The Martician Corporation is a for-profit entity established in 2047, shortly before the global population hit 10 billion. Land was scarce in those days, and as human corpses piled up in the graveyards, demand for waste management solutions shot through the roof.
Enter the Martician Corporation. Not only did the Martician Corporation specialize in performing cremations as easily for their clients as possible, they also promised a spectacular mode of waste elimination for the remains.
They promised to send your loved ones to the stars. And you wouldn’t need to lift a finger.
The Marticians revolutionized the post-mortem industry by making it hassle-free. No client wanted to fuss over the deceased, the company reasoned. They were correct. Their business model allowed them to quickly beat out all their competition and dominate their industry world-wide.
Things worked simply and smoothly with the Martician Corporation. When Grandpa was nearing his end, all he had to was sign with the Marticians. He payed upfront, knowing that their services would be used at some point. In exchange, the company agreed to take care of everything from the moment he was pronounced dead. Grandpa never wished ill on his family. He never wanted to be a burden. With the Martician Corporation, he wasn’t. His family would never be bothered, except for the notification of his final departure. At that time, the family would be gathered together to watch the rocket containing his and hundreds of other remains blast off into space.
On some occasions, the family would not wish to attend this spectacle. For those cases, the Martician Corporation email a video recording of the departure to the family members. Those who could not have been bothered to come see him off almost never opened the file. Grandpa was painlessly forgotten.
The company’s profits, of course, were not affected by that externality. The Martician Corporation was not in the business of servicing the living. Their sole concern was death and, with it, the near-dead.
As the world population grew, countries began to buckle under the weight of the bodies, warm and cool alike. Riots erupted as burial grounds were paved over to make way for high-density residences. Governments were forced to dispatch paramilitary forces to deal with these hyper-frequent insurrections. When the dust of these conflicts settled, the Martician Corporation was always there to offer a new way forward. All too often, the Marticians would walk away with several newer clients to top off those from the graveyards.
To prevent future incidents, many of the more populous nations partnered with the Martician Corporation. The United States, Mexico, and India were among its earliest adopters. Almost overnight, the company spread to every nation and cemented its place in a new global order.
As a multinational, extra-planetary organization with scores of government partnerships, the Martician Corporation proved difficult to regulate. The Board of Directors was fully aware of this reality, and pushed every limit to maximize shareholder value.
From its perch atop the corporate food chain, the Martician Corporation ruthlessly eviscerated their competition and monopolized the death industry. From there, they began to vertically integrate. Security contracts, hospice care, disease treatment, they had their fingers in it all.
It was under these conditions that my infant daughter was pronounced dead and sentenced to draw her last breath in the roaring inferno of an interplanetary rocket’s fuselage.