Mace's Gilded Forge

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Chapter 4

She opened her trophy case and placed the giant pistol inside on a display rack. She marveled at the image, amused by the latest addition to her collection of savage oddities. Gently she closed the glass door and locked it with the skeleton key attached to her wrist. She smiled and turned around to address her associate on the computer screen.

‘Davia, I insist you not indulge too much in these idols,’ said the man on the screen. ‘Your fascination with these villain’s souvenirs is toxic to your conscience.’

Davia Petrovic was a 40-year-old trillionaire.

‘Batman has his own collection, does he not?’ she asked jokingly.

‘This isn’t a comic book, darling. We’re dealing with real psychos. The Gilded Forge has yet to be fully extinguished. I would feel better if you would refrain from adding to your collection in the future.’

‘This is my venture, Sully. I’m not going to give up my obsession over your ridiculous superstition.’

Sully VanMeter was an aristocratic New Englander. He was a handsome, debonair 38-year-old billionaire whose family owned more stock in chemicals than anyone besides the DuPont’s. His friendship with Davia began as a love interest during college years at Harvard. Over the following decades, the two grew closer as business clients possessing similar interests.

‘Well, if only my lady had a more civil hobby, I would be less argumentative over the matter.’

‘Oh, stop it, dear! You’re becoming too neurotic. A little bit of mania here and there is normal for people like us. I implore you to let me have my fun. You shouldn’t lose your temperament. That’s why I leave you in charge. All I require are these tokens.’

‘You might as well be calling the doctor, now. We have a busy schedule ahead, and I’m sure you’ll be swamped with too many of these tokens you speak of.’

‘Very well. I just admired the sense of style. It’s rare to find someone so stubbornly determined to use such a poor choice of weaponry. It’s like he had something to prove.’

She changed topics.

‘Did you hear from our colleagues, darling?’ she asked.

‘The Pentagon says they’ll keep us informed on any further projects. As for Jefferson, he’s already got our boys booked for some kind of nasty business in the Arctic.’

‘Snow again?’

‘Whatever the case may be, I’m certain it involves harsh conditions. But they always perform well in winter combat. Don’t you think?’

‘I didn’t waste my money having those mercs train in Alaska. There was William. Do you remember?’

‘Yes, my dear. He was all too sure of himself given his SEAL training. I still feel sorry we never recovered his body.’

‘When you take a job, you should be able to do the job, Sully. Don’t worry. His family was well compensated.’

‘By the way, Davia, did we ever get that helicopter in? It’s been over a month.’

‘They said they’ll have it just as soon as they’re finished with testing. We’re dealing with prototype material, darling; not some routine order, of course.’

‘Very well, my dear. I’ll go ahead and wrap up our business in Costa Rica. We’re still on for brunch this Saturday?’

‘Venice, darling. Be there.’

‘Of course, love.’

And the call ended.

She sunk into her leather office chair, leaning back, and admiring the art of her collection. She breathed a deep sigh of relief. It was almost as if she was immediately sated by the presence of the revolver. Nothing else mattered but that giant pistol. Now, it was hers and hers alone.
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