Chapter Twenty-seven

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Kita awoke to the smell of ammonia. "Whoa. Yuck." An operator was waving a packet of smelling salts in front of her face. She pushed his hand away. "Ok. I'm awake."

"Relax, Your Highness," said Boxer. "Master Sergeant Lang needs to check you out. He's one of our medics."

"How are you feeling, Your Highness?" said Lang.

"Fine. My head hurts."

"Let me examine the back of your head."

Kita let him.

"You have a bump, not bleeding." He produced a penlight. "Can I check your eyes, Your Highness?"

Kita opened her eyes wide.

"Dilation looks normal, and your pupils are the same size. Any nausea, dizziness, ringing in the ears?"

"No."

"What's your name?"

"Kita Logine."

"Do you know where you are?" said Lang.

"In a lava tube somewhere under Hawaii."

"Ah, who's your girlfriend?"

"Kimmy."

"I would have accepted Princess Kimberly Roosevelt, too," said Lang with a smile.

Kita shrugged. I'll call her Pookie bear if I want.

Lang produced two pills. "This will help with the pain. If it lasts, come find me."

"Ok."

Lang packed his bag and hurried off to help the other wounded.

"Are there other injured? Why didn't he work on them first?" said Kita to Boxer.

"Because the way you hit the wall, we thought we'd be taking you out in a backboard," said Adrestia coming over and kneeling next to Kita. "But upon inspection, we didn't find any neck or back injuries."

"I feel fine."

"You've got the luck of fools. What possessed you to run into an active firefight?" Adrestia said sternly.

"I didn't want the Matrix to get damaged."

"Where is it?"

"I, ah," Kita looked down at her chest. She expected to be dangling from her neck. She pulled her coat forward to look underneath. There was a purplish-black glow through her tan t-shirt. Lifting her t-shirt, embedded in her chest was the Matrix. It looks like a feather. "Uhm, Nicole?"

"Where is it?"

"Look."

Adrestia looked down Kita's t-shirt. "What the hell did you do? Get the medic back over here."

"Nothing," said Kita. "There was a flash, and then I was waking up."

"Take your coat and t-shirt off."

Kita wiggled her nose. It was a little cold to be wearing just a bikini top, but she did as instructed, draping her coat over her shoulders.

Boxer called for Lang, and the medic returned.

"Something wrong, Your Highness?" said Lang when he saw Kita undressed.

"Take a look at her chest," said Adrestia.

Kita opened her coat to reveal the Matrix.

"Does it hurt?" said Lang.

Kita shook her head. "It feels fine."

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