(Episode 13.2.a Mission Assist HUD)
>in praetoriō Societātis Potentium, in Aeyptō, 80 CE<
vōx clāmat: "bene! probātiō secunda consummāta est. dēbētis nunc intrāre peristȳlum."
A section of wall on the far side of the ātrium slides aside, revealing a new passageway. Cautiously, you enter it, and soon find yourself in an underground version of a vīllae peristȳlum. The part of the sky is played by an emptiness in the cavern above you so vast that it almost makes you dizzy to look up into the blackness that stretches on beyond the light of the lamps that stand one in front of each of the columns that themselves extend upwards beyond your sight.
in mediā peristȳlī, where the hortus should be, is a raised wooden platform of the kind used for declamation.
From a doorway at the far end of the chamber emerges a middle-aged homō. homō gerit togam praetextam. vultus eius est dūrus et his manner brusque. He comes towards you. When he speaks, you realize that he is without doubt the owner of the vōx you have been hearing. His regular vōx is not as loud, but it is certainly as resonant, booming off the echoing walls of the cavern like thunder.
"salvēte, ō Recentiī!" inquit vir. "probātiō tertia nunc vōs exspectat, et ego sum probātor potentium."
You notice now that he is holding two tabellās.
"nōs potentēs scīmus sententiās vestrās, et probātiōnem dāmus quae sententiās probat. Bellātor, Agricolaque, Prīsceque, Octāviānaque, stāte ad sinistram meam; Amōrōse, Clōdiaque, Horātiānaque Tulliānaque, stāte ad dextram."
When you are standing on the proper side, he hands to your group one of the tablets.
"You will now prepare a speech in defense for the owner of the first name on your tablet, and deliver it. We have chosen your groups to ensure that the figures you defend will be Romans that you do not naturally find praiseworthy. In this way, we will test your ability to understand your enemy, and acquire potentiam over him. Only those who can acquire and keep such power may learn dē Lapide."
aperis tuam tabellam.
Manus prīma: *** Tiberius Semprōnius Gracchus ***, Gāius Marius, Marcus Tullius Cicerō
Manus secunda: *** Publius Cornēlius Scīpiō Aemiliānus Āfricānus Numantīnus ***, Lucius Cornēlius Sulla Fēlīx, Gāius Iūlius Caesar
"Once the first two speeches have been delivered, I will award honors of power for fine contributions: these honors come with praemia of equipment that you may use in future missions for the potentēs. After that, we will proceed to the next names on the list."
agendum: cōnsilium capē cum sociīs Recentiī tuī (Confer with your team-mates about your speech. You will compose and deliver the speech in the next session; this first prompt is for preparation).