Alfisti's Ramblings

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Thu 5 Feb 2015 - 7:09

Monty Blacker: spy, cyborg, part-time security blanket.

Chapter03 of Six Degrees, A Season for Orchids, is now up for you reading, and possibly even reading pleasure.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Thu 12 Mar 2015 - 5:13

Six Degrees Chapter04, Chasing Tails, now live.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Tue 7 Apr 2015 - 23:29

Six Degrees Chapter05, Be A Star, is now up.

Bit shorter this time around, for a change.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Tue 26 May 2015 - 2:57

Well, things have been somewhat disrupted of late but, at least story wise, normal service is resumed.

Six Degrees Chapter06, Zero-Day, is now up.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 26 May 2015 - 11:31

Alfisti wrote:Well, things have been somewhat disrupted of late but, at least story wise, normal service is resumed.

Six Degrees Chapter06, Zero-Day, is now up.

Kara: "And I thought having Claes with us when we work international was a chore. Knock on wood we don't get those two..."

Michele: "The Vitales or the Blackers?"

Kara: "Yes." Incoming!

(From across the compound) Claes: "I heard that!"



Seriously, glad to see you - and your OCs - back in action.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Tue 26 May 2015 - 23:14

Kiskaloo wrote:Kara: "And I thought having Claes with us when we work international was a chore. Knock on wood we don't get those two..."

Michele: "The Vitales or the Blackers?"

Kara: "Yes." 
Monty: The feeling's mutual.


Cheers mate. Hopefully it stays as normal service from her on in. sweat

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sat 20 Jun 2015 - 23:54

Six Degrees Chapter07, New Territories, is now up, in which...

We are on a boat.
Jethro goes for a swim.
And old faces bring new problems.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 9:49

Things look to be starting to get serious...

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by PSVT on Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 18:43

Quite interesting indeed where this most recent chapter takes events, with both Monty and Jethro facing similar difficulties and problems with communication. Dramatic indeed. Things are heating up, so to say, and not just on that side of the planet, though I'm sure J+M are facing more dire straits at the moment than Hilshire and Triela (and Florentino and Odile, for that matter).

Nevertheless, still loving it. Very Happy I hope to provide a more thorough review in the future, though.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Tue 23 Jun 2015 - 20:41

PSVT wrote:Quite interesting indeed where this most recent chapter takes events...
Oddly enough I had originally intended the events of this chapter to be their own, more spread out, isolated incidents. However, the opportunity to put them together showed up and, frankly, the whole thing was starting to drag out just a little too much. With a bit of luck, things should move a bit more quickly from here on in.

Cheers for the feedback chaps.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sat 25 Jul 2015 - 20:51

Six Degrees Chapter08, Hidden Worlds, is now up.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 25 Jul 2015 - 22:28

Really like thing series - a fair bit more action that usual.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sat 25 Jul 2015 - 22:50

Yeah, this one has wound up a bit more action-intensive (probably as much to my own surprise as anyone else's) which, I hope at least, is in keeping with, and the correct feel for, where the story is right now. Some of it might also be that I've been making a point of trying to keep the pace up from here on in, so events that may have originally been planned to be a bit more spaced out are either being combined, or coming thicker and faster.

Cheers as well, glad you're enjoying it.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Thescarredman on Wed 29 Jul 2015 - 20:48

ATM, I am catching up with the story: reading chapters 8 and 9 while listening to the Skyfall soundtrack. Smile
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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Thu 30 Jul 2015 - 5:05

Thescarredman wrote:ATM, I am catching up with the story: reading chapters 8 and 9 while listening to the Skyfall soundtrack. Smile
Heh, funny you should mention that. I don't generally listen to music while I'm writing (too distracting), but the track from the Skyfall Shanghai establishing shot was one of the inspirations for J+M's arrival in Hong Kong, and so it wound up going while I wrote that scene, along with Wong Fei Hung...

...though mostly the Jackie Chan version, plus the theme from Drunken Master 2 (Cantonese version... because Hong Kong).

Speaking of Jackie Chan, the only other scene which got a bit of a soundtrack was Monty's fight in chapter 07. However, because I couldn't find the music I wanted, I just wound up watching the Drunken Master 2 clip over and over again (which was how Monty got the bamboo).


Actually, I watched a lot of Jackie Chan leading up to that scene. It's surprisingly difficult to write a Kung Fu fight when only 50% of the participants know Kung Fu, keeping the right flavour meant Monty was pretty much limited to improvising weapons, falling over, and running away.  sweat

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sat 22 Aug 2015 - 2:32

Six Degrees, Chapter09, The Minder, is now up.


Also, on the off chance anyone actually cares, there is going to be a somewhat longer gap between this chapter and the next. However, since the last two chapters and that J+M comic cover thing all went out on an accelerated schedule, the overall timeline (all going to plan) shouldn't be effected.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by tremec6speed on Sat 5 Sep 2015 - 0:37

I just read your latest installment and enjoyed it immensely. Hope to write in your caliber one day.
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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sat 5 Sep 2015 - 9:02

Cheers tremec, glad you're enjoying it... as much as I enjoy writing J+M, it's always refreshing to come back to Italy for a bit as well.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sat 3 Oct 2015 - 2:56

Six Degrees, Chapter 10: The Self Preservation Society

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sat 31 Oct 2015 - 20:48

And now the story returns east for Chapter 11 of Six Degrees: Swallows & Amazon

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Thescarredman on Sun 1 Nov 2015 - 11:21

Chapter read, review posted. Nice work, Alf.
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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Mon 2 Nov 2015 - 3:44

Thescarredman wrote:Chapter read, review posted. Nice work, Alf.
Cheers TSM. Taking the opportunity to reply too...

Thescarredman wrote:Katherine is providing some additional tension, of a personal as well as a professional nature (parading around that little apartment in just a towel, no matter the excuse, leads one to think she hasn't entirely given up on adding 'Blacker Girl' to her resume), doubling Monty's discomfort around her.
I was a little worried setting out with this chapter regards managing the dynamic between Jethro and, particularly, Monty and Katherine. While everyone present is too professional to be completely dysfunctional, they certainly were not going to be seeing eye to eye either, not least because of history/Katherine's more... physical... approach to her job. Fortunately, everyone sorted themselves out without too much interference from me.

Jethro, of course, is finding the whole situation rather advantageous in terms of ensuring he is in control of the group.


Thescarredman wrote:Monty and Jethro seem to be growing personally closer, almost despite themselves, and neither is comfortable with that development.
That's a fairly apt description actually. Neither is comfortable pushing things along, but neither wants to back away either. Again, something I wasn't entirely certain how to handle, but they fortunately sorted themselves out.


Cheers again mate.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sat 5 Dec 2015 - 20:09

Chapter 12 of Six Degrees is now up: Tilting Windmills

Somewhat shorter chapter than usual this time but, well... there wasn't much more to say in this one. sweat

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Thescarredman on Sat 5 Dec 2015 - 22:11

Listened to this while I read...
Went quite well with the hotel room ransacking, and the beautifully described trip across Victoria Harbor.




Letting heavy lidded eyes slide languidly across those seated by polished walls, the occasional appreciative return glance was met with twitching lips as the girl sauntered unhurriedly on. She treated another onlooker to that secretive smile, using it to conceal the wry expression which was her first impulse.


The instant you read this description of Monty Blacker, You know she's up to something.

Despite being bare metres removed it was a stark contrast to the area's clean public face, or even to the buzz of Mong Kok and Lei Yue Mun. Spaces like this in older districts flowed with the city's pulse, filling them with life and frenetic activity but here, among sterile glass sky scrapers, the stretch of concrete lay forgotten, dead and drained of vigour by the artificial world beyond.

What a beautiful description. I could see and hear the abandoned little peddler's alley very clearly, and felt a little sorry for it.

Baker Street Irregulars in Hong Kong. Priceless.
Back at the apartment, Mary is sounding a little like a jealous cyborg. Hopefully, professionalism will trump other factors once the 'rescue' of Vito is underway.
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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sun 6 Dec 2015 - 5:31

Cheers TSM... I was actually a little iffy about that description, so I'm glad it came across alright.

Thescarredman wrote:The instant you read this description of Monty Blacker, You know she's up to something.
Well, yeah, she's being nice for one... that's usually a danger sign.  Razz 

...and no, she generally doesn't generally wick up the sultriness unless she has reason to.

In other news, I really need to send J+M to England properly at some point so they can hire actual urchins.


Thescarredman wrote:Back at the apartment, Mary is sounding a little like a jealous cyborg. Hopefully, professionalism will trump other factors once the 'rescue' of Vito is underway.
Well, that remains to be seen.

Unfortunately, I think Katherine is yet to accept Monty as being an actual spy, rather than someone Jethro is just humouring... and the clash of the Blackers' strong paranoia vs. her somewhat more gung-ho attitude is not helping matters. Plus everyone has probably been cooped up together in that tiny apartment just a little too long, and I suspect tempers are starting to fray.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Fri 29 Jan 2016 - 21:27

Well Christmas shutdown is over, normal service has resumed.

Chapter 13 of Six Degrees is now up: Stepping Stones

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Tue 1 Mar 2016 - 8:43

The final chapter of Six Degrees, and its associated epilogue, are now up...

Chapter 14|Six Degrees of Separation
Epilogue

...and so too ends the story started six and a half years, over half a million words, three separate pieces of major prose, and 115 pages of comic ago... which feels supremely strange to say the least.

Possible mild spoilers:
Spoiler:
So, assuming anyone cares, what next? Obviously, this is not the end for Jethro+Monty, I'm still terribly attached to them, and they will continue appearing in drawings and any short fiction which may strike my fancy. It does, however, mark their handing over the burden of being my main characters for full stories to some other unfortunate.

As such, I will be shifting focus to working up some original fiction... after a goodly long break from major writing projects that is. sweat 

To be honest though, I'm now at something of a loss regards what to do with my time with this gone. Perhaps get some proper sleep. Between work and getting this out, the last month and a half has been one hell of a slog.

Anyway, thanks to anyone who has followed along this far, loaned me characters, and offered critique and support. I hope the ride has been at least moderately enjoyable.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 1 Mar 2016 - 13:33

It's been a great read and an honor to have been part of the comic and stories via my OCs.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Wed 2 Mar 2016 - 5:45

Cheers mate, and it's been great to have Kara and Michele along. Thanks for letting me borrow them when I have.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Thescarredman on Wed 2 Mar 2016 - 14:11

You always promised me I'd find out what happened to the guys on the boat....


Not what I expected, so, good.
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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Thu 3 Mar 2016 - 3:29

Thescarredman wrote:You always promised me I'd find out what happened to the guys on the boat....


Not what I expected, so, good.
I did promise that.  Razz

Glad the result was not as expected though, I was a little worried it would be a bit too obvious.

Spoiler:
That said, to be honest, I think there were a few too many big reveals in this final chapter: too many, thick and fast, and without enough time for consequences. Were I to do it again, I would have liked to put the reveal of Katherine's involvement further forward, so there was more time for animosity and consequent resolution, as well as been a bit more consistent regards the political situation at MI6 from start to end of the story... among other things. Since writing Six Degrees, I'm starting to realise why a lot of authors will go back and completely re-write a story after finishing the first draft. sweat

Cheers mate.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Thu 12 May 2016 - 5:36

The last thing I currently need, frankly, is another Jethro+Monty story, but here's the intro to one anyway, because I liked the (lightly edited, but somewhat orphaned) scene. Brought on by a combination of Fred Vargas novels and Absolute Power.

CROSSWORDS:

CROSSWORDS

Paris, in many ways, was an evening city, well-versed in living life between work’s end and slumber. However even the liveliest arrondissments had a point at which they began to slink toward bed, leaving brasseries and footpaths to the last few night owls in quiet conversation.

Pen pausing above his crossword, Jethro Blacker looked over at what the girl beside him had just said. She was a slender specimen, petite against his own six feet despite the effort of two inch heels, heavy lidded eyes currently sidling across dwindling café patronage and onto the darkened Bastille side street beyond from where the pair leaned against its bar.

“No luv, I don’t absorb much on planes.”

“You spend half your life on aeroplanes, it might behove you to learn how.”

“Flying is thinking time.”

Now his partner’s gaze lifted to meet his, one eyebrow rising below short auburn hair to speak volumes more than meagre words could regards that particular statement.

Shooting a silent half grin back, his pen tapped down again, shifting the morning’s paper against slightly sticky wood.

“Rooster’s lover, six letters.”

“Chicken.”

“No... I don’t think so.”

“Maybe you’ve something else wrong.”

“Then you check it for me.”

“Figure it out yourself.” Her attention moved away again to where the barman proffered a bottle of house red toward her empty glass, and she held up a thumb and forefinger in close proximity. “Juste un petit verre s’il vous plaît… so you learned nothing on the flight here?”

“I did read your summary… no, I think you’re right, it is ‘chicken’.” Stretching the page out, he carefully printed ‘poulet’ in the space provided. “You’d better give me something for ‘lower cardinal’, three letters, then.”

“I said, figure it out yourself.”

“Besides, I’m familiar enough with whom we’re meeting.”

“I know you are, but did it occur to you to question why he wanted to see us?” He could almost hear her grimace in the pause. “Though you didn’t miss much, I don’t think I’ve ever read a document so carefully orchestrated to conceal its true purpose.”

“As I said: I’m familiar with whom we’re meeting.”

“Friend or no, I would…” her words cut off as another patron sidled past, and she spared a smile for appreciatively wandering eyes before returning her attention back toward the café entrance, “…rather we not be handed another Hong Kong.”

“We got as much out of that as the Circus did and you know it.”

“Be that as it may, should this not cease smelling quite so much like rat I’m walking… and speak of the devil.”

Seeing her gesture greeting in the bar’s mirrored back, Jethro folded his paper before turning to face the new arrival. He was a small man, early sixties figure filling out below a jowly face, itself set into an expression of seeming permanent bemusement. Threading his way to the waiting pair, what was once more generally agreed to be one of Her Majesty’s better station heads held out a hand, which was grasped by slender fingers.

“Good evening, Monty.”

“Algernon.”

The word was polite enough, but its edges were touched by frost, and Algernon disengaged himself to turn instead to his former pupil. “And Jethro, long time, no see.”

“Not since Ranong.” Extracting the paper, he glanced down at the half finished crossword. “You wouldn’t happen to know a word for ‘lower cardinal’, three letters?”

“Sud?”

“Now that we’re all here, would you care to explain which particular whim has just brought us halfway around the globe.”

Patently Monty was not in the mood for pleasantries as it wasn’t a question and, quickly printing in his answer atop a raised knee, the former SIS spy reached down to give her shoulder a squeeze. “How about we find someplace quieter first?”

Turning to retrieve his beer, he saw his partner catch the barman’s attention, gesturing to their drinks and then a free table. Receiving motion to go ahead she collected her own glass, sidling toward a shadowed corner, left deserted beside the solitary, broken, pinball machine. Ushering her into a position to watch the street once more, Jethro seated himself across from the other Briton, who raised curious brows.

“I trust you read my packet?”

“Monty did.”

“And in terms of general usefulness it was roughly on par with Cadbury teapots, so if you would be so kind as to elaborate.”

Reaching inside a breast pocket, Algernon extracted a glossy photograph, laying it on the table before them. Studying it briefly, the girl’s face flattened, and she began to stand.

“And we are leaving.”

“Give me a minute at least.”

From his own chair, Jethro rested a hand lightly on her hip, letting its thumb stroke across her back, and the ascent paused. Still holding their opposite’s eye, she held her watch up, jabbing theatrically at one of the vintage chronograph’s pushers.

One eyebrow raised: permission to continue.

Fifty-nine seconds.


And the Adventure Continues.


I guess this means they're back on deck.

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Fan of : Triela, Hilshire, Priscilla, Ferro

Original Characters : Jethro + Monty

Comments : If in doubt, overdress.

Registration date : 2009-07-21

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Thescarredman on Thu 12 May 2016 - 16:36

Knew it couldn't last. Hope we see some of Danilo, Raych, Florentino and Odile as well. Oh, and Catherine too.But who will she kill to get their attention, I wonder?
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Thescarredman

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Forum Posts : 1848

Location : Toledo, Ohio, United States

Fan of : Rico, Bice

Original Characters : Kristal & Verotrois / Doc; Angel / Jack Keaton; Tiffany/Stefan

Comments : .
Mario Bossi would make a better handler than Marco Toni. Come to think of it, so would Christiano.
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Elizaveta didn't jump - she was pushed.
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Sofia was pregnant. It would have been a boy.

Registration date : 2012-02-04
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OC genger: 40

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Fri 13 May 2016 - 7:37

Thescarredman wrote:Knew it couldn't last. Hope we see some of Danilo, Raych, Florentino and Odile as well. Oh, and Catherine too...
Unfortunately unlikely. Running back to J+M would be easy but, well, not what I've set myself to do. This bit was more just an excuse to stop the rust from building up and get it out of my head. It stops at the point it does to try and minimise the chance of me coming up with a story to go behind it.  Razz

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Your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency.
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Alfisti

Male

Forum Posts : 5748

Location : A Town by the Sea, NSW Central Coast, Australia

Fan of : Triela, Hilshire, Priscilla, Ferro

Original Characters : Jethro + Monty

Comments : If in doubt, overdress.

Registration date : 2009-07-21

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Tue 29 Nov 2016 - 6:51

On a completely random note: I really miss having access to Monty's ability to deliver biting commentary. Lettie's far too nice for that sort of thing.

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Your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency.
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Alfisti

Male

Forum Posts : 5748

Location : A Town by the Sea, NSW Central Coast, Australia

Fan of : Triela, Hilshire, Priscilla, Ferro

Original Characters : Jethro + Monty

Comments : If in doubt, overdress.

Registration date : 2009-07-21

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Thescarredman on Tue 29 Nov 2016 - 13:31

Praps you could give her or her dad a snarky friend.

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Thescarredman

Male

Forum Posts : 1848

Location : Toledo, Ohio, United States

Fan of : Rico, Bice

Original Characters : Kristal & Verotrois / Doc; Angel / Jack Keaton; Tiffany/Stefan

Comments : .
Mario Bossi would make a better handler than Marco Toni. Come to think of it, so would Christiano.
.
Elizaveta didn't jump - she was pushed.
.
Sofia was pregnant. It would have been a boy.

Registration date : 2012-02-04
Your character
OC genger: 40

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

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