From Book IV of the Gaius Marius Chronicle
The Mystery of the Murdered Centurion
De Actis Diurnis Praefecti Vigilium Mediolani
Anno Consulium Imp Caesaris Divi f Augusti VIII et T Statilii Tauri II
Journal of the Prefect of the Watch,
During the Consulships of the Imperator, Caesar, Son of the God, the Exalted One, 8th Term, and Titus Statilius Taurus, 2nd Term
DIES I – A D XVII KALENDAE MAII
Day 1 – 15 April
If one were to ask me what I hate most about getting old, it’s sleep. Not sleeping itself, but the difficulty in sleeping.
When I was a youth in the legions, I could sleep deeply for an entire night on a pile of bricks. Now, well into my forty-ninth year, every night I feel like I’m taking a beating from my own mattress.
Any position I take in bed, I feel the aches of old injuries or the parts of my body that have been worn down by years of marching impedimentus, under full pack. I find the only position that’s not all ache and agony is lying flat on my back … which means I snore … which means Rhonwen, my darlin’ wife, plants a pointy elbow in my ribs to get me to stop.
Then, it’s toss and turn … on my back … snore … elbow … repeat until the sun rises.
Some mornings, I feel like I’ve been beaten … bruised ribs … stiff joints … body parts that just won’t move.
Ah, dear gods, for one night of a twenty-year-old’s sleep!
That is, when I get to spend an entire night in the sack like the civilized, retired army officer and public official I’m supposed to be.
I am six months into a new career as the Praefectus Urbanus Municipii Mediolani, the Urban Prefect of the Enfranchised Town of Mediolanum.
Octavius, or the “Exlted One” as he’s known these days down in Rome, granted Roman citizenship to the former Gallic oppidum of Mediolanum. It was part of his program of extending romanitas, Roman culture, into the provinces. In order to ensure that his little experiment worked, he needed someone to be his “eyes and ears” up here, as he put it. Hence, my appointment.
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