Olivia Charity Bowen
“Labor Omnia Improba Vincit” The words ran in her head.
“Labor Omnia Improba Vincit” in her 32 years Charity, or Olivia Charity Bowen as her mother would call her on those very infrequent she felt it necessary, heard those words so many times they now burned rather than inspired.
She held her position against the jagged rock of the wall. The rock was frozen. The cold bit. But the wall was at least protection from the wind. She had not moved in over 12 hours. She could not, movement would bring exposure, exposure death.
“Labor Omnia Improba Vincit” she could still here her father’s voice. Arruns Vitruvius Memor, was a proud man who never allowed his disability to define him. His military career may have ended in the battle of Arbeia but Arruns knew without question while he was only a Decurio, his sons would someday lead legions. Charity was the son her father never had. Arruns was a man of conviction; “Labor Omnia Improba Vincit”
From the time she was a toddler Charity was molded to become a warrior. Her life was planned and executed with military precision. While her classmates played, Charity drilled. When other girls started to date Charity studied. Arruns always at her side pushing her driving her to be the best. Failure was never an option. Options were not something Charity Bowen was allowed.
On her 13th birthday Charity was sent to the Glistening Military Academy for girls. After a life with Arruns Glistening was easy. Charity graduated top in her class. With her choice of assignments, she chose the Exploratores and rose quickly thought the ranks.
As an expert marksman with 4 assignments in regional conflicts and a qualified body count of over 45+ focus, training and dedication were the only focus in her life. That was until she met Lucas Rayden Pierce.
The cold snapped her back to her place in the rocks. She glanced back in the direction of the team. She could not see them, but they were there. There are few things in life you can truly count on. One of them is the team always has your back. Below she could hear the sounds of morning. Animals started to forage in their pens. The smell of burning wood. In the home breakfast was being cooked. Her stomach growled at the thought of a warm meal. She could not remember her last one.
Princeps Lucas Royden Pierce. Nothing in her previous life prepared her for Princeps Lucas Royden Pierce. Honor, compassion, dignity, and dedication. Never in her career had she encountered anyone who could fulfill the ideals of the Imperial Exploratores more completely than Princeps Lucas Royden Pierce. He was her commander and there was nothing she would not do or give if he asked. Her breath turned to white mist as she exhaled… He was the perfect commander, he never asked.
Charity, now his secundo (second) for almost 4 years, was his right hand, his voice when he was not present, his eyes when we needed, his protector when the situation warranted. They were tasks she was born for.
While those under her may call her cold or uncaring. Charity knew differently, if she had her choice… Choice was not a word that fit in her world. Life was simple “Labor Omnia Improba Vincit”
She rolled to her right feeling the ache in tired near frozen muscles. This was not a time for pain. Freeing her bow from its holster her fingers cracked as she notched the arrow. 200 yards out the Sclara Premis was sitting by a warm fire as his attendance delivered the days reports. There were less than 3 archers in centrum who could make this shot. A calm came over her and she looked to the heavens. I know father… “Labor Omnia Improba Vincit”, Hard work conquers everything.
The arrow hit its mark. 46.