Scheming in the Morning Edit
We woke up in the early hours of the morning. A knock came from our door, and Krios answered it. A servant told us that Emperor Caligula had demanded our presence. I told him, "There had better be breakfast." A little shocked, he told us to wait a moment, and he went off.
While waiting for the man to return, I looked out on the balcony. The soldiers were doing brutal training exercises out in the yard. (They seem to be tearing each other apart down there!)
Thinking of an opportunity, I tried to use my Longlass' scope to spy the women from the bath tubs. All I could see though were just their backs. (Tch. Drat.) I asked if anyone had something that could take pictures but found out that only Admiral Zachary had anything of the sort.
(I need to smooth things over with the Homestead crew after beating up several of them. I'm thinking that taking pictures of the scantily clad women, and distributing said pictures with them would be a good way to do so.)
The servant returned with a modest meal. As we were eating, Red Ded left the room, muttering something about counting 'teef'.
We arrived before Emperor Caligula after eating our breakfast. He was fully robed, and was still carrying his staff. "Well, you certainly took your time. Spare me your excuses, we don't have time for that right now." Caligula started his rant. "Listen, for I have big plans for my ascension to Terra!! It is necessary for me to finish what I have set out to do here in my kingdom so that I may have a glorious departure from this realm!! I will not have some meager parade held in my honor while I leave when there is unfinished work to be had!! NO! I will leave this planet an accomplished, and righteous ruler to be remembered even when I'm gone to take my place in the Empire of Mankind!! And you all will aid me!"
We nodded and asked what needed to be done.
"Yes, Good. I will remember your aid when I'm at my father's side. Gentlemen, before I leave, I aim...... TO CONQUER BRITAIN!!"
My memories return to the hologram table in the war room. There was such a place on the map, if I remember correctly, it was an island that was surrounded by Caligula's ships.
Caligula said with authority. "The British have kept us off their shores, and have been a thorn in our side for as long as we've had to deal with them, but tomorrow, I plan to change all of that with your help. Preparations for the invasion are underway for today, but once those are settled, we will attack post haste!"
Caligula settled down, and continued. "For today however, there are some things I would like for you to do, and feel free to choose what you'll do first. For starters, I am most insistent that you show me your strength in the Coliseum against what you may find to be worthy opponents. I must see how far the empire has come since we were separated from it." I hear some grunts of agreement from the others, they seem eager. (If Red Ded was here, I'm sure he would be yelling his wagh and pounding his chest like no tomorrow.)
Pleased by our reaction, Caligula continued. "The other thing I wish for you to look into, would be something that has been nagging at me for quite some time. Our farmers from the vineyard have reported seeing a Minotaur roaming around our produce. Which is odd, since I could have sworn we imprisoned them all in the Labyrinth."
My thoughts return to the shadow I saw yesterday. Could that have been the Minotaur? If so, what was he doing there?
Krios, Laz, and I talked about it among ourselves for a minute. When we finished, we let Caligula know that we would find the Minotaur first.
Caligula bid us fair well, and told his guards to guide us to the vineyards.
Everything seemed fine as we headed down the street in our hover chariots. But as accursed luck would have it, that wouldn't be the case. A spark from a blacksmith's work in progress started a fire in his house. The next thing I know, his marble building goes up in flames, and so does the house next to him.......... I might have panicked.......
City Inferno Edit
Laz slapped me. "Get a hold of yourself pup!" Angered, but now in a rational state a mind, I let the missionary off with a warning.
"How in the world is this happening I wondered aloud." After a couple of seconds it dawned on Krios, "Wait a minute, didn't Emperor Caligula say that he covered the city in 'Holy Oils' to keep out demonic presences?" Thinking back to last nights' speech, I realize that he's right. (Well didn't that turn out to be counter productive!)
Laz started giving out orders. "People form a bucket line! Krios, aid them! Greaves go save people trapped in the fire!" (He didn't need to tell me what to do. I was going to do that anyways. Still at least he's got the right idea.) I ran to the nearest building and started evacuating the premise.
I managed to get some people out of the burning buildings rather quickly. However, in the last one I went into, I found no one in there, and tried to get out. I hear wood snapping right above me. Reacting instinctively, I leaped out into the street just in time to avoid burning timber from crashing on top of me. I take a look around.
Krios was having some difficulty getting the people forming the line, but was starting to get them into formation. Off to the side, Laz was talking to his micro-bead, requesting air support. Some of the other buildings caught on fire.
I was about to join them in putting out the flames, when I heard it. A little girl's screams coming from a building I had not checked. I rush towards the building, but in my haste, I ended up almost tripping myself over. I clumsily make my way into the death trap.
I couldn't find her right away. While she was screaming other sounds got in the way of me pinpointing her location. The flames were breaking glass, causing internal collapse, and eating away at my coat..........?! ( OH SHIT!) I quickly remove the cloth, undoing my disguise in the process. Fortunately none of the fire got to me, but now I was exposed as the wolf man that I am. If anyone were to see me now, I wouldn't want to know what they would do.... (Concentrate!! Remember why you're here!!) I go into the next room to find the girl.
I spot her hiding in a cabinet. I reach out and try to grab her. As my hands reach out though, she took one look at me and started screaming again. She jumped off, and started to run further into the house horrified. Desperate I cry out to her, "STOP! I'M HERE TO HELP YOU!!!" My words reach her, and she turns around and looked at me still terrified. I pick her up, tuck her under my right arm, and raise my left arm to cover my eyes, and made my way to the entrance.
That is how I exited the building. When I reached a safe distance, I put her down, and gently pushed her to make her run. Taking a quick glance, it seems to me that no one had noticed me yet. I make a mad dash for cover before someone spotted me.
When I'm convinced that I was safe, I started catching my breath in an alleyway. (I should really get a rebreather, smoke from a fire is no joke!) I look up to see a transport ship dousing flames by dropping water on it. Knowing that, I took deep breaths, and made my way to a vantage point where I could keep watch without being seen.
Our transport ship landed down. A Navigator walked out of it, and introduced herself as Claire. As she mingled with everyone, I swiftly sneaked on board the craft, and found myself materials for a new disguise. Putting it on, I rejoined my allies.
With the fire gone, we proceeded to the vineyards in an effort to find our query. The Navigator tagged along with us in our mission. (Hope she does well.) In no time at all, we arrive at our destination.
Immediately, I try to find clues of the Minotaur's presence, but fail in finding anything. (I must not be searching in the right area.)
Krios shouted out, "Is anyone here?" A voice shouted back, "Of course asshole!!" From nearby, a farmer walked out of his house and proceeded to advance towards us. Krios didn't take very well to the insult and got into a fight with the man. Being the psyker that he was, he used his abilities to get the upper hand on the guy. No one, not even the guard that led us here, was pleased with the incident.
I once again redouble my efforts to find the Minotaur, but still couldn't find anything. Laz on the other hand, had a far better luck than I did. His voice sounded off nearby, "WOAH! HEY! STOP IN THE NAME OF THE GOD EMPEROR!!" *CRASH*. (I'm guessing he found him.)
Took me only a moment to spot the Missionary, a second more to see the behemoth that was the Minotaur. He was standing right next to a fallen tree, and had his eyes set on Laz. The Minotaur was about to charge at him, when I stepped in front of Laz.
I took off my disguise, held my hand up, and yelled, "STOP!". The Beast-man halted right in front of me, surprised to see another mutant. "What do you want?" He asked me. I responded, "Why are you here in human territory?"
He huffed in disagreement. "HUMAN territory!!?? I've lived here my entire life!! I was born here, and I will die here! They're the ones interfering in my territory!!"
(At this point, I'm guessing my allies were leaving the situation to me since they hadn't recklessly charged in yet. Or at least do anything psychicly.)
Recollecting myself, I made a suggestion to the man. "I see, however, I suggest you stop attacking us. If you continue, you will likely end up dead."
The Minotaur snorted. "I don't believe you. What makes you think that you can kill me?"
Thinking quickly, I asked him, "Have you ever heard of a bowgun?" He nodded. I brought out one of my boltguns. "Well this, is like an advanced version of that. Watch and see how fast the 'arrow' goes."
I take a shot into the wilderness. The bullet caused a nice, little explosion of bark as it hit one of the trees. The demonstration was highly effective on the Minotaur. "Alright..... What do you want?" Holstering my weapon, I move closer to the bull man. Pointing to the humans I say, "Let's go somewhere a little less crowded."
The Minotaur and I went inside a nearby green house. While I sat down in a chair next to him, my allies kept vigilance outside to deter anyone from coming inside. I kept my micro-bead on so that I was in constant contact with them in case things went sour.
I start off the conversation. "So, Minotaur-". He cuts me off. "I have a name you know." (Oops.) "Ah right. Sorry about that. My name is Greaves Fenrir, What's yours?" I extend my hand. He looks at it for a couple of seconds before shaking it. "Gladius", he tells me. With the introductions out of the way, I continue my conversation.
"So Gladius, tell me, I've only been on this world for a short time, and the only things I know about this planet, is from the human perspective. I want to know your view. What's your story?" He opened up to me, and talked about the many atrocities that the humans had done to his kind. "Are there more of you out there?" He shook his head, saying that all of the other beast-men he knew had been taken away, and that he's been alone for most of his time here. I bring up what Caligula said about the Labyrinth. He scoffed, saying that the maze was just the humans way of covering up what they were truly doing, slaughtering beast-men without care.
With Gladius's perspective about this world, know embedded in my mind, I make a proposal to him. "I'm going to be honest with you Gladius. I can take you off this world, problem with that is, is that you will have to take orders from humans. They won't try to kill you so long as you're not hostile, but they won't be nice to you either." He leaned back, and thought about it for a while. After a few minutes of silence, he leaned forward. "So long as they don't try to kill me, I don't care."
The crew and I immediately work on a plan to spirit away Gladius from the planet. Laz managed to get a hold of Admiral Zachary and requested the transport ship to our location, and a Valkyrie to make a blast zone nearby. When the transport got here, I lead Gladius inside the ship and helped fastened him in. I asked the pilot to 'play nice' and exited the ship. I put on my disguise on as I saw the ship leave.
Then I heard a crash. Heading towards the general direction of the sound, I saw the Valkyrie in a burning wreck on the ground. Krios, Claire, and Laz were gathered together, gaping at the scene. Krios spoke out. "Huh..... That didn't work as expected..... But I think we can still make the most of this."
I don't know what caused the pilot to crash the ship, but judging from the sight, there was no way we were going to ask him without pulling his spirit from whatever afterlife he was now in. We went back to the guard and told him our job was finished.
The Coliseum Edit
"REALLY!!?" Caligula had asked. "The Minotaur was atomized!? And to think it managed to crash one of your ship's. What a waist! We could have put it into the Coliseum!"
Only Caligula would be crazy enough to believe that pack of lies Krios told him. So for once, his insanity worked to our advantage. Krios even told him about the rude farmer, whom Caligula then ordered to be beheaded. Unluckily though, the mutants from yesterday had replaced the swimming women. Also, for reasons I cannot possibly fathom, Caligula was naked, the only thing he had on him, was his staff which he carried in his hands..... (My eyes....... At least his legs were crossed.)
"Speaking of the Coliseum, *claps hands* I have made the necessary preparations for your bouts for today! I am SO excited to see you all in action! I can only hope that what I have will prove worthy of your skills!" Caligula proceeded to stand up and put on his robe. (Why didn't he put it on while he was sitting down? T.T)
Caligula's wife and child appeared off to the side, and approached him. They had a private conversation, but I did manage to hear some of it, due to my heightened hearing. Caligula told his wive that a senator required her services. She did not take it well, and seemed to plead to him not to let her do it. Caligula however, dismissed her. I don't know what just happened, but I do know that it wasn't pleasant.
So, Claire, Krios, Laz, and I were led into the battle dome that we were going to fight in. For once I wish Red Ded, and Axios were with us. Despite their faults, they knew how to fight. I'm not quite sure how this group would fair in the battle to come.
As we made our entrance, we were greeted by the cheers of hundreds of people. (Ow my ears.) Caligula took his place in a decorated boxed off area and raised his arms to calm the blood thirsty crowd.
I bring out my power sword in preparation.
After a short speech, the Emperor exclaimed, "RELEASE THE SAND TIGER!!" Just like that, a gate opened on the other side of the arena. A feline like creature with tough looking skin came out. It growled at us.
Claire wasted no time in firing off a shot at the beast. She got it good, the bullet left a bloody trail on the beast's face. Krios raised his hand, but I don't think whatever he was doing was working, just a hunch. Laz got in closer and attacked the tiger with his flamethrower. The tiger growled, and pounced at Laz, barely missing him. I take my chance and charge at the beast's side, stabbing it in the heart. Any fight the thing had, left it.
Caligula asked the crowd what the tiger's fate should be. The crowd raised their fists, and made a thumbs down sign. "Then it shall be killed! Slay it!!"
I turn my blade to the side, and tore through the tiger. The crowd cheered in unison, celebrating the deed. (May the beast know peace.)
Next thing that came out, was some sort of white monstrosity. Claire fired another well aimed round at the creature, and Krios inflicted what I could only imagine to be excruciating amounts of pain on the creature. In no time at all the thing was lying down lifeless on the ground. With a another death sentence imposed by the crowd, Krios lifted the beast with telekinesis, and caused it to explode. This act pleased the crowd immensely.
With this Caligula ordered the next group in. "I see now that the Imperium of Man wields incredible power fit for any beast that gets thrown in their way, but can these warriors handle, the PRAETORIAN GUARD!!??" Six men wielding spears, and donning thick armor marched into the arena.
I move to the far left of my group, and took a defensive stance. Being outnumbered six to four, I did not want the soldiers flanking, or getting behind us. I didn't have to worry too much, just off to the side, I see Claire remove her hood. Four of the guards howl in pain, and drop down to a knee.
(I've heard about this. Navigators possessed incredible power focused at the center of their forehead at they called the third eye. Looking at it was said to be dangerous. Guess the rumor was with merit.
I assume Krios was working his psychic abilities on the downed guards. Laz started bathing them in flames. The two guards that were still up, charged at Claire and Laz. I didn't see how Claire was doing, but Laz managed to avoid getting hit.
I bring up my blade to aid Laz, but he stopped me. "NO! I got this one! You take on the others!" I'll admit that I was a little surprised by Laz's reaction, but if he felt that way, than I would do just that.
I charged at the downed guard at the far left of the group. I swung too early however, and missed my opportunity to strike him down for good. The Praetorian Guard recovered from his ailments, stood up, and aimed his spear at me. As the others charged at my allies, we stared each other down looking for an opening.
I hear more gunfire and yells behind me. I feel the heat of Laz's flamethrower even from where I was standing.
The Guard moves first, he thrusts his spear at my chest. I manage to hit his spear out of the way. I doing so, my Power Sword's energy field broke his weapon, rendering it useless. As he stared in shock, I took my second swing at him. My swing strikes home, but the wound is far too shallow to be mortally wounding.
More shouts from behind me, one of them female. I feel more heat as flames dance behind me.
The Praetorian Guard threw his weapon away, and took a swing at me. He misses. I bring my sword down for the third time. As it was going down, the man caught the sword with his bare hands! (I can't imagine how painful that is.) We struggle to control the blade. He tries to move the blade, but loses his focus, and the sword descended on his face, ending his life.
With my foe defeated, I look back to see the situation. Three of the Praetorian Guards were still standing. Laz and Krios were still standing, but Claire was sprawled across the floor, covered in blood. Krios unleashed a storm of psychic energy knocking two of the guards on their feet.
Taking my chance, I sheath my sword and bring out one of my Bolt Pistol's. I fire a round into the closest guard I could find, but it seemed to just bounce off the man's armor.
Another wave of fire and psychic energy occur. I aim, then semi fire at the Guard again; Same result.
One last wave of fire brings the Guard down, but not out. Krios ends the Guard in front of him with his powers. I holster my pistol, and quickly brought out my sword. I charge at the burning guard and strike true, finishing him.
The last guard, the one Laz was fighting the entire time, drops to his knees, his fighting spirit dissipated. Before Laz could finish him, Caligula made another speech. "People of Rome, the battle is over. The Praetorian Guard have fought most excellently against our emissaries, but your emperor still demands blood, what say you?" The crowd murmured among themselves, but ended up raising their hands in a thumbs up, sparing the man. Caligula relented, and allowed the man to live.
With the man no longer a threat, I wipe my sword of blood, sheathe it, and helped the man back to the gate. He thanked me for both helping him, and for a great match.
That night. Caligula had a servant call us to his chambers behind the throne. We arrived before him, his back to us. Like always, he was carrying his staff.
"Have you ever wandered how civilization came to be, emissaries?" Caligula asked us, his tone somber and reflective instead of his usual demanding demeanor.
"I have wondered that question many times over the course of my life." He continued. "I wonder how my Father manage to create the Imperium, and how he felt along the way........ Is He satisfied? Or does He feel that His efforts were never enough."
Without warning, he let go of his staff. Nothing seemed to happen, but I noticed a reaction from Laz and Krios. From what I could make out from the torch light, they were astonished beyond belief. What could those two be seeing?
TO BE CONTINUED. . . .
Logs and Links
Greaves Log: Rome 2