Prompt: Children are the Future

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BTaS Canon – ???

Based on the prompts Glance from this list of 100 one-word prompts, and Dollhouse from this similar list of G/t themed prompts from @nightmares06 and @bee-wrecker respectively. Finally getting around to these!


It had been going so well for Zepheera.

There were only two humans in the small flat, one of them a child. For six months, Zepheera had been living comfortably in their walls, and for nearly seventy years of fighting to survive, she trusted herself to keep hidden and make this home last for once.

And all it had taken was a glance from the child to ruin it all.

Desperate for any kind of barrier between herself and the human, she ducked into the child’s dollhouse. Any human was bad news for a borrower like Zepheera, but children were frightfully unpredictable and prone to grabbing and playing. At 68 years old, even with the body of a young adult, Zepheera was not in the mood for any of that nonsense.

The ground trembled beneath Zepheera as the child approached. Even a little girl, nine years old and much smaller than any adult human, greatly outsized the four and a half inch tall woman cornered in the dollhouse. As the child drew closer, Zepheera could clearly hear each and every breath rushing in and out of lungs larger than the room the borrower had made her prison.

“Hello?”

The little girl’s voice was mercifully light, a quiet rumble that washed over Zepheera through the plastic wall her back was pressed against. A wide blue eye peered in through one window, causing the borrower to jump and dart into the next room. Her eyes flashed frantically around for an exit, regretting her choice of hiding place, especially as the girl shifted outside.

With a loud click and a rush of air, half the dollhouse swung open. Zepheera was left exposed, blinking through the sudden light up at a gigantic child.

The human’s head tilted, brow pinched as she sat back on her heels. “Did I scare ya?” she inquired.

Zepheera frowned, realizing that it wasn’t curiosity that made the girl pursue her anymore, but concern. Those blue eyes, each the size of Zepheera’s head, were filled with it.

Bemused, Zepheera shook her head no.

The blonde girl’s shoulders slumped in relief. “Good. Why’dja run away, then, if you weren’t scared? How come you’re so small? What’s your name? I’m Rose!”

Zepheera’s brow lifted at the bombardment of curious questions. Maybe, if she played her cards right, she wouldn’t have to move out just yet.

“I ran because I was nervous,” said Zepheera, peeling herself from the wall sheepishly. “It’s my first day, you see, being an imaginary friend. I’m Zepheera.”

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Zepheera-Vision — Happy New Year

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Krrk-krrk-krrk-krrk-krrk!

Out of seven likenesses of Zepheera, six fell to their knees writhing in pain as the Doctor sauntered into the room with a noise maker. The one that wasn’t an alien brightened and hurried to join her friend.

Being four and a half inches tall, she naturally crossed the room at a much slower rate than the Time Lord, and suddenly he was standing over her, the noise maker still going on. Ever aware of his borrower companion, the Doctor came to a stop when she approached him, staring pointedly at the alien doubles of Zepheera as he continued to spin his strange weapon against them.

“I think you got em!” Zepheera called up, glancing back at her copies. Most of them had fallen unconscious  from the sensory overload their extremely sensitive ears were experiencing.

Looking back at the Doctor, he gave the noise maker a few last turns for good measure, then bent down to offer a hand to his tiny friend.

“And a happy new year,” he quipped, lifting her to her usual spot on his shoulder.

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Zepheera-Vision — Heat of Battle

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“Zepheera!”

The borrower blinked hard, dazed. The voice– her Time Lord’s voice was loud but distant to her ears. barely breaking through the ringing that filled her head. Heat and smoke surrounded her, along with rough blurry shapes, some stationary and looming and others towering and moving fast.

It came back to Zepheera in pieces; landing in the middle of a battle, being separated from the TARDIS and then from the Doctor. Something hit Zepheera, knocking the breath out of her as she tumbled to the ground. Everything was chaos, and the Doctor was calling her name.

“Zepheera!!”

He was getting closer, she could tell. His voice was louder, and the ground beneath her started to tremble with more rhythmic force that the nearly constant low rumble of the battle. Zepheera blinked again and tried to sit up, but she was pinned from the waist down by a chunk of rubble. The pressure dawned on her, and she gave a pained moan, coughing involuntarily.

Zepheera had always been able to heal remarkably fast, but she was not invulnerable. If she was hurt badly enough, she would certainly die. And at four and a half inches tall, to say that this was a useful ability would be an understatement. The fact that she was still alive despite the weight on her waist and legs was a good sign.

“Doctor!” she croaked, propping herself on her elbows and craning her neck to find her giant friend. She bit back a wince as more tremors– footsteps getting closer and closer– aggravated her lower body wounds. It was worth it to see the shape of her friend come into view.

But he didn’t see her right away. His hearing was usually accurate to the point of being uncanny. In the chaos of battle, however, everything was thrown out of balance. He knew  better than to wander aimlessly, but Zepheera’s heart sank at how panicked he looked, eyes manic as they searched desperately for his tiny companion.

“Where are you?!” he shouted over the commotion. The battle was escalating, and the Doctor and Zepheera were both unarmored and unarmed.

“Down here!” she yelled back, waving one arm widely and doing her best to be as visible as possible.

The Doctor’s eyes finally landed on her, and he quickly hunched protectively over her as he removed the debris pinning her down. Naturally, he fretted over the state of her legs, but Zepheera assured them that they were starting to heal; she could feel it the moment she aligned the bones. The larger of the two needed to focus on getting the both of them to safety.


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Zepheera-Vision — Pears

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Zepheera’s mind reeled. She and the Doctor had gone in search of someplace in the universe to relax and have a good time, and as usual ended up running for their lives. Zepheera hardly understood what was going on, but as the Doctor piloted the TARDIS away to buy precious time before their pursuers could catch up, he explained what he needed to do.

The Doctor needed to become human and lay low on Earth.

Before Zepheera could even begin to ask how he would accomplish that, he started rattling off a list of things she would need to do to take care of him. She gaped at him from her spot on the console, wondering how in the world he expected a four-inch-tall woman to take care of a six-foot-one human.

“And five, very important, five,” the Doctor emphasized, breaking Zepheera out of her thoughts. “Don’t let me eat pears. I hate pears!”

“How exactly am I supposed to accomplish that without being seen?” she huffed. That was back in Number two in his instructions; at least she and the Doctor agreed that they couldn’t predict how this human version of him would react to a tiny woman. He wouldn’t be the Doctor anymore, so she was encouraged to take precautions.

The Doctor shrugged. “I dunno, steal them if I – er, he – purchases any!”

“We’ve been over this,” Zepheera frowned, “I don’t steal.”

“C’mon, for me!” the Doctor pleaded, pulling his puppy-dog eyes. “I’m sure you’ll think of something, you’re always clever like that.”

Zepheera rolled her eyes, knowing full well that he was buttering her up and hating that it was working. “Number six?” she sighed.


Thanks so much for your patience, guys! Midterms are wrapping up, and I am working on the prompts in my box, so keep an eye out for those!

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Zepheera-Vision — Ow…

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Zepheera groaned as the dull aches all over her body slowly dwindled. The four and a half inch tall woman sat up haltingly, still dazed from the impact. The last thing she remembered, she’d been on the Doctor’s shoulder as they crept along an ominously quiet corridor. Out of nowhere, the Doctor was shoved to the ground. It had happened too quickly for Zepheera to see what had caused it, or to stop herself from being thrown off the shoulder and tumbling across the floor.

She looked up to find the Doctor still flat on his back, chest rising and falling with heavy breaths. He seemed stunned, almost affronted by the attack.

“You alright, Doctor?” she called, managing to her feet. Her healing ability had taken care of potential bruises and scrapes, but her joints still felt stiff as she stretched them.

“Oww…” he moaned. He let out a grunt of effort as he propped himself up with one elbow, running the opposite hand through his hair and rubbing the back of his head where it had hit the floor with a wince. The Time Lord may have been sturdier than a human, but he couldn’t heal as quickly as Zepheera. He muttered, “Blimey, that was a doozy.”

Zepheera tilted her head back as her friend straightened, towering over her even as he sat. But after all their time spent traveling together, it had been a long time since the borrower was afraid of her Time Lord. “We should get moving,” she advised with a nervous glance around. “Before whatever that was comes back.

The Doctor nodded, placing a hand flat on the floor for her. Ever determined, Zepheera ran up the slope of the Doctor’s arm as far as she could go, climbing the rest of the way back to his shoulder. This time, she made sure she had a firm grip on his collar.


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Helping Hands — Part 3/3

((aka Happy Belated Hug A Tiny Day!))

Prompt from @neonthebright: The Doctor drops/misplaces his sonic somewhere he can’t reach and Zepheera goes on a mini-adventure to retrieve it for him.

BTaS Canon: No – DonnaAU

Timeline: Post-Midnight, Pre-Turn Left

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


The Doctor couldn’t keep still as he waited for Zepheera. She was so close to retrieving his sonic screwdriver from the underbelly of his TARDIS, something he would never have been able to do without either an unthinkable amount of effort or a four-and-a-half inch tall companion.

“How’s it coming?” he called down  the gap, excited and impatient in equal measure. He hadn’t heard her voice in a little over two minutes, and he was eager to know the current state of his beloved screwdriver. He wished he could see into the hole he’d dropped the device into in the first place.

A small grunt echoed down from the shadows, a little closer than the last time Zepheera had filled him in. “Had to dislodge it from between two…I don’t even know. Things. Then I had to push it up a slope – this thing is harder to roll than it looks!”

“Do you think you can manage it?” asked  the Doctor, a little worry leaking through his voice. He hadn’t thought about how the borrower would be able to retrieve his sonic, a device almost longer than she was tall.

After a pause, she replied, “Don’t worry, I’ve got an idea. Give me a moment, and keep an ear out.”

The Doctor sat back and placed his chin on his folded arms, drumming his fingers restlessly. He hummed quietly to stop himself from actually counting the seconds until he heard Zepheera’s voice again. “Okay, I’ve got it attached to my rope! I’m gonna need you to ease us up!”

“Right! Gotcha!” The Doctor shot up, nearly bumping his head on the underside of the floor. He pinched the tiny rope, the size of a thread to him, in two fingers and tugged. Hearing

Zepheera’s surprised cry, he halted.

“I said ease, not wrench!” she chastised.

“Sorry,” mumbled the Doctor, this time drawing the rope back slowly. He was extra careful when Zepheera and the screwdriver were almost out; she needed to align the probe so it would come out cleanly without crashing into the sides of the long, narrow gap. Once that was achieved, it emerged easily and the Doctor slipped his free hand underneath it.

After his companion dismounted the device, he scooped it up into his right hand, ignoring the rope still attached to it. He adjusted his grip and gave it a buzz. It was music to his ears.

“At last! My arm is complete again!” he exulted.

Zepheera’s fatigued mind had only begun to wonder if that was a reference to something when she found herself being lifted quickly to the Doctor’s face. To her chagrin, he planted an overjoyed kiss to the top of her head.

“You’re the best!” he proclaimed, beaming gratefully even as Zepheera ran her fingers through her dark bob to brush off the feeling his lips left behind.

“Don’t ever do that again,” she emphasized, scowling halfheartedly up at his stupid face. Little did she know the Doctor had only begun to display his gratitude toward his companion, and he drew her close once again.

At first, she worried that he was disregarding her wishes, so she threw her arms up to fend off another peck.

Instead, he pressed her to his cheek and thanked her over and over. Once the shock had worn off, she realized that what she’d done meant a lot more to the Doctor than she realized. She smiled and patted his cheek fondly.

“You’re welcome, big fella,” she murmured.

They stayed like this for a good while, until Zepheera broke the contented silence between them: “Now, I believe you owe me a cuppa.”

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Helping Hands — Part 2/3

Prompt from @neonthebright: The Doctor drops/misplaces his sonic somewhere he can’t reach and Zepheera goes on a mini-adventure to retrieve it for him.

BTaS Canon: No – DonnaAU

Timeline: Post-Midnight, Pre-Turn Left

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


If anyone had told Zepheera decades ago that one day she’d be able to sit comfortably in a human hand, she’d have told them to bugger off. And yet there she was, leaning tiredly against a human look-alike’s fingers as he sauntered off toward the console room. Completely at his mercy, yet with complete trust in him.

She straightened when he entered the dome-shaped room, peering over the edge of the Doctor’s hand curiously. Indeed, one of the floor panels was pulled up and set aside, leaving a gaping hole in the floor. Those compartments were still a bit of a mystery to Zepheera, even after all this time. She’d observed that a few of them were used for storage, filled with old trunks and boxes and the like, but most seemed to be dark mazes of machinery that Zepheera would rather not get lost in.

And now she was about to crawl willingly into one. Spectacular.

The Doctor climbed slowly into the hole, careful to jostle the borrower as little as possible. Crouching, he took up less than half of the space inside, but once Zepheera found herself lowered below the floor level, she saw that there was more room than the size of the panel would suggest.

“Where did it fall through?” she asked, stifling a yawn.

“Down here.” The Doctor leaned down and reached in to lay his hand next to a slight slope. Just big enough for the sonic screwdriver, and too small to fit his hand through. Zepheera slid off the Doctor’s palm at the top of the slope to carefully examine her surroundings.

Nothing in this place was smooth or flat, not even the slope. It all seemed to be made of wire or hose or angular mechanisms and couplings that Zepheera could never begin to understand. She didn’t need to, though. All she needed was a secure place to attach her hook.

The ground shook the moment she reached for the grapple hanging from her shoulder; in her fatigued state, she hadn’t thought to expect movement from the Doctor, so she stumbled a bit before she felt steady enough to shoot a glare over her shoulder. Her silent scolding had no effect, the Doctor was shifting to lay on his back and wasn’t even looking her way.

“As you can see, I was working like  this, on that stuff up there,” he explained, pointing out a few wires and plugs dangling from the underside of the console. “It’s all kinda technical, and actually quite volatile without the right tools–”

“Then I guess I’d better not delay,” Zepheera snipped, securing her hook around a black cord near the top of the slope and disappeared through the gap. “Really don’t need the graphic details.”

The Doctor cocked an eyebrow at the gap. “Well, someone’s grumpy.”

Someone is owed a cup of tea after this.”

She slid slowly down her rope at first; even knowing how quickly it would heal, she’d rather not sprain anything by jumping in too fast and hitting the floor too hard. She couldn’t even see the bottom through the shadows, much less the Doctor’s precious probe.

“A torch would be much appreciated if you’ve got one!” she called up.

“Ah! Right, yes.” Zepheera halted her descent when she felt a few vibrations through her rope indicating the Doctor was moving. Then a pale yellow light washed over her and illuminated her destination perfectly. “Better?”

“Much, thanks.” Now that a floor was in plain sight, a little less than a foot away, Zepheera dropped easily down. She frowned when she didn’t see the sonic anywhere. The immediate area was cavernous and irregular, and a glance upward told her she was about a foot and a half down  from the Doctor’s level.

A massive tangle of wired machinery stood behind her, a few outlines of passageways before her.

While she took a moment to choose a direction, the Doctor’s voice echoed down to her. “See it yet?”

Zepheera rolled her eyes. “Not yet. Give me a minute.” She almost asked him to angle the torch to a better angle, but given how narrow the opening was, she doubted that would be easy. Instead, she started toward the passage right in front of her. It seemed to be wide enough to accommodate a falling screwdriver and was the only logical place for it to go. She proceeded cautiously, trailing her rope along in her hand so she wouldn’t get lost or fall down a hole with no way back. “How’d you even manage to drop it down here?”

“I dunno, it’s never really happened before. Guess I just…got lost in thought or something, and it slipped.”

“You? Lost in thought? Shock and surprise,” Zepheera murmured, a twinge of humor teasing at her lips.

“Oi! Heard that.”

This actually brought a chuckle out of Zepheera, who turned to call over her shoulder. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’re starting to sound like DonNA-A-A!”

Her foot caught on something she couldn’t see even if she were watching where she was going, and she tumbled down a low slope of hard metal things until something cylindrical broke her fall. It buzzed briefly as she landed on it.

“Zepheera! What happened, are you alright?”

Slightly dazed from the impact, Zepheera shook her head and breathed deeply. “I’m okay!” she assured. As she got to her feet, she realized exactly what she was leaning on for support.

“I found it!”

“Brilliant!” the Doctor exulted. “Can you get it up?”

Zepheera regarded the probe at her feet. It was taller than she was, but she was stronger than she looked. “Hang on! I’ll see what I can do.”

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Zepheera-Vision — A Hand Afoot

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Prologue

Zepheera’s heart pounded, threatening to climb straight out of her throat.

This was no dumbstruck human she was facing. No, that would give her an opportunity to dash away. His countenance was perfectly calm with a touch of contemplation, his eyes cold and calculating. He wasn’t just staring at Zepheera, he was studying her. Memories of that same look from scientists peppered over the course of her long life came clawing to the forefront of her mind, and she had to actively push past them. She needed to find a way out of this, escape the man’s reach somehow and find the Doctor fast.

Before she could even glance away from him, his hand was upon her. His palm filled her vision and his fingers, each almost as long as her entire body, were curling over her head. In a split second, she was snatched up in a loose fist, her four-and-a-half-inch-tall body squished into a ball.

Humans were fast, she lamented belatedly.

Zepheera felt the movement as the hand was lowered and what little light that peeked in through the cracks between the fingers disappeared. With no warning, the pressure around her loosened and she dropped into a dark pocket. She had no time to protest; the man was immediately on the move.

He’d placed her into the outside pocket of his wool coat and it flapped with each and every step the man took, making it nearly impossible for Zepheera to climb out. To avoid hurting herself and lessen the motion sickness, she tucked herself into a corner and breathed as deeply as she could in the cramped, stuffy space. Panic threatened to overcome her, but she refused to let it. She would need a clear mind in order to find the Doctor after she got out of this.


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Zepheera-Vision Prologue — A Hand Afoot

After well over a year of traveling together, defeating monsters and rescuing alien civilizations, the Doctor and Zepheera decided to take it easy for a day. Nothing fancy, just a few hours spent in 21st century London, eating chips and seeing the sights.

Then a kid on a skateboard came speeding past the Doctor while he wasn’t paying attention and clipped him, knocking the Time Lord flat on is back in the middle of the sidewalk.

Zepheera flew off the Doctor’s shoulder. Ordinarily she would be hanging out near the edge of one of his pockets with this many people around, or at the very least under his collar, but she wanted a proper view of the city she’d spent so many years hiding underneath. So she sat tucked against his neck with a small perception filter attached to a TARDIS key in her lap. But after the fall, two things became apparent once she’d come out of her daze. One: The key was nowhere in sight, making her perfectly visible to anybody who bothered to look down. More importantly, two: she’d been thrown several feet away from the Doctor.

She tried to hurry back to him, but a few kind souls in the vicinity flocked to his side to offer help. That meant dozens of feet crashing down around her, some coming within inches and centimeters of crushing her. Instinct kicked in and she ran; logic inserted itself to insist that she’d need to get to safety first, then she could reunite with the Doctor.

Meanwhile, pedestrian feet were corralling Zepheera further away from her giant friend.

By the time she reached relative safety against the wall of a building, she’d lost track of her Time Lord. She could hear him calling, but it was muffled in the layers upon layers of people between them and the incessant rumble of footsteps. Zepheera was forced to climb rough brick wall behind her in search of higher ground. She was all too aware of the enormous risk she was taking, but at the moment she didn’t care about being seen as long as she could find the Doctor.

But when she reached a windowsill to look out from and she immediately met a humongous someone’s icy-blue gaze, she suddenly cared a lot.


Part 2

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Helping Hands — Part 1/3

Prompt from @neonthebright: The Doctor drops/misplaces his sonic somewhere he can’t reach and Zepheera goes on a mini-adventure to retrieve it for him.

BTaS Canon: No – DonnaAU

Timeline: Post-Midnight, Pre-Turn Left

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


Zepheera woke up feeling annoyed. She stirred under her light covers and gave a sleepy murmur as she blinked blearily, frowning at the ceiling in confusion. If the sluggish state of her mind was  anything to go by, she hadn’t gotten her full eight hours. What could have possibly–?

Knock knock knock knock!

“Zepheera!”

The borrower in question heaved a sigh. “You’ve gotta be kidding me,” she groaned.

The Doctor continued to knock and call her name, so Zepheera gave in and kicked off the blanket with a grumble. Rolling out of bed, she stumbled toward the exit to her hidden home.

The Time Lord had happened upon four-and-a-half-inch-tall Zepheera in the possession of scientists, trapped in a tank and pumped full of drugs. He rescued her, revived her, gave her a place on his ship and offered her the chance of a lifetime: to see the universe.

After over a century and a half of more of the same, and sometimes worse, nothing could have made Zepheera happier.

In the year that followed, she grew close to the Doctor and his human companion, Donna. They traveled together, ran together, and fought to rescue alien civilizations together. Despite their size difference, the three of them actually made a brilliant team. For instance, the Doctor carried knowledge from across the universe, Donna’s cleverness cropped up in unexpected places, and Zepheera could always find her way into places they couldn’t reach. In their downtime, the larger of the travelers were perfectly comfortable with Zepheera carrying on the lifestyle of her people.

She borrowed from them, scavenging materials from the virtually infinite number of rooms in the TARDIS, and over time she’d put together a humble home hidden behind the wall panels.

She liked to believe that she’d come across the loose panel that was now the entrance to her house entirely on her own, but sometimes she suspected that the Doctor had loosened it for her to find when she wasn’t looking. Either way, he and Donna were both aware of her base’s location in case they needed to find her in an emergency.

Rude awakenings like the one Zepheera was recovering from made her regret that decision.

“Alright, alright, I’m coming!” she called. That silenced the Doctor’s knocks at least. Careful to avoid the few borrowings she left lying around, she squeezed through the gap that led to the corridor and squinted up at her giant friend.

“I. Was. Asleep,” she pronounced, shading her eyes as she tilted her head back to meet his gaze. Luckily, he was kneeling, so she didn’t have to look far. Zepheera’s annoyance softened when she noticed the Doctor wringing his hands and looking quite distressed. “What’s wrong?”

The Doctor blinked. “Ah. Yes, well, y’see, the thing is… Well, what happened was, I was, er, I guess you could say tuning up things in the console room; it’s a bit more complicated than that – okay, much more complicated than that – but anyway, I digress–”

“If you could get to the point, please,” Zepheera pressed, quickly losing patience.

“Right, of course,” the Doctor nodded with a steadying breath. “Long story short, I kinda, sort of…dropped my sonic.”

Zepheera shot him a flat look. “And you woke me up because…?”

“Well, I need your help to get it back.”

She scowled. “Why me? Can’t you bother Donna to–”

“I was working in the space underneath the console,” clarified the Doctor. “It slipped out of my grasp and fell into a nook I can’t reach into. I’m, heh, a bit too big.” He chuckled sheepishly, scratching the back of his head.

As irritated as she was, Zepheera could never stay mad at the Doctor for long. With an exaggerated eye roll, she sighed in defeat. “Fine. Just give me a minute.”

Without waiting for the Doctor’s response, she went back inside to change from her sleep clothes into an outfit more suitable for borrowing. She slipped on her boots and almost grabbed her bag before remembering she wouldn’t be needing it. Instead, she tossed her grappling hook and coiled rope over her shoulder, giving her dark, sleep-tousled bob a quick comb-through with her fingers before returning to the corridor. The Doctor’s upturned hand was waiting for her, along with his grateful smile.

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