He was one of many to first receive the apparatus. He had taken the full 18 months, but they told him that was good; it told them how to improve it for the next batch of maturing citizens.
He needed a second round of treatment. They had not been satisfied with his conduct after the first. It was more difficult, but in time he learned to live with the stronger punishments, & how to combat them: if he kept his thoughts concentrated on one topic, no matter what that topic was, he would be spared punishment, even if his spine would tingle once in a while.

In the dead of the night he snuck out of the house, battered guitar case in hand. It was so dark the attached camera couldn’t see a thing; all he had to do was remain focused on the task at hand.
Once he settled himself on the roof, he began to play, murmuring the words to his guitar: Blackbird singing in the dead of night…
The tingling grew more painful, but he gritted his teeth & continued…
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

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