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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Story Archives » To Save The Great Library - A New Story
Topic Subject:To Save The Great Library - A New Story
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Civis Romanus
posted 05-27-00 20:31 ET (US)         
Row by row, the stone benches of the city's theater began to fill with spectators there to see the performance all of Rome was talking about. A story of Egypt, Queen Cleopatra, the Great Library of Alexandria and the time of the Roman Conquest, but with a twist. History might be changed. New characters would emerge. Favorite characters would return. The twist is... Ahhh, but then we would be giving away the ending, wouldn't we....

This the audience did know:

TONE: Situation comedy with serious moments (but nothing silly).
STRUCTURE: Medium (2 paragraphs) or longer episodes (posts).
VIOLENCE: Non-gratuitous (No gross violence)

The cast is now gathered behind the stage entries each waiting their turn to perform. The audience becomes quiet as their anticipation grows. Their imaginations expand to encompass the stage, viewing it as if it were reality. In their mind's eye, the time becomes that of the last Pharaoh; the stage is covered in the sands of Egypt; the pyramids are visible in the distance. The story is now at hand.

Civis Romanus
posted 05-27-00 21:03 ET (US)     1 / 121       
Where the sand was quiet a sudden wind uplifts the grains, swirls them into the shape of a funnel then lets them fall back to earth once more. Two figures are left standing there who were not there before the wind struck the sand.

Both are men. One is of medium heighth with dark brown hair, blue eyes and the hint of a scar or two on his face. He is dressed in the Roman manner, long shirt, sandals and belted. He is of military origin, as evidenced by the short Roman sword and scabbard he carries.

The other is much taller, but more slender in build. He is of no particular heritage and has no particular characteristics, that is, until you reach his eyes. These change in an odd manner from one color to another, but never stay long enough in any one color to be called that color. And behind him, from his shoulders to his lower back is an ever present something that appears to be there but isn't, or so the human eye is thereby fooled. But what is there is clearly visible to those he chooses to let see.

One of those is the man by his side, the man called Civis Romanus. This Roman has seen adventure, tragedy and military battle and conquest. Once the Commander of the Legions of Rome, he is now a military advisor to the Senate, Chief Military Advisor to Caesar... and an adventurer when the opportunity presents itself.

The taller of the two is Jayhawk, an Angel of the Order of Seraph. His origin is a mystery, his existence is a secret to all but his friends and his future is without the limit of time. However, this powerful being is not without limitations. He can cure or return life to all mortals, except those who have ingested poison; and he cannot directly impose violence on others with his own hands. For that he has his Roman friend, Civis, who has no such limitation.

Civis stood unsteadily on his feet. Rocked back and forth, then promptly fell backwards directly on his... Anyway, his head finally stopped spinning and his eyes began to focus. "Titanicus could use some work. He's getting a bit rusty," said the Roman. "His spells don't usually leave one with an unsteady horizon before his eyes."

The Seraph looked down, shook his head, then offered his friend his hand to get him back on his feet. Civis now being back on his feet, both turned and looked at the city only a short distance from where they stood. Thebes shines in the bright desert sun. This Jewel of Nile in the time of Cleopatra beckons them to enter and behold its wonders.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 05-31-2000).]

posted 05-28-00 09:32 ET (US)     2 / 121       
Thanks Civis....too bad I had to die in the last one......!Let's kill someone else this time, tho....

Down the road, on the right hand side stood a set of tall palm trees. They stood sentinel over a slightly rusty gate, one covered with symbols of all kinds. The handles of the gate were gleaming in the sun, almost a mockery of the rust clinging to the gateposts.

Civis turned to Jayhawk and said, "I you think????"

Jayhawk looked long and hard at the gates, and said, "It cannot be......we are so many years in the future, and surely not...."

They looked at one another again, and in unison, stepped off of the platform where they landed and headed toward the gate......

Da Pharaoher
posted 05-28-00 10:07 ET (US)     3 / 121       
There was a monolithic struture behind the gates. Wondering what it was, they tried opening the gates. As they looked for something to force the gate open, they saw a peculiar animal, somewhat like a cat, running away from the vicinity, as if something had disturbed it. They decided to check it out.

Haven't they heard that "Curiosity killed the cat"?

posted 05-28-00 23:03 ET (US)     4 / 121       
They stood there, trying to decide if they should climb over the gate, or attempt to look for another entrance. Jayhawk seemed to remember that there was another, smaller gate around the side of the fence.

Suddenly, he noticed something that hadn't been so just a few minutes ago.....There was a structure that looked like a lighthouse near the great house, and, near the top, there was a small flicker of light coming from behind the glass!

Nearby, there was an obelisk, and when the light started to flicker, the capstone of the obelisk appeared to be glowing.

Now Civis and Jayhawk looked at each other, small smiles forming on their faces. They seemed to remember such a sight from years ago............

"Remember that party???" Civis exclaimed.

"That was one heck of a festival, not just a party...." Jayhawk grinned with the memories....

posted 05-30-00 16:46 ET (US)     5 / 121       
The two were abruptly pulled from their memories of past revelry by a terrible sound filling the air. Civis spun around, looking for the source of the terrible screeching noise eminating from nearby. It filled their minds, and thought was difficult.

"What was that?" asked a bewildered Jayhawk.

"I don't know. I hope it passes soon, though."

As if on cue, the high-pitched wretched screach stopped. Civis was inclined to seek out the source of the terrible noise, but Jayhawk grabbed his arm suddenly, and held a finger to his own mouth, signaling silence.

"Something comes," he said cryptically.

Civis Romanus
posted 05-30-00 23:02 ET (US)     6 / 121       
A very old Egyptian woman wrapped in modest clothing approached the two men. She was pushing a small cart filled with various goods she probably purchased only a short while ago. As the cart slowly rolled along, one of its wheels emitted the high pitched screech of metal rubbing on metal. Closer and closer she came. The closer she came the louder the intermittent screech sounded.

"So what are you looking so pained for? I'm just an old woman with a cart? What have I done to you?"

"It's your cart, woman. It is terribly noisy," said Civis.

"A little rust here, a little rust there... Is it such a crime?" she responded.

"No... but it assaults the ears," the Roman replied.

"So take your ears elsewhere and you won't hear it." But by then she had reached the gate and was as close to the two men as they were to her. "Do I know you? It seems I remember your faces, but it was long ago. I remember a party... Pharaoh's celebration... I was a servant girl..."

Jayhawk and Civis looked at each other wordlessly. There was a resemblance in this woman, a particular way she tilted her head and facial features that age had camouflaged but not fully hidden.

"Maybe," said Jayhawk. "What is your name?"

The old Egyptian woman tilted her head in her peculiar fashion, thought first, then readied her answer.


Civis' eyes opened wide. "But you're dead! Thrown down a well by the abductors of Ankhensenamen."

"I was. Am not now. But eventually will be." Then the old woman smiled a one-tooth grin. "Hello, Angel Jayhawk and Civis Romanus. It's nice to see you once more."

Jayhawk greeted the old woman with a warm hug then turned to his friend. "This is one thing I haven't told you about our adventure in the Valley of the Kings. I found a way to rescue her and bring her to this time. She fell into the well. That is true. But I was there to catch her. Now don't think too much about it, Civis. You know what time travel conundrums do to you."

Civis stood there shaking his head saying to himself. "No Civis, don't think about it. Yes, that's right, forget it. Listen to the Angel, Civis." He finally stopped shaking his head and he too gave Meri-Isis a gentle hug in greeting. Then his memories harkened back to great feasts he enjoyed in the palace of Tut-Ankh-Amun and the somewhat persistent, pretty servant who sought his company on the dance floor whenever the unavoidable lambada started up. If not for his overpowering attraction and commitment to Apolita... Well, I'm glad she didn't end her life in that well, he thought.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 05-30-2000).]

Eminence Grise
posted 05-31-00 06:28 ET (US)     7 / 121       
MRed, which story did you die? Wasn't in Egypt, and if you look at Z'al you'll see nobody ended up dead there either...not even Randorian.
Civis? Were you there in the Barge Trip? I though the age of Julius Caesar was 'our'/your primary 'timezone'? Anyroad, doesn't really matter...let's see where this is going

Jayhawk looked round.
"It seems were in Thebes, and it seems MRed's manor is still here.
Let's go inside and see if teh Lady of the Manor is at home. We might want to try the top of the lighthouse first."
He smiled at his friend and opened the side gate.

Followed by Civis and Mere-Isis he walked onto the manor grounds.

Da Pharaoher
posted 05-31-00 08:09 ET (US)     8 / 121       
The Manor was suspiciously quiet as the pair made their way down the front patio. A chilly wind blew past, giving them a sense of foreboding as they walked. Quickening their pace, they went up to the front door.

Somehow, somthing told them it wasn't good to enter by the front.

Queen hatsepsut
posted 05-31-00 14:59 ET (US)     9 / 121       
So they instead went around back. They hoped that fritzi wasn't still around.(shoudn't we have shorter posts?)
posted 05-31-00 15:46 ET (US)     10 / 121       
A tall, muscular Egyptian man, of 20 was walking. Though Romans were usually found in the city, these two looked pecuilar. One with full military dress, sword and all, and another with wings. He stepped into the conversation.

" Why do all of you look famialiar?" asked Ramesses.
BTW, I got killed in one, and Nephisis, and Seti
Jayhawk saw something famailiar in the man's face, he struggled, it almost looked like Tut-ankh-Amun's yet, with a twist of Ankhsenamen- it was their son, Ramesses. But he should have remembered them, and he died a long time ago, Jayhawk coulnd't understand.

" Hey, I think i have seen you somewhere, and the girl, did you know my mother?" asked Ramesses.

" And you young man, did you ever know a man named Ramesside?" asked Civis
" Maybe, but then again, maybe not." replied Ramesses

Jayhawk looked at Civis and whispered " That is him, but this isn't his time, he was twelve when he took over the throne after Cleopatra's death. Perhaps, he is in disguise..."

"What are you two whispering?" asked Ramesses.

I would like to thank my English teacher for teaching me to break pencils in half and throwing them at friends across the room, thanks Devilwoman!

[This message has been edited by Ramesses (edited 05-31-2000).]

Civis Romanus
posted 05-31-00 22:50 ET (US)     11 / 121       
Plot Notes:
Civis and Jayhawk were transported through time by Titanicus into the time of Cleopatra, but prior to the historical date for the destruction of the Great Library. This story's text begins just as they were spelled into this period. Julius Caesar's arrival is in the future, but not very far off.

Mere-Isis is a character carried over from "In the Court of Tut-Ankh-Amun" and its sequel, "The Search For the Scarab Ring." Both stories can be found on this site. She is supposed to have perished by falling into a well when Ankhensenamen was abducted. Instead, she was rescued by Jayhawk and as Ankhensenamen had now joined her husband/brother on their journey into the afterlife, Jayhawk saw to it that Mere-Isis was cared for differently. Mere-Isis is now very old and preparing for her own journey. She will be a temporary character in this story.

To Jayhawk: No, I did not participate in the "Barge Trip" story as it preceded my involvement in Pharaoh Heaven or Caesar III Heaven, wherever the story was posted. If the "lighthouse" was significant, I and others will need a bit of story resurrection or recollection to understand its significance. Yes, Civis' time is in the early period of the Caesars' of Rome; but I have never been specific as to which Caesar. Too difficult to manage in previous stories. Julius will not recognize or know Civis, other than recognize the Romanus family reputation and heritage or confuse Civis with one of Civis' forefathers.

To others joining this story: We are presently within MRed's mansion, not inside any city's gates, although Thebes is nearby. Please remember this story, by popular request from other writers who have sent personal messages to me, is intended to be more situation comedy than drama. Also, this is not intended to be a short sentence story. It is meant to be a workshop for complex plot development and character portrayal and enrichment. Please enjoy and exploit this opportunity to be creative. You will not be graded by a teacher or judged by anyone, except with respect to the posting guidelines for appropriate content and word usage set by the Angels for this site. To these I strictly subscribe.

Civis Romanus
posted 05-31-00 22:58 ET (US)     12 / 121       
"About nothing in particular," replied Civis. He and Mere-Isis (with her squeeking cart)continued to follow Jayhawk into the grounds of MRed's manor. The curious 20-year old followed them as well.

The path divided. One path curved left and towards the stone face of the Manor's front entrance. The other path curved right, between two small sphinxes. They followed the path to the right. Once beyond the sphinxes they saw...

posted 06-01-00 18:59 ET (US)     13 / 121       
The story MRed was talking about, i think, where she died, was the one-liner story that just finished (Once upon a time?) That's also what hatshepsut was referring to with Fritzi, MRed's elephant

two more sphinxes. The party was startled that they had not seen these additional monuments on the path, but thought nothing of it. But then, as they walked past this second set of sphinxes, another set loomed in the distance in front of them.

[This message has been edited by Bulldg60 (edited 06-01-2000).]

posted 06-02-00 15:33 ET (US)     14 / 121       
alright, slight change of plan then

Ramesses was walking in Alexandria. Those Romans, that he dispised so much would be there within the decade he thought. Though he had always lived in Egypt, he felt as if the one-thousand years he had lived, since his father's death (Tut-Ankh-Amun) he thought it was time to exit Egypt. Though he had mastered the art of aging, he coulnd't stop some of it, he now looked 25, with Nephisis (wife) looking the same.

Yet, Ramesses had to go to a party, and he wondered aloud.

"Finally, I can get a chance to settle down and have some laughs!"

Captain David "Ramboy" Ramesses of the F-16C training wing: Nellis AFB Las Vegas Nevada

Civis Romanus
posted 06-02-00 15:58 ET (US)     15 / 121       
These sphinxes, however, were mostly obscurred in a cloud of smoke. It didn't take long to determine the source of the smoke. There she was, smoking her... well who keeps count, anyway... most recent herbal. Jayhawk called out to the woman while Civis bravely put on a large smile, all of the while expecting and dreading the effect of herbal smoke on his lungs. They walked right up to her.

"Jayhawk! Why it is you, indeed. How goes it!"

"Very well, MRed. And yourself?"

"Not bad at all. Civis, you look the same as always. Is Apolita well?"

Civis drew a careful breath. "Very well and increasingly large."

"Ah yes, I remember hearing about that. Congratulations. Soon?"

"No, not very... a few more months. It's enough time to go about our business here and for me to get back with time to spare."

"And so, adventurers," said MRed. "What are you about this time?" Civis and Jayhawk looked at each other to see who would tell her about their mission.

Civis decided to begin the explanation. "It was really my fault. I kept complaining that we Romans were unfairly blamed for the destruction of the Great Library..." Here Civis paused. "MRed, remember how we learned these things about our history while we were searching for the scarab ring?" She nodded. "Well, it seems there is no hard evidence, just circumstantial evidence, saying that Romans under Julius Caesar were responsible for the Library's destruction. These sources were Egyptian, not Roman. I believe we were unjustly accused. So I complained enough about it to Titanicus and Jayhawk that they decided to spell me back in time to prove or disprove my claim that Romans were not to blame. Jayhawk came along, as usual, to keep me out of trouble." Civis suddenly leaned forward, lowered his voice and said confidentially to MRed, "Frankly, I think he gets me into more trouble with his help than I would get into if I were strictly on my own."

MRed snickered. Jayhawk, who only barely heard the reference to himself, became slightly red-faced but passed it off for the teasing it was meant to be. He knew Civis very well by now. Teasing didn't bother him much... usually.

"Interesting, Civis... Here's a little something I have learned about The Great Library and circumstances. I think you'll find it very interesting. The two time travellers leaned in to hear what MRed was about to say.

posted 06-02-00 23:39 ET (US)     16 / 121       
The lighthouse referred to is in MRed's complex, being situated between two of the most beautiful and tallest Royal Palms in all of Thebes...And the obelisk in the center of the courtyard is one made of very expensive pink Aswan granite and a beautiful crystal capstone generously supplied by Jayhawk...Many wonderful parties have been held in MRed's complex.....

"There is an interesting story related on the left side of the obelisk, and I have no idea how or when it was put there. I have been on a long journey recently, and have been gone for a long time. When I came home, I noticed the story." She sat back and carefully exhaled the herbal smoke so as to not blow it in Civis's face.

MRed then said, "Civis, I have finally found a cure for your reaction to the herbals.....Here, drink this, but do it has a nasty taste. The effects will last about 6 months. And, Meri-Isis, here is a packet for you...Special herbs to make some of the effects of the aging stop for a bit. I know how aging makes ME feel..." She leaned back against the tree, and smiled at the expression on Meri-Isis's face.......


[This message has been edited by MRed94 (edited 06-02-2000).]

(id: Angel Zen)
posted 06-03-00 04:07 ET (US)     17 / 121       
Jayhawk catches something out of the corner of his eyes... amidst the smoke from MRed's herbals he can make out a figure.

"MRed, my friend!", the figure says.

"Zen! You're back from your trip. How was the orients?"

As Zen approached the group, they noticed that the smoke was getting heavier...

"It was great. How are things going with you? I've brought back special herbals and formulas just for you... like this one. "

As he was finishing the sentence, he brings out a mixture of dried leafs and large seeds on a small metal plate, and lights it on fire. The mixture emitted a bright light, and ...

Civis Romanus
posted 06-03-00 18:07 ET (US)     18 / 121       
Civis Romanus accepted the small flask of steeped liquid from MRed. He looked around at Jayhawk, rolled his eyes, pinched his nose and proceeded to down the greater portion of the small flask in a few quick gulps.

A smile formed on the Roman's face as he realized the rather smooth liquid hadn't caused any permanent damage to his throat. Then the smile faded away. The taste was another thing... The aftertaste was enough to halt a charging Carthaginian elephant. Actually, it tasted just like the stink of a Carthaginian elephant. Not that Carthaginian elephants are bad creatures. It's just that they do pack an odoriferous wallop. Civis quickly looked around to make sure Incontinentia and Big Tusky hadn't suddenly materialized to read his thoughts. But in all truth Civis couldn't help but think that this stuff was strong enough to make a vulture gag. MRed was trying to help so the Roman kept the thought to himself and hoped the green he felt coming on would halt at his chin and not reach his cheeks.

Just then Zen had arrived. Civis didn't immediately recall meeting Zen previously, but then again he had vague recollections of running into him in the adventure that brought Civis to the Eastern Empire to understand why Tusky's children were running amok. Actually, in that moment Civis was having trouble recalling anything as he fought the nausea caused by MRed's elixir, so he simply stayed quiet while Zen ignited the collected herbs and seeds.

Civis was no herbalist and wouldn't have known what the combination was meant to do. He left herbalizing to the best expert around, MRed.

posted 06-03-00 18:55 ET (US)     19 / 121       
"Ah,, breathe very slowly, but shallowly, the feeling will pass....See? The green is fading already...." MRed smiled encouragingly at Civis, who was doing his best to not upchuck. All of a sudden, the green in his face disappeared and he looked as if he would live to fight another day.

"Ah, Zen! How wonderful of you to bring those herbals for us. Did you pick them out of garden 3 or garden 4? I ask, because, you see, I am the only one in the free world who has access to them......Unless you found a source that I don't know about." MRed looked at Zen with amusement as his face started turning a delicate shade of red......


(id: Angel Zen)
posted 06-03-00 19:26 ET (US)     20 / 121       
I just got the worst case of Deja Vu posting on this thread...

"Gardens 3 & 4? Ahh... that must be what the funny looking characters meant..." ::blush:: "There are some new herbs here that are only available in the orients... it should let you do some new tricks."

Noticing Civis's facial expressions after his drink, Zen knew exactly what MRed had given him.

"Here. Chew on this," ((Isn't that a tm of Trident?)) as Zen hands Civis a pleasant smelling leaf, "It'll get rid of the aftertaste... for a little while anyways."

posted 06-04-00 10:45 ET (US)     21 / 121       
"To Thebes, alright load up, last call, boat to Thebes!"

"We'll take it, here is thirty deben to cover the cost. Also, could we try to get there fast?" said Ramesses.

" Alright fine, but that will ocst you an extra thirty deben!" said the announcer.

Ramesses and Nephisis were taking a ship down to Thebes, the city of their birth. They had been long-awaiting this day. For they must return to Thebes every two-hundred years. Also, some gossip had come to his place about, strange herbs, and strange winged people, and Romans. Although he and Nephisis disliked Romans, they thought they could put up with them.

"Ramesses, what do you think of those things we've heard? Are they true, can you tell?" asked Nephisis.

"Who knows, maybe it's just a Greek in Roman attire, and speak Latin." said Ramesses.

Then, they left port, on a three-day trip to Thebes.

Major David "Ramboy" Ramesses of the F-16C training wing: Nellis AFB Las Vegas Nevada

Eminence Grise
posted 06-05-00 16:37 ET (US)     22 / 121       
Jayhawk smiled and stirred the Herbal #9 tea MRed kept especially for him. The rich smell filled his nose as he quietly laughed at his young friend.

Zen looked confused and then reached into the satchel he wore. He picked some paints and bits of parchement out of it and then presented MRed with a bundle of dried leaves.

"What are those?" she asked and sniffed at the leaves.
"Chai" the dark haired youth replied.
"Smells good. What do you do with it?"
"You infuse it with boiling water, and let it brew for a while. It comes from the lands where I spend my youth, the Middle Kingdom, the land behind the Wall where the Dragon Emperors rule."
His eyes grew distant.

Civis nudged Jayhawk with his elbow.
"What's he on about?" the Roman whispered.
"Dragon emperors?"
"It's a land far away from here, ancient Chin, where the silk comes from.
Wonderful place with mountains like giants fleeing the whips of the gods..."
The angel took another sip.

Civis looked confused and blindly accepted the herbal MRed offered him. He took a deep draught which made the end glow bright red.
"What have I gotten myself into this time, " he mumbled.

Civis Romanus
posted 06-05-00 21:02 ET (US)     23 / 121       
Civis pondered what might be the land of Chin as he took drag after drag on the herbal. He didn't notice that it had reached a glowing conclusion until he sensed a growing warmth at one particular spot on his lips.

"Jupiter!" Civis pulled the stub of the herbal out of his mouth, threw it on the ground and stepped on it to stifle the 'blaze'.

"I suppose you're going to want a salve for the burn next, huh?" asked MRed.

"No, it's not that bad, I can..." Civis reply tapered off. "You know I just smoked the whole thing without choking. That elixir of yours actually worked."

"Did you think it wouldn't?" countered MRed.

"Well, nothing has worked before," said Civis.

"The formula is recorded on papyrus in the Great Library. If not for the fire, Rome would know the secret and no one would have problems with herbals, not even you."

Civis ignored the tease as his thoughts returned to his mission. "Ah yes, the Great Library. MRed, I think you said you had information for us?"

MRed thought for a moment. "Yes, its true. Mere-Isis heard some news while shopping in Thebes a few days ago. It appears the market ladies are becomming very annoyed at the poor distribution of markets in Alexandria and the distance between the markets and the storage areas. They say the priests are hording all of the best grains. They plan a protest on the steps of the Great Library. The priests are not amused.'

'Cleopatra is very fearful that the protest will be held when Julius Caesar arrives with his legion. She fears an unfavorable impression will be made on him. This is complicated by the ongoing revolt of her elder sister and brother, who both claim the brother to be the rightful heir to the throne."

"A little complicated don't you think, MRed?" commented Civis.

"Welcome to Cleopatra's Egypt," replied MRed.

(id: Angel Zen)
posted 06-05-00 21:14 ET (US)     24 / 121       
Zen looks on with a raised eyebrow...


posted 06-05-00 22:49 ET (US)     25 / 121       
"And," said MRed, "If we hurry to the square, we will find out more abvout the gathering, and I heard that the Pharaoh's niece's daughter's friend's cat just had kittens....If we get there soon enough, we might be able to find a really good one, I hear they are going fast...."

MRed sat back, puffing on her herbal, and smiling beautifically at Civis, who was contentedly smoking one herbal after another....

(He doesn't know that MRed gave him some of the most mild ones she has.....)


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