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Prisma*Illya
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:05 am

IX

Absolution

Calisa sat beside Logan's bed, gazing out over the morning sun as it glistened over the surface of the water.

It certainly was a beautiful sight, though it struck a melancholy chord more than anything in her. Thoughts of her promised travels with Caster... of a bright future.

Sighing, she turned her gaze toward Logan's unconscious face. She expected he would have a lot of questions when he woke up, but he'd have to wait for Raphael for that. She hadn't managed to regain her voice yet after her extensive healing sessions the night before.

It was probably best that way. No doubt he'd wonder why she'd go through such lengths to save him. She didn't really have an answer herself.

To get Lancer on their side? Reasonable, of course. But Raphael had more than enough Command Spells, and could likely have coerced Lancer into a pact without Logan in the picture.

So why then?

"I guess I don't hate you as much as I thought," Calisa sighed to herself. "I think I just pity you."

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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:44 pm

Yacht

Such beautiful chords of music drifted across Logan's consciousness, even as his mind slipped into the endless abyss. Had an angel come to sing over him as he descended into hell? He tried to open his eyes and see her face, but then realized they'd been open the whole time, open and unseeing...

If only he could see a glimpse of her, something to balm his soul in the fires that would come, but no, paradise was for those he sought to protect, not for Logan himself. Only darkness awaited him at the end of his journey.

He laughed at that, or he would have if his lungs could produce the oxygen to make the sound. Instead, it came out as more of a strangled gurgle, and something warm ran down the side of his face. Blood... He knew the smell of it anywhere. It penetrated his skin, soaked into his very soul. He was tainted with it, so much blood.

Logan expected the voice to grow more faint as he descended, but instead, it grew stronger, the melody searing his mind with a ghostly echo. It was a haunting sound, one he would never be rid of, no matter how long eternity took to end...



"Aunt Tear..." The words were barely above a whisper, but Logan could hear them, rasped out in his own broken voice. Why had he thought of his aunt now? He tried to remember, but only darkness greeted his mind. Darkness... Darkness and that voice!

His eyes shot open, and Logan groaned at the sudden flood of light that penetrated his senses. He didn't allow his eyelids to close though. The light was too precious for that, and not just that, but someone was in its midst, cloaked in the bright morning sunrise. Was it the angel? Why would she bring him out of the pit though? He had done nothing to deserve paradise...

As his eyes adjusted, he could see more of her features, and the sight captivated him for some reason. He couldn't look away, or even blink for that matter, not until he came to the realization that the woman beside him wasn't the angel he had expected, but was instead Calisa Lannister.

"Guess I'm not dead then?" He asked. Then, as if realizing everything all at once, his mind suddenly reached out for Lancer.

Lancer! Are you there, or did they end it?
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:59 am

Relax, Logan. I'm still here.

The answer came after a few seconds. Lancer had pulled herself back into spirit form, trying to limit the continued stream of mana that Logan was supplying her with so he could heal.

Thankfully his condition had gradually improved over night under Calisa's careful treatment.

She couldn't deny that she had been worried, but the fact that he had woken up finally eased the weight on her chest. After assessing the situation, she decided to materialize and appeared at the end of the bed.

There's still work left for us to do.
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:41 pm

Calisa heard a whisper - faint, almost unintelligible.

"Tear?" she wondered, turning to look at Logan. Was he dreaming about someone crying?

Suddenly, his eye snapped upon, and she jumped a little at the sudden awakening. For a moment, she expected a lot of questions - ones she would have no way of asking. But he surprised her.

"Guess I'm not dead then?" he asked. Calisa stared at him a moment, then shook her head, half in amazement, half in answer to the question. Fortunately, Lancer appeared at that moment. The Servant should be able to help, in some part.

Calisa got off the bed, feeling suddenly uncomfortable at the close proximity and moved slowly to lean against the wall, watching the reunion between Master and Servant out of the corner of her eye with mingled jealousy and relief.

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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:41 am

Yacht

Logan gave Lancer a rueful smile and slowly sat up, testing his body's condition. "Good to see you, partner." He responded, surprised by the lack of pain it caused him to move. He'd been hurting so much the previous night. How had he recovered this much so quickly? Or had it happened more than one night ago? "How long have I been out?" He asked, almost afraid to know the answer.

His gaze moved to Calisa for a moment, and another thought occurred to him. "How is the Moderator? Did he survive the assault on the homunculus?" Logan's mind was moving in a million different directions. If Raphael had died, why would Calisa come back to the Yacht? "What about Annabelle?" He asked in rapid succession to his previous question. "Did she survive the blast too?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:34 pm

Lancer shrugged and stepped closer. "Just one night." Her eyes flashed over to Calisa, pointing out who Logan should be grateful for that.

"The Moderator is fine. He's out at the moment, but he'll be back soon," she added. "You'll have to ask him about what happened."

She took another few steps closer to the bed, approaching Logan. "Annabelle…well, I don't know if I would call it 'survive'. The blast didn't rip her apart, if that's what you mean." She paused, locking her eyes on Logan. "Unlike some other people I know," she said and crossed her arms.
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Sun Dec 07, 2014 6:14 pm

Yacht

One night? How had he been healed in one night? Logan frowned at the thought. Had he not been as bad off as he'd thought? No, judging from the look on Lancer's face when she mentioned the blast ripping people apart, he'd definitely been as bad off as he'd thought, maybe worse...

"What exactly do you mean?" He asked, looking somewhat confused. "If the blast didn't kill her, then what happened?"

Logan slowly flexed his fingers, testing his motion. He felt, lighter, somehow... His chains... They weren't wrapped around his arms as they normally were. He hadn't removed them since he'd received them, and without them, his body felt strange. "My chains... Where are they? I remember having them after the blast..."
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:10 pm

The chains... of course, his mind would go to those. They were practically a literal manifestation of his guilt.

Sighing, Calisa moved from the wall and picked up a bundle from the corner to deposit the chains on his bed. She didn't make any effort to shake her head in distaste before she turned and walked over to the window to gaze out over the bay for any sign of Raphael.

Well, she didn't expect it would be easy to locate the homunculus in the entire city. But that was the last hurdle... and she was so eager to put this all behind her.

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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:20 pm

Lancer shrugged again. "I don't know," she replied. "The fallen Master wasn't exactly my top priority after you decided to have yourself be used as a disposable shield and got blown to hell."

There was a glare in eyes that showed she still wasn't quite happy with the way things had played out on the battle field. However there was also something softer in her expression. Yes, she had been worried about Logan and she couldn't keep it from showing on her face.

There was a brief pause when Calisa returned Logan's chains and dropped them on the bed. "Do you want something to eat?" Lancer asked, sounding calmer than a moment ago.
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:26 am

Yacht

"Understandable..." Logan responded to Lancer, somewhat gruffly. Clearly, she wasn't happy with his decision the previous night. He knew that she wouldn't be before hand though. Only the command spell had made her raise her weapon against him. Without it, she never would have done so.

Still, she seemed to be dealing with it fairly well, all things considered...

Logan nodded his thanks to Calisa when she dropped the shackles on the bed, and his fingers toyed with them as he turned back to Lancer. "Actually, food and water probably wouldn't hurt me. I don't know how much blood I lost last night, but it's probably for the best that I replenish my supply, just in case."
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:56 pm

Lancer resisted rolling her eyes at Logan when he played down the fact that he needed to eat. Last night didn't seem to have taught him any lesson.

"I'll get you something," she said and stepped around the bed. Giving Calisa a small smile, she left the room, closing the door silently behind her.

In the kitchen, she went to work, sifting through the ingredients in the fridge.
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:45 pm

Yacht

"Thanks." Logan responded to Lancer as she made her way to the door.

He continued to toy with the chains for a few seconds after Lancer had left, and then he let them fall to the bed and rest. "You healed me..." The words sounded stale in the cabin air. "Why?" If she turned to look at him now, Calisa would see the haunted look in his eyes that accompanied the question. "Why is it that even though so much has been taken from you already, you continue to give of yourself to others?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:44 pm

Calisa felt a tense silence creep into the room as soon as Lancer left. On her part, it was more than just an inability to speak - it was a lack of desire, as well.

But it couldn't be helped. Even as he asked the first inevitable question, she knew it wasn't something she could ignore or play off, voiceless or not.

Spying some paper on the desk nearby, Calisa approached it and picked up some sheets and a pen before crossing to the bed and sitting at the end. She eyed the page thoughtfully - half to come up with the right words, half to avoid Logan's gaze - before scratching down a reply and holding it up.

/You were dying and needed help. All it cost me was several hours of speechlessness./

His second question was far more difficult though, and that haunted gaze even worse to deal with. Calisa turned back to the page, biting her lip.

/Empathy, I guess./ she wrote at last. /It feels fulfilling to give to someone in need, knowing how you'd feel if someone had only helped you in your need./

Where would she have been right now if Caster had not empathized with her and reached out to help her? Regardless of what followed, that act alone gave her strength.

And Dowth... if someone had only reached out to him in his need, maybe things would not have ended so tragically for him. Maybe even Jamie might have turned out differently...

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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:13 pm

Yacht

At first, Logan thought that Calisa would ignore his question. She made no indication of replying, until she stepped over and took the notepad from the table by the bed. All the questions about what she was doing faded when she held up the first scribbled note.

No voice... Healing him had cost her the ability to speak...

While he took a moment to process that, she wrote something else, and Logan let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding in after he read it.

"I saw before my eyes the angel of the Lord..." He whispered reverently. "And I fell on my knees to repent..."

Logan leaned back against the pillows, looking dumbstruck. "Forgive me if I speak freely." He said, a little more loudly now, but still in a low tone. "But you and I are of a very similar spirit. It was the paths we took in fulfilling that spirit that made us so very different."

"I once feared you would become as I am now, if you weren't cautious of your surroundings, but perhaps I knew all along that you were better than I and merely refused to admit it to myself."
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:50 pm

Calisa was taken aback by Logan's stunned reaction and ashen face, as though he'd witnessed something truly miraculous.

He wanted to speak freely - not that there was much she could do to stop him - but she dreaded what he might say.

That fear was not unfounded; he dared to compare himself to her, and she found the truth of his statement impossible to argue.

But for one small point.

Her hand, slightly shaky, grasped the pen once more and began to scratch out a message on the page.

/Excuses./ it said as she held it up, eyes hard. /You're just as capable if you determine to be so./
Living the way that he had, refusing to let anyone or anything stop him from his goals... It wouldn't be easy to make such a large change, but he certainly had the willpower to make it possible.

Logan, Raphael, and herself... All three of them had almost insurmountable odds in their past, but she felt that they all had a chance to draw off of one another's strengths and finally make that change.

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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:56 am

Yacht

Logan frowned when Calisa held up the notepad again, but it only lingered on his face for a moment. "It's not a matter of determining who or what to be." He responded gruffly. "Who I am and what I do is dictated by the Burial Agency until my time with them is through. This is my second job working for them, and the contract I signed was for three jobs, baring my untimely demise while on a mission."

He reached down to grip the chains laying on the bed again, rolling the links between his fingers. "This is the path I chose to walk, and I must follow it to its end. What I do after that, if there is an 'after that', I am not sure..."

"However, you saved my life, and that can't be forgotten."
He turned his gaze back from the chains in his hand to Calisa. "I've been accused of many things in the last several years, not all of them untrue, but I always pay my debts."
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:12 pm

Calisa sighed. It seemed for a moment as though Logan might have been coming to some sort of realization, but he had gone back to his familiar shell and territory.

Duty. Obligation. Denial.

Shaking her head, Calisa scratched out her last message. If Logan couldn't help himself, she wasn't sure how he expected to help her.

She got up and set the page down, then gave him one last look before heading out the door.

/You don't owe me anything./

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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:24 pm

Lancer looked up from the pan when Calisa exited the bedroom. If she had heard anything that transpired between her and Logan, it didn't show on her face.

She finished plating and then took the tray and carried it over to the bedroom door. Keeping a careful balance, Lancer entered without knocking.

"If you plan on making this a habit, you really need more cooking books or more ingredients," she said and set the tray down on the bed. Tidily arranged on the plate were a few slices of bread, scrambled eggs and some cut up cheese slices. Finally she tossed him an apple.

"You also ran out of fruits."

Lancer made no mov to leave, but instead sat down in the chair that stood in the close corner.
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:13 am

Yacht

You don't owe me anything.

Logan read the note again, just to make sure he'd read it correctly the first time. It wasn't accurate though. Even if she denied it, he owed Calisa more than he would ever be able to pay.

He sighed, leaning back as Lancer entered the cabin holding breakfast. She sat the tray on the bed, and he reached out to catch the apple that followed it. "Not that I'm unappreciative, partner, but I try not to let anyone else cook my meals for me. So, I doubt it will become a habit." Logan responded with a grin and brought the apple to his lips, taking a large bite out of it.

"As for supplies... Well, I didn't expect the competition to last this long, and considering the state of affairs now, I doubt that I should bother to restock the pantry today." He took another bite out of the apple and sat it down to pick up a piece of toast instead.

"What's really on your mind, Lancer? You've been looking at me like you've got something to say since I woke up."
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:59 am

She was a little bit surprised that Logan called her out like that. At first Lancer didn't say anything. Instead she stood up with her arms crossed and faced the window.

Suddenly she spun around. There was an unidentifiable look on her face, a mixture between anger and something else, something more emotional.

"What the hell were you thinking?!" she blurted out. "I thought I was your partner, not some slave you can order around! I wanted to defeat Saber too, but not at the cost of your life! I'm supposed to protect you and you…you just turn around and make me betray you!" she exhaled sharply, sounding more than upset.

"Or are you so over-confident and stupid, that you thought my Noble Phantasm wouldn't kill you? If Calisa hadn't been there… you would've died…" her voice grew quieter and less angry and she sat down on the side of the bed, burying her face in her hands. "And then what would've happened to me… to the wish…" she asked quietly, her voice reflecting the turmoil of emotions she felt.
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:12 pm

Yacht

Logan had been taking a bite of toast when Lancer turned back in his direction, and he slowly deposited it back on the tray, only chewing what he'd already bitten off to clear it from his mouth. "I've lived most of my adult life with the knowledge that sometimes you have to make sacrifices to reach your goals." He began with a pained look on his face. "More times than I'd like, those sacrifices have been the lives of others. Whatever that makes me, I could not with clear conscience be so willing to sacrifice their lives and not my own when it is called for."

He sat up straighter in the bed, trying to look more confident. "Would you have struck me down if I hadn't ordered it?" Logan already knew the answer, but he gave her a moment to process the question. "We were both fighting losing battles, and even if I'd been able to best Annabelle, Saber could have fled to find a new Master. The only way we won was if he was the one to fall."

"Had I also fallen at your hand in the process, I would have known it was no betrayal of yours, nor would I have condemned you for doing precisely what I required of you at the time. With Saber gone, you could have found another Master."
Logan waved to the closed door on the other side of the cabin. "There are two people staying with us here that would have bound themselves to you without question, if for no other reason than to stop the homunculus from getting control of you. Then, you alone would remain of the Servants, and you would be one step closer to your wish."
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:12 pm

Whatever emotions of weakness and openness were on her face moments ago, disappeared as Logan's explanation continued. Instead it was replaced by a darker, colder expression.

"Oh and everything is about you again. It's always about you and your pathetic and sad life. The one where you load all the suffering onto your shoulders and then wallow around in self pity, constantly reminding yourself and others of all the horrible things you've done and seen," Lancer crossed her arms again, there was an air about her something more authoritative than the usual light playfulness. She forced herself to ignore the pained look on his face. "I'm tired of it because it's not helping. It has got to stop."

"You make decisions that have logically the best outcome but affect the lives of others. You're trying to justify it with 'for the greater good' but that hardly seems fair to those affected," her voice was dangerously calm and serious now. "I'm not stranger to sacrifices, but you don't get to decide for me what sacrifices I make or how I'm supposed to feel about them."

Lancer stood up in an elegant motion, clearly still upset with Logan.

"I don't care what you think is best for me! I also don't care about these other two," she gestured towards the door. "What if I didn't want to find another Master. Did you think about that? I don't throw my loyalties about for free. You better remember that next time."

She stood at the end of the bed, indecisive, looking torn between staying and leaving.
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:28 pm

Yacht

Logan could only sit in silence as Lancer spoke her mind, and ever after she had finished, he remained completely still for a moment or two.

"It hasn't been about me for a very long time..." He finally ground out, his broken voice laced with sadness. "I know your story. You've told it to me, shown it to me even. My soul aches for the sadness that so heavily weighs upon your own, but you and I are cut from a different stone, partner..."

An image flashed through his mind, transmitted to her through their connection. A middle-aged woman with honey blonde hair that had only just begun to turn silver stood in front of him, a look between horror and concern on her face. "What have you done?" Her words were pained, as though they had been ripped from her very soul.

The image swirled away, replaced by a man wearing a grim expression. "I can't condemn you for following your own path. God knows I did the same, but neither can I give you my blessing." The man turned his back to Logan, his shoulders sagging in what seemed like defeat. "Go in peace, my son, and come back to us someday."


This image too faded, and Logan let out a long breath. "That was the last decision that was about me." Logan said. "And it's one I would change in a heartbeat. Do you understand now, partner? Do you see what kind of person the Master you've chosen truly is? Your family was torn from your grasp, but mine was tossed aside by no other hand but my own."

"So, I devoted myself to helping others through my own suffering... This is my atonement. Do you really think I enjoy living this way?"
He growled the question. "I continue on because it's all I know how to do! It's the only way I can carry on, knowing that I'll never be able to return to my family the same son that they once knew. Even if they forgave me, I would always know what I did to them, know that I'm capable of doing it again."

Logan leaned back against the headboard of the bed, looking more tired and weak than he'd allowed anyone to see him in a long time. "Even now, I know my actions would not please them, and yet I continue on, because even if it condemns me further, I may prevent another from walking my path. Tell me, partner, what kind of person would do that to himself if he thought there was any better way?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:30 pm

Lancer was slightly taken aback when she saw Logan's memories. However, she refused to let the feeling of pity for him rise within her. It was his own decision that had lead him to this path.

"You're right, we're not from the same stone. Yet you're also wrong. There is a better way. We all make decisions sometimes that we regret or wish we could undo," only a hint of sadness revealed how much she longed for that herself. Her eyes rested on the weary and tired look on his face and her own expression became a little softer.

"You know what your problem is... you can't ask for forgiveness. Neither from your parents or nor from anybody else and most importantly not from yourself. How can you expect anyone to forgive you when you're not even ready to forgive yourself for what you're done?" she asked quietly. It seemed her previous anger had gone, but there was still a hard line on her mouth. No it wasn't gone, she had just pushed it away for now.

"You say you follow the Lord, but the Lord doesn't say repent until the end of days. He says repent and then forgive," Lancer continued. "As long as you don't realize that, you will always see no other way and continue down this path of self-pity and sacrifice, hurting yourself and those around you that care. And believe me, the ones who care are there even if you refuse to see them."

Lancer gave a light shrug. "Only you can find the courage to start the change. Then you can begin to forgive yourself." It seemed she had misjudged Logan slightly. He wasn't ready to deal with his own problems, how could she expect him to be open to someone else's? Keeping her closed off expression, that revealed nothing of her own emotions, she headed for the door.

"You should eat. Things won't stay quiet for long," she said before turning the handle.
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Payne
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Location : Sitting alone outside a door that someone else kicked in. I'll wait for all eternity. Won't you invite me in?

PostSubject: Re: The Grail Games IC   Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:24 am

Yacht

Logan could do little more than sit in awe as Lancer turned his own philosophy against him. The Word of God, which he'd studied all of his life, dropped on his head by someone who didn't even pray to the Lord Almighty. He opened his mouth to refute the words, but promptly closed it again, unable to do so.

"Lancer... Wait." He swallowed, trying to push the knot in his throat down. "Please..." Logan pushed himself forward until he was turned on the bed, his feet touching the ground.

"You're right... More right than I'm ready to admit, to you or even myself." He lowered his head, taking a pained breath. "I'm..." Logan let the word die on his lips, unable to finish the sentence the first time. "This is why I worked alone on my last assignment. I'm not used to anyone giving a damn anymore."

Logan took another breath, trying to reign in his mental state, which was still reeling from having his beliefs turned on him in such an effective manner. "For what it's worth, I am sorry for taking your choices away from you. At the time, I saw no other option." He paused a moment, grimacing. "No, that's just another excuse, and I won't justify it with a hollow explanation..."

"I guess we all have something worth fighting for."
Logan continued after a moment. "I just have to come to terms with the fact that I may actually be worthy of such a prize, and be grateful for the fact that I've had such a patient partner."
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