Slice of Life (2): Conference of the Seven Seas

STEC Archives, Digitization Division

Curator signature: Tautog
Format: Transcript, Video Segment
Object: Marblehead Media No. ##########
Location (if known): STEC Archives
Time (if known): Undated

“Where History Comes Alive”

The brainchild program of the STEC Archivists & designed to be family-friendly and informative; an educational newscast where contemporary events are linked directly to the “topic of the day.”

Ostensibly to improve unit cohesion within STEC, the Conference of the Seven Seas is an annual military competition that is known for its unorthodox metrics of assessment. Last year, for instance, teams were tasked to build from scratch a firearm appropriate for the late 18th century and partake in historical marksmanship competitions. The year prior, teams were asked to design and subsequently build a fortification that would survive a hypothetical dragon’s attack.

This year, teams were provided with one objective: simulating WW2, teams are to assault an “Axis” position defended by heavily armored vehicles, with apparently nothing more than piles of scrap metal and broken down tank hulls. 

Ostensibly due to a desire to anonymize the interview process, it is customary for the staff of Marblehead Media to assign descriptive nicknames to the personalities during the editing process. An accidental airing of the uncut episode – with nicknames intact – became a smash hit with the viewers and led to the show’s interesting custom: the identities of those involved will only be revealed in the following episode, with an additional comment regarding the interview should they choose to offer some choice words.

Hi! Marblehead Media here – could you spare us a word?

(Irate history buff shipgirl): They booted me off the planning committee when I pointed out that Germans in 1942 clearly did not have that type of equipment available in FIELD TESTING! The Panther was NOT delivered until well into 1943! 

(Effeminate high-ranking officer, R&D): I was honestly a little concerned that the participants wouldn’t pick up the hint at first. You know the RAH-RAH elite warrior special forces type can be rather aggressive – I was disappointed to see nobody actually charged my intricately designed death traps on their own.

(Participant specifically requested to remain anonymous): This was disappointing. I was expecting a tragic struggle against overwhelming technical superiority.

Why does nobody come fight my beautifully restored Tigers and Panthers as intended??

(USMC Colonel): What, does Andrea think we’re a bunch of retards or something? Maybe he should use that big brain of his to note that our squad’s never dropped out of the first two places across every single competition. There’s a reason why we’re heads of our respective divisions…

(STEC High Command): I found the challenge to be suitably difficult – while it was easy to identify the work required to restore each pile of scrap to its proper working order, actually deciding which ones to field – as well as to train on in the limited quantity of time we had – was a bit harder. Most of us are not tankers, after all! 

(STEC High Command’s Secretary): I thought the idea was fairly creative, though I do think they were a bit too intimidating with the legal disclaimer – at no time are any of the participants in any sort of real danger. The tanks are tagged with the same sort of simulation system we apply to other STEC tech, so there is virtually no chance for an accidental injury.

(Ordinary administrative employee): I liked it a lot! I’m uh, what you call an ordinary pencil-pusher. Civilian background and all. Haven’t had a bit of military training and barely made STEC’s fitness requirements. Turns out I’m a fairly good shot inside a World War 2 era tank! 

… Well, I guess it’s just shooting at stationary targets. They aren’t like, firing back or anything. Still, it was rather neat to see all the work we put in on the first couple of days solidify into an actual thing!

(Wehraboo Foreign Shipgirl): … Isn’t it a bit unfair to limit “us” to historically accurate optics with no scouting and place no similar restrictions on the contestants? 

Seriously, I’ve had like, one squadron that actually drive up their tanks to fight us face to face. One! And we can’t even penetrate those! What the hell.

(Sharp-eyed & cheerful shipgirl, Temporary Assignee to Oversight Committee): Like, I totally get what they’re like, going for with this! But like, it’s pretty clear to me that this is like, meant to get us to like, think outside of the box, yeah? So I told my boys and girls, hey hey, that’s a lotta metal we’ve got right? Tanks are like, hard though. Why don’t we, like, be creative then? Most tanks didn’t get killed by like, other tanks, yeah? So why don’t we like, turn these into anti-tank guns?

(Sharp-eyed & cheerful shipgirl’s teammate, oversight committee): My boss might be an airhead, but I’m pretty dang impressed. Lots of things we could all learn I guess.

(Sharp-eyed & cheerful shipgirl’s teammate, logistics): Ugh, I’m going to write to Admiral Yin about this! The scoring is totally unfair! Like, what does it mean to dock us points based on cinematic performance?! Ambushing big scary metal monsters don’t count as cinematic??

(Immigrant subgirl of Germanic heritage): This is why Chester had me record all those exaggerated lines with the “ze Germs!”accent, huh?

I-I don’t even have that strong of an accent! What’s more, shouldn’t the simulation’s opponents be speaking GERMAN?

(Rivet counting Soviet shipgirl): ИС-2 strong. Especially when built with proper material.

(Wholesome. Probably would be protagonist if this was an anime): ANVIL, this is ZEAL. Suppress grid 001, 002, eight minutes, fifty-five shells per minute, over!

(An ###hole from New York): I knew from the start when they “forgot” to invite me to draft the rules that this was going to be a disaster.

For them.

(Mildly stressed, slightly confused high level employee, finances): H-how do we even categorize this?! She’s literally made millions over two days!! For a silly STEC-internal competition!! Does this count as market manipulation? Is this illegal?! 

(Very Important US Senator Person): My gosh, what a lovely performance! I am very proud of all of the participants at STEC – they truly are our best and brightest. This year, in particular, I felt was particularly showy. I just loved the part where they repeatedly bombed the “Nazi” position without even sending a single one of our boys and girls out. Very patriotic. Very ingenious. I am very proud. American air power, y’all!

Folks at home, this is how we’re going to win the Abyssal War. I tell you now, when those nasty fishies from outer space show up this is what we’re gonna do to them – we’re gonna bomb them back to where they came from!

(PBS-History Channel Producer): We’re appreciative. STEC has always been a great supporter of our mission to educate and inform the public, and personally I feel this is a great opportunity to bring history to life for our audience. There are tendencies to exaggerate Axis prowess in historical circles, and I think it’s better to be a bit more conservative.

That’ll be all for now. Thank you for tuning in Marblehead Media’s Slice of Life – “Where History Comes Alive!”