Doug Rattmann: A Short Story

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Positive Punishment Doug Rattmann was literally wrapped in a homicidal robot. Thick black cables snaked around him, curling tightly enough to hold him in place—though not tightly enough to be painful. He supposed he was meant to feel trapped, and after a lifetime of hiding, that should have been horrifying. He knew he was vulnerable, exposed, entirely at her mercy, but somehow the cables felt more like support than bondage. Nevertheless, GLaDOS could do anything to him. This was, in its own way, terrifying—and delightfully thrilling. Worse (and, therefore, even better) was the feeling of cables in his mouth, probing and searching and threatening to choke him before they settled to rest. He tried to escape them, to bite them—all for the sake…show more content…
This shared certain characteristics: A soreness in his jaw, the unrelenting tang of sterility, and the assurance that his best hope would be to experience only mild discomfort. Frankly, he counted himself lucky that she hadn’t decided to experiment on his teeth. On the other hand, he suspected it was only a matter of time. “Did you know that the human mouth carries more bacteria than a toilet seat? And here you are, spreading them all over delicate scientific equipment without a care in the world. Well, anything’s worth it for science. Even your life can have meaning under extreme circumstances.” Salivary glands, he knew, were traditionally stimulated by the presence of food. That was their function, after all; saliva was crucial in assisting the body with digestion and breaking down matter to pass easily through the esophagus. Of course, the body didn’t ‘think’. It couldn’t necessarily distinguish between actual food and any other stimulus placed within his mouth, which meant that just the presence of the cords within his mouth was enough to excite the glands. Still, he wasn’t about to let her win that easily. Swallowing was difficult, but it was doable, and he choked back the spittle before it passed his
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