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Late February 77AD

Why did it all keep coming back to this guy?

"I'm looking for Lucius Vipsanius Roscius." Said Lucius Ovinius Camillus, once he'd walked into the vigiles' headquarters and gotten the attention of the nearest man in uniform.

He was the vigile who had attended the morning after Ovinia had been assaulted, at their father's summons. He was apparently also one of the vigiles who had attended the kitchen fire. Lucius had been in the house but focused on getting people away from danger, and also quite drunk, so he couldn't say he actually remembered him. He was also, by his sister's admission, the one she'd had a crush on and part of the reason for rejecting his brother's suit. Silly girl.

They'd supposedly met, or at least been in the vicinity of each other, when Camillus chaperoned Ovinia to the party at the Imperial Palace, but he'd been more interested in talking to one of the young ladies there, and content to do his duty at a distance as long as Ovinia was within view. He trusted her not to be too stupid. Or at least he used to. Now he was starting to wonder. Regardless there were issues to be resolved, and he was determined not to let them sit much longer.

Of all her brothers, Lucius was the most like Ovinia. He had the family height but was lean, almost slim where his father and older brother were barrel-chested and beefy, his face had that similar heart shape but his features were stronger than hers. Of all her brothers, Lucius was also the one she liked the best, though he wondered whether absence hadn't made the heart grow fonder. He was the black sheep of the family, apparently born without political ambition and content to just cruise through life. But he was not content to let the world get the better of his sister.

@Chevi

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Lucius would have recognized the man even without the striking resemblance to Ovinia. Somewhere deep down he'd known that sooner or later he'd come face to face with one of Ovinia's brothers. That didn't help though with his stomach sinking when he was told he had a patrician visitor asking for him. Gods, this would not improve his standing with the other vigiles.

He wondered why Ovinius Camillus had come. Did he had news about Ovinia? About her attacker? Or was he here to question the vigiles for not having anything to report? Or... Did he know something  he was not supposed to know?

Was Lucius about to get his nose broken?

There was only one way to find out.

"Lucius Ovinius Camillus?" he ventured as he came face to face with the man, waiting in the portico of the Castrum. He was not a patrician anymore, but he still greeted him like one. "A pleasure to meet you. To what do owe this visit?"

@Sarah

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As far as Camillus knew, Roscianus was largely blameless in the case of Ovinia's rejecting his brother. Which just showed how little he knew. He recognised Roscianus the moment the man walked out into the portico as one of the two lads talking to Ovinia at the party at the palace, where she'd stormed off in a temper. So he was a friend of hers or moved in the same social circles. At least he had. She'd developed a crush on him, and he'd decided to be a vigile and get adopted down into an Equite family from where he couldn't possibly marry her even if he wanted to, leaving Ovinia to reject his brother in a fit of pique, end of story.

That was the narrative in Camillus's head, so he wasn't currently looking to break any noses. Of course, that was subject to change without notice. Right now however he wanted to get the measure of the man, and took in his lean build, dark hair and eyes and deep tan. What was it his sister had said? Good arms and a nice jawline? Camillus didn't see it himself but OK. If he wanted to find a suitable patrician fellow who'd appeal to his sister, he needed to learn her tastes.

Lucius Ovinius Camillus? A pleasure to meet you. To what do owe this visit?

"Indeed, and I'm pleased to meet you too." Or at least curious. "Is it still Vipsanius Roscius?" He asked. It was the only name he knew the man by, but if he'd been adopted then it had probably changed. "I came to learn what progress has been made on capturing the man who attacked my sister." He said simply. "I believe you responded to my father's summons. And also to the fire, for which you have our gratitude."

What drew a man born to a privileged life to become a vigile? The obvious answer was a lack of interest in those things he would normally inherit, politics and perhaps even property, and if it was a desire to avoid the Senate then the two young men had that in common. But there had to be more to it. It was one thing to not have political aspirations, but for Roscianus to become a vigile there had to be a drive towards something else, and that was unusual. Camillus really hoped that wasn't what Ovinia liked about the guy, because if it was then she was probably out of luck.

@Chevi

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Alright, so Lucius was not greeted with a punch in the face. So far, so good. The guy clearly did not know about Saturnalia, then. Or the messages on the wall.

"Indeed, and I'm pleased to meet you too. Is it still Vipsanius Roscius?" 

"Manius Victorius Roscianus. Roscianus is fine. Or Lucius." Lucius shrugged. His name signaled his change in social standing, but not much else.

"I came to learn what progress has been made on capturing the man who attacked my sister. I believe you responded to my father's summons. And also to the fire, for which you have our gratitude."

"Happy to help" Lucius nodded with a small smile. He had responded to the summons, which was a serious thing, but the fire... that one was all on Ovinia trying to cook. Lucius nodded towards a bench nearby where they could sit. "We are patrolling in the areas where attacks happened. And we have some theories about the attacker... but they are too vague yet to start knocking on doors. Officially." He added, giving the other Lucius a look. He  and the rest of their little ragtag team were doing more than the vigiles could.

@Sarah

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Manius Victorius Roscianus. Roscianus is fine. Or Lucius.

"Roscianus then. Lucius is likely to get confusing when we're both in the room." Camillus observed with a smirk. It was his praenomen too. But then praenomena were mostly for use within one's family, where everyone otherwise had the same name. Outside of his immediate family he was mostly Ovinius Camillus, his praenomen only used to distinguish him from his father and brothers. Which was important because Lucius couldn't be more different from Gaius Major and Minor, never mind Tertius. Perhaps Roscianus had just wanted a name all his own. 

The vigile nodded towards a bench under the portico and Camillus joined him, happy to be off his feet. He might be accustomed to his legionnaire's armour, but that didn't mean he'd prefer to stand in it when he could sit. Unfortunately it didn't seem that the vigiles had made a lot of progress in their search, it being likenable to looking for a needle in a haystack, at least Roscianus indicated that was the case officially. "What about unofficially?" Camillus asked, picking up on the other man's tone and the loaded look he'd thrown him. Something was afoot. 

@Chevi

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Two Luciuses, sizing each other up. Lucius Roscianus knew enough to know that this particular brother was at least not out for his blood yet. But he was obviously worried for his sister, trying to find the man who had attacked her. They took a seat on the bench, away from the prying eyes of the other vigiles. Lucius knew that the other man could have gone to the centurion, if he wanted an official statement on how things stood. But he didn't.

"Unofficially... there are a whole lot of people who have been hurt by that man. Or whose loved ones have been hurt. Or killed." Lucius admitted. "Your sister, as horrible as it is to say, was lucky. But those people - and I have found quite a few - are doing everything we can to find that monster."

@Sarah

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The two Luciuses settled onto the bench and into a tentative understanding, as they discussed the issues around the man who had attacked Ovinia, and where the search for him was up to. From a personal point of view it was troubling that he had not yet been found, when his sister had been so gravely and rudely injured, but from a military perspective, Camillus knew that finding one man in a city would be a right Imperial pain in the butt.

Roscianus seemed willing to discuss greater details than were being officially given, and Camillus listened with interest, becoming aware for the first time that his sister was just one of a string of victims of this sadistic individual, and apparently she had gotten off lightly. "If he's attacking many people then it's even more reason that he needs to be run to ground, and swiftly." Camillus agreed. Not that it would help Ovinia to know that she was just one of many... or would it? Regardless none of the family wanted the fact that she'd been attacked known, it would do her reputation, and theirs no good. But knowing that her attacker had been caught would do his sister a world of good, he was certain. 

"What do you need?" Camillus asked at length. What could help their efforts, and was it something that his family could provide?

@Chevi

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What did he need? Lucius considered the question. Or rather, two questions, really. One asked, and one unasked: What did he need in all this, to catch the killer, protect Ovinia, and make the whole city a little safer? And what could he ask for from this man, from this family, without making an even bigger mess of all of this?

"Well, the vigiles need more funding" he sighed "We can't do our work, patrol, and hunt down a killer at the same time, even if the tribunes decided to. Also... this all needs to be handled carefully. If the killer finds out we are on to him, he'll disappear. Or get smarter. And more dangerous. So far, only those of us whose face he has not seen yet are asking around, without raising too much suspicion. But that takes a lot more time than a city-wide man hunt."

@Sarah

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"I guess the slave taxes don't go far enough at times." Camillus observed dryly. The force of vigiles was thousands strong - though mostly slaves - and had to be funded from somewhere. The 4% tax on slave sales was their primary source. But he could hear what Roscianus was getting at. "You're saying that what you don't need is people like me poking around and letting the man know that you're onto him." Which was fair enough he supposed, even if it went strongly against what he'd like to do, which was Fix The Problem Now. But with no clue as to who this man was, and no desire to involve his sister further, his hands were currently tied.

"I'll speak to father about the benefits of generosity in light of the vigiles' aid so far." He promised Roscianus. "Though I suspect any major generosity would be seen after the man's capture." Because he knew how his father's mind worked. "If you reach the point of running him to ground, and want more manpower, I can bring my legion cohort to assist." He offered. But he wouldn't until and unless the man asked him to.

@Chevi

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"You're saying that what you don't need is people like me poking around and letting the man know that you're onto him." 

"In so many words, yes" Lucius smirked. He was not even sure the vigiles getting intensively involved would be a good idea. At least this other Lucius seemed to understand the point he was making. And he really wanted to help. Lucius knew this brother cared for Ovinia - or at least she cared for him.

"I'll speak to father about the benefits of generosity in light of the vigiles' aid so far. Though I suspect any major generosity would be seen after the man's capture. If you reach the point of running him to ground, and want more manpower, I can bring my legion cohort to assist." 

"I appreciate that" he nodded. If it came to that, they'd need all the help to not let the killer slip through their fingers. "Although I doubt your father would be very favorable towards the vigiles... I think he still blames us for ruining his kitchen." He added with a smirk.

@Sarah

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