Tuesday, April 21

This Is How The World Ends #7

"Thank you for your patience. Your communication is important to us and a service representative with be with you in a mo–"

Zeeefthhhhh. Zeeefthhhhh. Click.

"This call may be monitored by a supervisor to enforce continued excellent service."

"Hello. You have reached Stellar Home Insurance. My name is Glu't'xvee'tak'chugoo'ch. And how can I help you today?"

"Yeah. I, um, am lookin' to get my, um, planet insured."

"Okay. I am sure we can help you... sir? You are a male of your species, correct?"

"Uh, yeah."

"Great. To be honest, I kind of pride myself on being able to tell right off what the break reproduction break down of species is and just from a voice what of the standard six patterns they fall into. I know. It's silly."

"No no. That's good. No one guess right the first time."

"I bet you're oxygen breathing."


"And... quadruped?"

"Well, no. Bipedal actually."

"I always mess those up. Well, two out of three is pretty good, am I right?"

"Uh, yeah. Pretty good."

"Well, thanks! So, you are the designated representative of your planet?"


"And are you the dominate species?"

"Um, yeah."

"And your specie is certified as such?"


"Great! Can I get your Galactic registration code, please?"

"Sure. Um, I have it right here. Just a minute. Here it is. Ready?"

"Yes, sir."

"Six Six Seven Two Alpha Three point One Four One Eight Delta Beta Gamma Nine Zelquid Shaftupe Two Timplblot and, um, it looks like a squiggly line with a circle and a sort of squished triangle thingy?"


"Yeah yeah. That. And dash zero."

"Okay, let me wait for that to come up. To confirm, I have you here as the representative of the Solarians? Is that correct?"

"Well, we prefer Earthling..."

"No problem. I'll make a note of it in your file. And what is the name of the planet you wish to insure?"

"Um, Venus."

"And in what system is that in"

"Sol. The Sol System."

"I have that as a terrestrial planet with an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide with a dense sulfuric acid cloud cover. Is that correct?"

"Well, we've been terraforming it for a bit now."

"How neat! Well, I am just going to leave it like this in the file but you will need a re-inspection within 90 cycles after your first payment."

"Yeah, no problem."

"Oh. Sir, I see that your file has been flagged."


"Yes. I see that you have had two previous planets insured with us that both had to be totaled."

"Well, yeah. I guess..."

"I see the first one was the planet Terra..."

"Earth. We called it Earth."

"I am sure. It says in our records that your race polluted it, over populated it, stripped it of all resources, managed to cause mass extinction of 99% of the native species, and finally initiated a global wide nuclear crisis event across the entire surface."

"Well, yeah. But that was years ago. We were a young species. Isolated from the rest of civilization. Didn't have the guidance of the rest of the galaxy and all. I mean, we were told that would be taken into account."

"Well, sir, there is a notation to that affect in our files. But–"

"And we've been working real hard at getting it back in shape. We have all sort of species in storage that we'll brig back when we have it up and running again."

"Yes, sir, but–"

"And when we first filed for insurance on the planet we didn't really know how bad it was. Most of our claim was put through. There wasn't any fraud. We went though litigation about this!"

"Yes, sir. I have all that, more or less in my file."

"Well, good."

"And the second planet was Mars of the Sol System?"

"Yeah, but–"

"It says here, sir, that Mars was destroyed... is this right? It crashed into another planet?"

"It's kind of complicated."

"Well, it appears that we had to pay out not only on the total destruction of Mars but on major repairs to the planet Saturn, its rings, and three of Saturn's moons."

"I know it looks bad."

"How does one drive a planet over a trillion kilometers up system and crash it into a ringed gas giant?"

"Well, Saturn was a big planet. We tried to swerve but.... And we were going through some stuff. We'd just lost Earth and all."

"I have a notation that your entire species was suspected of being under the influence—"

"Never proven, Ms. Glootzeeveetackchewgoochy! Never proven! I demand you take that off our record right now!"

"Please calm down, sir. First, the name is Glu't'xvee'tak'chugoo'ch, I understand it is difficult for oxygen breathers to pronounce it and I do appreciate the effort. And my species do not have females. The correct title would be Jft. Jft. Glu't'xvee'tak'chugoo'ch. I will make a notation of your request to have your record changed and pass it to my supervisor."


"Now, I just want to make sure that you knew why your record had been flagged. We can proceed now had getting... Venus, was it? Getting Venus some sort of insurance for the time being or you can wait for a full inspection and investigation to be done."

"Um, well, we better get something before then. You know. Just in case."

"I thought as much. In cases like these, we need you to put something up for collateral."

"Collateral? Like what?"

"Well, most species opt to put up a diverse unique genetic record."

"Well, all of that was on Earth... and, well, you know...."

"Yes. Right. Well, do you have any technologies that the rest of civilization find valuable?"

"Well, we perfected the fast food industry...."

"Wait. You are those Solarians? The ones behind McDonald's and Starbucks and the rest?"


"Right. Um, no. I'm afraid that won't be worth very much. Anything else."

"Not that I can think of."

"Do you have any other planets to put up?"

"Sure! Yeah! Um, let me see. How about Pluto?"

"Is that a planet, sir?"

"Uh, sure.... Yeah, it's a planet."

"Great. Tentatively that should be fine. I'm computing your rates now. We will only be able to insure Mars for the lowest level until we get all this cleared up and confirm the status of Pluto and all the rest."

"Fine. Fine. Let's just get this done."

"Okay. I will need Venus and Pluto registration and ownership numbers."

"Shit. I had those some where. Just a moment."

"No problem, sir. We're here to serve you. So... how's is the Sol System? Sounds cozy."