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May 17, 74CE

For someone who worked in the Ludus Magnus, deep down Theodorus had to admit he was not very enthusiastic about the games. Granted, he saw more of the aftermath than the spectacle itself, and watching the gladiators live their day to day life up close made them seem less like legendary heroes and more like... people who lived from day to day. Theo could see the appeal in the combat and the bloodshed, although like most former soldiers, he himself had seen more than enough of both, up close and personal.

Luckily, a city like Rome (and there was no other alike) had plenty of other forms of entertainment. 

Theodorus stared in wonder as he walked into the Circus. It was larger than any building he had ever been in, and was filled with more people he had ever seen in one place, outside of a battlefield. He had heard plenty about the races, and knew what to expect - but expecting and seeing were two very different things. The sights, the sounds, the crowd were all a little overwhelming. Some well-meaning friends told him to bring food and a pillow, which he did, but even the seating was different here than in the Amphitheatrum. He glanced around, a little lost, and almost tripped over his own feet, stumbling against someone walking in nearby.

"I'm terribly sorry, excuse me..."

@Gothic

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Alaric was not as fit as he was in yesteryear. Yet he was not going to be shoved when he was bumped into and looked into the other's face. The German's face hardened as he studied his face, and relaxed his browline when he took note of Quintus' facial expression. It matched his words, and were not dripping in sarcasm that he found many of the Romans had. He still did not smile as he tended to only smile around his friends and family.

There were no malice in the words. Simply confusion. Bit of uncertainty. Alaric was a patient man, and as he approached his twilight years he only became moreso as time went on. A stranger bumping into him was no big deal. No-one got hurt and nor was there any fuss. Besides, there was a time when he was a stranger in Rome, he had lived in the city that he had previously loathed for far longer than he had lived outside it, and definitely knew his way around. 

Perhaps he could help?

"You seem lost," Alaric stated, and shrugged. "Are you lost? Hm? Keep your footing here, people can get quite pushy when it comes to people getting their seats." He said, his strong hand reached out to steady Quintus by the arm, released his grip and then gave Quintus' a firm swat with his hand to comfort him. 

@Chevi

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The man Theo bumped into seemed like someone important. Or at least carried himself that way. The medicus felt embarrassed for stumbling into him, and felt more out of place than he had in Rome for a while. There were people walking around them, some more politely than others. The man steadied Theo by the arm, and at least did not look very upset or offended by the accident.

"You seem lost. Are you lost? Hm? Keep your footing here, people can get quite pushy when it comes to people getting their seats." 

"I am starting to discover that" Theo chuckled as he found his footing "Thank you. I apologize for the stumbling. I am afraid I'm a little lost... first time at the races."

@Gothic

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"Ah, first time," Alaric echoed, nodded in understanding and figured now was a good time to introduce him to the races. He lifted his hand off Quintus' shoulder and rested it on his belt. Perhaps he was new to Rome? The large city could be overwhelming for someone who had newly just arrived. 

"We can sit together. Get some food and drink then watch," He invited him, his accent still remained with him, even after all this time. He took a step in the direction of one of the local smaller vendors to see if he would agree. It was always good to greet and honour the stranger. Although.... He then extended his strong hand in an invitation to a handshake of a greeting. 

"I am Alaric Aetius Stilicho, and you?" He introduced himself. There was a chance that Quintus would know his name. A Germanic prince who had been captured by Rome, brought to death and the arena. Yet the Gods had a different plan for him. 

@Chevi

 

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Theo found his footing, but the crowd in the Circus was still overwhelming. Even on a half-full day, there were way more people than he had seen at the games, and definitely more than any of the Greek theaters he had had the chance to visit. The sheer number of Rome's people, living (and dying) in a single city was shocking. Apparently, his amazement was nothing out of the ordinary for a first-time visitor.

"Ah, first time. We can sit together. Get some food and drink then watch," 

"I would be very grateful for the company" Theo nodded with a relieved smile. The man had a slight accent and a stern demeanor, but it was a friendly gesture from him to invite Theodorus along. And food and drink sounded nice, before they submerged themselves in the living ocean of racing fanatics. He followed along, but the blonde man paused after a few moments, and offered a hand in greeting.

"I am Alaric Aetius Stilicho, and you?" 

Theo blinked, his eyes narrowing for a second over the familiar name. Alaric...?

Oh.

The last thing the veteran medicus expected to see was a Germanic prince, out and about and attending the Circus like any citizen of the city of Rome. The last time he had seen a Germanic warrior, it was across the front lines at the Rhine. He was aware that he was staring, but it still look him a few moments to find his voice, and accept the handshake. 

"Quintus Flavius Theodorus. I apologize I wasn't... aware that you lived in Rome." or lived, anywhere, really.

@Gothic

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Alaric stood patiently while Quintus stared at him. He had to wonder what he was thinking when he saw him. Yet finally the handshake was returned and all was well. 

"I have been here for some time, friend." He answered, completely unembarrassed about how he came to Rome and the circumstances. Alaric had tried his hand and lost. Age and time had reconciled him to the fate he had been given. He was barely a young man when he had been brought to Rome in chains and slowly the conversion process happened. The Fates had not tempted him otherwise. His children were Romans, he had married several Roman women, and served alongside them many years ago. He nodded, "Pleasure to meet you, Quintus Flavius Theodorus, watch out for these little cut-purses. The little shits will rob you blind if they can." Alaric said, casually gestured in the direction  of some of the feral children and smiled. 

"Come, tell me about yourself. How long have you been in Rome?" He asked, of late, he had welcomed many people into the loose mixture of a family he had gained through friendships. Rome could be an isolating place, and he wanted to ensure that everyone had a place to go.

Alaric was not one who easily forget generosity that had been given. 

And wished to continue the pattern. 

@Chevi

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"I have been here for some time, friend. Pleasure to meet you, Quintus Flavius Theodorus, watch out for these little cut-purses. The little shits will rob you blind if they can." 

And that was that. Theo shook hands with the Germanic prince, and they were about to spend a day of good Roman fun together at the Circus. The whole place looked even more surreal now, with a crowd of thousands of faces and languages around them, and, apparently, feral children trying to make some quick money. Theo placed one hand on his purse, although even if they stole it, they would barely get enough for a meal. 

"Come, tell me about yourself. How long have you been in Rome?"

Theo followed along, hoping that they would find a good place to sit.

"Less than a year, actually" he admitted "I am a recent arrival from... um, the Rhine, and from Greece, originally. I'm a medicus." he added, still looking around "Do you frequently come to the Circus?"

@Gothic

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Alaric listened when Quintus answered him. He nodded his head slowly and guessed a soldierly background, and discovered he was a medicus. He smiled with acknowledgement. There were some who believed those sorts of men were nothing but charlatans. But.. how many gladiators (or soldiers) had been patched up and survived because of their efforts? 

"Sometimes, usually I come here with my wife, Seia, as she does not enjoy the games. I can't say I have chosen a team to support, and there are times when there are accidents," He said, shrugged and looked towards the betting agents. Calling out and encouraging others to gamble. Around them were men fighting to get their winnings and criminals, no doubt, they would chase people in order to get the winnings they were due. 

Alaric smiled and patted Quintus on the shoulder. 

"I suppose any accidents would be good for you to get some extra coin." He said, as they approached a vendor to buy some cheap wine and food before they would enter the races. 

@Chevi

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Due to his occupation, Theo was more familiar with the games, even if many people still seemed to prefer the Circus for quality entertainment. Today, he was just here as a spectator, one of many. The fact that he managed to run into a Germanic prince only made the whole experience more unique. He wondered why he chose the races instead of the games.

"Sometimes, usually I come here with my wife, Seia, as she does not enjoy the games. I can't say I have chosen a team to support, and there are times when there are accidents,"

"Oh well. And I was just about to ask you which team I should cheer for" Theo chuckled, glancing at the gamblers. He was not a gambling man, and he was definitely not going to place bets until he knew more about the races and the teams. "Not that it is the best way to make money, unless Fortuna favors someone..."

"I suppose any accidents would be good for you to get some extra coin."

Theo chuckled as he fished a few coins out of his purse for the vendor.

"I am not on duty right now. And besides, from what I know about the races, you don't need the medicus for most accidents, you just need Thanatos... and that is saying something, when most people say the Circus is more violent than the arena..."

@Gothic

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Alaric often side-eyed the more hard core of the racing teams fans. Some of them were so devout, so determined for their team to win and he had seen similar behaviour from religious people in the past. It disturbed him greatly. 

He listened and thought for a moment before he begrudgingly nodded his head in agreement. Sabotage, violence, and an overall lack of respect for life was clear. Alaric had seen horses and charioteers fall. "It can be violent," He answered, then shrugged, "It can be incredibly violent and there are rumours of sabotage," Alaric added, it was no surprise. Considering the amount of coin used? It made sense. After Theodorus paid his for his food, he exchanged coin with the vendor and got an earthenware jug with some bread, with cheese and meat in it.

He double checked his coin purse to ensure that none of the children had managed to steal anything from him. 

Everything seemed to be in order.

"Right, let's go in, keep an eye on your coin purse," Alaric fussed again and walked with Theo into the stands. Already they were beginning to fill up with people eager to watch the races. It was one of the few events where men and women were officially permitted to sit together. He covered the glare of the sun with his hand and soon found what he deemed to be a suitable spot. 

 

@Chevi

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