What would be the situation that caused this? Ostensibly Carthage never invaded, or the invasion of the elephants acorss the alps was unsuccessful. Rome survived to become not only the dominant force in Europe, from the mediterranian up through northern england (uk?) and northern africa. They discovered the new world. Their ethos perhaps wouldn’t have ended up landing in the “manifest destiny” sort of camp, but given the way they handled the “barbarians” in europe, ostensibly, they would have taken a similar approach with the natives in north america.
Since we’re pretty far out the hypothetical chain here, it might be useful to consnider parallelisms to help keep he bounds up. We’ll use a term like latin for “rockies” to match the rockey mountains, we’ll place this in perhaps Colorado or Wyoming. Maybe we’ll use RFL as a baseline, though its not exaclty as rough and tumble as I;m picturing for htis. not certain I’ve ever been in a bar liek I’ll be attempting to describe.
SO: things taht might b ehappening:
- Watching gladiatorial style combat or similar style of “Sports” on the TV. Also Circus racing, and potentially wild or exotic animals on display.
- Emperor – I think we’d stil have a central emperor in Rome, and “governors” who ran each of hte local areas. Perhaps the iron-fisted-ness of it puts people off, but perhaps they’re resigned to it? They mostly get left alone to the local governor, but peopel dont’ always trust htem because those are handed out as favors.
- The senate is huge, since they would have provinces in NA, central america? eastern europe, further south into africa? Scandinavia? Asia?
- Maybe our protagonist is actualy a praetor, on his way from one place to another, but he has to hide his purple stripe from the people there.
- The “motorcycles” would still have a two wheels in-line configuration, but would involve standing on a platform in back – maybe this has some shit physics implications,but perhaps that’s part of the prestige of being a badass and riding them.
- Cars might sit significantly higher, if they were an evolution over whatsitcalled the carried… litters. Motorlitters, or some other more similarly latin term for them.
- Flags, probably no, but standards. There’d be a big eagle on them. The extent of the empire might be on a map
- Maybe north america is called “transpacific rome” like transalpine/cisalpine Gaul.
- Bathroom. Single bench. -
Okay, so our central character will be perhaps on official busess from rome, and he’s got a scroll or some shit. maybe there’s like a cell phone or a tablet or somehing but it opens like a scroll. Or perhas that’s too on-the-nose, and theyd have done some thing more logical.
- Would they have moved from aquaducts to underground piping? The mountains (rockies) would be a good place for aquaducts, perhaps they tap off of those. MIght be interesting if some things were in some sense ‘more advanced’ than we are, while these others are less. How would authoritarianism influence technology and the adoption of it? Probably slower invention, but faster adoption.
This guy is potentially under cover, maybe he’s trying to root out a rebellion or some shit. Maybe there’s information he wants to get from the guys here, or maybe he just needs to take a break from riding his chariot motorcycle thing. Maybe he’s undercover, but actually is thinkig about defecting.
The discovery of Indigo in the new world would make for an interesting dichotomy between common blue things, and imperial purple things. Maybe someone will catch a glimpse of his purple…something, either his tablet, or a piece of clothing, or emblem or whatever, and he’ll almost be made. he’ll claim it’s blue, not purple. they’ll demand to see it.
Should the dialog be sort of… stilted order, to imply that they’re talking in Latin? Not yoda-like, but at least in a less english-sounding word order. That might make this one extra challenging, but kinda fun.
So the plot arc of this. He arrives. Pulls up. We get a chance to describe the bikes a little. The satndard out front the bar. Enters, maybe he’s not quite dirty enough to fit in, so some people give him the eye. Sits at the bar, converses with the (likely a servant) barkeep. The guy next to him starts talking to him about whatever they’re convo is. His outfit… maybe leather? But sash-y instead of jacket-y. not a toga, but a thousand years of style descendant of the idea, instead of a two-sleeved thing. Guy sees purple. Mentions it. Draws some other attention. How woudl these biker guys feel about the imperial gov? Are they hyper patriotic, or a little ‘fuck off’? Maybe a little bit of both like you might see today.
Do they have bar games? a pool talbe? something else? A game of bones?
Main character narrowly avoids a fight. Maybe leaves. Maybe he comes to some sor tof interesting conclusion about the adhesion of the empire this far from rome.