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"Its tensile strength can be comparable to graphene which is around 200 times that of steel," Dr. Sharon said as she stood at the head of the conference table.

She displayed an image of a cut out portion of a slab of purplish white meat. Pointing to the skin portion which information overlays appeared, "The skin or hide of the beast is roughly two centimeters thick on average with the thickness raising to five centimeters thick covering vital organs of the creature."

"Tests showed that it can withstand anything below our 3" guns or 70mm rockets as long as the impact point is not at an oblique angle," Dr. Sharon reported. "The hide of the creature, however, isn't so resistant to sharp implements."

"But that doesn't mean that the creature is vulnerable to sharp implements like blades or armor piercing weaponry," Dr. Sharon continued. "It has a second layer underneath that skin which acts as a force absorbent."

She pointed to the next portion highlighted on the image. An animation showed the skin separating from the thick yellow white layer underneath. "This is what we would call the blubber or fat of the monster."

"It's on average 40 centimeters thicks in most places and up to sixty centimeters on selected parts of its body," A rendered image of the Krarga showed up on the display and several locations were highlighted out.

"This fat acts as a shock absorbent and also as a self sealing band-aid," Dr. Sharon showed another image. "We dug two of this out from its body, buried inside its blubber." An image of two battered looking 3" shell heads was laid out alongside dozens of other items.

"We also found a total of 86 expended .50 cal bullets and 43 20mm shells intact inside its body," Dr. Sharon read out a list. "Hundreds of shrapnel, most likely from the bombs casing or shattered ammunition and also dozens of what we believed to be teeth or claws of other sea monsters embedded inside its fat."

"Cause of death is by overpressure," Dr. Sharon said next. "The High Explosives impacts from the 3" shells and the 50kg bombs ruptured its internal organs. You should have seen the mess it made in the science labs, the guys will be cleaning out that place for months!"

"So, Doc," Chief Engineer Matt spoke up, "Does this means our current conventional weapons are useless against it?"

"Yes and no," Dr. Sharon replied. "Hmmm, low caliber weapons will be useless, but thermobaric weapons should mess them up pretty well."

"Hmm," Blake frowned. "This creature sounds a lot like the Swarm..."

The people both gathered around the conference table or attending online all mumbled in agreement.

"Well genetically they do not match each other," Dr. Sharon explained over the concerned mumblings. "Don't forget that the Swarm takes on the traits of the species it consumed. So I will not be surprised if the Swarm had encountered a similar creature like this over the galaxy and took on some of its traits."

"Alright," Blake clapped his hands to gather everyone's attention. "The way to kill it is to bomb it till it dies from internal injuries or hit it with a bigger gun right?"

Dr. Sharon rolled her eyes before replying, "In a simplified way, yes..."

"Ok..." Blake turned to Master Sergeant Pike's image and said, "Top, I want you to get Ordnance to work out some kind of depth charge for both the Navy and Airforce and also to expedite the new guns."

Pike nodded as he took down some notes. "Yes, Sir!"

"Doc, continue your research on the creature and see if we can make use of it hides or blubber for any military or civil applications," Blake ordered. "What else?"

"Continuing on," Dr. Sharon switched the images again and this time, an image of an Island Whale appeared. "We found some interesting things on these creatures."

"By luck, we actually found the backs or islands of these creatures to contain several lodes of energy stones," Dr. Sharon said excitedly. "If you all could remember, we fought and defeated a T Rex Godzilla like monster inside the dungeons."

"On its body, we harvested crystals we dubbed as 'Energy stones', which are in essence a solidified condensation of pure energy," Dr. Sharon explained. "These stones had all been converted into a stable liquid electrolyte that is currently been used for the Point Defense Laser turrets and the ship's main rail gun batteries."

"The amount we harvested from the T Rex only limited to over a dozen charges," Dr. Sharon said. "But we struck gold here!"

"We estimated from the amount we managed to uncover that the Island Whales has close to over a hundred charges or more of the Energy stones!" Dr. Sharon displayed the next few imageries of their findings on the Island Whales.

"Captain, I propose that we increase all resource to mine this material," Dr. Sharon said to Blake. "As we do not know when will the Island Whales depart as clearly, they are migrating creatures as evidenced from the tropical floral on their backs."

"What are the risks?" Blake asked as he pondered on the Doctor's request. "We do not really need to rely solely on the energy stones as our power grid is now able to handle most of the ship's onboard weapons."

"Risks..." Dr. Sharon frowned before answering, "I have no guarantees on the risks as we totally have no idea nor any habitual information of these Island Whales. But so far, they are pretty docile."

"We managed to extract some blood from one of the Whales and even mined some samples of the energy stones out," Dr. Sharon clarified. "So far the Whales reminded as they were as before, feasting on plankton and jellyfish."

"I believe this is an opportunity that we shouldn't waste," Chief Engineer Matt spoke up for Dr. Sharon. "Having another energy resource at our disposal allows us to have backups in case of SHTF* (*Shit Hits The Fan) situations."

"What do you think?" Blake turned to Ford and asked.

"I would agree too," Ford replied. "If we can harvest more resources, it will only help us in the long run."

Blake nodded and said, "Go for it but take all precautions. I don't wanna lose lives just for a few energy stones."

"Yes, Sir!"

-----

"Captain!" Pike remained behind in the video conference as everyone left or logged out. "A minute of your time, Sir!"

"What is it, Top?" Blake stopped in his tracks.

"Sir, I think you might want to come down to Ordnance for a look," Pike smiled mysteriously.

"Ok, sure." Blake agreed and Ford gave a shrug as Blake gave him a questioning look.

-----

Ford stepped on the accelerator of the Jeep and grinned, "Damn, I missed driving!"

Blake laughed as he sat back on the seat while Ford continued, "I have spent like almost a month out at sea and at the port, it's not like I have any chance to drive!"

"Well, go slow, I don't wanna spend my time in the hospital under Dr. Sharon's care!"

"Heh, well, I think I know who you would rather care for you, yes?" Ford shot a sly grin at Blake who laughed back.

"So how's the princess?" Ford asked as he took an exit out of the side streets and towards the East Gate. "When you guys plan to wed?"

"Hmm, we still haven't thought of when is the wedding," Blake sadly replied. "That's just too much on our plates now."

"Oh come on!" Ford moaned. "Just set a date and leave the rest to the staff to handle! Is it that hard to do?"

"True," Blake nodded. "I will talk to her later about this."

"Goddamn," Ford shook his head. "I seriously worry for your relationship!"

"How about you?" Blake quickly changed the subject. "Anyone, you are interested in?"

"Ha! Who can I find when I am mostly out at sea?" Ford replied as the guards waved them through the checkpoint at the East Gate. "I just leave it to fate."

"Hmmm," Blake smiled. "Well, maybe I should let you meet up with the Islanders more, that girl Megan is quite pretty!"

"Don't you start!" Ford raised an eyebrow as he raced down the Eastern Highway. "I'm not that desperate... yet!"

"Hahaha," Blake laughed. "I wonder what Top wants us to see?"

-----

1 km East of Base Colony, Ordnance Research Divison Facility

Ford pulled the Jeep to a stop and reversed into a parking lot before the two officers exited the vehicle. They entered the secured facility and found Pike at outside a hangar like structure.

"Sirs!" Pike with the rest of the waiting techs and staff saluted as the two officers walked up and returned the salutes. "Welcome to ORD."

"Well, what's the urgency here?" Blake asked as he followed Pike towards the hangar doors.

"Hehe, Sir," Pike grinned. "I think you would like this!"

Pike turned to one of the techs and nodded, and the hangar doors crunched open while everyone stood back from the doors.

Blake waited with curiosity at the side and he suddenly laughed madly as he saw what stomped its way out of the hangar. "Hahahaha, goddamn it! You guys really did it?"

A five meter tall, six-legged multi-joint walker, similar in design to the ASASGs walked out of the hangar with a crab like grit. An open hatch with clearly a pilot sat on the forward facing of the spider tank and with a turret on its back.

It looked like a 21st century armored vehicle but without tracks, having six multi joint legs instead. while a machine gun blister sat on each side of the walker.

"The Manned Armored Walker 'Bushmaster' or MAW," Pike proudly presented the walker as it stormed its way over to a testing field. "Armed with a 3" stub gun and a dual 10 cell 70mm rocket pods with a coaxial MG, a cupola mounted MG, a co pilot MG and an MG casemate on the flanks."

"It runs with a crew of 7 and can carry up to 30 tons of gear and equipment." Pike led the awestruck officers to the testing field. "Its multi jointed legs allow it to easily maneuver over the roots of the trees in the forest giving it an average speed of 19 kilometers per hour,"

"While moving over relatively flat terrain, it can go up to 28 kilometers per hour," Pike said. "It also can go wheels down, which will increase its speed to 46 kilometers per hour."

"Damn, I didn't expect you guys to really come out with this!" Blake grinned as he admired the walker painted in the local forest green blue camo scheme.

"Well its design and programming came from Senior Spaceman Tae-joon Pak, Spaceman Hideo Koichi, and of course, Irisval who crafted the frames of the golems." Pike gave credit to the trio. "As we lack AI cores, we decided to have a person pilot these instead."

"With the so called 'Magic programming code' which SS Pak and SM Koichi invented, " Pike struggled with a straight as he explained. "They managed to devise a system which the golem will move following a certain set of controls."

"Since the golem does not need any processing power for autonomous control, the amount of energy it uses also is greatly reduced," Pike patted the spider tank. "It can function on average, ten hours on combat situations and sixteen hours on non combat situations."

"Armor is 50 mm thick rolled homogeneous steel with explosive reactive armor plating," Pike pointed to the blocking stabs lining the sides of the spider tank. "Internally the framework of the golem is made out of porous stone mixed with ceramic clay that allows it to absorb any shock and giving it some flexible to prevent any breakage."

Blake and Ford stared up at the sloping side armor of the spider tank and followed Pike's lead as he climbed up from one of the multi-jointed legs.

The test crew stood on the top of the tank and showed off their new vehicle with pride as the two officers gawked at the machine.

"Damn, just in time to show it off for Founding Day!"

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Here comes the mechs!

 


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