“Well, I hate to say it, old button,” said Teatime, “But I did tell you so. These OGS types are putting up with you only for as long as takes to resolve the current situation. I must say I’m glad you’ve finally seen it for yourself. Mind you,” He paused for a wicked moment, “I’m surprised that Agent India waited this long before using her taser on you again.”
“Oh, ha, ha,” replied Harold sarcastically, “I might have known better than to expect sympathy from you, but I really thought we were finally getting somewhere here. She even agreed with my idea of getting Mr Box out of the hospital. I’m such an idiot.”
“For the record,” said the little monkey, “She was acting for the good of the mission, if what you have told me is true. I’m sure she took no pleasure whatsoever in it.” He could barely keep his little mouth from stretching into a grin as he said this, however.
Harold knew the little fellow was right of course – he usually was, the smartypants. That didn’t make it any easier to accept, though. He sighed to himself. Why, oh, why did he always have to crave everyone’s friendship and approval? You’d have thought that after all these years he’d have grown out of that particular weakness, especially since that was precisely the character defect that had got him banished to the Basement along with the rest of the rebels all those long desolate years ago – as his father never tired of pointing out.
Live and learn?
“What are you two talking about?” asked India. Harold and Teatime had been talking in low tones in Infernal for privacy.
“Nothing,” replied Harold curtly.
India raised an eyebrow: clearly the demon was still ticked off. She didn't care. It wasn't like she needed its forgiveness anyway.
Harold, Teatime, Mr Teeth and India were travelling in the back of the Infinity Recycling van. Driving the van was a very morose member of unit four, whose cooperation was being encouraged, so to speak, by the gun that Box was pointing at him from the passenger seat. As an additional assurance of his good behaviour, the other members of the team were being held – after some rough but effective first aid - at Mr Teeth’s house by some of Pauli’s men. The rest of Pauli’s people were following on in their own vehicle.
Box was wearing a silver suit cobbled together from the least visibly damaged bits of the suits that the intruders had been wearing. That the ski mask-like headgear that went with the suits obscured his features was an added bonus.
Mr Teeth had not been happy to have one of the Infinity Recycling people drive the van but, as Box pointed out, they would need someone with valid credentials to get past the security guard at the gate. What happened after that… well, any battle plan was only any good until the first encounter and everyone had their part to play and all they needed was to get inside the compound.
“Ok, we’re getting close now,” said Box from the front, “Demon, you’ll need to switch on your suit.”
Harold did so. He had no idea whether the invisibility suit would prevent Infinity’s detectors from registering his presence – they only had India’s experience (and Box’s when they had tested it again to be sure) to go on.
Once again, the world seemed to switch to bizarre hues and all sounds became slightly muffled.
India, sitting opposite, relaxed slightly, the constant irritation of Harold’s presence having ceased the moment he had activated the suit. She took this as a cue and activated her own suit.
This had been the weirdest mission; working with demons instead of banishing them, fancy invisibility suits… They never covered any of this in training. Maybe she should request an extra module to be added in future… As things stood, she could not wait to get this strange mission over and done with, could not wait to get back to the everyday business of spotting the Fallen and despatching them back to their accursed home where they belonged. Well, the way things were turning out, one way or another, she would not have much longer to wait for that happy day.
The van bumped and swayed a little as it made a right turn onto the business park that housed the buildings belonging to Infinity Recycling.
“Get ready, people,” said Box, his voice tight with excitement. “We’re almost there.”