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[Fiction] Amped - Can't win 'em all


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(Appologies for submitting this late. I didn't have 'net access over the weekend.)

"What do you mean you won't sell me insurance?"

His voice has lost its quiet tones in the past several hours of calling insurance companies and being put on near-indefinite hold. This one had actually been polite enough to give him an immediate answer, but that made him all the more angry.

"I'm sorry sir, but our policies are very clear on this matter, and the background checks all indicate that you are too high-risk even for our most basic services. I'm sorry, we just can't sell you home insurance."

Amped paces back and forth, blurring slightly in his agitation.

"Well, you're the last number in the phone book for home insurance! I've called everyone else! If you won't sell me insurance, then who will?"

There's a momments silence at the other end, and then the polite voice responds, "Try Lloyds of London. They'll insure anything. You just might not like the price."

A soft click and silence follows, indicating that they've hung up on him. Silently fuming, Amped crushes the phone in his hands. Looking at the broken handset in mild annoyance, Amped walks quickly down to the nearby radioshack (only a few miles down the road), and brings back a fresh, cheap phone to try to call Lloyds of London.

The conversation that follows is very polite, very enlightening, and incredibly frustrating.

Owing to his family history, his 'lack of steady employment', his 'past associations', and his many issues relating to his current roommate, Lloyds of London would, in fact, insure his home for full value. The cost of that insurance would be based on current condition of the house, history of that building, and the potential of destruction through natural causes or (not incidentally) the likelihood of 'foul play'. Thus, Lloyds of London estimated that the house would be destroyed within three to six months, and to ensure proffitability, they insisted on charging a premium that would roughly equal twice the value of the house. Per year. Of course, the premiums would go down once the full value of the house had been payed off, to roughly the cost of equity in the home, plus interest.

The polite expert assessor that Amped had spoken to (he had rated highly enough to get their Nova specialist), had expressed his opinion that Amped would be better off keeping his money in one of Lloyds specialised high-interest bonds, rather than wasting it on safeguarding a house that, by all laws of probability, would be a burnt husk before mid-winter.

'How could they know?' Amped asked himself. 'It's not like these things can be predicted that accurately, without some future-seeing nova.' That thought brought him up cold. Had the insurance companies hired a nova to see the future? Of course, that would only make sense. Why insure something that's going to burn down soon? But to get that kind of uniform response, there must be a common database, a global conspiracy between insurers.

With an answer, and a mission, Amped begins work to track down this global conspiracy.

It turns out that the global conspiracy of insurance companies is fairly open and readily admitted to. And to Amped's everlasting disappointment, the prediction that his house was in danger came from two very mundane sources: five centuries of house fire records, and common sense. CoMA had made no secret of their dislike of him, and after the attempt on Carver's life (with its own CoMA ties), no insurance company in the world wanted to take the chance that their house wouldn't be burned to the ground by an arsonist.

Sighing, and looking for a fight he could win, Amped headed out to find a CoMA rally to pester.

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