It was late and the gates were long since closed. The place was strewn with red and green decorations and smelled of fresh-cut pine. The participants were assembling for the party now, most wearing the uniform of their branch of service. Lots of chin rubbing and gentle nodding and subtle saluting, as if to say, this, this is nice. A nice touch. The cool weather. The almost full moon. There had been music earlier and it hung in the air like a found memory.