The Last Air Bender: Water

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

Chapter 2 (v.1) - The Boy In The Iceberg

Submitted: July 12, 2012

Reads: 54

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 12, 2012



There are open waters, staggered with mountainous boulders of ice as far as the horizon. Human footprints are implanted among the snow of a floating ice pallet. Behind the glacier, a two-person canoe floating to the current of the South Pole waters. Inside the canoe, a teenage boy, Sokka, head shaven, except for a pony tail, stands in the canoe. He looks down at the water, spear at the ready. The other occupant is a young girl. Both wear blue overcoats. The canoe drifts slowly as the boy concentrates on fishing. Beside the boat a fish swims close to the surface in front of the boy.

“It’s not getting away from me this time. Watch and learn, Katara. This is how you catch a fish!” Sokka proclaimed, yelling in his little sister’s direction.

Katara leans over the edge of the canoe to see a fish. Hesitantly, she removes her gloves. She takes a deep breath and with a look of trepidation begins the motion with her exposed hands. Suddenly, a globe of water containing the fish bursts out of the water. Katara is a water bender.

“Sokka, look!” The novice bender said with great excitement.

Sokka whispers, “Shhh. Katara, you're gonna scare it away. Mmmm... I can already smell it cookin'!”

Katara, trying to retain control of the globe of water, “But Sokka! I caught one!”

She struggles with the bubble of water and it floats closer to Sokka, who raises his spear to strike a fish. When he cocks his arm back he burst the bubble of water. The fish falls back into the sea and Sokka gets drenched.

“Hey!” the young girl screamed with irritation.

Sokka, annoyed said, “Ugh! Why is it that every time you play with magic water I get soaked?”

Katara protests, “It's not magic. It's water bending, and it's-“

Sokka cuts her off. “Yeah, yeah, an ancient art unique to our culture, blah blah blah. Look, I'm just saying that if I had weird powers, I'd keep my weirdness to myself.”

“You're calling me weird? I'm not the one who makes muscles at myself every time I see my reflection in the water.” The teenage boy is making a muscle and looking at his reflection in the water. He turns to Katara and gives her a look. Suddenly the boat is bumped; they look up to see they have entered an ice packed area. They begin to work frantically to maneuver the canoe between the icebergs. The two children scream in terror.

“Watch out! Go left! Go left!” Katara commands her brother.

Icebergs are colliding all around them. Each time they manage to avoid getting crushed between the colliding icebergs, but their safety margins decrease rapidly each time. Finally the canoe is crushed when three icebergs collide at once. Sokka and Katara jump out in time onto one of the icebergs. They are now at the mercy of the currents.

“You call that left?” she asked sarcastically. Sokka, getting angry, said, “You don't like my steering. Well, maybe you should have water bended us out of the ice.”

Behind them a huge towering iceberg rears up into the sky. Katara, unaware of the iceberg, “So it's my fault?” Sokka, instigating the argument, “I knew I should have left you home. Leave it to a girl to screw things up.” Katara’s anger boiling over, her face turning red. She points at her brother. “You are the most sexist, immature, nut brained...” As she gets more excited, while whipping water behind her, the iceberg on which they are sitting begins to heave. The huge iceberg behind her cracks. “Ugh, I'm embarrassed to be related to you! Ever since mom died I've been doing all the work around camp while you've been off playing soldier!”

Sokka, noticing the cracking iceberg, “Uh... Katara?”

“I even wash all the clothes! Have you ever smelled your dirty socks? Let me tell you, not pleasant!”

Sokka pleads, “Katara! Settle down!”

“No, that's it. I'm done helping you. From now on, you're on your own!”

By the end she is screaming. As she finishes blasting it with water, the iceberg behind her splits open entirely. It disintegrates and the major pieces fall into the water, pushing their canoe away. They hold on desperately until the iceberg settles.

“Okay, you've gone from weird to freakish, Katara.”

“You mean I did that?” said the twelve year old with question.

“Yup. Congratulations.”

They both are leaning over the edge of the iceberg raft. Suddenly, the water just in front of them begins to glow an incandescent blue. They move backwards on their raft as another, lighter colored iceberg breaks the surface. It is unclear whether this is part of the one Katara broke up or not. As the new iceberg settles, Katara walks to edge of their iceberg raft to get a better look. Deep in the ice, the figure of a boy in a meditation pose is seen. He has white arrows on his fists and on his bald head. Suddenly, his eyes glow and his arrow markings glow white.

“He's alive! We have to help.” Screams Katara. She grabs Sokka's hockey stick type spear, pulls down her hood and turns to go to the boy. Her older brother yells, “Katara! Get back here! We don't know what that thing is!”

Katara ignores him and skips across a few little icebergs to arrive at the one in which the boy is trapped. Sokka follows. She begins to use the spear to whack the ice. After a few big hits, she cracks open the ice. Air is released, as if the iceberg had a hollow chamber within it. The iceberg then cracks from top to bottom and explodes open. A huge shaft of white blue light shoots straight into the heavens.

~ ~ ~

In the distance, the shaft of light and the aurora around it is clearly. The foreground is occupied by a herd of tiger seals, which rears themselves up and roars at the phenomenon. An iron hulled battleship with a spiked prow cutting through the sea is also nearby. It is apparently steam powered as it has a single smokestack. The foredeck is much longer than the afterdeck. The bridge appears to be several decks above the main deck. The back of a young man on the foredeck dressed in red, also shaven-headed except for a pony-tail, staring intently at the shaft of light in front of the ship is seen. His face, still illuminated by the shaft of light, is badly scarred around his left eye. This is Prince Zuko, son if the Fire Lord, ruler of the Fire Nation. The light from the beam dissipates.

“Finally,” the scared Fire Prince calmly mutters. He turns to address someone, “Uncle, do you realize what this means?” An old man seated cross legged at a low table, drinking tea and playing a game involving domino like objects appears at the other end of the iron ship.

“I won't get to finish my game?” Iroh questions.

“It means my search - it's about to come to an end.” Zuko says to his uncle as he groans. “That light came from an incredibly powerful source. It has to be him!”

Iroh protests, “Or it's just the celestial lights. We've been down this road before, Prince Zuko. I don't want you to get too excited over nothing. Please, sit. Why don't you enjoy a cup of calming jasmine tea?” Zuko, exploding in anger, “I don't need any calming tea! I need to capture the Avatar. Helmsman, head a course for the light!”

~ ~ ~

Sokka is shielding his sister from the blast that just dissipated. They look up to see residual blue light still swirling around the top of what is left of the iceberg. Suddenly, the boy appears, his eyes and arrow markings still aglow. Sokka, raising his spear at the boy, “Stop!”

The boy stands up as the glow and residual energy fades. He seems to pass out and slides down the side of the ruined iceberg to Sokka and Katara, who lunges forward and catches him as he falls. Sokka pokes Aang in the head with the blunt end of his weapon. “Stop it!” Katara cried.

She pulls Sokka’s sword and turns to the boy. She gently turns him over so that he is lying on his back. He begins to wake up. He slowly opens his eyes. A breeze gently blows her braids as the boy intakes a breath.

The boy, whispering in a weak voice, “I need to ask you something.” “What?” Katara questions. Still whispering, “Please... come closer.” “What is it?” In a normal, even excited voice, “Will you go penguin sledding with me?” the boy exclaimed. “Uh... sure. I guess.”

The boy air bends himself to his feet as he starts to rub the back of his head as Sokka screams.

“What's going on here?” the preteen boy asks.

Sokka, yelling, “You tell us! How'd you get in the ice?” He’s poking the boy with his spear. “And why aren't you frozen?”

Batting the spear away, the boy said absently, “I'm not sure.” He gasps as a low, animal like noise is heard from behind him and begins to frantically climb back up the ruined iceberg. He jumps over the lip of what is in fact now a crater and lands on a huge furry animal. “Appa! Are you all right? Wake up, buddy.” He leans down and opens one of the beast’s eyes. He closes it again. He hops down and tries to lift the animal's huge head, but without effect. Katara and Sokka come around the corner and their mouths drop in shock as the see the monster, whose mouth opens and licks the boy trying to wake him up. “Haha! You're okay!” the boy screams as he hugs the animal. Appa occupies most of the crater left by the explosion. He is a huge flying bison with six legs and horns like a steer. Appa gets up and shakes himself off a bit.

Sokka screams, “What is that thing?” “This is Appa, my flying bison.” explained the boy. Sokka said with much sarcasm, “Right. And this is Katara, my flying sister.” Aang is about to reply, but doesn't as Appa begins to sneeze. Aang ducks in time as Appa proceeds to sneeze all over Sokka who screams. Sokka, covered in snot, tries to get rid of it by rolling around on the ice and snow. “Don't worry. It'll wash out.” states the bald boy as Sokka groans in disgust.

“So, do you guys live around here?” asked the boy. Quickly, Sokka yells to his sister, “Don't answer that! Did you see that crazy bolt of light? He was probably trying to signal the Fire Navy.”

“Oh, yeah, I'm sure he's a spy for the Fire Navy. You can tell by that evil look in his eye.” The boy’s face is innocent. “The paranoid one is my brother, Sokka. You never told us your name.”

“I'm A... aaaahhhh... ahhhhhh.... aaah aaah aaah AAAAAAACHOOOO!” As the boy sneezes he zooms of the ground far into the air. “I'm Aang.” He sniffles and rubs his nose. Incredulously, Sokka says, “You just sneezed... and flew ten feet in the air.”

“Really? It felt higher than that.” Aang questioned. Gasping, the young water bender yelled, “You're an air bender!”

“Sure am.” Aang agreed.

“Giant light beams... flying bison... air benders... I think I've got Midnight Sun Madness. I'm going home to where stuff makes sense.” Sokka protests. He turns to walk off, but is stopped at the iceberg's edge, staring off to a desolate area of only sea and ice.

Aang says, “Well, if you guys are stuck Appa and I can give you a lift.” He air bends himself onto Appa's head, then to the top of his back where rests an enormous saddle. Reigns are attached to both of Appa's great horns. “We'd love a ride! Thanks!” Katara says as she gets on Appa.

“Oh, no... I am not getting on that fluffy snot monster.” Sokka says with irritation.

“Are you hoping some other kind of monster will come along and give you a ride home? You know... before you freeze to death?” The water bender says mockingly. Sokka starts to say something and gives up before he does. He sighs. Katara and Sokka are in the back part of the saddle. Katara looks excited. Sokka looks grumpy, arms folded across his chest.

Aang, on the head of the beast proclaims, “Okay. First time flyers hold on tight! Appa, yip yip!” Aang shakes the reigns and Appa makes a low rumble. He flaps his huge beaver tail and then launches into the air. He spreads his legs wide, but then comes right back down into the water with a huge splash. He begins to swim them forward.

Aang, shaking the reigns again, “Come on, Appa. Yip yip.” Sarcastically, Sokka notes, “Wow. That was truly amazing.”

“Appa's just tired,” the air bender defended, “A little rest and he'll be soaring through the sky. You'll see.” He makes a “soaring through the sky” motion with his hand, his eyes finally resting on Katara. He leaves them there, a smile rests on his face as he looks at her. “Why are you smiling at me like that?” the girl asks.

“Oh... I was smiling?” Aang blushes as Sokka gives a disgusted groan.

~ ~ ~

Zuko is on the spotting deck off the bridge looking forward and is approached by Iroh. It is now night. “I'm going to bed now.” The old man stated as he makes an exaggerated yawn. “Yep. A man needs his rest. Prince Zuko, you need some sleep. Even if you're right and the Avatar is alive, you won't find him. Your father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all tried and failed.”

Zuko offers his rebuttal, “Because their honor didn't hinge on the Avatar's capture. Mine does. This coward's hundred years in hiding are over”

~ ~ ~

Appa is still swimming in the nighttime waters, his friends on his back. Aang lies back on top of Appa's head. Katara, in the saddle on Appa's back with her brother, crawls forward and looks down from the saddle at Aang. “Hey.” Says the girl.

“Hey. Whatcha thinkin' about?” He replies.

“I guess I was wondering – you being an air bender and all – if you had any idea what happened to the Avatar.”

Aang, looking unsettled, “Uhh... no. I didn't know him... I mean, I knew people that knew him, but I didn't. Sorry.”

“Okay. Just curious. Goodnight.” Katara says innocently.

“Sleep tight.” The air bender says. Katara turns away. Aang, who also looks away has an expression of fear on his face.


Aang is in a dream. He is struggling against Appa's reigns with heavy rain coming down. He screams. Aang and Appa suddenly penetrate the surface and enter the watery depths. They come up briefly for air, Appa groans, but they are once again driven under the storm tossed waves. As they drift downward, Aang drops Appa's reigns and begins to lose consciousness. Suddenly, Aang's eyes and markings glow white. He puts his hands together and he freezes himself and Appa in a huge ball of ice.

Katara’s voice in the background calls out to Aang. He wakes up, gasping. “It's okay. We're in the village now. Come on, get ready. Everyone's waiting to meet you.” She says as she tried to calm the air bender.

Aang gets up and puts on his shirt and hood. Katara looks at his air bender tattoos. She grabs Aang by the hand and drags him outside. He carries a staff with him.

Aang reaches the outside and moans in shock. A small crowd has gathered to greet him. It is composed of women of various ages and children. “Aang, this is the entire village. Entire village, Aang.” Aang bows to them in a friendly manner, but the people pull back from him anyway. “Uh... why are they all looking at me like that? Did Appa sneeze on me?” the boy asked in a puzzled fashion. An old woman enters as Aang inspects his clothes for bison snot.

“Well, no one has seen an air bender in a hundred years. We thought they were extinct until my granddaughter and grandson found you.” the old woman stated.

“Extinct?” Aang was confused. “Aang, this is my grandmother.” Katara stated.

“Call me Gran Gran.” the wrinkled old woman, dressed in traditional Water Tribe parkas remarked.

Sokka, grabbing Aang's staff, questions, “What is this, a weapon? You can't stab anything with this.” “It's not for stabbing.” Aang defended. He creates a jet of air that sucks the staff back into his hand. “It's for air bending.” Aang opens the staff into a glider with orange wings.

“Magic trick! Do it again!” a little girl screamed.

“Not magic, air bending. It lets me control the air currents around my glider and fly.” Aang protested calmly.

“You know, last time I checked, humans can't fly.” said the doubtful Water Tribe warrior. “Check again!” yelled Aang. He launches himself into the air with his glider. He soars through the air, doing loops as the villagers on the ground point to him in wonder. They all stare at the flying boy with amazement.

Aang looks down at Katara who smiles at him. He is so enthralled with her attention that he slams into Sokka's guard tower. He pulls his head out of the tower and falls to the ground with his glider. He grunts as he crashed. Sokka runs over to his watchtower, screaming as if it were an infant who fell on the ground for the first time.

“That was amazing.” Katara yells. She helps Aang back to his feet. He twirls his glider shut as Sokka examines the damaged tower behind him. After Aang closes the glider a huge bank of snow buries Sokka.

Sokka, still buried in snow, says with evermore sarcasm, “Great. You're an air bender, Katara's a water bender, together you can just waste time all day long.”

Aang says with surprise, “You're a water bender!”

“Well... sort of. Not yet.” denies the novice bender.

“All right. No more playing. Come on, Katara, you have chores.” Gran Gran demands as she pulls Katara away from the air bender. Katara whispers to her grandmother, “I told you! He's the real thing, Gran Gran! I finally found a bender to teach me.” “Katara, try not to put all your hopes in this boy.” The woman says with doubt. Katara defends him without any hesitation. “But he's special. I can tell. I sense he's filled with much wisdom.” She looks over to her right. Aang has his tongue frozen to his staff, children gathered around him. Aang, slurring, “Sthee? Now my tongue ith thuck to my sthaff.” A child next to him grabs the staff and yanks, but Aang's tongue stays stuck. The children laugh and applaud.

~ ~ ~

An afternoon sky covers Zuko's ship as it cuts through the waves. Zuko faces two Fire Navy seamen with Iroh sits nearby. “Again.” demands the old man. Zuko blasts fire from his hands at the guards, but misses. Then the guards attack Zuko with blasts of fire from their fists, but Zuko dodges. He back flips over the guards to land behind them and cheers. Iroh sighs and gets up.

“No!” Iroh yells, “Power in fire bending comes from the breath. Not the muscles. The breath becomes energy in the body. The energy extends past your limbs and becomes fire.” Iroh demonstrates, releasing a controlling plume of flame that bursts in front of Zuko, but does not hit him. “Get it right this time.”

“Enough!” yells the prince, “I've been drilling this sequence all day. Teach me the next set. I'm more than ready.”

Iroh refuses. “No, you are impatient. You have yet to master your basics. Drill it again!” Zuko blasts one of the guards backwards with a gout of fire. “The sages tell us that the Avatar is the last air bender. He must be over a hundred years old by now. He's had a century to master the four elements. I'll need more than basic fire bending to defeat him. You will teach me the advanced set!” Zuko demanded.

“Very well.” agreed Iroh, “But first I must finish my roast duck.” He begins eating and makes noises demonstrating the deliciousness of his meal.

~ ~ ~

Sokka is addressing an audience as he paces back and forth. “Now men, it's important that you show no fear when you face a fire bender. In the Water Tribe, we fight to the last man standing. For without courage, how can we call ourselves men?”

He looks at his audience. It is a group of six children, most of whom are toddlers. A little boy raises his hand, “I gotta pee!”

“ Listen! Until your fathers return from the war, they're counting on you to be the men of this tribe. And that means no potty breaks.” Sokka yells at the little boy.

“But I really gotta go.” He yelled back to Sokka.

“Okay... who else has to go?” Sokka said sighing. All six raise their hands. Sokka slaps his forehead in aggravation as all six leave and Katara enters. “Have you seen Aang? Gran Gran said he disappeared over an hour ago.”

Aang emerges from a small igloo-type bathroom stall. He adjusts his pants and smiles at the trip of boys coming to use the toilet. Aang, gesturing over his shoulder at the toilet, “Wow! Everything freezes in there!” The children laugh.

“Ugh! Katara, get him out of here.” Sokka demands, pointing at the air bender, “This lesson is for warriors only.”

A child yelps in joy off in the distance. Aang on Appa’s back. They have propped up Appa’s tail using a makeshift sawhorse. A kid has used Appa's back and tail as a slide to land in a pile of snow. The children, and soon Katara, all start laughing.

Sokka yells at the kids, “Stop! Stop it right now!” Then he directed his anger to Aang. “What's wrong with you? We don't have time for fun and games with a war going on.”

Aang questions the warrior’s last statement. “What war?” He hops down off of Appa. “What are you talking about?”

“You're kidding, right?” Sokka looks at the baldheaded boy with confusion. Aang's gaze shifts slightly off of Sokka to look at something beyond him. “PENGUIN!” Aang screams. There is a penguin in distance, visible between Sokka and Katara. The penguin, aware that it has been spotted, makes an excited noise and turns to waddle away. Aang uses his air bending skill to run at unbelievable speed toward the horizon where the penguin had just been. Sokka turns to his sister and questions Aang actions, “He's kidding, right?”


A beach is loaded with penguins that waddle around squawking. Katara is walking along the beach, looking for Aang. “Aang?” she calls out. Aang is chasing some penguins, but unable to catch them as the waddle away. “Haha! Hey, come on little guy. Wanna go sledding?” he asks the penguin as if it were a human. He lunges, but falls flat on his face. He gets back up as Katara approaches him. “Oof! Heh heh, I have a way with animals.” Aang says as he puts his arms out and waddles in imitation of the four flippered penguins. “Yarp! Yarp yarp! Yarp! Yarp yarp! Yarp!” Katara giggles, “Hahaha... Aang, I'll help you catch a penguin if you teach me water bending.”

Aang excitedly agrees, “You got a deal! Just one little problem. I'm an air bender, not a water bender. Isn't there someone in your tribe who can teach you?”

Katara, looking away in sadness, “No. You're looking at the only water bender in the whole South Pole.”

“This isn't right.” Aang says, “A water bender needs to master water. What about the North Pole? There's another Water Tribe up there, right? Maybe they have water benders who could teach you.”

Katara, still saddened, states, “Maybe. But we haven't had contact with our sister tribe in a long time. It's not exactly 'turn right at the second glacier.' It's on the other side of the world.”

Aang rebuttals, “But you forget; I have a flying bison. Appa and I can personally fly you to the North Pole. Katara, we're gonna find you a master!”

Katara, happily, “That's...” She quickly turns to uncertainty. “I mean, I don't know. I've never left home before.”

“ Well, you think about it. But in the meantime, can you teach me to catch one of these penguins?” Katara, mocking a treachery tone, “Okay, listen closely my young pupil. Catching penguins is an ancient and sacred art. Observe.” She produces a little fish from her coat and tosses it at Aang. He is instantly surrounded by a horde of hungry penguins.

In the distance is an ice bank. Suddenly, Katara and Aang rocket off the ice bank, each sitting atop a penguin. They land on the bank below and continue down at high speed on the penguin's belly. Aang and his penguin take a jump off a small ramp, eventually landing in front of Katara. She takes the jump and lands near him. They laugh together in happiness.

Katara yells as she speeds across the ice, “I haven't done this since I was a kid!” Aang yells back, “You still are a kid!” They continue to rocket across the frozen landscape, eventually entering system of ice tunnels. The tunnels have periodic gaps where sunlight pours through. They emerge from the tunnels and get off their mounts, which stand up and dizzily wander away making little chirping noises. They walk forward, looking at something in front of them.

“Whoa... what is that?” Aang asks in amazement. A huge ship locked in the ice in front of them. It is a derelict Fire Navy ship, silhouetted by the sun behind it. Katara, deathly serious, explains to Aang, “A Fire Navy ship, and a very bad memory for my people.” Aang begins to walk to the ship. “Aang, stop! We're not allowed to go near it. The ship could be booby trapped.” “If you wanna be a bender, you have to let go of fear.” Aang advises the young water bender. She looks uncertain, then follows him to the ship. They climb up and enter the ship through a gaping hole in one of forward compartments below the water line. They walk around the dark corridors inside past many a darkened room. “This ship has haunted my tribe since Gran Gran was a little girl.” Katara explains, “It was part of the Fire Nation's first attacks.”

“Okay, back up.” Aang protests, “I have friends all over the world, even in the Fire Nation. I've never seen any war.”

“Aang, how long were you in that iceberg?” Katara looks in his big eyes with wonder. “I don't know... a few days, maybe?” He replies.

“I think it was more like a hundred years!” She says with amazement.

:What? That's impossible. Do I look like a hundred-twelve year old man to you?” Aang says with cynicism. “Think about it.” She explains, “The war is a century old. You don't know about it because, somehow, you were in there that whole time. It's the only explanation.” Aang puts his hand to his head and walks backward. Stunned by this realization, he sinks to the floor. “A hundred years! I can't believe it.”

Katara kneels next to him, “I'm sorry, Aang. Maybe somehow there's a bright side to all this.” Aang looks at Katara and smiles. “I did get to meet you.”

Katara blushes, “Come on. Let's get out of here.” She helps him back to his feet and they start walking once again. Aang enters a darkened room on the ship, Katara is left behind in the hallway. “Aang? Let's head back. This place is creepy.” Aang is stunned with amazement and can only mutter, “Huh?” Aang's foot is dragging a trip wire on the floor. Behind them the door is blocked by a grate that drops from the ceiling. They grab it just after it falls shut. They are trapped. “What's that you said about booby traps?” Aang asks with a scared tone.

Around them, machinery in the room starts to operate. Gauges show steam pressure and wheels begin to turn. Steam begins to pour out of some of the equipment. Suddenly, outside of the ship, a bright flare explodes out of the vessel and into the sky, leaving a trail of smoke behind it. Aang and Katara look out the window of the ship's bridge. “Uh oh.” Aang states.

When it reaches the flare zenith it explodes with a small shower of sparks. There is a hole in the ceiling that Aang is looking at. “Hold on tight!” He tells Katara. He grabs her, who cries out in surprise, and launches them both through the hole in the ceiling. He lands with her in his arms on top of the bridge.

Cut to a long shot of the falling flare as soon through the lens of a telescope. The telescope follows the flare down for a few moments, before shifting downwards to show Aang hopping down the ship and the ice which encases it to the ground below, Katara still in his arms.

~ ~ ~

“The last air bender.” Zuko exclaims while looking through his telescope. “Quite agile for his old age.” He yells at a vessel soldier, “Wake my uncle! Tell him I found the Avatar...” He looks back into his telescope to see Aang and Katara running across the ice away from the ship. He then scans left quickly, then pulls it back right to focus on Katara's village. “ well as his hiding place.” Zuko's right eye, the unscarred one, arches in determination.

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