Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

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Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Sarpedon Illicon on Tue May 27, 2014 4:20 am

Saar stood silently in front of the beautiful wooden door. He took in all the details of the wooden door that separated him from the First Cohort, his cohort. The teen had already talked to one of the Praetors, and he'd been quickly assigned to the First cohort. He wasn't sure whether it was a compliment or not; shrugging to himself, he shouldered his pack and decided he'd have to find out for himself. It had certainly been quite the journey from the door of his home back in Kuwait, to the threshold that he was now perched on, hesitating. Apparently it was true what they said, all roads did lead to Rome eventually, if you had the patience to keep moving forward that is. Saar ran his fingers along the soft wood, soaking in the moment. All those stories he'd read, all those tales he'd been told, all those fascinating facts he'd researched well into the night led up to this moment: the moment he took his spot within the ranks of the Roman Legions. Glancing skywards, Saar wanted to make sure every single detail of the day was impounded into his memory. The sky was a gorgeous, deep blue, with only the rare cloud in sight. A light breeze tussled his battered Rugby jersey, and the teen smiled, enjoying the sensation of the rough material fluttering against his skin. The sun battered down upon the camp, but Saar didn't mind. He'd gotten used to the heat back in Kuwait and was basking in the glorious springtime weather.

Pushing the door open, he stepped inside, his eyes instantly adjusting to the darker interior. Saar took in the bunks, the shelves, the windows, the tall blonde Roman standing near the centre of the room, the bathrooms on the far side... At first glance, the guy looked like the epitome of what the Roman legionnaire should look like. Tall, tanned, muscular relatively clipped hair, but above all, experienced. Saar had managed to catch a glimpse of the tattoos on the guy's arm; five bars meant five years of service. It was a pretty safe guess to assume that this man was his centurion, but jumping to that conclusion could still be a hasty one. Who knew; perhaps the centurion was a muscle machine standing seven feet tall with a shaven head and a penchant for smashing unruly Greek heads together. Either way, the blonde demigod had noticed his entrance. In his un-rushed fashion, Saar introduced himself, every word carefully chosen and laid out calmly as if he was piecing together a jigsaw puzzle with his phrases. The teen wasn't sure how strict the Legion was with their regulations, but if the man standing before Saar was his centurion, his deference would certainly be appreciated. Otherwise he was just going to look a fool, but he didn't mind, or, at least he told himself he didn't.  Reporting in to the First Cohort. Sarpedon Illicon. I was told someone would give me all the information I would need. Saar's back was ramrod straight, and he was just short of saluting the older demigod. Instead, he stood with his hands placed calmly behind his back, painfully aware that the stance was also exposing the torn insignia on his jersey for clear inspection. I apologise for the state of my garb, the trip has had its rough moments. It will not happen again.
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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Guest on Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:09 pm

Cicero’s thoughts were, most of the time, collected and organized. The boy was hardly a scatterbrained person; he lived for order in all aspects of his life. Clean bunk, polished armor, organized thoughts. It was all a system for Cero, a system the boy had spent years building up. His life had been chaotic for the last two years before, to the point where the boy could feel himself going crazy. Before that, even in the well-organized Camp Jupiter, it was easy to feel out of place and unnecessary. It was easy to get lost and not know what you were doing. Even if Cero had learned the tricks of leading a somewhat successful Roman lifestyle, once he got off-track it was hard to get focused back in. Take away a schedule, take away the order in his life…that leaves a much shaken Cicero.

He’d had years to come to terms with his father (or rather, lack of). He’d spent years living a lie, and more years living in the unknown. He didn’t really know which one he preferred. But either way, it’d been something that Cero was used to, as it became something most demigods adapted to. Eventually, the mystery of Cicero’s deadbeat father had become a constant in his life, a gap that the boy was used to and accepted. He didn’t need his father to feel complete, or to discover his true identity (or whatever garbage unclaimed demigods told themselves to feel better). He was used to it, and after a while he grew used to being alone.

And then Bacchus came and upset the whole balance. Shell-shocked at the time, Cicero was only now really digesting the situation, and the truth that came with it. The change to his tattoo with the addition of his godly parent had come quickly enough, and was strange to wake to every morning. So was the charm that Cicero had strung on a piece of leather to wear around his wrist (because let’s face it, Cero is not wearing a necklace). So was the knowledge that now Cero had a face to put behind the guy whose only presence in Cicero’s life had been in his conception. He wasn’t sure if it was supposed to make him feel better, that now he knew which god had abandoned him as a baby and destroyed his 10 year old mind when the boy had found it. Nor was he sure if he was supposed to be angry. The boy just didn’t know how to feel about any of this, and it was screwing his whole mind up.

That was mainly way Cicero had skipped training for the day. It was usually something the boy would never consider, but wielding a sword when one’s mind was someplace else was usually a recipe for disaster. So the boy had made his way back to the barracks, and had spent some time pacing with a scowl on his face. He hardly noticed the door opening (which was out of character for him), and his mind only came back to join the rest of his body when Cicero noticed someone else standing in front of him. This in itself was enough to confuse him. Cicero didn’t talk to people much outside of his old friends, and he hadn’t talked to basically anybody minus a few people. So his social skills (which weren’t entirely developed in the first place) prompted him to shoot a momentarily confused look before composing himself. So this demigod was new and looking for help. “You might have better luck with the centurion.” Not as direct as Cicero usually was, but he was out of it. He wasn’t sure how helpful he could be to this demigod anyway, although he was mentally pleased at the Roman’s straight posture. “Cicero Torquatus, it’s a pleasure,” the boy curtly responded, straightening his own posture. He put on his usual poker face, but he couldn’t help but wonder, why couldn’t the centurion be here?

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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Sarpedon Illicon on Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:13 pm

Saar's eyes sparkled, surely that name couldn't be a coincidence? The name Torquatus dated back thousands of years to the Roman Republic, where a man had earned the title by slaying the greatest Gaul in single combat. His descendants were known to be ruthless, to do what had to be done at the expense of their own personal lives. One of them executed his own son for disobeying orders, and abandoning his post to attack the enemy, despite how successful the attack had been. The man needed to make an example, and he did so without hesitation. The Torquatus family embodied the military might of Rome, being part of the city's rise to supreme power. His eyes flicked around the room briefly; Saar had a fair amount of experience at taking in as many details as possible with only a glance. It was a necessary skill on the pitch, and one he'd tried to develop as much as possible. He never could match Sil at it though, his brother had had a gift when it came to vision across the pitch. Spotting one or two of the bunks that weren't in the best order, Saar noted that Cicero's was immaculate in comparison. Unless he was just standing near a random bunk, which was always a possibility.

Holding the word "Centurion" back had been wise, but if Cicero didn't qualify for the position, who did? From a glance, the man appeared to the physical embodiment of what the Legion should stand for. Maybe he had some other sort of weakness that wasn't physical; a Centurion had to be more than just the strongest and the quickest in the cohort. Saar noted the quick look of confusion that had crossed Cicero's face, but he couldn't really blame him for that. The newly arrived Roman's entrance hadn't exactly been announced, and people were permitted to be off their guard when off duty in their room, surely. The hint of a smile touched the corner of Saar's mouth when he saw how quickly Cicero had switched back on, someone who can adapt well perhaps. Flicking his gaze back around the room, he searched for an empty bunk, finding one not too far away from Cicero's. The newcomer's question wasn't rushed, and he tilted his head towards one of the beds, inquiring about the availability. Are there any specific sleeping assignments? Or, whoever grabs what's free?

Saar's backpack seemed to be growing in weight with every passing second now that he was so close to finding a bed to call his own, for the time being, at least. He couldn't help but feel that they were of like minds though; from Cicero's curt response, to his fitness, (which, to Saar, was a physical representation of a man's determination and drive) the pair seemed to be on the same wavelength. Perhaps  he was jumping the gun a little, but the relief that flowed through him couldn't be stopped. Doubts had run through Saar's mind ever since he'd began to search for the Camp, his parents words digging deep and trying to erode away at his faith. They'd said that New Rome wasn't as it had been, that it was just a pale shadow of its former self, and its inhabitants were no better. From what Saar had seen so far, they were wrong.
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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:20 pm

Cicero had been, overall, fairly disappointed with the Camp Jupiter he’d seen throughout his time in New York. Although the legion seemed much more accepting of the wide spectrum there was of Romans, the lack of organized training made Camp Jupiter seem like less of a military camp and more of a leisure camp. Was this the image the Romans were projecting now? That they were no better than Greeks (although so far, Cicero had seen a few Greeks with more of a spine than some Romans). Cero had begun to lose hope in the camp, and he had begun thinking that maybe Camp Jupiter would never be anything like it used to be. So with all that floating around in his head, it was refreshing to meet someone else that could be even remotely like him.

For one, there was the unique name. Cicero’s family had connections back to the time of the Roman emperors, so he could understand why his mother had chosen what she had. Still, it was never easy sticking out so easily amongst all the American names. So Sarpedon, a fairly common name back during the Roman Empire, was on the same par as Cicero in terms of commonality. So maybe Cero wasn’t alone in that sense. Sarpedon, on that point, also very much resembled the image Cicero had retained in his mind of a typical Roman soldier. His straight posture, to-the-point answers, and no-nonsense appearance made Cero think that maybe he wouldn’t have to be alone in this new camp. The boy could be choosy when it came to company, for he wanted friends like him (and how many teenagers did one meet that valued honesty and hard work?).

At the mention of sleeping assignments, Cero turned back to his bunk. He’d prefer not to appear critical of the new camp to a newcomer, and Cicero had never been that good of lying (honesty had been drilled into his mind at a young age). So he turned away, in case his displeasure leaked through his mask. The boy took the opportunity to fix some creases that had formed on his blanket. “As I’m sure you’ll come to find,” Cero began, turning back to Sarpedon, “this camp is unorganized and can be quite chaotic at times. Grab whatever bunk you want.” The boy sat down on his bunk (and formed more creases, he was sure).

Although Cicero was sure that he should head back to his training soon, he was still reluctant. Meeting a new member of his cohort was fairly interesting, in the sense that it just didn’t happen much anymore (as all the cohorts only had a handful of Romans each). That, plus the boy still hadn’t wrapped his head around the idea of Bacchus as his father. He may have the tattoo and wear the charm, but it still didn’t mean anything to him. Godly parent didn’t factor too much into the Roman lifestyle. So he opted instead to stay here and investigate a little more with Sarpedon. This new boy may finally be someone Cicero would want to pay attention to. That attention, at the moment, was gnawing away at Cicero’s curiosity. “You wouldn’t happen, by any chance, to have trained at the old Camp Jupiter, would you?” Cero asked, his curiosity finally erupting. He was never one to deny himself knowledge if it was available. That was just impractical. If Sarpedon had indeed trained at the Camp Jupiter in California, at the very least it would save the need for a tour. If not, it was hardly of any consequence. This boy already looked more Roman than some of the demigods or legacies already in this camp.

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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Calla Torquatus on Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:22 pm

((:3 OMG THIS MADE ME HAPPY.  I'll join later :333))

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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Sarpedon Illicon on Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:34 pm

Saar pursed his lips; something about the way Cicero stood told him the answer long before the veteran replied. The organisation of camp seemed to be a sore spot for the demigod, and the newcomer could understand why it would, especially if they were as like-minded as it might seem. Camp Jupiter was more than just a military outpost, it represented Imperial Rome. It carried the weight of thousands of years on its shoulders, its legacy living on through the demigods that walked its halls. Decline was a slow and steady trend that affected Rome over hundreds of years, but the decline of Camp Jupiter looked like it had already started... and it would be much faster since it was smaller. It would only take one disaster to wipe the last legacy of Roman dominance from the planet. Everyone in camp had a duty to maintain that legacy, to pass it down, to keep the flame lit and burning. Did the Romans in charge understand that? Well, it was to be seen.

Striding over towards an empty bunk, just across the room from Cicero's, Saar let the backpack drop from his shoulders. Catching it by the straps, he slid the leather bag underneath his newly acquired bed. Chaos certainly made some things easier, but he couldn't help but want the protocol. Rules were a form of protection; many of the rules in Rugby were in place to stop the players getting hurt (especially the "No tackling above the shoulders"), just as many of the rules and laws in life as well. Saar froze at the question, not quite sure how to respond. It's complicated... would only raise more questions. Turning to face Cicero, he chewed on his response for a moment longer, trying to work out the best way of replying, without giving away too much at least. I - No. I never trained in the old camp. It was technically true, but definitely misleading. Some of Saar's earliest memories had been of running around the streets of New Rome, and a girl with sparkling green-blue eyes and golden hair. He just hadn't known it until recently; it was only when the boy had returned and walked the desolate streets, memories flooding back all too late, that Saar remembered where he'd been born. There was a specific reason that his parents had moved, taking their twin sons with them, but he hadn't quite worked it out yet. A sour expression crossed their faces whenever he'd brought the topic up though, telling him to forget those foolish memories and move on. Whatever it was, it couldn't have been good. It was beautiful though... The whisper escaped his lips before he could stop himself, and Saar wasn't even sure himself if it was a question or a statement, quite the bitter metaphor. It was a painful reminder that he could barely recall basking in the majesty of New Rome. He'd been so young though, and the sparkling white buildings were all he'd known. It was only later,after he'd grown up among the yellow and brown bricked buildings of Kuwait, that the beauty of the demigod city truly found its mark. Perhaps it had been the idolisation of a childhood mind that made it seem so much more than its reality, or perhaps it had really been like that. Saar would never know; when he'd arrived at the ruined and desolate camp, it had been long abandoned, the walls marked and scorched, the masonry spread round as if a giant had stumbled on through.

((YAAAAY =) xD))
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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Guest on Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:25 pm

Not having much else to say for the moment (as he’d gotten his complaints out of his system), Cicero leaned against the wall and watched Sarpedon make himself at home. The boy gave a slow exhale through his nose as he thought more about the chaotic state of the camp, something he had been dismayed to find. There were no schedules, no set assignments (minus those of guard duty), and Romans spent the day doing what they wanted when they wanted to do it. For some of the more hard-working, dedicated Romans, it meant training…but there was a sad lacking amount of those. In fact, Cicero couldn’t even be sure what they did all day. If they didn’t train, or work on Latin, or do something of the sort, what other useful things were there to do?

Cero did his best not to look too disappointed at Sarpedon’s negative response. It wasn’t hard, considering Cero had mastered the use of the poker face, but the boy still felt it. It would have been nice to be able to talk to someone who knew what the boy is used to. He’d spent his whole life in New Rome and Camp Jupiter. It was all he had ever known for the longest time, and even though it meant being a little outdated on what was happening outside of camp Cicero wouldn’t give it up for the world. It meant more preparation for understanding what it meant to be a demigod, and it meant embodying and being Rome’s legacy. It meant keeping that flame alive. So while Cero couldn’t blame Sarpedon for not having trained there, nor should he have expected it…but he still couldn’t help but feel disappointed. All it meant was another Roman coming from the mortal world.

Maybe he was grasping at straws here, but Cero couldn’t help but latch onto the boy’s comments. “You didn’t train there?” Cicero repeated, fixating upon the emphasized word. “Do you know about New Rome, then? Have you ever been there?” Cero pressed. He straightened, shifting his weight off the wall and back onto his two feet. His arms were crossed but his mind was racing as he tried to figure out the loopholes. As someone who was resolved to be honest and not lie, Cero was good at figuring out technicalities and loopholes (as those had been especially used when Cicero was younger). Barely making out Sarpedon’s last comment, Cicero wanted to ask…but eventually decided not to. The tone and volume of the comment made it seem personal, as if it was just for the other boy. Regardless, Sarpedon could be talking about anything in the response anyway, so it’d be best not to reach too far on his assumptions.

For the moment, Cicero would just accept that Sarpedon had never seen Camp Jupiter or New Rome. “You would’ve liked it…the old Camp Jupiter was where the real Romans were,” Cicero commented, letting his mind transport him back to California for a moment. It was never good to dwell on these things, but he couldn’t help himself. He wanted to go back to those days, where he was young and innocent and surrounded by the things he loved. Not stuck in a foreign place with even more foreign people (because even the people he had known had changed so much). Cicero couldn’t help but wish that the Romans could go back to California, but…it didn’t look like it was happening anytime soon. So Cicero was going to have to learn how to get used to this new camp…and maybe if more people here were like Sarpedon, it’d be easier.

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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Sarpedon Illicon on Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:00 am

Running an absentminded hand across the smooth sheets, Saar pinched a corner, straightening out a tiny crease; he could be a little OCD at times. If camp coordination was failing, then someone had to revitalise it before the time to make a change had passed, before habits had set in so deep they couldn't be changed. Saar had no idea how to go about it, knowing he was not the right person to bring about the change. The newly arrived demigod wasn't a leader, he'd never been, and probably never would be. Leaders had to be motivational speakers, they had to inspire something special in the hearts of those who followed them; a quality Saar knew he didn't possess. He was reliable though, and if pointed in the right direction, he could be counted on to do what was required of him without failing.

Either Cicero was really sharp, or their brains worked in the same way, because the legionnaire was onto Saar. Raising a fist to his chin, he cracked the fingers one by one, pressing them against his jaw, buying him time to try to find the best way of responding. Mentioning that he'd spent part of his childhood there would raise the question of "why leave?" A question he wasn't able to answer, but one Saar felt was intrinsically linked to something his parents had done. He had liked it, he'd more than liked it. Cicero was completely right. He'd loved running through the ivory painted city, and had dreamed of being old enough to join the soldiers in Camp Jupiter. He'd adored the mosaics, the statues, the feeling that he lived somewhere special. However, it was the girl with the golden hair that Saar missed the most; they'd really gotten along well together. She'd been a few years older, but he'd matched her height easily. Saar had matured relatively fast, and used to pretend he was older than he was, and the children bought it, so he'd worked his way into hanging with the older kids. Aye, I was there recently. I saw the desolation. I climbed the ruined steps, and walked the broken forum. I saw Rome defeated, it's time past. I-I thought I was too late. That I failed... to return in time. Saar's voice was low, and he tried to keep his voice steady, but he could hear the wavering tone of his last few words. Saar hoped that Cicero didn't ask what he'd been doing there, so long after New Rome had fallen, because there would be no way of weaselling his way out of that one. He'd never been good at lying, and had stopped years ago, relying on omitting certain details instead. Even then, it made him feel awkward, as if some deity was looking down on him with shame for his lack of clarity and honesty.

Saar had spent years idolising the Rome of old, his parents' night-time stories sparked the flames of passion, starting a devotion to a nation that had long faded. Or so he'd thought; when the blonde demigod had found out that he was just that, a demigod, and that the Rome of old lived on in America, his childhood dreams of being part of the legion suddenly seemed possible. The jumbled memories that he'd long thought were merely dreams and hopes, or stories his parents had made up came sweeping back in, bringing with it a realisation; Saar had a duty, a responsibility to the people of New Rome. Just because his parents had left, it didn't mean he didn't still owe them his allegiance or his heart. Seeing the crumbling mortar, the shattered bricks, the cracked and ruined mosaics, had crushed those dreams into the dust with a single fell blow. It had swept in, laughing at his loyalty to a dead nation, taunting him with how close he'd been. Saar's heart ached for those who'd died or fled, knowing that they would never be able to return and rebuild from the ashes of their homes. Saar had failed; as a Roman, it had been his duty to defend the city with his life, and he hadn't been there. Guilt and sorrow had swept over the demigod in equal measures as he drifted through the ruined city. Seeing the little things that jumped out to him from his childhood, broken and never to return to the way it had been, tore strips from his heart as the tears flowed down his cheeks. You got time to show me around camp? I'll probably forget where everything is though.
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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:26 pm

The conversation was starting to touch onto subjects that reopened old wounds. Talking about the original Camp Jupiter was something Cicero tended to avoid, most of the time. Although the camp had good memories, and had been a home for him, it was ruined. Gone, destroyed. Any of those adjectives would work. It was a reminder that he had failed to do his duty, to protect the camp and the city. Cicero hardly needed that burden on his young shoulders, back when the destruction first occurred. The psychological damage had only increased as the years passed, and the boy had developed a bad habit of dwelling on the past and going over every decision any Roman had made. Wondering what they could have done differently, how they could have saved their city. It did no good, dwelling on these thoughts, but Cicero did it anyway. He would continue to do it for as long as he blamed himself for not doing his part, too.

So when Sarpedon spoke lowly, describing Camp Jupiter’s desolation, Cero didn’t breach the topic further. He certainly could’ve, but the little voice in his head that dealt with common sense put the thoughts to rest. Cicero was very good at finding liars…as someone who dealt with a policy for honesty, the boy had become skilled at seeing the tell-tale signs that someone wasn’t telling the whole truth. It didn’t do him much good, most of the time. If he found out his sister wasn’t eating, there was nothing he could do about it. If he decided Sarpedon was withholding information concerning New Rome…nothing Cicero could do about it. He was useless a lot these days; he still hadn’t found his place in Camp Jupiter, and he had yet to discover what good it did telling the truth. He did it out of respect for the older times in which it was honorable to do so, but…these were hardly those times when honor meant everything.

Ruffling his hair with one hand, Cicero’s own sign that he was agitated, Cicero went to sit down on his bed again. “We all failed,” he gravely responded, choosing not to say anything more on that point. It was the inevitable solution all Romans had to come to eventually, and it was one Cero had realized when he was sitting alone in the ruins of his old house after camp’s destruction. He hadn’t bothered searching the ruins for his family…rather, he didn’t think he could handle actually finding them. He’d left the destroyed building alone, and left the camp shortly after. He hadn’t seen it since.

He wasn’t entirely sure why he found Sarpedon’s last comment so amusing. He gave a dry chuckle as he remained seated, leaning against the framing of his bunk. “We all have too much time here. We’re all wasting time here.” Cicero leaned back, allowing himself to settle himself into a slightly more relaxed pose. He normally wouldn’t think about being so casual around other, unknown legionnaires…but then again, this was the barracks. Where else was there to relax if not the barracks? Cero gave another loud exhale through his nose, not letting any more of his frustration show than it already had. This camp was practically standing still in time. The people were getting older, the time since the last camp had been destroyed was growing…yet nothing happened. Romans messed around all day, occasionally going to train or study, but for the most part it was a leisure camp. One did what he wanted, when he wanted to. That’s all there was to Camp Jupiter anymore.

“Let me check my incredibly full schedule to see if I’m available,” Cicero dryly continued, sitting up straight again and sitting silently for a moment. He didn’t move, and kept his neutral expression on. “Well, you’re in luck. Looks like I have some time available for you.” Cero’s sarcasm could sometimes be hard to spot. He kept his neutral expression on, and kept his tone normally crisp and short. Unless someone knew Cicero, most people had a hard time separating when he was serious and when he was joking. At the moment, it was the latter, but maybe Sarpedon wouldn’t be able to tell. Either way, Cicero sure wasn’t going to explain it. The boy stood up, going to his automatic ‘at rest’ position. “When you’re ready,” Cicero responded, a tad more lightly. He waited for the other boy’s answer, as patient as ever.

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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Calla Torquatus on Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:46 pm

Those three weeks that she was gone, she loved and hated.  Of course, she was back in Cali.  That was more than enough to put her in a good mood.  Let alone, she was the school of her dreams in LA.  The one she had originally planned to attend, had she not had an emergency evacuation from New Rome.  The sister school in New York was enough to scratch that itch she had.  But, it was no doubt that Calla was much more of a California than a New York girl.  She wasn't as stuck up as the girls in New York.  She actually enjoyed surfing, even if she didn't do it much while home.  But, God, did she miss it.  Though, with many things to put on the hypothetical "Nice List," there was one thing that made her hate it.  One thing only.  While she was out, of course, she convinced Calix to let her report back to him about the status of New Rome and the old site.  Being back was devastating.  It was a touring day, just like all of the other Sundays, they  were going to San Fransisco which was a relatively short drive from New Rome.  The twenty-or-so minute drive was one that Calla, Calix, Sienna, and Mia (and occasionally Nero) frequented on weekends while they were home from Camp.  Taking the advantage, Calla was able to convince her tour supervisors that she was from Berkeley, and has seen Frisco plenty of times, and missed her family since she's been in New York.  Callista went back to take a look.  She ran into Lupa almost immediately after just stepping foot in the area--and she knew she was home.  Even if it didn't look like the Camp Jupiter or New Rome she remembered.  The woman and shewolf walked around and memories flooded back into Calla's mind, both good and bad.  But, as the time ticked by, minutes grew closer to when she had to leave, and it killed her.  Calla hadn't expected that she wouldn't want to leave as much as she was experiencing it.  As she was walking down her old street, the Legacy saw something int he rubble of what used to be her house.  Of course...another one of Cicero's stuffed toys:  the eagle that Calla got him for his ninth birthday....Of course, though, Calla couldn't remember it's name for the life of her.  Nevertheless, she picked it up, along with a hat that she easily recognised from Calix's old house.

Calla had put that in a rather tourist-y looking bag (after putting it through the wash, of course)...it had definitely seen better days...

Making her way to the First Cohort, Calla just wanted to catch up with her brother.  It had started when Calla had been coming to and from school every (or every other) weekend.  If there was one thing that she hated more than leaving Camp, it was leaving her brothers.  Calix was her next stop, and even if he wasn't blood related, the bond that the two had was more than just siblings.  Since the time they were four, they were completely inseparable.  She kind of clung to him after her father left with Prim.  And, then Cicero came along shortly after, and Calla (at least when she was younger) split her time between the two.  By second grade, Calla, socially, wanted little to do with her brother, so she did end up spending more time with Calix than really anyone.  Nothing could change the relationship between Calix and Calla, though.  They were just siblings that were born from different parents.

Calla opened the door to the First Cohort, and took a few steps in.  She stopped dead in her tracks when she heard those seven words.

"I saw Rome defeated, its time passed."

She didn't care about what the context was.  She didn't bother hearing what words followed.  Rome was not defeated.  Its time was not passed.  Calla didn't notice Cicero until after he spoke words that were just as appalling as the other legionnaire.

"We all failed."

Her eyes drifted towards him as her expression was clear enough to be offended.  Cicero should have the face clearly in his mind, as she was certain he'd seen it at least one thousand times in the past.  "For the record, if Rome has been defeated, why are we still here?"  She threw the bag at Cicero.  "If you think that way, maybe you don't even want what I found."  With that, the centurion turned on her heel and started walking out of the cohort.



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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Sarpedon Illicon on Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:53 pm

Saar nodded slowly, every Roman had failed. But failure didn't have to be the end, Rome had survived for thousands of years, and if there was one word he's use to describe it, it would be "Survivor". Even in the face of so much destruction, the people left had rebuilt, continuing the legacy, passing on the torch for a little longer. Sometimes failure could make people stronger; it could be the flame that tempered the blade. Sadly, it seemed there were too few around who had passed through the fire and made it out to the other side. Who was Saar to talk though? He hadn't been there, he'd never felt the flames of war licking at his side, hungry for his blood. A saying that his parents used to scold Saar with when they expected patience came to mind, "Rome was not built in a day." It was true. It took hundreds of years for Rome to amount to anything beyond a minor local power, and more than a hundred years to break the shackles of the Etruscans. This camp couldn't be more than a few years old, and in the time they'd had, the place almost seemed like a miracle. Perhaps it was a little too easy to focus on the gloomy side of things. Time is relative, it took them fifty years to come back and defeat the Latins. Perhaps it doesn't have to be that way. We're still here after all, and that's what matters in the end. Ancient Rome was sacked by the Gauls, but they rebuilt, and their greatest achievements were still in store. A perfect segue into asking for a tour of camp, well, perhaps not perfect, but pretty good.

Cicero straightened, his sarcasm sharp, and the hint of a smile touched Saar's lips. Just as the veteran stood, a female voice took the muscled teen by surprise, coming from the doorway to the barracks. A small bag went sailing across the room, but the tall demigod had already spun on his heels to face the woman. Saar didn't know how long she'd been standing there, but it didn't seem like she was pleased at a turn the conversation had taken; her blue-green eyes were hard and her expression anything but welcoming. Blinking in surprise at the blond girl's entrance, and swift exit, Saar couldn't stop a frown forming at the rapid turn of events. There was something insanely familiar about her though, her face... There was definitely a resemblance between the furious female and Cicero, perhaps they were related? Cousins? If they were, then it certainly wasn't his place to step between them, but a retort forced its way out, following after the blonde as she left. What is defeated does not have to remain so. Rome has been struck down before, and will be again. That is how it has always been. It was a cycle, a deadly cycle that was currently at its lowest point. It would take generations to restore what had once been, but things would never truly be the same. Rome could have been destroyed for good, but it had survived... just as every time someone had tried to extinguish the flame of Rome.
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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Guest on Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:41 pm

Throughout all his years in all his experiences with his sister, Cicero had learned a lot of things about her, and he usually had a general idea of what their interactions would be like. Unfortunately, that led to the formation of an absolute that always seemed to come true: Calla could barge in at the worst of times. It was a horrible predicament that Cero had been dealing with since before he could form coherent sentences, and long before he had the ability to chase her out (or lightly shoo, as Calla did not like the idea of being forced out of anywhere). In New Rome, at least Cero had had the luxury of a lock on the door, although that had never seemed to stop Calla from continually embarrassing him and walking in on awkward or tense situations. It only got worse in the barracks, where privacy was hard to come by and everything was public property.

So, in all honesty, Cicero shouldn’t have been surprised when his sister walked in on the most depressing start of the conversation. He shouldn’t have been surprised at all when she got offended, and executed her dramatic exit (a flourish that had been perfected over the years, and a skill Cicero had started to learn as well). He didn’t feel particularly alarmed or worried as he watched Calla storm out of the barracks. She had done this to him many, many times before and this certainly wouldn’t be the last. The only thing that would come out of getting worked up every time Calla stormed out would be early gray hairs, so Cicero only gave a small sigh of frustration as he watched Sarpedon follow Calla. The boy resolved to follow in a second, and turned his attention to the small bag Calla had tossed at him (which had initially worried the boy, as Calla had the tendency to throw much worse things).

A look of incredulity crossed Cicero’s face when he pulled the stuffed eagle out of the bag. Oh, he remembered this bird. “It’s been a while, Trajan,” the boy murmured to himself, taking a moment to remember when Calla had given this to him. He couldn’t even believe she’d found it, after all these years it must have been lying abandoned in the ruins of his childhood home. Cicero hadn’t been sure where Calla had gone, when she’d left for a few weeks. At some point, though, she had been in New Rome. That knowledge jarred Cicero back into reality, and he started moving again. Stuffing Trajan under his pillow where his other old stuffed animal resided, Cicero turned to follow Calla and Sarpedon out. They might’ve had a good head start, but he found them easily. It wasn’t hard to recognize his sister’s figure, anymore.

The question Calla had shot at Cero was still fresh enough in his mind, and he internally rolled his eyes at himself. “Because failure isn’t absolute.” That statement wasn’t really for anyone but him, as he was still a decent distance behind the two but catching up. It wasn’t too hard to finally get into stride next to Sarpedon, who was busy talking to a retreating Calla. Cero considered speaking and saying something, as it was probably something Calla was expecting. But he disliked feeding these expectations she had, that if she left he’d go crawling after her and beg for her to forgive him. He had his own opinions and beliefs, and if they didn’t coincide with Calla’s he had nothing to apologize for. “Calla, you’re being overly dramatic,” Cicero finally decided to say. He was stepping into the line of fire for that statement, but he didn’t particularly care. She never stayed mad at him for long. And even though this was a sensitive topic for any Roman, he would do his best to contain the situation. That would likely consist of Cicero allowing Calla to think she’d won the ‘argument,’ but if it kept the siblings together Cero didn’t mind.

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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Calla Torquatus on Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:13 am

((Heh...heh....hey guys  ^^"  If this thread is a bit lot dead, feel free to kill it ^^"))

Calla didn't need a history lesson from this boy.  She didn't need him to defend what was being said between him and her brother.  It didn't need to be said at all.  It was simply untrue.  "And do you know the difference between then and now, Legionnaire?" Callista spat.  "They didn't have the enemy as next door neighbours.  They still had the favour of all of the gods, instead of getting attacked by them.  They didn't lose everything.  And it is obvious that you weren't there that day.  If you were, that thought wouldn't even be a possibility in your thick skull."  As she spoke, Calla only got more frustrated.  Her words got quicker and quicker, as she got more and more breathless.  Somehow, she managed to get that all out in a breath...maybe two.

After shooting a glare at the tall boy, Calla (logically) jumped up to a tree branch and swung her legs so they had a good hold on the branch.  She pulled herself up and continued climbing further up the tree.

When she was in the lower quartile of the tree, still, Calla heard her brother's voice.  "Rome didn't fail, Cicero," frustration was still very much overwhelming the tone of her voice.  

"Calla, you're being overly dramatic."

On the contrary, Calla was handling this a lot better than she could be.  She was not being overly dramatic.  Dramatic, quite possibly so--but, certainly not overly dramatic.  Still, the woman had a nice comeback to the statement:  "Well, maybe it's a good thing that's my future profession, huh, Nero?" she sneered.


((Sorry it's kinda short ^^"))

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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Sarpedon Illicon on Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:59 pm

Saar wasn't quite sure what motivated him to chase after the blonde girl. He wasn't trying to preach doom and destruction, but realism. Blinding oneself to the past was as dangerous as ignorance, perhaps more so. By shutting yourself away from what was truly going on, you could open a door that led to dire mistakes. Rome had fallen, but it hadn't died. Camp Jupiter was evidence of that, and the swiftness with which they'd rebuilt was stunning. Come to think of it actually, perhaps not so much; the Romans had been the greatest builders of the Ancient World. Pyramids were one thing, but roads, aqueducts, the Pantheon, the list went on. Perhaps they weren't the best at making statues, but statues weren't exactly intrinsic to Roman survival either. There was something about her though.. a memory stirred: Flashes of light. Colour. Water fountains. A toy sword. It came in fits and spurts, but hearing someone jogging up behind him, Saar shook himself free of the memory and turned to see Cicero catching up; he'd heard the legionnaire saying that something wasn't absolute. True, nothing was, except perhaps the banishment of Ouronos, but who knew? The newcomer hadn't caught sight of what was in the bag, but then again, it wasn't for his eyes to see anyway. If the veteran felt like sharing the contents, then that was his decision, but it wouldn't be something he was going to bring up. Everyone had a right to their own privacy, barrack life probably had little enough of that as it was.

Saar's attention snapped back to the woman who'd interrupted their conversation as she rounded on him. Stiffening, he straightened his back even further (if that was possible) as colour climbed his neck and made its way towards his cheeks. Her barrage of words was an assault, venom and contempt dripping from each syllable. That sudden and intense hatred startled him, where did it come from? Bitterness was eating away at her, some toxic thought at her heart, poisoning her from within and needed to be dealt with. ASAP. Perhaps some part of her, deep inside knew that Rome had been beaten, and it was that refusal, that divide that caused her to be at war with herself. That fury that was over spilling must be a result of that internal conflict. Who was he to say though, he was no psychologist, and they'd only just met. For all he knew, he was completely off base. But she was contradicting herself as it was; first she was denying Rome had been defeated, next it seemed like she was denying the possibility that Rome had the chance to rebuild. Maybe he was misunderstanding the woman, but it appeared that she didn't know where she stood herself. Was it delusion or denial that clouded her vision? Sometimes it took someone on the outside to look in and see what those involved could not. Sure, Saar wasn't exactly a non-biased observer, but he'd been away long enough he felt that if there was anyone who could make an impartial call, it would be him. Cicero understood though; they seemed to be on the same wavelength, and the thought of that relieved him. What he'd said was true, Rome had been defeated, but it wasn't permanent. Even now, Saar could see how far the Romans had come, and it was no small accomplishment. The newcomer noted how Cicero stepped forward, drawing the fury towards himself. Silently thanking the legionnaire for a moment while he regained his composure, Saar realised it most likely only temporarily; Calla (that was her name, right?) seemed to have quite the temper, while her counterpart in the first cohort seemed so much more level headed.

Narrowing his eyes as he evened his breath, feeling the red on his cheeks fade away, Saar caught sight of the bars on Calla's arm. Definitely enough that she was a veteran of many years. Yet still she behaved like a child? Tantrums and climbing trees? Is this what the military might of Rome had come to? Scared girls hiding in the branches... It took every ounce of willpower the boy had not to denounce her behaviour then and there. Veterans had a duty, a responsibility to be the soldiers that Rome needed. They had to be the ones that recruits could look up to... Figuratively though, not literally. Saar bit his tongue hard, wincing slightly from the pain, tasting iron. It was true, he hadn't been here to defend New Rome. He hadn't fought the assault, hadn't experienced or witnessed the fall. One thing he had done though, was see the aftermath. Saar had examined the sheer extent of the damage, and it had almost broken him. It appeared that all of Rome had been squashed, its ancient traditions ended, the cycle broken. Forever. Thank Jupiter it wasn't so, but any who saw the destruction could not deny that survivors didn't seem likely. Saar could sense that the feeling of outrage was only growing, and holding onto it much longer without speaking would only cause him to loose his cool. No, I was not there at the fall. At the time I did not know New Rome even existed. Let me ask you though, if a Praetor could see this right now, who would he say was acting more Roman? The recruit, willing to discuss things, or the legionnaire hiding from the truth up a tree. The newcomer surprised himself with how cold he sounded, he controlled each word was. True, it was his normal pattern of speech, but Calla had come so close to making him lose his rag. If Cicero hadn't bought him those few precious seconds...
The truth had to be spoken, always.

((Not killing this one =P Waited long enough for it lol))
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Re: Not quite the Rome of Legend ((Cicero [then Calla if she wants to join later]))

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:27 pm

Cicero really wasn’t the type to be shaken easily. He didn’t take insults personally, he tried not to return an angry person’s taunts…and he was generally good at it. He’d had plenty of practice with his sister, whose little tantrums usually resembled this, and Cicero had learned, over time, not to return her insults. Especially since he could never win a battle of the wits like Calla could. His annoyance had dissipated near the start of the conversation, and he’d been moving through the motions without too much thought. He was honestly more interested in preventing World War Three from occurring, mostly due to the fact that Sarpedon hadn’t quite learned the lessons Cero had. Namely, that of engaging Calla in sensitive topics. Her flings, her eating habits, and what had transpired in Camp Jupiter two years ago (maybe even three now, dates didn’t mean much to Cicero). Calla was more sensitive than she appeared to be, or maybe Cero had just seen her before Camp Jupiter’s destruction and he knew she hadn’t always been so bitter.

None of that really mattered right now, though, because Calla was picking a fight and Sarpedon wasn’t backing down. Cicero had followed Sarpedon while he had been following Calla, and the Roman stopped at the base of the tree Calla had climbed (no surprise there). He rolled his eyes at Calla’s taunt, and covered his mouth with one of his crossed arms to stop himself from returning it. Instead, he tried (while keeping a level tone) to defuse the situation best he could. “It’s not the time nor the place, Calla. Can we discuss this on the ground?” Cicero asked. He was kinda hopeful that Calla might listen, and that maybe the conversation could be changed. He understood the concept of protecting one’s honor, and Cicero held himself to that standard. He just believed honor could be maintained along with the peace, and that one didn’t have to be sacrificed for the sake of the other.

Sarpedon’s response to Calla hardly helped with that. While secretly agreeing with the other boy, Sarpedon’s bravery (possibly stupidity) at arguing his point in the matter was not helping. This conversation needed to be talked about, considering its relevance in their lives. But the accusations made between Romans was hardly a Roman thing to do, and childish in its essence. Cicero bit one of his knuckles as he listened to their interactions, and he resisted the urge to face-palm. The one thing (or something that was definitely on the list) that would not only keep Calla up the tree but would start her own accusations had just been said. Maybe Sarpedon was more similar to Calla than Cero had originally anticipated. Cicero didn’t say anything else, but he wished Calla might have a mature moment and decide not to respond. There was hardly any chance of that happening, but one could hope (despite the fact that Cicero had 16 years’ worth of experience telling him otherwise).

((Sorry for length and quality >.<))

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