Categories > Movies > Labyrinth > 3,564 Clappers Later

One of Us, part 1

by shadowlurker13 0 reviews

settling into a new life... with an entirely new problem

Category: Labyrinth - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Romance - Published: 2017-07-22 - 5594 words - Complete

Chapter 25 - One of Us
Sarah awoke slowly the next morning as if from a dream. She felt… older somehow, more composed, more centered, more… alive. She practically glowed with life, with vitality. She was still herself. It was just …different, she couldn’t quite find the proper words to describe the thing. She looked to her left. Jareth was still asleep and she was wrapped in his strong, lithe arms. She loved how he looked when he slept. No one would ever guess how unruly and passionately emotional this beautiful creature was when he was awake from seeing him asleep. She had no idea what he dreamed of…or if he dreamed at all; it suddenly occurred to her that she had never thought to ask! But whatever was going on in his head, there was a gentle smile gracing his mouth. She couldn’t bring herself to wake him; he just looked too happy like that. She simply enjoyed his somnolent embrace for a few more minutes before she finally decided to get up. They were in the same room as the night before. Very carefully she began to ease out from under his arms…only to find herself being held lock-tight. Surprised, she looked over her shoulder. He was grinning with his eyes still closed.

“And where do you think you are going?” he asked playfully.

“The bathroom. There is one, right?”

He reluctantly sat up with a sigh, not letting go of her to her amusement. In half a second they were clothed once more; she was wearing the cotton nightgown from the previous evening. Swinging her around the side of the bed easily, he scooped her up under her arms in a bear hug and got up, walking out of the room with her and down the hall as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Sarah rolled her eyes.

“I have legs; I can follow you, you know. You don’t have to keep-”

He silenced her with a kiss, making her melt in his arms.

“You also have bare feet. These stone floors are cold in the morning. Almost there.”

He mounted a narrow, circular stairway that screwed upwards a flight and came to a door which opened automatically to allow them entrance. Sarah was seeing everywhere they were going in reverse because she was facing the wrong way but from the dark and gaudy decor inside this room it was obviously his private suite. Their private suite, she thought with a happy little thrill, hugging him. He finally set her on her feet on a thick, black rug just past the huge mahogany and crimson bed. She turned around and was surprised to find a very understated, plain, hollow door that could’ve been right out of her apartment!

“Just through there,” he pointed with a little smile, crossing his fingers behind his back. Please let her like it, Please let her like it!

Sarah opened the door… and stepped into a room so opulent it should’ve been in a five-star spa! If the room without was all dark, this room was all light: four gold-veined quartz columns stood in the corners and white marble floor gleamed with light from a large, clear skylight above. There were climbing orchids and vines supported by white trellis along the walls. Unlit bronze sconces were stationed at intervals along the periphery of the room. A sizable gilded vanity stood to the right against the wall, replete with a scrolled stool and already completely stocked with lots of jewelry and what she took to be a little bit of makeup and perfume; it all looked very old-world. The towel and robe stand was to the left. Everything was pure white.

The room seemed to be separated into two areas by a large floor-to-ceiling white damask curtain. Amazed, she walked farther into the room and drew it aside. It hid a glass sink with a mirror cabinet which, upon inspection, was also stocked; both pieces were shaped like halves of the same clamshell. To the right corner there was a bathtub big enough to be a jacuzzi and beside it a separate glass room with what appeared to be a shower of sorts - the copper pipes were obviously but neatly welded and holes of various sizes were hand-drilled into the ‘head.’ There was another door off to the left. She opened it and found an old-looking but clean porcelain loo, with the tank on top and a pull cord. She noted wryly that the room had no exterior light; rather, a single crystal was perched on another sconce, giving off enough light to act as a light bulb. And, thank God, there was toilet paper. She did her business and went to investigate the bathtub. In spite of its ostentatiousness it looked regular enough functionally-speaking. Standing on the rim were a few sand-glass bottles with rough-pressed parchment labels, written on with quill pen. One said simply Hair Soap. The others only had scents: Rose, Lavender, Garden Herb, and Spiced Musk. Given the pristine perfection of everything else in the room, she suddenly realized that none of these things were necessities for a sidhe, especially the soap - that was a human need. All of these supplies were from the human colony! He had gotten all of this for her. She took out the glass stoppers and sniffed each. Choosing the musk to try first, she turned on the water and ran a little in; it foamed up reassuringly. She plugged the tub and turned on the water full-power until it was a veritable waterfall, pouring in a bit more. And had a fantastic idea, slowly smiling.

Bet he’s never done it like this…

She went back to the bedroom where Jareth was sitting on the bed, watching for the door to open. Upon seeing her he got up and walked over.

“Well? Will it do? Did I forget anything?”

Her reply was a long kiss as she dragged him back in with her and locked the door.


A couple well-sated and very clean hours later, they went down to the kitchen and after they ate brunch he magically ordered in a tailor from the High City to come in first thing and make Sarah a gown for the occasion of her coronation. In under half a breath the man was there and Jareth explained that he wanted a formal dress made for Sarah on the spot with soft shoes to match. She couldn’t believe he was giving out orders like this but the way the tailor reacted it seemed like this was standard protocol. No doubt the sidhe quickly realized that she was human because upon coming closer to measure her he seemed to do a double-take, staring her up and down, and was a bit apprehensive about the work until the Goblin King doubled the price for his labor, at which point the man had no further objections. He popped in and out of the room numerous times gathering materials but soon he had figured out the best color for her and in under fifteen minutes she was draped, fitted and holding the completed garments in her arms! The dress was splendid with long tapered sleeves and a low v-ed waist with gilded trimmings all over, lavish enough for a queen and matching the hue of her green eyes perfectly. Two minutes later, after Jareth inspected them carefully to ensure there were absolutely no flaws, the tailor was paid a purse of gold and was on his way. Jareth apologized about the thin temporary shoes, explaining that the cobbler wasn’t anywhere near as quick because shoes were much more permanent than the rest of the clothing people wore there. Her own clothing had apparently not survived the journey as successfully as she had.

Later that day after she’d been shown the rest of the castle, the order was sent out from the Goblin King that all of his subjects were to gather in the city square outside the palace gates for the coronation of their queen. Sarah had only seen such a motley throng once before and she had had to stifle the smallest bit of apprehension at seeing the massed goblin horde once again but she reminded herself that she was at the advantage this time. Jareth had warned her before they stepped out onto the small balcony that she had developed into something of a folk hero for a good number of them for successfully leading a riot against their own monarch (anarchy was always held in high esteem) but among others she was feared even more than the Goblin King himself. It was this image that he wanted her to project. Naturally, she would have none of it.

“But, darling, do you honestly want them to run all over you? They will if you give them so much as a single hint of weakness,” he had said to her earlier that morning.

“I’m not going to pretend to be a tyrant! I’ll be a disciplinarian but I don’t want people to actually be afraid of me. I want them to obey me because they like me.”

He had sighed and pleaded with her and tried to argue his point but all to no avail. At last he resigned himself to the fact that she would simply have to learn the hard way and all had been pleasantness and excitement from that moment on to now. All eyes were fixed expectantly upward towards them as he addressed the crowd from his balcony. Her breath almost caught as she glanced at him in passing with a touch of pride. He really looked the part.

“My loyal subjects…and all the other ruffians living within my walls,” his gaze flickered out accusingly, “today I present you with your queen.” And at this he took off his amulet and cupped it in both hands. It separated into two, the second only a bit smaller and gold-on-silver instead of silver-on-gold, and held them both high for the crowd to see. He made her stand in front of him and made a show of placing the new amulet around her neck before returning his own to its rightful place and raising her right hand clasped in his left. “Long live Queen Sarah!” he loudly pronounced and the crowd took up the chant for a while but they soon broke down into their regular disorder and an impromptu keg party commenced with streamers flying. She watched them, amused, as Jareth dragged a hand across his eyes. No one was paying either of them the slightest bit of attention now. “That’s as good as it’s going to get, love,” he sighed. “You had their full attention for all of three minutes; that has to be a record.”

“Not if I can help it,” Sarah muttered under her breath with a growing smile and before he could stop her she had darted out of the room like a flash, faster than she ever thought she could run, down two flights of stairs and out the front gates of the castle… All activity stopped instantly as everyone gaped at her. A few attempted to bow or get on their knees. Jareth held his breath as she calmly descended the stairs with a regal grace worthy of her new title. “Hello,” she addressed them gently. Jareth was flabbergasted to see the crowd part for her to let her walk among them. They wouldn’t even do that for him! “I have gotten to know a few of you but I am looking forward to meeting you all. I hope I can earn your respect and trust by proving myself trustworthy and respectful. As long as everyone upholds the rules around here, we’ll get along just fine.”

A shocked gasp went through the throng at the last comment and it took her a bit by surprise. She looked up at the balcony for Jareth but he had vanished - her eyes settled on him lounging in the doorframe at the top of the stairs.

“They’ve never been too keen on that,” he said offhandedly. “Petty disobedience is the official sport of the realm. You sound like a worse tyrant than me,” he smiled teasingly.

“But I thought you said-”

“Forget what I said!” he whispered through his teeth. “It’s all about show!”

Oh… She was quickly saved from her awkward situation by a bustle toward the edge of the crowd and presently Sir Didymus forced his way through to her.

“My lady Sarah! Can it truly be thee?”

“Sir Didymus! It’s so good to see you again! How have you been?”

“Quite well, my lady…oh forgive me - your Majesty,” he corrected himself promptly with a twinkle in his good eye, dropping to one knee to kiss the back of her hand. And stayed there. With a jolt, Sarah suddenly realized what was wrong.

“You may rise, Sir Knight.” He did instantly with a little smile. She was still learning. “Where are the others?”

His voice lowered a bit, concernedly glancing behind her at the king, who was still quietly watching the proceedings like a bird of prey.

“What? You mean…here? Now?”

“What better time than my own coronation party?” she laughed, deliberately ignoring the general tension in the air. This would never do. Upon seeing that there was no imminent threat, the throng started to slowly pass around the tankards again and talk amongst themselves.

“I’s here, missy.” Hoggle, who had been hiding behind the Prime Minister trying to be inconspicuous, now stepped forward, keeping an eye on Jareth and not daring to smile until Sarah embraced him. “Wouldn’t be here if it weren’t fer you,” he whispered gratefully in her ear, pulling away.

“Glad you’re okay. Now where’s…?”

A very large finger slowly tapped her shoulder twice and she whipped around and hugged the enormous ginger beast it belonged to. Didymus beamed.

“I have been teaching my brother the art of stealth. None of these ruffians has been able to catch him since we saw you last!”

Ludo pulled back to look at her, uncertainty slowly forming in his large, brown eyes.

“Sarah…queen. Queen…friend?”

“Don’t worry, I’ll always be your friend, Ludo,” she smiled, standing on tiptoe to shoof his shaggy head and scratch behind his ears. It was then that she heard a shout in a distinct Brooklyn accent.

“Hey, Queenie-lady! You still owe us a game!”

“Ye-ah, dat right!”

“Come on, y’all!”

Sarah felt a prickle of fear for a moment, turning to see a half-dozen Fireys cavorting towards her with their wild, gaping coyote smiles, chasing each other over the horde to get down front. One of them took off his own head and started to dribble it like a basketball. In a moment of sheer brilliance the answer came to her. That’s it!

Jareth watched nervously from the doorway as they approached her. Soon he would have to intervene. To his surprise and bafflement she produced a crystal and made it get larger and larger until it was a bright orange ball with a few black stripes. The Fireys had all stopped to watch her. She dribbled it a couple of times to make sure it worked then passed it to the Firey who had been dribbling his head. He caught it with his free hand, balancing his head in the other, looking at it quizzically.

“Hey, this ain’t ya head!”

“Nope,” Sarah replied. “Where I come from, we play that game with this. It’s called a basketball. Want to see?”


“Then pass it back over here!” The ball flew over her head but Ludo reached up and caught it easily in his large, hand-like paws. “Good catch, Ludo! Can you bounce it like I was? That’s called dribbling.”

The beast looked at the ball for a moment then started bouncing it low to the ground, his brow knit in concentration. “…dribbling…” he tried out the new word quietly.

“Good job. Didymus, are you up to this? We need to form a team to play; the Fireys can already act as one.”

“If my lady wishes a bit of exercise,” he said with a flourish, putting his quarterstaff aside.


“…oh, alright missy, but don’t be expectin’ these old legs to run.”

“Of course not. As long as you can pass, we’re good.”

The crowd was starting to watch with wonder as their new queen easily conversed and dealt with these wild, unpredictable creatures from the forest who most of them, while still triple-threat troublemakers and darn proud of it, would’ve seriously thought twice before even approaching let alone conversing with one; unlike goblins, Fireys were elementals and, therefore, dangerous without even realizing it.

“Queenie-lady, why’s it called a basketball when there ain’t no basket?”

“Oh, I forgot! We need a basket with a hole in the bottom big enough for the ball to fall through.”

Naturally, the Fireys, who had absolutely no sense at all, began looking in ridiculous places, even in the air, calling ‘basket!’ as if it would come like a dog and Sarah’s friends weren’t doing much better considering that basket-weaving was not high on the list of priorities in the Goblin City. The goblins were still watching the spectacle but mostly just drinking. It looked, from the way that one of them was shaking one of the small barrels of ale, that they had just emptied it.

Perfect! Sarah pointed at it and a couple of nearby goblins pointed at each other as if they had just become targets. “Hey, guys! That’ll work!” She walked over to the keg and the two goblins darted behind it, shaking. She deliberately chose to ignore their fear. “If this barrel is empty, can I use it?” They both nodded. “Thank you,” she smiled, picking it up easily and walking back over to the others. In passing, she noticed Jareth was watching her with a wry smirk. “Want to do something other than stand there?”

“It seems that you have everything in hand already. What in the world are you doing?”

“You’ll see,” she flirted back, reaching the small group. With Hoggle’s help she removed the spigot and Ludo quickly punched out the top and bottom lids. She made two more crystals and willed them to stick to the back of the barrel and with the help of the naturally acrobatic Fireys they stuck it to the castle wall. She picked back up the ball, dribbled it a couple of times and took a shot. It went into the barrel, fell cleanly out of the other end, bounced, and one of the Fireys caught it automatically.

“Who’s the referee?” he asked.

“You just volunteered.”

“Yes, ma’am!” he saluted, dropping the ball. But there were still five Fireys and only four on her team counting herself. She scanned the crowd but she couldn’t be sure if any of the goblins out there were smart enough to actually pick up on the game without seeing it played first. There was nothing for it. She turned back to Jareth.

“I need one more person for my team. Will you play with us?” There was near-silence as almost everyone held their breath - a couple of goblins were obliviously slapping each other toward the back of the crowd. Jareth looked out over his anticipant subjects and his waiting queen. Such a breach in protocol had never been enacted in the whole history of the kingdom. He considered himself fairly free and easy with his subjects as it was; most sidhe wouldn’t even acknowledge such creatures, let alone talk to them, but Sarah was taking this casualness to a whole new level. What would they do if he said yes? Would any modicum of respect be left him? “Come on, Jareth, it’s only a game,” she quietly entreated. He sighed deeply with the beginnings of a playful, dangerous smirk. There was an audible collective inhale as Jareth stepped down out of the shadows from his chosen perch and purposely strode over to the gathered company. There were a few automatic bows.

“It is an honor, sire,” Sir Didymus bowed nobly. Jareth leaned in close to Sarah.

“Don’t make a habit of this, love.”

“Of course. You have your reputation to maintain,” she teased him haughtily.

“Our reputation, darling.”

“Oh fine, be that way.”

There was a little smile on Hoggle’s face as he watched in disbelief as they play-bickered; they were soft on each other! With a glance from His Majesty, however, it instantly dropped off his face. Jareth was still every inch the imposing Goblin King.

“Okay, boys,” Sarah intervened, “the object of the game is for the team you’re on to get the ball through the barrel the most times and to try to keep the other team from doing so. And let’s keep his clean - no fighting, no biting, and,” she looked pointedly at Jareth, “no magic.”

He rolled his eyes. “Why do you always insist on doing everything the hard way? Ah, well; as Her Majesty states, it is only a game,” he smiled fiendishly, glancing over all of them

“It had better be,” she murmured under her breath at him.

‘But a good bogging is always useful for keeping up the horde’s morale!’ she heard him protest clearly in her head.

‘Not this time,’ she shot back.

And so began the first game of basketball in the history of the Underground - or, rather, barrelball as the game was instantly rechristened by the spectating crowd. The play lasted for several minutes and the Fireys, who picked up on the nuances of the game almost instinctively, were clearly at the advantage, swiftly dodging, passing, and making all their shots look easy, cackling and hollering at each other the whole time. In stark contrast, all the plays on Sarah’s side had to be carefully strategize and coordinated to work. True to his word, Hoggle was no good at running but he was good at faking and quickly getting the ball to someone else who could. Didymus still had leg muscles like rubber and could bounce with the best of the Fireys. Sarah and Jareth were all speed and finesse but Jareth was more cunning and could find ways to slip through the defense much more easily than she could. Ludo was a line of defense all by himself; with his enormous girth and height he acted more like a goalie. Between the lot of them all the players had managed to score at least once, even Hoggle, who had made a couple of successful longshots from way in the back. Everyone, that is, except Ludo. The gentle giant was simply too lumbering and slow on the offensive and the Fireys easily picked the ball off him more often than not. It was obvious that he was getting frustrated because he was starting to get a little aggressive and a low growl was starting to form in the back of his throat.

“Sir Ludo!” Didymus reprimanded him. “Where is thy knightly valor? I have faith in thee - here!” And with that he deftly knocked the ball out of long Firey fingers and quickly passed it to the yeti. “Whatever happens, don’t let go!” Ludo tightened his grip on the ball and simply powered his way through the entire defense, shaking off Fireys left and right until he came up to the wall. Sarah held her breath as he crouched down low and gathered his strength. With a roar of exertion he took a mighty leap up to the top of the barrel and neatly deposited the ball.

“YEAH!” he yelled in triumph, hanging from the barrel rim with one hand and pumping up on it like a gorilla as the crowd went wild.

Well, we can’t top that, Sarah thought with a smile as he let go and dropped to his feet to be congratulated by all the players; it was really something to see. She looked over to Jareth - only to see him looking a bit ashen and much more winded than he should’ve been from such simple physical exercise. He was too proud to admit to any weakness; he should’ve said something to her before. Fortunately, at the moment everyone was so distracted by the other game players that he was barely even noticed. Sarah made a quick executive decision. “His Majesty and I will be going back in but anyone who wants to play is welcome to do so. I look forward to your future cooperation,” she graciously smiled as linked arms with Jareth and they strode regally back into the castle. Once inside she quickly shut the doors and bolted them.

“J, why didn’t you tell me you were sick?! What’s wrong?”

He sighed heavily, leaning weakly against a wall for support. “I was hoping that I could stave this off until after our honeymoon, love.”

And then she understood: he needed to feed. Now. He winced in pain, perceptibly gritting his teeth, rubbing his temples as if they hurt. She felt terrible - he was doing this to himself because of her. She started to go to him but he put up a hand as if to fend her off.

“Stay back!”

She jumped; the look in his eyes was so predatory that it actually frightened her.

“Quick, go to my office and get the power staff.”

“But I’ll die if I touch it!”

“You might die if you don’t! You’re connected to me now so it shouldn’t hurt you. RUN!”

Sarah didn’t have to be told twice - adrenaline and epinephrine had flooded her veins and she was running like the prey she suddenly knew she was.

How is this ever supposed to work? she sobbed. Rounding a corner, she reached the office and tore inside, racing to the locked glass cabinet on the far side of the wall. It opened automatically for her as if it recognized her authorization and she very gingerly took hold of the staff. Tingles like little sparks of electricity ran up her arms and all through her body. She could feel its presence in her mind as if it was almost conscious and it made her uneasy. She swallowed hard and exited the room with it clenched in both hands - it felt worse just holding it in one - only to see Jareth slowly mounting the staircase.

“Go on ahead to our room, darling,” he said icily.


“Do it,” he said a bit more gently. Blinking back tears, she did as he bade, having absolutely no clue what was to happen. She ran in and got to the far edge of the room as he entered. The door closed with an ominous, resounding thud. He stalked to the opposite side of the bed and stopped.

“Do I have to hold this thing? I don’t like how it feels,” Sarah shuddered.

“Yes, because you have to be able to defend yourself.”

“Excuse me?”

“I don’t exactly trust myself right now. Survival instinct is a hard thing to consciously override when one is pushed this far to the edge and it currently has me by the balls.”

Sarah inched further away. “So…what in the world are we supposed to do?” she laughed nervously. “I mean, I don’t even know how to use this thing!”

“What is the first thing that comes to your mind holding this staff?” His eyes held hers with their old familiar power, now rendered infinitely dangerous, but the magical humming in her head kept him from truly taking hold.

“A staff.”

“Oh come now, dear, use your imagination. If it could do anything, what would it do?” he crooned silkily. Sarah thought. She brought it up to eye-level and stared at the sigils that had been glowing an eerie green ever since she picked it up, unlike the pure light it shone with when Jareth used it. It was starting to feel a little hot to the touch.

“Flamethrower?” she ventured.


She closed her eyes. “Green fire. Shooting out of the end.”

“Do it.”


“All you have to do is believe that you can. Now, light it up.”

“What - in here?”

“The middle of the room will suffice.”

“Okay…” Sarah walked to the center of the large bedroom, incredulous of what she was about to do. Aiming away from the bed she closed her eyes and felt the whispering of the runes in her blood. She mentally made it crescendo until it felt like something ready to explode. All-of-a-sudden with a kick the end of the staff spat green fire ten feet in front of her and she gave a little yelp in surprise, eyes wide as acrid smoke plumed from the end like a rifle that had just been fired.

“Not bad,” Jareth nodded with a grim smile. “That would certainly make me think twice. Now then…” He formed a communication crystal and talked to someone about what sounded oddly like scheduling an appointment. The crystal vanished. “There, it’s all arranged. I leave at midnight.”

“Where are you going? And why so late?”

He started walking toward her and she quickly got back on the other side of the bed.

“The High City has a feeding clinic on the edge of town that serves as a training facility for all newly-vampyric Leanaan Sidhe. I told you the first time is supervised. This is where one goes. Midnight is when dark magic like this is strongest. Besides, I have to wait for those little buggers outside to pass out; I’ll not have you saddled with them so quickly,” he said with a wry smile. “In the meantime it would behoove you to keep me in sight for your own safety. I suppose we can get the cobbler over here; goodness knows there’s time to kill.”

“Aren’t you worried about people seeing you like this?”

“Not really. It’s common knowledge that I’ve been staving this off ever since I returned and now the situation will be amended. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Another communication brought over the cobbler and while he seemed genuinely concerned about Jareth’s current state he made three-dimensional copies of Sarah’s feet and took an order for a few different styles of shoes (including one for high men’s boots that earned her quite a look of disapproval to Jareth’s obvious amusement.) The sun went down and Jareth magicked upstairs a quick dinner for her, stating that he had to fast. As they sat there in silent standoff, Sarah was mulling over the course of events of that afternoon. Clearly there was quite a bit about the species that she still knew absolutely nothing about. But there was a way to find out.

“Can I go with you?”

Jareth looked surprised. “Whatever for, dear?”

“If I’m actually marrying you, I think I have the right to know what I’m getting myself into.”

Jareth sighed sadly. “I promised I would never hurt you. I would rather that you hurt me! Why else would I arm you with my best weapon?”

“I know, I just…it’s just that there’s so much that I feel like I don’t know…and…”

He gravely nodded. “I understand. You will come. I’m sure they can accommodate a spectator.”

The hours seemed to drag but at last it was the witching hour and as the clock on the mantle chimed thirteen an escort of four well-built sidhe men appeared in the room. They were black-haired, with it cut relatively short for Underground standards - well above the shoulder - and all wore black, which was certainly nothing new, but it looked much more like a uniform. All had different-colored marks on their faces and Sarah did her best not to stare. Curious glances grazed Sarah in return but it was obvious who the patient was. Two of them took Jareth by the arms to support him but before they could transport he piped up. “She’s coming with us.”

Eyebrows shot up at that request.

“Surely you don’t mean to use her! They’ve scheduled you two of our best starters!”

“She desires to witness the proceedings and I am granting her request.”

They looked a bit puzzled but nevertheless motioned for her to join them.

“Leave that staff here,” one of them said haughtily to Sarah, “you won’t be needing it anymore tonight.”

With a look of approval from Jareth she gratefully put it down on the bed, doing a full body shiver before joining their group as she felt it withdraw from her mind. There were a few coldly amused smiles but they said nothing as one of them stepped behind her and firmly put his arms around her waist to secure her. In a flash they were gone - she could sense the others around her, her precious golden light to her left, as these strange stars sped through time and space to their destination.
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