Fallen star Net Perceptions (NASDAQ:NETP) has a simple request. It wants to die. Yet, in a cruel twist on corporate euthanasia that would make the writers of E.R. richly jealous, the market won't let it flatline.

The drama started back in October when the company penned what was in essence its last will and testament. It took charges related to employee severance payments and real estate obligations. The damaged online software company was ready to dismantle its operations and liquidate. But a funny thing happened on the way to insolvency.

In its heyday, Net Perceptions was quite the looker. The company's client list included 3M (NYSE:MMM), eBay's (NASDAQ:EBAY) Half.com, and J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP). Its software allowed ecommerce operators to learn about each site visitor in real-time, making it easier to pitch to them the appropriate product or service. You see that technology today with sites like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which can gauge your interests based on your browsing habits. eBay and Amazon have gone on to earn recommendations in our Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter. But yes, back in its prime, Net Perceptions was the cat's meow before the dot-com crash coughed up a hairball.

With $12.2 million in cash, a liquidation would have netted shareholders about $0.40 a share before related expenses. It's just as well, since that was pretty much what the penny stock was fetching, and by its own actions, Net Perceptions was as lively as those Dawn of the Dead zombies over the weekend.

But things got interesting when Obsidian (OTC BB: OBDE) stepped up with a buyout offer. With diversified operations in everything from rubber to specialty trailers, you would be right to question the company's intentions, but the offer got the attention of Net Perceptions investors, who figured they were in a dead stock walking. The offer -- of $0.20 a share plus three shares of Obsidian for every 100 shares of Net Perceptions -- wasn't much more than the liquidation value. When shareholders balked at the deal, Obsidian raised the cash side to a full quarter.

So, we've got shareholders who aren't tendering to Obsidian, yet slapping the hand of Net Perceptions every time it makes a dash to pull the plug.

Last night, the company was close to being granted its wish to rest in peace as 13.8 million shares were voted in favor of liquidation. Unfortunately, the majority of the outstanding shares either panned the proposal or chose not to vote at all.

So, the company lives on. In the words of John Cougar Mellencamp, "long after the thrill of living is gone."

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't have much of an opinion on euthanasia or even on the youth in Asia. He does not own shares in any company mentioned in this story.