Indiana Jones and the Dance of Aldebaran, Part 1 (continued)

CUT TO:  Indy makes his way down the hallway to the university president’s office.   A  receptionist, ELEANOR, greets him as he enters the outer office. 

                                         ELEANOR

Good afternoon, Dr. Jones.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Good afternoon, Eleanor, is the old man in?

                                          ELEANOR

You know you are the only one who gets away with calling him that?

                                          INDIANA JONES

I’ve paid my dues, Eleanor… and done my time.

                                          ELEANOR (flirtatious)

And you are no worse for the wear… (smiles)  enter at you own risk!

                                         INDIANA JONES (reaching for the door)

I’m like an old shoe, Eleanor, my tongue may be tied but I can still kick his butt!

                                         ELEANOR

I wouldn’t bet on it!

                                         INDIANA JONES

Smart girl.

Indy enters into the president’s office.  There is a large desk in front of him and the man seated behind it has the back of his swivel chair to him.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Mr. President?

The president of the university swirls around delicately like a child on a carousel; it is Indy’s father, Henry Jones, Sr.

                                         HENRY

Junior!

Indy hurriedly closes the door behind him and strides up to the desk.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Dad, I’ve asked you not to call me that, especially not here!

Henry looks around innocently.

                                         HENRY

But there’s nobody else here.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Dad…

                                          HENRY

Ahem… Mr. President, if you don’t mind… and hold on.  (Henry presses his intercom button.)  Miss Eleanor?

                                         ELEANOR (through the intercom)

Yes, Mr. President?

                                         HENRY (smiles at Indy upon hearing his title)

Be a dear and hold my calls, I don’t want to be disturbed for a while…

                                         ELEANOR (through the intercom)

Of course, Doctor… will that be all?

                                         HENRY

Yes, thank you.

Henry turns his attention to Indy.

                                         HENRY

Lovely girl, that Eleanor, don’t you think?

Indy nods his head in agreement.

                                         HENRY

Now… where were we?

                                         INDIANA JONES

You were saying I should call you “Mr. President.”

                                         HENRY

Oh yes, quite… I think you should, yes.

                                         INDIANA JONES

I thought you said you didn’t like the sound of that, it made you seem like a pompous ass or some vain ceremonialist… you said.

                                         HENRY

I like the sound when YOU say it.  But if it makes you feel better you may call me, “Dr. Jones.”

                                          INDIANA JONES (muttering)

Why do I even try?

                                         HENRY

Hmm…?  You were saying, Jun… er, Dr. Jones?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Now look, Dad… it’s going to get awful redundant having me calling you and you calling me “Dr. Jones.”

                                         HENRY

Really?  I rather like it… and it’s MR. President.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Alright… alright, when we are alone… call me… whatever you like…

                                         HENRY

Good!  Now… what can I do for you?

Indy walks around to the side of the desk and produces the piece of paper that he had read from earlier to Marcus.  He turns around and leans at the desk with his arms folded.

                                         INDIANA JONES

I have a rather queer feeling about this one.  This note from Lovett, it’s uncanny but I’ve felt at odds with myself ever since I received it.

                                         HENRY

How do you mean?

                                          INDIANA JONES

There has got to be more to the message than meets the eye, I just can’t get the sense of it, my brain seems scrambled.

                                          HENRY

You may be right… you may be a little too close to this one, after all… Lovett was a competitor.

                                          INDIANA JONES

Competitor?

                                         HENRY

Hmm… yes, with you know… the Dean of Women…

                                         INDIANA JONES

Angela?

                                          HENRY

Exactly… there may be just a twinge of conscience there.

                                         INDIANA JONES

And for what reason?  She was betrothed to Lovett before he left for Europe…

                                         HENRY

Only to make you jealous.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Oh, I’m not going to get dragged into this conversation again…

                                         HENRY

Look… all I’m saying is that for as many years as he has been gone you have done nothing to rectify the situation.

                                         INDIANA JONES

What situation…?  She was to marry Alex when he returned…

                                         HENRY

What woman becomes betrothed to a man who will leave her and spend several months traipsing across Europe looking for fossils while his rival spends time alone with her half a world away?

                                         INDIANA JONES

He was my best friend, Dad!

                                         HENRY

Oh… we’re back to that again?  (rises up from his chair and walks around to where Indy is leaning and places his hands on his shoulders, smiling broadly)  All’s fair in love and war.  She cares for you, always has.  She’s been employed at this university since her graduation just to be near you and still you cling to some vain loyalty 12 years past.

                                         INDIANA JONES

My friendship is not bound to either time or space.  Besides, her father has been a key alumni for just as many years.  Did you ever consider her desire to honor his memory here?

Henry relaxes his arms back to his side and walks away shaking his head.  He looks up at a portrait hanging on the wall clasping his hands behind his back.

                                         HENRY

I suppose there is some merit in that, there ARE children who do honor their parents… hold their position in high esteem, respect their opinions… 

Indy stands and walks to his father, placing an arm across his back.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Dad… I am quite fond of Angela, but it would be impossible… look at our age difference!

                                          HENRY

You are the same age as Lovett.  And besides, when you are 108 and she’s 98 it won’t make that much difference.

                                          INDIANA JONES

The gap is a little wider than that, I’m afraid.

                                         HENRY

If I were just a bit younger I might give you and Alex both a run for your money!

                                         INDIANA JONES

Hmmm… that never stopped you before.  Look, Dad… Angela and I have an extensive history and I would do anything for her but…

                                         HENRY

Good!  Then it’s settled!  And I didn’t know you were involved with Elsa, besides… the attraction was merely physical.

Indy winces at the recollection while Henry makes his way back to his desk, sits down and begins shuffling papers.  Indy does a double take.

                                         INDIANA JONES

What Dad?  What’s settled?

                                         HENRY

You are taking Angela to find Alex.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Dad, are you nuts?

                                         HENRY

I don’t think so.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Even if I could go I wouldn’t take her!

                                         HENRY

Could go?

                                         INDIANA JONES (rubbing the ache in his neck)

I was kinda thinking I’d stick closer to the University, there is a war going on, you know.

                                         HENRY

There is?

He continues shuffling for a moment longer, Indy has returned to standing in front of the desk with his hands braced and leaning forward to face Henry.

                                         INDIANA JONES

There is!  And I was thinking that… well, the Philippines was a very close call.  (He begins to rub his ear.)

                                         HENRY (looking up and seeing him)

Oh that!  They make those out of rubber now, almost as good as the original.  Look!  I think I  figured out what Alex was trying to tell us!

                                         INDIANA JONES

Us? (he looks at the paper again) You have?  What do you make of it?

Henry scribbles a note on a piece of paper and shows it to Indy, it reads:

MEET ME TONIGHT AT THE OBSERVATORY.  SAY NOTHING NOW, THESE WALLS MAY HAVE EARS

                                         HENRY (continuing as he writes)

Yes, this R.S.V.P. thing, I’d say it’s an invitation, alright.  I think you and Angela should go on a trip together and I think I know where.

                                         INDIANA JONES

You do?

Henry puts his finger to his lips.  CUT TO: Outside the president office in the reception area, Eleanor is listening via the intercom and jotting down notes.

                                         HENRY (through the intercom)

Yes, tomorrow at breakfast I’ll tell you all about it.

FADE.

INT. THE UNIVERSITY OBSERVATORY.  NIGHT.  Henry is anxiously waiting inside as Indy arrives.  Together they make their way up the stairs as Henry begins an explanation of his behavior in his office earlier that day.

                                         HENRY (low whispering tone)

I couldn’t talk freely earlier, I’m sure my office is bugged.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Bugged?  Why on earth…?  Dad, you’re the president of Mid-Western University, why would anyone want to bug your office?

                                         HENRY

I’d say the reason has more to do with your exploits than anything I’ve done.  Besides… there is a war going on, you know.  I checked into it.

                                         INDIANA JONES

So I’ve heard… what are we doing here?  Watching for Messerschmitts?

Henry stops mid-step.

                                         HENRY

That’s not funny, Junior.  There are powers at work right here on our own soil that seek to undermine our government.  One cannot be too careful… if I am right about this, it could be the greatest discovery since…

Henry pauses, searching through his mind…

                                         INDIANA JONES

Since the Holy Grail?

                                         HENRY

The potential of this could be even greater than the Grail!

They reach the top of the staircase and enter where the massive telescope is housed.  An ASSISTANT greets them.

                                         ASSISTANT

Good evening, Dr. Jones and, er… Dr. Jones!  The location you requested is in full view.

                                        HENRY

Thank you.  Will you excuse us, please?  (the assistant leaves)  Junior, I want you to take a look at this.

Indy steps up to the eyepiece and peers in for a moment, then looks up and steps back, giving a little shrug.  Henry, indignant over Indy’s complacent attitude, steps up and takes a look for himself.  He then looks up at Indy.

                                         HENRY

Is that all you have to say?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Is that all I ha…  Dad, it’s a star!  a very bright, shiny star.  But the sky is full of them!

                                         HENRY

Not just any star, it’s your star!

                                         INDIANA JONES

My star?  Dad, I appreciate the sentimentality but…

                                         HENRY

Junior!  Not YOUR star, THE star!  The Star of Aldebaran!

                                         INDIANA JONES

Aldebaran!

                                         HENRY

Yes!

Indy rushes to the telescope and looks through it again.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Dad, how did you know?  When did you find out?

Indy looks up to Henry with a renewed admiration and respect for his father.

                                         HENRY

I remembered a recent issue of Sky and Telescope magazine mentioning Aldebaran and it’s alignment with the moon.  Did you know that there will be a blue moon in 1945?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Wait!  That might explain it!

                                         HENRY

Explain what?

                                         INDIANA JONES

I don’t know… THIS!  The Dance of Aldebaran!

Both men step down away from the telescope, excited.

                                         HENRY

Aldebaran means “the Follower” in Arabic, it follows the Pleiades Constellation.  Perhaps it is a code for what you should do.  Following it may lead you to Alex.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Hmm… the Pleiades… also known as the Seven Sisters.

The two men make their way towards the stairs and begin their descent.

                                         HENRY

Aldebaran  is part of the constellation of Taurus the Bull, he is the 13th brightest star in the heavens.

                                         INDIANA JONES (stopping)

13th?

                                         HENRY

It holds no significance, Junior, only a number.  He is the eye of the bull.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Who is?

                                         HENRY

Aldebaran!  What have we been talking about?  Aldebaran is the eye of Taurus the Bull, from the Zodiac!

                                         INDIANA JONES

Bulls-eye!

They stop and look at each other.

                                         HENRY

Bulls-eye?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Aldebaran… bulls-eye!  Lovett WAS trying to speak to us in code!

Indy removes the piece of paper from his pocket and begins to quickly read it through.  He stops, folds it back up and returns it to his pocket.

                                         HENRY

What is it?

                                         INDIANA JONES

There must be some kind of urgency or danger…

                                         HENRY

Well… he sends it “R.S.V.P.  ASAP…”

They are down the stairs and outside of the observatory now.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Yes, he does… please respond… as soon as possible.

                                         HENRY

Which could be interpreted, “Come quickly!”

                                         INDIANA JONES

Yes it could!  Dad, were you serious about that trip?

                                         HENRY

With Angela?  Yes, of course!

                                         INDIANA JONES

NOT with Angela!  Lovett’s life may depend on me getting there right away!

                                         HENRY

Junior, just where are you going?  There is no map, no directions… which way is THERE?

                                         INDIANA JONES

I’ll let you know tomorrow!  At breakfast!

They separate in front of the observatory.  Unknown to them the assistant is watching from an upstairs window.

INT.  A CLASSIC DINER.  DAY.  Indy enters to find Henry already seated in a booth reading the newspaper.  Indy motions to the server that he’ll have a cup of coffee and then turns his attention to his father, sitting down across from him.

                                         INDIANA JONES (after sitting un-noticed for several moments)

How ’bout that game?

Henry looks over the page, apparently noticing Indy has arrived for the first time.

                                         HENRY

Junior!… how ’bout what game?

Indy smiles and shakes his head.  The waitress brings over Indy’s coffee and he begins doctoring it.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Something came to me last night at the observatory that I had to confirm before I could tell you…

Just then a smartly dressed and attractive woman comes up to their booth and slides in next to Henry.

                                         HENRY

Angela!  Good morning!  … ravishingly beautiful at such an hour, how do you do it?

                                          ANGELA (laughing)

I keep in the company of nearsighted old men!  Good morning, Indy.

                                         INDIANA JONES (obviously displeased)

G’morning

                                         HENRY (putting aside his newspaper, addressing Indy)

I took the liberty of asking Miss Santamaria to join us for breakfast, I hope you don’t mind?

                                         INDIANA JONES (innocently)

No, not at all.

                                         HENRY

I thought it best that you two get accustomed to being together as soon as possible.

                                         ANGELA

Yes, Henry tells me that you have some news about Alex?  Who would have thought after all this time?  Where on earth was he?

Indy is not at all comfortable with Angela sitting in on the conversation.

                                         HENRY

Yes, Junior… and what were you going to say about confirming something?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Dad, this isn’t going to work.  I have to investigate this myself, I work better alone.

                                         HENRY

Hmm… since when?  (turning to Angela)  Junior thinks he knows where Alex is.  He received a note from him yesterday that was rather vague but… 

                                         INDIANA JONES

…BUT he intends to work it out in his own due time.

                                         ANGELA

Indy, that’s incredible!  A message from Alex!  He is alive then?

                                          INDIANA JONES

As of two weeks ago, he was.

Indy reaches inside his coat pocket and produces the note from Alex and hands it to Angela.  She reads the note carefully.  Indy gives Henry a glare that is returned with a comical wink and grin. 

                                         ANGELA

The Dance of Aldebaran?    Please R.S.V.P.?  He hasn’t mentioned a thing about where he is or what had become of him for the last 12 years!

                                         HENRY

Almost as if it were of no consequence.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Typical.

Indy returns the note to his pocket.  Angela and Henry sit with their eyes fixed on Indy, who takes to drinking his coffee.  An uncomfortable moment passes that Indy is soaking up but Henry is persistent in his silent goading.  Finally Indy sets his cup down.

                                         INDIANA JONES

I think I know where Alex is.

                                         HENRY

That’s what we’ve been waiting to hear!

                                         INDIANA JONES

It’s not what the note says, but what it doesn’t say.  The Currier gave me  a verbal addendum upon delivery, which didn’t make sense until last night when Dad and I went to the observatory.

                                         HENRY

Verbal addendum?

                                         ANGELA

Observatory? 

                                         INDIANA JONES

Yes, Alex writes about Aldebaran.  Dad pointed out that it is a star in the constellation of Taurus.  He also mentioned a blue moon will appear this year.  The Currier gave me a message verbally that accompanied the delivery of Alex’s note.

                                         HENRY

What sort of message?

                                          INDIANA JONES

More like a phrase.  “Descend into the Valley of the Blue Moon.”

Angela is puzzled but Henry is excited.  He pounds his fist on the table with enthusiasm.

                                         HENRY

He’s in Shangri La!

                                         INDIANA JONES

I knew you would come to that conclusion.

                                         ANGELA

Where exactly IS Shangri La?

(to be continued…)

                                      

                             

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One Response to “Indiana Jones and the Dance of Aldebaran, Part 1 (continued)”

  1. Number One Fan Says:

    Brilliant, funny, romantic tension….I love it! More please 🙂

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