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LoaMR: Ch.XII: The Closed City 2

by MailicedeNamedy


"That's impossible. We were in Gauland and the next morning... today... here," Emma stammered meekly.

"According to Imperial Law 239, Section 2b, I must confiscate your passport cards and send them to the nearest WA office. Thereupon you will be sentenced according to the Basic Law of the Greater Sagauvelian Empire. “

He held out his hands solemnly. Claire froze into a pillar of stone. An invisible fist struck several times in the pit of her stomach. She would have preferred to slump to the floor and wake up from this nightmare.

Reluctantly, they handed him the identity documents.

"Oho!" he smiled with satisfaction. He watched the deathly pale Claire, "You are from Regenschloss, Miss Silberlilie?"

"Yes," she said softly.

"Excuse me?"

"Yes," she spoke louder.

"I'm from Regenschloss too!" interjected Emma.

The head of the office looked at her documents.

"It says Free Duchy here," he replied coldly, "In fact, it belongs to the Greater Sagauvelian Empire. But your passport tells me that you are still a foreigner. You can see it clearly, here the imperial swan is missing."

He sat down on his chair and took off his flat cap. With care, he placed the papers on the desk. Emma wanted to jump on him but was held back by Claire before she landed on the desk.

"I am not a foreigner! I went to school in Regenschloss!"

"Miss Silberlilie, please tell your friend to be quiet."

Emma swallowed. Claire shook her back into her current position.

He pulled documents and a new-fangled typewriter out of the almost invisible filing cabinets. In a psychopathic manner, his gaze did not lose sight of the young women.

"Miss Silberlilie, tell me what you were up to in Eldingen," the head of the office asked her kindly.

"We travelled to Eldingen because we come from Sehlingen. We had travelled there from Regenschloss to... to... celebrate New Year. At Emma's grandfather's ... After that, we wanted to travel on to Eldingen... to get to Berlyne... we want to work... that's why..."

Claire almost fell in on herself. The building bricks crumbled and offered her little protection.

"Work in Berlyne? I see," the head of the office muttered to himself, "What kind of work? As you know, it doesn't take much to get work as a citizen of the Empire in the newly acquired territories. A form at the nearest Imperial Labour Office would certainly have helped you."

He rummaged for a map, which he opened high in front of him. Meanwhile, he asked Claire where this Sehlingen was. Only through Emma, who was repeatedly asked to remain silent, did he learn where it was.

"Let's see, Regenschloss, Speckern..., Pfalzburg, Lödingen... Exactly, in Lödingen you would have received a form.

What kind of work, Miss Silberlilie?"

"Conductor."

"I see. You are at the age to choose a profession. But you forgot to apply for this form. Was it because of your friend? She can't get one of the papers just like that. Is that why you didn't want to have anything to do with the Imperial Labour Office?"

"No... I mean yes...?"

He stood up and left her alone in the room.

"Claire, what are we doing here?" Emma whispered.

"I don't know," she returned, "I just want to leave."

The door opened. Next to the head of the office came two men who brought chairs and water.

"Take a sip or you'll fall off your feet," he laughed, "Let's get on with it. Work in Berlyne. And you were on your way to Eldingen. During this journey you - obviously - arrived here, is that right?"

He knew already the answer to every question he asked.

Claire nodded slightly.

"We were in Gauland. We thought it was Eldingen, that's why... and this morning we woke up here."

The typewriter was working. The head of the office made a note of the statement.

"From there you were going to take the train to Berlyne, right?"

"Yes."

"Your little friend wants to work too?"

"Yes."

"It seems strange to me that the two of you are travelling alone, without any idea of what the future will look like. Where will you live in Berlyne? How will you build a life?"

"We're going to stay with my father," Claire said tersely.

"Name and address?"

Claire swallowed.

"Benedikt Silberlilie, Lime Avenue 110 or 111 in Südthal I believe."

"Occupation?"

"Human Resources Manager. “

"Company?"

"Seelenherz Inc."

"We'll check it out," he spoke slowly, "Helmut! Take them into the next room."

Instantly, one of the two from before appeared and took them down the long corridor to the end where they had come from. There they were put in a room.

At first, Claire and Emma kept silent. Only when they saw the many men and machines out of the window did they break their vow of silence. Emma wanted to escape. Claire didn't. They talked about how they got here. How they fell into this situation. Everything that had happened in their lives.

Was this the WA?

It doesn't matter, it's a capture...

Two hours later, they took Emma away. She didn't want to at first but had to give in when the warden explained to her that they were the burglars. Another two hours passed. She came back. They had questioned her, Emma told Claire. It was no big deal, the head of the office questioned her and wanted to know more about her.

Another two hours later, the door opened for the last time.

"Miss Silberlilie and Miss Malven, please come with me."

The head of the office was sitting in front of the typewriter. The passports lay in front of it.

"You may keep them," he spoke carefully, "And take your seats, ladies."

He sounded satisfied.

With themselves or with us?

Claire forgot what had been discussed in the last few hours. Was there an escape plan? Or did they talk about nothing?

"We have checked their statements - both of them. Your father is a bigwig at Seelenherz Inc., why don't you want to start there? You could hold a good post," he suggested.

"I don't know. I've never been interested in my father's work," she murmured sheepishly.

"You should! A large part of this project is funded by the company," he continued, "You are in Edward-Lloyd-Newman City, a closed city of the Greater Sagauvelian Empire. It is funded by Seelenherz Inc., among others. We are building means of transport for the future, novel methods of getting water to higher places and making nature grow in a controlled way.

I am the namesake of the city. I am responsible for the eight thousand or so men and women who make the world a better place for Sagauvela. You have been to Gauland, an outpost of the ELN town that supplies us with fresh food and goods. Presumably, the people there - all citizens of the Empire- believed you were partisans. That's how they brought you here.

Since you, Miss Silberlilie, are yourself a citizen of the Empire and, like your friend, were passing through on your way to Berlyne, there must have been a misunderstanding.

However, I still have to report this incident to the WA of the local palatinate and get papers for entering the closed city. So, you will have to wait ten days until I have your papers so that you can continue your journey.

You will be given a room. But you are not guests, you are intruders, despite the nationality. You may not leave until I give permission."

During his explanation, he wandered around the room like a possessed man or a psychopath, waving his right hand as if he were holding a glass of wine or cognac. He paid no attention to them. Apparently, he was practising his lines for a performance by heart. His theatrical performance did not have the advantage of reassuring them. It seemed like a bad play to them.

"Have you been listening to me?"

Emma mumbled something unintelligible, Claire nodded.

"Well, now then, I have work to do, Helmut will take you to your room. Goodbye."

The room was square.

It had two windows, one facing west, one facing north. There were two makeshift mattresses, probably brought in when they were interrogated. They had a small table, a candle, two chairs, two glasses, water, some books, and a box of biscuits.

A little later they received dinner.

***

"We have to wait ten days."

What upset Emma more than this almost two-week incarceration was the disrespectful treatment as a foreigner. When they had brought them dinner, she got loudly upset about the people and forgot that Claire was sitting at the table with her.

Claire could not say anything in reply. She fled to the books they had been given. They were an atlas about the continent as well as a book about exotic animals in the hitherto contested and colonised new continent.

Claire needed this escape into the world. She shared a room with Emma - for quite some time now. During the train journey, Kapellengarten... there were few nights when she could be alone to fully regenerate her strength.

"Did you know that there are seventeen other states besides Sagauvela that are on our continent?" Claire distracted her friend.

"It doesn't matter."

"One of them is on two continents, did you know that?"

"No. There won't be eighteen states anyway," Emma expressed in frustration, "Once the great Sagauvela is finished, there won't even be Weißberg."

"That's exactly the goal," Claire said agitatedly, "To destroy Weißberg as the most powerful country in the world and put itself at the top. The dream of the Baron is to harbour the power of the Old Era and subjugate the world."

"There you see, that explains everything."

Claire was silent for a moment.

"Don't you want to discover the world? The unknown places that are still black on the map? Those spots that no one knows. The islands on the endless ocean? The mountains, the depths, the lakes of this world? This place is also a discovery! Think of the Demon Gorge! It is here in the Free Duchy, but it was only discovered a few years ago! Don't you want to explore the world? Discover something, be it just a gigantic pyramid-shaped rock in the middle of the sea or a plateau hidden behind massive snow-capped peaks?"

She couldn't convince Emma.

"No."

"Where are we going? We want to go to Léonard! But we are discovering a region that should have been discovered."

Emma lay down in her bed.

"It seems to me that we are years away between yesterday and today," she murmured as a night greeting.

To XII.3.


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Tue Nov 30, 2021 5:52 pm
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RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hey Mailice!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

This was an interesting continuation of the story. For one, it answered several of the questions we have been carrying around since the previous part, at the same time, raising several more. I liked the way you framed this chapter, like an other-worldly experience the girls were too numb to register. However, we know that is not the case.

Emma was her usual self in this part, showing her indignation at being addressed as a foreigner and focusing on all the wrong things at all the wrong moments. She was childlike in her reactions to the situation and did not really contribute much except for her unguarded annoyance. On the other hand, I really liked Claire's presence of mind in this part. I almost expected her to sink inside herself and escape to the world of imagination in her head. In fact, several times, I got the impression that she wasn't really there, that she was going along with the interrogation in a robotic manner acting on instinct rather than her emotions. This is why I described it as 'an other-worldly experience' earlier.

Her surprise and shock is natural enough in their portrayal, but again I though that the panic and the fear is missing. Sure they have no idea what is going on, they are being held prisoner by strange people and Emma's first reaction is to be irritated and Claire's is to be numb. You mentioned yesterday, that Claire is more of a complacent reactor in this situation, but even so, they are completely helpless at the hands of these unknown people. Wouldn't fear and panic be the more natural response from the girls? Its totally my personal opinion, but I feel there are certain emotions here that you could have explored better.

You have already given us a rather shady impression of this man. He seems like an extremely patriotic person, in the sense that he was quick to judge and reject Emma when he realized that she was a 'foreigner'. The fact that the entire closed city is named after him, puts him in a rather important position and it kind of shows in his 'theatrical' gestures that have been mentioned throughout the part. For some reason, I find it hard to believe that they have the authority to hold them there like that. This entire business seems shady and a little foreshadowing to me. I was a little disappointed by the mysterious woman's lack of presence in this chapter. I know you said that she will be more important later, but her presence was teased so heavily in the previous chapter, that I completely expected to see more of her again.

I loved the entire paragraph where Claire talks about exploring the world with Emma. I think it complemented a previous conversation with the 'head man' when he asked her why she didn't join her father's business when it was such an obvious choice. From the beginning, we have been shown that Claire has lived a sheltered life. She does what her father tells her to and she lives the life of a typical woman of her times. However, every now and then, we get a glimpse of her true desires when she creates separate worlds in her imagination while she is walking down that busy station or staring at a really expressive painting. Her soul longs to be free to explore the world, to quench her imagination and live on her own terms. She is gentle and quiet, but her dreams are loud and they long to escape.

I also like the way you portrayed the difference between the two friends. I thought that entire paragraph was very important as it tells us much about Claire and what she wants from life (also, I don't think I have ever heard say so many words at the same time before). At the same time, it draws a nice and bold contrast between the two friends. Emma is not even aware of her friend's dreams, nor does she seem very very interested. Claire's short monologue ends with Emma once again bringing up Leonard without any reason. And I think it speaks volumes about these two people and their friendship.

That's all!

Keep writing and have a great day!

Until next time!






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ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



Hey! Forever here with a review!!

This was quite an interesting and informative continuation of the first part. What I liked the most about thid part is how this part shows the difference at how people treat others just for some citizenship. We did get mentions of this previously too but here, it's mentioned way too clearly. Like it directly points it out to the readers who didn't notice it earlier.

Okay so in this part, Emma again became way too childish in this part. I really liked how she interfered their conversation saying that she too was from Regenschloss. However, what I liked more is she didn't intentionally lie. I mean if we don't really see all these citizenship things, she indeed lived in Regenschloss.

Well, Claire's knowledge of maps did, of course, help a lot in escaping all the questions they faced. I loved Claire's presence of mind in answering all the questions that they were asked. One one side I absolutely hate this discrimination they are doing on the basis of citizenship. That also kind of reflects the time period in which the story takes place. Like nowadays, we don't generally see that sort of discrimations among everyone. On the other hand, we can't really totally deny the fact that they did get some advantages as Claire was not a foreigner. If Claire were not one, they would have received a much worse behaviour. ... I don't think it's really right to call something bad an advanatge, though...

I don't see why the person really regarded Emma as a little friend. Howevee, I hate how he was discriminating. This is what actually separates Claire from the others. Despite being a Sagauvelan citizen, shw doesn't discriminate anong people. I hope that the news of then have not reached Claire's father. If it has, it is not going to help Claire a lot.

It's quite natural for a person wanting to escape from all these. Howevee, it seems like Claire didn't want to escape but rather spend some more days with her friend, alone. I hope Emma didn't tell them anything that might trouble them later. Emma is a bit childish, we can't deny that.

So my theory was not fully wrong. The people of Gauland didn't actually do a very bad thing if we see it from their side. It's quite natural for them to report intruders to the head officers. After all, if something happens, they will be the one to be pointed out at first.

I liked the last paragraph. That shows an intelligent side of Emma besides her mature side which sometimes surfaces. It's quite natural that Claire didn't succeed to cheer up Emma. Emma had to face a lot and everything that happened that a far worse effect on Emma than it had on Claire. She was continuously discrimated by the people. It indeed became intolerable for her. It was really really sad to see her, a great optimist so hopeless. I hope they will find some hope soon.

Keep Writing!

~Forever






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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Soo...well this makes for a pretty interesting continuation from the previous part and now we get some explanations for some of the unanswered questions from the previous part...and it looks like our poor protagonists are basically imprisoned here for the moment although I have a feeling this is a better punishment than what it could have been.

Anyway let's get right to it,

"That's impossible. We were in Gauland and the next morning... today... here," Emma stammered meekly.

"According to Imperial Law 239, Section 2b, I must confiscate your passport cards and send them to the nearest WA office. Thereupon you will be sentenced according to the Basic Law of the Greater Sagauvelian Empire. “

He held out his hands solemnly. Claire froze into a pillar of stone. An invisible fist struck several times in the pit of her stomach. She would have preferred to slump to the floor and wake up from this nightmare.

Reluctantly, they handed him the identity documents.


Well...this is off to the expected start, I love that you even have a precise law and everything, I've no doubt you probably have a whole book of rules considering how much thought you tend to put into these things :D ANd well, this is certainly opening on a very startling note, I do hope these two aren't going to find themselves in too much trouble, as flawed as their intentions are sometimes, I don't want anything bad to happen to them.

"Oho!" he smiled with satisfaction. He watched the deathly pale Claire, "You are from Regenschloss, Miss Silberlilie?"

"Yes," she said softly.

"Excuse me?"

"Yes," she spoke louder.

"I'm from Regenschloss too!" interjected Emma.

The head of the office looked at her documents.

"It says Free Duchy here," he replied coldly, "In fact, it belongs to the Greater Sagauvelian Empire. But your passport tells me that you are still a foreigner. You can see it clearly, here the imperial swan is missing."


Okayy...so that whole little nationality technicality is going to come back to haunt us...and well I suppose we were certainly informed of those reasons in that long ago passage about the formation of these countries and this war that's raging on...or is done right now but is still tense...not entirely sure there...sometimes its hard to fully keep track of all of this.

He pulled documents and a new-fangled typewriter out of the almost invisible filing cabinets. In a psychopathic manner, his gaze did not lose sight of the young women.

"Miss Silberlilie, tell me what you were up to in Eldingen," the head of the office asked her kindly.

"We travelled to Eldingen because we come from Sehlingen. We had travelled there from Regenschloss to... to... celebrate New Year. At Emma's grandfather's ... After that, we wanted to travel on to Eldingen... to get to Berlyne... we want to work... that's why..."

Claire almost fell in on herself. The building bricks crumbled and offered her little protection.


Hmm, her being in a bit of distress in understandable..and so far I'm loving the professionalism here by this person. He's no sweetheart by any means and he does push a few buttons on a person but he is so far being pretty fair I feel and just sticking to the law, so no reason for us to dislike him, he just happens to be doing his job in a fair if slightly strict manner.

"Work in Berlyne? I see," the head of the office muttered to himself, "What kind of work? As you know, it doesn't take much to get work as a citizen of the Empire in the newly acquired territories. A form at the nearest Imperial Labour Office would certainly have helped you."

He rummaged for a map, which he opened high in front of him. Meanwhile, he asked Claire where this Sehlingen was. Only through Emma, who was repeatedly asked to remain silent, did he learn where it was.

"Let's see, Regenschloss, Speckern..., Pfalzburg, Lödingen... Exactly, in Lödingen you would have received a form.

What kind of work, Miss Silberlilie?"

"Conductor."


Hmm,okay, once again this person continues to be fair, while also letting us know a few things about Claire's options that we've had no idea about until now, so I love how you're slipping in some extra details for this world here. This is the perfect way to convey all those rich details that you come up with for these stories and this way they are just so much fun to read. :D

"I see. You are at the age to choose a profession. But you forgot to apply for this form. Was it because of your friend? She can't get one of the papers just like that. Is that why you didn't want to have anything to do with the Imperial Labour Office?"

"No... I mean yes...?"

He stood up and left her alone in the room.

"Claire, what are we doing here?" Emma whispered.

"I don't know," she returned, "I just want to leave."

The door opened. Next to the head of the office came two men who brought chairs and water.

"Take a sip or you'll fall off your feet," he laughed, "Let's get on with it. Work in Berlyne. And you were on your way to Eldingen. During this journey you - obviously - arrived here, is that right?"

He knew already the answer to every question he asked.


Hmm, well he definitely isn't doing this sort of thing for the first time, that much is very clear right away and he seems to be trying to get them to confess to whatever it is he suspects them of doing, but he is also not overstepping his bounds in any way...so cunning, but fair enough upto this point, hopefully the two of them telling the truth will sway them to believe them eventually.

"From there you were going to take the train to Berlyne, right?"

"Yes."

"Your little friend wants to work too?"

"Yes."

"It seems strange to me that the two of you are travelling alone, without any idea of what the future will look like. Where will you live in Berlyne? How will you build a life?"

"We're going to stay with my father," Claire said tersely.

"Name and address?"

Claire swallowed.


Oh dear....this is now going to go to her father isn't it...this might end up causing some unnecessary complications at this rate...although considering he is a bit of a businessman that has some sort of position in that company, he might be someone that could bail these two out, this could be a good thing here...perhaps.

"We'll check it out," he spoke slowly, "Helmut! Take them into the next room."

Instantly, one of the two from before appeared and took them down the long corridor to the end where they had come from. There they were put in a room.

At first, Claire and Emma kept silent. Only when they saw the many men and machines out of the window did they break their vow of silence. Emma wanted to escape. Claire didn't. They talked about how they got here. How they fell into this situation. Everything that had happened in their lives.


Okayy....so that's kind of falling into a slightly summary like mode there....although I suppose what they're talking about here is relatively inconsequential enough that its okay to excuse them here.

Was this the WA?

It doesn't matter, it's a capture...

Two hours later, they took Emma away. She didn't want to at first but had to give in when the warden explained to her that they were the burglars. Another two hours passed. She came back. They had questioned her, Emma told Claire. It was no big deal, the head of the office questioned her and wanted to know more about her.

Another two hours later, the door opened for the last time.

"Miss Silberlilie and Miss Malven, please come with me."

The head of the office was sitting in front of the typewriter. The passports lay in front of it.

"You may keep them," he spoke carefully, "And take your seats, ladies."

He sounded satisfied.


Okayy...so he's either got one of them to confess something that he wanted or perhaps Claire's father has actually come in very useful here and things are about to turn out okay for the two girls. It really is hard to place here...but let's hope that things are about to get better soon and not worse for these two.

"I don't know. I've never been interested in my father's work," she murmured sheepishly.

"You should! A large part of this project is funded by the company," he continued, "You are in Edward-Lloyd-Newman City, a closed city of the Greater Sagauvelian Empire. It is funded by Seelenherz Inc., among others. We are building means of transport for the future, novel methods of getting water to higher places and making nature grow in a controlled way.

I am the namesake of the city. I am responsible for the eight thousand or so men and women who make the world a better place for Sagauvela. You have been to Gauland, an outpost of the ELN town that supplies us with fresh food and goods. Presumably, the people there - all citizens of the Empire- believed you were partisans. That's how they brought you here.

Since you, Miss Silberlilie, are yourself a citizen of the Empire and, like your friend, were passing through on your way to Berlyne, there must have been a misunderstanding.


OKayy....so they have accepted their story and given some I guess slightly logical career advice as well although it of course completely ignores the fact that Claire simply wants to do the thing that she actually loves doing and not what everyone seems to want her to do.

However, I still have to report this incident to the WA of the local palatinate and get papers for entering the closed city. So, you will have to wait ten days until I have your papers so that you can continue your journey.

You will be given a room. But you are not guests, you are intruders, despite the nationality. You may not leave until I give permission."

During his explanation, he wandered around the room like a possessed man or a psychopath, waving his right hand as if he were holding a glass of wine or cognac. He paid no attention to them. Apparently, he was practising his lines for a performance by heart. His theatrical performance did not have the advantage of reassuring them. It seemed like a bad play to them.


Okayy...well that was an interesting observation to end with...definitely makes you think a few things there...but I suppose this person does have the authority here no matter how terrible his acting skills are and they are going to end up trapped in one place that is pretty much prison for ten days...well I suppose it could be something far worse...and they did believe the story.

"Have you been listening to me?"

Emma mumbled something unintelligible, Claire nodded.

"Well, now then, I have work to do, Helmut will take you to your room. Goodbye."

The room was square.

It had two windows, one facing west, one facing north. There were two makeshift mattresses, probably brought in when they were interrogated. They had a small table, a candle, two chairs, two glasses, water, some books, and a box of biscuits.

A little later they received dinner.


Okayy..slightly abrupt transition there with the room scene, but a nice and concise description there at any rate. Well, let's see how they are treated across these few days here, that should be interesting to see and then we can form a final opinion on these people.

What upset Emma more than this almost two-week incarceration was the disrespectful treatment as a foreigner. When they had brought them dinner, she got loudly upset about the people and forgot that Claire was sitting at the table with her.

Claire could not say anything in reply. She fled to the books they had been given. They were an atlas about the continent as well as a book about exotic animals in the hitherto contested and colonised new continent.

Claire needed this escape into the world. She shared a room with Emma - for quite some time now. During the train journey, Kapellengarten... there were few nights when she could be alone to fully regenerate her strength.

"Did you know that there are seventeen other states besides Sagauvela that are on our continent?" Claire distracted her friend.

"It doesn't matter."

"One of them is on two continents, did you know that?"

"No. There won't be eighteen states anyway," Emma expressed in frustration, "Once the great Sagauvela is finished, there won't even be Weißberg."


Okayy...so the whole foreigner angle is certainly explored fairly heavily there and they do seem to be slightly biased in their treatment of Emma here which well, it certainly does manage to raise some potential problems about how this whole country in general is run I suppose rather than just these officers.

"Don't you want to discover the world? The unknown places that are still black on the map? Those spots that no one knows. The islands on the endless ocean? The mountains, the depths, the lakes of this world? This place is also a discovery! Think of the Demon Gorge! It is here in the Free Duchy, but it was only discovered a few years ago! Don't you want to explore the world? Discover something, be it just a gigantic pyramid-shaped rock in the middle of the sea or a plateau hidden behind massive snow-capped peaks?"

She couldn't convince Emma.

"No."

"Where are we going? We want to go to Léonard! But we are discovering a region that should have been discovered."

Emma lay down in her bed.

"It seems to me that we are years away between yesterday and today," she murmured as a night greeting.


Hmm, well Léonard snuck into this somehow...ahhhhh...but also...that last line there by Emma is actually really well done I think. It does an oddly perfect job at summing up how this entire chapter has been since the ending of the previous one. We can certainly feel the same as the two girls here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, I think its a solid chapter. I really like the portrayal of his head person here...and the way this whole "investigation" of sorts was carried out. I'm hopeful that these two quickly and safely get out of this and can be back on track towards their originally intended destination.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry






Thank you very much for your review! :D



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!! :D




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