Treatment 2

After Syracuse is sacked, Archimedes' apprentice must recover his dead master's plans before a rival genius uses them to conquer Rome.

Chloe, the apprentice of greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes, oversees the use of her master’s mirror-based heat ray against the invading Roman fleet in her home city of Syracuse. The tar-covered Roman ships combust quite spectacularly, and they soon turn back. Chloe rejoices; Archimedes knows they'll be back.

Sure enough, later, they come back with their ships protected against the heat ray (somehow; maybe mirrors of their own?). But when they get close to the port walls, Archimedes and Chloe unleash a pair of massive cranes that lift ships and drop them, flip them, even throw them. Again, the Romans turn back. Chloe is sure this is the end, but Archimedes doubts. He mentions a weapon that would make them all flee for good, but won't say anything else about it.

That night, a traitor opens the gates and the Romans storm the city. Chloe runs to Archimedes in a panic, asking where the final weapon is. He tells her it's not even built yet, which is good, because he really would rather it never was. He doesn't trust anyone with its use. Romans near their home, and Archimedes tells her to hide. A centurion enters, and asks where the plans to the weapon are. Archimedes refuses to tell him; he doesn't even look up. When the man starts tearing through Archimedes' papers, Archimedes only tells him not to disturb his circles. The man kills him in rage, finds the plans, and leaves. Chloe, hidden, sees the entire thing. Archimedes’ dying words are to tell Chloe she needs to stop him.

She follows him through the chaos of the siege that is clearly going against Syracuse. He sneaks out of the city, and though she has a little more trouble than him, Chloe manages to as well. Once out of the city, he heads north, towards Rome. She follows, trying her hardest to remain unseen.

One night, though, he appears out of the darkness, introduces himself as Diogenes, and invites her to his fire. She accepts, if a bit uneasily. He asks her questions about where she comes from and where she’s heading to. She’s not a very good liar, and when he springs it on her that he knows she’s been following him, her facade vanishes completely. He draws a weapon and demands that she tell him why she’s following him. She initially refuses, but in fear for her life, tells him why. Surprisingly, that seems to ease his worries, and he puts his sword away. He says that, if she’s an apprentice of Archimedes’, she can help him with the ciphers.

She refuses to help him, but he doesn’t seem too worried. He considers letting her go, but is too worried she’d do something to harm him, so he reluctantly binds her and takes her with him. But the entire journey, he’s kind to her and sees to her needs.

After a time, they arrive at their destination - a fortress, hidden in the hills around Rome. Inside is a veritable army, at least five thousand strong. Diogenes tells her they’re all outcasts of cities besieged by Rome, people whose friends and family were murdered by the Romans. He tells her that she’s one of them, that she belongs there, and will be allowed free reign of the fortress. Given her original goal, though, he won’t allow her to leave until he’s convinced of her loyalty.

She’s easily accepted into the group, and, once given a chance for the fall of Syracuse and the death of her master and surrogate father to sink in, breaks down. She’s comforted by everyone, who knows exactly what she’s going through. She’s surprised at how friendly everyone is to her, and starts to make friends.

She spends some time with Diogenes, who reveals that he was an apprentice of Archimedes for a time, but left to join the Carthaginians after his home village was pillaged by the Romans. Thus, his knowledge of some of Archimedes’ inventions, and his grasp of the basics of his ciphers.

Chloe starts to accept the group. But when she finds out they intends to use the Weapon to sack Rome, she freaks out. Using it to defend new cities from falling is one thing, but to use it offensively is too much for her. She sneaks out that very night.

Diogenes sics the houndsmen on her, but she manages to evade them with some clever sciencing. Eventually, she makes it to Rome.

In Rome, she goes to the nearest military base. She has some flashbacks to the fall of Syracuse, and considers leaving them to their fate, but then remembers Archimedes, and goes to warn them.

Unfortunately, nobody takes her seriously. The guards laugh at her, tell her Rome is in no danger, and all but chase her away when she tries to persist. She’s just about to leave them to her fate when an older man in military uniform introduces himself as Marcus and asks what she was talking about.

Once she’s explained the situation, he takes her seriously. He tells her that he led the siege at Syracuse, and he saw what Archimedes’ inventions can do. He says that he doesn’t have the political capital at the moment to lead a sizable force, but he has some men he trusts that he could at least take scouting.

Hearing that he led the siege of Syracuse, though, kind of freaks her out. She draws a dagger and tries to kill him, but he disarms her handily. Before he can kill her, she breaks down crying and he figures out why. He assures her that he had ordered his men to leave Archimedes alive. He doesn’t apologize for his brutality at Syracuse, but tells her that he’s the only one who can help her honor her fallen master, so she’d better accept his aid.

She tells him she could just not help, and leave them all to die. But she that’s not what Archimedes would’ve wanted. She agrees to lead him to Diogenes.

She takes him and his dozen men to the hidden base, and leads them in the same place that she snuck out. They manage to avoid most of the patrols, but when one stumbles across them, Marcus’s men kill them quickly and silently. Chloe recognizes them. She starts to break down, but Marcus catches her, warns her to save it for later. Keep going now.

Then they come upon the finished war machine. Chloe was not expecting that. It’s up and ready to go, and surrounded by guards. At first they make to leave, but Chloe stops them. If this thing is really ready to go, she warns, and they killed the patrol, then Diogenes will know they know about it, and he’ll use it ASAP. They need to destroy it, now. Marcus reluctantly agrees.

They attack. The guards raise the alarm, but they’re not ready for trained veteran soldiers, and while Chloe and Marcus and their team’s presence is known, they have a few fleeting moments to themselves. They start setting fire to the machine while searching desperately for the plans.

Marcus finds them and pockets them, but Chloe tells him they have to be destroyed. He tells her that they will save the lives of many Romans. Chloe tells him she doesn’t know about saving or taking lives anymore; all she knows is that Archimedes didn’t want the plans used, and she’ll make sure they aren’t.

He hesitates, but keeps the plans. They begin their escape, fighting through the fortress, killing Chloe’s friends and acquaintances. As they near the exit, though, Chloe sees Diogenes with a firebomb, sneaking up on them. She slips away, sneaks up on Diogenes, and triggers the bomb while it’s still in his hand, incinerating both of them.

Marcus sees what she did. Once they escape, he burns the plans, telling his men it’s a shame they had given her the plans to carry.