a prison, a body

vii. helen. the frenzy of the visible

by gargulec

Tags: #cw:sexual_assault #D/s #drones #pov:bottom #sub:female #transgender_characters #bondage #exhibitionism #sadomasochism
See spoiler tags : #robots #scifi

Helen lay on her side in bed and watched the circle filling her laptop ceaselessly turn around the leaning-in statute logo of the Gatatea Corporation. The tense anticipation on the verge of anxiety that she experienced when turning the application on had given way to frustrated impatience.The program was taking forever to load, and she started to suspect that it simply broke and she would be stuck on that loading screen forever. At least that would solve the issue of what the application was going to make her watch. Her laptop whirred and hissed, its fans spinning on high gear.

Though she did not turn from the screen, she let her eyes half-close. She was exhausted enough to feel sluggish and numb, but there was still enough tension left uneased in her system that she knew sleep would refuse to come. Between dull waiting for the application to load and the quiet frustration of trying to sleep and only finding herself staring at the ceiling, she preferred the former. She killed time with absent-minded scrolling of the flood of content on her phone.

The sound, when it came, was quiet; she barely noticed it. It was the sort of a gentle chime that computers sometimes gave when a task was finished. She raised her eyes from the pair of cats chasing after each other on her phone screen and looked at her laptop. The circle ground to a halt and the word “loading” slashed across the Galatea logo changed to “authenticating”. The tension roared back to life, its familiar claw digging itself into her gut again. She bit her lip, eyes glued to the display. This time, she didn’t have to wait long.

The logo dissolved into a grey text-box. Remote access established, it announced. Enter monitoring mode? YES/CANCEL/HELP

Her hand shook a bit as she dug through the blanket to find the mouse and click yes.

The screen flickered; her heart skipped a bit and she braced herself to see Rowan and whatever they were doing to her. But instead of the expected grisly spectacle, the application sent her to a plain looking, perfectly ordinary Windows menu. A modern one - blue tiles against a grey backdrop.

On top of the screen, a line of red letters welcomed her to a remote monitoring station for object #5532-g/21. Right below, another box described displayed the object status, describing it as out of duty/in storage.

She scanned the screen for any mention of Rowan’s name, but found nothing. Just the serial number, assigned to some object. It felt like a confirmation of all the suspicions she had about Galatea. Whatever they promised to her friend, what they saw her as was ultimately an object. A resource to be used and exploited. Helen suspected as much just from the catalogues, but she did not relish the validation. With a vague sense of sickness, she scrolled down and looked at the tiles.

-Live monitoring.
-Eye-view monitoring.
-Object data sheet.

Her first instinct was to mouse over the “live monitoring” one, but she hesitated before following on it. Even if it was what she was fundamentally here for, she couldn’t bring herself to actually go and see whatever being “out of duty/in storage” meant for Rowan right now. Her imagination served her images of a human body in an industrial freezer—knowing Galatea, she had every reason to expect worse.

“It can wait,” she promised herself. She thought about quitting this thing and trying to sleep, but there was still too much agitation in her. After a brief moment of hesitation, she instead decided to open the data sheet; of everything on the menu it seemed the least objectionable. As soon as she clicked, her laptop sputtered into another ventilatory frenzy, struggling to load the file up.

Again, the corporation exceeded her expectations. What finally loaded wasn’t a single file; it was an enormous archive. It opened innocently enough, with a front page containing a basic ID card: Name. Date of induction. Height and weight. Sex (binary trans female, it read, pre-transition). Type of contract. She scrolled down, eyes sliding down a long list of personal, irrelevant details about Rowan, ranging from full family information and an extensive medical record. But it was just the front. Below, a different kind of data followed, folded into dozens of neat tables.

“Sexual evaluation,” she read the label on one of them aloud, then a few more. “Drug evaluation. Conditioning status. Enhancement status. Service history.”

Morbidly curious, she unrolled “drug evaluation”.

Initial testing established the object's tolerance for standard drug regimes to be within norm. For maintenance, discipline and conditioning, following agents are recommended:
-Pacifying: blue/t-321, normal dose.
-Agitating: green/a-33, increased dose.
-Relaxing: green/t-11, increased dose.
-Arousing: white/o-98, normal dose.
-Inhibiting: white/f-52, normal dose.

NOTE: Object is scheduled for enhancements which may alter the recommendations. Treat as provisional.

-Pacifying: mean time to pacification from normal: 241s., from agitated 312s., from relaxed 112s….

The list went on and on for pages. Although Helen had no idea about what it meant in detail, she could get the general principle: a detailed analysis of how best to drug her friend. The claw in her stomach dug deeper, sinking itself into a soft spot underneath her stomach. Already expecting the worst, she opened another table, landing at “sexual capacities” this time.

Object’s sexual experience at the time of induction has been evaluated as minor. According to personal questionnaire, object has a preference for receptive anal and oral sex, which has been confirmed in testing (further information below). Object is mildly masochistic, with an extension potential. Overall capacities normal, pending conditioning.

Object normally orgasmic. On induction incapable of achieving a prostate orgasm without aid of an arousing agent.


“What the fuck,” she murmured, clicking on the “penile” tab and watching the file display to her a table filled with data such as “penile climax coefficient”, “mean refractory period”, “penile pain threshold”. The never-ending string of numbers assigned to every conceivable metric of her friend’s genitals horrified her to a point, but another emotion started to accompany this disgust. Bafflement. There was something preposterous about all those calculations. How did they even get all those numbers? Did they mean anything? It read like a cross between a sexological journal and the most detail-obsessed porn catalogue she had ever seen.

She dug deeper into the immense file, her attention skipping from table to table. They contained nothing about Rowan as a person, no reference to her personality, to her habits, to her life. She was just an object, measured in lurid, ludicrous detail that bordered on obsessive. Galatea Corporation knew her lung capacity, sleep pattern, her resistance to multiple different kinds of pain, her saliva production, the circumference of her throat and exact vocal range. Even though at first Helen had to force herself to sift through those statistics and battle the sickening sense of being an intruder, some kind of a digital Peeping Tom, past a certain point the tables and figures ceased having weight. It became increasingly difficult to relate them to that person she knew. No image of Rowan could emerge for this cacophony of knowledge. It made her remember a scene from a novel she had read long ago, where some alien creatures came down to the world and, to try to understand a painting, had disassembled it into the component pigments of the paint and fibers of the canvas. The more detailed Galatea’s treatment of Rowan was, the less it felt capable of describing who she was. She touched the place in her body where her tension resided, and found it eased. She felt more alienated than disgusted. However disturbing the quantity of information, when it was all taken together, it only left her lost and confused.

It was not that the file stopped being unsettling, in parts. She still could not look at the part about drugs without it causing her to grow distraught and tense, nor could she read the mentions of various “conditioning” without having her imagination conjure up scenes of horrific brainwashing. But even those things, repeated hundreds of times across dozens of data sheets lost their bite. By the time she closed the file, the claw had all but retreated from the pit of her stomach, leaving behind only a kind of a gutted bewilderment. If there was a purpose behind all of this - and there had to be one, or else they would have not created it - Helen couldn’t figure it out for the life of her. The “service history” tab was a record of nothing of tests and storage; they were yet to use Rowan for anything else. She remembered that conspiracy theory about Galatea being secretly controlled by aliens from Alpha Centauri, and frankly, it would not surprise her if a little grey man was behind all of this.

But instead, it was probably some intern, or something like that. It wasn’t aliens. It was a corporation, run by people with a profit motive. Helen considered checking if the internet could offer her some advice, but the mere thought of having to type “why does Galatea collect big sex data” into the search bar was enough for her decide against another deep dive. She returned to the main menu of the application, and then eyed her phone, to check the hour. It was late, and even though tomorrow was the blessed Sunday, she should put herself to sleep. It was a time as good as any for that. To dig deeper into this application would probably cause her to grow disquieted again She slammed the lid of the laptop down and closed her eyes. The travails of the day swallowed her momentarily, just as she thought that she had better not have any nightmares about measurements and statistics.

But she slept soundly, without a hint of a haunting. She woke up mid-morning, mostly rested. She dragged herself from bed, splashed her face with water and brushed her teeth. By the time she left her apartment to go on an early jog, the memories of yesterday started to worm their way back to her attention.

“Object”. The word kept swirling around her head as she ran out into a nearby park and felt the cool air chill her face. Did Rowan know what they were going to make out of her? What even was the thing they were making out of her? Some dismembered tables of neverending data? What even for? As she finished her lap and started to return, she remembered someone explaining to her - it might have been Rowan, actually - that late capitalism was all about information production. But did making her friend into a commodity really require measuring the mean duration of her erections as induced by anal stimulation?

She came back from the jog with a head even heavier than when she’d left. There was a part of her - she realized that as she scrubbed the sweat and the last residues of sleep away under the shower - that needed to be disturbed by that file, and more violently, the better. After all, was it not just as a data sheet for rendering a woman’s body into a set of bare sexual equations? Into nothing but a function of a pornographic enterprise? But it did not feel like a porn site trying to sell you on the model’s measurements.

She bolted out of the bathroom wearing nothing but a towel, and started to skim through the catalogues again. Just as she remembered, they carried no hint of that kind of data in them. The sheets were not public. They weren’t meant to arouse. In fact, Helen struggled to imagine them ever being arousing to anyone. And yet, if they were not there to dehumanize and objectify for the purpose of enabling pornographic consumption, why were they even there?

She found herself some clothing, got a bowl of cereal and sat down on the bed, the computer in front of her, closed for now. She mulled yesterday over. Once more, she reached for one of the catalogs - it had the word GAZE printed on the green cover - and skimmed through. She knew its contents well enough to have become thoroughly accustomed to the photographs of gloryholes and disembodied genitals extruding from smooth walls. She looked past and thought of that data. Were those massive sheets behind each “drone” in their rubber suit, behind a person strapped to a gynecological chair? There was no mention of it anywhere, no allusion left in the pompous poetics of theory that ornamented every other page.

“What’s the use?” she asked, setting the catalogue aside and turning the computer on. The second time around, the Galatea application booted quickly, promptly delivering Helen to the now-familiar menu.

Object status, it declared, testing/electrostimulation.

Again, she hesitated. But instead of tension, what gripped her was a kind of curiosity.

“Or wonder ‘til it drives you mad…,” she sighed, and clicked on live monitoring.

The screen turned briefly black, and then the footage was on.

It took her a moment to realize what she was looking at. The camera displayed - at the typical, steep angle of a ceiling-mounted surveillance device - a brightly-lit, coldly aseptic room paved with white tiles and filled with the sort of equipment that made Helen think of a hospital, or a surgery suite. A massive piece of steel and padding, all gears and pistons shaped vaguely into a kind of a chair dominated the frame. A tangle of tubes, cables and wires cascaded down from racks of strange devices suspended in racks above, so thick that Helen did not at first notice the pinned body hidden behind. It was held tightly immobile by dozens of straps securing it to the bench, legs locked wide apart, genitals exposed. Little wires snaked around its thighs, glued to the skin with patches of white foil. A rubber pipe wove from a large tank bolted to the floor next to the chair, running alongside the body and connecting to the mask obscuring the lower part of its head that was secured in place by yet more straps.

It was Rowan, Helen coldly realized more than recognized. Too little remained for an act of recognition. The rebreather obscured most of the familiar face, and the camera placement made it difficult to look closely. Before, she had never seen her friend naked; without her baggy clothes, the body looked nothing like Rowan, especially shaved to the last stray hair. It was Rowan, but it looked so little like her. Only vague twitchings of fingers and the slow rising of the chest signified that what she was looking at was living flesh, not some still doll.

At first, she thought that the recording was mute, but then a sound rang from her laptop speakers, of boots clicking against the cold floor. Startled, she watched a woman come into view from behind the camera. She didn’t turn to face it; all that Helen could see about her was her lab-coat and greying hair pulled into a neat ponytail. The woman leaned over Rowan’s head and screwed a white flask into the side of the rebreather. She vanished from frame for a moment, before returning with a plastic bottle in her hands. Helen saw her crouch between Rowan’s upturned legs and rub something around the exposed anus, gloved fingers vanishing inside for a brief moment.

Helen glanced up at Rowan’s penis without even thinking about it, and briefly stared as it hardened in response to the laboratory worker squeezing a silver plug of metal into her with a wet, squelching noise. Another sound accompanied it - a moan of sorts, so muffled as to barely cut itself against the background drone of all the machinery.

“Are you really getting aroused?” Helen asked, in growing unease. Her confusion around data collection felt so very distant now. She stared at something that was her friend’s body, speared like an insect in a display case. And apparently Rowan was enjoying it.

“It’s just a natural reaction of the body,” she reminded herself. It was the white canister at the mask, the arousing agent. Rowan was being drugged. Helen could sense her anger spark up again.

The woman in the lab coat wiped her hands, and then marched out of the camera’s eye again. When she came into view again, she held some kind of a remote, connected by a long wire to the device inserted into Rowan. She fiddled with it for a moment, then flipped a switch.

In response, Rowan’s body twitched in the straps, and though the mask kept most of the sound down, her groans grew loud enough to be audible even through that. In rising horror, Helen watched her friend squirm against inescapable bonds in regular intervals. Electrostimulation. They had forced an electrode into her and were shocking her with it. It was good she could not look into her face and see the pain reflected there.

Instead she found herself staring at Rowan’s penis. It remained fully engorged, thrashing about and dripping pre-ejaculate with each shock and moan.

It’s just a natural reaction of the body, Helen reminded herself, but it was scant comfort.

And then, after yet another jolt, Rowan’s muffled groans turned into a stifled scream as a burst of sticky white liquid shot from her penis, filling the condom enclosing it. Her chest expanded, straining against the bonds; belts dug deep into skin.

“Jesus that's a fast one,” Helen heard the lab worker murmur. She put down the remote next to Rowan’s feet and leaned in to remove the used rubber. She tied it and tossed somewhere outside the frame.

“Stating for the record,” she said next, looking down at the motionless, bound woman. “Object was brought to an orgasm while under the effects of an inhibiting agent.”

“Inhibiting?” Helen uttered at the screen.

“Orgasm was achieved through anal electrostimulation,” the woman continued. “Seven low frequency, low voltage pulses were administered, at fifteen second intervals. Total time to orgasm: 137 seconds. Result confirms extremely high sensitivity to electric stimulation. After recovery, we will proceed to further tests.”

She coughed, and pulled out the plug. This time Rowan made no sound. She removed the canister from the rebreather and again left the eye of the camera.

Helen couldn’t watch further. She slammed the laptop close and stormed out of her room, into the kitchen. She opened the window and leaned in, gasping in the cold air. In a few breaths, she calmed herself enough to focus her eyes on the dusty courtyard below and think.

She felt… angry? No, that wasn’t the right word. A part of her was gripped by a sense of sickness and needed some fresh air. She had watched porn before, usually to no good results, but this wasn’t pornography. There was something so cold and impersonal about the static eye of the surveillance camera, about the routine professionalism of that lab worker. It didn’t mean to arouse the viewer. But it had aroused Rowan. The pleasure of the body is no factor in whether the spirit is violated, but it had aroused her so viciously. What if she really liked that? What if the enjoyment wasn’t just physical? Hadn’t she signed up for this just so that she could have things like that happen to her?

And why did Galatea need to know how long it took for her to orgasm through being shocked in the ass?

Helen closed the window and returned to her room. The computer waited on the desk, but she had no desire to look at it again. She looked around for something else to do, something that wouldn’t have anything in common with Galatea. She picked one of the books from the shelf, and crouched by the bed. It took her two pages of her eyes glazing over the text to realize just how little could she focus. Images of Rowan returned even as she pushed them out. Especially as she pushed them out.

She returned the book to its place and looked at her phone. The hour was still too early to go out and eat, or to go hang out in a pub. Trying hard not to get angry over that as well, she opened google maps and looked around. There it was. Emerald Dreams. Open Sundays, from 10PM.

When they legalized cannabis last year, unlike most of her friends she didn’t pay all that much attention. But right now, the thought of there being a green shop open just fifteen minutes down from her apartment felt borderline lifesaving. She brought herself up, put on her boots and a coat, and marched off. She needed all the help she could get in digging her mind out of this mess.

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