Logs:The Museum Job

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The Museum Job


Characters: Slip, Jacob and Taylor with Stasya as ST
Date: 2020-05-30
Summary: Just a little heist. Only one Surprise Dinosaur.
Disclaimers:

Tiara.jpg

Night's fallen on the Space City and with all the attractions closing for the day, the Museum district has cleared out rather quickly as it seems few folks want to brave the humidity for a stroll through the dark park, which should be convenient enough for our intrepid tiara-liberators. Tickets to the museum were easy enough to get and even a guided tour of the Faberge Exhibit before hand to case out the target. It's a normal enough museum, although Taylor's werewolf scenses could pick up the faintest hints of spirit activity about the museum itself, but nothing too clear from where it was originating. In the hours between the end of the tour and the designated park meeting, there was time for a bit of last minute preparations...


Jacob meets with the others at the designated time and blade. He's toned it town a bit tonight. He still wears that charcoal suit, but there's a black shirt beneath it. That, combined with that dark mop of curls, makes it fairly easy to stick to the shadows. As easy as it could be for someone completely lacking stealth, at least. Before that, though, he takes a little time to watch the museum, to put a contract into effect. He touches the brick of the building, somewhere out of the way, and whispers to himself.

"Let the fates hear, and listen, to what I ask. I ask for our group to achieve our goal with the least amount of trouble. I know it is much to ask, but I have always been a faithful servant to your whim." Of course, the 'least amount of trouble' could still be quite a lot, but it's a risk he's willing to take.

As a breeze kicks up, he removes a pouch from his pocket and releases a bit of ash into it. It's not at all necessary, he just likes the added drama. After he feels the deal seal, as much as a deal with fate is ever sealed, he heads off to meet up with the others. There's a nod of greeting to them both, and he looks at Slip a long moment before offering a smile. "What's our plan?" It seems whatever else is in the past is in the past. Those dark eyes focus.


Even at night, Houston may be far too warm for the wardrobe that Taylor has bundled themself in. A dark grey hoodie, hem hanging low, but with the sleeves rolled up to their wrists to keep their hands free. Their coffee-brown hair is swept back, providing ease to getting that hood up for further coverage if needed. Accessories (aside from a blessed amulet beneath layered shirts) left behind, replaced by a pair of driving gloves to cover their digits. The hem to the legs of their dark blue denim jeans are similarly rolled, belted at the waist and loose in the legs, up from a pair of fairly new sneakers in black and yellow. They've done their research ahead of time, not just taking the tour to gauge the presence of electronic surveillance and play back-up to confidence tricks, but to tug at a curious string of spirit activity and to take those observations back with them to look into. They have a lockpicking kit and a multitool tucked into the pouch pocket of the sweater. A smartphone in a jean pocket.

They attend quietly as Jacob says the words, hands in the pouch pocket, toying idly with a lockpicking kit as they watching with interest. Restless only in the occassional fidgeting and the way dark-ringed gray eyes scan the park. They give a solid nod when the ash is released to the breeze, as if in review of the overall beckoning of fates. An easy smile coming to rest on their lips when Jacob asks after the plan. Not a question they answer. Instead, noting, "We'll have to make a deal with or get around the knowledge spirit, somehow. Bound to be possessive of its, like, prizes."


What's the plan? Slip has never done anything like this before. She hasn't even seen that many heist movies. What counts as a plan for her might not be quite what a more capable and qualified team would expect. Or need. "Between you and Tay, we can get in and keep alarms and security quiet. I'll keep an ear out for anything coming our way." With a nod to Taylor, she inserts, "We'll deal with the spirit if we have to," to the loose outline of a plan. "And we'll get the goods and go. If anything goes sideways, one of us--" She gestures between herself and Jacob. "--should get to Tay and portal." The Lost always have an escape route. Any door, any window, any threshhold they can cross. It sounds like there should be more to the plan than that, a rise in her voice implying some sort of conclusion or follow-up, but there's nothing. The darkling, dressed in her habitual black with most of her accessories--all but that blessed amulet--left behind, looks between the other two to see if that's enough, to check if they're ready.


From across the park, their destination waits in all it's glass and concrete glory, not a far walk at all. There's not much noise in the urban park but that's only to be expected seeing as squirrels and ducks have all gone to bed, but there's still distant sounds of traffic going by as everything seems perfectly normal.


Jacob whispers to himself for a moment, in which sounds like Latin but isn't, and then looks over at the other two. "We won't be seen by cameras. Or sniffed my animals. So long as we stick together." A pause, and he looks at Taylor. "I felt it, too, though. It definitely knows we're here now, so we should make this as quick as possible."

When Slip speaks, he nods to her. "One of us will find them. No man left behind." He smiles, joking, but those dark eyes are serious. He means it. He won't leave anybody behind. And for those who haven't seen him in a bit, he's changed somewhat. Where before parts of him would fade out here and there, it's more of a constant blurr now. His skin is paler, those eyes darker, and he has the faintest hint of fangs forming. Otherwise, he's Fairest as ever.

"Well then. Shall we? Main entrance or service entrance?"


Taylor gives a solid nod, when Slip notes what they and Jacob can deal with on the way out - on Slip's potent auditory warning system, as well. "That might not be a matter of if. More, how," they say of the spirit, to Slip, when Jacob admits to noting the presence of the conceptual being. The pull their hands from the pouch pocket, more or less ready if restless fidgeting has anything to say about it. An edge of excitement in their easy smile for the heist ahead, even with the complication of a spirit to be dealt with. "I can be carry-on luggage for a portal trip," they decide, agreeing with the plan for if things go awry, pulled along on a route they wouldn't have on their own. An upward quirk of a brow at the note that they won't be seen by cameras along their way, among those other aspects of traits to help avoid notice; to be the crafty prey, or stealthy predator. "That's super-helpful," they note, chirpy cheerful, despite the seriousness adopted by Jacob. And, "I mean, front door seems kind of bold." Toned like this might be a case in which isn't a good thing, in this circumstance. Their vote, service door.


"Don't tempt him," Slip quips with a wide grin to Taylor at their note about going in through the front with a sidelong look stolen toward Jacob. "I think the exit--" Entrance? "--behind the parking garage, across from the dinosaurs, is gonna be our best bet. Left and another left from there to the escalator--" Stairs, at this hour. "--up to the second floor. Left, right, left, left." They've already walked this route, in part, in pieces. They've set eyes on the target, got a lay of the land. For the walking data-hub with perfected memory, she could probably get there blindfolded, even with the guard to worry about. It's definitely better that she doesn't make the attempt, but she probably could.

Shoving her hands in her pockets, she starts off, taking the lead in guiding them on a wide arc that will take them around the parking garage to the back of the museum, ears intermittently pivoting to hone in on this detail or that. "I'm counting two guards. One stationary, one patrolling. I should be able to keep us out of their path, if we can all keep quiet." With a glance toward Tay, she wonders, "Any thoughts on how we deal with the spirit?" Definitely not her area of expertise.


Come on in, the door's open! Or at least, opens easily enough when they reach it thanks to Jacob's takeover effect. No key needed and no alarms. After hours, the museum is dark, but not pitch black as there are safety running lights on enough to vaguely illuminate the halls and casts some pretty terrifying shadows from the palentology wing. For Slip's super hearing, the patrolling guard is clear as day making his rounds on the other end of the first floor, whistling offkey as he does so. No sign of Tay's spirit yet. Maybe it's sleeping?


Jacob looks between the two of them, seemingly agreeing with not going through the front door. He smirks slightly as it's considered a real option, but he lets it go to move with them, considering the options. "We avoid the guards but should that become a problem I can subdue them. What we /don't/ want is for them to see our faces, or be able to recognize us." More a them problem than a him problem, really, but he hasn't changed his face yet.

As they reach the door he pauses, listening, although it's a joke compared to Slip's heightened senses. He's trying the door, then, pushing it open, no lock to thwart him. He steps inside, holding the door so it doesn't accientally slam back on someone or make additional noise. He murmurs softly, "It's not sleeping because I just woke it up hiding us, I think. Maybe we can get in and out quick enough it won't matter. Or, if we can't, maybe we can bargain with it."


"It's what I do," Taylor retorts to the quip not to tempt. An hint of teeth behind their smile. And, on the subject of the job at hand, points to Slip when she proposes the exit behind the parking garage, as an entrance. Correcting their earlier vote for the service door. Watching her, curious and impressed as she recites the path to their goal like steps to a dance. Maybe they'll even keep the route fresh on their mind, when given that context to work with. And following in the wake of her steps, sneakers given to the ground with each step lightly while they go at her pace. Sniffing habitually at the air despite the slightly dulled senses of their hishu form when Slip counts guards, wondering at where the spirit might be. They lean toward Slip as they walk, to answer, keeping their voice at a conversational hush as they go. "Gathra," is their initial proposal as to how to deal with the spirit, a First Tongue definition that they don't elaborate on right away, watching as Jacob tests the door, opening it up for them, and proposing their own input on the spirit. They nod at that last notion, as if fairly certain they won't just be let through untroubled. Agreeing with a method. "Means to give it a gift before we, like, discuss what we want of it or its place. A spirit of knowledge might accept information in trade." Though they don't seem too certain of that last theory yet.


Slip nods her agreement with Jacob's assessment of the potential problems with guards, the priority in how to deal with them: avoid, subdue, keep faces hidden. Maybe they should've brought masks? They did, didn't they? Half-masks that cover from nose to under the chin, required for their earlier museum tour along with the rest of the population while abiding the reduced social distancing restrictions of a city just beginning to reopen. She pulls hers--just soft black fabric with elastic straps to hook behind her ears--from her pocket and holds it out so the others can see it before she sets to putting it on. With some minor difficulty. Those larger ears do make getting the straps around both a little tricky, but she manages with a little pause in her steps before they get to the door. She hurries to catch up as Jacob effortless opens the otherwise locked door for them. Though the mask now hides her smile, the loft of her dark brows conveys how impressed she is. And grateful, says the nod as she slips past quietly as she can. There's a nod, too, for Taylor, acknowledgement of the possible plan, the first avenue of approach, but she's not loitering at the door to discuss hypotheticals. She, instead, leads the way to the corner on even, quiet steps, peeking around to visually confirm what her ears have caught.


The guard turns and begins his loop in the opposite direction from where they're headed. The path to the stairs is clear enough but once they're on the second level, they are all aware they're no longer alone. There's a sense of watching that grows with each step they take up the stairs and once they've ascended, there's a figure that sort of looks human at first glance, but... why is he dressed like an old school archaelogist, pith helmet and all? And Why does he refuse to make eye contact while still feeling like he's seeing everything?


Jacob nods to Taylor as their words. "Maybe we should ask them beforehand." He smiles, but he's not joking. It wouldn't be hard for /one/ of them to slip into Twilight, have a chat, find out. Well, except for the actual conversation - these things always sound better on paper. They'r emoving into, though, and he focuses, looking around.

And lo and behold, they're saved a ton of effort as the spirit comes right to them! Of course it also means that they haven't figured out what the spirit wnats yet. He studies the spirit a moment, then smiles, "Excuse us, Sir. You look lost. Can we direct you somewhere?" He glances over at the others and shrugs. Worth a shot, right?


"Might be best to let them show themselves on their terms. Unless they keep lurking when we get to the end." Taylor follows Slip's lead on the mask, slipping it on and getting the straps over their ears a little easier than the Lost had, mouth and nose covered by the item they'd worn for the tour. And they enter through the door open and held just so by Jacob, entering and keeping their eyes and ears open as sneakers pad dully on the museum floor. And up the stairs from there. Nose twitching, sniffing at the open air as that eerie sense of a presence sets in; instictually huffing air for traces of- They pause at the sight of the pith helmeted archaeologist. Jacob takes the lead, and they quietly attend, at first. Stepping forward only, their Hishu mouth slurring the First Tongue when they speak the language to the figure, "We've come. To visit prize of this domain. Will speak with us?"


Slip knows exactly why the figure on the second floor won't quite make eye contact but still sees everything, deep down at her core, even if she couldn't put words to it. And even if what she knows might not accurately apply to the spirit in question. Still, it's easy to feel an unsettling kinship with something whose habits seem so familiar to her own, at first glance. She's cautious, allowing the others to step forward as they crest the unmoving escalator. Head slightly turned and ears pivoting, she keeps tabs on the guard for any change in movement, to gauge how close they might be to the escalator and, thus, the likelihood of overhearing conversations that shouldn't be occurring at this hour of night. In strange languages, at that. Ears turned back, eyes scan ahead, keeping sights on the intended route.


As the Uratha bursts out the First tongue, the spirit's head tilts up, face obscurred by improbable shadows cast from its helmet. "Do you have your tickets? It's been so long since the last night tour..." And as for the Fairest's suggestion that the spirit is lost, it actually scoffs, although continues speaking in the strange tongue. "I know ALL within these walls!" There's pride there, certainly. For slip's super ears, it sounds like the guard may have been distracted by a bathroom break which should but them at least a few more minutes from possible mortal complications.


Jacob looks at Taylor as they speak to the spirit. He doesn't know the First tongue, so he has no idea what's being said. He looks back at the spirit, though, who seems to respond in kind. He shrugs again, this time to himself, then steps back to let the Uratha do the talking. He does turn towards Slip momentarily, however, and whispers, "You want me to take care of the guard? Non-lethal, of course. One less worry while we conduct the peace talks, hmm?"


"Scholars. From the school." Students, from the university - but the exact specifics to alter the nouns accordingly are troublesome in the present form. Taylor reaches into their jeans pocket and produces their smartphone, wiggles it. "Tickets in here." Assuming that the spirit might have noted an advancement in technologies, but might not understand them. "We are here to-" they tangle through wording in their head. "Visit crown - a tiara. Verify its veracity." They turn their head just enough to assume regard of Jacob and Slip, and add, in English. "What is the name of the tiara the professor sent us to verify?" they ask, sharing the lie within the question. "This expert here means to give us a tour."


Ah, the wonders of being able to hear everything. On the bright side, Slip is used to this, comfortable not thinking about the details while waiting for changes; of course, she will judge if they don't wash their hands. With a shake of her head, she whispers to Jacob, "Not yet." The option is kept as a contingency. Further, "We might need your knowledge up here. Archaeologist type. Interested in far-off places." His expertise, not hers. Maybe not Tay's either. Better to see what the spirit wants, to let Taylor play translator. When said translator makes a direct inquiry of her, she looks at them directly and offers, "The Grand Duchess Tiara in the Faberge Collection." Uncertain of how well that phone-wobble will suffice for ticket issuance, she steps forward and reaches into her pocket to pull out her wallet. Motes of shadow puff like dark dust as she pulls her ticket from earlier from her wallet, slightly modified to include an official classification of visitor: UNIVERSITY. She holds it up for inspection to test, able to produce others should the first one past muster and demand be made for her friends' as well.


Jacob nods to Slip at his question about the guard. And then, for the time being, he stays quiet, simply watching and listening. He doesn't understand the First Tongue, but he understands the rest of it. He murmurs to himself, "Although we might need a translator." Still, he's listening, waiting for the next step, letting the experts do their work as he watches on curiously. There's much to be learned, after all.

When Slip produces that ticket, he smiles, making note of that as well, then looks towards the Spirit to see its reaction.


The spirit nods it's head slowly along with Tay's words, apparently liking the sound of the words School and Professor, as any respectable Knowledge spirit might. Knowledge spirit, but not technology spirit. The waggle of the phone has it tilting his head in confusion but then slip to the rescue with what passes muster enough for the spirit as tickets. "Good, good. Everything very authentic. I'll show?" They do apparently have themselves a guide now as the spirit takes the first steps to start to lead them towards Faberge hall, giving a curious look to Jacob as the proposed expert.


Gratitude. Taylor turns a beaming smile over their shoulder at not just a name to work with, having slipped their mind - likely when they replaced it at the forefront of their brain with the route through the museum proper. But for the display of the phone, in awe of that produced evidence to back up the story that they've all gone with - attention returning to the spirit ahead, to read their response as well. They give a sharp, cheery smile to the spirit's offer to show them the way. "That's what here to find out," they say in the first tongue, regarding authenticity. They start to step after them, ready to follow their lead toward the Faberge Hall; half turning, again, to update and share with Slip and Jacob, "They're going to show us to the tiara."


Very authentic! That's Slip! Nothing but authenticity here. She dips her head respectfully to the spirit as its demeanor shifts. She might not understand what it's saying, but she can read bodylanguage well enough while it maintains a mostly human shape. Taylor's smile helps a good deal, too. And, well, then they actually start off in the direction the group means to go, so... Nothing to do but follow, right? She angles a wide-eyed look to Jacob, now officially the Recognized Expert among them, letting her eyes express what her covered mouth cannot. Then it's eyes forward, a brow-waggle to Tay. She tries not to get too cocky. They've still got to actually get the tiara and get it out of here, but so far? This is a really good start, and the spring courtier is feeling optimistic.


Jacob the expert. He smirks to himself, then follows after the others. He doesn't worry too much about the mask - he'll never be out of line sight of himself, and should it fail they'll likely have greater worries. So he smiles and heads off after the group, replying, "A humble expert, who was invited only due to his vast experience authenticating items of great importance. Meekly I earn my keep." Yet he doesn't know how to meekly just shut up, it seems.

Still, after that, he simmers down, curious as to where their being led. And watching out for the guard, or the /other/ guard, or really anyone who might be working late.


Finally, Jacob does seem to know just how to get the spirit to switch away from the First Tongue and into English. What sort of knowledge spirit would it be if it didn't know the language spoken around it's chosen dwelling place all day? Although the spirit almost bristles at the words. "They're authentic. I keep them all!" Possessive, that spirit, but nonetheless he leads them straight into the Faberge Hall. Even in the dim running lights, the jewels about the room glitter everywhere and pride of place is the Grand Duchess Tiara they've come to seek, under it's spotless glass case and flanked on the sides with a wall full of information explaining its origin and importance.


Brow waggle from Slip and the smirk on Jacob's lips answered by a grin that fades when Taylor looks forward again, after the spirit leading them forward to the prize. Along the way, as the conversation wholly shifts toward spoken English. "Of course. Yours," they agree. "What is a collection without its, like, protective curator." And the glittering of the room sinks in, all those shiny prizes to nab appealing to a desire to collect them, to bring all these prizes out with them and build a hoard. Instead, they continue, gaze sweeping the case for indications of electronics - where an alarm system might reside. "We would merely bring the tiara to the university so that our expert here can inspect it carefully, with the correct tools." A pause, just enough time to give the moment the drama of consideration. "Perhaps we could leave some collateral with you. So you know we'll hurry back, to put it in its rightful place." Even lying to the spirit, Taylor addresses it with respect.


Were Slip a more covetous creature, her attention might be more readily caught on all the other pretty things they pass, her mind might turn toward crimes of opportunity, toward a little personal gain. But she's not. She's here for a reason, her attention readily set on their prize and its presentation by their guide, one ear kept to the path behind, as it were. She nods to back-up Taylor's explanation, the need to transport the piece for appropriate study... and doesn't react at all the the proposal which follows. Not outwardly, at least. Inwardly, though, she's poring over possibiliries, what might be left behind without being traceable, unnecessary evidence on offer.


Jacob, expert that he is, doesn't pretend disinterest in the rest of collection. He openly oohs and awws, drifting over to various pieces and oggling them. "Amazing! Fantastic! This is quite the collection you have, you should be very proud." He smiles his approval, his voice filled with admiration. What a fine collection.

When Taylor and Slip speak about the removal of the crown, he nods sadly, "It is true. Unfortunately, the equipment, particularly the intensive lighting required to properly date the items, can be potentially damaging if not used in very a very specific environment and we would /not/ one anything to be harmed, oh no! Not this beautiful, admirable, fantastic collection. But, as she," he nods to Slip, "says, we will be happy to leave behind a token of our good intentions. But believe me when I say that breaking apart your collection is the /last/ thing we'd ever want."


When sweeping for alarm systems, Taylor can see the housing where normally a light might indicate the sensors being armed, but thanks to the Changeling magic, remains dark and unblinking for now. Protective curator is a fitting term indeed, because as relaxed as the spirit may have been just moments before, the suggestion from Jacob and Tay that they leave with one of its items has the shadowed face seemingly to glare at the trio. "Visitors can look, but do not take... The items are mine" The last possessive nearly hissed out back in First Tongue.

For the guards, Slip can hear the roaming guard has made his way back to the camera room and the two are apparently striking up a chat about when they're thinking they'll finally get sports started back up again...


Taylor keeps their amusement mostly at bay for the part Jacob continues to play. And they check on both after the initial draw of at the shinyness within the room, glancing at Slip and at Jacob before resuming the inspection of housings for sensors. Staring close, waiting for some indication of light emited, blinking or otherwise until certain that they're inactive. They seem at ease. Like they think it's all going smoothly, nodding in agreement with Jacob's sale of the plan and lie. Pausing at the spirit's reply. Stillness in their form as their layered gray gaze settles on the spirit, firmly planted where they are despite the glare and the hiss of the first tongue. Their eyes seem to glaze over, unfocus, seeing through to the other side momentarily before returning to the immediately visible present. "I understand your caution," they try. "But doing our work here risks damaging your prizes - shattering them into pieces."


Slip thinks to shush Jacob, when he gets more emotive with the ghost, but there's no change in the guards' behavior, not so much as a hitch in their conversation. What she issues, instead, is just a subtle gesture to remind him to keep it down, to not go above current volume, lest that change. She almost feels a need to remind the spirit of the same, on reflex, when it takes so poorly to the suggestion of removing the tiara from the museum. It is a big ask. Frown hidden by her mask, she moves past both Taylor and the spirit on her way to better inspecting the case, to considering how quickly she could just lift the glass, grab the goods and go. But she'd rather be subtler, gentler. And so, her fingers brush the spirit as she goes by, a light and surreptitious touch, surely incidental. Nevermind the shadows that draw from the curator to the darkling, the secrets she tugs and twists, desire to Protect reworked into an urge to Preserve. Always better to color what's there than to replace it wholesale, especially with something that is its desire by its very nature. "Pieces like these require a little extra care to see to their preservation. We have the tools to do so back at the university. If we can expand your collection..?" She doesn't actually ask the question, waiting to see if that hook is bitten, if the contract landed.


Jacob's dark eyes shift to Taylor as they try to stare down the spirit, and then to Slip as she moves in with that hand-brush and convincing argument. He smiles, nodding, "Like I said, we wouldn't want any harm to come to /any/ piece of the collection." He glances at Slip and nods subtly towards Yalor, the crown, and the door.

Then, he's moving over towards the crown and it's case. We wouldn't even ask if it weren't /necessary/. If we can authentic this one piece, we'll have a major breakthrough. We'll receive funding and the pieces will receive the care and security they /really/ deserve. I mean, have you seen those so called guards? If it weren't for you, nothing would protect them at all. But you have to trust us. We're here to help you."

As he talks, he opens the case, if necessary, and reaches for the crown. His intention? To get it and get the hell out of dodge. But he plays the part as long as he can. "If you help us, we can ensure that your collection remains safe and untouched forever." Nevermind that he's literally touching a piece of it, or attempting to.


Sometimes subtlety is the right tool for the job when power just won't do. It certainly seems to do the trick as the poor curator doesn't immediately lash out as Jacob steps closer to the case and even opens it, although he does let out a hiss. "Preserve... but you mentioned collateral. Where is the collateral???" While he might let the piece go, he definitely doesn't seem inclined to do so without at least SOMETHING in exchange.


Taylor watches Slip pass without letting their pupils trail after, watch, give away whatever she means to do. Staying in conversational regard of the spirit before them, continuing in dialogue in a calm manner - even as they name the bane in warning. They nod, agreeing with where Slip's statement and openness of question lead - and the story that Jacob follows it with, backing them both up as the present wielder of the First Tongue. Spirit credibility, manifest. Holding their breath as Jacob reaches for the crown, watching both the curator and Jacob as the thread of tension pulls taut, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Collateral. It's a sticking point. "Collateral," they say, trying to get the spirit's attention - maybe to buy a little bit of time. "Gathra," they add, in the First Tongue. Gift. "I haven't seen any genuine magical artifacts in your collection. Is it purposely incomplete?"


Slip may well be holding her breath as Jacob makes his move, carefully opening the case and lifting the tiara. *Where is the collateral?* is not the same as *Thieves!* She takes this as a good sign, as evidence that the tactic has worked, as an opening that might allow them to get out of here without dragging Taylor through the Hedge while their collective emotions are running high. She follows the ithaeur's lead, the reference to 'genuine magical artifacts' inspiring her to bring her hands up to the cord she wears around her neck, the pendant itself hidden beneath her shirt until she pulls the necklace up and over her head. Rather than hand it to the spirit, she ... well, she first wipes the glass pendant on her shirt to make sure it's clear of fingerprints, then she lays it down where the tiara had been. The pendant itself takes the shape of a glass hand with an eye carved onto the palm, and surely the spirit can feel its power, how it wards against claiming and possession, how it leaves her vulnerable as it's set down. "A significant token with roots that trace back to ancient Mesopotamia, to Carthage. A ward to hold until we return." And, sure, potential evidence to be used against her, but her DNA isn't in the system, and trinkets like that won't be easy to trace. But it is, as Taylor said, genuine. Perhaps that counts for something.


Jacob picks up the crown, ready to bolt as soon as things turn bad. As the spirit doesn't attack right away, he holds back, watching Taylor and Slip, following their lead. He makes a show of being exceedingly gentle with the crown, cradling it like a child. "It is only temporary. It will be back and your collection stronger than ever before you know it." He smiles, letting Slip sell her atifact as he moves slowly towards that door - and their escape. Nonchalantly.


"Gathra?" The tone of the spirit is eager, almost greedy at the word from the werewolf. There's a glint of something that could be eyes in his shadowy face as he nods along. "The... mortals... do not have much magic." So sad, he is at that fact, but certainly Slip has his attention as she brings out her amulet and it looks like the spirit will accept it. Jacob's even able to make it a decent way to the exit door before the spirit drops the amulet like a hot brand and hisses out, "LIES!!! THEIVES!!!" Uh-oh... but he doesn't lash out directly. Not yet. Instead he puts on a burst of speed and dashes out of the hall. Are they getting away with it? Maybe, although to Slip's super trained ears, there is a sudden shaking coming from the sound of the palentology wing and some might big foot steps rushing towards the stairs. Definitely no human footsteps, which should only be confirmed when there is a scratchy ROAR, a shadow of what a dinosaur may have once sounded like.

Dino.jpg


Music: It's a Dinosaur!!! (Profanity)


A little less tension in the room as Taylor relaxes, a small, cautious smile for the way that Slip picks up where they leave off. They keep that hand up, the one they'd lifted with the announcement of Gathra, like the digits with the too-long sleeve pulled back off of them will somehow keep things from boiling over the with the spirit of knowledge that they bargain with. Pride in their eyes - for their part in things, sure, but moreso with how their companions shine and have shone every step of the way thus far. It's enough of an emotional high note to justify the sometimes-pickpocket, hacker, and confidence trickster leanings transitioning from busking amidst pandemic to a more steady life of crime. But then the spirit is hissing and throwing around all these hurtful and true words on the way out. "I'm not sure this is a good thing," they say at a hush. The roar drowns out the rest of it and they turn pale - clearly not liking the sounds of this. "We should go," they state the obvious. And they look to Jacob and Slip. "But maybe we should trap whatever it has control of in this room, on the way out?" they propose, hopefully. "I can close the gate and we can get out through the emergency exit. Can probably close it."


Slip isn't about to argue that it wasn't a lie or even an intentional trick. It's not the right time for that. She doesn't even have anyone to petition, what with the spirit fucking off rather than lashing out. That's good, right? She's got a few seconds to consider it might be good, that they might be safe, as she collects the amulet, drops it back around her neck and--oh. Oh no. That isn't good. Her mutter of, "Shit," comes a second or two before the heavy, scraping footfalls, a reaction to the rattling as the skeleton shakes to unnatural life. She's already of a mind to run even before the unnatural, inhuman roar. That terrifying sound shoves thought into prompt action as she moves toward the door Jacob's already heading toward, expecting Taylor to follow. "It's not gonna leave, Tay. But we should. Not into probablies right now. Let's go."


Well shit. "Definitely not good," is Jacob's response as the spirit disappears and then he hears the scratchy roar. To Taylor, he sayd, "If you can, do it quick. I think it's /us/ we need to worry about, though. Those people out on the street don't have its crown." He holds up the crown to prove the point, then stuffs it into his jacket as he heads for the fire escape.

He moves to yank it open, that hostile takeover thankfully have unlocked it for him, and deactivated the alarms, motioning for Slip and Taylor to get themselves through it, looking back in the direction of the roar. He lingers, waiting for the other two. Or perhaps he's having a hard time leaving without just a peek of that thing coming after them. Damned curiosity.


There's no John williams soundtrack playing as the ungodly speedy T-rex makes it way to the entrance of the Hall, but the spirit doesn't need music, it'll create it's own with another furious roar. The T-rex doesn't exactly fit through even that massive doorway, but that doesn't seem to be stopping the spirit as it rams the skeleton's head to the arch forcing his way in. It slows him down, but just a little, but enough to buy them a few more seconds to decide just how to get away.


Glory isn't amidst the renown that Taylor is known for - it's not etched into their spirit, telling tale of some grant victory over a chosen foe. They're cunning, clever, and the type to run to catch a rival or foe by surprise on a later day - kin to tricker cousins. So it certainly isn't notions of a fight, or victory over this heavy, skeletal thing that is rushing on a collision course with three tiara thieves, that causes Taylor to consider staying and capturing a the bones of this collosal thing when they notice the raised gate. A troubled expression knits into the furrow of their brow as they process what Slip asks and what they seem to feel they must do. They nod, absently - they're on their way, they're following. Sure, sure. They trail along, turning as they go until they're moving sideways, skipping like a catcher in the field trying to suss out trajectory, keeping the gate in view. Their heart hammering, hardly without fear in the presence of a potent spirit at the reigns of something so massive.

The head of the thing rams the archway and their heart climbs its way into their throat, panic over the state of the plan as they lag behind the others. As they forget what it means to be capable of breath when the air is shocked from their lungs as the skeletal thing clambers in - too fluid of motion to compare to stop motion footage of cheesy old film. Something squeaks from their throat. The easy smiles are gone as they stumble. It takes summoning an ounce of courage from within the tactically cowardly to find the oxygen that'll carry the word to be translated into binary when they hone in on all the spiritual residue of engineered things and command, at a whisper, "Shut." And they scramble. To catch up and follow out the doorway as fast as they can in this body.


As soon as Slip and Taylor have made it through the door, Jacob motioning them onwards (not like they need it), he gives one last look at the rampaging dinosaur, his expression one of wonder, like a child who's seeing one of their heroes. He smiles, then turns and ducks, following the other through after the other too, heading through that escape and running down those stairs to the exit.


Well, on the bright side, Slip will have all new nightmares for a while, mostly featuring what might've happened if she had lingered long enough to find out how hard those jaws might chomp down. She doesn't need to look twice to get that horrifying image of angry dead dinosaur burned into her head, the terror spared only one panicked glance over her shoulder before she picks up speed and hisses, "Go!" to Tay, still mindful not to use names. With the door held open, she bolts through it, then down and--Where are the guards? What's the chance of them being caught, now, if they dash back out into the real world? She runs through some quick calculations and, feeling it's currently safe, once Jacob and Tay have caught up, opens the second door downstairs into the Houston night. There's always another threshold to cross if things go really, really, really bad.


The luck holds well enough as the spirit-possessed dinosaur may be full of fury, but that fury doesn't seem to have much luck with fire doors as he scratches and bangs but there's just a claw sticking through by the time they escape through the bottom door to freedom. It'll be a while before the security guards even notice the tiara is missing as they have slightly bigger problems to be concerned about. There will certainly be a write up about the strange heist in the Houston Chronicle and the Times-Picayune by Monday, but all leads seem to be pointing to an inside job at the moment, security guards being questioned thoroughly.