Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Alex Beyman would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

A to B

By Alex Beyman All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Horror

A to B

“I always thought the crew of the Enterprise would have to be committed nihilists ever to set foot in a transporter”. The slim young redhead in the standard ‘A to B inc.’ uniform laughed, although I'd wager she’s heard that one plenty of times by now.

“I’d agree if transect technology worked that way. You know, when I began working here, I didn’t understand why they look for people with degrees in philosophy. Operating the machines is not exactly difficult. We’re here mainly because it’s less frightening for customers if they see that a pretty girl in a sharp uniform pushes the button rather than having software do it, and the ones who are nervous about how it works get somebody to talk them through it beforehand.”

Even I’d had a philosophy class back in my first year of college that touched on the question of teleportation. It’s pretty entry level stuff. Is the copy on the other end really you? Is there a soul or are we simply a specific configuration of atoms, and so on. The stuff of trite science fiction plots.

“You’re never taken apart or put back together, in any sense. The chamber is though. A transect occurs when absolutely identical conditions are created in two chambers. The air inside, the lining of the chamber, all of it absolutely the same down to the subatomic level. That never occurs in nature and consumes a lot of energy to maintain, but we only need to do it for a split second. The universe confuses the two locations. Basically, superposition on a much larger scale than can otherwise occur due to the astronomical improbability of so many atoms assuming identical configuration and spins by chance. All we do is collapse that indeterminate state, such that you’re in the other chamber.”

I laughed. But then gave it more thought. A great deal in physics is absurd to the point that it’s comical, and just becomes more absurd the closer we look. For all I knew she was lying through her teeth just to calm me down, but that seemed legally untenable. I’d never run into anybody knowledgeable about transect technology who disputed her explanation.

It did put me at ease, though. They’ve done a bang up job picking girls for this. More than a few picturesque men, too. I’m sure my wife enjoyed that when she went through and would probably tease me about it once I got there. Always swore I’d never get in a transect chamber even if my life depended on it, but when she was chosen for the colony administrator job I couldn’t talk her out of going. Where she goes, I follow.

Come to think of it, the waiting room also seems calculated to calm. Brightly colored, a variety of complimentary confections placed next to the plush sofas, replenished on the hour. I don’t need to be babied like this, I understand full well the fear is irrational. It’s just, understanding that doesn’t make it vanish. Not entirely.

The inside of the transect chamber turned out to be lined with mirrors. The redhead explained that it helps claustrophobics deal with being in a confined space for the minute or so necessary to spin up the transect lensing array prior to firing it.

I wish they hadn’t. I’m just the opposite, I love enclosed spaces because I can see every part of it, so I know nothing’s hiding in there with me. The mirrors defeat that, creating an endless 3D grid-like expanse of my reflections, repeating forever in every direction.

I felt a pulsing vibration, then stillness. Just as I thought to yell through the lid that it was taking too long, somebody began to open it. Could that really be the whole process? I’d worked myself up for nothing.  

Relief washed over me, until a pair of men wearing A to B uniforms seized me by the arms and pulled me from the chamber. I shouted every vulgarity at them and threatened to sue but soon found myself restrained to a cold metal wall alongside hundreds of other frightened looking men, women and kids.

The deafening sound of machinery filled my ears. Looked to be the inside of some vast industrial facility. Too dark to see any distance, but I could make out multiple stories of rusted metal walkways cris-crossing above us with uniformed A to B employees walking to and fro. Below that, row after row of conveyor belts.

Many immense vats of some sort suspended from chains deposited dollops of sticky black resin on one end of each conveyor belt. Then the belt would move forward by an increment to make room for the next oily discharge.  

The mound of quivering black goo then passed through a series of assembly line machines, each of which performed some small step, gradually sculpting it into the shape of a person complete with hair, teeth and every other little detail.

One of them approached. Like looking in a mirror. They even got the scar on my neck right. A uniformed goon stripped me and handed my clothing to the facsimile. It got dressed, winked at me, then climbed into the transect chamber.



Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Alex Beyman
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Shifa Gohar: this book is my first on inkitt and I love it thoroughly...but i guess this is not the end. The characters were amazing the plot too. At times it scared me more than a horror movie would. Love the plot something i had not read in a while.

Diana123: This is a very intense and intriguing story. I love how it is mysterious and secretive and I have really enjoyed it. The moment when Kris meets Max and the way Elsa actually “introduces” him, by making Kris look at the picture on her iPad first is a scene that has stayed etched into my mind (amon...

SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...

TheGhostWritter: I enjoyed your book, great plot, random twists and great characters, Loved it, One suggestion is to keep paragraphs short, at one point I might have begun skipping paragraphs because they became a little to long, bit other wise great book, brilliant plot, and bloody amazing thriller.

John Smith: This is what Sci Fi is all about. Reads like early Heinlein. In the style of Space Cadets. No esoteric problems..but good ol blaster and space action with a host of relatable characters

Kelsey Miller: Page turner set in a gritty future. Loads of flavor and depth that makes the pages fly by until like me you are at the end of the book wanting more!The world is developed to the point it begs more stories set in this harsh reality. More adventures from Daryl and thr crew.

Meri Amber: The plot is creative, fun and addictive! The writing is superb and the characters are really well put together. Definitely highly recommeded!

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...

More Recommendations

Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...

Marimar Amieva: Although I found the vampire thing a bit too much, I couldn't stop reading it. The story had a bit of everything: mystery, romance, a huge plot twist and relatable characters. I congratulate the author for this story and hope to read more of whatever he writes.

re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...

Arabella: The catchy blurb caught my attention. The story is creepy but I would not qualify it as a horror story. The characters are likeable and I’m impatiently waiting for new stories from Obsidian Fae.

ericaporamoralcine: La trama es muy interesante y original y eso ya dice muchísimo cuando todos tratan de triunfar con ideas ya trilladas.No puedo opinar en detalle sobre la gramática, porque a pesar de entender el inglés a la perfección, la falta de uso en cuanto a lectura y diálogo hacen que me maneje bastante mal...