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facilis descensus Averno (M - S, V)


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This is more of a two-part fic than an RP thread. It's not a happy story so don't expect a happy ending.


AD 68, the river border somewhere between Pannonia and Sarmatia

It had all been orchestrated, planned. Not the raid, or incursion, or whatever it was that had meant the Roman camp turning out to beat back the Roxolani or whichever tribe had crossed the river. The response, once the Romans had regained control of their side of the river, was conducted in a way that led Tiranês to suspect the garrison commander had already made his plans.

The hostages – there were a number, from various of the Sarmatian tribes – were gathered together and brought down to the river. He could see signs of a camp on the other side, and hoped that it was not one of his own tribe's encampments.

Soldiers moved among the group of hostages, forcibly lining them up, separating the younger ones from the older ones.

“I always knew we shouldn't have had some of these, what use are they?” one said, shoving Tiranês so that he stumbled.

“They're all good for examples,” someone else rejoined. “What about this one?” He poked Tiranês hard in the shoulder.

“He's what, sixteen? We'll sell him – someone'll get some use out of him.”

Tiranês was frozen in horror for a moment before the scene coalesced in front of him – the Romans were systematically stripping each of the older hostages before nailing their outstretched arms to a heavy wooden beam, the cross-piece of a cross. Three long iron nails – the third in the feet – and then each was lifted and dropped into a prepared hole, leaving each naked prisoner writhing in agony, unable to do much more than gasp for air. Other soldiers were going through their clothing, taking anything of value and piling everything up in a heap that someone then set on fire.

He turned away, finding his younger cousin and pressing Azarion's head close to his chest. “Don't look – better that you don't look.”

“Where's that lippy little shit? It's about time we taught him to hold his tongue!”

He instinctively tightened his grasp on Azarion, only for a Roman soldier to forcibly tear his cousin from his arms, leaving him helplessly grasping at air as someone else took hold of him from behind.

“No! No – Azarion – leave him alone, you bastards, he's just a child!”

“Shut up, you. You'll have your own problems to think about soon enough.”

Let him go, he hasn't done anything to you!”

A fist connected solidly with his solar plexus at that point, winding him and leaving him gasping even as he was unceremoniously pushed to his knees, with a hand sliding into his hair and using his own braids to wrench his head up. He scrabbled for leverage but that hand was far too tight in his hair and then there was the whisper of cold steel at his throat, making him jerk back from the threat of the blade.

“Leave him alone – he's only a child, he hasn't done anything!”

“He's been a lippy little shit for far too long, and lippy little shits need to learn to hold their tongues,” said the man above and behind him, the voice seeming to relish what was happening.

There was the flash of steel from in front of him and a scream that seemed to go on for far too long. Tiranês tried to turn his head to one side or the other but the hand in his braids was holding him far too tightly.

They were... they were... “No – no – he's just a child...”

“He'll be a lot quieter without his tongue. He might fetch a decent price somewhere if he can't gossip or answer back. If he survives that long.”

The shriek cut off abruptly and Tiranês twisted futilely in the grasp of the man above him, as much as the painful grip in his hair would let him. “You murdering bastards!”

The grip of his hair was released, but before he could respond a hand between his shoulder-blades shoved him forward, and he landed hard on his hands in the dirt. At least, he thought it was a hand, it might just as easily have been a foot.

There was a scrabbling at the fastenings of his trousers and he twisted, trying to kick out. Someone cuffed him around the head, hard, and the next thing he felt was cold air on his ass and thighs.

He watched a soldier drag Azarion's limp, unresponsive body away – he could not tell whether his cousin was alive or dead; there was blood all over his clothing, and the soldier's armour.

“Hold him still!”

He was brought back to his own predicament as someone grasped his wrists in a crushing grip and someone else spread his buttocks, pouring a cold trickle of something liquid over him before ramming his cock in hard and fast which made Tiranês let out a wordless shriek of his own even as the soldier above and behind gripped his hips tightly and set up a punishing pace, thrusting in and out with no thought at all for his victim, merely chasing his own pleasure.

Gods, you're tight. Ugh, so good – you could have his mouth, Sextus.”

“And risk him biting my cock off? No damn fear – his ass'll be good enough once you're through.”

He tried to pretend it wasn't happening, but the firm grasp of his wrists, the bruising grip on his hips and the grunts and groans of the soldier abusing him, the cold sharp spikiness of the grass, the chill of the spring air on his exposed thighs and cock, the the painful rhythmic thrusts, the hot puffs of air on his neck and in his ear... He felt sick.

And then he was retching and heaving, and brought the remains of his meagre breakfast up, emptying his stomach into the grass, where the smell of bile added to the pall of blood and smoke that hung over the area.

But it wasn't stopping; it was just going on and on, the panting of his violator loud and hot in his ears until there was a series of hard thrusts and then smaller shudders that were still just as deep and the man collapsed over him as he scrabbled futilely in the other soldier's grip, clawing at the ground as the liquid proof of the man's completion dripped from his ass and down his thighs.

So good... so tight... you'd think he was a virgin,” the man said, his breath hot on Tiranês' neck.

My turn, Gaius,” the other said, letting go of his wrists, though he couldn't go anywhere, couldn't get away from the weight of the man on top of him, pressing him into the dirt, his nose full of the scents of grass, damp earth and acidic vomit.

“In a moment, let me get my breath back.”

“You'll want to be careful here, the stupid barbarian's thrown up.”

“Shift him to a clean spot, then.”

He was dragged a few feet to the side where the two Romans rearranged themselves, his first rapist coming to hold his wrists as the other man sank his dick in up to the balls. Tiranês retched again, dry heaving, as the man set up a pace every bit as hard and fast as his friend's had been, though it was easier now with whatever body fluids – probably including Tiranês' own blood – providing lubrication along with the earlier trickle of oil.

Someone grabbed his hair again, dragging his head up until he met the eyes of the soldier in front of him. He tried to spit but his mouth was dry, and he received a hard slap that knocked his head to the side.

“Good slaves don't do that – whoever gets you will get to do this every day, the lucky bastard. You'd better learn to like it.”

“Fuck you,” Tiranês managed weakly, though it just made the two soldiers laugh.

“You're the one getting fucked, barbarian, I hope you like it.”

Tiranês spat out a mouthful of invective that just made them laugh even as he scrabbled and writhed, desperate to stop them using him for their own sick pleasure. It was all to no avail and his ass was again filled with the hot liquid evidence of a Roman's orgasm.

Eventually the man pushed him down to the ground, pulling himself free of his ass and leaving his ass and thighs bared to the cold spring air. His hands were wrenched behind his back and tied there, so tightly that there would be no possibility of being able to work his ways out of the bonds. And then there was a hand in his hair, again, just as tightly and painfully as the first time, pulling him back up to his knees solely by the grip on his braids.

“He's going to a proper slave market, we ought to make him look more like a proper slave and less like a barbarian,” the first one said, using his grip of Tiranês' braids to give his head a hard wrench to the side. He staggered on his knees, hands tied behind his back and his lower legs entrapped in his trousers.

“You hold him, I'll cut them, then,” the other – Sextus? – said.

“The only thing these are good for is as a grip to hold him by,” the first one said mockingly, using his tight grip of Tiranês' braids to give his head a shake, as a dog would do a rat, and making him cry out with the pain of it.

“Best gag him first, he's only going to protest like the stupid barbarian he is,” the other one said, producing a length of rope from somewhere and tying a knot in the centre of it.

Tiranês balked as it was pressed to his mouth, then one of them pinched his nose, forcing it into his mouth when he could no longer hold his breath. The ends of the rope were tied tightly at the back of his head, the knot mostly filling his mouth and preventing him from saying anything other than a few muffled sounds.

The Romans kept their weapons sharp and it didn't take long for the pair of them to hack Tiranês's braids off using Gaius' short dagger, the hacked-off braids left in the grass at Tiranês knees as he tried to contain his fury and humiliation. He couldn't fight back, tied up and half-naked as he was; the two legionaries were older and brawnier than he was, and there was half a cohort of soldiers milling around anyway.

“Prisoners are to be stowed in the cages there,” someone said once the two had finished their self-imposed task. The messenger looked Tiranês up and down. “Doesn't matter what state he's in, he's still breathing, there'll be a good profit there.”

The cages were crude things, made of iron bars and barely chest-high. Tiranês was dragged stumbling over to one that was already occupied, and shoved inside, still with his hands tied and the improvised gag in his mouth.

It was a cold miserable and uncomfortable night; he couldn't tie his trousers with his hands roped behind his back; the makeshift gag was rubbing at the corners of his mouth, his head was cold without his braids, he ached in places he had never ached before and every time he closed his eyes, that afternoon replayed itself again and again in his mind, not helped by the audible sounds of the dying hostages on their crosses only a few yards away.

He must have eventually dozed off, fitfully, because he was startled awake by someone clanging a heavy stick against the bars of the cage.

They were dragged out and lined up, the line of crosses on one hand and the river on the other. Some of the crucified hostages were still groaning and whimpering and he tried not to hear or see them – they were friends and he could do nothing for them.

Rough hands, pushing him into a line with the others who were still alive. Somewhere in front of them, the clothes of the crucified hostages still smouldered, the smoke hanging heavy in the damp chilly morning air.

Strip them!” A moment later the same voice added, They can keep their footwear.”

There was nowhere to run – he couldn't run anyway, his hands were still bound behind his back. There were enough soldiers to deal with the remaining hostages swiftly and efficiently. Clothes were cut from those who resisted, and from Tiranês and others who were bound. A few soldiers started adding their clothes to the smouldering fire of the previous day, picking them over to take anything valuable for themselves.

It wasn't long before they were left naked and shivering in the cold morning air to see what horrors would be inflicted on them next. A soldier – one of the two from the previous day – stopped in front of Tiranês and drew his dagger. Tiranês shrank back, but the man only raised the weapon to cut away the improvised rope gag from his mouth.

He spat dryly.

Instead of receiving the dagger to the gut (which he had half hoped, half feared that he might get), he received a stinging backhand across the face which snapped his head to the side.

Any more of that and you'll get a proper whipping, slave.”

His mouth was too dry and he hurt too much to make any sort of reply and the soldier moved down the line, apparently satisfied.

His scalp still hurt from having his braids wrenched the previous day, his head was cold, his wrists were raw, he was sore in places he hadn't known could get sore, and he was so heart-sick he was numb from his cousin's death and the cruel humiliating deaths of his friends.

A man dressed in civilian clothes was making his way down the line, accompanied by a group of guards or enforcers or something – burly, no-nonsense, grim-looking men.

Male, aged approximately fifteen...” A hand squeezed his upper arm. “Good condition. Teeth?”

Someone – a soldier – the cold armour pressed against his bare skin – pinched his nose and grasped his chin, pulling his mouth open.

None missing or cracked. Add him to the others.”

He was pulled out of the line, stumbling. His hands were untied, or the ropes cut, but he didn't have time to rub his wrists. A small pile of rough cloth was deposited in his hands.

Get dressed!”

The cloth turned out to be a tunic – or the threadbare, ragged remains of a tunic – in a rough, undyed wool worn thin in places. He pulled it on, grateful for the fragile covering. There was no belt nor any undergarment.

Someone else took him by the shoulder, forcing him down to his knees, the grass cold and spiky against his bare legs. Cold iron closed around his neck and there was the rattle of chain under his ear momentarily. The collar was not so tight that he couldn't breathe, but was tight enough that it would not pass over his head.

He was linked by the neck with five or six others, the chain then being fastened to the slavers' wagon. There was another row of slaves also chained to the wagon, and soon it began to roll, forcing them to walk behind it, or be dragged, more of the slavers' men on horses around them, heading to a dark uncertain future as slaves in the territory of their Roman enemies.

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