by Christopher W Gamsby
I'm in a sterile hospital room, sitting at a long table in an otherwise empty room. Years of decadent living with no regard for how to pay have let a cancer in my body and that cancer spread. I was able to fool hospital staff for a time until the cracks in my veneer showed and the mascaraed came to an end. I await my fate staring at two buttons flanked by two small boxes. A voice comes over a loud speaker.
Welcome to the election. In the last few elections your cancer grew regardless of which button you chose and people complained. We have listened to your complaints! This time the two buttons you chose between before you can leave have two vastly different results! If you press the right button we'll release venom into your arm that will destroy your heart and eat away your brain. If you press the left button, you'll be pumped with a carcinogenic compound that will spread your cancer even further, but you have no way to now to what extent.
How did I get to this point where my only two options are to lose my heart and destroy my mind or make all my problems worse. What hope do I have with spreading the cancer, that I'll live long enough to make a difference before the world comes crashing down?
I reached to the box just outside the right button and flipped the lid. The box is full of triangular pills used for treating the cancer that ravages my body.
What happens if I take the chemo pills?
If you take the pills I will hit one of the buttons for you, but you won't know which one. Since you want to cure the cancer, that means you want to live right? You should hit the left button! If you hit the left button, you know you'll live and maybe you'll spontaneously recover.
But if I hit the left button, my life will be miserable until I die, which probably won't be too long. I know the pills won't cure me as long as the cancer spreads, but isn't the hope worth damning myself?
I reached to the box sitting next to the left button and it is full of morphine pills.
What happens if I take the morphine pills?
If you take the pills I will hit one of the buttons for you, but you won't know which one. Since you want to ease the pain, that means you want the pain to end right? You should hit the right button! If you hit the right button, you might be made great again after your rebirth.
A simple and elegant solution that won't make anything better. If I hit the right button I'll have no heart to guide my actions, and no way to think for myself. If I could somehow comeback, it would be as some Lovecraftian horror.
What if I do nothing
The voice in the intercom gives an exacerbated sigh.
If you do nothing, then I'll make a choice for you and you won't have any right to complain. Now. Make. Your. Choice.
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