past lives disclaimer

i hate romans. i hate the romans. i cannot ever, in as many lives as i *have* find words to say how much i hate the romans.

i hate their culture, their lifestyle, their holier-than-thou beliefs, the tendancy--that would later be repeated in a form by hitler--to be convinced of their divine mandate and superiority and *need* to overwhelm other cultures with their own.

i hate the romans.
but, oddly...
i don't hate him.
because... at least... he was gentle.
in all the pain, he was gentle. and he didn't have to be.
i hate the romans.
but i don't hate him

a band of us, all women. (not unusual. celtic women fought much.) maybe 15 of us, tops. maybe a dozen. we left our village to join with a larger part of the army. not all of us were warriors, really. some were more priestess, more healer. we could all command steel, but not all fought to fight. some fought to stop fighting, and heal it.

but in our journey... we ran into a scouting party of romans, who were quietly inspecting the lands ahead of their army to best plan the course of action. easily 30, 40 of them, some horseback. all men. strong men. warrior-trained. roman army trained. we resisted as we could, but surrendered when we realized more resistance would only get us hurt more. because it was quite clear, they were willing to *hurt* us as much as we struggled, they had no particular wish to kill us.

so they captured us. and did what romans tend to do. the romans like spoils of war. and to them, women, subhuman, made spoils as good as anything monetary. women were property to them--and even more so us, wild heathen hillswomen, and *celts* on top of that. so the officers, and the more established patrolsmen, chose one woman apiece, a few were allowed to take two. still the feel of their eyes looking us up and down, being examined and chosen as so many cattle, or horses, beasts for their wishes, burns. it still feels filthy somehow. and i watched as my swordsisters were chosen, some, and then i myself was selected. he took me as "his" battleprice. i begged he at least let me watch the rest of the band as they were divided, and supringly, he agreed. as the last was awarded, something in my soul screamed silently. then he gruffly insisted i return with him. and i, having known that as a woman, as a fighter and wanderer, that this could happen, resigned myself to the future i did not want but had been willing to risk for my cause.

i protested, in his tent. he didn't really listen to me. he *assumed* this was his right. he'd been raised that way, his society taught him this. his society taught him women were his right. and it taught him keeping sex slaves during war was normal and good and the *natural* and logical answer. he literally did not comprehend the views my culture kept. he was young, and idealistic, and had not yet started to doubt the way he was raised, as he would later. he quite happily took what he wanted. but he was gentle. he took, yes, but he left me no harm.

i can't say his companions had that much decency. they drew power from physical dominance. they drew power and lust as they drew blood and screams. not all my sisters-in-arms had it that badly. but most did. most of them did. this was the mindset of the romans. blood and power. blood and power. they insisted the beast the wild the lust and rage in them be satisfied. and they glutted themselves on satisfaction at the price of my sisters.

he, whose name and face the eons have worn away, was at least gentle. i forget his face. but i remember his build his posture and how he carried himself. i remember his body because that is what he showed me. but he was gentle. he took as he wanted, mostly, but never hurt me unnessecarily, never raised hand against me.

he never forced himself upon me during my cycle, he respected at least that much. and he also let me--or rather ordered one of his slaves to--gather herbs which i needed to prevent myself from carrying his child. i don't know if this was generosity at not wanting to burden me for years after he left, or whether he did not want to lose his pleasure since it's no fun to fuck a heavily pregnant woman. i don't know, and i don't really care. he at least let me escape that burden.

and over time... he even began to talk to me a bit. he never truly counted me as an equal, of course not. but he came to give me as much worth and credit as a woman of his own culture. which was more than i expected. and my way of life and my religion fascinated him somewhat, and he asked to learn, at least a bit, on how to heal battle wounds. and eventually, as they finished their rounds after many months, he "let" me escape. and i sat in the woods hiding, laughing, as he "raged" and ranted at the "loss" of his property. because even as he had begun to think... he could not show his comrades this change. it had to be an affront to him as much as it would be to the rest. and i watched him rage, and laughed silently. and then i slipped quietly back home, marching the long slow miles back to my village.

i hate his culture; i hate his comrades. but after what he did for me... because he was gentle... there is no way i can hate him. i don't hate him. in a strange, strange way... i *almost* think i loved him. not as an equal, or a partner, or a lover but as a human being.
and i cannot hate him.
for he was gentle.

my own personal time capsule of lives

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