Revised History 2: Da Vinci’s Time Travel Legacy

Revised History 2: Da Vinci’s Time Travel Legacy

Revised History 2: Da Vinci’s Time Travel Legacy

France – 1500s

In Leonardo Da Vinci’s final days he began developing the most significant scientific work of his time. No one, not even his favorite and final pupil, Francesco Melzi, knew about what would become the biggest silent breakthrough of human history: time travel.

Da Vinci was confined to bed up until his death and – at his own request – was left alone for most of his final hours. Though at night, from outside the house or in the hallway, candlelight flickered out from the window and under the door. Da Vinci forewent sleep to work on his new theory.

On the morning of Da Vinci’s death, Francesco Melzi’s knock on the door went unanswered. He slowly opened the door to Da Vinci’s room, well prepared for what he expected to find. Yet, he didn’t know what to make of the scene. Da Vinci looked peaceful and all around him were scattered papers with notes and sketches.

Melzi gathered up the materials and began reading through them. Amazed, but skeptical, he kept the work to himself until he could spend some time sorting it out.

Da Vinci’s estate was left entirely to Melzi, including the time travel work he had just developed.

Francesco Melzi himself became consumed with the theory, but neither man could reach a final conclusion on how time travel was to be achieved or how it could be controlled.

Francesco Melzi continued his work on the theories in secret up until his own final days. His son, Orazio, visited his father on his deathbed. The two didn’t always have the best relationship, but with his dying breaths, Francesco shared his and Da Vinci’s work on time travel with his son. Encouraging him that they both got close, and that it would be Orazio who would finally unlock the mystery after all these years.

Orazio inherited Da Vinci’s and his father’s works, and in the public eye, seemed mostly uninterested in any of the scientific and artistic collections in his possession. But in private, Orazio worked hard to continue what the two men before him had started.

Not everyone was fortunate enough to spend their days studying art and science with expectations of inheriting someone’s estate some day. No, some had to make a more nefarious 16th century living.

All throughout Europe, one such profession was that of the highwayman. Highwaymen or “knights of the road,” made a living on horseback, robbing travelers in coaches and wagons at sword and gunpoint. Some operated alone, others in groups. The most successful were notorious for their charisma, boldness, and – if the situation called for it- viciousness.

Meeting a group of highwaymen on the road was simply a matter of misfortune. Meeting your end to the sword or bullet of a highwayman was mostly uncommon, given you did as they commanded.

On a crisp morning around 1587, Orazio Melzi was neither fortune nor folding.

The circumstances surrounding Orazio Melzi’s death were questionable at best. The only witness was a man who’d passed out in some bushes after a night of heavy drinking. He awoke to the patter of hooves as a pair of highwaymen rode up on a coach. They approached the coach door with swords and pistols drawn. There was no response from Orazio Melzi, who was riding inside. The highwaymen entered the coach. Moments later the drunkard claims everything around him was engulfed in a blinding flash of light and the entire coach burst into flames as the horses pulling the coach and the horses carrying the highwaymen galloped away in fear. No traces of human remains were ever recovered from the ashes.

Los Angeles – Present Day

Around 4:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon a blinding flash of light appeared in middle of the southbound lanes of interstate 405. Traffic was completely stopped.

Two men, donning 16th century clothing and wielding swords and pistols, emerged from the flash of light in a haze of smog and a symphony of car horns, stereos, and engine noise.

The ‘horseless coaches’ stretched as far as the highwaymen could see. They scanned the area and spotted the off ramp – it looked like a good enough way out. They started running towards it.

Weaving through the lanes and gaps in the cars, the pair finally made it off the freeway and off the surface street to an alley nearby. Out of breath and very confused, the men tried to regain their composure.

“Where in God’s name are we, Bartholomew?” Isaac said.

“No idea. Last thing I remember was entering that coach,” Bartholomew said.

“The man inside. He had some sort of device. Could he be a wizard of some sort? Sent us away by some powers of sorcery?”

“Quite possible indeed. Though it’s unclear where exactly we’ve been sent,” Bartholomew said.

“Those noisy coaches just sitting in rows. Where were the horses? How do they expect to get anywhere?”

“You know, Isaac, maybe we’ve been blessed. Maybe that man was actually an evil wizard and we’ve somehow been rewarded by God for thwarting his sinister plot.”

“That, my friend, feels like quite the stretch. I wouldn’t go as far to say we’ve been blessed, but I do feel somewhat rewarded and I do think we’re referring to the same thing.”

“The coaches?”

“The coaches,” Isaac said. “They’ll be the easiest we’ve ever robbed. They’re just sitting there.”

“Indeed,” Bartholomew said. “Now, just to find some horses. Hopefully those idle coaches aren’t telling of some horse shortage or epidemic.”

A back door to a building in the alley swung open and a short man in chef’s pants and a greasy t-shirt came out. He leaned up against the wall and struck a match to light a cigarette. He looked at the two highwaymen and nodded. They approached him.

“Pardon me, good sir. We’re looking for the nearest stables. Could you point us in the right direction?” Isaac said.

“Uh, Staples? Yeah, I think there’s one a few blocks that way. Or it might be an Office Depot or something,” the chef said.

“Well, either way, surely a depot would have horses. Thank you, my friend. Your assistance has been greatly helpful. Here, for you trouble,” Isaac said and flipped him a 16th century French coin.

The highwaymen headed in the direction of the Staples or Office Depot, unaware that these two places would probably be on the very bottom of a list of places where you may be able to find some horses.

They made their way down the street passing a slew of unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells. Aside from the ‘horseless coaches’ they were able to explain most of it away with probably having been sent to the far, far east or something.

Most Angelenos passing the highwaymen on the street didn’t stop to give them a second glance. It was L.A. after all.

The 16th century highwaymen pressed on, passing both a Staples and an Office Depot. They still hadn’t spotted any horses.

Finally, after a few miles, the pair came to a large park. In the distance, on the opposite side of the park, two police officers were riding horses. The highwaymen crouched behind a tree and waited to make their move.

“So, uh, I’ll take a whizz first then you can go, okay?” One officer said and hustled to the restroom.

The other officer tied the horses to a post and took a candy bar out of his pocket. He leaned up against a tree and began to eat the bar.

The highwaymen slinked across the park, darting from bush to tree to bush for cover. They quietly untied and mounted the horses. With a loud “Ya!” they were off and galloping down the street.

“Shit…” the candy bar officer said, finishing his snack.

The other officer emerged from the bathroom zipping up his pants.

“Where the fuck? What did you do? Did you forget to tie them up again? Jesus. Captain’s gonna have our asses,” he said.

“Some guys,” candy bar officer said, still chewing. “Shit, man. Just, shit.”

Traffic on the 405 remained at a standstill. The highwaymen led the horses up onto the freeway and made their way back between the lanes. Some people did turn down their music or look up from their phones to see why a couple of horses were on the freeway, but most didn’t really care – it was still L.A.

The pair rode up on opposite sides of a black SUV with its tinted windows rolled up.

Isaac rapped on the window with his sword.

“Stand and deliver your purse!” He shouted.

“Your money or your life!” Bartholomew said with his hand on his pistol at his side.

The driver of the car gave the pair an almost offended look and locked the doors.

Isaac tugged at the handle.

The driver gave him the bird.

The highwaymen gave up and made their way to the next car.

This time the windows were down.

“Your money or your life!” Isaac said.

“Far out, dude! You get lost on your way to the renaissance fair?” The driver said and started laughing.

Isaac grabbed the driver by the collar and threw him to the ground. He drew his sword and put it up against the driver’s neck.

“We don’t often like to repeat ourselves, kind sir,” Isaac said.

“Here! Here! That’s all I’ve got,” the driver said and tossed him his wallet.

The passenger followed his friend’s lead.

“Good day, sirs!” Bartholomew said.

The pair continued down the highway from car to car. Some went like their first encounter, others were less fortunate. But other than a few scrapes, none of the victims were hurt – just short a wallet and very confused. As the traffic eased, the horses began to spook. The highwaymen made their way back off the freeway to the alley where they first gained their bearings.

“Well, that was surely the most coaches we’ve ever robbed in one day,” Bartholomew said.

“Yes, but look at all this. It’s worthless!” Isaac said.

The pair’s loot was strewn about at their feet. It was mostly credit cards and empty wallets. A few small bills here and there and even fewer coins. No one carries actual money anymore, come on.

“No wonder none of those coaches had horses! They belonged to peasants! Peasants!” Isaac said.

“And some of them acted as if they’d never seen a gentleman of the road before. Very odd,” Bartholomew said.

“I believe it’s time we introduced ourselves. We’ll find the busiest publican in town and demand everything they’ve got. We’ll tell them, no, warn them to spread the word of our arrival.”

As the sun set and the city’s lights came up, it was like nothing they’d ever seen before. They made their way down the street for a while until they came to a crowded bar. Big, open windows on the front of the building revealed a packed room- standing only.

Outside, a line wrapped around the corner and a barrel-chested bouncer stood with his arms crossed at the door.

Isaac and Bartholomew dismounted their horses and approached the bouncer.

“Sir, we’ll need entrance to this publican at once. Please, step aside,” Bartholomew said.

“Hey! We’ve been waiting for like hours, okay! Get out of here! Jeeze!” A woman at the front of the line said.

The bouncer just shook his head and pointed to the end of the line.

“Back of the line, fellas” he said.

“Final chance, sir. Step aside,” Isaac said with a hand on the handle of his sword.

“Get out of here,” the bouncer said. “You guys aren’t getting in.”

Isaac drew his sword, Bartholomew his pistol. Both pointed their weapons at the bouncer.

The woman at the front of the line shrieked and reached in her purse and grabbed a bottle of pepper spray. She sprayed it at Isaac.

“My eyes!” Isaac yelled and dropped his sword. He collapsed to the ground in agony as the woman continued to spray the pepper spray at his face.

The bouncer swatted the pistol out of Bartholomew’s hand and punched him hard. Bartholomew stumbled a bit and fell to the ground beside Isaac.

The news reports that evening all told a puzzling story; “Two men are in custody this evening after allegedly stealing two police horses and committing a spree of armed robbery and assault in rush hour traffic on interstate 405. Police say the men carried swords and single shot pistols and wore Renaissance-era clothing. No one was seriously injured during the crime spree and the pair didn’t make away with any more than sixty dollars in cash. The men were finally apprehended after assaulting a bouncer at a popular downtown bar. No word yet on their motive. We’ll bring you more details as they come in…”

Hours later at the Los Angeles Police Department, Isaac and Bartholomew sat handcuffed to the table in an interrogation room.

“Why’d you take the horses?” The detective said.

Isaac and Bartholomew looked at each other and laughed.

“We wouldn’t be very effective without horses, sir. What kind of question is that?” Isaac said.

“Well, what then, we’re you planning on selling them?”

“What is with this fellow? Is he an idiot?” Isaac asked Bartholomew.

The detective shook his head and sighed.

“Thankfully, I’m not going to have to do the paperwork on you clowns. Got another guy who actually requested your case. God knows why,” he said and got up.

The interrogation room door opened and an older detective stood in the doorway.

“Ori, there you are. You gotta check these guys out. They talk sort of funny like you used to. Good luck with this one, man. I owe ya one,” the detective said Ori and left.

Ori sat down.

“Gentlemen. I’ve been waiting a long time for this day,” Ori said.

“The wizard!” Isaac said and tried to jump to his feet, but was yanked back by his cuffs.

“It can’t be. You look much older than you did this morning,” Bartholomew said.

“Like I said, I’ve been waiting for a long time,” Orazio Melzi said.

“What is this? Where have you sent us?” Isaac said.

“Not just where, but when,” Orazio said. “You see, as fate would have it, our paths crossed on the most meaningful day of my life, which I guess for you happens to be today.”

“Stop speaking in your riddles, Wizard!”

“When you entered my coach that morning – this morning – I had just put the finishing touches on a device that my father and his mentor had been working on. The device would allow me to travel through time and space. While I wasn’t close to having it anywhere near perfected, I knew it was too important to let you have and too exciting to die without using.”

“Enough already!”

“When I activated the device it sent us forward in time and across the ocean to what’s now known as Los Angeles, California. I arrived here some years ago. Since the device was destroyed, I decided to make a life for myself. I knew enough about it that I believed our paths would cross again someday.”

“And?”

“And here we are. Our paths have finally crossed.”

“So, what now?”

“What now?” Orazio Melzi got up from the table. “Welcome to L.A., gentlemen.”