The Motions of Objects

Teleporting didn’t always bother me. It was straightforward: step into the booth, dial up your destination, close your eyes and when you opened them, there you were. Texas to Tokyo in an instant. Miami to Maui. London to Luna 2.

But it wasn’t instantaneous. Sure, my datapad would automatically change to local time, but that wasn’t it. I didn’t notice until I ported in the middle of checking the clock function, closed my eyes, and saw the jump when I arrived. Thirteen seconds.

I wondered whether I’d imagined it. The next time I ported, I checked again. Thirteen seconds. Curiosity became concern the more I traveled, as the same amount of time was lost with every trip.

You hear about people who won’t port because they think it’s not really them coming out the other side, it’s a copy made from the blueprint the machine takes when it ports you. Was it true? Was I just the copy of the me who first stepped into the machine?

I had to know. I entered a booth, dialed, and opened my eyes.

I saw… I saw light…

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5 Responses to “The Motions of Objects”

  1. It’s a Xerox machine!

    Very interesting concept here. How much of the original is left? Are there risiduals left in the machine from previous users? How much is left behind and how much is transfered? Can memories then be mixed? Mmm…I’m liking this!

  2. MKR says:

    Any chance you might continue this story? I think there’s potential for a bigger thing here.

    This made me think of one of Asimov’s short stories:

  3. Fun idea! And the original you is picked up by an irate office worker, grumbling about the originals left behind and what work it is to sort them out.

  4. Valerie says:

    Yeah, Danielle, that’s one of the worries… a Xerox that destroys the original, even! Even if all of your component atoms get moved, you’ve still been disintegrated. Is it still you?

    MKR, that’s a neat story, I hadn’t read it. I’ll give some thought to what else I might want to say on the subject, or where else the character can take it.

    Johanna, that was part of a movie (don’t want to say which in case of spoilers) and it creeped me out immensely. Imagine a separate machine in the teleporter just for disposing of the “waste.” How would anyone know?

  5. Josh C says:

    Reminds me of The Prestige. I wonder what the long term effects of such a system would be?

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