This is a short work in the universe of a book I’ve been working on called “Tales of the Grey.” I plan to post more from this work sporadically and eventually weave it into a whole collection.

“This is immortality,” Druren waved is arm at the room of suffering bodies.
People lay on 60 some beds in various states of distress. A man without legs sat quietly listening to music. Next to him a woman with an abscess on her neck moaned softly, occasionally rubbing at the wound. In a corner under a sound dampening field a man without any limbs and covered in sores sat screaming.
“The man in the dampening field is a candidate for euthanasia at this point,” Druren shook his head. “Sadly most all the rest are not.”
Firrenne ad asked to see the room in preparation of her defense. She would have to overcome this obstacle to the continued legalisation of the drug Methuselec.
“Where do they go from here?” she asked.
“They are evaluated, treated, and exported. Most to the moon, where the lower gravity can ease their suffering. Sometimes to family arrangements, whee a loved one can care for them. A small amount request suspended animation. The rest end up in Bangalore.”
Firrenne shook her head. She knew of the hospice in Bangalore that attended to the unwanted sick. It was the last great concentration of human suffering, populated heavily by those who sought immortality. “How many go there?”
“Less than five percent. I send no more than, oh.– I’d say – ten a year, tops.”
“Dr. Druren, may I ask you a question then?”
“Of course. Off the record?”
“Yes. Although I may wish to depose you on it later, your answer now is only for ,y background. Do you think Methuselec should no longer be manufactured?”
Druren let out a low sigh. “Yes and no. It is a drug with a false promise. One series of doses over three months has the permanent effect of making you immortal. But it can regenerate you or cure disease. It essentially only ensures brain function. That means the vast majority of those who take it will end up here. Instead of a natural death they will have untold prolonged suffering until they choose euthanasia. I do not think anyone shold ever take Methuselec. But if the manufacturer is ordered to cease making it, then it will be made anyway and made worse.”
“So what do you think the answer is?”
“Bureaucracy Ms. Firrenne. I think in this case paperwork could save many. Make the procedure laborious. Make it tedious. Make enough successful applications that a black market will not arise, but make it boring to try to get. That will cut the amount of users more effectively than any law.”