• Published 21st Apr 2012
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Harpflank and Sweets: Season 1 - RTStephens



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Episode 28: What's All the Buzz About?

HARPFLANK AND SWEETS

Original story and concept by Arcainum

Opening Titles

Metropony City! Mighty skyscrapers towering over the millions of ponies going about their lives on the streets below! Working, playing or just taking in the weather, Metropony bustles as only the big city can. But! All is not well in this equine metropolis! Below the streets lies a threat - a threat to the happiness and friendship of good ponies everywhere! And the name of that threat is Luna, the exiled Princess who has returned with vengeance in her eyes! With the aid of Her villainous helper Trixie and her army of terrible Lunatrons, She will stop at nothing to destroy the pony way of life! Standing against her, however, are two heroic mares, known only to the citizens of Metropony as...

HARPFLANK AND SWEETS: EPISODE 28 - What’s All the Buzz About?

Scene 1

The sound of a pony galloping at full speed echoed throughout the steel tunnel. Minions and mechanical service bots alike flung themselves out of the way to make room for the crazy equine that didn’t even acknowledge their presence. Grumbling at how such a pony could stay within their mistress’ good graces after so many failures, the grunts of Luna’s Empire went about their thankless work. A few seconds later, some of them witnessed the sight of two small unicorns rushing after the retreating figure.

The Great and Powerful Trixie didn’t care what the others thought of her. The only opinion that mattered was her Lady’s. And after she was done showing Luna her latest creation, never again would she be considered “occasionally useful”.

With a quick application of magic, Trixie lifted off her hat, pulled out a rectangular remote control and pushed a large red button. Up ahead, the gargantuan bulkhead that lead into Luna’s inner sanctum began to rumble open. By the time she reached the doors, they were wide open for her to run past. After countless times of waiting for the stupid things to open for her and ruin her grand entrance, Trixie decided to install a bypass. Sure it was a potential security risk, but that was nothing compared to the good news she had for her princess.

“My Lady!” Trixie announced within the enormous room that comprised of Luna’s throne room. She hopped to her hind legs and posed in dramatic fashion. “Without a doubt, Trixie has done it again!”

Upon Her throne, Luna quirked an elegant eyebrow at the display. “MY, MY, YOU APPEAR MOST PLEASED. DO TELL. WHAT HAVE YOU BROUGHT TODAY THAT WE CAN USE TO GRIND THIS CITY UNDER OUR HOOVES?”

“Watch and be amazed!” Trixie answered. At that moment, Snips and Snails staggered into the chamber and plopped down beside her. The two young unicorn assistants to the Great and Powerful Trixie gasped for breath after galloping the hardest they ever had to keep up with their boss.

“You two,” Trixie said down to them. “Get it ready!”

“Of... course... Great... and... Powerful... Trixie...” Snips replied in between breaths. Slowly, he and Snails got to their hooves and levitated their saddlebags off their backs. Snips brought out a large bar of iron while Snails produced what looked like a small metallic ball. Using their magic, they hovered the items high above their heads so that anypony watching could see.

“Behold, my greatest invention!” Trixie proclaimed. “This day marks the end of our enemies and the beginning of our glorious reign!” Using her own magic, she took the metal ball in her grasp and shot a small purple bolt into it from her horn.

For a moment, nothing happened. Just as Luna began to wonder if whatever Trixie wanted to show Her was broken, the metal ball began to tremble. The trembling became a violent vibration and it emitted a loud whine that grew higher in pitch with every second. Snips and Snails gulped and began backing away, certain that an explosion was imminent. The whine of the ball continued to grow, threatening to outdo even Luna’s Royal Supervillain Voice in shear ear-piercing shrillness.

“I can’t take it!” Snails wailed and covered his ears in a vain attempt to keep out the noise.

“Make it stop!” Snips joined in.

PING!

The whine suddenly disappeared. Snips and Snails cautiously lowered their hooves and glanced up. The metallic ball still hovered above them, but it no longer needed Trixie’s magic to stay afloat. Four transparent wings had sprouted from the top of the ball along with four little legs that dangled on its bottom. Two wide red eyes stared forward in its center with a little mouth raised in a smile below them.

“IT’S A BUG,” Luna stated.

Trixie frowned at her Lady’s unenthusiastic description of her invention. She quickly banished her disappointment and said, “This, my Mistress, is not just a bug. It’s a machine based off a parasprite. I call it a parabyte! It may appear cute and cuddly but believe me, this little beauty has some bite in it.” Trixie levitated the iron bar that Snips had provided and placed it in front of the parabyte. “Observe.”

The small mechanical creature flew over to the offered bar and gave it a little sniff. All at once it lunged forward and in a frenzy of motion, began to devour the thick offering. In seconds, the bar was gone.

Luna raised Her other eyebrow. “IMPRESSIVE. HOWEVER, WE FAIL TO SEE HOW ONE LITTLE BUG WILL BE ENOUGH TO-”

Without warning, the parabyte shook and coughed up a hunk of metal. Before the lump could touch the floor, it gave a metallic whir and wings snapped out of it. In no time, the transformation was complete and another parabyte hovered next to the first one.

“OH.”

Trixie nodded in satisfaction towards the two insect-like devices and turned towards her princess. “You understand then, my Lady. I will unleash these two into the city and they will begin to devour it. The more these parabytes eat, the more they multiply. The city will be overrun with them in no time and nothing will remain.”

Luna smiled and nodded Her head. “A CLEVER TACTIC, TRIXIE. WE GIVE YOU OUR FULL APPROVAL. NOW GO, AND DO OUR BIDDING!”

Trixie bowed deeply and began heading away. “Of course, my Mistress! You will not be disappointed.” She turned sharply and marched out the door. Snips and Snails grabbed the two parabytes and quickly followed after her.

Scene 2

“HIYA!”

Lyra slid out of the way from the business end of Bon-Bon’s nano-enhanced blade, hopped over the follow-up sweep kick then raised a repulsion field to block the doublehoofed hammer blow from above. Cracks appeared in the floor below Lyra from the tremendous force applied from Bon-Bon’s attack, but the unicorn held fast. Lyra pushed the gravity generated shield out, forcing her opponent back and off balance. With a casual flick of her horn, Lyra lashed out with a lasso of energy, snagging one of Bon-Bon’s hind legs. The blue suited warrior grunted in effort as she pulled and flung the earth pony across the room. Bon-Bon flipped in the air twice before righting herself and used her newly gained momentum to bounce off the wall, push off the ceiling and launch herself back into the fray with a flying kick. Lyra yelped in surprise as the fast recovery proved too much for her to handle and received the kick to her helmeted head.

Vinyl Scratch winced in sympathy as the training room trembled from the impact. However, she never took her eyes off the action. “This is, like, the most awesome sparring session I’ve ever seen! Like, for real. And it’s all because of me, babe!”

“And me,” Octavia, standing to the side, was quick to remind her. “And don’t call me babe.”

The two ExTech scientists fell silent again as their eyes, and the monitoring systems surrounding them, tracked the two superheroes as they put their new nanotech suits through their paces. Lyra and Bon-Bon nearly blurred as they traded blow after blow in the confines of the sturdiest room that M.A.R.E. could provide them. Which, if things continued to escalate, wouldn’t be enough.

“I hope Redheart doesn’t mind a little extra overtime,” Vinyl commented as she checked over the latest readouts. “Those two are going to be a puddle of owies after this.”

“I doubt that,” Octavia rebuffed. “The nanotech suits are designed to help heal them as fast as they are hurt. If anything, they will feel a lingering soreness and nothing else.”

“I’m glad to hear that.”

Vinyl and Octavia looked up to see Commander Derpy stroll into the room, the very picture of authority.

And then watched her face plant into the floor when her tail got stuck in the closing door.

“Our walls seem so... plain,” came Derpy’s muffled voice through the floor.

Octavia calmly tapped some keys on the panel in front of her and the door slid open, allowing Derpy’s tail to come unstuck and her rump to impact the floor. With a little shake of her body, Derpy pushed herself back to her hooves and walked over to the two as though nothing had happened.

“So how are they doing?”

“Great, if I do say so myself!” Vinyl replied in excitement.

“Everything is checking out,” Octavia answered more calmly.

“Excellent,” Derpy acknowledged and watched the action through the explosion proof glass connected to the training room. “It’s good that they are getting more used to their suits. Who knows when Luna’s forces will attack again and-”

The familiar klaxon of an incoming Lunatron suddenly sounded, drowning out Derpy’s voice.

“Speak of the devil,” Derpy said above the alarm.

Inside the abused training room, Lyra looked up from administering a headlock on Bon-Bon and grinned feraly.

“All right!”

Scene 3

“You seem awfully eager,” Bon-Bon commented as Lyra and herself bounded from building to building, heading towards the location marked on the heads up display of their helmets. “More so than usual.”

“You have no idea,” Lyra replied back with a grin. “Now that we’ve got all the kinks worked out of these suits, we’ll beat Trixie in record time!”

Bon-Bon’s eyes widened in alarm as a readout on her HUD caught her attention. “We might have to! Look!”

Up ahead, a column of dust rose towards the sky; a clear signal that a building had collapsed. Nothing too unusual when Trixie began one of her attacks, but it never got easier to see a part of the city they had sworn to protect become a casualty. Their pace quickened, spurred to reduce whatever destruction they could. Finally, they came upon the scene...

And gaped.

There was nothing. No rubble, no smoking crater, nothing but a hole in the pavement that indicated that a building had ever stood here. The two heroes looked at each other with troubled expressions.

“What has Trixie created now?” Bon-Bon wondered aloud.

“Let’s stop standing around and find out,” Lyra said and jumped down to ground level, Bon-Bon following right behind her. As they gazed over the hole, Lyra noted irregular indents around the edges of the hole. “Hey, BB. Check this out. Do these smaller holes look like bite marks to you?”

Bon-Bon inspected the indents that Lyra pointed out closely. “You’re right. But what does that mean? Surely, the building couldn’t have been eaten. Could it?”

“It can if the Great and Powerful Trixie is involved!”

Lyra and Bon-Bon whirled around at the familiar voice. As expected, Trixie stood before them, hat and cape fluttering in the slight breeze. Behind her were Snips and Snails, who looked uncomfortable with being out in the open and not in a one-hundred ton Lunatron.

“Harpflank. Sweets.” Trixie inclined her head to each in mock greeting. “So nice of you to come out and play. I have some little friends that would like to meet you.” The moment the words were out of her mouth, hundreds of parabytes flew into sight and surrounded the duo.

Lyra eyed the little metallic creatures dubiously. “Bugs? Your plan this week are bugs?”

Trixie threw back her head and laughed long and hard. She finished with a vicious grin and said, “I am going to enjoy you eating those words. In fact, why don’t I let my pets do the eating for you.” With a contemptuous pointing of her hoof, the parabytes zoomed in on the suited pair.

“As if!” Lyra cried out and began swatting away parabytes all around her. The little machines easily crumbled against the power that Lyra and Bon-Bon brought forth with their mighty hooves. However, what the parabytes lacked in power, they made up in sheer numbers.

“Yeow!” Bon-Bon yelped as one of the parabytes made it through her guard and bit down on her rear. A quick flick of her tail removed the offending bot, only to have three more take its place. Before she knew it, her whole body was covered with gnawing metal jaws. “Shields activate!” Dozens of parabytes were blown away as a repulsion shield bloomed around her. “Ha! Try to get through now!”

In response, parabytes swarmed around the shield and began sucking the power generated by it through their mouths as though sucking through a straw. The mass amounts of energy allowed the parabytes to reproduce at an even faster rate than before.

“Uh oh,” Bon-Bon whimpered as the power readings on her HUD showed dangerous levels of depletion. With no choice, she lowered her shield and entered combat once more.

Lyra wasn’t having any better luck on her end either. She brought out a flash spark grenade from her utility saddlebag and threw it towards an oncoming mass of parabytes. The grenade went off without a hitch and set off a chain lightning effect that reduced the metal bugs to nothing more than sparking hunks of junk. Lyra’s victory was short lived as more parabytes swooped down and gobbled up their fallen brethren and spit out a fully functional replacement.

“Now that’s just wrong!” the blue suited heroine complained.

“Don’t be hatin’ because you’re losing!” Trixie taunted from a safe distance away.

Lyra’s vision became red as she glared at the pompous villain through her visor. “That’s it. No more Miss Nice Pony. Sweets! Let’s bring it out!”

Bon-Bon finished bucking away a group of parabytes trying to attack her blind spot and rushed up to her partner. “You don’t mean...?”

“I do. Cello on.”

The two ponies jerked as their battle suits engaged and began to pulse with power. They braced themselves against the slight discomfort that came with the high energy needed to create the largest and most awesome weapon yet devised by pony kind. Soon, their suits expanded outwards as their nanotechnology merged together and began to form the signature shape of the megacello.

Across from them, Trixie held up a hoof to signal to her parabytes to withhold the attack. She smiled evilly as she watched the instrument of her defeat last week grow larger and larger, until the entire street they were standing on was eclipsed in shadow. This was the moment she had been waiting for.

Scene 5

Looking through a coffee shop window down the street, Rose turned towards her companions and said calmly, “You know when that freaky cello thing from last week nearly shattered our eardrums?”

Daisy nodded, a worried look beginning to spread over her muzzle.

Lily groaned and buried her own muzzle in her hooves. “Don’t tell me. I just got out of the doctor’s about that yesterday.”

“Yeah, you might want to look into getting another appointment.”

Scene 6

Finally, it was ready.

“You. Are So. Getting. HIT!”

Lyra lifted the towering cello above her with her magic. The colossal instrument of destruction and easy listening reached its peak of ascension, and with a mighty heave, Lyra brought it down with the force of a meteor.

“This is it, Great and Powerful Dipsy!”

“That’s Trixie, you simpleton!” Trixie angrily yelled back. Really, was it so hard to get a villain’s name right? Trixie took a deep breath to calm herself, along with shaking a pair of cowering colts off her hind legs, and lit up her horn. “Go my children, and feast!”

The parabytes immediately followed her command and flew towards the descending megacello. In moments, the tiny machines covered the weaponized instrument and began to chomp away at it bit by bit. As more of the nanomachines that comprised the megacello were eaten, more parabytes were created to join in on the tasty massacre. The megacello continued to fall and it was a race against time to see if it would have enough mass left to flatten Trixie and her posse.

The megacello struck.

Lyra blinked as the thin stick her magic levitated in front of her vibrated from striking the pavement.

A deep silence permeated throughout the area. Nothing moved or made a sound. At last, one creature dared to break the all encompassing quiet.

“They ate my megacello.”

Bon-Bon gave her partner a look of worry. “Um, Harpflank? You okay?”

“They ate my megacello.”

“Yeah, I noticed. Um, we need to rethink our strategy here and quickly.”

“They ate my megacello!”

“And that is only the beginning!” Trixie crowed as she sensed victory near at hoof. “First your megalame-o and then Metropony!” The parabytes around her gave a chorus of happy chirps and beeps and began munching on everything around them.

Scene 7

Vinyl’s mouth hung open in shock and disbelief from everything she saw through Lyra and Bon-Bon’s visors. “This can’t be happening.”

She felt a tap on her shoulder and, in a daze, turned towards the one that got her attention.

“We need to think and fast,” Octavia stated the obvious. “Those bugs are going to cover the whole city in minutes.”

“Yeah, but, what can we do?” Vinyl asked, still not believing what she was seeing. “Those things are replicating faster than anything I’ve ever seen in my life. How-”

A warning siren sounded, startling the ponies within the laboratory.

“We’ve been breached!” a scientist wailed.

“They’re eating their way through all of our defenses!” another one reported.

“The horror! The horror!” a third cried in a corner.

“Everypony!” Octavia yelled to her subordinates. “This is no time to panic. Now, get back to your stations and-”

The ceiling above her collapsed and tons of masonry and debris fell towards her. Octavia stared in shock at the descending ceiling that threatened to crush her. An impact to her side flung her across the room. Groaning in pain, Octavia tried to pick herself up, but a weight on her back prevented her from doing so. She looked up and spotted Vinyl’s muzzle grinning down at her.

“Got ya, toots.”

“Don’t call me ba... toots...”

“Ha! Tripped you up! Score one for me!”

Octavia shoved Vinyl off of her and got to her hooves. “This is no time for that! Look!” She pointed at the carnage around them. Parabytes were chomping down on all their equipment, no matter how dense or dangerous it was. “If we don’t stop them, the city will be gone.”

“Well, what do we do?!” Vinyl exclaimed. “Nothing seems to stop them!”

Just then, one parabyte flew up to a door as thick as a vault and bit off a chunk of it. In a completely uncharacteristic move, Octavia screeched and punched the flying pest away. “Don’t you dare go in there!”

Unfortunately, parabytes weren’t known for stopping when something edible was readily available. Dozens of parabytes converged on the door, reducing it down to scraps within seconds, despite Octavia's best efforts to keep them away. The bugs flew past the door and into the room beyond.

“No! Stop!”

Vinyl blinked in befuddlement as Octavia raced after the parabytes in an obvious panic. Seconds later, the earth pony reappeared pulling an ornate cello out of the room with several parabytes trying to wrench it out of her grasp. “There’s no way... I’m letting you... eat this!” Octavia grunted as she strained with all her might. The tug of war ended when a parabyte lost its hold, giving Octavia the leverage necessary to pull the instrument away and into her protective hooves. “Stay back!” she warned the gathering locus like creatures. By sheer chance, one of her hooves slipped and strung a cord on the cello.

The parabytes that had been near her suddenly stiffened. With their wings no longer working to keep them afloat, they plummeted to the floor and remained still.

“Wha...?” Octavia breathed in confusion. Her puzzlement didn’t last as another swarm of parabytes swooped down from the opening in the ceiling.

“Octavia!” Vinyl shouted at her fellow scientist. “Hit that note again!”

“What? You mean like this?” Octavia plucked the cord again without even knowing why. Immediately, the new group of parabytes shuddered and fell to the floor.

Vinyl rushed up to Octavia with the biggest grin yet on her muzzle. “That’s it! That frequency that your cello made must have interfered with their signal. Babe, you’re a genious!”

“Don’t call me babe.”

“We’ve got to contact Lyra and Bon-Bon! We can still win this!”

Scene 8

THEY ATE MY MEGACELLO!

Bon-Bon would have slapped her partner if she weren’t so busy fighting off wave after wave of parabytes. The little cretins fell by the hundreds to her weaponry and martial arts expertise but more parabytes kept coming. Not even the brand new battle suit that she wore could keep up with the unrelenting tide of metal bugs that just would not relent.

“Harpflank!” Bon-Bon called out as she torched a cloud of parabytes with an incendiary grenade. “I could really use your help here!”

“Give up!” Trixie taunted to her from only a few hooflengths away. “Nothing can stop my pretties from overwhelming you!”

Bon-Bon wanted nothing more than to march over and sock the arrogant magician right in the kisser. In fact, that’s what she had been trying to do ever since the megacello attack had failed. Clearly, Trixie commanded the parabytes so reaching her would potentially stop the swarm. Unfortunately, that simple tactic proved difficult to put into practice as the parabytes just would not ease up. If a miracle didn’t happen soon, they were all finished.

Bon-Bon! Lyra! Do you read me?!

“Yes, but I’m a little busy at the moment!” Bon-Bon replied to Vinyl’s voice through her headset as she stomped down on a parabyte, reducing it to a metallic pancake.

Bon-Bon, we have a way to beat the bugs! But you have to reform the megacello!

“But that didn’t work!”

“They ate my mega-!”

“Yeah, what Lyra’s been saying!”

We know, but this time it will be different!” Vinyl’s confident voice rang out. “Trust me!

“Alright, already!” Bon-Bon acknowledged and dashed over to where Lyra was using the remains of the megacello’s handle to angrily swat at any parabyte in her field of vision. “Lyra, did you hear that?”

“They. Ate. My. Megacello!” Lyra spit out, each word punctuated by a swing of the handle.

Bon-Bon decked her fellow hero in the cheek. “Snap out of it! We’ve got to focus!” She saw Lyra stagger and sway for a second before shaking her head and giving an affirmative nod. “Now, cello on!” Their suits hummed with power as the gigantic cello began to take form once again.

Trixie watched with amusement as her adversaries tried to bring up the failed attack. “You only provide more food for my pets!” she called to them. “Go on! Struggle! It pleases Trixie to see you keep trying and losing!” The cloaked magician pointed at the megacello with a hoof and a cloud of parabytes flew towards it.

“Vinyl!” Bon-Bon desperately yelled. “Now would be a good time to tell us your plan!”

Perform a G-major!

“You want us to what?!”

Just do it!

“I’ve got it!” Lyra responded back. Being the more musically inclined of the pair, Lyra grasped the mile-long cord in question with her magic and gave it a pluck.

The deafening tone sounded out throughout the city, shattering glass windows as far as Sweet Apple Acres. It brought ponies to their knees in ear splitting pain. The day would live on as the day the music died.

More importantly, every parabyte in Metropony locked up and crashed to the ground.

Trixie moaned pitifully as the ringing in her ears receded. When she stood back up and looked around, she noticed a distinct lack of mutilation and devastation from her parabytes. “What? What? WHAT?!” She pranced around in a panic, picking up parabytes and shaking them as though it would be the cure to bringing them back to functionality. “Get up! I command you to get up! I was so close! So close!

“It’s over, Trixie.”

Trixie cringed and peeked over her shoulder. Harpflank and Sweets stood right next to her, the megacello hovering just above them and ready to flatten her in a moments notice.

Fueled by desperation, Trixie’s horn glowed and picked up a dozen parabytes. “It won’t end this way!” Trixie raged. “Awaken!” The parabytes in her magical grasp suddenly sparked to life and flew next to her. Trixie thrust her hoof forward and proclaimed, “Now, destroy them and leave no trace!”

Lyra and Bon-Bon, already exhausted from constant fighting, set themselves into a stance and readied for more mayhem.

Trixie grinned, her eyes alight with madness. “Attack-huh?” Trixie stopped herself as one of the parabytes hovered near her the tip of her mane and gave it a tentative sniff. “What are youWAAAHHHH! Stop! Don’t eat my beautiful mane!”

As one, the parabytes descended upon the villain and began gnawing away at her cape and hair, oblivious to her cries. Trixie whirled and took off as though the hounds of Tartarus themselves were at her fetlocks. The parabytes gave chase with Snips and Snails quickly following after her.

Once Trixie and her minions were out of sight, Lyra and Bon-Bon collapsed to the pavement.

“Hey, Lyra?”

“Yeah?”

“Remind me to never feel sorry for pulling the wings off of a fly.”

Scene 9

“Wow, did you two put these things through the wringer.”

“Sorry,” Bon-Bon apologized then winced as Nurse Redheart applied a stinging salve to her flank. “But they really helped protect us out there.”

“Yeah, if it weren’t for the suits, I don’t think we’d be here right now,” Lyra seconded from her bed on the opposite side of the room. Nightmare Night was still several months away, but Lyra was doing a reasonable impersonation of a mummy with how many bandages were wrapped around her body.

“I suppose you’re right,” Vinyl sighed in agreement. The dirtied and tattered power suits lay before her. “Better for these to suffer than yourselves.”

“Too late,” Lyra grumbled.

“We just need to program them to be sturdier,” Octavia commented next to her. In her hooves was her ornate cello and she held it protectively even as she played a soothing melody for her bedridden comrades.

“It seems Luna’s henchponies have caught up to us faster than we expected,” Derpy said through a monitor connected to her office as she looked over the damage reports from the latest attacks. The stack was significantly higher this week than before. “We need to be ready for anything.”

“We’re on it!” Vinyl chirped. She saluted and headed off to tinker with the suits. She swore that she would bring them back even better than before. There was no way she was going to allow Trixie to one-up her! “Come on, babe!”

“Don’t call me babe.”

[Credits roll.]

Epilogue

“WE WOULD ASK IF YOU HAVE FAILED, BUT THAT MUCH SEEMS OBVIOUS.”

“My... Lady,” Trixie struggled to say. Her entire body was covered in bite marks and much of her hat and cape were gone. It would take weeks for her mane to grow out again. “I can... explain...”

“ENOUGH,” Luna spoke, no amusement whatsoever in Her voice. “WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOUR EXCUSES. WHILE YOUR CREATIONS HAVE LEFT METROPONY IN TURMOIL, IT ISN’T ENOUGH. BEGONE FROM OUR SIGHT UNTIL YOU CAN BE SURE THAT YOUR NEXT PLAN WILL CONQUER THE CITY.”

Trixie nodded sadly and turned to head out the door. When the giant bulkhead closed on the retreating magician, Luna settled Herself within Her throne and pondered.

“PERHAPS IT IS TIME TO SEEK OUT NEW PONIES TO CARRY OUT MY PLANS...”