Theme: “Alien Healthcare”
Location: Earth after Aliens Coexist with Humans
Required Phrase: “sassafras soup”
“…but I’m dying,” my translator decoded the burps and hiccups that emerged wetly from the Jovian’s speaking orifice. Strictly speaking their race wasn’t from Jupiter, but that’s where they had been found, stranded, a hundred years ago. Nobody knows where they came from, not even the Jovian’s themselves. Maybe one day, when we master faster-than-light travel, we’ll find out.
I sighed, “I’m sorry; there’s nothing I can do.” I pointed to the ePad she had brought to me, “You clearly state here that you suffer from Prugar’s Syndrome. That’s a pre-exisiting condition. Your claim is not covered.”
“But Prugar’s Syndrome didn’t cause the dryness in my fluid mixer!”
I shook my head sadly, “The doctor’s feel differently. It states here that Prugar’s Syndrome weakens the molecular bonds between your mixer and your aspirator.”
The gelatinous mass shook visibly, “I would not have caught Prugar’s had you infernal humans not brought us to Earth. Prugar’s never happened before we came here. You fed us that damned sassafras soup and it changed us! You owe it to me to pay for my surgery!”
It was ever thus. They had been living little better than savages in a derelict ship and they blamed humans for saving them. They called the life-saving nutrients that we had we pumped into them when we found them “sassafras soup;” some joke by a human biochemist that had stuck. How could anyone have known that it would change their genetic makeup subtly? We didn’t have time to study the concoction – the Jovians needed immediate help. So now they blamed humans for their health problems; for giving them a home, a place among us.
They recently started calling themselves an abused underclass; why couldn’t they just be thankful to be alive? Still, I did have a job to do and I would do it; the alien may not appreciate me or like me, but at least I wasn’t a xenophobe like so many Humans are, rightly so. One human child being “absorbed” for nutrition could be a cultural mistake. One a month, across the globe, was terrorism. No matter how severe the consequences, some Jovians couldn’t resist the taste of a human.
I looked at the visiscreen implanted in my cornea; “It says here that you have been employed by GlobalSea for fifteen years, Mr. . . . ahhh . . .. Glr’k.”
“That’s right,” the Jovian burped petulantly.
I smiled brightly, “Well that’s good news. You qualify not only for a payment plan, but for a discounted rate on the surgery. GlobalSea wants to continue investing in you and is willing to pay the cost of the surgery and give you the luxury of time to pay back the loan.”
I nodded, “Oh yes. With your discount the cost of the surgery is only two point three million dollars. You can pay it off over thirty Jovian years with twenty-two percent interest.”
“. . . but, but . . that’s 360 Earth years! I won’t live that long!”
“GlobalSea will gladly pay for your surgery with the assurance that your descendants will be loyal employees and will continue to pay the loan.”
“That’s slavery!” cried the Jovian. “You are holding my children hostage if I agree. What if THEY get sick? I suppose you just add the cost onto the existing loan and enslave even further future generations of Jovians?”
“Really, Mr. Glr’k,” I said testily, “You have a choice. You can find other lenders for the surgery, or you can elect to not have the surgery. We are not enslaving your children. You control the future of yourself and your children.”
My translator picked up his resigned burp as he slid out of the office, “I decline the surgery.”
I wanted to feel bad for him, but I couldn’t. He wasn’t even human. Insurance companies have been weeding out high-risk people for centuries. My own father can’t get insurance because he has cancer. I don’t like it, but it’s just the way things are.
Sighing, I forced a smile back on my face and called the next claimant forward. Just my luck, another Jovian.