* * *
Fabia spent the last five days aboard the Diana. The mission at hand never far from her mind as the arena and outbuildings ever present on The island. She performed her duties as Aurelia’s assistant with diligence and the appropriate amount of deference. She witnessed the planning and plotting between Cheng, the current Champion Standing, Aurelia and the Mang sisters. Fabia came to understand each party, discerning their individual motives.
Cheng was an arrogant warrior. He achieved stature by employing less than honorable means for years. His reflexes and skill were slowly failing to age. He wouldn’t be able to participate in the next tournament. Aurelia had on more than one occasion declared Gengshi a megalomaniac, but Fabia knew Cheng had delusions of ruling the Han Dynasty. He was as megalomanic as Aurelia.
Aurelia was focused simplemindedly on conquering the Han Dynasty for the Roman Empire to prove her worth to her contemporaries, but mostly to curry favor of her Senator father. She was a keen tactician, but she didn’t want to get her hands dirty. Secret meetings and assassinations were the norm, but she relied on others to move her plan forward. That inability to get dirty would be Aurelia’s downfall.
The Mang sisters were impatient. Quick to anger and slow to forget and rarely forgive. The Mang sisters tried more than once to wrestle the operation from Aurelia, but, still the keen tactician, Aurelia overcame the treachery of the Mang Sisters. Fabia had secretly been sending reports back to the Roman Senate and occasionally nudging the Mang sisters in one direction or another. Sometimes for Aurelia, sometimes against.
Fabia read every report Aurelia received and suspected the current plan would not succeed. She stood from the desk in her quarters and walked to the door. She barked her order to the guard: “Bring Flavius to my quarters, immediately!”
“Yes, Mistress!” responded the guard before running down the corridor. Fabia moved to the bed in her quarters and awaited Flavius’ appearance.
A rap sounded out on the door. Fabia called out, “Enter!” She stood as Flavius entered and closed the door behind him.
“Mistress?” He stood at attention, awaiting orders from Fabia.
Fabia responded by dropping her garment to the floor.
“Are we?” he started, but Fabia raised a finger to silence him.
“What are you waiting for?” Demanded Fabia, pointing her finger at his tunic.