The back-story … “Clash of Wills” so far …….
The rebel prince Menander has come to rescue Maciste. But he too gets captured. Believing him some peasant caught thieving, the Parthians shackle him to Maciste’s cart. The pair are forced into beasts of burden and made to haul a heavy-laden cart back to the Parthian Empire.
Maciste persuades Menander to keep up the pretence. Menander should find a chance to escape and continue the fight. Maciste can take care of himself.
Ironically this means Menander .. as a nothing .. gets daily abused by the Parthian troops. By contrast, Maciste is not molested .. too precious in the Parthian general’s scheme. But Menander IS free to roam. He stands a chance of escape.
At the border the emperor’s messenger has instructions for Maciste. He is to be taken to Hellgate. Where the emperor’s greatest enemies are banished, sentenced to heavy penal slavery. Where traitors are brutally taught the error of their ways Where a rebel prince will have his will broken. The emperor will summon the rebel when he is ready.
The story “Clash of Wills” continues to Hellgate.