The Flash - For Your Own Good

BY : Tyjord
Category: DC Verse Television > Flash
Dragon prints: 10934
Disclaimer: I do not own the Flash or any of the show's characters. I do not make any money from this story.

“Hey guys?” Barry’s voice echoed up from the panel behind where the group stood in the main hub of S.T.A.R. Labs. They were debating…arguing…about what their next steps were in relation to the Zoom problem, and had only heard Barry’s loudest attempt to get someone’s attention.

Cisco Ramon turned back towards the control panel where he spent most of his time, and looked at the monitor that was focused on the cell where they had recently locked Barry.

“I think we may have a problem people,” Cisco said worriedly.

“Uhm,” Barry was bent over, one arm pressing against a wall for support, “I don’t know if you guys even have the speakers on, but I’m not feeling too hot. I think I need to eat. It’s been a while…” Barry fell to one knee, his predicament clearly displayed by the video feed from his cell.

“What do we do guys?” Cisco asked, nervously starting to chew his lower lip.

“How did this happen?” Joe said, his frustration bordering on anger. “Why didn’t we think of this?

“You got too used to his situation; forgot his needs because he always handled them on his own. What became second nature to him, ended up forgotten by others,” Harrison Wells said, his scientific tone barely covering the slight that may or may not have been unintended.

“We can’t just stand here and debate the whys, we have to do something,” Caitlin Snow said. “He needs help.”

“Maybe,” Wells added.

“Dad!” Jesse Wells blurted out quickly.

“What's that supposed to mean,” Joe said, confronting the scientist directly.

“Oh man,” Cisco said, seeing Barry fall to both knees on the monitor.  He leapt away from the panel and barged past the others. “You guys can keep on arguing, but I’m going to get Barry some food. I think there’s a bunch of power bars in the kitchen.”

“Joe…” Wells looked concernedly at the burly police detective.

“Yeah, I get it.” Joe responded. “I just didn’t want to think it.”

“Better safe than sorry,” Harrison responded as the two men followed Cisco out of the hub, leaving Caitlin, Iris and Jesse behind at the console.

Iris turned to look at the screen, her hand quickly moving to her mouth as she saw the object of her newfound romantic interest sprawled on the floor, his body jerking slightly in the close confines of the cell.

“Hold on Barry,” Iris whispered, knowing the speakers, currently set only to relay sounds from the cell, would not convey her encouragement.


Cisco hurriedly typed his complex password into the wall mounted panel housing the controls to the cells buried deep in the bowels of S.T.A.R. Labs. After two erroneous entries, followed by an obnoxious beep that he swore to remove from the program the minute he got back to his work station, he dropped the bag containing the twelve power bars he absconded from the lab’s pantry, and used both hands to type. Hearing the satisfying acceptance chime, he quickly entered a set of instructions then hurriedly reached for the bag as he turned towards the portal.

“Come on, come on!” He exclaimed, tapping his foot nervously as he waited for the cells to shift, bringing Barry’s back to the front behind the main portal door. He could just hear the mechanisms moving the secure chambers around over the pounding of his heart. Cisco had been the final holdout in agreeing to imprison Barry as he worked through his grief over the death of his father at the hands of Zoom, and he couldn’t bear the thought that that decision could have caused his friend harm.

Just as the system lock light went on, signifying the successful movement of the containment units, and the portal door began opening, Cisco heard Caitlin’s voice explode over the loudspeaker.

“Cisco! Wait…”

Cisco dropped the bag as the door slid open to reveal Barry standing right behind it, apparently in perfect health.

“Don’t move Cisco,” Barry said calmly. “I can trade places with you before you reach the panel.”

“Aww man, that wasn’t nice Bar. Do you know how worried I was? Look,” he pointed at the power bars strewn about at his feet, “I brought you food.”

“And I appreciate it Cisco, but what I don’t appreciate is being locked up by people who I thought cared about me.”

Cisco, about to reply, blinked, and was instantly facing an empty cell. He turned around, to find Barry facing him still, but now standing between him and the corridor. Barry had pulled up his cowl during the transition, and Cisco took a single step back from the Flash before realizing he was moving toward the cell.

Suddenly, the Flash arched forward towards Cisco, a grimace of pain appearing on the exposed parts of his face. Cisco stumbled back another step as the Flash fell to the floor at his feet.

“Again…really?” the Flash gasped as he struggled to reach toward his back where the two tranquilizer darts had hit him.

“I’m so sorry Barry,” Joe said as he and Wells lowered their tranq guns. “We’re doing this because we care about you. There’s no way I’m going to let my son run off and fight a battle he can’t win. It’s for your own good.”

“Joe…please…” Barry groaned as the double dose took effect and he was engulfed by darkness.

Cisco looked back and forth, his mouth agape, from Joe to Wells to Barry, realizing that once again, they had all betrayed him.

“Well,” Harrison Wells said matter-of-factly, “it looks like we’re going to have to take some extra precautions now.” He turned and looked around at the others in the corridor, and up at the cameras to include the three women. “And if you still think we should take it easy on him, understand this: he just tried to trick us into believing he was in trouble, just to get out and go be killed by Zoom.  Believe me, if we don’t take more extreme measures to keep him safe until he comes to his senses, he will die.”

There was a moment of silence as the group processed what Harrison had just said.

“Agreed,” Joe said somberly, apparently accepting his role as group spokesperson. “Any ideas?”

Wells look expectantly at Cisco.

”You don’t mean the Harness, do you?” Cisco questioned with noticeable apprehension in his voice.

“What do you think, Ramon?”


There were a few more arguments, none of which were overly animated. The group seemed disheartened by the whole affair, and each was struggling with their own particular feelings regarding this new betrayal. Two more injections of sedative were given to Barry by Wells as the group finalized their agreement. Barry’s unconscious form had been stripped out of the Flash suit, and laid carefully on a metal table in one of the smaller labs. Cisco was uncovering a large object, pulling off multiple canvas tarps and tossing them aside.

“Ramon and I found this in one of Zoom’s old hideouts, while we were sealing off breaches. It seems to be an early idea for siphoning Barry’s energy; a precursor to the magnetar device.”  Wells explained as he helped Cisco maneuver the shining metal object closer to the group. “Basically, Zoom planned to keep Barry locked in this device, and use him as a living battery, a Speed Force storage unit, if you will.”

“My God,” Iris gasped.

“Why is that thing even here?” Joe questioned, not trying to hide the anger in his words.

“Man,” Cisco whined at Wells, “I told you they would be pissed off about us having this.”

“Quiet Ramon,” Wells said dismissively. “I understand how you all feel, but we decided it might be possible to turn this around and use it on Zoom instead.”

“We?” The group asked as one.

“Ramon and I have been making modifications,” Wells said as he watched Cisco move behind the device in an attempt to keep out of sight. “In fact, he’d be better at explaining it to you – Ramon?”

There was an audible sigh from behind the machine, followed by Cisco coming forward to stand next to the older scientist.

“I hate you,” Cisco whispered as Wells stared at him unconcernedly.

“Fine, okay, I know. It was horrible of us to bring this thing that was designed to hurt Barry here, but we’re talking about Zoom, and any chance to turn one of his weapons against him was something we just couldn’t pass up.” Cisco looked at his audience, his eyes pleading for understanding. Relieved when there were no objections, he continued explaining. “Like Harry said, we…I… have made some modifications. Instead of sucking the Speed Force out of Ba…the person inside, it now blocks the Speed Force from getting to them. Basically, it would make a speedster powerless.” He paused, waiting for a reaction. “C’mon, wouldn’t that be the perfect way to handle Zoom?”

“Keep going, Ramon,” Wells interrupted the silence.

“This unit, which I named the Harness, I know it kind of sucks, but I’m good at naming people not things, was actually fairly well designed in terms of keeping the person locked into it alive. Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from pleasant, but all of the person’s needs can be cared for, either by people, by a computer program with set parameters, or both”

“So you’re suggesting that we put Barry into that torture device?” Iris asked, her heart breaking.

“I’m not sure it’s actually a torture…” Cisco began before being cut off by Wells.

“Yes,” the displaced Earth-2 scientist said stoically. “Until he comes to his senses. It’s the only way we can ensure his safety, while making sure he can’t make another escape attempt.”

“Escape,” Joe snorted in disgust.

“How long can we keep him in that thing?” Iris asked.

“”I’ll have to walk Caitlin through the medical details, but I’d say…indefinitely.”

“Ramon means as long as we need to, and not a moment longer,” Wells emphasized. “We don’t have to like it, but this has to happen.”

Cisco stood up tall, “I agree. I hate it, but I agree. We can’t let Barry do something stupid. And if it means he spends some time in an unpleasant situation, then I’m willing to accept the blame.”

The group was silent. Cisco had been the final holdout against their original plan to lock Barry in a containment cell, so his stance now made a profound impact on all of them.

“Okay then,” Joe said, “let’s get to work.”


The group had moved both the device and the still unconscious speedster down to the particle accelerator chamber that houses the containment cells. Cisco punched a series of commands into the wall console, and everyone waited as the individual units shifted inside the cavernous chamber.

“Dad,” Jesse said, pulling Wells aside and out of earshot, “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me about this. Maybe I should have a look at it before we commit to this course of action.”

“That won’t be necessary sweetheart,” Harrison Wells said. “Ramon and I have been studying the device for a while. It’ll be fine.”

“But I’m…”

“I know you’re quite capable, but believe me, Cisco and I have this under control.”

Jesse Chambers Wells locked eyes with her father momentarily, neither one blinking. “Fine,” she said finally, “I’ll stay out of it.”

Wells smiled and leaned forward, kissing his daughter on the forehead before guiding her back towards the group.

In the meantime, attempting to occupy himself, and alleviate some of his guilt, Cisco wondered at the thoughts of the other cell denizens, as their “homes” moved around within the makeshift prison. They had no idea of what was happening, Cisco mused, until he realized that his friend would similarly have no knowledge of what had occurred once he woke up in an even worse predicament. He shuddered slightly as the cell he had called up locked into position at the portal. He watched as the heavy door slid open to reveal a solid metal wall.

“Hang on a sec,” Cisco said as he punched more keys, causing the cell to rotate in place, until another door appeared in front of them.

“Where’s the glass?” Iris asked.

“No viewing window on this cell, higher security. And the cell is kept turned around at all other times, so the door is always facing the interior of the transport tube or storage area.” Cisco answered as he entered the final command and the door to the cell opened with an ominous “hiss.” “By the way guys, I’m adjusting the security codes. Each one of us is going to input a number, and this cell will only be brought forward and opened if all the numbers are entered. We put him in together, we get him out together.”

“What if something happens to one of us?” Iris asked. “How would we get him out without all the access codes?”

“Felicity,” Cisco said, feeling extremely clever. “I sent her some info on a backdoor subroutine. I can’t hack it, but she’ll be able to…eventually. I didn’t tell her what it was for; I’m not sure Oliver would have been supportive of this without a lot of angsty brooding first, so I just told her to hold on to the info until contacted by a few of us.”

Feeling like conspirators, each person mumbled their understanding and agreement to Cisco’s plan.

Once the codes were chosen and entered, Caitlin donned rubber surgical gloves and went over to where Barry was lying on the wheeled gurney used to bring him back down to the accelerator entrance. Stripped of his uniform, Barry was naked except for a small towel covering his groin. Everyone knew their roles from this point, so she just administered the next injection of sedative, hoping it would keep their young prisoner unconscious long enough for them to get him placed into the Harness.

As Caitlin checked their subject’s vital signs, Harrison, Joe, and Cisco moved the imposing device into the cell. Joe noticed multiple tubes and canisters attached to and coming out from the device. He shivered slightly, remembering the Iron Maiden he had seen during a Medieval times museum exhibit that made its way to Central City. He tried to banish those thoughts, desperately hoping there were no iron spikes waiting on the inside of this contraption. They finished maneuvering the device into the cell. It was a bit smaller than the others on the inside, having thicker, more heavily reinforced bare walls rather than the normal accoutrements the regular containment units had. Designed for short term holding, not long term incarceration, this unit was about as confining and claustrophobic as could be.

Wells busied himself with attaching the Harness’ base directly to the floor of the cell, clamping it in place with locking hydraulic clamps, while Cisco hurriedly went about hooking up various tubes and wires between the device and the floor and ceiling. Once everything was secured, Cisco punched a few keys on his tablet, and the group watched as the device pivoted from upright to an angle that brought all areas of it within reach of anyone standing on the floor. There was an ominous clanking sound as the locking system disengaged.

“Go ahead Detective, open it up,” Harrison said as he looked on. “It really is a tremendous piece of engineering. No matter what we think of Zoom, he is brilliant.”

“Sadistic is more like it,“ Joe mumbled as he lifted the ‘lid’. The group was mostly silent as they looked at the interior of the device they were about to put their friend into.

The unit was just under six and a half feet tall, not counting its base. The silver metal was hard, shiny, and cold to the touch. The fully enclosed section, when shut, sort of resembled an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus, and went from its feet up to the upper chest. The top section was a more open design, with solid points at very specific areas. On the inside back of the device, an indent perfectly shaped like a male human body could be seen. It was deep enough that when laid within, half of the body would be snug in the molded indent.

On the inside of the front of the device, additional molded pieces could be seen, designed to cover the top of the body within. There were gaskets, wire bundles, and tubular connections at multiple points throughout the entirety of the device.

“It’s a perfect fit for Barry,” Cisco said solemnly. He had seen it, and measured it, before, but now, in light of their intentions, his words had new meaning.

Iris and Caitlin glared at Cisco.

“Wait, what? No…weird! I made his suit, remember? I took scans for that. I mean Caitlin and I took scans…c’mon, give me a break here.” Cisco added, mumbling to himself, “I mean, it’s not really weird if it’s science? Of course it’s not Cisco.”

“Ramon is right, even in his juvenile way,” Wells added, “Zoom must have taken measurements while Mr. Allen was his prisoner a few weeks back. I would guess he was unconscious at the time, as he never mentioned it.”

“Or he was just too horrified to talk about it,” Iris West said, a slight shiver running down her spine. “What are we doing,” she murmured more to herself than the group as Jesse walked over to her, putting her arm over Iris’ shoulder in support.

“We need to continue, we don’t have time to debate any further, unless you want to keep pumping him full of tranquilizers,” Wells retorted.

Joe sighed deeply. “He’s right, let’s just get this done.”


As Cisco had said, Barry was a perfect fit for the molded interior of the coffin-like device. From just below his shoulder blades to the heels of his feet, the back of his body was snugly cradled by the cold, unforgiving metal.

Joe had insisted on helping move Barry from the gurney to his resting place inside the madman created device, but after that, there was little for he and Iris to do but watch as their three co-conspirators worked to get Barry properly hooked up and Jesse watched the process with a scientist’s eyes.

They saw Caitlin carefully tending to Barry’s biological needs, her gloved hands moving deftly over and under his body. Brief flashes of rubber and plastic tubes caused both father and daughter to shudder.  Cisco and Wells busied themselves with the more mechanical aspects of the equipment, attaching power cables, wiring, and sensor devices all throughout the interior of the device, and in many places, on Barry himself.

It took longer than anticipated, and required yet another dosage of sedative, but finally, Caitlin, Wells, and Cisco beckoned Iris and Joe forward.

“We, ah, just wanted to give you…” Cisco was obviously struggling.

“We thought you would want to see him again before we closed it up,” Wells said, trying harder than usual to be compassionate.

Barry would have looked like an angel, sleeping blissfully through the preparation stage of what would undoubtedly become a very uncomfortable experience once he awoke. Unfortunately, the breathing and feeding tubes blocked much of his face.  Iris’ heart broke as she looked over her best friend, “brother“, and now, something more. She understood the” why”, but was having a hard time reconciling the “should.” Joe, on the other hand, had already come to grips with the decision, and was more intently looking at the various apparatuses and trying to understand their function.

“We’ll explain everything once we get it shut,” Caitlin said with a deep sigh. She had seen the look on Joe and Iris’ faces, and was eager to at least try to put them at ease. “I don’t want to give him any more sedatives, so explanations need to wait until he’s secured inside.”

Harrison Wells took the group’s silence as approval, and took hold of the lid portion of the bottom part of the device. He looked carefully, ensuring that Barry’s legs were positioned completely inside of the bottom half, and then nodded toward Cisco. Ramon carefully grabbed hold of the unconscious young man’s feet and pointed them downward as the upper section was lowered. Cisco pulled his hands out of the way once the top moldings made contact with Barry’s feet, forcing them into the upper indent that, along with his heels immobilized at the bottom, would keep them rigidly in a downward pointing position.

Cisco then moved quickly to each side of the unit, carefully making sure that each of Barry’s fingers were wedged into their separate slots. Task completed, he watched as Wells carefully continued the slow downward progression of the lid.

Joe winced as he noticed the grooved section designed to hold Barry’s already metal encased groin. Cisco and Caitlin had fitted a narrow metal sheath over Barry’s genitals after she had finished plumbing him with tubes. Joe felt queasy, the device he was willingly entombing his adopted son in equally invoking his own sense of claustrophobia, as well as his hate for the helplessness of being forced to endure hospital type procedures.

Once assured that Barry was positioned properly, Wells lowered the top section fully, engulfing the majority of the still asleep young man inside the steel cocoon. Once the two sections met, Barry’s body was held completely rigid, from the bottom of his pectoral muscles all the way to his toes. There was a slight clicking sound, then, following a few taps on Cisco’s tablet, a repeat of the loud clanking sound that preceded the Harness’ earlier opening.

Tears came to Iris’s eyes as she desperately looked around the device for non-existent means to manually open it.

Moving quickly, more tubes and wires were adjusted by Caitlin and Cisco as Wells began lowering the “harness” part of the device into place. A horizontal bar, causing a slight indent in Barry’s chest, was seated across its length. Two shoulder braces then pressed downwards as a high neck covering and the facial portions lowered into place. As the wires and tubes disappeared, so did all of Barry’s features. His nose, mouth and chin were completely covered, as were his eyes, which had built up sections under the headband that would keep them perpetually closed.  Even Barry’s ears had been fitted with molded metal coverings attached to the eye and mouth pieces. The inside of the ear covers contained large rubber and metal plugs that slid deep inside his ear canals as the final adjustments took place.

Once the process had been completed, all that could be seen of Barry’s body was the hair on his head, the upper parts of his cheekbones, and his shoulders and upper chest. Every other part had been encased in or covered by the incredibly restrictive device.

The cell, and the area just outside, was deathly quiet for a moment as each person present battled their overwhelming feelings of guilt.

“Okay, let’s go,” Wells said, breaking the silence. He ushered Cisco and Caitlin from the cell, herding everyone past the door, and nodded to Cisco.

Cisco walked over to the control panel and typed in some commands. They all heard Iris’ barely contained sob as the door slid shut and the cell rotated one hundred and eighty degrees, effectively sealing Barry inside not only his makeshift coffin, but also, what in effect, amounted to his tomb. The outer door then slid shut and they heard the telltale sound of the cells shifting inside the accelerator chamber.

“Okay, he’s all situated, bottom level, rear storage station; nowhere near any access doors or panels.”

“Perfect,” Wells said, “Even if he got down here, Zoom would be unable to get to him.”

Oddly, none of the group felt reassured, despite Harrison’s intent.

“Let’s go back up to the hub,” the scientist from Earth-2 continued. “Cisco can finish up the programming, and Caitlin can explain the rest of the device’s functions.” Wells looked at the group. “He will be perfectly safe, I promise you.”

“Yeah,” Cisco said quietly, “perfectly safe and secure.”


Once the programming was completed, an eerily quiet process that everyone seemed to be using as time for reflection, the group had gathered around to hear Caitlin’s explanation of the life support functions of the Harness device.

“Once Cisco explained all of the machines workings, it was a fairly easy process getting Barry installed inside. In fact, the whole set-up isn’t much different from when he was in his coma after the accident.” Caitlin paused momentarily as she realized how clinical and uncaring she must have sounded.  “Sorry everyone, but as a doctor, it’s easy to slip into the more clinical side of things. I care about Barry too, and I need you to trust me when I say his every need will be cared for. Breathing and feeding tubes are in place, as well as catheters, both penile and rectal, to allow for waste removal and control. With such stringent immobility an inherent part of the function of the device, there are also electrical contacts to stimulate his muscles and prevent atrophy. Sensors will monitor everything, and Cisco and I have programmed the device to automatically monitor and care for all of Barry’s needs on a regular schedule.”

“Shouldn’t we randomize things a bit?” Jesse interrupted. “After all, it could alleviate boredom and give him something to occupy his mind during his time in the Harness.”

Caitlin looked at Cisco. “It’s actually a good idea,” the young man said, “especially if he becomes claustrophobic. Changing things up will help divert his attention.”

“I agree,” Wells said. “Good thinking Jesse”.

“Okay,” Caitlin said, “we’ll add some randomness to the program. I’ll also vary some of the processes to promote distraction.”

“Like what,” Joe asked. “How exactly are you going to distract him from being a living mummy?”

“Well, ah…”

“Go ahead,” Wells said, “everyone needs to understand.”

Caitlin tossed her head back and summoned up her clinical side. “Well, we can vary the electrical muscular stimulation intensity…”

“Electrocute him.” Joe said quietly.

“Adjust the oxygen levels randomly…”

“Suffocate him,” Iris whispered.

“Increase the amounts of the fluids used to clean him out…”

“Nobody say anything about that one, it’s kind of gross,” Cisco chimed in quickly.

“Look,” Wells stood up and addressed the group. “We all know this isn’t going to be pleasant for Mr. Allen, but everyone needs to understand there are psychological ramifications to long term forced immobility. Making Barry endure some of these hardships will help him focus his mind and stay alert. Random, brief communication from us via the earplugs will also help him maintain his…”

“Sanity.” Cisco offered somberly.

“Yes, his sanity,” Wells agreed, raising his voice. “We knew the risks, even if we didn’t say them out loud. Now the deed is done, and we need to mitigate the possibility of harm. This is the best way. Understand, even if you all suddenly wanted to back out, I would not give up my code. This is the best shot we have at keeping Barry Allen alive, and I don’t plan on screwing it up just because some of you are feeling bad about what you did!”

Like a group of chastised children, they all sat silently for a moment.

“Can the program be manually controlled?” Joe asked suddenly.

“Yes,” Cisco replied. “If his vitals are showing any sign of real distress, we can adjust what is happening.”

“Speaking of distress,” Caitlin interjected, “it looks like he’s waking up.”


Barry couldn’t move. He was awake, he was sure of it, but his body wasn’t responding to any of his mental commands. He felt a severe squeezing pressure all around him, holding him in place. He tried to vibrate, but even the subtle, super-fast movement of his body’s molecules seemed impossible. He tried to open his eyes, but that movement too was denied him. He tried to scream, panic flowing through every inch of his body, but he just gagged on something large that was filling his mouth and flowing down his throat.

“Hello son,” Joe’s voice spoke softly, deep inside his head. “Please calm down. I know you’re frightened, and confused, but you’re completely safe. We’re sorry…so sorry, that it had to come to this, but your safety is the most important thing in the world to us. We understand that you believed it was your right to face Zoom, but we just could not allow you to run off and get yourself killed. So, here we are, for better or worse. I won’t burden you with the details, those are ours to bear, but this is where you will stay until the situation is resolved. No powers, no freedom, no choice. It’s for your own good. I am truly sorry Barry.”

The voice faded away and all Barry could hear was the deafening silence. He tried to scream again and again, but all there was was his imagined voice, until that too faded into the silence.


It had been a week and a half since they had locked Barry away in the depths of S.T.A.R Labs. As usual, Cisco was alone on the late shift, monitoring their prisoner’s vitals. He looked over the readouts, noting the stress levels produced by Barry’s current situation. He thought back to what Iris had said the day they placed Barry into the machine. A “torture device” she had called it, and Cisco’s intense studying of it in action did little to decry that label. The Harness had many subroutines and deeper, hidden functions that Cisco was still learning about despite his time working on its modifications. Clearly Zoom intended on…playing…with Barry in other ways while siphoning the speed from his captive. Cisco’s most recent discovery, one that had piqued his interest quite a bit, was a somewhat complex method of rerouting the various tubes that kept Barry fed, watered, and cleaned out. Cisco paused to wonder if his newfound, and admittedly sadistic, interest was a link to his evil doppelganger on Earth-2. Was he capable of that path? Was he going to find out at his friend’s expense?

Cisco had shaken off his musings and watched as his friend had been subjected to the most intense muscular stimulation since his imprisonment. “Electrocution,” Joe had called it, and Cisco knew he was pretty close. The scientist in him understood. The electricity would make his muscles spasm, stimulating internal movement that would keep them healthy, while the pain, and there was quite a bit, judging from the spike in Barry’s vital signs, would help focus his mind. Whether it helped Barry’s focus to be retaining a one gallon cleansing enema at the same time the electricity hit, was anybody’s guess,  and Cisco chose not to think too much about it. He had to admit though, the enemas and bladder fillings intrigued him. He understood the medical need, of course, but there was something oddly alluring about his friend suffering such intimate discomfort. He had spent several nights fighting his urge to experiment, just a bit, and he had known that tonight he would take the plunge. He scanned through the next three steps of the randomized program, as far ahead as was visible, and looked to see what was in store.

Cisco was torn. He had already betrayed his friend, and was now considering adding a new level to his treachery. But it was easy to justify, after all, Barry had intended to put him in the containment unit during the ill-fated escape attempt.  So he plowed ahead, utilizing his own feelings surrounding that attempted reverse betrayal to assuage his guilt.

The next phase was release of the enema after another thirty minutes of retention, followed by a feeding, leading right into another intense session of muscle stimulation. Cisco planned his actions nervously. He would manually adjust the program to end the enema retention early and cancel the feeding. He knew cancelling Barry’s meal would show in the program logs, but if he rerouted the enema discharge…

His hand hovered over the command key. Would his friend know what was happening? The sensors indicated Barry was currently awake, but would he piece together his emptying at one end while filling at another? And would he know Cisco was responsible? He knew it was ridiculous. There was no way anybody would know. He had to do it, just this one time. It wouldn’t harm Barry, he was sure of it.

Cisco’s finger hit the button. A bead of sweat dropped from his forehead onto the keyboard as he watched the sensors intently. The pressure in Barry’s bowels was released, and the outward flow was rerouted up through the helpless young man’s feeding tube. Cisco stared, as though hypnotized, at the screens. He watched, with a combination of fascination and disgust, as the feeding system registered a full meal as being ingested, while the enema system displayed its completed cycle readings. Cisco checked Barry’s vitals for any signs of distress, but they actually calmed a bit with the relief of the internal pressure from the huge volume of liquid he had been forced to retain. Cisco sighed in relief. No harm, no foul. He had done it. He had forced his friend to ingest his own waste. He knew from studying the device that the rerouting of systems was possible, and he had suspicions as to Zoom’s intent. But now he knew for sure that there was yet another level to the torture that monster had planned to inflict on his erstwhile captive.

“I know what you’re doing,” Harrison Wells’ unexpected voice made Cisco jump out of his chair.

“What? No you don’t!” Cisco squeaked.

“I understand Ramon, I really do. It’s all right. We need to know exactly what the Harness is capable of, no matter how guilty you feel about studying it.”

Cisco went from feeling like being a teenager caught masturbating by a parent, to being unsure how much Wells actually did know.

“Yeah,” he said, trying not to fumble his words and give anything away, “I feel really bad about the possibility of using Barry as a guinea pig.”

Wells, dressed in sleeping attire and a robe, walked closer to Cisco. “I was struggling with the same conundrum. That’s why I’m down here, couldn’t sleep.”

“Oh, got it,” Cisco said, still not quite sure what Wells was doing.

“Don’t be too hard on yourself Ramon. It’s necessary.”  Wells turned away and started to move towards the door.

“You know,” he said as he stopped at the entryway to the control room, “when I was examining the makeup of the interior body-form, I saw evidence of other features. You may want to dive deeper into the programming. There may be other systems to explore. For example, I think the internal temperature can be controlled beyond maintaining normal body temperature.”

“I hadn’t noticed that one yet,” Cisco admitted, his mind starting to mull over the possibilities.

“Keep looking into it. If we’re going to use it against Zoom, we’ll need to know everything about it.

Have a good night.” Wells said, leaving Cisco more confused than ever.

Cisco’s relief at Wells’ departure was short lived as the electrical charges began assaulting Barry once more. Watching his friend’s vitals fluctuate rapidly from the strongest current yet was enough to shock Cisco out of his melancholy. Luckily, the excessive electrical jolts did not last long once Barry’s vitals indicated his lapse into unconsciousness. Cisco leaned back into his chair, still coming to grips with what he had done, and wondered how he would face the others when he saw them next. Would the guilt be evident on his face when Iris arrived in the morning for her scheduled “talk” with Barry? And worse than that, what new discoveries would he make about Zoom’s device, and would he then be able to resist trying them out on his helpless friend, even if Wells was implying that he should.  Cisco didn’t know the answer, and he honestly hoped that Barry would not still be in the device once he found out.

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