Lens of History (56): Field Assessment

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

Editor’s Note: Sometimes I wonder why we still mask the record to the general public when anyone with half a brain can probably figure out the who, what, when, and where…

Good job, tadpoles! Ya did good. Good enough that this is your debriefing instruction rather than the usual, and I’m gonna make it quick since I’ve got better things to do than to yammer at a bunch of newbies.

Don’t get complacent. 

Don’t assume.

Never, and I repeat, never make the assumption that you should do anything other than instructing your command to kill the Abyssal in your orders with all due haste.

Doesn’t matter if it’s just a few scouts.

Doesn’t matter if the collective weight of STEC is sitting right behind you.

Just don’t do it! Shoot first and ask questions later.

Ya did good. Like I said, I don’t typically give this talk to others on their first “real” independent command. Good, in the sense that you did everything you were taught to do, and improvised on bits that you weren’t. You pulled off the “standard” anti-Abyssal run, where we went in and got out exactly as planned. 

And that’s why I gotta drill this into your head NOW while it’s still fresh. 

You’ve just had your first taste of leadership and more importantly, success based on your leadership. That feeling of accomplishment? It’s almost drug-like. Most people feel something. Some gets heady and their heads barge straight to the clouds. 

It’s this feeling of success that’ll make you think, I’m gonna be a great STEC commander, yeah? What else can I do? For me & my personal glory, for STEC as a whole, for the success of the Abyssal War, for humanity!


You get cocky. You start to think you’re a natural. You start believing in the stuff Propaganda’s cranking out. 

I ain’t Jer and I don’t read minds. Ya think what ya want, but you’re gonna get an earful from me and more if I see any order other than one that’s optimally designed to carry out your task of KILLING THE ABYSSAL and WINNING THIS WAR.

You’re up to date with R&D and want to give ’em a hand? Ya let R&D work with the observation teams and dedicated R&D combat units. DON’T order your girls to reduce rate of fire ostensibly to see if the new ammo work better. NEVER order your girls to take counter-fire just to assess the efficiency of the newest whatever they’re spitting out. Don’t cave to your girls’ demand of CQC or melee just because they’re bored of shooting at range. Don’t order your girls into CQC just because you’re bored of seeing them shoot at range. 

We all said on your first day here that this track’s the hardest one we’ve got. That’s the nature of the job, and the job’s self-selecting constantly for the best person to get the job done. I’m gonna explain why you’re gonna feel the urge to do all of that I just said. You’re the newly minted amateur now batting at the big leagues. This is “it.” This is the actual frontline with all the proverbial marbles at stake. 

You’re either full of hot air and overconfident, or struggling with a stunning case of imposter syndrome right now. It doesn’t matter to me, because both attitudes’ll lead to you striving to prove yourself. You know the numbers and know how intensely competitive this thing is – the number of commanders STEC’s promoted into permanent roles versus the number of candidates who’s on the track, I know. I know you know. Good. 

Do your job. 

Your job is to direct combat and destroy the Abyssals. You do a good enough job and we see where things go from there. You don’t and we find something you’re more suitable for. 

My job is to make sure you’re the right man for the job. I am tough but I am fair. Emotions often run amok, we’re all mortal, and I consider this a solid effort on my part to raise your awareness of what may or not be something to watch for. 

We clear?