After work one day, you stop by a bar on the way home. It is not your usual place, but you have been stuck in traffic, and you just need to be somewhere cool and dark for half an hour. It’s so hot, you feel like you’re sweating through your eyes. You have been at this bar for a few minutes, and already checked Twitter five times, when you are approached by a exceedingly tall man with a beard and an eyepatch. Obviously, you are instantly intrigued. He introduces himself. He is Dragan Gavric. Dr. Dragan Gavric. And he is an inventor.
Dr. Gavric explains that he has figured out a portal system that allows its user to jump from place to place. Yes, he says, it’s like that Hayden Christensen movie.
No, the one with –
No, you know, the one –
“The other Star Wars?”
No, jeez, will you just let me –
“The other other Star Wars?”
Oh my god. The one, Jesus, the one with the time jumping, you unbelievable jerk! With Rachel Bilson?
After a brief skirmish in the parking lot, he explains the basic plot of 2008’s Jumper. [From IMDb: “A genetic anomaly allows a young man to teleport himself anywhere. He discovers this gift has existed for centuries and finds himself in a war that has been raging for thousands of years between Jumpers and those who have sworn to kill them.” “But, you know,” he says, “without the war and everything. And it’s more like a fancy garage door opener than genetics. But essentially the same.”]
Dr. Gavric confesses he has been following you for a few weeks, so he knows your secret. Though you work in quality control for a middling scissors and compass concern (the compass part was added in 1952, over the strenuous objection of company founder Pops “Doc” Whistlemar), you actually have almost unlimited wealth, thanks to your family’s invention of the hug in the early 1920s. (I know — I thought it was older, too.) You keep a day job to stave off boredom and, in that regard, you are a bit of a black sheep among your relations. You use the family fortune, but have never abused it. Your home is modest, as is your car. You don’t really want for anything, but you mostly live a normal life.
Dr. Gavric — OK, fine, Dragan — Dragan has a proposal. He is willing to sell you the exclusive rights to the portal system. He is an inventor, not a businessman. He doesn’t want to be in charge of this. He wants a one-time score and the remainder of his life spent sipping Zimas — Serbians have a strange affection for them — on a beach somewhere. [Forgot to mention: He wants $115 million.]
Before you make the offer, he adds, there is one problem. During testing, he discovered that each use of the system removes five IQ points and adds five-10 pounds to your body. These effects are irreversible. And the portal system is local in nature. It works only within 100 miles of the hub. The hub can be moved, but only by conventional means. In other words, you can’t jump to New York, but you can fly the hub up there — it’s about the size of a really old laptop — and then jump willy-nilly in a 100-mile radius around the greater New York area.
1) pretty awesome, right? Right?
2) do you do this, knowing it compromises your morals, and probably your mental and physical well-being?
[UPDATE: I put this in the comments but because people skip those: since I forgot – I wrote it quickly – you can’t resell it. If you buy it, it works for you and you only, forever and ever, amen.]