Teleporting didn’t always bother me. It was straightforward: step into the booth, dial up your destination, close your eyes and when you opened them, there you were. Texas to Tokyo in an instant. Miami to Maui. London to Luna 2.
But it wasn’t instantaneous. Sure, my datapad would automatically change to local time, but that wasn’t it. I didn’t notice until I ported in the middle of checking the clock function, closed my eyes, and saw the jump when I arrived. Thirteen seconds.
I wondered whether I’d imagined it. The next time I ported, I checked again. Thirteen seconds. Curiosity became concern the more I traveled, as the same amount of time was lost with every trip.
You hear about people who won’t port because they think it’s not really them coming out the other side, it’s a copy made from the blueprint the machine takes when it ports you. Was it true? Was I just the copy of the me who first stepped into the machine?
I had to know. I entered a booth, dialed, and opened my eyes.
I saw… I saw light…