Sam looked blankly at him for a moment, as if Dill had asked him to choose between the red pill and the blue. Then his face split into what only Dill could have read as a smile. "Retro tech!" He took the chalk and moved to the wall, his fingers still bloody from the rat. "If we make the hypothesis that zombie intelligence is directly related to decay, then we can make the assumption that we can retain intelligence by the avoidance of entropy."
"I think I follow." Dill stared blankly at the row of notations Sam had scribed. "You're talking about decay, aren't you? Not decaying means staying cool."
"In part, yes." Sam turned. "We were just talking about this. Are you all right?" He put the chalk on a shelf and stepped across to his flatmate, holing his face and lifting his eyelids. "You look a bit glassy."
"I feel fine."
Sam picked up his cricket bat and headed into the far corner of the cellar. "I know what your problem is." There was a muted thump and a squeal. "You're not eating properly." He returned with a limp and weakly struggling rat. "Here. Get your lips around that."
Dill shook his head. "I couldn't/"
"Then you're going to find yourself on the business end of Bernard's sword." Sam dangled the rat by its tail, swinging it like a pendulum. "You. Must. Eat. Mister. Ratty."
"I suppose you're right." Dill took it from him, feeling the warmth of the fur and the faint heartbeat. He took a breath and closed his eyes. He felt... He felt like he did when he found a really clever piece of open-source code, or when his character levelled up in Mages and Manticores, or when he saw a particularly fine photograph of a bare—"
Sam laughed. "You've got a stiffy."