Chapter 2, part 3
The dogs give us 16.35 minutes before racing back to stare expectantly at the both of us. They look ridiculously cute rushing in from the doggie door. Michalene bites Lucy on the butt just as she leaps through the threshold. Emil laughs his ridiculous Chihuahua laugh. He sounds like a frog with hiccoughs.
Tasha instantly endears herself to all of us when she snatches Emil up from the floor, kisses both of his bitty cheeks and tucks him into the crook of her arm like a wiggly faun Dior clutch. Emil settles in like a lovesick cow, mooning over Tasha. He snuggles into her special pillows and steals kisses when he thinks no one is looking. Lucy jumps into my lap, spins a couple of times and sprawls out across my thighs. Michalene leaps onto a chocolate leather ottoman and briefly runs through last night’s war council for Tasha. Tasha, in my opinion, is taking the celebridogs world very well. Of course, 200 grand a year makes for a lot of understanding and patience and maybe she was exceptionally medicated. Who knew?
We are not going to Dallas unprepared. Emil has a collection of weaponry in his house. And extra toothbrushes. Yay Emil!
“In here guys, in here.” Emil says. He runs through the house, hits hardwood floor and skitters around the corner into what I thought was a guest room. “My dad set this all up for me.” Emil jumps on two floor buttons and two hidden drawers pop out. Note to self: If there are buttons around? Low on the walls? On the floor? Look for the celebridog.
Tasha and I peer at the back lit drawers full of weapons. Many, many weapons and at least half I don’t recognize.
“Damn Emil! Are you expecting an invasion?” Tasha says, fingering one of the weirder weapons in the top drawer.
“Careful now, about half of these are for dogs so you might not recognize the firing mechanism. Set one off and you’ll lose a finger!”
“You can arm celebridogs? I ask, giving Emil the big eyebrow raise over the top of Tasha bent head. Tasha is busy checking out Emil’s impressive supply of stun guns.
“Yeah and we look cool when we’re racked and stacked.” Emil says, nosing through the drawer. I wasn’t sure if that answer made me all that happy. Alarmed and horrified maybe, but not happy. Tasha doesn’t look so worried. She’s calmly picking out guns and catches me looking at her with my squiggly look of horror. “My dad is a retired cop.” Tasha says with a shrug.
“Hey Emil!” Lucy says, shouldering her way past Michalene. “I’m wearing this pink flowered sundress so I want a shoulder holster, paw activated pulse weapon.”
“Right or left paw?”
Lucy the Pug looks at me for a long second. “Are you right or left handed?” Lucy asks. I do one of those ‘who me?’ finger points at my own chest and Lucy nods, her bright brown eyes fixed on mine.
“I’m right handed.” I say, frantically trying to figure out where this conversation is going.
“Left paw pulse weapon, Emil, make it fire at paw extension.” Lucy turns to me, “you can hold me with your left hand and fire with your right. We’ll be a wall of death!”
“No! No wall of death, no wall of death!” I say hurriedly, pushing that thought out of my head. I must look as horrified as I feel because I get the super duper eye roll with the side to side head shake.
“Ok, ok, keep your pants on.” Lucy answers, still rolling her eyes. “Wall of stun it is. Lame, lame wall of stun.”
Emil outfits us all. Lucy gets her whateverthefuckitis laser pulse stun weapon of death. Emil straps it to her left paw and hides the power unit under her pink flowered sundress with the kicky pleats. Emil gets a smaller similar weapon as Tasha chose an adorable black bolero jacket trimmed in gold that hides the miniature powerpack strapped to his back. Tasha knows how to shoot a gun, she’s even been hunting. Tasha gets a real gun. Emil gives her a Glock 19C and a belt that holds 10 rapid load mags (whatever the hell they are), a stun gun and a taser. I get a stun gun and a taser and I have to swear on a stack of Liver Snacks that I won’t accidentally stun myself or Lucy. Michalene gets nothing.
That’s strange, I thought. “Why doesn’t Michalene get a weapon?” I ask.
“I’m nearsighted.” Michalene says, blinking his eyes at me. “I’m blind six feet in front of my snout. I rely on my ears and nose too much and even the pulse weapons make noise and scent. Guns are a nightmare. The first loud bang? I just run behind the shooter because then I’m deaf and blind. Also, my coat is too long to comfortably wear the clothes we need to hide the robotics and the powerpacks. I end up as the Trojan because I can hang my tongue out of my mouth and look really cute.”
“Can’t you get contacts or eye surgery or something?” I say, ignoring all the stuff about gunfire. Hell, the first sound of gunfire, I am pretty sure I’ll just wet my pants.
“Yeah, you can carry me in. Ask for Lasiks on your pet dog.” Michalene snarks with a short bark laugh. “Ringy ringy! Nutfarm? This is Dr. Eyeball, I got a live one for ya!” Michalene imitates a phone call, holding his paw up to his ear.
“Aw, shut your muzzle, white fang.” I say, pinching a white fuzzy ear.
“Emil, why do you have all these human weapons?” Tasha ask, curiosity getting the best of her. “And they’re handguns. You do know they’re illegal without a permit don’t you?”
“They’re James’, of course; he keeps weapons stashed in five cities and those are just the ones I know.” Emil says, like this is perfectly freaked out normal. For me, it is like a huge light bulb going off over my head.
“Who’s James?” Asks Tasha, right as I yell out WHERE IS James. Tasha fiddles with her mag belt and adjusts her stun gun. Tasha is having trouble adjusting the shoulder holster for comfort as it is designed for someone with an A cup special pillows or no special pillows but oddly, she’s not having any trouble getting it on. If that were me getting into a shoulder holster, I’d need MIT engineer and a cup of bacon grease.
Ah, the thousand dollar question. “Not only who but where is James? I think this is the kind of mission you’d want to have James along.” I ask, hoping against hope that I can dump this disaster spiral into James’s enormous and yet, capable hands.
“James is having some personal problems.” Lucy the Pug says. “He’s in Detroit until everything gets worked out. Don’t worry Emmaluna!” Lucy says, sensing my freaked outed-ness. She snuggles up to my left side and gives me a kiss. “You put me, Emil and Michalene together and we’re pretty unbeatable. Anyway, this is a secret mission. We’ll get in, get Parson and get out. No fuss, no muss.” I get another pug kiss and that’s that. We’re ready to go.