By the early hours of 25th August AD 79 the ash and pumice that had been falling steadily on Pompeii was several metres deep. The town lay in ruins. Most of the people had fled, but some remained, taking shelter wherever they could.
Shelter would not save them however, as the worst was yet to come. As the Volcano lost its force, the dense cloud collapsed, then surged down the mountainside. This was called a pyroclastic flow, a tidal wave of super-hot ash. It swept over Pompeii. All the people who were still there died instantly.
If you are lucky enough to be able to visit Pompeii you can still see some of these unfortunate people. They were frozen in time when they died. Many of them are lying as if fast asleep, curled up with their hands over their faces. The most tragic of all is the sight of whole families huddled together.
They look like they were turned to stone, but that’s not exactly true. When archaeologists first excavated the site in the 1800s, they found spaces inside the hardened ash. They soon realised that these spaces were left by human bodies, bodies which had long since decomposed. They poured plaster into the holes and made casts, so what you see today are actually mirror images of people frozen at the point of death.
What about Marcus, his father and Poppeia? Are they going to end up like this? How are they going to escape? Everything will depend on the choices he makes – or, that is, YOU make… Choose wisely, and remember – one good turn deserves another.