Sunday, September 8, 2013

18 Working through it.

Doctor Nagapan never returned to check on Asmodan but Nurse Francine was convinced to return. The nurse came back two more times to check the Warlocks vitals and change out IV bags; eventually she just left a few bags behind and showed Lily how to change them out.  Asmodan was in and out of consciousness the first two days and was wide awake on the third by the fourth he was up and about albeit slowly. His body Lily was noticing was regaining its size and fullness much quicker than it should. By the end of the first full week he was almost back to the same size he was before he left. Volnam still hadn’t shown up and Asmodan hadn’t asked after him. The Warlock had noticed that since he had been gone Lily had learned to lock her mind up tight. He suspected it when he noticed the loud surface thoughts had vanished when he was around her and when he decided to take a peek and got absolutely nothing he was impressed. Volnam had taught her something or he had bugged her until she learned on her own as a defense, probably the later he decided. He tried to busy himself with cleaning up apparently no one had touched the fourth floor at all since he left he was fine with the cleaning, it was busy work and he was finding that he really needed some busy work. The Warlock needed something to keep his mind off of his body and catching up on nine months of cleaning was doing the trick.
Danny had just climbed out of the show and was toweling off when he finally slipped up and did the thing he had been trying all week not to do. He looked in the mirror. Each line in his skin itched as he looked at them. Each remembered wound slowly reopened in his mind. He looked like some kind of monster he thought to himself. As he drew in power to help his body replenish himself some of his scars had softened but that was all that had happened, some of the darker ones seemed to lighten in color. He had decided that he could trick himself into ignoring what had happened had planned on trying to forget as much of that piece of the trip as possible but he had not planned on having every piece of his trip etched and ripped into the skin he was going to have for the rest of his life, he might be able to get over what happened but he would never be allowed to forget it. He ran a hand over himself placing the tips of his finger on his right hand at the base of his neck and tracing a thick set of claw marks from there down to his upper left thigh. They drank blood from that rip; he could feel the tatters of flesh move back and forth as they lapped at him like kittens with a saucer of milk. Asmodan cringed and fell back against the wall. He slid down until he was sitting with his head in his hands between the wall and the bathtub. As he sat there some part of him began to poke fun at him, it was alien to him at first but soon he realized why he was making fun of himself. There were almost two halves of Asmodan at that point. One was the human that was here in the bathroom crying over the damage done to his body and the scaring on his soul. The other was the Warlock that had been attached and tortured by a small band of demons and came out on top. Destroyed one and enslaved two more, tricked a fourth into serving him without a binding deal and bested a last in a battle of magic in its home sphere. That second Asmodan was laughing cruelly at the weakling on the floor. Each of those scars should be viewed as sigils of strength or power. They were marks that proved that he could survive, overcome and eventually dominate. The weakling did point out that he wouldn’t have survived anything if not for Niath healing him. Eventually both agreed that to proceed with things the Warlock who had survived the abyss should probably be the one deciding how things were going to go and that the one crying on the floor should shut up. 
Asmodan climbed back up off of the floor and stared himself in the scar ringed eyes. After another minute to finish getting himself under control.
“OK first order of business. The Imp.”
He said to the mirror.
Asmodan sat himself down on the ground in the workroom that was kept open for rituals that were supposed to be more common and less worthy of being worked in the Spell vault. All of his marks had been completed everything was in order. The effort or planning of the things seemed simple now, Childs play. First he focused on the Imp and then without the Imp even being in his presence he banished him. Volnam had been back and forth so many times now that he did not want to be in the Abyss and felt that his time in the material realm was owed to him. Asmodan felt he had been slacking off. As soon as he knew the Imp was in the abyss again he could feel the itching at the back of his mind.
“Yes?”
“What am I doing here?”
“You are gathering some things for me and once you have them you are going to hold onto them and wait for me to bring you back.”
“I am not some errand runner for you to banish and summon at will!”
“You are at the moment. I would have maybe asked you but you seem to have been missing.”
The Imp was irate Asmodan could feel the desire to do horrible things to him coming from the imp. He laughed it off. Asmodan could feel something else coming off the Imps mind, it was a kind of distortion from the imps normal thoughts. Danny thought back over the last week or so and remembered a few comments from Lily about the alcoholic Imp.
“Are you drunk?”
“Not now. My most recent trip was enough to sober me up.”
“You haven’t returned to the house all week because you were on a binder? Ohh you were depressed, you missed me?”
Asmodan was laughing physically and mentally.
“Miss you? You are an idiot look how long it took you to come home what did you do? Did you find a cave and hide.”
“No Imp I learned and I practiced.”
Asmodan sent mental images of the demons that he had encountered and what had become of the ones that he had actually battled. When he got to the Casaganoth he showed Volnam the cave and gave as many indicators to its location as he could and told Volnam that he would bring him back once he had found it and retrieved the gate artifact that he had created the still living Casaganoth he was sure that even headless the thing was working on regenerating its self. Volnam cursed at him for a bit longer and the Warlock finally told him, the sooner he got done the sooner he could get back and then closed him off. There was that itching for about an hour after but the Imp finally gave up and hopefully got to work. From that point Asmodan got up and went about making sure that the different cleaning tasks he had set for himself were completed. The he went to his favorite workroom, the one that he had blown a piece out of trying to figure out raw force projectiles.  He got out one of his many notebooks and began going over his automobile research again. He had an Idea in his head, soon after reacquainting himself with his notes he got out what he had on Kyateah Zhoser and how they could be applied, he learned that he didn’t have as much on the item as he thought. Volnam would have to return before he could get much further with this piece of it. Soon he had out his notes on the crystal of Agoth and was going over everything that he had explained to him about it. No one seems to have experimented with what would happen to it should it be brought to the physical spheres he was going to have to see how that worked out he thought to himself.  Asmodan began to draw and sketch to measure things out and to call places like performance shops and ask why certain changes to parts one way or another changed if a ride was hard or soft and a whole other slew of things that someone that was really into cars should know. The one thing he never did do any research on was the engine or transmission, once he understood the use of the transmission he decided that it could be replaced or ignored for his purposes and left it out of his functional automotive research.
Almost two weeks had passed since Volnam had been sent into the abyss before Asmodan finally got the itch again and began to commune with the prodigal Imp.
“You have found the Cave?”
“Yes finally I had to find the trading grounds and work from there luc-“
“Good then.  Cut a shard from the wall and bring it with you. I will summon you back in half an hour.”
Asmodan cut the Imp off mid-sentence and then cut him off all together when he had told him when to expect his trip back. As he had stated, the Warlock had the Imp staring at him through a gate way within half an hour. He told the Imp to hand him the Crystal before he stepped through. Volnam was weary at first passing the crystal bar he had cut out to the Warlock who held it experimentally for a minute and then slammed it against the ground hard once to see what would happen. Nothing but a shock from the impact that traveled up his arm came from the blow. Asmodan smiled had Volnam hand him the prism gate skull and the torso of the Casaganoth which seemed much heavier in this world than it did in its own. Finally he decided to have Volnam grab the bones of the other goat-man and pass them through. Once everything was in the room with Asmodan he called the Imp back into the material world. He looked the Casaganoth over a few times noticing how the skin at the neck where he had taken the head was an angry red black. It was also however almost two inches longer than where he remembered it being. He placed his hand on the things chest and felt the torso throb with the beat of the demonic heart. It was fierce nonstop and seemed to speed up at his touch. That’s right there was a mind in there and it could not see hear or smell it also couldn’t talk or taste. Asmodan knew that it could communicate but it had nothing that he wanted to hear so he didn’t bother trying to contact it. he looked at the Imp for a second to see if it was paying him attention or not.
“How long until it’s able to function again at this rate?”
“Years before it is as it was.”
“Good tell me about Kyateah Zhoser, what do I need to gather.”
The Imp began to laugh, and it actually sounded like a joyous thing. Volnam told him to wait a minute and flapped down the hallway. A few minutes later he returned with one of the many notebooks that Asmodan kept this one Danny hadn’t filled out it was something that Volnam had started writing in. he opened it to the correct page looked it over once and handed it to the Warlock. It took Asmodan a little longer to scan through the text it being in a language that was alien to this world. He read on into the second and third pages. It was like the Kyateah Zhoser for dummies book written in tiny script that looked like some of the Arabic languages that Asmodan had seen in movies. He knew how to understand the language and with the languages of the higher and lower plains that meant that you knew it. The word was the word, It looked like what it was and was what it sounded like. It was one of the harder concepts for Asmodan to understand when Volnam began teaching it to him, and it was one of the concepts that still kind of slowed him down. He understood what it meant which was this. If someone taught you to speak the language then you could already read and write it for the most part. Going much past that was pointless. He could read and right but he couldn’t correct grammar the different castes of demons used grammar differently for their interpretations of the languages which was something else that Asmodan didn’t get how did you change and adapt something that just was. The text in his hands was the no nonsense guide to building the apparatus to hold the heard, bind its power and focus it to which ever task the user had in mind.
“I need a trip to the hardware store.”
The Imp laughed again and began to wring his hands in anticipation.
“Can we stop at an alcohol vendor on the way?”
“Nope while I’m working, you‘re dry.”
The Imp began to whimper and groan as he dragged his feet out of the room. Asmodan looked down at the part of the body that was laying on the ground smiled to himself and closed the door on his way out. He would grab the cloak later.

After trips to a few different stores and some time spent shopping on the internet Danny felt like he had a grip on everything he was going to need to construct his hate engine. He knew he wanted to use the first one for experiments just to see what could be done with one, he decided that he wanted to try and use it for a power source not just for spells but a more conventional power source like electricity so as he waited for his initial order of parts to arrive from various online retailers he purchased various electric motors and generators as well as inverters to make the electricity work on the standard power grid. He checked with Algie on the legalities on making a power company pay him for power he put back onto the grid and then paid to have a solar array placed on the roof of his building. He was assured by the installers that the unit he chose would not make the juice he would need to power a place as big as he had, he assured them that it was more for experimental use and they dropped it.
Everything had arrived for the Kyateah Zhoser he had memorized everything that Volnam had written down in the notebook as well as badgered the imp with hundreds of questions beyond that. He knew that assembling with engine was as much a magical endeavor as it was a mechanical one. Finally he had his room set up the day had been spent painting the appropriate sigils around the room and floor, a circle was made and an alter slash workbench had been set up. He closed and locked the door the last thing he wanted was for Lily to come in and see if he wanted to go watch a movie or something. Volnam knew what he was going and he told Renault not to interrupt him for the night. His brother understood at least a little bit of what was going on.  Finally he grabbed the still slowly regenerating body and dragged it over to the Alter and laid the chest across the top.  Asmodan stood and turned slowly making sure everything was how it should be he didn’t want to have to try all this again because he failed. Satisfied with his set up he kneeled down and began to meditate, to focus his mind on the task at hand to set all the words and phrases in the forefront of his mind and infuse them with the power that they would need when he released them to forge along with his hands the work he was about to do. When there was absolutely no other preparation to be done he reached for a silver bladed knife that he had had made just for this task. It was a leaf bladed knife and he had actually had it made to look like a long slender leaf. It had the small veins that leaves have and the petiole that runs through the center these however were not raised like a natural leaf they were recessed. The blade was nine inches exactly with a brass hilt and black leather wrapped handle with silver thread wrapping around it in a crisscross pattern. It was not well balanced and not at all meant to fight with it was made to be a specific tool for a specific task. He took the blade up in his right hand and passed it to his left where he held it out parallel to the ground away from his body. With his left arm held out and a way he brought his right arm up in front of his check level with his own heart hand clenched in a fist and slowly extended his index and middle fingers. As his fingers extended he began his chant it was in Abysseth  and after he finished the first evocation one that called the attention of the powers of chaos to his task. He began the next chant and with each word of this chant he also traced the word he spoke in air with his right hand this speak and spell action went on for almost thirty minutes and then suddenly after so long with only his mouth and right arm moving his entire body lunged forward both hands grabbing the handle of the knife and he buried it in the chest of the demon just below the neck. Still chanting he began to draw the blade down through the sternum and into the abdomen he withdrew the knife and placed it back at his right side and held his right hand out parallel to the ground and began to chant and draw words in the air with his left hand before his heart. Then with the same suddenness as before he slammed his right hand into the opening he had cut in the beast’s chest. As soon as his hand passed into the demons chest and made contact with the things heart the demon began to shudder violently convulsing and flailing what little appendagement he had left to him.  Mentally the beast began to attack Asmodan as well. Which was something that he had not expected it knew what was going to happen it knew that this was coming to it.
Asmodan had decided to his detriment that the demon had just given up and was going to accept this fate, that was not the case it seems that the thing was waiting for a chance to try and fight back and was storing up it resolve for this chance. What it didn’t understand was that it didn’t need to consent for this to happen as it tried to attack the Warlock’s mind and defend itself at the same time Asmodan just closed his mind off to it all together and continued with his task. The thing beat at him with imagery it tried to make him see what it had done to him before and swore that it would do all that and more to him in the near future and it did all this in vain because the Warlock saw none of it his mind was locked tight against the Casaganoth. With one supernatural tug Asmodan ripped the demons beating heart out of its chest. With his left hand he shoved the body to the floor on the far side of the Alter. There was an audible sound a wet gasping sound that would have been a scream or a yell of some sort if the body had anything past the neck to shape the exhalation into anything meaningful. Now with the heart passed into the left hand and held out parallel to the ground Asmodan began to use his mind to pick up and move the different pieces of the Kyateah Zhoser many of them he had pre marked had etched and sanctified for their tasks the items began to float and move twist around each other in the air and as some of them moved close to each other they began to give a glow, they took on a sort of purplish nimbus like light. All Asmodan did was make the items float with the telekinesis the words of the spell guided their movement through the air and caused them to do the things that they were doing.  Once certain rotations where made and certain orbits concluded the edges of certain pieces began to glow white hot and slide together where they smoked and steamed as they instantly cooled or warped at odd angles the receptacle was finally shaped save for one side and in that one side Asmodan forcefully slammed in the heart and jerked his hand back as fast as he could because as the notes indicated the instant the heart touched the bottom of the engine’s inner wall it would seal shut. As it said in the notes it happened in life. The Warlock was almost two slow the tip of his fingernail as well as the tip of his middle finger were cut off inside the box it was so close that he was not concerned with it even without magical assistance it most likely wouldn’t even scar and at this point in his life who cared about another scar. The Box was sealed. The etching s that he had made in its sides flared to life now all glowing with the purple light only this time not a hazy nimbus of light but an intense glaring light. The floating had finished the box rested on the Alter.
Asmodan did not immediately pick the item up, he only stared at it. The ritual to create it was complete, once the heart was inside and the box sealed that was the end of the proceedings. It was a square foot which seemed much too large for the heart inside, but when he slammed the beating organ into its new home it felt like it was too large for the container. Each side glowed with sigils that forced the energy that the demon would spend regenerating its body to be focused on the purpose set to the engine, it was a very detailed series of marks and intentions every task thought intent the essence of the life force of the demon was now tied to the use of the Kyateah Zhoser. These rules and foci were etched on every side of the container save for one. This one blank side was the side that the user would mark for the desired purpose of the box and it was simple one word commands the corners were sheared off or smoothed away there was no there were no hard corners anywhere on the device they all smoothed one way or another there was a feeling of direction as he looked at them but when he ran his finger over them he felt nothing but abnormally cold metal. The solid light was beginning to dull down a bit and then began to throb and finally it settled into a pattern which as far as Asmodan could tell matched the pattern of the demons beating heart. He picked the box up and wearily carried it out into the hallway and down to the vault where he placed it on a shelf in the back of the room behind where he was sitting when he took his trip into the abyss. Then he carried himself to bed. The ritual was exhausting and he was going to catch some sleep. He passed Volnam in the hallway the Imp inquired after the success of the ritual and Asmodan just gave him a lazy thumbs up entered his room closed the door fell forward onto his bed and went to sleep.
While he was asleep Asmodan had his nightmare again. Monique was calling for him and he was trying to get to her but he could not catch her. Again the Angel took her from him and no matter how fast he went he could just barley brush his fingers against hers and he woke up. As with any other time he had the dream he woke up angry and spent the day not dealing with anyone else. He would think of errands to send Lily out on, tell Volnam to take a flight and ask that his brother stay clear. He did this today as he took the hate engine out of the vault and carried it to the room where he had the electronics installed for the power company and the solar panels on the room. He had a generator all set up on a worktable and placed the hate engine down beside it.  Asmodan spent a while trying to think of the best way to tell the engine what he wanted it to make the generator do when he finally settled on the command rotate. The Warlock tore off the scab that had grown over the end of his middle finger and used the now rapidly flowing blood to write the sigil for rotate on the command surface of the Kyateah Zhoser, he then turned the box towards the stator of the generator. As soon as it was lined up the generator began to hum with immediate response to the engine. It went from stationary to far beyond its maximum speed so quickly that it literally began to have parts glow and eventually melted down and failed. As it melted down other pieces began to break and go flying around the room something small flew off and hit the unsuspecting Warlock in the arm. It didn’t draw blood but it hurt like hell. He moved back and off to the side. Just watching the hate engine destroy the generator.  It was good that Asmodan hadn’t hooked the generator up to anything the power spike might have fried his building’s wires. He toyed with different things and decided to figure out the speed of the revolutions the stator made in a minute which was an insane number. The next few hours were spent looking up companies that made generators that would handle those speeds and he quickly found that no one did that he could find. Next he was on the phone with the local universities trying to get ahold of an engineering department he finally did with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He set a meeting for later on in the week with someone who he was referred to.  A man named Kenneth Leeway.
Asmodan met Kenneth in a hallway outside one of the universities workshops the Warlock was wearing a pair of jeans tall black leather motorcycle boots and a black long sleeve shirt. His now shoulder length hair was wetted and combed back and behind his ears he had long gloves on that went up under the sleeves of the shirt and aside from his neck and face he had no skin showing. On the flipside Mr. Leeway was wearing tan cargo shorts flip flops his short blond hair was spiked up with what might have been superglue with as much movement as the Warlock had noticed from it. He was wearing a blue tee shirt that depicted a gorilla going through evolution through man into a robot. Leeway smiled a lot and was a really easy guy to talk to. Mental probing on Asmodan’s part showed him to be a generally honest and up front guy, who like most men who spent most of his time on a college campus had very vivid random surface thoughts anytime a young woman walked by. After introductions they talked about what Asmodan needed. He explained that he was working with a new power source and that he couldn’t get into details with what it was. Asmodan also explained that he as of yet had no way to throttle the speed of the power source to get it to a manageable level for the more conventional generators. Mr. Leeway a grad student in his late twenties listened and realized that he was not dealing with someone who was normally into engineering but was completely interested in what Asmodan was working with. He tried several times to get the Warlock to give more detail on the power source itself and Asmodan finally started mentally waiting for when the question was about to surface in the man’s mind and then would answer him before he asked after the second time the question didn’t come up anymore. Kenneth suggested a transmission be placed between the engine and the generator to deal with the insane rotations. When Asmodan looked confused the engineer pointed out that all a car transmission did was deal with the spinning part of a car’s engine and makes it something that worked with the tires it was more complicated than that but once he started thinking about it Asmodan stopped him before he got more detailed. The Warlock had spent so much of his extra time researching automobiles that he was agitated with himself for not having thought about that before. As for the Generator Leeway suggested something with a device called an air bearing instead of traditional steel ball bearings. Finally after Kenneth explained everything he would need to know and find out before he could really tell Asmodan what he would need to get started the Warlock consented to letting the engineer see the device at work. 
The following day Asmodan accompanied by Lily met up with Kenneth outside the same workshop they had been by the previous day. Lily was wearing one of the same official personal assistant dress suit things that she normally wore on her “work days” it was black with dark grey stripes and stopped at her knees. She had an emerald green blouse on under her dress jacket and her hair was up in a bun. Asmodan Was dressed pretty much the same as the day before only now it was a dark blue long sleeve shirt. Kenneth was already waiting there for them this time he was in the Vietnam War era tiger striped green and black cammo patterned cargo shorts with the same flip flops and a blue University of North Carolina Chapel Hill logo shirt. This time though instead of spiked up hair he was wearing a fitted baseball cap that matched the color of the shirt. Asmodan had the Hate engine inside a plain black backpack slung over one shoulder.
“hey Danny.”
He said jumping up off of a bench he had been waiting on.
“Did you bring it?”
“Yeah it’s in the bag. I’m going to need something that spins though for it to work.”
Asmodan noticed the Kenneth’s eyes constantly drifting back over to Lily and inwardly sighed to himself.
“Kenneth Leeway this is my executive personal assistant Lily.”
“Lily…”
Kenneth was asked waiting for Asmodan to supply a last name but the Warlock just looked at him oddly and just replied.
“Lily.”
“Man I forgot I meant to tell you yesterday you can call me Ken or Kenny just don’t make any you killed me jokes with Kenny,”
“You killed me?”
Lily was laughing slightly at it, but Danny didn’t get it at all so she dropped it. Ken led them both into the workshop and through another door to a slightly smaller shop it was a little larger than the room that Danny had been using for his experimental power room.
“OK first I have an old car transmission that I wanted to see if we could mate it up too past that I have a basic generator and some tools that we can use to get a more accurate reading of just how fast this thing you have can turn something. Can I see it?”
Danny started opening the bag and pulling the box out.
“Look let me set the thing up I’d feel bad if it did anything to you.”
“Did anything to… ok sure. Let me get a mounting plate for the transmission.”
“Don’t need it.”
How are you going to.”
Kenny’s voice trailed off as he saw Danny place a square box with what looked like Arabic all over it next to the open end of the transmission and the transmission immediately began to spin at who knew how fast. He noticed that the writing on the box had some LEDs or something in it because it was pulsing with purple light. Watching the light kind of made him sick to his stomach. The Transmission was screaming and Kenny worked it through some of its gears until it didn’t sound as bad. The metal device was still being tortured and soon began to glow a faint orange and when pieces of it began to droop He had Danny remove the device. To be safe Danny placed it back in the bag and zipped it up.  Lily had just taken her hands off of her ears the transmission kept spinning after the box was put away. When it finally stopped and then finished cooling it would never spin again the heating had warped its internal components too badly. It would have flown to pieces but Danny was prepared for it this time and mentally held the things outer shell together. When it began to droop it was because the forces at work were actually overpowering his minds grip on things. Kenny sat with his mouth open then he closed it then he opened it again. Finally he turned away from the transmission and turned to Asmodan.
“You gotta tell me what it is.”
“It’s a one of a kind power source and I wanna generate electricity with it.”
“But how does it work?”
“Sorry can’t tell you.”
“Well crap man common is it made by aliens or something?”
“Nope it’s all me, well mostly me and a little of someone else.”
“Are you with the government or something?”
“Nope I’m private.”
Kenny turned to Lily for help and she only shrugged her shoulders at him. He then remembered that it had made him feel kind of sick looking at it.
“Hey man that thing isn’t radioactive or anything is it?”
“No I don’t think so.”
“Wait here.”
The assistant and the warlock waited for around ten minutes and the engineer returned with a Geiger counter and began to get wave its little wand around the backpack. It didn’t give off anything that wasn’t normal.
“When I was watching it, the light or something started to make me feel sick to my stomach. “
“It’s the light. Some people don’t like one of the shades of purple it goes through when as it pulses. I guess I’m just used to it now.”
Asmodan lied.
Next they did tests to figure out how fast it was going they tested it on larger and smaller wheels and Kenny was blown away to see that the size and weight of the wheel didn’t matter they all spun at the same speed and all started at that speed as soon as the box was set next to them. After a few hours Lily was sent out or lunch and it seemed now like Kenny was more playing with the box rather than trying to gain scientific data to use for making a generator that could handle the forces the hate engine put out.  After lunch Danny let the engineer play with the box for another hour and then said that he had to go.
“I have some ideas of where I can start but that’s about it.”
“Give me a list of what you need and a place to have the items delivered and I will take care of it.”
“Danny you know that this is one of those things that can change the world right. Like free power for everyone and all that?”
“No. it’s not.”
Asmodan turned and left Lily in tow. Rather than get hung up on not being allowed to save the world Kenny started thinking up his shopping list.
One of Algie’s cars was waiting to take them home.
“So you decided against the car thing?”
“Huh?”
“Well we went car shopping over a year ago now and you never brought it back up.”
“Ohh… yeah I’m working on something. I’m thinking of getting something done custom.”
“That’s neat like on those shows where you give them a new car and tell them you want it to look like the bat mobile or something and they change it until it does?”
“No more like… I get all the components together have  Volnam find a demon smith in one of the spheres of the abyss tell him what I want made strike a deal with him. Then rip the heart out of a giant demonic winged panther to power the whole thing and call it a custom car.”
“Will the DMV register that?”
“I think they will if I call it electric. I won’t have to get it smoged either.”
“Cool.”
“Yeah.”

There wasn’t any more talking for the rest of the trip home.

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