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russrussrussrussruss t1_j1fn3hl wrote

1908, an excavation sight in southern Italy

Nicolas ran towards the camp, the antique wooden box decorated intricately with star-like designs clutched under his arm. This could be the find of a lifetime, if his suspicions were correct.

His 3 peers were busy, studying maps, old records, and transcripts from interviews with the locals. All related to any information on a previously unheard of Roman Emperor, supposedly called Testiclus. Nicolas burst through the fabric door, panting and dripping with sweet.

Henry jumped “for gods sake Nicolas, you almost made me spill my tea over everything! I swe-“ Nicolas cut him off, practically yelling. “I found something, none of that matters anymore.” Tara, a young but bright student of Colin, who himself was the de facto “leader” of the expedition, spoke up. “That box…it shares the same designs as the ruins we unearthed last month. Is that..?” Nicolas cleared the table, and put the box down carefully. “I think it is”.

Colin was silently studying the box, comparing the designs with the tracings they’d taken at the ruins. “This may be a replica, Testiclus wasn’t popular, but if you knew the right people, you could sell an “artifact” from his reign and never have to work again. But…these are disturbingly accurate.” Henry approached. “Should we open it?”

118, supposedly 1 year into the reign of Hadrian, Rome

“To whoever may read this, I am Marcus Julius Testiclusian, who reigned as Testiclus. I tell you this because my name will be erased from the annuls of history, my hometown burnt to the ground, and my children slaughtered. I was lord over the Eternal City. I brought peace to many savage tribes. I gifted the lower class with my holy presence. I gave many men sons of a higher class than their own. I was gracious, yet they damn me.

What is life without death? What is food without starvation? What is joy without misery? They don’t see this, they see only their trivial matters. Still, some are loyal. I will give this to a guard, in the hopes that my memory will be preserved. My ultimate victory. My last act as ruler. My last decree. Let it be known.”

“You’re all a bunch of cocksuckers. Fuck all of you. Suck my testiclus.”


“That’s…you must be joking.” Tara said.

“Unfortunately, I am not. I’ve been doing these translations for years.” Colin said, still examining the millennia’s old papyrus. Nicolas couldn’t help but laugh.

“2 years in the Roman son, digging and searching, and we finally find evidence…it’s better than evidence, we find a hand written note from the Emperor himself. And he makes a joke about his name at the end.” He sat down, still lightly laughing at the idea. “No one’s going to believe us. We wasted our time here.” Henry threw his flask to the ground in anger, before sitting next to Nicolas.

Nicolas looked over at him. “It wasn’t a waste, we all know now, without a shadow of a doubt…”

“That the mysterious forgotten Emperor of Rome was a petty little bitch.”