As the device was planted and activated, a small light began blinking intermittently. It was surprisingly bright, perhaps especially so for Stella depending on the functionality of her eyes. A few seconds passed... and still, it just sat there -- blinking.
Eventually, a full minute passed...
. . .
THUNK, THUNK! Heavy, metal legs shifted impatiently in the ships loading bay/garage. There was some sort of interference blocking communications. It made it hard to keep tabs on what was happening down there, but he'd tapped into the ship's sensor array and was streaming a visual scan onto his HUD. Finally, he saw it -- the blinking of the high intensity UV beacon. Anything tuned to pick up those wavelengths would easily see it, like a small sun. But that was fine, things were about to get real loud anyhow.
"All right, here we go," Kelan radioed up to the bridge, giving the exact flight path the ship would have to take. "If we're doing this cap'n, you'd better hurry down here!" In about fifteen seconds, he was disembarking, whether Natasha was there or not. He set his feet as the loading bay ramp lowered, wind suddenly gusting into the ship still in flight. All one could see past the ramp was clouds and open sky.
"Five... four... three-" The door to the garage opened and and the sound of boots sprinting across the metal floor was barely audible over the whipping winds. Kelan lunged forward, diving out of the ship as it suddenly pulled up hard, practically catapulting him out into the sky. At the same moment, the three fingers of his oversized right arm clamped down on Natasha as she too leapt from the ship.
Tiny thrusters flared to life, angling the suit into a nosedive toward the ground. They weren't nearly strong enough to push the suit into flight, but in a free-fall they could just barely keep him on course. Honestly, they weren't meant for this. They were supposed to be used in a vacuum, but it was what he had to work with at the moment.
As they broke through the cloud layer, the Circle of Hell came into view, a dot in the distance. With the clouds out of the way, the could track the beacon himself, using the thrusters to keep himself angled directly at it. As they got closer, he could zoom in to see the rest of the area. There was already gunfire. Welp, it looked like the party had started without him.
'Kelan!' Tee spoke up.
"Something's happening down there already!'
' . . . You're right. Good call pal.' Kelan decided to let him have this one. 'By the way, you remember the plan, right?' They were getting awful close now.
. . .
. . .
'Pal?' Kelan swallowed hard. "Uhh, cap'n, we might have a probl-"
"Never mind!" Thrusters on the front of the suit blasted to life and Kelan spun around, tossing Natasha behind him, moments later a gravity shift hitting her to slow her down enough to safely maneuver herself with a jetpack. He completed his spin, pulling up and putting his legs in front of him. All that was visible before him was the ship -- and the tiny hull-breach, approaching fast.
"Lock down... lock down... lock down!" Kelan frantically flitting his eyes across the HUD, sending the suit commands.
The landing site was upon him.
The HUD flashed red.
. . .
Meanwhile, it had been nearly two full minutes since the device had been planted.
And moments later, for a moment, it was nothing but noise. A tremendous impact hit the ship, nearly buckling the thick, metal floor. There was a thunderous boom that reverberated through the space as dust and sparks flew with the grating noise of metal grinding across metal. When it was over, a large, metal figure sat hunched over in the corner of the room, having nearly careened all the way into the far wall.
A second later, Natasha also flew in through the breach, though making a much more graceful landing.
Then with a clicking noise and the whine of servos, the metal figure stood up, its legs which had compressed under the impact extending back to their normal length. The lights on its faceplate flickered back to life, turning green as the suit turned to face the group in the room.
"Well hell, we made it!" Kelan laughed and turned to find Stella. "Good work, Darlin'! Now, how about we get to work!" Inspecting the room, he found a bulkhead door sealed shut. It explained why this breach had been left unguarded. They'd almost completely emptied the room and then just locked the door. That wasn't going to cut it any longer.
He stomped over to the door and pulled back his right fist. In one, mighty blow he caved in the front of the door. He then clawed his fingers into the gap he'd created and tore one, then both halves of the door open.
"And we're in," Kelan stepped through first. They weren't exactly making a quiet entrance and if there was going to be shooting, it might as well hit him instead. He was the most bulletproof person present at the moment.
He led them down a hall, just big enough for even him to maneuver somewhat comfortably, until he picked up footsteps and voices.
"What the hell, they're over here now?!" He heard a voice echo down toward them. "It's like they're everywhere!" It was coming from another hallway, coming up on their right. Kelan lifted his left fist, motioning for the group to halt. He then shifted his weight forward. Two Ascendancy troops rounded the corner just as Kelan burst into a run.
"OH FU-" They barely even had time to lift their weapons before Kelan was upon them. BANG! The gun on his shoulder punched clean through the helmet of one while his oversized right arm swung and slammed the other into the wall. He then grabbed hold of the soldier, the three fingers wrapping around their torso like a vice. The whine of servos was heard, followed by the crunch of crumpling metal as the soldier's armor gave way beneath the incredible pressure, literally squeezing the life out of him.
Kelan dropped the crushed soldier and then turned back to the group.
"All right, here we are. This is where we part ways. Natasha'll lead you lot into the ship to find Realist," he told them, pointing farther down the hall. "Meanwhile, I'll be headin' over to meet up with the Decoy squad and bring 'em back with me. All goes well, we'll all regroup in the Realist's holdin' chamber," Kelan told them. "By the by, those troops were talkin' like someone else is already in here. Keep your guards up extra." It didn't track with them talking about the Decoy Squad. Something didn't seem right, but for now all they could do was continue to follow the plan.
With that, he gave them a quick, two finger salute and then stomped off the way the two soldiers had come.