Edinburgh in 2116 was beautiful. People flocked to it; the driverless super train from London made it a very agreeable spot for a getaway from the mega cities .By 2050 London had spiralled to a population of 25 million and was still growing at the edges. Around 2015 the Borders had been opened up .Firstly there was the rail link from Edinburgh to Galashiels then the network expanded and around 2060 the Borders was eventually linked to the supertrain line.
Roger surveyed all this as he sped north at a speed of 200 mph. He had left Edinburgh in 2098 but had never really settled in the Big Smoke. His heart lay in Auld Reekie. His job at the World Bank Data Centre was satisfying but he missed his ain folk.
He was born in Edinburgh in 2056. Life had been good to him. The mandatory anti cancer pill had transformed mankind. Around 2020 a bright spark at Edinburgh University re-studied the links between chemical ingredients in processed foods and the disease. The drug, simply known as NMC ( no more cancer) had done the rest. The euphoria was short lived.
The Decision loomed. Roger felt, deep down, as did many others, that it had killed life itself. What had started out as a euthanase idea one hundred years before ,around 2016 they said, had become law and had spread and grown.
TD cards and farewell gatherings were all the rage now. The trouble was it took effect before the age of 60, certainly in peoples’ minds, like Roger’s. Society had become the world for the young. Power and utility had won. The Decision had had far reaching and unexpected results. Care homes had disappeared residential units for the elderly were now unheard of.
At pregnancy, if you survived the mandatory tests for potential physical defects and you limited your family to 2 children you were well looked after. But since everyone had their eyes on the Decision, life was lived at a frenetic pace. Dog eat dog summed it up well, Roger thought.
When he arrived in Morningside he knew he had only 2 days left to make up his mind. Yes he could apply to the TD Tribunal for special circumstances, but few did, due to social pressure. A visit to the TD clinic to see the TD nurse was all that was needed. Then the dreaded journey to the TD Centre, nestling, ironically, in beautiful forest land near Peebles. Although few people talked about it, all it amounted to was one tablet taken with a glass of water, usually lying down. The TD nurse would be present plus no more than two relatives.
As Roger walked around Auld Reekie, he was born in Newington; he knew he had come home to say yes. He was not a rebel and he would go quietly. Just like everyone else.
There was talk of enclaves in the Highlands that were holding out but no one took them seriously and Roger dismissed the thought. Also, of course, no medical person was permitted there if they wanted to remain in practice.
As Roger put the phone down he sighed but otherwise felt OK. The nurse with the papers would arrive next day (she was expecting his call) .There was the TD Ball to be arranged then the trip to Peebles. Three score and ten was now three score.