3.45

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Thanks for reading Chapter 3! I hope you enjoyed it.
Starting tomorrow morning I’ll be posting two pages per day of the original sketch comic. A lot has changed from that draft to this final version, so if you enjoy seeing the evolution of story/ art/ writing, definitely check back the next few weeks!

After sketches are through, the comic will resume with Chapter 4 in late November.

Der

152 Comments

  • bothbuttons

    Ohmygosh. I loved this chapter so much ;_; Wonderful work! Looking forward to the sketch comic!

  • Avian

    Soli!! D’:

    I assume next chapter will go back to Angora and Pinter? :3

  • Anon

    Am I right to assume those pops are gunshots?

    • Yep, they’re way out of range though. Every year the people occupying the city changes, haha.

  • Ivy

    WOOOOOOOOP! I smell so much pairing.

  • Crestlinger

    *Crosses fingers.

  • Meghan

    I had a moment of blind panic there where I was like “NO, IT’S NOT OVER RIGHT?”

  • SilentBuffalo

    When Amen arrests people in the name of her Holy Highness the Princeps of Symon… they always get taken in eventually. Even if they tie him up in the desert with an old man and run away to another city. He’ll find them. He’s just that good. Awwww yeaaaaah.

    (And just to be clear… that is Amen in that last panel, right? Not like… his identical twin brother of the same rank who’s on a mission to avenge Amen’s very recent death by bullets?)

    • That is indeed him :C Out of the frying pan and into the fire!

      • AndyW

        At least he knows she isn’t a murderer, and she knows he’s law abiding enough to wait for a proper trial and sentence before executing her… right?

        Which should give her at least a chance of escape :).

        Brilliant chapter – brilliant webcomic! Each chapter seems to open up entirely new vistas on this strange, complicated and oh-so-real feeling world.

        Thanks!

        • Caris doesn’t execute for many crimes except the most serious (attempt on the Queen’s life, treason, etc). Then again, this looks like war so I guess Soli might technically be a traitor to her country? Hmm.

  • NetLoiterer

    I CAN’T STAND THE SUSPENSE!!!!!

  • Toussled

    My actual reaction upon seeing Amen
    Flapping hands and screaming I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHERE THIS GOES..

  • I love the fucking colors on this fucking page, I WANNA MARRY EM AND HAVE THEIR CHIDREN.

  • tehbeefer

    hey cool, so she didn’t kill him. Uh, karma in action or something, I guess? btw nice pic, good use of contrast.

  • Julia

    YEY!! It’s Amen! I’m so glad he’s alive!! :D ghrfgrshtkq now we have to wait soooo long before the new chapter xD
    And poor Soli :( and Alamand! Where U go?

  • Pneumonica

    Good old Soli. Just barely making it out. Over and over. My question is where’s Al?

  • Bryan

    Unless the that sewer led to an outlet below the surface, that’s a heck of a vertical drop to survive.

    Either way, this section of riverbed corridor must smell amazing.

    Right now, the officer probably figures he got the crummy duty (as punishment for getting tied up). Having the option to repay a favor/debt may have spared him some “dark side” character development he’d have to endure to get through being on one of the front line squads, since they’re basically death-squad sweep-teams on ethnic-cleansing patrol. Will he ever consider that? If so, at what time in his life?

    Thank you for the comic, Der-shing!

    • No, the rock the city is built on is full of holes (obviously, they came through some). The three drainage pipes up there are sealed off with grates but the old waterworks beneath the city are still going and they have secret exits here and there…

  • Fleece

    Hey, that`s that man from the beginning of the chapter! That`s Amen! He`s back! Yay! :D

  • I found this chapter a bit hard to follow… I hope things get clarified later on.

    • I’ll give it another readthrough in a day or two. The many hiatuses probably didn’t help, haha. Anyways, I’ll keep this in mind when doing edits, thanks!

      • Brian

        I just did a reread and I think it flowed really well! I don’t think you have much to worry about on that regard, although I did pick up a few things this time that I didn’t when reading per-update.

        • Yeah, I just want to make sure the important plot stuff comes through :) It’s okay for a lot of the minutae to be as confusing to readers as it is to the folks in the comic, haha… even I don’t know what’s going on where I am most of the time…

  • mike

    “Oh, hey, its that one lady who had me tied up with the insane octogenarian in the remote cabin for hours.”

  • Persephone

    AMEN/SOLI.

    ALL THE WAY.

    • bansheeblue13

      damn straight.

    • Ailynne

      trufax.
      Best shipping ever.

    • Grey Lady

      this

    • :[__________}

    • feline256

      I was afraid this would happen.
      *cue shippers imagining Amen nursing Soli back to health*

    • River

      Noooooooooo

      Just imagine this in real life. If an unseen, somewhat rabid audience of thousands shipped you with whatever creepo whose path you were thrown into multiple times.

      I’m shuddering, personally :c

      • Celidah

        Wait, that’s BAD to do to people?

        Uh…I need to make some phone calls. brbkthxbye

  • jackie

    Amen!!! yesssss…

    This has been my favorite chapter so far; I feel like they just get better and better! Thanks so much for posting these last few pages so fast!!!

  • Meekly Fan

    Why does that Chapter have to eeenndd? I can’t wait to see what happens next.

    Thanks for getting back to the comic!

    • No prob! Thanks for reading. Feels good to be making pages again c:

  • sladinforever

    This will noooooooooot end well for Soli

  • John

    I don’t know if Carissi uniforms are all khaki, but if so, there’s definitely some strong symbolism going on between the blue of the Northern Uniforms and that desert Khaki. Specifically how, the blue overshadowed everything especially Soli for the last few pages as they were chased into the tunnels and now that they’re out of the city and the grasp of the Emperor the warm browns of the desert and Caris have returned to Soli. Unless I miss my guess, we’re looking at a transformative moment here.

  • Dany

    what do you mean end of chapter?
    OMG! end of chapter!!!!
    END OF C-H-A-P-T-E-R!!!!

  • Tulio d Bard

    This chapter got so much better now that you’re updating regularly.
    And now it ends. T.T

    • Don’t worry, there will be more :3 Angora is coming back, yay!

  • Emperial

    LAWL, Amen. <3

    Late November, eh? I'll just sit here and stare at Amen's dreamy eyes until then. Hopefully NaNo will provide sufficient distraction!

    Another great chapter, and I look forward to buying it in print!

    • Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it :3

  • M

    I am a bad person, because my first thought after reading was something like, “Aw, now they can have adventures together.” If I was in this world I would die right away.

  • Tayasuune

    Yeah, Soli, disctinctive under-eye Tattoo…. maybe not such a good idea.

    I too also had some trouble following this chapter.

  • AndyW

    So am I right in thinking that Amen and his squad are trying to get the children to safety away from the soldiers shooting them?

    Ah, just checked up on the Meekipedia… so Amen is from the other (Carissi) side, so of course he’s trying to save the kids!

    Sheesh, I really should start paying more attention shouldn’t I :D?

  • Ahtna

    She is a woman…. but not a lady. In case Amen has his doubt.

    And hurray, Amen is back. I am curious, did he escape or was he found by a patrol or his partner?

    I read the whole chapter yesterday in one go, very nice. Reads a whole lot better in one go. :) I like how focused this chapter is on what is going on in the here and now (with a minor flashback).

    • Ahtna

      Oh, and forgot: where is Alamand? :O

      • I’m sure he’s fine, kids like that are hard to get rid of.

        • Persephone

          Alamand is the cockroach of preteen boys.

          • Ahtna

            And now imagine him all grown up…

            For some reason, I can’t

  • amadre

    Wait, so are the desert-cop guys helping the kids? or are they arresting them or something? I’m confused as to the political dynamics here…

    • River

      Amen is with the Carissi border guard, hence why he arrested Soli in the name of Her Holy Highness Princeps Symon. The blond(e) kids are Carissi! They’re on the same side. The arresting/pursuing soldiers in the city are Santri…I think.

      Either way, I’m pretty sure Amen’s squad is not trying to round up *anyone,* especially anyone under the age of 18.

    • Fleece

      The desert-cops are helping the kids. They are from another country (Caris), which is the home country for most of the blonde people, like Soli. ATM, they are right at the border, and the Arrest-All-Blondes soldiers are shooting at them from the other side of the border. In conclusion, Soli and the kids made it out of the hostile city/country.

      • That’s all correct, and there’s another component that’ll come into play in Ch6.

    • They are helping, yes. Remember, they are border patrols, and this city is just outside the border… anyone on the other side of the wall is now in Caris, and anyways they’re on the side of the law so of course they’re going to help out if they see a bunch of soggy kids running away from the crazy stuff going down.

  • River

    AMEN!! <3 (Hallelujah!)

    You know what I would read? An entire side comic detailing a typical day for Amen. Getting up, making breakfast, walkin' around, talkin' to people…all rendered in der-rrrreamy blue-eyed detail. You know what I'd also read? Pretty much anything you draw or write regarding this world.

    • M

      aw yeah. come on, Amen, work those chiseled features!

  • me

    I love this story! I wish I could afford to donate.

  • Dave

    before i scrolled down fully and read the whole page i thought that the pop… pop pop pop… pop pop pop pop were the kids coming out of the pipe. maybe i should eat something.

    LOVE the comic, don’t know how you were able to keep up the one-a-day schedule with art this detailed. i have enjoyed it throughly. when i graduate and get a *real* job i would love to finally get a hard copy of your work… stupid education.

    • Fleece

      HA! At the first panels, I thought exactly the same thing at the popping. :D The content of those speech bubbles doesn´t help.

  • Helios

    I know one way to show support: BUY the comics! ^_^

    I’m still waiting on that printed chapter 2.

  • Ailynne

    Ooh, I have to comment!

    1. I can’t wait for Angora and Pinter! /squee!
    2. I can’t wait for more crazy Luca! /squee
    3. I DEFINITELY CAN’T WAIT FOR MORE SOLI AND ALAMAND AND AMEN! /squee!

    I also love Amen’s expression in the last panel. “Fuck, not her again.”

    Sad that it’ll be.. at least a year before chapter 6 comes around. But I’ll have two other chapters to love on! So… ‘That’s good’! In the words of 4-page-and-loved the Boss.

    Thank you for such a lovely comic, Der-shing! I will love it with all my heart! No matter how many hiatuses you go on!

    (Psst. Soli/Amen forever! It will totally work!)

  • Ambs!

    I like Angora and Pinter, but I’m so sad that Soli/Alamand’s chapter is ending! So cliffhangery!

    I also miss Luca a lot. I think he might be my fave, even though he’s on his way to a moral event horizon (if killing the ambassador wasn’t one already).

    So excited though! Thanks for the awesome comics!

    ps..
    Soli/Amen fanclub here!! What do we call this ship? Solamen? Amenoli?

    • I don’t care what you call it, but for the love of god don’t tell Alamand D:

    • Ailynne

      Solamen works.

      • Ahtna

        Please don’t make is Asoli!

        Oh, Amsoli (now say that with a bad chinese accent)

  • I talked a roommate into reading this again by luring her with the recent updates. She still doesn’t believe Soli is female. This shall -prove- it. :D

    Er. And I’m happy to see Amen again. Yay~! I look forward to the end of November. And the next few weeks. Everything, really…

  • Hel

    Welp, Soli…

    KARMA.

  • Nick

    I didn’t really care for this chapter. I think the characters are good and the art is great, but I’m not really interested in them yet. I am eagerly awaiting more about Angora and how this will affect her. I’m sure your story is great and it will tie together, but it feels like a slow start for me. I’m trying not to let the hiatus affect my opinion, so I read the whole chapter at once.

  • Liquessen

    I have this distinct feeling that Amen’s left eye is twitching at the irony… So far, he’s my favourite character in this chapter. Well, the chapter’s over so.. er.. well, there you go.

  • gaboris

    WOOOT! Awesome chapter and awesome work so far keep it up man! :D

    Ummm not sure, but those “pop”-s sound kinda off. Are those gunshots that are damped to the point they are just pops (My lord that means even more people are getting killed, this is getting out of hand. O_O) or did the people start a celebration? O_o”

    BTW are they still being chased or are they safe outside the city? Those two army guys don’ seem to be shooting at them or something.

    • The “pops” are coming from up in the towers, which is way out of range (look at the distance). So yeah, in a sense the noise is being damped by distance (it wouldn’t sound like a loud bang from the bottom of the canyon).

      As for everyone… they are “safe” in that Caris isn’t being antagonistic, but not safe in the sense that they are super duper guilty T__T

      • gaboris

        Okay so they’re shooting from the towers, that’s clear then. :)

        DANG IT! I really need to read up on these stuff one day cuz I’m kinda confused, but I understand what ya mean. :D
        BTW is there any other reason why everyone freaks out that she’s a woman other than she looks like a guy?

        • In the comics? Or in the comments? In the comics people are probably more embarrassed or confused, in the comments… well, haha yeah I dunno.

          • gaboris

            I meant the comics, but then it’s all about her looking like a guy okay. :)

    • “pop” is actually a very accurate word for gunfire at a distance. It sounds exactly like that. I used to live in a not-so-nice area and gunfire at night was common. I would describe it as a pop sound over a bang if it was at a distance.

      • gaboris

        Okay so my first thought was right, thx. :)
        I hope things are better for you now, but that knowledge can be useful in the future.

  • Great Scott

    Shit, Soli, look what you went and got yourself into.

  • FlemmingtonG

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand now it’s time to read the chapter from start to finish. :D

  • Here, with the whole Angora having plant powers, and Luca having fire hands, I was thinking Soli would come through with some magical water powers.

    I’m so excited to see angora again soon! I hope it gets to the point where the three stories start coming together soon! I mean, they’re already intertwined, but, you know.

  • djinn

    Oh wow, it comes full circle!

    Okay,could someone confirm that I have this all figured right in my head? I was having a bit of trouble following some things: Soli is a smuggler yes? And she’s smuggling…Caris stuff into the territory where they have declared war (what’s the other country called again?). And Amen works for the Queen and Luca has declared war on the Queen? Yes? Am I getting this?

    Amen is patrolling the border of Caris and the territories? So was Soli in the territories when she was in that city? And is the border that river?

    I feel like I need to read this all the way through again and everything would make a lot more sense :)

  • the other anonymous

    Oh Amen. You’re all “No man can kill me.”
    Except Soli is a she-man.
    I half expected Soli to leap to her feet, rip off her hat, say, “I am no man! HYAAAA—-” and stab someone in the face.
    But instead she’s half dead and hatless.

    TT^TT

    Awesome chapter, though!

  • Lillian

    Thanks for another great chapter. :D Can’t wait for the next one!

  • SneeMonster

    I love how often she’s being mistaken for a man. Mainly because I didn’t know she was a “lady” myself until… er… well really I don’t think I knew until Amen did :P

  • sweet_gardenia

    ” GOOD LORD YOU’RE INJURED? AND A LADY? ”

    Hi Amen honey so glad to see you and your ” ERGH ” face again <3 Hooray-a you, Der-Shing you made it through another chapter…I knew you could do it ;_;

  • Erode

    So glad to see Amen! Crazy though it is, I’m still shipping Soli/Amen 100% so it’s good to see he’s not a corpse! Of course, now I have to worry about Soli being a corpse….

    Anywho, this chapter was fantastic; I’m excited to see Anora and Pinter again, though :)

  • Cheri

    Pairing Amen and Soli just makes me…cringe.

    In other news–!
    World building just make me the happiest person ever. I save all my hard FanGirling for it. I read all I could read on Meekipedia and just couldn’t quit grinning. Every time I get a little snippet of the culture in the world I grin again.

    • There is so much more that I can’t put in yet because it is spoilers :3 Thanks for reminding me, it’s time to update the Meekipedia again to reflect this chapter :D

      • djinn

        I spent the day reviewing the comic and the Meekipedia. I am all set now. And please do write more on the site! I enjoy the backstory.

  • Jessa

    To be fair to Soli, I think Amen would recognize her here even if she didn’t have giant obvious tattoos right on her dumb face. U_U

  • Phil

    This is getting really interesting. So the blue uniforms were trying to round up and possibly kill all Carissi they could get their hands on, and the tan uniforms are trying to rescue Carissi (particularly these children) from being killed. Soli is a Carissi, and Amen (THANK YOU for not killing him, I really like this guy) has a duty to rescue her. But he DEFINITELY recognizes her!

    Maybe considering imminent war, he’ll set previous events aside!

    • They’re probably not trying to “rescue” anyone as much as they’re doing the “an enemy of my enemy is my friend” sort of thing, haha. The kids are trying to leave and getting shot at by Territory soldiers, guess we’d better save them!

      • Maxim 29: The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy. No more. No less.

        ;)

  • Kristen

    I feel silly for not getting it, but what’s the popping sound supposed to signify?

    Confusion aside, oh my gosh, the coloring of the bottom four panels is absolutely gorgeous. You did a fantastic job, I get the feeling of that precise time of day, and the fading sun, and AGDSLKGH. Soli’s tattoo glowing in the light like that. It almost makes me want to get a tat like that.

    • Thanks so much! The popping sound is gunfire at a distance. I thought it’d be sort of obvious but I think am overestimating my reader’s familiarity with gunfire XD I’ll probably add something in the final to make it more obvious. Glad you enjoyed the page!

      • How about ‘bang’?

        Great page, as usual.

        • hothotpot

          I think “pop” works just fine. From far away, gunfire does sound more like a series of pops than bangs. Bang is when you’re up close.

        • Yeah, gunfire doesn’t sound like “bang” from a distance (it sounds like pop), so it would be weird to put that….

          • Jessa

            Perhaps if the “pop” was written in a little more harsh handwriting? Not too different, but enough so that visually it looks a little harsher. Though, honestly, I think the ambiguity works for the first few panels, since it’s dark and mysterious, and by the time you see the city with all of the “pops” above it, it’s clear enough. Or at least it was to me.

          • Alice

            It makes sense now you explain it but honestly I thought it was meant to signify water? As in, Soli rising toward the surface of the water – popping sounds in conjunction with the fade from black to light. I think maybe the pops look so lighthearted, it’s hard to associate them with gunfire. Jus my impressions. I’ve actually loved this chapter, by the way!

          • Same here! I thought it was their heads bobbing out of the water or something.

      • Toussled

        Oh. I thought it was the sound of the kids popping out. 8U

        • Misha Felian

          I did too, it’s just more comedic.

      • Wood

        I’m nitpicking, but I always thought it sounded more like “pok!” than “pop!” (from hearing it on tv, not in real life).

        • In China, the sound of a dog barking is “wan wan”

  • KarKar

    Just wanted you to know how much I love this comic: I love it more than a fat man loves twinkies.

    Thank you.

  • LBSophia

    I am in an abusive relationship with this comic… It keeps hurting me, but I keep coming back because I love this comic so gosh darn much. (The hurting is the sad parts… not necessarily the hiatuses)

  • feline256

    Subtle, classy use of shade gradients, I-see-what-you-did-there
    Lovely work :B

  • Faye

    Can’t wait for the prints of chapters 1-3! I’ll buy/preorder right away! 8)

  • Alex.Klein49

    God, every time i see an update i have to reread a few pages. Not to clarify, but to get the flow. You dont start a movie in the middle (unless you plan flash backs but still)
    I reread just to get the motion running and it pains me to not see an update, but when it is its like a childs birthday. I simply love this comic. All the pieces are slowly falling together and I cant wait to look back and see the wonderfully awesome picture it makes.

    Keep up the terrific work <3

  • Raoul

    Oh, man. Him again. Wonder if he’s going to remember Soli could’ve blown his head off last time he saw her. Will her good deed go unpunished?

    Anyway, so glad you’re back at it, Alex, although I hope it doesn’t mean your paying job has evaporated.

    • Not yet! I’m going until the end of the year, who knows after that…

  • Steph

    I think it’s time for another…

    http://www.dramabutton.com

    On another note, I adore this comic. The style, the characters, the turns. I especially love Soli.

  • Hellmouth

    Golly, this is nothing I had expected!

  • FlattrFanatic

    Why can’t I support you with microdonations over flattr ( http://flattr.com )?

    • I don’t have that D:

    • And seeing as, out of a grand total of 12 words, you’ve managed to plug that one three times, I think we go ahead and count this as spam (¬_¬)

  • Iceheart

    FULLCIRCLE.

    LOL I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter. Thanks for making such a great comic! It always keeps me coming back for more <3

  • Iceheart

    Here, I thought I’d make you a wallpaper based on your kickass Soli silhouette up there. Kinda wanted to make it look like an old TV serial intro http://i1203.photobucket.com/albums/bb386/TheRazorKitten/meekpaper.jpg Hope you like it!

  • brokentool

    hello again,

    Let me first say that this has been a very nice ending for the chapter, with a pretty cool cliffhanger there in the end. Surely you must realize that after finishing with it, most readers [myself included], will have one word on their minds: MOAR!! =]

    Also, if you remember the little issue I had with purchasing “The TIde” two days ago, still no word from 4th Dimension.. Definitely more than 48hrs now.

    P.s. You can probably see the email addresses we are required to fill, in order to comment here? Maybe you can write to me there, and I can forward you the receipt I have from PayPal, etc..

    • I’ll email them today and find out what’s up! Thanks for letting me know.

      • aq

        I am holding off my purchase of the tide on the base of these comments. Any news?

        • They’re being sent out just fine now :)

    • Great Scott

      I’m having the same problem. :c

  • PatrickleMorse

    Congratulations for finishing the chapter ! And Amen is back, this makes me ridiculously happy. Must be the uniform. And his Oh-man-not-her-again-face.

    Anyway, I can’t wait for the next chapter :D

  • ashleyw

    Aaah! I’m really curious about what will happen for Soli next. Can’t wait to see the sketch version of this. :)

  • Tim Kietzman

    FINALLY chapter 3 is finished! I can’t wait till next November! Didn’t you say it’ll go back to Angora and Pinter? I was hoping for that. Well I’m going to be there when it updates! Count on it!

    • Yep, we’ll get to see what they’ve been up to all this time :3

  • OurLivesOnline

    Great page as usual! Also, sorry to bother, but I ordered the Tide and it’s definitely been more than 48 hours since! I would really appreciate if you could contact 4DE, thanks!

    • T__T Guh, I’ll email them today and find out!

      • OurLivesOnline

        Thanks for the quick response! I received it now, and it’s amazing!

  • I wish I could donate. When I get some extra money, I’ll do what I can (= I love these characters, you have an amazing way of making people care for all of them, they become real.

  • I was wondering if you were going to release hard copies of chapter 2 and 3 now. Chapter 1 sits proud (and lonely) on my top shelf. Incredible comic by the way.

  • CattyRemark

    Can’t WAIT for Chapter 4! The return of Pinter and Angora, mayhaps? Love the sketches.

  • Joel

    I can’t wait to see what the avatar of air looks like.

    • He’s a little bald kid with an arrow on his head!

      • Matticus

        Hiyoooooo!

  • alala

    !!!AMMEEENNNNN!!!!!! :D the expression on his face is priceless.

    Soli/Amen… :A

  • AndrewCrisp

    I hereby dub this the “prayer chapter” – for it ended with an Amen.

  • Boss Ladu

    OMGEEZERS! So excited for chapter four : D

  • StephenM3

    Page 3.10 seems to be missing from the archive…?

    • oh gosh, had a mini-heart attack XD I was cleaning up some drafts and I think that slipped in by mistake! It’s fixed now. Thanks for letting me know!

  • BentKatana

    Congrats on Chapter 3, great characters! Can’t wait to see what everyone else is up to in the next one! :D

  • SDG

    Wow. Just wow. I just discovered this comic last week, and I have devoured it. Twice. Your art, your characters, your writing – it’s all so fantastic. I can’t think of a single character whose story I’m not interested in. Thank you so much for this wonderful work!
    I wait with bated breath for the next chapter to start. :)

  • Popcorngoo

    Wow! I’m so glad angora will be coming back!!! And pinter!!! <3 I love the dynamics of their relationship and can't wait to see what those two will have to go through. n.n every chapter so far has been simply amazing, and answered a lot of questions I had swimming around in my mind. But with every new piece to the puzzle you give us I feel like the puzzle just grows and grows! XD so excited for the new chapter I can hardly stand it! (I havent reviewed in awhile so that's why this is somewhat long)

  • 4EyedBlonde

    MY SHIP SAILS ONCE AGAIN

  • Arg3ntate

    This is the third time I’ve read this, and i still freak when Soli get’s shot O.O This is, without a doubt, my favorite comic ever.

  • PIXAR-GIRL

    GAAAHHHHH!!!! THIS CANNOT BE IT!!!!!

    *EPIC SPAZ*

  • Crazi

    Can’t wait to read more about Soli

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