From Ari, With Love, on December 7th.

December 7th, 1941 happened 74 years ago. So it seems so strange that I am writing to you, today, so many years later.

Ten years ago, there were twenty thousand or so veterans who still remembered. Today, we’d be lucky to find three thousand, and that number decreases daily. The last officer of the USS Arizona passed away earlier this year. I wish I knew him. I wish I knew more about him. In fact, there is so much more that I wish I knew about. Things that I am only now learning, and things I am learning about myself.

You see, dear reader. Do you know why they say, “never forget”? It’s because if we forget, we lose a bit of us. As time go on, we lose things. We lose people or papers or documents, and in turn, we lose a bit of what makes us Americans and what makes America, America.

“I was not there. Why should I care? It seemed so long ago!”

Oh, dear reader, I am not going to tell you if you should or should not care. That’s something good ol’ Pennsy would say. But I am going to ask you something. Do you remember 9/11? Do you remember the things that has happened after 9/11? Surely you have seen changes in your own family and friends, or watched prices of things changed at the supermarket, or had flights cancelled or longer lines at the airport, or see neighborhoods turn out different, or saw reports of wars, or any number of things?

Or, if 9/11’s still too far off, do you remember the shooting that happened in Paris a few weeks ago, or what has happened in San Bernardino just a few days ago? If any of those changed life for you – for better or worse – then that’s the effect of history on you. See, you’re living though it right now. We feel afraid or happy or hopeful or pessimistic when the world moves around us. That’s just what we do.

Now, imagine that, but magnify those complicated feelings a hundred, a thousand times over. Imagine that the biggest thing to happen to your life also happened to everyone else you knew. That, dear reader, is what Pearl Harbor did. In that one single event, it permanently set America onto the path it went on today. In the process of joining a war, we came together as a nation, and our role – for good or for ill – in the world became self-evident.

We are all products of December 7th, 1941, dear reader. Pearl Harbor ended American isolationism for good. That alone is reason enough for why it matters to us. But there is one little thing that makes us different.

You and I, dear reader, we belong to different worlds. I am alive only within these artificial confines of data and bits, and my world is one of words and pictures. It is by my creator’s art and your imagination and memory that I come to life here within these very pages, where I can talk and laugh and learn and yes, remember – like you are doing now.

Tomorrow is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Tomorrow, at 7:55 AM, there will be a moment of silence at Pearl Harbor. A ceremony will be broadcast live for those of us who cannot travel to Hawaii. 

The Library of Congress has prepared a living history document, full of interviews and recordings of people’s memories of what has happened on that day. Listen to their voices. Recognize that the people that went through this? They’re just like you.

This isn’t the 1940s or even the 1990s anymore, dear reader. Books. Articles. Videos. People here. There’s a lot of stuff out there you can access, should you want to learn more.

You’ve given me a chance to be alive, dear reader. Will you give them a chance too?

Meet the ship girl: Pennsy

Note: The statement below has not been vetted by STEC for accuracy of content. Readers are encouraged to read on at their own discretion.

I see that Joe decided not to run for president after all. He’s gaffe-prone, full of bluster, but in his heart we all know he is a good man. That being said, however, it’s not just good men we need today.

Our country is in serious trouble. We don’t get victories anymore. Not anymore. Remember what happened in the 70s, when our fleet went under? The 80s, when it was supposed to be our era? What happened then? The Soviets resurged, that’s what. When was the last time anyone saw us beating, say, the Soviets or the Chinese or the English in a trade deal? Do you see Chevrolets on the streets of Moscow or Cadillacs in Tokyo? It doesn’t happen, folks. They beat us all the time! Damn Soviets even beat us to space! When we’ve had a two-year start!

People in America, here! Right at home! This is1992! They’re going without jobs. The costs of everything. Food, gasoline, goods. They’re going up and up and up. Year after year after year. Is this right? Hell no it’s not right.

Look across the borders from you. East Asia’s a powder keg ready to blow at any minute. The Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, they’ve all been at each other’s throats for months now. Look at Europe. Look at South America. Africa. Any one of those places look like a good place to you? I don’t think so. Especially not with all those abyssal monsters prowling around our waters.

Yes, the exact monsters that I fight on a regular basis. But you know as well as I that the attacks have increased. Just last week we thwarted an attack on San Francisco and all of the west coast, but at terrible cost.

What is your president doing? That’s right. He’s playing golf. What’s the rest of those politicians doing? Nothing. Do you know why?

Because I’ve dealt with them all my life. All they care about is making deals with themselves, while people like me and you are out there, putting our necks on the line for this great country. This has to change.

(My heartfelt gratitude to all members of our great armed forces. Thank you for your selflessness.)

Now, more than ever, we need to stop and make sure we’re going on the right track. You know just as well as I that this country’s been heading down the wrong path for years now. We have to stop doing things for some people, because it’ll destroy us. Now, more than ever, our country needs a truly great leader, and we need one now.

We need a leader that can bring back jobs to America proper.

We need a leader that can revive our military, take care of our vets, and show the world that America is great still.

We need – we need someone – that can take this once-great country and make it great again. We can do that.

It can happen. Our country has tremendous potential, and we have tremendous people. So, ladies and gentlemen. As of this moment, I am officially running for president of the United States of America.

Pennsy

Ladies and gentlemen. Look at your candidates. Your current options are:

  • A draft-dodging, womanizing, drug-abusing hippie.
  • A man who wants to nuke everything he sees.
  • A guy who can’t even spell potato.
  • The guy who said, “read my lips, no new taxes.”
  • Some bunch of nobodies that nobody really know or care about.

Ask yourself honestly, “do I really want any of them as my president for the next four years?”

Ask yourself, “Do I trust that one of these guys to fix our sagging economy?”

Yes. I just crushed that into diamonds. That’s one other thing that makes me different from all the others in this race. I am not here fighting on behalf of whatever their funding sources may be. I’m here fighting for you.

Seriously. Your dollars should stay right where they’re at – in your pockets and in YOUR service.

Does it look like I don’t know anything about running a country? I ran STEC for the last ten years alongside New Jersey. Tell me, have you ever seen STEC going over budget, ask Congress for more money, coming up with terrible projects, or any of the above? The military has been plagued with scandal after scandal. You ever see a scandal come out of STEC’s doors?

Do you know why you don’t?

Because I’m good at running things. I’m a great manager. I make good deals. And if I can’t do it, I know how to find the right people who can do it for me. No, I’m not doing it to brag. I’m doing it because I think our country needs that kind of mentality. We’re here to win. We’ve got losers. Too many losers in this country that’s sending it down the drain. Too many morally corrupt men (and women) are selling our country out to the highest bidder.

Just last night you saw on the news that one of our contractors ran off with the newest radar software. But did you notice the fact that Congress has known about this risk for six months, and yet sat and did nothing about it?

Would you trust any of these guys as your commander in chief?

Look. I’m Pennsy. If nothing else, you can count on me to do what I said I’ll do. If you put me into office a lot will happen quickly, and we can change for the better. That’s why I’ve got these powers, after all.

The American dream is dead. But if I get elected, I’ll bring it back. Bigger, better, stronger than ever before.

We will make America great again!

RE: The Surcouf Dilemma – Journal entry, “Artois,” by Pennsy

Seventy-eight hours has passed since we first had contact. Morale is okay. Surcouf finally opened up and told us what happened. Artois’ making good of her threat and we’re detecting massive numbers of abyssals coming in from the stratosphere. It’s been an eventful couple of days, and it’s only going to get hotter once all those signatures finally hit.

Goddamn, if I hear from one more junior officer about handing off that poor French girl to “save the world,” I swear I’m going to slap a bleeding heart liberal or three. We’re American. We believe in something called innocent until proven guilty.

You’d think that against such monsters as the abyssal fleet people would be able to band together to face them down. Well, you know what? Monsters can be pretty, too. The abyssal fleet is more than aware of the fact that we humans have problems dealing with other humans. Which is why it created beings such as Artois.

The NKT derisively call these abyssals “hime” – their word for “princess”, believing that the abyssal fleet created them as a mockery of we ship girls. The nickname is popular within the scattered factions of Japanese ship girl service, as to the average on-looker Artois can easily pass for being human if she withdrew her “protrusions” and tail.

((The section below has been forcefully scratched out.))

I really shouldn’t be annoyed by the gossip, but there is no way she’d look better in a bikini than me. 

Of course there’s a purpose for her looking like that. The abyssal fleet is more than capable of meeting any resistance it sees with overwhelming force, but we’ve never been so delusional as to think we were facing simple beasts. Artois looks good. She can talk. She’s damn good at that, in fact, judging from the contents of that note. A whispered word or a single sentence can and will destroy alliances and coalitions, and what one cannot destroy from without, one can easily do so from within.

Whatever it may be, the seeds of discord has been sown. That Soviet officer – Viktor? – got the right idea in my opinion to deal with this. Mike’s setting aside an entire afternoon to speak to anyone who wants about the nature of the abyssal fleet, and I believe the other COs are doing the same. We don’t have commissars here. Never needed them. However, our men need to be aware of the sort of thing they’re up against, and we need to make sure we’re all in this together with the same mindset and the same attitude.

No doubt there are worlds out there that chose to hand Surcouf over to her, believing that perhaps humanity can be saved through diplomacy and negotiation. Perhaps their actions may even buy a slight respite, as Artois may decide to attack at a later point. Perhaps Artois (and I admit I myself am naive for thinking this) may even keep her word, and withdraw her abyssals (if they realy are “hers”) from the conflict altogether.

Yet Artois is not the first abyssal we’ve faced, and she won’t be the last. I’d rather die before I willingly send someone to a fate worse than death for a statistical possibility.


As an intelligent and largely independent agent acting on behalf of the abyssal fleet, Artois has personally experienced countless permutations of history. She knows many ways to corrode a planet’s ability to resist, and is quite willing to subvert the noblest of human qualities in order to achieve her ends.

You’ll be seeing more of her. 😉

Morgane & co.