The wall of trees turned out to be only a few trees thick, immediately giving way to a clearing. Headlights came on as soon as the Jeep's headlights touched the panel truck that had been George's latest passion for the last two months. She parked lined up with the front end of the truck, creating a pool of strong light. Vincent climbed out of the driver's side. Jennifer slid out of the Jeep and Puck let out a happy yelp and nearly pushed her out of the way as he scrambled out of the driver's seat behind her. He dashed off into the woods, heading for the Taco Bell.
"Power of suggestion," Vincent said, gesturing at the fast food shop with a jerk of his chin.
George stepped out from the back of the truck, rubbing his hands, hunched over and cast into enough shadow that Jennifer saw him for a moment in the classic mad scientist pose. Especially with his stringy hair and slightly misshapen head. Fortunately, he wasn't wearing a white lab coat. The battered old man gave a hop-skip as he held out both hands, approaching her. She couldn't help laughing, the macabre impression fading. This was the George they all knew and loved, eager to play with a new gizmo and learn how it worked. She stepped back to her Jeep, took the silver box from the compartment in the console, and carefully handed it over. George went immediately still, just holding it flat across both palms and studying it, his head tipped to one side.