The Indiana Jones(tm) Adventure Mythology
The Adventure Begins...
May, 1935. A small, cluttered office in the archaeology department of a midwestern college. Prof. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. carefully unrolled an ancient map. Fierce serpent heads adorned the poles of the scroll, and a glint of fire in their ruby eyes seemed to warn of danger. Indy noticed the coiled centurions and shuddered. Snakes, why did it have to be snakes!
He was slowly tracing his finger over the map's strange pictographs and symbols, when Marcus Brody entered. "Indy! We missed you at the opening of the new exhibit! The artifacts from India were a smash, old boy, but I must say we could have used those Sankara stones from Mayapore."
Indy broke from his intense study only long enough to smirk, "There are some things even I won't do for money. And 'obtaining' a sacred stone from a poor village is one of them."
"Take a look at this map, Marcus. I found it in the ruins of a small village in India, at the edge of what they now call'The Lost Delta.'" "According to local legend," Indy continued, "thousands of years ago a savage monsoon created a flood that wiped out all evidence of civilization in the area. But rumor has it that an ancient temple still stands somewhere deep in the heart of the jungle.The locals are scared to death and wont even talk about it. They just keep muttering something about 'Gates of Doom'!"
Brody was clearly intrigued. "Do they say anything about 'treasure,' old boy? Because if they do, the museum may be able to finance a little exhibition."
Indy pointed to the maps pictographs, "Maybe. I've almost cracked the code on this writing. It's similar to the ancient system Professor Ravenwood found in Nepal. According to this, a fierce deity called Mara possessed enormous powers and forced the local villagers to build an elaborate temple for him. He promised that those who visited the temple would receive one of three gifts: eternal youth, dazzling wealth, or the ability to see into the future. Moving the map closer to Brody, Indy outlined the temple chambers for his colleague. Here is a so-called 'Chamber of Destiny,' where Mara supposedly peered into their hearts to find which gift they most desired. But there seems to be a catch--something about the Eyes of Mara--I can't quite figure it out. That part of the map is missing...Sallah's in Delhi right now trying to track it down."
A knock on the door interrupted Indy's contemplation. A student rushed in with a letter and package for "Professor Jones." A smile spread across Indy's face. "Speak of the devil. It's from Sallah. He says, 'Greetings old friend. Here is the missing piece of the temple map! Remember, fortune truly shines on the pure of heart...and on he who has a brother-in-law in the Black Market! A safe journey to you Indy...I will join you soon!'"
"Well, Marcus, write that check. Looks like I'm going to India." Brody agreed with one stipulation. "This looks big, Indy. I'm putting together an entire archeology team to excavate the area," he said. "They'll be there to back you up in case you get into any trouble."
"Gee thanks. I feel safer already," Indy sneered. "O.K., it's a deal, but they'll have to catch up with me!"
A month later, after an ocean crossing, a plane ride over the Himalayas, a trip down crocodile-infested waters and treacherous passage through an overgrown jungle, Indy and his faithful friend Sallah stood surrounded by ruins of the fabled temple. Statues of giant cobras guarded the entrance.
"Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Sounds ominous." observed Indy.
"Indeed," agreed Sallah. "You go first."
For the next two weeks, Sallah and Indy carefully excavated the labyrinthine passages of the temple. Gruesome booby traps guarding the inner chambers had been sprung by foolhardy looters. One skeletal remain lay skewered in the "Spike Chamber." "Think he got the point?" Indy asked, turning back to his nervous friend. Sallah was not amused.
The two adventurers passed by numerous warnings that depicted light beams shooting from the eyes of the temple idol and visitors perishing in an array of unholy tortures. Indy brought his torch nearer the wall paintings. "I've got it!," he exclaimed. "The eyes of the idol! That's the trap!Don't look into the eyes of Mara. The ancient ones must have put it here as a warning! Once we locate the Chamber of Destiny, all we have to do is keep our eyes averted.Maybe even use a mirror to find our way! Then, hopefully we can make it out of the temple, with the treasure and our lives!"
Sallah didn't look terribly convinced. "Most comforting, " he said. "But I will await your return."
Indy entered the "Chamber of Destiny" with eyes shielded. Three doorways awaited just as the map had indicated--the "Fountain of Eternal Youth," the "Chamber of Earthly Riches," and the "Observatory of the Future." As one of the passages opened, an eerie light moved into the chamber and surrounded him with a sense of foreboding doom. He was no longer in control of this expedition and was about to go where no one had gone in two millennia... and lived to tell about it.
And perhaps he shouldn't have. Tell about it, that is. The news spread through the country like wildfire, and in the wave of publicity that followed, tourists flocked to the remote jungle area from all corners of the globe. Indy tried to warn them that the temple was a trap, that anyone who looked into the eyes of the idol would never return. Using a fleet of refitted, military transport vehicles, Sallah devised a safe way to move visitors through the temple while allowing Indy to continue with his work.
"Swell! I've got an archaeology team digging all over the place, and now I've got tourists! Look, Sallah. There are powers at work in this temple that even I don't understand yet," Indy said. "If any tourists show up, just get them through the temple and get rid of them. And whatever you do DON'T LOOK INTO THE EYES OF MARA!"
PF/wsp January 95
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