The transporter is a subspace device capable of almost instantaneously moving an object from one location to another. Transporters are able to immediately shunt their target object through subspace to a different location. The act of transporting is often referred to as "beaming," "pushing," or "pulling." The act of switching two objects is sometimes referred to by transporter operators as "flicking" or "flickover."
In 2121 Doctor Emory Erickson produced the theoretical basis for a device he called a teleporter, and completed the first operational prototype in 2139. It used a process of divide-and-conquer to attempt to make the process of transferring macroscopic objects possible at a much lower level of power expenditure. This worked fine for cargo (some were amazed at the level of resilience of fairly complex objects given the salient warning of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle) but when Dr Erickson elected to be the first human test subject for his own device in 2148 the machine's hidden deficiencies were revealed - the transit of small chemicals across a selectively-permeable membrane was disrupted. As a result, when Doctor Erickson materialised on the destination pad he spasmed briefly due to the continued motion of chemicals across synaptic boundaries, then fell to the floor entirely devoid of brain activity, and was pronounced brain-dead at the scene.
The only remaining use for pattern-rematerialization is the replicator, where the structure being materialised is made from some form of matter store and a detailed pattern analysis of a template object. This scan is a time-consuming and complex process. A replicator is also capable of inverting its function, thus disposing of unneeded materials and storing the mass to be reused later. Replicators can be used to easily mass-produce such things as machine and electronics parts, clothing, furniture, and housing. In the case of industrial drydock replicators, heavy starship sections can be manufactured easily and repeatedly.
Far and away the most common use for the average replicator is food and drink creation. Foodstuffs as fresh and tasty as non-replicated foods can be produced, and while most people find replicated foods and drinks to taste exactly the same as "real" food some people claim to be able to tell the difference. Furthermore, Federation replicators are programmed to produce foodstuffs of acceptable "nutritional value" and will not generate anything immediately lethal for the requesting crew member's biology without sufficient authorization.
The primary source of replicator mass aboard most spacecraft and stations comes from the ship's waste disposal system. All disposed-of waste, regardless of its origin, is dematerialized at the waste reclamation facility and cycled into a large sarium crellide mass sink, where the matter is available for materialization as anything a crew member would conventionally need. Aboard the Heisenberg, the most common use for this technology is the generation of water, as the ship is equipped with what would be considered for most spacecraft a luxury: genuine water shower systems.
Replicators which use a second-stage mass storage medium cannot store (and therefore cannot generate) second-stage materials. Theoretically, a third-stage mass storage medium would allow for the replication of second-stage materials; however, even assuming a sufficiently stable mass storage medium were found the necessary infrastructure and energy expenditure to maintain its stability would push the replicator into the realm of absurdity.
Warp FlickEditThe system used for moving cargo and life-forms from place to place instantaneously on board the Heisenberg is, to avoid ambiguity, called a transporter. Transporters flick their targets through subspace, inverting the positions of two itemsand their surrounding atmospheres at light speed with no need for any matter-to-energy conversion or reconstruction. This alters the operating limits of the machines: transporters are an 'open system', not requiring twinned pads (though the presence of a sending and receiving pad would make an exchange much easier). Transmitters attached to teleported objects make signal acquisition easier, especially through barriers. The transporter itself consumes next to no power, but requires the establishment of a small warp 'tunnel' between the two points, making the process easily interrupted by any form of subspace shield, even simple navigational deflectors.
Since biofiltering in the 'traditional' sense would not work with these machines, there is a simpler system in place. Once an object to be teleported is placed upon the transmitting pad, an airtight physical barrier between pad and bay descends, sealing the teleporting object in. The objects are exchanged, during which enough volume is moved with them to equalize pressure, and the artificial gravity on the pad is deactivated. A fan concealed in vents within the ceiling pulls out all of the air on the pad, while pressurized atmosphere is dispensed from below to replace the potentially-hazardous environment. The removed atmosphere is dematerialized for the replicator mass pool, perhaps later to be cycled into the ship again as normal life-support replenishment.
To provide increased safety for operating crews, when the transporter is engaged and active, the lighting inside the pad is deactivated and the small strip lights set into the pad's access stairway turn from white to red. There is also a noticeable noise, best described as a 'thump', as the warp capacitors engage and prepare to transfer the targets.