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Clover Spear - Chapter Cover Art

Chapter 45[]

Clover Spear - The Story of the '56 War[]

Plotting in the Fox's Den

The Fox’s Den
New Avalon, Federated Commonwealth
June 1st, 3057

The glow of the various displays bathed the darkened secure conference room in an otherworldly glow. If the lights had been on, one would see a hardwood table made of Salem birchwood, surrounded by custom rolling chairs made from the same material. Everywhere was wooden reliefs of the insignias of the Davion family, the Federated Suns, and the Federated Commonwealth. On one wall was a rack, with unit coins from every regiment in the AFFC, including mercenary units of note. It was said in the mercenary trade, that if your unit coin got on that wall, you had “hit the big time”.

But the lights being off was indicative of one thing; a major operation was being planned, and about to be executed. Katherine Steiner-Davion rubbed her palms again to deal with the sweat beading of off them. Why am I so damn nervous? Jackson, Ran, Ardan, and my brother have been over this thing. It’s as good a plan as we can make. We smashed the Capellan operational reserve at Sarna. It’s just a matter of bringing this thing to an end. she thought

Katherine hated the ruffle of her “court dress”. It was something that had been provided by some up and coming designer on Pherkad that she wouldn’t normally wear in a million years, but it rustled every time it moved..and it was distracting her thoughts.

A voice, sounding suspiciously like her father, then responded “Dear daughter, it’s because the Capellans know how this will end. And so do you, so they’re going to fight like madmen. The casualties are going to be heavy, but this has to be done. The Capellan Confederation has become the mad dog of the Inner Sphere. It has to be put down.”

Katherine swallowed and gripped her palms tighter. She nodded wordlessly, I know, Daddy. I am just scared.

The voice responded. "We’ll always be with you, sweetheart. Now go do what has to be done."

Katherine turned her attention back to the briefer, a tall lanky raven haired female Kommandant in service dress. She was impeccably turned out for this brief and she was doing a bang up job. Katherine lightly admonished herself for not listening as she went over the final elements of ACTIVE PANTHER, and when it was expected to kick off. “-we expect that the final elements we need will be in position no later than 4 June, as we have been pushing jumpships into the Sarna March as fast as we can.”

Jackson Davion stopped the briefer for a moment. “Kommandant Harris, first off, damn nice brief. The Archon-Prince and I thank you. Second, is the 4th a hard date?”

Kommandant Harris grimaced “Sadly, no sir. The J-3 shop isn’t at all sure about that, but we’re moving like hell to make it. The guys at the T&R routing aren’t getting any sleep these days.”

Victor Steiner-Davion then chimed in, his missing arm noticeable from the pinned up left sleeve, a souvenir of his own recent brush with death. “Jackson, we know this is very much a ‘come as you are’ war. We need to go as soon after Sarna as we can manage. I know the troops are tired, and I know we’re dipping hard into the log stockpiles, but the fact is? We have to end this, before the Capellans do anything else.”

Katherine cleared her throat. “What of the Mariks and the Blakists, brother? We still haven’t figured out our responses there.”

Victor shook his head “No, Sis, we haven’t. Fact is that I know you agree. We need to end this as soon as we can to keep this from escalating with the Mariks. As for the Blakists?” Victor held up his stump “-that’s going to be a long term project. One I am sure you can get off to a fine start.” Victor smiled a feral smile at the last thought, his teeth being reflected in the light of the displays. “There’s also the issue of the Combine’s slow implosion. So far, it’s not affected the Commonwealth any, but we all know that could change, on a dime.”

“You discussed that with Omi, Victor?” Katherine asked.

Victor nodded. “In between her and I discussing more…personal matters. But yes, she’s of the opinion that someone in the civil war’s going to try and expand the fighting to suck us in. And if that happens, I am not at all sure how the hell we are going to restrain the Draconis March, and to an extent? Would we want to?”

“Didn’t we say, brother, that we were committed to the idea of ‘one war at a time’?” Katherine stated, a tone of minor frustration in her voice.

“Yes, we did. But right now, we’re stuck reacting to events. ACTIVE PANTHER is going to get us the initiative back, but it’s going to commit a large part of the striking force the AFFC has. The rest is going to be busy watching the Wolves on the new border. And we have to figure out what the hell we reinforce Skye and the Drac March with?” he said

Katherine sighed “I know. James Sandoval has an audience with me later today, and I suspect he’s going to ask for his Robinson Rangers back, and honestly, I can’t say no.”

Victor smiled “Then don’t. It’s not like we desperately need them, and by the time they arrive back in the March, things might have calmed down. Least, I hope they will.”

Katherine shrugged “All we can do. So, I guess all that’s left to do is decide. Go, or no-go, and more importantly is when?”

Jackson Davion grinned with a smile that looked like a cat that had had a very fine meal of canary. “Well, we were thinking, Your Highness. June 6th is a wonderfully auspicious date…and it’s a fine way to tweak the Blakists as well.”

Katherine laughed “You want me to authorize it? I have to admit, they’re already pretty mad at us as it is. In for a penny, I suppose?”

“Well, there was that bit about that ‘creative response’ to the deaths of your parents. Not that I or anyone in this room minded, but I suspect the Blakists might be of a different mind.”

“Jackson, with all respect to those present. To hell with the Blakists. We go on the 6th. It is a very auspicious date. And, I do rather like tweaking the hell out of those robed bastards and Quintus?”

Quintus Allard had been silent, mostly keeping his own counsel. “Yes, your Highness?”

“Tell the lads, I want to top the last time. Tell them to ‘get creative’. And tell them they’re to go on the Sixth as well. I want the Capellans to feel our wrath till we have ‘Mechs in the Forbidden Palace.”

Qunitus smiled evilly. “I will pass on your instructions, your Highness. Are they to leave the calling cards again?”

“Of course, would be rude not to?” she told him.


I remember when we got word from AFFC CJCS to commence Phase One. There was cheers all around the Command Post for a good five minutes before Field Marshal Hasek calmed us down. Only time I ever remember being happy to commence a military operation.
“Musings of a Staff Officer – My Life and Times with the AFFC”

- Kommandant Samuel Fox, AFFC (Ret), 3069

Sarna Thrust


Attackers: 7th Crucis Lancers RCT, Davion Assault Guards RCT, 1st Kestrel Grenadiers RCT, 2 Artillery Brigades
Defenders: Little Richard’s Panzer Brigade, Capella Home Guard (Division Sized Combined Arms unit, including 1 battalion of ‘Mechs), Capellan War College Legion (Battalion Sized unit)

Results: After some desultory fighting, the Panzer Brigade quickly picked up stakes and fled off world, headed for Outreach. The Home Guard and the Legion fortified Ceres City and made the Davions fight block by block for the world. The FedCom obliged, and after 28 days of brutal house to house fighting, the Federated Commonwealth flag flew from the ruins of the Ceres Metals plant. Barely a battalion’s worth of survivors were left to surrender to the Federated Commonwealth forces.


Attacker: Grim Determination, Lindon’s Regiment, Hansen’s Roughriders, 2 Artillery Brigades
Defender: Tooth of Ymir (4 Battalions in size), Sarmaxa Home Guard (1 combined arms regiment)

Results: The fighting for Sarmaxa was expected to be rough, and it did not disappoint, with the Tooth of Ymir fighting hard for every inch of the planet soon after the FedCom forces made planetfall. After 10 days of fighting, and there being no sign of relief from the Confederation, the Tooth of Ymir asked for terms. The FedCom forces, led by Colonel Sarah Lindon, offered the Tooth the honors of war, and let them leave unmolested. The next day, the Home Guard surrendered unconditionally.

No Return:

Attacker: 1st Davion Guards RCT, 6th Syrtis Fusiliers RCT, 4th Royal Guards, 3 Artillery Brigades
Defender: House Hiritsu (50% strength), No Return Home Guard (3 combined arms battalions)

Results: House Hiritsu put up a brave, but doomed defense. As they were outnumbered, outgunned, and lacked enough skill and experience to make a go of it. With the remaining elements being destroyed after being pinned against the Tief River along with the Home Guard. Barely a battalion’s worth of Capellan troops managed to surrender after 2 hours of one sided fighting.


Attacker: 2nd Ceti Hussars RCT, Blue Star Irregulars, 6th Crucis Lancers RCT, 2 Artillery Brigades
Defender: Randar Home Guard (2 combined arms battalions)

Results: The Home Guard stacked arms and surrendered soon after the arrival of FedCom troops, as the Capellan commander was not eager to “Be a party to the murder of his own troops.”


Attacker: 20th Avalon Hussars RCT, Delta, Gamma, Epsilon Regiments, and Zeta Battalion, Wolf’s Dragoons, 2 Artillery Brigades
Defender: Kincade’s Rangers and Minnacora Home Guard (1 combined arms regiment)

Results: The Rangers and Home Guard dug in around the Cortide Magnetics plant, and fought hard to keep the Hussars and Dragoons out. They held both units off for three days, but succumbed when Zeta Battalion performed a low altitude avalanche drop under cover of artillery and air support right atop the factory. With the perimeter breached, both the Home Guard and Rangers crumbled and were crushed within hours.


Attacker: 36th Lyran Guards RCT, 1st Fedcom RCT, Laurel’s Legion
Defender: Redfield’s Renegades, House Matsukai, Tsinghai Home Guard (2 infantry battalions)

Results: Tsinghai turned into a meatgrinder, with neither side showing nor expecting quarter, and both sides were exhausted by the end of the month. Both sides soon dug in and awaited reinforcements.

St. Ives Thrust


Attacker: 1st and 2nd St. Ives Lancers
Defender: Harloc Home Guard

Results: The St. Ives units arrived in time to preside over the end result of a coup that had placed a pro-St. Ives planetary government in charge.


Attacker: Aliesha’s Mounted Fusiliers, Devon’s Armored Infantry, Group W, Davion Heavy Guards RCT

Defender: Lockhardt’s Ironsides, Hexare Home Guard

Results: Lockhardt’s Ironsides were routed handily when their attempt to attack the LZs of Devon’s Armored Infantry ended in disaster, with the 1st and 3rd battalions being destroyed piecemeal, and the 2nd battalion being forced to surrender. The Home Guard remained in barracks and surrendered the next day.

Zilang Thrust


Attackers: Team Banzai, Lexington Combat Group (all three regiments), 41st Avalon Hussars

Defenders: Yuris Home Guard

Results: The Yuris Home Guard was smashed within hours of the FedCom landings. This cut off the Capellan-Blakist advances against Frazier and Bromhead, leading to the CCAF and WOBM sending frantic orders to their forces to mass to retake Yuris. The FedCom forces on Yuris were ordered to dig in and be ready to greet them.

Visitors bring news from the Draconis March[]

Davion Palace
New Avalon
1st June, 3057

Omiko Kurita gave Victor Steiner Davion a happy smile that never reached her face as she sat in the private audience chamber next to him. Victor looked more at ease than he had been for the last two days now that the final strike to deal with the Liaos was scheduled. She reached over and took his remaining hand in hers, interlacing her fingers gently with his.

Her inner smile widened as she saw Katherine sipping tea before handing the empty cup to a servant. Her sister-in-law to be also looked like she had found some measure of inner peace now that the end was drawing night for the slayers of her parents.

The servant at the door coughed to get their attention. "Duke Sandoval of Robinson, Princess Steiner-Davion, Duke Sanromea-Davion of El Dorado, Leftenant General Sandoval, Your Highnesses."

Omi stiffened fractionally as Victor's hand clenched on hers in shock. Behind her impassive face, her mind raced faster than a sprinting Jenner as the four nobles entered.

The Lord of the Draconis March was immediately identifiable to her from her studies, of course, as was his son in his uniform. She spared a brief fond thought for the happiness that her friend Yvonne had in the presence of the dark-haired and dark-eyed military man on her elbow. The fourth man was unknown to her, although his reddish-brown hair, neatly groomed and waxed mustache, and slight resemblance to Victor identified him as the Sanromea-Davion Duke.

The delegation bowed as they reached their proscribed place. "Greetings Archon-Prince Steiner-Davion, Princess Regnant Steiner-Davion," Duke Sandoval's voice lost all warmth as he finished, "Baroness Tanaka of Ozawa."

Katherine smiled, "My Lords. Yvonne. Please be seated. It is good to see you all again. What concerns you?"

James Sandoval handed a data packet to the servant, who then took it to the holoprojector. "The Dragon has struck, as I have warned you."

A star map formed and zoomed in on the border with the Combine six stars scattered up and down the border began to blink orange. Sandoval began to point out details as Victor, Katherine, and Omi leaned forward to examine the map.

"Combine Battlemech units have raided Royal, McComb, Helen, Murchinson, and Towne with elements of three separate Battlemech regiments, including one of the Ryuken that Miyako Kurita is using for her shock troops. In addition, I just received words from Skye that the 40th Galedon Regulars have occupied Sabik and Atria in an apparent first stage attack to isolate and pocket the Lyons Thumb. DMI's analysis is appended."

Omi's eyes widened as red arrows struck from Kessel and Dieron to envelop the bulge of Lyran worlds between them. Victor withdrew his hand from hers and pointed. "We don't have much in the way of reliable units with the AFFC holding down Skye and disarming Ryan Steiner's separatists. That could be a big problem. How firm are these troop numbers?"

Tancred Sandoval stood alongside his father. "Sire, 72% probability. As you know, DMI, MIIO, and LIC all shifted the focus of their efforts to the Clan OZs for Clover Spear, and then to the Capellan March and Sarna March when the Liaos struck us. So we have had to rely heavily on your friend's networks. With the chaos in the Combine, multiple regimental forces believed to be loyal to both factions have gone missing. We know that Pesht was being stripped with unconfirmed reports of heavy shipping movements in Benjamin and Galedon. We have confirmation that Miyako is rotating the more damaged units back to Dieron to rebuild Mech losses and integrate replacements while Franklin is believed to have concentrated the Amphigean Light Assault Group and Proserpina Hussars on Matsuida where they act as a threat to the entire Dahar PDZ and the Rimward edge of Raman to Robinson. A pathway that they used in the First Succession War."

Hostile red icons formed and dotted lines showed two possible attack vectors to Robinson.

Victor glanced at Omi, "Have you seen evidence of this?"

The Kurita royal leaned forward with an intent look on her face, "Iie, not as such for invasion plans... Although Miyako is growing more and more unstable from all my information. My advice to you regarding her may not have been the best, I fear."

Diego Sanromea-Davion glared at Omi with naked hatred on his face as he interjected. "Your advice! Your advice killed mi niña pequeña because you did not call the Kuritas the threat that they are!"

Katherine spoke up as Omi's eyes widened in shock, "What is this news, cousin?"'

Tancred touched a control and the last moments of Victoria Sanromea-Davion were played. All eyes turned to Omi, who was watching with a pale face. The Kurita took a deep breath and stared into Duke Sanromea-Davion's eyes as she bowed her head in apology. "I have indeed erred, and my error has harmed you and yours. I swear upon my honor that I shall make amends for what my poor decisions have wrought."

"Words! Words are not enough, only deeds will serve now! I shall see the price that your honor is worth. Mi Victoria..." Sanromea-Davion subsided at a quelling touch and look from Yvonne, who shook her head silently.

Whatever response was coming to that was interrupted my Kommandant Parvati's entrance. "Pardon the interruption, but I have FLASH traffic from our Combine network that just arrived at the Palace communication center."

Fox Responds to the Mad Dragon's Nuclear Fire[]

The room was silent as the grave as the images that had been transmitted from Masamori City finally came to an end.

Victor looked around the room, seeing equally shocked faces. "We have to do something. Options?"

James Sandoval cleared his throat. "I have a contingency plan worked up. Operation NAQAM would send additional forces to the Lyons Thumb to repel the invasion. I plan on the 2nd Robinson Rangers from Phecda since they just need jumpship assets to move from the Marik frontier to the Lyons Thumb. The First Rangers would move to Royal and then secure Marduk along with Raman DMM assets. meanwhile, mercenary units will be assembled to pin down and secure the Mech factories on Quentin and Al Na'ir to punish the units responsible backed with conventional forces supplied from the Addicks and Kentares DMM. I have already arranged funding and have agents acting under my authority as Commander of the Draconis March speaking to representatives of several mercenary units on Outreach and Galatea."

Katherine rubbed her temples and sighed. "As long as it does not interfere with our planned attack into the Capellan Confederation. I can authorize that, but the Capellans must be put down for good now."

Yvonne and Victor nodded. "Agreed."

Omi spoke quietly as she looked at the corpse of another of her family members. "I... pledge you my full assistance. We must minimize the damage and that means that Miyako Kurita must be defanged. Uncle Chandy... Moushiwake gozaimasen deshita. Morning Glory, even though you wither, dawn will break anew."

The Kurita royal bowed her head and swallowed her tears as the holoprojector was switched off.

  • Story Section by Yellowhammer

Mad Dragon war for Hachiman[]

Masamori City
Galedon Military District
Hachiman, Draconis Combine
June 8th, 3057

Miyako Kurita scowled at the tactical map projected inside her headquarters in the Urizen Kurita Junior Warrior's Academy. Planetfall had proceeded as per her wishes, but the rest of the campaign had not.

The first indication that the plan was not going according to her desires was when Gin battalion of Ryuken-yon -- her old command! -- had crossed the Yamato River on the Sanethia Kurita Memorial bridge. Forward elements had secured the far side and the bulk of Ryuken-yon was crossing when a yacht approached the bridge.

The resulting nuclear detonation incinerated two companies of her elites, including Sho-sho Shodaru and his Mobile HQ unit along with the bridge that they were on, and was the signal for a regiment of Black Dragon Battlemechs to slam into the battalion that had made it across. None of her men and women made it back, with the survivors pulled from their cockpits, tied up, and then dropped onto the radioactive glass of the steaming crater to expire in agony from their wounds, heat, and lethal doses of radiation in front of her soldiers' horrified eyes.

She was fortunate that she had stopped her Naginata in the rear of the advance to deal with a logistics tie-up at her spacehead when the trap was sprung. Instead her comrades died screaming while she tried to funnel reserves to salvage the situation.

The battered remnants of Ryuken-yon plus her personal guards held the riverbank under her direct command until Ryuken-san's assault Mechs could join the two companies of survivors clinging to the shattered buildings lining Tai-so Dalton Way and begin to exchange fire with the enemy across the river. Seeing the garrison regiment of the Sixteenth Galedon Regulars here, she had ordered the mobile forces of the Twelfth Dieron Regulars to probe the flanks to try to locate a weak point, or as it turned out, hostile reinforcements. The probe south found the Thirteenth Sun Zhang dug in along the riverbank and desultory long-range fire was exchanged when the other shoe dropped.

Second Battalion of the Twelfth Dieron hit a battlemech force coming their way as they probed north into the Floating District pleasure district. The Ninth Benjamin Regulars, which had claimed their loyalty to her and were supposed to be on Proserpina watching the Davions had turned their coats and been smuggled here. Once again, Miyako led Ryuken-yon into the fire, along with a backing battalion from Ryuken-san and the loyalists of HTE's Corporate Security Force.

Somehow, her scratch force held, although one of every two of her samurai fell like cherry blossoms around her as the Floating District burned on her orders to delay the enemy. As the flames raced through town uncontrollably she was able to dig in along a defense line shielding HTE and the spaceport and finally rotate her weary soldiers back for repair and rest.

Scouting probes over the next days revealed the stalemate. The enemy had two veteran city fighting units in Masamori City with the cadets of the Thirteenth to provide pickets and reinforcements. Worse, they were dug in along the river facing her to the steaming crater that was once the main bridge linking the two halves of the city. From there, her line bent sharply back west through the smouldering rubble of the residential districts servicing the Floating City and the factories to be anchored at the HTE complex's fortifications.

The enemy had not been idle either and constant lance and company-sized skirmishes flickered along the battlefront as armor and ashigaru infantry units lurked in ambush. Any retreat offworld would be unthinkable to contemplate, but without fresh troops, she saw no way to break the deadlock.

With that she flipped a switch and the strategic map replaced the tactical map.

She surveyed the scattering of crimson icons and hateful yellow icons of the suspected positions of the traitors. along the Galedon/Benjamin border, with the upper boundary the gray of the Clan OZ and the lower the blue of the FedCom. She tapped keys, pulling up transport availability and fore readiness projections as her eyes narrowed.

"Sho-sa Tomokamai!"
"Yes, Coordinator?" The young soldier barked out with a light Swedenese accent to his Japanese.

"Take a message directly to our ComStar representative personally. message is as follows. Priority HPG transmission to the following units. To Marduk, the Twenty-Second Benjamin Regulars dispatch a battalion to Proserpina to backstop the planetary militia and secure the planet, and send their best battalion to reinforce Hachiman. To Xinyang, move the Fifteenth Benjamin Regulars to Hachiman. To Arkab, move the Sixth Arkab Regiment to Xinyang to cover our supply base. To Shimonoseki, Planetary Militia Commander will retransmit to the Twenty-Second Dieron Regulars to stand in readiness to be dispatched to Hachiman if needed to reinforce efforts to liberate the planet once their convoy jumps into system.”

A second aide entered the room with a message form in hand. “Coordinator! The Forty-Fifth Dieron Regulars have gone rogue! Elements of their regiment have been reported as raiding Camlann, Buckminster, and Shionoha! Planetary militia forces are reporting serious damages to industries and personnel.”

Miyako scowled and pinched her nose. “I do not have the forces to hunt these ronin down. Once the Black Dragons are crushed, then we can proceed with exterminating traitors and bandits such as these. Give the orders for troop movements as directed.”

As Ichiro Tomokamai saluted and departed, he began to mentally prepare an addition for the message to the Sixth Arkab. “I should notify my father that in the event of a Clan attack into the military district he commands or if the bandits of the Forty-Fifth assault his words, Miyako Kurita will not defend them. Tai-sa Bjutial of the Sixth and he are long friends and will pass the warning along.”

  • Story Section by Yellowhammer

Unpleasant News on Sian[]

Celestial Palace
Throne Room
Forbidden City
Sian, Capellan Confederation
June 9th, 3057

I can hear your laughter, Mother. Sun-Tzu Liao grimaced as he looked at the daily situation reports. It was one disaster after another, McCarron’s Armored Cavalry butchered, other mercenaries deserting rather than fighting? Home Guard units surrendering? It was making the 4th War look like a worst case exercise.

And all through it, Sun-Tzu could hear his mother’s incessant laughter.

“Senior Colonels, what advice do you have for me?” he asked them

Talon Zahn clicked his heels. He was resplendent in his dress uniform, with his black hair shone in the harsh lighting of the throne room. “Your, Celestial Wisdom. The only advice I have is a simple statement; ‘Wo gao-su le ni’ We told you this plan would not work, we told you a variant of LONG MARCH would have been a better option-“

Zahn’s remonstrative was cut short with a subtle grunt of pain, as a stiletto slid effortlessly between his ribs from behind. The wielder none other than the one eyed visage of Alexa Shang. Her face was a mask of hate, and her one eye bore into Zahn’s two. “How dare you.” she whispered. “How dare you say this to the, Chancellor? How dare you say this, after you kissed his ass and shouted ‘Xin Sheng’ right along with the rest, you lickspittle scum! Where is your family, Colonel Zahn? Oh yes, on their way to Canopus..and safety.”

Shang kicked Zahn in the back. The blow throwing him to the ground as a slowly spreading ichor stained his white uniform. She glanced back at Sun-Tzu.

Sun-Tzu smiled. “Well done, Major Shang. I will promote you to Colonel. She has more spirit and guts than the rest of you. Unlike this…rubbish. Remove it from my presence.”

Alexa, I do hope you know it is past time to do what you promised me you would do? Has loyalty overcome your common sense?

Two attendants dragged the gasping Zahn from the Chancellor’s presence, making sure not to get any blood on the floor.

Sun-Tzu surveyed the room. “Is there any other advice? I will accept honest advice. So long as it respects my station. But that said, ladies and gentlemen, we are in the direst situation the Confederation has ever known. We are finding out who our friends are. So, options, what can we do to preserve our state, our home?”

The room was as silent as a tomb.

Sun-Tzu grunted in frustration. “I see you are brave enough to face the Federated Commonwealth, but not me. No matter. I have no need of mute advisers. You are all relieved. Get out of my sight…GET OUT!!!”

The now fired advisers, with their staff filed out of the throne room for the last time, with the last closing the heavy doors of the throne room behind him with a loud, deep bang. Sun-Tzu wondered if this was an omen for the futures of his realm.

June 9th was a dark day for the Confederation, and when that bitch killed Zahn in front of us? We knew we'd lost him, and she was completely complicit. I consider myself lucky we were all just fired.

- Unpublished Memoirs of Major Alexandr Rytov, Capellan Military Intelligence Division,
former intelligence chief to Senior Colonel Talon Zahn.

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