XVIII – Roman Mutts And Parthia . . .

Dear Journal:

The brush with somebody’s wine habits left me weak for several days. During my recovery, Mutts One and Two kept constant vigil over me. That is to say, they snored when asleep and stared at me when awake. I got the distinct impression that Mutt One wanted me to play, but wasn’t sure if I was able to do so.

By the way, for clarification, Mutt One is tan and male. Mutt Two is white and female. Anyway, one of them always stayed with me, even at meal times. One of the mutts would disappear only to return with a big slab of meat for the other, then amble off to get food for themselves.

The lady visited every day with news of the world and Hill gossip. Finally I was able to get up and go into the main hall where a comfy chair awaited me. There I could read, talk to the staff and guards, and watch the mutts play.

The news was disquieting on all fronts. We had lost the war in Parthia. Oh, we had started out okay, winning battle after battle in the true Roman style. As our legions drove deeper into enemy territory, our supply lines were stretched to the limit. Then they were severed.

Parthian forces had come in from behind our lines and slaughtered what few troops were left on rear guard. While the legions were trained to live on the countryside, one can’t eat what one can’t find. The Parthians had instituted a slash and burn method across their countryside that left the land barren and devoid of life. The legions began to slowly starve.

A general retreat had been ordered, but our armies now had to fight their way back the way they had come. One can say, in fact, that an ambushed ambush isn’t very nice. While trying to be clever, we had been caught with our own trick. The legions fought back with vicious ferocity, managing to punch through the forces blocking their retreat, and made it to one of the Roman border forts. While still spoiling for a fight, our boys were in no shape to recross the Parthian border.

Side note. The legions never did find the super catapult they were sent in to destroy. It, apparently, didn’t exist. Our generals were furious and Ceaser had egg on his face. We had lost one out of every five of our soldiers, and most of the rest were wounded, leaving barely one legion intact to fight off a Parthian counter offensive. Fortunately, that never happened. The Parthians had done their damage and were not about to cross over into Roman territory.

On the home front, my brother was making quite a name for himself. His forces had swollen to legion strength, augmented by two legions who had killed their commanders and gone over to little brother’s side. With a real army to play with my brother moved out of the hills and attacked the northern city of Ravenna. The city surrendered without a fight. The governor’s cousin had been the victim of one of Ceaser’s purges and the governor hadn’t forgotten.

Now little brother had a real base from which to strike. His forces continued to grow, and it was becoming a certainty that Rome was his next target. I felt that noose around my neck tighten.

Chapter XIX

Published in: on September 16, 2009 at 6:18 PM  Leave a Comment  

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