Authors Note: Okay, I'm trying something new here. Since I'm a history major and the Roman Empire is something I find totally fascinating, I figured why not try to combine it with KP! I've seen it done before in a couple of Mr. Wizard's fics, so now I'm going to give it a shot.
Anyway, this is way different from my normal stuff, and I'm hoping it will go over well with all of you ladies and gentlemen. So your feedback is greatly appreciated more now than ever. I kind of need to know if this story will be worth continuing, or if it's just another plot bunny gone bad. And to all of you who are following The New Kid, don't worry, this won't interfere with any upcoming updates for that story.
Disclaimer: I may not own Kim Possible, but no one owns Rome!
The Marian reforms had indeed been kind to the common people of Rome.
Ronicus was not a wealthy man by any stretch of the imagination. At one time he had been however. Originally he hailed from the Roman province of Judea, where his father was a successful silk merchant. Seeking greater fortune and greener pastures, they travelled to the city of Rome to start up business there. However things had not gone as planned.
Rome may have been a commercial hub for the Mediterranean world with people from all over the world, but that did not mean they had to be accepting. This was just the case with Ronicus' father. Both the Patricians and Plebians had snubbed his father's silk business, and they had soon become bankrupt. They didn't even have enough money to travel back to Judea where they had been successful. Soon their land had been taken from them, leaving them with nothing but the clothes on their backs. That was when Ronicus learned of the Marian reforms.
Originally to join the mighty Roman army, your family had to own land that was worth three thousand sestertius', or small silver coins, in value. They also had to be a member of the fifth census class or higher. Ronicus did not meet these requirements. But thanks to the Marian reforms, these rules were done away with. Now any man strong enough to fight was able to join the Roman legions. And this is just what Ronicus did.
What greater prospect could an eighteen year old living in Rome have? He was going to see the world. He was going to be a part of something greater than himself. He had the chance to not only get fame and fortune for himself, but also for his once proud family. There was no greater currency in Rome than military victory, and if he could rise the ranks and become an officer, he would indeed do his family proud.
However, Ronicus had never been in combat. He had never even been in a fight before. This was the case with many of the new recruits who wanted to join the legions. Someone had to get them all into shape. And that someone just happened to be a centurion by the name of Barkinian.
Barkinian was a professional soldier who had been serving in the legions since the age of sixteen. Twenty five years later he had risen to the rank of centurion, and had decided to stay there. The money was very good and quite frankly, he was very good at what he did. If killing were an art, than this man would be a master sculptor.
"Alright listen up men, and I use that term loosely." The gruff man said. "I don't know why I was given this job, but as a loyal servant of Gaius Julius Caesar and the Republic, I am forced to do so. It is my task to whip you bunch of pathetic, good for nothing pieces of barbarian crap into shape. And one way or another, we will get this done. Now then put your gear on and begin your five mile march."
Many of the legionnaire prospects groaned at the sound of this, none louder than that of Ronicus. He began to put on his full battle gear in preparation for the march. This consisted of scale mail armor, a large rectangular shield, an iron helmet, gladius, two pila, or small javelins, fifteen days worth of rations, and a tool for entrenchment digging. In total the gear weighed about sixty pounds. Ronicus had little idea of what he was getting into at the time he signed up for the military, but now he was starting to regret it.
"Aw man, this tanks." Were the words that came to mind as he stood next to his best friend of many years, Felix.
Felix, like Ronicus, had joined the military due to the financial state of his family. The opportunities to earn money in the legions were amongst the best in the empire. Each legionnaire had a steady pay each month, and the riches one could get from looting and slaves were far greater than that of even the most successful merchants in Rome. This is why the army was so popular to join, and why Rome had a nearly inexhaustible source of manpower to call upon when it went to war.
"Shh Ronicus!" Felix said quietly. "Don't let Barkinian hear you. I'm sure you don't want him to double your marching distance again, do you?"
Ronicus remembered it well. He had only asked a simple question, but apparently that was enough to set off the bitter old centurion. Barkinian had called it the dumbest single question he had ever heard in his twenty five years serving in the legions. As a result Ronicus had been forced to march ten miles with full battle gear on. By the time he was done he nearly collapsed from exhaustion.
"Yeah yeah I know." The blonde-haired legionnaire said to his friend. "But still, how many times are they going to march us? As if I don't know how to walk already."
"I know, but imagine how much walking we're going to be doing once we start seeing some combat." Felix replied. "They can march us from Britannia to Jerusalem, because that's how much land the VIII Legion is going to conquer!"
"Yeah!" Ronicus shouted with pride. "Well except for the fact we're going to need some boats to cross the channel from Britannia to Judea."
Right now the VIII Legion was stationed in Gaul as it underwent it's training to prepare the soldiers for war. But soon, they would be crossing the great channel from Gaul to Britannia in Caesar's second expedition to the island.
The two young men were now marching along with the rest of their century, under the stern eye of centurion Barkinian. Eighty men strong, the century was the smallest formation of the legion. Six centuries made up a cohort, and ten cohorts made up a legion. All in all Ronicus and Felix were but two specks in the mighty Roman war machine. But despite the fact that they were only two individuals, they carried with themselves a great amount of pride and self-confidence. It came with putting on the battle armor. To be a Roman legionnaire was to be one of the greatest warriors in all the world. They ruled an empire from Iberia to Syria. From North Africa to Germania. Individuals of this military had a lot to be proud of, and Ronicus and Felix were determined to not let their family, or their country down.
"So did you hear that we're going to be heading off to Britannia in only a couple of months?" Felix asked.
Ronicus was shocked to hear that. They had only been there for about a week so far. Was two months really enough time to train a soldier who had never fought before to suddenly start killing people for a living?
"No way man!" Ron said with surprise.
"It's true. Pretty soon our legion is going to kick some barbarian butt!" He said with glee. "Not to mention meeting some of those hot barbarian women."
"Hah!" Ronicus laughed. "As if those hairy things they call women are hot. Sorry, but I'd rather have a nice looking girl from Italia, not some primitive Briton."
"Come on dude. You know I hear those girls actually fight in battle too."
"Yeah. You wouldn't believe it. The daughters of the nobles in Briton ride in chariots sometimes, shrieking at the tops of their lungs. You're too in awe of them to actually raise your shield, and that's when they get you with a spear through the heart."
"You know I've never had a woman break my heart before, but I would prefer for it not to be like that."
"You said it Ronicus."
The two men continued their march for what seemed like hours under the hot Gallic sun. But it was only through such harsh training that they could become part of the legions of Rome. Once they had that done, their fun and adventures would truly begin.
The Briton camp was bustling with activity in the early hours of the morning. Birds chirped, and leaves blew in the wind, but none of this could be heard. They were preparing for war now.
Their scouts had reported seeing Roman ships off in the distance. They had been here once before only a year earlier. It was only thanks for a fortuitous storm that had damaged the Roman navy that had kept them from landing in strength on the island. But now they were back. And it was up to the people of the Cenimagni tribe to defeat them.
Kimila held her spear aloft as she stood upon the rocky cliffs that oversaw the great channel. Below in the distance she could see a mighty fleet that had set sail from Gaul. On it were no doubt thousands of soldiers from the Roman empire, intent on conquering them once and for all. But Kimila would not let that happen. She was a daughter of noble birth, the daughter of the king of the Cenimagni's, Jaimus. It was her duty, as well as her honor, to be one of the warriors who would meet the Romans at the beaches and force them back to their ships.
"How many do you see Kimila?" A voice asked from behind her.
Kimila turned around to see her long time friend and rival Bonica. The two had grown up together, both being the daughters of noble families. In Britannia, women were seen as equals to men in many respects, and thus the two of them were not confined to homes doing things such as cooking and weaving. No, these women were warriors, just as fierce and battle-worthy as the men of their tribe.
"Lots." Was Kimila's simple reply.
Bonica walked over beside Kimila and saw for herself the number of ships that were approaching the shoreline of their island home. There were too many to count.
"Do you think we can take them?"
Kimila smirked as she turned her head to face Bonica.
"I don't know about you, but I can do anything, remember?"
Bonica did indeed remember that Kimila could do anything. During one of the hunts she had single handedly slain a bear with her throwing spear, piercing the great brown beast straight through it's neck. Ever since then she has been regarded as one of the finest hunters in the tribe. Though she had never seen combat, it was almost a certainty that she would thrive there as well.
"Let them come." Kimila said confidently. "We will kill so many of them that there won't be any left to run home crying to their senate."
Hearing this filled Bonica too with self assurance. Surely if the great Kimila was unafraid than she had no reason to fear either.
"You're right. We have nothing to fear no matter how many of them land on the beaches. We will drive them back into the sea."
"That's the spirit." Kimila smiled at her friend.
Suddenly both women tensed up as they sensed someone come up from behind them. It was none other than Sheko, the pale daughter of one of the king's chieftains. For many years now she and Kimila had not gotten along well. On more than one occasion the two had traded blows in duels of honor with Kimila winning nearly all of them. This had not settled well with Sheko.
"So princess, what are we looking at?" She asked.
"Romans." Kimila said through gritted teeth. She hated being called 'princess'.
"Well did you come here to bug us, or do you actually have something important to say?"
Sheko narrowed her eyes at her enemy and let out a growl as she spoke.
"Yes actually. King Jaimus has requested that you come back to the camp in preparation for battle." She replied. "Such a little daddy's girl…" She then muttered under her breath.
"What did you say?"
"Oh, nothing. Just hurry on back… princess." Sheko smiled.
With that the pale woman turned and walked off heading back towards the camp. Silently she cursed for Bonica being there. She could have done something. Thrown that worthless little Kimila off the cliff. But no, there just had to be a witness there. And she couldn't very well explain the sudden disappearance of two of the noble's daughters. Some day though, perhaps sooner than they all realized, she would have her revenge on Kimila. The Romans presented an interesting opportunity to her and one of the chieftains, Drakkarius.
The only question was, would they be able to seize the day when the time came?