillerist, arrogant…semi-delusional (Chris)
  • Dismas, scout and de facto senior knight, scars on back indicate punishment, envy of the easy corporate life, to be watched or molded (Jason)
  • Cortez, assault trooper, huge, possible growth mutation (John)
  • 2nd LT Nacho, Senior Knight and Flame-thrower expert. In need of civ sensitivity training (Paul)

Senior Knight Synopsis:
LT Nacho survived Nephilim wreckage. Relieved junior knight, Dismas. Report by Nacho indicates near disaster until his arrival. Francisco returned the Prophet APC to operating order; Knight Fitzroy Malhoon took control of APC. Radio tower located; Francisco began repairs using items scavenged from Nephilim by Dismas. Unfriendlies surrounded radio tower. New undead, “SBACula,” among them. Some concern over Nacho’s ability to command – near death from zombie grenadiers using mono-filament grenades. Francisco made radio connection – called in Angel dropship. Order to climb tallest point in Olisipo with specimen intact.

Enemy unit eliminated. Cortez received distress call over short-wave. Civs still alive in Olisipo! Rescued men from zombie attack. Leader, Jeff Koenig, hostile to Knight presence but pressed to rescue women and children. Nearly 60 civilians living under city streets – LT Nacho ordered his men not to enter habitation. Some resentment. Extreme force required to clear zombie troops to reach ruin of Hotel Salus. Cleared zombie enemy and left Koenig with some civilians while Lance made second pickup. Jirvan called in a second Angel to handle number of civs. Returning with all civs, found several at Hotel had been ambushed and killed. Possible tactical blunder by Nacho.

30 flights of stairs to reach roof access, heavy fighting. Cortez and Jirvan captured video. Cortez watched by the “eye of God” – survived grenade explosion. Perhaps a miracle worker? Francisco fixed elevator cabling and hook set to Angel while Jirvan rappelled down building and fixed cable to SBACula cage. Civilians loaded and specimen secured. Mission accomplished. Jirvan managed to secure himself on the cage during flight. Useful propaganda video.

Mission followup: More civ survivors in Olisipo possible. Koenig’s appearance on Channel 7 generated negative publicity for Incinerator Ordo. Recommend sensitivity training for Nacho.
-—————————-
Ordo Sacrae Flamulae Sales Drive Synopsis, Channel 7 “the Spirit”

Mixed bag regarding profits. Damage control required after Nacho’s Lance bent truth and the now-famous, “chalice incident.” Some swearing on live TV. Preacher unit may need to intervene. Media training required.

  1. Unicorn Perseverance Pendant: Surveys indicate viewers were a bit lost regarding Knight Cortez’s message. Sales flat vs. prior month. Coaching recommended.
  2. Sacrae Flamulae Vintage “Earth” Wine: Impassioned speech by Knight Francisco drove up sales by 3% vs. prior month. Some damage control required after use of “hell” metaphor and references to old Earth that implied grapes originated there. Recommend Preacher treatment of Francisco’s cigarette addiction, which likely leads to fits of untruth.
  3. Sacrae Flamulae Hardback Scripture Travel Book: Knight Jirvan increased sales by 2.3% vs. prior month. Use of scripture was solid.
  4. Crystal Chalice with Incinerator Emblem: LT Nacho off-message and too liberal in interpretation. Entire sale may be a 16% loss due to this one incident. Price changed three times and an unauthorized offer of 2-for-1 had to be honored. Mixed with falsehoods, quite a disaster. Not recommending Nacho media event without significant coaching.
  5. Incinerator Duct Tape: Sales up 23% vs. prior month. Noted that Knight Dismas was at a complete loss – lots of blank air-time. Viewers seemed to appreciate this simplicity, however. Country bumpkin appearance might work again – let’s see if we can polish Dismas for the next round.
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Necropolis 2350: Snatch and Grab

Your Lance (Squad):

  • Francisco, demolitions and ‘mcgyver’, chain smoker…fear of rabbits (Brent)
  • Jirvan de Cuatro, artillerist, arrogant…semi-delusional (Chris)
  • Dismus, scout and de facto senior knight, scars on back indicate punishment, envy of the easy corporate life, to be watched or molded (Jason)
  • Cortez, assault trooper, huge, possible growth mutation (John)

PLAYER HANDOUT #1: TACTICAL BRIEFING
Date: 32.VI.2050; 2030 Zulu.

Late one evening in your Preceptory, your superiors bring you into a briefing room:

“Ten years ago, the Rephaim captured the city of Olisipo, south of what is now the border between Dead Zone Beta and Tomaculum. You’ll be handed a small data file on the city after the briefing. Much of the city was destroyed and we managed to evacuate the vast majority of citizens, so we have no immediate interest in recapturing it. The Rephaim seem to know this, because they haven’t bothered
fortifying it. What they have been doing is fi eld testing new species, though. It seems they use the city as a sort of training ground, which has played right into our hands.

Over the last few years, the Ordines have conducted a number of covert missions into Olisipo for the purposes of grabbing specimens. We don’t take many and we don’t do it often—as far as we know, the Rephaim are none the wiser, and attribute any losses to their live-fire combat exercises. Your mission is to follow on from other missions and snatch living specimens for our Lazarite comrades to play with.

Technicians have modifi ed a Job supply truck by adding a number of sturdy holding tanks and fitting seats for your Lance. It won’t be a smooth ride, but she’s perfect for the task. The tanks are rated 12D, which should suffice for most regular Rephaim. If you get anything stronger, we can’t guarantee how long they’ll be contained.

A Nephilim Dropship will drop the APC in the docklands district just before dawn. We don’t want the Rephaim alerted to your presence, so the Nephilim won’t be available for air support. The pilot will circle around in the wastes between the city and the border, dropping into headset communication range every 30 minutes or so. Signal as soon as you’ve got a specimen and she’ll land and pick you up. We want to minimize her presence, so work fast.

Enemy Forces: The bulk of the enemy forces are known to comprise skeletons and zombies. We’re not interested in these, though, or in vampires or mummies. The Lazarites want new specimens. In essence, if you encounter something you’ve never seen before, grab it! Avoid engagements with regular Rephaim forces at all costs.
Support: Because this is a covert mission, you’ll be going in alone. Sergeants just don’t have the training for this sort of work. This is another reason for you to avoid contact where possible.

Equipment: This is a snatch-and-grab mission. Aside from your regular gear, the Lance will be issued with two tangle guns, each with two rounds. Everyone is to take a corpse catcher as well."


OLISIPO DATA FILE
(CENSUS RECORD 2340)
Population: 1.32 million (currently abandoned). Location: 75 miles south of current Tomaculum border and 22 miles inland. The city sits on the southern bank of the Tamesis River.

Purpose: Heavy industry and shipbuilding hub (nonfunctional). Olisipo was divided into two distinct areas. Located on the river banks were the docks, shipyards, and heavy industry plants. During the Rephaim invasion, the docks served as the stronghold for the Ordines. Almost the entire population was evacuated from here on heavily armed ships, or via convoys of Job supply trucks and Pedael cargo lifters.

Before the final withdraw, the Ordines ordered an intense artillery and aerial bombardment to deny the Rephaim use of any facilities. The residential and administrative districts were constructed fi ve miles south of the city, along Highway 19R, in a series of four concentric circles. The outermost zone contained housing for the general populace. Next were light industrial and administrative businesses. Inside of this sat the housing of the elite, and well as an urban Preceptory. The core district served the Curia, and contained two notable building —the Cathedral of St. Thomas, and the Basilica of the Rose-Cross.


Senior Knight synopsis:
Olisipo a burned wreck; bombed freighters by old docks. Senior Knight Bogdanovich flew us in a Nephilim aircraft to the drop site. Driving the APC are Knights Fitzroy Malhoun and Oskar Nuttal. Fitzroy, borderline insubordinate. Searched old docks. Ambush! Flechette rifle-wielding zombies taken out. Cortez wasted one new, mouthless undead that appeared like little girl. Hulking Rephaim with skin-grafted SBAC (short barrel autocannon) a problem – suggested new name “SBACula.” Fragged Oskar. APC nearly destroyed. Use tangle guns and corpse-catchers to subdue specimen in holding tank. Called in Nephilim. Hellbeast attacked, Lance outmatched. Bogdanovich and co-pilot assumed dead along with hellbeast. Aircraft destroyed. Short range communication devices insufficient. Need to find old radio tower and cobble together something to call HQ.

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DCC RPG: Ira's Geas and the People of the Pit

Five bandits remained: Elric, with his jeweled sword, Stormbringer; Syndra, clutching the twisted holy symbol of dark Cthuhlu; Eladin, sworn of Azi Dahaka, demon lord of ruin and storms; Seamus the Quick and his berserker battle axe; and Stephan, chosen of Yddgrrl.

The voice of Ira rang in their heads. His commanding curse told them to retrieve the skull of his champion, Vyache, and the mystical club, Alceon, or their bodies would wither. They went deeper into the complex only to encounter eight crayfish humanoids, hungry for flesh. These craymites leaped into combat, biting and clawing at Seamus and Elric. Brave Syndra entered melee while also calling upon Cthuhlu to heal her comrades. Stephan and Eladin cut themselves to power sleep and magic missile spells. As the last craymite fell, so did most of the party. Syndra’s plea to the sleeping one worked and mighty Cthuhlu revived the party.

They explored deep pools, recovering lost treasure. One watery pit led to an underground passage. Broods of craymites gathered in mucky passageways. The reavers avoided them and moved on. Stephan found another underwater passage and, tying himself to a rope, led the part to a dungeon complex. Crude glyphs depicted Ira’s foe, Gelihedres, the demon patron of muck and slime. Loin-clothed cultists with self-inflicted scarring greeted them in one room. They quickly put them to the sword. Senior cultists emerged from another chamber, some able to summon tentacles from their chests to grapple with Stephan. They made the few survivors talk – Bashkim, their leader, was conducting a ritual using the skull and club. He was behind a secret door and would finish soon.

Stealth was not their way. The door opened and they found the naked Bashkim kneeling over the decapitated body of a giant’s child, the skull and club nearby. His guards and a charmed woman attacked. As Bashkim invoked Gelihedres to summon a fiend, Eladin did the same, sacrificing his own blood to power a mighty magic missile that obliterated the priest forever. They killed the remaining cultists and rescued Adele, the charmed woman.

A passage led to the surface. Finally, they were free of the darkness. In a small village, Lark, they became celebrities as they freely spent coppers and gave out small treats to children. Adele now safe with her family, they made the day-trip to Blunt. Saul, the inn-keeper, was amazed at their appearance after nearly two months. The old keep on the hill seemed safe once again but they had assumed everyone dead. He gathered the village together to hear the (much-exaggerated) tale of the destruction of the beast men and annihilation of dark cults. Tales and memories were exchanged of the lost comrades, but especially of heroic yet simple Simon who single-handedly defeated the beast man scourge.

Fifty gold from Elric rebuilt the town within weeks, including a granary and the water wheel. Their celebrity grew. Stephan spent this time summoning his cranky turtle familiar, Gunter. Eladin did the same, pocketing a tiny, and lazy demon named Beelz. He also spent time in meditation to Azi Dahaka. In exchange for powers invoking his patron, Eladin had to destroy a habitation and displace a family (something he promptly did upon leaving town) and later melt down 2000 gold-worth of valuables.

One morning Saul alerted them of a new threat near Bradacre. That cursed village had offered virgins to the beast of the pit once to fend off its depredations; a warrior-priest having made a fell bargain with the creature in the ravine. But that was 20 years ago and the sacrifices no longer happened. Now it seemed that grey-robed men without faces led strange tentacles into town, attempting to kill or kidnap folk. So far, the townsfolk had driven them off. But they knew the larger beast was still deep in the ravine.

The promise of glory and treasure still fresh, the party walked over two days to Bradacre. After confirming the threat, villagers led them to the ancient overlook and the pit in the ravine from whence the creature once emerged. They followed ancient stairs around the rim, encountering grey-robed cultists. A Sleep spell from Stephan made quick work of them. A stone landing led into a altar with egg-shaped carvings at its top. A lone cultist attacked but was slain in one stroke. The cultist’s innards erupted in a mass of bloody tentacles. The creature lashed out, but the party crushed it and moved on.

Sliding aside the altar, they found a crawlspace behind it. They traversed this on hands and knees, avoiding spiders while Seamus took cuts from scythe traps. Finding another altar, Eladin Invoked Patron to strike down the lone cultist with an eldritch bolt. Looking once again over the pit, they noticed a cave fifteen feet below. Belaying themselves into the cave, they entered to find stone pillars, some with striking facial features. Out of the darkness slithered two giant lizards with golden horns. The mineral basilisks transfixed Elric and Syndra, slowly turning their skin to scaly stone. Seamus cut into one basilisk while Eladin used the Band of Fire to summon scorching rays. First Syndra was freed, then Elric as the basilisks fell.

Following the passage, they found a colossal, twitching tentacle writhing within a large pit. A rope ladder was attached to the tentacle, descending into darkness…

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DCC RPG: Sepulcher of the Mountain God

The dragon-headed ship sent them into the darkness. Chaos-god backlash howled at them from behind. The three rescued villagers introduced themselves as: Stephan the elf, Edmund the hunter and Sam the halfling vagrant. They committed to helping the party discover a way back to the surface. Noises from below gave away stowaways. Seamus cowed three beastmen in the hold and, in halting common, they pledged themselves as slaves. Aki, Buk and Qith joined the party, displaying porcupine, bull and snake qualities.

The party spent the day planning for a life of reaving and theft. Eladin awoke his elven heritage, calling upon the patron Azradakhan, demon lord of storms and destruction to grant him spells. Stephan joined him, though was wary of dedication to single entity. Syndra grabbed her holy symbol and listened to the dimmed whispers from behind them, speaking of a time of true chaos and the formation of insanity. She called upon dreaming Cthulhu and became his priestess. Seamus and Elric simply sparred, practicing with their new weapons. Seamus’ axe continued to awaken the berserker in him while Elric’s jeweled sword awoke with a magical fire. Festus the dwarf joined their practice, showing them the ways of the dwarven people.

The pleasure cruise ended as the ship slowed and ground to a sudden halt in shallow, muddy water. Sending the beastmen ahead of them, the party entered the muck, Sam swimming. Frog-like humanoids erupted from the water, surprising them. The “frawgs” attacked with crude clubs and fangs. As the former peasants battled, the water turned into a slurry of bloody, mud and flesh chunks. Edmund the hunter fell screaming as did Aki. No sooner had the frawgs fell, than large fresh-water crabs emerged to feast on the dead. Their claws proved deadly and Buk, the bull, was crushed and snapped in half. The party sustained serious injuries and the fallen rested in the thick soup of crab, mud and frawg. Great Cthulhu seemed not to care. Syndra could not get a healing response and finally resorted to sacrificing portions of herself to draw upon the dreamer’s power and heal her friends.

The ship stuck was stuck and the waist-deep water led further into darkness. They decided to explore the nearby rocky beach. A stone archway beckoned to them – translating runes, Eladin and Stephan determined this to be a holy site to Ira, god of mountains and dwarves. Festus warned the party that Ira was a god of extreme law and unforgiving punishment. They followed a passageway, noting that others had recently passed through. A glowing, green door seemed stuck. Reading a chant on the wall, Syndra determined that Ira was asking the faithful to coat themselves in a sacrifice of their own blood in order to pass freely. Elric was the only one who did so, cutting deep and smearing blood on his face. The door opened, though a trap triggered for the others. Another door unhinged and fell as a stone slab atop poor Sam. The halfling’s luck ran out and he was crushed. The remaining beastman, Qith, died within an arrow trap.

The trapped hallway emerged into a large, open space filled with decorated supporting columns. At the end of the hallway was an altar to Ira, a foreboding face carved into the entire wall. An odd, decapitated skeleton sat on a throne. Touching the carving, four pillars glowed and carved stone images animated and attacked. The creatures proved near indestructible. Magic weapons and blunt devices helped. Syndra continued to call on a thankless god and began to sacrifice more and more of herself to keep them healed. Festus and Seamus fell after destroying three of the statues. The last one seemed on the verge of destroying the party, but Elric managed to crack and destroy it. The blood face-paint seemed to prevent the statues from attacking him. Luck or the gods prevailed for Elric and Seamus. Poor Festus, however, did not animate, his pulverized dwarven face a testament to the danger within the sepulcher.

The elves looked at the altar, noting again the headless skeleton and an antechamber they had not noticed before. Inside was treasure, though one item appeared to have been recently looted. A niche intended to hold a hero’s weapon remained empty. They discovered a secret door leading further into the complex, silently mourned Festus and moved on.

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DCC RPG: Sailors of the Starless Sea

The ruined keep near the village of Blunt had a foul reputation. When your fellow villagers started disappearing, everyone knew the source of evil. It took three weeks and the fading screams of a young girl to wake you from your mundane lives. No more would you farm, raise bees or haul corpses for a living! And you would start by rescuing your people.

The trembling, would-be adventurers assembled on the hill before the keep, watching its ruined gate. They were:

  • Dorothey, the Barber (Chris)
  • Syndra, the Mendicant (Chris)
  • Borris, the Woodcutter (Chris)
  • Elric, the Urchin (Jason)
  • Jonah, the Squire (Jason)
  • Fortran, the Corn Farmer (Jason)
  • Kraus, the Animal Trainer with his brave pony (Sean)
  • Waylen Longfield, the Wheat Farmer (Sean)
  • Seamus the Quick, the Beekeeper (Sean)
  • Skiff, the Guild Beggar (Brent)
  • Lucky, the Squire (Brent)
  • Silk, the Jeweler (Brent)
  • Otus, the Smuggler (Paul)
  • Clem, the Halfling Dyer (Paul)
  • Ahnold, the Noble (Paul)

Skirting the obvious route via the ruined drawbridge, the mob of peasants also avoided a gaping chasm on the east side and instead entered the keep through a ruined wall on the northwest. Within moments, several of the mob were crushed underneath rock and other perished within the tomb revealed under the rock.

The well of screaming souls almost took more, but they pulled poor Elric from the brink. Entering the remaining tower of the keep, the stepped back in shock as a hoard of beast-like men attacked them. Serpent heads, bear bodies and bull horns were among the more tame mutations. Moaning and tortured villagers called for help. Sucking back fear, the peasants fought the mutants. Gore encrusted the chamber when they were done, much of it their own. They freed their fellows and were joined in the crusade by:

  • Franz, the Halfling Chicken Butcher (Chris)
  • Simon, the simpleton Beekeeper and rarely-a-competitor of Seamus (Jason)
  • Eladin, Elf Scholar (Sean, then Brent)
  • Festus, Dwarf Rat Catcher (Paul)

They looted a chamber guarded by a tarry ooze before descending into the dark depths. Underground, they gathered glowing skulls within a strange pool and followed a trail of loose coinage to an underground sea. Offshore,a viking-like ship floated, silent and empty. A menhir of stone enraptured Eladin and others who tried to kill their fellows. After subduing them, the mob ascended the menhir and found evidence of a ritual. Lighting candle and incense, they watched as the ship drew closer to shore. Drums and chanting came from the blackness of the sea as well as distant screams and cries for mercy.

The ship traveled to the middle of the sea. They saw bonfires and heard the chanting grow louder as they neared an island. Enormous tentacles wrapped the ship, killing several before the placated it with gold and jewels. The guardian of the sea receded.

Wearing filthy robes of the chaos cult, they sneaked by dozens of beast men and ascended a ziggurat. Atop it, a beast man shaman and his acolytes fed both treasure and prisoners to a pit of lava while worshiping an effigy wrapped in plate mail. As the serfs attacked, the shaman pushed the effigy into the lava pit. Beast men fell in bloody heaps and the shaman died screaming. Yet the effigy leaped from the pit, writhed in flame and unholy energy, its one eye and demon horns smoking and flaming. It’s unholy flail killed several in the group before it could be sent back to hell.

The survivors grabbed the captives and fled back to the ship. The ziggurat shivered and crumbled as the remaining beast men screamed and flailed wildly. As the last adventurer entered the ship, he noticed Elric walk from the water, drenched, alive and with a blank-stare in his eyes. The tentacled beast had released him. A tidal wave heaved out of the sea and carried the ship into the darkness, away from the entrance to the keep, and further into the realm of the unknown.

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