"Easy as rolling off a log!" crowed Ray, as he finished checking the duct tape binding India's and Mercury's hands and feet. "I can't believe you fancy-pants OGS agents with all your special training, Captain Midnight decoder rings, silly names and whatnot fell for the ole' bogus 'couple in distress' routine, I really can't".
The two agents glared at him in incensed silence. They had little choice: Ray had pressed a strip of tape over their mouths once Mercury had (reluctantly) uttered the formula that would release Harold.
"Right-ho, old shoe," declared Teatime, "Time we made ourselves scarce, I think.""
"You sit tight now. I'm sure someone will come along – eventually - and find you." Ray sniggered. "Agent Dumb, Agent Dumber, it's been a pleasure." He sketched a mocking bow to the two agents, and walked back to his car.
"Where to my Lord?" he asked Harold.
"Oh, mm," Harold hadn't the faintest idea where would be a good place to go but Ray and Nicole were looking at him expectantly. Fortunately, Teatime had an idea.
"Your house, I think." he said, "We can plan what to do from there."
"My Lord?" Ray looked to Harold for confirmation.
"Yes," declared Harold, "let's do that." One of these days, he was really going to have to start making decisions for himself.
When they had gone, the two agents immediately began to try and free themselves. Ray had been pretty thorough, however, and they made little headway. Eventually, they gave it up as a bad job. When they missed their nine o'clock check-in, someone would be despatched to investigate. Until then, there was little else to do but wait.
"The look on those OGS agents' faces!" laughed Nicole as they sped along the road. "They must have thought they were being sooo good-Samaritan-like, rescuing us!"
"Yeah, and when Mr Teatime started talking I thought they were going to have a conniption," Ray chuckled, "Bet their fancy training manuals didn't cover that!"
Meanwhile, in the back seat, Harold was trying to make sense of it all.
"Teatime," he asked, in Infernal, so as not to be overheard, "Who are these people and, come to that, who are OGS?"
"These, dear fellow, are Black Sheep, our little helpers here on the Brightside. In exchange for a life of wealth and comfort, they do odd jobs for the likes of you and your father."
"I see," said Harold, "But how did you manage to call them?"
"I was fortunate enough to find a public telephone and, one quick reverse-charge call later...." Teatime looked very pleased with himself.
"Ok, but what about this OGS thing?"
"Well," explained Teatime, settling comfortably into his role as tutor, "OGS stands for Order of the Good Shepherd. They're committed to the cause of Light and work to protect human souls from us – well, you demons, specifically. They are, shall we say, somewhat noted for their zeal"
"But, how come you know all these things and I don't?" Harold wanted to know. "I know I wasn't always paying attention, but I'm pretty sure no-one mentioned this stuff."
This put Teatime into an awkward position: he knew perfectly well why Harold hadn't been told anything about OGS, Black Sheep – or plenty else that a demon needed to know before venturing to the world of men – but wasn't about to let on, not yet, anyway.
"I'm sure it was an oversight, old sock. Anyway," he continued brightly, "That's why your father sent me along to help out, I expect. Oh look, I do believe we're here.""
Ray and Nicole's home was a magnificent sprawling mansion set in its own grounds. The gates, huge steel things, perforated in a beautifully intricate pattern, swung silently open as the car approached, courtesy of Ray's remote control.
Hearing Harold's low whistle of appreciation, Ray laughed. "It certainly is something, isn't it, my Lord?" He stopped the car in front of the magnificent front doors and they all disembarked. Harold gazed at his new surroundings. This was certainly a whole lot nicer than the SleepEZ Motel!
"Ray had the architect customize just about everything," Nicole said proudly, "Even the bath-taps!"
"Woman, will you ever shut up about them taps?" Ray pretended to grumble, "Can't a man have his initials on something without hearing about for the rest o' his life?"
They walked into the cool spacious elegance that was the house's hallway. Ray's two huge dogs, Haz-Mat and Sidewinder, bounded up to them, barking joyfully. What do you know, someone's actually pleased to see us, thought Harold. That makes a change.
Eventually, Agents Prada and Othello arrived to free India and Mercury. When they heard what had happened, they shook their heads wearily.
"It constantly amazes me that people are willing to risk conniving with demons when it could cost them their very souls." said Prada,
"True," agreed India, massaging some feeling back into her hands, "But they probably don't think it'll ever come to that. They just see the benefits they're getting right now."
"Well," sighed Othello, "I guess we lost this one, I don't suppose we'll be seeing that particular fiend again anytime soon."
India was just about to agree when an idea struck her. If it checked out, they'd be seeing that demon again soon enough – and this time they'd be sure to nail that perishing monkey as well.