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We calculate the expected spectrum and light curves of the early afterglow. For short GRBs the peak of the afterglow will be delayed, typically, by a few dozens of seconds after the burst. The x-ray and gamma-ray characteristics of this delayed emission provide a way to discriminate between late internal shocks emission (part of the GRB) and the early afterglow signal. Detection of this delayed emission will prove the internal shock scenario as producing the GRB, and will pinpoint the initialdoi:10.1051/aas:1999342 fatcat:sgbrn5khljfefngwx7ymr5lmiu