Missing Link - 5 | ii

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Salvay entered his home shrugging out of his jacket. Before the tailor made Italian masterpiece touched the floor his butler was there to catch it. He entered his living room where a fire was burning in the hearth. He didn't bother to roll up the sleeve of his shirt as he pushed his hand into the fire to press a button hidden by the flames. He removed his hand, neither shirt nor skin seared. Without a sound, a section of the wall to the right of the fireplace slid open.

The door closed behind him as he made his way down the stairs it concealed in pitch-blackness. Pushing open the door at the foot of the stairs, he entered a lit room. Inside, was Passerini making notes on a chart. The man looked up for a second acknowledging Salvay's presence before he went back to his work.

"Should the process take this long?"

Passerini looked up at him. "It's not every day I encounter a situation like this. When people die, I am used to them staying dead." He went back to his chart.

"He looks—alive."

"But scans show that his internal structure his still healing. All we have here is an empty husk."

Salvay walked over to the operating table. Laying there still dead was Sven.

"Don't touch him," Passerini said as Salvay's fingers hovered over Sven's arms.

"He is— fragile at this point."

Salvay put his hand behind his back as he circled the operating table. None of the machines or charts meant anything to him. All he was interested was this man. He was the missing link to a problem he had given up trying to solve.

"I have located a possible site for the gems," Salvay informed his ally. "We already have the artifact, so all we need is to find the gems. A task worth pursuing now that we have a way to activate it."

"It was a futile attempt the last time around."

"But now we have him." Salvay looked toward Sven.

"If the others found out—"

"They will not," Salvay, sounded convinced of this. "They are too distracted snatching up the pawns we place in their way. And your little distraction will have them scrambling to save themselves. Plus, they think the portal is the only recourse we have."

"It is the only doorway."

"But fortunately for us, it has many keys."


Anabella looked out of place standing in the clearing in her five-inch heel pumps, silk blouse, and a pencil skirt that stopped just above her knee. She slicked back a strand of hair that had come out of place standing there looking peeved.

"Now I feel underdressed," Marx said greeting them.

"I could rock climb in my pumps and pearls, I assure you."

"Even run a mile," Philippe teased.

Marx, who was standing on the porch, gestured for them to come. "Please, come in."

Upon entering the house, they saw Ava sitting with her back to them on the first-floor landing. Her face was to the wall of glass. She did not move to greet them.

"She is in the middle of something."

"Starting another war maybe."

"Anabella," Vescovi reprimanded.

She held up a hand in mock surrender. Philippe was the first to enter the house examining the polished wooden structure.

"The craftsmanship is outstanding," he said in awe.

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