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Twilight's Choice by Lopoddity Twilight's Choice by Lopoddity
"Oh my goodness, Twilight! She's so tiny and precious!"

Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, the noble, sovereign ruler of the Crystal Empire, let out a girlish squee at the sight of her new niece. She eagerly took the little cub from Twilight and into her own arms to coo down at her. "She's just like a sweet little kitten!"

"She certainly is cute." Shining Armor smiled, attempting to remain more restrained than his still squealing wife-but the facade broke, and he quickly joined Cadence in her cooing, making funny faces down at the baby. "Hey there, little fuzzball! Look at your fun Unkie Shiny!" He stuck out his tongue and crossed his eyes. Little Pandora tilted her head up at him, utterly perplexed by this bizarre, large horse creature.

"That's strange." Twilight gave a tired laugh. "She normally loves it when Discord makes funny faces at her." Shining Armor's goofy expression switched into something suspiciously close to a pout.

"Can I get you two anything to drink?" Twilight clopped her hooves together, barely managing to stave off a yawn. She hadn't been getting much sleep lately, but that was no reason to forget basic hospitality. "We've got lemonade, ice water, coffee, chocolate milk...no, actually, I think Discord might've taken the last pitcher of that for his visit to Tarturus today. He's excited to show Tirek all the pictures he's snapped of Panny so far-and I think Tirek might actually be starting to not completely despise their knitting sessions-" 

"Oh, we're just fine, Twiley." Cadence said lightly. She hadn't taken her gaze off Pandora, who currently seemed to be making a valiant effort to blow a spit bubble. With her hoof, Cadence gently popped it, and little Pan's eyes went wide, devastated.

 "Alright. I might have a cup of coffee in a bit." Twilight mused. "And of course this one will be taking her bottle soon-" She gestured at her daughter, giggling. "You wouldn't believe how many attempts it took to figure out what a baby draconequus eats. I saved all my notes on the subject of course, I think I'd like to keep a written log for my observations on Panny-but goodness, she's such a fussy little thing. Aren't you, sweetie?" Twilight cooed. One of Pan's oversized, floppy ears twitched at the sound of Twilight's voice, and she began to squeak and squirm in Cadence's arms, reaching teeny, clumsy paws out to her mother. 

Twilight happily took her into her arms, failing to notice Cadence's frown. "That's right, little miss." She poked Pan's belly playfully, and the little cub squeaked, indignant. "You're almost as finicky as Spike was. You won't eat anything but a blend of one part pony milk to two parts crushed Everfree timber berries, with a dash of ground sapphires, charcoal, and a tiny bit of cotton candy-"

"That sounds....complicated, Twily." Shining Armor exchanged concerned glances with his wife. Cadence made an encouraging motion with her hooves, and Shining continued, looking uncomfortable. "It actually brings us to why we're here, little sis. We....didn't just come to meet our niece."

When Twilight only looked confused, Cadence took a step forward. "Twilight, Shining and I both know how hard it can be to care for a new baby...especially one that's....unique. Powerful and unique." She glanced quickly at her husband, who nodded.

"Even with all those months of planning, we still weren't ready for everything Flurry threw our way." Shining smiled faintly in memory. "Even our little Skyla could be a hoof-ful, and she didn't even have the power of an alicorn crammed into a tiny foal's body. I can't imagine how difficult and alarming it must be for you, with a draconequus baby dumped into your lap out of the blue."

Twilight frowned. "That's-"

"What Shiny means is-" Cadence leapt to interrupt. "Twilight, Shiny and I know all about the curve balls life can toss a pony's way, and we know how hard it can be to ask for help. So we'd like to offer you...an, ah, option to consider. Know that this is coming purely from a place of love." She took a deep breath, then laid her hoof down on Twilight's shoulder.

"If you'd like us to, Twilight...Shining Armor and I would be completely willing to adopt Pandora as our own daughter."

"...What?" Twilight's mouth fell open, and unconsciously, her hold around the infant grew just a little bit tighter. Her ears slicked back, hurt. "...Cadence, Shining...you don't think I can do this?"

"Oh, no, no, no!" Shining Armor waved his hooves wildly. "That's not what we're saying at all, little sis. It's just...this... situation....isn't the best."

"What situation?" Twilight's brows knit in confusion, while Cadence looked sharply at her husband. "Shiny. We said we wouldn't bring that up-"

"I'm talking about Discord." Shining said firmly. "We don't trust him, Twilight."

"That's not necessarily true." Cadence popped up, laughing nervously. "I'm more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt-after all, I'm the Alicorn of Love, and I can feel that he loves you very, very much, Twily-"

"Can't we be honest with ourselves, Cadie?" Shining frowned at the pink alicorn. "Discord's screwed around with Twilight in the past. He betrayed Equestria, he stood by and did nothing while Tirek ripped the magic out of me, he let Tirek terrorize ponies, sold out your friends-"

"He's apologized for it, Shiny." Twilight countered, lifting her chin. "He's worked to atone for it, and we've forgiven him-"

"You've forgiven him. I haven't. " Shining growled. "I know you don't like the 'overprotective big brother' thing, but I can't help it, Twi. You're my baby sister-no demon of chaos will ever be good enough for you-" Here Twilight gasped and flared her wings in anger, but Shining pressed on.

"If I'm being honest, I thought this thing between you two would have crashed and burned by now. But no, suddenly the guy's tossing his arm around me and calling us "best brothers", and now he's gone and plopped an egg on my poor, unsuspecting little sister. He's trapped you into a situation you couldn't possibly be prepared for-"

"Shining Armor, you're out of line-" Twilight was bristling now, and faint, wayward sparks of magic leapt from her horn. Cadence's soft, calming words were lost on the siblings.

"He's selfish, Twily. Admit it. That's my concern. All this baby business might be fun and novel for him now, but being a dad won't interest him for long." Shining nodded to himself, thinking. "....It'd be much kinder to Pandora-and to you-if she was taken and raised by a stallion who won't get bored and abandon her in a few months-"

"Shining Armor." Twilight hissed, low and dangerous. "None of that is true. I am not a victim." She stomped her hoof down, and the wooden floor splintered under the might of a furious alicorn. "It's true-I can't say I expected Pandora-but Discord hasn't trapped me into anything. You look at him and you see a monster-but I see someone just like Luna as Nightmare Moon, or Sunset Shimmer, or Starlight. Someone who hasn't been fortunate enough to have friendship before. Someone who was sad and cruel, but isn't anymore. Someone who has changed. Believe you me, he's not perfect, but he's trying. He is. That's what matters to me." Twilight glared.

"Yes, yes, that's true, dear." Cadence tried for a gentle smile. "But even so-"

"The two of you are wrong anyway." Twilight's anger was finally released as a sigh. "Discord is the good parent. He's adjusting to this surprisingly well, so calm and sure about himself. He's so good with Panny...he dotes on her, really. And she adores him. It's me that's in over my head. I'm the problem, not Discord." Twilight gazed down at Pandora's tiny, delicate, distressingly helpless little body, and was suddenly gripped by terror, frozen at the thought of messing everything up. Were Cadence and Shiny right after all? Would Pandora truly be better off with them?....Better off without Twilight?

Shining softened, letting out a frustrated sigh. "...I'm sorry, Twily. I didn't mean to undermine your choices, or even Discord's role in this. I just don't want you...losing yourself in all of this."

Cadence tossed her wing over Twilight's shoulder. "We love you, sweetheart. We just want you to have a choice. You don't have to decide right now-maybe you'd like to talk it over with Discord later? But we'd appreciate it if you'd at least consider our concerns...and our offer."

Twilight leaned into Cadence's embrace, and she managed to summon a weary smile for the couple. "...I know. I...suppose I should at least consider things." She looked down at Pandora, and she was silent for a long time, lost in thought. Cadence and Shining waited patiently.

"....You're right." Twilight said finally. "....She'd be better off with you. It's true, I never expected to have a child with Discord...I didn't even think it was possible. I assumed that I'd spend the rest of my life doing research, writing papers, giving lectures...no time to change diapers and chase after a little rugrat. Especially not one born from chaos itself." She said quietly. Her eyes were intense as they took in her daughter, as though trying to memorize all of Pan's features-her droopy ears, her spotted cheeks...her wide eyes that shone so painfully similar to her own.

"Twilight..." Shining Armor reached out a hoof-

"I didn't expect a baby." Twilight continued, her tone now robotic and unsettling. "...You two were kind to make your offer." It was barely perceptible, but Twilight's hooves began to shake.

"Yes." Cadence breathed. "We did raise a super-powered alicorn foal...as well as her very fussy little sister. How much harder could raising a draconequus cub be? And of course we'd love her like our own, Twi."

"....Exactly." Twilight nodded slowly, not breaking her gaze away from Pandora. "I...I-I'm not prepared to be a mother. Not really. I...I know I'm going to mess this up." Very softly, she stroked her daughter's cheek. "She really would be better off with you. The Crystal Empire is a paradise." Her voice began to tremble. "A-and you two have so much parenting experience already, and so many resources and nannies and things at your disposal, e-everything possible to...t-to make sure she grows up...h-happy-" Twilight's voice suddenly broke like glass, and she buried her face against Panny's tiny ruff of chest fur, and let out a single, muffled sob.

Shining Armor and Cadence enveloped her in a hug at once, but Twilight only hid her face against her baby and cried harder.

"I c-can't...."

"You can't what?" Shining's ears were slicked back in concern, and he fretfully rubbed at his sister's back. "Twily, talk to us."

"I can't do it." Twilight finally peered up at the couple with wet, red-rimmed eyes. "I know she's worse off with me, I know I'm being selfish, b-but....I can't give her up. It's true, I didn't ever plan on being a mother, and I know I won't be a good one, but...Celestia help me, I've gotten attached." She pulled Pandora close, and the little cub, delighted at the attention, began rasping teeny grooming licks across her mother's muzzle. Twilight gave a slow, watery smile, taking one of Pan's tiny, pudgy paws into her own hoof.

"...She's my Panny." Twilight said softly. "My silly, squeaky little bundle of trouble. My baby." She leaned down and pressed a tender kiss to her daughter's nose. She looked to her brother and her sister-in-law and smiled, sad but resolute.

"I couldn't agree to your offer. I'm sorry. Yes, I never expected this-but I also didn't expect Spike. I didn't expect to end up becoming best friends with five odd strangers from Ponyville, and I didn't expect them to become like family to me. I expected to spend out my days up in the libraries of Canterlot Castle-not out and about spreading friendship across Equestria, having insane adventures, and saving my home on a near-monthly basis." She chuckled faintly. "...And I didn't ever expect me, a nobody, loner little unicorn, to be made into the princess of friendship. You were right about life throwing all sorts of curve balls at ponies. My life thus far has been amazing, terrifying, full of surprises-and if I'd stayed cooped up in that library, all of that adventure would have passed me by."

Pandora chose that moment to burp out a butterfly, then squeaked a happy mew, proud of herself. Twilight looked to her, torn somewhere between bewilderment and pure, pure love. After a moment, she laughed warmly, the nuzzled her snout against her daughter's.

"...I think at this point, I'm old enough to know which new adventures I don't want to pass up."

The atmosphere in the room changed at once. Shining and Cadence let out a breath they didn't realize they'd each been holding.

"Well. It sounds like you've made your choice." Cadence smiled, warm and wide and genuine, and kissed the purple alicorn's cheek. "We're sorry, Twilight. We were so caught up in what we thought would be best for you that we ended up being insensitive to your feelings. I suppose we might owe Discord an apology cake as well. I'm proud of you, Twilight. You're going to be a great mother."

"You really think so?" A shadow of doubt crossed Twilight's face.

"Absolutely." Shining agreed, moving to nuzzle his sister. "Now that I think about it....sometimes you were better with Flurry than we were. I remember the happy filly dance she'd do whenever we told her we were visiting her favorite Auntie Twi. And when Skyla would cry for hours, you're the one that figured out that all she needed was to be taken on a soothing flight outside. You've succeeded at every challenge you've ever faced-you've saved Equestria more times than I can remember, kid. I'm sure a baby draconequus will give you more than your money's worth of chaos-but hey, you tamed the master of chaos himself, right?" Shining winked, and Twilight laughed. "I guess I can maybe learn to...tolerate the guy for you, Twilight. And know that no matter what, hell or highwater, come spilled baby bottles and midnight crying tantrums, we're here to support you."

"Always." Cadence agreed, with a serene smile. "Although..." She reached out boldly to Twilight, before checking herself and asking for permission. "If I may..." Smiling, she gently repositioned Twilight's arms, so that Pandora now rested comfortably against her mother's chest.

"Babies love as much warm contact with their mommy as possible." Cadence winked. "Just watch."

Pandora kneaded her little paws against Twilight's chest for a few moments, then settled down and snuggled close, burrowing against soft lavender fur and feathers, feeling the comforting rhythm of Twilight's heartbeat. Her eyes slid shut, and she seemed to immediately go to sleep, letting out soft, sweet little purrs that Twilight's ears could only barely catch.

"It looks like she's grown attached to you too." Cadence said playfully. Twilight tried to fire a witty response, but all that came out was a huff of joyful laughter. Since Pandora had been born, there'd been countless moments when Twilight had felt that she was going about every aspect of motherhood incorrectly, but this...this finally felt one hundred percent right.

Celestia damn it, she was tearing up again. Twilight looked from Shining Armor to Cadence, then wrapped her wings around both ponies, drawing them close.

"Thank you."



~~

edit: so yep, Twilight chose her daughter after all, whatta surprise
big thanks to :iconroboheather: for helping me out with the writing on this one

second edit edi: made some minor tweaks to the dialogue, hopefully for the better

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

yeah i was in the mood to draw some sappy family stuff
pandora origin story boooi
one of the things that always bugged me about the whole discord-laid-pan's-egg-randomly story was that twilight didn't really get a say so in becoming a parent. Added in a bit to give her more autonomy over her life and her decision to keep her weird, weird, endearingly weird little baby

lil panny is pretty perplexed by these big strange new horse creatures, but also mostly just happy to be held
 
more pandora beginnings stuff (old art ahead)
Proud Papa by Lopoddity Incubation by Lopoddity Mama Twi by Lopoddity Big Brother Spike by Lopoddity Clawful baby by Lopoddity Draconequus baby-talk by Lopoddity
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:iconwildshadow852:
Wildshadow852 Featured By Owner May 20, 2018
I'm...I'm not crying...you're crying! SHUT UP, YOU'RE CRYING, NOT ME!
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:iconart-a-bod:
Art-a-bod Featured By Owner May 27, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Same..
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:iconredstar-bladehorne:
Redstar-Bladehorne Featured By Owner May 9, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
So you pretty much have the goddess of magic and friendship making a baby with a reality warping monster that could destroy this entire universe with the snap of a finger if he wanted to
Reply
:iconapoynor:
APoynor Featured By Owner May 2, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
amazing. this is truly beautiful.
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:iconboylov:
boylov Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
so wait, discord and twilight had this little adorable ball of fuzz?
Reply
:iconbananalord666:
bananalord666 Featured By Owner May 1, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
More accurately, Discord one day woke up pregnant until he suddenly one day woke up with an egg, which one day suddenly hatched. 
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:iconboylov:
boylov Featured By Owner May 1, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
So, she's not Twilight's daughter?
Reply
:iconthatoneidiot682:
ThatOneIdiot682 Featured By Owner May 15, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
She is! ^^ But there was a chance of either of them becoming pregnant, due to discord being a wierd creature thing.
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:iconboylov:
boylov Featured By Owner May 15, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Dah!Ice Bear - Plotting (Chat Icon) Now that I think about it, I'm kinda wishing they went this far with the show...
Reply
:iconsapphire-pony01:
Sapphire-Pony01 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
*has died of cuteness overload*
(awesome picture)
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:iconserkysthetacowolfx:
SerkysTheTacoWolfx Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
What do you use to draw? I use Paint 3D so my drawings aren't that amazing. Thank you! ^w^
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:iconskye-rhyder:
Skye-Rhyder Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018
Q botches it again.
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:iconmewwthesabertiger:
Mewwthesabertiger Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2018  Student Artist
AWWWWWW *dies*
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:iconumbreon610:
umbreon610 Featured By Owner Edited Mar 24, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
great story + great art = amazingness! This is great, keep up the good work.
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:iconaxon-terminal:
axon-terminal Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
why does that horse have a beard
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:iconlopoddity:
Lopoddity Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2018  Student Digital Artist
That is a very disrespectful and rude thing to say about someone's writing. I do not appreciate it.
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:iconlord-sparkstar:
LORD-SPARKSTAR Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2018
Its called a joke I read it don't be so serious
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:icons-tqr:
s-tqr Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2018
wow, dont be so fucking rude?
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:iconlopoddity:
Lopoddity Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2018  Student Digital Artist
I think you might be confused. Jokes are supposed to be funny.
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:iconlopoddity:
Lopoddity Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Me: hey don't be rude on my art

You: paragraph of unapologetic condescending advice attempting to justify your rude ass
Reply
:iconriskybullets:
Riskybullets Featured By Owner Edited Mar 23, 2018  Student Filmographer
Many people just dont understand and are disrespectful to others it happens to me in school when i draw stuff
Everything you draw is awesome
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:icondaydreamartwork:
daydreamartwork Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome picture
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:iconkraytas:
Kraytas Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
this show is really popular, maybe i should check it out?
Reply
:iconhunterdeluxe:
Hunterdeluxe Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2018
It is worth a shot, honestly. I never expected it to be that great, and I'm happy that I watched it and still watch it. Just don'T watch one or two episodes, it needs a few more to really grow on you, and the later seasons get much better than the first ones ^^
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:iconkraytas:
Kraytas Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
kk ill def watch now! thanks
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:iconhunterdeluxe:
Hunterdeluxe Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2018
no prob ^^
if you got any questions, feel free to ask :D (Big Grin) 
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:iconkraytas:
Kraytas Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
aaaaaaaaaaw thanks ur awesome
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:iconcyborghost:
CyborGhost Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2018  Student General Artist
This looks beautiful
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:iconmario-wolfe:
Mario-Wolfe Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Don’t ship Discolight at all, but gosh all your art is just so cute and beautiful. I love all these NGs.
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:iconpaliefox:
PalieFox Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2018  Student Digital Artist
I love how much effort you put into the writing, art and the story,
truely amazing!!!
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:iconamberofthemudsand:
AmberOfTheMudSand Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2018  Student General Artist
Pan to cadence : hello motherfucker
Cadence : I'll kill you when you're sleeping
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:iconminakoraisuki:
MinakoRaiSuki Featured By Owner Edited Nov 29, 2017  Student Artist
No one cares. Please leave... You didn't have to take it upon yourself to comment disrespectful words on someone else's beautiful art. No one was forcing you to view this image. So, basically it was your fault, you knew the outcome and yet you viewed it anyway. You just want to bring someone else down just because you believe you're legally allowed to do so.
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:iconnimthegoodra:
NimTheGoodra Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's just a joke. Why are so offended by a joke?
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:iconminakoraisuki:
MinakoRaiSuki Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2018  Student Artist
It's not something to joke about neither is it funny.
Reply
:iconnimthegoodra:
NimTheGoodra Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i mean this is the internet, some people's humor is different from yours. we enjoy a different humor then you and that's fine but I mean we aren't insulting her/him by making a simple joke. if the artist is offended then THEY would say something and we could corret ourselves in the future but from what I can tell, they don't seem to mind
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:iconthatoneidiot682:
ThatOneIdiot682 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
I get it might be a joke. But many artists hate when something rude is said about tjeir work, and when confronted, the person immediately says it was a joke. It's just rude to say something that's a "joke" on a piece of amazing work someone really tried on. It's like someone walking up to me calls me a fat-ass, and when I get upset thet say it's a "joke".
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:iconnimthegoodra:
NimTheGoodra Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Unless the artist themselves says that they find it offensive, then it can be easily assumed they don't. You aren't the artist and you can't decide what offends someone.
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:iconthatoneidiot682:
ThatOneIdiot682 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
Doesn't take awaythe fact it's rude.
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:icon123forafurry:
123forafurry Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2017
Why so rude?
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