• Graded • Rock the Boat

(Patrick)

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The Orm'del Sea is an ocean that separates Eastern and Western Idalos. It is said to have many horrors awaiting those that wish to travel through its waters.
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The boat was rocking on the frequent rolling waves and a bit of dawn light was filtering through the portcullis of the cabin. The yellow light passed across her eyelids and stirred her from her sleep. She became aware of the creaking of the wood and the ropes of the hammock. Rei felt warm arms wrapped around her form, the skin of an arm serving as a pillow for her head. She groaned, disoriented for a moment as she slowly remembered where she was. The arms around her were not Wendell, they were Patrick’s, and she was trapped on a boat in the middle of the sea.

Slowly she gentle moved Patrick’s arm from around her waist, her head swimming as she readjusted to the rocking of the boat beneath her. Rei threw her legs over the side, gently rocking the hammock as her feet met the cold wooden floor. She stood up and pulled on her boots, tightening up the laces. With a sigh she leaned over Patrick and pulled the covers up around him and placed a light kiss on his forehead. He would likely get up soon after her. They had come to know each other’s routines.

Rei plucked her black woolen scarf from her bag and wrapped it around her neck and shoulders. The chill in the air seemed a little more prominent than it had the trial prior. She went to the dining hall and ate up a few rations and drank some rationed out water before heading to the supply galley. The big sacks of grain were still stacked up, and she examined the back of her hands. They were getting rough and stayed red and irritated with scratches. But it didn’t matter. She had to keep practicing if they were going to be taking a ship and crew of competent sailors.

With a grunt, her leg flew and impacted the sack, making a little indentation. Next came her fists, swinging in fury then she threw her elbow with all of her weight behind it. The sack saw a small tear form, a bit of grain leaking out like sand. “Woops,” she whispered to herself before driving her knee headlong into the sack. It tore a little more, so she switched to the other side. After thirty bits of so, she could feel the sweat beading on her forehead and trickling down the curve of her back. She wondered where Patrick was. He had been watching Gorroc warily and it concerned her.
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For the past several nights he could finally ease into sleep, though sometimes the dreams still remained and weren't easy to handle. With Rei there though he would only wake up and then drift back to sleep, aware that she still remained there to comfort him; to protect him just as she did that frightful night. By now the two had their own set schedule on when they would awaken, more often than not Rei being the first one out of the hammock. She'd been doing that ever since he'd shared the hammock with her, though with a bit of his own quick investigation he quickly knew why.

He honestly didn't know if she'd just started doing it, or if it had been something she'd routinely done since they embarked, but by now he knew Rei had taken it upon herself to practice fighting. Something he felt odd about honestly but hasn't said anything to her, why bother when he knew good and well it was her own skills that allowed him to live another day. But no lately he'd taken interest in his own scope of things, as he'd become quite aware of what type of person Gorroc possibly was. To put it simple the man was just like Kar, another form of him that Patrick should've seen from the start. Though there were great differences between the two, he knew when you removed said variables the similarities became quite clear. So naturally he decided it was time to investigate, learn the enemy before the enemy knew them.

When he woke up it had been the same as yesterday, the red cover that Rei brought along left wrapped over him. He started to wish their nights spent together were something real, something that legitimately declared her somebody who was his. For the past few mornings he'd felt like this, almost jealous of the fact she and Wendell had each other. What would happen then? When they found Wendell and returned to Rharne, where would that leave Patrick once they were together? Despite how difficult the reality of the situation bothered him, he still cared too much for Rei to do anything. So when he moved onto his feet, he folded the blanket and left it to rest on the hammock as he pilfered through his bag. Zi'da was just around the corner and the cold proved it, as his feet instantly felt chilled the moment they touched the planks below. He found a brown shirt with sleeves in his bag, something to keep his arms warm while on deck. After he changed shirts and shoved the previous one he wore in the bag, something else within decided to fall out of it.

A small box that he'd believed to be left at his apartment, a personal item that he didn't suspect found until now. His eyes grew somber for a moment as he opened that box, the silver pendant he'd kept hidden away rested within. Next to it was a piece of torn parchment, a note that somebody left behind for him once he found the pendant. 'Don't let your past define you. R.' The "R" no doubt resembled Rose's initial, as the penmanship seemed to resemble her hand writing. He sighed with a soft and twisted smile. The pendant dangled before him as he debated putting it on. How long had it been since he even thought of this thing? Last he knew Dom wore it until the night of his murder, which the pendant then came to his possession. He pocketed the pendant but not completely as he neglected to realize the chain still dangled out, his boots slid on afterwards to renew lost warmth within his feet.

Not ready to eat just yet because he still needed to adjust to the sea, Patrick took a sliver of the ginger in Rei's bag and moved onward to the deck, careful steps made as he felt the boat shift in a tilt on his way up. He hated sailing. No matter how majestic the sea looked, he would never want to do this again without a good reason. A very good reason at that. When he reached the top and felt the cold of the breeze hit his face, he shivered for a bit as the ginger he took was placed inside his mouth. By now he'd become acquainted to the dried spicy taste it presented, before too long he'd move to the dining area to get a fix for the dry mouth to come. His eyes searched the members of the ship as he suspected Gorroc to be among them, sure enough he spotted the giant near the masts after a few bits. Once he'd confirmed to himself that it was in fact Gorroc, he moved along to get close in proximity to be able to hear any conversation the man might've shared.

He wanted to know just what this guy had going on, what exactly was he saying to his 'friends' that he hired back in Rharne. He hadn't forgotten the fact some mercenary types were hired for this job, and that the only reason he and Rei were even here was for Wendell. However something wasn't right when it came to Gorroc, and Patrick was dead set on figuring this man out.
word count: 911
"Freedom is everything."


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Rei pounded away at the sacks of grain, sometimes leaving little flecks of pink on the burlap in the wake of her fists. They were getting sore, and she knew she was going to have to go back to their cabin and doctor them up before she did anything else. Some of the friendlier crew members that were fighters- she could tell because they had scars and were missing teeth- had shown her a few moves to practice. Hooks and haymakers were among the things she was trying it. The haymaker was the hardest on her hands.

A break or two passed, it was hard to keep time below deck on the ship, and she was rolling sweat down her face and she had dampened her clothes mainly around the back and beneath her arms. She wrinkled her nose at the smell of sweat. For some reason it seemed to smell much worse on the ship- probably because water was limited and generally used strictly for drinking. Rei hadn’t been able to wash herself at all since they left port. With a sigh, she left behind the sacks of grain that served as practice dummies and headed across towards the cabin.

She had intended on rousing Patrick if he hadn’t yet awoken, but the cabin was empty and the blanket was neatly folded up on the hammock. Rei got down on her knees by her sack, fishing out her antiseptic and some fresh bandages. It didn’t take long to wash out the abraded skin, the wounds stinging sharply, and she wrapped her hands up like gloves. It reminded her of what a fighter looked like in the ring, causing her to laugh quietly to herself. Though she may have been improving, she felt like she was far from a fighter.

After wiping some of the sweat from her face and body, she checked the dining hall to no avail and proceeded up to the top deck. Sure enough, she spotted Patrick quickly. The two of them stood out among the crew of sailors and mercenaries. Just beyond Pat she spotted the imposing figure of Gorroc, seemingly engaging in some conversation. It was only because she knew Pat was watching Gorroc that she was able to determine he was eavesdropping. Rei sauntered over at a leisurely pace. “Hear anything of note?” Her voice was low and quiet, barely audible over the rumbling of the sea. “You going to fill me in on why you’ve been stalking him?”
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Patrick sat down on the crates with his back towards Gorroc, eyes zoned out on the sea and sky as he would often watch seagulls fly about. He could hear the giant speaking to his companion not too far away, but with the sound of the wind and waves much of the conversation seemed muffled. He had to focus on listening in, rely on his perception to try and read into what little he could hear. I'm tellin' ya, I can't wait t' wring tha' lil' bitch's neck. Gonna make her wish she'd did me in, along wit' that lil' pretty boy o' hers s'well." Patrick's eyebrows furrowed as he leaned a little more to his right, his eyes still on the sky as if he were busy watching gulls.

"So when we get there what's the plan?"

"There's no plan yet. Righ' now we're just catchin' them by surprise, Qyona should be willin' t' help out 'cause she was with me."

"Do we need t' worry 'bout the other two? They're only a liability an' bound t' get in the way."

"No," Gorroc answered swiftly, "No not yet. Lil' weasel's too soft t' do anythin', an' tha blondes not gonna be any trouble. Push comes t' shove I'll handle 'em me self."

Patrick's eyes fell from the sky down to the deck as he shifted once more, his elbows rested on knees while he twiddled his thumbs. The breeze picked up and seemed to cut off his ability to hear the conversation further, not that it mattered seeing as how he'd heard enough. They were liabilities to Gorroc and his band of mercenaries, which could only mean they were loose ends. Expendable assets that fitted more along the lines of obstacles, Patrick scoffed with a smirk on his face as he looked up to another couple of the mercenaries. He had to figure something out and soon, if he wanted to make sure they got to Wendell first, then brought him home safely afterwards; then Patrick needed to take preemptive measures. Forget the mercenaries, they were after something they'd likely never get a hold of. To them Freya was just another bounty they could cash in, Gorroc on the other hand seemed to have a personal vendetta.

Not only that but he mentioned Qyona, one he briefly told Pat and Rei about before they departed. Last he recalled though Gorroc mentioned he'd been ousted from the lot, so why would he say this 'Qyona' was willing to help him? He knew Gorroc was trouble, he just didn't suspect how much until now. Patrick needed to formulate a plan, right now he couldn't do much as he was. Well... he could probably start practicing swings with fists to get into the groove of things, though that wouldn't do much to help with his predicament. He hated having a broken wrist. He needed something rather more material he could, that Rei could even use, in the event they needed to defend themselves. Patrick sighed as he thought long and hard, curious as to whether or not he could sneak a couple weapons, maybe just a couple of daggers when the mercenaries were sleeping.

He noticed Rei had approached towards him in a casual stroll, her words soft and almost barely audible over the waves. He remained quiet when she asked if he heard anything, the rotation his thumbs made ground to a halt as he glanced over his shoulder. She knew. Of course she knew, she'd been taking care of him. Watching him and looking out for him, just as he was doing for her. They were alone here, only able to trust one another within a band of brigands. While their company certainly wasn't one he felt comfortable being trapped with, Patrick knew good and well how to keep a low profile in this snake infested territory. "Somethin' isn't right Rei." He finally muttered back her in a low voice. "Gorroc isn't tellin' the story straight, and I know that because Freya's not... She's not as bad as he's portrayin' her."

He looked up to her eyes with concern in his own. "I've got a hunch 'bout him just like I did with Kar, and you know by now anytime I have a hunch; somethin' is definitely wrong 'bout him." Patrick checked out the brace that still kept his wrist in place, his hand still barely able to bend when he tried to do so. "How long until this can come off? I need t' be ready for a fight, can't risk Gorroc or one of his new friends gettin' bold on us." He probably sounded rather paranoid to Rei, but she knew well enough his concern came with reason. Kar had served as an example of what happens when one let their guard down, and Patrick would be damned if he'd allowed another to catch him off guard like that.
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"Freedom is everything."


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Rei took a seat on the crates next to Patrick, sitting close enough that their shoulders were touching. She wanted them to be able to have a conversation while appearing that maybe they were canoodling on deck. She didn’t want anyone to think that they could be talking of anything of substance. “Of course something’s not right,” she commented, her glance following Patrick’s eyes up to the seagulls that were hanging around the boat. Occasionally they would dip down and pick off a fish that was flopping and thrashing around. Thankfully the smell up here was a lot more pleasant than it was below deck, though it wasn’t great.

He mentioned that Freya wasn’t as bad as Gorroc was painting her out to be, and it caused an eyebrow to quirk in curiosity. How did he know anything about Freya other than what Gorroc had told them? Did they have some previous history she didn’t know about? “You better start talking. How do you know anything about Freya? Is there some hidden history that I don’t know about? Why didn’t you mention this before?” She felt a small pang of anger twisting in her stomach. This would have been nice to know earlier.

It was true that when Patrick had a hunch it usually wasn’t good. His last hunch had been about Kar, albeit a bit late, and he almost wound up dead because of it. Her lips creased in a frown as her gaze flitted down from the gulls to the brute behind her. Luckily he wasn’t looking this way. “I think we should start barring the door when we sleep at night. I’m concerned of what might happen while we’re sleeping. I mean I really didn’t trust a group of mercenaries before, but.” Things had changed.

He inquired about his wrist and Rei took pause to look at it. She took it in her hands gently and unwrapped the bandages from around the stiff braces she had put in place to keep his wrist straight. She pressed around on his wrist, watching his reaction to see whether he still felt pain in particular spots. The bruising was fading thankfully. Rei shook her head. “I don’t think it’s ready yet. You have to be patient. When you break something it takes a while to heal. I’m sorry. There’s nothing to make this any faster.”

Carefully she put the splints back in place and wrapped the cloth bandages around them with ease. She hooked the bandage closed and set his hand back on his leg. “I’ve been practicing every day. But he’s so damn huge. I don’t know if it will make a difference.” She looked down to her lap where she was nervously twisting her fingers.
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Of course his indications weren't ignored when Rei had came to check on him, snooping seemed to be something he'd been bad at when it came to her. Of course it made sense they both weren't good at hiding their own private affairs, Rei being busy with a punching bag full of grain while Patrick collected information. The dynamic duo of the sea. Able to take on anything thrown their way, or so the idea amused him anyways. Rei seemed to take note at how Patrick spoke in Freya's defense, a flicker of anger stirred as she questioned what he knew. "Nothin'. Least nothin' solid. Remember I met her briefly while workin'? Well it turns out you can learn a lot in just the short time ya spend with another person." He surmised as he left the comment open for Rei to interpret.

As much as he enjoyed his line of work there existed facts, details that were both obvious and hidden when you met someone. It just turns out Patrick met with Freya more than once before they departed, and from his standard point of view he didn't see her the type to kidnap anybody. She was still a bit of a mystery to him, but deep down he felt she was different. And Gorroc? Patrick already branded that ass for what he was when they met, and so far his gut hasn't failed him yet in terms of reason. Rei suggested that they should bar the door to their quarters, an idea he agreed with though wasn't sure how to manage. They didn't really have anything to use to bar the door period, though if they were creative enough.... then maybe they could tie a line at its entrance. It would trip whoever decided to try and sneak in, ensuring them a chance of safety while they rested. "We'll figure somethin' out." He looked to her with confidence in his eyes, with the two of them together, they were bound to pull through one way or another.

Rei was stronger than back before they left Rharne, before Wendell had disappeared, and she was forced to endure the savage outcome of a dagger to the back. Yes ever since then she'd become stronger in her own way, and it made Patrick feel all the more encouraged to keep up with her. She checked his wrist once the bandages were unwrapped, a few presses on areas made his hand twitch in pain. It certainly looked a little better than before, though it still wasn't enough to be considered healed yet. There was hardly anything he could do at this rate, save for the fact he still had his left hand intact, and of course there always existed the method of kicking when needed. "It's okay, I'll make do." He reassured her when she apologized and watched her replaced the splints and wrap the bandages once more.

She'd been practicing every day just as he guessed, yet even so her size compared to his proved an obstacle itself. He could agree as he too felt like a insect in comparison, as Gorroc was just far more larger than any foe Patrick faced. He glanced over once more as he noticed the two were breaking conversation, his eyes once more on the sky as he brought them down to Rei. "I've an idea that may help, though we'll have t' keep it hidden until later." His eyebrows lowered when he began explaining the idea he'd formulated so far. "There's only maybe four or five mercenaries aboard, among the lot of them we're bound t' find weapons. Daggers. I intend t' get a hold of a couple for me and you, then maybe when we're 'bout t' make port we can toss the rest o' their weapons in the ocean..." He felt last part a silly idea as it posed greater risk than snatching just a couple of daggers, a soft grin formed on his features as he looked down to his hands once more.

"Stupid I know but that's just an option I've come up with. Right now I only intend to grab the daggers, how we'll handle the mercenaries remains t' be seen right now." He added as he looked from his lap to Rei's, his left hand moved over to hold hers for reassurance.
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Nothing? He knew more than nothing if he was able to make comfortable assumptions about her personality and intentions. She rolled her eyes, not quite over the fact that he and Wendell were entertainers and their jobs entailed bringing beautiful women to bed. “Well you know enough to assume that she might not be a scummy rat. So you know something. You might have shared this earlier.” She fiddled with the bandages on her hands, feeling her scratches still smarting from the sting of the antiseptic. She had forgotten to put a bit of salve on it. It might have helped ease the burning.

Rei, too, had thought about the fact that there wasn’t much to bar the door with, but perhaps there was a stool or a chair they could swipe and brace up against the door. Something would be better than nothing. Right now they were open and vulnerable. Anyone could walk in at any moment and slit their throats or smother them and they’d been none the wiser. And from the looks of it, there were no shortages of people that would be capable of such a gruesome act.

Patrick wasn’t pleased with the turnout of his wrist, but he said he’d make do. Forever the optimist, he was. At least this optimist had an idea. He would have to have been an optimist to have the idea that he came up with. Only an optimist would think they could get away with it. “Well, the daggers might not be so bad an idea. I don’t know how to use one, of course. Do you?” Rei wasn’t sure how much good they would be if they didn’t know how to even properly use them. Sure it seemed simple enough, you stabbed with it. But what happened when you met a trained opponent?

“The other idea, though. I kind of doubt a group of mercenaries are going to be so easily relieved of their weapons. They probably keep them on their person most of the time, if I had to guess.” She sighed, but quieted to an awkward silence as Gorroc passed by them, heading to go below deck for whatever seedy reason he had. She blew out a puff of air as he disappeared into the shadows. “I’m so worried we are going to die.” Rei ran her hand across her face.
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"I know and I'm sorry," He responded to her insistence, "honestly I didn't think too much on it at the time. It was only recently that I actually considered otherwise." He noted with an occupied thought, he had to consider the details he knew were facts and what were assumption. Part of him still felt a little conflicted over the fact he'd felt something for Freya, a quiet thought he kept hidden away as so much had already happened since then. What difference did it make that he felt something for her? He still required the reliance of actual fact, and so far the facts weren't all adding up with Gorroc's own story. Given Pat had heard only one small part of the conversation, it still proved example enough that Gorroc was only hiding the truth about what really happened.

Rei focused on her own bandages as Pat noticed she seemed a bit in pain, his idea with the daggers met with a rather convincing argument... did they know how to use them? Well considering Pat survived an encounter with one, one who did have advance militarized training, so 'technically' speaking he could say... No. No he couldn't. His expression revealed perplexity as he thought about it, and with one eyebrow raised he looked back over to Rei with an answer. "Stick 'em with the pointy end?" It had been more of a joke rather than a statement of the obvious, granted in recent events he'd been pretty reciprocating about being stabbed. With the joke passed though and her point with relieving them of their weapons, Patrick nodded as he knew the conceived idea seemed rather silly. He reached for the chain that rested out of his pocket, a few tugs and lean to ease the pocket allowed him to pull the pendant out once more.

Rei admitted she feared the possibility that they were going to die, and for a moment Patrick remained quiet as he contemplated the thought. They were outnumbered five to two here, literally a pair of wolves in the snake pit. It didn't help he had injuries to heal from either, because that dwindled the odds down by one, and even then Rei wasn't fully trained to fight these suckers alone. He felt on edge but in an unusual sort of way, as if his sense of awareness dramatically improved. He felt the salty air fill his lungs with the smell of fish and the sea, the wind in his face and on his hair while eyes noticed the scenery. He felt more than just aware, he felt alive because of the danger he was in. This journey... this long journey just became a perilous one, and even now he didn't feel as puny as he did the moment Kar attacked. "No." His left hand grasped her right, a soft squeeze of the palm came as he shook his head. "No that's not gonna happen."

He looked to her once more with a confident, if not smug, grin plastered on his face. "Because we've got each other. We'll get through this, we just gotta keep on our toes and play it smart. They may have numbers but not every mercenary here has t' be bad, play dumb and see if we can't make a couple o' friends on this trip." He had to admit the idea of playing it like they were clueless sounded fun, in its own risk of permanent death sort of way. "Who knows, maybe we can out play them and make them turn on one another." He chuckled at the thought as his eyes fell back down to the pendant, his right thumb rubbed over the sparrow at the top of the compass.
Last edited by Patrick on Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:31 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 636
"Freedom is everything."


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Stick ‘em with the pointy end. It was Patrick. They were possibly about to get murdered on the open sea and he was cracking jokes. The eternal optimist. Rei wasn’t exactly a pessimist, but she couldn’t say that her optimism was as high as Patrick’s. “I suppose that about sums it up in short. Though I have a feeling it will take more than one stab to take done one of these… monsters.” That’s how she viewed them. They weren’t human in her opinion. They were big brutes that did just about anything for the right amount of coin.

Rei felt her right hand squeezed and a little shock of pain shot up her arm. Her hands were always extremely sore after she practiced with the grain sacks. She smiled weakly and recoiled her hand from his, not because she didn’t want to be touched but because it was painful. “If you say so. I still think the odds are pretty good. There are a lot of them and just two of us. And you aren’t even in good shape right now.” She glanced over his wounded shoulder and the broken wrist. Without his dominant hand, how could he put much force behind his moves?

She didn’t have any more faith in the situation simply because they had each other. It was still just them two and neither were very skilled in anything that would be helpful. He suggested maybe they could make friends with some of the mercenaries. Rei’s eyes flickered around to the few looming brutes wandering around on the top deck among the ship’s crew. “I don’t know they don’t exactly seem like very personable people.” She sighed and looked down to see Patrick clutching some kind of compass with a sparrow. “What’s that? Did you buy a compass for this?”
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Rei understood well that his jokes and optimism had to be to alleviate the uncertainty, something had to help make them get through this while the trip to Ne'haer continued. Indeed these men who were nothing more then well paid thugs seemed like brutes, monsters that only cared for their own vices and the way of money. Yes. That's what it would take, learning just what appealed to these animals, and exposing their weakness to divide and conquer the lot. "They may seem like monsters Rei, but truth is they're the same as us." He reasoned with logical thinking now, the gears in his head in a churn for something that he could make work. "They may look tough and mean, but they bleed all the same just like you and me."

A lesson he would never forget. He'd witnessed the sight of blood enough times to know its there, he knew good and well chances and risks involved in doing harm. Could he do it himself though was the question? Was he willing to spill blood on his own hands? He thought hard about it while she reminded him the shape he was in, narrowed it down to the simplest fact to be known. They had little chances if something were to go amiss, no matter how much he thought on it there would always be complications. His suggestion in trying to 'befriend' these people didn't exactly appeal to Rei's better judgement, although he couldn't really blame her granted they were nothing but assholes all around. He started to beat himself up in a mental aspect, cursing the fact he was injured and even worse feeble. No... he wasn't going to be feeble any more, not when he had something to live for these days. Kar took it away once and nearly did it again, and now that Patrick survived he intended to grow stronger. He wasn't feeble... he couldn't be.

"Hm? Oh this?" He raised the pendant up for her to see it better. "It was me mother's and then Dom's, its just a silver pendant that looks like a compass." He offered it to her in case she wanted to look at it, a soft smile on his face as he remembered something his mother used to say. "I remember Ma once told me; 'No matter how much bad ya see, think of all the good instead.' I never really knew what it meant at the time because I was so little, but I guess now its... why I'm tryin' t' be so optimistic." He admitted with a soft chuckle, amused at how easily the memory came. "I never wore it after Dom had passed, just didn't feel right of me t' do so I guess." He looked out to the sea once more as he thought of home, where his mother and brother would be. He suddenly missed them and in turn felt homesick, nearly wishing that he hadn't come along on this trip like before.
word count: 515
"Freedom is everything."


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