Tammy: Deja Flew - Part 4



Deja Flew  

Book 12: Deja Flew
 

 

"Deja Flew"
Part 4

 

 
 
Note: This is a work of fiction but a number of real people, places, and institutions are mentioned in fictitious circumstances. In short it's a story!
 
 
Wednesday 20th December 2017 (Cont)
 

Conversation on the Tube wasn't easy and Tammy hated having to talk in riddles so the pair just sat there, holding bags and trying not to look like a potential target. Their destination was the end of the Jubilee Line at one of London's busiest interchanges.

It was approaching eighteen hours when they made it onto platform six at Stratford for their Central Line eastbound train, Maisie acknowledged she'd been there before so stopped asking questions. They were in the open air and the temperature was dropping rapidly but, thankfully, an Epping train was first up. They boarded and, as usual for rush hour, they had to stand. Tammy didn't have a chance to warn Maisie that they were about to dive back underground and that she really would be shook, rattled and rolled by the time they got off at the end of the line.

A minute or two later they were back in the open air so Tammy pulled out her phone to confirm she had a signal. Next she found an appropriate app for home delivered food and located the Swan Chinese in the middle of Epping. It didn't take long for her to conclude the order, with an estimated delivery forty minutes hence. "That'll do." She showed the screen to Maisie.

By the time they pulled into Epping station the number of passengers had thinned down but Tammy still wasn't free to have a conversation so they silently walked off the train, amongst the hundred or so that had made the same journey. Tammy was very pleased to get back to the house so she could, finally, relax.

"Well, what's happening?"

"Good evening sis, it's nice to see you too."

"Look, I don't know what's going on, then a police car pulls up and I thought the worst. Suzie rushes in, throws clothes in a bag, complains about lunch then leaves with blue lights! Where has she gone?"

"Cornwall."

"What? Why?"

"Work."

"What about Christmas?"

"For us it's cancelled."

"Why?"

"Have you seen the news?"

"Yeah, students collapsing, someone suggested it's an attack but it could be fake news for all I know?"

"It's for real, we were needed."

"Oh, but what's your involvement, and Suzie?"

"It's best you don't know."

The doorbell sounded so Maisie opened it, half-expecting their Chinese meal, but finding Ocado, a home shopping service.

"Delivery for Miss Small?"

"Yes, but ...?" Angela responded.

"Okay, sorry I'm a bit late, you'll get a refund of the delivery fee."

He'd already unloaded crates from his van and started to hand bags to the girls. Tammy's phone pinged whilst this was going on.

Flight delayed. Forget to say there's an grocery delivery due.

Tammy acknowledged the message but was now needed to help moving the bags into the kitchen then find space in the fridge, freezer and cupboards. Suzie had clearly decided to do her Christmas food shop a few days earlier than most. Tammy wondered how much would get wasted, there wasn't a huge amount of space in the freezer.

The doorbell pinged again and Maisie now took delivery of their Chinese. Tammy hadn't known if Suzie had chopsticks so had included a few pairs in the order for the three of them.

"I didn't fancy a Chinese."

"Tough, Angela. You hadn't prepared anything, couldn't follow a simple request at lunchtime and the pair of us," she pointed at Maisie, "have been working our butts off trying to protect this country."

She fully expected a tantrum but didn't get one. "Did girls really die?"

"They did, and more will die before we get to the bottom of it."

"Oh. Thanks for the food."

Tammy was surprised and tried not to show it. Her diet was definitely suspended however, she'd have to pay penance in January but for now calories mattered.

Later that evening, once the kitchen was clear, Tammy did her best to explain what was happening.

"It's possible there will be further attacks and that's what Suzie, Maisie and I are looking at."

"But how can you predict that something might happen?"

"Experience, plus there's a lot of people working on this, and not just in this country."

"What about Christmas?"

"We don't know."

"I don't understand."

"Angela, right now we don't know for certain how this will pan out. If we find the criminals tomorrow then maybe we'll be here for Christmas."

"Oh, so what do I do?"

"Tomorrow we're going frock shopping."

"Why?"

"If you remember, we're going to the ballet and the three of us need to be dressed appropriately. You didn't pack a gown, did you?"

"I don't own anything like that."

"Just this once, will you play at being a young woman and not a spoiled brat?"

"That's easy for you to say."

"Look, we're leave here at half past eight in the morning. If you would like an evening out, be ready."

They washed and hit the bedrooms, Maisie decided to wear her new nightie but Tammy had no energy left for anything other than a cuddle.

 
Thursday 21st December 2017
 

Tammy, Maisie and Angela gathered in the kitchen for breakfast on Thursday morning, they didn't have to be out of the house until eight thirty, much later than the previous day, but one of the girls was complaining of lack of sleep.

"I'm not sure I want to do this, I mean it's a big event, and I'm frightened."

"What of, Angela?"

"I .... I don't know but I'm not sure I want to be there?"

Tammy guessed that the paparazzi would be out in force, aiming to capture the actresses and fashionistas for the following day's newspapers or glossies, but there was no need to alarm the girl further.

"Of course it's a big event, but it's not the first night and everyone will be relaxed. Look, Angela, I know you'll look stunning."

"Really, I'm not sure?"

"Okay, is it about wearing an expensive frock in public?"

"Yes."

Angela's self doubt was very apparent, but Tammy wasn't beat yet.

"Maisie, when was the last time you wore a ball gown?"

"Never."

"How often are you seen in public in a dress?"

"Err, not for a few years, I can't remember. It might have been mum's funeral?"

"And have you been to the ballet or a formal concert before?"

"Never, not even a pop concert."

"So it'll be the first time in a gown and your first time at a major public event?"

"Yes, the same as Angela."

"And are you looking forward to it?"

"Yes, I mean it might be the only time I ever get to do it."

"So, Angela, don't keep thinking 'woe is me' as you're not the only one."

"But ..."

"No, Angela. I tell you what, ring Mum and tell her your reasons?"

"I don't think so."

"Good, now go upstairs and get dressed, put a skirt and top on."

"Why?"

"Because we're going to be trying on clothes."

"I didn't pack any skirts."

"Try Suzie's wardrobe, you're about the same size."

"She'll moan?"

"No she won't. Go!"

Maisie had turned on the kitchen telly as the eight o'clock news headlines started.

Ten more dead in student poison attack, hundreds more sick. Police are urging everyone to check if they have a bottle of Teen Spirit Plus and to seal it in a clear plastic bag. Phone 111 and let the police know you have one. Parents are asked to check with their teenagers. Anyone with symptoms of drowsiness, light-headedness or dizziness should seek hospital treatment immediately.

By half eight they were all ready for the day, although Tammy noted that Angela's legs would need treatment and they didn't have time that morning, at least her barely black tights would hide the growth.

The tube ride to Victoria was largely incident free although one of the three kept tugging her skirt down.

"Here we are." Tammy said in front of the building, although there was no shop window or even a sign. She pressed the buzzer.

"Manga Vintage."

"Tammy Smart." The door release sounded and Tammy pushed the door, the three went inside.

"Miss Smart and party?" A woman greeted them.

Tammy nodded. "Good morning. Mrs Terring. Sorry to cause any problem."

"No, no. I'll get you sorted. Just call me Agatha. Let's crack on, ladies."

They gave their names and sizes, though Angela wasn't quite sure. A tape measure appeared in an instant and Angela kept her mouth shut as the measure reached areas that were otherwise untouched by any third party. The woman's eyes popped when Tammy mentioned they had box seats.

"You have box tickets? Oh dear. That changes things. Follow me."

In the back she began pulling from a rack.

"What do you recommend?" Tammy asked.

"Italian, British or American. French should be avoided. Unless you know for certain you won't encounter Royals. Let's try this Midnight Blue velvet by Giorgio Armani for Angela. Maisie should try this red sequin Mizrahi. Tammy, for you, a black satin by Valentino. Off you all go." Agatha ushered them to the changing booths.

Angela immediately ran into problems, the gown wouldn't zip. Agatha took the gown and returned with another, two sizes up. Angela was able to zip the new gown closed. "There's a little room up top, do you have any mother's little helpers?"

Angela nodded.

"We can't have you looking like a tomboy for this event, and I know we're not all blessed with the right size, but you'll need at least a C, preferably a D cup for this frock. That means a strapless bra but make sure it's filled."

Maisie was next out of the changing room.

"How am I Agatha?" Maisie asked.

Agatha nodded to her. "Good fit, but you need a different bra or go without."

"Agatha, I believe this is a win." Tammy stepped out.

The figure hugging satin flowed down her body while full sleeves of lace covered her arms. The neckline plunged deep in a Queen Ann style. Tammy had removed her bra before and was glad she did.

"Shame I left my Louboutain pumps at home. Those would solve any hemline problems." Tammy commented.

Agatha was looking Tammy over. "Fair guess. That does work for you, with the right heel of course. Let's see if we can find some shoes for you all."

Maisie found a pair of red Steve Madden pumps easily enough, but deemed too well-worn. Angela on the other hand had no actual experience with a heel over two inches. Agatha had only one pair of shoes that Angela could walk in, but were in white. Tammy's size turned out to be popular and therefore hard to keep in store. Their only option would be to obtain shoes elsewhere.

Tammy checked her phone using the style app. "Right. We're off to Kurt Geiger at Covent Garden for shoes then."

Tammy paid for their gowns and, because she had used the style group app, there was a discount. Agetha told them she would send the frocks by courier, Angela promised to be at home the following morning to receive them.

After paying, they rushed to the Tube, it was one stop on Victoria Line then three on the Picadilly, both deep level lines. After walking to Kurt Geiger, Angela looked at the 'shoe chandelier' and asked Tammy.

"Is that for real?"

Tammy ignored it. "It's a talking point to get attention. Let's find a clerk."

"Hello, may I help you?" A young woman walked up to them.

Tammy returned the greeting. "Good morning. Are you Clarissa? You were recommended by my App."

Tammy showed her phone's app.

"By chance, I am! How may I help?" Clarissa asked.

They gave their sizes, preferred colours and heel height, Tammy had taken photos of the three frocks to aid their decision making. Clarissa showed them to a bench then went to the back, returning a few minutes later with three boxes each.

Maisie settled on a pair of high red patent Dolce and Gabanna pumps. Angela grudgingly agreed to a pair of Carvela mid-heel pumps she was willing to risk. Tammy choose a pair of high Michael Korr D'orsay pumps. Clarissa also recommended coordinating handbags. Shoes and bags sorted, they made their way to the counter to check out.

At the register were two young women, speaking to each other in Russian. One was searching her bag and dropped something. A small round bottle rolled across the floor and Tammy caught it. She began to hand it back, then saw the label.

"Spasibo." The girl said then looked at Tammy. "Is something wrong?"

Tammy held up the perfume sample. "Where did you get this, please?"

"They give at bridge. Was free." She said in a heavy accent.

Tammy took out her phone and brought up the advisory. "There is an alert about it. They have been tampered with."

The two Russians began talking to each other then the first turned back. "Is true?"

Tammy showed them her phone. "Oh yes! Girls are going to hospital over it. You haven't used it, have you?"

"No. We do not use. We take home. Souveniers. Talia have too." She said of her companion. "We get rid of, da?"

Tammy dug out her Thames House pass. "Better I have them. I will get you a better souvenir in exchange? Clarissa?"

Clarissa went over to a rack and pulled two necklaces featuring a Union Jack. Tammy paid for the necklaces and handed them over with a smile.

"Remember your visit, to London, ladies." Tammy said.

The other girl, Talia, retrieved the bottle from her purse and gave it to Tammy. "Spasibo."

"Thank you. My name is Katerina. We come to dance." She said.

Tammy smiled. "For the ballet? We'll be watching. I'm Tammy, please don't worry about these bottles. I'll turn them in when we leave here but if anyone else has any, give them to the police. It will be okay."

The two dancers thanked them again and left, happier with the necklaces than the perfume samples. Tammy paid for their own purchases then led them out.

Out on the street, Maisie asked. "What are you going to do with those bottles?"

"Turn them in when we get to the office. Even if tests have been run, more might need to be." Tammy explained.

"Now, lingerie."

Honey Birdette Lingerie wasn't far away but Angela virtually had to be dragged through the door. This store wasn't in Tammy's app but her sister had to handled quickly and this lingerie store was conveniently very close by. She again showed the assistant pictures of the frocks, explaining that she herself didn't need a bra, but the other pair would .... plus Angela would need a little extra help, her enhancers were in Thurso.

When Maisie went to be measured she was happy to undress, and was back out just a minute or so later. Angela was next and that self doubt returned. Fortunately Veronika was calm and promised Angela that she would make the girl feel special.

It was then Tammy's turn.

"I don't need a bra for this frock."

"Perhaps not, but it would be a shame not to have a bra to match the panties for another time? And perhaps a belt for your stockings?"

Angela took delight at the exchange, now that her sister wasn't in command.

Tammy's black Amex again took the hit and the three left with bags proclaiming 'The Best Lingerie in the West End'.

"Shopping done, let's head to the office."

Against protests from one of the party Tammy took the three back down the Strand and onto Trafalgar Square, she stopped outside Next.

"I have a feeling we'll be invited to a party or two. Get in there and find a couple of party dresses."

Tammy had packed a few frocks in case of pub-hopping but the intention was that the sisters, plus Maisie, wouldn't be eating out often. Maisie was still rebuilding a social wardrobe having severely outgrown every frock she owned and Tammy suspected that Angela simply hadn't packed any.

Maisie had grabbed Angela's hand and they were already deep in the store when Tammy landed at a rack of LBDs. She could still get into a size fourteen but decided she should buy a size up, the simple frock would allow Maisie, or Angela, to shine whilst Tammy took a back seat.

She moved on and found the other pair in front of a rack of tartan frocks and guessed that a conspiracy was in hand. "Tammy ..... why don't we?"

"Are you a budding Elsie McPherson, Maisie?"

"Who, oh, I don't know what you mean?"

"Let's just say that the first few times I landed in a frock it was down to Elsie and I ended up wearing the same as Cathy, Alison and Andrea."

"I've not met them."

"Never mind, it's not a bad idea, where's Angela?"

"In the changing room trying one on, I'll go help her with the zip. I have yours here."

Maisie handed a dress to Tammy and continued into the changing room with Angela. Tammy waited for the scream or the complaint but there was nothing, and a few seconds later Angela appeared in the doorway.

"How do I look?"

The fit was good and suited Angela's smaller bust. Maisie was next out and it seemed that the material had a fair bit of flexibility as it coped with her C cup.

"Your turn."

Tammy took the next five minutes trying the tartan frock on, followed by the LBD. The other pair had walked past the rack of lightly embellished black frocks so now went to grab one for themselves, accompanied by giggling.

They had been out for nearly three hours when they finished their walk to the office, going through Parliament Square.

Tammy and Maisie signed in and then had to deal with Angela. The desk officer was patient.

"I already have clearance for a Miss Angela Smart but I must verify that you are Angela Smart. Driving licence?"

"No."

"Passport?"

"No."

"Any ID?"

"Err, my Caithness pass."

"Wherever that is, let me see it."

By this time the three definitely needed a wee, none more than Angela, who was starting to squirm. The officer made a further call, asking the callee if they could describe Angela? He laughed at the response and put the phone down.

He wrote a visitors pass for Angela and handed it over. "I want this back when you leave, okay?"

"Yes, thank you, where's the loo?"

"Up one floor or up three floors for the ladies."

Tammy suggested Maisie took Angela up to the closest loo and watched them go.

"I hope you don't mind, but was that DI Keane you called?"

"Yes, but Inspector Grieves took the call. I asked if she could describe Miss Smart, she was spot on."

"What did she say?"

"I'm sorry, but you're not cleared for that!"

Tammy also used the loo one floor up and then continued up to the office. Angela was sat in a corner drinking water and munching a sandwich.

Tammy grabbed the same but sat to login to HOLMES.

"Whoa."

The latest info was from Heather, she had a response from the BundesPolizie.

"Heather got a hit in Munich, a Fourani building. She's got Suzie working on it."

At she looked at the entry she could see tags being added, a comment by DI Edmunds said he was passing this back via Europol in case they could add more.

Within ten minutes Suzie was linking more names and addresses, not all of which, she noted, were relevant to the search for Lavoska or Gainsborough. Kevin again added a note that he's shared this.

Tammy's phone rang.

"It's Kevin, Heather tells me you asked for the search?"

"Yes, testing a theory or two, but I'm still waiting for some responses."

"Well, your name is going to be mud very shortly, Christianne Armaud is on her way here and she's spitting feathers. You went behind her back and not through channels."

"I had a good reason, Kevin, a very good reason."

"I hope so, as I don't want an inter-agency war right now."

Suzie meanwhile was adding an address in Strasbourg to the enquiry and found a flow of persons and money to a London address. Suzie called Tammy.

"Found her, I know what you wanted."

"Where?"

"Both locations, by Strasbourg University and by Elephant and Castle in London. At first there's payments by her to the accounts but in 2010 the flow was the other way."

"Bloody hell. Don't put that on the system yet, can you call Kevin?"

"Heather has his number."

"Good."

Tammy cut the call, every eye in the room was looking at her.

"Okay, Tammy, what do you have?"

"Ms Armaud was paid by Fourani, my bet is that she's now True Freedom."

"Evidence?"

"Being passed to Kevin, this isn't my gig now."

"Summarize for me."

"Okay Emily ..." Tammy laid out what she knew, but explained Suzie had all the connections in front of her.

"Shit. What nationality is Armaud?"

"French but I would bet there's some German in the family." That was Sophie who had clearly done some digging of her own.

"Okay, everyone, I need to go to the Assistant Commissioner with this. How certain are we?"

Everyone's HOLMES screens pinged with news of Ms Armaud's arrest by Kevin under Terrorism and Official Secrets legislation.

"Oh." She flew out of the door.

Angela put her head up. "Did I miss something?"

Suzie called around three. "How's it going?"

"Kevin's had to hand the woman over to another team for interview as he's too close and may be implicated himself. That was good work, Suzie."

"I nearly didn't follow that through, but your hunch was right."

"Yep. I think this is what Emily wanted us to do, find new avenues."

"Okay, how's my sister? I've had a few texts from her claiming you're a bully."

"She has a new frock, lingerie, shoes and a matching bag, then says she was bullied? She's ungrateful, I have half a mind to send her back to Thurso?"

"Find out what mum would say?"

"Yes, which is why she'll have to suffer the unfortunate chore of going to a first class ballet performance that's probably going to be screened worldwide."

"Good grief, don't tell her that!"

"It's also the final night."

"Which makes it even stranger how you got tickets?"

"Friends."

"Perhaps your friends can get something for me? Beyoncé and Jay-Z play Stratford next June."

"I'll see what I can do, sis."

Emily called for a meeting at five.

"Okay, Ms Armaud is at Paddington Green and that is now a separate investigation. We cannot deny her a solicitor so have to assume that her arrest is now known to others. Her addresses, however, will be secured. We have also asked Europol for access to her office, but that may take some time.

"Kevin is writing up his report so please don't call or message him, this problem has merde written all over it, it's a complication we didn't need."

She raised her hand to stop Tammy's objections.

"Yes, I'm aware she's broken the law and has probably leaked details of this investigation, but let's work out what the damage is. Meanwhile we still have a task to find Penny Lavoska and shouldn't go off on tangents just because you can smell something rotten. Do you understand, Tammy?"

"Yes, Emily."

"Good, please let me be the judge over whether you nose has picked something up and then I will allocate it to the most appropriate person or team, understood?"

"Yes, Emily."

"Now, regardless of that, good work, very well done. Why don't we see what we can achieve in the next hour then call it a day?"

"Bingo!"

It was Maisie who screamed, all heads turned.

"Oh, whoops, sorry."

"No, what do you have?"

"You told me yesterday to look at making links?"

"Yes, what did you get?"

"An address in Geneva."

"Whoa, who and how?"

"Paula Lavoska's office. Her first interview from her arrest in Scotland is on here, I cross-referenced it to the Penny Lavoska files."

"We need to check that, whether the office is still in use? Flag that for Heather to follow up."

"Okay."

Tammy went over to Maisie and gave her a kiss, followed by another one. "I knew you were good news."

"You said I was trouble!"

Emily shook her head and Sophie made a strategic withdrawal, almost bumping into Kevin as he arrived.

"Tammy, why don't you put her down and introduce me?"

"Oh, Kevin this is my fiancée Maisie Staines, Maisie this is Detective Inspector Kevin Edmunds."

He leant over and kissed her on the cheek. "If you ever get bored with Tammy ...."

Tammy dummied with her right hand and caught Kevin with her left. "Get your own, you oaf!"

"I'm offended! Why don't I buy you ladies dinner?"

"Does that include me?" asked a voice from the far corner.

"Angela? Please don't tell me that you've joined your sisters in their fight against the whole world?"

"No, wrong place, wrong time."

"Well, of course you're included. Sophie, will you join us?"

"No, I've just been asked to go to search Armaud's office. It seems that the Met made a request to the regional forces for assistance, on account that the Met may have passed info to True Freedom. Given I'm already here, I was asked to assist. Of course, the other teams don't need to know that, do they?"

"How long will you be?"

"No idea, but I'll keep Emily in the loop."

"Still free for Saturday night?"

"I'll let you know."

Kevin and the three girls headed out of the building, their new lingerie now transferred into the Next bags.

"What are we doing now?" Angela asked.

Tammy waved her to follow. "We're going to dinner."

"Where do you suggest, Kevin?"

"Remember where we went when you busted open the MI6 moles?"

"Oh, yes, shall I lead?"

"Can you take them, I need to go somewhere first."

They walked towards the West End, by now all the street lights were on and the temperature had dropped. Tammy had suggested, no insisted, that morning that they wore good coats, but all three girls were in skirts with thin tights.

"Can't we take the tube?"

"No Angela, it's just past six and everyone's playing sardines down there."

The girls followed their leader up to the street and down to an alley where Tammy stopped at a door that had oriental pictograms.

"Chinese again?" Maisie asked.

Tammy opened the door. "No. Vietnamese. These people are really nice and it's quiet here."

The hostess smiled at Tammy. "Xin Chào, Tammy."

"Xin Chào, Trihn." Tammy smiled back. "Four of us, please. Our friend Kevin will be along."

Trihn took two menus then led them to a back table and seated them, handing the menus to Angela and Maisie. "Soong will come take your order when you are ready."

"Cảm ơn bạn." Tammy said in Vietnamese, thanking her.

"Oh thank goodness. The menu is in English." Maisie sighed in relief.

A familiar young man stepped to their table. "Xin chao, Tammy."

Tammy smiled. "Xin chao, Soong. I would like my usual, extra peppers. For both of them, ask Grannie to go easy. This is their first time. Two beers and a tea please."

Soong had written down the order as Tammy was telling it. "I'll bring that out soon and be right back with your drinks."

"Who is Grannie?" Angela asked after the waiter left.

Tammy laughed. "The very nice woman who owns this place."

When they had been seated, Tammy took the chair with her back to the wall. Maisie sat to her left and Angela across from her. There were a few tables closer to the front that were occupied. A table closer to the back wall than theirs was occupied by a single blonde haired woman in a grey velvet dress. Tammy was surprised when Soong brought the woman a fresh beer and they spoke back and forth in Vietnamese. Her attention was snatched back when a bowl of soup and a small bowl of peppers were set in front of her.

"Xin chao, bà cụ!" Tammy greeted the old woman then pointed to each table-mate. "Maisie and Angela. Please go easy on them."

Grannie nodded back. "I easy them. You eat."

Tammy pointed to the soup bowls in front of Maisie and Angela. "Grannie said to eat, don't wait."

"So she is 'Grannie'?" Angela said then sipped the soup. "It's spicy."

Tammy was distracted again as Grannie went over to the other table and talked with the woman. The old woman seemed to fuss and chastise the younger, who laughed and teased back, earning a playful swat at her shoulder. Soong brought their drinks and set them down. Kevin was approaching the table.

"Sorry for taking so long." Kevin said as he sat down and took the menu handed to him, but looked at Tammy. "I think I'll have what she's having."

Soong concealed a smirk. "Yes sir. A beer as well?"

Kevin remembered the beer from the previous visit. "Ah. I think I'd prefer tea, instead."

"No spirit of adventure?" Tammy smiled.

Kevin shook his head. "I'll save that for the plate."

Tammy munched a pepper and did her best to keep her face bland. Though she had been adventurous in her visits, she still wasn't immune to the heat. Soon their plates were brought out and Tammy explained them to Maisie and Angela. Kevin finally caught the waiter's smirk as he was offered a small bowl of peppers.

"I think I'll refrain that risk this time."

Tammy giggled. "Maybe next time Soong."

Soong chuckled. "Maybe. Anything else Tammy?"

"Soong, who is she?" Tammy asked and nodded to the other table.

Soong shook his head. "She has come in at least two nights every week for a month. Charmed Grandmum the second she sat down. I know she speaks American English, Viet, Russian and French. She did mention a little sister that told her about us. Excuse me."



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