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/qst/ - Quests

File: Cascadia Railroads.png (1.03 MB, 1003x576)
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People made it through the Pulse. They made it through the diseases and the riots that followed. They made it even through the three-years winter. Then they made it through the New Deluge. And the sixteen years of drought that followed. People made it through everything that kept falling on them, conspired to rob them of what little that remained.
And they get used to it. They almost gave up to the hopelessness and chaos. Some surely did gave up on their humanity and sanity. But it took more than sanity, humanity, hope and organisation. It took good spot. And it took luck. Nobody likes to think this way, but that's how the Republic of Cascadia came into existence. A blind chance. Just close enough to important ruins, just close enough to the post-Deluge Sound of Columbia, just close enough to few hamlets and just far away from anything dangerous. All allowing it to flourish.
The fragile alliance of various townships and villages quickly turned into a semblance of real government and then actual ruling body. Then aspirations and ambitions came to voice. New Salem and Eugene were apart by only some 70 miles. A distance meaningless in the past, but now it took three days to pass, six when hauling goods. Maintaning the roads of old turned out too expensive and complex without all the resources and machines, but there was something else.
The old rail corridor. Twisted, partially dismantled, partially destroyed, in disrepair, but still easier to fix and easier to run than anything else. Not bound to petroleum, could use the plentiful timber, not requiring separate engines for each vehicle, easy to control and most importantly, allowing to haul huge amounts of goods and people, getting to either end of the Republic within hours.
At least that how it sounded on paper. Turned out to be much harder to implement. But the government of the Republic pushed hard for this project. They got everyone of any importance on board. Old rails were fixed, new ones were laid down and with much pain, trial and error, working steam engines were build.
15th of April, early in the the beautiful spring of 2100, the final spike of the new railroad was put in place. Nobody knows yet if this endevour will prove to be successful, but the hopes are high.
And thus, the story of Cascadia Railroads goes on.


The quest so far:

Previous thread
File: Existing rail system.png (1.94 MB, 936x1472)
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Your name is Collins. Director Collins, sitting in the board of the Cascadia Railroads, a recently started railway company within the Republic of Cascadia. You're in the board on the behalf of Cascadia Farm Co-Operative, a co-op of farmers and agriculture industries, making sure that all the rural communities can benefit on mass transportation and all the farmers are making pretty penny in the process.
Cascadia Railroads is a joint-venture between the Republic of Cascadia and various parties. So far, the company has but a single line, connecting cities of New Salem and Eugene, while stations are being established in Halsey and Lebanon. Besides having CFC in the board, there are also representatives of other prominent companies and organisations within the Republic: Military-Industrial Complex (MIC), The Confederation of Native People of Oregon and also workers of the Cascadia Railroads itself. There is also an envoy of sorts from far-away city of Roseburg, keeping an eye on the railway as Roseburg is trying to join the Republic of Cascadia. But most board members are private investors, looking for their own, often petty, profit.


>Previously in
Cascadia Railroads only has three working steam locomotives and suffers from a permanent shortage of rails. The Republic can only support a very small amount of tracks each year, but also promises with a special bill an additional grant of tracks, if large quotas of various goods are being transported.
After series of board meetings and planning with CFC, Collins presented a special plan for freighting goods between existing and planned stations. While prohibitively expensive, once fully implemented, the plan will allow the company to both recover financially and secure a substantial grant of rails from the government. The plan also provides a connection to the city of Albany.
Beyond management, Collins also made handful of new acquaintances and learned details about the extremely strained situation of the Railroads' workshop due to material shortages. During a lunch with Weaver, Roseburg's representative in the board, Collins also knows about the on-going accession deal between the city and Republic, which will push border far south
Using free time between board meetings, Collins made further acquaintances with some of the board members, was informed about additional troubles with running trains from the workshop and most importantly, learned there is apparent conspiracy against the Railroad and Collins himself. The first looks like works of Thomas Lindholm, a prominent man running the biggest transport and lodging operation in the Cascades, the other forcing to hire a personal body-guard.
Currently, Collins tries to secure the board of the company to increase the safety of the operation, balancing between ticket revenue and lack of accidents of the nascent railroad. Soon construction of new stations will finish, complicating management and safety matters.
Various bits and pieces


Cascadia Railroads situation

Characteristics of stations

Board members & their shares


>Personal inventory:
Up-to-date list of issues from New Salem's railroad workshop
Priority list for the workshop ( https://pastebin.com/fKhh9JB4 )
Financial report of the Cascadia Railroads
Surveying report and plans
Veterinarian prescription for a natural lactative
Personal notes and maps on the Upper Valley
Statement of the town council of Halsey, supporting the deal

Transcript of the last board meeting
Cost analysis of the Upper Valley rural depo
Rail milk tanker diagram and design
Accounting report on projected income

Access to the file report on Cascadia Railroad board members


Jim Baker, a CFC contact (+++++++++)
Railway engineers (+)
Wright of Roseburg (+)
Tom Wilson (++)


Baker's report on fellow board members (ready and waiting in the CFC office in New Salem)


>Lore bits
Factions explained
Rail Provision Bill
Agriculture Support Clause
Issues with the wool shipments
Blue Hounds mercenary company
CFC backstory
Roseburg's attempts to join the Republic of Cascadia
MIC and Confederation's strained relationship


>Rail Provision Act & Agriculture Support Clause

>CFC file on Railroads' board members
My laptop charger, after serving for 14 years, is busted. I managed to fix it, just took me far longer than I've expected. So far it is working, but I'm not a qualified electrician and had to improvise a lot. If it dies again, it will be for good this time, meaning no real updates until Saturday evening.
On the flip-side, weather went to shit, so I can reliably write updates daily, as there is nothing to do here. There is still a small chance to go for RĂ¼gen narrow-gauge railway on Friday, but it is highly unlikely with current and predicted weather.
>Go outside and talk with Jones. He wouldn't try to get your attention just to wave hand to you, even if he won't admit so first

You take a glance on Weaver, still buried in the report. No point disturbing her any further, especially since she clearly intends to read the whole thing before the board meeting starts. After rising your hand to Jones, you head outside, without a word.
You first greet Tom, then approach Jones. The engineer sticks around you.
- So I've heard you're planning to support Mr. Wilson's idea to increase safety of the rail? - The older man starts, in quite official manner
- And trying to get further support - You nod back, toward the lobby with Weaver inside - Should be more than enough to get the motion passed via basic majority.
- Assuming Mr. Miller will want to make it a basic vote - Jones muses
- He should be now all but convinced, without much of effort, too... Speaking about effort, what did you exactly put in that report?
- What you've asked for. All the details
- Well, then it worked like a charm, Weaver seems hooked.
As you keep chatting, you see Jones continously increasing the distance in small steps. For someone trying to talk with you, he picks a truly weird strategy.
- Come to mind, she had some questions earlier, when I showed up in the offices. Maybe you could help her out? After all, you're the expert out of us here.
- Sure, let's work on that
As Wilson heads inside the lobby, you smirk at Jones.
- Is there any particular reason for the theatrics? I am very open person, you can ask me directly, Mr. Jones. So what's on your mind.
He clearly is uneasy by the discussion and the style in which he managed to get your attention. However, once he makes sure Wilson is already talking with Weaver inside, he nods to make further distance from the entrance.
- I've read already the summary of the mission to the Upper Valley and had plentiful time to consider older reports. Why no wool?
- Wool? - It take you a second to connect the dots - You mean the stipend?
He just nods
- There is no mill within the realistic reach of the Railroads. In fact, I honestly doubt we would be able to connect the existing mills, but that's something Tom... I mean Mr. Wilson should be asked about. The mill in Lebanon went under what? A decade ago? And they've sold what could be still sold from their machinery.
- And the entire focus is on milk then? For your agriculture-to-rails deal?
- Mostly. It's not exclusive, we will eventually try to get as much of various cargo as possible, but yes, for now, milk is the top priority. Hence the mission to get people from the Upper Valley use the rail and support construction of additional depo.
As you speak, you see Jones checking a small notebook and adding a short note in it with an antiquated fountain pen. He's clearly up to something, but just won't tell you neither what he wants or what is it.
>Drag him by the tongue. Whatever he plans, it would be good to know ahead, especially since he's interested in agriculture cargoes
>Just let this weird discussion go on. He might spill his beans on his own, without any need to push further, as he wanted to talk with you anyway
>Switch the subject. Ask about the matters of the Confederation and Yamhill River Valley
>Switch the subject. Ask about his deals with Wilson, if he has any at all
>Other [Write-in]
>Just let this weird discussion go on. He might spill his beans on his own, without any need to push further, as he wanted to talk with you anyway
>But if he doesn't, drag him by the tongue. Whatever he plans, it would be good to know ahead, especially since he's interested in agriculture cargoes
>Drag him by the tongue. Whatever he plans, it would be good to know ahead, especially since he's interested in agriculture cargoes
>Drag him by the tongue. Whatever he plans, it would be good to know ahead, especially since he's interested in agriculture cargoes

- So how are things going for the Confederation?
- I'm sorry? - He asks, genuinely distracted
- I've asked how's the business going for the Confederation. I've heard MIC approached you with some weird proposal for a joint company. Is that true?
Jones gives you a glance, for a long moment. Then he closes his notebook and makes sure Wilson and Weaver are still inside the lobby
- Word already spread about it? - He seems surprised. No, rather disappointed. Or maybe both
- Let's just say I know a guy who knows a guy... Nothing but a rumour. So what's the deal about? I assume it's real, given your reaction, Mr. Jones.
- I can only say there were negotiations going with MIC. I consider them failed.
His own opinion doesn't equal with the outcome. Nor means anything beyond being an opinion. Still you ponder for a while. If there is a deal going with MIC, or even a possibility of one, then obviously at least a single settlement under the Confederation would have to have a rail connection, to haul all the heavy cargo.
- So you want to speed up the connection toward the tribal lands? - You conclude - That's why the sudden interest in the Support Clause?
- Partially. Let me tell you this: If you want to learn more, I suggest a lunch once the meeting is over to talk things through. More... friendly atmosphere. Now let's focus on voting for the right things
He points toward the stairs leading to the board room. Miller must have been inside all the time, since he's standing in the just opened doors. You start climbing up.

Eventually everyone is present. Aside familiar faces, there is handful of other people. Apparently not only you've hired and assistant and something tells you most of those people are really just that - assistants, rather than trained killers.
As Miller starts the proceedings and outlines the plan of today's deliberations, he points at you with a big smile on his face.
- Before we continue, I'd like to congratulate director Collins for the dedication and effort put into securing Cascadia Railroads' interests in Halsey and the communities of the Upper Valley. We just received a message today that City Council of Halsey officially passed a motion to help construct our new station and with it, confirmation from local company, the Sunny... - He checks his notes - ... the Sunny Cow Dairy Co-Op, to provide further funding on the endevour. I think this couldn't be handled better
Miller stands up and starts to enthusiastically clap his hands. While rest of the board members are far more reserved, they still join his ovations.
>Use the momentum. Try to appeal about train safety and mention how crucial it will be, especially with the ever-increasing number of stations
>Let Miller continue. The matter of safety is already included in the schedule, no point being pushy right now, when you can bring it up in few minutes
>Be humble about it. After all, it wasn't just your own, personal effort, but the work of people from both the Railroads, CFC and local governing bodies
>Shame the mob. Why were you at this alone, pulling the weight of the entire company?
>Other [Write-in]
>Let Miller continue. The matter of safety is already included in the schedule, no point being pushy right now, when you can bring it up in few minutes
>Let Miller continue. The matter of safety is already included in the schedule, no point being pushy right now, when you can bring it up in few minutes
>Let Miller continue. The matter of safety is already included in the schedule, no point being pushy right now, when you can bring it up in few minutes
>Let Miller continue. The matter of safety is already included in the schedule, no point being pushy right now, when you can bring it up in few minutes

Once the gratulations is over, the chairman continues
- Since the matters of Halsey's help are secured, I'd like to directly move to vote to reaffirm budget expenditures on the matter of building new stations. We discussed the matter already the last time, now would be the moment to confirm that decision, as agreed then. Thus: the motion for construction of the new railway station with low-temperature storage facilities... votes for - Everyone rises their hands, you and Miller included - The motion is passed unanimously. Please notify the offices
The old man instructs a secretary doing a hand-written steno in the corner. He just nods and continues to write
- Now, a matter that has been also discussed prior, the train safety.
The room groans. Or rather, the "private investor" part of the board groans in unison. It is clear they considered the matter done and dealt for already and are most definitely against it.
- In the past days, I've been presented with a special report by our Engineering Department, along with a separate statement of director Collins. In the light of those evidences, I'd like the board to re-consider the orignal motion. In the files in front of you, there is a summary of the engineering report.
You check out the paper file. Unlike the version given to Weaver, this one is only a single page, typed on both sides, including all the high-lights and references to specific pages of the full report. In this condensed form, it really sounds grim, thou. Especially the evaluation of possible costs of derailment or any sort of damage to the engine.
Before anyone can realistically finish the summary, Junior already speaks up.
- We've been over this matter already. Slower trains that bring current number of passengers are still better option than shorter... - He checks the word in the report, probably the only thing he read in it - shorter sets, which means sharp decrease of revenue out of some overblown safety issue. This company runs for profit, not sentimental matters.

>Shut Lindholm Jr. with Accounting report you've retrived today. It still projects nice and clean income, while trains will be safer to run and at better speed.
>Shut Lindholm Jr. for his ignorance. He clearly didn't even bother to eye the single page he was given, but already complains and puts his profit above safety of passengers
>Drown all the nay-sayers with facts. You've got the summary of engineering report, the Accounting projections and your first-hand observation how bad the existing brakes are
>Let him speak and complain all he wants. You already secured Weaver's support and Miller is clearly on board with this matter too, giving you more than enough votes to pass it anyway
>Other [Write-in]
>Other: bait him into saying something that directly contradicts the report, then catch him on having not read it and spin it as incredible and unresponsible greed.
If this works, hopefully the rest of the opposition gets tainted by association.
>Shut Lindholm Jr. with Accounting report you've retrieved today. It still projects nice and clean income, while trains will be safer to run and at better speed.
The bait plan is clever, but I have a bad feeling we'll botch the inevitable roll for it
Coin toss

>Shut Lindholm Jr. with Accounting report you've retrieved today. It still projects nice and clean income, while trains will be safer to run and at better speed.

- Have you been over this, too? - You toss your private file on the table, just for it to slide in Lindholm's direction
- What's that? - He asks, in the same time reading the name on the paper file, which is upside-down from his perspective
- Oh, a very ignorable piece of paper from our own Accounting department. It contains various projected changes in the income with different configurations of trains and how the mandatory caboose can be used for making money on the side - You make a dramatic pause, but cut Junior off right when he wants to speak up - it's all in the green. Some variations barely register any sort of losses.
He's dumbstuck, or at least taken by surprise. The matter of shorter set was apparently something he really considered a solved issue.
- Read it. - You adress him with a sly smile, then talk to rest of the board - Anyone can get their copy from Accounting once this meeting is concluded, they barely had time to assemble a copy for me.
Junior now looks like a child that would very much wanted to throw a tantrum, but in the same time is aware it won't achieve anything. Instead of him, Weaver goes for the Accounting report on the table and starts to quickly flip pages. She stops, after finding something she was expecting to find.
- I think we can both have the cake and eat it
She stands up and goes to the blackboard set in the corner. With a piece of chalk, she writes down fast few values, some from the report she got from Wilson, some from the Accounting projection and few from her own notes.
- So this is the time needed right now to get from New Salem to Eugene... and this is the projected time with additional stops along the way. This - She taps smaller value - Is the time needed with shorter sets and better brakes. We have departure time at 7 in the morning, while train from Eugene does the same. Then, by evening, there is departure back to original stations. With shorter sets - She taps the smaller time value again - We can send another train, probably somewhere past noon, still serve all the stations and despite having less cars per train, still sell more tickets a day than currently. The running costs... - She flips through her own notes and writes two values, but then substracts another value from the bigger one, making the end result near identical - Barely increase, if we assume that each caboose will be fitted with generator and the batteries will be sold. So we've got more tickets daily and side income, while going faster and with more stations in the system
She circles all the important numbers and further notes what they indicate so everyone can keep them in sight. Now you at least know why she insisted on the report on train safety. If it was really the safety she was concerned, and not simple engineering details and possibilities of the existing infrastructure.
- Are there still any questions against the train safety? - Wilson asks the rest of the board, clearly pleased by the outcome of the events.
After brief deliberation and checking on the values, Miller starts a vote. It is not unanimous, but very close to it - the only people who end up opposing it are Davis and Diego, with Johnson abstaining. Everyone else is in favour of shorter, caboose fitted trains, under the assumption there is an additional cruise each day.
Of course, your success on this matter doesn't last very long.
- As we all heard, this matter - Johnson points toward the blackboard with ticket revenue and running costs - Means bigger than expected income. This means a bridge to Corvallis should be affordable even sooner than originally projected.
- Mr. Johnson, I'd first like to make a break. We all should familiarise ourselves with the Accounting report - Miller interrupts him - One hour break.
>Talk with Weaver and Wilson. Congratulate them, as without the combined effort, the matter of rail safety would go nowhere, while right now this could end up being a major boon
>Talk with Jones. He invited you for a lunch, but now is a time like any other and whatever he wanted to talk with you might get outdated once the MIC man force-passes his case
>Talk with Johnson. He might be a self-interested prick, but that doesn't mean connecting to Corvallis isn't a big thing for everyone, so this could be a good time to get on the same page
>Talk with Miller. Find out from him what he thinks about the unfolding situation, both with Halsey, the increased traffic and finally, about the inevitable matter of going to Corvallis.
>Simply wait out that hour. You already have arrangements with Jones, Johnson is a prick and celebration with your colleagues can wait until the meeting is finally over.
>Other [Write-in]
>Talk with Miller. Find out from him what he thinks about the unfolding situation, both with Halsey, the increased traffic and finally, about the inevitable matter of going to Corvallis.
>Other: Talk with Johnson. Ask him about coal and profitability of the Corvallis connection
>More other: Think about what would happen if MIC owned the branch to Corvallis instead of CR. Make them pay for maintenance, make them lease the engines, maybe make them pay the interest on the debt.
Nvm switching to this
Rolled 86 (1d100)

>Other: Talk with Johnson. Ask him about coal and profitability of the Corvallis connection
>More other: Think about what would happen if MIC owned the branch to Corvallis instead of CR. Make them pay for maintenance, make them lease the engines, maybe make them pay the interest on the debt.

Once the break starts, you ask Keith to the side.
- Please tell me you've got all my papers in that leather bag... - You make puppy eyes to your bodyguard and he starts to unwrap the thing. You eagerly grab the prior financial reports - Hold the floor with Johnson. If it takes it, even punch someone, just don't let him go too far away.
You then start to quickly flip pages to find the right values and informations you need. Keith meanwhile disappears behind the doors of the board room, going after Johnson. You really hope the file has the data you need. You really hope Hanson won't end up starting a brawl.
After a while, you start writing down the numbers you were after. Add... substract... divide... Once having it all, you quickly cram all the documents back to the bag - them being too valuable to leave them alone - and run with it outside.
To your pleasant surprise, Keith is still chatting with Johnson at the base of the stairs leading to the board room. And there are no sings of blood, along with any sort of cohort that would be around the MIC man. Blue Hounds weren't lying when their bureau officer said the bodyguard will be top of the line. You close in to them, overhearing a meaningless, but still captivating conversation about matters of high quality materials for ammo penetration.
- Oh, since director Collins is here, I guess my time is over - Keith says with somewhat fake smile, but his voice remains genuine.
Jake Johnson doesn't seem fooled in the slightest by all this show, but still is entertained and even somewhat amused about what just happend.
- So what you want? - He asks straight, not even waiting for pleasantries
- You're clearly man of action, so let's go for it. How valuable that coal pit is to MIC? Would your people be eager to cover for the construction costs toward the mine?
And before he can say anything, you quickly add
- What about the debt the CR will end up with? MIC can cover that, too?
Despite the direct questions and rather sensitive matter, it takes him less than three seconds to come up with an answer.
- The coal pit is worth enough to directly buy out current owners. It's the easiest to access source of material for coke and the steel mill in Corvallis is using it now anyway. Just not...
- ... in the quantity the rail could provide - You finish for him - Ok, back to the second part. The debt.
This causes far longer pause. It still just few seconds, but he really is thinking this through. Eventually, he starts talking, but without the prior confidence in his voice.
- Depends on how big its going to be
- Big enough to build the bridge, lay down the rails all the way to Corvallis and even the steelworks, and then pay for it all, the station and the maintenance of the stretch going to the mill.
Johnson busts in laughing
- You're trying to pull a fast one on me or it's some sort of a joke?
- No, I'm dead serious. Wilson is going to oppose the idea of going toward your area due to various technicalities, most of which will be persisting even beyond current construction of other stretches of the new rails. The bridge is going to be prohibitively expensive regardless of any other factors, too. I'm pretty sure if you even mention profits on coal, Junior is going to own that pit by tomorrow. If he doesn't already. Jones is going to block this on principle, since it's a MIC deal.
"J.J." is about to say something, but stop
- Just go on - he waves his hand dismissively - Let me see this massive opposition of yours.
- Well, I simply don't like your attitude and I don't like your stance toward agricultural cargo, which is making it even possible to keep this company expanding, rather than putting it in debt. So convince me that MIC is going to bail the Railroads' debts, or you can forget any sort of negotiations and I'm pretty sure I've got bigger sway on Miller than you can even dream about
This is a bluff on your side, but nobody has to really know what are the real connections between CFC and Miller's prior offices. Especially since some of them were in the agri sector.
Johnson just gives you a long stare instead.
- I'd have to consult such matters first - He finally yields - But if you are hoping MIC will pay for everything or even throw at you extra rail, you must be insane, Collins.
- Consult by when? - You persist
- By tomorrow.
- So why the vote today? - You rise your eyebrows
- Because with or without MIC throwing any money on this, the matter is going to be passed - Johnson says, confidently - And your back-and-forth won't change that. Go on, try opposing it if you want to. I'm pretty certain you're for a bunch of surprises.
There clearly have been some major negotiations where you were gone in the Upper Valley. There is no point further pushing him, if you don't even know half of his cards or what happened when you were away.
- Ok, so let's assume CR goes for that coal pit. How much is per metric ton?
- The current price in Corvallis is 1400, but you can forget anyone paying more than 800 once rail comes to town. Besides, you're only taking a freight fee, so ask the people from the pit how much they are willing to pay the Railroads, not me
- There is a percentage based on cargo value and bulk, you know - You say, then smile broadly - And one more thing. With just passed upgrade to passenger trains schedule, your little coal empire is left with no engine to haul it, unless you magically convince everyone to risk the only spare engine to block the main trunk with cars full of coal.

>Leave Johnson be. You've got what you wanted and he probably will be pissed now anyway
>Try to placate him. Ask him for official re-assurement MIC will help connecting Corvallis from their own pocket, even if this means potentially surrendering profits from the line to them, too
>Ignore him. Chase after Jones, to see what he wanted, before the board meeting continues
>Ingore him. Chase after Wilson and ask him how feasible will be the plan just passed under Weaver and how hard it would be to make the dream connecton of Johnson happen
>Other [Write-in]
>Ignore him. Chase after Jones, to see what he wanted, before the board meeting continues
I'm liking the boardroom wheeling & dealing so far
I'm a bit confused right now. Aren't the coal pit and Corvallis in different directions? IIRC the coal is near Cottage Grove, going south, towards Roseburg. We shouldn't give that stretch to MIC, it's strategically and politically important.
Mid-point in going home, phone-posting

They are separate, yes
The narration post was written with assumption of discussing both stretches
This one >>4436824 is about connecting Corvallis
This one >>4436825 is about connecting the coal pit north-west from Cottage Grove
Bamp, since phone-posting a narration is kind of tedious.
Rolled 4 (1d100)

Home. Give me a second to turn notes into a post
File: Or maybe a bit less.jpg (20 KB, 238x218)
20 KB
If it's any help, I'm finally out of quarantine and apparently it was completely pointless, but oh well, at least I'm alive and not sick.
I'm however burried under piles of work, so I doubt I will have time to finally write an update before next Tuesday
At least you're alive!
Since QM is apparently dealing with a lot of shit, I think we may not get another update during this thread. If some more time passes w/o anything happening, I'll archive the thread and try to follow the previous format.
2/3 of the update is already written up, I simply fell asleep yesteday before posting. Expect update within few hours, but yeah, it will be a new thread
Sorry for all the assorted problems and delays
Good that you're still active. I guess describing yourself as Amtrak gives a magical effect of being slow and problem laden, but simultaneously unkillable. You might want to archive the thread now, by the way, since it's about to fall off. I'd do it, but I don't know what I'd put for the description...

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