Sci-Fi Idea

Humans discover a new kind of force between matter that is usable. A new kind of magnetism, essentially. Except that we can manufacture both sides of the force relatively easily. It’s now the future, let’s call it 2060. The Earth is entirely covered in this “magnetic” grid of our own creation. Every single point on Earth has a unique magnetic signature. All travel and transportation is done by creating a temporary opposite magnetic signature and letting the force take over and move it there.

One byproduct of this is that the force generated can produce more energy than the energy it took to produce the opposite magnetic signature, so we have unlocked unlimited energy, which humanity largely does good with. But there are darker sides¹. Despite attempts at cryptographic obfuscation, the magnetic signatures can be faked, allowing for shipments that are tampered with or entirely intercepted. Or worse, the shipments themselves can be dangerous projectiles.

¹ Because, as I learned from one of Dave’s posts, Frederik Pohl’s advice is that “A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam.” I wonder if it would do anything on /r/WritingPrompts.