(( Alright, another OC that I made for my Hetalia RP group. (I love these people~) This one is for Theodorus Caecilius Vargas. He's the personification of Pompeii~ This is his back is also completely unedited, and I'm going use the backspace bar as scarcely as possible, so let's see how this goes over~? Numbers next to words and paragraphs are paired with a translation or explanation at the bottom with the corresponding number, so please read those, it will help a lot! I hope you enjoy, many thanks to my RP-group for encouraging me with all of my characters and being wonderful~ I love all of you guys! 3
End Author's Note, enjoy~))
"Kill him!" Theodorus shouted, waving his hands frantically. He tried to get the senator's attention. "Come on, kill him! He's done, he's done! Let them kill him! Come oooooon!" He was standing in the midst of the crowd, along with the rest of the citizens, desperate for the bloodshed they had been desiring for weeks. "Senator!"
Down in the arena, one gladiator (Was his name Afer? He couldn't remember, all of their names bled together after so many years of watching men be cut down by their kind) was being held by his hair by another man, bulkier, taller, stronger than him. He didn't bother to struggle, knowing his fate would be decided within seconds. His face was bowed towards the ground, but Theodorus could imagine the resigned, broken expression he wore. All of the gladiators were the same, after all. They reacted the same way, won the same way, lost the same way, and had their lives ended in the same way. It was how their games worked.
The senator, in his dazzling white toga, stood up, looking down his nose at the bloody gladiators on the ground. He stared for only a moment, listening to the crowds around him. His eyes closed briefly before he gave a single, jerky nod. (1)
The crowd roared, jumping to their feet to watch. Men and women alike scrambled over each other, anxious to see the action. Theodorus didn't fight for a better view. He simply stood up tall and grinned, eyes alight with passion. An older man next to him was leaning forward, nearly tripping over the man in front of him as he bellowed his excitement. A woman to his left was more dignified than most, but even she was unable to draw her eyes away from the spectacle in front of her.
The broken gladiator was shoved to his knees, his head still bowed. A sword was placed at his neck. With agonizing slowness to please the turba, the sword was brought up. For a single second, there was nothing but silence.
The sound of a blade meeting flesh echoed in the arena.
Euphoria erupted as the citizens of Pompeii cheered. It was enough to make Theodorus' ears ache, but it was worth every moment of agony. The bloodlust of his city had been pleased until the next show. A calm draped itself around him, and satisfaction flowed through him smoothly. He sighed in contentment, a small amount of tension leaking out of his posture. His feet began to move towards the exit before the Pompeiians finished their post-battle high. (2)
He hugged himself as he strolled away from the arena. A feeling of pleasure rolled in his stomach as he saw his last glimpse of the bloodstained sand, the gory scene, the dead animal carcasses, the corpses that littered the ground...
"Theodorus! My boy, today was a good day for a show, minime?" He peered up from the ground as his senator approached him, smiling brightly.
He smiled back, waving lightly as a greeting. "Is there ever a bad day for a show? I adore it, don't you? I love seeing these, I love that we have the opportunity! Thank you for providing such wonderful entertainment, as usual! You have certainly brought the best shows we've had in a long time, it has been far too long since we've had a senator that does so much for us! You're very generous, very generous!"
The senator's smile widened. "You're too kind to me, I'm only doing my job!" There was a brief lull in the conversation, where the two friends stood in amicable silence. "Theodorus, are you okay?"
Theodorus shuffled his feet against the ground, drawing a circle in the dust with his toe. "What do you mean?"
"You seem rather..." He struggled for a word that would express properly what he needed to say. "On edge. After these, you usually are the last person to leave. You savor the aftermath longer. Today, you almost ran out!" A frown decorated the older man's face, and he placed a hand on Theodorus' shoulder. "I'm worried, you've been acting different lately. You're always in a hurry, it can't be very good for your health..."
Theodorus laughed, placing his own hand over the senator's. "I'm just fine, do not worry yourself over me. I must be going through a midlife crisis or something, I feel as if I'm running out of time. Which is ridiculous, I'm at the peak of my youth!" He threw his arms up into the air, spinning around delightedly. "See? I'm young! I have years and years and years and years ahead of me! I'm just being silly, and I think I'm worried for Roma, he's been fighting so much lately, so that must be it!" A light breeze tossed his hair around, making it lay haphazardly across his face.
The senator was too polite to point out the contradiction Theodorus had himself caught in. He only nodded, his lips slightly turned downwards.
"If you are certain-"
"I am, I assure you." On an impulse, he reached over and tugged the other man into a hug, sighing. "Truly, thank you for all you have done. You have been wonderful to my city, and I appreciate this so much." A hand patted his back, and Theodorus couldn't help but press into the embrace, a desperate fear settling in the pit of his heart. "Be careful, okay? Always, always be careful. It would be a shame to lose you earlier than necessary. I don't want to have to place you in your tomb for many, many years, yes?"
"Of course, I have no intention on leaving any time soon. You take care of yourself too, my boy."
"I always do."
As Theodorus watched his senator walk away, he felt his eyes burn unpleasantly. There was a sense of foreboding that wouldn't leave him, a feeling of hopelessness, of resignation that refused to leave. He felt as if there were a ghost suffocating him, leaving him helpless and alone.
Walking into his villa, (3) he paused next to his unusually large lararium. (4) Traditionally, they were small, made only for Lar Familiares, (5) but when designing his villa, he couldn't control himself. He needed to add a section onto his lararium for Bacchus.(6) It was only fair after everything Bacchus has done for him.
After a slight hesitation, he knelt down in front of the lararium, sighing. His fingers danced across the offering left there, caressing the bowl it was held in before leaning back. He rubbed a hand over his face.
"Bacchus... Speak to me, please." He turned his gaze up to the sky, visible through the compluvium. (7) "I feel... Wary. Nervous. What is it I'm dreading? I don't even know. Can you tell me? Bacchus?" His tone, at first inquiring, had quickly degraded into begging, a sense of urgency invading him. "Bacchus? Bacchus, please! Is something going to happen? Are you trying to warn me? Bacchus!" His hands gripped the lararium's edges, staring straight into the statue's eyes. "What am I dreading? What is going to happen? Bacchus! Please, tell me! I can't stand not knowing! Bacchus-!"
He cut himself off abruptly, bowing his head. "Stultus...(8) I am being so stupid. Look at me, getting hysterical over a bad feeling!" His grip loosened off of the box, a tight smile decorating his face. "Stultus! No more worrying! I am being a fool." Standing up straight, he bowed to the shrine for just a moment before turning and bouncing over to his bedroom.
Throwing the thick curtain open, he collapsed onto his bed, cuddling into the covers. "No more worrying, I am just fine! Sum optimus! No need for being anxious, no need for fear! sum Theodorus Caecilius Vargas! (9) sum fortiores quam leones! (10)" He laughed happily, clapping his hands together. "I like that one! 'Sum fortiores quam leones'! It works, doesn't it, Bacchus?" He looked up at the ceiling, grinning. "Yes, I know you like it too, wherever you are, meus deus..." (11)
He yawned, letting his head loll to the side. His eyes shut closed, and he imagined the battle he had witnessed only hours before. A scene from a similar battle years before, where a lion had snapped its jaws on a certain gladiator's throat, stuck out in his mind, and it was the image he fell asleep envisioning.
That night, he dreamed of ashes and blood and lions.
"Senator!" Theodorus ran into the familiar villa, pushing his legs to move faster. "Senator! Where are you? Senator!" He could feel the people outside, trying to retreat from the danger. Many had already fallen, and his heart ached painfully. "Senator! Please! Where are you?" He swung curtains open, pushed past broken pillars, and jumped over those who had already fallen.
"I'm in here, my dear child." Coughing followed that quiet statement, and Theodorus sprinted to get there.
"Senator!" Theodorus' face spoke of his relief. He slid to his knees in front of the senator, grabbing his hand and holding it against his face reverently. The senator sat in a chair that had been pushed in front of his desk. His pale demeanor worried him, but the bleeding wounds caused Theodorus to let out a cry of anguish."Quickly, quickly! I know how to get you away from this, Senator! I do not want you to perish! Not yet, non nunc!" He jumped to his feet and tugged on the hand he held, trying to force him to his feet. "Please, Senator! We need to get you out of here!" He pulled, but the senator shook his head. (12)
"Theodorus... Meus infans, meus puer, meus amicus..." (13)Theodorus fell to his knees once more, confusion twisting his features. The senator, with much effort, pressed his hand against the Pompeiian's face, holding it gently. "Finem est. It is done. I am done. I want to die with our city. I want to die with you, Theodorus."
"Minime!" (14) Theodorus shook his head frantically, shutting his eyes tightly. "Minime, minime! I refuse! You will live, you will!" Vigorously, he resumed pulling on the man's arm. He tried pushing him out of his chair, tried screaming incoherently, tried slapping him across the face... The senator would not move.
"I'm not leaving."
Theodorus wailed, throwing himself at the man. He forced his arms to wrap around the distraught child (because no matter how old he was, Theodorus would always be a child) and hushed him gently.
"Meus infans... Gratiae. Gratiae, sed nunc meus tempus est..." (15) The senator ran a hand across Theodorus' back, a small smile on his face. A trickle of blood trailed down his hand and fell onto Theodorus' dark toga. "You know I haven't been a senator for many years, yes?"He coughed, but grabbed Theodorus tightly when he started to loosen his grip.
Theodorus buried his face into the man's neck. "I know... I know... You were my favorite though, you'll always be my senator..."
"You're too kind to me..." He repeated the words he spoke a long, long time ago. "You always have been."
"Never... Never anymore than you deserve." Theodorus' shoulders shook.
"I'm not ready to die!" He blurted out, pulling out of the hug so he could gaze into the man's eyes. "I'm not! I'm Pompeii, I'm not... Mortuus..." He shook his head, pleading with the other to understand. "sum Pompeii. sum Theodorus Caecilius Vargas. non sum mortuus!"(16)
"Hush, hush." A hand ran through Theodorus' hair. "nolite lacrimare."(17)
"non lacrimo!" (18) Despite his words, tears trailed down his face. Rubble fell from the ceiling. Theodrous clung to
"infelix es, sed fortissimus es." He coughed once more, sitting back in his chair and releasing Theodorus. "Nolite lacrimare, Theodorus Caecilius Vargas." (19)
He couldn't make himself stay in the villa any longer after his senator faded away. His hands were covered in the man's blood. He couldn't make himself look at them. He ran out into the streets, eyes trying to drink in every shop, every citizen, every slave, every animal, every villa, every stone... It was all going to be gone, he was going to be gone.
His lungs burned as he breathed in the deathly air, physically unable to die until everything was destroyed. He was going to be gone soon, he wasn't going to survive, he was dying. (20)
He gasped, trying to take in fresh air.
He gasped, choking and coughing as ash fluttered down around him.
He gasped, falling to the ground and curling his legs against his chest.
He couldn't breathe, the ash and tainted air were coloring his lungs black. He couldn't muster up the willpower to even cough. He couldn't breathe, he couldn't make it end, he couldn't do anything but choke and die.
He had wanted to die in the arena, wanted to die with his citizens proud. Or, better yet, he had wanted to die in battle, next to Roma. He would have fought beautifully for his people, and he would have contributed to a Roman win.
He was a gladiator who was going to die pitifully in pain.
He tried so hard to breathe, to force himself to live, but he couldn't. There was too much bad air.
Ash fell down around him, and his eyes widened as it started to pile up at an alarming rate. He jumped back, trying to get to his feet to escape. With growing fright, he found standing up would be impossible. He was too weak, his city far too destroyed...
He sobbed soundlessly, tears trailing down his face as he felt the ash fall on top of him. His eyes darted around as he searched for an escape.
He found none.
The best he could do was find a wall to lean up against, to keep his head above the ground for as long as he could. His head banged against the wall, but he couldn't bring himself to care. His lungs felt as if they had shriveled up and collapsed, the pain was unbearable.
His hands were the first to be covered. He didn't mind that so much, it hid the blood. The next were his legs. His brain started to detach itself from its body then. He didn't feel hurt. He didn't feel any emotions, after his legs were gone. He just stared at the tauntingly slowing ash. It had started out fast, but it was slowing down to mock him. He knew.
The ash crept up on him, piling further, and further up, until it was covering his neck and starting on his face.
"Minime, minime, non sum mortuus, non sum mortuus-" (21)
A strangled cry forced its way past his lips only seconds before they were covered. His eyes widened, as he tried to move. He was unable to.
His eyes slammed shut shortly before his complete world was covered in ash.
((Translations and Explanations:
1) a) The dazzling white toga recognized him as the senator (mayor, president, leader of the city, sort of). b) During gladiator fights, the senator (who would be paying for the show) would decide whether the beaten man would be allowed to live or not. It usually depended on if the crowd wanted him to live or die.
2) Pompeiians (and most Romans) loooooooooved gladiator fights. Like, seriously. You have no idea. So after them, they were usually very, very happy.
3) Villa = house
4) Lararium= Family shrine for family gods. Usually small, the size of a cupboard.
5) Lar Familiares = Family guardians, usually the image of a snake.
6) Bacchus = God of wine, ecstasy, and theater. Greek name is Dionysus.
7) Compluvium = a large, square opening in a Roman villa that was above a pool (impluvium) that collected rainwater that came through the compluvium.
8) Stultus = Stupid
9) sum Theodorus Caecilius Vargas!: I am Theodorus Caecilius Vargas! (Pronounced, for those curious, Tey-oh-door-us Kai-kill-ee-us War-gas. )
10) sum fortiores quam leones!: I am stronger than lions!
11) Meus deus: My god
12) This entire scene is when Mt. Vesuvius is starting to erupt. Most citizens were starting to evacuate by this point, but stupid ones like this ex-senator stayed and were killed by falling debris and buildings. I believe things were falling because of earthquakes, but I am not entirely certain.
13) Meus infans, meus puer, meus amicus: My child, my boy, my friend.
14) Minime!: No!
15) Meus infans... Gratiae. Gratiae, sed nunc meus tempus est...: My child... Thanks. Thanks, but now is my time.
16) sum Pompeii. sum Theodorus Caecilius Vargas. non sum mortuus!: I am Pompeii. I am Theodorus Caecilius Vargas. I am not dead!
17) Nolite lacrimare: Do not cry.
18) Non lacrimo!: I am not crying!
19) infelix es, sed fortissimus es...Nolite lacrimare, Theodorus Caecilius Vargas.: You are unlucky, but you are the strongest... Do not cry, Theodorus Caecilius Vargas.
20) This is when the sulfuric gases from the volcano hit Pompeii. It's poisoning him and burning his lungs from the inside out, but I am of the belief that nations only die once their land is completely "dead". So Theodorus was alive even though most humans that were still there were probably dead, but he couldn't breathe because his lungs had been completely destroyed.
21) Minime, minime, non sum mortuus, non sum mortuus- : No, no, I am not dead, I am not dead-