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Croc
A sketch I did before the problem with my tablet Part of a future tribute to the sweetest crocodile ever, the late and beloved Costa Dican croc, 'Pocho'
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Hi!

I'd like to buy a slot for a short-tailed Kukuri; male or female no difference. Due to monetary problems in RL, I can pay with art, either traditional or digital.
Thanks a lot in advance.

Springheel

RAFFLE ENTRY

SPEED VERSUS SPEED

Night was dying when Captain Za’aharr, the Cassowary rider, decided that he and his Stryx deserved a day of sleep; raising a little silver whistle to his beak, he thrilled softly a three-note signal.

Instantly, a huge silhouette detached itself from the star-studded cloak of darkness, landing before him with a noisy flap of enormous wings. Her hazel eyes gazed her rider with undying affection.  Za’aharr scratched her chin, patting her forehead “I guess it’s enough fun for a night, my dear Nankai: now let’s stretch our legs and walk back home”

It was always a welcome sight to see the village beginning its day-to-day routine; denizens and riders beginning their journeys; Stryx, Harpies, Gryphs, Falcons flapping and stretching, playing and quarreling, the sights, smells and sounds that proclaimed civilization far beyond the borders of his native country. Drowning a yawn, the huge black avian only ached for a cup of coffee and a soft bed, not before attending first his aerial mount and best friend.

Stryx’s hearing is more acute than almost any other creature so it was Nankai the one who heard first a disquieting rustle of leaves at the edge of the retreating forest; nervously, she pecked his shoulder: instantly, Za’aharr switched to full alert, withdrawing his cutlass, scanning to and fro, searching for troubles.

At the edge of the shrubbery frontier, well hidden by a triad of gnarled trees, the creature responsible for the noise froze in perfect immobility: his senses were no less sharp than Nankai’s and it was obvious for him these two could mean trouble. Too soon to risk being discovered; prize was obliquely down the road and that couple for sure would have a thing or two to ‘discuss’ with him. Barely daring to breathe, his eyes fixed as telescopes upon Stryx and Cassowary, the cloaked intruder waited patiently…

“Perhaps a false alarm, Nankai” nodded Za’aharr, sheathing his weapon “We are near the village, anyway” He smiled maliciously “Want to run to the main gates, huh?”

Nankai clicked her beak in fierce agreement; she blinked one moment… and her rider already was streaking down the road like a black rocket!

Well, if he wanted to do things his way, she would do things HER way! With a ponderous flap of her huge wings, Nankai took off, gaining ceiling with a frantic and silent beat. She could dive as fast as her rider could run…

Za’aharr chuckled, knowing Nankai wasn’t half as fast as he; he would give her double ration of cutlets to compensate this head-on start and will let her sleep with him in his nest. She loved that, a feathered kitten at heart…

Twin set of talons closed over his shoulders, grabbing him as a hydraulic vise and two seconds later, Za’aharr was skyrocketing towards the timid sliver of rising sun, the mocking screech of Nankai echoing everywhere.

“Very funny, young lady!” fumed he “Now, just for the record, I am not a prey so I should be on your back!”

Instantly, Nankai cavorted 360 degrees, releasing her rider at the apex of the circle, completing same and positioning herself to receive him; it was a strong impact (Za’aharr weighted in the order of 170 pounds) but she  was a very strong bird; their twin screech of triumph filled the skies…

When at last they awakened, it wasn`t by the customary noises of exterior activity: it was a full-fledged ruckus! Instinctively grabbing his cutlass, Za’aharr rushed outside, followed by a still sleepy Nankai.

A throng of denizens, riders and aerial mounts ran to and fro, stopped, and ran again; he stopped a rider, a fellow with strong lapin appearance: “Hey, my friend! What’s going on here? Another Gryph attack?”

“We’d wish!” the lapin struggled for breath “One of the fowl breeding farms was assaulted!”

“’Assaulted’?” Za’aharr was puzzled “Robbed, perhaps?”

“Call it as you like! Each and every fowl, chick and egg was devoured or torn to pieces; the hapless owner is ruined!” He couldn’t continue: the huge black bird grabbed him by the shoulders “’Assault’ is a term I don’t like… guide me to the place, my friend… Nankai!” He turned to his Stryx  “Airborne, surveillance!”

The puzzled lapin wondered what that meant… but hadn’t time to ponder more: with a swift movement, Za’aharr installed him on his back and after a “hang on!” he began to run faster than anything he had seen before.

The scape at the farm was as heart-crushing as appalling: nothing but blood, feathers and scattered remains across all the coops: wires had been torn apart by brute force, cages smashed… he shuddered. Stepping outside, he addressed to the sobbing, soft and fragile figure of the farm’s owner:”Ma’am, I know it’s hard for you but can you tell me more of what has happened?”

It had been very early when the chickens began to cluck real strong, real frantic. She was getting ready to feed them… she could feel the small white avians crashing noisily against the  mesh wires, wings flapping hysterically: they were terrified by something: she grasped  a short spear and ran outside…

“All o’ a sudden, sun wus bl’ck’d by a huge…” She sighed “It w’s lik’ a Kukuri, b’t no h’rns, bl’nt m’zzle… k’ck’d me… Ah f’intid… wh’en ah ‘wok’…” She buried her face between her front paws and sobbed. Za’aharr remained near her, half-crouched, filling his battle fury overwhelming him: he welcomed it, let it fill all his body… very well, whoever OR whatever had done this, had made the worst mistake of its existence!

He clapped her shoulder: “Ma’am, I’ll track the culprit and I’ll make him, her or it pay dearly… that Captain Za’aharr swears!”

The huge black avian retrieved a small buy heavy-looking leather bag from within his chest feathers: “Please accept this, Ma’am. It will help you to begin anew… and please, don’t cry. You have here a friend and friends NEVER let friends astray!”

The Cassowary strolled all around the carnage scene, checking tracks, seeking clues; the fresh mud give him his first inkling of what he was seeking:  beside a long, unusual feather, a trident-like indentation sank deeply. The distance between step and step told him his quarry was also darn fast “It could be a hellish race… well, whoever you are going to meet your match!”

“Heavy, but extremely powerful… and well-armed” mused he “that hole… a talon… curved, wide and rapier-pointed… a slash would tear anyone in half…. I am against a good runner and no doubt a formidable kicker as well. Now, I probably face a muzzle with more teeth than the entire village combined, not to mention hands and claws as well… my kind of enemy!” chuckled wryly.

The next few hours were a frantic blur as the Cassowary planned his strategy and the weapons he’d need to subdue the intruder; he left Nankai sleep, as he’d need her in top condition: they had trained this kind of scenario many times… this time was for real. He readied his own natural weaponry and refreshed his hand-to-hand martial skills, a combination that had launched cassowaries as one of the deadliest creatures in the world. As a final touch, he awakened Nankai and both departed to a secluded place he knew… the training that evening and part of the night was tough as never before. When he felt satisfied, called Nankai beside him: “My dear `kai, this could be really dangerous; if a moment came that we should be a TEAM, it is now; our very lives will depend of each other… are you with me?”

The huge Stryx caressed his cheek with her own “Since the first day of my life, till the last day of it, I’ll be yours, I’ll be with you my rider, my friend!” sparkled her eyes.

A few precious hours for resting and planning, a fast reunion with riders he knew and trusted in, dividing them in teams to patrol specific points and farms, warning them of what they could find: “Don’t risk, act as a team, your birds must strike first as fast and hard as they can: avoid initially a prolonged contact; our intruder is a real fast runner…” he showed them his talons “and probably has something to match these ones… try to entangle the legs first, muzzle after. From the carcasses I examined, our ‘friend’ has teeth to spare and perhaps a powerful bite as well. A last word, my friends: DO NOT TRY TO TACKLE OUR QUARRY ALONE, always act in coordination with your avian… this one is brute force and instinct; in short words, it’ll take no prisoners, if you follow my drift”

The trap was set.

The next few days were as frustrating as they came: the mysterious intruder seemed to have gone in smoke, the teams came empty-handed, with no clues at all.

The intruder tossed and turned in the depths of his hideout, thrashing angrily: things had complicated unexpectedly, as the feeding places were almost constantly with unwanted company… ‘Almost’… raising his powerful frame, he slithered cautiously among the fringes of the forest, ever watching… ever checking… there! A feeding place unprotected! Leaving the shadows that melted so well with his feathers and scales, the devourer reached the wooden fence: if laughter were allowed to his kind, no doubt a derisive snicker would have sound.

With an easy jump, the intruder cleared the fence and approached the coops. No time for an all-out attack like the last time: just grab a chicken or two and then a fast retreat…

Blood trickled slowly, thickly, from his chin as square framed jaws remained closed around an unfortunate chicken that was in the wrong place and wrong moment. Leaving the place was easy, another jump and the beginning of a race towards safety…

And from then on, all hell broke loose when something whizzed through the air and entangled around the thick neck: the projectile’s wrench made the intruder lost balance but just momentarily: with a slash of razor-sharp claws, the bolas were rendered useless, a heap of leather thongs and wrapped stones. Acute eyes fixed on the brushes from where the strange thing had come… alarm and fury gave room to fear as a black avian emerged from beneath the shrubbery: the same one judged as a problem!

“Well, well, well” mocked Za’aharr “What do we have here? A spoiler, a thief, a… what in blazes are you, anyway!? Now, it will be peaceful or the hard way?”

The intruder turned and began to run like a feathered cheetah, the carcass of the chicken firmly clenched by the robust jaws. “The hard way, eh? Fine for me!”

Za’aharr whistled a two-tone signal and began the hunt: with a top speed above 50 miles per hour and stamina to match, the Cassowary was now a feathered bloodhound, fixed in the plumed tail of the pseudo-kukuri.

The chicken thief was seeing the distance to safety diminishing… but he could hear the breath of that damned avian augmenting: even at the breakneck speed his legs were pacing, that creature was proving as fast as himself. This was turning from a feeding incursion to a race for his life!

Za’aharr yelled with all his might: “Nankai, DIVE AND RAM!!”

The now scared creature just saw a brownish bulk approaching at full speed from his right side, a breath-stopping impact and world turned to a blender-like scenario, as Nankai’s ramming send him head over heels out of the road and against a semicircle of trees that formed more like a wall, skidding painfully over the stone-studded terrain. Regaining footing, he lunged to retake the track… just to be confronted by a feathered hurricane, as Nankai launched a flurry of kicks closing her feet instead of racking with her talons. Not a cutting-and-slashing weapon now, her feet were a knot of bone and sinew, pummeling like sledge hammers his arms, chest and jaws, while her beating wings, following an 8-pattern, formed a curtain before his eyes.

But he was far from defeat, a frontal ascending thrust with his leg slammed the courageous Stryx straight across the chest, sending Nankai to crash against a thick oak. If the kick had been downwards, she would have been torn in half. He forgot the chicken, the black bird, everything and advanced for the kill…

All in all, his worst mistake. Za’aharr increased his speed to all his mighty legs could give and rammed the raptor like a freight train. He positioned himself between his Stryx and the thief. Now it was between them only, Nankai stunned and struggling to return to help her rider. Spitting the dead chicken aside, the cornered creature hissed defiantly, lowering his head and spreading his feathered arms… exactly as Za’aharr feared, this guy had hands, fingers… and a set of ebony claws, tips shining menacingly.

“Great! Teeth, talons and hands needing nail trimming! This guy is going to be a barrel of fun!” thought he sarcastically. And lunged himself against the big creature.

The raptor tried a bear hug, as Za’aharr was going straight at him, head raised; in the last possible instant, though, the cassowary lowered his head, the bone-hard crest aiming like a spear blade against the unprotected chest… and he rammed his enemy with all his 170 pounds reinforcing the impact; surrounding the stunned predator’s torso, Za’aharr jackknifed backwards, throwing him to the center of the clear, sending him away from Nankai.

“I must subdue this guy before he tries to flee again!” Za’aharr was franticly trying to get a definitive vantage position: ramming would not work twice, as the raptor kept changing positions so as to protect his chest. The cassowary should be very careful not to kick frontally as well; his 8-inch claw could be lethal and he needed the raptor alive; somehow he felt almost empathic with his opponent “He just tries to eat, to survive, he’s not evil per se, just obeys his instin…WHOA!”

The raptor jumped forward, his vicious foot-claws, scythes of bone, aiming straight toward Za’aharr’s throat and chest. No time to counter kick, he rolled and let himself go down, receiving the attack with both feet and using the raptor’s own momentum to whirl him against the ground… and then it was Nankai striking again, using her technique of the closed foot to hit the head, stunning her opponent long enough to flap hastily in retreat.

Za’aharr smiled sadly: if all this could have been avoided… he perceived some dark nobility, an invincible spirit behind that reptile-like façade, a spirit so akin to his own, a fighter, a survivalist, in some arcane, unknown manner, his own self in a long bygone era…

Stunned or not, the raptor pressed his attack once, lashing a single frontal kick, steadying his weight on the support leg: The chance the cassowary was waiting! He dropped down on all fours and used an extended leg to sweep the raptor’s supporting limb: as he fell down, Za’aharr jumped over him, entangling his legs between his own, pressing forelimbs to the ground, as Nankai hold the snapping jaws shut using her feet as a vise. The raptor struggled with all his might to break free, in vain.

“Time to finish this” thought Za’aharr and used his bone headgear to strike just under the windpipe with enough force to render the creature unconscious: the effect wouldn’t be prolonged, though. He retrieve some stout cords from his backpack and swiftly tied together hands and feet, immobilizing his elusive quarry; finally, another length of rope to put those teeth-filled jaws out of action…

The hunt was over.

Finally, it was over…

He wrote a note and deposited in a small holster he attached to Nankai’s right leg: it was addressed to a friend that mounted a Gryph: the ideal avian to carry safely his prisoner to the village… alive and in relatively good conditions.

Squatting before his captive, spasmodically struggling to free himself, Za’aharr got a series of flat boxes from the backpack and mixed their contents to begin to cure the lacerated points: at first the raptor winced but then, as the balms began to act, he began to relax and lied perfectly still.

Za’aharr watched him at length for the first time: it was an admirable, really handsome creature, a tactic and a fighter: had given him one of his toughest encounters and had the hunch that, if not for Nankai’s courage, this well could have been his last fight…

 

THE END

 

 

 

Raffle Entry - Speed versus speed
Captain Za'aharr and nankai, a Cassowary and Stryx team, are against an elusive, lethal chicken thief They say it's cunning, fierce and very fast... and it's going to meet his match: watch out, Raptor, Captain Za'aharr is after you!

Entry for the Raptor Raffle
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Bordeaux Beaver, radio Op Albatross
Bordeaux Beaver, Radio Operator aboard the Zeppelin-boat Albatross (he lives in a steampunk universe), French-Canadian, honest, tough, loyal...

It seems he is on the run or perhaps shadowing somebody; once one of the best lumberjacks in Canada, he was recruited by Professor Archimedes Articus as both radio operator and gunner.

Able with fists, whip, axe, knife or gun,(not to mention a polyglot that speaks French, English, Spanish and roughly 10 or 12 Indian dialects)   Bordeaux is a guy you can trust in almost any situation... especially breakfast: his flapjacks are the best anybody can taste!

Made with Illustrator, before the collapse of my tablet. Thank goodness, coloring and cleaning do not require a stylus.
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Yesterday night, my drawing tablet kicked the bucket (or almost); being now virtually useless, I cannot do commissions, nor finish the pending ones. If anybody cane send me a used one, I'll be eternally grateful... otherwise, it's bye bye for a long time, just watching, not working.
  • Reading: Bad news
  • Watching: A useless job search: I am too old.
  • Eating: nothing, how could I?
  • Drinking: Nothing

deviantID

springheel's Profile Picture
springheel
Oscar Reyes
Colombia
Current Residence: Barranquilla, Colombia
Favourite genre of music: Classic, Jazz, New Age, Rock and Roll
Favourite photographer: Adam Woolfitt, Heather Angel; Ansel Adams
Favourite style of art: Lysozyme, Ribera, Enorapi, Kuro-RisuAmandadahamster, Huiro, Lhumina
Operating System: Windows Vista
MP3 player of choice: AIMP3
Shell of choice: Lapras, perhaps?
Wallpaper of choice: Anything with raccoons, foxes or ponies1
Favourite cartoon character: Mr. Kat, 5th gen. pokemon and Applejackd
Personal Quote: A 1000 mile trip begins with a single step
Interests
Yesterday night, my drawing tablet kicked the bucket (or almost); being now virtually useless, I cannot do commissions, nor finish the pending ones. If anybody cane send me a used one, I'll be eternally grateful... otherwise, it's bye bye for a long time, just watching, not working.
  • Reading: Bad news
  • Watching: A useless job search: I am too old.
  • Eating: nothing, how could I?
  • Drinking: Nothing

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:iconmateslaurentiu:
MatesLaurentiu Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you for the fave, much appreciated. :)
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:iconspringheel:
springheel Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2017
No problem, a pleasure.
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:iconkol98:
kol98 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2017

Después de una larga estadía en Draconia, Wave (ya le quitare el hope) estaba de regreso hacía Ponyville, faltaban todavía muchas horas para llegar.



Wave: No puedo descifrar quién es Thorax, Spike, sin número, rango o alguna indicación más precisa, podría ser cualquier changelling.


Spike: Podrías dejar eso, tienes desde Draconia con descifrar la identidad de Thorax, cuando lleguemos a Ponyville te mostrare una foto de él


Wave: Es que conozco media colonia changelling y Thorax no me suena, ojala estuvieran mis amigos, me ayudarían a resolver la identidad.


El tren empieza a disminuir su velocidad hasta que queda completamente estatico, Wave sale a investigar y Spike va a decirle a Vanni los sucedido, en unos minutos Spike vuelve al pasillo donde se encontraba y ve a Wave.


Wave: Hay un derrumbe, las vías quedaron bloqueadas, el jefe de tren ha pedido ayuda, pero tardara más de un día en llegar, estamos varados hasta nuevo aviso, esa es toda la información que pude recabar.

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:iconspringheel:
springheel Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017
Vanni (que sale medio dormido de la cabina*: Cómofuequefueloquefue´?

Sylvanna: En idioma reconocible, que qué pasó?

Cobra Claw: hay trancón o qué? Este bus sí que... ay cierto, estamos en el ... AAAAJJJUUUUUMMM.. tren...

Wave: Vía bloqueada por derrumbe... acá nos quedamos un rato...

Vanni: Entonces puedo echar otra pestañada? Anoche ma trasnoché leyendo... esa novela de Colthulhu que compré en la estación está super... AAAJJUUUMMM... buena...

Sylvanna: Mientras el coro de los potros bostezones de Viena ensaya su debut, yo voy a hablar con el conductor de este boliche...

*Cuando regresa*: Malas noticias, chicos: Ese derrumbe es del tamaño de una montaña pequeña; el conductor manda decir que todo corre ahora por cuenta de la empresa: reembolsos y todo eso, que si queremos estirar las piernas, bajemos y demos un paseo, pero sin alejarnos mucho... ya  atardece y mejor que en la noche estemos todos en el tren...
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:iconkol98:
kol98 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2017
En eso aparece la verdadera Wildberry con una cara de agotamiento y estrés combinados

Wave: ¿Estas bien, Wildberry?  –Wildberry lo ve con cara extrañada

Wildberry: Un poco de presión laboral y algunos “amables comentarios” por parte de nuestros pasajeros, lo normal –Explica lo que Sylvanna había comentado –No nos hacemos responsables de cualquier incidente fuera de este tren, para que lo sepan.

Wave: Vamos a dar un paseo, ¿Quieres venir con nosotros?

Wildberry: Muy amable de tu parte, pero no puedo dejar este tren en lo que viene el auxilio, oigan, podrían explicarme el incidente de Draconia, dormí el trayecto de Ponyville a Draconia, pero estuve activa trabajando esos días, además que varios compañeros me dijeron que me baje en Draconia junto con ustedes, esta doble mía se robo mi maleta y luego apareció mágicamente dos días después en la estación de tren de Draconia, realmente todo es extraño, mi compañero Travis tuvo una jaqueca descomunal, decía que una voz le daba órdenes en su cabeza que actuara de forma no muy grata.

Wave y compañía se miran de reojo ante una confundida Wildberry. Wave dedujo que EA-2661 la había puesto dormir en el trayecto a Draconia y había tomado su identidad, mientras que Travis había sido hipnotizado para que los incomodara.

Wave: No pasa nada, señorita, vera… –Wave ya tenía una mentira cuando en eso aparece Travis nada risueño y con cara de estrés caminando hacía Wildberry

Travis: Wild, la burra Ibis esta insoportable, es tu turno de atenderla

Wildberry: Yo la atendí anoche, le di servicio VIP ¿Qué la tiene de tan mal humor?

Travis: ¿Yo que sé? No para de hablar de un embajador nominado al premio Neighbell –voltea a ver a los demás con mirada indiferente y ve a Vanni con una cara incomoda que apenas puede ocultar y se da un ligero golpe en su cabeza– Wild, vamos a inspeccionar las maletas antes de atender a la burra

Wildberry se voltea con una gran sonrisa

Wildberry: Te tardaste mucho, ¡Vamos! –Ambos se retiran hacía los vagones traseros y Wave siente el amor brotando entre los dos

Wave : Oigan, ellos dos son pareja, se siente su amor.

Después de que las cosas se aclararan un poco entre Wildberry y Travis, todos discuten y deciden salir del tren a estirarse un poco Al salir se percatan que se encontraban en una zona boscosa.

Wave: Esta zona es nueva para mí, creo que aun no se asignado un equipo de exploración a esta zona


(Para aclarar un poco lo que les había sucedido al verdadero Travis y Wildberry en el trascurso del rol anterior)
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:iconspringheel:
springheel Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2017
Vanni: Doña Amargue al ataque de nuevo? Brrrr! Aay, ganas me dan de seguir a pie!

Sylvanna: Esa mujer es un vomitivo andante!

Cobra Claw: Sssi quieren la muerdo y la duermo hassta que lleguemosss a cassa.

Wave: por como nos trató a la ida, mejor si la dejas en coma inducido un mes o tres...

Spike: Huuuy, Twilight ya ha tenido sus agarrones con ella: libro que coge en la biblioteca, libro que critica a voz en cuello... y tiene más pulmones que una compañía de ópera!

VAnni: Si así es con los míos, compadezco a mis colegas... bueno, excepto a Marecial Trotfuente Estrotanía...

Wave: El de las novelas del oeste? No me digas que no se llevan bien.

Vanni: Está bien, deseo concedido: me tocó capotearlo en una fiesta que dio mi editor. Odioso y resentido como él solito... qué vergüenza! Bueno, la vida te compensa, Wave... *susurra que todos lo oyen*: En esa fiesta conocí a Strot Lee!

Wave *bonachón, pues se han hecho buenos amigps*: Farolero!

*Y vanni le replica en igual tono*: Envidioso! *Y se echan a reir*

Sylvanna: Bueno, allá hay árboles, me voy a dar una columpiada.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconkawayoporu-chan:
Kawayoporu-chan Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2017
Hi, springheel, how are you, how is your home and work going for the reason you were lucky to not closed your account last December so 2 months has past so your still alive on DA and I was wondering if you have a lot of time to receive me some little questions you've missed out from months back?

Hey, I was been waiting for your reply to be received asking you something back on 24th of last month.
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:iconspringheel:
springheel Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2017
Hi! Here I am, a bit busy since the university is trying to open again; yesterday alone, I had to sign documents for cooperation between us and three of the most important universities in the city.

That's perhaps the reason I didn't answer your 24th communication. Sometimes I am so busy

Send me your questions: as soon as I can, I will anser them.I can't do but work real hard.
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