Empty Beginnings

When Ormond Destalion discovered the empty actuate (“empty” for “M” and “T”, short for Matter Transporter) he used it to travel instantly from St. Joseph, Missouri to the courthouse in Carson City, Nevada, following the path taken by the Pony Express, a journey that, in less advanced times, had taken roughly three weeks on foot, three days on horseback, and three hours by plane.

Quantities of the empty actuate were held in tanks at the laboratories of one of Destalion’s subsidiaries, Mass Transfer Technologies. When it was discovered that some of the odorless, colorless liquid was missing, it was presumed that it had been smuggled out of the MTT facilities in water bottles. Soon after, ecoterrorists from the Green Teilate Party spilled the actuate on four roads associated with fossil fuel production: Bryan Street in Dallas, Texas, USA, Balchug Street in Moscow, Russia, King Fahd Road in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and Chaoyangmen Gate in Donchang District, Beijing, China, turning them into matter transporters.

Reports began to surface of remote paved roads also making the change. A landing strip in the Australian outback was infected. One morning the cement foundation of a warehouse in Japan sent a forklift operator to the Destalion terra colony on Mars. These matter transporters could not be explained by the small amount of empty actuate that had disappeared from MTT, and some scientists began to suspect that the empties were spreading on their own. As more and more pavement was infected, it became obvious that there was no going back, and that a system had to be created to control the empties. Destalion Industries moved to fill the void. Within a year, every bit of pavement and concrete on earth was an active empty. All anyone had to do to change locations was step onto the sidewalk outside their residence and dial a set of coordinates into their mobile device. The age of instant, free travel began, and Earth began to recover from the environmental damage caused by the recovery and use of fossil fuels.

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