Beverly Boulevard & Madison Street—Everett Tripletree Inn
The rusted iron cover slid away from the view slot. She knew the person behind it was a full meter taller than the view slot’s height, and was craning to look through it. Dark brown eyes peered out at her.
“Password?” a gruff voice called out behind the door.
She smiled sweetly, and replied with a voice like silk.
“Come off it Carlton. You know who I am. You also know that I don’t play your squatters’ games. I paid you a fairly decent sum for the rental of a room tonight with my retainer, I do believe.”
The cover slid shut, and the door began to creak open.
“Sorry, ma’a,m, but gotta keep up the appearances,” the troll behind the door apologized as he was revealed.
Her smile wasn’t so sweet anymore, it was cold.
“Well then, please appear to send your bellhop, as it were, to take my bags to my room.”
The troll nodded, and whistled. A hobgoblin appeared, smiling toothily at the human woman before him. The creature bowed elaborately before her as he noted the look of distaste she bore.
“Gristle, at your service. You needed some assistance with having something carried in?”
“Yes, please,” she replied frostily.
She indicated a Mitsubishi Nightsky parked just beyond the entrance, its engine still running. The trunk popped open.
“There is a duffle bag, and a briefcase inside the trunk. See that it is brought up post haste, if you please.”
He nodded, and headed towards the limo. As he reached the trunk, he saw his boss, Colton, lead the woman towards the inner elevator. The two back doors of the limo swung open as he watched them disappear behind the sliding doors.
“You have a service elevator?”
Gristle started at the unexpected voice from his left. It was masculine, smooth, and pleasant. He turned quickly to glare at the voice’s owner. And found a black-gloved hand on his shoulder.
“What the fuck?” he snarled at the elf in a top hat standing before him, and reached for the hand on his shoulder, “Nobody touches me!”
That black gloved hand gripped Gristle’s hand, and pulled it back, bending the hobgoblin’s arm sharply. He cried out as he felt his tendons stretched to the breaking point and his joints groan in protest. The black-gloved hand’s grip was like iron.
“I just need the service elevator. Your services will not be required beyond that. However, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll take this Credstick and go use the five hundred nuyen on it to buy yourself a few drinks and stay away from this place tonight. Get what I’m saying?”
Gristle whimpered in pain, and nodded. The black-gloved hand released him. The elf in the top hat flicked his wrist, and a black Credstick was in his palm. He extended his hand towards Gristle.
“Oh, and one other thing. The service elevator have a junction box? I’ve already seen the pathetic excuse for a security system you guys have, and subverted it. I just want to make sure I’m disabling any other points of physical access you might have.”
“Yeah, yeah, there’s a box in there. The panel’s been fused for a while now since that electrical fire of ’71,” Gristle volunteered, taking the Credstick.
The elf smiled.
Gristle looked over his shoulder, and saw three grim-faced men in long black trenchcoats with mirrored eyes. They all looked eerily alike, down to the black gloves they wore. He shuddered.
“I…I’ll just be on my way then,” he said hoarsely, and scuttled away with his prize.
“Sarah,” Drew said softly, “the natives have been pacified. We are securing the entrance.”
The Nightsky creaked as though it was being lifted from a burden, as another figure stepped out. Wearing a dark pinstripe suit, he stood much taller than the others among his group. The shadows of the street seemed to conceal his face from view.
“Nothing here to worry about, other than a small amount of background count,” he grumbled.
Drew nodded, and grinned at the three men in black.
“Take your positions. It’s almost showtime.”
Each of them grabbed a duffle bag from the trunk, and headed towards the service elevator.
Drew and the massive man followed. Drew looked up at the shadowy face.
“Piece of cake, we’ve done this deal a hundred times before.”
The massive man did not turn his head.
“The spirits say this may lead to a fortuitous future. This is all I know.” the massive man rumbled.
“May?” Drew replied.
“This venture is a dangerous game, and one with pieces Sarah does not have complete control over. As such, it might also lead to ruin.”
“I hope you didn’t say that to her,” Drew coughed, “Or this might be a long night.”