All Of This And I Only Wanted Was To Teleport To Australia: a story of motion by: GF Willmetts.

June 28, 2014 | By | Reply More

Frankly, I didn’t want to teleport. I could tolerate the jet lag…except I was needed down under in Oz quickly for a business deal that couldn’t wait and the board of directors authorised my first teleport which would save me several hours. Thanks, guys, I’ll remember to make a similar choice when I can send one of you bastards instead.

It was an old idea take from Science Fiction that to be teleported anywhere, you just stand on a pad, be disintegrated at one point and be assembled elsewhere on another pad. No one paid attention to the fact that you were effectively being destroyed ie killed before being reassembled elsewhere. Essentially, the senders were actually your killers and the receivers your resurrectionists. Talk about playing god. The political and criminal ramifications of this were high. What if there was a mistake and you couldn’t be assembled? You were effectively dead and those at both ends and their company would be up in court for your murder. No wonder it took so long for teleportation to be developed as an effective means of transport and why so much of it was left in the hands of machines. I mean, what could a computer say in court? It only did what it was programmed to do and it had worked before. A test animal was always sent before a human to be on the safe side. The fewer people on the ground the better and a corporation wrangle was a lot easier in court, especially as anyone teleporting has to waver all rights in case anything went wrong. That I didn’t particularly like. What bits could I lose? How could I sue the bastards if I came out shorter or lost anything valuable?

more pulp

Neither was teleportation instantaneous. The journey itself was but what took time was the recording of all of the body and the reassembly at the other end. As there could only be one of you, it was essential that the source body was destroyed or it would complicate things. You would have enormous graveyards if not for the fact that your body would be dissembled and the matter from it be stored to reassemble someone else returning. Matter was matter after all. It was only when it was built up again that it became a human again. Me, in this case.

Atoms were atoms, right? ‘Ashes to ashes, dust to dust but give me atoms or molecules and we’ll remake you thus.’ At least that’s what the literature said and why they couldn’t resurrect the recent dead. They could only bring back what was there.

The process took some eight hours now and used something akin to 3D printing using multiple printers because the final key to get the fresh body breathing again. It couldn’t be justified for short hops when it was quicker to drive or fly. You needed it for longer distances like for me, to Australia where I would not experience jet lag and get there a day earlier than had I gone by jet. There were thoughts of teleporting a man or woman to the Moon but there was still some thought being given to the signal strength and alignment window which was a lot trickier than a standard space shot because you had to allow for gravitational flux or whatever they called it. You would still need an environment or you’d quickly die. No doubt they’d get some volunteer to try it one day.

So here I was at the GoQuicker teleport centre. They were careful as to how much literature we were given to read on the subject in the negative way but, as you can tell, I’m not entirely uninformed on the subject. The last thing they wanted was to frighten away the clientele. Then again, this wasn’t something for tourists or those who wanted a thrill teleport. It was far too costly which was why only rich businessmen could afford to use it. There were certainly enough of us around who needed to get somewhere a lot quicker than through normal transport. Based off what they told me, I would be there in the nick of time and there was me thinking I could sue them if I was late.

To minimise how much matter was sent, I was to go nude. A new suit would be waiting when I got there so why add to the mass? Anything else was preparation, going through all sorts of body scans to have a proven record of who I was. Of course, they gave me a thorough wash first. The body contains a lot of microbes and such which were essential to my health which needn’t be lost but reducing skin bacteria just reduced cost and time re-building them. You would have thought that they could filter that out at the destruction phase but they weren’t that good yet. At each stage, I also had to fingerprint a pad and have a retina scan acknowledging I had been given a particular treatment. No signatures as those could be faked. It had to be something that could only have come from me. Why they did it so many times beat me. Did they expect it to change with each copy?

I wasn’t the first person to be teleported. There was a club for teleporters which was still pretty exclusive and I would have free admission and a pretty certificate for my wall afterwards. For free? A hidden cost in the bill more like. That was hardly going to raise my enthusiasm although seeing the list of people who were in it, would also allow me to have some potential for different sorts of business deals later. As I was thinking about this, I didn’t feel the shot they injected me with. I was….jus….

 

ping…ping…ping…ping…ping…ping

 

…waking up.

They didn’t want me being anxious as to having to lay down in the chamber while they completed everything obviously. Makes sense. Who wants to fidget going to their personal doom anyway?

The clocks on the wall showed British, transit and Australian time. No doubt to belay the first questions any teleportee would ask. What time was it when I left? How long was I being re-built? Oh and would I be late for my meeting. The transit was barely a few seconds but it took them six hours to resurrect me. I suspect my original body was destroyed a lot quicker though but didn’t seem likely that they would tell me that part.

I looked down at my body and spotted the usual marks. My hands showed their usual liver spots and even the pale skin where I’d left my ring behind. The gurney slowly rose allowing me to stand up. There was no prompting. I was supposed to be the same as when I left and I stood up without realising it. There was no one around to exchange pleasantries with. All automated. The computer didn’t even talk. I think this was supposed to be an apocalyptical moment for the teleportee and what could someone who had never been through the process have to say to reassure me? ‘Congratulations, you and twenty others have joined the Christ Club’?!

By the door, there was a fingerprint pad and a retina scan, both confirming that I was who I was which then opened a cubicle with underwear, a fresh suit and shoes. I didn’t even need to comb my hair. It looked the same as when I left.

As I dressed, I kept looking at myself in the mirror. I didn’t feel any different. I didn’t look any different. I felt and looked the same as I did when I left my home this morning although I was hungry because they’d advised not to eat to save mass. Yet the atoms and molecules that made me weren’t the same ones I had when I was teleported. I was just…well, I was just me and I had a meeting to go and a signature to sign. At least I could take a leisurely business class plane trip home. I didn’t think my corporation would pay for me to go both ways. I don’t think our budget could afford it. Nor did I think being resurrected twice on the same day was something I wanted to look forward to. Right now, I need to find something to eat. All this travelling certainly raises any appetite.

 

end

 

© GF Willmetts 2014

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Accept no teleporters

Category: Scifi, Short fiction

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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