1401 A.D.
Florence, Italy

Donatello di Niccolò di Betto Bardi stared at his workshop’s door with bloodshot eyes. He had received the note a few weeks ago, scheduling the date and time. And what a time it was…the dead of night.

He jumped suddenly as a brief spark of light ignited in the corner, near the door. A figure stood in its place a second later, swathed in shadows.

“Donatello,” it said in flawless Florentine Italian.

“The note?” Donatello tried, waving the slip of paper weakly in his fingers. An almost indiscernible nod came from the man.

“Now,” said the man, stepping out of the corner, “it is time to begin your training.”

“I—I have been taught…”

The man snorted. “Not nearly correctly. I, now I will show you the true art of…art. Perspective, texture and sculpture in its most beautiful form. Through me, you can revolutionize this world, Donatello.”

Donatello frowned and stared long and hard at the strange visitor.

The visitor stared back, patience in his eyes.

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