Hidden Talents

This story takes places shortly after the Fourth season
Episode `Nemesis’– And is after all, and henceforth,
purely a work of fiction . . .

All hail Paramount!! (How’s that for a disclaimer)

Star Trek: Voyager
`Hidden Talents’

By
Shalee Stewart

Night on a starship.
That had to be the cruelest joke of all.
It was always night in space. Blackness — 24 hours a day; seven
days a week; 52 weeks a year. A cold darkness punctuated only by the
light of a trillion billion stars. Yet, even the stars seemed cold this night
for the lone being who traversed the lower decks of Voyager.
Chakotay couldn’t sleep. It was as plain as that. AND when
sleep eluded him, the first officer prowled the ship. It always amazed
him how many people and sounds he encountered during his nightly
treks, then again it was never really quiet on a starship. Not with the
constant thrum of the warp engines and muffled hum of countless con-
versations being held on the other side of the walls he past.
The Native American commander released a sigh. It had been
two weeks and Chakotay was still recovering from being captured and
brainwashed by the Vhori. Although, he hadn’t minded being planet-
side despite the circumstances, he would have preferred the peace of
the nights on New Earth.
New Earth, the image rose unbidden and blanketed his mind
with a sudden yearning. He felt a need to be with the person, with
whom he had shared quiet moments on a planet, now hundreds of light
years away. But she would only push him away. They had grown apart
in the past few months. More so after the encounter with Borg and
Species 8472, they couldn’t seem to get past only being proper Star-
fleet officers, even when they were alone.
Unconsciously, Chakotay turned and began to walk at a brisk
pace, back the way he had come. The path that would lead him to the
deck where he was quartered. He only managed a few steps before he
sensed something almost intangible. Then he heard it in reality; the
gentle strains of music. A piano? Accompanied by a low, slightly lilt-
ing voice, that seemed familiar, yet he couldn’t quite place it. Not re-
alizing why, he allowed himself to follow the music to its source. Mo-
ments later, Chakotay was shocked to find himself at the entry to Jef-
fries Tube 7 on Deck 14, yet without the slightest hesitation, he
climbed inside.
The former Maquis found as he moved closer, the music with its
accompaniment seemed to surge and pulse around him. His very soul
was encompassed as he paused at crossection of an accessway. The
acoustics here were incredible and as the purveyor of his rapture began
again, Chakotay could now distinguish the words to what must have
been a ballad. For, they lay heavy on his heart.

“If I had only known–
It was the last walk in the rain . . .
I’d keep you out for hours in the storm.”

The voice seemed to quaver for a moment, then continued —

“I would hold your hand
Like a life line to my heart.
Underneath the thunder, we’d be warm.
If I had only known–
It was our last walk in the rain.”

Slowly Chakotay, got up his nerve and peered through the
hatchway to behold the owner of the voice that held him so beguiled.
The person’s identity shocked him but pride swelled his chest as his
eyes drank in the visage of . . . Kathryn Janeway–

“If I had only known–
I’d never hear your voice again.
I’d memorize each thing you ever said.”

As he continued to listen and watch, Chakotay realized he
shouldn’t really be surprised by this . . . the Captain of Voyager was a
woman of many talents. Though, he wondered what had spurred her to
such an exhibition of sorrow. Her face was mask of grief and Chako-
tay only wanted to take her into his arms.

“And on those lonely nights.
I could think of them once more,
Keep your words alive, inside my head . . .
If I had only known–
I’d never hear your voice again.”

I am an intruder here, Chakotay thought to himself as he noted
tears rimming her eyes. Not wanting to interrupt, he decided to leave
the same way he come but as luck would have it, he made a less than
graceful departure. Stumbling over his own feet, the first officer fell
against the bulkhead with a grunt, putting himself in the open. The
music stopped abruptly and he felt Kathryn’s smoky azure gaze settle
on him. Chakotay swallowed hard as he watched the expression on her
face change from startled to angry to sad.
“Captain, I sorry. I didn’t–” Chakotay began haltingly.
Kathryn shook her head, “It’s alright, I knew I’d be discovered
sooner or later, but I always thought it would be B’Elanna or another of
the engineering team. I didn’t think–”
“You didn’t think it would be your first officer in the middle of
the night.”
Kathryn smiled slightly, “Couldn’t sleep, Commander.”
“Apparently, neither could you.”
“Touch‚–”
“Kathryn, what’s this all about? I mean–”
“Why am I sitting in a Jeffries Tube . . . in the middle of the
night . . . singing?”
“Yes–”
“I couldn’t sleep,” Kathryn bantered though her heart wasn’t
really in it.
Chakotay suppressed grin, “Kathryn–” He warned.
“Okay, I needed to do this.”
“Why?”
Kathryn sighed, “It’s a long story.”
“So, I’m listening.”
She stared at him for a long moment.
Kathryn Janeway had more than surprised as she realized, she
was not alone, and more so for the identity of the intruder. Now, the
look in those deep brown eyes was mesmerizing.
Slowly, Chakotay came to sit before Kathryn. He said nothing
as he gently took her hands in his and waited for her to pull away. She
didn’t. Only the flash of panic that swept over her features, belied her,
before it was gone.
“Chakotay,” Kathryn said though her voice was but a whisper.
“Please Kathryn, I only want to help. Tell me–” Chakotay gently
urged.
Kathryn shook her head, “I can’t–” It was then he noticed her
hands were shaking in his. He gave them a squeeze and released her,
to lift the slim keyboard into his lap. He played a few notes experi-
mentally and then looked at her.
“This is interesting–” He observed as he studied the instrument.
“It was a gift from an old classmate. She’s a concert pianist.
Nella wanted something easily portable and this fit the bill perfectly.
You can roll it up and put in a travel bag. She replicated one for me
before my last mission and gave it by making me promise I’d practice
more.”
“Nella–” Chakotay mused thoughtfully, “That wouldn’t Nella
Darin, Stellar Sciences, would it? She’s tops in her field.”
“The same and she’s a commander now. Chief of Stellar Cartog-
raphy on the Yorktown-C, formerly posted on the Enterprise-D.” Kath-
ryn smiled covertly. “Rumor had it, she and Jean-Luc Picard were an
item, but Nella never talked about and I didn’t press her.”
“Why do I sense, you’re trying to make a point here?” Chakotay
bemoaned. Kathryn cocked her head slightly as she looked at him.
“Tit for tat, Commander.”
Chakotay sighed and nodded, “I haven’t been very talkative
lately either, have I?” Kathryn was silent as they stared into each others
eyes. Cerulean on sable. The effect, left him feeling intensely vulner-
able as he pushed on, “I’m still trying to work through what happened
with the Vhori.”
“I know, so am I–” Kathryn whispered as she dropped her gaze
and to Chakotay’s surprise, softly sang the next verse of the song, sans
the piano.

“You were the treasure in my hand.
You were the one who always, stood beside me.
So unaware, I foolishly believed.
That you would always be there.
But then there came a day–
And I turned my head and you slipped away.”

She fell silent again as tears slipped down her cheeks. Under-
standing now, Chakotay laid the keyboard aside as tenderly took her
into his arms. Kathryn stiffened then slowly allowed herself to give
into the comfort that was being offered. Chakotay smiled to himself as
her arms crept around his waist to hold him tightly while she buried
her face in his shoulder. Long moments passed before she seemed to
gather herself and whispered the last verse of the song, never leaving
his embrace.

“If I had only known–
It was my last night by your side.
I’d pray a miracle, would stop the dawn.
And when you’d smile at me.
I would look into your eyes.
And make sure you know.
My love for you, goes on and on . . .
If I had only known–
If I had only known–
The love I would’ve shown.
If I . . . had only known–”

Chakotay felt as though he had been hit point-blank with a
phaser. `Was Kathryn admitting, finally, what he hoped she was.’ He
stared down at the profile of the woman, who was snuggled comforta-
bly against his chest. `No, I won’t speculate, until I hear the words.’
Nevertheless, his arms moved to tighten the embrace as he lowered his
head to gently brush his lips against hers just as a low cough was
heard. The couple jerked guiltily apart as Ensign Vorik appeared from
one of the maintenance shafts.
“Captain. Commander. I had no idea. I apologize.” The Vulcan
intoned looking about as flustered as a Vulcan could.
“It’s alright, Ensign,” Janeway assured him as she picked up her
keyboard. She glanced at Chakotay, offering a fleeting smile of thanks,
then she exited into an access tunnel. The first officer watched until
she was gone from sight, momentarily lost in thought. When he came
around, Vorik was staring at him. Chakotay said nothing as he quickly
followed Janeway’s path. Vorik responded to the officers abrupt de-
parture with an arched eyebrow and went on with his work.
* * * * *
A couple of days later, Chakotay found B’Elanna Torres, Tom
Paris and Samantha Wildeman huddled at a table in the mess hall, dis-
cussing something reeking with vital importance. As the first officer,
neared the table Torres called him over almost at the same moment
Kathryn Janeway entered the room. Obviously torn, Chakotay reluc-
tantly took the chair across from Paris. He started to eat mechanically,
his gaze never leaving Janeway as he remembered how it felt to hold
her in his arms.
Torres exchanged a look with Paris and Wildeman as she said
his name, “Chakotay– Voyager to Chakotay–” It took the second call
and a nudge from Torres’ foot to bring the first officer back to reality.
“B’Elanna, what?”
“Where were you?”
“In Jeffries Tube 7 on Deck 14, I’ll bet–” Paris quipped glee-
fully. It earned him a kick in the chins from BOTH Torres and Wilde-
man AND a hot glare from Chakotay.
“Look, Vorik said he came upon you and the Captain, the other
morning, he DIDN’T elaborate further,” Torres said in an attempt to
smooth Chakotay’s ruffled feathers.
“But of course, EVERYONE else, is putting their own spin on
things.”
“Well, rumor had it, it was the Captain who was providing late-
night entertainment recently for whoever has been up and within
range.”
“Yeah, who woulda thunk it. That she could sing at all,” Paris
offered up with awe. “It’s going make Harry’s Birthday party some-
thing to remember.”
Chakotay found himself smiling slightly as he said, “It was a
surprise to me, too.” Then after a thoughtful moment. “Harry’s party,
she’s gonna sing for him?” It was statement more than a question.
“Yep, along with Sam, they’re gonna do a duet. Harry doesn’t
know it yet, though,” Paris provided with a grin, “AND it did take a
lot of convincing.”
“AND coercing, but I said anything for Harry. It’s just this once
after all.” Everyone jumped at the sound of Janeway’s voice and were
a bit stunned as she casually pulled up a chair between Chakotay and
Wildeman. “So, of course, I couldn’t refuse.”
“Just this once. Oh, I hope not,” Chakotay murmured to him-
self.
“So–” Paris began as he eyed Janeway and Wildeman thought-
fully. “Whattaya gonna sing?”
The two exchanged a sly smile.
“That, my dear, Mr. Paris . . . IS for us to know and you to be in
awe of,” Janeway replied impishly. Wildeman suppressed a giggle and
Torres slapped a hand over her mouth to keep all out laughter from
erupting. Chakotay simply leaned back in his chair and grinned. This
was a side of Kathryn Janeway he and everyone else, rarely saw, much
like the side he alone, had witnessed a few nights ago. Tomorrow eve-
ning should prove very interesting indeed.
* * * * *
Kathryn Janeway looked around nervously as the crew began to
gather in the Holodeck. She wasn’t sure she could go through with
this, even for Harry. BUT, she told herself, I promised. So, with steely
determination Kathryn made her way to the table where Tuvok,
Wildeman and Chakotay sat. The Doctor and Seven were seated with
Master of Ceremony Neelix; Torres, Paris and Kim were at a neigh-
boring table.
Sliding in next to Chakotay and Wildeman, Kathryn noted the
decor created by Paris with the help of Torres and Chakotay. It was a
very good representation of a late-twentieth century nightclub or what
Paris called– a honky-tonk on `Karoake Night’ and everyone wore at-
tire appropriate to the genre. The atmosphere was made complete with
sawdust on the floor and smoke-filled air as a five-piece band
twanged-up er, tuned up in one corner of the stage. With a soft sigh,
Kathryn turned to Tuvok and began a rather disjointed conversation.
Chakotay looked on Kathryn Janeway’s pre-performance jitters
with silent mirth and admiration. The latter was partly due to what she
was wearing — black denim pants or jeans smoothly encased her slim
figure, hugging tightly at the hips and waist. A white long-sleeved silk
shirt with collar and little pearl buttons allowed tantalizing glimpses of
rounded flesh through the open neck as she moved. Capping the en-
semble, bottom then top were the three-inch high black pumps and a
riotous mass of tawny curls. He realized it must of taken her a couple
of hours to get ready and Chakotay more than appreciated her efforts.
As he watched her, his minded drifted back to their encounter in the
Jeffries Tube AND the kiss he and Kathryn had shared –their first
kiss. Unconsciously, Chakotay touched his mouth as the memory de-
voured him, both so scared to go too far . . . and both wanting to. He
had imagined in his my daydreams, what it would be like feel those
teasing lips under his, but the dreams had nothing on the reality. If
only–
“Commander–”
Chakotay turned startled at the soft entreaty to find Sam Wilde-
man, dressed similarly to Janeway, smiling at him.
“Yeah, Sam,” He answered in the same tone.
Wildeman took his arm and leaned in close, “You’re staring at
her.”
“I was?” Chakotay murmured embarrassed, then a slow grin
spread across his face as he turned and nodded at her. “I was–”
Before Wildeman could respond the lights dimmed dramatically
calling their attention to center stage. A spotlight picked MC Neelix in
sequins as he sauntered on-stage amid musical fanfare and applause.

“Good Evening, All. Welcome to Club Delta Quad. This is a
variation on our Talent Night theme and we hope you enjoy it as
much. We have many new and notable appearances for you this time,
as well as return engagements. So, sit back, relax, and remember,
there will be refreshments, in honor Ensign Harry Kim, both at inter-
mission and after tonight’s performance. Please wish him a very
Happy Birthday.” At his table, the young Ensign tried to conceal a
blush as all eyes focused on him. Paris chuckled as he elbowed him
none to gently in the side as Neelix continued. “Now, onto our first
performers– Please welcome, `Crewman Hjalmer `Hondo’ Swedlund
and the `Voyager Players’ with their rendition of- `A Phaser Fight at
the DQ Corral’ . . .”

Kathryn Janeway only half-listened as the Talaxian droned on
and when the first act took the stage. She had been well aware of her
first officer’s gaze and knew the direction of his thoughts. She too,
was a bit overwhelmed by what had occurred between them. There
was so much, they needed to talk about before their relationship, if one
could call it that, would progress any further. Perhaps, later they could-
– Janeway stopped at the low whisper in her ear.
“That’s our cue, Captain–” Wildeman informed her. Kathryn
nodded and rose to follow her backstage. Ruckus laughter followed the
antics of `Hondo and the Players’. It reminded Janeway as her eyes
widened and she suppressed a chuckle, that one of these days she was
going to have that talk with Ensign Hickman in Astro-Physics.
Chakotay smiled at Kathryn Janeway’s reaction to the act on-
stage, even he had to admit it was hilarious to watch the pseudo-
Janeway(a.k.a. Hickman) and Chakotay (a.k.a. Swedlund) face off in a
Starfleet/Maquis version of the Earps and Clantons. Of course, with
comic rather than serious undertones as Hickman yelled at Swedlund
for shooting her hair, which was piled high on her head in an elaborate
do. An easy target to say the least. It reminded the first officer of a
comment he had made once, involving an apple. The parody went on
thus and ended in a lavish but hysterical truce that rivaled the balcony
scene from `Romeo and Juliet’ as Swedlund’s Chakotay promised his
undying devotion to Hickman’s Janeway.
Applause and echoes of laughter, followed the `Voyager Play-
ers’ as they were herded from the stage by Neelix. Once again, im-
mersed in a spotlight the MC asked Harry Kim to join him. It took
both Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres to get the reluctant guest of honor
on-stage. All Harry was told, was to just play along and make believe
he was on the bridge. Then with a little Holodeck magic the wooden
planks beneath his feet changed and he didn’t have to pretend any-
more. Now, as he took his station all he could do, was wait and see
what was in store for him. From that moment onward, Harry’s life and
image of his mentor was never the same. For as the lights dimmed
slightly, Harry heard a low husky voice begin to sing and a spotlight
singled out the form sitting in the command chair. The young Ensign’s
mouth dropped open, enough for Paris to land a shuttle if he wanted to,
and he could only stare as Kathryn Janeway sang–

Author’s Note: words in paraphrases are unaltered lyrics

“I’ve known about you for a while now–
When he leaves me, he wears a smile now.
As soon as he’s away from me–
In your arms, is where he wants to be . . .”

Janeway rested her chin in her hand in silent contemplation as
another voice almost as throaty came from the area of Tuvok’s Tactical
Station. At the visage of Samantha Wildeman, Harry Kim’s mouth
dropped open another notch– two shuttles.

“But you’re the one, he rushes (home to) to serve so- –
You’re the one, he (gave his name to) has to trust so.
I rarely (never) see his face,
In the (early mornin’)in mess hall at night (light)–
You have his mornings; his daytime’s;
And sometimes I have his nights . . .”

As she sang Wildeman moved across the upper deck to gently
chase Harry down to the command area and a waiting Janeway. To-
gether they joined in the chorus, urging the chagrining ensign into the
helm position.

“But does he love you; does he love you?
Like he loves me; like he loves me–
Does he think of you; does he think of you?
When he’s holdin’ me–
And does he whisper; does he whisper, all his fantasies?
Does he love you? Does he love you?
Like he’s been lovin’ me . . .”

With a wicked smile, Wildeman laid a hand on Kim’s shoulder
rather possessively. Harry responded akin. Another notch — three
shuttles.

“But when he’s with me, he says he needs me–
That he wants me. That he believes in me.”

Kathryn Janeway’s features twisted with a slightly hurt look,
tingled with longing as her hand rested on Kim’s other shoulder. His
reaction told everyone, there was now room to berth `Voyager’.

“And when (I’m in his arms) we’re on the bridge–
Oh, he swears there’s no one else.
Is he deceivin’ me? Or, am I deceivin’ myself?
I’m deceivin’ myself . . .”

The women faced each other for a moment, then released their
hold to move slightly apart as they sang. Harry sank a bit into his chair
in apparent relief.

“Does he love you; does he love you?
Like he loves me; like he loves me–
Does he think of you; does he think of you?
When he’s holdin’ me–
And does he whisper; does he whisper, all his fantasies?
Does he love you? Does he love you?
Like he’s been lovin’ me . . .”

Janeway walked a few feet away and crossed her arms as she
turned to face the audience with self-effacing resolve.

“Oh, I should not lose my temper–

Wildeman answered, with her own resolution as she slid her
hand up Harry’s arm in a tender caress.

Oh, I should not be ashamed.

Janeway answered with her own plea as she moved closer again.

For, I have everything to lose–”

Wildeman stood firm.

“And I have, nothin’ gain–”

Then they came again face to face each with a possessive hand
on Harry’s shoulder as they sang the chorus.

“Oh, does he love you; does he love you?
Like he loves me; like he loves me–
Does he think of you; does he think of you?
When he’s holdin’ me–
And does he whisper; does he whisper, all his fantasies?
Does he love you? Does he love you?
Like he’s been lovin’ me . . .

Janeway took a few steps away as she picked up the phaser ly-
ing conveniently on a nearby console and pointed it at the couple, who
embraced in mock-horror. A slow-malicious smile curved Kathryn’s
lips as she depressed the trigger. A brilliant flash, masking a trans-
porter beam, filled the stage; and when it faded, only Kathryn re-
mained. She half turned to the audience a wistful look of resignation
on her face and the last line of song slipped past her lips as she sank
into the command chair.

“Oh, does he love you?”

The lights went out the moment the music slipped away. It left
the assembled group to gather themselves in a stunned silence for sev-
eral seconds before thunderous applause erupted. The lights resumed
normal illumination to reveal a slightly overwhelmed Harry Kim sitting
once again next to Tom Paris at their table. On the stage, that had re-
turned to its original configuration, a similarly UN-vaporized Wilde-
man and Janeway took their bows amid a standing ovation, cat calls
and wolf whistles. Flustered and embarrassed but with big smiles, the
two women took their leave and returned to the table.
A half hour Intermission followed, then the Doctor took the
stage and initiated a riotous dialogue featuring the `Screams and
Dreams of Harry Kim, Adventures in Sickbay’. Of course, Harry
looked as if he wanted crawl under the table the whole time. The rest
of the evening moved by at impossible speed and before anyone knew
what was happening, it was time for the finale.
“Ladies and Gentleman, I regret–” Neelix began as he retook
the stage, “to inform you that our scheduled final act of the evening
has been canceled, due to an untimely visit to Sickbay. It’s seems En-
sign Parson’s has broken his leg.” The Talaxian scanned the audience
hopefully, “Perhaps, someone else would like to fill in. I’d hate to see
such a wonderful evening end like this.” Of course, no one did. But as
a fierce whispering ensued, it became clear nobody really wanted to
volunteer.
Chakotay looked at Janeway with a question on his lips. She
met his gaze with a rueful smile and wrapped her hand around his and
lifted both into the air before Chakotay could react. Neelix saw imme-
diately.
“Everyone, we have our volunteers. Commander Chakotay and
Captain Janeway.”
Kathryn tugged Chakotay reluctantly to his feet, “But Kathryn,”
he complained, “I can’t sing.”
“You don’t have to, just play.” Janeway answered as she called
out, “Computer, One baby grand piano situate stage left and provide
sheet music for Janeway ballad 73.” The instrument appeared and
Chakotay, not wanting to be a bad sport, sat down. Kathryn gave him a
few moments to study the music as she perched herself on a tall stool
with microphone in hand.
“Harry, this is for you. For your courage, insight and nobility.
May we all benefit from it, for many, many years.” Kathryn then nod-
ded to Chakotay. On cue his fingers danced across the keys and the
Captain of Voyager began to sing in a whispery voice–

“Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven’s love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again–”

Kathryn paused as she caught Chakotay’s eye, he simply smiled
and gave her a slight nod. The smile was returned, eyes sparkling as
she sang–

“Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem’ry bittersweet
Until we meet–”

Chakotay was more than moved, by his captain’s performance.
His gaze never left her as she raked a hand through her hair in an al-
most sensual gesture. And when she turned, the look she projected at
him as so provocative it nearly made him miss a note. She smiled at
his reaction and sang on–

“Fly, fly do not fear
Don’t waste a breath, don’t shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don’t wait for me
Above the universe you’ll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won’t forget–”

Kathryn found herself unable to breathe as she felt the hotness
of the gaze centered on her. Chakotay was unable to tear his eyes away
as her voice dipped into an even huskier tone.

“Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, and find the light . . .”

Kathryn ducked her head as the song faded from her lips, then
she brought it up to lock her gaze on the blushing ensign. She spoke
then with a breathy tone, “Happy Birthday, Harry–”
This brought the crowd to their feet after several seconds, led by
Kim himself. Chakotay joined Janeway center stage and slipped an
arm around her waist as they bowed. `There’s almost nothing like
making love to someone with your eyes,’ he thought, `–almost noth-
ing.’ As the applause died down Neelix hustled on-stage and the com-
manding officers of Voyager slipped backstage and off the Holodeck.
Finding themselves alone in the corridor, Chakotay took Kath-
ryn’s hand and led her to a secluded alcove. Kathryn pushed her hair
back and looked up to meet Chakotay’s dark eyes. There was an un-
spoken question in them, that was answered when she slipped her arms
around his neck. Chakotay ducked his head to meet her halfway.
They were both lost to sensations evoked by the kiss that deep-
ened almost immediately. When they broke apart, both struggled to get
their breathing under control. Their eyes locked and dark sable was
rocked by cerulean fire. Chakotay dragged a gentle hand through tou-
sled russet curls as he drew Kathryn against him.
“Dare I ask, what other `talents’ you may be hiding?”
Her lips quirking into a mischievous smile, Kathryn replied,
“The same goes for you, Commander. Do you think you’re up to find-
ing out?”
“Oh, believe me, I do love a challenge.”
Kathryn’s answering chuckle was smothered by another kiss.
Finis

Shalee,
Casting Muse in Hues–

Songs 1 & 2, by Reba McIntyre
Song 3 by Celine Dion

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