[U]press release: Monday March 22 2175 New York, New York.[/U]
After years of corporate foot dragging and a slew of lawsuits, the seas are safe at last!
The recent annoucement of SC Global Corporation to eliminate their last manned vessel has drawn attention to the fact that even as recently as 2110 manned vessels & “seamen” were seen upon the oceans, rivers, & ports of the world.
The announcement, which industry experts expected, effectively ended the global manned shipping industry after unknown thousands of years. Most outside the industry were unaware that there were even manned (non robotic) vessels in existence; private yachts and pleasure vessels, legally allowed only within 10 miles of land, will be allowed to remain manned but only with UNCG AI controllers series 2 or above.
The last manned ocean vessel on the planet was SC Global’s [I]Almagest[/I], a very large floating microwave & radiant power transmitting station located about half way between Brasil & Liberia; the lone human “seaman” was a technician with his AI team of 400 MS6 tech servants and laborers. The human, a Brasilian named Eduardo de Silva, will be removed and replaced by a new MS7 unit, named Gustavo, in the next few days; MS7 Gustavo, the size and shape of a small man, will be able to work non stop and error free for ten years, 24 hours a day; his AI processor allows full real time cognation of level 899. A small handover ceremony will be performed by Mr. de Silva and his replacement, MS7 Gustavo.
The global shipping industry, for centuries the most traditional of global enterprises, changed after the landmark IMO decision of 2063, which authorized removing all personnel, known as “seamen”, from all vessels to increase safety, preserve cargo space, stop pollution, and save money. After this legislation passed, the first fully automated vessels were the cargo vessels running products across the oceans. After the tremendous drop off in injuries & accidents the industry rushed to automate all vessels upon all waters. By the turn of the century most manned vessels were gone, being legislated out of existence, but a few held out till recently as lawsuits worked their way through the courts. By 2150 only three units had humans aboard, like the [I]Almagest, [/I]these “seamen” were in charge of overseeing their team of robots. The recent suicide of one of these “seaman”, Gilbert N. Sullivan working with his team 300 miles south of southern New Zealand, hastened the removal of the remaining two human “seafarers”.
In New York City local community leaders led a small procession of +120 super-agers to the site of the South Street Seaport Shopping Skiiny-dipping Acid Park, once a famous site where manned non-robotic sailing ships would come to load cargo centuries ago. Although deaths, vessel accidents, and pollution were common until the 2063 legislation, the protesters lamented the passing of “seamanship” and the “history of the sea”. Instead of smooth-riding at the event, the protesters were walking on street level, against city regulations, and were subsequently arrested by NYRPD, ironically also consisting entirely of the new new MS7 units.
written by richard m lawrence,
NYC reporter at large