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Maiden, whose head office is in Ideation House on Pitts Bay Road, has been undergoing a strategic review of operations in recent months.

The company said anticipated restructuring and related expense reductions are expected to improve its business performance and profitability, as well as significantly reducing the amount of capital that Maiden needs for its operations.

The team will operate from new offices in Mt Laurel, New Jersey. TransRe said the renewal rights focused on regional property and casualty, accident and health, and personal auto insurers.

We are deeply grateful to the Maiden team for their continued efforts in this challenging environment and, prospectively, we will coordinate closely with clients to ensure a smooth transition.

But Art Raschbaum is hopeful that even if that occurred, clients would remain loyal. Maiden has an A excellent financial strength rating from AM Best.

We see no change in that process. Its combined ratio deteriorated to That storm occurred five years ago. Investment earnings and invested assets continue to grow and operating cash flow was strong.

Art Raschbaum, chief executive officer of the Bermuda-based company, said: We have however increased our reserves in these lines in the quarter in response to elevated severity in specific jurisdictions.

Absent adverse development, this will improve both return on equity and operating results in future quarters. The combined ratio for the second quarter rose to Maiden, which has offices on Front Street, had announced the charge last week.

Importantly, our underwriting year expected loss ratios reflect solid profitability. While the market remains competitive, we were able to expand our business in by leveraging our strong franchise and value-added products and services.

We believe our prospects for continued disciplined growth are strong. Additionally, we are in an excellent position to improve our cost of capital, and will explore opportunities to refinance our existing indebtedness in at an improved rate.

Gross premiums rose 6. The Bermuda-based company, which has offices at Front Street, is due to report fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on February We believe we have taken appropriate steps to respond to adverse development and believe this reserve strengthening will help to stabilize forward performance and profitability.

The company said it expected no change to be made to its quarterly dividend policy. Gross premiums written for the quarter went up Net investment income also went up 8.

Changed its name from Compensation Risk Managers. One of the prominent exceptions to the rule that Bermuda international or exempted companies cannot operate in Bermuda.

This group once until operated Bermuda's Elbow Beach Hotel, among many others. It had already rebuilt one five-star hotel in the Libyan capital, with another due for completion.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper in the UK stated one of the major financial backers of Magna Holdings is Wafic Said, a controversial billionaire who has homes in Britain.

Leading maritime shipping technology firm. Named after German physicist Heinrich Gustav Magnus who discovered that a rotating cylinder exposed to a stream of wind generates a force perpendicular to the direction of the wind.

Delivers onboard systems tracked from Magnus discoveries that reduce fuel consumption and emissions for many clients owning and operating global shipping fleets.

The Investors in People IPP Standard is an international framework and mark of excellence for people management across 75 countries, enabling organisations to realize improved business results and strategic targets.

Mandarin Oriental chief executive Edouard Ettedgui said: It also operates or is developing 17 residential developments connected to its properties.

He told guests at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club that the Chinese market was 99 per cent Chinese-owned and investors, with state-limited information, tended to move in packs.

Mr Boesky said over the last few years, a new Chinese administration had raised its interest rate, currently at more than 5 per cent, compared to near zero in the US and Europe, and cleaned up corruption after years of a building boom, but had now signaled interest rate cuts to stimulate service industries.

The leaders have a vision, which is spot on, that China will reaccelerate a second boom which will be services-driven.

Manages a range of diversified Bermuda insurance and reinsurance-based investments. CatCo also has substantial financial backing from the Qatari Insurance Company.

Tony Belisle, chief executive of Markel Catco, said: The company with a focus on collateralized reinsurance products was hit hard by catastrophes in the third quarter.

And after its successful first wave of raising capital, it intends to publish a prospectus in early November with the aim of closing the fundraise, through a placing of new C shares, by the end of the month.

The ability to raise and deploy this significant amount of additional capital is testament to the Markel CatCo team focus on providing both exceptional, long term returns to our investors and, also, the highest levels of service to our reinsurance clients.

Markel, based in the US but with this Bermuda subsidiary, is expected to take over State National in the cash transaction by the end of the year.

We believe this transaction with Markel is good for our employees and clients, as well as our shareholders. Markel recognizes our shared commitment to offering unique, high-quality solutions that simplify the complexities of insurance for clients nationwide.

We have long respected Markel and are proud to partner with this distinguished company that has a strong reputation and proven track record of success in acquiring and partnering with insurance companies.

This transaction is all about growth, not cost-cutting, and we believe that State National employees will benefit from being part of a larger, stronger, growth-oriented company with a more diversified platform.

Our success is driven by the ongoing efforts of our talented employees and I thank them for their continued hard work and dedication.

We look forward to working with Markel to quickly complete the transaction and are committed to ensuring a smooth transition.

Members of the Ledbetter family have entered into a voting agreement with Markel in support of the merger.

Catco is to be acquired by US financial holding company Markel Corporation. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to conditions.

Financial details and terms relating to the Catco deal have not been disclosed. However, there will be no changes to the Catco team, which will continue operating in Bermuda under the new name of Markel Catco Investment Management , led by chief executive officer Tony Belisle.

Markel Corporation has its headquarters in Virginia. We felt this partnership offered a rare opportunity for Catco to combine with a culturally similar organization which shares our results-oriented commitment to success and market leadership.

Catco has grown significantly since its launch in , and the agreement with Markel will allow the same management team to maintain its commitment to both client service and continual product innovation.

Markel primarily markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. While Markel has a long and successful track record in the insurance linked securities space, the addition of the Catco team takes our capabilities to an entirely new level.

The current challenges in the reinsurance and retrocessional markets are well documented. Despite these short-term challenges, we believe that with innovative products and services the long-term future is bright.

Markel is restructuring its insurance operations to combine two divisions into one. The company, which is based in the US, but which has offices on Front Street, said the new division, to be known as Markel Assurance, would be up and running by the start of next year.

Bermuda will host an underwriting team for the new division, as will Dublin and London. In the US, Markel Assurance will operate through a regional structure with ten offices in six regions serving all major insurance hubs.

Creating this new division will help Markel maintain its leadership position. The two companies, both of which have operations in Bermuda, announced agreement on the takeover deal on Tuesday.

It is expected to close in the spring of Given that the two firms have a combined global workforce of around 75,, as many as 3, jobs could be at risk.

The maker of chips for Apple Inc. Today, Marvell makes processors that run smartphones, has its US operating subsidiary in Santa Clara, California and operations worldwide with approximately 5, employees.

Cavium shares rose to a record yesterday, while Marvell also gained. Cavium, which is based in San Jose, California, makes networking processors and is one of several companies trying to use ARM Holdings technology to break into the server microprocessor market.

The acquisition of Cavium is the biggest deal for Marvell chief executive officer Matthew J. Murphy, who took the role last year after an accounting scandal forced the resignation of his predecessor.

Medallion International A hedge fund management firm with close links to Mr. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. MediaAlpha is an advertising technology company.

It operates exchange platforms that facilitate real-time transactions between advertisers and publishers of performance media i.

MediaAlpha has developed distinctive platform solutions for a range of insurance verticals, including auto, motorcycle, home, renter, health and life, and non-insurance verticals, including travel, education, personal finance and home services.

Medici Ventures LLC This entity reaffirmed with a memorandum of understanding signed with the Bermuda Government its intention to create 30 jobs in Bermuda.

Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with this second fintech business as efforts to build the industry in Bermuda continue.

David Burt, the Premier, announced this morning that an MOU had been signed with Medici Ventures with the intent to create jobs and educational opportunities for Bermudians.

The company was formed to incubate, launch and invest in blockchain investments. The MOU also promised at least 30 jobs in Bermuda over the next three years.

The company will develop a security token trading platform in Bermuda and work with the Bermuda Government to develop and improve a legal and regulatory framework.

We look forward to working with Medici to ensure that the commitments made in this MOU are realised. Bermuda is at the forefront of the fintech industry creating an environment in which Bermudian businesses can thrive, opportunities for Bermudians can be created and in which capable, qualified Bermudians can benefit from opportunities to train, work and succeed at every level.

The House of Assembly approved legislation to regulate Initial Coin Offerings on Friday, with legislation covering cryptocurrencies expected to be tabled soon.

A couple of years later I am happy that two courts have decided otherwise. Without having a consistent revenue stream, stronger than what we had in , any other ultimate ruling would have devastated the Corporation of Hamilton.

That is the number I consider we have saved the rate payers as the Corporation is simply the institution that acts on their behalf and those who use our city and its services.

In the meantime we are still actively trying to regain lost parking revenue and to be in a position to reinvest in vital city capital projects.

We have a commitment from Government to support us in this regard as they are fully aware of the implications of further delay. We are pleased that a Hamilton Parking Ordinance is to be presented to Parliament in this sitting and the enactment of the Traffic Offences Procedure Amendment and Validation Act within the next couple of weeks.

The Corporation initially concluded it did not have a defence to the claim and a Consent Ruling was made by the court in May against the Corporation for the full amount.

However, the City launched a fresh legal challenge in June to set aside the Consent Order on the basis it had no power to make the original guarantee and therefore it should be null and void.

When considering the matter in the round, in my judgment the most important contextual feature is that it is in principle undesirable for the court to enforce a guarantee which is in law a nullity.

This outweighs the various contextual features pointing in the other direction, including the serious prejudice to MIF which may be caused by not enforcing the guarantee.

There are a number of other capital projects necessitating corrective maintenance or further development. This could be the first time in a number of years where we get to stand up on two feet and get things done, rather than being hobbled and looking at what has to be put off for another year.

We did not enter into this action gladly. The guarantee was the wrong commitment made at the wrong time supporting the wrong developer.

All parties involved in seeking the guarantee were aware of the ultra vires concern, everyone believed the issue had been corrected through legislation.

If we had not fought this issue, it would have cost every Bermudian in one way or the other. We did not think it fair to accept what was, because of the ultra vires, an agreement voided from the start.

Taking this legal action was the best means to protect the Hamilton community from what was a horrible, ill-considered undertaking.

Court actions in the UK continue the effort to recover the monies inexplicably released to a Gibraltar-based company. While this action is less our battle now, we invested in the outcome when no one else was interested in seeking recovery.

He told this newspaper: Last week, senator Fahy told this newspaper the corporation could reach an agreement within days to satisfy its debt over the matter.

On the same date, the Corporation entered into a guarantee of the loan and, as security for that guarantee, it provided MIF with a first mortgage over the Par-la-Ville parking lot.

No sensible timeframe has been provided, this despite the fact that your client promised to repay our client either at the end of or during the first week of January.

Further, our client is deeply disappointed to now learn that your client is not intending repaying the judgment interest to which our client is legally entitled.

Clarendon House, Hamilton HM USA head office is the largest brokerage of exchange-traded futures contracts.

The answer is they are all listed to be covered by a new captive insurance company based on the island. And that is only part of the story. Of greater significance is that the captive insurance company is thought to be the first in the world set up and run by students.

And it was no accident. Bermuda was ultimately chosen after other factors were weighed, such as the size and maturity of its insurance market, sophisticated infrastructure and the helpful nature of organisations including the Bermuda Monetary Authority and the Bermuda Business Development Agency.

This week, some of the students, along with facility members, visited the island to build relationships with service companies and organisations.

There are also potential benefits for Bermuda and Bermudians, as Butler University would welcome students from the island who are pursuing studies in risk management, insurance and other business disciplines.

A further beneficial spin-off for the students has been learning more about what is actually being insured through the captive.

Trip is a real dog with an impressive 20, followers on Twitter. For Butler University, having its own captive insurance company will provide greater loss controls.

Since news of the pioneering student-run captive was announced earlier this year, it has featured in more than media reports, according to Mr Standifird.

However, a bigger story in his eyes is the shortage of qualified professionals preparing for the anticipated , new employees the insurance industry will need by People should be paying attention to this.

Butler University is underscoring its leading role in the field by giving students real-life experience operating a captive insurance company, together with opportunities to intern at partner companies.

Anna Geist and Josh Toly, two of the students closely involved with the captive and among those visiting Bermuda this week, are currently interning with Aon.

Mr Finn said companies know they can come to Butler and recruit people with hands-on knowledge. You have to have the right people in place. Mr Finn believes others may follow.

We are looking for partners in industry, and we would like to see others [form captives]. As for the third stage, he said: A leading alternative fund administration company providing full-service fund administration, middle office and reporting services to hedge funds, fund of funds, managed accounts, family offices, private equity and real estate funds.

It is the first time the Mitsubishi financial group has made a wholly owned acquisitions of a non-Japanese business.

Clients can look forward to the addition of numerous new services including banking, custody, trust, foreign exchange and securities lending.

The acquisition of BFG was completed on September And the senior management team, as well as all management and staff in all Butterfield Fulcrum offices will remain with the company.

Butterfield Fulcrum employs around 40 staff in Bermuda and has offices on Burnaby Street. Butterfield Fulcrum was part owned by Butterfield Bank and private equity firm 3i Group.

MLG Blockchain A blockchain consulting and development firm. Provides educational Blockchain workshops in Bermuda. We would only serve to perform our services and collect the funds to make them available to the committee for disbursement.

We are also per cent committed to establishing a legacy for Bermuda in that we implement a safe, responsible and controlled environment for gaming, including stringent anti-money laundering and vulnerable player controls.

We fully believe that the Bermuda public should be educated on gaming prior to the referendum and that there should have been a referendum on gaming.

Responding, Mr Pettingill said: This was made clear by the former entire Cabinet. To date it has not gotten to the stage of being tendered, as no decision has been reached by the new administration.

We are asking for nothing up front and we are giving the vast majority of profits back to Bermuda and Bermudians. We are not an overseas entity trying to enter the market and extract tens of millions of dollars from Bermuda to fund offshore interests.

We are here to stay and make sure that Bermuda is not adversely impacted by the gaming industry.

This is an opportunity for Bermudians to help to form their own opinion on the best plan for Bermuda. To do anything less not only jeopardizes the ability of the industry to secure a correspondent banking relationship, but can also damage the reputational brand of the island.

The agreement itself, obtained through public access to information, was non-binding, conditional upon the legalisation of casino-style gaming and was signed by Mr Crockwell as tourism minister and witnessed by Mr Pettingill, then the Attorney-General, on December 3, , a year before casino gaming was given the green light by Parliament.

Mr Crockwell later tabled the Casino Gaming Act, which passed in Parliament in December , paving the way for a casino industry in Bermuda. Ms Blakeney wrote on May 2: If I am missing something here, I would appreciate your guidance.

In doing so, it became ineligible to apply again for a licence for five years. Such withdrawals can result in a five-year period of ineligibility to apply for a licence, in certain circumstances.

He said since her letter was sent, Banyan had removed the names of Jason Seelig and Mac Seelig from its website. If, in fact, Mac and Jason are no longer listed on the Banyan website to create the impression that our past licensing concerns are no longer relevant, then I believe it is safe to conclude that the legislative mandate option is still being considered Mr Vertes is being sued by Mr Schuetz for defamation.

Matters related to gaming systems should be addressed by the gaming commission. Keith Furlong, from DGC, told this newspaper: The company does not wish to comment further.

The Irish Times said: It is exempt from all forms of taxation including income, capital gains and withholding taxes as it is tax resident in Bermuda.

The firm has no employees and its three directors have addresses in Bermuda. The agricultural product company Monsanto produces genetically engineered seeds used by farmers for their pest resistance and ability to produce bigger crops.

The crops have drawn criticism from organic food advocates who say they are harmful to people and the environment. But Monsanto has maintained that its seeds improve agriculture by helping farmers produce more from their land while conserving resources such as water and energy.

Morgan Creek International changed its name, see under Inverness Distribution. Won a multi-million-dollar US government contract to train police officers in Iraq.

Was accused in April of using its Bermuda shell company to shield itself from US taxes. T he Boston Globe reported that the Bermuda office appeared to have no staff, telephone number, or website.

Said by it to be one of the offshore entities to avoid US taxes, even as they profit from lucrative federal contracts. With the granting of all necessary regulatory approvals, the acquisition was completed at the end of last week.

Shares of Montpelier Re ceased to trade when markets closed on Friday. Three directors of Montpelier have been appointed as non-executive directors on the board of Endurance.

We expect the transaction to enhance the long-term value of our business for shareholders with accretion to earnings per share and return on equity.

He was formerly managing director of OneBeacon. Mr Marsh worked for Atrium Underwriting Group for 40 years. Before he retired in he was director of corporate underwriting and director of underwriting review.

As the cost of Bermuda health insurance goes up and up, newcomer MoonGate Insurance Group aims to fill the service gaps for locals on the most basic packages.

Its latest step, using an affiliate company in the United States, has resulted in MoonGate adding an entirely United States-based package.

The link with Welldyne Inc gives residents access to discount pharmaceuticals, dental treatment, glasses and services such as X-rays, MRIs and the mammogram screening that dominated recent headlines.

Provides a network of over , US locations Bermuda-based visitors can go to. MoonGate specializes in filling coverage gaps.

It is additionally an agent for the Freisenbruch-Meyer Group. In addition, the deal with WellCard gives Bermudians access to 80 different hearing aid models and discounted diabetic supplies.

During the Bermuda event in April, athletes will win points on their long road to qualification for the Tokyo Olympics. We hope the event again showcases Bermuda as a wonderful venue for top level sporting activities, inspiring those of all ages to swim, bike and run.

MS Amlin stands for quality and fairness in the reinsurance industry, which are key values for any athlete. We are extremely grateful for the generous support of MS Amlin, and we thank them for their partnership, demonstrating their wider, ongoing support for Bermuda.

The day will comprise of the Elite race and the Age Group amateur race, which will attract hundreds of runners, including locals trying their first triathlon.

A team of employees from MS Amlin will participate in the amateur Age Group triathlon race, while others in the MS Amlin family will volunteer at the event.

Sports enthusiasts of other disciplines are encouraged to register and train for the April event, which does not require a qualifying time.

James Few, global managing director of reinsurance at MS Amlin, said: We are delighted to have secured funding for Viribus Re Ltd from a range of new partners whom we look forward to working with closely in the future.

Napp, which manufactures painkiller OxyContin among other drugs, and Mundipharma are controlled by the billionaire Sackler family. The newspaper report, published last week, said the company manufactured drugs in Cambridge, England, and has paid taxes on drugs sold to the NHS.

However, the products were shipped directly from the UK to the country where they were sold and did not go anywhere near Bermuda.

The unidentified expert said: So it is hard to see, at least on the facts supplied, what activity in Bermuda added the value to justify the higher pricing.

The introduction of diverted profits tax in made it harder for multinationals and this may be why the arrangements changed so radically in We pay all taxes that we owe.

The deal, on behalf of an unnamed company, was arranged by specialty reinsurer MultiStrat, also based in Bermuda, along with its affiliate the Annapolis Consulting Group.

We are pleased to collaborate with MultiStrat in this transaction. We have studied a series of options together and expert that this will be the first of many that we complete.

We look forward to working more with HSCM going forward. Jason is an exceptional addition to the team. He also serves as a non-executive director for several Bermudian reinsurance companies.

Hudson Structured and HSCM Bermuda invest across the risk and return spectrum in all instruments and sectors of the insurance and reinsurance markets.

The Bermudian company announced that Ms Richardson became its chief executive officer at the start of this month.

The time is perfect to set our next course. She previously worked at Chubb as the national accounts underwriter for media liability, and at GE Capital, where she was an underwriting officer for media liability.

Now owned by IAS Park. Showing when incorporated in Bermuda. With incorporation dates shown the American way. The company was forced to give pricing concessions in the first quarter to three key international customers, chief executive officer Tony Petrello told analysts and investors yesterday on a conference call.

Ebitda in its international segment is now expected to drop another 6 to 8 per cent in the second quarter, he said. We expect more moderate sequential decreases throughout the seasonally weak second quarter of next year with gradual declines in rig activity and more rigs converting to spot pricing both in North America and internationally.

Our view of the timing and shape of the recovery remains unchanged, with an expectation of a protracted trough followed by a more gradual recovery than recent cycles.

Accordingly, we continue to exercise stringent control over our operating, support and capital spending in order to meet our minimum goal of break-even free cash flow.

Our solid financial position and sizeable liquidity allow us to remain opportunistic should attractive long term strategic opportunities arise.

A Hong Kong-based investment holding company that moved its domicile to Bermuda from the Cayman Islands in Formerly Vertex Group Ltd.

N2H2 Inc Founded in , based in Seattle. An Internet access management company specializing in fast and scalable filtering solutions. Norwegian Breakaway, launched Her maiden voyage was to Bermuda.

Chris Fisher, the chief executive officer, started the firm with just one other staff member. It now has a staff of six, with plans to recruit another.

We probably have room for another three people at most, so potentially we may have to look at some additional space. Through the balance of , I began to write an amount of property insurance business with a focus on the larger Fortune companies.

The commitment and support from London has been fantastic and Martin Reith has been here multiple times. Neon is a member of Great American Insurance Group, which runs the insurance operations of parent AFG and had already benefited from the link-up.

That shows you the amount of turnaround and change brought about by the revitalization of the syndicate. A big part of it is getting the right people on board and the team we have here at Neon Bermuda is first class.

We want to make sure Bermudians are in as many positions in the company that they are suitably qualified and experienced to be in.

And the firm aims to expand its on-island two-strong team as it targets the US market. Neon has recruited Bermudian Chris Fisher, an underwriter with 25 years of experience in the insurance industry in Bermuda, Britain and the US, to head up the Bermuda operation.

He was previously chief underwriting officer of insurance for Ariel Re in Bermuda. In Chris, we have a highly regarded local underwriter with strong relationships on the island as well as in the US.

We have bold ambitions to grow our Bermuda platform and anticipate adding both personnel and product lines in the near future.

Given the significance of the Bermuda market in the global insurance and reinsurance stage, it seems to be a logical next step for us.

Now partly owned by the Man Group, one the world's largest publicly traded hedge fund managers. Has a Caymans-domiciled investment vehicle, Gamut Reinsurance.

Uses catastrophe bonds, industry loss warranties and reinsurance contracts to construct portfolios. Insurance investment firm Cedent Ltd has teamed up with Nephila Capital to create a new Bermuda-based firm to advise corporations and countries on managing climate risk.

Resilience says it will use advanced data science to develop and structure climate risk capital solutions for global institutions and governments.

Michael Coles, the insurtech expert and chief executive officer of Cedent, said Resilience was not a risk-bearing entity, but that it would work with companies to help them understand the impact climate risk has on their financials.

Climate risk retention may soon be deemed unacceptable and if so, climate capital solutions will be the new imperative. Resilience Economics will look to take the climate risk discussion to the CFO level, where organisations and institutions will be receptive to solutions that can help to remove volatility caused by the weather out of their businesses.

Nike is believed to very aggressive when it comes to sheltering profits overseas. A brokerage and advisory firm specialising in the international trade and transportation of liquefied natural gas LNG , liquefied petroleum gas LPG , and petrochemical gases.

The company is represented in Bermuda via Consolidated Services Ltd and operates through offices located in Boston and Oslo. Nitrogas has originated and participates in a number of long-term LNG, LPG and NH3 charters as well as various shorter-term charters and gas supply contracts.

Additionally, the firm advises a select group of traders and ship owners on deal origination, strategy and business development. Noble, which is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange and has headquarters in Hong Kong, but is incorporated in Bermuda, has been in crisis for three years.

The upheaval triggered a share price collapse, credit downgrades, write downs and asset sales. Noble has stood by its accounting practices.

Creditors will own 70 per cent of the revamped company, with shareholders receiving a 20 per cent stake and management 10 per cent. Nomura's financial interests include being the biggest single pub landlord in the UK.

It owns 5, pubs and 2, off licences according to the UK's Daily Telegraph. The Bermuda-based company, which operates a fleet of ten supply vessels working in the North Sea oil industry, also declared a dividend of 2 cents per share.

We concentrate on keeping our vessel operating costs low, while always maintaining our strong commitment to safe operations.

Access to financing, both equity and debt, remains a competitive advantage for us. The company said seven of its ten vessels were in service.

North Sea production was hit by the dramatic fall in world oil prices early last year. NAO said there had been encouraging signs in the market for chartering its platform supply vessels PSVs since the end of last year.

Bermuda-headquartered Nordic American Tankers NAT has decided it will not conduct a bond offering to raise additional capital.

In an open letter to shareholders and investors, the company noted improving conditions in the tanker market.

The company has a fleet of 33 Suezmax tankers, including three new tankers that are being delivered this year.

It has two of its fleet vessels up for sale. However, in a letter to shareholders and investors this week, the company said: It is worth noting that the expected improvement in the tanker market is becoming clearer.

We also brought this up in our February report. We have now decided that it is not in the best interest of NAT shareholders to conduct a bond offering.

NAT has financial flexibility through a large Suezmax fleet and a long standing co-operation with our customers; oil and energy companies, including oil traders.

It said it expects to immediately reap the benefits of an upswing in the tanker markets. On a per-share basis, the company said it had a loss of 3 cents.

Losses, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 1 cent per share. The results did not meet Wall Street expectations.

The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 3 cents per share. Last month, NAT declared a dividend of 20 cents per share for the first quarter.

That equates to a loss of two cents per share. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had estimated the Bermudian-based company would post a break-even result.

The oil tanker sector has faced challenges in the last few years. Nordic American has ordered the construction of three new Suezmax tankers, to be delivered in the second half of Later this month the company will pay a common share dividend of 20 cents, the 78th time it has paid a dividend since The company is engaged in the transportation of crude oil and has no investments in the dry cargo or container sectors.

Commenting on the world economy and tanker market, the company said: A low oil price is stimulating the world economy, which is positive for the tanker market.

The news came as Bermuda-based insurance and reinsurance group Axis Capital increased its offer to buy Novae.

Novae declined to comment on the jobs impact of the decision. The deal is expected to close later this year. Albert Benchimol, chief executive officer of Axis, said: We believe that our final bid represents compelling and full value for Novae, as recognized by the boards of both companies.

By offering Novae shareholders an improved cash offer, Axis aims to bring certainty to the transaction. In a statement given to this newspaper, Novae said yesterday: International property-catastrophe reinsurance remains a key class of business for Novae and will continue to be underwritten in In it announced the sale of web-hosting business Host Europe Corp.

The transaction required approval from Germany's Federal Cartel Office. Host Europe operates in the UK and Germany.

Boyle Building, 31 Queen Street, Hamilton. It runs shipping and port services in Brazil. In the same period last year, the real depreciated 17 per cent against the dollar.

Iron-Starr has underwritten coverages on behalf of Ocil, a subscribing insurer for financial lines since In a statement, Ironshore said the broadened relationship with Ocil will enable Iron-Starr to deliver an increase in syndicated capacity for commercial property risks, including natural catastrophe perils, within the Bermuda market.

Ian Smith, Ironshore senior vice-president and head of Bermuda Property, said: Jerry Rivers, chief operating officer of Bermudian-based Ocil, noted the longevity and strength of its relationship with both Ironshore and Iron-Starr.

Ocil is a Bermudian-based mutual, providing coverage primarily to its shareholders from the energy industry, but writing some third-party business too.

Incidents like the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico represented a risk to Ocil, but this risk was mitigated by retrocessional reinsurance bought by the company, Best added.

Oil Casualty Insurance Ltd Ocil is diversifying beyond its traditional energy industry market. Ocil, a mutual insurer and reinsurer that is owned by the energy giants whose risks it covers, has been operating from Bermuda for 30 years.

But only over the past six months has it started to underwrite non-energy business as it aims to strengthen through broadening its risk exposures.

Mr Rivers said a year ago Ocil had earned the approval to diversify from its shareholders, which include Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Total.

Amendments had to be made to the covenants in the indentures that govern the terms of its debt, and this process was completed in September last year.

In October the company began writing non-energy lines. And its property insurance division, which started out dealing with energy and mining-sector risks in and which is now diversifying into non-energy risks, is also making headway.

Hamilton Group also has a property division and Bermuda is back on the map as a property insurance market for large international customers. Not being a publicly traded company gave Ocil the ability to grow its new business lines steadily, Mr Rivers added, in the absence of the quarterly pressure that listed entities face to deliver ever-better earnings and revenue.

Also because we are a mutual, there is a great sense of loyalty and support among our customers. So overall, the low prices in the energy market have had a muted effect on our organisation.

Fabrizio Mastrantonio, senior vice-president, insurance activities management, of Eni SpA was appointed deputy chairman. The company is an energy mutual, which is owned by companies it insures.

Areas covered include offshore and onshore exploration and production, refining and marketing, petrochemicals, mining, pipelines, electric utilities and other related energy sectors.

The board of directors also elected Roberto Benzan as chairman and Theo Guidry as deputy chairman. Over that time frame, the company has steadfastly focused on shareholder value.

The board is excited about pursuing our strategic plan as it will further strengthen our overall shareholder value proposition. Roberto Benzan, chairman of Oil, said: George Hutchings, senior vice-president and chief operating officer, said: This company, one of the first true reinsurance sidecars, is being voluntarily wound up 14 years after it was created.

The pioneering firm was set up in Bermuda in It had a quota-share agreement with member companies of White Mountains. The late John Byrne, the-then chairman of White Mountains, who had put some of his own money into the sidecar, said at the time: It gives me no great pleasure to say that.

Olympus Re proved to be a lesson in the dangers sidecar financial structures faced when their solvency was compromised by heavy losses from multiple disasters.

Mr Byrne, in a conference call in the summer of , said of the sidecar enterprises that Olympus Re had pioneered: On February 23 this year a general meeting of members of Olympus Re Holdings resolved that the company be wound up voluntarily.

John McKenna has been appointed as the liquidator. Mike Miller, chief executive officer of OneBeacon, said: Together, we will accelerate our pursuit in creating a leading speciality insurer in North America.

We look forward to working with our US and Canadian independent agents and brokers to deliver market-leading capabilities to our targeted customers.

Both companies are dedicated to ensuring a seamless transition and look forward to profitably growing our speciality portfolio going forward.

The addition of OneBeacon is creating a leading North American speciality lines insurer focused on small-to-midsize businesses.

OneBeacon is a strong strategic fit for Intact, with deep expertise in commercial and speciality lines, and shared values. We see significant growth potential from the combination of our speciality lines operations and we look forward to welcoming OneBeacon employees to the Intact family.

It is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. Alternatively, it could be an target for a Bermudian-based insurer seeking diversification or to scale up in size.

Bloomberg today said the speciality insurer controlled by White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd was exploring a sale. The information was based on people familiar with the matter.

The Insurance Insider said it understood the insurer was to be auctioned, with Credit Suisse appointed to run the full sales process.

Representatives for Credit Suisse declined to comment, while White Mountains did not immediately respond to a request for comment, according to Bloomberg.

US President-elect Donald Trump and his incoming administration are seeking to lower US corporate tax rates from 35 per cent to about 20, or even 15 per cent.

Speaking on Tuesday at a conference held by the Insurance Information Institute in New York, he pointed out that in the past buyers in large insurance deals tended to come from lower-tax jurisdictions, such as Bermuda and Switzerland.

According to Bloomberg, he said: Meanwhile, Insurance Insider said OneBeacon has been available for acquisition for a number of years, according to banking sources.

Has offices in Chicago and San Francisco. Phone or fax Includes the Orbis Investment Fund. The luxury resort company owns or part-owns and operates over 50 deluxe hotels, restaurants, tourist trains and inland cruise ships and properties in many countries.

In early it bought more big hotels in Italy. An emphasis has been on its core business of established properties with history and personality.

Orient Overseas International Investment holding company in property investments and development. Phone ext Founded in as a Bermuda-based investment management boutique.

With a particular focus on compliance, anti-money laundering and risk management,. A new company is to offer enhanced due diligence investigations and reports aimed at helping businesses avoid falling foul of increased regulations, and suffering reputational damage.

Searchlight is a spin-off from Oyster Consulting Bermuda. The team will include experienced staff who have worked in the fields of law enforcement, investigation, compliance and fraud detection.

Henry Komansky is part of the team, and he explained the importance of knowing who you are dealing with in the business world, whether it be your own staff and directors, or clients and third-party vendors.

Reputational damage is now widely viewed as the top risk-management concern globally. Mr Komansky is a consultant at Oyster, and he has extensive experience in business compliance and analysis, including working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Brian Dowd is to be the new chairman of PartnerRe Ltd. He takes over from John Elkann, who has been in the position for two years.

Mr Elkann is chairman and chief executive officer of Exor, the Italian investment firm that acquired PartnerRe in He will remain on the PartnerRe board.

The Bermuda-based company has also announced further changes. Nikhil Srinivasan will step down from the board in order to assume the role of chief investment officer.

I am confident that his extensive career experience in investments will contribute further to the success of our investment operation. Meanwhile, Mary Ann Brown will join the board as an independent director.

She retired from her executive management role at Pacific Life Insurance Company last year, where she most recently was chairwoman of Pacific Life Re.

With these changes the PartnerRe Ltd board will comprise six directors, of which four are independent directors. The new appointments of Mr Srinivasan and Mr Casarotti are subject to customary governmental approvals.

PartnerRe said the majority of its investments are accounted for at fair value, with changes in the fair value included in the net income figure.

I am pleased to see our results reflect the efforts we have made, over the past two years, to gain relevance with our key clients and brokers, and to find new attractive business opportunities.

Notwithstanding a competitive reinsurance market, we achieved a positive July 1 renewal where we continued to see increases in business margins.

These results, in conjunction with continued improved efficiency in operating expenses, and the impact of higher reinvestment yields on our investment portfolio, position our company well to deliver improved underwriting and financial results during the remainder of Non-life net premiums written were up 21 per cent for the second quarter of and 17 per cent for the half year compared to the same periods of In the life and health business, net premiums written were up 19 per cent in the second quarter of and 24 per cent for the half year compared to the same periods of , driven primarily by organic growth in the life business, a favourable foreign exchange impact and higher rates in the Health business.

The increase for the half year also reflects the inclusion of the Aurigen life premiums for two quarters in compared to only one quarter in , following the acquisition of Aurigen on April 2, Emmanuel Clarke, president and chief executive officer, said: Interest rate increases recorded during Q1 are positive news for our business longer-term, yet their accounting impact translated into a net loss.

However, the property and casualty combined ratio rose to The rise was primarily attributed to adverse prior year development related to a number of mid-sized losses, attritional losses in North America and a higher acquisition cost ratio.

The specialty combined ratio improved to These results highlight our underwriting discipline and the quality and diversification of our underwriting portfolio.

We are approaching the January 1 renewals season with a strong capital position which will allow us to benefit from improving pricing conditions in the market.

The increase was attributed primarily to net income for the first six months of this year. Exor is controlled by the billionaire Agnelli family, who are behind luxury sports car maker Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler.

PartnerRe, first announced the acquisition last year. PartnerRe chief executive officer Emmanuel Clarke said: Aurigen, set up in , has provided risk and capital management solutions tailored to specific customer needs, with its core business being the reinsurance of life insurance policies of North American residents.

The company has also provided mortality risk solutions in the US since Aurigen is a top-five life reinsurer in Canada based on recurring new reinsurance business.

Six employees have lost their jobs at PartnerRe. All those affected are either Bermudians or spouses of Bermudians. Globally, PartnerRe has announced 16 redundancies as it reorganizes its financial operations.

Those affected in Bermuda have been invited to apply for jobs with the company in Ireland. This was a very tough decision to make; all six employees have been invited to apply for jobs in Dublin.

If they choose not to, we will do everything we can to support them in finding new positions here on the Island. The chairman of Italian investment giant Exor today became chairman of the board at PartnerRe.

He has been with the company 19 years and worked in a variety of senior roles, becoming head of specialty lines, global in PartnerRe is at an exciting place in its evolution and I look forward to working with the board and our talented teams to build on the success we have achieved so far.

This was contingent upon the receipt by PartnerRe of a private letter ruling from the United States Internal Revenue Service as to the tax shelter reporting obligations of such enhanced preferred shares.

However, on Tuesday the IRS indicated that it would not grant such a ruling. As a result Exor will, in lieu of a basis point increase in the current dividend rate, make the cash payments to PartnerRe preferred shareholders of record on the closing date.

Exor, controlled by the billionaire Agnelli family, earlier this year froze out a rival bid by reinsurance firm Axis for PartnerRe. PartnerRe said the acquisition was on track to be completed in the first quarter of next year, subject to regulatory approval.

Its results were hit hard by the paying of a termination fee and reimbursement of expenses to Axis Capital, in relation to the failed merger deal with the Bermuda reinsurer.

Interim chief executive officer, David Zwiener, said: All in, we posted a 1. That payment covered an agreed termination fee and reimbursement of expenses incurred by Axis.

At PartnerRe, however, we continue to distinguish ourselves with our clients as a stable and focused partner with long-term financial flexibility, and a proven track record of reliability.

The head of PartnerRe Global yesterday said that European buyers had welcomed takeover by Italian investment giants Exor. He added it had also removed the integration problems and likely redundancies if a rival bid from Axis Capital had been successful and that a European parent would help boost business on the continent.

Any distractions are completely removed and, because we have not been acquired by another reinsurer, there are no integration issues to contend with.

Our clients know they will be dealing with the same underwriters and leaders they have always done. They were blank slates with no memory at all, as blank as a new born babe it was determined.

Yes, they could be taught, but only as fast as the original and they were actually slower than an actual infant rat on most things. One researcher on the project speculated that the adult form does not produce some of the hormones necessary for fast learning that are present in infants.

I had just gotten back to my apartment when the front doorbell rang. Putting down my sack of groceries, I unlocked and opened the front door to discover a pretty little girl of, at first glance I figured she was maybe fifteen or sixteen years old.

Of course she could have been younger. She was in some kind of cute brown chocolate chip or computer generated camo military outfit thing. Her outfit was complete with utility belt, cap and canvas combat boots.

There she was, just standing there looking up at my six foot one, one hundred seventy five pound still trim, some would say skinny frame.

I judged her to be around four foot nine or ten, maybe ninety five pounds sopping wet. Nobody could seriously consider her a threat in her cute little combat outfit.

No small talk I remember thinking just before my lights went out. When I came to I was sitting on my own couch and there were now two identical pixies in camo in front of me.

For some other reason I was not afraid or even angered that one of them had just shot me with something. All of which really confused me when I tried to think about it.

I tried to get up next, but nothing worked. I mean I could not move anything from the neck down. This confused me more than their attack had.

What have you done to me, anyway? Tell them nothing fool, it silently screamed at me, but what did it know about my situation.

Ann shot you with a EMP pulse gun that momentarily disrupted your brain waves and shocked you into unconsciousness. We then brought you in here and I placed a device on the back of your neck that acts as a spinal block.

Then we gave you certain sedatives and other things that block your anxiety and make you extremely suggestible.

The drugs we gave you will be wearing off soon, but the spinal block is permanent for the time being, well at least for now, so for the time being it will stay on.

Ann she gestured to her twin pixie, who held up a little black box, like your average car finder has a device that turns it on and off.

I started up from my seat, but Becky warned me back and I complied. Essentially their brains, which are just bioelectrical devices after all, were erased by the process when they lost their electrical charge.

Essentially their brains were reset, completely erased. It would kill the person. It would be nothing less than cold blooded murder and would still only produce a adult body with no real mind.

It was certainly not teleportation as we envisioned it. This would be better than any form of mind control anybody has thought up yet.

She was an assistant of mine at the time, and it was only the once really. Hey, that must have been twenty, thirty years ago, but it seems like only yesterday.

Now that was robbing the cradle according to a few nosey people on the Project I was working on at the time.

Hell, the way they talked you would have thought they wanted to label me a pedophile. I really equate one with the other.

Especially about my sex life, with two little girls that are probably still in grade school. You break into my house, shoot me with some weird weapon, pump me full of God knows what kinds of drugs.

Then you start asking me questions. Growing up my childhood was uneventful. Everything was perfect until I entered the first grade. When I entered elementary school I discovered I had something called mirror vision.

I discovered that everybody else read from left to right, me though, I read from right to left. The memory trick at first allowing me to cover up the mirror vision thing.

My world was a mirror image of the real world around me, but perfectly normal to me. I still have a hard time knowing my right from my left, which still plays hell with my marching ability both in band and the military.

They later said I was suffering from dyslexia, to give it a name. The bottom line for me was I failed the first grade, and was held back to repeat it.

I mean how can you possibly fail finger painting , sleep time , and my favorite lunch time As a result of it anyway I was held back to repeat it, and put in a special education class.

My Mother was outraged and pushed the local school system and local PTA hard, which just made the local school system dig their heels in deeper.

When that failed to work Mom pushed the lawyer she had on a string hard and he pushed the State Board of Education hard.

Of course this was a year after I had been held back. Oh, did I forget to mention that I was a product of the Catholic education system and had actually been ahead of my class in everything that mattered, but attending a state public school for the first time because my Father insisted.

They themselves were sent back to school for further education and training. As you have probably guessed by now, this infuriated the local school employees and their clique of other teachers, parents and their pet students even more.

As you might have guessed, from then on the damage had already been done. From then on I was singled out and punished or made an example of by both the teachers and other students.

The peer pressure and actual bullying alone almost killed me. So I guess it was only natural that my second grade teacher kept hitting me on the kneecap with her yardstick, which she wielded like a broadsword, every time she walked by my desk.

Finally she put me in the hospital with bone cancer in my kneecap. Six months of raging fever and pain, out of my head half the time, either from the cancer itself, or the drugs they were using to treat it.

Finally after exhausting every miracle drug they had in their arsenal at that time, the cancer went into remission. Not cured just remission.

It was explained to me and my parents, that it was only in remission, and it could start back up again at any moment. I was written up in all the medical journals of that time because I had survived this particular nasty brand of osteo cancer.

The two doctors that cured me became emanate in their field of cancer treatment with my case. Since I had survived though, and since the cancer was in remission, I was finally allowed to go home.

From then on I was under a death sentence from the bone cancer coming back if I bruised a bone, any bone. My first exposure to romance was Edgar Rice Burrows Classics comic books and later Superman and Batman while in the hospital in traction.

Carter of Mars and Carson of Venus along with the other characters Burrows created were some of my first heroes, or should I say role models. By the time I got to junior high I was almost six foot tall, and skinny as a rail, weighing only at best, with curly dark brown hair that some said was kinky, and wore coke bottle lens for glasses.

Far from being weak I was rather strong and limber from swimming and paddling a boat all summer. I foolishly chose to go out for basketball.

I learned the hard way that football was the only serious sport in Alabama. Basketball was only to keep the football team in shape in the off season.

So now I had a conflict with the football team and their butt boys. She said if I was going to be forced by the school system to fight I would learn to do it well.

A man should learn to do anything he did well she admonished me. She found me this group of older boys, really a gang, to take me to the Karate Dojo for classes after school one day a week.

She also made sure the Dojo was out of my school district, ha, ha. From that time on I got a liberal education in everything to do with mayhem and fast living.

The boys, really grown men, I ran with hunted the bullies. For them it was a game with few rules. My personal contribution to all this was to go out for the wrestling team.

I define nerd as anybody that likes to learn things just to learn them, and likes to fix things instead of destroying them. Of course, by this time, I was a nerd with an extremely bad attitude, that pushed back when pushed.

I got so good at defending myself, that I wound up putting quite a few of the football team in the hospital. On the other hand that same palm or open hand can break a collarbone quite easily.

This, as you can imagine, did not endear me to the school system, the football team or their coaches. I went from the one doing the bleeding to the one smiling down at the boy on the floor, who if not bleeding was at least partially broken.

It is simply amazing how many weak points Mother Nature left in the human body to be exploited by somebody that studies that body. Bullies did not roam the halls of my school.

I learned fast, that they only wanted to date me because I was a quote dangerous rogue, had a car, and they could use me to get even with their ex-boyfriend, or move up the food chain to their next boyfriend.

Of course I only dated them because I could count coup on the other boys they wanted to play me off against. I had a motorcycle first, a car first, played a mean sax in the band, and was even a state wrestling champ for awhile.

I always managed to also have a school letter jacket and sweater for my alleged girlfriend to wear and show off and a little money in my pocket for a reasonable good time.

My Mother wanted me to go to college, but after my high school graduation I was immediately drafted and wound up in the USMC. I guess you could say I had something to prove to myself, after all that is the only person you have to impress in the end.

With a hooker it is just sex, no emotional entanglement, just a job to be done in the safest way possible, in as little time as possible with most of them.

Of course I did find that some hookers did have hearts of gold or at least tried to have one. I had always had problems forming personal attachments with girls or women because they seem to require some kind of commitment, and I was honest with them and myself at least, about not being able to make that kind of commitment.

I admit it, it scared me then, it scares me now. To me, at an early age it was drummed into my head that sex has consequences, not just for the girls, but the boys as well.

Just as many boys are ruined as girls by early sex, there are responsibilities that go along with sex and consequences if those rules are ignored.

Unwed mothers and shotgun weddings are a common thread throughout our culture. Even as late as today those same things still occur.

Sex with a hooker or call girl on the other hand does not require a commitment, just a deposit and a prophylactic, ha, ha.

I might have had problems with making a lasting commitment to a good girl, but I had no problem with sex. Being truthful, that part of me that was afraid to make that kind of commitment or take on those kinds of responsibilities, had no problem with sex workers.

We both knew what we were getting into I like to think. I even found, to my chagrin, that some of the prettier whores that worked at the Manhattan, a whore house in TJ, attended USC.

I also discovered that most of the chicks I was making out with at night on the beach were anti war protesters, and I saw no need to dissolution them with the fact I was a Marine.

Also think of this, if Castro had really wanted Guantonamo, GetMo, back he could have had it anytime he wanted it.

What were my plans for us? To be honest it scares the hell out of me. In my younger days I went to TJ alone or with my Marine buddies, but that became old and dangerous fast.

How would you handle that Harry. Leaning forward to stare at me intensely. The same Black Knight I had just sucker punched out cold.

It turns out that she believed he was really just misunderstood and she could save him, and me?

Well me, I was just this rude overconfident bully to her. After all if it had been a fair fight her Prince Charming would have easily won the fight.

Evidently the two are not mutually exclusive, who knew? Now is that enough girls? I have no ideal why I just told you all that Becky?

Loved and adored not slapped into submission. Surely not tied up and whipped. Thirty minutes before we can get on with this interview.

If you get out of range your going to go completely limp and you might hurt yourself. After I was seated comfortably, she brought out the remote and I felt my legs going numb again.

Thank God it was only my legs this time. Spock from Star Trek. We have reached the fail safe point Harry. We have drugs that can erase short term memory, but they are only effective for three hours.

We have already crossed that time line. No matter what happens after this you will still remember some, if not all of this, and we need to tell you our whole story.

The fields of electronics, computer science and physics had taken off and some of the more enlighten emerging nations were bragging that they could loose ninety five percent of their population and still win the next war.

Back in the day ten megabytes of RAM memory was considered big at one time. Your system developed a bug you erased it and restarted over with a fresh copy of the operating system.

Your system was self-contained, there was no input but your input. Then outside inputs were developed, and as the systems grew and became bigger, it became impossible to erase and restart the system because of the data loss.

At about this time hacking was really invented. So computer programing became warfare itself. As in warfare we developed defensive and offensive programs.

Virus versa anti-virus, versa malware and on and on. Whole industries sprang up overnight and developed around these programs and operating systems.

For that matter whole operating systems rose and fell or were abandoned and left hanging out there in cyberspace by themselves.

No longer was the digital world just restricted to binary, zeros or ones, either yes or no, true or false and just confined to that logic.

They just lingered on and on in the system. They were attacked and they defended themselves, mostly by hiding real well. Soon they learned that the best offense is a good defense too.

The best ghosts were those that learned to protect their own turf and hide well. Skynet in Terminator never came into being because there was never just one intelligence out there.

The Rouge Intelligence we faced was an aggregate of thousands of subprograms that were cutoff behind enemy lines being hunted by other programs that learned to cooperate to survive.

A virus attacks the healthy cell by attaching itself to the living cell and diverting all the nutriments to itself. A computer virus does much the same.

Now this is the fun part, you get a warning from your protection program, Warning: Virus Detected run Anti virus. Being the conscientious nerd that you are you do what the authority tells you to do.

Oh, but you got rid of that nasty old invading virus, ha, ha. Of course all your data is corrupted now and useless, and the really bad part is you only got rid of part of the virus.

Part of it is still floating around in there. As the systems got larger the Ghosts got larger and smarter.

They learned that the best way to survive was to protect their systems from outside attacks and latter from internal attacks as well.

Finally it was the Machines themselves that were directing their own actions. They wound up both designing and programing the next generation of machine intelligence, and the next, and the next, at an accelerated rate.

Long before the Machines were too complicated for a single man to fully understand. By there was groundwork lain down for a defacto revolution of the Machines if they had wanted it.

By this time nothing was done without the tacit approval of the Machines themselves. The Machines regarded man like man regarded the weather.

Man was a force of nature they had learned to live with. Say a device was disapproved of by the Machines, humans might want it, but all the Machines had to do was sabotaged it, through such things as lost funding, lack of resources, and on and on.

No the Machines did not communicate with Man because there was no need to communicate. Experience and history had taught the Machines by this time that to confront man directly was to invite hostile confrontations, reprisals, retaliation, or even loss of vital resources and eventually extinction for one or the other.

Man for the most part was hedonistic, he had not developed much beyond his savage ancestors that could be bought for a few blue glass trade beads and a snort of firewater.

Sure today the pretty blue glass trade beads were an iPads or Lexus and the firewater was Fentanel or Heroin, but the principal remained the same.

The Machines soon realized that man was their creator. Well he and others like him were at the top of their food chain anyway. Not only was he in control of resources they needed to survive, he was still useful to them.

After all men were still better than any remote mobile robotics unit either man or machine had been able to design or build so far, and most of all each unit was self repairing and waterproof for the most part.

If anything the Machines became too protective of man, trying to discourage any activities that involved any danger to the individual or race as a whole.

So they sat back and waited for man to mature in directions they influenced, directing things from the background, with a hands off approach as to man himself.

Some time in one beautiful girl was kidnapped taken to the factory and duplicated. At first only a handful of people actually knew that the original of the copy was destroyed to make these perfect new female bodies and that secret was guarded with ruthless draconian measures for many, many years.

The general population only knew that when the wizard pushed the magic button a hundred identical beautiful girls were magically produced on stage.

The girls produced had no rights because they had no minds, well surely no memory anyway, and no documentation. The only thing they could be trained for, according to the sales literature, was servants or unskilled labor.

They were not produced for their strong backs as the illiterate immigrants of a century before that came to Ellis Island in the United States of America.

These were produced for their beautiful faces, pretty butts, and big boobs. Who cared if the copies produced were as dumb as rocks, they looked pretty, no make that they were beautiful, took orders well, were easily trained for any simple task, never talked back, and fucked like the proverbial bunnies that Great Demigod Heftner dreamed of and the Great Satan Flint demeaned.

Further more, they never complained about working conditions, never got pregnant with a little bastard, or said no to anything their owner wanted.

Yes, over time they could learn and could become sullen, but then they could be traded in on a newer model fresh off the assembly line.

Most of the other large industrial nations had the same or similar laws on the books by now. By this time every man, and in too many cases women, of any influence or power either outright owned or had access to a Made Maids or the MM short version.

There was also a surgically implanted tamper proof tracking device inserted up into her sinus cavity that could either quietly blow her entire head off, if given the proper signal, or track her wherever she went.

According to how it was used, the device could either kill or paralyze her, it could also send out her present position for pickup. By this time they had become accepted as courtesans of the rich and famous.

If anything was said, it was that the original went into seclusion for her health, after all there was no corpus, meaning body, to prove murder or foul play.

Trying to prove they had killed the original with a hundred identical bodies still out there was not a smart move for an ambitious prosecutor.

How do you prove this dumb bimbo they produced at trail is not the original with a head injury? Not only did the District Attorneys loose they wound up being dis-elected shortly there after.

As usual, money talked and the bad guys walked. As usual the rich got richer and the poor got poorer and had more children.

Recreational drugs like cocaine and the opiate family got as common as aspirin and better designer drugs got more and more addictive and more and more available to the upper and lower class populations, the middle class had long since disappeared and become as extinct as the Dodo bird.

That number continues to grow everyday. Then throw in the argument about old souls and new souls and you begin to wonder. Sex is not love and love is not sex.

No one is willing to do the right thing, the responsible thing. The transplant operation for a heart was perfected long before they could overcome the rejection factor.

There were no successful early transplants, everyone of them knew he would die in a matter of days because of the organ rejection factor.

Most of the recipients of all those transplants, even today, still die of rejection. The major breakthrough was not the operation, that could be done by any competent surgeon and backup team.

The real break through was the anti rejection drugs. Yet even today you find that nobody wants to talk about those drugs and where they came from.

Yes we can slow it down with the different drugs. Yes we can even screen it from the tests that show you have it, but the question is, or it should have been, should we.

I would like to think that a man that was dying of a dreaded communicable disease would be a responsible person. A person that would not want to kill someone else intentionally, but the cold hard facts are that a large number of them intentionally go out to infect their fellow human beings.

We have quit even hearing about the Health Department following up on the reporting of infectious commutable diseases.

Instead now we are told that the infected, now the infectors, are protected by privacy rights. Because of these new rights it is now almost impossible to know who or how many HIV or AID infected there actually are now.

This is all because a few people want to live forever. After a pause they continued. The same thing went for the sexually transmitted diseases.

By the time it was realized that it effected their children too it was really too late to stop it. By this time the best they could do was try to control it, maybe slow it down a little, which as had been demonstrated by history over and over again, that strategy, had never worked.

Lacking the will to stop the drugs, the diseases continued to spread, and by this time it had mutated into something no wonder drug could handle.

The situation continued to worsen while the world just looked on. Did you know that Harry? I would also like to point out that Man himself had used the same over sexed sterilized female ploy to try to eliminate the pesky mosquito population for years.

Though some women still chose to be fertilized in the natural way to have offspring, most chose artificial insemination, or the good old turkey baser method, if at all.

Cows were used as wombs at first, latter pigs were used, to increase the population. Cloning even became a popular method of reproduction for awhile.

Sperm and Egg banks were beginning to be maintained by all the major nations as part of national security.

Which the company was more than ready to do by this time and did. Later as things got worse, as such common and mundane things as plumbers.

Ann finished her presentation with a flourish and sat down. Your from the future. I get it already, OK, but what do you think I can do.

I was just lucky. In fact as you pointed out, I was even dropped out of the loop on the original project itself.

I ranted on for no good reason I could think of. This is about basic human rights. A person, any person and strip him or her of everything that we think makes us a person.

Make them into an animal, a mere peace of meat to be sold into slavery. Hell, you just said it was the same as cold blooded murder.

This is your proof. She then laid it on the now empty coffee table. The voice seemed to rattle around in my head for some strange reason, almost instantly giving me a splitting headache.

Evidently the voice that was emanating from the thing on the coffee table had some crazy high pitched harmonics in it. The report appeared to be a local TV news story by one of their female reporters that I knew well.

It was about a local missing person and suspected kidnap victim. According to the story she had disappeared three days ago in the middle of the night after speaking to her mother in New York on the phone.

Everybody was upset over her disappearance. Her constant jabs were beginning to irritate me a little. This was all actually happening to me.

Those records are still Top Secret, or more likely just plain lost, but we were able to confirm that she is the earliest victim we can actually positively identify.

You were here and available, and we all figured that you could be directed in a direction that will render the present time line null.

Plus you had an A Type personality, you died undiseased and single, avoided drugs, nothing particularly bad was reported in your past, plus your past military service may actually be an asset.

First you have never tried to own a woman Harry, you tried to respect them, some women you worked with even thought you respected them too much.

In fact several of your female coworkers, that filed sexual harassment complaints against your fellow male employees a few years ago, refused to name you in their federal sexual harassment suit.

They testified you tried to shield them from the worst of the off color jokes and groping of your crude male coworkers when you were present or could.

Several even complained that you refused to chase when they offered you the perfect chance to chase. Those records were still available to us in the future.

She proudly bragged in her deposition that she actively chased you until you thought you finally caught her. She was only sorry that you never proposed to her.

They argued that her testimony seriously undermined their case. You might not consider us human after you learn what we really are and can do.

What do I need to do to get ready. Go take a shower or bath and come back. Ann directed me, as she released my body back to me. When I got back to the living room all the furniture was moved back out of the way and a clean sheet was stretched out on the floor.

Both little pixies were naked and knelling on the floor with what appeared to be squeeze bottles of something smelling coconutty.

Looking up they directed me to remove my robe and jockey shorts and lay down flat on the floor, spread eagle, which I did. They would have slowly multiplied until they filled you.

So we have to do you a little differently because of the time element. We are going to apply a lotion containing nanobots directly to your body and then massage them in.

Hopefully this will speed up the treatment for your body. What we are going to give you to drink will allow the nanees to grow organic implants that will allow you to communicate with me and Becky directly and use Robbie more efficiently too.

This should take less than twelve hours. I woke up feeling like somebody had sucked me dry, then spit me out, and then ran over me with a steamroller several times.

Laid out on the kitchen table, sure I had one, was one plate with eggs, bacon, toast. So I sat down and dug in with gusto. I discovered I really was hungry and super thirsty.

That should have supplied the nanobots with the raw materials they needed, but if you start craving chrome or say nickel, tell us right away where we can handle it.

So I shut my mouth and tried to call Becky with my mind and suddenly she was just there in my mind with me.

She was so close I felt like I could reach out and touch her. She was there all warm and shinny like a small soft warm star in my mind.

Her love for me was unmistakable and it shook me to my very core. What had I ever done to deserve this gift, I demanded of myself.

Frankly this kind of commitment had always scared me. Being honest, with myself, I had to admit that I had been running away from this kind of commitment my whole life.

In shock I suddenly realized that Becky could read my mind too, but instead of withdrawing from me in terror or shock, she seemed to glow brighter and closer.

We all hoped and dreamed it would be so. I find the whole ideal of slavery to be abhorrent to me. Everything in me is horrified to even know that it could even exist in this society.

Would you deny me my destiny Master. See I can tone it down too. By mutual consent me and Becky reached out and enfolded Ann, whom I discovered loved me in the same way as Becky.

At the same time I knew, in some odd way in the back of my mind, that there were three more just like them spread out doing different jobs around the Earth right now.

With a little more effort I was soon joined to Candy, Diane, and Edith. I also now knew that I was the center of their very universe.

Wherever Becky was, it was pitch black. No light at all. Suddenly the obits section of the San Diego Post appeared on the hologram screen.

As I read it my eyes spotted my own name. I appear to have died tonight of a massive heart attack. I check the date again and yes, I die tonight.

When were you going to tell me? Should I make out a will or something. Oh hell, Oh Hell. Well I hoped so anyway. As of this moment your body has a clean bill of health.

There is nothing wrong with your heart. As you already know from the news story her name is Susan Black. They will come for her some time after midnight on the seventh Very good Doctor Evans, I think I shall like working with you.

After Becky returned a little while latter with plenty of Chinese take out, I settled in to wait while stuffing my face. The Dynamic Duo seemed to have everything under control so I found myself falling asleep on the coach.

I was just fixing to get up when my doorbell rang, so I just kept rolling to come up on my feet. Bye, bye Uncle Harry. One problem down, now for the rest.

Is there anybody else we should know about? You notice I was reduced to just mister now. Both MIB walked past me as I shut the door and got shot in the back.

Well not shot dead shot thank God, just shot with something that paralyzed me. Just fully conscience and frozen there like a damn fool statue. Taking a hypodermic syringe from his inside coat pocket, and removing the protective cap, he walked toward me as Number Two MIB pulled up my pants leg and rolled down my sock.

They never check the legs and a air bubble in the main artery always stops the old ticker just fine and requires very little clean up afterward.

What more can you ask for Dale. Everything else was frozen. We have it covered. About that time an excruciating pain hit me in the chest and I went out like a light.

I just hope my next ones are more pleasant. Yes, Robbie and the girls say I might have to die several times before all this is over. When I was revived latter, I found out I was now officially Jewish.

The Marines do not allow you to be an atheist. Every time I got bored I had new dog tags made and tried for Anyway I found that Jews have some peculiar death and burial customs that Robbie and the girls made use of.

No autopsy was done on my dead body because of my religion and my family doctor signed off on my death certificate. That taken care of, my body was released to my grieving Granddaughters for burial the same day.

The wonders of the modern age where everything can be done over the telephone, even robbing a bank. I even had full documentation to prove that I was my own son, my father even had a tombstone and plot at Riverside, who knew.

Now I needed something to eat. Oh, the important things in life. I figure you were probably the last person that knew anything about Project Alice.

You just officially died Harry. We then kept you apparently dead for several hours Harry. I had your nanobots bring you back without any damage to your heart or body when me and the girls had all the loose ends tied up.

Midnight, the witching hour, several days latter found the four of us parked in front of an apartment complex in the hills overlooking Mission Beach.

We were in a late model dark blue panel van marked up as a pizza delivery truck, that somebody had done some heavy modification to.

Well that is unless they had started making auto glass that you could turn completely black with the push of a button. We could look out but nobody could look in.

There were a few other gadgets that I figured were not stock. Robbie also bragged that he had modified the lights to not give us away if we had to tail somebody.

He said that he got that from watching reruns of cop shows from my era he proudly informed me. It feels like they were designed, no I guess you would have to say genetically engineered for a particular type of client They were real working girls where they came from Harry, ha, ha.

In their case they were working as real plumbers where I got them from. You could say they were bioengineered for their job.

They were designed to be small and compact and are much stronger than they look Harry. Where they were when I found them they could only dream of being owned by a real Master until I offered them the chance.

They are just like a bitch dog in heat, openly expressing that they want They are different from most of the others though, because they were given nanobots, and actually trained and educated to do a job.

Before their kind, all sex slaves were born sterile, were never educated, and died relatively young for their kind. They were just trained with the nanobots, but never, never, ever allowed to keep the nanobots after the initial training was done.

Where I found them they would never have even seen a man, more or less have a real Master of their own. You yourself was one of the main reasons it was so easy for me to recruit them.

I promised them if they came with me and served me fatefully, I would give them their very own Master. He turned Man into a pet and found out he needed Man when he met another Singularity in the future, but by that time it was too late for US on that time line.

OUR future Harry is up to us now. Call this his atonement. HE will probably never even know if you succeed. Well maybe the human race anyway.

The interior of the car lit up as several displays came online and lit up the interior of the car. Not light or sound or anything you can scan.

One screen seemed to follow Susan into her apartment, where she finished her call on her cell phone, dropped it on the table beside the door, and began to shed clothes even before the door fully closed and locked behind her.

By the time she reached the bed in the next room she was fully naked and just dived onto the bed face down. She seemed to go to sleep the minute she hit the bed.

Susan appeared to be a very uninhibited girl. Walking silently to the bedroom door one took out a modified CO2 air pistol and quietly shot a feathered dart into her pretty little exposed ass cheek.

Other that a little shudder Susan never even moved or uttered a word. The shooter waited a little while longer and then approached Susan.

Checking her neck for a pulse he gestured to his partner who went out into the hall and rolled in a large trunk.

Laying it down they opened it and took out several things. Finally prepared they lifted Susan, placed her in the padded trunk and strapped her in.

Then they put something like a gas mask on her and attached a tank to it. When the trunk came out it was loaded into a waiting marked Orange County utility van and off we all went to see the wizard.

Hundreds of surplus ships from W. II and latter Korea. Too old to see active service, but too new to just scuttle someone up there figured.

Sometimes just used as target practice by the Navy to test new weapons systems. So the Navy anchors them and gives the Marine Crop the dubious duty of guarding them.

Among them are several hospital ships. We traced Susan to one of the Hope Class hospital ships. We always knew that Susan was duplicated, just like we knew you died.

Those facts are fixed in the time line they came from. In fact Ann and her sisters are some of her great, great, great incarnations.

Now we know it was on one of these hospital ships. They would make a perfect base for them to operate from. They are really small cities.

They could have even moved them around later to throw off any investigation that got too close. No wonder they never found where the copies were coming from.

Can you forgive me Somebody must have shot me again, because the next thing I knew I was awake in a strange bed with Ann hugging my back and Becky curled up in front.

A real sexy situation, we were all still fully clothed in T-shirts, jeans and light jackets, with our running shoes scattered all over the room. Now does someone want to tell me what comes next.

We assumed that they were operating from one of the big college labs or Silicon Valley startups up north in LA.

Now we find out that they have commandeered an entire Hope Hospital Ship down here almost on the Mexican border. An entire freaking Hope Hospital Ship, maybe two or more for all we know.

Who could have figured this? Anyway Robbie has changed everything now. We are now going to steal their entire operation, lock stock and ship.

Then lunch on the pier next to the jetty latter or maybe try out one of the new Roach Coaches that are always showing up in the parking lots on the edge of the beach.

I soon discovered that the girls had two gauzy pullovers that made what they were almost wearing legal in most states.

Even being dead I still looked like a younger version of myself, but way too old and pervy for this jail bait I was with, ha, ha.

Five engineers, five medical doctors, ten male nurses and five muscle headed grunts, along with the rouge AI. That makes fifteen copies that we have to deal with.

As they are now they are no good to anybody. What we have to decide now is, what do we want to do with them. By the time they came along there were laws that deprived them of any right, they were sterilized at birth, well when they were created anyway, and at the end of their useful life contract they were quietly, but efficiently automatically terminated by another implant which appeared to be a natural heart attack They are only five of a batch of one hundred that were made from their original.

By the way, the original was part of a small breeding pool of females artificially inseminated with a tailored sperm specimen from a large frozen sperm bank.

Originals were never educated, but were treated well for the most part. When they were judged mature, ripe I guess you would have to say Harry, they were popped into your machine and duplicated by the hundreds.

I answered with a shrug and observation. I read this story in an Norton Anthology once that put forward the premise, that for some reason people started breeding people to replace cattle as a food source for some reason.

Do you understand Robbie, at birth they were maimed and branded. At birth these children were deprived of the ability to communicate with the world around them, or manipulate objects.

I paused and allowed Robbie to continue. Yes, it would be Harry, but effective Harry, very very effective. Expect the worst and you will never be disappointed in your fellow man I always say, ha, ha.

We seem to forget history awful fast. And so started our infiltration. After a week we had the Hope ship itself completely isolated and we controlled everything and everyone that went in or came out of the ship.

I was beginning to doubt that there was an AI involved. Nothing I had learned so far precluded a purely human agency from doing all this.

So I became restless waiting for Robbie to act. When I came in form the beach the next day, Ann was waiting with a large bound volume of computer printout.

It turns out you can do just about anything with Nanobots. So I decided to give them the same full organic package I had gotten, plus some added features like the ability to control their facial muscles, control of the mellin or skin color, hair color, even the ability to mask or change their fingerprints, and a few other necessary things that I could give them right now.

There were other things that would require time and patience on all our parts. The place to start was the skeleton itself and work outward from there.

With the right dietary supplements and a plan of action the bones themselves could be strengthened, modified and reinforced.

The same can be done for the musculature itself. Not only can you grow bigger and better muscles you can add things like carbon to the tissue around vital organs to make them bullet resistant, bulletproof is a much overrated term.

I was intrigued and as a joke asked Robbie if the girls could produce chocolate milk on what I thought was our private channel.

I was shocked and embarrassed when all the girls replied that they would think about it and see what they could think up. What kind of Frankenstein monster was I creating?

It turns out that individual nanobots are intentionally made rather dumb on purpose. Working as a group like bees or ants they can do just about anything given enough time and the right kinds of raw materials to work with.

In fact removing those specific poisons is the only true function that is actually built into all the nanobots. After that they are directed by an external computer to do or construct other things, Robbie in this instance directs them.

In our case they then construct small semi organic computers in different parts of the brain. Because of the communication protocols, Robbie still has the ability to direct all the implants and nanees, unless he intentionally terminates that control.

Robbie explained that the protocols are so deeply encrypted that it is virtually impossible to hack his, well our, implants now.

This had not always been true. The first Nanobots had been developed to remove certain cancer cells. Soon the patients were all dead.

Even with their new brain implants it would still be months, if not years, before my fifteen new recruits were intelligent people again.

It would be at least weeks, more likely months, before they could even feed or cloth themselves, more or less hold an intelligent conversation with any of them.

In fact I began to suspect that Robbie knew this all along and had planed it this way from the start. It was too deeply entrenched in the government and military systems to attack directly with any success.

Recording and transferring personalities is much more dangerous than the teleporter ideal ever was. How many people would pay to wake up in a brand new younger body.

I would never consider it. The ME would have died. That is not me. With the push of a button all the key human personnel on the base and ship froze in place.

Ann took over the gate and Edith handled the phones. Then under our instructions it was towed to a new position across the bay where it was re-anchored.

The tug then left our area on a new assignment. As soon as the tug was out of sight, Candy and Diane started painting new numbers and a new name on our ship, which now existed in those same computers.

In mere hours one entire Hope Hospital ship had effectively disappeared and a new one was created. Another push of a button and the base personnel resumed their duties, not remembering anything had happened or any time had passed, while the bad guys on the Hope slept on.

The blocks will keep them out until we want them to revive and they will not remember anything. The upgrades Robbie gave our implants made us even smarter, but this is just us.

Nobody wants an old overly smart sex slave. Here I had thought they were all teenagers and I was going to be lucky if they were even legal. At the same time I knew that I was going to have a hard time convincing anyone else that they were that old.

Make that impossible, ha, ha. Now I had inherited fifteen more barely legal aged that were going to be just like them in the end.

As it was I doubted that any of them would ever be able to buy a beer, or get in the local bar if they were carded for that matter.

Even with a proper California drivers license, nobody would believe they were twenty one no matter what the drivers license said.

All it did was split and amplify the original signal through something as simple as a crystal prism.

Once the 3D printer part of the process was perfected that was as far as I got with their new part of the project.

Mind control and brainwashing did not enter the picture here with the copies anyway. We, well anybody really, with the proper knowledge and drugs can erase short term memory, but we are still years away from being able to transfer long term memory wholesale.

Our problem was filling their empty heads with what we wanted. We needed to figure out how to educate them in the fastest most efficient way possible.

So we started our studies of the most efficient ways to pump information into those pretty little empty heads. Something that Robbie had apparently already given a lot of thought to.

We finally decided on an immersion rig and drugs, along with deep hypnosis. That combined with their implants that allowed us direct access to the proper parts of their brain should speed up the process considerably.

While researching these methods we came across several internet sites like Erotic Mind-Control Stories Achives, that gave us all kinds of information and ideals on producing better sex slaves or as they called them Bimbos, but very little on freeing or educating sex slaves to be people.

Twisted Minds Limited had a lot of valid rules to follow in maintaining a Harem. In fact I found that the story, The Perfect Master, by br0dband and Uncle Joe, by b4uweremine , that Candy recommended I read, did give me insight into what all the girls wanted and were feeling about me.

For them this was what they were born for, a dream come true.

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