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The Roman Empire, AD 108. When emperor Trajan sets sail for his province of Egypt, his mind is on sightseeing and the acquisition of art and antiques to adorn the city of Rome. Little does he imagine that he is heading toward his own potential doom...Deep in the western desert, a sinister cult plans to return Egypt to its past glory, and Rome and its empire stand in the way...Traveling with Trajan are lovers Quintus and Rufio, along with his mother Junilla and younger brother Cato. Together, they encounter fabled wonders of the past, the quirks and threats of the natives both human and animal--and repeated attempts to assassinate the emperor...Amid the dangers, exotic erotic encounters keep Rufio and Quintus busy even as they strive to avert the disastrous wrath of the god Seth.
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Born in Switzerland, Oliver Frey a.k.a. Zack attended the London Film School, supporting himself as a comic-strip illustrator and later plunged into gay art and publishing. Innumerable illustrations poured from his pen and brush for British magazines “HIM International,” “Vulcan,” “Teenage Dreams,” the “HIM Gay Library” series, and “Mister” magazine. For HIM he created the mold-breaking Rogue comic strip and later “The Street,” which was part of the inspiration behind cult TV series “Queer As Folk.” The Internet has spread his reputation to an enormous global fan base through many sites and blogs. Some of his comic-strip work has been published recently by Bruno Gmunder. As Zack, Frey has taken gay erotic art and comics to new dimensions. For several years he edited “HIM” magazine and together with Frey later founded a stable of seminal videogame magazines, notably Britain’s bestsellers “Crash” and “Zzap!64.”Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
O.N.E | I
On Our Sea (Middle Sea), 6th and 7th days of July, AD 108
“I don’t feel like a boy tonight.” Flaccus Caepio groaned unhappily. He leaned against the slick wooden rail and retched hoarsely in a manner his colleagues in Rome’s Cohort III Vigiles Urbanae would have derided as womanly. He’d lost count of the heaves, and still the tempest worsened. “Why, oh why by Neptune’s twisted balls did I agree to come on this cursed voyage?”
“At least... ooher... you had a choice,” Junius Tullius Rufio moaned in miserable sympathy as he threw up the last of what he’d reluctantly eaten for dinner. “I did ― heave ― not.”
“Venus preserve us,” Quintus huffed irritably at his companions. “How many times must I tell you that if you’re going to void your guts do not do it into the wind. And bringing up dinner like that is such a waste. I think Septimius did us proud, considering the problems aboard ship. Those Cretan snails in garlic and garum were delic―ughnn!”
Quintus staggered back from the assault to his midriff. Rufio’s cheeks might have been a glorious shade of green in contrast to his flaming red locks, somewhat dimmed where spray from towering waves plastered tendrils like seaweed to his broad forehead, but he still retained sufficient strength to jab his pointy elbow into his friend and lover’s flat stomach. “It’s not fair...” Rufio began, before lurching back to the ship’s rail as another wave aided his own stomach’s desire to be empty.
“It’s hardly my fault that you suffer the sea!” Like his brother Marcus, Quintus Caecilius Alba found little to trouble him on the briny wave. Perhaps it’s because we are patrician while those two are merely plebs. He shook away the unworthy thought and turned with a stab of envy to the real presence of Marcus aboard the Emperor’s flagship―at, it had to be added, at the Emperor’s insistence. Instead of being on the exposed deck supervising his marines and rowers, Marcus was tucked up cozily in Trajan’s cabin, no doubt getting a good imperial seeing to by his regal namesake. The Emperor had no problems with a rough sea either. Far from it, Quintus could well imagine how Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus would be using the quinquereme’s wayward pitching to add a corkscrewing motion to his... screwing.
He dashed the back of a hand across his brow to clear salty water from his eyes and peered out with not a little trepidation at the gathering fury. Quintus understood Rufio’s barely suppressed terror after the nightmare they had shared with sexy Cassander in the Bay of Naples early in May, when a tremendous storm caught them adrift in nothing more than a small fishing skiff. Of course, they had no idea then that two months later would find them afloat again but this time at the mercy of the great Middle Sea on the way to Egypt.
Fierce gusts of wind hurled white spume from breaking wave tops. The following gale drove the big quinquereme before it. Until this leg of the voyage, the weather had been kind, as Quintus recorded in the diary of their travels Caesar commanded him to write. (“I’m surrounded by official scribes, but I want your poetic muse to put some color into what we observe on this great journey.”) The flagship Fortuna rowed out of Trajan’s new port basin near Ostia on the 14th day of June and made Messana in Sicily two days later. They sailed again for Nicopolis in Epirus and from there to Monemvasia at the southern tip of the Peloponnesus. Then came the southerly crossing to Crete. After a short sojourn at Gortyn, provincial capital of Roman Creta et Cyrenaica, the vessel had set sail from Lentas on Crete’s southern coast in fine weather on the 29th day of June, but the sea rose up with great rapidity, and now it felt as though only the high stern poop prevented the mountainous waves from plunging them all to the bottom of Neptune’s watery graveyard.
As night came on the storm increased in ferocity. So far the Roman officers and marines remained calm, but Quintus saw unreasoning terror strike the land-lubber cohort of Praetorian Guards huddled with the presently redundant oarsmen under the eaves of the lower deck in a vain attempt to keep dry and hide from the angry ocean. The two helmsmen at the stern kept their posts manfully and struggled with the giant sweeps to keep the bow into the waves and the wind abaft to fill the reefed sails.
The senior officers―Centurion Maximianus and Fortuna’s captain, Trierach Maesenius―were gathered in the small poopdeck cabin with the pilot taken on at Lentas. Quintus guessed they’d be grumbling at Optio Marcus Quartus Caecilius Alba being absent from the deck watch and gossiping about what Empress Pompeia Plotina would think about him being in the Emperor’s quarters―were she on board. Plotina was tucked away on the suitably named Vesta with her household slaves and female companions, while Hadrian and the rest of the Palatinate court followed in a third ship, the equally well-named Apollo. The selfstyled prince―the Rising Sun, as he sometimes liked to style himself whenever Trajan was absent―relished residing in the bosom of his comitatus, his adolescent companions. Trajan much preferred the soldier’s solitary life, so long as the choice of two or three husky young men were at hand to enliven his nights. As often as not of late, that would be Rufio and Quintus, but since serendipity had thrown Marcus into the melting pot at Capri their services had been less in demand.
A freak of the gale brought a snatch of conversation to Quintus’s ears. He heard gloom in the pilot’s voice. “Things are bad, domini. Unless this storm blows out or the wind changes quarter we’ll be dashed against the coast of Cyprus.” Quintus considered it wise to keep this unhappy opinion from Rufio and Flaccus, as they continued addressing the heaving sea in abandoned projectile unison.
All night the galley ran before the tempest. Half the soldiers and crew took turns bailing out water, and several times heavy seas broke over the vessel with such violence that all on deck thought their end to be at hand. When morning came the wind had shifted several points. “A blessed nor’easter,” crowed the pilot, relief bubbling from his brine-soaked pores. As the sky brightened, everyone on deck stared fixedly ahead over the waste of still angry foaming water. “There!” the pilot shouted. He pointed at a bright spark on the dark horizon. “The Pharos. We are on course, great Neptune and his hand maiden Nereids be praised.”
Quintus screwed his eyes half-shut to give sharper focus to the growing finger pointing at the heavens. The fabulous lighthouse, tallest building in the entire world, beckoning them to the haven of Alexandria. With the golden dawn came a sense of wellbeing that brought to mind Rufio’s description of Alexandrian boys: “Glories forged from Greek libido and Egyptian sensuousness, trained in the arts of giving pleasure. Oh Quintus, my fine friend, what lovely fucks we’ll be getting.”
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Book Description Bruno Gmuender 11/1/2016, 2016. Paperback or Softback. Condition: New. Wrath of Seth. Book. Seller Inventory # BBS-9783959851558
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Book Description Bruno Gmuender GmbH. Paperback. Condition: New. 320 pages. The Roman Empire, AD 108. When emperor Trajan sets sail for his province of Egypt, his mind is on sightseeing and the acquisition of art and antiques to adorn the city of Rome. Little does he imagine that he is heading toward his own potential doom. . . Deep in the western desert, a sinister cult plans to return Egypt to its past glory, and Rome and its empire stand in the way. . . Traveling with Trajan are lovers Quintus and Rufio, along with his mother Junilla and younger brother Cato. Together, they encounter fabled wonders of the past, the quirks and threats of the natives both human and animal--and repeated attempts to assassinate the emperor. . . Amid the dangers, exotic erotic encounters keep Rufio and Quintus busy even as they strive to avert the disastrous wrath of the god Seth. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9783959851558
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