Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #113
Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #113 cover

Date:

March 1999

Title:

“The Anywhere Machine!”
(Cover title: “At the Breaking Point!”)

Credits:

Tom Peyer (Co-Plotter / Scripter) • Tom McCraw (Co-Plotter / Colorist) • Scott Kolins (Penciller) • Al Gordon (Inker) • Pat Brosseau (Letterer) • Frank Berrios (Asst. Ed. [Assistant Editor]) • Mike McAvennie (Editor) • Alan Davis / Mark Farmer / Patricia Mulvihill (Cover)

Plot:

While the Legionnaires are trying out Brainiac 5.1’s new invention, the Anywhere Machine, Leviathan discovers a shrunken subspace world.  Later, Spark and Leviathan convince Brainiac 5.1 to let them use the Anywhere Machine to try and cure Kinetix.  While they are doing so, something goes wrong with one of Brainiac 5.1’s other experiments, transforming the Outpost into a Bizarro version of itself.  Meanwhile, Invisible Kid, Ferro, Live Wire, and Karate Kid are away on a short mission, and Thunder and Sensor have left to search for Eternium, not knowing that the Rimborian Lord Pernisius is doing likewise.


CHANGE HISTORY

Date of Change Content of Change
03/04/99
Posted
03/10/99
Modified 6:1, 6:3, 8:7, 10
03/19/99
Typos, tracking updates from Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #114
04/15/99
Tracking updates from Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #115
05/05/99
Tracking updates from Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #116
06/10/99
Tracking updates from Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #117
06/30/99
Tracking updates from Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #118
08/06/99
Tracking updates from Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #119
09/08/99
Tracking updates from Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #120
Unified to a single file
03/02/00
Name corrections
Tracking updates from Titans/Legion of Super-Heroes: Universe Ablaze #1
06/14/00
Tracking updates from Titans/Legion of Super-Heroes: Universe Ablaze #4
08/01/00
Typo corrections
01/09/04

Tracking update from Legends of the Legion #4
Tracking correction
Added Appearance Counts and associated Notes


Tinted cells and text indicate missing or incomplete information.


Character and Object Tracking

         

Name

Previous Appearance

Next Appearance

Heroes

Thunder (CeCe Back) < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #116
Ferro (Andrew Nolan) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #112 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #114
Sensor (Princess Jeka Wynzorr) < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #116
Live Wire (Garth Ranzz) < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #114
Spark (Ayla Ranzz) < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #115
Kinetix (Zoe Saugin) < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #115
Invisible Kid (Lyle Norg) < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #114
Karate Kid (Val Armorr) < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #114
Brainiac 5.1 (Querl Dox) < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #115
Triad (Luornu Durgo) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #112 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #115
M’Onel (Lar Gand) < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #115
Leviathan II (Salu Digby) < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #115
Monstress (Candi Pyponte-Le Parc III) No appearance; picture only
Chameleon (Reep Daggle) No appearance; picture only
Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen) No appearance; picture and mention only
 
Cameos:
Captain Marvel (Billy Batson)

Villains

“Ram the Smuggler” None None to date
Dr. Deacon None Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #115
Lord Pernisius None Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #115
 
Bizarro Kinetix None Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #114
 
One-shot or Untracked Villains:
Pernisian guard (1)

Supporting Characters

Koko < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #115
Emperor Goss None None to date
 
MacCauley’s Consortium No appearance; mention only
 
One-shot or Untracked Characters:
unnamed United Molecules soldiers (5)

Locations

Phlogista None None to date
Lucichuacanis system None None to date
United Molecules None None to date
Fires of Creation In flashback to Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #< >
Rimbor (and a moon) Legends of the Legion #4 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #116
 
Emperor Goss’ palace, United Molecules None None to date
Anywhere Machine chamber, Legion Outpost None None to date
Brainiac 5.1’s lab, Legion Outpost < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #120
Legion Outpost (exterior) < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #117
Sensor’s quarters, Legion Outpost None None to date
Lord Pernisius’ palace, Rimbor None None to date
Delta City, Rimbor (unnamed in this issue) None Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #118
Bizarro Legion Inpost (exterior) None Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #114
 
One-shot or Untracked Locations:
unnamed city on Rimbor

Alien Races and Creatures

United Moleculans None None to date

Technology

Encyclopedia Galactica < > Titans/Legion of Super-Heroes: Universe Ablaze #4
High-intensity vision shields < > None to date
Holovid displays < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #114
Anywhere Machine None Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #116
Bizarro tank None None to date
Omnicom Legionnaires #72 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #114
Holographic videogame None None to date
Unlocking Fluid None Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #118
Mark-459 cruiser < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #114
Lord Pernisius’ starcraft None Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #115
 
One-shot or Untracked Items:
Energy probe (mention only)
unidentified equipment in Brainiac 5.1’s lab
Dr. Deacon’s gun

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Analysis Notes

Cover Completely non-representational.
Coloring error: Zoe’s collar band should be green.
1 Roll call panels don’t count as panel appearances.
“Phlogista” is from the Greek word for “inflammable.”  “Lucichuacanis” is not immediately obvious as reference to anything, but “luci” means “light” (as in Lucifer), so the name probably also relates to the fiery planet.
Only eleven Legionnaire silhouettes are seen here (Thunder’s leg is seen below the bottom caption panel).  Based on page 3, the unseen one is Leviathan.  Thus, left to right, the silhouettes are Thunder (behind caption), Ferro (very thin), Sensor, Live Wire (based on position on page 2), Spark (seen by the hair style), Kinetix (again, based on page 2 position), Invisible Kid (carrying a display on page 2), Karate Kid (again, by position), Brainiac 5.1 (with Koko on his shoulder), Triad (per the hair style), and M’Onel in flight.
The Encyclopedia Galactica was a commonly used narrative device during the Levitz era, although they usually used smaller type, keeping the captions from taking up quite so much space.
The comment about hidden life on Phlogista is a bit odd.  After all, it is never known if any planet sustains some hidden form of life until that form is found, at which point it is no longer hidden.  A bit heavy on the foreshadowing.
The vision shields everyone is wearing are reminiscent of the goggles Ultra Boy sported in < >.
2 After his encounter with the space leeches in the previous issue, Ferro might be concerned about melting, even through the Anywhere Machine.
Sensor might be seeing the Anywhere Machine projections as similar to her own illusions, and thus be experiencing the receiving end of her own power for the first time.
Observe that Thunder and M’Onel, due to their invulnerability, do not need goggles.
Kinetix’ “...” balloons count as speaking.
3:2 “MacCauley” may be a typo for “McCauley”, since the described action is right up Leland McCauley’s alley.  For the moment, however, we will consider “MacCauley’s Consortium” to be a distinct entity.
4:2 Observe that Vi, Brainy, and Lyle are nonplussed by the size change.  Lyle probably simply knew what Brainy was initiating via the holo display he is holding, but there is also his varied background as an EarthGov spy to take into account.  He may well have experienced the effects of rapid shrinking before.
4:3 Ah, the good old “giant molecules” schtick. Haven’t seen that very much since the old Micronauts series.
Hope Thunder doesn’t break anything by touching the molecules like that.
4:4 Between the castle-like buildings and the apparent ships travelling between molecules, it looks like the United Molecules will prove to be one of those weird-mix-of-technology cultures that heavily populated Silver Age comics.
It is traditional that these sort of molecular worlds are not actually molecules as we know them but rather subspace pocket dimensions which are entered by shrinking past a certain size in a certain area.  (Imagine trying to find the exact same molecules a second time!)  Since Vi’s location (via the Anywhere Machine) was on M’Onel’s moving shoulder, it would appear that there is a wide area of Phlogista where such interfacing to the United Molecules can occur, perhaps even over the entire planet.
Coloring error: the character to the far left is Spark, but the hair is miscolored.
5:1 “Giants” would indicate that the Legionnaires shrunk into view rather than suddenly appearing.  Since nothing was damaged by their arrival, they were probably intangible until the reduced to the same size as the United Moleculans.
The “heavenfire” is presumably the heat and light from Phlogista, transferred through the subspace interface.
Either the subspace interface always deposits visitors in the same place, or the Legionnaires were able to “aim” for a particular location, and Emperor Goss’ palace, being a presumably large building, would make sense.  Since she had been there before, Leviathan presumably guided the Legionnaires this time.
There is as yet no expectation of Emperor Goss appearing again.  For the moment, we will target him and his troops as Supporting Characters rather than Villains.
5:2 Coloring error: Koko is on Brainiac 5.1’s shoulder.
5:3 Gee, I hope this sort of appear/disappear stunt doesn’t provoke a warlike action from the United Molecules.
6:1 Oh, so its just a super holodeck.  Or for an in-comics reference, take a look all the way back to The Avengers #3, from the Silver Age, where Iron Man used a device to send his interactive image anywhere in the world.  It presumably works via the stargating of some kind of a nano-holoprojector to the site (although how such could interface with Vi’s shrinking powers to access a subspace world is harder to rationalize).
Observe that this sideways addresses the old dangling plotline about the Legion’s VR chamber.
The Anywhere Machine’s name has echoes of the old Miracle Machine, although it certainly isn’t in that power class.
6:3 Ayla says, “Because after all, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’”
Lyle’s comment may indicate that he is worried that the Anywhere Machine obsoletes him.  This could lead to an attempt to expand his powers.
6:4 Notice that everyone except Kinetix has taken off their visor.  One wonders how she has managed to even eat for the last several months (or weeks, Legion time).
M’Onel - then known as Valor - spent 1000 years in an otherworldly phantom zone, able to at least periodically view the outside world but unable to affect it.  He may have even gone mad from time to time, but it certainly contributed to his current strength of character.
6:5 Yeah, go to Disneyland or something!
6:6 Brainy’s dialogue here is a sure sign of how much his personality has changed since facing the Fires of Creation.
Ferro can be identified through the doorway, but none of the others can.
7:1 Koko says, “I know what else feels good!”
I don’t know that Brainy would be fooling himself by reveling in praise, but he certainly doesn’t need an expanded ego.
7:2 Ah, the same old Brainy underneath, just with a veneer of socialization on top.  We wouldn’t want him another other way, though, truth be told.
7:3 Hiding unauthorized scientific experiments has a long tradition in superhero comics.
7:4 “Secretly gathered” = swiped from Lex Luthor’s computer systems.  Brainy would probably say that Luthor’s attempts at encryption and other protections were, while more advanced than he expected based on other 20th century technology, still pitifully simple and easy to bypass.  And Luthor’s copyrights have long since expired by the 30th century, so Brainy’s use of them now isn’t technically illegal.  (And as a sideline, Brainiac 5 shared 30th century technology of his own to created the force field generators used to contain the nova explosion in The Final Night.  Given that thousands of these were assembled at Luthor’s facilities, it is hard to imagine that Luthor didn’t manage to swipe at least a single device, if not complete plans for them.  You know he would have if at all possible.)
The holo image of a brain is presumably part of Brainiac 5.1’s work on the Bizarro project.
In the post-Crisis continuity, Bizarro was a project of Lex Luthor’s to attempt to clone Superman.  The first Bizarro duplicate was destroyed, but another was created later on.  The assorted Weisinger-era Bizarro add-ons - Htrae, Bizarro Lois Lane, “Us hate beauty. Us love ugliness,” and so forth - are not (yet) established.  (Which is something of a shame.  Bizarro World was the height of Superman Family silliness, but there’s a corner of the heart that it always plucked at so well.)
7:5 Darn right they wouldn’t.  Computer hacking is still a crime, no matter how smart you are.
The two rightmost symbols in the Bizarro tank are “biohazard” and “radiation”.  This does not bode well.
8:2 During the Levitz/Giffen era, a holographic Dungeons & Dragons game was a staple of the Legion’s rec room.  This is a direct reference back to that.
Note the misspelling on the video game name.  This is why we have letterers rather than assigning that task to people whose strengths are in illustration.
They are using PlayStation-type control pads.  In 1000 years, no one managed to create a better player/game interface than something where you have to memorize dozens of button combinations to get the moves you want?  (Maybe it’s one of those retro things that Team 20 brought back with them.  They got used to playing such when stuck in the 20th century and had Brainy rig up a similar device in the 30th century.  The primitive controls add an extra challenge to the game.)
8:7 There is a group shot of the Legionnaires on the wall behind Live Wire.  It includes Ferro, Monstress, Sensor, Chameleon, Saturn Girl, Live Wire, and Spark.  (The last two are guesses based on hair styles.)  The image probably comes from the Legion Day celebration in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #100.
9 Observe that all three of the Legionnaire girls tagged with lesbian potential are used in this subplot.  (Vi and Ayla were an acknowledged couple in the preboot, but this is some of the first postboot interaction they have had as a duo.)
9:1 Zoe’s green lipstick has got to go.
9:2 Ayla’s observation is unusual.  It has appeared that Kinetix has been completely insensitive to stimuli for the past several months.  This at least explains how she has been able to function at a minimal level, however.
Leviathan’s central image on this page is part of panel 2.
9:3 Observe that Zoe’s neck emblem definitely does not match how it was drawn on the cover.
9:4 It is somewhat peculiar that Imra hasn’t taken that step, or that Zoe hasn’t been referred to Dr. Ryk’rr for therapy during the several weeks she has been in this state.
10 This is Sensor’s quarters, as seen by all the hats (gifts from Monstress, presumably).  In particular, the Carmen Miranda hat from Legionnaires #59 is in 10:5.  No idea why a snake would need a human bed, though.  (Maybe it’s a habit she has picked up while living among these decadent primates?)
10:1 If mechanical arms look ridiculous on a snake, a cape surely should.  (A cape kind of requires shoulders.)
10:2 Sensor presumably has been cruising through the historical files on the 20th century to pull out this image, since no one in the 30th century has had direct contact with Captain Marvel.  (Spark and Saturn Girl did with the female Captain Marvel during The Final Night, but not with the male version.)  While a lot of information about the late 20th century has been lost, and thus Captain Marvel’s name might not be well known, there might have been surviving unlabeled images which 30th century computers could call up with a visual pattern matching algorithm, using Thunder’s costume design as a starting point.
10:3 What other possibilities might there be?  How about Now that DC has explained the origin of the Phantom Stranger in The Kingdom, perhaps the far-future explosion of the Rock of Eternity catapulted the aged Billy back through time, where he will be Shazam and thus his own origin.  (Of course, this would mark Thunder’s quest as ultimately futile.)
10:5 “Quixotic”?  Foolishly impractical?  (Or just loftily romantic and elegantly chivalric?)
Finding the Grail was an Arthurian quest slated for a year and a day.  This is going to drag on forever!
11:1 More info from the Encyclopedia Galactica.
“Titleholder” does not necessarily indicate hereditary or royal ennoblement.  Lordship on Rimbor could be the result of a contest (world class wrestling, maybe)?
The title of “Lord Pernisius” is applied on top of the character’s real name, whatever it might be.  This parallels British royalty, where Lord So-and-So is the lord of So-and-So.
Labelling Pernisia as the “northwestern” continent has two potential meanings.  If the planet is divided into hemispheres - like Earth - then that would be the main continent in the intersection of the northern and western hemispheres (like North America).  Alternately, if all the continental landmasses are grouped in one area of the planet - as could be the case if the purple areas depicted are land - then the northwestern one of the grouping would be Pernisia.  (Note the naming similarity to Anne McCaffrey’s Pern, where there are only two continents.)
This is the first indication of moons for Rimbor.
11:2 Note that both Lord Pernisius and his guard are dragon-like, reinforcing the subtle Pern connection.  With this occurring on Rimbor, this also feeds into Ultra Boy’s background as a member of the Green Dragons gang.
How did the trader know to call it Eternium, since the Legionnaires are the only ones who know of the stones’ existence?  While the name of the stone might have leaked out in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #111, a more interesting possibility is that the trader or someone up the line has a slight sensitivity to magic and the Eternium “named” itself.
11:3 Um, what glow?  (Coloring error?)
If it glows, shouldn’t that indicate it is radioactive?  (Okay, maybe just fluorescent or phosphorescent.  Someone up the trading chain would surely have tested for dangerous radioactivity.)
We’ll refer to the smuggler as “Ram the Smuggler,” since its helmet design looks like the helmet design for the St. Louis Rams football team.
Man, that’s one fierce piercing Lord Pernisius has through his neck!
11:4 “Unlocking Fluid” would appear to be some sort of a magical (or semi-magical) potion.
11:5 “Krakow” is a city in Poland.
12:1 The imagery here is presumably supposed to be like arcs of electricity jumping all over the characters’ bodies.
12:3 Ram the Smuggler’s chest emblem looks a lot like the mask of Marvel’s Darkhawk.
12:4 If this chunk of Eternium has been destroyed, doers that mean Thunder can never go home?
13:1 This sign technically should have been in Interlac, but they don’t want to actively hide important information from the readers.
13:2 Recall how Brainiac 5 was introduced in the postboot: by pushing aside his draft notice as an “interruption”.
Note that Spark and Brainiac 5 struck up something of a friendship while in the 20th century.  It is arguable that she would be better able to convince him to help Kinetix than anyone else on the team.
13:3 The comment that she could wait a week sounds like it is playing to fandom, who had been complaining for months that nothing was being done with her condition.
13:4 It is unclear if Brainy is acknowledging that Spark’s idea is valid or if he is being sarcastic.  His expression says sarcasm, but he then proceeds to implement the idea.
Koko was getting scratched in 6:1 as well.  This is presumably just typically white monkey activity, the result of a new artist’s take on the character.
14:1 Oooh.  Bad Legion Science™ at its finest.  How the Anywhere Machine could, given its stated specs, do anything more than show a set of neurons to Vi and Ayla is beyond me.  (But so is Brainy’s science, right?)
14:2 The shrinking ray is a reference back to the Silver Age, when the original Brainiac used one to create the Bottle City of Kandor.  The crypto-biology models may refer to the Bizarro experiment.
14:3 As opposed to “Here goes nothing.”
14:4 Whatever is going on with the Bizarro project is presumably caused by Brainy having to divert his attention to deal with the girls, more or less as indicated in 13:2.  The again, maybe the warriors of Emperor Goss tracked the Legionnaires down and are taking their revenge?
15:4 This chamber is apparently underground on Rimbor.  Note the panel sliding back above the ship.
16 In the dialogue on this page, imagine the “///” items as a vocal inflection, perhaps a reverb or slight echo.
16-20 This aging/de-aging effect is one of the gimmicks of Glorith.  Although we know the Time Trapper got “caught” in the anomaly, we do not yet know how or why.
16:1 Leviathan might have some concept of what time “feels” like due to her connection with the Emerald Eye.  She knows power.
16:3 This is of course nothing like what we saw in the anomaly in < >.
16:6 So much for keeping her unconscious.  Guess Brainy’s attention got taken away again.
17:3 The birth of time and space itself?  Shouldn’t there be a hand grasping it?  That’s the classic imagery DC has promoted in the past.  (Or maybe this is a new creation point, one for a new universe.)
17:4 Leviathan acknowledges one of the ways of creating and writing characters, almost a gimmick: everyone has a personal tragedy or flaw.  (Kinetix lusts for power.  Leviathan is shy.  Spark lives in hers brothers’ shadows.)
18:4 Leviathan as a really big baby.
18:5 The reflections in Zoe’s eyes count as panel appearances for Spark and Leviathan.
19:1-3 Bits where one hero talks another out of mental possession or otherwise wins by the power of love conquering all usually come off a little cheesy (and it’s been done way too often).  Here, it works better than usual because the setting has the characters in the mind of another and subject to an acknowledged different set of rules.  Kinetix isn’t convincing them; she is convincing herself.
19:4-5 ’Please” is the magic word, after all.
20:1 Interlac translation: “Bay 0”.  Perhaps “Docking Bay 0”, indicating that Brainy took over one of the unused docking bays to house the Anywhere Machine.
20:2-4 Given the “POPP” and “KRAKLL” sound effects, the one in 14:4 probably should have been “SSSSNAP”.
20:4 The typical dialogue would have been “-new!”, but Bizarro’s do opposite of all Earthly things.
21:1 The stargater is apparently returning from the trip.
The dialogue is from Ferro, based on what Invisible Kid says in 21:2.
It isn’t clear why Ferro should be complaining but the others aren’t.  Barring comments about him being somehow “wimpier” than the other three (which does have some validity, given the training backgrounds of Invisible Kid and Karate Kid, at least), perhaps there is a direct connection between the Bizarro effect and Ferro.  The most likely answer would be some kind of a sympathetic response to the change (since Ferro himself is a changer), but we can’t quite discount the possibility that Brainiac 5.1 intentionally used Ferro’s chemical or genetic makeup in the Bizarro matrix.
21:4 That the others are not affected gives weight to the sympathetic response, that Ferro simply experienced the effects first, but his change into iron protected his eyes.
21:5 Attribute the second balloon to Karate Kid, since he is to Ferro’s left.
22 The appearance of the transformed Outpost echoes the pre-Crisis oddities that Bizarros built, a feature not present in the post-Crisis Bizarro.  It remains to be seen if there will be some explanation for this.
Among the identifiable bits and pieces of the Bizarro Inpost:
  • The general yellow color scheme and the red fin in back echo the original pre-Crisis “inverted rocketship” Legion clubhouse (which of course the regular Outpost and the Metropolis headquarters are both distantly modelled on).
  • The entire Outpost is flipped upside down from 15:3.
  • What used to be a sensor array at the bottom of the Outpost is now radio and TV antennae, including one with a Jack In The Box clown antenna ball on it.
  • The circular grilles on the green thing in the upper left could be windows akin to the one in Dr. Strange’s sanctum sanctorum.
  • There is an engine nacelle from the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 on the side.
  • Vaguely visible in the yellow near the top is the fact that the Inpost shell is made out of jigsaw puzzle pieces.
  • Near the bottom on the left is an outhouse, which would be a play on Outpost.
  • The tops of the Outpost were once been thrusters and docking bays, now replaced by wheels at the bottom.
  • The mouths at the bottom are replacements for the former docking bays.
  • The octagonal “Play” sign would seem to be a warped opposite of a STOP sign.
Observe the reversed, warped Legion logo in the lower right corner of the page.  And note that the typically round lens flare effects from it are now square!
Letters One of the letters indicates that Apparition’s “disruption of electronics” powers have stabilized since her merge with Phase.

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Appearance Counts

Character Name

Cover

Panels / Speaking

Heroes
Thunder (CeCe Back) 17 / 7
Ferro (Andrew Nolan) 17 / 7
Sensor (Princess Jeka Wynzorr) 16 / 11
Live Wire (Garth Ranzz) 13 / 7
Spark (Ayla Ranzz) X 25 / 16
Kinetix (Zoe Saugin) X 35 / 20
Invisible Kid (Lyle Norg) 20 / 12
Karate Kid (Val Armorr) 13 / 3
Brainiac 5.1 (Querl Dox) 25 / 24
Triad (Luornu Durgo) 12 / 6
M’Onel (Lar Gand) 13 / 7
Leviathan II (Salu Digby) X 35 / 25
Monstress (Candi Pyponte-LeParc III) 1 / 0
Chameleon (Reep Daggle) 1 / 0
Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen)
1 / 0
Villains
“Ram the Smuggler” 5 / 4
Dr. Deacon 6 / 4
Lord Pernisius 7 / 5
 
Bizarro Kinetix
1 / 1
Supporting Characters
Koko 24 / 0
Emperor Goss
1 / 1
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