Chapter Eight: Revelation
There were zombies everywhere.
Ricardo was not certain how long he was unconscious. He felt the warm touch of blood upon his temple and tried to will the throbbing pain away. The smell of smoke and smoldering rubber hung in the air. It was a nightmare, but unlike most nightmares this one was set during the day. Sunlight streamed in through the broken windows and the shattered windshield. His chest was still sore from the seatbelt.
Somewhere within the vicinity, a woman was screeching. Over and over her shrill cry called out for help. Ricardo felt the need to find a way to help her, but his vision remained muddled from the accident he had just survived. The car had been flipped upside down. Ricardo remembered the events leading to the accident.
It was the wee hours of the morning when it began for Ricardo. On his way home from work, Ricardo was driving his red vios down EDSA. Dodging slow vehicles and reckless buses, he was anxious to get home to his condo unit at Cubao when it happened.
Just as he descended from the overpass near Camp Crame, a bus suddenly swerved into Ricardo’s lane from the far right side. With his hands clamped down on the steering wheel, Ricardo struggled to regain control over his car only to have a truck on the left lane slightly ahead of him suddenly come to a full stop. The car slammed on the edge of the truck and tumbled towards its right side. Broken glass exploded all around Ricardo, miraculously missing his face.
Hanging upside down in the battered vehicle, Ricardo felt consciousness slip away.
Julie’s face came into focus as Ricardo woke from the nightmare reliving the day he first encountered the zombies. He had only been in one other accident in his entire life, and that was an accident that happened due to the foolishness of falling asleep while driving. Around him, the people charged to guard him at the Wall were all standing and waiting. “Time to head to the station,” Julie explained, “Looks like they got a go signal to let us in.”
“What time is it?” Ricardo mumbled as he rose up and double checked if he has all his things with him. The Armalite was still with the watch, as was his serrated blade. He was allowed to keep his other things and the pair of scissors, “How long was I asleep?”
“An hour. Two at most.”
Ricardo was about to ask something else when he noticed another group that was sitting not too far away. He figured they were also being made to wait like they were. Realization hit him.
“Yeah,” Julie kept her eye on them. She did not like how the woman seemed to perpetually be smiling if not talking to herself. The man never looked away. The watch that accompanied them held a shotgun and a meat hook in their hands. Their weapons, she supposed. “They arrived just a few minutes ago. I guess they were the group behind us. Definitely missing some people, I presume. I heard an Armalite earlier. All they have is a shotgun.”
“And he’s been staring?”
“Ever since he noticed us,” Julie slid an arm around Ricardo’s waist.
“I don’t think pretending I’m your partner will help this time,” Ricardo whispered back.
“Don’t be stupid. I’m pretending I’m injured. If he’s watching me, then I’m going to make him underestimate me.”
Doc was certain the group a few yards from them was the group KaQoH spoke of. The woman did resemble the one he had seen at the station, with a hand holding a gun raised towards the ceiling. He noticed her as he and Otaku were escorted by the guards to one side to wait for clearance to enter the station. The guards had taken his meat hook and her shotgun. He was thankful they at least allowed him to keep his cigarettes. He had just finished his fifth stick when the guards informed the woman and her sleeping companion that they were cleared to head to Guadalupe station.
“Now we know how they look,” Doc mumbled to Otaku, “That should make finding them again later much easier.”
“They can run as far as their feet can take them, but we will find them. We have righteousness and skill on our side.”
Doc scratched his chin with the back of his hand. “What anime is that from?”
“It isn’t a quote,” Otaku beamed.
Doc knew they had to bide their time. At the Wall, and more so at Guadalupe station, a new authority existed. While Doc hoped to speak with the person in charge for permission to confront the two while in their demense, it became quickly apparent to him that doing so would alert the other station to the vulnerability Shaw station was suffering. And such vulnerabilities would definitely be something others would want to exploit.
“What we need is a distraction,” Otaku admitted, “I can create one if you’re sure you can get them both.”
“No. Not without my hook. And frankly, I don’t care how important those two are to KaQoH. You and I are finishing this mission with our lives intact. You deserve to live too, Otaku.”
Otaku was speechless. In her mind’s eye, she could imagine herself with the big eyes and small mouth of an anime character, pupils trembling as tears began to form.
All Doc could see was her smiling.
“I owe you much for saving me,” Nicholas admitted as his guest sat down on the red velvet couch that had been recovered from one of the nearby buildings. His guest ran a hand across the material and noted its sleekness. It felt cold to touch. His fingers caught a shift of texture, and gathering it from the side into view, the guest saw a tag that had been sewn onto the material. The tag read, “Sogo.”
Nicholas could very easily remember that day.
He was not aware that things were already in motion much earlier that morning. All Nicholas and his co-workers knew was that it was a tremendously slow day and there had not been any customers. Jon jon and Jenny were content to spend the day arguing about the numerous text messages that had been circulating that morning:
The dead are live! Run for your lives!
Nbhay p mga pty n mnla memory. Tkbo!
Tps ondy, pepe. Tps pepe, rsdnt ebl daw!
This s no joke.dead rise frm 2 zmbie.pls fwd frnds. God hv mrcy n u all!
Was it some publicity stunt? Was it a practical joke of bad taste? The only thing Nicholas knew for certain then was that it was impossible to be real. Everyone knew zombies were only found in movies and videogames.
A pity everyone was wrong.
When the injured man sought refuge in the House of Lamps, Nicholas felt his world shatter. Gone were his certainties of certain truths in the world. Everything suddenly became suspect. Everything became insane. And in the House of Lamps, it began with the man.
The injured man turned violent.
With a sudden change in posture, the man rose up to his feet and leapt at Jenny. Jon jon froze in horror as the man dragged Jenny to the ground and began pummeling her with his fists. Nicholas saw movement at the distance. At the stairwell leading out, a second visitor came into view. She was dressed in a blood stained dress shirt and a torn black skirt. Her hair was split at the middle, revealing part of her slick wet brain. Her eyes were focused on Nicholas, and her tongue was left hanging, with the lower jaw missing from her face.
Jenny screamed as she reached up and plunged her long fingernails into the man’s face. Her thumb found his left eye socket and the nail burst the gelatinous orb. Jon jon finally moved, grabbing the nearest lamp – a two foot crescent moon made of capiz and copper wire – from its display stand. He closed in on the man attacking Jenny and swung the lamp into his face, catching him on the right side of his face. Capiz shattered as the man fell backwards from the impact. But as he hit the ground, he spun around like a feral thing and leapt this time at Jon jon.
Nicholas saw the woman by the stairwell shove the glass door to the side with her shoulder as she made her way to him. She did not run. She wasn’t walking either however. She moved with the urgency of a person who could barely use her knees properly. But there was a determined fixated hunger in her gaze that made her approach more frightening with each step.
Jenny crawled away, weeping as she tried to shake the fear away. Her left thumb still had the man’s eye impaled on to it. She stumbled to the side and found herself at the base of a heavier lamp. It was an iron sculpture of massive squash, with its vines and leaves reaching for the sky. She crawled behind it and planted both feet a foot above its base. With a scream, she forced the lamp to topple forward. Jon jon rolled away just at the last second before the squash crushed the crazed man with its immense weight.
Nicholas could not move.
The woman’s gaze had seemingly transfixed him. Was it guilt or fear that sapped away at his strength and self-preservation? Whatever it was, it kept Nicholas from backing away. Or from even raising the mop to use as a weapon. The woman moved closer.
The glass door swung open a second time.
A gunshot resounded in the House of Lamps. Jon jon and Jenny scrambled to the ground, to hide behind the nearest bulky lamps they could get to. Nicholas blinked his eyes, finally released from his paralysis. The thing in front of him was dropping to its knees now. A smoking hole marked where the female zombie once had a scalp. Its brain matter and blood was all over Nicholas’ clothes.
Nicholas blinked again, clearing his vision. By the glass door, with a smoking pistol in his outstretched arm, was a man. The man, a total stranger, saved his life. Nicholas promised himself, someday, when the time comes, he will return the favor.
Julie and Ricardo were escorted from the Wall to the entrance to Guadalupe station. Another gateway was built at the tracks leading to the station. Unlike the wall, this gateway was built using the tarpaulin remnants of what had once been billboards. One half of the gateway still featured part of Sam Milby’s left eye. This portion of the tarpaulin had been stitched to Dingdong Dantes’ right chest.
Or at least Ricardo assumed it was Dingdong’s based on the appearance of the nipple. The gateway itself carried the logo Squish, and Ricardo suddenly felt guilty about an earlier joke as he remembered Squish was once endorsed by Ryan Agoncillo, another prominent local celebrity.
“I hope she didn’t suffer,” Ricardo tried to sound sincere.
Julie glanced at him and easily connected what he was trying to say. She stared at the logo and ended up laughing. The escorts tossed each other cautious glances. Ricardo eyed her with growing understanding.
“You bitch. You lied!”
“I’m sorry!” Julie explained between bouts of laughter, “I just couldn’t resist. I’m not related to her. I’m not!”
“Judy Ann Santos isn’t a cousin of yours at all!”
Julie grinned. Ricardo could not help but start laughing as well, even if he realized she was joining her laughing AT him.
The gate swiveled open and Ricardo decided to change the topic. He looked at the escort beside him and asked, “Why tarpaulin? Isn’t that a tad too weak to stop a zombie threat?”
“It resists fire,” Julie explained. The escort nodded in agreement. “And that meant they could use fire against the zombies without damaging the gate.”
“That’s nice to know. Any chance you know what time Wormwood hits our water supplies and makes it undrinkable? Or maybe you can tell me where the dragon is supposed to emerge from,” Ricardo mockingly showed Julie’s knowledge impressed him. Just as she was about to retort, he raised both hands to tell her to shut up, “Wait, I just realized something. You’re her, aren’t you? You’re the woman who is going to make love to that six headed the monster?”
Julie crossed her arms over her chest. “First of all, its seven headed not six. Secondly, I can only be that woman if I was clothed in the sun. Thirdly, if you’re gonna go try to joke around about Revelations you might want to know you should start with the seals, the seven angels, then the dragon and the pregnant woman clothed in the sun with the moon at her feet. If you can’t get it accurate, you might as well just joke around instead using something you actually might know. Like Heroes or some other inane show like it.”
“Hey, first of all, forgive me for not being a bible thumping geek. I only know enough of the bible to understand how many parts of it contradict itself. Second, you really love going all serious when I start teasing you. Guess you’re not one who can take what you love dishing out. And lastly, if you’re gonna throw the geek-word-as-an-insult at me, couldn’t you at least use good examples of great shows like Lost or Battlestar Galactica instead? Heroes is like the super powered cousin of Twilight. It is just wrong.”
“You’re friend knows a lot of things,” a familiar voice spoke. Ricardo and Julie looked up to see Daniel had returned. The dark-skinned man had both hands in his pockets. The gesture was clearly meant to suggest they could relax.
“Her name is Julie,” the thin woman with bandages reported, “And if she wasn’t lying this time, his name is Ricky.”
Ricardo felt foolish for lying about their names.
“Nice to meet you Daniel,” Julie sneered, “So are you letting us go now Dan? Or do you want to have a night with Ricky here before you let us leave?”
Daniel forced the smile to stay on his face. He played along with the insult, “Of course. He better be good though. Or else, if I’m not satisfied enough, I might have to have him do it with one of our pet zombies then just to get me going.”
“ARE YOU SERIOUS?” Ricardo exclaimed in disgust.
“He better be,” Julie grinned, “I’d love to see him at it. And if you want him really into it, there’s a dead body out there in white briefs-“
“JESUS JULIE that’s sick! We don’t even know if it is him!”
“Okay calm down, enough with the jokes,” Ricardo heard a new voice tell them. The three turned to its source and saw two men standing a few yards away. The speaker was a man who had a presence about him. The soldiers seemed to all show a physical sign of respect; some bowed their heads, others gave a respectful nod or a salute by placing their fist against their chest. The second man looked much more commanding however, with his dark clothes and jacket. The man was older, but seemed less threatening in the way he carried himself.
To Ricardo’s surprise, he did not hear any wisecracks from Julie. As he turned to ask her why, he found himself staring at a expression on her face that he had never seen before. Her eyes were wide opened and her mouth left agape. Her lower lip trembled and the moment she blinked, a single teardrop slid down to her chin.
“Julie, are you okay?”
She stepped forward. The disbelief was still on her face.
“I know you,” she mumbled.
And the man smiled in response.
Rodolfo Santos was called Cap by many of those he considered his friends. As a Captain in the Philippine Army, Rodolfo was always very selective of those he would deem as his friends. Attachments were precious things, and to share one with someone you were not to know for long was one of the many unhealthy practices that Rodolfo promised himself to stop indulging in.
The other was trying to be a hero.
Rodolfo always believed that one had to do whatever was necessary for the greater good. His belief in the need for balance and justice was one ingrained up on him by his father. His father had no respect or belief in the Philippine government. As a child, Rodolfo would hear stories from his father about how they struggled during the war and how no one knew who they could really trust. Growing up with tales of how his aunt Rose would sing by the window to distract the enemy soldiers while his father would help the Philippine soldiers find a place to hide in their basement helped shape Rodolfo’s beliefs that when push comes to shove, one must be ready to trust the loyalties and bonds one had forged with those he knows. It was in the individual’s hands to affect a change in the country.
But as Rodolfo grew older, he began to realize that living in a county that was steeped in economic wealth did not necessarily mean living in a country that was free. The enemy needed not always be the foreigner. And when his father finally passed away, a death brought about by a sudden heart attack one chilly December night, Rodolfo realized that ultimately, if it was your time, it was. The most you can only do is to strive for your dreams and help make the dreams of those you love reachable as well.
Rodolfo enlisted in the military and quickly embraced his new life.
In a place where his actions did make a difference, Rodolfo began to feel the weight and wisdom of his father’s words on his actions and relished every moment in his life where his decisions shaped the future. Even small things such as the unexpected love and marriage he was to share with his wife Gaby, the chance meetings with his great friend Jal at Bukidnon, and more so, the birth of their only daughter Julie, gained much greater meaning when he realized his job required him to risk all of it.
But it was a risk for all of them as well.
So when he was contacted to take part in a top secret joint project, one so secret that even the President was never informed, Rodolfo showed his commitment to the project by accepting the terms that required it to be known that he had been killed in the line of duty. It meant never being able to see his family again.
But for Rodolfo, it meant symbolically dying for them.
The mission took him deep into the jungles of Mindanao.
There, in a joint secret mission with three American soldiers, the four infiltrated the south and searched for what was referred to in the mission as Operation: Purgatory. From intelligence reports that have been gathered and collated, it was believed that a terrorist group had plans of testing an experimental bio weapon on one of the smaller towns in the Philippines. Hoping to take advantage of the lack of adequate media presence and government control of the area, the group believed they would be able to test the weapon, observe the results in the following weeks, and cover up the whole event with no one any wiser about their presence in the country. Rodolfo’s superiors studied the reports and after some deliberation decided it would be best to have the supposed operation looked into. Drafting a secret agreement between the two governments, three American soldiers were to work with the cooperation of one Filipino soldier in uncovering and stopping this weapon testing. It was to be a fully undercover operation and there were to be no documented reports on this, save for those of the highest classified level.
What Rodolfo hoped to be a mission lasting at most a few months stretched on to be one that stretched over many years. Their investigations brought them deeper and deeper into the shadows and hidden whispers of Mindanao. Presidents changed. Laws were enacted. Coups were attempted. The four continued in their mission, learning of the experimental weapon’s developments, uncovering much of the research to have been inspired by the experiments of Josef Mengele and Sigmund Rascher. They uncovered documents suggesting a possible link, if not an evolution of the research and further developed techniques that were reputedly done by Unit 731. Rodolfo was horrified by the findings. If they were true, the findings suggested the development of a biological agent, not unlike a virus, that was to be released onto a populace of living targets. The agent would then inhibit the population’s rational centers, corrode their sense of consciousness and reduce them into desire-fixated individuals that barely registered any other feelings save that of hunger and rage. The agent hyperactivated the brain, overwhelming any and all other desired activity save that to eat tissue and blood that still registered a particular range of acceptable temperature. The agent empowered the feeding instinct so powerfully that the supercharged brain kept the target body active and seemingly alive even up to 72 hours since physically death.
It was only by the actual physical destruction of the brain’s functions or the eventual decomposition of the brain matter that lead to the target’s inactivity and actual death.
Rodolfo could not fathom who would want to develop such a thing. His American companions admitted they were uncertain of who was truly developing the weapon.
While initial findings suggested the hand of an Islamist fundamentalist group being behind the research. However, as the years progressed, the team began to uncover the presence of Japanese, European and even Filipino personalities as being involved in the research. Uncertain as to what particular terrorist group was indeed behind the research, the group opted to maintain their low profile and document their findings in secret.
The idea was unthinkable. How could there be this many people from so many countries who seem set in creating such a devious biological weapon? How could mankind hate each other in such a manner? It was one thing for a man to commit acts of violence to another. But to create a means wherein one were to make another commit such atrocities for him upon itself and others?
Rodolfo knew they had to be stopped.
Unfortunately, they had failed.
Doc and Otaku waited for their turn to be permitted to the station. While Doc played in his mind the different ways the events could possibly unfold, Otaku seemed content to merely entertain herself while they waited. She sang songs from her favorite anime series and at some point during the wait began to even pantomime the events of the opening sequence.
Many keeping watch found her antics amusing. More so when she began running in place while singing a song she claimed was called, “No Need for Promises. Otaku would run in place at some parts of the song, then balance herself in a handstand.
Doc wasn’t certain if that was an accurate depiction of wherever the song came from.
He was certain however that it was funny.
“Hey Otaku,” Doc motioned her to come close and tapped on the floor beside him. She sat down and hugged her knees. The night was slightly chilly, but the fire burning in the metal can nearby spread enough warmth to keep it comfortable. The stars were starting to emerge from the clouds. Doc found himself staring at them and hunting for the constellations. He found the Big Dipper. The Small Dipper was easy to find next. Then… Orion’s Belt.
Doc could not recall the patterns of the other constellations. He could not recall which stars interconnected with which to form the familiar markings in the night sky. Doc found himself recalling a time when such things were easier to recall. A time when he was known by his name.
“Tenma,” Otaku tapped Doc’s elbow.
“What?” Doc glanced at his elbow, wondering if there was something wrong with it.
“No,” Otaku placed her hand on his chest, “Tenma. You started calling yourself Doc because of that anime Monster. You see yourself as Dr. Tenma.”
Doc grinned, “Why’d you say that?”
“I remembered the anime. Dr. Tenma tried to do good. Tried to help those he could. But deep down he felt guilty as well. Guilty for having allowed the Monster to escape. Guilty for having saved the Monster’s life. You saved someone, didn’t you? You saved someone you think you shouldn’t have.” Otaku could not look up into his eyes. Was it shame? Was it fear? Whatever the reason was, Otaku kept her gaze leveled at his hands. She waited for him to answer.
“I think,” Doc sighed aloud, “When this is actually over, we will all look back and realize that there were some whom we should have never saved. We will look back and realize, there are someone who deserve to die.”
A sudden explosion rocked the line.
Fire and light exploded into a dazzling dance of force and energy. The very MRT line shook, feeling the massive explosion rock its foundations. From the Wall, the view of Boni station erupting into flames could be clearly seen. The debris and fire tore part of the rubble off the train, clearing portions of the crawlspaces the others had navigated through earlier. And while a good number of the zombies that were huddled by the fences were burned to a crisp and blown away, portions of the fence tore from the sheer force of the explosion. Without fear or hint of hesitation, the remaining zombies began to move towards the gaps the explosion had ripped into the fences. The dead began to make their way into the MRT line, drawn by the light and the immense sound. The explosion could be heard even stations away.
This was the distraction that KaQoH had promised them. Doc wondered if KaQoH even realized how his “distraction” had just increased the chances of Doc and Otaku getting into deeper trouble.
Otaku turned to Doc and grabbed his arm a tad tighter.
Doc nodded understandingly. It would seem that even if they found a way to steal the two, they might have to fight their way back. While the zombies were slow and their attacks easily dealt with, Doc understood their sheer numbers were definitely more than the bullets the station would have in supply.
It was like a sand castle standing against the surf.
It was only a matter of time.
“Dad?” Julie asked aloud, taking cautious tentative steps towards the man she suspected was her father. Ricardo watched him carefully, seeing only small hints of a familiar resemblance. He did not have her eyes, but there was a shape to their noses that seemed to match. He was not certain what to say however. He feared saying something that might give her false hopes. Or insult the actual reunion.
The man stepped towards her with his arms raised in response. Nicholas found himself looking at the unexpected reunion and wondered if this was what his friend had meant by the favor being a matter of life or death.
“I saw you. At Shaw station. You were there,” the man told Julie as she embraced him tight. He brought one arm to her face and tucked back behind her ear a wisp of hair that had fallen forward. He had been gone for so long, but he was not unaware of his daughter’s accomplishments. Thanks to the internet, he had always found updates on her life waiting to be read. Pictures. Video clips. All these snippets of her life that she so wanted to share.
“Cap,” Nicholas finally asked, “This woman is…”
“My daughter,” the man replied and felt Julie’s hug tighten around him. The man looked up and saw Ricardo staring at them both in disbelief. He reached a hand out towards him to offer a handshake, “Captain Rodolfo Santos. Long presumed dead.”
“Oh,” Ricardo took an audible gulp. He was a Captain. That might explain why she seemed to have been very skilled with the gun, “Uh, Ricardo. I just met her on my way… here.”
Rodolfo felt a sharp object against his rib. He tried to step back but felt Julie maintain her embrace. Nicholas noticed his friend’s panic and shot a glance at Daniel. Daniel grabbed hold of Ricardo’s arm and asked, “What the hell are you two doing?”
Ricardo was uncertain what to say. He wasn’t even aware of what was going on.
“Julie,” Rodolfo began but she cut him off.
“Don’t. Don’t you dare tell me what to do. You were not there all those years. Seeing you now does not make up for all that lost time.”
“Let him go!” Nicholas glared at Julie.
“Not until he explains,” Julie hissed and pushed the object in her hand a bit deeper. Rodolfo groan in pain. Daniel hoisted his rifle up and trained it at Ricardo’s face. Ricardo raised both hands to show he was weaponless.
“Easy!” Ricardo begged Daniel, worried that the rifle might go off by accident.
“Explain damn it!”
Rodolfo waved Nicholas and his men to stand down. He looked Nicholas in the eye and told him, “I told you I needed a favor. This is what I need. A private place where I can talk with my daughter without distractions. Can that be done?”
Nicholas was about to answer when Julie suddenly felt the hand she was using to threaten her father being twisted towards its thumb. She quickly recoiled, but as she pulled backwards, stomped her right foot into his. Rodolfo felt the sudden crunch of pain but ignored it and caught Julie’s hand with his own. He then twisted her around, using her momentum, to pin her arm against her own back.
Julie grunted in pain as he locked her in a trapped position and used his other hand to grab her throat.
“Julie ! Stop this! I am your father!”
“Guys! Let’s take a break for a second here. This is obviously a personal matter,” Ricardo called out to everyone else. Nicholas gave the motion and everyone raised their weapons once again. Ricardo was starting to really hate having everyone aim their weapons at him. He turned to Daniel and raised both hands towards him, “I’m weaponless okay! Just let them figure this out for a second.”
“Damn you!” Julie growled, “DAMN YOU!”
“Cap, are you alright?” Nicholas asked as he stooped down to pick up the weapon that Julie had used to threaten her own father. Everyone watched in surprise as he brought up a pair of scissors.
“That’s… mine,” Ricardo gasped.
“She must have pocketed it when you two were walking towards the station. She was leaning against you,” Daniel observed.
“Why are you doing this,” Rodolfo asked without loosening his hold on her. He tried to hold her without harming her, but she kept trying to break free, forcing him to maintain a tight grip. “I know I disappeared on you and your mother. I know I had to lie to you both, pretending I was dead all these years. But why are you trying to hurt me? Is it not enough that we are finally back together? Especially now of all times?”
“Damn you…” Julie grunted and found his hold too strong. “I know. I know you’re behind this!”
Nicholas threw Rodolfo a glance. Rodolfo realized what he was referring to. His hands let her go. She pulled free and even with all the guns trained at her and Ricardo, she turned back and landed a solid punch on her father’s cheek. Ricardo grabbed hold of her and pulled her back, hugging her even as she flailed about to break free.
“You caused this! You caused all of this!”
Daniel saw Nicholas’ expression and realized something. “You know. You know what she’s talking about!”
Nicholas did not respond.
Ricardo held Julie tight. He pressed his face against hers and did not let go. She began to feel the burden of his weight on her and started to stop struggling. It was a waste of energy. Julie’s finally calmed down and allowed Ricardo to hold her in place.
“What are you talking about?” Daniel yelled at Julie.
Julie never looked away from her father as she finally explained, “My father, Captain Rodolfo Santos. He is the one who caused the fucking zombies to rise!”