Robert was swollen and bloated; his skin was puffy and enamel white. He looked worse than dead and somehow a bit reptilian, more cadaver than creature. The violent rise and fall of his chest with each pull of the ventilator looked painful, as if the machine were assaulting him. His eyes were fluttering a bit. When they were open, his pupils sometimes rolled around, not entirely in synch with one another. The right side of his head where the skull had been removed had a cavernous dent, the skin sinking in because there was nothing to hold it up. Mucus had built up around his nostrils, his lips looked extraordinarily thick, and his face was damp. He looked strained, far from peace, and barely human.
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