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We surround Brutus's body, mourning the passing of one of Roma's greatest defenders, his life taken by his own hand. Marcus Antonius has sent us his finest mantle to wrap the body. A feeble gesture, after all, it was his refusal to stand against Octavian that caused our defeat.
We will pretend to accept Antonius's gesture for now, but we have brought a shroud of our own. We wrap it around the body and step back. We have never used it before and we are frightened.
Movement! We raise an edge of the shroud and Brutus's eyes open! His arms lift and bend with restored life! His fingers grip the air as if he pulls himself back into his body!
He does not breathe or speak. He simply lies there, unmoving... unblinking. He is not warm. He does not react to touch.
Whatever power lies within this artifact, it has not returned our Brother to us. We close his eyes again. There is no sign that he had ever moved. Some of us weep. It is a second death.
We remove the shroud and return it to its plan wooden box, then we wrap Brutus in Antonius's gift. Forgive us, Brother.
They have taken from us, from Roma, but now is not the time to respond. We must regroup. Plan. Prepare for what is sure to come.