The team launches from Odyssey at 06:00 Earth Standard aboard the Navarro-T1, a Gemini Class shuttle. Anya, piloting decides to engage the sublight engines just outside the hangar, and proceeds to put the shuttle in a spin around the main boom of the Odyssey that leads to the bridge structure. She is placed on report.
Nearing Mars, Anya receives a distress signal from a ship designating itself as the Sunrunner, a 100 year old Nova Star Class transport tug. They report that their engines have fractured by a meteor hit, and the ship is in a rapidly decaying orbit. The vessel is transporting Deutoranox-5 gas that will react extremely badly with the plunge into Mars atmosphere, possibly setting back the terraforming efforts there 10 years.
The next nearest vessel is 25 minutes away.
Bell orders an interception.
Aboard the Sunrunner, the team finds the ship in a horrible state – main power and computer systems are offline, life support is minimal, and engines are down. The team splits, with the marines going aft, and Anya, Gizmo and Rayne heading forward to the bridge. After several minutes, Anya locates the main computer, and reboots it, restoring system and flight control. Carter locates five surviving crew in engineering.
A woman then reports she is trapped in the lower observation deck. Bell and Alvina move to rescue her as Mars looms closer. She is trapped behind a sealed door. Limping on one engine, Anya gets Gizmo to plot a course to bounce the vessel off Mars’ meager atmosphere. An error causes the vessel to jolt violently, injuring Bell and Alvina. Gizmo is rendered unconscious when he is propelled against the console.
Bell receives a message from Lt. Harvard after reading Gizmo’s vitals, requesting authorization to abort the scenario. Anya, without Gizmo’s aid, still manages to pull the ship from danger before all systems and engines “miraculously” restart, as the nature of the secret exercise is revealed on Bell’s authorization.
A nearby Spartan shuttle, hidden from both the Navarro’s and Sunrunner’s sensor arrives, and the injured are tended to, as well as mission cleanup.
Lt. Harvard offers a ride to Mars for the event. The team is met at the landing dome station, 6 kilometres from the crater city of Eden, by a fresh young officer, Lt. Brandon. They are taken into Eden, a domed city within a Mars crater, and the closest point of civilization, next to Station Theta, to the Orb Temple.
Given their rooms at the Regency hotel in the central Hub of Eden, the team decides to blow off steam and head to a local drinking establishment. Lt Brandon suggests an upscale club called the Club Sable, professing a zero-G dance floor 3 storeys in height. There the team meets some locals, include Hans the handsome bar go’er, Hannah and her friends, and Nancy, the shy little dark-haired debutante who has an interest in big marines and men who kill.
Rayne, the party-pooper, stayed in her hotel room.
As the team slowly filtered out, Homans first, after some conversation with a group of navy officers, followed by Anya and her new boyfriend, then Bell with Hannah and company after getting punched by Hannah’s ex-boyfriend, thus leaving Carter alone with Nancy. At closing, Nancy politely excuses herself and slips away – leaving just Carter and the zero-G dancing Gizmo (who was a hit with some Japanese girls due to his pikachu-like qualities and skill in free fall).