Episode 8

Going in Both Directions

 

After their golf lesson Leo and Vector are hitting a bucket of balls next to each other at the driving range. “My greenhouse pieces and farming equipment will be arriving next week from New Zealand. I still have 3 months left on my warehouse lease, so I will store my supplies and equipment there until the warehouse and office facilities is constructed at the acreage I recently purchased” Leo said after hitting his 7 iron.

 

Pulling out his driver, Vector mentioned “I’ve been giving it some more thought on relocating back here, with the complex that I was constructing in New Zealand. Since Artemesia and Velidia are pursing their efforts into the garment trade with Flo and the boys are into making surfboards. I’m going to do the same as you and focus here for the next 5 years. The land there in New Zealand will remain in it’s natural state.” as Vector swung and sliced his ball to his right.

 

“You can relocate to my location, there is a mountain area to the south of the main construction site you can use if you want” Leo said pausing for a moment looking to see which club he wanted to use. “Ok, let’s go and see that place after we finish here” said Vector as he watched Leo get out his pitching wedge. Discussing what and when Vector would make his move, the two continued practicing on their swing. Retturning home, they fly over in Vector’s spacecraft to the site where Leo was talking about.

 

Flying over to Leo’s property which is 10,000 hectares in size (over 4,000 acres) and landed onto an open area of 40 acres a few hundred feet up on the side of the mountain. They could see for miles all around the site. “I like it Leo, I will start next week in bringing my stuff here. I have to clear the area and design a pump station by the river to get water up here. This will work out much better and I can spend more time with my family” Vector said with a smile on his face.

 

“Right on, now you know where it’s at. Lets go back home, there is a few things I need to do and let Flo know of our plans” Leo said while thinking about the time he met Florencia and the properties her father owned. He drifted back in memory to that time period.

 

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. Captain Montoya was told that the ship they would be sailing on was being repaired and it would be a month before they should make the crossing over to the Pacific side. The Captain agreed with the local official and would wait it out and check back periodically. The clerk said to them “You should have a bite to eat at the local eatery across the street and try the food there, it is very tasty" said the clerk while pointing in the direction of a small building. "Yes" said Miguel and the others agreed.


While having their lunch the trio were 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 accounts told to them by previous explorers.
 

One of the men said “As the story goes the elders of the villages talked about a civilization of the Maya, a race that was advance in astronomy, mathematics and agriculture but has since has broken into smaller groups and the architects and engineers of that era with their knowledge have since disappeared.” As the two explorers talked about a large disk that the elders talked about the “Calendar.” Intrigued by the conversation Captain Montoya and Leonardo introduce themselves 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 Claudette de Lormecy my associate“ as the two explorers got up shook their hands. 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 forth night. Anything regarding mathematics and astronomy would catch Leonardo attention and to mention a calendar just added fuel to the flame. “What is this calendar you have mentioned” questioned Leonardo. “We were told that it has to do with how they determined luck days for such activities as sowing crops, building houses, and going to war” remarked Felipe.

“What does the Calendar look like” asks Miguel. It a circular tablet of something like 12 feet in diameter says Ignacio. But the others who have seen it could not understand the markings continued Ignacio. Besides a Cartographer Leonardo is an artist also, mentioned Captain Montoya. I see says Felipe sharing down at the table while thinking of the possibilities. Looking back up and continues with his thoughts and said “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 give it some thought and get permission from the Governor’s office, but since our travels to the Pacific has been postpone till March it looks like we can go. I will get back with you by tomorrow, how should I reach you? “ responded Captain Montoya. We are on board the “Winds of Suerte” and she will set sails with the tide a few days continued Felipe.” Tomorrow! that doesn’t leave us much time said Leonardo, lets 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 have I got myself into.

Sailing north up the coast of Central America with favorable winds and current of the Caribbean, the “Winds of Suerte” was making good time in their passage to the Yucatan Peninsula. Leonardo kept a keen eye of all that he could observe both day and night. Arriving at the fishing village which became known as Cancun centuries later, Winds of Suerte anchored offshore.

Felipe and Ignacio were busy getting their supplies ready for shore while Miguel, Claudette and Leonardo were in the town and seeing the sights. While Leonardo went to look around and would meet back at the fishing boat yard, Miguel and Claudette took some time to be alone and strolled up the beach. Leonardo stopped by some fishermen who were tending to theirs nets and began a conversation using hand language and some words in Spanish.

 

The indigenous natives were friendly and tried their best to communicate. Somewhat reluctant, but trying as they may Leonardo knew how they felt and smiled and shook his head up and down as he conveyed that he understood. He continued on his way looking at the basket of fishes and the type of boat they were using. Returning to the beach landing, Leonardo sees Felipe and Ignacio unloading their gear along with theirs luggage.

From Cancun they would travel to Chichen Itza where the Calendar was located in the Kukulkan's Pyramid. The exploration team of Captain Montoya, Claudette, Leonardo, Felipe, Ignacio and their Indian guide and a crew of ten. The guide knew the tribes in the area, from those who were friendly to those who were hostile. With this knowledge the team made safe passage through the jungles and to the Pyramid.

 

The Indian crew had been here before, but for the five foreigners they were at 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 travel 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 the great great great grandson of the last Priest of the temple and knew of its history from family history passed down through generations.

“How are you old man” says the guide and the old man replies “Older since the last time we met but wiser, thank you.” Leonardo having notice the guide talking to the old man walks 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 remarked the old man, before the white man and ages before our people built great buildings and raised vast field of food.

 

They studied mathematics and the stars and seasons and continued to develop a calendar for such events” The “Calendar” 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 and points to the top of the Pyramid and continues telling the guide that the calendar is up there at the top of the Pyramid. The guide tells Leonardo and Leonardo shake his head in the same manner as the old man while saying “Thank you.”

Captain Montoya, Felipe and Ignacio were checking the supplies and Claudette was resting in the tent when Ignacio points to Leonardo, the guide and the old man. 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” Miguel questions while looking at Leonardo. “Oh this old man is a native of the area and his ancient ancestors were once the Pyramid’s priests”.  “I see” explained Captain Montoya and what else did he tell you? “He says the Calendar is over 3 hundred years old and is at the top of the Pyramid” continued Leonardo. The Captain asks the guide if the old man would go to the top with them.

The old man shakes his head sideways as to say no and tells the guide that his legs are not as young as they once were. “Very well” says the Captain and mentions that they will be going to the top of the Pyramid after they finished unpacking their supplies. It wasn’t long before they were halfway up the stairs. With Ignacio one step ahead of Felipe, he stops to catch his breath. Felipe taking the step that puts him next to Ignacio says “Are you all right” placing his hand on the shoulders of Ignacio who was bent over and breathing hard, “Just trying to catch my breath give me a few minutes I should be alright.”

Captain Montoya and Leonardo continued climbing the steps until they reached the top. “That was a good work out to get up to here” remarked Captain Montoya as he catches his breath. Leonardo talking out loud say ” 91, 91 steps before reaching the top platform.” Walking around seeing the entrance to the chamber Leonardo leaves Miguel behind while he looks inside. There in the middle of the chamber on an alter was a round dish with symbols radiating outward from the center. This must be the Calendar he thought to himself. “Leonardo” say Captain Montoya “where are you” Over here in the chamber yells Leonardo. Captain Montoya reaches the calendar and says “So this is the calendar, I can’t make heads or tails of it. What do you think of it Leonardo” continued the Captain. ”Its going to take me about a few days to draw up this calendar” responded Leonardo. “Yes it looks like a project for sure” says Captain Montoya.

Looking over the size of the tablet calendar Leonardo decides to draw it in 4 sections. Leonardo and Captain Montoya hears voices and steps out to see, its Felipe and Ignacio having reached the top plateau. “So where is the calendar” ask Ignacio as he sees Captain Montoya points to the chamber. “Oh there you are Leonardo” remarks Felipe as he see Leonardo behind the Captain at the entrance. “I am going back down to get my drawing supplies and will be back” said Leonardo as hurried down the steps. “After looking at the calendar I think I will stay up here and view the scenery before going back down” replied Felipe. “Me too” added Ignacio. “Very well, I will meet you back at camp” said Captain Montoya as he started his way down.

Back at camp Leonardo looks around for his drawing pad, some charcoal and his feather pen and ink. It wasn’t long before Leonardo was back at the calendar and began to draw the symbols and markings. 3 days later Leonardo is finishing up on his last symbols when he notices the light from the day starts to put on a show within the chamber. What could have caused this? He wondered. Stepping away from Calendar, Leonardo begins to analyze.

 

It was March 21, the spring equinox and it dawn on him. That the Maya civilization was much more advance than he had thought. Looking over the calendar sketch he had drawn, Leonardo curiosity grew. The expedition had got what they had come for and were returning back to Panama. As the group was prepared 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 4 drawings and put them together. The old man concentrates his sights on the drawing and tells the guide to tell Leonardo 2012, the year 2012. The guide does so and Leonardo wonders what he meant by the year 2012.

The old man also pointed to 8 characters on the calendar that Leonardo had drawn. Leonardo place a small mark at each symbol and ask the guide to ask what they meant. All the old man would say was “there will come a time when the 8 will add up meaning 8 years after 2012 the “Great Reset” in the stars and moon will happen. It was more than 5 century away but what concern was it that for an old man to bring up such numbers thought Leonardo. “Ask him” what he means asked Leonardo. The guide asked and the old man says “It is a time of great chaos.” The guide tells Leonardo who wonders what that chaos might be. He pats the old man on the shoulder a couple of times and folds up the drawings.

Thinking he has pieces of a puzzle Leonardo places the drawing in his leather case. The old man knew it was time for him to leave and slowly walks away into the jungle and transform back to his alien body. The old man was Outaforium who was being at many places in time, hinting what the future has in store for Leonardo and Vector who was in another time period.

 

Meanwhile Felipe and Iganacio had be exploring around the site and came across a burial chamber and found a mask and other item made of gold. Over whelmed by the finding and knew that their time was limited, they made an agreement not to mention their findings and would return later that year. Since their discovery Felipe and Igancio’s demeanor had changed and the others could sense it.
 

The expedition returned back to Cancun for their return trip back to Panama. Felipe and Ignacio would stay and gather more supplies and return back to the site. Captain Montoya, Claudette and Leonardo waved good bye to the two explorer and would never see them again. Having reached Portobelo by the end of May Leonardo, Captain Montoya and Claudette found out before leaving to the Pacific side of Panama that Felipe and Ignacio had been killed by hostile natives on their return trip back to Chichen Itza.

Lieutenant Jose Crisco a messenger from Spain is in the garden of the inn talking to Captain Montoya. Looking around after the formalities of introduction Lt. 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, and 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 chatting about 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 on 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 also surprised but kept calm and commented “Welcome aboard Lieutenant, I can let you know of the plans for the trip across to the Pacific side and 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 a week ago and we shall be going tonight. “Very well sir, I will see you all tonight” the Lieutenant said while slightly bowing his upper body as the Lt. 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 were anchored and made his way down the beach. Having walked a mile down the coast to a picturesque cove he had been to previously on other occasions. He pauses for a moment and scans the area. He notices the large boulder next to a grove of palm trees one of several locations he had drawn from. He walks over and sits on the rock while being shaded from the afternoon sun. Collecting his thoughts, Leonardo begins drawing the sea and the landscape and soon his mind is preoccupied with his surroundings and is at peace.

 

Satisfied with his sketch Leonardo returned back to the inn and found Miguel and Claudette having a cup of wine. “Oh Leonardo have a cup of wine with us. Miguel has asked me to marry him and I said yes” said Claudette. With a smile Leonardo notice an extra cup near the bottle and poured him some wine. A toast mentioned Miguel “To all the good times that we had and may your journey bring you knowledge and a safe passage back my friend” raising their silver cups and bringing them together, the moment marked the end of the map quest and a new beginning with Claudette 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 introduce to your lady friend” responded Roberto. “Oh, this is Claudette my fiance” gestured Miguel with his arm around 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” as Captain Montoya placing his hand on Claudette’s waist 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 noticed a young lady by the fountain. He walks up to her and introduced himself, and she does the same.


The noise from the party faded from Leonardo’s mind as he concentrated on her voice. My name is Florencia 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.

After which the two would share their thoughts on the people at the party. The water from the fountain head 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 while the flames of the torch in the garden waved 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 downward to the fountain then leaves through another pipe and empties into a pond further downhill answered Florencia. “What an interesting concept” continued Leonardo. Florencia thanked Leonardo for the compliment and said “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 surprise look on her face. Leonardo mind was quietly racing around not knowing what she will say. 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 back.

Leonardo sees Miguel and Claudette approaching them from the house. “Well here 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 right hand for the Captain to kiss. Having notice his daughter with the new comers 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, but who is this young man I have the pleasure of meeting. “This is Leonardo Vi father” as Florencia points with her hand 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, Italy, the people, the landscape, the animals and insects, the climate and especially the amount of precious metals.” The governor nods and says “yes and adds to the list by saying “There is danger when least expected and the beauty and wonder around each corner of this land .” With a look of curiosity Leonardo hold 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 are 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” as 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 arrived in Panama 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 he hasn’t used it for years. So Leonardo added a mast, sail and a few other items and went out sailing on 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 winds 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 while startjing a conversation. Julanita 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 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 as I mentioned previously, but I have you to show me the ropes so to speak” as Leonardo open 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 waving to each other for a brief moment before a dust cloud separated their views.

Returning back to the inn Leonardo see 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.

‚ÄčThe 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 and lush vegetation and trees. An opening appears and the small bay with the bluff was in view. Once there they dismounted and would walked 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 a beautiful location with the bay and the coastline and the waves wrapping around the point and into the bay” as the sea breeze pushed Leonardo 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 contadora tree. “I can see why” Leonardo complimenting Florencia’s 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 I think I know what he meant”, looking out to the horizon of the ocean and back to Florencia. 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 humble to be there and those people who attended also were very nice to me” said Leonardo as he paused for a moment. Florencia also 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? Florencia 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” answered Leonardo “I have them at my room at the inn”. “I would like to see them one day” said Florencia. “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 varies wing positions with the wind is what I was capturing” shared Leonardo as he put away his pad and said "shall we go". Their conversation of flight made the ride back fly by.

Once back from the ride as they dismounted, Florencia commented “I have never met anyone like you Leonardo, your talents amazes me. You imagine things beyond the ordinary and I find that to be unique”. “Why thank you Florencia and I think of you as beautiful in body, mind and soul. I couldn’t imagine anyone else so perfect in my eyes”. Florencia walked over to Leonardo and gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

“We need to cleanup, 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 enter 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” as the Governor 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. You would help me around the land and assist my daughter in building her dream house. I can pay you one two hundred peso (gold) a month to start and increase your salary over time.” Leonardo thought it over before answering “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 help with your new house that you were talking about on the bluff.” “I’m so happy, that you will be staying here with us” Florencia said expressing her growing relationship in a subtle way, Then thinking of a letter he must write back to Spain and explained his position there in Panama.The content of letter neatly thought out, he places it back in memory. 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 is Florencia “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 and saying to himself 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 gives her a hug and she returns the gesture on contact for a brief moment. “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 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. As the memory fades Vector lands his spacecraft in his yard and Leo returns to his house and sees Flo relaxing in the backyard patio.

      COPYRIGHT 2020 Thomas Takao