Full Metal Panic! - Volume SS - Side Arms 2 - Chapter Aft


1 Not to be confused with the Project 971 "Schuka-B"; The Victor-III modification entered service in 1979. It was developed around the same time as the Los Angeles class submarines; still not as quiet as their American counterparts, these attack subs still had the usual advantages of speed, maximum depth, and smaller crew. Interesting fact: in 1975 the Kamov bureau developed a gagdet worthy of James Bond movies specifically for this sub: a fold-out one-seat helicopter (Ka-56) that could be fired from the 533-mm torpedo bay of a submerged vessel.

2 It could carry the SS-N-21 "Sampson" missile, aka S-10 Granat, which can be outfitted with a nuclear warhead,and has a range around 3000 km.

3 Historically speaking, this would be a bit of an exaggeration. He would be censured if he was hiding, for example, Mein Kampf, or some work of a dissident author.

4 The second name in Russian is the father's name with an "-ich" suffix.

5 Official name of St.-Petersburg from 1924 to 1991.

6 The Leib Guard is the name of the Russian Imperial Guard (from German "Leib", meaning "body"), founded by Peter the Great.

7 This episode is an obvious (for those who have watched Air Crash Investigation on National Geographic, anyway) reference to Japan Airlines Flight 123. In that accident the plane had lost its vertical stabiliser, but the efforts of the pilots kept it in the air for another half an hour, until it crash-landed on a mountain side - a lot of passengers would have survived, if timely help came. It did not (the JSDF were blamed a lot for this later), and in the end 4 people survived (they were sitting close to the tail), while 520 lost their lives, making it the deadliest single-aircraft accident in history.

8 Note that, even though Gatoh-sensei calls Kalinin "sergeant major" everywhere, in reality he should have been most likely a lieutenant, junior grade. Sergeant major is simply too low a rank for an officer of the special forces who graduated from the academy.

9 Official name of Yekaterinburg from 1924 to 1991.

10 The Main Intelligence Directorate, the largest foreign intelligence agency of the Soviet Union and Russia.

11 "Ikinasai", depending on what kanji you use, can be interpreted as "go" or "live".

12 Which then would most likely be one of the Trafalgar-class subs.

13 Spetsnaz - special forces (in Russian).

14 Katakana reads "Nozh", which is the Russian word for "knife".

15 The katakana seems to spell out that word, which actually means "rain shower" in Russian. The kanji mean "Storm" or "Gale" though. Sounds more like the name of an MLRS system, similar to the famous "Katyusha", of which the BM21 version is called "Grad", or "Hail".

16 Thus general Majid, the "Tiger of Badakhshan" is definitely Gatoh's version of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Lion of Panjsher.

17 He could also be Qasim, but "Kassim" apparently means "divided", which sounds somewhat more appropriate.

18 V. Alksnis (1950-) is a Russian statesman, and grandson of Y. Alksnis, commander of the Red Army Air Force in 1931-1937 (until he was purged together with many others). V. Alksnis was not in reality seen as very influential, but quite known for being a staunch supporter of the Soviet Union, despite his Latvian origins. He now supports nationalist movements in Russia.

19 Some realistic commentary is needed here. Far be it from me to judge the author's choice, but this was, extremely unlikely to happen in reality, especially considering that Kalinin's wife was in Leningrad - the second capital of the country. The FMP! version of the USSR suffered some of the disorder that its real counterpart went through (and the healthcare system continued to work, despite that). Of course, this and the Flight 113's pilot saving the plane was simply fate.

20 Joseph Henry "Black Death" Blackburne, famous British chess player of the 19th - early 20th century. His book was originally published in 1899.

21 It really is called like that. This is the first article that comes up when you search for it, and it's a pretty interesting read:

22 HMS Spartan (S105), a Swiftsure-class sub, in service from 1979 to 2006.

23 Still in service today, it was commissioned in 1984 (just for chronological reference); scheduled for decommissioning next year.

24 Submarine-launched ballistic missile with Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles.
25 I know you're surprised, and it's not a typo. Apparently in the FMP! world the British have a lot more submarines than they really had, three times more in fact.

26 It is in fact a shrouded propeller (sometimes known as ducted fan) configuration, distant relative of other pump- jets (like those used in some torpedoes), also used on the new Astute-class, US Seawolf-class and Russian Borey- class.

27 Parallel narrative. See "Voice from the North". This also helps establishing the timeline, see Appendix A.

28 Incidentally, the Delta-IV's displacement is over 18200 tonnes, while the displacement of the Los Angeles-class is a little over 6900, and Trafalgar-class is noted as around 5200. Bear the difference in size in mind for the upcoming pages.

29 It is a joy to see an author who does his research.

30 This isn't his invention, either. It is a real-life manoeuvre, executed as a series of sharp turns to check behind the submarine, - its sonar would normally not be able to hear anything in that dead zone (called "the baffles") because of the noise of its own propeller. However, it should be noted that most modern subs carry towed sonar arrays (mounted on the tail fin), which eliminate that dead zone. The Delta-IV class is, however, outfitted with a "Pelamida" towed array (unlike the older Delta-III), so why did it have to do the Crazy Ivans? See later.

31 In reality it carries R-29RM series (SS-N-23 "Skiff") ICBMs with a maximum range of around 9300km which obviously could hit London from the Arctic. The Svalbard archipelago is only 3000km away. Perhaps it was aiming to fire the missile on a depressed trajectory (which means that it doesn't make the ballistic "loop" and instead goes right towards the target, allowing a very quick strike).

32 Not clear what he means by that, since VLS stands for Vertical Launch System, which is the main missile-firing system on board the sub. Perhaps he means floating antenna buoys, or a regular extendable antenna.

33 The Mk24 Tigerfish torpedoes, guided by wire to the point of passive sonar homing, were considered to be unreliable and generally a failure. Which is why they were readily replaced by the newer Swordfish type.

34 The author just says "800", and later insists on using metres. Mardukas is British, so I took the liberty to convert the values.

35 The executive officer, or XO, is the second in command on a submarine.

36 It may sound a little silly, but that is actually the official denomination. The distance is somewhat limited, which is why they needed to get closer. See for example

37 János (John von) Neumann, 1903-1957. Child prodigy and one of the greatest mathematicians (and physicists) in history. Also known for being one of the scientists on the Los Alamos project not against using the bombs on Japan. Later collaborated on the hydrogen bomb and early computers. In short: fearsome fellow.

38 Note that the Lancero is actually a cigar size, relatively thin and long, favoured by Castro himself. One of the first three sizes introduced for the first time to the public in 1982.

39 Considering Mallory is British, a regiment would be around 700 soldiers in 5 companies.

40 Not to be confused with the newspaper, the facility in question is Northrop Grumman's shipyard in the city of Newport News, Virginia.

41 The Black Technology in question is, of course, Electro Magnetic Fluidics Control; in reality a similar principle is called Electromagnetic Flow Control, which theoretically reduces drag in water using alternating electromagnetic fields; all part of Magnetohydrodynamics, a field which had been generating military interest since the Cold war, when work on MHD propulsion systems was started.

42 You may remember Geotron Electronics as being the developer, for example, of main systems on Clouzeau's M9 Falke.

43 Looks like a mistake in the original text, he's got to be talking about Area 51.
44 Kyouko must be referring to Mari Akutsu, the leader of that gang that kidnapped Kaname. I'm sure you remember that episode of Fumoffu!

45 The real "name" is an untranslatable portmanteau of "hamster" and "love" (call him Hamski, if you want, because that's how it's pronounced). I just went with the first English version I could find/think of.

46 Aung San Suu Kyi is the most well-known opposition politician of Burma/Myanmar, and daughter of Aung San, who negotiated the state's independence, and ironically enough, founded the state's army. She has been under house arrest for most of the last twenty years.

47 Note: in the text it says "PHS" - the Personal Handy-phone System, a communications standard used extensively in Asia. Something like your regular cordless DECT, with a few cellphone-like capabilities.

48 The directional anti-personnel mine, not the manga or Scottish sword.

49 The teams in question are the Yomiuri Giants (sometimes known as Tokyo Giants), and the Hanshin Tigers (clever, clever...).

50 "Hostile Waters" is a book by Peter Huchthausen, describing the incident with the Soviet submarine K-219. It was followed by a Los-Angeles class submarine (USS Augusta), and one of its ballistic missiles detonated inside the launch shaft because of a leak (rocket fuel + water = explosive cocktail). The subsequent near-failure of its reactor, stopped by a sacrifice, almost irradiated the Gulfstream.

[Appendix A]
 -Short timeline of the FMP! world- 1979 - [December] - Kalinin participates in the beginning of the intervention in Afghanistan, in Operation Storm-333 (assault on Tajbeg Palace)
1981 - [Dec 24] - Whispered born
1982 - [April-June] Falklands conflict; Mardukas on the HMS "Conqueror"
1983(?) - "Alaskan prodigy" reported in the news, disappears; AS development begins (most probably)
1984 - Kalinin returns to Afghanistan for the second time (a year before his K-244 mission)
1985 - Kalinin on the Victor-III sub K-244 picks up Sousuke (reported as around 4 years old); gets chased by the "Turbulent", which then stops for repairs and chases Soviet Delta-IV, meets the "Dallas"; 
1986 - [beginning/middle] Mardukas visits the Testarossa household (Teresa/Leonard already five years old); [December] Mardukas receives Christmas card (half a year after his visit) from Testarossa saying he was transferred to Okinawa
1989 - [June 5] peaceful change of regime in Poland; [November 9-10], Berlin Wall collapses; Kalinin learns that Sousuke is being trained as part of the special unit "Knife" (and he's about eight years old)
1990 - [August] Iraq invades Kuwait;
1991 - [January 17-23] coalition forces drive Iraqis out of Kuwait; immediately after, the ECS nuke is used (before February); [half a year after the nuke] and about the time when the USSR fell in the real world, a
military coup happens and Gorbachev is assassinated; Soviet troops re-enter Afghanistan possibly the same year
1992 - [before winter] Kalinin meets Sousuke in Afghanistan (he looks like he's about ten); [December?] "revolt" staged in Kabul, signal the beginning of the end for the Afghan resistance, Kalinin joins the
1993 - [presumably winter; two years after the Kuwait nuke] - Mardukas gets involved in the scandal over the Trafalgar-class reactor problems, gets demoted and effectively fired from the Navy; [not a month later] learns of the deaths of Carl and Maria Testarossa and goes to investigate (finds Portsmouth "still" in the grasp of winter), gets invite to Mithril; [half a year later] joins them on Merida; soon this year or the next, meets Teresa again, on Merida (she's twelve);

1996 - [two years before the start of the show] Sousuke fighting in Southeast Asia as a mercenary.
1997 - TDD launched (a year before the events of season 1)
1998 - [April] events of the show start

General translator notes:
The translator isn't a Humanoid Interface, a professional linguist or literary genius (or even a native English speaker), - I really don't have the right to say "Supeshalisuto da!", like Sousuke. Therefore, I'm
aware of the fact that there may be mistakes, especially stylistic. Keep in mind that I had to find a balance between a text that is pleasant to read, and the original content. I try my best, but so some awkward expressions do sneak in, as if covered by an ECS field (though, actually, it might just be my tired eyes). For improvements, suggestions, etc., refer to Disclaimer para II.

I. This translation is made by fans, for fans. It is also made for educational purposes - yes, you heard me right. It is first and foremost an exercise in translation for me, which happens to be a light novel from a series that I like. Therefore, it is definitely not for sale, rent or auction, and will remain free.
II. Any negative feedback - or, better, constructive criticism, - will definitely be considered, and a v2 is a definite possibility. I don't mind going over it again and adding a layer of polish. Mondai nai. Although
new and/or ongoing translations do have priority.
III. If you want to show your support for Gatoh-sensei and KyoAni - buy the books and DVDs.
IV. This content is published a "right to copy" license, 2009-2010. Spread it around! However, if you want to use the translation as a basis for another translation (in your native language, for example), please contact me first at: emperor3261 (at); the LJ account where I post them initially is
I'm definitely going to allow and encourage it, I'd just like to keep track of its usage, so please do.
V. Finally, by reading this, you will agree to wait impatiently for the next season of Full Metal Panic! And share the goodness of the existing FMP material with others.

Thanks to:
Gatoh Shoji - for creating one of the most attractive fictional worlds out there; Gonzo, and (especially) KyoAni - for bringing it to life; lazy-otaku - the quality scans; My friend T. - editing and important advice;
And You! yes, I mean you! - for reading it, which proves that the time I spent on this wasn't wasted. 

General thanks to:
The people who share - whether it's files, or your time and knowledge - you make the world a beter place.
Please look forward to our next releases!
(...which may or may not include the two new novels, depending on circumstances - but in any case, short story translation will probably continue...)

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