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Cynane

First Encounter

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Britannia, September, 62 AD

She had survived her 17th summer and was entering her 18th winter. Cinnia knew she was born late in the year, after the feast of Samhain, but before Solstice. She was not 18 yet. And now she didn’t know if she would live to see her 18th summer next year. The battle hadn’t gone well. Or, she heard that it had, just not for her party. The Romans had indeed been defeated, she could see that when they dragged her through the camp towards the tent where they kept captives. But apparently not entirely defeated, or else she’d not be sitting here. It was sad. Humiliating and sad and no fun.

Her hands were tied behind her back. Quite hard too, her wrists might be bleeding, she thought. She still wore her armor, consisting of a good leather vest underneath the fine chainmail she’d been given before this battle. She wore breeches, her good boots and of course a tunica underneath it all. Her hair had been made up on her head, with three braids gathered into one thick, but it wasn’t as good looking now. She hadn’t had a chance to wash herself, so there were still dried sprays and cakes of blood and dirt upon her face and everywhere else, really. But she couldn’t even scratch her cheek, with her hands tied. She was also hungry, by the way. Everything was wrong and there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it.

There were other slaves here too, but they looked just as weary as she felt. No one spoke. There weren’t a great lot of captives from the battle, she could count maybe ten, but that was ten more than none. She was the only woman captured. What would they do to the captives? Make an example out of them? Kill them for sports? She heard the Romans did that. They would make slaves kill slaves and they called it fun. 

A soldier stepped into the tent and looked around. Then his eyes fell on her and he smiled and came over to her. He said something she didn’t understand, so she just blinked and glared at him. That caused him to take her by the arm and haul her up. He looked at her up close and smirked again, “Come…” He said, that part she understood. And then something more. Something with her being wanted, she thought. She knew a little Latin, but not a lot. Gods what would they do to her? She tried to fight it, when he began dragging her out of the tent, she dropped to her knees and made herself heavy. Then he slapped her hard across the face and she was dizzy afterwards, too dizzy to think for a few moments. But it was all he needed. Fuck. Then he took her by the arm again, harder than before, and pushed her out of the tent. Then he lead her towards a much larger one. Here she was brought inside and he said something fast, then he left. Cinnia looked around and blinked, it had been darker in the other tent, but in here, it was light and warm. But what was she here for?

@Sara

Edited by Atrice
she's Cinnia, not Cynane, in this thread
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Longinus winced as he pulled his neck to the side, trying to get it to do that satisfying click that his slave often managed to get. His whole body ached and the wound to his side, courtesy of a Brigantes sword, whilst neatly stitched still stung. The battle, whilst not a complete disaster - certainly hadn't been a success and the barked words of Tiberius Maximus had said as much. The young man, only twenty-three but with all the vim and vigour and maturity of a man who'd served his formative years in the military couldn't help but wonder if things might have turned out better had he still had control of the legions. After Decimus had lost his life, for eighteen months he had managed Britannia's military without authority or real oversight. He didn't dare say as much now, however, although it had evidently been obvious to the Legatus Augusti Propraetor that he had been irked given the gift of a couple of the captured Britons. He had been given plenty of spoils over the years, and didn't much fancy a couple of weathered Briton additions but had accepted them graciously nonetheless. 

He had, however, been interested to hear one of them was a woman. Sometimes, he had noted, British women came to the sides of battles to watch their men and he'd earned well of a couple of said women being captured at the close of fighting, but this one had actually taken part he'd learned. It was novel to him, although he'd heard some women did stand with their men he'd never seen such himself. At least not an alive one. 

He'd asked to see her, just out of curiosity, but didn't much care to visit the tent they were being held in. He was tired and satisfied in his own tent - even if it was a bit threadbare. He'd asked one of his men to fetch her and languidly sipped some wine, reading over a report from the Primus Pilum on casualties with disinterest. The numbers were staggering and it was depressing to say the least. He was pleased when one of the Decanus' came through clutching a tall, blonde woman. Well, he thought it was a woman. The mud and blood across her face made it hard to tell. With an arched brow, he gestured with a jerk of his head for the man to leave and moved to stand up with a little wince. Those bastards had got his side good! 

"What's your name?" He asked in Latin, although supposed she might not understand. His four years here and socialisation with some of the interprexes and some of the locals had given him enough basic Brittonic to converse. He didn't make a habit of it, but he was curious and it would make it easier. He repeated his question in her tongue: "What's your name? And," He gestured with hand still holding the papers, "Wash yourself. There is water there." He indicated to a small basin and pitcher of cold water, hot water would be too much effort for a new slave.

 

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She stood just inside the door to the tent, wondering why she’d been brought into such a light and warm one compared to the one she came from. Cinnia had an idea though, she could really only imagine one reason why a high ranked Roman officer would want to see a captive Briton. He wanted to bed her. That had to be it. Why else would he want to see her, the only woman among the captives in the tent? And while she wasn’t a virgin, she didn’t have a lot of experience and she certainly didn’t want this. Yet she knew it was a possibility – she was young, but she was not deaf and she’d listened to plenty of stories about the Romans and really anyone the Brigantes would fight. Inwardly she cursed Eppitacos for not coming to her rescue.

After a moment or two of her standing there, a man stood from a chair and approached her. She noticed how he winced and hoped that was from the battle. At least he earned himself a memory of the Britons, the wretched Roman. He looked at her and said something. She understood the word ‘name’, but didn’t know if he asked for hers or wanted to tell his own. So she just looked up at him, trying to appear more fierce than beaten. She was a proud Brigantes and she wouldn’t let her family down, not even now.

Then he suddenly switched to her language, although with a heavy dialect. He would have her name and told her to wash herself. She looked at the small basin and the pitcher and arched a brow.

“My name is Cinnia.” She replied in her own language, although she was kind of surprised he knew it. But he wanted her to wash herself, really? Was he going to untie her then? It didn't seem so. Cinnia wasn't impressed... “You want me to wash myself? How?” She then asked and turned around, showing him her hands still tied on her back. Then she turned to face him again, “And why?”

@Sara

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Cinnia. Well, that was easier than most of their funny names. He still struggled with Eppitacos. But he frowned, following her words carefully. He arched an amused  brow as she turned around and showed bound hands. Ah. That, he hadn't spotted although he supposed he should have considered it. She certainly didn't seem brow beaten as captives often were - but then again the Britons were proud people and he hadn't imagined their women were much different. 

"You ask a lot of questions for a slave." He said, but there was a glimmer of amusement in his eyes and his voice. He spoke slowly in her language, but clearly nonetheless. Apparently he had an unintended aptitude for languages. 

He shrugged and moved to fetch a knife from his desk, wearing just a plain tunica which he'd changed into he didn't have one on him, and moved round to her hands. He gripped her forearm but warned as he moved the knife through the rope; "You're in a camp full of Romans and I have a weapon just over there," He jerked his head to the sword lying on his cot, "Don't be stupid." He cut through the rope and let it drop to the floor, somebody would pick it up later and if she was problematic they could just bind her hands with something else. He moved back round to stand in front of her and shrugged; "I can't see your face so wash, as I asked you to." Gods were they all this stubborn? He was grateful, for the second time that day, that he was not a British man if they had to both face the Romans and these sorts of women. 

He moved round from her and stood in front of his table, resuming his reading of the casualty lists. He did cast a couple of surreptitious glances her way as he did, however.

 

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He said she asked a lot of questions for a slave and she wanted to spit in his face. Slave! She wanted to tell him she was no slave. He’d captured a cousin to Ysulda, who was engaged to marry Eppitacos! She didn’t spit in his face though, but the word ‘slave’ didn’t sit well with her. Little did she know it never would. She wanted to tell him to let her go, but he was a Roman and she doubted he would. They were the barbarians as far as she knew.

She watched him cautiously as he fetched a knife then and moved around her. Cinnia felt her heart beat faster, fearing what he was up to and then he gripped her forearm. It took all of her self-control to not kick backwards into his crotch and knock him with her head too. This was what she’d been taught to do! But she didn’t and he of course also reminded her to not be stupid.

“I won’t be if you’re not.” She just said to him. Gods she hoped he wouldn’t be. He was older than her and obviously stronger. He probably had a lot of skill too. She couldn’t fight him even though she might try. And then he would knock her unconscious and have his way with her. She’d rather be awake if it was going to happen.

Then he cut the rope and let it drop to the floor, he didn’t even bother to pick it up. She rubbed her wrists where the rope had been, it had been pretty tight and her wrists were sore. Then he said he wanted her to wash because he couldn’t see her face. And then he went to sit down. Cinnia stared at the pitcher and the bowl. It would be nice to wash. She moved over there, but was careful to not turn her back to him, she wanted to know where he was.

Quietly she poured water from the strange-looking pitcher into the bowl. There was no cloth she could use, so she’d have to use her hands. The water was ice-cold, but better than nothing. Before she washed herself, she cupped her hands to drink from it, she had forgotten how thirsty she was! Then she splashed water into her face, glancing up at him between each splash and the water turned into a grim red and brown color. She saw how he sent stolen glances her way and if eyes could kill, he’d be dead now. Sadly she didn’t have that skill. Her face was more or less clean after a little while though and she stood to her full height and looked at him, “You can see my face now. Now what do you want do?” Her voice was firm and certain, but within her heart was racing with fear. Why wasn’t she stronger than this?

@Sara

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He only smirked with an amused glimmer in his eye at her comment before he moved and resumed his reading. He ensured she was in his eyeline though, because that would be a bad way to go; murdered in his tent in by a Briton, and a woman at that after a tad too much wine. Gods he could hear the ghost of Decimus laughing at him. The lists were depressing and he groaned, dropping them back on the desk. Instead he stretched out his neck, still trying to click it - with no success. He loved the thrill of pitched battles but Gods they didn't half take it out of him. He felt like he could sleep for an age but knew this night was nowhere near over, not yet at least. There would be men to speak to and plans to make. He'd be surprised if he'd be able to snatch some sleep much before dawn but he certainly hadn't factored this slave into his plans. Not really, anyway. 

When she spoke again, he was pulled from his thoughts and jumped up to his feet in a spritely way that didn't belie his exhaustion. 

"That's better." He acquiesced with a grin. She was a pretty one, although Gods if looks could kill...perhaps not with the soft feminine beauty that he preferred, but she was striking and there was something undeniably attractive about the bright blonde hair and the passion on her face. He shook such thoughts from his head, however, that wasn't why he called her here. Although judging by the rigid way she stood there and the furtive glances she gave him, she suspected that was his plan presumably. "Let's talk." He said with a shrug and moved around to lean against the table, eyeing her. "I heard you fought today. You're a skilled warrior then? Or was it just a..." He struggled for the Brittonic word, "Mistake?" It would lend her well to be honest, as it could well decide her fate. They were crying for fresh, strong slaves in the mines but he had a mind she'd be worth more somewhere else. "Tell me when you learned to fight, and if you're any good."

 

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She had noticed how he kept stretching his neck and tipping his head to the sides, and she heard him groan as he sat there in his fancy chair, looking at some papers. She knew paper. They didn’t really use it, her people, but she knew what it was. Now though, she tried to clean herself until she was done and apparently she startled him when she stood up and spoke. He looked her way with a grin and said it was better. She just bet it was!

But even though she was angry at being captured, angry at him calling her a slave, she was also afraid for what would happen next. She didn’t want to be forced. But she certainly also wasn’t going to do anything willingly with a fucking Roman! He stood then, after taking a look at her and she took half a step back when he did. He said they should talk and then asked her about her fighting an wondered if it was a mistake? A mistake?! She kind of wanted to laugh.

“It was no mistake.” Cinnia replied firmly. But it was also her first battle and she had clearly failed… failed harder than she had hoped. She hadn’t even been killed. This was worse.

“I learned to fight at home. Since… I became a woman.” With her fingers she counted on her hand, “Four summers.” Although she’d taken interest in weapons and fighting even earlier than that. She had always known she’d be a warrior. “I don’t know if I’m good compared to the rest of my people. They aren’t here.” And she was. She met his eyes, “Why do you ask?” Did he want to know how easy it would be to get her to lie down? Why did he have to draw it out like this?

@Sara

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He listened with keen interest as she spoke, although had to concentrate to follow her words. His Brittonic was proficient due to a natural aptitude for languages and meetings with the locals, but Cinnia spoke clearly and he frowned - trying to understand it. He thought he got the gist though and smiled, slightly. Gods how different this place was. He couldn't even begin to fathom the women in his life, back in Rome, standing abreast with their men in the legions. The idea of his mother, his cousins doing so was almost laughable but he managed to keep his humour in check for now. 

He rolled his eyes, almost childishly at her question but then arched a brow: "Again with more questions." He shook his head and took a sip of wine, considering his next words carefully. 

He'd taken enough spoils to realise that a new life of slavery was often met with wails and tears from women, and violence from the menfolk. Not that he'd really broken the news himself before - on a couple of occasions - but it wasn't routine. He didn't feel any particular sympathy for her, she'd gone into battle knowing the possible outcomes but he did feel...awkward. This was not a conversation he had in his wheelhouse. "I ask because I want to know what you're good for." He shrugged. "You were given to me, as a spoil - you and one of those," He gestured around his head, "Long-haired blokes. This legion," Would she even understand what he was describing? "Thousands of the men here, in this camp, are under my command." He didn't particularly want to get into the structure of the legion, nor the difference between auxiliaries and citizen troops and so settled with 'thousands', "And so I am gifted slaves and lands. So," He sighed and ran a hand through his hair - in desperate need of a cut, "You are my slave now Cinnia. But I wanted to know where you'd be useful, where I'd be able to sell you to get the most coin." He had no doubts that the perverse of Rome would enjoy her in a brothel - the chance to conquer a Briton warrior woman - but there was a different purpose he had in mind for her, one which would suit her skills far better. 

He offered a lopsided smile, and pointed his finger at  her chest; "But maybe I'd get most money for that breastplate you've got on - I'm impressed, you certainly look the part." 

 

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When she wondered why he would know where she learned to fight and how good she was, Cinnia of course had her assumptions as to why he wanted to know. She wondered why he didn’t just go ahead, wouldn’t it be better to just get it over and done with instead of all this talking? Then she could move on. No matter how unpleasant it would be before she could move on. At last she was done and wondered why he would know… and he rolled his eyes and complained about her asking questions. Cinnia arched a brow too.

But then he did answer her question. She smiled inwardly, he complained about her asking questions, but he answered anyway. His accented Latin did make sense to her, he said he wanted to know what she was good for and that she had been given to him along with someone else. She didn’t quite understand what he meant, other than someone else but her. Then he went on to tell her that everyone here were under his command, so he had been given slaves and land. Land? In Britannia? But it was not his land to be given! Gods, these Romans, they just thought they could come here and kill her people and take their land… vicious bastards they were! It was exactly what she had heard, then! Everything she had been told about them was true. He was just confirming it.

The commander – she didn’t know his name – said then she was his slave and he would know how she would be useful if he was going to sell her. Sell her? She inhaled a breath, she was no fucking slave to be just taken and sold and bought for fun! She might be young, but she had always been tough within and instead of feeling beaten by his words, she felt stronger. This was how she was brought up. He then made some stupid joke about her armor being worth more than her.

“It works. I am caught, but I am not dead.” She replied with a certain tone. It was annoying that she had her hands free, but she couldn’t do anything to him. It was annoying that she was free and captured at the same time, “Why would you sell me? Do you think I would make a good slave? I don’t.” She almost wished she’d been killed in the battle instead of this and she met his eyes again. Would it not be better to be dead than to be a slave to the Romans? What would he do if she suggested that? She would make her family proud of her. And her gods. If it was the last thing she did. There was a daring look to her own eyes as she held her head high, “I will not submit. Then whoever buys me, would kill me. Is that not what you Romans do to your slaves, when they are not useful? You might as well just kill me now.” After that, she almost held her breath.

@Sara

Edited by Atrice
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"Why would I sell you?" He snorted in amusement, "Well, I don't think you'd do much good serving dinner or mopping the floors of my house in Rome." Besides, what on earth would his mother say if he sent back this blonde haired heathen? He had half a mind that she might be useful for one or two things back in Rome, but...he wasn't heading back any time soon and it was unlikely even the senior officer would be able to keep a Briton whore in his tent unremarked. 

He grit his jaw though, as she continued to talk. Fine. If that's how she wanted to play it. 

He strode with purpose, and despite the pain in his side, back to the other side of the desk and picked up the pugio that was lying unsheathed. His gladius might have made more if an impact but he was irritable, and tired, and didn't think. He moved back round to her, knife in his hand and arched a brow. "You are sure that's what you want? You want to die?" He stepped forward and held it aloft, "Because I'm giving you the chance to live. To continue to fight, to earn gold, to become free, to come home again. But you want to die?" He sighed, disappointed for her and himself and rolled the knife in his hand, "Fine. Kneel then." He hoped she'd see sense, but if she didn't then it wouldn't be a total loss - he still had the man back in the tent of captives.

 

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He answered her question about why he would sell her, and he just said he didn’t think she would be serving or mopping floors in his house. Damn right he was. Not if she could help it. And then she decided to give it a go and see how far she could push him… and if this really was the day she was supposed to die after all. She would be proud and strong, like she’d been brought up to be. She would make her family and her ancestors proud by standing up to him. And maybe she would see them all in the afterlife…

Although, could he hear her heart pounding? She felt like he should, but he probably couldn’t. And then he walked over to his desk and picked something up. A double-edged blade. Her eyes widened for a moment, but she stood still, suddenly unsure about her plan. Maybe she could fight him. No, she couldn’t, but she could make an attempt… maybe? He came closer, he was taller and broader than she and began asking how sure she was and said he’d give her a chance to fight and earn gold and become free… and come home. Then wondered again if she would die.

She gazed up at him. She could be free again? She didn’t know that.

“I didn’t know your slaves were set free. I only know Romans make their slaves work until they die. And they die young.” Cinnia said, interested now. She hated to go back on her words, but… now that he mentioned it, she would know more, “I thought it would be better to die now than to die from hard work. That does not sound like a good way to die.”

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"In the mines, perhaps." He shrugged. He'd sent a few of his problematic spoils to them, but with regret. He wasn't heartless. He spun the blade in his hand and narrowed his eyes. He had anticipated she'd change her mind, she was young and whilst she might be a woman, underneath it all everybody feared death and those that said they didn't often changed their mind when faced with the end of a pointed blade. 

He kept the knife in his hand and glanced over her surreptitiously, muttering in Latin: "Hard work comes with anybody's life." With a sigh, he ran a hand through his hair and decided to give her one last chance. She was a girl - too bold for her own good, too hotheaded and confident but she was stillest a girl. And he new what it was to have overconfidence and be thrust into war. She looked not much younger than he had been on his first foray into Britannia. 

In the end he moved and threw the knife back on the table with a clatter and rounded back on her. "You'll go to Rome, and be sold into a Ludus, it's a school for fighters, Gladiators." He watched her for a reaction, guessing that she didn't understand the concept. He explained; "Gladiators, Gladiatrices - women - fight one another, for entertainment, for gold and prestige and honour. And sometimes to the death," There was no point lying to her. "But you can earn your freedom." He sighed and went to lean in front of his desk, the exhaustion of the day catching up with him. 

"It is your decision. I'll give you that," One final choice, before her life was no longer her own. "You're not one to be a house slave so...Gladiatrix and risk death, or death now - here, in a tent as a captive at the hands of somebody whose name you don't even know."

 

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He said something about mines, but she didn’t know what he was talking about. She didn’t get down on her knees before him either, she stood and she didn’t look away and tried to not focus on him spinning the blade in his hand. Maybe he would kill her. Maybe not. He said hard work came with anybody’s life. But harder with Roman slaves. They would beat or flog their slaves. She didn’t like the sound of that.

Then the commander ran his hand through his hair again. If he hadn’t been so… superior to her and so irritating and so Roman, she might have found him good looking. But now he spoke again of Rome… but only after tossing the knife back to the table with quite the noise! He said something about a ludus and gladiators and she had never heard those foreign words before. She narrowed her eyes and then he went on to speak of people fighting each other for entertainment and sometimes to the death. That was what she had heard about! All he did was really prove to her, that everything she heard about the Romans was true! Romans would make slaves fight and kill other slaves for fun. And apparently, they were called gladiators, such slaves. He also spoke of gold and prestige and honor, but what honor was there in murdering someone for entertainment?

Then he walked away from her again and she followed him with her eyes. He seemed tired. Cinnia was tired too, but she was now a slave and had no chance to get any rest. She had not had anything to eat or drink since before the battle… but she stayed focused, when he said he’d give her the choice of dying now or as a gladiatrix. Maybe she would have a chance to escape on the way to Rome. It was far away.

“You know my name. Why should you not tell me yours?” Cinnia asked, when he pointed out she didn’t know his name… “And if I can go to Rome and fight and be free again… that is what I will do.” She said, “If it pleases you.” Words spoken that a slave should speak, but not as mockingly as she said it.

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"Questions, questions, questions." He couldn't help but laugh. New slaves who hadn't yet learnt their rules were often so but being in an environment where his word was gospel and few dared to speak unless spoken to, it was novel and he had forgotten how it felt. It amused him, a touch. She certainly had fire. 

"Lucius Cassius Longinus," He gestured to himself, "My name. But domine to you, you'll learn." He waved a dismissive hand. She'd have to learn, else she'l be on the midden heap quicker than the slaves at the mines. She had a long road ahead, but it seemed one she was willing to learn and that gratified him. Glancing at her, up and down he nodded approvingly with a grin; "It does, please me." She'd earn him plenty. She was young enough to train and pretty, but evidently fierce and made of strong stock to stare down a man that had likely killed her friends, her family perhaps. 

He sighed, satisfied and slumped down a bit against his desk. His wound throbbed with pain and he could feel fresh blood dribble underneath his tunic. He'd have to find that medicus but Gods he'd rather do anything else than be stuck by the wizened little man's needles for further stitches. Even if that meant talking with a disrespectful slave. At least it wasn't physically painful. 

He picked up his discarded cup, the one with fresh water in (he'd had enough wine for tonight, he knew it didn't help much after battle and only made the dreams more vivid), and took a sip, gesturing to her. "You can take that off," He held up his hand clarifying, "Just the mail, I might keep it as a memento." He supposed she might be concerned by his motivations, getting her to undress (even just the one layer) but honestly, he was just thinking how fine (and amusing) it would look back in Rome, on his wall. 

 

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Apparently he was tired of her questions, although he laughed. Why should she not ask questions? Cinnia looked at him, he was older than she but he wasn’t that old, she thought. He didn’t have grey hair or wrinkles or anything – he was not old and weathered, but actually quite young for a commander. Not that Eppitacos was old either. Stupid Eppitacos!

The commander then finally gave her a name to remember. Lucius Cassius Longinus. That was a long name. She didn’t even know if she could pronounce it. He then said that to her he was domine and she narrowed her eyes, what did that mean? All these strange Roman words. Then he said it did please him that she would not die here, but instead go to Rome and fight and maybe earn her freedom. Maybe even on the way, if she got the chance. The commander then sat against his desk and picked up a cup to drink from – then asked her to remove her chainmail. Cinnia eyed the cup and without noticing licked her lips, she was so thirsty!

Then her thoughts returned to the chainmail. Why did he want her chainmail off? She still had more layers underneath, but what was his intentions? Keep it as a… memento? What did that mean? Was it like those tribes that kept the heads of their enemies?

She reached down to her sides to take hold of the hem, but she only got so far as up to the shoulders with it. You needed help to get it on, it was very heavy and it would have to come over the head, it was like a tunica. Some said it would match the weight of a six-year old child or even older. 

“You have to help me get it off, if you want it.” Cinnia then said, only now realizing it would mean him coming closer to her again. But she couldn't get it off on her own... “It is heavy.” But at least she could move in it. She had seen the Roman armor and honestly wondered how you could move in that and fight. But apparently you could.

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He tried not to glance at her as she set about trying to remove the mail but couldn't help a couple of not-so-subtle looks in her vicinity. If he was a more vindictive man, or maybe just one not quite so tired or in pain, he might have considered a final indignity on her and taken her to bed. As it was, he was enjoying looking at her but thats as far as his lust stirred. He couldn't help but chuckle as she struggled, and arched a brow. Playfulness was in his nature, even in formal conversations such as this. 

He could, probably should, have reasonably asked one of the men to strip her of her goods but that would have been an unnecessary faff. Quickly he strode over and with a small mischievous grin, deftly picked up the hem and pulled it over her head. 

The weight of it made his wound ache and he winced, but it was manageable. Having removed it he stepped back and glanced it it with a triumphant smile. When Caesars had triumphs they'd often take captives back to be paraded through the streets. He'd settle for parading some Briton ironwork through his domus. With a smile still on his face, he moved to deposit the mail on his desk and having set it down, back to her, reached fingers up under to touch the wound. Pulling them back and noting the blood on his fingers he grimaced. When he finally turned around to face her again, he wiped it away on the hem of his own clothes and sighed, the smile finally fading. 

"You'll go to Rome in two days time, once the camp is settled." He sighed and ran a hand through his hair, "Do you have any more questions for me? This will be your last opportunity."

 

TAG: @Atrice

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Why was he chuckling? Did he think it amusing, that he had taken a young woman captive and had now asked her to remove the only thing that kept her alive during the battle - well apart from her skills as a warrior, despite her age. The chainmail had been given to her by her uncle, who had a higher rank within the Brigantes tribe, but now it would be lost for good. And when this was gone, it would be so much easier for anyone to do anything to her. Yet she had to get it off and asked for Lucius' help and he came over to her with a mischievous grin. 

She didn't like that grin. She didn't like him very much at all. But all he did was pull it over her head and then he left her side again. She noticed he winced though and that at least pleased her... he'd been fighting too, he was not one of those generals who didn't fight their own battles. And he had been hurt. That was good too, although he still lived and was apparently now Cinnia's owner. After he had removed the chainmail from her, he looked at it with such a triumphant smile that she wanted to kick him. But she didn't. Despite everything, he had been far nicer than she expected. She wouldn't push her luck now.

Then he placed the heavy chainmail on his desk and stood with his back to Cinnia for a moment. It would be so easy to pick something up and throw at him... like a knife. But she didn't, it remained in her imagination. When he faced her again, his smile was fading and he seemed done and wondered if she had any more questions.

She didn't know what to say... more questions? Oh, there was one, that she had been thinking about every time he took a drink. It would be one last attempt to improve her time here or maybe even on the journey to Rome. It was worth a try... "Do you ever give your captives any food or drink? I have not had anything since before the battle. I fear you will not earn much from selling a starved slave."

@Sara

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"I..." He frowned, hesitating. That was not what he had been expecting, he had imagined she'd have a million and one things to ask about the city, about being a gladiator, about the journey...not a concern over food. It amused him, and the smile returned to his face.

Inclining his head, with only a light warning to her; "You should watch your tone," (although it wasn't a serious reprimand), he called for one of his men; "Lucius," The man came jogging in, he spoke in Latin, "Get one of the men to give water and food to the captives." The man nodded and scurried back out of the tent, leaving them alone again for the moment. He was dog tired, but she was an intriguing one. Full of fire, even now she was (proverbially) in chains. 

"That all? None of your questions about the journey, about your fate?" He laughed and shrugged. "If that's it, I'll get Lucius to escort you back."

 

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It was true, she could have asked so many other questions about her future and Rome, but since he was going to sell her, he was not part of it. Besides, he was a Roman. And so far, he had confirmed many things she heard about the Romans - little did he know he was the first she ever met, so he was her first impression of what they were like. So many prejudices were confirmed now... and she figured that he would paint a pretty picture of Rome and she doubted it would be very much like the truth. She would find out everything anyway, Cinnia was not stupid. At least not that stupid. Only stupid enough to have been knocked out during the battle, so that she could be taken as a captive.


The commander seemed surprised when she asked for food and drink, then said she should watch her tone. She probably should. Cinnia didn't say anything. Then he called out for a man (who shared name with his commander? How odd...) and said something in Latin to him that she didn't understand much. Then the man was gone again and he looked back to her. Wondering if she really did not have more questions. Cinnia considered it. She would be escorted back afterwards... to that dreadful and dark and cold tent? She weighed her options. This tent was nicer, but she didn't want to stay here with him.


Still though, considering his surprise about her question before and his words now, she did become curious... "It sounds like you want me to ask questions." Cinnia then said, "Is there something you want me to ask? Is there something you think I should know?" 

@Sara
 

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He snorted in amusement. She was so bold! It was a marvel, really. He'd known some fiery women in his youthful follies but the majority of Roman matrons were cold and pious and entirely unassuming. It was a little...refreshing to meet somebody forthright, even if he knew he shouldn't be finding it the remotest bit charming. She was a woman, a captive, a slave and a Briton. He should have had her whipped for insolence, but he was an easy-going, relaxed man and he enjoyed amusement above most things. It was fortunate that she was his, he doubted she'd fare as well with one of the other legates. 

He frowned to himself, and made a thoughtful noise. What should she know? Gods there was so much...He thought in silence for a moment, leaning against the edge of his desk. 

When he finally did speak, his voice was a little weary. The throb of the wound in his side was eating away at and sapping his usual endless vigour. "Just that the journey will be long," He eyed her, he doubted they'd take them by sea - if they went down through Britannia and through Gaul they could pick up a few more slaves for the markets. "And hard. You should rest while you can. And," He sighed and winced as he adjusted his position, "You should try and forget this place as much as you can. You could be in Rome for years," He neglected to tell her that it would likely be for the rest of her life. He didn't want to go through the rigamarole of having her willing death again, "So prepare yourself." Satisfied that he'd at least equipped her with the basics he watched her. "If your satisfied, you can go back to the other tent." He waved his hand that she could leave, one of the men outside the flaps would escort her back. 

 

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She would learn to watch her tone and she promised herself she would try and not rebel too much against her future captors and masters. Else she might never have a chance at freedom or escaping. She would pretend to be good. Still no one could tell her what to feel and think and that part of her would not change. She promised herself that too, silently. Cinnia had not been raised to become a submissive little slave or wife, after all.  For now, she was watchful of Lucius, who again was amused over her words, but then seemed to consider what he thought she should know. 

He didn't seem too well when he finally spoke again. He said the journey would be long and hard and she would need rest. Cinnia nodded quietly while he sighed and noticed he winced. If she had been stupid enough, she might have tried to take him down anyway. Maybe she could, in his state. But she was not that stupid... killing him would only mean her own death too. And now she had decided to not die, so she could live and be free, she would not take any more chances. 

Then he added that she should forget Britannia, because she would be in Rome for years. As if she would ever forget her own lands and her family and this battle! Lucius said to prepare herself and said she could go if she was satisfied.

Cinnia arched a brow. If she was satisfied? "I suppose I am." She said, "I will rest, once I have eaten. And I will learn to watch my tone." Cinnia added and took a step back, giving him one last look, "I hope I will never see you again. Domine." And with that and without waiting for another word from him, although he might say something anyway, she turned and walked out of the tent to be escorted back to the cold, dark and moist tent where they kept the captives. While walking through the rain back to the tent, she was almost on the verge of tears. She was a slave now. She was going to leave her land and her family and friends behind, if they were even alive. Everything was going to change. She no longer owned her own body! And those dreadful and barbaric Romans would take command over her. But she would not cry. She would honor her parents and her family and her forefathers and not break down. Instead she kept her head high.

@Sara

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