Rome and Drakonia
Commodus III, the Emperor of Rome seeks for revenge – Drakonia’s men of war gather
– Seti-Kahn’s reveals plans for battle – The Emperor asks the opinion of Kronus –
Kronus asks for two days of study – The Stazzi keep watch over Kronus – Two days
later, Kronus reveals his strategy for defending Antarctica and plundering Rome –
The Emperor favors Kronus’ plans – Jealous peers resolved to murder Kronus
1 On the island of Capri did the Emperor of Rome brood darkly against Drakonia;
for he desired to take again unto himself the water stations of Antarctica; for in
the days of Kronus were the waters of the polar regions most precious and highly
prized; being locked in the ice, being itself both pure and uncorrupted by the pollutions
2 For the earth grew sick beneath the weight of man, for he did constantly pour
into the rivers and oceans of the earth a great many contaminants, filling in rapid
degrees the whole earth with sickness and despair.
3 But in the frozen waste of the polar regions was there found the ice of ages past,
containing in itself the purest of waters, fresh and clean; being most highly desired
by the nations of men whereby they might drink of its pureness and live.
4 Now the Emperor of Rome was a vengeful man, whose name was Commodus III; being
himself a man of spite and bitter disposition; and he desired a bitter retribution
against Drakonia, whereby he might gloat in some victory against it.
5 For in years past had Drakonia captured through war, the continent of Antarctica,
to steal it away from Rome; to keep in firm possession the wealth of all its many
resources; drawing from the frozen land and the oceans round about a great many riches.
6 Thus, for eighty years did the Empire of Rome seek some bitter revenge for so
great a loss, causing that Commodus III should send into the lands of South Africa,
five full divisions of the Roman Army, having in each division some ten legions;
and unto this did he also add six armored battalions, fiercely armed.
7 And over so great an army did Commodus III place in command, a general of great
renown, even the man Sulla Cornellius; and he made haste the great invasion, drawing
into every port a great many naval ships and barges.
8 For he was determined to land full force upon the frozen shores, to take captive
the ice city of Neropolis, and all the regions round about; being hopeful to surprise
Drakonia in fearsome battle, to catch it unawares.
9 But in the regions of space did the satellites of Drakonia keep silent watch over
all the earth, spying here and watching there the doings of every nation; sending
out in secret codes, the intentions of Rome and all its might.
10 Now in the fortress city of Trajenium did the men of war gather in the Emperor’s
private chamber; and in the center of the room was there seen a great three dimensional
map which showed upon its surface, the lands of South Africa, Antarctica and the
ocean in between.
11 And there was placed upon the map, the most current positions of all military
forces within the region, both of Rome and Drakonia, being constantly updated and
revised by the mighty men of war.
12 And there was gathered before the Emperor, in full battle dress, Kronus Maximillius,
having been appointed the Strategic Advisor to the Emperor himself.
13 Also was there present: Seti-Kahn, Supreme Commander; Markus Tobias, Chief Adjutant
General; Titus Germanicus, Military Director of Strategic Information; Lucius Britannia,
Air Marshal; Graccus Media, First Admiral of the Imperial Fleet; and Cassius Aegean,
First Field Marshall of Military Operations.
14 And the Emperor spoke unto his commanders, saying: “What of Rome and its gathered
armies? When shall they attack and how stand we in defense of Neropolis?” And Seti-Kahn
stepped out from the rest which were gathered, and he spoke, saying:
15 “Your Majesty, it is agreed among us that Rome shall not attack for two weeks,
for they have not completed all their many preparations. Yet, my lord, why should
we wait for battle? Let us, therefore, attack the cities and ports of South Africa,
to pin the armies of Rome within the walls of their garrisons.
16 For we are agreed among us that the best defense is a swift and mighty offense
which would overwhelm the enemy before they set sail against us.
17 Thus would we advise, Your Majesty, an immediate and massive assault upon South
Africa; to place under immediate and constant bombardment from the air and sea, the
capital city of Herculeum.”
18 In this manner did Seti-Kahn speak unto the Emperor, and there spoke also, the
First Admiral of the Imperial Fleet, Graccus Media, saying: “Your Majesty, the Twelfth
Fleet is even now within the area, and can begin, within some eight hours, to lay
upon the city of Herculeum a heavy bombardment.
19 Also, my lord, can we move to assist within two days time, three more fleets,
heavily armed, which can themselves attack the cities and ports of Praetoria, Ostia,
Phillippi and Praxus, to turn them into heaps of ruin and broken rubble.”
20 Then did Seti-Kahn speak again, saying: “And not this only, Your Majesty; for
in three weeks time shall I have within the hand an invasion force of my own consisting
of eight full divisions, as well as two full armored divisions ready for battle and
fit for war.
21 For I, myself, shall lead them, to win for the Emperor a great and fearsome victory
which shall fill the heart of Rome with hateful dread; for I shall steal away the
whole of South Africa, to give it as a gift to you, my lord.
22 Say now but the word only, and I shall make ready haste to crush the legions
of Rome which even now would go against us; for if you are in agreement, then shall
I fulfill all my words; that you may find to yourself an increase in glory and honor.”
23 Now the Emperor considered well the words of all who spoke, and turning again
to his commanders, he spoke, saying: “But what of Neropolis? For even if we should
defeat Rome, still will they try again to steal away the whole of Antarctica.”
24 And Cassius Aegean, being the First Field Marshal of Military Operations, spoke,
saying: “Your Majesty, even as we speak have I commanded the reinforcement of Neropolis,
tripling all gun batteries around the city; mining also all beaches and landing sites.
25 Yet, my lord, even to this would we add more: being desirous ourselves to build
two military cities upon the continent; creating to our benefit an Antarctic Command
which would be given charge over the whole of Antarctica, whereby they might more
readily defend it against all encroachments.”
26 And turning to Seti-Kahn, the Emperor spoke, saying: “Tell me straightly and
hold not back: How many men shall perish of Drakonia?” And Seti-Kahn answered, saying:
“We shall lose some two hundred thousand men, my lord.”
27 Then turning to Cassius Aegean, the Emperor spoke again, saying: “What then of
the cost, Cassius; tell me truly.” And Cassius Aegean answered, saying: “All things
considered, Your Majesty, it shall cost the treasury some five hundred thousand gold
28 Thus was the Emperor made most fully aware of such costly plans as his commanders
would put forth for his consideration and agreement; and turning to Kronus, the Emperor
spoke, saying: “What think you, Kronus? Is this plan worthy of my favor?”
29 Yet did Seti-Kahn step forth to intrude upon his lord and master, saying: “Your
Majesty, these things are beyond the boy. For all these plans were most subtly devised
and brought together by the most accomplished of men. Kronus is too young to understand
so great a thing. It is for the Emperor’s military to decide.”
30 But the Emperor rebuked Seti-Kahn, saying: “It is for the Emperor, alone, to
decide and no other.” Thus in the anger of the Emperor’s voice did Seti-Kahn grow
fearful; and there stirred within him a fierce and hateful rage against the son he
feared above all else.
31 Then did the Emperor turn again unto Kronus, saying: “Tell me Kronus: What think
you of all these things?” And Kronus answered him, saying: “Your Majesty, if you
will consent, permit that I might study all these things for two days. And when I
am completed, I will tell you all my heart.”
32 Now when Kronus had finished speaking, Markus Tobias exclaimed against him quickly,
saying: “Your Majesty, we must attack now. For it is not good that we should wait
two days for Kronus’ sake, for the fires are stoked and the iron is hot. Let us strike
now and hold not back.”
33 But the Emperor rebuked him also, saying: “Did you not say yourself that Rome
shall not attack for yet another two weeks? How then will you say that we cannot
wait just two days only?”
34 Thus did the Emperor give consent unto Kronus, causing that there should be placed
within the room a cot upon which Kronus might sleep in the deepness of the night;
and every man did leave the room to follow their Emperor, causing that Kronus should
be alone in all his contemplations of the plans of war and bloody battle.
35 Thus for two days did Kronus study such plans and strategies as were made available;
yet would Kronus still request reports, studies and surveys pertaining to South Africa
and all its many resources, as well as all current and projected weather reports.
36 And with each request that Kronus made, the Stazzi would report to the Emperor,
saying: “Your Majesty, the Great Kronus has asked for this report,” or “this study,”
or again “Kronus has requested such and such a survey.”
37 Likewise would the spies of Seti-Kahn rush to report unto their master, saying:
“My Lord, the boy has made requests for this report,” or “this study,” or again “the
boy has asked for such and such a survey.”
38 Thus did the ways of Kronus intrigue the greatest men of power, while others
grew fearful of his artful plottings; being fearful that in Kronus would they be
made to lose face in the presence of their peers and the Emperor also.
39 Now on the morning of the third day, Kronus sent word unto the Emperor, and there
gathered in the war room of the Emperor, all the mighty men of power; for each was
anxious to hear for themselves such counsel as Kronus would give.
40 And Kronus spoke unto the Emperor, saying: “Your Majesty, in all these plans
have I found some good merit; yet only in two things am I left unsettled: For in
the first do all agree that the cost to Drakonia shall be no less than two hundred
thousand of our own dead; while yet costing us further some five hundred thousand
talents of gold.
41 Yet, Your Majesty, why should this war be forced upon us at so great a cost?
For this cause would I force upon Rome the cost of all their efforts and ours combined
42 Causing that we should take from Rome, the gathered treasures of South Africa,
to bring into your treasury the greatest prize of all, which prize is no less than
the very heart of Rome’s wealth and power.
43 Thus, Your Majesty, if this seem good in your eyes that we should do it, then
must we not fight the legions of Rome while they are yet in their garrisons, to pin
them within the very cities where all these mighty treasures are stored and gathered.
44 For this cause would I speak of that second thing which would prove itself most
troublesome. For which is better: to attack South Africa while yet the legions of
Rome are found within, being fully prepared for bloody battle?
45 Or is it better still to attack South Africa, to rob it of all its wealth and
glory while yet the legions of Rome have sent themselves away; to land upon the frozen
and hostile shores of Antarctica, placing between us and them a harsh and bitter
46 For this cause would I reveal to you a far more subtle stratagem which, if you
will give consent, will yet preserve into our keeping the city of Neropolis while
gaining to our greater benefit, the very crown of Rome’s wealth and prestige.”
47 Now when the Emperor heard this of Kronus, his heart was filled with greed; for
the Emperor lusted after glory and fame above all other things, while yet many of
the men of war which stood beside him, were themselves most intrigued by the words
48 And the Emperor spoke, saying: “Continue then Kronus and speak of this strategy
which would gain for me so great a treasure.” And Kronus spoke, saying: “These then
are the things which we must do with swift and firm resolve.
49 Thus must we fulfill the plans of Cassius Aegean concerning the reinforcement
of Neropolis, and all other things beside save one; for we must not mine the shores
upon which Rome will land its legions, lest they suspect that we are well prepared
50 For this man Sulla Cornellius have I studied, for he is a man of bitter intent,
being fully committed to the achieving of his Emperor’s goals; and in his landing
upon our shores will he send away the ships which brought him forth, forcing all
his legions to win the day or die; for in Sulla Cornellius there is found no half
measure or going back.
51 For it is now certain that there will soon come upon Antarctica a fierce and
raging storm; a howling gale which will greatly hamper the movements and advancements
of Rome against us, causing that there should fall upon them some difficulty in supply
52 Let Rome, therefore, dangle themselves far away on shores of ice and stone; for
we need not fight them face to face; for on the day when we shall plunder the whole
of all their treasuries, then will Commodus himself call Sulla back unto South Africa.
53 Thus, on that day when Sulla shall land upon our shores, to send his ships away,
then must we act with swift and firm resolve.
54 For on the third day of Sulla’s landing, when his ships are far at sea, then
must we send in the four imperial fleets; to lay against the capital of Herculeum,
a massive bombardment day and night, filling the regions round about with a deep
and rumbling roar.
55 And the garrisons of South Africa shall set aside their own places, to rush themselves
to Herculeum, believing that there comes against them some great and dreadful invasion;
and when they have left unguarded their own cities, then must we strike suddenly
and with fierce resolve.
56 Striking against the treasuries of Lyconium, Niccocea, Mordredia, Praetoria,
Phillippi, Ostia, and Praxus; sending into each city a strike force of heavy lifters;
for in these cities shall we find mountains of gold, platinum, silver, diamonds,
and many other riches beside.
57 Thus, Your Majesty, shall we take from Rome in one day only, up to a fourth of
all its wealth and glory. Then shall we recall our fleets and withdraw ourselves
58 And when Sulla returns again unto South Africa, then shall we send our forces
unto Antarctica, to protect it against all further encroachments, until that day
when Cassius Aegean shall complete all his many plans for the future defense of Neropolis.”
59 Thus did Kronus speak, and the Emperor was filled with laughter; and slapping
Kronus upon the back in good fellowship, he roared, saying: “What brass! What daring!
What cunning this man has!
60 Why then should we fight Sulla? For if we do as Kronus says, then shall Commodus
place the blame on Sulla for so great a loss, and will himself strangle Sulla with
his own intestines.”
61 And every man did also laugh save Seti-Kahn and Markus Tobias, for they were
filled with rage. For it was clearly evident that the Emperor favored Kronus above
themselves, and they resolved to murder Kronus in subtle fashion.