"The Marines and the Security section have established a 100m perimeter around the base. We are hoping to clear the area to 200m." Frank said. "Once Dr. Sharon's team is ready, I will have my guys company them for surveys to provide security."

"Lt, I will get the team leader to liaises with you as soon as possible." Dr. Sharon promised.

"I guess it's my turn now." Chief Matt sighed. "Well, the crash landing and ramming of the ship into the cliff has knocked the reactor's fusing rod alignment out. Stupid computer." Chief Matt grumbled.

Blake looked away in embarrassment while Ford kept a straight face. As the crew still did not know the full details, Blake decided to keep it that way.

"It will take some time to realign the rods." Chief Matt grumbled.

"How long?" Blake asked.

"It's a very delicate job, supposing done in a yard. A week at least." Matt said.

"Alright make it a priority. Also, get the surveying teams out to look for water." Blake ordered. "How about the wildlife here? Have we encountered any? Natives?"

"No sir, other than the usual bugs and insects, there is surprisingly no form of wildlife seen," Frank said.

"I won't be surprised, considering we crash landed like that. We probably scared them all away." Dr. Sharon said.

"Any chance of the Swarm here with us?" Blake asked.

"It's too early to tell. With the sensors and communication arrays on the bow of the ship destroyed, we couldn't even contact our probe in orbit. We have no eyes in the sky and all form of communications." Ford said. "We only have local communications within a range of 15 km. If the weather stays like this. The range will drop to less than 10 km if the weather is bad."

"We can launch some UAVs to help survey the surrounding areas and as first line of warning." Lt Frank said. "But they are power intensive. So we might not get as much flight time with them,"

"Alright set that up with the UAVs." Blake said before asking, "How about transportation? Are the four buggies enough?"

"Ahem, eh, sir." A bespectacled young man, in a mechanic jumpsuit with a rank of Petty Officer 1st class pinned to his collar tabs, spoke. "The buggies will not be good for any off-road activities. They are primarily designed to be used in the ship. We need to modify them before they can be any use outdoors."

"You are?" Blake asked.

"This is PO Nelson," XO Ford replied for him. "He took over Master Chief Cobbs's duties in addition to his own in the motor pool."

"Space haulers are too heavy to lift off in the atmosphere, it will require a lot of modifications before it could be flown. Also, fuel for the haulers is limited." PO Nelson continued.

As everyone digested the news, Blake stood up. "Alright, I think it's good that we more or less know the problems we face. For now, our priority is food, water, power than medical. Weapons and modification of the vehicles is not an issue yet. As for rationing food and water, we decide again after 1 week." As he was about to end the meeting. Someone at the back raised her hand.

"Sir, I am Spaceman Apprentice Alice, from Hydroponics. " A young caucasian lady with her tied in a ponytail introduced herself. "Hydroponics was lost in the explosion but I have some seeds with me in my locker, mostly potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, and strawberries."

"That is good news," Blake relieved as it could help a bit with the food issues. "Ok SA Alice, I am putting you in charge of farming. Get a list of what you need to XO Ford. Any other questions?"

With that note, the conference ended and everyone returned to work. Blake gestured to Ford to stay back. Once the room was clear, Blake said. "What do think of our odds in starting a colony here?"

"If we can settle food, water, and power. I think we should be ok. Unless the Swarm is here in force or there are hostile natives then we need to rethink our strategy." Ford answered.

"We need to ration the usage of our equipment and look into ways to replicate or substitute them. We do not have the infrastructure to produce everything we need to support our current tech, sooner or later, it will break down and we won't have the parts nor the ability to build or replace them." Blake rubbed his eyebrows.

"Do we have anyone with the relevant knowledge or know how in this case?" Ford asked. "I know Marine Staff Sergent Pike is great with the survival stuff. He probably knows plenty of jungle and forest skills that will be useful to the crew out here."

"OK, I think we should make all the crew members fill up a questionnaire regarding their skill sets," Blake suggested. "This way we can filter out those with skills that can help in building up the base. I will look at expanding the perimeter."

"I will get right to it, sir." Ford gave a salute before he left the room.

Blake finished his coffee off before following Ford out of the room and went down to supervise the crewmen working at the perimeter. He exited the ship by the cargo bay ramp that had extended all the way to the ground. He stood at the foot of the ramp and craned his head up and looked at the cliff where one-third of the ship is buried into. Damn, how did we survive that? Thank god for small mercies.

"Captain!" A crewman in a red jacket stroll up to and saluted Blake. "Sir, I heard from the XO, you are coming to check on the perimeter?"

"At ease," Blake returned the salute. "So what do we have here?"

"The soil is pretty sandy, we are about three, three fifty metres away from the sea. All around us is just overgrowth and not many large trees, so work has been progressing quite fast." The vegetation around the ship was first cleared away creating a flat square shaped field. The ground was then flattened and compacted uniformly. "We extended to about a hundred twenty meters and by tomorrow we should be able to clear the land up to two hundred metres away." They walked towards the edge of the field.

The crewman pointed out various interesting features of the terrain and also elaborate on where will buildings be built using local materials. A wall enclosing the colony was also planned to be constructed.

"How do you planned to build this?" Blake asked PO 1st class Letts after looking at his name tag and rank. "Do we even have construction materials to build all that?"

"Cap, I used to run my own construction company before getting drafted," Letts said. "Cement and concrete are easy to make, all we need is limestone, sand, and some clay. I have gotten the boys to go poke around to see if they can find some clay for me but limestone and sand we got plenty around us." He gestured towards the cliffs and the beach.

"But can we produce enough of it to use?" Blake was impressed.

"Yup, I set up a production line to produce as much cement and concrete as you want, as long as I have the raw materials." Letts declared.

"How much manpower and resources do you need?"

"Forty to fifty guys for now. Then depends on the output and demand. Also, I need a week or so to experiment to get the perfect mix." Letts said.

"Good work, PO. Keep it up. Inform either the XO or me if you need help." Blake said as he thanked Letts for the tour.


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