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Marcus, son of Senator Decimus Varitor, is a decanus in the Roman cohort in Jerusalem. His tribune hints at a promotion to centurion if Marcus can bring in Barabbas. There are really only two things Marcus really wants�to be a centurion and to win the love of an Egyptian girl. When Meskhanet is sent to Rome on a slave ship and Marcus is captured by the very brigand he�s supposed to apprehend, those hopes may both evaporate faster than a small puddle under the hot desert sun.