It was the smell of coffee that finally snapped everything back into focus for Harold. Prada had just brought a pot into the living room to refill the cups of India and Mr Teeth, who had been watching Harold's recovery.
"Welcome back, old shoe," murmured Teatime, "Glad you could join us at last."
Ignoring the little monkey's sarcasm, Harold looked around the well-appointed room in some surprise. "How'd I get here?" he asked, "Last thing I remember was being near Box's friend's house – with you." he pointed at India. "Then everything went very strange."
"Strange, how?" asked India, pen poised over notebook. Othello would never forgive her if she didn't get all this down. He and Mercury had taken the car and headed off to the hospital to see Box.
"One minute everything was normal, then all of a sudden, everything just went dark and I couldn't move or see or anything, and I became really slow."
"Yeah, I imagine it would be like what you humans call tiredness, but magnified – very peculiar. I couldn't gather my thoughts or focus on anything. Anyway, what happened? How did we end up back here?"
Between them, India and Teatime filled him in on what had happened.
"So, I must have just wandered into this field thing that Box was talking about." he shook his head, "No wonder they were able to capture Baron Samedi and the others – with a thing like that it would be so easy."
"They must have been expecting to find a demon at the house," said Mr Teeth, who had kept quiet up till that moment, "else why would they have switched on their field when they got there?"
"How did they even know to go to that house?" asked Prada, "We've haven't told anybody about it. In point of fact we didn't know it existed ourselves until today."
"Maybe they found you the same way I did," replied Mr Teeth, "or at least the company I hired did, at any rate. Maybe they just followed your car and watched the house for a while."
"Let's hope it was something like that," said India, "because otherwise it means our traitor is a bit closer to home than we thought."
RolexBoy's computer pinged softly, alerting him to incoming email. He glanced casually around the room to ensure that nobody was watching him. Nobody was, so he opened the message and read quickly:
No specimen found at the address. Appears that the specimen and the OGS agents were in process of clearing out of there. Only Box was still present. He is now at Mercy Hospital. Flowers is there on damage limitation.
RolexBoy deleted the message with an irritated click of his mouse.
This was not good news: if Agent Mercury and his merry band were still on the loose, there was still a chance they could find out what was really going on. Find out and interfere. RolexBoy had no doubt that they would never understand in a million years what critical and ground-breaking work was being done. No, they'd shut down the project before it was properly finished, thereby unwittingly depriving the world of the most beneficial scientific advance in its entire history.