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  • Clarke from The 100 is an All-Loving Hero who would really prefer it if no one got hurt, not even people who have been her enemies. However, she's also a Pragmatic Hero, and if it looks like there's no way out of a situation without someone getting hurt, she won't hesitate to do the hurting.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: pretty much applies to all the main characters, save Ward. They're nice, kind-hearted folks as long as you're not a HYDRA mook or head — or Grant Ward — in which case they'll kill you in cold-blood or order same. Coulson, May, Skye (especially after she gets her superpowers, though she is later shown slaughtering a group of HYDRA soldiers using a regular gun), Bobbi, Hunter (a close-to-comic-relief character who midway through Season 2 commits an unambiguous cold-blooded murder of a HYDRA leader on Coulson's orders, with Bobbi watching), and even Simmons, who attempts to murder Ward and spends most of Season 2 devising ways to kill people with superpowers.
  • Laurel Lance in Arrow is generally kind to those around her and has made a career of helping those who need it most, but that doesn't mean she's going to let the bad guys get away with abusing people.
    • Oliver starts out as Judge, Jury, and Executioner but eventually takes up Thou Shalt Not Kill. After a while in this mode, we find out his attitude on it stops short of the Batman level; killing isn't a non-option, it's just a last resort. Mooks in his way get the fight taken out of them with tranq or taser arrows. Mooks chasing him once his work is done get left in the dust with smoke or flashbang arrows. The Villain of the Week gets captured. ...And villains who convince him they're too dangerous to live get pointy arrows. Also, 'captured' can still mean "impaled to the wall through a non-fatal part of your body."
  • In Babylon 5, Captain John Sheridan's father taught him to never start a fight, but to always finish it. He sticks to this for the entire series. He almost always waits for his opponents to shoot first, but will not hesitate to use any tactic in the book and overwhelming force afterwards.
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  • President Laura Roslin from Battlestar Galactica (2003). On a show full of Grey and Gray Morality she was one of the most unambiguously good characters in the cast, but God help you if you got between her and what she thought was best for the fleet, because she wouldn't hesitate to throw you out the airlock.
  • Jane Doe of Blindspot exemplifies this trope, so caring and devoted to those caught up in the incidents she's part of as well as her teammates. She will also stop you, shoot you, punish you, to stop the threat whether it be terrorism or domestic abuse, and when told to back off she does so.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Faith of both shows has matured into this. A seriously nice girl, caring, and points out Even Evil Has Loved Ones. She's also up for maiming and killing human and demon alike, even her deadbeat father. In season nine, after slicing off the arm of a gun toting gangster, then burning drug dealers alive, she brings up the proper arrangements for their bereaved families. Even when she was introduced, she proved to have what it takes: aside from being genuinely nice, she would say a dumped Buffy is a good Buffy (because of how aggressive a fighter she was after Scott dumped her) before sabotaging Scott's future conquests on Buffy's behalf, then lending a kind ear to a pissed Xander before going behind Buffy's back to kill Angel, since for all Faith knew he was still capable of being the grand master villain of the series.
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    • Buffy herself. If you're human and not cutting up dead bodies or killing children, she's quite nice. If you are, then she's all for prison, death, Prison Rape then death, basically having a soul makes such actions inexcusable.
      • When Angel is poisoned and Buffy learns that Slayer blood is the cure in Season 3 of Buffy, her rather scary initial plan is to force the psychotic Faith to him to feed on, dead or alive. When that doesn't work, Buffy offers herself to feed on, which Angel absolutely refuses. So Buffy punches him in the face until the blows anger him enough to vamp out, then she makes him feed on her.
    • The Scooby Gang as a whole. They're all nice kids and Giles is a British Gentleman, but they've killed a lot of monsters.
    • Giles, very much so. Most extreme example? Smothering a wounded Ben to death rather than risk Glory coming back. Before doing the deed, Giles cryptically remarks, "[Buffy's] a hero, you see. She's not like us." He wanted to spare Buffy from doing it.
    • Wesley, from very early on in Angel and perhaps as early as his appearances on Buffy, shows he is willing to torture the bad guys to protect his friends. He's also the one who sends a whole bunch of optimistic villagers on a suicide mission because it's the most effective plan, keeps a girl in a closet for months while he's trawling the ocean for Angel, who tried to kill him, and shoots his father without hesitation to protect Fred. It turns out to be a robot, but he didn't know that, and he still did it.
    • Angel. He actually is a nice guy most of the time, but he can switch to ruthless at the drop of a hat and he has a hundred years of doing extremely horrible things to people for giggles to draw on. It is also not a good idea to go after people he cares about.
    • Team Angel as a whole. Doyle is probably the softest member and he doesn't last very long.
  • Most of the main cast of Criminal Minds are friendly and personable people, but since their job is hunting extremely dangerous serial killers they're all prepared to kill if they have to. Hotch is a particularly notable example, as he's a stern but fair boss who's almost invariably kind and polite both at home and on the job, but he will not hesitate to put a bullet in a bad guy's skull in order to save innocent lives.
  • April from Class is shown to be a kind person who genuinely cares about people, but also becomes the king of a brutal alien race and nearly kills her own father.
    April: People just think that nice means fragile, that somehow if I'm allowed to see what the world's like then I'll break but... I'm tougher than they think.
    Jackie: I know how tough you are. And you're not nice, you're kind. There's a difference.
  • CSI: Miami: Horatio Caine genuinely cares about crime victims. He's not so pleasant with those who committed the crimes.
    "You murdered thirteen people. You're a killer. You enjoy death. I hope you enjoy yours."
  • Claire Temple from Daredevil is an ER nurse who first met the eponymous hero when she hauled him bleeding from a dumpster and tended his wounds when he refused to be taken to a hospital, and she continues to stitch him up on occasion, as well as have a minor romantic subplot. You'd expect a nurse to be nurturing, gentle, meek, and generally an All-Loving Hero, right? As it happens, while Matt/Daredevil is interrogating a Mook in order to find a kidnapped child in a human smuggling ring, she goes from too horrified to speak to instructing Matt precisely how best to make him hurt. She is brisk, calm and will not accept Matt nearly dying in her apartment and then leaving without explaining how he's any better than the people he goes after. A reason she helped him in the first place is that she believes the scum of Hell's Kitchen deserve punishment, having seen the pain they cause on a daily basis in the ER.
    • The titular character himself counts. He goes for bone breaks to incapacitate his opponents and can be quite brusque when dealing with civilians as Daredevil. But he's as gentle as possible when dealing with victims, especially children. A good example of this is "Cut Man", where he tears through a small army of human traffickers, then takes his mask off so the little boy he's rescuing won't be scared.
  • In the Disney adaptation of Doctor Syn ("The Scarecrow"), Syn is a generous vicar who abhors killing... and spends his nights dressing as a Scary Scarecrow with an Evil Laugh who terrorizes the king's taxmen, leading a band of smugglers who are themselves frightened of him. When Syn learns of The Mole in his band, his first instinct is to put on a display so horrifying that nobody else will even consider double-crossing him and does so by lynching the traitor following a Kangaroo Court. Only afterwards do we see that it was faked.
  • Doctor Who:
    • From at least Seven onward, the Doctor himself is this. He's sent some bad guys to rather harsh endings to protect the innocent, has put good people in the line of fire or done otherwise unkind things as part of various gambits, and has often had to make choices between bad and worse. These things heavily weigh on him, but if it's between destroying Pompeii and letting the Pyroviles take the whole world, it often falls to him to throw the switch.
    • While it has been a large part of the other Doctors in the series before and since, this trait has been deeply explored during the run of the Tenth Doctor.
      The Doctor: If I don't like your plan, it will end.
      Mr. Finch: Fascinating. Your people were peaceful to the point of indolence. You seem to be something new. Would you declare war on us, Doctor?
      The Doctor: I'm so old now. I used to have so much mercy. You get one warning. That was it.
      • One of the Doctors is explicitly described as this. The Ninth Doctor is a Good Is Not Nice Jerkass who thinks he is better than everyone else. The Tenth Doctor is the complete opposite, fascinated by humanity and its foibles, genuinely caring and nice (though still rather arrogant at times) — and anyone who threatens them dies, no mercy, no second chances.
    • And then we have the Eleventh Doctor, who demonstrates a great deal of compassion and caring for his friends. But that doesn't stop him from trying to wipe out the Daleks, erasing The Weeping Angels from time, and tricking the Silents into ordering their own execution at the hands of mankind. The Eleventh Doctor practically lampshaded this in the episode "A Good Man Goes to War".
      Madame Kovarian: The anger of a good man is not a problem. Good men have too many rules.
      The Doctor: Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.
    • The Twelfth Doctor is also one not to be messed with. When he finally emerges from the locked TARDIS to confront the Boneless (beings from a 2D universe who like to "flatten" people), he tells that he tried to reason with them. Since they have rejected his attempts, he dubs them monsters and sends them back to their own universe, pointing out that most of them will probably not make it. Later, he is willing to kill Missy, but Cyberman!Brigadier does the job for him (she gets better).
    • Aside from the Doctor, there's also Captain Jack Harkness, who's a charming, friendly, flirty guy, who is both The Leader and The Hero in Torchwood, and an able supporting act to the Doctor. He also used to be a conman, a soldier, a Time Agent, and a Torchwood Agent back before the organisation got morals. He will also kill in cold blood without batting an eye, and during his stint at the Time Agency, he spent 10 years as its top interrogator, a skill-set he is entirely willing to exploit.
  • Farscape: The crew of Moya can stretch {Unscrupulous Hero the]] definition of "good" at times, but even the nicest characters get moments where they remind viewers how, when the chips are down, they can be utterly ruthless.
    • Michael Crichton is a NASA astronaut and a scientist who just wants to find a way home, and at the beginning of the series he would prefer to avoid a fight rather than start one, but when he's pushed too far or backed into a corner he's just as capable of dishing out violence as Aeryn and D'Argo. While he never really stops being "good" he also becomes more willing to resort to violence and ruthlessness as time passes, with the crapsack nature of the galaxy steadily wearing away at his pacifism, morals, and sanity. The various traumas he endures cause him to develop a "done with this shit" attitude and culminates in him activating a wormhole weapon that could destroy the entire universe - with only a narrow window of opportunity to snuff out the reaction before it grows too big to stop - in front of the Peacekeepers' and Scarrans' respective leadership just to make both sides leave him the fuck alone.
    • Zhaan would actually take issue with the name of this article, because she's very soft and happy to be that way. In the show's fourth episode an unruly prisoner thinks this means attacking her while yelling about her being soft is a good idea, only for Zhaan to demonstrate how mistaken he was by effortlessly slamming him against a wall and retorting: "Soft, yes. Weak, no." In that very same episode she asks if she's the only species in the galaxy that doesn't thrive on conflict. A later episode informs us that she's not above committing very intimate murder if the person in question is bad enough, which she treats as a personal Godzilla Threshold for both moral and practical reasons.
    • Pilot is from a species of aliens that volunteer to be permanently bonded with Leviathans so they can see the universe, and one of the nicest people you could ever meet. He doesn't like fighting, and can't even move from his control room so it's not like he gets many opportunities to hurt people anyway. That said, when a crazy mass-murdering terrorist/religious zealot magnetically bonds herself to one of Moya's cargo bay doors so space-storm will destroy the ship (long story) he doesn't hesitate to detach it from Moya while laughing maniacally.
    • Moya herself is as pacifism-inclined as most Leviathans, in part because they lack any weapons to fight with but primarily because that's just how they are, but when they get pregnant it's a whole 'nother story. Moya won't hesitate to sic her DRDs on anything she perceives as a threat to her baby, including her own crew! When they encounter a group of Space Pirates later on their leader - a man known for his ruthlessness and cruelty - explicitly says he won't try anything with Moya because the one time he attacked a pregnant Leviathan it killed eighty of his men, and he's not stupid enough to try that again.
  • Firefly Mal is not the strictest definition of good but his interaction with Crow in 'The Train Job' is one of the best examples of this trope on television. Crow gloats and threatens, Mal barely says a word...until Crow finishes his rant. Mal just says "Darn", kicks Crow in front of Serenity's engine, and makes only a slight grimace as the assassin is sucked in and liquefied.
    • Simon's two goals in life are healing people and protecting River. Both of these are very altruistic goals, but Simon proves time and time again that there is literally nothing he won't do to keep River safe. In the pilot, he shows no hesitation about threatening to leave Kaylee to die from a gutshot if Mal doesn't try to run from an Alliance cruiser, and... it goes downhill from there.
  • Every member in Team One in Flashpoint are very likeable and friendly people off the field. Their first course of action is usually to talk with the hostage taker without any violence but they will not hesitate to pull the trigger on anyone threatening a hostage. And if someone threatens a team member...
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Like A Song of Ice and Fire above, this trope works with Daenerys Targaryen, who is forced into a arranged marriage with a barbarian king. She quickly takes to the customs of her new husband's society and pushes him to treat her as an equal, which earns his respect. She begins standing up to her abusive brother, as well as to the practice of Rape, Pillage, and Burn. After her baby is threatened, Daenerys approves of death by immolation, an act she would later do herself. She frees the slaves of her tribe and promises those who would harm them will die screaming, sets about bringing justice to the cities she comes across, and shows that she is a master at Disproportionate Retribution. The trope is then deconstructed in the final season, as she's so used to brutality and cruelty towards the deserving that it's easier for her to inflect it on morally grey characters and then on innocents who get in her way.
    • The Starks are beloved in their own lands for being heroic, kind, and for their ability to keep the peace and rule wisely, but they don't do that by being pushovers. Those who bring them harm should expect from them the same mercy that they dish to House Stark. In fact, they have killed most perpetrators of the infamous Red Wedding, such as Arya killing Walder Frey, and also, by the end of Season 6, the Starks have completely wiped out House Bolton, who was mostly responsible for their suffering.
      • Ned Stark is one of the most honorable and noble characters in the series, particularly amongst the nobility but also happens to be hard, stoic and difficult to connect with for outsiders, who subsequently view him as cold and (at times) terrifying and his first scene shows him personally beheading a man for desertion. However, he clearly does love his wife, children, and bannermen, and refuses to be involved in plots that would endanger the lives of children (up to and including Daenerys Targaryen, who's in her mid teens) while all the while being one of the fiercest warriors in Westeros.
      • Being one of the most compassionate men in all of Westeros has not hampered Jon Snow's skill with the sword or his ability to kill a white walker general and his willingness to personally execute traitors in the manner his father Ned taught him and Robb.
      • Though Sansa never really loses her compassionate heart, six seasons of virtually nonstop trauma see her become hard, unforgiving, and iron-fisted when it comes to her enemies and those of her House. Ramsay discovers this most righteously.
  • Nick in Grimm. Despite his more brutal and merciless ancestors, Nick himself is a fairly reasonable Grimm who follows within the law of what a good police officer would do, including having Wesen friends/allies. However, he begins to use his reputation as a Grimm to terrify several Wesen into giving him the information he needs and will shoot to kill to protect himself or someone else.
  • In Hogan's Heroes, Colonel Hogan and his subordinates are definitely the good guys, but they're not afraid to get their hands dirty with sabotage and assassinations.
  • On Justified this is a defining characteristic of US Marshal Raylan Givens and the other Kentucky Marshals. In the opening scene of the series vicious killer Tommy Bucks found out that when Raylan tells you to leave town in 24 hours, you do so or Raylan is more than willing to shoot it out with you in broad daylight. Two seasons later mobster Wynn Duffy found out that Raylan is more than willing to play Russian Roulette with him because Duffy would not answer questions about a cop's murder.
    • In the same vein Chief Deputy Marshall Art Mullen might seem like an old man with bad knees but if you really piss him off he will go "old school" on you with a phone book.
    • Deputy Marshal Tim Gutterson is a nice fellow who likes to joke around but in an instant he can turn into a Cold Sniper and put a hole in a hostage taker's head.
    • Deputy Marshal Rachel Brooks might be justifiably bitter about the challenges of being an African-American female marshal in an area where plenty of the people are still openly and not so openly racist but when she is disrespected she will not hesitate to respond.
  • All the Kamen Rider series have protagonists who will not hesitate to pummel and Rider Kick the monsters of the week and their mooks to death. Special mention goes to Kamen Rider Amazon defeated his enemies not with fancy moves and cool weapons and kaboom endings to the fight, but by ripping the Monster of the Week apart with his bare claws and teeth and the serrated edges of his gloves. However, if you don't happen to be an evil monster, he's the nicest guy you'll ever meet. He's a Friend to All Children, Friend to All Living Things, and so forth. He once even saved a monster from being executed by his bosses for failing to defeat him! That monster became an ally for most of the rest of the series.
    • Kamen Rider Kuuga has basically the nicest Kamen Rider of the entire franchise as its main hero, but he is just as dedicated to protecting innocents as the rest of the Riders. And for Heaven's Sake, don't make him genuinely angry. The merciless monster that managed that was left whimpering in terror by the time Kuuga finally finished him off.
  • The Leverage team is all this, especially Nate and Eliot. If you've been royally screwed over by a Corrupt Corporate Executive, they will move heaven and earth for you. If, however, you are a Corrupt Corporate Executive ... Put best in the "Cross My Heart Job", where Nate calmly informs a man who kidnapped a woman's daughter to blackmail her into stealing a heart transplant from a dying 15-year-old how he will utterly destroy him if he ever tries anything like that again.
  • In the series four finale of Merlin, the sweet, gentle, friendly Merlin carefully and deliberately murders Arthur's Evil Uncle Agravaine in cold blood. Okay, Agravaine had just drawn a knife on him, but a) Merlin could have easily dealt with the knife without harming the man holding it, and b) Agravaine had just discovered Merlin's secret, and Colin Morgan's performance makes it very clear that Agravaine wasn't leaving that cave alive. In fact, by that point in general, Merlin's body count is well into three figures, and if there is a threat to Arthur, he will eliminate that threat with prejudice and without even batting an eye.
    • In the finale, Merlin single-handedly ends the Battle of Camlann by raining torrents of lightning down upon Morgana's army, forcing them into a full retreat despite outnumbering Camelot forces three-to-one.
    • In the first episode of series five, sweet, gentle, friendly Gwen swiftly sentences her servant to death for treason, though she later reveals she had no plans on actually killing the girl. It was merely a trap to lure her father to Camelot to obtain information about Morgana.
      • It happens again in the season finale. Only this time, she outgambits the accomplice and actually executes her.
  • Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS. Thinking of threatening his family or his team? Bad idea. Gibbs was a Marine sniper. There is no mercy in a head shot from a mile away.
    • Actually applies to most of the other field agents in the series: Tony, Kate, Ziva, McGee and others on the team are depicted as friendly, fun-loving folks but will not hesitate to take a life. In fact one early episode has Gibbs strongly criticize McGee for hesitating before taking a shot (to be fair, McGee is the only one whose previous job didn't involve carrying a weapon).
  • Similarly, the lead characters of NCIS: Los Angeles are often depicted clicking back into "normal life" (personal interests and hobbies, romance, making jokes) even though many of their missions end with a high body count.
  • NCIS: New Orleans: Dwayne Pride is a kind, compassionate father and a Father to His Men who sees his team as a second family, and in general genuinely cares about everybody. That's why he will not hesitate to fuck your shit up if you even think about hurting his team, his family, or his city, and and in dire enough situations is willing to go outside the law to do it.
  • Ruby/Red in Once Upon a Time is the free spirited yet kindhearted version of Little Red Riding Hood. She is also the wolf and treated as a vicious, Little Red Fighting Hood.
    • A better example might be Emma Swan, who while good is decidedly more pragmatic than her parents. In "Good Form", she, Regina, and Snow White are trying to convince a Lost Boy to help them. After playing nice fails, Regina mentions she could simply tear his heart and force him to help. Snow is horrified (it's wrong), but Emma doesn't just agree she holds Snow back so Regina can do it. She later makes it clear to Snow she will do whatever it takes to save Henry.
    • Snow herself has shades of this, a proper...Proper Lady, she's also a hunter who back in the day would execute those who deserved it and in present day conspired to murder Regina's mother, and after a bout of My God, What Have I Done? jams to Joan Jett while rocking a bow and arrow to get over it.
  • In The Originals, Elijah may be the kindest, fairest, and most honorable of his siblings, but mess with his family, and you might just end up with your heart literally ripped out of your chest.
  • The Power Rangers. Yes, them. While the majority of their enemies are non-human Card Carrying Villains and a Monster of the Week created on the spot, not all are. However, the few times a major enemy was a human who'd turned into some monstrous form to Take Over the World, well... if you do monstrous things, you get what monsters get. There was even a time or two when someone transformed against his will could not be saved and had to be taken down when it was between him and innocents or a teammate. It's even glossed over less than you'd expect a Y7 show that's the poster child for Never Say "Die" to do. For example, just before Tommy - yes, that Tommy - has to slay the villain once known as Terrence Smith, we see a flashback to a photo of his original human self just before Tommy applies the Finishing Move. Don't endanger his students, just... don't.
  • John from Sherlock is one of the nicest people you could hope to meet and it's quite easy for people to take a liking to him, even if they've just met him. But he is willing to shoot you if you happen to piss him off or threaten someone he cares about. That sweet, gentle guy can-AND will kill you and walk away without a qualm of conscience. And look very adorable while doing it.
    • He did see active service in Afghanistan, so that lowers your survivability if you really piss him off by messing with his friend, as well as the Improbable Aiming Skills John has.
    • Mary too. She is shown to genuinely like Sherlock, and most certainly seems to get along with Mrs. Hudson, as well, despite the fact she's an old lady. But she was an assassin from the CIA. Plus, her husband is an adrenaline junkie who, like her, is not one you'd want to mess with. It doesn't help she's an adrenaline junkie herself. You don't want to mess with her, and don't get any ideas about messing with John-or Sherlock. Pissing off those two by attacking the other?Lame idea. It doesn't help that John and Mary are darn good shots.
    • Sherlock himself. Threaten Mrs. Hudson and he'll give you a serious beating, then throw you out a window. If he's convinced you're stalking his best friend's fiancee, then he will watch you closely. And most of all, he makes it very clear that while he's on the side of good, he doesn't see himself as being one of the angels.
  • Stargate SG-1: The entire crew. Even the sweet and compassionate archaeologist Daniel Jackson is perfectly willing to kill Goa'uld.
    • Similarly in Stargate Atlantis: while less of the crew is military, the military types are definitely this (and the civilians too, sometimes). Normally, John Shepherd likes reading Fantastic Four, playing games with Rodney, flirting with random alien women and listening to Johny Cash. Threaten his friends and he will end you.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Compared to other Starfleet captains, Benjamin Sisko was quite willing to do things like poison a planet or participate in a murder conspiracy for the greater good, though he might not be too happy about it.
    "I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would."
    • Kurn nearly name-checks this trope when Worf asks why he opposed Gowron's decision to break the treaty with the Federation.
      Kurn: Because Gowron underestimates the Federation. He thinks they're soft, weak, but he is wrong. Sooner or later, there will be war.
      Worf: A war the Empire may lose.
      Kurn: Yes.
    • The Federation as a whole, while fairly idealistic, is very capable of doing hard, even cruel, things when needed. Especially in Star Trek: The Original Series.
    • All the Star Trek crews can fall under this trope, being friendly, peaceful explorers, but Captain Picard may be the best example. Any adversary that underestimates the polite, diplomatic, Earl Grey-sipping, Shakespeare-quoting, Father to His Men does so at their extreme, if not terminal, peril. There's a reason why the Klingons ask him to settle disputes for them.
  • In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two" (S02, Ep22), Jake does not believe Sam is willing to kill, as he was unwilling to finish Jake when he had the upperhand in Cold Oak, but Sam is determined not to make that mistake twice.
  • In Tenko Marion is perfectly ready to let the other women rip Verna apart for her betrayal if she refuses to talk.
  • Samar Navabi from TheBlacklist, full stop. She's a part of the task force, and doesn't hesitate to help people who need it, but she doesn't take kindly to terrorists or the people on Red's Blacklist (except for a few). And as such, she will take them out if it helps keep people safe. (see: Walid Abu Sitta).
  • General Gaines in You, Me and the Apocalypse. A caring and surprisingly gentle man, polite even to people who make his life difficult, but he will kill anyone who endangers humanity or his loved ones without so much as blinking.


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