A dull green military truck dragged a pink vortex of dust across Arizona wasteland.

Lacks shook the ballpoint pen between her thumb and forefinger before twirling it point first onto the notebook's coarse pages. Her tracing left an absolutely perfect circle of ink on the paper now that the pen had decided to behave. She glanced down at the circle and smiled, before shifting her gaze to the instrument panel of the truck. Half a tank left. Hours left to drive. She levelled her eyes at the horizon of sand. With with her right hand hovering over the notebook taped to the dashboard, she prepared her last will and testament.

Beyond mere soundness of body and mind, Henrietta Lacks was immortal. Everyone knew that. It used to just be a handful in the medical community that were aware of this miracle, but some schmuck doctor gladly sold his license to practice for tipping off the federal government about an honest-to-god immortal. Decades later and doctor/patient confidentiality was still a common punchline for those hacks writing late night host monologues. Change the channel back to the news and the discussions about immortality, an unkillable American citizen, and the ethics of cloning were simply the punchline to a joke the world made behind Henrietta's back.

She picked up the idea of how special she was pretty quick. Companies wanted vials of her blood and tissue for analysis and a glossy headshot and her signature for endorsements. She was in and out of hospitals and penthouses for a few years, whisked along by a shimmering tide of money, travel, and fame. It was hollow. She knew that to some extent, the knowledge gained by studying her almost mythical DNA sequence would save the lives of many. But her star faded after the first gallon or so of blood. The trick of her cells was that they went on without her. And they did.

The magazine articles mostly dried up. The visits to the Whitehouse and other photo ops slowed mostly vanished. The hate mail and death threats mostly ended. She filled her time with practice. She read. She engaged in sports, music, and art. She spent as much time being a human as possible. When a rock climbing accident that would have destroyed a professional left her merely concussed and with shattered ribs, she recieved treatment at her home rather than spend time in a white room's white bed. No vials of her blood slipping into pockets and then onto courier's iceboxes.

She'd known for years that she was in a thousand laboratories being cut apart and poisoned under microscopes. What her cells were doing to others was much more recent. What she'd watched with industrious fascination thirty or forty years ago was sickening today. She'd seen the slow approach towards eradicated disease and regenerated organs. She hadn't seen the failed clones and distorted hybrids. The cancer patient's lungs being shredded by her own tissues growing through it. The sixteen soldiers in Texas needing limbs amputated for volunteering for a possible joint damage cure. The genetic fact that multiple prescription regeneratives for eyesight and hairloss were on the market making sacks of cash for faceless corporations despite a growing list of side effects. Products like HeLascope and HeLamax were advertised without any mention that you were buying someone's boiled and strained immortality. The threat of legal action made putting her face and name on any magazine not worth the ink.

The direction the world was heading in was clear. Lacks wanted no part.

She knew how to play a thousand songs and could recite a thousand stories from all avenues of of humanity's past. She'd even taken some self defense classes. Cutting through a chainlink fence might make someone's nerves act up. Sneaking up to a military base that isn't officially on any map might chill someone's guts. Of all the thousands of samples of HeLa nerve and gut tissue in the world, none were as relaxed as the ones she still had control over. Of all the thousands of gallons of HeLa blood frozen in unlabelled labs in the world, none was colder than what was in her veins.

The first guard to get back up radioed ahead. The second and the third guard worked together to realize that the dusty green blot on the horizon might have once been the truck parked by the gatehouse they manned.

Lacks spotted jeeps in the rearview mirror. She reached beside her, where the seatbelt held a hand grenade snugly. The pin tasted like hospital silverware. She spit it out at the same time she hooked the grenade out the window. It rolled for one second before exploding with more noise than lethal force. She didn't need it to hurt anyone. The trucks slowed and swerved.

She caught the soldiers' familiar eyes in the mirror, and wondered if their HeLascope was covered by the military's insurance. Her pen had finally run out of ink. She tossed the lead lined journal out the window and watched the trucks swerve as if it were another grenade. She jammed the gas pedal down and stopped caring if they followed.

The trucks had stopped following her as she began passing the signs with skulls and lightning bolts and the word "Atomic Test Site" in more languages than she'd managed to learn. There were only minutes left. If her mental math was correct, the notebook should be far enough away from the blast radius's center to remain legible. She parked the truck next to a facsimile of a concrete building and stretched her legs. All that was left was to listen for the plane and its payload.

Lacks' will, a scorched metal book recovered from the outskirts of an atomic detonation, made her desire for a normal life clear. The tabloids were quick to report that her wishes to keep her brain out of the hands of those that would misuse it were equal to her fear that her mind might live on in a million splinters being bought and sold in injections and pills. Many scoffed at the woman's apparent lack of respect for the medical profession, and her anti-scientific agenda. The legal side of her final request promises to take decades to fulfill. Her sole wish is that her remains be cremated and spread across the world's oceans. Executors of her estate are hard at work in every country tracking down the immortal HeLa samples and sealing them in thousands of urns.