“Do you have everything?” Daniela asked.
“Just missing one Danel suit.” Duncan said. “But I’m assured I’ll have it before they send me out there.”
“You know you don’t have to give a smart answer to every question thrown at you.” Daniela said.
“I know, but it’s hard when I am that smart. They just keep coming to me.”
Daniela suddenly felt overwhelmed with affection for him. “Damn, well done, I’m officially going to miss you.”
Duncan grinned widely and wrapped his arms around her. “It’s about time Davids. I was beginning to wonder if I could ever get you hooked.”
“Yeah, yeah, just stay safe out there, okay?” Daniela said, holding on tight to him. “I don’t want missing you to turn into a permanent thing.”
“You have my word.” Duncan said softly, and then put on his best Schwarzenegger impression. “I’ll be back.”
Daniela rolled her eyes and pulled away from him so that she could look him in the eye. “Thank you.”
“For everything.” She smiled and reached up on her toes to kiss him gently. She went to pull away, but apparently Duncan wasn’t done because he pulled her tight and lifted her up so that she was his height. She giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck, deepening the kiss willingly. Duncan then went on to kiss her cheeks, eyes and neck with short loud kisses that had Daniela laughing loudly.
He placed her back down on her feet again and smiled at her tenderly. “Davids, you are more than welcome. You also deserve everything and more. Thank you for being so against the norm, I had no choice but to fall for you.”
Daniela giggled again and gave him a small curtsey. “I do what I can.”
“Jennings,” Kelly called out. “We’re ready for you.”
Daniela felt her stomach do a little flip and she followed Duncan to the small pool of Danel on the floor, waiting for him. She reached for the controller from Jensen and he gave it over willingly, stepping back. Daniela placed herself in front of him and she gave him a reassuring smile, although how reassuring it came across, she wasn’t too sure. She certainly didn’t feel it.
“You ready?” She asked.
“Always.” Connor replied.
Connor stepped into the Danel and Daniela hit the button. Slowly the Danel crawled up his body, and covered every inch of him, climbing up his legs, reaching around his torso and up to his chest, simultaneously making it’s way across his shoulders and down his arms as well as over his face and covering his head. When it was complete, a silver version of Duncan grinned down at her. Daniela moved forward and started the tests to check that every part of him was covered. She was even more meticulous than she had been during the tests, ensuring that she didn’t leave any part unchecked, Duncan’s life depended on it. Of course none of him had been left without the protective layer of Danel as that was what it had been designed to do but she couldn’t help herself. Once she was satisfied she nodded.
“You’re good to go.” She said, blinking back tears.
“Hey.” Duncan said, reaching out and wiping her cheek. “Don’t stress babes, I’ll be back.”
There was no impression with these words, just a sincerity in his tone that melted Daniela’s heart. She rested her head against him and kissed his silver chest.
“Make sure you do. I’ve grown fond of you.”
“Yes ma’am.” He said and kissed the top of her head.
“Everyone’s suited and ready.” Jensen announced from his place behind Stylo 1.
They would be using Stylo 1 to monitor the team during the initial impact with the toxins outside, but it held an even weaker link with the suits than it did with the Walkers so it would only be useful within the first 50 feet or so.
Duncan joined the others by the second doors in the floor at the far end of the bubble. Daniela went to join Jensen and held her breath for fear of crying right there and then.
“Opening doors to the airlock.” Craig announced from his usual monitor near the doors.
The doors opened and one by one, the team of 15 began their descent down into the airlock. Once they were all out of sight, the doors were shut behind them.
“Jensen, do you have it under control here?” Daniela asked.
“Of course.” Jensen replied.
Daniela nodded and ran to the glass, standing in front of where the other doors would open.
“Airlock secure.” Craig announced. “Is everyone ready?”
“I was born ready.” Came Duncan’s reply through the speaker.
Daniela laughed quietly to herself and blinked back further tears, resting her head against the glass.
“We’re ready.” Kelly’s said.
“Here goes nothing.” Craig said. “Opening doors to outside now.”
He pressed a button on his screen and Daniela saw a hatch slide open open in the ground in front of her. One by one, silver figures stepped out of the hatch, blinking into the bright sun and the deed was done. They were officially outside for the first time since impact. No going back now.