[Mail call] 2017/02/05

“So, something I don’t get. If the Abyssals are so powerful, then why NOT tell everyone about the threat? Surely humanity will band together if that’s the case? After all, the Allies and the Soviet Union were not friends, but they came together to fight Hitler all the same.”

First of all, the Soviets were a part of the Allies. 🙂

Secondly, this is a proposition that’s been brought up by many, many, many STEC officers, advisors, and operatives, and each and every time it’s been shot down for a wide number of reasons.

The first is that, well, what good does it do, exactly? The Abyssals are functionally immune to conventional weaponry and neither the US nor the USSR is in the business of throwing tactical nuclear weapons (or bigger things) at the Abyssals.

Or, to put it another way. Imagine you’re an average trooper in the services of any military. Your commanding officer tells you that the bottom line is that you can’t kill it, it can kill you (very easily), and that there’s nothing we’ve figured out so far outside of a very few exceptional circumstances.

What’s that going to do to morale?

More importantly, how does that help STEC or any other organization in the fighting against the Abyssals?

Secondly, the world’s governments are already funneling in what resources they can to support the shipgirl services to the utmost of their ability. The limitation here isn’t manpower or computational power or for the lack of people working on projects. They’re actually a bit more mundane than that.

Commander, Sal here. I’ve got some good news and bad news.

The good news is that they really did figure out an alternative formulation that could, theoretically, have practical applications. I say theoretical, because the stuff is quite good. We’ve tested the material and it’s estimated to be on par with Comall-Mk. IV. (4000 Mpa to our 4200 Mpa) and far more resistant to corrosion.

The bad news? This thing uses Rhodium rather than Rhenium. The cost is on par with that of Mk. II’s (waste ratio of approximately 97% to our ~93%) and the power cost is immense. Good luck convincing anyone to divert enough power towards this thing for mass production even if materials can be secured – by my calculations, we’d need enough power plants to cover all of Tianjin or Nagano to make this happen.

Rather, STEC’s technological development is hampered by issues of an ideological nature (it’s awfully hard to come up with innovative ways to try to kill something if that something doesn’t seem to obey the laws of physics), a logistical nature (developing weapons that are dedicated anti-Abyssal require resources that are difficult to collect or are far too expensive for us), or a practical nature (shipgirls are easy to work with but fairies aren’t).

Thus, again, revealing this to the public won’t help in any way. In fact, it might do the opposite. This brings me to point three. The Abyssals are crafty.

See, the important thing to remember is that while the Abyssals have made contact, they haven’t invaded just yet. Like what’s been noted in vol. 1, they seem content to simply throw scouts into the world’s oceans. Whether or not the Abyssals are actually capable of invading (there’s more than one officer that thinks that the Abyssals can’t bring their troops in great force yet) or wants to invade are irrelevant because STEC cares more about the costs of introducing this knowledge to the public.

War is hell. It takes a toll on the psyche of people involved. The pessimist would say that since humanity does not fully understand the capabilities of the Abyssal fleet, any and all preparations would fundamentally be pointless. They could, after all, maybe just nuke the planet from orbit and there wouldn’t be any way to resist. But even the best of the optimists would recognize that this places a great strain on the peoples of the world. Take rationing, for starters.

Let’s say that America begins to ration its resources and create policies of austerity. Well, when is this going to end? The answer is that it won’t end – because the Abyssals haven’t even attacked yet. You don’t think that the opposition party’ll instantly turn this into a matter of political partisanship?

“We’re spending money on a currently nonexistent threat when we could be doing X!”

“Party Y does not have your interests at heart. To fight off the Abyssals, we should do Z!”

Think about how much a nightmare trying to govern would be. Then think about the chaos it would bring to the population at large. Think about what this will do to the spirit of the people as a whole.

Even in governmental systems where things are more authoritarian (efficient, as the Soviets or the Chinese would prefer to call it), these policies would be difficult to enact on a larger scale. Are you going to set aside a strategic food reserve for an event that may or not come, when you need to solve practical issues this very moment?

How do you know if the policies you’re setting up is going to work against these things?

See, the world taciturnly agrees to keep the Abyssals a secret from all but those needing to shoulder the burden. Believe me, this isn’t because of author FIAT or plot armor or storytelling. Rather, in the context of Pacific at large, each of the world’s governments and their leaders came to realize this very same conclusion independently. For now, it is better to keep that knowledge bottled up. Let those that are destined (and capable) of doing so take up the mantle of defending humanity.

War will come. The recent “signs” in vol. 1 shows that it’s really more of a question of how rather than when. The rest of the world will be dragged in very soon. What reason does STEC or any other organization have in disturbing the already fragile peace?

[Mail call] 2017/02/04

Quiet day today, so I’ve got time to answer a couple of questions. Though, at this point, my backlog’s back with a vengeance. x)

“If the USSR is “resurgent,” then how bad is the Cold War in Pacific? Does the Cold War ever heat up?”

Good question, and this is one that I get more often than I’d have predicted. The answer is that it is more intense in certain areas, and less intense in certain others. Let me give you a few examples.

The USSR has excellent heavy industry. As such, US steelmakers – to take a simple example – will be facing stiff competition. The US is still a steel/iron importer in Pacific, after all, and our free market system naturally encourages businesses to purchase from the best source. Given that the war is less “cold” because of a tacit permissiveness to allow the other to co-exist, however, the competition is positive in nature, as it spurs both countries to seek better solutions.

Remember that Pacific’s USSR and US are both considerably less interventionist (albeit for different reasons), and there will be differences in the balance of power (at least in terms of state to state alignments).

As for how “bad,” well, “bad” is difficult to quantify. The USSR is doing fine and the US is doing great as of “modern” time Pacific (1990), so in that sense, whatever the Cold War might have done, it ultimately turned things out better than our own timeline.

Actual military conflicts are considerably less as well. The Korean War was much costlier to the US in Pacific’s timeline due to several factors (Abyssal interference, poor intelligence gathering, unusual decision making, luck, China, politics, and more), and the bloodiness of that conflict left a very deep impression in the psyche of America. America, as I’ve noted in the AR books, is less willing to intervene in matters that are not absolutely necessary. Military adventures such as the Bay of Pigs incident would likely not have happened, though we’ll set things in stone as we get to that point.

Part of the challenge here in terms of creating Pacific’s own timeline is that a balance is necessary. I want people to read a particular event and go, “aha, I knew that one,” and I am, first and foremost, an adherent of suspension of disbelief. Thus, it is necessary from my perspective to keep as close to our real-life timeline as possible, as it would be a disservice to this work and a purely selfish “fixit” exercise otherwise.

However, there is the matter of Abyssals. At this stage in the story, even one is a force of nature capable of upsetting fragile geopolitical balances or status quos. We aren’t taking a carbon copy of history either. So you’ll just have to watch and see. 🙂

“Do shipgirls eat?”

Do people eat?


[Mail call]2017/02/03

Hi everyone, today’ll be the first time that we start to give updates using this particular format. Now that Zero’s finally figured out automation (to weibo and twitter – though we’re testing both), I think it’d be great that the website’s going to see more use.

To our regular readers, I think I’m going to set some ground rules for these updates.

Anything in a block quote – like so – can be considered canonical. In other words, in-universe updates and answers (again, in-universe) questions will be placed in these block quotes. I’ll likely be presenting in-universe documents in this format if it’s good.

Ditto with anything in different colored text.

By default, we’ll always have one colored text for me or Sune or K9 or anyone else writing these updates. Anything else, well, it’s probably our girls having a bit of fun with the site. 

I’ll use this space to answer questions and provide comments on the whereabouts/status of the team. Anything more substantial and we’ll probably use the article format that you’re all familiar with.

So, what’s everyone up to? The answer’s making Pacific.

My attention is largely focused on tidying up 2016 at this point, since it’s not something really in our domain of expertise. That, and organizing it for electronic release is always a hassle and I think our older (in terms of following our work) readers know that.

As such, the generation of Pacific-related content (at least for the last couple of weeks) have been largely relegated to Sune and K9. There’s a lot of fun stuff involving subgirls. Some we’re almost done.

Today, though, to answer a question…

“How does the foreign officers at STEC work, exactly? If it’s super top secret, and only a handful of people at the Pentagon even know what STEC is supposed to do, then how does STEC obtain approval to get the officers to visit, exactly?”

—— — – — — — – —–, CALIFORNIA, —– —-

SUBJECT: Arrival of Soviet Military Attaché, Special Class

This is to inform you that COMMANDER (O-6), VIKTOR Z. KOVALEVSKY will be arriving on DECEMBER 21st, 1989 to SPECIAL NAVAL BASE AVALON.


CMDR. KOVALEVSKY’s LETTER OF SPECIAL ACCREDITATION is affixed to this document. Due to the special status of his visit, any and all affairs pertaining to CMDR. KOVALEVSKY is to be directed to FOREIGN DISCLOSURE BRANCH, SPECIAL TASK AND EVALUATION COMMAND, WASHINGTON DC —– —-

To answer the first question, the handful of non-American officers (Tatsuko, Viktor, Peiying, Garrett) are a part of a special military attaché program. Think of this as similar to military observers in WW1/WW2.

In Pacific, this particular program is designed (from an out of the universe perspective) after the (real) Defense Attaché programs, and the goals are largely similar. It’s to provide foreign officers crucial training and understanding of everything pertaining to shipgirls and the Abyssals.

Our keen-eyed readers may have noticed that STEC routes all of its foreign officers through its own internal program. This is intentional. Again, most of the Pentagon assumes that STEC is just the navy’s research division, but because of its nature as a “research organization,” STEC is considered to be a closed/restricted office. Access to its sites are granted on a case-by-case basis, and requires the direct approval of the president.

In other words, normal diplomats and military visitors won’t get to see STEC even if they wanted to, and the president of the US (and his staff – those that oversee STEC’s operations and act as STEC’s oversight committee) basically hands out access to STEC sites on a case-by-case basis. In most cases, the officers selected are the result of high-level talks between the leaders of their respective countries and appointed discreetly. In other cases, the officers or special visitors are recommended by STEC (e.g. Alan Turing’s appointment to special joint research project —-) and approved by the same group.

[Mail call]2017/02/01

Alright. After Zero and I spent quite a bit of time reorganizing the site, we now have a few things. Enhanced security and twitter/social media integration.

Hopefully this means we’ll be able to consolidate our updates more regularly. The navy foods series is going out. We’ve got more shipgirls on the way, and I’m working to reorganize the site so it’s easier to read our stuff.

Today’s update (photo credit) to NEIGHBORS over in Japan. That’s what a Pacific collection looks like. Unfortunately, they’re all sold out at melonbooks and Taobao, so if you want a physical copy, you’ll have to wait for our landing in Boston (yes, we’re coming back to it this year) this year.

Looking forward to adding vol. 3 to the mix this summer. 🙂

P.S. For previous update logs, click here: Updates & Works in Progress – Pacific the Forum