“We’ll need a couple of people,” Hiraul said, adjusting his hat to clip his long, pointed ears to the sides of his head. “A horse thief, for one. Can’t have anyone at the livery seeing us on a poster and putting two and two together.”

“Already done,” said Votal, harrumphing through his beard. “My boy Nvar. Sister’s son. Family. We can trust him, and he’s already stolen enough horses to equip a cavalry division.”

Hiraul arched a delicate eyebrow. “A dwarf horse thief?”

“He’s a quarter human on his father’s side, he can reach the stirrups,” snapped Votal. “Lithe as a willow too.”

“Someone who can deal with explosives next,” Hiraul continued. “Got to stop the train. I think I know someone. Neridi. She was in artillery during the war and her father owes me a favor.”

It was Votal’s turn to scoff. “A woman and an elf?”

“You remember how hard-pressed we were for troops as well as I do,” snapped Hiraul. “And if nothing else, no one will believe her story.”

“All right, all right,” Votal said. “But that’s not all, is it?”

“We need someone on the inside, on the train. A human, or somebody that can pass as one.”

Votal pondered this a moment. “One of Quint’s Raiders? They clipped their own ears after all.”

“The train will have an escort. Military. You’d better believe that they’ll have an etherometer and be checking everyone that boards.”

“So where does that leave us?” said Votal. “My boy Nvar isn’t passing an etherometer. You won’t pass muster on one of those if you’ve got so much as a great-grandparent who isn’t as human as President Graham.”

“I know. It’s a tough proposition…a human working for us when the old war means nobody trusts anybody else. But I think I know just the guy.”

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