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Winifred Burkle

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Winifred Burkle
FRED
First appearance "Belonging"
Last appearance "Underneath"
Information
Name Winifred Burkle
Aliases Fred
Status Deceased
Classification Human
Affiliation Angel Investigations
Wolfram & Hart's Practical Science Division
Body Jasmine
Stewart Brunell Public Library
California Physics Institute
Known Relatives Roger Burkle (father)
Trish Burkle (mother)
Viola (aunt)
Notable powers
  • Genius-level intellect.
  • Full knowledge of mathematics, quantum physics, and other sciences.
  • Skilled inventor.
  • Proficient in melee combat.
Portrayed by  Amy Acker

A2 - A3 - A4 - A5

"No, I am not—I am not the damsel in distress. I am not some case! I have to work this. I lived in a cave for five years in a world where they killed my kind like cattle. I am not gonna be cut down by some monster flu, I am better than that! What a wonder... How very scared I am."
―Winifred Burkle[src]

Winifred "Fred" Burkle was a physics student and member of Angel Investigations, and later the head of Wolfram & Hart's Science Division.

Born in Texas, Fred moved to Los Angeles to attend graduate school at UCLA until one fateful day when her jealous physics professor, Oliver Seidel, used dark magic to banish her to the demon dimension Pylea, where she spent five years as a human slave; the time there took a serious toll on Fred's sanity. In 2001, Fred was finally saved and returned to Earth when the vampire Angel and his friends arrived in Pylea and liberated them from the control of the Covenant of Trombli.

Upon recovering from her mental trauma, Fred joined Angel Investigations, adding her smarts and scientific knowledge to the team. Unfortunately, when Angel Investigations took over Wolfram & Hart in late 2003/early 2004, Fred met her end when one of her coworkers, Knox, brought in an ancient sarcophagus which infected her with the essence of the Old One Illyria; despite her friends' best efforts, Fred perished and her body was taken over by Illyria itself; though her soul was apparently completely destroyed in the process, Illyria retained Fred's memories and some of her emotions and personality traits.

Biography

Background

Fred was born in Dallas, Texas to Roger and Trish Burkle. When she finished San Antone High School[1], she moved to Los Angeles for graduate school at UCLA. Originally majoring in history, Fred took a physics class with Professor Seidel which inspired her to take another path. Around this time, she began working at Stewart Brunell Public Library. On May 7, 1996, while shelving a demon language book, a curious Fred recited the cryptic text out loud and was accidentally sucked into a dimensional portal to Pylea. Her future friend, Lorne, was sucked into the same portal on his side and ended up in Los Angeles. The portal was actually opened by Fred's jealous college professor, Professor Seidel, who had sent every promising student to it, essentially sending them to their death. Fred was the only one of at least six to return.[2] While still in school, Fred was a marijuana user and was something of a conspiracy theorist.[3]

Pylea

Ttlg274

Angel is "rewarded" as a champion, and is given the honor of killing Fred.

For five years, Fred spent an arduous life as a "cow," the Pylean equivalent of a slave. The harsh life of solitude and serfdom took a serious toll on her social skills, as well as her mental health. When Angel met Fred, she was curled up in a cave, scribbling on the already-covered walls, having seemingly convinced herself that her previous life in Los Angeles had not been real. Fred had once been forced to wear an explosive shock collar. However, Fred's salvation came when Angel and his crew arrived in Pylea to find Cordelia Chase, who had become trapped there. When Angel's demon came fully to the fore, it attacked just about everyone but Fred, including Charles Gunn and Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. Despite this shocking display of violence, Angel never seemed to scare Fred and even at his most demonic, he never attacked her. In fact, she seemed to have a calming effect on him.

"Handsome man saved me from the monsters."
―Fred is saved by Angel in Pylea[src]

Angel Investigations

"Look, I could go home with you and pretend the last five years didn't happen. I could even pretend to have a normal life. But the truth of it is... Well, I'm not normal anymore. I guess what I'm getting at is... I-I missed you both so bad. But, I belong here."
―Fred tells her parents she wants to stay with Angel Investigations.[src]
Price Fred

Fred often used her knowledge of science to help Angel Investigations

After Pylea was liberated, Fred accompanied Angel and the rest of the gang back to Los Angeles and stayed in the Hyperion Hotel to re-adjust to life on Earth and regain her mental stability. Despite several traumatic instances, such as being held hostage by Gunn's old vampire-hunting crew, she adjusted quite well to "normal" life. Her knowledge of physics and mathematics made her an excellent asset when researching and developing strategies. Fred's ingenuity and resourcefulness also allowed her to create several constructs and contraptions that helped her adapt to stronger and more powerful enemies. After some time, Fred's parents came to Los Angeles looking for her, but Fred avoided them and appeared afraid of them, briefly leading the rest of Angel Investigations to believe that the Burkles were abusive. However, Fred's reluctance to see them was a result of her trauma from Pylea and the Burkles were in fact loving and supportive. Though she initially decided to return home to Texas with her parents, Fred ultimately decided that her place was in Los Angeles with Angel Investigations, a decision which her parents respectfully accepted.

Fred quickly developed a romantic relationship with Gunn, which lasted roughly one year. She was also the object of affection of Wesley, who attempted to step aside after Gunn and Fred started dating, but was still drawn to her. Near the end of her relationship with Gunn, Fred and Wesley shared a kiss, but after discovering that Wesley had been in a relationship—albeit a rather complex one—with Lilah Morgan, her feelings for Wesley cooled.

Eventually, Fred discovered that it was actually her former professor's fault that she had been trapped in Pylea, and indeed, Professor Seidel had attempted to trap her in another world again. Furious, she plotted to kill him, with Wesley's help. Gunn, however, felt that such a brutal act, even against Seidel, would ultimately destroy her as a result. In a battle where she was trying to trap him in a hell dimension, Gunn snapped Seidel's neck himself and dropped the body into the portal. Unfortunately, this caused a rift between Fred and Gunn and ultimately ended their relationship.

Bullet Fred2

Fred used a "magic bullet" to free Angel from Jasmine's control.

Later on, when Jasmine came to the mortal realm and put everyone under her thrall, Fred inadvertently managed to break free of the mental brainwashing while cleaning Jasmine's blood-stained blouse; Fred apparently scrubbed it so hard that her fingers bled, resulting in her blood coming in contact with Jasmine's and breaking the spell. Unfortunately, she ended up in a similar situation as Pylea: alone and fighting against a population that wanted her dead. Eventually, she managed to free Angel from the thrall as well by shooting through Jasmine and hitting Angel, thus exposing the vampire to Jasmine's blood. After the two escaped, she broke down, tearfully remarking that she was scared and not a champion like Angel, though Angel comforted her and insisted otherwise.

Fred: "I'm sorry. I've been so alone and scared. I'm not like you, not a champion."
Angel: "Everything I see says different."
— Angel acknowledges Fred's heroism.[src]

Later, the two freed the rest of Angel Investigations, sans Connor, and Fred helped participate in the battle against Jasmine's followers, led by Connor. Once Angel and Connor destroyed Jasmine, Lilah returned and offered the team Wolfram & Hart as a reward for ending Jasmine's "world peace." Although hesitant, Angel Investigations accepted the offer, unaware of the fact that the Senior Partners actually wanted to corrupt them and keep them distracted while their "scheduled" apocalypse was underway.

Wolfram & Hart

Lab Fred

Head of the Science Division

Everything changed for Fred when she and the rest of Angel's crew joined Wolfram & Hart. A spell removed all of her memories of Angel's son, Connor. Fred received her own laboratory and became the head of Wolfram & Hart's Science Division. She was a major asset to the team. Angel consistently relied on her department to quickly and efficiently solve problems. At this time, Fred was concentred to help to materialize the new member, a ghostly Spike. During a mission paired with Wesley, she was almost killed by Emil's henchmen. Angel blame Wesley for it. After going on a few dates with co-worker Knox, Fred began to have feelings for Wesley again. The two paired up for about a week, but the couple's happiness was not to last.

A mysterious sarcophagus, allowed through customs by a signature from Gunn, appeared in the lab. As Fred examined it, a hole opened in the cover and a blast of wind blew into her face. The sarcophagus was a holding cell for one of the original, pure-breed demons known as the Old Ones, which was predestined to rise again. The air Fred inhaled was actually Illyria's essence, which immediately began a parasitic existence in her body, eating away at it and making her a shell. Worse still, Knox had worshiped Illyria for years and worked at Wolfram & Hart for the sole purpose of bringing the demon back. Because of his affections for Fred, he chose her as the only one "worthy" to house his god.

As Angel and Spike traveled to England to find a cure, Wesley remained in Fred's bedroom with her, comforting her as she fought bravely, but slowly began to die. Angel learned that the only way to save Fred was to draw Illyria back to the Deeper Well in England by using her sarcophagus as a beacon. However, thousands of others would die as Illyria's essence cut across the world back to the Well. As much as they cared for Fred, Angel and Spike were unwilling to let such an atrocity happen and thus were forced to do nothing, knowing that Fred would not have wanted it that way.

As she lied dying, Fred's mind began to give way. Nearing the end, she panicked, stating that Feigenbaum, a stuffed rabbit named for mathematical physicist Mitchell Feigenbaum who studied chaos theory, should be there. When Wesley asked her who Feigenbaum was, Fred replied that she did not know. Cradling her in his arms, Wesley stayed with Fred until the moment she died, after which her body was taken over by Illyria.

"I'm not scared. I'm not scared. I'm not scared. Please, Wesley, why can't I stay?"
―Fred's final words.[src]
Wesly and fred

Illyria takes Fred's form for Wesley

According to Dr. Sparrow, Fred's soul was consumed, making it impossible for her to return from the dead or enjoy an afterlife. Later, though, Illyria stated that there were remnants of Fred in the form of her memories, which were a source of confusion for Illyria. Fred's emotions sometimes emerged in Illyria, accounting for her great affection for Wesley, Gunn and Angel. On occasion, Illyria took on the appearance of Fred in order to go about unnoticed and to deal with Fred's parents. On another occasion, Illyria took on Fred's form to comfort the dying Wesley. On that occasion, Wesley's killer, Cyvus Vail, fooled by Fred's frail form, offered Illyria a free shot. This proved to be his downfall as Illyria used the opportunity to shatter his head with a single punch, reverting back from Fred midway and avenging Wesley.

Legacy

Shortly after these events, Angel used Fred's death to his advantage in order to infiltrate and ultimately destroy the Circle of the Black Thorn, the Senior Partners' primary source of power on Earth, by making it appear that he himself was the one who arranged for Illyria's sarcophagus to be transported to Wolfram & Hart[4].

Although it was implied that Fred could not enjoy an afterlife, Lorne stated that she was the lucky one, because she was in heaven. Also, when Wesley was mortally wounded by Cyvus Vail, Illyria herself said that Wesley and Fred would be together again. Fred reappeared, manifesting as a transformation of Illyria into not just the physical appearance of Fred, but also her personality.[5] This happened a first time upon the initial fusion of Hell and Los Angeles and then a second time upon a reunion of Illyria and Wesley. The essences of Illyria and Fred had been struggling for dominance over their shared body and Spike had been trying to suppress Fred's manifestations, even going so far as to ask Angel for help. He admitted that he would have kept Illyria away from the battle had he known Wesley was going to be present.

Seeing someone Fred cared for triggered the change, while dangerous situations transformed her back into Illyria.[6] However, the Fred manifestations were just Illyria's interpretation of Fred. With these remnants lost, Illyria reverted to her true form.

After the Fall of Los Angeles was reverted by the Senior Partners, Angel used his newfound fame to rename a wing of the public library to the Burkle Wyndam-Pryce Wing in honor of Fred and Wesley. When Angel reminisced about Fred and Wesley and wonders if the two of them were together in the afterlife, Cordelia rustled up a breeze to dissuade him from pessimism. Illyria also appeared to be influenced by Fred's characteristics, writing on the walls as Fred once did, albeit listing methods of killing.

Later, when encountering Buffy Summers, Illyria declared that her similarities with Fred were an "affectation" to humor Fred's friends, which she suggests was ultimately a bad decision for all parties involved. Later still however, Illyria has her powers stolen by the Siphon, a process which ordinarily kills demons. Illyria openly moots that it might not be residual magic which is sustaining her life, and attracts attention from Willow and others for being uncharacteristically compassionate, even going so far as to make the ultimate sacrifice, leaving the question of how much of Fred remained in Illyria up until her death open to discussion.

Powers and Abilities

"She's smarter than all of us put together."
―Wesley on Fred[src]

Fred was a normal human woman with no supernatural abilities. However, her brilliant mathematical mind, immense knowledge of quantum physics and science, and a natural ability in designing inventions made her an important asset of Angel's team.

During this time, Fred also acquired some moderate fighting skills, mainly using a crossbow as a weapon, but even sword and gun. Later, when Jasmine took over Los Angeles, she was forced to face down all of Los Angeles on her own and was also able to hold her own unarmed, taking out a few armed Jasminites, including one armed SWAT member.

Personality

Illyria: "Fred was weak. She felt too much."
Spike: "Wrong again. Fred was stronger than anyone you'll ever know. To go through what she did and still come out able to love someone? If that's not strength, then I don't know what is."
Illyria and Spike[src]

Fred was a fairly kindhearted and sweet individual, perfectly willing to help others. The most notable example was perhaps her interactions with Spike. When he confided in her that he was being slowly dragged into Hell, Fred worked tirelessly to build a machine that would restore his corporeal body. She was the first to believe that Spike was "worth saving" and though her efforts ultimately failed, she nonetheless earned Spike's perpetual gratitude. Her personality was, in a sense, similar to that of Willow Rosenberg.

Just as Fred was willing to help others, she was also fairly vengeful against those who threatened her or her friends. When she and Gunn realized that Connor was responsible for Angel's three month disappearance, Fred berated him while repeatedly hitting him with a stun gun. Another example was when Fred pursued revenge against Professor Seidel, an act which nearly came to fruition, if not for Gunn's intervention.

Fred was also an innocent, unassuming young woman which often led people to underestimate her. On many occasions, she used this to her advantage, such as shocking Connor with a stun gun and knocking out a suspicious lab assistant at Wolfram & Hart. Also, she showed signs of great inner strength and an innate ability to survive on her own despite overwhelming circumstances. This was shown as she attempted to flee from Jasmine's followers and earlier with her experiences in Pylea. In fact, while conversing with Illyria, Spike had said that Fred was one of the strongest people he ever met, solely based on the fact that she could still be able to love as after everything she had gone through in her life. [7]

Due to her traumatic experiences in Pylea, Fred briefly suffered from an undiagnosed mental disorder, although she fully recuperated.

Relationships

"It's my boys. I haven't had this many big strapping men at my bedside since that night with the Varsity Lacrosse team...That was a joke."
―Fred joking as the men in her life gather around her deathbed[src]

Romantic

  • Gunn -  After Fred moved on from her crush on Angel, she and Gunn fell in love and started a relationship that lasted for about a year before breaking up after Gunn killed one of her old college professors to prevent her from doing it herself. Despite the evident discomfort in their relationship after this event, it was implied that feelings continued to linger afterward, with Gunn being particularly devastated when his actions inadvertently resulted in Fred's death.
  • Knox -  Fred's assistant in Wolfram & Hart; the two dated briefly, but Fred ultimately decided that the two of them should only be friends. Knox's bizarre obsession with her caused him to use her body as Illyria's new form, arguing that she was the only person "worthy" of such a gift.
  • Wesley Wyndam-Pryce - Wesley had been enamored with Fred nearly from the beginning. His first chance to be with Fred was shot down after he tried to kill her while affected by the misogynistic Billy. He was very hurt when she chose to be with Gunn, but always came to help when she was in danger, especially after he had been ousted by the gang. Fred and Wesley dated after she broke up with Knox, a relationship that ended prematurely following her death and possession by Illyria.

Friendships

  • Angel: Fred's relationship with Angel was an interesting one: when Angel saved her from Pylea he "vamped out", but rather than his face changing like usual, due to the unusual nature of Pylea the demon inside of him came out completely. After killing two guards—but notably simply sniffing Fred before leaving—it tried to kill Gunn and Wesley, until Fred, her right hand soaked in blood, lured the demon back to her cave. Fred cared for Angel as he recovered, and remained the only person who wasn't scared by Angel's demon after learning about his vampire nature. She was instantly somewhat enamored with Angel, saying "handsome man saved from the monsters",[8]  and confided with him while he struggled to come to terms afterwards with his transformation.[9]  When Angel brought Fred back to Los Angeles, he took her in and was the only member of the team that didn't seem unnerved by her state of mind. In the beginning, she only truly felt comfortable around Angel and was encouraged to venture out of her room by his prodding.[10][11]  Fred developed a crush on him, but Angel didn't seem to take it too seriously and initially ignored it. After seeing a movie with her (neither of his other friends wanted to go), she became excited and talked endlessly about the experience, describing Angel dreamingly as being very deep. When he switched bodies with a womanizing old man who quickly flirted with her, Fred jumped at the chance to be with him and felt they were actually going on a date. After seeing "Angel" almost sleep with Lilah, she was devasted and cried to herself over in a corner. Upon realizing he was not really Angel and getting his body back, the two quietly shared a moment in the aftermath. Fred expressed to Angel that she knew he did not see her in a romantic light and was accepting of it despite her sadness. [12]  She eventually moved on when she learned about the curse on his soul. Despite this, Fred cared for his son Connor (she was the only other member of the team who was present at his birth), both when he was a baby and when he reappeared as a teen (until he betrayed Angel, at which point she tortured him with a taser and knocked him out). When Fred was being devoured by Illyria, Angel considered but discarded a plan that would kill tens of thousands to save her. And ultimately, as Angel's soul had been ripped out of his body to make way for the demon, her soul had been ripped from her body to make way for Illyria, with some aspects of Fred potentially influencing Illyria's later respect for Angel. Though their relationship wasn't romantic, Fred did kiss him once to fool passersby into thinking they were just a random couple. When she asked if he thought they bought it, he replied "I did."
  • Cordelia Chase - Fred first met Cordelia when she was accidently thrown in Pylea through a portal and forced to do slave duty for the demons. Despite her disuse of being near people during her five-year imprisonment, Fred supported Cordelia and encouraged her to be careful, genuinely concerned when she was suddenly taken away after having a vison.[13] After being saved by Angel and taken to Los Angeles, Cordelia at first kept her distance from Fred, feeling uncomfortable by her strange habits and refusal to leave her room.[14] Despite this, she remained to admire Cordelia's place in Angel Investigations, describing her as being "Angel's Lassie" and extremely neccessary to the group.[15] Eventually overcoming Cordelia's discomfort, the two became closer after Angel prodded her to spent time with Fred to get her out in public with people again.[16] After seeing "Angel" kissing Lilah, a devasted Fred confided in her feeling of betrayal as Cordelia comforted her.[17] When Cordelia falls in a long coma after Jasmine's birth, Fred was the most genuinely concerned after Angel, demonstrating a real sorrow.
  • Lorne - Fred and Lorne were very close. Their mutually kind and loving natures allowed for them to bond, not to mention their shared experiences of living in Pylea. Fred looked to Lorne as a brotherly friend, and Lorne looked to Fred with an equal amount of affection, once referring to her in song as "his sunshine." Lorne, much like the rest of the team, was also protective of Fred. While she is dying from Illyria's possession, Lorne confronts Eve, and warns her that if he finds out she was involved, he'll personally kill her. Her death caused Lorne to become disillusioned with the work he was doing; he began to drink his sorrows away, and eventually left the team.
  • Spike: While they never shared a romantic relationship, Spike initially flirts with Fred after he materializes at Wolfram & Hart, and his feelings later evolve into affection and esteem. Fred is the first person in Los Angeles to believe that he is "worth saving" and she works tirelessly to recorporealize him (while denying being taken in by his charm, saying that she simply wants to use Wolfram & Hart's resources for the good that Angel promised). When fighting the demented ghost Matthias Pavayne, Spike sacrifices a chance at becoming corporeal to save Fred's life.
  • Willow Rosenberg - Willow and Fred shared a mutual love for knowledge, and thus naturally bonded over this. While Fred's talents focused more on science, Willow was more into magic and technology. Willow fascinated Fred with her competence and knowledge, and (jokingly) with her attempt of seduction, making her her right hand in doing the spell to give back Angel his soul in "Orpheus". The two were often seen chatting about their shared love of learning whenever Willow was in town, and Fred always trusted Willow and her considerable powers enough to call her whenever there was a magical solution to a problem.

Familial

  • Roger Burkle and Trish Burkle - While she loves and is loved by her parents, Fred chooses to go adventuring with Angel & Co. Even though possessed by Illyria, she still will have sentiments for them. 

Antagonistic

  • Professor Seidel - He was her science teacher, montor, and hero. He was responsible for Fred being in Pylea to begin with. He was jealous and threatened by Fred's intellect. After Fred found out years later, she was going to kill him. But Gunn killed him all because he didn't want her to carry the burden of his death by her hands. But that was the beginning of their break-up.

Other

  • Connor - Fred initially was very caring towards Connor, acting as a de facto mother alongside Gunn when both Angel and Cordelia are unavailable. Once she finds out that Angel's disappearance is Connor's fault, however, she begins to mistrust him, which is a trait that the rest of the team shares with her.

Gallery

Behind the Scenes

  • Joss Whedon originally intended for Fred and Illyria to be split in two had Angel gotten a sixth season, as revealed by Amy Acker in an interview: "As I’m playing this new character now, it was just some stuff that he was going to do with her and bringing Fred back and getting to work with both characters."[18]
  • Fred likes pancakes, waffles, tacos, fish sticks and double-mosha milkshake.

Appearances

Season Two:
Judgement Are You Now or Have You Ever Been First Impressions Untouched Dear Boy Guise Will Be Guise Darla The Shroud of Rahmon The Trial Reunion Redefinition
Blood Money Happy Anniversary The Thin Dead Line Reprise Epiphany Disharmony Dead End Belonging

Appears (Only in visions)

Over the Rainbow

Appears

Through the Looking Glass

Appears

There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb

Appears

Season Three:
Heartthrob

Appears

That Vision-Thing

Appears

That Old Gang of Mine

Appears

Carpe Noctem

Appears

Fredless

Appears

Billy

Appears

Offspring

Appears

Quickening

Appears

Lullaby

Appears

Dad

Appears

Birthday

Appears

Provider

Appears

Waiting in the Wings

Appears

Couplet

Appears

Loyalty

Appears

Sleep Tight

Appears

Forgiving

Appears

Double or Nothing

Appears

The Price

Appears

A New World

Appears

Benediction

Appears

Tomorrow

Appears

Season Four:
Deep Down

Appears

Ground State

Appears

The House Always Wins

Appears

Slouching Toward Bethlehem

Appears

Supersymmetry

Appears

Spin the Bottle

Appears

Apocalypse, Nowish

Appears

Habeas Corpses

Appears

Long Day's Journey

Appears

Awakening

Appears

Soulless

Appears

Calvary

Appears

Salvage

Appears

Release

Appears

Orpheus

Appears

Players

Appears

Inside Out

Appears

Shiny Happy People

Appears

The Magic Bullet

Appears

Sacrifice

Appears

Peace Out

Appears

Home

Appears

Season Five:
Conviction

Appears

Just Rewards

Appears

Unleashed

Appears

Hell Bound

Appears

Life of the Party

Appears

The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco

Appears

Lineage

Appears

Destiny

Appears

Harm's Way

Appears

Soul Purpose

Appears

Damage

Appears

You're Welcome

Appears

Why We Fight

Appears

Smile Time

Appears

A Hole in the World

Appears

Shells

(Only in flashbacks)

Underneath

Appears (In Wesley's dream)

Origin

(As a persona of Illyria)

Time Bomb The Girl in Question Power Play Not Fade Away

(As a persona of Illyria)

Buffy Season 7

Spike: After the Fall

Angel: After the Fall

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine'

Angel Season Six

External Links

References

  1. "Spin the Bottle"
  2. "Supersymmetry"
  3. "Spin the Bottle"
  4. "Power Play"
  5. After the Fall
  6. Spike: After the Fall
  7. 'Illyria: Haunted'
  8. 'Through the Looking Glass'
  9. 'There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb'
  10. 'Heartthrob'
  11. 'That Vison-Thing'
  12. 'Carpe Noctem'
  13. 'Over the Rainbow'
  14. 'Heartthrob'
  15. 'That Vison-Thing'
  16. 'That Old Gang of Mine'
  17. 'Carpe Noctem'
  18. Dreamwatch issue 115, April 2004)

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