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It's kind of a loaded question, and Scott takes a few minutes before he figures out how he wants to answer it. [b "The name obvious comes from Charles founding the team. X for Xavier. He's dedicated a lot of his time to train us, so we could learn how to use our gifts to help people. He wants the world to see us just like they do other people. We're not a threat. Most of us aren't any ways. But the bad ones have done a good job of making us seem dangerous to the public. Charles wants to combat that image. He wants to help make the world better. So, he founded the X-Men. When he deems you ready and in control of yourself, you become part of the team. We go where we're needed, to eliminate threats that the not-good guys cause."]
He gives her a look out of the corner of his eye. [b "You had the pleasure of meeting one of them. Sabretooth. One of Magneto's goonies. They've done their best to spread this image of mutant superiority. They kill anyone that gets in their way. Our job has been to keep them under control whenever we can."]
It was an exhausting routine, but it was second nature at this point. At least once a month they were flying off to some part of the world, undermining the Brotherhood's plans before they can get too far. Unfortunately, Magneto was always smart enough to not travel with his followers. Even more unfortunate is that they haven't been able to track him as of yet.
[b "We just want to help people. That's what the X-Men are about. And despite what the kids seem to think, graduating does not automatically qualify you for the team. We want to make sure that they are capable of handling what is out there, for their own safety. It's not just about their power control, but about their temperament. They could have the best control of their powers, but if they're a hothead, they're going to lose control regardless."]
They'd had a few students push the limits of what was allowed under the rules of the Institute. They only thing they'd qualified for was a place on the red flag list to be monitored closely. Before he can touch on the subject more, Charles interrupts his thoughts. [b "We'd better get back. Dr McCoy is getting anxious to get his hands on your blood. Which honestly is not weird, once you get to know him."]
The walk back towards the mansion is almost peaceful with how quiet it is, with only the dull roar of students hurrying around the building. [b "Think it's something you'd be up for? Fighting for the team?"]
Her voice remained at bay as the mutant male said all he did, she casually leaning against the stall of Houdini. She'd be lying if she tried to claim that what he was saying didn't ease some nerve inside of her that had been refusing to let go lax. Was his answer the kind she was looking for? Had he answered correctly? Had she found what she had been looking for in his words?
[b "Hm.... Alright then."] She said nothing more than that. Not agreeing that she'd give them a chance, or saying that she didn't trust them a bit. Just those four simple words.
Lauren turned, giving a few more soft strokes to Houdini's snout before stepping away from his stale, [b "How about you tell me what the 'X-Men' is, then? One of those kids earlier mentioned it."] A single brown eyebrow arched up, [b "What exactly is that? A dramatic boy-band?"] A small smirk curled her lips as she looked at him expectantly. Despite the joking tone there was genuine desire for a real, serious answer upon her face.
However, unknown to the female it was within seconds of her question having been asked that a certain wheelchair-bound mutant sent out a mental call to the male beside her.
[i [#216bb5 /+//Scott? Bring our new friend back down to the labs, would you? Hank is getting antsy for the blood he promised and Jean wants to continue the medical exam she didn't get to finish earlier.//+/]]
Seconds after Charles' voice finished speaking within Scott's head the loud, toiling bell rang loudly and spread throughout the entire property of Xavier's Institute for Gifted Youngsters to single the end of the last classes of the day for a majority of the students. A majority of the elective classes, including the baseball and basketball sports classes, would still be active for another half hour.
[b "It honestly wouldn't surprise me if Kitty taught him some of her tricks. It's funny to everyone else, but I'm the one who has to chase his arrogant ass around the grounds to get him to come in from the fields during his escape attempts. We even double locked his stall, and by midnight, he was eating the flowers from the courtyard gardens,"] Scott makes a face at the proud pony, who appears to be mocking him right back.
The students were responsible for caring for the horses, and Houdini was easily their favourite. He had an attitude that matched theirs, and provided hours of entertainment. Go figure that Lauren would bond with him. [b "Just don't give him any ideas. He's smart enough as it is."]
Scott leans against the stall of Blitzkrieg, a chesnut stallion who stuck his face over the side of the door to get rubs along his snout. [b "I could stand here all day and give you reasons why this place is not only safer for you, but can also help you. But, something tells me that you're not easily persuaded. Given your apparent lack of history, I guess I can't really blame you."] He pauses for a moment to brush the horse's hair from his eyes. [b "All I can tell you is that this place has helped a lot of people. Kitty couldn't look anyone in the eye for the first month that she was here. Jubilee was terrified that she was going to hurt someone. Most of the students that you've seen here have felt like monsters at one time or another. Our job is to teach them that they are far from it."]
Scott steps away from the horse and comes to lean against Houdini's stall door. [b "We dedicate our lives to protecting people. That isn't to say you need protection. It's clear that you can handle yourself. But that doesn't just mean physical protection or help. Charles sees something in you. He's saved us all. He wants to give you all the help he can for you to learn more about yourself. I can't convince you to stay, but I can promise that you won't be commanded while you're here. There are rules of the mansion, but nothing that would take away your freedoms. You can leave at any time. He's just asking you to give this place a chance."]
He flinches away as Houdini nips at him. [b "You can even have personal responsibility over this little bastard."]
Her brown eye roved every which way as she was led through a couple more hallways, out to the grounds of the school, and then past children of various ages doing many activities about the acres of land.
[i Making this place just like any other boarding school in the country? I'm sure there isn't a single one in America that offers such a large variety all at the same time.] Those were her thoughts but she kept them to herself.
Soon enough they entered the stables and after the naming of each and every large creature, she was soon brought to the stall of none other than the mentioned escape artist.
She walked over to the half-door that kept the animal in, eyeballing the white-and-black creature with a thoughtful expression. Even if it was a 'miniature' animal it was still taller than her. [b "Maybe he's a mutant too; the poor thing just wanting equal education for all mammals of the 'super' variety."] Her tone was forcefully serious, she reaching out a hand to the mentioned pony who instantly moved forward to sniff her palm. [b "Or maybe this tricky guy is just smarter than you, Summers."] A grin morphed into view and the brunette couldn't help but snicker as Houdini seemed to whine in agreement to her statement before nuzzling at her hand.
The tough and gruff, short-stature Wolverine admittedly petted the horse with a gentle touch and an endeared expression faintly visible upon her face. In the same instance, it should be just as admitted that her teasing—quite obviously—held no genuine hostility. She still didn't find herself liking this man as a person, but he didn't seem like as much as an asshole in the past bit as he did almost over an hour prior.
[b "So..."] She began, removing her hand from petting the animal and turning her attention to Scott. [b "If I were to ask you about why I should trust you and everyone in this school, what would you say to convince me? If I were to ask you what this school could give me, as a person who has made their known life filled with fighting to get what they need, what would you offer?"] Her arms crossed over her chest, and eyebrow arched as she awaited an answer. Her questioning wasn't challenging, just sizing; she wanted to see what kind of answers he'd given. One thing she'd learn in her fifteen years of memories is that a person's answers to questions tell a lot of things.
The way the taller mutant answered could be hinging on Lauren's entire viewpoint of the Xavier Institute.
[b "That is insanely tame compared to how most of them were when they got here. Imagine pre-pubescent teenagers all figuring themselves out, with new powers on top of that, all while discovering that boys and girls aren't icky after all. I almost walked around with a squirt bottle just to keep them in line,"] Scott answers dryly.
It wasn't even an exaggeration. The first month that John and Bobby had both been at the Institute, they had managed to both set the west wing on fire, and cause severe damage to one of the labs, without even acquiring the help of Hank. Scott was more than grateful that all that's left of their rebellious personalities is their intrusive questions.
He's surprised that Lauren appeared to be taking an interest in the school, and nods in response to her question. [b "Charles wanted this school to feel like any other boarding school in the country. On top of training with their powers as extracurricular activities, he's made sure that they have access to normal athletics and equestrian hobbies. It provides the kids with something to wind down after a long day of classes. I'll take you down to the stables."]
It is quite a walk from the school, but it gives her a chance to see a bit more of the rolling hills that the Institute sits on. It was quite the view, and Scott was always grateful that his room had a balcony where he could sit and watch the sun set behind the trees. The stables are on the far end of the property, with fences set up around various obstacles used for competing. [b "There are ten horses in total. Eleven, if you count the miniature pony, Houdini. Named as such because the little bastard escapes and we can't figure out how,"] he says, opening the large barn door to show the stalls.
The older woman slowly released the embrace, carefully maneuvering a loose strand of hair behind the younger female's ear without touching her skin.
[b "They treating you good, kid? No bad vibes or anything?"] Her voice was pitched low, gentle. She barely noticed the small group apparently questioning or annoying the only other adult in the immediate area. [#9b43b6 "They're nice. They've been really warm and welcoming.... It's almost scary how kind they are."] The young teen reassured and admitted near simultaniously, making Lauren's heart clench. Being shocked by kindness should be [i her] kind of thing , not the way a barely sixteen-year old kid should feel.
[b "Well as long as we don't get 'killed' with kindness I think the two of us will survive, kid."] Her tone was a false version of grave seriousness so, when Rogue snickered a bit the expression faded into an easy-going grin.
The little moment was ruin by the beginning of questioning from the group of other young teens that were obviously waiting on Rogue to join them once more and it left the Wolverine a little surprise. Blinking, eyebrows arching, she was just about to open her mouth and try to work her way through some kind of answer before the Summers guy beat her to the punch. Surprisingly, she didn't find herself wanting to punch him for speaking for her cause she honestly had held no idea on what to say.
Browning eyes getting met with the blue of him she easily understood his expression, and the little bit of tension she hadn't realized had built up lessened marginally. [b "I'm sure maybe something will work out. Your little group just take care of the kid, huh?"] Her voice was playful, she nudging Rogue with a gently tap to the ribs that caused the sassy girl to roll her eyes.
Soon enough the gaggles of young teenagers was off and she was once more left alone with the other mutant adult. [b "Well they sure are... lively."] Lauren made a slight face but there was mirth in her eyes. Even if she didn't seem to have enjoyed the assault of attention she seemed to have enjoyed the kids' presences otherwise. Fully turning her attention to Scott once more, she pitched an eyebrow as she pulled the manila folder out from under her arm, [b "So I read in this stuff that Xavier gave me something about there being acres of land around this place? Sports fields and a [i horse stable?]"] Her tone was filled with disbelief, yet curiosity all the same.
Scott couldn't help the small smile that graced his face when Rogue set her eyes on Lauren. The girl practically bounced with eagerness until given permission to hug the older woman carefully. It was a sight he wasn't expecting to be touched by. But, there was something vaguely maternal in Lauren's smile that reminded him of Jean around the young kids.
The moment is interrupted, of course, by the gaggle of students hanging around. And no doubt John is the first to pipe up a question. [b "That 'lady', John, is a guest of Professor Xavier's. So, I expect all of you to be respectful and welcoming. Lauren is going to be around for the time being, so try to not ruin the Institute's reputation with any of your shenanigans. Am I clear?"]
John salutes mockingly while Bobby and Jubilee hide their laughter behind their hands. [i "Sir, yes sir! I'll be so well behaved, you'll get sick of me."]
[b "I was sick of you after the first day of school. Don't push it,"] Scott taunts back, though he did enjoy the banter he held with some of the senior students.
[i "Are you joining the X-Men?"] Kitty asks, clearly curious of the newcomer.
[i "What do you do?"] Bobby is the next to chime in.
[b "How about we save the question and answer session for later, shall we? If I remember correctly, you all have a class to get to, and you don't want Dr. McCoy to blow things up without you being there,"] Scott interrupts before they all start talking over one another, as they were prone to do.
[b "If Lauren isn't tired of you by tonight, she might answer some questions. If she wants, that is,"] he adds, meeting her eye to show that it was her choice.
[i Pretty sure I'd remember some guy with weird ruby-red glasses.] Her thoughts piped up, but she didn't voice them and simply nodded her head at his topic-change. She didn't feel comfortable remaining on the subject right now either, even if she had been the one to bring it up.
It made her feel like her brain was literally itching.
[b "Being a wanderer is kind of the only choice ya got if you got no memories, bub. Not that I mind it—love beating up people in cage fights. They never expect it out of me."] She grinned wolfishly, [b "Hell one time me and this booky planned my opening to be coming in as an 'unknown' to scam some people out of their bets a bit. I have, like, an army of people in Canada I work with."] She gestured vaguely in the direction she knew was north.
With a softest expression, she then added on, [b "...And an army of women and children who all adore me. A few of those kids are full-grown now though. That army is for a completely different reason, though."] Her tone and face were a softness that one wouldn't be able to expect out of her with the front she lets out, but before any elaboration could be given or asked for, well, the short brunette was startling a bit as a school bell rang loudly through the halls of the school.
All the classrooms in the hallway began to have students file out, and one in particular who she just happened to be waiting for did a double take. [#9b43b6 "Lauren!"] Rogue had lunged toward her but hesitated at the last moment, remembering her power. The Wolverine rolled her eyes, shaking head. [b "That attached already, hm? Knew I was a charmer."] That got a grin from the teen and Lauren, grinning herself, continued, [b "C'mon kid, you said it's only skin-to-skin that does it. Just be careful."] Arm open in offering she soon found them full of teenager—a teenager still very-much taller than her by two inches. The older of the two huffed a chuckle, shaking her head but there was an unmistakable fondness in her expression.
Jubilation "Jubilee" Lee lingered by, obviously waiting for the girl she had been assigned to show around the girl and with obvious curiosity at the woman her new friend was hugging. Bobby Drake, John Allerdyce, and Kitty Pride lingered nearby as well. Either waiting for Jubilee or their own curiosity getting the better of them. [#ef4a25 "Who's the lady, teacher-man?"] John would finally be the one to ask of Scott, and the four teenagers looked for to the Summers male expectantly for an answer as Lauren and the newest student of the school continued their little reunion.
Lauren had a damn good point. Scott tries to imagine himself in Rogue's shoes, watching her rescuer get the shit kicked out of her by some dude that is essentially a human lion. He'd probably be terrified. [b "I get what you mean. She's young. If she's still figuring herself and her powers out, I can't even picture what was going through her head. She's already afraid of herself, and has convinced herself she's a monster. Sabertooth just enhanced that mentality."]
The next question throws Scott a little bit off. He raises an eyebrow and looks to the woman, trying to figure out where they could possibly know each other from. [b "I guess it's possible. Charles is usually the one who really pays attention to other mutants wherever we go. I've never been good at remembering faces."]
Strangely, however, she wasn't the only one who felt something familiar. Now that they weren't ripping each other's heads off and screaming at one another, there was something definitely familiar about Lauren. With her complexion and brown hair, it would be easy to mistake her for just about every other brunette he'd ever come across in his life, but it's her eyes that makes him try and focus the most. There was something almost memorable about them.
[b "Maybe..."] he murmurs under his breath, mostly to himself.
Clearing his throat, he gives his head a shake. [b "We travel a lot as X-Men so it's highly likely that we've come across each other at one time or another. It wouldn't surprise me if it has happened. You seem like quite the rambler yourself,"] he notes, brushing his confusion away as best as he can to try and switch the topic back to her. He wants to understand her better.
Her enhanced senses allowed her to easily pick up and notice the tension in the guy, and she made a mental note that if she didn't want to get turned into beef-jerky that she shouldn't refer to powers in that title again as he explained his abilities. [b "Talk about having a fiery gaze...."] She muttered, a non-hostile smirk tweaking her mouth. And then they arrived at their hesitation.
[i My girl, huh?] That parroted in her thoughts she would move forward, and glanced through the window. The moment she saw Rogue in a large group of other children with ones that seemed friendly directly around her, the 5"3 brunette's tension and remaining defensive attitude towards the adults she had met so far lessened to a near nonexistence. Her girl was safe. [i My girl... god, I'm fucking sentimental.]
She had been halfway paying attention to Scott's words, and she huffed out a chuckle showing she didn't see any negatives in his words. [b "You can't really blame the kid for being anxious—what happened probably looked like hell and horror to her. As for me it hurt like shit to have happen. I prefer [i playing] baseball than [i being] the baseball. Especially if the bat is a tree."]
The offer that he soon gave caught her off guard and she snapped her attention back towards him with raised eyebrows. [b "Sure. Would appreciate it."] And with that acceptance on her end she crossed her arms and leaned against the wall. She had no idea how long until the end of the class was but she was perfectly content to wait.
Lauren glanced in the Summers male's direction and winced as if physically feeling a twinge of something in the back of her mind. She bit the inside of her cheeks which paused her lips to pout faintly, her thoughts debating, before deciding there was no harm in asking.
[b "So not counting that 'warm and welcoming' greeting I gave you about an hour or so ago,"] A sarcastic smirk curled her mouth briefly before her expression was falling back to mild curiosity, [b "But... we haven't met before. Have we?"]
Scott's jaw locks, but he doesn't rise to the bait. She probably doesn't mean any harm with the 'poison' comment, but he's always been rather touchy about anything regarding his mutation. [b "Not exactly 'poison'. My powers aren't a curse, or however you might look at it. We've all been trained to use them to our advantage."]
He raises a finger and taps his sunglasses. [b "These are specially designed to keep my powers in check. Let's just say I could blow this entire mansion to pieces just by opening my eyes first thing in the morning, unless I'm wearing these glasses. I have energy beams for eyes. Kind of ugly to be on the receiving end of, but ultimately great when you're the one winning the fight."]
They come to a stop outside one of the last classrooms in the corridor. [b "Your girl is right in here. Storm's been helping her adjust to everything. She's kind of maternal. Wouldn't be surprised if she's having the time of her life right now,"] he says, although adds the last bit slightly sarcastically.
Rogue sits inside, towards the center of the desks. She's surrounded by classmates, but she's staring off like she's somewhere else. Jubilee sits next her, muttering something under breath as though holding a conversation with her, but a quick glance towards the newcomer shows that the girl isn't paying attention to her. [b "She'll be happy to see you up and about. She's just about exhausted herself with all of her questions. I don't know how many more times I can answer her asking how you're doing."]
Realizing that sounds a bit harsh, he sighs. [b "I mean...she had hopes that you'd get better and I couldn't lie to her. It was getting a little rough having to see her walk away disappointed every time. It'll do her good to see a friendly face."]
He crosses his arms over his chest, and looks over her shoulder in to the classroom. [b "Do you want to wait here for her?"]
Lauren followed after Scott after giving a faint wave in Hank's non-noticing direction. Soon enough that question came about if she and the kid were related and the short brunette couldn't help but bark a laugh. [b "I'm pretty sure if we were related she could tell you some of my missing memories, dont'cha think?"] She arched an eyebrow, but then her expression sobered as she properly confirmed, [b "No, Rogue and I aren't related. I met her three days ago in a bar—kid ran away from home, said she'd been running for months, and I honestly just offered to let her travel with me about five minutes before all that shit went down."] Punctuating the end of her words with a faint shrug, it seemed that was that.
The brown-eyed woman glanced around as the Summers male led her through the currently barren halls of the school. In fact, they even passed through a large hallway that had maybe hundreds of pictures lining either wall, and room for plenty of more to come. It seemed to be of students both past and present if she had to guess. ...Especially since they past by a photo that had a red-head, white-haired, and then weird-visor-wearing trio of what seemed to be older teens.
A small silence had settled, but not too long before they'd reach their destination she'd look over at him once more with a slight spark of curiosity in her eyes. [b "So what's your poison?"] Lauren asked, looking over at him. [b "I can only assume it's something with your eyes considering the alias 'Cyclops' and the glasses."] She was silent a second, then smirked in a way that could only be described as cheeky or before adding, [b "Unless that's just a ploy and your power is actually something to do with your hand."]
Though she was willingly trust these people, she wasn't exactly 'already trusting them'. She felt she had every right to ask what his powers were considering she had just done a demonstration of her own.
Hank's rambling was beginning to give him a headache. Add his confusion regarding her powers, Scott's temple is practically throbbing. When Lauren looks unsure about Beast's obvious excitement, Scott catches her eye and waves the blue man off. [b "Don't mind him. He's always like this. Hank is our mad scientist. He's harmless. Mostly."]
At the mention of Rogue, he pauses for a moment to remember that Lauren hadn't been brought in alone. Concern was not exactly an emotion that he expected her to have. He racks his memory to recover where exactly the girl was. [b "I can take you to her class. We can't interrupt, but at least you'll get to see her through the window. If I interrupt one more of Storm's classes, she'll make a permanent rain cloud follow me everywhere."]
Hank is too busy scribbling away on his notepad to notice that Scott is leading her from the room. [b "We'll meet you in the lab, Einstein,"] he calls over his shoulder, motioning for Lauren to follow him.
[b "Rogue didn't have much information about you other than your name. I take it you aren't related or something?"] he asks her, glancing at her out of the corner of his eye.
The school is empty at the moment, with each student being in some class or another. The halls are barren and it makes for an easy walk, without weaving their way through the crowds. Storm's class was currently across the building, facing out in to the garden. [b "She's settling in nicely though, if that makes you feel any better. From what I can tell, Jubilee has already taken her under her wing."]
The student had latched on to Rogue the minute they'd been introduced. Jubilee was one of the more outgoing students they'd taken on, and it had overwhelmed Rogue at first, but the girls seemed to be getting along well since then, practically glued to each other's side.
To say that the short brunette was surprised was an understatement. She was left blinking owlishly at the McCoy male as her small hands were grabbed in his large, fury, warm, blue ones. [i ...What the fuck are you supposed to say when someone gushes about the cells that make you up?] She wondered to herself, her face as baffled as her mind.
[b "Um,"] Lauren paused, her mouth opening once and shutting with a genuine expression of confusion on her face as she listened to the good-doctor's words. [b "...Thanks?"] She finally offered up with a hesitantly unsure smile. It came out like a question, but all the same it made the blue man laugh and her hands a bit.
[#0086eb "Oh, it's a thanks you wouldn't believe. If you wouldn't mind, I'd love to be able to look at your DNA make-up? I bet it is simply phenomenal!"] Hank gushed out, and the short woman was once more placed in the territory of wondering if that should be an okay thing or not to agree with.
She look at Hank in silence a few long moments, and then at Scott with the same searching expression, before returning her gaze to the man it started on. [b "I... guess I don't mind, big guy. Yeah, sure, I'll give you all the blood you need and such. Just don't pluck hair-samples from my head."] Even if blunt, her words could just as easily call her town of voice 'kind' as smile returned to her face. This time with genuineness in it rather than any kind of uneasy.
Hank seemed to bounce with joy a moment before releasing her hands, going back to the counter, and picked up his notebooks. Flipping it to a new page he began to, more likely than not, write down all the things he could do with an 'all the blood you need and such' offer he'd been given.
Lauren watched him for a moment, and then she turned her attention onto to Scott. [b "So... Summers, yeah?"] She didn't really need the confirmation—her memory was near eclectic and that hadn't changed any time in the last ten minutes. Once she'd had Scott's attention properly gained, however, she continued, [b "I know I'm supposed to be pretty much filling out a resume/file with you two, and then getting a tour. But before anything else happens, I would appreciate seeing Rogue with my own two eyes."] Her voice was calm but near rivaling.
This angry woman who had insulted those as she'd seen as a threat only minutes ago as obviously protective of the girl. If she didn't get an agreement, she'd probably storm-off to fine the young teenager on her own.
[b "Wait, you're really going to break things?"] Scott interjects, but his concern goes unnoticed by the other two adults.
The answer comes with a ringing of metal hitting metal, as the pot is dented by her fist. Hank's booming laugh cuts through the ringing, clapping his hands as if observing a circus act. Scott's eyebrow goes up in surprise, not expecting such force to come out of a woman so small.
Before the men can even get a word in, she's demonstrating act two, with her claws shooting out to cut clean through the steel. The pieces clash against the tile floor with more noise, making Scott wince through his amazement. Beast couldn't be more entertained by this, and is practically hanging on the edge of his seat with excitement. [i "Isn't this just incredible, Scott?"] he bats at the younger man's arm for confirmation.
[b "It's...something,"] he breathes out, stunned by the powers being displayed, though trying his best not to appear so.
[b "What are you going to do?"] Scott asks as she wanders back to the stove, pulling up her sleeve. [b "You're not going to...what the hell!"] he yells, jumping up from his seat as the searing of flesh hits his ears and nostrils.
He claps a hand over his nose to get the smell of burning meat away from his senses. Beast's jaw is practically on the floor as they watch the practically melted flesh return to its normal, pale tone without even so much as a scar remaining from its previously crispy state. [b "You've gotta be fucking kidding me..."] Scott murmurs, looking desperately at Beast as if he will get reassurance that they hadn't just seen that.
[i "My dear girl, do you have any idea how remarkable you are?"] Hank is bursting at the seams with joy, getting to his feet to grab her hands, restraining himself just enough that he doesn't start dancing in circles with her. [i "You are a wondrous creation that I have never even so much as seen the likes of before."]
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