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Blake looks in the mirror, adjusting the loose collar of his dress whites. Since crash landing here for more than two months now, he lost quite some weight. Despite his gaunt looking face, he never felt much better or healthier, except maybe doing basic training.

He pulls his peak cap over his freshly cropped hair and steps out of his cabin. Ford stood outside waiting also wearing his dress whites with rows of ribbons displaying his services, "Damn, I think I need to get this to the tailor again. It feels kinda baggy."

Ford took a glance once over at Blake and smiles. "Sir, you look dashing. It suits you perfectly!"

Blake shook his head, and head towards the flight deck to await the arrival of the Elves. "Well, I think we know what we should and shouldn't say to them later at the meeting." Blake gave a quick reminder to Ford. "But I still don't under why waste the resources to make that VIP car."

"Well, it is like shock tactics," Ford explains patiently. "Shock and awe them, from our investigations regarding the Elves, they are way technologically backward compared to us."

"I know, but we need a workforce capable of providing food for us," Blake said, as they enter the elevator. "We need all hands on deck to just maintain our tech!"

"That's why we can't let them know our weakness," Ford said. "We can offer protection and knowledge to them in exchange for food and raw materials."

"Make our men bleed for them?" Blake frowned, as the doors of the elevator open and they walk out. "I am preferring to letting them learn to defend themselves. I hope to be able to leave this planet someday and return home."

The flight deck was decorated with white and blue banners and most of the crew have turned out in their best dress uniforms stood at attention waiting for the elven guests to arrive.

"Captain on the deck!" A marine yelled as Blake and Ford step into the flight deck. The crews visibly straighten up and Blake saluted the officers before telling them to be at ease.

He stood at the center of the parade, with Ford at his side and looks out of the gaping bay doors, which overlooks the sprawling base colony.

Almost a month passed since the wolves raids, the perimeter walls had just finished construction, several small apartments formed the residential area of the crews next to large plots of farmland, which grows several Terran crops and the local carr-ato variety. Several larger buildings in the center form the administrative and work offices, while dozens of warehouses and factories were built next to the ship.

Hope we can work out something beneficial to us with the elves. Blake thoughts as he eyes the approaching convoy in the distance.

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Watching the walls of the city approaching from the window of the carriage, everyone slowly realizes the scale of the walls as the vehicle stopped at the gates. Sherene tilts her head as high as trying to gauge the height of the massive walls.

The huge red iron gate, refurbished from the cargo bay doors, grinds open and the tiny vehicles drive through. Sherene stares at the orderly streets, and the oddly shaped buildings, there does not appear to be many structures around as she only manages to count less than 20.

She looks in amazement as the carriage heads towards a massive structure that appears to be built into the side of the hill. A ramp lays down on the side of the structure and huge entrance lays beyond that. As the vehicle climbs the ramp, she found herself stumped. The walls of the structure don't look like stone, rather some kind of material she is not sure of.

Frank, the hooman escort gestures her to exit as the doors at the rear opening. She stood at the exit of the carriage staring down onto a red carpet set on the floor that is so long, she couldn't imagine how much work is required to sew them. Standing at attention on both sides of the red carpet were neatly formed squares of hoomans in similar grey uniforms.

She notices among the hoomans wearing the same colored uniforms were also females mixed inside, does that means their females fight too?

The huge cavern-like interior simply boggles her mind, how did they build the ceilings so high with even having pillars to support! Magic? As she steps down onto the carpet, a band of some sorts started playing some kind of foreign music, but she couldn't see anyone playing.

Standing in the middle of the carpet, were two hooman males, both wearing white and a matching white hat with colorful bits of decorations on their chest. As she strolls up towards the two hoomans with her entourage trying not to gape at everything, two rows of hooman soldiers suddenly snap into attention and slap their thundersticks, raising them vertically.

Everyone in their party panic, startled by the display. Sherene forced herself to remain calm and tried not to show any reaction. They must be testing us if we show any fear, they will surely treat us with less respect! Other than Sherene, only Joesph remains undisturbed, raising only an eyebrow as he walks behind the princess.

"Welcome to Base Colony," Blake bows with his left hand over his chest, displaying his knowledge of elven greetings, that they have observed. "My name is Richard Blake, Captain of the UNS Singapore." He spoke almost near perfect Common Tongue mixed with some English words that couldn't be translated.

"And this is my second in commander, Commander Kevin Ford." A tall thin cold looking man with jet black hair bows in the same manner to Sherene and her party.

"Our honor to here," Sherene replies in Eng-ish and gives her best, charming smile to the grey-haired, blue-eyed gaunt looking hooman in front of her while doing a curtsy of sorts.

She then introduced her party to the hoomans in return, from Joesph to Thorn before the rest of the entourage.

Blake laughs listening to her hardworking attempts at speaking English, and said, "Speak your tongue, I believe it will be easier for you." Since all of them wear a translator earpiece, they could understand the elves.

"Thank you, my Lord," Sherene smiles and sigh in relief in the same time, learning a new language in less than two days is already very taxing to her when there are so many things to do!

"Come, refreshments have been prepared," Blake gestures and direct them towards the interior of the ship.

Sherene felt her footsteps sound strange as they walked into a hallway, she experimentally raps her knuckles against the seamless looking walls, and it rang with a metallic clank. The gods! It's all iron! She turns and saw the hooman watching her with a curious look. She quickly gave a cough and smiles, "Oh, I was just wondering about something."

The hooman Ford smiles in a way that made Sherene think of all the merchants she has met before. "Yes, as you imagined, it's is made out of iron. Steel to be more exact."

The rest of her party hearing this burst out in loud amazed whispers. "Iron? Steel? All of it!"

"Come, I am sure everyone is tired from the journey, it is better to talk while seated with some food and drinks first." Blake gave a side glance at Ford, knowing what he is trying to do.

Tired? Sherene thought inwardly, that trip in the carriage was one of the most comfortable she ever had in her life! It took less than five turns of a glass! He must be joking!

Ford just smiles in return and the party continues they way down the halls and finally into the ship's ballroom. "We will be happy to give you a tour around later."

Magister Thorn hearing that they will be given a tour around, nearly burst from excitement, he asks, "Can we see where you make your wagons? What kinds of magic you use?"

The translator couldn't translate the word "magic", so Blake and Ford was not too sure what is the professor looking elf was trying to say, but Blake politely replied, "The wagons? You mean the cars? Yes of course."

Sherene and Joesph look at each other in surprise, stunned at the thought that they could see what secrets are behind the wagons! Are the hooman serious?

Ford watch their faces, caught the looks passed between the elves and smiles wickedly, rubbing his hands. Oh, how much good stuff can we squeeze out of them!

They entered a luxuriously furnished room, the hooman aesthetic very different from her Kingdom. They appear to decorate with bright colors, like white and red. The walls were lined with a kind of redwood, thickly carpeted flooring, large soft looking armchairs set at a semi-circle with tiny tables on the side.

At the rear of the room, as large as a dance hall in her castle, held several tables with plates and dishes, draped with white cloth. She found the whole room, strangely bright, lit by some sort of magical lamps set on the walls and ceiling.

They have not even started any talks, and she is already very impressed and intimidated by these hoomans. Their mastery of magic has already surpassed anything she every learn and knew. In her heart, she felt like a child without any knowledge of the world in front of these beings!

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