There was a second skin beneath the one I considered mine; this skin did not belong to me, and by holding the second body up via scalpel-light there was something there I could not see, even with the mirrors and the cameras. There were audiences watching the procedure via satellite transmission; they applauded quietly at appropriate times, and once made moans of disgust loud enough that I turned slightly sideways and pulled stitches, emptied organs, which meant I would have to be strapped down. There were two secret-doktors in electronic camouflage; they utilized high-suction tubes and bone saws. My throat was being used as a bypass for my mouth. I could feel hands and metal beneath my ribcage. One doktor made use of the Infernal Salt Codex and rubbed brown powders into my eyes and my wounds. Something was going wrong, and the doktors began speaking in subvocals, putting away the suction tubes and inserting small exoskeleton-shed insects beneath my skin, which crawled up towards my larynx and began gnawing at bone and growth. There were hooks embedded in my toes. My body was lifted by these chains up off the table and suspended parallel with the doktor's heads. One of the secret doktors broke character and informed the others that my skin had been lost in the transition. The audience gasped. Spontaneous stigma began to appear on my hands and skull, and there were wounds as the insects burrowed inside the meat of my muscles tried to flee my body, crushed inside me as I began to struggle, before I felt the needles, before I stopped feeling anything at all. These things, they are not true, they are not anything at all. It is always too late.

the exit is hidden within the exit