"Hey did you try the wolf steak? I tried it and it was awesome!" Conversations like these were happening all over the base colony. The wolves provided the men and woman of UNS Singapore with a rare meal, allowing them to enjoy some fresh meat other than just eating starch or foraged roots.

Everyone was excited about the discovery of the wolves and the topics of conversation was all about them. Yet in the commanders meeting, the atmosphere was heavy.

"So we had first contact with a native lifeform here and it appears to be hostile." Chief Matt said, as he leans back and folds his arms. "We have to assume the rest of the planet is hostile too."

"It might be our men were trespassing in their territory? Wolves are known to be territorial creatures." Grayson argued.

"We can't assume they are the same with animals from Earth!" Chief Matt shot back.

"Alright, that's enough." Blake slapped the table with his palm. "We raise our alert levels. Ensure all survey team members are qualified with a firearm and is armed at all times, and also double the security detail with them."

"Yes Sir," Grayson replied, his face slightly red. "Here is our current progress of the base." He activates the display and brings up a UAV view of the area. "Over two hectares of land is cleared and ready to be used for housing and offices. Our current production of concrete and cement is still under the process of being streamlined, once that is completed, we will be able to produce enough concrete and cement for all our infrastructure needs."

"Another hectare is being cleared and it is currently in the midst of use by Hydroponics to grow food." He zooms the image out to display the whole area. "Current construction of the wall is at twenty per cent completion. It will cover the entire planned residential and production areas."

"Our current food sources consist mainly of foraging from the northern forest. Fishing will be discontinued as it takes too much manpower and the returns currently are too low to support us. Hydroponics assures us that the 1st crops of potatoes and tomatoes will be harvested in 3 weeks time and also they are currently cultivating the local carrato, if successful, it will be harvested within a period of a month."

The displays showed several graphs and charts indicating different foodstuff. "Our current food supplies is currently enough to last us for a month. I will like this number to be higher if possible, but we have yet to find more sources of food yet."

"As for a source of water, recon flights with UAV has spotted a river up north, roughly 8km away." Grayson continues. "We will need to dismantle piping from the ship and dig an 8km trench to pipe water here. Plans are here, waiting for approval."

He handed a tablet over to Blake. "The water converters are currently producing enough water from seawater for our current needs, but wear and tear will increase due to the salt content."

Blake nodded. "Ok, what's next?"

Dr. Sharon's assistant, PO Alvin, who heads the survey teams stood up and took over the meeting. "Currently, we have 6 teams doing surveying missions at these locations." The display once again shows a top-down map of their current location. "The sea is to our west, while the cliffs and extends from our south several kilometres till it hits the sea. To our north, is a huge forest, and to the east is a large area of grassland stretching over twenty klicks before stopping at the mountain range with several active volcanoes. This is where the wolves are encountered. And also, we discovered a rabbit-like creature, similar to the wolves, it has horns." The display shows several video recording from UAVs.

"Is it hostile?" Blake asked.

"No, but it ran away from the surveying team. We are hoping to catch some of it to study." Alvin said.

"Wait. Why didn't the UAVs detect any of the wolves or any creatures to be exact?" QM Chen asked.

"We believed that when we crashed here, we caused a huge stir to the local ecosystem. All local wildlife fled away and is only recently starting to return back." Dr. Sharon explained. "Or, another reason is, our sensors are not calibrated correctly to detect the local wildlife here."

"Doesn't the wolves show up in the infra sensors?" Chief Matt asked. "Or even heartbeat sensors should work?"

Dr. Sharon shrugged, "We need a live sample to test. If the Marines can catch one alive."

"No," Blake rejected the idea immediately. "I don't want to lose men. If they come, we deal with them accordingly, but we do not go out to find trouble."

Lt Frank nodded, glad that he does not have to send his men out on some crazy mission.

Dr. Sharon shrugged again. "Well, the test results for the mana stones we have came back. It's certainly is some kind of natural biological energy storage, but it appears that the color, size, and purity of the stones varies. The more clear and larger the stone the more energy it stores."

Dr. Sharon paused for a sip of water before continuing, "We are unable to identify what it is made. It appears to grow out from the thorax of the wolf." I would really like a live sample to play with, She thought.

"The amount of energy stored is roughly 5,000 mAhfor the smallest stone and up to 9,000 mAh for the largest stone that we have." She places a dull fist-sized grey stone on the table in front of her. "After we depleted its power, the colour fades and becomes like this, like a normal rock."

"Is it dangerous?" Ford asked, "Like highly flammable or explosive? The last time you said it emits radiation when it is used."

"It is in a very inert state. It doesn't appear to be highly flammable nor explosive and it is similar to the tensile strength of wrought steel." Dr. Sharon placed another mana stone on the table. The colour of the stone was a dark blue hue. "The radiation given off is almost as much as a display monitor..."

"The more power you draw from the stone, the higher the amount of radiation is given off. Similar to how atomic elements create energy, the molecules inside split apart to produce energy." Dr. Sharon explains. "But unlike nuclear fission, the area of radiation is limited to less than a meter nor does it produce heat!"

The people in the conference room were stunned. A mini nuclear battery that produced energy and no radioactive waste and heat! Think of all the tech that could be powered by that!

"Amazing!" Chief Matt exclaimed, "Can I have one to experiment with?"

"Sure," Dr. Sharon pushed the blue stone to Chief Matt, who picked it up and examined the stone against the lights.

Matt kept the stone in his pocket after examining it and said, "The repairs on the reactor are proceeding as planned. It should be operational within four days."

"How much fuel do we have for the reactor?" Ford asked.

"Enough to power what remains of the ship's systems for several months," Matt replied. "After that, it's all dry."


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neo Koh


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