She walked in like she owned the place, but I pegged her for a spoiled-wealthy tourist. “I need a ticket to Proxima Centauri. Immediately.”
“Of course! We at Intergalactic…”
“Never mind all that. How much?”
“It depends, of course, but…”
“Don’t patronize me, sir!”
Our company manual on client relations says When in difficulty, remember to smile. I’m not sure I pulled it off. “I’m very sorry if it came off like that, Ms. …?”
“Campbell. Tricia Campbell.”
“Ms. Campbell. See, the costs do differ significantly, depending on whether you intend us to send all of you, or just your head. Mass considerations…”
“Are you daft??!”
I blinked in surprise. “Sorry?”
“’Send just my head’?? I’d be dead!”
“Oh, no ma’am. We’d induce suspended animation and get you—well, your head—there quickly, and just clone a new rest-of-you when you’re there. Be much cheaper that way than shipping you whole.”
“Absurd!” She bit her lower lip. “But that would save on cost?”
“Yes ma’am. This way, we just take a little off the top.” I carefully didn’t smile.
I would swear I saw steam puff from her ears; she gave me the finger, and left.