The four of them popped through to the year 2014. At this point, Thomas Jefferson didn’t see any distinction between the centuries. But then Thomas Jefferson did see a distinction between his time and the present when he popped out of the woods to see John’s car and paved roads. Thomas Jefferson walked up to the car to set the palm of his hand on the driver’s side fender.
Inquisitively asking, “What is this?”
John told him it had two names, a car or automobile but most people simply refer to it as a car.
Benjamin Franklin then spoke, while looking over the top of his glasses at Thomas Jefferson saying, “It is a remarkable machine.”
Meanwhile, John opened the back doors. Benjamin Franklin followed closely behind, sitting down in the back drivers side seat. Thomas Jefferson circled around the back of the car to the other open door. He appeared hesitant but deferred to the actions of Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Jefferson set his hand on the top of the open door for a few seconds looking over the horizon, toward his home on top of the little mountain, appropriately named Monticello.
He muttered, “My home is still here.”
John replied, “Yes, it is. They preserved it quite well. In a little while, you should be able to go back to your house. For now, let’s get James Madison.”
Emily closed the back door before sitting in the passenger side front seat. John and Emily buckled up while Benjamin Franklin showed Thomas Jefferson how to buckle up. Thomas Jefferson appeared startled when the car went from park to reverse. He relaxed after the transmission was set to drive and the car started moving forward. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin noticed a sign above one of the roads they were traveling on that read Constitution Way.
Benjamin Franklin piped in, “What is Constitution Way?”
John angled his head toward the back seat to say, “It’s the name of the road we’re on. As you know, we’re close to Washington D.C. So they gave names to roads, tunnels, bridges, you name it, that have a link to the political arena of Washington.”
They had another twenty minutes before reaching James Madison’s residence, Montpelier. John pulled off of West Gate Rd, to, what appeared to be, a nearly abandoned parking lot. The lonely exception was a van parked at the other end of the parking lot. There was no sight of anyone in the parking lot so the four of them unbuckled their seatbelts, pushed open the car doors, and stood up out of the car.
John immediately went to the trunk to get the time machine. He pulled the two instrument cases out of the trunk. He then proceeded to survey the area to figure out where a good spot would be to put the time machine. With some consternation, John came to the conclusion that he didn’t have a spot secluded enough to cover up the time machine. He got Emily’s attention, who was walking off the parking lot to James Madison’s house, to grab the time machine stand. She refocused, walked over to the trunk, lifted the stand out of the trunk, and walked over to John.
John told Emily to set the stand down at the parking spot next to the car. She set it down, crossed her arms and watched John set up the time machine. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin’s attention turned from gazing in the direction of James Madison’s house to John. John had become quick at setting up the time machine. He spent between ten and fifteen minutes going through the whole process of setting up time machine including connecting the smartphone. It was ready. John turned to Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, who were only ten feet away, to ask them to go through the portal. John told them he would stay back with Emily. John set the app on his smartphone to June first of 1816. He then handed his watch to Thomas Jefferson. Right before they were to go through the time machine. John told the both of them they have ninety minutes until the battery would run out on the phone, which inferred they only had that amount of time to talk to James Madison. Once Thomas Jefferson looked at the watch now on his wrist, he and Benjamin Franklin casually walked through time machine. In an instant, they disappeared.
A couple feet away from the time machine, Emily sat on the parking curb. John followed Emily to sit next to her.
Emily turned to John and asked, “Are you sure they’ll come back?”
“Benjamin Franklin, even in 1816, is quite a ways removed from his era and location.”
The two of them sat silently for more than an hour when John noticed a man walking over to the van. John stood up, walking over to the man near the van. Emily continued to sit on the curb. The man turned to face John. At that time, John presented his hand and said hello. The man looked at John’s hand but didn’t offer his hand in return. John drew his hand back while the man did offer a conciliatory hello in return.
“In just a few minutes, there will be three people coming through that thing shaped like a standing oval mirror. This is going to sound crazy but the people coming through that object will be Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. Do you work at the Madison estate?”
“I do. What do you mean coming through that thing over there?”
“I know this sounds ridiculous and probably even insane, but it’s a time machine. I’ve been going back and convincing some of the founders to come back to the present time.”
“Right,” said the man in a more gruff tone. The man motioned toward the van’s door, lifted his hand to the door handle, lifted the handle until the door clicked, then swung it open.
John began to plead with him, “Please don’t go. At least, wait just five minutes more. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin will be here, hopefully with James Madison.”
Even while sounding extremely absurd, The man relented. When the five minutes passed, the man told John how absurd it sounded while putting the keys in the ignition. John hung his head, when the engine turned over. The man shook his head when the Van started to roll backward. In that time, the man noticed something inside the time machine’s tubing. He braked the van, put it in park and watched with amazement. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The man thought to himself, the people coming through the oval shaped object looked just like the pictures of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and there was James Madison. The man opened the van door, stepped out of the van, and slowly walked over to John and the others. John turned to the man when John saw him approach.
The man asked, “How can this be James Madison?”
“I know sounds crazy but it really is a time traveling device.”
The man reached his hand out in an effort to shake James Madison’s hand. James Madison reciprocated by offering his hand. When the their hands clasped, the man said, “It is an honor.”
James said, “My fellow citizen, the honor is mine as well.”
James Madison looked like the person described in all of the history books he read; he appeared to be five feet four inches tall just like the books notated. Even though his words were strong, his handshake was as meek as had been described. Still the man was impressed and befuddled by what had just played out.
John said, “The reason I wanted to talk to you so bad is because I need a bigger vehicle than what I have. I know it’s not in the best shape but it runs. To make it more fair, I’ll give you all of my government cards except the gas ration card. You can have the food and electricity cards.”
“Why did you bring them here?”
“You see what’s been happening. I couldn’t think of anything else that could get people to think about what freedom is.”
“They are going to come at you, especially for that time traveling device.”
“I know.” John went on saying, “Here’s the deal, I’m involving you, which I’ve been hesitant to do but we need a bigger vehicle. So it’s up to you. I will give you all of my ration cards even my gas card.”
The man gave it some thought before coming to a conclusion, ”I’ll switch vehicles with you. Don’t worry about your ration cards. You’ll need them. It’s an honor to meet them and help however I can.”
John felt a sense of relief. It was the first time someone had been encouraging, his resolve grew stronger. This time they shook hands and exchanged keys. The others loaded into the van and started to make their way to Mount Vernon.