This chapter opens with a discussion on how the colonists use Mars's unique solar orbit to create a calendar different than Earth's. Comes with a chart and everything.
Ann invites Nadia on a geological cruise of the Hebes Chasma, but Nadia declines to continue her work on the chambers.
The spats from the Ares have returned as well. This confuses Nadia because, well, they're on Mars. What have they got to be so snippy about?
But more serious problems also arise: Vlad proposes that the colonists should spend less time on the surface what with the radiation and all, but Ann straight-up refuses to spend her life in a cave.
Maya's problems with Frank and John continue, and she even enlists Nadia as a go-between—despite Nadia's claims that she is not, in fact, a go-between kind of gal.
One day, while trying to detach a pneumatic hammer from a boulder, Nadia crushes her hand between a tractor and the boulder. She manages to free herself, and to stop the pain, she holds her hand in the freezing cold sand until it numbs.
Luckily (?) for her, she only loses her pinky finger and impairs her ring finger a bit. Everyone comes to visit, but Nadia realizes she's alone in terms of a lover—the closest thing she has is Arkady, and he's on Phobos, alone with plenty of other women.
More Maya games. Nadia starts to wonder how much of Maya's misfortune in the love department is her manipulating the politics and then covering her manipulative trail.
The Martian new year hits, and Ann finally convinces Nadia to come with her on an expedition to the polar ice cap to set up a distillery for water.