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Maciste may have been out-manoeuvred. Fallen foul of a plot to overthrow him. Putting his younger stepbrother on the throne. But Maciste understood the setup better than Kheir.
“If Kheir had taken easily to cruelty once he had power .. truth was, he was a mere novice. He was being used. There was a bitch behind the throne. And Kheir was fooling himself if he thought he’d ever have any say …..”
Kheir planned for Maciste the traitor’s execution. A tortured death.
His mother, “the bitch who had Kheir by the gonads and was leading him by the balls” – she had other ideas. She wanted Maciste alive. She had plans on him. She had sentenced Maciste to back-breaking punishment in the mines. Kept out of harm’s way for now. A tortured life.
Maciste knew who had Kheir by the “short-and-curlies” and was pulling his strings.
Maciste is not destined for a slow lingering death on the cross. Kheir’s mother has her mind set on a slow lingering life. Life-long suffering. Punishing hard work. Filth. Degradation. A back-breaking future. A will-crushing destiny.
But THAT is the matter for another tale …….