Lens of History (61): Long-term Investment

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: Jer
Format:  Print Media – DECLASSIFIED under [REDACTED], [REDACTED]
Special Documents Division – [REDACTED]
Prepared for Exhibit no. 92 (“Towards the End: Strategic Implementation of Anti-Abyssal Warfare”)
Time (if known): [Classified – Pre-War]

Editor’s Note: Imagine yourself one of STEC’s leadership in this organization’s earliest days. The budding program is yielding considerable fruit. Shipgirls are appearing consistently, arms are slowly stockpiled, old international rivalries are being healed, there is something of a dedicated R&D program going, and most importantly – the individual Abyssal attacks appear to be kept in check. 

Eyewitness recollections and your own research, however, indicate that the worst is yet to come. The Abyssal main force is not yet here, or else the Abyssals haven’t made a commitment to complete their attack yet.

What is your strategic vision going forward? Enclosed in this exhibit are a smattering of materials, plans, and suggestions. Some you are no doubt already familiar with, but others, perhaps less so.

We invite you to contemplate the choices faced by STEC leadership in its early days, as we begin an exploratory journey towards understanding the groundwork that was laid in preparation for the Abyssal War.

Series A – “Adaptation”

Ease of implementation: Easy
Risk to reward ratio: Low
Practical investment: Moderate
Theoretical investment: Moderate
Time to effect: Fast

Research projects in this area is centered around one school of thought – the idea that the Abyssals are a reoccurring, permanent threat. In other words, it is currently beyond humanity’s technological capacity to limit their at-will incursions into our world. The school of thought draws its philosophy from what appeared then to be self-evident. While shipgirls and fairies have miraculously appeared to save humanity on the brink of destruction, they have little idea as to how the Abyssals can be stopped. This seems to lend credence to the idea that perhaps the Abyssals are some kind of naturally occurring destructive entity no different than plague or disease – and the best way to fight it is by transforming humanity into something that is meant to address it, while adhering to STEC’s overall goal of not disrupting civilization at large.

Projects in this specific school of thought tend to aim itself towards addressing the basic of daily life, from consumer goods to atmospheric purification. As the overall purpose is to ensure humanity’s survival, special attention is placed on equipment designed to expand humanity’s accessibility to different habitats, up to and including the prospect of space colonization. 

Signature Project: Many of STEC’s vehicles and aircraft can trace its blueprints to Series A. For the audience at large, the limited-time complimentary “Battlecry” brand chocolate bar that came with the free ticket in your hand right now is an easy (and edible!) example.

Editor’s note: Should we really include this portion in the exhibit? Wouldn’t it be cooler to provide those paper models of our gear which was well received by the public?

Yes. Someone hit the wrong button on the fabricator and we have an extra 200,000 bars by latest estimate. I’d rather not just trash the stuff if we can find a use for it.

Series D – “Diversion”

Ease of implementation: Difficult
Risk to reward ratio: Moderate
Practical investment: Low
Theoretical investment: Very high
Time to effect: Moderate

Research projects in this area has historically received great attention, in particular because the Abyssals appear to be incapable of certain types of behaviors or actions. While the possibility of a carefully crafted feint was always present, STEC soon realized that the Abyssals themselves are limited – just as humanity is limited by our biological status – by their own material composition and thus, “technological” limitations.

One such example is the fact that while Abyssals are naturally drawn to densely populated regions, they will prioritize shipgirls above anything else, even if such prioritization is suboptimal in the context of their “military” operations. STEC soon identified this trait and begun to incorporate it into counter-Abyssal doctrine. In response, the Abyssals begun deploying units with the ability to suppress this “instinct,” and even attempted to modularize units with the aforementioned function “baked in.” The “Abyssal Disruptor” that arose from STEC’s encounter with these units and these modularized units did not see much combat due to the abrupt and rather cinematic conclusion of the Abyssal War, but this sort of head-to-head “arms race” is exactly how proponents here envision their role: staying ahead of the Abyssal threat.

While the exact status or definition of an Abyssal being living or machine is still one of semantics and academic discussion, STEC’s oldest research division has consistently championed the ideas envisioned here. Whether or not the Abyssals can be eradicated is an agnostic matter; what is important is whether or not they can be manipulated or else disrupted from their deadly work. Local misdirection, disrupting Abyssal incursion rates, or global concealment are all within the realms of possibility in terms of dealing with the Abyssal threat. 

Signature Project: [Yet to be declassified]

Series E – “Defiance”

Ease of implementation: Very Difficult
Risk to reward ratio: Very high
Practical investment: Very high
Theoretical investment: Very high
Time to effect: Unknown

Research projects in this area can be considered the diametric opposite of Series A – and indeed, its own proponents often have sharp disagreements with those in support of the prior. The idea here is a simple one – Abyssals exist now when they had not before. Their presence is therefore an unnatural anomaly, meaning that there must be some way to “correct” this flaw. Much like how doctors do not allow a disease to progress naturally, but treat it with medical interventions, the Abyssals ought to be viewed in the same way.

The key towards winning the Abyssal War, therefore, is through treating the Abyssals like a conventional military opponent with conventional limitations. Emphasis is placed on understanding just what the Abyssals are, so that an appropriate resolution – even if it means the monumental necessity of eradicating the Abyssal fleet, somehow , someway – can be reached. 

Signature Project: MERLIN