Gilon 3010

Shadowrun game in an alternate, homebrew universe.


    Mingmei: The Desian Capital

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    Mingmei: The Desian Capital

    Post by GameMaster on Tue May 15, 2018 11:26 am

    Mingmei at a Glance


    Nestled atop Mount Nehongoa lies the capital city of the Desian Islands: Mingmei. Generally speaking, the higher you go up the mountain, the wealthier the area. The section above about 5,000 feet houses the wealthy elites and the imperial family. Homes here are palatial (or a literal palace in the case of the imperial family) and security is generally rated AAA, courtesy of a contract with Cowboy Sheriff. The Kinza district is known for it's high end shops and restaurants that cater to the wealthy who live at this altitude. Those who do not look like they belong are quietly removed from the area by Cowboy forces.

    Below that to around 3,750 feet are the generally well to do. The main local HQ of Cowboy Sheriff is located here, though they do have smaller stations throughout the city for efficient response. Thus the local security is rated at AA or possibly AAA near the Cowboy HQ. The Mingmei Institute of Sorcery is also located to the southwest. The prestigious magical university has been teaching young magicians for thousands of years and competition to enter is quite high.

    Further down to around 2,500 feet is where the middle to low classes live. This area contains the most corporate offices because the area is relatively inexpensive, while still having some level of security, though it can vary from A to D depending on the area. This is the main area that most people work with plenty of factories, low-end bars and restaurants, as well as entry level corporate work to be found. A couple of universities can be found here: Mingmei University and Bokkyo Medical College. Neither is particularly prestigious, but they are inexpensive if one can get in on merit, though anyone who has lots of money is treated as having considerable merit.

    The next section down to about 1,250 feet is where the poorest of the poor live. Many of them live in centuries-old tunnels that were originally dug through the mountain as shelters from Victorian air bombings during the Great Magic War. These areas are E rated slums where there is no security other than what the locals make for themselves. While Cowboy forces do occasionally come through in pursuit of criminals, they prefer not to as the tunnels make it far too easy to ambush and trap them. Besides the tunnels, there are also old, abandoned housing developments which were once built to be affordable housing for the poor, but have since been overrun by ghouls, obake and the occasional street gang. These areas are Z rated and the average person wouldn't touch these areas if you paid them. Even criminals avoid the areas since there is nothing of value to take and they are too dangerous to hide out in.

    Anything below that altitude is mostly undeveloped wilds. The only things to be found down there are some forests, potentially dangerous critters and a couple of city dumps. Since the local wildlife can be quite hazardous to workers, the dumps actually have much more security than one would normally assume garbage to need. Sanitation service is considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the city, so there is a lot of turnover, despite it being a relatively high paying job.



    Last edited by GameMaster on Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    Re: Mingmei: The Desian Capital

    Post by GameMaster on Tue May 15, 2018 1:29 pm

    Elevation: 5,000+

    Imperial Palace
    Security: AAA
    At the very peak of mount Nehongoa is the home of the imperial family. The current emperor is Emperor Endo Akihito. The position of Emperor is both a political and religious one as the Emperor not only rules over the Desian Islands, but also serves as the head of the Shinto religion (something like the Shinto equivalent of the Pope). He is required to perform certain ceremonies throughout the year, all of which take place at the Heiwa-ji temple. The importance of the Emperor in Desian life cannot be emphasized enough. While most countries use the standard base of 3010 as the current year, Desians base their calendars on the date that the current Emperor took over. Thus the official year in the Desu Islands is Endo 27. This is very confusing to foreigners who come to the country, but locals do know the global year as it is required of them for international business or matrix communication.

    The palace itself is a massive, beautiful structure made with stone, jade and gold leaf. Detailed religious murals decorate the ceilings and walls, some hundreds of years old. Perhaps the most stunning part of the palace is the view. At roughly 7,000 ft above sea level, one can see the entire city and beyond. It is considered one of the three greatest views in the world, though only the imperial family and their servants ever get the chance to see it.

    Heiwa-ji Temple
    Security: AAA when the emperor is present, otherwise A
    Central to Mingmei is Heiwa-ji Temple. Like most temples, it is usually open to the public except during purification ceremonies called Harae. Some of the Harae include Setsubun, Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Fall Equinox, Obon, New Year, Shichi-go-san and Tanabata.  All of these are led by the emperor and are closed to the public due to security concerns. The temple itself is a known focal point for local ley lines and many priests come to study the site when they are able to.

    Goujasu District
    Security: AAA
    Home to some of the richest people in the country, the Goujasu District is the epitome of modernity and comfort. It is primarily a residential area with strict patrols keeping the riffraff out of the area. Humans who are not supposed to be in the area are typically arrested and removed while other races are often gunned down by officers or drones. Orcs and trolls in particular are feared for their strength and reputations for violence while elves are feared for their magical abilities. Security is so quick to shoot that occasionally non-humans who actually live in the area are accidentally gunned down. Though there is outrage among their communities, they are such a tiny minority that no one thinks twice about how these other metahumans are treated.

    Being primarily a residential district, there is not much to do in the area other than getting hassled by security. There are a couple golf courses, the basic necessities and the occasional house party, but those in the area mostly go to the Kinza District to have a good time.

    Kinza District
    Security: AA
    The epitome of decadence and wealth, Kinza is home to all the hottest restaurants, clubs and shopping centers. If you have to check the amount of money in your account, you probably can't afford to shop here, though there are certainly many people who come through simply to look around. Celebrities and corporate heads frequent this district, as well as the occasional paparazzi looking to get a picture. The latter is often removed from the area with their cameras confiscated or destroyed. Some important locations in the district include the National Museum, the Chuo Sumo Stables, several Noh and Kabuki theaters (the local equivalent of Broadway), and the Gokagai school of Geisha.
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    Re: Mingmei: The Desian Capital

    Post by GameMaster on Tue May 15, 2018 3:03 pm

    Elevation: 3,750+

    Districts
    Harabuya
    Security: AAA
    Harabuya is known internationally as a center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. Shopping and dining options include many small, youth-oriented, independent boutiques and cafés, but the neighborhood also attracts many larger international chain stores with high-end luxury merchandisers extensively represented throughout the area. There are many attractions in the area as well including Mingmei Central Stadium, Shinobi Park and Shinobi National Gymnasium, making Harajuku and its environs one of the most popular destinations in Mingmei for both domestic and international tourists.

    Nakajuku
    Security: A
    A major commercial and business center, it houses the two busiest railway stations in the world. Much like Harabuya, this area is known as one of the fashion centers of the Desu Islands, particularly for young people, and as a major nightlife area. There are extensive high end bars, clubs and brothels throughout the district, making it the place to go for locals who want to party. The level of night life in the area makes it hard for understaffed security to thoroughly patrol the area so it is a hot spot for Yakuza activity, particularly prostitution and drug dealing.

    Shinginko
    Security: AA
    Shinginko is a commercial district with some high end housing. he name, meaning "new bank", derives from its name from the large number of banks with corporate offices here. Thus, it is also Mingmei's financial district and the country's three largest banks are headquartered there. Besides the banks, there are several large shopping malls with a focus on high-end business fashion. Many other smaller corporations have offices here as well.

    Places of Note
    Cowboy Sheriff Branch HQ
    Though there are many small Cowboy offices throughout the city, this branch is the most important. It serves as a training academy for new recruits, the main prison for the city, as well as the armory for where all the heaviest gear in the city is stored. For rapid deployment, the branch also serves as a private subway station, only accessible by Cowboy staff. Officers here are able to quickly be deployed throughout the city without traffic being a concern, should the need arise. Inmates in the prison (particularly the SINless) are occasionally used in training exercises for new recruits, often resulting in injuries or even deaths. While there are complains of prisoner abuse, extraterritoriality gives the corporation full rights to treat prisoners however they deem appropriate, and sometimes shooting practice is deemed appropriate.

    Mingmei Institute of Sorcery
    Founded over 2,000 years ago, MIS is one of the oldest and most prestigious sorcery universities in the world. The university boasts kami, dragons and other powerful magical creatures among its faculty. Those who graduate the rigorous program can find a job just about anywhere in the world as only the most skilled ever make it through. Due to the nature of magical studies, many students who fail to graduate tend to die in the process. This fans rumors that the school itself is haunted by the spirits of past students. Given some of the things they get up to while studying, it is quite believable as far as rumors go.

    Wishmaker Inc Branch Office
    This large branch office caters primarily to clients in the Goujasu District, though they don't discriminate, provided their clients can pay. Located near MIS, many of their employees are MIS alumni. They make quite a bit of money on magical cosmetic alterations (mostly to make people appear younger, though some do want more radical alterations). There is also a large research facility on the premises and the researchers there are known to be studying the effects of ley lines in the area. To this end, Wishmaker employees are often found working around Heiwa-ji Temple.
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    Re: Mingmei: The Desian Capital

    Post by GameMaster on Tue May 15, 2018 11:03 pm

    Elevation: 2,500+

    Districts
    Daiterebi
    Security: B
    Daiterebi is known as the film district of Mingmei because the majority of it consists of trid and sim studios. Though the studios do well enough nationally, they only have niche audiences abroad. This is partially due to cultural differences, but also because these studios don't have anywhere near the kind of budgets that the big boys like Brightstar have. Still, they do export a steady stream of local animation and pornography, both of which have a strong audience abroad. The Mingmei News Organization, the state funded news station, is also based here. This district also has a lot of housing aimed at the middle class. Those who live here generally commute to work elsewhere in the city.

    Denki-Cho
    Security: D
    Aptly named, "electric street", Denki-Cho is widely known for its vast nest of small electronics shops. While these shops aren't the bleeding edge of electronics, they are cheap and some of them install cyberware without asking too many questions. Tourists often come through looking for good deals on decks, drones, and other gadgets. They invariably end up over paying at the big retail stores that are also in the area. Locals know that to find the best deals you need to dig deep into the smaller shops that are obscured by flashier shops selling animation merchandise, sex toys and pornography. Once you pass those places, you can find bins and bins of slightly older components that those with the appropriate technical expertise can integrate to create systems that are just as powerful for far less than what the tourists pay at the big retailers. With security light, Yakuza take advantage of the area, collecting protection money from merchants. Any trouble that happens in the area is more likely to be taken care of by Yakuza foot soldiers than proper authorities.
    There are also a large number of pachinko parlors in the area. These loud devices are marketed as games of skill to get around anti-casino laws, but in reality they are basically fancy slot machines that provide prizes instead of money. Of course, these prizes can be sold to the owners of the pachinko parlors for money, so the distinction is a poor one.

    Izakaya
    Security: C
    A large number of bars, breweries and grilled chicken shops populate this area, making it a highly popular area to unwind among overworked office workers. There are also traditional ryokan (guest-houses), homes, and small-scale apartment buildings throughout the district. Because of its colorful location, downtown credentials, and relaxed atmosphere by Mingmei standards, Izakaya is a popular accommodation choice for budget travelers.

    Kojou
    Security: D
    An industrial district of Mingmei, Kojou has a large number of factories which provide a significant amount of employment for the area. The corporations that own the factories also own most of the housing in the area, so just about everyone who lives in the area also works in one of the factories. Since the district is so focused on factories, there really isn't much room for any interesting attractions or shops. The area is very quiet and lacks any kind of night life other than the constant hum of machinery. Nothing interesting ever happens here. While boring, that is not such a bad thing.

    Majoukoya
    Security: E
    A collection of magic users gathered and made something of an enclave out of this area. These locals get by selling old world remedies of questionable efficacy to tourists while keeping the real magic hidden away. The practitioners in the area are very old school in their ways, called "witches" by the mundane and awakened alike. In fact, the district's name literally means, "the witch's hut". Exactly what kind of magic these witches get up to is known only among them, but they are often accused of blood magic. Cowboy officers stay out of this district as a rule as they find the witches to be creepy and do not want to get into a fight with a bunch of witches who do not appear to be doing anything. Yakuza also leave the witches alone for similar reasons, though they do occasionally come through to ask the witches for help with supernatural matters they cannot deal with on their own.

    Odori
    Security: C
    A pun that means both "big street" and "dance", Odori is known for it's kabuki theater as well as many dance clubs. Dance clubs are technically illegal in the country; a failed attempt at curbing prostitution. At the time the law was put on the books, sex workers would negotiate terms with their clients while dancing at night clubs so the government thought that by criminalizing dancing, they could also stop prostitution. It didn't work at all as sex workers simply found other ways to approach clients. In practice, this law is very rarely used to bust dance clubs, though it is occasionally used as an excuse for officers to search the dance club when they have heard reports of drug sales.

    Yuuenchi
    Security: A
    This area is popular both to tourists as well as home to middle and upper class families, mainly due to the hugely successful Brightstar Studios theme park in the area. While it is moderately known internationally, the theme park is a huge hit with locals, many of whom visit several times a year on average and always come home with a small fortune in souvenirs. Yuuenchi is also home to the Yuuenchi Zoological Park which is famous for being home to the last known remaining pandas in the world.

    Places of Note:
    Ankev Industries Branch Office
    Located conveniently within Majoukoya and near the MIS, this branch does some minor research, but focuses primarily on the recruitment of local talent for use in their offices elsewhere. Given their reputation for necromancy, they fit in well with the supposed blood magic practicing witches of Majoukoya.

    Bokkyo Medical College
    A teaching hospital is attached to this university and the doctors there will tell you that if you have the option, you are better off going anywhere else with whatever medical issues you may have. The college is known to accept anyone with the money to pay their tuition, so they get a lot of rich kids whose parents want them to be doctors but who personally couldn't care less about the profession. Terrifyingly enough, these kids do eventually graduate and become legally licensed doctors. Their lack of skills usually means they end up working as street docs for people who have no other choice but to use them. Shadowrunners in particular end up getting a lot of their emergency patch-up jobs after hours at the university.

    Daiaku Motors Branch Office
    The branch office here serves primarily as a testing ground for new products. Whenever something new is developed, they are brought here to get a feel for how the people of Mingmei like the product before it is fully put into production. To those who might so be inclined, it is actually a good place to steal prototypes of up and coming models of drones, vehicles and cybernetics.

    Denso Electronics Branch Office
    Thanks to the corporation's extraterritoriality, this branch serves as a legal casino as well as a bank. Most of the pachinko machines used in Denki-cho come from this very branch, but since it is not beholden to Desian laws, the branch is free to deal in any form of gambling they like. While most of the clients at the casino are gambling-addicted wage slaves, many high rollers from the upper altitudes are also attracted to their tables. Security is tight but subtle to prevent any cheating from going on.  

    Kuuki Temple
    Also known as the Temple of Air, this temple is known for its unique architecture that allows local winds to blow through and create music through the manipulation of doors and windows. On windy days, the attending priests have religious recitals where they pay their temple like a massive musical instrument.

    Linnorm Power Plant and Geothermal R&D
    This nuclear power plant supplies power to most of the city. There are currently plans for the plant to tap into geothermal stores deep beneath the mountain, however this requires digging that will almost certainly go through the tunnels used by the poor as homes and may even flood some of those tunnels with magma. Obviously those who live there want to prevent that, but they have almost no power to do anything to prevent it should Linnorm force the matter.

    Mingmei University
    This national university is expensive to get into, but that is about all the screening it has. Wealthy applicants are allowed in while the poor are unable to even get through the application process before they are denied. Despite their rather lax acceptance policy, the university has a couple of successful programs; their business management major in particular. Otherwise, the university is globally ranked as average at best as very little of their funding ever gets put into the school in a meaningful way.

    Tomiyama Farming Arcology
    This self-contained farm supplies about 70% of Mingmei's food needs. It is essentially a massive hydroponic greenhouse used to shield crops from smog and other pollution. Between DNA splicing, selective breeding and some magical alteration, the arcology grows food at three times the rate of what they normally would using natural practices. They are rumored to be developing vegetation that is resistant to all insects and natural disasters, and it is believed that these arcologies are being built to sample weather conditions around the world for testing.

    Umie Temple
    Built on the shore of Lake Umie, the priests of Umie Temple channel the lake's water into their ceremonies. The water is said to be sacred and the priests do everything they can to keep the lake pristine. Within the temple are countless natural hot spring baths which are used both ceremonially and as attractions for tourists. These springs are supposed to have various different healing properties for whatever aches you.

    Victorian Aeronautics Airport and Research Facility
    This branch serves as the city's airport, and is the only airport in the Sheng province that offers international flights. A research facility built within the airport works on developing new and more effective aircraft. Their rumored pet project is to supposedly harness the power of ley lines to provide cheap teleportation travel throughout the city and province. Victorian Aeronautics is not expected to succeed in their project because they are not known to have any magical experts on their payroll. Should they manage it, it would revolutionize travel as the world knows it.
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    Re: Mingmei: The Desian Capital

    Post by GameMaster on Wed May 16, 2018 6:59 pm

    Elevation: 1,250+

    Places of Interest:
    Church of Happy Science
    Security: AAA
    Founded 30 years ago by Ryuske Okinawa, the Church of Happy Science is a controversial new religious and spiritual movement that is widely criticized as a cult. Okinawa claims to channel the spirits of various religious figures throughout history as well as being the incarnation of the supreme spiritual being called "El Cantare". Beyond that, he also claims to have direct communication with the "Guardian Spirits" of political figures, with whom he conducts interviews published in the organization's newsletter The Liberty and in book form.
    Despite its widely recognized cult status, the church has many influential members in positions of power both locally and internationally. The church itself is a big business with as much wealth and power as some smaller corporations. This has allowed them to increase their membership by providing food and shelter to the poor in exchange for devotion to El Cantare. Despite being in poor, crime ridden area that is completely unprotected by local Cowboy officers, the church is actually highly secure with all the best measures money can buy. This is partially to protect against criminal influence, but more to protect against the local government. The emperor has very publicly condemned the movement, and while he has not taken any concrete measures against it, members of the church believe that it is only a matter of time before they have to violently defend themselves from government intervention. Should matters come to that, they are prepared to make it as bloody an affair as necessary, and are rumored to be stockpiling illegal weaponry for just such an occasion.

    Hanamizuki Temple
    Security: C
    The name of the temple, which means "dogwood", comes from the many dogwood trees that populate the area. The priests carefully maintain these trees and are known for their bloom parties in the spring. The temple itself is made of dogwood, which is an unusual type of lumber to build with. The priests emphasize its beauty by allowing the bare wood to shine through instead of painting it, which is typical among temples. There are other trees in the area of course, including a rare peach tree, which is one of the few remaining peach trees on the planet after many of them have died out due to pollution and over-development. It is believed that the peaches bring longevity to those who eat them.
    While the area is not typically guarded by the city's Cowboy contract, the priests are capable enough magic users to keep away any troublemakers. Several tree spirits also permanently live in the area, repelling those who would foul the sanctity of the temple.

    Higashi Projects
    Security: Z
    Originally built to be a low income housing development, poor management on the part of the government left the neighborhood to decay until all that was left were decrepit, crumbling buildings inhabited by criminals, drug addicts, and people with nowhere else to go. The area is completely run by the Kozakura-ikka yakuza clan. This small clan is noted for its unique official policy of not allowing themselves to be active outside of this district, and at the same time not allowing any other yakuza syndicate to enter the district. Members are known to have extensive cybernetic modifications and some further enhance their abilities through drug use. Though they support themselves through drug dealing, their prime source of income is through hacking as a matrix gang for hire. With the matrix as their lifeblood, matrix connections in the area are actually very reliable compared to other areas at this altitude.

    Kita Barrens
    Security: Z
    About a hundred years ago, this neighborhood was quite wealthy. There was an active blackrock mine in the area that provided steady work and wealth for everyone. Eventually the mine ran dry and with no other major sources of income in the area, people moved away, leaving the town to be occupied by three small gangs who are at constant war with one another.
    The Ningen Seinensha ("Human Youth Society") are a gang of humanists who believe the barrens could be revitalized if only the filthy metahumans were driven out of the area. They are purists who refuse cyberware and believe magic is an abomination. They do have an impressive selection of illegal weaponry and will sometimes sell it to those who share their views. No one is sure where they get their weapons from, but they clearly have powerful connections that want to see them armed.
    The Jingai (which means either "evildoers" or "outsiders") is a gang consisting of assorted metahumans. They do not have much in the way of weaponry, instead relying on their numbers and martial arts training to deal with the other gangs. A significant number of them are either adepts with powers that would aid them in hand to hand combat, or cybernetically enhanced to similar effect. These members all have the highest ranks within the gang, so it is seen as something of a coming of age event to receive one's first enhancements.
    The last gang is the Zombies. The Zombies are a group of awakened ghouls who are all toxic shamans. They live in the ruins of an abandoned nuclear waste dump and are the smallest in number of the three gangs. For the most part they keep to themselves, only emerging from their home to feed. This is what leads them into conflict with the other two gangs since those other two gangs are their preferred prey. Interestingly enough, the Zombies never seem to feed on non-gang members, though it is unknown why.

    Kokoro Temple
    Security: C
    Also known as the Temple of the Heart, the Kokoro temple is a popular place for people to come and wish for new love. The priests and spirits at the temple sell special boards called "ema" which people write their wishes for love upon. The boards are then hung up around the shrine until they are ritually burned during special celebrations. The burning is said to release the wish from the writer, allowing it to later be granted. Like other temples in the area, security is handled by the kami and priests that take care of the grounds.

    Minami Ruins
    Security: Z
    An ambitious arcology was once built here as another attempt at low income housing. Some malfunction with the operating computer resulted in an explosion that destroyed much of the area. A few advanced heavily armored drones, powered by some highly advanced AI managed to survive the blast and made some repairs on other service drones, turning the area into a completely autonomous graveyard. Scavengers occasionally go through the area attempting to get their hands on some of the advanced tech that can be found there, but it is not an easy proposition as the drones quickly cut to ribbons any living beings they detect in the area. Luckily for the surrounding areas, the drones do not appear to have any intentions of leaving the ruins, a fact that has saved the lives of more than one scavenger who fled the ruins after being attacked.

    Nishi Slums
    Security: Z
    This town was originally built as a prison and halfway house for non-violent criminals. Unfortunately those in charge built a prison and housing, but provided no employment for the criminals who would live there, resulting in extreme poverty and a never ending cycle of repeat criminal offense due to pure desperation. A revolt happened and the officers running the prison were all killed. Now the prisoners all run the area and it has been deemed too much trouble to bother cleaning up the mess so long as they all stay where they are. Since the entire population has outstanding warrants, going to any area with a halfway decent security presence would result in their arrest. Thus everyone stays because they have nowhere else to go. They do not have much in the way of weaponry, relying only on what the prison officers had left behind as well as simple melee weapons.

    Tanuki Temple
    Security: C
    Devoted to the tanuki, also known as a raccoon dog, this temple is filled with over-sized statues of the creatures. Though the tanuki is a perfectly mundane animal, there is an awakened variant called a bake-danuki, which is physically notable for its comically large scrotum. Similar to kitsune in nature, bake-danuki are trickster animal spirits that can shapeshift into other things or people, as well as possess human beings and other metahumans. The priests at the temple are careful to appease the creatures so as to avoid their mischief. So long as they are kept happy, it is believed that prosperity will continue for the Desian people.

    The Tunnels
    Security: E
    Much of the mountain is riddled with man-made tunnels that were dug out during the Great Magic War. The largest of these tunnels are about 20 yards in diameter, but most of them are not much larger than 3 or 4, making the area quite snug. The mountain blocks wireless signals, so the only matrix access that post people have down here is hardwired from cables that have been run down from the city above.
    The vast majority of metahumans in the city live down here, along with the poorest of poor humans and the SINless. Compared to the city above, racism is far less of an issue down here, probably due to the fact that everyone is living in squalor. Everyone survives down here on a diet primarily consisting of mushrooms and other fungi as well as fish captured in underground lakes.
    The people of the tunnels are constantly digging out more space for themselves and skilled diggers can actually make a fair living down here. It is not as easy a job as it looks as there are many dangers associated with the job including cave ins, accidental flooding both of magma and water, as well as various health issues that come from digging such as miner's lung. That does not even begin to touch the various supernatural hazards that can be found. Due to both these dangers and the training required to avoid them, diggers are among the most respected workers in the tunnel community.

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    Re: Mingmei: The Desian Capital

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