Deep Fathom

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Overview

On The Day Everything Changed Forever...
The millennium's first eclipse of the sun cast a shroud over the Earth. And then catastrophe struck...

On The Day The End Began...
Solar flares have triggered a series of gargantuan natural disasters. Earthquakes and hellfire rock the globe. The death toll rises at an unimaginable rate. And in the ...

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Overview

On The Day Everything Changed Forever...
The millennium's first eclipse of the sun cast a shroud over the Earth. And then catastrophe struck...

On The Day The End Began...
Solar flares have triggered a series of gargantuan natural disasters. Earthquakes and hellfire rock the globe. The death toll rises at an unimaginable rate. And in the midst of chaos, Air Force One and America's president have vanished from the skies.

The Sea Revealed A Mystery
Ex-Navy Seal Jack Kirkland surfaces from an aborted underwater salvage mission to find the Earth burning — and the U.S. on the narrow brink of a nuclear apocalypse. Now, aboard his oceangoing exploration ship, Deep Fathom, Kirkland is on a desperate mission that is leading him to an earth-shattering discovery miles below the ocean's surface. For devastating secrets and a power an ancient civilization could not contain have been cast out into a modern day — and they will forever alter a world racing toward its own destruction.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380818808
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/28/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

James Rollins

James Rollins is the New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. His Sigma series has been lauded as one of the "top crowd pleasers" (New York Times) and "hottest summer reads" (People magazine). In each novel, acclaimed for its originality, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets—and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight.

Biography

James Rollins is the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of Black Order, Map of Bones and other adventure thrillers. He was born in Chicago and grew up in Ontario, Canada, and St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated with honors from the University of Missouri with a degree in veterinary medicine. And like most veterinarians, he presently shares his home with a Golden Retriever, a Dachshund, and a sixty-five year old parrot named Igor. Rollins currently practices in Northern California, and when not writing or working in his veterinary practice, he can often be found underground or underwater as an amateur spelunker and scuba diver. These hobbies have helped in the creation of his earlier books Subterranean, Deep Fathom, Amazonia, and Sandstorm. His thriller, Black Order, skyrocketed to the top of bestseller lists across the country, winning the author countless new fans, and was proclaimed by People magazine as one of last summer's "hottest reads." Map of Bones was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the most likely to win over Dan Brown's faithful audience, and the New York Times rated the book as one the summer's top crowd pleasers.

Author biography courtesy of HarperCollins.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Rollins:

"I often get asked if I still practice veterinary medicine. While I don't practice full-time, I still do volunteer. I work with a group that traps stray cats, brings them to the shelter, where I spend a day spaying and neutering them. It's basically eight hours of removing genitalia. It's a hobby."

"I am a TV junkie. I have two Tivos and they are constantly full."

"My first job was to flip pizzas. I once got a pie spinning that was ten feet across. I had to spin it on my back to keep it going. Yet, I still love pizza."

"Two hobbies I love -- caving and scuba diving -- are also essential research for my novels. Case in point:

I've always been an avid cave explorer, from the vast systems in Missouri to the lava tubes of Hawaii to the tighter squeezes of the California foothills. But one of my most frightening episodes also allowed me to better describe claustrophobia in my novels. While climbing out of the fairly technical wild cavern, involving lots of rope work, I managed to jam myself midway up a narrow vertical chute. Hung up on my ascending gear midway up the chute, I found myself unable to move up or down. My chest was squeezed between two walls, my left knee turned the wrong way. I could not maneuver, and there was not enough room to get a rescue climber to me. I was trapped. I remember the team leader, leaning down from above, shining his helmet lamp at me. ‘You either find a way to un-jam yourself, or you stay there forever.'

So over the course of a long hour -- wriggling, sweating, cursing, and clawing -- I managed to creep a millimeter at a time out of the jam. After this event, I had a better understanding for panic and the determination born of pure desperation, essential ingredients for to writing thrilling fiction.

But spelunking through caves was not my only ‘research' lesson. Two decades ago, I also took up scuba diving and went on dive trips all around the world: Monterey Bay, Hawaii, South Pacific, Australia. I particularly remember one trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I was informed by the dive master to beware of the many hazards found in the region. ‘On land, Australia has seven of the ten deadliest snakes. The seas are worse. Box jellyfish can kill in minutes. Local sea snakes are some of the most toxic. But worst of all is the stone fish. It looks like a stone, but its spines are loaded with paralytic poison. So be careful what you touch.'

And down we all went, buddied up in pairs, enthusiastic and excited. I dropped toward the reef and adjust my buoyancy until I'm floating just above the reef. All around spread amazing sights: giant clams, a flurry of colored fish, an astounding variety of coral. But I miscalculated my buoyancy, my weight shifted, and I planted a hand into the sand to stabilize my tumble, careful of the razor-sharp coral. Inches from my thumb, a jagged rock suddenly sprouted fins and swam away. I met the gaze of my buddy diver. His wide eyes firmed up the identification. The deadly stone fish. And I had almost slapped my hand on its back. As the fish scurried away, I understood at that exact moment how little Nature cared about the life of a scuba-diving novelist. Down here, Nature ruled. We were only visitors.

This mix of respect and terror is brought to life in my latest novel, The Judas Strain."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Sacramento, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 20, 1961
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Nautilus

July 24, 3:35 P.M.
75 miles SW of Wake Island, Central Pacific

Jack Kirkland had missed the eclipse.

Where he glided, there was no sun, only the perpetual darkness of the ocean's abysmal deep. The sole illumination came from a pair of xenon lamps set in the nose of his one-man submersible. His new toy, the Nautilus 2000, was out on its first deep-dive test. The eight-foot titanium minisub was shaped like a fat torpedo topped by an acrylic plastic dome. Attached to its underside was a stainless steel frame that mounted the battery pods, thruster assembly, that mounted the battery pods, thruster assembly, electrical, can, and lights.

Ahead, the brilliance of the twin lamps drilled a cone of visibility that extended a hundred feet in front of him. He fingered the controls, sweeping the arc back and forth, searching. Out the corner of his eye he checked the analog depth gauge. Approaching fifteen hundred feet. The bottomof the trench must be close. His sonar reading on the computer screen confirmed his assessment. Nomore than two fathoms. The pings of the sonar grew closer and closer.

Seated, Jack's head and shoulders protruded into the acrylic plastic dome of the hull, giving him a panoramic view of his surroundings. While the cabin was spacious for most men, it was a tight fit for Jack's six-foot-plus frame. It's like driving an MG convertible, he thought, except you steer with your toes.

The two foot pedals in the main hull controlled not only acceleration, but also maneuvered the fourone-horsepower thrusters. With practiced skill Jack eased the right pedal while depressing the toe of the left pedal. The craft dove smoothly to the left. Lights swept forward. Ahead, the seabed came into view, appearing out of the endless gloom.

Jack slowed his vehicle to a gentle glide as he entered a natural wonderland, a deep ocean oasis.

Under him, fields of tubeworms lay spread across the valley floor of the mid-Pacific mountain range. Riftia pachyptila. The clusters of six-foot-long tubes with their bloodred worms were like an otherworldly topiary waving at him as he passed, gently swaying in the current. To either side, on lower slopes, giant clams lay stacked shell-to-shell, open, soft fronds filtering the sea. Among them stalked bright red galatheid crabs on long, spindly legs.

Movement drew Jack's attention forward. A thick eyeless eel slithered past, teeth bright in the xenon lamp. A school of curious fish followed next, led by a large brown lantern fish. The brazen fellow swam right up to the glass bubble, a deepsea gargoyle ogling the strange intruder inside. Minuscule bioluminescent lights winked along the large fish's sides, announcing its territorial aggression.

Other denizens displayed their lights. Under him, pink pulses ran through tangles of bamboo coral. Around the dome, tiny blue-green lights flashed, the creatures too small and translucent to be seen clearly.

The sight reminded Jack of flurries of fireflies from his Tennessee childhood. Having lived all his young life in landlocked Tennessee, Jack had instantly fallen in love with the ocean, enthralled by its wide expanses, its endless blue, its changing moods.

A swirl of lights swarmed around the dome.

"Unbelievable," he muttered to himself, wearing a wide grin. Even after all this time, the sea found ways to surprise him.

In response, his radio earpiece buzzed. "What was that, Jack?"

Frowning, Jack silently cursed the throat microphone taped under his larynx. Even fifteen hundred feet under the sea, he could not completely shut out the world above. "Nothing, Lisa," he answered. "Just admiring the view."

"How's the new sub handling?"

"Perfectly. Are you receiving the Bio-Sensor readings?" Jack asked, touching the clip on his earlobe. The laser spectrometer built into the clip constantly monitored his bloodgas levels.

Dr. Lisa Cummings had garnered a National Science Foundation grant to study the physiological effects of deepsea work. "Respiration, temperature, cabin pressure, oxygen supply, ballast, carbon dioxide scrubbers. All green up here. Any evidence of seismic activity?"

"No. All quiet."

Two hours ago, as Jack had first begun his descent in the Nautilus, Charlie Mollier, the geologist, had reported strange seismic readings,, harmonic vibrations radiating through the deep-sea mountain range. For safety's sake he had suggested that Jack return to the surface. "Come watch the eclipse with us, " Charlie had radioed earlier in his Jamaican accent. "It's spectacular, mon. We can always dive tomorrow."

Jack had refused. He had no interest in the eclipse. If the quakes worsened, he could always surface. But during the long descent, the strange seismic readings had faded away. Charlie's voice over the radio had eventually lost its strained edge.

Jack touched his throat mike. "So you all done worrying up there?"

A pause was followed by a reluctant "Yes."

Jack imagined the blond doctor rolling her eyes. "Thanks, Lisa. Signing off. Time for a little privacy." He yanked the Bio-Sensor clip from his earlobe.

It was a small victory. The remainder of the Bio-Sensor system would continue to report on the sub's environmental status, but not his personal information. At least it gave him a bit of isolation from the world above -- and this was what Jack liked best about diving. The isolation, the peace, the quiet. Here there was only the moment. Lost in the deep, his past had no power to haunt him.

From the sub's speakers the strange noises of the abysmal deep echoed through the small space: a chorus of eerie pulses, chirps, and high-frequency squeals. It was like listening in on another planet.

Around him was a world deadly to surface dwellers: endless darkness, crushing pressures, toxic waters. But life somehow found a way to thrive here, fed not by sunlight, but by poisonous clouds of hydrogen sulfide that spewed from hot vents called "black smokers."

Deep Fathom. Copyright © by James Rollins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Deep Fathom

Chapter One

Nautilus

July 24, 3:35 P.M.
75 miles SW of Wake Island, Central Pacific

Jack Kirkland had missed the eclipse.

Where he glided, there was no sun, only the perpetual darkness of the ocean's abysmal deep. The sole illumination came from a pair of xenon lamps set in the nose of his one-man submersible. His new toy, the Nautilus 2000, was out on its first deep-dive test. The eight-foot titanium minisub was shaped like a fat torpedo topped by an acrylic plastic dome. Attached to its underside was a stainless steel frame that mounted the battery pods, thruster assembly, that mounted the battery pods, thruster assembly, electrical, can, and lights.

Ahead, the brilliance of the twin lamps drilled a cone of visibility that extended a hundred feet in front of him. He fingered the controls, sweeping the arc back and forth, searching. Out the corner of his eye he checked the analog depth gauge. Approaching fifteen hundred feet. The bottomof the trench must be close. His sonar reading on the computer screen confirmed his assessment. Nomore than two fathoms. The pings of the sonar grew closer and closer.

Seated, Jack's head and shoulders protruded into the acrylic plastic dome of the hull, giving him a panoramic view of his surroundings. While the cabin was spacious for most men, it was a tight fit for Jack's six-foot-plus frame. It's like driving an MG convertible, he thought, except you steer with your toes.

The two foot pedals in the main hull controlled not only acceleration, but also maneuvered the four one-horsepower thrusters. With practiced skill Jack eased the right pedal while depressing the toe of the left pedal. The craft dove smoothly to the left. Lights swept forward. Ahead, the seabed came into view, appearing out of the endless gloom.

Jack slowed his vehicle to a gentle glide as he entered a natural wonderland, a deep ocean oasis.

Under him, fields of tubeworms lay spread across the valley floor of the mid-Pacific mountain range. Riftia pachyptila. The clusters of six-foot-long tubes with their bloodred worms were like an otherworldly topiary waving at him as he passed, gently swaying in the current. To either side, on lower slopes, giant clams lay stacked shell-to-shell, open, soft fronds filtering the sea. Among them stalked bright red galatheid crabs on long, spindly legs.

Movement drew Jack's attention forward. A thick eyeless eel slithered past, teeth bright in the xenon lamp. A school of curious fish followed next, led by a large brown lantern fish. The brazen fellow swam right up to the glass bubble, a deepsea gargoyle ogling the strange intruder inside. Minuscule bioluminescent lights winked along the large fish's sides, announcing its territorial aggression.

Other denizens displayed their lights. Under him, pink pulses ran through tangles of bamboo coral. Around the dome, tiny blue-green lights flashed, the creatures too small and translucent to be seen clearly.

The sight reminded Jack of flurries of fireflies from his Tennessee childhood. Having lived all his young life in landlocked Tennessee, Jack had instantly fallen in love with the ocean, enthralled by its wide expanses, its endless blue, its changing moods.

A swirl of lights swarmed around the dome.

"Unbelievable," he muttered to himself, wearing a wide grin. Even after all this time, the sea found ways to surprise him.

In response, his radio earpiece buzzed. "What was that, Jack?"

Frowning, Jack silently cursed the throat microphone taped under his larynx. Even fifteen hundred feet under the sea, he could not completely shut out the world above. "Nothing, Lisa," he answered. "Just admiring the view."

"How's the new sub handling?"

"Perfectly. Are you receiving the Bio-Sensor readings?" Jack asked, touching the clip on his earlobe. The laser spectrometer built into the clip constantly monitored his bloodgas levels.

Dr. Lisa Cummings had garnered a National Science Foundation grant to study the physiological effects of deepsea work. "Respiration, temperature, cabin pressure, oxygen supply, ballast, carbon dioxide scrubbers. All green up here. Any evidence of seismic activity?"

"No. All quiet."

Two hours ago, as Jack had first begun his descent in the Nautilus, Charlie Mollier, the geologist, had reported strange seismic readings,, harmonic vibrations radiating through the deep-sea mountain range. For safety's sake he had suggested that Jack return to the surface. "Come watch the eclipse with us, " Charlie had radioed earlier in his Jamaican accent. "It's spectacular, mon. We can always dive tomorrow."

Jack had refused. He had no interest in the eclipse. If the quakes worsened, he could always surface. But during the long descent, the strange seismic readings had faded away. Charlie's voice over the radio had eventually lost its strained edge.

Jack touched his throat mike. "So you all done worrying up there?"

A pause was followed by a reluctant "Yes."

Jack imagined the blond doctor rolling her eyes. "Thanks, Lisa. Signing off. Time for a little privacy." He yanked the Bio-Sensor clip from his earlobe.

It was a small victory. The remainder of the Bio-Sensor system would continue to report on the sub's environmental status, but not his personal information. At least it gave him a bit of isolation from the world above -- and this was what Jack liked best about diving. The isolation, the peace, the quiet. Here there was only the moment. Lost in the deep, his past had no power to haunt him.

From the sub's speakers the strange noises of the abysmal deep echoed through the small space: a chorus of eerie pulses, chirps, and high-frequency squeals. It was like listening in on another planet.

Around him was a world deadly to surface dwellers: endless darkness, crushing pressures, toxic waters. But life somehow found a way to thrive here, fed not by sunlight, but by poisonous clouds of hydrogen sulfide that spewed from hot vents called "black smokers."

Deep Fathom. Copyright © by James Rollins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 139 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 140 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2001

    Excellent summer read! Don't miss it!

    Without giving anything away, this book likely has something for everyone who enjoys the action/adventure genre. Natural disasters, world chaos, a missing Air Force One and the president, ancient civilizations, romance, name it and you'll find it in this novel - even including a Canadian! This third novel by Rollins has more refined character development than his previous novels while at the same time, keeping the mystery and the adventure on an even keel. If you enjoyed his previous novels, you won't be disappointed with this one. In my opinion, Rollins easily ranks up there with the likes of Preston and Childs, DuBrul and other action/adventure writers. In fact, so far, he's demonstrating consistancy in his writing unlike some of the other writers who seem to lose momentum after their first success and is in fact in the process of surpassing some of the other household name action/adventure authors. Anxiously awaiting the next novel! Monsieur Rollins, you make reading a pleasure as always... ;-)

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 13, 2012

    Great Read!

    Really enjoy the writing of James Rollins and have beceome a collector of his series now. This is a great read and page turner!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting Science, Slow Moving Plot

    The thing that I really like about James Rollins is the really interesting science that is threaded throughout his books. This book is no exception. The discussion and fictional application of dark matter is really interesting. Also, as always, there is a decent amount of action at various times throughout the book. However, the plot of this book is SLOW and you will be 150 pages into it before it really gets interesting. Also, there are a couple of subplots that seem to have been included for no other purpose than filling space.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2004

    The twist just keep coming

    James Rollins has done it yet again with his new novel. While in the past, many of his works are riddled with themes of lost civilizations and their eventual discoveries, i think that Rollins has outdone himself with this novel (in a good way). The first 50 pages are quite hard to get through but once you've passed those, the book doesnt disappoint. It's essentially like reading a movie, the action never stopped.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2001

    Hard Read

    I had a hard time getting into this book. For one thing the characters were just not that interesting. Then there is no end to the constant catastrophes that appear starting with chapter one and never stopping. There are so many things going on and I don't think the author brings them all together well in the end. In fact the ending was just plain UNBELIEVABLE.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2001

    AGAIN!!

    Well...ive been waiting for this one....read the prologue about 3 months before....and waited patietly....as soon as i heard it was coming out...i was at the bookstore....mr rolins is an awesome writer....this is THE best one yet....each book he has is incredible....a CANT PUT DOWN....i was so anxious to finsih it i read so fast...i had to reread the end...because i couldnt wait....i tell everyone at bookstores every where...get his books...you wont be disappointed...he is awesome....cant wait for his next one.....

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 4, 2013

    Fun read for rainy days

    I love all the James Rollins books. Great characters and crazy bad guys are always fun, but I especially like seeing those strong smart females doing their share to save the day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 24, 2013

    This book is totally ridiculous yet so hugely entertaining and r

    This book is totally ridiculous yet so hugely entertaining and readable that I loved it. Definitely recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Like a big disaster movie!

    Reading this book was like watching a disaster movie, but so much better. Well written. Very interesting subject. Fast moving. This was the first book by James Rollins I have read, but it will definitely not be the last.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Very Good Reading

    Lots of action and well researched story line.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2001

    A little slow to start but Excellent! when you get into it

    I found this book to start off slow and it took me awhile to get into it but it did pick up towards the end. I don't think this was James¿s best work but I still recommend it. However, It may be just me? In the last couple months I have started 2 other books and never finished¿ I am now on my third and that doesn¿t seem promising either. I guess I am a picky reader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    Enjoyed the book.

    Enjoyed the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2012

    Recommend very much.

    it's a page turner.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    For readers of adventure books, highly recommended

    I always enjoy Rollins books. His characters and story line are very entertaining. Can't wait for his next.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    James Rollins does it again. From the time you open the book until you finish it it is none stop action.

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  • Posted April 13, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Great book if one likes adventure/mystery. You can never go wrong with James Rollins.

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  • Posted April 11, 2012

    Plenty of action, plenty of fun

    This was the first non-Sigma book I've listened to and I am happy to say it has all of the hallmarks that I love in those books: non-stop action, over-the-top crises, villainous villains and heroic heroes. Even if things sometimes stray into the "Seriously?" category, it's always fun and you can tell that the book doesn't take itself too seriously. I liked that the book included a character link to the Sigma series. I like the comfort of familiar characters.
    The one criticism I have is with the narrator. Understand that this is based on my listening preference, but Mr. Meagher too often sounds like he's trying to talk while a yak is sitting on his chest. Some of the male voices sound forced, while some of the female voices are almost cartoonish.
    I have a 30-minute drive each way to work, and I often look forward to the drive just so I can listen to James Rollins' books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    Rollins did it again just awsome!!!

    Another one of those reads that you just can't put down.

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  • Posted April 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Could not put it down

    Just loved it. I could not put it down. Especially the last 10 chapters.

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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    Slow beginning, quick ending

    I am a huge fan of Rollins, but Deep Fathom leaves much to be desired at least in the beginning. The book starts of pretty slowly. So slow in fact that I didn't touch it for weeks. The ending came not a moment too soon and that's exactly when the action and thrill picked up. Even though it's a slow moving story it's still a great read. I've loved all his work thus far.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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