With a shriek, the hospital elevator ground to a halt. Roland swore and unslung the TK-33 tactical automatic rifle from his back, did a brass check, and then nodded at the dwarf. The dwarf slipped brass knuckles on and smashed the elevator panel. Wires splayed like guts, and he brushed two together with a sparkle of electricity. The doors popped open halfway.
“The Obsidian Brothers have an agreement with us,” Salder, the dwarf, said. “They wouldn’t want to see eighteen K coming after them. He unslung his shotgun and slapped the drum to make sure it was locked in place.
“Let’s just get in and out,” Roland said. “They must have contracted Tom Farthing as security.”
The floor was halfway up the open door. Roland checked the hospital hallway before sliding up onto the tile on his belly. The lights were off except for a few security lights blazing silver in the corners. Rainclouds, tethered to wall sconces, swept sheets of indoor rain over the floors, trying to put out whatever fire they believed to be there.
At the end of the hallway, three distinctly elven shapes, despite their oversized hoodies and loose jeans exited a darkened doorway. Roland pursed his lips before leaning the rifle barrel on a surgery cart in the middle of the hallway. He flicked the switch to semi-auto and sent a round through the chest of the nearest one. Blue blood sprayed out as he fell. Before he hit the ground the other two elves, 9 Ravens affiliated by the look of it, yanked Uzis from their hoodies and sent bullets hammering into the wall near Roland’s head.
“Grenade,” he whispered to Salder. The dwarf pulled a frag grenade from his belt and flicked the pin out with his thumb before lobbing it down the hallway. It exploded with a concussion loud enough for Roland to feel in his bones. He couldn’t tell if it was quiet after the blast or his hearing was shot, but he rose to a crouch and flicked on the flashlight on the barrel of his TK. The elves were blown to hamburger at the end of the hall, leaning against the walls, blue blood everywhere. Roland slid the hood back and checked the face tattoo the largest one wore.
“Nine Ravens,” Roland growled. “What are they doing here?”
“Well, Father Fear isn’t going to just roll over and let us do what we need to, stubborn old coot.” Salder switched off the safety. “Let’s get this over with.”