In The Sixth Millenium, There is an Answer to an Old Question

“Anyone ever ask you what the measure of a man is Aiden?”

The answer was sitting on the table to the left of a tape ruler. The rest of him was on scales all around the sterile white room. Amber Banes was diligently disassembling as much of the man as she could. 2 liters of blood were sitting on the ground in glass jars. With a plop, the kidneys were put aside to be inspected later for viability. Briefly she glanced at Aiden who was standing at the edge of the room trying to muster up some emotion for the proceedings. She turned back to the body, revealing the red highlights of her black bobbed hair.

“Well Granddad?”

“ Stop calling me that. I’m ten years younger than you.”

“No honey, you just lived ten years less than I did. The birthday still proves you’re my senior.”

“That’s fine. Is that Trevor Ashton?”

“Says so on the chip.”

“Trevor Ashton, awarded Hero of Earth in 2166?”

“As far as I know.”

If Aiden had his druthers, he’d be smoking and pacing up and down the ten mile compound. A troubling thought could always be beaten down with the proper medication. Sooner or later, he’d out pace it and find a rational, comforting answer. This was not to be as the fruit of Kentucky had died long ago and Aiden had work to do.

“ How does a man who survives impalement, plasma discharge and two painful divorces die?”

“A steel beam removes his head apparently.”

“So you’re saying that he’d be a poor recruit for an army?”

“ I would be if it was 4000 years ago. Now, we’ve got capabilities that… it’s magic. I got frozen a doctor, now I’m a shaman.”

The scalpel was put on a tray so that she could grab a pair of hedge clippers.

“ Why did you leave?”

“My arthritis got to the point that I couldn’t tie a knot: couldn’t work. Turns out all I needed was a cream.”

Plop. The heart was pretty big for a small man. Out of its element it was a rather unimpressive piece of meat. It might just save someone else’s life but that was potential. At that moment it was a bloody junction. The salvage mission continued onwards.

“Well Mr. Smith, do you need him or not? I really don’t want to remove his intestines if I don’t have too.”

“No, I kind of figured I’d get the whole package.”

“Wouldn’t be so picky myself. I’ve got sot some natural born killer heads back there.”

“I’ve got better prospects.”

“Do you need a new kidney?”

“Three’s sort of crowd.”

“Picky. Picky.”

Plop. The liver was now weighed. If you were one to subscribe to the idea that this was where the soul resides you might think Trevor had some serious evil inside him. Could very well be a symptom of the toilet wine.

“I was suppose to go somewhere else.”

“Senior moment?”

“I was told when you stop living you go somewhere.”

She stopped for a second. With her right hand she maneuvered to touch his shoulder but remembered the blood at the last possible moment.

“Do you dislike where you are?”

As if the patron saint of awkward moments, Ikay bust into the room with what looked like a tricorder and an insanely cheery smile.

“What’d you get me Amber?”

For a moment the two regarded Ikay like she had horns growing out of her bald head. Her cheerful disposition could be so irksome. Problem with that was, Ikay just wanted to save someone. Try as he might, Aiden couldn’t fault the kid for that.

Trevor Ashton died at the age of 60, 1.65 meters tall, 65 kilograms heavy. He had 155 confirmed kills and in his life he saved 20 men. In his death, he saved another 21.