As the little man went upstairs, Harold looked down at himself. The reverend was right: the bomb-blast had pretty much reduced what he had been wearing to rags and tatters, but with all the excitement, matters of a sartorial nature had been the last thing on his mind. Of course, more experienced demons than him would be just able to change their appearance to mimic any clothing they desired, but Harold had not developed his skills beyond maintaining a basic simulacrum of human form – hair had been the hardest thing to do and he hadn’t even bothered with details like a belly button. He sighed. He had such a lot to get to grips with.
Box reappeared. “Try these, they might be just about big enough.” He said, dumping an armload of clothes onto the living room sofa. Harold quickly picked through the stuff, rejecting a tee-shirt declaring Guaranteed Satisfaction! for one adorned with a spoof road sign ordering everyone to Stop in the Name of Love. The jeans were a little short in the leg but fitted well enough otherwise. A far-from cheap black leather jacket completed the ensemble.
“Whose things are these?” Harold asked wonderingly, carefully folding the items he’d rejected. They were clearly not the property of the five-foot-nothing Box.
“A friend’s.” replied Box, tersely, “Owes me a favour or two so lets me use this place on and off. Are they coming or not?”
Taking the sudden change of subject as a hint not to enquire further, Harold fished out his phone, “No reply as yet. “
“A traitor? In OGS? That’s not possible, surely?” said India, aghast.
Othello snapped his phone shut. “Well, it’s a rarity, but it has happened. When you get a chance, you should read up on Operations Swiss Cheese, Left Luggage and Black Saturday – so-called agent Cleopatra really did a number on us until she was found out. We lost a dozen good agents because of her.”
“How did she get into OGS, though?” India persisted, “When I joined, even my germs were background checked!”
“Well, we’re a lot more careful these days.”
“What happened to Cleopatra in the end?”
“She committed suicide, had some poison hidden in a perfume bottle.” Othello’s voice was grim.
“Ingenious,” commented Prada, “But what are we going to do now?”
“I think we should do as the demon suggests.” Said Othello. “Someone’s definitely been a step ahead of us. I vote we go to the address it gave us.”
“I agree,” said Mercury, “But I suggest we approach with caution in case the demon wasn’t the one who sent the message. Somebody else may have got hold of its cell phone.”
They were about to get back into the car when the door to Aunt Aggie’s opened and Agent Moon came trotting out.
“I thought I saw your car,” he cried, excitedly, “Thank goodness you’re safe! It was on the news, there was a big explosion near where you guys were going. Director Opal wants a full report right away.”