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Charlotte Blythe

"I'm not sure I really - what's the phrase? - 'get it.'"

0 · 434 views · located in Steampowered London - 1885

a character in “Death Comes to London”, originally authored by Aethyia, as played by RolePlayGateway

So begins...

Charlotte Blythe's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ephraim Ramsey Character Portrait: Charlotte Blythe Character Portrait: Amelia Lancaster Character Portrait: Khalil Jaziri Character Portrait: Beatrix Castine

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London - Circo Della Notte
June 19, 1885 - 22:15 p.m. - Clear
Amelia Lancaster


Amelia stared at the people gathered around her and the others. Her brows were furrowed, and she could feel the frown threatening to pull at her lips. She wasn't particularly pleased about the current affairs. The trapeze wires had been tampered with to the point that someone would have died if they'd performed at all tonight. And if Charlie hadn't sent Jaziri back to warn them... it was a thought Amelia did not want to finish.

She glanced in the direction of Mr. Bianchi, and had to keep herself from giving him a flat look. He was angry and confused; that much was obvious on his face. He, the Blanchettes, Miss Marsh, Mr. Davis, O'Donaghue, and Parker were all gathered inside of the performance tent. It was at Ramsey's and her's request, of course, which was, perhaps, the reason why Bianchi was confused. He finally stepped forward, and this time, Amelia did not bother to hide the expression on her face when he spoke.

“What is the meaning of this?" he stated, though from the tone of his voice, it sounded more like a demand than anything. Amelia merely glanced towards Ramsey, before allowing her gaze to travel back to Bianchi.

“As soon as Jaziri and Miss Blythe return," she began, making sure to keep eye contact with Bianchi, “we will inform you." Until then, he was going to have to be patient. Luck seemed to be on his side, though. Jaziri and Charlie came into sight not soon after Amelia had spoken, and seemed to have the last piece of the puzzle with them: Mr. Harris.

Charlotte seemed to have no issue holding him, despite the fact that she was gripping both of his wrists with only one hand. The only apparent issue was that she was so small she had to force them tightly together to hold. She looked a touch winded, but managed to smile pleasantly at everyone regardless. Perhaps to most it might have looked a touch vacant, but there was a keenness to her eyes that Amelia was learning to recognize. She might seem childlike at times, but Charlie was actually quite observant.

The fight, if ever there had been any, seemed to have gone out of Mr. Harris entirely. Though no few of the other performers looked outright surprised to see him being carted in in such a manner, two faces stood out for not sharing the surprise: Mr. Ramsey and Mr. Davis.

Davis looked oddly relieved; his shoulders slumped as if he'd been divested of some great burden. Mr. Ramsey, however, looked utterly nonplussed, as though this were a development he'd been expecting for quite some time.

Leaning down a little, he spoke quietly near Amelia's ear. "I believe you and Miss Blythe can handle most of this," he said. "By all means, show them who you are." It was an unusual choice of phrase, but there was no ambiguity in one thing: he was trusting them to handle this part, to put the case together with the evidence they had in hand, and to do it in front of this audience of those most closely involved.

Amelia felt the corners of her lips turn upwards, however; she kept herself from smiling outright. Instead, she fixed her attention towards the group, and smoothed her expression out. “Firstly, I'd like to thank you all for your cooperation," she started, glancing at the people's expressions. “We've asked you all here because we were asked to solve a particular problem of yours." Some of the expressions that flickered across their faces all pointed towards confusion, save for Mr. Bianchi who seemed to be narrowing his eyes at Ramsey.

“As you are aware, I am Amelia Whitaker, an associate of Mr. Ramsey's investigative firm," she continued. She could hear the confused whispers as a couple of the suspects murmured to each other. “We were invited by Miss Castine to help solve a case involving the deaths of several of your members," she continued, glancing towards Charlie.

Charlie nodded, and seemed to exchange a few words with Mr. Jaziri, too quiet to be heard. It resolved with him taking over holding Mr. Harris, though not before Charlie put something in the pocket of her skirt.

She stepped forward to join Amelia. "In order to investigate the disappearances of the members of this troupe, we decided it would be best to pose as performers ourselves, so that we might be able to observe everyone without being known for what we were." She smiled, a trifle apologetic, but it was also fairly clear that she didn't think it was something she really needed to apologize for, exactly.

"But only a day after we arrived, a note was pinned to one of the tents, and then Mr. Taylor was mauled by his lion, Sasha." This, she said very seriously. "Alchemical testing confirmed that Sasha had been given a version of the rabies virus, which drives an animal mad, and causes them to attack viciously. Since we know the incubation period for rabies is multiple days, this injection of the virus had to have been administered before the threatening note was placed."

She turned back to Amelia.

“Which means someone knew Sasha would attack Mr. Taylor," she stated, her eyes narrowing slightly as a few of the people fidgeted in their spot. “It also means that the person who wrote the note, was the same one who injected Sasha, or at least knew about it."

“That doesn't prove anything, though. It could have been any number of people who were at the performances, even audience members," one of them stated, Mr. Parker from the looks of it. Amelia actually smiled, then.

“An audience member wouldn't be able to stomach getting close to a lion, let alone injecting one. Besides," she let her eyes slide to Jaziri for a moment, “we have it on authority that Sasha wouldn't let just anyone near him. Only members of the troupe were allowed to get near him without him trying to attack, or people he was comfortable with."

"Which was a very good reason to look closer at people who had been around longer, rather than new members or temporary help," Charlotte added. "Additionally, we knew that the killer was claiming a motivation from revenge. As they believed they had not yet driven their point home enough, we expected that the nature of the killings was likely to escalate, and that the new pattern of sabotage was probably going to continue."

“Tonight's performance," Mrs. Blanchette said, one hand resting absently on her distended abdomen. “If someone died during an act, the authorities would be down on our heads and we'd be disbanded for certain."

Charlie nodded slightly. "So we made sure everyone checked their equipment before the show. That meant if sabotage was going to work, the killer would have to do it during the performance. And since the second note was delivered, we knew it would probably be tonight, rather than tomorrow or the next day."

“Why not tell us this?!" Miss O'Donaghue demanded, her pretty face flushed with anger. She took a step towards Amelia and Charlie, but at that point, Mr. Ramsey intervened.

He wasn't showy about it, merely detaching himself from the tent pole he'd been leaning against and narrowing his eyes slightly. She shrank back immediately, but did not retract her question.

Amelia stared at Miss O'Donaghue through narrowed eyes. “Imagine, for a second, Miss, O'Donaghue, that you were the killer," she began, trying to give the woman the benefit of the doubt for asking such a question. “If you had been told that someone was on to you, what would you have done?" She didn't give Miss O'Donaghue the chance to answer, though, and continued.

“The killer would have immediately known that we were on to them, and we would have, potentially, lost the chance to solve this case. That is a simple fact." More murmurs, more confusion.

“What about the notes, though?" Mr. Parker asked. “Why write them if they were just going to kill someone?" he continued. Amelia frowned slightly at that question.

"Well as we said," Charlie began, sounding a little less certain this time. "The motivation was revenge. We believe the notes were written to inspire fear, so that people would know exactly what was coming and who to blame, and that this as much as the deaths was important for the killer."

“I knew it!" Davis growled, stepping forward for the first time and jabbing a thick finger towards Mr. Harris. “I knew you were sneaking out to get up to no good, you fuckin' shit!"

Harris rolled his eyes in an exaggerated manner. “You thought I was sneaking out to fuck a woman, you moronic dolt. Don't pretend you knew anything of significance."

Davis's face turned red, but when Mr. Ramsey cleared his throat softly, he lapsed back into silence.

"Erm..." Charlie's face was a bit red as well, but that might have been something to do with the crudeness of Mr. Harris's language. It would seem that even she knew what that meant. "In any case, we knew we had to watch tonight, and during the show I spotted Mr. Harris leaving the tent. He ran, and Mr. Jaziri and I caught up with him. He had this—"

Here, she fished the object out of her pocket that she'd collected earlier—it seemed to be a piece of wire. "Based on this fact, I deduced that he'd managed to sabotage the trapeze equipment, and so we made sure that the trapeze artists did not perform tonight."

“She's right," Mr. Blanchette said, nodding slightly. “Davis and I took a look. The nets and the left hand swing both wouldn't have held up more than a few minutes."

“Why the revenge? We didn't do anything to Mr. Harris," Miss Marsh spoke, finally, after remaining silent through a majority of the explanation. Amelia's expression smoothed out somewhat as she turned to face the woman.

“The second note mentioned a woman being ruined, somehow. We believe that it was for her," she stated, watching as Miss Marsh's brows furrowed.

“What woman? As far as I know, Mr. Harris didn't have a lover of which he would go to that degree, for," Miss March stated, glancing in Harris's direction. That was an answer Amelia couldn't give. She had a hypothesis as to whom it was, however; she didn't want to give out a name and be completely wrong about it.

"Martina Bianchi," Mr. Ramsey replied, stepping into the conversation at last. He gave both Amelia and Charlie a nod of acknowledgment, but without so much as a word to the effect, he'd directed the attention of the entire room upon himself.

There was an eruption of noise at the proclamation; both Mr. Bianchi's and Mr. Harris's faces had turned stark white. They looked, ironically enough, like they'd seen a ghost.

The reaction from the others was mixed.

"But she's dead?"

"—a ghost—"

"Did Mr. Bianchi mur—"

"No!"

Mr. Ramsey sighed, letting the noise die down on its own, which it did remarkably quickly. Probably because he was glaring. "She is in fact very much alive. Mr. Bianchi allowed rumors of her death to continue because it forestalled questions on her disappearance, when in fact he ran her out of the business after an injury stopped her from performing. Is this not so?"

Mr. Bianchi looked absolutely livid, but he made no effort to deny the claim. Amelia furrowed her brows in his direction, though. Why would he do such a thing? Surely she could have recovered from the injury with time, and could have still performed.

“It was her own goddamn fault!" Bianchi finally snapped, glaring at Ramsey as he did so. “If she would have done everything I had asked of her, she wouldn't have become crippled by her own stupidity!" he spat, causing Amelia to narrow her eyes at him.

“You didn't need to run her out, though," she stated, receiving the glare from Bianchi he had given to Ramsey. “Crippled or not, just because she couldn't perform did not mean she couldn't help out in other ways," she stated.

Miss Castine, who had been quiet throughout the entire ordeal, finally stepped forward, something wet at the corners of her eyes. “But why did our friends deserve to die?" she asked in such a quiet voice that Amelia wasn't certain if Beatrix had actually spoken. “They did nothing to you," she continued, her gaze going towards Mr. Harris.

Harris scowled at her. "What? The chattel? The harlots and whoresons and roadside dirt? What does anyone care, girl? They were his means of making a living, and it's his life what needed the ruining. They were collateral damage, and it doesn't. Bloody. Matter."

"That's enough." Mr. Ramsey's voice cracked sharply over the tumult that had arisen, no few of those present looking at Harris with obvious hatred for his words. "Scotland Yard should be here any moment. Jaziri—get him out of here before they take his tongue." He didn't seem to be exaggerating... and the way Mr. Parker and Mr. Blanchette were looking at him, he didn't have to.

Jaziri nodded his head and guided Mr. Harris away from the crowd. He wasn't gentle about it, either, if the winch on Mr. Harris's face was anything to go by. Amelia sighed softly to herself, and glanced at Beatrix and the others. She felt her hand twitch slightly as Beatrix did little to hide the tears on her face, but Amelia stayed where she was for the moment.

“Given the nature of things," she began glancing at Mr. Bianchi who had his face in his hand.

“There's no way we'll be able to continue. Reputation is ruined, no one will come see us," he began, and Amelia felt she knew where he was going with this. “I quit. All of you... go home. Or whatever homes you used to have," he spoke, walking away from the crowd. Amelia took the moment to walk towards Beatrix, and laid a hand on her shoulder.

“Will you be alright, Castine?" she asked, watching as Beatrix wiped the corners of her eyes and nodded. Amelia pursed her lips slightly, but didn't say anything. Instead, she patted Beatrix's shoulder once more, and made her way towards Ramsey and Charlie.

The case was solved; there was nothing more for them to do here.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Charlotte Blythe Character Portrait: Amelia Lancaster Character Portrait: Beatrix Castine

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London - Office of Ramsey & Associates
June 21, 1885 - 17:37 p.m. - Overcast
Beatrix Castine


Two days.

The only life she'd ever known, was gone. After Master Bianchi disbanded the circus, Beatrix found herself roaming the streets of London in search of work. Miss Marsh had stayed behind as well, since the both of them had never really had a home to begin with. Beatrix was a street urchin from Paris, and Miss Marsh had always been a bit of a nomad. She'd never stayed in one place for too long simply because it wasn't where she belonged. The circus had, however, provided a sense of belonging. Now... that was gone.

Beatrix shook the thoughts from her head, glancing up at the building she'd happened to stop in front of. Her eyes widened slightly as she read the lettering, and allowed a small smile to stretch across her face. Without much thought, Beatrix allowed her feet to carry her inside. She owed them so much, and she never got to properly thank them. Once she was inside, she glanced around the office space, spotting the familiar faces of Charlotte and Miss Whitaker, the latter whom looked slightly surprised to see her. There was a third woman, someone she'd never seen before, with buttery blonde hair and bright blue eyes. She was gorgeous, in Beatrix's mind, and she felt suddenly shy.

“Miss Castine, to what do we owe the pleasure?" Miss Whitaker was the first to speak, keeping her gaze on Beatrix.

“I... just..." she began, clearing her throat when she realized something was lodged in it. She smiled something small, and glanced back at the three women. “I happened to be passing by, is all. I thought I'd come and... thank you all once again for everything you, Miss Blythe, and Mr. Ramsey did for me," she spoke, earning a sympathetic smile from Miss Whitaker.

Charlotte smiled, too, though she didn't seem to be aware of the particular edge of emotion in Beatrix's words. Rather, she just looked pleased to see her. "Well that's quite all right, Miss Bea," she said brightly, but then her face fell a little. "I'm sorry though. About the circus disbanding. Do you know what you'll be doing now?"

Beatrix managed to keep the smile on her face, even if she didn't quite feel alright. “For the time being, Miss Marsh and I are taking in London," she finally spoke, and was glad that her voice didn't crack. Miss Whitaker's brow arched slightly, and her eyes narrowed slightly as if she were studying Beatrix. “But after tomorrow, we're... probably going to head back to France," she lied. She felt bad about lying to the people who'd helped her, but they also had no reason to help her any further. Miss Whitaker glanced to the other woman, as if conveying a silent statement, before she stood.

“If you're not adversed to it," she stated, pushing in her chair and walking towards the door to grab her coat, “Perhaps you'd like to join us at the Red Moon."

“Oh, I don't want to intrude!" Beatrix replied, frowning slightly. She didn't know the establishment, and it seemed like the three of them were already doing something. Miss Whitaker merely shook her head, though.

“Nonsense. Oh, Vera, this is Beatrix Castine. She's the one Ramsey, Charlie, and I helped out a couple of days ago," she stated, introducing Beatrix to the woman named Vera. “And Miss Castine, this is Miss Vera. She's a friend of the establishment and my tutor," she continued.

The woman named Miss Vera smiled, inclining her head graciously. She had the first hints of lines at the corners of her eyes, but still looked remarkably young otherwise; it was actually rather difficult to place her age. When she spoke, there was a slight hint of something Slavic in her accent. "A pleasure, Miss Castine. May I call you Beatrix?"

She accepted her hat from Charlotte, who passed Amelia's to her as well before donning her own in anticipation of stepping out into the evening street, no doubt. Summer precluded the need for coats or anything of the sort, fortunately.

“I'd like that," Beatrix stated, managing a genuine smile. “Almost everyone calls me Bea, though, so if you'd like, you can too," she stated, following behind the three women. They set out on foot, something Beatrix found a little strange for someone of Miss Vera and Miss Whitaker's stature. They were of a higher social status; Beatrix could gather that much from them. It didn't seem to bother the both of them, though, to be in such places.

When they stopped, it was outside a rather bland building with heavy velvet drapes. The only noticeable thing about it was a brass-handled door that looked heavier than it had any right to be. Perhaps as a means to give the occupants peace of mind? Miss Whitaker simply opened the door and ushered everyone inside. It was a strange place, however; Beatrix was too enarmored with her surroundings to notice anything else at the moment.

“Welcome to the Red Moon, Bea," Miss Whitaker stated, motioning with a forward gesture of her hands.

The group collectively removed their hats, drawing further into the smoky, dimly lit room. Red and silver seemed to be the theme colors, accented with rich dark wood and delicate embroidery in places. The clientele seemed to be mostly masculine, though there were no few women dotted through the audience as well, and a few people attired and presenting in such a way that it was hard to be sure which, if either, they were.

The group by some silent consensus took a particular booth in the back, large enough to accommodate all four of them quite easily. A shy-looking waitress with dark red hair was promptly with them; Miss Vera took care of the ordering.

"I suspect we'll be seeing the owner shortly," she said after the girl had left. "She's a friend of mine, and knows Charlotte and Amelia as well—though I suppose here they are Sparrow and Lily. It's a bit of a conceit of the genre, if you will. For as long as we're here, we use false names."

Beatrix allowed her eyes to widen at Miss Vera's statement before pursing her lips together. She didn't think she had such a unique name to offer, but she supposed she could think of one at a later time. Her eyes softened at the realization that she didn't have to. She wouldn't be in London much longer, and chances were she'd never visit this place again.

“And what about you, Miss Vera? What do they address you as, here?" she asked, slightly curious. Both Amelia and Charlotte had names referencing a bird and a flower. She understood why the names were chosen: Miss Charlotte had a sort of bird-like sound to her voice when she was excited, and Miss Amelia smelled like flowers.

Miss Vera rolled her eyes, though it seemed to be in a good-natured kind of way. "Angel," she replied with a soft laugh. "It's... something of a joke between Liang and I, I suppose."

"Amusing as I find it, I'd not call it a joke, precisely." The new voice belonged to a different woman, about the same height as Miss Vera, but with lengths of exquisite dark hair and fine, gentle East Asian features. She smiled, a gesture that gracefully curved her painted lips, and slid into the booth next to the Russian woman.

"Lovely to see you again, everyone," she said smoothly, gesturing for the waitress to advance with their tray of food: sweets and tea, by the looks of it. "And I see you've brought the guest I was expecting."

She gave no indication of how she'd been expecting to see Beatrix, but graced her with a warm smile, something a bit more genuine than the artful thing she seemed to wear by default. "Miss Castine, is it?" She reached a hand across the table. "I am Liang Wu, the owner of this establishment."

Beatrix smiled softly, and briefly wondered if Miss Wu was like her, a seer. She nodded her head, though. “Beatrix Castine," she spoke, “but most people just call me Bea." Most people being her friends, at least.

“May I ask why you were expecting me, Miss Wu?" she asked. She would be lying if she said wasn't curious about it. She'd never met Miss Wu before. For her to have known Beatrix's name, she was starting to believe that Miss Wu was, indeed, like her.

Miss Wu gave a light chuckle, shaking her head faintly almost as if she could see the line of thought Beatrix was pursuing. "I have a friend," she said, accepting a cup of tea passed to her by Charlotte and lifting it to her mouth. "Within these walls, he's Mr. Kerberos, but I do believe you all call him Ramsey. He explained you'd be by eventually, and wished for me to meet you."

Taking a sip of the team, she lowered it back into the saucer. "But let us not rush. How has everyone been?"

“Exhausted," Miss Whitaker spoke first, but there was a grin on her face that suggested otherwise. “But it has been an interesting adventure," she continued, taking a drink from the tea settled in front of her. “And what of you, Miss Wu? The last time I was in here, your silent admirer had managed to move tables so that he was closer to you. Any luck with that one?" she asked, arching her brow in an inquisitive manner.

Beatrix did the same thing, and turned to face Miss Wu.

Miss Wu hummed at the question; Miss Vera outright laughed.

"No change yet," the former replied, picking up a light brown macaron between her thumb and forefinger. She contemplated it for a moment under the light, as if searching the smooth shell for imperfections. "Which is a shame; he's really quite handsome. Perhaps I shall contrive an encounter next time his nephew is in, too. Conspiracy does require fellow conspirators, after all."

She nibbled at the macaron. "Kerberos tells me you've a sort of second sight, Beatrix," she continued, tilting her head. A strand of inky hair fell forward over her shoulder. "How does it work?"

Beatrix nodded at the statement, and folded her hands across her lap. “It sort of acts on its own," she began, not entirely sure how she was going to explain this particular aspect of her gift. She'd never been properly trained in it, and Miss Marsh could only do so much. “If I have something to focus with, it makes it easier to see. Especially if it's a personal object that I'm given." She supposed it acted sort of like psychometry, in that sense, however; it wasn't quite the same.

“Other times, it just... sort of happens. Flashes, small glimpses," and it's never quite the same.

Miss Wu nodded at the explanation, sipping at her tea and finishing her macaron. In the time it took her to eat one, Charlotte had eaten about six, but no one at the table seemed to mind.

"Can you read tarot?" The club owner arched a delicate eyebrow. "Or tea leaves or the I Ching? Anything like that?"

“I can read tarot," she replied, her features brightening up. “Miss Marsh was teaching me tea leaves, but we haven't had the time to continue. I Ching isn't something I'm familiar with, but I think Miss Marsh might be. She's the same as me," but more controlled with her gift. Perhaps not as strong, as she'd mentioned once, but still the same.

“She's taught me a lot about my gift and thinks that I'll be able to get it under control in few more years," she continued. That was, of course, if she continued to study underneath Miss Marsh. It was possible that Miss Marsh and her would have to go their own way, and she wouldn't be able to continue her training.

Another slow nod. "How would you like to do that here? You and Miss Marsh? I'm always looking for new things to liven up the atmosphere, and as long as you're willing to do chores like all the other performers do, I think there's a place for both of you here."

Beatrix blinked slowly at Miss Wu. She was slightly grateful that she was seated because it felt like her legs were currently useless. The question hadn't quite registered in her mind, though, and she continued to stare blankly at Miss Wu.

“I think you've broken little Bea," Miss Whitaker spoke, handing Miss Blythe one of her macarons. The statement was enough to cause Beatrix to smile brightly, and she nodded her head, profusely.

“Of course, Miss Wu! I'd love to! I mean..." she stopped, feeling a flush of heat rise to her cheeks. “If it's not too intrusive, of course," she continued, fidgeting in her chair. If Miss Wu was serious, both Beatrix and Miss Marsh would have a place of employment. That would eliminate the need to leave London, quite so soon.

“Have you and Miss Marsh found a place to live, though?" Amelia asked, causing Beatrix to frown.

“We haven't." That, however, didn't mean they wouldn't. Miss Wu was offering them a place of employment which meant that they would be able to afford to rent a place for themselves. It, of course, was all dependent on what they actually made.

"Oh well that's hardly a problem," Miss Vera broke in, smiling brightly. "I've plenty of room in mine. Dear Ephy would never recommend someone for a job he didn't trust. I see no reason not to do the same. I believe my rates are quite reasonable." She winked then took a sip from her teacup.

“You... you'd do that for me?" Beatrix asked, sending Miss Vera an incredulous look. “But... I," she couldn't finish her sentence. She didn't know what to say to that. Miss Vera and Mr. Ramsey hardly knew her, so why would they go out of their way to help her? Miss Whitaker sighed softly, handing another macaron to Charlotte.

“If they didn't think you trustworthy, Bea, they wouldn't have suggested it. If you're opposed to the idea, though, I can think of a few other places that might be willing to provide you with housing, but," she paused, glancing towards Miss Vera before returning her attention towards Beatrix. “I'd say that you'd be in good company if you chose to stay with Miss Vera."

Charlotte swallowed the remains of Amelia's macaron in just enough time to nod with some enthusiasm. "Mr. Ramsey and I live there too, and Miss Vera's son Teddy. It'd be a lot of fun if you lived with us, too!"

Miss Vera's smile nearly became a grin. "Well there you have it. More fun for everyone involved. And truly, I do love having tenants—the house is really much too big for Teddy and I alone."

Beatrix couldn't stop the tears from falling down her cheek. She could feel the smile on her face, but she didn't quite understand why these people were willing to do so much for her. She owed them in ways she'd never be able to repay. Now they were offering her employment, and a place to stay. It was a little too much for her to handle, she supposed, and she merely nodded her head.

“Well, there," Miss Whitaker spoke, leaning back into her chair with a grin that matched Miss Vera's. “It's settled, then. Welcome to the group, Bea." It wasn't quite the circus, however; Beatrix had a feeling that this place, these people... it wouldn't take long for it to feel like a home.

“Thank you."