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Marinda spoke the words in latin, "ave, Caesar, morituri te salutamus" as they had been spoken thousands of years ago. The meaning was still the same. Hail, Caesar, we who are about to die, salute you. All things come full circle. She was the leading gladiator for the Empire of America. Her celebrity made her a threat to the royal line of the Bush family. Over two hundred years ago the seeds were sown for a royal family to rise in the Americas. After George Bush senior was President, and his son George W. Bush served two terms as President, Jeb, the brother who once governed Florida ran for President and won. Whereas George W. was unpopular by the end of his two terms, Jeb was wildly popular. Not since America's Camelot of the Kennedy family had a leader been so popular. When Jeb's son George P. Bush ran and won, it cemented the aristocracy of the Bush family.

Starting with George W. Bush, the policy of the United States of America leaned toward unilateral self-interest. The cold war with the Soviet Union had ended and the U.S. was the undisputed world power. Jeb's popularity started to grow when he annexed Afganistan as a colony. He basically shut down the world heroin trade and was hailed as winning the unwinable war against drugs. He followed that with the annexation of Iraq, which had been mired in a civil war for years. Soon after he annexed Iran, who had been trying to build nuclear weapons. Keeping the oil supplies of Iraq and Iran, he lowered the price of fossil fuel for Americans.

First came the changes to the constitution to allow him to serve more than two terms. After the fourth term of prosperity, the democracy of America was slowly migrated to a monarchy. Keeping with the policy of self interest, and the need for security, the emerging Empire of America absorbed Canada, and then the entire Central and South Americas. There were challenges from the Arabs and the Chinese to the growing Empire, but the missle shield started in the 1980's had been completed and finding their attacks stopped completely, they soon surrendered. There were flare-ups from time to time in remote regions of the World, but such is always the case with Empires.

As Marinda rose to face Caesar Bush VIII, she took note of the tight smile and forced wave. Things did not bode well for her. She was a first generation gladiator. To placate the masses, the gladiator games had returned. The spectacle of scantily clad women fighting to the death, and slaying men, women, and children who were criminals had overtaken the vid screens around the world only four years ago. She was at the pinnacle. She was at risk. Would the blade of a criminal be poisoned? Would a foe break the rules and use an energy weapon or an old gunpowder projectile weapon? Would it be this match or another years away? Marinda pondered all these thoughts as she turned to face her foe.


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