The Light Side

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Contently Deranged Travelers


A battle between good and evil takes a surprising turn. Sequel to GREATER LOVE, ETERNITY, and NEAR DEATH. Continues in AND NOW ABIDETH, THE FORCE, and ENEMY.


Lop Skyhopper stood on the bridge, his nose twitching with excitement.

“You won’t escape, Dutch Vader!” he shouted. “Come out, you coward! Face your fate or eat your feces!”

A tall figure with dark, menacing whiskers stepped onto the bridge from the other side.

“I’m sorry, Lop,” Dutch Vader spoke calmly. “I wasn’t done with my daily portion of alfalfa hay yet. But now I’m at your service!” And he drew out a terrifying red lightcarrot.

“You’ve killed my mentor and friend, Obi-Bun Kenobi!” Lop Skyhopper cried.

“Ha! He cut off my paws during a terrible battle where I fell into water,” Dutch Vader complained. “Just imagine the pain and the fear!”

Lop Skyhopper raised his lightcarrot, but suddenly a shaky blue hologram of Obi-Bun Kenobi materialized in front of him.

“Use the paws, Lop!” Obi-Bun smiled, wiggling his ears. “The claws are strong with you. Reach out… Feel them…”

At that moment –

 

“At that moment, what?” Luna asked.

“I’ll tell you tomorrow if you go to sleep now.” Her father tucked a warm blanket around her and gently stroked her long, silky ears.

“But I want to know now! Will Lop defeat Dutch Vader? How can Obi-Bun still be alive if he’s dead? And I want carrot juice.”

“No carrot juice for you, young lady! I said ‘tomorrow’. No, no, stop biting your claws! What do you think you are – a human being?”

“They bite their claws?” Luna asked in a sleepy voice.

“They call them ‘nails’. And they do all sorts of bad things. When you grow up, I’ll tell you what those wretched creatures used to do to us before the Event.”

“But Dad, we should still be nice to them…“

“After what they did?” A shadow fell over her father’s face. “Never. Never forgive that which cannot be forgiven. When you grow up you’ll understand.”

Luna closed her eyes and mumbled:

“Then I’ll forgive them in my dream, Dad…”

 

Tomi Katz raised his eyes and adjusted his tie.

“Let me get this straight,” he said, discreetly plucking a nose hair. “So in your story, there’s this atomic war about a hundred years from now, right?”

“Right. In the year 2121, to be precise.”  Amos Horshan carefully studied the sandal straps covering his toes.

“Okay. Okay.” The editor put his elbows on the desk and squinted at the rays of bright Jerusalem sun looking into the office window. “So this war – miraculously, right? – makes… err… bunnies… err… what do you call it… sentient? Self-aware?”

“Something like that.”

 “Ordinary bunnies?” Tomi Katz batted his eyelashes. “Like, rabbits? Those that go, like – khrum-khrum-khrum?” He exposed his nicotine-stained teeth and distorted his face in a grimace that would be normally associated with painful defecation.

“Yes.”

“I see. And, and – and those rabbits also become big, right? Like, huge? And they, what, enslave the humans, etcetera, etcetera, and then one brave little bunny girl, this –” he peeked into the manuscript “– this Luna, who is actually a princess, one of the sixty-seven daughters of King Horny XIV –”

“Coney IX.”

“– inspired by a bunny version of Star Wars, decides – together with an immortal Chinese dude – to fight for justice, liberté, égalité and all that shit, equal treatment for primates and rodents –”

“Lagomorphs.”

“Huh?”

“Rabbits are lagomorphs, not rodents,” Amos Horshan explained. “A different taxonomic order.”

The editor emitted a sonorous sigh.

“Look, Amos.” He leaned forward, his fingertips pressed together. “You know I love you, right? Not in a gay way. As a bro. So, bro to bro, okay? What we’ve got here is what you call a taxonomic problem, see? When you wrote Love of Life –”

Near Death.”

“I know, I know, I’m just messing with you.“ Tomi Katz gave the writer a playful nudge. “Anyway, when you wrote Near Death I didn’t say a word, did I? I accepted it fearlessly, like a rectal examination. Because, see, there you write about yourself.”

“About my brother, actually.” Amos Horshan scratched the back of his head. “My brother Shlomo.”

“There you go. It’s a real-life story, you know what I mean? Real life. And that’s the shit people like, Amos. They aren’t interested in your fantasies about bunny rebels and crap. You ought to write about real stuff. You know – sex, action. Sexual action. That kind of stuff.”

“Tomi,” Amos Horshan said quietly. “I want to reach out. I’m not doing it for myself. I believe that my stories matter. I want people to read them. I’ll pay you to publish them, Tomi. I’ll –”

 

“He’ll what?” Fgupe asked.

“I don’t know. I’m having trouble with the dialogue here.” Tbizz spread his hands.

“Of course you are.” Fgupe shook her head. “Look, sweetheart, I’ll be honest with you, alright? What you’re saying is impossible. You do know that our brains have about one hundred twenty seven billion neurons each, don’t you?”

“Maybe theirs have less.”

“That’s not the point,” Fgupe said patiently. “My question is: why do you think that you don’t need a sdedan to connect to their brains? You’d have to stick your sdedan onto their prefrontal cortex –”

“I told you, I don’t exactly read their minds.” Tbizz frowned. “I’m just trying to communicate.”

“Darling, if they exist –”

“They exist.”

“–  they are over four light years away.” Fgupe looked at her husband imploringly. “Have you been feeling lonely lately? I know that our mating season has ended, but if you want –”

“That’s not it, Fgupe!”

“Then what is it? Honey, why do you need those imaginary hmunyans –”

“Humans!” Tbizz said angrily. “And they aren’t imaginary. My grandfather wasn’t crazy. I feel them. I’ve been practicing. Concentrating… Through intense meditation and prayer to Big Mama, I’ve been able to contact them. Their planet is blue, Fgupe. Just like my grandfather said. There are Nsheos – I mean humans – which they call science fiction authors. They think about things that cannot be, and seek the truth in that way. My grandfather contacted them. Theodore Sturgeon, Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury… Many others. He taught them something. They didn’t know, but he taught them. And before that, too. He told me it runs in our family. He told me we got this gift from Big Mama, a blessing… We’ve contacted them before. Socrates. Laozi. Shakyamuni. Isaiah – he was able to communicate with Big Mama herself, almost directly! How about that, eh? He didn’t need any stupid sdedans, I bet he didn’t even know what a dpinsh was –”

Tbizz didn’t notice that his wife had quietly left the room, attached her sdedan to the main village communicator, and sent a telepathic signal to the local healer. Tbizz continued to talk rapidly, feverishly about the race of humans, and –

 

Lop Skyhopper opened his eyes.

“What was that, Obi-Bun?” he exclaimed. “I saw strange visions, as though I was intoxicated by too many freshly ground lettuce leaves.”

“That, my young padabun,” Obi-Bun said earnestly, “is the power of the paws. From the tip of your claw to the tuft of fur on your ears, you are part of the universe, and you have now seen that you aren’t alone. The Light Side tells us to protect our common universe and do our best to help redeem those that have fallen to the Dark Side.”

“I haven’t fallen anywhere,” Dutch Vader said, chewing on a piece of broccoli. “I’ve been waiting here for about forty minutes, licking my butt and thinking – sometimes simultaneously. I have something to tell you, Lop. I might be your father. I have seventy-three kids overall, so sometimes it’s hard to tell. But in any case, we are clearly related. Just look at those adorable fuzzy cheeks we both have.”

“I can’t handle these strange, contrived plot twists any longer.” Lop Skyhopper sighed. “Where is reality, where is fiction? What is the truth, or are we all the fruits of some big entity’s intellectual amusement?”

“What does it matter, my young padabun?” Obi-Bun exclaimed. “What matters is the Light Side. Feel it, embrace it, stick to it. Everything else is beyond our comprehension. Only the Light Side is ever real – the compassion that you feel to the unfortunate, the tenderness with which you care for the weak, the love that you are extending, carrying it like a torch, illuminating the entire world. This alone should be your focus, your goal. Go and help redeem your father, Lop! You see, his eyes are already moist, because his heart is touched –”

“No, that’s because there’s a piece of onion in my broccoli,” Dutch Vader said, wiping his eyes. “But you are right, Obi-Bun. And I’m sorry for killing you – though you seem to be doing fine anyway. I won’t fight my son, or possibly a nephew. Stormtroopers!” He clapped his paws. A few soldiers appeared behind him. “Prepare us some dandelion ragout, chopped celery schnitzels, and banana lasagna! Today, we feast!”

“May the paws be with you,” Obi-Bun said kindly.

And, just before disappearing into the depths of the Light Side, he turned his head and cried out, as though he was answering someone, “I’m coming, Luna! Amos, wait for me! And tell Tbizz to hurry up!”

 

THE END


Submitted: January 23, 2018

© Copyright 2020 Oleg Roschin. All rights reserved.

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Comments

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KathrynAcacia

Haha- this was a wonderfully fun and silly romp through time and space! I really appreciated how different the tone of each section was- each character had their own voice, and the voices were very distinctive. I also enjoyed the transitions- tying the various parts to each other made the otherwise unconnected stories flow much easier.

Tue, January 23rd, 2018 5:55pm

Author
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Thank you so much for your feedback, Kathryn! :)) Of course there is a connection between the stories - in each one of them there is a pair of characters (Obi-Bun and Dutch Vader, Luna and her father, Amos and Tami, and the two aliens), of which only one represents the Light Side, the other being hesitant at best. All the Light characters want to "convert" their partners, but we don't know whether they succeed or not - except in the "frame" story, where Lop Skyhopper acts as a decisive piece that tips the scales in favor of the Light Side...

Tue, January 23rd, 2018 10:02am

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D. Thurmond aka JEF

Humor blended so well with the strange and the normal "enslave humanity" space aliens, This was such a great story to chuckle my way through. --- Thanks Oleg

Tue, January 23rd, 2018 6:18pm

Author
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Thank you, JEF! :)) You mean "enslave humanity" bunnies - the aliens (the Nsheos) are actually quite benevolent. After all, that alien husband character was the inspiration behind my favorite sci-fi stories! :-)

Tue, January 23rd, 2018 10:45am

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TheresaVan18

Enjoyable and humorous!

Tue, January 23rd, 2018 7:41pm

Author
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Thank you, Theresa! I'm glad you liked it :)

Tue, January 23rd, 2018 6:03pm

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Sue Harris

I love your humour Oleg! This is a wonderful fest of fun that provoked so many laugh out loud moments. Your writing is unique in a wacky way, but so clever and highly entertaining. I so admire and enjoy your talent.

Tue, January 23rd, 2018 9:52pm

Author
Reply

Thank you so much for your kind words, Sue, I really appreciate your feedback! :))

Tue, January 23rd, 2018 6:04pm

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Chris Green

I must be the only person in the world not to have seen a Star Wars film but this did not stop me enjoying this absurd story and the names as always are a delight.
Regards
Chris

Wed, January 24th, 2018 11:26am

Author
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Thank you, Chris! :) I'm a big Star Wars fan. And a big fan of bunnies... So this is the logical result :)) I wanted this story to be both absurd and meaningful, in that the only tangible connection between the vignettes in it would be the presence of a "Light Side" character (Obi-Bun, Luna, Amos, and Tbizz) and a "darker" counterpart. But if even Dutch Vader can be redeemed, then so can King Coney IX, the editor Tomi, and the alien wife :)

Wed, January 24th, 2018 3:50am

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Ruprecht Guay

This is like a cute and funny version of Star Wars; makes all the fight scenes not so threatening but rather adorable, lol. And did you just put reality in your science fiction? I mean- mentioning your works here and there -and it also seems like your talking to yourself- then going back and forth to humans and bunnies-. Man for a short story, there is a lot going on here. But it's rather enjoyable like having different turns in a roller coaster ride. This is well done and I give ya' a thumbs up on making another fun piece. ^^

Wed, January 24th, 2018 3:45pm

Author
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Thank you, my friend :) Yes, exactly - one of the main ideas of this story is that reality and fiction are blended together. I mean, we don't even know which part was real - at first we think that the Bunny Star Wars part was just a bedtime story for a bunny princess; then that bedtime story turns out to be a sci-fi story by my alter ego; then we learn that the alter ago was receiving knowledge from a telepathic alien; and then the whole thing turns out to be a vision of a Bunny Star Wars character! Full circle... So which part was real? I'm confused myself now :) But it doesn't even matter, because what matters is sticking to the Light Side, and that's what all those very different guys were doing - Obi-Bun, Luna, Amos, and Tbizz.

Wed, January 24th, 2018 10:06am

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Brian P Baldwin

What a great job as usual Oleg. Again you accomplish the rare feat of making me laugh out loud. Sometimes I don’t know whether to nominate you for an award or report you to the SPCA. Either way you seem to have an unnatural,disturbing, and let’s face it, more than curious relationship with Bunnies. It verges upon being Snoopyesqe (I think that’s the clinical term), but as creepy as it may be, I like it. More Bunnie Star Wars I beg of you.
BPB

Wed, January 24th, 2018 5:37pm

Author
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Haha, thank you, Brian! I love animals in general, used to have cats, now I have three bunnies :)) I've had a Bunny Star Wars idea for a while, but I felt that alone wouldn't be enough for a story, so I combined it with another idea I've been having, that of aliens communicating with some humans. It has always amazed me that great moral teachers popped up around the same time in such different places as Greece, India, and China, without having any knowledge of each other. So while the Hebrew prophets (Isaiah, but also the original Amos) communicated with God ("Big Mama", as the Nsheos say), those other great teachers might have been receiving knowledge from that benevolent race... who knows?

Wed, January 24th, 2018 10:01am

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hullabaloo22

What a brilliant story, Oleg. I loved all the Star Wars humor. May the paws be with you!

Wed, January 24th, 2018 10:02pm

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Thank you, Hully! :))

Wed, January 24th, 2018 6:22pm

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Jim Green

Oh this was simply wonderful. I chuckled all the way through it and loved how it jumped from one story to the next, flowing effortlessly. I was going "what's this?" for a moment but then quickly got pulled into the next little room as it were and continued moving forward. I loved it. I give it two thumbs up and a big toe. I would give it two thumbs up and two big toes up but I haven't quite learned how to levitate yet. Hmmm. I remember feeling something akin to that the last time I was in the bar but I digress. Any who this was terribly fun and terribly funny and moving. Now I can 't wait until the sequel or the movie, which ever comes first. Well written and thoroughly enjoyable the whole way through. Now where is my popcorn?

Thu, January 25th, 2018 3:52am

Author
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Haha, thank you so much for this sweet and funny comment, Jim :) I'm glad you liked it! May the paws be with you :-)

Wed, January 24th, 2018 8:02pm

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Joy Shaw

Nice humor. I enjoyed the Star Wars references. Got a little lost with the head hops from section to section. Each character definitely has its own unique voice. I would try to tone down on the use of questions in the dialogue and the narrative expostuon. A bit confused if there is a protagonist or if this is a narrator driven compilation of different stories within one. Anyway I did enjoy the read. Was cute and humorous.

Thu, January 25th, 2018 4:10am

Author
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Thank you, Joy! :) Humor is what people notice right away, but I hope the message comes through as well. There is a "collective protagonist" here, which is the Light Side. In each of the vignettes, it is represented by one character, and opposed by the other (Obi-Bun / Dutch Vader. Luna / her father, Amos / Tomi, Tbizz / Fgupe). In the end Dutch Vader is redeemed, so there is also hope for Luna's father (peace between rabbits and humans), Tomi Katz (Amos' story gets published), and Fgupe (the Nsheos establish a tighter contact with the humans).

As for the abundance of questions - that must be an ethnic trait of mine surfacing, no other explanation, really :))

Wed, January 24th, 2018 8:20pm

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Karen Gillard

Hi Oleg, thank you for letting me read your story/ies. Very amusing, and well written - a clever twist on a sci-fi universe that is already part of our psyche. A very enjoyable read.

Thu, January 25th, 2018 4:28am

Author
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Thank you very much, Karen! Your feedback means a lot to me :))

Wed, January 24th, 2018 8:45pm

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iicupcakeii

Oh, this was great! I could stop smiling while reading the story. It was silly, but we'll executed in a way that made me think about a lot stuff after I was done reading. The way all the characters and their parts in the story are written is distinctly different and really makes for a great story. Truly well done! :3

Thu, January 25th, 2018 6:05am

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Thank you so much for your kind comment, Polina! :))

Thu, January 25th, 2018 12:46am

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Shmuel Wyckoff

Great job Oleg! Fun, easy, read with great original humor. Keep it up!

Thu, January 25th, 2018 6:58am

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Toda raba, Shmuel! I'm glad you liked it :))

Thu, January 25th, 2018 12:45am

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Thom Goddard

An excellent piece of comedy that also plays on our preconceived notions of what is fiction. And a fantastic read, as always, Oleg.

Thu, January 25th, 2018 10:15am

Author
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Thank you so much, Thom! Your feedback means a lot to me!

Thu, January 25th, 2018 2:17am

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Jay Northearn

What a peculiar head-messer, Oleg! Lots of funny quips, and blurring the Star Wars universe with rabbits is ... well, I don't I would have tbought of it in a billion light years! :) As all these short stories are part of a wider connected group of worlds - any plans to amalgamate in a single novel. I find short stories h

Thu, January 25th, 2018 10:18am

Author
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"h what?" Oleg asked. And the story continues ;-)) Anyway, thanks a lot for your comment, Chris, I really appreciate it! I'd definitely love to publish those stories in one volume, especially since ALL of them (33 so far :)) are interconnected. I like this format, it poses challenges but my geeky nature is drawn to a grand series with self-sufficient episodes :-))

Thu, January 25th, 2018 2:26am

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Jay Northearn

.... sorry ( got cut off ) ....... I find short stories hard to handle for some reason, but that's just me. Many like them precisely for the fact you don't to commit days or weeks to finish them. As ever, there's great dialogue and this sophisticated, fractured mind-scape you convey so well. Thanks for sharing, Oleg. What next?

Thu, January 25th, 2018 10:23am

Author
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I find short stories much easier to handle than novels :) It's not that I don't like novels, but in recent years I've been gravitating towards pure short story writers, such as Chekhov, O. Henry, or Akutagawa Ryunosuke. I think there was a dramatic change in the 20th century - its short stories are perhaps more valuable than its novels, on a large scale. That would have been unthinkable in any preceding century, short story is actually an exceedingly young genre. Also, my lack of patience and inability to plan for long term would probably make me a bad novelist. I'm best at fragmentary things - weird, fantastical occurrences, humorous remarks, effects. To be honest, I'm afraid of writing a novel... :()

Thu, January 25th, 2018 2:36am

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Jay Northearn

Don't shirk the challenge of writing a full blown novel, Oleg, if that's what you want to do - but only not doing so out of the fears all writers share ... not being able to see it through, having to draw out more extensive plots, etc. In a sense, you already have written a novel in terms of effort and thematic connections. If you can write so many short stories, then ( and I'm sure your other fans will agree ) you have the metal to produce a full novel. At the end of the day, it's whether or not you really want to. Good luck if you do decide to have a crack.

Thu, January 25th, 2018 10:48am

Author
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Thanks for the encouragement, Chris, I appreciate it! :-))

Thu, January 25th, 2018 2:55am

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rickybelmont

Your humor never ceases to amuse me. I'm a big fan of star wars so seeing that title made me excited. And you had me laughing all the way to the end. Seriously, star wars characters as bunnies?! Where do you get your ideas XD but really, it was hilarious and the puns and how the lightsabers are carrots. Though there was one thing that was kinda serious to me. I assume this is in the setting of episode V but I might be wrong but I do have to say that ending was unexpected. Well, unexpected because Vader just said sorry. Great story and keep it up!! :)

Thu, January 25th, 2018 1:47pm

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Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, my friend :) Yes, I was thinking of Episode V, because, well, this is the best Star Wars episode :) As for the idea - well, I like combining favorite things of mine, and both Star Wars and bunnies belong to those :) But I hope that readers can go beyond that - after all, a more important part of the story is the discovery that aliens can communicate with famous philosophers and sci-fi writers :)

Thu, January 25th, 2018 9:03am

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Jay Rose

This was way too good! I attempted to just skim through before I read the one before ti, but I ended up completely immersed. The humor in this is amazing - especially with the star wars stuff and Bunny Darth licking his butt. I love how the story flips from place to place and there are so many different alien names for stuff! Please never stop writing!

Thu, January 25th, 2018 6:34pm

Author
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Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean a lot to me! :))

Thu, January 25th, 2018 10:41am

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Lionel Walfish

Great piece of writing, Oleg. A combination of such fantasies and delightful humour.
What an imagination have you !!!!!

Thu, January 25th, 2018 8:31pm

Author
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Thank you so much, Lionel! Your kind feedback means a lot to me! :))

Thu, January 25th, 2018 7:18pm

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