Romulus vs The Wolfman
Part 2: Discovery

Monroe brushed away the ancient dirt with a trembling hand. This could be one of the greatest archeological finds of the decade, no, the century! He was excavating what he believed to be an Etruscan temple, build near the end of the 8th century BC. He wasn’t yet sure of what the temple was dedicated to, but he was sure this statue would hold the answer he had spent the last year and a half searching for. He wiped his dusty hands on his jeans, then pulled a delicate brush out of his tool belt, and began the long process of uncovering his discovery.

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Herr Schnidlik poured over the old documents. They had been on Earth nearly as long as him. They were written back in the glory days, when the Party was set to create a perfect, unflawed world. Most people had given up hope. They thought those days were long gone, but Schnidlik knew there was still a chance of rebuilding. He just needed one man. It had been nearly 70 years, and no luck, but Schnidlik would not give up until every breath left his frail old body. His eyes lit up with hope and anticipation as he read of “Augustus’ Amulet”. He felt the feelings of frustration dissipate with this new promise of hope. 

Schnidlik rose from his creaky wooden chair, grabbing his coat and hat. It would be a long flight from Germany to New York.

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Professor Lilly Packson found herself drawn to the amulet yet again. It seemed to draw people in. Lilly was sure there was more to it than the beautiful craftsmenship of the gold chain, or the enormous crystal set into the gold. It seemed to hold some kind of power. Most scholars dismissed the idea with scorn, calling it “superstitious garbage”, but they had never come face to face with it.  There were statues and relief sculpture showing heroes from antiquity wielding what appeared to be magic crystals. Romulus and the other Kings of Rome, and even heroes from factual history such as Alexander the Great and Julius Caeser. 

Lilly pulled herself out of her trance, looking around her exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The New York Kouros had gained a lot of attention and fame over the years. Lilly smiled as she thought about how much it would get when the new statues arrived. That Englishman, Monroe, had auctioned them off after finding them, amazingly in perfect condition. Not much was known about them yet, but when they arrived, Lilly and her team would piece together their history. If Monroe was right, then they would suggest the Romans had achieved realism in their statues before or alongside the Greeks.

Part 1: A Stony Slumber

Romulus basked in the light cast by the ethereal crystal, splayed on his golden throne in perfect symposium. He owed everything to that crystal. Since he had stolen it from Luperca and Lupercus, the gods of the wolves, he had risen to ultimate power over the local Etruscans, and this was yet the beginning. He had come from humble beginnings. He and his brother, Remus, who was long gone now, had been hidden from the jealous King Amulius by the wolves. Feral boys, who could barely speak, had then overthrown the man who had tried to kill them, empowered by the crystal. One touch had filled their minds with the knowledge of speech and language. Prolonged exposure had made them kings. Well, one of them anyway. Remus had sided with Luperca, the pathetic mummy’s boy. Well, he got exactly what he deserved.

Scanning the crowd of worshipers, Romulus grinned with smug satisfaction. The fools believed he was divine, descended from Venus’ favoured son Aeneas, and a son of the mighty Mars. Sometimes Romulus wondered if it was true. He was almost too good to be human. But the supernatural powers that his followers worshiped him for did not come from his divine heritage, but from Lupercus’ crystal.

Lupercus wanted it back. Romulus had to remain vigilant and protective to keep his power. Lupercus had already sent his dogs for his crystal several times. Romulus glanced at a statue near his throne. It was a savage wolfman, fangs bared and claws spread, fury etched into it’s stony expression for eternity. It had come for the crystal one night, howling and growling in anger. Some of Romulus’ follower’s had fallen as it struck out at their jugulars, sweeping towards the throne and the crystal. Romulus had been forced to fight it, only able to defeat it when he tapped into the stone’s power and turned the beast to stone. Now it stood alongside him, a warning to Lupercus that not even the gods could stop him now.

Numa walked through the crowds of worshipers towards the throne with a steady determined gait. He lived to serve the gods. Numa the Pious, Numa the Righteous, Numa, favoured by the gods. Those were a few of the names that mortals gave to him. He had worshiped Romulus once, giving him what he believed was due piety. Romulus had claimed to be a son of Mars, and a descendant of Venus, which he had appeared to prove with his miracles and heavenly protection of the people of his new city, Rome. No one had doubted him when he wrestled Luperca’s Beast and turned it to stone. Not until now, anyway. Jupiter had appeared to Numa in a dream, revealing Romulus’ true heritage and source of power. Lupercus wanted justice, and his crystal, and Jupiter was duty bound to enforce it, so Numa became the enforcer of the gods.

He reached Romulus’ throne and reached towards the crystal. Romulus appeared to jerk out of a day dream.

“Numa, faithful servant of the gods, why do you approach my throne?” Romulus questioned with a booming voice.

Numa grasped the stone, feeling it’s power wash through him like a river through a valley. Such power! No wonder Romulus had kept it! The power belonged to Numa now. He was invincible. He looked up at Romulus, grinning manically. Fear and understanding crossed Romulus’ face. He looked towards The Wolfman, horrified at his ironic fate. “I have come to relieve you of your power, Romulus.” Numa replied, trying not to giggle. “There is a new King of Rome!”

Blinding light filled Romulus vision as he sprang up and tried to grab the crystal back, and then there was nothing.