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Recap / The Mandalorian S2E7 "Chapter 15: The Believer"

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Din recruits Mayfeld to help him locate Moff Gideon's cruiser. To do so, they have to infiltrate a secret Imperial rhydonium refinery on Morak, with Cara Dune and Fennec Shand as support team and Boba Fett in the Slave I as mean of escape. Din and Mayfeld hijack a convoy of unrefined rhydonium and head for the base. Things get complicated when local pirates start attacking the convoy.

This episode was written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa.



  • Absentee Actor: This is the only episode in the first two seasons where Grogu isn't present.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The pirates that attack Din and Mayfeld. Sure, they're fanatically violent pirates but their targets are Imperial transports that have been strip-mining the area. Additionally, they don't seem to be attempting to pillage the rhydonium cargo as a pirate would, but destroy it. They seem more like native insurgents fighting against foreign occupiers.
  • Answer Cut:
    • Din agrees to go in with Mayfeld so that the biometric alarms won't go off (Cara is registered as a New Republic soldier, Fennec is wanted by the Imperial Security Bureau, and Boba would scan the same as a clone trooper), but proposes a way he can do so without showing his face. The scene then cuts to two Tank Troopers driving by...
    • Cara asks Din the next step of the plan now that they know where Gideon is. Cut to Gideon's cruiser, where he gets a message from Din explaining what's about to go down.
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  • Armor Is Useless: Din's borrowed Tank Trooper armor breaks just by getting hit in melee combat with the pirates.
  • Asshole Victim: Valin Hess gets what he deserves when Mayfeld, disgusted by the officer's lack of care for his soldiers and his intent to repeat Burnin Konn on a larger magnitude, shoots him in the chest.
  • Bad Liar: Din couldn't talk his way out of a wet paper bag while wearing something other than his Mandalorian armor, and he has to rely on Mayfeld to schmooze them out of trouble.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Din's desperation to save Grogu is such that he willingly forsakes his own sworn creed by removing his helmet in front of others. Doing this leaves him so rattled that he is at a loss for words when confronted by Valin, forcing Mayfeld to save him with some fast talking.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Din is forced to fight off multiple pirates without his beskar armor or any of his usual gear, having to rely on subpar Tank Trooper armor and a blaster that craps out after a few shots. Despite the odds being very clearly against him, he demonstrates superb hand-to-hand combat skills and manages to fight off two waves of pirates by himself, though he's clearly exhausted afterwards.
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  • Bus Crash: Part of Uprising took place on Burnin Konn in the aftermath of the Battle of Endor. Due to the game's cancellation, we never saw the whole story pan out (Shattered Empire mentioned it was subject to Operation: Cinder), but Mayfeld and Hess reveal that it was badly massacred in Operation: Cinder.
  • Call-Back:
    • In "The Prisoner", Mayfeld unsuccessfully demanded Din to remove his helmet and show everyone his eyes. When he does remove his helmet in this episode, Mayfeld rechristens him, "Brown Eyes".
    • Also in "The Prisoner", Ran introduced Mayfeld as an ex-Imperial sharpshooter. Here he demonstrates his skill by taking out the entire Imperial refinery with a single shot from Boba's cycler rifle as they fly away. Even Cara is impressed with the shot.
    • When Din sends Moff Gideon a threatening message, he copies the speech that Gideon used when he first came for the child in "The Reckoning."
  • Captain Obvious: Din observes that the attacking pirates, who have brought thermal detonators which they are attempting to plant on the rhydonium containers and have already destroyed multiple transports the same way, are trying to detonate the rhydonium. Mayfeld shoots back, "Ya think?"
  • Chekhov's Gun: The pair of TIE Fighters who save Din and Mayfield from the pirates come back later to try and prevent their escape in Slave I.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Shoretroopers, first seen in Rogue One, are among the defenders of the refinery.
    • Operation: Cinder on Burnin Konn is a reference to the Star Wars: Uprising game. It was also mentioned in the Star Wars: Shattered Empire comic that it was targeted in Operation: Cinder (in fact, Shattered Empire was what introduced Operation: Cinder), which Mayfeld and Hess expand on in this episode. It's also seen in its horrifying mayhem in Star Wars Battlefront II (2017).
    • The seismic charges from Attack of the Clones are back, this time blowing up two TIE fighters pursuing the Slave I. They even include the brief moment of complete silence before detonation.
    • Boba mentions that he can't go into the refinery because "they would recognize my face" — the same face as his father, who was the template for the Clone Troopers, which would be instantly recognizable to any Imperials.
    • The Imperials on Morak are mining and refining rhydonium, an extremely volatile substance introduced during the D-Squad arc of The Clone Wars.
    • Mayfeld borrows Boba's cycler rifle, a weapon used by the Sandpeople on Tatooine. This is the first time said rifle has been named on screen; the name was first established in Star Wars Battlefront (2015), where it appears as a sniper rifle.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: All of Din's skills and equipment as a Mandalorian warrior leave him ill-prepared to bluff his way past a not-particularly-bright Imperial officer when he's pretending to be a Tank Trooper.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Din goes to block a strike from one of the raiders using his vambrace, forgetting that he's wearing Tank Trooper armor, not his high-quality beskar. The cheap Imperial armor shatters like ceramic under the blow, with the impact clearly causing him significant pain.
  • Death Faked for You: In tacit recognition for his destroying the Imps' rhydonium refinery, Cara claims Mayfeld died on Morak so she won't have to return him to prison.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: This episode sees a grey uniformed officer from the losing side of a civil war monologue in a very southern accent about how their faction will one day "rise again".
  • Double-Meaning Title: The titular Believer.
    • Din, who believes in the ancient Way of the Mandalore, is forced to compromise his ideals — namely, by removing his helmet in the presence of others — in order to save Grogu. Alternately, Din changes the priority of his Mandalorian ideals, placing the protection of his foundling as more important than concealing his face.
    • Mayfeld, who's initially signposted as someone who may still believe in the Imperial cause, but is revealed to have grown disillusioned with it after his experiences at Burnin Konn.
    • Valin Hess still fanatically believes in the Empire and that the galaxy will come crawling back to them once they realize the New Republic won't give them the order that they want.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Din is forced to remove his helmet to get past a facial scanner on the terminal giving the audience our second look at his face. Valin Hess interrupts him before he can put the helmet back on, forcing him to stay unmasked for several minutes.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Din and Mayfeld mug a couple of Tank Trooper drivers for their armor, which lets Din go in disguise without having to reveal his face.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Mayfeld may be a borderline psycho gun-for-hire, but he's clearly traumatized by what happened at Burnin Konn. Valin implying that he plans to do even worse should Gideon's plans succeed proves to be his Rage Breaking Point and leads to him shooting Valin point blank.
  • Facial Dialogue: Even though Din doesn't say much without a helmet, his worries about Mayfeld making a scene while drinking with Hess come through whenever he anxiously glares at Mayfeld.
  • Faux Affably Evil: At first, Valin Hess seems like a fairly nice Imperial officer, congratulating Din and Mayfeld for being the only ones to successfully deliver the rhydonium and even offers them a toast to their success. Then he talks about Operation: Cinder at Burnin Konn, gleefully boasting of its destructive success despite killing Mayfeld's entire division in the process before he rants about how the galaxy will come crawling back for the Empire to maintain order after they undermine the Republic with terrorism. The fact that he remains polite only makes him more revolting as exemplified by Mayfeld's face.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Din and Mayfeld come out of the Imperial refinery with a certain degree of mutual respect.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • When Din and Mayfeld are driving the Imperial transport towards the mining facility, they notice a few smouldering wreckages of other transport vehicles on the sides of the trail. A few moments later, they're attacked by a caravan of pirates that have been blowing up the transports.
    • As the attackers get closer with their thermal detonators, a couple behind them can be seen worriedly looking up behind the transport. In seconds, a couple of TIE Fighters appear where they were looking.
  • Fish out of Water: Din may be a highly skilled fighter and bounty hunter, but he is clearly out of his depth when it comes to infiltrating an Imperial outpost while wearing something that's not his usual armor. He has no idea about basic Imperial trooper designations or protocols, he's really bad at making small talk, hiding his facial expressions, or just bluffing to maintain any sense of cover, and he constantly has to be bailed out by Mayfeld.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Din is in the Tank Trooper armor, you can see his eyes through the visor in a couple of shots, something which almost never happens when he's in his Beskar suit.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Din takes off his helmet so he can pass a facial scan and get the coordinates to Moff Gideon's cruiser, since Mayfeld doesn't want to risk being recognized by his former superior officer. Everyone who sees his face ends up dead save for Mayfeld, who promises not to speak a word, and is also technically dead by Cara's declaration.
  • Grenade Hot Potato: One of the pirates manages to plant and arm a thermal detonator on Din and Mayfeld's transport, but Din grabs it and tosses it back in the nick of time, killing several of the pirates with the blast.
  • Hate Sink: Just when you think you would feel comfortable Rooting for the Empireinvoked, Valin Hess comes into the fray and gleefully talks about how Operation: Cinder was a success for the Empire, brushes off the deaths of thousands of civilians and soldiers (including Mayfeld's division) as just sacrifices For The Greater Good, and speaks his intent to use the rhydonium to commit further atrocities on a larger scale. All of this is to remind you that no matter how heroic the Imperials may seem in this episode, they are still evil fanatics who should never regain control over the galaxy.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Mayfeld. He starts completely cynical, then softens a little when he hears The Child has been kidnapped. He turns completely when he and Din encounter his old Commanding Officer, who maneuvers Din and Mayfeld into drinking to the operation where a city, including Mayfeld's old division, were wiped out by the Empire in a scorched earth campaign called, appropriately, Operation: Cinder. Mayfeld can't take it anymore, and shoots his old CO dead right then and there. He later destroys the entire rhydonium refinery after escaping on Boba's ship to eliminate the facility from supplying terrorist acts against the Republic, echoing his earlier comment of "Whatever helps you sleep at night".
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Mayfeld suffers a bit of one when speaking with his former superior Hess, when it becomes increasingly clear that not only does Hess have zero regrets or empathy for the destruction wrought by Operation: Cinder, up to and including slaughtering his own men en masse, but also intends to use the rhydonium they collected to go even further. He manages to reboot in time to realize that everyone in the mess hall saw him frag his CO, and he and Din now have a very not-stealthy exfiltration to pull off now.
    • Din suffers a minor one when he's forced to remove his helmet in public and show his face (which he hasn't done in probably 30+ years since swearing the creed) in order to find Grogu. He's left in a clear state of emotional turmoil and, when questioned by Hess, can't adapt to the social situation like he normally would and has to be covered for by Mayfeld. He's visibly distressed the entire time he's forced to go without his helmet and isn't really himself again until putting his helmet back on.
  • Hidden Depths: At first, it seems Mayfeld is just the Comic Relief and The Load Jerkass again until the climax, in which he gradually reveals his bitterness over the horrific deaths of his friends and innocent people because the Empire saw them as expendable.
  • Hollywood Tactics: The Imperials have allotted one driver and co-driver per rhydonium transport, with no other support of any kind during the significant distance between the rhydonium mine and the refinery. This despite the shipments being both highly valuable and ridiculously volatile, such that the drivers can't accelerate above a certain speed without risking a detonation, making the trip take even longer. This allows a gang of underequipped pirates to ambush and destroy the transports with near-impunity. Given how badly things go the one time we are shown, it's a wonder they've managed to process any rhydonium. This happens in spite of the fact that the Imperials have a sizable contingent of Stormtroopers and a couple TIE fighters back at their base, the latter of which could fly around practically uncontested because the pirates don't have anti-aircraft weapons. If they spared two or three troopers for each transport at the very least, they'd likely cut their losses significantly, depending on the competence of said troopers.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Din manages to successfully fend off several waves of pirates, only for an even larger group to converge on the transport all at once, ready to chuck dozens of thermal detonators at the transport to blow it up. Thankfully, a pair of TIEs arrive for a timely assist.
    • Mayfeld seems to have allayed suspicion that he and Din are just regular troopers, only for Hess to invite them for drinks. While they are unsure whether Hess recognizes Mayfeld is a former underling, ultimately Hess's evil gloating about past atrocities, which Mayfeld was a part of, causes Mayfeld to lose his cool and blow their cover by killing Hess.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Fennec and Cara, who are picking off troopers on the face of a dam from the top of the downstream embankment. And notably Mayfeld, who one-shots a fuel vessel using Boba Fett's Tuskan long rifle, from the open cargo bay of the departing Slave I at altitude, and blows up the entire facility. Well, not too improbable given that all three of these characters were established to be ex-special forces sharpshooters.
  • Ironic Echo: Din throws the words of Gideon's own demands for Grogu in Chapter 7 right back at him in a holo-message as a warning that he will be getting Grogu back.
    Din: Moff Gideon. You have something that I want. You may think you have some idea of what you are in possession of, but you do not. Soon, he will be back with me. He means more to me than you will ever know.
  • Irony:
    • Mayfeld tries to push the notion that the New Republic and Empire are Mirroring Factions when it gets down to brass tacks, using it as an example as to how Din is not different from himself and they both have compromised morality. However, later on Mayfeld does prove that he is more similar to Din than he initially realized, as a crisis of conscience and morality forces him to take action against his former Imperial Commander and kill him before he can use the Empire's resources to kill any more people, effectively solidifying his Heel–Face Turn in the process.
    • His opinion of the New Republic is also probably changed after Cara and Din let him go after he finishes helping them, doing him a kindness that the Empire would likely never have.
  • It's Personal: Mayfeld's conversation with his former commander makes it clear that he really, really resents the actions said commander took that killed an entire city and virtually everyone in Mayfeld's division. Cemented when Mayfeld finally loses his cool and kills said officer, decidedly not in cold blood.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Valin Hess at first seems like your average Imperial douchebag, but then he compliments Mando and Mayfeld on completing their mission and cheerfully invites them to share a drink. And then he shows himself to be an unrepentant war criminal.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Valin Hess, an Imperial officer who will gleefully commit war crimes "for the greater good", gets gunned down rather unceremoniously by a former subordinate who resented his actions at Burnin Konn.
  • Landfill Beyond the Stars: At the beginning of the episode, Mayfeld is serving time in what seems to be a massive scrap heap junkyard. While the entire planet may not look like this, it's still immense, with burning garbage heaps stretching beyond the horizon in every direction.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: In a Pet the Dog moment, Mayfeld tries to pull this trope on Din when he's forced to unmask himself, saying that they can just act as if that didn't happen. Obviously, Din has a lot more to think about, but points for trying on Mayfeld's part.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Discussed when Mayfeld makes a "Not So Different" Remark about him and Din, willing to bend their own rules when they are desperate. As proof Mayfeld asks Din if his vow to never remove his helmet was about not showing his face or if it was strictly about not taking off the Mandalorian armor.
    • Din's Mandalorian code states that no living thing other than other Mandalorians may see his face. In the end, everyone in the Imperial base is dead and even though Mayfeld did see Din's face, no harm comes to him because Mayfeld is declared dead a.k.a. technically not a living person anymore, and set free.
  • Made of Explodium: Unrefined rhydonium is ludicrously volatile, threatening to explode when jostled or even when it's just being moved too fast for too long — never mind when people are trying to blow it up deliberately.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • On the drive in, Mayfeld tells Din that their individual creeds aren't really important, so long as they can sleep at night. After they evacuate the facility, Mayfeld grabs a rifle and detonates the rhydonium still loaded on the truck, which then cascades into obliterating the whole refinery, telling Din that he needed to be able to sleep at night.
    • Mando sends Moff Gideon a message that is verbatim a repeat of what Gideon himself told Mando when they first met while trying to retrieve Grogu, only this time, Din's words carry more personal significance.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: It turns out Mayfeld deserted the Empire after watching all his comrades die pointless deaths during Operation: Cinder.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Din and Mayfeld acquire their Tank Trooper armor this way.
  • Mythology Gag: It's not the first time someone has worn stolen Imperial armor and complained about not being able to see through the helmet.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Din calls the attackers of the transport vehicle "pirates", but they're more like guerillas or terrorists since they're deliberately blowing up the rhydonium, not stealing it.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Mayfeld claims that he and Din are alike in that they have principles they're willing to bend in a tight spot. Though Din denies it, he ends up removing his helmet in the presence of others if it means finding Grogu.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • Din willingly removes his mask in view of a crowd of people in order to obtain the intelligence necessary to save his adopted son. Given that removing his helmet was a serious Berserk Button for Din before (who would fight tooth and nail to keep it on even if it meant his actual death), this speaks volumes about how truly desperate he is to get Grogu back.
    • The last time Din's helmet was removed, he had to be coaxed with the fact that the one seeing his face was a droid and thus he still had not revealed his face to a "living thing". He was still incredibly reluctant, despite the fact that removing his helmet was necessary to save his life. This time, even though Mayfeld saw his face, Din makes no big deal out of it, since the former Imperial helped save his and possibly Grogu's life. Mayfeld is later set free by being declared dead, and since he's technically 'not alive', and everyone else in the refinery mess hall is now either shot or blown up dead, Din can once again overlook his oath.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • This is Mayfeld's reaction when he sees someone in Mandalorian armor. It is then subverted when Mayfeld realizes that it's Boba Fett and not Din, and he's visibly relieved. It is then double-subverted when Din steps out and Mayfeld goes back to crapping his pants thinking that Din's come back to kill him.
    • It's subtle, but Moff Gideon has a subdued one when Din throws his own words about Grogu back in his face.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Despite prodding Din about his cultural values and usage of Loophole Abuse earlier, Mayfeld tries to reassure Din after he's forced to take off his helmet that he only "did what he had to do" and not to feel guilty about it, also adding on that they can pretend he didn't see his face. He even turns away to give him some privacy to put his helmet back on.
    • Din and Cara later let Mayfeld go, with the report that he died in a refinery explosion.
    • For the Imperial faction as a whole; the Stormtroopers not only save Din and Mayfield from the raiders, but also treat them like heroes for delivering the shipment safely, humanizing them somewhat before Valin Hess reminds the audience that they're the "bad guys" for a reason.
    • Valin Hess for his part may be willing to sacrifice thousands of his own men at a whim, but he'll still buy drinks for those who do a good job.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Mayfeld spends most of the conversation with Valin Hess barely containing his clear anger over all the deaths the man caused during Operation: Cinder and dismissal of such. But, when his old commander says he's going to lead another operation that will be even worse, Mayfeld finally snaps and kills him.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • A person who encases himself within a suit of face-concealing armor his entire life is not going to have the basic social skills to pretend to be a different person who doesn't live in a suit of armor. Primarily, they're going to suck in controlling their facial expressions.
    • The Empire's tendencies to send their legions of soldiers to die actually has a negative, long-term effect on said soldiers, and some of them will not take it kindly if you treat their lives and the lives of their comrades with contempt.
  • Redemption Earns Life: In a way. Mayfeld's better nature resurfacing results in Cara and Din deciding to simply let him loose and not return him to penal work. Ironically, he had to be declared legally dead to do so.
  • Sadistic Choice: Din has to choose between sacrificing his values or lose any hope of seeing his adopted son ever again.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Mayfeld refuses to enter the mess hall since he's worried he'll be recognized by Hess, forcing Din to go in himself and bare his face. Mayfeld is forced to step in anyways to cover for Din, and Hess doesn't seem to recognize him. Mayfeld then blows their cover anyway because of Hess's complete unrepentance for Operation: Cinder, which Mayfeld was a survivor of.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Starts Stealthily, Ends Loudly: The plan involves sneaking into the facility, getting the data, then making it to the roof and taking out the anti-aircraft guns so Boba can land Slave I and airlift Mayfeld and Din out. Mayfeld accelerates that plan when he guns down Valin in the officer's mess hall, forcing Mayfeld and Din to scale the wall up to the roof while Fennec and Cara gun down their pursuers.
  • Take a Third Option: In the previous episode, Din wanted to break Mayfeld out of prison for his knowledge of Imperial protocols. Cara was reluctant because, as a newly-deputized New Republic marshal, she has obligations that she is reluctant to betray. To satisfy both, Cara instead pulls some strings to get Mayfeld remanded to her custody, which she notes is not exactly by-the-book.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: After barely fending off several waves of pirates, Din sees an even larger force bearing down on the transport, all arming thermal detonators. He just sighs and gets into a fighting position once more. Thankfully, the TIEs bail him and Mayfeld out.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Din isn't content to simply get Grogu back. He calls up Gideon with a warning that he will get Grogu back, and wants Gideon to know he's coming.
  • Throwing Your Gun at the Enemy: Din throws his blaster at a pirate after it runs out of energy. It doesn't help.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Hess's arrogance causes him to ignore blatant signs that there is something very suspicious about the two tank troopers he is talking to. His Lack of Empathy then makes him blind to the fact that Mayfeld is not a fan of his and is very angry over what happened in Burnin Konn. His speech just keeps adding fuel to the fire and Hess pretty much talks his way into getting fragged by Mayfeld.
  • Tranquil Fury: Throughout their conversation, despite Din quietly signaling for him to stop, Mayfeld keeps needling Valin Hess about Operation: Cinder, to the point that he's nearly in tears listening to the Imperial officer sneer about the casual slaughter of thousands of civilians and Imperial soldiers. It ends with Mayfeld blasting Hess in cold blood and blowing their cover.
  • Villainous Rescue: Stormtroopers and TIEs come to the rescue of Din and Mayfeld just as a large group of pirates are about to overwhelm their transport, though of course in this case the Imperials don't know about the true nature of the two drivers. Mayfeld lampshades it, noting that Din probably never thought he'd be so glad to see a bunch of Stormtroopers.
  • We Have Reserves: Deconstructed. Valin Hess destroyed the entire city of Burnin Konn and everyone in it, taking out an entire division of Stormtroopers (between 5,000-10,000 soldiers), not to mention possibly tens of thousands more natives, to achieve victory. Mayfeld, who served there and watched his friends die, guns Valin down for suggesting he'll do worse with the rhydonium being mined on Morak.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While Mayfeld is reintroduced in this episode, Burg and Xi'an, the remaining survivors of Mayfeld's crew, are nowhere to be seen in the prison camp Mayfeld was in. It's possible they were simply put into different prisons, but they go without mention.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Valin Hess offers Mayfeld and Din a toast to being the only ones who safely delivered the rhydonium to the refinery, and he doesn't recognize Mayfeld or suspect that Din is impersonating an Imperial. It could have ended with Mayfeld and Din having their drinks and then stealthily sneak out back on the Slave 1 with little to no bloodshed. But Mayfeld decides to bring up Operation: Cinder to Hess and gradually reveals his disgust with the Empire before he starts blasting every Imperial within the vicinity.
  • Who Dares?: Gideon's face is just screaming this in the denouement, as he clearly isn't used to being challenged so openly, especially with his own words.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Din underperforms in the battle against the pirates because of substandard Imperial gear and a lack of his standard equipment. His blaster craps out after a half-dozen shots and his stolen armor is so shoddy it can't even stand up to simple melee strikes from the blunt end of a spear.
  • Zerg Rush: The pirates that attack Din and Mayfeld show very little strategy besides just bum-rushing the vehicle, and Din is able to singlehandedly take out more than a dozen of them by himself, even with substandard equipment. However, they attack in such number and with suicidal determination that if it weren't for the timely arrival of the Imperials, they would have blown up the transport eventually.


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