A robotically friendly female voice answered, "Thank-you for calling Suicide Helpline. If you are depressed or contemplating suicide, press 1. If you-"
"I didn't call. You called me. How did you get this number?" Robert demanded. His heart was beginning to pick up speed (Another feeble attempt by his body to keep itself alive). How the hell had a suicide helpline randomly decided to call his phone minutes before his scheduled jump? Was this some kind of prank?
"-If you are beyond persuasion, but would like to make your suicide more meaningful, press 5. To hear this menu repeated, press 6."
"What the heck?" Robert held the phone in front of his face and stared at it as if it were an alien life form. He pressed 5 and listened to the annoyingly cheery voice rattle off options once more.
"Thank-you for calling Suicide Helpline. If you are depressed or contemplating suicide, press 1. If you have planned or are minutes away from completing your suicide, press 2. If you have ingested an excessive amount of medication, alcohol, or illegal drugs, and would like medical assistance, press 3. If you would like to speak to a certified counsellor or service representative, press 4. If you are beyond persuasion, but would like to make your suicide more meaningful, press 5. To hear this menu repeated, press 6."
Robert frowned. Disgusted but intrigued, he pressed 5.
"Thank-you for calling suicide helpline. We are sorry to hear that you cannot be persuaded to live. The following are options to make your suicide more meaningful: If you would be willing to donate your body for organ donation, medical research, or artistic display, press 1. If you would be willing to undergo very important live medical research that may result in your death, press 2. If you would be willing to have your death filmed for a documentary or research, press 3. If you would be willing to undergo a fatal mission that may help preserve national security, press 4. If you would be willing to undergo a fatal mission that may help preserve one or more civilian lives, press 5. To hear this menu repeated press 6. To return to the previous menu, press 7. This is part of your government's plan to reduce the deaths of innocent people who want to live by replacing them with people who do not want to live. We are sorry to hear that you no longer desire to live. Thank-you for choosing Suicide Helpline to make your suicide more meaningful. To hear this menu repeated, press 6. To return to the previous menu, press 7. "
Robert nearly dropped the phone again. Surely this was a joke or a dream or something. Weren't these people supposed to convince him he had so much to live for? And what was that about the government using suicidal people to go on suicide missions for national security?
"What the hell is wrong with you people?!" He screamed and threatened to throw his phone into the deceptively quiet river below. "You're supposed to be convincing depressed teenagers to put down the gun and get help!"
As he pretended to throw the phone again, he accidentally pressed a button with his thumb.
He heard a voice that did not sound friendly, female, or mechanical say, "Hello?"