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Thread: Dividing the Bones (One-Shot)

  1. #1

    Default Dividing the Bones (One-Shot)

    A/N: This is just a short one-shot, based upon Cubone's pokédex entry. It’s based on pure speculation, so it's not official by any means. It’s rated PG-13, just because, and it probably fits under the genre of a horror/drama – though not the hack and slash macabre horror that you might think of. :/ It’s also written in a different point of view --*gasp* It's not second person! -- because I wanted to try out the style. I use both present and past tense. There we go.

    All comments, critique, criticism, etc. are greatly appreciated and welcomed. Typos will be killed upon sight. :3

    Dividing the Bones

    By: Saffire Persian


    I can finally breathe again.

    I inhale deeply, relief coursing through my body, all the way down to the very marrow of my bones – hers and mine.

    It’s as if a great weight has been lifted off me. Finally, the burden I have been carrying for these three long, painful years is gone. Gone, gone at last; but in place of that great weight, comes a deep, harrowing sorrow. It’s the kind of sadness that leaves scars for you to remember it by. I don’t understand how the others can speak so lightly of it. For years, amongst my fellow brethren and sisters, we often joked of it as a game.

    A game where if you win, you live; you lose, you die.

    The roar of the waterfall behind me is soothing, clattering on the many rocks, with its groans reverberating around the slick walls of the cave. It’s a peaceful place, and hardly anyone bothers to come here anymore. It’s my place, my secret place -- mine and hers.

    I feel that I should be crying. My eyes are red and raw, and I haven’t slept. But, I tell myself, what right have I to cry? I gave up that right a long time ago, as soon as I was born and learned of my fate – we all did.

    “Al’xious?” a voice echoes off the cave’s walls, almost drowned out from the waterfall. I turn my head, my eyes catching a brown shadow as it flits up the damp stone steps towards me. The Cubone stops feet away from me, a solid bone club clutched protectively in his right paw. I recognize him. “Ah, I thought you’d be here.”

    He looks around for someone, but the person he is looking for is no longer among the living. She has gone to join the spirits of our proud ancestors.

    I think he realizes it, too. But still, he asks. “Where’s Zareen? She’s always with you.”

    He was right, Zareen was always with me, an overprotective mother that wanted nothing more than to watch her son grow up in the little time she had. But that time had come and gone. She used to be with me, but not anymore.

    Without hesitation, I point to a still, prone form on my immediate right. Jin cranes his head to look around me, his coal-black eyes widening in surprise as he wanders over to Zareen's body, allowing his paw to rest against cold, brown flesh. Slowly, he regains his composure, looking up at me from his place beside the body. “It’s guess it's finally over, huh? When did she die?”

    “During the night.”

    “Aa.” He nods his masked head. “Well, it’s about time.”

    I flinch visibly, paws tightening into fists. Jin doesn’t act like he notices my discomfort whirling his bone around like one of the younger Cubone. I can tell he notices though, it is not his nature not to notice. He just likes to hide it over a strange façade – a child-like one, almost. It has no doubt saved him much pain over the years.

    Round and round his bone continues to twirl, and in a display of his dexterity he throws the bone up in the air, catching it and twirling it expertly seconds later. “I mean,” he continues, “what has it been? Three years? Most get it over with in two.”

    “Not everyone’s like you, Jin,” I say a bit coldly.

    “Naa,” he retorts. “It’s more like not everyone’s like you. And here I thought you’d end up becoming a No-Face."

    I reel around to face him, my whole body tensing up in anger. “I’d rather die than become a No-Face,” I hiss softly.

    I’ve seen them before, the No-Faces. They are pitiful creatures, shades of the Cubone they once were. They hide in the shadows, always lurking near the Boneyard, hoping to be lucky enough to seize a chance at a second life. The No-Faces are considered lower than the bones that surround them, milling about like annoying cockroaches who refuse to die, and all because they choose a different path in life – the Coward’s way. The No-Faces are they who refused to complete the task that was expected of them.

    Choosing to be a No-Face is something I once, a very long time ago, considered doing. But once I actually laid eyes on one, I vowed never to think such foolish thoughts again.

    I’ll never forget that day when I first saw a No-Face. I’ll never stop remembering that wretched creature whose eyes were sunken in with ribs that pushed up against its pale skin as it crawled on all fours like a worm along the ground before me, a tragic monster worthy of pity.

    I did not kill the No-Face when I saw it, like I was supposed to. Instead, I let it go. It was not out of kindness, nor was it out of mercy: it was out of understanding. I knew why it chose such a terrible path, even if I would never follow its example. However, the Bone-Keepers were not quite so accepting as I that day. They killed it as it as it fled across the sea of bones. Its screeching wails and cries for forgiveness as its mask-less face and body was savagely battered and broken fell on deaf ears. The Bone-Keepers would not allow a tainted being such as itself to desecrate the Boneyard. To do so meant death.

    Blood ran freely on the stone altar when night came, and the No-Face was made an example of. Its skin and flesh were hung up on the Boneyard’s north wall for all to see. Its own bloody bones were what held up its body, tied together with ligaments that had been torn out of its cold, debilitated corpse.

    The No-Face was supposed to be an example to all of us, to show us what our fate would be if we choose that life – a life that was far worse than death. I knew, then, that the Coward's life would never be mine.

    Never.

    "Al'xious?"

    I snap back to the present, glaring at Jin one more, gritting my teeth and trying to forget his little joke at my expense. He takes my fading irritation in stride, kneeling down besides Zareen's still body that was curled up in a ball like cat.

    “You going to take her to the Bone-Keepers tonight, then?” he asks.

    I nod. He continues to stare. “Jin?”

    He looks up at me. “Eh?”

    “Was it hard for you?”

    “Naa,” he says lightly, cheerfully, as I watch him pass the bone back and forth through his hands as he stands up. “Not in the least. When the time came, it was a cinch. Mother always told me I was always stronger than Father – so there was no contest whatsoever.”

    “That’s not what I was talking about.”

    “I don’t get what you’re trying to say, Al.”

    “Yes you do.”

    Jin sighs. His gaze suddenly becomes serious, and he looks at me with stone-cold eyes, his voice flowing like slow-moving water. “Not at all.”

    He doesn’t fool me. I hiss as I take in another deep breath. “Liar.”

    He smiles like a Persian and shrugs, eyes sparkling with some secret truth. “So I lie. What of it? We’re all liars, anyway. It’s best that you learn how to do it properly, Al, ‘cause when you finally get up the courage to go and face the outside world, they’ll look, they’ll see, and they’ll ask. Count on it. And you will lie – you’ll have to in order to protect yourself from those who cannot understand the truth.”

    Deep down, I know that he is right.

    ++++++

    That night, I watched through distant eyes as my mother burned.

    I took her up to the Boneyard myself, my smaller frame carrying her fully-evolved body up through the cave, using all the strength I had gained over the years to do so. Her body had long since gone cold with the chill of death, stiffened with rigor mortis. Her face was peaceful, though; there was no grimace or look of horror upon her face as her soulless eyes gazed up at me.

    She had died in her sleep, so even though her last breath was cut short as her neck was snapped in two, she felt no pain. For that, I was grateful.

    The Bone-Keepers took her from me as soon as I reached the Boneyard. They carried her toward the alter, laying her body gently down upon it, and I watched as the Marowak Bone-Master took her place at its head. Inward she breathed, her exhale sending a rush of flames flowing onto the altar. The fire surrounding her body, greedily licking at her skin. Lesser Pokémon would have been been reduced to ash within minutes, but not my mother -- she was strong in life, and she was still strong in death. It would take some time for her body to finally give in to the strong blaze.

    Around me, the light of the large bonfire reflected through the many crystals that grew along the cave's walls and ceiling. From them came a multitude of colors, illuminating the boneyard with its rainbow hues. The sea of bones seemed to glow then, pulsing with a life of its own.

    Our ancestors were finally welcoming her home.

    ++++++

    The ritual continued until all skin, flesh, and muscle melted away, leaving nothing but her skeleton as proof of her existence, for our kind’s bones could never burn. The Bone-Keepers then took her bones and divided them carefully from the ash, laying them out in a circle around the altar, with her shielded skull in the middle. All six of the masked figures then stood back from the altar, surrounding it like a ring of immovable statues.

    It was all up to me to fulfill the last rites, now.

    No words were spoken as I stepped up to the altar, choosing a bone from the many that lay before me. It was her femur bone of which I chose – it was by far the longest and toughest bone in her body, and I would need that strength in times to come.

    Then, as I had been taught, I moved to the last piece of her I would take with me: her head. It would become my shield, my mask, and the proof of her sacrifice to sustain my existence. With her bone that now was my weapon, I struck the thin bone that protected the skull inside: Zareen’s mask. I could not take her mask and make it into my own, for it was not mine to take, so I had to break it apart.

    It yielded, cracked, and finally gave way to the real prize within, like the outer shell of a cracked nut would its own treasure, once the outer casing has been penetrated. I took it out of its shattering covering, and like the master bone-craftsmen of my kind, began to fashion it into a creation of my own making.

    Slowly but surely, I tore the jaw from the rest of the skull, carefully pounding away at what was to become my new face. Larger holes were made in the eye sockets, smooth edges were made jagged; every bit was reconstructed and disfigured until the skull could no longer be called my mother’s. It was mine, now.

    I couldn’t help but think then, as I slowly draped the finished skull over my head, about all the times my mother had helped me throughout my life.

    When I was young and naďve, she would play with me and put up with my annoying wails for hours at a time.

    When I was sick, she would care for me, making sure that I’d gain back my strength and recover.

    When I was hungry, she would make sure I only got the best of berries and meat to eat, and sometimes she would bring me that rare berry that I really liked – the kind that was hard to get to, and only grew in the deep, dark crevices of the our home.

    When I grew older, she taught me how to fight, to use my strength to overwhelm opponents, and use the earth power that was mine to complete my tasks. She taught me to respect the bones, and to use them skillfully, for they, she had said, were our greatest weapons.

    She also taught me what I must do to become an adult, and told me, as best she could, the terrible, but sacred ritual of my people. If I could not accomplish it, I would die, or worse, become a No-Face and live in filth and disgrace (having erased my own existence) until the Bone-Keepers took me, and hung me like game on a hunter’s gibbet.

    I realized then, that not once during those three long years, did I thank her for any of it. Never once did I stop and tell her I loved her, that I appreciated everything she did for me, and that I would be saddened at her inevitable passing.

    It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it was because I couldn’t. How could I, as her only son, look her in the eyes and tell her all those things, when I knew that one day – whether days, months, or years from that time – I would have to kill her?

    But now I have finally completed my task and she is gone.

    I walked away from the from the ash covered alter, looking back for the last time. Thank you, I said silently. I love you…

    ..and I miss you…

    The ritual's finally over, and I now I’m alone – from now, until forever.
    Last edited by Saffire Persian; 6th July 2006 at 6:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Sempris Guest

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    :jaw drop:


    That's just about all I can muster at this moment. I'll get back to you later...

    J/K. That was awesome. Cubone, obviously. You captured the emotion perfectly, and I could see everything happening like a movie playing in my head. I'm not a very good reviewer, so, I can't really tell you anything bad or what you need to work on. Didn't see any typos either while reading, so, you'll just have to take my praise for such a fine work of art.

  3. #3
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    Hm .. it took a bit to get into the story, and already I was starting to get a grasp of what pokemon you meant, but I didn't understand what you meant by no-face for a moment I almost imagined that creature from Spirited Away running around eating everyone..

    Dark and touching, this really makes one pause and think about things. And I must say this was an interesting read, and a very intruging(>> yes I know I typoed this) way to spin a tale about Cubone and Marowak.

  4. #4

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    Very evocative. I like the POV too. Very good, taking the pokedex entry and making a whole fic out of it.
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    Wow. That was cool. I didn't get it at first. But it was very cool. The last part really touched the heart. Poor Zareen. ;.; Sad to die after three years.

    Well, I couldn't see any typos so... yeah, great job! You really captured the scene perfectly. ^.^

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    ...Now that was a nice one shot. =D

    I guessed near the beginning that it was a cubone, the 'no-face' was a big clue. I loved how you wrote this piece, going into the feelings, yet not to much, gradually revealing more facts about the story. A job well done. =D

    Keep up the good work!
    Last edited by katiekitten; 4th July 2006 at 12:52 AM.


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  7. #7
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    Another one shot by you, aye? I know I really shoulda been reviewing Laughingstock today but....


    I inhale deeply, relief coursing through my body, all the way down to the very marrow of my bones – hers and mine.
    I really liked the phrase "down to the very marrow of my bones" And theres a typo, I should be you

    a voice reverberates
    You used reverberates not too long before, I suggest using a different word for one of the reverberates

    “Aa.”
    Is this supposed to be like Aah?

    I did not kill the No-Face when I saw it, like I was supposed to. Instead, I let it go. It was not out of kindness, nor was it out of mercy: it was out of understanding. I knew why it chose such a terrible path, even if I would never follow its example. However, the Bone-Keepers were not quite so accepting as I that day. They killed it as it as it fled across the sea of bones. Its screeching wails and cries for forgiveness as its body was savagely battered and broken fell on deaf ears. The Bone-Keepers would not allow a tainted being such as itself to desecrate the Boneyard. To do so meant death.
    That was nice and vivid, you sure are doing good at giving us an insight into the culture of the Cubone/Marowak. I can really see that No-Face (which I assume is the Cubone without a mask) all pitifully crawling

    He smiles like a Persian and shrugs, eyes sparkling with some secret truth. “So I lie. What of it? We’re all liars, anyway. It’s best that you learn how to do it properly, Al, ‘cause when you finally get up the courage to go and face the outside world, they’ll look, they’ll see, and they’ll ask. Count on it. And you will lie – you’ll have to in order to protect yourself from those who cannot understand the truth.”
    Very intellectual passage that makes us really think

    The ritual continued until all skin, flesh, and muscle melted away, leaving nothing but her skeleton as proof of her existence, for our kind’s bones could never burn. The Bone-Keepers then took her bones and divided them carefully from the ash, laying them out in a circle around the altar, with her shielded skull in the middle.
    Oooh, this is more of a choice thing, but if that was me, I would have really described this scene well as it would be pretty interesting and puts stronger emphasis on this ritual.

    When I was young and naďve, she would play with me and put up with my annoying wails for hours at a time.

    When I was sick, she would care for me, making sure that I’d gain back my strength and recover.

    When I was hungry, she would make sure I only got the best of berries and meat to eat, and sometimes she would bring me that rare berry that I really liked – the kind that was hard to get to, and only grew in the deep, dark crevices of the our home.

    When I grew older, she taught me how to fight, to use my strength to overwhelm opponents, and use the earth power that was mine to complete my tasks. She taught me to respect the bones, and to use them skillfully, for they, she had said, were our greatest weapons.
    This is reminding me of another certain scene from another certain one shot



    I was very excited to see that you wrote another one-shot, I love your writing very much as I am sure that you already know. I just feel that you have a real gift of words and know how to use and string em together so I can peruse through them effortlessly and with great enjoyment. Kudos to you Sapph! Your work never manages to bore me and that's probably its greatest trait. I could really feel for Al'xious as I do with most of your charachters, even though he was very proud on the inside, I could tell that even he shared a little discomfort with this whole situation, as I'm sure most Cubones do. I was expecting for him to run out of it and become a No-Face, but I suppose in some stories the main charachter has to conform in the end. My favorite part of this entire one-shot was the description of the No-Face and how he was murdered and held up to be shown as an example. That was some good quality writing right there. So overall, you did a great job showing the culture of these Cubones and the difficulty of the ritual of becoming an adult through your mother's death. Question, when does the Cubone have to murder his mother and will she expect it?


    Now onto the crit. There's just really three main things I have to mention. Number one, you kept using I instead of you, which is a pretty big mistake. Number two, I kinda wish you emphasized more on the relationship of the mother and son during the beginning of the story rather than cramming it at the end, cos correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that a pretty important aspect of this story? Maybe it's not, you're the author I suppose XD And lastly, at some places I think you should have added more description unless you planned on keeping certain things vague. The places I thought that coulda used beef were the description of his mother's original corpse, the descriptionof his mother's burning, and maybe a stronger emphasis on him becoming an adult. I'm unsure of what you want to emphasize on: him becoming an adult or his relationship with his mother or him becoming an adult at the price of his mother. The ending seemed to emphasize the relationship with his mother the most, I felt it should emphasize becoming an adult at the price of his mother, but again, that's your choice as the writer.


    Very well-written one-shot! I just request that ask that you beef up some areas some more and that you emphasize the relationship between the Cubone and his mother some more.

    Keep on writin'!
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  8. #8
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    I really liked this story very much Saffire Persian! So this is the first time you did first person? Yeah, first person is not a very easy point of view, but it is fun though! Right now I am working on a story with first person point of view.

    Well, I really don't see any typos in here, but that is probably because I am a little tired right now. XD. I had been working on "Heart of the Sea". I guess for now I saw highlight my favorite parts.

    I’ll never forget it. I’ll never stop remembering that wretched creature whose eyes were sunken in with ribs that pushed up against its pale skin as it crawled on all fours like a worm along the ground before me, a tragic monster worthy of pity.
    Oh, nice description of the No Face.

    He smiles like a Persian and shrugs, eyes sparkling with some secret truth. “So I lie. What of it? We’re all liars, anyway. It’s best that you learn how to do it properly, Al, ‘cause when you finally get up the courage to go and face the outside world, they’ll look, they’ll see, and they’ll ask. Count on it. And you will lie – you’ll have to in order to protect yourself from those who cannot understand the truth.”
    I agreed with IceKing of how this passge will make us think. This reminds me of how my dad told me about how people lie to protect themselves but eventually they will be caught. I hate liars.>_<

    Slowly but surely, I tore the jaw from the rest of the skull, carefully pounding away at what was to become my new face. Larger holes were made in the eye sockets, smooth edges were made jagged; every bit was reconstructed and disfigured until the skull could no longer be called my mother’s. It was mine, now.
    This is very interesting how the Cubone did that to its mother skull so that he can call it his own.
    But now I have finally completed my task and she is gone.

    I walked away from the from the ash covered alter, looking back for the last time. Thank you, I said silently. I love you…

    I miss you…


    The ritual was finally over, and I now I’m alone – from now, until forever.
    Aw...I loved the ending! Nice of the Cubone to said that, even though he killed her and smashed his mother's skull to make it to a different shape.

    I really loved how you put the emotions in that story too. You always have a knack at that in stories huh?^^ Believed it or not, your stories exactly inspired me to write fanfics of my own. Now you know the truth! XD Well again, good work. Hope you read more of your stories soon!

    ~Good night, and good luck~


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  9. #9

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    o.0' Geez, I come back from the Superman movie (it's good, go see it. You get to see Lex Luther in a bathrobe.) Annyway:

    Sempris: Thanks, yes, Cubone obviously. Thanks for reviewing, it was a fun one-shot to write. ^^

    Yami Ryu: Yeah.. It was supposed to be vague, but not too confusing. :/ Thanks for your comments though. I went back and added to things very, very slightly to make things a bit more clearer. I hoped people would get the No-Face thing (Cubone's without masks), but I hope I made it easier to understand now. o.o Thanks for your review.

    Blackjack: Yeah. ^^ I find the pokédex entries quite intriguing, and Cubone's has fascinated me for awhile.

    Literate:
    Wow. That was cool. I didn't get it at first.
    Hmm.. thanks for telling me. You weren't supposed to get everything, but I went back and tried to make things a tad more clearer.

    But it was very cool. The last part really touched the heart. Poor Zareen. ;.; Sad to die after three years.
    Well, she was older than three years, just three years after she had her son, she died. XD Thanks for your review!

    Katiekitten:
    ..Now that was a nice one shot. =D

    I guessed near the beginning that it was a cubone, the 'no-face' was a big clue. I loved how you write this piece, going into the feelings, yet not to much, gradually revealing more facts about the story. A job well done. =D

    Keep up the good work!
    X.x I thought it was sort of obvious, but I can see I failed to make that a bit clearer at first. A few people were confused. ^^ Yeah, it was supposed to work in a gradual way, revealing a bit more as time goes on. Thanks for your review as always, Katiekitten.

    IceKing:

    Another one shot by you, aye? I know I really shoulda been reviewing Laughingstock today but....
    Yes. x.x Yes you should But I forgive you!

    I really liked the phrase "down to the very marrow of my bones" And theres a typo, I should be you
    XD.. I actually looked at the passage, and it took me like.. ten seconds to get what you meant -- then it hits me, and I'm like "OH! XD"... Umm.. to that, I say I was broadening my horizons. o.0' It would've worked as second person, though -- in fact, I'm now comfortable enough to say that most anything can be written in second person and still make sense. XDXDXD.... Don't'cha miss the parentheses?


    You used reverberates not too long before, I suggest using a different word for one of the reverberates
    echoed it shall be!


    Is this supposed to be like Aah?
    XD.. No, it's meant to be "Aa." Why? Because it sounded good to me. XDXDXD.


    That was nice and vivid, you sure are doing good at giving us an insight into the culture of the Cubone/Marowak. I can really see that No-Face (which I assume is the Cubone without a mask) all pitifully crawling
    Aye! Maskless Cubone who refused to well..kill their mothers. :/ You can't blame them. Glad you got the "No-Face" thing.. I went and made that idea a bit clearer, but you got it the first time. *Gives cookie and runs*


    Oooh, this is more of a choice thing, but if that was me, I would have really described this scene well as it would be pretty interesting and puts stronger emphasis on this ritual.
    It probably would be a good thing, and I'll probably edit it in sometime.

    This is reminding me of another certain scene from another certain one shot
    Is it that obvious? *shot* Just kidding. XD I know what you mean, and I was like "Meh. I just need to finish this, though I've teetered on keeping it in and deleting in for the whole day.


    Your work never manages to bore me and that's probably its greatest trait.
    *waves the 'yay' flag*. XD

    I was expecting for him to run out of it and become a No-Face, but I suppose in some stories the main charachter has to conform in the end.
    Mmm.. I don't think he would have. He saw the No-Faces and observed how they were treated -- he didn't want to become on of them. XD Plus, Zareen was dead anyway, so all he had to do was throw her into t he Fire. Running off to become a No-Face wouldn't have done anyone a shred of good.

    My favorite part of this entire one-shot was the description of the No-Face and how he was murdered and held up to be shown as an example.
    Me, too. I'm morbid *dies* XD

    Question, when does the Cubone have to murder his mother and will she expect it?
    Mmm.. To quote Jin: "“I mean,” he continues, “what has it been? Three years? Most get it over with in two.”

    So, usually within two years -- Al was pretty slow, but he did it. The maximum would probably be four, then they either have to run away and become a No-Face, or their mothers go and kill them before they can become one (at least that's what I think) XDXDXD.... Nice, eh?

    And yes, she would definitely expect it. She had to kill her own mother herself, too. So she knew she'd likely end up dying if she ever had a child. :/ So yeah, she knew and expected death.




    Number one, you kept using I instead of you, which is a pretty big mistake.
    XDXDXD.... I was broadening my horizons. I thought about doing it in second, but then I thought "People are probably bored of me doing that. XD".


    Number two, I kinda wish you emphasized more on the relationship of the mother and son during the beginning of the story rather than cramming it at the end, cos correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that a pretty important aspect of this story?
    Probably would be better to add more stuff, but I wanted to keep it kind of vague and hazy, thus it was a bit crammed at the end.

    I think you should have added more description unless you planned on keeping certain things vague. The places I thought that coulda used beef were the description of his mother's original corpse, the descriptionof his mother's burning, and maybe a stronger emphasis on him becoming an adult.
    I meant it to be a bit vague, though I agree a few spots could be described a bit more in places. Some of the spots I did and deleted later sounded kinda tacky and runon-y though. X.x Dunno why.

    I'm unsure of what you want to emphasize on: him becoming an adult or his relationship with his mother or him becoming an adult at the price of his mother. The ending seemed to emphasize the relationship with his mother the most, I felt it should emphasize becoming an adult at the price of his mother, but again, that's your choice as the writer.
    It was more of the last option, I was trying to convey in the last scene that, despite how much he loved her, he ended up killing her in the end, even though she did all those things for him, that he was grateful for, but he never could tell her. Perhaps I went about it in a slightly wrong way, but Zareen is important, none-the-less, and the relationship between them is there.

    Thanks for the review.. I still have LSD to do. XD *realizes that sounded wrong*

    Bay: No typos? I rejoice. XDXD Though i can bet there are some in there just waiting to jump out and bite me.

    Aw...I loved the ending! Nice of the Cubone to said that, even though he killed her and smashed his mother's skull to make it to a different shape.
    XDXD.. I loved how you phrased the last part. ^^ And yeah, the Cubone are really good at heart, they just have a tradition most of us couldn't understand... but the truth is, there are people out there that have pretty strange traditions/beliefs that we may not understand, but that shouldn't make us hate them or try to change their ways, and though they may seem gory, horrible, and unbelievable in most eyes, they have their reasons for doing it. And in the Cubone's tradition, they're not doing it to be cold-blooded-killers. It's just their way of becoming an adult.

    Believed it or not, your stories exactly inspired me to write fanfics of my own. Now you know the truth! XD Well again, good work. Hope you read more of your stories soon!
    Aww, thanks, Bay. ^^ Thanks for your review. And, well, once the Comedy thing is graded *cough* You'll have something new to read. This was just an appetizer. Good luck in that, BTW (you,too, Katie.)

  10. #10
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    Another one-shot by the Master of Second-person! And it's not in second-person... :< Ah well, it's still good.

    A game where if you win, you live; you lose, you die.
    Reminds me of a book I'm reading. *pokes sig*

    Without hesitation, I point to a still, prone form on my immediate right. Jin cranes his head to look around me, his coal-black eyes widening in surprise as he wandered over to Zareen's body, allowing his paw to rest against cold, brown flesh.
    Bolded things are changes that I made to make it sound correct in my head. I dunno if you agree, or want me to shut up. :x

    Thanks for the review.. I still have LSD to do. XD *realizes that sounded wrong*
    lolz... It sounds very wrong indeed. XD

    Keep up the good work, Saffire! (I'm also slightly teary-eyed that that very cute banner for Metamorphosis is gone. Ya know, the one with the Meowth and Caterpie. ;; )

  11. #11
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    I realized then, that not once during those three long years, did I thank her for any of it. Never once did I stop and tell her I loved her, that I appreciated everything she did for me, and that I would be saddened at her inevitable passing.

    It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it was because I couldn’t. How could I, as her only son, look her in the eyes and tell her all those things, when I knew that one day – whether days, months, or years from that time – I would have to kill her?
    ;-;

    What a moving and incredibly sad bit of introspection that is there. The above passage also serves as a prime example of the tragic elements that make this story so powerful. Tragedies hold most of the top spots on my unwritten list of favorite fics (and stories in general) - this is right up there with Aurora's one-shots and your own The Ties that Bind.

    This story has something else going for it that causes me to just love it to death: Pokécentricity. ^^ Not only that, but it's Pokécentricity of the sort that fleshes out a Pokémon culture fantastically, so vividly that I am made to readily and easily imagine the day-to-day existence of the Cubone and Marowak as a people and the possible histories behind their customs. A world shown in near entirety through just a glimpse - the mark of Pokécentric fiction at its finest.

    Speaking of the customs of these creatures, the ritual of obtaining the bone mask and weaponry of their kind was highly detailed and creative, thought-out in an amazing number of aspects. The fact that the Cubone must take their mother's lives themselves was a wonderfully haunting interpretaion of the Pokédex data for Cubone. The idea of the Marowak's inner skull that must be broken and chipped out of an outer casing was very clever, serving to effectively explain how Cubone could be wearing a Marowak's skull when the skull of a Marowak appears so different from what a Cubone wears. I also liked the thought of it being carved and altered to be something that was no longer the mother's, but now truly the Cubone's own. And the concept of the No-Faces was possibly the best touch of all to this custom of the Cubone and Marowak. The loathing of those who reject the custom serves to show the degree of importance and even sacredness with which the macabre ritual is held in their society.

    Oh, and I must mention how awesome the name Al'xious is. *_* I am curious as to what the proper pronunciation of that would be (I've been pronouncing it AL-sh(ē)us).

    This story joins the ranks of my favorite fics of all time. Congratulations on an instant classic. ^^
    DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
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    impessive one-shot, Cubone Marowak are one of my favourite ground types, so reading about their grisly culture was quite an interesting experience...

    although there are certain questions that sprang up from the one-shot, such as: how does the Marowak speices survive without going extinct?, for one thing, In order for a speices to propregate and thrive, each marowak couple must produce at least 2 offspring to replace the older generation, Marowak only seem to produce a single baby (since it would be the only one to receive mother's skull). Then add that that single offspring must kill it's own mother, regardless of weither it would be able to breed again or not. The Marowak species would be extinct if it existed in real life.

    Another question would be what would happen if a female Marowak gave birth to twins? do they fight to the death over who kills their mother?

    then again, I might be thinking too hard once again...

    hm... perhaps I aught to expand upon it Marowak culture sometime...?
    Part-time Fanfic writer, Full-time crank.

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    Hanako Tabris: Another one-shot by the Master of Second-person! And it's not in second-person... :< Ah well, it's still good.


    Reminds me of a book I'm reading. *pokes sig*
    Indeed. It fits Ender's Game perfectly.

    Bolded things are changes that I made to make it sound correct in my head. I dunno if you agree, or want me to shut up. :x
    Thank makes more sense, I think.


    Keep up the good work, Saffire! (I'm also slightly teary-eyed that that very cute banner for Metamorphosis is gone. Ya know, the one with the Meowth and Caterpie. ;; )
    It'll be back. XDXD.. Thanks for the review.

    Sike Saner



    This story has something else going for it that causes me to just love it to death: Pokécentricity. ^^ Not only that, but it's Pokécentricity of the sort that fleshes out a Pokémon culture fantastically, so vividly that I am made to readily and easily imagine the day-to-day existence of the Cubone and Marowak as a people and the possible histories behind their customs. A world shown in near entirety through just a glimpse - the mark of Pokécentric fiction at its finest.
    ^^ I love going in to Pokémon cultures. XD Marowak and Cubone have been at the top for a long time. o.0 I would love to go into them more in the future. Dunno how, but it'd b efun.

    And the concept of the No-Faces was possibly the best touch of all to this custom of the Cubone and Marowak. The loathing of those who reject the custom serves to show the degree of importance and even sacredness with which the macabre ritual is held in their society.
    The No-Faces are my favorite, too. ^^ It's sad, but it happens. And you could see why they would want to do it.

    Oh, and I must mention how awesome the name Al'xious is. *_* I am curious as to what the proper pronunciation of that would be (I've been pronouncing it AL-sh(?)us).
    I pronounce it two ways.. both are fine. The first, yours is pretty dead on. The other is quite similar, pronounced: "AL-Shy-oux." For a harder tone. Either one works, and I'm fond of both.

    This story joins the ranks of my favorite fics of all time. Congratulations on an instant classic. ^^
    ^^' Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    PDL: mpessive one-shot, Cubone Marowak are one of my favourite ground types, so reading about their grisly culture was quite an interesting experience...

    although there are certain questions that sprang up from the one-shot, such as: how does the Marowak speices survive without going extinct?, for one thing, In order for a speices to propregate and thrive, each marowak couple must produce at least 2 offspring to replace the older generation, Marowak only seem to produce a single baby (since it would be the only one to receive mother's skull). Then add that that single offspring must kill it's own mother, regardless of weither it would be able to breed again or not. The Marowak species would be extinct if it existed in real life.
    True, but the Pokédex entry states that they always wear the bones of their deceased mother, which tells us that the Mother dies probably very early in the Cubone's life. And there's only one skull for the Cubone to wear, its mothers, and there's only one of them, which made me come to the conclusion they have only one child before dying. So, technically, Marowak should be extinct.

    However, I thought about this when I wrote it, and came to some plausible conclusions. First were the No-Faces. They run away without killing their mothers, which would elad them to be able to breed again. And although the No-Faces are killed if they're caught messing in the Boneyard they still are capable of living long lives. They can live and "steal a second life" as I alluded to, by raiding the boneyards and searching for a skull, take it, and use it to hide. The Skull they took would be very likely from one of the long-dead males of the clan. They might have children and teach them values different from the main clans, and raid the boneyards for skulls when the time comes so they can "fit" in society.

    I also think Marowak wait awhile before ever producing offspring and are capable for living many, many years as I've said before. So the males would continue to exist for awhile, and females who don't want to produce offspring. So they wouldn't be constantly dying off, but I think they would fluctuate at the same levels, more on a decline, of course. It's why I believe that the Marowak/Cubone culture is a very small, secluded one. Heck, it's very likely that they are currently a dying species. Slowly dwindling away because of their macabre traditions. Also -- you might also keep in mind that once, who knows how long ago, they might not have pursued that tradition. Something could've changed in that society - a war or something, I dunno - to change the balance that much into something new. As certainly Cubone were never originally given skulls, they had none, so their appearance is in actuality much different -- so the tradition was of their own making. Marowak would look, I'd wager, different too when they evolved when they don't have skulls, as evolution (as I see it) merely fuses the "mask" to the face more fully.


    Another question would be what would happen if a female Marowak gave birth to twins? do they fight to the death over who kills their mother?
    That, or even go after the father. If there are twins, then that would very likely be allowed, and it would be the Father's duty to accept that fate. If the father's not around, it's likely they would fight and kill each other over it, or something else would be done.

    The Cubone/Marowak pokédex entries are full of interesting things, but they leave a lot of holes also. I just attempt to fill them.
    Last edited by Saffire Persian; 5th July 2006 at 6:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saffire Persian
    First were the No-Faces. They run away without killing their mothers, which would elad them to be able to breed again. And although the No-Faces are killed if they're caught messing in the Boneyard they still are capable of living long lives. They can live and "steal a second life" as I alluded to, by raiding the boneyards and searching for a skull, take it, and use it to hide. The Skull they took would be very likely from one of the long-dead males of the clan. They might have children and teach them values different from the main clans, and raid the boneyards for skulls when the time comes so they can "fit" in society.
    perhaps there could even be different socieites of Marowak that have different traditions of where they get their skulls and bones from...

    mmm... you may have inspired me...
    Part-time Fanfic writer, Full-time crank.

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    Hi,

    I've been reading several of your fics for quite a while now, and the degree of detail in your fics and the emotion it invokes is perfect: not too much, but just enough to leave your readers wondering. I'm very impressed.

    The fate of the No-Faces is intriguing though: what goes on the 'other' side of Marowak society? It would be an interesting concept to explore, seeing Marowak society from an 'outsider' 's point of view.

    I loved "Requiem of a Dream" a lot: would you be continuing with the fic? Just wondering, that's all.

    ~Frost

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    I'm in the mood to review so yeah...XD

    This was an amazing one shot. Great job, Saffire!

    A game where if you win, you live; you lose, you die.
    I found that part awesome for some reason XD

    I realized then, that not once during those three long years, did I thank her for any of it. Never once did I stop and tell her I loved her, that I appreciated everything she did for me, and that I would be saddened at her inevitable passing.

    It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it was because I couldn’t. How could I, as her only son, look her in the eyes and tell her all those things, when I knew that one day – whether days, months, or years from that time – I would have to kill her
    ;___________;

    I have to admit, it took me a few minutes to understand it, but it's still a great one shot ^^

    PEANUT BUTTER FOR YOU, SAFFIRE.

    ~Timid Kyogre

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    perhaps there could even be different socieites of Marowak that have different traditions of where they get their skulls and bones from...

    mmm... you may have inspired me..
    Aye, that's true. ^^'... No problem.

    Frost Nova:
    The fate of the No-Faces is intriguing though: what goes on the 'other' side of Marowak society? It would be an interesting concept to explore, seeing Marowak society from an 'outsider' 's point of view.
    Aye, I shall definitely have to do that sometime - it'd be nice looking in from the other side.

    I loved "Requiem of a Dream" a lot: would you be continuing with the fic? Just wondering, that's all.
    ^^ I'm glad someone really likes it. I've been wondering if people really have. You've got to wonder sometimes. And yes, I'm planning on updating it - hopefully within the next month or so. I've just been concentrating on other fics.

    Timid Kyogre: I'm still watching out for red-haired men. :3

    Anyway, thanks for your review, and it was supposed to be a bit on the vague side. Glad you liked it. ^^

  18. #18
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    This one really stood out to me. The "No-face" angle in particular is the one of the best parts of this story. Going by Cubone/Marowak and the Pokedex description...it just works.

    As others have said, indeed there was a perfect amount of emotion and description so I won't bother to repeat in detail what's been said above. Really, really good. I wonder if you plan to take Pokedex descriptions with any other Pokemon and make a story out of it? Could be interesting, considering the broad range of Pokemon we have.

  19. #19

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    This one really stood out to me. The "No-face" angle in particular is the one of the best parts of this story. Going by Cubone/Marowak and the Pokedex description...it just works.

    As others have said, indeed there was a perfect amount of emotion and description so I won't bother to repeat in detail what's been said above. Really, really good. I wonder if you plan to take Pokedex descriptions with any other Pokemon and make a story out of it? Could be interesting, considering the broad range of Pokemon we have.
    Mm... Yes, I very likely will. I have an Absol one ( Requiem of Dream ) in progress. But it's quite likely I'll take some kind of interesting Pokédex entry and make it into a story. (I have a couple I can think of right off the top of my head.

    the No-Faces were my favorite part about the story, too. Thanks for your review.

  20. #20
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    That was a truly amazing story.

    And I must say the reason for marowak becoming one of my favorite pokemon.

    I really liked the part with no-faces, I knew when I first read it that they were skull-less cubone, obviously from it being a story about cubone and me knowing about the pokedex entry. The cool thing about them was, they were always in the shadows, not making themselves known, even though they were actually the good ones refusing to kill there mother, but being shunted from society for doing it.

    twas a well written story and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

    Diddy.
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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    To say that this moved me in the greatest sense one can find..

    ... Would be a serious understatement.

    Of course, there was the usual: *looks it up*

    I did not kill the No-Face when I saw it, like I was supposed to. Instead, I let it go. It was not out of kindness, nor was it out of mercy: it was out of understanding. I knew why it chose such a terrible path, even if I would never follow its example. However, the Bone-Keepers were not quite so accepting as I that day. They killed it as it as it fled across the sea of bones. Its screeching wails and cries for forgiveness as its mask-less face and body was savagely battered and broken fell on deaf ears. The Bone-Keepers would not allow a tainted being such as itself to desecrate the Boneyard. To do so meant death.

    Blood ran freely on the stone altar when night came, and the No-Face was made an example of. Its skin and flesh were hung up on the Boneyard’s north wall for all to see. Its own bloody bones were what held up its body, tied together with ligaments that had been torn out of its cold, debilitated corpse.
    But then, the subject you picked up here - the faintest trace of innocence and purity in a macabre world, full of violence and a serious want of empathy - it conveyed something no literary work has yet done - in fact something I can't even explain. You rerally moved me today, and for that I salute you.

    *salutes and doesn't manage a concussion to the head*

    The monotonous, emotionless inhuman (or, I should say here, nonliving, since none of the characters were actually human, in the literal sense) words of Jin and the sadistic, merciless mutilations of the Bonekeepers was bad (well, to tell you the truth, the mutilation part envoked a rather sadistic little feeling in me), but what impacted me the most was this, the very basis of Cubone society:

    I couldn’t help but think then, as I slowly draped the finished skull over my head, about all the times my mother had helped me throughout my life.

    When I was young and naďve, she would play with me and put up with my annoying wails for hours at a time.

    When I was sick, she would care for me, making sure that I’d gain back my strength and recover.

    When I was hungry, she would make sure I only got the best of berries and meat to eat, and sometimes she would bring me that rare berry that I really liked – the kind that was hard to get to, and only grew in the deep, dark crevices of the our home.

    When I grew older, she taught me how to fight, to use my strength to overwhelm opponents, and use the earth power that was mine to complete my tasks. She taught me to respect the bones, and to use them skillfully, for they, she had said, were our greatest weapons.

    She also taught me what I must do to become an adult, and told me, as best she could, the terrible, but sacred ritual of my people. If I could not accomplish it, I would die, or worse, become a No-Face and live in filth and disgrace (having erased my own existence) until the Bone-Keepers took me, and hung me like game on a hunter’s gibbet.

    I realized then, that not once during those three long years, did I thank her for any of it. Never once did I stop and tell her I loved her, that I appreciated everything she did for me, and that I would be saddened at her inevitable passing.

    It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it was because I couldn’t. How could I, as her only son, look her in the eyes and tell her all those things, when I knew that one day – whether days, months, or years from that time – I would have to kill her?

    But now I have finally completed my task and she is gone.

    I walked away from the from the ash covered alter, looking back for the last time. Thank you, I said silently. I love you…

    ..and I miss you…

    The ritual's finally over, and I now I’m alone – from now, until forever.
    Of course, I'll just give the little hints as well. Just for kicks XD

    He smiles like a Persian and shrugs, eyes sparkling with some secret truth. “So I lie. What of it? We’re all liars, anyway. It’s best that you learn how to do it properly, Al, ‘cause when you finally get up the courage to go and face the outside world, they’ll look, they’ll see, and they’ll ask. Count on it. And you will lie – you’ll have to in order to protect yourself from those who cannot understand the truth.”

    Deep down, I know that he is right.
    It seems to me that, following the laws of nature, they all still have a greater side to them.

    Hey, you just sparked an idea in me. Thanks!

    *starts thinking about the Equilibrium*

    The fire surrounding her body, greedily licking at her skin. Lesser Pokémon would have been been reduced to ash within minutes, but not my mother -- she was strong in life, and she was still strong in death. It would take some time for her body to finally give in to the strong blaze.
    This, too. It's stuff like this that keeps me close to tears throughout the fic..

    Or maybe it's just that I've been seeing more of my emphatic, sympathic side nowadays. Who knows?

    I think I'll just pen down now.

    Vigoura evanus, ey aterna...
    Pyroken Serafoculus
    Last edited by Praxiteles; 13th July 2006 at 2:21 PM.

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    lovely, just lovely, it is so sad, so real, so helpful. you truley have dived into the mind of a cubone. i think you have done a truley wonderful job and also i think you truley have writing talent. lovely. just lovely. and it was so easy to understand
    Chapter three now up. Please read
    Thnx go to kitsune boy389 for the banner. profile pic, thanx to yuki.
    here is my authors profile
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    pyroken: Thanks. ^^ I didn't think this one-shot would be as succssful as it was.

    The monotonous, emotionless inhuman (or, I should say here, nonliving, since none of the characters were actually human, in the literal sense) words of Jin and the sadistic, merciless mutilations of the Bonekeepers was bad (well, to tell you the truth, the mutilation part envoked a rather sadistic little feeling in me), but what impacted me the most was this, the very basis of Cubone societ
    Yeah. ^^ The Cubone society has always fascinated me.

    Deadly Rose: Thanks ^^ I'm glad I captured the essence of cubone society here.

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    Woah... Looks like I missed out on another great fic even though I comb the fanfic forums regularly!

    I feel that I should be crying. My eyes are red and raw, and I haven’t slept. But, I tell myself, what right have I to cry? I gave up that right a long time ago, as soon as I was born and learned of my fate – we all did.
    Eh... Take a look at Pokemon Sapphire's pokedex entry on Cubone and you'll find quite a contradiction there!

    Blood ran freely on the stone altar when night came, and the No-Face was made an example of. Its skin and flesh were hung up on the Boneyard’s north wall for all to see. Its own bloody bones were what held up its body, tied together with ligaments that had been torn out of its cold, debilitated corpse.
    Probably the only horror scene in the story, it does serve its purpose!

    He smiles like a Persian and shrugs, eyes sparkling with some secret truth. “So I lie. What of it? We’re all liars, anyway. It’s best that you learn how to do it properly, Al, ‘cause when you finally get up the courage to go and face the outside world, they’ll look, they’ll see, and they’ll ask. Count on it. And you will lie – you’ll have to in order to protect yourself from those who cannot understand the truth.”
    Faced with such a brutal fate, who wouldn't? Unless of course, they want to be branded as a savage tribe...

    But now I have finally completed my task and she is gone.

    I walked away from the from the ash covered alter, looking back for the last time. Thank you, I said silently. I love you…

    ..and I miss you…

    The ritual's finally over, and I now I’m alone – from now, until forever.
    ;_; All the more reason to treasure those precious memories of companionship...

    Well, I can sorta understand the cubone's culture since it's sorta similar to the one practiced in the deep regions of Papua New Guinea (If you must know, it's cannibalism). When an elder passes away, the flesh is roasted and divided among the village folk, and the descendants of that elder are compelled to partake in the feast. Too bad that the Kuru disease was also passed on by that ritual!

    And last, but not least...
    Typos will be killed upon sight. :3
    Lock and load!
    He just likes to hide it over a strange façade – a child-like one, almost. It has no doubt saved him much pain over the years.
    They carried her toward the alter, laying her body gently down upon it, and I watched as the Marowak Bone-Master took her place at its head.
    *Fires sniper rifle and watches bullets fly in slow motion*

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    First off, how are you supposed to pronounce Al'xious? I've been saying it al-ux-ee-us but with the 'uh' sound of the 'u' kinda removed.

    Blood ran freely on the stone altar when night came, and the No-Face was made an example of. Its skin and flesh were hung up on the Boneyard’s north wall for all to see. Its own bloody bones were what held up its body, tied together with ligaments that had been torn out of its cold, debilitated corpse.
    Revoltingly beautiful, Saff, revoltingly beautiful.

    Interesting take on that entry. I liked what you did with it. The concept of the No-Faces was well done, reasons, punishment and all.

    I’m alone – from now, until forever.
    Amazing ending line. I very much liked the feel it gave in closing. Overall another great job, Saff.

    I remember when "The Authors' Cafe" was still "The Author's Cafe".
    Scrap, purple_drake, Ryano Ra, and Burnt Flower are my fanfic idols.


    --fics--
    NEW:Emory In Viridian- A more realistic spin on a new trainer trekking through Viridian Forest. [one-shot]
    NEW:Pallet Evening News [on DeviantArt and not Serebii due to short length] - A disturbing report from Pallet Town's evening news concerning three new trainers. [one-shot]
    Tómur -Dark contemplations of an undisclosed Pokemon about nothingness and the end. [one-shot]
    The Traveler - A lonely traveler encounters a malevolent pokemon during the night on Route 8. [one-shot]
    Redead - A Redead's perspective on its own life. [Legend of Zelda one-shot]

    More at my DeviantArt



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