Asterix and the Centurion
Chapter 1- 'Lioness Queen'
It is said a war can be won with the swing of a warrior's sword. It is also said that women are not allowed to serve in the Imperial Roman Army, until now. This is the story of one Roman centurion and the legion under her command whose name became synonymous with the military might and discipline of the Roman Empire.
Her name is Lea Regina and she has risen to become one of Julius Caesar's best officers and commanders. Throughout her life, Regina was considered undesirable because of her looks. She had short white hair with a long tail which was considered to be a bad omen or a curse from the Gods by some of the empire's high priests.
As a child, she was alone until Caius Fatuous picked her up off the streets of Rome as a young beggar and raised her as his own until she matured into a woman. She voluntarily asked Caius to train her as a gladiatrix. Trained in the Dimachaeri style, she earned great prestige on the sands of the Coliseum and even impressed Caesar.
The emperor was so impressed by her skill with the sword that he asked her to serve in his legions. She would also be given her freedom from bondage and the rudius. She accepted his offer and enlisted in the Roman Legion. Throughout her first years of army service, she was often mocked for being a woman but she persevered.
Through many battles and sieges, she rose up through the ranks and won the respect of all the soldiers she commanded. She never abandoned her troops in the heat of battle and trained them to fight to the death. While on a successful campaign in Iberia, Centurion Lea Regina was once again in the thick of action.
She was at the front of the assault with sword and shield. Her weapons and armor meant as much to her as her own beating heart. She dodged an enemy's sword easily and hammered him on the top of his helmet with the pommel of her gladius, "Push forward, My Brothers-in-Arms!" She bellowed to the valiant troops behind her.
Centurion Lea Regina was strict about who she choses to serve under her ranks. She chose the very youngest of legionaries, those that barely serve one term of army service in hopes that in her words, "A young body can be easily molded and formed into soldiers that will be the standard for the legion," She once stated,
Under this philosophy, Centurion Lea Regina had created a legion that could outdrill and outperform any legion in the whole of the Roman Empire. Lea Regina is also the youngest officer in the entire Roman Legion at a mere 25 years of age. But the young centurion was about to receive news from Gaul from a special messanger.
It was Brutus, Son of the Emperor, entering her camp located in the southernmost region of Iberia, "Ave Brutus," She said saluting the eldest son of Caesar though she was not too pleased to see him. She sat down and crossed her legs, "so…what brings you to my camp, O Brutus?" She asked looking at him in the eye.
Brutus was a regal and strongly chinned man with muscles to go with it. Lea Regina is a well-built woman, a fine mix of buxomness and muscle forged in the whip and sands of arena combat and fires of battle. Lea has sapphire blue eyes and tanned skin as a reminder of the years of service out in heat of the Iberian sun.
Her armor was custom-made in the armories. Her helmet had intricate brass engravings of a laurel wreath on the sides. On the front of her iron helmet is a brass engraving of a pouncing lioness. Her iron muscle cuirass had an emphasized female-chest which was tailored to her somewhat large bust size and scale armor shoulder guards.
She wears a standard tunic in a shade of white with blue lining on the edges of her sleeves. Her flowing blue cape gave her a majestic and regal appearance. She also wears whites pants instead of the standard legionary red pants. She wears a cingulum and four leather straps in front and behind her. Her gladius is made in the Mainz style.
She had pale pink lips and is considered as deadly with a sword as she was beautiful. Brutus looked at her with a sinister smile, "You have been given orders, Lea Regina, I will be assuming command of your troops from this point onward," Regina didn't like this at all, "and you…are being transferred to the fortified camp of Aquarium in Gaul,"
"I will not leave my men behind…not to the likes of you, Brutus," Regina hissed tossing aside her goblet of wine, "a serpent has more morals than you," Brutus smiled and lightly chuckled; everything seemed to be going his way. With Centurion Lea out of the way, He now had command of one of the best legions in the Roman Army.
"These orders came from the Emperor himself…you don't have a choice," He informed her, sipping at his goblet of wine smugly, "Rome has no need of a perfect centurion…now with you out of the way, Lea Regina, I can put my grand plan into action," He thought to himself, smiling a convincing smile which hid his true intentions,
Regina slanted her eyes angrily and stormed out of her tent. The news spread throughput the camp from a stationed archer at the gate. She mounted up on a black stallion with a leopard skin riding blanket. She put on her helmet which featured a fluffy blue crest running from front to back, "Redibo ('I shall return!')!" She cried,
They were all disappointed to see her go, but orders are absolute in the army. She did promise to her troops that she would return and she was a woman of her word, "This is getting me down, why would Caesar put this idiot in charge of my men? I sense there's a weasel in the thicket and it's wearing a red cape," she thought to herself,
"Gaul…and Armorica of all the areas, I know of the Camp Aquarium, it is one of the camps surrounding a village of Gauls said to be invincible," She thought, whipping the reins to make horse gallop faster and smiled to herself, "I heard from the camps that the troops there are brand new and lack discipline, seems I have a lot of work to do,"
As she left the camp in the night, she arrived at the fortified camp of Aquarium a week later. There were indeed fresh troops in the camp. All of them had not finished even their first years in the Roman army. Regina is a very beautiful woman. It was hard for some them to believe that is one of Rome's best commanders.
"By Jupiter…Is…Is this a joke?" one of the legionaries asked, Regina looked down at the young legionary from atop her horse. She dismounted from her steed and surveyed the camp. The camp was a complete and utter mess. Some of the soldiers knew of this particular centurion and urged him to keep quiet in their ranks.
Her eyes were as sharp as her gladius,"No…now if you please…AD SIGNA!" She growled lightly in her voice, "MANDATA CAPTATE!" She bellowed and the legionaries followed as she unlatched the cheek guards and took off her helmet, "As of now, I am your commanding officer, you are still young men and you all have much to learn,"
"I want this camp clean and presentable, tomorrow…the real training begins, Dimitto! (Dismissed!)" Regina ordered with the utmost seriousness. Her men were so young that their cheek protectors fastened comfortably around their faces. She settled down and helped out the men with chores as she was a part of the camp.
That morning at break of dawn, the trumpets sounded and all 50 legionaries were lined up in two rows of 25. Lea came out of her tent in full-iron armor, "You will assemble swiftly and in full gear every morning at first light," She ordered, taking off her armor and wearing her tunic, "anyone who has a problem with it otherwise…will answer to me,"
"Oh...fiery," commented one legionary sarcastically. His name was Caius Falcus. He was a young man whom just reached the age of 24. The Centurion overheard his comment and picked up a pilum off the ground. The troops moved back as she pointed the iron tip to Falcus and then threw to top of the camp's highest post.
"How gallant of you to volunteer, Legionary Falcus…," She said happily, but then her happiness quickly turned to drill sergeant seriousness, "now retrieve that pilum," She ordered. Her scale-armored Decurion in the camp was a man her age named Quintus Terminus whom just earned his crest holder on his helmet.
"I'll get that pilum, you little minx," he grumbled under his breath cracking his knuckles, walking up to the tall wooden post in the middle of the fortified camp, "and I'll do it in my lorica segmentata," but before Caius could make an attempt to climb up the 10m high post to retrieve the javelin. Regina had something else to add on.
Quintus Terminus was holding a special chest for the general of the camp, "Hold on, brave soldier, you seem to be missing something," She said with two 30 pound lead weights encased in bronze. She tied them to Caius's wrists, "This…represents discipline," She explained to her troops holding up his wrist and dropping it.
The legionary's wrist fell to the dusty ground with the weight. Centurion Regina then lifted the second weight, "and this…represents strength, you need both to reach the pilum," Caius Falcus looked up at the spear and began climbing up the post like a squirrel, but he kept sliding down thanks to the weights strapped on his wrists.
But Caius could not maintain his balance and fell backwards on his head. Legionary after legionary tried and failed to reach the spear at the top of the post in a parade of failing attempts, "I think this is rather amusing don't you, O Centurion?" Quintus Terminus whispered to her with a light titter as she stood and watched them.
"There is nothing amusing about failure, Quintus Terminus," She informed him giving a glare in response to his small smile, "by Minerva…we have a long way to go if we are to send these men to battle," She looked at her tired troops and picked up an armful of spears. She threw them to her men and they each caught one.
"But these are very able men, I know I can prepare them for battle," She thought, watching and training her men in spear and shield fighting techniques, the same techniques she was taught when she was a gladiatrix. Now she seeked to employ that discipline into the legion and has picked her first victim out of the ranks.
"Quintus Terminus has informed me that these men are ready to face the Gauls…I'll be the judge of that," She circling around her young troops and fixing any and all improvements with her vitis, an officer's baton made of palm wood, "That's a fine thrust there, soldier," She informed a hard working young soldier, turning an eye to him.
This soldier was named Marcus Quercus and he looked to be a man more suitable for being a messenger for a senior officer than a legionary. She stepped in front of the tip of his iron spear, "Now then…stab me," She commanded to the shock of the young legionary, "why do you hesitate, soldier? That's an order…STAB ME!"
Marcus made an attempt to stab Centurion Lea Regine, but she just tapped the spear aside with her hand, "I said stab me not tickle me, are you giving that much content toward me as you would your enemy?! Face me like you're facing an enemy! NOW STAB ME!" She roared with a fire that would make the god Mars proud,
Marcus Quercus attacked her with all his might, but Regina moved the side and grabbed the spear by the wood of the shaft. She flipped the man over her back and slammed him down to the ground, "There's no shame in it, son, get up and try again," She said on top of him with the tip of the spear mere millimeters from his throat,
She gave him a hand up and walked away. As she walked away, she turned an eye to her Decurion, "They are not ready," She grumbled and walked away, after somewhat successful javelin drills, the tired female centurion decided to call it a day, "alright good work today, men, I expect you lot to be up bright and early,"
Early that morning, one legionary woke up and tried again at a shot at reaching the implanted spear at the top. He climbed up the post, but the weights knocked him down to the ground. He then mustered up his courage and wrapped the weights around the post and began the climb to the pilum at the top of the post.
The soldiers whom were exiting their tents that morning looked up in wonder and saw the young legionary climbing up the post. They cheered him on. He was sweating and pulling as hard as he can. He slipped once on the post to the shock of the on looking legionaries, but he persevered and pulled himself up by first light.
That morning, Lea Regina was woken up by her Decurion, "Ave, O Centurion, it's morning," Quintus Terminus said to the centurion as she just woke up and was putting on her iron cuirass. As she slipped on her caligae and adjusted her belt, she exited her tent and got a surprise as the spear was stuck into the ground.
The young legionary Caius Falcus was sitting at the top of the wooden post while the soldiers at the bottom cheered for him. The centurion looked up and smiled at him. She undid the cheek protectors and took off her helmet. She held it by the cheek piece and raised it to the sky to congratulate the young soldier on his success.
There was a large boost of morale from her men and a very large improvement in their training. She marched with them on the trails carrying 40lbs sacks of rocks on their backs. Pilum drill was much improved as well. She, like everyone else, was a part of the legion and she had to pull her weight around like everyone else.
The trumpet signaled the end of the day as the spear was now stuck in the ground. All the sounds of the day's training began to also cause a stir in the Gaulish Village. For some, the news of fresh troops was a cause to celebrate, but the Gauls were in for a big surprise when they see who is in command. These Romans were ready