“But, of course, marching into the city as a soldier meant that Caesar wouldn’t be able to become Consul. So, he had a decision to make: whether to lay down his arms and grab the consulship or walk in as an Imperator and receive a Triumph.”
Professor Marianne Wright paced at the front of her class in a pair of cargo pants and a gray t-shirt with a latin phrase across the front in crimson. She was a fairly young woman, though she’d been teaching at this university for the past five years. For the most part, her students were paying attention to her lecture as she flipped through slides and talked about Roman history. Or at least they were until the doors opened to reveal a tall man in a no-nonsense suit with a pair of aviator sunglasses on.
“Excuse me, Professor Wright?”
She looked up, arms crossed over her chest.
“Yes, that’s me. But I’m in the middle of a class, so I’m going to have to-”
“I’m Special Agent Decker, Homeland Security. You need to come with me.” Then he looked around the room. “Class dismissed.”
“You…you can’t just…”
She sputtered and stammered, stalking towards him up the aisle. He showed her a badge, a frown on his face.
“I can and I have, Ma’am. Now, I need you to come with me. It’s a matter of national security.”
Marianne fidgeted with the security badge they’d given her and followed Special Agent Decker through the barricades that were up all around the Lincoln Memorial. She’d been wracking her brain the entire way there, trying to figure out what use they could possibly have for a Latin professor and history nerd. Or at least she had been until she saw the agitated man pacing back and forth before the seated statue of Lincoln.
“Miles, rogo iterum, ubi est sacerdos huius templi?”
She froze then, blinking. The first thing she really processed was that this man was wearing sandals. Only after that did she take in the tunic with the traveling cloak thrown over it, and the metal helmet with wings sprouting from either side. He was speaking to a very confused man in National Guard uniform who was plainly in over his head.
Special Agent Decker stood beside her, nodding slowly.
“He’s speaking Latin and he’s dressed like an extra in a gladiator flick. That’s what we need you for, Professor Wright. Figure out if this guy’s some kind of wacko or if he’s something we actually need to worry about.”
She pivoted in place, glaring up at the special agent.
“First off, he’s dressed like Mercury, the messenger of Olympus. Note the winged helmet. Second off, he just asked that soldier where the priests are. He thinks this is a temple.” She looked pointedly up at the doric columns that held the roof of the memorial up. “I can see his point.”
She paused for a brief moment and then looked up at Decker again.
“Can I go talk to him? Is that alright?”
Decker took his sunglasses off, cleaning the lenses on his shirt.
“Go ahead. If he makes any funny moves, we’ll make sure you get out.”
“Well, thanks for that…” she grumbled as she strode towards this strange man, trying to decide which term of address would be the best choice.