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Everything posted by Sharpie

  1. "Yes, domine," Attis said, hiding a wince of his own at the words. And fuck you, too, he added in the privacy of his thoughts. Not that his value or lack of it generally bothered him, but no slave liked to be reminded of it, and how simple it would be for the master to sell him for whatever reason he chose. "Yes, sir," he added for the medicus' benefit, though whether the mint tea was to be drunk by the patient or applied to the wound was anyone's guess. Attis thought Longinus would prefer wine. Hades, he'd prefer some wine himself, but that wasn't going to happen any time soon. He showed the medicus out once he'd packed his things up again. "I thought you might like to boast about your scars, given the right audience, domine," he said, glancing at his master before returning to his self imposed task of cleaning off Longinus' military equipment. @Sara
  2. "Well, I'd rather not have burnt polenta, and I like my vegetables to taste of what they're supposed to," Teutus said with a smile. Freedmen could become paterfamilias, of course, but right now, it didn't seem at all likely that he would. That was neither here nor there, though. "It looks nice, though, and you've got more idea about it than I have - looking after it all, I mean. I'd probably end up killing everything, me." He could never remember whether things had been watered or not, or anything of the sort. "How are you getting on with Antonia?" he asked, as the idea suddenly occurred to him. He hadn't really spoken to Antonia about Charis, mostly because he hadn't wanted to have any reminder about their falling out. @Sara
  3. Just gonna leave this here for you, @Gothic
  4. "Gaius Cassius - no relation, probably." Aulus raised an eyebrow in Longinus' direction before returning to his list. "Gaius Herminius, Gaius Furius, Gaius Menenius, Gaius Geminus, Gaius Servilius, Gaius Veturius - careful with those lights, there, boy!" Longinus' slave had set down the lamp he was holding and retrieved the scroll his master had tossed aside, obviously used to clearing up after his master. The sooner they could work out precisely who was involved in this little side hustle, the sooner they could put a stop to it and get back to their own actual business. Longinus did not look at all happy about having his two closest friends going rifling through his records. That was perfectly understandable; it did not look well on him at all that this had been allowed to happen, no matter that it had been caught quickly (Aulus thought it had, in fact, been caught exceptionally quickly; he was aware of frauds that had occurred over years before anyone caught wind of them). He was going to have to have a quiet word with his friend, if his natural buoyancy did not make a reappearance quickly, that people chanced this kind of thing all the time and he might want to put checks in place to make it harder for the next people who thought they could cream off the top. @Liv @Sara
  5. Attis gave his owner a bland look and a full cup of wine. It was his opinion that someone needed to worry about Longinus because he sure as Hades wasn't going to worry about himself! "Let me see, let me see - bring that bowl over here, boy," the medicus said, setting the now threaded needle to one side as he fumbled in his bag for some linen that Attis could only hope was clean. "No, I don't think so, sir, but let me clean that up and have a proper look." 'Boy'. It might be a suitable form of address for a slave (witness also slave names such as Marcipor and Lucipor) but at least Attis' master hadn't stooped to addressing him that way. He brought the basin over and held it steady as the medicus dabbed the blood away with - thank Apollo that the cloth did, in fact, look clean. "No, it's not so deep that need worry you - you'll have a very nice scar to boast about later, sir," the medicus said, picking the needle back up as Attis busied himself with finding a cloth to clean his master's armour and sword with - he had no real stomach for medical things, and hoed that he would not be needed for the simple operation of sewing his master's arm up. It could not be as awkward as trying to set a broken leg, or something, and sure there was no need for Attis to hover. @Sara
  6. Sharpie staying Keeping: Attis, Aulus Calpurnius Praetextatus, Marcus Eppius Parthenicus, Paulus Annius Faventinus, Rufus, Teutus, Volusa Dropping: n/a
  7. "Awkward - now, there's a good word to describe this whole mess," Teutus said with a bitter laugh. "Complicated would be another one. I wish you'd ended up in a better place, with better people around you than me. And..." He jerked a thumb in the direction of the tablinum, obviously meaning Tertius. "No, you're not keeping me from anything," he said, aware that he had a little more freedom to manage his time than most of the others in the house, even if he was officially the same level as everyone else (apart from Hector and, ironically, Charis). "Am I keeping you from what you're supposed to be doing?" he asked in turn, looking back at the garden - it looked so much nicer now than it had in a long while, with the roses properly cared for and the other flowers well-watered and pruned and everything. "You've done a very good job here," he said, indicating the garden with his free hand. @Sara
  8. "If you pass out from blood loss, I'm not carrying you back here," Attis grumbled. Mainly because he was shorter and slighter than his master. He'd get Ursus to do it instead; it'd give the other slave a reprieve from chopping firewood and fetching water for a moment. He slipped out of the tent to fetch the medicus and a basin of water, blithely ignoring the medicus' comments that it could wait by informing him that this was a senior officer, even if he sent an assistant with Attis, that would be more medical skill than either Attis or Longinus possessed, and neither of them knew how serious or otherwise it was, and did he really want to risk a senior officer passing out or otherwise being incapacitated for any length of time because they'd been left to deal with something themselves? "The medicus is here to see you, domine," he said cheerfully, ducking back into the tent with a steaming bowl of water in his hands, half expecting to see the tent in exactly the same state of disorder as it had been when Longinus left to go on his raid. @Sara
  9. "I'm sorry," Teutus said again. It was going to be awkward, of course it was. Was he a horrible person for preferring it to be awkward if he got his freedom, rather than stay a slave with this easy companionship? If so, then so be it, he was a horrible person. Although, as he had told Charis, it would probably never happen. He sighed. He did not want Tertius to have another child end up in his position if he could do anything to prevent it. "Of course," he said, and put his hand over Charis'. "I'm not so mean as all that. @Sara
  10. "How long has he been proconsul there?" Aulus asked. If it had been longer than a couple of years or so, he could surely request a posting to somewhere more lively - probably not Raetia because his own replacement had only been there a matter of months, and probably not somewhere as active as Britannia, Dacia or Judea. "There is a danger with becoming inactive, of course. I can understand why he keeps his men active with drills and manoeuvres. It's far different from sitting in judgement every time a case comes up that requires his personal attention, and yet that is important, too." He helped himself to some olives before pushing the dish across the table to the ladies. "I did have one or two of them to deal with, but the sect is not a great deal of trouble in Raetia, or at least there are not very many who practice it, that I am aware of." To his knowledge, the Raetians who followed the strange teachings (one god! He had never understood the Jews' paucity in the area of the divine!) were Jews who had a dispensation to follow their one god, or slaves. And there were not such vast numbers of Jews in that province as there were elsewhere. @Lauren
  11. "Let me get the medicus, and some hot water - I didn't expect you back so soon, or I'd have that already," Attis said once he'd got his master down to his tunic and could see what was going on. He resolutely did not think about what was happening to the prisoners - it didn't concern him but he'd never really liked the necessity of torture. Even if it was justified, which this was. Only five, though, from a camp of about twenty - were the others dead or had they escaped? It didn't concern Attis one way or the other, they were not his people and he'd never met them nor was he likely to. "And once the medicus has seen you, you'll probably want some sleep, domine," he added, pouring a cup of wine for his master, who looked as though he could use it. @Sara
  12. Attis startled, and rolled over, sitting up when he registered that his master had returned. Somehow he'd thought that Longinus would have returned much later but surely early was better? "Yes, thank you, domine," he replied, throwing his blanket back and scrambling to his feet. "You're hurt - let me do that and then I'll get a medicus for your hand." If his master didn't want a medicus, Attis would deal with it himself, if it wasn't too bad. "How did it go?" he asked, dexterously unfastening the straps of his master's armour and carefully removing it. @Sara
  13. First things first! With his master gone, Attis could finally begin to restore order to the shambles the tent was in. It didn't require much effort, really, once he was no longer interrupted by his master, or reminded he'd been told not to. Attis conveniently assumed that that order had only applied before his master had left on this raid; if Longinus wanted to spend his life living in a tip, why have a slave with him at all? He did not touch the things on the master's table; they were probably important documents or orders or something and it would be more than Attis' life was worth to tidy those up. He did pick up the master's empty cup and put it on the table out of the way. Once all that was done, he looked around to make sure that the tent was as it should be, with everything in its proper place, then blew out the lamp and crawled into his own bedroll at the foot of his master's bed to sleep while he awaited Longinus' safe return. There was no point worrying about what he had no influence over, his master would return or not and Attis could not help him by remaining awake and fretting - whatever happened, Attis could serve far better by being rested when Longinus did return. @Sara
  14. "Oh," Attis replied quietly, and bit his tongue to keep from saying anything further, that would only serve to irritate his master or something. He did know how to shut up, astonishingly enough. "Well, uh, Mars grant you success tonight, then, domine," he said, once the final piece was strapped into place. "You do pray to Mars about things like this?" If it was some other god - Attis had heard things about Mithras being favoured by soldiers in the East - he'd have to plead for that god's aid from here in his master's tent. He might let his tongue run away with him at times, but he knew how to obey orders. Because if you were going to rile your master, it was far safer to only do it in one area rather than completely piss him off every time you moved. @Sara
  15. Attis could hardly wait for his master to be dressed and gone so he could set the tent to rights again. He shifted tunics and other clothing into one heap, extracting a clean focale and his master's thigh scarlet cloak, before collecting together his armour and coming over to get his master into it. "Have I done something wrong, domine?" he enquired, nervous at the uncharacteristic silence Longinus was treating him to. His master didn't like being woken at the best of times, so it could have something to do with that, notwithstanding that Attis had only been obeying an order when he'd woken his master. @Sara
  16. Aulus didn't even glance around, merely snapping his fingers to command the slaves' attention. "Lights," was the sole order he gave, uncharacteristically brief and sharp thanks to his annoyance at the childish squabble between his fellow officers and this mess. He didn't care who or how, but there were slaves standing around who should be making themselves useful. "Do we need to pull these Gaii up century by century, or can we narrow it further?" he asked as the slaves jumped into action to light more lamps so they could read these records better. "Start with the roster for Appius' own century. He's unlikely to have ended up flogging another centurion's subordinate, after all," he added, more mildly. And where did Mantius come into this? "Be prepared to send someone trustworthy to apprehend Tabnit, before he can get away - though discreetly, there's no need to give any sign to these three that the game's up." @Liv @Sara
  17. "Myself? Oh, no," Aulus said, realising where he had misspoken. "My cousin was, I'm so used to hearing him speak about it, and I was there rather later, during the skirmishes with the Brigantes about ten years ago. I initially went as one of Quintus Caesar's envoys before it devolved in outright fighting. Touchy people, the British, though I wasn't an envoy to the Brigantes,at least." He himself had been serving in his first military role as tribune under Quintus Flavius Alexander. "No, I don't think so - the year of his consulship was the year I took up my post as propraetor in Raetia, though I understand he was a good consul - and he does not have to deal with any troublesome uprisings in Carthage, at least." @Lauren
  18. Calpurnia's eyes had grown wide at the description of dolphins, real, actual dolphins swimming in the Mare Nostrum. Maybe she would be able to see some for herself when they went down to Grandfather's villa at Baiae - that was near the sea, after all, though maybe it was the wrong sort of sensor something? "Do you think it's possible to ride a dolphin? Actaeon did, in the story," she managed, quietly, though the lady was so nice to speak to her earlier and not right over her head as a lot of adults did. Titus was still fascinated by the elephants and Hannibal, but decided that it probably wasn't politic to talk about an enemy of Rome to someone from Carthage - Hannibal had been defeated, after all, and it might not be nice to remind her of that. "Papa says there were elephants with the legions when they conquered Britannia," he said. "The boats must be awfully big to carry an elephant!" "Just one," Aulus put in at this point. "It didn't really take part in the battles, though, it was there more to rattle the British tribesmen than anything. And it fit perfectly well on the deck of a galley, though that meant we couldn't load that galley with soldiers or the weight would have sunk it." @Lauren
  19. "I don't think it's broken," Marcus said. "Can you move your foot at all?" He looked up at the unhurt sister - Minor. "I've dealt with far worse injuries than this - I don't suppose you've ever been to the races at the Circus Maximus?" The biggest of the circi was also the closest - but then, they might prefer the games, or their father might not take them anywhere, being young unmarried women. Presumably unmarried, neither one was wearing a stola, the mark of a married woman as the toga was the mark of an adult man. "I'm the head of the White racing faction," he said, although the information probably wouldn't mean very much to the girls. "It's a bit like the lanista of a ludus, but for the races rather than the games." He had far more responsibility than any lanista, though, because there were all the horses to care for as well as the charioteers. @Chevi @Atrice
  20. "Would you believe me if I said the latrines, domine?" Attis enquired, fetching the required cup of water. He ran a hand through his damp hair and tried not to sigh. Why had he ended up with such an observant master - surely no other slave laboured under such circumstances? "There's a clean tunic for you, as well - if the British had any sense, you'd strike fear into them regardless of your state of dress, but we can't all be so sensible." Anyway, it would be the armour and squad of fully trained, battle ready legionaries who would do the striking of fear this time. @Sara
  21. Attis gave a despairing look around the tent. He'd tried, and been thwarted, in his attempts to wreak a little tidiness on it, but his master was not to be gainsaid - even when he flatly accused Attis of not being able to keep it tidy (which was his master's prerogative, of course - though it was equally all his master's fault it was in such a mess in the first place). He had an hour and then was not to set foot outside the tent until his master returned from the night's escapade. Well, he had preparations of his own to make in that hour - he was not about to end up fainting with hunger because his master was still away and he couldn't leave to get food, so laying in something to eat for the morning would be a good plan, plus leaving an offering to Mars for his master's safe return (if Longinus ever found out about that, Attis was pretty sure he wouldn't live it down!). He wrapped his cloak around him and slipped out on his errand - what his master didn't know, wouldn't hurt him, but there were bound to be busybodies who'd gleefully let Longinus know of Attis' disobedience if he left the tent after his master did. It was not long before he returned, offering left. He brought back a beaker of water and hunk of bread for his breakfast, which he stowed carefully out of sight before removing his cloak and putting it away. He located his master's military cloak in the wreckage and laid it over his chair before bending over his master's cot to wake him. "Domine, time to get up!" @Sara
  22. "I did say if you want," Teutus said. "Really, though, you don't have to. And whether I want to talk with you or not, I probably won't be able to, because, well, for the look of it - and if that sounds stupid, it is, but people in Rome put a lot of weight on the look of things. More than they should, maybe, but that's how it is. I mean, if we'd started out with me being free, you'd find it uncomfortable talking with me like this, wouldn't you?" She needed a friend in this household who wasn't him, that was for sure, but who knew how that could happen now. It was going to be worse - if he did get his freedom, unlikely though that was! - in the next few weeks and months as they tried to adjust to things. It would be easy for Teutus to stay out of her way for the most part, as he had in the last few months since their quarrel, but that wouldn't help, not really. "I'm sorry," he added, obscurely. @Sara
  23. "Hector is... Well, he has the wrong name, for a start - do you know the story of Narcissus?" Probably not; he didn't think that Tertius spent any time at all in telling her any of the old myths and legends. "It's an old story, I don't know if it's true. It probably isn't. But the story is that there was a very handsome young man called Narcissus, who caught sight if his own reflection in a pool of water and fell in love. He loved his own reflection so much that he leaned down to try to kiss it, even." And fell in and drowned, but they could only hope the same might happen to Hector. There had been Echo, who'd fallen in love with Narcissus, but he'd been so besotted with himself that she'd faded away to nothing but a voice that could only repeat the last thing anyone said to her, but that part of the story wasn't likely to cheer Charis up at all. "And not every morning. Maybe once a week, if you want?" He smiled at her, trying to inject some cheer into things, though it was probably a vain hope. "I don't want to be the sort of master my father is; I'd rather be fair and treat my slaves well." It wasn't as though Tertius was a bad master, he thought again. He was mostly oblivious, really, rather than deliberately bad or trying to upset his slaves. Though it wasn't fair to make a promise and not keep it, or not give any hint of when he would keep it. @Sara
  24. "Oh, Domine... A big hulking barbarian, just for little me? I don't suppose they've got a nice teenage boy, with big eyes, who'll look up at me adoringly and think I'm the best thing in the whole world apart from his beloved master - who would be you," Attis returned. "You do spoil me so!" He batted his eyes at his master before returning to tidying up the tent; if his master didn't want a massage, that was no skin off Attis' nose, though he thought his master could use a little relaxation before heading off into the wilds of 'let's get beaten up by the big hulking British savages and give our body slave a heart attack when we come back covered in blood'. He wondered what other slave would be able to take Longinus' teasing, and decided he didn't care and nor did it matter; there was no other slave around who needed to, and he could lord it over the lixae here just as easily as he could over a captured barbarian or ten, or the house slaves back at home. "Are you sure you don't want a massage, or anything else, before you head out to face the fearsome barbarians, domine?" he asked once he'd folded the tunic he was currently holding. @Sara
  25. Merda. "That's not... quite what I meant," he said, feeling extremely awkward all of a sudden. "I meant, if you wanted to , with me, only. Well, I wouldn't even ask you, now, because... " Because Tertius had stepped in and blithely ordered Charis to his bed without taking anyone's feelings into account, least of all Charis' own. "I'm sorry. I just always seem to put my foot in it, with you," he added, feeling more awkward than ever. "I don't think I want a girl right now, anyway, not with the way everything is," he said, honestly. "Wouldn't being bored to tears be better than the other sort of tears?" He would be surprised if she hadn't cried herself to sleep since arriving in this household - maybe not every night, but more than once. "I wish... I wish I could do something to make it better for you, I do. I'm used to all of this and you're... not." Statement of the century, Teutus, he thought to himself. @Sara
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