Being a Peacekeeper in a time of war

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


A Peacekeeper from a small town is forced to fight in a Roman Colosseum for his freedom.

Submitted: April 26, 2018

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Submitted: April 26, 2018

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It was a hot and sunny day in the Colosseum and the crowd was demanding blood from either me or my opponent. Wielding a sword in each hand gave me no advantage, since the man I had to fight held a sword in each of his own. They called us the Dimachaerus or something like that. Empress Aelia Barbatus was our ruler and she was one of those types of people that would slice your throat open in an instant if she felt like it. She opens her mouth to speak but right before she could make a single sound I felt a sword tip on my neck. "Lay down your weapons peacemaker." A woman's voice scowls. I look at her and shake my head. "One cannot make peace without an alternative plan." I reply, gripping the handle of the sword in my left hand softly. Barbatus decided to stay quiet and let us fight. I sigh and look at the female warrior in front of me. "Look.......we don't need to fight......we can work something out." I plead. She chuckles softly. "We can't just stand here like a couple of damn fools. If we do that we will be cut down by the Roman Archers." She explains. I nod and sigh. "I won't be trying to kill you.....and I won't even if the crowd demands it." I say in a soft voice, so only she would hear me. "I'm Cato." She kinda smiles. "I'm Roslynn." She introduces herself right before she swung her other sword at me. I quickly block the attack and roll out of the way. Roslynn scowls and went after me. For about 10 minutes it was a game of Cat and Mouse, except I was the mouse and the Cat was a female warrior that wanted to gut me. I finally throw my sword at her leg blindly. Her scream was the most terrifying thing I ever heard.......it was like a Siren had her vocal cords damaged while she was singing. She fell down to the ground and clutched at the sword that was buried in her leg. I put my other sword to her neck as if to signal to the crowd that I somehow just won. The sight of Roslynn like this disgusted me. There was a pool of blood under her leg and I thought I could see some bone poking out of her flesh. Her heavy breathing just made the hair on my neck stand. 'How can anyone find this entertaining?' I thought to myself. Luckily, Roslynn knew what to do and raised her index finger in the air, to admit defeat and receive judgment. I didn't know the Empress personally, but from the stories I hear from the sleeping quarters of the tiny slave house that they stick 50 of us in at once, this won't end well. The crowd literally begs for Roslynn to be spared.......but Barbatus wasn't in a merciful mood. She frowns and puts her thumb down, meaning I had to slay Roslynn.......or else we would both die. I look down at the wounded warrior. She looks up and nods. "Do it Cato......." I shake my head. "I can't......." I say, tearing up at the thought of killing another person. "Just do it!" She growls. "NO!" I shout out loud, dropping my weapon. The crowd gasps and looks at Barbatus. Even from the great distance I could see the rage in her eyes. She snaps her fingers and the legion was flooding into the arena. I'm quickly surrounded by a swarm of Roman soldiers. The Empress stand up from her throne and said something that shocked me. "Either you kill her.......or I'll flood the arena so that you both drown...." She says in a dark, stern voice. I look at Roslynn in regret. 'How could something like this happen to a peacemaker?'




*** 

A few weeks back I wasn’t in this Roman hell……..I was in my home town, Sora. I come from a peaceful community that almost never fought with each-other. I was the main Peacekeeper, tasked with dealing with outsiders and with crimes committed. I had a wife named Apollonia who was expecting a child in a few more days. For fun everyone calls her Roslynn. Life was going perfectly well……until the Romans took over. One late afternoon I was walking out of the Grand Counsel building (where I dealt with criminals) and out of the corner of my eye I saw a dead body. Normally I wouldn’t be fazed, but this was different…..we didn’t have the resources to build ranged weapons so we outlawed bows. The arrow that was in the man’s head appeared to be made out of oak wood and tipped with gold, a metal that we didn’t have. ‘This must have been done by an outsider.’ I thought to myself, clearly annoyed that somebody would A. Waste a precious metal on a simple item and B. Use said item to kill one of our people. I went to pick the body up when another arrow landed behind me. I gulp and look at the hill that over watched us. Hundreds of people were standing under the tree over on the hill with armor, weapons, flags and the leader of the army was riding a horse. My face went pale in fear as I run back inside the Counsel building. “We are under attack!” I yelled as I got to the room where most of the townspeople were in. They panic and run in terror. I ran to the staircase and went up as fast as my legs would allow on the steep stairs. With heavy breathing I finally got to the top floor where the bell was. I grabbed the rope and rang it for about five minutes before I saw the only person who I thought I would never see outside in such a dangerous moment. “Roslynn!” 



*** 

I stared at her for a few moments before I thought of an idea. I turn to the Empress and salute her before speaking. “I have a deal for you!” I yell to her. She tilts her head and raises an eyebrow. “And what is that?” She asks, clearly confused that I would try something like this. “How about I fight you? If I win, Roslynn lives and we earn our freedom.” The crowd gasps while Barbatus chuckles and grins at me. “And if you lose?” She asks coldly. I gulp and sigh. “You kill us both.” Barbatus grabs her sword, a fine blade with a golden handle and a ruby encrusted in both sides of the hilt. She jumps down from her seat and is caught by a couple of soldiers that instantly set her down. “I accept your challenge and deal Peacemaker.” She says softly as she approaches me. “Any rules I should know?” I nod. “None of your soldiers interfere and the crowd determines the loser’s fate.” I explain. Barbatus nods. “Agreed.” She says. I look at Roslynn. “Um…….do you want me to get my sword back or will you lend me one of yours?” Roslynn hands me one of her swords. “Finish this tyrant off Cato.” She silently requests. I nod. “Will do.” I turn around and start swinging my swords. Barbatus is taken by surprise but manages to block my strikes. I stop attacking and go on the defensive. ‘I must win this…….I must save my wife.’ 

*** 

The town was in ruins…….fires were spreading from house to house, bodies covered the streets and a river of blood was flowing on the roads. I was told that my family was killed when they were trying to get away. We were given a chance to earn our freedom……we just had to kill the leader with nothing but a rusty knife. Nobody would take the challenge. I wouldn’t because I was a pacifist……….I did not believe in fighting or wars. I sort this kind of thing out……that’s why everybody, including my wife called me the ‘Peacekeeper’. They look at us. “By order of the Empress, if none of you take this chance…….you all will be taken into slavery and fight to the death in the arena!” the General growls. I look him straight in the eyes. “Sir! We are people of peace. We own no weapons or anything that’s used for combat…..I myself am the town’s Peacekeeper.” I reply. I was knocked to the ground when one of the soldiers bashed my back with their shield. “Fine! Then off to Rome.” We were all knocked out a moment later. 



Hours later I woke in a smelly, dark place. I couldn’t see a damn thing at first, but my eyes adjusted in time. It all happened so fast. One moment I was being dragged away from my cell, and the next I was outside standing in front of a bunch of men that only had torn pants on. I was supposed to be their leader for when we had to fight. Over the next few months I trained the squad of 3 what I knew about the ways of the sword. I knew a bit because my father was not like our people. He was a solider for the Romans before he was able to finally go home. During the last day of training I taught them one final move that could be used if they had no other way to hit somebody. “Take one of your swords and throw in into your opponent’s leg. This will immobile them and is the quickest way to win…….but is also the most dangerous. If you miss…..you leave yourself with one sword and basically you just cut your chances of survival in half. Use this tactic only if necessary.” The guards come down just as I finish. “They ready?” they ask. “The games are about to begin its afternoon show.” I look at the men and nod a little bit. “I taught them everything I know……..” The men are escorted to the arena as I watched. I never heard from them again since that day.


© Copyright 2018 T.R. Silverblade. All rights reserved.

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