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Better late than never! Classwork got me behind tonight. I’ll finish in about 25 minutes. Didn’t get to my full length portion tonight, but I’m still going! Here’s a sample.

The dull rumble of armored boots on her ceiling was the final clue. Octavia slowly rolled her chair about to face the staircase from the upper deck. There was a smattering of light footsteps, and then her page, Marciena Caesar, sister of Julius Brutus Caesar, appeared. Marciena practically leapt off the staircase, nearly bounding into her patron.

“Sorry Octavia, I mean Senatora.” The boundless energy of her eleven-year-old page would usually wash right over the calm and collected senator, but not today. Especially after the last day’s events.

’Ciena, how many times have I told you not to go on the roof? Especially now.” She scolded her young charge, angry that the child had run off to investigate the strange sounds on the roof before even telling her. “I cannot keep my promise to your brother to keep you safe if you keep putting yourself in danger by running off at the slightest interesting noise.” She chided.

“We are already in danger, domina.” Felix Scipio finally entered the room, followed by what seemed like a score of heavily armored, but weary men. “We must talk of getting your out of the city. Immediately.” Octavia nodded slowly. She had prepared for this eventuality, but hearing it come to pass was frightening. .

“I must get word to my people to get out as well. I’m not leaving anyone behind.”

“You may not have a choice.” A different, but still familiar voice interrupted.

“Legate Praetorius Alper. I am extremely glad to see you in one piece. Is it as bad as Felix and I feared? We’ve only heard conflicting reports, and every messenger I’ve sent to the forum has come back with news of fighting in the streets between the Praetorians, Urban Cohort, the mobs, civilians, and anyone capable of wielding a weapon it seems like.” Octavia felt herself foundering for a moment. She grasped the armrests of her wheelchair tightly. “Is it true… the Emperor…”

“I’m afraid it is.” Alper’s stern visage cracked, revealing his raw emotions. “I have served Emperor Hadrian for… over 20 years now. He was a good man. Flawed, certainly. But good. And I will avenge his death.”