Edward Wehling lives in a future where war, poverty, and disease are obsolete. People volunteer to die, and the US population is stabilized at exactly 40 million people. In order for a parent to have a child, they must find a volunteer who is willing to die, to keep the population stable. The brave volunteers call a hotline by dialing 2 B R 0 2 B, where they can make an appointment with the Ethical Suicide Studios to die in a gas chamber. Edward is at a Chicago hospital, waiting for his wife to give birth to triplets. His maternal grandfather has volunteered to die, but he must find two more volunteers in order for all three triplets to be allowed to live. Meanwhile, a painter is drawing a mural on the hospital wall featuring esteemed professionals in the population control industry, such as Dr. Hitz, the head of the hospital who came up with the concept, and Leora Duncan, the head of the Federal Bureau of Termination. Both figures arrive at the hospital to pose for the mural. Edward becomes involved in a disagreement with Dr. Hitz after Edward voices his disapproval of population control. Edward ends up shooting Hitz, Duncan, and himself with a revolver so that his triplets may live. The painter, who is traumatized by the shooting, dials 2 B R 0 2 B and makes an appointment.
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