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Aberrant: No Fate - Chapter 2: The shape of things to come


Joani
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Originally Posted By: Courier
"As for our mystery lady, did the Directive give you a fingerprint kit? Let's try to learn something about her before she wakes up. Which will be soon by the way."


"I do have one, but not on me. That said it's equally possible that her prints will not even be on file. Still I can got an retrive it if you like." Malcolm hauls himself up out of the chair and meanders into the kitchen where he grabs a random assortment of bread, crackers, cheese, vegtables and the like eating quickly while listening to the conversation.
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"At this point we don't know who we're working against," Gray says to The Fool. "Fixing that is step one."

"Callum, why don't you get the kit? It may be a dead end, but at least then we'll know it's a dead end. Even no record will give us some information, which is more than we have now. If anyone has a digital camera, we should get a picture of her face now, before she lights up again."

"Nos, lets you and me work out a plan for contacting the Teragen without giving away our location. Fool, you do the same for Omega. Once we have all the pieces worked out, then we can make the first moves."

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Malcolm looks less than happy, "OK, I'll be right back. No laughing though," he says with an air of disappointment. He finishes the handful of food and step back into the closet, shutting the door behind him.

Perhaps a minute later the closet opens again and Malcolm steps out, a black case under his arm and a camera bag slung over his shoulder. "Ask and you shall recieve," he says as he kicks the closet door shut behind him.

He quickly fingerprints the woman and sets the small portable scanner to reading the images while he photographs the woman. After taking a few shots of her face he pulls back the blanket. As he continues to snap pictures he explains, "Birthmarks and tatoos can often be usefull in missing persons cases when the fingerprints are not on file. My father is a cop, so some of this stuff actually stuck I guess."

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Gray comes up behind Callum and ducks under his arm to see the stranger more clearly. She reaches to yank the blanket off her feet as well, and examines her with unsettling intensity...memorizing the details of her body just in case she ever wanted to imitate her.

When done, Gray reaches out to try to turn the woman over onto her front to repeat the process on the other side.

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Quote:
Nos, lets you and me work out a plan for contacting the Teragen without giving away our location. Fool, you do the same for Omega. Once we have all the pieces worked out, then we can make the first moves.


He wished they would stop calling him Nos. It made him feel that he was a bottle of compressed gas. He would correct them later.

Nosferatu remembered that when he was at the Blackburn, there were subterranean levels. "I think that Synapse had a contingency for such a disaster. If the subway system is still intact, the underground levels of the Blackburn might also be there. If so, Synapse would be lurking on the OpNet. I suggest we attempt to make contact with him online."

Nosferatu walks over to the OpNet terminal and logs on to a secure server frequented by Terats. "Synapes would be able to tell us what is happening. He would also understand our predicament and be able to help. I hope."
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Originally Posted By: Callum Uallas

He quickly fingerprints the woman and sets the small portable scanner to reading the images while he photographs the woman. After taking a few shots of her face he pulls back the blanket. As he continues to snap pictures he explains, "Birthmarks and tatoos can often be usefull in missing persons cases when the fingerprints are not on file. My father is a cop, so some of this stuff actually stuck I guess."


Callum quickly makes use of the acquired material sending ID-requests directly via the Directive and receiving updates in mere milliseconds. Your "guest" is one Nadine Denkstein Sales Manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Manhattan. She is 28 years old, not married, no children. Her parents live in Germany. No criminal record, Driverslicense, Social Security number, everything is perfect. She was born in Germany, moved to the US at age 16, finished High School and went to College, got a degree in Psychology and then started her career in the Hotelbusiness. She is not registered as being a Nova.

The woman starts to moan as Gray turns her around. Just as Gray finishes her examination the woman opens her eyes warily.

"Where... who... are you?", she manages to stutter still extremely exhausted.
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Originally Posted By: Nosferatu

Nosferatu walks over to the OpNet terminal and logs on to a secure server frequented by Terats. "Synapes would be able to tell us what is happening. He would also understand our predicament and be able to help. I hope."


In a matter of seconds Synapse answers to Nosferatus message locating your position with alarming speed and precision.

"About time you showed up, Nosferatu. I don't even want to know who your friends are but you're in trouble for sure. If I let Geryon know that you suckers are in Paris he'll tear the city in half and use that fucking Eiffeltower to hit you and Gray into Pluto's orbit." Synapse's Icon flickered angry over the whole screen.

"And tell you what? That Newton-Guy contacted us again. He says he wants to hand us Caroline for a truce. He claims he has nothing to do with whatever destroyed Manhattan. I suggest you and your friends move your collective asses over here and we talk business.", Synapse hesitated before he added

"Right now no one knows where you guys are, besides me... I'll give you an hour to think about it... and don't try to run. We'll find you."
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Nosferatu shuts of the OpNet terminal. "That didn't go down as well as I had planned. I'm sorry." Nosferatu didn't see any reason that anyone, other than Gray and himself, go to the Blackburn. "I will head over to the Blackburn with Gray. Not doing so, makes our position more precarious."

Nosferatu began to gather his stuff.

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Tom sighs and says,

"Surprise, surprise, they're pissed. Soon, maybe very soon, Utopia will paint this as a Teragen operation and then the world goes to war with them."

"We can't fight something with nothing. I think I need to send that letter out to at least try to spin this. No, I need to say that one of you ID'ed the big bad as Newton and then send it out."

Tom looks at Jack significantly and says,

"You're a pre-cog aren't you? Can you predict the future enough to see which move is right?"

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Malcolm was putting his camera and equipment away as Nadine awoke. Without turning he spoke up, "Everything is going to be fine Nadine, I'm afraid we have some rather severe news for you however. Please take what time you need to compose yourself and then we must explain some things to you."

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Quote:
Fool, you do the same for Omega. Once we have all the pieces worked out, then we can make the first moves."


"And Proteus will be wondering about me..." Jack takes a deep breath, preparing himself for what he needs to say next. "I know you all probably think Im completely crazy...shit I think I'm going crazy."

"But I think I am starting to understand what happened to me. I can remember everything about being him, but now its as if seen through a glass darkly. Being the Fool is like a lucid dream, and right now I feel like I am fully awake. I can remember the dream but its somewhat dim, for the colors of a dream are unlike those seen by the naked eye."

"Yet... Who is the dreamer and who is the dream? I...I just don't know anymore. I feel him inside of me even now, though not like a seperate person. Less Sybil and More Jekyl and Hyde, the part of me that is power incarnate. This person you see now...maybe I did exist as a real person at some time but that time is gone now. The only reason I am here is as a tool for him. I'm just a disguise. Another mask..."


Jack looks like he may actually start crying.

Quote:
Tom looks at Jack significantly and says,

"You're a pre-cog aren't you? Can you predict the future enough to see which move is right?"


"I...Im not sure. When He is here I know I can tell things before they happen, but immediately so. Viscerally, in the moment. I...He...also has facilities with divination. I don't know if that's as good as some novas I've heard of but...I'd be willing to try."

From his dark bundle of Eufiber, Jack produces a very old and arcane looking deck of cards.


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Sean frowns as Nosferatu is located. Crap, there goes this identity. Synapse can track it down at least.

"Alright guys, This location has been blown. Nos, I think you are right. You and Gray will need to make contact, but the rest of us are going to move asap. Synapse may be a good guy and all and honor that 1 hour head start, but I'm not willing to chance it. Everyone else, grab some food and whatever else might be useful as quick as possible. We need to make ourselves scarce."

Sean rushes into a bedroom and rummages through a closet and pulls out some sweat pants and a sweatshirt and a few other things and heads to the living room. He hands them to Nadine. "Here put these on. We'll have to find you some better clothes once we get to where we are going."

Looking to the rest. "I have a car downstairs, I think we will have to content ourselves to driving. I could maybe make a couple more more trips the fast way but I'd rather save that for an emergency and recuperate a bit. Nos, I'm afraid we won't be telling you and Gray where we are going. Drop us an email at this address and we will contact you." He hands Nos a paper with an adress scribbled on it. He shrugs, "What you don't know you can't reveal even unintentionally."

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Originally Posted By: Lily
Gray quickly covers her up again, tucking the blanket around her.

"Shh...try to stay relaxed," she advises. "My name is Samantha Gray. You're in a safe place. How are you feeling?"


Originally Posted By: Callum Uallas
Malcolm was putting his camera and equipment away as Nadine awoke. Without turning he spoke up, "Everything is going to be fine Nadine, I'm afraid we have some rather severe news for you however. Please take what time you need to compose yourself and then we must explain some things to you."


"I am parched.", Nadine croaked. "Who are you people? What is going on?", she was slowly realising that she was naked and pulled the blanket weakly up as if she could hide underneath it.
(PM for Callum)
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"I wouldn't suggest that, an anonymous message board would be harder to trace than an email. It would allow us to leave you coded messages as well in case we need to update the both of you." Malcolm writes down the name of a well known internet forum and details the steps they ought to use. "Keep it anonymous and coded and we'll be off to a good start."

His equipment beeps and he gives it an odd look. Checking the display he gives a suprised "hmm" before closing the terminal up and packing it back into the kit.

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Sean nods to Callum, "You're right. That address I gave was a throw away, but an anonymous forum would be harder to trace."

Looking at Nadine, "Nadine, we can explain more fully as we travel, but the short answer, is that there was a tragic accident in Manhattan, and you appear to have erupted as a result. Right now we need to move to a safer location. We are novas as well and our various abilities allowed us to survive. Unfortunately, because we did survive what others did not, we are wanted by the authorities as being the possible instigators of the tragedy. When I say 'we' I'm including you. Right now the public is in the mood for blood and until we can clear our good names we need to remain in hiding." He smiles at her warmly and points to Cherub.

"You may recognize Cherub over there, he is a member of Project Utopia and saved Cestus Pax's life last week. He was on the news. Unfortunately, we were all in the wrong place at the wrong time."

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Originally Posted By: The_Fool
..."Yet... Who is the dreamer and who is the dream? I...I just don't know anymore. I feel him inside of me even now, though not like a seperate person. Less Sybil and More Jekyl and Hyde, the part of me that is power incarnate. This person you see now...maybe I did exist as a real person at some time but that time is gone now. The only reason I am here is as a tool for him. I'm just a disguise. Another mask..."

Jack looks like he may actually start crying.
Tom says gently,

"Jack, he is you with the quantum. You are him without the quantum. That doesn't make you any less of a person. Think of it as... you're Blue, and quantum adds yellow. You become Green. That's not dominate it's just different."

Quote:
From his dark bundle of Eufiber, Jack produces a very old and arcane looking deck of cards.
Tom comments,

"Those won't work unless you turn on the juice."

Originally Posted By: Mr Fox
He smiles at her warmly and points to Cherub.

"You may recognize Cherub over there, he is a member of Project Utopia and saved Cestus Pax's life last week. He was on the news. Unfortunately, we were all in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Cherub notices the attractive naked woman noticing him and walks over. He gives her an apologetic smile and says,

"You can add yourself to that list too. Wrong time, wrong place. We're stuck with each over for now. Sorry for about the being naked bit..." (lie, he's not sorry) "...your clothes got trashed."
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Quote:
Tom says gently,

"Jack, he is you with the quantum. You are him without the quantum. That doesn't make you any less of a person. Think of it as... you're Blue, and quantum adds yellow. You become Green. That's not dominate it's just different."


That seems to pull him back from the brink and he says, with deadly seriousness, "Yes. Oh yes. So different. And so much pain."

Quote:
Tom comments,

"Those won't work unless you turn on the juice."


"Actualy I never used any juice in them or with them. I just meditate on the cards. The truth shows itself in time. Here let me show you..."

He begins to shuffle the deck.

((PM to Joani))

Quote:

"Who are you people? What is going on?",


Still shuffling, Jack smiles. Finally some semblance of the Fool comes out, no doubt the remnants of polite personality.

"My Apologies, Miss. It would seem that we have all been caught up in the webs of some very powerful people with intentions none too savory. I wish I could tell you who I am, but it would also appear that these same unsavory individuals saw fit to sanitize some or all of us of our salient selves. That is to say our memories and sense of Self. Some call me Jack..."

"And you are?"

Of course Jack has already ben informed of her name, but to let her know we have so much on her already might serve to intimidate, and we wouldn't want that...?
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Nosferatu had grabbed most of his personal gear, and the address to the anonymous OpNet message board so that they could re-establish contact with the team. After a round of handshakes, he finally stops at Gray and the Nadine nova. He flashes Nadine a big smile, his sharp canines clearly visible. "My apologies Miss, but I need to borrow Samantha for awhile." He gives Gray a worried look. "We have an appointment with a computer nerd."

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Originally Posted By: Lily
"I'll get you some water," Gray says. She gives an unreadable look to Sean, and goes to the kitchen to fill a glass of tap water.

Handing it to Nadine, she asks, "What do you remember?"


"I... I was about to meet with an important customer when I saw that strange blue light, after that its blank..."

Originally Posted By: Mr Fox
Sean nods to Callum, "You're right. That address I gave was a throw away, but an anonymous forum would be harder to trace."

Looking at Nadine, "Nadine, we can explain more fully as we travel, but the short answer, is that there was a tragic accident in Manhattan, and you appear to have erupted as a result. Right now we need to move to a safer location. We are novas as well and our various abilities allowed us to survive. Unfortunately, because we did survive what others did not, we are wanted by the authorities as being the possible instigators of the tragedy. When I say 'we' I'm including you. Right now the public is in the mood for blood and until we can clear our good names we need to remain in hiding." He smiles at her warmly and points to Cherub.

"You may recognize Cherub over there, he is a member of Project Utopia and saved Cestus Pax's life last week. He was on the news. Unfortunately, we were all in the wrong place at the wrong time."


"Nova, too? I don't understand... I'm not a Nova.", Nadine answered inbetween sips of her glass of water.

Originally Posted By: Courier

Cherub notices the attractive naked woman noticing him and walks over. He gives her an apologetic smile and says,

"You can add yourself to that list too. Wrong time, wrong place. We're stuck with each over for now. Sorry for about the being naked bit..." (lie, he's not sorry) "...your clothes got trashed."


Nadine just raised an eyebrow at Cherubs comment. "How long did I pass out?"
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Originally Posted By: Joani Reikspar
"Nova, too? I don't understand... I'm not a Nova.", Nadine answered inbetween sips of her glass of water.
Tom says gently,

"You mean you weren't a nova."

Originally Posted By: Courier
Nadine just raised an eyebrow at Cherubs comment. "How long did I pass out?"
Cherub replies,

"I think you were out for something like an hour. Your clothes went either in the incident or because of your powers. You appeared to have an alternate form. Like SuperBeast if you know him."
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Sean smiles at Grey, "We won't. Promise." He grinned at Nadine and gave her a wink to let her know it was a joke. Afterwards he became a bit more serious. "We do need to leave now, however. As fast as Nos was tracked, I don't want to stay here any longer than necessary. If we give them any more time they can turn the street camera's and such against us to track our movements. The sooner we hit the streets and lose ourselves in traffic and a couple vehicle changes the better off we will be."

He looked back at Nadine, "Please, I know it is a lot to take in so quickly but we are in danger and we need to leave quickly. If you could change as quick as possible, we should go."

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Nadine put on the clothes as asked to and kept her own questions to herself. She looked around like a captured animal that was about to be killed or experimented on.

"Please don't hurt me... I've saved some money, you can have all of it, but please, don't hurt me...", Nadine fought back tears but tried to remain calm.

-------------------

In the meantime Nosferatu and Gray wen't to meet with Synapse picking randomly an OpNet Café with private boothes. Once Nosferatu established connection the room filled with Synapse's Holographic image. Although artificial in nature it was clearly visible that Synapse was pissed.

"Didn't I tell you to show up with the whole Bradybunch? For gods sake, Nosferatu I'm not making jokes. I've got Geryon virtually on my back and told him to be patient to let do things my way. I'm trying to help you here, bro. You better start answering some questions - I'll find your new 'friends' anyway so why try to run?"

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Originally Posted By: Joani Reikspar
"Please don't hurt me... I've saved some money, you can have all of it, but please, don't hurt me...", Nadine fought back tears but tried to remain calm.


Malcolms hard expression softened, "It's ok, we're not going to hurt you, but right now you are in the company of a group that is currently wanted for destroying Manhattan. We can't let you go until we clear ourselves."

He offered her a hug and a shoulder to cry on, "Don't worry, we have no reason to hurt you. You're safe with us." As she cried into his shoulder he turned to the others and mouthed silently, Not a Nova, DNA analysis confirmed.
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"I'm not sure what you think our relationship with them is," Gray says calmly, "but we weren't in any position to coerce them to come. Since, as you say, you can find them easily, we didn't think it was that big a deal."

"As for questions, just ask."

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He didn't remember him asking the whole group to show up. He didn't see why they were needed either. They would not have come anyways.

Nosferatu's displeasure was clearly audible. "Besides, they are as clueless as we are about what happened. They can't provide anymore information than we can, so leave them out of it. Gray and I came here to tell you what we know. There is no reason for them to be here."

Nosferatu's tone became businesslike. "What is it that you wish to know friend?"

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Originally Posted By: Lily
"I'm not sure what you think our relationship with them is," Gray says calmly, "but we weren't in any position to coerce them to come. Since, as you say, you can find them easily, we didn't think it was that big a deal."

"As for questions, just ask."


Originally Posted By: Nosferatu
He didn't remember him asking the whole group to show up. He didn't see why they were needed either. They would not have come anyways.

Nosferatu's displeasure was clearly audible. "Besides, they are as clueless as we are about what happened. They can't provide anymore information than we can, so leave them out of it. Gray and I came here to tell you what we know. There is no reason for them to be here."

Nosferatu's tone became businesslike. "What is it that you wish to know friend?"


Synapse sighed audibly, "This is getting tedious... to hell with it. Just for you two knuckleheads to know, I could rain down every fucking governmental special ops team on your position and you'd never know what hit you... but I'm a nice guy as they say. No one knows what I know... yet. I'm in contact with Newton and his bunch. I even managed to get a mole in there to make sure he gets the 'right' ideas. I think the best option for you guys would to join with him in hiding until the dust has settled a bit. Of course that includes your 'friends', too... hence the reason I asked for all of you to come... anyway. I'm sending you an encrypted message with a means to locate Newton. I leave the rest to you. I'll tell Geryon and the others that you guys are dead or disappeared. Don't know if they'll buy it. Good luck.", Synapse Hologram faded away with the last words and the terminal goes completely blank.
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Originally Posted By: Joani Reikspar
Nadine put on the clothes as asked to and kept her own questions to herself. She looked around like a captured animal that was about to be killed or experimented on.

"Please don't hurt me... I've saved some money, you can have all of it, but please, don't hurt me...", Nadine fought back tears but tried to remain calm.
Cherub looked surprised and said,

"Hurt you? Money? Um... we're the good guys here. Also now you have powers yourself you're going to find out money is trivial. Anywhere you go baselines will shower it on you. Well, you will after this is over."

"Our current situation is this, an hour ago a guy named Newton murdered 4 million people. Something like that gets people riled up. They're determined to not let it happen again and to punish the people responsible."

"But Newton is smart, he saw that coming and found some scapegoats to take the blame. That'd be us. Newton has resources that are hard to believe, and you're a part of this now. Sorry about this, but I'm sure if we let you walk you'll be dead within a day. Newton has too many reasons to want you dead and you don't have any control over your powers."
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Originally Posted By: Callum Uallas

He offered her a hug and a shoulder to cry on, "Don't worry, we have no reason to hurt you. You're safe with us." As she cried into his shoulder he turned to the others and mouthed silently, Not a Nova, DNA analysis confirmed.


Nadine was still crying as she listened to Cherub.

"I don't have any powers! I don't understand what you're talking about. I don't even know anyone named Newton! Why on earth would he want me to be dead? I'm just a hotelmanager...", said Nadine frustrated.
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Originally Posted By: Joani Reikspar
Nadine was still crying as she listened to Cherub.

"I don't have any powers! I don't understand what you're talking about. I don't even know anyone named Newton! Why on earth would he want me to be dead? I'm just a hotelmanager...", said Nadine frustrated.
Cherub says,

"I personally saw you be big, bright, and glowy. That's what happened to your clothes. Your other form is bigger and energy and everything burned or burst."

"As for Newton, the problem is he knows you. Wrong place, wrong time. Welcome to our world. I think all of us found out bits and pieces of what he was up to. I found his underwater base. Maybe he was in your hotel and you saw something you shouldn't."

"Whatever. He teleported all of us to the middle of the devastation and blamed us for it. You're very new to your power and you don't have the resources to deal with this. Heck, none of us have the resources to deal with this by ourselves. We have to hang together or we're going to hang separately."
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Turning from the now dark monitors, Nosferatu shrugs. "That went 'different' than I expected. I imagined Geryon being here to beat the information out of us. Instead, it looks like we have a unexpected ally."

"What do you think Sam?"

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"Please don't call me that..." she replies absently, staring at the monitor.

"I think Synapse has reasons for his actions...and we shouldn't assume we understand them yet. Especially if he's in touch with Newton. How do we know he wasn't involved with this from the start?"

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"Will you accept my humble apologies then?" He gave her a slight bow. "Gray it is."

"I can't imagine Synapse would want to be part in any of this. That is not who he is." Why was Synapse in touch with Newton? Who was the mysterious mole? "I believe we can trust him for now."

Nosferatu longingly stares at the monitor. "I would have liked to have asked him a few questions."

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Originally Posted By: Courier
Cherub says,

"I personally saw you be big, bright, and glowy. That's what happened to your clothes. Your other form is bigger and energy and everything burned or burst."


"But I can't remember anything about that. Nothing at all... this doesn't make any sense.", Nadine hesitated a moment trying to recall what happened. "It... it feels strange. Maybe something did happen?"
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