The villagers were herded to the communal well near the center of Tov Kepha. " Flavius Galarius bellowed at the cowering throng.There were some 80 to 100 people in the village but less than 40 adult males. None of them seemed to understand Latin so I repeated this in the native tongue.The boy stumbled to his knees and the second soldier brought his sword down on the exposed neck nearly severing it. Rushing forward she gathered up her fallen son helplessly trying to hold the flopping head in place as she rocked back and forth on her knees. " The old man barely hesitated," The village priest has taken the money to the Governor where he will explain the situation and plead for mercy." "What happened to the soldiers who escorted him? Now true terror showed in the old mans eyes; he hesitated, thinking before he spoke. fled, when they failed to protect…" I never let him finish his lie.

They had been reported stopping at five villages without incident. The tax collector, escort, and taxes vanished without a trace. Behind me a squirming sack fell to the ground with a thud.

Marcus, my adjutant, had unloaded our prisoner from the back of his donkey.

We moved through the night with the quiet stealth of the best-trained century in the legion.

I am Centurion Cassius Priscus, I lead the first century of the third cohort; The pride of the tenth legion.

The crowed muttered and parted exposing an older man with a graying beard, his wife, son, and daughter stood by his side.

"I am the village elder." He said with a twinge of fear in his quavering voice. "He never arrived in our village sir." He said with barely a tremble in his voice.

The ringleaders and their surviving family members are crucified and those few villagers unfortunate enough to survive become the fodder for games in the arena.

The tenth legion responds with murder, rape, and general mayhem.

Render Unto Caesar I Punitive Expedition The sun had fallen hours before we approached the village of Tov Kepha.