Sara Posted August 17, 2021 Share Posted August 17, 2021 August, 76AD Mercifully - and Marcianus thanked all of the Gods - the insula looked like it would hold. The fire was confined to the upper stories which meant the foundations - decrepit and decaying though they were - should hold. That fact, however, did not help those people - his sort of people - trapped on the upper floor, just above the fire line. As always in these situations a crowd had gathered outside the building, the richer (although this was the subura, so how rich could they be?) dwellers in the building had evacuating and barked orders at the freedmen Vigiles that were trying to salvage the building, whilst on-lookers from the nearby poppina's and taverna's came out, drinks in their hands and grins on their faces as if they were viewing some twisted form of entertainment as the poorer citizens of the block lost everything in a cloud of ash and smoke. The muscles in his jaw worked as he watched them, tensing and flexing with hard eyes and a grim look on his ash smeared face. His hair - usually an unusual blonde - was almost black with smoke and dust and rivulets of sweat streaked down his face and neck. He'd been forced outside by his centurion, a humourless, useless man in his fifties who took as much pleasure in helping people as he did in socialising, which was to say, none at all. He'd had to have been yanked out by the back of his tunic and forcibly moved down the stairs, even as residents streamed past them. He'd been in the building too long - apparently - and the cough that rattled his lungs was testament to that, but as he eyed the building - the smoke billowing upwards into the night sky, he knew he couldn't sit idly by. The old and frail, the young and poor were still up there on the floors immediately above and below the fire, trying to find their way down in the smoke. He swallowed and felt as if his teeth might splinter from the set of his jaw. Pushing himself up nimbly, he ducked down behind the crowd to avoid the glances of his superiors. His eyes caught Gaius' - a friend and a follower to the hilt - who judging by his grim expression and itching fingers, wanted back in as much as Marcianus himself. He jerked his head towards the south stairs and then the fire hooks which had been deposited there by the last of their century to leave the building for rest. He knew his friends, colleagues were in there still and surely the Centurion wouldn't notice his absence? He moved to reach Gaius and slip unseen back into the building but before he did, his shoulder collided with anothers and he glanced up - his face painting a picture of displeasure. "Go and gawk somewhere else, it isn't safe here." The building might not come down onto the crowd, but the people jumping from it might. TAG: @Chevi 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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