People moaned about how much things had changed, but Petra had been around for a while. Were pharmaceuticals really all that different these days? They still gave them made-up, optimistic sounding names: Purpure, Shineol, Welaire, Atatrea.

It didn’t matter how the prescriptions were bought and paid for, either; that may have changed, but people still wanted their drugs for longer than their pharmacist was willing to let them. People were still willing to pay for the privilege of experiencing side-effects that made it easier to take life one day at a time.

Petra chuckled as she typed, recalling how things had been done when she was a girl. Paying dealers strung out on their own product in a dirty alley and getting stolen pills that had been cut with laundry detergent…no more. People had been suspicious of a 16-year-old girl with a pharmacy in her medicine cabinet; people saw a 70-year-old woman with pill bottles all over the place, they didn’t even blink.

And of course distribution was so much easier these days.

“Prescription Atatrea available in 5, 10, and 15 pill packs,” Petra typed. “100, 200, and 400mg doses.” She hit enter and sat back, smiling. A little feigned arthritis, a lonely old doctor not above being charmed, and she had pills to sell without ever having to touch a bill or step into anything dirtier than the local post office.