Ice Cream and Ideologies
Roleplaying Log: Ice Cream and Ideologies
IC Details

A talk at the Institute begins with ice cream and ends with grim ideological debate. That's the effect of registration for you.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: April 16, 2019
IC Location: Xavier Institute, Westchester
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 26 Apr 2019 04:33
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The Xavier's Institute has been quite a lot more empty in the months since Registration has been on the table. The underaged students have been sent to California. The teachers are still here, the elder students who can make their own choice about registration remain, however the halls are less filled with the shouts and crying and general mayhem that they usually have.

That was already weird. However, now the hallways hold something else as Registration went from something to plan about to an actual law. The DPS are setting up shops, people are lining up to Register and it's hard to not feel like being a mutant in New York is something of a losing hand. It's time like these that Kitty Pryde goes to the kitchen and pulls out all the ice cream, all the sundae toppings and then stuff to make s'mores and just goes to town. Can she eat all this? No. But, she also doesn't think she's the only one who feels like this.

The kitchen is now stacked with random tubs of ice cream and Lockheed sits on a counter next to Kitty who holds two marshmallows on a stick. He carefully breathes fire on them to toast them.

"I would say we could set something up in the yard," comes a German-accented voice as Kurt appears in the entryway to the kitchen, "But I suppose that would call attention." His image-inducer is off since he's inside, so he is blue and golden-eyed, his tail swinging lightly behind him. "Would you like some help? Or…company? Or even just an ear?"

Ice cream? Noriko could use some ice cream. After Rachel had been deported and reported back to the school, Noriko had quietly made it known to those who remained that she was registering. She hadn't a choice in the matter. She was, after all, an illegal immigrant - and returning to Japan would almost be a death sentence for her with her family having disowned her. And, without her gauntlets or the technology to upkeep them.

She couldn't help seeing the setup Kitty had made as she passed by the kitchen, intent on going outside and doing some running to get rid of some pent-up energy again. "Hey," she greets both Kitty and Kurt, offering a smile to Lockheed, too. "You planning to eat all of this yourself? Because that rocky road looks pretty delicious, right now."

Doug has been… making himself useful. Since he's been attached to Moonstar, he has a litle more freedom, even if they haven't let him put together his own computer yet - and really he's been feeling more like himself than he has in a long time. He's sitting on the counter with his hands perched on it, a sketchbook in one hand a pen in the other as he noodles about, sketching Lockheed.

Illyana is, as always, the very height of monarchial elegance and sophistication.

Presently, she is wearing a Siouxsie and the Banshees tour shirt the better part of twenty years older than she is and a billowing black skirt that goes all the way to the floor. She is also wearing, frankly, too much eyeliner.

She is eating XAVI-O's from the box ('X-Tra Nutrition for Your X-Gene!' the box shouts; intended to be the breakfast food of choice from his first students onward, it has somehow managed to remain well-stocked in the kitchen despite tasting, to quote, 'like stale bran and sugar beets.' No one has ever actually seen anyone who wasn't Russian eat it without a dare being involved, and the 'X-MEN FACT FILES!' on the back have always required the boxes be shredded rather than just put out with the trash.) and rearranging letter magnets on the X-Fridge until it now proudly displays:

'To DO 7iST:

"Someone has taken all of the Ls again."

Some of them are illegal immigrants on top of being illegal metahumans, which is kind of tough. X-23 can add to that not even technically being a real legal person and a place at the top of various agency wanted lists, for an assortment of offenses such as mass murder, terrorism and treason (they tend to throw not just the book, but the whole shelf at you when you assassinate a government figure, though admittedly, in this case, it's kind of legit). So basically, she's got #4 covered. From all of this, she takes the mild daily persecution and looming presence of the registration laws and associated government actions somewhat in stride. It's more of the same, really.

But it does mean that the presently somewhat less murderous Laura Kinney lacks for a lot of options in her daily life outside the Institute. Not only is registration off the table, but any kind of legal status or visible personhood is a bit of a security risk. So when she's not slumming the streets of Mutant Town or stalking the forest out with 'dad,' she pretty much… just stays here. And while she doesn't often make social appearances…

"I smelled food," announces the young woman, also appearing at the entrance to the kitchen. Delicious treats work about as consistently for summoning her from whatever depths she normally lurks in as opening a beer can does for her genetic template.

As Kurt makes his way into the kitchen, Kitty grins. "We could," she agrees. "But that means Lockheed wouldn't be able to personally heat every marshmallow and you know how he likes to be involved." As for company or help, she nods her head. "I'd like both. Maybe more bowls and spoons. This all will melt in a bit, after all."

Noriko's entrance is met with a nod and then she pulls three tubs closer to her. "These three are mine and everyone else can fend for her own," she smirks, clearly joking. "So you're a rocky road fan, hm?"

Pulling the two marshmallows off the spit, she puts one between chocolate and graham crackers and then hands it over to Doug Ramsey, almost automatically, almost like they used to do things like this when they were in school together.

Then, the next s'more is put together and she quickly hands it off to Illyana. "S'mores doesn't have an L in it, Yana. Just have one of these."

As Laura moves in, Kitty gestures at all the ice cream. "I wouldn't call this dinner, but it's ice cream. Feel free."

"We are all old enough to have ice cream for dinner…every now and again…" is offered with a sharp-toothed grin as Kurt moves to fetch more bowls and spoons as requested. "Although I will not be held responsible for belly-aches later in the evening." There is a glance to the fridge and a brief frown at the magnets, "Maybe change at least two and three?" There are still students around, even if fewer of them are there. He will also make sure that the fire extinguisher is handy…just in case Lockheed's aim goes a little off.

"Hey, Laura. How you doing?" Inquires Noriko with a measure of warmth. Her eyes look back to Kitty, and she smiles, lopsidedly. "Something like that," she agrees, snatching herself a bowl, and a couple scoops. Her gaze sweeps over Doug, and Illyana who seem to be more off in their own world than anything just now.

The blue-haired girl looks over at Kurt, finally, "You want a bowl, Kurt? Laura? Be happy to get you one."

Doug looks up, and says, "Lockheed ate all off the 'Ls'." He says, "I don't know why, but it had something to do with protecting the earth from the Kree." He glances toward the Dragon, "He may have been funning me." He starts to sketch Illyana, and he puts her in a beret smoking a cigarette, with a speech bubble that says "The world, she is shit"

"Anything can have an L in it if you spell it badly enough."

She closes the box of XAVI-O's, now established as a real and existing product, and sets it upon a nearby counter.

"Perhaps. But he says, I think, that everything involves protecting the Earth from something. Protecting the Earth from the Kree, protecting the Earth from the Skrulls, protecting the Earth from another Earth, one which marauds through the lifeless void between stars in eternal search of twins that it might devour."

Illyana takes the proffered S'more and takes a bite.

"That one, when someone caught him eating potting soil."

"It's still calorie dense," Laura answers back at Kitty, all serious-like, although, even from her, this may actually be a bit of a joke. Not even the most ruthless murder machine can pretend there isn't a certain magic to the classic and marvellously sweet treat. So in the end, that's a big yes. "I'm well," she answers Noriko, and then nods, decisively. "Please." In the meanwhile as she waits, the nearby process of dragon-roasting the marshmellows draws a fascinated stare. It's quite likely that it may have been the scent that true her, rather than the ice cream, as that complicated chemical process that carmelizes the sugary exterior produces a rather rich olfactory profile. IE, it smells pretty good.

As she waits, while Illyana's spelling project had gone unnoticed on arrival, when Kurt draws attention to it, she glances over and… yes, that's an actual smile, or at least a bit of a smirk. Which is rare. Of course the message soon fades into mush and is lost.

Noriko scoops up a bowl for Laura, and another for Kurt, and then pushes up to sit herself on the counter, and enjoy a spoonful of rocky road for herself after handing the other bowls out. She exhales, "Well, right now, I'd just settle on protection from the political assholes," wryly to Illyana. Her mouth twists, momentarily and before she says anything further she shoves another spoonful of ice cream in her mouth to shut herself up.

Nightcrawler sets out the bowls and spoons and, minus Kitty's chosen tubs of the dessert, he'll set himself up to help distribute the 'dinner'. "All right…who wants what flavor? Seems to be plenty to go around but there may be a line for the toasted…ah…marshmallow." Does it have an equivalent in German? Maybe not. He starts scooping out some ice cream, maybe for himself, "It is a shame we cannot save the Earth from herself." Womp, there it is. Noriko gets a little smile, "I am happy to get my own, thank you. Anyone else while I am here?"

Doug now draws a doodle of Piotr, saying a prayer, with Illyana standing nearby making a stank-face and holding her nose. "Lockheed's schemes to protect mankind from the scum of the universe are many and varied." Then he looks up and flicks his gaze over to Kurt. "All we can win is tomorrow, Kurt. Then the next fight begins. Right?"

"No. No. Yeah, no, I really don't care what they talked about the shareholder meeting. They'll forget about it all by the next news cycle. China's slashing rare earths production again, once that news hits, people will be way too busy with that to pay attention to whatever I've been doing."

The voice is familiar, and it precedes the appearance of Warren Worthington in the kitchen doorway. Noticing there's people gathered, he stays on the phone — important call — but flicks a white wing in what seems to be his version of a 'hello' handwave when his hands aren't actually free.

Crossing the kitchen, he brazenly starts digging into the ice cream and gets himself a bowl without asking, because let's be real, he probably paid for it.

"What? No, we'll be fine. They can't hold out forever, and we can just lean on other industries in the meantime." As he's talking, he starts to make an exit again, with a mouthed 'so sorry!' to the assembled. Though he frowns distinctly at the XAVI-O's. Bad memories?

"I once replaced those with the pellets you use to line the underside of a ferret cage." Doug murmurs, "I don't think anyone noticed. I swear I saw Sam eating a bowl of them once. …Also, where do we *get* those and who keeps stocking the kitchen with them?"

"Every day we wake up and we are alive is a win," Kurt agrees with Doug. "And every day is also a fight, in its own way. Some days are more of a fight than others." He looks up and gives a tail-wave back at Warren before glancing at the cereal, "I still do not understand how one eats that in the morning. I think I tried giving some to the birds and they were…unimpressed."

Laura accepts the bowl from Noriko: she doesn't seem particular as regards to the various flavors. Then she turns to face the rest of them, bowl in hand: "We are not an army; we are, effectively, a small paramilitary force with access to what is equivalent to top-of-class weaponry as well as limited tactical and even strategic scale weapons of mass destruction. Considered in this fashion, as 'unique' as we may appear, there is a historical framework for the possibly extent of - and limitations on - the impact we can have on local, national, and global scale political forces."

Oops, is she doing it again?

Really, though, this is an acknowledgement of Kurt's point. She observes Warren's brief appearance with all the curiousity of a cat watching a bird outside the window, although all the talk about the Xavi-O's finally makes her wonder (seriously): "What's wrong with them?"

"Hey, Warren. Ice cream?" Noriko offers, quietly so as not to get in the way of his Very Important Phonecall, but still be polite enough. She glances at the interplay between the others, a bit quiet for once and not quite her normal talkative and impulsive self. She can't help but smile, just a little, at Laura's spoken viewpoint of the situation. She laughs, just briefly, nodding to Laura again. "Yeah," she agrees. "Let's just hope our impact is the one we -want- to have. Not what -they- want to make it look like," she states, bitterly.

"Anyone else going to the protest?"

She had taken another bite of S'more, but this insult demands she speak even with her mouth filled. "They are-" she begins, muffled and incomprehensible; she forces herself to swallow, though the mass of food is not quite chewed enough and so makes her cough for a moment. "They are good! You have unsophisticated pallets, you cannot appreciate the subtle layering of their flavor and the way in which the bran compliments the beet."

A derisive sniff; her folds her arms across her chest, head turned to the side.

"Piotr likes them, as well.

"And so does Ursa Major! And he is a bear, he could choose to eat anything. He could eat any of you! Instead, he would choose the cereal, not because he is civilied but because of the rich and complex taste that it offers."

Kitty puts more marshmallows on a spit and puts them out for Lockheed to start to crisp. "So we don't have Ls and we have a lot of other things." While she doesn't go for the bowls that Nightcrawler and others have pulled out, she waits for her own s'more.

"We've got means, we've got ideas. We should do something." She looks out at the others, and then smirks at Warren as he grabs something and then leaves. "It's more than just waiting. We can do more than wait. What've we got? Seriously, what can we do to help people out there? We can funnel those who don't want to register through the Institute, but there's got to be more."

Warren nods to Kurt's greeting, and flashes Noriko the kind of smile you see on photoshopped magazine covers, and don't actually expect normal people to be capable of in normal person life. But he is quick to get his bowl and duck out, with a ruffling of his feathers as if to tease Laura's feline watchfulness.

"Enjoy," he says, before stepping back out into the hallway. The last thing they will hear from him, still on the phone, is: " — no, not you."

"We cannot be violent," Kurt offers. "Because that will only make their point…that we are dangerous and need to be tracked. We need to protest but peacefully. Look to those who have done it before…Dr. Martin Luther King, Ghandi…" Kurt glances back over to Warren as he heads out before looking back. "I was hoping to go to the protest…if only to try and keep it from getting dangerous." As if he could do that.

"Ursa Major…" Doug taps his chin, "Isn't that the sentient alcoholic bear who hosts a talk show in Russia?" He looks at the others, and then murmurs "Well, what with not having an actual legal identity and all, I need to avoid winding up in jail." He says, "Other than that? What we need is a meme… you can make important statements all the time, but if they can't get and keep people's attention they're like dust in the wind. What we need to do is weaponize people's rhetoric against them."

"I don't mean we can't accomplish anything, but that we should calibrate our efforts based, realistically, on the scale of our organization and the force asymmetries in play." Laura seems to think of something as she says the very last of that, "Since, uniquely, they exist in our situation in both direction. Our small size suggests distributed efforts. Guerilla tatics are well-proven. However, it is important also to observe the failure of most terrorist organizations to achieve meaningful political ends." There's a meaningful pause, and she glances toward Kurt as she comes to this conclusion "This is the fundamental failure of the Brotherhood's methods. But violence itself, by every precedent, is unavoidable."

Of course, she can talk about it calmly. As calmly as she joins in Illyana's defense of the cereal, although she definitely doesn't go as far as defending the flavor. No, the lack of flavor but perfect nutritional balancing is probably what gives them value in her eyes. They're like Scott: bland but so beautifully logistically sound. "I don't think the protests are useful. They provide a good opportunity for government forces to gather intelligence. I assisted in the prior opperation because it was aimed at keeping people out of government hands… not volunteering to get arrested, which I understand is a frequent /goal/ of protestors."

Noriko sighs, and offers after listening to everyone else's thoughts, "No. They probably don't. But, we can be there to try and protect people who don't have any other outlet. And can't defend themselves, like we can. Who have less of a choice than we do. Nowhere to go. And nobody to turn to." She finishes off her bowl.

"But, on the more practical side? I was talking to Dani, yesterday. We're going to do some training in the Danger Room against the Sentinels. Prepare for the inevitable. Learn how to take those bastards down, and get some practice in."

Doug looks up, and says, "The problem with Sentinels is that the people who build them are continually tinkering with them, pushing the envelope to make them more dangerous. So until we know about the capabilities of *these* sentinels all the training in the world has limited utility." Fortunately they've got a plan for that, too. But he bites his tongue on that for now.

"Yes, non-violence is always helpful and successful," adds Illyana, surely without a hint of sarcasm.

"Programs of registration are almost always a prelude to more robust racial hygiene laws restricting intermarriage and, then, to policies of enforced resettlement and ghettoization."

She sets her palms against the counter behind her and presses down, lifting herself up until she sits upon it with; her leg kicks slowly back and forth, the heel of her shoe knocking against drawer behind it.

"And once a targeted population has been restricted to a single geographic area, ethnic cleansing follows in almost but not all cases.

"Personally, given the course of history and the knowledge that the future from which Rachel hails is a common one, I would recommend the writings of George Jackson, or the American Indian Movement, or the early Bolsheviks, or even of Irgun over those of King."

Illyana: How She Brightens A Room.

Kurt frowns into the bowl of ice cream while the others talk before he looks up sharply at Illyana's observation. "I am well aware of the course of history and what this could lead to. I well understand what it can mean. I did not live through it myself, but I -know-. We cannot let it get there. Of that, there is no question. We cannot let history take that course again. But harming others is not what will change things." His spoon jams into a scoop of ice cream in the bowl, "We can learn to fight the Sentinels, ja, but it is about the people. The people need to understand that we are no different. Merely because we can do things they cannot does not make us better or worse than anyone else. I do not t hink I am explaining this well. It is a hard concept to put into words."

It definitely seems like Laura and Illyana are sharing a brainwave here. The purpose-built living weapon and… a Russian (you don't even need the crazy demon-witch-Queen stuff, -really-). It shouldn't surprise! "I concur with Illyana's evaluation. Indeed, it is the precedent I am referring to. Although she makes a factual error using Doctor King as a /contrast/. Although his movement is commonly characterized as flawlessly non-violent in the education system, this is itself an act of political propaganda meant to invalidate violent resistance. It purposefully ignores his historic coordination with violent organizations; he was able to avoid open violence because he knew others were willing and /planning/ to take that path in the alternative. He was also, despite his 'harmless' nature, targetted by the government for psychological warfare and potentially elimination even ahead of his /actual/ non-sanctioned assassination." And then, extra-coldly, she adds: "If the government had possessed me in that era, he might well have become a target."

It's grim, to be sure, and Laura's stark psyche and outlook is cast in bizarre relief to the fact she is gingerly scooping icecream out of a bowl to eat. Clearly, however, it's not all something she wants to argue at length. She speaks her (grim) peace and then considers Doug's remarks about the Sentinels. "Accurate. Nonetheless, training in the known parameters is valuable, as it removes them from consideration during the conflict. Preparation combined with flexible action is the cornerstone of modern military doctrine."

Noriko can't argue the points, she knows the truth of them. But, they're discussions she's had over and over. And, having finished her ice cream she washes out the bowl and tosses it into the dishwasher. "I'm going to head out. Burn some of this energy," she announces, her expression slightly sour. "Be out in the grounds if anyone needs me."

There's a brief bob of her head and a sway to and fro of electric blue hair with the motion as she signals goodbye to her teammates, to those who might as well be her family. Then she's trodding out of the kitchen, and towards the backdoors out to the lawn.

"We're not talking about eras. We're talking about now." Kitty pulls the marshmallow back from Lockheed. She doesn't put it on a s'more or anything else, instead, she looks around them. "The anger room is good. I think that's a great way to prepare all of us for what is to come, but there are things that are to come. What do we do to help ourselves about that? I don't think there isn't precedence or legal matters here."

Kitty pulls a tub of moose tracks up onto her lap and then just pulls a spoon and starts to eat. "We should all be comfortable here. That's what Xavier's is for. But, if we want to do something else? That's also what we're here for. If anyone has any ideas about that, we should talk about it. More than constellations and violence and anything else. We just need to stick together. And also eat ice cream."

Doug continues sketching, intent on his work. This time Lockheed as stolen Kitty's ice cream cone. "The truth is, we may need to engage in some drastic action, up to and including violence. But we have to think it through, first. The diffence between the X-Men and the Brotherhood is primarily one of target selectivity."

"Of course," Illyana directs to Laura in response. "History has stripped him down to a comforting and acceptable figure, burning away his commitment during his later years to what Americans would decry as socialism just as it has sterilized a thousand others. They will be happy to air his speech during the March on Washington, but the very subject of the Poor People's Campaign has been erased entirely from the collective memory of the American people.

"But, still, in the words of George Jackson, 'the concept of nonviolence is a false ideal. It presupposes the existence of compassion and a sense of justice on the part of one's adversary. When this adversary has everything to lose and nothing to gain by exercising justice and compassion, his reaction can only be negative. The Kings, Wilkinses, and Youngs exhort us in King's words to "put away your knives, put away your arms and clothe yourselves in the breastplate of righteousness" and "turn the other cheek to prove our capacity to endure, to love." Well, that is good for them, perhaps, but I most certainly need both sides of my head."

"In writing this Jackson, of course, spoke of the capitalist-white supremacist establishment and its oppression of the black underclass, but his point is - I would argue - valid as regards our people. For if mutants truly represent the future of evolution for the human species, then the survival of mutants will be read by most as being incompatible with the baseline species."

From somewhere - it isn't exactly clear where, as is all too frequently the case dealing with individuals for whom aportation has made concepts of spacial distance a novel hint of trivia - Illyana produces a cigarette, placing it at the corner of her mouth, held in place by her lips.

"Or, if you prefer, in the words of Zach de la Rocha: 'Violence in all hands; Embrace it if need be.'"

Doug muses, over his sketchbook, "Or, more succinctly, as far as I'm concerned, if our enemies *insist* on it being us, or them, to pharaphrase the late, great Powers Boothe - 'Well… bye'." He says. He closes the book and sticks the pen in the spine.

"The current era has some advantages. Largely, that information is far more widely distributed," Laura offers to Kitty in a… well, it's hard to call it quite a concession since she's not abandonning this whole debate in favor of 'go punch Sentinels to work out your issues.' But it is an admission that the past is not the present, and that presumably tactics must evolve. "Legally, I am not as well-informed." She may be under-selling herself, as she can probably quote various statues of local and even international law that concern her prior 'profession.' "But my sense is that, at least to /minimize/ violence, appealing to legal and political channels may raise the costs perceived in more stringent government measures. This pertains to my earlier comment; while violence is often necessary, terrorism is conterproductive."

She glances at Illyana, then, and perhaps reads something a little -too- literal in the last quote, physically lifting an examining her own hand. Well. "One of the definitive dividing lines between the two ideologies the choice of targets. Genuine resistance efforts generally focus on the logistical underpinings of the enemy force, its ability to efficiently project power. This is why I am highly in favor of the proposed Sentinel mission. Any damage to that project, both in the material sense and in the propaganda value of undermining it before the public, should be highly valuable."

"I agree," Illyana is swift to add, "But I would regard anyone attached to the Sentinel project in any meaningful capacity as a wholly legitimate military target. Violence is best regarded as a tool like any other, and there are applications for which it and it alone may be appropriate.

"The failure of the Brotherhood, I would say, is that it is primarily a cult of personality and only secondarily an armed revolutionary movement, and, at that, a cult of personality prone to the use of violence for the sake of violence. Shock can have its place, of course, I am not one to argue otherwise," says to the certain surprise of all the woman who, as a teenager, consigned a small army of The Right's members to be torn limb from limb in a place that amounts to Hell, "But overzealous application does not deter retaliation - indeed, it may *galvanize* retaliation."

Illyana gives a little sniff, and, plucking the cigarette from between her lips, gestures towards Kitty. "All meant only as purely philosophical points, of course," she reassures her. It is, no doubt, comforting. And convincing.

"And despite legal precedent, we have reasons and ways to fight back." Kitty looks to Illyana as if trying to also add things and teach. "The Brotherhood is a cult of personality, but they also murder people. That's a bit thing and should be a main thing." She looks at the other people eating ice cream and she knows they will do so, but she has to say, "Write that down."

Lockheed picks up another marshmallow to burn and make into a s'more. Kitty gives him a grin. Seeamlessly, she reaches out to take the cigarette from Illyana to then toss it into the sink. It's practically second nature to her. "This isn't about what we've done before. It's about what we need to do now."

"The failures of the Brotherhood are various, ideologically, organizationally, and operationally." There's a sort of…. bizarre professional contempt in Laura's voice, there. Unlike the average member of that group, let alone the typical X-man, she was /trained/ in terrorism, in high-impact, visual displays of gross violence and the psychology underpinning them, alongside more efficient and covert approaches. She probably thinks she could teach them a thing or three. Good thing there's no Lehnsherr Academy for the Violently Gifted. "And while I am inclined to agree, operationally, regarding personnel, given the proposed nature of the mission, I imagine they will largely be removed from our main target zones."

Here, it's notable that for all the cool delivery she usually offers on these topics, she doesn't sound quite as disappointed on that last point as might seem likely. And maybe, just so it's clear, she turns to Kitty as she tries to play teacher: "I don't -like- killing anyone. I did far too much of it without having any concept of what it meant." Here, she puts the empty bowl on the counter. "I've already put in a good bit of time with the newest Sentinel program. It is robust. You should all try it." And with that, she turns to go stalking off, the gruff abruptness of her social tolerance rather reminiscent of her elder counterpart.

"They - " Kitty snatches the cigarette from her, and Illyana can't help but suck her teeth in response, her foot extending just in collide with her long-suffering best friend's butt. "To my recollection they rarely display experience with squad level tactics," she offers, seeming to be in full agreement with Laura.

Oh, and with Kitty, of course! Yes. Definitely.

"Yes," she says. "We do not murder."

A paused beat.



"At all."

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