When we discovered teleportation, we thought it would change the world. It did but not quite the way we intended. It came about when we managed to extend or rather understand the management of quantum entanglement. The first time was duplicating a few molecules at a distance or rather watch it happening as they matched properties and the later acted like the former. If we could do molecules, then we could do nanotech. Simple machines first and then coded to build smaller versions of the tech, build something else and send that back. Not all of these were functionable. About fifty per cent. It had a touch of Schrödinger’s about it but thought it could be managed as long as eventually we had one functional version back, we had a success. An odd effect was we had things coming back from some undetermined distance and that‘s when we realised that we were achieving teleportation at a distance and these mechanisms were coming back from all over the place or, as we later discovered, parts of the universe.
With a little hockery-jockery, we managed a streamer that could build bigger machines at these undisclosed destinations. It worked pretty much like a 3D printer and we could slowly build machines that could build even bigger machines that were now visible before turning them on and after a few years had a tech that could work both ways at this bigger scale. It meant we could now transport soil samples, bacteria or even small insects as well. Data information wasn’t enough. We wanted actual proof, even if it was smaller than a matchbox but we were getting things larger each time.
Even so, we were achieving big time and we did find some primitive life even if we didn’t know where it came from. Working out co-ordinates was impossible. We tried. Pump up the energy and entanglement decided where it should go. A mystery tour if you like. That was until we discovered that entanglement matched with places with similar molecular make-up and similar molecules. No chance of appearing in space then. Matching to where things were sent was damn near impossible though. Relativity being what is it, anything we saw in the sky was more than centuries old so unless we matched to the stars spectrum we would never be able to identify where we sent anything but at this point we were working virtually blind. It’s a big universe out there and relativity meant never seeing as it is today. We didn’t even know if it was into the past or future.
You would ponder at this time why we hadn’t sent a camera yet. Glass doesn’t work at molecular level and even the efforts with larger machinery to make any couldn’t guarantee focal lengths to see anything large with a scale rating. We still had a long way to go. We needed to widen the entanglement and ground lenses. Widen the connection. Make it more like an avatar and sharing. That was until someone remarked that water could act like a lens. It wouldn’t work for scale but at least nano-AI and larger could see what it was doing and show us the results in the return machines even if it was all initially at ground height.
Even so, it was opening the cosmos to us even if it was as restrictive as space travel until we could send larger things or even people. We always thought that one day we would find some extra-terrestrials watching what we were doing at their end and give us something better for entanglement. They might even resolve the problem of scale which we were slowly improving.
It took effort and money and a lot of changing in ideas. One of them was my own contribution. We were sharing molecules across the universe in some way. It was once said that there was a planet for everyone living and dead and still have plenty left over. What if we shared molecules across the cosmos in a similar fashion? The events and people we had here were repeated in some way elsewhere. We only had to make the connection across the gap to these planets. The receiver machines made it possible. All we had to do was turn our entanglement machine on and let it find or make the connection and do the switch. Some historian joked that the set-up looked a bit like a combination of an old Science Fiction series about leaping through time and an even older film where visitors to another identical planet couldn’t see it was a mirror opposite until they literally saw the writing on the wall.
What we didn’t anticipate our first guinea pig…human duplicate dropping dead at the other end. That stopped everything for a few months until a nanotech device appeared carrying a message of safe arrival. It seems our first test subject had arrived on a planet much like our own and at the same level of entanglement. More than one duplicate on another planet in other words. The message back that his body here had died meant it was a one way trip. We could hardly hold that back from the public. The size was growing but who would want to volunteer for such a trip? Oddly, we had a few.
Still, we kept working at it. The next time, our human guinea pig died at our end but the duplicate arrived safely. The ghost of Schrödinger’s cat reared its head again. The universe clearly didn’t like having more than any one identical organic being at the same time or so we thought.
Oddly enough, many did, even at the risk they might never leave. On both sides of the gap, especially when we received our first visitor replacing the mind of one of our test subjects. Quid pro quo. This for that. An exchange sacrifice if you will. The only thing we couldn’t work out was who got the choice but no one had any choice except someone might live or die. The first person in the machine or was there something else going on?
Those who were into religion did indeed believe some deity was making choices and that there was only one soul for each entanglement. Notice how they mixed our science in with their religion. From us scientists, it was more to do with electrical impulses. Like any on a circuit board they had to stop somewhere and it would take some working out as to whether we could complete the circuit to stop one mind falling off the circuit.
For both sides, we thought all of this was straightforward enough. Whichever way we entangled, one would die, it brought a whole new dimension to human sacrifice and selection. We needed smart people sent from either side to discuss the science in more detail than a message system could do but we also couldn’t afford to lose all our brightest people neither. That is until one exchange entanglement left two dead people at both ends. Schrödinger never had that problem to solve.
We thought initially there had been a mistake or a glitch. Things went back to normal as both sides sought to learn about the differences between each world. The loss of a life with each entanglement was a sacrifice that just had to be accepted in the exchange program and, oddly, no limit in volunteers. We could explore.
Then we had two live people and people started to look at statistics. After all, statistical patterns had runs of one thing before a different pattern begun. The possibility of transfers and being alive both sides reduced the sense of self-sacrifice. Even so, we examined the entanglement carefully, just in case we had done anything differently.
All we needed was some of the dead to return. That happened two years later. It had taken them that long to remake the apparatus and then entangle to at least three other places before they got home. It seems reality likes a tidy universe although it did leave the puzzle of where did the dead bodies come from and the odds of them not being alive? How many entanglements were going on? More importantly, how could the mind shift to a different body? Again, we had to remind ourselves that we were dealing in a project of quantum mechanics where higher level science rules didn’t play. But did that mean minds or, loosely, what religions called ‘souls’ existed at this level. It was bringing a whole new dimension to reincarnation and that the priests might have had a point. There was enough planets out there for everyone to move on. The Zen people must have been in seventh heaven or at least on another planet somewhere. Shame they didn’t know how to make the entanglement device and they could eventually return to Earth.
It also left an interesting possibility that we could locate our most famous scientists one day. Einstein said the God never played dice with the universe. From what we’ve done and discovered, God apparently is also good at craps, poker and Scrabble. A real game player and we were only just discovering the rules.
© GF Willmetts 2017
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