30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 4

by bdhesse

Day 4 —Write a story/excerpt to include the line, “Sorry, we can’t insure you for a journey like that.”
I looked down impatiently as I stood in line. It’s not that I was in a hurry or anything, I just really hate lines. And crowds. And…well…people. Luckily I wouldn’t really have to deal with any of that where I’m going.
“Next!” a woman behind the farthest desk called. I hurried over to her.
“I was sent here to get these signed,” I said as I handed her some papers.
The woman looked through the papers quickly, then held them out to me. “I’m sorry,” she said. “But we can’t insure you for a journey like that.”
“I was told you could,” I replied without taking the papers.
“I’m afraid you were misinformed,” the woman replied.
“Can you check with your supervisor?” I asked impatiently. “This is not merely a journey. This is my job. My employer sent me here, so I assume they were told you could do it before they told me you would.”
The woman set her jaw in irritation. “Fine,” she replied. She picked up her phone and began to call someone. “Hello,” she said into the receiver. I have a Mr. Jacobs here. He was told that we would insure him for his business travel. Yes sir. Thank you sir.” The woman put the phone down and turned to me. “Someone will be down to speak with you in a moment.” She smiled falsely at me.
“Thank you,” I replied.
“Mr. Jacobs?” a man said from across the room.
I stood up to greet him.
“Follow me please,” he said as we shook hands.
The man led me to an office in the back of the building.
“I’m sorry fr the confusion,” he said as we sat down. “It appears the e-mail we sent out earlier today didn’t actually get to anyone. But don’t worry: we’ll have you insured and ready to go in no time.”
“Thank you, sir,” I replied.
“Oh, how rude of me,” the man said. “I’ve been quite busy today. I should introduce myself: I’m Mr. Scott.”
“Thank you, Mr. Scott,” I said.
“Now,” Mr. Scott began. “This is a business trip?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“And what is your business?” he asked.
“I’m a Chemical Engineer,” I replied. “I also have a PhD in Geology.”
“Oh?” Mr. Scott said. “And what will you be doing on this…trip?”
I chuckled. “Looking for natural resources, mostly,” I replied.
“Natural…resources?” Mr. Scott asked. “Forgive me, but…wouldn’t it be better to just…use the resources we have here on Earth?”
I chuckled again. “Not really,” I said. “Our natural resources are finite. They can be used up. We’ve been using them up. But there are plenty of natural resources available in space. If our mission is successful, then we won’t have to worry about running out of fuel for a very long time.”
“Oh…” Mr. Scott replied. “Well then. Let’s get you that insurance.”