Rome
Death Mask

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Screw My Mother-In-Law

Herod himself is currently visiting Mark Antony in his office. Herod turns out to be a rather handsome man, fancily bearded, coiffed, and made-up. He says he's heard that it's bad manners to offer Romans bribes, and that one must offer "gifts" instead. Antony confirms it, admitting, "We are the most dreadful hypocrites, I'm afraid." Herod says that, in that case, he's offering Antony a gift in exchange for the throne of Judea. Antony quietly cues Posca to begin negotiations, which are pretty short: it's basically "How much are you offering?" "How much do you want?" "Twenty thousand pounds of gold." "Done." Off Herod's instant, unblinking agreement to the sum, Antony mutters to Posca, "I said we should have asked for more." Just to make sure he's not getting rooked, Antony warns Herod to "keep your Jews in line." Charming. Herod promises to do just that, "or they will suffer the consequences." Now I see why Timon and Levi didn't want Herod in charge. Herod has one question of Antony: does this deal cover Octavian and Lepidus, or will they come to Herod looking for their own "gifts"? Antony assures Herod that the "gift" is for all of them. Posca looks uncomfortable at this. Herod leaves, sarcastically remarking how nice it is to have such trust among friends. Of course he knows Antony's lying, or else he would have asked for an amount that's evenly divisible by three.

"That is what I call a good morning's work," Antony tells Posca once it's just the two of them left in the room. Posca agrees, and asks what his share of Herod's gift is going to be. Antony denies that any such gift exists. Posca gets the message. But then Antony has to rub Posca's face in it, saying that Posca's gotten awfully greedy since gaining his freedom: "Go home. Have a good lunch. Make love to your pretty young wife. But do stop grubbing about after other people's money. Trust me. You'll be far more content." Then Antony even pats Posca on the face a couple of times, just to make sure that when his condescending attitude comes back to bite him in the ass, it'll bite extra-hard.

As Herod is crossing the Forum on his way out of the meeting with Antony, he and his entourage are spotted at a distance by Levi and Timon. Levi still isn't over his Herod hate, loudly calling Herod "scum." When Timon shushes him, Levi adds, even more loudly, "Bastard scum." Levi thinks Herod needs to be killed. Timon agrees that it would be a "mitzvah," but Levi is being serious and quite literal. Over Timon's doubts, Levi talks about the future of their people. Timon still isn't sure. I'm not spoiled or anything, but I have a feeling Herod's going to survive.

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Rome

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