[Mail call] 2017/02/17 – [Contents Classified]

Commander. Since two months ago, MERLIN has steadily detected low-level activity occurring during regular intervals. These bursts of Abyssal signals occur at highly irregular intervals, but always seem to accompany the deployment of abyssal beacons. Over time, we have learned to correlate these activities with our beacon-hunting activities.

Recently, however, we have noticed that certain segments of “data” (if it can be called that) have been highly repetitive. That is to say, we’ve noticed that the signals are exact matches to signals that we have captured during prior sessions. Naturally this arose our collective curiosity, as it wasn’t long before we figured that the repetition must have something to with the destruction of the beacons in question.

We’ve always known that the beacons seem to be integral in the deployment of Abyssal forces. We knew from prior experience, including recollection from our shipgirls, that the beacons allow for the Abyssals to bring in stronger and more capable units into the war. We also knew that the Abyssals are capable of subverting the resources of the planet towards the creation of its units – the initial stages of any major incursion necessitates the creation of one or more Abyssal “fortresses,” where the Abyssal Fleet uses as a combination of headquarter and eventually, a local manufacturing base.

We now believe that the beacons also serve as some sort of logistical repository. It is my opinion that the Abyssals deploy roughly half its beacons as decoys or decoy-equivalents. These serve the ordinary function of calling in the Abyssal fleet and nothing else. The remainder with the aforementioned similarities in composition are structures of a logistical nature, where we believe the Abyssals are intentionally trying to deploy and to ensure that they remain deployed on the planet for purposes unknown.

In a recent incident, however, a beacon was deployed anomalously. Rather than its ordinary form of deployment of being hidden somewhere in the deep sea, it literally crash-landed in the Mississippi delta. The malfunctioning Abyssal object was quickly terminated, but we were able to record and observe the data that it carried, and it matched signatures that we had observed previously.

We are currently working to decipher, to the extent which we are capable of, the implications and the contents of the data carried. I’ve got a feeling that this could be something big, commander. Here’s hoping that we succeed.

latnperay nviasino lslha uoccr ta edisgnatde etmi

sprogres gilhhy fsoraitunacsty

ihghly tftirasnyasuco

alyntpear niavsino will ocurc ta desginated itme

rannitgg sepcail unit ot lla sectro omncmaders

geibn orcstnutc lymeaitdeim to eb esu for niavsoni poeasinrto

apentlary vsininao sumt cuocr at edsigatedn itme

planarety vsnaoiin stum ccour at designtaed imet

[Mail call] 2017/02/17 - [Contents Classified]

[Mail call] 2017/02/16 – New York Edition

“Hey Morgane, is New York a real character?”

Er, let me answer this with a question that I’ve received.

“It’s good to see the degree of realism you try to put into this. Too often the supporting elements aren’t mentioned at all, and people these days don’t pay enough attention to the tocroaches to realize that we make those missions happen.”

So, I think there’s one thing I do want to clear up. While we’re obviously aware of the massive efforts that goes into supporting any military operation, Pacific has fairies doing about 99% of the jobs that would typically be given to rear echelon/supporting elements.

In other words, because there are so few shipgirls available, STEC would be deploying them…

Hmm, let me give an imperfect analogy. In the same way as the USAF would deploy F-22s or B-2s strategically, STEC basically treats the shipgirls in the same way. After all, having superpowers is pretty handy for doing a lot of stuff that’s not just fighting the Abyssals.

That being said, however, at some point, someone has to ask: what sort of things should a shipgirl be used for? That’s where someone like New York comes in. I’ve said elsewhere that she works as part of STEC’s legal department, and have joked that yes, a New Yorker is in charge of assessing STEC’s ethics. However, New York would actually be a fairly good fit for this role, particularly because she’s wary of almost everything.

Or, to put it this way, New York doesn’t quite think that humanity is largely ready to accept the reality that it lives in yet. In the same way as she’s supportive of suppressing all information pertaining to the Abyssals, she’s generally of the opinion that the less chances shipgirls are exposed to the public, the better for everyone (whether it’s national security or STEC’s operational security) as a whole.

So, suppose a disaster like, say, the 1971 LA earthquake happen. Should STEC send shipgirls to help with the relief effort? New York would say no – patrolling the waters to ensure no Abyssal intrusion occurs is far more important. She would argue that the current facilities and resources of the US government should more than adequately meet the disaster. Failures to do so is a failure on the part of government, and not necessarily on STEC or other organizations.

Governor, let me be perfectly clear here. STEC assets are reserved for counter-abyssal operations. It isn’t something you can just “call in” to salvage your own failures in governance.

What about the people? Well. What about them? Look here. See this? My girls just got rid of this that was roaming a few hundred miles off of the coasts of your state four days ago. You want to know what happens when that thing gets to people?

You’ve read the briefings. Good. For homework, here’s the footage again. I want you to remember just exactly what it is that we’re dealing with –

Oh, you had no idea. Of course you didn’t. Most of you don’t. Now get out of my office, governor. That snow’s not going to clear itself.

By the way. Intel division is two doors to the right if what you saw was too much. Go on.

… Now, let’s say we have impetuous shipgirls that decide to go, screw it, I’m gonna go help. Is she actually going to stamp her foot down and stop them? Most likely no. Not without good reason.

This perhaps is the singularly most paradoxical thing about New York. She likes creating (and refining) rules and regulations, but she herself doesn’t seem to pay too much heed to the particular letter of the rule so long as the spirit is followed. As much as she’s a hardliner outwardly, you could say that she’s got a sort of … greasy flexibility that makes her good on the negotiating table.

And, as a last thought, like any good negotiator, New York keeps people guessing. She’d be easier to deal with if you know what her bottom line is, but good luck figuring that out. 🙂

See you next time.

[Mail call] 2017/02/15

“Is there any particular historical reason for certain of the girls having moles, or just Jeanex’s whims?”

On Iowa & Pacific Shipgirls

I commented on this earlier and much of the design concepts here stand true even to today.

Beauty spots themselves are a little hard to explain, since in different cultures there are different views on what the beauty spot itself symbolizes. In general, though, beauty spots are meant to emphasize a particular “personality.”

Okie’s, specifically, is meant to emphasize “sorrow” – we talked about this in vol. 1, where we just sat down and looked at the history of the USS Oklahoma, and went, man, that’s really unlucky.

Iowa, well, I think we all just wanted to make her a quiet beauty. Again, see the above post for a better explanation for the thoughts that went into Iowa’s design. We think of far more than just the ship, but also the state and the symbolism and everything else that might be associated with a particular shipgirl.

As for Yorktown? That’s a draft. If we do give her a beauty mark, it’d be to distinguish her personality from Hornet and Enterprise. 🙂

“Or, for that matter, girls with half updos and big hair ribbons, like Missouri, Wisconsin, Phoenix and WeeVee?”

Think about it from a girl’s perspective (not saying that November thinks like this – since I do it for him xD), why would you wear a big ribbon in your hair?

Well, you could say that it’s because it’s cute. What do you think of a ribbon, or rather, who wears ribbons in their hairs? Schoolgirls. Cheerleaders. Generally “youthful” or “vigorous” characters.

Or maybe you wear it because it’s a fairly simple way of displaying femininity. We’ve got a couple of tomboyish characters up even in that list, but again, I do want to re-emphasize that they’re young women, first and foremost.

These are just examples of two reasons (both in and out of universe) that contribute to the design of each character. We’re in the business here of making shipgirls, after all.

[Mail call] 2017/02/12 (On fairy expertise)

(I’m actually going to probably start adding subtitles to our updates. That way, you can know what it is that we’re talking about today.)

“Being able to swap out equipment is something that can be done in the game as well and it makes me wonder if there are any limits about what a shipgirl in Pacific can carry into battle. Would it be possible for the girls to outright switch riggings? Not just between sisterships or designs with historically interchangable/similar parts, like K9’s submarine example near the top of this page, but between classes or even something like a CA girl carrying BB equipment? Could those hardpoints attach multiple equipment types that aren’t historically accurate, like a South Dakota with 16’/50s or a Pensacola running around with nothing but triple turrets vs. the 2 triple 2 double configuration it had in real life?”

K9’s comments in navy.

Theoretically? Yes, the girls could outright switch riggings. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be effective in using that equipment. The girls all stick to their own equipment because that’s what they know how to use and it’s what they prefer.

Could San Francisco use Pennsy’s guns? Yes. But San Francisco’s going to be a terrible shot with them, and she’ll probably be sluggish with them too. She’s just much more combat effective using her own equipment.

Now, to answer your questions about the equipment types that aren’t historically accurate, again, it’s technically possible, but the girls just aren’t used to using them. With enough training they could probably pull it off, but the girls are perfectly happy with their current configurations, and the time it would take to re-train them to proficiency probably wouldn’t be worth it.

Why is this? Some people in STEC think it’s that the girls have some sort of biological affinity to their equipment. Others think that it’s a matter of fairy efficiency. Tell a fairy that’s used to firing 8” guns to suddently go shoot a 16”, and you can see how there’ll be trouble.

The one exception I can think of are aircraft. If there were enough wildcats even Langley could use them. If new aircraft are developed, the carrier girls can use them no issue. It’s really a matter of fairy proficiency.

Before you ask, Giving Enterprise a bunch of Zeros is possible but a horrible idea. You run into doctrinal conflicts.

Right. The reason why I bring this up again, is I’d like to take some time to talk about equipment operations. You see, while shipgirls are vital to the operations of any anti-Abyssal mission, what’s really important is whether or not the shipgirls are adequately supported by her fairies (and of course, the commander and the organization).

If you look at the designs of our shipgirls, you’ll notice that a lot of the equipment looks like they could be manually operated. This is intentional, but I do want to remind you that something like a shipgirl’s “smokestack” is actually a fairly high-tech piece of equipment. I’ve described them as something akin to a personal jetpack, and there are a lot of fairies inside operating the thing. One of these days we’ll probably sketch one to show you what it looks like. The thing is, a shipgirl can in theory operate these things entirely on her own. But, it’s much easier if she has a dedicated crew of fairies that are designed to do just that.

As we’ve mentioned. Fairies are difficult to communicate with. However, it’s easy to predict the sort of thing a particular “crew” of fairies would do based on, well, their historical counterparts. Take O’bannon, for instance. It’s been consistently observed that her fairies will bring her “power unit” to approximately 1/3rd of her top speed. After she’s reached this “cruising speed,” the power unit’s internal temperatures rise, and in this state, her equipment can ease itself towards her maximum speed, as well as a “supercharge” state where her equipment provides her with an absurd burst of speed.

This is actually fairly standard for all shipgirl equipment, but for the US girls, an important point is that there appears to be very strong standardization, and there’s nearly no loss in expertise (as far as this example goes) within the different fairy crews. In other words, if you picked up a burner-fairy from Maury and make it work on O’bannon’s power unit, it’ll probably fit right at home after some initial confusion.

You really can’t do this with say, a burner-fairy from say, a Japanese or British DD girl. It’d take them a lot longer to acclimate to their new surroundings, and the last thing you want is confused fairies running about and not knowing what to do. 🙂