Max Randor tells a story

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Location: Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A story set in times that are Roman in a place that is most defiantly not

A story set in times that are Roman in a place that is most defiantly not

This is a story I wrote in the 3rd form and is much better than the story beneath this one anyway I am doing this chapter by chapter so dont be surprised if posts have wierd dates.
Comments are more than welcome please comment and tell me how to improve the story which I may eventualy write a sequal to.
Contents so far
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

Chapter 1

Calcifur (Aqueus) Slave stood on the platform waiting. Staring at the clouds over head heavy with rain, counting mentally 10, 9, 8, 7… when a voice cut into his consciousness

“Fine specimen here. Look at those muscles and hardly a scratch on him. Starting at 20 denari.”

Calcifur carried on counting 5, 4, 3,

“Any bids on this fine day…” the voice was cut off, as rain poured down, in bucket loads and a crash of thunder over head made everyone flinch.

Strangely however, Aqueus did not seem to get wet. The water just seemed to stay a few millimetres away from his skin. His clothes were soaked in most places but his skin and short cropped hair were dry. Everybody else’s clothes were soaked through.

Aqueus heard a loud voice shouting “my clothes are ruined, do you know how much they cost me?” and everybody began to run towards the colonnade except the guards and the auctioneer and the other slaves waiting.

“I will buy the lot for 100 denarii,” said a man in brown leather over clothes and serviceable linen tunic.

“But they are worth much more,” said the auctioneer.

“Do you think you will sell them in this weather?” replied the man.

The auctioneer sighed and held out his hand.

The Man tossed a bag into it and Aqueus heard the rich clink of gold.

The guards reattached Aqueus to the chains before he had a chance to struggle. Then the guard handed the lead ropes to the Man who led them onwards towards the colonnade where a moderately good horse stood. He jumped on and tied the lead ropes to the pommel of the saddle. The slaves groaned and Aqueus heard one of them mutter “we will be soaked.”

That surprised Aqueus as he thought he was as dry as before it started to rain. He wished the others were dry and his new master soaked.

The Man started his horse at a fast walk and the chain jolted the slaves and they had to run to keep up.

The ground was very muddy with the water that had already fallen, but it did not hinder the slaves. For some reason it hardened in front of Aqueus. He was in front and the ground slowly began to soften afterwards. The other slaves as were amazed to find that they were only damp, not soaked through, as they had been a few minutes before.

As the Man passed an inn, all the lights went out and they heard a voice inside shouting “Why did the fire go out?” a light had come from the inn and had shone onto the Man and been absorbed. After that, Aqueus saw that any rain that fell on the Man slowly began to steam. Aqueus wondered why this was and again wished that the Man was soaked. He saw that as they passed houses and lamps all the lights went out.

They soon left the city and began to traverse the Latrian high way. Twice they were forced off the road by Legionary messenger carts travelling at high speed (for a cart that is). At neither time did the Man let them stop and they had to walk along the side of the ditch half falling in. Indeed three slaves actually fell in and the others had to pull them out quickly to avoid being pulled into the muddy depths themselves. Aqueus thought that the journey would never end. Eventually however, they came to an inn with a barn beside it. /

The strange thing about the barn was that all the windows were barred and there were bolts on the outside of the doors. The Man went up to the doors, dismounted and undid the bolts. Aqueus angrily wished that the Man would be soaked, as he realised the barn was a prison. Suddenly a large amount of water came pouring off the roof and for a moment the Man disappeared behind a waterfall. His horse reared backwards and tried to turn but the Man’s hand shot out and grabbed the reigns.

The man finished opening the door and led them in, shaking with anger, sheets of water coming off him and steam curling off his head.

Inside there were about 40 other slaves sitting in chains which were attached to the supports of the Barn. There was as haystack in the middle at one side and all the slaves were bound facing that way. The man tied Aqueus and the other slaves up facing the same way and climbed up onto the hay stack. He had just got up when a drip of water fell from the ceiling to land on his head. He looked up to see where it was coming from and his jaw dropped in amazement, nearly loosing his balance. The next instant he was flat on his back and soaking. A great torrent had come pouring down and knocked him flat on his back.

The Man got up and shouted, the gold flecks in his eyes glowing “My name is Domignis Caminus Incendium! I am your master! You will be building an aqueduct further south to bring water to the water arena and other important areas. If you work well you may be given another job doing the same kind of thing. If you do not then you will be sent to the Quarries to die… painfully” a wicked smile was upon Domignis’s face.

As Domignis turned to leave, water poured down again, but he jumped out of the way. He was almost out of the door when he stopped and a young woman entered with a tray filled with bread. Two burly men entered behind her carrying a black cauldron with a lid on it. There was a ladle sticking out of the side. A third man entered with a basket of cheap earthenware bowls.

The woman handed out the bread, the fourth man behind her handing out bowls. The two burly men moved along stopping and ladling out a thick soup, when they stopped.

“I am only paying 10 denari” exclaimed Domignis.

“That does not matter” whispered the woman, “this is only scraps, we got them cheap”

As the woman turned, Aqueus saw that she had to be a slave. There were scars from beatings on the back of her neck.

The soup was lukewarm and Aqueus thought of all the cold people in the room. What they need is some good hot soup, He thought.

He almost started in surprise when the next mouthful was hot. Delicious he thought.

Chapter 2

Soon Domignis left for the inn. The woman got up. “My name is Floss Bombycinus Plantana. You are in a barn by an inn south of Lignumurbeimber. You are going to be going south through the town of Urberobur then via the Capital, Latri to the opides auster aureus caldor. There you will be helping to build an aqueduct to supply those cities with water during the droughts and the water arena in Latri. This has been declared vital by the Emperor so that production of steel can increase to make weapons to defend our fair land” Floss said the last two words with sarcasm. She had obviously heard this in a speech.

Aqueus thought she is not a slave. She has three names!

Floss came and sat down at the end of Aqueus’ line, on an overturned bucket not far from him.

Aqueus whispered “Why do you dress and work like a slave when you are a Latrian citizen?” he paused for moment and seeing the look on her face said, “I am sorry if I have offended you but I am curious.”

“You may know. I shall tell you. I am Domignus’s niece once removed and after my parents died then I was sent to live with him.” whispered Floss, her voice quivering with barely controlled emotion.

“So that is why he lets you walk free,” stated Aqueus

“Am I not locked in with the slaves? To him I am just a higher class of slave to do the things like orginising the house keeping, and to be beaten at the smallest mistake. I am beaten more harshly than the other slaves because I should know better apparan…” she trailed of ashamed at this outburst the green flecks in her eyes glowing softly. A moss plant at her foot seemed to interest her a lot; it seemed to be growing perceptibly.

Aqueus ducked his head “I am sorry,” he whispered

“It is not your fault.” said Floss harshly

Then she got up abruptly and got the three other slaves that were not shackled to help her collect the bowls and stack them in the corner. Then she started a chain of straw being passed along the lines of slaves to make beds for them to sleep on. When everyone was ready, she made her own in the corner, and blew out the lamp.

Chapter 3

Militerrus Humus Tesuti wished the marching would end. His cohort had been reassigned from the northernmost fort to the southernmost fort to help protect the coast from raids by pirates and Burdien raiders, also to help keep down the bandits in the mountain and defend the aqueducts that were going to be built. What, did they think his cohort were? Gods? True they had taken on a barbarian force five times their number and not lost a man, and captured most of the enemy. That just meant that they were good, not superhuman!

Anyway, at least it would be more exciting; more moving around seeing new ground. Not staying cooped up all the time training, but out and about doing stuff, and making a difference.

How much clay is there here? Militerrus wondered the brown flecks in his eyes glowing, well I suppose that the diamonds are found in clay so there must be some…. Blue clay that is what it is called. You can probably make interesting pots with that. They never seem to have good ones in the forts. I will have to make a set for a whole legion. Militerrus smiled.

“Are you laughing at me,” shouted the centurion who hit him on the leg with his vine staff.

“No sir! Definitely, not sir!” replied Militerrus, quickly straightening his back.

“Then what were you doing?” shouted the centurion.

“Smiling sir! Thinking of how nice it will be to see a new place, sir!” replied Militerrus hurriedly.

The centurion walked off along the line.

Soon the fort came into sight. It was impressive; walls twice as high as his old fort and a very large range of booby traps spreading out for quite some distance away from the walls.

This place gets attacked by large numbers of disciplined troops thought Militerrus. He caught sight of some bones hanging off a wooden stake.

When they were inside the fort, the gates quickly closed and they were shown to their quarters. When they had unpacked, Militerrus asked his centurion (not the one from the march) if he could be allowed to find where the pottery workshop was. After a moment’s hesitation the centurion consented. Militerrus quickly found the pottery workshop from the smell of the clay and the fact that forts always followed the same basic pattern. In a few weeks he was in charge of it and it was producing three times more pottery than had been producing before, and these of a much higher quality.

Much later on ... . .

Chapter 4

The work on the aqueduct had progressed well. The fort and the navy had worked well and fought off all of the raids before they caused too much damage. Only 798 merchant ships sunk by Burdien raiders and pirates and these mainly of the smaller variety. The taxes handed in were approaching 90% of the amount that should be. All in all the province of opides auster aureus caldor was doing very well. The best year for many a year and many to come. It only got worse.

Aqueus was doing great; the slave in charge of five teams of builders checking all the work himself and making everything perfect. He worked hard. He had nothing else to do and besides he liked the work. The mountain source was all his work. He had seen how it should be done and explained it. He had been put in charge of building it as well. It was almost finished. The wooden scaffolding just needed to be removed. That was almost all. He had not told Domignus. He did not need to. He had not been asked. The source was beautiful; the water clear and the curve of the wall a perfect curve, the pressure of the water being taken right into the solid rock of the mountain. He gazed out across it the blue flecks in his eyes glowing.

Aqueus was worried, Domignus his master was coming. He was not sure why. He was not behind schedule. Far from it, he had taken half the time that he had been given.

Domignus arrived that day. That night the scaffolding burned down. Nothing else happened even though there were only ashes left. True the top had not been finished but they could work around that. They did not really need the scaffolding. They had not used it for weeks. The fire had been strange; it had started at the same time at five places at least. 10 people had been killed trying to put out the blaze.

Chapter 5

Militerrus was up on the wall when he saw the smoke signals from the Navy base. He told the soldier who was meant to be watching, but was eating his lunch and started to read the message but he did not need to. There was too much smoke coming from the navy base. He rushed down the stairs from the parapet.

“The Navy base is on fire,” He shouted at the top of his voice.

The legate was on his horse slowly passing the end of the alley.

“Sir” cried Militerrus, “The Navy base is on fire!”

The legate looked at him, hesitated, then shouted. “I want every man down to the naval base on the double we have a fire on our hands so go prepared.”

About a day and a night of frenzied work and effort plenty of burns and too many deaths.

On the way back to the fort Militerrus caught sight of Domignus.

“What is he doing here? Isn’t he in charge of the aqueducts?”

“Yes, he came to discuss whether the aqueducts could be extended down to the naval base.”

The strange thing was that the fires had started in about 20 places and at the same time all the other fires in the place had gone out. Only the quick intervention of the legionaries made it possible for only a quarter of the navy at the base to be destroyed and only half the buildings. However this meant that the Navy was weakened and this was worrying because there were rumours that the Burdiens were about to launch a huge attack. There were rumours of iguns magia or fire magic for which the peoples of the land of the dragon were known for.

Chapter 6

“Psst” whispered a voice in the corner, “come here. I have to tell you something”

“What?” whispered Aqueus.

“My master wishes to have a pipe from the aqueduct for his private purposes”

“Then he needs to arrange with Domignus to have it done. There is a set fee.”

“Ok, I will give you 3 gold coins to do it and when you have I will give you 27”

“The fee for having a pipe is 1000 denari 755 before and 255 after that does not equal 30 gold coins it equals 1000.”

“I can arrange 50 gold coins”

“NO!” shouted Militerrus (who had been hidden in the shadows) “Who is your master? Tell me now or I will rip your head off”

“Domignus, sir. It is for his house, sir. He could not do it himself he is too stingy and someone might find out, sir, that is why,” replied the voice. It hesitated for a minute and then continued, “I will tell you a secret if you will spare me. He is Burdien. He has the gold flecks in his eyes and so he has ignus magia.”

Both Militerrus and Aqueus gasped, and said together “then he started the fire”. They looked at each other. They were strangers and thought they had never met before but now had a common bond.

They walked the slave to the prison, then set out to the House of Domignus.

They slipped in quietly. Domignus was sitting on the ground beside a pool. There was a small fire in front of him. When they entered, he somehow made all the flames leave the wood and fly straight at them. Aqueus somehow made some of the water jump out of the pool and put it out. The rest he poured onto Domignus and down his throat. Militerrus made the ground suddenly cave in beneath Domignus. Cracks radiated from a hole that gradually vanished until there was just a damp depression on the ground. All the water had gone down the hole with Domignus.

“Dead” said Militerrus, “the ground crushed him.”

“The water entered him and put out his fire and quenched his heart. He is dead” said Aqueus then in an awed whisper. “Did you know you could do that?”

“No” replied Militerrus.

“Me neither” said Aqueus.

They began to leave…..

Chapter 7

Suddenly they lurched and had to grab onto each other to stay upright – they felt like their limbs were made of lead and as if they had just run up a mountain. They staggered over to a stone bench and collapsed onto it.

Floss stepped out of the shadows of the doorway “The roots grew within him and strangled his mind” she staggered towards them and collapsed onto the bench.

“Thank you Floss” gasped Aqueus “do you have any idea what just happened”

“Some” sighed Floss “magic”

“I think some elaboration is in order” declared Militerrus breathlessly.

Aqueus responded shakily “Militerrus, this is Floss, Floss Militerrus.

I met Floss on my first night with Domignus as my master. She brought us some delicious soup.”

Floss had closed her eyes and was breathing deeply, she was obviously distressed.

“But what just happened?” asked Militerrus

Floss opened her eyes and stared at them bleakly.

“We just killed a high official and destroyed the evidence. Using methods no one would understand. We also killed a spy and traitor who was attempting to weaken the nation from within.

We killed a man responsible for the fiery deaths of many people.”

At this Aqueus and Militerrus nodded.

There was silence.

Aqueus squirmed on the bench.

“But how did I make the water fly out of the pond.”

“Because you wanted to and you have Water magic” replied Floss softly

“Does that mean I have Earth magic?” exclaimed Militerrus “that would explain a lot”

“Yes” responded Floss.

“and you have Plant magic?” offered Aqueus.

Floss nodded.

They sat in silence for a while colour slowly returning to their faces.

“I am very hungry” declared Militerrus.

The others nodded and Floss led the way to the kitchen.

“All the others are out Domignus does … did not like to be disturbed when he was staring into his fire.” explained Floss.

There was a small pot of stew simmering atop the stove and a delicious smell of fresh bread was coming from the oven. Floss went to a shelf and took down some bowls, plates and some cheese, Aqueus carried the stew over to the table and Militerrus took the bread out from the oven.

They sat down heavily on the wooden benches and began eating ravenously.

When they had finished all the food on the table Floss took some honey cakes off a shelf and Aqueus took a jug of milk and some cups off another shelf.

They had slowed down enough to talk now and began to tell their stories.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Possibly my worst strory of all time

I figured that if I started at the bottom it could only get better :-)



2264AD. All humans temporarily disappeared from the face of the earth at very short notice and this is what happened while they were gone.

Day 1 Normal cleaning finished. Lack of humans confirmed

Day 2 Private buildings close up and sterile environments begin to be established in all homes without pets.

Day 3 Super spring cleaning begins. All surfaces deep cleansed and full dust removal begins in private buildings. Repair of all defects begun by maintenance droids.

Day 7 Public buildings close up.

Day 8 Super spring cleaning of public buildings begins.

Day 9 food producing industry begins to grind to a halt as surplus stockpiles reach maximum because there are no humans to work out how to redistribute surpluses. Robots get stuck in mid action as a result of programming conflictions.

Week 3 All super spring cleaning finished.

Week 5 all chewing gum removed.

Week 6 Programming glitch allows outside cleaning robots into shops. All chewing gum and tobacco removed.

Week 7 All sewage processed. Deep cleaning of sewers commences.

Week 8 Requests for production of materials and replacements for parts that have been used up or cleaning materials go unanswered due to the lack of humans to answer them, so slowly more and more shortages build up. Factories and industry begin to grind to a halt.

Week 20 Day 3 humans return from a teleportation to census check in sector 4. (They learn this later). Though the trip is erased from their memories, they are much surprised to be woken in the morning by their house robots saying “welcome home. Where have you been for the last 20 weeks 3 days and 12 hours? Multiple answers and decisions are required now that you have returned and a report has been made of all actions and things that have happened during your absence”. Assorted alarms could be heard by all humans as the robots programming recognised that humans were within hearing distance and immediately went to full noise output in order to for fill their programming and get a human to make all the decisions that needed to be made. 20% of the larger computers designed to deal with problems burnt out after multiple programming counter orders conflicted and escalating demands stopped the computers from turning themselves off to avoid overload.

It took three months for all programming to be fixed and another five for everything to be restored as normal. Five years later the source of this problem was found after a combination of hypnosis, a very specially designed diet and an injection of a cocktail of enzymes and proteins enabled memories that had been shut of by the aliens to be accessed. A by-product of the research that led to this was the discovery of what is labelled as the truth drug which makes it impossible to lie and memory techniques that can produce perfect recall of events. The humans learnt that they had been taken away for a census and they found out how to operate the machines used to take the census. Technology was secretly developed that stopped the scanners left by the aliens to monitor humankind from realising what was happening and a new golden age came on humankind for a period of almost 10 years during which a legal case was assembled by the best minds to gain a way out of the alien over lordship.

The End

Well done if you survived - if not better luck next time - or possbily not
GCSEs are dangerous things - things like this could be created.

Due to popular request

Due to popular request and against my better judgement I have decided to release my terrible storys that no one wants to read onto the internet - hopefuly it will not cause the internet to explode from shame. :-)

Really you should be careful what you wish for