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Corvinus85

Star Trek: Picard

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Case in point, ever since Diane Duane it is known in beta-canon that the Romulans refer to themselves as Rihannsu in their own language. So yeah, that's the general assumptions.

I have now watched the latest episode. I must admit... I liked this episode much, much better than the last one. Probably because it didn't have too much of an opportunity to be stupid or a mindless action flick. It's still just an old man being the only sane guy in the world while starfleet is full of assholes. Granted, admirals being shady as fuck is nothing new, but usually the institution itself was supposed to be fine and Picard flying into a rage every time he is confronted with starfleet has me rolling my eyes.

But... for that matter, this episode I have started to see him as Picard. Seriously. Now that he is investigating there was a glimmer and dignity in his eyes that wasn't present in the first episode. Patrick Stewart is back on track I'd say. I'd also say that there are a lot of things they are doing right. For example after the horrid mess that is Discovery I have to genuinely praise the art department. Starfleet Headquarters actually looks like it should be. When Picard arrived it did look up like a scaled-up and more lifelike version of what we have seen before (like in that Voyager episode when Harry Kim was living on Earth). I also like the uniforms. They are simple and yet effective. They have the same futuristic air that I appreciate from Star Trek Online's "Odyssey" type uniforms, even if they are lacking in their intricacy (in fact they do somewhat resemble the [kinda bland] uniforms STO used as standard before they introduced their current uniforms, so it does even fit the timeline given that this takes place about 10 years before). For further musings:
 

Spoiler

 

This episode I also have started to like the Romulan couple living with Picard. I must admit I was quite on edge in the first episode because they had made it look like Romulans being space Mexicans was a thing. I guess what Discovery did to the Klingons is still making me vary. But now they have become proper characters with lots of funny banter and it seems like they actually have a purpose being there beyond owing him something or so.

Still sore about Earth police not being a thing. Come on! Also I find it hard to believe that these assassins are so great at cleaning up crime scenes when they are so inept at actually doing their job. Why they didn't just beam their victim out instead of beaming themselves in is still beyond me. And then there is Picard going to an admiral he knows hates his guts. Come on, Jean-Luc, you are better than this! Does nobody remember how ridiculously well-connected Picard was in TNG, always having someone owing him a favor? Especially among Starfleet. Stupid Fox News meltdown or not, it should have been a piece of cake to at least get someone to investigate and put Picard at their side, even when I generally agree with the admiral that giving a screaming old man a ship for a private business is itself ridiculous.

But hey, another thing I liked in this episode is that they dialed back Picard's 'longing' for Data to a reasonable degree. I recently saw the Redletter Media review of the first episode and they too pointed out how ridiculous it was. I mean come on, even though I agree that Data stupidly sacrificing himself for no reason for Picard might have been some traumatizing event, it's not like Picard and Data were all that close. Geordi was his best friend. Come to think of it, with Data's legacy being this prominent, this should have been Star Trek: LaForge! And Geordi could easyily investigate if he is still the captain of USS Challenger!

 

 

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6 hours ago, Werthead said:

The Borg were originally an insectoid species. Not the ones from Conspiracy, but much bigger things like a cross between Aliens and the things in Starship Troopers. That proved unworkable and the writer's strike caused major problems so eventually they went for the "budget Cybermen" approach (which apparently the BBC did spend some time going, "Hmm..." about).

But the threat from Conspiracy was supposed to come back in season 2, right? And this then changed to the Borg or was sort of retconned to become the Borg when they were the ones showing up after Q put the Enterprise in the path of the Borg, no? And in that sense the Borg were effectively retconned/rewritten before they had been properly introduced...

6 hours ago, Werthead said:

There are other human Borg. I believe Hugh was supposed to be human and quite a few others, taken from the colonies destroyed in The Neutral Zone.

Oh, I think all the Borg drones the gang encounters when they first mean them look humanoid ... but unless I'm mistaken Picard still is the only guy they ever assimilate in TNG, no? Or is the assimilation thing something they also do since the Locutus two-parter? They definitely didn't do that in Q Who.

6 hours ago, Werthead said:

I believe the general idea about the Borg was that the centre of their space is ~65-70,000 ly away in the Delta Quadrant, but they have scout ships all over the galaxy causing problems. It was one of these ships the Enterprise-D encountered 7,000 ly from Federation space in Q Who? (technically in the Beta Quadrant) and the same ship which (apparently) immediately made a bee-line for Federation space to show up eighteen months later in The Best of Both Worlds.

Ah, okay. Yet still somewhat stupid of them rush ahead in that fashion. I mean, if you believe you can win with one ship then the threat cannot be that big ... but if it isn't that big (like most of the non-assimilated species in the Beta and Delta Quadrant would have to be by default) then why do they race after Enterprise?

Overall issue with the Borg is not so much that they eventually became a joke, but that the writers really didn't keep the concept as such internally consistent and failed to come up with an idea as to what to do with the Borg (especially in Voyager which would have been ideally suited for that kind of thing, since they were crossing their space) once they could no longer be the big bad. I think the start with that extra-dimensional species wasn't that bad an idea - the enemy of my enemy can be my ally thing can work up to a point. But there could have been done a lot more, most notably an exploration why this collective intelligence wants assimilate (or rather: devour) everybody else. If there is no rational reason behind that they are just an virus running amok.

By the way - since you are doing a rewatch of Voyager right now. Can you check whether there's an explanation there why they have not yet taken over the entire Delta Quadrant? The guys they meet in the first two seasons or so are mostly not very impressive, and Borg space is not that far away from where they start their voyage.

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As for the Romulans:

Come on, guys? In-universe justification for the silly name? That's not necessary. Their world is named Romulus and they look like Romans in Balance of Terror.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

By the way - since you are doing a rewatch of Voyager right now. Can you check whether there's an explanation there why they have not yet taken over the entire Delta Quadrant? The guys they meet in the first two seasons or so are mostly not very impressive, and Borg space is not that far away from where they start their voyage.

I’m just finishing up a rewatch myself, their journey is punctuated by enormous leaps every now and then. They’re only just on the edge of Borg space toward the end of Season 3, and Kes throws them straight across it. Surprisingly, Voyager made it 65% of the way home before the events of the finale. It doesn’t quite work like most things in Voyager, but I think that’s the idea. It makes it incredibly ridiculous when they reencounter people they’ve met by chance, 10,000 light years from where they first met.

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9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But the threat from Conspiracy was supposed to come back in season 2, right? And this then changed to the Borg or was sort of retconned to become the Borg when they were the ones showing up after Q put the Enterprise in the path of the Borg, no? And in that sense the Borg were effectively retconned/rewritten before they had been properly introduced...

Oh, I think all the Borg drones the gang encounters when they first mean them look humanoid ... but unless I'm mistaken Picard still is the only guy they ever assimilate in TNG, no? Or is the assimilation thing something they also do since the Locutus two-parter? They definitely didn't do that in Q Who.

Ah, okay. Yet still somewhat stupid of them rush ahead in that fashion. I mean, if you believe you can win with one ship then the threat cannot be that big ... but if it isn't that big (like most of the non-assimilated species in the Beta and Delta Quadrant would have to be by default) then why do they race after Enterprise?

Overall issue with the Borg is not so much that they eventually became a joke, but that the writers really didn't keep the concept as such internally consistent and failed to come up with an idea as to what to do with the Borg (especially in Voyager which would have been ideally suited for that kind of thing, since they were crossing their space) once they could no longer be the big bad. I think the start with that extra-dimensional species wasn't that bad an idea - the enemy of my enemy can be my ally thing can work up to a point. But there could have been done a lot more, most notably an exploration why this collective intelligence wants assimilate (or rather: devour) everybody else. If there is no rational reason behind that they are just an virus running amok.

By the way - since you are doing a rewatch of Voyager right now. Can you check whether there's an explanation there why they have not yet taken over the entire Delta Quadrant? The guys they meet in the first two seasons or so are mostly not very impressive, and Borg space is not that far away from where they start their voyage.

There are a lot of theories about the Borg I suspect but it seems safe to assume that they are not really that interested in gaining new territory. Gaining drones is something they clearly have an interest in and it was suggested that they increased activities in that area to recover from the conflict with Species 8472.

The one that works best for me is that at first the Collective wanted to know how the Enterprise managed to travel that far that fast(I guess they learned that it was Q when they assimilated Picard or even earlier). Afterward assimilating Starfleet Captains one can assume that they wanted to get all the information the Federation had about the Omega molecule which explains their interest in Earth which has the HQ of Starfleet.

The time travel plot in First Contact makes no real sense if that is true though.

Maybe it is just best to assume that the Collective is more than a bit scatterbrained.

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13 minutes ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

There are a lot of theories about the Borg I suspect but it seems safe to assume that they are not really that interested in gaining new territory. Gaining drones is something they clearly have an interest in and it was suggested that they increased activities in that area to recover from the conflict with Species 8472.

The one that works best for me is that at first the Collective wanted to know how the Enterprise managed to travel that far that fast(I guess they learned that it was Q when they assimilated Picard or even earlier). Afterward assimilating Starfleet Captains one can assume that they wanted to get all the information the Federation had about the Omega molecule which explains their interest in Earth which has the HQ of Starfleet.

The time travel plot in First Contact makes no real sense if that is true though.

Maybe it is just best to assume that the Collective is more than a bit scatterbrained.

“The Omega Molecule”?

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1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

“The Omega Molecule”?

It was the subject of an episode of Voyager:

Quote

An Omega molecule is a highly unstable molecule believed to be the most powerful substance known to exist. The Borg knew it as Particle 010. The molecule could be synthesized with sufficient amounts of boronite ore. However, proper containment methods did not exist to prevent the violent destabilization of the molecule, which destroyed subspace and rendered warp travel impossible. The explosion of one molecule could destroy all subspace within several light years.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Omega_molecule

1 hour ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

The time travel plot in First Contact makes no real sense if that is true though.

No, but it does sorta set up the explaination for why they were so interested in the Federation. They did that Enterprise sequel to it where the suriving First Contact borg contact the borg of Archer's day. 

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18 minutes ago, RumHam said:

It was the subject of an episode of Voyager:

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Omega_molecule

No, but it does sorta set up the explaination for why they were so interested in the Federation. They did that Enterprise sequel to it where the suriving First Contact borg contact the borg of Archer's day. 

So, it was hypothetical substance in the Prime universe that could be synthesized not one that occurs naturally?

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9 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

So, it was hypothetical substance in the Prime universe that could be synthesized not one that occurs naturally?

Quote

Some Federation cosmologists once theorized that Omega existed in nature for an infinitesimal period of time at the instant of the Big Bang. Some claimed Omega itself had been the primal source of energy for the Big Bang. Seven of Nine dismissed this as a creation myth.

So yeah it doesn't exist in nature anymore if it ever did. The Borg view it as perfection for some reason, even though it immediately explodes.

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And as a starfleet captain you had a top priority standing order to stop Iran planets from messing with omega.

For why borg chased enterprise- -predators chase fleeing things, and The One That Got Away is more interesting than fish in a barrel.  Enterprise shifting to Q- Speed was probably the wildest thing that happened in the galaxy all day.  They wanted that Q-Speed at first, and it's scary that they know of Q now!  That's a huge unspoken point of worry!  They might parley or play up to Q's ego in some way Q can't resist!   invite Q's to a huuuuuge temple in their godly honor built by free labor (drones) the likes of which no other species could match, all to wooo the Q.  What, he's gonna Not spend a night in the ultimate shangrila??  then they'd build some kind of god trap that blocks teleportation once one shows up.... then they'd start leaning on him for free god perks.  And Q is very amoral!  He'd give in quickly if made a tiny bit uncomfortable in some energy vice.   Sure, other Q would show up to avenge it.... or would they?   Wasn't Q unpopular among the Q?  Maybe They'd laugh, look on, and wait as the newly Engoddened Borg swept through the galaxy cluster.

 

As for why a Time Travel Attack in FirstContact, well it might be their standard procedure for when attacking someone in the present doesn't work?   Or it shows we've registered on their threat assessment scale after all, to where they took extreme measures to wipe us out, and Q had merely sold us short again as "ants" with no chance.  

For why lots of phasers suddenly overcame the Borg's immunity to ship phasers by end of BoBW, yeah that sucks.   Maybe it's a simple curtain shield they lowered, though, and not a true immunity.  So a borg cube could take Enterprise's 1 ship barrage all day long, but could only put so much power into that immunity shield at maximum.... so attack it with more phaser fire than the shield can handle and poof, no more immunity.

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On 2/1/2020 at 3:21 AM, Lord Varys said:

By the way - since you are doing a rewatch of Voyager right now. Can you check whether there's an explanation there why they have not yet taken over the entire Delta Quadrant? The guys they meet in the first two seasons or so are mostly not very impressive, and Borg space is not that far away from where they start their voyage.

They have no interest in doing so. They even cite the Kazon as being unworthy of assimilation, and there is no biological or technological distinctiveness that useful to them (the same for the Ocampa, Viidians and most of the early species Voyager encounters).

The Borg are interested in race with scientific or technological knowledge that can improve them, and also sometimes in mass assimilation to improve the diversity of their race, or if certain species have traits that are useful to them.

22 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

The one that works best for me is that at first the Collective wanted to know how the Enterprise managed to travel that far that fast

As we find out later on, the Borg's transwarp conduits make that speed look ridiculously slow. The speed is also not massively faster than the Borg themselves can travel without a conduit (it would take the Enterprise 2 years and 7 months to travel that far, whilst the Borg make the same trip in eighteen months; ignoring the fact that the supposedly much faster Voyager somehow only manages 1,000 light-years a year).

Quote

 

Surprisingly, Voyager made it 65% of the way home before the events of the finale. It doesn’t quite work like most things in Voyager, but I think that’s the idea. 

 

Voyager sucks at interstellar travel (BSG didn't do much better). In The Price they establish the end of the temporary wormhole (which Voyager encounters in its third season) as within about 300 light-years of the dividing line between Gamma and Delta quadrants, but all of the Voyager maps and material put Voyager in the middle of the quadrant, and would have to travel 10-20,000 light-years to reach the Gamma Quadrant. In addition, in order for Voyager to still be in the Delta Quadrant in Endgame, they'd need to have started right on the far side of the quadrant, almost on the very rim of the galaxy. In that case they could have shaved ~20 years of the journey by heading for the Gamma Quadrant wormhole rather than straight back to Earth but this doesn't even come up.

One of the tech advisors acknowledged that on their charts Voyager entered the Beta Quadrant around Season 4 or 5 at the latest, but when they kept trying to change the scripts to reflect this the producers said that the viewers would be too stupid to understand this and kept changing it back to Delta Quadrant.

Edited by Werthead

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OK, does anyone think that this Romulan premise with AI's is a bit of retcon?

Have we seen them specifically target Data in the past? And the talk about Romulans not using advanced AI's or cybernetics. Do Klingons or Cardassians use them?

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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

As we find out later on, the Borg's transwarp conduits make that speed look ridiculously slow. The speed is also not massively faster than the Borg themselves can travel without a conduit (it would take the Enterprise 2 years and 7 months to travel that far, whilst the Borg make the same trip in eighteen months; ignoring the fact that the supposedly much faster Voyager somehow only manages 1,000 light-years a year).

Qs snap was faster than Borg transwarp conduits (7000 lightyears in ~15 seconds).

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53 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

OK, does anyone think that this Romulan premise with AI's is a bit of retcon?

Have we seen them specifically target Data in the past? And the talk about Romulans not using advanced AI's or cybernetics. Do Klingons or Cardassians use them?

Yes. In The Defector the Romulan intelligence officer tells Data that the Romulans have a cybernetics research division who'd love to get their hands on him. In later episodes the Romulans don't seem that interested though, even when Sela has Data captive on Romulus itself in Unification.

21 minutes ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

Qs snap was faster than Borg transwarp conduits (7000 lightyears in ~15 seconds).

That's true, although I'd suspect that the Borg are somewhat aware of Q and once they realised he was involved they lost interest, since presumably defeating or assimilating the Q is beyond their capabilities.

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2 hours ago, Corvinus said:

OK, does anyone think that this Romulan premise with AI's is a bit of retcon?

Have we seen them specifically target Data in the past? And the talk about Romulans not using advanced AI's or cybernetics. Do Klingons or Cardassians use them?

Probably. Although you can study stuff without planning to use it. Or maybe with the goal to prevent it from being used. Or maybe the super secret group within the super secret service was on the downlow and is only now rising in power again.

BUT then, I'll take any excuse for exploring any culture other than the much overdone Klingons (or another typical Borg attack, which, although Borg tech is involved, I don't think we are getting). And the Romulans have only ever featured in one-offs and mostly as your typical villains, plus that one reunification-with-Vulcans group, so I think there is a lot to explore. For example, how are they doing politically? Is the "Romulan Free State" the only successor of the Empire, and if yes, how free is it? Or are there several states now?

I still maintain that Narek will finally turn to the 'bright side'. I bet he probably lost his brother because synth or something. The Mars attack? Will he save Soji et al or remain loyal to his sister? Dum-dum-DUMMMM... Find out in the season finale!

 

Edited by Mindwalker

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3 hours ago, Corvinus said:

OK, does anyone think that this Romulan premise with AI's is a bit of retcon?

Have we seen them specifically target Data in the past? And the talk about Romulans not using advanced AI's or cybernetics. Do Klingons or Cardassians use them?

Is it all romulans? or just this new "even more secret than the Tal Shiar" group I've been reading about? 

(still working my way through selected episodes of TNG so I haven't started it yet.)

Edit: Also, are holograms like Voyager's doctor banned as Synths? or are they still working in the whatever mines and as EMHs?

Edited by RumHam

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Yes. In The Defector the Romulan intelligence officer tells Data that the Romulans have a cybernetics research division who'd love to get their hands on him. In later episodes the Romulans don't seem that interested though, even when Sela has Data captive on Romulus itself in Unification.

As a retcon, I'd suggest the "cybernetics division" is a veiled reference to the Zhat Vash themselves, and in Unification Data isn't captive for long enough for the Zhat Vash to find out about (they're secret even from the Tal Shiar, so nobody would be officially notifying them). I would assume their primary activity was suppressing AI development within Romulan society, which would involve psy ops and subtle sabotage rather than front line combat. While they wouldn't have been happy about Data's existence, as a unique individual outside their sphere of influence, it wouldn't have been worth the risk to attempt to take him out; but mass produced synthetics as seen on Mars were too big a threat to ignore.

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On 2/1/2020 at 3:22 AM, Lord Varys said:

As for the Romulans:

Come on, guys? In-universe justification for the silly name? That's not necessary. Their world is named Romulus and they look like Romans in Balance of Terror.

That and Wert's example of how we aren't even consistent naming nations and nationalities on our own planet by the names they use for themselves.

Tbh my head canon was always that Romulus was from a star in the gemini constellation which fits with the idea that Romulus is a human invention rather than what the "romulans" call it. But I've never bothered checking whether that constellation fits into "trek space" because it might then undo my semi-rational explanation.

On 2/1/2020 at 7:53 PM, The Mother of The Others said:

And as a starfleet captain you had a top priority standing order to stop Iran planets from messing with omega.

For why borg chased enterprise- -predators chase fleeing things, and The One That Got Away is more interesting than fish in a barrel.  Enterprise shifting to Q- Speed was probably the wildest thing that happened in the galaxy all day.  They wanted that Q-Speed at first, and it's scary that they know of Q now!  That's a huge unspoken point of worry!  They might parley or play up to Q's ego in some way Q can't resist!   invite Q's to a huuuuuge temple in their godly honor built by free labor (drones) the likes of which no other species could match, all to wooo the Q.  What, he's gonna Not spend a night in the ultimate shangrila??  then they'd build some kind of god trap that blocks teleportation once one shows up.... then they'd start leaning on him for free god perks.  And Q is very amoral!  He'd give in quickly if made a tiny bit uncomfortable in some energy vice.   Sure, other Q would show up to avenge it.... or would they?   Wasn't Q unpopular among the Q?  Maybe They'd laugh, look on, and wait as the newly Engoddened Borg swept through the galaxy cluster.

 

Or maybe Q meddled with humans and the enterprise because he knew they'd stop the Borg and maybe protect his race from the Borg? Although the Q seem beyond even the Borg's capabilities there may have been a timeline in the future where there power could match them. Can Q pop up in other timelines eg kelvin or the mirror universe etc?

 

2 hours ago, felice said:

As a retcon, I'd suggest the "cybernetics division" is a veiled reference to the Zhat Vash themselves, and in Unification Data isn't captive for long enough for the Zhat Vash to find out about (they're secret even from the Tal Shiar, so nobody would be officially notifying them). I would assume their primary activity was suppressing AI development within Romulan society, which would involve psy ops and subtle sabotage rather than front line combat. While they wouldn't have been happy about Data's existence, as a unique individual outside their sphere of influence, it wouldn't have been worth the risk to attempt to take him out; but mass produced synthetics as seen on Mars were too big a threat to ignore.

 That works for me. I wonder if they will fully explain why the Romulans hate AI. It's a pretty topical idea given we're on the verge of it ourselves. Again, I tend to headcon SF shows not having AI ruling over them because those races go through a phase where they had to subdue them just before they were too powerful to stop. That or the AI have ascended as gods and let humans and aliens run around having their fun for entertainment.

Someone upthread said Chabon has left the show for season 2 to concentrate on adapting one of his books for TV. Does anyone know which one? Also I thought he was maybe just stepping down as showrunner and I was sort of hoping he'd still be involved in the writing. It's a bit concerning for me as I'd rather Picard kept the same kind of tone but if Discovery is anything to go by new showrunners tend to mean a big change in approach.

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12 minutes ago, red snow said:

Someone upthread said Chabon has left the show for season 2 to concentrate on adapting one of his books for TV. Does anyone know which one? Also I thought he was maybe just stepping down as showrunner and I was sort of hoping he'd still be involved in the writing. It's a bit concerning for me as I'd rather Picard kept the same kind of tone but if Discovery is anything to go by new showrunners tend to mean a big change in approach.

I'm not sure, I cannot find the source. But I think he'll adapt the Pulitzer winning book.

I'm not just afraid of the tone changing; much more the quality. If I'm not mistaken, his departure would mean that the same people that run DSC remain. And no offense, but the writing is .. not as good as I would like. Not GoT levels bad, but  loose ends dangling, nonsensical characterizations, repetitive soap opera monologues and dialogue... Also, Mr. Goldsmith (?) in his interview on the last Ready Room did not inspire confidence in me. I'm pessimistic.

 

ETA: ninja'd by @Vaughn!

Edited by Mindwalker

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