Shortly after breakfast, the party members are met by the same flunky who escorted them to the inn the previous evening. The limo takes them back to the starport. The flunky explains that the Prince has returned to the capital now.
All of the party members roll their eyes simultaneously when they see the heap of an AGC that the limo pulls up beside. It makes their former marine-surplus AGC look brand new in comparison. It looks like they just brought it back from a scrap yard.
Taeva investigates the contents. At least the Prince stocked it as they had requested – the satchel charges that she ordered are there along with cold weather gear, arctic camouflage suits, a pressure tent, several days of provisions and plenty of breather masks.
As the others stow their gear in the back, Max heads for the driver’s seat and tries to turn the engine over. It takes a few attempts, but eventually gets it started – only to hear a horrendous grinding noise from the back.
Grim curses – it would appear that an engineer’s job is never done. Stian offers to give him a hand – having more experience of grav vehicles than Grim.
The pair of them spend an hour tinkering with the vehicle. They manage to stop the grinding noise, but will just have to pray that the AGC can make it to The Shallows and back in one piece. Stian checks to see that it has some inflatable rafts inside (which is does) have a horrible feeling of impending deja vu having had one AGC go down in the middle of the ocean (and at least the last ocean they went down in was a warm one).
Everyone clambers into the AGC and Max takes off, with Stian next to him ready to swap over when Max gets tired.
It takes less than an hour before they leave Settlement Island behind them and are out over the sea. Wanting to spend as little time as possible over the ocean, Max takes the AGC south so that, a couple of hours later, the AGC is passing over the empty and desolate sub-continent of Main-Southeast. Stian advises Max to take his lead-foot of the throttle a little so as not to thrash the engine. It will take the better part of two days to get to the GPS point anyway and they don’t want to arrive there before nighttime.
Max eases back a little and drives until late afternoon, before handing over the controls to Stian. Stian flies the AGC through the evening and late into the night before the pair of them decide that they have covered enough distance for the day. Stian brings the craft down safely onto the desolate, primeval plain. Here they set up the pressure tent, cook up a simple meal and the arrange a watch rota in case any of the native fauna decide that they might want to snack upon the party.