[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?

Yes.

[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?”

SPECIAL TASK AND EVALUATION COMMAND
FOREIGN LIAISON DIRECTORATE
—— — – — — — – —–, 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 AUTHORIZATION OF FOREIGN MILITARY OFFICER (CLASS 1) is attached.

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