He never looks at me.
Well, that's not quite true. There have been moments eye contact. But even when he looks me in the eye, I know he doesn't really see me as anything other than a familiar and mildly important program. Sometimes I get... scared, thinking about that. What do I really mean to him, if anything?
Everything used to be easy, compared to this. I used to just do my primary functions. Report on the status of the Grid, highlight areas of progress, and point out areas that needed improvement. I was a simple, obedient program, but I was always important in the grand scheme of things. Aiding Clu in his efforts to create the perfect system... I was never disposable. Never less than vital to the success of Clu's rule.
And I was really good at it. I gave a lot of sound advice on how to better run the System. Clu took my opinions under consideration, on many occasions. I've helped him more than he knows... And now the System is completely his. The ISOs have been eradicated, Kevin Flynn has dropped off the Grid, and Clu is in total control. Now I never have anything but good news to report.
That worries me.
I should have seen it coming-- the repurposing-- before it happened to me. I kidded myself that I didn't see the obvious signs. It wasn't in the way of his secretly growing armies; I've always been loyal to him, he never had to rewrite me.
No, this was a very different sort of repurposing. More personal, more invasive... I find myself wondering if the regular kind of repurposing might have been easier to endure. Or, maybe I'm lucky that it happened this way. I suppose Clu just got bored with the slowly passing cycles. Maybe he grew tried of the Games and wanted something different. Or maybe it was just a convenient way to relieve stress.
Either way, the first time he initiated it, I followed orders like the request was any other task. I was scared, of course, a feeling that only grows each day, as this strange arrangement continues and I realize that it now makes up the majority of my usefulness. Without taking on this role, I might become a liability and be repurposed for real. Deep inside of me, I'm ashamed to admit that I carry a hope that this is something important for me to do-- something he won't soon tire of. That I'll perform well and he won't ever get bored of using me.
I will do whatever he asks of me. I must. I don't want to die.
“Come here, Jarvis. Kneel in front of me,” Clu ordered, his tone of voice relaxed beneath his helmet.
He was lounging on his throne in the flagship, like usual, wearing his helmet and long robes over his regular uniform. I was standing near the side of the throne, having just finished reciting the latest Grid status report.
“Yes, sire?” I intoned softly as I obeyed, moving before him and dropping to one knee. I kept my head up, calmly watching the impenetrable black shine of his helmet.
“I wanted to thank you for the concise report. Now, I was wondering if there's something else you can do for me.”
I blinked. “Of course, your eminence.”
“Show me your subnode.”
It was clearly an order, but one that was far too shocking for me to immediately comprehend. At first, I thought I had heard him wrong. “S...sire?” I stared at him through the blue tint of my visor, my eyes wide. Surely he hadn't said what I thought he said.
“Let me see it. Sit back on the floor and open your output port.”
The taboo vocabulary he used was such a surprise in itself... I'd never heard anyone say that phrase before. Never imagined my leader to be capable of such vulgar speech.
“Sire, I... I'm not sure I, ah.. understand the direction,” I stuttered.
“Do I have to spell it out for you, program? You heard me the first time.”
The words made me flinch. Such harsh language, but it was a direct order. And though I was horrified, I knew to obey. I stared at the ground as I stood on my knees and willed my output port to slide open. It took a few moments to open fully, as I had never before consciously willed that process happen. I felt a blush warm my cheeks as my anatomy was exposed to Clu.
“Hmmm. It's barely glowing. You are healthy, right?” Clu asked as he observed my private part, leaning back in his throne, as relaxed as ever.
I was shivering from fear, though I wasn't sure why. What was this about? Why was I ordered to do such a strange thing in such a strange position?
“Y... yes, sire.”
“Well good, I was worried about you for a moment. But you're virus-free, of course. I should've known... you're not the type to go off interfacing with seedy pleasure programs in your spare time, are you?”
I felt a surge of revulsion at the thought. Me, subject myself to the likes of that? “No I am not, sire.” I couldn't keep the slight tone of annoyance out of my voice. I was a bit disappointed that my ruler would entertain such a low thought of me, even for just a moment.
Clu chuckled. “Now, now, I didn't mean to hurt your pride. I knew you weren't that kind of program. That's one of the reasons I trust you, Jarvis-- you're grounded here. Grounded to me.” He leaned forward and put a hand softly on my shoulder.
I tensed at the contact, swallowing nervously. My eyes flitted to his helmet for a second, then to the side. “I... ah, thank you, sire,” was all I could think to say. So, he didn't really think low of me, and he recognized my loyalty. But if he knew that all along, why make me endure this display? Just to show evidence of my health? I had a feeling that wasn't the only reason.
“Have you ever overloaded before?”
At that question, my eyes shot up to his helmet, shock on my face. “I.. e...excuse me?”
“You heard me,” Clu leaned forward more, his helmeted face now close to mine, and his head tilted slightly, studying me, looking me up and down, like he was seeing me for the first time and analyzing me thoroughly.
I shivered. “I don't... I'm not, I... ah.. n-no, your eminence.”
He laughed, then, loudly, making me flinch.
“Hehe... oh boy. You're a real responsible program, then, my man. A rare occurrence in my system. I appreciate that. Stand up.”
I obeyed, standing and tensing in surprise as the movement caused me to notice my yet untouched anatomy. It was a very strange sensation to have a practically brand new part of me exposed like this. I had never acknowledged the existence of that part of my body, before-- I'd never needed to use it. It was very sensitive, and seemed to need some getting used to.
Clu stood from his throne, stepping very close to me. “May I?” He asked, nodding to me, his hands lifted and hovering near my upper arms. Was he asking permission to touch me?
“Yes, your eminence,” I said as I closed my eyes on an impulse, feeling my face heat further with... embarrassment? Shame at my nakedness? Or was it in anticipation of what else could occur in this sort of situation? Thoughts I had never before entertained, slowly began forming in my mind. Certainly this wouldn't lead to... that sort of thing. He wouldn't want anything like that from me. But for the first time in my existence, I was completely unsure of Clu's goals.
“Call me 'leader',” he told me, his voice gentle, as his hands came down to rest on my biceps, then started to slide up and down my arms.
“Yes, my leader.” His touch felt strange... but also good. Physical contact of any kind with other programs was something I hadn't experienced often, let alone so slowly and carefully like this, giving me time to analyze the feeling. Previously I had only been given an occasional pat on the back or squeeze of the shoulder from Clu... Probably for the best, actually. If in the past I had discovered that physical contact was a pleasant experience, I might have become distracted by it.
His hands slid up over my shoulder pads, and his fingertips slowly traced the lines of circuitry on the left side of my jacket collar. I felt myself shiver. As his right hand moved to the nape of my neck, his fingers dipped below the line of my collar and gently squeezed the back of my neck. I gasped a little at that, my lips parting and quivering, but I was too lost in the sensations to worry about hiding my reactions. Clu's left hand flattened against my chest, sliding down over the right side of my torso, and came to rest at my hip, his fingers slowly and repeatedly tracing the glowing red circle there. His touches warmed me and made me tremble, like little pulses of electricity emanated from his fingertips. I could feel my exposed anatomy reacting, and it frightened me a little. But right then, I forgot my embarrassment, and I didn't care if I looked like a fool... I just wanted the strange and hypnotic feelings to continue.
His hand on my hip slid lower and to my front, and his fingertips started to caress the delicate circuitry immediately above my groin. I felt my body react, energy flowing down to that area, heating it. I let out a very undignified whimper.
“I see I've made some progress here, program,” he said, his voice low, rolling over me. I didn't know whether to feel ashamed of myself, or proud that I might be pleasing him.
I bit my lower lip as his fingers swirled in slow circles, torturing me with the light touch. And when he finally touched me lower, I gasped, a jolt running through my system and collecting in the bytes under his fingertips. As he touched me there, I realized how drastically my anatomy had changed due to the stimulation. I opened my eyes a sliver and glanced down, seeing that it had become much larger, longer, and more rigid, curving up from between my legs obscenely. Clu's hand wrapped around it, slowly stroking back and forth. I trembled and shut my eyes again, a confusing mix of shame and intense pleasure flooding through me.
My arms twitched at my sides. I wanted to push Clu away, but I also wanted to grab onto him and feel what it was like to touch, not just be touched.
He saw my inner struggle. “You alright?” he murmured, and I nodded shakily, unable to speak. But then when his grip tightened and he began moving it faster, the sensations hit me so hard my knees nearly buckled. A soft cry escaped me and my hands shot out to grip his upper arms just to hold myself steady.
“F-f-forgive me, my leader,” I stumbled over the words, gasping. But I couldn't let go of him-- my arms seemed locked in place.
“Ssshh, that's fine. Hold onto me if you need to,” he reassured me, and I opened my eyes to glance at his helmet. I couldn't control any of my reactions. He continued to stroke me firmly, and his other hand on the back my neck moved down to rest on my lower back.
His touches made me feel so acutely unstable, so fragile. But it was also so inexplicably good. Energy bounced between my back and my groin, heat building inside me alarmingly fast. I had never felt anything remotely like this before, and I was scared. I closed my eyes. “My.. leader, I f-feel strange."
“Mmmh... you're really sensitive,” he observed. And I may be grossly inexperienced, but I would have had to be deaf not to hear the lust in his voice then. His helmet moved to the left side of my face, his visor almost touching the edge of mine.
“Would you like to overload now?”
The obscene words spoken in his raw, low voice only served to stoke my arousal, and though my face was flushed in shame, I tilted my head back in surrender. “Y-yes, my leader, please..”
Clu stroked me harder and faster, his other hand pulling me even closer to him, our bodies nearly pressing together. I held on to his arms tightly. I was trembling quite violently, feeling like I might pass out.
“Yes... now,” he whispered in my ear, and I gasped. Suddenly all the heat and energy rushed to my groin and a pleasure unlike anything I had ever known, erupted inside me. Electricity flooded my circuits, wiping out every other process. For a second, I thought I was dead, but for the shocks I felt running over me. I convulsed as the power of it wracked through my form.
It was too much.
I lost consciousness.
That was the first time.
Since then, Clu has changed. He never does that to me anymore. I don't really know whether I'm relieved or disappointed by that fact. But I do know that I wish he were more gentle.
Against my will, he taught me pleasure... And now I am receiving lessons in pain. I wonder if he means to test my loyalty by these trials? Or am I just fooling myself that there is a deeper reason for it, other than his amusement? Yes, there is no denying that on his path to create the perfect system, he has become ruthlessly sadistic, cold, and cruel. But he never acted like that directly to me, until after that first time.
Why does Clu now treat me so differently? What is his real intent? Was he just hiding his true nature from me, before? He's capable of being tender... or was that an act? He is toying with me, but to what extent exactly? The things he does to me now, make that first experience seem like a far-off dream. I only know it to be true because I remember exactly how it felt.
And now, that's what hurts me most of all.
Some cycles ago, he discovered how far he could push me until I actually broke.
It was in his throne room, a place he tends to take me only when he has very special things in mind. This time was a new kind of torture-- he figured out how to secure me against the clear wall in front of his throne. He had it rigged with something... I don't know how or what, exactly. But it was painful.
I was summoned to him through a sentry, and I felt a particular sense of dread at the mention of the location. I almost didn't obey right away, entertaining thoughts of stalling and making up excuses. But I knew that wouldn't do me any good in the long run. So I walked in on my own two feet.
“You called for me, sire?”
He was standing by the clear wall, his helmet off, though he was still wearing his cloak. His form was silhouetted against the city lights as the ship floated low over the heart of the Grid. He looked so regal. I swallowed back my nerves. Even while remembering every horrible thing that he'd done to me, my body started to respond to his powerful form, and to the location I was in. I was hit with a fresh feeling of shame as I noticed just how acutely my body was conditioned to his presence. Did he know the effect he had on me, just being in this room with him?
“Skip the pleasantries, and come over here.”
For one horrific moment, I froze, unable to obey, knowing the pain and the humiliation that I was about to be put through. But my sense of self-preservation soon overcame my fear, and forced my body to walk to him. I stopped when I was a pace away, trying to keep my expression neutral as I stared past his ear.
If he saw my initial reluctance, he didn't comment on it. “I missed you,” he said softly, and if I hadn't known better, it would've sounded like he was speaking to a lover. His voice was kind, his face smiling and open. He stepped closer to me, and I closed my eyes. I felt his hand slide behind my head and touch the bottom edge of my helmet root.
“No, open your eyes. Let me look at you.”
I felt the impulse and retracted my visor. I forced my eyes open again, looking at a spot past his shoulder. Could he see me shaking? Did he sense my inner turmoil? The fact that I actually had to concentrate to keep my output port closed while standing so close to him?
His hand on the back of my neck slid forward to my chin, tilting it up, but I knew he didn't want me to look into his eyes. “That's better. Now, let's get you calmed down,” he whispered as he leaned in, his lips brushing against mine. I opened my mouth without hesitation, and he kissed me. I couldn't help but whimper as his tongue slid against mine. And I shuddered involuntarily as he drew back to bite my lower lip, humming his approval. “Yeaahhh, I missed you. But I shouldn't get ahead of myself.”
He stepped back from me and I stumbled forward slightly, my body acting on its own, drawn to his like a magnet. I balked, and he chuckled at me as I hurried to stand straight again. A blush heated my face; I was so ashamed. I hated myself for letting his touch influence me so easily. I kept telling myself I didn't want it, that it was wrong for me to accept these things from him. That I was better than this.
But I was stuck. If I ever tried to resist him...... I couldn't. This was the only option. I just had to bear it. Bear the inevitable pain, and try to ignore the pleasure.
“Jarvis? What are you waiting for?” his voice cut through my consciousness, and I realized he had moved to the middle of the room, in front of his throne and closer to the clear wall, and had expected me to follow.
I walked over to him and kept my distance a little this time, unsure of what was to come.
“Now, now, don't be shy,” he said, and I could only stare at his shoulder as he moved close to me again and grabbed my wrists, one in each hand.
“What--” I started as he lifted my wrists above my head, and spread my arms out to either side. He pressed my wrists against the clear wall, then pressed himself against me. I gasped loudly as his mouth attacked the side of my neck, biting and kissing it before he slid his tongue up to my ear. “Hhh, my l-leader,” I started to say, but he moved fast, pressing his body harder against mine, his thigh pushing up between my legs. Then his eyes met mine somehow, and held my gaze. His stare pierced me, taking me over, and I couldn't hold it for long. I closed my eyes.
“Quiet now. Open for me.”
That order actually came as a relief. I swallowed my shame as my port slid open, and my subnode erected itself alarmingly fast. It felt like all of my energy was being drained into it. Alhough I hated my loss of control, I couldn't deny that it felt good.
Clu leaned against me, loosening his hard grip of my wrists for a moment, and instead pushed his thigh further up between my legs and against my exposed and sensitive anatomy. I whimpered.
“Pretty eager, aren't you?” He said, and I could hear the grin in his voice. I swallowed and opened my eyes again, looking back at his shoulder. His remark wasn't meant as a question, so I didn't answer. “Then let's see how you fare.”
As he stepped back again, I noticed my arms stayed where they were spread out and pressed against the clear wall above my head. After some attempts at subtle shifting of position, I discovered that my whole body was securely stuck. That fact, coupled with the last thing he said, suddenly seeded a new dread in me. What was going to happen to me?
“My leader, what...” I started, barely whispering the words, my voice shaky. He didn't answer me, but turned around and walked right to his throne, sitting down casually and leaning back. I saw his hand tap a panel on the armrest, then a small device rezzed into his palm. I stared at it and tried to figure it out, but all I could see was that it had a single glowing button, which Clu's thumb pressed.
Burning. Stinging, scalding, scorching. I never knew how to use those adjectives before, as I'd never experienced any sensations that matched their descriptions. But when Clu pressed that button, I felt all of those, and more. Burning through my back, my arms, my lower body and my legs. Somehow Clu had rigged the clear wall to hold me, and this torture device was made.
At the first button press I only convulsed, my body trying in vain to rip itself off of the wall. I was too shocked to make noise, and the burning was over after a moment. I slumped forward, my mouth open and eyes wide with surprise. Running a quick diagnostic on myself, I learned that the wall had left no damages or negative traces in my bytes. Just the memory of the pain kept me in a state of shock.
At the second press, I gasped, my whole body going tense as the agony rushed through me, sharper than the first time.
The third time, I screamed. It seemed to get worse each time, and although I knew it was going to be repeated, it couldn't become familiar. I couldn't prepare for it-- it seemed to hit me differently each time.
Four, five, six times... I lost count. I know I screamed, I know I thrashed and yelped and gasped and whimpered. It tore through me again and again, stinging through my circuits, each wave exhausting me further. I forgot everything but the pain, my previous arousal long gone.
After a while, somewhere in my consciousness I remembered how this was happening, and I weakly lifted my head and looked at Clu. It was a sight I will never forget.
He was leaning back in his chair, his legs spread wide. One hand was tightly holding the remote, his thumb poised over the button dangerously. His other hand was working fast on his subnode, pumping up and down, his hips bucking slightly to meet his fist. His golden glowing circuits flickered with a bright strobe, he was so suffused with energy. Pulsing with it. I remember seeing him lick his lips, and his mouth hang open, gasping in pleasure. I remember the raw lust and hunger I saw in his dark gaze, before the pain wrenched my eyes away.
It continued... I've no idea how long. At some point I was just groaning and sobbing, my body shivering uncontrollably as the waves of pain kept coming. I couldn't even open my eyes. I thought I was going to die.
But it did end, finally. And then it seemed like I was feeling from a distance, when cool hands helped me down from the wall and let me lie on the ground on my back. I was so weak.
Hands caressed my body up and down, tenderly. Clu hardly ever does that. I gladly surrendered to the touch, just hoping it wouldn't turn painful. I was unable to do much else but keep conscious.
The hands lingered over my thighs, and I realized that my output port was still open, though my subnode had completely retreated. But as I assessed it, it responded to the current touches, despite my exhausted state. Against my will it began to stiffen and grow once again. I took in a shaky breath. Was this the pattern of his new game?
From somewhere above me, “Veeeery nice. You're resilient as ever, program.” Clu's voice was still thick with lust. He wasn't finished with me yet.
I opened my mouth. “Phh... ple..ase..” I breathed, hoping that he'd stop and let me rest. My energy was dangerously low, and now it was all heading to my groin. I felt extremely light-headed, and my ears seemed to buzz. I was scared that whatever torture he had planned next, might kill me by accident.
Or... maybe he purposefully planned to destroy me in this way? The thought left me terrified.
“Sshhh, Jarvis. It's all right.” I felt a straw press against my lips, and I latched onto it, drinking in the blue energy. It helped me instantly, washing through my system, cleansing me and bringing my cricuits back to life. After a few sips it was pulled away, but it had been enough to get me out of danger. I let out a shuddering sigh, wanting to just sink into the floor. I needed to reboot, but I knew he wouldn't let me.
“There we are. Better? Good. Now...” The wonderfully cool hands slid down and brushed over my hips, then one slipped inward and gently curled around my subnode.
“Nnnhh... nnnggh...” I gritted my teeth, and my hips moved without my control and weakly bucked up into the teasing grip. Then the hand tightened, and I gasped. And when it began to move up and down slowly, I moaned. Why did he have to make me feel nice?
“Why are you being so nice?” Clu's tone was annoyed, but playful. A dangerous combination. But wait... what did he say?
“I don't want it like that. I want you to mess with him... come on...” his voice turned seductive and frightening.
But he was... talking to someone else? Oh no....
I managed to open my eyes, and as I lifted my head forward I was greeted with the cold, black helmet of Rinzler, Clu's second-in-command. He was lying next to me, staring into my face, his hand slowly and mechanically working my subnode, though his touches felt almost loving in contrast to Clu's usual treatment. It was only after a few moments of looking confusedly up at him, that I realized the source of the buzzing in my ears-- that strange clicking noise that he always makes. It was a deeper, faster rumble now than I'd ever heard him make before, and it sounded somehow... content.
So... Clu used him like this, too. I should have known.
I let my head tilt back again, closing my eyes and momentarily allowing myself to feel the pleasure from Rinzler's hand. I knew it couldn't last, though, and I hated the disappointment I felt with along that knowledge.
Clu wanted to see me in pain, see me humiliated; and he'd already told Rinzler to “mess with me”. I grimaced. Why couldn't this just be about pain? I didn't want pain, of course, but at least it was simple enough to deal with. But this...
Rinzler didn't stop stroking me as his other hand slid up to my neck, beneath my collar, and to my surprise began to squeeze my throat. I tensed and tried to gasp, but his hand tightened its grip, gradually cutting off the flow of energy to my higher processes. Within moments my ears started to ring, and I felt my circuits starting to go numb with the energy backup. I knew that this alone couldn't kill me, but it was still extremely frightening. I began to panic as some of my secondary functions started to slow down. I weakly grabbed at Rinzler's hand, trying to pry it off of my neck. But my limbs were suddenly heavy and sluggish. Even if I had been at full strength, I wouldn't have been able to shift him. He was incredibly strong, and he effortlessly held me down, all the while stroking me.
“Oh yeah, that's good... Do it... ”
Clu's voice and Rinzler's clicking sounded muffled as my senses started to shut down. All of my functions began to focus on sensation, to my dismay, and nearly all of my remaining energy was automatically rerouted to bytes relaying sensory information.
The pleasure soon became too intense to bear. It built and built until it was overwhelming me. My higher processes paused. Rinzler never let up, just pumped me faster and harder, working me with a ruthless efficiency. And when the agony of it all finally peaked, he released my neck and I gasped, crying out as I overloaded harshly.
I nearly lost consciousness again, but Rinzler's touch on my chest awakened me before I could escape that way. Coming back to myself, I couldn't feel anything but pain. My entire body aching, and my subnode weakly pulsed its discomfort to the rest of my battered system. All my energy was ripped up to scraps. I desperately needed to reboot.
I felt weights settle on my arms, then shove them up by the sides of my head. I heard shuffling above me, then heard Clu chuckle-- even his laugh was so filled with arousal that he sounded almost pained. I had never heard him sound quite like that. I opened my eyes, to see Clu lying over me, propped up on his hands and knees, the front half of his body tilting down to mine.
He looked right into my eyes and grinned devilishly, then I saw him gasp, as if in pain, and shut his eyes tight. It was only then that I realized what was happening. Rinzler was behind him.
Clu whimpered, another kind of sound I'd never heard from him. I was shocked. And it's as if he knew, because when he opened his eyes again and looked into mine, his face was flushed with lust and, unmistakably, embarrassment. Rinzler was moving. They moved together, above me. It really made me blush, to see my leader in such a state. He groaned, and Rinzler purred, and they moved. Clu's hands on my wrists tightened their grips, and I saw and heard him moan. It looked like he was in pain... and enjoying it. I shuddered.
I wish I had never seen this.
It didn't take them long. They moved faster, and Clu lunged forward and kissed me, his teeth scraping along my lips, his tongue thrusting into my mouth, fast and desperate, unlike anything I'd ever felt from him-- no control. And when he overloaded, I could feel it. He pulled back and I heard him make a soft choking noise, watched him shudder, his circuits flickering rapidly. Rinzler was nearly silent, only a low electric roar accompanying his overload.
It disturbed me... all of it. So much. I could only lie there and watch. It was a different kind of torture, one that left me feeling more confused than ever.
I could no longer turn to Clu for answers. I could only continue to endure, and try not to lose their games.