Chapter Twenty-five

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Kita and Arcee led the convoy of Autobots and military vehicles south on Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway through the lava fields. Dressed in her Air Force battle uniform, Kita's coat flapped in the wind. I like these military uniforms now that I have some that fit correctly.

"Ugh, it's boring out here," said Kita as they passed the miles of lava.

"It has a beauty to it," said Arcee. "Did you know donkeys live out here?"

"How does a donkey survive out here?"

"Grass and rainwater. They are descendants of donkeys brought here to work the plantations. The state is trying to round them up and adopt them out."

"Huh. Don't hit a donkey, ok?"

Arcee chirped laughter.

Kita's phone rang, and she pulled it from her back pocket. It was Kimmy. The Secret Service had refused to let Kimmy go on the mission to recover the Matrix of Leadership. They tried to prevent Kita from going, but a fit and a promise that she would have a personal escort made them relent.

"Hey, love. Miss me already?" teased Kita.

"Hi, girls. I know it's only been a half hour, but it seems like forever."

"You're not missing much, just lava and donkeys."

"Donkeys?"

"I have been reading websites about Hawaii," said Arcee. "Several stated that donkeys live in the western portion of the big island."

"Fascinating," said Kimmy.

"What are you doing?" said Kita.

"I'm signing thank you cards to last night's guests and listening to the news. We're still the hot topic. All the experts are trying to guess what I'm going to do next and even more trying to figure out who you are. The heat's on from the conservatives. They're threatening everything from a congressional walkout to rebellion. The liberals are stepping up claiming it's a dawn of a new era. Do me a favor and don't look at the news. They're somewhat respectful toward me, but it's open season on you."

Kita sighed. "I never paid attention to the news before, why start now?"

"Your identity has been scrubbed from the public record, and your employees and anyone who knew you in Reading has been sworn to secrecy. I, ah, what do you want to do with your yard?"

"I don't know. There's no use in me keeping it. I'm never going back, am I?"

"For your safety, I'd prefer that you didn't."

What do I do? It's all I have left of Dad. But, what good is it if I never get to see it again? I don't miss it. Like Arcee said, it's not my dream, it was Dad's. Is it time to cut the cord? "Can you send someone to take pictures?"

"Of course. I'll send a professional photographer. Is there any personal items you want recovered?"

Kita frowned. What do I want? Any of it? Most of it is junk and what Dad did own belonged to the yard. There's nothing in the office. Is there anything? There must be something... "I, ah...in the mechanic's shed is a small gray metal toolbox full of tools. My dad gave it to me. I hope Mickey didn't walk off with it."

"We'll find it," said Kimmy. "Anything from your apartment?"

"I haven't been evicted?"

"I paid what was owed and for another month. So, your stuff is still there."

"I don't think there's anything. You've given me way better stuff than I ever owned," said Kita.

"No pictures, stuffed animals, clothes...anything?" said Kimmy softly.

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