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March 74CE.

Even when there weren't any meetings of the Senate he would travel to the Curia Julia to sit and reflect within the sacred building. The Senate and the Augustus were two sides of the same coin. An unruly Senate was not good, an unworthy Emperor caused issues -- and balance was essential to prevent both tyranny. He entered the building with his faithful secretary in tow. Every so often he would remember what it was like before his family rose to further prominence. He was well-connected, part of a famous and powerful family, and his sister had married Claudius. Still, he had greater freedom in Rome -- and occasionally he missed it. 

Occasionally others would approach him. Senators and other citizens of the empire who would shake hands. Most of them, he knew who to trust and who not to. Octavius never forgot that people always supported their own interests above their own, even using the state if it allowed them to gain what they desired. He would inquire about their health and that of their family. Others had the same idea. The large rectangle building was large to accommodate the Senate body. 

He recognised a familiar face. 

Lucius Caecilius Metellus, his daughter had married his brother, Jullus and he was now connected to the Imperial family. Unfortunately, the Gods severed the union with their death. Octavius was distracted by another Senator, a known moderate and turned to speak to him. There was a pause, he nodded and answered his question. 

@Brian

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The building and the symbolism gave him a sense of peace. It was not how it was in times gone past, and silently he had entered the sacred hall and instantly saw that he as not here alone. There were other Senators here, too. While irritated that he would not be alone, as least, for a moment. It gave him a chance to see who approached who and whether there were any interesting whispers happening. 

He recognised the former Consul instantly. The brother of Caesar, and while he did not hate the man personally. He was connected to someone who had an ideal that he did not like. There was a practical reason for friendliness, or rather, politeness. They both shared kin, and through those children he was connected to the Imperial family. Nor was Lucius willing to flee from him. When the other Senatore made himself scarce, he chose to approach and speak to him directly.  Lucius approached with a neutral expression on his face, a hand extended in a greeting to Octavius, and waited for the hand to be clasped in an amicable handshake. 

"Salve Consul," He said, and he was curious, "I hope you and yours are well," Lucius began, although he was not entirely genuine there. 

@Gothic

Edited by Brian
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Octavius had been well versed when it came to dealing with the differing factions of Rome. It was a delicate balance, focus on any side would mean the rest would become jealous and the favoured side too bold. Lucius was someone they shared kin with. His brother Jullus had married Lucius' daughter in a political alliance that had brought him risk and fortune in the years that had come. Three sons were born yet only two currently survived. 

It was difficult to determine what Lucius' views were now. It did not matter what he thought. What mattered was the actions that he chose or did not choose to take. 

He met his gaze steadily, a polite smile as his own hand extended for the handshake and greeted him politely. They had met and spent time together during the Civil war, during his time as the Dux Asiae and in command, holding the East for his brother Quintus Caesar. Lucius was one of the men who was pardoned and welcomed back to Rome as Rome began to grow in a new age. 

"They are well, and I hope your family is also well?" Octavius asked politely. From what he could recall, Lucius had a son with the same name and was currently widowed through the loss of his wife. 

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It was all part of the respectable way the Romans would speak to each other. Manners, polite behaviour, and discovering useful information that could assist them later on. It was all part of the political dance of Rome. Had Octavius' family and ideals been different, a friendship may have formed between the two men, and alas, the Gods had very different plans for them.

He had lost his daughter, his wife, his sister, and now had only his son, nephews, and grandsons as his kin. Lucius thought he meant the immediate family, and so started off with his son. His pride and joy. Lucius Minor had high standards to live up to, and goals to achieve. 

"My son is well, he will be beginning to move through the honus curum and I am looking forward to him taking his place in Rome," He answered, there was no harm in encouraging advancement of his sister's children as well? "My sister's children are also doing well, I hear. They have been traveling in the East and down towards Aegyptus," Lucius explained, he hoped that one of the children will be corrupt by the Eastern philosophies or would be driven away from their proper Roman ideals. It would give them a chance to understand why Rome was superior. 

@Gothic

 

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Octavius nodded and was not surprised. Lucius' son would need to advance in order to gain his political career, two paths were before him. Either military or civil, depending. The East, a place where Octavius had grown as a man and developed the political and administration skills that assisted him later on. Aegyptus was another part of the empire that was of note although he had not been there yet in his travels. "They will get to see quite a lot, I hope they have a pleasant and a safe trip." He answered, crime always remained, even during times of prosperity and stability yet the roads were safer now than they had been previously. 

A moment of silence passed between the two men. Now with the pleasantries were out of the way it meant they would either need to depart and leave each other to their own company or to keep the conversation going. Octavius gave Lucius some credit as he had approached him. 

"How is Quintus Fabius Maximus Major? It has been some time since I have been him last." He asked, the man was a Senator and could have been in the company of the shared niece and nephew that Lucius and he shared. Plus there was always a chance that Lucius would permit something to slip past his lips. 

@Brian

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Lucius appreciated it. From Octavius' reputation for a desire for peace, he had a feeling it came with good intentions and yet, a Roman needed to be strong. Even ruthless towards their enemies. Something he had heard that Octavius had been in the past. "As do I," He agreed. Travel was a common occurrence for wealthy Romans who could afford to see the rest of the world. Lucius preferred Rome, even with all the filth, it was still Rome

The silence made him wonder whether or not Octavius would take his leave. The longer he stood with him, the longer he pondered whether or not it was wise to end the conversation. Then the next question came. Quintus Fabius Maximus Major, his former brother-in-law and a man who his sister was married to for political survival. It was happy and his sister, gained independence from his authority was content to marry the Imperialist. Still, a union could have been forced with a family far lower in value. His sister now was with his family in Elysium. 

"He is well, traveled with his family and like many of us," Lucius continued, Octavius was Consul several times over and he had no doubt that his brother assisted him. Octavius was capable and constantly overshadowed. "are eager for the Senate to continue with proceedings." 

@Gothic

 

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He listened to hear the location of the other Senator and nodded his head in acknowledgement to the response. And there it was. The subtle hint. Octavius was well used to these hints given by members of the aristocracy. It was all part of the norm that existed the differing political nature of Roman elite society. A part of him missed the freedom that he had within the military structure. It gave him a chance to see the world and to develop a variety of views. 

"Understandably, and you all will be pleased to know that a Senate meeting will proceed soon," He reassured Lucius, and no doubt the many other Senators that spoke Lucius believed that he spoke for. "Caesar values the Senate and the advice that it gives him. He is a supporter of the August body of the finest Romans." Octavius added, despite being part of the Senate and having been connected to them through the various stages of government. He still had mixed feelings about the body. There had been dictators who have risen through the Senate. If his family were weak. No doubt they would eventually strike.

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Lucius had no doubt that Caesar tolerated the Senate because he had to. He remembered many long years ago that Caesar had married the granddaughter of a fierce opponent of the Imperium. Titus Imperios Acuelo Gurges ended up being executed for the death of Junus Caesar yet it was known. Even to Lucius long ago that it was a mere smokescreen. Who believed the lie?  To Lucius, the Senate was Rome and not a thinly veiled symbol. He kept his facial expressions controlled, neutral and nodded his head. His lips curled upwards with a small smile, an offering of a truce and fortunately a reason for him to leave came.

"I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting and for proper Senate proceedings to continue," Lucius answered. A smile on his lips and he noticed someone who came to address Octavius. The position no doubt meant many brown-nosers would wish to have a word with him. "I will not take all your time. I wish you well." He said, nodded politely and turned to leave. Once he exited the room, he exhaled at long last and sighed to himself. 

The things you had to do in order to protect your family. 

@Gothic

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