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S A F A

~~The Oathlands~~
[Celebi stands still, overlooking a vast safari... Though it expands for miles, a strange treeline can be made out on the horizon... It seems like it goes on until a sudden wall appears...
...
The breeze gently blows through the air...]
Celebi: Safiri's presence is much more... faint... The Nightmares took her a long way already... I can only guess that this was the work of Pryme... If I know him, he doesn't go down so easily... But Lea... Where the heck did she come from...? ...(The first time I saw her was on Soren... She just did this to me, and left... Maybe it was Naught's request to make it a little more difficult for me...? Or maybe the worlds of Safa and Soren are going to collide, just like the Pokemon World and Mobius...) Well thinking about it won't help. I can't afford to hesitate now of all times. [Just as she begins forward, a call is made.]
Ray: [From behind.] Wait!! Chris!
Celebi: Huh? Was that... Ray? [Turns around.]
Ray: [Running to Celebi.] Chris wait up!! ... [Finally catches up to Celebi. He stops and pants.]
Celebi: Ray? ...Wh-what did you call me?
Ray: [Looks back up.] I'm coming with you.
Celebi: What? Ray! I can't let you do that, you'll get hurt... And a journey with me is far more dangerous than how it used to be.
Ray: I don't care... What you said back there... It sounded like something unthinkable, but... If you're going to save Safiri from Darkness... It can't be what everyone thinks!
Celebi: Ray...
Ray: You were a great hero... Not enough can be said to make everyone forget what you did for us...
Celebi: You still believe in me...? You still believe that I am a hero worth trusting?
Ray: I always did... You're too much of a friend to back away from... And so is Safiri, which is why I can't just sit and do nothing.
Slianna: [From behind.] Neither can I!
Celebi: [Turns to Slianna. Cruce is with her.] Slianna... Cruce...
Slianna: [Slowly makes her way to Celebi while speaking.] Safiri, Ray, and I have been friends for years... And you, Chris... You were there to make sure of that during Ethereal Cross... You were there to save us all...
Celebi: Slianna... Ray... I'm not Chris... I can't say who that is... or was... My name is Celebi...
...
[The two are silent at this.]
...
Celebi: But I remember it all... Ethereal Cross on Safa... I met everyone of Oathville... I worked with the Phaze Guardians and the Proud Wanderers to stop Darkness... I met you three... Safiri, Ray, and Slianna... Safiri was the Eclipse that was so sought after by both sides... Darkness and Light... But I am my own side as of now... My Light has dimmed...
...
Cruce: Chris... Maybe you're Light has dimmed, but... Darkness can have friends too. If anyone's truly evil... it's those Ruinous... We're in this together.
Celebi: ...[Sighs.] You're right, Cruce... Ray, Slianna... You'll always be my friends... and I can't object to you wanting to rescue another friend who is not just important as an Eclipse, but important as someone we care about. So let's go together.
Ray: [Enlightened.] You really mean it?!
Slianna: We can come with you!?
Celebi: Sure. The bond you three share... I kept it alive once. I can do it again. But I need your help.
Ray: Thank you Chr--I mean... Celebi! Together we can find Safiri!
Celebi: All right! ...(Slianna and Ray... These two were always strong spirited... It's nice to know that even through this new confusing age, they still are... Even when Safiri may be in danger... I can't crush them... It'd be horrible.)
...
[With a team of four, Celebi starts forward... They would cross the Oathlands safari... The morning sun is now much brighter.]
...
[As they rushed across the Oathlands.]
Ray: So... Celebi?
Celebi: Uh-huh?
Ray: What's going on? Like what was with all of those scenes earlier? Everything was too fast paced for me back there.
Celebi: Oh... Are you talking about that one weird looking girl with the staff?
Slianna: Huh? I think I missed that...
Celebi: Yeah, you weren't out yet Slianna. That had to do with why I'm a girl right now...
Slianna: Hehehe! I was gonna ask!
Ray: That's really freaky... Why would she do that to you?
Celebi: ...Her name is Lea. She's not from this world... Her original home is Soren. Soren's a planet that's home to what are known as chao. Chao exist on other worlds, but the most advanced species of them reside on Soren. Rush and most of the Phaze Guardians are chao.
Cruce: (So, the Phaze Guardians are here, too... Heh, that Rush...)
Ray: Oh!! So is that their home planet?
Celebi: Na, they have a complicated past that I don't understand really... All I know is that a lot of them are chao. 'Bout Soren though, ...It's home to another Eclipse.
Slianna: Oh really? Like Safiri?
Celebi: Yeah. His name is Kutzu. He's a little... odd... But once you get to know him, he's really nice. To the point where Ray was asking... On Soren, or at least the Northern Side of the planet, the genders are split... They constantly go at each other in some weird reincarnation of war...
Ray: It's a war world? ...Yikes... It must have a pretty scary background then...
Celebi: Not really. A war world is something I would describe more as... the Antifigurate World, which is a separate planet. Sorry, I dropped off the subject again.
Slianna: It's okay!
[By now they have slowed their pace.]
Celebi: The four genders, Masculine, Feminine, Romuline, and Creminine are at war with each other... And by war, I mean they have weapons that just weaken each other and eventually convert each other into their gender.
Ray: I see where this is going. Lea must be some sort of Dark chao that serves under Naught...
Celebi: Exactly! How'd you know?
Ray: I figured as much when she opened that swirling portal thing... But I couldn't keep up. I also heard her mention something about time traveling...? Why's that?
Celebi: That's because in this form I'm able to travel through time from occasion to occasion... But...
Ray: Whoa! You can time travel now!? How!?
Celebi: I turned into this... I'm not so sure what species it is, but I guess it has the ability to time travel... Naught wants to manipulate that... He said that if I helped him, he would reveal my true past... And take into consideration that before all of that happened, I was told by Light that my family wasn't really... my family... I was told so many lies...
...
[Nervous silence.]
Celebi: This whole voyage started off so slow... But now it's at a fast pace...
Slianna: I think that's just Pryme, if he had to do with anything of Safiri's kidnapping... He likes to keep things going.
Celebi: That explains a lot... Cruce, you've been quiet... Is something wrong?
Cruce: ...Heheheh...
Celebi: Okay, that's just scary.
Cruce: Sorry, everything you're saying is so... right.
Ray: Right?
Cruce: Yeah... I hail from another dimension, as I told Cel here.
Slianna: Whoa, another dimension?
Celebi: He does... but he lost most of his memory coming here.
Cruce: Yeah. [Shakes his head.] But what I do remember is all the stuff Cel's sayin'... See, my dimension is a lot like this one, actually. There are Eclipses like Safiri and Kutzu. Worlds like Safa, Soren, and the Antifigurate World. Even a lot of the same people from here exist there.
Ray: ...I'm still findin' it hard to believe you're actually from another dimension.
Celebi: Not an easy concept, you know?
Cruce: It's not... Though, you see? I'm comfortable knowing that I actually do know a lot more than I think here.
Celebi: ...Hm, you know... I feel like I do remember you now, Cruce...
Cruce: ...Cel...?
Celebi: A time traveling incident made me forget you, right?
Cruce: More than once...
Celebi: And traveling in time does mess things up a little... Hmmm... I don't completely understand it yet... But that'll come in time, right?
Cruce: I'm sure it will, unless you change time.
Celebi: [Smiles at Cruce.] Heh, I'll try not to... She looks ahead.] Safiri's presence is leading me somewhere I haven't seen before...
Ray: Yep. You didn't get to see this place last time... Look closely over the trees if you can.
Celebi: No problem. [Flies into the air. She manages to exceed the height of the trees, or at least most. Something can be seen in the distance... Something abnormally enormous.] Wooow... An Ancient Growth...? It's huge... I can't even emphasize how huge that is...
[The Ancient Growth is spectacularly large. It is so large that what Celebi sees is the trunk of the tree, which reaches a height of 3000 feet before it can dissapear into the clouds.]
Slianna: It's amazing isn't it...? I've read about the Ancient Growths... They have evolved with the planet... Ever since it was born into space... They have grown literally from the core of the world for hundreds of millions of years... Each of them are imbued with unimaginable power that keeps them and the planet full of life... They are the most sacred forms of life in our world...
Ray: On another note, the Ancient Growths are, well unbelievably giant. They stretch out into space, almost past the atmosphere. The length of an Ancient Growth is almost as long as the planet itself. Half a million miles... The base of the Growth is estimated around 15 miles wide...
Slianna: Every year, each of the Ancient Growths drop a Perpetual Leaf... They can cover the entire sky, turning day to night...
Cruce: In my dimension, the Ancient Growths each empower a group of fairies that keep order within the tree itself, even the surrounding area. It's got this magical housing for them. Pretty cool stuff.
Celebi: [Seems fascinated and taken in by the tree... She closes her eyes.] ...I... I want to go there... This magical forest... I can hear it calling me...
Ray: Wait! Celebi, what about Safiri!?
Celebi: ...[Opens her eyes.] I feel her presence... It's broad... She's here, in the forest. Pryme might me here also, as well as the Nightmares. Be careful guys... [Turns to the Ancient Growth Forest...] (This beautiful forest... I've seen one of these before, but I've never felt so connected to it... It's like I've been awakened... Why do I feel this way...? So attached to this forest...?)
Cruce: ...You alright, Cel? You look all dreamy like.
Celebi: It's just... the forest is so pretty.
Cruce: Well, I guess it makes sense. You are a Celebi... You're supposed to be connected to stuff like this. It's part of your nature.
Celebi: W-wait, you actually know about what I am?!
Cruce: Well yeah. There's an Eclipse who is a Celebi, hell, a whole kingdom of what you are.
Celebi: [She gives a small smile to him.] Could you tell me, please...?
Cruce: Heh, you're a Pokémon, Cel.
Celebi: Oh? I am? So that's why Mew said what he did to me... about I'm like one of them...
Cruce: Now, why you're a Celebi instead of anything else is beyond me, but what I gather is that either your past is related to this form... or... Naught's just using you.
Celebi: Ugh... I... I don't think Naught's using me. I... I don't...
Cruce: It's' your beliefs, Cel. Your journey, not mine. I'm just here for you and your pals.
Celebi: ...Mmrgh...
Cruce: And who's to say I'm right? This is a guess based on experience... You have to strive to find yourself.
Celebi: ...[Nods quietly.]
Ray: Hmm... [Watching Cruce and Celebi.] (This Cruce person sounds really smart. To know that much about someone he just met... and for him not to be questioned by Chris... Weird...)
...
[The four proceed into the Ancient Growth Forest. Just as they enter the forest, it is a whole new world...]
...
~~Ancient Growth Forest...~~
...
Ray: Wow, this place is lush... Every time I'm here it's a different experience...
Slianna: The sensation of the area is amazing. Power is within all of these trees.
Celebi: [Unable to contain herself, she flies around the trees happily like a whole new person.] La-lala-lala-lala~~!
Cruce: Looks like you've taken a liking to it, Cel.
Celebi: [Sitting on a branch.] You bet!! This place is marvelous! (I don't even think I've ever used the word, but who cares!? This place rules!) Safiri's... Well I think she's over that way... [Points in the direction they were already progressing.] So let's keep moving.
Slianna: Right!
[But before they can continue, a shady pool appears... Out of it rises a new Nightmare... It is covered in black thorns, and flying in midair. It's wings are devil-like and it has green eyes. Another appears at its side. It is another bear Safan Nightmare, only this time, it's eyes are green, much like the first Nightmare's.]
Ray: Uh-oh... T-trouble!! We have trouble!
Slianna: Nightmares!!
Cruce: [Prepares himself.] Darkness vermin...
Celebi: [Lifts herself from the branch, swooping down to Ray and Slianna as the Nightmares advance. She prepares to defend the two while beside Cruce... Just then, two other bear Nightmares appear from behind. Then from one side. Then another.... Within seconds, they are surrounded...] Urgh... Where'd all of these things come from...?
Ray: This looks tight... [Backs in...]
Slianna: Not a good situation... [Backs in...]
Cruce: (This all they got?) [Backs in...]
Celebi: There has to be a way out... [Backs in...]
Nightmare Alpha: [This Nightmare appears to be the only normal formed one.] There is no way out, Celebi... Admit the truth...
Celebi: Whoa! You talk now!?
Nightmare Alpha: Of course... You expect less from the our invincible Lord?
Celebi: Well, actually it comes as unexpected to me... But not really.
Nightmare Alpha: I must say you are overcoming the challenges with expertise... But let us see how well you handle the trial from here.
Celebi: Right. We'll just see... You two... Your power's amplified in the Ancient Wilderness, right?
Ray: Yeah. We can only use certain abilities though. Slianna and I are wind-based.
Slianna: What do you need us to do?
[The Nightmares close in...]
Celebi: Remember how their eyes correspond to the element they're weak against? Green is probably wind and grass.
Ray: Got it. Just give us the signal.
Celebi: You two, I'll need to to use a sort of aerial blast of any sort simultaneously. When I call it, go.
Slianna: Gotcha. Ready whenever...
...
[The Nightmares are now at attacking distance.]
...
Celebi: [Tense.] (Wait for it......) Now! Triple Shot!
[Each of them launch themselves toward the Nightmares, embraced with a magical ability, which allows them to alter the wind to their liking. Using this, they blast a gale of wind at the Nightmares using only their own bodies by appearance. They pass through the Nightmares, completely eliminating them. Cruce stands in the same spot, simply watching.]
Nightmare Alpha: Hmm... It would seem your power has increased... And this location is not very ideal for Pryme to stall... Perhaps returning soon would be clever...
Celebi: [Having landed right near the Nightmare Alpha, she looks up with a threatening gaze.] You're next!
Nightmare Alpha: Hmph! Manipulating Motion! [Raises its arm. A shadowy wall rises from the ground, separating Celebi. Next, it thrusts its arm forward. That very same wall matches the motion of the arm; it thrusts forward, trapping Celebi to it. It catches Ray and Slianna as well. Cruce transforms into wisps of a dark corridor as the wall passes, reforming into himself. The dark wall stops abruptly, sinks into the ground, and reappears on the other side of the three, catching them in midair. Again, Cruce avoids this. The Nightmare Alpha brings its arm in. The wall follows, shooting back in the same direction it had previously come from. The Nightmare Alpha then summons a wall of dark electricity, causing the other to disappear, but the three are still in motion, flying straight for the harmful wall. They try to recover, but it is of no avail. The wall electrifies them critically, sending tens of thousands of dark volts through their bodies. They drop to the ground.]...
Celebi: [Dark electricity still zapping through her.] Ugh... This Nightmare is tough... Slianna... Ray... Are you two okay?
Ray: Y-yeah... I'll be fine... Huh...? I can't move...
Slianna: Erf... Me neither.
Celebi: Grr... Cheap tricks...
Nightmare Alpha: Hmhmhmm... That shall buy us enough time to complete the task...
Celebi: Task? ...What task...?
Nightmare Alpha: I would not be so foolish as to tell you... However... I shall say that the forest has already started to lose its shine... Hmhm...
Cruce: Safa to Nightmare, you've missed one...
Nightmare Alpha: Is that so...? Safan, do you honestly believe you stand a chance against I...?
Cruce: Wanna find out? [Smirks wide.]
Nightmare Alpha: Your provocative attitude to Darkness will not go unpunished, Fool. [Raising both arms, four puddles of blackness surrounding Cruce.]
Celebi: Cruce, are you crazy?! ...G...get out of there...!
Ray: Watch out!
Cruce: [The Nightmare Safans, all with different colored eyes, approach him. He casts as this happens, though he is still able to speak.] Can Darkness handle its own power...? Vehement Spark! [He casts this spell, a shield of purple charged particles forming around him, then shooting out five bolts of concentrated black lightning. Each bolt homes in on a Nightmare, shooting through it and wiping out all traces. The Nightmare Alpha is hit by this, though he is not defeated.]
Nightmare Alpha: Gah! [Holds a devilish hand to his shoulder, where he was hit.] Power-mad fool. Perhaps you do hold impressive capabilities, but it will not be long before you are consumed by your own power! Good riddance. [He backs into a corridor conjured seconds before he began speaking.]
...
Slianna & Ray: Whoa...
Celebi: Cruce, you big show off... Help us out, could you?
Cruce: Hm, I don't have a good answer to this issue by my own power, but... Darkness can consume itself... [He walks to the three, looking them over closely.] So, if I can send a tiny volt of electricity through your bodies, it should get rid of the effect that's there.
Ray: [Gulps.] That won't... hurt... will it?
Cruce: Na, it'd just be a little tickle.
Celebi: How fast will it work?
Cruce: I've done this before causing no pain, but it takes longer. If it hurts, it won't take as long 'cause there's more electricity in there... but I don't wanna hurt anyone.
Celebi: Okay, let's try it.
Cruce: [He nods.] Gotcha. Just stay calm and let this happen... [He places a paw gently on Celebi, letting little electricity pass through his body and into Celebi's. She closes her eyes... Cruce notices.] Does it hurt...?
Celebi: No... [She smiles a little.] ...Hmm... (This feeling... It's not the electricity, it's... Cruce's darkness... It feels so different and so... so nice...)
Cruce: Sheesh, Cel, you enjoying yourself or something? (It's not like sex or anything... Christ...)
Celebi: [Opens her eyes.] Uh--[Blushes.] No, I... I was thinking... about... other things.
Cruce: Heh... Whatever you say, girl. [He lifts his paw from her, moving to Slianna and doing the same.]
Celebi: Hey, don't call me "girl"! Just because I am one doesn't mean--
Cruce: Doesn't mean what...? [Looks over to her, smiling wide.]
Celebi: D-Doesn't mean... anything.
Cruce: You're right. It doesn't mean anything... Girl or boy, it's not worth discriminating over. It doesn't really change who you are... I've been there, trust me.
Celebi: Hmm... [Gives a hearty smile to Cruce, happy about his moral beliefs.] That's nice of you... Hehe, this power of yours feels kind of nice too...
Cruce: [His paw is now on Ray.] 'Think so? How do you two feel?
Slianna: It does tickle a little.
Ray: I'm with Slianna. It's not a bad feeling at all, but it's ticklish.
...
Celebi: Aghh... I hate to admit it... But that thing was right... The forest feels... Like it's losing energy or something...
Ray: You...you're right... It doesn't feel right anymore.
Slianna: It feels like everything is going dim...
Ray: Yeah... And I still can't move...
Cruce: Give it a few more minutes and you'll be golden.
Slianna: I'm starting to feel right... well, I can move my tail a little. [Wriggles it slightly.]
Celebi: [Struggles to move. She manages to flutter her wings a little. Her legs move a bit.] Oh, hey! It's working!]
Cruce: Nice.
Ray: So it did work? That's cool! Will it have any long term effects on us though...?
Cruce: [He tilts his head, swallowing spit.] (Sh-s**t... I didn't think of that... The darkness I hold is a little different... I don't think it affects regularly.) No. It's just a temporary thing, you'll be perfectly fine.
Celebi: [Watches Cruce...] (I... I saw doubt in his face... Didn't I...?)
Cruce: [He turns to Celebi, noticing the look in her face.] ... (Chris... what are you thinking right now...?) ...
...
[Just then, a strange illumination can be made out nearby...]
...
Cruce: [Turns his head to the flash.]
Slianna: What was that?!
Celebi: Don't know... Was that a flash or something?
Slianna: I think so... It came from behind.
Ray: Who or what could that've been...?
Celebi: Not sure... I hope nothing bad just happened...
...
[A few moments later, a small yellow chao appears into view. His hair is meesy and light brown. A curved, crescent-shaped spike curls downward on the top of his head. His eyes dull dark yellow He appears to be wearing a green headband and a brown Japanese gi... His wings are pale yellow, and a crescent-shaped symbol floats aboce his head.]
Aren: [Surprised at the collapsed team.] Whoa, dang! Wh-what happened!? Are you... Are you three alright!?
Celebi: (Huh? Is that...? Is that who I think...?)
Cruce: Aren...
Ray: A...Aren? Is that you? [He turns his head sightly.]
Aren: Yeah! It's me! Ray. Slianna. What happened here? [Rushes to the group.]
Slianna: We were wiped out from a group of Nightmares... Well... a leader at least.
Aren: [Gasps.] Ah--Nightmares!? Did you just say... Nightmares?
Ray: Yeah... We were totaled... Cruce here is helping us out though.
Aren: Uh-oh... I didn't think... Oh no... [Tilts his head in discomfort and thought.] I thought they weren't gonna bug Safa anymore... b-but they're back... So it was true... The disturbance of the Eclipses might've been true...
Ray: Wait... what? What's going on Aren? With Darkness and everything? Why have they returned? A Phaze Guardian like you has to know...
Aren: Y-yeah. I know why all of this is happening, but I didn't think they would come to Safa to play a part in it... You s-see, Darkness has waited for the opportunity to rule a realm known as Reality for millions of years... Even longer in fact...
Slianna: Yeah, but... Why are they here for that...?
Aren: That's what I w-wanna know too... Every now and then Darkness would try to force their way into Reality to rule it, but Light was always there to stop them... Recently, Ethereal Cross actually included Reality's presence... A strange phenomenon... That human teen...
Celebi: [Remains silent...] ...
[i}Cruce: [Remains silent...] ...
Aren: But... Very soon, the time limit for Reality will be broken... N-no longer can it travel through time. It c-can't go past a certain amount of time... That will trigger the Apocalypse... The famous Earth, and other worlds will freeze.... It will ruin the r-realm completely, making it the perfect target for D-Darkness to recreate... They will use the Apocalypse to rule the realm in eternal Darkness... It was around the time that the stage was set for the end... that a strange disturbance in the Eclipses caught the attention of Light... Us Ph-Phaze Guardians were sent, with others, to investigate the occ-occurrence...
Ray: The end of Reality!? ...But... How!?!?
Aren: ... It's r-really complicated... All I know is that lives of the realm are diminishing... Faster than ever.
Slianna: Oh no... That's awful...
Aren: Y-yeah... It is... That hero of Reality was supposed to be with us by now, but no one knows where he has gone... Luckily, Hideaki has kept a secret from Darkness for a looooong time... Another, a lot like that teen, who has the ability to save the realm...
Cruce: (Ugh... Cel... so that's' what's happening back home for you...)
Ray: Wow... What a mess... I'm glad you're all working on it... We're trying our best, but...
Slianna: Wait a moment! You said you can't find the "hero" from Reality?
Aren: We're also looking for him... He might be back in F-Fantasy. You never know.
Celebi: (Oh no... I can't have Light suspicious... I have to try to stop Ray and Slianna from revealing who I am...) ...
Ray: Oh! Yeah, he's right over h--
Celebi: [Cough cough!] Ack-ahem!! Oof! Laying flat on this ground is rough! So sorry for the interruption, but I think Pryme has... Uh-oh... I feel like this forest has been tainted even more...
Aren: Shoot!! Sorry guys! Umm... Um...
Cruce: Aren, I've got things under control here. We'll all be up and at it soon enough. Darkness is stealing the power of the Ancient Growth as we speak and I'm positive Safiri's not exactly doing superb at the moment.
Aren: Whaaa!! Safiri's in trouble!? That's a problem!!! Gotta go! I'll get help soon! [Dashes off at high speed...] ...
...
[Instantly, all is silent.]
...
Slianna: There he goes... Will he be alright all on his own?
Ray: Heh, he's a Phaze Guardian! He'll do okay... Oh shoot! I forgot to tell him about you, Celebi!!
Celebi: Na, it's alright... You two... I... I have to tell you something...
Slianna: About your realm...? I'm so sorry...
Celebi: Things have been really confusing lately... I... Lost my sense of direction... I don't know where to go... As of now, Darkness is calling me though... I answered to it, but... I think I'm starting to stray away from this whole trial thing... I don't know if I can trust Naught...
Cruce: Hmm... (Who else would Cel want to trust...? Not Hideaki...)
Ray: ...I'm... not gonna tell you how to make decisions... but... Darkness is dangerous... if they really wanted you to work with them, then... why are we fighting them?
Celebi: ...Naught's testing me... But, you're right... It's not a full-proof way to get yourself a new ally.
Cruce: Cel... You know you'll always have yourself an ally somewhere you go...
Celebi: ...Cruce...?
Cruce: Heh, you'll have me too...
Celebi: Hmmm... [Smiles at him once more.] Maybe... maybe we were meant to meet... because our purposes must entwine, right...?
Cruce: [Nods.] It could be that... It could be.
Celebi: [Closes her eyes.] ...Regardless, I'm close to Darkness, and no one from Light can know...
Slianna: But... Why, Celebi? Why are you on this path...?
Celebi: The path I walk is a tribulation... A trial by time...
...
...
...
Ray: That "disturbance in the Eclipses" ... That was you wasn't it...?
...
...
Celebi: ...[Closes her eyes.] ... Yes.
--E N D I N G--
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