Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

Indiana Jones and the Dance of Aldebaran, Part 2

March 1, 2008

INTERIOR OF SHIP.  NIGHT. LATER THAT SAME EVENING.  Back in Angela’s stateroom.  She has slipped into something more comfortable.  She stands at the threshold of the doorway separating the two rooms and waits for Indy to notice her.  He is working at a table and does not look up.

                                         ANGELA

Indy?

                                         INDIANA JONES (not bothering to look at her)

Yes?

                                          ANGELA

Who was that man?

                                         INDIANA JONES

I’m not sure… but he WAS following us.

                                         ANGELA

What could he have wanted?

                                         INDIANA JONES

He wants what he thinks we have, if my guess is right…  a location.

Angela finally enters his room after unsuccessfully trying to get Indy to notice her and falls onto the bed.  Indy does turn to look at her.  She smiles.  Indy goes back to his work.  She frowns.

                                         ANGELA

What location,  you mean finding Alex?  What’s so important that can’t wait until tomorrow?

                                         INDIANA JONES

It’s not Alex they are interested in; it’s where they think he is… Shangri La.  The Germans have been searching for it for years… but so far, no la-luck!

                                         ANGELA

If they can’t find it, how can you be so sure that we will?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Because we have this!  (produces the note from Alex) and this! (points to his head)  Now we just have to put the pieces together.

                                         ANGELA

But couldn’t they have just read the note before you got it?  Intercepted it prior to delivery then just passed it on and no one the wiser?  It would have been much simpler.

Indy thinks for a moment.  Then it dawns on him.

                                         INDIANA JONES

They ARE following us!  They want me to lead them to it!  I’ll just march right up to the front gate, open it and let them pass on through!  Of all the moronic… simple minded…

                                         ANGELA

Or they KNOW where the gate is and just want you to get them the KEY.

Indy turns to look at Angela as if he has just realized that she is there.  He rises from the table and slips beside her on the bed.  They kiss.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Say… you’re pretty smart for one so good lookin’… how’d that happen?

                                         ANGELA

You talk too much… 

They kiss again. 

FADE

EXTERIOR.  SUN DECK.  DAY  Indy and Angela are eating breakfast.  There is a montage of activity and eager anticipation amongst the passengers as today they will arrive in port.  Zelle is at a table not far from them reading a newspaper.  Indy ignores him and is engaged in conversation with Angela.  A pair of sailors is also seen, and as they notice Angela, she smiles at them.  Indy looks up at Zelle.  ZELLE sees Angela smiling at the sailors while Indy is looking over at him staring menacingly.  Zelle is uncomfortable and immediately stands  then quickly exits.  Indy smiles to himself.

FADE

EXTERIOR.  LOWER DECK.  DAY.  Indy and Angela with suitcases in hand, moving along with other passengers toward the gangway in order to exit the ship.  Zelle is amongst them but keeping a safe distance back.  CUT TO: Indy and Angela walking down the gang way surrounded by the ship’s passengers who are also exiting.  A voice is heard calling out from off camera.

                                         V.O.

Indy!

Indy looks for a face in the crowd.

                                         V.O. (louder than before)

Indy!

CUT TO:  the dock and the onrush of passengers meeting the ones on land.  Coming through the crowd of passengers and greeters is SALLAH, Indy’s friend from Cairo.  CUT TO:  Indy waving back.  Indy leads Angela off the gang way and onto the dock.  He shakes hands with Sallah and introduces Angela.

                                        

                                         INDIANA JONES

Angela Santamaria… Sallah.

                                         ANGELA

SO pleased to finally meet you, Mr. Sallah!

                                         SALLAH

The beautiful Miss Santamaria!  Please, no formalities here!  Welcome to my country and please accept the hospitality of my humble family. 

Sallah summons a young boy to join them.

                                         SALLAH

My grandson, Abdul, please… allow us.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Grandson?

                                         SALLAH

Yes, from my first born… a chip off the rock, eh?

They pick up Indy and Angela’s luggage.  Sallah leads the way as the others follow.  Sallah begins chattering away.

                                         SALLAH

How was your trip…?  Without incident, I trust?

                                         ANGELA

Since when is a trip with Indy without incident?

They laugh and melt into the crowd.  Zelle comes up from behind, looking for them in vain.  He mutters beneath his breath and then sniffs the air… his face contorts with displeasure.  Finally looking down at his feet, he finds he is standing in cattle dung.  FADE.

INTERIOR.  THE MAIN ROOM OF SALLAH’S HOME.  NIGHT.  The household has quieted down.  Indy is relaxing with Sallah.  Sallah is smoking his pipe, satisfied with himself and the fire from the fireplace.

                                         INDIANA JONES

So,… a grandfather?  How proud you must be!

                                         SALLAH

Oh yes!  Easiest thing I have ever done!  One of the most rewarding, too… I might add.

                                         INDIANA JONES

How the time flies.  Last time I went to Nepal I was on my way here to Cairo.  Now I’m in Cairo on my way to Nepal.  The world turns strangely sometimes, Sallah.

                                         SALLAH

It is good to have you back again, my friend, …if only for a little while.

                                         INDIANA JONES

I’m afraid our journey has just begun.  (PAUSE)  I think we are being followed.

                                         SALLAH

When you are not certain of where it is you are going?

                                          INDIANA JONES

Yes, I discovered him on board ship tailing us.  Some guy going by the name of Horace Zelle.  He certainly isn’t very subtle, remains out in the open… almost taunting me.

                                         SALLAH

Hmm… yes, a Nazi tactic.  Shows confidence in their ability… remaining out in the open.  They’ll become even less subtle once you have discovered your way.

                                         INDIANA JONES

I was more certain of finding my way when I left, now I’m not so sure…

Angela joins them as Sallah reaches into his pocket and pulls out a telegram.  He holds it out to Indy.

                                         SALLAH

Perhaps this will help you, it’s from your Father.  I thought it best to give it to you when we were not being seen.

Indy takes the telegram and opens it.  Angela slips behind him.  After briefly scanning Indy clutches the telegram in his hand.

                                         SALLAH

Helpful?

                                          INDIANA JONES

It’s only a paper moon.

                                          SALLAH

I’m sorry?

Indy tosses the telegram into the fireplace and watches it burn up.

                                         INDIANA JONES

The message… Dad’s a big Benny Goodman fan.

Sallah looks perplexed as Indy thinks for a moment.

                                         INDIANA JONES

There’s more to this, Dad must have realized it.  Probably figures I’m being followed, too.  He couldn’t risk spilling the beans by telling me anything out right.

                                         SALLAH

Your Father is a crafty old fox.  What do you think it means?

                                         INDIANA JONES

I don’t know, exactly.  We’re traveling to the edge of the world under the assumption that at some point the full moon can help guide us.

                                         SALLAH

If you are right about being followed, some one else may have tried before and failed.  It appears that they think you may succeed.

                                         INDIANA JONES (singing softly to Angela, who smiles)

“It’s only a paper moon…”

IN A FLASHBACK:  The camera pans Henry, Sr. and a parlor full of guests singing at a piano with drinks in hand.  Several magazine sized books of sheet music are scattered about with “Paper Moon” being one of them.  The camera provides a close up of the cover showing a young girl on a swing suspended from a crescent moon.  Laughter,  glasses tinkling, singing and piano playing… FADE.

MONTAGE.  A caravan of camels making it’s way across the sands with Indy, Angela and Sallah each riding their own beast.  NEXT:  A convoy of trucks rolling over rough terrain with glimpses of Indy, Angela and Sallah riding individually as passengers with other strangers.  NEXT:  A broken down bus with passengers, several farm animals and Indy, Angela and Sallah standing about waiting.  NEXT:  Just as persistent is Zelle, making the same journey separately.  NEXT:  Finally, a railway station.  The Orient Express set to head East with Indy and Angela saying goodbye to Sallah.  Indy and Sallah are shaking hands.

                                         SALLAH

I wish I could go all the way with you, my friend!

                                         INDIANA JONES

You’ve done enough, Sallah, seeing us this far.  Get back to your family… take care of that Grandson…

Angela hugs Sallah.

                                        ANGELA

Goodbye, Sallah… I shall miss you!

                                         SALLAH

And I you… (points to Indy)  Keep your eyes on that one!

Indy and Angela board the train and leave Sallah at the platform.  They wave goodbye.  The train starts off and picks up speed. Sallah watches it pull away.  FADE.

MONTAGE OF THE ORIENT EXPRESS.  Seen streaking through the countryside from the front, side and rear of the train’s exterior moving through different backdrops as the terrain changes with the miles.  Indy and Angela are engaged in several activities; eating, reading, sleeping in the berths and card playing to show the passage of time.  Zelle is ever present in the background, keeping his distance.  Interior shots of Dining car and Kitchen, the Lounge and general seating cars.  CUT TO:  Indy and Angela in the general seating section.  Angela is looking out the window as Indy naps.  A few seats behind them is Zelle.

                                         ANGELA

Are you asleep?

Angela gently shakes Indy and he stirs awake.

                                         INDIANA JONES (muttering)

Not anymore!

                                         ANGELA

I was thinking of that song.

                                         INDIANA JONES (groggily)

What song?

                                         ANGELA

Paper Moon, what other song could there be?

                                         INDIANA JONES

A lullaby?  (pause)  What about it?

                                         ANGELA

We’ve always been thinking the moon that aligns with Aldebaran will have to be a blue moon or a full moon.  Maybe Henry was trying to tell us that the moon will not be the type we originally thought it would be.

Indy sits up, fully awake.  He contemplates what Angela has just said and finally smiles as he grasps the intent of Henry Jones’ telegram.

                                        INDIANA JONES

Of course!  That’s it!  A full moon would illuminate too brightly and block out Aldebaran and the planets, or at least, make it more difficult to see.  Maybe the full moon has more to do with the actual location than the direction to it.  The best way to get our bearings would be with a quarter moon… or a crescent!  Dad must have realized that but didn’t want to risk telling us for fear his telegram might get intercepted.  Sallah is right, he IS a crafty old fox.

                                         ANGELA

So what does it all mean?

                                         INDIANA JONES

It means our time table is going to be moved up…  AND we need to rid ourselves of some excess baggage.

                                         ANGELA

…rid ourselves of excess baggage?  

                                         INDIANA JONES

Yeah, like tossed off the train!

Indy uses his thumb to point behind him in the direction of Zelle.  Angela looks puzzled for a moment but then her eyes widen.

                                         ANGELA

Oh, Indy, you wouldn’t…

                                         INDIANA JONES

Angela, there are times when having you along puts a major cramp in my style.

Angela thinks for a moment.

                                        ANGELA

I might have an idea.

She whispers in Indy’s ear and he nods.  The CONDUCTOR enters through from the exit to the club car and slowly works his way down the isle.  Indy stops him as he approaches.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Excuse me, when do we reach the next station?

The conductor pulls out his watch and looks at it.

                                        CONDUCTOR

Just outside of two hours.

He snaps the watch closed and passes by.  Indy pulls his hat  down low over his eyes.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Wake me in two hours.  FADE.

INTERIOR. PASSENGER CAR. DAY

Indy gets up and heads towards the front of the car, a sign indicates that the next car is the club car.  Indy turns to give a slight tip of his hat towards Angela and then exits.  Angela waits a brief moment then rises and makes her way towards the rear of the car then stops alongside Zelle.

                                         ANGELA

Excuse me, sir…  but I was wondering if I might ask your assistance?

Zelle looks up at Angela, who is smiling down at him.

                                         ZELLE

I beg your pardon?

                                         ANGELA

You’re that man from the ship, aren’t you? (pause)  I was hoping I might impose upon you to help me.

                                         ZELLE

Madam, your fiancee’ attacked me for mistakenly thinking I was acting improperly towards you.  I don’t think I can be of any help nor am I willing to risk his further anger.

Angela takes the seat next to him.

                                         ANGELA

Oh, please accept my apologies for his behavior!  I don’t know what drives him to act so insanely jealous, but I assure you I need your help in the most desperate of ways.

Angela works the distress angle to perfection.  Zelle looks up over the top of the seats, but Indy is nowhere in sight.  He looks back at Angela and raises an eyebrow.

                                         ZELLE

What kind of help?

Angela inches closer and whispers.  Inside Zelle’s coat she can see the handle of a gun.  Zelle reacts to a whiff of her perfume and is enjoying the closeness of one so beautiful.  He smiles.                             

                                         ANGELA

Please, sir… it concerns my very honor!

Zelle pulls back in feigned surprise.  He looks about the car again but the door leading to the club car has remained closed.

                                         ZELLE

Madam, how do you mean?

                                         ANGELA

An indiscreet rendezvous… harmless really.  Please, sir… must I go on?

Zelle is slightly amused and drawn by the sultry Angela.  He nudges closer to her.

                                         ZELLE

Oh, I’m afraid I must insist!

                                         ANGELA

One of the sailors on board… an innocent young man looking for a little comfort from home? …has left me a token to remember him by but now I fear I must get rid of it or it will spoil everything.  You understand, don’t you?  How a woman can be confused and… (she delicately begins sniffling) make a dreadful mistake! 

Zelle comforts her carefully, one eye watching the front of the car.

                                         ZELLE

There, there, Madam… take heart!  What can I do?  Your beau has already marked me as some scoundrel.  I dare not…

                                         ANGELA

Oh, please sir!  But for a little distraction Ihave been faithful to Henry, but I fear if he finds my memento all will be lost.

Angela’s use of “Henry” brings a ring of truth to what she is saying and lends credibility to her claim.  Zelle is intrigued and enamored with the beautiful Angela.

                                         ZELLE

What is it you would ask of me?

Angela composes herself and smiles.

                                         ANGELA

One of my suitcases in the baggage car has his bandanna and a note folded up inside of it.  Understand… it was only a brief encounter and the memento only something to use to recall the romantic passages of our journey?  It would crush Henry to discover it!  You must find and dispose of it!  Burn or… throw it from the train!

Zelle pulls back warily.  He looks her up and down, pleased at her beauty but still suspicious.

                                         ZELLE

Madam, why come to me?  Retrieve the offensive item and rid of it yourself!

                                         ANGELA

Oh, if I could!  Henry watches me constantly, he has just left for the club car for a smoke and will return before I could get halfway there.  (now with allure) But you , sir… you move about freely on this train.  With much confidence, I might add.  I believe there is more to you than the timid person I witnessed on board ship… yes?

She reaches in Zelle’s lapel and strokes it softly, then coyly fingers the butt of his pistol.  Zelle stiffens slightly then relaxes.  He smiles.

                                         ZELLE

How will I know which is your luggage?  There are so many…

                                         ANGELA

It is a rose print valise, with ribbons.  My name: A. Santamaria is engraved across the catches.

                                         ZELLE

Of course. (pause)  And if I were to do this thing, find the offensive bandanna and discard the note, what would it mean for me? 

Angela’s hand drops to Zelle’s lap and squeezes his thigh.  He nearly jumps from his seat but she calms him.

                                         ANGELA

Please, sir… before he returns?

Zelle looks towards the front of the car and the door leading to the club car once more.  With a sigh he nods his head.  Then Zelle rises and looks down at Angela, who gestures with her head for him to hurry.  Zelle exits by the rear door, passing between the cars to the next and the next, looking over his shoulder occasionally but gaining confidence with each car.  Zelle reaches the baggage car and stops for a moment.  He draws his revolver and cautiously enters the baggage car.  Carefully looking it over he finds it un-occupied.  Zelle begins to casually search amongst the racks.  He lifts and separates several pieces.  Finally Zelle notices the valise tucked away.  He returns the revolver to it’s holster and reaches for the valise.  A hand taps his shoulder from behind.  Zelle turns to see Indy smiling.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Who are you and why are you following us?

Zelle makes a grab for his revolver but is not quick enough.  Indy strikes Zelle squarely on the jaw, rendering him unconscious.  CUT TO:  Indy and Angela joined together at the window from their seat and looking out at a depot platform as the train is pulling away.  A large trunk is on a cart and a muffled thumping is being drowned out by the train’s departure. 

FADE.

(to be continued)

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

February 26, 2008

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…)

                                      

                             

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

February 22, 2008

EXT. SOMEWHERE IN THE HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINS. NIGHT. The camera reveals a cabin crusted with snow and ice. The moon is full and reflects off of the landscape. Gradually the moon climbs to where an aquamarine aura is momentarily seen in the distant horizon, then it disappears. CUT TO: INTERIOR OF CABIN. The camera shows gear stacked against the wall, along with weapons and supplies. A flag bearing a swastika is among the items shown. Men are huddled around a stove that is set in the middle of the room, they are disgruntled and weary. Conversing in low tones and grunts, finally one stands and approaches the stove, the others fall silent. This one is an officer. He finds a coffee pot then pours the hot liquid into a mug.

                                         FIRST VOICE (off camera)

The moon is full tonight, Captain.

The officer nods a response but does not look to identify who has spoken. He holds his steaming cup as though it strengthens him.

                                         SECOND VOICE (off camera)

As it has been for the last six months we have been here.

Again, the Captain chooses not to identify who the speaker is.

                                         THIRD VOICE (off camera)

We have failed, as the others before us have failed.

The third voice seems to arouse the Captain, but still he does not address anyone in particular.

                                         CAPTAIN

Out Furor will not concede defeat, we must not concede defeat! If we fail others will take our place to the glory of the Fatherland!

                                         THIRD VOICE (off camera)

We are no closer than we have ever been! This place does not exist, we die for nothing!

The men are emboldened by the darkness, they murmur their support of the last voice and are restless. The Captain seems oblivious to their insubordination, he answers as if in a dream.

                                         CAPTAIN

It is here, Lieutenant; our information is accurate, of that you can be sure. But as with every treasure, the value is often appraised by it’s difficulty to be found.

The Captain lights a cigarette from a nearby hanging kerosene lamp, takes a thoughtful draw into his lungs and then unhooks the lantern and slowly allows it’s light to flash across the faces of the men accustomed to the dark. They wince, partly because of the light, partly from being exposed by the light. One man stands and approaches the Captain, who has replaced the lantern and returned to gazing into the stove’s fire. This one is an officer as well, though younger. He is not as controlled as the Captain and speaks disrespectfully.

                                         LIEUTENANT (3rd voice)

Accurate? We started out with more than 20 men, now there are 12 of us. Instead of prolonging life these mountains take it away! Who would place Utopia in the midst of this forsaken region? God would not be so cruel! We should leave, return to our homeland and our families!

                                         CAPTAIN

And what would you return with, Lieutenant Shueller? No proof, only fear? What honor is that for your friends and fallen comrades, your family and homeland?

                                         SHUELLER

At least I would be alive. (a murmur of agreement from the shadows)

From the darkness steps another man, dressed as a CIVILIAN. He raises his hands to the warmth of the fire. His presence makes the Lieutenant uneasy.

                                         CIVILIAN

You speak of God, Lieutenant? As if God would conceal anything from our glorious Furor? If we live, we live to serve the Furor and should we die, it is to the glory of our Fatherland! Or have you forgotten this, Lieutenant Shueller?

Shueller shakes his head and is sullen. The Captain turns his eyes to the civilian.

                                         CAPTAIN

We are all tired, PROFESSOR STROMBURG, all of us. I’m sure the Lieutenant meant no disrespect to our Furor.

                                         PROFESSOR

Tired, Captain? or half out of your mind with fear? Consumed by it, reeking of it, to the point of hysterics because we are about to unveil a power you cannot possibly comprehend?

                                         SHUELLER

I fear no man! Least of all you, Stromburg. Our Furor’s interest in this place does not bother me in the least! Though I am sure he has been blinded by those wild stories of yours! Superstitions and myths you have made him believe that go against human reason and nature. Man living hundreds of years in a paradise hidden in these mountains, ha! But I am not so easily convinced.

Professor Stromburg begins turning his hands while rubbing them near the warmth of the stove. The aquamarine stone of a ring glistens. He is amused at the younger man’s rantings.

                                         PROFESSOR

I am not interested in your convictions, aside from your loyalty to our cause. You close your mind to the possibility of things much grander then you could imagine and so you are a fool, as the world is full of so many fools. Shangri La exists. As each of us dreams of a better place, so it must exist. And we are close, foolish one, we are very close to finding it.

                                         SHUELLER

Just so many words! Words that killed three of us this morning! Words that will kill us all if we don’t go back! You chase a dream, a myth! Men will only continue to die trying to prove it!

The Captain now moves to stand between the two men, he is fully alert now and in full command.

                                         CAPTAIN

Then we die, Lieutenant, to the last man if necessary.

                                         SHUELLER

Is your loyalty so blind?

                                         CAPTAIN

I am a soldier, Lieutenant, as are you. (turning to face the darkness) As are we all! (facing Shueller) We serve the Furor, our duty is to the Fatherland. Our search is for it’s success for generations to come.

                                         SHUELLER

Can there be any glory in dying in these mountains, a thousand miles away from our homeland?

                                         STROMBURG

We Germans must adjust to many climates, Lieutenant, because the glory of Germany will be know worldwide.

The Lieutenant moves back into the shadows with the other men and sits down again. Professor Stromburg seems amused by the conversations outcome.

                                         STROMBURG

I will forget your words, Lieutenant Shueller, I will forgive your slander and tolerate your ignorance. Perhaps you will live to see and be convinced, perhaps not. But one thing remains certain, Shangri La will be found, it is our destiny!

                                         CAPTAIN (turning back to gaze at the fire)

Let us hope we are not too late.

The Captain then turns back into the shadows and sits down, leaving Professor Stromburg alone by the light of the lantern. The Professor rubs his hands with the warmth of the stove, then as if by discovery, removes the ring with the blue stone and examines it lovingly.

                                         STROMBURG (whispering)

Eternal life can never come too late, CAPTAIN VON HAUS

Kissing the ring he returns it to his finger then smiles wistfully into the coals of the fire.

FADE.

MID-WESTERN UNIVERSITY. DAY. STUDENT ACTIVITY ON CAMPUS. CUT TO: A CLASSROOM IN PROGRESS

A discussion between Indy and one of his students is interrupted by a bell, the students rise and file out. As they exit they meet headlong into an older gentleman, MARCUS, a colleague of Indy’s and a close friend. In the hallway a janitor is seen entering the adjoining room as Marcus enters and the students are leaving. Once inside and alone with Indy, Marcus is bubbling over with enthusiasm. Indy is clearing off the blackboard.

                                         MARCUS

Henry! Henry, is it true?

Indy turns around to see his old friend. He raises his fingers to his lips, gestures to Marcus to sit down then steps out into the hall to look up and down to see if anyone is out there. Satisfied that they are alone, Indy walks back in and closes the door. Marcus is anxiously waiting.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Marcus!

                                         MARCUS

Henry, is it true? I’m about to bust! I can hardly believe it after all these years!

                                         INDIANA JONES

Easy, Marcus, this can’t be leaked out, at least… not yet!

                                         MARCUS

Then it is true?

                                         INDIANA JONES

I received the note by Currier this morning. No one else knows except Dad, and now, of course… you.

                                         MARCUS (amused)

Your Father never could keep a secret!

                                         INDIANA JONES

Well… he’s kept one, so far.

                                         MARCUS

Oh yes, The Cup of the Christ! He’s a better man because of that one drink, let me tell you.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Yes… well, we’d have all done well to drink from that cup, Marcus.

He rolls his neck and rubs the back, like he’s ridding himself of a cramp.

                                         MARCUS

Hmmm… Yes, well… what of it, then? What of the note? Could it really be him after all these years?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Alexander P. Lovett.

                                         MARCUS

Lovett, Henry! After all this time, is it really possible?

                                         INDIANA JONES

It would appear so, Marcus. It was dated less than two weeks ago.

                                         MARCUS

And what of the crash… ? and the others, did he mention what happened to the others?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Presumed crash, Marcus, there never was any proof of that.

                                         MARCUS

But what else could have happened, Henry after all this time? What was the message? How did Lovett explain over 10 years of silence?

Indy moves away from behind his desk and walks around in front of it, sitting on it’s top and leaning closer to Marcus.

                                         INDIANA JONES

That’s just it, Marcus, he didn’t explain… he didn’t really say anything out of the ordinary.

                                         MARCUS

Didn’t say anything….? Well, what about IN the ordinary? Henry, people don’t just drop off the face of the Earth for a dozen years and then make contact acting as if nothing has happened to them!

                                         INDIANA JONES

Alexander P. Lovett does. Marcus, are you forgetting who we’re dealing with?

Marcus sits back and muses for a moment, then nods in agreement.

                                         MARCUS

Quite the pair, you two were!

                                         INDIANA JONES

He’s the one that got me started in all this.

                                         MARCUS

But YOU stayed, he left and didn’t say a word.

                                         INDIANA JONES

That was a long time ago, Marcus.

                                         MARCUS

But still, Henry… communicating with you after all this time and the note says nothing?

Indy has started pacing about in front of Marcus and as his friend finishes his question, Indy stops as in afterthought, reaches inside his coat pocket and produces a piece of paper.

                                         INDIANA JONES

It isn’t even a message, really, more like a post card… or no, like an invitation.

                                         MARCUS

A post card! How like him! eh…, what kind of an invitation? Henry! Are you going to tell me what Alex says or aren’t you?

                                         INDIANA JONES (reading from the paper)

Having a lovely time, wish you were here. Signed A. P. Lovett.

                                         MARCUS

Having a lovely time?… What? that’s it? There’s nothing else?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Well, you know Lovett, everything is LOVELY WITH LOVETT!

                                         MARCUS

Oh yes, I’d quite forgotten that little bit of odd humor. But Henry, that is all he’s said?

                                         INDIANA JONES

That’s about it… and the date… February 14th, 1945

                                         MARCUS

Valentine’s Day!

                                         INDIANA JONES

Oh, yes… I hadn’t made that connection.

                                         MARCUS (puzzled)

But…, you’d said it was like an invitation?

Indy leaves his desk and walks towards the window, peering out past the trees on campus, off into the sky…

                                         INDIANA JONES

I was leading up to the last part… He writes something familiar to me and yet I can’t quite place it.

                                         MARCUS

Henry! Why are you being so vague? What has Lovett said to you that has you so melancholy?

Indy turns away from the window and returns to standing in front of Marcus then leans back on his desk top again.

                                         INDIANA JONES

He said, “Would like you to attend the Dance of Aldebaran. Please R.S.V.P. ASAP.”

Marcus is momentarily speechless, like he is absorbing what Indy has just told him.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Marcus.

                                         MARCUS (after a long pause)

Yes?

                                         INDIANA JONES

There is one more thing, not from the note, but more like a verbal addendum… given to me by the Currier.

                                         MARCUS

Verbal? Henry, I don’t understand. You’ve received a note from a man presumed dead for the past dozen years who asks you to attend some shindig but adds something only spoken to you by the Currier? Good Heavens, could this become any more bizarre?

                                         INDIANA JONES

I’m afraid it could.

                                         MARCUS

Well, now I’m not sure I want to know… (sustained pause.) Oh Henry, of course I do! What on earth did the Currier tell you?

                                         INDIANA JONES (looking off towards the window)

What on earth, indeed… more like where on earth… It wasn’t that I was being told anything, but more like a phrase I’d dimly heard in the past but never thought I’d have it said to me in earnest.

Marcus is on the edge of his seat, Indy is having a hard time composing himself and is bracing for the reaction of his friend.

                                         INDIANA JONES

“Descend into the Valley of the Blue Moon.”

                                         MARCUS

Descend? How? From where?

                                         INDIANA JONES

I don’t know, that’s all there is to it.

                                         MARCUS

Odd. Do you suppose he is talking about this dance of Mr. Al-de-bu-ran?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Aldebaran, Marcus. I don’t know… there is so much about this note that seems familiar but I can’t seem to get a handle on it.

                                         MARCUS

I suppose you’ll have to go to the University on this one.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Yes… and I thought the Philippines would be my last…

                                         MARCUS

Retire, Henry?

                                         INDIANA JONES

No, Marcus, just tired. I had told the board and the President that I wanted to spend more time on campus. It really is a younger man’s game. Last time out I think I discovered that the hard way. (begins rubbing his neck and then runs his thumb around the scar behind his ear.)

                                         MARCUS

Hmmm… speaking of the President, how is the old boy?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Ornery as ever!

                                         MARCUS

But I’m sure he was tickled to hear about Lovett!

                                         INDIANA JONES

So tickled that he won’t let me sit this one out. Guess I’d best shuffle on up to the Grand Pooba’s office.

Indy rises to go and Marcus stands with him, touching Indy on his elbow.

                                         MARCUS

It was good news, Henry, knowing Alex is still alive. What a story he’ll have to tell, eh?

Indy pats his friend on the shoulder as he opens the door, enabling them to leave.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Lovett never had difficulty telling a story, Marcus. Knowing whether to believe it, now that was the difficult part.

Both men leave the classroom and head out into the hall, closing the door behind them. The door adjoining to the next room opens and the janitor peers out, thoughtfully holding pen and paper in hand.

(to be continued…)

Indiana Jones and the Dance of Aldebaran, Part 1

February 20, 2008

London, England. Early 1990’s

INT. A HOTEL. NIGHT.

Open with the camera panning a handbill from top to bottom with the announcement of “Archaeological Technique and Advancement of the Nineties: Is the Future in the Past?” As the list of speakers is scanned, towards the bottom is one name that the reader lingers on momentarily, Dr. Henry Jones, ret. Then the camera pulls back revealing an elegant easel, braided ropes leading to a dining hall and finally a lush and busy lobby. A voice is heard off camera, gradually the volume is increased as the camera pulls back to display the magnificence of the hotel.

                                         V.O.

… and that is why this new world, techno gadgetry is no match for honest to goodness work! Get your hands dirty! Follow your gut instincts, not some blasted computer print out from an infra-red camera perched miles high in a satellite! Archaeology has always been about getting the feel of the land and the ancient people you are involved with. It is like a romancing, a love affair, if you will.

CUT TO: A man is standing at the podium of a convention hall, the banquet has been well under way and it is obvious that the guests are tired. It is an elderly INDIANA JONES dressed in a rumpled suit and wearing an eye patch. His silvery hair and the lines on his face show he has led a long, fulfilling life. He is pounding his fist on the podium which sends the sound system screeching. The banqueters are amused at the speakers subsequent uneasiness. Another MAN, smartly dressed, is warmly tapping him on the shoulder as a signal that he time has come to end his speech. He cuts in front of the microphone.

                                         MAN

And it is my gut feeling that this ancient people is about to call it a night! (Laughter from the audience) Thank you, Dr. Jones, who visits us all the way from Midwestern University, U.S.A! (Applause)

                                         INDIANA JONES

Hmmfph!

Leaving the podium and turning towards his seat Dr. Jones looks out into the audience and squints but cannot see clearly. He shakes his head and finds his seat then sits down. The chairman is thanking the hotel and the sponsors of the evening, there is more applause and laughter. The camera pans the crowd of conventioneers and finally rests on two middle aged oriental men. They are standing towards the rear and privately talking amongst themselves. CUT TO: Several people gather their belongings and stand to shake hands at the speakers table, patting each other on the back and exchanging little barbs. Dr. Jones is sitting alone murmuring to himself.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Young punks, let that machinery do their thinking for them!

He looks out at the audience again, as if searching. The camera does a brief montage of the banquet hall guests breaking up then returns to the spot where the two men were talking, this time they are joined by a third man wearing a straw hat. He is also a middle aged oriental. The other two men slightly bow to show him respect. They all have their eyes on Indy.

CUT TO: Indiana Jones rises slowly, placing his trademark fedora on his head and gathers his top coat. The chairman makes his way to him and shakes his hand enthusiastically. He is cordial and makes his excuses then turns to leave. CUT TO: Conventioneers are thinning out as Indiana Jones leaves the banquet hall. A man steps out from behind the billboard easel as Indiana Jones walks past. It is one of the orientals, who merely stands and watches as Indy makes his way towards the front desk to inquire of any messages. The desk clerk informs him there are none; he turns for the elevator, stops and sees another of the orientals, the FIRST MAN, standing nearby. He backs up slightly and pauses…

                                         INDIANA JONES (murmuring)

My enemies have passed through the generations to confront me.

Another look and the man has gone, Indy cautiously makes his way to the elevator, waits and then enters when it arrives.

                                         ELEVATOR OPERATOR

Up, sir?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Hmmfph!

The elevator doors close.

FADE

EXT. OUTSIDE THE HOTEL. DAY. Dr. Jones is leaving his posh surroundings in favor of visiting a corner vendor for coffee and a pastry. He meets an elderly VENDOR who greets him warmly.

                                         VENDOR

G’morning, Yank!

                                         INDIANA JONES

What’ new in the world, Nigel?

                                         VENDOR

Well, it appears you Yanks are at it again, I’d say. Drug half the world in with you to boot!

                                         INDIANA JONES (confused)

It’s a bit early, Nigel. What exactly are we Yanks up to?

                                         VENDOR

Why, it’s war, of course! Desert Shield has turned into a full blown, bloody war! You mean you weren’t aware?

He hands Indy a London Times with the headline, Operation: Desert Storm. Indy is incredulous.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Nigel, I was not aware.

CUT TO: From behind the figure of a man comes into view, it is the same STRAW HAT from the previous night. One of his companions approaches from the opposite side.

                                         VENDOR (noticing STRAW HAT)

Well, what will be yours this morning, lad?

Indy looks up from reading the newspaper and is startled when he recognizes the men have him surrounded. Dropping the paper on the sidewalk he hastens towards the hotel. STRAW HAT comes from where he stood, bends and picks up the paper, stands to read the headline and smiles.

                                         FIRST MAN

Dr. Jones!

Indy’s pace quickens but he is having difficulty with his stride. The men begin to follow.

                                         STRAW HAT

Dr. Jones! Wait!

Indy continues to hurry briefly stops alongside of a building to catch his breath then presses on. The men are gaining on him.

                                         STRAW HAT

Dr. Jones! Dr. Jones! Indy! Wait!

Indy pauses when he hears his nickname, but then clutches his chest and falls to the pavement, unconscious. The shadows of the men cross over and darken his face.

FADE

INT. A PRIVATE STUDY. DAY. A hand takes hold of a fountain pen and begins writing.

February 14th, 1945.  Dear Henry, Having a lovely time, wish you were here. Would like you to attend the Dance of Aldebaran. Please R.S.V.P. ASAP. Sincerely, A. P. Lovett

The hand lies the pen down and then picks up the note as if to pause to read it. The other hand’s fingers are drumming absentmindedly on the table top and then they reach for a letter opener fashioned after a small sword. The fingers toy with the handle for a moment as the note is placed back on the table…

FADE

INT. A BAMBOO HUT. DAY. The Philippines, 1944

The side view of a military uniform with a sword in place, a man’s hand is resting on the handle, fingers drumming lightly. A Japanese OFFICER is slowly pacing around a PRISONER bound to an upright post sunk into the dirt floor of a thatch and bamboo hut. There are other soldiers present watching the OFFICER drilling the PRISONER.

                                         OFFICER

Who are you, why are you here?

The prisoner mutters beneath his breath, head down, seemingly exhausted. His back is to the camera.

                                         OFFICER (yelling)

WHO ARE YOU? WHY ARE YOU HERE?

                                         PRISONER

I’m an archaeologist.

                                         OFFICER

You are with Mac Arthur?

                                         PRISONER

No, I’m not…I’ve already told you…

                                         OFFICER (slapping the prisoner)

You lie! You are a spy sent to map our defenses! Where is Mac Arthur?

INDIANA JONES reacts to the slap on his face.

                                         OFFICER

Would you like to know how we make lying American dogs talk?

The Japanese officer draws his sword and places the tip to his prisoner’s throat. The blade point lightly goes from ear to ear on the prisoner, stopping at the second ear.

                                         INDIANA JONES

I can only tell you what I’ve already told you. I’m an archaeologist; my name is Henry Jones, Dr. Henry Jones. I’m on an expedition for a private university.

                                         OFFICER

University? I attended an American university. I went to UCLA, that is why I speak English so good. (laughs) So tell me, Dr. Jones, are you not aware that there is a war going on?

                                         INDIANA JONES

I’m aware.

                                         OFFICER

Why would American archaeologists come to Luzon Island when they are certain to meet only death and destruction?

                                         INDIANA JONES

That is exactly why I AM here, to find something before the entire island is destroyed.

                                         OFFICER

And this something that you search for, would it be treasure? gold perhaps?

He turns to his soldiers and says in Japanese, “This man is a treasure hunter!” and they all laugh.

                                         INDIANA JONES

No, no not gold, well…. I dunno maybe… it’s the scepter of Rajah Saliman. He ruled the island before the Spanish arrived.

                                         OFFICER

Scepter?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Miguel Lopez de Legaspi gave it to him in 1571, supposedly to guarantee his ruler-ship of Luzon Island. Of course, then the cannonballs started flying… it’s supposed to be buried here!

                                         OFFICER

This treasure… it contains gold and jewels? diamonds perhaps?

                                         INDIANA JONES

I’m not sure…

                                         OFFICER

Then you are a liar, Dr. Jones! You are a spy for Mac Arthur! You will tell me what I want to know! (in Japanese, “Fix bayonets!”)

The soldiers immediately attach their bayonets to their rifles and then snap to attention.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Mac Arthur isn’t within 500 miles of here!

                                         OFFICER (in Japanese)

Surround and cover him!

The soldiers obey and aim their bayonet points at Indy’s midsection. The Officer’s sword begins to draw blood from slicing at Indy’s ear.

                                         OFFICER

You will tell us Mac Arthur’s position or you will die… slowly and without honor, Dr. Jones!

                                         INDIANA JONES

I can’t tell you what I don’t know, for chrissake! You’re wasting your…

Just then an explosion is heard and the soldiers are startled, machine gun fire is nearby. The soldiers and their officer run to te window as more explosions are drawing nearer. They begin firing out the window. “It’s the Americans!” The sound of the battle draws louder as the Japanese officer turns his attention to Indy.

                                         OFFICER (screaming at his prisoner)

Spy!

He raises his sword and turns to rush towards Indy but in that instant the explosion of a mortar round erupts into the hut, taking a portion of the exterior wall where the soldiers and their officer had been returning fire. The impact throws Indy flat on his back, dislodging the post from the ground. Debris is scattered everywhere and as the smoke clears the soldiers are dead. The officer is wounded. Indy comes around and struggles to his feet, cradling the butt end of the post in his tightly clasped hands. He bends over in an attempt to throw the post off but he is still loosely bound to it and cannot free himself completely. The officer comes to, realizes what has happened and reaches for hi sword. Both men stand and face each other, the post Indy is carrying sticks several feet above his head. The officer moves in for a better position.

                                         OFFICER

It would appear, Dr. Jones, that you will die without honor after all!

He lashes out with his sword but misses, Indy staggers beneath the weight of his post that is throwing him off balance. The officer strikes out at him again, the blade glances off of the post as Indy again evades him. Finally cornered, Indy appears helpless, The officer moves forward to the kill, measures the distance with the length of his sword. He pauses to smile and ceremonially bow then draws back for a vicious thrust. Indy suddenly realizes his post has a greater length than that of the sword so he quickly “bows” to the officer, striking him on top of his head and rendering him painfully unconscious.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Touche’

He falls to the ground and allows the post to roll off from behind him. Freeing his hands from the rope, he places one hand to his ear. He looks wide eyed at the blood from it, and then drops into the corner exhausted. CUT TO: Outside the bamboo hut and the aftermath of the battle, Indy is standing with his hands free while American soldiers are securing the compound. Other POW’s have been released and they are making their way to medical personnel. Indy begins walking in the direction of the other prisoners until he is intercepted by an Army CORPORAL.

                                         CORPORAL

Dr. Jones?

                                         INDIANA JONES

Yes?

                                         CORPORAL

Dr. Henry Jones

                                         INDIANA JONES (annoyed)

Yes.

                                         CORPORAL

Sir, the commander has requested you accompany me.

                                         INDIANA JONES

What?… what for?

                                         CORPORAL

Sir, we are still trying to verify your reasons for being on Luzon Island at this time. Meanwhile, please consider yourself a guest of the United States Army.

Two Military Policemen flank either side of Indy as an escort.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Verify my reasons…? Look, I’m an archaeologist from Mid-Western University. I’m an American. I’m searching for an artifact, a relic that is 400 years old, which I hope to discover before this entire island is blown to the bottom of the Pacific. What else is there to verify?

                                         CORPORAL

I’m sorry, sir, I have my orders. Aren’t you aware that there’s a war going on?

                                         INDIANA JONES (muttering)

I’m aware.

Just then a cry comes out from one of the soldiers searching through the rubble of the bamboo hut. Other soldiers quickly gather around. One of the men shouts over to the Corporal.

                                         SOLDIER

Corporal, you’d better check this out!

Leaving Indy with the M.P.s, the Corporal trots over to the area where the mortar round struck the hut. After a few moments of examination he motions to Indy.

                                         CORPORAL

Er, uh… Dr. Jones, could you come here for a moment, please?

CUT TO: Indy and the M.P.s walk over to the spot where the Corporal has squatted outside the mortar’s crater, the other soldiers part to either side as he approaches to see the remains of a skeleton with the rotting garb of an island emperor, still half buried in the side wall. Cradled in the bony fingers is a bejeweled scepter protruding through the dirt. Someone whistles softly while Indy reaches out to softly touch the prize.

                                         INDIANA JONES

The scepter of Rajah Saliman!

Indy is grinning with astonishment as the Corporal shakes his hand and the others slap him on the back. In the background a military Jeep pulls up carrying two soldiers with sub-machine guns, a driver and a Mac Arthur looking figure. He steps out and after briefly looking over the compound he approaches the group surrounding Indy, who is still marveling over his find.

                                         GENERAL

Dr. Henry Jones?

                                         INDIANA JONES (without looking behind him, exasperated)

YES!

Standing up and turning to face his addressor, Indy realizes to whom he had been speaking to and grins sheepishly.

FADE

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO HARBOR. DAY. A military skiff approaches the shore carrying two men, an ENSIGN and Indy.

                                         INDIANA JONES

Ah, it’s good to be back in the States!

                                         ENSIGN

Where you back from?

                                         INDIANA JONES (rubbing a pain in the back of his neck)

The Philippines

                                         ENSIGN

That hot bed? What were you doing there?

                                         INDIANA JONES

I’m an archaeologist.

The skiff arrives at the dock ans is greeted by more seamen.

                                         ENSIGN

What would Mac Arthur want with an archaeologist?

                                         INDIANA JONES

No, you don’t understand. I wasn’t with the Army, I was on an expedition for a University.

Indy is disembarking as he speaks, the seamen tie off the craft, Indy steps up on the dock and offers a salute.

                                         ENSIGN

Expedition? University? Are you guys crazy? Aren’t you aware that there’s a war going on?

                                         INDIANA JONES (walking away, miffed)

I’m aware.

FADE

(to be continued…)