CP Story ‘The Pursuit of Knowledge’ Part IV

CP Story-Part IV
“Test Sequence One – Scenario: Moderate.” There followed a beep before the rather accusatory monologue continued. “You have been nominated for correction because you have recorded three tardies in one calendar month, which is contrary to the academy’s attendance policy.” Instinctively I tried to answer but the rubbery-tasting ball kept my tongue firmly depressed, requiring me to swallow constantly to stop the saliva building up. Barely had I a minute to work out what was going on when I heard a vicious high-pitched crack that sounded like a bug zapper in a restaurant.
Szszszszt!
Instantly a hot sensation of hurt lanced deep into the flesh and muscle of my right buttock as though I had been struck. And in that moment I realised the purpose of those wires and disc-like electrode pads attached to my backside.
S-s-n-napp! Another jolting sting: this time directed into the left cheek. The inflated ball prevented me from biting through my tongue (as with those used by defibrillator machines). Nor would there be any wriggling free. The flexcuffs that fastened me to the apparatus tightened as I struggled before slackening off when I stopped resisting. I tried to judge if they automatically tightened before each blast of electricity as a way of nerving myself for the shock but the inventors of this fiendish device had clearly thought of that and the straps gave no such indication.
The organ in the body that experiences pain is of course the brain because unlike nerve endings in the skin that have a purely mechanical function (i.e. receiving external stimuli for onward transmission); the brain has an interpretive and even a creative rôle in decoding and explaining those sensations: “It’s hot” or “It’s cold” or “It tickles” – or, in this case, “It hurts like a cowson!” These are the abstract concepts that the brain interprets from the millions of neurological signals it receives.
And so I understood what Solaryde was trying to create – the disciplinary equivalent of an e-cigarette or a shock collar for humans. It involved flagellating a person by electrical stimulation to the same area of the body as a disciplinarian would target during physical punishment. This would reinforce the humiliation aspects as well as keeping the current away from critical zones such as the heart or brain. It all made sense now; the embarrassing bottoms-up positioning recreated the physical aspect of a real spanking heightening the mood in the virtual reality. The impression of pain would be the same for the recipient – it bloody well hurt – but without the physical risk of cane cuts, paddle damage to vertebrae or kidneys or the strap welts on leg muscles that resulted in all those expensive insurance claims against educators in the United States especially. Knowing is not always consoling of course. And I’d been stupid enough to sign up for it.
So amongst our six writhing, jerking sufferers, our minds were being blown and gag reflexes triggered by blasts of static electricity while Doctor Barzani tested the software on systems that doubtlessly fed back to the development centre somewhere the ways to improve the system which could then be inflicted upon the next set of victims. After the sixth bolt of electricity the hurt ebbed away and I could master my breathing again. By now shock had given way to anger and my cheeks burned with mortification at being treated in such a degrading fashion.
But these moments of precious respite proved short-lived. Again the voice started up in my ear as I pulled furiously at my bonds but with the infinite precision that only comes from the microprocessor they contracted then flexed expertly to constrain my efforts. “Breathe normally,” the disembodied voice urged soothingly. “Vital signs are normal.”
My vital signs might be stable but my arse feels like it’s on fire, I seethed but barely had I time to ponder this conundrum when the system delivered its next message. And what it presaged sounded infinitely worse than last time. “Test Sequence Two – Scenario: Serious Disciplinary Infraction … ”
By DS