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14 January 2018 @ 02:55 pm
  Paer glanced at him, then pulled him aside. "Ebsa . . . people keep saying things . . . When I look through the gate it's a little foggy. Just enough that I wasn't sure which horse that was. What do you see?"

 Ebsa eyed her. "It clear and sharp. No fog at all . . . "

They all dodged as Baron leaped through the gate, bucking and kicking.

Paer was giggling. "I brought Crystal and Raccio here and, well, I didn't use the Embassy gate, I used one of the rarely used hub gates and got them both used to them. Silly, really, when They'll never need to go through gates."

Yfda looked over at her. "That's a good idea. We'll trot them around here so they see the ground and we plan out the pattern we'll use. Then we'll go find a different gate and get the poor critters used to it."

A laugh from Ra'd. "There are other gates here, if you want to practice without an audience. There's a Maze entrance to the northwest."

Paer perked up. "I've heard about that. When the Fallen figured out how to make their gates, they couldn't figure out how to close them. So they made a maze of thirty some gates and corridors to slow pursuit before they came and spied on us. Embassy is one of the Worlds they discovered and used."

"There's thirty worlds out there . . . just . . ."

"Really? I hadn't heard that." A stranger . . . or rather not. The distinct reddish tones of his skin and dark hair marked him as a . . . well, Tick Tock, because most people couldn't manage the language at all.

Ebsa nodded politely. "Subdirector." Urk! Must practice his name!

Paer grinned and shook his hand. "Congratulations, Subdirector !Tok." She integrated a deep roof of the mouth tok seemlessly with the rest. "Are you still involved with your Olympic Equestian Teams? Or I suppose you're too busy."

!Tok laughed. "I'm surprised you remember me, since I wasn't one of the riders."

"No, but you told me all about the horses." Paer grinned. "Am I remembering right that that was your nephew who took the Individual Silver?"

"Yep. Ten years ago and he's still Grandmother's favorite on the strength of it. We bagged our first Gold two years ago." A quick grin. "But then we didn't have to beat you."

Paer sighed. "One of these days . . . years . . . I'll get back to riding regularly."

!Tok nodded. "And your horse bubbled." He eyed the black horses. "I actually came to check out how much room the cook-off booth will have. Izzo told me I had to learn to delegate these minor tasks. I told him any excuse to get away from the desk . . ."

Paer giggled. "Let me show you. The Disco people taped things off and argued about how much space was needed for each, so these spots aren't set in stone . . . "

Ebsa followed them out and the Black Horse Guards, having gotten their dozen mounts through the gate, came out as well to examine the ground.