60 AD Ch. 04byVlinder_Fawn©
I want to thank my sister Slipped Halo for her encouragement and DalekRasputin for the historical research.
It was dark when Utta arrived outside the camp. Most of the cohort were asleep with the exception of the ten guards who patrolled the perimeter and the two outside the luxury tent, obviously where Jonas was sleeping.
With stealth and silence Utta approached the back of the first guard. With practiced ease she covered his mouth in her left hand while with her right she plunged the dagger into his neck killing him instantly. She then moved on to the next and killed him in like manner. Within thirty minutes all the perimeter guards were dead.
Creeping towards the command tent she threw a stone to attract the attention of one of the guards. As he went to investigate she attacked and dispensed his colleague. When the first returned he did not have time to register the death of his partner before Utta's dagger ended his life with a single blow.
Entering Jonas' tent she saw the commander asleep on his bed. By his side was his sword which Utta carefully lifted and held at his throat. Jonas awoke immediately and within seconds was aware of what was happening. "Utta! At last!" Then realising his vulnerability he asked "How ... how did you get passed my guards?"
"What guards? O yes, your guards. All twelve of them!" She chuckled. "They're dead, every one of them. And you are about to join them!" She began to press her sword towards her enemy's throat.
"Kill me, kill me now if you wish. But remember this. Rome is very hard on any race that kills one of its commanders in cold blood. We have hundreds, thousands of Briton slaves. Every one of them will be crucified if you kill me like that. You will be responsible for their degrading deaths."
Utta hesitated not knowing what to do. "Then I better kill you in battle then. Get up!"
"I'm not fighting you. Why should I let you absolve your conscience? No! You can dispatch me now and then face the consequences for both yourself and what remains of your people". Jonas was getting bolder "Or you can surrender to me and live. I also promise your people will be handled with respect."
"You! A Roman pig, you ask me to trust you?" Utta pushed the point of the sword forward so it was making an indent in Jonas' throat.
Suddenly they were interrupted by a soldier bursting into the tent dispensing with any ceremony. "Sir ... w ... w ..."
Jonas lost patience and despite his predicament was able to respond "Stop stammering soldier and get help." Looking at Utta he said "If you are going to kill me get on with it. If not drop your weapon." Noticing the soldier was still in the tent Jonas said firmly "Is there anything else soldier?"
"There is worse! ... Sir ... the cohort under Nigellus. ... Sir they are all dead." He hesitated "It ... it seems 'THEY' have struck again sir. All dead, blood drained from their bodies yet not a single drop on the ground."
Jonas looked at Utta and in his broken Celtic asked "What do you know about this?"
To Jonas' surprise Utta answered him in good Latin "I know nothing about this. Must be the gods cursing you for what you are doing to our people. I promise, when I kill you, you will bleed. And no doubt scream like the pig you are." As she spoke she put extra pressure on the sword and noticed the fear in Jonas' eyes.
Jonas looked up at the woman holding the sword "Brains as well as beauty" he said as he tried to hold her gaze "It will be such a waste if you throw your life away."
"My life is over now. The minute I release this sword you will kill me." Utta looked down with resignation. "But at least I have taken many of your men with me."
The soldier didn't know how to interrupt but he had to share the next piece of news "Sir ... there's more. One of the victims scratched a word on the ground. It read ... it read 'Vala'!"
Both Jonas and Utta reacted with surprise. "What trickery is this?" Utta looked straight at Jonas "She was killed by your invaders two years ago. Your men must have been drunk before they died."
As she spoke more soldiers entered the tent but when they saw their leader with Utta's sword against his throat they just stood back. Jonas looked at her. "Kill me and you and every Briton we can lay our hands on will be crucified." He looked for a response but saw none in Utta's cold eyes "Release me and you will live. And your people will not die in such a manner." He felt the sword relax a little "Your call!"
Utta looked down at him and was tempted to drive the sword through her enemy's throat. Instead she relaxed the hold, stood back and threw the sword to the ground. Immediately she was rushed by several soldiers one of whom was about to kill her. Seeing what was happening Jonas shouted "STOP! I gave my word." Approaching Utta he said slowly as he cupped her left breast with his right hand "Besides I have plans for this beauty."
Utta shuddered at the feel. No one, nothing, had ever touched her there and she was shocked by Jonas' action and surprised by her body's response as she felt her nipple harden to his touch. She wanted to spit at him yet couldn't. Noticing the look of lust in Jonas' eyes she knew the inevitable, the fate her father had warned her about, would soon take place.
"Take her to the brothel tent. Get the slaves to bathe her, shave her, clothe her in virginal white and prepare her for me." Jonas barked as the guards roughly dragged Utta away.