Unnamed Journal Volume 3, Issue 1 - Page 37

The Meditations of Caius Caligula sound that cracked the monster Tiberius, that tore his soul from his body. But I heard only a faint rustle of blankets. And a few moments later, Macro came out, and nodded to me. I said nothing, so confused was I. And then the words flowed around Capri that the Emperor was dead. Again, men and their absurdity. The Emperor was not dead. Tiberius was dead, who had been Emperor. Tiberius bore being Emperor as long as he could, and when he could bear it no longer, it passed to me, and he died. The Emperor does not die. The Emperor cannot die. No more than Jupiter can. I, newly Emperor, walked into the room where Tiberius lay. And I looked at his face. That face, which I had learned to read with the finest augury, for every sign of hate or cruelty or suspicion, I looked at with the purest astonishment. For those things were gone, replaced by a peace, a serenity that almost approached joy. His horrible twisted old visage was, for the first time I could remember smiling. Not grinning, mind you, or smirking, or guffawing - I had seen him do enough of that. But smiling. And I smiled too. I had freed him, you see. I had taken the godly burden - the burden that crushed his soul down to the husk - and removed it from his manly shoulders. I had cut the absurdity out of him. And the smile of peace that greeted me in that room was a voice of a Sybil relaying his thanks. It was the first kindness anyone had ever done to him in a long long time. It was a gift, given freely to this man of my family who had destroyed my family. It was to be my gift to many men. UJ