The Man Manned by Many Men
Cornelius goes about another monotonous day working his low-paying animal control job. As he moves from job to job ridding Rome of its invasive vermin, he meets Mira, a local theater girl who instantly steals his heart. Cornelius’s excitement is quickly dashed when Mira’s parents announce that they expect her to marry a rich boy, eliminating Cornelius from contention.
Meanwhile at the Emperor’s palace, Helena and Professor Centaur discuss which mythical beast the Professor will trap to fight in the upcoming Apollo Gladiator Games, the most important games of the year. Professor Centaur announces that he intends to capture Hecatonchereies, a bloodthirsty beast made up of multiple heads and limbs. There’s one slight issue, however—his most recent trapping partner is dead and he’ll need to find a new mate to help him nab the monster.
Cornelius’s final job of the day is removing a serpent stuck in the plumbing at the Emperor’s palace. When the serpent attacks, Cornelius overpowers the snake and impresses Professor Centaur, who offers Cornelius a well-paying but dangerous monster-trapping apprenticeship. Cornelius blindly accepts, too consumed with the idea of making money and impressing Mira and her parents, to weigh the serious consequences of the offer.
As Cornelius and Professor Centaur embark on their adventure to capture Hecatonchereies, Helena is tipped off that a shady ticket scalper has bought all of the tickets to the Apollo Games and is reselling them at such high prices that the commoners can’t afford to go, hurting Helena’s approval rating and jeopardizing attendance. Helena demands that Flavius investigate and bring the scalper to justice before the games begin.
If Cornelius and Professor Centaur can survive their unpredictable journey and capture the deadly Hecatonchereies, and if Flavius can catch the black-market scalper in time, the Apollo Games may just go as planned. Maybe.