The figure lying in repose on the narrow bench was of both indeterminate age and ethnicity. Clothed in coarse sackcloth, his exposed skin was paper-dry and browned with age. He had, seemingly, lain here for centuries untold. Or had he?
Finn eyed the body with a jaundiced gaze before speaking, “Give over, Gaius. I’ve not come to watch you feign a death we both know to be a lie. Up, man!”
The body moved, ever so slightly, a single eyelid opening. “Finn? As I live and breathe, it’s Finn! Why the last time we crossed paths must be –“
“We both know you neither live nor breathe. I’ve precious little time to waste on small talk. You possess information that I shortly will, as well. Tell me and tell me now, Gaius. Where is the Parsifal Necklace?”
Moving with ponderous slowness, the figure rose. “And why should I tell you a damned thing, Finn? Go and leave me as you found me…at peace. There’s precious little you can do to threaten me.”
Finn stepped closer to the animated corpse, placing a hand on his shoulder. “As usual, Gaius, you are wrong.”
In one fluid motion, Finn drew the dagger, plunging it in to the hilt. He smiled as both of the man’s eyes shot wide open and he gasped with pain.”
“Yes, Gaius, the Fang of Osiris. Tell me what I ask and you may go back to your…rest. Hurry, you know you’ve not much time.”
“Versailles…Ceremonial gardens…northwest corner…beneath the hedges. Finn…mercy?” Each word came with agonizing slowness.
Finn ripped upward with the dagger, opening the man from gut to chin. Organs spilled out and Gaius coughed black bile. Letting the body fall to the dusty ground, Finn left the crypt. If he hurried, he might still make the late flight to Paris.