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expedition, she felt the excitement building inside her. Her career, it seemed, had built to this moment, to the discovery of a totally unknown race, a totally unknown technology. After an overview of the mission specs, Chang went around the table and introduced each team member. Beside Anna sat the old friends Favorito, Razor, and Scott, Razor holding his hands up, model like, to high-light Scott's new short hair, she yanking his ponytail in return. At the foot of the table sat Donne, her face clenched, determined, to her right Morden, a careful smile on his face, his fingers steepled on the tabletop, beside him Petrovich and Standish, trying a little too hard in Anna's mind to look as if they belonged, and opposite Anna to Chang's left sat Churlstein. It was always important to him to sit near the head of the table, as if he was afraid he would be forgotten otherwise.

He nodded at everything Chang said, and as he did his eyes swept down the table, insuring that everyone was in support of their leader. Chang made no attempt to explain the presence of Donne or Morden. He simply introduced them, said what organizations they were from, and moved on. No one seemed surprised-they'd probably heard the make-up of the team days ago through the grapevine-except Donne at the introduction of Morden. Though her expression didn't change, her head swiveled in his direction, and their eyes met over Morden's secure smile. He almost seemed pleased at her reaction. After the introductions, Chang began to review the data transmitted by the probe, data that had been conspicuously absent from the mission specs Anna had received.

"The majority of the surface appears to be made up of two kinds of rock. The mountains, which are extensive, have been formed from igneous rock, while the plains
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