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Universe building: Teleportation

Spoilers, turns out ripping a person atom by atom and then flinging them at extreme speeds across the universe is a bad idea.





     IC | Nov 9, 2021
In this universe where things are built at incredible scales and transportation seems to be the only limit to what can be done, many have wondered, "What if we could go faster? Near instantly faster." In many species, the concept of teleportation, the movement of an object from one location to another instantly, has been proposed. This idea has been achieved in this era of technology, and this article will go into why teleportation is frankly a terrible way of movement.

Teleportation has been created many times in the universe by many different species and cannot be attributed to one singular person. Not all teleportation is alike, but the most common form of teleportation is what will be noted here. Some less popular forms will be noted at the bottom, though they will not be detailed.

How it works
In its most basic form, teleportation is the movement of atoms from one location to another. While this is not instant for the consumer, it is instant enough.

A "teleportation machine" (often branded to whatever company built it) is used in this event. There are two types: two-way and one-way. While self-explanatory, a two-way teleporter requires machines at both locations. The first machine scans the object, then sends the precise data to the second machine. Once both devices have confirmed they hold the same data, the first machine rips apart and shoots the atoms of the item to machine two, which recombines the object. Both devices can be used interchangeably.

In a one-way teleporter, an object known as a rebuilder is in place of the second teleporter. This object takes what is given into it and creates either the object within its walls or on a floor preselected beforehand.

All types of machines have their own set of problems but also include major shared problems as well.

Problems: Physical
"Flinging atoms across the universe and hoping they get to where they need to go unscarred is unfeasible for "primitive" transportation, much less when all those atoms aren't connected into one form." - Huna Ju, director of "It's Universal" shipping company, joked when asked if they would consider putting teleportation in their lineup.

Packet loss
When transporting data via air using such systems as wifi, a packet loss of up to 1% is considered "within an acceptable range." When transporting it across an open jump point to another planet, a packet loss of +5% per jump point traveled is yet again, acceptable range.

By this rule, if a 600-pound arma were teleported two jumps, losing 58 pounds of body mass would be considered an acceptable amount. The arma would be sure to disagree with this, if he is still alive. While the transmission of data is not the stage of worry, teleporters often confirm to their output location that their data matches up, packet loss of the physical being is still a very real issue. Even with all things accounted for and extreme care by companies to only teleport at the best times, the average packet loss for teleportation per jump is 0.2%.

In a full-grown arma going only one planet away, that is 1.2 pounds of flesh that goes missing, and where that location of missing flesh is can cause either mild pain or instant death on teleportation.

Incorrect formation
While far less of an issue than the above as companies strive to make sure their machines are extremely well-tuned and maintained, problems may still arrive in reformation with animated material.

Inanimated objects are allowed to be partly formed, scanned, then partly created, and scanned once again until the completion of the object for best results. Depending on the object's size and how careful the company wishes to be, a reformation can be instantaneous or take up to an hour.

With animated objects, only instantaneously would be allowed, as if the person were to come alive during the process, the pain would be so dire that they would react. This, in turn, would cause the next round to be misplaced, only adding to the issue until the transported expires.

Because teleporter machines are disallowed from checking their work as they go, small misplacements are certain. Once more, while a non-issue in non-complex objects, this can be fatal in organics.

Pictured above, a metal sheet before and after being teleported by a machine that was incorrectly tuned. While hard to spot to the common observer, the image on the right showcases incorrect placement of the colored metal, as seen by its "tinted" appearance. Small parts of the red are scattered around the whole piece, while silver has filled in these small pockets of misplaced material. While this has little effect on the product other than lowering its price, this small error would be fatal in most organic beings.

Problems: Ethical
"You call me Dr. Farpac and ask me all of these questions, but I have one for you. How do you know so much about me when I was only born moments ago?" - Dr. Farpac, a notable teleportation scientist. After her interview, she changed her name to Dr. Farpac the second.

Legal Murder & Necromancy claims
The concept of death and primarily how one dies has been argued upon for ages among species. For one species, death is as soon as the heart and brain stops. For another, such as the crawlerz or ectons, death is a tricky thing to expand upon. This often comes up in organic brain removal and implantation into a robotic shell to extend the life of a person. While some planet laws state that nothing has changed, others outright declare this a death of the person and that the robotic shell is nothing but an object with no rights.

This becomes an issue with teleportation.

When a person is ripped atom from atom and flung across the universe, most people agree that they are dead at that moment. This has led to court cases that argue directly to the living person in the room that they are legally dead, but they have also been technically murdered by the company that teleported them. If not given special clauses beforehand, this event can cause the user to essentially be banished from their planet for dying.

Due to the Era of Necromancy, some planets even have laws that state that not only are all forms of dying, even temporary, considered a total death, but they outlaw all events of revival. This means that the government can sue a "dead man" for dying.

This is a giant hurdle for teleportation companies to get over, and many are unwilling to deal with it.

Current Usages of Teleporters
"The sky is clear. Let's just hope a bird doesn't get in the way like last time. That was a blood bath." - Unknown teleporter operator

Long Range Teleporters
Despite packet loss issues, long-range teleporters are still used today for two things, sending large amounts of basic yet hard-to-transport materials and cheaper consumer goods teleportation. When detailed quality is not an issue, long-range teleporters do their job well. While the federation has banned the usage of teleported structural objects, such as beams, from being used due to fears of weakening, raw material is still allowed. Due to the number of goods at these large-scale plants being moved, the packet loss is considered within an acceptable range.

Some consideration must be taken to make sure all machines are calibrated. One famous event ended with a shipment of water turning into Hydrogen peroxide and hydrogen gas, the latter of which is flammable. Care must also be taken with large loads being sent quickly to make sure air space is as clear as possible.

Short range teleporters
Many consumers use short-range teleporters without even knowing. For example, the famous capture cages are technically a form of short-range teleporter that grabs and contains a living being and their data until at such time when they can be reformed. Even these objects, which are commonly used and should be as safe as possible, can have deadly results. Frequent users of the capture cage report rare but messy results on the release of their pet. As such, even short-range teleporters are not recommended for regular usage.

Many big shipping companies will have "instant service" for consumers when the item they are ordering is within the same city as them. Parents are urged to keep children and pets away from the home teleportation centers due to many reports of "impalements" after sticking their hands into one during delivery.

List of things that are not teleportation
Teleporting Anomalies
Anomalous movement events are legally not considered teleportation as the activity does not require the user to be ripped into atoms and flung. Research has shown that anomalous "teleportation" is better defined as "the disappearance of a person or object which reappears in another location." Companies have attempted to harvest this power, but it is less trustworthy than teleportation due to the nature of anomalies.

Some believe that because objects being teleported become "invisible," that the two are the same. This is hugely not true, as invisibility is just the art of extreme camouflage.

A common misconception is that wormholes are a way for a ship to teleport from one place to another. It should be reminded that the universe is bending to meet up in one location, and the ship traveling is not being warped in any shape or fashion. As a side note, wormhole transportation directly on planets has been considered, but tests have been poor. It is well known that wormholes too close to a world may begin a "warp event" or, worse, accidentally draw parts of the planet into it. Smaller wormholes have shown smaller but still devastating results if placed without the utmost care on a planet.

Ending Note
"Maybe flinging atoms faster than ships across the universe was a bad idea." - Unknown



Atomic Atom is a person who thinks its weird to talk about yourself in 3rd person. They love writing lore entries and are deeping their toes into releasing old patreon posts to the public.

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