Powerful People With Advanced Technology: A Star Trek Story

When I’m not trying to defund the people making money on hate speech, violent rhetoric, gun sales, misogyny and bigotry, I read and watch science fiction. I don’t write it but I recently saw a Writing Prompt at Reddit that inspired me. Here’s the premise:

Researchers have developed a prototype for teleportation but it hasn’t been announced to the public. Being the 53rd tester, you hop in. But as the scientists pull the switch, you feel your body being ripped apart. Before you fade away, you see yourself come out, reassuring everyone it worked.

My science fiction story takes place in the near future:

Yes I am a Star Trek fan. A HUGE one. I’ve written as “Spocko” for over 20 years. When an announcement of the human teleportation trials came out my brother and I volunteered. Of course I had read why teleportation was created in Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry knew they couldn’t afford to make shuttlecraft sets and flying down to the planets slowed down the plot. Thus, the transporter was born. Here’s how they did it.

Since Gene had gotten so much right about the future from multiple races and genders working together to the creation of communicators, universal translators and tablet computers, we figured teleportation had to be next. Signing up was a no brainer for me.

The trial was funded by the United States government, out of the Department of Energy but it was run by some venture capitalist billionaire whose buddy’s with Elon Musk. That was cool since, like other Redditors, I’m a huge fan of Elon.

And without Uncle Sam’s red tape slowing things down everything moved incredibly fast. Raytheilion, the company created for the project, said they made more progress in 2 years than all the previous government efforts had in the past 20.

The day of the test I was reminded of something John Glenn said when asked how he felt before his first rocket flight.

‘I felt exactly how you would feel if you were getting ready to launch and knew you were sitting on top of 2 million parts — all built by the lowest bidder on a government contract.’

I was nervous but excited. I was number 53, but all of the volunteers were kept separate and we weren’t told how the other trials were going, standard double-blind study stuff.

When I went into the lab I saw two pods, lots of cameras and some VIPs that I assumed were investors.

The pods looked a bit like they were from the movie The Fly with a big glass door in the front.

When I got in the pod closest to me the inside was much smaller than the outside, it was like a reverse Tardis from Dr. Who. They closed and sealed the door. It filled with a decontamination mist. I was supposed to breathe it in but I held my breath. I couldn’t see anything and it felt like I was spinning. There was a loud vacuum pumping sound, which made my skin feel like it was tearing off me. My ears popped and there was a blinding flash of light like in the ending of movie The Prestige.

When I opened my eyes it was pitch black. All I saw was a sliver of light outlining the door in front of me. I shouted and pounded on the door, but the pod was sound proof. I pushed my face up against the edge of the door and saw the test monitor showing the whole room and the two pods.

The camera pointed at my pod looked empty. The camera pointing at the other pod showed someone inside. It was my twin brother, whom I hadn’t seen since we started the trials. He came out smiling and saying something to the scientists and investors.

SON OF A BITCH! It was all a goddamn trick!

Instead of being teleported I had been spun around and was now standing behind a front-surfaced mirror reflecting the side of the pod making it look empty. It was a text-book “smoke and mirrors” trick.

After hearing some celebrating it got quiet and the two senior techs opened the door. They knew I was in there but didn’t know was that I was conscious and had peered around the edge of the mirror to see the trick.

They opened the door and said “Sorry, Spocko, the test didn’t work this time, we’ll try again later. Go get some rest.”  I did my best to look disappointed and headed back to my dorm.

All science fiction fans know the Arthur C Clarke quote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” but what most people don’t know is the Randi corollary, attributed to the skeptic and magician James Randi, who noted that laymen and scientists were often tricked by con men/psychics doing magic tricks.

“Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.”

I should have known. Just like Reagan’s Star Wars program, human teleportation was a scam designed to get money out of the Government. The VC wasn’t an engineer, he was a  money guy and libertarian. They hate government oversight.  The experiments were elaborate tricks to keep the government money kept flowing.

I’m lying on my bed in my dorm room with my back to the “health monitoring camera” writing this on tiny scraps of paper. Maybe this can be smuggled out to some journalist before the staff figure out what I saw.  This whole thing sounds crazy story to me, and I’m writing it! Right now I WISH there was some kind of government watchdog looking out for m…


And now here is the “bonk, bonk on the head” moral of the story, Star Trek style, because you can’t be obvious enough sometimes.

The reason that the government is involved in oversight and regulation of businesses isn’t to hamper entrepreneurs who want to make progress. It’s to protect us.

We the people got together and decided to elected some folks to protect. There are ways to protect citizens  than the military. We need protection  from contaminated food, rigged drug tests, dangerous experiments and out of control ego maniacs.  We need regulation, regulators, and inspectors who aren’t beholden to the company they inspect.

To pull out a classic Star Trek quote:
We need our institutions to serve the needs of the many, not the few or the one.

We need a free press to show the world what happens when a system is broken, rigged or corrupt.  And we need a justice system that puts the rule of law above the rule of power and money.

In a few Star Trek original series stories there were beings with tremendous power who acted like children and abused their power.

In The Squire of Gothos in the third act “The Adults” came in and stopped the powerful being.   ( I love how Trelane whines when his parents take him away. “But why? I didn’t do anything wrong. I was winning, I was winning! You saw!” ) They punished him and apologized to the crew for the damage he had done.

That is the Hollywood ending that we crave. Yes it’s Deus ex Machina, but the good news is that we can get some of that ending. We need to remember that The Democrats are The Adults, not the Republicans. They have shown that time and time again when they failed to act for the good of the many instead of the few or the one.

When you go about stopping a powerful child-like being they will whine and cry when they lose.  They won’t apologize for any damage they have done because they don’t think they did anything wrong.

There will be people on the left who won’t want to punish the GOP for their role in enabling this dangerous child with power. They will let them resign and sail off onto Lobbying world. They will want us to act like Obama and look to the future and move on. But as we have learned, there needs to be punishment for power abuses and law breaking. That includes the people who knew about the crimes, could have stopped them but didn’t.

Failure to act to protect the people, and to allow criminal acts to continue might be difficult to prove, but one of the things that we have learned during this time of emboldened corruption, there are many law breaking avenues to follow. Their projection onto Hillary Clinton failures for Benghazi  tells us a lot about what they are guilty of. Their attacks on George Soros and who and what he funds tells us what to look for on their side.

If we don’t do this kind of investigations and prosecution they will return.

In Charlie X Kirk wanted to train Charlie to use his power, but the Thasians, knew that Charlie couldn’t be trained to use his power wisely, “He will use it and he will destroy you and your kind or you will be forced to destroy him.” So they took him away.

I believe in American’s ability to defeat powerful child-like men. I also expect that these people won’t give up power easily, they will throw tantrums, point fingers and cry. “I was winning!”  But we are The Adults in this story, times up for these children.


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