Mattheson rubbed the lump of scar tissue where his left nipple used to be. It was hard not to whimper. The pain was old but the memory was fresh- a trio of professionals standing over him with their saws and their clamps, each taking a turn at maiming him until he had passed out.
His thumb pressed the hard flesh down but he couldn’t feel anything. Most the nerves were dead. A quarter of an inch in any direction, let him feel the rough sharpness of his thumbnail. Switching to the first two fingers of his right hand, he combed through his pectoral flesh until he found what he had been looking for- a hard cube that resisted being poked and prodded.
His tag had been activated.
In that moment, his strength deserted him. He sagged against his cell wall, his forehead bumpily sliding down the rough gray wall. Reflexively, he grabbed the bars that blocked the window barely preventing him from collapsing to the floor. He didn’t even know if the shaking in his hands was relief or terror.
He was being sent Outside.