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Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 12-14-99 15:48 ET (US)         
TUSKY'S BIG ADVENTURE


CONTENT: Myth, Allegory, Satire, Fantasy.
TONE: Comedy, Serio-comedy.
MOOD: Lighthearted.
STYLE: Anything goes. Be Dickens or Hemingway or anyone in between.

PERSONAL CHARACTERS:

Big Tusky (aka. BT or Tusky): Pet Carthaginian elephant belonging to Incontinentia.
Incontinentia (aka. Incon): Adventuress, Governor of Londinium, and founder of the RSPCE.
Jayhawk (aka. Angel Jayhawk, Seraph): Benevolent immortal magical person with black wings who enjoys the company of mortals, especially the company of Incontinentia.
Civis Romanus(aka. Civis): Imperial Commander of the Legions of Rome. Otherwise, just plain old Civis, swordsman and occasional teller of bad jokes. Consort of Apolita.
Titanicus (aka. none): Sorceror of Celtia. The most powerful mortal magician in the Roman Empire.
Legionnaire Lethargic (aka. Lethargic): Roman soldier and adventurer.
Chunky (aka. none): Citizen of Rome, merchant and adventurer.
mouse (aka. none): Rodent resident of Egypt with unique powers of human communication. Ally of Big Tusky and Incon.
MRed (aka. none): Friend and ally of Incontinentia who is hopelessly addicted to herbals.
Wendoolicus (aka. Wend): Another friend and ally of Incontinentia, somewhat more shy and quiet than the others.
Caius Menginus (aka. Caius): Former Asst. Commander of the Legions of Rome.
Gustavia (aka. none): Friend of Incon and mouse.
Ramesses (aka. Pharaoh Ramesses): Descendent of Ptolemaic line of former kings/queens of Ancient Egypt.

NON PERSONAL CHARACTERS: (To be added as they appear)
Legionnaire Flavius Equius (aka. Flavius): Friend of Legionnaire Lethargic.
Apolita (aka. none): Consort of Civis Romanus.
Anhky (aka. none): Kitten (as in cat)friend of mouse.
Servicus Menginus (aka. Servicus): Father of Caius Menginus and a sorceror in his own right.
Nephisis (aka. none): Consort of Ramesses.
THE STORY IS FOUND BELOW:]

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 02-02-2000).]

AuthorReplies:
Xeno51
Pleb
posted 02-25-00 14:31 ET (US)     126 / 147       

"Escaped!"

"Ah, that would appear to be the case, your Highness.The guards were found unconscious and-"

"Ctsebius, when I want melon-headed pillocks that readthe Enquiror Nationalis to act as prison guards, I will say so." His tonewas visibly restrained. "In the meantime, I expect to have subidiaries that employguards with BRAINS!" He had apparently snapped.

"As I said, I cannot begin to apolo-"

"Cut it! Where-are-they?"

Ctsebius produced a map of Persia. On it was drawn a circlewhich just bounded Seleucia-Ctesiphon to the north and Dura Europos to the south."This circle, o King, is the bondary of the maximum distance they can have travelledin this time. The Royal Road has been blocked in thirty-six places. All barges and ferrieson the Tigris and Euphrates rivers have troop escorts. Soldiers are at this momentsearching all villages in the area. Across the mountain pass in the north, a fifty-milewooden stockade with watch towers is being built. Oh, and there is one more thing."

"Well?"

"Civis' brother Tigellinus is the procurator for ArabiaPetraea. We suspected he might be an accomplice, so we raided his residence in Caesareathis morning. Unfortunately, the troops were discovered by Tigellinus. There was a scuffleand they killed him."

"Oh, what a triumph for diplomacy! Now what doI tell the Romans? That the Parthian King goes around murdering their functionaries?"

"They will never know, o King." Ctsebius smiledwith glee. "They burned the palace down, leaving evidence out in the garden thatincriminated Civis."

"Who they think is in prison."

"Whose whereabouts they know not, o King..."

Xeno51
Pleb
posted 02-25-00 19:51 ET (US)     127 / 147       
The Governor's face was stern. "So, you and your party are to search, find and arrest this Civis, and bring him to me. In chains. Is that clear?"
"Absolutely, o governor" replied the newly-promoted optio (lieutenant to the centurion)Equius. He saluted and the patrol marched smartly out.
Bob the Lethargic
Pleb
posted 02-25-00 20:57 ET (US)     128 / 147       
The caravan of black marketers continued on its eastern journey. The robed figures sat upon their camels and rode on in silence. The only sound that could be heard was that of a camel braying and the occasional sound of an elephant trumpeting. An elephant trumpeting? Wait a minute.

“Can’t you keep that overgrown juvenile delinquent quiet Incontinentia?” asked the caravan’s scout.

“Oh shut up Lethargic” responded Incontinentia. “BT is not used to having to carry crates of weapons on his back. I still don’t like this idea.”

“It could be worse” replied Sandy. “Big Tusky could have been assigned to carry the ivory instead.”

Big Tusky let out a loud cry that obviously said he did not think illegal ivory was something to joke about.

“NEVER! Bite your blasphemous tongue!” shouted Incon. “Calm down BT she didn’t mean that.”

Jayhawk, Flavius and Ahab wisely kept quiet.

“All of you enough” commanded Civis. “Your voices carry too far in the desert and I don’t want everyone knowing who we are. Lethargic, how much further to this town you heard the smugglers talk about?”

“Just two more days ride to the northeast boss. They said they were going to be met by the leader of the black marketers and get paid for these goods. It’s our best chance to find out whose behind all of this. That group we left tied up back at the oasis didn’t have a clue as to who was really in charge.”

Civis reflected for a minute. Lethargic was right. This would be the best chance to find out who’s behind this illegal trade. Now if only he could kill whatever it was that kept moving around under these robes he might not feel so uneasy. As he continued to scratch at the robes Lethargic smiled at him.

“Got company in there boss?” the legionnaire laughed.

“Shut up Lethargic and scout the road ahead” replied Civis. “I feel we are not alone on this trek.”

“I don’t know about being alone or not myself boss, but you obviously have all the company you can deal with in those robes of yours!” Lethargic laughed. He tossed a vial to Civic and then turned forward and along with Ahab began to ride ahead of the group to scout.

Jayhawk turned to Civis and said, “Lethargic’s wise-cracking attitude never fails to amaze me. Kind of makes you wonder if it was worth hauling his butt out of trouble back there at the oasis.”

“You’re right Jayhawk, he is something else “ responded Civis. “But as usual he means well.”

Civis opened the vial of flea powder Lethargic had tossed him and began to dose his robes with it.

Meanwhile

All roads lead from the winery, then to the olive farm, and finally to the bath house!!


[This message has been edited by Bob the Lethargic (edited 02-25-2000).]

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 02-25-00 22:19 ET (US)     129 / 147       
Gotta go with the flow. Didn't know until now I had a brother.

___________________________________________

Still squirming, though less than before (the powder was having an immediate effect) Civis slowed his camel to align his beast with the camel being ridden by Caius Menginus. A second figure rode the same camel with Caius, but sported a rather sullen expression.

"Is our contraband ship's captain not enjoying himself, Caius?" asked Civis with the beginnings of a smirk showing on his face.

"No Commander. Seems he resents my yanking him from his tent last night. He was more surprised than I was to meet up with him once more it seems," observed Caius.

"Caius, he figured you for dangling from a Roman tree by now I presume. Am I right, Captain?" Civis leaned across his camel and poked the unhappy seaman in the ribs with his camel switch. The sullen man's expression changed little with his response, "You all can find a home on a Roman tree anytime so far as I care!"

Civis laughed. "You're alive right now because I need your services and you told me the truth about Caius." Then Civis expression changed. "If not for that, you'd be dust in the desert wind by now...and don't forget it breaker of Roman law."

"And murderer of elephants..." added Incon through clenched teeth. The three men glanced over their shoulders at Incon, riding BT. No question there about Incon's desired fate for the smuggler captain. Civis silently agreed.

Lethargic and Ahab rode swiftly over the dune and down to the slower moving caravan below. "Boss! There's a city ahead. Odd though, it looks Egyptian and vaguely familiar."

Civis had moved to the front of the caravan with Jayhawk when the two scouts first appeared at the crest of the dune. "Familiar? Egyptian? Strange for this area. Think you can sneak in and check it out before we enter?"

"Sure Boss. By the way, fleas gone?"

"Mostly."

"Boss, did I ever tell you about the horrible rash I got using that powder once?"

"Lethargic! Check out the city!"

"Okay, Boss. I'm gone."

Civis watched the legionnaire and his arab companion ride back over the crest of the dune and onto the city. Incorrigible man, he thought. Then he just had to scratch here and there, here and there, here and there.
__________________________________________________
-Civis Romanus

Ramesses
Pleb
posted 02-25-00 23:13 ET (US)     130 / 147       
Seti wishes to be a minor charector, nagging me to He also wants Bre-Isis-Bast to be in there. Thanks

------------------
-I came up here to build a bridge, not fight a war!

[This message has been edited by Ramesses (edited 02-25-2000).]

Jayhawk
Eminence Grise
posted 02-26-00 09:49 ET (US)     131 / 147       
The city...or more accurate town, turned out to be a rather dingy affair. Lethargic and his friend passed the guarded agate and entered the town proper. Narrow streets passed between adobe houses. Small gates crossed the streets.

"What's that sign say?" Lethargic asked.
"It says: The Needles. Must be the name of this quarter."
They turned around a corner and wandered from needle to needle. Sipping lukewarm beer and unobtrusively asking questions of the natives.

Then, crossing to the next needle they bumped into the back end of a highloaded camel.
"Blęch!" Lethargic grimaced.
The camel was stuck underneath one of the gates.
Ahab read:
"The Eye of Ra"
Lethargic looked at his friend and said,
"Well, let's push this camel through the Eye of the Needle."

Later that evening. Civis and Jayhawk are standing on the top of a sand dune overlooking the town. Civis was still scratching uncomfortably. The angel looked like he was born to his desert robes.
"Look, there they come!"

Moments later Ahab and Lethargic joined the other two.
"It's bad, Civis. The local governor seems to be in on the plan. His people are impoverished, unfed and tired. The palace is more a bordello than a seat of government."
Ahab joined in
"We must do something, not just to stop this trade, but also to help these people."
"We shall, " Jayhawk answered, his voice sounding silk on steel, his eyes golden.
"Don't worry we shall..."

Xeno51
Pleb
posted 02-26-00 11:08 ET (US)     132 / 147       
"Sir! Sir!"

It was bad enough billeting in ths god-forsaken town, now what did the pesky soldier want?

"There's a foreign caravan up there and...and....they've....they've...."

"Spit it out, man! What is it?"

"An....elephant!" he blurted out. "They've got a pack elephant!"

"An ELEPHANT! Are you trying to make a fool of me? You'll feel my stick if you're not careful!"

"But sir, it's....Come and see for yourself!"

Equius pushed his way through the crowd of peasants carrying their wares to market. Then he saw it. At first he thought he was dreaming.

"An ELEPHANT!"

"Yes, sir..."

"Right, let's take a closer look. Patrol, in line ahead, advance!..."

Ramesses
Pleb
posted 02-26-00 20:17 ET (US)     133 / 147       
Meanwhile, in Fort Kherpri-Seth, the Egyptian troops were being breifed.
"Remember, only the Roman soldiers, don't hurt anyone else, understood?" said Sethhotep, the Commander of the "Amenhotep district". His power, was that of a governer, except, he would lead his troops, not someone else. The man was fourty, and was very strong, even roumered he threw a 300 pound man! But he was loyal to Ramesses, one of the few, the proud, the brave.
The "Amunhotep district" was just short of Elphantine. The Romans invested heavilly in that area. But they were not the soldiers the Egyptians were. Trained by thousands of years of military triumph, and defeat. The Egyptians used many inventions, which could crush through the toughest shields, except for five. The five shileds were all in Pharaoh's possesion.
"Sethhotep, a word!" yelled Ramesses.
Sethhotep bowed low, until pharaoh ordered him to stand. "Sir, Our raid will use the "protokingdom", a small device that shoots around sixty-seventy rounds a minute. The projectiles use a chemical mixed that is called "Gunpowder", we took the gunpowder from that wierd spy, who said he was "chinese"!" said Sethhotep.
Ramesses, was indeed, a king. He now threatened traditional Egypt, and even the whole of Africa, if only he could learn to survive marches into the deserts. He issued a feast, in honor of Seth, for he had taught the Egyptians many new techologies, that could defeat the Romans. He only wanted to see Caesar dead, after that, he could take over Africa.
"Ramesses, what if we fail, the Romans will pick the guns off our departed!" shrieked Nephisis.
"Don't worry, We use a weapon which uses something called, id. It confirms identidy. I don't know how, some idiots claim that!" said Ramesses.
"What of our Roman friends, some of them are Roman soldiers!" cried Nephisis.
"They will be spared, but i have a feeling that we shouldn't kill Caesar. We should just stick to our borders claimed by Ramesses II!" said pharaoh
"Anyways i have a plan...

------------------
-I came up here to build a bridge, not fight a war!

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 02-28-00 12:27 ET (US)     134 / 147       
Ramesses: Be careful of your historical settings and the "inventions" you introduce. In these stories it is true we 'wink' at certain historical fact. However, we don't completely 'thumb our noses' at the reality of the times. Weapons such as guns we're totally unknown to the ancient world. Although in an earlier story we played with gunpowder a little bit, it was only as an explosive medium, ie. dynamite-like, and that is all. BTW the Egyptians were remarkably uninventive in military tactics and weaponry. They usually copied their most recent conquerors to escape their yoke.

The reason I am noting this to you is because the introduction of events, situations or conditions into the story completely out of step with the very basics of historical reality or even the basic plot has in the past confused others who would like to contribute. Sometimes (and it has happened, believe me) these contributors either do not drop into the thread or simply drop out in frustration.

This is just a friendly comment. I enjoy your contributions and you should have noticed by now that we are integrating your character into the story threads here and in Pharaoh Heaven. In fact, you will see a connection between both treads as we go along.

Don't stop contributing. Please just make a few adjustments. Question: Is the Ramesses character friendly towards Romans or not? I can't tell from your posts.
_____________________________________________
-Civis Romanus

Ramesses
Pleb
posted 02-28-00 15:35 ET (US)     135 / 147       
I know, that's the end of the far fetched inventions, now they improve bows (barely)

------------------
-I came up here to build a bridge, not fight a war!

Ramesses
Pleb
posted 02-28-00 17:28 ET (US)     136 / 147       
BTW, Ramesses is on a on-off type of thing about Romans. He didn't like it that the Romans stormed Egypt, but doesn't hate the caravan. He wants the Anchient borders, and after that he will probably just sit in his palace feastinig with high ranking Romans!

------------------
-I came up here to build a bridge, not fight a war!

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 02-28-00 21:17 ET (US)     137 / 147       
Ramesses: Thank you for understanding. Rest assured that the Ramesses character (and Nephisis)will do well by his Roman friends if he allies himself wisely

_____________________________________________

At Fort Kherpri-Seth:

The straw target was readied to receive the blow. The Egyptian holding the Musk-Et braced himself. His fire aide's hands shook as he raised the burning tuft of dried grass to the fire hole in the Musk-Et.

At last the burning grass met the darkly granulated powder. A large report was heard all through the fort. Pieces of bronze metal flew all about the onlookers, whistling past ears, noses and other anatomical parts. They all fell to the ground to protect themselves and to wait for the voluminous smoke to clear.

The Musk-Et had shattered once more from the explosion. Two more brave Egyptians began their final voyage to the afterworld leaving little behind to mummify. "Enough!" shouted Ramesses. "We will cease to waste brave Egyptians on this foolish device! End this folly, now!"

"Well said, Husband," commented Nephisis as Egyptian orderlies entered the area to clean up.

_____________________________________________

The gates of the city opened as the caravan drew near. A patrol consisting of 10 riders on horses exited the city and approached the caravan.

Civis rode beside the smuggler captain at the head of the column. Jayhawk rode on the other side. Caius rode behind the Captain. "Remember what I told you to say, Captain; or by the gods I will strike you down in the middle of your first false word," said Civis through tightly clenched teeth and with hand on sword. The Roman had begun to forget about the itching with every step closer to the city.

The patrol leader approached the caravan. "Hail, travelers! What brings you here?"

The Captain responded glancing nervously at Civis. "The South has many goods to please the North." This was the identifying code, it seems, to tell these men the nature of the caravan.

"We welcome the men of the South and their goods. The city elder will be pleased to have you enter." They had passed the test. The patrol escorted them into the caravan camping compound within the city gates. They quietly went about their business making camp. They were to meet the elders in the morning to conduct their "business."

Meanwhile, well to the north, the carrier pigeon's message had reached the governor of Byzantium. Three of his best legions were already embarked on triremes making their way down the Eastern Mediterranean coast, and from there to the position identified by Civis (through Jayhawk's airborne reconnaissance). In a matter of two days they would arrive before the twin Egyptian-like cities in the area: one being a decrepit town, the other a newly constructed fort.
___________________________________________________
-Civis Romanus

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 02-29-00 16:16 ET (US)     138 / 147       
A young woman of about 19 years of age entered Ramesses chamber and joined him and his consort, Nephisis. With her was another young woman, a year older, and a stranger...a man with wisdom and knowledge in his eyes that belied his youth.

"Who are you and why do you seek me strangers? I have granted this audience because you say you have knowledge of importance about Nephisis and me," said Ramesses as he paced back and forth impatiently.

"We do, adopted son of Tut-Ankh-Amun."

Ramesses suddenly halted in mid-stride. Turmoil entered his mind as if something distant, known but unknown, was fighting to be heard. Nephisis too reacted to these words in much the same way. "What did you say?"

"You are the adopted son of Tut-Ankh-Amun, not a descendent of the Ptolomies. You are not related to Cleopatra as you've been told. You are my brother by act of Pharaoh, my husband, before his death. I am Ankhensenamen, Queen of Egypt, Consort of Tut-Ankh-Amun, my brother. This is Meri-isis and with me is Titanicus, Sorceror of the Romans. It is he and the angel who hid these facts from you for your own good all of these years. He is here to restore your memory, for the time is right for you both to know who you really are and your real past. Are you prepared to know the full truth?"

Ramesses' and Nephisis' minds were in turmoil. The present fought with their urge to know and with something hidden deep in their souls and their minds. They looked at each other nervously. The decision came swiftly. "This will not harm Nephisis will it?" questioned Ramesses.

"No," said Titanicus. "On my honor, it will not harm you only help you both."

"Proceed," said Ramesses.

Titanicus began to speak in a tongue unknown to Ramesses. Celtic words began to weave the spell that would unlock their memories. Soon Ramesses and Nephisis were seeing their past not with their eyes but with their minds. Age 12, seeing each other for the first time; Pharaoh's blessing; Civis Romanus suggesting warrior's training for Ramesses; Pharaoh's death; Nephisis' warning to Ramesses to flee; their flight from Thebes; Titanicus transporting them through time itself; the Egyptians who cared for them and have now begun their journey in the afterlife; their pledge and marriage; and the events of the present. Their memories were fully restored.

Ramesses looked upon Akhensenamen with clear understanding. "My sister, you are still so young."

"You were transported back in time a number of years my brother, I was not. You have aged about 10 years. I am only one year older. That is why it seems I am younger."

"Is the angel and Civis still with us?" asked Nephisis. "The angel was so wonderful to us, guiding us to that oasis where you, Titanicus, found us. Civis was kind too, I remember. Are they well?"

"Very well, Nephisis, but in danger. Even now the angel Jayhawk tells me Civis and Incontinentia, the lady of the elephants, are in terrible danger although they don't know it. The Governor of Aegyptus even now is closing his trap on them. They think they are safe in your nearby city, but they are not. They think Roman legions are coming to assist them, but they are not. The Governor of Byzantium is besieged by Parthians and never received the message. Aegyptus' spies intercepted the bird and destroyed the message. Byzantium's legions are there, in Byzantium, not on triremes coming to this area. These things were told to me by Jayhawk who has the 'vision'."

"Why can't Jayhawk intercede and protect them?" asked Ramesses.

"It is not his way," answered Titanicus. "His is the way of angels. I cannot explain it to you except to say he has his reasons and we could never understand them. I have tried many times and failed."

"What must I do?" said Ramesses.

Akhensenamen pleaded, "Help Civis and the others, Ramesses! Stop Aegyptus! End the weapons smuggling and needless death of elephants! If you hold your true memories of these people as precious, save them, my brother!"

Confusion crossed Ramesses face. "I must think Ankhensenamen! My world is upside down! Give me a moment, please!"

Ankhensenamen replied, "I understand brother, think as you must; but remember, Civis and the others may only have this moment left before the trap closes and they are lost forever. Think quickly brother, and think true."
________________________________________________
-Civis Romanus

Ramesses
Pleb
posted 02-29-00 20:58 ET (US)     139 / 147       
Ramesses didn't understand, was he dead, or live forever? If he died, he resurected, but how? Nephisis, Tut-Ankh-Amun all so strangely related. Killings, murder, love, it seemed like a fairy tale gone wrong. All the anger about Romans, was now replaced with anger of himself, killing Romans, why because he thought he was revenging his cousin. He thought that maybe this meant Egypt would go down with her last pharaoh, assisinated, just like his adopted father. Now Seti seemed to look familiar. HE WAS HIS OLD BEST FRIEND! The memories were too much. TOO MUCH, I'M GONNA EXPLODE! he thought. Maybe he was Egypt's last hope. He saw a shadowy figure move into his chamber.
Nephisis was there, whey talked endlessly, then drifted into sleep, a sleep filled of nightmeres! Maybe Ramesses was to strike down an enemy, win the day, or watch his wife slowly die, with their unborn child. Or wathcing Egypt, be destroyed, house by house. And the nightmeres continued...

------------------
-I came up here to build a bridge, not fight a war!

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 02-29-00 22:18 ET (US)     140 / 147       
Ramesses finally found his way to peaceful sleep. An unexpected calming dream soon began...

"Ramesses" a voice called from the shadows. "Ramesses."

Ramesses soon realized he was floating in midair. The voice beckoned to him from a window. Still floating, the young Egyptian pointed to the window from which the voice came and he began to float in its direction. The window opened up before him and he floated out into the air above his mansion. A mansion? He looked behind himself briefly in surprise.

A glowing figure he could not recognize appeared midair in front of him. A voice addressed him that seemed to come from everywhere at once. "Son of Tut-Ankh-Amun, why are you troubled?"

Ramesses responded dreamily, "I am asked to save friends I do not know, but yet I do know them. My land is filled with Romans who I wish to see gone, but I am asked to save Romans, many Romans. I am deeply confused and unsure."

"Ramesses," said the voice softly, delicately. "Is it wrong to save those who saved you? And if they were indeed Romans, is it wrong to save them and others like them because they are Romans?"

"No, Voice, I think it is not wrong."

"Then why are you confused?"

"I seek Egyptian rule for the people of Egypt, not Roman rule. The Romans prevent me."

The Voice soothingly continued. "Do you see Civis Romanus and the angel Jayhawk or even Titanicus as your enemy?"

"No, Voice, I don't think I do."

"Do you see the Roman Governor of Aegyptus as an enemy?"

"Yes, Voice, because Akhensenamen believes it, as do the others. Nephisis is convinced too."

The power and volume of the voice suddenly surged, Save them and replace Aegyptus. The voice began to fade. Save them and replace Aegyptus. Save them and replace Aegyptus...

Ramesses suddenly awakened. "I understand...At last! Nephisis, we must save the Romans! In a dream a spirit told me, we must save the Romans and I must replace the Governor of Aegyptus. The spirit's message means...I must become Governor of Aegyptus! The first Egyptian governor of Egypt since it was conquered by the Romans. That is what destiny has in store for me, and for you. Egyptians shall rule in Egypt once more, with the consent and protection of Rome. We can't change the world, Nephisis, it is Roman...but we can see to our people's well being directly. Civis and Jayhawk must have had this in mind all along. No wonder Civis wanted me schooled as a warrior and a scribe. Nephisis, we must hurry!

_______________________________________________


In the caravan's camp:

Jayhawk slowly opened his eyes as his concentration on the dream he weaved for Ramesses eased and was permitted to fade. The angel couldn't help smiling to himself. Influencing was an especially interesting part of being an angel, and Jayhawk never hesitated to do what was interesting. Now to see what the new day will bring. Satisfied, he drifted off into a brief, typically angelic reverie (angels don't sleep). It would be all the relaxation he would need.

_________________________________________________
-Civis Romanus

Xeno51
Pleb
posted 03-01-00 14:02 ET (US)     141 / 147       

Civis
and his men followed their guides to the end of the camp and came to a strange square
tent, standing isolated at least fifty yards from the nearest neighbour. Inside, of all
things, was a little wooden gateway, leading below ground. The dingy archway was lit up at
the end with a strange green glow. He observed that the stonework was cyclopean in size,
and immensely strong. Presently, the gradient of the incline decreased, and faint banging
and wheeling sounds were heard from all around. At last, they came to a small landing,
giving access to six heavy iron-bound doors. The leader of the guides, a slight man with a
wide beard, turned around and smiled. "Do you like Ptolemy's Mine?"

Civis tried to look bemused.

"This....extra-ordinary construction," he said, looking up at the vaulted
ceiling, "is the work of Ptolemy X, the tenth Greek god-king of the Two Lands. [i.e.
Egypt] The descendant of one of Alexander's cunning crocodiles. When the empires
established by Seleucus and Antigonus were but a memory, the Ptolemies stood firm, new
rulers of this venerable kingdom. But one of them was not so foolish as to leave his
fortune to the gods! Suspicious of both the mighty Parthians and the shrewd men of Sidon
and Tyre, he constructed on his northern frontier the greatest defensive work the world
has ever known, comparable only to Archimedes' Syracusan wonder-fortress on the Epipolae.
Eight thousand rooms; five hundred miles of corridors; two hundred false entrances; one
thousand five hundred booby traps; a garrison of ninety thosand men. A city underground,
indeed. The entrance through which we came, as you must have guessed, was not the only
one. There is one near Yerushalahiym, one on the Red Sea and one on the Mediterrenean.
Would he but know it, there is one buried under the palace of the procurator for Arabia
Petraea, in Caesarea..."

"My brother!" breathed Civis.

"Today the guards are gone. The traps are probably still there. It is a marvellous
place to store merchandise. We could not have designed better storerooms ourselves. Well,
your goods?"

"Our goods?"

"Yes, we will take them from you here. It would be unwise to let you in any
further."

Civis almost laughed. "But you've told us everything!"

The guide raised an eyebrow. "Do you think anyone would believe it? More to the
point, do you think that, if you come back here tomorrow, there will be a gate, a tent, an
encampment? That secret entrances cannot be disguised? Perhaps I didn't tell you.

No-one has ever entered here without the permission of its master. And no-one ever
will."

He didn't like the sound of those words.

**********

Meanwhile in Byzantium, the governor of Moesia Superior was growing fretful.

"How badly damaged?"

"Not critically, sir. But if the split wales and stoved ribs were not replaced, it
could sink."

"How long will the warships be delayed?"

"A day, sir."


[This message has been edited by Xeno51 (edited 03-01-2000).]

Ramesses
Pleb
posted 03-01-00 18:56 ET (US)     142 / 147       
"Present ARMS! STEADY, STEADY! FIRE!" yelled Ramesses. His MuskETs were now improved. Accuracy was falling, but the sheer number could kill Roman legions. The Amun-Ra division was training one last time, the last division of ten to march to Point Abu. Ramesses decided to take out the Governer of Aegyptus, eliminating most chances of counterattack. The army, in whole was known as "The 95th Liberator".
Nephisis was much against Ramesses leading his troops,but it was necessary. She knew that it was his destiny alone, that Egypt was riding. If he died, he proclaimed Seti his legal hier. Nephisis knew that if that happened Roma, would be crushed, as Seti wanted revenge.
"Ramesses, why must you leave, you could get killed!" cried Nephisis.
"I need to do this, my people need to see liberation, victory, and freedom! If i die, i will die in the name of Egypt, my father, and my old father. If one thing is certain, Death is only the beginning!" said Ramesses.
"What is to become of me?" asked Seti, who just entered the room.
"Seti, you must protect Nephisis at all costs! If you choose to do evil, the gods shall blast you down!" said Ramesses. "While you Nephisis, go and save the Romans, save them, and tell them... sorry!" said Ramesses.
Ramesses rode off in his chariot, fearing the unknown. The troops could defeat Rome's mighty legions, but had never been tested against a real commander. He swallowed hard, yelled to his troops, and then screamed, a man, calling himslf Imhotep haunted him. Screaming about his death, his life, his suffering. Ramesses turned away and found the enemy camp.
"Alright men, this is a class 1 scenario, no fakes, this is the real thing. Remember they are asleep, we will strike them down. PTAH DIVISION, FOLLOW ME!"
It was a battle cry, to go down in history!

------------------
-I came up here to build a bridge, not fight a war!

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 03-01-00 21:22 ET (US)     143 / 147       
Ramesses was mistaken on only one fact. The army brought before the city by the Governor of Aegyptus was not any of Caesar's or Aegyptus' crack Roman legions. Secretly, Aegyptus had recruited an army of mercenaries. These mercenaries hailed from all over the Roman Empire. He promised them wealth and citizenship as their reward for slaughtering elephants, smuggling weapons and defending the scheme Aegyptus had constructed and executed.

At first sight of the mercenaries in Aegyptus' camp, Ramesses was appalled. "THESE ARE NOT ROMANS AT ALL! THEY ARE NOT EVEN EGYPTIANS! You have my orders captains, attack!" Chariots swept into the camp penetrating or overwhelming hastily organized lines of defending mercenaries. In short order the army of mercenaries was destroyed and the Governor of Aegyptus captured.

"You may have defeated my army, but your friends are long gone, dead, or wishing they were dead!" spat out the now bound and helpless Governor of Aegyptus held captive before Ramesses.

"We will soon see about that, Roman trash," replied Ramesses. "I think you will be in the company of Civis Romanus before long; and frankly, I don't particularly care what he does to you. Now, to deliver you to your reward."
Ramesses and his army made their way to the relatively undefended city. Enlighted city guards made no effort to block his entry. With the Governor under escort, he entered the building of the City Elders.

The Elders recognized the Governor of Aegyptus immediately. They had conspired long enough to know each other by sight. Knowing what would follow, the Elders promptly begged for mercy. Ramesses asked one question offering nothing but their lives in return. "Where is Civis Romanus and the others?"

The leader of the Elders replied immediately, "In Ptolemy's Mine. Hurry, the smugglers have orders to kill them. Once inside, no one is permitted to leave the Mine alive. You must protect us Ramesses. We are telling you all we know. Our city is very poor. We did this to get dinarii to help the people. You must understand."

Ramesses countered, "The people are indeed poor, but by the cut of your clothes and the size of your mansions I think the dinarii went somewhere else first. These are the things I understand because these are things I see." To his soldiers, "Make sure the Elders are bound and placed in their prison with the Governor. None of them must be allowed to escape."

Ramesses ran out of the Elder's building to gather some of his soldiers for the rescue from Ptolemy's Mine.

_________________________________________________

In Ptolemy's Mine:

The man edged closer to the portal through which Civis, Jayhawk and the others (including the smuggler Captain) last passed. The man continued, "And now that you have entered here by the Master's permission I will do the rest of what the Master said." The man dashed through the portal and slapped his hand on one stone somewhat smaller than the rest. The sheer unexpectedness of his move caught all of the Romans by surprise, even Jayhawk. In only a second a large stone dropped from the middle of the portal all of the way to the floor.

The Romans were trapped in the endless maze that was Ptolemy's Mine... Civis looked over to where the angel stood disguised as just another caravan merchant. "Jayhawk, I think we have a problem," said the warrior.
__________________________________________________

In Byzantium:

"Governor, last night's storm beached our fleet. Repairs will take days, maybe weeks. There is nothing we can do in the South. And our legions are pursuing the Parthians and cannot be diverted lest the Parthians turn on them."

The Governor's expression saddened. He couldn't help but look towards his daughter who heard the bad news just as he had. Livinia's eyes moistened and tears began to flow.

"Is there no help for them, Father? No means to save Caius?" she asked through her sobs.

"No Livinia, there isn't. I'm afraid it is in the hands of the gods."

__________________________________________________
-Civis Romanus

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 03-01-2000).]

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 03-02-00 16:14 ET (US)     144 / 147       
In Ptolemy's Mine:

"Not to worry, Civis," replied Jayhawk. "I think things will work out okay." With that the angel sat down and began to whistle a merry little tune whose origin was too obscure for Civis to remember.

The Commander of Rome's Legions gave Jayhawk a quizzical look, then glanced at the others, shrugged his shoulders and sat down as well. Who could fathom the mind of an angel, Civis thought to himself.

Some hours later a pounding, as if steel were striking stone, could be heard coming from the great stone door blocking the exit through the portal. Oddly, for its size and weight, the stone was not exceptionally strong. Something seemed to be influencing it to crack and break very readily with each blow of the mallet and chisel. Civis looked with curiosity at Jayhawk. The angel looked in another direction, barely able to hide something of a quirky grin. Civis shook his head and returned to watching the destruction of the portal stone. Soon the stone shattered and the portal was open once more.

They were promptly greeted by Ramesses, who rushed into the room with a dozen of his fighters behind him. "Civis Romanus, I presume," said Ramesses. "You look just the same as I remember you, except you're a little shorter."

"Ramesses, that's understandable. To a 12 year old I would seem much taller. Regardless, well met, son of Pharaoh. How did you find us?"

Ramesses quickly glanced towards Jayhawk. "It seems someone left a path to follow through this maze...a trail of black feathers. I trust, Angel Jayhawk, you have enough left to keep you warm on a cold evening?"

"All I need," replied the smiling seraph. "And the Governor of Aegyptus...How does he fare?"

"Very poorly. He and the city Elders are housed in the prison. Not the kind of accommodations they are used to, poor souls." And Ramesses proceeded to tell Civis, Jayhawk and the others about the events of the last two days.

By then, all had exited the Mine and were above ground squinting in the brightness of the middle eastern sun. The entrance to the Mine suddenly disappeared; markers vanished and the sand closed over the narrow entranceway filling it all of the way downwards.

Strangely, nobody noticed. It was as if knowledge of the location suddenly fled from everyone's mind, all that is except Jayhawk's. If you asked any of them later all they would remember was being found wandering about the area by Ramesses and his men. Ramesses would remember the same. Jayhawk would remember more, but chose to keep that to himself. Existence of Ptolemy's Mine became myth once more to all but one particular seraph.


Ramesses
Pleb
posted 03-02-00 17:01 ET (US)     145 / 147       
The mine, disappeared, gone from existence. The death trap was gone. Demolished it was gone, and the men working in it were starving. Quickly afterwards, they were greeted by Caeser himself!
"Hail Ramesses" proclaimed Caeser, then bowed but barely. Knowing that the Egyptians could eliminate Roma in seconds, he thought this ruler needed respect.
Ramesses did a fairly good Roman salute, but thought himself superior and didn't bow.
" I proclaim that you become a governer of Aegyptus! What do you say, a general, a ruler, c'mon!" said Caeser.
"I wish that Egypt become it's own nation, but will pay tribute to Roma, and I expect some from you!" said Ramesses.
Caeser, knowing he had to agree, nodded and agreeded.
A feast was prepared, the newly named city Ramesside was named over the old site of the city of Ramesses. Nephisis was there, and they looked at Akhensenamen, who vanished. There was a new guest that night, Ramesside II. He had been born just days before, named after Ramesses who was now known as Ramesside I. The Egyptian bands played a song and the party was livining up, dancing was becoming common.
Ramesside said " Would you like to dance?"
Ramesside retired to his palace and had rebuilt Egypt to it's former glory in just a couple days. Then passed away, Nephisis accompanied him to the Afterlife, leaving Seti and his new wife Satari to bring up Ramesside, and rule in his place until Ramesside turned ten. Soon the mood of Egypt would liven, Seti was indeed, a warrior pharaoh and planned to attack the land south of Egypt, but not Roma, he decided that, he would carry on Ramesside's vision of a peaceful empire, with strong diplomatic terms with Roma. Ramesside's tomb had Nephisis in it, and would remain undestirbed forever, guarded by the spirit of a spirit, who also went with Ramesside, the young Amurseth, a young general who died in the battle.
However Ramesside II would never forget his mom and dad. Seti had issued a order, in which the young one would always remember his parents, and used his magic, to make Ramesside become 10. And in so doing, the prophecy was fufilled.
____________________________________________________________
-This isn't the end, just the end of Ramesside I and Nephisis.

------------------
-I came up here to build a bridge, not fight a war!

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 03-02-00 21:11 ET (US)     146 / 147       
The closing chapter to this remarkable tale belongs to Big Tusky.

The former Governor of Aegyptus and most of the Elders who survived the trial found themselves in rags, sitting on slivered benches, chained to the beams, with oars in their hands. The galleys had fresh recruits courtesy of Civis Romanus.

Civis and Caius Menginus returned to Roma, after a brief detour to Byzantium. Caius was now restored to Asst. Commander of the Legions of Roma. Though eager to take back his previous assignment, he insisted on visiting Livinia before returning. Civis smiled at the request and promptly agreed. He remembered how it was between Apolita and himself before she became his consort.

Legionnaire Lethargic and his two friends, Ahab and Flavius were off on their own adventures as usual. The others, including the angel Jayhawk, had gone off as well. Civis knew he would see many of them again.

One very large elephant and its lady rider, however, made one somewhat short journey prior to their return to Brittania. Much had been learned at the trial of the Governor from smugglers captured and made witnesses. One of the facts learned involved the source of the ivory. Incontinentia and Big Tusky were acting on that knowledge.

In the Horn of Africa was a secret place where many of Tusky's children had been led to their demise. These were the acts that caused BT's children to trumpet calls for help to their distant father and launched them all on their campaign against the smugglers. Tusky carried Incon to this formerly secret and now hated place.

Incon and Tusky stood atop a low ridge overlooking a shallow depression. Spread along the depression were the remains of dozens of elephants, their bones bleaching in the sun. Many were the children of Tusky...for elephants know their own. In anger and grief, the largest elephant known to the world of Roma released its anger and its grief in the loudest trumpet call ever heard. Its impact was felt almost at once.

The dirt along the ridge suddenly let loose and began to slide into the depression. The ground under the bones vibrated in response causing the bones to sink slowly below the surface. After the bones sank and the ridge deposited its earth over the bones and the echoes of Tusky's blast subsided, nothing could be seen of the sun bleached bones. All had been buried.

Big Tusky looked once more at the scene before him, now empty of abandoned bones born of heartless slaughter. Rest easy now, my children, the elephant of many talents thought. Then as Incon urged him to turn and leave the area behind, Big Tusky silently said goodbye, then added one more thought as he walked away.

An elephant never forgets, my children. An elephant never forgets...


THE END


PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY IN A SEPARATE POST FROM THIS STORY THREAD. THE AUTHORS HOPE YOU ENJOYED THEIR WORK AND WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENTS. GOODBYE FOR NOW.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 03-02-2000).]

Jayhawk
Eminence Grise
posted 03-03-00 03:18 ET (US)     147 / 147       
And herewith we end the Story of Tusky's Great Adventure.
But a you know, where there is one story, there are more to be found.
Stay tuned for more adventures of Civis, Incontinetia, Legionaire Lethargic, Jayhawk and their friends.
A
ngel
J
ayhawk

------------------
Homage to thee, Osiris, Lord of Eternity, King of the Gods, whose names are manifold, whose forms are holy, thou being of hidden form in the temples, whose Ka is holy."
-- Book of the Dead (1240 BC)


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