Mitigating Circumstances

December 13, 2017:

Owen Mercer finds his way to Jessica Jones' window. He's got a whole lot on his mind, and senses a kindred spirit in the detective.

Alias Investigations, Hell's Kitchen, NYC

It's not exactly a confessional, but sometimes that works out.

It's also possibly a place where Jess maybe mistakes one Robin for another. So many Robins!


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Emery Papsworth, Luke Cage, Bucky Barnes, Bart Allen, Robin, Red Robin


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

What a crap-tacular morning this has been. Owen was doing so well! He went to bed reasonably sober at a reasonable hour and woke up like a normal human for once. Of course he had to tempt fate by trying to be extra good and actually show some care for someone other than himself and things all went to hell. Having texted Emery, Kennis instead replied with photos indicating Emery was out cold and wouldn't wake up and she was all alone in a mess. It did things to Owen. Like override his usual who cares attitude by reminding him FAR too much of episodes from his own rough childhood. Except instead of demonic bear attacks causing passed out parents it was usually much less glamorous causes like booze or drugs. SO, all that to say Owen launched into a reasonably caring adult mode and did his best to 'fix it'.

In the midst of fixing it there were many texts to Jessica, then a voicemail from Kennis which was of course adorable and oddly embarrassing and then one from Owen finally saying everything had resolved. A text message comes not that long after that says "Heading your way."

Agitated and still feeling the stress from his odd outing this morning, Owen finds a place to park his motorcycle that is at least reasonably close to Jessica's place. The stupid winter weather is grumbled at as he locks up his helmet and heads up into her building. He makes his way to her floor and knocks on the door. "Jones!" Is said with a little bit more stress than he means to, but he's weirdly on edge.


Jessica had been held up, or she would have just rushed over. But that is the way of things sometimes. Still, she manages to get back to Alias shortly before Owen knocks on the door. She opens the door, wearing her Luke's Bar t-shirt— by itself, it seems— a pair of jeans, and a panther tooth necklace. Her feet are bare. "Come on in," she says, and in counterpoint to his very visible agitation, she's radiating a sort of steady calm. She can get every bit as agitated as Owen, of course. Anxious. Possessed of a temper. Both are as true as the title on the back of said shirt.

But when others are? She tends to respond differently, finding steadiness in herself for them that she can't easily find for herself.

"Want a cigarette?" she offers. Normally she'd offer coffee to a guest, but with Owen cigarette seems to be the wiser and even the kinder option.


"Oh hell yes." Is immediately out of Owen's mouth at the offer before he even has time to recognize her shirt or even look around the room. He barely takes time to look as he is walking across the room towards the window. He has his own smokes, so he isn't really waiting for one from Jessica. He just kind of marches across the room like a raw bundle of nerves.

Not wanting to be a complete jerk he does at least pause his path to let her indicate where people normally smoke. He uses his fire escape, but he also doesn't mind the cold as much as others. He has the cigarette in his mouth, and so when he goes to crack on her about her choice of shirt it comes out a bit muffled "Nice shirt. Told ya…" He doesn't even finish the crack, his heart is not really in it for once.


Jess waves him to the leftside window, opening up the right one. Despite all that's happened, the one on the right is Bucky's smoking window; if someone else is gonna smoke in her place then she's gonna take it. She lights a Marlboro Red of her own and casts him a smirk. "You did," she agrees.

She also doesn't seem bothered about the cold. The snow is coming down good and hard, piling on the fire escape. Some of it lands on her bare foot and arms. She acts like it's nothing at all. She takes a long drag, then exhales.

"Seems like you handled your Adventures in Babysitting pretty well." It's an off-hand statement, the kind of thing that invites a person to launch into it.


Taking to the assigned window and opens it. He lights his own Camel and takes a long time to exhale out. He is looking out the window and is thankful for the opening prompt from Jessica about where to start and why he's here. He looks over and bumps up his eyebrows "Yea. That was … weird. I'm not the guy anyone wants in charge of small children."

Taking another drag before he clarifies. "And I don't mean, I'm not good with kids" here he affects an odd whine as if complaining like… something? Someone who complains about that? "But, in the sense that you don't leave your kids with a …" It sounds dumb to say anything like this outloud. All the names and labels he can think just fine, sound REALLY dumb outloud. "A criminal. A killer. A super villain…. well a d list one anyway."

He knows that helping the kid won out over his own sense of why it was a terrible idea. He even knows it was probably the right call. But he still doesn't know how to reconcile it.


Jessica tumps ashes out into one of the two ashtrays sitting on the escape. She takes another drag, and asks:

"You steal any silverware? Murder anyone, even one of the teddybears? Get back in touch with the old gang and say— hey guys, guess where I am right now?"

She lifts a dark eyebrow, because of course she's pretty sure she already knows the answers to these questions. But she'll let him say it anyway.

She knows, from her past conversations, that even asking questions like this can agitate him a bit, but she does it anyway. She props her foot up on the sill, rests her arm over her knee, lets her head loll back against the frame. No judgment in her face, tone, or posture whatsoever.


Maybe this is why he went to Jessica? Because obviously the need to taunt he about the Lady Sir Jessica, part, that is still happening. Owen fixes her with a look of not appreciating being patronized, but really he does banter better than feelings or sincerity. He replies "Yea, I slipped some cash out of his wallet while he was out cold to pay for the milk, cereal and bagels." It's not necessarily said as a joke, but hopefully that's a joke.

He tilts his head back and forth before saying "She got my phone. She called you… but she's a kid. What if she called …?" He just looks at her, trying to decide how honest he is going to be. How much detail is going to open up about? "Someone less good."

Yea, he chickened out there. He blows smoke out of the corner of his mouth in annoyance. He says "And seriously. I told Luke I was in prison. Killed people. Good, normal people. He just shrugged it off. Jess." Does she know why that bothers him? Can he articulate it better without feeling like he's being a giant drama queen about his whole everything? "And… worse." Yea, he knows the thing with Kennis is part of why he's here, but maybe the bigger part has to do with something else, that right now he's hinting at. Again he mentally chastises himself for being dramatic.


The thing about Jess asking that stuff is she's not trying to be patronizing. If she is, it is definitely wholly by accident. She's more or less being matter-of-fact, and she doesn't seem too bothered by his method of making sure Kennis had breakfast. As it is, the girl is packing multiple hundreds for similar purposes, but that's not hers to share. She listens, and then she says, "Everyone's got a past, Mercer. You're not the only one that's got stuff in it he or she isn't real proud of. Even right down to blood on the hands."

She at least doesn't flick an eyelash like she thinks he's being dramatic. Indeed, there's something in her tone that says she might get it. But then maybe he already sensed that, because for whatever reason, he came to smoke in her window rather than bringing this to, say, Luke or even Emery.


Hearing her response just causes him to tighten his lips. It's not that he doesn't believe her, it's that he's not sure it's clear truly how screwed up his choices have been. And how some of those aren't quite as past tense as he may have made them sound. He shakes his head and says "Yea. I get that. But, you and Luke have been so good about this." He narrows his eyes and says "And honestly, I don't deserve it. I just wanted a chance, but it seems like everyone is all open arms and shit."

"I don't want that. Because frankly Jess, I don't deserve it. And I'm not saying that in a woe is me, I'm so fucked up drama queen bullshit way." He gives it a beat before he can help himself from cracking "Fine. I kind of am being a total bitch about this."

"Here's the deal." And now we might be getting somewhere. "That kid that showed up for a job? Yea. The one who just happens to be a Titan. That's about to open up a whole world of showing every one what a complete and utter shit show I am. "

Deep down Owen knows exactly why it's Jessica that he's telling this to and not Emery and not Luke. It's one of those recognition things where he sees something about her interactions, her attitude, he sees something that feels very familiar to him.


Jessica finishes the first cigarette while he talks about this, and she immediately pulls a second one out of the pack and lights it. The snap-hiss of her lighter is at first the only sound from her. The snow falls deep and hard and soft. It is familiar to her, indeed, on a number of levels. Now she just has to figure out how to help Owen with it. She's careful, because she's hit and miss in this department at best.

Finally she says, "You're not being a bitch about it. You're not being a drama queen about it."

She lets that hang in the air for awhile.

Then she sort of points the lit cigarette in his direction, eyes steady on him. It is familiar to her, all of this, but she has one advantage. For the most part— not always, not every day— but for the most part— she's come out the other side of this. Which may make her useful to him, at that.

She hopes so.

"What you're doing is showing your own 'secretly decent' side. You think most of the members of your old gang give two shits about what they deserve? Feel like they need to be punished for what they did? Seek to punish themselves one way or another for those wrongs? Seem common to you?"


Owen shakes his head and sighs "Yes! When it suits their needs, I am sure they could give this same stupid sob story word for word. Hell, some could probably sell it better than I am." He raises his voice slightly, but not in anger, just trying to emphasize how he feels. How much he wants at once to be believe and to not be believed. Pulling out another cigarette, now that his first one is spent, he lights that one too, thankful for a small break in talking.

He smokes a little before he asks, "Do you got a drink? This story sucks balls. But I need you to hear it. I need Luke to hear it… eventually. Because I feel like a fraud. I feel like I'm playing at being good."

"And then when I disappear off to Gotham, I drop the mask."

Moving past that admission quickly, he lets his own head fall back against the frame, similar to Jessica's earlier move.


Jessica still has some booze. It's well hidden, both from her and anyone who might be concerned that she still has it in the house. She rises, cigarette between her lips, and digs it out of the back. Wild Turkey, unopened. She just brings him the whole damn bottle and waves a hand at him that says, essentially, 'go nuts.'

Then she settles back into the windowsill. She takes another drag, and just looks at him. He has her full attention, she's listening.

It's a pose she's taken quite often as clients tell her their stories, neutral but highly focused, ready to soak up the details.


Having no idea of Jessica's past he doesn't realize what a jerk thing it is to ask for a drink, but he is really glad to see that she has one. He smiles and accepts the bottle. He places the cigarette in his mouth to open it and takes a swig right from the bottle. No glass was offered, and he's not exactly the kind to care. There is very little reaction to the swig in terms of cough or shudder, he's well practiced.


It takes him another few seconds to gather how to start. "My dad.." He stops and goes back a little farther. "I grew up in the system. Shitty situations, blah, blah, whatever. It's why I flipped this morning about the kid being alone." There is very little emotion here and he is in fact saying it in a way, one that he hopes Jessica understands, where he wants exactly 0 sympathy for this.

Moving past this, "I met my real dad as an adult. He was the original Captain Boomerang." Did he tell her this bit already? He can't remember from their initial meeting. "And I thought that was awesome. I was a hoodlum. Nothing serious, but not great. Then to suddenly have a dad. And one who was … somebody, it was cool. We bonded over shit. I genuinely think he cared."

Well, this is a weird start to this story. He takes another shot as if to indicate this is where things start to go off the rails.


Nor does she advertise that fact. It's sometimes a difficult thing, all her closest friends well aware that she's got a major drinking problem. But as much as she certainly has decided she likes Owen and is invested in his success, he is not quite at the level where he has to know those things. Besides, she just went to a bar party and was fine. The temptation is linked directly to her own emotional stress and strain anyway, or, sometimes, habit. Not necessarily because it calls to her 24/7. She has the cigarette to distract her, too.

He believes it's a weird start to the story. Jessica thinks it's about where the story should start. She tumps out her ashes once more, filling the little blue plastic ashtray. It's hard to tell what she feels. Sympathy? Empathy? Nothing? It's her detective's face she's wearing. It gives away very little. The cigarette helps with that; smoking takes the place of having a whole lot of facial expressions. "He probably did," she says. "Criminal behavior don't make you incapable of giving a shit, specially about your kid."


She gets it. He tries to bat away the thought, but it's certainly there. She didn't 'Aww sad childhood' him. He knows he responds like garbage to sympathy and genuine kindness, and it's the last thing he wants to do right now. When she offers the part about his father probably caring he, he smiles partially because it is a nice thought but the smile also has a certain mischief to it. Like oh, wait for the next bit.

"Yeaaa. So he cared so much about me that he decided to prove what a great villain he was. I wanted him to be respected. He set out to prove that. He took a job." Again he's shortening his sentences, trying to sneak up on the thing he hasn't ever talked about. Or thought too long about without using something to chase it away.

"He killed one of the Titan's dad. He wasn't a cape. Er, a hero. Just some guy. My dad died in the process. But yea, somehow his great plan to show me what a badass he was involved murdering …" Does he just say it? Might as well. "Robin's dad."

And drink! Owen hates this story. He hates thinking about it. He hates that he's telling it. But most of all he hates the next bit.


It's almost Shakespearian. For one surreal moment Jessica Jones feels like the proverbial Prince of Verona, as if she's watching two sons, both alike in dignity— well, kinda— both shaped by their fathers and father figures, tied together by lines of blood.

"Did you participate in that murder?" she asks, bluntly, and it's not a question that seeks to absolve him, not yet. It is a detective's question, but it's spoken evenly. She takes another drag, just looking at him.

"How old were you back then, anyway?" Just adding another one, trying to get some context here.


Thank you. She asked. She didn't just hand wave and say it's not your fault. It's a weird sense of vindication he feels in that she wants to grill him about this. She should.

"No." It's the immediate answer, but it's also followed by a sigh. "But I knew. I knew he was taking a hit. To prove what a badass he was. I knew there was a list of heroes… somehow, someone got a hold of their identities."

"It's why I switched Bart's address on file. I got him a PO Box. Told him he was an idiot.." He is not trying to make himself look good to balance the bad. He's trying to explain why it was so important to help Bart keep his cover. He knows first hand what bad people do when secret identities start leaking.

Lighting a third cigarette, wow this is a long talk for him, he comes back to the main thread. "I didn't know who. I didn't know details. But I could have stopped it." He doesn't have any idea that Jessica knows Robin. He doesn't realize how close this is hitting for her. "My dad. Robin's dad. They're dead because I didn't stop it Jess."


She lights up her third in turn, and allows, "Yeah, Allen was an idiot. In this case, real good thing someone with some perspective was there to point that out. And that I was the one doing that background check."

She decides it's not time to mention just how irritated Robin had been. Robin, who in fact climbed back out through the window where Owen now sits, along with a second Titan.

It offers a weird sense of symmetry. So, too, does the fact that they have all come together in Luke's Bar, a place rolled up in blood shed both wrongfully and perhaps all too rightly, a place of something that was both her fault and not, a place that represents, in many ways, one of the two places on earth where she has put blood on her own hands, the second time entirely by choice. The second time, she'd known, deep down, she was going to Germany to kill. Maybe just one man. Maybe more. Memory, from those 9 freaking head injuries, has finally returned enough to tell her that she killed four with her own bare hands. She'd already known she was accomplice to all the others. Bad people? Yes, arguably, but also people who could have turned it around. Like Owen.

"That why you decided to take a different path?"


He needs another drink. Owen still can't think about this stone sober. He has used drugs and alcohol to try and keep many things a bay, but lately it mostly seems to be centered around this. It's good that he is unaware of the Robin connection. There is no way he would have had the backbone to go through with this if he knew ahead of time that they knew on another.

"I wish." He blows out a long trail of smoke and continues "I took up his name. I became Captain Boomerang. To show him how it should have been done?" It's a question. One he asks himself a lot lately. "To show what he could have been? I joined the Rogues. They just sucked me into their screwed up family and I thought, okay. This is where I belong."

"It was a while. Too long. After I got over the grief, I started to realize how fucked up it all was. I got tossed in jail and that … " there is a part here he doesn't mention. That one stays buried. It's not his secret to tell after all. "Gave me the tools I needed to get out."


"Arguably, that is the purpose of jail," Jessica says, tilting the cigarette towards him again. "It's not just a punishment, though of course it is. It's also a way to give people the tools to get out."

She motions for the bottle. One swallow for her, then she'll give it back. Maybe companionable swallowing, maybe just because this is creating a host of questions for her, for later, and she needs, for the most part, to stay focused.

She looks down for a long moment, trying to figure out how to order these thoughts, how to give him a few more tools, how to work this to a fair and equitable and honorable endpoint for everyone. She thinks, in the end, that she sees the latter. She just has to work her way to the former.

But first, of course, she needs to try to make sure he'll let her step him through it without springing up. "I have more thoughts on this," she says quietly. "You want 'em? Cause if you just needed to unload, that's fine, but I do know a thing or two about things."


Handing the bottle over readily, Owen agrees about jail. "Yea yea. It can work." It's not what worked for him granted, that was the opportunity to blow stuff up for his country, but again secrets.

He watches her as she drinks and takes time to figure out how to respond. He tries not to creepy stare, but he is searching, trying to figure out how she is going to respond and trying to figure out what he is hoping for or dreading.

"I didn't just come here to tell you my sad sob story, you got thoughts, share 'em. But I also didn't come here for absolution. This is my shit, it's awful, I'm just trying to own it."


She swigs and passes it back. "Yeah. Well, you don't get absolution from me. That isn't my job. Isn't within my power."

Right. Now she's got to do this in earnest. She picks her way through it carefully.

"First thought is this. You know why I welcomed you with open arms? Because you're not a monster. You're just a person who has done bad shit. I've been up close and personal with monsters. Real monsters, people who are so far gone they just aren't people anymore. Metas, usually, people who let their powers turn them into something instead of someone. And lemme tell you, you ain't there yet. You've made shitty decisions, but you haven't lost all your goddamn humanity. Proof is you trying to take a different road. Proof is you, here, working your way through this."

She tumps out more ashes, her gaze going a bit distant, staring at the window frame rather than him. "And believe me. I know a thing or two about being just a person who has done bad shit."


Taking back the bottle, Owen doesn't feel the need to keep going. It's still around midday at this point, so no need to rush anything and he actually feels like he was able to get through the worst part. He will be chain smoking for the rest of his time here though, because that's still very much a necessity.

"I hear that. I mean. I know some crazy folks. Just no sense of anything or anyone outside of what they want." His coworkers. Kind of. The ones on the squad that they keep on a short leash, the whole sub cutaneous bomb thing is a really short leash. "I know that. But you don't have to be the worst case scenario to still be pretty darn gross." Garbage. He can't even say it out loud. That's the word he'd use. That's the word they used to use.

And drink. He was doing well for like a whole minute there. The half scowl on his face reflects his inner thoughts on this. It's not that he's not listening to Jessica. It just takes a while for it to register, the part about her knowing about people who have done bad shit. He reminds her "Jess. This is one thing. I didn't talk about all the other garbage." Doesn't count, wasn't talking about himself. "It's just. I've killed people. Some might have been good people. With families. Kids. But… they don't haunt me like this does. They probably should."


"Yeah. I know."

How many times has Jessica Jones referred to herself in similar terms?

Human garbage.

Dumpster fire.

Walking disaster.



"No. They wouldn't," she points out. "They were just names to you. Faces you didn't know. People who didn't matter to you. What haunts you is your father's death, and realizing some other father also died, some guy's Dad who, had circumstances been different? Well. A few twists of fate, he could have been the villian and you might have been the crimefighter. Two sides, same coin, not really that different, just handed a different hand at the start of the game."

She shrugs. "Which is the other thing. Mitigating factors? They're a thing. They don't erase the fact that you're a murderer. But they still…fill the picture out. Show us the shades of grey, not just the black and white. And as of right now? You did your time, man. And your actions say you're moving forward. Choosing a different direction. That shit, it matters."

She smiles faintly. Because she knows this is going to sound like an Afterschool Special until she says the next bit.

"I murdered Luke's wife."


How does she know? Owen puts his hand over his mouth, cigarette still between two fingers but not between his lips, just covering his face. She explains it. Like he posed a riddle that she had heard before. She lays it out there. Because it's his dad. Owen's dad. Robin's dad. Because he's more proud of Robin's dad for killing his own. That's a bad ass. That's a man to be respected. That all hits home, hard.

He can feel himself getting shaky. He has to look down and wipe at one eye with the meat of his palm, still holding the cigarette. Tears? Maybe. That catches him off guard too. When has ever even teared up about this? Never. He takes a drink.

As Jessica drops the last bit he pauses, bottle still to his lips. He is snapped back to the here and now. He slowly sets the bottle down. She has been so supportive. Said all the right things, and been so perfectly understanding.

"What. The. Fuck. did you just say?" Nailed it. Way to show some support Owen, you moron. It's all shock. Literally the last thing he expected and his mouth is actually gaping a bit.


She says it slower. "I. Killed. Reva. Connors."

She meets his eye. "He knows about it. It's fucked up. In my case, my sin was weakness. My mitigating factor was I was forced by a meta with mind control powers to do it. But my hand did the deed. Stopped her heart with one punch." She mimes it. "My hand. My eyes watching her fall. And the real bitch of it all? I broke his control seconds after that. I didn't realize it then. I thought I was just dazed. Shielded from really hearing him right by the blood roaring in my ears— his powers relied on being heard."

She exhales more smoke. "Years later I discovered I'd built up an immunity. If I'd fought a little harder, maybe, just maybe, I would have been able to save her."

She crushes the butt into the ashtray. "I'm friends," (still? ever again?) "with a guy you might have heard of. Winter Soldier. He had 70 years of goddamn mitigating factors. Torture, brainwash, I'm sure you got the details on Twitter during his trial like everyone else. But. Same thing for him. His hands, his memories."

She points. "Your mitigating factor? You honestly didn't have one jackrabbit's fucking chance of starting your life as anything other than a criminal. Foster kids don't fare well to begin with. Enter your Dad. Who else would you have looked up to? Modeled yourself after? Who the fuck looked at you and gave you any compelling fucking evidence that walking the straight and narrow had any benefits or rewards? Life had been screwing you probably as long as you remember. Here's dad. It's twisted, it's fucked up, but he offers you praise, loves you, tells you in words and actions the values are 'take no shit, be badass, you want something it's yours if you are strong enough to get it.'"

A twisted, slight smile. "Mitigation doesn't let you own it. It just helps you start seeing that you're just…you're human, man. You reacted like any other human would react to the same pressures. No, owning it, getting to a point where you don't feel like a worthless piece of shit, where you can maybe start to feel like you— well, not that you deserve things, exactly, but that it's okay to have them— that takes some very specific, very god damn terrifying actions. I can tell you the way. But you'd have to take it."


Mentally Owen has already catapulted through, she wouldn't tell him if Luke didn't know and if Luke knows he must have forgiven her and he has to try REALLY hard to stop his head from spinning so he can focus. Listen.

He exhales when she says mind control. Turns out he has been holding his breath without realizing it. But he still nods as she talks about it being her. "You win. That's horrific shit. Like… yeah. Okay." He offers her the bottle because seriously, he has been leaning on it, and he would assume this would require a drink.

Once she starts talking about his mitigating factors though he winces and retreats. "No.. Jess. I." He looks at her pained. He would love to accept that. He would love to actually have that on repeat, someone he respects and actually kind of cares about, telling him that. But he's not there yet.

"People in way worse situations than mine have done much better. Not every foster kid is a fuck up. Plenty of people have had it worse than me, I can't .."

He has to stop because she again hits something he can't talk about it. He knows he's trying to push away good things. He knows it's for the reasons she's saying. He just didn't expect her to know. To be able to enunciate it so clearly. He has to stop talking for a moment and look out the window. He slowly stubs out his cigarette, not making eye contact. His breathing is getting a little louder.

And then he's not there. There is no warning. No thanks, Jessica this is exactly what I needed. Nope. He's just gone, with the door hanging open behind him.


Jessica Jones looks through her wide open door. She takes up the bottle and takes a swig. Just one more. Then she pours it out into the snow. It looks like piss, amber and freezing where it falls. There's some symbolism in that, too, but if she's going to stop being an alcoholic she's really got to stop hiding booze in her house 'just in case.' She's going to have to go back to AA and reclaim her white token a-fucking-gain, but in this case it was in the service of a good cause, and three sips is hardly the bender she went on before.

She doesn't rise to shut the door. She puts a cigarette into her mouth and lights it. Chain smoking through to her fourth. Open door, open windows, open Investigator's office, named and blessed with an anagram of her dead mother's name. Thinking about orphans and mitigating circumstances. Thinking that she's going to have to sit on this, because the way forward for Owen can't happen if she tells Red what she knows. Not really.

She closes her eyes. The wind is biting even for her tastes, but it can't hurt her. It's going to take time. Maybe the rest of forever, same as her, somedays. But she knows the magic to use anyway. She knows the spell that was wrought on her, and it demands no mana, no brightsoul, no synchronicity. It was the magic as being seen differently. Of someone looking at what was good about her and relentlessly seeing mostly that, relentlessly treating her like mostly that, introducing her to others that did exactly the same until she herself could see something different. Step one. Not the last step. Not by a long shot.

But something she can do for this guy. She's been trying, a bit, anyway; it was enough for her that he was trying to turn himself around, choose a different path, maybe even, eventually, enact the same sorts of atonements she has chosen.

The red tip of the cigarette burns slowly. She'll just have to do it a little bit less half-ass from here on out.

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