Shadows in the Forest

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bftlovesRDA
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by bftlovesRDA » Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:25 pm

Well, it is masterfully written. All so good!
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Monika
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Monika » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:42 pm

Jacky,
I am sure you understand :D :D :D :) :) :) 8-) 8-) 8-) :lol: :lol: :lol: :P :P :P :oops: :oops: :oops:
More please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"As long as I always think of you and wish me somethings which I think is unattainable, there is no reason to be hurt by others."

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Jack(s)
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Jack(s) » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:53 pm

well, I guess you enjoyed this chapter like the rest of the FF.

good news for all readers, had some time on my days off, wrote about another 20 pages so lots more to come...
"Dogs are my favorite people !!!"
"I've got to have fun or it's not worth it."
RDA

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tvero80
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by tvero80 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:36 pm

Jack(s) wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:53 pm
good news for all readers, had some time on my days off, wrote about another 20 pages so lots more to come...
Good news indeed ! Looking forward to it , Jacky :)
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Veronica LAKings

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Jack(s)
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Jack(s) » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:16 am

Here you go, the next part is flying in. Have fun and enjoy it. If you guys don't mind, leave a comment I would appreciate it and love to hear from you all... :D :D :D
-----------------
Xxx

Jack woke up a few minutes later. He was disorientated and needed a bit to get his head around. The memories came back, and he looked for Cassie. The Girl was gone but his dog had appeared again. `Jack you are an idiot every time of the week could you not have taken one day off?’ he shouted to himself inside his head. `She is a kid, for crying oud loud. Do not treat her like one of your Air Force buddies. She has not chosen a career like that.’

His room door opened slightly and Cassies head appeared again. “You can still sleep Uncle Jack; I just had some fresh air and only came back for my backpack. I will come back tomorrow” she whispered

“Cass, stay. I am sorry I fell asleep on you. I am sorry if I made you feel like you have to be all grown up.” He looked at her before continuing “and I got a question for you”

“Stop apologising. It’s a sign of weakness.” Cassie stated, quoting one of her favourite TV characters. “What’s the question?” by now she was back in his room and seated herself on the chair

“Where is the dog come from. I missed it earlier. They brought me here on a stretcher and even I asked, they did not take the dog with me.” Jack looked with confusion towards Cassie.

“I bought it for you. Your friends can not be always with you as we all have other commitments as well. So, for you not to be alone, I was thinking of giving you a plush toy as a companion. Hope you like it” Cassies face blushed

“I love it. Thank you. Would you like to name the doggy Zoe or Andy?” he asked with a big grin around his face

“I would go for Andy.” She beamed.

“Very good choice” he smiled and took Andy in his right hand, faced the dog towards him and greeted her as his new roommate.
His eyelids drooped, and he had trouble staying awake. But he did not like the fact of falling sleep on his little friend again. Cassie would have noticed it.

“You can go to sleep you know. You don’t have to fight it. You need to heal,” she stated.

“But it’s nice to have your company,” he answered with a yawn.

“Don’t worry, I will do my homework and wait for you till you wake up again. I will be here when you wake up. I promise with one exception,” she cleared her throat. “When my mum says I must go home, and you are still asleep. But this is not for another few hours. So, get some rest, Colonel. That is an order,” she grinned over her whole face.

“Yes Ma`am.” He gave her a very sloppy salute and closed his eyes. Cassie did not even have the chance to make herself comfortable at the table by the window before Jack was already asleep.

She looked at the sleeping man. A smile crossed her face before she settled herself to do the homework she had to do.

Xxx

SGC, Carters Lab

Sam was working on another gadget after her lunchbreak with Daniel. They both had been talking about how to go further with the Colonel. First thing is always to be there for him and distract him as much as possible. Second thing would be to help him and encourage him on his journey.
So far SG1 was on stand down until further notice. Teal`c used the last six weeks to be with his son and Master Bra`tac and help to fight for the free Jaffa while Daniel and Sam caught up on some much-needed work which was laying around. The General had asked for a long time and finally there was time.

Daniel had told Sam that he would pick her up after work. The plan was to get to Jack`s house and get some stuff for him. The Major had already made a playlist with some music at home two days ago for her friend. She was sure he would like it.

As she was checking up on the time via the clock on the wall, the Major realised that it was nearly home time and the archaeologist would come by any minute. Starting to put her belongings away, she could hear some footsteps already.

“Hey, how is it going,” she addressed the person without looking.

“Sorry, I know I am a bit early but I had a good point where I could stop. So, I didn’t want a new start till tomorrow.” He grinned.

“Where is my friend Daniel and what have you done with him?” Sam looked at him playfully confused but had a big smile afterwards.

“Very funny. Just let us hurry up, shall we?” He was smiling and waiting in a corner so as not to stand in the way of his friend’s cleaning.

“You have an idea what the Colonel has at home and what he would like to have?” asked the Major after a few seconds of silence.

“I know he’s got a Gameboy and a yoyo. You’ve got the music and if we bring him a book or two that should do the trick.”

“He’s got a game boy? That is hilarious. I mean, ah never mind.” She stopped herself in mid- sentence. In her head she had found it cute that her CO would play with a little computer in his spare time.

“I think he’s only got Tetris on it. Never saw a different game.” He shifted his stand a bit. “I just hope we find the toy. I have no idea where to start looking for it”

“We will find it; we can start in his bedroom. If I would be him and nobody needs to know I would leave it where nobody normally goes,” she stated, putting the last items in a drawer.

“Oki, let’s start there.” Daniel stepped out of Sam’s lab and went already to the elevator.

Xxx

Colorado Springs, Fort Carson

Cassie was just finished with her homework when the door opened. A nurse poked her head in and Cassie showed her with a finger on her lips that she should be quiet.

“How can I help you Miss?” Cassie asked the nurse outside the room.

“I was just checking if he is ok and what the Colonel would like to have for his evening meal,” the Nurse confessed.

“He is asleep. When does the meal order have to be in?”

“In about 30 min. If he doesn’t wake up, maybe you could make the decision for him. Otherwise he would not get really anything after the kitchen closes for the night.”

“Ok, I will see what I can do. To whom do I give the order?”

“Just go to the reception desk. They will know what to do or you can find a nurse. Either way it will work.” She waited for the slight nod of the girl before she went on with her other patients.

Cassie went back to the Colonel and seated herself next to his bed. She was sure he would not take long to come around as he was already stirring a bit.

“Hey, Cass.” A soft mumble from the bed reached her ears.

“Hey, Uncle Jack,” she replied with a soft voice.

“You are still here.” He closed his half open eyes again and took a deep breath.

“Mum is not here yet to chase me away. So yes, like promised, am still here.” She smiled and came a bit closer to get his attention back. “A nurse was here earlier, she wanted to know what you would like for your dinner”

“What time is it?” Jack opened his heavy eyelids again

“Just after five. She said it would be difficult for you to get something once the kitchen is closed. You’ve got another few minute`s till I must give your order in. Would you like something in particular?” She took a pen and a piece of paper out ready to make some notes.

“Tuna would be nice. I am only allowed a light diet. The nurse this morning had tuna on the list if I remember right.” He tried to remember but gave up after a while. He was far too tired.

“Ok, I will ask.” She stood up and watched her friend who already had his eyes closed again.
Slowly and quietly she made her way out of the room. Heading for the reception desk, she crossed the path with a nurse she knew well from the ICU.

“How is Colonel O`Neill doing?” the Nurse stopped and placed her questioned look on the girl.

“He is doing ok, I guess. He is just very tired but then he was a long time out, so I assume that is normal for his body,” smiling, giving a bit of information away.

“Yes, it is, well I have to go. Take care, Cass, and all the best to the Colonel.” With that she walked past and disappeared behind the next corner.
Cassie continued her way to the reception desk to place the order. It was still very busy, and she had to wait a very long time to be called.
After accomplishing her mission, she walked back. Her watch said it was almost 6 in the evening and she was sure that the rest of his team would drop in very soon.

Taking her seat, next to the bed again, she looked at some magazines and waited patiently. The door opened soon after and Sam appeared with Daniel in tow.

“Hey, Cassie, how is he doing?” Sam came closer and watched the sleeping figure.

“Ok, just very sleepy today. We had an interesting conversation. I think this wore him out.” She didn’t look up to the Major while she had chosen her words.

“We got him some stuff from his home that he might like when he is awake like in the morning hours when no one is around. I think we have to keep him occupied,” stated Daniel who placed a plastic bag on the table near the window.

“I am sure he will like it. Do one of you know anything about when he will start on his therapy? I know that there is someone coming to him every morning around 10. But when will he get out of bed?” Cassie asked her friends.

“I have no idea to be honest. Maybe your mum knows something,” Sam whispered.

“I think we should go, Sam. One person is enough, and I don’t think Jack would appreciate it if too many people see him sleeping.” Daniel interrupted the conversation.

“Its ok, you can stay. I am awake but I do appreciate the fact that you are so concerned, Danny boy.” A soft, sheepish voice came from the bed.

“Hey Jack, nice of you to join in. How are you doing?” Daniel grinned.

“Just peachy.”

The conversation had gone along its path till another knock on the door announced his dinner. A nurse came in, placed the tray on a side table over his bed, and left again, smiling at Daniel on the way out.

“Whatcha having, Sir?” Sam asked interested.

“Tuna,” Jack replied while lifting the lid off his plate.

“Look, that even looks good on a plate,” Jack quipped as he discovered the slice of poached tuna on his plate with a little parsley sprig as garnish.

“Jack, that looks like cat food right out of the television advertisement,” Daniel stated.

“Thanks, Danny Boy. Exactly what I need to know now.” He smiled and took his fork. Without the pleasure of eating he just poked around on his plate.

“Anything wrong, Sir?” Carter questioned after noticing how listless he appeared.

“All is fine, I am just not hungry, that’s all.” With that he pushed his plate away.

“Sorry if I said anything that put you off your food.” Daniel replied apologetically.

“It`s not your fault. Just don’t feel like eating.” Jack tried to rearrange his position as he grew uncomfortable.

“Shall we leave you alone, Sir?” Carter queried.

“You don’t have to leave on my account. Make yourself comfortable and stay if you want for as long as you like.”

“Uhm, Jack, we went to your house. All seems in working order over there. But while we were there, we brought you some stuff so that you are not so alone and bored when we are not here.” With that Daniel placed the bag on his bed.

Jack looked up and strayed into the warm smiling grey eyes of his friend. He did not quite know how to react to it. He was not really in the mood for talking at all and he wished they all just would go and leave him alone but then he did not want them to leave. He enjoyed their company and that was what he was looking forward to every day when he was alone in this room.

“Thanks, glad all is ok. What did you get me?” He took the bag and peeked inside.

Sam watched him very closely. If she wouldn’t have, she would have missed the grin on his face which appeared just for a split second. Then his visor had been back up and the Colonel who tried to hide his emotions was back.

“Thanks Kids, I appreciate it very much. That should keep me occupied for a while.” He took all the items out and found a place for them on his nightstand, giving Daniel his bag back.

“I think we should go now.” Sam checked her watch and, after realising it was just before 7 pm, she concluded it was time.

“So soon? You guys coming tomorrow?” Jack looked disappointed.

“We will, Sir, promise.” With that she opened the door and stepped out. It was so hard for her to see him like that. She knew he could be grumpy, and she knew what kind of character her CO was. She knew him better then she would ever admit wishing in the same second that she would have some time with him alone. But, on the other hand, they had better not so no false rumours could develop.

Seeing a Doctor, she went to him to ask him some information she was not even sure to get as she was not a relative of him. But she could at least try.

“Sir?” She stepped on up to him.

“Ma`am? What can I do for you?” the man in the white coat turned to face her

“I’ve got a few questions regarding a certain patient. I am just not sure if you are allowed to give me any answers as we are not related. He is my
Commanding Officer and we are very close as a team. I would just like to know where he stands.” She swallowed hard and waited for his answer.

“Ma`am, it is correct. I am not in the position to give you any answers even if you are very close as a team. But please follow me.” He pointed to the right side where a door was open just a slight bit.

“Take a seat. Water?” he offered as he got himself a glass full of the clear liquid.

“I am fine Sir.” Sam replied while sitting herself in the chair opposite a dark wooden desk which looked very expensive.

“Ma`am. Whom might we be talking about? I ‘ve got lots of patients in this wing. They all would be old enough to be your CO.” He addressed the issue at hand.

“Colonel Jack O`Neill, Room HF 202. He is from the Air Force. They have brought him here about six weeks ago as your equipment is better than we have in our hospital.” Sam smiled in a shy and kind of embarrassed way.

“Oh yeah, I know who you mean. He is quite a fighter with a strong will beating the odds like that. I wish all my patients would be like him.” He smiled and stood next to a filing cabinet.

“Well, that’s him. And yes, you are right. He has an extremely strong will if he wants something to happen and is convinced it it’s worth fighting for.”
The Doctor took Jack`s file out and flipped through it. turning around to see his visitor eye to eye. He sat himself down, sipped on his glass, and cleared his throat.

“As I said before, I am not allowed to tell you anything about the health of my patient. I am not allowed to tell you, hypothetically, that next week we can start in our gym with his therapy. But he needs to put on some weight. As right now he is far too slim and has no strength. I am also not allowed to tell you that by the last test about two weeks ago, his chest was finally clear of his pneumonia and his ribs are healed. His head seems ok now after the concussion he had and also, I am not allowed to tell you that apart from his vertebras he seems fine. He just needs to get back to his strong self. We will help him with that and knowing him by now, he will achieve this sooner than we all think. I know the type of his character. He just needs a spark to light his fire again. But this is all just hypothetical.” The doctor closed the file and smiled into Sam’s face.

“Of course, all just hypothetical. Thank you, Sir. I’ve got one last question. Just from what you are not allowed are to tell me, did the venom have any long-lasting effect on him or his organs? Hypothetically?” Sam smiled her biggest smile.

“He was very lucky. The antivenom he received was just in time and, thanks to the information we had, this was vital time save. And no, his organs and he himself will not have any long-lasting effects from that which also is quite unusual as normally victims are suffering already from damaged organs after the time in which we got him the necessary dose. I put that down to his shape he was in which for his age is remarkable. You see, normally it’s best after a snake bite to get help in the first 30 minutes. It varies from snake to snake, but you need the antivenom in the next six to twelve hours. He got it after and still recovered from it. Maybe that is the reason why he was that long in a coma. But of course, this is all just hypothetical.” He answered her truthfully but made clear that he had not told her anything and he would deny everything if something would come back to him.

“Of course, I thank you for your time doctor.” With that, the Major stood up, held out her hand to underline her gratefulness. “and don’t worry. You did not tell me anything and your speculations are safe with me.” She smiled and left the room after a hearty handshake. Stepping outside she saw Daniel and Cassie waiting near the entrance area. She walked over to the pair and greeted them.

“Hey, Sam, what’s going on? We just saw you going into the room with that guy. That’s why we are waiting here.” Daniel explained.

“I just needed to find something out; got my answers and now we can go. Sorry to keep you waiting.” She smiled apologetically and turned into the way the car was waiting.

“Cassie, shall we drop you off at your home?” Daniel asked the girl who had been walking next to him now.

“Can do, but I have no idea when mum is coming home. She texted me earlier that there was another emergency and it would be very late.” She looked at Sam with a questioning look on her face.

“Yes, let your mum know and you can stay with me.” She knew what the teenager wanted and turning to Daniel said, “If you like come over and we will order some food and have a nice evening together.”

“Sounds good. I will go and take you up on that offer as I am far too lazy to cook for myself tonight.” He stated and grinned over his whole face.

Xxx

Jack felt so alone. After Sam was gone, the other two left as well. He wished he would have a bit of time with Sam alone but then this would be hard as she always was coming with someone else. He liked his friends a lot. His 2IC just a bit more.

Looking at his plate with the messed-up tuna, he took a mouthfull and chewed it very slowly. The taste was bland, and his tummy rumbled the second he received the contents.

Jack felt sick and just managed to press the bell before he puked all over his bed. His body was shaking and cramped all up in this seizure. One wild retch followed by the next one. He could not help himself and tears been now streaming down his face.

A nurse came in, immediately pressing the emergency button and tried to calm her patient down. Holding a sick bowl under his face for the mess that was still emerging and she stroked his back in circles and spoke with a very soothing voice to him.

Sweat beads built themselves on his forehead and he tried to swallow the bile down he was feeling coming up. Still shaking from the heaves he experienced, he tried his best to calm down.

“That’s better, Colonel. Calm down. Nothing will happen to you. You are safe here. Whatever has caused your panic attack, it’s time to let go.” She continued to rub in circles and a few more nurses had already been busy with changing his bed and getting him a new gown to wear. Windows opened for fresh air. Jack was changed and in his bed in no time. The food had been taken away. He laid there staring holes into the ceiling.

Why was he having an attack? There was no need for one. He was fine, all the events of the remembered weeks had been stored in his mind, far away from where anyone could touch them. Hidden in a drawer he would not touch again. So why would he act like that? He did not know and before he knew it, he had fallen asleep.

Xxx

Carter’s House

“Daniel, what type of take away would you like to have today?” Sam shouted from the kitchen into her living room.

“How about Sushi? You guys like it?” he looked at Cassie while shouting back to Sam.

“Fine by me.” Sam shouted back and Cassie nodded with an “and me.”

“Good, I know a Chinese restaurant not far from here, they do takeaway and make the best sushi ever.” The archaeologist beamed with excitement.

“I just need to pick it up. They don’t deliver.”

“You got a menu,Daniel?” Sam asked coming out of the kitchen with a bottle of wine and two glasses.

“Internet, Name is Sushi Ring.” Daniel explained while taking his mobile phone out of his pocket.

“Cassie, what would you like?” He opened the menu card and gave her the phone to write down what she fancied. After that it was Sam`s turn and Daniel last. He placed his order and was told to pick it up about 20 minutes later.

Xxx

SGC, Infirmary

Doctor Fraiser was fighting for the life of a young lieutenant who had an encounter with another alien race that was not very friendly. An arrow had stung him near his heart.

She was checking the clock and was relieved to know that Cassie would have a good time. Her friends she could always count on stepped in yet again and helped her out. Remembering the text she had received from her daughter earlier where she had informed her that she will spend the time with
Sam and Daniel and that it was Sushi night tonight.

The patient in front of her was stable for now and her team had done a good job. The arrow was finally removed, and the soldier was hooked onto machines. By the time she was finished it was way past midnight and she decided to stay in the mountain for the night. She would have to have an early start anyway so no use to drive down just so she has to drive up the mountain a couple of hours later.
Making herself an herbal tea, she sat in her office and took a specific file out. She had requested an update on the Colonel’s heath and had received the mail somewhere during the last few hours.

Making herself comfortable in front of her computer she opened the file. Skipping the stuff she already knew, she was glued to the new entry where it was spoken about a panic attack. Scrubbing one of her hands over her face, the doctor took a deep breath. If the Colonel starts on something like that now, he would have more to recover from than just his physical health. The problem was to get him to open up and talk about it.

He wasn’t best known for letting someone see his feelings. He always shut everyone out and she had the feeling that he was just scared he would be a burden to his friends. She knew that he was a very private and proud man and she admired him for that. But sometimes, especially after the last weeks, he needed to talk it over. She was determined now to go to the hospital in the next few days, alone, and talk to him.

A feeling told her that he might think that she would be mad at him which was true before she knew everything she knew now. With that she shut the electrical device down and laid down on the field bed she had in her office for exactly that kind of emergency.

Xxx

Fort Carson

Jack had slept all night and felt better today. He was in a good mood and now had been waiting for some eggs. After last night’s episode, he been advised to stick to eggs in different variations for now till his stomach is accustomed to food again.

The team of Doctors had already been and gone. They had told him that the main concern right now was to rebuild his strength, then the walking would follow.

Jack could not wait to get walking again as he was sick of just laying around and doing nothing. But in a way he understood that his body needed the time. He had to be patient. In that minute, his breakfast came and gave him a welcome distraction.

He put his earplugs in and turned the volume on full. He was pleased when he discovered that Carter had given him an iPod where she put opera music on. This one was his favourite. The opera was by Leoncavallo and called `The Clowns’ and the extract he was listening to was from Pagliacci.
Closing his eyes, he lost himself in the world where no one could touch him. Here he was free. The music engulfed him and built wings around him, taking him on a trip far away, away from this world, his problems, his friends, his situation. Teal’c once showed him how to meditate. This kind of technique he used now.

By the time he opened his eyes again, he felt better. His eggs which were still in front of him, were cold by now but tasted better than ever. He had found something now that he had missed for so long: the feeling of being worthy, the feeling of belonging somewhere and not being a failure, the feeling of being loved.

He looked at the small device in his hand and smiled. `How did Carter know what type of music he preferred? And then his absolute favourite piece of all?’ He made himself a mental note to ask her one day. For now, he was just grateful to have friends who look out for him.

He had finished his eggs and did not leave one crumb on his plate. When the nurse would come and pick up his plate, she would be pleased with him. He smiled and looked out of the window. Not much longer and he would get out of this bed. He would get out into the open again and breathe the fresh air, see the sky above and listen to the birds singing in the tree. Patience was the key.

The day flew by and he enjoyed his activities. He read a bit but could not concentrate for very long. He played a bit on his Gameboy and slept on and off. He had an omelette for lunch and ate it all. The nurse was surprised and happy to see him picking up and starting to eat.

It was late in the afternoon when he expected for Cassie to come. She told him yesterday that she had a long school day and would be coming later.
As the knock on the door came, he got very excited and had to hide a little disappointment after he realised that it was her mum.

“Hey, Janet, what brings you here?” He tried to be nice and hide the fact that he wasn’t in the mood to see her. He was looking forward to his younger friend.

“Colonel,” she greeted him. “May I sit down?” She indicated on a chair near the bed.

“Sure, make yourself comfortable.” He watched her as she settled down.

“How are you today?” She knew where she wanted to go, just not exactly how to achieve it without scaring him off.

“Good, yourself?” He looked at her with a questioning look.

“I am glad to hear it. Colonel, we need to talk.” Janet had realised there was no way around it and she knew from the previous encounter with him, he was a straightforward man. No fuss around - just the plain truth.

“About?” His facial expression changed to a stern mask. No emotions would get through anymore.

“Everything. Cassie, you, the adventure you had. And…” she took a deep breath “I wanted to thank you.”

“For what, there is nothing to thank me for.” His voice was cold. He felt so good all day and now she had the desire to talk.

“Colonel, please. You went through a traumatic experience. That’s not easy to shrug off. And for the thanks part. The Thank you is for keeping Cassie out of harm’s way. From what she told me you saved her life and that more than once.” She looked at him, his body language had not changed a bit.

“I got her in this mess at the first place. It never should had happened and if you think that it would be best that Cassie is not be allowed to spend any holidays with me anymore, I will understand. You gave her into my guardianship, and I placed her in danger. I know what you might have thought, and I understand.” He started to play with his blanket.

“That’s what I mean. I am not mad at you. Yes, it was a mess and you should have not gotten her into it. but this is you. You stand for fairness and defend the weak ones. See, you had sent Cassie out to your car so she didn’t have to see anything she should not see in her age. You protected her afterwards as good as you could. I will not deny that I was fuming when Sam phoned me with what had happened. I was mad at you. Very, very mad. But she had not told me all of it on the phone. I had to come back and get a debriefing to get all the facts and since I know that information, I am not mad at you at all. I am grateful that you protected my daughter.” She took a deep breath, realising how relaxed he appeared now. All his stiffness was gone

“She can go with you on holiday again, so long she wants to. I just wanted to let you know what I thought. I would have come earlier but I was not sure how far you would be able to cope with it. I know how you handle things like this, and I am not sure it is the right way, but if you need someone with whom you would like to talk, I can recommend a friend. She is very good in matters like that. Maybe it will help you not to bottle it all up this time.”

“Thank you, Doc. I would have given my life for Cassie. And if something would have happened to her, I would not have forgiven myself. I have gone through it once. I could not handle a second time. I will always protect her with what I have and more. This is a promise.” He looked her deep in her eyes. She could see that he meant every word he said.

“I know” she patted his right arm slightly, relieved that this was out of the way.

“Nothing against you, but is Cassie coming today?” He looked at her full of hope.

“Yes, she is outside. I just made her wait as I wanted to have this conversation out of the way. You can have her now. I need to go shopping anyway. See you later then Colonel and get well soon.” She stood and walked to the door. Turning around she added “When you are back on your feet, we will have a race together.” Smiling and not waiting for his reply, she went outside to let her daughter know that she could visit him now.
A feeling of relief washed over him and as his teenage friend stepped into the room, he was all full of joy.
--------------
TBC
"Dogs are my favorite people !!!"
"I've got to have fun or it's not worth it."
RDA

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bftlovesRDA
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by bftlovesRDA » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:55 pm

Loved this section so much - especially all the details and about Jack's feelings.

Mucho thanks for all of it! Can't wait for more!!!!!! :D :lol: :D
B

Monika
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Monika » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:57 pm

Thank you Jacky,
a great chapter.
Love your parallels to Rick´s real life and MacGyver.
I look forward to see the continuation.

From Monika with love
"As long as I always think of you and wish me somethings which I think is unattainable, there is no reason to be hurt by others."

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Jack(s)
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Jack(s) » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:57 pm

Thank you both for your comments, it helps me a lot to read what you thinking and that you like it. for that, here comes the next part...
---------------
Xxx

Over the next one and a half weeks, Jack progressed further. He regained a lot of his original strength and after another two days on eggs, he had tried and welcomed plain chicken and white fish.

Now, he was looking forward to a nice lunch meal. His therapist was been and gone and had told him that from tomorrow on he would be out of bed. He had gone through with the Colonel what would await him and how the plan was working to get him back on his feet.

Jack was looking forward to it. He would see something new and not just his four white walls of this room. He would be more mobile and when his friends would come, he could go with them outside or in the cafeteria. He could buy Cassie an ice cream. His thoughts ran wild with all those opportunities which spread out ahead of his inner eyes.

He had finished three books by now and played numerous games of Tetris in his Game boy. He tried to be ever so patient with the nurses as they would all just do their job.

Interrupted in his thoughts by the knock on his door, a young student nurse came in and delivered his lunch. She came quite often and always had a warm smile for him. He liked her for her quietness. She was not much of a talker when she dealt with him and he appreciated that.
Lifting his lid, he discovered some steamed vegetables with beef and one potato. Briefly he did ask himself how he could gain weight when he doesn’t get fed enough. Oh, what he would give for a pizza and some beer. Telling himself that the time will come, he dove into his lunch.
Cassie had been visiting him every day and together they had learned to deal with the outcome and the aftermath of their adventure. Neither of them would talk to a psychiatrist but the many talks they had with each other helped them both to come clean and accept what cannot be changed.
After he had finished his meal, he snuggled himself into his blanket and dozed off. His naps at lunchtime had been on his regular schedule every day and he enjoyed them. Having Andy sitting next to him and keeping watch, he slept well for around two hours. He never heard when his empty trays had been cleared away. Everybody was so respectful and considerate.

Every time when he woke up in the afternoon, he did a few exercises. The needles still had been in his legs and just would not go away. He had asked his doctor about it and was reassured that with time he would walk and get his full feelings back in his legs. The feeling of his needles would vanish with it. Jack just could and would not wait for that moment to come. He wanted to have it now. Better sooner than later.

After finishing his exercises with his arms, he sat himself up, read a book or played with his Gameboy. On one of the last visits Sam had even brought him his Yoyo. The little blue toy was in the top drawer in his side table and waited there to be taken out. Every day he took some time and meditated.

The feeling of being a human being again came back. What he had felt for the first time one and a half weeks ago, he now had nearly every day.
In the evening Cassie strolled around with Daniel in tow. Sam and her mum couldn’t make it. Apparently, there was a meeting at the SGC.

“Whats the meeting about?” Jack wanted to know.

“Don’t know,” replied the teenager.

“Don’t tell you,” was the answer of his friend.

“Why not?” Jack started to whine.

“Orders.”

“Daniel?”

“Jack.”

“Daniel?”

“Oh come on, stop it both of you.” Cassie interrupted.

“You are a civilian. Since when you are taking orders to the letter and from whom anyway?” Jack was curious.

“The General in person,” Daniel replied.

“But...” Jack was cut off by his friend to his very big annoyance.

“No buts. I am not allowed to tell you. Leave it alone, will ya.” Daniel got up from his chair and walked over to the window. He knew his friend would ask and with him being the 2IC of the base, no wonder he wanted to know.

“Not even a little hint?” Jack tried it one last time but was more going on so as to annoy the hell out of his friend than actually wanting to know.

“Nope, not even a little hint. But I am sure Hammond will drop by in the near future and he will brief you as far he considered you need to know anything.” Daniel smiled while turning around to face his friend again.

“Ok, I don’t want to get you into trouble.”

“Since when?”

“I always tried to help you and tried to make sure you stay out of trouble.” His face showed playful hurt.

“I know Jack. I am grateful for that but believe me, I am all grown up now and can take care of myself.” Daniel straightened himself.
Cassie decided to leave the room. This was a conversation between two adult friends who clearly needed to sort something out.

“I am in no doubt on that one. But you always will be my little Space monkey.” He grinned over his face. It was fun to tease him, but he also knew what he had on his friend.

“Sure, and you will always be as grumpy as you are. I still like you and love you like a brother. I am just sometimes very concerned about you. That’s all.” He raised his hands while continuing, “I know you are capable of taking care of yourself. But look, it brought you into the hospital again. I don’t like to judge you.” He took a deep breath. “You should have seen Sam. The time you had been in the coma she was not herself. You must be blind not seeing that she sees more in you than just her CO. You are a very close friend to her, and I think she loves you. Keep that in mind the next time you take care of yourself.”

“Daniel, stop it. You are my friend, but you are way out of line.” Jack started to growl.

“Sorry, that’s just how I feel.” Daniel recognized the signs. He knew his friend long enough and he knew if he would not stop now the Colonel would be ripping his head off, being injured in bed or not.

“Daniel, get Cassie back in here. This conversation is over. Finished. The end. Finite. Zu Ende.” He put a smile on his face and waited for the teenager.

“Hey, Cassie, sorry about that. It was rude for us to start a conversation with a topic like that when you are here.” He smiled and waited till the girl sat herself again still a bit uncomfortable as she felt the air still being electric.

“Its ok. Sometimes topics just come up.” She smiled to him and Daniel who shifted from one side to another.
All three talked a bit longer in a very casual conversation. Jack’s dinner was brought, and he ate it while they chatted.
Tomorrow would be the day. Oh, he so could not wait to get out of this bed.

Xxx

The next day came and Jack was awake early. His friends last night had left around seven and he enjoyed the evening with a Simpsons special which was running on TV.

He wiggled his toes to get rid of a cramp. His needles were still present in his legs waiting for his breakfast impatiently.
Nothing could go fast enough today, despite the nurses being ever so friendly to him. They had all been warned about how he could be and that they didn’t have to take it personally.

His breakfast arrived and he had his usual omelette with salmon and a coffee. He was off the light food diet list but found it very good that he still could have eggs and salmon for his breakfast.

At home he would be eating cereals again or be eating at work where the food was not as good and in very hard competition in running first place with the infirmary food.

Finally, the time came. His therapist came in with another two of his colleagues. All three men had been built like body builders. Bringing a hoist with them. They helped Jack to get dressed and ready into a sling. The machine lifted him out of his bed and into a wheelchair. He loved the fact that he finally could do something else.

“You fellas must work out every day huh?” he remarked as he had seen the biceps of one of them very closely.

“Colonel, we need to. Otherwise we could not help guys like you,” explained one of them while pressing the button to lower Jack into his vehicle.
Jack looked around. His room looked so different from this angle. He was so very excited to finally be allowed to make the next step. He tried so hard over the last two weeks to get himself back on track and find his mojo.

“You are ready Colonel?” his therapist asked.

“Yes, Sir,” he replied with a grin.

The way to the gym led over an elevator and some corners into the cellar. There was a whole section just for patients who needed to work on their balance, strength, learning to cope with a missing limb and so on. Jack looked around and saw a smaller section where lots of mattresses had been placed on the floor. Curious, he watched the exercise of another patient.

“Here we go. This will be your workplace for the next few months. I expect one hundred percent commitment. I know you outrank me Colonel, but this is my home. I am calling the shots here and I will not have any bullshit out of you. If you are angry, use it as fuel and put it in your exercises. I will help you where I can. I will be your best friend; your mum and dad and I will be your worst enemy. Are we understood?” his therapist explained and cleared the frontline from the start.

“Crystal,” Jack replied and waited for what would come next.

“Ok, so before we begin, Sir, I have to do some explaining. I will teach you what is wrong with you and I will explain to you what is going on and what your therapy plan looks like. You up for it?”

“Yep.”

The therapist took a fake spine out of his back and showed it to Jack. On the lower section he pointed out the lumbar spinal cord.

“The lumbar spine comprises the lowest major portion of the spinal cord, the five vertebrae (L1-L5) below the thoracic section, and above the minor sacral spine section. The lumbar spine carries the most weight of any of the sections of the spine, and therefore features larger vertebrae than the thoracic and cervical sections of the spine.

Injuries to spinal cord in the five lumbar vertebras (L-1 through L-5) generally results in some loss of function in the hips and legs, but do not affect the functionality of the upper body.” He paused and waited till the information sank into Jack’s brain.

“Ok?”

“Yes, I know more or less what’s wrong but now as you break it down it’s even more real. Just a lot to take in, this is all. Sorry, do continue.” Jack scrubbed over his face with his right hand and the sweat was already forming on him.

“Injuries generally result in some loss of function in the hips and legs. That why you cannot walk right now. People with injuries to the lumbar spinal cord have little or no voluntary control of their bowel or bladder, as you noticed already. If the injury is minor, people still can walk with some kind of an aid. But because you have been in a coma for so long, your muscles weakened and that’s why you ended up in a wheelchair. Over the last two weeks, we worked on the rebuilding of some muscle tissue in your legs. As I can see, you have made quite a lot of progress. The key is maximum effort but allowing your body to have its breaks as well.” He cleared his throat before continuing.

While pointing on the different types of vertebrates again he explained, “L-1 and L-2 are for Hip bending and flexing, L-3 Knee straightening, L-4 Bending the foot upward and L- 5 Extending the toes. What do you think which are the worse that have been affected in your case?”

“One till three. I can wiggle my toes so 5 is not really the problem, but the other four I assume.” Jack looked at the spine. More and more the reality sunk in.

“This is correct, Sir. By the latest test of your spinal cord, we have seen that the swelling has gone back and the surgery you had in Denver seemed to be effective. That means now we can begin the recovery process. Level and length of recovery will depend on which nerves were affected, the severity, and whether the injury was complete or incomplete. In your case, there have been a few nerves damaged. But I am very positive that by the end of your rehabilitation, you will walk out of here.” Putting the spine back in his bag, he waited another minute till he felt that Jack was ready.

“Basically, give everything but don’t overdo it. right? I will walk out of here. That’s for sure. I am not done with walking around on this planet.” He smiled at his therapist.

“Good, I like your attitude Sir. You will have a combination of water therapy and normal here at the gym. I know we saw each other for the last two weeks already but I will again introduce myself as we will see each other every day from now on. My name is Captain Lucas Desiree, U.S. Army. You can call me Lukas or Luke. That’s up to you.” He smiled and saluted the Colonel in front of him.

“It’s a pleasure, then I have to formally introduce myself as well I assume. Colonel Jack O`Neill. U.S. Air Force. Call me Jack.” And he returned the salute.

“Ok, now we may begin. How strong are you in your upper body? Would you think you can get yourself out of this wheelchair onto the bench and from there to the floor?”

“I can try but I don’t think so. As you pointed out earlier, my muscles are not quite the same as they used to be.”

“Ok, we will use the hoist then.”
Jack was on the floor in no time. Flat on his back, he felt like a beetle. He didn’t like the idea of being so vulnerable.

“Jack, relax. I will take one foot at the time and will gently flex and massage it. We will do it as slowly as you are feeling comfortable with it. I will talk you through it during every exercise. So, let me do my job and enjoy the ride.” Luke smiled and picked up the left food first.
Gently rotating the angle, bending, and stretching his foot, the same for the right one. Lukas had a few more exercises in store before he told Jack that it is break time.

A soaked Colonel was laying exhausted on one of those sport mattresses and panted like he had run a marathon. His sweat was running out of all pores.

“Well done Colonel. I see you are putting the effort in already.”

“I have no choice Luke. You certainly understand your stuff.” A small smile played around his mouth.

“Well, you want to walk again. My job is to walk down that road with you.”

“Thanks, much appreciated. How long is the break?” Jack still laid flat on his back, arms spread out to the side.

“Another five minutes. I will be right back. Just don’t go anywhere.” Lucas smiled and left his patient alone.

“Not that I want to anyway…” Jack muttered to himself and closed his eyes. This was worse than any torture. He could see the irony in it. Normally his enemies want to harm and break him. Here, they want to help him to get better and it still hurts like nothing else.
As Lucas came back, he helped Jack to sit up. “Here, drink this. Should help you and after that we go and have another session. Then you are finished for today.”

“What’s that?” Jack questioned at the same time he took the bottle out of the holding hand.

“Water, you are sweating quite a bit. Don’t lose too many fluids. Not good for your kidneys. As far as I know they just managed to heal. So, give
them a break, will ya?” He looked serious enough for Jack to not make a sarcastic remark.

“Thanks.” With that he opened the bottle and downed half of it in one go.

The second half was not much different. This time, Jack had his feet stood up in front of him with bent legs and pulled himself up with the help of his new friend. He had some exercises on a gym ball and had to do some push ups. By the time he was finished, he was more than ready to get back into his room and sleep. Everything hurt and he just wanted his peace. He knew tomorrow it would all start again.

Lucas had told him that for now they would not work on walking but rather than to get him into his wheelchair. So, he could drive around and not stay in his bed all the time, and be outside when his friends would come around. He also had told him that he had enormous luck that he did not break his back and damage his bone marrow. Nine times out of ten, patients would learn to walk again, but how well - that was another question.
Jack had sworn to himself that he will not just walk but also will run again. He had set his mind that his active career was not over yet.

As he was back in his room and in his bed, it did not take long for him to fall asleep. He still had an hour till lunch. Lucas had helped him to freshen up a bit, so he felt like a happy camper.

As he awoke again, his lunch had not been in front of him. Instead there was a little paper. He picked it up and read what was on it >did not wanted to wake you, Colonel. Kept your meal warm. Please press the bell when it is suitable for you<. Jack smiled and was thinking how kind that was.
He looked around and searched till he had found his bell. Pressing it, he looked at Andy who had been sitting next to his pillow. “You hungry too?” he asked his plush companion.

There was a knock on the door and as he told the person to come in, he smiled when he saw who it was. “Thank you so much, Jessica. It is very nice of you to keep it warm for me.” He smiled at the student nurse he liked so much.

“Colonel O`Neill, this is nothing. You deserve a warm meal at least once a day.” She smiled back and with that left the room.

“What do you think, Andy? Hope we got Pizza under there.” He lifted his lid and pretended to be disappointed. “Hmm, no such luck as Pizza. Chicken with broccoli and rice it is.” still, with a lot of enthusiasm, he dug into his food.

The rest of the day just flew by. He had his visitors and enjoyed the time very much. Laughing and joking around the atmosphere was so nice, and he felt so very comfortable with his team, the doc and Cassie around that he wished it would never end.

Every day, for the next week. Lucas came and picked him up. They worked on upper body strength and getting some feelings back in the Colonels legs.

As Lucas came today, he did not have the hoist with him. Jack looked surprised and questioned at the same time. He was used to getting rolled around in bed to get the sling under him and the uncomfortable position he was in till he sat in his wheelchair.

“I am not sure if you have noticed. Yesterday while you had been busy with your workout, friends of mine have changed your bed. This type you have now, you can lower a lot more than the other one. This one comes down to the height of your wheelchair. What I would like for you to try today is, to move yourself from the bed to your wheelchair.” He smiled encouragingly.

“Nope, haven’t noticed. Just that I had fresh bedding on it.” Jack quipped and shuffled himself a bit further to the edge of the bed. His feet touched the floor and spikes of hot needle pain were shooting through his legs. He grimaced but he also remembered the deal they both made at the beginning: one hundred percent effort.

Lucas had seen the Colonel’s face changing and was about to say something when he realised that there was no way stopping the soldier. So why should he even try. He explained to his patient how it was best to manoeuvre around and placing himself in the wheelchair without too much problems and pain.

It took Jack a bit but eventually he sat in the vehicle to get around. Grinning all over his face for that achievement, he just could not help himself. He was such a happy camper. Another step to get a bit more independence back. From now on he could go out with his friends. He could drive around in the garden area alone and get some fresh air. So many new possibilities he had laid out before his inner eye.

“Come on, we have a lot of work to do. Or are you happy and satisfied just because you now can move from your bed to a wheelchair?” Lucas challenged the Colonel.

“Not by a mile. What ya say, I race you to the elevator.” Jack put one of his boyish smiles on.

“Sure, but you will lose. I am a good runner you know.” Lucas laughed and started walking out of the room

“Yeah, sure. I would have said the same.” With that, Jack was on his way as well. He pushed himself already very hard just so he could catch up with his therapist. On the end there was no winner. Both made it to the lift at the same time.

xxx

The hours he spent at the gym and the swimming pool turned into days and the days into weeks. Every day he put the maximum effort in, but it seemed like there was no progress. He still could not stand on his feet and still had his needles in his legs. The frustration was getting deeper and deeper. He was getting more and more quiet and his friends could tell something was brewing in him.

Sitting in his wheelchair and looking out of the window in his room, he followed the heavy raindrops falling from the sky. Looking down at his legs, he just hit them out of the blue. His fists gave a real shower of rain on his thighs. He was so frustrated that he wanted to scream and throw his legs somewhere else. How was it possible he could feel them but not walk on them?

Everybody told him to be patient. He was done with patient. He wanted results. He wanted to walk again, and he wanted it now.
After he calmed himself down again which seemed for him ages, he was sure that bruises would appear there. He just didn't know how he would explain them. But something would come to his mind. He was sure of it.

Looking back outside, he saw a small sunbeam breaking through the heavy clouds. He followed the beam and where it hit the earth there was a small rainbow with some flowers. He smiled at that picture. He looked at it for a long time, even till the sun was gone again. He kept that picture in his head. Taking a deep breath, he wheeled himself around. Looking at his bed, he came up with a plan.

At the side of his bed, he took the controls and raised his bed frame to the highest level. With what he wanted to do he needed it so far up. His upper body felt great and he would have to try it.

Stretching his right arm, he grabbed the bottom bar of his bed frame to pull himself up. With a bit of a struggle he managed to get out of his chair. Grabbing with his left hand the top bar of his bed frame he pulled himself right up. Grinning like mad, he was finally standing on his feet again. He ignored the pain he was feeling.

Just as he wanted to change his grip for a better hold, it happened. He lost his footing and fell onto the floor hitting the wheelchair in the process and flipping himself over. He laid there on the floor, groaning in pain, and laughing at the same time over his achievement.

Jack was happy right now that he stood for a few seconds. Looking around now, he realised that he had a problem. He couldn’t reach his bell. His wheelchair was flipped over and from Jack’s point of view he was not able to flip it back so it would stand again.

`The ceiling looks nice and so far away from here’ shot it through his head. He had fallen on his back and right now he even struggled to roll himself over onto his belly. If he would manage that, he maybe would reach the door and could bang on it for someone to come.

But first he needed a break. He was exhausted and his breathing was still far too fast. His legs and back hurt like they were in a killing competition and by now he realised what a stupid idea it had been. There was a reason why Lucas had not started on his walking therapy yet.

With an act of pure will and a loud groan he finally rolled himself over. Now he was lying flat on his stomach. Catching his breath first then he would begin to roll towards the door. Checking his watch at his left wrist, it was about 3 in the afternoon. Nobody would come for at least another two
hours. He had to try it.

Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath. Suddenly, he was tired. He knew he banged his head and should not sleep but the calling of the darkness was just so tempting. The fight lost; he had fallen asleep.

Xxx

Cassie was finally finished with her school for today. The last hours just dragged along and even though she had wished it to fly by, nobody had done her that favour. She was running to the hospital again and realised that over the last few months she became quite fit. Every week she seemed a bit faster. She had to tell her Uncle Jack a lot as a lot had happened during her day.

She was so pleased that he had a wheelchair now for a few weeks and it was better for all of them. Sometimes Sam and Daniel came. Teal`c was back by now and had visited him. She liked the other alien. He was always very polite towards her.

The hospital came already into view and there had been only a few yards left. The rain she had seen earlier had stopped by now. The puddles on the streets had come and gone and only on the walkway for the pedestrians was there a bit of the standing water from time to time.

She had reached the main door and stopped for a second. Catching her breath, she opened it and greeted the lady at the reception desk with a friendly nod. Walking to the room, she knocked on the door. There was no answer. She knocked again. Still no answer.

Cassie was not sure what to do. She walked back to the reception desk and questioned the whereabouts of her Colonel. Nobody had seen him since this morning when he had his therapy session and then just for lunch when he was in his room.

Cassie thanked them and walked back to the Colonel’s room. She knocked again with no answer. Carefully she opened the door just in case he was in his bed sleeping.

The teenager screamed and with that a few nurses came by. She opened the door wider, for the personnel to get in. The picture she saw now was not what she expected at all. There was her friend on the floor spread out on his tummy, his wheelchair somewhere else and a little pool of blood where his head was.

One nurse already raised the alarm and in the next few minutes there had been enough staff around to help the patient.
Rolling him on his back while steadying his neck was the first thing they would do; next a neck brace was put around. Checking him quickly over, nothing else was found. One already had a board where he would be rolled onto it and with that onto a gurney. One nurse had called the x-ray compartment to let them know they would bring someone in the next few minutes.

Cassie was standing the whole time in a corner of his room and watched the whole scenario. From how she had found him and how his room looked she already had concluded the obvious. The man had tried to stand up. Why would he not be more patient? The girl was just hoping that this incident would not set him back too far.

Going outside to call her mum, she fished her mobile phone out of her pocket. Right now, she needed someone to talk to. What was it with the Colonel and accidents? She would never understand.

After notifying her mum, she went back inside. Walking back to his room, she lowered his bed and stood his wheelchair back up. Sitting herself at the table at the window she started with her homework. She would not go home till she had found out what was wrong with her tall friend.
----------------------------------------
TBC

that's for now folks, hope you enjoyed that chapter...
"Dogs are my favorite people !!!"
"I've got to have fun or it's not worth it."
RDA

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bftlovesRDA
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by bftlovesRDA » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:29 pm

Oh boy - sooooo well done! Jack just had to be so impatient......as usual.

Can't wait to find out how he is doing and what happens next!
B

Monika
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Monika » Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:26 pm

Hello Jacky,
As always , it was fun reading the latest section.
Moooooooooooooor, please!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Monika with love
"As long as I always think of you and wish me somethings which I think is unattainable, there is no reason to be hurt by others."

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