Fatal Illusion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Human teleportation had taken the world by storm. But when suddenly the horrific details of exactly how it worked became known to the public, something had to be done to stop it very quickly!

Submitted: May 05, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 05, 2017



Fatal Illusion


The scruffy looking old man screamed at the top of his voice, “You lot are murderers, murderers every one of you. Murderers!”

The police confronted this rather bedraggled and confused looking man outside the South London offices of the British electronics company 'Trans-Tel.' They tried to calm him down but when he became violent with them and a few bystanders they had no other option but to arrest him.

Adam Shaw, a young newspaper reporter for the London Daily News sat watching the whole episode on TV in the large open plan office where he worked. For some reason it made news headlines. Apparently this man who was known locally as Horatio had been protesting outside the offices of Trans-Tel for some days. He used to work for Trans-Tel but was fired some time ago due to a combination of what he claimed was bad working practices there and also his own deteriorating mental health.

Adam turned to Colin, his newspapers deputy editor and said, “Fancy getting so worked up like that over anything that you end up referring to your employers as murderers.”

Colin, a large middle aged man who obviously hated fashion as much as he loved food laughed and said, “I can understand it, this place here where we work isn't exactly Disneyland.”

“No, but seriously,” said Adam, “why has this poor bloke been allowed to deteriorate so badly, unchecked that he has ended up in that state.?”

“Yeah,” Colin replied, “these are strange times!”

Strange times they were indeed. It was an age where some new technological innovations had surprised people who were resistant to change. For instance, the sudden invention of human teleportation had truly taken the entire world by storm. This was partly because virtually nobody saw it coming and also partly because hardly anybody even knew that it was being developed. So when all of a sudden on Saturday 1st August 2020, 'Trans-Tel' a British company announced to the world that they had successfully teleported a human being across a distance of two miles and that he had lived to tell the tale, it had media corporations all over the world scrambling their various minions to get in on the action.

Frederick Sanderson, the man who had been teleported claimed to be perfectly okay and said that the procedure caused him no pain and he retained all the memories and functions that he had before his journey. After Fred's initial round of TV talk shows and book offers he claimed that he was ready for another journey two weeks later which he undertook gladly. Then a month later he volunteered for the longer journey of London to Birmingham. Again, this was a success and when it was obvious that he had suffered no ill effects it inspired many more to take the same journey.

By the end of 2020 a total of two hundred people had been successfully teleported from London to Birmingham and had lived to tell the tale. Trans-Tel had now been given permission to start setting up teleportation pods in other cities around the world, however, this process was encountering a few legal delays due to obvious protests from airline companies. Big companies like Boeing, American Airlines and British Airways feared this could see the end of air travel and desperately wanted to get hold of Trans-Tel's closely guarded technology so that they could adapt and evolve in much the same way that camera film manufacturers had to start making SD cards when their livelihoods were threatened by new technology many years earlier.

It was Monday 18th January 2021 and Adam sat in his desk at the newspaper office where he worked. Adam was 22 years old, tall, slim with short mousy hair and glasses. He was a junior reporter, trying his best to please everybody and anybody to get ahead in the whole field of journalism.

Sat next to him was Goldie, an Afro-Caribbean lady in her mid thirties who was a features writer for the same newspaper. She looked at the screen where the news had featured the madman they called Horatio being arrested. She then looked across at Adam and said, “It seems a bit strange to call anyone a murderer. Mind you, when I was a little girl, I remember calling my dad that very same thing one day.”

“You did?” replied Adam in surprise.

“Yes,” said Goldie, “I had a little white hamster called 'Snowy' for my birthday when I was about 6 years old. I used to take him out of the cage and let him run around, even though I was told not to. Anyway, one day when I was at school, my dad got so tired of me not cleaning the cage out that he decided to do it himself. The unfortunate thing was, during the process, he accidentally stood on it and killed it!

“Ouch, that's horrible, how did you react?” said Adam.

“Well basically,” said Goldie, “He never told me, he just bought and identical one, replaced it, buried the old one and said nothing. I guess he didn't want to upset me”

“And were you convinced?” said Adam.

Goldie smiled and leaned back in her chair, “At first yes, but after a while I realised that a particular grey mark that the original Snowy had on her right leg had gone, so I sussed him out. I confronted him and when he admitted it I just exploded and called him a murderer. Mum tried to mediate between the two of us and I kinda forgave him after about a week, but I let him suffer for a while first.”

“Poor Snowy,” said Adam with a half-sincere frown on his face.

Colin came back and interrupted the conversation, “Adam, you are on for tomorrow morning at 9:30am at Trans-Tel, make sure you are on time.”

Adam thrust his fist into the air, “Yesss, that's awesome.”

Goldie said, “Well done, get some good pics and quotes, I'm looking forward to a great story.”

“Will do,” said Adam.

Adam had been chosen by his company The London Daily News to go along and actually watch a teleportation in person. Trans-Tel were still keeping the whole thing strictly under wraps. Only a few select and trustable elements of national and world news media had been allowed in so far but they had finally decided to let more people in on the act to witness the event itself. The owner of The Daily News was a man called Herbert Frost. Frost was good friends with Claude Bannerman, the CEO of Trans-Tel and the inventor of teleportation. So Bannerman had allowed one reporter from Frosts newspaper to finally go in. The actual technical mechanics of the teleportation and how it worked on a nuts and bolts level was still shrouded in mystery to all but a few and Frost secretly hoped that one of his reporters could find out a bit more.

Since the first teleportation event back in August the previous year, the security had been huge. After Frederick Sanderson and four other people after him had been successfully teleported with seemingly no ill effects, they had decided to start charging people. The cost was £1,000, one way London to Birmingham. Each person had to go through a strict medical and sign all kinds of legal waiver forms. Most of the media were kept out, but as they were now a lot happier with the process, they decided to let a few more reporters in.

Adam lived with his rather austere and conservative parents just outside London. He had a close relationship with them and tended to talk to them about everything. They seemed happy with the fact that he had been given an opportunity to go to Trans-Tel in the morning due to the gravity of the story and they could see that their son was excited about whole thing. Adams father seemed a little sceptical of the process though and looked at Adam through squint eyes across the dinner table as he ate his lasagne.

Adams parents Gerald and Sylvia had reason to be a little cautious as their only other child, their 20 year old daughter Lilly had graduated from university and had received a bursary to work at Trans-Tel. She had even thought about trying out the teleportation process herself but decided to wait a little while longer. Lilly worked at Trans-Tel in Birmingham but quite often talked to Adam and their parents via Skype. Adam was thinking about interviewing her at some point as part of the feature but Lilly always seemed too busy.

The following morning, Adam arrived at Trans-Tels rather unimpressive London offices and was put through quite a severe security procedure that was not that dis-similar to that you may find at an airport. He had seen only a few pictures of the teleportation pod in London (because there were not that many pictures available) so he had a rough idea what to expect. He was finally taken into room that was about the size of a squash court. It had white shiny walls and a white tiled floor. It had a row of about ten blue fabric office chairs in a semi-circle near the door (apparently for people viewing the event) and at the far end of the room was the teleportation pod itself. This was simply an upright blue shiny metal box about eight feet tall, three four wide and five feet deep with a normal sized white metal door on the front. It also had a white light at the front just above the door.

Adam looked at the teleportation pod and said, “wow,” quietly under his breath.

There were a small group of people who were also lead into the room with him and they were all shown the seats and sat down together.

At about 9:15am a smartly dressed young woman walked in and introduced herself as Lucy. Lucy then faced the group of visitors and then talked them through the procedure. She said, “You may be aware that not many Press gatherings have been allowed to view the teleportation process so far, neither here nor at the arrival pod in Birmingham. So you are very privileged. You are probably aware from the media that health and safety are still scrutinizing every bit of the process which is why we are not allowed to make many teleportations. Hopefully, later this year the government will trust us more and allow us to send more people and also use an international route.

“Yeheeeey,” a lady by the door said, “can you put one in Las Vegas, I wanna go there!”

“We will see,” said Lucy.

Lucy then walked up and down, making hand gestures as she spoke and occasionally pointed to the pod. She said, “What you are about to see is actually very quick and unimpressive. At just before 9:30am, our latest passenger, a lady called Annabelle will walk in this room and step into the pod. The door will close. The process will then automatically commence. The light will change to red, then amber and then green. It will take about thirty seconds to get through the sequence to green and by the time it has, the chamber will be completely empty and Annabelle will be in the pod in Birmingham. As soon as their light hits white the door will open and she will walk out having covered a distance of about one hundred and twenty miles in just under fourty seconds.”

Members of the little group assembled all looked at each other and raised their eyebrows. Some of them were journalists, some were relatives of Annabelle and some were just employees of Trans-Tel. Everyone chatted among themselves for a few minutes until all of a sudden a thin girl looking no older than about twenty and wearing some kind of shell suit walked through the door. She smiled at everyone and then reached over and hugged one of the sitting down and said, “Hi mum!”

“You take care Annabelle, stay in Birmingham when you get there, we're coming up on the train tomorrow, we can go out shopping hey.”

“Yeah, look forward to it,” Annabelle said, “See you all soon.”

The young woman who was obviously Annabelle waved to everyone, walked forward into the pod which had the door open ready for her journey. It was just so quick and simple, before anyone knew what was happening the lights changed from white to red, then amber and then green. The pod shook a little and then Lucy the lady who welcomed everyone suddenly said, “Ladies and gentlemen, Annabelle is now in Birmingham!”

There were loud gasps and cheers from those assembled!

Lucy then pointed to a TV screen on the wall at the side which showed Annabelle walking out of the pod the other end in Birmingham. She walked up to the camera where she was near the exit pod and said, “Hi mum, that was so cool, wow so cool, I wanna do it again!”

Adam gasped with surprise. He simply couldn't believe what he had just witnessed, but nevertheless accepted it as teleportation was now established scientific fact. He spoke to Annabelle who was now in Birmingham via the TV screen. She claimed that it didn't hurt at all and she remembered going into the pod and quite seamlessly saw the door close and open and hey presto she was in Birmingham.

When Adam had also taken a few photographs, a quote from Lucy for his article and chatted to a few other people, he left and went back to work. When he got back there was an email waiting for him from his boss Colin telling him that he was required to go out to do one more interview that day. The interview would be with Frederick Sanderson himself the first man to be teleported. Adams smiled with delight when he saw it. Sanderson actually lived quite close by but opted to come into the newspaper office himself as he was on the way to visit his mother and it was en-route. He was apparently happy to do this interview for the London Daily News as they had been kind to him in the past and as Trans-Tel pretty much controlled a lot of what he did publicity - wise, he was happy that they seemed happy as well.

One of the things that Adam really wanted to find out was, how on earth the teleportation process actually worked. The people back at Trans-Tel kept things close to their chests. People were told in news reports so far that within the pods there was some kind of a scanner and then some elaborate 'dissemble and reassemble' process, but what that actually looked like and how it operated was shrouded in mystery. Perhaps Frederick Sanderson could shed some light on it.

At about 4:00pm, the time of the interview with Sanderson, Adam went into a small windowless interview room in the offices of The London Daily News where he worked. Inside there was a small table and two chairs. One of the chairs was occupied by sixty year old Frederick Sanderson, a tall man with short grey hair. He was smartly dressed and smelled very strongly of Paco Rabane aftershave. The two men shook hands and sat down opposite each other.

Adam started, “Mr Sanderson, thank you very much for coming in to see me I really do appreciate this.”

“Don't worry about it,” Sanderson replied, “and please call me Fred, everyone else does.”

“Thank you, I will, Fred!” said Adam. He then asked him the first question, “So I suppose the first thing I have to say, as well as saying thank you for coming today, is how does it feel to be teleported?”

“Great,” said Fred, “Very straight-forward. You just walk into the pod, turn round and face the front. The door is then closed. After almost a minute the door opens and you are in Birmingham. You feel nothing, you hear nothing during the process.”

“Doesn't the pod shake? I witnessed the 'send' process at the London HQ yesterday and I saw the pod shake during the teleportation, what's that about?”

“No, it doesn't shake,” said Fred, “or at least it never has with me!”

“How many times have you been teleported?”

“Just three times. Twice in the initial experiment over two miles and then once to Birmingham.”

Adam was very curious, “Why haven't you taken any further trips? Over two hundred people have been teleported since the start of the whole process last year and very rarely does anyone go through it twice.”

“It's expensive,” said Fred, “Not everyone can afford that kind of money!”

“Well you can,”

Sanderson became very sheepish, “Well yes, but I have my own personal reasons for not doing it again.”

Adam felt that he was on to something now, “Mr Sanderson, if Trans-Tel really feel that teleportation is the best thing since sliced bread and that it works fine and that there are no issues with it, then why aren't you, the company directors and every other Tom Dick and Harry being bounced back and forth between here and Birmingham and other places left right and centre?”

Frederick Sanderson felt uncomfortable with the question and frantically looked around. He paused for a while and said, “Adam, Trans-Tel only have a licence to perform a small amount of teleportations under certain conditions at certain times. The technology isn't perfect yet. When me and my brother Horatio were being assessed to be the first person to be teleported, he started to go down hill mentally and Trans-Tel had to get rid of him. Every time I even suggested being teleported he would scream down the phone at me urging me not to. So I only did three in the end, the first two locally and then the first Birmingham one.”

“What?” said Adam with a huge look of surprise on his face, “You mean Horatio, the man who famously protested outside Trans-Tel and was then arrested, is your brother? Horatio is your brother?”

Colin stuck his head round the door and said, “Adam, I know you've been away on holiday recently, but on of the national dailies did a feature on Freed and Horatio recently and how they used to work together!”

Adam was hugely embarrassed. “Well, erm, yeah, I may have missed that one. Anyway Fred, erm, can you please tell me why Horatio was against you being teleported? Did he know too much about the procedure?”

Fred got very snappy, “I am fully intact, at no time did I suffer any ill effects, what is the problem man?”

Suddenly Fred Sanderson's mobile phone rang and it was quite obvious due to the way he was fiddling with it that he made it ring on purpose. He picked it up, “Yes, hello? Oh mother, oh noooo. Hang on I'm in a meeting, but I can come right now!” He then stood up and said, “I'm sorry, my mother needs me, I have to go. It's been a pleasure, bye....”

Frederick Sanderson walked very quickly out of the small office which lead into a big open plan office and then left as quickly as he had arrived.

Adam walked out after him rather quickly to a see of giggling faces from the office.

Colin walked up to him and said, “Well Adam, dude, I'm not sure what you said but you have somehow managed to upset a man who is technically the greatest explorer of all time. But anyway, I hope you've got enough info to help with the feature. I get a sense that you are on to something.”

“Don't worry,” said Adam, “I've got enough. Oh I've got enough!”

Adam went home that night with a lot to think about. He ate with the family, watched TV for a while on his own in his bedroom. He needed to be alone. He ended up watching a documentary about a despot from Ancient Greece called Phalaris who used to imprison people in a metal device called a brazen bull. He would then heat it up with a fire and the poor soul inside would slowly cook alive. The device would then shake violently as the person inside would be madly thrashing about in agony as they slowly died.

Afterwards, Adam started to drift off to sleep. He couldn't stop thinking about Fred's reaction. He also couldn't get off his mind the moment when Goldie his co-worker mentioned the little Hamster called Snowy, and how Snowy the first was a totally different entity to the second one, and that the first one had............

Wednesday, wow it was Wednesday! Two good things about Wednesday for Adam; Firstly it was his day off and secondly his younger sister Lilly was coming home from Birmingham to stay with them for a few days. He was looking forward to seeing her and at the same time planning to ask her a few questions about her job.

About 11:00am she burst through the door wearing her customary dungarees, sneakers and baseball cap having taken an early morning train from Birmingham and then a short tube ride. After hugs and kisses she sat down to enjoy a brunch with the rest of the family who had also taken the day off to spend time with her.

After they had eaten and were enjoying cups of tea, Gerald her father looked across the table and said, “So how was the train journey?”

“Great,” Lilly said as she wiped tomato ketchup from her lips with a tissue after a delicious bacon roll.

Adam said, “Did you get a return ticket?”

“No,” Lilly replied, “Why, are you trying to get rid of me?”

Adam froze and slowly said, “So, so, when are you going back.”

She said, “I'm going back Saturday afternoon. I'm going to be teleported back.”

As the rest of the family froze in horror, she quickly said, “I've put it on my credit card. I can pay it off. They have given me a discount as an employee, it's only costing me £750.00”

A frantic discussion ensued involving the whys, wherefores, health & safety issues, and after a while, everyone decided that they should just let her get on with it. Her cause was helped by an appearance of two previous teleportees on the TV news channel they were watching, both of whom absolutely swore by the process and said that they hoped it would really take on worldwide.

Another person who was being interviewed on the TV programme was Claude Bannerman, the CEO of Trans-Tel. He also gave a convincing argument saying that anyone is free to interview people who have been teleported at any time. He was saying that if your loved ones have been teleported, go up to them, hug them, laugh and joke with them, you will see that it is the same lovely person that you know and love. He emphasized that they all come out exactly the same as they went in. He was also saying how happy he was that more teleportation pods were being set up and he hoped that the Trans-Atlantic route would be underway within a year.

One of the reasons that Bannerman and his colleagues were really stepping up the promotion of teleportation right now was that there had been a few people who had been teleported who were now protesting against the whole thing. Apparently a few people who had walked into the pod at the London end simply didn't like what they saw. There was a group that had suddenly sprang up into existence in December of 2020 called 'S.T.N.' which stood for 'Stop Teleportation Now!' It was lead by an Indian man called Ravi Singh. Apparently after Mr Singh had been teleported to Birmingham, he had then drove back to London and grilled the engineers at the London end as to the nature of the process and how it works. When he eventually found out exactly what happens he was mortified. He slowly explained everything to his family and so were they. They had protested occasionally outside the London and Birmingham offices and there was a rumour that Horatio Sanderson had something to do with them.

Adam went back to work on Thursday morning with a whole host of ideas going round his head. He couldn't get Snowy the hamster out of his head, neither could he get that awful documentary out of his head about people being cooked alive in the Brazen Bull back in Ancient Greece. He ran into the building and straight away he burst into Colin's office before he did anything else.

Colin sat there sipping his coffee, smiled, looked up and said, “Adam, you're on to something aren't you?”

“Yes I am,” replied Adam, “I know we are just simply a daily newspaper and we have only been given the task of doing a feature on teleportation because our office is near Trans-Tels London base and also our CEO and their CEO are friends. But there's more to this Colin, there really is. The daily newspapers haven't got onto the scent yet as far as we are aware and that's only because they have the forth-coming General Election and other international stuff to go on about. But I just need to interview Horatio Sanderson. Can I do that?”

Colin sat back in his chair, laughed and said, “You won't get permission from his family or anyone else, but if you feel you're on to something, just go straight into the Western Psychiatric Hospital where he currently is and you might just find him. He was in custody for one day and now he has been sectioned.

Adam looked at Colin and said, “Colin, this is not North Korea. Trans-Tel can't stop me from visiting or talking to anyone!”

“I know,” replied Colin, “But as you say, both our boss and Trans-Tels boss are good friends, they think that Horatio is a bit of a trouble maker and they may not like it if you get too close. Hey, you could pretend to be a visitor from the local church or something.”

“Good,” said Adam, “I'll do that.”

The Western Psychiatric Hospital was a brand new one-storey place about five miles to the West, just a short stop on the tube. It was one of those places that although it was new, it still had the feel of an old fashioned asylum or work-house and internally it wasn't always easy to spot the difference between staff and patients. Adam turned up at the door with the intention of just blagging his way in. He came up with a complete lie as a cover. His theory was that he would find Horatio inside and get as much information as possible out of him as quick as possible before they sussed him out and then chucked him out or worse.

He walked right up to the front door and rang the bell. When asked via an intercom who he was and what he wanted he said, with heart beating very fast, “It's Pastor Shaw from the local Baptist Church. I'm here to see a Mr H Sanderson. He has requested me or one of my colleagues to come along and visit him.” His heart beat frantically and nearly leapt out of his chest.

“Oh, okay, no problem, come on in!” came the reply.

There was an electrical buzzing sound as the door was released and then a short young woman with long black hair met Adam, smiled and led him along a corridor to another door that then led to another door which in turn led out into an inner courtyard which was nicely decorated with pathways, benches, flower beds and neatly mowed lawns.

The lady whispered, “He has been saying for some time that he wants to try going to church. We don't want him to leave yet but if you guys visit him here on the odd occasion then I suppose that's the next best thing. Anything to calm him down, he just gets so angry at times.”

Adam literally couldn't believe his luck. This woman had bought his story completely. Now to get friendly with Horatio and get as much out of him as possible as soon as possible. Adam really knew that if he was going to get some real juicy information on the nature of the teleportation process then this was the man. He may be suffering from some kind of mental illness or so they say, but surely there's something still in there.

The lady lead Adam up to a frail looking man in his late sixties who was dressed in a dressing gown, pyjamas and slippers and sat down on a bench.

She whispered, “Just be slow, gentle and careful.” She then walked away and left the two men together.”

Adam sat down next to him, “Mr Sanderson? Mr Horatio Sanderson? This is Pastor Shaw from the Baptist Church. Someone told me that you required a visit.”

Horatio turned and looked at Adam, “Hello. From the church? Oh, I wasn't aware that...?” He then frowned and said, “Either you are who you say you are and you have a twin brother who works for the local newspaper or you are Adam Shaw himself.”

“Hey, huh, what....?” Adam was scared, he had been sussed out already. What now?

Horatio smiled, “Listen, it's okay. Look, I read your paper regularly, I Know you guys put your pics about your columns when you write features. I recognise you. But don't worry, I'm glad you are here.”

“Look I'm sorry, I just wanted to speak to you about the teleportation process. But firstly, how are you?”

“They pump me with Lithium, Valium and other stuff but I'm fine. Fred hasn't visited me. Not that he would anyway because he died back in September.”

“Hey, what?” said Adam, “But I've just recently interviewed him!”

“No you haven't,” said Horatio, “You have interviewed a complete clone, the third clone of my brother. My brother, my brilliant, brave brother was murdered.”

Adam froze and realised that one of two things was going on. Either Horatio was mad and he thinks that his brother was murdered. Or he actually was killed in the pod so that a duplicate........”

“Horatio, please explain to me!”

“Okay, I'm going to tell you something but if it gets out that I've told you and you end up printing it, not that they'll let you, but you could be in danger. They won't be too happy with me either.”

“Tell me everything!” Adam was eager to know all.

“Okay,” said Horatio, “Here's the teleportation process. Lets take Annabelle, the recent lady they sent through there. She walks up to the pod, steps inside, the door closes. The light then goes from white to red, amber then green. We are then told after something like 45 seconds, sometimes much longer that Annabelle is now in Birmingham. We see the TV screen with her walking out the other end. If fact she does, but they won't let you see inside the pod back in London at all.”

“Why not?” Adams hairs were standing up on his back and he had goosebumps for sure.

“Because, “said Horatio, “Annabelle is dying in agony inside the pod, she is being incinerated alive. The process takes between ten and thirty seconds, sometimes longer. She was possibly conscious for most of it. The extermination beam has an instant effect in most of the cases but there are occasions where it is not instant”

Adam was confused, “But at the other end, in Birmingham when she came out she said she was okay?”

“No, no no. That is a clone which has been immediately created with all of her memories up until the point when she steps inside. You see Adam, they step inside and an extremely sophisticated MRI system scans every molecule in her body in an instant and then a second beam then reads her mind. This all takes place before the next bit. Before the next bit Adam, and it's that next bit that's the crunch. Because when that info has been taken, it is simply sent in the form of a very fast, encrypted email at tremendously high speed to the pod in Birmingham which re-creates her with silicone, carbon and other materials extremely quickly using a mega-sophisticated 3D printer that we have been working on secretly for many years. This device is inside the pod. After a few seconds she comes alive and walks out in Birmingham. But of course this is a replica of Annabelle, she has all her memories and emotions and to all intents and purposes to her family, friends, nearest and dearest, whatever, it is her, and she doesn't remember the bit after the scan in the pod in London because her brain has been scanned before that bit. But don't forget, her original consciousness does not get transferred, it dies in the original pod.”

“What happens then?” said Adam.

Horatio leaned over, “To put it simply, she is blasted by a very swift nuclear cremation beam that we produced. It was supposed to stun them firstly but it doesn't always work. When their body is blasted to nothingness the charred remains fall through a little grid at the back. Adam, the person who walks into that pod is killed and dies there and then.”

“So, so, so,” Adam knew where this was leading. He thought of his sister Lilly who wanted to be teleported on Saturday. “So the only thing that travels in-between London and Birmingham is an email, not a part of the person, not a person, uh, oh, oh this is horrible. So there's no plasma transfer, there's no 'stargate' or anything? It's just kill and remake?”

“Yes,” said Horatio, “I protested about all of this and they fired me. Ravi Singh from the Stop Teleportation movement came here to see me secretly yesterday. He is planning to take this to the highest court in the land, the world if necessary. He was teleported as well and he is fully aware that he is a duplicate of his former self who may well also have also died in agony in that pod but he of course doesn't remember it because his brain was scanned on entry and not afterwards. He found out from one of the engineers secretly afterwards. His family are also aware. He walks up to his wife whom he loves dearly and in his mind he is Ravi Singh. He hugs her, but she knows that he is someone else. She hugs him and feels that she is betraying her husband but loving him at the same time. She knows that he is a man who has only existed for a matter of weeks. But they are nevertheless united in trying to get this whole thing stopped.”

Adam stood up, he wanted to get to Lilly fast and tell her and stop her. Surely she must know all this. He looked at Horatio and said, “So how many people know exactly how this works?”

“Less that ten people knew exactly what really happens in there until the last two days where Ravi has been telling everyone. Trans-Tel lied about everything in all the interviews they have done so far.”

“And, tell me another thing, why does the pod shake while the lights are changing.”

“This is the worst bit Adam, the worst bit of all. Not only does the human being step into the pod, have their body and mind scanned to reproduce a replica at the other end. One who has no further memories from the moment they step into the pod, but, but, oh Adam, it's terrible, do you really really want to know?”

“Yes, I have to know Horatio.”

“Well, as they are being incinerated by the nuclear beam, if they are not killed by the shock of it all immediately they madly thrash about screaming in intense agony in that sound-proof so called teleportation pod for thirty seconds causing the thing to shake. Adam, even when the new person is walking out at the other end in Birmingham, the original person is quite often still alive in the original pod dying. They die sometimes horribly there and then and don't experience or know anything after that. They die and their existence ends. A totally new identical entity carried on their life at the other end, but the original dies and that Mr Shaw is why Trans-Tel are murderers!”

Adam whispered to himself, “So they thrash around inside as they are dying like the Brazen Bull that Phalaris used in ancient Greece.”

“Spot on,” said Horatio.

Adam thought of the Brazen Bull, he thought of Snowy the Hamster and then he thought of his sweet sister Lilly. He had to stop her quickly. He didn't even say goodbye to Horatio, he just ran as fast as his legs could take him through door after door and out of the building.

He simply couldn't believe that Trans-Tel knew that some of its teleportees died in agony in the sender pod but then the person who came out the other end wouldn't know because their mind is scanned before they are exterminated. So there was nobody to testify to it all. He thought back to the moment when he was allowed to watch Annabelle being teleported the other day. It made him shudder when he remembered that the machine was shaking slightly when it was announced that the new Annabelle was walking out the other end. The first one was still dying inside.

He was out on the street, he didn't care who saw him leave or what they thought of him, he needed to get hold of Lilly and fast. Lilly and he were very close. They both survived a car crash which killed their uncle when they were very young. Their uncle was driving, they were both in the back and the car hot a huge truck head on. They had been very close ever since and Adam was very protective of her.

Adam just had to speak to Lilly, he had to do it now. She changed her mobile phone number so often that he just didn't know the current one. So he phoned home.........

Mum answered, “Hello!”

“Hi mum, it's Adam, is Lilly there?”

“Lilly,” she said, “Er, no, ahem, errrr.”

Adam was immediately suspicious, and this suspicion lead to an aggressive line of questioning, “Mum, where is she. Please, I need to see her now!

“She didn't want me to tell you but she is being teleported to Birmingham in just under half an hour!

“Nnnnoooooooo, mum, she said that she was going to do that Saturday not today!”

“It's okay Adam,” mum tried to reassure him although she obviously didn't know the truth about the teleportation process. “It's okay they asked her to do it today rather than Saturday because they wanted to demonstrate the process to some Japanese visitors and she agreed. She will be there in seconds and then she will drive back by tonight. You will hardly know she is gone.”

Adam yelled down the phone, “Mum, no no no no no, we've got to stop her. If she phones home beforehand, tell her to stop!”

Adam literally ran as fast as he could to the tube station which eventually took him to his destination. He needed to be at the London HQ of Trans-Tel and he needed to get there fast, very fast. He was aware that Trans-Tel were tweaking the send process so that the extermination beam did a good job, so she may or may not feel any pain. But even if she didn't that wasn't the point. Lilly was going to die and he had to stop her.

There was no way they would let him in without permission, he had no time to lie his way in like he did when he went to see Horatio earlier so he knew he had to literally barge his way in. He did just that. He pushed a security guard out of the way at the front door, an alarm sounded, he ran down a corridor, through a crowd of Japanese visitors and into the teleportation room.

He had no idea what would happen the rest of today, he might probably be arrested and he might end up joining the ranks of Horatio and Ravi in the effort to get the whole thing stopped. But now he had to stop this one going ahead.

As he got into the teleportation room, he caught sight of Lilly going into the pod. Security guards prevented him from going any further, He watched, they all watched as she stepped inside and the door was closed. She was gone, the lights turned from white to red and so on through the sequence.

In a very short space of time a clone of her would step out the other end in Birmingham. This clone would desperately and affectionately want to contact her beloved big brother. She would drive down to London and definitely want to hug him and catch up with him that night and tell him just how great the whole thing was. She wouldn't know any different. This would be the worst thing imaginable for him and as the security guards slipped handcuffs on to him he hoped that they would take him far away so that she couldn't get anywhere near him.

Lilly had stepped into that pod to die without knowing it and neither he or anyone else would ever see her ever again!




© Copyright 2019 Davewalker987. All rights reserved.

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