Julius stepped out of the capsule and observed the city before him, sprawled over a number of hills. The locals called it the known world. Julius smiled, as of now, it was his world.
“Good morning, sir,” a man said, pausing before Julius. “Your palace awaits you.”
Julius grinned. Palace? Yes, investing in an ancient civilization had indeed been a good idea. He always did like Rome. Such a mild, pleasant place.
“Very well,” Julius said in his most authoritative voice. “Lead on, uh..?”
“Bookcrusher,” the man supplied.
“I mean Brutus, sir. Sorry, a nickname. I was an excellent student.”
“Right. Well. Let’s press on. Empires don’t run themselves.”
Brutus bowed again, leading the way through dusty streets and terracotta houses. “Rome is a democracy, not an empire.”
Julius smiled to himself. “We’ll see.”
The pair reached the palace and Julius bounded ahead into the golden tiled palazzo. A fountain bubbled in the centre, its soft tinkling bounced off the mosaiced walls. He approached a tiled masterpiece and examined the detailed scene, depicting a hero facing a many-headed lizard-thing. The hero was nude, with his backside rather amplified for Julius’s tastes.
Julius tried to mimic the hero’s pose and pictured himself slaying a dragon, wondering if he should have bought the Time Guild’s package for medieval England. There was less nude art in England; too cold for that nonsense. And ‘English Empire’ had a nice ring to it. No. ‘British Empire’. Yes, that was better. It sounded bigger.
Then again… Julius looked over the gilded urns and marble pillars of the courtyard. If he played his cards right, Rome’s new empire could be quite profitable. Then he could go back to the future and buy England too. He wondered if he should enlist Brutus’s help; the man seemed very trustworthy, and having the aid of someone who knew Rome would certainly speed things up. Yes, he would trust Brutus.
Julius gave a small giggle and hopped with glee. Much to his surprise, he was launched into the air several feet. Landing with an awkward stumble he straightened up quickly, hoping Brutus hadn’t noticed.
“Damn joints,” he muttered, scowling at his knees. The only problem with new cybernetic legs were the standard settings of the jump amplificators. He would have to fix them up later.
That reminded him, he needed his time capsule back too, before the locals started playing with it.
“Ah, you, servant,” Julius called, pointing to a man in the corner who carried a basket of carrots through the palazzo. The fellow sauntered over. “Take some men and fetch my capsule. Bring it here.”
The man nodded and began to turn away.
“And don’t touch any of the buttons,” Julius said, causing him to pause and nod again.
Julius returned to Brutus’s side. “Who was that fellow, anyway?”
Brutus shrugged. “The servants call him Afterthought.”
“Hmm.” Julius watched the arch the servant had disappeared through. “I do hope he doesn’t touch anything. He could wind up anywhere.”
FFM Day 4
Use the name of a fellow FFM participant: Bookcrusher
Relate to a story Written by an FFM’er on this day in 2009: Observations
Have some reference to Assku
Include a prompt from the 2010 bank: The only problem with new cybernetic legs are the standard settings on the jump amplificators.
Utilize one of the challenge options from Day 31 in 2014: Your piece must feature a multi-headed entity.
Involve an important choice.