Combat 101

Xanadu Weyr - Training Field
As the coastal road leaves the Weyr proper, it hugs the cliffs overlooking the Sea of Azov while skirting the perimeter of the large, treeless, dwelling-free field here. It appears this is a multi-purpose area with the grass rough-cut and trampled by man and dragon alike. At one end there are several wood-frame, straw dummies used for flaming practice, on another, a jumble of movable objects that look suspiciously like obstacles and targets.

The road continues on toward the south, finally turning inland towards the rolling hills that form the highlands that lie between Xanadu and the open plains. Passing through Ressac Sea Hold, it encircles the Sea of Azov eventually curving back in a northerly direction linking Black Rock Hold with Hannista Hold and Rubicon River Hold.

There’s plenty of bustle going on about Xanadu this summer! The runner race was a success..sort of. That explosion surely was the source of many a rumor. And the springs going dry? It’s a mystery! It couldn’t be a prank, could it? Did someone really bring a runner in there and the water had to be drained somehow? Just what are those Galaxy riders protecting out at the explosion site? So many questions. So many answers to find! But despite all of that, things must continue rolling as normal. Weyrlings are still here to be trained in certain areas, and Ka'el found himself staring at a booked day on his already booked calendar. Ah, he did agree to give a few hours of his day, didn’t he? And thus, the Weyrleader is found out on the training field this superwarm summer day, dressed in light and loose clothing with a blunt-ended staff in hand. There’s someone, a senior weyrling likely, considering his knot, who is setting out different, seemingly random items, most of which look relevant to volleyball. Kneepads. Elbowpads. Headpads? Something like that.

K'nid is here. Actually, he was here early, and so he went out for a jog along the road and now he's here again. This time, he's here when there are other people here, so he sticks around, bouncing a little from foot to foot as he settles down. At least he's definitely warmed up! He glances around for other arrivals, then looks to Ka'el. Staff-twirling Ka'el the staffer who proooobably knows all sorts of things. Things K'nid would love to ask! But for the moment, he hesitates.

After an unfortunate incedent of blistered shoulders from carrying very heavy back satchels, Kera learned to wear a thick tshirt, even if is overly warm. After her third lap jogging next to a lumbering Moncerath, who waddles along awkwardly, Kera slows to a panting stop. Bracing hands on knees, the greenling healer huffs and puffs trying to catch her breath. Reaching out quickly, she catches her balance against her dragonmate and glances around the field. Deciding that three laps is enough, the weighted pack is shrugged out of dropped to the ground. Managing to catch her breath some more attention is paid to what's actually happening further along the field. Squinting and shading her eyes with an extended hand, the other gives Moncerath an affectionate pat. Reluctantly, she grabs one of the pack straps and halg drags carries it along behind her while the young green settles out where she is to watch the proceedings. As Kera approaches, she gives salutes and polite greetings all around. "G'afternoon sir….hi guys." Using the pack as a portable seat, she plops down on it to finish resting after her run. Eyeing the Weyrleader then her fellow weyrling fidgeting with stuff, she stretches her legs out in front of her, "Is this some sort of demonstration?" This to K'nid when he finishes setting things out.

Kiena is a little late but she had a few things to wrap up and settle before slipping away and isn't that how it always goes? It should only take a moment and yet it takes far longer than it aught too! But the Weyrsecond is there, albeit a bit rushed. She's dressed in lighter clothing too, mostly due to the summer weather and not having yet required to fly anywhere and there's even been an attempt to braid her hair back though already some of it is unravelling. "Afternoon!" she greets the assembled group, eyes darting from Ka'el, to K'nid and then Kera and a quick salute follows along with a half-grin. "Not too late, am I?" Did she miss the "fun"?

Weyrlings are coming. Good. Ka’el didn’t think they wouldn’t. It’s a lesson, and these things are kind of required! He smirks a little, continuing to twirl that staff of his in an idle motion until he notices K’nid’s eyes on his movement. Having an audience always is cause for things to become a little flashier. That idle twirl quickens to a more purposeful pace, still one-handed while his eyes wander to the congregated faces. Good enough. He grips the staff, halting its spin to hold in his hand and jut towards Kera. He’s far enough that the motion isn’t at all threatening, no chance of hitting her unless she lurches herself towards him. “Probably not the best of ideas to tire yourself out before a spar,” he says before righting the staff and pressing the end of it into the ground. He glances to Kiena and grin, head shaking. “Never late, Kiena. You’re the start of the show, always.” His grin broadens, then he addresses the little Weyrling class (whether they knew they were in class or not!). “Welcome to Combat!” he announces, voice elevated to be heard, though an elevated Weyrleader’s voice is enough to quiet the hushed murmuring of others that he doesn’t have to elevate it toomuch. “In most, if not all, areas that you could be tapped into at Graduation, you’ll require some amount of training in simple combat. That begins here. Suit up,” a gesture to the padding and stuff, “and while you do, can anyone tell us why combat training would be important to a rider in any wing?”

Resting? What's that? K'nid's bouncing with anticipation as he waits. And watches. Wow. Such spinning! That's impressive enough to make him stop bouncing and just stand there, watching. "I dunno," he says, and then glances aside to… whoa. The Weyrsecond, too. "It must be something formal." Because why else would they have not one but two important people? Surely not because important people have lives outside their desks. Nope! A… spar? He blinks to Ka'el. "Or maybe…" it's not. But what else could it be? He'll find out as soon as he hushes up and listens to the official announcement of officialness. Which he does! He bounces (once), then pauses on his way to the piles. "Because sometimes people get stabbed!" Truefact, and then he continues on to pick up some kneeplates.

Kera nods politely and waves to the Weyrsecond when she approaches. "G'afternoon ma'am." A little shrug is her reply to Kiena's question and she peers towards the bouncy greenling, otherwise known as K'nid. But Ka'el is soon booming out his vision of the imediate future, which makes Kera wince, then frowning gaze flicks from bronze rider, to K'nid, then back again at the mention of stabbing. Shaking her head, she calls out "I generally prefer to show up /after/ the stabbing bit, that's when I'm of better use sir." At the very least, don't make her go first "K'nid seems eager to get whfacked." A quick gesture to the fidgety greenling before Ka'el and Kiena get her attention again "And, aren't there rules against assulting weyrlings?" Or is Kera the only one to get formally charged with that? See? weyrling knot, can't assault the lil' bandeaid dudess. Right?

Kiena rolls her eyes and almost pulls a face, though she holds back at the last moment. Probably… not a good thing for the Weyrsecond to poke her tongue out at the Weyrleader just prior to a serious lesson! So a mock glare will suffice and that same half-smirk, half- grin. "Why thank you, Sir." she drawls sarcastically and noticing K'nid's sidelong glance she grins. Toothily. There's a snickered-laugh too for the choice of answer. "Sometimes stabbed?" Kiena is otherwise silent as she edges a little closer, eyeing the equipment set out for the Weyrlings. "Won't always work that way, Kera. Right, Ka'el?" There's a glance to the Weyrleader and then a hasty. "Sir." There's a grimace then, her lighthearted behavior rapidly turning serious. Was she to be a part of the lesson too or just an observer? "Wouldn't say this is assault but… necessary." In a way, at least in her mind. Again, she looks to Ka'el, curious on his answers.

Blue eyes swing to K'nid at his answer. "Among other things, yes. Sometimes," he says. "Stabbing is probably less likely than what we're going to prepare for, but yes. A main point to keep in mind is that conflict can come from any reason. A trivial thing to you may be the last straw for someone else. A late or lost package. A denied request. Less than composed visitors. Old prejudices." He glances to Kera, humor for now lacking. "Kiena is right," he agrees, nodding to the Weyrsecond, who indeed is as much a part of this lesson as he is! "It'd be a perfect world in which we could choose to always avoid conflict or arrive after conflict's ended. It happens, and you need to be prepared." As for rules. He smirks darkly. "I am the rules." Mwuahaha? "Less time trying to weasel your way out of this, more time spent getting ready. Remember, if anything happens to you, your lifemate suffers as well. Is that not enough reason for you to learn basic self-defense? Get your gear on," a point to all the protective wear, including headgear (hey, he's not going to be responsible for some Weyrling getting a concussion!) "and grab a stick." A gesture is made to a pugil stick. One of those supersized Q-tip looking things! "And listen up for the rules."

"…and we should stab back," K'nid answers Kiena's snicker. Because… well, it made sense to him? He does quiet down to listen to Ka'el, though, and nods for the serious answers. He straps on the kneepads he's picked up, then glances back to Kera. Assault? "Don't give 'em ideas," he mutters. "Or they'll be surprising us on the way home just to test what we've learned!" Which means they should actually learn this stuff, and so K'nid proceeds through strapping various bits of padding onto his body, then picks up a pugil stick. Aha! Now he's equipped just like Ka'el, so he tries a fancy swirl and… promptly drops it. "Oops," he says as it bounces away.

Kera smirks and gives one last stretch of her legs, then stands to include her shoulders and back, rubbing her arms while chuckling "Weaseling my way out. Oh no sir, simply stalling for another moment or two of rest is all." Looking K'nid over, the other greenling being all poofy and padded, smirking as he scolds her for giving ideas "Nah, doubt anyone will break my record." Crouching at the piles of assorted gear, and eyeing it wearily, she starts trying to peice together a less than fashionable outfit. Hearing K'nid's seeming eagerness to stab, Kera looks to him and Ka'el briefly before canting her head to Kiena, "I hope he doesn't end up stabbing himself with how bouncy and fidgety he is." Then she's going back to trying to get the helmet to stop falling forward and blinding her. Pushing it back just in time to see K'nid drop his padded stick. "No one's gonna be waiting to surprise us on the way back to the candidate barracks. Besides, you're ambushing yourself well enough on your own." The only thing missing would be if he tripped over the pugal.

"That… also depends on the situation?" Kiena's grin returns as she turns her attention back to K'nid. "Sometimes it's best to just go on the defensive. Which — could include stabbing. Or blocking. Or whatever it takes to get yourself out of it." she points out, only to trail back into silence while Ka'el speaks and nodding her head along in agreement. As for the failed fancy swirl, the Weyrsecond just snorts again. "May want to ease up on showin' off too." Oh, don't give them ideas, alright! Kiena would be the sort to figure out some way to spook a few Weyrlings, if she had the time and was certain it'd not end with the Weyr in an uproar and her backside in the fire for it. "If any of you some how stab yourself on these things? I'll be…" Amazed and shocked? Worried for their future? She just sighs instead towards Kera, "Won't happen. Whole point of all the padding!" No sharp edges. Bruising is a definite possibility though! Once the Weyrlings have all grabbed their gear and pugil, Kiena will wander over to grab her own and testing the balance of it in her hands. Been awhile, since the bluerider has done this! A long while.

Mwuahaha, ideas! You bet the Weyrling staff doesn't need any more ideas on how to tor-…uh, enhance the Weyrling experience! Ka'el just minorly smirks, though whether or not he actually heard K'nid is questionable. He waits while safety gear is put in place, bulky as it is. He walks from Weyrling to Weyrling to check the headgear, strapping it on securely to make sure it doesn't slip off, glancing off as K'nid's weapon is dropped. So eager! "Good. Good," he murmurs til he's made his rounds around them all, nodding to Kiena. "Alright then. Armed and ready! This is a practice of strength. The stronger you are, the better off you'll be in the off-chance of conflict. The stick in your hand is a practice weapon called a pugil. Get a feel for it. Give it a few swings. Then, pair up. You and you. You…and you. You.." Yeah, he'll learn their names when they're riders. Maybe. For now, he tries to partner up those with similar-ish physiques! "And Kera, you're with K'nid." Yay! Not that their body shapes are similar or anything. They're just … a chance partnership. Like he and Kiena! He smirks, grabbing his own padded sticy thing. "Your gear will" should "keep you protected. The objective is simple: Defeat your opponent by knocking them down. Push, hit, knock. Your greatest ally is your stamina." They've been doing their workouts, right? "Think about your opponent. What is their weakness? Are they top-heavy? Weak in the legs? Are they tiring? As you bout, /pay attention/ to these things and use them to your advantage. If you fall, stay down. Once your opponent falls, no more contact. Got it?"

Defensive stabbing! Got it. K'nid nods to Kiena. "Oh, yeah. Definitely, getting out. Yes ma'am." He certainly wouldn't get into more trouble instead of getting out of it. Nope! "I'm not going to stab myself," he says to Kera with an eyeroll. "I'm not stupid." But then he huhs and asks her, "What record?" Which might be a stupid question, even though he's not actually stupid. Nope. Not him. Zhansith says so. She also says he's not clumsy, even if he does have to dart after the pugil stick to pick it up again, this time just holding it. Eager, though? He's definitely that. He bounces on his toes again - so much for saving his energy - as he listens to Ka'el, then looks to Kera and grins as they're assigned. "So see, they're not assaulting you," he tells her. "I am." Er, or… sparring, or whatever it is this is supposed to be. He looks back to Ka'el, and his expression gets determined as he listens to the advice. Right! He wants to be the last man standing. Because if he falls down, it's aaaaaall ooooover!

Kera pushes the helmet up so she can once more before Ka'el fine tunes the adjustment, checks the rest of her gear then moves on to the next weyrling in loose line. Giving a few swings of the awkward looking 'weapon', she tests its durability by leaning on it while listening to Ka'el's instructions. Several sparring pairs are matched off before K'nid is matched with her. Looking him over a moment, she turns back to see Kiena padded up as well. Listening a bit more, she smirks to K'nid. "If I wasn't already winded from running those laps, your bounciness wouldn't be so bad." Kera's eyes roll in amusement towards the sky a moment then peers back to Ka'el and Kiena, while gesturing towards K'nid with her pugal. "Can we hobble him to keep him still?"

Kiena will listen carefully to Ka'el's instructions as well even if she already has an idea of what is about to go down. The Weyrleader's advice is sound and she finds nothing else to add, save to dart another glance to K'nid for his bouncing and eagerness and Kera's request. That earns a bit of a laugh. "What, and give you the advantage? No. No hobble. Part of learnin'!" Sorry? Grinning faintly, she takes a practice swing or two with the pugil as she moves carefully, testing the ground as well for footing. When she's at last ready, her eyes will focus on Ka'el. "Ready whenever you are!" Kiena drawls and drops down into a readied stance and doing her best not to grin. Be serious, be serious… The bluerider is decent at sparring and she'll do her best to figure out Ka'el's weaknesses once it comes to their turn or time to spar, even if for demonstration purposes. Her's are obvious to those who can spot them: leaving her side unprotected and she favours one leg over the other. Novice mistakes but she's quick too! And perhaps not against a few (somewhat dirty) tricks. Weyrlings need not take notes on that… Maybe. And so it'll go, until Kiena is no longer needed to pair up or if she happens to be called away — which is always a possibility.

Got it, Weyrlings? Good! Ka'el squares up with Kiena for a little demonstration for those who may be a bit hesitant to whack on their friends. Or those who have never whacked anyone in their lives and are looking a little 'wut?' underneath that headgear. He smirks at the exchange between the Weyrsecond and greenrider, but then gets to business. "Watch! Use both ends. It's a defensive and offensive tool, just like any other weapon you can get a hand on. Block with it! Keep your grip wide for better leverage. Blind swinging is a waste of energy, keep in mind!" So is talking while battling, but hey, he's demonstrating. He has to teach, right? Bam, boom! He pounds away at his opponent. Block. Block. Swing. Hit! Ow.. He gets her. She gets him! See how this works guys and gals? After a few good minutes, they pause and instruct the pairs to get going. Go ahead, swing away! "We'll be watching!" he..assures? Warns? In one area of the training field, a small group of Weyrlings have grouped for some combat practice. All wear protective gear and hold pugils in their hands and are just now getting started at attacking one another with them. Battle on!

"They're not going to wait for you to rest up," K'nid replies to Kera. "Whoever 'they' are." The mysterious villains who take offense at riders! As for hobbling him… he rolls his eyes and turns away from her. So not listening! He'll listen to Kiena instead, and grin when she says that there'll be no hobbling. Or handicapping? But surely Ka'el's been briefed on who already has training… or maybe not, as some of the bouts will prove quite fast and one-sided. First, though, there's the battle of Weyrleader and Second. Is this what happens when they don't agree on policy? …probably not, but wouldn't it be more exciting if it was? K'nid watches, enthralled. "Awright!" he says as they're given the go-ahead, and turns to Kera. He hefts his pugil stick in both hands and grins to her. "Ready?"

Kera makes an over dramatic sigh at Kiena's refusal to hobble K'nid, "Oh very well then." Grinning across to the bouncy weyrling "How many pots of klah have you had today?" Going serious, some, she turns her attention to watching the Weyrleader and Weyrsecond face off, demonstrating differant ways to use the padded sticks. When it's time to actually start taking shots at each other, Kera stretches her stick out then shuffles her feet back. Grabbing onto it firmly, she nods when asked if she's ready "No." Doubtful that her honesty will get her out of the padded pummeling in her future, Kera nervously shifts her balance from foot to foot while waiting to see which way her opponet will bounce.

Ka'el splits from Kiena. She goes one way to monitor, he goes another. Those eager pairs have already started. Thwap! Thwap! Hits to the arms, struggles as weapons meet and push at one another. A bronze rider tries to bowl over a blue and finds more resistance than he thought he'd be faced with! Ka'el watches. "Keep your footing!" he calls out, though just which one he's coaching is unknown. He keeps an eye on them as he moves to another group, both of which have fallen to the ground. Wait…what? He pauses and gives them a quizzical look. "…I won't ask." He gives them both a helping hand up. "Again. Stamina" he reminds with a meaningful look, brows raised. Somebody maybe getting assigned more strength training! He moves again, rounding on Kera and K'nid to observe. One cautious. One eager. "Wait too long, and you may risk being attacked from behind."

K'nid? Klah? Hardly! He shakes his head, because this is all natural! …poor everyone else. Maybe he should go do some more laps. "Okay?" he says when Kera tells him she's not ready. He can wait! He does. But there comes a point when he's done with waiting. He's not going to just stand (bounce) here and wait! Ka'el gets a glance (and there's a mistake), and K'nid nods, turning back from that to swing at the other greenrider with a low blow. Not… an unsportsmanlike one, but he's going for the legs, because if there's one thing he's learned from running around, it's that tripping sucks.

Kera 's eyes follow the bouncy movements of the greenling across from her. She watches him, he watches her. Neither has gone down yet, maybe a tie can be declared. Advance to next round…doubtful. K'nid lets Ka'el's urging to spur him into a swing, and Kera jumps back. Or she tries to. The awkward padding affects her movement causing her to stumble. She does catch her foot though and darts her padded stick out to jab toward's the other weyrling's shoulder. More in an attempt to get him to back off than attack however. Readjusting her feet, she grabs one end of the stick with both hands and swings towards K'nid's middle. Then something occurs to her /attacked from behind?/ The greenling healer glances over her shoulder to see if anyone is sneaking up on her.

If Ka'el was mean, he probably would've attacked her, or him, from behind and enjoyed it! Mwuahaha! But Ka'el is not … always… so mean, and any devious thoughts are quieted as he steps back once movement begins. He nods as K'nid makes the first move, even after that momentary moment of distraction. "Never take your eyes off of your opponent. Their distraction could be your moment to strike and take the upper hand!" he advises just before Kera goes into defensive mode. They do say defense is the best offense, right? Or .. the best offense is a good defense? Something like one of those. Ka'el's eyes jump to other pairs of people, hearing Kiena call out to those who have knocked the other down, helmets askew. But his focus is mostly on Kera and K'nid's match. Greenling vs. Greenling!

Distractions upon distractions! K'nid tries to listen to the advice Ka'el gives. He also tries to pay attention to what Kera's doing. Eyes on her, ears on Ka'el? Hey, that could work. It - "Hey!" That's for Kera's swipe at his shoulder, because… uh, well, okay, she's supposed to be attacking. Less with the indignation. Right. K'nid recovers from that just in time to see that two-handed swing of Kera's, and he lifts up his staff with his hands spread wide and braced to meet the swing. Thud! He grunts, digging in his heels, and then… opportunity! Kera's looking away and Ka'el's just been on about how distraction is opportunity, or vice versa, so… K'nid charges! He doesn't think to adjust his grip on the stick before he does, just lunging forward with a two-handed bash.

Kera'was' paying attention when Ka'el said to 'pay attention'. That's what's she's doing, sorta. Paying attention to what may be sneaking up on her. No distractions behind her so to K'nid she looks to again. Just in time to see him lunging. Jumping back with a squeaky yelp, Kera tosses her padded stick towards the other greenling's feet. Maybe he'll get tangled up, at the very least it might slow K'nid down. Either way, the two handed bash is coming so she turns slightly and hunches up her shoulders, braces her feet and waits for the poofy strike to land.

Good move there, boy greenling. Take advantage of a situation! Ka’el keeps watching, nodding to himself slightly at the charge and … wait. Did she just throw her weapon? Uh..kind of. There’s a confused looking blink from Ka’el as Kera’s pugil stick goes flying. Is she abandoning the battle? Ka’el’s almost ready to protest, and perhaps have a word with an AWLM about the level of fighting skills he’s witnessed in this little lesson. But .. maybe that thrown stick is not a sign of surrender at all? Maybe! All he can do is watch and see how this unfolds. doesn’t unfold with someone turning and running away screaming with waving arms of defeat!

K'nid can't very well stop now! So… he doesn't. He does a toe kicking-dance as he stumbles over Kera's staff, but with his forward inertia, even if he's falling, it's right toward her. "Yeaaaaa!" he shouts. It's a battle cry, or maybe the flailing sound of 'I'm going to fall over!' The only question is, will he take Kera with him? (Also if he'll break bones along the way, but hey. He's wearing the padding!)

Kera peeks out from behind her padded arm at the sudden battle cry to see K'nid flailing towards her. Her attempt to sidestep doesn't go as well as planned, and she gets caught up, then brought down onto her back with a poofy 'oof' sound as the wind is knocked out of her. Looking up and around, her attention goes to K'nid first "You okay?" Sitting up, she chuckles "Guess you win." Getting back up awkward due to the padding, she extends a hand to the other greenling if he needs a hand up. "I think I'm gonna need alot of practice." This is not quite whispered to K'nid before chancing to see what's Ka'el instructs next.

Oh, this is gonna be good. Crrrrash! Down go the Weyrlings! Ka'el winces both at the impact of their bodies knocking together, and at their inevitable crash to the ground. But hey, that's what all that protective padding is for, right? If he had a whistle of some sort now would be the time to blow it. But as he doesn't, he merely steps forth towards the two of them, waving an arm in signal. "We'll call that a draw…. Good start!" he calls to them, though likely it's a compliment of sorts to everyone. "But you've a long way to go!" A slight grin is given to both Kera and K'nid before the few other pairs that are still battling are called to a halt. "Your combat training will be ongoing. Sometimes you'll have weapons like today, others it'll be hand to hand. Your goal is to become proficient at self-defense. Having that skill will be useful as a rider, whether you think it or not. That's it for today!" he calls. "If your schedule allows it, as long as an AWLM is present you may keep practicing. All've your padding and weapons need to be put back in the barracks' storage room when through." Because..he's the Weyrleader and doesn't have ot put all this stuff away himself. He has people for that. People like…Weyrlings! He grins a bit, nodding to them all. "Good luck."

Good start. That means… they've got a long, loooong, looooooooooong way to go. K'nid certainly seems to, given the tumble of limbs he landed in, but at least he's still got a grip on his pugil stick. So he… well. Draw? That's probably fair. More than fair, really. "Thanks," he says to Kera as he lets go of his stick to take the hand up. Not that he needs it, but he can let her feel useful! And keep one hand on his stick. At Ka'el's announcement, some of the weyrlings begin swapping out who they're paired with. Old grudges are getting aired! But there's AWLMs here to make sure nothing too bad happens.

Kera looks around at the other pairings as she listens. One by one all the matches end and her full attention goes back to the Weyrleader. Still unsure about this combat training, mainly cause she's normally on mending end of things. "Thanks for the demonstration sir…ma'am." A polite nod sent to both Ka'el and the Weyrsecond that's been moving among the group. More matches seem to start up as Kera reaches down for her lost/thrown pugil. Glancing back to K'nid, she snorts "I don't think there are enough candlemarks in the day to make me look like I know how to use this thing."

Ka'el chuckles as the scramble begins. Some to find new partners, others to scram out of there before they're pulled into another bout! He smirks, proud of himself. Look, no one got hurt! No broken bones or black eyes or dislocated shoulders. Thea will be pleased. As will V'dim, for not banging up his Weyrlings. What little he was wearing to protect himself is pulled off, and he rubs a hand through his hair. Is it lunchtime yet? Dinner? He has some time left before he has to be off to get the next thing on his list of things to do done, right? He hopes so! Leaving those who stay under the watchful eye of the available AWLMs, Ka'el himself turns to head off back towards the Coastal road. Hey! He lives off that road… Maybe he has just enough time for a nap…

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