butterflyboy: (perhaps I have something)
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12 days of Christmas thunder snow luminaries winter melt
blustery family frigid dentist letter
Janus holiday warmth blue lawn ornament
hark hot cocoa mint sleigh star hat
daughter flake not a creature was stirring ham visit

Get your own CharLoft Winter Bingo Card at http://www.labarc.com/Bingo/

21. daughter: Not Alone

Date: 2011-01-03 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Some years into the future
Notes: The basic idea of this was planned while I was planning out "Secundus," actually. For those curious, Chester's the oldest, with Vincent & Lorina as twins.

Victor turned around to see Vincent running up to him. His stomach immediately did a nervous flip-flop – Vincent looked extremely worried about something, brown eyes wide with what appeared to be fright. “Vincent? What is it?” he asked, reaching out to touch his younger son’s shoulder.
“It’s Lorina,” Vincent said, panting slightly. “She’s locked herself in her room and she won’t come out. Mum says you should come home right away.”
“Locked herself in her room?” Victor repeated, puzzled. That was very unlike his daughter. Lorina was usually a rather sweet and personable young lady, not prone to sulking or fits of gloominess. Victor didn’t think she’d ever done something like this before. All thoughts about getting some new quill pens and paper fled. “All right, let’s be off.”
The pair jogged back to their house. Chester and Alice were waiting for them in the front foyer. “What’s happened? Do we know why she’s locked herself in?” Victor demanded as they came inside.
“I have an idea,” Alice admitted, glancing behind her. Before Victor could ask anything else, she turned back to him, putting her hands on his shoulders. “Before you ask, we have tried to talk to her. But – I really think she needs her father.”
Victor wasn’t sure what caused it – Alice’s tone of voice, her expression, maybe even the way she touched him – but something clicked in his head. Oh my God. . . . He’d always worried about this possibility, did his best to prepare for it, but still, to actually have it happen. . . . (A small part of him was surprised it wasn’t Chester who was affected – somehow his older son inheriting practically all of his looks had made him half-certain he was going to be the one to get something else from him as well.) Without waiting a second more, he made his way to Lorina’s room.
The hallway outside her room was eerily quiet – not a good sign. Victor took a deep breath and knocked on her door. “Lorina?” he called, as gently as possible. “It’s your father. M-may I come in?”
There was a moment of silence that seemed to last for years. Then, slowly, there was a click, and the door swung open to reveal Lorina, looking pale and worn, her eyes rimmed with red. Behind her, Victor could see that the room was in disarray – and that the wallpaper had been ruined by copious amounts of scribbling. “Daddy?” she choked out, voice wavering and filled with that indescribable something that signaled your brain would never be the same.
Victor promptly enveloped his newly-Touched daughter in a hug. “It’s okay,” he whispered, rocking her as she started crying, and remembering his own experiences when he’d first gone Creative. Alice had saved him from the madness then – and now, he was going to do the same with his little girl. “You’re going to be fine,” he assured her as she clung to him. Then, letting a little of the Creativity leak into his own voice, he added, “You’re not alone.”

14. blue: An Oddity of Pigmentation

Date: 2011-01-03 03:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Vague Present/Near Future
Notes: I was gonna write something about his beloved butterflies, but then this popped in as a more interesting option. Besides, it's a valid question.

“Er, Emily? Do you mind if I ask you a – a p-possibly personal question?”
Emily turned to Victor with a smile. “Not at all. What is it?”
Victor fiddled a bit with his tie. He felt odd, asking this, but part of him just had to know. “Well, I’ve always w-wondered – do you know w-why your skin is – blue?”
Emily looked down at her one fleshed hand, examining it for a moment. “Sort of,” she said. “I asked Dr. Finklestein about it a day or two after he brought me back – once I’d gotten over the shock. He went into a rather long explanation I didn’t quite understand. Something about a ‘pigmentation change due to the reanimation process.’ I think that means the way he resurrects people turns them funny colors.”
Victor frowned. “One would think he’d try to fix that.”
“I don’t think he cares,” Emily said. Holding up her skeletal hand, she added, “Especially given the sort of dead he tends to resurrect. Having oddly-colored skin wouldn’t bother Bonejangles or Jack, after all.”
“I suppose that’s true,” Victor allowed. “Still. . .does it bother you at all?”
“It did at first,” Emily admitted, putting her hand down and twiddling her thumbs. “But as I got to know Sally and the others, it seemed less important. And after meeting you and your friends. . . .” She tilted her head, looking suddenly worried. “It’s never bothered you, has it? My being blue?”
Victor grinned at her. “Emily, one of my dearest friends – and your boyfriend, may I add – is green. I asked merely because I was curious.” He looked thoughtfully off into the distance. “Though, speaking of which, I have wondered why Richard’s skin is green.”
“Oh, I already asked him about that,” Emily said. “Apparently he has a rather – odd reaction to high doses of mercury.”

7. family: Closer Than Blood

Date: 2011-01-03 06:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Vague point in the future
Notes: I knew I wanted to do something about how Victor didn't feel close to his parents -- this somewhat sappy thing resulted. Miss Horrocks's name comes from one of the voice actresses on Corpse Bride -- Jane Horrocks, who did Black Widow and Ms Plum.

When Victor had been five, he’d asked his governess, Miss Horrocks, what exactly a family was. Miss Horrocks had explained that a family was a group of people who were related and who generally lived together. “You and your mother and your father are a family,” she’d said.
“But you and Barry live here with us as well,” Victor had replied. “Aren’t you part of our family?”
“Certainly not,” Miss Horrocks had said, almost too quickly. “We’re not related. You can only be family if you’re related, Victor.”
“But I like you and Barry. Why can’t you be family?”
“That’s just not how it works, Victor. Liking someone does not make them family. Family is who you came from – your blood. People whom you like are just friends. You cannot make someone family – except by marriage, of course, but we’ll talk about that much later. Now, let us continue your lessons.”
And that had been the end of it. That was what Victor knew for the next fourteen years of his life – family was who you were related to. Not necessarily who you liked. (Not that he would ever admit to not liking his parents, but – but he was reasonably certain at times they didn’t like him very much.) And there was absolutely no way to change that.
Then he’d gotten his foot caught in the ladder of a flying steam train and been dragged off to Secundus. And met Marty and Doc and Alice and scores of other people. People who liked him, who accepted him, who did their level best to make him happy. People who genuinely seemed to care about him, more than his mother and father – his family – ever had.
And that was when he decided Miss Horrocks had been wrong. Family was so much more than blood, than merely being related. Family was who you could depend on, who you could be sure would stand at your back. Who you loved.
That’s why he stayed in Secundus, he realized later. Because when he’d met Doc and Marty – he’d somehow instinctively known he was meeting the first members of his real family.

17. hot cocoa: Ordinary Life

Date: 2011-01-04 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Roughly present
Notes: Nothing too special to say here. It's been cold, and I've been having plenty of hot chocolate myself (got a can of mix for Christmas, in fact), so this prompt's been on my mind since before Bingo.

“Goodness, it is cold out!”
Victor hugged himself, trying in vain to stop his shivering. Dr. E. Brown’s 24-Hour Scientific Services did not feel like it was very well-heated today. Little drafts kept blowing in from under the door and from chinks around the windows. Victor half-fancied he could see his breath. “I do hope Marty and Doc come back soon,” he murmured, rubbing his hands together to warm them. “Then perhaps I can spend some time by the fire upstairs.”
Luck was with him – Doc and Marty appeared shortly afterward, cheeks and noses red from the chill. “Yikes,” Marty said, stamping his feet on the floor to remove the snow. “I don’t think we’re gonna see many customers today, Doc. It’s really goddamn cold.”
“I think you’re right, Marty,” Doc agreed, glancing out at the nearly barren streets. “It’s got to be below freezing out there. Let’s close up shop and head upstairs, all right?”
“Fine by me,” Marty said, heading straight for the stairs.
“Me too,” Victor said, following him. “Shall I make up the fire?”
“Please,” Doc nodded. “I’ll be with you boys in a bit.”
The two young men nodded back and made their way into the flat. “Did you get everything you needed?” Victor asked as he got the fire ready in the sitting room.
“Almost,” Marty said. “They were out of magnetic resonators. The guy said he’d have some in soon, though.”
“Good – then we can get back to work on the oscillator.” Victor sighed as the flames caught the logs, sending out waves of warmth into the room. “Oh, this is better already,” he said, claiming a seat on the couch.
“Tell me about it,” Marty said, leaning toward the fire and extending his hands.
Doc was rather slower to join them than expected – the reason for his delay proved to be a pleasant one, however, as he entered the room with three cups on a tray. “I figured we could all use some hot chocolate,” he said, distributing them.
“Thank you very much,” Victor said gratefully, taking the mug and gazing down into the brown steaming liquid. He warmed his hands on it before taking a cautious sip, being careful not to let the cocoa burn his tongue. It tasted wonderful, and the heat it provided was even better.
“Yeah, thanks a million, Doc,” Marty said, taking a big glug from his cup. “Aahhh. . . .”
They sat in contented silence after that, enjoying their drink and each other’s company. Victor looked at his companions for a moment, then smiled.
It was funny how normal life in Secundus could be.

3. luminaries: Inspiration

Date: 2011-01-04 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Very near future
Notes: Yes, me with the glowing butterflies again. I LIKE the glowing butterflies. Besides, when I looked up the word and found that it meant "people who inspire" as well as "sources of light," I had to do a fic that hit on both definitions. Also, the title is a hint towards "Genius: The Transgression," a fanmade World of Darkness supplement about mad scientists that I've been interested in lately. The Geniuses are said to be filled "with the light of Inspiration."

It had to be the result of living in Secundus, Victor decided one morning while washing his face. Probably everyone who lived here and wasn’t already a Touched had dreams like the ones he’d been having lately. It was only natural, when one was surrounded by men and women who could bend the laws of physics, biology, and chemistry to their whims. Such things had to rub off on one.
And it was obvious he’d be affected more than the average person out on the street. He lived with a Touched and his Igor – hell, he probably qualified for Igor status himself at this point. And all of his friends were either Touched or close friends with Touched themselves (if not the result of their experiments). His days were filled with the sort of science that led to the creation of wonders – time travel theory, chemical drink mixtures, engineering for artificial limbs, and a thousand other things. Really, when he thought about it, it would be stranger for him not to have the dreams.
And yet. . .Victor couldn’t shake that niggling feeling that the glowing butterflies that haunted his nights were much more important than he realized.

2. thunder snow: Not Even In The Bible

Date: 2011-01-06 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Nearish future (a little over a year)
Notes: The instant I saw this prompt, I thought of a certain Lewis Black routine where he saw lightning with snow and said that it was, basically, a sign of the end of the world. "They don't even write about that kind of weather in the Bible!" is the line that inspired the title. Also, originally it was going to be Helen Narbon with the weather machine (since the first storyline in "Narbonic" featured one), but I decided my universe needed more "Girl Genius" in it. Oh, and Ferdinand is Victor's riding butterfly - you'll see him in the next story.

Victor nearly jumped out of his skin, dropping the book he was reading. “Goodness!” he said, pressing a hand to his heart. “Where did that come from?”
“I think from outside,” Alice said, looking toward the sitting room window. There was a bright flash that could be seen even through the heavy curtains, then another loud boom. “A thunderstorm must have just come over us.”
“More like snuck up on us.” Victor retrieved his book, then got up and made his way to the window. “I didn’t have the slightest inkling until--”
He stopped abruptly as he parted the curtains. Outside the window was – was – he couldn’t believe it. It was the middle of summer for goodness’s sake! And with thunder and lightning?! For a long moment, all he could do was gape. Then, slowly, he found his voice again. “. . .It’s snowing.”
“It’s what?!” Alice joined him at the window, to see thick globs of snow pelting the glass. Behind them, lightning lit up the sky again. “Bloody hell, that’s a sign of the apocalypse, isn’t it?”
“I would say so. . . .” Victor thought hard for a moment. “Wait – didn’t Lady Heterodyne bring a weather machine with her when she came to the city?”
“Yes, actually, she did,” Alice said, relaxing a fraction. “And I think she said that she hadn’t got all the bugs worked out.” She looked at the snow melting against their window. “This is – a rather major bug, I’d say.”
“I know. But she’s the Heterodyne – I’m sure she’ll fix it.”
Sure enough, after a few minutes, the storm dwindled away into nothingness, leaving wet slush in its wake. Shortly thereafter, a female voice echoed throughout the sky: “Sorry about that! Mimmoth in the works!”
Alice shook her head. “The most powerful female Touched ruler in years, and she still has things like that happen to her.”
“I think it’s all part and parcel of being a mad scientist,” Victor said, turning around. “Come, let’s go check on Ferdinand and make sure he’s not too upset.”
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Nearish future
Notes: Yes, Victor has a riding butterfly. The idea has honestly been in my head for ages. This was also the first thing that popped into my head for this prompt, after remembering that a certain species of moth uses its wing scales to escape spider webs. I did some research on butterfly wings (the hair thing is true), but I make no claims on being COMPLETELY accurate. Ferdy's a steampunk GM butterfly, after all.

“Hello, Ferdinand!”
Victor laughed as an eager proboscis slid over his body, searching for food. “Yes, yes, I have some nectar for you,” he said, producing a fake flower filled with sugar water from behind his back. “Here you are.”
Ferdinand made a happy clicking nose, “licking” Victor’s face before starting to drink. Victor patted the oversized butterfly on the head behind the antennae. “How are you today?” he asked, examining the little stable he’d set up for his pet and mount. Everything seemed to be in order
– except that there was some odd debris on the floor. Frowning, Victor set the flower on a nearby shelf and leaned over to get a better look. Scattered all over the floor were large black flakes of some sort. Victor picked one up and examined it. The flake was vaguely rectangular in shape, with little notches on one of the shorter sides. It was stiff, but it had a soft texture, like a thin piece of wood covered with cloth. It also changed color as he turned it – from straight on it was black, but twisting it one way or the other turned it into a shimmery blue. “What the. . . .”
Ferdinand finished his drink and gave himself a little shake. Victor blinked as a few more flakes fell off the butterfly’s wings. The light came on in his head. “Oh! They’re your wing scales! But why are they coming off? They always stayed put before, I saw to that when–”
And then he remembered something. When he’d first made Ferdinand, he’d quickly discovered that, for a riding butterfly to be at all useful, it would have to have some mammalian traits. Victor, being an ardent dog lover, had chosen to use canine DNA. And since butterfly wing scales were a form of hair. . . . He laughed as it became clear. “Oh dear – you’re shedding. I should have guessed. . .well, so long as they’re growing back.” He examined the wing closest to him. Yes, the scales did appear to be regenerating themselves. That was one problem averted – now, what to do about the flakes? He looked down at the one he still held in his hands for a moment. It seemed far too pretty to just throw away. But what exactly could one do with shed giant butterfly wing scales?
It hit him a moment later. “Hmm. Let me get a broom, and then we’ll take a ride over to Richard’s and see if he wants these,” he told Ferdinand. “Doubtless he’ll probably find a way to make a hat out of them.”
Ferdinand bounced a little, eager for the exercise. Victor laughed and went to fetch the broom. Never a dull moment when you’re a Touched entomologist. . . .

12. holiday: Off By The Sea

Date: 2011-01-06 04:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Some years into the future (about eight)
Notes: I decided to go with the definition of "taking a vacation" so I could a more summery take on the prompt. For some reason, I like the idea of Victor at the beach. The "Mechtorian Museum" is a reference to a neat line of steampunk toys (http://www.mechtorians.com/) -- I own Scuttler the Butler and DJ Cramo. Oh, and Chester's six and the twins three in this fic.

The view was just as gorgeous now as it had been eight years ago. Victor sighed as he leaned on the balcony railing, watching the waves crash onto the beach below. He was so glad they’d found the funds to take this holiday. He’d needed a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle of Secundus. He loved his adopted city, of course, but sometimes, there was only so much mad science gone wrong he could take.
He heard soft footsteps behind him, then felt an arm wrap around his waist. “Looks to be a lovely day,” Alice commented, looking first up at the sky, then down at the sand.
“It does,” Victor agreed. He smiled and drew her a bit closer. “Remember when we first came here, on our honeymoon? Walking along the boardwalk, building castles on the beach, visiting the Mechtorian Museum. . . .”
“We did all that too?”
Victor snorted, then attempted to give Alice a severe look. “Mrs. Van Dort, I don’t think I care for what you’re implying,” he said in his snootiest voice.
“You certainly cared for it back then,” Alice replied mildly, though her eyes sparkled with amusement. “I have proof aplenty, Mr. Van Dort.”
Victor gave up his airs with a laugh, then gave her a loving squeeze. “It’s like nothing’s changed,” he said quietly, glancing from her to the beach and back again. “It’s just as it was eight years ago.”
Alice shook her head. “Not quite.”
“Mummy? Daddy?”
“Yes – there’s them to contend with, for a start.”
Chester padded out onto the balcony, followed by Vincent and Lorina. “Is it breakfast-time?” Chester asked, rubbing his stomach. “I’m hungry.”
“Yes, we can go have breakfast,” Victor said, crouching down so he could address his children at eye level (or close enough to). “And then we’ll go and play in the sand, all right?”
The three grinned and nodded eagerly. Victor smiled and hugged them all tight, Alice joining in. No, things weren’t just as they were eight years ago.
They were so much better.

11. Janus: One Door Closes. . .

Date: 2011-01-13 04:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Near future
Notes: Janus, for those not in the know, is the Roman god of doorways, beginnings and endings, and time. He's where we get the month of January. This fic basically just came to me as a good way of seeing my favorite couple into the New Year.

“Almost midnight!”
Alice turned and grinned at her husband as she finished pouring the champagne. “I’ve always liked New Year’s Eve,” she continued, going over and handing him his drink. “It’s an exciting moment for me, going into the new year. Everything seems ripe with possibility.”
Alice frowned. Victor didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic. He was slouched over on the couch, staring absently into space. She’d expected him to be a little excited at least. “Is something wrong?” she asked, sitting next to him.
“N-no! I--” He stopped as she gave him her best “I know you’re lying” look and sighed. “It’s just been such a strange year for me,” he admitted, looking down into his drink. “When last New Year’s came around, I thought the most exciting thing that was going to happen to me was an arranged marriage. Instead I found myself accidentally kidnapped by a flying steam train, taken to the Mad Science Capital of the World, and meeting so many wonderful people – including the love of my life,” he added with one of those warm smiles that never failed to send a tingle down her spine.
Then it vanished, leaving him with a rather haunted look. “And then – g-going Creative, and f-fighting the Queen of Hearts, and – and finding Lewis d-dead, and l-losing my parents. . . .” His eyes went to the floor as he took a deep, steadying breath. “I w-would like to say this was the b-best year of my life, but – there’s b-been a lot of b-bad in it.”
Alice watched him, feeling a rush of sympathy. She knew what he was feeling – losing Lewis had been hard on her too. He’d been her friend for ages – losing him had felt rather like losing another family member, ripping open a lot of old wounds. (Not to mention all the awkwardness and horrible things that had resulted from the events surrounding his death. . . .) And she knew what it was like to go mad, and to lose two of the most important people in your life.
Except – she didn’t, not quite. Victor’s madness was a different strain from her own. She was familiar with Touched, yes, but she had no idea what it was like to be one. Catatonia and manic creativity were about as different as chalk and cheese. And the loss of her parents had been a tragic accident. The loss of his. . .how could she ever comprehend what it was like to be rejected by one’s own parents? For something one couldn’t even help? She sighed. No wonder Victor felt a little morose.
But she knew something else – even if she couldn’t hope to understand all Victor had gone through, she could help and support him. She reached out and placed a hand on his back. “Yes, there’s been a lot of bad this year,” she agreed softly. Then she smiled hopefully. “But I rather think the good outweighs it. After all, even with everything that happened, you found a home here. You found friends who would do anything for you. And I – I found you.”
Victor looked up at her. Slowly, he smiled back and nodded. “That’s very true,” he said. “And I know as long as I have you, this new year will be wonderful, no matter what.”
Alice felt herself getting a little misty-eyed. She raised her glass as the clock in the corner began chiming midnight. “Out with the old. . . .”
“And in with the new,” Victor completed, clinking his glass against hers, before leaning in and kissing her.
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Near future
Notes: Random little fluffy piece. The idea for the Author's Choice just came to me -- we have a couple of prompts about the cold, so why not one about warmth? This quirk of Victor's has been mentioned before in 50 Sentences (http://docsgirl.livejournal.com/622674.html#cutid2) I did for Victor/Alice -- look for numbers 8 and 16.

Victor never knew why he tended to get so cold at night. Keeping himself a comfortable temperature never seemed to be a problem in the daylight. But at night, no matter how many covers he piled on himself, it seemed he always woke up shivering at least once. Even in summer, he generally needed a blanket. He tried hot water bottles, bedwarmers heated in the fire, even, upon coming to Secundus, one of those newfangled self-heating blankets. Nothing quite seemed to work.
Then, upon marrying Alice, he found that he was sleeping a little better than he had in the past. Puzzled by this at first, it didn’t take him long to find out the cause. His beloved wife was kind and intelligent and had a wonderful sense of humor –
But, most importantly for his bed, she was warm.

15. lawn ornament: Our Trolls Are Different

Date: 2011-01-18 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 8butterflyboy8.livejournal.com
Time Period: Vague present
Notes: Discworld crossover! This was going to be a "Wallace & Gromit" crossover, but then I decided I liked this idea better. I wanted to put these guys in the main narrative, but I don't think I'll find the space around the main story, so it was good to use them here. The title comes from the TV Tropes page (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AllTrollsAreDifferent) of the same (or, as I just found out, similar) name.

Victor peered at the little pile of rocks sitting on the yard outside the house. Something about it had caught his attention as he passed by – he wasn’t sure what yet, but he was determined to find out. “What an odd-looking thing to have on one’s lawn,” he murmured to himself.
“Oh, actually, that’s an infant troll.”
Victor jerked his head up to see a man in a strangely-colored shirt and vest grinning at him. “A what?”
“A troll!” the man said again. “They’re a silicon-based life form – that’s why they look like rocks. They were Created for a colder climate, and they’re primarily nocturnal, so they tend to sleep during the day. Many a miner has been digging for precious metals, only to find a strong hand strangling the life out of them for disturbing its beauty sleep.”
Victor nodded slowly. The man’s smile as he related that information was a little disturbing. “I, ah, see. H-how do you know all this?”
“It was all in my travel guide!”
“Travel guide?”
“Yes. I first came here as a tourist,” the man explained. “I didn’t expect to stay long – I just wanted to see the city everyone talked about, and maybe have some life-changing experiences I could tell the others back home. Then I met Rincewind!”
“Rincewind Pratchett?” Victor guessed. Even back in Burtonsville, he’d heard stories about Rincewind. The man had a talent for getting himself into horrible, life-threatening trouble no matter how much he said he wanted a normal, boring life. (Victor wondered what he was doing living in Secundus if that was the case.)
“Yes! He’d recently come here after leaving Unseen University – you know, that university for Sparks and Igors? He and I had some amazing adventures, and after all was said and done, I couldn’t bring myself to leave.” The man grinned. “I’m so glad we met. He’s such a good friend.”
“Twoflower! Get in here and stop your Luggage from stealing all my crisps!”
“Coming! Good day to you, sir!” The man – Twoflower – turned to go.
“Just a moment – why do you have an infant troll?” Victor called after him.
“Oh, the Luggage burped it up. We’re just looking after it until I can convince Rincewind that a trip into the mountains to return it really is worth the trouble.” Twoflower gave him a wave and disappeared inside the house.
Victor watched him go, then looked back at the little pile of rocks. Sure enough, if he looked very closely, he could see a slight tremor going through it, as if it were breathing. He shook his head and continued onward, back into the main part of the city. “Never know what you’ll see in Secundus. . . .”
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