A man in a dark suit hesitates before he turns the doorknob. Bad news to deliver. He won't be happy about it at all. Best to get it over quickly, the man thinks. The doorknob turns and the man walks in.
"Sir, Marceaux is gone."
The reply from behind the desk is impeccably precise. Leather creaks as he leans forward in his chair. "You've lost her. I have a legion of people at my disposal and we can't find one single woman. Curious."
"Sir, we've widened the search even beyond the compound and the surrounding jungles. There's no sign of her. I think she's gone."
He stares back, steepling his fingers. "In all your time here, have we ever lost any one of my girls?" The tone is perfectly even and calm, yet the suited man feels a sheen of sweat forming on his brow.
"No, sir, we haven't. She's the only one so far."
He smiles, though his eyes remain eerily cold. A hint of menace, barely there, creeps into his tone. "Find her. I won't have my collection incomplete."
The man is already halfway out the door before he even finishes speaking.
Alone once more, he slides open the top drawer of his desk, taking out an eight by ten photograph. His eyes wander all over the image. The photographer captured her at the peak of her leap, long legs extended, arms held lightly aloft. Her hair pulled back in a neat ballerina's bun in just that way sets off the graceful arch of her neck. Running his fingers over the image, he remembers seeing her on stage. Tall, graceful, exotic, and so masterful at her art. An amusing addition, specially when he found out how much spirit she had.
A slight smile forms on his face as he turns the photograph over. In red marks - Jade Danielle Marceaux, Sao Paolo, Brazil. He flips the photograph back. In the corner, in slashing red marks: XXIV.
He leans back in his chair, gently tapping the photograph along the edge of the desk. Always the spirited one, he thinks, as he recalls the numerous times she's been brought in front of him. A personal favorite of his with her half-Asian looks. That slight tilt to her hazel eyes, the fine cheekbones, and that haughty demeanor of hers.
A slight sneer forms. Good things come to those who wait.
A sliver of a mirror found in an abandoned shack: These bruises should go away soon, and hopefully this split lip. Who the hell invented that Gauntlet anyway? I'm gonna have to work on getting through there and not get so banged up.
A cracked mirror at the Prancing Spiderkitty: Water drips down her face after splashing it on vigorously. Peering in, she thinks, Well at least the bruises aren't as bad as before. I'm getting better at this.
A small mirror in DICE clan hall: Catching a glimpse of herself as she's surrounded by people. They don't seem half bad and they're teaching me what they know about this Island and how to fight properly.
A wall mirror in the Repository: First, a reflection of her talking about a Mardi Gras costume. Nothing ridiculous. In another reflection, she adjusts a black fedora on her head, her chin tilted determinedly upwards.
The large mirrors in The Jaded Lair: A pas de deux danced solo in an empty room. The record player hisses out a scratchy tune. If I were to be alone, silence would rock my tears.
The glossy piano surface in DICE hall: She's sitting at the cello, accompanying Zolotisty on the piano as they sing an impromptu duet. When the revenant came down, we couldn't imagine what it was. . .
The studio mirrors in Le Grande Jete: She sits on a couch in the wide empty space of the loft, staring at a single key in her hand.
The floor of the Gemstone Gallery: She takes a running leap and soars on a curtain of air, dancing for him. Her fabric of air twists around his, it slows, leaving them facing each other.
The dance studio mirrors at Castle by the Sea: A few turns and a leap to test the floor and she's grinning at him - the spring is perfect. So much of me in your beach house, Tor.
A glimmer on the face of a shiny gear at the Tumbledown: She nods her head slowly, making Z's bob around a bit too. A tear finally makes its way through the fence of her lashes. Thank you. . .for being my friend.
A full length mirror at the Darjeeling: Lelila makes a quick circle around her, fluffing and smoothing the layers of gauzy chiffon. She steps closer to the mirror, turns this way and that, just looking at the wedding dress. Lila, I can't even believe that's me.