Challenge #01499-D038: World-Changing Invention
Imagine the real results of Star Trek's Transporter technology. -- Anon Guest
It was for cargo, initially. And of course there were a subset of the populace who preferred things transported the old-fashioned way. Some who claimed to taste the difference. But by and large, many people didn't care. You could beam produce straight from the farm to the store, with very little in the way of processing in-between.
People noticed when their food was fresher and lasted longer. People also noticed that bugs came along for the ride. Some even made it through alive. Some made it through inside the produce. Of course, someone had to fix that little flaw.
And it wasn't long after that that someone started transporting livestock. No more travel sickness. No more cargo holds riddled with disease.
And since the technology could be used for livestock, people began using it, too.
Plagues hit, soon after. Asymptomatic people spread their diseases as widely as they could travel, and they could travel far and fast. Religious sects sprang up claiming that getting active viruses swept out of the body was unnatural and against the word of their gods. They did not, apparently, condemn transportation on its own.
Laws were enacted, of course. Those who objected to any safety features of the transporter were no longer allowed to opt out of them. They had to take the transporter, or suffer slower modes of transit.
Most of the sects died out in a matter of months. As did the plagues that came with the unfiltered travellers. Persistent diseases vanished almost overnight. As did the concept of exoticism and rarity. It was no longer difficult to obtain resources, no longer expensive to do so. People soon realised that 'exotic' was a state of mind and 'rare' needed to be preserved.
There was no longer any way to sterilise one area for tourists. They could see for themselves that standards were vastly different. Some used it as an excuse for racially-based snobbery, but they were a dying breed. The rest... shared. They helped. And expected nothing.
It took a long time, of course, but humanity made its world better by slow degrees. Very, very slow degrees, because humanity loves to cling to its old ways, but progress is progress, no matter how crawling.
Then some smart-arse figured out how to make a replicator, and it started all over again.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / mutant59]
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