Can We Bring Our Pets to Mars – Anthony Statham

Interview 01/49 of post-screening process: October 3rd, 2022
Start time 2:00pm PST – TBD
Excerpt: 8:52pm – 9:19pm
Applicant: JC8112190
Interviewer: Enrique Pintosinesta
“Can I retract the last statement? I’d like to retract the last thing I said.”

“I understand.”

“So?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Are you going to retract it or take it off or whatever? You know, delete?”

“I’m afraid that’s not possible, sir. As my colleague explained in the pre-interview screening interview, everything is for the record, on record, in all interviews.”

“She never told me anything.”

“Sir, I’m sure you were briefed prior to the pre-screen. As with all pre-interview screenings as well as any and all comments made within the pre-screening screening zone.”

“The what?”

“Sir, you received a physical and a level one clearance psych eval, correct?”

“Yeah-“

“Well, then I’m sure you were briefed. Everything said here within the confines of Final Solution LTD, a binary production of Next Phase Inc, with alignment under Far Reach Syndicate, allots a great deal of leeway wherein all subjects are subject to review.”

“I don’t even know what you just said. Is any of this legal?”

“Sir?”

“You baited me.”

“Sir, I assure you there was no such behavior on my part.”

“This is bullshit, man.”

“Sir, again I assure you that anything you said was of your own volition and the words you used, though crass and presumably of your own creation, in no way whatever was I in anyway responsible for the language and comments you made at your target-“

“Excuse me. Target?”

“Sir, the subject of your disdain, however you’d like to phrase it. It’s of no matter to me. As I’ve explained – everything is on the record. Including this tangent we find ourselves on, which upon further inquiry and a Travelers Check made out to the sum of $150.99 paid in accordance under federal and international galactic continuity requirements will within a period of sixty to ninety days upon once payment is received, happily comply in any and all requests at your behest and send to you a typed and notarized record of any and all statements made here within the confines of-”

“That’s enough. You’re giving me a headache.”

“Sir, would you like to take a break?”

“…”

“Sir, may we continue. It’s highly unlikely the subject of your remarks will ever find herself in front of these documents once the interview is finished. You have nothing to worry about. Only family is given access, and almost exclusively under extreme circumstances, ie. – the ship explodes in orbit or an unaccounted for anomaly transpires and contact with your ship is lost, or you die under mysterious circumstances in transit, or some such unpredictable occurrence takes place. So, unless the woman of your disdain is blood related and highly curious in your intake I wouldn’t fret.”

“She’s my ex-wife.”

“Oh, exciting. Will she be screening as well? As I’m sure you were informed, off-planet travel has excellent deals available for couples and new families. New Phase is passing new initiatives in hopes of acquiring more families under the guidelines of- ”

“No, she won’t be making the trip.”

“Oh.”

“She’s suing me. Her lawyers are Jewish and their cunning bastards and they’re out for my blood. Those Jew lawyers will scour the very edges of existence to find anything to defile my character. And now maybe you understand my nervousness at the comments I made earlier, the comments you clearly baited me into.”

“Sir, I assure you that is ridiculous. I have a script before me, here as you can see, and I follow it to the nines, without any maneuvering, paraphrasing or adlibbing of any kind whatsoever.”

“Then how did we get to this inane moment in time?”

“Sir?”

“If you’re reading a script then how are we here now talking about nothing? And what’s your name? Your colleague introduced herself as Mallory, but I’ll tell you right now she sure as hell didn’t come across as a Mallory.”

“Sir, and how does a Mallory come across?”

“Mallory is the name of my ex-wife. How is it that by random chance I run into a woman named Mallory that plays it cool and is nothing like my ex-wife who I fucking hate, and then I meet an asshole like you?”

“Sir, I truly do not understand your hostility. If your wife’s name is Mallory-”

“Ex-wife, you stupid-”

“Sir, I apologize. If your ex-wife’s name shares commonality with my colleague I must come to the conclusion that it is random chance, nothing more. My data, which is up to date under Google bylaw 4-113A – and I see here that the name Mallory is adorned in the western hemisphere, almost exclusively in the northern American region – U.S.A. and Canada by approximately two hundred fifty seven thousand individuals, give or take, of which roughly 6% are men.”

“Thanks for the lesson.”

“As for my name, I am Enrique.”

“That’s a lie.”

“Sir?”

“Enrique? You’re as white as I am.”

“Sir, would you like to take a break? Your perspiration levels show a spike in discomfort, as well as I see here your blood pressure runs the gauntlet of dangerous to teetering on dangerous. I am informed Caucasian men of your region and age range, calculating for the slight excess of stomach fat, are often desirous of nicotine in moments of duress. Would you like a Coca Cola and a cigarette, sir? We can take a five, which I’m informed you’ll understand as is common in your parlance.”

“You’re baiting me again. I told your little slutty cohort I quit smoking three years ago. It was the deal I cut with my ex so I could get a dog. She’s allergic, but if I quit smoking and let her buy that absurd robotic vacuum, ANDY or whatever it’s called, then I could get the dog.”

“Congratulations, sir. I also have ANDY.”

“Lies! I can’t believe a thing you say. What’s ANDY stand for, the initials or whatever?”

“ANDY, sir, is the acronym for Androgynous Neurosystematic Debris sleuthing Youngster. ANDY as I understand is available in male and female functionary attitude adjustment and can be acquired in any and all regionally available racial gender profiles. Mine is an ethnocentric Seminole species identity.”

“I’m sure you just made that up. I have no idea how that creepy vacuum doll ever came to be. Whoever invented that thing should be shot.”

“The inventor, a Japanese scientist under indictment in seventeen countries and wanted by INTERPOL for pedophilic implications in his latest psych-eval lives off planet in a colony near the newly formed Cascade District, which I have a pamphlet for you if you’re interested-“

“Shut up, please.”

“Kintashikuro Sakuraba.”

“What?”

“The scientist’s name, sir. Sir, as I’m sure you were informed in your pre-screen, we here at Next Phase function under only intergalactic jurisdiction-“

“So what? What the hell are you talking about?”

“Sir, life on the Red Planet frees you of all earthen federal crimes and international functionaries such as the UN and INTERPOL have zero jurisdiction, so as to borrow another phrase from your Caucasian age range parlance, ‘You’re Scott free’ until you return to earth atmosphere.”

“Forget I asked. You’re probably lying anyway.”

“Sir, I cannot lie to you, nor would I if I could.”

“What if it were for my benefit?”

“Sir?”

“Sometimes lies are for the best, like to protect people.”

“Well, sir, in that case I’d happily lie to your face if that were your preferred method of handling a certain situation.”

“You just told me you’d never lie to me.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Fuck it. Never mind. Why do I even care? I’ll never see you again.”

“Sir, if you pass this screening, I’ll be your contract interview partner for the following forty-eight rounds along the interview process. And of course I’ll be rooting for you as I truly hope you become one of the Red Planets first and foremost citizens. I hope your wife comes with you and you have beautiful children and live a long and happy life on the Red Planet.”

“You’re doing it again.”

“Sir, excuse me, but I don’t follow.”

“You don’t follow shit do you? You know goddamn well I can’t have children and you know it’s the key factor in my divorce. This whole bullshit interview is all a scam, or some sick joke.”

“Sir, I assure you anything I said that gave offense was clearly a miscalculation on my behalf and I’d like to happily offer you a 10% discount coupon for the gift shop which you’ll find on the ground floor near the open course cafeteria. I’m told to inform you we have a new feature in the gift shop, and this you’ll be excited for, sir. Now available are lifetime guarantee fully functional clothing options for ANDY all in the style of today’s most famous celebrities.”

“I’m leaving. I’m out of here. This is a croc of shit, and fuck you, Enrique.”

“Sir, if you depart now you will forfeit yourself from any further screening and the process should you like to continue must be started from the beginning, including filing the D113x initiation form and the $1000.99 introduction charge as well as the FBI and local authorities background check, assuming of course you’re American.”

“Yeah, I’m American. To use my ‘parlance,’ suck my dick.”

“Sir, you’re so close. Only one last question and you can move onto the next phase, assuming of course you’re still interested in life on the Red Planet. Please, sit. It will only take a moment.”

“…”

“Sir, please, one more moment of your time. You’ve come so far.”

“Fine. What?”

“Do you have any pets, sir?”

“I have a dog. I already said this.”

“Do you plan on bringing the animal with you on your journey?”

“Of course, it’s the only thing I have in the whole world.”

“Sir, I do apologize. You should have been briefed by Mallory in your pre-screen, but sir, there are no animals allowed on the Red Planet.”

“Oh you motherfucker. You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“Sir, I do apology sincerely.”

“Well?”

“That concludes our interview for today. Sir, it has been a pleasure and I sincerely hope to see you again soon and I look forward to continuing the application process for an enriching and rewarding life on the Red Planet.”

“You’re an asshole.”

“Sir, one last thing before you leave. If you’d be so kind as to fill out a simple survey letting me know how I did today me and everyone here at Next Phase would be greatly indebted.”

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