At the Baths of Londinium

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Offline Kedamono

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At the Baths of Londinium
« on: June 24, 2018, 12:29:02 AM »
Ted Granger lounged in the Roman bath, watching the citizens of Londinium frolic, converse, and otherwise commune with each other. His partner, Lorenzo Di Stefano waded through the pool, followed by their host, Spurius Vitruvius Mansuetus, the local Fringeworthy and ambassador to UNIDA. They were carrying clay bottles with wire bound stoppers. The bottles were full of beer brewed by Spurius Vitruvius.

“Hail and well met Theodore!” called out Spurius Vitruvius.

“Hail citizen Vitruvius! I see you brought the cervasia!” replied Ted, taking a proffered bottle from his host. The bottle was labeled Cervisia Fulvae, a brown ale. He twisted the wire off the stopper and popped it off. He took a swallow and smiled. “Hops! You’ve added hops to the mix!”

Spurius Vitruvius leaned back and savored his ale. “I’m growing my own hop vines in a test plot on my farm,” he said. “It’s 'hopping' off shelves as fast as I can brew it. People love this new taste. Love it to the point that I’ve had to hire guards to keep other brewers from stealing rootstock from my vines. Such is the pain of success.”

“You can’t guard them forever,” replied Lorenzo sipping his cervisia. “Best set up a collective or a co-op and make money growing them for others.”

“Hmm, I’ll think about it,” Spurius Vitruvius. “So, did you bring the, ah, items?”

Ted reached back, next to a burning tallow candle, and pulled a large duffel bag close pool’s edge, next to the trio. With one hand he unzipped the bag and let Spurius Vitruvius look inside.

Inside was several rolls of prophylactics, toothbrushes, a big spindle of dental floss, antibiotics, and other similar items. “I thank you, my family thanks you,” said Spurius Vitruvius. “If the local governor knew you had these, he would have confiscated them in the name of the Emperor Tiberius Plinius Spartacus, and then sell them on the black market.”

Sipping his ale, Ted asked, “Then why do the deal here in public? Isn’t that him over there trying to stare holes in your head?”

With a smiling face, Spurius Vitruvius replied “Deals done in private can be stolen in private. Deals done in public…”

“Stay in the public,” finished Lorenzo, raising his bottle in salute.

Spurius Vitruvius flagged a pool servant and handed him several bottles. “Take them to our beloved governor, Gnaeus Stertinius Bestia, Tell him that they are first pulls from my fermenter. The very best.” He watched the servant deliver the bottles to Gnaeus Stertinius. That worthy uncorked a bottle, sniffed the contents with his prodigious nose, and then took a sip. His eyes lit up and he raised his bottle to Spurius Vitruvius.

The trio of Fringeworthy lifted their bottles in return. “’First pull’?” mocked Ted. “'Pull the other one, it’s got bells on it.' I know for a fact that you have a stainless steel brewery setup that you bought from Earth Prime. It doesn’t matter if it was first pull or two thousandth pull, they’re all same.”

“What Stertinius doesn’t know, won’t kill him,” replied Spurius Vitruvius. “I see that my favorite masseuse is free. Gentlemen, if you wouldn’t mind watching my goods?”

“Go,” said Ted, waving his bottle, “have fun.”

The two Primers watched as Spurius Vitruvius climbed out of the pool, a servant wrapping him with a towel, and then walked over to a waiting young man. Together the two of them walked into a private room.

“And he has three daughters, and two strapping sons,” remarked Lorenzo.

“What are you implying my good sir?” replied Ted.

“Not one damn thing. I’m just sitting in a Roman bath, next to my best friend… both of us naked as we were born.” He looked at Ted and waggled his eyebrows.

Ted set his cervisia down and pointed a finger at his partner. “No. Drink your beer.”

“Yes sir,” replied a smirking Lorenzo as he tipped his bottle back.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 06:27:21 PM by Kedamono »


Offline wasahbe

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Re: At the Baths of Londinium
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2018, 12:43:14 PM »
It is good to see these back again.
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. 
--Gehm's corollary to Clark's Third Law