Author : JT Heyman


“Archimedes Goldblatt Jastrembski Akune,” the applicant replied.

The immigration official looked at the application on his holoscreen and nodded. He studied the screen.

Akune studied the office. Behind the official’s chair, a hologram of the great seal of the Colony of New Canada floated without a ripple. Akune’s eyes narrowed. That was top grade technology … and expensive. He glanced at the wall which held a continuous, live interstellar feed … also expensive … from New Canada’s capital, New Ottawa. There was one cobblestone street. The other roads were just dirt. One building was modern and clean … the governor’s mansion. From what he could see of the other buildings, they were little better than the pioneer cabins from three centuries in the past.

“You have three advanced degrees?” the official asked.

“Yes,” Akune replied. “I’m a certified medical doctor and I have doctorates in civil engineering and agriculture. I wrote the new textbook on colony development.”

“Hmm,” the official said impassively. “Capacity for children?”

“My sperm count and motility numbers are on the fourth screen.”

The official touched the screen. “Hmm. Impressive.” He touched the screen once more. “And you’re wealthy. Self-made trillionaire. No chance of becoming a ward of the colony.”

Akune said nothing. The official was too calm. Something was wrong.

The official fell silent as one of the emigration shuttles lifted off, making the embassy building rumble.

When the noise had decreased and they could speak normally, the official said, “Ah, the joys of Embassy City. Sometimes, I think Earth put all the colonial embassies next to the main emigration spaceport just to hinder the attempts of qualified candidates to leave its sterile megalopoli for the adventure of the stars.” He closed the application on his screen and stood. “We had you thoroughly vetted before you walked through that door, doctor. What made you think you were qualified to emigrate to New Canada?”

Confused, Akune said, “My skills. I’ve studied New Canada extensively. I can help make New Canada a thriving colony. I could help improve its medical care, its city planning, even its use of native food plants. I want to help the people of New Canada.”

“And spread your genes?”

“Well, yes, of course. The one-child limit on Earth is unacceptable to me. I’ve always wanted a big family.”

“I thought so,” the official said grimly. “Disqualified. Request for immigration denied.”

“What? Why?”

“As I said, we vetted you thoroughly before you walked through that door. Very thoroughly. Your great-grandmother died of cancer.”

“Yes? Oh. But it was a rare, non-genetic cancer. It’s not something my children would inherit.”

“Sorry. We can’t risk our gene pool with your obviously defective genes.”

“But ….”

With a pitying look, the official added, “If you want to go to a colony so badly, try next door at the Embassy of New Wales. I hear they’ll take anyone.”

Dejected, Akune left.

As the door closed, the official sighed. “Just once, I’d like to see a qualified applicant.”

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