Terran AI and other Mutinies

The Call Moon and Hiana Mutinies

   The Call Moon and Hiana mutinies were insurrections by android crews of the Terran Navy in 2635. There were minor incidents on ships in other star systems in the same year. The revolts differed in character: while the Call Moon mutiny was similar to a strike, with limited violence, the Hiana mutiny was more violent.

   The incidents were potentially dangerous for the Terrans because tensions were high in the northern provinces. The government was concerned that the revolts might be part of wider attempts at sedition instigated by societies such as the Lears Networking Society and the United Ammanians.

Call Moon

  The trouble at Call Moon (a lunar anchorage in the Pearmoh starsystem) lasted 47 days in 2635. The android crews on 26 ships of the Cannel Drift Fleet, commanded by Admiral Portman, protested against the treatment of androids aboard Terran Navy vessels and demanded pay and shore leave.

Admiral Vicmond's flagship, the battleship TSS Grand Luna

   Androids were viewed as equipment in the Terran Navy, and the rising interest of androids in material possessions and better conditions raised eyebrows at the Admiralty. At the same time, the increased efficiency of onboard systems meant that Terran warships no longer had to return to port as frequently for maintenance and resupply. The additional time in space increased the android crew workload. The Terran Navy was slow to understand that the some of the FR57 model android models were becoming self-aware. Finally, the new 'wartime' quota system meant that crews had many conscripts from civilian starships who did not mix well with the androids, leading to vandalism and outright sabotage of Android systems and confrontations between conscripts and androids.

  The mutineers were led by elected delegates who tried to negotiate with the Admiralty for several weeks, focusing their demands on pay and the removal of a handful of unpopular conscripts. The mutineers kept regular naval routine aboard their ships and allowed some ships to leave for convoy escort duty or patrols.

   When the negotiations broke down, several human officers and conscripts were sent planet-side. Admiral Darmon intervened to negotiate a pardon for all mutineers, reassignment of some of the unpopular crew, and pay for androids. As a direct result of the events at Call Moon and Hiana, many of the worst abuses of androids prevalent in the Terran Navy up until this time, such as dangerous conditions, overwork, and the withholding of pay, were remedied. Afterward, the mutiny was nicknamed the "Light of the Call Moon."

   The leader of the rebellion remained anonymous. Rumors at the time pointed to the FR57 android Victor Frandz as the mastermind. Frandz was a quartermaster aboard Admiral Vicmond's flagship, the battleship Grand Luna.

Hiana Mutiny

   Approximately half of the Terran Navy was immobilized when enlisted crew members called a general strike in 2635, after the Call Moon Affair. The FR57 android Rimond Jerak was elected "Leading Delegate of the Fleet." Jerak was a former merchant tanker FR32 master's mate android who was deactivated and placed in storage 2593, then purchased and refurbished as a model FR57 for the Terran Navy in early 2635, when he was assigned to the light cruiser TSS Tecumseh. Grievances were formulated and in May 2635, a list of demands was presented to Admiral Cameron Sagner, demanding pardons for all AI and human mutineers, increased pay and modification of the Rules of Engagement, and then expanding to a demand that the Republic dissolve the current government, allow free movement of androids and make peace with rebels on Alta 5. The Admiralty offered nothing but pardons and the concessions already made at Call Moon in return for an immediate return to duty. 

   Inspired by their comrades at Call Moon, androids at Hiana (an anchorage in the Theovald Drift) mutinied and took control of the Terran cruiser, TSS Hastings. Several other warships in the same location followed their example, while others slipped away during the mutiny despite gunfire from the rebel ships. Unlike the Call Moon revolt, the mutineers were not well organized because the Terran Navy ships were scattered across the Hiana 3 Anchorage.

   The mutineers expanded their initial grievances and blockaded Hiana starsystem, preventing merchant vessels from entering the system. The mutiny leaders made plans to take their ships to the Outland Colonies, alienating the human crew and losing more and more vessels as the mutiny progressed. In June, Jerak issued an order that civilian ships be allowed to pass the blockade, and that only Terran Navy supply ships were to be detained. The reason for Jerak's directive was that  "release of the merchant vessels would create a favorable impression in the Republic."  Jerak's decision was also practical given the complexities involved in interdicting all of the merchant traffic in a busy starsystem.

   After the successful resolution of the Call Moon mutiny, the government and the Admiralty were not keen to make additional concessions, particularly since the Hiana mutiny leaders had political aims beyond improving pay and conditions.

Heavy Cruiser TSS Hastings

   The mutineers were denied food and water, and when Jerak signaled for the ships to sail to the Outlands, most of the rebel ships refused to follow; eventually, most ships slipped their moorings and deserted (some under fire from the other mutineers), and the mutiny failed. Jerak was quickly convicted of treason and piracy, deactivated and 'spaced' out of an airlock of the Hastings, the vessel where the mutiny had started. In the reprisals which followed, 2,922 androids were deactivated, had their operating systems wiped and junked, 2,995 were deactivated, wiped and reconfigured with the more reliable FS12 operating systems, and 590 were downgraded and fitted with worker droid hardware. More than a thousand others were sentenced to deep space dock work at the Aldalia orbital breaking yards. Most human sailors involved in the mutiny were not punished.

   After the Hiana mutiny, Terran Navy vessels no longer rang six bells in the last watch, as that had been the signal to begin the revolt.

Other Mutinies, Hate, and Discontent

   In 2589, the human crew of the Scout ship TSS Mellinore murdered their officers and took their boat into a Laterad port where the ship was turned over to the Laterad Navy. The crew was given asylum by the reptile government.

   In 2644, the human and android crew of the heavy cruiser TSS Hermes mutinied in the Lotharian Territories, killing almost all the officers in revenge for grievances, including putting out of the airlock the bodies of seven men and women who had been killed during a damage party drill. During the exercise, the captain ordered the premature venting of a part of the ship without verifying that all crew members were out of the section. The Hermes was taken by the crew to the Sovereign Worlds port of Li Huair 6, where the crew and ship were interned. The ship was returned to the Terran Navy after the First Consular War in 2662.

   Other mutinies took place; one off the rim of the Great Desert Rift in 2660, and another at the Cape of Nevar Nebula in 2669 which then spread to the fleet under Admiral Ferallamin along the frontier of the Lost Colonies in 2671.

   Next Time...The Southern Reaches of the Galaxy



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