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Scipio
Fictional Character
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): American Front
through
The Grapple
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: Negro resident of the Confederate States; briefly a resident of the self-proclaimed Congaree Socialist Republic;
Religion: Protestant
Date of Birth: 1873
Date of Death: 1943
Cause of Death: Gassed in Camp Determination
Occupation: Butler, Waiter, Revolutionary
Spouse: Bathsheba
Children: Antoinette, Cassius Madison
Professional Affiliations: Huntsman's Lodge

Scipio, (alias Xerxes, 1873-1943), was a black man who served as Anne Colleton's servant and butler before and during the Great War. He served as a high official in the Congaree Socialist Republic, as a manual laborer, as a fry cook, and as a waiter prior to his untimely death in 1943.

Born as a slave a few years before manumission, Scipio had been property of the Colleton family. Even after manumission, Scipio remained employed by the Colletons, like many other former slaves throughout the Confederate States. As a young man, he taught himself to read and write, a relative rarity in his generation. Becoming a house servant, Scipio was responsible for caring for the young Anne Colleton, along with her brothers Tom and Jacob. From being a house servant, Scipio worked his way up in positions, becoming the chief cook of the Marshlands plantation. From that position, he was promoted to be the butler of Marshlands.

In order to make him a better butler, Scipio was sent off to be educated.[1] He acquired a fondness for William Shakespeare and other literature, along with the methods of speaking as an educated white man and an inscrutability in the face of any situation.

However, he only received an education in order for the benefit of Marshlands, in order make the estate more prestigious. Due to Scipio's education and native gifts, Marshlands soon gained a reputation for being the plantation with the best butler in the state of South Carolina. Any praise for Scipio was delivered to Anne Colleton in a matter like that regarding a talented pet. Behind his impassive mask, Scipio was bitter. His education made the inherent injustices of Confederate society more evident.

When the Great War broke out, Scipio's role at Marshlands did not change. Things remained as they always had been, except for some farm hands leaving the plantation to seek jobs in war production. This idyllic situation was soon to change, however. One evening in the cabin of Cassius, Scipio browsed a book that sat on the mantel. It proved to be communist literature, and in order to save his life, Scipio had to join Cassius, Cherry, Island, and the other Reds on the Marshlands plantation. At the same time, he had to maintain his role as a subservient house servant, loyal to the Colletons. This caused Scipio great additional stress to add to what his job provided. The return of an invalid Jacob Colleton, injured by poison gas, added to the tensions on Marshlands plantation. It was only a matter of time before something happened, and it did.

Scipio was an eyewitness to the birth of the Congaree Socialist Republic, when radicalized blacks rose up in 1915. With arms transported by Cassius from the United States, Cassius's men seized the plantation, killing Jacob Colleton and burning down the main house of Marshlands, symbol of their "oppressors." Scipio felt some regret for the destruction of the main house, as he appreciated its architectural beauty, but he also felt some vindication as well. Along with Marshlands, Red Negroes seized several other plantations, towns, and farms. Thus was born the Congaree Socialist Republic.

With his education and ability to speak like an educated white man, Scipio became a high official in the Congaree Socialist Republic. In addition to being on its ruling council and the revolutionary tribunal, Scipio served as the Republic's spokesman when they parleyed with the Confederate States where he adopted the identity of "Spartacus". Both of his roles for the Republic made him a wanted man in South Carolina (though not so much in neighboring Georgia).

As the Republic was brutally crushed by Confederate militia, Scipio informed Cassius that he couldn't join him in the swamps and decided to leave his past behind to seek work in Charleston and Columbia under the name Nero. Following his emergence from the swamp, he found a chicken which he killed and gutted on the side of the road, planning to eat it later. Unfortunately for him, Major Jerome Hotchkiss, someone he'd previously parleyed with, was also walking along the road and demanded that he turn over the chicken to him. As Scipio obeyed, Hotchkiss recognized Scipio as Spartacus and attempted to draw his firearm. Scipio, who had never directly hurt anyone before, brained the Major with a rock and repeatedly hit the soldier until he was dead.

Following this incident, Scipio joined a shell factory where he requested extra manual work to help strengthen his muscles. Whilst shifting munitions cases, he saw to his horror that his former boss Anne Colleton was touring the plant and she greeted him calmly. She sent him a letter ordering him to return to Marshlands and demanded information of him. She agreed that if he helped her, she would leave him alone unless she needed more information. Eventually she succeeded in killing the leadership of the Republic, so Scipio decided to cut his losses and flee to the Terry of Augusta, Georgia. He was anonymous enough in Georgia, and when the war ended, the pressure to hunt for Reds diminished.

Scipio adopted the name Xerxes and married Bathsheba, settling down in Augusta. They had two children, Cassius and Antoinette. He worked for Jerry Dover at the Huntsman's Lodge for a very long period of time.[2] Dover protected his employees from Freedom Party cleanouts and the Population Reduction while he could, but as the Second Great War progressed, Dover was drafted into the Army, and Scipio's protection disappeared. The family (save Cassius) was surprised at church one Sunday in 1943, then taken into custody and sent to Camp Determination. Scipio/Xerxes died in Determination's gas chambers that same year.

ReferencesEdit

  1. This apparently happened at a college of some sort. It is mentioned that he received "an education as fine as any white man's", implying an institution of higher learning.
  2. See Inconsistencies in Turtledove's Work#Inconsistencies in Southern Victory.

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