Episode One: FIRE OF THE INFERIOR

“Ok, places everyone. We are going in 5...4...3.._…”

Calm joyous music playing,

     

     “For the last fifteen years, Alta, Norway has been a leading summer destination in all of Europe. Boasting amazing weather, beautiful people, and fantastic scenery, Alta is an outdoors-loving Ascendent’s dream. Come alone, or bring a friend, Alta offers a variety of hospitality packages for all Ascendence levels and . .”,

   

     “CUT!!!!” an annoyed voice rings out.

     “We need to rewrite this, because this doesn’t make any sense! We want em to go there and FUCK people, not swim and climb mountains and shit!”

 

      Martin Fragson, the owner of this amazingly angry voice is the Director of Marketing at Recovery Marketing Group, the leading public advertising company in the Southern Sector of the Eastern Province of America. Needing to change the television and radio marketing numbers by double digits, his stress level has brought him out of retirement and back onto the set to everyone’s displeasure. Micromanaging the commercial ad production department, he rewrites each ad as soon as it is drafted and set for voice-over.

 

     “When we hired you, you spoke with a Norwegian accent, YOU SOUND LIKE A FUCKING KENTUCKY REDNECK!” he screams at the woman.

 

     “Listen here motherfucker, you ain’t gonna yell at me like that! . . . don’t know who the fuck you think you are! The fuck I care if you sick ass motherfuckers die off of not! Fuck you, I’m out. . .  you ain’t fin to talk to me that way . . .!” and with that, Lynnese walks out, yelling audibly, throwing fucks against the wall, ceiling and anyone on the other side of the door until her voice faded away in the distance.

 

     Rubbing his head in frustrating agony, Martin comes to his senses. “Someone. . .SOMEONE GO GET HER PLEASE!” he calls out. “FAAACK MEE!” he says aloud, dragging his noticeable Australian accented words hyper dramatically. “AND SOMEONE PLEASE GRAB ME A TEA!”

     Stomping down the hall, Lynnese made her way to the makeup room which is adjacent to the control room where her eyes lock on an already staring and judging Mimi. “Why are you looking at me like that? She demands.

 

     “Girl, don’t even try it!” Mimi rebuffs. “Either you are going to do this shit and do it right, or just stop. But stop playing. I got you this job because it’s easy ass money, and you wanna get an attitude with these white folks!  Shit, if it was up to me, I would have fired yo ass already!”

 

     “What-evah!” Lynnese responds, rolling her eyes above a grinning smirk of a heavily applied lipstick which stained her neck kerchief when delivered her grandiose exit.

     “I’m serious though. You gotta stop this shit. This is my ass on the line, and I’m not trying to get fired because yo azz don’t want to do the shit you were hired to do.  You feel me?” giving her friend a motherly stern gaze. “I MEAN IT!”

     “Yes Girl, damn!”

     “I swear, you ain’t shit. . . but you do owe me a coffee!”

Throwing a middle finger, she responds, “Fuck you. . .I know. Let me guess, you want it now right?”

     “Yea, wait for me for a sec, and we can run across the street.” looking around Mimi pokes her head past the door to the control room to see if there was anyone in ear-shot to hear their conversation.  

 

     “Minh, are you ok for a little while, I wanted to run across the street for a little bit and catch a coffee.” Assuming the affirmative, she leads, “You want anything?”  Minh, her 31 year old ‘kinda’ assistant replies, “Yea, can you get me a Basil Tea?”

 

     “How much is it?” Mimi responds, hinting that if Minh wants one, she had better cough up the money for it.

Catching the hint and realizing she was set up, Minh glares at her ‘kinda’ boss and dismissively waves her off.  

 

     “Girl, lets go. . . I got someone I want you to meet.” Mimi giddily tells her friend. “Sheeyid, girl, you already know!” Lynnese excitedly replies, and off the two exit at the end of the hall.

The buildings that house the Recovery Marketing Group are unassuming, but large. This was done on purpose. Some sort of passive aggressive design idea that was thought to make their work ordinary or regular. The problem is that it looks like an underused warehouse in a city center full of dynamic architecture and vibrant retail structures. The reduction in population affords city planners an opportunity to reinvent urban design every few years. However, the RMG building is so bland that in a city full of grand peacocks, it stands out like a skunk.

     “Which one are we going to?” Lynnese asks, looking both ways as she jaywalks the street.

     “Hot and Black. . . the one right up the way here.” Mimi answers.

     “Is that what you got waiting for me?!” Lynnese asks, eagerly hoping for a yes.

     “Girl, you trip…,” their conversation was interrupted as the two stepped up upon the curb and onto the sidewalk by a man who stepped in their way.

 

     “How are you beautiful ebony ladies doing today?” the anonymous gentleman politely inquires with a voice he is seriously attempting to sound seductive.  

 

     “Boy, if you do not get from in front of my face!” Mimi demands while trying to walk around him.  Backing up, and seemingly trying to not miss an opportunity to entice one or both of the women, the man again sounds off,  

 

     “I’m sorry to interrupt your day my fine sisters, but I would love to take you two ladies out for lunch or dinner or both.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to dine with two amazing images of beauty like you two?”

     “GET AWAY!” Mimi yells at the man. Startled, he lowers his voice, speaking only at a level that the two women can hear. “Fuck you sorry ass bitches! You owe us!”

 

Startled, Lynnese pulls her head back as she has never be accosted in this manner. Mimi, however, was unflinching. “Listen here you Svak head, You’re getting NOWHERE with us. In fact you are getting nowhere in life! We don’t owe you shit! That shit is yalls fault. People like you need to die off anyways!  Serves you right! So if you will get your pasty ass out of my face, I would appreciate it!”

 

Lynnese looks at her friend with horrified appreciation. Not knowing what to do or say, she grabs Mimi’s arm as she stomps off away from the man.

 

     “I’ll remember that!” he calls out.

     “But I won’t remember you!” Mimi responds, middle finger in the air catching the attention of the local street unit who look at both the Man and the pair of women.  Noticing the attention he brought upon himself, the Man darts into the first business; a shoe store, to get off the street and away from any of the hundreds of thousands of closed circuit television camera that freckle the city.

     “Girl that was wrong!” Lynesse says, still holding on to Mimi’s left arm.

 

Yanking her arm away and stopping abruptly, “Wrong for what? So this sorry ass can get his citizenship, be seen, be gifted? Fuck them and fuck you for caring about his ass!”  Those motherfuckers need us, we don’t need them. They kiss our asses so that we’ll take care of them. I’m supposed to care about that shit?  People like that asshole are who killed my momma. You think I should give a shit about him or any of em?  How many of your family did they kill? I guess you just  forgive and forget, right?  Fuck that!”

     “I didn’t say anything about forging or forgetting shit, I’m just saying…”

Interrupting, “You ain’t saying shit!  I love you girl, but you riding this Ascension shit too hard. We AIN’T in charge of shit. That’s what they want us to think. They still running this shit. And the sooner you realize their plan ain’t for us, the smarter you’ll be!  Now come on here before I take your ass back to Martin to get yelled at some more!”  Reaching their destination, the ladies walk in and take off their coats.

‘Hot and Black’ is a coffee shop like all others: barista wearing an apron with the company logo emblazoned across the front, counter top with a glass encased dessert selection below, 4 workers behind a cashier cranking out coffee drinks for customers waiting with their eyes glued to their cell phones, and no drinks being passed off. However, ‘Hot and Black’ was more of a meeting place. Its decor was very country club. It was neither modern nor contemporary, but large and old European. Its owners were clearly trying to evoke some old world nostalgia and that was not lost in the atmosphere. Because it was so large, people could have loud arguments or conversations without disturbing most of the other customers. And for this reason, it was the new favorite place for attention seeking “Activist-types” that spring up from time to time.

     “Hold on, let me see if he’s here. You wanna put our orders in?

Still salty from the dressing down, Lynnese sheepishly replies, “Yea, same thing?”

 

     “Yea, you know.  I’ll be right back.”  As Mimi walks away, she removes her right arm from her coat, and then her left; folding her coat in her arm as she makes a right around the false wall in the center of the shop. Sitting in a bench seat near the rear of the building was Lynnese’s surprise guest.

Walking over, while connecting eyes, Mimi opens her arms and smiles larger than she has in some time.  “OH MY GOD, HOW ARE YOU!!!!!”  Stepping into the extended arms, locking in warm comforting embrace, “I’m Blessed sister. . . Definitely Blessed!” he responds.

 

     Releasing, Mimi drops her coat on the empty seat and says, “I’ll be right back, I brought someone for you to meet.”

 

Returning to the front counter where her friend was waiting for their order, Mimi walks up from behind and grabs her arm, startling Lynnese, whose mind was still focused on the dramatic events that just transpired.  

 

     “He’s here girl . . . I’m so excited!”

     “I can see it on your face, damn!  You two need a room?” Lynnese snaps back.

Mimi’s face instantly goes flush and blank. “Bitch, it is not like that!” and as she opens her mouth to say more. . .        “LIN-IN-EESEE!!”  

     “WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?!” Lynnese yells at the barista behind the counter, totally butchering her name.          “I’m sorry Ma’am!” the young man apologetically responds.

     “Let that pretty young man be girl and LET’S GO!”  Breaking the potential conflict that could erupt at any time because mispronouncing Lynnese’s name is one of her biggest pet peeves, Mimi grabs both drinks, hands one to her girlfriend, and the two carry off back to the table.

     “Which one is he?” Lynnese inquisitively asks?

     “On the end. . . there, right there!” She responds.

     “Ooooh girl, he IS fine!  Y’all trying to hook up a noontime threesome? Because you ain’t my type, but i’ll do it this once to get a piece of that shit!” Lynnese ridiculously jokes.

     “Girl, shut yo butt up and c’mon!”

As the two reach the table, He stands up and extends his hand to Lynnese to introduce himself, “Pleased to meet you Lynnese. I’ve heard so much about you. I’m Lamumba.”  Surprised that he knew her name, absent mindedly forgetting that the meeting was set up for her, Lynnese grabs his hand in a gentle cupping manner like a pathetic damsel in distress.

     “How do you do?” she says with her head bobbing side to side.  Watching this embarrassingly sad scene unfold, Mimi calls out her friend, “Girl, really?!”  The three explode into laughter and the two release their dainty handshake.  Sitting down, Lamumba asks Lynnese, so how are you doing, Queen?  Impressed and a tad bit flustered, she takes a quick sip and announces, “I’m royal!”  Again the table burst into laughter.

 

     “Girl, I have known Lamumba for about ten years,” Mimi explains, “but we lost contact for about 3 years. Then, while in the control room, a news report came over the wire about this man making a name for himself up north.  I about did a triple-take when I saw his face. LAMUMBAAAH!!” she said almost yelling, pinching his cheeks, which clearly annoyed him. “I tracked him back to his organization’s office in New Deleware.”  

 

Interrupting, “ After she called, I had to fly down and see my beautiful baby sister.”

Confused, “Oh, so you two are brother and sister?  Girl, I didn’t know you had a brother!” Happily shifting in her seat, thinking the compliments he bestowed upon her friend was now not overt flirting.

 

     “No, fool! His parents kind of took me in after my momma died. His dad was a New Minister and his folks pretty much looked after me. They insisted on paying for my college instead of using the Ascension funds. Then, when I took the job at RMG, I lost all of my contacts one day while walking in through the metal detectors.  I had my entire life in that phone.  The only way to get it back was to go back to the old house, but I couldn’t just fly up there JUST to get a phone number, so. . . oh well, he is here now and that is all that matters!  I love this man!!”

Eyes tearing up, Mimi opened her hand and caressed Lamumba’s face. “I love you too baby girl.” he caringly reciprocated.

     “Y’all about to make me cry!  Lynnese said, breaking the mood, So STOP!” and for a third time, the table bursts into laughter.

     “When are you coming North, Meem? His shortened nickname for Mimi,

     “I’m not sure. I hadn’t planned on any visits anywhere anytime soon. I have no assignments from work to go anywhere for at least the next Month.  And with this Storm coming, it is unlikely, they will be sending anyone anywhere.  It’s supposed to be pretty bad in Texas.”

     “That storm is going to be bad news. Really bad. In fact, I think you should leave back to New Delaware with me tonight.”

 

     “I can’t leave!” Mimi rejects. “I have work! I have deadlines and have to monitor the incoming reports from Northern and Eastern Europe, and I have to edit this girl’s shitty ass Norwegian promotionals, if she’d get her ass in gear!”

 

     “Hey Bitch, I’m doing my shit if that stupid ass Martin would just stay his ass in his office and leave us all alone!” Lynnese interjects.

 

     “Listen, both of you. This storm is going to be bad news, but not worse than what it’s being used for.”

     “I don’t understand. Being used for? I’m sure some farmer is using it for rain, for crops and shit.” Confused, Mimi looks towards her friend as if she understood what he meant.

     

      “This storm is incredible, almost historic in its size and destructive power, but it is not unprecedented. Its repeated that most of the tangible historic documents were destroyed in the Neo War of 72.  Destroyed here in the US, but not in other countries. The first ‘I’ in ‘IAGI’ is  ‘international,’ and we have access to most, governmental documents predating 72 war.  And even then, the 72 war was brought on by an extremely large storm.  This whole bullshit existence we are living was brought on by a storm, and we have surmised that they are going to use this huge storm like they did all other storms like it as a cover for another attack.  And why wouldn’t they?  We are blinded by all this new Ascension bullshit, and they are desperate. They will. . .”

Interrupting, Mimi says dismissively, “Lu, I love you, but you are beginning to sound like your daddy, or worse, those cloud barkers!”  

 

Laughing, Lynnese interjects,  “ Yea, every time a cloud flies overhead, one of those Hebrew-Israelite dumbasses starts in with the ‘that cloud is blocking the sun and our power is our melanin and we are the descendents of the sun’ and all that stupid ass shit!  I mean, if they don’t want to help em, we have that choice, but what are you preaching for?  Standing on the corner looking like Jennies and shit!”

 

     “Both of you, cut the shit!” Lamumba’s seriousness was explicit. “We have intercepted communications. Both our East Asian locations, our Middle African posts, and our Bolivian mountain posts. It’s sketchy, but all agree this storm brewing in the Gulf for almost three weeks, has allowed them to recall, organize, and plan a major operation. We have always been gullible, believing we are the beneficiaries of this new ‘change of heart.’  It’s going to be the death of us all.  They will never learn their lesson.  Take is all they know.  And even faced with total extinction, they still can’t get past their inferiority.  It’s not our fault, we didn’t do anything. But the more they do and the more they take, the closer they get to total annihilation.”

     “You know, now that you say all that, it does seem like white folks have been acting pretty damn crazy lately.” Lynnese admits. “It’s like they all woke up on the wrong side of the damn bed or something.  Except, it’s been every day!”

     “Who owns a company, only to give away all of the income from that business to the very same people you tried to destroy?  The ladies look at each other with rising stress. They also begin to notice that others in nearby booths and tables were eavesdropping on their conversation.  

     “My sisters, this storm is masking in some bad shit, and we, the ‘ASCENDED’. . .” said with finger quotes in the air as so to ridicule the classification, “. . . are nothing more than a 10 generational surrogate for our own demise.

 

In 1900, there were 2 billion people worldwide. They were maybe 500 thousand; full Svak. Even WWII saw a total population growth. By 1970, there were around 4 billion. But after the last Neo War, we were cut down to only 50 million worldwide while they at their highest before the reemergence, were 900 million.  Now, they are only 50 million worldwide, and we collectively are 300 million spread across the world. Why would they do it here? Who knows. But why ignore the signs if they are there.  I think you two should come back with me, and we can keep you safe.”

     “Look, I hear you. . .you know I do, but since I ain’t goin nowhere, it makes no sense to even consider it. Lu, I love you, you know this, but I don’t think about all this like you do, I do my part. I promote Ascended love. I remember your Father, the Minister, say that we were the Gods of the Earth. And as much as I loved the man, even then, there were limits to how much of his shit I could take.  I’m totally aware of this lie we are living.  They killed my momma, Fuck, I work at RMG promoting this shit!  But, I haven’t seen anything on any of my feeds about any of this, so, if it goes down, I guess I’m just fucked.  

Mimi’s words created an uncomfortable respite in Lamumba. One that made him shift repeatedly in his seat while listening. He’s not used to this type of rejection; from anyone. It makes him shudder worse than those whom sit in judgement after one of his own fiery speeches.  An eerie silence fell across the table that extended out to various others whom were eavesdropping. Like a wives tale, everyone has heard of this possible scenario. It was impossible not to. This was the reality that everyone lived; definitely everyone in the coffee shop.

 

     “So, what exactly do you do Lu?” Lynnese sheepishly asks.  Her decision to call Lamumba by Mimi’s nickname for him drew a quick side-eyed look of extreme annoyance from her.

     “First and foremost, I am a Promoter. I promote my people. I promote the rebuilding of my people’s empire on this blue earth. I reject this capitulation by my people for their benefit, and I am for the creation of a strong defense structure that cooperates with other rebuilding empires around the world.”

Interrupting, Mimi interjects, “Boy, what are you talking about? You entertain all of those fools with that “Black first” bullshit! Have you ever thought about the fact that you sound and act JUST like them?”  

 

Angered, Lamumba leans in, “You need to choose whose side you’re on! You work for RMG. They ONLY work for them, not us. . . you ever think about that? What is the Recovery Marketing Group, again,” holding his fingers up in air quotes, “but the national promoters of pleasing black folks to keep them alive; THEIR blood lines.  What happens when they are done with us?  Ever think about that?”

Panning around the shop in introspective disbelief, Mimi glances at her watch and notices that they have been in the shop for much too long. “Lynnese, we gotta get back across the street.”  

The look in Lamumba’s face was more of disappointment than relative anger. “Give me a hug girl.” Extending his arms, Mimi lifts and leans in to give her longtime friend the limp, tepid upper body hug that all men fear from women.

 

     “Are you still coming by tonight?” he asks.

     “Yea, probably, but I’ll call you before to confirm.” struggling to decommit, Mimi reveals, “I have to oversee the completion of the control room today, so as long as I get that done, then of course.”

     “Well, if she can’t go, I’ll go boo!” Lynnese jokingly suggests. “It was a real pleasure meeting you, Lu.” The unauthorized use of Mimi’s pet name again invoked a side-eyed response from Mimi, forcing her to involuntarily escape towards the door.

     “The pleasure was all mine my queen.” Lamumba responds, extending his hand out to her. Lynnese rejects the attempt at a professional handshake and forces a hug so to feel his muscles and body tone.

Opening her mouth in an attempt to start a new conversation, Lynnese’s head turns slightly to notice that Mimi was nowhere in sight.  “I gotta go Lu. . . It was. . “ scampering off towards to door.

Exiting ‘Hot and Black,’ Lynnese’s eyes scour the sidewalk in both directions, searching for her co-worker. She spots her, walking as if she were on a mission; stomping so loudly that she could make out each step from almost a block away. “MEEE MEEEE!!”  

Cocking her head slightly, realizing that she was about to turn around, Mimi’s head corrected course, and kept driving forward.  Lynnese, even from so far away, saw this.  And though she thought about running after her, decided not to.  Lynnese is self aware that she is not the brightest bulb in the box, but she can tell when someone is disrespecting her.  So she began to walk back to the office.

Crossing the street, thinking about what Lamumba said, a loud “BEEEEEEEEEEP” rang out. Falling to the ground, thinking it was all over, she refused to open her eyes.  From the ground, a tall figure blocked the light with a hand extended to her.  “Ma’am, I’m so sorry! Are you ok?”  Coming to, and finally opening both eyes, Lynnese noticed a crowd of people began to gather. All of the attention was on her. Shaken and disoriented, “Is she ok?” and “Oh my God that man could have killed her!” and “She is cute, I’d love to introduce her to my husband.” was heard over various traffic sounds.  

 

     “UGH, help me up. . . HELP ME UP!” she screamed. “Ma’am, I am so sorry, you just kind of stepped out of nowhere and I did not see you. Are you Ok?  Can I take you somewhere?”  

     “No man, just. . . let me fucking go, Damn!”  Annoyed, She walked onto the campus yard toward the RMG doors.   “Ma’am, please!”  Knowing what to expect, she stopped to get it out of the way.

     “Ma'am please, the police are going to come even if you are ok and walk away. I don't have any credits. I can't have them thinking I endangered you in any way. . . like can I . . . “

     “NO Motherfucker, get out of my face!”

 

Leaning in to keep his words private, “I should have fucking hit you, bitch!”    Shocked, but not surprised, “Yea, Muh-Fukkah, butcha didn't, now ain't you mad!!”  Walking away, imitating her friend, Lynnese throws her middle finger in the air, walks up the sidewalk with her arm extending higher and higher the further away from the man and closer to the door, and enters.

Once inside, the reality of what just transpired didn't affect her near as much as the words Lamumba spoke.  Leaning against the wall just inside the door, Lynnese tried to regain her composure. It was barely 11:45 in the morning and it was a long day. Plus, she has an angry friend in the control room waiting for her to get her best Norwegian accent ready for this promotional, and an asshole Director wanting to criticize everything anyone does.

Peeking her head into the control room while on her way down the hall and into the Sound Room, hoping to see Mimi, the sound of stale bubbliness rang out.  “Hey Lynn, do you have my Basil Tea?  Mimi said you had it.”  It was Minh the Control Room ‘kinda’ assistant.

 

     “Girl, I ain’t got your damn Tea.  Go across the street and get it your-fucking-self!  Where is Mimi?”  Clearly annoyed, Minh Just looks at her, rolls her eyes and turns her back.

     “You know, we’re Ascended too, right?   Stopping as she backed away from the office doorway, with the greatest amount of fake raging attitude she could muster, “You think I’m this way towards you because you’re Asian?”  

     “Well yea, why else?  All of the Black girls are rude to me. I never did anything to any of you! They look at me the same way they do you people.” Minh explains.

     “You people? So I’m a YOU PEOPLE now?” the fake anger was perceptible.

     “Yes, Lynn, you are a YOU PEOPLE just like I’m a THAT GIRL! I don’t deserve any of the same shit you get.  I know why I’m here, and I know what they think of me. I know what they want . . .”

     “But you give it to them! You are a THAT GIRL because you are THAT GIRL that gives it to them.  If someone wants credits, you give them to them. Someone has a check on their citizenship, you are happy to oblige.  So, yea, you are THAT GIRL, and no one respects you for that.  Except these Svak head motherfuckers.”

 

     “I see.” Minh begins.  “Well, let me tell you something.  You bitches think you are all high and mighty because you are on the end of the Ascended spectrum. Everyone wants to protect you. None of you sit in this control room like I do. You don’t see the reports from Northern Europe, from our sector or any others. No, you just walk in and out, give me shitty-ass looks, talk shit about me, judge me, then think nothing about what is going on in this fucking abortion of a world.  I see this shit as it comes, and YOU PEOPLE never see what is staring you in the face.  I don’t just monitor reports from our sectors, but I have access to any CCTV camera in the city.  Do you know what I see?  I see that something is being planned. Something is up, but who am I going to tell?  You? Mimi?

 

That dumb Aussie prick in the other room?  No, I’m Minh the little THAT ASIAN GIRL. I’m being nice to these sick fucks because I don’t want them to come looking for me. I’m not as brave as you, but when the next storm comes, I’m not going to come up missing.”  with a final side eye, Minh turned her head forward and screen.  “And you could have gotten me a fucking Basil Tea!”

As Lynnese took her scolding from her control-room colleague, she turned her head to see Mimi, the object of her search.   Having heard nearly everything Minh had said, and dreading returning to the control room until she cooled off, in a calm and reflexive voice, “You better get in there.  Frag’s been running around looking for you.”  

 

     “You good, Girl?”

     “Yea, I’m good. I just keep thinking about what your friend-brother, whatever said.”

     “Something is going on.” Mimi interrupts “I just don’t. . . Girl, what is that on your skirt?”

     “Huh?” Lynnese looked down at her clothes and noticed a spot of blood from a scratch that opened up under her skirt. “Oh, I fell on the way in and almost got hit by a car.”  

     “BITCH DOWN!!!” Mimi yelled in a jerk of laughter.   “Fuck you Bitch, you left me!”

     “Walk faster next time!” Mimi fired.  “Just get your ass in there so that moron will shut his ass up.”

     “When are these people dying off again” Lynnese Plead in Jest.

     “Shit if I know. . . so go save they asses!”

Just then, Fragson stormed around the corner, “WHERE THE FACK HAVE YOU BEEN?”! His thick Australian accent as always, brought fits of internal laughter.  

 

     “Who the Fuck are you yelling at Man?!  What did I tell you before?

Mimi walks into the control room, takes her seat, and hears, “She didn’t have my Tea!”

     “Bitch. . . Shut up.”

© 2019 by Malik Leigh, P.A.

Watson Leigh, P.A.

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