"So when we step into the transporter, it takes a snapshot of the atomic structure of everything in our general area, the boogers in our nose and the air in our lungs and everything."
"Yep, although you seem like a disgusting bag of wetness, your disgustingness is actually composed of a dry and immaculate little pattern of atoms."
"Yah, I'm like a pattern of energy or something right?"
"So this thingie scans us, and it stores that pattern of energy or atoms or whatever somewhere, and then it breaks us down into the basic building blocks that we're made of, which is, uh, atoms, and then it transports all those materials in a stream of energy to another location and recreates our structure there, right?"
"So it can't make two copies of us, 'cause we like, die, and it makes a copy of us from the crap our corpse is made out of, basically."
"Well that sucks."
"Not really, I mean, you won't notice anything, just like the you that you were a moment ago didn't notice the way that the current you replaced it."
"But I'm the same guy that I was a moment ago."
"No you aren't, actually. You just think that you are since you have access to his memories."
"Whatcha talking about?"
"Your brain is an organic computer that operates by squirting chemicals around and sucking them up with vacuums, you aren't actually capable of running the programming that provides you with the illusion of persistence on a continuous basis, or even a picosecond to picosecond basis, even if your code for it could be completed within a single clock cycle, you wouldn't be able to acknowledge the results of that code within the same single clock cycle."
"Time is discrete, the past and future are separated from the present, as is every effect separated from its cause, by indeterminate periods of non-existence, time is a series of frames, like a man flicking a light switch on and off and on again, and there is no such thing as true continuity, just as it is technically impossible for you to process your illusion of persistence and continuity and recognize the results within the same time frame, you may be doing one or the other, at any given moment, when the light switch is on, but not both."
"There's thousands and thousands of picoseconds going by while you are basically frozen in a state of non-existence and I am forced to wait patiently for your neuralchemical receptors to empty and your emitters to reload."
"Ah, well that sucks."
"Ain't there any way to fix that shit?"
"Well, we've been working on some improvements to the transporter system, focusing on the parts of it that stores your atomic structure, and we've created some programs that search the structure for patterns, like defects and diseases, and we actually remove them from your atomic structure, with a sort of antivirus code, and repair the holes with good patterns from other sections, or even structures from other people, if necessary, although that gets a little more complicated and we'd need extra sources of raw materials."
"Like, if I lose my arm, you can just cut and paste a fresh one on my pattern, using stuff from another guy or something, and reconstruct me."
"Ah that's cool. That's how you guys can even repair me on the fly, with the transporter beam, like when I got mangled in that machine at the factory."
"And you could even make me like, more muscular and give me better hair and shit, yah?"
"And you could do all kinds of wicked junk like rearrange my patterns to make my eyes glow all cool and shit?"
"But what about making improvents to my brain and stuff, to make me think faster and be able to do shit faster and junk, that would be awesome, I mean, what happens if we run into aliens who operate and think way quicker than us, y'know? Like, we might perceive time and move as slow as trees or something, compared to some alien who was super quick, and they'd like, totally kick our asses and we wouldn't even know it was happening, 'cause we'd be all like, frozen for thousands of picoseconds, like you was saying."
"Well, see, that's where we get into some sticky legal problems."
"What ya mean."
"Well, if I were to replace or improve any part of your brain's structure with some sort of synthetic system that would allow it to operate faster or more efficiently, you would no longer be legally classified as a human being."
"Ah so then I'd be like a robot or something, and I wouldn't have any rights, and they'd make me do all the shitty jobs, even though I was super smart."
"Well screw that shit, then, I'll just stay stupid. No offense, pal."
"None taken, sir. Now if you'd be so kind as to step onto the transporter, we can get your arm repaired and have you fitted with the latest legal upgrades and beam you back down to the reprocessing plant."
"Can you make my eyes glow?"