Quickly, Anakin stowed his collar within the folds of his robe before turning to face the newcomer.
Unfortunately, it was Tela Allish. Anakin kept his head down as the overseer approached, being careful not to show his face. He cringed inwardly, knowing it was very suspicious for anyone to be standing in the corridor in front of the storage room at this time of night- especially a hooded, cloaked figure.
Trying to look casual, Anakin strode forward, but Tela Allish stopped him.
"What are you doing here?" Allish asked.
"Inspection for the storage rooms," Anakin announced, disguising his voice. "Fortunately, nothing seems suspicious around here, so I'll just be on my way..."
"Not so fast," Tela Allish snarled.
"Why, is there a problem?" Anakin said innocently.
The overseer ripped off Anakin's cloak, revealing his true identity. "I thought so," he said triumphantly. "Inspection. Humph!"
Anakin tried to push past him, but Tela Allish would not allow it. "Now, I wonder what were you doing at this particular storage room at this time of night?" he mused, shaking the cloak. Anakin's gold collar fell out from among the robes and landed at the overseer's feet. Anakin hoped he would bend down to pick it up, so that he could have the fighting advantage. But Allish was smart. He pointed to the chain and collar on the ground.
"Pick it up," he ordered.
Cautiously, Anakin bent down and picked up the collar, handing it to Allish. He inspected it thoroughly.
"Surveillance cams," he said, looking at Anakin suspiciously. "So that's what you were after."
He moved toward the storage room. "I'll just go inspect the closet to make sure nothing else is out of the ordinary."
Anakin's heart beat quickly. He couldn't let the overseer discover Mand'ii!
"I really don't think there's any need-" he started. But Tela Allish cut him off.
"I don't think so," he said. "Something very suspicious is going on here, and I aim to find out what it is. Remember, if you move a muscle-" He fingered the electric whip attached to his belt.
Anakin wasn't thinking of running. He had to distract Allish and fast! He could always try to run away and provide a distraction, but then Allish would discover Mand'ii anyway and he wouldn't be around to protect her. He bowed his head in defeat.
"The keys?" Allish raised an eyebrow.
Anakin had forgotten about the keys. Reluctantly, he tossed them to Allish, who hastily unlocked the door.