Author: Birgitt Schuknecht (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1 - Less
than 101 words to illustrate my feelings for you? Even if I were willing to domineer my trademark inclination of employing what a certain ladies' man would call ten dollar-words and restrict myself to statements carefully worded in simple but nonetheless true expressions it would take more than a million of words, and more beats my heart could render from now till the end of time to fathom my sentiments. Nevertheless, I will give sustenance to those ugly rumours about my persona and will utilise the despicable but beneficial means of cheating: *n* ways to say I love you.
2 - Countless
days I've spent yearning for you. That we finally discovered our true feelings won't alter this. Every second you're not with me, every moment I am separated from your very presence, every minute I cannot cover your lips with mine, every hour someone keeps us apart so we might not embrace, every day some tedious duty hinders you to make me yours, every week without a tender touch, every month condemned to forced isolation, every year of grey solitude: I cannot forget those times of the past and I fear those times in the future. My desire is forever.
3 - Doubtless
Living on guard might not be relaxing and being on one's toes 24/7 is all but amusing for body and soul; however, this attitude has developed into a routine. This necessity of survival now provides me with sights of and insights about you that nourish my love and fire my longing to be with you. It also shows me the myriad of opportunities you're forsaking by staying with me. It doesn't escape your ever active attention that I've been observing your dealings with other people, male and female alike. You feel my stare and reciprocate it: "My pleasure, Ez!"
4 - Wordless
My hands still tremble and I am not going to betray my condition by picking up the glass standing on the table before me. Smells and sounds of the gunfight linger, letting the experience of near failure burn itself into my memory, future fodder for nightly entertainment.
Near failure, near miss, near death-- I stop this vicious mantra by concentrating on your hand, placed on my shoulder. Grateful for this invasion of my private purgatory I attempt to moisten my dry lips, finding my mouth lacking saliva. I am thrilled to let your tongue taking care of this predicament.
5 - Useless
"Get the fuck out." There! That should shock him enough after all smooth-talking and versatile use of euphemistic expressions to make him leave were futile.
He stands in a graceful motion, more elegant than could be expected considering his height and leanness. Of course I know different. I know his refinement.
He smiles. "No."
I know his stubbornness in equal measure. "Mr. Larabee, sometimes I do wonder if you wander these parts in order to pester my already miserable existence with your presence and your total disregard of my wishes."
Smile turns grin. "Guess you're right about that, Ez."
6 - Spiritless
"Leave that bottle alone."
Inwardly I hiss a 'yessir', outwardly I smile at the figure, a shadow among others.
"And I'm not buying none of this cool grin of yours."
No, he wouldn't, don't expect him to. I expect...
"Get your ass moving and talk to JD. The kid's dying for you to take the first step."
... him to get me going in any direction he sees fit. I still cannot see anything but that hurt look on Dunne's face. That and the shadows and temptation in form of an almost empty bottle of way too cheap whiskey.
7 - Powerless
He should have known, after all he'd been the one responsible for all the details in the plan. Ezra would have slapped himself for his stupidity and carelessness if his hands hadn't been bounded so expertly. Kicking his own ass wasn't an option either. They'd made sure he couldn't move an inch without nearly strangling himself. Whispers outside interrupted his silent loathing, the door burst open, one half mere splinters, the other hanging from a hinge.
Larabee shook his head. "You're a real pain in the ass, Standish. Why do I keep bothering?"
Ezra just hated to be gagged.
8 - Clueless
"Why--" I break off, shocked by my inability to express my anger in an appropriate manner. A count-up from one to seventeen takes care of that. "May I inquire what triggered this, Mr. Larabee? You could easily have broken my jaw with that blow."
"You coulda get yourself killed by leaving your cover."
I'm determined not to touch my sore chin. "I understand English, Mr. Larabee." Larabee kneels down. Grabbing the front of my shirt, he roughly pulls me near; his lips touch mine. "Comprehending your innate language is another matter. Would you be inclined to teach me?"
9 - Faceless
I let my index finger trail along the crack in the mirror, careful not to hurt myself in the process. The damage prohibits that I can discern my features in the formerly reflective surface.
"Ezra." The voice is mellow now, the way I love it most. How much joy and fun I might find in teasing him, bringing him close to the edge - I prefer to hear his softness. Feel his tenderness... "Sorry. I was so..."
"Pissed," I supply and turn to him. "Pissed as hell." Despite myself I smile. "No harm done, just make it up to me."
10 - Bloodless
I try to become part of the shadows, attempt to assume invisibility. They will be back any moment now - just give them a little more time to realise Chris Larabee has fed them fake information. I am going to be next.
Larabee is still breathing, although it has become shallow. When he calls, no, whispers my name I'm at his side without thinking. His face is bereft of any colour, eyes open but unfocused. "This is the end."
I place my hand on his chest, careful that it wouldn't constitute another burden. No, it hasn't even started yet.
11 - Faithless
Shadows of times past let me shudder in the brilliant sunshine. It wouldn't help to ignore those - they would only be replaced by the clouds lurking in the future. Our future - if it is still feasible. You are surrounded - well-shielded - by the others. Wilmington angry, Sanchez disappointed, Dunne scared, Jackson worried, Tanner sad... And you, Mr. Larabee? I fear to assess your feelings, leave the scene. Only seconds later you intercept me. "Ezra!" I dare to confront you and my fears and look into your eyes... Larabee still in love? Impossible. Is it? Is it?
12 - Stainless
It bears the beauty of perfection but that cannot longer penetrate my horror as I recall the carnage Lomax caused with it. Still, my hand is drawn to the blade and without being able to suppress the tremble, nor harbouring any desire to do so I touch it, finding it to be not-cool, astonished not to be overwhelmed with visions of mutilated bodies. I shake my head, slightly, and withdraw my hand.
"Does it help?"
"No, Chris. No feelings or memories attached. It's mere dead matter."
"Well, I'm alive." His lips touch mine - never tasted proof that sweet.
13 - Feckless
He touches my still sore shoulder and I flinch involuntarily. "Damn it, relax, Ezra! I am glad you returned."
I am perfectly at ease - apart from those minor injuries. However, I understand his misinterpretation of my bodily reaction to his contact. My body still exhibits the after-effects of the last days. My mind is at ease, though.
He babbles on, anxious to make me feel comfortable and welcome. I doubt his protestations of the others' feelings. Most of the high and mighty will judge me as worthless shit.
I stop him effectively. "I came back for you, Chris."
14 - Hairless
"Chris, would you please select another topic for our well-deserved break from duty?"
"Ezra, ya can't blame me for this. It's the first time I see you lose a bet and the first time I-- Okay, don't kill me with that glare - you win. What do you want to talk about?"
"Who said anything about talking? You've never had any difficulty finding an appropriate issue worth our attention when we are alone."
"Sorry, Ez. First times make me kinda nervous and apprehensive."
"Well, this is gonna be the first time I fuck a bald man!"
15 - Sleepless
"Ezra! Wake up!"
I am awake. I am awake. I am awake. I am--
"Ezra! We must leave! It's time!"
Before Chris has the chance to employ physical means to stress his point I force myself to prove I am capable of any task he asks of me. Especially something so simple as standing up from that damned chair that exerts considerable efforts to cling to my backside. Even its legs entangle with mine merely to embarrass me in front of our most esteemed leader. "What time is it exactly?"
This is insane. Let the chair win!
16 - Toneless
"Have you tried, Ez? Have you ever really tried?"
He hurls the question at me like he wants to knock me off my feet with the attack. He almost succeeds - I feel like a whimpering child. I cannot reply, fearing not only my voice but my very heart would break in the attempt.
"Answer me, son." His tone has changed, it's no longer a yell. He commands silently and I find myself unable to disobey.
"Once, Mr. Larabee. Hurt too much."
"You will try again."
In silence, I nod - how I can I deny him anything?
17 - Timeless
He cannot cry any more. He allowed me to stay, let me wipe those tears from his face. Once upon a time I would have called it a sure bet that Larabee wasn't even realising who's with him at the moment. Holding him comfortingly. Kissing the top of his head after the crying stopped.
Once upon a time I would have preferred to catch a rattle-snake with my bare hands to confronting Larabee in a mood like that. Or in any mood bringing him to the edge: Wicked humour, deadly anger, or bottomless sorrow. Times change. Maybe people too.
18 - Shadeless
Ezra doesn't complain about the precarious situation. Not the he isn't aware of the miserable condition of people and animals. They decided to travel by night, seeking rest by day. Rest! Ezra feels like he's toasted by the midday sun which drains his body of much-needed energy, his mind of dire alertness, his soul of the determination to fight.
Suddenly the light is replaced by a shadow. "Can I help you, Mr. Larabee?"
"Are you interested in a game of chance, Ez? Let's ride on!"
Odds aren't important anymore. "I'd appreciate you as a companion for any journey!"
19 - Graceless
"You are drunk!" Larabee hisses; Ezra can barely hear him. Larabee is so right about his state that he can barely understand him.
Obviously angered by Ezra's lack of interest in his behaviour Larabee changes from verbal to physical attack. He grabs Ezra's arm, hauls him to his feet and drags him along, seemingly regardless of the catcalls and the applauding this action earns him.
For Ezra appearances and even disappearances do matter; he attempts to break free. Ezra's own momentum sends him to the floor. Suddenly a thought strikes him and he snarls, "What is to you, Larabee?"
20 - Homeless
"Now, what do you say, Ez?"
My heart misses a beat at the audible nervousness. My answer will make a difference. Although I do not wish to keep him on his toes I make the grand tour, on my own, leaving him behind in the spacious kitchen. I wish to please him with my answer but I cannot betray my own feelings. I as much as he deserve total honesty.
On my return he doesn't even look up, busies himself with the coffee-machine.
"Better leave that to me, Chris." His brilliant smile tells me I truly found a haven.
21 - Nerveless
"Try again, Ezra, please." Vin's voice penetrates my agitation but the effect crumbles mere seconds later. You're not helping, Mr. Tanner.
For the umpteenth time I concentrate on the simple task of stretching my fingers; all my efforts are in vain and I tremble with suppressed rage. Rage at my condition, at my disability to forget about the fear of failure. Fear of contempt... his contempt.
"Chris, give us some more time. He's gonna--"
"Vin." Eventually he follows Larabee's barely disguised command. The door closes.
I look up. Those eyes... I fear again. I fear hope.
22 - Luckless
Ezra had truly feared this moment. The very moment when he had to make one of the toughest decisions of his life...
"Mr. Larabee? I'm awaiting your next move!"
Please give up...
Larabee added the rest of his money to the substantial pile between them, his face stoic.
Finish him, Ezra! Just look at that fortune!
Are you insane? If you're a bit interested in a spending a night of passion and desire: Let your lover win!
Ezra mentally cursed his two souls warring each other. Good Lord... How could I forget that basic rule about luck and love!
23 - Starless
"Come inside, Ezra - it's time to close the doors."
I nod, well aware of the fact he cannot see my gesture. With a final glance into the darkness, staring at the black sky I silently bid the day good-bye. It's been kind to me... Still, after all the Old Ones taught me it's hard not to take the absence of any light as an ill omen.
Inside Chris strikes a match and his eyes spring to life, sparkling, reflecting the flickering flame. After all Chris taught me it's hard not to take that light as a good omen.
24 - Contactless
Ezra Standish looked at the exhausted scout expectantly who merely shook his head.
The treck's spokesman, Moss, left the group that surrounded Ezra, waiting for his decision. "Mr. Standish, we cannot tarry any--"
His upraised hand stopped the intruder effectively. Good Lord, Chris, this is your place, or Mr. Tanner's, or... Hell, Mr. Dunne would have more sense to handle this decently.
"Get ready," he ordered, voice hardening, heart breaking.
Another voice spat abuse at him: Moss' teenage son, Frank, worshipper of the lost six. "Coward. They'll die--"
"NO! You leave. I'm going back! End of argument!"
25 - Fatherless
A hand on my shoulder made me look up. The light around me was all too brilliant, even here in the office. The glaring sun that had greeted me when I finally left the dungeon Tony Varley called his refuge had nearly blinded me. Twelve days, eight hours. A lifetime. Eternity...
"Good work, son." Sanchez flashed me a smile rivalling all other light. And that word, it hit right home, penetrated the darkness inside. I couldn't stand--
I slammed the door of the conference shut, only to face a smiling Chris. "Call me son, and I kill you, Chris!"
26 - Genderless
"Mr. Larabee? You want return this garment to your... friend." - Great, Ezra. Why exactly did you rehearse that line only to trip over THAT word. Next time you probably develop a stutter.
"My... friend will be glad it's still intact."
And of course he noticed. - "I fear it's not. The back's torn."
"Never mind. I pay for it."
"Don't! That'll make me feel... u-used." There. Stutter!
"How DO you feel?"
Ezra remembered undressing and removing make-up - all the time haunted by the taxing stares of a Mr. Chris Larabee he'd got while wearing that outfit. "Lost!"
27 - Harmless
All of us had completely been taken by surprise. Myself, hand still on the door-knob, our fearless leader aiming his gun at the third member of our impromptu party - a boy hardly older than ten years - who'd probably have won this wide-eye stare contest.
The light from the main room also illuminated the fragments of a broken basin - the cause for the noise that had brought Chris and me to our feet.
"Chris," I placed my hand on Chris' and he lowered the gun, sighing. To the boy: "Don't you worry, Mr. Larabee's the good guy."
28 - Earless
"I should have known." Ezra added exaggerated movements of his jaw to this exceptionally short statement.
Ezra stared at his lover. "Could you yell at me, Chris?"
"'What' is exactly the point. I can't hear you. That dreadful concert Mr. Dunne insisted on taking me - which I agreed for the sake of variety in cultural entertainment - has some lasting effects. Lesser Earless! What can you expect of a band named after a lizard?"
Chris yelled: "And JD?"
"Gave me this!" Ezra showed Chris a piece of paper: 'If it's too loud you're too old.'
29 - Nameless
He stared at the proverbial man in the mirror, started shaving. It had to be him, hadn't it? The only person present...
A knock at the door and he considered shouting they should leave him alone. However, the knock was an illusion of a choice he never had. Not now, not here, not without a name.
The door opened, Dr. Weston entered. Familiar face, familiar name, after all those weeks of treatment. Weston meant nothing, though. He redirected his concentration on the shaving.
"Ezra, love." Weston let another man pass him. Familiar face. Familiar name. Larabee... and a meaning...
30 - Colourless
I stepped outside, after a night of money lost and won, drinking, cards... Flashes of gold and silver, red and then more red and gold and silver. I'd left them behind, with the stale air, with the defeated men at the poker table, with the last glass of whiskey.
Outside he was waiting, all black, beautiful in that simplicity, scary in that simplicity. I turned to go back. Back to the flashing of gold, silver and red, back to the defeated men at the poker table, back to the first glass of whiskey in a night yet to come.
31 - Priceless
Ezra snuggled closer to Chris, drawing as much warmth from him as he possibly could.
"You should give up trying to face all your demons at the same time."
"My mother is not all my demons!"
"She harbours a couple."
"Still I would have thought the citizens of this community would know better than to believe in some smooth talk instead of valuing a man's deeds."
Chris grinned. "Reminds you of someone, doesn't it? Ezra, 'rightful indignation' is not your strength."
"Do you think it's the tone or the facial expression?"
An eruption of laughter chased away the shadows.
32 - Hopeless
I fumble for your hand in this absolute darkness. It's cold... too cold-- My fumbling becomes frantic till I locate your face. Placing my ear close to your mouth I wait with abated breath in order to not confuse yours with my own. I stretch out my hand and place it on your chest, hoping for movement... the soft thump of a heartbeat, cursing the numbness of my limbs. There... a faint breeze tickling my earlobe... then something beneath my palm...
"Chris." Nothing... nothing but shallow breathing and the faint beat of a dying heart. I cling to that.
33 - Penniless
So this was the end. Ezra signed the papers with his usual aplomb. Desperation hadn't yet penetrated the shock to affect this routine act. Next of kin. The expression had filled him both with pride and dread the day they'd effected that right/duty for each other. He'd always hoped he wouldn't be the one experiencing its consequences.
Nathan clasped his shoulder. "He will make it, Ezra. Poulson is the best. As is Chris."
The operation would cost them everything. Ezra hated himself for not being able to concentrate on Chris' well-being alone. Our ranch... I failed you once more...
34 - Limitless
Curiosity filled Ezra, made him approach despite his fear. Let him feel your respect...
He moved closer without making the tiniest of noises, still the head? jerked around and sun-coloured eyes made him stop in his tracks. The ice-blueness of the apparition should make him shudder with cold, however, he'd never felt such comfortable warmth before. Safety. Love!
A dream, just a dream - Ezra felt like crying, his heart aching with the loss when Chris embraced him. No colours of sun and ice - but the warmth was still there, the comfort and the safety. And love!
35 - Gutless
"Where's Chris?" came the exasperated question he had dreaded since the moment he'd sat down in front of his computer.
"I'm not my lover's keeper, Mr. Wilmington."
"Why you son-of-"
"Vin, he might let Chris fuck him but he has no idea what it takes to be a real friend."
Ezra turned around. Shocked faces disintegrated and were replaced by the mental image of himself staring into the barrel of a gun, the silence was filled with Chris' raspy voice: "You won't stop me. If they decide to let that murderer go I will show them my justice."
36 - Soundless
"Will you--" - again he tried to free his arm, nearly dislocated it due to his futile struggling - "will you be so kind to let go of me?" Always keep your countenance, Ezra.
"No! Why should I? I gotcha right where I wantcha!"
Ezra had feared as much. Wordlessly he gave up the lost battle, however, determined to have a say in the outcome of the war.
"Much better. Why so coy? I'm your first, pretty?"
Ezra's eyes lit as he spotted the silently nearing black-clad figure, gun drawn.
"No, sir, but certainly I'm your last!"
37 - Shameless
Disgust is clearly evident in Chris' features and his inability to face it and me at this moment makes him leave, his emotions not affecting the gracefulness of his movements. The temptation to follow him is a powerful sensation, yet I will not yield. Getting this far cost me too much already, even if this unexpected encounter nearly topples the scales. It sure shatters my internal balance.
I fed him lies that he devoured eagerly. For me it is just another assignment. Or so I tell myself as I let this faceless stranger slip his hand into my pants.
38 - Merciless
"All right, Standish, have it your way. Go on cheating Vin and Josiah, lie to the kid and Buck, insult Nathan, ignore me all you like. Go, run, like you did that first night."
Ezra walked backwards till his back connected with the gym's concrete, cold after the heat of the sparring. It was an involuntary reaction to the verbal attack and the closeness of Chris Larabee giving him another dressing down. Probably his last...
"Or you might even stay and keep on fooling around, waste your potential. I don't care. We don't care. But I know you do."
39 - Guideless
Another round, another pile of money, another shot of whiskey, another mumbled curse, another suave retort. Another... No, he wouldn't complete that thought. The idea of spending more hours, days, years like this suddenly terrified him. It had been enough for quite some time...
As the man sitting next to him shuffled the deck for the next game he used the relapse to direct a fraction of his thinking in order to find out why his life had changed. Or who... He picked up one of the coins, hoping against hope to derive inspiration from the feel of it...
40 - Legless
The shot rang out and Ezra went down, hissing, frantically clutching at his leg.
"Let me look at that wound!" Chris was at his site instantly, a second later the guard loomed over them.
Chris was furious, Ezra saw and understood, but, "No!"
"Stop that, both of you." Gun trained on them, the guard nodded in Chris' direction. "Go!"
Cursing, Chris obeyed and Ezra thanked Lady Luck. The second the guard turned his back he was on his feet, attacked the armed man. Chris yanked the weapon from his hands. "Sonuvabitch," he grinned.
"Likewise, Mr. Larabee."
41 - Knifeless
Suppressing a shudder Ezra watched Nathan heating the blade in the fire. He'd come to just in time to witness the ministrations in order to prepare for the operation. Reason told him to still his fears, ignore those images of another man, of another time... Tension wouldn't help any.
Suddenly he felt Chris' presence, then his hands lifted him up. He placed Ezra's head on his lap, looked down in his face. "I'm with you, Ezra, relax." Obediently he closed his eyes, let go, reached up with his left hand. Chris squeezed it in sync with the first cut.
42 - Marrowless
The touch burnt his skin, like he'd always known it would. The kiss took his breath away, like he'd always wished it would. That look took his fear away like he'd never hoped it would.
"Chris, please..." Was that a thought or had he spoken aloud?
"Not yet, Ezra!" His anger flared up, the refusal hurt as much as it aroused him even more. Chris placated his scorn with another kiss, that did nothing to dampen his passion. Back to begging... whimpering...
Chris let his tongue travel along his jawline. "Whatever happened to your dignity, Ezra?"
"Hate you, Larabee."
43 - Sapless
"Yes, sir?" Slowly Ezra turned to face his superior, hoping careful movements wouldn't lead to another fit. Dizzily he looked up at Larabee, groping for the nearby rope, in dire need of that support.
"You realise that on a warship standing watch isn't a mere formality."
"I understand this perfectly... well, sir," he pressed out.
"This isn't the academy - you do not report for duty unless you're able to do your duty. Wake up Mr. Tanner, he'll relieve you."
Ezra all but fled from the stern glare. The first night aboard... and the First Officer seasick...
44 - Ageless
Ezra managed to sneak up on his lover. Chris was busy finger-combing his hair, aided by a mirror and cruel artificial light. Abruptly he froze, eyes widening. He fumbled for a single hair, pulled it out. He inspected the offensive former part of his body closely, then cursed soundly. Obviously he had got hold of a perfectly sound hair since he resumed the fumbling.
"Dorian Graying, Mr. Larabee?" Ezra all but yelled, causing Chris to bump his forehead against the unyielding surface.
Ezra fled, Chris coming after him, finally tackling him. "I show you an old man's vigour, Standish!"
45 - Childless
Would it ever go away? The pain in their eyes, the sadness in their voices, the desperation in their actions?
Mentally exhausted, Ezra let himself fall onto the chair, laid his arms on the kitchen table, looked at the fading bruises and the healing cuts the rope had inflicted on him. His hands still showed the blisters. That would go away. Not that he needed a reminder.
"It was a dumb idea in the first place."
"My idea, my dumbness, Chris."
"They just called. They... want you to stay away."
"Figures. I'm to blame for their son's death."
46 - Selfless
"Care to show and tell, Mr. Larabee?"
Larabee looked up from the letter, obviously surprised to see Ezra. "This is private."
"A fact which I'm fully aware of. Care to show and tell?"
"It's my... father-in-law. His mental health deteriorated substantially these weeks past. He needs supervision 24/7."
"Is this a financial issue?"
"I fear it is, Ezra. I'll have to sort some things out. There is... no one else."
"I will accompany you," Ezra stated.
Larabee studied him and Ezra held the gaze, unflinchingly. "That an order, Special Agent Standish?"
Ezra flashed him a smile. "You bet."
47 - Soulless
Larabee stopped in his tracks; still, he didn't turn around to face Ezra. Still, he had to try...
"Are you going to kill her?"
"If I must."
This made him swivel round. His eyes were ablaze with fury. "What?"
Still, Ezra had to try... "You heard me. You plan murder."
"She killed Adam. Sarah..."
"She took your very life. Kill her and you shall never retrieve it!"
"I don't want it back anyway." The next moment Larabee was out, slammed the door shut.
"I do." Ezra checked his weapons, shrugged into his coat. "I do, Chris."
48 - Conscienceless
"I brought your jacket, Ezra."
Ezra nodded, but made no move. Larabee placed the garment around Ezra's shoulders. Go away. You do not want to hear it. I do not want to say it.
Larabee sat down beside him. "A close call, Ezra. Next time he'll think twice before calling you a cheat."
"He'll make it?"
"Nathan says yes. Let's get inside. It's freezing."
It will be even colder inside. "Anything else, Mr. Larabee?"
"We know you beat him fair and square."
Yes, it will be even colder inside. "Mr. Larabee, his accusation was nothing but the truth."
49 - Motherless
"How did you find me?" All that money - spent in vain. Bribery as a working means of manipulation is highly overrated these days.
"Friends in high places, my dear. You never took to that concept as I would have wished!"
"What are your plans?"
"To save your life, Ezra. I will go any--"
"No. You will leave me alone."
"If you believe Mr. Larabee will as much as lift the little finger--"
"Chris is off-limits for you."
"I am your mother, I have every right to--" Ezra stood and left. Not a fight worth bleeding...
50 - Pathless
"Mr. Larabee, are you sure this the route Mr. Tanner wanted us to take?" Just in time Ezra was able to get hold of a branch in order to prevent another fall.
"For a man pretending to be out of breath you're extremely talkative. Get a grip, Ezra. We've seen worse."
"Seen? Maybe that's the catch, Mr. Larabee. I can't even see where I put my precious limbs."
"Do you want to challenge me on this opinion?"
"Tempting idea, Ezra. As soon as we've found our way home."
"You mean you lost the way?"
"No. We did."
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