Stairways of Starlight RPG

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Stairways of Starlight RPG

Postby C S » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:23 pm

The Codex Velo, which contains all of the necessary reading for the RPG.

Full sized picture of the solar system.

Profiles are placed here.

Plants and animals go here.


The city of Hol. Situated upon the third from the sun, it was currently enshrouded by the black of night. The lights of its tall spires reached out far and wide. The stars were drowned out save for the brightest of them. Orn, the ancient sentinel, hung over the horizon, obscured by the tops of a distant forest of strange, spindly trees. The light reflecting off of its olive colored surface lined the clouds stretched across the sky.

Around the city there was a wall that gently sloped inwards. A ring of white light topped off the wall, pulsating with the energy of the denizens still bustling about. Roads sprawled out over the countryside, reaching out to the next metropolises, lined by studs of light that carried on into the shadows. Those nightly jewels shined brightly over rivers and hills in the distance, their light rising into the dark red haze above the night-side of Ti.

Visible to eyes miles apart were the lights ascending and descending through the air. Some even heard that deep warbling telling of powerful engines churning with incredible amounts of power.

Lone figures standing in the limelight of the great city peered up into the night. How they looked would have confused and even frightened anyone whose eyes were not accustomed to the sight. In this age, however, there was so much to see and so much to do that appearances were trivial things. More than just the way one dressed, in fact. With so much wildly varied forms, clothing was a language in of itself, coherent to others who spoke the language and appreciated from a distance by all others who did not. No, not even the multitude of limbs, eyes, digits and mouths drew pause from those that carried out their business out in the wide streets with gleaming trollies running up and down the tracks.

Screens flashed colors and imagery and texts of all kinds. The sounds of speech came together in a drawl that none could grasp unless they were huddled close to those they were interested in hearing, and this was so with many clusters in the crowds standing in front of the stores and public areas filled with statues and other things to please the eyes.

Hol was a foreign city filled with many things an outside view would find odd. Looking past this lens of unfamiliarity, however, and things started to take on a resolution that was not so different after all. This certainly did not apply only to Hol. Across the immensity of space, as wildly varied as it was teeming with life of all kinds, there were hints of the familiar within the fantastic.

Bustling cities filled with trillions of stories to be told await, all underneath the heavens navigated by chariots. Chariots constructed from layers of metal many feet thick, hulls strong enough to withstand the hazards of space travel, carrying gods with beating hearts and blood within their veins.

These are the tales of lives in the common era of space travel in the star system Velo.

-Stairways of Starlight-
Last edited by C S on Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Stairways of Starlight RPG

Postby C S » Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:54 pm

Bands of light shimmered across the haze as if they were being blown by some impossible breeze, stretching across the light-side of the planet and disappearing into the shadow as a dim glimmer. Tor was a world that produced its own light, but even Tor in all of its immensity and power still knew night.

Hundreds of miles over the south pole of the seventh...

The research vessel was small as far as spaceships go, built to be compact and efficient in use of space and carrying capacity. It wasn't one of the most famous models roaming the system, however. In fact it was quite dated, and though at one point it didn't look the part, time around the gas giant was time unkind. It left its hull presently lacking any semblance of a shiny finish, the paint stripped away in various patterns instead. Though the metal exposed underneath the black coat was revealed in all sorts of ways, one thing remained constant: it was the side facing the light that shouldered the ravages.

That was the thing about polar orbits around bodies that were so far away from Velo: the size of their path around the sun meant that it took years for them to complete one lap in their race. In just a small fraction of that traveling time, the scientific ship was bombarded by radiation with little change in angle at all. The result was a poetic mirroring of Tor; whereas the gas giant sported an aurora where it faced the sun, the ship beared its bare metal, gleaming dully in the light. It did not have the same grace Tor did. Tor, at the very least, rotated on an axis. The ship did not.

Locked with its cockpit facing away from the sun, the ship's aft held steadfast against the onslaught of the sun as it went along its east-to-west path, arcing over the poles to keep constant vigil over the planet and the things that lurked in its sphere of influence. Currently the ship was on the ascending arc of its orbit, hours away from the north pole. It was a valiant duty that it performed without much thought given to it by its crew. Their living quarters were shielded and kept comfortable by the ship's orientation, allowing them to do their studies without distractions.

It could always be worse.

They could have been orbiting Ao. There would be no comfort afforded in orbiting Ao.

For years now the ship performed its duty, the once electric-blue color that decorated it degraded into a mottled gray. Various open vents and ports decorated its hull, radiating waste heat into the void over Tor. Light shined from the cockpit. Near one of the ship's hatches, there was writing stripped away by solar wind. It read, "Ever Gaze" to its crew, beings of a race whose bodies were otherwise ill-fitted for the trials of space living.

Within the cockpit, these intellects in their large mechanical bodies worked. Their suits were darkly colored, skin in the form of fibers and interlocking angular plating. Points of light shone from within the inner workings and devices that comprised these forms. Their heads peaked over the rim of their black suits' necks, pink masses of flesh, bumps clearly defined as the massive lobes of their brains. They had four tiny black eyes arranged around their heads, all of which encompassed their face for there were little else in the way of facial features on their bony visages. They saw everything around them. Fitting then, for their ship to be named as it was.

"Sensors indicate activity in the sector. Coincides with Velo's activity registered from inner system facilities," one's mental message drifted out into the forum of scientists.

"More evidence to support the hypothesis, then," another replied.

"This photus is not ours to use."

"No. It is theirs."

On the console one of the metal hulks stood before, rings of light radiated from the central dot that represented the Ever Gaze. At the outer regions of the screen, blips appeared and disappeared until the next ring struck the marks. The blips were drawing closer and closer as the minutes ticked by.
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Re: Stairways of Starlight RPG

Postby The Kingpin » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:46 pm

"Closing in on the target. Everyone man your stations!" snarled Khuurava's voice over the Marauder's intercoms as the quiet but present hum of the ship's engines cranked up a few notches, accelerating the ship on an intercept trajectory, weapons systems going online.

The black and ochre vessel drifted through the darkness of space, moving in a wide arc as it rode the gravitational pull of the planet below towards its destination. They were in the shadow of Ao, 200 thousand kilometres out. Their target; a Velocanth; a space-faring beast that defied explanation. This particular creature was a good 200 metres long, an armour plated behemoth clad in a shell that shimmered with an almost oily-looking black sheen. Rocky fragments trailed in its wake, its satellite images resembling a comet until one took a closer look at the beast. Jagged edges formed spikes all across its body, having no visible underside, instead seeming to be completely oblong in form. Its head was long and split into three segments, each lined with massive pike-like fangs, long, spear-like tendrils located within its 'mouth' capable of punching through the hulls of small space faring vessels. Each segment of its head had three eyes, growing progressively larger from front to back.

Out of seemingly random protrusions in the beast's shell, thick tendrils extended, flexible and scaly in design, these limbs served both as its main means of interaction with its surroundings and its means of propulsion, as each tendril was tipped with a glowing purple jet, a peculiar organic engine that served both as its means of navigating the system and tearing through vessels in its path. The creature had been preying on Ao's shipping lanes for little over a week now. It was little threat to the super-freighters that drifted between planets; those vessels so huge they could not approach the lower reaches of planetary orbits without risking being torn apart by the gravitational pull. No, what suffered the wrath of this wandering creature were the smaller transit carriers used to move that cargo to the surface. After failed attempts by the merchant fleets to take out the beasts themselves, the shipping corporations in charge of the destination port of this vessel's goods agreed to put out a bounty and enlist a privateer for the job. A "monster hunter". Of all those who answered the call, Khuurava made the best deal, and so it was that this beast became the latest in a chain of jobs where guns and missiles took over from stealth and negotiation...
"Ah yes, organised chaos. the sign of a clever but ever-busy mind. To the perpetrator, a carefully woven web of belongings and intrigue, but to the bystander? Madness!"
–William Beckett, Lore of Leyuna RPG

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Re: Stairways of Starlight RPG

Postby C S » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:59 pm

The lull before combat was something that every crewmate had to contend with. A ship's body was as strong as the layers of alloy that made up its form, but its spirit was only worth the sum of its crew. The ravages of the many wars throughout the history of worlds were filled with tales of valor when all became one in the name of a common goal. Aboard the Marauder, though these peoples had no past of warfare between them, that same drive was at work. Instead of simple skirmishes and things that required a loose interpretation of space-transit protocol and law, these "wildlife control" outings were becoming more frequent in the inner system. It was an odd development.

Nevertheless, it was a tall order to ask for: have twenty crewmembers be at their absolute best on their own and amongst their peers, ready and willing to heed the word of their commanding officer. With the nature of the industry, they did not know each other too well. Some were adverse to learning about their comrades all together. In spite of this, they had to be a well oiled machine in order to keep their six-hundred foot long vessel from becoming a perforated coffin caught in some forsaken stretch of a planet's gravity well.

The engine room was more like a vast semicircular chamber, the ceiling wrapping around the bulk of machinery that was the ship's reactor. Lines of cable bolted down to the floor fed the machine its fuel and regulated its exhaust, which shone through the many vents lining the outer shell and made the air ripple. Elevated around ten feet or so off the floor was an observation deck where the technicians worked, the curved glass negating the glare of the engine to let them view it without worry of damaging their eyes. Regardless, they wore bulging goggles with purple lenses, the number of which varying depending on the one working.

Three goggles arranged side by side, for instance, belonged to the technician sitting at a console, his multi-segmented arms turning the cranks, pushing the buttons and pulling the levers whenever they needed to. His forearms split into individual limbs and digits that worked independent of one another, giving this being the appearance of a tree with its many branches. The rest of his body was the same, many legs extending out from a vaguely serpentine body. Had it not been for the rubbery uniform he wore, he would have looked like some kind of otherworldly interpretation of a centipede without its shell and mandibles.

Of course, he and the other strange crewmates working the engine room were far greater than what their bodies would suggest. They worked with apparatuses designed around utility and ease of access regardless of how evolution dictated their forms. Simple geometric signs and symbols emblazoned on the halls accommodated the language barrier, and each section of the Marauder had a colored strip leading to the entrance. The engine bay was denoted by a silvery motif reflected in the uniforms of the crew that worked there: silver epaulettes and badges across the chests of the crew.
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Re: Stairways of Starlight RPG

Postby The Kingpin » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:58 pm

The beast in the crosshairs undulated and tilted as it began to change directions, two tendrils extending along the front of its shell and along its head, spiralling around the length of its neck to the tip, where the bent to a 90 degree angle with the head, the tips lighting up with purple energy just as its tail did the same in the opposite direction, flipping it around in a startling show of manoeuvrability.

Up in the cockpit of the ship, Khuurava went to work giving the commands to the weapons systems, a heads-up display providing a visual of the creature as a three-ringed reticle settled over the beast, calculating the behemoth's flight path, the hunter adjusting his aim accordingly. "Weapons going live" came the Qov's voice over the intercoms, speaking in his own tongue which was then actively translated by the various means used by each of his crew. As he spoke, he flicked up the guard caps on the two prongs of the ship's yoke, his free hands continuing their work on the keyboards and interfaces framed around the pilot's seat. Panels slid back and under the vessel's exterior shell as silver, segmented guns rolled forward along the wings and beneath the hull, the ones lining the ship's lower hull in particular seeming of a higher calibre than those on the wings, if their size was any indication. All along the roof of the vessel, puffs of gas came forth in brief jets of white as triangular panels shifted aside on the missile pods, preparing to open fire on the beast.


A thousand miles out, the beast's focus settled squarely on the oncoming ship, its maw parting in an eerie display, jagged five-pronged teeth covering its entire maw, along the palettes as well as the edges of its three-jawed mouth. In moments, its body became a mass of tendrils, additional ones spilling out of cracks and holes in its shell, the tips glowing brightly as it began to close distance. Fast.

An alert sounded through the vessel, informing the crew to brace, the engine room being informed of the higher energy costs as the shields came online. Panels around the ship's nose tilted upwards to reveal directional thrusters, the roar of their activation easily heard, working in tandem with the massive vectored exhausts of the ship to shift its direction to evade the incoming blasts...
"Ah yes, organised chaos. the sign of a clever but ever-busy mind. To the perpetrator, a carefully woven web of belongings and intrigue, but to the bystander? Madness!"
–William Beckett, Lore of Leyuna RPG

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Re: Stairways of Starlight RPG

Postby C S » Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:49 pm

All hands braced against the force of the maneuver. The whole structure of the Marauder experienced a shudder, a minute vibration, as the reaction control system flared and all but threw the six-hundred foot long into a side-slip translation. After strafing out of the way of the brunt of the assault, bright flashes of light like lightning broke out around the end of the ship's wing, sparks dancing along the invisible wall that for a few instants, became visible as an opaque white mesh of solid light. Redirected photus energy.

The monitors that lined the walls along with the computers kept the engine bay crewmembers busy regulating the supply of power to all the vessel's critical systems. Those not busy mashing buttons were pulling the levers and cranks, opening and closing the metallic veins and arteries that led out from the reactor.

Elsewhere in the ship's innards, crewmembers in reinforced spacesuits sped along catwalks crisscrossing around the weapons' systems. Guns the size of shuttles were just past them, and beyond them, the open void of space. Bulky boots of all sizes and designs thudded along the metal, magnetically gripping the workstations as they worked to keep these giant guns operational. Any frazzled component meant sending a team into the guts of the gun and doing a quick repair job.

It was just as dangerous as it sounded. Somewhat more dangerous than the jobs of the spares, which was loading in the massive torpedoes that their captain was prepped to fire. Six suited crewmates worked on one warhead at a time, guiding the driver onto a conveyor, which then fed the missile into its canister.
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Re: Stairways of Starlight RPG

Postby The Kingpin » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:26 am

The Marauder's evasion saved the vessel from the bulk of the velocanth's attacks, Khuurava flicking several switches across the interface before him, puffs of gas erupting into the black nothingness as the airlocks sealing the torpedo tubes from the emptiness beyond split, several of the long white rockets being ejected from the vessel's roof on rails before roaring to life in trails of light, soaring out in wide arcs as they rapidly closed the distance.


Beams of blue-purple lanced across a few of the later torpedoes, detonating them prematurely, though they were spaced evenly enough for the blasts to fail to affect those ahead of them, three slamming into the beast's shell as their glowing warheads burned into the shell. The plasma burning at the tip of the warheads was temporary, losing their heat shortly after embedding the missiles several feet into the eldritch beast's rocky carapace. A moment later, small flashes of light littered the creature's hide at the impact points, jagged prongs running along the length of the rockets shooting out to firmly attach themselves to the monster's innards. Each rocket's tail end splayed out, shards of plating being ejected as three smaller rockets were launched out from each constituent missile, thick metallic cords attaching them to the anchors buried in the beast as they roared to life, the harpoons' slowing effect whittling away at its manoeuvrability, gradually weakening the beast and hindering it for the next stage of the Marauder's attack...
"Ah yes, organised chaos. the sign of a clever but ever-busy mind. To the perpetrator, a carefully woven web of belongings and intrigue, but to the bystander? Madness!"
–William Beckett, Lore of Leyuna RPG

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Re: Stairways of Starlight RPG

Postby C S » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:47 am

Voices crackled over the weapons bay communicators.

"Contact is good, engaging secondary operations."

"Adjusting aim, accounting for translation deviations."

"Guns primed and standing by to go hot."

The bases of the cannons were bulky, reinforced masses of metal, rings and bolts met with mechanization, motors and rubberized joints. Their comparatively tiny operators stood at the terminals scattered around the room, each one dedicated to some aspect of functionality. Energy level maintenance, aiming. A mix of mechanical skill and offensive planning. Technicians kept the weapons firing, and technicians dialed in the motor information to point the ends of the guns in the right directions. All the captain had to do was press the button when the crosshairs were in the right spot.

The engineering of the weapons bay was a complex of ammunition holds in the form of cages, as was the case of the harpoon missiles, the Dragnets, and energy supply setups, cables lining the walls and secured with clamps. Big machines protruded from the wall paneling with symbols and lights flashing, each one linked up to one of the guns that swiveled on their mounts, casting shadows over the crew.
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Re: Stairways of Starlight RPG

Postby The Kingpin » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:17 pm

As the numerous crosshairs overlapped to frame the target in the distance, Khuurava flicked up the guard caps over the triggers and squeezed.

In the distance, the void dweller clearly knew what was coming. It sensed the monstrous photus build-up on various points of the vessel's hull and wings, so attuned to the element as it was. It thrashed and writhed as its tendrils tried desperately to provide enough thrust to take it out of the ship's sights, to no avail.

Arcs of what looked like electricity crackled around the ends of the guns' barrels for a moment as a white flare of light ran along slits lining the length of the weapons, culminating in a beam of light that shot across space to meet the creature's languishing form. The point of impact split and cracked, glowing yellow from the heat as wisps of luminescent smokey energy spread out from the beam, washing over the harpoons and detonating them, the creature's body engulfed in a brilliant display of explosions that split its carapace apart, sending tendrils and shards of its shell flying out into the abyss of space.

"Direct hit. Stand by for a second volley"

The guns continued to glow a dull red for a few brief moments before regaining their former gunmetal grey shade, the Hunter keeping them trained on the beast even as it scrambled for life, jets of blood and internal gases shooting from its form uncontrollably, even the seared patch of flesh at the point the guns had struck crumbling as the creature's body tore itself apart. It soon became apparent that a second volley would not be necessary.

"Initiating harvesting procedures. Prepare the cargo hold!" came the Qov's voice over the comms as the engines returned to a less menacing tone.
"Ah yes, organised chaos. the sign of a clever but ever-busy mind. To the perpetrator, a carefully woven web of belongings and intrigue, but to the bystander? Madness!"
–William Beckett, Lore of Leyuna RPG

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Re: Stairways of Starlight RPG

Postby C S » Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:11 pm

Klaxons blared their warning and the warning lights on the walls and ceiling of the metal chamber turned. Up in the network of walkways and platforms, the massive guns were being retracted. The sounds of the enormous machines that moved them back and forth were absent in a way one would find counterintuitive. With the chamber depressurized as it was, sound was not a thing that moved through the open cavities between the bulks of constructs and machinery. It instead permeated through every connected structure, through cables and railings, vibrations that rippled into the suits of the crewmembers and became a peripheral hum within their helmets.

An especially strong tremor traveled through the workstation, the cannons locked in place. To the workers it sounded like a distant thud. The doors started to slide out from their holds and the powered hinges that moved them were the things that lifted them up and held them flush with the rest of the hull. Each panel was flared around the inside edge, a fringe of metal that provided an airtight seal. Thick bars extended from their containers and into specialized structures in the panels, like keys into their locks, and held them with such strength that the hull might have been one solid shell again.


Though the guns were stowed away, it was still not time to flood the chamber with air again. The crew had moved on from tending to the function of the weapons to working cranes that were moving the twin spaceships out of their humble hangars and into the chamber. Running along rails, the cranes rumbled into the center of the workstation, rimmed by the platforms and walkways overhead.

They were bulky things. The tow shuttles were compact and looked like a mass of exhaust nozzles from the outside. Translational thrusters; up, down, left, right and side to side, in addition to pitch, roll and yaw. Because of their function, they were vaguely spherical craft, with a few places of asymmetry on the hull were various equipment would be deployed.

Crewmembers previously assigned to combat duty became hands for the excursion mission to the felled creature. They climbed into the hatches of the two ships and then waited for the floor to part beneath them, the belly of the Marauder giving way to the blackness with the other crewmates a safe distance away.

The cranes released the ships. The corpse in the distance was still. The blood gushed out of its broken body had boiled away, dispersing the gases released at the time of death. Yet still, there was plenty more that resisted the tribulations of space to be harvested.
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Re: Stairways of Starlight RPG

Postby The Kingpin » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:07 am

"We'll have to move quickly. These animals have been known to disintegrate after enough holes have been put in them...Last thing we want is for a chunk to end up being launched planetside by exploding organs" warned Khuurava as the Marauder drifted towards the cosmic horror's lifeless, slowly tumbling corpse.

A small, serpentine creature worked at the controls of one of the shuttles, long, multi-jointed arms clattering across the controls, a limb on each of the six control levers, commanding the thrusters with almost computer-like precision as the two ships roared across the gap between their mother-ship and their mark...
"Ah yes, organised chaos. the sign of a clever but ever-busy mind. To the perpetrator, a carefully woven web of belongings and intrigue, but to the bystander? Madness!"
–William Beckett, Lore of Leyuna RPG

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Re: Stairways of Starlight RPG

Postby C S » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:09 pm

Collecting resources from a corpse in space was always a finicky practice. Even with the science understood by the crews across the system, the method rarely was anything concrete and repeatable. Sometimes, it just came down to the quickness of the wit and dedication of the workers.

In terms of science, it was a simple concept. Either arrest the body's various movements or attempt matching them with the excursion vehicles. In both approaches, the end result was the same: the velocanth was still relative to those who would be out there picking its body apart. In this situation, the beast was simply far too large to wrangle with as the ships went around the gray landscape far below them.

Puffs of vapor shot out of the hulls of the twin ships. The last of the wisps dissipated around lines of silvery alloy tipped with bladed claws that connected to the skin of the massive void-dweller, anchoring into its alien flesh. The shuttles were aligned with one another, but on opposite sides of the velocanth's longitudinal axis. On a few displays on the pilot interface for both vessels, among the many numerals, icons and nodes of information, were directional markers that were constantly being updated. The ships bounced their signals from one another, communicating their movement and velocities, and the pilots with the aid of their computing devices, kept them in their dance. Two ships waltzing with a gigantic dead beast through the elegance of mathematical data, slowly turning with low powered, short burns of the maneuvering thrusters.

The crewmembers that were sent out onto the creature had long since learned to ignore the way the universe appeared to tumble around them while they had the illusion of being static atop the chitinous mass. After a while, the inherent wrongness just wore off, and they realized they were experiencing it all their lives on their various homeworlds. It was the same phenomenon that separated day from night.

Granted, on a planet, it appeared to be a far more gradual spin. That, in addition to the fact that on the velocanth there really wasn't a day and night. There were only the periods where one could look "up" and see Ao and the periods where one couldn't. The bright star in the humongous gulf did not disappear in either times; only eclipsed by a limp limb drifting by for a few seconds at a time.

And so the party cut away at the body of the velocanth with tools that summoned beams of light, the glow drowning in the radiance of Velo, the same light that imparted the glaring sheen on the spacesuits, requiring the opaque visors that blocked the different faces of those that harvested the goliath.

It was a long process to be sure. In their sky, Ao came and went many, many times before they made much progress at all. They managed to strip away a section of the outer layer of exotic flesh before the first plumes of sallow bile erupted from the various wounds that the Marauder inflicted. The spray came out so violently, with such pressure, that the tumble of the beast was disturbed. In addition to the slow roll, the creature's body was rotating end over end, the lifeless mass bending lazily with the motion, dragging its limbs with it.

Each subsequent explosion brought with it another change in movement that the pilots had to compensate for. It swiftly became too dangerous to remain close to the velocanth, between the unpredictable changes that made coordinating the shuttles increasingly difficult and the ejecta that came from the body as gelatinous clumps or jagged pieces of shell that may as well have been shrapnel.

The crewmembers reported back to their shuttles, their haul in tow, and the twin ships disengaged from the convulsing remains, free to fly back to the Marauder's hangar bay.
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