I wonder what Caesar and the Dalai Lama would talk about…
44 BCE. The Ides of March. I, Julius Caesar, strolled by the Theater of Pompey. Minding my own business, I set myself towards the Senate. It was to be a good day, with gladiatorial games later that night, to celebrate my rise to life-long dictator. Of course, there were those in the senate that disagreed with the decision. Those weak-kneed pussies that believe in some sort of democracy for the patricians. They will learn their place.
Yet, I am forced to address them. As I enter the building, I survey their smug, fat faces. Each one stares back with more hatred than the last.
I smile, enjoying the moment. What do I care of their dislike? I am Caesar. I am Princeps civitatis. Fuck them.
Climber approaches me with some sort of petition. His breath smells like a rat crawled into his mouth and died. I can’t focus on what he’s talking about, the stench is so bad. Suddenly, he’s pulling at my toga. I yell at him, “What violence is this!?”
The next thing I know, senators are rushing at me, armed with knives. I see the first blade coming towards me, ready to pierce my chest. A still silence comes over me. Antony warned me that this might be coming. I close my eyes, ready to embrace my death. What are they waiting for, I ask myself. With one eye open, I peer out, expecting to see the crowd around me but there is no one. Only an empty field. I don’t recognize the place. The fields look different. Straight lines with high mounds. Some kind of tall plant sticking out of the ground with silky tassels hanging out of tubular ears which jut from the stalk.
There is a noise on the horizon. A god awful rumbling that I cannot identify. It slowly approaches.
I look up over the tall stalks to see a giant metal monster rolling down the rows. Somehow it moves by itself. If ever there was a time to retreat, that moment would be now. I want to run towards the woods but that would mean passing this machine. Instead, I run out towards a clearing to find a paved pathway. It’s so much smoother than the roads of Rome.
Turning back, I see that the metal monster has turned away. Large tines dig into the ground, churning the earth. My heart begins to settle to a more natural rhythm and I have to to think, though I’m not sure where to start.
This clearly isn’t Rome. More importantly, this isn’t the Senate building where I stood only moments ago. How did I get here?
* * *
I’ve been tinkering around with this idea for some time. Wouldn’t it be fun to see Julius Caesar able to traverse time and space. But not by the use of some time machine. Instead, he can use the power of his mind. At first, he clearly doesn’t understand what is going on, but slowly he figures it out. The idea was inspired by articles like this one in Popular Science: “There is no such thing as time”, written by Adam Frank, who suggests that time does not exist. It’s a fascinating premise, one that I think would be made even more interesting if Caesar was able to manipulate it.
His adventures could include meeting aliens, famous people through history, witnessing the big bang, and so on. I would imagine he’s like Captain Kirk but less diplomatic. And dressed in Roman Lorica.
Hmmmm… I’ll have to think further about this one. 🙂