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March, 77 AD

It's dark when he leaves, slipping into the silent night. His master does not wake. Neither does anybody else. Frankly, he can't figure out why he wants to go outside at this hour. The streets are hard to see. The individuals lurking between the gaps and at the sides are even more unsavory. But Jannus has had a feeling, for a long, long time, of getting fresh air without having to serve anybody else. To have his own time, during which he can do what he wishes. What he wishes right now, however, is not for gold or a good lay, but to walk. And so he does.

The roads are refreshingly quiet, with the exception of the homeless drunk sitting at the corner Jannus has just passed by. Hardly to be helped. He silently berates himself for wishing so hard for freedom when the lack thereof is what gets him food and shelter, a place to be safe from the night. How ironic, then, that he departs from the safety of all he's been afforded in life to do something as mundane as mindlessly walk. Being a messenger has dug its talons into a part of his very being. Whenever he is confused, he walks. Whenever he is joyful, he swears he could run from one end of Rome to another. 

Shadow encompasses him as he passes between two buildings. His eyes grow accustomed to the lack of light. Jannus, despite it all, feels comfortable.

Which is when the worst happens. 

All he recalls is being cornered by a group of hoodlums, no doubt thinking him easy pickings. They throw angry inquiries for money he doesn't have, and when they find nothing, they unleash a flurry of fists. The blows land true, what with Jannus's larger frame making him an easier target. He tries to fight back, but he's outnumbered. He hopes for somebody, anybody, to help.

@Faustus

Edited by Insignia
Made it consistent with what was planned
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There was something which brought Caturix out for the evening, his shift over and the girl who he was in charge of, safe, tucked away in her bed. He did not mind his new home; though there was a part of him who wanted to see the city he had been brought to. So, quietly, he would slip off into the night; into the streets which still found people occupying the city who were out for perhaps much the same reasons as he was. His features half-covered by darkness had rather quickly turned into a deterrent for those who looked upon the heavily tattooed face of the Briton; turning away from their task to cross the streets.

But there was less of it.

Less fear in their eyes.

The city was never quiet, definitely quieter than in the mornings but....peaceful. He did not hear the clashing of swords that rang in the ring, nor the voice of his Domina commanding him to do things or not to do things. However, peace was only fleeting as he heard the shouts of men - asking for money. His brows furrowed as he finally caught sight of men beating up another.

With a growl, Caturix approached - the men too distracted by their task that one hadn't noticed being grabbed by the neck, until they started to make noise. There was little time for words as he slammed his fist into the attacker's throat, headbutting the one who had turned to see what was happening with the appearance of another man. It was a fight for survival. And whilst he could have left the man to the Fates, Caturix did not want to sleep with having left a man without lending his assistance.

((OOC: feel free to get Caturix injured or something in the process!))

@Insignia

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Caturix has little to worry about. Jannus is an especially flimsy fighter, having been used to doing nothing but running messages for all his life. Though he may have been involved in some close calls in the past, those days, he believed, were long since behind him. Besides, his speed and long legs meant he grew accustomed to outrunning the pack of hooligans whose knives nipped at his heels way back in the day. At his best, he can weave, duck, and dodge with the best of them, and when anyone tried grabbing him by the back of his tunic their fingers only met empty air. 

The night-time, when the terrain is covered with an incorporeal pitch and the fog of sleep has barely worn off, is when Jannus is far less than best. The gang pestering him isn't anything elite, certainly nothing a few vigiles couldn't dispatch. However, there are too many of them, and they caught him off guard, and wasn't this quite a bad time to be wandering like he has nothing else to do. A glass bird; shatter the wing and its flight is done for. 

Three of them, only one with a knife. Jannus tries to find it in the deepest parts of his heart to feel sorry for them, but the fact that two of them are visibly older than him withers his sympathies. One of them is taller and lankier, the rest smaller and more compact. A particularly strong punch to the shoulder makes him wince; yep, he certainly lost his pain tolerance and grew soft over the years, didn't he? What an ignominious way to die, stabbed like a common hen on the streets of a place where few care to look.

That is, until an unusual savior is there to even the odds. The first two flinch back in pain, one doubled over on the street clutching his throat and taking shuddering breaths while the other rubs his head. Still, they're not so cowardly as to leave the other, the one with the knife behind. Their loyalty comes with a cost, that being of intelligence; they're plenty stupid, as demonstrated when the one with the knife tries an incredibly sloppy and predictable swing towards Caturix. Jannus snaps out of his stupor and aims one of his legs at the headbutted one's knees; forward shin meets side shin, and that person is out of the match. 

@Faustus

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Caturix snarled, as if he were back in the arena. There was a fire lit behind his eyes as he focused on his attackers, the ones who seemed to be out of the fight but they were not down. They were not dead as one would have wanted if it were a gladiatorial battle. It was the streets, men who had attacked another. Death was the only lesson that they would learn, though it was the one with the knife that had clattered forward, the blade whipping past him as the so-called attacker fell to the ground.

Out cold.

Leaving the two victors standing as the others seemed to groan and roll around on the floor. Dazed, confused, their egos broken and left scattered on the floor.

The Briton hefted a sigh, spitting in the attackers' direction as his eyes met the one who had been, moments ago, attacked. He could perhaps leave the man to his own business now, but something forced him to stay put.

"Are you hurt?"

There was a roughness to his question as he looked the man up and down, scanning for any visible injuries that he had to take this man to see someone who knew how best to deal with injuries, disregarding the heavy pummels the other might have taken as 'injuries'.

@Insignia

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Jannus watches the man in front of him act like some sort of human whirlwind, quickly and efficiently dispatching the attackers with a level of fluidity only achieved by years of practice the hard way. He's got to be a gladiator, there's no other explanation. The night air seems like stifling with the perpetrators out of the way, although he very awkwardly makes eye contact with one of them and is quick to look away. There's no reason the vigiles should find them here, and if they are found he'll do his best to argue that he and the other only fought out of self defense. 

Never hurts to have an acquaintance in a higher place, even if that place is also one of servitude. Time to amend his judgment: never hurts to have an acquaintance who's stronger than you, as long as you stay on his good side. 

The brick against his back remains cool as Jannus scrambles up with far less grace than intended. Alexius warned him about staying out late at night and this is what he gets for not listening. Every action has its comeback, he reckons. 

"I'm not," he answers after finding that he can stand without pain. Might be a bruise or two in the morning, but none that escape the range of his tunic. "I-thank you for saving me back there." He's quick to get away from the four, but tilts his head to indicate Caturix should walk beside him. "Are you alright?"

@Faustus

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