Leonardo da Vinci. A master of his time. A timeless icon. But everything we thought we knew about him is being called into question. A mysterious scholar has emerged, surfacing eerily specific accounts of the great master's life. He claims that he's from the Italian Renaissance, that he was ‒ and is ‒ a long-time pupil and good friend of Leonardo himself. He says we are living in a Digital Renaissance. He claims that he's traveled to this time using blockchain, IoT, and other technology.
Searching for Salai is the first fiction podcast brought to you by SAP, thanks to the new Digital Renaissance. Are you ready for it?
All Good Things
Charlotte presents the new evidence to Devin, convinced of what it proves. Though he is not, that does not sway Charlotte’s opinions. She realizes that this story was not about time travel, it was about understanding where we are today: an intersection of data, human capabilities, and technology that has the chance to change the world. As fate has it, Charlotte is granted one final interview with Jack. They have a chance to clear the air and discuss what comes next. Jack’s work isn’t done; he was able to leave a surprise behind for Charlotte, only to be uncovered by her own storytelling.
Armed with evidence of Jack’s adoption, Charlotte drives back up to Michigan to confront Sheriff Audrey Finney. The Sheriff comes clean and explains how she came to find Jack in the woods and the curiosities that arose as she raised him. She explains Jack’s mental instabilities that followed him from youth into adulthood, and hands Charlotte evidence in support of his time travel claims. This conversation changes Charlotte’s perspective and she begins to worry, was she too harsh on Jack when they last spoke? Will she ever see him again?
Charlotte introduces her listeners to famous Charlatan’s from history, insinuating that Jack’s lies slotted him into that category. She confronts Jack in an angry phone call disclosing what Sheriff Finney had explained. When she regains her cool and attempts to reach back out, Jack is nowhere to be found. Not even Matthew knows where or how to reach him. Devin calls Charlotte with new information, and she realizes that Jack may not have been the person who was lying about the past after all. Devin has found adoption records from the 90’s. It seems Sheriff Finney wasn’t Jack’s biological mother.
With her online lead from Grand Marais High School looking positive, Charlotte leaves town and drives 8 hours north to Grand Marais, Michigan. A phone call to the school leads her to the Grand Marais Sheriff Station where she meets Sheriff Audrey Finney, the woman who claims to be Jack’s mother. Later that day, Charlotte gets a tour of the Sheriff’s home where she learns the truth about Jack’s seemingly dark past.
Looking for answers and a levelheaded third party, Charlotte turns to her friend Devin, a famed investigative reporter. He’s willing to support, but he’s also cautious of Charlotte getting involved with someone dangerous. Charlotte heeds these warnings but doesn’t disclose exactly how her relationship with Jack had evolved. She brings her investigation back to the Art Institute, interviewing the museum direction Thurman Wolf and his assistant Matthew. Neither was much help as Charlotte tried to uncover details of how Jack got to where he is, and she turns to internet research for clues.
The Art of Technology
Charlotte recalls a storytelling competition she had entered, and won, two years earlier. This is the specific event where Jack tells her they first met, and when he first believed they had a connection. Charlotte begins to question Jack’s motives as he continues to explain their long history that—until this time—was unbeknownst to Charlotte. Jack recites obscure facts from Charlotte’s past, dating back to a writing contest on Leonardo da Vinci that she entered in 8th grade. She pulls away, fearful of how long this man may have been stalking her, only to find that all of his claims (so far) add up. Could he be telling the truth?
I need more ASAP!
I binged the entire season in a day because I HAD to know how this story would end. This podcast is a very creative and fun take on the renaissance and time travel but also more surprisingly it is produced by the tech company, SAP. Listening to this podcast you would never guessed it was a technology company but it was so addicting and humorous. How they integrate time travel and technology in such a relevant way was very interesting to listen to and I can’t wait for the next season!
Push play! Definitely worth a listen.
Honestly wasn’t sure what to expect since I’ve never listened to a podcast that was like a story, but this was super enjoyable! A little bit of a slow start, but as the narrator started to get hooked, so did I. I binged it in a day lol. And I think the best part about it is you’re never really sure of anything, which was nice since it wasn’t predictable. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I thought the ending was handled in a way that worked perfectly. Always satisfying when a good story wraps up well! Overall, a solid listen with high quality production and a great ending.
I really appreciate what SAP is working to accomplish with this podcast. The idea of reaching out to people through stories is a fundamentally sound one, and the format is excellent. It captured the sort of old-timey radio drama that inspired it, but it doesn't feel outdated. That said, I thought in execution this was a little wordy and has some "show, don't tell" issues, but I'd happily listen to more of its kind.