Wednesday, 15 August 2012

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The Unlikely Spies (ao3)
The Silver Branch, by Rosemary Sutcliff
Summary: 'The work that Paulinus had died for went on.' But learning to do it without him took time. Written for [community profile] sutcliff_swap 2012.

A pale fat man haggling for wine on the waterfront, that was where the whole affair started. Near three weeks had passed since Paulinus had walked out into the glare of the torches, calm as a man taking a stroll to the baths. The house by the old theatre was not the only one in Portus Adurni that Allectus’s Mercenaries had burned, and when the Emperor went back to Londinium and his Mercenaries went with him, the trickle of men seeking passage to Gaul swelled like a dry mountain burn after a summer thunderstorm. The Berenice could not take them all, even had not her master Phaedrus been fearful of betrayal. So it was that Justin tramped the shores of Regnum Harbour, asking after work but never taking any, everywhere talking of the fierce August sun and the fiercer new taxes, and everywhere seeking another tradeship whose master had no love for the one who set those taxes.

[Now with added historical notes.]
Fiction in a range of rare fandoms

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