And came the hour for panem et circenses, for the promised bread and circuses, and the people’s demands grew louder until they were given, not as much as they wanted or expected, but it was what they were given, and they ate the bread while laughing in the circus at the fear and pleading on the faces below, faces which had once been above. They laughed and chewed as pale flesh was ripped and bones broken, as the dark blood pooled across the circus floor, and when the cries below had gone silent, the people drifted home, sated and mollified for that day and the next, praising their new emperor and forgiving him much, until they began to grow hungry again, and the emperor was slow in providing, and another rose up among them, promising to provide panem et circenses, and faces below which had once been above.

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