As I scribe and recount my experiences, it was as if a dream… to which I cannot return. He said his name was Colonel Virgil. In a vision, he offered me an opportunity to see what the future would hold. He was able to converse with me in my native Tuscan dialect and French. His English was of a dialect I did not speak. He explained much that I had yet to understand. He said he would be my guide.
Was that fellow Virgil who told me the story, really speaking the truth? I remembered, he was dressed in a strange military type garb, but wore no armor.
I opened my eyes to a room I’d never seen. It wasn’t Florence. It wasn’t 1482. I touched the bed I was on. The material was none I’d ever felt. The room, spartan in adornment, was cool. I turned and saw him sitting on a style of furniture I had never viewed; with machinery flashing and buzzing I understood nothing of.
“I’m not dead. When am I?” I inquired in French.
“An excellent question. The year, sir, is 2012. You are in a laboratory of a future government. I mentioned all that to you back in Florence when I was offering you a chance to view the future, and then some. You had your doubts, hesitations, but you accepted, and here you are. Be careful getting up. Time travel is a bit rough on the senses the first few times. Sir, first have some water. It’s safe to drink. You are dehydrated.”
The glass was not glass. It was some type of clear flexible material called plastic. The water was cool and refreshing, almost without taste.
I stood up and looked at myself in a mirror. Yes it was my face, but my tunic was gone. My garb was of a similar style as his. It was a gray, snug-fitting material, with various shapes and designs that appeared to vary as the light changed.
He explained, “The clothing actually blends in with the surroundings to make one less conspicuous.”
A fortnight later:
GOOGLE, the Internet, how utterly fascinating and frightening. Virgil had his associate train me to use this amazing technology. I looked myself up as well as others had before and after me. After studying and questioning almost nonstop for all the time I was there, I had a basic grasp of the situation. I also had an understanding of their English.
I am filled with ideas.
One breakfast, Virgil graciously offered, “What may I show you today? You have carte blanche, courtesy of the American Government.”
“Your military, your armed forces. I read about them on this machine,” pointing to a computer. “That would be most interesting. There might be something here I could utilize.”
“Yes sir, this way.” After some hesitation Colonel Virgil asked, “May I call you Leonardo? You may call me Virgil, if you choose.”
“If it makes you more comfortable, Colonel,” I replied.
I walked out into the bright sun for the first time in weeks. Virgil handed me tinted optics. They are a wonderful product. They are made of plastic. I looked up the nature of that product on the computer.
Before me was a machine with long appendages sprouting from the top. Virgil explained rotary winged craft to me. He added, “some are flying weapon systems; others, strictly for transport.” We got in and to my surprise, it rose into the sky.
As soon as we were in the heavens three different type of air machines flanked us. He explained they were escort craft designed to protect the vehicle we were in.
“Protect from whom,” I asked. I received no answer. It’s no different now, than it is at home. I scanned the heavens. I noticed no angels.
We landed in a field. There upon I saw a large cannon mounted on some type of vehicle. This cannon and whole vehicle was sheathed in armor.
“It’s called a tank. It weighs over 60 tons,” a soldier explained, “can travel over 70 miles per hour and fire on the fly.”
“Sorry sir, shoot as we move. Would you like a demonstration?”
Again, I was a bit hesitant. “Yes,” I replied. They gave me a helmet and told me I could communicate with all the people in the tank. I sat next to the loader as she was called. I couldn’t believe it, a female warrior. I noticed females here and there; I assumed for pleasure, not warriors.
They gave me a demonstration of its cannon power. I got to fire the machine’s weapons. The vehicle is highly destructive and impressive. They said I had invented a wheeled tank and a helicopter. I think I know why I will. I have not done so yet.
“I must return home,” I exclaimed.
Virgil hugged him good-bye and gave a kiss on the cheeks, in the European fashion of farewell.
Back in Florence, Leonardo wrote to the Duke of Milan explaining that he has “seen and examined the inventions of all those who count themselves makers and masters of instruments of war…I will therefore demonstrate all these things…” *
He continued, “I will make armored cars, totally unassailable, which will penetrate the ranks of the enemy with their artillery, and there is no company of soldiers so great that can withstand them.” *
Leonardo looked at the card made of a material not yet invented. He remembered what Virgil said. “Anytime you want to return to our time for any reason, place your thumbs on both these metalized spots on this card. You will be transported here. You are always welcome.”
Leonardo thought for a while. He looked at a few of his military weapons drawings, his sketches, and then, Leonardo Da Vinci put a candle flame to the card and wrote “perche la mianesstra si fredda.”* Dinner called.
* Nicholl, Charles, in Leonardo Da Vinci, Flights of the Mind, and open sources.
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