"You'll get bitten in five minutes flat, dressed like that," snaps Davenport, when he catches sight of Zachary. "Get my second jacket and pull up those trousers."
Johnny shoots him a knowing look as Zachary disappears down the hallway.
"What?" asks Davenport, trying to keep any defensiveness out of his voice. He continues to slam supplies into an extra duffel bag while ignoring the way Johnny is smirking.
"Jack," Zachary shouts from the living room, "Which jacket?"
"The smaller one," Davenport calls back, "and take one of those utility belts."
"No idea you'd become his mother," says Johnny blandly.
"Haven't," replies Davenport, "I'd just prefer him alive."
"True," Johnny says. "Sensible clothing and everything. Kind of asking for it if he runs around with his boxer shorts showing. Smoke?"
Davenport waves the already-lit cigarette in his right hand at Johnny in a somewhat noncommittal manner. They lapse into silence after that, packing both cartridges and canned food with steady familiarity. Johnny's got some new toys since their last expedition - the multiple-emission insecticide bombs are a good example - but the necessities still remain. They've already loaded the guns into the truck, and Johnny's currently dumping a whole load of gardening tools into a box. "Is my mattock still in there?" asks Davenport. He's been using that since their frantic race through Orli's back yard, and it still remains an effective tool in close range.
Johnny rummages around in the box for a while before pulling it out from under a pair of garden shears. He never comments on Davenport's choice of it; they both know that there are things that will always mean something, ridiculous as it sounds - Johnny's got a Smith and Wesson revolver that has been used as a club far too many times for it to be completely reliable, but Davenport's seen him holster it time and again.
"How far's the town from here?" Zachary asks, entering the storage room abruptly.
Davenport's second jacket had never fitted him well - always too short around the arms and too narrow about the shoulders - but he has to concede that on Zachary it looks at least partway decent.
Johnny apparently agrees, because he gives Zachary an approving once-over before saying, "About five days without stops, if we go through Little Devonshire."
"Isn't that the town where-" Zachary begins, but Davenport cuts in. "And if we don't?"
"Another route would take one more day at least," Johnny says sharply, as if he's already anticipated the question. "And we've got no bloody time."
Zachary is looking at them uncertainly, as if he expects a row, but Davenport merely shrugs and turns to stuff the mattock in a smaller haversack full of choice weapons.
"And anyway," says Zachary, turning to Davenport abruptly and grinning. "Is this zombie-proof enough for you?"
"It's lovely, kid, but I've got something better," Johnny tells him before Davenport can reply. He shuffles over to a nearby cupboard and wrenches its doors open to reveal a relatively large contraption that looks somewhat like a small Pulser that's been grafted onto a backpack, something that Davenport doesn't hesitate to point out.
"It's precisely that - a portable Pulser, weighing only 18 kilograms and charged by kinetics," Johnny replies proudly, pulling out the Pulser by its straps. "It's got a longer energy storage period, and I've added padding for extra comfort to the user."
"I hope you haven't made one for each of us," says Davenport, the same time that Zachary exclaims, "That's amazing!"
Johnny's smile is a little too devious for comfort when he says, "It would be perfect for you, kid. Go on, take it for a run, I need to get it charged."
"Now?" asks Zachary, taking the Pulser from Johnny and putting it on. Davenport has got half a mind to advise him against using that thing, but decides not to in the face of Zachary's unbounded excitement.
"Yeah, two rounds around the house ought to do the trick," says Johnny, helping Zachary to tighten the straps. "Or three, if you're feeling up to it," he adds, flicking a couple of switches and twiddling a dial. The Pulser whirls to life, its barely-audible high frequency whine already giving Davenport the stirrings of a migraine.
"Be back when Boyd arrives!" calls Johnny as Zachary exits of the storage room at a quick jog, possibly unaware how fucking huge the perimiter of Johnny's house is.
"Are you even sure that thing works?" asks Davenport.
"Of course it does, I tried it out myself. Works like magic - when there's juice in it - though it weighs a bloody ton after a while."
"And let me guess - Cruz charged it for you?"
"Why the fuck would she do that?" asks Johnny incredulously. "We just hooked it up to one of the generators."
shoot to thrill
- now | on appropriate zombie-resistant garments