[Fanfic] Fantasmas en la Nieve

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[Fanfic] Fantasmas en la Nieve

Postby Mythos on Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:34 pm

Hey there all...

While, by far, not my first fanfic, this is the first for El Goonish Shive. I hope that you like what I'm going to do. I hope that Dan-o likes what I'm going to do.

A little about myself. I have a degree in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State U, here in lovely BG, Ohio. I write fanfics to keep my skills sharp, as I have found it's the easiest way to do that. I've done most of my fanfic writing either with anime (in the beginning) and then on to It's Walky! for Dave Willis. He liked it. While I won't post them unless there's demand, if you ask, I will send you the links for the novels / fics I've written for IW! Some of you are already familiar with them.

That having been said, this IS an alternafic. The characters have not grown up as they have in canon, they may not act as they do in canon, though I try to keep them similar in most respects. Some things, however, may be VERY different.

You've been warned.

All legalese applies...Dan Shive is a kind a benevolent God among mortalsyadddayaada...

Grab yourself a long cool one, or a warm and toasty one, all things depending...

C&C (Comments and Criticism) always welcome...You can post it here, send me a PM, or an email...

Flames will be TG'd, shrunk and stored in a closet...

***

Fantasmas en la Nieve
An El Goonish Shive Alternafic
By
Joshua Trujillo

***

Part 1

Elliot looked out the window across the courtyard as the rain continued to pour. They'd been in England for nearly six weeks and Elliot, for one, would not mind being back out at sea again. Or miss the dreariness of London's industrial weather. Perhaps they would get the funding they'd need, sail north to the frozen wastes and find Tedd's father and be back by Christmas. He sighed and straightened his ascot. At least the colonies weren't at war with the English anymore. That was a plus. And they wouldn't be heading into the North Sea or Mediterranean, so no threats from French privateers...but still...

Elliot once again ruminated on having Sarah aboard. They were betrothed, yes, but that didn't mean that she had to come in harm's way with him. True, she had some medical training and she even served aboard a ship during the war, but he still didn't have to like it. He just understood that he couldn't keep her away and he had to admit that having her along kept him sane and healthy. Tedd too. And the others. Edwin Nasus, the strange doctor from Virginia, had originally not wanted an assistant and resented the idea that Sarah could help him at all. But something had happened and he'd acquiesed rather quickly. Something Sarah asked him or told him? Elliot didn't know.

Justin had stayed behind with the rest of the crew. Crew. Elliot snorted to himself. Barely enough to sail the damned ship, let alone broach a rescue mission in the frozen north. Above the Arctic Circle, Tedd had told him. One man, a cook, had made it back alive, barely, from the mission. He'd babbled of confusion and fear...and death...and also of a mysterious fire phantom that sprang up and killed most of them. The cook had got away on a large bit of the ship the phantom had blown clear of the rest. Elliot didn't know the reason Tedd thought the cook's story valid, but he had. And they'd set off for final financing in England. That was four weeks ago. The more they stayed in the land of their fathers, the more Elliot wanted him and Sarah back in Charlotte. He missed his plantation, but he'd left it in good hands, at least.

The sound of the door opening behind him made him turn. Tedd stormed out, gave half a look to his friend and nodded angrily toward the far staircase. Elliot sighed and shook his head. Another no. They'd keep looking, but the more weeks went by, the less chance they'd have of ever seeing Tedd's father alive again. Elliot kept his tongue. He knew that Tedd would react...badly...to thoughts of giving up.

"They're-" Tedd cut himself off as a pair of ladies came up the stairs.

He nodded to them and Elliot followed suit as they stopped on one of the landings. The elder lady smiled, began to nod to Tedd, then turned and quickened her pace up the stairs. The younger maiden blushed furiously and followed after, giggling to herself. Tedd shot a look to Elliot, who smirked and touched his cheek. Tedd thought for a second, then scowled as he reached hurriedly into his pockets. He withdrew the large glasses therein and set them on his face as he pursed his lips.

"They're idiots, Elliot," Tedd muttered quietly. "They can't see that they're condenming, not only my father, but many of the top scientists in Europe and America to their fates-"

"Tedd, you don't have to convince me."

Tedd stopped midrant and blew out a breath. He reached up and rubbed the bridge of his nose. He pushed the glasses back and started down the stairs again, slower this time.

"Will Justin have the ship ready?"

"He should," Elliot nodded to himself. "I know you don't know him, but he's good where it matters."

"He'd better be," Tedd said more to himself than anyone else. "Elliot...I'm getting scared. I'm afraid that we're not going to find them alive..."

Elliot said nothing as they stepped toward their carriage. The rain had let up a little, but England, gray and smelly as it was, brought only the sadness of death to their minds.

***
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Re: [Fanfic] Fantasmas en la Nieve

Postby Q99 on Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:29 am

Not a bad start. Not too much happening so far, but I'm interested in where it's going.


Hmm... expedition to the arctic, strange doctor.... is this an EGS-Lovecraft story? :)
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Re: [Fanfic] Fantasmas en la Nieve

Postby Mythos on Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:38 am

Q99 wrote:Not a bad start. Not too much happening so far, but I'm interested in where it's going.


Hmm... expedition to the arctic, strange doctor.... is this an EGS-Lovecraft story? :)


Much thanks for reading! :D

Yeah, my stories all start kinda slow, and I'm going to keep these parts fairly short, at least until I get into it. And while I AM a Lovecraft scholar, I hadn't thought of it in those terms...

Now, I might. :wink:
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Postby Mythos on Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:46 pm

Ahh, the next part. Actually, this weekend, I've been quite prolific...many many parts...the story arises...;)

Oh, as far as the names go. I didn't have time to scour all of the EGS archives for ALL the proper LAST names, so if anyone has the rest of them (*AHEMDANAHEM*), they'd be much appreciated. :)

All legalese applies...Dan Shive is a kind a benevolent God among mortalsyadddayaada...

Grab yourself a long cool one, or a warm and toasty one, all things depending...

C&C (Comments and Criticism) always welcome...You can post it here, send me a PM, or an email...

Flames will be TG'd, shrunk and stored in a closet...

***

Part 2

Justin turned to look at the gangly, long-haired doctor as the doctor pulled his long, blue-black ponytail tighter. The captain had recruited Edwin Nasus from a military ship in port a couple weeks prior, and while his credentials were impressive and impeccable, his mannerisms gave Justin the creeps. Elliot had said the doctor was from Virginia. Only weirdoes came from there. Edwin raised an eyebrow at him and Justin shrugged, as much a response as to throw off his own goose flesh.

"Captain Verres bought the Shive wholesale from a whaling yard in Portland, Maine," Justin went back to the maps. "He liked the name, so he kept it. I think we have bigger concerns than the name on the side of our ship."

"Certainly we do. I was simply curious," Edwin snorted. "You don't have to deal with Lieutenant Dunkel's fiance as a 'helper'..."

Justin rolled his eyes to himself.

"Doctor, you know how Elliot feels about using his-"

"Oh, I know," Edwin huffed. "I just think his reasoning is rather spurious."

"Well, I don't," Justin turned on him angrily. "I know you've only been on board since we've come to England, but I've been with Elliot for a long time and I accept his reasons."

Edwin held up his hands.

"As you say," Edwin sighed. "He has his reasons."

Justin seemed mollified slightly and blew out a breath as Edwin joined him next to the maps. Edwin had no ideas about cartography or navigation, but the maps were still interesting to look at. He also felt that observation was the quickest route to knowledge. After all, that's how he became a doctor in the first place.

"Can I ask you a question?"

Edwin smirked and nodded.

"You were aboard the Axalon as a civilian surgeon," Justin began. "Why did you accept the commission to do this assignment? The Axalon would probably have been a safer duty."

"No, it wouldn't," Edwin shook his head. "Captain Rosenthal was headed south, toward the French. Something about glory...I never understood that man..."

"Is working with Sarah all that bad?"

Edwin stiffened noticeably, but slowly settled again and smirked.

"She's an excellent assistant, actually," Edwin nodded. "She will be a great asset when-if we find the other crew. But please don't tell her that. She works harder when she's trying to prove something."

Edwin turned back to the lower deck, but stopped.

"Justin, we have a visitor."

Justin turned and saw a strange figure standing near the gangplank, small, but clothed in simple, brown robes.

***
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Postby Mythos on Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:29 pm

Yup. Another day, another part. And with 56 views, someone's reading it. :shifty: Hope you're being kept entertained. :wink:

All legalese applies...Dan Shive is a kind a benevolent God among mortalsyadddayaada...

Grab yourself a long cool one, or a warm and toasty one, all things depending...

C&C (Comments and Criticism) always welcome...You can post it here, send me a PM, or an email...

Flames will be TG'd, shrunk and stored in a closet...

***

Part 3

Sarah wiped her hands on a towel and shook her head as the crewman walked happily off. A splinter. Please. If they couldn't handle a simple splinter, perhaps they should consider a different occupation. She looked at the little thing on the glass tabletop. At least it was a big splinter. She picked up her tweezers and dropped them in the alcohol soak. What nonsense! The good doctor insisting that all the tools be constantly soaked in a rather overstrong alcohol bath. Certainly, it kept them clean, but he constantly washed them as well. A fastidiousness on the doctor's part. And while Sarah knew just why the doctor worked so hard, it made the tool bath all that more unusual. Still, Sarah wasn't on this voyage for the doctor, nor for any advances in the medical profession, but for her beloved Elliot.

Sarah stood and straightened her skirts. Elliot had said that when they finally got underway, she could go back to wearing her usual pants. But that, at least in port, she'd have to follow a more feminine decorum. She opened the door to the infirmary and stepped toward the stairs up to the deck. The rest of the crew would be, at least at this time of day, be scattered all over the ugly city of Portsmouth, where they'd been berthed. Captain Tedd and Elliot had both gone into London to find the financing. She hoped they'd find it soon. Elliot had become restless and she knew he wanted back out to sea. She smiled to herself. At least she'd be with him this time. Sarah poked her head out of the forecastle stairs and stopped as Justin helped a strange person back down the gangplank. On the far deck, Sarah could see Doctor Nasus eye the stranger as Justin walked back on board. The stranger turned and Sarah did a double-take as she thought she saw something purple flash from underneath the plain, brown robes. Of course, it must have been her imagination.

...it looked like fur...

***
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Postby Mythos on Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:45 am

Okay, so the story is going slow, with small parts, but the small parts are an easier way for me to get into it.

All legalese applies...Dan Shive is a kind a benevolent God among mortalsyadddayaada...

Grab yourself a long cool one, or a warm and toasty one, all things depending...

C&C (Comments and Criticism) always welcome...You can post it here, send me a PM, or an email...

Flames will be TG'd, shrunk and stored in a closet...

***

Part 4

The journey back from London had always seemed longer than the expectant rush to it. Perhaps because he knew what he would have to tell the crew when they arrived? Elliot shrugged to himself. He looked across the carriage to his friend. Tedd would never give up, but maybe the resigned look on his face told that perhaps a full out rescue mission was...impractical.

"Perhaps the Dutch could help?"

Elliot rubbed his nose to hide his distaste. London had been bad enough, but to waste more time in- Elliot blew out a sigh and looked out the window.

"I'm sorry, Elliot," Tedd said sadly, his eyes still on the horizon. "I've made you come all this way and we still don't have any way to get enough supplies for this."

"Tedd," Elliot said. "I owe your father my life. I can certainly stay with you as long as this takes. Perhaps the Dutch will be more amenable. Are we at war with them?"

Tedd shook his head, his purple locks bouncing along underneath the hat. Elliot had never had the heart to tell his friend that the hat did nothing to hide his overly feminine visage.

"We should be back aboard in a couple more hours," Tedd said. "If you could before we turn in, get Justin and some of the crew to see how many provisions we have left? See if we can make it across the North Sea to Amsterdam."

"Yessir."

"Worse comes to worse, the Shive is a whaling vessel," Tedd sighed. "We could forage out at sea. Spend the rest of the money on things we'll need when we get there."

"If we do head to the continent, we're going to lose some crew."

Tedd looked at Elliot and realized that he was right. He said nothing and shifted his weight as he looked out the window again.

"Can I suggest something else?"

Tedd nodded.

"Perhaps it's time to consider that we might not be coming back with as many people as we'd considered..."

"How do you mean?"

"The time it would take for us to sail to Amsterdam, get funding, resupply and be on our way would be almost as much time as simply taking the offer that Greg fellow gave us-"

"I'm not selling the Shive."

"Tedd, be reasonable," Elliot pleaded. "A smaller ship would take less crew, less supplies-"

"It could also bring back less survivors."

Elliot rubbed his forehead and sat back. He hated talking about what appeared to be obvious to him because Tedd had it in his mind that his father and the others were simply marooned. Not fighting for their lives, starving...already dead...

"Elliot, I know what you're saying," Tedd said softly. "But the Shive is a measure of hope against what you're saying. That there is hope against the reality of their situation. Tell you what, let's make the continent and if we can't find the funding in one week, we'll sell and buy a smaller ship."

"I'm sorry, Tedd. I know what hope means," Elliot said sadly. "More than anyone, I know what it means."

"Yeah," Tedd huffed and smiled at his friend. "I know, Elliot. I know."

***
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Postby Q99 on Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:07 pm

Mythos wrote:Yup. Another day, another part. And with 56 views, someone's reading it. :shifty: Hope you're being kept entertained. :wink:


I am!

Btw, what year is this supposed to take place in? It's obviously a period piece of some sort.
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Postby Mythos on Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:13 pm

Q99 wrote:
Mythos wrote:Yup. Another day, another part. And with 56 views, someone's reading it. :shifty: Hope you're being kept entertained. :wink:


I am!

Btw, what year is this supposed to take place in? It's obviously a period piece of some sort.


I'm thinking some time after the War of 1812, perhaps not too far off though, but around that time. 8)
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Postby Mythos on Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:52 pm

Yay! Another part! :D

All legalese applies...Dan Shive is a kind a benevolent God among mortalsyadddayaada...

Grab yourself a long cool one, or a warm and toasty one, all things depending...

C&C (Comments and Criticism) always welcome...You can post it here, send me a PM, or an email...

Flames will be TG'd, shrunk and stored in a closet...

***

Part 5

Tedd Verres stood on the aft deck, near the wheel, his eyes on the black, quiet ocean beyond. The smells of the sea sang in his mind. He'd never been that much of a sailor, but he'd enjoyed the ocean. It held less mystery for him than for others, as his father had taught him much of the deep and the creatures there. Still, he understood why men like Justin loved the open waters. The freedom. The sheer freedom of it. Light footsteps on the gangplank made him turn.

"You must be Nioi," Tedd smiled. "Our navigator said you came aboard two days ago. You were interested in passage?"

The small figure in brown robes stopped a couple steps from Tedd, who thought he caught the smell of berries.

"I can pay for the passage required."

Tedd cleared his throat at the voice. Soft and alluring, her voice melted over him like heavy layers of velvet, yet sensuous as the finest Oriental silks against his suddenly exposed body. Tedd coughed once to himself as he tried to press down his blush.

"We're not-" his voice caught and he began again. "We're not really taking on passengers, m'lady."

Nioi chuckled slightly and reached into her robes. She produced a small bag and held it in a gloved hand out to Tedd. He gingerly took the bag, opened it and almost dropped the contents to the deck. Inside shone brilliant in the wane lantern light, sparkling gems of all kinds and size. Tedd looked at her, dumbfounded by the wealth.

"I want to fund passage, as I told your navigator," Nioi said. "But our destinations are the same."

Nioi reached up and slowly removed her hood.

***
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Postby Mythos on Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:37 am

*yawn* third shifts are a bitch. Before I head to bed, I think posting the next part is good. :)

All legalese applies...Dan Shive is a kind a benevolent God among mortalsyadddayaada...

Grab yourself a long cool one, or a warm and toasty one, all things depending...

C&C (Comments and Criticism) always welcome...You can post it here, send me a PM, or an email...

Flames will be TG'd, shrunk and stored in a closet...

***

Part 6

Elliot floated in a glassy whiteness that stretched all around him. It shimmered all the colors in the rainbow, ribbons of color spinning dizzingly off into the distance. It didn't seem to bother him that he had no clothes on. He didn't feel cold, he didn't feel fear. Up and down held no meaning, other than up being near his head and down being somewhere around his feet. Elliot wondered if he were dead, but somehow didn't think so. Just...something...

He started as a pair of arms wrapped around his shoulders. They felt warm and inviting. Enough to fall asleep against and they drew his head to rest against a uniquely female body. Sarah. Obviously. She's the only one that-

Elliot looked down at the arms. Longer than Sarah's and certainly not Sarah's fairly complected skin. Elliot wanted to feel afraid, not of who this person was, but why Sarah hadn't driven him through the floor yet. A very familiar face met him as he turned in her arms. Familiar, yet so strangely alien. She was someone he'd known all his life, yet had never met or even knew existed. She smiled gently and looked up. Light began to stream down from above, bathing the both of them in radiance-

***

"C'mon Elliot!"

Elliot jerked awake, his breath caught in his throat. His hands shook as he gulped for air.

"Oh, sorry..." Justin said quietly from the door. "Bad dreams?"

Elliot coughed and tried to gather himself.

"Yeah, something like that," Elliot rubbed his face. "I'll be up in a couple minutes. We had a long night, ya know?"

"I know," Justin yawned sympathetically. "It's just that Tedd somehow got the money from the girl Nioi! I don't think he's been asleep yet and we're being loaded right now!"

"What?!"

Elliot shot himself out of bed and ran past Justin, who tried to hide his blush as Elliot's firm physique pressed through the door past him. Elliot threw open the door at the end of the crew hall and climbed the stairs to the main deck, where he stopped in astonishment. Everywhere on the deck, supplies had been sprawled in a carefully ordered mayhem. Stacks of food and barrels of liquid. Supplies of all types here and there and a little bit of everywhere. Elliot took in a breath as he tried to fit it all in. Sure, he and Tedd had been told of the strange, robed visitor named Nioi, who would be back...but this?!

"Mornin' sugarlips!" Sarah picked up another armful of blankets and began to make her way to the secondary crew stairs, toward the infirmary. "We've got a lot to pack up before we head out!"

"Sarah, what...?"

She stopped and gave him a quizzical look.

"Sugar Lips?" a voice sneered from above.

A deep and foreboding sigh broke from Elliot as he turned around and looked up. Tedd leaned on the railing and looked down at him. As Justin, who emerged from the crew stairs just then, had said, Tedd wore dark circles under his eyes and wobbled slightly as his smirk increased to manic proportions.

"It's a term of endearment, Tedd," Elliot crossed his arms. "One you're not allowed to use."

"Can I use it?" Justin asked quietly.

"Nevermind that, Sugarlips," Tedd chortled. "We have a passenger who needs her provisions. She's in the guest quarters, across from mine-"

"Isn't that where you keep your-"

"Shut it!" Tedd growled. "See that she is well taken care of! Our harvest is her doing and therefore, it's vital that she's happy! Now get to it!"

Tedd turned back to whatever he'd been doing. Elliot shook his head and looked back to the supplies as they continued to be brought on deck.

"Well," Justin said a little louder. "Can I?"

"Can you what?" Sarah asked.

"And put some pants on!" Tedd shouted from above.

***
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Postby Hogan on Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:50 am

Hmhm... looking good, looking goooood! :)

The best way to read this is to put everything you know about the continuity and relations of EGS into the back of your mind, and only going back to compare along the way. Then you will probably discover along the way, that it IS the EGS we like... though twisted and turned along the way! :wink:

More Mythos, more!
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Postby Mythos on Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:49 pm

Ah, after a little vacation, I'm back with more ghosts...ya know, in case you haven't translated the title yet. :wink:

All legalese applies...Dan Shive is a kind a benevolent God among mortalsyadddayaada...

Grab yourself a long cool one, or a warm and toasty one, all things depending...

C&C (Comments and Criticism) always welcome...You can post it here, send me a PM, or an email...

Flames will be TG'd, shrunk and stored in a closet...

***

Part 7

Having put some pants on, and a serviceable shirt to follow, Elliot gathered himself and made his way to the room opposite the Captain's quarters. He took a breath and knocked.

"Enter," a slight voice came from within.

Elliot opened the door slightly and stuck his head in. The room remained dark, a single candle resting on the water lamp on the table. Elliot had helped bolt the table to the floor as Tedd didn't want his...things...to scatter. Elliot shook his head and looked around.

"Mr. Dunkel," a soft voice said from within. "Here's a list of the items I had Captain Verres purchase for me for the trip. If you could have someone bring them to me?"

Elliot felt the voice slide down his spine and pat him on the butt. He gulped as Nioi slid the paper across the nearby table inside the candle's halo. He cautiously stepped in and plucked the paper from the table.

"I...apologize...if I make you uncomfortable, Lieutenant Dunkel," Nioi began again. "Captain Verres has assured me that I will not have to...bother anyone whilst I am on board."

Elliot stiffened at the use of his title. He straightened and coughed once.

"Miss Nioi, you are welcome on board and we thank you for your generosity. I will personally make sure that your items are delivered promptly," Elliot said stiffly. "But I would ask one favor of you, Miss Nioi."

"Yes, Lieutenant?"

"My name is Elliot," he said as he turned back to the door. "Would you please use it?"

"My apologies...Elliot..."

He nodded once and pulled the door to a close behind him.

***
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Postby Hogan on Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:18 pm

Hmmm... threats give new good updates!

Thanks Mythos, keep'm coming! 8)
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Postby Mythos on Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:21 pm

Didn't feel like writing much last weekend, hopefully, this weekend will be better...

All legalese applies...Dan Shive is a kind a benevolent God among mortalsyadddayaada...

Grab yourself a long cool one, or a warm and toasty one, all things depending...

C&C (Comments and Criticism) always welcome...You can post it here, send me a PM, or an email...

Flames will be TG'd, shrunk and stored in a closet...

***

Part 8

Finally out to sea. Edwin stood on the main deck and smiled to himself. No one knew. Certainly, if he were caught out at sea, the offense was enough that he could face abandonment or even summary execution, but somehow, he thought that the Captain and First Mate weren't that strict. After all, they had no other doctor.

The Catpain- Tedd. Edwin shook his head. He could still not get over the familiarity with which those on this vessel worked. Completely counter to his training and counter to most of the other ships out there, even the civilian ones. Tedd had accepted passage from the mysterious lady Nioi and she had given him enough money to fully supply us. And then some. Edwin was able to procur some good French glassware that would help with diagnosis and more delicate work. Edwin also knew that it wasn't cheap. But Tedd didn't seem to care. So long as it would help the mission, money flowed like water. He even granted two nights' leave for the crew before the mission.

"Time is a factor," Tedd had explained to him. "But the crew needs one final look around civilization and warm weather before freezing our butts off."

Edwin couldn't disagree. Unfortunately, some of the crew had gone but two replacements were found. Refugees from France. Edwin hadn't known of any repressions in France, but he supposed that some people couldn't be happy anywhere. Edwin half turned to the navigation deck at the aft. Except Justin. That man could be happy anywhere, so long as there were maps involved. Edwin smirked. Or Elliot. Edwin didn't know how Elliot could be so blind as not to see the attentions, but perhaps Sarah's attentions were stronger? A woman could do that, certainly. Edwin turned his attention upward to the Frenchman refugee. He'd come aboard with his sister and Elliot had thrown a fit. Something about a woman onboard. Edwin had mentioned that, as far as he could tell, Sarah fit that description as well. Elliot was simply a hypocrite, but what did Edwin expect? Edwin smirked to himself again.

If Elliot only knew...

The sister, while not very fluent in English, could cook like a demon. Therefore, she'd found an instant place which few people argued against. Both of them had seemed quite interested in the Lady Nioi, as, Edwin mused, he was as well. Edwin had tried to declare that he should be allowed to examine the lady as part of a routine check for lice and the normal shipboard diseases. Tedd flatly refused. And while it irked him to no end, he had to abide.

Now, one week out, they had just come off the coast of Scotland. As he knew it, they would soon turn more toward the northeast and into the icy waters beyond Scandinavia. Two months at sea and they would reach their goal. Somewhere. North. Edwin had to admit to himself that he didn't expect to come home with any survivors. He hated being so negative about human life, but it had already been half a year since Tedd's father and the rest of the crew left Boston harbor. Edwin didn't care who was on the roster, who was in the crew or what kind of experience they had. They'd gone through winter above the Arctic Circle. Edwin closed his eyes and prayed. They had no chance.

***
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Postby Mythos on Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:58 pm

Been a few days since I posted last. And because it's in Mayhem, it gets knocked to the third page. :cry:

Well, I hope that those that follow the story have bookmarked it or something like that? I worry about my readers. :nervous:

Anyway, the parts are getting longer. Hopefully, that means they're getting better. Enjoy! :D

All legalese applies...Dan Shive is a kind a benevolent God among mortalsyadddayaada...

Grab yourself a long cool one, or a warm and toasty one, all things depending...

C&C (Comments and Criticism) always welcome...You can post it here, send me a PM, or an email...

Flames will be TG'd, shrunk and stored in a closet...

***

Part 9

Justin sat at his station, his lamp rocking slowly back and forth. In the past month, they'd had to make course corrections many different times because of the preponderence of icebergs in the path. He'd thought that they might miss them, but because of getting out of England so late, the summer had come to the Arctic and had broken them free. He reached up and rubbed his eyes. The clock ticked off another hour above him. Already past one a.m. Justin looked behind him as he heard the rudder chain tick off a couples notches as the pilot made changes to avoid something. At least he hoped.

A couple of nights ago, one of the crew had fallen asleep and leaned on the wheel, throwing them into a nice, big circle for probably the better part of the night. Justin suggested they throw him overboard, but he was reassigned to the galley to help Francine. She seemed to get along with everyone, though she spoke less English than her rather taciturn brother. Justin also knew she ran a tight ship, so to speak. The night stuck in the circle had cost them a whole night's worth of travel and had ended in there now being two people awake during the night. The rudder chain ticked back a couple notches. Course correction.

Justin reached over to the sideboard and picked up a nutty bun, something that Francine had cooked up for them. Filling and slightly sweet, it had quickly become the standard snack on board. He munched on it absently as he went back to plotting the course. They'd come over from Scotland a week ago and were only a couple days north of Scandinavia. Another month and they would come to parts unknown on the map. He set the bun down and picked up his tea. He frowned. Cold. Ah well, perhaps that was the clue that he should head to-

A knock came at the door. Justin stopped and set his tea down. No one should have been up.

"Come," he said quietly.

The door opened slightly.

"May I speak with you a moment?" Nioi purred.

"Of course, Miss Nioi," Justin smirked. "What can I do for you?"

Nioi came in, her robes fluttering against the papers that stuck out on either side of the door. Justin reached over and pulled up a small stool to the nearby table as he spun around in his own chair. Nioi fidgeted in her seat and Justin felt awkward waiting.

"I'm sorry, m'lady," he said. "I would offer a cup of tea, but it's quite cold by now."

"No, Justin, that's fine," she said with a grateful breath. "I wanted to ask about Elliot. I...I seem to keep offending him and I want to know why."

"Offending?" Justin thought for a moment. "Do you keep referring to him by his title?"

"I only did that a couple times," she said. "And I did apologize for it."

Justin leaned back in his chair. He supposed that he should ask Elliot to be the one to tell his own story, but he doubted Elliot would want to, much less tell it to a complete stranger. And yet, Lady Nioi had funded them completely and had allowed them to get underway. That didn't give her cart blanche, but perhaps she deserved an explanation. Justin rubbed his eyes again and leaned forward.

"I don't know the whole story," Justin said quietly. "But, as far as I know, Elliot's commanding officer committed piracy or treason or some other high crime and Elliot was the only man willing to stand against him. And Elliot wouldn't have made it out of the city had it not been for Tedd's father."

"Oh my!"

"Yes, and what's worse is that Elliot was branded a traitor by the military-"

"Branded?!"

"Oh, not literally," Justin smiled. "Just, um...labelled and treated as one. Not even any conviction by the military court or anything. So, his title, he feels, is something of a black mark against him."

Nioi set up a little and seemed to contemplate something.

"He and Sarah are very much in love?"

Justin grit his teeth, but tried to remain calm outwardly as he nodded. Something like a snort came from within the folds of the robe.

"What else did you do to offend him?"

"Well," Nioi hemmed. "I suggested that Sarah might not be the best person for him."

Justin blew out a breath as he slapped his forehead.

"And I'm right!" Nioi continued. "He needs someone who isn't so strong-willed! Someone who knows her place as a woman in society! The pants Sarah wears are simply scandalous!-"

Nioi stopped as Justin shook from trying to keep his laughter in check. As much as he wanted to think otherwise...he'd known Sarah too long to agree.

"Lady," Justin finally said. "That strength of will, that whatever it is, is what Elliot sought in a woman! Sarah is perfect for him because of that."

Nioi huffed, "I know it's not my place, being simply a passenger on this trip, but her...actions-"

"Lady Nioi, I would advise you to drop the subject," Justin sighed and shook his head. "Elliot's love for Sarah is without bounds and nothing you say will put doubt to that. Also, I thought you were going to stay in your quarters?"

"...I got bored."

Justin smirked and nodded. Nioi chuckled and stood.

"Thank you, Justin," she moved to the door. "But something else..."

"Yes?"

"Maybe you ought not to deny your own emotions for very long," Nioi said quietly. "I'm not saying that Elliot would be the best person for you either, but perhaps he would know best?"

"Lady?"

"Yes, Justin?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about," he deadpanned. "And I wonder if you'd ever been introduced to something called tact?"

He could sense her smirking at him from under her hood.

"Why, Justin," she chuckled. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

As the door closed after her, Justin chewed over what she'd said. He thought he'd covered himself up very well, but maybe not well enough if a stranger could see...it...he got up and tiredly stumbled to his bunk. The rudder chain clicked over two ticks.

***
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Postby Mythos on Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:11 am

Okay, so maybe ONE more part before the big reveal. Next part is big too. Whee! :D

All legalese applies...Dan Shive is a kind a benevolent God among mortalsyadddayaada...

Grab yourself a long cool one, or a warm and toasty one, all things depending...

C&C (Comments and Criticism) always welcome...You can post it here, send me a PM, or an email...

Flames will be TG'd, shrunk and stored in a closet...

***

Part 10

"Elliot?"

Sarah looked up to the forecastle and saw his breath rising in steamy wisps to the clear sky above. Sarah shifted the hot kettle to her other hand and skidded slightly as she let go of the door. It might have been summer in the Arctic, but ice still formed as a light misty coating on all the surfaces. She shut the door and made her way unsteadily to the stairs. The ice crunched underfoot as she climbed and she cleared her throat as she reached the top.

"Elliot, I know you're on duty tonight, but I couldn't sleep," Sarah blushed under her own heavy robes. "At least not without you."

Elliot shifted in the chair, sprawled as he was underneath the many layers of furs and quilts. Sarah had worried about the thin, freezing air, but the good doctor said that Elliot was strong enough.

"I brought you a nice, hot kettle," she took out a quilted pad and set the kettle on it, next to Elliot. "That should keep it hot for a while, though you should probably drink it soon."

His head levered forward slightly. She knew that he'd had a row with the Lady Nioi over something and Sarah also knew that he took many arguments personally. Elliot often got quiet for many hours after a fight. Sarah had initially took it badly, that it said something about her or that he still held a grudge, but that wasn't it at all. Elliot had often been quiet simply because his thoughts turned inward, trying to wrestle with possible solutions so that whatever had caused the argument wouldn't happen again. Thinking of that now brought a smile to her face, even under the layers.

A light snore brought Sarah from her revelry. She stared for a moment before her eyes narrowed. Her fingers itched against something the doctor had taught her, but no, something like that wouldn't do anyone any good. Sarah sighed, reached out and brought her fist down into his stomach. An audible urf erupted from around Elliot's head as he sat straight up in the chair.

"Sarah?! What the-" he stopped as he noticed the kettle, Sarah kneeling next to him and that he'd been asleep. "Oh."

Sarah shook her head and stood up. She helped Elliot to his feet as he cleared his throat.

"Uh...thanks..."

"Elliot," she said softly. "This whole thing is deadly serious. You can't just sleep!"

"Yeah, I know," he said as he took a deep breath. "I've been up a lot recently, but that's okay since Tedd's going to need to be up for a long time later. Thanks for the tea, as well."

Sarah smiled and nodded, but looked up as Elliot walked slowly to the front of the ship.

"Elliot?"

He turned and motioned her over. She came to his side and looked as he pointed to the horizon. The silent dance of the Aurora overhead broke on the horizon as it spun back and forth behind clouds. Stunning purples and reds slid forward with a faded, jade green behind. Sarah gasped as a particularly bright streak flitted overhead, like a wave over a dune on the beach. She looked back to Elliot and frowned. His eyes, which she could see above his wrappings, had never strayed from the horizon.

"The...clouds?"

He nodded.

"We've got a storm coming in," he said. "Something also tells me we can't outrun it."

"What should we do?" Sarah asked. "Are we going to stop or go through it? Can we go through it? What should I do?"

"Sarah, head down and get as much sleep as you can," he said. "When you get up, clamp down as much of the infirmary as you can. Doctor Nasus should be able to help you, then get to the galley and get Francine to do the same there. It's going to get ugly and the last thing we need is a fire."

Sarah nodded and threw her arms around him.

"I love you, Elliot."

"Love you too, Sarah." he said softly. "Get some sleep."

She nodded and stepped lightly to the stairs. She stopped and looked back. He had turned again to look out as the storm loomed in the distance. The Aurora danced happily...mockingly...overhead.

***
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Postby Illusionist on Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:43 am

Dude, you rule. Please post more.
The book is almost always better than the movie. You could have no better case in point than FROM HELL, Alan Moore's best graphic novel to date, brilliantly illustrated by Eddie Campbell. It's hard to describe just how much better the book is. It's like, "If the movie was an episode of Battlestar Galactica with a guest appearance by the Smurfs and everyone spoke Dutch, the graphic novel is Citizen Kane with added sex scenes and music by your favourite ten bands and everyone in the world you ever hated dies at the end." That's how much better it is. - Warren Ellis.

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Postby Cameo on Sun Jul 30, 2006 6:35 am

Mythos wrote:I didn't have time to scour all of the EGS archives for ALL the proper LAST names, so if anyone has the rest of them (*AHEMDANAHEM*), they'd be much appreciated. :)


Elliot Daniel (we assume) Dunkel
Sarah ___ ("Sarah Blank" might work; I think that's an actual last name :wink:)
Tedd Drew Verres
Grace... either Guyur or Sciuridae would make sense, though neither is official
Nanase Kitsune
Tiffany Susan Pompoms
Justin Tolkiberry
Ellen Danielle Dunkel
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Postby KylenPhylar on Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:10 am

I just relaized with all the illiuisons Nanese does, Kitsune is a good last name.
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Postby Mythos on Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:02 am

Thanks to Cameo for confirming the names I found. Boy howdy, did THAT take a long time... :o

Anyway, big reveal time! Yay! :lol:

Oh, and no pissing about the French. I used Babelfish. Get over it unless you're willing to do more translation for me. :evilgrin:

All legalese applies...Dan Shive is a kind a benevolent God among mortalsyadddayaada...

Grab yourself a long cool one, or a warm and toasty one, all things depending...

C&C (Comments and Criticism) always welcome...You can post it here, send me a PM, or an email...

Flames will be TG'd, shrunk and stored in a closet...

***

Part 11

The ship rocked to one side and Nioi yelped as it threw her from her bunk. She blinked a couple times as she sat up. The candle in the lantern threw wild swatches of light across the darkened room. Images from the large mirror near the door showed-

Nioi sniffed at her image as the ship rocked again. Something crashed from above as she held onto the bed. She looked up to her pouch that swayed above her, back and forth with the waves. She got to her feet and grabbed her cloak.

***

Sarah bit her lip as the ship rocked to one side, slamming her hip into a table.

"Sit down!" the doctor shouted from across the room. "The crew can handle this!"

Edwin had, quite literally, strapped himself to a part of the ship.

"What about the others? Francine and the Lady Nioi?" Sarah wiped the blood from her mouth.

"They can bloody well handle themselves!"

Sarah growled to herself, grabbed the nearest medical bag and stumbled for the door.

"Sarah!" Edwin shouted. "You get back here! I can't handle-"

Edwin cut himself off. "He" could handle it. Edwin couldn't. Damn her! Damn her for being so likeable while he was not! Damn her...for being there. Edwin growled as he struggled with the ties on his strap.

***

Justin struggled, his vision blurred, toward his door. He had to get to the deck! He had to get to Tedd and Elliot before they dropped anchor in this storm! The first part of the storm, he could handle, but a sudden lurch had thrown him across the room and he'd slammed his head onto the corner of his desk.

Justin had tried to not bleed on the maps as he made his way out, but the combination of the storm and the blood loss made his walking difficult at best. He pulled the door open and stumbled into the crew hall. He knew it would be empty. All hands, but as navigator, he had remembered something that had really bothered him. When he consulted his maps, he knew what it was. His heels suddenly slammed into his butt as the ship bucked forward and he flipped over into the middle of the hallway. His breath left him briefly as he stared up into the blackness of the open hall. Someone called his name. He tried to look up, but the ship rolled and he couldn't see.

Blackness rolled over him as someone gathered him to them. The hands felt strong, the eyes familiar. It was Elliot! He'd come down just for him! Justin's heart soared. The ship rocked again, but Justin didn't care as Elliot reached down and forcefully kissed him, sudden but so very nice. Justin smiled as the kiss ended. As Justin's eyes closed, he wondered, just for an instant...why had Elliot come back for him?

***

"Nice."

Sarah dropped Justin suddenly back to the floor as she wiped his blood from her mouth.

"The ship!" she sputtered. "It rocked and I was-"

"I know," Edwin smirked. "I saw what happened. My thought was, is he going to believe it?"

A silence hung between them as Sarah's eyes narrowed.

"Oh, he better."

Edwin chuckled and pointed to Justin, "Come on. He obviously had to get to the deck, for some reason. I'll help you."

***

Francine sat, her legs crossed, on the floor of the galley. Things moved and shifted around her, but she paid them all no mind. She reached out and smoothed the folds on her blue dress. She'd taken off her apron as she really doubted there would be much cooking with the storm and such.

"Elle va l'employer," her brother said as he sat across from her. "[i]Ce va
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Postby FerretBob on Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:29 am

Are the 'french' ones the Immortals?
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Postby Mythos on Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:42 am

FerretBob wrote:Are the 'french' ones the Immortals?


Heh, yeah. I haven't quite decided what I want to do with them yet. Especially since it's going to be a while in canon before Dan-o gets back to them. But I thought that Francis and Francine would be a good place to start. :D
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Postby Illusionist on Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:28 am

OK, wow. You're amazing.
The book is almost always better than the movie. You could have no better case in point than FROM HELL, Alan Moore's best graphic novel to date, brilliantly illustrated by Eddie Campbell. It's hard to describe just how much better the book is. It's like, "If the movie was an episode of Battlestar Galactica with a guest appearance by the Smurfs and everyone spoke Dutch, the graphic novel is Citizen Kane with added sex scenes and music by your favourite ten bands and everyone in the world you ever hated dies at the end." That's how much better it is. - Warren Ellis.

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Postby Mythos on Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:18 am

Illusionist wrote:OK, wow. You're amazing.


Well, thank you very kindly! Writers always love the comments and I am no exception. :D

I was rather prolific last night at work, so I will probably post the next bit tonight. :D
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Postby Mythos on Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:39 pm

I've been writing! I should take a little time while I can and plot...hmmm...

All legalese applies...Dan Shive is a kind a benevolent God among mortalsyadddayaada...

Grab yourself a long cool one, or a warm and toasty one, all things depending...

C&C (Comments and Criticism) always welcome...You can post it here, send me a PM, or an email...

Flames will be TG'd, shrunk and stored in a closet...

***

Part 12

Elliot felt the warmth run through him. Like anything else he'd felt since his childhood, it sang to him in waves of comfort, relaxing his tired body and easing his mind. Elliot fought slightly, against the strange comforts of whatever it was. Probably death. He wanted to fight death to the very end, if nothing other than for Sarah. The warmth said that this wasn't something to fight. Elliot didn't understand.

Open your eyes...

Elliot opened his eyes. He felt himself on the deck, on his back, a light, warm rain falling against his face. The world seemed bigger. The sails whuffed back and forth as tendrils of green energy spun upward, away from the ship. Elliot blinked a couple of times in confusion. The last thing he remembered was the under side of the ship. Looking up at it from well below. How did he-?

He pushed himself up to his elbows and was crushed when a form smashed into him. Tedd wiped his eyes as he hugged Elliot again.

"My God, Elliot! You're alive!" Tedd cried. "You're safe! Tie yourself down before you try and be a hero next...time...sailor?"

Tedd stopped and boggled at Elliot's condition as Elliot boggled right back. Tedd patted Elliot's chest.

"Elliot, why do you have boobs?"

"I could ask the same, Captain," Elliot raised her eyebrow. "You're into weird things. Explain this one."

Tedd shrugged off her coat and grasped her chest.

"Why do I have boobs?!"

A manly shriek erupted from the fore gangway. Elliot saw a blonde man, strangely familiar, drop a strawberry haired young woman to the deck as he grasped at his own face. Doctor Nasus, who seemed oddly more masculine jumped and bent to attend to the woman. Elliot looked all around the deck, men whom he knew as men, suddenly grasping incredulously at rather feminine bodies. And while that may be not so strange when the bodies are those of ladies at the local tavern, when the female bodies were their own, it held more horror than excitation. For his own part, Elliot didn't need to check himself out. If the other men on the ship were female, then he would probably be as well. She sighed and got herself slowly to her feet.

Damned pronouns, she thought.

"Elliot!" the blonde man started at the sound of his own voice.

"Sarah?"

He came to Elliot and knelt. Sarah squeezed at his waist, obviously having difficulty breathing in something not designed for his body. Elliot mentally sighed again.

"My God, Elliot," he whimpered. "What's happened to us?"

"I think I can explain," a soft, seductively masculine voiced said from near the center mast. "In fact, I'll tell you the whole thing now."

The man stood there, the ball of green energy in his hands spiked wildly in all directions, calmly smiled to them. A fully furred, purple tail wrapped around his legs as he adjusted his tunic.

"Ni- Lady Nioi?" Elliot sputtered.

He smiled, more embarrassed now and nodded. He turned to the nearest crewman.

"If you could, please," he held out the ball. "This needs to be placed as high on the mast as can be."

The crewman, now a woman, looked into Nioi's eyes and nodded slowly. She looked to Tedd, who also nodded.

"See if you can tie it in the crow's nest, Humphries," Tedd said softly. "Then we can figure out this whole mess-"

Something crossed Tedd's mind and his head shot around to doctor Nasus, who held a cloth to the head of the young lady Sarah had dropped. Tedd got to his feet as Sarah cradled Elliot.

"Doctor Nasus," Tedd began. "You mind explaining something?"

He didn't look up.

"Captain, I have nothing to explain-"

"You were a woman."

"I was not," Nasus growled angrily. "Whatever happened did not affect me-"

"Susan!" Tedd barked back. "I can't believe I didn't see it sooner. Your name is Susan!"

"But," the wounded young lady looked up at the doctor. "I thought...Tedd...wha'?"

"Justin?"

She nodded, then winced against the pain as she grabbed her head again.

"Edwin Nasus," Tedd folded her arms against her chest. "Nasus being an anagram for Susan, isn't it?"

"Captain," Nioi said from behind her. "Let me explain, please?"

Tedd spun on him.

"You, I allowed on as a passenger," she said. "You paid your passage. That's fine. Sarah, I allowed on because she had medical training and because Elliot didn't want to leave without her. But you..."

Tedd stomped up to the doctor and lifted him as roughly as she could to his feet. He looked down imperiously at the diminutive captain. Elliot helped Justin to her feet.

"Tedd, she's a good doctor-" Elliot began.

"She lied!" Tedd shoved the doctor back. "I could have you thrown overboard as a danger to my ship."

"I assure you, captain, that I never-"

"My ship!" Tedd shouted in his face.

Tedd turned back toward the rest of the ship as she ran a hand through her hair. Sarah brought Justin to the stairs leading up to the forecastle and sat him down. Elliot looked at the wound and nodded with a smile. Justin blew out a breath and winced again. Tedd set her hands at her hips and turned back to Nioi. She looked up to the crow's nest as the crewwoman slid expertly back down the ropes.

"Why up there?" Tedd asked.

"The device takes energy from everyone and transforms it to the holder's will," Nioi said. "I wanted to control the weather around the ship, so the device decided the best energy came with the cost of transforming our genders."

"Ya know, my father is going to have a fit to know he now has a daughter," Tedd raised her eyebrow.

"Oh no," Nioi smiled again. "The change isn't permanent-"

A collective, massive sigh fluttered around the deck.

"What?" Nioi seemed genuinely confused. "Captain Verres, it looks like we're going to be in the storm area for a long while, so, until it calms, perhaps we could rest the crew and I'll explain everything around dinner?"

Tedd chewed it over for half a second.

"Very well," she said. "Barnabas, take the wheel and keep her in order. We'll make sure to bring up a good bit of dinner for you. The rest of you, clean up this mess and then get your heads down. Drop anchor-"

"Belay that order!" Justin winced again.

"Justin?"

"I'm sorry, Captain," Sarah helped Justin to her feet. "What I went back below for was something I'd noted a couple days ago. There is no bottom here. If we drop anchor, it would spin us like a top. Or worse, tear the ship apart from the currents. Either way, we'd be too far off course very quickly."

Tedd nodded.

"Good job, Justin," Tedd smiled to her. "Doctor, will my navigator be fit to resume duties after a meal and some rest?"

Susan started at the question, but regained his composure and nodded.

"He...she hit her head fairly hard. Probably on the corner of her desk," Susan said. "But yes, after a meal and some rest, she should be fine."

"Good," Tedd said noncommittally. "Justin, get some rest. I'll have Francine get a meal to you later. Sarah, you and Doctor...well, what should I call you now, since I know that Nasus isn't your real last name?"

Susan blushed heavily and stared down at his feet.

"My..." he breathed. "I would prefer you still use the name Nasus."

Tedd sniffed and nodded, "Yeah, so be it. The rest of you, get on it."

***
Reader of It's Walky! since May 17, 2002
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Fantasmas en la Nieve
Christmas in the Snow
The Happy Pure Fics - Overheard Again
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