"The one certainty of the human experience is death. But what might happen when our effort to prolong the inevitable starts to turn that battle around? Will someone, or something, step in to ensure the final outcome?"
This puts Dr. McEnerney in a difficult moral situation. Losing funding for the artificial heart project could mean the loss of a system that could save thousands of lives. To keep the funding he must give priority to a ruthless, cold elderly man who has already had a full life. The situation is even more difficult because the future sister-in-law of his friend, Dr. Anne Crain, is only eighteen and needs a heart transplant. She will not survive beyond a couple of weeks.
The blue energy release during Hawkes' last resuscitation begins to try to kill Hawkes. McEnerney realises that keeping Hawkes alive beyond his time has serious consequences and refuses Hawkes' request to be given priority.
Both of the prospective heart recipients — Hawkes and the young girl — die. Hawkes sees the girl inside the tunnel of light, and realises that their future paths are very different.The girl comments that it is so warm and that she expected it not to be. She goes to Heaven while he descends into the depths of Hell.
"For one man, the battle against death is over. But for the rest of us, the war rages on. At what point does the cost of survival... become too high a price for us to pay?"