The port was sighted at dawn. Some crewmen had emerged from the bowels of the ship and saw it materialize out of the mist. When the ship docked, the mariners clambered to perform their duties as they fought against the grogginess of sleep.
A group of soldiers climbed aboard and immediately took hold of the prisoner. Weary from the journey, his wrists and ankles bled from the shackles, but Cristoforo Colombo made every effort to remain upright. They escorted him to the Bishop’s Palace where Bishop Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca waited to interrogate him.
Before turning him over to the queen, Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca questioned Cristoforo Colombo about interfering with God’s work. When the bishop had learned from the Children of Heaven that they could not locate the Chamber of Spirits, he had enlisted good Christians to assist in their endeavor. After Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca had convinced the queen to break her agreement with Cristoforo Colombo, the subsequent voyages of other captains had sailed under his orders.
But when they arrived in the New World, their actions were met with opposition. During the inquisition, Cristoforo Colombo contended that voyages to distant lands were to spread the word of God, not to kill in His name. The enraged bishop used his influence over the Spanish crown to strip Cristoforo, and his heirs, of the titles and claims they were due.
After initial victories in litigation, Cristoforo Colombo had fallen from grace. Queen Isabella had ordered that no Spanish gold be utilized to fund his expeditions, and by order of the Holy Office, he be labeled an enemy of the Church.
And so it came to pass that when Cristoforo Colombo’s legacy lingered on the edge of oblivion, an unlikely ally found him hiding in the shadows of society. He haled from the land of Colombo’s father. He introduced himself as Amerigo, the third son of Anastasio Vespucci.
Amerigo, in the employ of the House of Medici of Florence, arrived in Spain with Donato Niccolini to investigate the suspicious dealings of the Medici Branch in the port city of Cadiz, Spain. They had discovered that the intrigues of Bishop Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca threatened to bury the secret of Heaven.
“Accompany me on an expedition to the New World, and let us reveal the bishop’s true motives.” Amerigo Vespucci whispered.
“In case you haven’t noticed, voyages cost money and require a ship. Of which I have neither.” Cristoforo Colombo replied.
Amerigo Vespucci dismissed Colombo’s concern, since the Florentine was more than a merchant and an explorer, but had also been a financier. And so it was that the two explorers prepared to embark on a journey across the ocean to a land that harbored the secret of Heaven, and where destiny waited to forge their legacies.