Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation. This is the start of a new work, Illegal Aliens. It is something of a cross between a horror story, a science fiction tale, and a romance.
Roland awoke after bringing an attractive young woman home, alone. Something of a surprise, and in some ways a shock. His mobile chirruped into life and the works manager – where he’d been called to examine a mysterious block of Roman concrete – told him the “bloody German bomb, it went.” A knock on the door interrupts their conversation just after Mr Shah explains that one of his workers couldn’t even stand the firecrackers on Guy Fawkes.
One of a somewhat menacing pair of visitors finished last week with “that is irrelevant.” Maybe for them. The visitors found a mysterious note in what looks vaguely like Arabic last week, in a somewhat illegal search.
“It’s a note from my … I don’t know; she was here last night … it’s just I’ve never had a note left for me in Demotic before.”
She asked, “Can you translate it?”
“Am I a specialist in Roman Britain?”
The woman glared at him, “Yes; we know that already; the Romans didn’t use Demotic.”
“I’ve studied it in the last couple of years – to keep my mind off … Janet.”
The man demanded, “What does it say?”
Roland blushed, “It’s sort of personal.”
“Translate it, or we’ll take you in and hold you while someone else does it.”
“Oh … well … here goes,” He cleared his throat and started, “Dearest love, thank you for last night, it was wonderful. It was so good that I’ll have to sleep it off; by all the Gods, even if it risks his revenge, even Zeus wasn’t that good, nor Jason.”
My sincere apologies for abusing semi-colons.
Since Roland is a specialist in Roman Britain, and it is memorial day, a bit about Roman Armour.
The Romans didn’t actually use the breastplate and Mohawk-like Greek helmet so beloved in epic movies. The lorica segmentata (segmented armour) was much more practical. It was lighter, easier to make, easier to repair (if you survived) and easier to adjust to a new soldier. The plates are basically flat steel that is bent and strapped together. The overlapping segments provide decent protection, especially with your scutum (shield) and in a disciplined cohort. These reenactors are carrying pila (pilums) which are lances designed to break off once they hit. (Later on they used a shorter lawn-dart like construction – a plumbata – an individual could carry 5-6 of them.) Not shown are the gladius (sword) or the pugio (dagger). This reenactor wears chain mail (lorica hamata), which was worn mostly by auxiliaries.
The featured image shows a reconstruction of a Draco – dragon standard – similar to what the legions in Britain would have used. That and a Welsh flag which bears a striking remembrance of it.