Sep. 25th, 2011

Trisection

Sep. 25th, 2011 11:36 pm
Cannius the Younger thanked the boy who had come to fetch him, and moved to greet Duredda warmly. "How rare it is to receive a visit from a Brythonic chieftain," the ascetic said archly. "I had begun to worry that Britons' belief in the Glory of Christ had departed these lands along with the Romans."

"No such luck," Duredda grunted. He didn't have to reach too far back along his family tree to find barbaric relations who hated Rome and Christianity, but his great-grandfather had been hired as a mercenary by the legions, and now the Roman way of waging war and politics came as second nature to him. But he could take or leave the religion.

"Then I imagine you are not here to pray, or to seek absolution for your many sins," the priest said drily.

"No," admitted Duredda. "I seek a favor regarding ancient learnings. You're a well-read man, and I hope you can solve a problem for me."

"I am at your disposal," said Cannius, bowing his head.

"I think I recall from my studies, as a youth, a lesson regarding the Geometry of the Greeks," Duredda said. "To wit: if one has an angle, it cannot be easily trisected."

Cannius nodded. "I recall that fact, or something very like it," he said.

"Come with me to the garrison-house," Duredda asked. "Easier to show you than to tell you." The men walked down the hill, forded the stream, and crossed the fortified village to reach the reinforced stone building that had stood on its foundations since the time of Vespasian. Duredda led Cannius into the court where a gruesome scene was taking place. A man was stretched out on the ground with chains attached to his wrists and ankles. Three horses stood at the ready, and soldiers prepared to link the chains to their harness. Duredda stood over the captive, a wild-eyed and long-haired eastern barbarian, and waved his hands.

"You see my problem," he said. "Four limbs and chains; three horses; one Angle. What to do?"

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