You’ve always dreamed of being able to teleport. The convenience this little magic trick or superpower could give would be a solution to all your problems, you think. Especially so on this chilly spring evening.
You are on a ferry boat in a foreign land. The waves at the harbor rock the ship gently, but coupled with your hunger and your heart-stopping rst bicycle ride across busy streets, even the gentle swaying makes your head and your insides turn. You’re getting seasick.
You look out from your window-side seat but see nothing. Nothing but the little patches of light at the harbor re ected on the water. Nothing beyond, no land ahead. Just sea. Lots and lots of sea.
When are we ever going to leave? You wonder, head in your hands. Minutes pass. The unintelligible rambling of a sea safety video buzzes in your ears. The waves continue to rock the boat. Your stomach rumbles. Your head pounds. Why aren’t we moving?
And then you think, how convenient it would be if you could teleport. Then and there. Maybe back home, where you can nally lie in bed and rest your tired feet. Or maybe to a good restaurant rst, because God knows it’s your hunger causing this terrible pain in your head.
But teleportation doesn’t happen the way fantasy stories show it. Science says physical teleportation isn’t possible. (Or perhaps not yet.) Teleportation, the scientists say, can only be at the atomic or quantum level, and only particles or data can be transferred. Philosophy questions it: If, for example, you were to break yourself down to your core atoms and transport these atoms, will the you at the destination be the same as the you from the point of departure? A video game series, on the other hand, combines all these elements, breaking characters into atoms and transporting them—rather, their consciousnesses—not through space (alone) but through time.
You lift your head and you see your fellow passengers standing, disembarking one by one. You look out over to the sea, but you see nothing. What is happening? Why are we being made to leave?
Slowly, you yourself disembark. Of all the times for a malfunction it had to be tonight. No one says a thing. Or rather, no one says a thing in English, or any language you can remotely understand. You follow the crowd, until you exit the harbor.