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Introduction to Saidar: Lesson 2


Kathleen
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Seherai was in the classroom long before she was needed to be there. Not only did it show how dedicated to the task she was, it was a good way to keep from being approached by anyone unless it was urgent. It wasn't like she had anything else to be doing today and it was always nice to get out of her own rooms every once in a while.

 

She readied the room and then copied the list of names from the paper in her hand to the board. This was always a hard list to write. Even after all these years it was still a grounding thought each time she copied it. All that potential lost, all that greed ruining so many lives. Seheria shook her head at the sad sight of all of those who had not had the self control or the brains to save themselves.

 

She left the door open and waited at the desk with a book about the effects of herbs. It was one she'd read a thousand times over, but it was a good choice in the classroom today. She knew at least one girl had an interest in such things and if she happened to catch a glance of it it could plant a little of a seed to pull her toward the Yellows.

 

Seheria continued to read until the last student entered. Or at least she seemed to read. It was always important to learn how the students would react when they thought they weren't being focused on. How much discipline did this group have? This next lesson would be all about behaving when no one was watching, so it would be good to know which ones she should be sure got this message.

 

When everyone was seated and a few moments to squirm in there chairs at not knowing what to do about the Yellow with her book, Seheria had found the ones who she thought were most at risk, so she set the book aside and rose to address the class.

 

"Good morning everyone, and welcome back to your Introduction to Saidar class. Our last lesson was on how to embrace the source. I trust you all recall it and are ready to move forward. If you had any trouble with it you should have addressed it at the end of that class. Today we move on in our studies." Seheria motioned to the board of names, "Can anyone tell me the importance of these names. What ties them all together? Who are they?"

 

She waited as the students studied the list, and watched them try to work out the answer. When no one volunteered a guess Seheria was quite disappointed that none showed the initiative, and so with a slight frown, she answered for them. “This list is one of White Tower initiates who have burned themselves out.” She paused to let the full effect land on each girl before she continued.

 

“I began to speak of this at the end of last class, but I can see some of you need to hear more on this. These girls" The Yellow gestured to the board of names, "burned the ability to embrace Saidar right out of themselves. In most cases they drew too deeply on the One Power, or they tried to walk alone, channelling without supervision; trying to advance too quickly."

 

She walked out from behind the desk as she continued, "This is something that is not uncommon. Look at the number of names on that list. That is not even nearly a complete list, yet it fills this board. Some of these girls killed themselves in doing this, but others only burned the ability to channel out. You are right in thinking not all of the girls die from it, but many do loose there ability to grasp the source and are set out of the Tower.

 

Before you choose to push your limits and channel with out supervision, please think through what could happen and decide if you are ready to die over one embrace. Think on what you would do with the rest of your lives if you were turned away from the Tower, never able to feel that sweet flow of Saidar again. If you still think that one unsupervised moment to hurry your learning along or feel the power in you is worth never feeling it again, I cannot stand over you and stop you. The choice is always yours, but I have given you all the information and warning I can. This is serious, and it claims many more lives than you may imagine. Copy the names please, keep them with you as you leave this class."

 

Seheria watched the girls faces as she spoke, some seemed distracted and bored, other seemed to shake from fear. Most of the girls were somewhere in between, but she felt they had heard the message, and she knew there was nothing more she could do at this point. The girls would do as they would do, she just gave them the help she could. When they had all finished writing Seheria continued the lesson.

 

"The rest of today’s lesson is about control. Not only of yourself, but also of Saidar. For an Aes Sedai, control will be a vital part of everything you do. As the One Power becomes a larger part of your life, it is essential that you learn how to control it. The most widely used technique for controlling the Source is called ‘Pushing and Pulling’. The objective is to embrace and hold the Source, but hold it as far away from you as you can without releasing it. This discipline will help you to back off from the Source before you reach a level you cannot control. This will also help you when it comes time to learn linking in your Accepted studies."

 

"I want you all to close your eyes and imagine you are the rosebud. Feel the warmth of the sun on the petals, as you did in our last class. Feel it fill you and just hold yourself there." As Seheria watched, the glow of Saidar sprang up around each of the Novices.

 

First it flickered in and out, and then gradually it solidified as each girl held firm to the Source. Some took a little longer than the others, but the Yellow waited until each girl was holding strongly before she continued. “Now imagine that a cloud is passing between you and the sun. As it does push the Source away from you, maintain your contact with Saidar but feel how it is distant. Now as the cloud moves away, pull Saidar back to you fully and feel the warmth again. Now remember this is a gradual movement, if you pull the One Power back to yourself too quickly it will hurt.”

 

Seheria waited patiently at the front of the class, scanning the face of each girl. It was always so easy to see which girls were having trouble and which ones weren't. The ones who made it to the shawl would loose that, what a shame. The only ones who needed to be read were the ones who could hold the stone face. In time all of the girls managed to control the flow. While some took longer than others they all did manage to do it.

 

"Very good everyone. Release the Source now. Just like in our last class, that came easier to some of you and harder to others. Do not be discouraged by this. How quickly it comes means nothing to your future or your potential. The fact that it comes in any amount of time is all that matters at this point. With patience, and practice your skills will improve, and only then will you be able to truly tell your potential." Seheria watched as the glow blinked out of everyone.

 

"Now, let's try that one more time to be sure you all have it. Take a few moments to calm yourselves and focus. When you are ready become the rosebud again and carry on the push and pull as you did before." The Yellow watched once again as the glow sprang up around the class. She watched the girls faces once again to determine when they had all managed the task and then she called them all to release their hold on the One Power.

 

"You all did very well with the lesson today. If you have any questions I will be here for a few moments after class. Otherwise go get some rest; this exercise takes a lot out of you. I will see you all when we meet for our next lesson."

 

Before the girls moved from their desks Seheria turned her back and began to erase the names off the board. It seemed to take a few moments for the girls to register that she had dismissed them, and she could almost feel the curtsies as the girls all dipped down on their way past her back.

 

Seheria Mori

Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah

 

OOC: Reply with arriving to the class, your reaction to the list of those who burned out, your attempt at pushing and pulling Sadair and your actions when the class ends.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kaylynn was walking down the halls of the White Tower breathing in the fresh air and trying to relax before her second One Power class. She still could not believe how stupid of a ninny she was at the end of her last class and she was glad that Seherai Sedai would not confront her about it at this class. She had already been seen by the sister and was hoping for a good outcome to the situation, even if it meant adding to her chore list.

 

Walking down the last coridor to her class she felt her hands shake. She stoped at the open door and took a deep breath and walked in. She took the same seat she had taken on the first class and looked up to see a list of names on the board and Seheria Sedai reading a very old herb book. Kaylynn squinted to try and make out the name of the book. I wonder if Seheria Sedai would let me borrow it. Kaylynn shook her head, what an obsured thought.

 

Kaylynn took out her writing utensils and some parchments and began to copy the list on the board as the other novices came into the classroom.

 

"Good morning everyone, and welcome back to your Introduction to Saidar class. Our last lesson was on how to embrace the source. I trust you all recall it and are ready to move forward. If you had any trouble with it you should have addressed it at the end of that class. Today we move on in our studies." Seheria motioned to the board of names, "Can anyone tell me the importance of these names. What ties them all together? Who are they?"

 

Kaylynn stared at Seheria Sedai and knew that even though she tried not to act like she did not know she knew it was plan on her face. She really did need to practice her Aes Sedai serenity if she was not going to be such an open book to her thoughts and feelings.

 

“This list is one of White Tower initiates who have burned themselves out.”

 

Kaylynns eyes nearly popped out of her head. That is a list of initiates who have burned themselves out! Kaylynn blinked several times to get back some sembalence of control over her facial reaction.

 

“I began to speak of this at the end of last class, but I can see some of you need to hear more on this. These girls burned the ability to embrace Saidar right out of themselves. In most cases they drew too deeply on the One Power, or they tried to walk alone, channelling without supervision; trying to advance too quickly."

 

"This is something that is not uncommon. Look at the number of names on that list. That is not even nearly a complete list, yet it fills this board. Some of these girls killed themselves in doing this, but others only burned the ability to channel out. You are right in thinking not all of the girls die from it, but many do loose there ability to grasp the source and are set out of the Tower.

 

Before you choose to push your limits and channel with out supervision, please think through what could happen and decide if you are ready to die over one embrace. Think on what you would do with the rest of your lives if you were turned away from the Tower, never able to feel that sweet flow of Saidar again. If you still think that one unsupervised moment to hurry your learning along or feel the power in you is worth never feeling it again, I cannot stand over you and stop you. The choice is always yours, but I have given you all the information and warning I can. This is serious, and it claims many more lives than you may imagine. Copy the names please, keep them with you as you leave this class."

 

Kaylynn finished completing the list she started at the beginning of the class. She made sure each name was legible and written with great care. It was as if she wrote when with such care, she was sure to remember them all that much better and then she would remember Seheria Sedai's warning. After she finished she pushed her parchments to the side of the desk and waited for Seheria Sedai to continue.

 

"The rest of today’s lesson is about control. Not only of yourself, but also of Saidar. For an Aes Sedai, control will be a vital part of everything you do. As the One Power becomes a larger part of your life, it is essential that you learn how to control it. The most widely used technique for controlling the Source is called ‘Pushing and Pulling’. The objective is to embrace and hold the Source, but hold it as far away from you as you can without releasing it. This discipline will help you to back off from the Source before you reach a level you cannot control. This will also help you when it comes time to learn linking in your Accepted studies."

 

"I want you all to close your eyes and imagine you are the rosebud. Feel the warmth of the sun on the petals, as you did in our last class. Feel it fill you and just hold yourself there."

 

Kaylynn went through the exercise and could not help but smile as she felt Saidar invelope her. As soon as the smile hit her lips though, she lost it and had to bite her lip to stop a curse or growl to pass her lips. She took a deep breath and tried again but this time she shoved her emotions away from her so she had no distractions.

 

“Now imagine that a cloud is passing between you and the sun. As it does push the Source away from you, maintain your contact with Saidar but feel how it is distant. Now as the cloud moves away, pull Saidar back to you fully and feel the warmth again. Now remember this is a gradual movement, if you pull the One Power back to yourself too quickly it will hurt.”

 

Kaylynn concentrated on pushing Sadiar away and pulling it towards her slowly, back and forth sort of like a slow dance. Kaylynn kept all of her emotions just outside of the glow of Saidar in her mind's eye and each time she moved the glow back and forth it became easier. It felt as if she was using a muscle that she didn't even know she had for the very frist time. She knew with practice she would be able to work that part of her until it was as if breathing to do this exercise.

 

"Very good everyone. Release the Source now. Just like in our last class, that came easier to some of you and harder to others. Do not be discouraged by this. How quickly it comes means nothing to your future or your potential. The fact that it comes in any amount of time is all that matters at this point. With patience, and practice your skills will improve, and only then will you be able to truly tell your potential."

 

"Now, let's try that one more time to be sure you all have it. Take a few moments to calm yourselves and focus. When you are ready become the rosebud again and carry on the push and pull as you did before."

 

Kaylynn embraced Saidar again and began the exercise. It was easier the second time around but still difficult. It took twice as much energy to pull it back towards herself slowly as to not hurt herself, as Seheria Sedai had told them. She then released Saidar and tried not to frown.

 

"You all did very well with the lesson today. If you have any questions I will be here for a few moments after class. Otherwise go get some rest; this exercise takes a lot out of you. I will see you all when we meet for our next lesson."

 

Kaylynn blinked as Seheria Sedai turned her back. So the class was done, how odd it didn't seem to last that long. She looked out the window and saw that it was a good hour or two later and then stood in shock. Her other class mates made there was around her as she pulled herself together. Packing her things slowly and taking care with the list of names, she looked up to see that she was the last student left in the classroom.

 

Kaylynn walked to the desk and curtsied. “Excuse me Seheria Sedai,” Kaylynn curtsied again. “I was wondering what book that is you are reading. I would like to read it myself and wish to know its name so I can look for it in the library.” Kaylynn tried to look strong and not timid at all but it was so hard when you were sharing a gaze with an Aes Sedai.

 

Kaylynn Tasil Saeed

Novice of the White Tower

Edited by Kaylynn
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  • 3 weeks later...

Ay'Lira hurried from the kitchens to her room. She knew she had another One Power class with Seheria Sedai, but she had tried so hard not to wipe her now smelly and slimy hands on her dress. She washed her hands in the basin, still there from this morning. It wasn't clean, but anything was better than this. She said a mental apology to Liana, wherever she was, and swore she would clean it out after class...if she wasn't too tired. She wiped her hands dry with a cloth and hurried out her door to the classrooms. When she arrived, the door was open, and no one was in the hall. She breathed a sigh of relief, though, when she saw that Seheria Sedai hadn't started. she was surprised, however, to see a long, sprawling list of names on the board. She stared at them for a moment and thought on them. She thought she recognized one. Yulienne Neandar was the name of an aunt of Benna's. Her friend hadn't mentioned her much besides that she had up and gone away one day.

 

She snapped out of her thoughts when Seheria Sedai began class again. She reminded them of their last lesson and said they would now move on. She gestured to the board and asked if they knew what these names meant. Ay'Lira wanted to raise her hand with her small knowledge, but the Aes Sedai moved forward and asked what tied them all together. Ay'Lira had no answer for that.

 

“This list is one of White Tower initiates who have burned themselves out.”

 

Ay'Lira's heart dropped at that answer. The thought of Benna having a relative...no matter how distant...who had once been in her place, had probably sat in this very same lesson had failed and harmed herself... It was terrifying. Finding that she was now breathing faster, she calmed herself down. She had never met Yulienne...and Benna didn't seem to attached to her. But now she wanted to know what had happened to the woman. How had she come to this fate? Did she die? How long ago did this happen? She decided to wait until after the class, though. She began to copy the names, but put Yulienne Neandar's name at the top so she wouldn't forget.

 

As her teacher instructed next, she embraced Saidar using the same technique she had the last time, not as a rose, but as herself in the sun. She held the Power, but did not draw any more, no matter how much she wanted to. She heard Seheria's voice too loudly as the Aes Sedai told them to imagine a cloud covering the sun. She waited for more instructions, though. She didn't want to do something wrong. She ended this with telling them to be slow about it so that it didn't hurt. In her mind, she basked in the sun and imagined that cloud slowly interfering with her sun. She felt the One Power flow away from her, but she held it slightly. The cloud continued, though, and the sun came back with the beautiful power of Saidar.

 

Seheria instructed them to release the power and to listen to her. She said that everyone was coming along well. That was good. Everyone included her. She told them to try it again just to be sure. Again, Ay'Lira felt the sun, felt it fade, and felt it come back. Just to be sure, she imagined a second cloud with the same results. The Aes Sedai dismissed class after Ay'Lira let go for the last time for that lesson, and the Yellow began to wipe the names from the board.

 

The other novices curtsied and left, but Ay'Lira took her copied names up to the Aes Sedai, now at her desk. She curtsied, along with another novice. After the other girl had asked her question, Ay'Lira couldn't hold it in any longer. "Aes Sedai, if you don't mind, I have a question about one of the names on this list."

Edited by Leala Gymorraine
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Seheria Sedai was reading as Sagneia arrived. This time the girl wasn’t the first one in the class –in fact, the class was half-full. Taking her seat, Novice thought quickly, how hard did the teacher concentrate on her book. Shrugging, she finally decided, that the Aes Sedai didn’t notice them at all.

 

She turned to the girl sitting next to her. She had no idea of the girl’s name, but she just needed somebody to talk to. Before the Tower she had always had a bunch of friends around her. Here she had nobody yet.

 

Half of the time Sagneia didn’t know what she was talking about the other girl, but she seemed nice, worth to make friends with. They kept talking until Seheria Sedai laid down her book, and the class was full.

 

"Good morning everyone, and welcome back to your Introduction to Saidar class. Our last lesson was on how to embrace the source. I trust you all recall it and are ready to move forward. If you had any trouble with it you should have addressed it at the end of that class. Today we move on in our studies." Seheria motioned to the board of names, "Can anyone tell me the importance of these names. What ties them all together? Who are they?"

 

Sagneia had no idea. She did have a good name memory, but didn’t remember seen or heard those names ever before.

 

“This list is one of White Tower initiates who have burned themselves out”

 

It took a good moment before the words of the Aes Sedai really struck into the Novice’s head. Oh Light! So many names... She shivered and couldn’t help imagining Sagneia Kathen among those names, taught to some new Novices yet to come.

 

“Before you choose to push your limits and channel with out supervision, please think through what could happen and decide if you are ready to die over one embrace. Think on what you would do with the rest of your lives if you were turned away from the Tower, never able to feel that sweet flow of Saidar again. If you still think that one unsupervised moment to hurry your learning along or feel the power in you is worth never feeling it again, I cannot stand over you and stop you. The choice is always yours, but I have given you all the information and warning I can. This is serious, and it claims many more lives than you may imagine. Copy the names please, keep them with you as you leave this class."

 

Like on last lesson, Sagneia began her nodding to the teacher’s words again. This time though, she was pale like a corpse. Oh, how the other girls must be shocked of this, I’m the bravest, right, and still feeling ill from this all. A glimpse of the bored girls on the back row told of something else than shock, but her pride didn’t allow her to stop lying to herself.

 

Her hands were shaking as she copied the names. She wasn’t sure if she would be able to read them afterwards. She wasn’t sure if she’d even want to.

 

The Novice felt pure relief as the lesson continued with controlling Saidar, even though it took her many tries to get a steady grip of the Source. But it did take less tries than on last lesson.

 

“Now imagine that a cloud is passing between you and the sun. As it does push the Source away from you, maintain your contact with Saidar but feel how it is distant. Now as the cloud moves away, pull Saidar back to you fully and feel the warmth again.”

 

At first she found it hard to imagine the cloud coming between her and Saidar, it felt impossible for anything to come between ther and Source. Her face turned stern and she started biting her lip again. Something between, but it’s still there...

 

On her fourth try, she succeeded to push Saidar away from her. Then it took again four panicked tries to pull it back. For a moment she even thought she couldn’t take the cloud away anymore, that it would be there forever between her and Saidar. Again, the relief was enormous as she finally managed to pull it back.

 

"Very good everyone. Release the Source now. Just like in our last class, that came easier to some of you and harder to others. Do not be discouraged by this. How quickly it comes means nothing to your future or your potential. The fact that it comes in any amount of time is all that matters at this point. With patience, and practice your skills will improve, and only then will you be able to truly tell your potential."

 

With a secret sigh, Sagneia released the Source. She really hoped her skill would improve from this. The teacher’s words encouraged her, though. As an Aes Sedai, those words had to be true.

 

Her another try with pushing and pulling Saidar went better than the first one, partially because she didn’t panic anymore. But releasing Saidar was again so hard! Even with all those warnings she would have wanted to take more and more of it. On the other hand, Sagneia was happy she had released it; she was now even more tired than after last lesson, and that list of Novices burned out had made her very uncomfortable.

 

"You all did very well with the lesson today. If you have any questions I will be here for a few moments after class. Otherwise go get some rest; this exercise takes a lot out of you. I will see you all when we meet for our next lesson.”

 

Curtsying to Seheria Sedai’s back, Sagneia left the class.

 

Sagneia Kathen,

Novice of the White Tower

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Liana arrived late to the class room as usual as she always woke up a bit late, and had to hurry to the dining hall and gulp down her breakfast each morning before class. She of course curtsied when she finally arrived to the class room, and sat herself down on the same chair she had sat on during the first lesson. She found the saidar lesson very interesting and very thorough; the yellow sister who taught it seemed like a very capable teacher, at least to Liana.

When the teacher addressed the several names from a list that had pushed them self to the limit, and by doing so had burned them out or died. Several of the novices looked shocked or even scared, but Liana wasn’t scared. She was afraid it might happen to her, but tried to shrug it off. I need control and discipline She thought to her self. Liana scrabbled down all of the names from that list into a small note book she had brought with her from home.

 

The Aes Sedai began the next part of today’s lesson by telling the about control, and how they need to learn to control the flow of saidar. And to be able to embrace it and hold it far away from their grasp, so to not grasp too much of it and lose control. That made Liana blink a little How to embrace it and not grasp it she thought to her self.

"I want you all to close your eyes and imagine you are the rosebud. Feel the warmth of the sun on the petals, as you did in our last class. Feel it fill you and just hold yourself there." Liana imagined the rosebud and started feeling the warmth of the sun quicker than before. And as Seheria instructed she just held her self there for a brief moment when it suddenly went out. But, she did the embrace again and held it strongly this time around. “Now imagine that a cloud is passing between you and the sun. As it does push the Source away from you, maintain your contact with Saidar but feel how it is distant. Now as the cloud moves away, pull Saidar back to you fully and feel the warmth again. Now remember this is a gradual movement, if you pull the One Power back to yourself too quickly it will hurt.”

 

Liana imagined that the cloud passed between her and the warming sun, but she nearly lost control but was able to grasp it right away. She held it and as the cloud passed between her and the sun, she pushed the source away and was able to maintain contact to the source, and she did feel it was distant. She imagined the cloud move away from the warming sun and bringing that warm feeling back to Liana. It was soothing to feel that tickling, and warming feeling again. She couldn’t help but smile, which made some of the other girls raise their eye brows at her. Liana was just happy she had learned to control it that fast.

 

Seheria Sedai told them to let go and calm them self down and then give it another try, and when Liana gave it another try it went a lot better. After the Aes Sedai dismissed them, Liana smiled at her and curtsied deeply and felt that her mother would be proud of her.

 

Liana Alore

Novice of the white tower

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  • 5 months later...

For all her want to be treated just like everyone else, Aureli still needed a few accomadations. She insisted that she could scrub pots with the best of the novices in the kitchens, but the cook simply would not have it. She could lose her balance and hit her head, or she could break a pot without meaning to. And she could forget about washing plates as well. Apparently, one needed both hands to wash a plate. She had no problems doing this at home, but the cook was hearing none of it. So, she was sent to clean off tables and scrub them. Despite having one arm, she did help her parents out at their inn. She knew how to carry plates to the kitchen to be washed. Yet, she still got an ear full when she carried in a big stack of them leaning against her side. The cook stopped yelling, though, when she saw Aureli deftly set the stack of plates down next to the sink. She had practice at least. Aureli finished her job with the other novices and left the dining hall to go to her next class in Saidar.

 

Her dress was a bit dirty from the plates, but she didn't have time to change. Aureli tried not to scurry, but she had to in order to get to class on time. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw that people were still arriving and that Seheria Sedai had not begun yet. She settled in next to Narie who helped her with her inkwell again and chattered before the class started. She pondered the meaning of the names on the board for a moment, but that would be explained soon enough, she expected.

 

Seheria Sedai stood up and began to speak. She reviewed the last lesson a bit and then asked everyone if they knew the meaning of the names on the board. Aureli had no clue. Their teacher explained that this was a list of initiates who had burned themselves out. She explained further that burning oneself out means thta they could no longer touch Saidar, and most of them died. All this happened when they tried to go too far in their studies. Aureli tensed up, but didn't say a word. She had wanted so much to try and embrace Saidar without instruction...just to see if she could do it. But she remembered Seheria's words about the Mistress of Novices, so she had not. She wondered for a moment why this was not mentioned at the beginning of class...

 

After everyone had copied the names down, she looked up as the Aes Sedai continued with the lesson. This one was about control. She explained the concept of pushing and pulling, then instructed everyone on how to do it. Aureli imagined herself a rosebud again, slowly opening her petals. The power filled her again. then, she imagined a cloud moving across the sky and in front of the sun. She still felt the warmth, but it was less. And she felt Saidar, but there was less of it. The cloud drifted by soon enough, and she felt Saidar fill her again. She opened her eyes and looked around at everyone. She was still holding Saidar, and she could see what looked like...a soft glow around all the other novices. Seheria instructed them to let go of Saidar, then try the lesson again. Aureli resumed her rosebud state and watched and felt again as the cloud drifted in front of and away from the sun. She opened her eyes again and saw the light around everyone once more.

 

Seheria Sedai told them all to release the One Power again and dismissed class. Narie helped her close her inkwell again. She licked the pen clean of ink once more, and slid the blank sheet of parchment over her notes. The pair left again, and Narie chatted on about how scary it must be to be burned out.

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