I settled into my chair, feeling distinctly uneasy and trying to ignore the curious stares of the others. “We haven’t broken any laws.”
“That remains to be seen. It’s come to our attention you’re using your PUFF money in . . . eccentric ways.”
“It’s our money.”
“That may be true,” Gene replied from the other end of the phone. I heard the creak of an office chair. “But I felt it necessary to inform you that what you are doing is foolish.”
“What do you think we are doing?”
“Please don’t play stupid. I’m a busy man and am under no obligation to warn you off what you are doing.”
“But what are we doing?”
“You tell me. In the last several weeks, you have purchased thousands of dollars of pure silver, a complete blacksmith’s forge, and two machine guns. Tell me, what conclusion should we be drawing?”
“Fine. Since you already seem to know, we’re going after that vampire you told us about.”
“Don’t be simple. Look what happened last time you and your friends went up against an undead. And that was just a Delta, the vampire you are referring to recently achieved Charlie status.”
“What do you think we have the silver for?”
“Silver will not save your life, Mr. Dimholdt. It is not the end all be all of battling undead.”
“What do you use, then?”
“Anything else to say?” I inquired, feeling rather miffed. These people wouldn’t kill the vampire themselves, and didn’t want us to either?
“No. If you wish to commit suicide, neither I nor the MCB can stop you. Goodbye, Mr. Dimholdt.”
“What do you want?”
“How do you file for a PUFF bounty?”
There was a long silence. “I’ll send you the paperwork you need,” Gene replied, “But you’ll never have a chance to use it. Goodbye.”
The line went dead. All the others had been crowding around, straining to hear, and had caught most of the conversation. “Jerk,” Tony said nonchalantly.
“He’s sending us the paperwork, though,” I said gleefully, “When this vampire’s dead, we’ll be rich as kings.”
“Yeah. Heck with him and his piddly little government agency,” Ryan snorted.
The other guys hung around for about another hour, just shooting the breeze, and then trickled out. Tony and I hung out a little longer, talking tactics.
“I think the best bet would to set some deer stands up on the edge of the field,” Tony said, “Hit him while he’s coming across towards us.”
“How do we get him to behave so politely?”
“Kill another deer and leave it to bleed out? Kidnap a homeless dude? I don’t know. That’s your job.”