Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer
At first many were skeptical about teleportation but nowadays more and more were doing it all the time. I still took the bus. Riding along I had my choice of seats. So few utilized old mode transportation now. Some called us superstitious, while I preferred the term scientist.
The diesel hydrogen transport bounced along through endless rows of gray factories and billowing smokestacks. Suddenly the massive building that housed the human bio-matter store for southern Alberta loomed into view. I had once worked in that place. Those of us employed there had called it, “The Aquarium”.
I sat in an uncomfortable chair at my niece’s birthday party, balancing a piece of cake on my knee. She was now seven and was telling me about her visit to China’s great wall. “It was lovely Uncle Pete. We stepped into the booth, Mum, Dad and me, and then poof! We were in China!”
I sent her along to play with her friends and turned to glare at my sister. She stared coldly back at me. “We’re still the same people and you know it Peter.”
Of course exact copies would say that. Still I had no real proof. But I had my somewhat educated theories. Sure my sister and her daughter still seemed like the people I knew and loved, but how could they be really?
All the propaganda said it was safe. Sure you were disintegrated and vacuumed up in a fraction of a nanosecond, and sent at the speed of light, a chain of photons arranged in exact replicas of your molecules, to a receiving station where bio-matter was sucked from the nearest pipe and reassembled into your exact form before your brain could register what had happened. But how could it still be you?
Subjects had been studied exhaustively, answering endless questions and submitting to batteries of tests. Every memory seemed to remain intact. Every emotion was still present. Loved ones recognized and still cared for one another as much as ever. Yet I remained as suspicious as ever.
I managed to hold off for most of my life. I was ninety-four now and still my original self. Everyone I knew had teleported. None of them were their original selves. They were all copies. I had lasted this long but now it would end. They said I was too frail to be moved by ambulance. The distant hospice of course had a receiving booth large enough to accommodate a hospital bed.
Well at least now I would finally know for sure. Would I still be me? The attendant hit the button and, as I looked around with my own eyes for the last time, there was a bright flash.
It was like watching another me suddenly jump out and away from myself, as my entire makeup was copied in an instant and flung forward at the speed of light.
There was a sound like all of the air being sucked out of a room at once, and the next thing I knew I was swirling around in the beige soup of the southern Alberta aquarium, or at least my consciousness was, while an exact copy of me was now being rolled out of the teleportation booth and into the Spokane hospice. That copy would be dead in less than a week. I integrated with the bio-matter and knew once and for all that I had been right all along.
As the concoction continued to swirl I mixed thoroughly with the flowing elements and began to hear the voices of others, wondering what was in store for me next.