“Julius, on what grounds dare you state such a boastful claim?” Cicero’s index finger bent slightly backwards against a flat marble surface. Behind him sat Senator Gaius Rabirius. Though weary in his years, Rabirius still had a good fight in him, and had a generous amount of pull before the council. He was not only allowing but getting entertainment from observing his obedient defender Cicero, who was outraged at Caesar, to argue on his behalf.
Julius paced calmly on the lowered stage of the council halfshell, also amused by Cicero’s aggressive stance, “Your senator has committed perduellio and shall be tried before a panel of judges...”
“Nonsense!” a vein in Cicero’s forehead began to pulse, “Rabirius has been a loyal and revered Senator for several years, your accusations shall warrant severe consequences dare you not retract your claim!”
The bearded man nearest Julius jumped to his feet and placed his right hand upon the pommel of his sword, “Hold your tongue knave, or perhaps I shall hold it for you!”
“Titus, that is enough”, Julius placed his hand upon the bearded man’s shoulder. Titus modified his posture to a more leisure stance. Julius stepped around Titus, “Many years past, your ‘loyal’ Senator had taken the life from honored tribune Lucius Appuleius Saturninus to better his own position. I’d like to point out that attacks against active tribunal can be declared an act of treason.”
The silent audience in the marble half shell of seats rolled into several mumblings and mutterings. Julius exchanged eyes with the elder Senator; his wrinkled diabolical sneer was clearly interpreted as ‘you’re next’. Cicero’s rambling mouth was drowned out by the crowd. A clamoring gable from praetor Quintus cast a veil of silence over the crowd. Quintus peered around until all attention in the room belonged to him. With a hand gesture, he granted Cicero the stage for a response.
“What proof have you of such condemning words!?” Cicero’s nostrils flared.
Julius looked back and nodded. With that, Titus took his leave. Julius continued, speaking to the senators and councilmen of the crowd rather than Cicero, “I believe you shall find my source both reliable and credible. Good people of Rome, I ask that you appoint me as judge to this ‘loyal’ Senator. Together we shall reveal his true loyalties and create a stronger council for Rome.”
“Who are you to judge Senator Rabirius!” Cicero hissed, “You shant be the sole judge, we appeal for a second!”
Julius smirked, “That suits me fine. Now without further ado, may I present our honored guest.”
Titus returned to Julius’ side, accompanied by a graceful older noblewoman with hair pulled upward into a ponytail. The crowd fell into instant discord. Julius spoke over the commotion, “Gentlemen, a woman that needs no introduction… but our manners would be disgraced without proper welcome, Cornelia Rabirius.” Across the crowd, the Senator glared in rage at his estranged mistress.
Cicero broke a nearby vase into shards with his sword, attempting to restore some order. “You vile wench! You dare destroy Senator Rabirius reputation! I shall end you, here and now!”
Titus pushed Cornelia behind him and drew his own blade, “Try it Cicero. The council would love to watch you bleed before them.”
Julius looked to the praetor, whom had already lowered the flag.
“Order! Order!” Quintus vigorously slammed his gable. “This meeting is hereby adjourned!”