Author : Liz Lafferty

Life insurance was easier to write now that Sovereign Earth had established a predestined day of death. I’m not saying that everyone died on the predestined date, but some politician with a mind toward the future had discovered that incentives and tax credits went a long way toward getting a perfectly healthy person into a TC.

A trained actuarial could calculate the value of human life over said fifty-six years, factor in the benefit of wages and tax payments, subtracted out the costs of food, medicine, wear and tear on resources and — there you have it — a TC incentive payment.

The trouble with TC payments was that they didn’t go to the individual being valued. It did, however, go to the individual’s designee. Someone else would get the benefit of the forfeiture.

Sovereign Earth said it was a voluntary program for conscientious worldview citizens who knew they would be a drain on the planet at some point in the future.

I never thought I’d be one of the many lining up for the benefits. I’d considered myself above Sovereign Earth’s progressive model for the future. In fact, had protested and ridiculed the proposal thirty years ago.

I think it was the soothing water, blue sky and green grass of their advertising program that finally won me over. The building size ad was in perpetual playback on the science center walls that I could see from my office window.

Things were bad now for the average citizen, and that was most of us. Once I set my mind toward the possibilities and the actual money involved, the decision was simple and my family complicitly happy with my choice.

So, here I stand at Termination Center Forty-Seven. Don’t be fooled by my sanguine attitude. I’d thought long and hard, but the truth was, from here on out, I’d cost Sovereign Earth more than the benefits of my labor. I had nothing else to give.

My actuarial calculation was astonishingly high because my mother’s side of the family had cancer genes but my father’s side had longevity. I guess they figured the cost of my cancer treatments over my natural lifetime, and the huge amount of resources I would use, made me very expendable and they dangled the tempting carrot until I gave in.

My fifty year-old wife and my only son would have a more comfortable life. My wife had already decided she was going to do the same thing on her birthday.

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