THE VELCAN WARRIORS

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
The daughter of the village chief of Velca is captured by a notorious and powerful cult. He calls on the four greatest warriors of the land to rescue her.

Submitted: May 11, 2013

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Submitted: May 11, 2013

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THE VELCAN WARRIORS

By Stanley N. Bassey

 

 

 

 

Walter, the old but nonetheless menacing lookingchief of Velca stood tall as he glared at the four figures before him.

“What are your names?” he demanded in a harsh tone.

“Themus from the Bakiticlan” came the cool and firm voice of a tall muscle-bound man with thick black hair hanging over broad shoulders.

“Isendy from the Silent Finger” spoke the hooded man next to Themus. He had a slow Slytherin voice that could easily make the skin crawl.

“Clauton from the Seckta clan” spoke the smallthird figure in a voice not dissimilar to the former. He alsowas cloaked.

“Hlare from the Instantal clan” came the alluring voice of the fourth character. She was a curious combination of brawn and beauty and had her long hair stylishly folded behind her head.

“You know why you were summoned here?” The Chief continued in his severe tone after their briefintroduction.

“My beloved daughter has been kidnapped by the accursed Salmantos for one of theirhorrid rituals. Just imagine the audacity of those fools…”

Chief Walter broke into a furious fit for a moment and after recomposing himself continued;

“As you know, numbers count for nothing against the Salmantos and that is why I have selected the best warriors in each tribe of my village. Hlare and Themus, you are both frontal fighters, Clauton, you are a master of infiltration and you Isendy are a skilled monk. This means the group possesses all that is required for the task.

They will be at River Gultis in the hilly regions, twenty three miles from our village for they perform all their rituals there. The ritual will be held at noon tomorrow. You have till then to rescue her.”

“NOW GO!”

- - -

Forty minutes later, as the four warriors sprinted together out of familiar territory and towards wilderness the voice of the village chief still bore fresh on their minds. They were fully aware of what failure meant; four spikes will be specially decorated with the heads of the greatest fighters in the land. This rescue was very significant to the king for he loved his daughter dearly.

The quadruple were at even odds; the man and woman running at the edges looked stout and seasoned whereas the two cloaked ones at the centre were somewhat frail looking; it was a wonderhow they managed to match the pace of the other two.Themus carried a single weapon; a hefty double-handed, double-edged sword strapped to his back, Hlare bore a small scimitar on the side of each hip and a large sturdy bow along with dozens of arrows at her back. No weapon was visible on either Isendy or Clauton, no doubt Clauton bore weapons beneath his cloak. As forIsendy, his weapon was his mind;decades of secluded meditation had imbued him with different peculiar abilities all emanating from his mind.

Suddenly, Isendyincreased pace and ran ahead of the others and then abruptly stretched out both arms to halt the group.They were now in a meadow; the designated hills could be seen afar off.

“What is it?” Themus enquired in a hushed voice.

Isendy did not answer; he instead bent over and placed his right palm on the grass. In this position, he continued pacing around haphazardly. Then he stopped, stood upright and addressed the other three in his hissing voice.

“The Salmantos have set up an invisible sensory field around this perimeter. The field starts just at that point”Isendy said, pointing to the ground beside a tree twelve feet away.

“If we cross that point we’ll be instantly detected by the Salmantos”

Hlare looked at him stupendously “The Salmantos are still many miles away. Are you saying they can detect us fromthat far off?”

“These people possess the kind of power that can” Isendyanswered, his face was so hooded that only his nose and mouth were visible. 

“Then there’s no way we can reach them without detection” Themus concluded.

“There is” Isendy breathed. He shut his eyes and raised both arms skywards. After about ten seconds of silence, sparkling silvery powder of some sort suddenly appeared a few feet above them, fell over them and unto the turf below, and then vanished as suddenly as it had appeared.

“This will let us move without detection”

Clauton was not entirely guaranteed.

“Are you sure it –”

“I was chosen among the lot of monks for a reason” Isendytone was higher this time.

“I’m with Clauton. Don’t forget it’s the Salmantos we are up against –” Hlare started but was also interrupted.

Isendysaid “I am no mere trickster. If you knew anything about meditation you would…”

“That’s enough” Themus cut in authoritatively “Let us have faith in Isendy and continue with haste. After all, there’s no alternative”

With that the four continued sprinting after their unseen enemy.

- - -

“If you hurt me my father will kill you!” Lian screamed at one of the Salmantos as she was being forcefully led through a rocky channel with a cliff on either side, to the river where the ritual was to be performed.

The Salmantos were only three in number andhad a few dozen henchmen and henchwomento do their bidding.

This one with Lian, the village chief’s daughter, was called Pato and was extremelyshort and slim; he looked very much like a Halfling. The manner in which he spoke and composed himself gave the impression of some hidden power which had to be so for the three Salmantos were very infamous throughout the lands.

“You should hope you are the one chosen to be sacrificed. The sacrifice will imbibe us with new powers; powers that will be used to ensure a reign of peace for all.You may be instrumental to that peace.”

Lian looked surprised; she had thought she was the only one captured to be sacrificed.

Pato guessing her confusion said. “Yes! We took four of you but only one will be selected; the purest and fairest of the lot.”

“Why don’t you sacrifice yourself for peace?”Lian cried suddenly.

“Someone needs to harness the power after all”

“You are nothing but power hungry fools bent on world conquest and …”

“SILENCE!” gnarledsomeone from an adjacent channel to the one the others were in. A giant of a man appeared from the bend and glared at Lian. He was the second Salmanto.

She intuitively obeyed for his menacing appearance and vicious tone. He stood a little shy of eight feet tall; outlines of thick muscles could be seen through his robe (all three Salmantowore the same patterned black robe with even spaced lines of red) and he had a savage face; the kind that told any onlooker that he was ruthless.

Lianexpected the Salmantos not to harm her until the hour of the ritual but she feared to utter another word in the presence of this monstrosity.

Gandil, as the giant Salmanto was called, after ensuring the girl would not continue talking, turned his back to her to look at Pato.

“Four persons have been detected in the motion field. There are approaching us fast.”

Lian’s heart skipped a bit. “They are from Father” she screamed within her.

Gandil continued.

“They attempted to conceal themselves with mystic power. It was a good attempt too, but not good enough. At their pace they would be upon us within the hour”

“Where do you think they are from?” Pato asked

“It cannot be told at that range”

Lian suddenly seizing courage, shouted.

“They are coming for your heads. My father sent them. It has to be father”

A deep silence suddenly envelopedthem all. The henchmen that bore Lian froze in place, expecting a horrific reaction from Gandil.

Lian did not care much about the quietness. She was hysterical.

“You think you can just get into any village and kidnap the daugh –”

As she yet spoke, a massive sword appeared out of thin air into Gandil’s right hand and he made a swift turning slash at her.

In the same instance, an opaque shield of some sort appeared in front of Lian and deflected the fatal blow.

Pato whose arms were now outstretched, and who was undoubtedly the one that conjured the shield, spoke calmly.

“Gandil, control your temper. Just a few moments left before the sacrifice and she will cease to be a nuisance”

Gandil glared at Lian.

“Choose well how you wish to spend your last hours. I could make them hell for you without a single bruise on you”

Lian could not answer even if she wanted to, she was stunned.

“When had the sword appeared? How had he swung so fast that she did not realize it until the sword was inches away from her face? And where had that force field come out from? Just how powerful are these people?”

Gandil turned again to Pato.

“The ritual preparations are complete; you will meet Jaquele waiting at the riverside to perform the rite”

 He turned again to Lian and said.

“I will be waiting at the entrance of the mountains to give your friends a warm welcome, that’s assuming it’s you they are here for”

“I will come with you along with some men” Pato said to Gandil.

“That won’t be necessary” answered Gandil with a grunt.

“We have not gauged the strength of the assailants. You don’t know what you will be up against. It will be more prudent to go –” Pato was saying

“Go and meet up with Jaquele and leave this to me. Why fret about people that cannot even beat the motion field”

With that he turned and walked away from the group.

-----

The four warriors were now concealed amidst trees and bushes at the top of one of the mountains a few miles away from the enemy.

“They are four miles ahead. I can see the river at the centre of those cliffs” Clauton was saying in a whisper as he pointed ahead, he sounded more like snake than man.

“Theyare ready for the ritual. It is the same river they performed their last two rituals.  They place the girl on a canoe in the centre of the lake, then say some incantations and then kill her. Then they let the blood flow into the river and mix with the water and afterwards they drink it. I’ve heard it immensely increases their power.”

Clautonstoppedhis tale to examine his companions’ faces.

Themus thought he sensed excitement in Clauton’s voice. Clearly Clauton was not appreciating their state of haste. As Clauton made to continue,Themus spoke.

“We need to be thinking of how we can get to Lian. We should aim at rescuing her without being detected.”

Hlare, who lay flat at the base of a tree, quietly said

“We should split in two. That way if one pair is obstructed the other can continue with the mission”

“I agree” Themus said “I’d say Clauton and Isendytake the direct route to the river. Hlare and I will take a long round route through the mountaintops and then climb down at the point of the river.”

Isendy spoke

“Your strategy is good but your pairing is flawed. You should go with Clauton straightway to the river, considering his stealth and scouting skills he will stay ahead of you and lead you on and if you two run into the enemy your swords skills will come in handy. I will be in the second pairing with Hlare, as we move above, though with some difficulty I expect we will be able to monitor your progress and if we notice you need help Hlare can support with the bow and arrow and I withmystic powers”

There was silence for a moment as the other three perused Isendy’s words.

Hlare spoke first. “I think it’s good”. The other two agreed.

As they made to work according to the plan,Themus added

“Be on your guard. There is still a possibility we have already been detected”. He heard Isendy grunt at his remark but continued still.

“Be on the alert for traps and ambushes. Either of us that reach her first should take her straightway to the village; that’s our priority – her safety”

- - -

Themus maintained a distance of at least twenty feet at any given time as he followed Clauton through thick forestry. He was impressed at how nimbly and meticulously Clauton scanned the environs as he moved. He was shifting in the shadows all the while as he peered through branches, paused to listen for sounds and at times lay down flat with his ear and palms to the ground, sensing for vibrations.

Themus sight was focused on Clauton ahead when Clauton suddenly turned to face him and screamed

“WATCH OUT!”

Without thinking, Themus flung himself to his right just in time to dodge a massive blade that was swung downwards at his head.

Sword now unsheathed and in his right hand, Themuslifted himself from the ground and faced his adversary who was a giant of a man. The giant was smirking.

Gandil spoke as he pulled out his sword from the ground whereThemus had been squatting on.

“I must say I’m impressed; firstly that the small man noticed me and that you were able to evade my attack in time. Most of the time, my foe would be dead before he even knows it.”

As the Salmanto spoke, Themusguaged him and was not unworried. He knew he would have been split in two halves if he had delayed the dodge by a single second. This man had both great strength and speed and who knew what other powers he possessed?Although Themus himself was buff, this Salmanto was in a level of his own. He knew he had to duck any attacks rather than parry them or else risk being knocked down. The giantalso showed no aorta of fear or doubt in his strength.

Themus, who was eight feet away from Gandil, pointed his sword upwards at the giant’s head and spoke; though he knew the futility of what he was about to say, it would at least buy Clauton time to prepare some kind of attack and the others above as well, if they could.

“We are not here for conflict. We only want to collect our Chief’s daughter that you took. Release her and we will leave peacefully”

Gandil had a dreadful grin on his face as he answered

“You should have chosen your last words better”

In a blink Gandil was upon him with a double arm sword swing, Themus panicked a little and dodged excessively to the left and lost his footing. He shot out his left arm beneath his back to catch his fall and raised his sword arm to guard himself because Gandil was sure to attack him whilst down.

Just as Gandil was about to bear down on Themus, the giant swiftly twisted his body to face Clauton behind him and block two quick darts that were thrown at him.

“So you need a halfling to save your life” Gandil exclaimed, and as he yet spoke a second great sword, just like the first appeared in his left hand.

Themus who was now on his feet, though shocked by the appearance of the second massive sword, felt it was time enough to launch his own attack. With a yell and both arms gripping his sword above his head, he launched out at the hulk.

Gandil effortlessly blocked the blowto his left and in the next split second sent his right arm to his back to block another pair of darts from Clauton.

The battle raged on.

Gandil was swinging both swords alternatingly at Themus, and a few times blocking quick blows from same. He was also blocking Clauton’s darts, at times without even looking at Clauton or his projectiles.

Clauton seemed only a small distraction to the hulk, who was pressing hard against Themus waiting for him to falter.

Themus was exerting full effort against hisadversary. He was dodging high and low and sometimes he was forced to parry, he had landed four blows since and all had been easily blocked. Only an unconventional attack would have any hope of landing on this one. Gandil showed no sign of slowing down.

Themus thought he saw a flicker in Gandil’s eyes and suspected he was up to something. He was right, for in the next second the giant suddenly sidestepped to the left. Themus had no time to evade the three darts from Clauton that Gandil had purposefully dodged. One landed square in his right shoulder, another in his left hip and the third narrowly missed his forehead.

Themusstaggered backwards, shocked at what just happened.

The next six seconds were very eventful.

Clauton, who was now out of darts and realizing his last few darts had hit Themus, pulled out a short sword from underneath his cloak and sprinted to the giant in an effort to stop him from finishing off Themus.

Themus realizing that he had finally met his doom poised himself even as he fell, for a final dying attack on the hulk.

Two large arrows from Hlare’s bow, sped ominously from a cliff top, seventy feet away, directed at the back of Gandil.

Themus,whose eyes were transfixedon the attacker’s, perceived confusion for the first time. Gandil swung around just in time to parry both arrows.

Themus, already poised for his final attack saw his chance and with both arms sent his sword right through the centre of Gandil’sback and then collapsed to the hilly ground out of injury and fatigue.

Clauton was six feet away from Gandil when he sawThemus’ reddened blade protrude from his chest but could not stop quickly enough. Gandil, his face distorted with anger and dismay, caught Clauton mid-air and attempted to embrace him unto the blade jutting out from his chest.

Though Gandil was weakened by the blade hestill was too powerful for Clauton to resist and as the blade slowly sank into the hollow of Clauton’s stomach he raised his shortsword with both arms and planted it into the giant’s neck.

The giant and puny manlay intertwined and perfectly still, blades sticking in and out of their bodies.

---

“Where is he?” Jaquele said softly to Pato.

Pato, who was carrying a well ornamented carving knife of some sort, did not respond immediately, he just stared down at the pool in which the sacrificial girl lay drugged stiff and tied to the canoe at the pool’s centre.

“He went to intercept four intruders. We have to assume he is either dead or badly wounded. We should continue without him.”

“Is that so? They must have been really strong to have killed him” Jaquelesaid.

Pato continued his speculation. “He should have killed at least one of them and left the others are injured. In any case we should be ready for an attack”

Jaquele did not seem at all shaken by the news. As she walked, knife in hand, into the pool and towards the canoe, she maintained her calm voice as she said

“Gandil’s a fool that relies excessively in his brute strength.Let them come, they wouldn’t find things as easy as with Gandil”

Lian knelt with two other girls at the far end of end of the pool. Their wrists and ankles were bound and two guards armed with spears stood behind them.

She watched in horror as the Salmanto called Jaquele walked through the water to the canoe. She knew what Jaquelemeant to do. Jaquele, who was now waist deep in the water, began uttering unknown words of incantation. As she continued to chant, the watergradually turned silvery in colour. At the end of the incantation, Jaquele raised the sword high above her head and plunged it into the unconscious girl.

Lian’s heart sank, the other girls with her who were sobbing before, now started wailing loudly.

Blood was now sipping from the canoe and mixing with the pool’s silvery water beneath. Suddenly, Jaqueleand then Patoboth turned to stare past the bound girls to the nearby channel between the two cliffs.

Lian thought she heard some sounds coming from the direction the Salmanto were staring at. Now, she was sure she heard sounds…sounds of clashing of steel and shouts of battle.

---

Themus, Hlare and Isendy were charging through a pack of the Salmantos’ henchmen on their way to the river up ahead.

Now Isendy created a wall of fire that blockedtheir adversariesfrom them. Hlare who had pin-pointed the location of two henchmen before the flame came up sent two arrows flying through the fire, two bodies fell at the other side. As the fire began to subside Themusjumped through with a fierce yell and swung his blade above the shoulder of another henchman; the head fell to the ground.

Hlaresheathed her bow, unsheathed her two scimitars and followed Themus. Isendy was right at her heel.

Themusjumped backwards just in time to prevent a spear from penetrating the left side of his torso. He grabbed the handle of the spear of his attacker and plunged it through an enemy on his right. He then sunk his own blade into the wielder’s neck.

Isendy was now levitating a couple of feet above the ground and three fiery balls of flame, a foot in diameter, revolved quickly around him. He swung his arm toward at enemy and a ball left his side and was sent flying at the enemy who screamed and writhed on the ground as the flame engulfed him.Another fiery ball instantly formed beside Isendy to replace the spent one.

Hlare was poking her scimitars into belly after belly; as one raised his spear to attack her she sunk one blade into his centre, she did the same to a woman who swung at her and missed. Anenemy swung his blade down at her before she had time to dodge; she formed an X with both scimitars to block the blow and was forced to her knees. He attempted to raise his spear and attack again but Hlare stuck both blades into his gut before his spear could land.

Now only three henchmen stood between the warriors and the pool ahead.  They were shaken and stood a fair distance away from the warriors as they stared frightfully at them.

Suddenly one turned to run in the opposite direction and the others followed.Isendy launched out all three fireballs and each landed squarely on an enemy, quickly ending their lives.

The trio progressed to the pond and saw the two remaining Salmantos, both were standing beside the canoe in the bloodied water. Pato was carrying a goblet that seemed to contain the eerie mixture of blood and silvery water.

The two guards with the remaining three girls fled at the sight of the warriors that had defeated so many of their comrades.

Whilst still holding the goblet Pato spoke “I believe you are here for a girl, which one?”

“We want Lian of the Velcanvillage” Hlare answered breathlessly “Just give her to us and we’ll be on our way”

“What became of Gandil?” Jaquele asked in her unusually calm tone, despite the situation.

“You need not spare him thought.Not evermore” Isendy answered whilst still airborne.

Pato took the goblet to his lips and began gulping down the fluid.

Jaquele who was staring blankly at the pool before now turned to face the trio squarely.

“I would have allowed you leave with the girl but Gandil must be avenged”

Patohad finished his drink and was now laughing hard, his small shoulders heaved up and down as he did so and his eyes were glowing. He suddenly pointed at Isendy. An eerie darkness crept over the spot where Isendy levitated and a split second later a massive lightning bolt struck him from above.

The hood of Isendy’s cloak was flung back upon impact to reveal his badly scarred and aged face.It had an expression of utter shock on it.

Hlare and Themus watched in despair as their monk, now blackened from the blast fell from the air and lay perfectly still.

With a scream Pato directed both arms at Themus and Hlare. The eerie darkness instantly crept over them. Themus jumped backwards and saw the flash of light hit the ground in front of him, Hlaresomersaulted to her left and let an arrow fly at the same time the bolt struck by her right.

Pato evaded the projectile by levitating himself. He was now relentlessly sending bolt after bolt at the two, all the while Jaquele just watched, perhaps she felt Pato would not wanther interrupting or perhaps she wanted to see Pato’snew powers after drinkingof the product of the ritual.

Themus jumped unto a tree-size rock to evade a bolt, he then did a backflip away from the rock as the eerie darkness fell over him again. Whilst he was in the air, the rock exploded to thousands of pieces.

Hlare, who was six feet to Themus’ left,leapt backwards to avoid a bolt and whilst in the air sent two arrows at the airborne Salmanto, she sent another one at him as she landed on her rear and then rolled sideways to avoid another bolt. Pato easily dodged right, left and then dropped down two feet to evade the last arrow.

Suddenly, Themus saw an opportunity. “Stay hidden so he can’t see you” he shouted at Hlare and began running at Pato with ample speed and determination.

Pato was forty feet away and seven feet in the air now. AsThemus drew nearer,Pato kept aimingboth arms at him and the darkness kept sweeping over him but he was always a few feet away as the bolts struck.

When he was a few strides away, with a warrior’s shout, he made a giant leap into the air and with both arms he tried to send his sword through the Salmanto’s stomach.

Pato hastily levitated higher, managing to elude Themus. At that instant, Hlare leapt out from behind a nearby tree and let two arrows fly across the path of Pato’s levitation.One went into his small stomach and the other pierced the front of his neck and poked out from the back.

As Pato choked, he began to slowly drop to the ground. As Themus waited below to give him the final blow he noticed from the side of his eye that Jaquele no longer was where she was before.

“Don’t let her drink the water” he screamed as he saw she was reaching for the goblet the dying Pato had drunk from.

As Jaquele stretched out her arm to pick the goblet floating in the pool, Hlare shot an arrow straight at her neck.

In a blur of movement, Jaquele was out of the pool and behind Hlare. Hlarehad an expression of confusion as she felt a sharp pain at her back.

“No!” Themus yelped as he watched the scene unfolding before him.

Hlare stood rigidily, eyes wide open, and Jaquele stood behind her, one hand holding the blade that stuck into Hlare’s back, her other hand supporting the goblet asits content were emptied into her mouth.

Themus felt something wrap around his right leg and turned around sharply to see the bloodied Pato grasping his leg with his left arm and aiming his right arm at him.

As the ground around him darkened, Themusfrantically dragged himself backwards withPato still clutching to him. The bolt hit Pato squarely on his back, blackening the small body instantly. The residual current from Pato’s body swept through Themus, who fell to the ground and began convulsing.

Meanwhile, Hlare lay face down on the ground; a pool of blood was quickly forming around her body. Themus’ convulsion had now abated but he could not move and he felt excruciating pain throughout his body.

As he lay facing at the sun above, misery filled his heart.

They had failed. His comrades were dead and he was barely alive. Would this last Salmanto let Lian go? Or would she kill her to avenge her fallen friends?

Themus knew he had only seconds left to live. He managed to turn his head to the direction where the last Salmanto stood.

Jaquele stood over Hlare’s body and stared at Themus with glowing eyes. She was fifty feet away.

Then suddenly she was right next to him. Themus didn’t know whether she sprinted to him or just teleported. Before she drank the fluid he had seen a blur when she moved but now it was as though she just cut through space.

“Just let Lian go” Themus murmured weakly as Jaquele squatted beside him, knife in hand.

“You and your companions have sealed her fate” was the calm response.

Themus caught a movement ahead. It was Hlare, she was not dead. Instead she was slowly dragging herself on her belly towards the pool. She was now just a few feet away.

Themus must have expressed his shock because Jaquele turned and saw Hlare.

Themus reached out for his last reserve of energy and caught Jaquele by the wrist and held tight so she would not go after Hlare. It was the wrist that bore the knife. Jaquele immediately used her left arm to support the right as she struggled to thrust the blade into Themus’ chest.

They struggled for several seconds and Themus, already weakened from the bolt and the battle with Gandil, began to budge under Jaquele’s weight and force.  The blade drew nearer and nearer his chest. With a visceral scream he forced the blade away from his heart as it penetrated flesh and bone.

Now, all strength gone,Themus lay spread-eagled on the ground. Jaquele pulled the blade from Themus’ left shoulder, raised it above her head with both arms and aimed it directly at Themus’ heart.

Then she hammered it down. But then she stopped in mid-air, the knife just a few inches away and just remained in that position. Themus could see fear in her eyes.

Standing in the pool afar off was Hlare, her eyes were glowing vividly and her right hand was stretched in Jaquele’s direction.

Apparently, the fluid had healed her and also endowed her with telekinetic abilities.

The knife suddenly shot out Jaquele’s grasp, slowly levitated behind her and then punctured her from behind.

Jaquele remained in that position, with both arms over her head, as the blood trickled down her mouth and her eyes shut. A few seconds later her body was released from the hold and she slumped to the ground.

Themus shut his eyes. He was feeling himself fade out, his heart beat was getting slower and his breathing was shallow. He had sustained a lot of damage and was losing a lot of blood.

He felt a gentle hand on his shoulder and weakly opened his eyes to see two figures. It was Hlare withLian. Hlare was holding the goblet to his face with the fluid in it.

Themus would never have wanted to drink something so horrible; he would not have wanted his life saved this way; with the blood of another.

But he had no choice. He was too weak to struggle withHlare as she held his head upright andpoured the fluid into his mouth.

 

THE END

 

 

 

N. Stanley Bassey.


© Copyright 2018 Stanleey. All rights reserved.

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