Lab Rat part 16

Posted: January 26, 2011 in Fiction, Fighting, SCA, Test Subject

The lab is in a heavy industrial area of town. The whole area is nothing but grey and tan concrete buildings. There are more than a few automotive repair places out here, and the air always smell of exhaust. I’m mostly sure it’s my imagination, but the sky always seems dimmer here no matter what the weather is doing. I’m not much of an outdoorsman, but the place makes a strong argument for getting the hell out of the city once in a while. As I walk up to the lab, I’m temporarily deafened as a semi-truck hauling a flatbed trailer full of mangled cars roars by. I turn away, close my eyes, and wait. A second later, a blast of wind carrying sand and garbage from the street whips past me. Great. It’s 9:30 in the morning and I already feel like I need a shower. I run my hands through my hair to try to clear out some of the road grit. I have some success, but I still feel gross.

I keep walking until I get to a building with no signs on it. There is an address number next to a door, but no other markings and no windows. I asked Ally about it once. She said that it was for security reasons. Now that I know a little more about what goes on in there, I’m inclined to agree with her. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that that woman is never wrong. I place my hand on a black panel next to the door. A second later, there’s a chime: my signal to turn the knob and go in.

Beyond the first door is an empty room about the size of my mom’s walk-in closet. There’s another door on the far side with a key-pad above the doorknob. I key in my code and the door buzzes open. I have two codes to this door, but Ally was very clear about me only using the first one unless something was wrong. I don’t know what happens if I use my other code. I’m afraid enough that I haven’t tried it. Even when Ally is out of town, I pretty much don’t touch anything that I’m not supposed to in here.

I’ve been here five days a week for almost a year, and it always surprises me how stagnant the air in the entry is compared to the rest of the lab. As I open the inner door, a puff of cool, clean air swirls past me. I love that feeling; it’s the closest thing to a fresh breeze that I get most days. The lab is bright white and as clean as a whistle. I smirk as I consider that expression. Whistles are probably pretty gross, what with going in people’s mouths all the time. The lab is kept as close to sterile as possible to avoid contaminating anything. I appreciate that, at least on an intellectual level. A lot of things made in this lab end up in my blood.

My family in the SCA has recently provided me with some new pieces of armor. These new pieces are quite nice – I have a new gorget (neck protection), a lamellar vest (body protection), and bazubands (forearm and elbow protection). I’ve already gotten to use the gorget. With it, I still have all of the head movement and better protection with no rust or duct tape. My old gorget was so rusted that people thought it was made of brown leather, and I had to tape it shut because the buckles had rotted off. To use the bazubands, I’ll need to pick up some suitable elbow pads. My current arm protection has elbow pads, but they are permanently affixed to a set of plastic elbow cops. As for the lamellar… It’s beautiful. It’s alternating stainless steel and leather plates. It’s more armor than I’m accustomed to, but that isn’t a problem. Thing is, I lost four pants sizes between getting measured and actually receiving the gear. I’m going to spend some time tomorrow night seeing what I can do to make it fit better, because it really is beautiful and bruised ribs and I aren’t friends on Facebook, if you get my meaning.

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