The United States joined 181 other countries today in signing the contentious Gateway Travel Accord. Sponsored by the United States and China, negotiations started last year to make the near instantaneous transport system legal for personal travel worldwide. Despite heavy opposition from a number of trade unions, security experts, and environmentalists, the new agreement will take effect in November.
Veilcorp officials were present at the UN for the vote despite security concerns and calls for the company to distance itself from the event. Opposition leaders say they are not surprised that the company has had such close interactions with delegates during the vote, and that it is another example of Veilcorp’s “Pay to play tactics and flagrant disregard for the law.”
For the past year Gateway technology has been used for commercial purposes domestically, leading to loud opposition from trade organizations and environmentalists. While the system has greatly reduced the cost of shipping goods, opponents point to the large number of unemployed workers that have been replaced and security concerns.
“We have effectively invited terrorists to our dinner tables,” warns a security expert who wished to remain anonymous.
“In 1918 a flu epidemic swept across the world. Over 500 million individuals fell sick and ultimately 100 million died. That represented 5% of the world’s population dead. It had such a profound effect that life expectancy dropped 12 years that year. All because of some sneezing on trains and unwashed hands. Imagine what damage could be done if a dedicated group of bad actors decided to tailor a virus that had a week long incubation period. Now imagine that they had the ability to send infected individuals to every corner of the Earth at the exact same time, virtually instantaneously. It is mind boggling that this agreement was ratified.”
Veilcorp spokeswoman Lisa Hunt says that is gross exaggeration, and claims that such statements are, “Concern theater.” She says,
“Veilcorp has worked with a number of governments to vet travelers in the United States and worldwide for years. This agreement actually makes travel more secure because we can now share information freely, and better track goods traveling through the veil. The human race has had many breakthroughs since 1918. We now know the importance of washing your hands and proper nutrition. To suggest that gateway travel is now suddenly more dangerous than it has been in the previous epidemic-free years is ridiculous. We suggest that these so called security experts wipe their nose and quit crying wolf.”
In addition to the security concerns, others point to the increase in displaced workers since the unveiling of gateway technology, and lingering doubts about its environmental impact. An International Transportation Coalition (ITC) statement reads in part: “Gateway technology has been studied for about 7 years, 3 years less than we require the most benign of drugs to be approved. It is ludicrous to say that this technology is less complicated, or safer than cold medicine. This technology might one day be ready, but rushing the process for political reasons is both irresponsible and dangerous. We would like to remind the public that just 16-years-ago a containment breach at a Veilcorp facility destroyed acres of crops in Iowa and led to the mass evacuation of thousands. Imagine the loss of life that would have occurred if the breach had happened in an area that wasn’t as ready for an emergency. This accord is a recipe for disaster.”
“I’m glad to see that the International Brotherhood of Buggy Drivers, and the Hang Glider Guild are now qualified to comment on environmental science. The truth of the matter is that Veilcorp has had a flawless safety record for the past 15 years. We have been cleared of all wrong doing over the incident in Iowa, and there have been no lasting environmental or medical effects. We understand that change can be scary but these people need to move on. Their constant cries make them sound like overfed birds scared to leave the nest, and squawking at anything that gets too close. We suggest that they spread their wings and take a technological leap with us. The world is migrating on with, or without them.”
When asked about his controversial vote in favor of the deal, U.S. Secretary of State Patrick Swalwell said,
“Today’s agreement will be remembered as the day that we became a true worldwide community. Instead of watching a film about the Pyramids our children can take field trips there. Doctors and medical supplies can reach the victims of natural disasters within moments instead of days. It has never been easier to experience other cultures and learn the lessons they have to teach. I think we’ll see in the near future just how close this will bring the human race together. Today we all became neighbors.”