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IT WASN’T SUICIDE EXACTLY; IT WAS SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE…MEANINGFUL…

For 22nd century Americans who have lost the will to live, the Meaningful Conclusion Program offers a way to end it all with purpose, performing heroically important and mortally dangerous work for the betterment of humankind. MC’s they were called officially, but on the streets, and even on some of the statues, they were called ‘Goners’.

They went out on fire, at mind-boggling speeds, in cracks and crevices of the Moon and Mars where no human had ever dared to venture. They went out getting the last laugh on drug-lords and terrorists, and curing diseases that had plagued the world for millennia. America celebrated the achievements of these anonymous tragic Goners with headlines and songs. No one was quite sure what transpired behind the Program’s shroud of secrecy—they only knew that it was epic, heroic, and good…a win-win for everybody… right?

—Kaywin Lafontaine is forty-six years—well, it doesn’t matter how old Kaywin is. When his wife and daughter died horrifically four years ago, his heart died with them. Maybe now, by his sacrifice, some other innocent family will be spared from misery…

—Dublin Dunne, sixteen, is ugly. Not merely ungainly, not awkward…he knows, when people look away, that they find him unforgivably UGLY. Desperate for a nameless girl that he knows he will never find, he simply cannot stand another day of looking. He wishes he could see their faces now, every girl who ever pointed, laughed, or pretended to throw up; he wishes they could watch him die and know that his blood was on their hands…

—Prudence Estrada, also sixteen, doesn’t want your pity. Save it for the old man, or the ugly kid. It’s too late for what she wants—a regular childhood in a safe home, with a father who doesn’t abuse her horribly to finance his addictions. There would have been a thousand easier ways to kill herself, but deep down, a part of her extraordinary self—a part she may not even remember—wants to see what she could do in one fair fight.

Kaywin, Dublin and Prudence have zero in common beyond the fact that they have all long ago given up on themselves. Suffering deep in the gut of the MCP, each fighting the ghosts of their own past, they find strange comfort in their odd, new friendship. When they stumble on a terrible secret that threatens the entire Earth, they must push each other to defy the limits of their own despair, and the Program itself, to save a world that has chewed them up and spit them out. If they succeed, against all odds, they can die in peace. If they fail—

Then we are all Goners.

Suicide Prevention Resources

There is only one you and you cannot be replaced. If you feel like ending it all, hold on and seek help. Here are some resources for you:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Suicide Prevention Resource Center: https://www.sprc.org/

National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml

American Foundation for Suicide Support: https://afsp.org/find-support/resources/

National Alliance on Mental Illness: https://www.nami.org/suicideawarenessmonth