By: Kyle Jacobson
“I,” uncertainty, check the numbers, disbelief, they add up, impossibility, check them again, “I think we,” I look up at my colleague. Lisa’s eyes are wide as a petri dish.
She grabs her glasses as they begin to fall from her face, “We did it. We actually did it.” I pull the paper up to my eyes. The numbers are right. Impossible. There must be an error. Only a few years ago did science transport photons from one point in space to another, but what I had here was something from a sci-fi nerd’s wet dream. The paper is ripped from my hands as thin pursed lips press against mine. Lisa’s excitement couldn’t be contained in a human-sized hermetically sealed case made with tantalum polymer technology, let alone something made mostly of water, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. “We need to try it.”
“Yes,” I say, “but let’s make sure we’re not missing something here.”
“Forget that. We’re ready for a trial.” Lisa places her glasses on one of the stations and closes the door. With the press of a button, as expected, the glasses disappear. We both stare intently at the other station. Nothing is happening. It’s as though the glasses just disintegrated. I knew we missed something. I need to tell her not to lose heart as this should be expected. There was much to learn from this trial. This was simply the Alpha to our Omega. I turn and open my mouth when I’m interrupted by a light hum. Impossible. I turn to the second station and see atomic reorganizers spinning with precision. It only takes a few seconds for a pair of glasses to appear.
“I don’t believe it,” I feel my mouth drying as it sits open, “well, put them on.” Lisa walks up to the station and places them on her face.
“These are my prescription. It works. It really works.” Impossible. The machine disassembled and reassembled the glasses without error. So many questions need to be answered. There is an element of nature here that can’t be assumed. I check the data again. Every equation had been checked, rechecked, checked again, then the checks were checked before we repeated the checking. The only reason the checking stopped was due to my relatively short life expectancy. When the doctor told me what I had, and how much time was left, I could only check off the days. It was comforting that science had progressed to such a degree that I knew the exact hour I would expire with regular treatment altered for my particular molecular makeup. Still, I’m not too sure we accomplished what we set out to. We couldn’t understand what was happening to the glasses when they transported.
“I’m going in.”
“No Lisa, it’s not safe. We don’t know-“
“Listen,” she paces to the station, “there isn’t any other way you’ll get to know. I mean, you only have how much time left?”
“Seventy two days,” I check the digital readout on the wall, “and thirteen hours.”
“This is your life’s work. You need to see it.” I really did want to see it, but I couldn’t put her life at risk, could I? Perhaps we really have done it. Perhaps everything will go flawlessly. Oh what I would give to see this thing work. I nod and she smiles. This is going to work.
With all known precautions addressed I push the button. A burst of light makes her back go stiff. She is forced to stare straight up. No, no this can’t be. It’s not supposed to do this. I type in the emergency shut off code, but it’s not working. I look back as Lisa’s elevated body. Layer by layer she is taken apart. Soon there is nothing left. Please, I stare at the other station, please work.
Moments pass, and nothing, but it was like this before. I let out a long stream of relief when I hear the hum. Oh thank goodness. I see the layers of Lisa being put back together. Oh thank goodness the numbers were right.
“It works,” Lisa says bursting through the doors, “I’m me.”
“Are you sure?” How could she be?
She thinks on it for a moment, “Yes it’s definitely me. You need to give it a try.”
“Did it hurt?”
She thinks again, “No, not at all.”
“Alright. Let’s do it.” I enter the station without hesitation. I can’t believe it. I have achieved immortality. People will remember my accomplishment indefinitely. I couldn’t wait to tell the world what had been done on this day. I was a fool to think this an impossibility. Science seems to have no bounds in this universe. Every wall we find we tear down. Humanity truly can’t be stopped. It won’t be long before people are chanting my name. The name-
Pain shoots through my spine. Every vertebra feels as if it’s being pulled apart. I look up in hopes to ease the pain, but it’s to no avail. The light burns through my eyes to the back of my skull. Layer upon layer of flesh is torn from my body. I feel the unraveling of my skin. I’m going through a human shredder and every inch of pain reverberates in pieces of my flesh; I can feel them even though they’re gone. My organs are ripped apart. If only I were simply being disemboweled so they would just spill on the floor and be done with. It’s at my face. My eyes, it’s tearing apart my eyes.
Headline: SCIENCE IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE