Lens of History (13)

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: [Unknown]
Format: Textual Record
Object: Excerpt from defunct document collection “Preparedness in the Abyssal War”
Location (if known): STEC Archives
Time (if known): 1988

Note pinned to the document as below.

Okay. First things first. The Mark 52 isn’t even in production YET. Cusk barely got the prototype working as of a week ago. This isn’t quite the same as upgrades on your six inchers where if the fairies come up with a new formulation we can test it and bam, it’s in production in a day.

Secondly. we are NOT going to send out conventional forces on these missions until we have the Mark 52 and the Mark 53 READY and more importantly, our men TRAINED to use them. I understand you’re cooped up and bored but please put your literary talents to the dozens of writing projects we have on hand.

Thirdly. Couple of problems I have with the draft memo.

  1. Pick a less threatening Abyssal for the cover please. Use one of the scouts and save the cruiser for the identification guide. I have zero issues with us being transparent but showing a kilometer-long monster is not going to help with morale at all.
  2. Don’t sugarcoat things. We have on record one example of a submarine fighting an Abyssal and spoilers: the submarine’s torpedoes couldn’t penetrate the barrier, much less the armored skin. Let’assume that the Mark 53 works as we intend it. That means our SSNs have maybe 25 or so torpedo-tube launched weapons. They’re slower, far more vulnerable, and carries a lot less firepower than anything but the smallest Abyssals. Attacking with utmost vigor is fine. Maximum success is really stretching it.

I’d revise. Also this dossier should not go out until we complete the identification guide.


I thought I’d start drafting that report you said we were going to submit. How does this look?


Much has been said about the Abyssal Fleet. They are a terrifying opponent. They possess technological marvels. They are unrestricted by the rules of war. Their numbers are limitless and they can appear anywhere.

Not all of these are true. The Abyssals are not invincible. They can be killed. Their numbers are significant, but they are not limitless. They do seem to be able to appear anywhere, but the truth is that they rely on an extremely vulnerable network of underwater “nodes.” Without these nodes they cannot bring in powerful reinforcements. Without these reinforcements they cannot hope to overcome our forces on the open sea. 

In its current phase, our war is a war strictly of distances. We create distance by destroying these nodes wherever possible. This task is rendered difficult due to the presence of one or more Abyssal unit within its immediate vicinity. Our goal is to approach each target with utmost stealth, and attack at a safe distance.

Towards this purpose the Special Test and Evaluation Command has created a unique torpedo with a range of approximately 150 nm specifically designed for this mission. It is scheduled to be deployed within three months. 

Until then, we are to carry out our missions as directed. While our primary target is the destruction of stationary targets, any Abyssal units nearby are targets of opportunity and should be attacked with utmost vigor in order to ensure maximum success.