|August 2758 auc
Fr. Apulo Caesare C. Popillio Laena consulibus
I did not feel like sleeping, and so decided to put things
to rights for the coming day's work. as the Chief Engineer was a stickler
for neatness and order in the workroom I thought about the Centurion hurrying
through the Praetorium, and as I did so, I realized a great deal more
respect was due to this man who was in charge of building this bridge.
He was alone here with no staff except for me and what little time the
This fear of the goddess would spread like a wildfire
through the troops quartered here and the winter drill to keep the men's
minds off their problems was simply not that much. It was much too cold
to drill on the drill field, and the patrols usually came back with someone
suffering from frostbite in the feet, or another victim of the fever,
for the surgeon's to assist as they were able. Several legionaries had
died so far at the fortress since the first snowfall. Those from the Spanish
lowlands, and Italy as well as those lands farther to the lands where
the sun rises, and they simply do not understand what this cold in the
Rhinus Valley can do. Around me the "room of drawings" as we
called this part of the Praetorium was alive with the drawings that we
had placed on the walls, and slightly scored the lines and filled the
with ink. I shook off my fears of the Earth-Mother, and the threats of
the cold, and set myself to neatly copying the Chief Engineer's Notes
and report information onto the pile of blank wax tablets placed there
for that purpose. This was rather difficult at first since his instructions
Suddenly the door curtain was pushed aside, and the Praefect
entered the room, a heavy robe around his shoulders to combat the chilled
hallways. I was sitting at the table working on the tablets and I slammed
to attention the moment I saw him. Unfortunately one of the wax tablets
fell to the stone floor and split , spilling out it's wax interior is
The Praefect nodded his head toward me in the way that he had of telling a person to relax, and asked in a quiet voice after the Chief Engineer. I replied that he had gone out, without mentioning where he would be, which was unusual in itself. The Praefect mused for a moment and then instructed me to notify the Chief Engineer to report to hi as soon a as he returned. I saluted him smartly and he turned to leave the room. He paused for a moment and turned back to me.
"Are you enjoying the work here in the Room Of Drawings?"
he asked looking at me as though he could see to my very insides.
"What is it that you are doing at this table?' he asked, pointing at the piles of wax tablets and styluses.
I wasn't ready for such a question and again I stumbled on my words. "Uhhh, recording the Chief Engineer's Notes onto these tablets."" I pointed to the pile unnecessarily.
The Praefect nodded his understanding and picked up one of the tablets that I ad just finished.. He read for a moment, and then tapping the tablet with his finger asked, "how much of this do you understand?"
I was again surprised at the question, and I replied slowly. "Uhhh, most of it Praefect. It was more difficult at first, but then with the Chief Engineer's lesson's I began to understand more."
The Praefect nodded again, and looked up at me, "and when did you learn about these geometric figures?"
"The Chief Engineer explained them to me a few days ago, when we had a slow evening," I replied,
I tried to remember what I had written on that tablet. What mistakes had I made? My mind was in a whirl. Here I was having a conversation with the Fortress Praefectus, in the middle of the night, about the work that I had done. I supposed that I had simply made a mistake and was beginning to stiffen my back to receive a dressing down when the Praefect said," Come with me," and turned toward the doorway.
(To Be Continued)
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Marcus Minucius-Tiberius Audens
Marcus Philippus Conservatus and Franciscus Apulus Caesar
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