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Thread: Dangerous Liaisons

  1. #101
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calipah View Post
    Qing merchants in Europe? Im not sure such creatures even existed! But I wouldnt be surprised.

    Took a while to catch up, though Guilbert sounds awfully familiar - or am I wrong?
    I wanted to add an air of orientalism into the mix . A way of spicing up the otherwise stuffy period clichés

    edit: update will be today !
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  2. #102
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    Chapter VIII: Sunday/Sex


    29 June 1783

    Dear Elly,

    The act of sexual intercourse is an interesting thing. In one sense, it's one body invading another. It's a kind of intrusion. At the same time, however, it's also a kind of fulfillment. Literally speaking, it fills a gap in the other person. Of course nowadays, we've composed so many variations of the theme that talking about the root of it is rather comical, but in the end, the most compelling part about sex is this paradox of intrusion, complementation, union, and pleasure.

    I have always told you before and have written about it previously that sexual fulfillment is merely an extension of psychological fulfillment. Indeed, to make the point rather obvious, there is a hole to be filled in the psyche of each individual. Usually it is some kind of insecurity or character defect. Most likely it started forming from their childhood. You will know for sure that you have hit this particular weakness of a person if, once you touch it, they begin to act childishly. That is when you know you've touched upon a piece of them that has not grown up. Filling these gaps elicits a kind of completeness, a kind of pleasure. It's also getting something they do not have. In a very literal sense, it is possible to f—k someone's mind. Sexual intercourse is merely a physical recourse if that need isn't met.

    The human person is psychology mixed with a complex machine. In order for the machine of our bodies to work, we fill gaps. Lungs need to be filled with air; flesh with water; stomachs with food. In the same way, our psyches have orifices to be satiated. Everyone needs to be accepted, to be 'loved', to be comforted.

    What hungry man who goes to you for food is not thankful to you afterward? Better yet, what man who knows you are the only one for miles around with food not give himself over to your service to get some? The nobles of today want not for food. But their psyches have needs just as much as their bodies do. Most people think they are fulfilling these needs. Brotherhood has turned to gambling parlours. Family has turned into politics and secret societies. Love has turned into debauchery and sex. Everyone thinks that they have reached the pinnacle of culture. But I'll tell you this, Elly. Even a hungry man will reach for the garbage and think himself full after having his fill. But it will poison him from the inside and still leave him hungry. You can fill your stomachs with stones and still be as hungry tomorrow as you are today. High society lives off of food alone. Their minds are feeding on garbage.

    Why do you think sexual deviants escalate? First it starts with the thrill of the initial sexual act. Then they crave it every day. Then they crave it with different people. Then they start putting things where they shouldn't go. Then they start drinking their own urine or experimenting with children. Perhaps not in such a fast of a progression, but if the act of sex is so liberatingly satiating, then why do these people come back for more or need to change it in order to get aroused?

    That is where I have made my trade, Elly. I dole out indulgences to feed the psyches of these demented men and women. I give them something to fill their stomachs, but it will always leave that hole unfulfilled. It will always mean more craving. It will always mean that they come back to me because I know how to escalate it. By the time I have them drinking their own urine, I'm usually finished with them. Then I can leave them furiously attempting to regain that lost euphoria.

    The Huguenots have it only half right. It is not that the flesh is what leads to terrifying debauchery: it's rather the psyche. They should not shun the flesh, but the mind.

    Hope you are well,
    Léon


    ~~


    Léon could hear the church bells ringing in the faroff distance. Their tintinnabulation meant that the cottage should be cleared out. He rose up with a stretch and a yawn and grimaced at the stickiness and stench of the pig's blood smeared underneath his bandage. “What one has to do for 'love,'” he chuckled to himself quietly. There was a sudden knock at the door. His whole body froze for a second before he slid back into the bed just in time for the door to creak ajar.

    His eyes closed and his face emulated the troubled contours of a fitful sleep. A figure entered the room and closed the door behind them. “It's a Sunday you know,” the figure said as it pulled up a chair. “You should be at Mass.”

    Léon's eyes shot open when his ears recognized the familiar voice. A man was grinning at him as a brown hood was pulled back from a bald head. An energetic face was bordered on the bottom end by a short red beard while the top had the dark hue of a recently shaved surface. Young eyes of brown flared with amusement at Léon. “Gregoire...”

    “That's Father Gregoire to you now, Vicomte.”

    “I make it a policy never to call anyone 'Father' if they're younger than I am,” Léon laughed. He got up nonetheless and sat on his bed opposite from where Father Gregoire was sitting casually on the chair. “How did you--”

    “I heard you were in the area. The town's abuzz with the news of the nearly-shot-to-death Vicomte. I asked leave of my superior to deliver The Sacrament to the poor soul. I found out it was you through some of the maids on their way out.”

    “You're a long way from Paris, Gregoire,” Léon gave an exaggerated bow to the head as he grinned back at his visitor. “It's been a long time.”

    “It's not my fault,” Father Gregoire shrugged as he stood up from his seat. “The monastery's been vandalized recently by radicals so we decided to move to the country here. Anyway, you're the one who doesn't want to step foot inside of a church or hermitage.”

    “It's not like I belong there anyway,” Léon retorted as he watched Father Gregoire move towards the door.

    “Only Protestants have churches filled with people who think they're perfect,” Gregoire replied. Come downstairs, I made you some breakfast—though you probably should clean out that horrible bandage first. It's going to ruin the aroma of my eggs.”

    ~~


    “An unexpected surprise,” Léon smirked at the priest before dipping his spoon into the opened egg shell.

    “I figured you weren't going to Mass today so I decided that making you breakfast wouldn't make matters worse,” Father Gregoire explained from the other side of the dining room table.

    “If they had Masses in the afternoon I might be more persuaded to go. As it is, I'm up late most nights,” Léon joked as he plucked a grape from a platter.

    “If they had Masses in the afternoon, people would be starving all day because of the fast,” Father Gregoire explained.

    Léon just shook his head. “I'll never understand it,” Léon chuckled a bit.

    “The fast? It's simple, really. It's a reminder to us that we hunger.” Gregoire waited for a moment to see Léon's expression. Léon had that look on his face as if he had heard something he didn't like. “Man is made of soul and flesh. The spiritual and the material. Both require nourishment. The body requires food: the soul requires God. We fast in order to remind ourselves that nourishing the soul is more important than the good of nourishing the body. That is why we receive Jesus Christ in the sacrament before taking food into our stomachs.”

    “And why is God the answer to the needs of the soul?” Léon asked with a full mouth.

    “What's your favourite plaything?” Father Gregoire asked. “Your absolute favourite.”

    Léon grinned a little. “Right now it's this fancy flower named Cécile. Though I don't have her quite yet...”

    “And once you do. Will that satisfy you?” Father Gregoire pressed. Léon didn't answer immediately. He, instead, dabbed his spoon into the egg. “The games you've been playing, Léon: are they what you really want? Is that what your soul is yearning for? Is it what it's hungry for? What do you get out of your games? Will you finally win that wager with the Marquise?” Léon refused to answer. “And if you did and you finally achieve her. If you finally have that conquest. Then what will you have? Will you finally be at one with the person who will give you everything you need? Do you really think that despite all of her power the Marquise can provide you with everything that you need in your life? And even if she does for some parts: how much longer until she is another coffin in the ground festering with worms? Will you move on to a new goal? If these games were enough for you, then why do you keep doing them?”

    “And what's the alternative?” Léon said a bit sharply. He had stopped eating a few seconds ago. “I can't do what you've done, Gregoire. I can't give up everything I've worked for just to be in some monastery.”

    “Even if in the end it'll poison you?” Father Gregoire had long ago lost his smile.

    “I don't know if it's poison. If God made everything then even Adam and Eve had sex--”

    “Sex, yes. And it was beautiful. Just like sex between a man and a woman to give us new life. And do you even know why? Because it is the mirror and participation of that love that God has for man. What's so compelling about God's love for us is that he himself intruded and penetrated into our reality to give us life. He infused his universe with the seed of Free Will and Being. The spiritual made love to the material and what do we have? A fusion of spirit and matter. That's why we call it procréation because we participate in God's creative act. He continues to create by being that which completes the human soul. Man has a God-shaped hole in his soul.”

    “I--” Léon attempted to protest.

    “If you don't believe me, then verify it with your own life, Léon. Tell me otherwise by the way you live. If it's untrue then show me true happiness.”

    For a second, Léon's eyes flared at Gregoire but they were a spark of power. Those lips moved and quivered darkly. “I could show you some of the true happiness I've learned, Gregoire. Just like we used to before you made your vows.”

    Father Gregoire frowned sadly at Léon. “Don't be childish. I don't play in the garbage anymore, Léon. Not now that I've been at the banquet. I can't turn my back on what gives me spiritual food. Man cannot live on bread alone.”

    There was a sudden rush of noise as the doorway to the kitchen burst open. Luc de Robespierre nearly tripped into the room. Both Léon and Father Gregoire looked over to the commotion. Luc himself, gathering his footing looked up at the two at the table and blushed profusely. “Ah! I'm sorry to interrupt. My cousin decided to go for a walk but I wanted to come home and--” his eyes moved over to Léon who was still shirtless and only with a bandaged shoulder—although it seemed like it was a new bandage. “I heard... about what happened Léon...” he said awkwardly. He wished he could say more. Part of him wanted to burst forward and express his sympathies directly, but the presence of the friar in the kitchen held him back.

    “Do you think you could do me a favour, Luc?” Léon asked. “Could you get me some milk from the barn? The maid had left the container there from earlier.”

    Luc was red in the face but merely nodded and slowly closed the door as he stepped backwards. Léon looked back to Father Gregoire who had already stood up. “It looks like I should take my leave,” the priest said quietly as he picked up his things from the table and began to move towards the back door. “It was good to see you again, Léon,” Father Gregoire said. “Say hello to Elly for me.”

    “I will,” Léon replied while Father Gregoire was at the door. “She always did like you best, you know.”

    “I don't know about that. In the end she decided to be more like you, don't you think?” the priest responded. Léon could not find the words to refute that. “There was one more thing,” the priest said as he hovered his hand over the door handle. “This young man...”

    “Luc?”

    “Yes. Do you care about him?”

    Léon paused before he answered. “I suppose so.”

    “I don't mean in a selfish way.”

    “I didn't mean it in that way either.”

    “It's his cousin you're going to ruin isn't it?” Father Gregoire's voice was more of a whisper as he looked outside through the dirty glass towards Luc struggling to bring the milk canister across the expanse of the barn and cottage.

    “Cécile. Yes.”

    “You're going to hurt him, then.”

    “I know...”

    “So what are you going to do?”

    Léon waited another second. “By Wednesday I'll never speak to him again.”

    It was Father Gregoire's turn to pause. “I suppose it's better than using him. Are you sure you want to spare him?” Before Léon could answer, Father Gregoire opened the door for the burdened Luc. “Let me help you with that there, young man,” the priest said as he smiled and took the large canister off of Luc's hands.

    “Thank you, Father,” Luc replied haphazardly as he stepped inside. Father Gregoire placed the canister on one of the counters and made his way out of the door.

    ~~


    They were both sitting at the table. Léon had poured himself and Luc a glass of milk. For a while, Léon's thoughts still swirled as he watched the young man on the other side of the table drink up.

    “I'm glad to see you again,” Luc said. “I thought I wouldn't see you for the whole weekend since we were heading out here. I wish they were under better circumstances, though,” he smiled at Léon. “It's weird... I guess maybe because I've been so used to moving around when I was younger that after our last session of looking up at the stars before I went out on holiday that it would be the last time I would get to see you...”

    Léon's smile changed for a moment. It remained stiff, but it was like someone had put a pin through his lips so that they stayed in that position by force. “Separation always causes pain, doesn't it?”

    “Pain...?” Luc asked, but it was more as if he was just repeating what he had heard and had to word it with his own mouth to feel how real it was.

    “Do you feel it, too?” Léon asked with that crucified smile. For a moment, their eyes were connecting differently. “Do you want to leave here, Luc?”

    Luc had a shiver rumble down his back. “And go where?” he asked almost breathlessly.

    “Somewhere far from here or Paris. Somewhere where you don't have to worry about politics or people hurting you.”

    “I've tried that already.” It was Luc's turn to sport an artificial smile. There was a short sigh through that crescent mouth. “I've run away several times. Sometimes I've been sent away. But it's the same, Léon. Anywhere I go: I'd just rather go back and then when I find myself in the same situation all I want to do is run away. Because both options are the same... I'm just... I'm just...” Luc trailed off while he looked at Léon.

    “I understand,” Léon said.

    A small moment passed. “So you... feel like that too, Léon?” Luc asked almost like a whisper.

    “Yes,” was the brief response.

    Luc stared at Léon and studied that face in the sheen of the new day. There was something about the neutral gaze that wasn't there the first few times they had met each other. It was somehow uncomfortable as if smiles were no longer permitted. But it was not some kind of threatening gaze. For some reason, Luc was afraid.

    Luc stared for a moment at Léon who had long discarded the painful grin. Watching those eyes, Luc could almost see his own reflection in those opposing eyes. His eyebrows trembled slightly. He felt like he wanted to collapse, but instead he stood up from his seat. “I'll get us some more to drink...” he was saying as he reached out for the far off counter. It was like he was moving through water. The edge of his hand waved about in the air as if he was half blind. Before he knew it, he was in Léon's arms.

    He wasn't sure if he had been grabbed or if he had fallen, though he did feel that his legs were a bit slack underneath him. Léon's arms supported him upward and all he could see in the drowsy trance that overtook him was that handsome face hovering above him and the faint beauty mark on that cheek that even powder could not fully eclipse.

    For a moment, like in a blur, he could feel Léon's face moving closer. He was losing focus. He gripped tightly those arms that held him up. He watched that face above him staring at him for a few seconds. Léon's face descended an inch and for some reason Luc shut his eyes and his fingers curled into tense fists, catching a clump of Léon's garments.

    Léon's lips moved downward, but stopped a few inches. When Luc opened his eyes, he found himself back in his seat, but he was still breathing as fast as just a few seconds ago. He didn't know if he had fainted and had only dreamt the last part. He looked upward to see Léon walking away from him. Walking away into the hall.
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  3. #103
    Cisár všetkých Slovákov demokratickid's Avatar
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    The opening letter to Elly was brilliant, I must say. Nice work, sir!
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  4. #104
    In Hiding dinofs's Avatar
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    Hah hah, what a letter! XD An interesting update, to be sure. I can't wait for the next one!
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  5. #105
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Letter brilliant, middle fantastic, end scary.

  6. #106
    Þeoden Woody Man's Avatar
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    Heh that was a fun letter,

    Though, I do wonder whether Luc will let himself not be talked to.
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  7. #107
    Patron Saint of Suenik Iain Wilson's Avatar
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    Finally caught up.

    Very good and well written as always.
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  8. #108
    saw what you did there Davout's Avatar
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    Okay, that is a little blacker than I like my arts. The letter was interesting although I think it is a bit of a stretch to say that kissing on the first date leads to the Marquis de Sade.

    I like Gregoire as Leon's (reformed) conscience. However, I sometimes despair that Leon can be clinically objective and logical sometimes and then blindly ignore the same advice the next moment.

    The Wednesday deadline intrigues me. I can't wait for more.
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  9. #109
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demokratickid View Post
    The opening letter to Elly was brilliant, I must say. Nice work, sir!
    Thank you very much Glad you thought so !

    Quote Originally Posted by dinofs View Post
    Hah hah, what a letter! XD An interesting update, to be sure. I can't wait for the next one!
    I was hoping that letter would turn some heads XD Thank you , sir for your patronage !

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Letter brilliant, middle fantastic, end scary.
    Haha thank you ! This one was a fun one to right .

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Man View Post
    Heh that was a fun letter,

    Though, I do wonder whether Luc will let himself not be talked to.
    That's a very good question . For the most part the audience (in my judgment) is focusing on Léon and his plan . It's easy for me or perhaps someone else to forget that Luc is his own person . And as such he can't be easily predicted .

    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Wilson View Post
    Finally caught up.

    Very good and well written as always.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davout View Post
    Okay, that is a little blacker than I like my arts. The letter was interesting although I think it is a bit of a stretch to say that kissing on the first date leads to the Marquis de Sade.

    I like Gregoire as Leon's (reformed) conscience. However, I sometimes despair that Leon can be clinically objective and logical sometimes and then blindly ignore the same advice the next moment.

    The Wednesday deadline intrigues me. I can't wait for more.
    haha and by 'arts' you mean what exactly ? XD If you're french aristocracy , kissing on the first date is rarely where it stops , am I right or am I right ? XD . Gregoire is actually based off of an actual priest I know . We'll see a bit more of him later . And how many of us when faced with objective truths don't just use them as convenient ideals to hide behind ? You are absolutely correct that he can be clinical , but I have always maintained that if a truth is to be acted upon , it requires a human touch : it requires something more than just hard dogma . Otherwise why follow it if we don't see it being lived ?

    We'll see the Wednesday deadline soon enough ! Thank you for the well thought out comment I'm very flattered !
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  10. #110
    Tzar of all the Soviets RGB's Avatar
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    The absolute best thing about strawmen is that they're dreadfully accomodating opponents, and the second best thing is when one fights them one can pretend one is actually dealing with true adversaries.

    When I said Leon should follow his own advice - well, I take it back. Leon should just cease with advice altogether, but being one of the chattering classes he naturally has no humility or perspective so he probably will not.

    A fascinating portrait, all in all.
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  11. #111
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGB View Post
    The absolute best thing about strawmen is that they're dreadfully accomodating opponents, and the second best thing is when one fights them one can pretend one is actually dealing with true adversaries.

    When I said Leon should follow his own advice - well, I take it back. Leon should just cease with advice altogether, but being one of the chattering classes he naturally has no humility or perspective so he probably will not.

    A fascinating portrait, all in all.
    Léon's advice to Elly is perhaps one of those thematic elements . You have to ask yourself . Does he really love Elly if he's giving her all of this advice ? If he does , is he really showing it in the right way ?
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  12. #112
    Eurogeddon Developer Terminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canonized View Post
    Is that John Malkovich in the center ?
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  13. #113
    Cisár všetkých Slovákov demokratickid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    Is that John Malkovich in the center ?
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094947/

    I'd say so...
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  14. #114
    Only human Najs's Avatar
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    That was a very.. direct letter.

    Also, it would seem that the sexual deviations that Leon writes about applies to him most of all.

  15. #115
    Eurogeddon Developer Terminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demokratickid View Post
    I'd say so...
    Looks so young in that poster
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    Cisár všetkých Slovákov demokratickid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    Looks so young in that poster
    Well it was from '88, so that would make him mid-30s at that time... I think haha
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  17. #117
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    Leon's letter was great writing, to echo other comments. It was sharp and biting... a confession that shows the hollowness he feels in his soul, without any of the cathartic release he needs...
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  18. #118
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    Is that John Malkovich in the center ?
    Quote Originally Posted by demokratickid View Post
    Yep it's from the great excellent and wonderful movie ! That's also glenn close and michelle pfeiffer .

    Quote Originally Posted by Najs View Post
    That was a very.. direct letter.

    Also, it would seem that the sexual deviations that Leon writes about applies to him most of all.
    Everyone's human after all , right ? The more he talks , the more he reveals his own judgments borne of his own sub-conscious insecurities and anxieties . Not to mention neuroses haha .

    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    Looks so young in that poster
    Quote Originally Posted by demokratickid View Post
    Well it was from '88, so that would make him mid-30s at that time... I think haha
    Indeed !

    Quote Originally Posted by General_BT View Post
    Leon's letter was great writing, to echo other comments. It was sharp and biting... a confession that shows the hollowness he feels in his soul, without any of the cathartic release he needs...
    Thank you ! I put a lot of push into this letter ! Thank you for the well thought out comment !
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  19. #119
    saw what you did there Davout's Avatar
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  20. #120
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davout View Post
    I prefer SMG in Cruel Intentions over Glenn Close but only because it fulfills my Buffy slashfic fantasies.
    haha I love SMG and I love calling her by SMG . A friend and I used to do that when we watched her things . But I do prefer the older version . It had much better acting and a much more compelling execution if you ask me . The way we actually could feel bad for Glenn Close's character I thought was a masterstroke .

    Also sorry for the absence ! My muse has been in Tokyo the past two weeks not to mention I had TWO weddings to attend . You could imagine how lonely that's been haha . Aside from that , I'll be back in the saddle tomorrow !
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