The one they called The Spaniard, or Maximus to his closest friends, was passing time by drawing in the sand with a stick that he had come across. His arm, where he had been slashed by the Praetorian Guardsman who was supposed to kill him, had not yet fully recovered as it was still a little stiff and terse to use.

Hagen and Juba came up behind him to watch.

"What is it?" asked Hagen in his gruff Germanic accent.

"I'm not quite sure yet." replied Maximus, smiling a little as he said so, "But I'm sure the gods will be pleased with it, whatever it turns out to be."

Hagen burst into laughter, "Maximus," he began, "If the gods took notice of you, then you wouldn't be here, let me and Juba admire your work." He had to wipe tears from his eyes he was laughing so hard.

"My friend, you don't appreciate good art." laughed Maximus.

"Is it supposed to be your family?" interjected Juba.

There was an almost awkward pause following his question. Hagen tried to look away, pretending to be distracted and not able to hear. Juba didn't seem to notice the effect of his question and continued to stare hard at the ground, where Maximus had created his so called work of art. Every man who was within earshot started to shuffle away, the pressure was unbearable for Hagen and he declared his intention to go and relieve himself and so ran away.

Maximus simply said, "Yes, it is them."

"Then why have you drawn in extra children?" asked Juba.

"Because me and my wife planned to have seven children, but we only got to one in the end. The gods were against us." answered Maximus in an emotionless manner.

"I'm sorry." whispered Juba.

"You weren't to know." said Maximus, smiling his kind smile once more.

He kicked away the image of his family on the floor as Hagen came running back.

"Have you heard?" he shouted.

"What?" they both asked.

"There's some new guy here. He volunteered today and he said that he's here to fight the one that they call The Spaniard." breathed Hagen, he was bent double as he had run the whole way back to them.

"Then let us go meet this young man." said the bemused Maximus.

They walked through the crowd towards where the new entrant was stood, as people recognised him they stepped aside and greeted him.


He nodded in response and broke into he centre of the circle. He was confronted by a youth. The youth threw back their hood and looked up, it was a girl.

"Surprised?" she asked.

Gasps surrounded Maximus.

"A girl here?" everyone asked.

"Just a little." admitted Maximus, laughing once more. Soon everyone was laughing and the young girl stormed out.

"You should be more careful Maximus." said Juba, "You don't know what she's capable of."

"You're right Juba." said Maximus. "You're always right."

Maximus walked out to one of the walls and sat resting his back and head on the wall. He closed his eyes and tried to think back to what home was once like.