The tests continued. The prisoner was sent out on the streets (under surveillance, of course), and ordered to hold up this bank, to rob that store, to pickpocket this man, to throw that plastic cup into the river. Each time, the prisoner tried, he exerted all of the willpower he could muster to just pull out the gun in this bank, just open that cash register, just reach into this man’s pockets, just throw that plastic cup anywhere except the trash can! Each time, he tried, but try as he might, he couldn’t do it.
Soon, the tests were completed, and the prisoner was escorted into an office. A man with a black suit and caramel skin was waiting for him.
“Good afternoon, Mr Stanton. I’m Dr Wells, and I would like to thank you for participating in this experiment.”
Dallas tried to yell profanities at the man, but the Heart locked his lips.
“I imagine you’re a little uncomfortable with the Heart’s intervention, but this should be a temporary phase. Now, you’re free to go, but we’ve got a few conditions for you.”
Again Dallas tried to curse, again to no avail. Eventually, he was able to let out a simple “Fine.”
“Firstly, we need you to take one of these pills every morning and evening.” Dr Wells pulled out a little bottle of them and handed them to Dallas. “Secondly, we’ll need you to report to our office every week for further conditioning. The address will be emailed to you tomorrow.”
At this Dallas again tried to react, but gave up. He nodded his head slowly.
“Good. Finally, before you go to bed at nights, we would like you to write a simple progress report. Just write about how you feel, what you’ve done, or anything else pertaining to your psychological status.”
Dallas nodded again.
“Please remember that failure to comply with these conditions would directly defy government orders, and result in your criminal record being made public again and your release from incarceration to be revoked. Is this clear?”
Dallas nodded one more time.
“Good, you’re released! Go to the car outside, and you’ll be escorted to your new home. And relax, if the hypotheses are correct, the dissonance between you and the Heart should fade soon.”
A few minutes later, Dallas sat at the bed of his new, luxurious house. In theory, he was a free man, but Dallas knew that he very clearly wasn’t. He was still incarcerated, but now he had no hope of escape. He decided to retire for the night, and he decided he would take those pills, and wouldn’t write his reports, but the choice wasn’t his. He took the pill, and wrote in the journal, even as he struggled against those orders. He stopped struggling, it was no use. He was incarcerated again, so he decided to learn to cope.