The receptionist, a young Twi'lek woman, looked up at the sound of Vaeros's voice.
"Huh? Oh, I'm sorry sir, we're closing for the night," she said, glancing around her desk. Vaeros wondered how she could possibly accomplish anything with such clutter, but she found what she was searching for rather quickly. "This has any information regarding our ongoing and upcoming events and exhibits." She held out a small datacard, marked with the museum's logo, then turned back to her datapad. "If there's nothing else, please excuse me. I need to finish up a couple of things."
Erda's voice was suddenly in Vaeros's head. My way in isn't quite as good as I'd hoped, kid. There are a couple of security guards standing around, right where I need to go. Cause a bit of a stir if you need to--I don't care what--just see if you can't get them out in the lobby rather than back here with me.
It appeared Vaeros hadn't sufficiently planned for the way receptionists worked; they didn't give customers the information they were looking for, they just handed them off somewhere else they could find it. If he was going to buy the necessary time, he was going to have to be a bit more... obnoxious.
He nodded in thanks to the receptionist, turned away with the datacard in hand, and listened to the voice that suddenly made itself heard in the forefront of his mind - Erda's. She hadn't been lying. The Force really did make telepathy possible. Now it was clear that he'd have to make a little more noise if he was to be of help to her. He looked left and right, scanning the foyer for inspiration...
Off to his left, he found it. One of the larger display cases against the far wall contained pieces of a vaguely familiar suit of armour. Once Vaeros realised that he'd seen this before, told in much-repeated stories to have been discovered by a Corellia University expedition, he knew exactly the kind of fuss he could make to draw the security to him.
"Stars above!" he gasped, and turned to rush across the foyer towards the case. "That's old Mandalorian armour! I'd read that a Corellian expedition found this. Came under attack from local wildlife, as I recall." He turned to glance at the receptionist as if she could answer him. "How'd it end up in Union possession?" Suddenly appearing much more energetic - annoyingly so, he hoped - he roamed from one case to the next all over the foyer, studying each of the artifacts on display and testing his own knowledge of them, all the while pointedly ignoring whatever advice the receptionist may have that he ought to leave before the property closed. With any luck, she'd summon the guards to escort him out.
The receptionist didn't seem to notice that Vaeros had stuck around--at first. When she realized the man was talking to her, she began to object to his presence, but he simply didn't seem to hear. "Sir, I must insist that you leave," she said, standing up. Upon his continued ignorance, she walked around her desk and took a few steps towards Vaeros. "Sir, please don't make me call security. Sir. Please."
As he rambled on, the Twi'lek woman huffed back to her seat, where she pressed the button on a communicator. Vaeros didn't want to drop his act, so he couldn't hear her, but it was obvious what she was doing. He continued rambling about an ancient vase until he was interrupted, mentally.
Good enough, Erda said, though Vaeros could hear a hint of annoyance. A moment later she spoke again. A different guard came through on his way to you, but one of mine peeled off with him. The other is down, I've stashed his body--but a missing guard won't just go unnoticed. This speeds my timetables along quite a bit. Hang in there, kid. Don't let them kick you out quite yet, I'm going to need more help.
Vaeros stopped his geek tirade just long enough to listen to Erda's warning. It looked like the security guards were on their way, sure enough, but just drawing them here wouldn't be enough; he'd need to hold them for just a little longer. That wouldn't be a problem. There were still plenty of displays for him to rant about.
"...Is that..." He gave a melodramatic gasp and looked down the length of one of the hallways that branched off the foyer. All of a sudden, he turned and bolted in that direction, making a beeline for a long, three-tiered case. Inside was a variety of archaic blasters and slugthrowers, along with what appeared to be an early missile launcher. "Incredible," he breathed. "Slugthrowers have always fascinated me! What an intriguing middle ground between more primitive weaponry and the modern blaster. Shame that the style has so few use cases nowadays, but I guess that just speaks to the superiority of the blaster..." Hopefully he'd give the guards the runaround long enough for Erda to get what she'd come for and get clear.
Before Vaeros could object, a thick hand had found his shoulder, and another his opposite arm.
"Sir, it's time to go. Now."
The guard began to pull the young man away from the weapons display. Another guard was standing there as Vaeros was dragged around, and the two began to politely, if a little physically, help him towards the exit.
I need you in here, kid. Erda's voice rang in his head. You're quick on your feet--give them a reason they should let you stay. Anything. I need at least three more minutes to get in to where the artifact is, to say nothing of getting out with it.
Damn it. He knew that the guards must make it their business to know the building inside and out, but even so, they were upon him way too quickly. Erda would need more time, and as if on cue, she spoke to his mind once more to tell him so. While he babbled the beginning of a protest, he thought up a plan...
"Gentlemen!" he exclaimed, and slowed a little to resist their encouragement towards the exit. "I know how close it is to closing time, and I apologise for imposing at such a poor time, but I really can't leave just yet! I'm a student of the local university, you see - archaeology. I was tasked with scouting the museum for research subjects and inspiration. I was here earlier in the week, in fact, and I left behind a really important datapad." He tried again to stop. "I can't leave empty-handed, it's university property! Please, just give me five more minutes to hunt it down, and then I'll be out of your hair!"
The guard who held Vaeros's arms slowed down, and they came to a halt near the receptionist's desk. The other guard sighed, looking at him with a grimace. He wasn't sure if he could believe Vaeros, but he couldn't risk the chance that he was telling the truth.
Truth be told, Vaeros hadn't been expecting them to take him seriously. Could this excuse actually work? With a thoughtful "uhmmm" hanging in his mouth as he thought of an answer, Vaeros turned to look over his shoulder as if looking through the walls at the rest of the building.
"First guess would be... the paleontology section. Spent a lot of time amongst those bones, y'know?" He pulled gently against the hand that still held him. "Five minutes, you have my word, then I'll leave whether I've found it or not!"
The guard grunted his assent, dropping his grip on Kasto's arm. He followed Vaeros closely, while the other guard paused to talk to the receptionist before jogging to catch up.
Vaeros reached the paleontology section of the museum after wandering aimlessly for a couple minutes, receiving instruction from the guards. There was a massive skeleton in the center of the room, identifiable as a Krayt dragon. Around it were various smaller creatures, and several display cases that housed fossils or ancient tools.
"Five minutes," the guard grunted again. "Any clue where it might be? We can help look; three pairs of eyes are better than one."
Excellent, they took the bait! Now that he had them walking along with him, he could exert some manner of control over them and thus keep them out of his companion's way. The curious frown that he wore upon his face hid his true thoughts as he walked with the two burly guards through the paleontology exhibits.
I've got the guards with me in paleontology, he thought out loud for Erda to here. Just a couple more minutes. Now or never.
He paused briefly in his wandering to admire the Krayt dragon skeleton. Intact examples of this were exceedingly few throughout the galaxy, a testament to the rarity and ferocity of the beasts. He gave an audible hum, signalling time spend pondering his answer to the guard's inquiry.
"...The cafeteria's nearby, isn't it?" he asked. He'd spotted a floor map earlier, and noted the presence of a small cafeteria in the heart of the building. "It might be there..."
Darth Xaos: Talk to ya later, mate.
Sept 6, 2017 16:51:17 GMT
Darth Strigus: Alright, gotta head out. Nice chatting, though, see you soon
Sept 6, 2017 16:50:43 GMT
Darth Xaos: I might just check those out. I've definitely never read/watched any murder mysteries with such an unexpected setting.
Sept 6, 2017 16:43:24 GMT
Darth Strigus: Found it by coincidence, too. A friend found it in a sauna, knew I liked Rome, and gave it to me for secret santa. I started in the middle of series, but they're stand alone, so it's basically fine
Sept 6, 2017 16:43:22 GMT
Darth Strigus: If you like either one, I'd definitely recommend them.
Sept 6, 2017 16:42:31 GMT
Darth Strigus: It's called Roma sub Rosa, by Steven Saylor. It's a bunch of murder mysteries that are set in Ancient Rome, so it combined two things I love
Sept 6, 2017 16:41:33 GMT
Darth Xaos: Oh, yeah? What series is it?
Sept 6, 2017 16:40:56 GMT
Darth Strigus: I'm in the middle of a series now, though, so it might be a bit before I start
Sept 6, 2017 16:40:31 GMT
Darth Strigus: I might just go with NuCanon. As much good as I've heard about Thrawn, it'll probably just be hard to keep everything straight going forward
Sept 6, 2017 16:40:14 GMT
Darth Xaos: I'd say start with the books from the '90s since that's where it all began. Unless you'd like to jump right into the NuCanon in which case any of them seems a fine place, I've heard good things about most of them.
Sept 6, 2017 16:39:18 GMT
Darth Strigus: I've never read any of the Star Wars books, oddly. I'll have to give them a shot. Any starting place you'd recommend?
Sept 6, 2017 16:38:01 GMT
Darth Xaos: Just finished Dark Disciple and it's given me an itch to read a bunch of the the NuCanon books.
Sept 6, 2017 16:37:23 GMT