Chapter Thirty-one

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Kita stood with Arcee on Enterprise's deck as the sailors hooked Ratchet, in his ambulance form, to the helicopter. The sailors backed away and gave a thumbs up. The helicopter's engine roared as it rose into the air taking Ratchet with it.

"My turn," said Arcee.

"Be safe," said Kita giving her a hug.

"I will do my best. The plan is solid, and this is the type of mission I excel. Our chances of victory are high."

"Don't be a hero. Just come back to me." Kita hugged Arcee tight.

"I will do what is necessary to win."

"Sacrificing yourself is not a win."

Arcee knelt and put her hands on Kita's shoulders. "I am a warrior, and that means putting myself in danger. I love you. Nothing will ever change that."

Kita blinked away tears. "I love you. Just—just don't do anything foolish. Leave that to me."

Arcee laughed. "I will trust my training and instincts. They will bring me home safe."

"They better."

Arcee stood, took Kita's hand, and walked her to the loading area.

"Right there's good, Your Highness," said a sailor to Kita.

Arcee transformed.

"Good luck," said Kita as she stroked Arcee's gas tank. She stepped back as the sailors rigged Arcee for the helicopter. The sailors hooked the helicopter's line to Arcee's rigging, gave a thumbs up, and Arcee lifted into the air.

Kita walked to the edge of the deck, following the helicopter. She waved to Arcee as the helicopter flew out of sight.

Kimmy came and put an arm around Kita. "She'll be fine. This is her specialty."

It only takes one mistake. A bad bounce. An inch. And, she won't come back to me. "I know, but I can't help but worry."

"I know. Let's go inside, and we can watch."

***

Kita and Kimmy stepped into Enterprise's wardroom. Large screens and speakers sat on the table. A pair of sailors sat at laptops controlling the video and audio. A couch and some food sat on the other end of the room. Ryan and Adrestia stood watching a screen. Standing in a corner was O'Brien and three other Secret Service agents.

"How's it going?" Kimmy asked Ryan and Nicole.

"The SEALs have left the subs, the Anti-Decepticon teams have jumped from the helicopters, and Arcee and Ratchet are on the bottom. All teams are moving toward the trench, Your Highness," said Adrestia.

"Any signs of trouble?"

"Not yet. Drones are in position watching the entrance."

"How do I talk to Arcee?" said Kita to the sailors at the table.

The sailor tapped on her laptop. "Frequency set. Just use this mic, Your Highness."

"Arcee, can you hear me?"

"Oh, hi, Kita. Yes. We're moving toward the entrance. I can see the teams moving in. Nothing else to report, other than the occasional spooked fish. Can you see my feed?"

The sailor pointed to a video feed on the monitor.

"Yes. I can see the trench up ahead."

"Good. I will check in once we are inside."

"Ok," said Kita. "Love you."

"Love you."

Kita put the mic down.

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