Lens of History (8)

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: New York
Format: Textual Record
Object: Personal communications of  Admiral                      (ret.)
Original Language: Japanese
Location (if known): Koyu County, Miyazaki prefecture
Time (if known): Written in 1966

My dearest daughter,

We are not ready. The plan the General Headquarters want to implement is absolute lunacy. Japan has yet to recover from the devastation twenty years ago. We were driven to bankruptcy and ruin funding the Great East-Asian War. To do so again and try is madness, yet no one speaks out.

It was necessary for them to silence me, my daughter. Please understand this. As much as we disagree, they, too, want what is best for our country. They simply could not risk having me speak or leak our plans to the Americans, and in doing so I tell you, they will cause another war – a war that we could not win at the height of our strength, much less now, a shadow of our former self.

I lead the study that gauged our nation’s preparedness in case of total war. It took four months to collect the data; three days to analyze it all.

Food alone should be concern enough. Production of critical foodstuffs fall short of expected and far short of what would be sufficient. Yields have fallen to pre-war levels. Production is stagnant and trending downward. Less than ten percent of the people have adequate levels of stored food. thirty-five percent has a liter or less of stored rice. The rest have no stored food at all.

The people are starving. Ask yourself how can we implement further rationing when food is already rationed. Kind as it is for the Americans to help, these monsters come from the seas! What will happen when they choke off Japan’s link to the rest of the world? Will America send convoy after convoy to their death so a former enemy could be fed? Suppose there are honorable men enough to do this, and I do believe there are, do you honestly think they can sustain their effort for long? They attack globally after all.

Food is the first concern, energy the second. The corporations has been falsifying their reports. Power production rates at only thirty or less of reported levels in eighteen prefectures, fifty percent in twenty-seven, eighty percent in three. Only Niigata, Osaka, and Wakayama are adequate, and the status of current infrastructure requires immediate attention. Fuel reserves are low to non-existent. At this rate we will ran out of oil before a single warship could be built.

Our currency reserves are dry. Even if our coffers are full, rice and oil are not all that we need to purchase. Where are we to find the raw reserves of steel, rubber, aluminum, lead, tungsten, chromium, and countless other materials? From whom can we purchase fertilizer or textiles or antibiotics?

The efforts to reach self-reliance has failed. Yet we now clamor for additional weapons of war! Can you eat an aeroplane or a submarine or a missile? Can you burn a tank for warmth or wear a semi-automatic rifle? 

I will not stand for this madness. Not any longer. This old man has lived a long life. The spirit of the navy is such that we are victorious or we die trying our best. I will deliver this report – to His Majesty if necessary.

Note: this letter is a part of personal collection 440619200619. A number of fragmentary pages are grouped with the letter, strongly suggesting that this was the final written missive within the collection.

From Action Report #1: The History of STEC (7)

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: Classified
Format: Message, Personal
Object: Correspondence to Harry S. Truman, from Walter B. Smith
Location (if known): Unknown
Time (if known): Unmarked.

Mr. President,

Please see attached comments in regards to recent proposal submitted by USNSTEC.

I. I concur with the proposal regarding establishing core research facilities as part of USNSTEC strategic objective.

II. To answer the feasibility question, yes. Operational costs are not of concern given the prospective nature of threat. However even with proposed enlargement of recruitment efforts OSI simply will not have enough personnel to realistically supply USNSTEC with requisite talent. Ms. Iowa’s weaponry borders that of fables and the difference between it and our current scientific understanding of it is akin to the difference between a stone axe and an aircraft carrier. Further understanding of basic scientific principles is necessary and a breakthrough may take decades if not longer.

I am overstepping my bounds by commenting on this, Mr. President, but if this threat is global in nature we may wish to contemplate discussing the matter with our friends. Loathe I am to make the recommendation, perhaps former friends, fairweather friends, and possibly foes across the Atlantic & Pacific may be worth taking into consideration as well.

III. I have already reassigned as many personnel within my agency as we can towards the appropriate objectives. I am concerned, however, that this is a futile endeavor. We are fundamentally limited by the ability of our operatives to obtain intel in a timely manner. If the ABYSSAL is empowered by destruction, then I fear we may already be too late by the time we obtain news from our ocean watchers. Ms. Iowa is faster than anything in our arsenal, but even she cannot hope to stem the tide of terror and chaos that would surely strike the globe.

IV. I concur with the strategic impetus of maintaining secrecy. The enemy is aware of our actions, but if it assumes that Ms. Iowa is acting independently as they expect, then it will act accordingly. It is my opinion that we play along for as long as possible. Ms. Iowa will be able to buy us time assuming their goal will be to strike her down. That is only sensible, and it is why (on a personal note) I remain firmly opposed to committing her to combat unless we have no choice in the matter.

V. For full details please see attached. In short, my proposal consists of minimizing the utilization and application of our conventional military forces in favor of adopting our unconventional strengths. As you are aware, Mr. President, while I am not opposed to current proposals of aerial recon via strategic bombers or CV air-groups as submitted, it will almost certainly result in diplomatic tensions. The Soviets aren’t blind and they will know we are looking for something, and they can use this as a pretext to carry out their own objectives and influence the globe.

Commercial flights are at an all-time high and will only increase in the coming decades. I can and will place a man on every flight coming in or out of the country if necessary, but with Ms. Iowa’s tiny friends even that may not be needed. In attached please find schematic for observational device prototype used to house our miniature allies on trans-oceanic flights. No one will bat an eye if a handful of wealthy customers submits an extra luggage for check-in, and our military can always fill in the rest of the gaps as necessary.

Walter Bedell Smith
Office of the Director
Central Intelligence Agency

STEC Archives, Print Document Division

Curator signature: Classified
Format: Message, Personal
Object: Correspondence to Walter B. Smith, from Harry S. Truman
Location (if known): Unknown
Time (if known): Unmarked.

Dear Bedel,

Thank you for your excellent and timely commentary as always. I have been reading the proposals and like very much No.6 (the one involving aquatic critters). I have never been one for pets but the comforting thought of having a sea full of friendly eyes freely roaming about gives me much thought and optimism for the future.

You and our other co-conspirators have our unflinching support. Please proceed as proposed.

God bless.

Harry S. Truman


STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: Classified
Format: Historical Artifact
Object: Internal Bulletin, United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Location (if known): Recovered from wall-board #14, USFWS, Woods Hole Station
Time (if known): Unmarked.


The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency just asked for up to 200,000 aquatic creatures of various sizes, “preferably big enough to strap a moderately sized box on.”


[Curator’s note: For this particular bulletin, “Two hundred thousand” appears to have been heavily scratched in with a very blunt pencil, jabbed repeatedly with small, sharp objects, and had been repeatedly underlined for emphasis.]

Boys, I repeat, this is no joke. You can see the executive order attached.

200,000. 200,000.



[Curator’s note: penned in a different hand.]



STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: Classified
Format: Message, Personal
Object: Correspondence to [Classified], from Walter B. Smith
Location (if known): Field Office #21, Central Intelligence Agency
Time (if known): Unmarked.


Tell your staff to do what they can with the giant crabs. I am personally not averse to crab cakes for the next four years but I expect we can probably recoup operational costs if we just funnel it back to the civilian markets. In either case I’m giving him a call tomorrow. With any luck maybe he’ll finally see how nutty the whole idea is – we’ve had an unprecedented string of failures for the last four months!

And get rid of that damn Manta already.

Lucky for the USFWS, the CIA was never able to seriously make headway with proposal no. 6, where some enterprising young associate director proposed to place fairies in waterproof boxes and strap them to captured sea creatures as a “passive” search strategy against the abyssal fleet. While the proposal was deemed a complete failure, a substantial (some would say excessive) amount of insight was gained in aquatic biology and would eventually contribute to the foundation of organizations such as the NMMP.

Insofar as this particular tale ends, the ending was a rather mundane one. America settled on the conventional (albeit boring) strategy of applying recon sweeps, mostly from the Strategic Air Command. For several years, special units of USAF heavy bombers swept over the world’s oceans as civilian research ships – built in increasingly large quantities – prowled the world’s oceans. Only a handful of those involved knew that their missions of observation and discovery carried an additional purpose: to watch vigilantly for any signs of the Abyssal threat.

The early days of STEC may seem a little strange to our modern day sensibilities. On one hand, it built a solid foundation of theoretical and applied knowledge, and helped to create a deep pool of talent (as well as the capacity to create that talent) that America would find herself drawing upon again and again. Yet, at the same time, some of the most outrageous ideas also arose from that transitional time period. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that despite all of its failures, in the end, STEC was able to meet most of its strategic objectives. It, like the rest of humanity, did what humans do, which is to fail and fail until it finally finds success.

From Action Report #1: The History of STEC (6)

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: Shaw
Format: Message, Personal
Object: Telegram #119 from Dr. Herbert L. Pugh, Surgeon General of the United States Navy
Location (if known): Unknown
Time (if known): Unmarked.

Dear Commodore Wallace,

Please allow me the opportunity to preface this note with my abject incredulity. I have just spent the last four days pouring over every detail of your report, and your proposed solution is outlandish, unscientific, unhinged, and unbecoming of something coming out of the office of a United States Navy officer. 

You are forgiven for having exactly zero knowledge of military medicine. Military medicine is a well-conceived, well advised, and well established device, system, or mechanism. Our mission, which is to provide the Armed Services with a quality or brand of medical coverage that is essential to the proper and efficient function of the military, is critical to the best interests of the individual and of the national welfare. To that end we must not only be scientific, but we must cautiously and yet paradoxically push fearlessly our own boundaries so that we may remain vigilant against all threats, the greatest of which is that task you were assigned on. 

Bless your heart, Conrad, but fairies? Fairies!?! Little humans that “appear and disappear at will?” Nearly two whole years on the task and your best answer is put precious research dollars, raised by the citizenry, towards understanding “fairies?” I have half a mind to phone Nimitz and put in a strongly worded recommendation for your retirement. 

With warmest regards,

Dr. H. Lamont Pugh

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: Shaw
Format: Message, Personal
Object: Telegram #120 from Dr. Herbert L. Pugh, Surgeon General of the United States Navy
Location (if known): Unknown
Time (if known): Unmarked


Ignore previous telegram. Fry me in butter and call me a catfish, the fairies are real after all. Proceed as initially reported. 

An extraordinary problem often requires an extraordinary solution.

Sometimes, however, the extraordinary solution ended up being something quite unremarkable. This was one of them. Anticlimactically, the solution to the abyssal affliction ended up being not a chemical or a particular treatment protocol, but in literal, casual interactions with the shipgirl and her fairies.

There was – initially, at least – significant amounts of dissent coming out of STEC’s own research staff, many of whom felt that the conclusion was a let-down. Arguments to end STEC’s research division (not necessarily Iowa herself) were numerous, with most grounded in near-fatalist reasoning. Why bother with anything, some argued, if the shipgirls themselves provided all the solutions to the problems? After everything modern medicine has tried, the fact that some tiny magical critter could literally wave its hand and make the problem go away is a rejection of everything that humanity is capable of. Give Iowa and her fairies a nice place to live, keep her happy, and call it a day. Why waste mortal resources on something that the immortal would take care of anyways?

The answer to that question is fundamentally one of a personal nature. When faced with the supernatural, the unknowable, or simply something it doesn’t understand, humanity tends to fall into two mindsets. Most of the time, it becomes passive. Fueled by pride and ignorance in equal parts, when the human mind becomes accepting – and eventually, reliant – on answers outside of its control, the end result is nothing short of learned helplessness.

Sometimes,hopelessness and apathy are just as deadly as guns or teeth.

Yet there is a distinctive alternative. When the mind chooses to look into the unknown and acknowledge – clearly, concisely, with humility – of its own limitations in its current understanding, it rejects the paradigm that was laid out for it. By taking matters into its own hands, it is by definition taking the first step of a journey (mentally or otherwise) onto the unknown path, which humanity is trained – subconsciously or otherwise – to fear and avoid.

Yes, so the fairies offer a cure. Why? How? Is there a way to improve upon the method? How can the fairies be studied? Is this applicable to any other area? In what way can this be used to better understand something – medicine, psychology, perhaps ultimate questions pertaining to humanity itself?

None of these questions have easy answers. Some may never be answered. Yet such questions are hardly foolhardy or a waste of precious resources. Each solution uncovered burns away at the aura of invincibility, incomprehensibility, or inevitability that previously blocked progress. Each question asked a declaration of war against predestined downfall. Even solutions that fail result in progress of an alternative kind. After all, the rate of success through inactivity caps out and ends at zero.

There will always be those who believe that humanity is doomed from the onset. Yet there are also others who believe that alone, together, or with divinely inspired aid, humanity can overcome its tendencies towards stagnation and move towards a better future.

It may take some courage or willpower or hardwork, but it can be done – if there is a will for it. As history would show, STEC would not be the only ones to choose to fight, but they were, as some would proudly say, some of the first.

From Action Report #1: The History of STEC (5)


STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: [Classified]
Format: Photograph, personal
Object: Personal photograph identified as belonging to Iowa, Object #[Classified]
Location (if known): [Classified]
Time (if known): [Classified]

Mo, got your note, thanks a whole lot. It sure has made me feel a lot better about what we’ve got to do, and what we ought to do next. Don’t be sorry about how the photo turned out, since you know, that’s just me. I’m no good at smiling. 

Do you remember that? Last Christmas, the dresses you got for all four of us? I really like it. “The four seasons.” Haven’t had a chance to wear it yet, you know, but I bet it’ll look real nice if I ever find the right occasion for it. Now, I know Jer’s argued plenty about symbolism and color-coordination and personality and whatnots, but I thought you did good with the colors and the ideas.  Jer’s Jer. You know her. She’ll stand and argue for her point ’til the cows literally come home. But she means well all the same, too. I saw her hang that rather proudly in her spring wardrobe. “Seasonally appropriate.” 

Hey, next time we’re all here, we’ll ought to get another one. I bet Wisky’d love taking one, and I betcha we’ll get a good shot of Louie next time. It’ll come out real nice, I promise. 

Thinking of you & with lots of love,