Matter Transmitter (MT, Emties) invented - or more accurately, discovered by Milus Blondel who subsequently went on to found, with Louis Drago the seminal Institute for Research into the Already Known (IRAK).
The matter transmitter was a turning point in history because it enabled the instantaneous transportation of any physical matter from transmitters to receivers over variable distances by the process of Randomly Synchronised Spin (RSS). Both the positive and negative effects were profound.
Discovery and Development
This story has been told so many times and with so many embellishments that it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. Milus Blondel himself is known to have published at least three differing accounts of the discovery and was reported to have at various times denied them all. What can be pieced together as positively verifiable is limited, however, certain details have been backed up by sources close to Milus and the 'facts' as investigated by a handful of journalists of the time do have a level of consistency that can be collated here.
The first experiments
A birthday party was held on the night of Friday 20th November 2054 at the third floor apartment of Annabella Stilliwich, a then vibrant and attractive 21 year old drama student who lived near the halls of residence of Prague University. The party was gate-crashed by various customers of a nearby pub, 'The Pathetic Lettuce' which was popular with many of the Theoretical Physics undergraduates of which Milus was an undistinguished member.
A relevant detail is that the most popular recreational drug among university students of this time was Focus, a neural attention enhancer which, when taken in moderation was a positive aid to studying and when used to excess, turned any indolent, self absorbed youth into a great listener. It is probable that the phenomenal success of the group How? Fascinating! with their almost monotone, excruciatingly long performances was largely a result of the widespread use of the drug.
Milus attended this party and was given several 'designs' of Focus which had made him absolutely devoted towards one goal - that goal was Ms. Annabella Stilliwich. However, competition for her favours was in high demand and in a moment of madness (or 'inspiration' as Milus later called it) he decided to prove, once and for all, that the topic of conversation currently being enthusiastically debated, that of the 'missing socks phenomenon' was a load of blocks. Opinion, as was usual, was divided about whether socks actually went missing in the wash or not and so Milus, in an attempt to win favour with their reluctant hostess, announced an experiment to prove it never happens. The fact that it is impossible to prove something that may only happen at random NEVER happens is an indication of the questionable scientific rigour that Milus applied to his studies.
Gathering up as many matched pairs of dirty socks as he could find in his shared dormitory (apparently, a lot) he started his epoch making experiment in 'Mamma Giselli's All-night Laundry' on the corner of Slovinski Place and Lower Bleckstien Avenue, a small 'family owned' business which his discovery would later be responsible for putting out of business (the upside of this is that the actual location became a recognised place of national heritage and subsequently thrived as a tourist destination until it was revealed that the 'family owners' were in fact a large multi-national corporation specialising in third world debt collection).
After fourteen wash cycles (and a return trip to the party for more Focus) a sock went missing. Milus was convinced that the event was entirely down to human error and that the errant item must be secreted somewhere in the workings of the machines. He made a clandestine trip (at around four in the morning) to the research labs of one of his dorm colleagues who was working on a government funded research project to design, build and test very small, water, weather and bomb proof high-power R.F transmitters. The devices were specifically designed to adhere strongly to clothing and although the government agency concerned had never revealed the reason for the research it was assumed by everyone concerned that they were making devices to track drug traffickers. Accordingly, instead of simply programming the devices (code named 'cling-on') to broadcast identifying serial numbers, the student researchers had chosen a variety of appropriate songs snippets ('I want to be free', 'Knowing me, Knowing You', 'Catch me if you can', etc) to be played continuously until the small internal power-supplies expired. Milus 'borrowed' a box of them and activated them before leaving the lab.
He restarted his experiments after tagging every sock with a transmitter, carefully documenting socks with the associated tunes and recording as much data as his drug stimulated mind could imagine might be useful. The torn and stained document that was later framed and displayed in the IRAKi headquarters in Malibu until it disappeared (Malibu, that is) showed clearly that after 26 further wash and dry cycles, the sock tagged with the opening bars of Beethoven's fifth symphony disappeared at 22:48 on the 21st November 2054. Milus had been washing socks for more than 24 hours by this time and his radio receiver, which he had taken from the labs could not locate any signal from the missing sock. Knowing that the only way of proving that socks don't actually disappear was to find the missing sock, he gave the whole thing up as a bad and sorry waste of time. By this time he couldn't remember why he had wanted so badly to impress Annabella anyway.
Milus' scholastic record was so appalling that he was thrown out of University that Christmas and returned home to watch television for the rest of his life (see Empty V). Approximately 4 years later, whatever dross Milus was watching on TV at the time was interrupted for a 'world shattering' news flash that irrefutable evidence of extraterrestrial life had been discovered.
Extremely high powered radio telescopes trained on the nearest star to the earth's puny system Alpha Centauri had detected something that not only could be described as 'intelligent' but also in the manner of; 'well, that explains how he did it' because the sound that was heard was clearly (after sophisticated computer enhancement) the opening notes of Beethoven's Fifth symphony.
Milus instantly recognised some very significant things, jumped up from his couch and uttered the now famous words; 'It's the fucking cling-on!'. The most important information was in the timing and distances involved. Alpha Centauri was approximately 4.2 light years away and the radio signal would have taken 4.2 years to reach Earth. The sock the cling-on was attached to disappeared about four years and two months before, so it must have arrived at it's destination instantly. Ergo:Faster than light travel. Ergo:Instantaneous matter transmission.
As the television news report blathered on about plans to mount an expedition to the source of the signal, Milus knew two things; first, he had a secret knowledge that just might make him rich and famous and secondly, if anyone ever did get to Alpha Centauri, they would most likely find a planet that was 50% polyester, 25% cotton and 25% wool.
The secret of discoveries is not in the invention of something that you didn’t think could exist - no one does that. No one would put all their time, effort and energy into trying to create something they didn’t think could exist in the first place. No, the secret of inventing something that hasn’t existed before is in the firm belief that whatever it is you're trying to do can definitely be done.
For example, any fool scientist will tell you that there’s no such thing as time travel - absolutely impossible, no way, ridiculous to even think about it. However, if someone travelled back from the future and proved to a whole bunch of people that time travel was possible, they’d have the whole thing figured out in no time. Milus knew - with incontrovertible proof - that instantaneous travel over huge distances was possible. All he had to do was figure out how.
As he is often quoted as saying; "It's all in the spin"
As Emti technology became commercially available, delivery systems were revolutionised. Existing facilities and services associated with the physical movement of non-living material were made instantly redundant. The effect on the world economy was profound.
There were a multitude of direct benefits including;
- vastly reduced road, rail and air congestion
- radically altered distribution costs
- changed storage and warehousing facilities
- altered retail patterns
- ubiquitous just-in-time manufacturing processes
- massively reduced wastage
- global re-distribution of fresh food
- potable water cheaply available in arid lands
- removal of pipelines, plumbing and ducting
- efficient heat pumps at minimal cost
Modern Emties are usually Nole-powered and many are portable or miniaturised. Emties can easily be tuned to only transmit and receive specific substances or even to filter discrete molecules which enables transmitted material to be dissasembled and routed to different destinations. This had lead to countless specialised uses including;
Most clothes storage units are fitted with Emties capable of filtering dust, dirt and other unwanted substances (such as bodily fluid residue) to a local recycling centre. Likewise, anything can be rendered instantly sterile-clean by being passed through a tuned Emti.
Modern recycling centres use powerful multi-sequential Emties to separate all waste substances into their component molecules. This process is now so efficient that less than 0.1% of all recycled matter is wasted.
One of the most far reaching uses of miniaturised Emties has been in the field of tuned intra-body filters. Emti enabled instant diagnosis, malignant cell removal and drug delivery has been largely responsible for the increase in human longevity to the current SlabWide standard user determined termination policy.
Lower bowel and urinary system waste removal via Emti is now ubiquitous. This innovation produced much debate among naturalists which was initially fuelled by a campaign to spread rumour and misinformation about the potential negative side effects of the technological replacement of a base bodily function. However, the campaign lost momentum when it was revealed that the toilet paper manufacturers association had teamed up with the porcelain suppliers to fan the flames of debate.
Most negative effects were simply a matter of adjustment and reallocation of resources. Some industries and occupations have been consigned to history whereas others have been elevated to art-forms
Selection of industries most affected
- Dry Cleaners
- Delivery services
- Cargo Transportation infrastructure
- Toilet paper manufacturers
- Domestic Refrigerator suppliers
- Take-away food retailers
- Orbital Space industry
The most frustrating feature of Matter Transmission is that it can't be used to transport humans. If it were possible to instantly transport an individual person, the effects would have been even wider ranging. All travel and resources dedicated to travel would have changed drastically. Air transport on Earth would have been reduced to a recreational sport, roadways and railways would have disappeared and the land savings alone would have been enormous. People would have been able to live anywhere they pleased and travel to their place of business or recreation without the need for expensive and ecologically damaging infrastructure. Huge tracts of real estate in remote areas would have opened up to habitation and major cities would have been changed dramatically and for the better.
Unfortunately, Emties can only transmit physical matter. Human souls, however, are non-physical entities and cannot be transmitted by matter transmission. Early experiments with brave volunteers produced extremely upsetting results. The poor individuals who had been transported were only fit to be employed as Music Business and Advertising Executives.
Global Laws were swiftly enacted to ensure no Emti was ever manufactured that would transport a living human. However, this didn't stop some enterprising young IRAKi scientists to attempt a work-around (see next section).
Although it can never be proved, there is little doubt that the California Disappearance was an experiment in sequential matter transmission.
In any event, no-one has ever been fool enough to try it again.