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Vincent Moryarti
Vincent Moryarti
Posts: 32
Joined: October 14th, 2014, 1:52 am
Vincent Moryarti

Re: A Clockwork Tiger (Open)

Postby Vincent Moryarti » November 6th, 2014, 9:21 pm

Day of the Dead, less than one hour before Tiger Roar...


Junior shuddered, as he stepped from the portal linking Dalaran with Stormwind, wobbling from the severity of the journey he had been on. While mage portals were a rather safe method of travel, engineered wormholes that ripped space were suspect at best, deadly at worst - usually leaving the traveler in a less than ideal state of being.

Patting his side to insure his tinker's bag had made the journey, he sighed and stepped through the final portal onto the stairs that led out of the Mage Tower.

"Pardon me, sir," he asked a heavily armoured Human who stood just outside the tower, on the curving ramp leading toward the park grounds. "What day is this?"

"What day?" the man said, giving the Gnome a curious, confused sort of look. "Day of the Dead, pal."

"And the time?" Junior hurriedly said, adjusting a tiny knob on the side of his goggles that switched modes of operation. "What time is it?"

"I don't know," the man said, then pointed toward the distant clock rising over Stormwind. "What does the clock say? My eyes ain't what they used to be, so I can't really read it." He chuckled. "All I know is that the sun's up, so it must be daytime. Were it down, it'd be night."

"Perhaps," Junior said, using his goggles to zoom in on the clock. "There is a possibility it could be morning when dark; or cloudy and overcast." The clock informed him he had made it back to Stormwind in time, though just barely. "Of course, it might be that you..."

"Whatever, pal," the Human said, waving farewell to the Gnome and marching down the ramp. "I got places to go. Happy Day of the Dead to ya."

"Ah," Junior said, watching the man leave. "You, too." Now, he had to hurry to the Dwarven District, gather his mechano-strider from storage and prepare for the worst.

========================

Bud sat at a table situated just outside of the Ironforge Visitor's Center, sipping ale and watching the locals go about their business. Ever since the Iron Horde invasion into the Blasted Lands, the forges had been running at capacity, punching out weapons and armour for the Dwarven and Alliance forces. Word on the streets was, that this invasion was different, that something was odd about the way the Orcs fought, and the way the seemed to know their enemies weaknesses.

Bud found the Iron Horde's knowledge uncanny, yet was not concerned. Where war appeared, weapons were needed, and with his connections with his new boss, the crew stood to make a large fortune supplying technical superiority to whomever paid the highest price. Old Horde, Iron Horde, Alliance; it mattered not to him.

But first things, first, he thought, sipping his ale. The Tiger has to Roar.

=====================

Crossthread checked his watch, reeled in his fishing line and began packing his gear. His plan was to fly back to Darnassus, and reenter the city - making sure to clear the portal before the scheduled time for the roar. While he had no tigers in his possession, the thought of the roar occurring while he was inside the portal made him shudder.

And what if a tiger was in the portal as I went through, he thought, as he loaded his gear back into his flyer. And what if the tiger roar created a spatial rift while INSIDE of the portal. THAT made him cringe. A rift occurring within a portal might have catastrophic effects on the space-time continuum, not to mention the horrific possibilities that could happen to the individuals.

"Stop scaring yourself," he said as he hopped into the cockpit. "It's going to be just fine." Turning the key, the flyer sputtered to life, and in moments, he was flying toward Darnassus - his mind glued to the possibilities of a rift within a portal.

=======================

Vincent checked his watch for the fourth time, yet only nibbled at his pandarian melon. Time would pass at the same rate, no matter how often he checked. Yet, somehow, it felt good to do so. Not since his time inside Gilneas City, just before Crowley took possession of the canon, had he felt this nervous. Never showing it, of course, that would not do at all. Employees wanted to see their boss steady and strong; certainly not weak.

However, this was the culmination of years worth of work, with moves and plans coming together like clockwork - leading toward his ultimate goal: The man who had ruined him, would now be utterly destroyed. That made him smile.

Barkston noticed, yet said nothing. Much like his own crew, he knew when to remain silent. This was that time.

========================

Junior gathered his mechano-strider from the Engineer's storage facility, and loaded his gear, making certain that his retro-fitted fail-safe device was firmly in place on the dash. The protective lid was yellow, and featured a warning sign meant to keep nosy nosers away. Flipping it open, a silver toggle switch glinted in the noon-time sun - ready to make the fabulous 'click', should things not go according to plan.

Dipping his boot on the accelerator, Junior's strider went trotting down the cobblestone streets of the Dwarven District. Not fast, but moving at a slow walk. No sense in drawing attention when the tigers roared.

=========================

Crossthread made it through the Darnassus portal with plenty of time to spare, sending his worries about being turned into a turnip scattering into the wisp-filled trees. While trying to remain inconspicuous, he doubted that would be possible as he fly over the Elven city in his smoke-belching, turbo charged, mechanical flyer.

But that was normal in these times. Gnomes visited the city often enough, as did other races - each having engineers who made use of the mechanical marvels of flight. So what was one more Gnome buzzing around the city, enjoying the views from the heights above the city?

"Nothing to be concerned about," he said, patting the hand-held fail-safe device that he stored in his right pocket. Built like a pistol grip, it featured a trigger, as well as a red, thumb activated button - a safety, of sorts. In order for the trigger to fire, his thumb had to depress the red button, thereby completing the connection and radiating the command codes needed to initiate the roar.

While he doubted he would need the device, it ever hurt to have a back-up plan. Never.

=========================

Jeb, pleased and delighted with his nobility, as the Guard called it, sat upon the Cathedral District's fountain, and stared up at the visage of the mighty Lightbringer, Uther. A tourist destination for pilgrims coming to worship in Stormwind, it always drew people to the fountain. Today was no exception, as a family of four picnicked on one of the benches, while their kids played with a pair of toy tigers.

Ones that he had given out. Smiling, he nodded at Uther, feeling a sudden kinship with the mighty man the statue represented.

========================

"Maddi!" Mack called again from the kitchen. "You had better come get your lunch, or there'll be no ice cream for you this afternoon!"

"Mack!" his wife said, smirking at her husband's bribery attempt. "She should come because it's lunch time, not because of future ice cream."

"Well?" he said, shrugging as if not knowing what else to do. "She's addicted to that bloody tiger. She played with it through breakfast, and now it'll be lunch. If ice cream doesn't bring her, that toy's going in the trash!"

"Coming, dad!" Maddi called out. "I just need to pack my tiger into my backpack."

"See?" Mack said, earning an eye-rolling headshake from his wife. "Ice cream. Solves all problems."

=========================

"Donie, dear?" Doneshia's mother said, stifling a yawn with the back of her hand. "You need to take a bath, sweetheart. We've got to go visit your da after lunch."

"Okay, mommie," she said, staring into the eyes of her now-docile toy tiger. "Do you think he'll know we're there?"

"Of course, dear," her mom said, ruffling the young girl's hair. "He's always with us. You know that. However, today is a special day."

"Oh?" Donie said, looking up at her mom with her innocent and cute eyes. "Why is it special?"

"Because, Donie," her mother said. "Today is when we honour all of the spirits of our loved ones. We'll have tea, pour a cup for your father and drink a toast to his memory."

"Maybe even have a strawberry biscuit," her mom said, lifting one from a plate on the table, then taking a small, crumbly bite.

"That sounds fun, mommie!" Donie said. "Can Tiger come?" Her mom smiled, using a saucer to catch the crumbs. "Of course, dear. I'm sure your father would love to meet Tiger."

=======================

Vincent took a sip of tea, his second cup of the morning, then looked at his watch yet again. Time seemed to crawl, inching it's way toward the roar. Yet this time, his eyes went wide and he looked up at Barkston - who was watching Vincent quite closely.

"Time," Vincent whispered.

"BONG!" answered the Stormwind clock.

Brewdin
Brewdin
Posts: 15
Joined: September 30th, 2014, 11:40 am
Brewdin

Re: A Clockwork Tiger (Open)

Postby Brewdin » November 6th, 2014, 9:33 pm

Warnings had been passed to the Stormwind City guard and the Sentinels in Darnassus (via Resileaf). The safety of their cities was in their own hands now. Ironforge was where Brewdin had been raised as an orphan before he had moved to Gnomeregan, and so he had taken the responsibility of its safety on himself.

With the preparations for an offensive against the Iron Horde in full swing, The Council hadn’t the time to see Brewdin about the issue of the clockwork tigers. Luckily however, the Ironforge-raised Gnome had a history of service with the kingdom’s military and kept a few friends from the second war – one of whom was now an officer in the Ironforge Guard.

Captain Thaegrun Pikegrinder was a Dwarf of nearly 160 years who had seen it all. From one war to the next, there wasn’t an enemy on Azeroth he hadn’t had a brush with. During the second war he had been a Master Sergeant and Brewdin (generally known only as “Whirlwind” at the time) served under him through the ill-fated defense of Loch Modan and subsequent retreat in to the halls of Ironforge. After they were behind the walls they parted ways and Brewdin had taken to the skies, where he would witness the rest of the war through blood, thunder and dragon's fire.

But that’s a different story entirely.

“I couldnae believe we made it out a the southern pass! A few inches to the left and I’d a been skewered and roasted like a pig that night!” Thaegrun bellowed with laughter and slammed a massive, rough-skinned hand onto his desk.

Brewdin smiled. “Aye I don’t expect I’ll be forgettin’ about that throw anytime soon, myself.”

“Thank the Makers fer those quick Gnomish minds!” The captain snorted and re-adjusted himself in his seat, lacing his fingers together over the paperwork he’d just made a mess of. “Now what’s this business yer bringin’ me?”

Brewdin straightened himself in his seat as well and explained the situation.

Captain Pikegrinder was a bit skeptical of Brewdin’s claims at first, since the last and only working model of the clockwork tiger he owned had been left with Resileaf in Darnassus. It took a trip to Old Tinker Town and a short conversation with the other Gnomes he’d worked with, but in the end the Captain was convinced of the urgency of this issue. A group of thirty city guards and seven engineers (including Brewdin) under the direction of Tinkmaster Overspark were set out with the goal of locating and disabling the transmission system for the clockwork tigers.

The Captain decided it best not to issue a recall on the toys as there were too many loose variables that could go wrong. Children might hide them, or it might cause a panic that would alert whoever could activate them to do so immediately. Whoever it was that was behind this, they were kind (or foolish) enough to leave time for their plans to be uncovered and foiled and it would be a shame to let that go to waste.

It had taken two days of rigorous searching before a pair of guards, on orders to make a point of searching the less-traveled areas of the city very carefully, had found the first command sequencer in a crate outside an abandoned house near the visitor’s center.

In the two days of search, the Engineers had engaged in a lengthy debate about the best way to proceed once the transmitter (or transmitters) was located. Due to the toys’ possession of anti-tampering mechanisms that reduced the hardware to an unstable state, the most cautious route had to be taken. So the consensus had been to whip up a small device named a Signal Destroyer on the spot. Since they weren’t able to discover exactly what frequency the toys would be listening for, the Destroyer was made to scramble any sort of signal at all within a fifteen foot radius. Radio technology was still fairly uncommon, so they figured the impact on civilians and passer-bys would be minimal.

Brewdin and the Tinkmaster joined the pair of guards on-scene at the first location within twenty minutes of discovery. Detailed inspection of the scene led the pair of Gnomish engineers down the path of the wiring (which had been hidden very carefully, weaving through the cracks in Ironforge’s stone streets) and ultimately to what they discovered was being used as the power source: the molten flow of the Great Forge. Carefully and without removing or tampering with any parts, Overspark placed the Signal Destroyer right up next to the crate and activated it. That done, the guards reported back to captain Pikegrinder, who placed pairs of guards on rotating eight hour shifts to monitor the location of the transmitter at all times as inconspicuously as possible. This mostly resulted in guards standing someone on the opposite end of the road from their target and looking bored. (Mostly because they were.) If anyone at all attempted to tamper with the device at all, they were to be apprehended immediately.

By Hallows Eve, this process had been repeated four more times for each of the transmitters they’d located. There was one gap left in the suspected coverage area that was still unaccounted for and the search for a transmitter there continued.

It was now morning of the Day of the Dead, and still, nothing had happened. Brewdin was beginning to think that the jammers had worked perfectly, and whoever had set the tigers to go off was smart enough to make themselves scarce before they got discovered. But still, there hadn't been word from any of the other cities - he had been so busy that he wasn't even sure they had taken the same measures as Ironforge. If nothing happens by the end of today, he thought, I'll have to find my guildstone and see how they're doing.

Tirien
Tirien
Posts: 157
Joined: March 23rd, 2014, 4:51 pm
Tirien

Re: A Clockwork Tiger (Open)

Postby Tirien » November 7th, 2014, 2:49 am

“In for a penny, in for a pound,” The Rogue chuckles as he stumbles down the alleyway leading into the Cathedral District. The air is filled with the festivities, some celebration of the dead or something. It isn't really his thing, so he took advantage of the revelry earlier and scored some excellent whiskey for as 'fair' a price as he could get. He grins, taking another swig, the bottle already close to half-full.

“Hey! Watch it mister!” A child protests somewhere nearby. The Rogue looks down, When did I leave the alley? He looks at his bottle and snickers, concluding he must have ran into the boy and interrupted his play. Nearby, his parents quicken their pace to their son.

“Apologize!” The child holds out a toy tiger. “Apologize to Flash!” The annoying child keeps demanding.

“Alright!” After kneeling down, he takes the toy and gives it a once over, “Sorry Mr…” He glances past the tiger to the tear-streaked child. “…Flash?” The child nods, “Good, now give him back!” Outstretched hands grasp for the toy.

Unamused, he glances from toy to child and opts instead to look over the device as he stands with a noticeable wobble. “Huh…Seems Mr. Flash got dirty.” He takes out a cloth and turns the tiger over, “Lemme clean him, yeah?” The boy’s parents stand not two feet away, maintaining a hawk-like watch over the scene. The child stomps in protest, but says nothing. While the Rogue doesn't have much know-how in the way of engineering, he does know a thing or two about mucking with something till it doesn't work right. He takes out a thick needle and glances down to the child again. “See? Huge mud stain.” He hides the needle in the cloth.

Getting face to face with the upset child, he smiles, ruffles the kid's hair, and rubs the needle-hidden cloth along the toy’s belly. The rubbing action pushes the needle past the faux-fur skin and into where he assumes the gears for a leg joint resides. “There, all bett – WOAH!” he drops the device as it melts into the cloth.

“FLASH!” The child screams and his mother drapes her arms about him, protecting him from Light knows what. His father lumbers toward the Rogue who stares at the melting toy in confusion. Damn I’m good, he thinks, just as the father’s fist connects with his face. Man must be a Dockworker or something..., he concludes as he staggers back into a pile of rotten crates. Fine whiskey spills from his bottle as he looks up to the sky, the ringing of the clock tower pulsing with a dull thud against his inebriated senses. The family of three leaves to find a Guard, though only moments pass before the sounds of laughter, revelry, joy, and celebration turn to sounds of shock, terror, confusion, and anger.

None of that really matters to the Rogue though. His slow fading field of vision sends him into yet another drunken slumber.
Last edited by Tirien on November 8th, 2014, 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Vincent Moryarti
Vincent Moryarti
Posts: 32
Joined: October 14th, 2014, 1:52 am
Vincent Moryarti

Re: A Clockwork Tiger (Open)

Postby Vincent Moryarti » November 7th, 2014, 4:15 am

Stormwind, Day of the Dead - Tiger Roar...

"Bong!"

Tiny, electrical pulses raced through the command sequencer's wires when the clock struck 12, sending a specific transmitted code to the massive hands that displayed the time to the people of Stormwind. North, South, East and West the clock faced, and it was from here, that the command for the Tigers to roar was sent.

"BONG!"

In the park below the Mage Tower, a young girl sat with her two friends, each giggling over the antics of the toys they had received from the TwinSeas earlier in the week. Their parents, having left the children to play in green, lush grass, had walked hand in hand to the cemetery - paying their respects to the spirits; trusting their children were safe.

"Look at it's eyes!" one girl said, pointing at her toy. "They turned red!"

"Cool!" another said. "So did mine." The third girl had no chance to speak, as a flash of brilliant light, accompanied by a popping boom, shred her into pieces - scattering her tattered remains across the park in a red, misty spray of blood and gore.

People walking nearby screamed, while some fainted. One man ran toward the girls, but stopped when he saw what happened to the others.

At the same time as the explosion, a swirling vortex of nether opened where the second girl sat, creating a plopping noise as the rift sucked her, and her friend, into it's void - sparing them from the body-ripping explosion. The third tiger, unaffected by the rift, made a run for the stunned man - leaping for his throat, and tearing it open with razor, sharp claws.

People ran, people screamed, and all across the great city of Stormwind, a horrific, unified wail of anguish rose toward the bluebird sky.

"BONG!"

"Do you want another sandwich, Maddi?" her father asked, preparing to spread jam across a wheaten slice. Her mother smiled and sipped her tea. "You don't want to be hungry while we visit grandmother," she said. "There's nowhere to eat in the cemetery."

"Okay, daddy," Maddi said, opening up her backpack and lifting the toy tiger from within. She placed it on the table by her plate. "Can tiger eat, too?" Her mother was about to respond, but stopped. Frowning, she pointed at the toy. "It's eyes are red." She looked at Mack. "Honey, take a look at this."

The brilliant flash of light was the last thing they saw.

"BONG!"

"Did you pack your strawberry biscuits for dad?" Doneshia's mother said from the kitchen, her back turned to her lovely daughter. "Make sure you pack some for your tiger, too. Don't want him to get hungry!"

Doneshia's skin-splitting scream froze her mother's blood, causing her to drop the teapot and spin - feeling the horror that one feels when a child has been murdered. Tearing like knives cutting into your heart, yet letting you live and witness the nightmare come to life, was the best way to explain what Donie's mom experienced. And all she could do was watch.

She saw her daughter, the rabbit-eyed doll of her life, stretch into an elongated, fuzzy shape of a person, and get sucked into a sizzling oval of hazy energy - her scream morphing into a low moan, suddenly ending with a puckering pop, as the rift disappeared.

Where her daughter and toy once were, nothing but bare floor remained. Doneshia was gone.

"BONG"

Simultaneously around Stormwind, children and adults alike witnessed benign playthings turning into monsters. Some citizens were ripped apart by claws and teeth, attacks that never ended until the tiger was smashed and turned to goo. Most were killed by a brilliant, ear-popping microburst, spraying bloody mist on walls, doors and people - sending innards and body parts flying in all directions.

Others disappeared into swirling, sizzling rifts in space - sometimes sucking in more than one person. Often, other items were taken, including a horse. It disappeared along with it's rider, when the tiger rift opened and pulled them in.

And then there was the cathedral district. The solemn setting where people came to talk about the Light, usually around the fountain - witnessed by the statue of Uther. The place where Jeb had come to bask in his goodness.

As he watched the children play with their tigers, one of the toys eyes turned red - spinning to face the young boy who held it in his hands. "Dad," he said. "Look! It's eyes..."

A blue haze spun around the tiger, growing in size until nothing could be seen of the boy except the blue cloud. Screams came from everywhere, causing Jeb to tumble backwards against the fountain and look around. People were running, screaming for the Guard and ducking from explosions that rang out over the city.

The now-sparking haze spun like a whirlwind, rising higher and growing wider - forcing the family to run for cover, leaving the other tiger on the ground. "Jason!" the father screamed, reaching for the haze that surrounded his son, yet held back by his wife. "NO!!!"

Then, with a whirling whoosh!, the haze disappeared - spinning away into nothingness as if it had never been.

Jeb's eyes grew wide, and his stomach heaved - sending his breakfast spewing onto the ground below Uther's feet. Cries of anguish and agony came from the family, for where their son once played, laughing and giggling about the funny toy tiger, now sat a squirming, oozing, bloody monstrosity.

It took a moment for Jeb to realize what he saw, as long strands of bloody flesh fell from the area that normally would be the stomach. The 'boy' gurggled, but only for a moment, as if trying to speak or cry for help. An arm reached for it's parents - muscles, veins and bone where skin should have been. Then, it collapsed - spilling into a heap of guts, bone and blood; mercifully dead.

The child had been turned inside out by the haze, and it was then that Jeb screamed.

Verin
Verin
Posts: 17
Joined: March 23rd, 2014, 4:51 pm

Re: A Clockwork Tiger (Open)

Postby Verin » November 7th, 2014, 1:42 pm

If they had more than a day or two, sure, a recall would have gone out and the weapons-grade toys would be out of civilian hands. Instead, information about the device was distributed to the Captains and Officers in charge of protecting Stormwind. Without knowing exactly when the things would be triggered, the order to confiscate on site was given and a team was dispatched to locate a transmitter. If someone asked, the Officers were instructed to say the toy was under investigation for potential safety risks. It had worked, especially now with a very real threat in the Blasted Lands knocking on Stormwind’s door. The people remembered who kept them safe and complied with little resistance beyond angry words or grunts of frustration. Twenty tigers had been confiscated and relocated to be dismantled. The Priest thought that at that pace, the tigers would be cleared out of the city in no time. Today, Verin had chosen the Cathedral District for its density during the Day of the Dead to try and secure as many of the dangerous devices as he could.

The District is packed with a full array of ages and races, Human being dominant of course, but a fair share of Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Worgen, and Pandaren are out and about as well. In fact, the Pandaren children who got a hold of a tiger toy prove to be the easiest to deal with. The Priest isn't sure why, though he could think of several parents he's encountered who could learn a thing or two from how the Pandaren raise their young. The fuzzy little rascals scamper off to their friends as they hoist a dragon-shaped kite into the air. Two more tigers down and about fifty-or-so to go he wagers as he approaches a mother and her daughter, the previous toys safely melting away in a bush after a quick meddling. He glances over to the clock tower as he explains to the pair his orders.

The clock tower ‘BONG’s in time with the church bells and the Priest gets a chill up his spine. The tiger, just confiscated from a confused child and an understanding parent, roars to deadly life. He tosses the thing to the ground after taking a swipe to the chest, the plate lining his robes doing little to stop the claws. The family runs to safety as he sends his own slash of smiting Light to embed the toy in the cobblestone, the damage enough to trigger its self-destruct fail-safe. More screams fill his senses as he becomes aware of the apparent failure of the engineering team to find the transmitter in time. Several high points exist throughout the city for a possible location, but that matters little now.

Calling on the Light, the Priest shields a girl and her brother from a tiger while a guardsman drives his sword into the thing. A second shield goes out to an elderly couple, another tiger choosing them as its next target. He's too busy to notice the toys that vanish, taking their owners with them. The wound on his chest throbs. He hadn't realized how deep the claws went. Shoving the pain to the back of his mind, a simple renewal is enough to stifle the bleeding enough to leave room to focus on the task at hand: saving lives.

With Brewdin’s analysis of the tigers, the Guardsmen are able to anticipate most of the toy’s attacks, though whenever one vanishes or causes some otherworldly chaos they are woefully unprepared. One of the Magisters attending the festivities manages to close a rift just before engulfing a child, though the effort nearly topples her over. Near the pavilion behind the Cathedral a trio of tigers ravages the bodies of several civilians. Further down toward the cemetery a vortex makes an unrecognizable heap out of a Guardsman and the people he tried to protect. It dawns on the Priest that despite the heightened Guard presence, it isn't enough. His fortitude wavers upon witnessing a vortex consume a child near the statue of Uther and for a moment, his entire world seems to crawl at a snail’s pace. This is a feeling he remembers well, where every sense is heightened and the majority of actions go on auto-pilot.

In the rush of adrenaline, the Priest coordinates with the Guardsmen around the Cathedral. The civilians are sent into the sturdy stone walls of the sanctuary while the outside protectors do what they can to mitigate and control the damage. The hasty organization works. The vast majority of survivors are found, escorted, and guarded from those toy tigers still darting around. A flash catches his attention, a flash from the orphanage. He breaks line, another Guardsmen filling the gap as he races to the building. Another flash from a window plunges his heart into a despair he steels against. It’s nothing new. The very same terror gripped him at Stratholme and stayed all the way to Hyjal, yet he pushed on and aided his Lordaeron brothers and sisters alongside Jaina’s forces to set the world right against the Legion’s invasion. He survived that and surely he would survive this.

The door had been torn asunder in the earlier chaos and the Priest steps inside, moving past the meeting room and into the main quarters. The door is ajar, hanging on one hinge, and falls to a quick shove. An explosion outside gives him a glimpse at the interior. The light from a Guard’s lantern behind him gives a full view of it. The Guard buckles and loses his composure and the Priest’s weight tests the strength of his staff, now his only balancing support. The silence is unbearable, staggering in its density and for a moment his despair wins out. Small shuffling in the back corner of the room gains his attention. A dark haired girl crawls out from under a bed: a survivor. It’s enough to wake him up, enough to bolster his will. His thoughts pound away the haze as he barks an order to the Guard beside him to get the girl to safety. The man nods and hurries to scoop her up and moves to take her to the Cathedral. Passing a hand over her, his magic puts her to sleep, the mind magic further erasing the past several minutes from her mind.

It has been minutes, he realizes. Mere minutes since the bells sounded and the tigers attacked. Gathering his will, the Priest refuses to let a handful of little souls to slip away. His resonance with the Light has never been stronger, not since Hyjal, and even since then heroes have accomplished staggering feats of prowess and skill. What is this compared to that? Nothing. He prays. His words pierce the silent fog as a dull pulse seems to reverberate throughout the room. The air energizes and he kneels down, not caring about the red staining his legs. His stamina drains, the effort split to bringing back so many individuals with so much potential mounts to staggering heights. To restore their bodies adds more to the weight, more to the challenge and he places all of his faith in the Light to carry out his will. He feels the forces shifting, channels opening to places beyond his own mortality, but…

Nothing happens. The prayers continue as his stubbornness refuses to let this event cement itself in the flow of time. He reaches within, deep down to his core, to his soul. He often wondered about it, its properties, and its uses beyond supporting life. At this moment, he no longer cares and offers bit by tiny bit to his prayers and his determination to see these victims restored.

Outside, the Guardsman rushes back with two more in tow, each updated on what had happened. A brilliant flash of gold-tinted Light answers their question as to why the Priest sent for more support. Quickening their pace, the men witness a miracle. As the Light fades down to the small lantern, they see the orphans, matron, and assistants alive and asleep. Their shredded clothing hints at their gruesome fate, yet their bodies lay untouched save for stains of blood. A faint chuckle wrenches them away from the sight. His hat slides to the floor, the blonde color shifts to a platinum, falling to his ears in wispy motions. His withering form grips his staff for support and fails, sending him to the floor with a thud and grunt. The Guardsman he ordered earlier snaps out of a profound bewilderment and orders the two with him to secure the survivors while he escorts the Priest back to safety.

The Cathedral District is secure.
Last edited by Verin on November 10th, 2014, 8:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Resileaf
Resileaf
Posts: 34
Joined: March 24th, 2014, 3:03 pm
Resileaf

Re: A Clockwork Tiger (Open)

Postby Resileaf » November 7th, 2014, 1:50 pm

A few days ago

"Booby-trapped tiger dolls?"

"Yes, one of my friends in the Empire has taken one apart and found several items within that, if activated, could rip the person holding it apart, or explode, or be drawn into a wormhole or whatever else has been put into those things. Point is, if they're activated, it's gonna be bad for everyone."

Resileaf had gone to meet with one of the commanders in charge of Darnassus' defenses by herself while Altessia began searching the city for clues. It had been easy to get a meeting, especially considering how both she and the Empire were trusted by Darnassus.
"I need you and your Sentinels to search for a transmitter that could have been put anywhere in the city. According to my friend, it has to be put very high in the city, and there may be multiple, so we can't-"

"Hold on now!" The Sentinel commander interrupted her. "It's not that I think that you're lying or anything, but I haven't received any reports of suspicious individuals or of dangerous toys. I can't just set the entire Sentinel army against something I don't even know what it is!"

Resileaf blinked in surprise, then suddenly started fuming. "Those things could kill people! Children! They were sold primarly to young children in Stormwind, Ironforge and Darnassus, and are filled to the brim with booby traps! And you're telling me that you won't investigate because nobody besides me reported it?!"

The commander blushed, suitably humbled.
"S-sorry, that's not what I meant... I mean, I would never endanger people, but... I can't send my Sentinels on a wild goose chase either! We- I mean, I have no idea what a... Transmitter would look like..."

Resileaf took a few deep breaths to calm herself down.
"Neither do I, but it can't be that difficult to recognize. It's not natural, and it's somewhere high. If it doesn't belong on Teldrassil, then it's suspicious and should be dismantled right away. The branches must have been tampered with, and there are surely clues left of that tampering. My friend thinks they may look like antennas, or rods. So that's what we should look for."

The commander nodded slowly.
"Very well. We shall begin immediately."

---------------------------------------------------------

It took an hour for the Sentinel army to begin the search, hippogryph riders flying off into the tree branches.
It took another hour for them to find something suspicious. They were attracted by the wisps, who had gathered around a certain area up in the tree. The Sentinels, following their lead, found antennas dispersed around the branches, nailed directly into the tree, as well as a hidden transceiver. Without hesitation, they removed them, with help from the wisps themselves who repaired the damage done to Teldrassil to make pulling the antennas out easier.

Within half a day, every antenna had been located and removed.

-------------------------------------------------------

The Sentinel commander and Resileaf looked over the gathered antennas, mere metallic rods, yet capable of receiving signals...
"So, that's all of them. Think that's all we'll need to keep everyone safe?"
Resileaf shook her head.
"No, I don't think so... Those tigers are still booby-trapped. Someone can activate them still. We have to gather them all and have them destroyed before they can do any damage. We should ask for the people of Darnassus to turn them in to the Sentinels."

The commander looked at Resileaf, a bit doubtful.
"You really think someone could just run around, activating them manually? We wouldn't let that hap-"

Resileaf interrupted her dryly, glaring angrily at her.
"Your Sentinel did not notice someone nailing antennas in Teldrassil, so what makes you think they'll notice that? This is far too risky to leave things to mere luck. Would YOU let your daughter keep a toy filled with explosives?"

The commander gritted her teeth, but lowered her head.
"Point... Taken... But if someone notices, they might try to activate them before we have time to gather them all. My Sentinels will be put at risk."

Resileaf thought for a moment.
"We can do it in secret. Darnassus may be big, but we do not have as many people as the Human cities. I also have contacts with Wardens... They will be capable of doing it even better. What's important is to be quick, however. If our removal of the antennas has been noticed, they'll try to activate it before us... Close access to the city from Ruth'eran village, and keep squads of hippogryphs flying around Teldrassil while we hunt down those toys. With luck, it will be done quickly enough for no one to have time complaining about it."

The Commander nodded again, thinking their plan over.
"Very well, Commander... Ah, you're not actually Commander right now, are you? Well, it is an honor to work alongside you. Thank you for your aid in this matter. Elune grant us swiftness in this endeavour."

Resileaf saluted the Sentinel Commander, and they both left the Temple. Orders were given to the Sentinel army, and they immediately went into action.
If the Sentinels were anything, it was efficient. And if Night elves were anything, it was pragmatic. Resileaf trusted the families to give away their toys willingly and without fuss. Kaldorei children were rare and precious after the loss of their immortality, and no one would complain to protect them.

Now to return to Altessia and request further help from the Wardens...

--------------------------------------------------------------------

It took less than a day to gather all the tigers. Kaldorei parents willingly parted with these toys (especially when Wardens were involved), children obediently obeyed this command. It was decided by the Sentinel Commander to return the antennas back to where they had been initially, and to place all the tigers in the same place and to keep a squad watching them from a safe distance to observe what they would do when activated. Life in Darnassus returned to normal afterwards, access reopened in Ruth'theran, with an excuse of portal trouble caused given as the reason.
A group of Highborne mages was ordered to put a magic dampening field over the gathered toys, which had all been placed in a warehouse at a good distance of Darnassus with clear orders that no one could approach it.

Now, they had to wait...
Until the Day of the Dead.

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Re: A Clockwork Tiger (Open)

Postby Vincent Moryarti » November 8th, 2014, 12:56 pm

In Darnassus, Day of the Dead...

Crossthread's careful observations had come to a startling conclusion: the entire project had been amazingly, and completely sniffed out. Not a tiger was to be found, and after overhearing conversations from the locals, the Sentinels had not only found the SEQUENCER, but they had rounded up every last tiger - including additional transmission devices of which he had taken no part in.

Maybe there was more than one plot going on in the city?

Fear of Sentinels lurking inside every tree, bush and bear, Crossthread slipped into the forest to a location where none could be seen, in fact, landing his copter behind one of the many trees.

"The fel with Darnassus," he said, flipping the protective panel on this wormhole generator mounted in his copter to the open position. Toggling the switch, the wormhole opened - sending him and his equipment to a safe location, away from the all knowing elves.

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Re: A Clockwork Tiger (Open)

Postby Vincent Moryarti » November 10th, 2014, 2:59 am

Day of the Dead – Ironforge

As Bud sat as his table sipping ale, he watched a pair of young Dwarven lads racing down the street – each with toy tigers trailing behind. Bud even cheered them on as they passed in front, hoisting his ale at the lead boy.

“A drink to the winner!” he called out, failing to capture their attention. Chuckling, he checked his chronotom and saw that the winner was him. It was time for the Tigers to roar.

“BONG!”

From deep within the bowels of Ironforge, a mighty gong hammered the time, announcing it was noon on the Day of the Dead. Bud’s eyes twinkled as the kids stopped their run and turned – lifting their tigers from the ground.

“I donna be at the forge,” the boy who had been winning the race said. “But me Da said’a be round at noon.”
“So ya best be goin, Gravmar,” the other boy said. “I know yer Da and I donna be you if ya no be there on time.”
“Rightcha be, then,” Gravmar said. “I’ll be seein ya on tha morrow, then.”
“Aye,” Gravmar’s friend said. “So ya will.”

“BONG!”

Both boys raced away, each with their toys held firmly in their hands as Bud watched from his table outside of the Visitor’s Center. Narrowing his eyes, he peered at the closest boy who was walking back toward Bud’s location. Nothing was happening.

“BONG!”

The boy walked past, and still, the tiger had done nothing. No red eyes, not explosion – not a thing. Guzzling down the last bit of ale, Bud slammed his mug to the table in disgust and walked toward his Mechano-Strider.

“BONG!”

The tiger’s should have roared by now, and not one of the infernal toys should be docile. Gravmar’s friend was still alive, still walking, and the bloody tiger was still friendly.

“We’ll see about that,” Bud whispered, mounting his Strider and kicking it into gear. A small, red button was mounted on his handlebars, one that when depressed, would activate the localized roar. Looking like any other button on an engineer’s strider, it was easy enough to drive by a tiger and push it without prying eyes being aware of what was happening.

Therefore, with steam-pistons puffing, and metallic feet clanking, Bud trotted by the walking boy and pushed the button – sending the command code to initiate to the tiger.

One at a time, he thought as he rode by. One at a bloody time!

“BONG!”

What Bud was completely unaware of, was the fact that the command sequencers were working perfectly, and exactly as planned. The submerged power source continued to power the devices, and the steel grating around (and under) the city streets continued to act as a massive antennae.

However, because the Ironforge engineers had not tried to dismantle the devices, but instead allowed them to function properly, they had inadvertently caused another effect to occur that neither party had anticipated.

By placing the Signal Killer in close proximity to the Command Sequencer, and therefore to the transmission system, the engineers had effectively killed ALL of the signals being sent around the city of Ironforge. If it operated on a wave system, it was blocked and canceled;

Including Bud’s strider-mounted failsafe device, as well as the strider itself.

“BONG!”

"Bloody Fel!" Bud yelled, trying to force his strider away from the turn it had suddenly decided to take. As if it had a mind of it's own, the Mechano-Strider veered hard to the right, narrowly missing the young boy that Bud had tried to explode, and racing straight for an open doorway leading into a weaponsmith's shop.

"Look out!" Bud cried, clasping the hand-brake as hard as he could and failing to accomplish anything in the way of stopping. Seeing that the machine was not going to stop, Bud jumped - leaping from the metallic saddle and rolling into a crunching heap against a crate.

The strider crashed into the wall of the shop, missing the open doorway and possible carnage from within. Sproings and clanks erupted from his machine, sending springs, nuts and boils scattering across the pavement as it exploded into multitudes of pieces.

Overhead, he watched a gyrocopter spinning madly out of control, it's pilot bailing out and floating safely to the ground by parachute. Elsewhere, a Sky Golem crashed into a building, punching a golem-shaped hole in the exterior and disappearing in an explosive burst of fire and smoke.

Machines throughout the city, especially those utilizing command control systems, were experiencing catastrophic malfunctions. Some crashed, some went their own way, and others simply shut off - all because of the much-amplified Signal Killer device meant to keep Ironforge safe.

And through all of this, the tigers remained docile.

"What in the Great Spanner's name has happened?' Bud whispered, just catching sight of mechano-strider plummeting into the magma trench, sending a puff of black, explosive smoke rising toward the roof. Then, Bud's eyes rolled back in his head as he fell unconscious - covered in the shattered remains of an Ironforge crate.

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Re: A Clockwork Tiger (Open)

Postby Vincent Moryarti » November 10th, 2014, 5:55 pm

Day of the Dead - Stormwind, 12:05 pm...

The horror happening in the Cathedral District plaza completely overwhelmed Jeb. His stomach was emptied, twice, on the pavement fronting the bench after witnessing children and adults alike being torn asunder by the very toys had had happily given away for free.

He felt empty. No, worse. Empty could be refilled, and what he experienced was beyond that. The human incarnation of Death was more accurate. Darkness, despair, complete and utter loss - as if every child killed had been his very own.

The words started out as a whisper, yet grew in volume until it was a wail of abject anguish. "WHAT HAVE I DONE?" he cried, clawing his forehead as he tried to hide his eyes. Screams, shouts and the stench of charred flesh refused him the opportunity, filling his senses with the horrors he had helped inflict.

He looked at the steaming, stack of innards piled next to the fountain, - the boy who had been engulfed by the blue haze; or what was left of him. Tears freely flowed down Jeb's face, falling in rivers to the vomit-strew ground at his feet.

And then, Light.

Pure, blessed, golden Light engulfed the plaza with sparkling, soul-warming energy, bringing all activity to a complete halt. It poured from the orphanage like rays of sunshine, bathing the horror-stricken people of Stormwind with it's child-like, bell-tingling glow. The despair in his heart departed, replaced with hope, joy and love.

It was as if...

Jeb's eyes snapped toward the remains of the dead child, and widened at the sight they took in: the boy was restored and alive, curled up in fetal position on the ground, alive and breathing - the only sign of tragedy being ripped clothing and blood stains.

Wails turned to praise, and many (including guards) openly cried on the streets of the plaza. One woman proclaimed that it was a miracle, that the Light itself had appeared to save the children of Stormwind from the clutches of Darkness. Others announced that it was their honoured ancestors, returning the many bestowed blessings on this day of reverence.

For Jeb, it was rebirth. He felt whole, solid and focused. Something had happened, beyond any thought or idea that a simple city worker, such as himself, could imagine. But one thought stood out above all others, and he knew EXACTLY what to do.

"Sir," he said, standing and approaching the first Stormwind Guard he saw. "I sold these toys to the children. Please," he said, extending his hands for the cuffs. "Arrest me. It is my fault this happened."

=======================

"Mack?" a man called out through the now-open door. "Everything alright in there? I heard a noise." Explosions and cries were happening all over the city, so having one occurring next door had alerted Mack's neighbor, a nosy dockworker named Theo.

"I don't see anyone inside," a woman's voice said from behind Theo. "Maybe you should go in there and have a look." Theo nodded. "Wait here, Mabel," he said. "I don't want anyone coming round thinkin' I'm robbin the place." A flash and boom turned Mabel's eyes, just in time to see a family running down the street disappear into a mist of blood and bone.

She screamed and pushed Theo inside, trying to hide from whatever monster was attacking Stormwind and slamming the door behind.

"By the Light!" Theo whispered, staring into the kitchen of Mack's house. He just managed to catch the contents of his stomach, puffing his cheeks to stop the retching. "Oh, Light! They're, they're..." he shook his head, covering his mouth with his hand. Behind, Mabel was staring at the closed door and crying.

"What's going on, Theo?" she exclaimed. "They blew up! Did you see?" She turned, looking for solace from her husband. Instead, she found despair.

Theo pulled her close, resting her crying face against his chest. "Don't look, dear," he said, patting her back. "Don't look. They're gone." She looked up and into his own tear-stained eyes.
"Why, Theo," she whispered. "Why is this happened?"

He shook his head. "I don't know," he replied. "I don't know."

She took a peek, and before he could stop her from looking, he heard her gasp. "I told you not to..."

The house suddenly filled with sparkling, golden Light, swirling around the room like a Westfall dust devil - rustling the couple's hair as it passed by. All fear faded, causing them to close their eyes in relief - filled with peace, love and joy. They looked into the kitchen, watching the golden dance twirl around the bloodied, gore-strewn room that once was alive with their neighbors.

Lasting only a matter of moments, the scene they watched seemed like blissful eternity. Brilliant Light mingled with that of the family's remains, dancing, weaving and twisting them with glittering specks of gold. The dance grew intense, and Theo and his wife's hair was tossed about like it was a Stormwind gale.

Then, it ended. The dance done, and the Light gone. Everything was quiet, the same as before except with one marked difference:

Mack, Maddi and her mom were alive once more, lying curled on the floor as if asleep, their clothes torn and blood-stained - unharmed and reborn as they were before.

Theo and Maddi fell to their knees, crying and singing the praises of the Light for the return of their friends, and the miracle of the Light itself.

==========================

All over Stormwind, whether the Cathedral District or the docks, children and adults destroyed by the tigers, either by claw or by bomb, were now reborn in the Light as if the event had never happened. As for the ones taken into the rifts, only time would tell if they would ever be heard from again.

===========================

Inside of Bartholomew Barkston's Stormwind estate, a celebration was occurring - though only two would know what for. Just two minutes into the noon-time hour, it was now quite apparent to Vincent and Bartholomew that the plan had been a success, and that the tigers were operating as expected.

"And what now, Vincent," Barkston said, leaning his massive frame back in his complaining chair. "Your symphony is complete, you have orchestrated a grand finale and seen to it that the TwinSeas, namely Jarington, receives the blame."

Vincent sipped his wine, cocking his head as he listened to the distant explosions and screams. "Where do you go from here?" Barkston said, finishing his question with a raised eyebrow.

"Oh, my dear Bartholomew," Vincent said with a smile. "This is only a movement. The great symphony continues, my friend; for eternity, if need be." He waved his two pointing fingers back and forth as if directing the orchestration. "I am merely a composer, who's works shall reverberate through time and memory. Ebbing, growing, flowing and moving - anonymous to all but the lead soloists."

Vincent stopped directing, freezing in place as the sounds he had been listening to stopped - his eyes cast toward the ceiling as if he could see into the city. Finally, he smiled and looked at Barkston.

"It seems another soloist has emerged," he said, then reached for his wine. "Did you hear it, Bartholomew? Pain and anguish turning to praise and joy." Barkston lifted an eyebrow at his employer, then shrugged.

"No," he said. "I didn't hear a thing."

"Precisely!" Vincent snapped, pointing a finger at Barkston. he looked to the ceiling again, moving his head in a rhythmic sort of way, as if hearing music no other being could hear. "And now, they celebrate. Ahhh, yes. They have been saved."

Vincent sighed, closing his eyes and letting the deep breath out slowly. "No matter," he suddenly stated, opening his eyes and reaching for a plate of melon. "The damage is wrought, the guilty party will be brought to justice. And then, Barthlomew, we shall play again."

Barkston nodded, unsure what his boss was getting at, yet not really caring. Moryarti paid well. VERY well, so if the man was a bit off, then who was he to judge?

"Then here's to your new play, Vincent," Barkston said, offering a toast. "I look forward to it."

Vincent nodded once, smiling like a child who had received a clockwork tiger.

There's Still Villainy To Do
Last edited by Vincent Moryarti on November 25th, 2014, 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Clockwork Tiger (Open)

Postby Vincent Moryarti » November 15th, 2014, 8:35 pm

Day of the Dead - Cathedral District. Moments after Verin is led away by the Guards...

Jeb stared in shock as the Guard gave him a blank stare, glanced at the extended hands then walked away toward a pair of recovering citizens - assisting them to their feet by wrapping his arms around their shoulders. Jeb saw others doing the same, Guards and citizens alike - all helping once-dead strangers recover their senses.

Stunned, he walked toward the fountain, then saw the boy who had been turned inside out by the vortex. His family kneeled around his pale form, whole and complete - healed by the golden Light from the Orphanage. "It was so warm," Jeb heard the boy said, cradled in his mothers arms. "I was inside a glowing Light, there were others, too. Kids, mostly, mom."

He shrugged and she ruffled his hair. "We were," he said, pausing. "We were walking. To the brightest place, I think."

"You're okay, now," his mom said. "You're back."

"I was okay then, too," he said, looking up at his mother with eyes that knew more than they should. "It was alright. And then, we heard it. Like a, a trumpet or something." He chuckled, grinning brightly. "It made my skin tickle, all of us, and we laughed."

The boy's eyes went wide, distant, back inside the Light. "Then we saw him."

"Who?" his mother said, looking deep into her son's eyes. Five other people were gathered around, listening. "Yea!" a man said, nodding and pointing at the boy. "I saw him too!" The boy smiled, turning toward a haggardly dressed man; a stormwind begger. "He had the kindest face. Soft, pleasant, loving..."

"That's him, mom!" the boy said. "Just like he said. He was wearing a robe, blue maybe?" the boy shrugged. "I don't remember his clothes. Only what he looked like. He had a staff, too." The boy nodded, looking toward the beggar. "Right?" The man smiled back, nodding. "Aye," he said. "So he did, lad."

"He saved us, mom," the boy said, snuggling to his mothers chest, closing his eyes. "The Man in the Light saved us."

Jeb wiped his both of his eyes with the back of his knuckle, and noticed others were crying as well. In fact, people were coming into the district in numbers, all moving toward the fountain where the image of Uther stood guard - gathering around the boy and his family.

Whispers of the Man in the Light became talk, as praises were sung and cries of a Miracle having been performed by the man ringing out like the church bells themselves. Ten grew to twenty, then to fifty and a hundred. Guards, beggars and children, ringing around the fountain where the young boy had recovered in front of Jeb's eyes.

"Was it Uther?" one man said, looking at the others. Those who HAD been inside the Light found one another at the fountain, somehow knowing that they had all shared in the miraculous experience.

"No," a young lady said, a dressmaker by her apparel. "He was smaller, wore a robe."

"Yes!" a prostitute said, one who was well known in the alleys of Old Town. "And a staff. He was so kind!" Others nodded at her, smiling in agreement. No matter the station, no matter the rank in life, all who had experienced the Man in the Light were kindred.

"I saw him!" a young boy said, joined by his friends as they pushed their way into the inner circle ringing the fountain. "He was in the orphanage!"

"Yea!" a girl said, her ponytail ribbons stained with streaks of dried blood. "He was with the guards. He said prayers, then everyone was okay!" All eyes turned toward the girl. "He made the Golden Light appear."

A Stormwind Guard, one who had been killed, then reborn, kneeled in front of the girl. "Can you describe him?" the man asked gently.

"Uh huh," she said, then launched into a child-like description of Verin Blackcroft. "Then his hair turned silver," she continued, earning gasps from the crowd. "And he fell to the floor." She almost cried, but sniffed back the tears. "He looked so tired!"

The Guard patted her on the shoulder and nodded. "Light be praised," he whispered, shaking his head in disbelief. "Blackcroft," he said. "It must be." He looked back to the girl. "And then what, dear? Where did he go?"

She pointed toward the cathedral. "I think they took him there," she said. "Two Guards like you carried him. I asked them if he was alright, and they said he was alive. Then, I helped my friends."

The name Blackcroft sped around the gathering with the speed of a gale, and it wasn't long before the cry came up, "Praise be to Blackcroft! Saviour of Stormwind!' Other names poured forth, each holier than the other, gathering power and volume until they were chanting the name as one.

When one Guard attached the name Verin to it, more as a question to the reborn Guard, everyone else took it as mantra, thinking Verin sounded better than Blackcroft. "Saint Verin! Saviour of the Light!" some said. "Saint Verin - the Light of Stormwind!"

"Praise Be to Saint Verin!"

One man, a blacksmith, raised his hand to halt the chants. "Gather the sick! The infirm!" he cried. "Spread the word of what has happened in Stormwind!" He pointed toward the cathedral. "The Light has returned in person! Praise be to the Light! Praise be to Saint Verin!"

And the crowd moved as one, leaving the fountain dedicated to the Lightbringer, and moving toward the Light itself: Officer Verin Blackcroft.

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