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February 77AD
the day after Whoever Brings The Night

 His head was hurting, especially on the left side and towards the jaw in particular. When he moved up his hand to his head and his face, he could feel more than one area that had swelled and there was even a crack in the skin above his one eyebrow. He’d been bleeding. The blood was dry now, feeling coarse and unnatural and he almost wanted to rip the wound open to make it bleed again. Just to feel it, his own blood. Maybe that’s what he would feel now. Unless he could get out, somehow.

 Marcus had no idea what time of the day it was or for how long he’d slept after he passed out in the cell. Now someone came up to the small cell he was in, a guard, holding a wooden cup of water in front of the cell and what looked like old and dry bread. He was teasing Marcus, pretending he wouldn’t give it to him. Said he didn’t deserve to eat that well. Then the guard let Marcus touch the bread, as if he’d actually give it to him. And then he pulled it back and tossed it into a corner far away from the cell. And the water, he poured that onto the ground in front of the cell. And laughed, before he spat at the stain of water and left. Marcus leaned against the back of the cell.

 He should not have done it, he should not have let his anger get the best of him and he should not have gone out to kill one or more of all those people in the room that night. But he had wanted to remove them, so they could not put him in danger. Instead he’d been caught for the deeds he'd done.

 And while a part of him enjoyed that they wanted to see him dead, and a part of him had enjoyed seeing people he’d hurt before, people whose blood he’d seen… while he had enjoyed that, he had not enjoyed the blows to his head, mostly given by Alexius. And he did not enjoy sitting in this cell. All he had here was his mind. Maybe he should put it to use. He would need to speak up for himself. Marcus assumed he’d have a trial. Anything else would be unjust. He would plea for a trial. It had to happen. So that he could speak for himself and maybe prove that they could not prove that he was behind the murders and the attacks. Yes, that’s what he’d do. He would think.

 And so he did. No other guard came with food for him. And he was so far into his own thoughts that he barely noticed it when someone did approach the cell again. There wasn’t much light here anyway. Why should he bother with opening his eyes?

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The nocturnal visit by Roscianus and his compatriots - including Jason by all accounts - had been somewhat surreal. They'd captured Atratinus's killer. He'd killed others, hurt others, liked to see people bleed. So they said. They called him a monster. He trusted the judgement of three of the four, and had no reason not to trust the fourth save that he did not know him. But was the man they had caught really all they made out? Tiberius decided to see the man for himself. 

The Imperial went nowhere alone of course, but the majority of his entourage waited outside whilst he was led to the appropriate cell in the Tullianum, a Praetorian amongst those at his heels. Who was this man they called monster? When they finally reached the cell, Tiberius had to admit that he didn't look like much, but then he may well have been given reasons to feel sorry for himself during the night. 

"This is him?" He asked those with him. 

@Atrice

Edited by Sarah
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Marcus was still leaning against the back of the cell, with his eyes closed, but was not sleeping. He was thinking about what he knew and what he could use for his trial. He was a citizen, he could demand a fair trial. And in that trial, he'd hopefully make it clear that they could not prove he'd done all those things. Had he slipped anywhere, before last night and before he murdered the Senator? Right, the girl he'd attacked first. Well hopefully she would not talk. She might be ruined too, like those fancy looking ladies. What a pity he didn't know their names. But he did know some names. Alexius. Azarion. Didia. Theo. He knew some names. He knew some things. He could do something. What about his own slaves though, would they confess if tortured? They might. Aculia wouldn't stand very much of it. He trusted Manus more. Well, he would do his best.

Footsteps approached his cell and someone spoke, it was almost a soft voice, yet at the same time demanding. It was also a young voice. Someone he could make an impression on, maybe? Someone he could... manipulate? Marcus opened his eyes, looking at the young man out there, on the other side. He was very fine robes, not only fine robes, but Marcus recognized the materials as being fine too. Someone high up in the hierarchy. Why had such a man, and such a young one even, come here? He didn't speak yet. He hadn't been spoken to. And he wasn't going to speak and jeopardize his position, it was bad enough as it was already. So he sat still, just watching the youth out there. White robes. Like those the Senator wore. He recalled how the red blood had been soaked up by the white fabric. And what it had felt like. But he had to focus. This was his chance. He had to make the best of it.

@Sarah

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Apparently this was indeed the man in question, the one whom Roscianus and his companions had brought in, in the dead of night, and then raced to tell him about it. He didn't look particularly dangerous, roughed up and locked away, but the most venomous vipers rarely gave warning of their nature. Or so he'd learned in politics. He regarded the man with a bland expression. Was this the killer of Atratinus? The man who had attacked multiple citizens and many of them women? Jason said he enjoyed the sight of blood, which seemed to be his motive. Perhaps that was why so many of his victims lived; he wasn't out to kill. What then happened with the Senator? But there was no point in conjecturing in the silence of his own mind.

"What is your name?" Tiberius asked the man bluntly. 

@Atrice

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"Tiberius is here?! Now?!" Marcus asked, when a guard suddenly came in to tell him. Since he'd joined the council of twenty, he had ended up becoming one out of three in charge of prisons and executions. It was quite interesting, a bit disgusting in the prisons, but he could live with that, because he was learning new things and he'd suddenly gained a kind of power he didn't have before. It was nice. He was still learning the ropes and had been informed that a new prisoner had come in late last night, but he didn't know much about it. And now he was suddenly told that Tiberius was here and had come to see this new prisoner. Marcus hurried - with dignity - from the offices and towards the darker and less nice parts of the prison, until he reached Tiberius. His friend naturally followed by his usual entourage of guards and slaves, although most had been left outside. There was still someone with him though, inside. 

Meanwhile, by that cell further into the prison, sat the barber behind the bars, staring at the young man on the other side. The young man with his white robes and his neatly combed hair. He barely had any beard to shave yet, he was so young. But Marcus Barbatius wanted to be careful, he would not be rude and he would not make his own situation worse by saying something wrong. So he just sat there, waiting, and then the youth spoke up. Asked his name.

"Who wishes to know?" He asked, his voice only a little louder than a hiss, "Am I going to get a trial?" He then dared to ask, because he had to know. Then someone else suddenly joined the youth. Another youth. This time blonde, slightly red cheeks because he'd been walking fast to get here.

"Tiberius... I didn't know you were coming here today." Marcus said when he finally reached his friend, still wondering why Tiberius was even here and why he was here to see this prisoner in particular, "Is something wrong?" 

@Sarah

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Who wishes to know? Am I going to get a trial?

Tiberius glanced in the direction of sudden movement as Marcus arrived at his side. He supposed he probably should have told Marcus he'd be coming, or sent Jason since he'd slept in after the events of the night and Marcus had been gone when he'd a woken. Not a great look but he had a reason. He gave his friend a brief smile. "Yes and no, and I'm sorry for springing this on you." He added. His new role had given Marcus purpose and it showed in the way he moved and carried himself; he had a gravitas he'd lacked before. 

Then he turned his attention back to the disheveled fellow in the cell. "Whether or not you get a trial depends on who you are." He said blandly. "Only slaves have no names, and slaves do not get trials." If this fellow wanted to play games then Tiberius would play for the moment, since he was both trying to sound the man in the cell out, and held all the good cards. He could just order the man's death. He didn't want to without cause, but he could. And he would, if he needed to. But it was one of those times when acting in the public interest and acting like a tyrant looked to his eye to be the same thing, and that made him go carefully. 

@Atrice

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Marcus Barbatius sat behind the bars, waiting for the answer to his questions. Who was the young man in the white robes? And would he get a trial? He did have the right to have a trial, did he not? He was a Roman citizen, born and bred in the Empire. He'd never been a slave and his father hadn't either. He'd done his job well, worked as a barber for a very long time and he did actually also shave people. He didn't just cut their throats, or their backs, or their thighs or their faces... he did also shave them and cut their hair. He did pamper them. And now he was here in this cell, despite all that. And he didn't even get a proper answer at first.

Instead another youth joined the young man in the white robes, not quite out of breath, but it was obvious he'd rushed here. They knew each other. They spoke. The newcomer asked if something was wrong and the answer was 'yes and no'. Barbatius arched a brow. And then finally his question was addressed. But not properly. The other did not give him a name and did not answer the question regarding the trial. Barbatius inhaled a breath. If only he had a blade, if only he could improve the red stripes on that white robe to make a crimson robe instead. He lifted his chin, trying to compose himself... deciding what to answer... "I am Marcus Barbatius; I am no slave. I'm a Roman citizen, just like you. Whoever you are." He finally replied, trying to sound calm and composed. Maybe it worked.

Marcus Junius Silanus stood next to Tiberius, wondering what all this was about. Why had Tiberius sought out this prisoner? Marcus Barbatius? It didn't ring a bell. He never heard this name before. So why was he so important? And why was it questioned whether he'd have a trial or no? Marcus was confused. But he stood guard, curious to find out what was going on here. It had to be special, since Tiberius was here.

@Sarah

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