By looking into the system of the Roman Colosseum, we bring to light its true purpose - a place where enjoyment was achieved at the expense of others' suffering. A rustling sound could be heard in the darkness, followed by mumbles. Just then, a bright light was shone directly in the direction of the noise.
Sacred Librarian: “Who’s there! How dare any Meowish venture into the restricted section!”
Out of fear of being caught, one of the Nekos pressed the “Enter” button embedded on the cover of the tome that they were secretly reading. POOF! They disappeared into thin air, leaving behind the book titled: Ancient Rome – Humankind.
The trio fell in a heap in an alley. They scrambled off each other and surveyed their surroundings. They found themselves in a bustling city.
Milkshake: “Where are we?”
Oreo: “Oh my! We’re in Rome!”
Off they went, hiding within the shadows to avoid any humans. Unexpectedly, a massive creature loomed over them.
Aquila: You three aren’t from here. Pay attention to me! In your sight stands the magnificent Colosseum; located at the centre of Rome. It is a massive stone amphitheatre, with four stories. This building is 45 metres high (150 feet) and 189 by 156 metres across. Under the order of Vespasian and later, Titus, the skinny humans built it using locally quarried limestone with internal linking lateral walls of brick, concrete and volcanic stone (tufa). As incredible as it is, the cruelty behind remains a fact. Run far away from this place little ones, as I, Aquila, the Great Eagle, shall rid myself of this place. You have been warned.”
Aquila then took flight in haste while the protagonists simply dismissed their eccentric and mysterious feathered acquaintance. They cautiously yet successfully snuck into the front row of the audience in the Colosseum – where the nobles were.
The atmosphere in the Colosseum was thick with anticipation. Every eye was glued to the fight between two Gladiators as they desperately fought for their lives. Blood splattered everywhere and screams of pain resounded as one Gladiator stood in front of his opponent, swinging his sword. His opponent, gravely injured, was on his knees. He held up his index finger, an indication of defeat. The audience roared, signaling the killing of the loser.
Time slowed down as the Nekos witnessed the merciless act of killing and the gleeful adoration from the audience. They were horrified. Trembling, the Nekos mewed loudly and caught the attention of the nobles. Looks of disgust were seen on their faces and they ordered the guards to eradicate the nuisance. There was no way of escape and their fate seemed bleak.
Colosseum Guard: “Stupid little felines. What troublemakers! Perhaps I shall let Sir’s precious Irish wolfhound to have some fun with you three.” evil laughter
(Catches himself) “I shall just throw you three together with the other beasts first. You’re lucky if you survive!”
With that, the Nekos were locked in one of the numerous enclosures. The dark and huge area was humid and foul-smelling. The sound of carnage from the arena reverberated through the dungeon. Out of desperation, the Nekos frantically scratched and bit the iron cages.
A deep voice rumbled startled the Nekos.
Unknown Voice: “Stop trying. It’s useless. Once you’re in here, you’re in for good. We are merely toys to those arrogant human beings.”
Milkshake: “Who…and what are you?”
Ippi: “I am Ippi, a hippopotamus from the River Nile in Egypt. I am the last few of my kind. Most of my family had already been caught by these cruel Romans. Our existence will come to end soon…We are not the only species suffering this fate. The Great Auk, European Wild Horse, Aurochs and Eurasian lynx became extinct.
Many animals from around the world (including Africa and Asia) were captured and used for fights in the Colosseum. We weren’t treated right and starved.”
Marshmallow: “Can you not choose to fight?”
Just then, the cage opened and handlers reached out for them. In an attempt to escape, they stumbled onto a lift and trap-door system. Before they could react, a heavy wooden shaft was turned, lifting the platform up and releasing them onto the arena.
The crowd cheers when the animals were in sight. Suddenly, the nekos came face-to-face with an agitated wolfhound, preparing to pounce on them when a hand grabbed them.
The three nekos transported back into their time all thanks to the librarian’s timely rescue.