Snuggly securing himself into his Cloister, Reno slowly strapped himself in with the myriad of odd belts and devices; following Sora’s instructions precisely, he grew more thankful by the minute that Sora was here to help him through this mess of an installation process. Feeling more useless than he had been in a long time, he inwardly smiled that at least Sora didn’t find him annoying and actually helped.
“Alrighty, got everything where it needs to be, bud?” squawked Sora through a pair of invisible speakers.
“Yeah. What do I do now?” Replied Reno, his heart beating just a bit faster.
“Okay, tilt your head up. See those series of flashing lights? Press the one in the middle, the one that looks vaguely like a church. Let the machine do the rest. Just relax. See you inside!”
Reno did as he was told. At first, he thought he pressed the wrong button but as soon as he was about to ask for help, the doors closed in on him. Pressing snuggly into the cube chamber like a brick in a wall, Reno initially believed that his legs would be crushed since there was so little room in his Cloister; the space, after all, was just barely large enough for his body. But, just as the doors had entered, Reno’s seat slid back deeper into the cube allowing the doors to shut him in and encase him in pitch darkness, only the tiny blinkering lights keeping him company.
Sora had said to relax but Reno wasn’t quite sure how that was possible with him wondering how on Earth he was supposed to enter this virtual realm when he wasn’t even sure if he had done things correctly if he needed to do something more— but his thoughts were cut short. Suddenly, at the back of his neck, he felt a soft, warm, sponge-like substance push up against his skin. Then, there was an odd aroma. Abstractly, Reno was aware of his arms and legs sinking deeper into the chair, almost like his body was melting it like a piece of chocolate on a hot day.
Reno felt… odd. Like, not quite sleepy but not fully awake, like a part of him was missing. Perceptually, it felt like he was entering a sort of metamorphosis. He had vague recollections that his Cloister was changing; the tiny LED lights which had illuminated part of his chamber were not as numerous as before, they were slowly blinking out of existence. The mysterious aroma, meanwhile, had intensified. Strange noises pervade his senses. Small, barely detectable noises like whispers and the humming of engines mixed with chime bells. Reno wanted to lash out at the noises but he wasn’t sure they were even real.
His breathing slowed and intensified. He allowed himself to give way like he had finally unclenched his fist after a fight. He sunk even further into his seat; he didn’t look about him. Reno was in pitch darkness. He, irrationally, was afraid, but didn’t know it. Before he lost his first consciousness, he thought he heard Sora’s voice in his ear telling him to buck up but that could have just been a fanciful imagination.