Short fiction

The Me, Me Or Me Generation: A Crowded Galaxy Story: A Pop-Up Guy Story by GF Willmetts (short fiction).

Hi, I’m me. You’re me. Think you met me before then you’re probably right. I’m the pop-up guy. I was the first human guinea pig in a teleportation experiment. Now, I’m all over the place. I talk mostly to me because everyone else out there views me as curios. There’s so many of me, my own original name is worthless. Everyone calls me ‘me’. Even me calls me me. Who’d be an adverb?

Me thought entanglement would ensure me moving from one place to another without physically moving. That part of it worked but entanglement isn’t just to one place but places right across the world…might even be the galaxy but me initially had no proof of that. There’s more energy than matter so me ended up being duplicated everywhere energy could be converted into matter. One of me thought to turn off the teleport machine but it was too late. Me became a one-man population explosion with teleporter return booths everywhere. Me had to be get back somehow afterall. Me also set back many civilisations back many generations. Me mean, what do they use for energy? Electricity? Nuclear? Lot of it around. Same with nuclear reactors unless used low-yield thorium. That’s only a trickle compared to the likes of uranium and plutonium. It took a while for things to charge up again so no real harm done to power sources or so me thought.

Fortunately, several of me appeared in the teleportation lab and one of us was close enough to turn the machine off. Not a lot of good that did me, me had still popped up over the world. No one else was willing to use the teleporter return booths or knew what it really was. Seeing many of me put them off. They stared for a while but got used to the many me that was around as we appeared to look like we were doing normal things.

The electricity slowly returned because me was formed from active power sources not potential sources. There was some talk of teleporting me or one of me again and me would all join up into one again. But me jumping ahead as that debate raged for a couple days but some of the hypothesises were worrying. Becoming one would discharge a lot of the energy that made me think that kind of discharge would destroy the world. There was also the possibility that all the remaining energy would create even more me.

Me were all over the place. House guests everywhere. Even in the political offices. If they were all like me, me immediately tried to get a rapport with wherever me were as most of me didn’t know what had happened. Me just saw a few me around, not the whole me picture. It was only when the media got involved that several things happened. Me were the face of the moment and the top secret teleportation project was revealed.

They could hardly hold the secret of teleportation with so many of me around. There were even five of me on the International Space Station and four of them were returned to Earth as quickly as possible for space (sic) reasons. They kept one of me up there to see how quickly me adapted to freefall, not being an astronaut or anything. A matter of air supply and rations. Everyone wanted a piece of me and there was certainly enough of me to go around for everything from media interviews to scientific interrogations across the world. There were even some investigations to test how alike me were and whether me were telepathic. Fortunately, the latter proved not to be true. Show one of me a blue card and you were given a choice of all the rainbow in return. It was luck that one of me had the right colour. That sent the statisticians spinning on how they could prove anything with me. That’s why me describes ourselves as ‘me’. Me were an unusual collective noun. There was enough of me to go round.

Top of the list was how long would it take for what made me me would diverge with different experiences. If me weren’t sharing our knowledge then there were going to be at least 5 million lookalike me with a wide knowledge base as me learnt different things. Me seemed to act the same way to all the same kinds of decisions. Who knew what me was sharing deep down?

There was some suggestion that the best way to cut our numbers down was a variety of…shall me say humane executions, especially in the less pleasant regimes around the world, although they were curious about the teleportation technology even if they didn’t want to try it. There were some legal or illegalities about it. How can me be killed or executed when there are plenty of me around and would so many me retaliate? The courts would be debating that for a long time. Me might not be telepathic but none of me were stupid and made ourselves media personalities. Me had to make money to eat and me were nice people. Not bad. Just a lot of me.

Even me didn’t know how many of me me were although a census was being done. The fact that five had appeared on the International Space Station also meant that me weren’t limited to land, sea or air. Those me that appeared on submarines were in the most awkward situation but were soon dropped off ashore. Me did wonder whether or not any of me had appeared on the Moon or planets. Not that there was any electricity there but there was loose energy. The collective me could only hope that none of me suffered as me must surely have suffocated. Me had a sort of affinity for our own survival despite the fact that me were legion.

It was only a matter of time when one country got bored with so many of me and killed one of me. There’s a several street block crater where the assassination took place. Seems we are an embodiment of the energy converted to matter and destruction resulted in a small tactical nuclear blast. ‘Course, there was more than one of me in that city block. The thought of killing all or one of me out there was quickly taken off any agenda. Me was an automatic deterrent to war and each me given enough to live on so me wouldn’t starve.

There was still a question of where do me go from here? It was only when this alien arrived and kept popping up everywhere that me realised how far my entanglement had spread across the galaxy and maybe even further and it was using me technology. Allowing the for the speed of light or whatever was propelling me at quantum speed had reached further afield and they knew what was happening and came our way to help. At least, that’s what me thought.

Where was me? Oh yes, me was still hanging around the teleportation device when several of this alien arrived. Mostly humanoid with some reptilian features. All alike. Like me were. Three them watched me warily as one of them examined our teleportation device and made some adjustments. Me was curious to watch, too. Were them going to solve the me problem without destroying the world? All four them stepped into the teleporter and vanished.

Was this what they were here to do. A spot repair and a demonstration that they could be become one. It was a week since me all appeared. A relative week for them to use my booth, create their own device or reactivate theirs to come to Earth in an instance. How did them find me? Maybe them didn’t. Entanglement across the galaxy and some of them found me, repaired and all went home. There were reports from across the planet that these same alien them had appeared there as well and all vanished after the repair. If that was true then me wouldn’t all have to step through the teleporter for all of me to become one.

Them hadn’t needed to speak or learn our language to demonstrate what they had done. It must have been something that was only a minor correction considering the amount of time it took them to do.

What did me think? Had me turned individual enough to think most of us would die when me gathered together and lose our individual memories. Talking amongst the four of me here, it was decided one of me should at least try it rather than like the aliens here who all stepped through together. After all, for all me knew, them had turned the teleporter into a disintegration chamber. We could risk one of me. The one thing me argued was how did the other alien them on Earth vanish unless by entanglement? Me should at least see where they had gone.

That was enough of an argument and one of me stepped through. Well, me three were still here and then so was the fourth me again but no longer creating more multiple me nor any explosions. For identification’s sake, fourth me was now a second guinea pig and me came back. Me had been on the alien planet for half an hour meeting more me there and seeing them. Still plenty of them. They just had the same problem but and to do it again to cut the number of me from growing like them. Them were afraid me’d would try going through the teleporter again but would serve as a warning across the galaxy not to try the same sort of machine again. There were plenty of them ‘Course, me now had a corrected teleporting machine ourselves now and just a steady number of me. 5 million me on Earth but factored up by how many more across the galaxy and beyond.

Actually, it wasn’t. What me thought was the means to pull the alien them back together was actually to get one of me to their world and back to show the range of…well, me. Me weren’t just a me problem on Earth but on their planet and probably across not only the galaxy but the universe itself. The ultimate explorer but unable to return information to Earth but could now teleportation device that wouldn’t multiply me further. Them had to use my teleporter to find me so there were many more of them around as well.

Them aliens had tried this centuries ago but had recognised our problem with a better knowledge of quantum mechanics and populated the galaxy. Getting themselves together had scattered black hole singularities through the universe and was a limited success keeping to their home planet. We me were the first to figure out the teleporter in a millennium. The adjustment in the teleporter meant only me could travel through it as it was also duplicated across the galaxy but no one else would entangle. No one not me could tell it was me but another me when we stepped out of it. Me might be the only one people to be able to step through the teleporter without further entanglement but also unable to be injured or destroyed. Not indestructible. Them had obviously had their own life cycle or we’d have seen them on Earth. Me still had a life-span so me wouldn’t be around forever but not sure about that based on the alien prototype.

It also provided a lot of opportunities to travel, visit me across the universe and meet me and gather what me have learnt. After all, me was connected to me by entanglement. That didn’t seem a bad idea to me. The population was getting used to seeing so many of me and me wasn’t a one hit wonder but me didn’t want to out stay our welcome. At least me could get away or me or me or me or me. Me had plenty of choice.

not quite the end is it me?


Pop-Up Guy/Crowded Galaxy

© GF Willmetts 2020

All rights reserved

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Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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