When she was ten years old, Veronica Laka disobeyed her father, and talked back when she knew she shouldn't have. Her punishment came slowly in the form of the "Taps." As her father holds a nail under her fingernail, he taps it with a hammer just hard enough to draw blood, slowly, one finger at a time . . .
Fifty years later Dr. Veronica Laka may seem like a harmless old lady, but with her partner Dr. Mark Ivy, the pain machine was born, a device that can transfer pain from one person to another. First, they have to figure out how to measure pain on levels. Then, they have to find human volunteers, a person who feels the pain, and a doctor to accept it by going "under the wires." But it would never be Veronica. Ever. She can never forget the "Taps."