“It seems, my insistence on getting to watch Guard operations and more of their every day life was successful. Even though I have been shocked by strict discipline. It feels life in the Guard is a mixture between police, army and penal colony. Despite that the Guardsman seem to be very happy about their work and place in life. 680 has promised me to show his private quarters and even take me out watching some operations. I wonder how they are.”
“Well, you could see some of our operations, but we are afraid if you stick out, like now in the Camouflage and your Canadian uniform, you will stick out. It might be possible if you wear one of our uniforms.”
680 looked at him bewildered.
“That was serious.”
“I’m not sure that is possible. I can not go around in the uniform of a different state. I’m a sworn officer of Canada.”
“Sure. It was a just a suggestion. And you know these uniforms fell quite nice and are comfortable to wear.”
“So, you have been telling me all the time.”
The conference continued with another presentation. Suddenly, the Guardsman seemed to become uneasy.
680 interrupted the presentation: “Sorry, we should immediately go back to your quarters, we are having some trouble.”
680 ushered Simon out and they ran towards the Guesthouse.
Grey fire engines were parked outside and Guardsmen in fire retarded clothing and tank suits stood and fought the flames.
“What has happened?”
“There was a fire in the Guest house.”
“How are my things?” Simon remembered his laptop and personal items.
“Can we go in?”
Two heavily tanked Guard pioneers accompanied Simon and 680 inside. There was still a little bit smoke around. The door to his room was open and he saw that the fire had partly damaged it. He rushed in and went to his things.
The cupboard with his clothes was totally burnt. All of them, including his expensive dress uniform had been ruined or destroyed. Either by the fire or the automated fire suppression system.
The laptop seemed to be fine. As he had put it into the safe of his room.
That moment the fire suppression system started to spray foam on them again.
“What is this?”
“Either fire or a malfunctioning of the system. Anyway we should get out.”
The dark tanked Guard pioneers, 680 and Simon rushed to get out.
When they were outside, Simon leant shocked onto one of grey colored guard fire engines.
“All my stuff is gone.”
“You’ve got your laptop”
“But all my clothes.”
Another Guardsman in white all body rubber uniform interrupted them.
“Sorry, Sir. But did you inhale foam or smoke?”
“Yes, we all did.”
“This one would advice you to go to the base health station so we can make sure you are not sick. Inhaling smoke gasses or foam particles is known to have cause distress or health problems.”
“Why not? It’s not that I have anything to do.”
Simon and 680 walked to the tanked ambulance and drove off to the health station.
The health station seemed to rather large. There were beds, several were filled with Guardsmen attached to medical devices, there were Guardsmen waiting.
680 and Simon were taken to a different room.
A white rubbered Guardsman asked them:
“Were you in the burning building?”
“Did you inhaled smoke?”
“Maybe, I was there when the system sprayed again.”
“OK… you are not a Guardsman?”
“No. K16 514 624 is an exchange officer from Canada.”
“So, we don’t have any data on you.”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Ok. Then we have to treat you like a civilian.”
“He has an access chip”
“With Guardsman, we have lots of medical data all time available and some of them even have these medication ports on their thigh. That makes treating so much easier.” The white rubber-clad Guardsman explained.
“Remove your clothes”
Both removed their clothing and the white medic Guard started to listen to their lungs with a stethoscope. A range of examinations was performed.
At one point, he left.
Simon looked to 680 sitting on the stretcher in the medical bay.
“Did you get your number tattooed?” he grinned.
“Sure. Every guards gets at induction. So they can keep us apart.”
“Aha” Simon was not sure if he should be shocked again.
680 smiled: “Be careful with the medics, they might want to do experiments on you.” 680 laughed.
Simon looked shocked.
The medic reentered: “That is silly grunt talk. We have only the best of our brothers in mind. We are the same, even if our rubber uniform is white and not black.”
Simon closer examined the uniform of the medic. Indeed, it was the same then all Guardies. Except, it was white and a mask covered the nose and mouth. On his right arm a red cross bandana was held by a dent in the muscles.
“What do we do with my clothing?”
“We can give you a paper overall, we have these for civilians.”
“Anyway, we need to keep you until the blood samples and the results from some of the scans come back. But you may wait in the corridor.”
“While we were waiting, nothing looked really out of place or order compared to a normal hospital or barracks sick bay. There were Guardsmen coming in getting treated. Of course, there was not a single female there. The Guard is all male force, so there are women nowhere. Not even in the medical department. When I asked my hosts about it, they told me that was the way it is and one of the presentations mentioned the Guard was designed as a place for men.
But, then, two very strange things happened while we waited at the corridor. First, an ambulance arrived and they pushed in a stretcher with a Guardsman who seemingly had suffered from an explosion. His rubber uniform was in tatters and one arm was missing. The guy was already connected to breathing unit and they seemed to hurry him towards an operation theatre.
When I asked my handler, he was not aware of what had happened and tried to distract me.
Then it got even weirder: Two Guardsmen in tank suits, with red rather then the standard black helmets dragged another Guardsman, their faces were hidden behind a mirrored visor. That guy had been handcuffed and gagged. He also was bleeding and his uniform badly bruised. The medics asked why they were here with him, as this was not a case for them but for some kind of neuro-something unit. The two tank suits then numbeld something of a broken leg and the bleeding from the head. They pushed the fellow in one room. Then I could here him yelling: “Stop to the mind control, stop to the little voice whispering and telling what to do! Start thinking… then there was something in Russian. Then again he seemed subdued. When 680 noticed, that we were send out.
They didn’t remark to me about it. So far, I have seemed only perfectly fit and programmed Guardsman. Was this a case when their conditioning failed? Maybe even a renegade?”
“Well, I guess the question with the uniform has been solved,” 680 laughed. “We can give you one of ours and then we can decide tomorrow”.
Simon was glad in a way that they would solve it, but the idea made him a bit anxious. On the one hand, it felt a bit like a betrayal to wear the uniform of another country, at the same time, since his arrival he had felt a growing curiosity to know what it was like to wear one of the rubber suits.
“We just take you to the quartermaster and fit you one of ours.”
680 checked Simon out and they drove to a really large grey building on the other side of the base. Simon wondered what it was. There were a couple of large doors, large enough to fit several of the standard Guard APCs. The building didn’t have any windows. They parked in front of a loading bay and walked through nondescript corridors to the quartermaster office.
There was not a lot going on.
“So, that is where new Guardies get their uniforms,”
They entered the room and behind a desk an elderly Guardsman stood up.
“So what kind of recruit do we have here?”
680 spoke: “This is not a recruit. Maybe a future one. Just kidding! He is our exchange officer from Canada. But he lost all his uniforms in a tragic fire.”
“Ah, the fire, this one heard about it”
“Sometimes, rumors on a Guardstation travel faster then GUMS could issue orders.”
“So, this one needs a uniform. Easily done. Get out of your tatters and then step on the scanning platform.”
Simon did as he was told.
“Close your eyes and hold your arms stretched out to the side. The laser scanner has to scan you.”
Simon felt a short burst of light going above and all around him.
“Hmm, there seems to be an issue with the scanning. Its probably because you are so hairy.”
Simon looked down. He had always thought of himself as normally. Sure he some chest hair and nice hair under his arm pits and crotch. But hairy.
“Hairy for a Guardsman. Has to do with the uniforms.”
680 remarked: “We could buzz off the unnecessary hair.”
Simon was unsure.
680 looked at him.
“Well. I guess it will grow back.” And he remember when he was in uni and it was hip to be smooth.
So, Simon was handed an electric shaver. He felt uncomfortable shaving off parts of his body hair.
“Ok, now it should work”
The scanner went over him once again.
The quartermaster responded: “Ok. The system is ready to bake your rubber suit. should be with us in 5 minutes.”
Simon put a towel around his lower body and waited.
The quartermaster and 680 talked: “Hmm, you can’t let him have that long hair, that looks ridiculous. It would be an offense to the Guardsman uniform.”
680 was silent for a moment.
“The quartermaster is right. You look ridiculous in hair so long. We should give you a more soldierly cut.”
Simon was not sure. He hadn’t had a lot of time to prepare for leaving. So the one thing he had skipped was getting a haircut. His hair was till within regulation.
“If you think so, but it’s within regulation.”
“Canadian regulation… no Guard standards… We can do it on site. Just come along.”
They walked to another room, there were barber chairs and trimmers. Simon sat in the first chair. A series of straps were pulled across him tightening him into place, making it difficult for him to move at all.
“Is this really necessary? I’m not going to fall out of the chair…”
680 looked through the clippers. “It is merely procedural. It is a holdover from periods where we have had to do compulsory conscription. Some of the young men that were drafted were… hesitant to join, and had to be held down while in processing. We have not removed the restraints from the procedure yet, but we must follow the standard protocol.”
“But no shave, just a buzz cut”
“Sure, sure. Look at me, do I have a shave?”
Simon looked at 680 and indeed his hair was short but cut rather stylish. 680 draped a rubber cape around Simon’s neck and fired up the clippers.
The room didn’t have any mirrors, so Simon had to trust 680’s work. It seemed as the clippers ran across his head that he was losing rather a lot of hair, probably it’s short as he had as a recruit in the Canadian Army.
When they were finished, they went back to the quartermaster’s office.
“Looking good,” The quartermaster interjected. “Here we go, a freshly baked Guard uniform.”
680 gave Simon a bottle of lube. “Put this generously on, it makes suiting up so much more easy.”
Simon smeared the lube on his legs and then stepped in.
680 and the quartermaster gave him hints in how to get into the uniform. “First, the right leg, then move it fully in, see that there is no air… OK now into the left one, same with no air. Then into the right arm and the left arm….”
Simon breathed in suddenly as his arms slipped into the sleeves. 680 pulled it tight in the back and Simon felt the suit complete its grip on his body as it closed around him. It was a little bit embarrassed as during the contact of the rubber to his skin, he started getting a little boner.
680 looked at him and cupped Simon’s bulge gently, feeling his hardness. “No need to be shy. Guardsmen are not very modest and most of recruits get it when they first enter the suit… Just shows that you would be an excellent Guardsman. If you had been born here, you would have joined.” 680 gave twink with one eye.
Simon was flattered.
“How does he close it without a GUMS connection?”
“I choose an older model, those have a little control interface on the collar. ”
“OK close the zipper on the back”
680 helped him close the zipper.
“You touch on the interface and it closes the seal”
Simon did that and he felt his rubber uniform tighten.
680 looked at him: “Wow! You look great in rubber.”
“What do we do about the boots?”
“I can wear mine, they are still ok.”
“But the boots and the suit form an ensemble. They are made to work with it. Could you issue us some?” 680 asked the quartermaster.
“Sure. The scanner has the size. Wait we have them on stock.”
The quartermaster disappeared and then came back with a pair of black boots.
“These should be in your size, just shine them”
Simon put they on and they fit and sealed themselves to the suit.
He was now literally neck to toe in rubber. Even his fingers were in individual rubber gloves. A strangely arousing feeling.
308 came into the room with Simon’s plastic bag.
“See some of your insignias survived, we should put them on your uniform, so that people know you are Canadian officer.”
With a special glue, they attached his name patch, his three stars and a Canadian flag on the rubber uniform. At least he felt more Canadian know. His barret had survived as well and he wore it. That was it. The rest of his uniform was Guard standard issue, including the boots. Simon was not so sure. At least, he’s got a chance to see some part of the operations going on at the large base. In a way, he was fit in the rubber uniform and it felt really nice on the skin.