It was dark. Not a single ray of light to illuminate the cavernous room. Cavernous came the thought. Well, I suppose that fits since it IS a cavern… I guess. There actually had not been any light here for quite some time. He had bothered to keep at least one torch lit for quite a while but then he grew tired of going in search of materials to replenish them, besides, it wasn’t as if he needed the light to see.
Had there been light the statues of a great many figures could have been seen scattered around the room. Some human, some almost human, some clearly far from human. One bunch were dressed as Roman soldiers. These Roman statues had been men though and they had names… Servetus, Lucian, Julian… they had been his comrades in arms, his fellow Centurions. They had been a lie. HE was a lie. Well, that’s a little harsh. Maybe I’m more like a half-truth. The Centurions had been Nestene constructs, their memories, their personalities programmed into their heads. Just as his had been. Except… not quite. He had gotten a little something extra, a little something that had allowed him to shake off the programming (Too late. No, don’t think about that, not today. Just for today, at least, I won’t think about… that), a little something that made him Rory Williams, nurse from Leadworth, plucked out of time in 2010 A.D.. Maybe that was why the other Nestene duplicates had become fossilized echoes… the remains of a civilization that never existed because the universe winked out… while he had survived. It was the only explanation that made sense, it was the only thing that had made him different from them and all of them were dead now.
He moved easily through the darkness, silence, and stillness until the faintest sound stopped him in his tracks. It would have been inaudible to human ears but he was far from human now. It was the sound of stone shifting. Someone was attempting to move the stone which hid the entrance to this cavern.
Not those… druids or whatever they are again! A quick check of his internal clock, however, revealed that the date was nowhere near either of the equinoxes or solstices or any of the other religious times which usually brought the local religious leaders to the site. Still, he supposed it could be something special… a drought, or a flood, a burial or something sending them to seek divine correction to a problem. Over the years only a handful had ever unsealed the entrance and ventured down. Of those who did a little sword waving and a growled warning in the broken local dialect his own Nestene brain had been programmed with was usually enough to send them on their way. He scooped up his helmet and placed it over his perpetually mussed light brown hair then drew his Roman short sword from its scabbard. He couldn’t help but think that his friends and family back home would have laughed at the idea of him being able to handle a sword without doing more damage to himself than to an opponent; but that was before. All part of the ‘software package’ now.
The noise grew louder — stone grinding on stone and then the thinnest crack of light penetrating through the heavy doors which sealed off the main room. He heard voices approaching and… metal? Yes, definitely the sound of metal clanking. And the voices… that was... Yes, it was Latin! Proper, conversational Latin! Was it possible that a REAL Roman legion had found its way here? He froze for a moment. Scaring off a a local or two was one thing; facing down a Roman legion was something else. He was stronger than an ordinary human and there was that secret weapon built into his hand… but in truth, he had only used it that… once… and he never wanted to use it again. He recalled with perfect clarity the Doctor’s warning to him: “You’re not immortal and you won’t heal…” No, this called for stealth, observation, and discretion, not brute force. He sheathed his sword and melted farther back into the darkness as the Roman’s outside managed to lift the heavy bar from the door and push it open on its dusty hinges.