That Saturday, Tony and I went to the airport to pick up our delivery. The courier company had sent it with two very bulky security types, but even they were having trouble with the case. Tony and I signed for it and loaded into the back of our (expensive, black, rented) SUV and headed back to my place. We cracked open the case to admire our purchase.
“Not bad,” Tony said when he saw it, “Shiny.”
I agreed. It certainly was quite shiny. “The final pieces for the forge will get in tomorrow,” I said, “Will you be available to help me set it up at Josh’s place?”
“Uh-huh. When are the molds and the CNC machine getting in?”
“Next week,” I grumped, “Ryan says he’ll have the molds cut within 24 hours of it arriving, so you can start casting next week.”
“Cool. By the way, I’m going to need about $3,500 or so from the fund.”
“I need brass, a reloading bench or two, powder, primers–”
“Okay. Take it. That brings us down to . . . Hell, I don’t even know anymore.”
“About $10,000,” Tony informed me, “Heck, money disappears fast.”
“Buying a hundred pounds of silver and two machineguns will do that to you,” I agreed.
“Mm. By the way, I think one final purchase is in order.”
“I was looking online, and . . . well, I think a flamethrower would be cool.”
“World War II style. I can get one like new for $550, and once we factor in two or three loads of napalm and the propellant, we’re looking at about $1,500.”
“I don’t know, man. I mean, a flamethrower?”
“Remember how the vamp would get shot and then the bullet hole would close up? Imagine if he’s being hit by a full ten-second blast of burning napalm. He’s going to have a heck of a hard time regenerating under that.”
“Not a bad idea, I guess. Okay, go for it. How much will we have left?”
“Little under $8,000. Enough for a few odds and ends.”
“Cool beans, man. When are Ryan and Phil supposed to get here.”
I looked at my watch. “About–” The doorbell rang. “Oh, speak of the devil.”
Ryan and Phil walked in, Ryan with a very large and menacing-looking crossbow.
“I’ve got the bolts already carved out for this mother,” he said without preamble, seating himself in an armchair, “I’ve got a full load of seven, plus three spares.”
“Good to see you too, Ryan,” Tony said jokingly as he sat down. Phil spoke next.
“The guns are all in route, including my G3, and should get here by the end of the week. Tony, I understand the forge is here?”
“Yeah, but I can’t do anything until the molds and machine get here, and–”
“They’re here,” Ryan interrupted, awakening from his dreams of silver crossbow bolts, “Got here this morning. I’ve already got the CAD designs, and the molds were cutting at Josh’s cabin when we left around noon.”
“How’d you get it so fast?” I inquired curiously.
“Promised the customer service guy another huge order if he rushed this one,” Ryan grinned, “I just didn’t say when.”
“Great!” I said, “Great! We’re getting closer and closer. Once the forge piece comes in, we can really take off.”
Suddenly the phone rang, interrupting my spiel. I answered. “Hello?”
I froze. “Who’s asking?”
“You know who it is. I have a few questions for you concerning your recent activities.”