In armed conflict and in daily life, ships have become an integral part of modern commercial and military systems. Fishing boats are used by millions of fishermen throughout the world. Military forces operate vessels for naval warfare and to transport and support forces ashore. Commercial vessels, nearly 35,000 in number, carried 7.4billion tons of cargo in 2007. As of 2011, there are about 104,304 ships with IMO numbers in the world.
Ships were always a key in history's great explorations and scientific and technological development. Navigators such as Zheng He spread such inventions as the compass and gunpowder. Ships have been used for such purposes as colonization and the slave trade, and have served scientific, cultural, and humanitarian needs. After the 16th century, new crops that had come from and to the Americas via the European seafarers significantly contributed to the world population growth.Ship transport has shaped the world's economy into today's energy-intensive pattern.
Ship's A.I. was created untold millennia ago by the Celestials as the operating system for a data collection device. The Celestials had genetically manipulated humanity, and they left the Ship in the area that would come to be known as Mongolia to monitor humanity's progress.
Circa 1100 A.D., a Mongolian immortal known as Garbha-Hsien (later known as Saul), discovered the Ship and lived next to it while he researched its mysteries. Saul never attempted to enter the Ship.
In time, the Egyptian immortal En Sabah Nur learned of Saul and sought him out as another immortal. In a confrontation, En Sabah Nur slew all of Saul's guards. Saul then sought to humble his fellow "forever-walker" by revealing the secret titanic vessel. Having had previous experience with futuristic technology due to his encounters with Rama-Tut, Nur attacked Saul and left the other immortal for dead and entered the Ship. He emerged later as a vastly changed being who now called himself Apocalypse.
Originally, Face Dancers were Tleilaxu trained to mimic others using acting and makeup, enhanced by plastic surgery. As time went on, the Tleilaxu began to use genetic manipulation to enhance natural ability in phenotypic plasticity, so that Face Dancers could change height, increase and decrease apparent mass, change coloring and texture, and change facial features.
The first Face Dancers Miles Teg ever saw: Two small men as alike as twins. Almost chinless round faces, pug noses, tiny mouths, black button eyes, and short-cropped white hair that stood up from their heads like the bristles on a brush.