NEW YORK—Standing mystified in a crowded intersection, Verus Attius Glabrio, a Roman centurion who emerged from a manhole in the middle of New York’s Time Square, is in for a wacky adventure, sources confirmed Wednesday.
Reports stated that Glabrio, a highly decorated military officer from 55 A.D., crawled out of the sewer opening at approximately 8:35 p.m. clad in full Roman Imperial battle armor, immediately causing motorists to swerve, slam on their brakes, scream vulgar remarks, and make obscene hand gestures in his direction.
“Halt, yellow beast!” said Glabrio, drawing his sword and advancing toward a honking taxi cab that skidded to a stop as angry drivers and stunned passersby urged the Roman centurion to “Get the hell outta the road” and “Go back to Little Italy, Julius!” “You shan’t pass this way, lest you decide to face me. And let me warn you, you great golden demon, I’m certainly not a foe you want to face today!”
“But lo, what is this behemoth?” added Glabrio, appearing visibly panicked upon sighting an approaching tractor trailer. “It is the son of Jupiter himself!”
After finding his way to the busy sidewalk, the centurion, who mere moments earlier hit his head against a rock during intense hand-to-hand combat against a rival Corsican general, reportedly stared up dumbfounded at the flashing neon lights and video billboards. Sources stated that the Roman soldier then recoiled in fear as stock numbers scrolled across the lighted NASDAQ ticker, causing him to raise his shield and cry out, “Beware, some manner of numeral serpent comes this way!”
According to eyewitness accounts, the Roman soldier spent the next several minutes asking uncooperative passersby for directions to Corsica, stressing that he needed to return to finish the great war and secure victory for the Empire. Despite his best efforts, however, Glabrio reportedly garnered little attention from anyone aside from a family of tourists who posed for a photo with the baffled Roman infantry commander in front of M&M’s World, and an 8-year-old boy who looked up, mouth agape, from the Spartan-themed comic book he was reading.
Several reports indicated that pedestrians gave a wide berth to the sword-wielding Roman centurion and made exasperated remarks such as “Oh great, another weirdo” and “Only in New York.”
“Will someone—anyone—assist me in my journey?” said Glabrio, grabbing at various pedestrians wearing headphones and pushing baby strollers, every one of whom shrunk away from him or told him to “buzz off” as they played their brief roles in the soldier’s unpredictable and zany narrative. “Come now, citizens of this strange land! I have two denarii for anyone willing to assist me!”
“If you cannot accompany me, won’t someone at least tell me where I may find this man—surely he must be your leader,” Glabrio then added, gesturing to a giant billboard ad featuring an image of Puff Daddy.
After he was seen very tentatively stepping into a subway train, the centurion was reportedly later spotted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, growing wide-eyed upon glimpsing the marble busts of political figures he claimed to know personally while passing through the museum’s Greek and Roman Art exhibit. According to sources, Glabrio became involved in a heated altercation with two security guards after he attempted to pick up several of the “clearly looted imperial riches” and vowed to return them to Rome.
The situation, onlookers told reporters, was defused when Rebecca Huntley, a meek doctoral student of European history who would unwittingly find her own life turned upside down by this unusual yet strangely attractive man, intervened on the Roman centurion’s behalf, explaining that he was not from around here and discouraging museum workers from calling the police.
“Please, my lady, surely you can be of service—my men need my aid,” said Glabrio, talking to the taken-aback but also captivated young woman, who according to reports will attempt to help the centurion fit into his new surroundings by dressing him in her ex-fiancé’s undersized tuxedo for an upcoming cocktail party. “If you don’t know the way to Corsica then just usher me to the Imperial Stables where I may find a steed and you can be on your way.”
“Wait, step back, my lady, I will protect you!” Glabrio then shouted before leaping and tackling a life-size statue of a lion.
The Roman centurion and Huntley reportedly spent the rest of the evening bonding over several slices of pizza, a glass of wine Glabrio tossed back in one deep gulp, and an awkward but endearing hour of recreational ice skating. Sources confirmed that the night concluded with the pair discussing the breathtaking views of the Adriatic Ocean from the cliffs of Polignano a Mare in Italy, where, in a coincidental twist of fate, the young woman spent time studying abroad and Glabrio was born and raised.
At press time, sources confirmed that Glabrio was completely clueless to the fact that his rival general from Corsica as well as several of his foe’s underlings were at that very moment beginning to awaken in the middle of Central Park.