A new world

Time was going forward second by second when dying man was lying on caretaking level where he was placed. A rasping but weak sound of breath took place every time when dying man took air into his lungs. Now and then he let out weak mourning because his pain where growing too high. From upwards cold eyes were monitoring this dying man and electric blue eyes made notices and decisions of man’s condition. And everything was recorded in creature’s mind for later use – if needed. A strong electric current was shining from those metallic blue eyes of that creature and it could plainly understand what was happening – a human unit was to be destroyed. Even though dying itself was too miraculous for creature to be understood. The creature – made from different kind of artificial parts – knew that this unit was in the end of it’s service life. It could no more be fixed. Creature understood by plain logic that this unit – called human Marcus – was taking his last breaths. Then this body was lost forever and it could never again be repaired. This strange difference departed these minds – a human and robot – so much from each others. This man – Marcus – could not be repaired and he – an artificial robot – could always be repaired and even updated better. If he – a robot called Olly – could have had feelings, he would have felt sorry for dying man. But as a robot he did not feel anything. All his feeling was just senses of strong force field currents. And the despair and love had just different kind of force currents. Olly had known this man for now several months and he had learned many things about him. About human Marcus.

He had learned about strange kind of conflicts between man’s inner feelings and thoughts. Because Olly was a very highly developed robot, he had easily broken into thoughts of Marcus. As he had done many times in the past. This was for Olly normal kind of communication because he was a mind reading robot and he could communicate with his fellow robots and superiors without speech or records. This ability of mind reading had been very successful for robots when they had built their world after the great war of planets some hundreds years ago. As everybody knew there was anything so deceptive as human beings. For money and success they were able to destroy and sell anything – and broke their promises. As also Marcus had been once deceived by his fellow countrymen. This unhappy past had shaped the good heart, thoughts and will of Marcus. Olly had also witnessed the good deeds that man finally did – even though there was no reason for it. Olly could never understand the totally illogical chain of human decisions and emotions that finally led to human action. And when Marcus took action he usually defended good people and was even able to sacrifice himself – like now has happened. And now he was doomed because of others. But he – Olly – was a robot and he could not understand humans. Everything was to him a logical chain of decisions – reasons and results. Emotional solutions were far above Olly’s capabilities. And he was happy for that because he knew what evil was coming from emotional thinking.

He also knew that Marcus had envied him – a robot. He could have laughed to it if he could do it in human manner. But he could not but only in mechanical way with no color in sound. His laugh was a mechanical action without any reason behind it. Therefore it was useless in this moment. But Olly could also understand Marcus in his logical way of robot thinking. Human emotions, search of love and affection has brought only misery for Marcus and he had been abandoned by his own. Betrayed and abandoned. So it was not a wonder that man had wished to tear all feelings from his heart. Because his life had been mainly misery, he had hoped to be as cold-blooded as robots – Only cold reasoning and mechanical parts and electronic. For what good was there to be reached in human world? Still Olly looked silently this dying man. Robot Olly was his last contact to world of human after pass to eternity. Olly looked the mangled body which was nearly impossible to recognize as to human body – it was merely a bloody mess. The legs of Marcus were partly torn apart and broken in many pieces. His waist and inner organs were partly damaged and he had lost a lot of blood. Only the advanced robot technique has given him some time more. But it was a wonder that he overall was alive when Olly found him inside the wreck. The space ship he had been flying, had been brutally smashed against ground after being chased by criminal people – His fellow countrymen. They have been paid to kill Marcus in this robot world because no human government could dare to do that. And they wanted to prevent Marcus for giving the solution to the mess the whole world was drifting – towards a new great war of the worlds. In a strange way but typical of him Marcus had found the solution to prevent this becoming war. As typical for him, he had searched the key from somewhere else and found it in the place where no others could have believed. He had explored space and planets already for decenniums after being thrown out from human societies and worlds. So he had lot of secret knowledge which proved to be significant.

So spending most of his life as a stranger drifting in space he knew more than others. There he had found years ago the key which could prevent the destructive war between human and robot worlds. Source of precious mineral that robot world needed to develop further. This mineral was the key matter what human worlds tried to prevent robot empire to receiving. It was purely question of power – and human worlds were afraid of might of robot worlds and they envied their success. But especially some men wanted to conquer new planets from robots to make themselves more powerful. These men were insatiable in their greed for money and power, which led them to hunt Marcus down. So they have given a reward from head of Marcus and made him outlaw. And finally some space pirates had been lucky to ambush him and after shooting his worn space ship, they succeeded to shoot him down. And so they completed their mission and got rich. But still this all took place in deep robot empire and inside their planet system. And even Marcus was now dying he had been able to give his secret information to Olly. After all Olly was a mind reading robot. And after arriving to the wreck of Marcus ship, he had been able to just in few seconds read all information from brains of Marcus – Especially when Marcus has opened his mind to Olly. How lucky robots were to find Marcus in that crushed space ship so soon! Now Marcus was dying but his deed would save the world from new war – even though he felt now more to robot world and did not care human worlds.

The robot Olly was still looking dying Marcus when more seconds went by. He could see but especially sense that man was now coming to edge of his life. Some odd artificial sensors in his mind and body told that the broken body of Marcus was sending more and more pain and man could not take it anymore. Olly felt that Marcus heart was beating weaker and conscious mind of Marcus – or what was left of it – was starting to drift into empty darkness. Robot Olly watched and watched dying man with his cold eyes and had no feelings but just estimated man’s condition. Since eleven month Olly had been the guide and support of Marcus in this robot world. The world, that was populated with some millions of different kind of robots. It was an artificial world with several planets that once were empty. But during years robot’s have been conquering those planets and little by little changed hostile world to some kind of new world. Because robots were robots they did not need the same circumstances than human beings. But because these robots have once been built to work for humans, also robot worlds had usually atmosphere suitable for humans. And robots have been able to turn new world as flourishing paradise which had also enchanted Marcus. But as nothing could be hidden from Olly, he also knew and had understood that from some peculiar human reason Marcus felt especially strong for one robot. Again if he could laugh he would have laughed to this love. When this thought came to Olly’s brain system his mouth indeed turned to little smile.

So was every human a mystery. As Marcus had sometimes amused himself by playing his small trumpet in late evenings, he also had some other human weaknesses. Trumpet playing has been years his habit in dark, cold lonely evenings in distant lonely space. When Olly had listened his trumpet playing, he had sensed so much feelings inside mind of Marcus that it make him wonder. Why this odd trumpet playing was so important for men and raised so high feelings inside this man. Robots were logical and even though they could understand different rhythms and even appreciate those, they could not enjoy from it as humans did. There was a difference in creativeness. Human creativeness was emotional and robots logical. But when Marcus played with trumpet he had often been thinking and missing his former love. He had been missing his wife so much who had long ago betrayed him behalf of other man. And it had always been an open wound in his heart. And he could never mend it. But as much feelings as Olly had sensed in Marcus when playing his trumpet, he had found love in man’s heart in certain occasions. Those moments were when man had spent some hours with Aurelia. Those meetings had not happened many times but few times. As usual nearly all robots were illustration of natural people and also Aurelia was that. Once all robots were built by humans, as to be their own picture. As much as Olly was an illustration of servant man Aurelia was an illustration of a pretty woman. And indeed Aurelia was looking as a middle sized beautiful woman with blond long hair and hazel brown eyes. However she was a queen of some robot planets and Olly was one of his servants. From first glimpse Marcus had felt that he had not seen anything as beautiful as Aurelia – ever. When Marcus met first time Aurelia, he had tried to look cool and stony, but with no luck. Of course in this encounter both robots could read Marcus mind as an open book. And both robots would have laughed again if they could, because they could feel how Marcus was fighting inside his mind. He tried so much not to show his love against Aurelia. The difference with human and robots was that in robot world there was also an extra kind of channel of communication which human’s could not reach – an inner channel with no words but just thoughts.

Marcus had first met robot worlds because he had desperately tried to find means for surviving. So he had created some connection to robots world and sold some ordinary goods for them. After some years they had a routine relation where Marcus got some money from this trade route for his living. But difficult times came and once when dark clouds of war came over sky he had been rested in robot owned space station. So they have captured him when he delivered some goods to them as usual. They took him first in big hearing where some robot nobels where asking questions and threatening him. These nobels – mainly kind of war lords of their empire – wanted to know all plans of human worlds. War is coming they said and you gonna tell us what we want. But the planet where he was arrested was belonging a certain tribe of robots which origin where in old dead human culture. They were more moderate and so Aurelia had been asking him to private meeting with Olly beside him. And as woman had asked kindly he had answered all her questions and finally they had made an agreement. With this agreement Marcus had promised to help robot worlds and Aurelia had given Olly to his support. So it all started. And Marcus had felt a joy for serving Aurelia. During their co-operation he had spent some time with Aurelia – had some dinners and just spent loose time with her in her garden. They had been talking a lot about their worlds and differences between them. Aurelia wanted to understand better humans. And Marcus had also expressed many other of his thoughts to Aurelia. One had been that he wished to be a robot – with no feelings and no pain. He had said it as a light thought but Aurelia had felt that inside man really wanted that. And she could understand why.  But it all had started eleven months ago. And now he was dying.

Time was ticking forward as blood still was slowly running out from broken veins of Marcus. Olly watched silently dying man. It was the end of Marcus. Now when the end was near Marcus opened his eyes yet once slowly and spoke with weak desperate voice to Olly.

“Don’t let her see me like this.”

“I don’t want to look like a mess in her eyes.”

“She would not understand it – this is so human.”

“Burn my body soon after I am gone – please!”

And besides his voice Olly felt a strong current in his electronic brains. It was the silent request of Marcus to burn his dead corpse fast after the end. It was the spirit of Marcus…

And Olly felt that it was just now questions of seconds.

But same time as he watched the lonely tears in Marcus eyes slowly dropping downwards, he felt the enormous fear of man’s heart when moment was finally there. Olly had felt this earlier and he could never stop wondering why these human units felt so much fear when they were dying. But it was probably because they were unique, he deducted. Never again there was going to be another one like Marcus. With him all his thoughts, ideas and character would die forever. But he – robot Olly – could always be built again and replaced. Maybe that was the reason why humans felt so much fear – they were mostly worthless units but still irreplaceable.

Olly felt how the mind of Marcus was now weakening and starting to scatter. Same time he began to feel presence of a much greater mind. He knew well this mind and knew that his Queen and master was entering the room – she was already in the waiting hall. The door opened swiftly when a beautiful blond haired queen walked with dignity beside the caretaking level where Marcus lay. She was dressed impressively as a queen but not with an arrogant style. She watched dying man and saw still some tears in man’s eyes. She wondered that old habit and felt how man’s will still struggled some moments before entering the eternal darkness. Silently both robots stood side by side without words or movements. For them it was moment like any – but for Marcus the final and most heartbreaking end. These robots had no feelings, so they did not need to feel sorrow for this wretched unit. Brown and blue eyes of robots were shining brightly in the dark room when they stood besides dyeing man – cool as ice. After couple seconds Olly felt her queen’s thought entering into his mind and asking him.

“What do you say, my friend.”

“What should we do with him?”

“Is he worth of eternal university?”

Without turning his head but watching still straight the man, Olly answered soon with his thoughts. He had been thinking this already earlier.

“I think he is, my queen.”

“After all he saved so many from destruction.”

“Also our empire – empire of robots – would have suffered a lot if war had broken.”

“Probably we would have won the war but there is no way of being certain.”

“And in the end – he had that odd feeling for you, my queen”

“He loved you very much – whatever that means.”

“I know he would have given his life for you, my queen.”

“And in the end I guess he did it only for you – only for you!” Olly finished his thoughts.

Olly remembered how other robot lords and nobles in their empire had treated Marcus harshly when he was captured nearly year ago. They have tortured him first and threatened his life. They have sworn to empty his mind with their torture equipments, if they don’t get all information of human attacking plans. But then Queen Aurelia had proposed a different approach. Why don’t they ask his help and persuade him to their side. After all Marcus had nothing to gain from human worlds – he was an outcast. And so she had received all information from Marcus when she had asked nicely. And even more. When they have been discussing with Marcus he had proposed another solution – even better solution than war and war machines. He believed that he had once years ago found the mineral that robots were seeking so desperately. If he could find this his place gain from his memory, there was no more reason for war. Robot Empire would receive all needed minerals to build their sensitive control system of robot brains. Marcus was not certain right away that he still could find the place but he promised to work hard to find this planet and this old abandoned mine. So he had explored space and planets for some months until he found what he was searching. And it solved everything nicely. After that discovery human worlds could not anymore extort robot worlds with that precious metal they needed so much. But just that precious mineral had cost the life of Marcus when the hired killers succeeded to shot him down on his journey back. Olly had rescued him from burning spaceship but for body of Marcus there was no rescue anymore. Now he was dying. But when the end was there Marcus did not felt anymore sorrow for his destruction but saw it as natural continuation of his life. Life had always been him heavy and merely pain. All this came to mind of Olly and Aurelia – they already knew the thoughts of this man. They know that this man was unselfish and pure of heart in his misery. And he did not want to destroy or hurt other beings because his own unhappy life.

Without turning their faces to each others, robots shared still couple thoughts and watched dying man when last signs of Marcus mind was still remaining in his brains. Finally Queen Aurelia – the empress of seven robot planets – turned his face towards Olly and made her decision. Olly felt at once the decision and bowed his head slightly to the queen as good servant was expected. He felt good for queen’s decisions – or would have felt if he would have been a human. It was merely knowledge that this was the right deed. And in that moment something started to work in this peculiar automatic robot building. And when both robots were watching each other’s a very strong electrical current filled the room. Still both robots watched each other’s and one could nearly see when data bites filled the air in the room. And both robots concentrated their might to joint endeavor and their eyes were glowing from bright light.

And then Marcus sigh his last breath – he was dead.

Somewhere in cellars of buildings nearby something started to happen. A vast space full of laying units, lie in peace with good order. One by one lie units in rows and columns. These units were made from artificial materials – from electric components, some metallic parts, some plastic and some from living soft tissue. Like from silent order one of them started to move in track from special place. There it was automatically connected to different equipments controlled by automatic robots. Some tight pipelines were also connected to unit and liquids started to run into it’s veins. Some minutes went on and body was filled for several liquids and then it was given a strong electronically impulse. Suddenly the unit opened it’s eyes but still it looked with empty eyes upwards. This unit had two legs and hands and a torso like human being. Then this unit started to reshape according input it was receiving from database in server nearby. It node grow little sharper and it hands get shorter. However legs were little bit getting shortened and thick brown hair started to grow to unit’s head. Eyes got very green and lips red as human’s had. This was a totally new version of robot world – PC-Q6. It was able to adapt all human features and also working as human’s did in ordinary life – unless otherwise programmed. It has superior memory capacity and many brilliant properties compared to humans. When the torso was adjusted suitable compared to given data, the system started to push data into unit’s memory. Unit was given all data concerning universe and all needed talents concerning physics and mathematics. And last but not least the memory was filled with some special data, which normally never was used when new robots were created for different purposes. He was given the memory – experiences, feelings and knowledge – of special human being. This all meant that something very special was to be created here – a robot with human senses. This was highly irregular and robot rules forbid it. Robots did not want to human senses disturb and pollute decisions making. However this was a different case and order was given from Queen herself.

Finally everything was there. After 6 hours adjustments and input data, the unit was ready to start it’s new life and work. New robot was born. It opened it’s eyes again and stand up from level it had laid. It took steps forward as surely knowing it’s destination. It walked near exit door from this special hall, opened the door and went forward. There it met two robots who stopped it and started to examine this new unit. They felt satisfied and finally asked.

“Who are you?” like make it sure everything is ok.

“I am Marcus, the new envoy and adviser of queen of seven planets”.

The robots nodded and felt satisfied. So Marcus nodded to them and started his journey to palace walking through many corridors.

One week and two days had already gone from death of human Marcus – the man who was flesh and bones. Many things have happened after that and everything seemed to take more peaceful course in space. Because Robot Empire had found an isolate small planet with lot of that priceless mineral it needed, there was no need for war anymore. They took that isolate planet to their control and mounted their army on it. Now human world had nothing with to extort robot world and they saw their chances gone. The original plan of human leaders had been to prevent robot manufacturing their brain system and thus prevent them to be more numerous. Sample was simple – just to extort robot world with that precious mineral. Because all known sources were existing in human world, where they had strong defenses, robot’s would not had taken those mines easily. And when they refused to sell of the mineral that robot world needed, the relations were tightening to extreme. Only possible way for robots were then to occupy those planets – and that was the reason human world needed to start the war.  That would have led to uncertain future, but humans were greedy enough to take the risk.

But now it was different. Robot empire had all it needed and it was totally independent of humans. And the human leaders were too weak to strike first – they had to yield. And so this day came when they entered the main planet of robot world. In the main palace they were to agree new peace with robot empire. So the envoys with prime minister and chancellor entered with their bodyguards into palace. When the human leaders were standing there in midst of opening ceremony the prime minister nudged chancellor and said quiet.

“Look – that man near the Queen of seven planets.”

“It looks like I know him – indeed it is that cursed Marcus.”

Chancellor sharpened his eyes and admitted that it was true.

“What the hell he is standing alongside robots?” he whispered quietly.

“That traitor!” man hissed for angry.

“Didn’t our pirates say that they killed him!” he continued.

“To what is this life changing? One can’t anymore trust even for hired criminals” prime minister growled.

“Now that bastard has sold us to robots.”

“He found the precious metal and gave it to them instead for us and prevented war between us”.

“Now we can never beat them again…” prime minister nearly wept.

“What a bastard” chancellor repeated.

But when human lords were sharing evil thoughts, Queen of seven planets heard what they were whispering. Not so much hearing but she was sensing their thoughts. Her ability of reading minds was extra strong. And she had smiled if she had known why to do it. Now she was just satisfied for her earlier actions, which proved that she had once again been right. Still her hazel brown eyes were glowing cold as winter day without any smile. But she opened her secret amplitude of messages for certain person – not anyone else. Because of Queen’s special talents she could send messages so that nobody else could feel it. And now she was reaching her new advisers mind and found it easily at once. And she said in his mind to his new loyal friend.

“So Marcus – is this what you wanted?”

“To be a human-robot?”

“To serve Queen of seven planets and help her!”

“Are you now happy as a robot with human mind?” queen asked in his mind.

For her this mind control was very easy even now. She could do several things at same time. When she was now listening earth envoys and talking with his co-rulers in robot world, she spoke same time in his mind with Marcus. And she heard Marcus answering clearly to her mind.

“Yes my queen. This is all I wish and need.”

“To live without fear and pain – and to serve you.”

“This is much more than I could ever expect in my earlier life.”

“I am very happy that you saved me and my memory.”

“Even though my memories are heavy, they let me now understand how happy I am.”

And queen sensed clearly how strong feelings Marcus had towards her – she knew he loved her. Even though, she could not understand why. In level of feelings she could not see why this man did that. But she could deduct that Marcus had found in her something precious and some image of his human dreams. And she had nothing against it that Marcus felt so strongly towards her. She knew it was only human and for him an innocent joy. Therefore she had given Marcus a special gift that nobody had – and also gift from his sacrifice to avoid the war. Marcus was now the first of his kind in this world and Queen needed his talents. Marcus was the new type of human robots – a new future! He could feel and act as human but without human pain and weaknesses. His body was a robot body and could be replaced and updated. But his mind was still the mind of old human Marcus. But this human mind was not anymore feeling pain of living. It was light and it was free. And he was practically immortal!

“Nice to hear that Marcus!” Queen said in her secret mind channel.

And she had smiled to Marcus, if she had been alone with him – but now it was not suitable.

“You will serve me well – I know it” she said to Marcus.

And same moment Marcus felt the perfect satisfaction flowing over his mind and body. It was the mental kiss of queen. At this moment Queen gave him her approval of his character and her thanks that Marcus had helped her to solve this gloomy threat – to prevent the war. It was like queen had pet his forehead with her fingers when she gave her approval to him. Marcus felt so warm and joyful when the mind of Queen embraced his mind for all Queens spirit force. And Marcus smiled at last fully as a happy man. He was free from pain of the human world. And queen felt his happiness and felt she did the right decision when she saved his mind. Marcus could advise her well in relations with humans and maybe teach her something new about life. Because in the end all life was for learning and this applied both humans and robots. Nothing would always last the same and all the time years brought something new. And for robots the human mind was always a mystery…

Heros meet in battle of Actium

A story from Actium

War-Tribune Marcus Claudius Porsenna shouted commands for his men when Antony’s legionaries and mariners rushed out from their huge war galley and hit the deck of quinquireeme. It was like a tsunami had hit the ship of Marcus when hundreds of warriors rolled over the quinquireeme. Now the decisive battle had really started and only the winners would find their way out of here. Air was filled with stabbing swords, cloud of arrows and hits of spears. Soon blood started to run on the deck when Roman warriors were tearing each other’s apart, thus causing severe wounds and ripped guts to their opponents. Before the battle Marcus had felt very bad and felt some fear, because he knew that omens were indeed gloomy for him – that has been told to him by Roman Augurs earlier. But now after action had started the crazy fighting spirit had filled Marcus again and he shouted and roared to his men to continue fighting back. Once again he was full of anger and hatred for taking part to so many battles earlier – and so in vain. Therefore now again the old war horse lifted its head inside him and once again he became a cold blooded and savage murderer – as he had been in Alesia, Pharsalos, Munda and Philippoi. He killed all men opposing him without hesitation with just pure reflects – as he had learned during so many years. So he threw spears against attackers and hit the enemies with his big Spatha-sword without any fear. He just wanted to take with him as many enemies as possible – and he had promised for Octavian to stop his friend Marc Antony! And that promise he would keep! With same time – when fighting against Antony’s men in his deck – he shouted and signed for two other Octavian quinquireemes to continue their attack to destroy and sink Antony’s big flag ship – deceres. And from fast glimpse he saw that they were succeeding to secure stopping of Antony, because deceres seemed already to burn with high flames from rear and it started to incline. And also Marcus saw that same time when Antony stormed his ship the men of other two quinquireemes were attacking on the deck of deceres by help of corvus brow. So all in all several ships were now stucked together and fighting against each others like a bunch of wild wolves from prey.

Also Agrippa was looking at the right wing what was happening on center. He saw that his center lines had attacked daringly and brutally against Antony and succeeded to draw him to consuming and bloody fight. Agrippa saw that flames were rising high from ships around Antony’s flagship. He saw also that close combat had already started and men were fighting brutally who is going to be the winner of the day. It was not difficult for Agrippa to guess what was happening. He knew well Marcus Claudius Porsenna from past and knew that this old loyal veteran would always kept his promise. And he had giving an oath for Octavian to slay his old friend Antony to save Rome – and his friends in Rome. And Agrippa knew well that now this all experienced veteran was fulfilling his oath by charging Antony’s big deceres with all his smaller quinquireemes. And he knew that right now Roman blod was flowing again when Roman legionaries fight again against each others. And he said in his mind…
“Marcus … you old stubborn man. Why did you not withdraw more and give him more space? Did you had to attack so soon!”
“Try to get away there alive …” Agrippa prayed in his mind the Roman god of war – Mars the Avenger.

So Antony was yelling more of his men to attack on the deck of Marcus ship and finally they succeeded to push Marcus Claudius Porsenna with his remaining men towards the rear of the ship. Now also Antony jumped on the deck of quinquireeme and headed towards Marcus on the rear. He roared to Marcus.
“You traitor…soon you end on the bottom of the sea!”
“And then I will kill all you friends in Rome like once did for Cicero!”
“Come on old friend…I am waiting you!” Marcus answered to Antony’s threads.
“Do you want to take it man to man!” he continued…
So both men were watching each others with eyes full of hate and wanted to solve this quarrel at once. Antony promised his men 1000 sesterces from the head of Marcus and thus his men attacked even more furiously.

Now things were getting very badly for Marcus cause. Even though Antony’s flagship was burning as a funeral pyre, Marcus had only few men left – time was running out for him. And he was already severely wounded. He carried several arrows in his body and blood was running for more than five open wounds from swords. He started to feel so tired and he knew he could not survive long time bleeding so badly. Again he had to admit that still Antony was a worthy opponent. He had attacked with five quinquireemes but at least three of his ships were already doomed. But if he could only kill Antony …
But blood was running from his wounds and he had only fifteen men left – and they were wounded as badly as he was. But Marcus knew that the other two quinquireemes would destroy Antony’s men. Shouting and waving his sword Marcus killed two Egyptian looking marines in front of him and saw with glimpse to right, that two smaller quinquireemes with mast up came to help Antony and rowed beside deceres. But only ten seconds later three quinquireemes of Octavian fleet hit those ships by their ramming bumbers. And one of the Antony’s quinquireemes started to sink at once. The other one seemed to be left intact and Antony started to wonder should he escape now. But the collision had been so strong that it caused a chain reaction because all ships were near to each others. By ramming the Antony’s quinquireeme who just arrived, the Octavian quinquireemes also pushed Antony’s war galley and that in turn hit the ship of Marcus. And so strong collision shook the ship and Marcus with some of his men slipped on bloody deck and fell overboard. When falling down Marcus hit the row of oars and he could hear his ribs breaking. And he was shouting from pain when he fell inside cold sea water. Suddenly this cold shower made him feel little more sober and he succeeded to grasp on wooded piece before sinking down with his heavy war armour. So he pulled himself with his last strengths on the wooden piece – torn apart from war galley – and sighed heavily. He opened his eyes and saw dark smoke over the bay and tens of ships burning with high flames. He saw also hundreds of men floating on the surface of the sea and shouting their pain or praying help from their gods. And he knew that already thousands of men were laying on the sea bottom dead as stones. And he though – what was worth of this pain?

But then he glimpsed the deceres beside him and saw it burning with one big flame – it could not be saved. And he saw that his quinquireemes finally won the battle at this point. And now men of survived Octavian quinquireemes were slaying dead Antony’s last men from his flagship and only one of Antony’s quinquireeme succeeded to escape away with good luck. When it was rowing rapidly further It had mast erected and Marcus wondered why? But then Marcus thought with his last strengths.
“I have fulfilled my oath to Octavian and stopped Antony.”
And he remembered his stepfather – the man that had raised him from small boy to a young men – and his lessons.
“All free men of Rome are only living for glory of Rome!”
“Responsibility, honor and bravery – all for Rome! And now last time for me” he sighed silently.
“Have we now finally secured the greatness of Rome?” Marcus wondered after lived through so many battles.
He wanted still to remind himself why he was dying here at bay of Actium. In the battle that he had not wanted and in the battle that did not belong to him – because Octavian had extorted him to this campaign.

But still he felt now calm. Because he knew already that Antony had lost the fight and his friends would be safe in Rome. By dying here on the waves of Actium he had bought freedom and life to his most dearest friends – for Tullius and Aurelia. With his sacrifice they would live on and flourish in this life. And now for last time he dug from his memory the face of Aurelia. Her long blond hair, her hazel brown eyes and smile he never could have forgotten. But she was Celt and he was Roman – and she had never let him forget that. But being a warrior so long, he did not feel anymore bad – this was his destiny and he had waited it for so long. So many friends and enemies were already waiting him in the halls of Orcus – God of death! So he let himself to fall into unconsciousness and little by little the green sea water was turning red below him, because blood was running from his open wounds away – and taking his life quietly.

At the shore Antony’s second in command – Canidius – was watching the thick of the fight helplessly and swearing his thin luck. He felt so angry, when he saw how Octavian over numbered war galleys took Antony’s ship one by one – as a pack of dogs when chasing bear. And he saw how Antony’s ship started to burn as a torch – but he was on the shores of the bay and he could not do anything. Then he asked in his mind from himself.
“Where is Antony?”
“Where is my General?”
“And where will I go now if he loses for Octavian?”

Decisive command

When battle in the center was going on desperately and also the wings – right and left – were already into deep fight, the fourth line of Antony stayed still silently in their places in front of the mouth of bay – and waited. They seemed just to wait, what was going to happen. Cleopatra and her fleet – with all masts erected – were still waiting like the right moment to take part to the fight. Was it tactic? Would they just hit Octavian fleet at the time when it would be the best time for their cause? When they were watching the fight in the center, Cleopatra was getting nervous, because she saw that fighting had gone to close combat. She saw that several ships were stacked as a one cluster and many of them were burning with high flames. She knew that blood was flowing like a river and hundreds of men were dying – and she knew that somewhere there was also Antony! Octavian fleet wanted to sink and destroy Antony for certain. Now captain of her bodyguard showed Antony’s flagship – deceres – which was burning in high flames.
“He may have not survived!” captain told to Cleopatra.
Cleopatra was standing straight on her magnificent but fast ship and was thinking some time. She had golden earrings and bracelet with jewels and she was wearing a luxurious armor, which made her look like she were a famous commander. Her big black hair was waving little bit in the wind, which was now blowing strongly. Then she sighed.
“Would you say that wind is fast enough?” and looked his Captain.
“Yes it is” Captain said with face of stone.
“Then – give a sign” she said.
And then the Captain waved his hand and signifier blew horn. Like with one body all the ships of fourth line let their oars fell down into water and started to row. Little by little they were gaining speed and heading against the center.

Same time at right wing Agrippa had noticed what was happening. He saw that Cleopatra’s war galleys started to row forward and were gaining speed. Agrippa wondered could his center – Arruntius and Porsenna – take the attack of Antony’s and Cleopatra’s fourth line. But as he estimated the situation he saw something that made him nervous. Because he – Agrippa – had tried so hard to attack Publicola’s flank he had stretched his line too far towards the shore and now he saw that an opening had broken up to his line. There was an empty place between his center and right wing. Both he and Arruntius have not noticed that earlier and thus they had not done anything to prevent it! And now Agrippa got really scared because something totally unexpected happened – something that even him could not have foreseen. By everybody’s astonishment the war galleys of Cleopatra lifted their sails up and started to increase their speed when wind were pushing their sails to convex. And rapidly they gained high speed and the one thing that Agrippa had scared happened. Cleopatra’s fleet was heading just towards the opening between his center and right wing. Agrippa roared commands and his galleys started to shoot fireballs trying to catch Cleopatra’s fleet but hardly hit any of them. And for a moment Agrippa felt disappointment because he thought, that he had already lost the battle – even though it started so well! And he waited tensed what will happen when Cleopatra’s war galleys sail over his lines. Would Cleopatra turn with his ships and attack the rear of Arruntius? If so they would surely lose the fight! This was a typical and famous naval maneuver and it held name of Diekplouses maneuver. And Agrippa calculated seconds in his mind when he watched Cleopatra’s ships sailing past his line one by one. And he prayed Jupiter to forgive his carelessness and save the day for him. But seconds flew by and still Cleopatra’s ships were heading towards the empty blue sea and gaining more speed. Finally Agrippa sighed for relive because he understood that Cleopatra was fleeing from battle scene – and leaving rest of the army surviving how they could. A one moment Antony and Cleopatra had hold the keys of victory in their hands – and in the next moment they had given it away. Probably Cleopatra did not understood at all naval warfare, Agrippa was thinking. Now it was certain that Octavian fleet was going to win…

Final solution
And next moment Agrippa noticed that something had changed in battlefield. Earlier ships of Antony were fighting heavily against Octavian fleet. But now all ships with the mast were trying to flee away and those who could, lifted their sails, to escape with help of wind. Yes – all ships were now fighting for themselves and no more for Antony and Cleopatra. And next moment Agrippa thought – maybe Antony had all the time just wanted to create an opening for Cleopatra to help her to escape. But now when the result was clear Agrippa commanded his ships to attack more heavily against the enemy – he wanted to get it finished as soon as possible. And so fighting continued still several hours because Antony’s legates Publicola, Octavius, Insteius and Sosius had swore for Antony to continue to secure their commanders flee.

Cleopatra’s galleys were soon sailing at open sea far away from Actium. In one of the smaller quinquireeme was sitting a desperate and lonely man. It was Antony. He sat alone and did not want to speak to anybody. He now regretted what he had just done some half an hour ago. But what had actually happened half an hour ago? After defeating Marcus Claudius Porsenna and his crew, he had sawn his deceres burning totally in flames and four other Octavian quinquireemes had attacked against him. He remembered that he had though that he had to flee soon or otherwise he and his crew would soon be perished because attack of so many enemies. And he remembered thinking then – should he fight till the end and rally his men around him or should he flee. Then he remembered seeing Cleopatra sailing away through the fighting lines and suddenly he felt that he had to run after Cleopatra. So he had signed one of his smaller ships to come closer and when it had weaved near quinquireeme – the one he had just taken – he jumped on its deck. And he had left his men behind him to die there! This was because suddenly he had remembered the black eyes of Cleopatra and her tastefully red lips. And then he had remembered all those endless nights in Cleopatra’s bed in Alexandria with nice odor of her rose kind of perfume. And thus he had not could resist his feelings but he had suddenly decided to hurry after Cleopatra. He thought then, he could buy a new army with the vast treasury of Cleopatra. And thus he had commanded the captain of the ship.

“Sails up! We are heading to open sea!”
And the captain of the ship had done his best and finally they succeeded to find their way to more open space between fighting ships and they sailed by the wind to open sea after Cleopatra. But now Antony sat silently mourning what he had just done. He knew that he had just done something that could never be forgiven. Not for a Roman warlord – and not for Antony! He had run of and left his men to die without their commander. It was a sin that no Roman commander could bear. The only way to shake that shame away, was to push his own sword into his stomach. And Antony sat silently on the deck near rear and escaped to his memories.

The winner takes it all
Finally in the late afternoon battle was done. All Antony’s war galleys were sunk, burning or surrendered to Agrippa. Thousands of men lay dead as cold stones on the bottom of the bay. And many more thousands were severely injured and would not live long – or would lose their legs or arms. But over the pain also smiles were seen. It was a great win – Octavian thought – when he looked the sea over the bay on his flag ship. Now when the battle was done he was ready to take the honor of the great win. After all they had just won the great war lord Antony – a famous Roman consul! Of course as always, it was Agrippa who had done the battle plan and leaded it from start to end. But he and Octavian were friends and he would let him take the honor. Still Agrippa was really puzzled. What became to Antony? Why did he not defend his honor and possession for last breath! After all in the stake was the whole Eastern Rome! Was he really in love with Cleopatra? And so much? Had he lost his guts? Why so brutal man was now so weak -the hero of Phillippoi! But he could not find any reason for Antony’s behavior. Then he heard a voice.
“Sir – it’s him. It’s Marcus.”
And the Centurion was pointing out a dead man, who was carried by some legionaries. They set down on ground the dead corpse and Agrippa walked beside the dead. He took a long look to his face and saw that it was true. It was the corpse of Marcus Claudius Porsenna. And he looked the dead man all over and saw that he was full of wounds and hits of broken arrows. And he saw that he lay little bit in strange position, because some of his bones were broken. And Agrippa – a common man also himself – felt sorry for Marcus. And he said in his mind.
“So many wars behind you and now you had to die in the last civil war.”
Because Agrippa knew that this was the last one. Octavian would now be the sole leader of Roman world and there were no more brave men to fight from power. Now the last of them were dead. And he looked the corpse again and saw how pale it looked and said.
“If only you had waited little more – and not attacked too soon. Even though so bravely! You secured our win by destroying Antony’s will – as you promised!”
“Take him and carry to my headquarters. We will honor him in the evening. Then we will let him burn on a big funeral pyre – like his master Gaius Julius Caesar once in Rome!”
“He is the last veteran from Gallic wars and last from victory of Alesia – we shall honor him properly!”
And the men nodded their heads and took Marcus to his last journey.

Now Canidius had fled with his army little bit inlands and was telling the situation for his army. When he told legionaries that they need to march across the Greece to Asia Minor to meet later on Antony, soldiers were astonished.
“What!” they shouted.
“Where is Antony – had he fled away!”
They wondered loudly whether their commander – Antony – had forsaken them!
“Who could any Roman commander do so?” they mourned.
“And especially Antony!” they complained.

But finally they realized that it was true and Antony had deserted them and fled away with Cleopatra. This made legionaries angry and they did not follow the commands of Canidius. Instead they send envoys to Octavian and told that they would accept him as their leader, if only their units will be allowed to remain – and not be disbanded. And Octavian accepted the terms and Canidius fled in the night alone and started his journey to Asia Minor – but just to lose his head later on…

When the news broke later on public that Antony had deserted his troops, all North African legions raised a mutiny and claimed Octavian to their sole leader. And after some months also Alexandrian fleet and cavalry – and finally whole infantry deserted Antony. In the end Antony had just Cleopatra alone and after he was cheated to believe that she had taken her life, he jumped onto his sword. So in the end he earned back at least some part of his former glory and honor – in the last minutes of his life! And only after some days Octavian marched into Alexandria and took the city. And its treasuries! When Cleopatra understood that Octavian was different kind of man than Antony and Caesar – he could not be seduced – she took her life. And Octavian took care that also all children of Cleopatra – one from Caesar and three from Antony – disappeared from the world.

And so was victory celebrated once again in Rome by triumph – and with the treasury of Egypt. And all Rome was honoring the living and dead Roman heroes! And same time a new Rome had born – an Empire of Rome with emperors!