Now, sync portage. And then telnetd goes away. I can no longer connect to the box. It doesn't respond to anything except ping. So, now there is no bootable chainloader on the drive anywhere, no operating system anywhere in a bootable condition, no anything. So, the box is now hosed. If I want to start over, I'll have to yank the drive, put it in another machine, put the chainloader on it, put it back in, and start over.
I really don't have the patience to deal with it any further. I don't /need/ this box right now, I can deal with it some other time.