A bed in white linens sits in the center of a wood floor, lit by soft daylight streaming through large windows. Outside is a still desert landscape pockmarked with scrub brush and cactus. A veteran is on the bed, tattooed, laying still as a corpse.

A man next to him, also tatted up, with a calm face, asks the former airman if he’s ready. The only sign of life is his slow, hesitant, thumbs up. The calm man holds a mysterious little box to the veteran’s face. He tells him to breathe in for 10 seconds and hold the chemical vapor in his lungs for 10 full seconds. It is the same dark chemical the human brain secretes when it dies. Soon, there is no bed, no room, no calm man or windows or desert.

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