Anger had cleared Breve’s mind of all reason. That’s what happens when your husband leaves you. When he says you’re not sexy enough. Not young enough. And Jane, who was what humans called a Samaritan, was listening, absorbed by every word.
‘Why suicide?’ Jane asked. ‘You have so much to live for.’
They were sitting in a secluded booth at the HQ of the Samaritans in London.
Breve laughed. ‘I am 17. In your Earth years that is 34. I’m too old and too ugly to find someone else. I am worthless.’
Breve had come to Earth from Klon to commit suicide, she’d said so to the customs agent with the Bureau of Intergalactic Travel when he’d asked for the purpose of her visit. As per the Earth Consul laws, he’d sent her straight to the Samaritans extra-terrestrial branch in London.
‘We get a lot of aliens contemplating suicide,’ said the Samaritan calmly, ‘but most of them have lived here for years, they’re more or less human. You’re my first from planet Klon. There are a few things I need to tell you, things I tell everyone.’ Jane paused, a grave expression on her face. ‘I don’t know what you’ve heard but here on Earth, suicide is kind of taboo and we don’t take kindly to suicide tourists and all the extra funeral and clean-up costs.’
‘Then we have something in common. For it is taboo also on planet Klon,’ Breve stated.
Jane shrugged. ‘Then why do it?’
‘Klon law forbids suicide. In fact, all killing, including suicide, is illegal. We often wonder why suicide is not illegal on Earth, as it is in Klon.’
The Samaritan did not seem to have an answer to that. Instead she said, ‘Has anyone ever committed suicide on planet Klon?’
Breve shook her head. ‘We are law-abiding citizens. We do not break Klon law. Those who do commit suicide forgo their place in the golden palace of the Klon – the Klon afterlife.’
Jane shot her a disbelieving look. ‘So in order to live forever, you want to kill yourself on Earth?’
Breve smiled. This human final got it. Breve was intrigued about one aspect of the human’s job and really wanted the answer before she ended her life.
‘If your role is to stop alien suicides, what success rate do you have?’ she asked.
‘A hundred per cent,’ said Jane casually. ‘None of my clients commit suicide.’
‘There’s always a solution to every problem. That’s my motto.’
‘I am intrigued,’ said Breve. ‘What do you say to them?’
‘I take it case by case. In your case…’ The Samaritan leaned forward and whispered in Breve’s ear.
Later that day, Breve was on her way to a Harley Street plastic surgeon. In no time she’d look half her age and return to Klon as a younger, sexier woman.