The horrors of/ men at war with themselves./
What have we done?/
Oh, what have I done?/
Turned the heartless to stone./
Carrion of the feast growing colder./
The murder is me./
I was/ of noble cause./
I was/ of royal blood./
Still the jaws/ sunk in their fangs,/ just enough to commit us/ to our fate./
Yeah,/ yeah,/ yeah./
These of valor better tighten their hold./
Wicked of sin feed off,/
Get to your stations./
We killed women./
We killed children./
The arrows pierced the innocent./
The terror pierced the imminent./
The murder was me./
We will kill/ that or be killed/ it matters not/ as long as Spartacus burns!/
The archers stand at ease,/
Though easy this is not./
I curse the gods!/
For I was not the one to/ damn.
The Colline Gates/ held open by/ blood!/
They deserved not death, purchased pain instead!/
In the wake of our mercy we left them for dead!/
For our cowardice the/ general will have our heads./
We are all guilty,/
my hands are still filthy with blood./
While the wicked still survive,/
I will die!/
Murder in me!/
I must die by/ the hands of my own men./
Sortition of the tenth./
Decimation well spent!/
One out of ten must atone for the rest./ I’ll take/ a stand./
Ashes to ashes as my bones turn to dust,/ I’ll wait/ for/ the end.
Domitian,/ forgive me./
It was my mission,/ but not my choice./
Condemn me./ Condemn me!/
Snuff out my voice!/
Sulla smiles/ as Crassus stares./
“Take your mark,” he says./
“Take aim!” I said/
“Fire to kill.”/
“Fire at will!”/
I originally got this idea from the original meaning of Decimation. It was an act in the Roman army when a group of soldiers were to be punished. Depending on the size, they would split the group up into groups of ten. Each person in the group picks a stone, called sortition, and the one who picks the red rock is executed by the other 9.
This is a fictitious story based around the destruction of Spartacus and the battle at the Colline Gate. The subject is a noble general of Rome, who goes against orders and he and his men refuse to kill the innocent slaves. He then takes the fall for his platoon in order to save them.
I wrote it to depict the struggles one may face when they are on their way to be executed for martyrdom.
Domitian was the Roman Emperor at the time, Sulla was the Roman general in charge of the army and Crassus was in command of the left wing of his army.
The last lines are written to go from Crassus saying take your mark. Then ""Take aim" I said" is through our main characters eyes. It then switches back to Crassus saying “Fire to kill.” I wanted to end on “Fire at will” to show our character saying this to his troops. This was a choice he gave them and they chose not to. This is why he was executed, for free thought.