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Becoming a True Invader is a completed Invader Zim fanfic by Hero Zero.

When Zim is told the truth about his "mission" and loses his Invader status, he plots to gain revenge by invading Irk, convincing Dib and Gaz to join him. Meanwhile, Tak returns, now serving a mysterious figure with his own plans for conquest against the Irken Empire.

A tale of intergalactic adventure, humor, and some romance, but mostly DOOM, thus ensues.

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Tropes in this story

  • Abhorrent Admirer: The Dibship is completely obsessed with Tak, to her disgust. It in turn grows disgusted with the Heboadians' worship of it.
  • Abusive Parents: Kor's father Blarby is this due to his obliviousness towards her lacking the other Fefians' inability to feel pain. As such, he has no problem making her partake in normal Fefian activities that involve dismemberment and pain. She eventually gets revenge; see Self-Made Orphan below.
  • Accidental Truth:
    • When Kor is held prisoner by Pel's cult, she bluffs by claiming that Zim is planning to attack by coming crashing through the wall in the Dibship. Minutes later, that's exactly what happens.
    • Also, despite Tel making up the Great Boad prophecy as a means of entertainment for his sister, Dib happens to fit the criteria of the Gateway, namely having a huge head. And he really does end up summoning an entity, though it's a monkey astronaut from an Alternate Universe, not the Great Boad.
  • Action Girl:
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    • Gaz is an utter badass, bordering on being a One-Man Army.
    • Kor isn't nearly as tough as Gaz, but is still a decent fighter.
  • Alien Blood: Fefians have blue goo for blood, which has different attributes depending on which part of their bodies it comes from, ranging from burning like acid to causing paralysis.
  • Aliens Speaking English:
    • Inverted. Zim claims that the humans are actually speaking Irken, suggesting it's a result of Ancient Astronauts.
    • Similarly, the Employer claims that the Spanish he speaks in is his native language, but denies it actually being Spanish.
  • Alternate Self: A version of Keef from another universe shows up midway through the story to help fight the Employer, who is also from that universe.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • Dib loses a hand on Oberox thanks to a Life or Limb Decision.
    • Zim cuts the Tallests' legs off to make them shorter than him.
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    • During their last fight, Gaz cuts off Tak's arms.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Dib is surprised to find Egyptian hieroglyphics on Heboad, suggesting a visitation to Earth in the past. Zim states that advanced species visiting primitive planets isn't unheard of.
  • And I Must Scream: The Employer's ultimate fate is to be sucked into an empty interdimensional void, with the functional immortality of his robotic body meaning he'll be stuck there forever.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The story ends with Zim back to trying to conquer Earth, and Dib trying to expose him, with the only difference now being the addition of their new alien friends living on Earth with them.
  • And Then What?: Kor admits that she didn't put any thought into her plans beyond getting off of Fefa. That's why she sticks around with Zim's group despite not even thinking their mission can succeed, since she has nowhere else to go.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • Vort suffers a Class 1. It's heavily devastated when the Employer's army invades while making its way to Irk, but afterwards Crax is able to take control of the survivors with an intent to rebuild.
    • Irk first suffers a Class 3 when Minimoose's invasion wipes out every Irken except for the Tallest, Zim, Skoodge and Tak, then a Class X when his failed interdimensional portal turns into a black hole that consumes the whole planet.
  • Arc Villain: While the Employer is the overall Big Bad of the story, there's a couple of lesser yet important villains who are unconnected to him.
    • Pel is the main antagonist of the heroes' misadventures on Heboad, whose cult threatens all of them while they’re stuck on the planet.
    • Invader Togan is the Irken in charge of the armory planet Oberox, whom the heroes have to fight in order to steal the weapons they need for their campaign against the Tallest (as they're not even aware of the Employer yet at this point).
  • Aroused by Their Voice: The Employer is noted to have a very alluring and velvety voice.
  • Artificial Limbs: Dib gets a cybernetic replacement hand after losing his real one on Oberox.
  • The Assimilator: The Employer has the ability to absorb technology into himself and repurpose it. This is used against him during the Final Battle, when he's tricked into assimilating GIR and is left unstable because of it.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Employer's soldiers can grow to massive size by devouring each other. One on Vort grows to the size of a skyscraper, and on Irk one grows more than three times that size.
  • Auto Cannibalism: Fefians have a habit of this, due to their Healing Factors and inability to feel pain.
  • BFG: Daj's Giant Fraction Blaster.
  • Bad Boss:
    • The Tallest, as per canon, regularly boss around and torment their underlings.
    • Zim views all the members of his group (except for Gaz) as expendable meat-shields.
    • Invader Togan regularly kills his subordinates for interrupting him while he's taking a stroll.
  • Bag of Holding: The Dimension Box that Crax invents and gifts to Zim is capable of storing anything in a Pocket Dimension. Zim makes use of it to carry weapons and tools around.
  • Batman Gambit: Zim goads Minimoose into aiming Daj's BFG at him, unaware that Zim rigged it with a Self-Destruct Mechanism just in case anyone ever tried to use the blaster on him. Unfortunately, this fails to kill Minimoose, it just slows him down.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: The group's first stop is at Fuelia Portia, a trading market planet.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Zim and Gaz clearly have feelings for each other, but spend most of their time arguing and fighting due to being in denial.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Zim accidentally destroys Gaz's Game Slave, enraging her. She only stops inflicting pain on him when he agrees to do whatever she wants.
    • Gaz is even more pissed when she realizes that Tak has stolen her diary, to the point of agreeing to join Zim's invasion plans (which she previously didn't care about) for a chance to hunt her down.
  • Beyond the Impossible: With Zim's training, the Heboadians are somehow capable of stabbing through tough objects (including body armor) with just blunt sticks.
  • Big Bad: The mysterious figure known as the Employer, who is leading an army in conquering the Irken Empire as a prelude to taking over the whole universe. He eventually turns out to be Minimoose, of all characters, who is actually a Control Brain from an Alternate Universe.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Despite the fact that Gaz is immensely tougher than he is, Dib still feels a strong protective drive towards her.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Zim, plenty of times:
      • When GIR being ordered into defensive mode against an angry Gaz just causes him to jump out a window, letting her into the base.
      • When being forced to listen to Tel expositing on his culture.
      • When losing in a game he's playing with Gaz.
      • When the Alternate Universe Keef shows up. The "no" is so big it starts at the end of Chapter 27 and continues well into the start of Chapter 28.
    • The Dibship does this a lot too, in keeping with its melodramatically emo personality:
      • Upon finding that it's been rebuilt even bigger than before (as it now sees itself as fat).
      • When Zim and Dib toss Tak out of the ship as they're leaving Earth.
      • Seeing that a Goth (namely Kor) is already standing at the tree he wanted to mope at.
    • Zim and Gaz get one in unison when they realize they’re stuck together as their ship leaves Earth.
    • Red gets one when his and Purple's last ditch attempt to stop the Employer's fleet from reaching Irk fails.
    • Skoodge, when he's been led to believe that Zim's dead.
    • The Employer upon his final defeat, which trails off as he falls into a portal to an empty void.
  • Big Red Button: GIR has to hit one to activate the Dibship's new power cell during the larvae fight on Fefa. Since he can't quite figure out how to press it, Gaz throws Dib at the button to trigger it instead.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Gaz, when the Employer is taunting her by sharing Zim's thoughts and feelings about her.
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • Skoodge, when Zim announces his intent to conquer Irk.
    • Dib, when he learns that the Dibship used his name to join an emo forum.
    • Zim, when in the aftermath of the intense fighting on Vort, Dib suggests that the ZMDA give up their dangerous mission.
    • Gaz, when she learns that the alternate Keef once jumped into her mind in order to check if the Employer was in their dimension. Which is what led to the below-mentioned Noodle Incident between her and Zim.
    • Dib, when Zim informs him that Minimoose's failed interdimensional portal just created a black hole that's going to consume the planet they're all still on.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology:
    • Fefians are blob creatures whose blood has different properties depending on what part of the body it comes from, and possess a Healing Factor which can undo any damage short of being digested.
    • Darvons are reptillian beings whose hands aren't visibly attached to their bodies by any sort of limb, but are still fully functional.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Dib insists on having a laser-blade installed into his new robotic hand.
  • Blob Monster: Well, "monster" is stretching it, but the Fefians are humanoid blobs with blue goo for blood and Healing Factors strong enough to endure anything.
  • Blood Knight: Daj's first instinct in any situation is to start shooting things.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Pel does this to Dib, to make him accept being the Heboadians' prophesied savior and doing what she says.
  • Brain Bleach: Zim and Dib both demand to have acid poured into their brains in response to hearing about the alternate Keef's relationships with their counterparts in his universe.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Occasionally, with characters being aware of when flashbacks are occurring and/or that they're in a flashback.
  • Butt-Monkey: Skoodge gets beat up repeatedly throughout the story, far more than any other character.
  • Cain and Abel: Pel and Tel, the former being a psychopath who turns on her brother for not supporting her authoritarian plans.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: The Employer's soldiers can grow to massive sizes by devouring each other.
  • Care-Bear Stare: Zim has learned to weaponize what he did to Nick, using the latter as the source of a beam that makes everyone so happy they explode.
  • Cargo Cult: The Heboadians (except for Tel) come to worship the Dibship, treating its emo poetry as deep philosophy.
  • The Cavalry: Dwicky's rebel army and Crax (in his Humongous Mecha) arrive in time to help keep the ZMDA from being overwhelmed by the Employer's remaining forces on Irk.
  • Character Development: While Gaz never fully loses her overall angry attitude, she becomes less harsh over time and more accepting of others.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The "resources" that the Resisty gather for the Employer on Earth. These later turn out to be moose that he's augmenting into Super Soldiers.
    • The Hyper Reactive Cell Core that GIR swallows on Fuelia Portia. He ends up vomiting it back up during the fight with the larvae on Fefa, allowing Zim's group to use it to recharge the Dibship and escape.
    • Dib's utter lack of an ability to aim while shooting a blaster is ultimately what saves the day, as he misses when shooting at the Minimoose-possessed Zim and hitting Kor instead, splattering her paralytic blood over Zim's body. This causes Minimoose to freeze up and give Zim the opportunity to retake control.
    • The Dimension Box that Crax gifts to Zim. Minimoose steals it after losing control of Zim's body and uses its arsenal as leverage to buy himself time to escape through an interdimensional portal. However, the portal and the box react negatively to each other, creating a black hole that sucks in Minimoose, getting rid of him for good.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The story starts out very silly and nonsensical, but gets darker and more serious as time goes by.
  • Clothing Damage: Kor gets swallowed by the Employer's Kaiju-sized soldier on Irk, resulting in her clothes being utterly destroyed when Zim detonates the bombs he had her carrying to wound it. Fortunately, she's quickly provided with a spare set of Gaz's clothes to compensate. And when those clothes get torn up as collateral during the Final Battle, Dib loans her his jacket for cover until she can get a proper replacement.
  • Collapsing Lair: During the showdown with Pel, her temple is damaged enough that it ends up completely collapsing.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Tel inadvertently turned his sister into an authoritarian monster due to making up bedtime stories about the "Great Boad" who punished villains, only for her to take him seriously and start emulating the story to the point of taking over their society and enforcing her own rules based on those stories.
  • Cruel Mercy: At the end of the story, Zim chooses not to kill Tak, instead sending her back into exile on Planet Dirt with only a malfunctioning Mimi and a copy of the Dibship's AI for company.
  • Cult: The Heboadians led by Pel believe in a prophecy (that Tel made up to entertain his sister but she took seriously) that a living Gateway will come and summon the Great Boad, who will then purge all the condemned (with "condemned" here meaning anyone who doesn't abide by Pel's authoritarian rules).
  • Cyborg:
    • The Heboadians as a race are all cybernetically enhanced.
    • Invader Togan has heavily modified himself with cybernetics to increase his natural psychic abilities.
  • Dark Action Girl: Tak is The Dragon, and a skilled enough fighter to match Gaz.
  • Death World: Fefa has ridiculously destructive weather, like giant ceiling fans flying around to slice everything in their path and beetle larvae that make people’s head explode. Hence why the natives have evolved such highly effective Healing Factors.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Gaz is almost always the one who fights Tak, the two hating each other almost as much as Tak hates Zim.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Everyone is dumbfounded to learn that the only reason Zim wants to conquer Irk is so that he can then officially make himself an Invader again.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The Employer ultimately turns out to be Minimoose, who it turns out was actually a Control Brain from an Alternate Universe all along.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: As per IZ canon, the word "doom" shows up a lot, such as:
    • Zim dubs the rebuilt Dibship as the Dibship 2.0D (with the "D" standing for "Doom"), and eventually names his group the "Zim's Mega Doom Armada".
    • The Doom Weather on Fefa.
    • Operation Genesis Doom, an Irken conquest during Tallest Miyuki's reign.
    • The Doom Staff weapon wielded by the Dibship after it's upgraded into a Humongous Mecha.
    • And let's not forget the fact that every single chapter title has the word in there somewhere.
  • Doorstopper: The story in total is just short of 225,000 words.
  • The Dragon: Tak serves as the Employer's main enforcer.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Minimoose dies early in the story when Gaz's Death Glare makes him randomly explode. Subverted, when it turns out he faked it, as he's really been the Employer all along.
  • The Eeyore: The Dibship is fully emo, constantly complaining about its lot in life.
  • Enemy Mine: Zim is forced to ask for Dib's help in his campaign, because with his own ship destroyed by the Tallest, he needs to use the Dibship, which only Dib can convince to help. In turn, Dib goes along with Zim's plans because fighting the other Irkens lets him play the hero on a universal level.
  • Everyone Can See It: Zim and Gaz's attraction to each other is obvious to everyone (except Dib, who is willfully oblivious to it).
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: The Employer likes to keep his personal chambers completely darkened in order to make himself feel more mysterious.
  • Eviler than Thou: The Employer’s forces make mincemeat of the Irken Empire.
  • Explosive Leash:
    • Crax puts exploding bracelets with a timer on them on Zim and Gaz to compel them to retrieve his research from the VR&D building. This turns out to be a bluff, however.
    • He also uses explosive collars to enslave the rest of his people who survived Vort's destruction by the Employer's forces.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Daj hates Irkens, and is constantly referring to Zim and Skoodge as "drones" to insult Irken society’s insistence on conformity.
    • And of course, there's Zim's casual dismissal of every non-Irken he encounters, viewing them as inferior to his people.
  • Feel No Pain: The Fefians have evolved an inability to feel pain alongside their natural Healing Factor in order to cope with the constant deadly situations of their planet. Kor is one of the unfortunate few who lack this attribute, which is part of why she's so pessimistic and hates her own kind.
  • Fighting from the Inside: During the Final Battle, Minimoose possesses Zim's body by latching onto his PAK, but after he takes enough damage to loosen his control, Zim is able to fight back and tear him off.
  • Final Battle: The showdown with the Employer and Tak aboard their wrecked ship in the ruins of Irk.
  • Found Footage Films: The "Big Headed DOOM God" arc takes this format, as Tak and the Resisty find one of GIR's eyes on Heboad, and watch its recording of what Zim's group got up to on that planet.
  • Gatling Good: Kry is armed with a pair of Gatlings.
  • Genocide from the Inside:
    • As she's leaving Fefa, Kor leaves behind bombs that neutralize her people’s Healing Factor before causing them to explode. However, this is subverted in the long run, as it turns out they all eventually recovered from this.
    • Tak has no problem helping the Employer conquer and obliterate her own species.
  • Gilligan Cut: In Chapter 6, when Gaz is trying to get Zim to make a sandwich for her, he refuses, and starts to threaten her... and then there's a cut to "5 minutes later", and Zim is bringing a sandwich to Gaz, who apparently stole one of his lasers and threatened him.
  • Goth: In addition to Gaz, Kor is one, the attitude helping her deal with her horrible upbringing on Fefa.
  • Grand Theft Me:
    • The alternate Keef temporarily took over Gaz's body in order to covertly search for the Employer in the main universe. When the connection eventually failed, Gaz was left with no memory of what happened.
    • Minimoose pulls this on Zim during the Final Battle after his body is destroyed, latching his core onto Zim's PAK to control his body.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: The Employer peppers his dialogue with Spanish.
  • Healing Factor:
    • All Fefians have an extremely effective one, able to regenerate from basically anything except being digested, thus rendering them virtually immortal. With Zim's help, Kor develops a counteragent that neutralizes this and causes the afflicted to explode; however, this is eventually revealed to have worn off, and they regenerated again.
    • The Employer later installs a powerful healing ability into his soldiers by stealing genetic material from the Fefians.
  • Hidden Villain: The Employer is cloaked in shadows for most of the story, hiding his identity until the climax.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: The Tallest. By the end of the story, they've lost their empire, their legs have been cut off (rendering them short), and they've had to go into hiding doing menial work on Foodcourtia.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • The Dibship is converted into one for the confrontation with the Employer's forces on Irk.
    • Crax also builds another mecha for himself to use, arriving a bit later into the fighting on Irk.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every chapter has "DOOM" in its title somewhere.
  • Imagine Spot: Red has one after he learns Zim has grown tall, picturing how much damage he could do to Irk if he becomes Tallest.
  • In-Series Nickname: Zim calls Kor "Tinkerer" due to her mechanic skills.
  • Insistent Terminology: Gaz doesn't have a diary, she has a "vendetta list".
  • Insane Troll Logic: Zim is briefly convinced that Tel is actually The Mole for his sister because he has the most to lose from the mole's actions, and thus according to the "Law of Reverse Victim" must be the mole.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The Employer decides to flee to another dimension after his armies are destroyed on Irk and start over. But since he's possessing Zim's body at the time, Gaz refuses to let him.
  • La Résistance:
    • On Heboad, Tel leads a rebel group against his sister's cult's authoritarian rule of their society.
    • Despite the fact that Oberox has no native species, its key location as an armory makes it a flashpoint for anti-Irken resistance from around the galaxy to gather and fight against them.
  • Life or Limb Decision: During the climax of the fighting on Oberox, Dib is pinned to a wall by metal bindings via Togan's psychic powers. Desperate, he cuts off his left hand with a discarded metal claw so he can slip free and grab a blaster to attack Togan with while he's otherwise distracted.
  • Made a Slave:
    • Played for Laughs as Gaz essentially makes Zim her slave in exchange for not beating him up over accidentally destroying her Game Slave. Things get a little more complicated later on, though.
    • Crax does this to this to all the other Vortians who survived the Employer's destruction of their planet by means of explosive collars.
  • Mad Scientist: Zim's old Vortian colleague Crax, who even he thinks is crazy.
  • Mental World: Zim ends up inside his own mind after Minimoose takes over his body. This also allows him to enter Minimoose's mind in return, and learn everything about his past.
  • Missing Steps Plan: Zim's plan for conquering the Irken Empire basically amounts to "go in, doom everything, I win". Dib is extremely disappointed to hear this, as is Zim when the obvious flaws occur to him, but he quickly bounces back and starts ironing out the details.
  • The Mole: Pel has one among Tel's rebel Heboadians. It ultimately turns out to be Tel's Number Two, Stuart.
  • Mr. Exposition: Kor and Tel serve as this to explain about their respective species.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: The Employer intends on being this after finishing with the current universe.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • There is repeated mention of an "incident" that led to Zim and Gaz truly despising Tak more than ever before. This is ultimately revealed to have been the alternate Keef possessing her body and kissing Zim, which due to lack of understanding the situation was incorrectly blamed on Tak.
    • Mention is made of a "dropbear incident", which apparently rendered Australia lifeless.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Tak declares this after dropping Zim off a building on Vort. The Employer calls her out for not sticking around long enough to confirm the fall killed him.
  • Not Me This Time: The Tallest immediately assume that Zim is responsible for the Employer's devastation of their empire.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: By the time of the Final Battle, the Employer has decided he wants to kill Zim personally, so won't let Tak just eliminate him from a distance, or risk hitting him by targeting the others.
  • Only Sane Man: Tel is this for the Heboadians, who otherwise easily go along with following Pel, Dibship, or Zim, without second thoughts.
  • Operation: [Blank]: At some point during Tallest Miyuki's reign there was an Irken conquest program called Operation Genesis Doom.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Zim uses Nick to power a beam that causes the people afflicted by it to be overcome with joyful emotions.
  • Psychic Powers: Invader Togan has psychic abilities, which are so enhanced by his cybernetics that he's the most powerful Irken psychic ever.
  • Rebel Leader:
    • Tel leads the rebellion against his sister's cult.
    • Dwicky is the leader of the anti-Irken resistance on Oberox.
  • Running Gag:
    • The canon one about the size of Dib's head is repeated here. Most prominently when the group is on Heboad, and the size of his head marks him as the Heboadians' Chosen One.
    • GIR referring to Skoodge as a piggy.
    • Tak not understanding the Employer's Spanish.
  • Sapient Ship: The Dibship, of course. Much to the annoyance of everyone who has to put up with it.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Kor's default attitude.
  • Seen It All: After spending some time hanging around the rest of the ZMDA, Kor states that nothing seems too strange to her anymore.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Subverted. Kor, whose mother had already been devoured when she was a kid, eventually tries to kill her father by exposing him to a goop that cancels out his Healing Factor and makes him explode, but it's later revealed that this only worked temporarily.
  • The Starscream: Zim's whole goal is to conquer Irk in revenge for being stripped of his Invader rank, and proving to the Tallest that they were wrong about him.
  • Super Soldiers: The Employer's army is composed of these, which are moose that have been genetically modified into humanoid form with enhanced intelligence and strength.
  • Surrounded by Idiots:
    • How Tak feels about working with the Resisty. She's not wrong.
    • The Employer feels this way about everyone around him, ally (including Tak) and enemy alike.
  • Taking You with Me: Minimoose attempts to drag Zim down with him when he's being sucked into the void, but Gaz kicks him free and he's trapped alone.
  • Time Skip: The story starts five years after canon.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: At the end of the story, the ZMDA learn that they were only gone from Earth for three days, despite weeks of events having occurred over the course of the story. Dib points out that this makes no sense, but Zim just shrugs it off.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Dwicky has become leader of an alien rebel army since he last appeared in canon.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Minimoose is reduced to screaming incoherently as Zim breaks free of his control and casts him off, leaving him helpless. He recovers, however, enough to keep threatening them awhile longer.
  • Wangst: In-Universe, this is how Dib describes the Dibship's default attitude.
  • We Can Rule Together: Zim's pitch to Skoodge to get him to join his campaign.
  • Worf Had the Flu: By the time of her final fight with Tak, Gaz is suffering from fatigue and wounds from earlier fights and has to struggle just to keep up with her. She ultimately wins only thanks to some pragmatic trickery.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: The Employer sabotages Zim's PAK so that he no longer receives vital nutrients transmitted by the Control Brains, significantly cutting short his lifespan. Fortunately, Crax develops a workaround involving regularly consuming Earth food.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Gaz, upon seeing Tak on a screen on Fuelia Portia, and more importantly seeing that she has Gaz's diary.
  • You Killed My Father: The alternate universe Keef despises Minimoose for killing his universe's Zim, whom Keef loved, and hunts him for years to seek revenge.

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