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Brothers & Sisters – Chapter Eleven: A Great Duel (or the Tale of the Lightning)

Note: The point isn’t really for you guys to read a chapter everyday. That would be crazy, these chapters are about 30 pages long. This is just an info-dump situation, collect them all and read at your leisure.

This is basically an un-edited version of this book. There will be typos. There will be your/you’re errors, because I’m dyslexic as hell. Why am I posting it? I’ve more or less come to the conclusion that some major things needed to change, so I’m changing them. However, I like the old version and I already gave you Twins In Death in the old form, so have this one too. It doesn’t matter, the books are being re-written, so enjoy.

Brothers & Sisters
A Tale of The Weirdo
By Brett N. Lashuay

Chapter Eleven

A Great Duel (or the Tale of the Lightning)

 

 

April 4th, 2003

5:00 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo looked up at the cloudy skies, and wondered where everyone was. This duel was supposed to start at five, wasn’t it? He looked at the clouds and was only a little surprised when they parted and the sun shone down on him. The sun’s light was particularly warm, even though it hung at an impossible place in the sky. It was hanging at place where it might be if it were two or three in the afternoon. Come to think of it he thought it was a bit odd that the clouds parted in two like that. He looked at the clouds again.

 

            They were like two huge cardboard cut outs that had been hung in the sky with clouds painted on them. As if to exemplify this, one of the cloudbanks suddenly slipped and was perpendicular to the ground. It was as if one of the two people holding this bank lost their grip and the bank swept sharply to one side. The other person holding the bank let go and the clouds fell down behind the skyline of the city. The second cloudbank was suddenly lifted away from sight. He could swear that he heard a rustling of paper as it moved, and then the sun shattered.

 

            This is to say that the sun was a giant plate or perhaps a mirror that was reflecting light onto him. Some sort of BB gun suddenly shot this massive mirror, apparently. The sun shattered and the bits fell from the sky down behind the skyline where the clouds had gone. There were shattering sounds as the bits hit the ground, or where one would think the ground would be. The sky went dark deprived of it’s light, though it did in a sort of embarrassed way.

 

            “What in the name of Athena’s small but perky breasts?” The Weirdo asked.

 


            The moon wandered into the sky, on little legs if you please. It’s arms swung next to it in a comical cartoony way and the cartoon effect had a cap put on it by the smiling face of the moon. The face of the moon smiled at The Weirdo and winked before the arms and legs were pulled into its body. The stars appeared one by one, flicking into life like fire flies. The Weirdo, accustomed to some pretty fucked up shit, stood mouth agape. He had seen a lot of shit, but this was something else. His mouth hung open and would have drawn flies if there were any.

 

The Sun had gotten itself together by now and shot up from the ground. There was a distinct sound of billiard balls colliding when the sun whacked into the moon. This sent the moon spiraling across the sky, bouncing off one star and then another. Small numerical values appeared above each star as the moon hit them, and finally the moon struck the last star he could see and it spun in the air. He had though the moon to be a ball, but it was a flat coin. The flat coin spun in the air and fell down below the skyline, there was a ping sound when it hit.

           

The stars, realizing that the sun had come back, all felt a bit foolish. To this end they all shot out of his eye line, and the sky turned back to the bright blue of daylight. The Weirdo looked at the grass at his feet, which had turned blue, and then at the sky, which was gray again. He looked back at the grass, but the blades had decided that they liked blue. He reached down and tore a fist full of the blue grass to hold up. They were blue, a dark navy blue, and they had completely changed.

 

            He looked at the trees; they had decided to stick with green, which suited them better. Then he looked at the grass in his hand, at the places where he had broken it from the stalk. The grass had become blue, even on the inside. He looked at the clouds and noticed a bird flying overhead.

 

            It was a small bird, a type of falcon, called a sparrow hawk. He looked at the grass some more at the small falcon looked for mice. He heard a rustling in the bushes near him, and considered it must just be a squirrel or perhaps a raccoon.

 

            The world was changing itself, getting ready for something perhaps. If there was a sign that the world was going to end, he thought it must be this. One can claim that three years of winter must go by, or a temple in Jerusalem needed to be rebuilt. Those might be signs, but it’s usually the small things that provide the big clues. He would never look to the big things, but the small, the supposedly insignificant things. He looked at the grass and thought about the end of all things for a moment.

 

            He didn’t have long to think because he heard the cars driving through the city. He looked up and saw the first limousine driving along the park street, as it came towards the place where they were to meet. The light was dim, but he could make out the seven brilliant white converted Lincolns as they came towards him.

 

            He felt terribly alone, as he watched this massive entourage coming towards him. He looked down at the sword, which he hadn’t even attached to a belt. He had just carried the sword in its scabbard to this place. He watched at the cars unloaded and a few dozen people came from them. He was amazed to see Mordred as he came out of the car, his armor already on. The Weirdo now also felt underdressed, with only his hat and coat to be his armor.

 

            Mordred was wearing a complete suit of armor, that it to say a fifteenth century suit of plate armor. The worst of it was it was red; some one had gone the extra step of coating the bright shinning steel in some sort of red chrome. The chain mail, which was worn under the plate, was also red chrome. He looked like a beacon of red, and it was a pity it was an overcast day. Had the day been sunny, this would be quite a site. Of course there had been sun just a moment or two ago, unless he was going mad.

 

            There were at least three-dozen women, wearing the purple cloaks over their clothes. They looked like the sort of people you might see following a savior in the sort of novels where dragons featured on the cover. He saw Lilith, which was hard not to do, and moaned internally. She was still wearing white, and looked like a comic book villain.

 

            To be precise about the outfit, she was wearing a white leather bodice and precious little else. There was what looked to be a white pair of panties, and a garter belt. The garters were needed to help hold up the white fishnet stockings that could be seen just above the white leather hip boots she was sporting. The entire ensemble must have been cold because she was wearing a large cape made of white baby fur seal skins. What had caused The Weirdo moan was not lust, but embarrassment. To think that he had thought her to be, well anything but a deranged lunatic.

 

            The Weirdo actually did look like the person who didn’t fit in here. He touched his gray fedora as he watched them approach. He was wearing a modest pair of gray pants, a gray t-shirt and a gray button up shirt under his trench coat. Neither the coat nor the gray canvas shirt were buttoned up, giving The Weirdo an interesting layered look. It also made him look like he hadn’t understood what would be going on. This was going to be a battle of comic book heroes, most likely Marvel heroes. It would involve bright colors and amazing powers and onomatopoeia for the sound effects. The best that The Weirdo could say was that he looked like a reject from a comic by Frank Miller. He wasn’t colorful, he wasn’t going to use onomatopoeia, and he wasn’t going to use amazing powers. Or so he thought.

 

            “Don’t you look dashing?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “You look very hansom.” She said. “Like something out of a Raymond Chandler novel. I keep expecting you to start asking me if I want to split a bottle of rye.”

 

            “Well at least I don’t look like I’m expected to be framed on a four panel page.” He retorted, but knew it was weak

 

            “We don’t have to do this.” Lilith asked.

 

            “That’s a lot of cheese water.” The Weirdo said. “We have to do this, and you know it.”

 

“Or you could give me your sword.” Mordred said.

           

“Pardon?” The Weirdo said look at the red nightmare. “I’ve got a wocket in my pocket and the little bastard says silly things from time to time.”

 

            “If you give me your sword,” Mordred said, taking a step forward, “I’ll kill you quickly, and we won’t have to do this.”

 

            “Kill me quickly?” The Weirdo asked. “You’ll kill me quickly?”

 

            “Yes.” Mordred said. “I have no wish to see you suffer.”

 

            “Do you know something?” The Weirdo said. “I think I’d rather suffer, shall we?”

 

            The Weirdo held his hand out towards the field, Mordred turned to one of the girls who held a sword out for him. It was in a red leather scabbard, and had a hilt covered in red leather. The two of them walked out to the middle of the field, and The Weirdo watched as the wind raked out patterns across the blue grass. They stood apart from each other, each apparently waiting for the other to draw. Mordred held the scabbard up and wrapped his hand around the red hilt.

 

            “You could die quickly.” Mordred said.

 

            The Weirdo just shook his head slowly.

 

            Mordred drew the sword and placed the scabbard gently down on the ground. He did this with a certain reverence. The Weirdo stayed still, the ends of his coat dancing gently in the breeze. Mordred looked at the man, who seemed unaware that the time to fight had come. He approached slowly, not charging like he had expected. He had gotten into striking distance and held the sword at waist level, ready to fend of a blow. He swept the blade to one side and was amazed at the speed The Weirdo utilized.

 

            He had drawn and blocked in one swift motion, tossing the scabbard carelessly behind him. It hit the ground and like leather will, bent and then fell flat against the ground. The Weirdo brought his blade around and took the top of Mordred’s head off. The tiny Nanobots managed to put the cap back on fairly quickly though.

 

            The fight went on for a very short while, if your interested, which you’re probably not. If you’ve heard the stories, the rumors, or the whispers about this fight then you want to know about the lightning. You want to know about how The Weirdo had spent all that time in Borneo, learning the trick of lighting taming. You want to know about the time in Russia where he had been taught how to make the lightning come. You’ll of course want to know about how it was all done. Unfortunately, all we ever got from anyone who knew the trick was the words ‘Trade Secret’ and a pathetic excuse.

 

            The fight hadn’t been going badly for either side, but sword on sword combat is not something that the broadsword was designed for. People sometimes think it was, but they are wrong. The broadsword, like the one they were using, was meant for cavalry and to attack men on the ground. Sword to sword fighting with a sword is fairly pointless really.  Mordred’s blade was an excellent blade, but the alien steel that Excalibur had been made from was tearing large notches from it. The Weirdo didn’t have the patients for this anyway, he had already cut both hands and a leg off, only to watch them reattach.

 

            The Nanobots were beginning, frankly, to piss him off. He had decided that he was going to have to do something about them, and you’ve probably guessed what he had decided. Nanobots, for all their fame, have a weakness. They have very bad heat regulation because of their small size. They can’t shake off heat like a large organism might and that is a way to defeat them.

 

            Before we get into that though, a word or two on lightning. It’s a big static discharge, like when you wear wool socks and pet the cat while rubbing a ball of sulfur in the winter. The power of the bolt is huge though, enough to stop a persons heart. Some have even stated that the heat generated from a bolt of lightning can be equal to that on the surface of the sun. Fortunately lightning is almost always gone before you know it’s struck. When you see a flicker of lightning, that’s actually several strikes happening in one place, sometimes a hundred times in a second. The power from a lightening strike also plays merry hell with magnetic fields, and can be like a very local electro magnetic pulse. EMP’s can knock out things like computers or watches, or even nanobots.

 

            The Weirdo sliced both of Mordred’s legs off with one swipe and ran about a dozen yards from his adversary fell to the ground. As Mordred was getting up for the umpteenth time, The Weirdo walked to the big gray stone he had seen earlier. He then looked at Excalibur; he had no idea of its conducting properties, but just in case.

 

            He placed the tip against the flat stone and pushed the blade into the stone. The stone opened and allowed the sword into as easily as if they were long time lovers who had come together again. The Weirdo came out of the forest to find Mordred waiting, sword in hand.

 

            “I doubt you could get the sword now.” The Weirdo said. “But I don’t intend on giving you the chance.”

 

            He looked at the sky and raised his hands to his face like a boxer, waiting for the final round. You would need special equipment to see what he was doing, but we can tell you. He was charging himself up. There was a rumbling in the clouds as lightning leapt from one cloud to another. Charges in the clouds gave way to their baser impulses and lit the clouds internally for moments. Mordred began to run towards The Weirdo, and the lightning struck.

 

            To explain exactly what happened would require a slow motion camera and a lot of special effect power. This is the best that it can be explained on paper though, and without the benefit of bullet time. A huge negative charge had built up in the clouds and The Weirdo made himself a huge positive charge. The Weirdo waited till a bolt of lightning was about to leap and he threw the positive charge at Mordred. If you could have caught it just before it happened you would see a plasma stream leaping up from Mordred’s chest as the lightning struck down at him. There was nothing but white for a moment, and the sound of air splitting. The bolt struck him; the shock of power caused the Nanobots to explode. The Weirdo then did it three more times.

 

            Mordred was thrown back nearly a hundred feet, and only stopped because he struck a tree. The Weirdo followed the foul reek of burning flesh and ozone towards the tree, which had broken where the armored clone hit it. He pushed the tree aside and actually felt kind of sorry for Mordred when he looked at him. It was an ignominious way to go really, to go like that.

 

            His hair had burnt away, but that wasn’t the worst of it. The chain mail coif that adorned Mordred’s head had managed to melt his skin and sunk into the flesh. His arms hung out because the heat from the bolts had fused the armor and as he was flying backwards the armor had stuck. His legs were frozen in place, his head could only move a little. The armor had welded into the shape it was in and it had fused it self to him, and it smelt incredible.

 

            The reek would have overpowered lesser men, and many greater men. The Weirdo had however, had smelled worse things, and he could there for handle it. He felt sorry for this clone of his now, as he sat pathetically against this tree, paralyzed. Not paralyzed through fear or physical malady, but because the armor that was meant to protect him had encased him. It had become part of him, and it would be the death of him.

 

            A raindrop fell from the sky and landed on the armor, it boiled away almost instantly. Where the water had hit, the red chrome came up and flaked off. A few more drops fell and their falls were marked as the chrome coating came off with the sudden temperature change. There were small spots where the salt had encrusted on the hot steel forever leaving its mark.

 

            “You were just a Loki after all.” The Weirdo said. “And big brother with his nasty lightning killed you.”

 

            “Wha?” Loki asked.

 

            The Weirdo saw that many of the clone’s teeth were missing or broken, and that broke his ability to be cruel. This wasn’t really a game now. It had never really been one in fact. He couldn’t play cruel or even vaguely enjoy this anymore.  He was going to have to end it. Some how the broken teeth, jagged in the mouth now devoid of real lips, moved him in a way nothing else had. He looked at the congregation, which hadn’t come close enough to see who had won yet. He then looked at this Loki or Mordred, or who ever. He was no one really, just a clone made to kill the original.

 

            “If I leave you now. They’ll cut you out of this.”

 

He touched the armor and was instantly sorry he did. It was still extremely hot and it burned the tips of his fingers. The skin had died instantly and he would be lucky if small blisters didn’t form. The skin of his fingertips was fairly close to a callus though so it would be all right. If it was that hot for The Weirdo to touch, how bad was it in there? How much torture was this clone enduring because he no longer had the strength to scream? He felt a wave of revulsion, and a wish to just get this over with. He knew he couldn’t just do it though. This had to be done right, Mordred had earned that right.

 

“I could leave you for them.” The Weirdo said. “They’ll get you out, make you fight again, maybe give you plastic surgery.”

 

“No.” Mordred managed to say in a tiny cracked voice.

 

The Weirdo didn’t seem to hear him. He had heard him of course, but he didn’t want to address that he had heard just yet. He was going to have his say and then wait for an informed choice.

 

“Or I could end it now, I could bring down the lightning again and kill you. You didn’t manage to kill me while I killed you, which would be the natural goal for a Mordred. However you could die like Loki. You could be killed by lightning.”

 

“Do it.” Loki managed.

 

The Weirdo walked away, and almost seemed to throw the bolt over his shoulder. The bolt came down, and then another and another. The trees caught fire, and after three seconds the blaze vanished. It looked as if all the oxygen that could have helped the fire to spread had been driven away after the body had been consumed. It was as if a goddess with an interest in living things had decided that the fire would go no further. A German Goddess of spring and renewal could do that.

 

The Weirdo noticed that the cars were gone and the three-dozen women were now riding horses. He was wondering if maybe he was in a dream, and then realized his dreams didn’t have this much consistency or sense to them. There would have been monkeys eating marshmallows had this been a dream. His dreams didn’t make as much sense as what was going on right now, and that was just plain sad. It did beg the question where the hell did horse come from, but he didn’t have time for it.

 

“Hand over Excalibur.” Lilith said as she and her followers rode towards him.

 

“I don’t have it.” The Weirdo said. “And you can’t have it.”

 

“Get it from the stone.” Lilith said and two girls left to retrieve it.

 

“Won’t work.” The Weirdo said. “You can’t draw it from the…”

 

“Got it!” One of the young women said waving it over her head.

 

“Fuck monkeys.” The Weirdo said.

 

“You must come with us.” Lilith said.

 

“Must I?” The Weirdo asked, as the girl with his sword looked around for the scabbard.

 

“You must.” Lilith said.

 

“Well I’m not gonna.” He said. “I’m gonna have a sandwich.”

 

“You’re choice is not required.” She said and signaled to a girl who quickly raised a rifle to her shoulder and shot him.

 

The rifle didn’t have a bang or a bright muzzle flash, just a puff of white. It was a gun using compressed gas, he guessed quickly. That meant darts, instead of bullets. He felt the shot and realized it was indeed a dart, small comfort as the world started to go dark. His knees gave way, which is kind of a sissy way to go down. He felt that if he were a real man he would have just fallen over, none of this bending at the knee and crumbling business. He heard someone; he could have sworn it was Max, yelling something.

 

            “Fucking bitches.” Max said as he erupted from the bushes.

 

            He charged forward, both guns blazing away. He was hitting horses, which was his actual plan. He figured he could do a lot more harm if he got the horses to stampede, and it worked. The unfortunate part of this was he wasn’t expecting to actually have to see what happened when a ton of horse lands one hoof on the skull of a human. Nor had he expected to see the same effect on a rib cage or an arm. Once the horses had fled, there was a lot of cries to God to make the pain stop. He had a moment to look at one of the women trying to stand on her crushed ankle. He stopped and watched as she drew her pistol out from her holster, and he managed to let her clear the duparoh before he shot her. There was a lot of blood from that shot; the bullet struck her in the neck. A spray of blood exploded and she managed to raise her gun and fire.

 

            The dart that fired from the gun went wild and stuck in a tree, but Max fired four more shots into the young woman. He had panicked, and he knew he had done it. He heard the crackle of small arms fire and watched as Jack’s bike rode into view, the horses before him. They had managed to totally unnerve the horses, and those who had abandoned their horses were the only one’s who still had a chance. There seemed to be a lot more of them now though.

 

            He felt a bug bite him on the back of his neck and he smacked at it, driving the dart deeper into his neck. His eyes rolled up as the drugs worked into his brain quickly, he fell to his knees and then face first into the newly blue grass. He could hear some one asking what she should do with him, but she could have been talking about anyone.

 

 

April 4th, 2003

5:06 p.m.

 

            Tommy fired his Thompson and struck the young woman who was carrying Excalibur. As she fell to the blue earth, another girl picked it up immediately and ran with it. He shot her down as well and fired into the chaos around him. He wasn’t ready for this, but he saw the sword and grabbed for it. He looked at a wooded area and began to run for it. He felt a dozen small pinpricks touch his back lightly as his coat managed to stop the darts before they actually sank into his flesh. He fired his gun behind him and caught one of the darts in his left hand. He could feel the sleep want to take him. He ran into the woods and looked at a large flat gray stone. An idea struck him; it had worked in the movies at any rate. Had he known how this had worked out the first time he probably wouldn’t have tried it, but he would have to try. He ran towards the stone and placed the tip against the flat plateau. He saw them coming and braced himself.

 

            “None shall have his sword but him.” Tommy yelled and pressed the sword in.

 

            It slid in easily and Tommy was about to comment about it when another six darts struck him, one catching in his right check. He fell across the stone as the world went black. He could hear them arguing about how this time the sword wasn’t coming loose, and then there was nothing.

 

            Then nothing was replaced with something…

           

            He was floating, floating over a field of pink wheat. This is not to say that the wheat was a pale red, or a washed out color, this wheat was the bright vibrant pink of a child’s cartoon from Japan. It was what he would have called Anime Pink, and he was floating over it. He began to fly from this field of incredible wheat, to a field of poppies. There were people working the poppy plants, carefully cutting to get the sap from the poppy bulb for drugs. He flew past the field and over an ocean, where whales and sharks were easily visible from the surface. The water was transparent and the sea creatures seemed to be swimming though empty space.

 

            Then he was floating over a forest so huge that it looked endless, he couldn’t see any end to the forest in any direction. He lowered, passing through tree limbs. He passed a small bird that kept screaming about serpentine little girls. He looked at the floor of the forest where a dead knight lay, and two corvids were discussing where they should go to eat next. He shoed them away and looked at the dead knight.

 

            His helmet had half sunk into the earth, so it must have rained quite heavily when he died. The skeleton had been picked bare and it was odd that the two corvids would be talking about where to dine over the bare skeleton. The skull was pitted and worn from the elements. He thought he recognized the dead knight though, from the bone structure, even though the jaw was missing.

 

            He lay himself in the skeleton, and felt the flesh growing back. Eyes grew from shriveled raisins to orbs, which could actually see. The flesh grew up around the brows, the fingers, the shoulders. It seemed to grow up around the frame of the skeleton like plants around a climbing frame. He could feel the body growing up around him, the heart building up layer over layer. The body built itself back up, and then the heart began to beat.

 

            And Tommy’s eyes opened, and he realized that he was alive.

 

 

April 4th, 2003

9:31 p.m.

 

            “Tommy?” Jack’s voice called.

 

            “Yeah?” Tommy’s own voice cracked

 

He tried to get up he found his legs weren’t quite as ready for the experiment as he was, and he began to fall. He grabbed out in the dark and his hand caught the end of the stone. He managed to pull himself up as a bright light stabbed into his eyes. The light was painful, and he threw his hand up over his face.

           

“I’ve found him.” Jack said into the communicator and lowered the light.

 

            “Jack?” Tommy asked, his eyes moving around experimentally.

 

            “Yeah.” Jack said walking towards him.

 

            “Where am I?”

 

            “Still in Central Park.” Jack said. “I assume where you fell.”

 

            “Shit.” Tommy said. “I don’t wanna hear that.”

 

            “Sorry.”

 

            “Not your fault.” Tommy said. “Where’s Weirdo?”

 

            “Ah.” Jack said. “Taken.”

 

            “Taken?” Tommy asked. “The Weirdo does not get taken.”

 

            “Did this time. Max too.” Jack said.

 

            “What?”

 

            “Max and The Weirdo were both taken.”

 

            “Fuck.”

 

            “Yes, I know.”

 

            “Did we manage to do anything right?”

 

            “You saved this sword.”

 

            “Oh hurrah.”

 

            “How do you feel?”

 

            “I don’t.” Tommy said. “I can’t feel anything. I think I’ve been drugged with an opiate.”

 

            “Oh?”

 

            “I had something like a pipe dream I think.” He said.

 

            “You don’t know?”

 

            “I never took to smoking opium.” Tommy said. “That particular vice passed me by.”

 

            “You guys down there?” Darrian’s voice called.

 

            “We’re here Mike.” Jack called out. “We’ll be up in a minuet.”

 

            “We should go back and regroup.” Darrian said. “Soon as we can, if you catch my meaning.”

 

            “C’mon Tommy.” Jack said touching his friends back.

 

            “Don’t.” Tommy said and managed to slip out of his coat before Jack pushed any of the darts into him. “If you had pushed those in I might not come down for a month.”

 

            “Well let’s get home.”

 

            “Right.”

 

            Tommy left his coat in the park, there would be other coats, he felt terribly weak, and useless. He wanted to go to bed, to sleep for a while. He felt like he had slept through half the dose period of a sleeping pill and that the grogginess was going to be with him until he slept the entire period away. Then and only then would he feel right again, if ever? He could barely keep his eyes open as it was and had to lean against Jack for support. He felt Darrian take him up in his arms like a child and Tommy didn’t have the strength left to fight him, he was falling asleep again.

 

 

April 4th, 2003

9:41 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo’s clothes had been absconded with, and he was lying naked in a bed. This is not a normal position for him, a man who never slept like this. He had only a few times ever gone to sleep nude, and only then after bouts of love making that had cracked the marble floors two stories down. He didn’t spend a lot of time naked, it wasn’t a comfortable state for him. Of course he would have never chosen silk sheets either, even with a thousand thread count. He was a believer that sheets should be soft and warm, he believed in flannel. He didn’t like cold linens or these slippery silks and satins, had no use for them. A cotton, flannel, or jersey knit though, ah now that was a bedspread.

 

            The Weirdo is by judgment either insane or the wisest of all men. It should be pointed out that Einstein, Mozart and Krippen were all thought to be crazy and look how they ended up. Okay so Mozart died before thirty, and Krippen had that unfortunate hanging thing, but Einstein did all right. Well okay he looked like he’d had an unfortunate time trying to plug in the toaster but besides that…

 

            He pulled the blankets up around him in an improvised toga and began to poke around. His head felt like it was full of cotton wool batting and his arms felt like they ere made of red rope licorice. Not the kind Twizzler made, but the good kind. The kind that was sold in the two-foot long strips that was as thick as jump ropes. That was the sort of licorice he felt his arms were made of. He found a pair of flannel pajama pants that were his size and a pair of jockey shorts. He slipped them both on, and on the second try got it right.

 

            He couldn’t make his hands or his mind work right. He couldn’t get them to work together, he felt tired and confused. He was thinking about that dart he had been stuck with, and how much sleep he hadn’t been getting. He had been tired all the time for days now, when was the last time he got real sleep? He couldn’t actually remember, something was always coming up and he had to get up again. Then he was too keyed up to sleep, and he would only get to sleep and hour or two before things started happening again.

 

            Yet he had woken up now, and felt terrible for it. His right eye was refusing to open completely, and felt like it had been filled with sand. He rubbed at his right eye and managed to loosen up what ever it was that didn’t want to move. It wasn’t a terribly pleasant thing to do, but he managed. He looked around the room and realized for the first time he was in trouble. The extraordinarily expensive silk sheets were bright red, and they were on a mattress set on a black and chrome beast of a bed. The entire room in fact was done in black and chrome.

 

            “I’m either on an eighties porn set, or in very deep trouble.” He said to himself and considered another option. “Or quite possibly, both.”

 

            He looked around, and could feel his eyes drooping again. He felt ever so tired; he wasn’t fully sure how he was managing to keep moving. He thought that he could just go to bed and sleep a million years, but not that bed. The Weirdo could barely sleep in his own bed, but he couldn’t sleep anywhere else. He didn’t have any clothes, and he didn’t know where he was, besides a porn set.

 

            He had managed to work the bed sheet into a serviceable poncho, so that he wouldn’t have to go topless, but he was still without his clothes. His shoes and socks were missing, and he didn’t know where he was. The problem with not knowing where he was currently located was that he didn’t know how far his bed was from here.

 

            Knowing where his bed was would be very important once he got out of here, because he was going to have to make sure he could make it. He was still trying to figure out how he was still standing, since his eyes were threatening to close on their own. He could only postulate that it was his bed, his bed was calling out to him. He could tell what direction his bed was in, because he could hear it. Yes, friends and neighbors, he could hear his bed calling.

 

            The black and chrome doors, which were in the opposite direction of his bed, were a pair of double doors, which was a bad sign as well. There was red neon tubing running around the door frames, just to accent the point that who ever decorated this room hadn’t heard of nineteen ninety three. He was contemplating looking for an inflatable flamingo or palm tree when the doors swung open, and Lilith strode in.

 

            Lilith looked good, dressed in the thinnest white silk robe she could find. She wore the robe open, which exposed a good deal of her anatomy for him to view. He looked at the taught movements of her body as she walked toward him, and tried not to observe the points of obvious interest. He looked anyway, because he couldn’t not look, not at anything.

 

            “Hi.” She said, letting the robe drop away.

 

            “Hello.” He said, still trying to keep his eyes open.

 

            He was only able to look at her in parts, he couldn’t take in the whole thing at once. His mind refused the whole image and would only allow bits. Which meant he was thinking in a series of nouns. Round shoulders, muscular thighs, flat stomach, firm breasts, full lips, her blue eyes, now turquoise, now green. He was trying to keep his eyes on the face, but kept looking at her shoulders.

 

            “Sorry about the darts.”

 

            “Are you?”

 

            “Yeah.” She said. “You’ll be useless for the rest of the day at least.”

 

            “What do you want Lilith?”

 

            Had he been just a little more alert, he would have noticed the look that crossed her face. The look was one that begged him to take her away from here. It was a look that spoke volumes about how if they could get away from all of this she would be the person she wanted to be. She couldn’t say any of that of course, and he wasn’t at his best. He was drugged and something held her back.

 

            “Why can’t we work this out, you and I?”

 

            “No.” he said. “I don’t think we can.”

 

            “You’re going to be mine.” She said smiling sweetly. “I had hoped that you would come willingly.”

 

            She bent down and picked up the robe, causing her body to stretch in ways that made him think naughty things. Taught calf, smooth buttocks, strong hands. He watched her as she stood and wrapped the robe around her body. She tied the belt closed and shook her head, her powder blue eyes melted into amber as she did. He wanted to run to her, throw her down on the bed and take her. He knew that was what she wanted, and that alone gave him strength not to give it to her. He knew he was just being proud and arrogant now, but he closed his eyes and saw those eyes again. Those royal blue eyes and the face that went with them. The reminder of the face brought a sense of loss over him and he managed to push out thoughts of sexual bliss. He opened his eyes to see her walking out and then listened as a bunch of combat boots charged across the floor. There were nine of them, and they were all carrying short billy clubs.

 

                       

April 4th, 2003

10:21 p.m.

 

            Let us take stock of where we are, The Weirdo thought to himself. He was tired, worn out, and had just had the living shit beaten out of him by unfriendly people with big sticks. It might have been his imagination, but he could have sworn the sticks got progressively larger with each whack. Since they had started with sticks about the width of two of his fingers, they must have ended with red wood sequoia trunks. They then put him in a strait jacket and carried him away into the room he was being dragged toward.

 

            He was dropped in the center of the room and he could sense something. Through the cotton wool batting and the bells in his head, he could sense psychics. He was in a room filled with psionicly inclined individuals. He raised his head and looked around the room at them, they were standing on the sort of risers one generally sees choirs on. They looked at him from where they stood, rank upon rank.

 

            He had a feeling he knew what was going to come, they were going to search him and then break him down. They were going to sink into his mind and try to break him, so that he’d do what Lilith wanted. He looked around, and saw her come into the circle of risers. She looked at the group assembled, and then at him.

 

            The tinnitus began to ring in his ear again, and he managed to hold onto that sound. It was a painful sound to be sure, but it gave him a pole to hang onto in the spinning void. He closed his eyes and remembered what Lao Chang had told him about a situation like this. Don’t get in that situation had been his first piece of advice, and because it was Lao Chang he then spoke for an hour about not getting in those situations. The Weirdo fast wound through the speech to the defensive position, where he had told him to hide his mind behind nonsense. Think of songs, of books make streams of words.

 

            “Find out everything in his head, and then break him.” Lilith said. “We need him, so he must follow us.”

 

            The Weirdo was kneeling, so he lowered his head till his forehead touched the floor. He fascinated himself with the feeling of the floor, of how his knee hurt where it had been whacked. He filled his mind with these sensations and would have been gratified if he looked around to see the girls and women looking at each other in confusion and rubbing their knees.

 

            “Probe him damn it.” Lilith said.

 

            One girl, maybe sixteen, stood forward and extended her hands towards him. She closed her eyes and took in a deep breath, and let it out. Her fingers twitched as The Weirdo began to mutter to himself. She opened her eyes, took in another deep breath and began to speak.

 

            “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” She began, and then tried to shut her mouth but found the words kept coming.

 

            She placed her hands over her mouth and looked around in horror as it dawned on her that she was trapped. She had lost control of her mouth and now it was going to recite The Hobbit. He had just let her get her foot in the door of his mind, and then yanked her in and threw her into a closet. It was a wily trick and one that took a lot of guts, done wrong it opened you up completely to attack. Another girl, a little younger took a step forward and extended her hand.

 

            “More of you.” Lilith said. “He can’t trap you all.”

 

            “Things in the modern world are connected in the strangest ways.”

 

            “Here is Edward Bear, commin’ downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin.” Another began.

 

            “I lied and told her I loved her, she didn’t care but anyway.” Said another.

 

            “Tonight on Ethel the Frog we look at violence.” Said another.

 

            The Weirdo knelt on the floor and muttered to himself, tapping his head against the floor. Lilith watched him and looked at the girls around him, who were all reciting different songs and books. There were even TV shows she thought, but couldn’t be sure.

 

            “All of you damn it.” She yelled.

 

            “We’ll see how broccoli can be Good Eats.” One said.

 

            Lilith looked at him and realized that even if she stabbed him in the side it wouldn’t matter. He was dragging them in, getting them caught in a loop and going on to the next one. The girls looked like they wanted to run, but they were rooted to the spot. Their faces were filled with terror as they spoke out whatever had happened to come into The Weirdo’s mind when they had been trapped. This meant that one poor girl was simply reciting a series of descriptions from a mail order catalogue he had read earlier. That was the beauty of this system; once he trapped them they’d keep themselves looping even if he only vaguely remembered things.

 

            “What is he doing?” Eve asked.

 

            “He’s found how to defend himself.”

 

            “You can’t lie in front of the bulldozer indefinitely. I’m game, we’ll see who rusts first.” Said a poor girl who had tears streaming down her face as she speed talked her way through a book she couldn’t even begin to understand.

 

            “We have to do something about this.” Eve said. “He’s going to drive us mad other wise.”

 

            “What can we do?” Lilith asked.

 

            The Weirdo was still tapping his head against the floor when an idea came to him.

It was a good idea, no a great idea, no a stupid idea. That was what made it great was it was so stupid. It was the stupidest idea that any one had ever come up with, and that was worth something. In the annals of stupid, to really come up with something spectacular was hard. Success has more to do with the shortcomings of the competition than it dose real genius, but to be stupid. Ah, now there was a challenge, since there is so much stupid in the world.

 

            He would make them sing a bar of Alice’s restaurant and then walk out. It was brilliant in it’s stupidity. He grabbed hold of the inside of the strait jacket and pulled. There was a tearing sound and he just had to hope it was the canvas of the jacket tearing and not muscles fiber. He wasn’t sure he’d feel the muscles fiber tearing but when he felt buckles snapping off and his arms where free he felt better about the whole snapping sound thing. He stood strait up as the group all sang at once.

 

            “You can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant.” They all sang together.

 

            The large windows that made up two walls of the room then suddenly exploded and due to pressure differences, several of the girls were blown out the window into oblivion. It’s the sort of thing that can happen when you’re at the top of a very tall building and the windows suddenly explode.

 

            The Weirdo looked out the window and began to run, his weak legs pumping with all the strength they had. There were voices, calling to stop him, as he ran. He leapt out the window, and tried to remember how exactly one flies.

 

            The wind whipped at the coat, and he remembered how one moves forward. You draw the air under and around you, and you can move forward. He couldn’t remember how one manages to keep up though. He knew how to fly; he just couldn’t manage to remember how to do it right now. He was so tired, but he knew he was going towards his bed, and that was a good thing. He wasn’t going to hit the bed though, if he didn’t think how to fly soon, he was going to hit the ground. The ground was considerably harder than his bed was, and he was going to just be a long red streak if he didn’t stop soon.

 

            He could remember something, and he began to control his flight some. He had slowed down some by the time he hit the ground. He might have only fallen from a height of six feet, which can still be lethal. People don’t really respect how little distance you have to fall to hurt yourself. However, a trained professional can roll against the ground in order to minimize pain and damage. It still hurts though.

 

            “Ow.” The Weirdo said and began to get up.

 

            It was dark he only just realized it. He could see, but it was dark. The lights, which had been on all week, were gone. He felt dizzy, and he felt exhausted. He looked at a light, which appeared to be on, but wasn’t giving any extra light. He began to become frightened. He knew he was awake; his dreams didn’t have this level of sensory perception. He had color and sound and often a sense of touch in his dreams, but he was smelling things and tasting the air. He could look at things, examine them.

 

            There were dreams like this, where lights would turn on but offer no extra light. He would be driving the car at night in these dreams, and the lights would fail to work. He could always just see enough to get around, but the lights wouldn’t give him any extra light. The car wouldn’t work properly, he’d be unable to stop it, and he couldn’t see properly. He’d be in a room, but there would be no light or help. He would want to scream out to whoever was laying next to him for help, but words wouldn’t come.

 

            He knew he was awake but he felt like he was in a dream. Worse yet, it was the sort of dream that preceded an episode of sleep paralysis. He was having trouble breathing, and his eyes wouldn’t stay open. He felt torturously tired, and his feet wouldn’t stay under him. He slid down a brick wall, and grabbed at it. His fingers clawed at the masonry as he fell, and he knew what was going to come next.

 

            Next would come the buzzing sound, and then the laughter, and the whispering. He was going to be unable to move, and he couldn’t wake from this one. He knew it was coming, he waited for the buzzing to begin, and he lay shuddering. If he could cry, he would have bawled. He was going to die here, he knew it, if he fell asleep here, he would go paralytic and never be able to move again. The world was going to end and he could do nothing about it. He was so exhausted and lost; he felt the shadow of death over his heart.

 

            “Row.” A deep animalistic voice growled.

 

            He closed his eyes and waited for the paralysis to start, shuddering with his hands over his face.

 

            “Mew.” A higher, lighter voice said.

 

            A small rough feeling like sandpaper rubbed against the back of his hand. It rubbed again and again, until he looked. Bagheera was licking his hand, trying to get his attention. The small cat looked him in the eye, not looking away. The Weirdo was actually the one who looked away, at whatever was breathing down his neck. Minga’s giant coppery eye stared back at him.

 

            “Kitties?” He said, like a child.

 

            He was trying to hold onto whatever he could, and at the moment he had his kitties. A pair of hands helped him up and he saw something that looked like a cross between a deer and a horse with a horn sticking out of it’s head.

 

            He turned and looked into the blue eyes of his ladylove, Shannon had come for him. He whimpered her name, more than spoke it. She kissed him gently on the lips and helped him sling a leg over Minga and then urged him gently to lie down on the great beasts back. She stroked his hair gently and then stood up as The Weirdo took fist fulls of Minga’s fur gently in his hands. His massive gray cat was so soft and luxuriant and Bagheera leapt up onto his back and lay down at the base of his spine.

 

            “I’ll watch him.” The Unicorn said.

 

            The Weirdo did hear anything else, because he was thinking about how soft his tiger was and how much he loved Shannon. She had come to take care of him and he was grateful for that. He didn’t know how long exactly she was going to be able to stay and watch over him, she had been here for the moment at least. She had come to help him up, when he really needed a hand.

 

            Eoster watched him go and wondered if there would ever be a point in tell him that she had actually been the one who helped him up. The drugs in his system had obviously made him think that she was Shannon, even though she hadn’t made herself look like him. She felt something flutter in her stomach as the unicorn and tiger took the exhausted hero away. Would he even remember in the morning that he had seen her? She hoped not, she didn’t think she could take that.

 

April 4th, 2003

11:44 p.m.

 

            Max’s mind was beginning to clear, but only a little. His vision was still blurry from the sexual gratification he had just been through. There was a young woman laying her head on his shoulder, and another on his hip. He was watching Lilith who had got out of the bed announcing that she had a few things to do. Now Lilith looked at the two girls and searched through the discarded clothes for her own panties.

 

            “You were right.” Max said watching her move. “That was fun.”

 

            “I thought you might like it.” She said slipping what she figured was her thong. “But you’re going to go to sleep again soon I think. The drug still has to finish its trip through your system.”

 

            “How long?” He asked. “My head feels like it’s full of wool.”

            “You should be fine tomorrow.” She said picking up her shirt and tugging it on. “And then we’ll begin the process of anointing you.”

 

            “Didn’t you just do that?” He asked.

 

            “No darling.” She said kissing him. “You’ll know when I anoint you.”

 

            “Sounds like a threat.” He said.

 

            “It’s a promise.” She said. “You just sleep now and I’ll come for you in the morning.”

 

            “Okay.” He said.

 

            He didn’t think he would be able to sleep, but surprisingly he slipped away almost immediately. He didn’t mind the black and chrome bed as much as The Weirdo had, though he thought the red neon was a bit much. He hadn’t turned down the offer of warm and willing bodies. This shouldn’t be seen as weakness on Max’s part. If nothing else it should prove that he was above all, human. Whatever The Weirdo was is still up for debate. He wasn’t sure what he would do tomorrow; he guessed he would work that out tomorrow.

 

 

April 5th, 2003

12:21 p.m.

 

            The doorbell was being rung, and Jack walked to the door to see who the hell would be ringing at a time like this. Just walking in or maybe kicking the door down was fine, but who would go so far as to ring? He opened the door and found that The Weirdo was lying on the porch, and Minga was pressing the doorbell with her massive paw.

 

            “What the hell?” Jack asked as he knelt down.

 

            “Mm okay.” The Weirdo said with a slur Jack had never heard in his voice before. “Juss tripped is… all.”

 

            “You’re a little tired.” Jack said helping him into the house.

 

            “Mm fine.” The Weirdo said “Just lemme at ’em. I’ll… what’s the word?”

 

            “What word?” Jack asked.

 

            “When you cut up a small animal, using screw and tools. Got the humane societies started in England. You use it one rabbits and things.”

            “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Jack said.

 

            “Science thingy, you screw the dogs mouth open and look down his gullet to see how it works. It’s the most cruel thing a person can do to an animal.”

 

            “Is he talking about vivisecting?” Kestrel asked as she came into the foyer.

 

            He pointed at her and snapped.

 

            “That’s it! Vivisection.” He stood, and looked at them, and then looked around. “Why did I want to know about it?”

 

            “You need to go to bed.” Jack said. “I think you’re very tired.”

 

            “Can’t sleep.” He said, shaking his head and giving them a sad smile, the drugs had smacked him hard again. “Got to stop the bad guys.”

 

            “We are the bad guys.” Kestrel said. “Remember?”

 

            “Nooo.” He almost whined. “I’ve got to stop the bad guys or the world will end.”

 

            “You need to sleep.” Jack said.

 

            “Can’t sleep.” The Weirdo said. “Got to save the world.”

 

            He walked to the stairs and looked back at the other two. They looked very worried at him, and he smiled again. He felt so tired, and he thought maybe he could do with a nap. Just a few minuets, he could surely have just a few minuets right? He could take just a little time, just to take a nap. He looked up the stairs and sighed, it was such a long way. He felt so tired, he didn’t know if he could make it up the stairs, but his friends were watching.

 

            “I’m gonna take a little nap.” He said. “And then we’ll be right out there, saving the world, okay?”

 

            “Sure.” Jack said. “We’ll save the world.”

 

            “Okay.” He said.

 

April 5th, 2003

12:22 a.m.

 

            The Weirdo threw the strait jacket away, and noticed that he was already wearing a pair of pajama pants. Well, that was a lucky happen stance. It was one that if he’d been more awake he would have thought to think about that. He walked towards the bed and lay down very slowly, trying not to hurt himself. He was so close, he couldn’t risk blowing it all to hell now. He lay his head down and drew the blankets up around him.

 

            The pillowcase was so soft and warm, like a pillowcase should be. It felt like the welcoming case of a pillow, bad but accurate analogy. The velvet blanket was lying on top of him, with the sheets between them, just the way he liked it. He was a persnickety sleeper, which is why he did it so rarely. He touched the blanket and smiled.

 

            “Pillow.” He said, pressing his hand against the pillow. “Blankey.”

 

            He looked at the goddess who stood in the corner, to watch over him. He couldn’t remember who she was, but she was important. She might have been important anyway, he couldn’t think clearly about her. He looked at her and touched the pillow.

 

            “Love pillow, love blankey. Night, night.” He then passed out.

 

            Aphrodite walked slowly towards the bed and looked down at him. She felt great sympathy for him, thinking about what she was at least partially responsible for. She hadn’t wanted him to have great pain. Rather she had wanted him to be in love. That love had been to a purpose, but she hadn’t meant him to be hurt like this. She had wanted him to raise his child, and to love that child.

 

            None of this had been the plan; her original plan was in ruins. She had been forced to do some thinking on her feet, which she wasn’t terribly good at. She was better at long thought out plans and if those failed, using sex. Sex had almost always worked for her, but it didn’t seem to be working for her this time. She had known about Lilith’s conquest of him, but that didn’t matter because she didn’t believe that child would come into the world.

 

She wanted him to be able to raise the child, and she knew that was what the gray man wanted. Actually she knew that he wanted The Weirdo to triumph over adversity, like she should have hoped for. She thought about it for a moment and thought about what he had said to her. That there was no longer any time for political manipulations, but she thought that politics might just be what was called for. There was a something to be said about taking a polite route. She thought that she could at least find the daughter of her nephew, and talk to her.

 

 

April 6th, 2003

3:21 a.m.

 

The Weirdo was awakened by a small hand smacking into his pillow. He raised his head suddenly and with shock. He had raised himself up and looked out into the world around him, and saw The Other. She had tears running down her face, and he was confused. He didn’t know what time it was, and he was still tired, but the tears called him out.

 

            “Yes?” He asked.

 

            “Come here please.” She said. The rage barely contained in her voice.

 

            He got up and followed her as she walked out of the room, asking her to stop a moment. He stopped at the small wood paneled refrigerator and pulled a bottle of Gatorade from it. He had realized he was thirsty when he got up and didn’t want to run back if this proved long. They walked towards the stairs that would take them to the roof of the house. She marched up them with determination, and he followed blearily. He opened the bottle and drank from it, filling his mouth with liquid and swallowing.

 

            They mounted the stairs that took them to the roof and walked out onto the roof top patio. The Other looked at The Weirdo and he saw the tears of frustration on her face, glinting in the faint light. She pointed up at the sky her finger shaking at the stars. When she spoke he could tell that she was just able to keep her voice from a scream.

 

            “What are they?” She demanded.

 

            “Stars?” He asked.

 

            “I know that! But what are they? I can tell you about the movement of quarks in relation to other quantum particles! I know how much force a black hole can create but I don’t know what a star is!” She sobbed and wiped at her face in desperate frustration. At that moment she looked like a person at war with their own expectations. She continued, she voice barely controlled. “I have all this stuff in my head, and it’s supposed to be there for a reason. I know these things are here, in my head. I can see them but I can’t reach them. I’ve got all these things that need to get out, or my heads going to explode. I can’t get to these things in my head though they just come out sometimes. I can’t control any of it, I can’t even get a hold of any of it.”

 

            She then broke down in fresh tears and sat down with a thump on her bottom. The Weirdo knelt down suddenly and set the bottle down next to him. He touched her and gently stroked her hair as he spoke in a calm and rational voice. He wanted to make sure she wouldn’t start crying again. He wanted to make sure she would remain calm.

 

            “Hey.” He said. “Don’t cry.”

 

            “I can’t get at any of it.” She said. “It’s there, but I can’t have it.”

 

            “It’s okay.” He said. “Calm down, I’ll tell you what they are.”

 

            She looked up at him and snorted as best she could.

 

            “Yeah?”

 

            “Yeah.” He said, “Just calm down.”

 

            He leaned back as she took in a breath, wiping her face with a handkerchief. She stood back up and took in a deep breath, exhaling it slowly. Her bright blue eyes looked up at him with an expectant air. He thought of explaining that they were just lights in the sky in order to make a joke, but he thought probably not.

 

            “Stars are far away versions of the sun. Do you understand that?”

 

            “Yeah.” She said,

 

            “Okay, do you know what the sun is?”         

 

            “No.”

 

            “The sun is a giant ball of hydrogen that through the massive pressures exerted by it’s own gravity turns hydrogen into helium. The pressure creates a process of nuclear fusion, which means the hydrogen atoms are pressed together so hard at such high heat that electrical repulses can no longer repulse each other and they combine to become helium. When two atoms of hydrogen are pressed together to make a single atom of helium a photon of light is expelled and that creates some heat as well. The light then gathers itself together to become quantas and the light then takes eight minuets to get to us. There’s also something about plasma but I can’t think strait right now. I think plasma is excited particles or a fourth kind of matter or something like that. You’ve got to understand I am very tired right now so some of this might be wrong.”

 

            “And that’s what a star is?”

 

            “Yes.” He said.

 

“And all of those are stars?” She asked pointing at the millions of diamond on black velvet that made up the night sky.

 

“Except for the ones that are planets or satellites or alien invasion forces.” The Weirdo said.

 

            She looked at the stars and then at him and then at the stars again. She folded her arms and looked at the stars again, and then at her shoes. She closed her eyes and squeezed them shut, focusing her mind on what she had been told. He stood and watched her until she opened her eyes, and smiled brightly.

 

            “Okay.” She said. “I get it now.”

 

            “Why are you still up?” He asked as the question had only just occurred to him.

 

            “No one put me to bed.”

 

            “Lousy excuse.” He said. “You know better.”

 

            “Sorry.” She said.

 

            “C’mon.” He said lifting her. “I’ll find some books for you tomorrow.”

 

            He took her down stairs and put her to bed, promising again to find her a tall stack of books to read. He then plodded back to his room, glancing at a clock as he went past. He calculated that he must only have been asleep for a few hours. He didn’t know that he’d already been asleep for more than a full day, but he wouldn’t have cared. He was still tired, and he needed some more sleep.

 

            “I wish she could have waited till I woke up.” He muttered as he lay back down. “How long would it take?”

© 2014 Autumn Knight Productions

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May 5, 2014 - Posted by | Fiction | ,

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