[Rayna has just awakened naked in the woods of the Bayou, surrounded by smoldering dead leaves around her that were set ablaze when her old body burst into flames and regenerated. She rolls out a crick in her neck and looks around to find a bunch of clothes hanging on a clothesline next to a tent, which she steals and puts on. She finds her sword laying nearby on the ground and picks it up with a determined expression as she makes her way out of the woods]



[A currently unidentifiable woman is walking down the street with her hood up when suddenly, a very muscular and intimidating vampire vamp-speeds behind her before starting to follow her at a human pace from a short distance away. The woman is listening to loud music through earbuds which are connected to the phone in her back pocket, and she appears to be oblivious to the man behind her. Finally, she stops and turns around to face him, revealing that it's Deputy Penny Ares, Matt's friend, dressed in civilian clothing]

PENNY: What do you want?
VAMPIRE: Just looking for a bite.

[The man's fangs and vampire eyes come out, and Penny pretends to be afraid]

PENNY: Oh God. You're a vampire.
VAMPIRE: And you're lunch.

[Before the vampire can attack her, however, he's staked from behind by Matt, who has one of Alaric's stake-shooting guns in his hands. Penny removes her earbuds and gives him a look]

PENNY: Shouldn't he be turning all gray?

[Matt cocks and reloads his gun, which is still aimed at the vampire, who is now on his knees on the ground and is gasping and gagging as though the stake hit him in the lungs rather than the heart]

PENNY: All the other ones turned gray. Unless, of course, you missed.
MATT: [offended] How many vampires have I killed in the last few days?
PENNY: [shrugs] A lot. But who knows how many you would have killed if you hadn't missed a third of the time?
MATT: He's got a thick jacket on. I can't exactly see where his heart is.
PENNY: Outerwear? That's your excuse?

[Penny pulls out her gun and shoots him in the chest, right in the heart, killing him instantly before looking at Matt with a cocky grin]

MATT: You gonna stand there and brag all day, or are you gonna help me load him into the car? We gotta get him out of here before the--

[Suddenly, Krystal, Damon's one-night-stand from This Woman's Work, appears behind them with at least another half-dozen of her fellow vampires standing around her]

KRYSTAL: Julian's other vampires get suspicious? Too late.

[Matt reaches for his stake-shooting gun, and Krystal sneers at him]

KRYSTAL: Touch it and die. Actually, why don't you die anyway?

[Before any of the vampires can react, they're all shot down, one after another after another, by Rayna, who has her own wooden stake-shooting shotgun that she uses to kill all of the vampires. When Krystal turns and gapes at her in shock, Rayna shoots her too. Matt and Penny look stunned by the sight of her as she steps over their bodies to walk toward them]

PENNY: You saved our lives.
RAYNA: Yes, I did. Which means you owe me one. You ever heard of a vampire named Stefan Salvatore?

[Matt looks around for a moment, clearly torn about how to answer that question]


[Stefan is dabbing what remains of Freya's herbal poultice to block Rayna's powers from being able to track him. When Valerie watches him with concern, Stefan gives her a look]

STEFAN: You mind just paying attention to the road a little bit more?
VALERIE: Well, I could, but then I might miss the world's largest ball of yarn coming up on the left... And there it goes. Not quite sure what I was expecting.
STEFAN: Well, that was the last of Freya's herbs, which means its only a matter of time before they wear off and Rayna can track me.
VALERIE: Good thing we're on our way to get more.
STEFAN: [sarcastically] Are we? Because it sure feels like we're on our way to the world's largest waste of time.
VALERIE: We have to take back roads to avoid being spotted.
STEFAN: [gives her a look] Mmhmm.
VALERIE: You've only been running a few days, Stefan. Think of it like it's an adventure!
STEFAN: [scoffs] I don't want an adventure. I just want to get these herbs and have a nice, quiet, home-cooked meal with my girlfriend.
VALERIE: Then do what? Pay bills? Talk about your day? Ugh.
STEFAN: Well, you don't actually enjoy this, do you?
VALERIE: Mmm. There's a certain constant in the lack of constants. And, once you accept it, it's invigorating.

[Stefan stares at her for a long moment before turning into a driveway]

VALERIE: We're here.

[They pull into a clearing next to what looks like an outdoor greenhouse of some kind]

VALERIE: What is this place?

[They get out of the car and walk toward the greenhouse]

STEFAN: Well, according to Freya, all the herbs witches use are stored here. Just in case something happens to them.
VALERIE: All of them?

[They make it to the greenhouse, which is an open-air garden full of hundreds of different herbs and plants]

VALERIE: Well, I hope you know what this particular herb looks like.
STEFAN: And why is that?
VALERIE: Because witches are very fond of their herbs.

[Stefan looks overwhelmed by all the varieties of herbs around them]


[Bonnie's phone rings, and she picks it up off the table to check it. However, when she sees its Enzo, she mutes the ringer and sets it back down, just as Damon walks into the room as he pours the contents of a flask into a cup of coffee]

DAMON: Oh, good! You're up. How's Bonica-magica?

[Bonnie turns so she's sitting with her legs dangling over the edge of the bed and makes a face at him]

BONNIE: Not great, but... good enough to make sure you never call me that again.
DAMON: [chuckles] Oooh...
BONNIE: Someone's cheery.
DAMON: Well, I'm a man with a plan!
BONNIE: Which is...?
DAMON: [evasively] A secret.
BONNIE: Does it have to do with killing Rayna the Huntress?
DAMON: [smirks] I'll never tell! ...But, yes.
BONNIE: Good. How can I help?
DAMON: [sighs] You can't. This is the Damon-only show.
BONNIE: It's Damon versus Cray-na, because that one gets you right back in Hell. You don't even know how to kill her.

[Damon scoffs just as Bonnie's phone rings, which gives her an idea]

BONNIE: But, you know who might?
DAMON: [frowns] Don't even think about it.
BONNIE: Enzo's been calling me non-stop-- probably to apologize for yesterday. I bet if I go back to the Armory, I can find out more info.

[Damon snatches the phone out of her hands, hangs up on Enzo, and sets it back down on the table, causing Bonnie to scoff and give him a dirty look]

BONNIE: What the hell?
DAMON: Look around, Bonnie. I'm not here for the filmy hospital pudding. You almost died in that place, and I'll never let that happen again.

[Damon gives Bonnie a serious look]

DAMON: Promise me you will stay out of this, Bon. No one needs to get hurt for me anymore. I can handle Rayna.

[Bonnie seems surprised and confused by this reaction as she watches Damon turn and walk away]


[Rayna is holding the tip of her sword to the heart of one of Julian's vampires who is tied to a chair at the Grill, while Matt aims his stake-gun at the vampire as back-up for Rayna while Penny watches]

RAYNA: Here's where we stand-- I've killed five of your friends because they couldn't tell me where Stefan Salvatore was. I sure hope you can.

[Rayna turns back to Matt and Penny]

RAYNA: You two, watch and learn. The key is to treat them like you would a wild animal. Respecting the danger, but recognizing that they're beneath you, and that they serve a purpose. For example, this one will provide information.

[She turns back to the vampire, who looks resigned to his fate]

RAYNA: Tell me everything you know about Stefan Salvatore, or I'll send you to Hell for eternity.

[Just then, Damon appears behind them]

DAMON: Barking up the wrong vampire, there, sister. Stefan's antisocial. Not many friends. Actually, no friends at all. But, I hear he has a very handsome and charming brother. You might want to talk to him.
RAYNA: Yeah, a stupid brother. Seems foolish of you to come back here.
DAMON: I know, right? To be honest... I'm not that brave. However, I did have a shockingly effective ally tell me that you were here.

[Matt takes his gun off of the vampire and shoots Rayna in the gut with it, incapacitating her long enough to yank her heart out, killing her and yanking her sword out of her hands before she falls to the floor. Penny looks at Matt in horror as she rushes over to check on her]

PENNY: What the hell did you do?
MATT: [uncomfortably] It's okay. Damon's a...
DAMON: Aw, you almost said "friend." How sweet!
MATT: [sighs] His brother is a friend, and that's the only reason I'm helping him.
DAMON: [rolls his eyes] And the world yawned.

[He gestures toward the tied-up vampire]

DAMON: Get rid of this thing.
MATT: [annoyed] Anything else?
DAMON: Yeah-- you know where I can get a buzz-saw?


[Damon is sitting in a lawn chair next to the well near the old Lockwood property, wearing a bloody apron over his clothes as he sips bourbon from his flask. Next to him are a pile of weapons, presumably from the throne in the boarding house. The camera pans down into the now-empty well, where Rayna's body has been dismembered and put into individual garbage bags, which all suddenly burst into flames as she regenerates and resurrects herself. When Damon sees the smoke billowing from inside the well, he rolls his eyes and groans in annoyance as he takes another sip from his flask]

DAMON: Ugh. Here we go.

[Rayna has just regenerated, and she is standing naked in the well, which is just a few rolls her neck as her joints crack loudly. The well is only a few feet taller than she is, but she's still too short to get out without assistance. She takes a deep breath as Damon, annoyed, grabs a bunch of clothing from the ground and throws them down to her without even getting out of his chair. Rayna frowns in concern]

DAMON: They're my girlfriend's. And, given the fact that you two look exactly alike, you should be able to fit into them.
RAYNA: [sarcastically] What's next? "It puts the lotion in the basket?"
DAMON: It wouldn't have to if it just stayed dead.

[Damon sighs wearily]

DAMON: Bit of a pickle here, Ray. I got big plans.

[Rayna scoffs as she puts on her clothes, and Damon continues to sit in his chair to give her privacy]

RAYNA: You buy a time share?
DAMON: Kind of, actually. But, I can't go on vacation until I do something about you. See, I can't relax and sip Mai Tais while you're out hunting my brother. And, every time I kill you, you just Phoenix back to life.

[Damon sighs again]

DAMON: It's a dill.
RAYNA: Well, why don't you just let me kill your brother, then you can do whatever you want?
DAMON: Tempting. Truly. But, I kind of owe him.

[Damon finally stands and walks over to the well, still holding his flask and wearing his bloody apron]

RAYNA: Family, am I right? That's why you and I have to put our heads together and come up with a Plan B.
RAYNA: [incredulously] You want me to go against my very nature because he's your family?
DAMON: [mockingly] Pretty much.
RAYNA: Funny thing is... Family's the very reason this is my nature. My father envisioned a world without vampires. I will not rest until I see his vision through.

[Damon makes an annoyed face at her]


[Valerie and Stefan are walking around the herb growhouse as they look at all of the plants. Valerie looks a little skeptical of their plan]

VALERIE: So, what do you propose we do? Rub each one on your wound and hope for the best?
STEFAN: I don't know. You're a witch-- why have you never heard of this?

[As they walk, a figure in what looks like a light brown cloak rushes behind them in a blur]

VALERIE: [shrugs] It is strange. Botanically, I am very well-versed.

[As they walk through the rows of various herbs and flowers, Valerie starts to identify them for Stefan]

VALERIE: There's wolfsbane. Vervain. Senna. Witch hazel. And this fun little guy...

[She points to a plant at the same time Stefan does]

STEFAN: Mmm, that one I know.

[Valerie pulls a leaf off of the plant and looks at Stefan in surprise]

VALERIE: The witchy hallucinogen. The one borderline-recreational herb.

[Valerie looks at Stefan, clearly impressed]

VALERIE: Stefan, I misjudged you! You actually do have fun.
STEFAN: [gives her a look] I did it once.
VALERIE: [smirks] What was her name?
STEFAN: [rolls his eyes] Really? There has to be a her?
VALERIE: With someone like you, there's always a bad influence.

[Stefan, slightly amused, turns to keep walking through the aisles]

STEFAN: Well, her name was Rebekah. Let's just say she was a lot to handle.

[They turn down another aisle, and the mysterious cloaked person watching them speeds behind them once again]

VALERIE: [chuckles] 'Course she was. And that's why she's not in the picture. See, you prefer small-town girls who want to settle down. Who are easy to handle.

[Stefan makes a face at her]

STEFAN: I don't think anyone's ever called Caroline Forbes "easy to handle." And, as thrilling as this therapy session is...

[Stefan comes up to a row of herbs and frowns when he sees a section that is empty, save for a few dead leaves and roots]

STEFAN: I think I found it. Or, where it used to be.
VALERIE: [sighs] Lovely. A dead end.

[Suddenly, a mist starts to come out of the sprinklers over the plants, and Stefan looks at Valerie in concern]

STEFAN: What is it?

[Just then, a middle-aged woman in a light brown shirt whose face is covered in scabbed-over burns appears in front of them]

SCABBED WOMAN: Night, night.

[Valerie and Stefan stare at her in shock before they're suddenly knocked unconscious, possible because of vervain in the mist]


[Bonnie is sitting on top of one of the tables in the room where many of the artifacts are displayed, letting her legs dangle over the edge, when the door suddenly beeps as it unlocks and opens. Enzo comes in and looks at Bonnie in surprise]

ENZO: You actually came. I'm shocked.

[Bonnie rolls her eyes at him before glancing at his arm]

BONNIE: So, did it grow back, or...?
ENZO: No, actually.

[Enzo holds up his hand and wiggles his fingers for emphasis]

ENZO: I had to reattach it. But thank you for your concern.

[Bonnie shrugs as she jumps down and walks over to him]

BONNIE: Less concern, more curiosity...
ENZO: Well, at least you're thinking of me. I take it you received my messages?
BONNIE: I did. And, I'm not stupid enough to think that your apologies were anything other than a tactic to get you here. But, here I am.

[Bonnie circles around Enzo menacingly as he rolls his eyes in exasperation]

BONNIE: Fair warning-- if you try to disable my magic again, you'll wish I only cut off your hand.
ENZO: [laughs wryly] I see Damon's obscenity is rubbing off on you. It's quite pathetic, really. You know, you following him around like some high-school groupie.
BONNIE: Mmm, I forgot. You two used to be friends. And now you have none.
ENZO: [scoffs] Oh, you think you're friends?

[Before their argument can continue, the door lock beeps once again as Alex walks into the room to join them]

ALEX: Lorenzo.

[Alex sees Bonnie next to him and seems surprised to see her. She smiles as she walks over to introduce herself]

ALEX: You must be Bonnie Bennett. I'm Alex St. John. Welcome to the Armory.

[Bonnie gives her a hard, unimpressed look, which makes Alex's smile fall slightly as she glances over at Enzo's scowling face]

ALEX: I'm sorry for Enzo's behavior yesterday.

[Enzo looks at Alex, clearly offended]

ALEX: He wasn't following proper protocol. I asked him to call you back here.

[She makes an awkward, apologetic face]

ALEX: Might've gotten off on the wrong foot.
BONNIE: [amused] The wrong foot? Or...

[Enzo glares at her]

ENZO: Not funny.
ALEX: [chuckles] I don't know, it's kind of funny.

[When Bonnie just smirks and gives her a look, Alex gets back to the point]

ALEX: Rayna Cruz is a common enemy. We should be working together to fight her.
BONNIE: But you don't want to fight her. You want her captured. So, I think you know a lot more than you're letting on. Makes it hard for me to trust you.

[Alex seems impressed by Bonnie's intelligence and confidence]

ALEX: Fair. Why don't you come with me?

[She turns and walks back toward the door, and when Bonnie looks at Enzo questioningly, Enzo dramatically and mockingly bows and waves his arm to the door as though to say, "Ladies first." Bonnie reluctantly walks past him to follow Alex, with Enzo trailing behind her. They end up in a dark room that is even more packed full of books, artifacts, and other objects]

ALEX: This room contains everything the Armory has gathered on Rayna Cruz. List of victims, her lineage, the spell used to create her...

[As Bonnie walks further into the room, she sees eight bodies in black display cases with glass lids]

ALEX: And, most importantly, the shamans that gave their lives for her. The eight Everlastings.

[Bonnie looks around at the bodies and frowns when she sees that two of the bodies still look exactly as they did in their flashbacks, but the rest look mummified]

BONNIE: You mean two Everlastings. The other six look pretty "lasted."
ALEX: There should be three preserved corpses.

[Alex looks alarmed and turns to Enzo with an angry expression]

ALEX: We lost another one? Did you know about this? Why wasn't I told?
ENZO: It must have just happened.
ALEX: Damnit!

[Alex storms away, and Bonnie looks confused as she walks over to Enzo]

BONNIE: i take it from her subtle shift in attitude that's a bad thing?
ENZO: Every time Rayna dies, one of the bodies decays. We've lost quite a few this past week, and if we lose all of them, Rayna dies for good.

[Bonnie frowns in concern]


[Damon is munching on nuts as he kneels at the edge of the well and talks to Rayna, who is sitting on the ground inside of it and leaning against the wall and who still looks annoyed]

DAMON: So... hunting vampires is your identity. Your fundamental "This is who I am" in a nutshell.

[He sprinkles the nutshells in the well, and they fall all over Rayna, who is clearly unhappy to be there]

DAMON: You ever wonder if there's a way to change that?
RAYNA: [annoyed] No, I don't. Because there's not.
DAMON: [shrugs] I used to think that. Look, I'm selfish. Narcissistic. Prone to unnecessary bouts of violence...
RAYNA: [makes a face] Tell me again why I shouldn't be killing you?
DAMON: Because I changed. Temporarily, as it were, but it happened. Just took the right person.
RAYNA: I don't need a vampire matchmaker. But thanks.
DAMON: Well, I mean, have you ever even tried? Has there ever been a... Mr. Hunter? Huh?

[Rayna's face goes cold, and Damon realizes as he loudly munches on nuts that he's onto something]

DAMON: Ohh. There has been.

[Damon throws more nutshells on Rayna just as his phone buzzes, and he reaches into his pocket to grab it]

DAMON: [smirks] I see.

[He looks at the screen of the phone, where he's received a text from Bonnie that reads, "Rayna's lives are limited. Only two more left." Damon processes this for a moment before he speaks]

DAMON: Hmm. Never mind. Looks like I don't have to pretend I care.

[He puts his phone away and holds up Rayna's stake-shooting shotgun, aiming it right at her before he pulls the trigger]


[Enzo and Bonnie are still in the room with all of the shamans and information about Rayna when suddenly, Enzo sees yet another shaman decompose in front of him. He turns back to Bonnie, who is on her phone, and when she smiles at him brightly, Enzo gives her a furious look]

ENZO: You have five seconds to tell me exactly what's happening, or you're not leaving here alive.
BONNIE: [scoffs] I'm sorry, did I hurt your feelings by lying about my true intentions for being here? Feels crappy, doesn't it?
ENZO: [impatiently] What did you do?
BONNIE: I didn't do anything. Damon, on the other hand--
ENZO: [cuts her off] --Is an idiot.
BONNIE: [confused] Why? Because he's finally taking care of the problem you couldn't?

[Enzo loses his temper]

ENZO: No, because every time Rayna dies, she comes back stronger!
BONNIE: [calmly] Except for that last one, right? She won't be stronger when she's dead for good. Why do we even want her alive?
ENZO: [sighs] You know, I wouldn't worry about that. I'd worry about this.

[He walks over to the bookshelf and takes off an open book that is displayed there before dropping it onto the table next to Bonnie]

ENZO: This is the spell those shamans used to create her.
BONNIE: [frowns] And?
ENZO: [frustrated] Just... read it.

[Bonnie starts to read the book, which has an intricate diagram of the Phoenix Stone, just as the scene cuts to a flashback from This Woman's Work]


[Rayna is drinking the Tea of Protection while the leader of the eight Everlastings begins the spell to make her the Huntress]

LEAD SHAMAN: Great Spirit, we call upon you in this moment of need.

[All of the shamans stab themselves in the heart with their ceremonial daggers, leaving only the leader alive with Rayna]

LEAD SHAMAN: [to Rayna] They live on within you.

[The shaman hands Rayna her sword as Bonnie, in the real world, narrates in voiceover for Enzo]

BONNIE: The sword. It has linking magic. It creates a bond between Rayna and her victims.


[Back in the present day, Bonnie gives Enzo a look]

BONNIE: We knew that.
ENZO: Well, that's not all. The shamans didn't want her going to her eternal rest with any unfinished business, so they added an extra addendum.

[Bonnie sighs and looks back at the book to read the rest]

BONNIE: The scars are...

[Bonnie's voice takes on a tone of surprise]

BONNIE: ...A fail-safe. If Rayna dies... so does anyone she's marked.
ENZO: Stefan has one of those scars, doesn't he?

[When Bonnie realizes what Enzo is talking about, her eyes widen in horror]


[Damon is sitting on an end table at the BOARDING HOUSE when his phone suddenly rings. He picks it up and answers it when he sees it's Bonnie, calling from THE ARMORY]

DAMON: I'm not happy about you going against my wishes. But, I do suppose that me lecturing anyone on lecturing authority...

[Damon trails off, and Bonnie interrupts him with an urgent tone]

BONNIE: Where's Rayna?
DAMON: In the woods, in a moderately shallow grave. You know, I got tired of digging, but it should do the trick.
BONNIE: [anxiously] You have to dig her up.
DAMON: [scoffs] No way! She'll flame to life underground, suffocate, poof! Final life over. Hunters problem solved.
BONNIE: [frustrated] Rayna can't die again.
DAMON: [confused] Pardon me?
BONNIE: The wounds from her sword? It's linked to her victims. If Rayna dies one last time... so does Stefan.

[Just like Bonnie before him, Damon's eyes widen in shock when he hears this revelation]


[Stefan awakens on the ground with a groan to find Valerie sitting back against one of the wooden rows of plants, looking worried]

VALERIE: There you are.

[Stefan sits up and sees the woman with the scabbed face, chest, and hands standing in front of him and looks confused and frustrated]'

STEFAN: What did she do to me?

[Valerie and Stefan stand to their feet]

SCABBED WOMAN: I haven't had visitors in years. And then, all of a sudden, two in a matter of days.
VALERIE: [sighs] I spoke with her while you slept. Somebody beat us to the punch. Came in and took all the herbs.
STEFAN: [anxiously] Well, we need more.
SCABBED WOMAN: Unfortunately, there is no more. That herb is rare for a reason. It has strong anti-magic-- and therefore anti-witch-- properties.

[The woman points to her face]

SCABBED WOMAN: Let's just say this isn't from a bad laser-peel.
STEFAN: There has to be more somewhere.
SCABBED WOMAN: There's not. Witches eradicated it from the world a century ago. This was the only source.

[Stefan looks panicked and sighs deeply]


[Matt is behind the bar, pouring himself and Penny drinks while she watches security footage on a laptop. On it is the video from when Damon appeared earlier and killed Rayna]

DAMON: [on video] I did have a shockingly effective ally tell me that you were here.

[On the screen, Damon vamp-speeds toward Rayna, shoots her with the gun, and then rips her heart out. Penny stops the video and looks up at Matt]

PENNY: So, there are good vampires and bad vampires?
MATT: Yes.

[Matt hesitates for a moment and amends his answer]

MATT: Kind of. It's complicated.

[Penny points to the computer screen]

PENNY: And this is a bad vampire, one that killed your sister?
MATT: [sighs] Yes. But, that was a long time ago, and, like I said, I'm not helping him. Again, it's complicated.
PENNY: Because you're helping his brother... who's a good vampire?
MATT: Exactly.
PENNY: So, this good vampire... does he feed on people, too? Does he kill them?

[Matt, clearly uncomfortable with this line of questioning, becomes even more flustered]

MATT: Stefan... I mean, not right now, but...
PENNY: ...It's complicated?

[Matt sighs and gives her a look]

PENNY: The thing is, I've just spent the last few days with you, learning about how much you hate vampires and what they did to your town.
MATT: I do--
PENNY: And yet, you just helped one of them take down a vampire-killing machine. That doesn't sound complicated.
MATT: [frustrated] Penny, you have no idea what I've been through in this town.
PENNY: You're right. I don't. But, I do wonder how much of it you went through because you never took a real stand. At a certain point, it stops being the vampires' fault that the town is like this... and it starts to be yours.

[Matt looks stunned by this reaction]


[Damon is frantically trying to dig up Rayna with his bare hands to save her, and, by extension, Stefan]

DAMON: Here we go. Come on. Where the hell are you? Come one! Be alive. Be alive!


[Caroline is in the middle of quickly washing two baby bottles before she fills them up with formula and sets them on the table, raising her voice to shout into the other room]

CAROLINE: Bottles are a go!

[A timer beeps behind her, and she opens the oven to check on the meal she's cooking, smiling happily when she smells the food inside it. However, after a moment, her nose wrinkles as though she smells something rotten, closing the door before turning to see Alaric walking into the room with a dirty diaper in one hand at arms length away from him]

ALARIC: Whew! Diapers also a go. Like, go away with them. Ugh!

[He hands the diaper to Caroline, who gingerly pinches it between her thumb and index finger in an attempt to touch as little of it as possible as Alaric takes the bottles and rushes back into the other room to feed the twins, giving her an apologetic expression as he walks out]

ALARIC: Sorry.

[She wrinkles her nose again, just as her phone rings on the kitchen counter. She uses her elbow to answer it on speaker when she sees that it's Stefan]

CAROLINE: Oh, hey!
STEFAN: Hey. Is this a bad time?
CAROLINE: I guess that's relative. I mean, I'm not on the run from a supernatural huntress. How are you?
STEFAN: Oh, I've been better. Looks like it might actually be a while before I can visit. Turns out, those herbs are a little more rare than we thought.

[Caroline looks disappointed, but tries to cover it up]

CAROLINE: Oh. Yeah... Hey, that's totally okay. Honestly, there's a chance there was a little bit of contamination going on, so maybe that's not the worst thing.

[Just then, one of the babies starts to cry from the other room just as Stefan replies]

STEFAN: Hey, listen-- I was thinking, um... I've been on the run with Valerie for the last few days, and without those herbs, I'm not going to be able to slow down. But, maybe you could tag in...? I know being on the road seems awful, but it could be fun. We could go to Europe. See the world. Just you and me. What do you think?

[Caroline seems both shocked and torn about this offer and takes a deep breath]

CAROLINE: Stefan...
STEFAN: [nervously] I-I just... I just want to see you, Care.
CAROLINE: [guiltily] I want to see you, too. But... it's kind of a war-zone over here right now, and... Alaric really...

[Stefan realizes where she's going with this and sighs sadly]

STEFAN: He needs you.
CAROLINE: [sadly] Mmhmm.
STEFAN: [disappointed] Yeah. Yeah, I get it. Uhh.... Well, we'll-we'll figure it out once this Huntress thing is over.
CAROLINE: [nods] Yes. We will.

[Caroline hesitates for a moment before she continues]

CAROLINE: So, out of curiosity, what are your feelings about Dallas?
STEFAN: Dallas? Uh... I hadn't really thought about it.

[Both babies start crying loudly while Caroline responds]

CAROLINE: Well, it's not a terrible place to live. And, you know, the babies are here...

[Before Caroline can continue, Alaric calls out to her in a panicked voice]

ALARIC: Backup! I need backup right now! And more diapers.

[Caroline looks even more guilty as she starts to say goodbye]

CAROLINE: I'm sorry, Stefan. I gotta run.
STEFAN: [sadly] I get it. I love you.
CAROLINE: I love you, too.

[They hang up the phone, and Valerie gives Stefan a sympathetic look]

VALERIE: She's staying, isn't she?
STEFAN: [quietly] Looks like it.
VALERIE: We'll figure something out.

[Suddenly, Stefan starts to groan in pain as he clutches his chest, and his bottom slams against the ground as he falls, bumping into the front bumper of the SUV while he does so. Valerie, concerned, rushes over to him as Stefan continues to gasp for breath as though he's suffocating]

VALERIE: Stefan! Hey...
STEFAN: [gasps] What's-what's wrong with me?

[He continues to desperately grunt and gasp for breath]

STEFAN: What's happening?


[In the MYSTIC FALLS WOODS, Damon continues to frantically claw at the dirt filling Rayna's shallow grave as he attempts to dig her up, panting for breath from the exertion]

DAMON: Please be alive.

[He finally uncovers her hand, allowing him to shove the dirt away from her chest and face as well]

[At the HERB STOREHOUSE, Stefan continues panting for breath]

VALERIE: Stefan!
STEFAN: [rasps] My... chest...

[Valerie quickly unbuttons Stefan's shirt and pulls the lapels away to reveal that his X-shaped scar is not only open and raw, but is also surrounded by darkened blood vessels that are spreading away from the scar and growing larger as they begin to cover his chest]

VALERIE: Stefan?

[Suddenly, Stefan falls unconscious, and Valerie desperately tries to rouse him with no success]

VALERIE: Stefan!

[Meanwhile, in the MYSTIC FALLS WOODS, Damon has just bitten his wrist and is desperately trying to get Rayna to drink his blood to heal]

DAMON: Come on! Drink!

[When he pulls his wrist away to find she hasn't drank any of it, he becomes even more panicked]

DAMON: No. Damnit!

[He starts to restart her breathing by pinching her nose and by giving her rescue breaths through her mouth]

[At the HERB STOREHOUSE, Valerie is still trying to awaken Stefan]

VALERIE: Stefan!

[She puts both of her hands on his scar, one after the other, and tries to use her siphoning ability to stop what's happening to him]

[In the WOODS, Damon is now doing chest compressions on Rayna as he begs her to wake up]

DAMON: Breathe! Come on, Rayna! Breathe!

[At the HERB STOREHOUSE, Valerie's hands are glowing red as she siphons from him, but when she opens her eyes and removes her hands, nothing has changed, and she begins to mutter under her breath]

VALERIE: I can't siphon it. It's not working.

[The darkened veins and arteries surrounding his scar start to travel up his neck toward his face]

[In the WOODS, Damon continues doing chest compressions that are so hard, the sounds of her ribs cracking can be heard along with Damon's grunts of exertion]

DAMON: Breathe! I said BREATHE!

[Damon gives one last hard compression, which finally awakens Rayna and causes her to cough up a large amount of dirt before gasping for breath]

[At the HERB STOREHOUSE, Stefan suddenly awakens with a gasp as the blood vessels around his scar recede and return to their normal color. Valerie sighs deeply in relief as she cups Stefan's face in her hands. She closes her eyes for a moment, and Stefan clutches her hand tightly as he looks her in the eyes, surprised by how much she cares about him]

[In the MYSTIC FALLS WOODS, Damon has just fallen backward, gasping for breath and visibly relieved as well]

DAMON: Thank God.

[Rayna suddenly looks at him with a furious expression, grabs him in a one-handed choke-hold, and throws him with such force that he flies backward several feet before landing on the ground]

DAMON: [groans] Uh-oh.

[He struggles to get onto his feet, just as Rayna does the same, glaring at him maliciously with his blood still coating her mouth]

RAYNA: "Uh-oh" is right.


[Bonnie, visibly anxious, is quickly pulling various books off of the bookshelves in the room dedicating to Rayna's history, which she slams down onto the table just as Enzo walks into the room]

ENZO: What the hell are you doing?
BONNIE: You said she gets stronger each time she comes back to life. Damon can't kill her. He's walking into a fight he can't win.
ENZO: The Armory is on their way to Mystic Falls. They'll be there soon.
BONNIE: Not soon enough. She's connected to an Everlasting. Maybe I can weaken it... and her.
ENZO: And maybe that will kill her, and Stefan, too.
BONNIE: [frustrated] If I do nothing, she'll kill Damon!

[Enzo looks shocked by her outburst and realizes just how close Bonnie is to Damon]

ENZO: You're willing to kill for him? Do you really think he cares that much about you?
BONNIE: Yeah, I do.
ENZO: [incredulously] You have no idea what he's planning, do you?

[Bonnie sighs and gives Enzo a look]


[Damon and the recently-reawakened Rayna are still in a standoff near where Damon buried her]

DAMON: You want to talk about Mr. Huntress now, huh? Turns out, I'm very interested in this particular moment.
RAYNA: He was a vampire.
DAMON: Well, what do you know! Vampire-human affairs are my specialty.
RAYNA: They were mine, too. They don't work out in the long run... considering I staked him.

[Damon looks at her warily before looking around, clearly considering his options]

RAYNA: Go ahead. Run. I don't mind chasing a second Salvatore.
DAMON: [anxiously] If I could maybe get, like, a... "I just saved your life" head-start, huh?
RAYNA: [shrugs] You better take it.

[Damon hears a branch snap nearby and reconsiders his plan]

DAMON: On second thought...

[Rayna frowns, just as Damon vamp-speeds toward her, but Rayna kicks the ground, causing Damon's shovel to pop upward into her hand so she can swing it at Damon. He manages to dodge the hit, but he ducks so hard that he falls backward onto the ground. Rayna stands over him and sneers]

RAYNA: Don't say I never offered you anything.

[She goes to use the end of the shovel to cut Damon's head off, but he rolls away at vampire speed before getting back on his feet]

DAMON: Well, if I could kill you, this would be a much fairer fight.
RAYNA: Your brother's dead, no matter what. All you've done by saving my life is gotten yourself killed.

[She breaks the shovel handle over her knee, and Damon frowns]

RAYNA: Don't worry. I don't miss.

[Damon, out of breath from the exertion of preventing Rayna from killing him, pants loudly, but before she can throw the stake, she's suddenly shot in the neck with a tranquilizer dart. Her eyes open in alarm, but she doesn't even have time to process what just happened before she's shot in the back with another dozen darts by at least as many Armory soldiers, who have just surrounded her]


[Rayna turns toward the men and women behind her, just as she's shot in the chest with another dozen darts. She growls and glares at them as she turns back toward Damon, looking woozy]

DAMON: [impressed] Apparently, neither do they.

[Despite her best efforts, Rayna succumbs to the effects of the tranquilizers and falls to her knees before collapsing face-first onto the ground as the Armory soldiers swarm around her]


[Enzo is staring at the preserved corpse of the sole remaining Everlasting, the leader of the shamans who led the ritual that made Rayna the Huntress. After a moment, Alex walks into the room just as she's ending a phone call]

ALEX: [on the phone] Thanks,

[She hangs up the phone and looks up at Enzo to address him]

ALEX: Rayna is officially in captivity. Where's the Bennett witch?
ENZO: [smirks] Learning how little her friend cares about her.
ALEX: [frowns] I don't recall telling you to let her go.
ENZO: [confused] Well, I thought we needed her help with Rayna.
ALEX: Yes, Rayna was the first priority. Bonnie Bennett is a close second.


[Damon is digging through a dresser in the parlor, where he pulls out two different bottles of alcohol, when Stefan returns home, looking pleased]

STEFAN: Ah. Looking for a bottle to celebrate? I gotta say, I'm impressed. Got your text. I didn't think you'd be able to kill her.
DAMON: [hesitantly] Actually, my exact message read: "She's taken care of."
STEFAN: [confused] Yeah, she's taken care of.
DAMON: [awkwardly] Yeah...

[Damon makes a face, and Stefan frowns as he walks toward him]

STEFAN: What? So, you didn't kill her?
DAMON: I did. A number of times. As it turns out, she only has eight lives. The last one's the problem. Turns out that if she dies for good, everyone with that scar on your chest does, as well.
STEFAN: [stunned] So, we can't kill her.
DAMON: No. But, the good news is, the Armory has her, and they're not gonna let her escape.
STEFAN: Except for that time they did.
DAMON: [sighs] Look, I know it's not ideal, okay? It's what we got.

[Damon takes his drink and starts to walk out of the room when Stefan suddenly calls out to him, sounding defeated]

STEFAN: Caroline's staying in Dallas with Ric and the kids.
DAMON: Sorry to hear that, brother. But, I saw that coming.
STEFAN: [scoffs] You don't get it, do you?
DAMON: [frustrated] What?
STEFAN: As long as I have this scar, Rayna will hunt me. This isn't about just you and me anymore-- there's kids involved. I'm not gonna put them in danger, which means that I can't be with my girlfriend as long as Rayna is alive. And you just told me she can never died, so we have to figure out another way to get rid of her, or we need to get rid of this scar.
DAMON: [shrugs] That's a good plan... for you.

[Damon picks up two fancy envelopes, each sealed with a wax stamp, and shoves them against Stefan's chest. Stefan frowns in confusion]

STEFAN: What is this?
DAMON: [sighs] We both know the last few months have been impossible for me. I've been walking a tightrope. Falling off constantly. I'm not a good brother when I'm not with Elena, and when I'm not a good brother, people get hurt.

[Stefan looks at Damon, both horrified and furious at Damon for what he knows is coming]

STEFAN: So, you're just gonna run away?
DAMON: Nope. I'm gonna stay in one place. Desiccated, right next to her.
STEFAN: [angrily] Yeah. I saved your life-- time and time again. I chose you. I sacrificed everyone and everything for you. You're just gonna turn your back on me now?
DAMON: [sadly] We're vampires, Stefan. It's temporary. I'll see you again.

[Damon turns to leave again, and Stefan loses his temper]

STEFAN: Listen to me. If there's even a fraction of you that cares about me-- your brother, your family-- you will not walk out that door.

[Damon looks pained to have to do this, but doesn't turn back]

DAMON: Save a good bottle of that bourbon for me, brother. We're gonna need it to sort all this out in about sixty years.

[Damon walks out the front door and closes it behind him, leaving a terribly hurt and angry Stefan behind]

[After the break, Matt walks into the boarding house and into the parlor, where Stefan is sitting in a chair by the fire. He doesn't even get up to greet him]

STEFAN: Really not the best time, Matt.
MATT: This won't take long.
STEFAN: I don't want to have to kick you out of here, but I will.
MATT: [sighs] Yeah, I know you will. And there's nothing I can do to stop you-- because you're a vampire, and I'm a human. I've been thinking a lot about that lately. About my place in this town. My home. Whenever vampires are here, humans will always be at their mercy. Whatever laws we pass, you can break. Whatever lives we build, you can destroy. We don't stand a chance against you. That stops today.

[Stefan looks at Matt, both exasperated and offended by Matt's attitude, and stands so he can walk toward him. Matt gulps nervously, mildly afraid that Stefan might hurt him]

STEFAN: Excuse me?
MATT: Vampires need to leave Mystic Falls... for good. All of you.
STEFAN: [scoffs] Look, I appreciate whatever moral crisis you're going through right now, but this is my home. I'm not going anywhere.

[Matt sighs and pulls a flash-drive out of his pocket]

MATT: This is footage from the Grill today... of Damon doing some very not-human things to Rayna. I've got footage of you, too. Hundreds of hours from the town surveillance system. Now... I don't want to show it to anyone or expose you...
STEFAN: [angrily] You threatening me?
MATT: Yeah, I am. And I hate that. I hate that I have to threaten my friend because he's a vampire. I hate that I'm friends with vampires at all. This isn't about me. Or you. This is about our home, which has been destroyed time and time again. This is the only way to break that cycle. You have until the end of the day. Damon, too.

[Matt turns and walks out the front door, closing it behind him, leaving a stunned Stefan in his wake]


[In BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, Damon has just opened the door to the storage locker where Elena's slumbering body inside her coffin. Next to it is a second coffin where Damon plans to desiccate until Elena wakes up. After a moment, he walks in, looking determined]

[In DALLAS, TEXAS, Stefan is sitting in the driver's seat of his stolen Jeep, looking overwhelmed and upset. He looks over at Alaric's house, where inside, Alaric has just come into the kitchen to find one of the letters Damon wrote next to a new bottle of bourbon. He opens the letter to read it, and Damon narrates the letter in voiceover]

DAMON: [voiceover] Hey, buddy. So, I know this is a crappy way to do this, but... hey, I'm a crappy person, so I guess it fits.

[While Damon's voice continues narrating the letter in DALLAS, Damon slowly walks toward the empty coffin next to Elena's in BROOKLYN]

DAMON: [voiceover] By the time you read this, I'll be desiccated in a coffin next to Elena. And I won't wake up until she does, so I guess this might be my official goodbye. I'm not gonna get lame or mushy, but... You deserve the truth.

[Outside Alaric's house in DALLAS, Stefan sits in his Jeep and looks depressed]

DAMON: [voiceover] I'm telling Stefan that the world is a better place without an Elena-less Damon. That it was best for everyone that I was gone. I'm sure he'll see through that, because, to be completely honest, I don't give a damn about the world.

[Stefan takes a deep breath and gets out of his Jeep as he walks toward the house]

DAMON: [voiceover] The truth is, I'm not in a good spot. Hell, I'm miserable. And I have been ever since she left me.

[In BROOKLYN, Damon looks at Elena's coffin and smiles weakly, running his hand across the wood]

DAMON: [voiceover] Before her, I didn't know what it was like to be happy. To be fulfilled. To be complete.

[In DALLAS, Caroline walks into the kitchen with both babies in her arms and a huge smile across her face. Alaric, looking sad, walks over and takes one of the babies so he can hold her, and when Caroline giggles happily, Alaric can't resist but smile as well despite his sadness about Damon. From the window, Stefan watches them and realizes that Caroline is happy here]

DAMON: [voiceover] But now, I do. And now that I know that feeling... to live without it? There's no point.

[Stefan, now totally devastated, turns and flattens his back against the wall next to the window so they can't see them. He rubs his chest sadly, right over his heart, before taking out his phone. He's just received a message from Valerie, which reads, "Well? Are you staying, or is it time to leave?" He types his reply-- "Let's keep moving."]

DAMON: [voiceover] So, that's it. Nice knowing you.

[Damon takes one last look at Elena's coffin and smiles weakly, just as Bonnie appears behind him, looking furious at him]

BONNIE: You weren't even gonna say goodbye?

[Damon turns to face her, looking shocked that she's there]

BONNIE: Enzo told me you asked him for Elena's coffin. He told me what you were planning. I didn't believe him. I thought... "If Damon desiccates until Elena wakes up, I'll never see him again."

[Damon sighs, but Bonnie doesn't stop talking]

BONNIE: "He'd never do that."
DAMON: [sadly] Look, I wrote you a letter and gave it to Stefan--

[Bonnie interrupts him]

BONNIE: Are we friends?
DAMON: [scoffs] Of course, Bonnie. We don't actively try and kill each other anymore.
BONNIE: [angrily] No. I'm not doing that. No insults. No jokes.

[Bonnie sighs deeply]

BONNIE: Are we friends?

[Damon doesn't know what to say and struggles to find the words]

BONNIE: I know why you wanted to do this in a letter-- so you could desiccate in peace, imagining whatever reaction you wanted. Me reading it and thinking, "Huh. I'm really gonna miss him." Well, too bad, because that's not my reaction-- this is. I am not okay with this decision. I'm not okay with you choosing yourself. And I'm not okay with never seeing you-- my best friend-- ever again.

[Bonnie's eyes fill with tears as she starts to cry, and her voice becomes a whisper]

BONNIE: This hurts me. This hurts... this hurts me...

[Damon is visibly touched by this reaction, but after a moment, Bonnie smiles an angry smile as she pulls herself together, wiping the tears away from her face]

BONNIE: Hmm. And as you desiccate, and as you feel the pangs of hunger as the blood drains from your body, that's what I want you to remember. That you hurt me.

[Bonnie sniffles as she tries to hold back tears, and Damon can't help but want to comfort her, walking toward her with his arms outstretched as though he's going to hug her]

DAMON: Bon... listen to me...

[Bonnie shakes her head and backs away from him when he starts to walk toward her]

BONNIE: No. No. You don't get to say goodbye.

[Bonnie angrily turns and walks away without another word, and Damon sighs, his arms still spread from his attempt to embrace her. As he watches her leave, his own eyes fill with tears as well. After a moment, he looks over at his coffin before walking toward the door to the storage locker and takes one last look at the illuminated Brooklyn Bridge before he closes the door. He then gets into his coffin, giving Elena's own coffin one last look before he nods to himself, lays down, and closes the lid. Inside, Damon visibly begins to desiccate, his skin turning gray as his blood vessels enlarge across his face and hands]


[Suddenly, a montage of all of the flashforward scenes from this season begin to play, starting with the first one from Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take-- Stefan desperately trying to wake Damon with a blood bag, which is seen from Damon's perspective]

STEFAN: Damon. Wake up. I need you! Wake the hell up!

[Damon awakens with a gasp and sits up]

STEFAN: We gotta go.
DAMON: [sneers] Why?

[Just then, Rayna appears in the doorway, and Stefan quickly spins Damon's coffin at vampire speed to use the lid to protect them as she shoots three wooden crossbow bolts at them. Damon falls out of the coffin and onto the floor as Stefan gestures to the bloody X-shaped stain on his shirt]

STEFAN: She's back. And the scar, it opened up this morning. It's burning.
DAMON: She's not gonna stop until you're dead.

[Next is a quick montage of the flashforward scenes from Age of Innocence, where Stefan is frantically dousing his Porsche and all of his belongings, save for one duffle bag full of passports, blood bags, weapons, and his journal, in gasoline to burn it. In voiceover, Stefan's phone conversation with Tyler can be heard]

STEFAN: [voiceover] Tyler, it's Stefan. My scar opened up. I don't have much time. I need you to warn Caroline.
TYLER: [voiceover] Okay, I'm on it. But you should be running.
STEFAN: [voiceover] I'm way ahead of you.

[As Stefan sets his car ablaze and walks away, Caroline's quote from Never Let Me Go is heard in voiceover as well before cutting over to the scene itself]

CAROLINE: [voiceover] I never want to hear the name "Stefan Salvatore" ever again.

[Caroline is shot in the stomach by Rayna and falls unconscious to the floor]

[Next is the flashforward from Live Through This, where Bonnie is participating in group therapy at the mental health center where she's been staying for some time]

BONNIE: ...How one stupid decision can turn your life into something that you don't recognize.
THERAPIST: Thank you, Bonnie.

[The scene cuts to the flashforward from I Carry Your Heart With Me, where Alaric has walked into the foyer of his house in Dallas to find Josie and Lizzie standing and staring at Damon, who is standing in the doorway]

ALARIC: Damon.
DAMON: When's the last time you talked to your fiancée?
ALARIC: What the hell do you want?
DAMON: Stefan's being hunted again, and it's only a matter of time before Caroline's the bait to lure him out.

[On the TV in the kitchen, Alaric stares in horror as she sees Caroline, who has a bloody wound on her head and stain on her blouse and is reciting the words Rayna forced her to say on broadcast]

CAROLINE: [on television] My name is Caroline. I have an urgent message for Stefan Salvatore.

[The scene cuts to the flashforward from Cold as Ice, where Stefan kisses Valerie goodbye in their Chicago apartment when he leaves to go wake up Damon when his scar opens up]

STEFAN: I'll be back before you know it.

[The scene cuts to the flashforward from Mommie Dearest, where Damon and Alaric are speeding toward the news station where Caroline works in Damon's car]

DAMON: Twenty-three minutes. That's just enough time for me to get in, take out Little Miss Stabby-Pants--
ALARIC: Oh, turn, turn, turn!

[The tires screech as Damon swerves into the news station parking lot. The scene cuts to inside the station, where Damon finds Caroline's message being played on a loop on every TV inside, but Caroline herself is nowhere to be found]

DAMON: Oh, that's not good.

[Damon is suddenly shot in the back with nearly a dozen darts full of a greenish fluid. The scene cuts to the flashfoward from Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, when Damon began hallucinating that Rayna was Lily]

RAYNA/LILY: You've been poisoned with werewolf toxin.

[Rayna kicks Damon in the face. The scene cuts to the flashforward from Things We Lost in the Fire, where Matt is releasing Caroline from the large case she was locked inside by Rayna]

MATT: Get up.
CAROLINE: [incredulously] You're helping her?

[After Caroline leaves, Matt vervains Stefan before looking at Rayna through the surveillance camera nearby]

MATT: All right, I did it. He's out. Now, I never see you again, right?
RAYNA: Have a nice life.


[Finally, the flashforward montage ends, and the new footage begins. Stefan awakens from his vervain nap to find himself bound to a chair on the stage with spotlights pointed at him, just like Damon was earlier. He looks over at the nearby desk, where Rayna's sword is resting, just as Rayna herself spins around in her chair to face him as she sighs dramatically]

RAYNA: Ahhh. I don't know about you, but... I'm exhausted. I feel like there should be champagne or something.
STEFAN: [rolls his eyes] Yeah. You finally got me. Here I am.
RAYNA: I'm totally not taking credit, by the way. I mean... you came to me. You were safe, in the wind. You played it smart. Then, you got dumb on me. What happened?

[Stefan gives her a look, and Rayna rolls her eyes]

RAYNA: I mean, okay, we know what happened. I took someone that you love. Damon... and Caroline. Guess that makes two people. Just out of curiosity, which one of them brought you here? Her, or him?

[Stefan glares at her but remains silent, and Rayna shrugs]

RAYNA: Fine. Keep your secrets. You'll need something to keep you company in Hell.

[She pauses dramatically as she stands to her feet and walks over to him, eyeing her sword laying on the desk in front of him]

RAYNA: Or... there is a Plan B. But, I know how you feel about making choices.
STEFAN: [confused] Plan B?
RAYNA: Yes. Because, believe it or not, I don't actually want to kill you, Stefan.
STEFAN: [in disbelief] That doesn't make any sense.
RAYNA: Just take my word for it. I know you don't deserve that mark, but somebody else does. What if I were to tell you there's a way for me to transfer it to someone a little more deserving? It should have been Damon all along. You know this as well as I do.
STEFAN: [scoffs] You want to pit us against each other? Nice try.

[Suddenly, a familiar male voice is heard behind Rayna as he walks into the room]

DAMON: Except it wasn't her idea.

[Damon, looking woozy on his feet, walks up to where Rayna is standing, smirking despite how strung-out he looks]

DAMON: It was mine.

[Stefan looks at Damon in shock]


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