Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)
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||You are on Week 205
Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...
We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!
Story Two Hundred and Five Ends December 3rd
"Avast, ye scurvy maggot!" the pirate Blumaroo shouted, brandishing his sword. "Hand over yer treasure, or prepare to be walkin’ da plank!" He reached forward and attempted to snatch the treasure, which ended with both parties locked in a tug of war stalemate.
"I'm telling!" the small yellow Acara cried while continuing to grip her teddy bear tightly.
The Blumaroo let go of the teddy bear’s leg and lowered his wooden sword. "Aww, don't be a tattle-tale, Nika… I was just playing--"
However, he was interrupted by a swift kick to the shin, then grimaced in pain as he watched the Acara run down the lane. At the same time, he heard laughter break out behind him.
"Ahaha! You’d make a nice pirate, Timothy... as long as your little sister wasn't beating you up all the time." a Kacheek chided, who was also dressed in pirate attire.
"Yeah, yeah..." Timothy said, picking up the wooden sword that he had dropped when he’d been kicked. The Blumaroo watched as his sister turned and ran into their Neohome. "I just hope she wasn't serious about tellin' on me."
"She always says that," the Kacheek reminded him. "Come on, let's get back to playing! Arrr!"
The Blumaroo turned back to his group of friends, who were all like him... obsessed with pirates. "I bet a real pirate gets some respect," he muttered while kicking the dust, before joining his friends to go bury their "loot": a broken keychain, a bottle of blue sand, and a tattered party hat.
"Let's go bury it by that tree in the vacant lot down the street," the Kacheek suggested. "No one will ever find our treasure there..."
Author: Cap'n Jack Pteri|
Date: 19th November
…"Good idea!" Timothy said. "That's the last place anyone would look for it."
The small group of pirates made their way down the street, darting between shadows to avoid being seen.
"You boys afraid of getting sunburned?" an old Lenny called from his front porch.
"Arr, we've been spotted!" the Kacheek, whose name was Darian, hissed. "Run!"
Abandoning their efforts to remain unseen, the pirates raced down the street and ducked into a small alley before turning a corner and jumping a fence, then running across a backyard (to lose anyone anyone else who might be pursuing them). Leaping over the fence's other side, they came out right across the street from the vacant lot.
"Are ye havin' the treasure?" the Kacheek whispered as the pirates made their way to the tree in the lot.
"Right here, Cap'n," Timothy growled, handing over the small cardboard box containing the "treasure."
"We'll be buryin' the treasure… ah… here," Darian decided, pointing to a spot below the tree. "Start diggin'!"
"Aye aye, Cap'n!" the rest of the pirates shouted. They pulled out a variety of small shovels (plus a wooden spoon) and started digging.
"Arr, haven't ye finished diggin' this 'ere hole yet?" the Kacheek asked after awhile, getting bored.
"Maybe… it'd go faster… if ye helped a bit… Cap'n," Timothy gasped, trying to dig around a rock. "This ground's hard as stone."
"Arr, I be the CAP'N!" Darian said indignantly. "Cap'ns are too busy 'n important t'dig, ye scurvy--"
"What was that?" the Kacheek asked, his pirate accent momentarily forgotten.
"There appears to be a small box in our hole, Cap'n," Timothy said, chipping away some more dirt. "Just a minute, I'll get it open… there!"
Clearing off the last shovelful of dirt from the box, the Blumaroo and a small Wocky pulled it out of the hole and opened its lid.
There was an astonished silence, finally broken by one of the more sarcastic members of the crew.
"'Last place anyone would look for treasure, eh?"
The other pirates just stared...
Date: 22nd November
...In the box lay an old, folded-up piece of parchment. The pirates scooted in for a closer look.
"What do you think it is?" Timothy asked.
"Maybe it's a real treasure map?!?" the Wocky suggested.
"Lemme see that!" Darian said. Their captain carefully took the piece of parchment from the box and unfolded it onto the ground.
All the young pirates were breathless. Though the parchment was somewhat smudged, the crew could make out some faint lines. After reading countless adventure stories and playing pirates so many times, the young Neopets could immediately recognize the lines forming a map. There was even a gigantic red "X" near one side of it. Words were scribbled near the top of the map, whose handwriting messy and faded.
"What does it say?" one of the members asked.
"I don't know," the Kacheek replied.
Timothy moved a little to the side for a better view of the map. With his eyes squinted, he could barely make out the words...
Date: 23rd November
…"If riches ye are seekin', this map here is to guide, so follow bold or sneakin', if treasure ye would find," Timothy murmured, the words stilted by his difficulty with the faint letters. The Blumaroo raised an eyebrow. "That's a lame poem..."
"Well, whoever wrote it wasn't a poet; he was a pirate!" Darian explained irritably, snatching the paper from Timothy and nearly tearing it in the process. "And we're going to do what he says!" the Kacheek added with a childish grin. Remembering that he was a tough, menacing pirate though, Darian ditched the smile and glared around at his crew. "Any lily-livered landlubbers wanna skip out on what's probably gonna be the greatest adventure of our lives?" There were headshakes all around, but one Usul stepped forward, braving the pirate captain's fierce look.
"How do we know it was written by a pirate? It could be a joke, for all we can tell," she said, resting her hands on the tattered leather belt that held her wooden sword.
"I knew we shouldn't have let Carra play," the Wocky, whose name was Ben, muttered to Darian.
Carra, unimpressed, stuck out her tongue at both of them. "Do you really want to spend all day following a prank map?"
"What if it's not a prank?" Timothy challenged, mimicking her pose. "What if this is a real map... to real treasure?"
Carra scowled at each of them, seeing the excitement in their faces, then shook her head. "Fine, I'll come, but if this turns out to be a wild goose chase, then I'm warning you now: I will not hesitate in saying that I told you so." Her proclamation was met with mutters of assent (mostly along the lines of "Yeah, whatever").
With that decided, they all crowded around Darian. "Where do we go first, Cap'n?" a Lenny with a bandana asked, using his height to peer over the Kacheek's shoulder.
Darian frowned, running a finger along what looked like a path towards the X...
Date: 23rd November
…"This can't be right," he muttered.
"What?" Timothy asked, trying to snatch the map away from Darian.
The Kacheek moved the map out of Timothy's reach and continued frowning at it. "Well, apparently this is a map of... Neopia Central," Darian said. "You can tell by how the land is shaped here. What puzzles me, though, is that there's supposed to be a lake here."
"What do you mean, a lake?!?" Ben asked. "That's impossible; there's no lake here!"
"Well, the map is really old," Timothy answered. "Maybe there used to be a lake here?"
"Look," Carra continued, peering over Darian's shoulder. "There's a huge rock that sticks out next to the lake. How are we supposed to find our way with this map?"
"Well, maybe the stone is still there," the Lenny, Jurri, said quietly.
"What do you mean?" Darian asked. "There isn't a lake next to a stone."
"Well, what if… what if the lake dried up?" Jurri suggested.
"There are plenty of big stones, though!" Carra complained.
"Don't be stupid," Timothy snapped. "We know what Neopia Central looks like. See that little place where the land juts out? That's where the pink--err, faded red line starts."
"Well, what are ye all waitin' for then?" Darian said briskly, folding the map and putting it into his waistband. "Onward, pirates!"…
Date: 24th November
..."We've been walking for hours!" Carra complained after awhile.
"You mean five minutes," Jurri corrected as he wagged a finger in her face. "Now be quiet. You're bothering us all."
"Quiet, both of you!" Timothy whispered harshly. He lifted up one of his blue floppy ears to listen as he glanced this way and that. "I think I hear something..." he declared softly. "Sounds like... water of some kind."
Darian looked at him in surprise as the crew grew quiet. "I don't hear anything..." the Kacheek replied.
Timothy wasn't listening to him, though. "Shhhh..." the Blumaroo hissed. He craned his neck and stopped, looking towards the right. "It's coming from over there." He started to walk ahead, beckoning the others to come with him.
They went striding through some trees, dodging countless bushes and shrubs until they came to a clearing. Carra looked astonished, for before them lay a dry hole. The only sign of water was a thin stream, which lead towards the middle of the hole. Timothy looked to his left. "That water line must have come from the river over there," he reasoned, pointing farther off into the distance.
Darian nodded, directing his attention towards the center of the hole. "But, what is this thing?" he asked. "It seems to me that the water is going down there."
"Maybe that's where the treasure is?!?" Ben cried suddenly.
Everyone beamed, thinking of what they would find. Darian strode over to the hole and peered inside. "Looks deep enough... almost a little too deep…" he murmured. With one more glance at the others, the Kacheek turned and jumped in...
Date: 24th November
…"What?!?" Carra exclaimed, gazing down after Darian.
Timothy stared blankly at the hole for a moment before announcing, "Well, that does it... we follow the cap'n. Down we go, mates!" As soon as he'd finished speaking, the Blumaroo jumped in. The rest of the party, except for Carra, followed him in.
Carra glared at the hole and groaned. "I'm only doing this to say 'I told you so' at the end of the hunt," she muttered before diving in hesitantly.
Meanwhile, Darian found himself thrashing around in an enormous pool of fresh water. There was nowhere to go, and the top of the hole was too high to reach. The Kacheek was frowning, deep in thought, when Timothy landed on him. "S-sorry, cap'n!" the Blumaroo mumbled apologetically, looking around the pool. "What now?" he asked.
The Kacheek and Blumaroo contemplated the possibilities as they were being joined by the other "pirates." Darian opened up his damp map and put it against a wall. Jurri, who had brought a small torch, shone it onto the tattered piece of parchment. "This underground pool must be the lake in the map. The line of the path goes here... through the rock… which must mean that there's a rock here!" Darian shouted happily, stabbing his finger into the map.
"Find the rock! There must be a way out or something!" Timothy yelled. Everyone, including Carra, began scrabbling at the walls, searching for a boulder of some sort.
"Down there, cap'n! At the bottom of the pool!" Ben shouted at Darian. The Kacheek dove to the bottom, trying to find some route of escape through the rock. Nothing. Angrily, Darian used all of his might to kick the rock.
That's when the rock suddenly quivered before ponderously rolling aside, revealing a hole just big enough for them to swim though. The water rushed out, and everyone was swept into a dim, wet tunnel.
Timothy looked around before asking, "Where are we?" Only then did they all realise...
Date: 29th November
...that the tunnel had faded into complete darkness, leaving only a sliver of quivering, bluish light that shone in a thin ring around the mouth of the tunnel they had just entered.
Darian frowned to himself, thinking. After telling Timothy to make sure that everyone else stayed together, the Kacheek stumbled his way back towards the entrance of the tunnel, groping the shadowy rock walls with his paws to help him find his way.
Darian soon reached the strip of azure light and blindly stretched out his paws. They met up against something damp, musky, and hard -- stone. He kicked the rock with all his strength again, but this time it was to no avail. They were trapped.
The Kacheek tripped his way back towards the crew members (who were huddled huddled together as protection from the tunnel's icy cold air) and gave them a thorough report of what he had discovered. "The rock somehow rolled back to where it was resting before I kicked it, blocking the entrance of the tunnel," he said. "I'm afraid to tell ye that we be--"
"Trapped?!?" Carra shouted, finishing off Darian's sentence before he'd had the chance. "We're trapped?!?" The Usul's voice echoed through the long passageway, her tone of absolute horror bouncing back towards the crew over and over again...
Timothy glanced around nervously as soon as the din had quieted down, leaving a heavy silence in the tunnel again. "What are we going t'do now, Cap'n?" the Blumaroo inquired hesitantly, his voice breaking the tranquil calm that encompassed the passageway.
"What else can we do?" Darian replied, trying to laugh confidently. "C'mon, crew! Lets go huntin' for treasure!"
Following their captain, the young pirates took off down the tunnel, bumping into each other as they stumbled along. However, Darian soon came to an abrupt halt as the others skidded to a stop behind him.
"What are we going to do now?" the Kacheek moaned loudly, forgetting both his pirate accent and the fearlessness he was supposed to possess as their captain, as his gaze came to rest upon...
Date: 29th November
...a dead end.
"Oh, no..." Carra said with a sigh.
"Wait!" Timothy cried. "Let me see the map."
"Why?" Darian asked, pulling the soggy map from his waistband.
"Look!" Timothy said, grabbing the map and staring at it. "It looks like we could be standing near the X. Maybe this is where the treasure is buried!"
"What?!?" Darian cried, scooting next to the Blumaroo for a better view of the map. "Arr, methinks he might be right, lads!" the Kacheek shouted, regaining his confidence. "Now lets get a' diggin'!"
All the young pirates pulled out their little shovels and began digging furiously into the hard ground.
"We found it!" the pirate crew said in unison as they pulled a small chest out of the ground and blew off the remaining dirt.
"Wow," Carra began. "Maybe there really is something down here."
"What will you do with your share of the loot?" one Neopet asked Ben.
"I'm going to stay at the Neolodge, and maybe go on a cruise around Neopia..." the small Wocky said dreamily.
"Enough useless talk," their captain interrupted. "Let's open that chest!"...
Date: 30th November
...They tried to open it, but the lock was closed tightly. All the young pirates searched their pockets.
Carra shook her head. "Does anybody have the key?" she asked.
They all stared at her in disbelief.
"No. What makes you think we would have the key? If we actually had it, don't you think we'd be opening the chest right now?!?" Ben said with a sigh. "What do we do? I can't believe we came all this way for nothing!" The Wocky plopped onto the ground and put his head in his paws.
Carra smiled. "I know!" she exclaimed, pulling a small hairpin from her fur.
Darian looked at Carra. "Why do you have a… oh, never mind. Just give it to me!" the Kacheek said.
Carra clutched the hairpin as if it were a precious treasure. "No!" she protested. "It's my hairpin; I get to open the chest!"
Ben shook his head and said, "No, I get to! I'm--"
Jurri stuck his beak in, saying, "I want to open the chest!"
At this point, everybody was arguing so heatedly that they didn't notice Darian sneaking up behind Carra. He made a sudden lunge for the pin, but the Usul was gripping it too tightly for the Kacheek to dislodge it.
"Give it here... to yer captain... ye mutinous scallywag!" Darian gasped as he struggled to grasp the pin.
"No!" Carra yelled back, keeping the pin tightly enclosed in her paw. "I get to do what I wish with it!"
"Aaargh!" the Kacheek shouted, again lunging for his goal.
The two Neopets fell into a heap on the cold tunnel floor, grappling and kicking. The rest of the crew members, already worked up from the argument, immediately joined the fray, fur and feathers flying.
The scuffle suddenly came to an abrupt halt when Carra let out a dismayed scream. "Look what you made me do!" she shouted. "I dropped the pin!"
Everyone broke apart and began scrambling around, looking for the lost object.
"Aha!" came a shout. All the young pirates turned to see Timothy as he triumphantly held up the small hairpin...
Date: 30th November
...Perhaps because of the gleam in the Blumaroo’s eye, the others decided to let Timothy open the lock. They all gathered around him, but Timothy blocked the lock from both sides. He didn't need distractions.
At first he treated the lock delicately, but soon he was fumbling around with the pin, getting increasingly frustrated as the lock didn’t budge. Suddenly, the pin wouldn't move anymore. He pulled at it furiously, but it was stuck.
"What happened? What's the matter?" Darian exclaimed. As an afterthought, he added, "Arr!"
"The pin's jammed! I can't get it out!" Timothy said. The pirates started getting more and more agitated, until Jurri stepped up to the chest. He dislodged the pin with a single pull, but the force that he used sent it flying across the tunnel, into the shallow water that had followed them in.
"What are we going to do now?" Ben asked.
"We could try to move it," Darian answered.
"Are you insane? We can't lift that!" Carra exclaimed.
"Well, we've got to try," Darian said. Everyone else agreed.
The young Neopets, except for Darian, each took a side of the chest. Carra was right; they could barely lift it. In fact, they'd only gone a few steps before needing to stop for a rest.
"What is that?!?" Darian yelled, pointing at something that had been lodged under the massive chest...
Date: 1st December
...All the young pirates immediately forgot their current worries as they whirled around, staring with wide eyes at what Darian was pointing at. Indeed, it was hard not to notice.
A faint golden glow wavered from underneath the chest's bulk, illuminating the cavern eerily. However, none of the crew members could identify the source of the glow, as it was currently wedged into a hole that the heavy chest had been covering.
Darian moved forward curiously, the rest of his friends hesitantly following him. They clustered around the chest, peering under it inquisitively.
"Arr..." Darian muttered under his breath in frustration. Raising his voice, he addressed the crew. "We must be movin' this 'ere chest now! There be somethin' that prob'ly be of great value beneath it!"
The Neopets surrounding him all cried out in enthusiasm while gathering even closer to the chest.
"Now listen," Darian said calmly. "Nobody is t'blindly grab whatever be under that chest when ye move it, fer it could be dangerous. Understand?"
The crew nodded in understanding.
"On the count of three..." Darian said crisply. "One... two... THREE!"
The pirates all began heaving the chest at once, straining with all their might to lift its great mass off the wet ground. Moving the chest as hastily as they could manage, the Neopets set it down heavily a few feet away, then turned their gazes back to Darian.
The Kacheek's eyes were fixed on the glow that was coming from the hole, which had now been revealed. Racing forward, he sent splashes of icy cold water into the air as he ran. Arriving at his destination, Darian leaned in to grasp ahold of...
Date: 1st December
..."Ahh, what exactly is that?" Timothy asked.
"I don't know, but it be beautiful," Darian replied. In his paws, he held something that didn't seem to have a real shape, changing before their eyes and shining like a star.
"What happened to not blindly grabbing whatever's under the chest?" Carra asked, sniffing disdainfully.
"It doesn't seem to be hurting him, does it?" Jurri said. "Besides, I bet we could be sellin' that for a lot of Neopoints."
"No," Darian cut in suddenly. "No one will be sellin' this here item."
"He's right, you know," Carra said. "If we don't find a way out of here soon, we'll drown, and then no one will be selling that for sure."
"Arr, ye short-sighted Usul, the way out is right here!" Ben exclaimed.
They all peered towards where the Wocky standing, pointing into the hole Darian had taken the treasure from. Sure enough, the treasure had only been on a ledge; a deep hole followed after it.
"But going down there could just make us even more trapped!" a Poogle exclaimed, forgetting his pirate accent for a moment.
"Well, we're definitely not getting out any other way!" Ben shouted.
Everyone broke out arguing about what they should do, but Timothy wasn't listening. Darian hadn't said a single word since he'd said that no one could sell the treasure, and that remark definitely wasn't like the Kacheek…
Date: 2nd December
...It was even more unlike the "captain" that Timothy knew so well.
"Um... Cap'n?" the Blumaroo asked quietly. "May I see that?" He held out his small paws, which were quivering slightly from the cold of the drafty tunnel.
"Nay! Look 'ere ye landlubbers. We aren't sellin' the blasted thing an' that's final!" Darian said, swinging away from the young Blumaroo and tucking the item away into his cleanest pocket.
In the meantime, Carra flew out of the fighting horde of pirates and landed heavily in the shallow water. A few of the pirates taunted her, but they all continued arguing. Only Timothy remained silent, looking sad and worried. He hurried over to Carra and helped her up.
"There's something wrong with Darian," the Blumaroo whispered to the Usul. "We have to find out what the glowing thing was. And we've definitely got to get out of here."
Carra sniffled and nodded, trying to regain control of herself. Suddenly, as she sniffed, she smelled a very slight whiff of fresh air. It was different from the musty, dank smell of the tunnel and came as a welcome surprise. Just the slightest whiff of freedom, and all her confidence came back.
Drying her tears, she took command. "Cap'n, I do believe we may 'ave found a way out!" she said loudly. The pirates stopped arguing and looked at her curiously.
Darian turned to look at her and smiled ruefully. "An' wha' may tha' be, me young lassie?" he asked mockingly.
"I know I smelled some fresh air; me nose never lies. I believe tha' hole may be our ticket out of 'ere," Carra said, smiling sweetly, taking utter joy in seeing her fellow playmates so hooked on her words.
Timothy was the first to react. "We need to search that hole!" he shouted.
"On your knees, if need be," Carra added. "Search every nook and cranny, and if you sense even the slightest scent, you need to tell me…"
Date: 2nd December
"There's nothing save for that hole there. We'll all have to go down there first in order to search," Ben pointed out loudly.
Carra glanced at the hole thoughtfully. "I thought so..." she murmured. The Usul flattened herself to the ground, sniffing the air in the hole. "Hmm, methinks the Wocky be right, mates! We best be searchin’ fer our fresh air in that hole," she announced, jumping up and looking around pirates cramped into the damp space of the tunnel. "Even if it isn't, it's the best we've got," the Usul mumbled indistinctly as she leapt into the darkness of the deep hole.
Everyone else stared in shock, then slowly climbed down after her, finally deciding it was the only thing to do. As for Darian, Jurri had to drag him along, since the Kacheek was too busy admiring the shining object in his pocket.
The hole led to another tunnel that would have been pitch dark if it wasn't for the light from Jurri's torch and the strange object Darian was now cradling in his hands. Carra took the lead, keeping her eyes peeled for an exit. The group followed her, trooping through winding corridors and twisting tunnels.
"Carra, can we rest? Darian is kind of heavy, y'know?" Jurri complained, gesturing to the Kacheek leaning on his shoulder.
"Yes, we've been walking forever," Timothy agreed. "A rest would be good."
Carra was about to agree when her sharp eyes picked up faint rays of light from the end of the tunnel. Excited, she squealed, "Light! I see light! We must be almost there!" The group of pirates brightened up, and everyone made a dash in the direction of those rays of hope...
Date: 3rd December
...The whole lot charged for the end of the tunnel, pushing and grabbing each other. Darian, however, smiled slyly and simply stood where he was. He held the unusual item tightly within the palm of his hand, watching as the others rushed for the exit.
"Darian! Wha' do ye think yer doin'?" Timothy cried, noticing that Darian hadn't joined them.
The Kacheek bowed and said, "Ah, me friend, I'm afraid I must stay here."
Everyone turned around to face Darian. Their faces went blank with shock.
"But why?" Carra asked.
"Because," Darian replied, "it is now my solemn duty to protect me jewel here."
"Your jewel?" Carra demanded. "Your jewel that we helped you find? Darian, we worked as a team to find it!"
Darian did not bother to respond. He took a long look at the strange item he was carrying, then took off into the darkness.
"Hey, Darian!" Carra cried. "DARIAN!"
Shaking her head in exasperation, she chased after Darian. The others tailed after her. Why, oh why was Darian behaving so strangely?
Carra, being a fast sprinter, caught up to Darian first. The Kacheek grinned at her and turned to dash away, but Carra tripped him. He fell face-first onto the cold, hard ground, dropping the mysterious star...
...The Kacheek let out a terrible shriek as he collapsed. For a few seconds, Carra feared that she had hurt him, but after some time he rose up again and looked warily up at Carra.
The others caught up at last and came running over as they sighted Carra and Darian. They looked from Carra and Darian, and from Darian to Carra, unsure of what to make of this situation.
"Why all ye lookin' a' me, like tha'?" Darian asked, confused. The odd glow in his eyes had disappeared.
"Well," Timothy said, "You just said that you wanted to stay here with your precious jewel to protect it. You've been acting strangely recently, Darian… what's going on?"
Darian sighed heavily. "I don't know. I can't remember anything..." His eyes suddenly grew large, and he asked, "Where be tha' strange jewel?"
"...It's on th' ground!" Ben exclaimed.
"Pick it up!" Jurri cried. "That thing is valuable!"
"No!" Darian said. "Don't pick it up!"
It was too late. Jurri bent down with outstretched feathers to grab the gem…
Before anyone could say anything else, Darian crushed the gem into pieces with his heel. As the gem was shattered into smithereens, it gave a shrill, piercing shriek that seemed loud enough to be heard on the other side of the world. Giving a final stomp on the gem, the Kacheek finally quieted the gem.
After standing around for a moment, the group slowly headed for the end of the tunnel again in utter silence. It wasn't because there was nothing to say; more like because they couldn't find words to describe what they wanted to say.
As the young pirates approached the rays of light at last, Timothy finally broke the silence. "Well, tha' be quite an adventure, eh?" the Blumaroo said.
Carra chuckled. "It was certainly somethin', all right. Maybe it was a good thing we didn' get tha' funny gem though... it was bad news, I tell ye," the Usul said. "But I must say, that thing sure taught us the stretch of our desires."
The group didn't bother to reply, but in their hearts, they all knew that Carra was right.
Date: 3rd December
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