It's night, it's raining, and Servilia is still calling for justice outside the house of the Julii. Keep us posted on how that goes, won't you, Servilia? I can't wait to hear about all the justice. ["Look like it's working as well for her as it has been for her descendant Cindy Sheehan." -- Wing Chun]
Next morning, Antony shows up late for a meeting with Octavian and Lepidus. He makes the excuse that he's hung over from drinking too much at Posca's wedding the day before. Maybe that's why nobody ever gets married in the morning anymore. Who wants a reception full of guests who have all been drinking since 9:00 AM? Especially before the invention of coffee? Octavian has been regarding a hanging parchment that dominates the room. It's a large map of the entire known world under Roman influence. He smiles quietly to himself, figuring Antony's delicate condition gives him an advantage for what's about to come. He takes his seat in a circle with the other two. Meet the Second Triumvirate, everyone. If it seems a little lopsided with Mark Antony, Gaius Octavian Caesar, and Marcus Lepidus Superfluous, that's because it is. Before beginning the meeting, Lepidus has a little housekeeping to do: he says that some Senator friends of his are worried that the three of them are planning to institute some sort of tyranny. Antony gets pissed off: "Tell your eminent friends to shut their mouths. Tell them to go look on Cicero's hands in the Forum and remember what happens to those that prattle of tyranny." That should certainly put people's minds at ease: "Tyranny? What tyranny? I kill you now." Lepidus awkwardly says that he was just mentioning it. Octavian agrees, and suggests that they get on with it. He says that, since the three of them can't exactly all rule together, they should divide Rome into three regions and each take charge of one. "Sounds reasonable," Antony agrees, and rises from his chair to take a closer look at the big map. Octavian says that he hasn't considered how to actually divide things up yet, probably because he doesn't want to be the one to make the first move in this negotiation. As for Lepidus, he doubts the entire idea, calling Rome "a complex machine. We can't simply chop it up like, like...like cabbage." Just like that, Antony's mind is made up, because one of newest yet most infallible credos is always to do the opposite of what Lepidus says. And thus Antony draws the sword from the scabbard of the Centurion standing guard and starts slashing up the map. He offers Octavian Rome and the West, while Antony will "make do" with Egypt and the East. Octavian objects that Rome and the West is full of problematic Gauls, Germans, Senators, and...you know, Romans, while the East is apparently nothing but money. Just stacks of gold and grain, walking around and fucking and having millions of gold and grain babies. Antony brushes that objection aside, saying that all revenues, regardless of the source, would be equally divided and held in a single treasury. "That would work," Octavian says, actually sparing Antony a small smile. Lepidus timidly reminds everyone that he exists, so Antony carves out a chunk from the bottom of the map and hands it over, offering, "Africa." Lepidus takes the ragged half-moon of parchment, probably counting himself lucky to be the only one getting an entire continent. I count him lucky to be getting out of the room alive.