Stuck On: Teleportation
Discovered by hundreds of thousands of species over the years, teleportation technology doesn’t work.
Oh, things can teleport. The problem is they just keep teleporting. Forever.
The typical teleportation device instantly moves an object from one place to another. It also produces a soft flit sound in certain atmospheres, hence the word “flitting.”
Unfortunately, because of a quantum mechanics quirk, the second the object loses physical contact with the teleportation device (whether the device is a wristband, platform, or vehicle) the object starts flitting randomly through the universe.
This aimless teleportation is always fatal because the majority of space is fatal.
The object (or user) may find itself burning in a lava field, suffocating in the vacuum of space, melting in an ocean of acid, or spaghettifying within the event horizon of a black hole.
For example, a volunteer test subject at the Karga Research Lab planned to flit to a diplomatic meeting. He arrived in perfect condition … but the second he removed the device, he ended up in a cave full of poisonous birds.
Surprisingly, before his death, he was able to gain a few administrative concessions from the death canaries.
If the volunteer had said, “I don’t want to teleport randomly” and opted to continue holding the device, within seconds he would have begun falling apart.
After the initial use, the teleportation field becomes unstable. It tears things apart, flitting dime-sized pieces of the object to who-knows-where.
Intelligent lifeforms notice the effect within seconds— usually from the searing pain that comes from the removal of a chunk of flesh.
So the only options were random lethal flitting or painful disintegration And that’s why Daniel and most beings considered teleportation a dead-end technology.
There have been rare cases, however — the odds are one hundred trillion to one — where a sentient user suffers no ill effects from continued teleporter use.
No disintegration and no random jumps.
That being is a flitter, a creature of almost legendary power, able to travel the stars without a ship.
Only a handful of flitters roam the universe. They do what they want. Go wherever they want.
The dangers of the teleportation don’t stop adventurers from seeking flitterdom—especially since the tech is cheap and easy to manufacture.
Hundreds of corporations have tried to develop a safe version of the device, and the junkyards are littered with discarded teleporters prototypes.
All human children dream of being a flitter.
But most, like Daniel, have the good sense not to try.