Lens of History (51): The Pacific Conference

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: Tautog
Format: Special – Transcribed Record, Class [classified]
Object: Audio Transcript of Event no. [classified]
Location (if known): STEC Archives
Time (if known): [Classified – item declassification pending]

Curator’s note: While no longer encompassing solely the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Conference was, and still is, one of STEC’s oldest diplomatic conferences. Designed to place STEC in regular contact with the other anti-Abyssal shipgirl agencies, the Pacific Conference requests that participating countries appoint one shipgirl and one officer as their representative in lieu of a diplomatic team. While the respective national authorities – civilian, military, and anti-Abyssal – are invited to observe, it is tradition for there to be no “intervention” on their part. Discussion and negotiation is relegated fully to the individuals participating, The moderately frequent instances of agreement or consensus-reaching is generally viewed by the shipgirl organization as an informal diplomatic agreement, and often provides the basis for more binding resolutions down the line. 

Naturally, STEC and other shipgirl organizations views these conferences as a prime opportunity to build leadership experience in promising candidates. For STEC specifically, it is customary for the appointees to receive a list of questions by the observing entities as a part of feedback. 

In the excerpt below, the observing entities range from STEC to various US governmental institutions/personnel. As it is customary for STEC, the identities of the questioners are scrambled using thematically appropriate codenames to minimize any undue influence on the responder’s part.

Pacific Conference No. [Classified]
Date: 198[Classified]
Location: [Classified], TX.
In Attendance:
USA – YIN; SS199
JPN – YOSHIDA; CA(39B.k)-1

CAMELOT: Given her history with us, I’m surprised that Asahi presented had such a hardline stance on the Kurils. Any thoughts?
A: Based on our private communication with the NHK, we believe her reactions to be intentional as the NHK reported more than the normal number of observers. Admiral Yoshida has already indicated his willingness to contribute to our bridging efforts, and so we should expect to see some diplomatic defrosting in the coming days. 

CAMELOT: Any thoughts on the challenges involved with the Germans?
A: Like the other officers, Schulz we found to be affable and easy to reach mutual understanding. Bismarck has historically been difficult to negotiate with, and my opinion is that we should have presented the propositions to her first rather than Schulz.
A: Next time we listen to Jer and order desserts before the meal. That ought to help with her mood. 

EAGLE: Do I have to give the Russians a call to have them call Mitterrand (laughs)? I gotta say, this is the first time I’ve seen the French show up to this thing. Very entertaining. Are they always this difficult?
A: Tautog and I did not find them to be more or less difficult than other French representatives. 
A: I can understand France’s reluctance to commit more shipgirls to the Mediterranean, but considering the pressures on RN-STEC over the Atlantic as a whole, I personally think this is more out of personal/cultural animosity than any practical reason. 

CAMELOT: Speaking of the Russians, do you view the proposed limit escalation/de-escalation in the north to be productive towards our global defense efforts? 
A: I was very satisfied with how this topic was resolved. ARC and us both thought something might be going on with Alaska, and it’s nice to hear from Admiral Markov that this was indeed a “better safe than sorry” scenario. Soviet forces are far less mobile than ours, and the idea that we shift more of our girls to other areas since they’re up north at least for the next two months is a reasonable proposition. 

DOVE: How do you interpret China’s … voluntary contributions. Suggestions of contributing, contribution, rather.
A: We currently have no opinion other than taking their suggestions at face value with all due caution. 
A: I anticipate the NKT may have some choice complaints to lodge with us, and I agree with Mike’s take. If we agree to their suggestion too quickly, we risk losing much of the progress we’ve already made with the NKT. 

EAGLE: Doesn’t the Japanese girls kind of run around on their own anyways? Not complaining, just commenting. 
A: Chaos and disorganization are enemies no less capable than the Abyssals themselves. 

CAMELOT: Question for Tautog specifically, since you obviously have first-hand expertise. The English delegation mentioned that unusual underwater construct they found several weeks prior, but we were expecting a lot more … noise? What’s our official position on that?
A: I was with the girls that found the “construct.” We currently think it’s not an “underwater” construct, but a fragment of something larger that became active for some yet to be determined reason. Preliminary analysis indicate that it is emitting the same general pattern of energy as the Core of Naval Base Avalon, so…
A: We’ve reached out to RN-STEC for formal permission to investigate – an advance team has already been dispatched. 

DOVE: Hi, thanks for that. I’d expect that to be a hot topic of discussion. Do you think there’s any reason for not really bringing it up?
A: I don’t like to think that our allies have ulterior motives, so, no.
A: Tautog said what I’d like to say. 

CAMELOT: Had the English asked about whether or not we knew more about this, would you have said anything?
A: We have a clear policy of data and intel-sharing with RN-STEC, so I assumed that their folks would know better than to ask about something sensitive like that in an open diplomatic conference. Had they brought it up I’d have probably deferred.
A: Sheesh, asking Mike all the tough questions today, huh? 

EAGLE: This the prospective base core report thing you science boys & girls sent me last week? 
A: That is correct.

EAGLE: Yeah, now I’m curious and gonna ask the same question STEC is. Do you think the Brits know? 
A: They should by this point. 
A: I don’t want to be the debbie-downer, but we frequently identify these sort of fragments in our routine underwater sorties. Most of the time we bring specialized fairy teams with us to recover them to be recycled into resources back home here on Avalon. It’s possible this’ll just turn into the latest pile of scrap-metal for the Aviation Division’s prototyping.

CAMELOT: Same question as always. What do you think we should prioritize in the next conference?
A: I think given the potential conflict between Japan and the USSR spilling into the conventional domain, we’d still like to focus on de-escalating the confrontational nature of the discussion. 
A: We made some headway this time, but both sides have relayed the intent to maintain a heavy military presence in the area. This is naturally of concern. 

EAGLE: Same question as always from me as well. Do you feel like we got a good deal out of it?
A: I’ll let Mike answer that.
A: The Pacific Conference isn’t the place to reach formal diplomatic agreements. That being said, of the only situation we are directly involved in, I’d say it was expected. The major concession we offered was a pre-agreed upon redeployment of some of our shipgirl forces to the northern hemisphere, and the major concession we received included permission for us to assess ARC equipment in its natural environment. These were both known to our parties beforehand, so I think we walked away with more or less what’s expected.

CAMELOT: Tautog, do you still want to go with Admiral Yin to next month’s event?
A: Yes! Barring emergencies, yes please. 

CAMELOT: Do either of you have a suggested appointee alternative in event of extraordinary circumstances?
A: Mike and I had already submitted our list yesterday.
A: Maury is coming off of rotation, and given her experience we think it’s suitable for STEC to send one of the younger officer candidates should Tautog and I be unavailable. 

EAGLE: Do you two still want Texas?
A: Mike?
A: We’re … sure? (Laughs) I mean, no objections here.