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2007: December


DavidEvanSmith

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December 2007

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Opening Sequence

Watch the Opening Sequence on YouTube!

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Rodney Applewhite (Forbes March) was just finishing a long, hot shower, and stepped out while Christian (David Evan Smith) was coming into the bathroom! Catching full glimpse of Rod, Christian appeared not to be bothered with what he saw. Rod was embarrassed and furious, accusing Christian of their accidental run-in not being such an accident. Christian thinks Rod's mind is too suspicious, and Rod shouldn't worry, especially since Rod obviously has nothing to be embarrassed about. Rod couldn't help but think the shower surprise was planned and wondered exactly how devoted Christian was to Rod's father Terrence (Walt Willey).

Eleanor Halperin (Catherine Hickland) confided in her good friend Terrence about her wonderful date with Henry Von Stadt (Sebastian Roché) at the opera, but felt she might have been betraying her husband's memory. But Eleanor felt conflicted, because, not knowing if Charles was trying to abandon her and the girls when he died, Eleanor isn't so sure she owes her husband's memory anything.

Ramon Valdez (Kamar de los Reyes) was thrilled when a letter came to his apartment. It was about the courses he was taking to become an Emergency Medical Technician. Ramon passed, and could now work as an EMT! Rolo (Ignacio Serricchio) was happy for his brother, since they both knew how stressful it was to balance work and school. Now, Ramon no longer had to work for Eleanor Halperin managing Large Bar and bartending at The Redeye! While Eleanor knew that losing Ramon was a possibility, she didn't think it would happen so quickly, so when Ramon quit, Eleanor was left shorthanded, and wasn't quite sure what to do.

At Von Stadt International, Leo Von Stadt (Jeff Branson) was somewhat comforted by the very maternal attitude his father's new secretary Hattie Wilson (Kate Collins) had taken towards him. It had been years since a woman prepared him a sack lunch daily! Leo passed his lunch off to Shawn Marks, however, when Leo had a date with Fiona Applewhite (Connie Fletcher). Despite their hectic schedules, Leo's full days at VSI and Fiona's time split between classes at law school and her internship at Royale & Klein law firm, Leo and Fiona still managed to find time between appointments at least once a week for a romantic "power lunch". Things hadn't gone very deep between them, but neither of them were looking for, or even had the time for, deep soul-searching and staring into each others' eyes.

Shawn Marks (Tobias Truvillion) worked through lunch at VSI to "add elements" to Leo's scheduled presentations for the week. He hadn't been asked to, and no one knew Shawn was doing so, but Shawn knew the value of the clients that Leo was trying to bring in under the VSI umbrella and wanted to see the company succeed. Shawn's dedication went seemingly unrecognized, which contributed to Shawn's need to get away to some kind of sanctuary. That sanctuary became Aurora Borealis's (Jeffrey Carlson) weekly performances at Large Bar.

James Baldwin (Alec Musser) was thrilled to tell his father that he had found the perfect location for his new auto body repair shop. Theodore (John Ingle) was eager to support his son's new venture, especially if it meant his son was going to be putting roots down in New York City. Theodore dragged Thomas (Bobby Steggert) along with him to see the location James found, against Thomas's will. Thomas was eager to challenge his older half-brother, and couldn't help but wonder how James intended to run a business, with limited business knowledge and questionable knowledge about auto body repair. James proceeded to blow Thomas away with his knowledge of cars, but admitted that he didn't know everything about running a business but was reading up on it. Thomas was surprised James could read. Theodore intervened to keep the peace between the half-brothers.

Shawn was caught off guard one night, when his sister Rachel Marks (Sherri Saum) found him in the crowd at Large Bar! Rachel was there to collect a payment from her client, Rodney Applewhite, but Rachel couldn't figure out for the life of her why her brother was sitting in a gay bar watching a drag performance. Shawn covered, claiming he was entertaining a VSI client, and since the meeting just ended he couldn't wait to get out of the bar -- since it made him so uncomfortable. Aurora noticed Shawn explaining himself to the pretty woman, and saw Shawn hastily leave with her, leaving Aurora so flustered with jealousy she cut her show short. Aurora wondered if Shawn was bisexual or just a closeted gay man.

Evan Royale (Ian Buchanan), of the Royale & Klein law firm, scheduled an appointment with Eleanor Halperin for the reading of her husband Charles's will. Eleanor and her daughters Crystal (Kerry Butler) and Rebecca (Lindze Letherman) mustered up the courage and strength to face what Charles had left them with. Unsure what they would discover through the will reading, the ladies prepared for the worst. But even in preparing for the worst, they would have been content to at least finally have an answer about whether he was planning to abandon them or not.

Evan revealed that there was a bulk of Charles's money left in a trust to Rebecca to pay for her continued college and grad school education. Crystal received a trust as well, but it was stipulated that it was to pay for the cost of Crystal's wedding to Rodney Applewhite (even though Crystal and Rod had never even discussed an engagement), and the costs of starting a family together. At first Crystal was excited and flattered at the show of support from her father over her relationship with Rod. But soon Crystal realized the amount of pressure the notion of marriage and having children would place on her relationship with Rod. Eleanor received full ownership of Large Bar and The Redeye, paid in full, to run as she saw fit. Eleanor felt empty after the will reading, not feeling any resolution or hints towards Charles's feelings about them before he drove away to his death. Eleanor commisserated over drinks with her friend Terrence at The Redeye, who couldn't help but notice Eleanor was ignoring phone calls from Henry Von Stadt, lobbying for another date.

After finally seeing how much work Rod had been handling at The Redeye while Eleanor was dealing with her husband's death, Eleanor decided to refocus on her work, and offered Rod an opportunity to make money at the job he'd already been doing -- managing a bar. Rod wasn't sure he could manage Large Bar, given that it was a gay establishment. Eleanor offered to still be the general manager and involved in the dealings, but Rod would be the main presence at Large Bar, but would still bartend and oversee all orders and deliveries, and day to day running. He would make a great deal more money for his added responsibility. Rod had to think about it, but once he realized how often his father and Christian go out to Large Bar, Rod saw the greater opportunity in Eleanor's offer. Claiming to Terrence that he wants to express his support of his father's lifestyle, and "get a better understanding of who Christian is," Rod revealed he would be transferring to Large Bar full time. Crystal was devastated that she wouldn't be able to work side-by-side at Redeye with Rod anymore, and hoped not too many men would be flirting with her man.

Aviva Reynoso (Christina Chambers) organized a surprise party for Ramon at The Redeye, celebrating his EMT certification, and Ramon was touched. Though he swore he wouldn't attend, Rolo put aside his hostile feelings for his professor, Aviva, in order to support his brother. Rolo invited sexy Tiffany Lawless (Ambyr Childers) as his date to the party, and the two students couldn't keep their hands off each other! Rolo and Tiffany snuck off to the restroom and had their own private celebration. During the party, Ramon has a memory of his illicit tryst with Rachel Marks.

Before Thomas and Theodore left James's future shop, Thomas had bragged that he was a business major in college and would be starting an internship at the prestigious Von Stadt International next semester. James was nervous that Thomas was plotting against him and Jenna, and called his sister to warn her about Thomas's upcoming job at VSI. Jenna (Kari Wuhrer) wasn't concerned and doubted that Thomas would have any effect on her fashion label from his position as a lowly intern. James warned Jenna that just by working at VSI, Thomas would have access to information, so she should watch her back. "I always do," Jenna reminded her brother.

On his last night at The Redeye before transferring to Large Bar, Rod was surprised that Crystal chose to close early to share an intimate dinner with him. Hinting around the idea of Rod being a father someday, to gauge his reaction to the news of Crystal's inheritance, Crystal was dismayed when Rod spoke of establishing himself as a writer before ever settling down. Not only was Crystal upset that Rod wasn't considering settling down anytime soon, but also that he didn't even imply that when he DID settle down, that it would actually be with HER! Furthermore, Crystal couldn't bring herself to be mad at Rod for too long, because his passion and drive for his art was one of the first things that attracted Crystal to him. Crystal instead was jealous, because it shone a light on the fact that Crystal didn't have many (or any!) dreams of her own that she wanted to pursue before "settling down," and Crystal was growing to resent the fact that her father placed all her value on a marriage to some man.

Rod, meanwhile, experienced a true initiation into Large Bar, and wasn't used to seeing so much of gay lifestyle, the public displays of affection, and especially the flirting from customers. Chatting with Rolo, who worked there as a barback, Rolo advised Rod to embrace it and turn it to his advantage. The customers didn't need to know for sure if the staff was straight or gay, but the tips are a lot better if they can believe the staff is gay.

At the hospital, Carina Reynoso (Natalia Livingston) delivered the fourth message to Dr. Julia Lawless (Melissa Archer) from Julia's mom Hattie. Julia can't believe her mother's behavior... or rather, she can believe all too well, considering how obsessive Hattie can be. Finally giving in, Julia agrees to visit Hattie's office job to see how well Hattie is getting her life back together. Carina offers to be available for drinks later, once Julia's ready to rejoin the club of "those who yearn for freedom from their families." Julia promises to take Carina up on her offer.

Julia arrives for a lunch date with her mother at VSI, but is infuriated when Hattie tries to parlay it into a last minute lunch date between Julia and wealthy young Leo Von Stadt. Leo is amused, but gently lets Hattie down, telling her he's already seeing someone. Hattie tries a harder sell, advertising Julia as a successful and independent doctor, not like all the other golddigging tramps out there in the world. Julia is thoroughly embarrassed and pulls her mother aside, warning Hattie that she needs to keep focused on holding herself together and continuing to function in reality, rather than trying to marry her daughters off to wealthy men. Julia tells Hattie that if she EVER tries to meddle in Julia's life again, romantic or otherwise, it would be the guaranteed last Hattie sees of Julia.

Rod's transition to Large Bar continued to be a bumpy one, when during one of her weekly strip show contests, Aurora Borealis lured Rod into the show, and got him to take it all off! An awkward stripper at the start of his performance, the strong reaction from the lusty crowd slowly wore Rod down into submission and he ended up enjoying himself and working the crowd! Down to his underwear, Rod won the strip show contest, had quite a few dollars tucked into the waistband of his undies, and Terrence and Christian seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show. Terrence thanked Rod for choosing to really embrace Terrence's lifestyle and it shows more support and love than Terrence could have hoped for from his son. Privately, Christian teased Rod about his dancing, and Rod was actually surprised to share his first non-hostile moment with Christian.

Eleanor gave into Henry Von Stadt's continuous calls about another date, and were surprised by the press, who interrupted their dinner by snapping photos of the latest bombshell on multi-millionaire Henry Von Stadt's arm! Eleanor hadn't even thought of how high-profile Henry Von Stadt was, and what it might do to her to be in the public eye while still grappling with her husband's mysterious death. Henry's secretary (although she prefers the term "Executive Assistant") Hattie was furious to see Henry and Eleanor's next date made the society pages of the New York Times, with the columnist talking Eleanor up as the "sophisticated, gorgeous, and independent woman," and decided that it was time for her plan to eliminate Eleanor to be kicked into high gear.

Slowly becoming more comfortable in the gay scene, Rod worked behind the bar shirtless sometimes. On one of the nights that Christian went to Large Bar without Terrence, Rod spied Christian being social with strangers all around the bar, but in one of the conversations that Rod was able to overhear, Christian turned down a man's advances because he said he was seeing someone he was very serious about. Rod was surprised and wondered if he was wrong to question Christian's devotion to his father.

Hattie found Eleanor stressed out over her dilemma about dating Henry Von Stadt and drowning her frustrations in liquor. Hattie cleverly manipulated Eleanor to drinking more, and fed Eleanor's insecurities about opening up to Henry. While getting a window into Eleanor's uncensored thoughts as Eleanor continued to get more drunk, Hattie formulated a plan of how to get rid of Eleanor and make it so Henry never wanted to see Eleanor again!

With Christmastime approaching quickly, Terrence worked quickly to arrange a surprise for Christian. Over a romantic dinner, Terrence surprised Christian with a gift box. Curious, as December 25th was more than a week away, Christian tore into the present impatiently, and discovered it was a personalized Christmas tree ornament. Terrence explained that everyone in the Applewhite family has one of their own personalized ornaments, and it wouldn't have felt right to Terrence if their tree didn't hold an ornament for Christian. Overwhelmed to receive the token practically welcoming him as a part of the family, Christian became emotional and expressed his gratitude to Terrence for all that Terrence has added to Christian's life.

James Baldwin invited his father's heart specialist, Dr. Julia Lawless to Christmas dinner at the Baldwin residence. Due to her own issues (with her wacky mother and bratty sister), Julia declined. James sulked, not wanting to have to settle for any of the other shallow hotties that have been hinting about wanting to spend the holidays with him. Theodore encouraged his son not to give up on Julia, admitting that once upon a time Theodore had to convince James's mother to finally give him a chance, and that worked out for the best, giving them two children together, Jenna and James.

Aviva visited her colleague Theodore at his brownstone, to see how he was recovering from his heart attack and to find out when Theodore would be returning to teaching at Hunter College. Theodore looked forward to returning to work next semester. Aviva learned Theodore's son James would be dateless for Christmas, and offered to set James up with her sister Carina, who was also dateless. James agreed, for the simple chance to meet someone new.

Rod and Fiona were eager to begin the Applewhites' yearly ceremony of trimming the family Christmas tree, and Terrence was all the more excited to share the ceremony with Christian. Rod and Fiona, for the sake of the holiday, kept mum about their reservations over their father's relationship, but couldn't stay silent when Terrence offered to not hang their mother Emma's personal ornament from the tree this year, for fear of offending Christian. Seeing how upset the notion made Terrence's offspring, Christian played it generously, and acknowledged that Emma was and is an important part of the Applewhite family, and he isn't threatened by reminders of her. The tree-trimming ceremony grew even more tense when Emma called while the family was hanging ornaments, and Christian was the one who answered the phone!

Emma had an obvious bad reaction to learning about Christian, Terrence's new live-in lover, and Fiona jumped on the phone to try to calm her absentee mother. Emma got off the phone before speaking with Rod, so Rod had a renewed feeling of hostility over losing his mother. Terrence apologized for how he hurt Emma but didn't regret finally being true to himself and especially since it gave him the chance to meet Christian.

"Absolutely not!" Carina refused to go on a blind date for Christmas. Not only did she not want the pity from her sister, who has never been dateless for a holiday in her life, but Carina also thought Christmas was way too big of a day to meet someone for the first time. Carina continued her protest by refusing to reinforce the stereotype that people need to have a date for the holidays, and was about to continue, but then realized that the alternative was spending the holiday with her sister. Carina admitted to herself that she'd rather spend the day with strangers, it had to be less nauseating than spending Christmas with her perfect sister.

Jenna Baldwin invited her main squeeze, Shawn Marks, to Christmas dinner to meet her family for the first time. Jenna warned Shawn about her younger half-brother Thomas and their rivalrous history, and that he'd soon be working at VSI as an intern in January. Thomas, meanwhile, invited his girlfriend Rebecca Halperin to dinner. Rebecca told her mother Eleanor that she was flattered by the invitation, but didn't want to leave Eleanor alone on the first Christmas since dad's death. Eleanor was touched at Rebecca's thoughtfulness, but encouraged Rebecca to go to the Baldwin family Christmas. Eleanor preferred to be alone with her thoughts and her memories for Christmas this year. Theodore invited Aviva Reynoso over with her boyfriend Ramon, so that Carina wouldn't end up in a house full of strangers for the holidays. Aviva agreed to bring Ramon, and thought it would be fun to attend a big gathering for Christmas.

Rachel Marks continued to settle in in New York City, and hoped to have a small Christmas dinner with her brother Shawn at a nice restaurant. Shawn, having already agreed to join Jenna and her family, asked if it would be okay to invite his sister along as well, since she had no other family in town for the holidays. Jenna, hoping to get to know Shawn and his family better, agreed, and Rachel was invited to the Baldwin Christmas as well.

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The Holiday episodes:

Crystal joined the Applewhite family for Christmas and primarily had to focus on keeping Rod calm and in the holiday spirit, even though Rod's mind was on Christian and the fact he didn't know where his mother was staying during the holidays.

Christmas dinner at the Baldwin brownstone began, and a gloomy James was encouraged to discover when Carina arrived that she was very pretty. Carina was relieved to find that at the very least, James was attractive. Aviva and Ramon arrived shortly thereafter, and Carina was upset that her attempt to avoid seeing her sister for the holidays backfired and she now had to deal with her perfect sister AND an awkward blind date for Christmas. Aviva and Ramon thanked Theodore for the invite and marveled at his new, beautifully decorated brownstone. Jenna took credit for the decorations and passed out business cards advertising her upcoming fashion label. Thomas welcomed Rebecca, and Jenna was catty with her, offering fashion and style advice, which Rebecca "obviously" needed. Shawn arrived with Rachel and Ramon was shocked to once again be faced with the woman with whom he cheated on his girlfriend Aviva. Rachel cleverly pretended to meet Ramon for the first time, and if not for the deviously sexy twinkle in Rachel's eye, Ramon himself might have believed they had never met before.

Carina picked up on some odd tension between Ramon and Rachel over dinner, while Rachel became quite social and friendly with Aviva, and Ramon was quietly sweating it out. Over dinner, Shawn mentioned Thomas's upcoming internship at Von Stadt International and offered to take him under his wing. Thomas impressed and/or irritated the party (depending on who you ask) with in-depth business questions about VSI, ranging from the company's profit margin, employee turnover, and rate of expansion and growth. Shawn thinks Thomas would have a promising future considering how much Thomas already knows about business. Jenna and James were equal parts furious and nervous. After dessert, while everyone said their goodbyes, Carina noticed Rachel Marks laying a flirtatious hand on Ramon.

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Jenna called Shawn to thank him for coming to her family gathering for Christmas and apologized for her little brother Thomas's behavior. Shawn had to admit that Thomas really seemed to know his stuff when it came to business. Jenna agreed, which was why she wanted Shawn to promise to do whatever it takes to end Thomas's internship with VSI, hopefully before it even has a chance to begin. Not wanting to come off as overbearing, Jenna quickly changes the subject to making plans to party on New Years, but Shawn pulls back, telling her he needs to get some work done before the end of 2007.

Hattie had bought herself a peculiar Christmas present -- a long, platinum blond wig. Hattie got a call from Eleanor, who was struggling during the holiday season as her feelings about her dead husband Charles and her new love interest Henry were wearing on her. Hattie told Eleanor to order a drink, and she'd be right over. Hattie met Eleanor at the Redeye and once Eleanor is sufficiently drunk, Hattie offers to give Eleanor a ride home from The Redeye. Leaving the bar with Eleanor, Hattie dumps Eleanor in the passenger seat of Eleanor's car, and Eleanor promptly passes out. Hattie gets in the driver's seat, and pulls the platinum blond wig from her purse. Putting the wig on and fixing it around her face, Hattie eyes herself in the rearview mirror and dials her cell phone, calling the police. Working herself up into a nervous rant, Hattie tells the police that she thinks her friend is driving drunk, and she isn't sure of the license plate number, only the color and type of car, and that she refused to take a cab home.

At the hospital, as it neared the end of her shift, Carina noticed Ramon coming off the elevator. Rachel Marks tracked Ramon down on his EMT shift, and Carina was startled to learn that they knew each other better than either of them implied over Christmas dinner at the Baldwin home. Carina overheard Rachel tell Ramon how hot it was being so close and not being able to act on their desires. Before Ramon could resist her, Rachel shoved him into a hospital supply closet... which was also spied by Carina!

Eleanor and Rod had brainstormed a big New Years Eve bash for Large Bar, which Rod was managing and Aurora Borealis was hosting. As all the gays gathered at Large Bar for the New Year festivities, the drinks flowed and true colors emerged. With Redeye closed for New Years Eve, Crystal was able to sneak over to Large Bar, hoping to snag a New Years Kiss from Rod. Shawn Marks showed up at Large Bar as well, to catch Aurora's performance of Auld Lang Syne, minutes before the ball was supposed to drop. Aurora spotted "Mark" (Shawn) in the crowd and followed him outside into the alley behind Large Bar. Snow was gently falling on this New Years Eve night.

Carina lingered around while Rachel and Ramon savored their quickie in the closet, and it was obvious what they had been doing when they emerged from the closet adjusting their clothes. Ramon wiped Rachel's red lipstick from his mouth as he spotted Carina nearby. Before he could catch up with her, Carina's look of shock at what she witnessed turned into excited anticipation over what she might do with this information. Carina dashed into the hospital elevator, and Ramon ran after her to explain. Rachel realized that their affair might be exposed, but couldn't help but let a slick smile cross her makeup-smudged lips.

Aurora noticed that "Mark" hadn't been to Aurora's last two performances. Aurora admitted to not enjoying to perform as much anymore, when she looks out into the audience and doesn't see "Mark" there. "Mark" opened up about expectations from the people in his life, and how hard it can sometimes be to live up to the expectations everyone has for you. Aurora could definitely identify, explaining that being a famous New York City drag queen didn't quite fit the expectations that Eddie Dawson's mother had for him. They shared a tense moment when Shawn faced a dose of reality, learning Aurora's real name. Feeling closer to Aurora, Shawn admitted that his name wasn't really "Mark," that he was really Shawn Marks. Their walls from the world temporarily torn down, Shawn and Aurora shared a passionate kiss, hot enough to make the snow melt at their feet.

As the clock struck twelve at Large Bar, Crystal expected a passionate kiss from Rod, only for him to be more caught up in his father's New Years kiss with Christian! Crystal misses out on her own New Years kiss, and Rod breaks his champagne glass that he's holding as he watches the Terrence/Christian kiss.

Hattie, in her Eleanor wig, drove Eleanor's car erratically, with Eleanor slumped down in the passenger seat passed out. Hattie was gleefully plotting to get Eleanor arrested for Driving Under Intoxication, hoping the press would attack Eleanor so much that Henry would be forced to distance himself from the grieving mess, Eleanor. Hattie's carefully laid out plan goes awry, when passing by the hospital, a woman dashed out into the street, in front of the car! Not seeing her at first, Hattie plowed into the young woman, and the woman tumbled entirely over the car, falling into a lifeless heap in the street as Hattie regained her own composure in the face of this twist. Ramon Valdez was horrified that his girlfriend's sister Carina was just run down by what looked like his former boss Eleanor's car! Bleeding from the nose and ear and completely unconscious, Carina was barely breathing and Ramon had to put his EMT training to good use to try to save her life... as the clock struck midnight, and January 1st, 2008 dawned.

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Stay Tuned for scenes from the next Beyond the Horizon

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Coming in January, on Beyond the Horizon:

Hattie panics as she must figure out how to frame Eleanor for more than just drunk driving.

Tiffany and Rolo are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Eleanor's family and friends are shocked to learn she was in a car accident.

Hattie scrambles to cover her tracks.

Hattie sets a dangerous plot against Eleanor in motion.

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Carina hovers near death's door at the start of 2008.

Aviva wants justice for her sister.

An arrest is made in Carina's hit-and-run.

Evan Royale is retained to defend the accused.

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Rod has a renewed suspicion of Christian when Terrence announces his next directorial project!

Terrence asks Fiona if she believes he should trust Christian's feelings.

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Jenna holds a formal meet at VSI with Henry and Leo regarding her fashion label.

Thomas and Rebecca's sexual tension grows.

Thomas begins his internship at VSI, and ends up working closely with both Henry and Shawn.

Dr. Julia Lawless has a surprising reaction to learning James spent Christmas with Carina Reynoso.

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Rachel refuses to release Ramon from her web.

Aurora gets her hopes up after her New Years kiss with Shawn Marks.

Shawn runs from the spotlight at Large Bar.

Shawn fears that his life at Large Bar and his life at VSI are on a collision course.

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