The Living Transporter Blues

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright October 2009

OK, folks, It's Science Fiction Pop Quiz Time.

You're in a labratory with a very famous and reputable mad scientist. He is very proud when he shows you his latest invention. He says, "I've invented a transporter, here, and it's pretty special because it will only transport living material.

"Care to take a test ride? Hmmmm?

"Want to be famous as the first living being to be transported in this alternate universe we live in?

"It's safe. I can transport you across this room in an instant."


This guy has a reputation for being true to his word.

So the question is:

Should you take the test ride?

Should you be the first living multi-cellular creature to be teleported?


And the answer is ...

Envelope please...

[riiip][pulls out paper]

[unfolds paper]


NO, NO, NO!! You'll die a slow and painful death!


OK, now why is that so?

It's so because your outer skin and hair aren't living materials. You'll come out the far side with a living dermis layer of skin, but no hair or epidermis to cover it -- those are dead cells.

Not only will each and every skin nerve you have notify you that something's missing, you'll start losing bodily fluid at an astounding rate. And your immune system will go absolutely bonkers. Should you survive, plan on 100 percent coverage with scar tissue as part of your recovered state.

So, the transporting scenes in The Terminator movies are pure Hollywood plot device. If your transporter really does transmit only living material, or living-covered material, bacteria will do just fine, but those of us who have dead cells protecting our squishy insides are not going to fare so well.


-- The End --