Alpha Flight (5th series) #1

Issue Date: 
October 2023
Story Title: 
Divided We Stand, part one

Ed Brisson (writer), Scott Godlewski (artist), Matt Milla (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Travis Lanham (letterer & production), Tom Muller & Jay Bowen (designers), Leonard Kirk & Edgar Delgado (cover artists), Arthur Adams & Alejandro Sanchez (variant cover artists), Javier Garron & Edgar Delgado (Marvel Icon variant cover artists), Brett Breeding & Alex sinclair (Homage variant cover artists), Ron Lim & Israel Silva (Miss Minutes variant cover artists), Drew Baumgartner (assistant editor), Mark Basso (editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Guardian, Snowbird, Puck and Shaman are conflicted, and forced to side with Department H who are working with Orchis to capture and transport mutants from Canada. They've located a mutant, a former enemy of theirs, Janus, and head out to capture him. The next day, a press conference is led by Department H's new director, Erika Dorion, who doubles-down on Department H's efforts to keep Canada safe in these dangerous times. Some protestors disagree with Department H's efforts, and one of them even attacks Guardian for working against his old teammates. Later, Erika takes Alpha Flight to see Roger Bochs, Jr., the son of their old teammate, who has redesigned the Box armor into a Box Sentinel. Several of them have been built and will assist Alpha Flight in their efforts. Puck tries to tell Erika that they don't need them, but Erika is dismissive and not interested in discussing this. Roger explains the safety functions of the Box Sentinels to Alpha Flight, and Guardian seems to be reassured by this. In California, at an organization called Somis BioTech, a scientist called Dr. Lucas Peterson is outed as a mutant. Orchis arrive to apprehend him, but he lashes out at them with his powers and escapes. Alpha Flight meanwhile arrive in Saskatchewan, where a young mutant has been surrounded by police. The mutant is Laurent Bavota, who has liquid metal type powers. Before Alpha Flight can apprehend him, Northstar, Aurora and Fang appear and attack their old teammates, vowing that Laurent is under their protection. Guardian tells Northstar that he thought he had left for Mars, while Northstar tells Guardian he isn't surprised to see him working as puppet for the government. Laurent is happy to go to Arakko, in fact he had intended to before the gates were closed. He's scared, and doesn't know what to do – when suddenly, Nemesis teleports in, surprising Guardian. Nemesis assures Laurent that he is safe now, and teleports away with the mutants. Alpha Flight are embarassed by this failure, and depart, leaving behind a crowd who had filmed this encounter. Back in California, Lucas contacts his wife to let her know that he is safe – and reveals that he is actually Albert Louis a.k.a. the mutant Feedback. Orchis are with his wife, and are able to pick up Feedback's location, so dispatch a squad to apprehend him. Back at Department H, Erika is furious at Alpha Flight for failing to capture Laurent Bavota, and informs them that the Box Sentinels will be accompanying them next time. In Manitoba, the secret Krakoa North has been established. Northstar assures Laurent that he is safe, and reveals that they are working to get him and the other mutants here to Chandilar when it is safe. He doesn't know when, before Aurora and Fang walk towards him with Guardian, Snowbird, Puck and Shaman – who announces that they need to move soon, as Department H is about ti deploy the Box Sentinels!

Full Summary: 

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where Alpha Flight's Omnijet descends under a star-studded sky. On the streets below, the mutant criminal called Janus is up to no good, a burning car can be seen nearby. 'Are we sure that this is the right thing to do?' someone asks within the Omnijet. 'We'll be turning out backs on people who've trusted us. Who've put their faith in us' the goddess Narya a.k.a. Snowbird remarks. 'I know' James “Mac” MacDonald Hudson a.k.a. Guardian replies as he gets up from his seat and walks towards the hatch. He's followed by Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck, while Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen a.k.a. Shaman puts the jet in hover-mode and states that while he agrees with Snowbird, he thinks that this is the right call. 'These people need our help to keep them safe' he notes, adding that they have been forced to choose a side in this fight, and that he will not lose sleep over the decision that they have made.

'Neither will I' Puck decides. 'This is the mess they've made. Are some folks going to be mad at us? Hell yes. Livid, even. They'll curse us out. But when has that ever stopped us from doing the right thing?' Puck asks. Guardian agrees, and as the hatch lowers, he drops down through the air, propelled by his electromagnetic battlesuit, he uses a electro-pulse to lower Puck safely to the ground, while Snowbird flies behind them, and Shaman levitates himself downwards. 'Now... ALPHA FLIGHT... let's put on a show!' Guardian exclaims.

Later, at the Peace Tower, Canada's Parliament Building located in Ottawa, where a crowd has gathered, waving Canadian flags and holding signs that read “True North Strong and Free”. The crowd are addressed by a woman with short blonde hair wearing a suit who introduces herself as Erika Dorion, the new director of Department H. She acknowledges that while many people mat not have heard of them, Department H has been working for years to keep Canada safe from threats both on the ground and in the skies, and while the past several years have focused their resources on global defence via the Alpha Flight Space Station, the program is still in effect – they cannot ignore the growing mutant concern on Mars, they would also be remiss if they ignored the threats that still exist on the ground.

Erika Dorion frowns as she states that the mutant threat facing their neighbours to the south has begun to spread north like a plague. 'Mutants who can resurrect themselves from the dead, so no longer value life nor fear death. Mutants who can travel from one destination to another, thousands of kilometers away, in the blink of an eye. Who squirreled themselves away on their island, closed off to humankind, yet still brought chaos and destruction to our city streets'. Erika announces that it is because of this that Canada has joined with the United States to ban mutants from their country. 'We've had enough. It's time to make a stand'. She motions to four of Canada's Premiere Super Heroes standing nearby and tells her audience that it gives her great pleasure to reintroduce the newly reformed Alpha Flight – Canada's first line of defence against the mutant threat they face today. Guardian smiles at the audience, while Puck waves at the crowd. Snowbird folds her arms and Shaman looks on thoughtfully. 'Ensuring that we Canadians can sleep soundly at night. Knowing that they're out there, keeping us safe'.


The Alphans exit the stage into a secure area away from the crowd, and Puck tells his teammates 'Well, that didn't go so badly, eh?' only for someone to shout 'You sold them out, traitors!' and hurl a takeaway coffee cup at Guardian. A man approaches the Alphans and angirly tells them that Northstar and Aurora were their teammates, but they have turned on them and the rest of mutantkind. 'You're nothing more than government stooges!' he exclaims. 'And you have the nerve to get up there on stage and talk about protecting the innocent!' Two police officers arrive and apprehend the man and one of them suggests a night in a cell might calm him down. 'Sellouts!' the man shouts, to which Guardian instructs the officers to let him go. The officers are confused, but Guardian tells them that this man has a right to speak his mind, even if they don't agree with him. 'He threw hot liquid at you, that's assault under the -' one of the officers begins, but Guardian states that he is not pressing charges. 'Emotions are high, there's no need to escalate them. Let him go' Guardian adds. 'Guess it's your lucky day, pal' one of the officer remarks to the protestor, whom he releases.

That night, at Department H headquarters in Toronto, Ontario:

 The massive complex shines brightly under the night sky, as Alpha Flight follow Erika Dorion through the hallowed halls. 'Alpha Flight isn't going to be enough to deal with the threat we're facing. No offence' she remarks, to which Puck tells her that none is taken. Erika then reveals that Department H has restarted the Box Program, with the assistance of Orchis. She claims that once up and running, which should be any day now, each Box Sentinel will be able to track the location of rogue mutants via Orchis' proprietary tech, and they will no longer have to rely on civilian reports of known mutant locations. Erika assures the Alphans that they will always remain the face of this fight, the Box Sentinels should improve their projected efficacy by upwards of 570%.


As the enter the Box Program offices, a young man with red hair and glasses can be seen working at some monitors. 'I believe most of you already know Roger Bochs Jr.' Erika remarks. 'It's been a while' Guardian acknowledges, as he steps forward and extends a hand to the younger man, who wears robotic limbs from the knee down to enable him to walk. Roger Bochs Jr. looks up at Guardian, then hangs his head, before returning the gesture and shaking Guardian's hand. 'Yes. Not since my father's funeral' he adds. Erika clears her throat, and announces that Roger is running the new Box program, building off of his father's work. Erika asks Roger if he can catch the team up on what he is working on. 'Absolutely' Roger responds as he touches a panel, which opens a door to another room, where one of the new Box Sentinels, purple and silver in coloring, is being housed.

Roger explains that the goal was to create Sentinels that were sleeker than those oversized Stark monstrosities that are being used down south – machines that would result in less property damage and ancillary loss. 'Our Box Sentinels can walk through doors, they don't have to smash through buildings' Roger explains. He adds that, as Director Dorion mentioned, thanks to Orchis' Sentinel programming, the new generation of Box Sentinels will be able to seek out mutants where they hide. Puck tells Erika that this is very impressive, but that it all seems very authoritarian, sending robots in to do Alpha Flight's job. 'It's cold. Using A.I. hasn't always gone...great. How's the public going to -' Puck begins, to which Erika reminds him that their country is under siege, and they are trying to use every tool at their disposal to save Canadian lives. Erika starts to walk away as she informs Alpha Flight that they will be working with the Box Sentinels as soon as they are ready for launch – and that this is not a discussion.

Roger tells Alpha Flight that he understands the worry about the Box Sentinels going rogue, and assures them that they aren't alone. 'That would be a nightmare situation' he admits, before explaining that to prevent it, he has installed fail-safe mechanisms as part of the programming. He holds up a helmet and reveals that he will be here at the command centre to take control when needed. Roger puts the helmet on and explains that the machines can only do what he allows them to do, and the moment he feels that he is acting outside of their programming or that something is wrong, he can then shut them down. 'You have my word on that' Roger states as he commands one of the Box Sentinels to extend their hand to Guardian, who shakes the Box Sentinel's hand, and tells Roger that he appreciates it, and that his dad would be proud. Suddenly, a voice comes over the communications system instructing Alpha Flight to report to the flight deck, as there is a sighting in Saskatoon.

Meanwhile, in Camarillo, California, USA, inside the offices of Somis BioTech. 'Dr. Lucas Peterson?' a woman calls out. 'Yes?' a young man in a labcoat asks, turning to look up, he sees a woman striding towards him, with several Orchis agents at her side. Other employees of Somis BioTech look on, as the woman informs Lucas that she wants a word with him, in private. 'What's going on? I don't -' Lucas begins, raising his hands, before the woman tells him that this will be so much easier if he cooperates. 'I'm...what is this all about? Who are these -' Lucas begins before the woman tells him that as he is well aware, Somis BioTech develops technologies for several organizations, the largest of which is Orchis, and as part of their agreement with them, they had every member of their staff sign an affidavit confirming that they were not a mutant. 'Given recent events surrounding mutantkind and Orchis' role in it, you can understand why this would be important to them' the woman notes, adding that she had given Orchis every assurance that it wouldn't be a problem, that this workplace was mutant free. 'Apparently...I was misled' the woman states.

The Orchis agents aim weapons at Lucas, and one of them orders him to get on the ground. 'What? I'm not. I'm not a mutant. I -' Lucas protests, causing one of the Orchis agents to shove the end of the gun against his face, knocking Lucas' safety goggles off. 'I said: on the ground!' the Orchis soldier snarls. As he drops to the ground, energy glows around his eyes, before suddenly, 'GET AWAY FROM ME!' Lucas shouts as he is surrounded by energy which he uses like armor, to knock the Orchis agents back, then smashes his way through the large floor to ceiling windows of the office, then drops several stories down to the ground.

Back in Canada, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the Omnijet hovers above a street, lights streaming down to where police cars have surrounded someone. Civilians have gathered nearby, to watch. Guardian reports that this mutant is called Argent, real name Laurent Bavota, whose last known location was Gatineau, Quebec, so it's not known what he is doing this far west. Shaman, Guardian and Puck drop down into the police cordon, as Gaurdian tells his teammates that Argent has no priors on file, but has already sent half a dozen officers to hospital. 'Do not give him the chance to get close to ther civilians' Guardian adds, while Shaman tells Argent that he is outnumbered here. 'Surrender before anyone else gets hurt -' Shaman begins, when suddenly, Argent extends his arm as if it was liquid metal, and his hand becomes an ax which slices into the ground, narrowly missing Shaman's feet. 'Please, just leave me alone. I didn't mean to hurt anyone. They attacked me – I was only defending myself!' Argent exclaims.

'If that is true... then give yourself up... so that no one else gets hurt!' Snowbird calls out as she appears above, shifting into the form of an ookpik, she swoops down towards Argent who exclaims that he just wants to be left alone – but before Snowbird can apprehend him, a figure darts out of nowhere and slams into Snowbird, knocking her back through the air. Snowbird reverts to her default form and looks up at whom attacked her: 'Aurora!' Snowbird gasps. 'Oui! You cannot have this one, Snowbird. He is under our protection!' Jeanne-Marie Beaubier tells the goddess, while someone below watching the exchange records them on their mobile phone.

Argent begins to run, so Puck goes after him – only to be stopped in his tracks when someone in a yellow and brown costume drops down, landing on Puck and shoving him to the ground. 'And I have you, short stuff!' he exclaims. 'Daken -' Puck begins, to which Akihro reveals that he goes by Fang now. 'Sounds dumb' Puck points out as he kicks Fang off of him, sending him crashing into a window nearby. Fang quickly recovers and runs towards Puck, who tells him that he will go easy on him out of respect for his old man – but not too easy. Jean-Paul Beaubier a.k.a. Northstar appears above and in his native French he tells Argent that he is trying to save him from these imbeciles. He swoops down and grabs Argent, taking him into the air, he informs Argent that they can bring him to a place where he wiill be safe. 'Where you won't have to worry about -' Northstar begins, before he is struck by a blast of electromagnetic energy courtesy of Guardian, which sends both Northstar and Argent crashing to the ground.

'Northstar, this is disappointing' Guardian remarks as he and Shaman approach Northstar, with Guardian adding that he thought Northstar had left for Mars with the other mutants. 'There's plenty of disappointment to go around, Mac' Northstar responds, adding that he shouldn't be surprised to see Mac acting as a puppet for the government, even if means turning on his old friends. 'And here I was feeling guilty that I was going to have to bring you in as well, Northstar' Mac remarks, while Argent asks them all to stop this and tell him where to go – and then he'll go. Anxiously, he reports that he was told there were gates, Krakoan gates, that he could use to leave, but that the gates were closed. 'I tried to leave. I kept trying, but all of them – they're closed' Argent exclaims, before shouting 'I am trapped! If you tell me where I can go, I will go there. I swear to you'.

Before anyone can respond to Argent, there is a burst of light, and a woman in a striking red and black costume with large cape, holding a sword in one hand appears behind Argent. 'Nemesis?' Guardian exclaims, shocked. 'Surprise, Guardian' Northstar smirks, while Nemesis points her sword at Guardian, and tells Argent not to worry. 'You're safe now' she assures him, as she suddenly vanishes in another burst of light, taking Argent and Northstar with her. Guardian and Shaman stand before the smoldering road from where they vanished, and Guardian contacts Department H, reporting to them that Nemesis absconded with their targets. 'Can you get a trace on her?' he asks. 'Negative' comes the response. Puck walks over and reports 'Daken or Fang or whatever he's called now, he's gone as well', while Snowbird drops down from above and announces that Aurora has gone, too. Shaman looks over to the crowd and points out that it looks like every person downtown managed to capture their embarrassment on video. 'Great. Just great' Guardian mutters as he takes flight, carrying Puck in his electromagnetic field, while Snowbird flies behind them and Shaman levitates himself upwards.

In Garberville, California, USA, at a gas station under the cover of night, Lucas Peterson throws the packaging for a disposable phone into the trash, before dialing a number. 'Hello?' a voice on the other end of the phone asks. 'Eleanor...oh god, it's me' Lucas utters, before asking Eleanor if she and Sophie are okay. He tells her that he is sorry, and that they came for him, so he had to run. 'We're okay. We...please just tell me what's happening?' Eleanor can be heard asking. She tells Lucas that she saw on the news that there was an explosion at his work, that people had died, and then she couldn't get hold of him. 'I thought maybe you'd been...' her voice trails off, while Lucas assures her that he is okay. Hiding behind  the gas station, Lucas looks around to make sure no one is watching him, and tells Eleanor that he thought he had protected himself, thought he had covered his tracks, and he doesn't know how they found out.

'Lucas? What are you talking about? Please... can't you just come home? Just...' Eleanor begins, to which Lucas tells her that he is sorry he never told her. 'Told me what?' Eleanor asks as she sits at a table in her home, her daughter Sophie at her side. Lucas can be heard telling Eleanor that he thought if he ignored it, it would go away. 'People will be by to question you, they're going to tell you things about me. Things you should hear from me first' Lucas informs Eleanor. 'I...' Eleanor begins, as Lucas informs her that his real name is Albert Louis, that he is a mutant, although he hasn't used his powers in years. He explains that he didn't want to be defined by being a mutant, as that wasn't the life he wanted, and so he changed his name, moved to California to start a new life, all years before they met. 'I'm sorry that I never told you any of this before' he utters. Eleanor assures Albert that she would have understood, and that it wouldn't have made a difference to how she felt.

Albert glances around again and tells Eleanor that right now it isn't safe for him to be around her or Soph. He admits that he isn't sure what he is going to do, and explains that he just needs time to figure it out, but that he wanted her to know that he was alive, that he is okay. 'I wanted to make sure that you are too' Albert adds. 'We are, but we miss you and just want you to come home' Eleanor responds. Albert promises that he will, when it is safe, and assures Eleanor that he will call soon. 'I love you' he utters. 'We love you, too' Eleanor replies, before Albert creates a surge of energy that fries the mobile phone, and he throws it into the trash.

'Cell pinged in Garberville' an Orchis agent sitting opposite Eleanor remarks as he looks at a computer monitor. 'Let's move out' another agent announces, while Eleanor hangs her head, and a third Orchis agent tells her that she did the right thing here.

Back in Toronto at Department H, Director Dorion sits behind her desk and angrily shows media footage of Alpha Flight's failed mission to the Alphans that stand before her. 'Just this morning you stood behind me while I promised the people of Canada that you would keep them safe. And you couldn't even go a whole day without bungling it for the whole world to see!' she exclaims. Hands behind his back, Guardian tells Erika that they did not expect Northstar, Aurora, Fang and Nemesis to interrupt the mission. 'We didn't even know that Nemesis was still alive' he adds, before explaining that now they know they are in a race against their old teammates to reach these fugitive mutants, they can prepare for it. 'We've fought alongside them, we know their weaknesses. They won't get the drop on us again' Guardian assures Erika, who tels Guardian that that is something they can agree on, because starting tomorrow, the Box Sentinel program will be officially rolled out, and a dozen units are waiting to roll on her command. 'Because the four of you clearly can't best your former teammates on your own' she snaps.

The next morning, at Krakoa North, in Manitoba, the sun rises over the valley where a facility is built over a wide river, on the edge of a large waterfall. 'How are you feeling?' Jean-Paul asks as he enters a cafeteria where he finds Argent sitting at a table. Several other mutants are gathered in the cafeteria, too. In his native French, Argent admits that he isn't sure, and claims that he has never been so scared in his life. In the light of day, Argent appears to be a young mutant with silver hair and glasses, and asks if it is true that Mars is only mutants. 'Do you have a way to bring me there?' he enquires. Northstar informs Argent that it isn't safe right now, and that they will be taking him to a place called Chandilar until it is. 'And we're going to bring you and all of the other mutants we can there. But with the gates closed, we're going to have to do it by ship, so we need to bide our time and bring everyone in one haul' Northstar explains.

'When?' Argent asks. 'I don't know, but -' Northstar begins, before turning as a voice calls out 'Soon'. It's Shaman, who is walking alongside Puck, Fang, Guardian, Aurora and Snowbird, and reports that Department H is about to deploy the Box Sentinels, and that it is only a matter of time before they find Krakoa North, and discover they have been working together. 'We need to move every mutant here off Earth as soon as possible!'

Characters Involved: 

Aurora, Fang VI, Guardian, Nemesis VIII, Northstar, Puck, Shaman, Snowbird (all Alpha Flight)

Feedback/”Dr. Lucas Peterson”

Eleanor & Sophie Peterson


Erika Dorion

Roger Bochs Jr./Box V




Argent II/Laurent Bavota


Box Sentinels


RCMP officers

Orchis officers

Somis BioTech staff

Unidentified mutants

Story Notes: 

First issue of the fifth Alpha Flight series, this series takes place after X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023 #1, and ties into the Fall of X event.

Guardian last appeared in S.W.O.R.D (2nd series) #6, 9 and 11 in which he represented Department H in the first stages of cooperating with Orchis.

Snowbird has been the most prolific ground-based Alpha Flight member during the Space Program era, with appearances in Champions (2nd series) #20-21, Old Man Logan (2nd series) #46-47 and Alpha Flight: True North #1, her most recent appearance prior to this issue.

Longtime Alphan Puck was a mainstay of the Alpha Flight Space Program, and eventually the Gamma Flight division, in which he starred in the miniseries Gamma Flight #1-5.

Shaman has been absent from Alpha Flight for some time, with his most recent appearances being working alongside other magic users in issues of Doctor Strange (4th series) and in the Civil War II event.

Northstar, Aurora and Fang all appeared as regular characters in the pages of several Krakoan era X-Men comics, with their most recent appearance being in X-Men: Hellfire Gala 2023 #1.

The identity of Nemesis is revealed in Alpha Flight (5th series) #3. Previously, the guise of Nemesis has been used by dead women returned to life to carry out some sort of vengeance. While it was originally believed that each Nemesis was the same woman, Alpha Flight (5th series) #4 confirms that the previous Nemeses involved with Alpha Flight are all individual women.

First appearance of Erka Dorion, the new head of Department H.

Janus is a one-time Alpha Flight villain who appeared in Alpha as a member of Bedlam's Derangers in Alpha Flight (1st series) #53, during which he was killed. Presumably he returned to life via Krakoan resurrection.

The original Box was quite a large, cumbersome unit which was created by Roger Bochs, Sr. who piloted the unit via a cybernetic link. The Box unit was stolen and used by Jerome Jaxon as part of a revenge plot against Guardian, which saw Jaxon killed via a cybernetic backlash. [Alphga Flight (1st series) #11-12]. Bochs then redeveloped the unit into an armor which he would phase into operate manually. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #16, 23]. He only used this armor for a short time before it was given to Walter Langkowski to use as Box III when Walter's soul had no physicaly body to inhabit. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #24-29] When Walter's soul was lost, Bochs returned to using the armor, until he was forced out of it when he started going insane thanks to the rotting flesh that had been grafted to create new legs for him. Bochs then merged into a new being with Scramble called Omega, and his best friend Madison Jeffries took over the Box armor and redeveloped it into a much sleeker design. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #45-46, 48-49]. As Box IV, Madison wore the Box armor for a significant period of time, until he went into semi-retirement. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #105]. He occasionally wore it thereafter, before the armor was merged with a Department H operative known as Bernie Lachenay who became Manbot. [Alpha Flight (2nd series) #1] While Madison now operates without the Box armor, Manbot hasn't been seen since Alpha Flight (2nd series) #20. Generic Box units have been seen working under the authority of Department H occasionally thereafter. [Alpha Flight (4th series) #1-2, Avengers (5th series) #9]

Roger Bochs Jr. has previously only appeared in Infinity: The Hunt #1-4 as a student at the Braddock Academy.

Roger Bochs Jr. refers to last seeing Guardian at his father's funeral, however at the time of Roger Bochs' death in Alpha Flight (1st series) #49, Guardian himself was believed dead. Additionally, during Roger Bochs' time with Alpha Flight he never made any reference to having a son, and no funeral was ever shown on panel.

This issue includes an article examining how Roger Bochs Jr. has followed in his father's footsteps, noting that Roger Bochs Jr. was also born with the same congenital condition that caused his father's disability, and how Roger is now a leading biotech engineer.

Feedback was a late-run addition to the final issues of the original Alpha Flight series, debuting in Alpha Flight (1st series) #118, he was the target of the Hardliners, a group employed to carry out the government's monitoring and apprehension of paranormals. He was liberated by Alpha Flight in Alpha Flight (1st series) #120, and inducted into the Gamma Flight training programme.

It was mentioned in Marauders (2nd series) #11 that Feedback had been killed. This subplot is carried out throughout the remainder of Alpha Flight (5th series).

First appearance of Laurent Bavota a.k.a. Argent.

First appearance of Krakoa North.

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