Roman Slave - Gladiator - Freeman - Hero

Meeting with Octavius

By Douglas E Gogerty

"Marius Batiatus Pervalidus?" queried Gaius Octavius. "You seem familiar to me."

"I get that a lot," replied Pervalidus.

"I remember a giant of a man who was a gladiator from Lentulus Batiatus's gladiator school. At a festival once, the venue called for him to fight a child of 11 or 12. I was only a few years shy of that age myself at the time. He tried his best to make it look like a match, but the kid was too green."

"I remember that all too well."

"You were Validus Maximus? I thought you were taller..."

"I get that a lot also."

"It must be the eyes of youth. Everything from my young days seems smaller now."

"Indeed."

"You were put up against a child in that match!"

"That episode caused me much trouble."

"The kid could barely hold a sword. He swung it at you, and it went flying. You allowed him to retrieve it. After futilely attempting to make the match look good, you swept him up in your net. You threw your trident into the ground, which pinned the child in your net. Then you walked off."

"The patron obviously wished this child dead," added the former gladiator. "I did not oblige him. He should have just fed him to some exotic beast."

"I will bet that episode cost you."

"His next festival featured me against three men..."

"Three? You are here to tell the story, so you are clearly a competent fighter. It is a useful skill in such dangerous times. I heard that a group of two dozen bandits was attacking travelers near here."

"Two dozen?"

"Well, that is what I heard. In any event, fortunately for future travelers they ran into this enormous man.... Anyway, this man managed to single handedly kill six of them including their leader. I understand it was quite a fight. All the man had as a weapon was some sort of walking stick with a horse head carved into it. In any event, after killing some of the men, the rest of them ran off. Knowing this man is still out there should scare any bandits from wantonly attacking travelers in these parts."

"Let us hope so."

"Let us get back to the matter at hand. With you and about 3,000 veteran soldiers from Gaius Julius Caesar's army, we will march on Rome. I will claim what is mine, and I will punish those responsible for my adopted father's assassination. The group of us will make great names for ourselves."

"No sir. Leaders are remembered in the histories. We fighters rarely find our names in the annals of time."

"You have proven yourself on many occasions. Your sword will be useful."

"Neigh sir! I shall use a spear. It is closer to my weapon of choice."

"No matter -- all shall remember your name. Marius Batiatus Pervalidus will be of much renown."

"I will not argue the matter with you. I am getting up in age, and I was renowned for my time. Vadilus Maximus seems like a lifetime ago. I tried to stop fighting, but the gods wish me to continue. I give you my spear and shield in service."

"I most humbly accept your invitation."

"The only thing is... Well, I have never killed more than twenty-eight men in one day...

"Twenty-eight is a good number. I'll ask the men to pick up some of the slack."

"It has been two life-times ago since I fought under Spartacus in Legion fighting. I may only be good for 23 or 24..."

"All joking aside, let us hope that it does not come to that. I ask only for Marc Antony to give me what Caesar placed in his will."

"He has great ambition."

"He is playing the politician quite well. He has appeased the senate, and incited the people."

"Marc Antony is playing both sides quite well."

"Our march on Rome will show the people that we mean business. We will not reward murderers with governorships. Crimes should be punished."

"What if Marc Antony puts up a fight?"

"I know what are in Julius's papers. He left me a great legacy. Antony cannot deny my rights without losing a lot of political capital."

"It will be war. A man does not willingly give up the power that he wields."

"We can defeat him. We have a well-disciplined army who were loyal to Julius Caesar. They do not like how his murderers got away with their actions. They will fight hard to avenge his death. Antony's army has little motivation. That alone will tip the balance in our favor."

"It is quite the feat that they are willing to follow you at such a young age."

"While it is true that I am in my 18th year, I wave the banner of a cause."

"I agree that the fight is just. That is why I am joining you. I owe much to Caesar and the gods wish me to fight. I believe you will be an excellent leader in battle and in matters of state. I just wish there was a better way."

"I have not found such a way."

"That is why we march on Rome."

"It is indeed. You should rest now equestrian. We need your spear to be sharp and ready when we begin our march. Antony will not allow a fight in Rome, but I am sure a fight will occur. We all need to be ready."

"We shall be victorious!"

"I'll only expect 19 or 20 fallen at your hands."

"I will hold back for the sake of the others!"

"In the morrow then."

"Aye!"

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on August 6, 2006 9:42 PM.

"1000 Word Friday" was the previous entry in this blog.

"Mac MacKinnon and the Race for El Dorado" - Chapter 10: Back from the Dead is the next entry in this blog.

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