How Titus Pullo Brought Down The Republic

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How Titus Pullo Brought Down The Republic

Later. Cicero and Pompey are talking to the head of the Senate, who has a big old gash on his forehead. He assures them that the motion stands because Marc Antony's veto wasn't heard and wasn't fully admitted. Pompey stammers that he doesn't want a motion this important to stand on a mere trick of procedure. Also, because now he knows he's totally screwed. Old Senate Head Guy is offended. "There are no tricks in religion," he tells them. Cicero makes a thoughtful face. "Session was not formally ended, correct?" he asks, slowly. This is true. "So, when we reconvene, it will formally be the same session," he says. Yes. "Then Tribune Antony may use veto on the motion," he reasons. Why...yes, that is true! And everyone is relieved. That Cicero, he's good with the logic. As Pompey leaves the Senate, he tells his henchman that Marc Antony must not be harmed or hindered in any way: "It is VITALLY IMPORTANT that he be allowed to use his veto." He leaves off the part where otherwise, he's toast.

So, Marc Antony gets the news about the next meeting being the same session, he can still use his veto, blah blah. "Unless Pompey tries to stop me," he says, and tells Vorenus to rally the men together. "All of them." Hmm. I don't rightly recall much of Roman history, but I am pretty sure this veto thing is not going to happen the way Pompey wants.

At Vorenus's, Pullo is playing peek-a-boo with the baby. I have never seen a man recover from brain surgery so fast. He's singing a sweet little song to the baby, too. It includes the adorable line, "all your men are dead." That is so precious. Niobe brings him a drink, with "extra nutmeg, just the way [he] likes it." Pullo sighs. "Ah, marry me, goddess," he says. "What, a porcine object like you?" she chuckles, and reminds him that she's already married, "thanks be to evil spirits." As Vorenus comes in behind them -- and just in time to eavesdrop -- Pullo tells Niobe that Vorenus is a good man. Niobe retorts that she used to pray for Vorenus's safe return. "I was so lonely. For eight years I wept. Every day, the girls would ask, 'When is papa coming home? Is it today? When?' And now he's home and I wish he was in Gaul. He's a cold, mean brute. Not one loving word. To me or his daughters." Hidden, Vorenus listens silently. Pullo agrees that Vorenus isn't that skilled with the ladies. But he was always faithful to her: "'Pullo,' he'd say to me, 'Pullo, my old friend, I have a wife back home. Niobe is her name. And she's worth more to me than all the women of Gaul.'" Niobe grins and thanks him. "I know you lie," she says. "He's no friend of yours. He told me so." Beside them, the baby cries, as Pullo offers that Vorenus has an "ill temper" and would say anything.

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