# Accidental cloning

So, there is a moderately advanced civilisation, teleportation, interplanetary missiles, interplanetary system transportation, cloning devices and the like, and the main character walks into a teleportation machine (teleportation works like this: there are multiple bases, you specify which base you want to be teleported to, and the person is converted into energy, the energy at the other teleportation base is used for making the person,) but accidentally clones himself to another telepoertaion base. What could be the explanation for this?

• I need to vote to close the question until seriously narrowed. As written, the answer "God created the clone" is as valid as the excuse given in the STNG episode Second Chances. You need to explain context and the criteria of what the best answer will look like. Do so, and I'll happily retract my vote. (We close questions to give them a chance for improvement before too many off-target answers are given. Please do not be offended, it's part of how StackExchange works.) – JBH Sep 17 '18 at 21:44
• Does he clone himself (that is, the new organism is an infant with the same genetic material), or does he copy himself? But then I agree with @JBH, this is like asking "on a train, a passenger is found murdered; what could be the motive"? – AlexP Sep 17 '18 at 21:53
• @JBH: Many organisms (very many many plants, and also some animals) reproduce by vegetative means. The offspring are genetic clones. Generally, if the cloning is seen as a biological process, then the result is a newborn organism; in the case of humans, an infant. To get a copy of a fully grown organism, some non-biological technology is necessary. I don't think that there is an established terminology distinguishing between the two, that's why I have asked. – AlexP Sep 17 '18 at 22:22
• @JBH There is an entire category difference between cloning & copying. Too often SF confuses the two. Since teleportation is involved it's better to think of this as duplication. – a4android Sep 18 '18 at 2:19
• @JBH Cloning in its correct sense is reproduction by genetically identical individuals. This term is misused when a person is copied or duplicated in science-fiction. Copying & duplication are synonyms (depending on the process involved). Calling it duplication is clearer. No I wasn't being artistic. Matter-duplication is an established sci-fi concept. Star Trek's replication comes close to it. – a4android Sep 19 '18 at 2:03

Okay, so this is by no means actually possible, but it makes for a good plot device.

You say that your teleporter works by quantum mechanics which entangle a person into a quantum system, which causes them to trade places with the "energy" on the other transporter.

Except two bases activate at the same time, so he walks out on both bases, one accidentally, and one on purpose. But the energy feedback from splitting him into two locations overloads the original teleporter and causes it to malfunction, (and possibly explode) leaving his clone unable to teleport to his current location until the malfunction is fixed. Boom, two copies of him at different locations.

• Wow this fits in so well thanks! I already have that exact theme of quantum energy transportation – Rohit Jose Sep 19 '18 at 15:26
• Isn't that plot of Second Chances(TNG)? – user28434 Sep 19 '18 at 15:56
• Look up why Star Trek teleporters are a "suicide booth" (basically Quantum Teleportation requires the original point of entanglement, you, to be complete destroyed in order to fully copy new you to the pad). If you go this route you would need to have to account for the lack of replication (i.e. either really powerful computer keeping track of everything or only partial copy is made in each location) – LinkBerest Sep 29 '18 at 18:26
• @JGreenwell That's why I said it's not actually possible. However, for a scifi story there are plenty of ways to hand wave the imposibility away, considering most people don't fully understand the concept of what quantum teleportation is. – Clay Deitas Sep 30 '18 at 20:27

So, you want to use a teleporter machine for this? Given that your teleportation machine has certain properties, this is completely possible. The teleporter must operate by assembling matter at a target location. In your universe, everything required to be a human must be controllable by a teleporter machine. So, the machine normally works by destroying the old self and creating a replica of them at a different teleportation station.
So, it's a replica, rather than just a clone.

When the character enters the machine, something goes wrong and he isn't destroyed like he is supposed to be. The machine still copies him and sends the data to the receiving end, where a duplicate is made. The grim implication is the original normally dies. Maybe the hero figures this out at the last minute and sabotages the process?

Something to consider going this route is your civilization obviously has the tech to make many replicas of people if they want. You'd want to explain why they normally don't allow 2 copies to exist. Perhaps the teleporter companies don't want their customers to realize that teleportation equals instant death.

• I’m trying to have another clone reappear in another base – Rohit Jose Sep 19 '18 at 7:25
• @RohitJose - And he is answering what you are asking for. Remember, you do not need to downvote every answer which does not meet your demands. – Battle Sep 19 '18 at 8:49

It's not really a clone... he just thinks it is.

Your plot line can fill in why...

...innocent victim of a teleporter prank call gone wrong...

... the randomly chosen control sample used to calibrate the teleporter was selected from the wrong rack in the freezer and against ALL odds, was his own DNA sample..

... his folks never told him he had had an identical twin, and it wasn't registered in the database because he was a home birth and his parents didn't see the need to report it. The teleporter just followed genetic instructions encoded in the DNA for there to be two bodies created. No one was prepared for this potential until it was too late, and due to ambiguous instruction the teleporter algorithms placed one of the twin bodies at the next closest teleportation location.

• Ummm... this doesn’t answer my question. – Rohit Jose Sep 19 '18 at 7:26
• My apologies. I read the question as looking for reasons and scenarios that explain how the accidental clone/copy occurs. – N2ition Sep 19 '18 at 8:12