Candidate Eleven

“According to your psychological profile, you are well suited for the job. I’m sure you have questions, but due to the sensitive nature of the assignment, I’m afraid I can’t say much. What I can tell you is that you’ll be off-world and that the mission is permanent. We don’t expect you to come back. Not that there is a significant risk, just that the duration will likely exceed your lifespan. It’s a long way there, which makes it a long way back. And you’ll be going alone. It doesn’t look like that should be difficult for you. You’ve spent the last decade or so self-exiled, with limited contact with your family and friends. While you can’t ask me any questions, or rather, I can’t answer any, I can ask them. You are, of course, not required to answer, but keep in mind, if you don’t, that will count against you when we make our final selection. So, why the exile? You didn’t have to do it, you had enough funding in a trust fund to live comfortably, even lavishly if you’d so chosen. Instead you retreated to a mountain in Colorado, no phone, no neighbors, no network, and no interest in your fellow man.” He tapped the eraser of his pencil on my application form, waiting for me to reply.

“I don’t like people,” I said. “And I don’t like you.”