Dr. Shaun MacGregor, adjunct professor of experimental archaeology, knows that he is going to die. And he has accepted the fact. Really. He is old, he is sick, but he knows full well that he has lived a good life, that he has experienced his fair share of the ride. And so his encroaching death, the end, does not bother him as a thing in and of itself. Not anymore. Not since, oh, it must have been a solid eight months after being diagnosed with lung cancer before he was ready to accept it, but he feels okay about it now. Genuinely okay. His lungs were removed and he had one of the accordion suction pumps installed in the central cavity of his chest, put him down four hundred thousand sure but he has always known that real quality does not come cheap, but the thing is, despite all the work he has had done to maintain his body, work that despite the university’s generous faculty health care policy has involved considerable personal expense, what Dr. MacGregor feels now is that when the time comes he will simply let the battery run down and not recharge it and that will be the end.
But he is not ready. Not quite yet. He knows that he will need at least one more month. Because even though he has accepted that he is going to die, what he has not and will not accept is that his f—-ng family will just put his body in a box and leave it in the ground to rot. That does not feel right. Ungrateful hyperactive nieces and nephews, the lot of whom have made nothing of their lives, two children he has rarely seen, raised almost exclusively by his estranged second wife. So Dr. MacGregor has been shooting plastifier right into his veins, small doses every couple hours because he needs for it to flow, to spread, not clump and clog and block off his blood, and soon, one more month, maybe two, he will have put enough of it into body that he will be able to shut his eyes and die in peace, knowing that his corpse will persist throughout the ages.