A Thinking Man

What Men May Want to Know

Where is You?

Yet again in Ryan’s life, he felt the victim of false advertising. It wasn’t supposed to be this hard. The commercials had promised that teleportation was now as easy as, “walking into an elevator.” He could still hear the monotonous jingles they played non-stop on every kind of media. In his mind he could see the literature showing happy faces of those vacationing on Mars, the moon, and as far out as Titan.

But they’d never explained how it worked. Till now.

Ryan, stranding naked, looked around the inside of the sanitized chamber. A round tube of polished stainless steel.  A curved door that had slid closed like a blade. No windows or ports. A camera lens that randomly emitted a curious green laser.  A ring of dim yellow lights above and cold metal grating below. The grating so razor thin he dared not shift his weight to one foot to check the other for cuts.

And the two buttons in front of him; one green, one red. The green one was blinking rapidly and seemed to match the rhythm of his anxious breaths. It had been explained to him – after they took his money of course – that when the green button began to flash the teleportation process was almost complete. The big lie was their definition of teleportation. You weren’t teleported at all. Once scanned, an alternate you was assembled from local materials, quantum bit by quantum bit, at the intended destination.

The flashing green light indicated that your clone had checked out perfectly and was eagerly waiting to begin that dream vacation. But first you had a decision to make. In order to release your clone you had to push that dammed flashing green button. Pushing the button released your clone. But, it also de-materialized you. That was the hard part.  The thought of being flashed into particles and falling through that grate, . . . it brought up questions. Goddamn questions that one shouldn’t be asked right before a vacation.

They give you an hour to decide. Made you sign the screen three different times acknowledging that you understood. It felt like forty-five minutes had passed, but there was no clock. Jesus, maybe someone could have thought of installing a simple timer – give someone a clue!  Maybe it had been longer. They’d said that pressing the red button aborted the process, flashing the alternate you – did that mean you’d be killing yourself? Anyway, the question’s moot. If you waited too long, well . . . waiting too long resulted in you both being turned into potting soil.

Ryan looked at his trembling fingers. He reached out. He placed his finger on the red button. He couldn’t push it. A wave of cold sweat popped out on his back. The ring of overhead lights grew brighter and began to pulsate. He couldn’t do it – he just couldn’t. He placed his hands over his face.

The door slid open and a voice announced, “Welcome to Mars.” Ryan uncovered his eyes. He stepped out onto the soft carpet then fell to his knees.

He was the clone.

2 Responses to “Where is You?”

  1. Sedona Bob says:

    Once I started reading I could not stop and during the middle I had such humor I could not stop laughing. Well done my friend. You should write more

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