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“I did what I had to do.”

“I’ve used that one too. But did you have to break his heart? Poor Lyle was in love with you, and you out-and-out lied to him. There was no way you were going to keep him on GLS–you made a petty thief into a suicidal, knife-wielding maniac. How can they put anyone on that stuff now?”

“There’ll be another trial,” she said. “Smaller dosages, perhaps, over a longer period of time.”

“That doesn’t help Lyle, now, does it?”

“He’s going to live, that’s the important thing. I have plenty of GLS left, so I can bring him down slowly. The suicidal thoughts are already fading. In a few days he won’t be bothered by remorse. He’ll be back to his old self.”

“And then someday you’ll get to wring him out again.” He shook his head, smiling. “You know, there’s a certain coldness about you, Doctor–has anyone ever told you that? Maybe you should try some GLS yourself.”

“Tell me about Kentucky,” she said.

“Kentucky?” Franz shrugged, smiled. “That was just some bullshit to get Lyle worked up.”

She frowned. “I was hoping you’d want to talk about it. Get it off your chest.” She turned to one of the guards, and he handed her the nylon bag from her office. “Well, we can talk again in a few days.”

He blinked, and then he understood. “You can’t do that. I’ll call my lawyer.”

“I don’t think you’ll want a lawyer any time soon.” She unzipped the bag and lifted out the plastic-sealed vial. “I have a lot of GLS, and only one patient now.” The guards rushed forward to pin the man to the bed.

She popped the needle through the top of the vial and drew back the plunger. The syringe filled with clear, gleaming liquid.

“One thing I’m sure of,” she said, half to herself. “In a few days, Franz, you’ll thank me for this.”

Daryl Gregory’s short stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and The Year’s Best SF. His first novel, Pandemonium, was recently published by Del Rey Books.

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Credit: Owen Smith

Tagged: Biomedicine, drugs, fiction

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