| "Death in Vesunna" |
Set in OTL
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Date of Birth:||21st century|
|Affiliations:||Partner of Mark Alvarez|
Lou Muller was a time traveler from 2059 AD. He was a short, blondish man.
He and his partner Mark Alvarez made a living by clandestinely retrieving lost books from the past while avoiding any trail that the Time Patrol might pick up. He was an expert in the second-century Roman Empire and did the detective work to track down works of interest and negotiated with the locals to purchase them.
During one trip to 147 AD and the Empire, Muller picked up a rumor that someone in the town of Vesunna in Aquitaine had a copy of Sophokles' Aleadai. They followed up and met with Clodius Eprius privately in his villa. After supper, Muller asked and Eprius confirmed this was so. He agreed to show them his copy. Muller read through it and confirmed it was genuine. He then offered 75 aurei which was many times the going rate for even a rare book.
Eprius agreed to sell it but first wish to have a copy made since it was a family heirloom. This was unacceptable since it would leave a trail that the Time Patrol might pick up. Muller began to return the scroll but Alvarez stopped him and attempted to steal it. Eprius resisted, striking Alvarez a hard blow with his stout walking stick. While Eprius turned his attention to Muller, Alvarez recovered, drew a revolver and shot Eprius dead.
Muller was horrified but Alvarez said that, with the way Eprius was shouting, he had no choice. As they left the villa with the scroll, Alvarez reminded him that they had researched Eprius and that his death would not leave any downtime clues. Muller then objected that a bullet would be clue enough. Alvarez replied that the local yokels wouldn't understand it and would call it the wrath of the gods and forget about it. All they had to do was sit tight for three weeks for their timer to recharge and then they would be rich.
Muller acquiesce but then realized that they left the purse of gold aurei behind. Alvarez told him to relax, it had only cost them 30 credits and that it would only confuse the issue for the locals. They arrived at their inn prepared to wait it out.
A few days before their timer was ready to return them to the future, Muller heard of another rare document that was available for purchase. It seemed that the town's doctor, Kleandros, attempted to sell a copy of Hieronymos of Kardin's history to Aemilius Ruso, the local scribe. The price the scribe offered, while generous, wasn't good enough for Kleandros. Since all copies had been lost by 2059, it would be worth their while to try to buy it and meeting Kleandros' price wouldn't be difficult.
Muller arranged a private meeting with Kleandros set for the day before their timer was ready to return them to their time. He and Alvarez arrived at Kleandros' house and were let in by Kleandros himself. A good sign since it meant Kleandros had given his servants the evening off and he was alone.
They seated themselves in Kleandros' courtyard and, after some pleasantries, Muller began to haggle with Kleandros. After some hard bargaining, which caused Muller to break into a sweat, they settled on a price of 28 aurei. Kleandros went inside to fetch the document while Muller counted out the gold coins into a small stack on the table. Kleandros returned and gave Muller the scroll and then scooped up the money looking at it intently.
Muller began to read the work but soon realized it was the work of Diodoros of Sicily who had borrowed from Hieronymos. He demanded to know what Kleandros was trying to do. As Alvarez rose to confront Kleandros, there was a crash behind them. Muller turned and saw a half dozen fully armored Romans rushing them. He screamed and started to run but was tackled to the ground just at the door. He heard one of the Romans (Gaius Tero) announce that they were under arrest for the murder of Clodius Eprius.