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"Hurry up old man the light has changed" yelled Karen shaking her fist as the homeless man slowly pushed his cart to the curb.
Tires screaming she makes it through the intersection as the light turns red.
Karen makes it to work 10 minutes late.
Jeff shakes his head as she walks in."I don't know why I don't fire you Karen."

"Proubley cause you like looking at my ass" says Karen as she smirks at him.

Karen puts her purse down and sits on the tall stool next to the register and starts texting her friend Dede.

As Jeff heads to the back room a customer walks in and wonders around.A few minutes later the woman walks up to the register.
Karen looks up from her phone "yeah"?

I was wondering if you had this set of cups in blue?
Karen seemingly bored says "what you see is what you get"

Karen looks down at her phone "what the",puzzled at all the weird stuff on her phone she tries pushing buttons.

Karen turns the power off on her phone,after it comes back on her phone keeps sending her the same text over and over.
“Let the key guns be mounted, make a brave show of waging war, and pry off the lid of Pandora's Box once more”

"Hey Jeff something is wrong with my phone come fix it" pleads Karen in a whiny voice.

Jeff come walking through the back store room door."I keep getting this text over and over" say Jeff shacking his head and looking perplexed.

"Yeah me to" Karen says,"It won't stop texting me about Pandoras box."

The customer walks over to the counter and points at the store computer.
On the screen was an ornate wooden box with the same quote written under it.

Then the power goes out,the customer sighs and says "guess I had better get home."
As she was leaving she turns and speaks to Jeff."You had better go now and get food,water and a heat source."

Karen looks at Jeff as the exit door swings shut Karen mocks the ladies words then says "crazy lady its July"...

Jeff says "wait I think she might be on to something."Jeff runs over to the small book section he keeps.After searching in the darkened section he yells "Bingo here it is,When all hell breaks lose."
Jeff starts leafing through the pages mumbling "head candy whaaa".."cockroaches".."bah this is no help" as he tosses the book over his shoulder.
"All right start filling up those empty soda bottles with water I will go get food,its almost lunch time now anyway."

Jeff heads over to the Delhi across the street and on the corner.
"Cash only" says the man behind the counter,"the systems is down."

Jeff takes out 30 bucks left over from his boys night out at the club."Give me 2 cornbeef on rye,2 bags of sea salt chips and 2 sodas."Picking up 2 big bags of chocolate he puts those up on the counter and pays.

Heading back to his store he sees the lady that was in his store leaving the little chines market with a huge bag of food.She walks over to her old brown station wagon from the 80's.

Now that is an ugly car Jeff thinks to himself,wonder why people don't just buy a new car.

Walking back into his shop Jeff sees Karen standing by the door as if waiting for him.
"What bottles am I suppose to fill up with water?"

"Duh the empty soda bottles."
"But they are dirty" says Karen.

"Wash them out are you really that stupid?"

Karens bottom lip comes out and she starts sniffling.
Sighing Jeff says "Here have some chocolate."

Karen giggles and grabs the bag and runs behind the counter.Sitting on the stool she opens the bag and eats a few as Jeff gets their lunch out of the bag.

Mean while Judy is putting the last of the bags into her station wagon.Its a good thing that little chines market was right there.

She pulls out a map and her little pistol from the glove box.Checking the shortest way out of the city.She traces her route in red and and alternate in green.

With the pistol on her lap she pulls out.2 hours later she was finally free of the city.Her hands hurt from griping the steering wheel so tight and her neck was stiff from being so tense trying to get free of the city.

2 more hours and she would be home.Pulling into a rest stop half hour later she looks around before even leaving her car.Before leaving the car she straps on the ankle holster and secures her weapon.

After refreshing herself she gets the perishable food from the back of her station wagon for her lunch.All the rest of the food would last for months so she would save that for later.

After merging back onto the interstate she pops open her can of soda and takes a long drink.She hopes the kids made it home from school safe.Knowing her kids she was sure they did.Being a mother though it was her job to worry.

An hour and a half later she pulls into the driveway seeing the truck she knows the kids made it home.

She tells the kids what she knows and tells them it was probably a virus sitting and waiting to infect every computer or system when the box was opened so to speak.

Niki show her mom her cell phone and the same text the clerk at the store got was on her cell phone as well.
Lets hope your father is safe and can make it home.

Judy sighs and looks over at the door knowing the spare BOB was sitting there by the door.Her husband didn't like it and saw no reason to take it with him.

All right kids lets find all the cash in the house and go buy every bit of long term food we can get.On top of what we have it should last well into the winter.
Plus all the garden.

Karen and Jeff eat their lunch and Jeff says to Karen "might as well close shop for the day.Go ahead and go home Karen."

Karen hugs Jeff grabs her purse and heads out the door.
Half way home Karen was screaming at everyone.Nothing worked and she was almost out of gas.She could not get more because the systems where down at every station and she had no cash.

5 miles from her apartment she runs out of gas.She kicks and screams and bangs on the steering wheel.
Leaving the car in the road she grabs her phone and purse and starts walking home.After a mile her cute little flats where giving her blisters.
She sits down and starts crying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jeff closes the shop up and heads to his apartment over his shop.
He tries getting on line but gets nothing but that damn box.
Checking the TV..nothing."Damn it" shouts Jeff as he throws the remote.
He wonders around his apartment seemingly lost.
Finally he heads back over to his computer and puts the CD in for Sims 3.....


As Karen sits there crying she hears a loud whining noise getting louder and louder.She looks up to see a plane falling from the sky right at her.
She starts running as it gets closer and closer,she feels the wind from the plane as it passes over her.
Looking behind her she sees it crashing to the ground and skid along the interstate.Sobbing and screaming she keeps running.
Karen makes it home fumbling for her keys she gets inside and yells for her parents.Then she remembers they are out of town,they had decided last minute to take a cruise package deal offered by a friend.
Karen runs to her room throws herself on her bed and cries herself to sleep.


Judy and her 2 youngest children took both the station wagon and the truck to town.Handing Niki and Val a printed list of things to get they split up at the local grocery store and start filling up their carts.
Judy got as many things off her "100 Items to Disappear First" list as she could afford.She had allot of this stuff already but more would not hurt.
Mean while she could hear the kids over in the canned goods isle talking about which canned soup to get.
Just over an hour later with all the cash on hand gone they head home with the food and supplies.

After getting everything in the house she has the kids check the animals and lock them up for the night.

As she puts things away in the pantry her thoughts run to her husband and the rest of her family.

She hopes her husband finds all the EDC's she stashed in his truck and suit case.
She didn't just like those mints for the flavor.
In fact she hopes he has a flat tire since she put even more stuff where the jack was even a small laundry bag to help carry all the EDC stashed tins.
Shaking her head and laughing at what she just thought,wishing her husband would have a flat tire.

If he makes it home all his anger about the embarrassing preparing stuff will have been worth it.

Niki and Val come in the back door carrying eggs and veggies from the garden as Judy put away the last of the stuff from the store.

They all make sandwiches and then sit down to eat and Val ask if the radio is on computers.
"I'm not sure" says Judy as she gets up and turns on the kitchen radio.
She didn't think about the radio as she usually listens to CD's while driving...

Turning it on the local station was playing a song as she sits back down the song ends and the the DJ starts talking about what they think is going on."the reports are unsubstantiated but what we know so far is that this virus has been circulating and sitting and waiting on every thing that is connected to the system."

We don't know who or why yet but we do know systems are going down everywhere.Speculations are that its terrorist but as far as we can tell its happening world wide.

The government is telling us to remain calm and everything will be back up and running in no time.

Mean while those who need cooling can head down to the city pool and its free.
The fire department says that they are handing out ice to the elderly,people with medical issues or infants and small children.

If we go off air it mean our generator has run out of gas.
The local banks are saying as soon as they get the systems back on line they will allow withdrawals and deposits again.

All stores are open and will take cash only,infact all refrigerated and frozen items are half off.All stores are giving ice cream away with every purchase.

As they finished eating the power goes off.Judy gets the batteries out of the junk drawer and unplugs the radio and puts in the batteries.

It is 9 PM ladies and gentlemen we will be signing off until midnight,unless urgent news comes our way.Stay strong America.

Karen was so hunger it was 8PM and she hadn't eaten since lunch time.
She tried her phone again nothing,she flops back on the bed kicking her legs and flopping her arms around screeching and wailing in her frustration.
Opening the fridge Karen gets a soda then she pulls some eggrolls out of the freezer.
Tossing 3 on a plate she puts them into the microwave and shuts the door and nothing.Karen pushes the buttons but nothing is working."Gahhh" she yells "no power"!
"Why does my life have to suck so much?"

Jeff wakes from his sleep and starts coughing...Smoke...fire..get out...he thinks as he becomes fully awake he starts searching for his cloths and shoes.
He looks out the window and sees the flames from the building across the street."Where is the fire department!" he yells at the window.

Getting dressed he grabs his cell phone and tries it,"still same old stupid crazy Grrrrrr message" he yells out loud Frustrated at no one coming to help put out the fire before it spreads.
He stands at the window and watches he hears a loud wining sound and them BOOM! flames shoot out from the burning building.

Jeff wakes up his face and part of his right side feels like its on fire,he screams for help.
Hearing nothing he crawls to his bathroom and turns on the water,it come out in a trickle.
He sit in the tub for how long he doesn't know.It did finally fill up and he kept water on his burns as long as he could.

He remembers seeing something fly out from the explosion it must have crashed through his window and hitting him.Good thing his building didn't catch on fire.

Searching frantically in the light from the fire across the street he finds leftover stuff from his grandparents in the cabnits.Having taken over the building after they both passed away last year.
A tube that says for burns he found a box that says silvadene cream 1% and in black marker cream for Dales burn.
Taking the tub out he rubs the cream on his face and shoulder.
He tries to walk back to lay down on the sofa everything goes black.


Jim is ****ed first he can't get gas because every gosh darn station says their system is down and now he is down to fourth of a tank.
It is getting late and he can't rent a room for the night since everyone on in the frecking world does not know how to fix their computer.
Kicking the dash he tries to get comfortable.

Crap better be fixed when I get up he thinks,I want my IHOP breakfast...
As he drifts off to sleep he knows deep down he won't get no pancakes or bacon and eggs tomorrow.

Judy and the kids get up a little early to do chores.Animals all fed watered and looked over they set out to check the garden and orchard.

They had bought the farm last year at auction after the farmer and his wife passed away,both had been in their 80's and worked this small farm till they died within a week of each other.

The family didn't want to move back so they put the farm and every thing on it up for auction.

It had all the wonderful stuff most old farms had fruit trees,berry bushes and vines.
The one thing the auctioneers didn't find was the door behind the shelves in the pantry.It was full of canned food and other stuff dating back to the 30's.It was the size of a closet and Judy was so happy to find the stuff.It had been the middle of winter she had been bored so was cleaning and thats how she found it.

She was thinking it might have even been used during the under ground rail road hence it being hidden.

She is interrupted by the sound of the dogs barking.

It was the mail carrier with a package.
"Hey Penny",says Judy and she walks out to the mail truck.
Got that package you where waiting on,Judy hear chirping from the box.Her Hatchery barn yard special had arrived,she had ordered it since it was a hatchery one day only sale.

Just so you know there will be no more mail until the computers are back up says Penny.
Thanks this was the last thing I had coming anyway,holds on let me get the seeds flower I harvested for you the other day.

Judy runs back to the house and grabs the bag sitting on the stand next to the front door.


Karen sits at the dinning room table looking at the plate of eggrolls,not sure how to cook them.
She looks at the stove finally and turns it on like she has seen her mom do when they have parties and her mom cooks.

But it does not come on,she looks at the burner and tries that but no flames only the smell of gas.
Sitting back down she pouts she runs back up stairs and gets her purse cause she knows that wonderful chocolate is in there.
She sees a book in her purse When All Hell Breaks Loose,she snorts "well it has.
She sits on her bed and starts reading as she eats the chocolate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Judy gets the heavy chain from the garage along with a padlock and walks down and pulling the gate shut she locks it up.

She then goes and opens the side gate leading to the back part of the property,letting the dogs now patrol the front part of the property as well.
They where 2 huge dogs MastiffxPyrenees mixes.Sadie and Max.They loved the kids and from day one the dogs slept in the barn with all the animals.

Judy sighs,it was going to be a long day of getting things ready and into a routine and on a schedule.
If things did not get fixed soon she and the kids would have allot of canning and storing to do when all the fruit trees and berries became ripe this fall.
As it is canning will have to be done weekly for all the stuff ripening now.

Going inside she smiles at the kids both almost adults Niki turns 18 this year and was to graduate.
Val would be 16 and would be a fine man some day maybe even sooner.
Nikie was slicing tomatoes and Val was frying up eggs for their breakfast.
Judy pulls out the flat grill and starts toasting bread on the stove.
They start talk about things they had to do,avoiding the one subject that would make them sad...Dad.

Jeff wakes up on the floor pain so bad he vomits.
He crawls back to the bathroom screaming the whole way cause even movement rips the and pulls the burnson his arm and shoulder.
He passes out for how long hes not sure.He just knows he has to keep his wound clean and get it to heal fast.
He prays for help,but knows he is on his own.
He keeps thinking what would his Grandpa do?
His grandpa survived the death camps,he had to be strong like that.

It takes him hours to clean his wounds,at times he passes out.But finally he was done and puts more cream on and decides to sleep on the bathroom floor.after pulling all the towels down from the cabinet he lays on them and sleeps like a dead man.


Karen wakes with a start not sure of the time or day.
she feels all hot and there was something on her face.
Running to the mirror she screeches,brown stuff was all over her face.
She then starts laughing it was melted chocolate.
she goes into her bathroom and it takes her 5 minutes to get most of it off.The water was running so slow.

She decides to take a swim and cool off.
She slips into her bikini and grabs a towel and heads out the back door.

As she is swimming she hears someone cough.
Turning around she sees one of her neighbors.Old man Jhon well he wasn't that old just creepy and always leering at her or her mom when they are out sun bathing or swimming.

"Nice day for a swim" says Jhon as he looks right at her chest.
Ugh thinks Karen what does he want.
"You need something Mr.ParDue."Karen says in an annoyed tone.
"Yeah can I borrow some sugar,I need to make some tea and I can't without sugar."He says holding a cup up.

"Allright come on over and we will find the sugar." Karen says thinking it was the fastest way to get rid of him.

Karen wanted to laugh as he came through the side gate.He was wearing a Speedo,his huge hairy belly hanging down.
He looked like a half stuffed sausage.Karen has a coughing fit trying not to laugh.

As she enters the kitchen she screams as she is knocked to the ground.

Judy has the kids take Sadie inside and she takes a bag of fresh produce and puts it in a backpack.

Locking the gate behind her she and Max set off down to the Webbers house.They where a nice young couple trying to fix up an old falling down house.

He worked any job he could and she worked part time at the gas station.

They had 3 small children,one year old boy and twin girls 3 years old.

As Judy got closer something didn't seam right.
She hears crying and the front door was open.
She lets Max off and he runs around smelling tail high up and on alert.

She pulls her gun from her ankle holster and slowly makes her way into the house.
In the living room she finds Sara,she was still alive.The kids where on the floor next to her still in PJ's crying and screaming.
She was bleeding from her stomach.Hold on Sara im gonna get the truck.Shutting the door as she ran home,screaming at the kids to lock the gate after they get the kids from the webbers.
Tearing down the road she makes it back in less then 5 minutes.

Sara hold on Hun,kaylie and kylie take your brother to your room ok.Niki will be here to take you for breakfast kk.I'm taking your mommy to the doctors.

As she was trying to figure out how to get Sara into the truck the kids fly into the drive way and jump out of the station wagon."Help me get her onto the station wagon so she can lay down."Judy says out of breath from trying to carry Sara.

On the way Sara tells her what happened,Kyle had brought his new friends home last night.They stayed the night Sara woke to her husband yelling at them to get out.
Sara came down the stairs she sees a bunch of their stuff piled on the floor by the front door.
He was waving the kitchen knife at them,she trips over something on the stairs and fall Kyle turns and she falls on the knife.
The men run out the door and take off in Kyles truck.
Kyle in a panic runs up the road to find help.
Judy pulls up to the ER door horn blaring,hoping to get someone fast.She jumps out and bangs on the doors,yelling "I need a doctor now."
A man in a white coat comes out the single side door,seeing Sara he yells back "we got a bleeder!"

As they take Sara off Judy starts shaking,she walk slowly into the emergency room and gives them as much information as she can.

2 hours later the Doctor comes out and tells her that she didn't make it.

Days of pain and agony,sometimes he would lay there and weep.The worst part was when it started to heal he could feel the skin pulling tight.He knew he had to move so it would not tighten up.

He was almost out of food he knew how to prepare,he was lucky his Grandparents left so much stuff.But allot of it he didn't know how to cook.
So when he wasn't treating his wounds or sleeping he was reading his Grandmas cook books.
He tried several times to get help,but when he looked out the window all he saw was looters or people with packs walking towards the interstate.
The whole block across the street was nothing but a burned pile of rubble.
Part of it had covered the front of his shop,probably from the explosion.
A good way to keep out looters he laughed to himself.

Karen feels something wet and slimy on her face.
She opens her eyes and sees Jhon,slapping at him trying to get him to stop kissing her with his slimy wet lips.
"Finally awake huh" he laughs as he hold her tighter.
"Get off me" she says through clenched teeth.
Her pulse was racing she was really scared this time,panic was setting in.

Then she hears knocking on the front door."Hello anyone home?""Karen I need to borrow some dish soap."yells Nosy old Mrs Wilson.
"I'm coming to the back door if your in the pool."she yells even louder.
"Crap."Says Jhon as he pushes Karen away and heads out the back door.

Mrs Wilson rushes in the back door where Karen layed Sobbing.
"Hush now dear I scared him off."she says as she hold Karen comforting her.

"How did you know?" she says between sobs.

"I have worked with enough criminals at the prison to know when someone is up to no good."she says.

"Now lets get you dressed and packed and over to my place.we will bring the rest of your stuff as you need it ok."
"All right." says Karen following Mrs Wilson still in shock at what almost happened.

Judy heads home after telling the deputy what happened,he said the kids would probably stay with her until the computers come back on line in a day or so.

Judy drives slowly out of Conerville and sees signs of things slowly going bad.People yelling at the gas station,cars parked all over.
Presumably out of gas.
One store was all boarded up glass on the ground.
If this small town was slowly falling apart bet the city is even worse she thinks.
As she turns off the HYW she sees Kyle running back to his house."Kyle what the hell happened to you?" yells Judy as she jumps out of the car."Your bleeding."
"They came back and jumped me,I have to get help for Sara."
"Kyle I already took her to the Hospital."placing her hand on his shoulder she shacks her her head.
Grabbing his hair he wails "Oh God oh God oh God I killed her."
He takes off down the road Judy yells after him"Kyle it was and accident."

She gets home and gets out and unlocks the gate.She puts the station wagon in the garage next to the truck.

Walking in the house she smells something cooking.
The twins come running yelling "Mommy."
Judy kneels down looking at both kids
"Mommy had to go away sweeties and we know your daddy will be back soon."
"I want mommy" says Kayle in a sad lost vioce.Kyle turns and hugs her sister.
"I know sweety I wish she was here as well."I do know if she could be here she would."
"Lets go see how your brother is doing."says Niki as she takes both there hands and takes them to the living room.

Judy starts to cry and runs up stairs to the bathroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The was no more water and Jeff was just about out of food.
Jeff had managed to keep his burns from getting infected and his skin from tightning up to much.
He stood looking at his face in the mirror
the damage to the right part of his face was horrific,part of his shoulder and arm where no better but at least he could cover that up.
He knows he has to leave since there was no water,he figured he could find everything he needed in the country.
He knew it was unsafe at night out there,he heard the screams and gun fire.

Jeff packed the last of his food and water in his old backpack that must have been his grandpas still had a sleeping bag attached to it and some camping stuff inside.So Jeff added his food and some socks and few odds and ends he needed.

He grabbed his cell phone and was putting it in a side pouch when he started laughing.
Jeff sat down and his laughter turned to crying,nothing was ever going to be the same agian.Its was like everything he knew had been a dream and he woke up in hell.


"Up up up Karen lots of work to do" Mrs Wilson says in a cheery voice.

"But" mumbles Karen and she buries her head under the covers.
"You have been here long enough resting,time to start pulling your own weight." Looking out from under the covers Karen sees Mrs Wilson standing there with arms crossed.
"Alright alright I'm up sheesh"Karen rolls her eyes as she climbs out of the bed.

We need to water the garden and then get the rest of what you need and board up your house.
Alright let me get changed and I will be right out.
As the day got hotter Karen got more cranky."Why are we even doing this I am sure the army or someone will come soon and help everyone."Mrs Wilson looks over at Karen.
"The military has its own problems as do we.The culdasac is starting to wise up and now they made a barricade and we have night patrols."

"So far 5 homes have been raided and 3 people killed and many more hurt.We can't wait for help."
"Karen look at me and listen" she says sternly.We and the people living here have to help and protect each othe.This evening I will start teaching you how to use my old pistol and you will start carrying it everywhere."


Judy takes a deep breath as she heads outside for the morning chores.
They where cutting wood everyday so as to have enough wood to get through the winter.She hopes if they cut all the way up till December they should have enough.

Violence was spilling out of the cities and not a day hasn't gone by where either some one was begging for food or trying to get past her dogs.

Mr and Mrs.Henderson had a home invasion and now lived at the farm.Nice old couple who had sold most of there stuff and the farm just before Pandora struck.Now they where without most stuff they could have used.It all was sold at the auction.

They where a big help as Mrs.Henderson did all the cooking and cleaning and helped with all the canning that was being done.Her husband had run the green house on thier farm but those where gone as well.So he was making some smaller ones with old windows and plastic.The little ones would fetch and carry stuff for him.

Judy knew they would soon need more protection out here as times got more desperate and as it got colder.

Don't fall don't fall Jeff kept telling himself as he crawls across the old train tressel.He almost fell at one point hence the crawling now.

He could hear the men over on the main bridge for vehicles yelling.They had both sides of the bridge blocked off and where stopping anyone and taking their stuff.

So Jeff decided to take the old train tressel him and his friends use to sit on and drink beer when ditching school.It was about a half mile from the main bridge.

It was almost pitch black when he was finally across.
he decided to sleep in some pipes off to the side of the old tracks.Picking the one furthest from the tracks he crawls in and is asleep as soon as he lays his head down.

Karen wakes up to a loud boom.She hears screaming and shouting outside.
Suddenly the bedroom door opens and Mrs.Wilson runs in.Hurry we have to hide you.grabbing her by the hand Mrs.Wilson drags her to the kitchen.She opens the doors under the sink pushing the bottles and stuff.Grabbing Karens hand she pulls her to the floor and tells her to get in there.
"But I won't fit under there."Mrs.Wilson says "push the back wall and crawl through.Don't make a sound till I come and get you."
Karen starts crawling under the sink and pushes her hand against the back part and it opens.Crawling into the darkness she hears the door click behind her.
Crawling around in the dark she feels what is a couch,bed,tables feeling chilled in the pitch black room she crawls to the bed and pulls the covers off and wraps them around herself.
She must be underground as the kitchen sink is where the back part of the house is underground.
She doesn't know how long it was maby 12 or 24 hours but she started to see a red light slowly get brighter and brighter.At first she thought her eyes where playing tricks on her.
They where finally bright enough where she could see the whole room.It was like those studio apartments with everything in one room.Well not the bathroom which she was assuming was behind the door opposite of the trap door she came in.
Using the bathroom first she washes her hands and face then looks around.
The little kitchenette was stocked full of food and water.
walking over to what she had thought was a table but really was a desk,she found a Manuel to the shelter.

Going through the drawers she finds news clippings about a baby.It was dated January 1990 the same year she was born.

The babies mother a teen had dumped the baby in a trash can in the middle of January.
Newer articles tell of the search for the Birth mother and the adoption of the baby by a couple that looked like her parents.
Shocked she shoves the pages away as if they are on fire.

Jeff screams as he wakes to being dragged out of the pipe.
"What are you doing on my property boy?"
I'm trying to get to my friends house,I had to use the old tracks cause they are blocking the main bridge."
"What the hell happened to your face" says the middle aged man as he shines the flash light in Jeffs face.

"There was an explosion...."
"Well come on over to my place sleep there till morning."
 
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