The Fly: what teleportation gone wrong tells us about hidden fees

By on December 12th, 2016 in Editorial

It doesn’t take a genius to see the parallels between Brundle’s invention and an international payment. Seth’s goal is to move objects from one place to another extremely quickly with as little interference as possible, but he soon finds out it isn’t quite as simple as he’d anticipated.

His attempt to immediately transfer a baboon from point A to point B ends with the primate inverted, its guts pulsating on the outside of its body like some offal on a waterbed.

What Brundle has essentially experienced here is the scientific equivalent of a particularly brazen international payments rip-off – the material he sent through the ether has reappeared as a visceral mess, butchered to within an inch of its life by invisible agents he has no access to. He has been the victim of a frankly outrageous service fee that has made the cost of his transfer prohibitively expensive.

As a small business owner of Bartok Science Industries, specialising in the production of teleportation pods (or ‘telepods’), Brundle has little option but to attempt another transaction by slightly different means. Having rejigged his ‘telepods’ to better facilitate the transmission of organic matter, Brundle is thrilled when he successfully manages to transport a second baboon with no apparent ill effects.

Emboldened by this apparent success, Brundle decides to teleport himself across the lab. But as he shuts himself into the ‘telepod’, he fails to notice a small insect he’s locking in there with him – a tiny fly sat on the inside of the telepod window.

The teleportation appears to take place without a hitch as Brundle emerges from the pod feeling invigorated and refreshed. Little does he know that a deeply insidious and subtle change has occurred; the fly’s DNA has become intermingled with his own, setting off an unstoppable chain reaction that will cost him more dearly than he could ever have expected.

The unseen fly is embedded into the core of his physical transaction – obscured by complex machinery – and begins to eat away at his very being, like the hidden fees banks impose on SMEs too busy or trusting to examine the blueprints of their currency exchanges and international payments. Small businesses make these transactions again and again without realising just how much they are being fleeced.

Brundle is now Brundlefly, and his human body begins to deteriorate as it finds itself unable to overcome the genetic price of his transformation. He becomes deformed and his personality undergoes disturbing changes as he begins to lose some of his favourite parts of his body.

Brundle – just like a small business bled dry by hidden fees and unfavourable terms – is losing himself bit by bit, until soon there will be nothing left. The problem for Brundlefly and SMEs is the same: they have extremely limited capital and the repeated cost of their transactions threatens to undermine their very existence.

If only Bartok Science Industries had had access to a proven and reliable high-end technology that allows the quick transfer of matter from one place to another.

If only there were a way of sending high value items between specific locations within the space of 24 hours, with a cost never exceeding 0.2% of the matter transmitted, and a guarantee of the most favourable rates around.

If only Seth Brundle had used freemarket.


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James is freemarket’s Chief Commercial Officer. He has a history of finding new ways to solve age-old financial challenges and was responsible for launching some of the first online money transfer and prepaid card initiatives in Europe.


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