UFO 4D CHESS
THE JOURNEY ACROSS THE MAP
The morning lights filter through the Koa forest on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Where Kai'ike the Kahuna Pa'pa he'e nalu (Priest of Surfboards) and ten of his villagers are at the base of a Koa Tree. Kai'ike is making a ceremonial offering of a few red fishes, some coconuts, and kava roots. Before cutting the tree down, Kai'ike starts his chant to Kane and the other gods. "We humbly remove this Koa tree so it can ride the waves. To nourish the souls of those who stand upon it and to be free of those things on land while traveling across time and space. To return once again to shore, fulfilling the enchantment of being in balance with nature" Kai'ike said.
After the ritual, the men began cutting down the tree systematically with their Ko'i 'awilli adze. The sun was overhead and the sweat started to develop on the men's foreheads and arms. It would take a few hours before the loud cracking sound of the tree breaking from the base could be heard. The men hurried away in the opposite direction of the falling tree. With the tree on the ground, Kepoa who was overseeing the crew walked with Kai'ike as they discussed where the wedges would be placed to split the tree into pieces. "I think we can get four planks from this one," said Kai'ike. "Yes, where should we place the wedges at" asked Kepoa. "Start here," said Kai'ike pointing at the outer edge of the trunk. "Then here, then here and here," said Kai'ike chipping a line on the trunk with his adze.
Everyone would start cutting off the branches and placing them into a pile. Kepoa would use strings of twine as a guide to where the wedges would be aligned. Two men would hold each end of the twine and would eye the line with the scratches on the trunk. The others would place and pound the wedges into the wood along the line at an interval of a few feet, the entire length of the trunk. All would begin pounding until the piece split from the main truck. Kai'ike walked around the tree trunk to see if the split was going according to plan.
After the planks have been split from the tree. He would have one of his men drill a hole at each end of the piece using the Nao wili. Then place the twine rope through the holes and use it to pull the planks down the hill. It was mid-afternoon when they began taking the planks down the hill to a certain location. Then go back to do the same for the other pieces. Kai'ike steps away to finds a stump to sit on. He is visualizing an event that is happening in real-time of someone he knows. After sitting there for a while he returns and gives instructions of what he wants to be done "Tomorrow we will return and take the pieces to my surfboard hut near the beach. Place one of them on the stone stands in the middle of the hut and the other to the side."
Something was troubling Kai'ike and he tells his crew that he is going to the lookout point at Ho'ukahi (solitude) cliff. The location oversees the ocean and the village of Malu which is a mile away. After walking to the lookout point Kai'ike is gazing towards the east out onto the ocean as a White Tern flies by. Kai'ike closes his eyes and with his special gift of visualizing other places and people in the past, present, and future. His father had this special gift also and was able to pass it on to his son. Whenever Kai'ike was disturbed about something and need guidance a transparent vision of his father would appear. His presents would calm his thoughts of whatever was bothering him at the time. Pointing to the twin waterfalls nearby that flowed into the sea, his father says "I sense an event has made you sad."
Kai'ike takes a breath and exhale and says "I understand that the river of life returns to the sea" as he spoke to release the sorrow within him as he continued "Oh father, two people I know have left us and are coming to be with those who went before them. Even though they were here for a short while, they shared their moments with us and their memories will last a lifetime in the minds and heart of those who knew them" as his words became silent. "You will get over it and carry on," his father said as he disappeared. Kai'ike thought to himself of how it was when they met. It was 9 months ago when Kai'ike had met the haole on a visit to see the Ali'i of the village of Lokahi. The Ali'i was interested in Kai'ike surfboards and after bartering an outrigger canoe for four of his surfboards Kai'ike and the Ali'I touched their foreheads and sealed the deal. After the ceremony, Kai'ike left the Ali'I hale (house) and came across the haole who was writing something down in his diary book under a coconut palm tree.
Kai'ike was curious and looked at his writing. The haole sensed that Kai'ike had special powers and felt the aura of mental telepathy. The same mental telepathy that Alohi Hoku used when he and his crew had rescued him from the ocean. The haole looked at Kai'ike and spoke through the language of mental telepathy. He introduces himself by thinking Vincenzo and placed his hand on his chest then with the same hand pointed at Kai'ike who spoke without saying a word and replied Kai'ike. Vincenzo at this point was sharing his thoughts when he first boarded the ship that would have a date with a hurricane on his voyage from Manila to Acapulco.
Vincenzo was a busy man with many connections in Asia and Southeast Asia. But all that would come to an abrupt halt as a hurricane developed off the waters of Central Americas and was heading westward towards them. The storm hit at night and began the nightmarish chaos on the Spanish ship. With her masts broken and her sails torn and tattered the Captain was giving orders that were had to hear. The ship was taking on water and the crew was scrambling around. Vincenzo decided to have his luggage trunk near him if the ship should sink. Those trunks were specially made for him by a craftsman who made them air tight for all of his writing instruments, his contracts, his diaries, maps, and sheets to write with and to make maps. The luggage trunk was well thought out.
The other trunk was of the same construction and had clothing and a few other items including gold and silver coins. He went into his stateroom and dragged them to the main deck. A sailor with a knife was cutting a piece of rope to lash the helm when Vincenzo asked for a piece of rope to tie his luggage trunks together with. The sailor was in a hurry but knew Vincenzo who had done him a favor on this voyage so he obliged. The sailor cut a piece for Vincenzo and then cut a piece for himself and hurried back up to the helm to lash down the steering wheel.
Still, on the same wavelength Kai'ike nods his head up and down indicating that he understood what Vincenzo was conveying. Vincenzo continued, after tying the two chests together a big wave came crashing onto the deck, and Vincenzo and his luggage containers were swept overboard. Coming back up for air Vincenzo spotted his luggage trunks and swam toward them. After getting ahold of the rope that held the two luggage containers together Vincenzo started to drift away. Bobbing up and down in the stormy seas some distance from the ship, he notices that the ship was sinking and before long it had disappeared. By morning the storm had passed and the seas were returning to normal.
Being the only survivor he wondered of his fate as he drifted in the waters of the tropical latitudes clinging onto his luggage and drinking rainwater from a few squalls that would appear after the storm. A week would pass and his mental state of mind was weary and entering a sense of lost hope. His sunburned hands and face were starting to peel, his lower body felt shriveled for being in the water so long. He thinks that his vision is playing a trick on him when he sees a sail on the horizon. As it got closer the sail was part of a large double-hull canoe that is coming towards him. As it got closer he noticed they were dark-skinned men who spoke in a language that he did not understand. A line is tossed and Vincenzo grabs it. After being rescued and sitting on the deck, a man came up to him and through mental telepathy says he is Alohi Hoku the Navigator of Eheu O Apopo (Wings of Tomorrow) the boat that they are on. He would describe his dream from the night before of rescuing a man from the sea.
After floating around for a week in the ocean Vincenzo wasn't sure what was happening to him as Alohi Hoku said it was an omen, as Vincenzo listened in silence as the Navigator went on about how he would meet someone and that they would be together for the rest of their lives. And his thoughts would be given to a stranger many years from the time he and his loved one would leave the island. They sailed for three days and two nights and Alohi Hoku would look at the stars at night and tells the helmsman where to steer. They would reach landfall at the break of dawn and go to the beach near the village of Lokahi . The double hull canoe's bows settled on the beach and Vincenzo and his luggage was drop off onto the sand when the Navigator looking down on him from the deck of the boat said "I am going to another island over the horizon" with that being his final words he waved and said "Aloha". His crew pushed off from the beach and they sailed off towards the horizon.
Vincenzo was checking his trunk and it wasn't more than a few minutes before he turned to see where Eheu O Apopo was, but only to see that they had vanished. A woman who had been walking along the beach came towards him and greeted the stranger by placing her hand on her chest and said "Nani Pua". He stood there for a moment before returning the gesture by saying "Vincenzo" and looked into her eyes and felt as if time stood still and that this was the person Alohi Hoku had mentioned. Nani Pua smiled and pointed toward the village and gestured she would help him with his trunks by pointing to herself than to one end trunk and pointing to Vincenzo to go to the other end. He got the hint and followed her instructions and did what she wanted. She would take him to her hale that was on the outskirt of the village and made him feel at home.
That is how he arrived here and who he is with, Vincenzo indicated to Kai'ike. Kai'ike tells Vincenzo "Alohi Hoku the Navigator is a legendary figure who discovered these islands a long, long, long time ago and appears when the destiny calls." Vincenzo by this time knew that something mystical was happening to him and had accepted it, though he still wasn't quite sure why. But all the hustling around in his previous life didn't matter that much now in his new surroundings where the temperature wasn't really hot or cold. Doing things in leisure with someone special and who is confident and passionate in what she does, understanding who she is and has the grace and elegance in her own special way in which she conveyed it he explained to Kai'ike.
After listening to Vincenzo's description of his woman, Kai'ike is thinking welcome to the ahahui (club) and thought of his wife. Then explained to him that he made surfboards and went surfing whenever he could, stopping the conversation there for needing to be on his way. Kai'ike indicated that he was going home and pointed east to his village on the other side of the island. Describing that it was greener on that side because the two large mountains would capture the clouds and it rained there more. Down by the beach, his crew is watching him talking to the haole. They are patiently waiting for him to return and have his double-hull canoe ready to go. Kai'ike had brought a few extra men to bring back the outrigger canoe and they would follow him back to the village in it. Kai'ike raised his hand and said "Aloha" and started walking back to his boat. Vincenzo sensing he had just met a powerful person got up in a respectful posture and said "Aloha Kai ike, till we meet again."
Kai'ike would visualize Vincenzo stay since that time and see him and Nani Pua doing things a couple would do. Since he met Nani Pua, Vincenzo was a different person than before. They would learn from each other and she would become his translator and he the teacher. They would take daily excursions up to the mountainside and view the coastline. Vincenzo made her laugh with his expressions and joking around. During the late afternoon, they would take long walks along the beach to crystal clear lagoons for a swim and dive below the coral reefs. She would teach him surfing and he would catch on fast. They would go surf when there were waves and lie on the beach and pass the time away when there were no waves. With each day Nani Pua had the look of a woman in love and she never wanted it to end.
By this time Vincenzo was well like by the villager, the elders, and the Ali'i. He was able to talk to them and become accustomed to their culture. Vincenzo and Nani Pua were married six months later. He wanted to go see Kai'ike and visit his village. So the following week Vincenzo had the use of a fishing boat and it was ready for the trip to the other side of the island. They had enough provisions and water to get there plus they would be fishing and stopping in bays along the way. With a steady breeze, Vincenzo and Nani Pua left the village and headed south to Ka Lae (the Point).
It was near noon and they were rounding Ka Lae and heading east. Nani Pua mentioned there were a few bays that they could stop at later that day. She suggested throwing a line out with bait to catch a fish for dinner. So he placed the bait on a hook that was connected to a line coiled in a circle near the front of the canoe. He tossed the bait overboard and watched it float and start to drift away. It wasn't long before a 10 lbs. Aku took the bait and the line was uncoiling fast.
Rushing over to the line Vincenzo grab the line and began feeling a burning sensation on his hands. He let go and looked at his hands and they were bleeding. Thinking fast he grabs two pieces of Kapa cloth from a palm frond basket nearby and placed them on his hands. He then squeezes the line until the line stops going out, then began hauling in the fish. Nani Pua calls out to him and says "be careful around the line". Still excited and hauling in the fish he turns to Nani Pua and says "Yes I will my love".
All of a sudden a huge 2000 lbs. Black Marlin's head appeared out of the water. The line with the Aku goes limp. Then Vincenzo's eyes widen and his mouth opened in disbelief at the size of the fish as it came out of the water. It had the Aku in its mouth and was looking at the canoe when the huge fish rolled over onto its side. A big splash occurred as it reentered the water and sent a shock wave that would rock the canoe. Stunned and off-balance Vincenzo lets go of the line and looked down at his feet. The line was uncoiling fast and was wrapping around his leg and ankle. He grabs his knife, but it was too late. His foot was jerked up from under him and he was dragged overboard.
He took a big gasp of air as he entered the water, while Nani Pua seeing what had just happened grabs a knife and dives in after him. The water is clear and she can see him going deeper as the marlin takes a turn. She continues to swim after him, her mind is filled with memories of Vincenzo as she continues to swim deeper. Her love for him is captured by the rapture of the deep. The line that holds him has tangled on the reef some 70 feet below the surface and the marlin is free of him and the Aku. Vincenzo is helplessly at the end of his line. Nani Pua has caught up to him and both look at each other as she embraces him, with the last breath they kiss and close their eyes.
The canoe with the diaries drifted away with the current into the afternoon glare of the vast open ocean. The image of Vincenzo and Nani Pua fades from Kai'ike thoughts. Looking down at waves in the bay from the cliff Kai'ike is thinking about the meaning of the diaries and how it might change the destiny of surfing on the islands. Then suddenly he sees a shinning object flying across the sky for a moment and then it disappears. Thinking it was some kind of sign from Vincenzo. The onshore breeze is swaying the coconut palm fronds as Hokuao his wife knew where to find Kai'ike, appears from the vegetation and says "You have found peace in what was disturbing you". He turns and smiles and without saying a word he put his arm on her shoulders and starts walking back down the path.
Breaking his silence Kai'ike says "I had this vision of Vincenzo the haole whom I met on the other side of the island a while back, today he and Nani Pua his love has left us and they are together forever. Also, I saw something I never saw before, a shinning object flying in front of me, perhaps it was my imagination" turning to the ocean and pausing for a moment. Continuing his train of thought "I also had a vision after that of a father and a son crossing a bridge just before you came" said Kai'ike. "Yes I remember you telling me about Vincenzo, but who are these people crossing the bridge," she asked "They are from a land far away and a few years from now" replied Kai'ike and he continued "It has something to do with the diaries that Vincenzo had written".
It was a clear spring afternoon in the city of Florence, Italy. The Renaissance had made its mark during the mid-16th century. The City reflected the mood of the times, touching all parts of daily life from religion, politics, and business. The old ways were being changed and with it an interest in the world beyond the current maps of the day. A rock that was once part of a stone bridge penetrated the water, causing an explosion that sent a ragged circular sheet of water upwards which generated a rippling effect of waves radiating from the epicenter. The current of the Flume Arno flowed westward and stretched the waves until they were erased.
The rock was thrown by a young nineteen-year-old cartographer, Leonardo Vi. The talented young man had once apprenticed as a stonemason for his uncle. As a stonemason apprentice, he had worked on walls and bridges such as the one he and his father crossed this day. So throwing the stone was something he had done many times before. That stone had been broken off previously and was lying on the ground from its placement. Picking it up and looking at the rock Leonardo made a wish before throwing the rock. That wish was to see other lands talked about by the customers who would come into their Map Shop and share their experiences.
Alongside of him was his mentor and father Guido, a stout gentleman weighing close to two hundred pounds, but well-groomed and fashionably clothed. They were returning to the shop after visiting a supplier when the stone was thrown. Guido had stopped as well and looked out onto the Arno. After seeing the rock land upon the water he looked down at his reflection from the bridge. Guido thought back to when Leonardo was a young boy and how they would cross this same bridge. Leonardo would ask questions of "What is this?" and "What is that?" How precious those moments were not knowing it back then he thought as he watched a piece of wood drift by as he thought back.
Leonardo had an inquiring mind at an early age and it would continue to serve his imagination as he grew older. His keen sense of observation and wanting to convey what he saw by drawing it came naturally to him. Besides drawing, Guido would watch Leonardo build things such as miniature castles out of sticks and walls made of small stones. As Leonardo grew older Mario, Guido's brother mentioned to him that there was an apprentice position in his business and thought Leonardo might like to learn to be a stonemason. Guido wasn't sure but thought it might make Leonardo more appreciative of map-making after lifting stones of various sizes so he agreed to let Leonardo work for him. Under the watchful supervision of Mario, Leonardo learned the principles of footings to weight ratios, angles and heights, and the construction procedures. Safety was on the minds of the older worker especially having a young boy of 11 around them.
After three years Leonardo had learned much, but his thoughts were of art and his desire to further his knowledge on the subject matter was evident. So Guido enrolled Leonardo then fourteen years of age at the prestigious Raphael Academy of Arts. There Leonardo learned the skills of painting and sculpture and became interested in speaking Spanish and learning to read and write Latin. After spending four years at the Academy he was an accomplished young artist, but to repay his father Leonardo started working for him and quickly learned the map trade. This made Guido happy and furthered Leonardo's insatiable appetite for knowledge.
Still looking down at his reflection in the water Guido sighed then telling his son "Life is like this bridge we cross. So many memories will flow past you as you make your way across to the other side. Before you know it, you will be old and have regrets for not doing the things that you wanted to have done". Leonardo looked at his father and inquired, "What do you mean father?" Guido began walking and replied, "You will learn my son, you will learn". Guido had once aspired to be an artist himself. His family was not prosperous enough to afford the cost of professional lessons and not having a sponsor to support his endeavors he went to work in the map-making business. Where his talents excelled and eventually led to his own successful shop. The naming of his son Leonardo was after the great artist Leonardo da Vinci for whom Guido had admired.
"The more I observe the properties of water, the more it fascinates me. Like the ring of waves radiating from the disturbance on time and then if it reaches the shoreline as a wave it will start breaking. If the shoreline is deep the wave does not break. If it is shallow it breaks along the contour of the land underneath" said Leonardo looking at his father and then at the clouds in the sky. "What are you looking at my son?" Guido asked. "Just the clouds," Leonardo said. "That reminds me of a painting I saw years back. It was titled "The Madonna with the Saint Giovannino" and it had a flying object in the sky. It has baffled me ever since” Guido said. “Flying object, one day men will fly like birds” Leonardo said. “Yes they will,” Guido added.
The pungent smell from the butcher stands at both entrances of the bridge lingered in the breeze. The noise from the passersby blended into a muffle as they made their way from one end of the bridge to the other. Oh, I just remembered Leonardo! I have an appointment this afternoon. I think we have just enough time to get back to the shop to meet them on time. After reaching the shop, they put away their coats. No sooner after they had done so there was a knock at the door. A stately gentleman and his companion, a young lady entered the shop. He introduced himself as Captain Miguel Montoya a tall and fit man in his early 40's. His companion was his daughter Maria who had just turned 17. Her height of 5' 8" and her full-figured appearance made her more of a woman than a teenager. Her chestnut color hairs framing her eyes, her nose, and her smile reflected the gift that her mother had given her.
The Captain was visiting Florence on official business for the Royal Court of Spain and was anticipating their return voyage within a few days. A letter of introduction was delivered from officials in Florence to expedite the procurement of maps at the request of Spain's King Charles I. Guido's abilities were well known in Europe so the appointment was arranged and it wasn't long before the two met face to face. "Good Afternoon, I am Captain Miguel Montoya an appointment was made for me through the office of the Casa de Contratación in Seville to visit you, Mr. Vi". "Yes, Yes, come in Captain Montoya I am Guido Vi at your service". "Thank you, may I introduce my daughter Maria," said Captain Montoya. "A pleasure," said Guido as he half bowed with a smile and continued "Allow me to introduce my son and partner Leonardo to you" as he proudly turned to face his son.
"Pleased to make your acquaintance," said Leonardo as he extended his hand to shake Captain Montoya's then reaching and holding Maria's outstretched hand with a slight lowering of his head "Please come in and let me show you our shop," said Guido. "May I take your cape?" asked Leonardo to Maria. "Yes, you may Leonardo" Maria replied as she unbuttoned the cape near the neck and allowed him to remove the cape from her shoulders.
"We have been thoroughly enjoying your beautiful city" she added in fluent Italian. After Leonardo heard her remarks his face lit up in agreement and added in Spanish "beautiful thoughts from a beautiful lady". Maria smiled and Captain Montoya looked at Leonardo with reservations. Guido continued the introduction "Captain Montoya I was informed that you were primarily looking for the latest maps of the New World as well as the Pacific coast" Guido remarked.
"That is correct Mr. Vi" said Captain Montoya as he moved to the center of the room where there was a large table elaborately painted like a map. "What a beautiful piece of art!" commented Captain Montoya as he admired the detailed drawing of Italy's coastline. "I must be boastful and tell you that Leonardo did that for me as a gift for sending him through the art academy here in Florence. He is very skilled and I hope you find that evident in the maps he produces for your review and please call me Guido only the butcher calls me Mr. Vi, Guido added with a smile.
"If this table is any indication of your maps then I am sure I will be well pleased with your cartography". Left to themselves Maria and Leonardo were in a conversation, at first Leonardo chose his words to be polite. Maria on the other hand was charming and carried herself well for a young woman. She made Leonardo at ease with her humor and grace even though her beauty captivated him. Her father hearing the laughter looked over to where they were. With a casual glance, he produced a warm smile and redirected his attention back to the business at hand.
Maria looking over to her father and sensing not to get carried away with socializing rejoined him at the table as Leonardo followed. Captain Montoya and Guido began talking about the new and unexplored lands of the Americas. "I have copies of maps that Juan de la Cosa who was the navigator on the Columbus voyages and by the Florentine navigator Amerigo Vespucci. Their works along the coast of Terra do Brasil is quite good. Leonardo and I are in the process of utilizing details from both into a newer version" said Guido pausing for a moment and continued with his dialogue "Captain Montoya I have something very interesting to show you" said Guido as he excused himself and walked over to a shelf and brought back a protective leather carrying case filled with five books.
After placing it on the table Guido explained what was in the case "The case contains diaries of a person who was a shipwreck on an island in the Pacific Ocean. To my surprise, it was someone I knew who had bought a few maps from me years ago. His name is Vincenzo Genoa a brilliant man and a wonderful person to be around. I recently bought these books from a Portuguese sailor at a coastal tavern near Livorno" remarked Guido. "I was told about how and where the diaries were obtained by a sailor whose name is Chui. He could not read or write but knew the books may be of importance. I asked to look at it and he handed it to me to look at. As I looked through the pages it described who the author was and where he was from and why he had made the trip. Then it would describe his experience before, during, and after the storm in a general context and his stay on an island. It was cleverly done and an ordinary person would have read part of it and not understand the overall system of his writing.
There was way more information regarding the subject matter on the page that met the eye. He used Latin as his code to cross-reference information on another book to be more secretive. I too didn't know that until my son Leonardo solved the code" said Guido as he looked at Leonardo. Looking back at the books Guido continued "Chui was in a tavern in Macau when he met the sailor who had the books and wanted to sell them, the sailor's name was Jorge" said Guido pausing for a moment to gather his thoughts. "So Chui goes on to say that Jorge met an officer whose ship found the canoe drifting in the doldrums of the equator with the diaries in it. They then ship the officer was on were sailing from Acapulco to Manila Harbor.
The officer was in charge of the ship's stores and had the diaries. The other officers and captain read the books on their trip to Manila and thought nothing of it because none of them knew Latin. It was locked away in the ship's store and would be sent back to Spain on the next ship to Acapulco.
The officer in question needed money and thought he could sell it to someone in town. Stopping at one of the bar/brothel establishment by the docks he sat at a table with the 5 diaries in a bag. Jorge sitting nearby came over and bought the officer a drink. They got to talking and Jorge bought another round. After telling Jorge the story of the books found on a canoe the officer went upstairs to his room.
The next morning the officer was found dead and his clothes and possessions were missing. One month later in a tavern in Macau, Jorge is having a drink and trying to sell the books. Chui being curious came over and started a conversation with Jorge. They got to talking and they both had stories to tell and found out that each was sailors and were on liberties from their ships. Jorge invited Chui to take a seat and Chui obliged.
Before Chui had joined him, Jorge had made fun of a barmaid in the tavern an hour earlier. The barmaid told her boyfriend who had just got off work about how that sailor Jorge made fun of her in front of others in the tavern. The crusty bearded six-foot tall longshoreman walked over to Jorge and asked "did you make fun of my girlfriend". Jorge being half drunk and acting arrogant said "What if I did" as he went to grab his knife from his waist belt.
Before pulling his knife out the other man had already pulled out his knife and seeing Jorge grabbing for his knife the boyfriend stabbed Jorge in the heart as he sat in his chair. A silence followed and Jorge was leaning back with his head tilted to one side and his arms lay limp to his sides. Chui lifted both hands in the air and said "I had nothing to do with this man insulating your girlfriend". The boyfriend of the barmaid realizing the consequences of his deed ran out the door with a bloodstain knife in hand. Everyone in the tavern began to talk and move around. The bartender came overreached into Jorge's pocket and took out 50 ducas for the previous drink and instructed another person to help him drag the dead body out of the tavern and into the alley. Where a person came out of the shadows and searched the dead man for whatever he could find. Another patron in the tavern went to get the authorities.
With the chaos around him, Chui calmly grab the bag of books and walked out the door. His ship was sailing out that afternoon and returning to Portugal. The ship would make a right hand turn around Singapore and then through the Malacca Straits into the open seas of the Indian Ocean then across to Africa. After that, they would round the Cape of Good Hope and back up to Portugal. Where Chui would crew on another ship to deliver cargo to Livorno, Italy where we would meet. I asked if he wanted to sell the books and Chui said he did. After negotiating a price, I returned to Florence and had Leonardo help me decipher the book" said Guido.
Captain Montoya looked at Guido as he continued to read one of the books. "Vincenzo Genoa was a scholar who had studied astronomy, cartography, medicine, alchemy, engineering, military warfare and was a shrewd businessman who could speak five different languages. He had traveled to many parts of Europe and the countries around the Mediterranean and the orient. He was also working for King Sebastion of Portugal on a secret mission. Leonardo is still deciphering that out currently, but the other things that I mentioned I learned from others and myself" said Guido. After hearing King Sebastian of Portugal mentioned Captain Montoya became very interested in the books and when Guido said there was a hidden map in one of the books Captain Montoya felt like he was served a few cherries for dessert.
After having read through one of the books and looked at the map that had been hidden within the book cover. He lifts his head and said "I will read more later" then looking at Guido asks "where do you think these islands are while pointing at the map". "Oh! Those islands have fascinated me also. Leonardo has a good idea where they are from the table," said Guido. "Table?" asked Captain Montoya. "Yes, Vincenzo kept a record of his voyage from the time he left Manila to the time he was at the village where he was staying at. The last entry in his diary describes them in the canoe and were fishing " said Guido.
"Leonardo can you tell me more of what you know regarding the diaries and the map," asked Captain Montoya. "Yes, as my father has mentioned Senior Vincenzo was very intelligent and he arranged his diaries in a very clever way. By indicating a Latin word to the area on another book that translated into a numeric value into a table in another book gave the coordinates for specific locations. It took me a while to figure that out" said Leonardo. Captain Montoya asked Leonardo "would you be interested in accompanying us to the Pacific Ocean. Leonardo was surprised at the question and wanted to talk to his father in private. "Excuse me Captain Montoya I would like to talk to my father in private," said Leonardo as he looked at his father and started walking towards the backroom of the shop. Guido said "Excuse me" and followed Leonardo.
Once in the room Leonardo turned and looked at his father and said "I would really like to go farther and experience what many have said about the world in which we live". "I would like you to stay, but I remember what I told you on the bridge about regrets and not to have done those things you really wanted to do. You have my blessing my son if you wish to go. Leonardo replied, "Yes, yes father I really do want to go, this is once in a lifetime opportunity". They looked at each and Guido was overcome with emotion and hugged Leonardo as his voice had a crackling stutter "I love you my son please be careful and take care of yourself". "I love you to father," said Leonardo blinking while holding back the tears.
After a few minutes they return into the room, Leonardo walks over to Captain Montoya and says "after talking it over with my father I would like to go and be of service to you Captain Montoya" said Leonardo. Maria smiled as Captain Montoya walked over to Leonardo to shake his hand and says "It will be with high esteem that we welcome you to our mission and that we find what we are looking for, Thank you, Leonardo." Leonardo smiled and looked at Maria. Captain Montoya took the necessary time he needed to review the paperwork that Guido made out for him to sign to consummate the purchase of the books and the maps of the Americas and the Pacific Ocean. Guido then placed them in a large leather binder with his signature trademark "V" on the clasp.
Leonardo we are staying at the Tuscany Inn, please join us for dinner tonight and we will go over the details of our departure. That evening Leonardo would find out more about Captain Montoya's life. After dinner, they would sit out in the garden of the inn and have a glass of wine and talk about the Captain's adventures. "I have sailed to all parts of the Mediterranean and to the New World a couple of times. Captain Montoya discussed his orders to sail aboard the Spanish treasure galleon, "La Rosa del Mar" from Barcelona to Porto Bello, Panama. where he, his daughter, and Leonardo would leave the ship and cross Panama on horseback for another vessel located on the Pacific side. The La Rosa del Mar would then make its way to Cartagena, Colombia, and would become part of the Tierra Firme Fleet and would return to Barcelona laden with gold and other precious commodities.
"This would be the first oceanic voyage for Maria," said Captain Montoya as he continued to share his story of how he met his wife and the sad ending to their relationship. "I met my wife in the fishing village of Portbou near the border of Spain with France, she was from the French city of Narbonne. Chanelle was visiting her uncle's residence at Portbou when I met her. My family owned a vast amount of land growing Citrus in the inland regions of Portbou. As it was her habit, Chanelle was walking along the beach in the late summer's afternoon when our lives intertwined.
I had just returned from a military voyage to Egypt and want to find some solitude and refresh my mind, I too was walking along the beach. Seeing her ahead of some distance away I started picking up my pace then slowed as I approached within speaking distance of her. She turned when I abruptly spoke these words "Good Afternoon Mademoiselle". She ascertaining if I was well-intentioned or not replied "Bon Jour, Admiral," she said being not quite up on her naval insignia and as to not insult me. I laughed out loud which took her by surprise and broke the ice of formality. "Thank you for the promotion!" I replied as I extended my hand to her. "Lieutenant Miguel Montoya of the Spanish Fleet and I am pleased to make your acquaintance."
"I am Chanelle D'arcy" she replied as she, in turn, extended her hand to mine and I sensed a magical flush come over me when we touched. "I am here visiting my uncle and enjoying the serenity of the sea...but then you obviously love the sea as well being in the Naval profession," said Chanelle. "Chanelle...such a beautiful name for such a beautiful lady" I boldly answered and was unwilling to let go of her delicate hand. "I sense we have much in common besides the sea," I said while releasing the words as if to open a door for her to step into my world.
"You are more than kind, Lieutenant," Chanelle replied to me as she turned to continue the walk with me by her side. That walk was the beginning of our relationship which we fell in love and would be married a year later. Maria was born the following year and brought unspeakable joy into our hearts. The years came and went with happiness and prosperity filling our lives. Then when Maria was 16, tragedy struck while she and Chanelle were visiting their family in Narbonne. I was away on one of his many assignments at sea when Chanelle suddenly fell ill then languishing for months with consumption before she passed away. Once we were reunited I comforted Maria who was grief-stricken.
A prestigious assignment to the New World was assigned to me and Maria implored me for her to go. I requested the King to allow her to accompany me and King Charles being a father and grandfather felt deep compassion for the loss of my wife and her mother granted me the request. I was more than relieved to let Maria fill the void left by Chanelle's loss. Maria was young, but strong in spirit and kept her composure like her mother. I knew she would be tested in every aspect on this trip, but still felt it better for her to go than leave her in the custody of her aging uncle. One year later we met you and your father here in Florence" said Captain Montoya.
"What do you think about the diaries Leonardo," asked Captain Montoya. "So far I think I have only scratched the surface of what those books contain. It seemed simple at first, but after finding a piece of the puzzle that unlocked only a fraction of what lay hidden between the lines. It is like finding a treasure map with a few dots and nothing else. That one piece was the word "IF" in Latin that I stumble across on my third time looking at it. Then the tables in another area of the book just didn't make sense at first, but now I'm approaching it with a different frame of mind, so that's where I am currently" said Leonardo.
"We will discuss this more as you continue to study those books Leonardo, but for now have your things ready for the trip by tomorrow night, we will be taking a coach to Livorno the day after. From there we will take a boat to Barcelona where the La Rosa del Mar is moored" said Captain Montoya as he took a sip of his wine while they sat in the garden of the Inn. The next morning Leonardo is packing his belongings and is saying farewells to his friends, family, and relatives that have stopped by. He had seen his father in the morning before he went to the shop but will be making a visit to the shop to get as much finish as possible before leaving. Guido is working on a project when Leonardo walks in. He walks over to his father and starts to discuss what is on his mind. "I'm getting prepared to leave, but there is something that is making me wonder," said Leonardo.
"What is it my son," said Guido. "I was reading a book by Marsilio Ficino earlier this week its title is "The Book of Life" and it had a list of things that hold influence over a man's destiny," said Leonardo. "I have heard he was a smart man, but oh never mind go on with what you were about to say before I interrupted you" Guido commented. "I get this feeling that some mystical force is looming over my destiny," Leonardo said with a confused look on his face. "You can change that thing that you control, adjust to those things that you do not control, and let it go at that, what will be, will be my son. I can tell you are adding building blocks of philosophy to your way of thinking. Which is good" said Guido with a smile. With a sigh and looking up in an expression of curiosity, Leonardo begins to move in a rush manner to finish up various projects before leaving. "I will heed your advice father," said Leonardo finishing one map and started work on another.
"I will have to get some supplies for the journey I will be back in an hour," said Leonardo as he rushes out the door. After returning he accomplishes the projects that he had planned to do and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with his father reminiscing and imagining what might be. The next morning he gives a hug to his aunt, then his mother, and walks over to his father and shakes his hand, and gives him a lasting hug before saying "I will miss you all and you will be in my heart always". "Best regards son and never stop learning," said Guido waving goodbye.
Looking back at the dust cloud Leonardo is sitting on top of the coach as he leaves Florence. The coachman says to Leonardo "I envy you young man, for the last forty years I have been riding this coach from Florence to Livorno and back. I wanted to see the world as many of my friends, but I have a family to care for so I never got to go". Leonardo looks at the coachman and replies "Angelo, your wife and family must be grateful for your devotion to their needs you are a good man and shouldn't be disheartened". "Perhaps you are right, I don't know anything else I could do to make a proper living to feed my family," said Angelo as he whips the reins to the horses as he continued "So where are going". "We are going to the Americas, I will be making maps there" mention Leonardo. "I hear there are many dangers therefrom wild animals, bandits, and government officials" as Angelo begins to laughs. With a curious smile, Leonardo said "Please excuse me there is something I must do" as he climbed down and enter the coach.
The ride to Livorno took most of the day and by evening they were settled in on the boat and ready to depart in the morning on the "Lady of Livorno. The sail to Barcelona went according to plan and as they entered Barcelona Harbor. After walking across the wharf from their previous boat, the Captain, Maria, and Leonardo were stowing their belonging aboard the La Rosa del Mar. Looking down on the docks Captain Montoya who was on deck was viewing the other passengers coming aboard up the gangplank. There was a priest and a sister whom Captain Montoya would walk up to and greet. "I am Captain Montoya," he said. "I am Monsignor Roman Munoz are you the Captain of the ship," asked the priest. "No I am a passenger like your selves, what brings you on board," asked Captain Montoya.
I am being transferred to the Cartegena Archdioces and this is Sister Teresa Quillet who will be accompanying me. The Monsignor and the Sister nodded and went to their cabins. Not knowing much else about the two Captain Montoya gazed out into the harbor. How the Monsignor and the sister can be on this trip can be traced back to a day at the Seville Cathedral to shed more light on their relationship. The Monsignor was going out as she was entering the Cathedral with the light behind her, he was blinded for just a moment before seeing her approaching him as if an angel from heaven had appeared he thought before introducing himself to the Sister. "Good Morning Sister, I am Monsignor Roman Munoz. I do not believe we have been introduced." "Good Morning to you as well, Monsignor I am Sister Teresa Quellet from the Order in Gotarrendura in the Province of Avila. I have been summoned to Seville by the Cardinal". "Please allow me to escort you to your destination. The Cathedral is poorly laid out. If one is not careful, one could easily become a Saint before their time if they ended up in the catacombs," kidded Roman with a wink, which took Juliet by surprise as she caught herself smiling.
"Then I am at your mercy, Monsignor for I am not fond of dark and dusty places," she said. Along with her natural beauty, her enthusiasm and affectionate outgoing personality made her unique. She was her own woman in a man's world. The Cardinal having heard of her through the Church in Avila had sent for her to Seville. The ensuing months would find the Sister and the Monsignor consulting and consoling each other with the trials and tribulations of being in service to God. Then the opportunity arose for them both to advance in new positions awaiting them in Cartagena. As providence would have it the voyage together would give the two friends many days to share their anticipation of what God had ordained for them to do in the New World.
As the Captain looked around the harbor from his viewpoint then back he sees two men with musical instruments walking up the gangplank. They must be Troubadours the Captain thought to himself. Behind them were a man and his wife and a few other passengers. The King had also dispatched a platoon of 20 soldiers of the Crown's special forces in charge of the group was Sargent Garcia. The ship's cook Pepe Lopez and his three assistants came aboard next then the ship's physician. "A motley crew," said Captain Montoya out loud with a laugh. Maria was unpacking her belongings in the cabin. The officers and crew of the La Rosa del Mar were preparing her stores. The munitions of cannonballs, gun powder barrels, and ignition materials were carefully loaded. One large cargo bay had also been loaded with additional cannons, arms, ammunition, and food and water. Other undisclosed items remained in a locker under lock and chain.
The new day arrived and the crews were finishing up on last-minute loadings. It was around noon and the breeze had picked up when the shorelines were untied. The ends of the furled sails were flapping in the winds as to say "farewell. Leonardo was on the starboard side of the ship waving goodbye to a few of the dock workers who had untied the lines. Lieutenant Gutierrez walking up to Leonardo says" is this your first time aboard a ship?" "yes sir" answered Leonardo, "My name is Lieutenant Martinez Gutierrez but you can call me Martin" as he extended his hand. Leonardo extended his hand and said "Leonardo Vi and you can call me Leo" as they shook hands.
"Well Leo we will be seeing a lot of each other during this voyage and if there is a question that you might have, feel free to ask" " I will do just that for there are many things about sailing I would like to learn" answered Leonardo. "What is that you do, I mean what kind of work do you do?" "I'm a Cartographer and have been studying some astronomy in my spare time," remarked Leonardo. "What a coincidence I too am into astronomy, "I can see this will be an enlightening voyage for the both of us" answered Martin. As the La Rosa del Mar with the outgoing tide and six longboats pulling her away from the docks, slowly moved the ship moved into the channel as part of her sails were unfurled. Once past the harbor, all the sails were unfurled as the sails filled in and the forward motion of the ship increased to a steady 5 knots.
After the departure, the guests were in discussion with Captain Juan Fernandez and his officers on the main deck, 1st Lieutenant Panfilo Segovia, Lieutenant Martinez Gutierrez, and the Master Chief, Jorge Madrid. The other officers were busy down below. Captain Fernandez greeted the passenger and said "The La Rosa del Mar" is no ordinary treasure galleon. Her length is 200 feet and made of the best marine timber by the finest wood craftsmen from Spain, France, and Italy. Her designers are well known for speed and hull integrity. Her mast configurations and sails make her one the fastest ever built. Besides swiftness, her armaments were streamlined and placed at the most advantageous spot onboard the ship with the standard rolls of cannons alongside her hull. She also has four cannons in the front elevated focsule locker and a special row of cannon bays placed under the Officer's quarters at the stern of the boat and is non-conspicuous to the viewer from afar. Both placements of the cannons at the fore and aft positions are being tested for the first time. The Crew's Quarters are well designed as is every other compartment on the ship. So ladies and gentlemen this is "The Rose" we travel on!" he boasted with his arm held high and pointing towards the sky.
Halfway around the world Kai'ike is visualizing the ceremony and wondering about the young man who is studying the books that Vincenzo had written. He knows it just a matter of time before that young man will be sailing into the waters of his village. But for now, he is getting ready to work on a surfboard and afterward go surfing. By the morning of the next day, they were sailing through the straits of Gibraltar. The gusty morning breeze of the Atlantic suggested a North Sea gale was occurring in the higher latitudes. The pops of the canvas sails were heard as they quickly filled and the speed of the ship increased to 10 knots. Two helmsmen were holding the course as she pounded her way on a starboard tack. The crews on the mast yards hauled in the sheets for a better trim with increased winds. Captain Fernandez sensed an increase of speed to 12 knots. "Hold her steady! Hold her steady!" said Captain Fernandez. The order was given to veer away from the wind and the speed decreased to 8 knots. The Captain then ordered the furling of the first two masts of their sails and reduced the sail areas to storm sails configuration. "Just in case the storm passes by our course," he added. "Aye, Aye, Captain," confirmed the 1st Lieutenant.
"Just getting the feel of her rigging," the Captain mentioned to 1st Lieutenant Segovia. "She holds a trim well." replied the 1st Lieutenant as he turned to his Master Chief who said, "Yes she does,". Lieutenant Gonzales took over as the Officer on Deck as Captain Fernandez and Lieutenant Segovia retired to the Captain's quarter to discuss The Rose's sailing ability further. As the speed of the ship decreased Maria stepped out to the upper deck of the stern and sat on the seating boxes that were next to the guard rails. Her long auburn hair wafting around her face with the different gusts of winds as Lieutenant Segovia had just finished his conversation with the Captain and noticed Maria alone on the Stern. He moved up the stairs and sat next to her and pointed towards the sea birds that were following the ship. He commented that they were a long way out at sea. Maria turned and looked in that direction and politely agreed with his observation as their conversation continued and the wake of La Rosa del Mar disappeared into the choppy sea.
This was the second night out and the routine of lighting the lanterns as the night watchmen made their rounds. In the main salon, the passengers and the ship's officers had been invited to a "Welcome Onboard" ceremony that evening. The chairs had been relocated to the bulkheads and walls. Doing so made the main salon open for dancing within a space of 20 ft. x 20 ft. The main salon was below the Officer's Quarters, and it had a view of all sides looking aft. The reinforced window framing and materials made for a sturdy wall with the removable port holes covers to accept the 4 cannons from the storeroom. There was a small portable stage in the room. The two Troubadours were on the stage with Lieutenant Segovia. The Troubadours having played for royalty and commoners alike were prepared to play the night away. Federico Gamez was taller than Roberto Ricardo, but both were slender inbuilt, and charming to the crowd. Lieutenant Segovia who was privileged to have been trained with the guitar-like stringed instrument, the Vihuela, since his early childhood was ready to play with the two Troubadours as arranged, this would the first time they have played together.
The Troubadours were tuning up while Panfilo was playing a few warm-up chords which aroused the attention of Federico and Roberto. Roberto asked the Lieutenant, "Can you make her sing?" referring to the instrument. "As sure as the sky is blue!" boasted Panfilo, as they continued preparations. In the opposite corner of the room were Leonardo, Alfredo Sierra the poet, and his wife Consuela. They were enjoying the moment and conversation. Captains Fernandez, Captain Montoya, and Maria enter the salon. Maria, seeing Lt. Segovia on stage walks over to him. "Lieutenant Segovia I didn't know you played the vihuela!" said Maria. ""Yes I do, as far back as I can remember," he said. "Well," Maria replied as she continued "I have sung at several gatherings before and perhaps you would know a few of the songs that I know". She mentions a half dozen and the Lieutenant responded "I know most of those songs that you mentioned. Would you care to join us in a song or two" said Lieutenant Segovia? The Monsignor and Sister Teresa had arrived and were finding a place to sit along with the other guests. The Monsignor had been in his cabin or the guard rail most of the time. He had been seasick since leaving the dock and was just now developing his sea legs. Sister Teresa's fair better since she grew up in the fishing village of Cadiz where she often helped her family out on the water as well as selling the fish in the marketplace.
Lieutenant Segovia began the ceremony with a brief introduction of himself and his two accompanying musicians. Then with a one and a two started the first song, a slow ballad of the sea, putting the room to ease with the lyrics and tune. Then as the applause faded the Lieutenant made a comment that flowed into the next song. With an upbeat tempo, it had everyone tapping their feet and clapping their hands. After a few songs, everyone in the room knew they were in the company of a talented officer. Waving to Maria to come up on stage, she nodded and moved towards him. "Ladies and Gentlemen... Senorita Montoya will be performing a song for your entertainment." As the Lieutenant met Maria halfway from the stage after making the announcement he extended his hand for hers and walked her back to the stage. She whispered a song title to the Lieutenant and he said "Si". Not knowing what to expect the crowd lay silent as the performance unfolded. The Lieutenant began with a run of the frets and Maria followed with the melody of the song. Her voice was smooth like the velvet trim on her dress that she was wearing that night. Panfilo was awestruck as he continued playing. There was magic in the air and both felt it.
Song after song, the night flowed by with the audience enjoying every minute of the night. Loud applause echoed in the salon as the two bowed to accept the appreciation of those in attendance as the performance ended and both were overheated and needing fresh air. They excused themselves and stepped outside. Standing next to the deck rail overlooking the moonlit sky they began talking about their lives. The Troubadours took over the entertainment while the captains were in discussion. Leonardo was being enlightened with the verses Alfredo was reciting while Consuelo focused her attention on young Leonardo. The music continued to play as the lights from the salon shined in the wake of the ship as the milky reflection disappeared into the night. The morning's light followed the night as the ship entered a new day. On deck were Sister Teresa and Consuela talking about the night before and how entertaining it had been. Maria was below dressing after sleeping in past the morning meal and then headed outside to begin her third day out at sea. As Maria stepped out to the fresh morning air, Consuela called out to her "Thiers our little songbird now. Come join us, my dear". As the crew was busy doing their work and other passengers were moving about.
"Good morning, ladies," Maria said and added, "I'm afraid I slept in a bit". "Up late were you?" The Sister said knowing full well she and Panfilo had talked until the wee hours of the night, according to the night watchmen who had just come off duty before Maria got there. "Is it that obvious?" Maria unashamedly smiled back. "It's just obvious that there was more than music in the air last night" knowingly added Consuela. "You two make quite the handsome couple, not to mention the wonderful duets you sang last night." Maria sighed "It's times like this that I miss my mother the most. I want to share my feelings with her and ask her advice on matters of love and life. My father is so protective of me that I feel he wouldn't hear me and only seek to guard my heart". "I know I can speak for Consuela when I say that we would love to be your confidants and would be willing to talk to you on whatever you feel you need to share with us" graciously offered Sister Teresa. "Oh, that would be wonderful of you! my mind kept me up all night thinking of the future and what I want for my life to be like" said Maria. "Why don't we just plan on the three of us meeting every day for tea and talk of life," suggested Consuela.
"I would love that to get to know you both more over the course of the voyage" agreed Maria as she warmly touched both their hands. "Shall we say mid-afternoon today here on the foredeck?" "Absolutely my dear," said Sister Teresa as she rose from the chair and continued "If you will excuse me, I must go now to write in my journal and then continue with my scripture readings. I'll see you both here later". While Maria and Consuela continued the conversation well into the morning, the work around the ship went on around them. This daily ritual of meeting with two wise
and mature women gave Maria a sense of confidence to build on. The weeks went by and the temperature began to get warmer. The King's Special Forces were always performing drills to keep in readiness.
In his quarters Leonardo was reviewing the diaries, he had made copies of the books previously before going on this trip. Leonardo was going over the books as he has done since the start of the voyage. This time with a different outlook he came across something in one of the books. What if a shelf was a metaphor for a cave and the island was a cabinet in the hut. If that were the case Vincenzo would have left information of where and how to find it Leonardo thought. With that in the back of his mind, he placed the books back in his locker.
To take his mind away from the diaries he would stop by the ship's carpenter shop and talk with the head carpenter. Learning the finer techniques of woodworking Leonardo would help out doing repairs on the ship and made a few items for the longboats stowed on deck. When Leonardo wasn't learning something from the crew, he could be seen in conversation and laughter with Consuela as Alfredo was below deck busy writing poetry inspired by being on the open sea. At times Leonardo felt as if Consuela was trying to seduce him, his respect for Alfredo and Consuela kept him at bay from going overboard. Alfredo often would go to the stearn of the ship at dawn and stare into the vastness of the dark blue rolling waves watching the first rays of amber turning into the light of day. One morning he came upon Leonardo "Leonardo what a pleasant surprise. What brings you here so early today?" asked Alfredo as he made his way towards the stern. "Good morning Alfredo I was charting a few stars before dawn," said Leonardo.
"You are so talented for such a young age. How did you come to learn so much, so early?" Leonardo turned to Alfredo and answered, "It seems I grew up being inquisitive. When I was a boy of eleven I worked for my uncle and learned the masonry business which led me to want to design my own structures. Then I went to Art school and study subjects like art, math, sciences, Latin, astronomy, and alchemy. It just grew from there and map-making was my latest study. Growing up in Florence afforded me many opportunities to learn from observing the masters and up and coming artists ". "I admire you, Leonardo. You are so wise and gifted and still, have your whole life ahead of you. I do believe great things are awaiting you" said Alfredo. "You are most generous with your praise Alfredo. But, I admire your abilities as well. The ability to create on paper words that express the inner feeling and questions of the soul, it is a gift from God. Beauty is not only found intangible objects but in the purity of truth well written."
"There you go being wise again, my young friend. Shall I read you my most recent poem written last evening?" said Alfredo. "I would be honored," said Leonardo. Alfredo turned and leaned against the bowsprit rail with his back to the sea, as Leonardo awaited with rapt attentiveness. "I named this one " Evening's Light," explained to the poet as he began his soliloquy.
The evening sails are full of wind,
The orange clouds above the white caps of the sea,
within a sunset horizon
From beneath the spray, the Dolphin swims,
While the wake flows to the stern's twilight
From nowhere they come, for however long,
As many as four on either side of the Bow,
They ride along, over and under each other,
they move to the flow
A pod of a hundred strong on either side,
they too follow along
As the day departs, so do the Dolphins
"How beautifully true I have often enjoyed watching the Dolphins at play. You captured their nature perfectly" expressed Leonardo. Alfredo put his hand on Leonardo's shoulder while admitting "I am so glad it resonated with you Leonardo. I often feel as if I'm only writing for myself. When someone else shares my words gladly, then it gives me more inspiration to continue". "Please, I want to hear ALL the works that you are willing to share with me. I might want to serenade a young lady some day and could use all the insight I can receive to soften her heart with poetry," said Leonardo after realizing that any hopes of winning the affections of Maria were gone since the second night out at sea when she sang with Panfilo.
By now Panfilo and Maria had developed a special relationship. Whenever they could be together, he would play and she would sing. Sunsets were a favorite time for them to practice, as well as the late evening's hours. When the last song was over Panfilo would move closer to her and pause for a moment before kissing her. Then put his arm around her shoulder the two would sit and talk of the future. As they looked upward into the heavens the stars slowly changed their position in the dark sky. Meanwhile, In the Officer's Quarters the Captains were in a conference late into the night discussing strategies of the approaching harbor, security at anchor, where the men would be stationed during the loading of the gold, taking the civilians to shore, then procuring and loading the provisions for the longboat to bring back. As the Rose neared the islands of the Caribbean the air turned humid and hot. Off in the distance, a ship was spotted by the watch in the crow's nest. "Do you recognize her colors?" Shouted Lieutenant Gutierrez.
"No!" Replied the watch Lieutenant Gutierrez ordered all hands to battle stations, as the horn to arms was blown. Captain Fernandez rushed to the helm and was briefed on the situation and the soldiers were ordered into battle stations. The watch yelled back "Still no colors! And her crew is busy loading their cannons on deck!" "Pirates, no doubt!" exclaimed Lieutenant Gutierrez to Captain Fernandez.. "Very well then, Lieutenant, we will show them what the Rose has!" Confirmed Captain Fernandez as The Rose prepared for battle. The cannons for the rear location were brought out. "She has veered off to our bow," said the watch. The Rose was facing the pirate's ship's bow at a 30-degree angle. "Prepare to fire the 4 cannons in the focsule locker," ordered the Captain. "Aye, Aye, Sir!." The command was forwarded to the crew chief, "Fire!" And the first of four cannons fired away. "Hard to port!" Was the command to the helm, while the two helms-men pulled hard to port. The crews in the rigging were trimming the sheets on the sails, as they made the move. The Rose turned into the pirate ship and was getting ready to fire the four guns on her bow. The Rose increased in speed with the winds coming from her starboard beam.
One of her four cannon shots hit their mast. The keel was cutting through the water at a steady speed. The side cannons started firing and made hits along her starboard side as the stern of The Rose came about and was pointing at her bow. The Rose revealed her rear guns and fired away with a direct hit on her bow. With her bowsprit dangling on her running rigging, the pirate ship's bow was taking in water and acting like a brake slowing the vessel down. With rear cannons pointing at the deck of the pirate ship, the order was given to fire away. Four more shots were fired, and all landed on the deck and the side of the pirate ship. There was timber flying every which way and sending splinters of wood an inch thick. Yelling was heard below deck as the water quickly poured into the hull. The command of "Cease Fire!" was heard through the stern cannon locker and the gun crew stopped their loading. Captain Fernandez victoriously viewed the pirate ship sinking and her crew falling overboard. The order was given to the watch in the crow's nest to continue pointing at the location of the sinking ship, as The Rose did a 270 degree turn into the wind. Her main sails furled and the hull speed slowly decreased until they were drifting by the site of the sinking ship in search of possible survivors.
"Stay a safe distance from her so as not to get caught in her rigging...have the longboats ready" the officer of the watch yelled to the crew while they were positioning the longboats. The watch in the crow's nest was still keeping an eye out for signs of life floating in the ocean. "There! On our port beam... some 100 yards away…a group holding on to a broken mast!" excitedly reported the watchman. "And over there...4 points off the starboard bow...some others are holding onto timbers from the hull." The crews in the longboats had fished the survivors from the sea and were heading back to the Rose. Captain Fernandez instructed Lieutenant Gutierrez to prepare to set sail after everyone is back on board. The survivors were taken to Captain Fernandez to be interrogated. The survivors were a mixed bunch of nationalities, two Portuguese, four French, one of which was a woman, and an Englishman and ten pirates.
Captain Montoya, who also spoke Portuguese and French, did the translating. All but the ten pirates had been prisoners of the English Captain "Brown Beard" and were held in the stern of the boat that sank. When the ship began to sink the stern was the last part to go down. The locked door had been blown away during the barrage of cannon fire and they quickly went above deck. Grabbing anything that floated, they held on while those who were fighting soon were sucked under by the sinking ship. As the Englishman, Jake described his captivity Captain Montoya couldn't help but look over to the French woman. She was staring down and her dress was torn along her neckline and at the hemline up to her waist along the side seam. He could see she had been abused by the pirates and her body language expressed the shame she felt. "Get blankets for this lady and the others" Captain Montoya ordered.
The group followed Master Chief Madrid as the French woman looked up at Captain Montoya. He looked into her eyes
and felt a strange feeling that he hadn't felt in a very long time. He continued to stare at her as she was walking away. She turned and looked at him with silence, but with a grateful smile before entering the main salon. A few days later it was Sunday morning just days out from Portobella, Panama. The crew was having Sunday Mass and Captain Montoya and the French woman whose name he found out to be Claudette de Lormecy. Having been acquainted over the last few days they were talking alongside the starboard rail. Captain Montoya had told Claudette of Chanelle and his life with Maria. Claudette responds with her past and insight into how she came to the New World. She was married to a French Mining Engineer who was a consultant to King Charles V and was to oversee a mining operation in the mountains behind Cartagena.
They had left Jamaica and were headed to Cartagena when Brown Beard and his band of men captured the ship they were on. Her husband defending her from the half-crazed men that had boarded the ship was killed and she was taken aboard the pirate ship. "After being taken aboard their ship, I was treated like an animal," she said with tears running down her cheek. Captain Montoya moved next to her and put his arms around her and said in a soft voice "It's alright now, those who have taken what was yours have paid the price for their crimes." He slowly moves away and gives her room to catch her breath. She turns and looks at the Captain and says my whole life has changed but I am grateful for being saved and given another chance to live my life "Yes" said Captain Montoya while nodding his head.
Will you be continuing to Cartagena from Portobella Captain? asked Claudette. No, my orders have me continuing to the Pacific side of Panama. A slight frown appears on Claudette's face but turns to a courtesy smile. "I see" continued Claudette. Captain Montoya senses she is uncertain with her words takes a hold of her left hand and says "after my mission, I would like to visit you if I may and get to know you better". "Yes I would like that very much," said Claudette. The Mass was over and everyone was returning to their duties or quarters. Captain Montoya and Claudette would see each other every day until reaching Portobella. On their last day together aboard the Rose, both had an empty feeling, she wanting him to stay with her and he felt the same. Claudette and the other French sailors, the two Portuguese, and Jake will also be getting off in Portobello. The two Portuguese would continue from Portobello and travel to Brasil.
Completing the ports of call procedures the Rose was on the wharf taking on supplies. Meanwhile, in Captain Montoya's cabin, Lieutenant Segovia was standing next to Maria who was telling her father that she was in love with the young Lieutenant and that they wanted to get married with his permission and blessing. The Captain fully understood the intensity of what they were feeling as he had felt the same so many years ago. Captain Montoya said yes to his daughter's wishes and gave them his blessings. Not being the ship's captain, he would ask his fellow traveler, Monsignor Munoz, to perform the ceremony onboard. A request was made to Lieutenant Gutierrez to be the best man and Mrs. Sierra would be the matron of honor for Maria.
The ceremony was held that evening on the deck with the entire crew and passengers as witnesses of a love born at sea. Captain Montoya took Lieutenant Segovia aside and gave him the ring that his wife had worn. Roberto and Federico played softly while the vows were exchanged as the lamplights shined on the two as the Monsignor finished by saying I pronounce you husband and wife. As the newlywed couple arose from their knees, The Monsignor said "May God bless you both with happiness. It had been a life-altering 46 days journey for all who were fortuitous to have set sail on The Rose del Mar. Maria now would have to say goodbye to her adoring father as he continued his quest while she embraces her new role as the wife of a military officer.
As the remaining passengers were leaving for shore Leonardo was saying his goodbyes to the Sierras. Captain Montoya drew his daughter aside and said "Maria, even though I am leaving you now to complete this assignment I want you to know that you will never be far from my heart. I will always love you no matter how much distance or time separates us" She held him long and tightly as the tears flowed freely. "Father" Maria responded through the tears, "I now have Panfilo to watch over me. Thank you for all you have done for me. I love you. Be at peace in your heart. May God grant you all that you seek." Then she turned and took her husband's outstretched hand as Captain Montoya remembered that fateful day Chanelle first touched his hand and life together as husband and wife. "Godspeed Father" were the parting words of his beloved daughter and he turned his face to hide a tear before regaining his composure with a farewell hug to his daughter and a handshake to his new son in law as he disembarked for shore.
"Beyond the Calendar"
After landing at the docks of Portobello Captain Montoya, Claudette and Leonardo reported to the Governor's office to debrief the local authorities and catch up on local news. They were told by the clerk "That your ship on the Pacific side is under repairs from an accident and won't be ready for a few months. It may be sooner, but most likely a few months." The Captain with the look of what to do next stood there and wondered. Then the clerk said to them "You should have a bite to eat at the local eatery across the street and try some of the food there, it is very tasty" while pointing in the direction of a small building. "Yes, we will decide what to do after we get something to eat," said the Captain and the others agreed.
While having their lunch the trio was discussing some of the options they might do before making their way to the Pacific side. Seated next to them were two explorers that worked for the Office of the Governor in Portobello. They have been assigned to a fact-finding mission in the Yucatan Peninsula. The two explorers were discussing the indigenous Indian tribes of the region and account told to them by other explorers. One of the explorers was mentioning "We must be careful there are certain tribes there that would go into other villages take the people for slaves and other reasons. The men would be used as targets practice while running across an open field as their captors would throw spears at them. Those who made their way across to the other end will find another group of warriors waiting in an ambush if they made it that far. While some of the women would be taken to a sacrificial altar and have their hearts cut out from their bodies".
"Yes, I have heard of that before," said the other explorer. As Claudette listen her face cringed when hearing about what had happened to the women. Then the two explorers talked about the civilization of the Maya. "They were a race that was advance in astronomy, mathematics, and agriculture, but for whatever reason, they abandon their temples and cities and blended into their surroundings," said the taller of the two. The two explorers talked about a large disk called the "Calendar" they were assigned to find out about. Intrigued by the conversation Captain Montoya got up and introduced himself and explained where they were headed but not their mission.
"Good afternoon, my name is Captain Montoya of his majesty's navy and this is my associate Leonardo Vi a cartographer and this is Claudette de Lormecy, my associate". As the two explorers got up to shake their hands they introduce themselves, "My name is Felipe Santiago and this is Ignacio Vega Morales pointing to an overweight man in his late forties. We are on assignment to verify that the calendar does exist and we shall be returning after a month and a fourth night. Anything regarding mathematics and astronomy would catch Leonardo's attention and to mention a calendar just added fuel to the flame. "What is this calendar you have mentioned" questioned Leonardo. "We were told it has to do with how they determined their luck days for such activities as sowing crops, building houses, and going to war," remarked Felipe.
"What does the Calendar look like," asked the Captain. "It a circular block of something like 12 feet in diameter says, Ignacio. "But others explorers have seen smaller ones and all could not understand the markings" continued Ignacio. "Besides a cartographer, Leonardo is also an artist" mentioned Captain Montoya. "I see," says Felipe not looking at the Captain, but off to the side and thinking of the possibilities, then he turns and looks at Captain Montoya and says "Captain would you, Leonardo and Claudette consider traveling with us to the location of the calendar and have Leonardo draw the calendar". Captain Montoya looked over to Leonardo and sees Leonardo shaking his head to say yes. "I must get permission from the Governor's office, but since our travels to the Pacific have been postponed for a few months, most likely we will be able to go.
I will get back with you by tomorrow, how should I reach you?" responded Captain Montoya. We are on board the "The Suerte" and she will set sails with the tide in a few days to Cancun" continued Felipe. "A few days! that doesn't leave us much time," said Leonardo. "Let's return to the Governor's office and make arrangements after we finish our lunch," said Captain Montoya in a hurried reaction. "Yes that would be fine," remarked Leonardo with a grin on his face. All four men looked towards Claudette while she smiled and is thinking to herself what I have gotten myself into.
The day came for them to get underway, they sailed north up the coast of Central America with favorable winds and currents and they reached the village of Cancun in a week. Arriving at the fishing village of Cancun the boat docked on the wharf. Felipe and Ignacio were busy getting their supplies ready for shore while Captain Montoya, Claudette, and Leonardo were on land and seeing the sights. Leonardo went to look around and would meet back at the boat in an hour, Miguel and Claudette took some time off to be alone. They strolled up the beach in conversation in the opposite direction of Leonardo.
Leonardo had stumble across some ruins at El Rey not far from where they were docked. Walking around and on some of the structures, Leonardo was fascinated with the stone buildings. He would get out his sketch pad and start drawing what he saw. Placing notes with the drawings to give him more detailed information on what he had observed at a later time. A few of the indigenous natives were walking by and Leonardo waved to them. One of them waved back while the other kept on walking. Returning to the boat he sees Felipe and Ignacio unloading their gear and luggage onto the dock. Their guide had rounded up a crew of natives and was getting ready by organizing the boxes onto the eight mules that they had brought for the trip.
From Cancun it took six days to get to Chichen Itza, the guide knew which tribes were friendly and which tribes were not. With this knowledge, the team made safe passage through the jungles and to the Pyramid. The exploration team of Captain Montoya, Claudette, Leonardo, Felipe, Ignacio, their Indian guide, and the ten men native crew arrived at the footsteps of the Kukulcán Pyramid. The Indian crew had been here before, but for the five foreigners, they were in awe. Leonardo had heard of the great Pyramids of Egypt but nothing in his wildest dreams could he have imagined such structures in the New World. "Those who built this structure were much more advanced than those villages that we have traveled through to get here," remarked Captain Montoya. As they made camp near the Pyramid an old man approaches the camp and is greeted by the Indian guide. The old man was a descendant of the Maya and his family tree went back six generations of Priests of the temple, he knew of the Pyramid's history and of his people.
"How are you old man," said the guide, and the old man replied, "older since the last time we met, but wiser thank you". Leonardo having noticed the guide talking to the old man walked over from his tent and has the guide translate his thoughts to the old man. "What was this place like back when your ancestors were alive?" asked the translator after hearing it from Leonardo. "It was a great civilization, before the white man and ages ago our people built great buildings and raised vast field of food. They studied mathematics, the stars, the seasons and continued to develop a calendar for such events" the old man said.
"The Calendar" as Leonardo spoke out loud. The guide knowing what Leonardo meant, express their reason for being there to the old man. Shaking his head up and down the points to a building nearby the Pyramid and continues telling the guide that the calendar is there. They continue to talk and learn more facts that were not known to the outside world regarding the calendar.
Captain Montoya, Felipe, and Ignacio were checking the supplies and Claudette was resting in her tent when Ignacio points to Leonardo, the guide, and the old man. Noticing they were being watched the guide points in the direction of Captain Montoya and the others as they were walking towards them. "Who may our guest be I wonder," said the Captain while looking at Leonardo. "Oh this old man is a native of the area and his ancient ancestors were once the Pyramid's priests," Leonardo said. "I see and what else did he tell you?" questioned Captain Montoya. "He said the Calendar's concept is over 32 centuries old and there is one at a building nearby the Pyramid and that one is over 500 years old," Leonardo said.
The Captain and Leonardo were amazed at the knowledge the old man had. Leonardo looked at the Captain and said "I'm going to the top of the Pyramid to see what's up there". "I will go with you," said the Captain. And they began their ascent up the steps. It took Leonardo and the Captain about fifteen minutes to climb the steps. "That was a good workout to get up to here," remarked Captain Montoya as he catches his breath. Leonardo who was talking out loud says " 91, 91 steps before reaching the top platform. There are one rows of step on each incline adding to four. 4 times 91 equals 364 plus the top deck makes it 365, there are 365 days in a year. Wow" said Leonardo as he sat on the top deck and looked out at the view of the surrounding.
Walking over to the structure on top of the pyramid Leonardo enters the chamber. "Leonardo where are you," said Captain Montoya. "I'm over here in the chamber" yells Leonardo. Captain Montoya reaches where Leonardo is and says the room is empty. "It looks like thieves over the years have been here before us," Leonardo said as Captain Montoya hears voices and steps out to see who it is, It's Felipe and Ignacio having reached the top plateau. "So where is the calendar" ask Ignacio. "Oh there you are Leonardo," remarks Felipe as he sees Leonardo coming out of the shadows behind the Captain. "The calendar is in the building over there as Leonardo pointed to a smaller structure. I am going back down there now" said Leonardo. It's a spectacular view from up here, but there is nothing in the chamber so we heading back down. Felipe and Ignacio wanted to see the inside anyway and went into the chamber to look around.
Back at camp Leonardo looked around for his drawing pad, some charcoal, and his feather pen and ink. It wasn't long before Leonardo was at the location where the calendar was and began drawing the symbols and markings. 3 days later Leonardo is finishing up on his last symbols having duplicated this work. He walks by the Temple of the serpent and notices the light going down the steps in a meandering manner. Why did it happen on this day he wondered, then it dawns on him it was March 21 the spring equinox. The Maya civilization was much more advanced than he first thought. Looking over the calendar sketch he had drawn, Leonardo's curiosity grew in how ancient people were able to put symbols and describe events. Then he thought of Vincenzo's books and that it had the same mystery to an outsider. The expedition had gotten what they had come for and was returning to Panama.
As the group prepares to leave the old man came to see them off. Leonard sees him and rushes over with the drawings while telling the guide to follow him. Leonardo explains to the guide to tell the old man that he has drawn the calendar and wanted to show him before he left. Leonardo gets the 36 drawings out and put them together. The old man concentrates his sights on the drawing and tells the guide to tell Leonardo that the calendar ends on a certain date. The guide does so and Leonardo wonders what he meant by the calendar ends. "Ask him what he sees," said Leonardo. The old man listens to the guide's question and says "The year the calendar ends is hundreds of years away, but after it does there will be uncertainty to follow and a change that will happen. A famine and pestilence for millions and millions of people will happen caused by the "Global Chaos" said the old man. "Asked him what does the "Global Chaos" in the future mean," said Leonardo to the guide.
The old man pointed to 7 characters on the calendar that Leonardo had drawn and said "six are controlled by one and that will cause it to happen" said the old man. Leonardo placed a small mark at each symbol and began to wonder why he was privileged to know such an event would happen more than 4 centuries away. The guide looks over to the old man knowing that what he had said in the past has come to be. Then he looks at Leonardo knowing he is the one who will carry this thought. Leonardo shakes his head up and down to confirm to the old man that he understood.
Thinking he has pieces of a puzzle Leonardo places the drawing back into his leather case. The old man knew it was time for him to leave and slowly walks away into the jungle. As he disappeared from their sight the old man transformed into an alien being that would meet again under a different guise in the future.
Meanwhile, Felipe and Ignacio had been exploring around the site and came across a burial chamber and found a mask and other items made of gold. Overwhelmed by the finding and knew that their time was limited. They agreed not to mention their findings and would return later to claim the treasure. Felipe and Igancio's demeanor had changed and the others could sense it. The expedition returns to back Cancun for their return trip back to Panama. Felipe and Ignacio made up an excuse to stay and would return in a month, but first, they needed to return to Chichen Itza. Captain Montoya, Claudette, and Leonardo waved goodbye to the two explorers and would never see them again. Having reached Portobello by the end of May Leonardo, Captain Montoya and Claudette found out before leaving for the Pacific side of Panama that Felipe and Ignacio had been killed by hostile natives on their return trip back to Chichen Itza.
After the second week back from their trip to Yucatan an officer of the King's court came by bringing Captain Montoya a message.
Lieutenant Jose Crisco is in the garden of the inn talking to Captain Montoya. Lieutenant Crisco hands Captain Montoya his orders and discusses the events that are occurring in Spain and mentions "Captain Montoya I have been sent here to notify you of your return to Spain and a new mission. I will be taking charge of the fact-finding mission originally planned." Captain Montoya pauses for a moment as he looks at Lt. Crisco and then out towards the ocean. "Yes, I will return on the next available ship back" replied Captain Montoya.
With that said the two officers enter the guest lounge where Claudette and Leonardo were discussing the trip to the Pacific side of Panama. "Excuse me, I have some news from Spain," said Captain Montoya looking somber at Claudette and Leonardo. "I have been called back to the court and Lt. Crisco will be taking charge of the mission we were on". Claudette was taken by surprise and nervously asks what is going to happen. "Leonardo and Lt. Crisco will continue with the mission and we (while looking at Claudette) are going back" explained Miguel to Claudette. With a sigh, she reaches out and holds Miguel's hand, and says "I will get ready for our return."
Leonardo was also surprised but kept a calm demeanor and commented "Welcome aboard Lieutenant, I can let you know of the plans for the trip across to the Pacific side and get you up to date on the arrangements made" replied Leonardo. "Good I shall return tomorrow and go over the details. By the way, there is a banquet at the Governor's estate this evening will you be attending?" remarked Lt. Crisco "why yes" replied Captain Montoya "We received the invitation recently and we are planning on going tonight." "Very well sir, I will see you all tonight," said Lt. Crisco as he turned and made his exit. Sensing Captain Montoya's concern, Leonardo excused himself knowing Miguel would need to talk with Claudette in private.
With a sketch pad in hand, Leonard walked out to the harbor where the ship was anchored and made his way down to the beach. Having walked a mile down the coast to a picturesque cove he had been to previously, he pauses for a moment and scans the area. He walks over to some boulder next to a grove of palm trees and sits on one of the rocks. Collecting his thoughts, Leonardo begins drawing the sea and the landscape, and soon his mind is at peace. Satisfied with his sketch Leonardo returned to the inn and to find Miguel and Claudette having a cup of wine.
"Oh Leonardo has a cup of wine with us," said Claudette with a smile. Leonardo notices an extra cup near the bottle and pours himself some wine. A toast mentioned Miguel "To all the good times that we had and may your journey bring you the knowledge and a safe passage back my friend" raising their silver cups and bringing them together. The moment marked the end of the mapquest for Captain Montoya. That evening at the banquet Captain Montoya, Claudette, and Leonardo were walking through the garden while other guests were mingling with each other. To their surprise, Federico Gamez and Roberto Ricardo were entertaining the guest in the garden with their music. Without missing a beat Roberto notices the trio approaching them. With a slight bump of his elbow to Federico, they watched as they came nearer.
Waiting in the wing for the song to finish Captain Montoya nodded to the beat while Claudette and Leonardo waved in saying hello. The song came to an end and the friends from the voyage got reacquainted. "Well hello, strangers" jokingly remarked Captain Montoya with a smile. "How have you been Miguel and Leonardo and I don't want to be rude but we were never introduced to your lady friend" responded Roberto. "Oh, this is Claudette my wife to be" gestured Miguel pointing to Claudette.
"Congratulations to the both of you" mentioned Federico as he and Roberto began strumming their next song. "Please excuse us, we will talk later" continued Roberto. "Yes, yes of course" Captain Montoya placing his hand on Claudette's back directing her towards the dinner tables. Leonardo gave Federico and Roberto a thumb's up gesture which brought a smile to both their faces. "Good to see you again Leonardo" responded Roberto, following the same by Federico. Later that evening after dinner Leonardo happened to notice a young lady by the fountain. He walks up to her and introduced himself, and she in turn does the same.
The noise from the party faded from Leonardo's mind as he concentrated on her voice. My name is Florencia Denise Ortega and I am the daughter of the Provincia Governor Juan de Gusto Ortega. "It is an honor to meet you" Leonardo conveyed with a smile. "You are new here" questioned Florencia. "Yes, I am. I'm on a mission to draw new maps and to learn from my experiences" answered Leonardo. With a slight hesitation, Leonard smiled and shook his head to say " yes I'm new here".
After which the two would share their thoughts as the water from the fountainhead would cascade into the main dish of the fountain. Florencia would glimpse at the falling water occasionally as she would share her experiences and travels as the flames of the torch in the garden moved back and forth in the night. "Where is the water source for this fountain? " Leonardo asked. "There is a small stream just to the west of the garden where it is diverted into a clay pipe. The water travels down to the fountain then leaves through another pipe and empties into a pond further downhill answered Florencia. "What an interesting concept," said Leonardo. Florencia thanked Leonardo for the compliment "It is something that I learned in school while studying architecture in Spain before my father was appointed governor here in Portobello. Their conversation continued into the night.
It was getting late and the guests were leaving. Leonardo sensing he may not have another chance to meet her again asked if she would like to go sailing. She paused for a few seconds with a surprised look on her face. Leonardo's mind was quietly racing around not knowing with anticipation. Then with a smile, she said "I would love to go sailing with you". With a half-open mouth and a slight stutter he responded with "We can meet in the afternoon at the front of the wharf, say 2 O'Clock". "2 O'Clock it will be" she replies.
Leonardo sees Miguel and Claudette approaching them from the house. "Well there you are," says Claudette while holding Miguel's hand. Leonardo introduces Miguel and Claudette to Florencia. Captain Montoya stands at attention and nods in respect and says "Captain Miguel Montoya of the Royal Court of Spain at your service". "Thank you Captain" answers Florencia while extending her right hand for the Captain to kiss. Having noticed his daughter with the newcomers the governor walks over and stands beside his daughter. Father I would like to introduce Leonardo, Captain Montoya, and Claudette. "I have met Captain Montoya and his fiancé earlier remarked the Governor but who is this young man I have the pleasure of meeting.
"This is Leonardo Vi father" as Florencia points towards Leonardo as he bows in respect and looking back up at the Governor. "What do you think of the New World," the governor asked. "There are many things here that are different from my home in Florence, the people, the landscape, the animals and insects, the climate and especially the number of precious metals". The governor nods and says "What a coincidence that my daughter's name is almost the same as your town, I find that serendipitous".
A smile came to Florencia. With a look of curiosity, Leonardo holds back questions not wanting to pursue the conversation. The governor turns his head towards the departing guest "You must excuse me for I have to attend to my other guest who is leaving" the governor remarked while departing to the entrance of the hacienda. "We must be going as well" replied Captain Montoya. Claudette says "Good Night Florencia" and Miguel remark the same. "See you tomorrow Leonardo" "See you tomorrow Florencia" Miguel looks at Claudette and she at him, both curious at what had occurred.
The carriage from the Governor's hacienda arrives at the wharf where Leonardo had been preparing a modified rowboat for the sail. Since the days on the La Rosa del Mar Leonardo became interested in sailing and when he returned from Cancun he found this boat to use. It belonged to an old fisherman whom Leonardo first met when they arrived. The old man told him if he would like to use it he could since the fisherman hasn't used it for years. So Leonardo added a mast, sail, and a few other items and went out sailing in his free time. Hearing the horses pull up Leonardo went to greet Florencia. "Good afternoon Florencia" greeted Leonardo. "Hola Leonardo" she replied. And so the dock lines were let go and off they went out onto a new relationship that would last way beyond the horizon.
A gust of wind pushes the boat faster and Leonardo has Florencia move over to the side of the boat where the wind is coming from. He too shifts his weight over to the same side while holding on to the tiller. Placing his hand onto the railing behind Florencia for safety reasons he starts a conversation. Florencia looks over to her right side and down at his hand and then at him. "I have sailed on larger boats, but this is way more fun" Florencia commented with a smile. The afternoon was spent sailing around the harbor area and the nearby coastal waters.
On returning to shore Leonardo swings wide of the wharf and into the wind, dropping the sail Leonardo steers her closes to the wharf as she slowly comes to a stop. With the line in hand, Leonardo steps onto the wharf and ties it to a piling pole within a minute. Turning to Florencia while wiping the sweat from his brow he reaches out for her hand. She stands and grabs his hand while taking a step and pushing off the rail of the boat. "We must do this again, I enjoyed being on the water and sailing with you" Florencia replied. "Yes and I too will look forward to our next outing" mentioned Leonardo while escorting her back to the awaiting carriage.
"I want you to stop by the hacienda tomorrow, will you come?" "Why certainly, what did you have in mind?" "For us to go horseback riding" she continued. "Ah ok, I'm not very good at horseback riding, but since I have you to show me the ropes that will be fine with me," said Leonardo as he opened the door to the carriage and helped her in. With a smile on her face and looking out through the window she said "I will have my carriage pick you up tomorrow". With that, the driver motioned the horses to go and started moving forward. Both waved to each other before a dust cloud separated their views.
Returning to the inn Leonardo sees Captain Montoya and Claudette with their luggage "Ah Leonardo, we were informed recently that we would be sailing on a different ship and that it would leaving with the tide in the morning". With a surprised look, Leonardo offered his assistance. "We have everything under control, thank you anyway" continued Captain Montoya. "How was the day sail with Florencia," asked Claudette. "It was very memorable and we both enjoyed it," Leonardo said with a smile.
"That's good to hear and glad everything went well," Claudette said while returning a smile. "Yes and we are horseback riding tomorrow at her, I mean his excellency's hacienda" Leonardo went on to say. With a chuckle from Captain Montoya, Claudette changed the subject and suggested they go out for dinner. Both men agreed and it wasn't long before they were seated at the cantina in a casual conversation. The evening was filled with laughter and recollections.
The morning would find Leonardo waving good-bye from shore as the rowboat took Miguel and Claudette away to their ship and back home. An empty feeling engulfed Leonardo for the moment as he watched his friends leave. Remembering his date with Florencia he races back to the inn and gets into the awaiting carriage. Florencia was out by the stable getting the horses ready when Leonardo arrived. After going over the basics and being reassured that the horse Leonardo was on had a good temperament, the two proceeded out on a 3-hour ride.
The trail they would be on is one that Florencia had ridden many a time to her favorite location which was a bluff overlooking the ocean. It was an hour away across a river, then through lush vegetation and trees. An opening appears and the small bay with the bluff was in view. Once there they dismounted and would walk the horses a hundred yards to Florencia's favorite place where she would contemplate whatever was on her mind. From their location, they could see the coastline in either direction with the bay behind them.
"This is a really beautiful location with the bay, the coastline, and the waves wrapping around the point into the bay" as the sea breeze pushed Leonardo's hair into a lifting hairstyle as he spoke. "I love this place, it's my favorite," Florencia said as they tied the horses to a branch from a stump that was once a Contador tree. "I can see why" Leonardo complimenting Florencia for her choice and continued "My father once told me that life is like the water flowing under a bridge, I didn't understand at first, but after my travels so far I think I know what he meant." Looking out at the ocean and then back at Leonardo, Florencia says "I brought some food for us to eat, shall we eat over there." pointing to a grass patch. "Yes that will be fine," remarked Leonardo.
After their meal, the conversation turned to gold and silver. Through his observations, Leonardo came to the concussion that the top individuals in government were the richest and the many indigenous people and some of the others were the poorest. So he asked "There is a vast amount of gold being shipped back to Spain, is some of it being used here to help the people? "Sad to say not enough, I give to the church in donations, in turn, the Padres of the mission help those in need," said Florencia. "I have attended the church of where you speak recently and I felt humbled to be there and those people who attended also were very nice to me," said Leonardo as he paused for a moment in recognition of those people. Florencia smiled as she stared at Leonardo with the look of having something deeply in common. "That is interesting," she remarked.
"So have you done any paintings or sketches during your stay here besides maps? Juanita continued. "Why yes, I have, a few seascapes and finished a portrait of a friend. She is back in Spain now but came over on the same ship we were on. I have them in my room at the inn". "I would like to see them one day," Florencia said. "Why yes, that would be my pleasure," said Leonardo while nodding his head. "We must head back now," Florencia remarked while getting up and walking over to the horses. Leonardo followed and got onto his horse and they began the ride back to the Hacienda. They rode in silence as a flock of pelicans flew by in a V formation along the bluff. Leonardo stopped and watched very intensely as they went by. He pulled out his sketch pad and drew a few wings and jotted down some notes. Florencia had also stopped and was watching Leonardo. Her attraction to him was growing as Leonardo was in a state of concentration.
"What are you drawing," Florencia asked. "I was sketching the wings of those birds. I find flight very interesting and having the opportunity to notice the glide in how it relates to the wing positions in the wind is what I was capturing" shared Leonardo as he put away his pad and said, "shall we go". Their conversation of the flight made the ride back fly by. Once back from the ride as they dismounted, Florencia commented "I have never met anyone like you before Leonardo, your talents amaze me. You imagine things beyond the ordinary and I find that to be unique". "Why thank you, Florencia, I couldn't imagine anyone else so perfect in my eyes as you." Florencia walked over to Leonardo and gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"We need to clean up, Jose will show you to our guest quarters. My father is expecting us for dinner" continued Florencia. Leonardo was early to the dining room and was viewing the décor and a few paintings that were on display. "There you are," said the Governor as he enters the dining room and walked over to the bottle of wine place on the counter. "How was the ride today with Florencia" he continued while pouring two cups of wine from his vintage collection. With both in hand, he offers a cup to Leonardo. "Thank you, sir" returned Leonardo after accepting the wine and remarked, "We had a wonderful time today, sir." "Good, good to hear you two had a nice today," said the Governor as he sat at the head of the table. Leonardo walked over and sat down next to him. After a few sips, the conversation turned to business.
"Leonardo, I would like to offer you a position working for me and help around the land and assist my daughter in building her dream house. I can pay you one hundred pesos (gold) a month to start and raise your salary as the responsibility increases" Leonardo thought over the idea for a few seconds and answered "Sure!" and drank from his cup. Florencia enters the room just as Leonardo places the cup on the table. She views her surroundings and sits across from Leonardo. "You look very happy Leonardo," she said and he responded, "I will be helping your father and you, I mean The new house that you were talking about on the bluff" following the statement with a big smile. "I'm so happy also, that you will be staying here with us," said Florencia subtly expressing her growing desires. Leonardo's thoughts fell onto poetry and complimented her with a poetic verse.
She nodded as her father changed the subject and discussed things around the hacienda. Leonardo was thinking of a letter he must write back to Spain and explained his position there in Panama. The letter was neatly thought out and placed in memory until he got back to his room. With that out of the way, the dinner was enjoyable and Leonardo is floating on a cloud of good fortune. The following morning Leonardo is moving his belonging from the Inn to the hacienda and making a list of what he will need to do, this after being informed about the overall scope of his new position the night before. He and Florencia are to have lunch and go over a few things so Leonardo is rushing around labeling his boxes and loading them onto the wagon provided by the governor. After settling in Leonardo walks over from the guest house to the kitchen of the main house.
There to greet him was Florencia and she said "I had a wonderful time last night and my father is taken by you, I have never seen him so inspired about someone working for him." "The feeling is mutual, I didn't know what to expect when I first got here and now I have the opportunity to help you and your father" as he looked at Florencia and thought with an artistic eye what a beautiful woman she is and what a lucky guy he was to be there with her. She in return was looking at Leonardo with a calm demeanor but with a feeling like she has never felt before. The feeling was growing with each passing day since their first meeting.
Leonardo walks over to her and hugs her "I must be dreaming I have never felt this way before" as he looked into her eyes and was lost for words. The cook enters the room and interrupts the moment by saying "Lunch is served" and could be seen with a smile on his face as he leaves the room. The two sit down and discuss what needs to be done regarding Florencia's new house and the future developments around the main estate.
"The Road with Flo Begins"
There was a unique aura about the way Florencia and Leonardo's relationship was blossoming. The Governor sensed this and was pleased in having Leonardo working for him and having someone care for his daughter. Besides the regular duties of receiving and shipping out the gold, Florencia was designing her house on the bluff, while Leonardo did what he was told to do. In his spare time, he was designing a sailboat. There was much to do around the Governor's hacienda and other projects on the planning stage of development.
The town was growing and more workers were needed. Meanwhile, a road to Florencia's house and two bridges were being built. With all of the construction going on the flow of gold and silver was increasing by the day. The responsibility that Leonardo was entrusted with grew and that would increase his pay scale. With each increase, his boat that he was planning on got a little larger. Florencia was still in the planning stage of her house and was going through rough sketches of the building, the land on which it will be located, and the road leading into the estate.
After about three months of preliminary planning, she began transforming her ideas into a working drawing for her house. Leonardo helped with the foundation plan and supervised the installation.
Leonardo was busy on the route that the mule trains of gold and silver were coming from. The gold from Peru and the silver from Mexico were being shipped back to Spain from Panama. After six months the house was built and the interior in a certain section of the house was being furnished. Leonardo and Florencia are walking around the two-story house and viewing the warehouse workshop that was still under construction down by the bay. Leonardo had a wharf built inside the bay a few hundred meters from the house. This is where his new boat that is being built concurrently will be docked. Within the Master plan of the area, Florencia wanted a plantation growing agricultural products. Leonardo drew plans for the crop areas and the irrigation. The priest at the church in Portobello had brought books with him from Spain about the Roman aqueduct system. Leonardo spent his free time researching the information. His mind was like a sponge absorbing the details and thinking of new ways to utilize the concepts for a particular problem that needed to be done.
Every week there was a meeting of the progress and problems that may have developed during the previous week. The governor at one such meeting brings up the topic of the road to the gold depot, pirate problems, and Florencia's house. Leonardo explains what is happening "The road is near completion to the gold depot and the bridge was completed over the weekend to Florencia's house. Florencia's house is near completion, but the workshop and warehouse is still in progress."
"I see you are on the ball and things are working out well. Good work Leonardo" said the governor as he continued "There is a special assignment I need you to do in three months. It involves traveling to Peru and be my representative regarding the shipment of gold from Peru to Panama, I will go into detail about what will be happening before your departure." The governor sips his wine after finishing his explanation of what he wanted Leonardo to do. Leonardo looked at Florencia and she at him, he had a smirk of uncertainty, and she with a sad eye smile. Two weeks later as the projects were being finished, Leonardo and Florencia are out sailing in the afternoon breeze. The new boat is sailing well with its all-around ease of handling and speed. Leonardo drew up the plans and with the help of a local builder. Now on the water and at the helm of La Flecha his 40 ft. sailboat enjoying the moment with Florencia.
"What crops do think we should plant first Leonardo," asked Florencia. "With the available workforce that we have, vegetables and some fruit orchards," Leonardo said. Returning his thoughts to the helm Leonardo tells Florencia they are about to change directions. At a moment's notice, he steers into the wind, and the boom on the mast swings around and pops as the wind fills in the mainsail. Having calculated his course of travel and the amount of time that they would spend on the water Leonardo begins his return trip home to the "Hacienda by the Sea". With his first mate beside him, Leonard keeps an eye of which way the wind is blowing and the landmark to steer by. Entering the bay "la Flecha" swings wide and turns toward the wharf. Leonardo lowers the sail as Florencia has the helm. The boat slows and Leonardo has the line in hand and then throws the line to an awaiting worker who ties the line to the dock cleat.
"I will meet you at the house after I take care of a few minor adjustments, Flo" yelled Leonardo as Florencia was walking towards the complex of the warehouse and workshop. "Ok Leo, see you back at the house" she yelled back. After waving and nodding his head up and down to confirm he understood, Leonardo goes below and checks on the bilge area of the boat. Just a slight amount of water from some water spraying in from the forward hatch, Leonardo has one of the workers wipe the water before closing the bilge hatch. Walking back to the house Leonardo is thinking of the on-going projects and the new ones that are about to happen.
There was a change of plans regarding Leonardo's trip to Peru, it had been rescheduled for 6 months later and giving Leonardo more time around the facility. A half hectare of rainforest was cleared away and crops were being planted. Water is being brought in from a river a quarter-mile away by way of a canal designed by Leonardo. It feeds sub-channels that flow into separate furrow blocks that are flooded and turned off to let dry. As Leonardo was talking to one of his supervisors, a messenger arrives with a note from the governor. It mentions he would like to meet with Leonardo and Florencia. So Leonardo returns to the house and lets Florencia know and prepares for the meeting.
Arriving on a Friday they had planned on staying the weekend. The meeting began in the morning and would finish mid-afternoon. It involved shipments of quantities, dates, and estimated arrival periods of the precious metals. How the new storage depots and the paperwork has been updated to accommodate the increase in volume. During the meeting, the governor hands a letter to Leonardo from the Spanish Court and says "They still want you to go on the mapping assignment. But I have an idea, I know a person who is the grandson of Juan de la Cosa and he is in Cartagena. He has the skills of map-making and has worked for my brother Phillip, he speaks very highly of him and is well qualified for this project. I will get a letter off to Spain tomorrow."
"I will have to make a copy of the diaries. I haven't given it much thought lately" Leonardo said. "All right I will have to send that message and see if that will do to please the court," said Juan, and the meeting was adjourned. The days turned into months and the two were busy in harvest season at their hacienda and Leonardo was preparing for his trip to Peru. "Your father went over his plan with me regarding the agenda in Peru" Leonardo mentioned to Florencia and she looks at him and nodded her head while thinking of a few other things.
Traveling on horseback Leonardo made the trip over and arrived in Panama City. He would take the next week to sight-see and get to know the city after checking in at the hotel. One day at the beach looking out at the surf, he notices a kid playing in the surf, catching the white water with a piece of plank about the length of the youngster. As Leonardo watched the kid leap on the white water and was propelled forward toward shore. The ride wasn't long but what Leonardo noticed is that the kid was having fun and wanting to do it again. After going in the kid was dragging the plank back across the beach to its hide it in the bushes. Leonardo catches up to him and asked if he could try using his board and would pay for using it, the kid said "Si". Out into the water with his trouser on and his shirt off. Leonardo went out a little further where the white water was larger. After a few tries, Leonardo catches the white water and is moving to shore. Leonardo felt the stoke that the kid had expressed and thought to himself this is fun. After a few more white water waves Leonardo returned the plank to the young boy and sat back under the tree and began sketching a few ideas and some waves on a sheet of paper.
At his hotel room, Leonardo would study Vincenzo's books and see city life during certain times of the day. It was time to depart from Panama to Peru. After getting on board Leonardo was reviewing his drawing of the beach while on the port rail of the "Mensajero de Viento" (Messenger of the Wind) as it made its way along Ecuador's coastline. Looking at the wave drawings again brought back the memory of riding the waves. The captain of the "Mensajero" was Felix Hernandez and he had stopped by to talk with Leonardo as the sun was setting on the first day out from Panama.
"As mentioned we will be stopping in Trujillo for 2 days before sailing on to Callao," said Captain Hernandez. The Captain looking at Leonardo's sketch of the waves continued "There is a beach city Huanchaco where fishermen ride the waves on boats made of reeds." "Boats riding waves?" Leonardo questioned. "Yes, they have been doing it for a very long time. Way, before we set foot on these lands", explained Captain Hernandez. "I will visit that place and see for myself when we anchor," said Leonardo while thinking about his experience of riding the white water in Panama.
A week later Mensajero de Viento was anchored down the coast from Trujillo and Leonardo was on the beach at Huanchaco and watching the fishermen on their boats surfing in from their daily fishing. Waiting out in the lineup a group of fishermen took turns catching the waves in. Some came straight into shore while others angled and were riding the waves with the white water behind them. With the unbroken part of the wave in front of them, they would get a longer ride before straightening out and riding the white water in. Fascinated by what he was seeing, he walked over to a group of fishermen and asked if one of them could teach him to surf.
A person steps forward and says he can and then introduces himself as Sergio Barbosa and that he could teach him to surf and had a boat for him to use. It wasn't long before Leonardo was paddling out alongside Sergio. Leonardo would occasionally fall off to the side but would make it out. Once in the lineup, Sergio tells Leonardo what to look for when the swell gets closer to shore and where to be to catch the wave. As they sat there Sergio noticed a set coming told Leonardo to start paddling for the wave. Leonardo looked at him and then out to the horizon and sees a swell approaching him. So he starts paddling for it. The swell passes him and breaks about ten feet farther in. Sergio laughs and says you are too slow paddle harder. Watch me on the next wave and see how I do it.
So Leonardo did just that and noticed it was the timing of where to be when to begin paddling and to know when you have caught the wave. After a half, an hour Leonardo started to catch on and started to get his balance and control. Leonardo would spend the rest of the day surfing. "You are naturally gifted for surfing my friend," said Sergio as he watched. Leonardo improved with each wave that he rode.
Out in the lineup, Sergio is talking to Leonardo in between a set of waves and said "There is a city to the north and it's named is Chicama. I heard that the waves there are very long and a few people I know have ridden it. One day I will go there and ride the waves" Sergio remarked with a deep conviction to do so. After going in Sergio asked “What do you do for a living.” “I work for a governor in Panama and I enjoy sailing. Perhaps one day I will find land out in the middle of the ocean” said Leonardo pointing out at the ocean. It was time to leave and Leonardo thanked Sergio for teaching him and said he will always remember him before getting into his carriage and returning to Trujillo that evening.
The following day the Mensajero set sail and went out to sea and making its way to Callao. Once there Leonardo made all of his contacts and exchanged his letters from Governor Juan to the Viceroy of Peru Vidal Sestorio. Attending various parties and visiting Inca villages, Leonardo's had a good time. But time came and went and three weeks later Leonardo would be back in Panama City. There to greet him was a letter from Florencia. She says that they have been attacked by pirates and they have burned down the house, wharf, and boat and had damaged the current crops out in the fields. She and the servants were lucky to have escaped back to her father's estate. She will be waiting there when he returns. After reading the letter Leonardo rushes over to the governor of Panama City office and has a talk with the governor about what has occurred. The governor was aware of the incident and had prepared an escort unit for Leonardo's return trip back home.
Once back to Portobelo, he is at Governor Juan's estate and enters the main house where Florencia is sitting somewhat distraught. After seeing Leonardo she rushes over to him. Overwhelmed, Florencia started to cry and Leonardo comforts her with a securing embrace and says "You are all right and that is all that matters to me, everything else can be replaced". They looked at each other and he wiped the tear from her face and with a sigh, she said "You are right".
They embraced and she told Leonardo "You are my guiding light". Leonardo in return said "You are my inspiration." Happy to be together they discussed the rebuilding of their house. They were married in three months and had come back from their honeymoon when a letter from the Court of Spain came to his attention. It was regarding the request for substitution that was implemented. But due to the unforeseen tragedy of his substitute Hector and the crew of the ship that was lost during a storm.
So Leonardo was ordered to continue on his mission to find the island in the Pacifico Ocean. Florencia says to Leonardo "I will go with you; I can't bear to be without you". Leonardo stood in silence while looking at Florencia and remarked "All right, but what about your father?" "He will understand" Florencia said as she reached for and held Leonardo's hand. After discussing their intentions and somewhat against Florencia from going the governor gave in and agreed. The two made the trip over to Panama City and would depart in a week into the Pacifico Ocean.
After taking Florencia to those places he had visited on his first trip to Panama City, they ended the day at the beach where he watched the young boys surf the white water. The sunset was very colorful as the hues of yellow, red, violet, and orange stretched across the clouds framed by a powder blue sky that was being followed by the darkness of nightfall. They had dinner at a cantina near the ship "La Buscador" (The Seeker) of which they would be traveling on.
"La Buscador" is sailing to Acapulco first to unload weapons and documents to the government officials there before turning west into the vast Pacifico Ocean," said Leonardo while taking a bite from his meal. "I had a talk with Captain Rogelio Vargas the other day about my theory of where to start and how long it might take to get there".
"I feel this is the final leg of the journey to get to where the location is on the map. I have been studying the map on and off for quite a while. But it wasn't until the Padre shared those books back at the church in Portobelo that things became clearer in how to approach the location" said Leonardo to Florencia as he continued "There was a book by Claudius Ptolemaeus known as "Ptolemy" a Roman scholar who recognized a need for a grid system to measure one's location. Using north as the top of maps and south as the bottom and having lines spaced out in that direction. Then going east to west with lines spaced out in those directions evenly. Then using that concept and the general descriptions noted on the map of Vincenzo. I concluded that what we are looking for is due west of Acapulco. Having talked with some of the navigators here in Panama about their trip from the Philippines to Acapulco, I'm guessing around 40 days or so is where we will find land".
Leonardo lifted his wine cup and said "A toast to the finding the land and returning home to rebuild our house and our future" Leonardo touches the wine cup from Florencia's extended arm. "I have some wonderful ideas for our house, Leonardo," said Florencia. "I can hardly wait to get back and start," Leonardo said while smiling and places his cup down as Florencia does the same. "We will make it much better this time," said Leonardo as Florencia nodded her head to say yes. They left the cantina and returned to their quarters aboard the La Buscador. With the command of weighing anchor, La Buscador starts to drift before the sails fill in and slowly leaves the harbor for her trip to Acapulco. Leonardo and Florencia look back as the mountains start to disappear and the routine of being out at sea takes over. Leonardo and Florencia would have dinner with Captain Vargas. After the meal the table was cleared and the maps are brought out.
The Captain asks "Do you really think the land we seek is west of Acapulco, Leonardo." "It is a guess and I can't guarantee that it will be out there, but there is something out there. I know it is like finding a needle in a haystack, but the King wants us to find it and claim it for Spain. So Captain I have my orders like you and these maps that I have is all that we have to go by" Leonardo said. "We will sail for 40 days and if no land is sited we will turn around and return to Acapulco. The supplies we have onboard will last for 100 days. I have to think of everyone on board and their welfare" Captain Vargas replied. "Understood Captain" Leonardo replied. The next day came and went like each day that would follow, a blue sky and a breeze from the northeast. Arriving in Acapulco 10 days later, La Buscador loads up on supplies and water and is preparing to leave on their mission.
Going over the map Leonardo, the Captain and the navigator discuss the details of the course as the ship leaves the harbor and into the unknown. The first week went by and being out at sea turned into a routine. Each morning the officer on deck would ring the bell indicating 8 am. Leonardo would have a daily meeting with the captain and a walk around the deck with Florencia. They would discuss topics that either had in mind. A group of individuals would have a Sunday mass service held around 10 am with an opening and closing prayer. Each day would start and end the same as the previous day.
On the 35th day, a tern was spotted flying near the ship and the watch in the crow's nest calls out the bird off the starboard bow. Leonardo rushes to see and observes the bird with his spyglass flying away north by northwest. The captain walks over to Leonardo and says we shall make a slight adjustment in our direction and change our course north by northwest. After a few days, the watch in the crow's nest notices a log floating by some 200 yards away.
Then notices on the horizon two peaks and yell "land ho, four points off the port bow". Leonardo and Florencia were talking about home when the watch spotted land and both turned to their left and saw the two peaks. Not knowing the height of the peaks the Officer on deck guest it would be a few hours before landing, it took nearly a day before they could see the base of the large mountains.
It was morning when La Buscador was a few miles from land. The winds started to pick up and clouds became darker. Captain Vargas called out to Lieutenant Silva "Lieutenant changed our course back out to sea and lash down the sails for storm conditions. I do not wish to be next to a lee shore during a storm" Captain Vargas orders his officer on deck. In their quarter's Leonardo is telling Florencia of a dream that he had the night before "A man named Kai'ike warned me of this storm that is upon us and within an hour the sky will clear up and everyone would have forgotten everything that had to happen during the time of spotting land. You and I will be the only ones who will know of this."
"What else did he mentioned?" Florencia asked. "That we should not tell of land being here. Then the island will not be discovered for another 200 years. He felt it best not to change history" Leonardo said as the ship was bouncing around and the crew was at general quarters. The two stayed in their cabin until the storm went away. This storm has forced Captain Vargas to discontinue his mission and return to Acapulco for the sake of his men and ship."Coming out of their cabin, Leonardo and Florencia were greeted by sunny skies and everyone was doing their usual routine. Walking over to the helm where Captain Vargas was standing, Leo said "Captain Vargas how are things?"
"Well Leonardo, we are heading back to Acapulco, I feel it best to turn around with the supplies we have on hand," the Captain said. "Yes, I agree for the sake of all on board. It is hard to say of any island being out here" Leonardo said as he went over to the side of the boat to tell Florencia of the Captain's decision. "Do you think it is an omen for us to take heed" Florencia said. Yes, and when we return, I will let the King know that I tried and will give the diaries to someone else to search for the island." "Yes, I agree. We need to start building our own direction in the New World" Florencia said looking out at the horizon.
They returned to Acapulco and caught another ship to Panama and would rent a carriage for their trip back to Portobelo. A couple of hours out of Panama City Leonardo was going to say something with his mouth half open and had tilted his head slightly toward Florencia. But he kept quiet and looked into her eyes. He put his arm around her shoulder and she rested her head upon it. It had been a long journey and both were tired. The coach pulled into the Hacienda at nightfall, Leonardo gently nudged Florencia and said "We're home." Getting out of the coach they walked over to their room and had the servants take their luggage in and they would have a cup of wine before going to bed.
The next morning the governor was in the kitchen talking to Leonardo when Florencia came in and said "Good Morning father, Good Morning Leonardo". "Returning the greeting Juan and Leonardo said "good morning" at the same time. "What do you have a plan for today dear," said Juan to his daughter. "Leonardo and I are going to the bay and work out some details regarding our house," said Florencia. "That will be fine, but tomorrow we need to go over the other issues that have developed while you two were gone," said the Governor. "Alright father" as the two left the room and went to the stable.
Back at the Bay, the two walked along the beach from one Point to the middle of the bay with their horses in tow. Both walking barefooted in the sand, Leonardo looking out at both points and sees waves breaking. It brought memories of Panama City and Huanchaco. "I never paid much attention to the waves breaking around both points before. I don't know why, but Kai'ike comes to mind looking at the surfs." The waves on the north break were wrapping around to where the remains of the wharf used to be before disappearing into deeper waters.
They continued their walk noticing how the vegetation had grown. Stopping at the middle of the bay they put on their shoes and got on their horses. They and rode by the area where they were growing vegetables, but now an unkempt patch of weeds. "It is time we return," said Leonardo looking out at the ocean and then at Florencia. While riding back and thinking of what to do next Leonardo said out loud, but not meaning to "If something is changed in the past, the future will be altered and what we knew was true has been completely erased." "What did you say dear," asked Florencia. "I was thinking to myself about the events that happened to us," Leonardo said with a curious look. "We have a very special relationship and I love you," Florencia said out of the blue. Leonardo turned and look at her and said "Yes, no matter of the future or the past. I love you too."
Returning home to the Hacienda that evening at dinner a general discussion of the new house that Florencia was designing, the shipment schedules of the galleons, and pirates. Leonardo had the answers but kept quiet for most of the meeting. "You've been quiet most of this time Leonardo is there something on your mind," asked the Governor. "I can't explain it but I think my father is ill and I must return home to see if he is alright," said Leonardo. Florencia turns quickly to Leonardo after he said that and says "I will go with you". Somewhat surprised Juan says "if you really feel that way, go if you must, I know Florencia would do the same for me. I will arrange for the both of you to leave on the next available ship out". "We will begin to pack this evening," said Florencia` "I appreciate your insight as a father Sir and I will always remember your concern you have for me and my feeling towards my father," Leonardo said.
The next morning Leonardo was having coffee at the outside table of a local café near the harbor, after checking out the ships that were in port. "Hey Leonardo how you doing," said Pedro the retired fisherman who had lent him the use of his small boat to go sailing in when he first met Florencia. "Pedro you old son of a gun, you are a sight for sore eyes," said Leonardo getting up and shaking his hand. "What brings you to these neck of the woods," Pedro asked. "I was looking at the ships at anchor and was going down to the Port Office to find out who was returning to Spain. I think my father is ill and I wanted to go see him" said Leonardo. "Sorry to hear that Leonardo," said Pedro. As a waitress walks by Leonardo lifts his arm up and says "Excuse me, miss, can I have another cup of coffee for my friend here". "Why that quite kind of you Leonardo," Pedro said while thanking him for the cup of coffee.
"I don't know if you can afford it, but there is a boat at Ruben's Boatyard that is up for sale. She is 120 ft. in length and has a beam of 27 ft. she looks very seaworthy" said Pedro. "You know Pedro I might just do that," said Leonardo and the waitress came with Pedro's coffee. The two friends talked about the weather and what was happening with some of the fishermen that he knew. Leonardo seeing some of the people leaving who had sat down after he did say to Pedro "I'm going down to Ruben's and look at that boat you were mentioning. It was good seeing you again my old friend." "Good to see you too, Leonardo"
After walking to Ruben's boatyard Leonardo is walking around when he sees the boat Pedro was talking about tied up at the dock. Walking back and forth looking at the boat a man walks up to Leonardo and says "My name is Amelio, can I help you. Say you look familiar, do I know you. "Yes Amelio, I'm Leonardo the one who had la Flecha built here. That's right, now I remember. How are you sir" said Amelio. "I'm doing well, thank you," said Leonardo. "So, I see you are looking at this boat. The owner of this boat is a merchant who got into financial trouble when his shipment of goods from Portugal was hijacked at sea by English pirates.
To pay for his losses he has to sell this boat which you see here" said Amelio gesturing with his arm and open hand to go onboard and take a look. Leonardo grabs a hold of the stroud line that is connected to the mast and hops onto the railing of the boat then over the guardrail. Amelio walks over to the opening in the guardrail and comes aboard and says "She will accommodate 20 people comfortably and it has an aft stateroom that is roomy, well ventilated, and has adequate portholes for lighting. In the main cabin, there is a well-designed galley, with the lounge area well thought out and the forward compartment berths well organized.
The bow section has the sail compartments along with the running rigging. Forward of that is the anchor locker. Would you like to take her for a ride; that can be arranged?". "Why yes, what about this afternoon," said Leonardo. "Say two o'clock this afternoon," said Amelio. "That will be good. I will see you at two o'clock with my wife" confirmed Leonardo. Returning to the governor's hacienda Leonardo looks for Florencia and finds her in the study. "I have found a boat that we might purchase for the trip back to see my father," said Leonardo. "That was fast. Where is this boat you talk of" asked Florencia? "It is at Ruben's Boatyard," said Leonardo. "Isn't that where la Flecha was built" said, Florencia.
"Yup that's the one, I arranged a sail on her this afternoon," said Leonardo. "Ok, I just need to reschedule a few things," said Florencia as she stepped out of the room and told her maid to let everyone know who had made appointments to reschedule. It was two o'clock and Leonardo and Florencia were at the dock looking over the boat. Her first impression was that she liked it and wanted to know how she handled and sailed. Amelio had a crew of eight walking with him as they approached the dock.
"Good afternoon Leonardo, this must be your wife that you mentioned," said Amelio. "Yes, this is Florencia and we are ready for a sail," said Leonardo. Amelio had gone over to the boat two hours before and was ready. He had the four crew members release the dock lines and hop on board while the others were getting the sails ready and adjusted to the afternoon winds by the dock. The cushions made of blocks of wood covered with a heavy layer of sap from a rubber tree were bought on deck and stowed away. The breeze has been steady and two crew members are hoisting the small square headsail while the other four are preparing to hoist the large forward lateen sail.
The smaller stern Lateen sail will be hoisted after leaving the harbor. Amelio is at the helm and the other crew member is assisting Leonardo and Florencia with their needs before going forward and helping out. Amelio is easing the rudder toward the dock with the steering wheel as Lady Luck the name the owner gave the boat drift out with the wind helping. The forward square sail shape is filling as Amelio angles the boat through the channel towards the harbor entrance. "Take her up all the way and go back to the stern and raise that one up," says Amelio as the main lateen is lifted up all the way and the stern sail is being hoisted. Now she is moving and Amelio calls Leonardo over to take the helm.
With Amelio by his side suggesting what to do, Leonardo steers toward the harbor entrance. Passing a few anchored ships along the way he is in open waters and getting the feel of the boat. Florencia is nearby and walks over to Leonardo. He says "What do think Flo" and she replies "So far, so good". They are picking up speed and traveling at 12 knots. "What is her top speed," asked Leonardo to Amelio. "She had done 18 knots before, but I know she can do better," said Amelio. "Florencia, take over the helm and see how she feels to you," said Leonardo as he held on to the wheel until she took hold. With the wind flowing through her shoulder-length hair she says "It feels alright". Leonardo moves to the rear of the boat and looks over the side to the rudder. And tells Florencia to "steer a little to the left" pause" then to the right". Leonardo asks Amelio "Is the tiller rope adjustable or is it in place". "it is in place" said Amelio as Lucky Lady moved on. Going forward he asks the crew if hoisting was easy or difficult and they said "it's not bad, but could be better." Lucky Lady went out a few miles and turned around, and headed back.
Leonardo and Florencia went down into the main salon and looked around, then went into the crew berths. Taking down notes of what they saw and how they felt. Reappearing from the main cabin they walked over to the aft cabin and went in. They looked at the bed, the cabinets, storage compartment, and the chart table before going back to the helm. "Well, what do you think," said Amelio. "She nice," said Leonardo looking at Florencia who had a smile on her face.
Entering the harbor Amelio had the crew lower the mainsail and half of the forward sail and steer wide of the dock and turned hard on the wheel as the crew lowers the aft sail. Lucky lady glided her way towards the dock traveling a few miles an hour as four of the crew members jumped onto the docks with the dock lines and walked her along as the stern lines were cleated first, then the bow and mid-ship lines after. Amelio let out a slight sigh and looked at Leonardo and Florencia and said shall we go over to the office and close the deal. There are a few things that need to be done before that, but let's start the paperwork on it. The crew was cleaning up as Amelio, Leonardo and Florencia walked over to the office.
That evening Leonardo and Florencia let her father know of the purchase. "What did you name her" ask Juan. "Her name previously was "Lady Luck" but we change it to, "Espiritu de Libertad" (Spirt of Freedom) said, Florencia. Leonardo mentioned it will take a week to get her ready and they most likely be-gone a few months. Juan expressed his concern but gave them his good wishes for a safe return. The following day they began to put together a crew of 16 not including themselves, they were a cook, a navigator, and a twelve-man crew. Florencia and the cook Franco Herisemo calculated the provision for the trip and made the purchases.
Before departing, Leonardo introduced himself, Florencia, Carlos, and Franco to the deckhands. Who were Nicolas and Diego, two brothers in their twenties from Portobello, Martin, Lucas, Jose, and Andres from a merchant ship from Spain that was going to Brasil? Then there was Pablo, Alonso, Maximo, Hugo, Diego, and Eduardo all from Panama City and want to go to Europe to see what it is like and be paid for it and return home with the experience after having done so. There was a lot to be done by the boatyard with the steering and a few other items on the list. The crew was informed of what was expected from them, doing dry runs on sails, anchoring, and general maintenance around the boat.
Franco got familiar with the galley and cooked a few meals for the crew while they did the dry run of the sail procedures. Afterward, Leonardo and Carlos went over the charts and how Carlos did things. It was a busy week for Leonardo with the workload that he had with the Governor's office and Florencia's house planning. Within the week the general routine was familiarized and they were ready for the trip. Leonardo and Carlos had laid out the course that they would travel and the estimated time it would take to get to Livorno, Italy. After departing they would sail with the Gulf Stream current around Cuba past the panhandle of Florida, then sail on a northeast course across to a general area. where brisk winds from a storm out of the Northwest would be approaching. This he foresaw in another dream that he had.
From what he knew of being in front, he would use the calmer waters as a ramp and the steady winds from astern as the fuel to make a fast sail toward Europe. Twelve days later after departing they were at the location on the map where the steady winds began blowing from astern. The boat started to pick up speed and Leonardo yells to the helmsman "steady as she goes" while ordering the crew who were handling the sails to reef down on the forward lateen sail a couple of notches and get ready for a sudden speed increase. In front of the leading edge of the storm, Espiritu de Libertad cuts through the water as she was designed to do.
"Leonardo I do not know how you knew where and when to be, but this is perfect timing, we were very lucky or you possess special knowledge. I have never sailed like this in all my travels" said Carlos. Leonardo replied "my guess was very lucky to have gotten these winds" looking back and then at Carlos. Every morning and evening Florencia and Leonardo would be on deck and talking about whatever was on their minds. Leonardo would describe his childhood and the things that he did while growing up and she would do the same. In the afternoon she would design their house and he would meet with Carlos and plot their location by using the sextant and make an adjustment on the course.
They would calculate the miles that they made good from noon to noon. Franco was a good cook and kept the crew happy with the food that he prepared. The sailors would take turns on the watches. The watch rotation consisted of three men on three-hour shifts until noon. Then Leonardo and Carlos would go on watch from 12 to 2 in the afternoon every day to offset the timing where the crew would have different watch hours daily.
Espiritu de Libertad is doing 20 knots day and night and on the 4th day of sailing fast, the forward lateen sail begins to come apart at the seam. Still making 10 knots with the forward lateen sail down, the crew made the repairs within half a day and they are off and sailing again. Nearing the continent Espiritu de Libertad slows as she enters the Mediterranean. Traveling at 10 knots they pass Spain and France as they swing up by Sardinia and around Corsica. Two days later during at mid-day, a few sailing vessels pass by as they near the harbor at Livorno. After docking the men are given liberty with a different watch schedule in place. The rotation of those going ashore and those on watch were posted on a daily bulletin board. The person in charge of the boat, while Leonardo and Florencia were away, was Carlos.
On arrival to Livorno, a banking crisis was underway and the banks were having a holiday. Leonardo and Florencia had gold and silver coins with them and were prepared to deal with negotiating a transaction. The couple went to the coach house where Leonardo had been before with Captain Montoya and Maria. By chance Leonardo sees Angelo getting his team of horses ready to return to Florence. "Hey Angelo how are you," said Leonardo. Angelo looks over his shoulder and stares at Leonardo, then realizes the young man from a few years back.
A smile appears on Angelo's face and says "Fred, ah Frederico". "No, my friend it's Leonardo". "Now I remember, how you been. How was the New World," said Angelo. "It has been quite the adventure. Oh let me introduce you to my wife Florencia," said Leonardo. "How do you do Florencia," said Angelo. "Fine, thank you, Angelo," said Florencia. "We will need a ride to Florence," said Leonardo. "Yes go inside and see the clerk. You came at the right time. I'm going back without a guest" replied Angelo.
They were off to Florence and with a stop at Empoli. They were having a late lunch and stretching their feet. "Leonardo my feet feel wobbly still as if I'm still on the boat," said Florencia. "That is natural, I felt the same thing when I came ashore at Portobelo," said Leonardo taking a drink of the wine that was produced there in Empoli. "This wine is very good," said Florencia. "The Tuscany region is known for its wine," said Leonardo taking another sip.
They would arrive later that day and go to his family's house
from the coach station. With their two handheld baggage, they walk over to the apartment house. Arriving at the apartment house Leonardo sees his mother Margaret and the relatives in the living room. He gives a hug to his mother and is greeted by his uncle and aunts and he introduces his wife Florencia. "Everyone I would like to introduce my wife Florencia," said Leonardo. "She is very beautiful," one aunt says to Leonardo. "You are a lucky boy," says another.
Uncle Mario walks over to Leonardo and gives him a handshake and a hug. "It's good to see you again Leonardo," says Mario. "It has been a while Uncle and I treasure the moment," said Leonardo. "Your father fell ill six months ago and his health has been getting worse. How is it that you knew of his illness when we only wrote to you one month ago" said Mario? "I can't explain it but I had a strange feeling that something was not right," Leonardo said and continued "excuse me I'm going in to see father" while Florencia stayed and talked to the relatives. "What is it that you do Florencia," asked one of the aunts. "I help my father around his hacienda" replied Florencia.
"What does your father do" asked another aunt. He is the governor of Portobelo, Panama" Florencia answered. "Oh" was the response the aunt who asked the question said. Then there was a silence before everyone started asking question after question about their wealth. Florencia looked at everyone politely and said she did not want to talk about her family matters and she was here with Leonardo to see his father. So Margaret changed the subject and asked if she had been to Italy before.
Leonardo had quietly walked into his father's bedroom and pulled up a chair to sit beside him. Holding his hand, Guido opened his eyes. A smile came to him and said "I never thought I would see you again my son". With a tear in his eye, Leonardo responded with "It is good to see you again father". In a soft voice, Guido asks "did you find the islands on the map". "Yes I did father and I made a promise not to tell anyone. But the person whom I made the promise to will understand and this will be the only time I will reveal that I did," Leonardo said. "I'm proud of you my son. I knew you could do it" as Guido squeezed his hand gently conveying his pride "I knew you would be accomplished what you set out to do."
"I have a surprise for your father. Florencia could you come here" said Leonardo. She walks in and stands next to Leonardo. "Father this is my wife Florencia. We met in Panama" said Leonardo. A big smile came over Guido as he slowly reached out to her without letting go of Leonardo's hand. She extended her hand and all three held hands and Guido said "It is nice to have met Florencia. I will never forget that day on the bridge with you Leonardo" as Guido closed his eyes with a silent smile and let go of Leonardo and Florencia's hands. Leonardo rested his head on his shoulder and began to cry. Regaining his composure he walked out slowly with Florencia by his side, told everyone in the living room that "Father has gone to Heaven." Leonardo's mother and aunts all began to cry. Uncle Mario stood in silence with a blank look on his face while he held back his tears.
In a somber voice, Leonardo said he wanted to show Florencia the city to take their minds off of the passing of his father. They walked across the Ponte Alla Carraia bridge holding hands, Leonardo said to Florencia "This is the bridge my father was talking about when he passed away". She pulls his hand and Leo turns towards her and she moves closer and kisses him and says "Being with you is like a dream come true for me, now so than before." Blinking his eyes and being struck with emotion. He gives her a long hug and says "This feeling of love that I have for you, where words wait for me to return, is beyond anyplace that I have been before".
She stood there and looked at him and felt the moment was engraved into her heart. He placed his arm around her shoulder and began walking and mentioned "Shall we go see some of the statues around the city, marvelous works of art" said Leonardo. "That reminds me I would like to get a sculpture for our house Leo. Not too big and not too small. Any suggestion where we should go?" asked Florencia. "Let try the house of San Gallo first and then the house of Rovezzano for starters.
After services for his father, Leonardo and Florencia were returning to Espiritu de Libertad and prepared to depart with their sculpture that they will exhibit at the front entrance of their new house. Florencia wanted to go to Pisa and view the leaning Tower of Pisa before returning to Livorno. They stopped there and viewed the tower and went site seeing around before returning to Livorno. Another place on the list of places to go to was Genoa up the coast. The plan was to stay a week before leaving Italy and return home to Panama.
It was a weekend when they arrived in the seaport of Genoa and a few of the local day sailors were out in the harbor as they tied up to the dock. A single mast mainsail and fore jib caught the eye of Leonardo, asking around the docks he found out that it belong to a local merchant and was Dutch built. Near the harbor was a boat builder from the Netherlands whose yard had a few boats under construction. Leonardo got to talking with the owner Hans Christensen about the rigging and became very interested in converting Espiritu de Libertad into a sloop sailboat. Florencia was all for it and it wasn't long before arrangements were being made to have Espiritu de Libertad converted to a sloop rig configuration.
Hans mentioned that he had received a shipment of fine spruce from Russia for the mast and there was one, in particular, that would fit the Espiritu de Libertad length to height ratio just fine. Hans also said that since the mast height is taller than the length of the boat, he would make adjustments to the fore and aft rigging and the shrouds, by using wire stranded together and covered with a special resin from Austria. The work began on the following Monday and completed 40 days later.
During the construction, Florencia and Leonardo went to a sailmaker there in Genoa suggested by Hans. The sailmaker was telling Leonardo because of the size of the mainsail, linen was stronger but heavier. The mainsail that they had in mind would be heavy. Not impossible to handle but heavy. Then he went on to say that a Swiss inventor had coated cotton with a special mixture which made it stronger. Having a strong and lightweight material was the answer the Vi's were looking for.
The mainsail was a standard shape and the headsails were more custom. The sailmaker said to Leonardo and Florencia "If you don't mind I would like to call the headsails "Genoa" since they will be the first of its kind". They made duplicates of both the main and headsails and stow them away for safekeeping in the sail locker. The crew had been preparing for the day when they would sail a sloop rig by sailing on smaller sailboats with the single mast and jib setup. Weekly meetings on what to do and when to do were discussed. On her first day of trials, Espiritu de Libertad's sails took to the wind like it was made for her and sailed smoothly. The changing direction went well for the helmsman as the crew became accustomed to the tacking and jibing. "So much easier and less effort compared to having the guy go aloft to adjust the lateen rig," said Carlos.
Leonardo felt ready to depart and made plans with Carlos on the course they would take. The evening before departure Florencia and Leonardo would dine out at a small restaurant near the harbor. At the front of the restaurant was a plaque mentioning Christopher Columbus as a native son who discovered the Americas. The owner of the restaurant seated the two where a view of the harbor. Leonardo says to Florencia "Somewhere I came across in my visions about a Lief Ericson who traveled to the Northern Americas some four centuries earlier" Florencia nodded her head to say yes and took a drink from her cup of wine.
The conversation turned to the design of their house and details that Florencia had incorporated. "I can hardly wait on our return trip back and our new sail configuration. We will sail further south and pick up favorable winds at the halfway mark" said Leonardo and continued with the lifting of his cup "A toast to Christopher Columbus for opening the door" the two touched cups and sipped their wine. They left Genoa with the new sail arrangement and the crew was getting used to the simpler procedure of raising the mainsail with a block and tackle and the same with the head sail.
The first few hours were spent tacking the headsail from one direction, then to the other. They had done this on the smaller sailboat when they were waiting for the new mast to be placed. Now on a larger scale, the two lines that are attached to the head sail's clew, one for the port side and the other for the starboard side are being walked around the stay line that is holding up the front of the mast, in combination with the mainsail being moved to one side or the other of the helm. It wasn't long before they had the maneuver down and were sailing smoothly at 9 to 12 knots all the way to the Greater Antilles.
There was a speed increase when Espiritu de Libertad entered the Caribbean. They had made it home in a few weeks and arriving at the wharf at mid-day, there to greet them was the Governor. He was informed an hour earlier from the lookout post located on a hill nearby. As he hugged his daughter he said "The lookout wasn't sure of the boat because of the sails, but they knew of her hull. Welcome back my dear". Leonardo I heard of your father's passing from Florencia's letter she had sent when you were in Livorno, my condolences to you." "It is good to be back. We made some changes to Espiritu de Libertad and she sails great" said Leonardo.
"Come, let go back to the hacienda and discuss your trip there," said the Governor joyfully. Back at the hacienda, the discussion of the trip was talked about at dinner and as if they never left and the conversation resumed where they had left off before departing to Italy. Relaxing after dinner Leonardo and Florencia were talking about things on their minds. "I have been thinking about a surfboard in my dreams ever since we left the islands," Leonardo said. "What is a surfboard?" Florencia asked. "It's like the plank I rode in Panama City but larger," Leonardo said. "You know Leo, that person Kai'ike and surfboards and future things make me think it is all related" Florencia said.
"It probably is. What's on your mind?" Leonardo asked. "Let's go out the bay tomorrow and spend the day there" mentioned Florencia. "I would like that," said Leonardo as they started to walk to their quarters. The next day Leonardo is watching the waves break around the Point and picturing himself riding the waves. With that thought in mind, he closes his eyes and sees Kai'ike surfing at his Pointbreak and having a fun time. Halfway through his ride, he is looking like he sees Leonardo and starts to wave his hand.
A voice says "Leonardo" and Kai'ike's vision disappears. Leonardo looks over to the bluff and sees Florencia waving for him to come to her. After walking up the path he asks "what is it Flo" and she points out to the ocean and says "There do you see it" pointing to a ship near the horizon. From his side pouch, he pulled out his special spyglass with a magnification of 5 times the strength of a regular spyglass and takes a closer look. "It looks like a carrack class vessel with an upper and lowers gun ports. She's heading south towards Colombia" Leonardo remarked while putting away his spyglass. "I wonder what they are up to," said Leonardo as he grabs Florencia's hand and said, "Shall we go."
After returning to the hacienda they informed the governor of the sighting. "It's a British warship that was spotted two weeks ago off the Cayman Islands by a Dutch merchant ship on her way here. They are preparing to attack a stray galleon sailing out of Portobelo" Juan told Leonardo and Florencia. "From what I notice of her Sir, she moves well and is well equipped to dismantle a galleon's rigging with her guns in no time," said Leonardo. Juan started walking around the room in thought and then asks Leonardo about his opinion. "What would you do," he asked. "Set a trap for her. Load a galleon with stones to appear that the ship is loaded with gold.
Then have six warships, three on each flank following her while out of view. When the decoy spots the British ship, she will give off a smoke sign in the appearance of an accidental fire on board. Have the six warships move in and confront the British ship. The details of the battle will need to be worked with the six Captains of the trap" Leonardo explained while drawing on a piece of paper and charcoal giving a bird's eye view of the battle scene.
The British Man of War will capture the treasures from our ships before then and take the load to their offshore haven in the Cayman Islands to have the gold sent back to London in their cargo ships. That will give us time to get ready and set the trap when she returns to do it again" Leonardo said while drawing a circle around his sketch of the battle and placing a large X on it. The governor looked over the idea and said "I will give it some thought." Leonardo nodded his head and said "Florencia and I are going into town to look at some fabrics the Dutch merchant ship has brought in and we will be spending the day there tomorrow."Florencia had a smile on her face and was anxious to go.
The plan of trapping the British Man of War was implemented 35 days later, but the British had spies located in Portobelo and found out about the trap. In an undisclosed cove, 20 miles from away the spies would row out to the anchored Man of Warship in the cover of darkness and let Captain Nelson Hunter in charge of the ship know about the trap that had been planned. After being notified he made sure any galleon that he would attack did not let out a smoke signal. The minute he would see smoke the attack was called off and they would sail away from where they had come from. After the first attempts, the plan was abandoned after seeing the British ship turn around and leave the area. Word got back to Governor Juan that a new plan was needed.
Knocking on the door to the study room Juan says "Florencia" pausing for a response. "Yes, father" Florencia answered. "I was talking to Leonardo and he mentioned that you turned the study into a clothing studio. Which is fine with me" as Juan was looking at the different bolts of fabrics stored in the shelves. "Is that of your doing, looking at the dress that she designed, it is terrific and so are the other garments on the hangers. You are very talented like your mother, God rest her soul" stopping for a moment while looking at Florencia.
Regaining his train of thought he continued "You will need a much larger room". "I know father, the studio I have designed into our new house will be four times the size of this study," Florencia remarked. "By the way how are things developing, regarding the plans for the house by the Bay" Juan asked. "I have been doing a materials takeoff sheet and a labor cost estimate before we break ground. My guess it will be done in 6 months" answered Florencia. "I look forward to seeing your new house," Juan said proudly. "How do you like this design," she asked while placing the neckline of the dress under her chin and holding out the sleeves with her hands. "Marvelous, simply marvelous" replied Juan. "I must go now, but will see you two for dinner tonight," said Juan as he made his way out the door.
Two months have passed and the British Man of War ship ran into a hurricane with winds of over 200 miles an hour and got shredded off the coast of Puerto Rico. Back at the construction site by the Bay, Florencia is directing the building crews. She sees Leonardo pulling up in a wagon with more building supplies. They talked about a few things before heading back to her father's hacienda. With the reins in hand and Florencia sitting next to him and her horse tied to the back of the wagon. Leonardo does a chirping sound and whips the reins as the horses pulling the wagon begin to move.
"The Studio by the Bay"
With the thought of workers with their hammers and saws a recent memory, Florencia and Leonardo are at the entrance to their new home. "Well the house is finished," said Florencia. "Yes, you designed a very interesting house for us to live in" complimented Leonardo. "The fountain with the sculpture is my "punto chiao focale" (focal greeting point) I had planned when we were in Florence" recalled Florencia. "You did mention that when we were looking at the sculptures," said Leonardo as they turned and went inside. Walking through the entranceway where the ceiling was at eight feet with closets situated just before the transition area where the stairs for the upper floors and the hallways branch off.
One hallway leads to the Ballroom, another leads to the garden, and the third leads to the main conference and research rooms. The ceiling in the transition room is open and the second hallway can be seen from the first floor. Walking through the hall to the Ball Room is a gallery of paintings that Florencia had collected with two of Leonardo's hanging in the middle. From the Ballroom, the hallway continues past the dining room next to the preparation room before ending at the kitchen. Branching off from the Ball Room is a set of French doors that open into the patio and the garden.
The second floor is where the Master bedroom is located and where Leonardo and Florencia are walking towards. They walk past the bed and onto the large balcony that connects to each of their design studios located on either side of the Master bedroom facing east toward the bay and ocean. There are five other bedrooms located upstairs with five servant quarters located downstairs. The house took over 8 months to build and instead of the original location on the bluff, it was relocated to the top of the knoll a few hundred meters in front of Sapphire Bay which was named by Florencia. The blue of the bay and shape reminded her of a 125 carat Sapphire necklace she had seen in Spain belonging to the Countess of Seville. From their balcony, they could see the four walk-ways from the garden to the beach area and the wharf where the new warehouse/workshops are located.
Leonardo's warehouse workshop was his pride and joy that he designed, measuring 75 ft. wide, 150 ft. long, and 30 ft. high. It was built near the new wharf consisting of four piers. Along one side of the warehouse are shops. The warehouse is where Leonardo would build his boats. It had two large sliding doors of 20 ft. on both ends of the warehouse. One end was aligned so a boat would be rolled straight out into the water and be next to the wharf. On the other side of the wharf was Espiritu de Libertad which has been remodified to carry six small cannons and a missile launcher. The crews of the ship are employed at the shops and live nearby. They are on notice whenever they need to sail Espiritu de Libertad out on commerce or defending the hacienda. To hone their skills against those who were unwelcomed, they would have monthly target practices with a different floating object outside of the Bay.
For keeping in shape Leonardo would jog, swim, and do calisthenics. Leonardo had been having dreams of making surfboards. He would do some research on the different types of woods he could use and the tools he would need. His interest in the possibility of flying was another area of interest. One section along the bluff about a half a mile away would be his testing grounds. The location is higher compared to the other locations along the bluff and has a sandy beach below the take-off point. Continuing to study the flight of pelicans, seagulls and other birds in the afternoon along the cliff was something Leonardo did in his research. With that information, he would develop miniature prototype gliders to test.
Some of them had narrow wings and while others had wider wings, he would toss them into the wind from the bluff and watched as some would crash and others would glide down onto the beach below. It wasn't long after that Leonardo transferred his theory into reality with a larger prototype. With his busy schedule, Leonardo would find time to test his ideas on weekends. One such weekend Florencia and three of his assistants are out on the bluff area getting ready for a trial run with one of his prototypes The afternoon onshore wind was steady at 15 miles an hour and a scale model of the glider was at hand ready to be tossed.
With a weight equaling that of an average man below the scaled mockup, the glider is tossed over the cliff into the wind. To control the glider he had two strings attached near the center of gravity under both wings where the weight is located, like a string to a kite. The strings were two hundred feet long and place in a box. "Here we go," said Leonardo tossing the glider into the breeze. It began to drop before an upwards draft lifted it. Leonardo is letting the string out at a fast pace before pulling on both strings to bring the front of the glider down, then easing one string and tightening on the other, the glider turns parallel to the cliff.
Holding it steady Leonardo begins walking with the glider as he lets out more string. "She is flying Leo," said Florencia. "Yes," said Leonardo to answer Florencia's comment and watching how the model is moving along the cliff. All of a sudden the glider begins to veer off towards the cliff; Leonardo panics and pulls on the outer string too hard, which causes it to nosedive and before he knew it, it was on the side of the cliff some 100 ft. below them. They tried four prototypes after the first and each landed on the side of the cliff.
"Back to the drawing board men. See you back at the ranch" said Leonardo as he and Florencia rode off on their horses while his assistants climb down the cliff to retrieve the gliders. Jorge says to Tomas as they lower the rope tied to Roberto's waist, "what do you think went wrong". "Not enough frijoles" replied Tomas as Jorge looks at him with a disgusting look and says "We are trying to do something that no one has done before". "I know, but it is something about the lift that needs to be controlled" answered Tomas. "Hey you guys, cut the crap and lower me some more," said Roberto.
Back at Florencia's studio Leonardo is lying on her couch and relaxing and says "Need to do some more research on how air flows above and below the wings and how to steer." She looks toward him and he has his eyes closed, not knowing if he has fallen asleep or just resting. She says "I have a few more outfits to design before my collection is complete" looking around for her charcoal and drawing pad. Stopping what she was doing and looked out her large window. She sees El Nina Point breaking, looking across the entrance she sees El Nino Point breaking as well. The waves were 3 ft. to 5 ft and wrapping around the points. "Leonardo, El Nina is breaking around the point into the bay and in good shape," she says in a soft voice. His eyes open as he sat up and walks over to the window.
"I need to make a surfboard so that we can ride those waves," Leonardo said. One of the servants knocked on the open door and said she received a note from the governor and handed it to Florencia. "It said father wants us to attend a meeting at his house tomorrow," Florencia said. "There is trouble brewing I can sense it in the message," said Leonardo. At the meeting "It's about the ex-viceroy of Peru and a couple of his generals have become outlaws and were hijacking the gold shipments" the governor said. "So far they have out-witted the forces that have been protecting the mule trains shipments. Something needs to be done and that is why this meeting was called".
At the conference table were the Governor, Leonardo, General Bolivar, and Colonel Gueterriz from the garrison in Panama City, General Lopez and Captain Trujillo from Cartagena and General Maximo, and Colonel Figueroa of Portabello.
The meeting was going into its second hour and Leonardo listens to everyone's suggestions. Then the Governor asked Leonardo what he thought. Leonardo got up and walked over to the front of the conference table and said "My sources have informed me that Vidal Sestorio the ex-Viceroy of Peru has a small army at his command. His main camp is near the Ecuadorian and Peruvian border and another near El Salvadorian and Honduras border. He and his generals know the routes taken and the procedures involved with the transportation of the gold and silver shipments., They most likely had this course of action planned months ahead of time "pausing for a moment then continued "Senior Sestorio has captured 7 thousand kilos of gold and silver from Peru and Acapulco. All shipments have been halted for now."
Looking around the table before resuming his presentation Leonardo explained his views regarding Vidal Sestorio. "I became aware of Senior Sestorio's intentions when I was summoned to his office over two years ago." "Since then I kept surveillance of his activities through my network of sources. From what I have gathered other countries are supplying him with arms and ammunitions and his forces are made up of mercenaries from various parts of the region." "Excuse me Leonardo, But what you say is true, why wasn't I informed of this much earlier?" said General Lopez. "Governor Juan express what was being done to be kept classified since Senior Sestorio has a connection at the Royal Court and we had to wait until his intentions became known," said Leonardo as he looked over at the governor.
The governor stood and addresses the group "Gentlemen, I felt it was a very sensitive matter and we kept quiet about this until now. "Very well" replied General Lopez as everyone returned their attention to Leonardo. "I will say this," said Leonardo. "A few plans are being implemented currently and we shall know in two weeks if they are successful." The meeting concluded and the participants returned to their homes. In a couple of weeks Senior Sestorio and his generals were captured at the city of Guayaquil in Ecuador and Colonel Sanchez in charge of the northern company of Senior Sestorio forces was killed and his men were captured at the secluded island of Isla Del Tigre in the Gulf of Fonseca. Leonardo's foresight put down the theft of the precious metals and the shipment of gold and silver started up again.
Back at Sapphire Bay Leonardo is in discussion with Florencia at the weapons development workshop. Leonardo had come across a book about missiles and how the Chinese had used them in war. He became fascinated with the possibilities of using it as a defense weapon. Using the information from his first two missiles testing, the third system was redesigned with the addition of fins on the rockets "I made some adjustments for the new missiles and I think it will work". Leonardo said as he moved out into the main area of the warehouse with Florencia. At the test site, Leonardo was ready to fire the third proto-type missiles. The first two prototypes was tested for distance, the third was being tested for accuracy.
"What do you think Sir," asked Pedro. "We know the amount of gunpowder will determine distance, along with the front of the projectile needed to be pointed to cut through the air more efficiently and now we added fins to stabilize its flight" explained Leonardo as he looked out at the flags that were placed from the previous tests. "What was the distance of those flags out there Pedro" Leonardo continued. "They are in the 1800 ft. range, Sir". "So, we know from our previous tests that the rocket pointed at a certain angle will go a certain distance. Now we are going to aim it straight at a target and get a better idea with the modification we have made to see if it works" Leonardo said while adjusting his missile launcher.
"The target is ready Sir," Pedro said as he sees the workers waving a flag indicating all is clear and they are to the side, away from the target area. Leonardo lights the fuse of the first of 5 missiles. It blasted off for the target which is a 15' X 15' frame with a white sheet tacked on and an 8 ft diameter solid black circle painted on it. The distance to the target was 1000 ft. The missile landed with an explosion, one of the worker's places at flag there and estimated to be 890 ft. Pedro loads another rocket and Leonardo adjusted the launcher to 4 degrees up and a slight twist at the base for the wind, before lighting the fuse. The workers are off to the side and hear the screaming sound of the missile passing by them and through the target before exploding. The workers give each other a high five with the target being hit.
Leonardo using his spyglass sees the hole in the sheet and tells Pedro "It's not a bull's eye, but it's within the target and that's fine with me.". They fired the remaining rockets and collected the information onto a notebook. "It looks like you made the right changes for the missiles Sir," said Pedro. "I'm going to make a special launcher for Espiritu de Libertad where it will fire rockets out at sea, this with the cannons on board will make her more advance against future threats" Leonardo mentioned as he wrote down more information of what he was thinking onto his notebook.
Back at the hacienda a knock on the workshop door and Leonardo turns to see Alberto one of the supervisors from the farming operation. "Que pasa Alberto" questions Leonardo. "We are ahead of schedule and wanted to know which new section needs to be plowed?" Alberto asked. "The open area near the foothills on the south side of the main road. Also, make the main furrow for the water at the top end of the slope to feed into the lateral furrows" was Leonardo's response. "Yes Sir, will get to it tomorrow morning" Alberto answered back. Returning to his task Leonardo is outlining a surfboard. After cutting the outline with his modified saw, he leaves a half-inch extra around the outline. He stops what he is doing and cleans up his mess after being told by a servant that he had visitors.
Returning to the main house his visitors from the King's Court were inside with Florencia. To his surprise, it was Captain Montoya and Claudette. Excited in seeing them, he walks over and gives Claudette a warm hug and a hearty welcome handshake to Miguel. "What a pleasant surprise, I wasn't expecting to see you two," said Leonardo. "Welcome to our Hacienda, it is good to see you two again," said Florencia "I can see you have done quite well since we last met," said Miguel. "We are so happy to see you two again also and we have a lot to catch up on," said Claudette. "Jose, Benjamin, and Felipe take their baggage to the guest room," Leonardo said to his servants as the old friends went inside to get reacquainted.
As they enter the entrance lobby, they went through the hallway that leads to the garden. Walking to the garden pond Claudette says "This is a beautiful garden Florencia" as Claudette looks around at the plants and how they were arranged to convey serenity and peace. Miguel adds to Claudette's comment "There is much thought that went into this garden and the balance of the plants along the walkway and leading to the pond is simply marvelous.". "Thank you for the compliment," said Florencia while holding Leonardo's hand "Leonardo helped in the development of this garden and his ideas were very helpful in the overall scope of the experience we both wanted this garden to represent." "You have done just that," said Claudette.
"Please have a seat" Leonardo said pointing to the chairs located near the pond. With the sound of water dropping from a brook alongside the pond, they began talking about current and past events. "How is Maria and Lieutenant Segovia, Miguel," asked Leonardo. "They are doing fine, they have one child of two years of age and another on the way" replied Captain Montoya. "How is your orchard of oranges" continued Leonardo. "The orchard is doing fine, I spend most of my time there now and occasionally I do things for the court when asked. They have sent me out here to see if you would be interested in continuing on the quest of finding the islands in the Pacific again" Miguel said.
"Miguel I appreciate your visit and the King's interest in having me go look for the islands again, but I have to decline the offer, my old friend. I have much at stake here and there are others just as qualified as I to do the job" answered Leonardo. "I thought you might say that and I respect your decision, Leonardo. It was a long shot but they asked me and I said I would try" Miguel politely finished his inquiry for the court. Both women were listening to their husband's conversation, Claudette was relieved with the outcome and so was Florencia. The two men continued talking about politics and events happening in Spain. Will you two excuse us ladies, we are going for a walk said Florencia as she and Claudette got up and started walking into the garden towards the greenhouse. Both Leonardo and Miguel got up to confirm their departure.
"Let me show you my workshop and studio" Leonardo mentioned as he pointed to another walkway that went towards the Bay. Leaving the garden area and the trees that surrounded the house into the view of the Bay, Miguel says "Wow, I can see why you couldn't leave here. I thought your farming operation was big as we drove up here, but this is the icing on the cake; your own harbor and bay. What is that large building next to the wharf". "That's my workshop/warehouse," Leonardo said with a smile. Miguel stopped and looked at Leonardo and said "I could have never imagined all of this would be yours when we first met at your father's shop. By the way, how is your father?".
"He passed away over a year ago," said Leonardo as he looked up into the sky. "My condolences to you and Florencia" Miguel said as they continued down towards the warehouse and wharf. Walking into the warehouse workshop Miguel is once again amazed at the open area and the structural engineering. "Here are my workshops, one is for my surfboard building," Leonardo said. "What is a surfboard?" Miguel asked. With a smile on his face, Leonardo directs Miguel into his surfboard shop and explains the surfboard and surfing. "When I was in Panama City waiting to visit Peru, I went to a beach where a young boy was riding the whitewater of the waves. I tried it and enjoyed it very much. Then, while in Peru I visited a beach town where the fishermen rode boat-like rafts made of reeds in the waves after a day of fishing. They would sit and ride or they would stand and ride the wave" stopping for a moment to gather his thoughts he continued "then I put the two experiences together and began making a surfboard to surf on."
"Excuse me for just a moment" said Leonardo as he walked over to the tool counter "Here it is" as he picked up the drawknife and says "This is one of the tools I use to work on the surfboard with" showing Miguel the tool before placing it back on the counter. "is this a surfboard?" Miguel asked. Yes, but it is unfinished" Leonardo said. "Let me show you my glider workshop where I'm building a flying machine," Leonardo said as they left the surfboard shop into the glider shop. "You amaze me Leonardo, riding waves and now a flying machine," Miguel said as Leonardo was walking over to the prototype on the work table. Miguel had a looked of wonderment. "You mean you can fly this?" "We are at the beginning stages and there is still more research to be done" explained Leonardo as he lifted the prototype emulating the glider flying with the wind. Miguel shook his head sideways smiling in a gesture of what's next. Then Leonardo points to the shop next door.
"This is our weapons development shop where we are making missiles and other types of defensive weapons," said Leonardo. Suddenly Miguel got serious and paid attention to everything he saw. "A missile?" questioned Miguel. "Yes, more accurate than a cannonball and traveling faster and further to an object" explained Leonardo. "You know what this means Leonardo," said Miguel with a look of excitement. "Yes, others will duplicate them for their own purpose. I am doing it for the defense and protection of my Hacienda. We were attacked once before when I was not here and by the Grace of God, Florencia escaped with her life. I said to myself that it won't happen again and I will have the means to do so".
Miguel shook his head up and down and not mentioning what was on his mind. But Leonardo knew what he was thinking. They enter the warehouse and the two hull sailboat being worked on. "What is that?" asked Miguel. "It's my double hull sailboat," said Leonardo while looking at the bottom of the hulls. Leonardo suggested going outside to "Espiritu de Libertad" and gave a tour of his boat that was tied to the wharf. "That is an interesting sail you have on your boat," said Miguel. We did have a square sail rig/lateen setup when we went to visit my father before his passing. After he left us we sailed to Genoa to visit the city and came across a boat builder who was into these sail designs. I happen to watch others sailing with this configuration and how more efficient they were in changing course" recalled Leonardo. "That is an interesting story," said Miguel as they were leaving the wharf. In the distance they could see Florencia and Claudette walking down to them, so the two men started walking over to their wives. "
"Florencia is a wonderful hostess, we tour the garden and their big greenhouse then we came out here and saw you two," said Claudette. Miguel shared his experience with Claudette by saying "Leonardo showed me quite a lot around the warehouse and there is something I may have forgotten and not sure what it is that has slipped my mind,". Florencia looked over at Leonardo who looked at her and gave the expression of he didn't know what Miguel was talking about. "Shall we go back to the house" said Florencia.
Miguel and Claudette would stay for a few days before they would return to Spain to convey Leonardo's decision not to pursue finding the island in the Pacific. The foursome would go on picnics, sailing up and down the coast from Sapphire Bay, horseback ride into the rainforest to a special waterfall that only the locals knew of. During the evening hours, Leonardo would have some of the local musicians perform songs that they composed. And to highlight their trip, they were the guest of honor at the Governor's Ball that was being hosted by Leonardo and Florencia at their new house, which occurred the night before their departure. Guests arrived from all parts of the region and the party was very memorable to all who attended.
The following day after the departure of Miguel and Claudette, Leonardo is lying on Florencia's couch in her studio talking about the Ball. "What a night, I enjoyed every minute of it. Miguel and I may have had a little too much to drink and we sure did laugh most of the night, but it was fun and you never know if we will meet again" said Leonardo. "Yes you did I must say and I understand" commented Florencia. "Now we have to get back on schedule, there is so much work to do" commented Leonardo as he looked out at the bay. The following week Leonardo is out on Espiritu de Libertad doing target practice and becoming familiar with the missile launcher.
Having towed out two rowboats which had a floating target spaced a hundred feet between them Espiritu de Libertad from 1000 yards away prepared to fire her missiles. After a few practices of moving the missile launcher from one side to another after each tack Leonardo felt ready to fire at the target ."Get ready to light the fuse Pedro" ordered Leonardo. Calculating the angle of the deck and having adjusted the launcher, Leonardo gives the order to light the fuse. The fuse sparkled until it reached the end of the missile (10 seconds) and made a loud swoosh before taking off. Everyone watched the smoke trail heading for the target. Within a matter of seconds, a big splash occurred 50 meters past the target and to the left. "Lower the launcher by 3 degrees and 4 degrees to the right. Then fire the fuse Pedro" shouted out Leonardo. "Yes Sir," said Pedro as another missile is launched.
This time the target on the right side was hit and the sheet was flapping on one side. A loud cheer was heard across the boat and the command for another missile to be ready was called out. Once again with another adjustment, the order to fire was given. This time the center of the target was hit and the target sheet looks like a surrender flag on one mast. "Good work men," said Leonardo as he put away his spyglass. "Let's move closer in and use our cannons" yelled out Leonardo as the wind began to pick up. The helmsman steers by the target some 75 feet away. "Prepare to fire the cannons on the starboard side" was given by Leonardo. "Steady, steady, steady fire" he said. The blast from the cannons had a deafening affect. The target's rowboats between the two other rowboats exploded into pieces and the cheering from the crew cap the sinking of the target.
"All right let's head back to port," Leonardo told his helmsman. The crew began following the orders and the boat changed directions for a short ride in. Back at the wharf, Leonardo told the crew chief to have the crew clean up the boat and have the lead men meet him in front of the warehouse. Leonardo went over the procedure with questions and answers to see what areas needed to be improved on for future operations and thanked the lead men for a job well done. Walking back up the hill he hears "Leonardo wait for me" yelled Florencia. As he turned around he sees Florencia walking towards him and then she begins jogging before walking again when she got near. "I thought you were at the house," said Leonardo. "I was back in the supply room looking for some nails to hang a few paintings up within the hallway, so I came down here and was returning when I saw you" Florencia answered back.
Suddenly Florencia notices a messenger from the watchtower post at the entrance to the Bay running towards them. "Leonardo turns and sees him" as she pointed at the messenger who was approaching. Catching his breath he says "3 ships are approaching from the east and they are not showing any flags and are about 8 miles out. (With the enlarged telescope that Leonardo designed that can see 10 miles out) What shall we do sir, they will be here in over an hour". Leonardo yells to Pedro who was at the wharf talking to some of the crew. "Pedro get the men ready we have an unwanted guest."
The bells on "Espiritu de Libertad" start clanging and the crew rushes out from the area to the boat.
Leonardo says he is going to the watchtower and starts running up the path. Florencia mentions she will have the servants tell the other workers of the immediate danger and move to the guard station at the entrance to the Hacienda. Within 10 minutes Leonardo is at the watchtower viewing the ships and begins to plan a defense. He rushes back to the wharf and boards Espiritu de Libertad. Pedro has the crew load up the ship with missiles and cannonballs, and rifles. After which the lines are tossed and Espiritu de Libertad is sailing out of the bay.
As Espiritu de Libertad gathers speed, Leonardo surveys the 3 ships location once out of the bay. He decides to go upwind and approach the ships on a port tack. Looking through his spyglass he sees the crew of the first ship moving around and loading their cannons. When the lead ship is within range of 300 yards he has the missiles ready to fire. Calculating the wind and pitching motion of his boat he orders to fire missile one. The fuse is lit and the missile is off.
Within seconds the mast of the first ship is blown up. Leonardo orders adjustment to the launcher and missile two is on its way and within seconds, a direct hit to the hull of the ship. Leonardo is now focusing on the second ship and orders missile three to be ready. Taking in the conditions of the wind and sea, he calls out the angle and direction, he fires missile three. Missile three misses behind the second ship. He orders missile four to be ready and readjusts his calculations and gives the order to fire. A direct hit on the bow and the ship is taking on water.
The third ship is changing course and veering off back out to sea. "Let them go, we will look for survivors," said Leonardo as he orders the helmsman to steer in the direction of the first ship and the deck watch to keep an eye on the third ship for any change of direction. He tells Pedro to reef the mainsail and jib and hoist a lookout with a spyglass from the mast above the sails and yell back if he sees survivors. "I see the masts sinking into the water sir, and those in the water are being attacked by sharks" the lookout yelled back. "How far away and where" yelled Pedro. "5 points off the starboard stern about 400 yards sir" the lookout yelled back. Leonardo orders the helmsman to change directions toward the sinking ship and look for survivors.
After 10 minutes they are sailing around the area where the lookout mentioned. There was debris floating around from the ship and the dorsal fins of the shark swimming around. The local currents in the area were moving swiftly with the tides changing to low. "Any signs of anyone" yelled Leonardo. "No sir" yelled back the lookout. "Do you see the second ship's location where it went down?" yelled Leonardo. "That ship went down faster than the first and I lost sight of it before we reached this location sir" replied the lookout. "Very well, lower him down Pedro" ordered Leonardo.
"Wait yells back the lookout, there is an object about 300 yards bobbing up and down and it looks like two small, it's a boy and a dog" yells the lookout. "Where" yells Pedro. "3 points off the port bow" was the answer. Leonardo walks over to the port side and scans the area with his spyglass. "There" as he points in the direction where the boy and dog are. "Get a rowboat ready to pick them up" ordered Leonardo. After getting them back on board Leonardo greets them and has them wrapped with a blanket. The boy had signs of hypothermia and was sent to the main salon to warm up. "We will ask the boy how he and the dog were on board that ship when he is better," said Leonardo as he ordered the helmsman to take Espiritu de Libertad back to Sapphire Bay.
"A New Home for Homer"
Espiritu de Libertad is entering Sapphire Bay and lowering her sails as her crew is preparing to go to shore. Florencia is waiting on the dock with a wagon being pulled by a team of two horses in case wounded men are needing to be taken to the dispensary or the hospital in town. Shelia, one of her maids is there to help as the boat is approaching the pier. The crew is securing the lines when Leonardo appears from the salon cabin with a little boy and a dog, they walk over to the gangplank and walk down onto the pier. As they approach Florencia walks over to them and hugs Leonardo as she looks over at the little boy and then says to Leonardo. "We were watching your battle from the Watchtower and your idea with the missiles worked out very well. Who is this little boy." "He is Altair and his dog Homer" (a mixed breed that looked like a Jack Russell and a Scottish Terrier) they were on the second ship that went down and was being taken to Jamaica as prisoners from a previous raid. His parents were heading to Salvador in the Portuguese colony of Brasil where his father was to be the manager of a bank there. His previous position was as an assistant manager for a bank in Spain. Altair's mother was a school teacher and would be teaching there.
This I found out by reading a waterlogged letter that she wrote and Altair kept secret in a small pocket sewn on the hem of his pant leg. His parents were on the third ship that turned and sailed away. Altair was going to be auction off in Jamaica and his parents were going to be slaves for the pirates. Altair and Homer were at the stern of the ship with their guard, an old man who developed a liking for Altair and Homer. When the ship started to sink he grabbed the two and jumped into the water. He swam until he found a large plank to rest them on before he disappeared, knowing the plank could only float the boy and the dog. When asked, Altair said, "The old man helped us get on the piece of wood and waved goodbye before going under."
"How old are you Altair," asked Florencia. I'm 9 years old" answered Altair. Florencia had the look of wondering where his parents might have gone on the third ship. "You will stay with us Altair until we can find your parents," said Florencia as she went over to the young boy and hugged him. Still in shock after losing his parents, Altair looked at Florencia with a frown and looks down. Then he kneels to hug Homer and says "We will be alright Homer, these are nice people." Florencia looked at Altair and said, "Sheila take Altair and Homer to the guest room and give them something to eat." "Yes Madame," said Shelia as the wagon driver helps Sheila with the young boy and the dog into the wagon and went to the house as Florencia informed Leonardo about a message she received from her father.
"Leonardo I got a message from my father and he would like to talk to us about the future of his estate tomorrow. He mentioned his health has been slowly declining and wanted to let us know what is in store for us" said Florencia as they watched the wagon return to the house. "We will leave early tomorrow," said Leonardo. "Let's walk back to the house and talk some more about what we should do regarding your father's gold and estate. "The caves nearby the house have worked out well for placing the 100 tons of gold that were placed in boxes marked as copper and tin. Now the cave in the hill-side with its false wall at the entrance of the cave and the structure in front of it, is almost finished" said Florencia. "I'm glad It worked out well with the transfer of the gold using the wagon loads of lumber as a cover bringing it over here," said Leonardo. "It did take months, but we were able to do that without anyone being suspicious during the construction of our house," said Florencia.
Florencia and Leonardo returned home and would go see Altair and Homer. "Hi Altair," said Florencia as Homer barked, "Oh alright Homer you too" as she rubbed Homer's head. . Leonardo walks over to rub Homer's head but he kept barking. Leonardo was trying to figure out what Homer wanted and asked him "Homer would you like to go outside, outside."Homer moved to the door and waited as he moved in circles. Florencia laughed and said "Homer wants to go outside, he looks like he wants to pee" as Leonardo walked over to the door and opened it. Homer ran outside and a few moments later returned and was suggesting for Altair to go outside with him. "Yes, Homer said Florencia and started to laugh again. Then commented to Altair "Sheila's son Oscar will be outside waiting for you and will show you around".
Later that day Leonardo is in his garden when he has a vision appear in front of him. He knows who it is as the vision begins to communicate with him "This is Kai'ike and I've been in thought with you since you first visited the island that I am on. Altair's father was shot the day before and his mother that you will be searching for has passed away. She jumped overboard after seeing the ship in front of her had sunk and thought her son was on board. This was to let you know what had happened."
Leonardo was at a standstill not knowing what to say or how to communicate. Then Kai'ike came across and said, "All you have to do is think of your response and I will understand." "Thank you for letting me," thought Leonardo as Kai'ike's vision disappeared. Leonardo would tell Florencia what he had envisioned and discussed what they should do with Altair and Homer. "For now we will take care of them and if we find his nearest relative somehow we will go from there," Florencia said.
The following day Leonardo and Florencia are at her father's hacienda and talking to him about his Will. "Yes I will leave my hacienda and fortune to Florencia and Leonardo will have the surrounding lands that I own after I'm gone," said Juan. Leonardo shook his head up and down in agreement with his decision. "The gold transfer has been done, Sir," said Leonardo while looking at Florencia then at the Governor. "Very well everything is taken care of, shall we have a drink of the wine which was nearby. A toast to you Florencia, and to you Leonardo, Long may you enjoy my gifts" as Juan raised his cup as did Florencia and Leonardo. After their meeting, they went back to Sapphire Bay.
"I am going over to the area where your father said I will be inheriting and will be gone most of the day," said Leonardo to Florencia. "Where will that be, his landholding is huge," said Florencia. "The valley where the teak trees are growing, someone at the Land Office said it started about forty years ago when a Portuguese explorer came across seeds from a farmer in India. He went back to Portugal and gave the seed to someone he knew that was going to Brasil. That person stopped over here and decided to grow them here in that valley. He had passed away ten years ago and your father purchased the land from his family" Leonardo said while describing some history of the area. "There must be at least 5000 hectares of trees there in that valley, but the ten hectares of teak is all I know about. I will sell it to shipbuilders in Europe" explained Leonardo of his trip and the reason.
The next day Leonardo is preparing plans on how to harvest a few of the trees and document the germination process of a few seeds that he brought back. He is helping Florencia with the greenhouse repairs and Pedro is talking to him about a few things around the warehouse. They hear a bark and turn around its Altair and Homer. "We are going to play with Oscar and his friends, Ms. Florencia," said Altair. "That will be fine Altair but stay close by, I will be in the house and Leonardo will be here if you need anything," said Florencia. Altair and Homer started walking toward a few kids that were gathering near the garden walkway. Leonardo tells Pedro "Watch the boy and the dog." "Yes, Sir" replied Pedro as he went following Altair and Homer. Leonardo walked over to the shaping room and looks over his latest shape and is thinking about being a father figure for Altair.
Leo, I'm going to start spending more time with my father, There are some legal matters with the family lawyer regarding my father's will and I just want to be with him" Florencia said. The Governor's activities were reduced to a minimum and Florencia took on more responsibilities as his health deteriorated. With the responsibilities of the Governor's mansion and Sapphire Bay's Hacienda, Florencia was managing both locations with authority and grace. Leonardo knew she had these qualities that others didn't know or see in her. With his own plate full Leonardo was managing his house and the governor's hacienda
A few months later Florencia's father had passed away and was laid to rest on a hillside overlooking the Harbor and his Hacienda. The new governor was settling down in the Governor's Office and was in the process of purchasing the Hacienda that Florencia owned. Leonardo was in his shaping room when the vision of Kai'ike reappeared. "Aloha Leonardo looks like you are starting a new surfboard. Perhaps I can give you some hints in shaping" Kai'ike said. "That would be most welcome," Leonardo said as Kai'ike gave him some shaping knowledge and mentioned switching to balsa wood instead of the local wood that he had been using. After the demonstration on the wili-wili plank, Kai'ike said "Aloha" and faded from the scene.
Leonardo knew who was selling balsa wood in Panama City but asked around the boatyards locally to see if they had any to sell. One yard had a few pieces that Leonardo could buy from him and he would have one of his workers ride over there with a carriage to Panama City and pick some up. The batch that the local yard had been of different sizes and needed to be glued together to look more like the plank that Kai'ike had in his vision. After making a plank that could be shaped Leonardo whittled it down the thickness to the way he wanted it, then outlined and then cut it out. Doing the rail contours Leonardo was satisfied with it and put it to the side for the time being and went out to check on his workers.
Walking over to the glider workshop he sees Roberto was working on the wing of the full-scale model of the glider. "How are things Roberto?" asked Leonardo. "You want to hear something strange happened the other day," Roberto said. "What happened the other day?" Leonardo asked. "I saw a strange large flying dish some distance from me and it seemed it was watching me test the model glider," Roberto said. "Then what happens?" continued Leonardo. "It flew off and disappeared within a second. I thought I was seeing things, but Tomas and Jorge saw it too!" Roberto said. "I remember my father said he once saw it in a painting. I wonder if it something that no one knows about, but has been around different places on this place we call earth. Let me know if you see it again" Leonardo said. "Will do," Roberto said.
Leonardo's attention shifted from flying dishes to Florencia and decided to go see what she is up to. As he knocked and entered the room "Oh, I was just thinking of you Leonardo" Florencia said. "Roberto mentioned to me that he saw a flying dish in the sky while they were test flying the glider at the cliff the other day," Leonard said. "A flying dish. How strange, what happens after that?" she asked. "I told him that my father saw something like that in a painting. It could be something from out of this world!" Leonardo said. "Out of this world is hard to imagine. Like gods from Greek Mythology," Florencia said. Sitting back and thinking about ancient Greece, Leonardo wonders if they too ever saw these flying dishes. The scene changes to a time where Leonardo did not know of but will present itself by people from there within a matter of weeks.
Traveling back through time and the dawn of a new day began with the sun rays reflecting the yellow, red, and orange off the bottom of the clouds as it rises on the eastern horizon. The silhouette of Etobiius begins to be outlined from the darkness in the west. The morning watch takes over the helm as the weary night crew is relieved of their duties. On the deck of the merchant ship "Courier of the North" is Vectorius (who would later be known as Vector) the special envoy of Arctoprotos the King of Atlantis. He had been sent to Etobiius a satellite of Atlantis to inform Governor Leuquotus of what Arctoprotos was planning and what he wanted Leuquotus to do.
"Good morning Vectorius " commented Captain Nemasa as he stood near the bow of the boat, holding on to the side rail as the boat plowed through an ocean swell. "We should be arriving at Coral Harbor later this afternoon" mentioned the Captain. "I look forward to being on land again," remarked Vectorius. The Captain noticed a crewmember approaching him "The helmsman would like a word with Captain" said the crewman. "Very well, please excuse me Vectorius " said the Captain as he returned to the helm.
Vectorius looked toward Etobiius with the light of day behind him, recalling why he was on board this boat. It was a month ago that he was summoned to King Arctoprotos's palace. The King was on his balcony looking out over the city when Vectorius walked into his quarters led by the King's servant. The King turns and looks at Vectorius and says "I am sending you to Etobiius to see Governor Leuquotus. You will inform him of the changing water level and relocating the city to a different location" said Arctoprotos.
"I have sent a message to the Governor of your visit and that you will explain to him where he should move to and how to do it. With your help the Governor should do the move more efficiently" said Arctoprotos. "So, I will inform the Governor that the Star people has advised you that the ocean level will rise 300 feet within a generation and that the city of Etobiius should be relocated to a different island" replied Vectorius.
"Yes, and you will be in charge of drawing up the plans and coordinating the relocation procedures. Your assistants here will be implementing the plans you have set forth for Atlantis" said the King. "Yes, I will do as you say and monitor the updates that are being done at both locations," Vectorius said. "Let go over to the table where the map is located and I will show the general location I had in mind of where the new Atlantis will be. After our scouts have returned from the different locations we will begin the process. We will do the same for Etobiius" Vectorius said.
"Yes," said the King. "Very well, I take my leave, my King," said Vectorius clinching his right hand into a fist and placed it near his heart and continued "I will leave in a few days with the outgoing tide" as he turned to leave. Queen Netra entered the room as Vectorius bowed his head to the Queen before leaving the room. His memory faded from that moment and was back onboard pounding through the swells. Looking towards Etobiius, he braced himself for another swell as he thought of moving two cities and the procedures involved as a larger swell lifted the boat's bow up and surged it forward.
The crew's morning routine of adjusting the sail and seeing things were secure was in progress. The winds increased and the whitecaps became prevalent. By the time "Courier of the North" approached Coral Harbor it was mid-afternoon. With the raised land flanking both sides of the entrance into the bay, the harbor was a calm shelter from the winds. The Courier of the North made its way to pass the fishing boats that were anchored on the south side of the harbor. Approaching the dock where they will moor, the crew dropped the sail and brought out the long oars to row in the rest of the way. The captain noticed the damage to the piers and structures around the harbor from a previous storm that had passed before their arrival. They slowly approached the main dock where cargo and other items were being loaded and unloaded from the ships that were there.
As they got near to the leeward side of the dock and a line was thrown to the men waiting for the toss onboard. The oars were removed from the water and the boat was pulled in. There on the dock, a representative of Governor Leuquotus awaited Vectorius's arrival. "Vectorius" the man called out from the dock. "Yes, here" as he lifted his right hand and waved. The man walked over to the side of the boat and said "The governor has been waiting for your arrival. I am Cirrus and my helpers will take your bags" then pointing at the bags for his men to take. Please follow me to the carriage and we shall soon depart" said Cirrus.
An hour later they passed the Hall of Governance building and arrived at the Governor's estate. Cirrus sitting across from Vectorius opens the door to the carriage and says to him "Please follow me, the Governor is waiting". Stepping out of the carriage they are greeted with a marvelous view of the ocean and the coastline. The estate is located on a flat piece of land on the side of the mountain. The buildings of the General Assembly, the residence of the council, and the Dome of Knowledge near the City below could be seen. Thereby the entrance of his house was the governor.
"Vectorius how are you," asked the governor who greeted him accompanied by his wife Victoria. "I am well my friend" answered Vectorius as they entered the estate "Oh, Cirrus pour us some wine. I'm sure Vectorius would enjoy what our vineyard has produced," said the Governor as Cirrus poured 3 cups of wine and handed it to the Governor, his wife, and Vectorius . A toast to our friendship" said the Governor raising his cup as did Victoria and Vectorius.
"How is King Arctoprotos" asked Leuquotus. "He is doing well and there is information that he wanted me to share with you. Perhaps we can discuss this tomorrow" said Vectorius looking at the Governor. "Yes, we can talk about that tomorrow, but for now you must be tired from your trip, please clean up and join us for dinner later this evening. Cirrus will show you to your room and come for you when dinner is ready" said Leuquotus as he pointed the way for Vectorius to follow Cirrus.
DAYS OF ETOBIIUS
"A Day Gone By"
Vectorius first night’s sleep on land after 35 days at sea felt rewarding and was up early. Walking around Leuquotus’s estate and taking in the view of the west-side with morning’s light pushing night into day. He can see from northend of the island to the south-end, with the main city of Eoso down below in the distance. Leuquotus see him and walks over to say “Vectorus we have a busy schedule today of letting the council know of King Arctoprotos plan.” “Let me go over it with you” Vectorius said as he gathered his thoughts. “The main focal point will be the new location, construction, relocating of the people and what to do with the existing location.” “Yes, I’m sure other issues will arise as well” Leuquotus said.
“The location has been determined by the scouts of the king. In the same measure as Etobiius, where the island is situated away from the large preying animals of Norica (North America) and Sorica (South America). Though their numbers are dwindling, the large tooth lion, the bears, wolfs, and the other man eating animals that are still out there beyond these shores” Vectorius said looking towards the Northwest. The time period in which the move from Etobiius to its new location is 7624 years before 376 BCE when Plato was around 40 years of age and 9024 years before Leoardo and Florencia in Portobelo, during the year of 1576.
“The island that the king’s scout had found had an elevation of 1500 feet above sea level!” Vectorus said. “Where abouts are you talking about?” Leuquotus asked being more specific. “The scouts have called it Sidimeo, it is surrounded by the major and lesser Aunitlles islands” Vectorus said. “Who are these scouts that you mentioned?” Leuquotus asked. “They are the star people who were not known to the general public, but known by the king. Their ability to fly in the air and travel underwater with their star-ships became widely known after a while. The king has learned much from them and their abilities. They were the ones who mentioned that sea level would be raising 300 ft. in the future” Vectorius said.
“Star people, what do they look like?” Leuquotus asked. “They look like us, but I was told by one of them that they can transform their looks to appear like us. So I’m not sure their true appearance” Vectorus said. “How do we know if they can be trusted and that they are not trying to take over our nation” Leuquotus said. “So far they have done what they said they would do. If they wanted to take over our nation they could have done it many years ago. They seem benevolent and have help out in other areas that we needed help in through the years” Vectorius said. “What do they ask in return for their services?” Leuquotus asked. “That I do not know, but the kings has made some kind of deal” Vectorus said.
Leuquotus stood in silence knowing what Vectorius meant.“Well, we have an ambassador who can communicate with the star people. I think he maybe one of them. Like you said he maybe one of them. His name is Outaforium, an interesting man who seemed to know quite a bit of what the star peoples knows. He will be at the meeting, I will introduce you to him” Leuquotus said. “That will be fine, getting back to the materials and construction. We will be importing the material from different sources and the craftsmen will come from here. I figured it will take two years to get the project half built. Will have make shift housing on a temporary basis for the workers. The harbor and the main building will be the first to be constructed” Vectorius said.
Walking up to them was Cirrus who had nuts and fruits for them to eat and a water vase and cups to drink from. “Lady Victoria suggested I bring these item for you and Vectorius” Cirrus said. “Thank you Cirrus, put them there on the bench and get the carriage ready” Leuquotus said. “As you say” Cirrus said as he place the tray on the bench and went to get the horses ready. “Where were we, Oh yes, It should take about 4 months to transfer most of the people to the new location. After that, those that are still here will maintain the city until such time and the go to the new Etobiius” Vectorus said as he reached for a apple and took a bite.
“Why don’t we take a trip around the island and let you see what is here and how you will approach the move” Leuquotus said. “Yes, lets check it out and go from there” Vectorius said. “I will be right back. I want to tell Victoria where I’m going” Leuquotus said as he went to the house. Vectorius resumed his sightseeing and thinking about what he was about to do and his thoughts of his family back home at Atlantis. Leuquotus returns and they walked over to the carriage and began the downhill ride into the town of Eoso. Along the way they see another coach pulled over to the side and the driver is waiting for his rider to return to the carriage.
“It Outaforium, I wonder what he up to. Cirrus pull over” Leuquotus said as the open carriage comes to a halt. Getting out, Leuquotus and Vectorus walk over to Outaforium. “Greetings Outaforium, what may I ask are you up to?” Leuquotus asked. “I happened to be going to your residence when I saw something that caught my eye out on the horizon” Outaforium said. “Outaforium this is Vectorius from Atlantis and he is going to inform us of what the king wants us to do” Leuquotus said pointing to Vectorius. “It is good to meet you Outaforium” said Vectorius as he extended his hand. Outaforium extends his hand and shook his in a gesture of respect. “Well, from what I heard through the grapevine. A major project is about to unfolded” Outaforium said.
“Yes, there are some changes going to happen and I will address that at the meeting this afternoon. Leuquotus mentioned you are an ambassador and know of star people. Would you happen to know Gemmy, one of the star people that works with King Archtoprotos?” Vectorius asked. “Yes I do, we met the other month at an island he called Imini. The star people I work for happened to visited that location also, where you intend to build” Outaforium said. “What else did he mention when you last talked to him?” Vectorius asked. “That his research indicated sea level would rise around 300 feet” Outaforium said. “Yes, that is the same he had told us” Vectorius said. “Now I have to make the move like everyone here to the new Etobiius. I’m looking forward to hearing your concept regarding the new location” Outaforium said.
“We have to be going now, but will see you later at the presentation” Leuquotus said as they got back into his carriage and wave to Outaforium, who waved back. Going into the town Vectorius surveyed the buildings of the town. “What is the population here?” Vectorius asked. “Near 11,000” Leuquotus answered. “What is imported and what is grown here?” Vectorius continued his questioning. “We grow most of what we eat, but a few items we bring in. Regarding building materials, almost all of the raw materials are brought in” Leuquotus said.
Riding over to the main harbor on the eastern side of the island, Leuquotus pointed out some of the features that went into it’s development. “How many ships can the harbor manage during peak moments?” Vectorius asked. “We can handle around 4 medium size ships at a time or one large ship and two medium size ships” Leuquotus said. Vectorius looked around at the entrance and where the dock was placed. With imaginary cutouts of the varies part of the harbor in his mind, he moved things around. With a few blinks of his eyes while looking down then up his vision was erased and the harbor was back to the way it was. After their review of the harbor, Leuquotus had the coachman go down the road towards the southern end of the island. Stopping at the end of the road a few hundred cubits (feet) from the cliff. They got out and walked over to the cliff. “If you follow the shoreline north on the eastern side there are some interesting beaches, the harbor and the terrain becoming cliffs again for about 5 milos (miles).
Leuquotus switched from business and talked about “I sometimes miss my family back home and wondered how it would have been if I didn’t take this position. How is your family.” “My family is doing well and they should be over in a couple of months. I heard that your sister and her husband are doing well. Though I haven’t heard much about your brother or parents in over 4 years” Vectorius said. “Why I asked about my parents is, I haven’t heard from my brother about them the last time he wrote, which was 5 mooneral (months) ago. I should write again, I have been busy and time flys when your mind is preoccupied on other things” Leuquotus said as he continued “It is getting late, we need to get back and go to the meeting.”
Pulling up to the Dome of Knowledge Leuquotus and Vectorius got out and walked over to the entrance with a few of the attendees in discussion about the move and how they would make the adjustment in their lives. Once inside they went over to the Hall of Governance where Leuquotus and Vectorius would take their seats at the front of room with the other department heads near the front.
Leuquotus looked at Vectorius and nodded his head as to say you are on. Vectorius nodded back and stood. He went to the podium that was a few feet from the front row. “Good afternoon members of the Etobiius’s community chamber of representatives. I am Vectorius Duracel the Chief Engineer of king and the reason that I am here, is that the king’s science advisors have forewarn of sea level raising in the years ahead. When exactly they were not sure. But they are sure it will happen. So I was order to develop a plan for a new city of Etobiius with a harbor that can adjust to the different water levels that will occur, and to over see the transition from here to the new city. Is there any questions you may have currently?” Vectorius asked looking at those seated around him.
A hand is raised into the air and Vectorius says “Yes” pointing at the person who raised it. “I am Staroverticus and my position here on Etobiius is the Astronomer. How is it that the ocean will raise the amount that you mentioned” Staroverticus asked. “It has come to our attention that the ice covering the northern part of Norica, the Ropean, and Asiareao land mass is starting to melt and will do so at an alarming rate cause by the reaction in the air and the heat from the sun” Vectorius said. “That is interesting to hear and that analyst is more advance than I know, so please go on” Staroverticus said as he sat down and Vectorius resumed where he left off “The new island location is to the Southwest of here, some 150 milos. It has been looked over and it is safe to say there are no large mammal eating creatures at that location, just like here on Etobiius.”
Another hand is raised and Vectorius points to the person “I am Medicusum in charge of the health of the community. Has the location been checked for dieases known to us to be harmful and if not should we do our do dilengence before we make the move?” Medicusum asked. “A general look around had been performed and water samples were taken and certain areas around lakes, rivers and streams had been netted for insect surveillance. Certain areas did produce those insect that could do harm to the population and have been identified and scheduled to be eradicated with plant material known to take care of certain insects” Vectorius answered and pointing at the next hand that was raised.
“I am General Cartuveral in charge of defensive measures here on the island. We have 500 men to protect our citizens here. What type of fort will be constructed and what new weapontry will we recieve. The need for more men seems apparent” the General said. “Yes the troops will be doubled and the fortification will increase in size. We have new weapontry that is being tested and will soon be available to our forces once they have been tested under varies conditions and are proven to be reliable. If all goes well you should be recieving it in 6 months time” Vectorius said when the person next to the general spoke out.
“I am Captain Neptatuno in charge of naval operations here. How will you handle the raising waters of the harbors, through the many years of the prediction?” the Captain asked. “A scale model of the contour of the location will be drawn and contructed. At each level of raise a few options will be in placed. Some dealing with floating docks, other options will deal with relocating to another location within the same harbor and another will be moving to another location all together and doing the same procedures as before” Vectorius said.
Leuquotus stood up and said “We will take a break here and resume the meeting in 15 minuos.” Everyone got up and stretched their legs and talked among themselves. Vectorius and Leuquotus walked out side to talk when Outaforium came over to mentioned “I appreciated your answers and look forward to assist you if I can in the move and other areas of endeavor.” “Well thank you for your offer. When that time should appear I won’t hesitate to get your feed back on such matters” Vectorius said. “Will you two excuse me for a moment I see someone I need to talk to about matters of importance” Leuquotus said as he hurried over to the treasurer of the island.
So you know Gemmy, “May I ask, are you and Gemmy of the same race?” Vectorius asked. “No he is from the planet of Quadilinor in the Pleiades constellation. I and my fellow star people are from the planet of Nebazor which is in the Andromeda constellation. Both of those location are far from here in terms of earth distance and time. Why do you ask?” Outaforium said. “I thought there might be a connection between you and Gemmy” Vectorius said. Leuquotus returns from his discussion with the treasurer. “Well, shall we return to the hearing and continue” Leuquotus said as Vectorius followed him back in. “I have to be going, but I would like to continue our discussion at a later time Vectorius” Outaforium said. “Yes, perhaps in a day or two. I will get in contact with you through Leuquotus” Vectorius said. Outaforium nodded and was on his way to a meeting with Zeuyu his commander.
The meeting went according to plan and everyone left with being informed of what was going to take place. Leuquotus and Vectorius left for the governor’s house to go over a few more details not mentioned in the meeting. “When is Artemesia and your children coming to Etobiius?” Leuquotus asked. “They will be arriving in approximately 50 days. I will need to get a house for us, would you know of a place that is available?” Vectorius asked. “Why yes, there is a house by the sea with a big yard and the neighbors are shattered in the area. We passed by it on our way to the southend of the island. I will take you there tomorrow around mid morning” Leuquotus said.
Stopping by was Staroverticus on his way to his house further up the road and seeing the two talking. “Good afternoon Leuquotus and Vectorius. I was on my way home when I remember something that I wanted to ask Vectorius, but forgot too earlier at the meeting. And that is, will I be able to situate my house like it is here on Etobiius. High up on a mountain so that I can observe the night sky, the stars and planets” Staroverticus said. “How do you observe those thing you mention” Vectorius asked knowing seeing something in the distance is hard to do. “I have made a thing I call a telescope by using convex glasses, I can make the object look larger in the eye piece I use” Staroverticus said.
“One of these days I would like to see it” Vectorius said. “Yes, lets plan on it. I live up the hill from here where the road ends” Staroverticus said. “What about one of these nights. Leuquotus is it possible for Cirrus to take me up there and bring me back in the dark?” Vectorius asked. “He will need to have the night latern setup for the carriage. I don’t see why not” Leuquotus said. “Then one of these nights I will go. Most likely next week” Vectorius said. “That will be fine” Staroverticus answered back.
Leuquotus took Vectorius to see the house he had mentioned the day before. They went through the house while Leuquotus explained it’s history of once being owned by a friend who went back to Atlantis for business reasons. As they talked, they looked down by the beach and saw 4 individuals riding hydrofoils out in the water and riding the waves. “What it that they are riding?” Vectorius asked. “They are riding hydrofoils, a new items some the upper grade students developed. It’s a short hollowed out wooden core object with a extended keel with wings attached to it’s bottom They press up and down on it with their bodies to give it momentum and leaning forward to give it’s glide” Leuquotus said watching them catch waves and flow back out. “Would you want this location?” Leuquotus asked. “Yes, I will take it” Vectorius said as they walked back to the carriage and rode away.
Away from the house, four friends have gotten out of the water after their workout session on their hydrofoils. The foursome had been on their hydrofoils for a couple of hours riding the winds swell further out and the small swell near shore. They had walked over to a shed near the beach and put away their hydrofoil into the storage locker. There was a small waterfall stream flowing over a small cliff near the locker. Each would take turns rinsing off. Two of the friends discussed what they were going to do afterwards. Myrotheus says to Zeumo “I have to stop by the harbor and see Dartolo, he needs some help with his a new fishing boat.” “I have some time before my next class, can I come along” asked Zeumo as they waited to use the shower. “Ok” said Myrotheus.
Abethena who is the female of the group had finished rinsing off and walked over to her towel. Darmax was next to rinse off followed by Myrotheus and Zeumo. Abethena was looking at Darmax who was thinking about the recent project of the propulsion system that he and a few others were working on. “What are you thinking about Darmax” asked Abethena. “A new project which I’m not at liberty to discuss Abethena” Darmax said. Myrotheus and Zeumo looked at Darmax and both were curious in what Darmax was working on. “Come on Darmax don’t be so technical, what is it” asked Zeumo.
Changing the subject Abethena mentioned “See everyone tomorrow” as she waved and went on her way. After the rinse Myrotheus, Zeumo and Darmax were walking up to the fork in the road. Darmax took the high road back to the campus and Myrotheus and Zeumo took the low road to the harbor. Along the way Myrotheus and Zeumo crossed paths with the Philosopher Faroftis who happened to be on a daily walk around the harbor and was heading home. “How are you Sir” asked Myrotheus. “Good, thank you” replied Faroftis who is wearing a wide brim straw hat and a white toga, he had a wooden walking cane to help in moments of need. “Faroftis what is the purpose of life” asked Zeumo seeking to enhance his knowledge.
“What is the purpose of life” he paraphrased the question before answering. “It is my belief that the purpose of life is the pursuit of Happiness, Love and Wisdom. To become a better person and to have faith in a spiritual power” answered Faroftis looking at the two young men. The two friends stood in silence contemplating the insight that Faroftis had just conveyed to them. “I can see you two will do well on this road that you travel on. Continue with your studies and learn” said Faroftis as he concluded the conversation by saying “Good day” and continued on his way.
Myrotheus and Zeumo resumed their conversation before stopping and looking back at Faroftis, then at each other. ”What do you think Zeumo” asked Myrotheus. “We have a long ways to go compared to Farofthis” replied Zeumo as they continued on their way. They arrived at the harbor and walked over to Dartolo’s boat where he and his deck hands were busy getting ready to move his boat to the Safe Harbor of the Westside of the island. He was told earlier of a coming storm and was getting ready to depart to the other side.
“Myrotheus there has been a change in plans. I was informed of a pending storm and I must hurry to the Safe Harbor in preparation of the storm. I thank you for coming and I do need your help lifting a few spars on the new boat, but for now I must leave” replied Dartolo as he pointed to one deckhand to pushed off with an oar off the docks as he waved at Myrotheus and Zeumo, while steering clear of the dock. “Well that’s that. Let go back to the campus and see if there is a lecture we can sit in on” said Myrotheus. Zeumo agreed and they began walking back to the fork in the road.
Abethena reached home and sees her neighbor Helena returning from class. “How was your class” asked Abethena. “It went well and I learned a lot in agriculture today, but a few of the boys were paying more attention to me than their studies” answered Helena. A smile came to Abethena after hearing Helena day’s experience about the boys in her class. Then they would continue theirs discussion about the class and the latest gossip of what the other girls were doing.
“You know Diana is very serious about Clementus and he her. Diana says they will marry, but haven’t told her parents yet” mentioned Abethena. “I knew that they liked each other, but how will they manage” questioned Helena. “Clementus and Diana will live at her parent’s house at first. Then Clementus will seek employment and go to school part time. He will apply for a loan through the governor’s office and build a house of their own” said Abethena.
Back at the academy Darmax was looking over the plans of the propulsion system. Demetres his fellow classmate asked “What do you make of this design.” As the other select few were looking at their copies of the diagram. “It is much more advanced than anything taught to us previously and it is going take some time to make it happen” said Darmax. “Please take your seats Admiral Neptatuno would like to go over this project with you all” said Captain Ysathora one of the officer / instructor involved in the project who was in the back of the room.
The Admiral stepped up to the front of class and began his speech. “Earlier this week our Commander General Cartuveral came to me with these plans and information on how to develop the materials for it. He wanted me to be in charge of this project and so I agreed. I’m getting ahead of myself, I first he became aware of it by Ambassador Outaforium, who from his previous experiences with the Star people was given these drawings earlier this week” pausing for a moment to express there was more to it than what he was saying.
“They told Ambassador Outaforium if we can build a vessel with this propulsion system, a whole new world was at our door step. They, meaning the Star people wanted to share an idea for him to convey to us. If we are successful they may share other ideas with us. He was all for it and they forwarded the plans to him. After which the ambassador would notify General Cartuveral of the idea” said Admiral Neptatuno. After the depositing the drawings of the propulsion system, the space ship soon disappeared” said the Admiral as he looked over to Captain Ysathora “ Captain Ysathora will introduce the other instructors for this project, Captain Ysathora.”
The captain step forward and introduce his instructors“Besides being instructors here at the academy, they are also officers of the military operations on this island. May I introduce Captain Marsutus in charge of the propulsion group, Captain Fluidious in charge of the of the vessel design, and Captain Accounto in charge of the weapons. Each group will have four students and they will work with the captains. We do not know the duration of this project so we will evaluate it every three months.”
The captains started calling out the students names that will be part of their group. Captain Marutus called out Darmax and Demetatres along with Pterathemum and Diangus. The other captains called out their students and the groups began organizing their agendas and schedules. Captain Marutus told his group that they will meet at the Safe Harbor class room to go over the plans in an hour. Leaving the meeting with his fellow members in the group, Darmax looked over to Demetatres who said “The main questions is what equipment and tools are we going to need, when one procedure ends and another begins, how to test it and why” said Demetatres, Darmax was visualizing in his mind the steps that Demetatres was talking about and commented “We have to think outside the box Demetatres” as they left the classroom.
At the central forum within the Dome a crowd had gathered and Myrotheus and Zeumo are listening to Astronomer Staroverticus who was talking about the sun and how the earth and the planets circled around it to cause the seasons. Alongside of him was Mathematician Protonumerus who interjected how many days it took to make one cycle and how it related to the calendar by the day, the week and the month.
“Look Zeumo, its Darmax on the other side of the stage. Let’s go see him” remarked Myrotheus as they started to walk over to him. ”Hey Darmax, what are you up too” asked Zeumo. “Taking a break from my project class, I felt overwhelmed going over some drawing. So I thought of asking my father some question in regards to that” said Darmax looking over to his father Protonumerus.“Ok, I feel like getting something to eat, can you meet us at the market place after you talk with your father. We can go over to the theater and watch a play this afternoon” remarked Zeumo. “Sorry guys about the play, but I can meet at the market place. I need to get some food before going back to the project.
Myrotheus and Zeumo was sitting on a bench by a tree when Darmax came up to them after talking with his father. “Have some bread and goat cheese, take what you want we have plenty” said Myrotheus as Darmax pulled a piece of bread and cut a piece of cheese. “That hit the spot, sure was hungry” said Darmax chewing on the bread. “Here have some water” said Zeumo handing Darmax a horned leather pouch with water in it. “So how is the project coming along Darmax” asked Zeumo. “There is a lot to understand and figure out. It is uncharted waters as far as I am concerned” said Darmax. “Go with the flow and you will get there” said Zeumo.
“I think your suggestion just open the door to the possibilities” remarked Darmax in an excited expression after a revelation came to him. “I did” said Zeumo. “Yes you did” said Darmax picking up an apple and taking a bite before rushing back to the classroom at Safe Harbor to review the drawings again. “I have to be going home Zeumo. I will see you later” said Myrotheus. “Yes I will be leaving soon myself” replied Zeumo picking up a cluster of grapes and began eating them one by one. Sitting there watching the crowd walk by. A voice that he knew says “What are you up to Zeumo” as he turned to see it was Abethena. “Care for some grapes” asked Zeumo grabbing a bunch and placing it in front of him. “Why yes. Thank you” she said as a smile came to Zeumo.
“What are you doing here” he asked. “I’m on an errand for my mother. She wanted some vegetables and meat for dinner tonight and sent me here” was her response. “Well, may I be of assistance” he asked. “Sure, let go check it out” she continued. Zeumo got up, put his supplies in the basket that he had purchased. “Hows your day been” she asked. “Well, I think I have been transformed somewhat from rough to smooth in my way of viewing peace of mind” he said looking into her eyes and trying to impress her with sophistication in the words that he has chosen.
“Well, well I can see that the day has given you enlightenment beyond what I expected you to say” Abethena said with a chuckle. “Come my lady and we shall go forth and procure your items” as he extended his elbow out and she wrap her left arm around it. “Shall we go my prince” she said with a smile as they blended in with the crowd of shoppers.
"After the Storm"
The clouds are increasing on the eastern horizon. Governor Leuquotus and General Cartuveral are talking about the coming storm. "The warning has been given and the troops and the people are getting ready," said the General. "Good" answered the Governor looking towards the Safe Harbor a milos away. In the Safe Harbor Dartolo has lashed his boat to the dock as had the previous boat that had entered before him. Estimating the amount of slack he will need and hoping he will guess right. "Well, everything is secured and locked up Dartolo" said Bartus one of Dartolo deckhands. "Good, we will meet back here after the storm," said Dartolo to Bartus and Salmino as they went home to wait out the storm and hope for the best.
The following day torrential rains flooded the streets and roads. With hollowing winds and the debris flying around, which woudl last for a couple of hours. Then calm came and the people went out to survey the damage. With the passing of the storm, the days returned to normal and everyone went back to their routine. Leuquotus and Vectorius are discussing the damage caused by the storm. Hearing stories of neighbors helping neighbors, told to him by his staff. "Lest go down to the Eoso and your new place of residence by the sea to see if there is damage to the Dome of Knowledge and your place.
After going over to places that might have been affected, the Governor sees most of the structures had weathered the storm. Visiting the Dome of Knowledge they see Darmax and his group of four walking by to their classroom. "How are you Darmax and Denetatres and you two, is your families alright," Leuquotus asked. "Yes, and if I may speak for the others, we came out of it safely and sound" Darmax said as the others said, "Yes we did." "This is Vectorius and he is over from Atlantis. He is going to plan our move to a new location shortly. By the way, how is your project coming along?" Leuquotus said.
"We have much to learn about smelting, casting, metals, and theories of propulsion. Things very advance, mentioned in a book that Outaforium has lent us. There are metals I never heard of before reading that book, such as Orichalcum, a metal made from copper and zinc, also steel, made from iron and carbon. That is just the part of it, then we need to melt it and make a cast the book says. All that to make weapons, tools, equipment, and boats. We have much to learn, so that is why we are here at school right after the storm. To learn and to do what hasn't been done before by us" Darmax said. "That's the spirit of progress, my utmost respect to you and your classmate," Vectorius said. "We have to be going" Darmax replied as they walked toward class and Demetatres mention to the other guys "What if" as they continued on.
"Shall we go down to the house you will be staying at and see if the house has been damaged or not" Leuquotus said. "Yes, I may have work to do," Vectorius said thinking of his family and when they will be joining him. Stopping at the house seeing white caps on the ocean and an onshore breeze ruffling the shrubs and weeds that are overgrown. With broken branches hanging on a few trees in the backyard. Vectorius and Leuquotus went inside and looked around in the different rooms. Some puddles of water where the roof had leaked. The boarded windows had held. "Well, it looks like it held up good, just some repairs on roof should take care of the leak. I will have one of my repair crew take care of it" Leuquotus said as they exited the house and closed the door.
They started to return when Leuquotus see one of Vectorius's neighbor cleaning around his house and has Cirrus stop so that he can introduce Vectorius to him. "There is one of your neighbors. A brilliant fellow, somewhat of a recluse in his old age. He designed and built this mechanism that can tell when the moon goes through its cycle and how ours and the other planets circle the sun within the 365 days of our yearos (year)." They got out and walk over to him as he throws a branch away from the walkway. "Antikythera how are you, I would like to introduce your new neighbor Vectorius. He will be moving in shortly, while his family will be coming from Atalntis in a couple of months" Leuquotus said. "Nice to meet you Vectorius" Antikythera nodded his head and kept on cleaning his walkway. "How was it yesterday and last night. Glad to see you are well" Leuquotus said. "There was some heavy gust when the storm hit. I put a chair to act as a brace, with a lengthy board wedged above the chair and to the wall near it. Other than that, I was fine" Antikythera said.
"Leuquotus mentioned you have a mechanism that tells the seasons. Can I see your mechanism" asked Vectorius. "Why do you want to see it" questioned Antikythera. "By trade, I am an architect, an engineer, a learner of history, sciences, and mathematics and I am intrigued by any one of such talent to make a device such as yours. A device that I think is way beyond what others could imagine" said Vectorus. Antikythera walked over to Vectorus and said "Welcome" and began a conversation that lasted a short time. "You know Antikythera, I would like to talk with you some more, but Leuquotus has to be getting back and I came with him. We will talk some more after I get situated" Vectorius said. "That will be fine. See you then" said Antikythera.
Vectorius turned to Leuquotus who nodded his head to say yes, as they departed and went back to his estate. That evening Cirrus would take Vectorius to see the Astronomer Staroverticus. Upon arriving at his observatory, the skies were crystal clear and the stars were overflowing. Staroverticus was preparing his telescope and facing in the direction of some stars that would be known as the constellation of Orion at a later date. Staroverticus would spend some time explaining to Vectorus the use of mirrors to be able to observe what they were seeing. Vectorus was beginning to grasp the thought of infinity as he viewed through the telescope the endless possibilities of space. It was getting late and knowing Cirrus must be tired. He said, "Thank you for your time Staroverticus." "It was my pleasure Vectorius" said Staroverticus as he placed a big box over his telescope and ended the session.
The next day Vectorius mentioned to Leuquotus "I'm going down to the house by the beach and start cleaning up around the house." "My workers will be by tomorrow to work on the roof and some cleaning ladies for the inside later today," said Leuquotus. Vectorius used an extra carriage that Leuquotus had and went down to the house. While cleaning up around the yard the cleaning ladies came and went inside to open the windows to air out the house. They whacked and aired the mattresses outside. Sitting in his backyard he was noticing two individuals hydrofoiling that were out the other day. After watching them Vectorius would go down to the beach to talk to them.
By the time he had reached where they were, they had gotten out and were taking a shower. "Hello, I live up the beach from here and was fascinated by your hydro-foils. Did you make them yourselves or someone else made them?" Vectorius asked. "Our friend Darmax made them," Zeumo said. "He is very smart and knows many things," Abethena said. "I know he is very intelligent, I met him the other day. But I didn't know is that he designs these hydro-foils" Vectorius said. "Actually, he got the idea from Outaforium who has been an inspiration to us all when it comes to new things," said Zeumo. Vectorius paused for a moment and then said "Thank you both for sharing, I have to be going" Vectorius said as he walked back to the house and planned on seeing Outaforium after going into Eoso.
Going to the farmer's market to pick up a few supplies of fruits, nuts, and some water. Vectorius found out where Outaforium lived and paid a visit to his residence. There in his front yard, Outaforium was cleaning up the debris like everyone else. He was moving a branch when he notices Vectorius walking towards him. "Vectorius, what a pleasant surprise," said Outaforium dropping the branch and walking over to him. "How are you Outaforium, I stopped by to talk and get to know each other" Vectorius said. "Let's go to be back yard and sit awhile," Outaforium said pointing to which way to go around the house.
As they turned the corner of the house Vectorius could see two chairs under a tree as Outaforium was walking to it. They got situated under the tree where they both could see the ocean and each other. "Nebazor is where you are from, is it far from here?" Vectorius asked. "Yes, to describe how far, let's compare it to your milos (mile). If it took you to get to Atlantis, which is 3800 milos and it took one houros (hour). You would be traveling 3800 milos an houros for example. For us the star people, we are traveling much faster. Around 100,000 milos an houros when we are at maximum speed. But there are space tunnels known as wormholes or space vortexes that can increase our speed tremendously to the speed of light. And light travels 186,282 milos per secondos (seconds). Times that by the minuotos (minutes), then by the houros, then by the dayos (day), and the number of dayos in a yearor
(year) and you have one light yearor. My planet of Nebazor is 4.0 light yearos away and traveling in the vortex it will take us 4 yearos to get home" Outaforium said.
With his mouth open after hearing the amount of distance Outaforium had mentioned, Vectorius felt his brain had frozen up with such numbers and gradually regained his composure after 7 secondos. "You mean to say at the speed just mentioned, it would take 16 yearos to get here and another 16 yearos to get back to your planet," Vectorius said. "In a roundabout way, yes!" Outaforium said. "There is no room for error in your travels and your starship must work all the time as intended or else," Vectorius said while thinking of other alien races that have come to this planet and may have crashed. "We have a self destruct button onboard the ship and if our commander decides to use. We just vanish into thin air, which means we reverse the motion of exploding to imploding" Outaforium said.
"You have given books to varies people on this island" Vectorius mentioned in directing a fact-finding moment. "Yes, they are from the future. We wanted to speed up the process of innovation and bypass the thousands of years that your species go through to find out what is possible" Outaforium said looking at Vectorius then up in a semi-circular motion as if someone was communicating with him. "So, you can go into the future and back into the past with your starship. You already know what will be and what has happened already. Such knowledge is a very powerful tool" Vectorius said.
"Yes it is, knowing what we do here will affect something in the future. We are aware of a game called Chess. The concept came from a place to be known as India and the concept of the game traveled west from there to an area that will be known as Persia, then into a place that will part of the land called Europe and so forth. The concept is interesting and we felt like putting a dimensional twist to it" Outaforium said and again looking up. "What do you mean dimensional," asked Vectorius. "I said things that are hard to comprehend and will stop there. One day you may know the answer to your question or maybe not. I have some business to take care of. Please excuse me for now, I have to get back to work inside. Good Day," Outaforium said as he went inside.
Somewhat baffled Vectorius went back to his house by the sea and sat for a while to weigh the vision that Outaforium had described to him. On one side of the thought is his family back at Atlantis and on the other is how advance the future will be. Somewhat feeling like he is at the crossroad of time, he walks down the path to the beach. As the ocean breeze refreshes his thoughts on a new Etobiius and what to do in his personal life. After his time by the sea, he returns to the Dome of Knowledge and sits at the central garden, where others are in discussion regarding the who, what, when, how, and why of their daily lives. Noticing an unoccupied bench, he walks over to it and has a seat.
Leuquotus sees him and walks over "There you are. I've been wondering where you went. Have you given it much thought about the move of Etobiius lately?" Leuquotus asked. "I still need to study the new location's survey and contour maps that Gemmy gave me. From there I should be able to get a rough idea of where things will be. Then sail over there and do a first-hand assessment of the situation and make any adjustments that need to be done" Vectorius said. "You look tired for some reason. Is there something bothering you?" asked Leuquotus. "Just getting adjusted to my new surroundings, there is much to do in the grand theme of things and somewhat being overwhelmed at first. I'll be fine, but thank you for your concern" Vectorius said as he continued talking about what he wanted to do while on the island. "Yes, I have thought of that, and gardening and growing plants is a few things I would like to do myself," said Leuquotus.
Meanwhile, Vectorius's wife and their three children are on a ship heading to Etobiius. They are two weeks away and are looking forward to getting back on land. Artemesia is teaching Rocosa, Fraxus, and Velidia certain subject matter that she learned when she was a teenager. "Well the weather is getting warmer," said Rocosa to Fraxus. "I can hardly wait to be on the island of Etobiius. "I'm sure there will be plenty of things to do compared to being on a boat," Fraxus said looking out at the open ocean. Time sailed by and it wasn't long before "Finally we will be in Etobiius tomorrow," Velidia said to her mother. "Yes, it seems we have been out here for such a long time," Artemesia said with a smile on her face.
Entering the harbor the boat "Sea Bird" is preparing to toss her line out to those on the dock. Vectorius is notified that his family has arrived and is on the dock going over their belongings. Vectorius arrives to picks up his family. He takes them to the market place and they get a bite to eat and catch up on what they did while he was away. The sense of unity is back and everyone is happy without saying so. Vectorius is inspired as he looks around at his family. He explains to his family that the people Etobiius are unique and very knowledgeable. "Their main center is called the Dome of Knowledge and there is a special feeling of that location of what I noticed," Vectorius said.
They would return to their house and get situated, with everyone having a room to themselves and a study studio for Vectorius and a living for them to gather at. A general discussion of Etobiius and what is what and where Rocosa, Fraxus, and Velidia would go to school at. Who their neighbors are and the other people that live on the island. You will get acquainted with the people in due time and visit the different places on the island. One of the places we will be visiting is the Dome of Knowledge where the three of you will be enrolling. Another place is just down the beach, there are young people like yourselves hydrofoiling" said Vectorius.
"What is hydrofoiling" asked Velidia. "It is a short mat like object with a lengthy keel with wings on the other end of the mat. It is made of wood and covered with a special substance. Where the person stands on it and pushes it up and down with their legs. Which moves it along forward. They rode waves and the energy of the wave moved them along as well. "What is in the kitchen," asked Rocosa"There are some fruits, bread, and other foods to eat like cheese and dried fish jerky" mentioned Vectorius. The boys got up and went into the kitchen to help themselves to a snack. "I'm still hungry," said Fraxus. "Me too" repeated Rocosa. Velidia went into the kitchen and plucked a few grapes. Artemesia was helping herself to some grapes as well. "Let's go down to the beach and take a walk," Vectorius said. "Yes, that sounds good to me," Artemesia said as everyone stepped outside and followed Vectorius down the path.
Fraxus and Rocosa raced down the beach and took off to see who was faster. Velidia had stopped to look at some seashells near the water's edge. While Vectorius and Artemesia held hands and continued walking in their special space of being together. Artemesia looked back to see where Velidia was and Vectorius watched his sons veer off towards the sandy slopes of the bluff. The boys stopped and looked back at everyone before turning around and started walking back. "To be young again with so much energy," Artemesia said looking at Vectorius who was thinking back when he and Artemesia were young and when they met. "Shall we go back?" Vectorius said as they turned around and walked back to the house.
The following day Artemesia cleaned out an area on the east side of the house for a vegetable garden. She would utilize the small stream that ran by their house which was the shower for those at the beach. Placing a few furrows from the high to the low method, now she needed to get some seeds at the farmer's market. Vectorius was in the work studio and was busy drawing up plans for the new location. Rocosa, Fraxus, and Velidia were down by the beach talking to Abethena, Myrotheus, and Zeumo. "Hi, I'm Abethena, that's Zeumo and next to him is Myrotheus. We live near Eoso" Abethena said. "I'm Velidia, these are my brothers Fraxus and Rocosa" Velidia said. "Have you ever tried hydro-foling" Abethena asked Velidia. "No I haven't," she said. "Would you like to learn, I can show you" Abethena mentioned. "Yes, that would be nice" Velidia replied.
"What about you guys," Zeumo said looking at Rocosa and Fraxus. "Sure, I'm game. How do you do it?" Rocosa asked. "Yes, can you show us," Fraxus said looking at the hydro-foil. The new friends got to know each other and it wasn't long before Velidia, Rocosa, and Fraxus were starting to learn hydro-foling by taking turns on the other's hydro-foil. From up at the house Artemesia could see that her children were with others and felt reassured of their new beginning. Morning turned to afternoon and Velidia, Rocosa and Fraxus were back home talking about their experiences with each other and their parents. "We had a great time with Abethena, Zeumo, and Myrotheus today. They taught us hydrofoling today. Myrotheus said he would makes us some hydro-foils for us" Velidia said with a smile.
"That's is good, glad you are getting to know your peers" Vectorius said looking at Artemesia. "Yes, that is nice. Vectorius we need to go to the Farmer's market today. I need to get some vegetable seeds and resupply our fruits, vegetables, and other items we will need" Artemesia said. "I have a few details that I'm working on, but we will go in 30 minutos" Vectorius said as everyone went their way to take care what needed to be done before going. It wasn't long before they were at the market and getting what they needed. Vectorius happened to see Antikythera at one of the vegetable vender' table as Artemesia is looking over the vegetables to see which one was to her liking. Vectorius tells her he sees someone and will be right back. He walks over and says "Antikythera good to see you again." "Oh, Vectorius it's good to see you too. Getting supplies?" Antikythera asked.
"Yes, my wife and children arrived the other day from Atlantis and she wanted to get more supplies for our house," Vectorius said. "Have you started designing the new location?" Antikythera questioned. "Yes I have, what about yourself, have you made any new mechanism?" asked Vectorius. "Yes, I too have started to design another machine. But I don't know if it will come to fruition. It is difficult to get the energy to concentrate on specific details. I lose my train of thought and wander off on a tangent. Oh well, such is life!" Antikythera said as Artemesia came over. "Oh Antikythera, this is my wife Artemesia" said Vectorius. "Good to meet you, my dear. How do you like Etobiius so far?" Antikythera asked. "It is an interesting place and I am sure it will grow within me," she said.
"I have to be going. It was nice seeing you Vectorius and nice meeting you Artemesia" Antikythera said as he got his vegetable basket and walked on. "Where are the children?" asked Vectorius. "They went over to a bench where their new friends were. Let go get them" Artemesia said as they walked over to the bench. Myrotheus was gesturing as if he was on a hydro-foil and the others were watching his expression. "Father this is Myrotheus (pointing to the other person) and this is Zeumo. These were the ones who were teaching us hydro-foiling the other day at the beach" Velidia said. "Well, it nice to meet you two and thank you for teaching my daughter and sons," Vectorius said. "It was our pleasure Sir," Myrotheus said looking at Vectorius and Artemesia, then at Velidia.
Returning home Vectorius see Cirrus waiting in the carriage. "Cirrus have you been waiting long?" Vectorius asked. "No, just got here. Leuquotus would like a word with you. I am to give you a ride there to see him" Cirrus said. "Very well, Artemesia I will return after finding out what Leuquotus has to say. Fraxus take over and take the carriage to the barn. Velidia and Rocosa help your mother with the supplies" Vectorius said before riding off with Cirrus.
"Cloak and Dagger"
Arriving at Leuquotus estate Cirrus mentions to Vectorius that Leuquotus would be in the backyard. Walking back there Vectorius sees him and says "Leuquotus is there something of importance that has developed." "Yes, I received a message from King Arctoprotos. There has been an assassination attempt on his life and says to be vigilant with our activities on Etobiius for there may be the agent of the shadow politicians here on the island. You and I are in harm's way, those agents who were sent are treacherous and they will do whatever it takes to eliminate us." Leuquotus said looking around as if someone was listening. "What else did he have to say regarding Etobiius and my mission?" Vectorius asked.
"To go forward with the planning and be aware of this cloud of uncertainty that is floating around the area. Those who want to gain control will stop at nothing, their greedy ambitions blind them from doing what is right. All they see is to dethrone him one way or another by disrupting the harmony of his leadership or to assassinate him" Leuquotus said. "Have you talked to your military officers about this?" Vectorius said. "No, you are the first to be informed. They in Atlantis will need to figure out who might be influenced by bribes or acting against the king. I will need more time to figure out what to do next and will keep you inform of further developments that should arise" Leuquotus said. "Very well, I will do my part to be on alert for any activities or comments that seem to be suspicious. This reminds me of a few years back when the guards found a person trying to get into the palace and under his cloak was a dagger" Vectorius said pausing for a moment.
"Yes, we all need to keep that in mind as we go about our business in these uncertain times," Leuquotus said as he concluded their meeting. Returning home Vectorius tells Artemesia what the king had told Leuquotus and to be on the alert with strangers or people that they had met. "There were a few strange men aboard the ship we were on. They kept to themselves and were unsociable as far as I could tell" Artemesia said. "Could you identify them if you saw them again?" Vectorius said. "Yes," she said. "Where are the kids?" asked Vectorius. "They're down at the beach with their new friends. I will keep an eye on them" Artemesia said as Vectorius went into his study. Returning to where he left off and begins to sketch a few contours and the bolder lines to indicate the structures. Recalling past building that he had done and adding a few lines to make it different as the drawing take shape from the rectangles, squares, and circles that had been placed. Writing down keynotes that came to mind.
Meanwhile, Rocosa and Fraxus are getting the hang of coordinating the motions of the lower body to control the accelerating and gliding of the hydro-foil board. Catching on to the general idea of hydro-foling, both became fast learners. Velidia still having difficulties in balancing her stance, would occasionally fall off. Myrotheus would give words of encouragement as he coached her on. With a smile on her face, she is enjoying being out there with her brothers and friends as another day becomes a memory as they finish washing off the day's salty experience. "See you later," said Rocosa and Fraxus, as Velidia smiled and said "Thanks Myrotheus, thanks Zeumo" as she waved.
The next morning Vectorius was at the Ambassador residence about to knock on his door, when he heard "Vectorius how are you. I was out in the back when I heard someone up front" said Outaforium as he came from the corner of the house. "Outaforium, you are aware of many things and I was wondering if you knew what is happening back at Atlantis," said Vectorius. "Do you mean the assassination attempt on the king" Outatforium said. "How did you know?" Vectorius asked. "Through our informants, they let us know of the disturbance happening there and the group who are involved, and yes, you are in their scope of interest," Outaforium said as he looked up and continued.
"A power grab by some of the politicians is occurring. The King's special forces know those involved and are in the process of locating them, they will be charged with treason. But you still have to be on guard from what I heard from our informants here, that a small group of suspicious individuals have arrived recently. They were on the same ship your family was on" Outaforium said as Vectorius had a worried look on his face and was thinking what to do. "With what you have told me, I will need to let my family know and move them to a safer location until this conspiracy is taken care of. I have to be going" Vectorius said racing home to gather his family and take them to a safer location for the time being.
Once home Vectorius gather his family and locked up the house. They rode over to Leuquotus's estate where he sees Leuquotus at his front entrance talking to General Cartuveral. Vectorius pulls up in front and gets out to let them know what was told to him by Outaforium. "I have been informed by Outaforium that a few men who came over to Etobiius on the same ship my family were on, are the assassins. My wife had a conversation with one of them and told him that I was working for the king. After that, the person she spoke to avoided her for the rest of the trip. I brought them up here and will need to use your guesthouse for now until we catch them" Vectorius said.
"Before you do, the General's men have captured those individuals you talk of. They were at an inn where they were staying. A few of the General's men were in plain clothes and were at the inn's bar having a drink when the bartender came over to them and told them what he had heard. They were planning to locate you and do their assassination. The general's men took action and capture them earlier. In the morning the General will send the prisoners to Atlantis and let the king decide what he wants to do with them. A group of 7 soldiers will accompany them back" Leuquotus said as the General nodded, having explained to Leuquotus what he was explaining to Vectorius. "What a relief, I can tell my wife that things are under control and we shouldn't worry. Thank you General" Vectorius said. "Yes, we have it under control, may you and your family sleep well tonight. Most likely the King will continue to rule in better spirits after this" said the General looking at Vectorius and Leuquotus.
Returning to the carriage, he explains what was told to him and get back on the carriage, and takes his family back home. Where Rocosa sees his friends on the beach and tells Fraxus and Velidia. They go to their rooms and change into their swim clothing and they walk down the path together. Vectorius and Artemesia just felt like relaxing in their backyard and take it easy for a while, looking out at the ocean and talk about how it used to be. A few days later Vectorius sees Outaforium at the Dome of Knowledge. "Hello Vectorius, how are things? Outaforium said. "Back to normal since the assassination attempt !" Vectorius said. "There is something I must ask of you. Zeuyu would like to meet with you" said Outaforium. "Why does Zeuyu want to meet with me?" asked Vectorius. "There are a few things he wanted to share with you. Do you recall when I spoke of light-years and travel? The past and the future, and the game of chess. Those are the things and a few other thoughts that might be of interest to you" Outaforium said.
"Let me think about it and I will get back to you tomorrow," said Vectorius. "That will be fine, stop by my house tomorrow and we can talk some more about what the future is like," Outaforium said as he turned and walked into the crowd and disappeared. Vectorius sat down on a bench nearby and thought for a while of how his time on Etobiius had become an adventure beyond designing a new satellite city. It was time to go home and to be with his family after having a meeting with a few of the local government members and Outaforium.
After giving it some thought Vectorius is at Outaforium's house telling him he would meet with Zeuyu. With that said Outaforium waved his right arm outward. In a blink of an eye, they were aboard the spaceship's transport lounge. Vectorius stood quiet as he looked over to the side of the room where a door opened and 3 Star people walked in and approached them. They were short with larger than normal heads and skinny bodies, with longer than normal arms with 3 fingers on each hand and 3 toes on their two feet. One of them was more distinct and slightly taller. Then Outaforium welcomed them "Greetings Zeuyu, Zor 2, Zor 3 my fellow travelers" then looking to his right "This is Vectorius the architect-engineer I have told you about".
Speaking in the same language as the ambassador. Zeuyu the leader of the group began to talk "I am Zeuyu and these are my fellow travelers Zor 2 and Zor 3, there are others on board. But for now, they will be my members in this setting. We are from a distant planet of Nebazor which is in another part of the galaxy, far, far away. We are learning about this planet and its peoples. One of the things that make us different than the other species of space travelers is we share our knowledge for the betterment of others" said Zeuyu.
Sensing something was about to happen Vectorius says "I am a person of simple means who respect knowledge as you. There is much to learn and things to do. I would prefer to do them here on this planet" said Vectorius. Without answering his statement, Zeuyu response was "What we will show you will not take up much of your time, so to speak. You will be amazed at the things that are being done in this window of time. Zor 2 will be your guide for this trip we are about to take, which will be 7500 years into the future. The place where we will be going first is known as Egypt " said Zeuyu.
"I sense I have no say in what is going to happen and not sure why you will be taking me there," said Vectorius as Outaforium waved his arm once again Vectorius was transformed from where he was to stand in the ship's control room with a few other Nebazorians at the controls of the ship. Looking around Vectorius sees Zor 2 communicating with one of his crew members "Where are the others" asked Vectorius. "Zeuyu is at the command center, my fellow traveler Zor 3 is in the engine room and Outaforium is back at his residence.
Touching his lead finger on a button located on the arm of a chair, a screen appears. Touching the screen the view of the outside world is moving very fast. "We are traveling very fast in your way of thinking and within these few seconds, we have been talking. We went forward in time and traveled thousands of milos across the surface of this planet. Besides the here and now, we also can travel from what has been, to what will be. It is the vortex of the 4th dimension that I speak of" said Zor 2. "You mean your ship can travel through time" questioned Vectorius. "Yes" answered Zor 2 before giving an example. "Below is the Pyramids of Egypt which were constructed 7500 years after your time period in Etobiius, Vectorius" said Zor 2 as Vectorius stared at the pyramid's surface smoothness and the precise angle of all four edges leading to a point at the apex of the pyramid.
Looking closer Vectorus noticed the pyramids had 8 sides instead of 4 by a slight angulation of each side toward its middle, like a slight inverted vee. "The sun rays being absorbed into the smooth surface of the sides and is being transferred from the surface and channeled inward and is being converted into energy" explained Zor 2. Then Vectorius noticed the spaceship is situated over the tallest pyramid. "The ship is replenishing its energy supply from the sun," said Zor 2. Vectorius stood silent as he took in the magnitude of what was being explained to him.
"To build this structure we used Pi in our formulation and left that mathematical formula here in Egypt for others to find and use," said Zor 2. "It must have taken many men and a long time to complete this structure" replied Vectorius. "We used levitation to move and insert the heavy and light blocks of stone for the inner and outer parts of the structure. It took about six months with six ships" answered Zor 2. "There is an inner passage way, were looking out at a certain time during the night you can see the 3 stars of what will be known as the Belt of Orion" explained Zor 2.
The energy cell in the ship has been charge and Zor 2 then presses another button on the chair and the ship is at another location on the screen and they are hovering over a different kind pyramid on the Yucatan Peninsula.
"Why is this pyramid different from the previous pyramid?" asked Vectorius. "They were constructed by a different civilization with our help," Zor 2 said. Looking at the screen Vectorius sees no one around the village where the pyramids are located. "Where are all the people?" Vectorius asked. "It is 3400 years further into time and a different location. Another group of star people has taken them to their planet for what purpose I can not say" Zor 2 said. Once again Vectorius wonder what history will be like. "Well, that is all Zeuyu has in store for you. We will go back to Etobiius" Zor 2 said and pressing another button and Outaforium house appears.
"We are back Vectorius. Outaforium had mentioned to us to bring you back to his house" said Zor 2. "Yes that will be fine" replied Vectorius. "Would you want to see some areas around here during this time period with us at some other time?" asked Zor 2. "Why yes, from what I have seen that would be very advantageous for me to do so" answered Vectorius. Then touching the screen and the button on the chair's arm again. Vectorius disappeared from the room and is standing on the ground where he and Outaforium were standing before the spacecraft had transported them on board. Looking up he sees the spacecraft disappearing into the sky.
It was before noon as Vectorius stopped at the Dome of Knowledge to see if Staroverticus happen to be at the Garden of Discussion with other scholars. To his assumption, there he was in the middle of a theory with another astronomer. Staroverticus looking at Vectorius approaching him stopped his discussion with Plutonial "Excuse me Plutonial, Vectorius you seem like having seen a star explode. How are you?" Staroverticus asked. "I can only say the world in which we live becomes smaller each day as the space around it becomes endless far as I'm concern. Otherwise such is life "Vectorius said. "This is Plutonial and is there a question you might have that is making you uneasy?" Staroverticus said.
"Nice to meet you Plutonial, excuse me for interrupting. But I have this recent thought that is starting to cloud my mind and that is what is your interpretation of life as we know it in the here and now, compared to what it might be or is?" Vectorius asked after his experience in traveling into the future. "Not sure of the middle ground in your question. What will be is how I look at it and if it has changed for whatever reason in mid-stream then go with the flow" is how I would look at your question" Staroverticus said. "Yes, that makes sense to me. I have to be going, thank you for your advice and sorry for my interruption Plutonial" Vectorius replied as he waved while turning around and feeling more at the present than before asking the question. Staroverticus continued his discussion with Plutonial where he left off before Vectorius had entered the Garden of Discussion.
Returning home he shares his experience with Artemesia and hugs her and holds on longer than he usually does before going back to work on his project. Vectorius's mind is filled with ideas of pyramids, towers, and hyperbolic shaped roofs with a circular walkway around the building. Part of 4 other buildings of the same shape and size with a large tower in the middle and a circular roadway around the new city, just like Atlantis. His perspective on this project took on a new meaning since his experience with Outaforium and Zeuyu of distant lands and the game of chess in the future.
Back at Atlantis the prisoner from Etobiius have arrived and are place in the prison in individual cells. The military command has the area under strict security and has already begun interrogation to find out what they know. The king is with his council and is going over what they should do next. "Who gains from my demise?" asked the King looking at his advisors and military generals. "It could be Catilonimy the representative from the 5th ring, his reason could be one of political and financial gain" one advisor mentioned. "It could be Colonel Javline, with each victory against our enemies. He seemed to be wanting more power, and a rebellious take over might be in his cards" General Astilla said. Names and reasons were tossed around and the King considered everything.
On the outskirt of the 5th ring of the city, a group of men was figuring what to do next since their assassination attempt went awry. "The original plan has failed and now we have exposed our intent to take over," said Brotantrum the second in command of the overthrow. "We must lay low and not stir suspicion toward us," said Catilonimy the leader of the group. "We will weigh all that is happening at the king's court and I will be in contact with Colonel Javline and the cities enforcement group to come up with another idea to have the general populace thinking one way and the King and his court thinking another as we come up with a new approach to dethrone him," Brotantrum said. With a few yes's the group of 12 left the room and went back to their positions within the King's court and the city's assembly.
Gemmy who was on the King's side was aware of Catilonimy hidden agenda but kept quiet about what had been brewing. His spies informed him of what was said and happening with the conspirators. Gemmy informed Tredox his commander first "We are sided with those who are ruling and are aware of those who want to rule. If we let it play out and it doesn't turn out the way we wanted it to, then all that we have done will be for not. If we intervene and stop this takeover, then it will be much less difficult to proceed as a plan" said Tredox the commander of a spaceship. "From what you have laid out I will inform the king of who is in charge of the plot and his associates," Gemmy said.
Catilonimy went about his business with Gemmy's spies watching his moves. The king being cautious had his men watched his servant and the cooks to see if they will attempt to poison him or stab him with a hidden dagger. With that in mind, the guards would check all entering the upper chambers for weapons on their person. Catilonimy communicated by secret code and laid low with his movement until a later date. By this time Gemmy had permission from Tredox to informed the King Arctoprotos of Catilonimy plans. A trap was set to expose all involve and was ready to be implemented during the Festival of the Winter Solstice which was two weeks away.
Vectorius was finishing up on his plans when a small rumbling of an earthquake began and he felt the movement as the items on his desk fell to the floor. It didn't last long and things were back to normal. Vectorius went into the living room where Artemesia was at and said "Let step outside, I'm not sure if another temblor will happen" Vectorius said as they both stepped outside. "What do you make of it Vectorius?" asked Artemesia. "I'm not sure, but I think I will go visit Outaforium" Vectorius said. On his way to Outaforium house, Vectorius was passing through Eoso when he saw Leuquotus in front of the city's library. Stopping by Leuquotus, Vectorius says "Did you feel the quake here?" He asked. "Yes, it been a while since our last quake," Leuquotus said. "How long ago was the last quake?" Vectorius said. "About 4 years ago, we've grown accustomed to it" Leuquotus replied.
Changing the subject Vectorius said "I've finished the plans for the new location. Just need to do the cost of materials and labor estimates" Vectorius said. "Where are you headed too?" asked Leuquotus. "Going over to Outaforium's place, there are a few questions I wanted to ask him," Vectorius said. "Alright will see you later and we can go over your estimates," Leuquotus said. "Yes, see you this afternoon," Vectorius said as he continued on his way to Outaforium's place. Outaforium was walking up to his house as Vectorius approached him "Outaforium what's up" Vectorius said.
"I took a walk down the road ways and I just returned. What may I say brings you here today?" Outaforium asked. "I was wondering about the earthquake earlier today. Is there something happening with Mount Capitolius?" Vectorius asked. "Yes, but let's talk about it some more inside," said Outaforium as he went inside and Vectorius followed. Seated in his reception room Outaforium said "The mountain is unstable, that was one of the reasons, along with the rising sea level was why Gemmy researched the other island." "Should we get off of here shortly?" Vectorius asked.
"Zeuyu mentioned to me that his sensors indicated that Mount Capitolius could explode anytime. They told me to look at the fissure that has developed on the east side of my property and look at smoke beginning to rise from the crater of the mountain. I had just looked at the side of the property when you saw me walking back to the house" Outaforium said. "Is it bad?" asked Vectorius. "Let's just say it isn't good. The depth of the fissure is about the height of the house. I don't think there will be enough time to sail out of here. Zeuyu would like to send you and your family to a different location and time. But it's what to you, otherwise, you will perish like everyone else on this island" Outaforium said. "But why me and my family?" Vectorius asked again.
"It must have been something you said to Zeuyu the other day that made an impression on him. There are a few others that he will transport to a different time and place to fulfill his game plan. It has something to do with a "What If" concept that he wants to play out. If you decided to go to the new location, Zeuyu will allow you the use of one of our spacecraft and train you on its use" Outaforium said as another rumble shook beneath their feet.
"How much time do I have to make the decision?" Vectorius said. "About the time it would take you to gather your family together at your house and be transported to our Mothership. That might be cutting it close with each disturbance. You don't have much time" Outaforium said as he nodded his head up and down suggesting how serious he was. "I will do as you say. Where do we meet?" asked Vectorius. "At your front yard," Outaforium said as another rumble and the ground shake more violently than before. Outaforium disappeared as the quake started to intensify. Vectorius hurried back to his house, going into his design studio he places the plans into a leather sash. He gathers his family together like the top of Mt. Capitolius exploded and debris started falling from the sky.
"What should we do Vectorius" asked Artemesia as everyone huddled together. A bright light was around them and the noise became silent and the debris disappeared. They felt as being lifted and time stood still. "We are being transported onto a spacecraft and being taken to another time and location," Vectorius told his family. What seemed like a few seconds turned out to be thousands of years into the future. When they stepped out of the time chamber where the dust of the road had settled as they walked on a dirt road that leads into a town off in the distance. A carriage came alongside of them and a voice from within said "Please come in, I will give you a ride into town Vectorius" said the person in the carriage.
As the door to the carriage opened, Vectorius was surprised to see Outaforium. "Come in, we have much to discuss," said Outaforium as Vectorius and his family got into the carriage. "What happens to Etobiius?" asked Vectorius. "Nothing is left of the island. What is also interesting, Atlantis was destroyed a few days later by a catastrophic event of a meteor striking a glacier in North America. Raising sea level by 400 feet as Gemmy predicted" Outaforium said. "Where are you taking us now?" Vector continued. "We have a place for you and your family to stay at and I'm taking you there," said Outaforium as the carriage continued down the road. Just before entering into town, they took another road that went north for a mile, coming up to a valley situated between two mountains on either side of the valley, with a river flowing through it.
"Your new home has 90 acres and a large barn," said Outaforium pointing to it through the side view opening of the carriage. Pulling up to the house, everyone got out and started to walk around. "Artamesia, why don't you and the kids look inside and see how it is. I'm going to talk to Outaforium about our stay here" said Vectorius. As Artamesia and their children went inside, Vectorius and Outaforium went for a walk towards the barn that was a couple of hundred feet away. "Vectorius this will be a good time to change your name and those of your boys. Artamesia and Velidia can keep theirs" mentioned Outaforium. "What do you suggest Outaforium" asked Vectorius.
"For you Vectorius let's change it to Vector, Rocosa to Rocky, and Fraxus to Frank, and your last name will be Durasel. How's that sound to you" asked Outaforium. "It sounds alright to me, I will let my family know of the changes," remarked Vector as he opens the barn door and looks inside. Looking around they see an empty barn and a dirt floor. "Let's walk to the back of the barn," said Outaforium as he was looking at a specific spot on the back wall. "Press this board and a false wall will open and a stairway will appear to the room under the floor" mentioned Outaforium as he pressed the board and the wall slid sideways
exposing the stairs leading down.
Outaforium lead the way to the room below where Vector couldn't believe what he was seeing. It was a spacecraft smaller in size compared to the one Zeuyu was flying around in. "Does it fly" asked Vector? "Yes it does, everything works on it" mentioned Outaforium as he pointed to the side of the spacecraft where a door swings up and the entrance to the craft is exposed. Following Outaforium, they went into the different compartments of the craft before coming back out. "Zor 2 will be visiting you and explaining how to operate and maintain the spacecraft," said Outaforium. "So this is my spacecraft and it will do the things the larger craft can do" asked Vector.
"This is an earlier model and doesn't have all the things that Zeuyu's craft has. But it does have the distance, speed, and maneuver-abilities like the main craft. What it doesn't have is the ability to go back into the past or forward into the future, as mentioned Zor 2 will be stopping by to get you acquainted with this craft and follow afterward if there is a question you might have." Pausing and looking around the spacecraft Outaforium see the chest in the corner of the room and points at it. "It is filled with gold and silver coins for your use to buy those things that you might need," said Outaforium as they went back upstairs.
Once outside Vector mentioned to Outaforium "I will have the main perimeter fenced in. The barn will be converted to a barn/workshop of my design. After a few months, you won't be able to recognize the place." The two went back to the front of the house to see what Artemesia thought of the house and their new surroundings. She was standing by the front porch when she saw them coming back to the house. "The house needs some work, other than that, it should be fine," said Artemesia. "We will be building a new house next to the old one. We have the fund to do so" said Vector looking at Outaforium.
"You and your family will need to learn to speak Spanish. Here are books for everyone to learn from" Outaforium said giving the books to Artemesia. "We should be able to speak the language after going through the book. We all can remember what we read the first time. That is a special trait Vector and I gave to our offsprings" Artemesia said. "In the future, they call that a photographic memory," Outaforium said.
"Thank you for what you have done to make our stay what it is. When can we expect you back" asked Vector? "I will be back tomorrow and we will go over to a hacienda a few milos, I mean miles from here. There is someone I want you to meet. A young man who is in charge of a large operation and needs help running it. After that Zor 2 will be here to help you out as mentioned Vector" remarked Outaforium as he got back into his carriage. He waved to everyone and drove off down the road before disappearing as the dust settled to the ground. Vector would have a family meeting to explain their situation and what he had in mind for their stay.
Outaforium showed up the next day, he and Vector went over to Leonardo hacienda. Vector looked over at his sash where the drawings of the new city of Etobiius was in. Then looking over at Outaforium as they neared Leonardo hacienda. Leonardo was by the docks talking to Pedro about a rumor that was going around about a woman. Who was barely alive and had been found by fishermen a week earlier, floating on a piece of wreckage of a ship. She was taken to the hospital at Portobelo and has since recovered. She talked about being on a pirate ship and her son and dog had been killed during the pirate's ship battle with another ship. "Pedro go to the hospital and talk to this person and see if the boy she had mentioned is Altair and his dog is Homer," Leonardo said as the coach approached. "I will go right now," Pedro said as he hurried off.
Leonardo waited for the coach to stop and see who was inside. Outaforium stepped out first, followed by Vector. "Good morning sir, I am Otto and this is Vector" Outaforium said in Spanish. "Hello Otto, Vector what can I do for you?" Leonardo said. "We were in town and my friend Vector and I heard you were hiring. I myself will be leaving the area, but Vector would be interested in working for you" Outaforium said. "Well Vector, what can you do?" Leonardo asked. "I am an Architect / Engineer," said Vector in Spanish with a slight accent. "Architect and Engineer, I am in need an engineer / architect. Would you have some drawings of your work?" Leonardo said.
Vector turned and got his drawings and showed Leonardo his works. Leonardo was amazed by his work. He had never seen such work of a city with such design concepts and detailed drawings of this quality before. "I'm impressed Vector, where is this location that you were working on?" asked Leonardo. "It was at a location far from here that no longer exist as far as I'm concerned. I do not wish to talk about it. If you don't mind" Vector said. Leonardo weighed the answer with suspicion but continued with the interview "Do you have family or are you by yourself?" Leonardo asked. "I have a family with me, my wife, and 3 children" Vector replied. Leonardo asked a few more questions and Vector answered them. "Vector, when can you start work with us?" Leonardo said. "I can start next week. Still settling in at our house a few miles from here" Vector said.
"Didn't you tell me it was the Felix Degato ranch that you are staying at?" Outaforium said to cover for Vector's new location. "Yes," Vector said. "I know where you talk of. Felix was a nice guy, though his life was cut short by raiding pirates" Leonardo said remembering him, then continuing "Well, I will see you next week Vector" as he shook Vector and Outaforium's hand. They both got back into the coach and drove off back to Vector's house. "Just a reminder Zor 2 will be by first thing in the morning," Outaforium said as Vector got out. Vector turned to see Outaforium and the coach disappeared into a cloud of dust once again. Vector went inside to tell Artemesia that he got the job at Leonardo's ranch and would be working for Leonardo Vi and the governor of Portobelo.
Later that afternoon Pedro had returned and told Leonardo that the woman was Altair's mother and she would like to see her son. "Can she travel and does she have a place to stay?" Leonardo asked. "The doctor says she will be able to travel in a week. I told the doctor we will pick her up and bring her here. Her name is Bonnie Vincent" Pedro said. "Good, we will tell Altair" Leonardo said as he went to tell Florencia before letting Altair know that his mother is alive and will be staying with them until her health gets better and can decide what she wanted to do. Meanwhile over at Degato Ranch.
Vector is walking around the property with Rocky and Frank checking out the different sites and beaches. One such beach had waves breaking and it reminded him of their last house. They watched the waves and talked about what they might do, but wasn't sure since everything was new to them. "Shall we go back to the house, dinner should be waiting for us" Vector said. "Yeah, that sounds good to me," Rocky said picking up a stripped tree branch of 5 feet and using it as a walking cane and a tool to lift other things with. He sees a small rock pile and moves them around. A small scorpion runs out and disappears into the vegetation next to it. Rocky looks over to Frank and says "We have to be careful around here. There are hidden dangers that could make us sick or can cause a grave illness."
After their evening meal Vector went out to the barn to get more ideas on how and what he should do about designing his workshop with his spacecraft. Then he returned home and began laying out his design studio. Everyone started making their room the way they want it to be and Artemesia everything else. A couple of days later Zor 2 shows up while Vector is doing some clean up around the barn. "Hello Vector, how are you," Zor 2 said walking towards him. "Oh, Zor 2 just cleaning up around here" Vector replied. "Ready for your lesson on using the spacecraft" Zor 2 mentioned. "Yes," said Vector as Zor 2 raised his arm and the hidden wall opened and they went downstairs to the spacecraft. Going into the craft Zor 2 seated himself at the controls and Vector sat next to him on a co-pilot seat with controls in front of him.
After the first hour of explanation Zor 2 pressed the invisible mode button and the false floor opened and the two parts of the barn roof slid open at the center. Rising up 20 feet above the barn in invisible mode Zor 2 says "We are going for a test flight." Pressing the button that controls the roof, it begins to close. Vector is remembering everything to memory, as Zor 2 continues to explain the controls and their buttons. "All right we are ready to go places," Zor 2 said as he pressed a button and the craft went straight up to 1000 feet, then stopping in hover mode. Pressing his one finger forward on the pad in front of him. The ship began to move forward.
Traveling around 100 miles per hour (mph) Zor 2 says "we are in one of the slow speeds" as he and Vector look at the monitors with views in front, another that was split showing either side, one of the back view, another for above and the last view of below. Stopping suddenly without any effects of forward motion, and the ship went straight down. "We are going under the water as he moved his fingertip on the pad. The craft went straight down into the ocean water. Watching the same monitors, Zor 2 pressed another button which was the sonar button that foretold of the object in front of them in the distance. They see fishes swimming all around them with the different views of the monitors. Vector sees where the bottom getting darker as it slanted down.
"How deep can the craft go?" asked Vector. "To a depth of around 20,000 feet," Zor 2 said. "How can you see at the depth? Vector said. "There are special lights. Let me show you" he said pressing another button as the light in front turned on. "When we are completely dark the light can project to around 100 feet in front of us depending on water conditions. Ok, we are going back up" Zor 2 said as they broke the surface to climb back up to 1000 feet. "There, on the screen looking down is a ship. It is a Spanish galleon heading to Portobelo. We can see them, but they cannot see us" Zor 2 mentioned as they flew by them in an instant. The spacecraft returned to to the barn. Once there the barn roof opened up and Zor 2 landed the craft into the basement of the barn. "Tomorrow I will be back to let you operate the craft. I will be your instructor just in case something should go wrong. But I know you will do well" Zor 2 said as they got out and closed the barn. "See you tomorrow," Vector said as Zor 2 was beamed up and disappeared. Vector was recalling the day's lesson as he walked toward the house.
"Catching the Wave"
Vector designed a building next to the barn for his workshop instead of adding to the barn. He thought it was more feasible than trying to figure out where to put the benches and cabinets when the floor and roof opened up. Making a list of the tools and equipment he would be needing, along with a wagon and a few more horses to transport those items and materials from town. After doing so, he would begin the project. Leonardo was busy improving his facility and helping out with the shipment of gold and silver coming from Peru and Mexico at the storage facility at the fort.
A few days before Vector would start, Leonardo is talking to Florencia. "Flo, Vector will be starting soon, is there a few things you would like to done to the house when Vector starts work next week," Leonardo said. "I don't have anything currently for him to do, but I know that I will. What are you going to have him do?" Florencia asked. "I'm going to see if our layout here can be improved. From what I saw in his design, he has some unique concepts that I haven't seen before. Actually, there is no one here in America with those design skills that I know of" Leonardo said. "I think he may be special," Florencia said.
Zor 2 shows up for Vector's day of taking the controls of the spacecraft and showing him a few other options that weren't shown before. Both are in the spacecraft after discussing what Vector was about to do. "Are you ready to take the helm" Zor 2 said. "Yes, I am" Vector answered back. "Alright then, go into the invisible mode. Then open the floor and the roof, then go up to 500 feet" Zor 2 said. The ship rise to 500 feet and was hovering in place. "Let's go to the north, about 20 miles from here" Zor 2 suggested as he enters the coordinate to the location. Vector pressed a button and moved his finger on the pad in front of him and the spacecraft took off and within a minute they were at the spot where Zor 2 had entered the spacecraft to be. "Ok, go ahead and land it on the beach," Zor 2 said. Vector followed the orders of Zor 2 and looked around after landing.
"Ok, let go back up to 1000 feet, then I will put in the coordinates for 30 miles from here. I will show you how to use your laser weapon" Zor 2 said. Vector pressed the button and moved his finger on the pad and they were at a location in a valley surrounded by a mountain range. Zor 2 scanned the area for other forms of life and opened the laser mini cannon. Explaining the procedure to operate and maintain the weapon. Looking at the monitor Zor 2 says "Ok, we are going to shoot at the side of the mountain. Use your finger to direct the laser light at a boulder." Vector moves the spotter onto the boulder and is given the command to fire!. He presses the button and the boulder explodes. "That was interesting," Vector said.
"Ok, now let's go over to the side of the hill. I will take over from here, just watch what I'm doing" Zor 2 said. As he pressed on the tab and a pull-down menu appeared. It has 10 sub-categories to choose from. He selects the rectangular cubic excavation command, a light beam on the surface is where Zor 2 has chosen to excavate. The area is within the lighted outline of the volume and Zor 2 starts removing it from the slope. An area of 10'wide x 10' length x 10' height was encapsulated and taken out and put to the side of the excavation. Vector started to think of all the uses of this command. "How big of an area can I use this procedure?" Vector asked. "Maximum amount is 40' x 40'x 40'" Zor 2 said as he reinserted the cube of soil back into the location where he took it out of previously.
"There are a few other options on the menu, but for now just know where it is located on the pull-down menus. Ok, take the controls, and let practice the water commands" Zor 2 mentioned as Vector maneuvered the spacecraft up and toward the ocean. Slowly doing the steps he had watched Zor 2 had done, he enters the water and became submerged. A warning sign comes on the screen and Zor 2 presses a button and the warning sign goes off. "What was that all about," Vector asked. "You forgot to press the submersible sonar button and turn off the invisible mode button," Zor 2 said. Vector nodded his head a few times to indicate he made a mistake and understood.
Cruising around along the coastline Vector got an idea of where what was underneath the waterline of the area. After some time of noticing the underwater topography of the coastline, a half a mile out Zor 2 pointed his finger in an upwards motion. "Yes, here I go back to the surface," Vector said pressing the invisible mode on once they started to surface. Elevating to 500 feet Vector cruises back to the ranch and goes through the procedure of landing in the barn.
"There is another lesson I will show in a couple of days. After that, you can start flying on your own" Zor 2 said as he smiled and disappeared from his seat. Vector stepped outside from the barn walking back to the house when he sees Artemesia waiting for him. She starts walking towards him and they met halfway and she asked "How was it?" "I'm going to have another lesson before flying by myself Zor 2 told me," Vector said as she turned around and walked with him back to the house.
Over at the glider workshop, Leonardo is with Roberto, Jorge, and Tomas talking about the vertical flaps added to the tail and side wings of the tail section. of the gilder to turn left or right. "The rope from the tail section rudder and flaps will be controlled by a lever next to the person flying the glider," Leonard said as his crew listened as he continued "The flaps on the forward wings are to make the glider rise or fall or lean in a certain direction should operate separately or together with the same concept." "What kind of lever system should we have Leo?" Roberto asked as he sees someone by the door. Leonardo turns to the person and says "Maria, what is it that brings you here."
Maria is one of the maids from the house and says "Florenica would like to see you, sir." "Roberto, take over and you guys try to figure out how to make the levers for the tail and wings. I should be back soon" Leonardo said as he went to the house to talk with Florencia. "Leonardo the hospital has notified me that Bonnie will be released from their care tomorrow," Florencia said. "Alright, I will have Pedro with Altair and Homer go into town to pick her up. She should be very happy to see her son and their dog. I have to get back to the glider shop. Let's talk about it some more after dinner" Leonardo said.
Pedro, Altair, Homer, and Bonnie were riding up to the house as Homer was barking their arrival. Florencia had Bonnie's room situated next to Altair's room and went to the front porch to greet them with Maria. "Pedro, help Bonnie to her room, Maria will help you" Maria went over to help Bonnie to step down as Pedro held the reins until everyone was off and took the carriage around the house over to a tie post and came back up front to help out. Florencia was talking to Bonnie as they walked over to her room explaining that she will be taken care of. Altair was holding her hand and Homer was running around being happy with the situation.
It wasn't long before word reached Leonardo that Bonnie had arrived and he was walking up to the house to greet her as well. Over at Vector's ranch Zor 2 had finished his lesson on operating the spacecraft and was seated in the co-pilot's seat, just before returning to the Mother-ship. "If there is any question I might have. How do I contact you for instructions?" Vector asked. "Press this button here (pointing to a button on Vector's left side with a star on it) and wait a few moments before you hear someone answering. Then indicate who you are and asks your question. They will transfer the call to me and we can go from there" Zor 2 said as he disappeared by touching a band on his wrist.
Vector locked up the barn and was walking back to the house when he saw Rocky and Frank returning on the carriage from somewhere. "Where did you two go?" asked Vector. "We went into town and picked up a few things at the general store. Mother and Velidia got sewing gear, threads, and fabric materials. We got a saw, files, knives, hammers, and hatchets" Rocky said. "What are you going to make?" Vector said. "We wanted to make our own workshop and to build things we will need and think of," Frank said. "Where about were you guys thinking about?" Vector asked. "Near our side of the house, about 20 feet or so" Rocky said. "It's ok on that side of the house but make it at least 40 feet because of the noise you might make while banging away with your hammers. Do you have plans on how to build it?" Vector said.
"Yes, a couple of sheets worth. The foundation and framing plans" Frank said. "How big?" Vector said.
"40 feet by 20 feet and 10 feet high" Rocky replied. "Did you ask your mother" Vector said. "Yes, she said it would be alright," Frank said. "Ok, if you need any help, let me know. I here to help you two" Vector said. "Yes, we do need your help. The materials for the shop are going to cost a hundred peso. Can we get it from you? We already asked the mother for the tool money" Frank said. "I will have it for you later," Vector said as he went inside. "Did the boys tell you about their shop?" Artemesia said. "Yes they did, and I'm going to give them a hundred peso for the building materials. Frank said you and Velidia got some fabrics and other stuff" Vector said.
"Velidia bought a common dress that fitted her and a small knife. She's going to cut the threads along the seam and would make patterns from the pieces, before resewing the dress back up. I'm going to do the same. You men will just have to buy your clothes off the rack" Artemesia said. "Well, that should keep you ladies busy. Did you buy books?" Vector asked. "Yes, we did. Velidia bought at least 20 books on various subjects that were available" Artemesia said as Vector started to think about his own situation and going to work for Leonardo in a couple of days.
Showing up at work Vector is greeted by Leonardo at the warehouse "Hi Vector, good to see you again. I'm going to give you a tour of my facility and what is going on here. Leonardo starts by showing him the main room where big projects are built. "This area here is where we built my boat. Currently, the area is empty, until another project is decided on" Leonardo said as he walked over to the end of the building where another sliding door was located. He opening it and Vector sees the boat that Leonardo had mentioned. "We will go over there after I show the workshops," Leonardo said as he closed the sliding doors.
"This room here is where I build surfboards," Leonardo said as he opened the side door to it. "Surfboards, you build surfboards?" asked Vector. "Yes, we surf here. There are two locations on either side of the bay entrance where we surf" Leonardo said. "Surfboards and surfing, that is new to me. Please explain what and how you do surfing" Vector asked. "Surfing is when a person rides a surfboard on a wave. How I found out about surfing and surfboards came when I was assigned to find a location in the middle of the ocean. It was through a diary someone had written and my father came across it. He sold it to a Captain of the Spanish court who told the King of Spain about it. I was sent to the New World and landed here in Portobelo where I met my wife. Long story short after a year or so, my wife and I sailed on a galleon looking for that island in the diary. We located the island, but was put under a spell and sent back to where we came.
But during that time I had a vision of someone who told me about surfing and surfboards. He didn't want us there for he feared his people would be affected by things not known to them and would be drastic to their health. This he shared and averted our discovery until a later time. Since then he appears to me now and then and shares ideas about surfboards and what surfing means to him. I considered him my god-father" Leonardo said. "I find that interesting, that you can communicate with others through telepathy and do something very unique, such as surfing," Vector said as he became more intrigued with his employment. As they stepped into the shaping room and looked over a board that Leonardo was working on. "Here is a board I'm working on," said Leonardo as he lifted the front end as he looked at one rail to the other. "Are those finished products?" Vector said pointing to 3 surfboards in the corner. "Yes, they are," Leonardo said. "I have two sons that would be very much interested in visiting your shop and perhaps you could teach them how to build a surfboard and learn to surf?" Vector asked.
"Why sure, let me know when you had in mind and I will see if my schedule can be work out with the time you had in mind" Leonardo answered back. "Great, what about this weekends," Vector said. "This weekend will be fine. Bring your wife and family, we will have a get-together of sorts" Leonardo said. "Will do" Vector replied. "Now let go over to my glider workshop," Leonardo said. Once again Vector asked "Glider workshop?" as Leonardo open the door to the glider plane they were working on. "What does this thing do" Vector asked. "It is made to fly. We are still working on it. But we are getting close to flying" Leonardo said. Looking at the glider Vector said "A fly machine. Leonardo, we need to talk about flying. I think we have something in common." "Sure, I see you are interested in flight as well," Leonardo said before continuing "Let go see Espiritu de Libertad, the boat that we built."
"You amaze me, Leonardo, all these things you are doing in these times. What are those things in the front and rear of the boat?" Vector asked. "Those are missile systems that we designed here to fight against pirates and others" Leonardo answered back. "My friend Otto sure knew what he was doing when he brought me here," Vector said. "I'm the fortunate one for him to do so. I think you will work out just fine here" Leonard said as they stepped aboard Espiritu de Libertad for a tour of the boat. After doing the tour around the shops and boat Leonardo took Vector up to the house to meet Florencia, Bonnie, Altair, Homer, and his servants and a tour of his house and the greenhouse. Vector got to know everyone and their stories. "Vector, today was get acquainted day, and tomorrow we will start work on my father in law place. He has passed away and Florencia wanted to change a few things there" Leonardo said as Vector was ready to go home.
Once at home Vector told Artemesia about what he saw and the things Leonardo was doing. Then he told his sons about surfboards and surfing and they were excited about that and were looking forward to visiting Leonardo's surf shop and seeing what surfboard looked like. Leonardo had a spare office space that turned into Vector's office. He got the supplies that Vector would need to draw up the designs with. After a brief discussion of what was to be done they went out to the governor's house and Vector looked over the location. He started to develop an idea of more security and storage for the gold and silver that was still flowing in from Peru. Getting used to the people he was working with, Vector felt right at home.
Making suggestions in the glider shop and going sailing aboard Espiritu de Libertad and seeing how it's defense systems worked. Making more advanced plans by using the existing maps of the hacienda.
The weekend came and everyone in Vector's family was excited about going over to their father's place of work. Pulling up to the warehouse where his office was located noticed Leonardo, Florencia, Pedro, Altair, and Homer were loading surfboards onto a wagon that was being pulled by two horses. "Hi, Leonardo, what's up" Vector asked. "The waves have come up and we were going out to surf for a while. You are early I thought you would be here around mid-morning. No matter, you and your family can watch. Maybe your sons and daughter would like to learn to surf" Leonardo said. "Can we father, can we?" Rocky said. "I will pass," Velidia said.
"Oh, this is Florencia my wife, Altair, and Pedro. Bonnie, Altair's mother is taking it easy, she is recovering from an incident a few weeks ago" said Leonardo. "This is Artemesia my wife, Velidia my daughter, and my two sons Rocky and Frank," Vector said. "Yes, let go surfing," Rocky said looking at Frank who was just as excited as Rocky. "All right hop on board the wagon with Pedro and Altair and Homer who was barking away at the people he didn't recognize as Rocky and Frank climbed onto the wagon.
"Pedro is going to take the surfboards over to the entrance of the bay. We can walk there and talk about surfing some more" Leonardo said. "Artemesia, do you have things to keep you busy at your house?" Florencia asked. "We've been busy with house and garden projects, Velidia and I are sewing a few garments for ourselves," Artemesia said. "Sewing? I'm into sewing and designing dresses. I have a design studio for just that. Can I give you a tour later?" Florencia asked them both. "Why yes, we would love to," Artemesia said and Velidia nodded her head to express the same. The ladies talked about garments and techniques in sewing as Leonardo and Vector talked about what they were going to do next week. Then Leonardo sees a set of waves rolling in and said "Oh boy, this is going to be fun 2 to 3-foot waves" as the first wave wrapped around the point.
The wagon got to the location 15 minutes before the group. Pedro and the boys got the surfboards out and they put up a tent which was the dressing room. There were a few swimming wear for the boys that Florencia had on reserve for such an occasion to change into. Pedro and Altair were showing Rocky and Frank how to put a waxy substance onto their boards and told them to be careful in walking out to waist-high water before paddling out before the rest of the group got to the wagon. Leonardo was explaining what to do and when to do it when they came upon the wagon.
Looking out at the waves Altair catches the first wave and is standing and riding the wave.
Artemesia and Velidia were excited to see someone ride a wave for the first time and started to clap their hands in appreciation of what he was doing. Pedro catches the next wave and he does the same of moving with the wave and balancing himself so that he doesn't fall. Looking awkward in paddling out. Rocky and Frank had made it out to the lineup. Pedro took over and told them what to look for when they see a wave approaching them and where to be, and when to start paddling for it. Rocky was too early in paddling and the wave broke on top of him. Frank was late and missed catching it. After a few waves and continued coaching from Pedro and encouragement from Altair. Both Rocky and Frank both caught on to the timing of catching a wave and would be standing and riding the white water.
They were stoked and were smiling at each other. Leonardo and Vector were watching and discussing ideas of site designs. Artemesia and Florencia were doing the same with ideas they were sharing about sewing and fashion as Velidia listened and started to get ideas she didn't think of before. Meanwhile, Homer was roaming around smelling the rocks and leaving his scent at various locations. "Homer, stay close," Leonardo said as Homer barked at Leonardo and Vector, then walked over to the ladies and cozied up to Velidia as she patted him on the head and rubbed his back.
Rocky and Frank came iin followed by Altair and Pedro.
What looked like a rock dance by the guys, was that with each step they took, they were feeling the different size rocks as they walked in and trying not to slip or fall. "Are you and Florencia going out?" Vector asked. "We will go out later. For now, let's go back to the house to relax and enjoy your companies" Leonardo said. The guys changed into their dry clothes and everyone help Pedro disassemble the tent and placed the surfboards back into the wagon. Leonardo, Vector, and the ladies rode the wagon back to the house. With Pedro, Altair, Rocky, and Frank walking back and talking about the waves and how much fun they had and wanting to do it again, with Homer ahead of them chasing seagulls off the dirt coach path.
"A New Company"
After returning from the surf session and putting away their surfboards. Pedro is walking back with Altair and Homer to the guest house where Altair's mother Bonnie is recuperating and regaining her health. "See you later Altair, tell your mom if she needs anything, let me know I will do what I can," Pedro said as he returned to work at the warehouse. Where he is working on a new defense system for Espiritu de Libertad. Florencia was giving a tour of her house to Artemesia and Velidia, "Our first house was destroyed by pirates and we built this house" she explained as they walked past some of the artwork that she and Leonardo obtain on their last trip to Italy. "Let go upstairs and I will show the upstairs," she said walking up the stairs to the second floor.
Meanwhile Vector, Rocky, and Frank are in the shaping room with Leonardo, who explains how he shapes a surfboard and how it relates to what he wants it to do on a wave. Rocky is listening and taking everything in. From what he experiences previously out in the water. He wants to learn more about this way of riding a wave and get better at it. "Leonardo, that surfboard in the corner of the room, can I buy it from you?" Rocky asked. "Oh, that board is not for sale. I made it for Florencia, but I do have others in the next room. Would you like to see them?" Leonardo said. "Why, yes" Rocky answered back. "Me too," Frank said wanting not to be left out.
They walked into the room next door where 7 surfboards were standing up in racks along the wall. "Who do these surfboards belong to?" Frank asked. "They are mine, I get into a mood of making a surfboard and then I put them to the side to ride them later," Leonardo said. "Can I buy or borrow one of them and learn on it?" Rocky said. "Sure, I have a better idea. You, Frank, and your dad can have one!" Leonardo said as Vector, Frank, and Rocky looked at each other. Responding to Leonardo's statement, Vector said "I will pay you for them. You spent time and materials to make these surfboards." "No, that's alright, I'm in the spirit of giving and they are a gift from me to you all. I can tell that Rocky and Frank are stoked about surfing and you will be too Vector" said Leonardo as he went over to the rack.
Frank and Rocky had a big grin on their face as Leonardo called their names and gave them a surfboard. Vector felt the moment to be special and said to Leonardo as he handed a board to him. "My sons and I thankful for your gift Leonardo, you are a unique person, It is an honor working for you." "Yes, thank you, Leonardo," Rocky said and Frank would say the same. "You can keep them here and surf the waves at the two locations of this bay or bring it back and forth from your house. There might be other spots that you may find along the coast. But for now, you can leave them here until you go home" Leonardo said. "That sounds good to us," Vector said and the boys nodded to agree. "Let's go over to my boat and I will give you a tour, one of these days we can go sailing," Leonardo said as he leads the way to the dock and continued "Here she is, Espiritu de Libertad." "Spirit of Freedom," Frank said. "Yes, it's a feeling that most people take for granted. I like what it stands for and that is the reason why I named her that" Leonardo said.
The guys had a fun time being aboard the boat and looked forward to going sailing on her. "You are welcome here anytime "Mi casa es su casa" Leonardo said. Rocky looked at Frank who paraphrased by saying "My house is your house" to help Rocky out. Along with the same sentiment Florencia had invited Artemesia and Velidia back the following week. Florencia wanted them to help out on some clothing projects she had in mind. On their way home the boys were inspired by their visit and Rocky says "Frank let's start our own surfboard shop making surfboards and standup hydrofoils. Just like the kind we rode back at Etobiius." With that said, Vector thought of his old friends and the back pages of Atlantis as he held the reins. Returning to his ranch Vector sees Outaforium by the house.
The carriage pulls up to the front porch "Outaforium, what brings you here?" Vector asked. "I have few things to go over with you Vector, let take a walk," Outaforium said. "Yes, Rocky and Frank take the carriage to the barn after your we get off. Then untie the board from the back of the carriage. Artemesia, I'm going for a walk with Outaforium, I will be right back" Vector said as he started walking with Outaforium. Outaforium tells Vector that Zor 2 is in the barn. Vector turns and tells Artemesia "On second thought, I will be back in an hour, Zor 2 is in the barn."
As Outaforium continued with their discussion "There were a few intruders while you and your family were away. We had placed small monitors around the house and barn, to watch your residence. We saw these individuals trying to break into your house and barn. We did not know who they were, so we took care of them. After gathering them up, we transform them into a prison waiting room with newly arrived prisoners in Panama City. The guards thought they were crazy with their explanation of why they were there. They were soon part of the other prisoners and disappeared into the prison. The system we put in place to protect your family and your property is working" Outaforium said. "I am glad it was," Vector said.
"Zor 2 is at the barn with a few more instructions before letting you operate it on your own. I will be going now" Outiforium said as he disappeared and Vector went into the barn where Zor 2 had been waiting. Zor 2 looked at Vector and said "Vector, Outaforium probably informed you already about what happened earlier" Zor 2 said. "Yes, he has" Vector answered back. "Ok, a few more instructions and you will be on your own regarding practicing what you learned" Zor 2 said as they went into the spacecraft. "How do I refuel this craft?" Vector asked. "Below us is a magnetic generator that we had installed. The barn was moved to one side, a pit was drugged some 10 feet below the spacecraft resting pad" Zor 2 said looking down before continuing.
"An energy conduit from the generator was connected to the resting pad. Another line from the roof feeds the generator. The barn was placed back to where it was after the false floor was installed. The generator is fueled by the sun by way of the barn's roof. The switch that controls the flow from the roof to the generator is near the steps. Actually, the process is much more complicated than what I just described, but this will give you an idea of how it works. The generator will last 100 years. In comparison, our Mothership energy supply will last 10,000 years before it will be replaced. I can't say how that is done" said Zor 2.
"So going back to the stealth shield, how do I see what is around the barn inside and out and around the house?" asked Vector. Zor 2 looked at Vector and said "This button next to the monitor button" as he started the engine and turned on the stealth shield. Looking at his screen Vector can see everything outside and inside the barn and around the house. Then Zor 2 presses the button that opens up the floor above them and the roof at the same time. The craft begins to hovers up through the room and out above the barn. Vector is watching every move that Zor 2 had made. "Take over from here and I will be watching you so you won't make any mistakes," said Zor 2.
Vector begins the climb as before and moves up slowly, then accelerates until they are at the one-mile mark, which the screen indicates. Vector pushes his hand forward on the pad and the craft moves forward at 100 miles per hour. Flying over the ocean in stealth mode they can see ships below them, spaced out by many miles apart. After a few minutes, Vector see some small islands and a boat anchored "What's this" said Vector as the vision scope enlarges the image of a skull and crossbones flag flying at the stern of the ship. "That is a pirate ship, but what are they doing out there?" said Vector as he looked at Zor 2 and continued "How do I find out where this ship is located if I want to come back here." "This button here will do that. It will mark the spot where we are. Give it an identification name and on the screen press save. That information is then stored in what is called a data bank" said Zor 2 as he pressed the button and the name of the inquiry appeared on the main screen. Zor 2 clears the command and the vision of the skull and crossbones flag disappears.
Nodding his head to say yes, Vector veers the craft away and they continued on their way. After an hour they were back at Vector's ranch and hovering into the barn with the roof and floor door opening up as Vector lands the craft onto its pad. "Let's do the refueling" mentioned Zor 2. Vector did the steps and turned on the fuel switch and in a matter of a few minutes, the gauge indicated full. "Good work," said Zor 2 as Vector powered down the craft before turning it off. Stepping outside they were going over what Vector had accomplished during their flight. Zor 2 said "Zeuyu has reconsidered letting you travel back and into the future. I will be back to show you how to do that in a few weeks. So see you next time" as he touched his wrist tag and disappeared.
Vector went inside to tell Artemesia what Outaforium had told him and what he and Zor 2 did on the spacecraft. Artemesia had just returned from the garden with Velidia and had picked some vegetables and fruits to prepare the evening meal. "How was the flight with Zor 2? Artemesia asked. "We saw a pirate ship anchored off on a small island. Not sure what it is going to do" Vector said. "Perhaps to no good," Artemesia said. "What did Outaforium say?" asked Artemesia. "He said there were some intruders when we were gone. They were spotted with image sensors and
Zeuyu and the crew took care of them by sending them to prison" Vector said. "I'm glad he is doing that for us," Artemesia said while looking at Velidia.
The following Monday, Leonardo happened to see Vector in his office working on some plans for the late governor's warehouse. "Vector, it was nice meeting your family," said Leonardo as he walked towards him. "Leonardo, a person I know mentioned a pirate ship was anchored off on some island a few hundred miles away. I'm thinking they are up to no good" Vector said. Leonardo looked around after hearing the news of a pirate ship. "If they are up to no good, what do you think we should do?" Leonardo asked having a few options of his own.
Knowing what he would say may expose him to being advanced and having abilities beyond the times in which he is in. But, he sensed something about Leonardo that made him being more forthcoming with his answers. So he said, "Burn a hole in their sails, then burn their boat." "I know what you mean by burning their sails, but they are too far away from our mirrors and we don't know where they are," Leonardo said having the know-how of using mirrors to burn holes into something. "Leonardo do you have time, I have something I would like to show you and what I meant by burning a hole in their sails," Vector said. "Sure, something this serious is worth my time to look at. What do you have in mind and where are you talking about?" Leonardo asked. "It's at my house," Vector said. "Ok, let's go, I will let one of my workers tell my wife where I am going" Leonardo replied before taking off.
Leonardo and Vector arrived at the barn and went inside. "There is nothing here," Leonardo said. "Just wait a minute," Vector said as he touched the lever on the wall and the secret stairs appeared. Vector went first and Leonardo followed him as they descended into the room below. Leonardo was totally shocked by what he was seeing. "It's a long story," said Vector. "I have something to tell you as well. My god-father Kai'ike told me I was in for a shock today. I was in communication with him last night and wasn't sure what he meant, now I know. I was going to let you know of my powers and Kai'ike's powers of seeing into the future. He mentioned our meeting today and I was going to say something back at the office but waited till now to let you know of my powers" said Leonardo.
"Well I showed you my cards and you showed me yours. Would you care to go for a ride in my spacecraft" asked Vector? With a surprised look, Leonardo said "It flys?" "Yes," said Vector. "Sure why not. My glider back at the warehouse is a toy compared to what you have here" said Leonardo as the side door opened. Before going into the spacecraft Vector asked Leonardo "Do I have your word that you and Florencia's will not tell anyone of this" said Vector.
"Yes, and you and Artemesia will not tell of my powers to anyone also" stated Leonardo as Vector said "Yes." They went inside the craft and Vector went through the procedures of starting up the spacecraft. The floor above them opened and the spacecraft began hovering as Vector turned on the stealth mode. "We are invisible to everyone in the outside world. You can see what is happening on the screen" as Vector pointed to it as they were in the open and climbing up into the sky. "Here we go" as they reached the altitude where Vector started going forward.
They went out to sea and it wasn't long before they saw the pirate ship anchored after Vector went through what he had learned and click the identification name of the location. "I have an idea Leonardo," said Vector as he moved closer to the ship with their stealth shield on. Vector aimed his laser beam at the two mast and mainsails, as they hovered nearby Vector turned on the laser beam and took out one of the masts, and watch as the crew went to general quarters. Then he went around and aimed at the rudder. With the press of the button, the rudder exploded. "Now they have to repair their ship and need to get supplies and lumber for it. I wonder how they are going to do that. Well, problem solved for now" said Vector as he veered off.
They flew back to Panama, then to the Pacific Ocean side before going south and cruising along the coastline. They went by Ecuador, Peru, and Chile before flying over to Rapa Nui Island. "This is unreal, I only dreamed of doing this and you are actually doing it" said Leonardo with an excited look on his face. "My alien friend mentioned this island out in the middle of nowhere and they placed the coordinates in the spacecraft's system for me to visit if I choose to," said Vector. "Wow Vector this is really an experience I will never forget of being on this spacecraft," said Leonardo. Flying around the island they noticed statues placed at various locations on the island. "What is the meaning of those statues Vector," asked Leonardo. "I do not know Leonardo, but will asks my friend the next time I see them.
We are heading back now" said Vector as the spacecraft rose and took off towards Panama. "How long have you been doing this" asked Leonardo. "I just started to learn how to fly this craft, I still have a long ways to go to understand all of the controls on this spacecraft," said Vector. "Are you really from where you mentioned when we first met?" asked Leonardo. "No, I said that so as not to cause suspicion. I am from Atlantis a place that no longer exists" answered Vector as Leonardo wonder about Atlantis a place he had read about in a book about Plato.
"We are back," said Vector as he guided the craft down to his barn hanger and back onto its landing pads. "This was something else, to say the least," Leonardo mentioned as he got out of his seat and followed Vector out of the spacecraft. Walking back to his horse, Leonardo felt like he had been in a trance. Vector looked at Leonardo and noticed he didn't seem like his usual self. "Are you alright Leonardo?" asked Vector. I've been through quite a bit the last few months and this just added the topping to the cake. I will be alright, your secret is safe with me" Leonardo said.
They walked outside of the barn and started coming up with ideas of what they might do, with Vector spacecraft. After their discussion Leonardo got back on his horse and said "No need to go back today we will talk some more over at the ranch tomorrow" Leonardo said. "See you tomorrow and we can talk some more then," Vector said as he nodded his head and waved as Leonardo rode off.
Returning home Leonardo goes inside to be with Florencia. She is in her design studio working on some drawing for her fashion collection. "There you are," said Leonardo as she turned around from her work. "How was your visit to Vector's house," asked Florencia. "What I'm going to tell you has to be kept a secret between you and me," said Leonardo. "What is it" she asked changing her mood from casual to serious. "Vector is no ordinary person, he is a genius of some kind that I found out being there today. He has a spaceship that can travel to various locations on this earth in a matter of seconds. And besides that his craft can turn invisible so others cannot see it. It has a light ray that can destroy objects. I tell you it was amazing what I learned in a short amount of time being with him" said Leonardo looking for a chair to sit down on.
"Yes, I will keep that a secret. You had a game-changer of a day. How are you feeling about that" asked Florencia? "I felt drained thinking about it. But regained my composure after my ride back here and seeing you," said Leonardo looking at Florencia. She gets up and walks over to him and kisses him. He exhales a silent sigh of relief. "Let go to Panama City next week," he asks. "What's happening in Panama City," she asks. Leonardo says "There is this property I heard of that was for sale and was thinking about having another location there." "Ok, about a week?" she said. "Yeah, a week will be fine," Leonardo said.
Leonardo is in his glider workshop looking at his prototype when Vector walked in. "The plans for the warehouse at the governor's facility is done. Starting on the new bridge location will do some preliminary research on the bedrock of the area" Vector said. "Vector, I'm having second thoughts about my glider since I flew with you yesterday. What do you think I should do about further research on this project?" Leonardo asked. "I would continue, the more you know the better off you will be. You are way ahead of anyone else regarding the flight. I just happened to be at the right place, at the right time regarding my situation of having a vehicle that can fly" Vector said.
"You are right, I'm just amazed at what will be and lost sight of why I was researching the first place. "We are close to flying and shouldn't give up. But, I wouldn't mind flying with you and get more insight into being up there flying around and coming up with new ideas" Leonardo said. "Sure, I will let you know ahead of time and we can both learn and get new ideas. I was thinking about going flying in a day or two after work. I will let you know for sure" Vector said. "Great, that would be fine with me. Now that I have answered my own question regarding the glider. I will have my crew continue with the project. Let's go over to your office and see your bridge plans " Leonardo said as he pointed the way out the door.
Walking toward Vector's office he asks "You mentioned a diary and a map of the place you went looking for the King of Spain. You were there, but not thereby being veered away by someone you call your god-father. Do you still have that map?" Vector asked. "I gave it back to the governor of Panama City for his discretion. But I made a copy of it. Why do you ask?" Leonardo said. "You also said you can communicate at times with god-father. Do you think your god-father would mind if we visited him? I will keep the visit a secret" Vector said.
"I do not know, but I can ask. In a day or two I will let you know" Leonardo said. "That will be fine," Vector said as they walked into his office. That evening Leonardo was seated on his patio after dinner while Florencia was in her studio. Kai'ike came to him in a telepathic vision, "Leonardo how are you" he said. "I am doing well. I recently employed a person, a good person who is intelligent and able to do things with the help from star people that he knows. He asked if can visit you in person, in fact, so would I" Leonardo said. "No, I don't think it wise to do so now. I sense it best to communicate the way we are doing now" Kai'ike said. The next day Leonardo tells Vector "Kai'ike said it wasn't a good idea to do so now, maybe later." "It was just a thought, perhaps later would be better as he had mentioned," Vector said. "Yes, there are other things on our plates to think about. Let go over to my office and talk about a property on the Panama City side that I heard and interested in" Leonardo said.
Leonardo and Florencia made the trip over to Panama City, checked into the hotel with a few of Leonardo's entourage which consisted of 6 armed bodyguards. After everyone was taken care of accommodations, Leonardo and Florencia went to a restaurant located next door to the hotel to have a meal. "Who was it that you should see about the property?" asked Florencia. "I was told to see a banker named Senor Rojas. Seated in the booth next to them was Senor Rojas. So he gets up and introduces himself to them. "I couldn't help but hear my name being mentioned," said the man "I am Carlos Antonio Rojas a banker here in Panama City."
Leonardo gets up and shakes his hand and says "My name is Leonardo Vi and this is my wife Florencia. He then moved next to Florencia and says "Please have a seat, we are interested in purchasing a property" pointing to where he had been seated. "Thank you," Carlos said as he sat down thinking of a new client for the bank. "Tell me, how is it that you got my name," asked Carlos. "I happened to had a conversation with a merchant from here who deals in gold that comes from Mexico and Peru. He said something about the property here and that I should see you about it" said Leonardo."What merchant are you speaking of? Carlos asked. "Don Jose Cabrillo," Leonardo said. "He is one of my top customers. If there anything I can do to help you with, I'm at your service" Carlos said.
I am from Portobelo and came here to look for a place to establish another office property. The place I was told was at the harbor" Leonardo said. "I know exactly the place you talk about that is for sale, perhaps we can go there and talk about it there," said Carlos. "Why yes, what time?" Leonardo asked. "I can pick you up at 10:00 am tomorrow in front of the hotel and take you there," Carlos said. Leonardo replied "Yes, we will see you then" as Carlos got up and shook Leonardo's hand and nodded his head to Florencia before departing. The following morning Leonardo and Florencia were in front of the hotel when Carlos rode up in his carriage with his driver. "Good to see you Leonardo and Florencia" greeted Carlos. "Please come in," Carlos said.
They rode through town and arrived at the property. Leonardo instantly was taken by the place. They got out and walked around the location which was situated next to the water, with two piers being 600 feet long. They walked out to the end of one and view the scene of the bay. Next, they went to the warehouses where its measurement was 300 ft. long, 100 ft. wide, and 3 stories high with 100 hectares of open land right next to it. "How much do they want for it," Leonardo asked. "Five hundred thousand pesos" replied Carlos. "Excuse us Carlos I would like to talk to my wife about this," said Leonardo as they move about 15 feet to the side of Carlos. "What do you think Florencia. It's ideal for what I was thinking and I can have Vector design our new port of entry for the gold that is coming from Peru and Mexico. We can build our new home here as well" Leonardo said. "I will have our banker take care of the funds to Carlos," said Florencia. "Ok," said Leonardo as they started to walk back and approached Carlos and said, "We will take it."
"When can you stop by the bank and sign the papers," Carlos said. "We can do it today, before going back to the hotel, your back your driver can return us to the hotel after that" Leonardo said. After the paperwork, Leonardo and Florencia began talking about their new shipyard where Leonardo will have a design and construction department for making commercial ships that will bring in commodities from different parts of the Pacific side. Then ship them to the growing markets of Europe, Ideas were flowing from Leonardo. Florencia started talking about their new residence and the 100-hectare lot next to the shipyard. It wasn't long before they arrived at the hotel, Leonardo tipped the driver and got off the carriage. Cutting their stay short Leonardo and Florencia were back in Portobello visiting Vector and Artemesia at their ranch. The discussion centered around the new project that they wanted Vector to do. "Vector we would like you to design a new Industrial complex and another residence for us in Panama City. A futuristic design of an office complex and shipyard.
Vector became very interested in what they had mentioned about import, the export of the different products. Vector mentioned to Leonardo "I wouldn't mind doing some business with you two regarding the products that you had in mind." "What about starting a partnership" mentioned Leonardo. "What kind of partnership did you have in mind," asked Vector. "The land, the business, and the buildings will be 50/50. We paid five hundred thousand for the location, so you would pay half of that and whatever expense that may occur" Leonardo explained. Vector looked at Artemesia knowing that he had the funds and more in the box that Outaforium had in the barn. He turned to Leonardo and said "You got yourself a partner" extending his hand to shake on the deal. "We will have the necessary paperwork drawn to seal the agreement," said Leonardo. "Let me go get some wine and cups to celebrate the occasion," said Artemesia as she got up and went for the wine.
Handing everyone a cup, then poured the wine, Vector made a toast "I see a great future for this company that is being created today by the Vi's and the Durasel's, long may this company live, a toast!" with that Vector lifted his cup and everyone else did the same and added by saying "To our health and well being." It wasn't long before Vector was walking the site with Leonardo. Gathering information and listening to what Leonardo had in mind. Artemesia and Florencia stayed home to prepare for what was going to happen. Vector and Leonardo would make the trip in his spacecraft. Vector went to work wasting no time taking down notes of the surrounding areas regarding the soil composition, the tides of the ocean, the rivers and estuaries and the roads near the property, and the topography of the surrounding area. Then have a crew of 5 doing the surveying and other measurements needed.
They would stay three weeks doing the preliminary work and after that Vector would begin the working drawings for the site. Which the first phase would take 4 months. He had hired 10 draftsmen, 2 group leaders, and 1 supervisor at the office at Sapphire Bay design studio. During this time period Vector's training on the spacecraft was done at night and during the weekends after hours for the first few months. Then after 6 months Vector relocated the design department to the newly built office facility in Panama City. He would continue to learn more through Zor 2 guidance of space travel of the past and into the future.
"An Uncertain Era Awaits"
Besides the daily operation of managing the gold flowing in and being shipped out to Spain, Leonardo and Vector were now developing a new company. They named it VALaF (Vector, Artemesia, Leonardo, and Florencia) after Florencia came up with the name. The King of Spain started to become suspicious of Leonardo's activities and sent a representative to tell Leonardo that his services were no longer needed. With that decreed Leonardo was relinquished of his responsibilities to Spain. With that being implemented VALaF went their separate way and half of the workers went to work for VALaF. The government had to hire new workers to fill the positions that were vacated.
By this time the facility at Panama City was nearing completion of the first phase of construction. Both Leonardo and Vector had built new homes on the Panama City side and were in the process of adjusting. Vector's new location which was just outside of the city limits had a new warehouse for the spacecraft (similar to the one at Portobelo that he would still use). It was built with the help of Zeuyu and was larger. Leonardo and Florencia house was located on the far end of the business section of the land overlooking the ocean and a sandy beach.
The hacienda at Sapphire Bay became the Export / Import location for the Atlantic side of their operation. Pedro would become in charge there, he had married Bonnie and had a house built nearby on the southern end of the bay. Watching over the location and the dock from an elevated location. With the responsibility of the hacienda and the boat. Pedro was trained to have the crew ready to go aboard Espiritu de Libertad to take care of any disturbance that might arise as it captain. Still surfing with Altair when his schedule allows. He and Bonnie were expecting another child and Homer was just cruising along being the alpha dog of the two puppies that Altair had gotten.
Leonardo had plans of building another boat for the Pacific side. A double hull boat much larger than those he had seen in his vision with Kai'ike. Since his ties with Spain regarding the gold had stopped. He decided to have his own mines and bring the gold and silver from Peru and Mexico to his facilities on the Atlantic and Pacific locations. The king of Spain would not have it and tried to arrest Leonardo. He sent a messenger to the governor of Panama City to arrest him. In turn, the governor sent a captain of the guards to let Leonardo know to turn himself in. In response, Leonardo told the captain not to try or the governor of Panama City would be vanished from the land and sent back.
The captains took the message back to the governors, who laughed and said "Do as I say arrest them." No sooner were the captains ready to go to Leonardo's facility, word got back to them from the general at the garrisons that the governors had disappeared. They stopped with what they were going to do and sent a messenger back to the king about what had happened. A few days later, the word was spreading that the new governor of Portobelo and the old governor of Panama City had disappeared. The generals on both sides of Panama awaited further instruction from the Court of Spain in regards to Leonardo, knowing they would be next to disappear if they took action against Leonardo.
Back at Leonardo's office "Vector where did you take the governors to?" Leonardo asked. "I took them to London and let them off there. Not sure what happened to them there. They only spoke Spanish and had a few pesos" Vector said. "Well, time will tell," Leonardo said as he changed the subject to ship building. "We have the two hulls faired and going to cover them with the resin sap we discover last year. After that, we will connect the hulls with large beams made of hardwood sandwiched with glued balsa wood" Leonardo said. "Good idea, have you been working on the missile and cannon system?" Vector asked. "Yes, and also working on a repeating rifle that shoots 100 rounds of bullets at a time. A circular frame holding ten gun barrels connected to it. Firing each barrel at a time as it turns in a circle" Leonardo answered back.
"Sound interesting. That boat is going to have a missile system, a cannon guns, and a machine type gun. How fast will the boat go?" Vector asked. "I want it to go fast, thinking about having sails and mechanical means, but not sure how I would go about it," Leonardo said. "I know who to get that information from," Vector said. "Outaforium" Leonardo said with excitement in his voice. "You guessed it. He has books on that subject matter. He lent it out to a young man that I knew back on Etobiius. His name was Darmax, a very smart young man, who had a bright future ahead of him before the island exploded" Vector said.
"So, can you get the book from Outaforium and when you do, I will have my engineers start working on the design and the raw materials we will need," Leonardo said. Making a mental note and then writing it down just in case as they continue with the next subject. "What materials do you think the design team should use to make the 150-foot catamaran light, strong and fast?" Vector asked to find out how Leonardo would tackle the issue.
"My designers came up with the idea of how the hull contour will look like. We then began analyzing the outer and interflow lines. Then started to make frames for each section along the flow line. After the section framing, there will be a longitudinal framing that connects to each frame. Then a thin diagonal strip of panel wood a quarter-inch thick would be placed, each layer opposite to the previous layer. Five layers is what they were thinking. Covered with a sheathing material we are still experimenting with currently" Leonardo said as he continued.
"To make the hull light, I was thinking about using diagonal panels of five layers. An outer layer of tauari wood from Brazil, a 1" thick layer of balsa chambered out and filled with a strong superlight resin from the Brasilian rainforest that natives call epox to fill the chambers, then a centered layer of tauari, chambered balsa and epox again, and the final layer of tauari hardwood sandwich all glued together to make a 3-inch thick hull.
The flooring for the deck and bulkheads will be straight panels of the same materials. The glue will be a special blend made from resin trees and plants from Brazil's rainforest region that my research department has worked on at the Portobelo side" Leonardo said as he was going over his notes. "Aw, here it is, The mast will be made from spruce wood that you had acquired from a place up north. The framing will be white ask and the longitudinal will be spruce."
"I will be going back to Portobelo and checkup on my ranch and do some flying around the Caribbean to see what ships might be in the area," Vector said. Leonardo had a meeting with General Alvarez who was in charge of his security force in Panama City and General Murrietos of the Portobelo security force. "General Alvarez we will be adding a thousand more men to garrison here and five hundred men at Portobelo, General Murrietos. We will be expanding our operation here in Panama City and Portobelo. We will take care of the logistics involved and start our recruits at our new training camp. Also, our weapons engineering and naval departments are going to work on a new concept of a gunboat for both of your commands. It's still in the drawing stage and waiting for details to be worked out" Leonardo said. "It's been quiet lately regarding any disturbance here in Panama City," General Alvarez said. "Same on the Caribbean side as well" mentioned General Murrietos. "That is good to hear, but I will let you know if something is brewing," Leonardo said concluding their meeting.
After leaving the meeting Leonardo decided to go surf. He goes over to their new house and tells Florencia he is going surfing out in front of their house. The waves were a beach break variety with sandbar peaks, some turning into walls breaking 2-3 feet. Florencia decided to go out with Leonardo. With a few of his men from the security forces stationed around the beach, Leonardo and Florencia are about to go surf.
Staying out for an hour and a half, they caught around 15 waves. Feeling like all their responsibilities are onshore, they rode the waves with a carefree attitude. "Leonardo, I have a few things I need to do, so I'm going in on the next wave," Florencia said. "I'm going in too, here comes some waves," Leonardo said as he let Florencia catch the second wave of the set and he would catch the third. Going left for a short distance before straightening out and lying down in the prone position, he rode the wave to shore.
Vector came by the next day with the book on propulsion that he got from Outaforium. Leonardo looked it over and his mind started to fill with ideas he never thought of before. He and Vector then went over to the design studio where his designers and engineers had their offices. Leonardo called a meeting with his department managers and said "We are going to add something new called engines to the new boat. I have a book on how to make it. So, let me go over it with you all." After going over the general concept. His managers were inspired by the idea and prepared their departments to get ready for the addition into their plans.
Leonardo would plan on having a foundry and tooling shop to do the things the book had indicated and would be needed. With the work increase on the Panama City side, the newly formed VALaF company was hiring. The people who were hired would go through a training program, that would make them more knowledgable and confident about the company they were working for. A win-win for the community and local government. The days would fly-by and Leonardo and Vector could see the progress taking shape at both locations. Their daily meeting consisted of traveling to the Caribbean side first and observing the local waters, then over to the Pacific side to go over to Peru and look over locations where gold and silver might be found. On other days they would fly north and look at what had not been discovered by any civilized explorers.
After returning from their daily cruise, they would go to the different departments and keep up with the progress of the projects that were being worked on and others that were being started. Frank and Rocky built another surf shop at their new home located in Panama City and were learning how to design and construct from the training programs and apprenticing in the engineering department. Artemesia and Velidia were working with Florencia in developing a garment company at a large studio added on to Florencia's house. On weekends Leonardo and Florencia would have Vector and his family over for a get-together and go surf or other activities near Leonardo's place.
"Florencia, Vector mentioned that a few of the workers at the facility have become interested in surfing and Leonardo has taught them the basic principles. Some have bought surfboards from him" Artemesia said. "Yes, it is a sport that he and I enjoy and didn't mind sharing the experience with anyone who would like to try it. Not only is Leonardo the boss, but a friend to many who started surfing with him" Florencia said.
Vector walks over to Leonardo "Oh by the way I asked about those statures on Rapa Nui and found out that another group of Space people happen to had visited the island and influenced the people there and would come and go during the many generations of the island. The statues symbolized the concept of keeping a watch for the star people" said Vector. "I wouldn't doubt it," Leonardo said then thought of Sergio Barbosa for some unexplained reason as Rapa Nui faded from the conversation.
After six months the boat was nearing completion Leonardo and Vector are on the deck of the new boat still being worked on. The hulls have been connected to the main decking, and the special side compartments for the weapons system on the port and starboard sides are being adjusted. "We have tested the missile launchers and they worked good, the multiple firing gun is still being redesigned due to the temperature increase of the weapon by so many bullets being fired, also the engine system is coming along. It looks like sea trials will be in a month and Florencia group is putting the finishing touches to the interior and having the sails sewn up" said Leonardo. Thornton Smith walks over to Leonardo.
Looking at the deck Leonardo is visualizing the crew handling the three masts. Turning to his supervisor Thornton Smith an English shipwright Leonardo asked "When are they going to paint the hulls." "About a week, boss," said Thornton. "Good, so we are on schedule," said Leonardo. "Yes Sir," said Thornton. "Have you and Florencia chosen a name for her yet?" Thornton asked. "Yes we have, Florencia wanted Viajero de Estrellas (Traveler of the Stars) and it made sense to me" replied Leonardo looking up.
Later that afternoon Leonardo and Florencia were on the starboard bow and Leonardo says to Florencia "It will be more stable cutting through the water and at this length it can move faster than a smaller boat." Viajero de Estrellas was 150 feet in length and 48 feet in width. She had a 3 mast configuration with two cockpits, on the port and starboard sides in front of the two forward masts with the third mast in front of the stern cabin. There are steering wheels, located at each cockpit. The forward main cabin and the stern cabin has a compartment area for portable cannons to be brought out and put away when not in use.
The boat could accommodate fifty crew members with skills in sailing, advance weaponry, and manual fighting, science, carpentry, sail-making, and cooking". Florencia looked at Leonardo without saying a word. Looking down she sees one of her assistants and says "What is it Juanita". "Your presence is requested back at the office, there are some buyers for your clothing line," said Juanita. "I will be right down" Florencia yelled back. "I will stay here and go over a few things inside the cabin," said Leonardo. Nodding her head up and down Florencia walks over to the temporary stairs tower and walks down.
Vector who had come over from Portobelo was at the yard and seeing the progress being made to the entire complex came on the deck after Florencia had left 10 minutes earlier. "What are your plans regarding what you will be using the boat for" asked Vector. To travel along the coast to the north and south of Panama.
"Is there enough room in the cargo compartment to hold much after the weapon system went in" asked Vector. "Yes, as planned" replied Leonardo walking over to it to the cargo bay which was located in the middle of the boat as Vector followed. "It can hold 20,000 lbs. if we need to bring back materials for our business," said Leonardo. "That sounds good, knock on wood," said Vector knocking on the cabin side.
After the long-awaited completion and the naming of the boat, the first day of sea trials went well. Feeling carefree for the moment Leonardo and Florencia are on the port's bowsprit area. With the wind coming from the southwest, Florencia has her arms extended out to her sides as if she is flying, while Leonardo holds her waist with one arm and has a grip on to the outer safety line with his left hand. One of the older crew members is saying to another, "That's Amor. She is flying and he is holding on." Returning home Leonardo was relaxing on the balcony of his study. With a light afternoon breeze from the south-flowing by, as he contemplates the future of a uncertain era while looking out at Panama Bay.