Love, War and Destiny Triumvirate
Book I

War: The Segregation of Powers

by ladyshalott

Disclaimer: Lady Shalott is mine! She may not be used with out my WRITTEN permission! All other original characters belong to me, but may be used with or without my permission, unless otherwise stated. Julius Caesar belonged to himself, and he now belongs to history. The gods belong to themselves. THIS STORY IS NOT A HISTORICALLY ACCURATE REPRESENTATION OF GREECE AND ROME. I don not want to be flooded with letters saying "you messed up details!" I know, I did it on purpose. This is MY representation of Greece and Rome.

::denotes memories taking place::

Chapter I

She ran. Her breath sounded ragged in her ears and her chest was tight. Tears that hadn't fallen all night fell now. The terrible words still rang in her ears.

"You have betrayed me!I banish you, never again will you be allowed to enter my temples!"

Finally, tired and sore, Shalott collapsed. No matter how far she ran the awful truth was never far behind. Her daughter was dead. Aphrodite had turned her back on Shalott. She had no where to go and no one to run to. She was lost, trapped in a strange land. Here, alone, her memories caught up to her. Unfamiliar thoughts flooded through her head.

::The sun felt good on her back. The new solarium had been her father's idea. Now the little girl lay on her tummy watching the brightly colored fish swim in their sunken pond. Soon mother would come for her, to tell her supper would be served.::

Shalott must have been very young indeed. As far back as she could remember she had lived with adoptive parents. Until that fateful day that she had been sent away, betrothed at thirteen to a prince she did not know.

Now, lying on her back in a patch of moss, Shalott caught her breath and assessed the situation. First, her body. Thankfully, Aphrodite's healers had fixed the damage childbirth had caused before Aphrodite sent her away. Aside from some soreness, she was physically fine. Next, what should she do? She had nowhere to go, but she had been in a situatiuon like this before. Aphrodite's Temple lay along a busy highway. If she could find the the road,she was certain she could make it to Rome. There had to be opportunites for her in Rome.

Shalott emerged from the trees and stood at the side of a well-trod road. The dirt was packed solid from hundreds of hooves, feet and wheels. Stepping on to the road to Karnassus, Shalott fell behind a cart carrying crates of squawking, flapping chickens. She had no idea how far she was from the city. Exhausted, she plodded along for most of the day. As evening fell, Shalott could faintly make out the sounds and smells of the sea.

::The little girl with the silver blonde hair stood at the edge of the cliff overlooking the crashing sea. Her home lay over a mile away, but she never minded the long ride. Today her nurse had followed the little girl's pony. Sometimes one of her parents would come. She looked at the stairs leading into the the sea and dreamed of far away lands.::

Shalott had not seen the sea since she had left Corinth for Tanrae. Although Tanriah, Tanrae's capitol, had only been a few days ride from the shore (where there was reputed to be a lovely beach house), Shalott was never allowed to leave the gates of the estate. Now the salty air brushing over her face brought a tide of memories. Some she could place. Others she could not.

She searched out a dingy tavern near the waterfront. She needed to book passage on a ship bound for Rome, and even though she knew there were more savory places, there were none she knew of that would take passengers with no money.

At the tavern, Shalott sat at a table near the back. She ordered no drink, for she had no money. Intead she listened to the sailors gossip.

"Just in from Rome are you?"

"Sure are. We head back with the morning tide. In Jupiter's name, you would think the Tiber was drying up, the hurry Captian's in to get back."

"You don't want to be caught overseas when these foreign rats get news of Athens' defeat."

"They killed the king. And these Greek bastards think he was Jupiter on earth."


"Yeah, right. Uneducated barbarians."

The sailors stopped talking as the tavern keeper approached. After ordering another round of mead, they began again.

"He's excellent."

"Who? The Keep?"

"No! That Julius Caesar. He took over the army from old what's his name."

"Oh, yeah. Now he's got most of the world pledging allegiance to Rome."

"Hail Rome."

"Rome is Eternal."

As the conversation drifted away, Shalott leaned back. So Athens had fallen. Aphrodite would have been happy. She hated Athena. Shalott decided she better not think about that. Her thoughts moved instead to the young general.

Grecian people viewed him as the destroyer. One by one he conquered all of the great states until Greece would be nothing, just a chair under Rome's all-powerful seat. Aphrodite had said Julius Caesar thought he was a god. There were rumours he had poisoned the old general. Shalott got a creeping feeling in her spine whenver she heard the name Julius Caesar. From all accounts, however, Caesar had not been in Rome in years. Thank the gods she would not have to see the tyrant while in Rome.

Shalott still needed to book passage on a ship. She left the tavern and as she passed by the two sailors she tapped the one on the shoulder. "'scuse me." Her Latin was poor. "Where can I find your ships captain?"

The sailor gave her a lewd look. "On dock IX, tending to business."

Shalott tried to ignore his hungry eyes as she hurried away without a thank you.

The ship was called the Wave Mistress and her captain was on the plank when Shalott walked up. "Excuse me." He turned and looked at her. "Yes?"

"I am interested in booking passage on your ship."

He came down and stood before her. "Well, pretty lady, to go all the way to Rome, it will cost you twenty-five silver pieces or ten gold."

Shalott grinned slightly. Then she pouted her lips, cocked her head to the side and looked at him with eyes that shone with an inner light. "Sir, I have no money." She ran her finger up his arm. "But I really need to get to Rome."

The captain stood, transfixed. "Well, I don't usually do this but I suppose I can take you. The ship will sail in three hours. Be here then, and don't be late."

Shalott grinned. Aphrodite had once given her the power of Seduction. It may have been gone now, but she still knew how to use it.