Outside, the girls were waiting anxiously, when they saw Randy come out of the shop. They almost jumped on him.
"Did you make it?"
"Your cousin was seeing a girl, her name's Lili Harris. She rents rooms from shops like this to do her business. You can find her at this address, now."
"Awesome! Thanks, Randy! But how did you make it?"
"I can be very persuasive when I want to. So you need help with something else?"
"No, thanks, you've done a lot already, really, thank you. That's all the info I need, now I can call my aunt and tell her."
"Cool, so I'll be on my way, then, guess I could use a pint or two. Good luck, girls, and Sally, don't forget we have a date soon."
He winked at her and she blushed again. They parted ways, and the girls went straight to the address given.
"So what's the plan now?" Sally asked.
"We go there, and we find Lili Harris. Simple."
"Then what? Are you gonna... kill her?"
She froze all of a sudden, struck by a loss of confidence. "Well, that's what I was supposed to do, I guess, but... now that you put it like that, I'm not sure... I mean, am I really gonna do this? Not long ago my life was just too normal, and now..." she giggled nervously. "Now look at us, on our way to hunt a succubus!"
"Are you sure you want to do this?"
She put her hand on her chest, caressing her precious artefact. "It wants me to," she said. "And I believe Father de Sainte Croix would've wanted that as well. Of course it's scary, but... it's my job."
"Maybe it would've been easier if you had brought Randy along..."
"No, didn't want to. He's done a lot already, and... if I have to transform, I don't really want other people from the school to know about my secret. Look, it's here."
Walking down an alley, they ended up in a sinister square concrete yard in the back of a building, framed by low, dirty and unsafe-looking tenements. There was nothing in the yard itself but garbage bins, a rusty bicycle, and above their heads, a clothesline reaching from a building to another. And, of course, there was the sleazy-looking front of a sex shop. The girls shivered in disgust. At least the previous one looked like a honest business. This one, dirty as it was, looked like the kind of place no girls come out alive. Gathering all their courage, they entered. The owner was a fat old Pakistani man with a large golden chain around his neck.
"Em, excuse me," Rebecca began.
"Yeah? Need anything?"
He didn't kick them out. At least they had been smart enough to wear normal clothing this time. "Is Lili Harris working here?"
He grew suspicious. "What do you want from Lili?"
"I need to talk to her... about her sister."
I didn't know she had a sister... wait a second." He pushed a button on his counter, and shortly after, five young men emerged from the back of the shop.
"Something is wrong, Jamal?" one of them asked the owner with a slow, flat voice.
"These girls are looking for Lili. About her sister, apparently."
The men turned their heads to Rebecca with a synchronization so perfect it was creepy. And even creepier, there seemed to be nothing behind their eyes, like the men were robots or something. "Lili does not have any siblings," one of them said. "We will ask you to leave, now."
And on these words, the men came to form a human wall in front of the girls, slowly but surely pushing them towards the exit. All of them moving at the same time, staring at them with blank faces and dead eyes, they looked like pale imitations of human beings! And they were getting closer, and closer. Freaked out, the girls fiddled with the knobs with shaking hands, and eventually managed to open it and leave to the yard.
"Wow!" Rebecca said. "Did you see those guys? Moving like puppets, God they were creepy! Okay, then I guess we should look for... what's wrong?"
Her friend had turned pale as death. "Behind you," she whispered. Rebecca looked back to notice with dread that the creepy robot men were leaving the shop, and coming in their direction, walking with this uncanny synchronicity.