Implications, a Story
September 1, 2009
Every day, for the past three days, I have taken an hour to complete a short story. I hope they will cause you to feel good things. Here is story 1.
Implications by Adrian Perez
He walked onto the promenade of the lower hull of the ship. Spaceships zipped by in the distance over earth. It was only twenty forty, and the anti-grav plate and the teleporter exchange field had changed Franklin’s entire life. He didn’t invent them, but he had been at the conference where the exchange field was unveiled. Instant Nobel Prize, just add water.
There were a few moments like it in history. Ford’s unveiling of the Model-T. Being in the observation bunker with Werner as the Apollo 11 embarked on its mission. Engelbart’s graphical user interfaces manipulated by mouse. You could go and be impressed, but only a few people would realize that the world was going to be turned inside out once again.
Most of those people, turned into academics and researchers, where revolution was the constant intent. Some of those turned into businessmen where profitable constancy was the goal. Others, like Franklin, turned into madmen.
See, the exchange field caused the world of physicality to catch up to the Internet’s world of interlinked metaphysics. You could teleport anywhere for about fifty cents and once you’re under a dollar, you’ve entered into the world of basically free. So literally overnight, as the plans for the teleporter were breaking out across the Internet, the world was creating the physical internet. And in a matter of weeks people were zipping, as it came to be called, everywhere. Now if you are in the government, like Franklin was, you might be inclined to panic. Which Franklin did not do, as he had funded the exchange field and was somewhat prepared. However, about eighty percent of his compatriots did. And the way the human mind works, that might have well as been one hundred percent.
All around the world, wherever there was an electrical plug, people were building teleporters and zipping. This meant there were mass exodi from oppressive countries. San Francisco started ballooning with Chinese. Europe started booming with Arabs. Aid groups started packing into villages that had polluted wells, only to arrive in completely abandoned dwellings. Every tourist destination was inundated with people who could finally afford to travel. The passport was well past its time. Too bad governments didn’t know that.
Though Franklin had been trying to prepare people in the US government for this, the project was so off the wall, he was always addressed with polite incredulity. It wasn’t denial. Denial implied that there was something worth blotting out of the mind.
It is the nature of madmen to act in unexpected ways. And Franklin worried that the teleporter, although necessary to be released immediately posed terrifying dangers to everyone. Equilibrium was going to be reached, but in the meantime, the world may become a little “nastier” or “brutish” than Hobbes was thinking about.
Together with Professor Falabra, the exchange-field discoverer, he set up a clique to research the anti-gravity plate. He was still getting paid by the government, but he never showed up. Besides the government had more important things to do, like shoot rubber bullets at Chinese farmers that could teleport enmasse to Washington.
The anti-grav plate might seem a little stupid to a world that has a teleporter, but the teleporter was limited in that it only worked efficiently in the same layer of gravity. That’s why the teleporter couldn’t be used as a perpetual energy machine, constantly sending a magnetic mass to a teleporter above itself. Send an object laterally across the earth’s surface and the teleport would only cost you from fifty cents to two dollars worth of energy , but teleport the small distance it takes to get into space and it would cost an unfathomable amount of energy.
So knowing this, Franklin and Falabra formed their working group. Making a physiospacial group was now as easy as creating a forum online. You made your online forum, posited your idea, and instead of everyone logging in, everyone showed up. If you could keep everyone showing up, you had a team. And now it didn’t matter how much time you had to contribute. If you had half an hour to spare, you burst in and got an update. And so at the foot of the mountains in Mojave, where Falabra had bought a massive house for dirt cheap because the post-zip world hadn’t wanted to live there, the team got too work. It wasn’t a headquarters because that model got thrown out with train and the car, but it was a kind of a hub.
They couldn’t store the MRI machine or the particle accelerator there, but they could all sit in the same room and blab and get all those Homo Sapiens touchy-feely conversation you need to make a concept burst into fruition.
A tribe of approximately one hundred and thirty formed. It had no head and was arranged democratically, and as people brought their children and life partners to work, they started to get a serendipitous feeling. Up until the exchange field made the teleporter a working reality, the ability to rapidly try out relationships for compatibility of culture and intellect had been hindered by travel time and geography. This group, eventually being called the Junta, didn’t even realize at the time that they were the most united and intellectually cross-pollinated groups in all of human history.
Three years into their research, as the governments of the world were adapting painfully, religions spreading and declining, and innovation snowballing into bipedal robots, non-evasive brain wires for mental imaging, and the Junta’s anti-grav plate, the Junta decided they were prepared enough to stop work and leave. And putting the final version of their spaceship plans into the net, their ship lifted out of the hanger nestled in the foot of the mountains and rose towards the unlivable void with Franklin staring out the window.