||And here the buzz of eager nations ran,
In murmur'd pity, or loud-roar'd applause,
As man was slaughter'd
by his fellow man.
And wherefore slaughter'd? wherefore, but because||
There he was. Huge, gigantic, handsome. A smirk playing on his handsome face as the mare in front of him begged for her
pitiful life. Did she think him a saint? And she knew when she begged that it was useless.
||Such are the bloody Circus' genial laws
And the imperial pleasure.--Wherefore not?
What matters where we
fall to fill the maws
Of worms--on battle-plains or listed spot?
Both are but theatres--where the chief actors rot||
He could see in her eyes the fear. All the better. It was common knowledge that anyone who got too close to him would not
live to tell the tale. Here was but another clue.
||see before me the Gladiator lie:
He leans upon his hand--his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers aging
his droop'd head sinks gradually low--||
He was black. A suitable color for him, he could imagine. Immense at nearly 17hh, a gift from his half-draft father. No
wonder he was a creature that struck fear into the hearts of many. His eyes were deep, void-like with no emotion.
||But here, where Murder breathed her bloody steam;
And here, where buzzing nations choked the ways,
or murmur'd like a mountain stream
Dashing or winding as its torrent strays;||
But even as her saw her squirm as he placed a brick-like hoof over her throat, he could feel it rise in his own like bile.
And, with eyes suddenly wide open, he realized: he could not do it.
||He heard it, but he heeded not--his eyes
Were with his heart, and that was far away;
He reck'd not of the life
he lost nor prize,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,||
He stumbled backward, eyes wide with the nightmare of what he couldn't do. The rest he'd killed had nothing to do with
this, they were in the past. But still, why couldn't he kill one mare? She saw it in his eyes.
||Ancient, and these three mortal things are still
On their foundations, and unalter'd all
Rome and her ruin
past Redemption's skill,
The World, the same wide den--of thieves, or what ye will.||
She got up, shaking and took off, but he didn't notice. Slowly, he gathered his wits and left, into the darkness.
It had been two weeks since that incident. Two long treacherous weeks.
He didn't know his alliance, he didn't know any other equines. But he knew when he smelled them, with nares flaring that
they were there. And with darkness and danger shimmering around him, he approached.