Anyway, folks, meet Marcus Valerius Laevinus, protagonist of my Flavian novel, The Ancestor Crown, Roman legionary and silversmith, and (fictional) progenitor of the kings of Dál Riata. He's not shown up on this blog very much, mainly because he's a co-operative lad and doesn't give me much cause for headaching, so I suggested he might like to let the nice bloggers meet him. He was a tad reluctant, but I
So, Marcus, tell us a bit about yourself...
1. How old will you be in 3 years?
Twenty-two. Huh. Is that all?
2. Do you think you'll be married by then?
Well, actually, I can’t get officially married for another twenty-three years. (shrugs) Maybe I’ll be attached, though. Then again, considering these Caledonian girls... doubt it.
3. What do you look forward to most in the next 2 months?
Conquering the Novantae tribe. All right, I suppose that’ll take a bit longer than two months. So... er... contributing to conquering the Novantae, then. Hopefully if I can help win a bit of glory for the Emperor Titus, I can consider my debt to him fulfilled.
4. Who was the last person you called?
Called? How d’you mean?
5. Have you ever played a team sport?
Er... does formation drill count as a team sport?
6. Who was the last person to text you?
...Text? Is that like writing? If so, Vindobarus’ mother said salve to me in her last letter to him. I’ve not really got anyone left to write to me.
7. Who was the last person you hugged?
My little sister, Secunda.
8. What were you doing at midnight last night?
(grimaces) On sentry duty at the southern gatetower. In the rain. You know... for a change.
9. Parents separated/divorced/married?
(shrugs) Still married, I suppose. Do you think marital status during life applies in the Underworld?
10. Last time you saw your dad?
Two years ago, just before he died.
11. What happened at 9:00 a.m. today?
9.00 am... that’s - what? - about the third hour? Then I’d be on the training ground, having the shit beaten out of me by Centurion Celer. (smiles wanly)
12. How many states have you visited?
Are states provinces? All right, just say they are. Then, as well as my native Italia, I’ve passed through Gaul, and Britannia, of course.
13. If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?
Anywhere that isn’t Caledonia. Gods, even Viroconium would be better. It’s somewhat civilised, at least. I’d say I’d rather be back home, but that would be a lie.
14. Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet?
In Caledonia? Shoes - army boots, that is - and socks. Thick woollen ones. Vindobarus’ mother knits them for the whole contubernium.
15. Are you a social person?
(shrugs) I muck around with the lads when I’m off-duty, though I tend to stick with my contubernium mates. I think I’m sociable enough, though I’ve heard the odd complaint that I have a tendency to think too much.
16. What was the last thing you drank?
That cheap wine I got from one of the traders outside the fort. No idea what it was supposed to be made out of, but it did the trick.
17. Favorite ice cream?
(blinks) Ice what?
18. What is your favorite dessert?
My mother used to bake these incredible honey cakes with raisins. They were my absolute favourite when I was a boy. I blame her for my sweet tooth. (sighs) I’ve ever tasted anything quite as good since.
19. Whats your favorite color?
Silver, I think. Silver and grey. They’re such subtle colours, I always think.
20. What Jelly do you put on your PBJ?
(blinks) I’ll be honest, I’ve no idea what jelly is, and no idea what PBJ stands for, either. Publius Bruccius Januarius?
21. Do you like coffee?
Do I like what?
22. How many glasses of water a day do you drink on average?
I don’t know... I don’t really drink water by itself, except for the odd swig from a flask when I’m on the march. I water down my wine, though. Honestly, though, I don’t really keep track of how much I drink.
23. What do you drink in the morning?
Well-watered wine. After Celer has sniffed my breath during inspection, of course. I once made the mistake of having a quick drink before. Let’s just say... it wasn’t pretty.
24. Would you rather kiss someone with or without a tongue ring?
Without. Definitely without.
25. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed?
You're joking, right? Have you seen regulation army bunks? You barely get a side to yourself as it is. You have to sort of scrunch yourself up or lie as thin as possible, and you pay for it in the morning, believe me. Especially when you’re scheduled for route march.
26. Do you know how to play poker?
Nope. Can you play knucklebones?
27. Whats so good about Fridays?
That’s Dies Veneris, right? Nothing, really. (pauses) Or is that some sort of Nazarene code? Sorry, I don’t really go in for these obscure cults.
28. Any plans to visit the green monkeys on GoofyAuctions.com?
...See, this is why I try to stay away from the local beer.
29. Do you eat out or at home more often?
I generally eat in the barracks with my messmates, but the ovens are outside, under the rampart, so I suppose we do have to cook out! When we were still down at the fortress, though, there were a few bars and eating houses we liked. They did some decent Roman-style meals. Don’t think I’ll ever get used to Caledonian cuisine, though. I don’t care what you dress it up with, porridge is still porridge.
30. How big is your TV?
...Tell me that’s not British slang for what I think it is.
31. Ever stolen a street sign?
(sly grin) I might’ve stolen the odd sign or two in my time. And swapped them about in the middle of the night. But that was long before I became a responsible legionary of the Twentieth Valeria Victrix. Honest.
32. Do you keep a piggy bank?
No. All my savings (such as they are) are in the strongbox under the fort shrine. I wonder where that’ll go when we’re on campaign. Hm.
34. Have you ever been in an ambulance?
Don’t know that word, sorry. (squints) Is it something to with walking?
35. Do you prefer an ocean or a pool?
Well, I did like the sea where I lived. You know, the Tyrrhenian. But I’m not overly fond of the sea around Britannia. It’s wild and choppy and I lost count of the times I was seasick on the crossing from Gesoriacum. And I can’t say I like pools in Britannia very much, either. The natives tend to worship every single one, and in Caledonia that usually means there’s a Druid lurking nearby...
36. Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat?
38. What is your favorite thing to spend money on?
What happened to number thirty-seven? (shrugs) Anyway, I tend to buy food. Other than equipment and things, there's not much else you can spend a legionary’s wage on, once the various vultures have had their pickings. I’m glad I’m not one of those poor sods who has a family to support.
39. Do you wear any jewelry 24/7?
Do I look like a Caledonian warlord to you?
40. Do you speak any other language?
I speak Oscan, know a few words of Greek, and in my time in Britannia I’ve learned a few words of British dialect. Just enough to get by. You know, the obligatory words for “wine”, “beer”, various swear words, and, of course, the right things to say to the local girls.
41. Can you roll your tongue?
42. Who is the funniest person you know?
(grins) Most intentionally funny: my best friend, Decius. Most unintentionally funny: Tribune Vitulus.
43. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
44. What is the main ring tone on your phone?
The main what on my what?
45. Do you still have clothes from when you were little?
46. What is the color of your bedroom wall?
Sort of damp clay colour.
47. Do you shut off the water when you brush your teeth?
...Who came up with these questions?
48. Are you crushing on someone right now?
49. Do you currently hate someone?
My centurion, Gaius Manlius Celer. All right, while most centurions get the job due to their ability to be complete bastards, Celer is worse than most. He’s infamous throughout the Twentieth. He once cornered me in the bathhouse and... made me an offer I had to refuse. He’s never missed an opportunity to make me pay for it since. (smiles weakly)
50. Why do you take surveys?
Kirsten made me do it. I think she likes making me suffer.