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SwEEPER IX “ITS ALL about FUNDAMENTALS” TIME: late summer, 2010 RICKY WELCH (SWEEPER) CONTINUES HIS UNENDING FABULOUS SOCCER PLAY. HE HAS GRADUATED FROM EAGLEVIEW MIDDLE SCHOOL IN COLORADO SPRINGS AND IS NOW ENTERING AIR ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL ON THE GROUNDS OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY. HE’S CERTAIN TO START ON VARSITY AND IS REGARDED NOT ONLY AS THE #1 SOCCER PLAYER ON HIS CLUB TEAM (COLORADO GOLD I), BUT EASILY THE #1 HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER PLAYER IN THE STATE OF COLORADO. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED HAS SWEEPER RANKED #1 IN THE UNITED STATES FOR HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER PLAYERS. CHELSEA FROM THE ENGLISH SOCCER LEAGUE, AND BARCELONA FROM THE EUROPEAN LEAGUE CONTINUE TO COURT RICKY WITH GREAT PROFESSIONAL OFFERS. STAYING WITH HIS “DISAPPEARING” MOM’S CREED, RICKY HAS STEADFASTLY REMAINED IN SCHOOL WHILE LIVING WITH HIS ADOPTED PARENTS AT USAFA - BRIGADIER GENERAL AND SALLY MITCHELL. GENERAL MITCHELL IS INTENT ON SWEEPER IMPROVING HIS GRADES AND ATTENDING THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY IN FOUR YEARS. SALLY WANTS THIS GOAL FOR SWEEPER ALSO IF HE WANTS IT FOR HIMSELF. HIS FORMER GIRLFRIEND, DEMI, HAS COME BACK INTO THE PICTURE FOLLOWING ON HIS NATIONAL ACCLAIM. DEMI IS THE CAPTAIN OF THE JV CHEERING SQUAD AT AIR ACADEMY ASA FROSH, AND STILL SECRETLY SEES SWEEPER DESPITE HER PARENTS DISAPPROVING ANY INVOLVEMENT WITH HIM. UNFORTUNATELY FOR SWEEPER HIS MOM’S DISAPPEARANCE OR ABANDONMENT AT A NATIONAL SOCCER TOURNAMENT OVER A YEAR AGO HAS NOW LEFT HIM WITH LITTLE HOPE OF EVER SEEING HIS NATURAL PARENTS AGAIN. HIS FATHER IS BELIEVED TO BE STILL ALIVE AND MAY HAVE ATTENDED SOME OF THE CLUB GAMES THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS INCOGNITO - FOLLOWING SWEEPER’S ASCENT TO FAME. FOLLOW ALONG AS THE SUMMER SOCCER SEASON BEGINS, THE PRO OFFERS POUR IN AND CONFLICTS WITH HIS ADOPTED PARENTS AND DEMI GROW.

DEMI

SEE SWEEP, SI HAS YOU RANKED #1 ON THE HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER CHARTS ALREADY WITHOUT YOU EVEN DRIBBLING A SOCCER BALL YET AT AIR ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL.

SWEEPER

TRYOUTS ARE IN 2 MONTHS. HOPEFULLY I’LL MAKE VARSITY. 2


DEMI

GIVE ME A BIG BREAK. YOU ARE RANKED #1 IN THE COUNTRY FOR HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER AND YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT MAKING AIR ACADEMY’S VARSITY TEAM?

SWEEPER

WELL THE HIGH SCHOOL TEAM ON THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY IS FAIRLY COMPETITIVE.

DEMI

THEY’VE COMPETED AT THE 5A LEVEL FOR YEARS DECENTLY. AIR ACADEMY NEEDS A STATE SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP - AND THEY’LL PROBABLY GET IT WITH YOU.

SWEEPER

WE WILL SEE. THEY HAVE QUITE A FEW DECENT DEFENSEMEN WHO ARE FUNDAMENTALLY SOUND. COACH INFORMED US OF THIS FACT.

DEMI

I SEE ALL THE FUNDAMENTAL CAMPS FOR SOCCER SPRINGING UP THIS SUMMER,

SWEEPER

IT IS IMPRESSIVE. THE EUROPEANS HAVE CERTAINLY IMPRESSED UPON THE AMERICANS THE IMPORTANCE OF BEGINNING FUNDAMENTALS.

DEMI

I’VE BEEN READING THAT AMERICANS GO TO ADVANCE SKILLS TOO EARLY AND THUS THEIR PRIMARY SOCCER FUNDAMENTALS SUCK.

SWEEPER

EXACTLY. IN FACT TAKE THE SOCCER DRIBBLE ON THE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE FOOT. MANY COACHES ARE TEACHING OUT OF CONTROL OR MORE RAPID LESS CONTROLLED DRIBBLING TECHNIQUES PRIOR TO THE CONTROLLED DRIBBLE. IT MATTERS IN A TIGHT GAME WHEN CONTROL OF THE BALL IS CRUCIAL. THE EUROPEANS HAVE MORE ADVANTAGES THAN THE AMERICANS.

DEMI

WELL IT IS MUCH MORE OBJECTIVE THAN CHEERLEADING TRYOUTS. MY GOD, MY MOTHER SAYS THAT IT IS THE VERY WORST DAY OF THE YEAR IN OUR HOUSE. IN FACT THE MOMS SWEAT IT OUT MORE THAN THE GIRLS TRYING OUT.

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SWEEPER

BECOMING A CHEERLEADER AT AIR ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL IS YOUR TICKET TO PROMINENCE, PROM, AND PURSUIT - THE THREE PS.

DEMI

ALL THE GUYS SAY THAT, BUT IT IS PROBABLY TRUE. THE MOST COMPETITIVE SQUAD TO MAKE IS THE COMPETITION CHEERLEADING SQUAD.

SWEEPER

THE CHEERLEADING STATE EVENT IS THE MOST WATCHED OF ANY HIGH SCHOOL SPORT IN COLORADO.

DEMI

YOU BET. IT IS MOSTLY GUYS AND HELICOPTER MOMS LOOKING AT SUCCESS THROUGH THE EYES OF THEIR DAUGHTERS.

SWEEPER

OR TRYING TO GET AN UPGRADE ON THEIR BOYFRIEND STATUS. THAT TOO.

DEMI SWEEPER

SO WE BOTH HAVE A BIT OF HIGH SCHOOL COMPETITION TO LIVE AND MAYBE ENJOY.

DEMI

SWEEPER, YOU ARE AUTOMATIC. YOU JUST NEED TO SHOW UP AND YOU ARE ON THE TEAM. I HAVE TO ACTUALLY COMPETE TO MAKE THE ROSTER.

SWEEPER

IT IS NOT THAT EASY FOR THE AIR ACADEMY SOCCER TEAM EITHER. LOTS OF UPPER CLASSMEN ARE COMING AFTER ME. IT CAN BE INTENSE. I WOULD SAY YOU HAVE IT EASIER THAN I SINCE YOU WERE ELECTED CAPTAIN OF THE JV TEAM.

DEMI

OH THAT IS ALL POLITICS - A TOTAL BLEND OF YOUR FAMILY’S STATURE IN ROCKRIMMON, BELONGING TO THE CORRECT CHURCH, AND NOT UPSETTING TOO MANY PEOPLE.

SWEEPER

SO YOUR CHEERLEADING COMES DOWN TO FUNDAMENTALS ALSO - CORRECT? IT IS NOT JUST HOW YOU LOOK, OR HOW YOUR HAIR OR SMILE IS THAT DAY.

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DEMI

MOST WOULD SAY THAT IS QUITE A GENDER RELATED REMARK, PATERNALISTIC, OR ANCIENT. BUT IN FACT IF YOU SMILE DURING THE TRYOUTS, ACT LIKE YOU CARE, AND ARE GOOD AT THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CHEERLEADING, YOU HAVE A MUCH BETTER CHANCE OF SUCCEEDING.

SWEEPER

SO WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CHEERLEADING?

DEMI

AT THE COLLEGE LEVEL, WHICH EVERYONE ASPIRES TO, THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL TECHNIQUES INCLUDE ALL ASPECTS OF TUMBLING, JUMPS, STUNTS, SPLITS, TIMING, AND BALANCE. YOU HAVE TO DEVELOP CONFIDENCE THAT YOU CAN PERFORM AT A HIGH LEVEL.

SWEEPER

SO NO, UNLIKE SOCCER, THE FUNDAMENTALS ESTABLISH A DEGREE OF COMFORT TO GO ON TO MORE ADVANCE SKILLS - SUCH AS A BICYCLE KICK IN SOCCER TAKES YEARS TO DEVELOP; AND ONLY AFTER THE BASICS OF KICKING ARE SO WELL ESTABLISHED WITH A MIND BODY CONNECTION SEEMINGLY FLOWING BY INSTINCT.

DEMI

YES, THE SAME IS TRUE IN PERFORMANCE CHEER. IT BECOMES INSTINCTUAL, SUCH THAT IT IS ACTUALLY AT AN UNCONSCIOUS LEVEL. YOU ARE COMPETITIVELY CHEERING CORRECTLY AND EFFICIENTLY THAT THERE IS NO TIME FOR REFLECTED THOUGHT. THAT IS HOW CHEER COACHES DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF ADVANCED CHEER LEARNING.

SWEEPER

I’LL TAKE THAT TO THE BANK. NEVER QUITE THOUGHT OF SOCCER IN THOSE TERMS, BUT IN ESSENCE ANY ATHLETIC ACTIVITY HAS TO SOME DEGREE BE SUBCONSCIOUS.

DEMI

MY CELL IS RINGING, AND MY PARENTS ARE HEADING ON BASE SO YOU HAD BETTER SPLIT. MY PARENTS ARE ADAMANT ABOUT US NOT BEING ANY TYPE OF ENTITY.

SWEEPER

OK I’LL GO AND SEE YOU WHENEVER. SALLY IS ACTUALLY GIVING ME A CELL VIBRATE THAT SUPPER IS READY - OUR SIGNAL. SO SEE YOU LATER.

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DEMI

NO KISSING PLEASE - IT IS TOO LIGHT OUT AND MY MOM DRIVES FAST AND KNOWS EVERYTHING. SHE COULD EASILY WORK FOR THE FBI. BYE.

SWEEPER

I’M HEADING TO GENERAL MITCHELL AND HIS WIFE’S HOME - MY TRULY ADOPTED PARENTS. WITHOUT THEM I’D BE IN EUROPE.

DEMI

OH, DID CHELSEA CALL AGAIN?

SWEEPER

NO, BUT BARCELONA SENT ME AN ACTUAL CONTRACT. NOW I NEED AN ATTORNEY. SALLY AND THE COMMANDANT REALLY WANT ME TO STAY HERE, BECOME A CADET, AND OBTAIN A COLLEGE DEGREE AT THE ACADEMY. BUT I’VE GOT TO GO. I SEE YOUR MOM ROUNDING THE CORNER THROUGH THE TREES.

SALLY

I’VE BEEN TEXTING YOU AND CALLING YOU FOR AN HOUR. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? THE COMMANDANT IS STARVING.

SWEEPER

OH TO BE HONEST I WAS TALKING TO DEMI ABOUT CHEERLEADING AND HOW IT IS SO SIMILAR TO SOCCER IN MANY WAYS. SOUNDS INTERESTING.

SALLY

GENERAL MITCHELL

SO THE SOCCER GAME HAS A HIGH RESEMBLANCE TO CHEERLEADING?

SWEEPER

YES, VERY SIMILAR IN MANY WAYS. BALANCE, CONDITIONING, TEAM WORK, STRENGTH, AND KNOWING THE ROUTINE ALL HAVE TO BE PERFECT FOR THE PERFORMANCE TO BE GREAT.

GENERAL MITCHELL

SOUNDS LIKE AMERICAN FOOTBALL TO ME. WE NEED THAT ON ALL OF OUR SPORTS TEAMS THOUGH. IF YOU READ THE COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE, YOU WOULD THINK WE WERE IN LAST PLACE IN EVERY SPORT WE PLAY.

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SALLY

THE GAZETTE HAS ALWAYS BEEN HARD ON ACADEMY SPORTS. THIS IS NOTHING NEW.

GENERAL MITCHELL

YES AND NO. THEY JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND THE INS AND OUTS OF THE ACADEMY. ALL OUR STUDENT ATHLETES HAVE NOT ONLY HIGH LEVEL ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS ALONG WITH SPORTS BUT ALSO HAVE A MILITARY OBLIGATION TO FULFILL. YOU DON’T SEE THAT AT CU OR DU.

SWEEPER

THAT IS WHY YOU WANT ME AT THE ACADEMY?

GENERAL MITCHELL

YOU BET. IT TEACHES OUR YOUTH THE TRUE MEANING OF SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY. I WOULD DARE SAY WHEN WE ARE IN A CLOSE FOOTBALL GAME ON TV, THAT MOST OF THE COUNTRY WATCHING IS ROOTING FOR OUR GUYS AT THE ACADEMY. THEY WANT THE UNITED STATES TO WIN. IT IS THAT SIMPLE. AND YES I DO FEEL THAT A STINT OF MILITARY SERVICE IS VITALLY IMPORTANT FOR ALL OUR YOUTH.

SWEEPER

INSTEAD OF BARCELONA SOCCER - LIKE THE CONTRACT SITTING ON THE TABLE?

GENERAL MITCHELL

ABSOLUTELY SWEEPER. BARCELONA WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU SWEEPER. THE ACADEMY WILL WANT YOU AFTER YOU FINISH HIGH SCHOOL AT AIR ACADEMY. IN FACT, AIR ACADEMY’S SENIOR CLASS LAST YEAR HAD 15 SENIORS WHO WENT INTO MILITARY SERVICE - 10 TO THE ACADEMY MOST OF ANY UNITED STATES HIGH SCHOOL.

SALLY

BUT THIS BARCELONA SITUATION IS DIFFERENT COMMANDANT. IT MAY BE WORTH MILLIONS, AND THAT MAY NOT BE THERE FOR HIM AFTER HIS MILITARY OBLIGATION AND COLLEGE.

GENERAL MITCHELL

YES I DO UNDERSTAND ALL THAT. BUT DON’T YOU FEEL WE ARE IN LINE WITH WHAT YOUR MOTHER KEPT REPEATING TO YOU?

SWEEPER

SCHOOL, SCHOOL, SCHOOL!

SALLY

THAT IS IT! SCHOOL, SCHOOL, SCHOOL. 7


GENERAL MITCHELL

OH MY GOD. THAT REMINDS ME OF A BIG CLUE THAT MAY LEAD TO YOUR MOM.

SALLY

HOW IS THAT SO? SIT DOWN AND EAT YOUR CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS PAUL.

GENERAL MITCHELL

AS WEIRD AS IT MAY ACTUALLY APPEAR, THE AIR FORCE SECURITY POLICE HAVE ACTUALLY SPOTTED SOMEONE DRESSED AS A TOURIST WHO LOOKS LIKE SWEEPER’S MOM ON THE ACADEMY GROUNDS.

SALLY

THAT MAKES NO SENSE. WHY WOULD SWEEPER’S MOM, IF SHE IS ALIVE AND RIGHT HERE, NOT BE WITH HIM?

GENERAL MITCHELL

THAT IS THE BIG QUESTION. WE JUST DO NOT KNOW. IT MAKES NO SENSE. AND SHE IS VERY HARD TO TRACK IF THAT IS ACTUALLY HER.

SALLY

NO DIFFERENT THAN POTENTIALLY YOUR REAL DAD BEING ALIVE, BUT NOT BEING SEEN OR NOTICED BY OTHERS. THIS IS TOUGH TO BUY THOUGH, IN THAT MOST MOTHERS WOULD NEVER ABANDON THEIR CHILDREN NO MATTER WHAT.

GENERAL MITCHELL

UNLESS HER LIFE OR HER FAMILY’S LIFE IS THREATENED.

SWEEPER

SO YOU ARE SAYING MY MOM’S LIFE WAS THREATENED?

SALLY

NO WE ARE NOT. IT IS ONLY ONE OF A MULTITUDE OF POSSIBILITIES. THIS WHOLE SCENARIO IS VERY WEIRD AND UNUSUAL.

GENERAL MITCHELL

WE JUST HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO PIECE TOGETHER THE INTRICATE DETAILS TO FIND ANYONE IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR PARENTS; HAVE NO RATIONAL EXPLANATION OF WHY YOUR MOM LEFT; AND DESPITE YOUR DAD LEAVING AT BIRTH WE HAVE NO RECORD OF HIM DYING.

SWEEPER

AND THE RECORDS SAY HE MAY BE IN NORTHERN COLORADO.

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GENERAL MITCHELL

YES, THERE IS A MAN WHO ACTUALLY FITS YOUR DAD’S DESCRIPTION WITH ANOTHER NAME WHO HAS BEEN SEEN ON FILM AT YOUR SOCCER GAMES.

SALLY

I’M SORRY SWEEPER. WE JUST CANNOT PIECE TOGETHER THE PARTS TO MAKE A WHOLE. ULTIMATELY WE WILL GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS MYSTERY. WE JUST NEED TO FIND YOUR PARENTS. WE UNDERSTAND THAT MANY DADS FOR MANY REASONS LEAVE PREGNANT WOMEN, BUT WHY A MOM WOULD ABANDON THEIR JUNIOR HIGH AND NOW HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT IS BEYOND ME.

SWEEPER

ESPECIALLY WHEN WE WERE SO VERY CLOSE IN MANY WAYS. AS YOU KNOW ALL OF THIS HAS AFFECTED MY LIFE IN MANY WAYS. I CANNOT EVEN PUBLICLY SEE DEMI. HER PARENTS WANT NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH ME.

SALLY

WE ALL MUST DEAL WITH ADVERSITY. ONCE WE SOLVE THIS MYSTERY, MAYBE THEY WILL COME AROUND. I’M CERTAIN THEY JUST WANT TO PROTECT THEIR DAUGHTER. MOST PEOPLE ASSUME IF THERE IS ANYTHING REMOTELY UNEXPLAINED THESE DAYS IT HAS TO DO WITH DRUGS AND DRUGS OFTEN LEAD TO VIOLENT CRIMES.

SWEEPER

YES I UNDERSTAND. DEMI IS THE CAPTAIN OF THE JV CHEERLEADING TEAM. WE STILL SEE ONE ANOTHER EVERY SO OFTEN. AIR ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL IS SO BIG.

GENERAL MITCHELL

I DO KNOW THIS. ONCE WE FIND YOUR PARENTS, OR AT LEAST YOUR MOM, I TRULY WILL TRY TO PREVENT THIS FROM EVER HAPPENING AGAIN. AGAIN AS WEIRD AS IT MAY SEEM, YOUR MOM’S DISAPPEARANCE MAY HAVE BEEN TO PROTECT YOU. WE JUST DON’T KNOW.

SALLY

AT LEAST THE CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS CAME OUT OK. I’LL HAVE SOME ROOM FOR LEFTOVERS TOMORROW AT LUNCH.

GENERAL MITCHELL

I WON’T BE HERE. THE NORTHCOM CINC HAS ASKED ME TO ATTEND A SENIOR LEVEL STAFF CONFERENCE AT PETERSON TO REVIEW OUR JOINT AFGHANISTAN PROTOCOLS.

SALLY

ANYTHING NEW HAPPENING WITH THE WAR? 9


GENERAL MITCHELL

APPARENTLY. I CANNOT SAY AS IT IS CLASSIFIED INFORMATION. I’LL KNOW MORE TOMORROW.

SWEEPER

I’LL SNEAK OVER FROM AIR ACADEMY FOR SOME OF THE LEFT OVERS. THINK I WILL WORK ON MY DRIBBLING AROUND THE HOUSE.

GENERAL MITCHELL

I’LL THROW UP SOME DISTRACTION DEFENSE. GAME? YOU BET!

SWEEPER GENERAL MITCHELL

YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW IT, BUT I WAS ON THE ACADEMY SOCCER TEAM YEARS AGO. I DO KNOW HOW TO STOP A GOOD DRIBBLER. WATCH THEIR BELLY BUTTON - THAT WILL TELL THE DEFENDER THE OFFENSIVE PLAYER’S PATH IMMEDIATELY.

SWEEPER

I’VE BEEN TAUGHT A NUMBER OF WAYS - BUT TO NOT LOOK AT THE EYES, BECAUSE THEY ARE HIGHLY DECEIVING.

GENERAL MITCHELL

WELL YOUR EYES ARE A DEAD GIVE AWAY. I CAN STOP YOU AT ANYTIME BY WATCHING YOUR EYES BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS LOOK OPPOSITE THE WAY YOU ARE GOING. YOUR BELLY BUTTON SAYS DIFFERENTLY HOWEVER. SEE I STOPPED YOU AGAIN!

SWEEPER

BET I CAN GET AROUND YOU WITH A SCISSORS DRIBBLE.

GENERAL MITCHELL

NO YOU WON’T. MAYBE WITH AN ANGLE AND SPEED DRIBBLE YOU MIGHT. THE CROSS IS WHERE YOU SHOULD OVERTAKE ME.

SWEEPER

TRY THIS ON FOR SIZE. A LUNGE AND THEN A FAKE KICK DRIBBLE.

GENERAL MITCHELL

TIMES HAVE CHANGED I MUST ADMIT. THE GAME OF SOCCER IS SO COMPETITIVE THAT ONE SMALL ADVANTAGE LEADING TO A SCORE, CLEAR, OR A DEFENSIVE STOP WILL PROBABLY LEAD TO A WIN IN A CLOSE GAME.

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SWEEPER

ABSOLUTELY. NOW A DOUBLE OR REVERSE SCISSORS DRIBBLE. YOU CANNOT STOP THIS MOVE.

GENERAL MITCHELL

THE HECK I CAN’T. YOU NEED MORE WORK IN FRONT OF THE TRASH CAN OR TREE. UNFORTUNATELY FOR YOU THIS ISN’T PERFECTED, AND AS I’M WATCHING YOUR BELLY BUTTON GO THIS WAY, I’M GOING THAT WAY TOO. I CAN STOP THIS ONE.

SWEEPER

THE FAKE KICK DRIBBLE WAS CHAMPIONED IN THE WORLD CUP BY MARADONA AGAINST ENGLAND IN 1986.

GENERAL MITCHELL

YOU KNOW YOUR SOCCER HISTORY. HOW ABOUT AMERICAN HISTORY?

SWEEPER

THAT B NEEDS TO BE AN A. RIGHT? I’M WORKING ON IT.

GENERAL MITCHELL

LET’S SEE THE 360 DEGREE DRIBBLE. NO ONE COULD DO THIS WHEN I WAS ON THE ACADEMY TEAM.

SWEEPER

IT IS TOUGH BUT THE 360 WORKS. THE KEY IS THE INITIAL SPIN AND THE USE OF THE HEEL BY THE OTHER LEG. THAT’S IMPRESSIVE.

GENERAL MITCHELL SALLY

IT’S TIME FOR DESSERT. APPLE STRUDEL.

END - SWEEPER IX

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Sweeper - IX  

Sweeper is readying to start HS at Air Academcy High on the grounds of the US Air Force Academy.

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