Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

The debate was over; it was time for action. Peter Scott grasped the thruster controls and pushed them to their stops. The massive cargo vessel started its slow, terminal, decent toward its target in the southwest quadrant of the moon. As the SS Clymer descended toward the newly constructed Rodenberry Teleportation Facility in Mare Nubiun, Peter manned the navigation console in case he needed to make any last minute course corrections to keep the ship on its collision course.

“This is Lieutenant Ferguson at Rodenberry Base, modify your course immediately, or you will be destroyed.”

“You can try,” replied Peter. “I have nothing to lose. If that Teleportation Facility goes on-line, it will mean the end of my livelihood. There will be no use for transport ships once it becomes possible to beam cargo directly from the Earth to the moon.”

“Earth will always need transport ships,” interrupted Jon Franklin, the Base’s chief engineer. “My teleportor can’t reach beyond the moon. As we expand into the solar system, we’ll need you and the other pilots to replenish the bases on Mars and the asteroid belt. Your ships can be refitted.”

“That’s almost exactly what you told us when the geosynchronous teleportors were built. There had been hundreds of pilots ferrying supplies from Earth to the orbiting stations. Now, there are less than a dozen of us left running cargo from the stations to the moon. If that station goes on-line, we’re through, and you know it.”

“Mr. Scott,” interrupted Lieutenant Ferguson, “you can’t stop progress. This base will go operational. Don’t throw your life away. You can’t reach us. We will destroy you before you can get within a thousand kilometers the base. Reverse your course before it’s too late.”

There was no reply. The Clymer continued to accelerate toward the base. Apparently, Scott was willing to martyr himself for the cause. Lieutenant Ferguson turned toward the chief engineer, “I’m sorry, Dr. Franklin, you’ve had your chance to talk him out of it. He’s intent on committing suicide. I have no option, but to shoot him down.”

“Please Lieutenant, he’s distraught. He needs medical help. Give me a few more minutes.”

“No, Doctor. There isn’t enough time. The automatic defense grid will destroy his ship in thirty seconds.”

“Okay, Lieutenant. I guess I’ll have to try plan B.”

“Plan B?”

“Yes, Plan B,” Franklin replied. “I’ve never tried it, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Franklin’s fingers were a blur as he entered commands into the console in front of him. Seconds after he pressed the “execute” key, the base laser cannons opened fire on the Clymer, vaporizing it in a blinding flash of ionized atoms. However, on the elevated platform a few meters in front of Lieutenant Ferguson and Doctor Franklin was Peter Scott, still crouched in a sitting position, but there was no chair to support him. His confused expression turned into anger as he fell over backwards, screaming “Noooooooo!”

“Well,” said Franklin with a satisfied grin, “at least we’ve answers the question concerning whether or not you can teleport a living person. Come Lieutenant, let’s help him up, and get him to the infirmary.”

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