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Close to the Sun

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Chapter 3

That's not ominous. Not at all.

The doors slid open, I was met by an armed guard, and just like the ones who checked me at the entry point they checked me as well and were far more handsy than I would have liked. When he was finished feeling me up, he turned and opened the door behind him the door revealed a long hall. I shook my head in irritation before making my way past him and down the hall. This was utterly ridiculous at this point; I couldn't fathom why there would need to be this much security if all I was going to do was put on some armor.

This is looking more and more sketch.

I felt all my hair stand on end, I felt like I was in danger but there was nothing in the hall. It was silent as a crypt. I forced myself to keep walking and ignore my instincts. I slowed my pace as I began to look around. I passed a door labeled ‘Holding Cell 6' that was scored with claw marks, the moment I looked away I noticed them all over the place. Long ones across the floor, shorter ones in the walls, and a few crisscrossing the ceiling.

I'm just here for the armor, I'm just here for armor. Just the armor.

I repeated the words in my head, I didn't want to even try to imagine what might be going on or what could cause that. I started walking faster until I pushed through the door at the end into what looked like a doctor's office-

Is this where I'm supposed to be? Those fucks didn't even tell me where-

I spun around; fists raised. A greying chupa in a long lab coat raised his hands in surrender, the pen that must have been in his hand clattered to the floor.

"You're Icarus," He sort of asked kind of blurted out.

I nodded slowly.

"Good, hold still."

"Huh-" I barely managed to groan out before I felt something jabbed into my neck.

I staggered, wheeling around and glaring at a female scientist who began to back away holding an injector.

"You said that would be enough," she squeaked out.

A flurry of suppressed gunshots sounded behind me and I felt my entire body betray me, I fell onto my side collapsing.

Did they just shoot me?

I was stuck staring up at the wall as my vision began to blur out.

The male walked into my sight, "No, I said it would be enough to get him distracted. I told you the injector launcher was a good invention. Now, call up-"

To my own surprise, I sat back up. The blurring is still present, but bearable.

"You're not supposed to be awake after that-"

I rose to my feet steadily, even though both chupas were taller than me by a noticeable margin they still backed away much to my confusion. There was no reason why they should have as far as I could think, they had just sedated me yet kept back.

At least I think that sedation is what they were going for- Didn't fucking work.

"Icarus," The female started, "You still with us?"

I lifted my head to look her in the eye and she flinched, everything felt wrong. My body felt light, my brain felt like it was submerged in a fog, my heart raced but I felt no fear. I couldn't gather my thoughts; my mind was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Something was terribly wrong with me, whatever they just injected me with. There was a shared glance between the two as the female glanced down at her injector with wide eyes and stepped past me to show the male. Nothing could shake the churning feeling in my stomach as the two huddled together.

I strained to hear from where I stood until suddenly their words became almost as clear as if I were standing next to them.

"What do you mean ‘those weren't sedatives'?" The female hissed clearly angry.

"I mean those were the wrong syringes!"

"They won't know we gave him anything, if anything happens, we don't know a damn thing."

What the fuck did they give me?

I felt panic rising but squashed it, it hit me. There was no way they knew that I'd heard the entire exchange, I didn't even know, but maybe I could work it in my favor.

I stood up as straight as I could and slurred out, "The armor?"

They shared a relieved glance as I seemingly reminded them what they were supposed to do, which was worrying.

"Right, follow me. Kovich sent you down for the armor, right? Sorry about the sedatives, we just wanted to make sure you would be cooperative."

I huffed, I was cooperative from the start, and they still tried to drug me.

"Needles," I growled, glowering at them.

They quickly and painfully plucked the syringes from my upper back; I could only imagine the holes they tore in my skinsuit as I could feel the breeze along my spine.

Once they'd all been picked out and disposed of, the male scientist led me out and the female walked behind me, winding down halls that I hadn't noticed before. Hitting lefts, rights, and the occasional fork in the path, the place was an underground labyrinth. I was almost glad I got caught by these eggheads, who knows how long I would have wandered the halls before a security detail cut me off.

I don't imagine they would have been gentle.

We turned down a hall with only one large door and a short hall, the walkway was scored with deep claw marks in the metal from floor to ceiling with some across the door. It looked like a wild animal had been dragged through.

They've had some cowboys in here. And I thought the first hall was bad.

Either the two didn't notice or flat out didn't care as they walked me up to the door and it opened like an eye revealing a lab, unsurprisingly. Everyone in the room stopped as I walked in, watching me cautiously and almost unblinkingly. My head began to clear as I walked through, with each step the fog lifted. The lab was so silent my own footsteps could be heard.

Were they always that loud?

We approached what looked to me like a vertical coffin with the House's insignia plastered all over it, this was the first time anything in this place had my genuine interest. My imagination ran wild for a moment before I remembered what the Sargent told me. Considering I wasn't really one of their soldiers, I reeled back my expectations. I was a criminal to them, the only reason I wasn't executed or dead being that I have exceptional skills that they can exploit. I shook my head as I stopped at the bottom of the ramp that led to the coffin, my head was clear. Now that I was closer, I could see that ‘Experimental' was labeled up the side of it, which completely dismantled my theory.

"Icarus," The male scientist from earlier approached me, "Your battle skin is damaged and unusable- not to mention incompatible with the armor. We need you to disrobe, we have a-"

I was already removing the uniform and damaged suit, much to the apparent discomfort of the scientists present as most averted their eyes which earned a smirk from me. They probably did all kinds of things down here and me getting naked is what makes them uncomfortable. It wasn't even like they could see anything anyway; I'd never seen a reason to shave down my fur as it grew back fast, it was too much effort for a small result.

"Or you could do that here. Put this on."

He held out what looked like a similar suit to the one I just took off, once in my hands if felt heavily padded and thin at the same time. I got it on, and it fits far too well like I wasn't wearing anything at all. It didn't seem to restrict my movement; I gave a good test stretch and found no issues. It was going to take some getting used to. I wanted to ask how they even got my measurements, but I feel like I wouldn't like the answer. I looked back toward the coffin, there was a commotion behind me. A hiss blasted through the near silence as the case began to open, a siren blared as it opened with bright light spilling out. Shielding my eyes, I began to approach. I could make out the armor silhouetted by the glare of the light, by the time I was close enough to touch it the glare no longer bothered me. I reached out and grabbed the closest part, a helmet. The visor glinted a brilliant gold, the helmet painted alabaster that nearly matched the color of my fur.

This... This can't be cheap.

I spun the helmet around and put it on. A display lit up instantly with radar, crosshairs, compass-

Everything I might need.

I tore off the helmet, a smile crept its way across my face. Maybe this wasn't too bad of an arrangement, it wouldn't have been the first time I was wrong. Now, I just needed to figure out how to put this armor on.

Red vs Blue © Rooster Teeth. Halo © 343 Industries. Concept by Myshu, assisted by The Department of Chupapology.

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