STEC Archives, Digital Document Division
Marblehead [REDACTED] N
Format: Other Materials, Personal Object
Object: Collection, Personal Correspondences of New York
Location (if known): STEC Archives
Time (if known): Undated
On the surface, all shipgirl agencies are functionally equivalent. They all share the primary objective of stopping the Abyssal menace. You get a little deeper than that, and you’ll quickly find that each shipgirl agency has a particular ethos that is reflective of both its national characteristics as well as the circumstances during its creation.
For STEC, a key characteristic is the “preservation of normalcy.” You are well aware by now that we operate in secrecy, and that we make it a rule to not directly intervene in governmental affairs, in the US or abroad. We do this because of the extraordinary nature of the threat we face, the exceptional amounts of power we wield, and our particular understanding that when we exercise our organization’s full capacity, we risk disrupting the foundational characteristics of the United States as a whole.
Let me use an example. The United States currently has several major pieces of legislation in place that empowers the country with the ability to dictate economic production. In fact, despite several close calls, the Office of Emergency Preparedness is still active even today in disaster and contingency planning.
How might a “mobilization” against the Abyssals look like in the United States? Without STEC, it would look very similar to something that had occurred during the Korean War. A high level directive based on something like NSC-68. Invocation of the Defense Production Act and other legislation in place. Mobilization and nationalization of virtually all aspects of the American economy. Price stabilization, spending caps, wage and salary controls put into place. Americans will wake to a new reality, where freedoms are severely curtailed and the (benevolent?) government imposes increasingly greater limitations on daily life.
This might be just another day to our friends in the Soviet Union, but this type of response would be unprecedented in the United States today. We have discussed previously why this type of mobilization would be a last resort option where the United States truly have no better options. Additional criticisms commonly brought up include inefficiency, incompetence, cost-risk issues, and the simplest one of them all: better alternatives.
When I say preservation of normalcy, I mean that in every sense of the word. During my time here, STEC grew from a simple defense organization into something like a shadowy guardian of America. We currently have the capacity to ensure that in the case of an Abyssal invasion, if we are successful in the initial critical period to contain and repel the Abyssals’ first wave, life in the United States – should the American people choose to do so – would largely go about the way they were before they showed up.
Some of the other shipgirls may not know this, or naively think otherwise. This happens to be my specialty within STEC, and I can assure you, anything we do to extend our effort into daily life, it would be the result and the will of the American people.
For example, STEC has the authority to draft up every able-bodied man to prepare for counter-Abyssal efforts. If need be, we can track the physical location of every single human being in the United States, as we already know whether or not they’re fit for service. Think about that for a second and think about the technology and the infrastructure and the expertise required to do something like this. Stuff like this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we have.
We do not currently anticipate, in any circumstance, that we would need to do so. The American people is free to enact this policy through the ballot box via Congress and enforce it via the White House and the executive branch, but we craft our plans explicitly with operational independence in mind.
In fact, we have an additional facet to consider. A lot of the technologies we have on hand will be highly disruptive to society at large. For example, take transportation. We have in reserve enough spare aircraft to continually supply cities under blockade. These are fast enough to avoid Abyssal picket lines, stealthy enough to avoid Abyssal detection, and more fuel efficient than anything we’ve got.
The Abyssals strike, we resupply the USAF with our airframes, what’s going to happen after the war? How is Lockheed-Martin or Grumman going to compete with STEC magi-tech? What effect would this have on say, the trucking industry? Pilot training? Civilian airliners?
Or, take telecommunications. Telephones are beginning to become commonplace in the United States today. Long-distance calling is now quickly becoming accessible. Some of the more innovative-minded companies are experimenting with “cellular” and “mobile” phones.
What if I tell you right now, that here at STEC, we can tele-conference on a “phone” no bigger than the palm of my hand on a whim? That these phones can do all sorts of things like project holograms, look up information, play music, and more? Is society really ready for a time where everyone is constantly connected to everyone else? Video-games you can play in your bed? Think of the children.
The Abyssals may be the obvious disruption to humanity at large, but we, too, have great potential to fundamentally change America. The stakes here are quite high.
This is why we move cautiously.