"Julius Gaius Lucius!" The centurion bellowed out from behind his wooden table. His voice was a tad bit raspy from all the yelling he had to do to be heard over the clamor of all the men who awaited their name. Julius pushed through the crowd of fellow soldiers until he stood before the centurion and his two towering Praetorian guards. Standing in his leather armor accented by red cloth and brass, Julius saluted the centurion and reported, "Yes sir." The centurion looked up from his ledger before reaching for his quill and a parchment, "Rome has need of you outside of her mighty walls," the words made Julius' heart swell with pride. He had always wanted to serve Rome on the front of her ever expanding borders. The thought of bringing even more honor to his father's name had also been a driving force behind his service, "Take this parchment and report to the barracks in the morning. You leave first thing," Julius watched as the centurion rolled up the paper and seal it. Julius took it and saluted once again before he turned and left the office. Hurrying to his father's house, he practically blew through the doorway in excitement, "Father," he said as he emptied into the balcony. His parents were lounging on scarlet sofas, "I've been given my orders. I leave first thing in the morning." His mother looked, first at his father, and then at her son, "Julius," she smiled, "May the Gods watch over you and shower you with honor," he smiled as he leaned down and graced her cheek with a kiss. His father shifted and spoke, "I am sure the Gods will keep you safe," he smile faded slightly before growing once again, "Selphia," he called and a scantily clad woman emerged from the house and into the balcony, "Fetch the best of our wine and tell Delocles to prepare a feast. Tonight we dine for tomorrow my son leaves as a soldier of Rome." Eat, drink and be merry. That was exactly what transpired over the course of the night. Unfortunately, duty called for Julius to sleep and arise early in the morning. After saying goodbye to his family one last time, Julius headed toward the barracks where he approached a centurion and handed his paper to him. The deal was broken, the paper unraveled and after a few moments, he spoke, "Report to your centurion, Bracchus, you leave for Asia Minor within the hour." Julius saluted and grinned widely. The Roman borders had just begun to expand out east. They were going to send him to the lines just as he had hoped. Now they just had to make the journey through Greece and he would be one step closer to honor. ------- Governor Marcus Brutus sat behind his table looking over papers. Cumae was a small city that the Sente had decided to leave him in charge of. It would not have been his first pick, but it was far from any trouble and he Greeks were the closest to proper Romans he would get unless he was able to work himself into the Senate. Such a goal was not out of reach for such a prestigious man as he. The only problem was that he was doing such a good job that the Senate was hard pressed to leave him there indefinitely. He would need a proper patron to help motivate the senate to let him leave and join their ranks. It had been just under a week since he had received word that General Bracchus would be lodging his men in Cumae on the way to the front in Asia Minor. Here was a man with great pull in the senate because of his military successes. Knowing his, Marcus had held back nothing in order to impress Bracchus and his centurions in hopes of winning his favor. A soft knock on the post of his room tore his gaze from the papers spread out in front of him. It was his beautiful wife, Lydia, "What does a proper Roman woman have to do to win the affections and attention of her husband but for a moment?" Marcus sighed and smiled slightly as he stood from behind his table, "I apologize, my love. With Bracchus' impending arrival, I didn't want us to miss the opportunity to potentially gain his favor," he moved and took her hand before leading her out of the room and back into the open foyer of their house. He watched only a moment as barely clothed servants and slaved moved about preparing the house for the party, "Has everything been prepared?" Leaning her head against his shoulder she grinned, "You know better than to worry when things have been placed in my hands," she patted his shoulder softly, "Everything has been taken care of. In fact, Calliope is seeing to the last of the preparations." Marcus sighed in relief. Calliope was his most proficient of house slaves. A beautiful woman born in servitude, she served in many facets and was trusted in his house as one who would ensure that things were done properly. Wether it was pride in her work or the fear of the rod, Marcus cared little so long as the job was done to his fullest expectations.