The only warning Aladdin had was Morgan’s smile.
Then the whole air was yelling, louder than the bus station fire alarms, rukh fluttering in surprise and anticipated violence.
Red hair blazed as Morgan leapt, bringing down the door to the first sublevel and the armed guy behind it in one heavy-metal clang.
She skidded off the door as it tilted, already leaping for the guard’s partner in a flurry of fists and one ominous crack.
But it was a crack, not a gristly crunch, Aladdin realized, jumping in after with his wand out to slash up the stone of the walls into snake-like manacles and a sandy gag on guard number three. Arm bone; painful, sure, but not the quick kill of a broken neck.
And he knew that just by listening. Even through a shrieking alarm. Maybe he’d been around Fanalis a little too long.
A soft gulp hit the air behind him. “…We were being quiet?” Maria tried to whisper.
Morgan thumped once more on her groaning opponents’ heads. “Stay down.” She straightened, lean and fluid as a sand tiger. “It would have taken too long to sneak past them anyway. I can smell Alan. He’s close.” Her nose wrinkled as she glanced down the long corridor. “And I smell other hurt people. Behind those doors.”
There were a lot of doors.
I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know, I already know too much, I could tear this whole place apart and I wouldn’t ever feel sorry until later, and that won’t help anybody-!
Aladdin raised his wand, and slashed it down in a cutting wind.
Just the doors with life. Only open the doors with life.