A party of cloaked horsemen ride across the Italian countryside, Quintus at their head. Ominous music heralds the inexorable approach of the vicious chipmunk.
Moments later, a guy we'll later learn is Quintus's torture guy, Volpe, is requesting admission into the city. The guard asks a few questions, and then lets in the party without admitting any of the non-Latin-speaking foreigners also swarming the door. As martial-law security goes, it's pretty damn September 10, if you ask me. "Tell your brutes to stay away from decent women," the guard tells Volpe, who pleasantly agrees and continues on his way.
Vorenus's banquet is in full swing. He's sitting next to Erastes, who's beginning to show signs of turning the supper conversation into a political minefield. Vorenus remains noncommittal, until Erastes mentions "your man." "If you mean Caesar," Vorenus says as neutrally as he can, "he's not my man anymore." During the lull, Vorena comes to the table with the baby, who's screaming. Probably hungry. Do you suppose Niobe will try a "hey, everyone, look how much the baby loves his grandmother" trick? No, instead, Evander moves to comfort the child while Erastes offers his help in business to Vorenus and calls for more wine. Niobe's sister, Lyde, angrily gets up from the table and stomps off.
Over at Julii Cooper's party, Caesar and Mark Antony are busy humoring the Chief Augur, who's going on about the latest fads in augury. Which is a phrase you probably won't see me using in a 24 recap. "One might as well be Syrian," the Chief Augur complains. Mark Antony agrees. "Scythian, even," he smirks Zmedly, while Caesar gives his general a surreptitious watch it, there glance. The Chief Augur says he's heard that Caesar is of "modish opinion" himself. Caesar denies it, saying that he believes religion is the province of priests: "Mere soldiers like myself best not interfere." Unless they're ready to drop a whole shitload of money on it, of course. But I get ahead of myself.