FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND
Shift in the Wind
Outaforium is on the Mother spaceship from the planet of Nebazor. He is in discussion with Commander Zeuyu. "Those Exwaxers from the planet Xeogul are determined to eliminate Vector!" Outaforium said. "We brought Vector to Portobelo so that he and Leonardo would work together as a team for our transformation project in 2030. They will need to develop their skills for that time. So, they will need to go to the year 2020 and get a glimpse of what it will be like, then take them to 1970 to have them build their monetary reserve" Zeuyu replied.
"Vector is 39 and Leo is 34 years old currently, they will be one year older in 1970, since they would have spent a year from 2020 to 2021. That would mean in 2030 Vector would be 100 and Leo 95 years old. Their knowledge will have been subdued due to time their memories will be affected as well" Outaforium said. "Yes, by 2030 they will be old in human terms. If we will let them go through their process of human existence, can they help us out back home in Neptunova" Zeuyu said.
"If their minds can be restored at that later date using our brain cell restoration process, then they can be of use. But if it doesn't seem likely after further review, we will alter our plans by coming up with a newer direction or phase-out of the process" Ouraforium said. "When in the process should that be determined!" Zeuyu asked. "In the year 1980, after seeing how they prepared themselves within the decade of assessment!" Outaforium said.
Leonardo looked at Vector who was in deep thought and then at Outaforium. "You are telling me that there is no future for Florencia and I here in Panama at this time period. With that said I have a few options that come to mind but will need some more time to plan it out. Having land is one way, gold and silver another. Vector since you have been where we are going and have a better idea of what to do" asked Leonardo.
"I was thinking about stocks, bonds, gold, silver, land, and art. Maybe some cryptocurrencies" replied Vector as he continued "It's going to be interesting and there is much to consider in what should be done and how to do it.” Then turned to Outaforium and said "You may know this already of the monetary development that will happen in the years we are there. Any insights you would like to share with us Outaforium."
"All I can say is health is your true wealth and be prepared for some trying times there in the future!" remarked Outaforium as he placed both hands out in front of himself, then swung them outward in a circular motion. A vision of the area where they will be going appears. "This is Panama City, four hundred years from now. There will be many changes that will happen so get uses to the idea of change and be prepared" said Outaforium with no person or vehicles in the image. He closed his arm as his hands met in a clap as the vision disappeared.
Leonardo looked over to Vector then to Outaforium and asked "Outaforium is there something happening there in the image. Has there or will there be something that will change civilization as we know it. Also, the reason we have to leave is because of the Exwaxers who are after Vector and now us. Could you explain why is it that Vector has traveled through time and I and Florencia will be making the leaps across history because of it?"
Part of Outaforium explanation was true the other part was partly true. "We had orders from our home base to go back 10,000 years and do some research on the people of Atlantis. One of my specialties have been studying civilizations throughout history. That is why I was chosen to be in charge of the research. So we went back and came to the island of Etobiius a satellite colony island of Atlantis. That is where I met Vector and we became friends. Zeuyu suggested to me that Vector might be a good subject to study for our research and I agreed. There were others and we took them into consideration.
But the island became unstable and was about to erupt, I decided to remove Vector and his family to a different location. We put the question of where and when would be a comparable time period in history for Vector to be in. It brought up Panama in the latter part of the 1500s. This time period was the discovery and development of North and South Americas. So that is where we took Vector and his family to Panama. He would need employment and I looked for a place that he could learn and grow. That is where you come in Leonardo, I found out you were in charge of the gold shipments in Portobelo by way of your father-in-law the governor” Outaforium said.
“It was a close call when the island exploded and at the same time my family and I made it to the vortex chamber that Outaforium told us to go into. After a brief moment the chamber disappeared and we were walking on a dirt road outside of Portobelo” Vector recalled. “I picked them up and took them to your hacienda. We knew you could help out Leonardo. So after Vector and his family were settled in, we taught Vector how to use one of our spacecraft to help you grow and prosper. Now I’m in the same situation again of relocating Vector and you from harm" Outaforium said looking over to Vector then back at Leonardo. “Well, what do you think Leonardo” asked Vector. “We have a lot of planning to do!” Leonardo said.
It was getting close to the departure date and Vector and Leo did the best they could getting their assets situated when the exwaxer aliens targeted Vector for elimination. They went to his ranch and destroyed his spacecraft and house. But, before that happened Zeuyu was keeping track of the exwaxers and figured out what they were going to do and had Outaforium relocated Vector, Artemesia, their children to Leonardo and Florencia's residence before sending them through the vortex into the future.
They stepped through the time vortex also known as a wormhole onto a deserted beach south of Panama City, Panama. They came from the end of the 16th century into the summer of 2019. In the distance, they could see skyscrapers above the trees and vegetation. Walking along the water's edge their footprints are embedded into the darker moist sands of the beach. A surge from a small swell rolls up the beach and erases some of the footprints as the group walked towards the city.
"What do you think Vector?" asked Leo. "Well, it looks just the way I left it a year and a half ago in my spacecraft. Which was a week ago in real-time. Up ahead a few hundred meters to our left are some stairs that lead to some beachfront stores" Vector said pointing to the locations of the steps. Everyone looked ahead as they continued walking, after about 10 minutes they reached the stairs and the beachfront stores. A station wagon taxi was parked on the boulevard next to the shops. Walking up to the taxi Leo sees the driver reading a newspaper and says to him in Spanish "Excuse me senior, we would like a ride" Putting down his newspaper the driver says "Si" and gets out of the cab to help his passengers.
"Where to," asked the driver. "Costa Topaz tres Flamingo" replied Leonardo looking over to Vector who nodded his head down and up. The driver looked at Leonardo with curiosity and said "Si Senior" and was off. Arriving in front of a gated mansion Vector paid the driver with currency that he had and thank him for the ride. Vector walks over to a secret compartment near the gate and enters the code to open the gate, They walk up on one of the driveways that led to one of two houses.
“You did well to get us these houses for us on your trips here. Going inside Leo and Flo's house, Vector tells everyone "Our house is next door situated across the backyard garden" pointing at the building on the other side of the koi pond. "Artemesia and the kids can get settled in. Leo and I will go over to the bank and take care of business. We will be back in about an hour" said Vector going over to a cabinet where the keys to his and Leo cars and trucks are located. "We will go shopping while you two are away. Take the truck and we will go in the car" said Florencia knowing what she had to do.
After explaining where what is and how to turn things on and off Leonardo and Vector drove off to the bank. They are discussing their financial holdings along the way and whatever else was on their minds. After arriving at the bank Leo opened his account and had Vector transferred funds from his account into his. The paperwork for his vast landholdings and the key to his catamaran had been placed in a safety deposit box at that bank by Vector. He had used his spaceship flying in and flying out of the centuries to make the necessary arrangements the weeks before their arrival.
"The key to your catamaran is at the bank's safety deposit box. Where do plan on sailing to" asked Vector. "I was thinking about going to Hawaii for a few months and then to the Marquesas for about a month or so. After that I will have a better idea of where else to go" said Leonardo. After taking care of business they drove over to Golden Rock Marina to see Leonardo's catamaran that Vector had purchased and had delivered to Panama. It was built by a boat building company in Panama and design by a firm in California. "Follow me," said Vector who knew where to go. "There she is," said Vector pointing to Leo's catamaran. "She's fast, comfortable, and has the latest computers with all the equipment needed, you will be happy with her," said Vector as they continued walking.
"What have you named it" asked Vector. "Go with the Flo" answered Leonardo. Vector noticed that Leonardo was looking around the harbor then back at the city. "What is it Leo, you seemed distant for some reason," asked Vector. "I was looking into the future and could see something that is going to happen next year," said Leonardo. "And that is" continued Vector. "I will explain later," said Leonardo as Vector nodded his head down then up. Vector had flown into that time period and already knew what was on Leonardo's mind, but wanted to hear what Leonardo would say about it.
It wasn't long before they were at the slip of his catamaran, walking up the transom on the port side of the catamaran to the cockpit. Leo gets out his key and unlocked the sliding glass doors. "There is going to be a major slow down in the economy next year. Let go inside and discuss this some more" said Leonardo as he and Vector walked into the salon. Moving to the salon tables and the galley Vector and Leonardo walk over to the navigation and computer station which is on the starboard side. "I only know a fraction of how to use the software and we can go over what I know later. There are tutorials on the system you can use to get up to speed. I can help you with the computer's operating system. Once you get the basics you can research more by going on line" said Vector.
"Ok, Flo, and I will do just that" replied Leonardo looking over to the monitor screen, keyboard and mouse. "She is a 55 footer, the port hull was designed as your stateroom and many amenities were added. The starboard hull has a forward berth and the stern area had a workshop that could convert to a berth. I know you and Flo will like her just as you planned" said Vector. Going to the galley and looking at the arrangement of the refrigerators and freezers before stepping outside to the cockpit and sitting on the lounge seats.
"You might want to start preparing to sell your stocks, looks like the Stock Market may take a crash next year" Leonardo mentioned to Vector. "Yes, will do that and bonds before the end of the year, I have my art collection at a secure location" replied Vector. "Whose paintings do you have" wondered Leonardo. "I have many from different time periods, some from the impressionist era with a few Monets, van Goghs, Gaugains, and a Cezanne. I bought them very cheaply and now they are worth millions. I even have a sketch by da Vinci" said Vector pausing for a moment and remembering how he got it.
"So you have plans to sail to Hawaii and the Marquesas, what about Tahiti," asked Vector. "Yes, not sure of the date, but sometime next year," said Leonardo. "Ahoy there mateys, can I come aboard," said a stranger on the dock. Both Leonardo and Vector turned to see who it was, they see Outaforium. "Outaforium what brings you here," asked Vector. "I was sent by Zeuyu and have a message for you. He has another spaceship, which was sent to us from our planet for you to use. Similar to the one you had previously, but with more features" said Outaforium. Leonardo looked at Vector who had a smile on his face. Then Outaforium explained the where and when Vector would pickup his craft and the additional training he would need.
Outaforium explained, "I will see you at your house next Monday " After briefing the both of them he stepped into the salon of the catamaran and disappeared. Vector looked at Leonardo and said "Things just got more advanced” Vector said looking at his watch and continued "We have to be getting back." Walking back up to the parking lot they talked about their next moves and buying a few things that they would need before going with Outaforium the following week.
Once back home Vector saw everyone was relaxing after their shopping trip. Artemesia and Velidia are putting away the groceries, Rocky and Frank were learning how to use the computer and the internet with instructions that Vector had left on the computer desk. Leonardo found Florencia were seated next to the Koi pond watching some of the koi swim by, while other Kois gather around the pond's edge near them making a puckering sound, suggesting that they are hungry. Looking over to the waterfall Florencia is thinking back about their times in the 16th century and her life before Leonardo and her girlhood days.
She is horseback riding along the coast, her days in Spain, and making friends there. Then she recalled the gala ball that her father had and when she met Leonardo, Captain Montoya, and Claudette and all the things she and Leonardo had done before getting married. "Leo now that we are here, what can we expect and what will we do," she asks. "There is going to be a pandemic which will change history," said Leonardo looking down and rubbing his forehead with his left hand.
Florencia looked at Leonardo and said, "Ok, I'm going to get a glass of wine, do you want one." "Yes, that will be fine," Leonardo said watching a golden butterfly koi swim by. Meanwhile, Vector was telling Artemesia the same thing Leonardo was telling Florencia "Outaforium stopped by Leo's catamaran and told us that Zeuyu was letting me have another spaceship." Artemesia looked up into the sky and said "After you get the spaceship, what are you going to do." "There is a few things that come to mind,” answered Vector.
The next day they all went to a surf shop to purchased surfboards for everyone. "Surf shops around the world are going to have a difficult time next year. When the lockdown and quarantine happen because of the pandemic, retail shops large and small will have no customers for a while. People are going to hold back on purchases and buy only the necessities. Building supplies for surfboards are going to get expensive and there will be fewer builders" said Leonardo holding a surfboard away from the wall rack and looking at the rail contour.
"So the boards we get today are going to be the ones we have for a while," said Florencia. "Maybe, I will have to get some supplies and have a shop at our new location where I can build us a few if need be later" answered Leonardo. "I couldn't help but overhear what you said Leo. That's a good idea" said Vector as he moved along past them looking at the boards in the shop. After everyone got a surfboard, trunks, bathing suits, leashes, and wax, they went surfing at a local beach outside of town. Everyone was having a fun time catching waves. Sitting out in the lineup Leonardo says to Vector "Flo and I are going over to the cat tomorrow for a day sail. Can you and the family join us?" "I will see what Artemesia has in mind, but most likely we can go sailing tomorrow," said Vector.
On a starboard tack, Leonardo is at the helm with Rocky and Frank seated behind him, Vector, Velidia, Florencia, and Artemesia are seated at the cockpit lounge. Artemesia is talking about when she, Vector, and the family sailed over from Atlantis to Etobiius and how much slower the vessel that they were on compared to Leo and Flo's catamaran they were sailing on this day. Vector wasn't noticing the speed until Artemesia mentioned it. "Leo, how fast are we going" asked Vector. "We are at 22 knots, no 24, it just jumped to 27 knots" replied Leonardo. Vector looked at Artemesia and said "Wow" as she continued with her story.
"The accommodation on that trip was rough, but we managed, though I did get seasick a couple of times during rough seas" expressed Artemesia shaking her head sideways. Vector looked back at the wake of the catamaran and had a recollection of the trip as well. How important it seemed back then doing what the king wanted to be done, but now with newer challenges on the horizon, it's just a far off memory. The week went by fast and a meeting is taking place with Leonardo and Vector at Vector's backyard. "I have been in contact with a few of the companies we have interest in and made arrangements to meet with them," said Leonardo. "Are you talking about our holdings in the gold and silver mines?" asked Vector. "Yes, and a representative with a Depository Vault Company in Switzerland," said Leonardo.
Just before Vector was going to say what was on his mind he sees Outaforium appearing out of the blue and is walking towards them. "Outaforium, how are you. I was just about to mention you and the spacecraft" replied Vector. "That's what I thought you would say. We will be going to our spaceship shortly" said Outaforium looking at both Vector and Leonardo, who had turned around to see Outaforium approaching. "You caught us off guard, let me go tell Artemesia that we will be gone for a while with you," said Vector rushing inside and after a few moments rushing back out as Leonardo and Outaforium were discussing what will be happening in the global economy. "I told her to let Florencia know that you and I will be with Outaforium and should be back in a few hours," said Vector.
Within a few seconds of mentioning what he had done, all three disappeared and reappeared in the transport room. There before them was the spacecraft, bigger than the previous craft that Vector had before. "Follow me," said Outaforium as he walked towards the spacecraft. As they got closer a door appears and opens up with a set of stairs protruded out to the ground. Outaforium lead the way into the spaceship's entrance bay. From there he walks over to an area and lifted his hand up and waved sideways, another door opens and they walk through a corridor to the main control room. "You will notice Vector that these controls are similar to the last ship you were on and if you hover your hand over the controls that you are not familiar with, it will instruct you of what to do with a hologram text message. Just ask the ship's computer, her name is Honey if you have any doubts" mentioned Outaforium.
"Have a seat and let's go for a ride" said Outaforium pointing to the seat where he should sit. Vector moved into the seat and looked over the controls and said "Leonardo has a seat" he pressed a button and the floor opened up and a seat came up from the floor. Leonardo sat in the seat and kept quiet while Vector moved his hands around. The spacecraft began to move and hovered in place. The rear door to transport room opened "This is a different time period and more monitoring systems are in place," said Outaforium. "What do you mean" asked Leonardo being curious. "There are satellites in space monitoring what is happening on this planet. So Vector, you should turn on the advance cloaking system of the ship and you should be Ok" said Outaforium. After doing so, Vector turned the ship around and moved out into space. "Yes, just like before, but smoother!" said Vector with a smile on his face. "Let go back to Panama to Portobelo," said Leonardo. Vector nodded his head to say yes and prepared the craft for the flight.
"If there are any questions you might have Vector. Just press the emergency frequently button to get a hold of me or Zor 2 or ask Honey and she will let you know. For now, I am going back to the mother ship. You can fly wherever you like and just keep the cloaking system on" said Outaforium as he disappeared from the spacecraft. Leonardo looked at Vector who was adjusting the controls and said "We should be there in less than a minute" said Vector turning on the monitor as they are traveling above the mountains then down to sea level.
"Whereabouts did you have in mind," asked Vector. "Do you remember when we moved the 100 tons of gold from my residence to the cave in the valley? That is where I would like to go" said Leonardo. "Ok, we should be there soon, ah, we are there now" mentioned Vector. "Can you scan inside the cave and tell if the gold is still there?" asked Leonardo. Looking over to the controls, Vector sees the button. Then looking up at the monitor he says "Yes, it's still there." "Good, I'm going to deposit it in Switzerland and then sell the land," said Leonardo. "Anything else, while we are in the area", asked Vector. "No, if something should pop up I will take care of it later," said Leonardo. "
"Vector, I've been looking into the future lately and besides the pandemic, there is going to be an economic disturbance. That's what Outaforium and I were talking about when you went to Artemesia. This economic collapse will change everybody's lives and how they perceive what money should be" said Leonardo before continuing his train of thought. "This world we are in will be going into a severe depression in the years ahead and we will have to get ready for it. Let's talk about it later after we get back home" said Leonardo.
"I wouldn't mind staying a little longer, but we have to be getting back, Artemeisa has plans for this evening." "Ok, said Leonardo with many things running through his mind. It wasn't long before Vector was parking his craft next to the garage/warehouse. Vector and Leonardo got out of the craft which was in invisible mode. "There is a lot for you to do Leo and me as well. Let talks some more tomorrow, but for now, I'm going to spend some time with Artemesia and the kids" said Vector walking towards his house. "Ok, I'm going to let Flo know what we have been up to and see what she has in mind," said Leonardo waving to Vector as to express see you later. Walking into the kitchen Leonardo sees Florencia preparing dinner. "Flo, that spacecraft Vector has is something else, and if it can do half the things his previous spacecraft did, it's going to make for an interesting stay in this century," said Leonardo to Florencia. "Where did you go Leo," asked Florencia.
“ I asked Vector to take me to the cave where the 100 tons of your father's gold was. It's still there and with the help of Vector and his spacecraft, we will relocate it to Switzerland for safe keeping. The land where the gold is, is still under our control, so that won't be a problem" said Leonardo going over to the sink and picking a cleaned carrot from the strainer to chew on.
What's for dinner?" asked Leonardo. "We are having fish, Spanish rice, and salad" replied Florencia. "Ok, I will get cleaned up," said Leonardo. "Will have some white wine when you return," said Florencia as she kept a watch of what was cooking and what to do next. Twenty minutes later the two are seated at their backyard patio table having dinner, sipping their wine, and talking about the future while the sunset turns to nightfall.
A Change on the Horizon
The next day Leonardo's cell phone rings and it indicates Vector, he answers it and says "Hey Vector what's up" while looking out at the ocean. "Leonardo did you make arrangements with the bank representative about moving the gold from Panama to their vault in Switzerland," asked Vector. "Yes, it's been arranged. We need to pick up the gold and transport it to an empty warehouse in Panama City that I rented for a month. Also, there are special pallet containers I rented from a local mining company to place the bullion bars into. The containers will be here in a few days.
After we pick up the gold and take it to the warehouse, we will place them in the containers and have it transported to the airport. Where it will be loaded onto a rented jumbo size cargo plane and flown to Switzerland. I hired security guards and 20 armored trucks to haul the gold to the airport. So, everything is in place, and is the schedule for next Wednesday at 9:30 pm for the pickup" said Leonardo. "Sounds good to me. What time will you be over at my house" asked Vector? "I'll be over at 6:30 and get her done at Portobelo by 8:00 p.m. and be back at the warehouse by 8:05," said Leonardo. "Alright, I'll put that on my to do schedule," said Vector. "Ok," said Leonardo as he hung up and went into his office.
The following day Leonardo is walking up to Vector's garage and sees Vector putting away some garden tools and asked "How's Rocky and Frank doing. Did they go surf?" "No, they are inside studying up on the Shaping software that I bought them. The shaping machine is being shipped next week. So they are taking lessons on the internet" said Vector as they walked over to the door of the spacecraft which opened up in front of them. "Great, I can learn to use the software at home and shape a few boards myself over here," said Leonardo getting into the craft.
They flew over to Portobelo to look over the site and spent an hour discussing how they were going to remove the gold at night. "Leo, I've been meaning to asks you. How did you get the power of being able to look into the future and the past" questioned Vector out of the blue? "I was in search of an island for the King of Spain and when I found the island, there was this one man who lived there that had specials powers. He was the one who gave me those powers. Besides being clairvoyant he made surfboards and surfed. Not having someone to pass his ability too, long story short, I inherited the power from him. That changed my life forever and was able to do things I couldn't have imagined before that. This was before you and your family showed up to our hacienda." recalled Leonardo. They continued to talk about the old times of their past as they hovered around before returning home.
The week went by and the containers were at the rented warehouse. It was time to transfer the gold from it's long sleep to the containers at Panama City, They flew over to Portobello and were hovering in front of the cave where the gold was. Vector turns on the sensors to detect where the cavity entrance was located in the mountain. After locating it he presses the matter removal button and the rocks, soil, and plants are encapsulated into a rectangular block form. Then like a large drawer Vector slides it out and moves it out of the way near the cave entrance. The large rectangular mass is held in place by an anti-gravity force field.
With the entrance exposed the gold is then removed from its resting place. By using the same device he does the same with the gold and places it in the opposite area of the entrance. After completing the task of removing all the gold, and placing it to the opposite side of the encapsulated soil, rock, and plants. Vector picks up the block of rock, soil, and plants and places it back into the entrance of the cave. Then he hovers over the gold and clamps onto it and makes it invisible. After getting things ready, they flew back to the warehouse in Panama City.
Having made the trip in a minute, he hovers in front of the warehouse and places the gold there before landing off to the side. Leonardo gets out and goes over to the warehouse and opens the sliding doors. He goes inside and drives back out with a forklift. Hovering back up above the pile of gold Vector scans the gold and grabs a block of bullion bars weighing 5 tons with his anti-gravity device and places it into the container pallet. Leonardo then puts the container to one side and gets another empty container. It is 8:30 and the transfer of the gold onto 20 containers is complete. Vector parks his spacecraft inside the warehouse in invisible mode and closes the doors. At 9:00 p.m. the 20 armor pick-up trucks arrive and Leo forks the container of gold into each armored truck, after which the drivers are off on their way to the airport. Leonardo would follow after the last truck with his truck that was left there earlier.
"Well, just have to sign off at the cargo plane. See back home" said Leonardo. "Alright" replied Vector as he locked up the warehouse after moving his spacecraft outside and closed the gate to the yard. He flew back home within a few minutes. Vector closed up the spacecraft and went inside his house. An hour later he gets a call from Leo "I'm on my way home, everything went well." "Just talked to Rocky and Frank and they are going surfing tomorrow morning, so I decided to go too," Vector said. "Yeah, that sounds good to me. What time are you all going" Leo asked? "5 a.m. we can take my car so we don't have to stay as long," Vector said.
After returning home Leonardo sees Florencia reading a book. "How did things go Leo," asked Florencia. "It went according to plan. We will need to go over our mining plans and see if we should sell our interest or hold on to what we got. Also, we should get ready to sail in two weeks to Hawaii" mentioned Leonardo heading into the kitchen to get a bite to eat and time to relax. The sun is just beginning to rise above distant mountains as the foursome paddled out into the lineup. "How do guys like the new software that you are learning" asked Leonardo looking at both Frank and Rocky. "Great, I can hardly wait to get the machine and do a few blanks," said Rocky. "Yeah, I've been thinking about going shorter and get more progressive with my surfing. This is going to be fun" added Frank looking at the peak sets coming their way.
They would enjoy the morning surf with a few others. After a couple of hours, more people paddled out. The pack grew and Leonardo and Vector decided to go in, while Rocky and Frank stayed out longer and got to know some of the guys out there. Drying off Leonardo says to Vector " Flo and I are going to Hawaii in two weeks for some time off." Meanwhile out in the water, Rocky is paddling back out after someone had cut him off on the wave he was on. Rocky looked at the guy and just kept paddling back out. The guy said to Rocky "Go back to where you came from." Rocky looked at him and didn't say anything and continued his paddled back out.
Rocky paddled over to Frank and told him about the guy cutting him off on the last wave. "He's a jerk, I saw him do the same thing to another guy about 15 minutes ago," said Frank. "Let's go in, I think dad and Leo might be waiting for us," said Frank. Getting back to the car Frank and Rocky got their towels and dried off. Leonardo and Vector were still discussing what they were going to do regarding their finances and projects on their minds. Frank walks up to his dad and told about what had happened to Rocky. Leonardo was listening in on the conversation and said "Don't mind him, there is better things to do than to fight over a wave."
Returning home Vector drops off Leonardo and drove the short distance to his house. Leonardo was thinking to himself about going to the harbor and doing some work on his catamaran GWTF (Go with the Flo). Entering the house Leonardo notices a note that Florencia had left on the kitchen counter. It was a reminder that she went shopping for office supplies with Artemesia and was going to look at some laptops. It wasn't long before Leonardo was at the harbor walking along the dock and looking at the other sailboats in the harbor. The flags were waving and the halyards swayed in the breeze. Getting to his boat, Leonardo looks around the cockpit before going into the salon. Walking over to the Nav station and the multi-media work station.
Sitting down in the U shape desk configuration he looks at all the electronics in front of him. The all in one AIS and Radar, the Forward-Looking Sonar, and a BGAN with its auto-tracing antenna location system. Then swiveling around to his other systems of a laptop, drawing tablet, audio-video system, and an HDMI connection that is tied into his TV, located in the middle of the salon hidden inside of the console.
After going back out to the cockpit Leonardo is sitting on the helm seat looking out at the channel, He is getting the urge to go sailing and decides to do so. Turning the engines on Leonardo walks over to the bow cleat and unties the line back to mid-ships and ties it to the shroud with the excess over the side. Walking onto the dock, he goes to the dock bow cleat and ties it and loops the line the cleat, and pull the excess line to the shroud next to its other end. Going over to the stern cleat he unties the stern lines and brings it on board. Turning on the engines, he goes forward and releases the bow line from midships, and pulls in the line onboard. Back at the helm, he looks around before pushing the starboard throttle forward and the port engine into reverse. The cat moves away from the dock as he presses the port throttle forward and angles slowly out into the channel.
Steering out into the bay, staying out of the channel shipping lane, after clearing the area where most of the boat traffic is, he turns on the autopilot and walks along the starboard side and pull the fenders onboard, and places them in the forward sail locker. Unzipping the mainsail cover and lifting the main halyard, the mainsail is up and he returns to the helm. Once he feels comfortable Leo unfurled the jib and is single-handedly sailing in the noonday breeze.
Spending a few hours of jibing and tacking Leo returns back to the harbor with his fenders over the starboard side and is ready to dock the boat. Slowly motoring in he passes his slip then puts the port engine in reverse and the starboard engine forward before putting it in reverse then neutral. Tossing the bow and stern line onto the dock. Jumping off and tying the stern line to the cleat, then moving forward and pulling in the bow towards the dock before tying bow line to the dock cleat. Turning off the motor Leonardo get the shoreline water hose and washes off the top, sides, deck, and cockpit before leaving the cat.
Leo walks into the kitchen and sees Florencia with an unboxed laptop and says "New laptop." "Yes, we were browsing around and I happened to see a program of dressmaking and how it could take the design and make patterns from it. Velidia said she would help me out in learning the software. She is into fashion design as well and learned to use the program within a day, she is very intelligent and has a photographic memory. She gets that from her mom and dad. Artemesia helps me in selecting which laptop to get and what other software to have in it" said Florencia. "Sound great, you should be busy for a while" replied Leonardo. "Oh Leo, Artemesia invited us over to dinner tonight around 7. So let us plan on attending" smiled Florencia. "Ok, will be in my office if you need any help," said Leonardo.
Vector was in his garage when Outaforium appeared outside "Vector, it is I Outaforium" said Outaforium. Vector raised his head and turned around toward Outaforium. "What brings you to these neck of the woods," Vector said in a humorous tone and a smile on his face. "I wanted to let you know, that there is an improved mechanism we received from our planet that will make your spacecraft more advanced than previously. Not as advanced as our, but still quite advanced compared to before" said Outaforium. "That is interesting what is it and what does it do better," asked Vector.
"It is a device that can make your craft turn on a dime without losing any speed and switch into stealth mode at the same time" answered Outaforium. Vector visualized what Outaforium had said and responded "How or when will you do that" asked Vector. "We will upload the vessel tonight and it will back in your facility the next morning," said Outaforium. "Ok, that sounds good to me. Is there any other news I should know about" asked Vector?
"The repo market had a major disturbance last night. So get ready for the pandemic and economic turbulence next summer. That's it for now, so get ready" implied Outaforium as he nodded his head and turned around and disappeared. Vector returns to his house with the thought of what Outaforium had said and wondered why the change in the spacecraft and information about the future now.
Everyone was gathered around the dinner table and the food was being passed around. Velidia was passing the salad bowl to Leonardo and asked "How did you and Florencia meet" Placing the vegetables onto his plate and passing it on to Florencia, he said, "It's a long story." "We don't mind if you don't mind," Artemesia said looking at Florencia and then at Vector. "Ok," Leonardo said looking at Florencia who had a smile on her face.
Leonardo began his story of how he and his father were map makers in Florence, Italy and a Spanish Captain and his daughter came to their shop one day. "My father sold them a diary that had a small map with a mark on it, a mystery that baffled those who had tried to solve what it meant. The common belief at the time was that it was an island in the Pacific Ocean. Well, that small mark was an island and it changed my life. After meeting Captain Montoya and his daughter Maria. I would travel with them across the Atlantic Ocean to Panama. I liked Maria and we got along well. But during the trip over she would fall in love with another man, actually, one of the officers onboard the ship we were on.
After the voyage, they would wed and return to Spain. Her father the captain and a rescued passenger from a pirate ship that was sunken by our ship fell in love. We went on a brief trip to the Yucatan Peninsula. The reason for that detour was because the ship's Captain and I were supposed to go on to find that location on the map had been delayed for 2 months. After returning from Yucatan. The Captain, his fiancee, and I were invited to the Governor's Ball, the governor was Florencia's father.
That is where I met Florencia" Leonardo said while looking up at the ceiling. "Yes, I remember that day," said Florencia looking at Leonardo as she took over from there "We went on a day sail and after that date, I knew there was something special between us. So we would see each other again. After that, the rest became history" Florencia explained while passing the salad bowl to Rocky.
After the dinner Vector was telling Leonardo out in the patio what was happening to his spacecraft and what Outaforium had told him of the future. "I know, let me tell you something else that is going to happen," Leonardo said looking around to see if anyone was around. One of the patio lights started to flicker before staying on as Leonardo continued "Looking into next year, everything is about to change. This virus that is going to happen will change the course of history. From what was going to be into we have to change our way of life."
Going to the Beach
One of the patio lights started to flicker before staying on as Leonardo continued “Looking into next year, everything is about to change. This virus that is going to happen will change the course of history. From what was going to be as usual into we have to change because there is going to be a lockdown.” “So, what do we do” asked Vector. “Beside having cash, precious metals, crypto currency, food, household items, security, medical supplies and a backup systems of tools, a generator and fuels would be a good idea. Not all at once, but in list over time” said Leonardo.
Vector thought over what Leonardo had mentioned since he had only been in the time period prior to what Leonardo was talking about. “Since you brought this subject matter up, I can either go back and get what I need or go forward to see what to do next” said Vector knowing his capabilities were not restricted to the here and now. “I had a feeling you might say that” mentioned Leonardo taking a drink from his glass of wine. “So, I will have my spacecraft back tomorrow and we can fly over to Fiji and New Zealand in couple of days. I have a few things I need to take care of here before going. There are some detail plans I’m finishing up on regarding the house. I arranged some items from Auckland to be delivered in shipping containers to an open field near my structure in a couple of days” said Vector.
Having forgotten to mention what he was thinking about Leonardo said “That reminds me I will email over the drawing files of the property next door. I bubbled in a layer to those certain location where what I was thinking about regarding areas of interest. Have a look and see if any changes to those areas might make it better. I will be going over other files of the Fijian island later.” “That sounds like a plan” Vector replied as he got up to go back inside. “Yes, in a couple of days will be fine, I have a few things I too need to take care of as well” mentioned Leonardo getting up and following Vector’s in. The wind was up early and the thought of surfing went out the window. Florencia was busy with her laptop as Leonardo was planning on what to do on the Fijian island, the property in New Zealand and his sail over to Hawaii. The Fijian island will be his research center for surfing and surfboards, the construction will be in phases.
Switching his thoughts to New Zealand, he is going over the rough sketch plans of a greenhouse range of 50 acres having hydroponics and aquaponics for vegetables and fishes in one portion of the main range and fruit trees in another. All being controlled by a computerized system at the house and ipad with the wireless digital communication system. Next to it will be the 200 acre plot for other uses in the future. The solar panel area and a small hydroelectric generating dam next to the river was in one of the bubble area. It will be the power source for the farming operation that was sent to Vector for his look over.
It wasn’t long before Leonardo called Vector to see if he was getting ready to go. “Hey Vector, are we on schedule” asked Leonardo. “Yeah, come on over and we will go” said Vector. “Ok, will be over in 20 minutes” Leonardo replied. Flying over to Fiji to the island the agent had mentioned to Leonardo. Vector said “I’m going to try that maneuver the new equipment is supposed to do. Here goes” Vector said while watching the monitor and speed device. “Did you feel it” asked Vector. “No, not really” said Leonardo. “Simply amazing, no G force lag or anything” said Vector returning back on course.
Slowing down and hovering above the island where Leonardo was interested in. Vector begins taking pictures and does a flyover to gets a 3 dimensional wireframe modeling file for Leonardo to use later on his CAD program at home. Landing on the beach Vector and Leonardo exits the spacecraft and takes a walk around the location they landed at. Leonardo points further away from where they are at to a Point break a few hundred yards away where some waves are breaking. “That looks interesting, on a bigger day it has the potential to follow the shore and break all the way here” said Leonardo looking past where they are and the darker color of deep water down the beach.
Turning around he sees a bluff of about 30 feet above the beach and starts thinking about putting a structure there. “Vector, lets go back into your spacecraft and do a survey of that lagoon over there. See how deep it is and how the bottom is” mentioned Leonardo wanting to have a place to anchor his catamaran. Getting back in they go some distance from shore before the spacecraft lowered into the water. Looking at the bottom, it was sand for about a 100 yards from the beach before a coral reef takes over. Vector takes the reading on the depth and contour of the bottom and the monitor reads 50 feet deep some 300 feet before the coral.
“Got the information on a wireframe model file using this advance sonar system on this ship” said Vector looking around he area with his cameras and gathering the data. “Good, I can start working on the concept of what I want when I get home” Leonardo said while jotting down some notes for later on. “Ready to go to New Zealand” asked Vector. “Ready, I got the info that I will need” answered Leonardo looking at his notes. Going straight up and making a splash as they leave the ocean and fly over to New Zealand.
Vector hovers over the boulders where his structure is located, he scans the location to see there were any disturbances. Then flys over to the containers. Let me dig a pit to put these containers in for the time being and cover them for now. The items in those containers is for my spacecraft garage” said Vector. “How big are you going to make your space garage” asked Leonardo. “100 ft. X 100 ft. with and underground passage way from the house” answered Vector. “With all the Bells and Whistles” asked Leonardo. “Yup, and more. Lets go over to the location you are interested in Leo” said Vector.
“Ok, that sounds good to me” said Leonardo. Landing at the house Leonardo and Vector take a walk around as Leonardo shared what he had in mind with the property “I made an offer and will know in awhile if the owner accepted. After the paper work is finished and the planning phase of the site will get underway with a design office and staff. Then have a large warehouse built near the house and start purchasing the equipment and tools that will be needed.” “Heavy stuff like bulldozer, excavator, tractor, backhoe, excavator, forklifts, scissor platforms, and other equipments to build with. The road will be improved with parking lots located at the greenhouse, farm yard ” explained Leonardo pointing to the general area where they will be.Vector looked at Leonardo and could tell he was eager in wanting to do it as soon as possible.
“Yeah, that sounds good to me, I have some conceptual designs back home and we can go more into detail of how the hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponics will blend in with the greenhouse, farming, and orchard operation” said Vector as they continued to walk around and toss ideas around.
Meanwhile Florencia, Artemesia and Velidia are having lunch at a cafe and talking about starting their own business of a clothing line. “I have the use of a warehouse Leonardo had rented and stands empty currently” said Florencia drawing on a napkin of her ideas on the table. “I can do the design and research” added Velidia.
“My experience in office management would take care of that department, but we may be overlooking the seriousness of this pandemic Leonardo is talking about. If the worst case scenario does happen, businesses will take a loss if history is my guide” expressed Artemesia being cautious of what the future may hold. “Ok, lets keep things in perspective and see what happens. Leo and Vector are working on varies projects that will have an influence on what we might do. Changing the subject I was wanting to take up golf. Would you and Velidia be interested in joining me in some lessons” said Florencia. “I would love to” expressed Velidia. “Yes, I had been meaning to get out more. That sounds like a good idea. Count me in, when is your appointment” asked Artemesia. “This coming Friday at the Coastal Bluff golf course, 10 o’clock” Florencia said with a smile. “That works for me” answered Velidia. “Yes, that sounds good to me as well” added Artemesia.
Having returned from their trip Leonardo and Vector are talking about what they are going to do when they heard the sounds of a 2x4 being cut by a saw and hammering in the background. “Let’s go checkout what Frank and Rocky are up too in their shop” said Vector. “Ok, I was wondering how things are turning out” replied Leonardo. They walk over to their shop on the other side of the garage which is where the shaping machine is going to be located. A new shaping and glassing room is connected to the side of the existing garage. Having cut a doorway from the garage to the new addition. Vector opens the door to the hallway of the new shop.
They see Rocky and Frank framing the glassing room. The 12’width x 20’ length and the 12’ height of shaping room had been framed. “How things coming along” asked Leonardo. “Good, we are getting things done ahead of schedule” said Rocky stopping with what he was doing to explain their progress. “How were the waves today” asked Leonardo. 2 to 3 feet, but was blown out early. So we got more time to work on the shop” said Rocky. “It looks good boys, keep it up” Vector said walking around a brace that held up the side wall section to the back wall before being connected.
Leonardo and Vector waved as they left the work area and went to Vector’s backyard patio. “What should we do with our real estate portfolio” asked Vector. “Lets liquidate our holdings this year and get back into the market in 2022 after the dust settles” said Leonardo. “What about the mining operations” continued Vector. “We will hold on to them and start selling our oil shares” Leonardo suggested. After going over what they have and what do next Leonardo concluded their discussion by saying “Going down to the harbor and take care of few things I have in mind on the boat.” “Alright, I have some things to do myself” added Vector as they both got up and went their way.
At his nav station Leonardo is plotting out a course to take and jotting down notes of what or maybe of interests along the way. He hears the sound of a text message arrival and checks his phone. Florencia is wondering if he wanted to go for a daysail today. He texts back indicating he is at the boat and thinks it a good idea and replyed to her message.
Florencia is onboard within an hour and they are casting off for a day into the breeze of the moment and the different points of sail. Out of the shipping lane Leonardo is up front getting ready the spinnaker pole and the spinnaker bag. They went down wind for about half an hour before changing sails and started their tack back home. Back at the dock and somewhat fatigue physically and refreshed mentally, they cleanup before going onshore and back to the house. Florencia resume her lessons on the different software that she wants to learn and sketches different ideas for garments design that popped up while looking at an object in her studio.
Leonardo meanwhile is seated in his patio and recollecting their daysail and looking into what might be of the future. As Leonardo continues look ahead he sees food lines appearing and many who were unprepared for the sudden shock of being off from work find their pantries being depleted. Looking at the timeline of events and the schedule, Leonardo was thinking back about the thoughts he was having when they were on the boat and notes that he had jotted down. Taking a piece of standard size paper turned sideways he begins to sketch a chart and places notes at certain time intervals of what is going to happen. Underneath the above chain of events he notes what he will do to coincide with the path they are on.
Leonardo’s phone rings and it is banker in Switzerland “Hello Gian, How are you” asked Leonardo. “Fine, thank you, I’m letting you know your gold is in our vaults and has been accounted for. Let me know if you need anything else” conveyed Gian. “Why yes, there is something I would like to have done. Would you know where I can get a hold of silver eagles” said Leonardo. “Why yes, I would need to talk to my friend at the mint, but how much were you looking for” asked Gian. “320,000 ounces, more if it is available” replied Leonardo. “Ok, let me ask. I will get back to you in a few days” answered Gian. “That sounds good, talk to you later, thank you, Gian” said Leonardo as he concluded their conversation by hanging up.
Going over the chart that he had drawn up, Leonardo started drawing circle with description in them and drew a line to a specific area on his chart. Leonardo gets another phone call and it is Vector. “Hey Vector, whats up” asked Leonardo. “The surf is up and is in good shape. My whole family is here at the beach and having a good time. Come on down and get some surf” said Vector. “Ok, just jotting down a few things I want to do and then go see if Flo wants to go” Leonardo said as he started putting away his chart into a folder nearby. “I will be there in about 40 minutes, Flo might want to go” said Leonardo finishing their discussion as Vector said “Ok” and hung up.
Driving up to the beach Florencia sees Vector and Artemesia on the beach under their beach umbrella with the afternoon glare reflecting off the waters. Walking over to them and watching some of the waves breaking at the same time. “It looks like fun out there” said Leonardo. “It is, go get some, still have a few hours left before sunset” said Vector as he started to describing some of the waves that he had ridden. Artemesia started telling Florencia about some ideas she had.
Leonardo watches as another set appears and starts waxing his board and getting ready to go out. It wasn’t long before he is paddling out, as Florencia is still talking to Artemesia. Leonardo gets out to the lineup and sees Velidia talking with Rocky and Frank. So he paddles over and join in on the conversation. “Uncle Leo, the waves are fun and plenty to go around” said Frank. “Is Auntie Florencia here” asked Velidia. “Yes, she is talking with your mom” said Leonardo as Velidia looked to shore.
“Here comes a set” said Rocky as he began paddling further out. Leonardo sees it too, and paddles out along side Rocky. “All yours uncle Leo” said Rocky. Leonardo took the second wave of the set while Rocky took the third. Velidia took the first wave and was going in. Frank watched as Leonardo and Rocky surfed by. After a half an hour later Florencia was out and enjoying the surf.
After the surf session everyone was back home, Frank and Rocky went to study the surfboard software , Artemesia and Velidia telecomunicating with Florencia about garment ideas and Vector and Leonardo planning their next trip to New Zealand. In the middle of the week Rocky and Frank received their shaping machine. Rocky is using their forklift to unload the crates and Frank is using the pallet jack to put the crates in the general location in the shop. Once everything has been unloaded, they will wait for the field rep to show up and help with the assembly of the unit next to the computer room.
While Frank and Rocky are opening the crates out in the garage. Vector is in his office designing the roads, 10 inch water supply route, the booster pumps and generator and housing, the underground electrical system and the septic from the warehouse, greenhouses, and other facilities tying into the septic system.
Leonardo is in the process of obtaining all the supplies and materials for a retractable greenhouse, insect screens, benches, piping for the hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic equipment, tanks and machines for the greenhouse to be shipped to New Zealand. Coordinating when the supplies will be arriving, along side of when and where the concrete walkways, curbs and asphalt road material will be poured and installed.
After scheduling the work and having everything ready. Leonardo hired a company to do the work in phases at the site. While all of this was going on, Leonardo and Florencia were somewhere in between Panama and Hawaii in communication with Vector who told them about the Repo Market had exploded skyward and the banks were needing liquidity.
A Look Back
Sailing along with open ocean all around, Leo and Flo went about their daily routine of on and off watches, reading and studying subject matters that are of interest. Florencia has been on watch for a couple of hours and maintaining the course with a minor sail trim and looking at the speed they are traveling, direction of the wind and looking up the satellite weather reports. Leo is in touch with Vector who is informing him of what is happening currently and what he is planning to do.
“Flying over to New Zealand today in 2 hour or so. The boys can hardly wait for their boards to be glassed. Artemesia and Velidia are working on a clothing line for after the economic reset. That reminds me, I have been selling my stocks and bonds and getting more precious metals and crypto’s” Vector said through his custom VPN (virtual private network) line that Outaforium had setup for him.
“Vector, there has been a change of plans regarding the sail over to Hawaii. Can you pick us and the catamaran up and take us to Fiji with you today. I happened look pass 2020 and saw some interesting developments in 2021 and want to get more done at our island before the global lockdown” said Leonardo going over his notes. “Sure, I have a few things to get done here and will be by in 2 hours” replied Vector. “All right, see you then” said Leo hanging up his phone and going over to the helm.
“Flo, Vector will be stopping by in a couple of hours and picking us and the catamaran up” said Leonardo. “Did you tell him why” asked Florencia. “ Yes, well most of the things at the ranch in New Zealand though I didn't mentioned making a materials list for the construction at the island in Fiji. I have 3 optional wireframe models made and want to take pictures and place them into the location and get a better idea of how it will look like” explained Leonardo looking out to the horizon. Florencia was looking at the telltales of the mainsail and slightly adjusted the steering wheel when she asked “When we were having dinner at Vector’s house last month we talked about how we met. What was it like before we met. Since we have time” she asked.
“Ok, the seabreeze has got me in the mood of recalling what had happen before we met and how it changed my life” said Leonardo sitting back on the helm’s seat and was thinking back. He continued "I might have told you when he told me.“ "You did, but I love their story, though sweet and sad, please go on" said Florencia. "Yes, what happened before my journey that I went on was mentioned by Kai’ike after we met him for the first time" said Leonardo looking at Florencia then westward as the bows cut through the mid morning seas as he began the story. The morning lights filters through the Koa forest on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Where he the Kahuna Pa’pa he’e nalu (Priest of Surfboards) and ten of his villagers were at the base of a Koa Tree. Kai’ike was 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 and 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” said Kai’ike. 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 from their position in the opposite direction of the falling tree.
With the trunk on the ground, Kepoa who was overseeing the crew walked with Kai’ike as they discussed where the wedges would be placed. “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. Kepoa got two men at one end of the trunk and two in the middle. The others were cutting off the branches and placing them into a pile. Using the twine to stretch a straight line. Kepoa used his adze point and made a line following the twine. The men chipped along the lines and were ready to put the wedges in place and pound them into the trunk.
Kai’ike walked around to oversee, he turns to his lead man who was instructing two of his men that were placing branches into a pile. “Kepoa, have Noka and Maoa picked up the branches and help the others until the planks are split. Then have them drill a hole at the end of the piece using the Nao wili. Then place the twine that we brought through the holes. It will be use to pull the planks down the hill” said Kai’ike. Kai’ike was a unique Kahuna who could see into the future and a vision came to him. 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 give instructions of what he wants done “after you are through take the pieces to my surfboard hut near the beach. Place one of them on the two stone stands in the middle of the hut.
Noticeably disturbed about something Kai’ike tells his crew that he is going to the lookout point at Ho’ukahi (solitude) cliff that oversees the ocean and the village of Malu which is a few miles 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 contemplates his special gift of visualizing other places and people within his current time and people and events into the future.
His father had this special gift also and was able to see thing that others did not. An another White Tern flies around and the thought of his father guides by. Kai’ike take a deep breath and exhale as he spoke out load to release the sorrow within him and said “Oh father, two of our friends has left us and it is with sorrow that I once again call out to you to say they are coming to be with those who went before them. Even though they were here for a short while they shared their moments that will last a life time in the minds and heart of those who knew them” as his words became silent he thought to himself.
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 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 to him. Vincenzo at this point began explaining 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 ultimate chaos on the Spanish ship. With her masts broken and her sails torn and tattered the Captain was giving orders left and right. 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 trunk 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 were 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 with 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 chest 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 a hold of the rope that held the two 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 from sight. By morning the storm had passed and the seas were back to normal.
Being the only survivor he wondered of his fate as he drifted in the waters of the tropical longitude 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 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 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 vision would be given to a stranger many years from the time he and his love one would leave the island, after the explanation Vincenzo fell asleep. In his dream they had sailed for three days and two nights and Alohi Hoku would look at the stars at night and tells the helmsman where to steer.
After awakening from his dream they had reach an island at the break of dawn. The double hull canoe’s bows settled on a beach near the village of Lokahi. Vincenzo and his luggage were 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 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 then to one end trunk, she pointed at Vincenzo to go to the other end of the trunk. 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 go back for the other trunk. She made him feel at home.
That is how he arrived here and who he is with is what 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 .” 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. 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 he explained to Kai’ike.
After listening to Vincenzo description of his woman, Kai’ike is thinking of his wife said to himself welcome to the ahahui (club). 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 her 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. 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 accustom 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 grab 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 stop 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 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 it’s 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 150 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 their last breath they kiss and close their eyes.
The canoe with the diaries drifts away with the current into the afternoon glare of the vast open ocean. The image of Vincenzo and Nani Pua fade 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 will change the destiny of surfing on the islands. The onshore breeze is swaying the coconut palm fronds as Hokuao who 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” 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”.
Pausing for a moment and looking at the solent sail luffing, Leonardo continued “That is what I learned from him after we met. Then came the day my father presented that diary to someone who would start me on the journey of meeting you. I hear my phone ringing, Vector is close by. I will continue with the story of how I met you at another time.”
The Outline takes Shape
Hovering 10 feet above the water behind “Go with the Flo” Vector is communicating with Leonardo. “Ok, furl, drop and secure all your sails and go to your starboard transom. I will move over and extend a magnetic gangplank for you and Flo to come on aboard my spacecraft” said Vector. After Leo and Flo are on board. Vector moves above “Go with the Flo” and places a force field around the entire boat and makes it and the spacecraft invisible. Locking on to the four corners of the force field the spacecraft is traveling at 1500 miles per hour towards Fiji.
“We will be arriving in Fiji in a few hours” said Vector putting the controls into autopilot. “Vector, we were talking about our past before you stopped by. May I ask, how was growing up in Atlantis like” asked Flo. “There was much to learn and do while growing up, education was very important for me and our society. My father was a statesman on the Council of Development. A group of men who would help the king run the city state. I became interested in building and designing structures and systems. I studied under a good teacher by the name of Herotobulis, whom guided me into related fields that enhanced my understanding of design. After my schooling at the academy I was unemployed for a few months before starting my new job with the king.
I met Artemesia at this time, she had graduated from her course of study and was freelancing selling her books on cooking, sewing, gardening and other topics of the time on her printing press that she made and on paper that she developed. She did all the text and diagrams. Wanting to expand her business she came to me to have a building designed. After finding out what needed to be done at the new location a fee was determined and rendered. I gave her a receipt and she looked at it and said “Where did you get this paper” she asked. “I told her I made it my self. We got into a long conversation of paper techniques. After that we found out that we had many things in common. We married a year later and have enjoyed each other’s company ever since.
Then the children came and we got busier with a lot work around Atlantis. The king would send me over to Etobiius to redesign the city there. Artemesia had her manager run the operation while she was gone. So, the whole family went and we got aquainted with the people living there and this is where I met Outaforium. We were there for about six months before moving into the 16th century and meeting you and Leo. The day we left was when the volcano on Etobiius erupted. That was the day we came to Panama and Outaforium knew Leo was looking for people to work for him. Before traveling in the time vortex Outaforium said he needed me and my family to go into the future because his superior wanted me to be a part of his plan and would give me a spacecraft if I did.
After I agreed, we came into your time period and I received the spacecraft. With that spacecraft I had a vehicle to go back and forward into time. The rest you know about since we were there for ten years. Then I found out about another alien race and they were after me for having the ability to do what they were doing” said Vector looking around at his monitors knowing they were still out there.
Testing the ability of his spacecraft Vector went back to Athens and visited a class. The class was in an olive grove that was dedicated to the goddess Athena. Vector listened to the lecture while being behind a few students in the class. The teacher of politics is moving around in front of his class lecturing his views on the Good life “Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others” said Plato looking at his class, then towards the Parthenon. “Excuse me Plato” Axiothea called out and interrupted Plato train of thought.
“Yes, what is it that you wish to know” responded Plato. “It is about Atlantis and its advance way of life, would you know of it” asked Axiothea as she looked at Plato with curiosity of what she had heard earlier. Plato looked at Axiothea and then turned toward the west and said “It may have been located pass the Pillars of Hercules.” Then turning toward the east he said “or Santorini, perhaps south to Crete.” After hearing Atlantis mentioned Vector returned to his spacecraft and went back some 8700 years before the question was asked. He was on the island of Etobiius a couple of months before he and his family were to have arrived. He knew the governor, who was a boyhood friend. Not wanting to change history, he was in the back of the room listening in on a meeting being held by the Council of Scholars and the Governor.
“Staroverticus what say you regarding the forecast for the week” asked Leuquotus the Governor of the island. “By looking at the clouds and time of season, there approaches a severe storm in the category of Hurican force winds” replied Staroverticus the Astronomer. “Systovial prepare for the winds, have your men take down the screen net of the Dome of Knowledge campus and reinstall and bolt down the wooden roofing for all rooms of the Dome. “Merananon have your men and women take account of the stores of food and water at the main warehouse and be ready when the time comes” said Leuquotus looking over at Merananon who is in charge of agriculture, along with food and water storage.
“Medicusum what is the status in your department” asked Leuquotus. “The main shelter is prepared with extra cots and supplies. Our supplies in medicinal plant extracts are sufficient and the people has been informed of the procedure once the alarm is set off for the incoming storm” said Medicusum. “Send a message to our outposts to the west and informed them of the storm we will be facing. Send our special messenger birds (3 with the same message will be sent). Very well, return to your duties and classes and get ready for the storm” said Leuquotus who adjourned the meeting. “General Cartuveral how is my son Stiforte doing in your class” asked the mathematician Numerouno. “He is doing very well, he is one of my brightness students” answered General Cartuveral as a smile came to the face of Numerouno as they left the meeting. Following behind them were Astronomer Staroverticus and Governor Leuquotus.” Staroverticus have you seen Ambassador Outaforium lately” asked Leuquotus.
“I did, about a few days ago at his residence” answered Staroverticus. “And” continued Leuquoutus. “He had been in communication with the aliens who had stopped by his area. They shared some information regarding a system for a vessel to breathe beneath the water”. “Then what happened” asked Leuquotus. “After that Outaforium had a meeting with Admiral Neptatuno and they discussed a vessel that could travel underwater and explore the bottom of the seas” answered Staroverticus pausing for a moment before continuing. “The admiral said he would have a few of his naval architect instructors begin drawing up plans to build that vessel. Not sure at what stage they are at in the planning” concluded Staroverticus placing his right hand on his chin.
After the meeting Leuquotus is walking by the center court of the Dome of Knowledge when he happens to see Outaforium. “Outaforium may I have a word with you” said Leuquotus. “Why yes, what is it” he answered back. “I heard the alien has shared some information about a vessel that can travel underwater” Leuquotus asked. “Yes, and I informed Admiral Neptatuno about it and he is working on a scale model of it currently. Also I have been informed that the King of Atlantis will be sending over his architect / engineer to redesign Etobiius” said Outaforium.
Yes, I too have heard that. The person you talk of is a boyhood friend whom was a neighbors that I grew up with” said Leuquotus. “I did not know that, but now I do. He will be arriving in a month from now” Outaforium said sensing someone was nearby that was new to the island. Vector sensed Outaforium felt his presence and quietly went back to his spacecraft and returned to Panama in the late 16th century before the eruption of Mt. Orga.
“Thats it in a nutshell” said Vector as they got closer to the Fijian island. Florencia looked at the monitor and could see the island and lagoon on the screen. “What about over there at the sandy bottom, there” said Leo pointing to the spot on the screen. “Ok, go back to the exit door and get back onto the boat and set your anchors. I’m going over to my place and do some work there. Give me a call if you need some assistance. Otherwise will be back in a few days or sooner” said Vector from his control panel and waved saying see you two later.
Once on “Go with the Flo” Leo and Flo placed a double anchor setup before going into their stateroom and changed into their swimwear, getting their snorkel, masks and fins out of the forward storage locker. After getting a few other items, they would go swimming around the boat and checked out the bottom, daggar board slots, propellars and rudders. The warm crystal clear turquoise lagoon made swimming around the boat a refreshing exercise.
Wanting to document the areas around the lagoon and island. Leon and Flo got out the drone and were in their 12 ft. dingy that had a 30 horsepower outboard motor, having lowered the dingy into the water, they were ready for the trip around the island. They followed the beach to the entrance of the lagoon, then south along the sandy beach of the atoll and the reef alongside of it. Moving north from the eastside along the main body of the island. Then coming to the cliffs area stretching along the ocean for a quarter of a mile. The height at some places were a few hundred feet high, that descended into the dark blue colors of deeper water. After a couple of hours of looking at the island from sea level and from above using the drone, Leo and Flo return to the boat.
After putting their equipment and gear away, Flo got on the satellite phone and started talking to Artemesia whose was 7 hrs back into yesterday’s evening. Leo is going over the photos that they had taken while they went around the island. Looking over his wireframe models and the locations of the island. Leo places one of the research structure onto the island image. Then removing it and placing another model in the same location. After an hour he has general idea of how the main buildings and lagoon will look like. The power and water supplies facilities was thought out and positioned. The dock and roads around the island were penciled in before doing the walk thru on the island.
After dinner Leo and Flo are seated in the salon talking about what was on their minds. “Flo, I did a 3D flyby using the models I had on file and the locations we video earlier” mentioned Leo as he turned on the TV with his remote control and ran a video that was on his computer. Flo was looking at the futuristic designs of the buildings and warehouse. “How long do you think it will take to have that built” asked Flo. “A few weeks, it will be prefabricated in New Zealand and brought over using Vector’s spacecraft. The reef design will take a little longer. The submarine, the underwater equipment and tools will be housed in a special warehouse by the docks. Wait, I have a clip of that on another video. I will get it now” said Leo going through his directory on screen. “Aaa, here it is” continued Leo looking at the submarine with excavating arms on it. Going through the motion of picking up sections of rock and sand.
As they watched the demonstration of the submarine, Leo switches to an underwater bull dozer pushing the sand and rocks around. “The surf reef is one thing, the making of pearls and growing osyters and muscles will be another” continued Leo showing a few minute clips of the subject matter that he was talking about and the area of the lagoon 2 where he was thinking about. The next day they are walking around the island and taking notes of where to put the catchment tanks for the water supply. They came to an open area where the solar panels would be placed. Climbing along the mountains on the eastside and walking around lagoon 2 beaches. Leo and Flo returned to the boat after scouting out places on the island and would continue their walk around for another few days.
Two weeks of compiling and designing their island residence, Leo and Flo were getting ready to sail over to New Zealand. After the 5 day sail over to their New Zealand ranch, they are tied up to the dock and adjusting to the cooler temperatures of the season. A quarter of the work there had been completed with the remodeling of the existing house and dock and the greenhouse and farm areas being worked on. After arranging varies companies to construct the modules for the Fijian location and to be stored there at the New Zealand facility before being transported to the island in Fiji. Leo and Flo would return to Panama after the security around their New Zealand ranch was in placed. Once back to their Panama residence Leo is busy selling his stocks and bonds and buying crypto-currencies, gold and silver ounces. He was in contact with a few mining operation in Africa and getting information about their estimates and track records.
Having walked over to Vector’s garage, Leo was checking out Rocky’s and Frank’s shop. He was in the glassing room with Frank talking about what they had made, are making and will make with 3 boards on the glassing stands waiting to be laminated. “How did your first designs work out in the surf” asked Leo. “It worked good, but we wanted to make them go faster and be more maneuverable. So these 3 are our next batch to test” said Frank. “Hey Leo, whats up” asked Vector who happened to be in the computer shaping room before entering the glassing room. “Just stopped by to see what Frank and Rocky were up too” said Leo. “Lets go outside and discuss a few things that are on my mind” said Vector. “Sure” Leo said as he finished his conversation with Frank by saying “Will see you later Frank, keep up the good work.”
“What should we do about oil stocks, should we buy more or sell our stocks” asked Vector. “I sold all of my interest in oil and was going to ask you about your shares, but slip my mind this morning when I started talking with Frank” said Leo as he continued “So, from what I gathered oil is going to take a slow down in consumption and auto sales will be affected.” “Ok, I will do the same. What else should we be focus on” asked Vector. “After the waves of virus and their economic turmoils and uncertainty. We should gear up in catagories that people need and depend on. I have a few things in mind but want to do more research into it before saying we should go there” said Leo. “That sounds alright with me. I’m going over to New Zealand tomorrow, need a ride to check up on your project” asked Vector.
“Yes, the retractable roof system for the greenhouse has arrived and it will be installed soon. The refrigeration system in the cutting room of the warehouse came in as well and they will be placing it in. The existing house has been turned into an office and our new residence will be on the bay and a new dock will be design there. Also I designed a reef to go alongside the entrance, inside the lagoon and go up to the structure” said Leo. “Alright, sounds good. We will takeoff at 11 am tomorrow” replied Vector as he started walking back to his house and Leo did the same returning to his house.
Reflections Drifting By
Having their morning coffee on the patio, Leo says to Flo “Flo I had another vision last night about what is going to happen next year. I’m going to stop construction in New Zealand and not develop our island in Fiji. Instead focus our attention here and stay in Panama. We will keep both locations and not build on them for now.” “That’s alright with me. But, what made you change your mind, is it because of the outlook of the pandemic and the global economic disarray” asked Flo. “Yes, this is going to be the “Greatest Depression” the world has ever seen” said Leo taking a sip from his coffee. “So, what should we do now” questioned Flo. “I will let Vector know of the change in plans and have all the things that was shipped to New Zealand brought here. I will look around for a location here to build on” said Leo.
“Should I start a clothing company here” asked Flo. “A design location and have it manufactured in Southeast Asia. But many retailers will go out of business and different types of businesses will pop up for the middle class, second hand clothing will be one area. So let me look into it some more and lets talk it over after I do” suggested Leo. “Ok, changing the subject, do you want to go surf” she asked. “Yes, I want to get wet and take my mind off of what is going to happen for now and think about it after we get back” said Leo. So they drove down to the beach and happened to see Vector, Rocky and Frank out in the water. Leo and Flo paddled out and went over to where Vector and the boys were sitting. “Vector, I was going to call you, but since you are here. There has been a change in plans regarding New Zealand and Fiji. I’m going to put everything on hold for now over there” mentioned Leo as a set appeared on the horizon and they started to paddled further out as they let the first two waves pass them by.
Flo who was a few meters behind them sees the opportunity and catches the first wave of the set. Rocky and Frank letting his dad and the others have the waves, are watching Flo take off and glide down the face of the wave into a flowing bottom turn. Getting half way up the face of the wave, she trims her board for the hollow section of the wave. Rocky and Frank starts yelling “Go Flo, right on”, Leo and Vector look back and can see Flo upper body racing acoss the waves. “She really likes that board that Rocky designed and finished shaped” said Leo.
“I like mine too” said Vector as he spun around and began paddling for the wave. “Ok, here I go” with that said Vector catching the third wave of the set. Thinking the next wave was his Leo was getting ready, only to find it was a 3 wave set. He paddles back in and waits for another set with Frank and Rocky. “Have you been getting use to the software” asked Frank. “Which software do you mean” replied Leo. “The shaping software” said Frank.
“Oh, I have been busy with other projects lately and only got to use it a little. Intro stuff, but will start getting into it soon. What about yourself, have you been using it” asked Leo. “I have been learning on it and getting use to it. I’ve been glassing more than shaping though. Rocky is really into it” said Frank. Turning to Rocky, Leo asks “What are you designing currently.” “A 6’ 0” 4 fin fish with 6 concaves” said Rocky looking at Frank. “It’s going to be interesting glassing and sanding it” said Frank looking at Rocky and Leo.
Vector and Flo are paddling back out and Flo mentioned “Artemesia said she and Velidia were going shopping this afternoon are you going over to New Zealand.” “No, I had plans in going over to Aftrica, Tanzania to be specific. Leo mentioned of a gold mining operation there and wanted me to check it out” said Vector. “Sounds interesting, will you be there for awhile” asked Flo. “No, for a few hours. Just want to scan the area and the sub-surface to see if it is worth investing in” answered Vector, then asked “Are you still thinking of going into the garment industry. Velidia has been busy sketching a line of garments on the computer.” “Leo mentioned I should hold off for now and he will look into some more” said Flo as they got back with the others.
After an hour and a half of surfing Leo, Flo and Vector were getting out of the water. Vector mentioned silver “Should we increase our holding in silver” he asked. “Yes, Mexico will stop their selling silver when the lock down happens, so we need to increase the amount we have. I have been in contact with a vault service here and made arrangements to have our silver stored there” said Leo. “So, the strategy is to place gold in Switzerland and silver in Panama” said Vector. “Yes, we needed to melt down the gold that we have and conform it to today’s standards. So Switzerland was the choice for our gold” said Leo. “Yes, I remember you telling me that when we made the pickup at Portobello” said Vector looking at Flo who would tell Artemeisa later.
After drying off Vector waited for Frank and Rocky to come in and would go to Africa after that. Leo went to see an agricultural realtor about some acreage to build on. Flo, Artemesia and Velidia went shopping and to look at the clothing lines and get some ideas and have their own study group of what was selling and what the people were wearing. Having a list of mines to visit, Vector would visit 4 mines to gather data for each location before returning home to Panama. He would return another time to gather more data from 4 other mines in the country.
After seeing the realtor and arranging a tour of 3 properties, Leo chartered a copter for that day and would visit those locations in a few days with Flo. With his business schedule taken care of for the day, he went to the harbor and would go for a solo afternoon day sail. After motoring out from his berth and raising the mainsail and jib. He was on a starboard tack for about 5 minutes when he received a phone call from Flo.
“Leo are you home” asked Flo. “No, just passed Pelican Rock on the boat for a days sail. Will be back in a couple hours” said Leo. “Just wanted to know if you wanted to go out for dinner tonight at Raul” replied Flo. “That sound alright with me. Where are you now” asked Leo. “I’m with Artemesia and Velidia and we are at the Plaza taking a break from our shopping” said Flo. “Ok, sounds good. I have to change tack, there is a few birds circling around up in front of me. It could be a cargo net or something. So see you at home in a few hours” said Leo as he adjusted the mainsheet and veered off the course he was on.
After traveling in a triangle Leo heads back to the harbor. After cleaning up he is at the parking lot when a teenage boy comes up to him and asks for money “Senior, do you have some dinero, my mother lost her job and we are having a rough time” said the boy. “Tell your mother to go to this location and talk to the manager (pulling a business card from his day bag) and tell the manager I sent her. He will find work for your mother. “Gracias Senior, muchas gracias” said the boy as he hurried off.
Seeing the boy disappear down the street, Leo calls the manager he had mentioned. “Luis, there will be a woman looking for a job. Find out what she can do and help her out” said Leo. “Yes sir, will do” said Luis. “Thank you Luis. How are things at the Farmer’s Market” asked Leo. “Very busy, there are more people shopping here. When that lady shows up, I can put her to work” said Luis. “Ok, thank you very much Luis, I have to go” said Leo as he hung up.
After returning home Leo is sitting next to the koi pond watching the koi swim by and thinking about what he has to do. He hears the sliding glass door opening “Leo, how was your day sail” asked Flo. “It was good, thought of a few things I might do next month. How was your day” asked Leo. “Well, we went shopping and a mariachi band was playing next door at the plaza, so we sat and listened for awhile. After that we went to an art gallery and view works by local artists. Then we came home” said Flo walking over to the pond with a hand full of fish food and tossing it onto the pond. The koi swam over to the pellets that was floating on the surface and began feasting as she mentioned “I have to put away the garments that I got” and went back into the house.
Leo viewed the splashing by some of the fish and it brought back memories of the beginning of his journey. His mind traveled back to that day. It was a clear spring afternoon in the city of Florence, Italy. The Renaissance was still in progress during the latter part of the 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 implosion that sent a ragged circular sheet of water upwards, generating a rippling effect, with 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 him, a young eighteen year old cartographer. Remembering he had once apprenticed as a stone mason for his uncle. As a stone mason 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 one stone, loosened from its placement, wasn’t going to get away from his wish, to see other lands talked about by the customers who would come into their Map Shop.
Leonardo was standing in the very middle of the Ponte Vecchio Bridge when he threw the rock. Along side 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 he slowly looked down on his reflection from the bridge. Guido thought back to when Leonardo was a young boy and how they would cross this same bridge holding hands. 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 drifted by.
Leonardo had an inquiring mind at an early age and it would continue to serve his imagination as he grew older Guido thought. His keen sense of observation, and wanting to convey what he saw by drawing it, came natural to him. Besides drawing, Guido would watch Leonardo build things, such as miniature castles out of sticks and walls made of stones. As Leonardo grew older, Guido’s brother, Mario, mentioned to him that there was an apprentice position in his business, and thought Leonardo might like to learn to be a stone mason. Guido wasn’t sure, but thought it might make Leonardo more appreciative of map making after lifting small blocks of stone, so he agreed to let Leonardo work for him. Under his watchful supervision, Leonardo learned the principles of footings to weight ratios , angles and height, procedures and safety, while doing things that were less strenuous for a boy of 10.
After two years, Leonardo had learned much and had still been sketching after work and whenever there was time off from apprenticing, though his thoughts were of art and he desired to further his knowledge on the subject matter. So, Guido enrolled Leonardo, then twelve, at the prestigious Raphael Academy of Arts. There, Leonardo learned the skills of painting and sculpture. 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 to his son, "Life is like this bridge we cross. So many things will flow past you as you make your way across to the other side. Before you know it, you will be old and full of regrets, like I". The 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 exorbitant cost of professional lessons, so he would watch over the shoulders of many of the artist of his day at work on their portrait and landscape paintings. Not having a sponsor to support his endeavors, he went to work in the map making industry, where his talents excelled and eventually led to his own successful shop. The naming of his son Leonardo, was in hopes of having an heir who could carry out his own unfulfilled ambitions.
The pungent smell from the butcher shops that lined near the entrance of the bridge, lingered in the breeze. Noise from the crowd of merchants and passerby, blended into a muffle as they made their way from one end of the bridge to the other side. Guido exclaimed, "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.
Reaching the shop, they put away their outer coats. No sooner after they had done so, then there was a knock at the door. A stately gentleman and his companion, a young lady, entered. He introduced himself as Captain Miguel Montoya, a tall and fit man in early 40's. His companion was his daughter, Maria, who had just turned 17, and was slender for her height of 5’ 8”. Her full figured appearance was that of a woman, with chestnut hair framing a very beautiful face. Her eyes, her nose and her smile reflected that of her mother's personality and beauty.
The pair was visiting Florence on official business for the Royal Court of Spain and were anticipating their return voyage within a few days time. A letter of introduction was delivered from officials in Florence to expedite the procurement of maps, at the request of Spain's King Charles V. Guido's abilities were renown 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 with Mr. Vi through the office of the Casa de Contratación in Seville." "Yes, Yes, come in Captain. I am Guido Vi, at your service." "Thank you. May I introduce my daughter, Maria?" "A pleasure, I am sure," Guido offered, as he half bowed with a smile. "Allow me to introduce my son and partner, Leonardo to you," as he proudly turned to face his son.
"Pleased to make your aquaintence," Leonardo warmly extended his hand to shake Captain Montoya's hand, then grasping the fore-fingers of Maria's outstretched hand with a slight lowering of his head in a respectful gesture. "May I take your coats for you?" "Yes, thank you, Leonardo," Maria replied as she allowed him to help her remove her cape while sensing his careful touch on her shoulders. "We have been thoroughly enjoying your beautiful city," she added, in fluent Italian. When Leonardo heard that, his face lit up in agreement, but he decided to hold his thoughts until a more appropriate moment. "Please come in and let me show you our shop." "Captain Montoya, I was informed that you were primarily looking for the latest maps on the trade routes to Panama as well as the Pacific coast," Guido inquired, confirming what he had been briefed in the communique he received from Rome.
"That is correct, Mr. Vi. What are your most up to date maps available?" the Captain asked, 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 Miguel, 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 us. And please, call me Guido. Only the butcher calls me Mr. Vi" he 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 engaged Leonardo in conversation. At first, Leonardo seemed nervously shy and was hasten with his words. Maria, on the other hand, was charming and carried herself well for a young woman of 17. She made Leonardo at ease with her humor and grace, despite the fact that her beauty captivated him. Her father, hearing the laughter, produced a warm hearted smile and redirected his focus back to the purpose he had come for.
By this time, Maria and Leonardo had rejoined their fathers at the table. Maria, as well, was impressed with the artistic abilities of Leonardo and a conversation ensued about his work and aspirations, while Captain Montoya and Guido began talking about the new and unexplored lands. Guido mentioned to the Captain that he had something that he should see. Guido excused himself, walked over to a shelf, and brought back a few books and a map in a protective leather cover and laid it on the table before them. It was the very map and diaries that he recently bought from a Portuguese sailor, at a tavern near the coast of Naples, for the price of 100 ducat.
The Portuguese was offered the purchase of the map in an opium den, from a ship's officer, just returning from a voyage in the vast Pacific. Admittedly stolen from the Captain's room, it had been an equitable sale for the pilot, in exchange for the opium's adictive panacea. The Captain inquired of Guido if he would be willing to travel to the New World. "Why do you ask?" responded Guido.
"I am not at full liberty to discuss the matter," Miguel answered in earnest, "But I will say that the length of the expedition could take up to three years. Others who have gone to the Pacific side, have taken that much time to get there and return back to the Port of Barcelona." Pausing for a moment, Captain Montoya lifted his mind from his inquiry and looked over to where Maria and Leonardo were still sharing their thoughts.
"Leonardo, would you help me with the unrolling of this map?" Guido asked, while jesturing for him to come closer. "Yes, of course, father," as Leonardo broke his concentration from his focus on Maria, somewhat unwillingly and turned around to help. Looking down at the map, they scanned their sights around the edges and then into the vast open area of the Pacific with only some island shape markings shown between the New World and the Orient.
"Guido, what is this?" Inquired Captain Montoya, pointing at the roughly drawn shapes. "Oh! Those islands have fascinated me also. Where exactly they are, is still a mystery to me," as Guido looked up, and around the shop, before continuing with his train of thought and adding, "How far they are from the New World and Asia, is only a guess. But it would make for a good place to stop on a long voyage." "Did the Portuguese sailor mention anything about them?" Montoya asked with much interest. "I had the same question. All he said was that the pilot had heard it from someone else, but wasn’t sure if they really existed, so he placed the markings there as reference point for future exploration."
"Since Spain has discovered the Philippine Islands, having to cross the vast Pacific from Acapulco is a long journey. What if these islands were found and Spain were to use this location for a military advantage, Forgive me, I was talking to myself" said Captain Montoya. Leonardo smiled, as if he read Miguel's thoughts and said, "There have been many explorers in our shop and each has a hidden agenda up their sleeve. Your views are interesting and it is plain to see that those islands do hold a strategic point in the vastness of this area." They discussed further the possibilities of finding those islands, if they did indeed exist.
Captain Montoya took the necessary time he needed to complete the purchase of the recently mapped trade routes, and the unexpected find of the formerly uncharted islands awaiting him in the Pacific. "Very well then, thank you for your assistance, gentlemen," said Miguel, as he consummated the purchase of the maps, while Guido wrapped them in a leather binder with his signature trademark "V" on the clasp. "Captain Montoya, would you and Maria be available to join us tomorrow at the Gallery?" Asked Leonardo, with hopes of continuing their conversation further. "I am afraid we have to leave in the morning for Spain, now that our mission here is accomplished," Miguel regrettfully answered, knowing that Maria would have been delighted to do so.
"How unfortunate. Regardless, we have enjoyed your company and appreciate your business," added Leonardo, masking his disappointment. The Captain and his daughter said their farewells to Guido and Leonardo and in closing the Captain mentioned to Guido, “If you can recommend someone who has the skill necessary and the desire to accompany us on The La Rosa del Mar, have them contact me through the Casa de Contratación in Seville.” And with that, the pair departed.
Leonardo turned to Guido and asked "What did he mean, father?" "He wants a cartographer to travel with them and chart maps on their voyage, a few months from now, leaving from Barcelona," hesitantly offered Guido. "What about the La Rosa del Mar that the Captain mentioned?" "Yes, that is the ship they will be on for the voyage. Why do you ask my son? " "Well," Leonardo responded with new-found confidence, "I was thinking about broadening my horizons."
"I see, Leonardo," said Guido with a pause. "I would like you to stay and assist me here in the business, but if you feel you must go be prepared to be gone a long time."With that comment, Leonardo's eyes opened wider, as he rushed out the door and ran down the street after the Montoyas. Once telling Captain Montoya of his desire to accompany them, it was up to the Captain to arrange the passage with King Charles when they arrived back in Valladolid. If all went well, Leonardo would meet them back at Barcelona Harbor in two months time. Leonardo paused while viewing his past and looked back at Captain Montoya’s past to get an idea of how his future came to be.
As one of the King's top naval officers, Captain Montoya had sailed to all parts of the Spanish Empire. With that depth of experience, the King was confident that he had chosen the best qualified officer to take on the task of further New World discovery and mapping the passages from the New World to the Orient. Montoya's orders were to sail aboard the Spanish treasure galleon, “La Rosa del Mar", from Barcelona to Portobello, Panama, where he, his daughter and the cartographer would leave the ship, and cross Panama on foot, 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, then it would return back to Barcelona laden with gold and other precious commodities.
This would be the first oceanic voyage for young Maria. The loss of her mother the previous winter made the separation with her father unthinkable, even at the hesitancy of his better judgment. The trip could be arduous and hard even on a seasoned sailor, but the fiery conviction of his daughter won out over reason. Maria grew up in the fishing village of Portbou near the border of Spain with France and her mother was from the French city of Narbonne. Her mother, Chanelle, was visiting her uncle's residence at Portbou when she met Miguel Montoya whose family held 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 their two lives intertwined. Miguel had just returned from a military voyage to Egypt. Wanting to find some solitude and refresh his mind, he too, was walking along the beach. Seeing her ahead some distance away, he started picking up his pace, then slowed as he approached within speaking distance. She turned abruptly as he spoke.
"Good Afternoon, Mademoiselle."She, ascertaining if he was well intentioned or not, replied, "Bon Jour, Admiral,".being not quite up on her naval insignias and as to not insult him. He laughed out loud, which took her by surprise and broke the ice of formality. "Thank you for the promotion!" He replied, as he extended his hand to her. "Lieutenant Miguel Montoya of the Spanish Fleet. I am please to make your acquaintance."
"I am Chanelle D'arcy." As she in turn, extended her hand to his, while sensing a foolish flush come over her face when they 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." "Chanelle...such a beautiful name, for such a beautiful lady," Miguel boldly answered, as he unwillingly let go of her delicate hand. "I sense we have much in common besides the sea," releasing the words as if to open a door for her to step into his world.
"You are more than kind, Lieutenant," Chanelle replied, as she turned to continue the walk with him at her side. That walk was the beginning of their lives being joined, first through love, then marriage a year later with Maria being born the following year and brought unspeakable joy into her parent's hearts.The years came and went, with happiness and prosperity filling their lives.Then when Maria was 16, tragedy struck while she and Chanelle were visting their family in Narbonne, while Miguel was away on one of his many assignments at sea. Chanelle suddenly fell ill, then languishing for months with consumption, died with Miguel still at sea, leaving her daughter, now half child, half woman, to grieve without the comfort of her father for months to come.
Once reunited, the grief stricken Maria, swore she wouldn't let him leave her again, for fear of losing him as well. At the prestigious assignment of the Captain's New World voyage, Maria implored him to beg the King's mercy to allow her to accompany her father. King Charles, being a father and grandfather, felt a deep compassion for the loss of her mother and granted Maria the request. Miguel 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. Her father knew she would be tested in every aspect on this trip, but still felt it better than leaving her in the custody of her aging uncle. As the time grew closer to the day of departure and having gone to Italy. The Captain and his daughter were preparing for the journey to Panama.
At Barcelona Harbor, the Captain and Maria were stowing their belonging aboard “The Rose” as she known by her crew. Looking overboard on the starboard side, Captain Montoya witnessed the assembly of the other passengers coming aboard the gang plank. Only one familiar face stood out, Leonardo Vi, with his three bags of map making instruments, linen canvases and his own personal belongings. Although highly irregular, the young Italian was given favor by the King's appointment to chart the unfamilar seas awaiting them on the Pacific side. “Leo, you have to get ready to go to dinner” said Flo having made arrangements at Raul’s. “Yes, dear” said Leo as he went inside after being in the past.
How Leo Got There
Meanwhile, after flying to Africa and compiling the data from the locations he had visited, Vector is in Leo’s patio discussing which mines they should invest in with Leo. Leo has the folders of the mines next to him on the patio table “Looking over the spreadsheets of the mines in Africa, mining operation D looks like the best to go with. Followed by A. But, I happened to look at what they are like in 2022 and mining operation H is doing good compared to the others” Leo said. “Mine H must have hit a big vein. There were some indicators suggesting that might be the case from the data that I collected” said Vector. “Mine H has the most potential, so that will be on top of the list followed by D and then A” said Leo placing the H folder back on the table.
“Changing the subject, Flo tells me she, Artemesia and Velidia are going to take golf lessons at the Flamingo Country Club and wanted me to do the same” Leo said. “Funny you should mentioned that, Artemesia asked me the same thing earlier, I told her I would” said Vector with a smile. “Well, looks like I’m going to take up golf too. So I’m going to gets some clubs before next week” Leo said getting up from his chair. “I got a set of Ping’s yesterday and going to take lessons from a different pro, then the one who will be teaching the girls. Why don’t you join me” asked Vector. “You know I think I will. Where and when are you going to take your lessons” Leo said with a look of pause and concentration.
“At the Emerald Forest Country Club every Thursday at 3 pm for 5 weeks. We can go in one car if schedule permits” answered Vector. “Can you let the pro there know I will be joining you” Leo said while looking over a set of papers regarding the land he is about to purchase. “Will do about the lessons, I’m going over to New Zealand in an hour and work on my place” said Vector. “Ok” mentioned Leo as he got up and said “Going over to the realtor’s office, the realtor and I are going to do a walk through of the property I want to start a farm at. Let’s talk some more after you get back from New Zealand about the gold mines.”
Miguel the realtor was driving over to the property in his 4x4 truck and Leo was jotting down notes that he had in mind. The property was an hour’s drive from Panama City and there was water and power nearby at the location. After taking a few pictures of the main entrance, they parked at an open area. They could see a few different dirt roads going in varies directions. Miguel got out the plot plan and topo maps of the area and said “That road leads to the forest area” pointing at the road. Then pointing to the other roads and giving a description of where and what they lead too.
Miguel mentioned they would start on the road to the forest, then the one that followed the river before taking the one to the foothills. Leo would take pictures of interest to show Flo after he got back. Returning to the open area at the entrance to the property Leo said he was interested and would make an offer in a few days after consulting with his engineers. With the tour complete Miguel replied “That will be fine, shall will go back to Panama City.”
On their way back to town, Miguel asked “Have you been in Panama long.” Leo mentioned “My wife and I just moved here about a couple of months ago, but we are familiar with Panama.” “If there is any land services you might be in need of, please give me a call and I might be able to help” Miguel said as he was looking forward and driving. “Thank you for your offer, I will keep that in mind” remarked Leo looking out at the landscape as he was remembering the sail over to Panama with Captain Montoya and Maria:
After being onboard for the night, 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 shore lines were untied. Leonardo was on the starboard side of the ship waving good bye to a few of the dock workers who had untied the lines. Lieutenant Gonzales walking up to Leonardo says” is this your first time aboard a ship?” “yes sir” answered Leonardo, “My name is Lieutenant Martinez Gonzales but you can call me Martin” as he extended his hand in friendship.
Leonardo extended his hand and said “Leonardo Vi and you can call me Leo”. “Well Leo we will be seeing a lot of each during this voyage and if there are question that you might have, feel free to ask”
“I will do just that for there is 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 on 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 the six longboats pulling her away from the docks, slowly moved into the channel. Once past the harbor, all the sails were unfurled and a sudden lunge as the sails filled, and the forward motion of the ship increased to a steady 5 knots.
By 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. There were two helmsmen 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, as the Captain of the La Rosa del Mar saw an increase in speed to 12 knots.
"Hold her steady! Hold her steady!" Commanded Captain Fernandez. Sensing this would be top speed, he ordered to lay off course by a gradual 10 degrees. As they veered away from the wind, the speed decreased to 8 knots. The Captain then ordered the furling of the first two masts of their sails and reduced sail area to storm sails. "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, Jorge Madrid. "Yes she does," said Jorge. 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 seating boxes that were next to the guard rails, her long auburn hair wafting back occasionally with the different gusts that would blow by.
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, pointed towards the sea birds that were following the ship, and commented that they are out a long way to sea. Maria noticed, then politely agreed with his observation. As their conversation continued, and the wake of La Rosa del Mar disappeared into the choppy sea. This began the first nightfall on the Atlantic, the lanterns were lit and the night watchmen made their rounds. In the main salon, where all official announcements are passed on, the passengers and the ship's officers had been invited to a “Welcome Onboard” ceremony. The chairs and tables had been relocated to the bulkheads and walls.
Doing so, left 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 view. There was a small removable stage in the room. The two Troubadours were on stage with Lieutenant Segovia. The Troubadours, having played for royalty and commoners alike, enjoyed the handsome pay they commanded, but stayed true to their family musical roots and played the music from their countryside. Federico Gamez was taller than Roberto Ricardo, but both were slender and charming. On this night, they were to accompany Lieutenant Segovia, who was privileged to have been trained with the guitar-like stringed instrument, the Vihuela, since his early childhood.
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, enjoying the gathering and conversation. Captains Fernandez, Montoya and Maria enter the salon. Maria, seeing Lt. Segovia on stage and walked over to him. "Lieutenant Segovia," remarked Maria, "I didn’t know you played the vihuela!" "Yes,” he answered confidently, "As far back as I can remember." "Well," Maria replied, "I have sung at several gatherings before. Perhaps you would know a few songs that I know." She mentions a half dozen, and the Lieutenant responded back that he knew most of what she has mentioned, and offered that this should make for a special evening.
The Monsignor and Sister Teresa had arrived and were finding a place to sit along with the other guest. The Monsignor had been in his cabin or the guard rail most of the time. He had been sea sick since leaving the dock and was just now developing his sea legs. Sister Teresa faired 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 in the marketplace. Being sensitive to the things of God she felt called to enter into the convent at an early age and rapidly grew in wisdom and stature.
Lieutenant Segovia began the ceremony with a brief introduction of himself and his two accompanying musicians. Going into the first song as he finished the introduction, a slow ballad of the sea, putting the room to ease with the lyrics and tune. Then, as the applause faded, he moved onto the next song, with an upbeat tempo, and had everyone tapping their feet. A few songs later 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 requested him to play one of the songs they both knew. 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 as the velvet trim on her dress that she was wearing that night. Panfilo was awe struck 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. A loud applause echoed in the salon as the two bowed to accept the appreciation of those in attendance. As the performance ended, both were overheated, and needing fresh air, 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, the captains were in discussion, and 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 on the wake of the ship as the milky reflection disappeared into the night. The morning's light followed the outskirt of 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 second day at sea. As Maria stepped out to the fresh morning air, Consuela called out to her, "There's our little song bird now. Come join us, my dear." As the crew were busy doing their work and other passengers were moving about.
"Good morning, ladies," Maria chimed back with happiness of heart in her voice. I'm afraid I slept in a bit." "Up late, were you?" The Sister said, knowing full well she and Panfilo talked until the wee hours of the night, according to the night watchmen just coming off duty at dawn. "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." "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, and also enjoy getting 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 fore deck?"
"Ablsolutely, my dear," said Sister Teresa, as she rose from the chair. "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 then." While Maria and Consuela continued the conversation well into the morning, the everday workings of the ship went on around them. This daily ritual of meeting with two wise and mature women, gave Maria a peace in her heart, as well as the confidence to follow the destiny that was set before her. The weeks went by and the daily routines of the watches and sail trimmings for the crew, while the King’s Special Forces were always performing drills to keep in readiness.
Leonardo kept a record of the nightly sightings of the stars and planets, and was always asking questions about sailing with the officers. He occasionally stopped by the ship’s carpenter shop and talked 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 Consuelo, as Alfredo was below deck busy writing poetry inspired by being on the open sea.
Alfredo often would come to the bow of the ship at dawn and stare into the vastness of the dark blue rolling waves, watching the sea life emerge to catch the first rays of the amber sunrise. "Leonardo, what a pleasant surprise. What brings you here so early today?" Inquired Alfredo as he made his way the the bow. "Good morning, Alfredo. I was charting a few stars before dawn to get a more accurate bearing on our location," informed Leonardo. It appears we are right on course, according to my calculations.
"You are so talented for such a young age. How did you come to learn so much, so early?" Leonardo turned his full attention to Alfredo, answered, "It seems I grew up being inquisitive, because I don't ever remember not being interested in the sciences, especially astronomy and alchemy. Then when I was a boy of ten, I worked for my uncle and learned the masonry business, which led me to want to design my own structures. It just grew from there into artistic persuits and map making. 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." "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 struggles and questions of the soul...is a gift from God, as well. Beauty is not found only in tangible objects, but in the purity of a truth well written." "There you go being wise again, my young friend. Shall I read you my most recent poem written last evening?" "Alfredo, I would be honored." 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 the poet, as he began his soliliquy.
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...so humanlike...yet so exoticly foreign. You captured their nature perfectly," Leonardo expressed. 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 only write for myself, and when someone else shares my words gladly, then it give me more inspiration to continue." "Please, then, I want to hear ALL your 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," announced Leonardo, after soon realizing that any hopes of his winning the affections of Maria were gone, when the first night out to sea 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...consummated with a tender but brief kiss... quickening the heart and taking their breaths away. Then, with his arm around her shoulder, the two would sit and talk of the future. As they looked upward into the heavens, the stars changed position in the dark velvet sky.
Often, in the Officer's Quarters, the Captains were in conference late into the night. Discussions of strategies; approaching the 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. Halfway through the voyage, the other Officers were curious of the map that Captain Montoya had in his possession. One evening during their daily meeting, Captain Fernandez turned to Captain Montoya and stated inquisitively, "The map that you have must be very important."
Captain Montoya hesitated, and then replied, "It is important…but it was not originally assigned to me. I happened to come across this map by chance. While I was in Florence, the father of our young cartographer onboard, presented it to me after I had told him my travels would take me to the New World. There are very few maps of this area, and it has marking on it that are not labeled…suggesting other lands. This is part of my mission's orders from the King." "I see." commented Captain Fernandez, "It seems that Fate has a hand in this assignment you are undertaking." As The Rose neared the islands of the Caribbean, the air turned humid and hot. Off in the distance about a half league, a ship was spotted by the watch in the crow’s nest. "Do you recognize her colors?" Shouted Lieutenant Gonzales.
"No!" Relayed the watch. Lieutenant Gonzales 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 position. The watch yelled back "Still no colors! And her crew is busy loading their cannons on deck!" "Pirates, no doubt!" exclaimed Lieutenant Gonzales to Captain Fernandez.. "Very well then, Lieutenant, we will show them what we got!" Confirmed Captain Fernandez, as The Rose prepared for battle. "She has veered off to our bow.”
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’s chief, "Fire!" And the first of four cannons fired away. "Hard to port!" was the command to the helm, while the two helmsman pulled hard to port. The crews in the rigging were pulling the sheets on the sails, to furl in big sections of the sail. As they came into the turn, and the four guns had fired, the sail crew unfurled the sails again, and the Rose increased in speed, while the trade winds blew off her starboard bow.
The keel was cutting through the water at a steady speed, as the stern of The Rose pointed at the bow of the pirate ship. The first of two explosions hit the bow of the pirate ship, while the stern of The Rose revealed her rear guns. With her bowsprit dangling on her running rigging, the pirate ship's main sheets were pulling forward, acting like a wind brake, slowing the vessel. With rear cannons pointing at the deck of the pirate ship, the order was given to fire away. Eight shots were fired, and all landed on the deck, or the side of the pirate ship, causing timber to fly every which way and sending splinters an inch thick.
Yelling was heard below deck, water was quickly pouring 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 Gonzales to prepare to set sail after everyone is back on board. The survivors were taken to Captain Fernandez to be interrogated. A mix of nationalities, two Portuguese, four French, one of which was a woman, and an Englishman.
Captain Montoya, who also spoke Portuguese and French, did the translating. All had been prisoners of the English pirate, “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 blow 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 would soon be sucked under by the sinking ship. As the Englishman, Jake, described his captivity and who the others were, Captain Montoya couldn’t help but look over to the French woman. She was staring down, her dress was torn along her neck and 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, and find some dry clothes for them," Captain Montoya ordered.
The group followed Chief Jorge 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 silent with grateful eyes before entering the main salon. A few days later it was Sunday morning just days out from Portobella, Panama, the crew were having Sunday Mass. Captain Montoya and the French woman, Claudette de Lormecy, having been acquainted over the last few day 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 of 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 just left Jamaica by a day and were headed to Cartagena when Brown Beard the pirate and his band of men captured the ship they were on. Her husband defending her from the half crazed men that had boarded 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 gently rested his head alongside hers, in a soft voice “Its 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” say Captain Montoya while nodding his head.
Will you be continuing on to Cartagena from Portobella Captain? No Claudette, my orders have me continuing onto the Pacific side of Panama. A slight frown appears on Claudette face, but turn into a courtesy smile “I see” continued Claudette. Captain Montoya senses she is uncertain with her words. He holds 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” Claudette said with a smile. The Mass was over and everyone were returning to their 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 the same. Claudette and the other French sailors, the two Portuguese and Jake will also be getting off in Portobello. The two Portuguese would get off and catch a skiff to a new territory that Portugal had founded, named Brazil.
The Rose of the Sea was anchored out in the bay at Portobello. It had completed it’s ports of call procedures and was preparing to dock at the wharf to take on supplies. Meanwhile in Captain Montoya’s cabin, Maria standing next to Lieutenant Segovia, told her father that she was in love with the young Lieutenant and that they planned to wed. Miguel fully understood the intensity of what they were feeling, as he had felt, so many years ago. This was an answer to his prayer, he knew he couldn't fill the void in her life forever. With that in mind Miguel gave them his blessing and not being the ship’s captain, would ask his fellow traveler Monsignor Munoz to perform the ceremony onboard. After a request was made to Lieutenant Gonzales to witness the wedding of his friend, and Mrs. Sierra to be the matron of honor.
The ceremony was held that evening on deck, with the entire crew and passengers as witnesses of a love born at sea. Roberto and Federico played softly, while the vows were exchanged by the pale lamplight. As the newly wed couple arose from their knees, the Monsignor removed the gold cross from around his neck, while stating that this was the symbol of pure love and sacrifice, then bequeathed it to Maria as their first wedding gift.
It had been a life altering 44 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 embracing her new role as the wife of a military officer. Her thoughts, again, turning to the memory of her mother and wondering if she could endure the separations by the sea, from the man whom so totally captivated her heart.
As the remaining passengers were leaving for shore, Leonardo was saying his goodbyes to the Sierras. As Captain Montoya drew his daughter aside and placed the ring her mother wore into her hand, while half whispering “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. Wear this ring and know that your mother and I will always love you, no matter how much distance or time separates us.” She held him long and tight, 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 you seek.” Then she turned and took her husband’s outstretched hand as Miguel remembered that fateful day Chanelle first touched his hand and their life together was yet to be lived. “Godspeed Father” were the parting words of his beloved daughter. He turned his face to wipe a tear from his face before regaining his composure. A farewell hug to his daughter and a hand shake to his new son in law, as he disembarked for shore.
Stopping at a signal Leo ended his day dream and turned to Miguel in silence, then back at the intersection wondering about the road he is on and how he met Florencia.
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.
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 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.
Messenger of the Wind
The new week was like the last with those being employed doing their daily duties. There are some with insight and are preparing for difficult times ahead. Not knowing when, but are convinced that it will happen. They can only wait for those changes to happen and adjust to those changes while others go about their daily lives until they no longer can and find themselves on a difficult road to travel on.
Vector had installed a gravel road near the main entrance of Leo’s property to the base of mountain of his new site, from there an asphalt road went up the rest of the way. A custom gate structure constructed of wrought iron and masonry blocks. Flaring out 20 feet to a chain link fencing that encircled the outer perimeter of the plateau of the of Vector’s complex. Another block wall is surrounding the modular building that he brought over from New Zealand with an added extension that housed an observatory. Vector had carved out a portion of the mountain side to install a secret spacecraft hangar and was walking around the area and going over his plans.
Meanwhile Leo was at his pump station by the river. His crew was working on the trench where the mainline would be situated. A couple of backhoes digging away and a few skipsteers with heavy duty mower attachments cutting down the dense vegetation and moving rocks and small boulders out of the way. The mainline would follow along side of the road to the farming operations. Another mainline would tee off and go to Vector’s location.
Leo calls Vector “Vector since it’s Friday how’s your schedule looking later today” he asked. “Kinda busy, but whats up” he replied. “Would you be interested in playing 9 holes around 3 this afternoon” asked Leo. “I’m reviewing some changes that need to be done, but playing a few holes sounds good to me” remarked Vector. So they met up and played some golf. As the sun made it’s way towards sunset Leo and Vector are in the parking lot of the country club going over their score card.
“Well you shot a 45 and I shot 46” Vector said while counting the numbers of putts they did for each hole that was part of their score. “So you are going to put a runway near the office complex as you mentioned on the last hole. What type of plane are you going to get” asked Vector. “A Bombardier’s Learjet 60 XR” Leo said. “That sounds good to me. Whenever you are in a hurry we can take my spacecraft” Vector added. “I know you may be busy at times and I will need to get to places that aren’t faraway and I can get to on sudden notice. That was the main factor in the decision of a runway and plane” explained Leo as he looked at his cell phone for messages.
“Do you remember those precious metal mines I had you cover up in Mexico and Peru when we were in Portobello. I recently made arrangement with some mining companies to start them up again” continued Leo. “Are those the ones you had me cover up with tons and tons of mountain dirt when I had my old spacecraft and made visits at different time intervals to update your ownership of those land” asked Vector. “Yes, those are the ones that I inherited from Vincenzo way back when. I might not have told you all about it back then” Leo said. “I might have heard you mentioned it, but refresh my memory, I’m kinda interested in how you got those mines in Mexico and Peru” asked Vector.
“That’s when I was working for Flo’s father, the govenor at Portobello. It’s a long story to say the least, where one thing led to another. As I had mentioned earlier that I went on a map finding journey in the beginning to find out what Vincenzo diaries was all about. Which turned out to be a small treasure chest with the deeds of the mines. I remember it as if it were yesterday, would you like to hear about it” Leo said. “Yes, be my guest and enlighten me about it” said Vector. “Let me know when you have to go before I finish and we can resume later” Leo said. “Ok, Vector said while nodding his head.
Leo began by saying “There was much to do around the Governor’s hacienda and I was busy designing and supervising the road construction leading into Portobello, making it more efficient for the mule trains and military. I drew up a Master Plan for the city and the governor, Florencia and I would have regular meetings to discuss details of the Plan and make adjustments where needed.”
The construction went according to plan and the town was hiring more and more workers. Meanwhile a road to Florencia house was being built along with two bridges. With all of the construction going on the flowof gold and silver were increasing by the day.
The responsibility of the position grew and that would increase the pay scale. With each increase the boat that was being planned 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. “I helped on the foundation plan and supervised the installation. The other projects included in the construction was the road and the two bridges that led to her house.”
The gold from Peru and the silver from Mexico were being shipped back to Spain from Panama and the location now known as Cartagena, Colombia. The governor’s brother Phillip Ortega was in charge of the Colombia shipment. There were vast amounts of gold and silver being shipped out on a regular basis and tons of the precious metals were being protected at the storage depots on both sides of Panama. The military were in charge of protecting the locations from the pirates that lurked off shore and the bandits that were on land.
After six months the house was built, it was a two story house that was on a bluff overlooking the bay. The warehouse and workshop were still under construction and “I had a wharf built inside the bay a few hundred meters from the house. This is where my new boat would be staying. With the help from a local boat builder, she was finished about the same time as the house. Getting back to the boat which I named La Flecha. She was 40 ft. in length and a beam of 16 feet. One day I was enjoying the moment with Florencia. We were out sailing in my new boat and was sailing good and fast.
Having calculated the course of travel and amount of time we would spend on the water I began our return trip home. With my first mate beside me, I was keeping an eye of which way the wind was blowing and the landmark to steer her by. After entering the bay “la Flecha” swongs wide and turns toward the wharf. I lowered the sail as Florencia had the helm. The boat slowed and I threw the line to an awaiting worker who would tie the line to the dock cleat. We went back home and received a message.
There was a change of plans regarding the trip to Peru I was to make. It had been rescheduled for 4 months later and giving me more time to spend around the new hacienda. Arriving on a Friday to the governor’s hacienda for a weekend get together. A meeting took placed involving what the governor had on his mind. The governor hands a letter to me from the Spanish Court and said “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 map and copies of the books. Have you done much work on those books”
the governor asks.
“Still working on deciphering it and I haven’t given it much thought lately” Leo said. “All right I will do what I just explained and see if that will please the court” said the Juan the governor as he continued “ You and Florencia will go and see my brother and make arrangements for his employee to switch places with you.” “Yes” I said and got ready. The provision for the sail over to Cartagena had been made and I had informed the supervisors and foremen of what to do while we were gone. Florencia has done the same with the servants around the house. It was mid-morning on the day of going to Colombia. I pushed off the wharf and released the dock lines. Both of us waved to the servants on the wharf as they waved back.
There was a slight breeze developing and the tide was going out. After rounding the entrance of the bay we headed East by Southeast. The breeze picked up and la Flecha was doing a steady 14 knots on a port tack. Having time to discuss the various things on our minds. We both establish a routine to keep ourselves busy as the vast open space of the ocean passes by. Nightfall approached and Florencia was at the helm, I had come out from the cabin of the boat and took over the helm from Florencia.
Taking some leaves out of a pouch I began to chew on the coco leaves. “One of the supervisors gave me these leaves and told me they could be addicting but will keep me going when I get tired. I told him “I will be careful not to over-do it” I said. “He is right I have seen older workers use it daily and they act strange at times for over using. Drawing the line of when to use something and stopped using is what life teaches us” said Florencia. “I have you to watch over me my dear” said I as we looked out at the twilight of night. “I will take care in using the leaves” I said while chewing on one as darkness settled in. The following morning Florencia awoken and steps out into the cockpit where I was looking over the map of Cartagena Harbor. “Good Morning Flo” I greeted her. “Good Morning Leo” answered Florencia. “We should be in harbor within an hour” I mentioned as Florencia sat next to me. The sun was making it way up on the eastern horizon off the port beam.
After landing in Cartagena the two of us went off to see Florencia’s uncle in the carriage that he had sent for us after he was notified of their arrival. We would go through town and arrive at a massive gold depot which looked like a city within a city. The driver pulls up to the main 3 story building and we went inside to be greeted by Phillip himself in the lounge. “Nice to see you again Florencia and a pleasure to meet you young man” said Phillip while giving Florencia a hug and a handshake to me. We discussed what Governor Juan had told us and afterwards we were talking about pirates and the latest developments happening in Panama.
“Excuse me Sir, Governor Juan said you knew of a map maker who was the grandson of Juan de la Cosa” I said. “Yes, he does work for me, why do you ask?“ said Phillip. “I originally was assign to map an island in the Pacifico Ocean. We only know that it might be anywhere in the vast space west of Mexico, That was the original plans, but during the time I arrived in Panama and now. I was hired by Governor Juan and will be marrying Florencia after returning from Peru” I answered to clarify his question. “Oh I see, I can arrange Hector to switch places with you and that should be fine” Phillip said.
“Florencia, why don’t you and Leonardo stay at my place” said Phillip. “Thank you Uncle, we would love to stay the night, but we have important matters to discuss with you this evening before we return to back with the morning tide” Florencia said. “That will be fine , you and Leonardo can fresh up this afternoon and we will have dinner and go over what your father has in mind tonight, please excuse for now I have a meeting to attend too” Governor Phillip said with a smile. That evening dinner was served at Governor estate and he and his wife Ana were splendid hosts. After relaying the message her father had sent them for Florencia and I retired for the night back at the boat. It was 5 am when the lone rooster started to crow the cock a do da do alarm.
We were up and ready to go, but waited for the first breeze of the day. After that the sail were up and we were off with the tide, as the slight breeze became steady. La Flecha was traveling 15 knots cutting through the water and making good time at that speed when nightfall came upon us, we made landfall the next afternoon. We continued to brainstorm ideas that came to mind just like the day before. The days turned into months and I was preparing for my trip to Peru. “Your father went over his plan with me regarding the agenda” I mentioned to Florencia and she look at me and nodded her head while thinking of a few other things.
Traveling on horseback I made the trip over to Panama City. I would take the next week sight-seeing and get to know the city after checking in at the hotel. One day at the beach looking out at the surf I notices a kid playing in the surf, catching the white water with a piece of plank about the length of the youngster. As I watched the kid leap on the white water and was propelled forward toward shore. The ride wasn’t long but what I noticed was 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.
I catught up to him and asked if I could try using his board and would pay him for using it. The kid said “Si’”. So out into the water I went with my trouser on and my shirt off, I went out a little further than him where the white water was larger. After a few tries I caught the white water and was moving to shore. I felt the same stoke that the kid had expressed and thought to myself this was fun. After a few more white water waves I returned the plank back to the young boy and sat back under the tree and began sketching a few ideas and some waves on a sheet of paper.
The week went by fast with going to the beach, studying Vincenzo’s diariess and thinking of my next boat. It was time to depart from Panama and sail to Peru. After getting on board I was reviewing my drawing of the beach while on the port rail of the “Mensajero de Viento” (Messenger of the Wind) as it made its way along Ecudorian’s coastline. Looking at the wave drawings again it brought back the memory of riding the waves. The captain of the “Mensajero” Felix Hernandez had stopped by to talk with me as the first day out from Panama was coming to an end.
“As mentioned we will be stopping in Trujillo for 2 days before sailing on to Callao” said Captain Hernandez. The Captain looking at Leonardo sketch of the waves continued with “There is a beach city named Huanchaco where fishermen ride the waves on boats made of reeds”. “Boats riding waves” I 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 I while thinking about my experience of riding the white water in Panama.
A week later Mensajero de Viento was anchored off Trujillo and I 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 ride the white water in. Fascinated by what I was seeing I walked over to a group of fishermen and asked if one of them could teach me to surf on a reed boat.
A person steps forward and says he can and then introduces himself as Sergio Barbosa and that he could teach me to surf and had a boat for me to use. It wasn’t long before I was paddling out and occasionally falling off to the side on the way out. Once in the lineup Sergio tells me what to look for when the swell gets closer to shore and where to be to catch the wave. As we sat there Sergio told me to start paddling for the wave. I looked at him and then out to the horizon and see a swell approaching. So I started paddling for the wave. The swell passes me and breaks about ten feet farther in. Sergio laughed and says “You are too slow, paddle harder. Watch me on the next wave and see how I do it” he said.
So I 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 I started to catch on and started to get my balance and control. I would spend the rest of the day surfing on the reed boat. “You are naturally gifted for surfing my friend” said Sergio as he watched. I improved with each wave that I rode. Out in the lineup Sergio is talking to me in between set of waves and said “There is a city to the north of here 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. I thanked Sergio for teaching me and said I will always remember him and gave him a gold peso before getting into the carriage I was using and returned to Trujillo that evening.
The following day the Mensajero set sail and went out to sea and making its way to Callao. Once there I made all of my contacts and exchanged the letters from Governor Juan to the Viceroy of Peru, Vidal Sestorio. Attending varies parties and visiting Inca villages, I had a good time. But time came and went and three weeks later I 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 my boat. They had damage the crops out in the fields. She and the servants were lucky to have escaped back to her father’s hacienda. Where she will be waiting for my return. After reading the letter I rushed over to the governor of Panama City office and had a talk with him about what has occurred. The governor was aware of the incident and had prepared an escort unit for me for my return trip back home.
Once back to Portobello, I’m back at Governor Juan’s hacienda and enter the main house where Florencia is sitting somewhat distraught. After seeing me she rushes over. Overwhelmed by the moment, she started to cry and I comforted her with a securing embrace. “You are all right and that is all that matters to me, everything else can be replaced” I said. We looked at each other and I wiped the tears from her face and with a sigh she said “You are right.” We embraced and she told me “You are my guiding light” I in return said “You are my inspiration.” Happy to be together we discussed the rebuilding of the house and plantation. We were married in three month time and had come back from our honeymoon when a letter from the Court of Spain came to my attention. It was regarding the original quest to find the location on the map that I had and the copy Hector was using. The ship Hector was on ran into a storm and the ship and all onboard were lost.
So, I was order once again to continue on the mission to find the island in the Pacifico Ocean. Florencia said to me“I will go with you this time. I can’t bear to be without you.” I stood in silence for a while looking at Florencia and remarked “All right, but what about your father?” “He will understand” Florencia said as she reached for and held my hand. After discussing Florencia’s intentions and somewhat against Florencia from going the governor gave in and agreed. We made the trip over to Panama City and would depart in a few day’s time into the Pacifico Ocean.
After taking Florencia to those places I had visited on my first visit to Panama City, we ended the day at the beach where I watched the young boy 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 with darkness of nightfall soon to follow. We had dinner at a cantina near the ship “La Buscador” (The Seeker) of which they would be traveling on. “La Buscador” was sailing to Acapulco first to unload weapons and documents to the government officials there before turning west into the vast Pacifico Ocean” I said while taking a bite from the meal and continued “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 said.
“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 Portobello that things became clearer in how to approach the location” said I to Flo. As I continued “There was a book by Claudius Ptolemaeus known as “Ptolemy” a Roman scholar who recognized a need for a grid system to measure ones location. Using north as the top of maps and south as the bottom and having lines spaced out in those 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 came to the conclusion that what we are looking for is due west of Acapulco. Having talked with some of the navigators here in Panama of their trip from the Philippines to Acapulco, I’m guessing around 40 days or so is where we will find land”.
I lifted my wine cup and said “A toast to the finding the land and returning home to rebuild our house and our future” as I touched the wine cup from Florencia extended arm. “I have some wonderful ideas for our new house” said Florencia. “I can hardly wait to get back and start” I said while smiling and placing my cup down as she did the same. “We will make it much better this time” said I as she nodded her head to say yes. We left the cantina and returned back to our quarters aboard the La Buscador.
With the command of weigh anchor La Buscador starts to drift before her sails filled in and slowly left the harbor for her trip to Acapulco. Florencia and I looked back as the mountains which started to disappear, the routine of being out at sea tookover. We would dine with Captain Vargas the first few nights. After the meal the table was cleared and the maps are brought out. The Captain asked “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 my guess there is something out there. I know it 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” I said.
“We will sail for 40 days and if no land is sited we will turn around and return back to Acapulco. The supplies we have on board will last for 100 days. I have to think of everyone on board and their welfare” Captain Vargas replied. “Understood Captain” I said back. The next day came and went like each day that would follow, blue skys 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 I, the Captain and the navigator discuss the details of the course as the ship left the harbor of Acapulco and into the unknown. The first week went by and being out at sea turned into routine. Each morning the officer on deck would ring the bell indicating the watch change. I would have a daily meeting with the captain and a walk around the deck with Florencia. We would discuss topics that either of us had in mind. A group of individuals would have a Sunday mass service held around mid morning 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 course and change our direction 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 yells “land ho, four points off the port bow”. Florencia and I were talking about home when the watch spotted land and both of us turned to our left and saw the two peaks. Not knowing the height of the peaks the Officer on deck guest it would be few hour before landing, it took nearly a day before they could see the base of the large mountains.
“Excuse me Leo, I have to be going, lets resume the story tomorrow. Care to go surf tomorrow morning, Frank said it was good this morning” Vector replied. “Yeah that sounds good to me. Dawn patrol” Leo asked. “Yes, say 5. Rocky and Frank will go but will take their own car” Vector answered back. Looking at his watch Leo says “How time flys. Ok, I will pick you up in the morning.”
Of Younger Days
Latter that night after playing golf with Vector, Leo gets a call from Artemesia “Leo, Vector hasn’t return from a meeting with Outaforium. He told me he would be back in a couple of hours. That was 4 hours ago” Artemesia said with a worried tone in her voice. “Do you know what the meeting was about” asked Leo. “Kinda, he received a call from Outaforium and after he hung up, Vector told me that he was going to Bolivia, somewhere near Lake Titicaca.
Outaforium had informed him about other aliens that they were tracking him and they meaning Outaforium were observing them. From what Outaforium could tell they were up to no good. Vector mentioned that the meeting wasn’t going to take long and would be back soon. After he left, communications from Vector went silent” Artemesia said. “I will be over in a few minutes” Leo responded. He and Flo walked over and knock on the back door. “Oh, Leo and Flo please come in” as they walked in Artemesia continued “I’m afraid something has happened to Vector.”
“I don’t have anyway of getting a hold of Outaforium” Leo said while looking at his phone and a text message that showed up and caught his attention. The text read: Leo, I was unable to phone Artemesia and you, something was not working on my phone as if someone had cut the lines. I rerouted a text message using a proxy number to Artemesia and that didn’t work. Then I troed sending it to you and it got through. Let her know I’m alright and I’m with Outaforium, Zeuyu and their crew in a remote location in Bolivia and coming home soon: End of text.
Leo read the text out loud and then said “Well, I wonder what did happen perhap he might have dodged a bullet; so to speak. We will see him soon.” “What a relief” said Artemesia as she looked down and then back up with a sigh of relief at Leo and Flo. “Alright” commented Flo as Vector walked through the back door, Artemesia looked to see who it was and her eyes widen with emotions as she rushed toward Vector to give him a hug and a kiss.
“Lets go into the living room and I can explained what had happened” Vector said as everyone followed him. He sat down in his recliner chair as Leo, Flo and Artemesia sat on the sofa. “I can tell you this situation that I was in went well beyond what I could have ever dream of” Vector said stopping for a moment and asking Artemesia for a glass of water and she went and got the water. “Thank you my dear” said Vector as he continued with his story.
“It started when I got a call from Outaforium after returning from the golf course. He said I should leave the house and meet him and Zeuyu in Bolivia, I asked why. He said that I was being watched and something might happen to me and my family because of another alien race who were after me from the 16th century. Thinking they would destroy my spacecraft again, I told Artemesia what was happening and went to the spacecraft and took off. After turning on my radar I could tell the aliens were ten miles above me and were following me to Bolivia. All the while they were being watched by Zeuyu who took over and communicated with them and me that I would be under Zeuyu control. I was beamed onto the mothership’s transport room and met with Outaforium.
He said “We asked them why they were behaving in such a hostile manner to you and they indicated it was because of something you did in the 16th century. They felt you were attacking them and their mission here on earth.” I then asked why and Outaforium replied “It was the time when you were working on the gold mine in Peru, removing a mountain side to make a road for Leo’s mining operation and that you destroyed one of their caves that had their spacecraft in it and that is the reason they were after you.”
Then I told Outaforium “I didn’t know, since I was too busy thinking of completing the project on time and didn’t have a clue that another alien race had a station there. All this time I thought it was because of my travels to the 20th century and was looking into information about different technologies.” After being told of the reason, Zeuyu took care of the misunderstanding by finding out what type of craft that got destroyed and replaced it with another and added some propulsion isotopes that they had from another planet. The other aliens were satisfied with the compensation and dropped the issue regarding me. Zeuyu solved the misunderstanding to quail the animosity and their pursuit of me.
“We know it’s late and you and Artemesia have been through a difficult ordeal, I can go over a few things with you in the morning, so we have to be getting back and let you two have your moment together” Leo said while getting up and extending his hand to Flo on leaving. “Good night Leo and Flo and thank you for stopping by” Artemesia said. “Yes Thank you” added Vector.
The next morning Leo had a meeting with Vector in his backyard. “So what else was discussed with Zeuyu and Outaforium” asked Leo. “Besides the misunderstanding of the other aliens, Zeuyu and Outaforium discussed what was going to happen in the future. They used their computers to describe the outcome of the Pandemic and the economic crisis and it didn’t look good. Things will happen on a biblical scale and with most of the alien races contributing to the events. It’s going to be scary for many they said” replied Vector to Leo question of the future.
Leo sat back after asking his question and started wondering and looked into the future. The more he concentrated, the more he became disturbed. Something changed from his previous views as if he saw what was going to be but had changed after he left the vision. “What I previously saw changed and it is different. Zeuyu and Outaforium knows something that I didn’t foresee” said Leo.
“Something or someone alter the course of history that was going to happen. I think that when the other aliens didn’t get rid of me as they thought, that allowed me time to do something what should had never happen” Vector said. “Ok, now we know why things did change. Well I’m glad you are still here and we just have to go from here. We can cutback on projects and sell a few of our assets and be prepared for next year and manage with less” Leo remarked as he leaned forward resting his elbows on the arms of the chair.
“What if it gets really bad and it takes a lot longer for any resembles to return. Is there a plan B” asked Vector. “We can go back in time, stay where we are in time or advance into the future and the unknown lifestyle” Leo said speaking in a general outlook. “Alright that sounds like a plan. Care to go surf” Vector asked. “No, I want to look into a few things currently and get a better idea of what to do” Leo said. “Ok, I need to get out in the water and take my mind off of what has happen, then see what direction I and my family should go” Vector said as he got up and started thinking about going surfing.
Returning home Vector sees Rocky and Frank moving around in their shop and asked Rocky “How was surf.” “It was small getting smaller with the tide” was Rocky’s reply. Wanting to surf Vector went into the house and checked out the surf report from around the world. He decided to check out a deserted beach in southern Ecuador to surf. He got his board into the spacecraft and took off for a couple of hours.
Hovering over the location he sees 3-5 feet waves breaking across the point. Vector lands on the beach and turns on the invisible cloak to his spacecraft and went out. He had surfed here once before recently and was familiar where to paddle out and in from. Getting into the water felt good and he forgot about what had happen previously. After the first wave and paddling back out for more, time went fast. After catching 20 waves and paddling back out a couple hundred yards each time. Feeling refreshed like he had charged his batteries Vector was ready to go back home, though tired his mind felt better and not as stressed as when he first got there. After returning and getting a bite to eat, Vector laid on the couch and fell asleep. He was dreaming of his younger days while growing up in Atlantis.