Tag Archives: speculative fiction

The Monster

SWOSex War One – my dystopian Sci-fi novel – is available for purchase in all eBooks & iBooks stores & devices. “Fast-moving plot and skillful characterization,” said the Science Fiction Studies journal. “This book unifies within it the principles of major Science-Fiction literature,” said This World. Kindle Edition & Smashwords Edition (for iTunes, Kobo, B&N & more.) For further details please check my books page.

To give you a taste of the book, I’ve been posting segments of my award-winning short story, “The Monster,” which serves also as the basis for the book. Here then is the sixteenth segment:

It had been almost a whole colony-year, four hundred and fifty colony-days, since a special expedition of colony-citizens had taken the last trip outside. D.L. was very much aware of this fact. The rare trips outside into the world above, with its open air and space, ordered randomly by the Mother-Colony, were usually a cause for much commotion and celebration in the underground colony. It was the only way, in fact, to stir any excitement, along with certain worries, into the lives of the colony-citizens.
The level and density of the nuclear radiation in the air outside was fluctuating, shifting constantly with the winds and clouds. It was still dangerous enough to justify the infrequency and rarity of the trips outside. There was also not much out in the wind-swept plains and valleys: everything had been extinct on the earth above for many years. Radiation clouds ruled the land. No living creatures existed, and no growing flora; nothing of nature’s past domination was there to see and smell. Only a scorched, barren ground.
D.L. checked the level of radiation outside, as well as the weather. It was summer up above, so it seemed; the long nuclear winter was finally over, evaporating and passing through. The wind strength was moderate, and the level of radiation was very low, almost undetected by the sophisticated, scientific computer in charge of keeping records of the radiation level outside. He looked at the various screens, transmitting the views captured by the outside cameras, and processing their data. It was night, but, taking a closer look, D.L. could see some signs of light here and there, penetrating through the darkness. That was enough for him; he left the Control-Room in a hurry.

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Sex War One

SWOSex War One – my dystopian Sci-fi novel – is available for purchase in all eBooks & iBooks stores & devices. “Fast-moving plot and skillful characterization,” said the Science Fiction Studies journal. “This book unifies within it the principles of major Science-Fiction literature,” said This World. Kindle Edition & Smashwords Edition (for iTunes, Kobo, B&N & more.) For further details please check my books page.

To give you a taste of the book, I’ve been posting segments of my award-winning short story, “The Monster,” which serves also as the basis for the book. Here then is the fifteenth segment:

He again traveled on the constantly moving tracks, before taking the elevator down to the backyard level. Once there, he quickly entered Z.Z.’s shack. She was deep asleep, so peaceful and secure, the way she had slept when she was a child, before she was attacked and abused by the other kids. Only the innocents can sleep like that, the thought flashed in his head. He stood still by her side for a while, just looking at her, before touching her lightly with his hand. She woke up immediately and looked at him confused, as if unsure who he was. Then she got up, already alert, and approached him with the intention of hugging him.
It was an impulsive, natural act for her. She wasn’t used to his coming to visit her at such a strange time, dressed so unusually with this heavy-looking suit. It was as if he had come straight out of the dream from which she had awoken. No wonder she temporarily forgot what he had taught her about stretching her hand at him first. He stopped her approach, holding on to her shoulders with both hands. He held her like that, some distance away from him, looking at her intently for a moment before signaling her to sit down. She understood him and followed his order. She was frightened and hurt.
It occurred to him that maybe he should take pity on her. It was a “historic” word, pity, a word they had studied at school but no longer used. It represented a feeling, such as love and hate, which belonged to a different age: the Family Age. He thought about it only briefly, before quickly deciding to reverse course again.
He set his helmet down on the floor, signaled her to stay put, and hurried out of her shack. He went back to the yard and tunnels, and from there up to the main Control-Room. B.F. allowed him in without any questions, as if he were waiting for him. It took D.L. a moment to get used to the bright lights in the large room, a room full to capacity with computers and screens of all kinds, robots of all shapes and sizes, many cameras and a single colony-citizen, responsible for the smooth execution of all the colony’s operations.
D.L. asked B.F. to order the robot in charge of the Weapons-Cell to open it for him. Only one particular robot was authorized to open that cell, where a few radiation-guns and some more elaborate radiation-machine-guns were kept locked. Other than in that cell, there were no weapons in the colony. The colony-citizens had no use for weapons: they were kept there only for an emergency use, such as an attack from a different colony, from an alien planet, or for use in other such unexpected events. Even then, if possible, and time permitted, they were to be used only by direct orders from the Mother-Colony.
Not this time, though. D.L. explained to B.F. that he needed the gun for the purpose of exterminating the Monster. He needed no further explanations: B.F. supported N.R.’s position on the matter and was glad to see D.L. obeying the General-Assembly’s decision. He ordered Robot W.1, in plainspoken language, to open the Weapons-Cell and hand D.L. a radiation-gun. The robot insisted, speaking in kind, on receiving the correct code for such an unusual request. B.F., though agitated with the robot, consulted with a nearby computer screen and provided the code: a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Robot W.1, satisfied with the given code, proceeded mechanically and efficiently, using not only its arms but also electronic beam signals coming from its head, to execute the order.
D.L. checked the load level of radiation in the gun, as he had been trained to do in his youth, and found it to be satisfactory. He thanked Robot W.1 verbally, and also tapped on its head twice fondly, eliciting sounds and lights of joy from the robot. He then inserted the gun into a special, big pocket in his trip-suit.

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Sex War One

SWOSex War One – my dystopian Sci-fi novel – is available for purchase in all eBooks & iBooks stores & devices. “Fast-moving plot and skillful characterization,” said the Science Fiction Studies journal. “This book unifies within it the principles of major Science-Fiction literature,” said This World. Kindle Edition: amazon.com/dp/B00OI8HGVQ Smashwords Edition: smashwords.com/books/view/484747 (for iTunes, Kobo, B&N & more.) For further details please check my books page

To give you a taste of the book, I’ve been posting segments of my award-winning short story, “The Monster,” which serves also as the basis for the book. Here then is the twelfth segment:

The purple light was blinking and she saw D.L.’s image reflected through the door. She touched the electronic distance-device that was in her hand and the door slid open soundlessly, allowing D.L. in. She stood up and, smiling wordlessly, pointed to the bed. He joined her there, as they both sat down on the bed. Between them an extended plastic arm held a tray prepared with a meal. The food was a combination of liquid and solid, mostly made of vitamin-enriched chemical-solutions. It was prepared by the Kitchen-Department unit and at the adjacent Food-Laboratory, where all the food supplies in this underground colony were made. Choices were limited, though there were different meal-combination options available for the citizens. S.O. knew them well, and therefore had ordered a satisfying, if light and scentless meal.
They ate quietly, not accustomed to pleasantries or small talk. S.O. realized that D.L. was preoccupied with the events of the colony-day, and probably with his visit to Z.Z. as well, so she avoided pressuring him with undue questions. She touched again her small distance-device and switched off the Common-Connecting camera, fixed in the center of the ceiling, which surveyed them and the room constantly. The colony-rules allowed citizens to turn off the cameras for sexual meetings, though this was neither recommended, nor encouraged.
They ended the meal by drinking a hot, invigorating potion, and by sniffing from a special tube containing a unique sharp aroma, which provided after-meal relaxation and enjoyment.
“How is she?” S.O. finally asked.
“Asleep,” replied D.L. “Knows nothing.”
“What would you do now?”
He hesitated momentarily. The listening devices were always on, in addition and apart from the cameras, and were connected to the colony’s Control-Room. The general purpose was not ostensibly to put the colony-citizens under constant surveillance – though it did exactly that, since all conversations were digitally recorded – but rather to be prepared in case there was a need, or even just a wish, to listen to the recordings. Such as an order from the Mother-Colony some time in the future.
“What would you like to hear?” S.O. intelligently switched to a different subject.
“Something quiet,” he replied, “from the days before the war.”
Again, she grabbed her small electronic distance-device and rapidly entered some choices. The tunes that soon filled the room were quiet and relaxing, yet also complex, reminiscent of compositions from long ago by those strange, eccentric people who wrote and played music on various old instruments. It was so different here in the colony, where the sophisticated music-computer kept producing endless variations based on the creations of the past. D.L. loved to listen to the old music, finding it inspiring and thought-provoking.
“I’m going to take her out,” he said calmly.
“I understand.”
He smiled at her, grateful. Relationships between the sexes in the colony were not based on personal-affection or mutual-attraction. Love had been nonexistent for many years. It was, according to the last broadcast from the Mother-Colony, “for everybody everywhere!” It ruled over the universe. Over the colonies, too, wherever they were: high above, floating in the skies, or deep down, fixed in the ground. Among the people themselves, though, love – as was privacy – was strongly discouraged. It was actually not allowed by the colony-rules. There was no hatred, either, and there were no wars. Quarrels and fights between the colonies, or the colony-citizens themselves, were long extinct.

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Sex War One

SWOSex War One – my dystopian Sci-fi novel – is available for purchase in all eBooks & iBooks stores & devices. “Fast-moving plot and skillful characterization,” said the Science Fiction Studies journal. “This book unifies within it the principles of major Science-Fiction literature,” said This World.
Kindle Edition: amazon.com/dp/B00OI8HGVQ Smashwords Edition: smashwords.com/books/view/484747 (for iTunes, Kobo, B&N & more.) For further details please check my books page.

To give you a taste of the book, I’ve been posting segments of my award-winning short story, “The Monster,” which serves also as the basis for the book. Here then is the eleventh segment:

He placed his hand on her head and combed her sleek dark hair gently with his fingers. She took his other hand and kissed it. After that she closed her eyes and went back to sleep, undisturbed. Her lips were soft and warm – he still felt their pleasant touch – while the lips of the colony’s women were almost always hard and cold.
He sat by her side in the darkness of the shack, smoothing her hair gently. Here was the reason for all his troubles: this peacefully sleeping creature, yet he felt no resentment toward her. It was not her fault. At the same time, the vague plan that had hatched in the recesses of his mind in the Assembly-Hall during the general meeting now moved to the forefront and became clear. It had been born at the moment he realized that, for the first time in his life, he was going to surrender and not fight N.R. anymore. He knew what he had to do. Reassured, he got up and left Z.Z.’s shack. He went out into the large yard and, his steps full of confidence again, disappeared into the narrow underground tunnel.

Everything was ready. S.O. relaxed, lying comfortably in her deep sofa. She felt a pleasant, fatigue-like sensation spreading throughout her body, and knew that it was just a preliminary step: a more invigorating sensation would follow soon. Her room was ready: the bed was arranged and the lights were fixed. S.O. was clean and refreshed after a long shower. She was thinking, first, about the Z.Z. She didn’t find much interest in her, but on the other hand didn’t see any real damage, or danger, in her existence within the colony’s walls. What disturbed her most was the way N.R. chose to act against D.L. There was something unusual, not yet defined, that had happened to N.R. and to those who followed her. It intuitively pushed S.O. to reject them and their initiative.
She was waiting anxiously for D.L. to enter her room. She remembered sexing with him before; the same way she sexed with other men, and women, in the colony: without any emotional connection. It was simply a physical action and interaction: they never slept with each other in the colony; they always slept alone. In D.L. though, she had found something else as of late. Maybe it was his interest in Z.Z. that had caused him to be different. It was possible, S.O. speculated, that had families were still in existence these days, and had colony-citizens were again allowed to get married and bring children to this world together – the way it had used to be back then, in ancient times, before the Great-Nuclear-War, before the eternal peace – it was possible, very much so, that she would have chosen D.L. to be her partner and husband.

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Sex War One

Sex War One – my dystopian Sci-fi novel – is available for purchase in all eBooks & iBooks stores & devices. “Fast-moving plot and skillful characterization,” said Science Fiction Studies journal. “This book unifies within it the principles of major Science-Fiction literature,” said This World. Kindle Edition: amazon.com/dp/B00OI8HGVQ Smashwords Edition: smashwords.com/books/view/484747 (for iTunes, Kobo, B&N & more.) For further details please check my Books page.

To give you a taste of the book, I’ve been posting segments of my award-winning short story, “The Monster,” which serves also as the basis for the book. Here then is the ninth segment:

His natural instinct, and scientific curiosity, had overcome all other notions and calculations at the time, and he had decided to let this unique embryo stay in the petri dish, and then in the test tube, to see whether it would develop properly and be capable of sustaining life. Surprisingly, it did quite well. Not only that: it matured earlier and needed only ten colony-months, not the regular twelve, before it was ready to be taken out of the Birth-Machine’s incubation tank and breathe on its own.

At the time, it had not caused strong objections from the other laboratory workers and scientists, and not even from the colony-citizens at large, when D.L. had decided to let the unusual newborn live. Some citizens had voiced the opinion that it was forbidden, and in violation of certain, obscure colony-rules. D.L., however, had taken full responsibility for his actions and had explained it as a scientific experiment with potential benefits for all the colony-citizens and for the advancement of their race, a superior race that needed, on a regular and regulated basis, only ten newly born babies per period: five of each sex. The rest, those not progressing exceedingly well, or not maturing fast or strongly enough, were eliminated while still in the test tubes, and sometimes even later in their early embryonic development stages.

D.L. assigned her the identification name of Z.Z., because no female colony-citizen was ever before assigned that combination of letters. After a while, other laboratory workers nicknamed her the “Monster.” In their view – maybe because of the strange, dark color of her hair and skin – she was ugly and repulsive, and therefore reminiscent of ancient creatures they had never seen, had only learned about from old digital books, films and videos. She was so different from the other, golden-white children. Mainly though, as was discovered soon after, it was her behavior and functionality that were much flawed. She couldn’t catch up to the developmental speed, and learning skills of the other children in her tier and fell far behind.

One colony-day D.L. had found her injured and dripping blood. It was a rare occurrence in the colony, unheard of until then, as a matter of fact. He soon learned that the other children, her age and older, had beaten her up and excluded her from their company. And worse still: it was done with the full knowledge and approval of the citizens in charge of the children’s activities and education. From that time onward, Z.Z. never spoke again. She was, as far as the colony and its inhabitants were concerned, mute and dumb.

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Sex War One

Sex War One – my dystopian Sci-fi novel – is available for purchase in all eBooks & iBooks stores & devices. “Fast-moving plot and skillful characterization,” said Science Fiction Studies journal. “This book unifies within it the principles of major Science-Fiction literature,” said This World.

Kindle Edition: amazon.com/dp/B00OI8HGVQ Smashwords Edition: smashwords.com/books/view/484747 (for iTunes, B&N, Sony & more.) Further details: HillelBridge.com/books

To give you a taste of the book, I’ve been posting segments of my award-winning short story, “The Monster,” which serves also as the basis for the book. Here then is the eighth segment:

The elevator descended soundlessly. While its lone passenger was D.L., a few pairs of eyes were keeping him company. They were following his journey, he was sure of that, watching him on their private screens. Those inquiring eyes were quick, in this new reality, to investigate and scrutinize all his moves, turns and whereabouts. He could have easily switched the elevator camera off, but it was against the rules; it was forbidden to hide anything in the colony, as everything was required to be disclosed for all eyes to see and all ears to hear.
The elevator came to a stop deep in the backyard level. There were no sun nor open skies to see in this backyard, no vegetative growth of any kind, and no member of the animal kingdom – once the ruling class of the land above, as D.L. knew from his studies, and thereafter co-existing with man for awhile – was prowling around. But it was possible to stroll freely some distance in an open, un-walled space. It was possible, also, to jump into the small swimming pool and swim in its tepid waters, filled with a pink, disinfecting solution. And it was possible to play, as the children sometimes did (though not too often), in the nearby playground.
D.L. halted in the far corner of the yard, in front of a transparent plastic fence. Inside he saw the small, lone shack he had designed and built. He entered the secret combination on the electronic panel by the fence’s gate, known only to him, and it slid open for him. He stepped inside and was just about to turn the light on when he thought the better of it. She was asleep, he realized. And in any case, the light would work against him now. The darkness, he hoped, would work for him.
He sat down on the small but sturdy toy-box he had built for her. She was sleeping peacefully, his Z.Z., lying on the air mattress by the toy-box. She was wearing her thick, crude one-piece nylon dress, the one she almost never took off, other than on those rare occasions when she went to the swimming pool – under D.L.’s supervision only, and when the other colony kids were not around – to wash her body. Her breathing was quiet and rhythmic. Her black hair was spread like a fan around her head, as if meant to protect her from bad dreams.
He watched her quietly and remembered. He remembered how the Birth-Machine had spewed her out into the test tubes, together with the other embryos that had been ordered that year. He remembered how the unusual embryonic-compound had caught the attention of the lab inspectors, causing them to call on him. He remembered how he had inspected it further, and – in his position then as Head-Laboratory-Scientist – had reached the conclusion that an unwanted, usually rejected female egg had come somehow to an undetected, undesired union with a male sperm cell. For some strange, unexplained reason, the Birth-Machine’s computer had failed to recognize the deformity of this union, and therefore had not rejected it, and had gone through with the usual, preliminary steps of matching and preserving. Such cases were very common – the majority, in fact – a long time before D.L. had been born, before the dominant humankind, the superior colony-citizen of the present time, had been created, formulated, and fully realized.

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Sex War One

Sex War One – my dystopian Sci-fi novel – is available for purchase in all eBooks & iBooks stores & devices. “Fast-moving plot and skillful characterization,” said the Science Fiction Studies journal. “This book unifies within it the principles of major Science-Fiction literature,” said This World.
Kindle Edition: amazon.com/dp/B00OI8HGVQ
Smashwords Edition: smashwords.com/books/view/484747 (for iTunes, Kobo, B&N & more.) Further details on my book page: HillelBridge.com/books

To give you a taste of the book, I’ve been posting segments of my award-winning short story, “The Monster,” which serves also as the basis for the book. Here then is the seventh segment:
He smiled at her, appreciative of her presence and of her support, and she smiled back at him encouragingly. “What has happened to N.R.?” he asked as they walked toward the door, where they stopped before exiting.
“Something I don’t fully understand yet,” she replied. “I learned from Q.T. that lately she has spent long hours at her private screen, watching how the two of you play together, how you have been teaching Z.Z. everything, and how much time and effort you have been investing in her. And maybe something else, too,” she said but did not immediately elaborate.
“What something else?” D.L. was quick to inquire.
“She saw Z.Z. hugging you once. And it made her worry.”
“Worry?!”
“Yes. Maybe because Z.Z. grew up and developed unexpectedly well,” she said, and stepped into the narrow corridor outside the hall.
D.L. followed her out, allowing the double door behind him to swish completely shut. They stood still for a moment before he asked: “Why now?”
“Her tier will graduate soon and will join us, becoming full and equal members. She is afraid of that, N.R. She knows it will not be too long before she herself would have to move into the Elders-Section. And perhaps there is something else that we are not aware of yet.”
“That’s a possibility,” he agreed without expanding further.
He looked away from her now, toward the depth of the corridor, as his thoughts drifted toward a different matter.
“I am going down to see Z.Z. now.” He spelled it out.
“Yes, you should. Come see me afterwards.”
“I will, S.O. Thanks.”
He took a turn in the narrow corridor, away from her and into the main tunnel. He was wondering about what she had just said, encouraging him to go down and visit Z.Z., and in the same breath inviting him to come over and see her afterwards. He thought that it was thoughtful, yet somewhat surprising for her to have said that.
She stood still, watching him slide away on the moving tracks in the long, brightly lit tunnel. It seemed to her as if his image, in silhouette, was dissolving into the dark-red walls. One of her legs was slightly bent, touching the wall at the knee; she was standing like a rare, ancient bird she was not even aware ever existed. Her arms were laced under her chest, revealing the shape of her lean body, and – hidden under the thin fabric of her suit – a hint of feminine breasts. She smiled when he disappeared from her sight, confident that she would see him again soon. And with that knowledge secured firmly in her mind, she stepped on the moving tracks and glided gently, effortlessly away.

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Sex War One, the YouTube Video

The book trailer video for “Sex War One” is available for viewing on YouTube – http://youtu.be/dAGuktuMmLE – my Smashwords page – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Shalomhd – my Goodreads page – https://www.goodreads.com/autho/show/5392683.Hillel_F_Damron
– and my literary website’s videos page: https://hillelbridge.com/videos-3/

Take your pick, as long as you sit back, relax, and enjoy watching and listening. For the full effect to penetrate your mind and stimulate your senses, I suggest a couple of viewing at the very least. If you like it – let it be known by spreading the word and “liking” it.

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Sex War One

SWOOne week before publication of my dystopian Sci-fi novel, “Sex War One,” on December 15th, here’s the six segment of my award-winning short story, “The Monster.” It serves as the basis for the book, available for preorders at “Sex War One” Kindle Edition & “Sex War One” Smashwords Edition for iBookstore, iTunes, Kobo, B&N & more.
Also, to celebrate the upcoming publication of the book, and to elaborate on the process of writing the book – what brought it about; the whys and the hows; the process of writing, including the escapades and detours of my life – Smashwords has published an in-depth interview with me.

The “Monster:” He reentered his choice on the electronic keyboard, as did everybody else. This time, though, it took a while before the results appeared on the big screen. Some of the colony-citizens, it seemed, deliberated long and hard. Which was unusual; normally, the members were very quick and decisive. But finally, the result of the vote appeared on the central screen: Life = 16, Death = 17, Undecided = 3.
Nobody moved in the stillness of the great Assembly-Hall. They turned their heads and eyes though, as one body, and stared directly at D.L., awaiting his decision.
The wheels in his head were turning fast. It was still possible for him to demand another debate on this issue; it was within the rules that, as the Colony-Secretary, he was allowed to enforce. The undecided could still be required to decide. He also had the option and authority to call on all the colony-citizens, K.G. among them, to cast their votes on this most crucial of matters. He had some time, though it was quickly running out on him, to try and change the result of the vote. But N.R.’s threat to call on the Mother-Colony and report Z.Z.’s existence was serious and real, making the ultimate outcome almost inevitable. In addition, it was becoming clear to him, with an increasing rush of blood to his head that he wanted to go out. He was yearning to experience this unexpected, unplanned trip. In that sense, at least, his strategy was working well.
While he was still deliberating his next move, N.R. got up and began a purposeful march toward the door, her head held high. Q.T. escorted her, walking briskly one step behind her, and so was S.P., another woman who had been sitting quietly on N.R.’s left side. Both of them were younger than N.R., D.L. knew, and very much under her spell.
N.R. stopped by the double door momentarily and looked back at D.L.; it was as if she was still challenging him to try and do something about this outcome, or simply wished to absorb fully his reaction to her victory. He turned his eyes away from her, looking instead at the other citizens, who were all in the process of getting up and leaving the hall. In the life of the citizens here, in this secluded underground colony, there was no room for emotions, let alone a show of sympathy. Only one citizen, S.O., who had spoken in favor of letting the Monster live, stopped on her way out and looked at him concerned.
He rose up and returned her look. Like him, she was wearing a bluish, silken (though made out of special nylon) two-piece outfit, very easy on the body. The color of her hair, golden-blond, was similar to his, her height slightly shorter than his. Only her hips were narrower, accentuated now since her hands were resting on her waist. On her face remnants of delicate feminine features were apparent, but otherwise they looked very similar; similar in the same way all the colony-citizens resembled each other.

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An Interview With the Author

To celebrate the upcoming publication of my speculative fiction novel, “Sex War One,” and to elaborate on the process of writing the book – what brought it about; the whys and the hows; the process of writing, including the escapades and detours of my life – Smashwords has published an in-depth interview with me. Here’s the link:
https://www.smashwords.com/interview/Shalomhd

As a reminder, the novel will be available December 15th throughout the “Online Universe” in all eBooks and iBooks stores, formats and devices, and is available already for preorders.

The dystopian novel deals with issues such as the abundant of unemotional sex; the spread and acceptance of pornography; the lack of deep, emotional love; the disintegration of traditional families; people living alone more than together; “the end of men,” so to speak, with babies being born (sometimes) more in the lab than in the womb; the bible-old battle of the sexes, to boot.

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