Warrior Muse Chronicles

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Submitted: June 12, 2019

Reads: 55

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Submitted: June 12, 2019






Warrior Muse Chronicles


Joseph D. Wulczynski




It was the silence that brought the soldier back from the brink of death.

For weeks he had lived with the bombardment of the war.  Artillery shells constantly pulverized the silence as if God Himself were thundering from the sky, telling the men that it was futile to try and persist.  Small arms fire and deadly lead from machine guns whizzed sporadically overhead. Too often smashing the life out of someone foolish enough to dare a peak across the no man’s land.  Shrill whistles alerting men that it was time to stand. Time to face death. During the brief lull of battle, cries of the wounded, the weary and the stark raving mad filled the night.  Rain pounded on the overhead cover, driving notes of an unnamed tune into the depths of the soldiers as they tried to sleep.  The angry buzz of a SPAD XIII flying overhead drove one officer to jump from protection and run wildly across the field, firing his pistol until empty.  There was a brief moment of silence. Both sides watched the lone figure slump and then suddenly a sniper’s bullet put the man to rest.

The awareness of silence brought the soldier back from the depth. The lone survivor of a battle that would be forgotten in the history books.  A member of the Eighty-Second Division, sent from America to help fight the war against the Germans in the war to end all wars.  Those he had known lie dead around him.  The enemy had left, walking past the dead and dying, occasionally kicking a body to ensure its life had left and thrusting bayonets at any who showed signs of living. 

The soldier had been at rest, the first time in a while, his body going cold as the lifeblood seeped from his wound.  He had almost passed over, came aware of the absolute stillness and slowly drifted back, hoping to enjoy the silence however brief it was to be. 

He opened his eyes.  In the distance he saw her, coming across the field of death without a concern.  She wore white, at this distance, it looked like a nurse’s outfit; however, it shone in the haze of the morning fog, brightening as she walked closer.  He saw she had blond hair pulled back. He favored blondes and knew she was an angel that had come for him.  He would soon be with his older brother, a lad who had not lived past his twelfth birthday.  The whiteness became almost unbearable as the silence left him.  At first, he could hear his own breathing and then the birds who had returned to the traumatized trees to survey the destruction sown by man.

His angel approached, paused in front of him, and then she was down next to him, whispering in his ear, the warmth of her breath drove the cold from his body as she spoke softly and with the truth.  She placed a hand on his wound, paused and stood, turning to return from wherever she had come from.  He tried to follow her with his eyes but was soon asleep. 

The next time he woke, he sat looking into the face of a creature he had seen once before, during a visit to a circus that had traveled to Pittsburg Pennsylvania.  There had been a cage with two ancient baboons, who had sat hunched as this one did; staring at the men, women, and children who had paid their money to step into the large tent. 

The soldier tried to moisten his mouth so he could articulate his thoughts in the hope that the creature would disappear and his angel return.

“Great, now I have a monkey staring at me.”

“That’s no worse than a man calling me a monkey.”

The creature came forward, lifting a canteen to the soldier’s parched lips. The strangeness of the event passed from the soldier’s mind as the cool water flowed down his throat.  He coughed, watched the baboon stand erect and step back. 

The creature stood about five-ten; its simian body wearing a strange garment. A vest was attached to his chest with large rounds protruding from rows of pockets.  The creature looked over the landscape and the soldier was haunted yet put at ease with the memory of the strangers’ eyes.  His eyes told too many tales and were filled with a mixture of emotions but the soldier had read enough to know he was safe.  At least from this creature.

Taking a sip from the canteen, the baboon returned it to a pouch attached to his waist.  He surveyed the sky before returning to his hunched position.

“What era of man are you.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand…”

“What is your, time, your period, your year?”

“It’s nineteen eighteen, October.”

“And you are a warrior?”

“Yes, a soldier.”

The creature smiled.

“Of course.  You have memory; she came to you, whispered in your ear.”


“And you will go with me.  You will see this through.”

As he became conscious of the situation there was no doubt in the soldier’s mind. He knew he would travel to this destiny. 


Trooper nodded his head.  He stood up, stretched and looked off into the distance.  There were usually never any questions. All seemed content to obey the guidance issued from those lips.

“We must go.  We have to arrive at the portal, the designation for our travel.  Grab what equipment you will want.”

The baboon waved an arm and an object floating twenty feet away moved towards him.  It looked like a tabletop at least four feet by four.  A green canvas covered the items it carried.

“Place what you wish not to carry on the Hover.”

The simian pulled back the cover to reveal an assortment of items.  He grabbed a large barreled rifle with a sling.  The weapon was unfamiliar to the soldier as he watched the creature work a hinge that broke the breech open.  Seemingly satisfied, the simian slung the weapon across his back. 

The soldier hesitated before he tried to stand.  He felt the familiarity of his pack but did not recall putting it on before he had climbed up the ladder.  He knew it was a habit to carry into battle more as a precaution of being struck in the back as they retreated towards their position.  He wondered if his legs would hold him.  His leg tingled with numbness.  He looked up at the creature who had the appearance of haste on his face.  He stood up and paused.  He felt energetic like he had not in a long time.  The soldier took his own pack and placed it on the strange craft.  Picking up his rifle, he checked to see if it was loaded.  He could not remember if he had fired a complete magazine at the enemy.

“We’ll grab more ammo for your weapon.  You’ll need it.  Take whatever else you want; poor souls need it no longer.”

“We’re headed to…”


“What do I call you?”

“I am the only of my kind.  My name, it has been lost.  One of your kind, he called me Trooper.  That will do for us.  I shall call you man.  Let’s go, we’re burning daylight.”


They lay behind a small hill, listening to the guttural language emitting from the woods.  Trooper had heard it first, paused and took cover, motioning for the soldier to join him.  The soldier noticed that the device called a Hover-which stayed behind them as they traveled-lay flat on the ground. 

They could see bodies slowly traveling through trees untouched by the madness.  The motion stopped at the edge of the woods. Most likely a squad pausing to ensure it was safe to venture into the open. There was a guttural command and a lone figure crept out of the woods, rifle ready, searching the area for a threat.  The hill was situated where the two companions could easily observe the action without giving themselves away.

“Are those yours?”

“Germans.” The soldier whispered as he shook his head.

“Germans. Nazis?”

Unfamiliar with the word, the soldier shrugged his shoulders as he brought the rifle up and took aim.  Trooper placed his hand on the rifle and signaled the soldier to wait.  Rolling onto his back, he broke open the breech of the M79 grenade launcher.  Removing one round from his vest, he placed the large shell into the weapon, softly clicked it shut and smiled at the soldier.


The squad was out of the woods, four of them moving to join their comrade; sure that they were in no danger.  There was a thump and the soldier watched as a projectile arched towards the group, exploding in the middle, throwing the men down.  The soldier reacted, raising his rifle and sighting on a figure thrown to his knees.  He squeezed the trigger, satisfaction coursing through his body as the .30-06 slammed into his enemy’s flesh, throwing him to the dirt.  There was another thump and the remaining members of the squad lay still.

“For your friends,” Trooper said, standing up and slinging the weapon behind his back.  He lifted his arm and the Hover rose, poised to follow them.

“Let’s go-burning day-light.”


They ran into no more of the enemy as they walked.  The soldier wandered if any of the populace remained in the area or where they all refuges far from home.  He was amazed at the stark difference of this area compared to the wasteland he had just left.  The field had already been a tattered landscape when his unit had arrived.  He and friends had speculated that the whole country must now be suffering from the effects of the war.  His thoughts ran past his time in the trenches and settled on his last minutes in hell.

On the battlefield, amongst the carnage of dreamers devastated by an enemy they had more in common than not the woman in white had spoken briefly.  It was not her words that had ensured the soldier’s participation but an awareness that had overcome him. 

He was an educated man; however, he would never be able to express the desire to fulfill the words spoken to him. The knowledge that he could stop endless suffering and death.

She had spoken his name.

She had spoken his brother’s name.

She had spoken a desire felt by men for generations.

End this war.

With her closeness, he had understood the truths of their lives; moreover, he knew there was a way to end the war.  The knowledge that other wars awaited future soldiers evaded him. This was his time. His friends and family.  He would travel to an unknown place.  He would destroy what lay there.  Nothing else mattered.



They were set for the night near the magical portal where they would begin their trip.  The soldier knew it was magical. Having been a teacher he wasn’t aware of anything like it. 

It appeared as a slit in the world that ran vertical and sat at eye level.  Approximately four feet in length a faded green hue outlined the paper thin opening. It was as if a surgeon had made his first cut into the reality of the soldier’s world.  Trooper had said they would not be bothered. Others could sense the anomaly but they would stay away from the area out of fear.  In the morning, Trooper would reach inside and fling it open like a curtain.  Once they had passed through, it would remain unknown to anyone who traveled through the area. 

The soldier was working on the fire as Trooper prepared the rations. The Hover appeared to carry an assortment of items, to include strange packages of food that could be heated by adding water.  The soldier added another piece of wood onto the fire and then started laying out his bedroll.  It wasn’t until this simple act that the soldier was overcome with an easiness that he had not felt in a while.  For the first time in recent memory, he felt he was going to be able to relax, enjoy a meal and possibly get a restful night’s sleep.

“Earlier you mentioned one of my kind, have there been others…”

“There have always been others, there will always be others.”

“What happened to them?”

“They are man, they passed. As all man does.  Here.”

The soldier took the steaming hot packet of food.  He could not remember the last time he had eaten.  The smell coming from the packet reminded him of home.  A place that appeared long gone.  He took a few bites.  It was delicious. 

“The others, did they accomplish what they set out to do.”

Trooper assumed his hunched position and stirred his meal with a fork, looking deep into the package.  He smiled and looked up at the soldier.

“Man. Does not matter: matters is what we do.”

They ate in silence for a while.

“What will we face, past the…curtain?”

Sadness passed across the creature’s face, briefly followed by a smirk.  He took a bite and then a drink of water.

“Do you read…books?”

“Yes, before the war. I never had time after we arrived here.”

“Where we go, like many books.  Different…locations, different things, different creatures.”

“Some like you?”

“No, not me.  Some like you, only thing, they’ll most likely be like the Germans and want to kill. Where we go sane man get a taste of insanity.”

They continued eating in silence. 

Trooper had told him they would wake up, watch the rising of the sun and eat a meal before they passed through.


During the months preparing to head overseas, the teacher turned soldier had tried to imagine what he would face once they arrived.  He had heard stories and read accounts of the war but nothing had prepared him for the reality.  They had been fighting a stagnant battle for two weeks when the enemy had amassed up their ladders and came across the distance that kept each alive.  There must have been reinforcements because they kept coming out of the trenches.The men of the All Americans had been trapped in a maze of weariness and death. They had eagerly leaped out of their positions to face the oncoming foe, each shouting with relief as they were able to use their legs in stride.  He had slipped the first attempt up the ladder, but a firm hand shoved him up and over the top.  Standing, his voice joined the others, cries of agony were overwhelmed by shouts of encouragement.  He had fired his rifle, chambered another round and started running as the bullet found its mark.  He had slumped down, ten feet away from the trench that had been a safe haven for many.  He watched as the two armies met, as they clashed and men died. Some never knowing why.  He had fired his rifle until empty. He had been morbidly glad to be out of the confinement of the trench. As his body settled into its death locus he wondered if he would be remembered.  Had he truly done anything to be remembered for?  Before awareness briefly left him he prayed that it would end.  The suffering. The killing. The dying. 

As he lay down for the night, he said no prayers. They had already been heard and he wondered if he had the strength to see them through.


The woman stood by the window absorbed by the snowflakes.

She was unaware that at this point in time a hand was roughly shoving her husband up a ladder.  She ran her hand through her long blonde hair, ignoring her reflection in the window, not seeing the true worry that lay in the woman looking back in on her.  She concentrated on the snowflakes, the whiteness of the crystals drawing her back in time. To their first meeting.  She had first met Henry Thomas Carrington on a day such as today. They had both stepped inside a little shop to brush the flakes out of their hair.She had stood aware of his eyes, watching her put her hair back up, curiosity in his sea blue eyes, a challenge for her to let her hair down.  After moments of silence, he had asked her name.  Six months later, they were married.

He was a teacher. Together they lived a comfortable life, better though, they lived a life of contentment. Occurrences of happiness that she had never experienced before.  It was during the fourth year of the war in Europe that he began to change. He started having trouble sleeping at night.

She was startled by her reflection, she was a few years away from thirty; however, the last five months had erased the youthful look many complimented her on, replacing it with a weariness shared by those with loved ones thousands of miles away with the specter of death sharing their every moment.  Their every breath.

She moved away from her reflection, she could no longer be near that woman, as if the loneliness she saw in her eyes would drive her insane.  She sat on the sofa unable to keep her mind from wandering back to the day Henry had come home and changed their lives. 


Susan Carrington pushed the chair in and went to stand by the door.  Her husband would promptly come through the door twenty minutes after leaving the schoolhouse.  Unless she was out, she stood by the door to greet him, feeling pleasure as his hand went to her hair and their lips met.  She stood, hoping his mood had changed, not sure what was driving at him.  He arrived late this evening.

He entered with a newspaper in his hand, her heart dropped as he quickly brushed her cheek with his, and then he walked to the table leaving the paper.

“Sorry I am late, I made a stop.  I went to the recruiting office.”

Her world was suddenly invaded by a swarm of locust. Their relentless sound blocking out the daily ambiance she was used to. Hairline cracks appeared to occur in front of her, briefly reminiscent of cracks in a porcelain doll she had once played with.  Warmth fled from her as if a roaring wave of winter flushed through her body.  It was only seconds of her life, though it was an experience she would take to her grave. She soon slipped back into reality, focusing on her husband’s words.

“You did what?”

“I enlisted, into the Army.”

She was not a sheltered woman, she knew what was happening to the men of her country that had enlisted. Many had returned ravaged, ruined by the insanity brought to the world by the Germans.  She had joined others of her church, visiting mothers who had lost a child. Consoling a loss she could not fathom. 

“No, I will not allow this…”

She moved towards the door as if to block him leaving. She focused her attention, almost believing it was a stranger that had entered their home.

“This is not up for debate Susan.”

“Neither is my decision.  What has gotten into you?”

She waited. She saw the truth about to roll from her husband, declaration of what had been bothering him these last months.  The moments of staring off into the distance as a newspaper clung from his hand, were about to be shared.

“I sit and I read the paper, I read of the war, I hear the stories and then I stand in front of my students, children; yet close enough that if this madness does not end soon, it shall overtake them too.”

“And you wish to travel off and accomplish what the Armies, the Navies, and the politicians have not been able to do! You shall end the war?”


“No, I am usually the dutiful wife, but I will not allow you to run off over some guilt…a part of you that died years ago, and the guilt of not being able to do anything.”

“Susan, it has nothing to do with him.”

“It has everything to do with your brother, you could not save him then you hope to make up for that now by rescuing your students.  I know of the love you have for your brother, I hear it in your voice on the moments you speak of him.  Sometimes I am jealous of that love…it was an accident, tragic and everlasting but you were and are not at fault…it is not your burden to sacrifice what you have, what we have now.”

There was truth in her words.  He saw them clearly, yet they were overshadowed by his love.  He lived his life as if his older brother were still with him, encouraging him to be the best person he could. Whispering at night that they did not have to follow in their father’s path.  That they had a destiny of their own.  He hated that his love for his brother overshadowed his love for his wife, but he knew he could not live any other way and be whole.

Silence remained with them for the rest of the evening.

A month later, she had wept as he left for training on a morning


The soldier stood and looked at the slit in his world. Trooper had explained where it led, other places outside this realm, parallel worlds, failed experiments Trooper had mused, worlds lost to their creator or most likely abandoned.  The soldier had drifted back to the night he had told his wife his intentions.  Their relationship had changed after those moments.  He still had faith that he had chosen the right path.

Everything was ready to go. They had eaten a cold meal, silently watched the sunrise, and internally prepared for what awaited them. He watched the simian approach the thin line that would lead from his world to unknown worlds, noticed the slight apprehension in his companion’s eyes as he placed his slender fingers into the slit and flung open another world. The color that bled through washed his world in the hue of greenness that engulfed even the shadows that lay amongst them.  Trooper stood there holding the way open. He motioned and the Hover passed through. He motioned again and the soldier began to pass through.  At his moment of passing, every sense was attuned to the shifting of worlds: voices, smells, visions and even feelings experienced in his lifetime fleetingly bombarded yet appeared to flee away from the passage, lingering for the briefest of a moment but not passing through to the other side.

He stood a moment in loss of all that had passed from him, knew that a false residue would stay with him but the truth of the memories would not return until he traveled back to his world.

He stood and waited for Trooper to join him.  There was no turning back.


The soldier would not have expected the landscape that spread before him.  It looked as if he were standing in somebody’s wheat field.  As far as he could see, the ground was covered in wheat, approximately half a foot high, just tall enough to be an irritant as you walked through it.  He spun around and saw Trooper removing something from the Hover, and then he rested his eyes on a road, well, most likely a wide path.  It looked to be made of orange clay and traveled out of his view.  There were houses, ones he associated with a farm, scattered alongside the path.  At closer observation, it looked like the houses had been randomly dropped next to the path.  All looked weather-worn and inhabitable. 

“Where are we?”  The soldier asked.

“Land of the Mannen.  We’ll walk two days, come to village, talk to the Head Master.  He’ll say we can go on.”

Trooper gave him a response before his companion could articulate a question.

“His land, we cannot use the portal unless he says so.”

“Can’t we go directly to our designation?”

Trooper covered up the items with the canvas and started walking.

“I don’t understand everything, you will neither, we just have to play by the games, the rules.”

“Who makes the rules?”

Trooper smiled.  “The Rule-Maker, let’s go-burning daylight.”

The soldier paused, he looked around, shrugged his shoulders and followed the simian.


They had been walking silently for two hours, mostly on flat ground but occasionally over minor hills.  There were no other signs of plant life, just the endless wheat field.  They skirted the path, the distance ranging from a few yards to hundreds of feet.  There was no pattern that the soldier could discern; however, there were houses spread along the entire pathway. 

He had been rationalizing his situation, having mostly operated out of emotion than logic since he had been shot, trying to get a grasp on what was truly happening.  It had seemed natural to follow the simian; he would lead so he could accomplish what he desired.  An end to the war! The chance for his students to live a life without suffering what millions were going through. 

Occasionally he was nagged by the similarity of his surroundings, deep inside he knew he was familiar with this setting but could not place it.  They had stopped for a drink and a bite of a bar that contained chocolate and nuts.  There was a sweetness that briefly brought back memories, memories somehow associated with his surroundings.  He had asked Trooper about this place, about his comments earlier on other worlds.  He listened as they walked towards a large hill.

Trooper spoke of a Supreme Being who had been around for an endless time.  The soldier had asked if he meant God. Trooper replied that Gods’ were worshipped by the masses. This was before all. A being alone in the nothingness of existence.  The Being began to create. He created universes and worlds where he planted seeds, many things spawned from these seeds; however, the Being was never satisfied.  He would grow weary of a creation, create anew and was constantly seeking, what none knew. It was not their place. There were hundreds, thousands of these creations, like orphaned children they existed on their own, many erupting out of existence as millenniums passed. 

At one point in existence, there had been a rebellion by those the Being had created.  They had been cast aside from his favor and now fought against the Beings’ purpose.  The orphaned planetary creations were the battlegrounds, in what the soldier would call the fight between good and evil.  Trooper did not know whom, but somebody had facilitated a way to travel from one world into another.  The portals. He could not tell if they were meant as a means of escape or invasion.  He just knew how to locate them.

Trooper was near the bottom of the hill when he froze in place and signaled the soldier to do the same.  They stood barely breathing; the simian straining to hear a sound carried across the wind.  After a moment of silence, the soldier heard a noise. It sounded like a lion he once heard at a circus: a cry of anger and torment. Trooper had not mentioned what kind of creatures may inhabit this land, but from the look on his face, they were about to meet one.


The soldier followed the simians’ gait, looking over his shoulder as another roar discharged over the top, nipping at his heels ensuring he kept the pace.  Suddenly his companion stopped, forcing the soldier to cartwheel his free arm to keep from plummeting to the ground as his own momentum halted.  The soldier could see the fear in Trooper’s eyes as he watched for something to crest over the hill.

“A Snarf, we will not get away: we must face it!”

Trooper told him to turn and face the hill. He said the creature should be bounding over. The soldier was to stand and fire his weapon at the creature’s heart. He would use his grenade launcher. Hopefully, between them, they could terminate the death that now hunted them.  Trooper stood behind and to the side, the breech of the gun broken so he could load a round.

There was another roar, and the soldier steeled himself to face whatever was to come over the hilltop. He imagined a huge creature with deadly teeth and talons that would shred him and his companion, and then feast on the bones.

“Man, if I don’t make it…”  Trooper’s words were cut off by another roar. The soldier held his rifle as he had been trained to. He had faced death before, but that was from men such as himself.

The soldier began a simple prayer.  The prayer buried itself as he thought of his wife-his desire to be with her again, living out their lives together.  Sweat began to flow into his eyes, blurring his vision, and he cursed as a roar from just the other side pulverized his heart like a shaft of thunder.  He saw slight movement at the top of the hill and suddenly heard laughter from behind him.  He tried to focus, tried to put the large creature into his sight, tried to figure out why the simian behind him was laughing.

He caught sight of the creature bounding down the hill towards him. It probably weighed no more than three pounds. It was a rabbit similar to rabbits from his world, except this creature had a single leg that protruded from the front instead of two.  The creature swerved to avoid the soldier, a massive roar somehow emitting from its being.  There was still laughter from behind him as he let the tension off the trigger, and checked to ensure nothing else was going too bound over the top.  Once he was sure that there was no threat, he turned around. 

Trooper was walking away, his shoulders jerking at his hearty laugh.The soldier looked back to the hilltop.  He looked off in the direction the animal had taken.

“Let’s go-burning daylight.” Trooper threw over his shoulder.

The soldier shook his head and followed the simian.



It was night time.

Before darkness, they had set up camp. Trooper had placed a small globe that let off a light and enough heat to ward off the night chill. When the soldier had gone to relieve himself, he had panicked when he could not see the light.  He had assumed it had gone out but was delighted to see its glow as he drew closer.  He wanted to ask about the light but decided to save his questions for other matters. 

They lay on their bedrolls eating a hot meal.  Trooper had told him that they would need to resupply once they got to the village. The sealed meals would be needed later.  The soldier had tried to ask questions about the place they were headed. What the people in the Land of Mannen were like.  With no response, he tried to get information on their final designation but the simian was unresponsive to those inquires too.  They lay there eating.  The soldier looking into the sky for a moon, but one was not to be found.  Trooper broke the silence.

“What is the place you are from?”

The soldier paused for a moment.  He tried to read his companions possible sentiments on silence to a question.  The simian just waited patiently for the soldier to answer.

“It’s called Pittsburg, in the state of Pennsylvania.  America.”

The soldier could see his companion accessing his memory and then suddenly Trooper smiled and looked at the soldier.

“Steelers, eight-time Super Bowl Champions.”

“I’m not familiar with the champions…”

“Other era of man. What was your duty, what did you do before becoming a soldier.”

“I am a teacher.”

The simian’s eyes grew wide in amazement and he nodded his head in approval and smiled.

“Teacher, hmmm-good, good.  You have a family?”

“My parents died while I was, still too young. My older brother died when I was nine. I have a wife, Susan. She is waiting for me to return.”

“No little teachers running around.”

“No, not yet.  You, do you have any family?”

Trooper looked off into the distance.  The soldier regretted his words, recalling the simian’s remark about being the only one of his kind.

“Only you.”

The soldier nodded his head, accepting and understanding the comment.  He had felt like the men in his unit were brothers. There was a closeness that had developed through their joint experiences. 

Trooper finished eating, placing the trash in a bag that he would place on the Hover after the morning meal.  He lay his head on his bedroll, looking up into the sky.

“Man, you do watch first.  Wake me in three hours.”  There was a brief pause.  “When you have a family, little ones, you hold them, you make sure you never lose them.”

The simian closed his eyes as the soldier cleaned up his meal.  He briefly glanced at the creature and wondered if this was all a delusion.  Fragmented memories and wishes cavorting with him before his death. He stood and took a deep breath.  He knew what it was to feel alive and had been close enough to death to know this was his reality.  However strange it may occur to him. He scanned the area and then settled on the ground with his rifle.  He thought his companion had dozed off but had been mistaking.

“Snarf, Snarf.”  The words came out of the simian in a joking manner. The soldier shook his head, smiled and looked off into the distance letting his mind wander a little.



© Copyright 2019 Joseph D Wulczynski. All rights reserved.


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