With Eileen's oblique blessing, the captain sets to work forming an away party, and about two hours later a half-dozen or so bundled personnel are gathered in the command and control tent in preparations to ring up. The usual suspects--Eileen, Klaus, Findy, Friedrich, and Sarah--are joined by Bishop and Forsythe for armed support.

Captains Wantanabe and McNamara are having a side conversation as the others make their final checks. "You're going to need more freedom of action anyway," McNamara is pointing out. "And stocks are low enough that I can practically count everything on my fingers and toes." Noticing that the mission is about to depart, the curmudgeonly supply officer doesn't press the issue any further, but leaves with his bottom line. "Anyway, think about putting me on the command duty rotation." With that, he gives a curt nod to Eileen and Michael and departs the tent.