The Frozen Legion
By Robert Lynch
The lone robed figure groped through the darkness. Finding what they were searching for, the figure activated a small screen and tapped away at it. With a hiss of gas, a cryotube lit up and cycled.
The man inside opened his eyes and looked around the room. “How long have I slept?”
“You have slept for 238 years, Legate.” The robed man said, “I am your current Emperor. Americius Maximus Domitian. Technically I am your Great-great-etcetera-nephew, Legate Aurelius.”
“If you have called the Frozen Legion to serve,” the Legate stepped out of the tube and began flexing various limbs, slight robotic noises emanated from the joints of the Legate’s golden Power Suit, “Then your need is great. For what purpose do you call us, First Citizen.”
“There has been a revolt, Legate,” Domitian said. “In the years since you last were awoken much has changed.”
“Much changes every time I am revived,” Aurelius said. “How many of the Legion must I wake.”
“All of them,” Domitian said. “We shall need the full might of the Frozen Legion if we are to quell the republicans.”
Aurelius’ face did not reveal his shock. When last he awoke the Empire was a republic. He continued through the system of checks his suit required after revival, “Tell me of these enemies.”
“The old senate was demolished. The corruption among the old patricians was rife, and their estates were better used to pay for my reforms.” Domitian said. “I reformed the bureaucracy into a democracy. So that the people would govern themselves.”
Aurelius eyebrow twitched slightly.
“Instead of nepotistic senators jumping up and threatening my rule, I thought that democratising the civil service and separating the military would stop, or at least slowdown, attempts to dethrone me,” Domitian said.
“I take it that it didn’t work out that way?” Aurelius said. He deployed a golden spike from his arm brace several times, then applied a small amount of oil to it.
“No,” Domitian said, “Verspatius, my top General seized the orbital agricultural platforms. With rationed food, the Consul turned against me and organised a revolt.”
“So your enemies are both the military and the people?” Aurelius said. “Have you any allies left?”
“I have the Frozen Legion,” Domitian said. “With your might, I can quell the revolt and put an end to that traitor Versaptius.”
Aurelius unholstered his blaster, ejecting the power cartridge and checking the power level. “I have been awoken many times. Always to face an enemy from beyond the Empire’s borders, never to be aimed at the people.” Replacing the cartridge, he pointed it at Domitian and fired. Domitian’s headless corpse fell to the ground.
The nearby pod lit up and opened. A young black-haired woman emerged, in a silver Power Suit. “What news?” She asked.
“My brother’s line has finally proven to be too weak to rule,” Aurelius said. “Wake the others, Tribune. The time has come to bring the Empire under Aurelian leadership.”