Chapter Seventeen

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Adrestia sat down next to Kita in the webbed seat of the Boeing C-17. She shoved a cup of coffee into Kita's hand.

Kita glared at Adrestia with tired eyes. "Can you now explain to me why I had to get up at two a.m. and rush to board this flying whale?"

Adrestia's eyes were bright and excited, though her face didn't show it. She was dressed as a police officer and carried an M-4A4 with a scope. Kita guessed it went with the two black and blue armored vehicles with SWAT painted on them tied down in the back behind Bumblebee. The Majestic Twelve operators were dressed like SWAT officers to complete the disguise.

"We're going on a mission to raid an Illuminati safe house. Investigators believe it's the same cell that attacked you on the freeway."

She sounds excited. It's too early to be excited. "Why do I have to go?"

"You're Bumblebee's liaison. You go where he goes."

"I'm not expected to fight, am I?"

"No. We'll be a block to the north watching." Adrestia sighed.

"You're really into this," said Kita.

"My job is to watch you and keep you safe."

"Watching me isn't what you're excited about."

Adrestia frowned slightly. "I'll do my job. Don't worry."

"Tell me what you're excited about." Kita smiled at Adrestia mischievously. "Tell me, or I'll take you shopping again."

Adrestia sighed heavily, and her shoulders slumped.

Kita hadn't dragged Adrestia to the mall. Instead, they sat in front of a secure computer for five hours as Kita picked out a new wardrobe. Kita had taken her time because she wanted to make sure what she picked Arcee would like. Adrestia was no help—it was either too revealing, which meant it wasn't baggy like a uniform, or frivolous. Kita took her revenge on Adrestia's lack of interest by making her help pick out new underwear from Victoria's Secret, which was prettier and sexier than the underwear issued by the Air Force. Better yet, the government had paid for anything. Kita wanted to see the face of the accountant that got the bill for a thousand dollars at Victoria's Secret.

Area 51 had no parcel service. Everything went to a random location in Vegas and then flown by special courier to the base. The packages arrived the night before, and Kita hadn't gotten a chance to try everything on. She'd thrown her old clothes on for this mission, except for underwear. She'd made Adrestia wait this morning while she picked out a set.

"It wasn't that bad," Kita chuckled. "So, tell me."

"I've always wanted to go on a mission with a team. They're the best in the world."

"So are you."

"I don't have their training. They come from the SEALs, Green Berets, Air Traffic Controllers, Delta Force—groups you need years of training to get into. These people have been in Special Forces for a decade or more."

There was longing in her voice.

"Why didn't you become one?"

"Special Forces wasn't open to women when I enlisted. That's why I became a sniper for Security Forces—I was allowed to join SWAT units. My career path as an officer led me in a different direction."

Kita touched her shoulder. "We get to be part of the action today. Who knows, you might get to put that rifle to use."

"You better not go running into trouble."

"I go where Bumblebee needs me."

***

Bumblebee rolled to a stop a block from the target building, and Kita stepped out the driver's side door. The streets were empty. Local police had sealed the surrounding blocks.

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