Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Far, Far Away
"Marcus, where are we now?" Rick asked.
"You're in Roma," Marcus said cautiously.
"When are we?" Rick blurted out.
"Now," Marcus smiled. "We were a kingdom for 500 years. Now we are a republic, and we've been that for about a hundred years. We are famous for our Coliseum, which hosts our sporting events, our circuses, and our justice system, which is mainly throwing criminals before lions and letting them be eaten alive, and our Pantheon, which honors our Gods. All of 'em."
"So," Rick said. "That's probably 400 - 450 BC, our time?
"What do you mean — our time? Doesn't time belong to everybody?" Marcus wondered out loud.
"We're not from around here," Rick said. "We're from far-far away, both in time and space. We measure time differently."
"You gotta alotta Gods?" Larry asked. Cheryl punched him in the arm. "Just askin'," Larry whined, a little bit.
"We've got a lot of Gods, because our Gods liked each other a lot, they had a lot of kids. Our main guy is Jupiter, a great hunk of a God, sometimes in a bad mood, and likely to toss lightning bolts around," Marcus explained. "You have to take him seriously."
"We only have one God, but he's a walloping Guy. You don't mess with him, either. Turns out he made everybody, but he's still sorta scary," Larry explained. "I'm real nice when I pray."
Then they heard footsteps. Men in barefeets. Not so-o-o scary, thought Julie.
They gawked at an amazing sight: eight or ten acrobats, all of them twisting, turning cart wheels, tossing each other around, standing on their heads, building people paramids, yelling and singing. They surrounded Omega and his merry band of kids and helpers. Soon, everybody was playing, flipping each other over, and laughing and carrying on. Rare fun. Marcus was clapping and keeping time.
Then the biggest guy in the group, maybe eight-feet tall, strong enough that his muscles had muscles. He had on a linen toga and his arms were bare, so there was no mistaking his power and his intention. He glanced around the crowd, until he spotted Rick and Larry, and he leaned down at them, until he was at eye-level.
"You know who I am?" the giant growled.
"Pretty much," said Rick.
"Met somebody called Alpha. Gave me a right fright," the giant growled. "Said I could continue to be God of the Romans, until somebody better showed up, then I'd melt away. I have no doubt that is true."
"Did he mention us? Rick asked.
"He said I was to tell a bunch of teenagers, from another place and another time, to look for the Green Dragon in Greece, and somebody named Tim was all right, but that Tim was making the dragon a little crazed with all his questions and his jokes. You all best be hopping right along, because irritating a green dragon is not the smartest thing you can do. Especially one who can blow fire at will."