Banach-Tarski (Part I)

There was Dr. Copolla. She was approaching now, her strigine eyes had located him from the other side of the lobby.

“Ah, the reporter?” she asked.

“Yes, I’m Kevin Jacobs,” he replied, shaking her hand.

“Did you bring it with you?”

From his bag he brought out a teddy bear. Light brown fur worn thin in places, black eyes and a red bowtie. An ear had been chewed to the point of destruction.

“How cute!” she said, taking the bear. “Does he have a name?”

“Mr. Ted,” he said, blushing slightly. “I named him when I was three.”

“We’ll take good care of him,” she said, beckoning for Kevin to follow, and they walked through a set of thick metal doors into a laboratory.

“So it works like a photocopier?” he asked.

“It’s called a Banach-Tarski machine,” she said, gesturing to a large metal box festooned with cables. “It creates an exact copy of any physical object. We want to use it to create three types of things. Can you guess, Mr. Jacobs? What would you use it for?”

“Copying rare things,” said Kevin. “Like osmium or lutetium.”

She nodded. “What else?”

“Stuff that’s difficult to manufacture?”

“Yes!” she agreed. “Like positronic brains or Alcubierre drives. Finally, the third type of thing. Can you guess? Extremely valuable objects that cannot be duplicated?” With this she held up Mr. Ted. Kevin looked, and shrugged.

“High sentimental value, Mr. Jacobs.”

Kevin’s eyes went wide. “You’re going to copy my bear?”

“I am.”

 

To be continued

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