x files and indy

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Mike Kohary

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Mar 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/23/97
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Doc3rdkind wrote:

> question # 2- ive heard that the ending scene to indy, when the ark is
> placed in the huge room of crates, is based on the closing scene to
> citizen kane. does any one know about if this is true or not?

I don't know the answer to this, but I'd like to follow it up with
another question (don't forget to answer Doc's question, guys and gals,
if you know the answer. I don't want to usurp his question!).

What does the closing scene mean? The Ark is stashed away in a huge
warehouse, and the cliffhanger is left to be covered in a later movie.
Problem is, it's never resolved in a later movie! Does anyone have any
info - preferably from Spielberg himself - on what happened after this?

-MK

--
*************************************
Come visit Kohary's Cove
http://kohary.simplenet.com/index.htm
*************************************

Doc3rdkind

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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
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question # 1- ive heard rumors that spielberg may direct the x-files
movie. any evidence to the validity of these rumors and any opinions on
the possibility?

question # 2- ive heard that the ending scene to indy, when the ark is
placed in the huge room of crates, is based on the closing scene to
citizen kane. does any one know about if this is true or not?

thanks much.

Kyle Cummings

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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
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you've heard some wierd stuff, whichI haven't. Spileberg with X-files the
movie. for Fox films it's an instant money maker, but I don't think it'd
work out.


Doc3rdkind

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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
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NKV...@prodigy.com wrote:

i heard about it in the x-files ng. it was just a stated rumor over there,
nothing definite. i think spielberg would be brilliant choice for the
movie- he's done some flicks or had parts of flicks with that kind of
hidden under the surface mystery tension and suspense, such as duel, jaws,
close encounters, parts of ET, etc. i actually think hitchcock would be
the perfect choice, but unless cloning developments happen real quick, i
dont see it happening. anyway, ive heard that Spielberg is a huge fan of
the show and has never missed an episode since day one, thats why i figure
its a possibility.

Doc3rdkind

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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
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mike wrote:

<<> question # 2- ive heard that the ending scene to indy, when the ark is
> placed in the huge room of crates, is based on the closing scene to
> citizen kane. does any one know about if this is true or not?

I don't know the answer to this, but I'd like to follow it up with


another question (don't forget to answer Doc's question, guys and gals,
if you know the answer. I don't want to usurp his question!).

What does the closing scene mean? The Ark is stashed away in a huge
warehouse, and the cliffhanger is left to be covered in a later movie.
Problem is, it's never resolved in a later movie! Does anyone have any
info - preferably from Spielberg himself - on what happened after this?

-MK>>

my assumption was that at the end after meeting with the military guys
indy is saying that these guys dont understand what they have in the ark
and how powerful it is. but they do in fact understand and thats why they
locked it up in a crate and put it in this huge warehouse where it would
never be found by anyone. of course, the other interpretation is that they
dont understand and thats why they merely put it away in the warehouse,
but ive assumed its because they do know of the ark's power that they
"hide" it like that. i would be interested in knowing what other people's
interpretations are or which of these two they agree with. in any case, i
think the movie ends with the notion that the ark is safely put away and
it wont be discovered. of course, theres nothing definite about what
theyve done and the ark could always be uncovered at some later point. it
would be interesting to do a sequel but with a whole nother character and
not involving indy at all, it could even take place in modern times.

P.B. Dijkstra

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Mar 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/25/97
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In article <19970324034...@ladder01.news.aol.com> doc3r...@aol.com (Doc3rdkind) writes:
>From: doc3r...@aol.com (Doc3rdkind)
>Subject: x files and indy
>Date: 24 Mar 1997 03:41:58 GMT

>question # 1- ive heard rumors that spielberg may direct the x-files
>movie. any evidence to the validity of these rumors and any opinions on
>the possibility?

This is just what it sounds like: A Rumour!
When people were discussing the possible choice of a director for TXF movie,
someone mentioned:" Spielberg would be a great choice".... The discussion
then went on if he indeed would be a good choice thus creating the Rumour: "
Spielberg is the director of The X-Files the movie."

PBD

Daniel G. Schroeder

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Mar 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/25/97
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>mike wrote:

><<> question # 2- ive heard that the ending scene to indy, when the ark is
>> placed in the huge room of crates, is based on the closing scene to
>> citizen kane. does any one know about if this is true or not?

>I don't know the answer to this, but I'd like to follow it up with
>another question (don't forget to answer Doc's question, guys and gals,
>if you know the answer. I don't want to usurp his question!).

Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to this one.

>What does the closing scene mean? The Ark is stashed away in a huge
>warehouse, and the cliffhanger is left to be covered in a later movie.
>Problem is, it's never resolved in a later movie! Does anyone have any
>info - preferably from Spielberg himself - on what happened after this?

>-MK>>

>my assumption was that at the end after meeting with the military guys
>indy is saying that these guys dont understand what they have in the ark
>and how powerful it is. but they do in fact understand and thats why they
>locked it up in a crate and put it in this huge warehouse where it would
>never be found by anyone. of course, the other interpretation is that they
>dont understand and thats why they merely put it away in the warehouse,
>but ive assumed its because they do know of the ark's power that they
>"hide" it like that. i would be interested in knowing what other people's
>interpretations are or which of these two they agree with. in any case, i
>think the movie ends with the notion that the ark is safely put away and
>it wont be discovered. of course, theres nothing definite about what
>theyve done and the ark could always be uncovered at some later point. it
>would be interesting to do a sequel but with a whole nother character and
>not involving indy at all, it could even take place in modern times.

I agree that the military officers do understand that what they have is
too powerful to ever unleash on the rest of the world. It actually
makes them seem halfway intelligent. As to it being a cliffhanger of
some time, I never got that impression watching the movie. I think it
was just a mysterious ending meaning to make you think a little. It
would be interesting to see it dug up again.
--
-----
Daniel G. Schroeder
fugi...@iastate.edu

Doc3rdkind

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Mar 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/26/97
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s076...@let.rug.nl (P.B. Dijkstra) wrote:

<<This is just what it sounds like: A Rumour!
When people were discussing the possible choice of a director for TXF
movie,
someone mentioned:" Spielberg would be a great choice".... The discussion
then went on if he indeed would be a good choice thus creating the Rumour:
"
Spielberg is the director of The X-Files the movie.">>

thank you

Steven Legge

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Mar 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/26/97
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first off, the end of Raiders does resemble the end of Citizen Kane.
Kane's life-long obsession of collecting art and scuplture has culminated in a
large warehouse sized room, full of crates containing his posessions. Of
course, it doesn't end exactly like raiders, nor is the scope of the warehouse
the size of the one at the end of raiders, but there is a good similarity.

secondly, as far as I know Chris Carter will be directing the XF movie.
Here's a tip. Don't believe any 'rumors' you read in the xf newsgroup.
People can make up whatever they want to get attention. Untill I see solid
evidence, like a press statement, I'll never believe it. Personally, I don't
think he has the time to do the XF movie. It would be cool however, if he took
a week out to direct an episode under a psuedonym.

Lastly, what is going on with you people about the end of Raiders? It's not
a cliffhanger for god's sake! the purpose of the warehouse gag is that the ark
will never be seen again. End, period, etc. Listen to the music! If it were a
cliffhanger, the music would have been somber and foreboding, instead of the
triumphant theme music that does play. Think about it.
There will be no one going back to find it, any sequels using it, etc. You're
overthinking this scene way to much. It's a movie based upon the serials of
the 40's and 50's. You're not supposed to think. You're supposed to go in, eat
popcorn, boo the nazis, and cheer on indy. ie: relax, and have fun!

If you want a movie to overthink scenes about, try renting something by David
Lynch, or rent Citizen Kane (commonly known as the greatest film ever made)

I hope I didn't sound too much of an ass, barking on about the end of Raiders
thing, but that's the way it is. You can go write a fanfic about a return to
the ark, that'd be great, but it won't happen again on film. (for one thing
you would probably end up saying "couldn't they have thought up anything new?
They used the ark in the first one..")


Steve

nstn...@fox.nstn.ca
www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Set/2390/Spielberg.html


Mike Kohary

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Mar 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/26/97
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Steven Legge wrote:

> I hope I didn't sound too much of an ass, barking on about the end of Raiders
> thing, but that's the way it is. You can go write a fanfic about a return to
> the ark, that'd be great, but it won't happen again on film. (for one thing
> you would probably end up saying "couldn't they have thought up anything new?
> They used the ark in the first one..")

I never thought they'd come back to it (in fact, I'd be against it), but
I always wondered "why the ambiguous ending?" Overthinking it perhaps.
But I think of it as the one flaw in the movie: a total lack of
closure.

Not dissing Raiders; one of the best adventures ever made. But I don't
like the ending! :)

Steven Legge

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Mar 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/28/97
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In article <3338D9...@u.washington.edu>, mko...@u.washington.edu says...

>
>Steven Legge wrote:
>
>> I hope I didn't sound too much of an ass, barking on about the end of
Raiders
>> thing, but that's the way it is. You can go write a fanfic about a return
to
>> the ark, that'd be great, but it won't happen again on film. (for one thing
>> you would probably end up saying "couldn't they have thought up anything
new?
>> They used the ark in the first one..")
>
>I never thought they'd come back to it (in fact, I'd be against it), but
>I always wondered "why the ambiguous ending?" Overthinking it perhaps.
>But I think of it as the one flaw in the movie: a total lack of
>closure.
>
>Not dissing Raiders; one of the best adventures ever made. But I don't
>like the ending! :)
>
>-MK

I don't really see it as a flawed ending, I think it's a great ending,
especially if you get to see it in the theatre, the warehouse is twice as big
on a theatre screen the way it's meant to be seen. Perhaps the video
(pan-n-scan) version which everyone, including myself, is so used to has taken
the zing out of the ending shot of the warehouse.

Steve
nstn...@fox.nstn.ca
www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Set/2390/Spielberg.html


Kevin Gillease at USC

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Mar 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/29/97
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Mike Kohary made his unauspicious feelings known with this post:

>
> I don't know the answer to this, but I'd like to follow it up with
> another question (don't forget to answer Doc's question, guys and gals,
> if you know the answer. I don't want to usurp his question!).
>
> What does the closing scene mean? The Ark is stashed away in a huge
> warehouse, and the cliffhanger is left to be covered in a later movie.
> Problem is, it's never resolved in a later movie! Does anyone have any
> info - preferably from Spielberg himself - on what happened after this?

Alright here's what I know.
The ending, while similar to Citizen Kane, is quite a bit different. So,
it might've influenced it, but it's not a direct copy.

And there's no cliffhanger ya idgit. Hiding the Ark away where it'll
never be found is ironic, because it's such an incredible find and was
hidden away like that before. It would really suck if they made a story
about finding the Ark in the wharehouse.

Tom Davidson

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Mar 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/30/97
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Kevin Gillease at USC <gill...@scf-fs.usc.edu> wrote in article
<333CD1...@scf-fs.usc.edu>...

> Alright here's what I know.
> The ending, while similar to Citizen Kane, is quite a bit different. So,
> it might've influenced it, but it's not a direct copy.
>
> And there's no cliffhanger ya idgit. Hiding the Ark away where it'll
> never be found is ironic, because it's such an incredible find and was
> hidden away like that before. It would really suck if they made a story
> about finding the Ark in the wharehouse.
>

I remember the first time I saw the film--in a preview some few weeks
before it was officially released--the final scene reminded me of
nuclear stockpiling--what were in all those other crates??? I can't
remember (someone help out), but I was left with the impression that
there were a whole lot of implements of destruction stashed away,
and the Ark had its own tiny place among them.

Tom D.

Doc3rdkind

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Mar 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/31/97
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tom davidson wrote:

<<I remember the first time I saw the film--in a preview some few weeks
before it was officially released--the final scene reminded me of
nuclear stockpiling--what were in all those other crates??? I can't
remember (someone help out), but I was left with the impression that
there were a whole lot of implements of destruction stashed away,
and the Ark had its own tiny place among them.>>

i pretty much figured the same thing. just anything which may have real
dangerous, destructive possibilitys. which is pretty scary if you think
about it, given how huge and packed the warehouse was. of course, its
possible its nothing but a bunch of junk, thus it would be ironic that the
ark is among these things. i think those are the only two possibilitys i
can think of- anyone got any guesses as to which of the two it would be?
are there actually any hints or is totally up to us to decide? i think one
thing we can say with absolute certainty is that the holy grail is
definitely not in the warehouse.

Chuck Kahn

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Apr 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/5/97
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In article <19970324210...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,

doc3r...@aol.com (Doc3rdkind) sez:
>mike wrote:
>
><<> question # 2- ive heard that the ending scene to indy, when the ark is
>> placed in the huge room of crates, is based on the closing scene to
>> citizen kane. does any one know about if this is true or not?

This is true. It's an homage to the end of CITIZEN KANE.

MK sez:
>What does the closing scene mean? The Ark is stashed away in a huge
>warehouse, and the cliffhanger is left to be covered in a later movie.

The closing scene is supposed to be an ironic statement: after all that
human effort to obtain the ark, after all of Indy's cuts and bruises,
after all the enthusiasm over what this wonderful object could mean to
archaelogy, the bureaucrats in Washington tell Indy that the ark is
being looked at by "top men" when in reality it has been thrown in the
back of some musty warehouse, never to be seen again, along with other
neglected artifacts of historic or social importance, like the crashed
saucer from Roswell. (Oh wait, that would be 8 years later...)

I think Pauline Kael's review called it a "modernist" ending. I
suppose PLANET OF THE APES fits the same pattern.

And I think the ending is nifty.

>of course, the other interpretation is that they
>dont understand and thats why they merely put it away in the warehouse,
>but ive assumed its because they do know of the ark's power that they
>"hide" it like that.

I would go with the "no-nothing bureaucratic mentality" interpretation.
They don't understand it, so they bury it.

I used to joke that all the other crates in the warehouse had arks in
them as well.
--
Chuck Kahn / od...@interlog.com / http://www.interlog.com/~odin

Chuck Kahn

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Apr 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/17/97
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In article <19970413172...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,
doc3r...@aol.com (Doc3rdkind) sez:
>they so understand the awesome powers of the ark that they just want it
>out of the way. thats how i see it.

Do they understand? They seem to barely follow Indy's lecture at the
beginning. ("Didn't you guys ever go to Sunday school?")

Doc3rdkind

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Apr 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/20/97
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Chuck Kahn wrote:

<<>they so understand the awesome powers of the ark that they just want it
>out of the way. thats how i see it.

Do they understand? They seem to barely follow Indy's lecture at the
beginning. ("Didn't you guys ever go to Sunday school?")>>

true, but once indy explained it all to them in that beginning lecture,
they seemed to grasp the meaning of the ark (remember when indy showed
them the pic of the ark and the reaction of the government men to it?). so
i think they do realize the true mean and power of the ark. i'm not sure
why, i'd have to watch the ending scene closely again, but that was always
my impression from how the whole thing worked. of course, i just mightve
assumed that the first time i saw it and watched it with preconceptions
there after. in any case, we may just have to agree to having a difference
of interpretation.

Chuck Kahn

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Apr 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/20/97
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In article <19970420093...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,

doc3r...@aol.com (Doc3rdkind) sez:
>Chuck Kahn wrote:
>
><<>they so understand the awesome powers of the ark that they just want it
>>out of the way. thats how i see it.
>
>Do they understand? They seem to barely follow Indy's lecture at the
>beginning. ("Didn't you guys ever go to Sunday school?")>>
>
>true, but once indy explained it all to them in that beginning lecture,
>they seemed to grasp the meaning of the ark (remember when indy showed
>them the pic of the ark and the reaction of the government men to it?).

I remember the THUMP of the big bible and I remember the introduction
of John Williams' Ark theme and I remember that they seemed interested
in what Indy was showing them. But the focus of the scene had left the
bureaucrats at this point and fixed entirely on Indy's enthusiasm for
archaelogy and the mystery of the Ark.

>so i think they do realize the true mean and power of the ark. i'm not sure
>why, i'd have to watch the ending scene closely again, but that was always
>my impression from how the whole thing worked.

Maybe the trouble is that the end meeting was a rather tame scene. In
the script, the third bureaucrat in the room was described as a
mysterious figure looming in the background, something akin to "the
Smoking Man" in the X-files. In the movie, he looks about as
mysterious as Bob from Accounting. (Actually, he looks kinda like the
autopsy guy from JAWS.) So the movie leaves me with the impression
that the bureaucrats are the no-nothing "fools" Indy labels them. A
"Smoking Man" character would have cast a whole new light on the
bureaucrats and their knowledge of the Ark.

Xeper

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Apr 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/21/97
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SECRET OF THE LOST ARK
(c) Xe...@aol.com 1981, 1992
----------------------------
PART 1

It is easy to miss the freeway exit to the Oakland Army Base, since
it appears just past the Bay Bridge toll plaza, and so it wasn't
until another fifteen minutes of backtracking had elapsed that
Dennis Mann drove into the bewildering maze of buildings comprising
one of the U.S. Army's remaining World War II storage and shipping
depots.

This assignment had been an accident. He had been supposed to go to
Fort Bragg, North Carolina for another six-month tour at the John F.
Kennedy Special Warfare Center, but at the last moment the funding
hadn't come through. Instead his management officer at the St. Louis
U.S. Army Reserve headquarters had offered him a three-month tour
with an Intelligence and Security battalion headquarters at the
Presidio of San Francisco. Although it promised to involve nothing
more exciting than routine staff actions, he had accepted. He liked
San Francisco and had friends there. And, as he observed to his wife
Karen, he wouldn't mind even a brief respite from New York weather.

The INSCOM headquarters building - an aging concrete bunker -
appeared at first glance to be both unimpressive and uncomfortable.
It did hold the distinction of being "the last building before
Hawaii", as the duty captain who greeted him described it. "Glad to
have you here, sir. Sometimes we think we've been forgotten,
particularly now that PSF is slated for closure in the next year or
so. Oh, and I was supposed to give you this when you checked in -"

"This" proved to be a faxed order reassigning Mann to a two-week
temporary duty as Classified Storage Control Officer at Oakland Army
Base across the San Francisco Bay. Mann scowled. "For this they task
a lieutenant colonel?"

The captain looked at him uncomfortably. "I guess they couldn't find
anyone else at short notice, sir. Way I understand it, there was a
CWO over there who had to leave on a family emergency. A
replacement's coming, but until he gets here, someone with TS
clearance is needed, and we got tasked, and the CO said -"

Mann cut him off with a nod. Give the Reservist the odd job. On the
other hand, he mused, it might be a pleasant - and quiet - two
weeks. Certainly this mournful concrete block on the seacliff didn't
have much going for it. He finished his in-processing, then returned
to his rented car and headed for the Bay Bridge.

He had never been to OARB before, and as he drove slowly through it,
he decided that he hadn't missed much. Perhaps back around the time
of World War II the base had been a center of activity. Now it was
clearly a neglected installation, ready for the budgetary chopping-
block. Its most striking feature was a row of seven long warehouses,
evidently originally designed to store material from the nearby
docks. Now the docks were little-used, and the giant warehouses,
their paint peeling with age, appeared to be simply utilitarian:
places to store furniture, old vehicles, and the like. Except, it
seemed, for Warehouse Six.

Warehouse Six had a barbed-wire fence around it. The wire was old
and rusty, but still quite serviceable. Metal warning signs, also
brown with rust, appeared at regular intervals along its perimeter.
Mann had seen such secure buildings many times in his career; they
no longer held any magic or mystery for him. He parked the car in a
grassy lot with only one other car in it, strolled over to the gate,
and pressed the buzzer mounted on one of its side-posts. After a
moment or two a door in the warehouse creaked open, and a sergeant
came out, walked over to the fence, saluted, examined Mann's ID card
through the wire, and opened the gate. Mann followed him out of the
glare of the sunshine into the building.

Suddenly it was cool and quiet. The only light came from a small,
glass-windowed office to the right of the door; the rest of the
warehouse, unlit, seemed to stretch off into infinite darkness. The
sergeant motioned him into the office and poured two cups of coffee
from a small pot on a hotplate.

"What *is* this place?" said Mann. "I've never seen anything like
it."

"Deep storage, I guess," shrugged the sergeant. "I really don't know
what they've got in there - just that it's old classified stuff.
There's an inventory binder over there" - he nodded at the shelf
alongside the single desk - "if you're curious. But it doesn't say
much - just box numbers mostly. And almost everything is in a box,
which at least will make the sign-over easier." Plainly the sergeant
was not unhappy at the prospect of relinquishing the claustrophobia
of the warehouse to someone else.

Ultimately it took the two of them over three days to inventory the
building's contents. There were hundreds of crates, conexes,
shrouded and banded pallets, and assorted containers whose only
common feature was a size too big to fit into a filing cabinet. A
few of the items were in fresh metal or plastic packaging, but most
were in simple wooden boxes whose steel bandings were as rust-
covered as the outside fence.

As the sergeant had said, no contents were identifiable [Mann had
hoped for at least one UFO tailfin poking through a boxtop]. As he
leaned back in the chair in what was now his office, he wondered
what sort of hidden treasure he now guarded. Certainly nothing of
contemporary importance. This was obviously a repository for things
forgotten or near-forgotten, protected from the incinerator or
trash-heap only because some minor bureaucrat had once immortalized
them with a security classification in the days before automatic
downgrading had been instituted. Probably a good many of the
container descriptions themselves, wherever they originated, had
long since been destroyed as unnecessary. He grimaced. He had seen a
sight like this at the end of the film _Raiders of the Lost Ark_ but
had never expected to encounter it in actuality.

Well, he mused, maybe I've got the real Ark in here somewhere. That
at least would be something. He recalled idly that in the movie the
Ark had been crated and assigned a serial number. He had picked up
the paperback version of the story; perhaps the number was cited in
there. On a whim he picked up the phone, requested an outside line,
and made a collect call to his home in Utica where his wife, Major
Karen Revay, would now have arrived home from her own office.

Karen chuckled sympathetically as Dennis told her of his surprise
assignment, then asked him to hold while she went into the next room
to rummage in the bookcase. A few minutes later she was back on the
line. "Here it is," she said. "Let's see ... O.K., here on the last
page - Got something to write with?"

Mann jotted down what she recited to him: TOP SECRET, ARMY INTELL,
9906753, DO NOT OPEN. "Doesn't sound very promising," he commented.
"MI used to be 'Army Intelligence and Security', which was 'AIS',
not 'Army Intell'. On the other hand, I do have a number of entries
in the log with seven-digit numbers. Let you know if I come across
anything that hums or glows in the dark."

"If you do," she remarked, "don't open it; it's probably one of the
Manhattan Project's early failures." He laughed, gave her a
telephonic kiss, hung up, and turned to the binder.

The number was there. Next to it, however, was the phrase "Lockheed
P-38 components (exp)".

Mann looked again, just to be certain. He started to call Karen
back, then hesitated and replaced the receiver on the cradle. Better
take a look at the container first. He ran his finger over the chart
showing the number sequence breakdown by location, then threw the
light switches for the warehouse and walked out into the central
aisle and down the seventh branch aisle to the left. He peered down
into the dusty stacks of containers. And there it was: 9906753. It
was an aging wooden crate about ten feet long by four feet wide and
high.

There was additional stenciling on the crate, partially obscured by
the surrounding clutter. Mann tugged three other boxes aside,
grimacing at the puff of dust raised in the process. He brushed off
the lettering with a hand and read: WARNING-VIBRATION SENSITIVE and,
on the top, ONLY THIS SIDE UP.

Mann stared at the crate for a few moments, then walked back to the
office. He made himself a cup of coffee and thought about what he
had found. Then he dialed the number of Peter Rivera in Oakland.

Rivera was home. He listened without interruption while Mann told
him about the crate. "This is weird," he finally said. "What are you
going to do now?"

"Any ideas?"

Rivera thought for a moment. "Well ... I guess we could try to find
out whether there's anything factual about the _Raiders_ story. Why
don't I do a little research and maybe meet you for lunch
somewhere?"

"Treasure Island Officers Club? How about twelve-thirty?"

"You got it."

* * *

By one o'clock Dennis Mann had dispensed with two Perriers and
several handfuls of popcorn before Peter Rivera strode into the O-
Club's bar and threw himself into the next chair. "Sorry I'm late,"
he said. "I've been on the phone more-or-less constantly since we
spoke."

Mann signaled the waitress and ordered fruit salads for them both.
Then he turned back to Rivera. "So - Find out anything?"

"Yes and no. Call Lucasfilm and start asking questions about
_Raiders_ and they quickly decide that you're just another kooky
fan. Refer you to fan clubs and such. On the third call I got a
different operator, and told her that I was a grad student at
Berkeley doing research on Hollywood imagery. That got me to another
lady who had apparently worked as an assistant to the Raiders
screenwriter.

"First thing she told me was that Raiders was wholly and purely
fictional. Said that the basic plot had been brainstormed by George
Lucas and Steven Spielberg in Hawaii in 1977. Then the screenwriter
- Kasdan, I think his name was - made up most of the names and
fleshed out the scenes. Lucas had a dog named Indiana, and the
character was originally going to be 'Indiana Smith'. Someone
pointed out that was too close to 'Nevada Smith', so 'Smith' became
'Jones'."

"Was Lucas from Indiana?"

"No, he's from right here in California - Modesto or one of those
places."

"So why did he name the dog 'Indiana'?"

Rivera shrugged. Then he took the point. "You think that there might
be a real Indiana Jones somewhere - someone whom Lucas had in mind
as a model for the film?"

"Let me think this through. Now ... Almost certainly there's not
going to be a real person by that name, or the press would have
picked up on it at some time during the publicity for the three
movies. But let's suppose that 'Indiana' is a nickname. Suppose that
there's an actual professor of archaeology somewhere named 'Smith'
or 'Jones'. Suppose that there's some truth to the story and that he
told it to Lucas at some point and said that it was O.K. to use it
as the basis for a film as long as his privacy was preserved."

"So what now? You can't very well call every college in the country
asking for 'Indiana Jones'."

"I won't have to. Still have a card for the UC library? Good. They
can access the National Technical Information Service datalink
there. Get them to do a name search by campus for anyone named
'Smith' or 'Jones' in an archaeology department. Archaeology is a
small field; not too many places have a department like that. We can
rough out his age bracket as being, um, perhaps 45-70. We might take
a chance cross-referencing with 'Marion' as a wife's name, assuming
that he might indeed be married to the Marion Ravenwood of the
film."

"Not much hope there," said Rivera. "Lucasfilm said that 'Marion' is
the name of Kasdan's grandmother-in-law and that 'Ravenwood' is a
street in Beverly Hills. But I'm going to Berkeley later on today,
so I'll drop by the library and run the other stuff. Call you
tomorrow if I get anything."

They turned their attention to the salads.

* * *

Two days later Peter Rivera found a message on his answering machine
from the University of California library. A small roll of computer
paper was waiting for him at the office. He trotted across Sproul
Plaza, perched on the edge of Ludwig's Fountain, and read
impatiently through a list of useless "Smith"s. Following them were
only four "Jones" responses:

JONES CHARLES S ALASKA STATE U AGE 52
JONES HARRY I U NORTH CAROLINA AGE 65
JONES PAUL J DARTMOUTH COL AGE 47
JONES SUSAN F U CHICAGO AGE 58

Well, what do you know, thought Rivera. He headed for the ASUC
building and a pay-phone.

* * *

That afternoon Dennis Mann called information in Chapel Hill, North
Carolina and asked for the number of Harry I. Jones. He dialed it
and got no answer. He tried again an hour later and decided to let
the phone ring longer than usual. After about twenty rings it was
indeed answered by an obviously irritated voice: "Jones. What is
it?"

"Professor Jones?" said Mann. "Harry Jones? Dennis Mann. Lieutenant
colonel with the Army out in California. I've found a crate out here
with the number 9906753 on it. Would that mean anything to you?"

For a moment there was silence on the other end of the phone. Then:
"How do I know that you're who you say you are?"

"Easy," said Mann. "Call the Oakland Army Base and ask for Warehouse
Six. I'm the only one here."

"I'll do that," said Jones and hung up.

A minute later the phone on Mann's desk rang. This time the
excitement in the voice from North Carolina was barely concealed.
"Where is it? How big is it? Are there any other markings on it?"

Mann described the crate to him. "I have a sort of problem. This is
a classified storage facility ..."

"That's not going to be a problem. I've got a clearance. I'll have
Langley pass it to you. Listen, I'm coming right out there. Whatever
you do, *don't* open it. Have you told anyone about this?"

"A friend of mine. He traced you through the NTIS. For awhile we
thought you were George Lucas' dog."

"The dog was named after *me*," said Jones. "But that's not the best
part. Would you believe that Kasdan hit on Marion's name by
accident? Waltzed into San Anselmo and said 'Marion' and George
thought he'd found out about us. But it was just a coincidence. So
far just George, Steven and Harrison know. And now you, but I'd
appreciate it if - "

"It's not going anywhere with me," said Mann. "I'm not even sure
this is really happening."

"It's happening," said Jones curtly. "Well, *maybe* it's happening.
First I need to look at that crate. Can you pick me up at the San
Francisco Airport tomorrow?"

* * *

Dennis Mann couldn't get away from OARB the next morning, but Peter
Rivera volunteered to drive to the airport. He did a double-take
when he saw a man and a woman walk into the terminal who might have
been doubles for Harrison Ford and Karen Allen except that they were
visibly older. They smiled at his discomfiture.

"Dennis is stuck at the base for another hour, but he's going to
meet us at my place if that's O.K. with you."

"That'll be just fine," said Indiana Jones.

* * *

Over coffee in Peter Rivera's loft Jones elaborated on his comments
over the phone. "You guessed right about my telling the story to
George Lucas when he was a kid, but of course there's a lot of stuff
in _Raiders_ that has nothing whatever to do with what actually
happened. The South American temple bit, for example, and most of
the general chasing around. But we did find the Ark in Tanis, and we
did get jumped by an Ahnenerbe team - that's the research branch of
the SS, which had several archaeological expeditions under way in
the late '30s. And they did tie us up and open it up. But there was
no one named Belloq; he was just another dramatic device for the
film. And the second and third movies were pure fantasy. Made me
wish I *had* gone after the Grail. I do have some ideas about it."

"But our run-in with the Ahnenerbe was very odd," broke in Marion,
"because we don't know exactly what happened then. We both remember
becoming faint and then blacking out. When we woke up, the Germans
were gone, we were untied, and the Ark was just sitting there. Indy
wanted to open it, but I asked him to wait until we got it back to
the museum. And of course we never got it past Washington. But no,
we never saw the Ark 'do' anything. We assume we were given some
sort of hallucinogen at the time. But we're still not sure."

Jones stood up and walked over to the window of the loft. Then he
turned around and stabbed a finger at them. "Some things just don't
add up. If the Ark were the real thing, and if we - the Allies - got
it - and this was before the war, mind you - then why the Axis
successes and Allied defeats in the first several years of the war?
Why, if we had it, would we just crate it up and bury it in a
warehouse? And here, listen to this ..."

He went over to the table, rummaged in the old leather briefcase he
had brought, extracted a battered book, thumbed through it
impatiently, then began to quote:

-----
"When one says that God provokes the lightning, that's true in a
sense; but what is certain is that God does not direct the
thunderbolt, as the church claims. The church's explanation of
natural phenomena is an abuse, for the church has ulterior
interests. True piety is the characteristic of the being who is
aware of his weakness and ignorance. Whoever sees God only in an oak
tree or a tabernacle, instead of seeing him everywhere, is not truly
pious. He remains attached to appearances - and when the sky
thunders and the lightning strikes, he trembles simply from fear of
being struck as a punishment for the sin he's just committed.

"From now on, one may consider that there is no gap between the
organic and inorganic worlds. Recent experiments make it possible
for one to wonder what distinguishes live bodies from inanimate
matter. In the face of this discovery, the church will begin by
rising in revolt; then it will continue to teach its 'truths'. One
day, finally, under the battering ram of science, dogma will
collapse. It is logical that it should be so, for the human spirit
cannot remorselessly apply itself to raising the veil of mystery
without people's one day drawing the conclusions.

"*The Ten Commandments are a code of living to which there's no
refutation*. These precepts correspond to irrefragable needs of the
human soul; they're inspired by the best religious spirit, and the
churches here support themselves on a solid foundation."
-----

"Who said that?" inquired Rivera. "Is that one of your books?"

Jones glanced at Marion, who smiled. "Hardly," he said. He closed
the book with a snap and tossed it on to the table. "This is
_Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944_, translated by Cameron and Stevens
from Martin Bormann's own transcripts. What you just heard were
Adolf Hitler's private remarks to Lieutenant General von Rintelen on
the evening of October 24, 1941."

Dennis Mann let out a low whistle. "Well, what do you know? That's
something the history books seem to have omitted. This from the
supposed mastermind of the 'final solution'? Why would he say that
about a *Hebrew* artifact - particularly if it were in enemy hands?"

"And why," added Marion, "did the United States never announce its
possession of the Ark - which presumably would have given Washington
the same prestige and spiritual authority or whatever that Berlin
was seeking to acquire? And why did the Germans abandon it, if they
did? Why leave it to us? Why leave us alive?"

"Why indeed," said Mann. "Unless ..."

"Unless?" prompted Marion.

"Unless there's something wrong with it," he answered slowly.
"Unless when the AIS people got their hooks into it, they found
something they didn't expect or didn't like."

"Or maybe it was something that they *didn't* find," said Marion.
"Well, Dennis, now it's up to you. Are you going to let us have a
look at it?" She paused, then added, slowly and deliberately, "We
have waited for over forty years."

Mann stared at her. "I received both of your clearances today - Yes.
Yes, indeed. What about this evening unless the two of you are too
tired from the flight?"

He turned to Rivera. "I hate to tell you this, Peter, but there's a
security problem. Whatever the crate may be, it's still classified.
And the whole warehouse is a restricted area. I can't get you in."

Rivera laughed. "That's O.K. I'll just go up on the roof here and
wait for the explosion and the light show. But I've got something
here which might come in handy ..."

He went into the next room, then returned with a camera and two
metal containers of film. "Got this from John Felczak last week," he
explained to Mann. "Infrared-sensitive film -"

Rivera was interrupted by a knock at the door. He hesitated a
moment, then opened it, whereupon a girl darted by him into the
room. "Hi, Rebecca," he said to the space where she'd been a moment
before.

"Listen, I'm sorry to be in-and-out so quick," she said as she
examined his book case, "but I only have a few moments and wanted to
pick up that tape you had for me - ah, there it is. Hi, Dennis! See
you guys later -"

As she was almost through the door, she noticed their two visitors.
She stared at them for a moment, then shook her head slightly at the
crazy notion which had passed through her mind, and waved goodbye to
Peter. He closed the door and shrugged.

Dennis Mann laughed. "Yeah, try to explain this!"

"We've had that problem before," said Marion. "Particularly at the
time when the first movie came out. We got pretty good at amateur
disguises. And North Carolina isn't exactly where you'd expect to
find, ah, celebrities either. But then I guess we're *not*
celebrities, because no one thinks that we actually exist as real
people."

"Let's keep it that way," commented her husband. "Well, since we've
some time to kill before this evening, let's do lunch at the
Berkeley Faculty Club and then stop at the library. There are some
items there I'd like to take a look at.

* * *

Shortly after eight that evening, after dropping Rivera back at his
home, Mann took the Joneses down to the base. It was already dark,
and the entire post seemed to be deserted save for an occasional
passing car or truck. There was no moon, and no nearby streetlights,
and Warehouse Six was visible only as a looming shadow behind the
barbed-wire fence as Mann punched the code into the alarm system and
led them inside. Once in the building, he threw the switches to turn
on the inside lighting and led the way down the vast main corridor.
A moment later the three of them were standing before crate 9906753.

Mann handed the band-cutter he had brought from the office to
Indiana Jones. "Seems to me that the first cut ought to be yours,"
he said.

Unexpectedly there were tears in the old archaeologist's eyes.
"Thanks," he said awkwardly. Then he addressed the rusted bands with
the pincers. One by one they snapped apart, and then - with an an
apprehensive look at one another - the two men set to work more
carefully with crowbars. There were wrenching, tearing sounds as the
wooden slats gave way, and suddenly the top came free from Jones'
crowbar and the sides fell to the floor with a crash that echoed
throughout the cavernous warehouse. Waving the cloud of dust away,
the three of them stared at the sight before them.

CONTINUED IN PART 2 ...

Xeper

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Apr 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/21/97
to

SECRET OF THE LOST ARK
(c) Xe...@aol.com 1981, 1992
----------------------------
PART 2

The oblong box that rested quietly amidst the slats of the crate
bore only a remote resemblance to the dazzling artifact from the
_Raiders_ movie. Its sides and top were indeed covered with what
appeared to be gold, but the surfaces were plain and unpolished.
There was no ornamentation save for two massive gold rings on one
end-panel and a rather crude filigree design worked into the center
of the lid. At each end of the lid were indentations as though at
one time something had been attached to them. The impression Mann
received was of very rough workmanship - and of some rough handling,
as evidenced by the absence of the other two carrying-rings and
points on the corners and sides where the golden sheets had been cut
through, revealing a brownish-yellow grained wood beneath. He looked
questioningly at Jones.

The archaeologist nodded at him. "That's it, all right. That's the
Ark. The real one."

"Indy," said Marion, "what about the statuettes - the ones on the
lid? Someone's taken them off."

"Yeah, I noticed." Jones bent over the box, peering around it and
finally lifting up one end to look underneath. "Not there either,"
he said with irritation, but as he set the Ark back down there was a
dull clang from the inside.

Jones' expression changed. "Bureaucrats," he said scornfully. "They
didn't want the crate any bigger than necessary, so they took the
cherubim off and put them inside. I can't *stand* it."

He bent down again and grabbed one end of the lid. "Get the other
side, will you?" he nodded at Mann. "Let's slide it off and set it
down over there."

Seeing Dennis' hesitation, Jones laughed. "This isn't the damned
movie. Nothing's going to happen ..." - he suddenly turned and
winked at Marion - "... I think!"

Mann still hesitated. This was too much, too fast: a kind of crazy
nightmare. And the ghostliness of their surroundings didn't help
either. But a moment later nothing had changed, and it was still
very real. He sighed and took hold of the other end of the lid.
Gingerly the two men raised it - it was lighter than it appeared,
due apparently to the age and dryness of the wood - and set it
carefully down on one of the nearby crates. Then the three of them
turned back to the Ark and peered inside.

No explosion or other manifestation of an angry Hebrew god rose up
to annihilate them; the Ark was as tranquil as before. Its inside
was also covered with the plain, beaten gold sheets, but within the
cavity were two objects wrapped in white cloth. Their shapes were
too irregular to be those of the famed stone tablets. Jones
carefully lifted one of them out of the Ark, unwrapped it - and
suddenly there was the glitter of an entirely different order of
gold craftsmanship.

The object that he held up before them was about two feet long and a
foot high; it was a crouched, semi-humanoid figure with its head and
face concealed by its two outstretched wings. It was evidently
fashioned from pure gold and was carved and polished to jewel-like
perfection. Noting the sudden expression of confusion on Mann's
face, Jones held the statue towards him and nodded with evident
pleasure: "I think you've just noticed what we did forty years ago."

"That's not Mesopotamian," said Mann. "That's *Egyptian*. The wings,
the kilt - What's an *Egyptian* statue doing on the Hebrew Ark?"

"We asked ourselves the same question in Tanis," said Marion while
her husband set the first statue down and began to unwrap the other
one. "But like you we weren't expecting such a discovery. And
unfortunately we were interrupted by the Ahnenerbe before we could
try to come up with an answer. Indy, show him their faces."

Jones tilted the statues back so that Mann could see beneath the
canopied wings. Once again he shook his head in surprise. "Horus and
Set. Those are Horus and Set. What does this mean? And you knew
about this and didn't say anything about it - didn't write it up or
make any statement? Do you know -"

"Of course we do," said Marion. "But we didn't have the Ark - or the
cherubim. Who'd have believed us? After the Army took the Ark away,
it was as though a door were shut in our face. No one would tell us
anything about it, or even admit to having it at all. I can't tell
you how many people we tried in Washington."

Mann shifted his gaze back to the Ark. "What about the Ten
Commandments?" he said. "Weren't they supposed to be inside? Where
are they?"

"Not here at any rate," said Jones, "Unless you've got another box
here labeled, um, 9906753-A."

Mann laughed. "I'm afraid not."

"One of two things must have happened - assuming that the tablets
were in the Ark when Marion and I got it out of the Well of Souls:
Either the Germans got them while we were out cold, or the same
people who took our two little friends off the lid stored the
tablets in some other place."

"But it doesn't make sense that they'd separate the tablets from the
Ark, which is equally important," objected Marion. "They wouldn't
have removed them from the Ark just to be able to put the statues
inside."

"I'm going out to the car," said Mann. "I'll be right back."

Moments later he returned, carrying a socket adapter, a small DC
transformer, and two long electrical cables. The Joneses watched
with interest while he connected the transformer to the nearest
overhead light socket, then attached one end of the cables to the
transformer and the others to one of the metal attachments at each
end of the Ark. He switched on the transformer after cautioning them
not to touch the Ark while the current was on. Then with Peter
Rivera's camera he took a series of infrared photographs of all of
the outside and inside surfaces of the box. Finally he switched off
the current, and disconnected the apparatus. "Well," he said. "What
now?"

Indiana Jones scratched his chin. "For the time being the Ark might
as well stay here. But first I want to take some measurements of it.
And I want to take the cherubim with us. I'll go ahead and sign a
receipt if you want."

Mann laughed. "A receipt for some Lockheed P-38 parts? O.K., I'll
write it up."

It was but the work of a few more minutes to nail the crate together
again around the now-empty Ark and reband it. Just for good measure
Mann smeared a little oil on the shiny new bands, then sprinkled
some dust from the floor on them. "Instant age," he observed.
Finally crate 9906753 was restored to its niche. The three of them
made their way out of the warehouse.

* * *

The next morning Dennis Mann picked up Indiana and Marion Jones at
their hotel, passed by the fotomat to collect the prints of the film
he had taken, and continued on to Peter Rivera's home.

To Rivera they recounted the events of the previous evening. Jones
had brought along the two cherubim statues in an old leather
suitcase, and when he unwrapped them Rivera let out a low whistle of
awe. He reached out to touch one of them, then drew back his hand at
the last moment. Mann smiled. "Me too," he said.

Marion Jones was carefully taping four of the photographs together.
"Look at this, Indy. Hieroglyphs. On the inside of the Ark."

Jones took the photos from her. "So that infrared trick really
worked. Incredible. You -" he addressed Mann and Rivera "- have a
great future in archaeology. Marion, have you got some paper handy?"

He sat down at the dining-table and, peering carefully at the
photographs, began to make notes. After watching him for a few
moments, Marion tugged two books from the satchel she had brought
with her. "While he's working on the translation," she said, "we
found some tidbits at UC yesterday that you might be interested in
hearing. We of course knew about the Egyptian design of the cherubim
from our original discovery of the Ark. Until now there seemed to be
little use in pursuing the matter, but your call" - she nodded at
Mann - "made the difference. So yesterday we were looking for the
link, as it were. This first book is _Religion in Ancient History_
by Brandon - Religion Department at the University of Manchester.
Very bright guy. Indy knew him in graduate school. Listen to this:

-----
"Seraphim are mysterious beings; they clearly derive from a very
primitive stage of Hebrew culture. The word 'seraphim' means
'burning ones', and it is evident that originally they were
supernatural serpents with a burning bite. Indeed, as the curious
episode in Numbers 21:6 indicates, they were once worshipped. The
bronze serpent that was then made was called a saraph, and it
continued to be a cult object in Judah down to the reign of Hezekiah
(716-687 BC).

"Equally mysterious are the cherubim. According to 'Psalm 18:10',
they transport Yahweh: 'He (Yahweh) rode on the cherub and flew; he
came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.' Their association in this
passage with storm-clouds appears more clearly in Ezekiel's account
of the vision of Yahweh which he had when an exile in Mesopotamia
(593 BC): 'As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north,
and a great cloud, with brightness round about it, and fire flashing
forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming
bronze. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living
creatures. And this was their appearance: They had the form of men,
but each had four faces, and each had four wings. As for the
likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man in front; the
four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face
of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle at
the back. Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out
above. (Ezekiel 1:4-5, 10-11)

"In the instructions given in Exodus 25:18-20 for the construction
of the Ark of Yahweh, which was the chief cult-object in the
original Temple of Jerusalem, Moses is directed: 'You shall make two
cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two
ends of the mercy seat. The cherubim shall spread out their wings
above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces
one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the
cherubim be.'

"Specialist opinion today is inclined to think that the cherubim
were similar to the winged sphinxes found in Phoenician art - their
images adorning the Ark are also reminiscent of the winged figures
of the goddesses Isis and Nepthys that protect the shrine of
Tutankhamen.

"It would seem, therefore, that in the pre-exilic period, as Hebrew
religion emerged gradually from its primitive polytheism, many
supernatural beings, of diverse origin and status, were recognized
alongside of Yahweh. Since at this stage the idea of the Devil had
not emerged, these beings were sometimes regarded as emissaries of
Yahweh to bring evil as well as good on men - which they did, most
notably, on Saul and Ahab."
-----

"You see the problem here," said Marion. "We're actually trying to
make sense out of a religious artifact that, at least where the
cherubim are concerned, is not Hebraic at all, but rather Egyptian
in origin. Also dating back to a historical period before Yahweh or
Jehovah became a single god for the Hebrews.

"Then there is the secondary problem of the Exodus itself.
Archaeologically it never happened - at least not in the way it is
described in the _Bible_."

She set the Brandon book down and took up the second one. "John
Romer's _Testament_. Brilliant piece of work. He's a British
archaeologist who's spent most of his professional life in the field
in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Wrote this as a study of how the present-
day book we know as the _Bible_ came to be assembled over the
centuries." She flipped through the pages, then quoted a passage to
them:

-----
"Hard evidence of the Exodus event in the preserving deserts of the
Sinai, where most of the biblical Wandering takes place, is
similarly elusive. Although its climate has preserved the tiniest
traces of ancient bedouin encampments and the sparse, 5,000-year-old
villages of mine-workers, there is not a single trace of Moses or
the Israelites. And they would have been by far the largest body of
ancient people ever to have lived in this great wilderness. Neither
is there any evidence that Sinai and its little natural springs
could ever have supported such a multitude, even for a single week.
Several 19th-century vicars recognized this fact within a day or two
of the start of numerous expeditions in search of Moses' footsteps.
'Escaping from the rigours of an English winter,' as one of them
says, 'in a land of the flock and the tent to which our only guide
was the _Bible_' they quickly realized that the biblical Exodus was
logistically impossible and that the _Bible_ was a most ambiguous
guide to that desolate region. The biblical description of the
Exodus, then, flies in the face of practical experience. Indeed the
closer you examine it, the further it seems removed from all of
ancient history.

"Fortunately it is easier to discover the age of the book of Exodus
than the route of an Exodus journey - and all the indications are
that this was a very long time after Rameses City had descended into
ruin. For running alongside the ancient theme of creation and re-
creation is the no-less-powerful theme of a liberation from slavery
and of Jehovah's revenge upon the slave masters. And it is in this
account of Israel's enslavement that the Exodus story departs from
the reality of the world of Genesis and Exodus. Slavery on such a
scale and of the type described in the Book of Exodus did not exist
in ancient Egypt, nor anywhere in that ancient world, where mankind
was set inside a holy order in which everyone from a pharaoh to a
bonded peasant was at the disposal of the gods and the state. In
such a world modern conceptions of slavery and freedom, even of
ownership and buying and selling, have little meaning. Furthermore
explicit documentary evidence from ancient Egypt shows that
foreigners who lived in that country, either as prisoners of war or
as peaceful immigrants, were carefully and quickly integrated into
the general mass of the population. Ancient notions of race and
culture were very different, and Exodus' theme of liberation from
oppression is entirely inappropriate to ancient reality."
-----

Marion closed the book. "So not only do we have an Ark of extremely
mysterious design. It is also supposed to be one of the central
features of an event which, as far as we can tell, never took place.
Yet here it is. Now -"

"Got it!" said Indiana Jones, pushing back his chair and walking
over to join them. "Fantastic. Some of the glyphs were too blurred
or indistinct, but enough came through. This is just fantastic." He
waved his notes at them. "Are you ready for this?"

-----
"and ... Self-Become-One has said ... firstborn son of the great
house of Men-maat-Ra, son of the Sun, Ptah-meri-en-Seti, Life!
Health! Strength!, bear away from Khem the sacred Sam-taui ...
preserved by these nomads with ... I adjure thee ... writing
reveals itself, to return the Sam-taui to their most holy"
-----

"Most holy what?" said Mann. "Don't tell me ..."

"'Fraid so," said Jones. "That's where they stop. The rest of the
writing is presumably on the other tablet, which left no impression
on the gold. But no matter. We'll worry about that later. This is
tremendous. Do you know what this means?"

"What's the name of that Pharaoh?" inquired Rivera.

"Sorry, I was giving you the literal translation. It's Seti I of the
Nineteenth Dynasty. Now let's see how good a detective you are." He
passed the notes to Rivera, who looked over them carefully.

"Well, the writer refers to himself only as Seti's firstborn son -
but not by name. Maybe he had some reason to conceal his name? Maybe
to pose as a non-Egyptian, to blend in with these nomads he's
talking about? Of course: *Moses*. That's why he's come down to us
with that name; it's just the Egyptian hieroglyphic for 'son'."

"Like 'Thutmose - Son of Thoth' and 'Rameses - Son of Ra'," nodded
Mann. "So this is proof that Moses was not only an Egyptian, but in
fact a prince of the royal house - the crown prince in fact."

"You got it," said Jones, beaming at them. "I'll bet that my movie
double, Harrison Ford, never stopped to think that the root of his
first name is the hieroglyphic for Har or Horus, which makes him
'Son of Horus'. Anything else occur to you?"

"Hmm," said Mann. "The Sam-taui are obviously those two statues of
Horus and Set. And they weren't just any statues; they were two
unusually important ones. For whatever reason - perhaps a political
crisis or threat of invasion - it was felt necessary to get them out
of Egypt in some manner that would ultimately preserve them without
revealing their actual significance or value. What better way than
as 'ornaments' for a mock-sacred treasure, the tablets of the Ten
Commandments - which Moses also used to record this message."

He got to his feet and paced back and forth, getting more excited.
"He must have carved the commandments on the front of the tablets,
which is all that he showed the Hebrews. They never knew what was on
the back, nor could they read the message even if they did see it.
And Moses made certain that they wouldn't see the hieroglyphs by
decreeing that the tablets were to be locked out of sight in the Ark
and not touched henceforth. Even the Hebrew priests who were
permitted to open the Ark could see only the Hebrew writing as they
looked inside. And that's why what was on the back of this tablet
impressed itself into the gold lining of the Ark."

"How about that 'Self-Become-One'?" added Rivera. "That's got to be
Xepera, the self-created scarab, right?"

"Or," said Jones, "you might translate the hieroglyph into ancient
Hebrew as 'I am that I am' or 'I will be what I will be'. But let's
not jump immediately to a simple conclusion." He rummaged again in
the leather satchel, took out a third book. "Massey's _Ancient
Egypt_," he explained. "Massey was an interesting guy. Spent years
in research at the British Museum around the turn of the century,
and published six books on his work. He also lectured extensively in
both England and the States. Many of this century's best
archaeologists began their careers as students of his. Unfortunately
for him, he more or less exposed Judaeo-Christianity as being merely
a plagiarism of far-more-ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian legends.
That didn't go down too well with the contemporary religious
establishment, which is why he's been, in a word, suppressed. But
there isn't an Egyptologist worth his salt today who doesn't know
Massey's work. Here's the part I was looking for:

-----
"Ages before the Hebrew Pentateuch was written and ascribed to
Moses, the one god had been worshipped at On or Annu as Egyptian
under the title of Atum-Ra. If he was made known to Anhur by
revelation, whatsoever that may imply, the revelation was Egyptian.
This is the god who was one by nature and dual by manifestation: one
in the solar mythos as the opener/closer of the netherworld; one in
the eschatology as Huhi the everlasting father, and Iu the ever-
coming son as prince of peace; the one god, called the holy spirit,
who was founded typically on the human ghost. This is the living
(Ankhu), self-originating, and eternal god. This is he who was to be
lifted up as god alone in his ark or tabernacle on the mount of
glory - that is, as Ra-Harmakhu on the double horizon or in the dual
equinox; the deity who gave the law on Mount Shenni through the
intermediation of Anhur or Ma-Shu, the son of Ra.

"In the so-called 'destruction of mankind' the solar god resolves to
be lifted up in an ark or sanctuary by himself alone. This sanctuary
is carried on the back of Nut, the celestial cow. 'There was Nut.
The majesty of Ra was on her back. His majesty arrived in the
sanctuary. And his majesty saw the inner part of the sanctuary.'

"This creation of the sanctuary for the one god Ra upon the mount is
followed in the Hebrew book. Ihuh says to Moses, 'Let them (the
children of Israel) make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among
them. According to all that I show thee, the pattern of the dwelling
and the pattern of the furniture thereof, even so ye shall make it.'
'And they shall make an ark of acacia-wood.'

"The two together, the sanctuary and the ark, constituted an ark-
shrine of the true Egyptian pattern. As Egyptian, the ark of Ra-
Harmakhu represented the double equinox in the two horizons. This
was the 'double abode of Ra' in the dual domain of light and shade,
the model of the Jewish arks or tabernacles that were to be erected
equally in sun and shade. The part open to the rays of light was
exactly to balance the shade or veil of the covering, and not to
have more sun than shade (Mishna, Treatise Succah). This was in
accordance with the plan of the Great Pyramid in relation to the
luminous hemisphere and the hemisphere of shade at the two
equinoxes.

"The sanctuary of Ra was a figure of the heavens. The Hebrew ark was
a portable copy, a tabernacle fitted for an itinerating deity.

"It was the Egyptian custom to represent the heaven in miniature as
an ark of so many cubits. There is an ark of seven cubits, one of
eight cubits, another of four cubits, in which the god was 'lifted
up' or exalted.

"Inside the ark there was a shrine for the deity, with a figure of
the god within the sanctuary. As water was the primary element of
life, the nature-powers were held to have come into being by water.
Hence their images were placed within the shrine that was carried on
board the papyrus bark and borne upon the shoulders of the priests.

"These tabernacles, consisting of a boat and shrine, were the sacred
ark-shrines of Egypt. Thus the beginnings were forever kept in view.
The ark-shrine on the water represented by the boat became a type of
heaven as dwelling-place of the Eternal. Thus an ark of Nnu was
constellated in the stars and pictured on the waters of the
inundation. The ark of Atum-Ra was depicted with the solar orb on
board, which was always red.

"In the religious mysteries, as already shown, an ark of four cubits
imaged the heaven of four quarters, or, as the Egyptians phrased it,
of four sides. As we have seen, there was an ark of seven cubits for
the heptanomis, and one of eight cubits for the octonary. This ark-
shrine of eight cubits is to be built for the god to float in after
there has been a great subsidence of land in the celestial waters.
So likewise in the 'destruction of mankind', when Ra becomes the
supreme one god, he orders an ark or tabernacle to be made for his
voyage over the heavens. The inscription was engraved in the chamber
of the cow that was herself a form of the ark as the goddess Nut."
-----

"So the Ark is an Egyptian device used to transport the Sam-taui,"
said Rivera. "So where does that leave us?"

"Go ahead a few thousand years," answered Jones. "What happened to
the Ark when Marion and I first found it?"

"I don't follow you."

"O.K., look at it this way: We got to keep the Ark, but without the
tablets. The Germans must have drugged us, then opened the Ark and
removed the tablets - which are what are supposed to be important
about it, remember? - and taken just them to Berlin. Presumably the
team - it was rather more of a commando outfit than a research group
- couldn't translate the hieroglyphs on-site, or just didn't bother
to.

"Why they didn't take the Ark and the Sam-taui as well I don't
suppose we'll ever know. Maybe they didn't have time or the
transport facilities. Anyway, by the time the hieroglyphs were
deciphered, the Ark was in the United States, out of their reach.
There must have been hell to pay in Berlin that day!" He laughed.

"Now we have a most interesting situation. The Germans couldn't
reveal the truth about the tablets, because then the U.S. would know
the significance of the statues. As for the Ark, well, my guess
would be that it was opened up once we got it to Washington. When
nothing was found inside, the powers-that-be decided that revealing
that fact might be a bad blow to Judaeo-Christianity - or even might
be seen as an anti-Semitic scheme to discredit the biblical account.
Remember that the whole Western world was pretty touchy about the
Jews in the pre-World War II period; it wasn't just a German trait
by a long shot.

"So that's why the government just buried the Ark in your warehouse.
A religious hot potato, if you will."

Marion waved her finger in the air. "Now a whole lot of other things
are beginning to fall into place," she said. "Rameses II -
presumably another son of Seti I - moved the Egyptian capital to
Tanis during his reign from 1290 to 1223 BC. Tanis remained the
capital through the XXII Dynasty begun by Pharaoh Sheshonk, the
biblical 'Shishack' who raided and sacked Jerusalem in 928 BC.
That's in I Kings 14:26. If Sheshonk knew about the Sam-taui through
court or temple archives, that might explain why he went after the
Ark - to get the sacred Sam-taui back to Egypt. Certainly there's no
reason why he should have gone through all that trouble to enshrine
a presumably false, foreign Jehovah in the Well of Souls where we
found the Ark. That would have been an affront to the Egyptian gods.

"But what he was actually enshrining was the Sam-taui, together with
Moses' ingenious device to preserve them. And the "Staff of Ra" that
you used to find the Well, Indy; that must have been the 'Staff of
Rameses'. I'll bet you anything that the story of the Sam-taui's
concealment was recorded on the original shaft of that staff by
Moses' younger brother - for the eyes of future pharaohs only.
Rameses must have had the Well and the Map Room built in his new
capital against a time when the Ark would be returned. Evidently
Sheshonk had reason to think that the time had come to bring it
back."

"So now we have to get our hands on the Ten Commandments - or, more
precisely, on the rest of that inscription," said Jones. "That means
we're off to Germany tomorrow. You interested?"

"I'm afraid I'm out," said Rivera sadly. "I've got too many things
holding me to the bay area right now. But I certainly want to know
what happens."

The Joneses looked at Dennis Mann. "Right now I belong to the Army,"
he said. "But after a couple of weeks -" then paused as Indiana
smiled and waved a piece of fax paper in front of him.

"Forgot to tell you. I took the, ah, liberty of having your orders
amended. You're now on casual status, assigned as escort officer to
a scholar with a sensitive security background traveling overseas.
That's me. You don't mind?"

Mann laughed. "Obviously you've got what is commonly called clout."

"Ha," said Marion. "It's just that he creates so many problems for
so many high-ups when someone isn't keeping an eye on him!"

"My reputation must be improving," commented her husband. "This time
I asked for and got two escort officers. We'll pick up the other one
when we change planes at Kennedy."

CONTINUED IN PART 3 ...

Xeper

unread,
Apr 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/21/97
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SECRET OF THE LOST ARK
(c) Xe...@aol.com 1981, 1992
----------------------------
PART 3

The next morning Dennis Mann and the Joneses flew from San Francisco
to New York's Kennedy Airport and transferred to a Lufthansa flight
for Frankfurt. Waiting for them at the gate was the other escort
officer.

"Dennis, what's this all about?" said Karen. "These orders came in
yesterday. Who's this 'Professor Harry Jones'?"

Mann beamed at her, then brought her over to Indy and Marion, who
put on a good show, he thought, of innocence in the "arrangement".

Karen stared at them, then turned to him and said, "Good god, it's
*Harrison Ford*, isn't it? And you," - she looked again at Marion -
"you're Karen Allen from the _Raiders_ movie, right?"

Dennis chuckled. "Well, something like that, dear. It's a long
story. I'll tell you on the plane."

* * *

It was close to noon the following day when the 747 finally touched
down at Munich. An hour later they had secured an Audi from the
local Hertz office and were speeding out of the city on the Salzburg
Autobahn. Until now Indiana Jones had deflected questions as to
their precise destination, but now it seemed that he was ready to
talk.

"The fastest route would be over into Austria and back into
Berchtesgaden," he said. "But since your passports haven't reached
the consulate yet and we don't have time to argue with the Austrian
border people, we'll cut down 306 and catch 305 into the town.
Marion, after we pass the Chiemsee on the left, take the right exit
for Inzell."

"Berchtesgaden?" said Mann. "That means the Obersalzberg, right? So
we're going to Hitler's old home in the Alps? Why there as opposed
to Berlin?"

"I considered Berlin," Indiana answered. "Believe it or not, there
is a way down into the Fuehrerbunker even though the Soviet
engineers blew up the main and emergency exits. Underground escape
passage leading from a false wall in Hitler's quarters to a
concealed trapdoor in an old building a block away. Remind me to
tell you all about that sometime," - he smiled as Dennis' and
Karen's eyes widened - "but my nose tells me that he wouldn't have
taken a - talisman - like the Ten Commandments there. He may have
worked in Berlin, but his heart was here. He used to point out the
window of the Berghof at the Untersberg - that's the mountain
wherein Charlemagne is reputed to be sleeping, waiting to rise
again, sort of like King Arthur from Avalon." Jones pulled one
particular paper from the folder on his lap and switched on the map
light of the Audi. "Here, this is Martin Bormann's transcript of
some of Hitler's remarks during the evening of January 2, 1941:

-----
"When I go to Obersalzberg, I'm not drawn there merely by the beauty
of the landscape. I feel myself far from petty things, and my
imagination is stimulated. When I study a problem elsewhere, I see
it less clearly; I'm submerged by the details. By night, at the
Berghof, I often remain for hours with my eyes open, contemplating
from my bed the mountains lit up by the Moon. It's at such moments
that my mind is illuminated."
-----

"If he acquired the tablets," continued Indiana, "I'm betting that
he hid them there. Now the Berghof itself - his official residence
at Obersalzberg - was blown up during an Allied air raid in April
1945. Even so its shell remained standing for another seven years.
Then the Bavarian government got nervous, thought it was attracting
a bit too much attention as a shrine, so to speak, and had it razed
to the ground on April 30, 1952 - coincidentally the anniversary of
his reported suicide in Berlin. Today there is nothing left but the
old garage, and even that is almost completely overgrown by brush."

"You think he hid the Ten Commandments in his garage?" inquired
Karen.

Jones laughed. "No - Marion, there's the turnoff - Now then: Hitler
may have lived in the Berghof, but he had another place there for
personal contemplation. About twelve miles up a winding road from
the Berghof is the Kehlstein mountain. The road leads to a tunnel
that goes to the center of the mountain. There Bormann had an
elevator shaft cut through the solid rock all the way to the peak.
At its apex he built a special retreat for Hitler - the Adlerhorst
or Eagle's Nest. It's not exactly Neuschwanstein, mind you; Speer
referred to it as 'ocean-liner modern'. Probably because he didn't
get to design it. But the air raid missed it entirely, and then it
was judged too much of an engineering marvel to destroy. So today
it's a restaurant for tourists, if you can believe that."

"I can believe that," nodded Mann. "But I have another question to
put to you: Why do you think that Hitler had the tablets? If they
were taken from you by the Ahnenerbe, perhaps Himmler kept them - at
the Wewelsburg, for instance."

"I considered that too, but I don't think so. You have to get into
the minds of these people. Himmler was a mystic, true, but he had a
very strong phobia against anything Jewish or Hebraic. He wouldn't
have sent an Ahnenerbe team after something like the Ark of the
Covenant on his own - or, if he had, the team would simply have had
orders to obliterate it.

"But Hitler, as per his own words, had a sense of historical respect
for the tablets. He would have wanted them intact. And that's the
way they were taken from us."

* * *

As the afternoon blended into a beautiful Alpine evening, they
descended into the small valley containing the colorful village of
Berchtesgaden. The Audi followed the Achen River halfway through
town, then turned onto a narrow but well-paved road leading toward
the foothills of the Obersalzberg. "We're going to the General
Walker," said Indiana to Marion. "You'll see the sign up ahead.
They've already got a suite for us."

"Clout," observed Dennis to Karen.

She grinned back at him. "Clout indeed. When I was last over here, I
once tried to get reservations at the Walker and was told that you
had to make them months in advance. So I stayed in town at the
Berchtesgadener Hof - which turned out to be a very nice place."

"It should be," said Indiana. "Despite the Platterhof's - that's the
Walker's original name - location right in the Obersalzberg complex,
many of the VIPs preferred to stay in Berchtesgaden, which was
certainly a more relaxed environment. Your hotel is where they
stayed: Chamberlain, Rommel, Raeder, Himmler, Goebbels ... Plenty of
important ghosts to keep you company at night."

Karen gave him a look. "Thanks, Dennis will do." Jones' eyes
twinkled.

Marion pulled the Audi into the General Walker Hotel's parking lot.
"Ghosts or not," she said, "I for one am thoroughly jet-lagged. I
haven't had a good night's sleep since we left Chapel Hill, Indy.
And I'm willing to bet Karen is bushed too. Tomorrow we're going to
sleep late, then breakfast in front of a nice warm fire, then lounge
around on the featherbeds while you big strong men go running around
in the - brrr! - refreshing Alpine air."

"Listen to the lady who hates cold mountain air," retorted Jones. He
glanced at Dennis and Karen. "If I hadn't arrived like the fairy
prince to sweep her off her feet, she'd still be freezing her ass
off in the Himalayas. That's gratitude for you!"

"Right," said Karen. "The way I saw it, she swept *you* off your
feet."

"Minor detail," said the archaeologist. "That's what I get for
telling all to a kid named Lucas. Oh, well, let's get the bags
inside before we all freeze."

* * *

As the Joneses and the Manns dropped off to sleep under the
featherbeds of the General Walker, it was still only late in the
afternoon in the District of Columbia. At 5:12 a shiny black Lincoln
pulled off the Parkway into the tree-shrouded access road with its
unobtrusive sign saying, simply, "CIA". [The sign had been put there
by orders of John Kennedy, whose driver had been unable to find the
unmarked turnoff on the new President's first official visit.]

The limousine continued past the controlled-gate checkpoint and
finally glided to a halt in front of the gleaming white building
housing the Central Intelligence Agency. A stocky, dark-haired man
in the pin-striped suit that is the Washington diplomatic uniform
emerged from the car and walked up the steps to be met by a
similarly-attired - but obviously Ivy League - official who quickly
escorted him into the building and through the lobby checkpoints.
They walked along the hall into the left wing, past several doors
bearing numbers but no identifying signs, and finally entered one of
them: a small office evidently used for a variety of interview
purposes.

"Well?" said the visitor, taking one of the chairs and crossing his
legs.

His host frowned. "I don't like this, you know. The decision's out
of my hands, but only because your government has confirmed that
you'll not take any action unless it's first approved by us. That is
understood?"

"Yes, quite understood," said the visitor impatiently. "Now what can
you tell me about Jones?"

The CIA official shrugged and lit a cigarette. "Not much, I'm
afraid. He called one of our people here a couple of days ago. Weird
request. He wanted travel arrangements in Germany, and carte blanche
orders for an Army lieutenant colonel and his wife - she's also an
officer: a major - to accompany him. He didn't say why, and of
course our person didn't ask; he just approved it because of Jones
being who he is. But of course it came up on the computer, and
that's why you've been told about it."

"Who's this Army officer?"

"Just a Reservist who was assigned to San Francisco for a two-week
tour. When we called the unit out there, all we were told was that
he'd been assigned to watch some warehouse facilities at another
base in the bay area. I can't see there's much to make of that."

"I expect you're right. Where are they now?"

"All four of them - Jones' wife is along too - took a plane to
Munich. We booked them into the General Walker at the Obersalzberg.
But there's nothing sensitive about that place today; it's just a
recreation site for the armed forces and a tourist-trap."

"You think they went there to go skiing? Indiana Jones?"

"Like I said, your guess is as good as mine. Anyway we were supposed
to tell you if he left the country, and so we have."

The visitor stood up. "All right then. Come on, I'll buy you a cup
of your lousy coffee in the unclassified cafeteria before I go."

Twenty minutes later, as the Lincoln purred back towards Washington,
the man in the back seat activated a cellular phone, pressed a
scrambler switch, and said: "This is MOSSAD 4310. Jones must have
found it. The CIA locates him at Obersalzberg in Germany. Yes, the
General Walker Hotel. Send someone to watch him, and keep me
posted."

* * *

The next morning Dennis Mann rolled over, scratched his ear, and
gradually focused his eyes at the bedside table. On it was an old
clothbound book with some loose papers crammed into the back of it.
The stamped title on the spine was too faded to read. He reached out
a hand, flipped it open to the title page:

-----
"THE VOICE OF DESTRUCTION
by Hermann Rauschning
G.P. Putnam's Sons
New York, 1940"
-----

A note on a torn piece of paper fell out from inside the front
cover. It said: "Chapts XVI & XVII - Understand the mind. Also
Bormann's trans of H's pvt convs on 10/24/41, 1/25/42, 2/27/42. See
you at 10. IJ" - and then below: "See red marks".

Dennis sat up and nudged Karen. "Hey," he said. "Wake up. Jones left
a book here."

She rolled over and glared at him. "What time is it?"

"Um, half past eight," he answered. "But -"

"See you at eleven," she yawned and pulled the featherbed over her
head.

Dennis considered whether to tug it back down, then thought better
of it. He settled back, opened the book, and began to read from the
memoirs of Adolf Hitler's confidant:

-----
"Black magic, white magic - Hitler is the typical person with no
firm foundation, with all the shortcomings of the superficial, of
the man without reverence, quick to judge and quick to condemn. He
is one of those with no spiritual tradition, who, being caught by
the first substitute for it that they meet, hold tenaciously to
that, lest they fall back into nothingness. He belongs also to the
type of German who is 'starving for the unattainable'. For all those
who have been unsuccessful in the battle of life, National Socialism
is the great worker of magic. And Hitler himself is the first of
these; thus he has become the master-enchanter and the high priest
of the religious mysteries of Nazidom.

"Hitler's henchmen make more and more play with this quality of his
of supreme magician, a quality supposed to outdistance those of a
great statesman. And amid the ecstasy of his speeches, or in his
solitary walks in the mountains, he feels that he does possess this
quality ..."
-----

He flipped through a few more pages ...

-----
"Revolution without end: I must add a few words on the subject of
this doctrine of Hitler's. Few know about it. Yet his political
purpose can only be understood with this background of his ideas.
Hitler is not superstitious in the ordinary sense. His interest in
the horoscope and the cryptic elements in nature is connected with
his conviction that man exists in some kind of magic association
with the universe. The political element is for him only the
foreground of a revolution which he pictures on the most stupendous
scale.

"The story of apocryphal literature gives him the material for his
doctrine. But what is of more importance than the doctrine is the
will behind it. Hitler never tires of proclaiming, with endless
variations on his theme, that the movement into which he has led the
German people and the world is an unending movement, an unending
revolution. This revolution embraces the whole existence of mankind.
It is the liberation of mankind, which, according to Hitler's
doctrine, advances a step every 700 years. This liberation is at the
same time, for the great majority of mankind, a subjection to a new
form of bondage. For the liberation is that of the sons of God. It
is the revolution of the new nobility against the masses.

"He has gone far, if we recall where he began. Hitler the
conspirator and paid propagandist has become the prophet of a new
religion. Is this merely the megalomania of a sick man, or is it
not, after all, the outcome of a logical process? A red thread may
be plainly seen running through all the inconsistent, contradictory
activities of this most extraordinary man. 'Activity is everything.
Keep always on the move.' His natural restlessness finds expression
in everything. But at the back of it there is not only his 'haunting
hysteria', as he himself so significantly calls it. A world in full
process of dissolution, and a people no less hysterical than himself
could not but come under the leadership of a man of this sort.

"'Time,' he says, 'is working for us. I need but give them a kick,
and we shall be free of the chains of a world that has outlived its
day. All these things that seem so solid are rotten and ready for
collapse.'

"All things do, indeed, seem to be inwardly rotting and in
dissolution. In its dismay humanity seems to be abandoning itself to
restless movement, perpetual change. And self-surrender to the
uncontrollable impulse to wreak destruction seems to be the essence
of the spirit that guides this insane adventurer. 'We do not know
yet,' said Hitler on one occasion, 'the full scope of our objective.
But we have it in our blood, and we are living it.' That is
literature - bad literature. It dates from the outset of the present
century. At that time there existed a sort of hysterical romanticism
in Germany and Austria. It flourished especially in Vienna and
Munich.

"It is not the first time that the sick fancies of a whole fevered
nation have found concrete shape in figures that have worked havoc
for centuries thereafter. Whole peoples have broken suddenly into an
inexplicable restlessness. They undertake pilgrimages of penance,
they are seized with an hysterical dancing mania. The present is one
of these cases, A nation has become sick in mind; the circumstances
may be investigated, but the root cause remains undiscoverable ..."
-----

Mann pulled the photocopied transcripts from the rear of the book,
laid the worn volume back on the table, and looked at the first of
Hitler's confidential statements which Indiana Jones had highlighted
with a red pencil:

-----
"14th October 1941, midday. Special guest: Reichsfuehrer Himmler

"An educated man retains the same sense of the mysteries of nature
and bows before the unknowable. An uneducated man, on the other
hand, runs the risk of going over to atheism (which is a return to
the state of the animal) as soon as he perceives that the state, in
sheer opportunism, is making use of false ideas in the matter of
religion, whilst in other fields it bases everything on pure
science.

"But one must continue to pay attention to another aspect of the
problem. It's possible to satisfy the needs of the inner life by an
intimate communion with nature, or by knowledge of the past. Only a
minority, however, at the present stage of the mind's development,
can feel the respect inspired by the unknown, and thus satisfy the
metaphysical needs of the soul. The average human being has the same
needs, but can satisfy them only by elementary means. The person
whose life tends to simplification is thirsty for belief, and he
dimly clings to it with all his strength."

***

"24th October 1941, evening. Special guest: Lieutenant General von
Rintelen, coming from Rome

"The microscope has taught us that we are hemmed in not only by the
infinitely great but also by the infinitely small - macrocosm and
microcosm. To such large considerations are added particular things
that are brought to our attention by natural observation: that
certain hygienic practices are good for a man - fasting, for
example. It's by no means a result of chance that among the ancient
Egyptians no distinction was drawn between medicine and religion.

"For a world population of 2,250,000,000, one can count on the Earth
170 religions of a certain importance - each of them claiming, of
course, to be the repository of the truth. At least 169 of them,
therefore, are mistaken! Among the religions practiced today, there
is none that goes back further than 2,500 years. But there have been
human beings, in the baboon category, for at least 300,000 years.
There is less distance between the man-ape and the ordinary modern
man than there is between the ordinary modern man and a man like
Schopenhauer. In comparison with this millenary past, what does a
period of 2,000 years signify?"

***

"Night of 25th January 1942

"It's striking to realize what a limited view we have of the past.
The oldest specimens of handwriting we possess go back 3-4,000 years
at most. No legend would have reached us if those who made and
transmitted them hadn't been people like ourselves. Where do we
acquire the right to believe that man has not always been what he is
now? The study of nature teaches us that, in the animal kingdom just
as much as in the vegetable kingdom, variations have occurred.
They've occurred within the species, but none of these variations
has an importance comparable with that which separates man from the
monkey - assuming that this transformation really took place.

"If we consider the ancient Greeks, we find in them a beauty much
superior to the beauty such as is widespread today - and I mean also
beauty in the realm of thought as much as in the realm of forms. To
realize this it's enough to compare the head of Zeus or Pallas
Athene with that of a crusader or a saint! If one plunges further
into the past, one comes again with the Egyptians upon human beings
of the quality of the Greeks. Since the birth of Christ, we have had
scarcely 40 successive generations on the globe, and our knowledge
goes back only a few thousand years before the Christian era.

"Legend cannot be extracted from the void; it couldn't be a purely
gratuitous figment. Nothing prevents us from supposing - and I
believe, even, that it would be to our interest to do so - that
mythology is a reflection of things that have existed and of which
humanity has retained a vague memory ...

"It's against my own inclinations that I devoted myself to politics.
I don't see anything in politics anyway, but a means to an end. Some
people suppose it would deeply grieve me to give up the activity
that occupies me at this moment. They are deeply mistaken, for the
finest day of my life will be that on which I leave politics behind
me, with its griefs and torments. When the war's over, and I have
the sense of having accomplished my duties, I shall retire. Then I
would like to devote 5 or 10 years to clarifying my thought and
setting it down on paper. Wars pass by. The only things that exist
are the works of human genius.

"This is the explanation of my love of art. Music and architecture -
is it not in these disciplines that we find recorded the path of
humanity's ascent? When I hear Wagner, it seems to me that I hear
rhythms of a bygone world. I imagine to myself that one day science
will discover, in the waves set in motion by the _Rheingold_, secret
mutual relations connected with the order of the world. The
observation of the world perceived by the senses precedes the
knowledge given by exact science as well as by philosophy. It's in
as far as percipient awareness approaches truth that it has value."
-----

Mann glanced over at the clock, saw that he had an hour before
meeting Indiana Jones. He was seized with a sudden desire to see
what was left of the Berghof. He jumped out of bed, pulled on some
clothes, and headed downstairs into the lobby. Outside he turned to
the right and walked down an old access road that wound around the
base of the General Walker past the ruins of an old guest cottage.
When he thought that he had reached a point approximately above the
ruins, he turned and plunged down the hill through the underbrush.
After a few minutes he saw something flat, covered with grass and
weeds. Scrambling down the slope to its right, he saw the exposed
upper corner of what once must have been an arched doorway. Peering
through it, he could see the dark expanse of the Berghof garage -
the only structure still standing from the twice-blown-up structure.
He slid inside, stood up, and looked around. The darkness and the
quiet looked back at him. As his eyes became accustomed to the
shadowed interior, he saw a tapestry of crude graffiti covering the
inside walls.

He crawled back through the half-buried doorway, dusted himself off,
and hiked back up the hill to the access road. As he re-entered the
lobby of the General Walker, Indiana Jones beckoned to him from one
of the armchairs.

"Act normal and keep your voice down," he said. "We're being
watched. At the hotel entrances. Now we're going to casually walk
back towards the suite, but be prepared to move quickly when I do.
Got it?"

Mann nodded. The two men strolled through the inner door of the
lobby, out of sight of the front door, then Indiana pulled Dennis
down a hallway to the left. They hurried down it to its terminus: a
locked metal gate at the top of a long downward flight of stairs.

Jones fitted a key to the lock, let them through, and secured it
behind them. He led the way down the stairs, which seemed to go much
farther down than a normal basement might require. At the bottom he
proceeded through a second door, flipped a light switch, and closed
the door behind them.

Mann looked with fascination at the tunnel which stretched out
before them. "What *is* this place?"

"By late 1943," answered Jones, "the Germans began to appreciate
their vulnerability to air-raids. Key industrial and governmental
facilities began to be moved underground, or at least have sub-
surface emergency bunkers. Obersalzberg received the same treatment.
There's a network of tunnels under this hill that would do a family
of moles proud. I, uh, borrowed the keys. I'm counting on our
strange friends not being familiar enough about the building complex
to know about the tunnels - at least until we've done what we have
to do, which should only take us a couple of hours. As far as they
know, we're still in the Walker. I've told the girls the situation.
They'll maintain enough of a presence to cover for us. This way -"

They followed the main tunnel through a maze of twists and turns.
Periodically small side passages and rooms branched out from it, but
as far as Dennis could see the entire complex was completely empty
of furniture or furnishings: just unrelieved concrete stretching off
into darkness.

"We're passing the Berghof now," said Jones as they came to a
cluster of side-tunnels. "This" - he indicated a dark doorway to
their right - "was Hitler's quarters. But I don't think he ever had
occasion to use it."

Finally they came to a steel door, to which Jones again fitted a
key. They emerged into daylight shielding their eyes against the
sudden glare of the Alpine Sun. A short distance from the bunker
entrance was a paved parking-lot with a small gateway, ticket
office, and bus by the uphill exit. Apart from the ticket-seller and
the bus driver, they were alone. "Good," said Jones as he purchased
two tickets for them. "I was hoping we'd be able to get a look
around the Eagle's Nest before the lunch-crowd starts to arrive."

The bus ride up the road to the Kehlstein took only about ten
minutes. The road terminated in a small paved circle, at the far end
of which loomed the massive bronze doors to Martin Bormann's tunnel.
The bus driver unlocked the doors and informed his passengers that
they were welcome to go up by the elevator, but that the restaurant
wouldn't be opening for another hour.

The tunnel, arched and lined with dressed stone, bored into the rock
in a straight line for 130 meters. It terminated abruptly in a
round, domed chamber and another set of gleaming metal doors flanked
by candelabra. Within Mann saw one of the most lavish elevator cars
imaginable: Its interior was worked completely in polished brass,
offset by green leather seats and mirrors. A circle of clear lights
atop the cabin enhanced the effect.

As Indiana Jones pulled the lever to send the car upward, he
remarked: "We're going up another 400 feet into the Eagle's Nest.
This place is something of an enigma. Took Bormann two years and 30
million marks to finish it. The usual story is that Hitler didn't
like it because of the high altitude and only visited it a few
times. I've heard otherwise, and that's why we're going up to take a
closer look."

After about three minutes of what seemed to be a very slow ascent,
the car door opened into a stone hallway, which in turn led to a
large, semicircular room - the main reception and living area during
the Third Reich, now remodeled into a restaurant. Three large
picture-windows were located at the far end of the room, offering
breathtaking views of the Alps and, far below, the town of
Berchtesgaden.

Jones leaned on one of the tables and looked around thoughtfully.
"Here's where those tablets have got to be, if they're anywhere.
They were supposed to have come from a mountaintop; I'm guessing
that Hitler would restore them to a similar setting if only because
of his strange regard for them. But where? There's this room, that
little parlor over there - generally called Eva Braun's tea room - a
couple of utility rooms back of the elevator, and a basement. We
might examine that basement, but then again ..."

His eyes turned to the central feature of the big room: a massive
fireplace constructed entirely of rich Italian marble. He approached
it and peered inside at the bas-relief cut into its back wall. Then
he sat down on the large flagstone "I get the feeling that I'm
missing the obvious," he said irritably.

"Well," said Dennis, "Hitler wouldn't have hidden the tablets so
permanently that he couldn't get his hands on them when he wanted
to. This is clearly the focal point of the building - and of course
he didn't imagine that it would turn into a restaurant either! But
he wouldn't have wanted a place of concealment to be overly obvious
... Have you got that _Bible_ with you?"

Jones felt in the pocket of his leather jacket, extracted a
paperback _Bible_, and tossed it to Mann, who flipped through the
pages of Exodus looking for the selection which had suddenly
occurred to him:

-----
"20. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man
see me and live.

21. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou
shalt stand upon a rock.

22. And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I
will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my
hand while I pass by.

23. And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back
parts: but my face shall not be seen."
-----

"That caught my eye just the other day because its similarity to the
'two-sided' tablets," said Dennis. "Do you think that Hitler might
have ... What about the hearthstones?"

Jones glanced down at the large dressed stone on which he was
sitting. Then he stood up, knelt down, and took a closer look. The
entire expanse consisted of three stones, each about four feet wide.
He peered carefully at the mortar, then took out a pocketknife and
pressed down with the blade. Nothing.

"These stones are too big to be moved anyway, but I have a hunch
you're right about the fireplace; maybe there's a release or
counterweight somewhere. Hmm -" He crawled into the fireplace,
looked carefully at the design of the bas-relief, then said, "I
wonder," placed his hands over the faces of the figures, and pushed.
Then harder. Then he jumped back as the entire back wall of the
fireplace slowly rotated upwards and back.

They peered into a dark cavity behind the hearth.

CONTINUED IN PART 4 ...

Xeper

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Apr 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/21/97
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SECRET OF THE LOST ARK
(c) Xe...@aol.com 1981, 1992
----------------------------
PART 4

There was a sudden noise from the hallway. The elevator doors hissed
shut; it had evidently begun to descend. "Oh, *great*!" snarled
Jones. "That'll be the staff. Hurry! We've got only about six or
seven minutes before that thing makes a round trip!"

But Indiana Jones was wrong. The brass elevator descended much
faster than it ascended, and in only four minutes the doors opened
again, revealing eight Germans who stared in confusion at the two
Americans before them. Both Jones and Mann were covered in soot.
Despite the coldness of the air, Jones' leather jacket was bunched
under his arm, obviously wrapped around something bulky.

One of the Germans was suspicious. Had some decoration been stolen
or another fragment of marble been chipped off the fireplace by
these tourists. He gestured at the jacket and said, politely but
firmly, "Was haben sie, bitte?"

"Hier? Nur eines Andenken aus Berchtesgaden," said Jones with a
smile. He opened the jacket, revealing two stone tablets. "Die zehn
Gebote. Eine Reproduktion."

The Germans glanced at the tablets and smiled back. Only Americans
would bring a copy of the Hebrew tablets to this of all places. They
dispersed to their tasks, whereupon Jones and Mann stepped quickly
into the elevator. "Sometimes," remarked Jones as the brass doors
hissed shut, "the truth is not only stranger than fiction; it is
simply beyond belief."

* * *

They retraced their subterranean route to the General Walker; as
they passed the archway to the lobby, Dennis saw slouched in a chair
the same individual they had glimpsed in the entrance two hours
earlier. "He looks bored," observed the archaeologist with some
amusement.

"Well, Indiana Jones, you've finally got your Ten Commandments,"
said Marion. "Now what? How do you intend to explain all of this?"

"It's a little premature for explanations. Next thing to do is work
out the full inscription on their backs."

"With those watchdogs downstairs?" asked Karen.

"Why not? If it's us they're watching, they have no reason to do
anything as long as they're sure we're just killing time in this
hotel. They know we're here, but I'm certain they can't know why
we're here. I wasn't entirely sure myself. Marion, I'm going to need
your help on these hieroglyphs."

A thought occurred to him. "Here's what I need the two of you to
do," he said to Dennis and Karen. "Again we'll push our luck. Just
go out, get into the car, and drive back to the Kehlstein parking
lot. Don't take anything except your coats. If these guys are
assigned to tail anyone, it's me, so the odds are they'll just
assume that you're sightseeing and will continue to watch the hotel.
We should be finished with the translation in about an hour. Then
we'll take the bags, go out through Bormann's tunnel, and meet you
at the lot."

An hour later Dennis was piloting the Audi back down the road to
Berchtesgaden. "Wonder how long our friends are going to sit up
there admiring the view?" said Karen. "Whoever sent them after us is
going to be peeved when they come up with a goose egg. Anyway, you
two look pretty pleased with yourselves. So what did the inscription
say?"

"We got it all this time," said Marion. "Here it is." She opened her
notebook and began to read:

-----
"Recorded in obedience to the Word of Him Whose Seat is Behind the
Constellation of the Thigh. I, Firstborn Son of the Great House of
Khem, now renounce my name and my Coming Into Being to the Two
Crowns that I may preserve the sacred trust of our guardianship
against the coming times of peril and destruction.

"In this day I have come to the Great Temple of Khnum, wherein I
have received the most sacred Sam-taui from the priests who watch
over them according to the ancient Word. The Holy Fire of Khem shall
diminish in the Black Land with the taking of the Sam-taui, and so
our home will at last undergo its trial at the hands of those from
the lesser lands. But if I abandon what it has been set forth for me
to do upon the Earth, then Khem shall perish utterly because of the
abominations that shall finally prevail even against the Great
Temple of Khnum.

"With the knowledge of my brother who shall now be Ra-messu-meri-
Amon in my stead, and because of what the Self-Become-One has said
must be done, therefore I, Firstborn Son of the Great House of Men-
maat-Ra, Son of the Sun, Ptah-meri-en-Seti, Life! Health! Strength!,
bear away from Khem the sacred Sam-taui, that they may be preserved
by these nomads with these tables of law in their savage tongue.

"I adjure thee, priest of time unborn to whom this sacred writing
reveals itself, after the dark time has passed, to return the Sam-
taui to their most holy places in the Temple of Khnum.

"If you who read this are not purified priest of this holy mystery,
cursed be you unto the Tuat if you hinder this thing. Touch not the
Sam-taui, nor disturb their place of concealment, nor speak of this
matter, else the breath be drawn from your body and the blood from
your body, and your flesh be consumed by serpents. I, the Son who is
nameless, am he who writes this."
-----

"I don't like the bit about snakes," remarked Indiana Jones.

"As it happens, I don't think you'll have to worry about the curse,"
said Dennis. "Let's just say that I am able to touch the Sam-taui
and leave it at that for now." Jones looked at him oddly but made no
response.

"Were you able to get through to your friend in Stuttgart, Dennis?"
asked Marion.

"Yes, and the consulate people too. He'll have picked up our
passports by now, and said he'd meet us this afternoon at the Munich
airport. Said he'd take care of booking us on the next flight for
Cairo."

"Cairo!?" said Karen. "Dennis! I thought I told you after Desert
Storm that I would never go back to an Islamic country!"

He looked at her helplessly. "I know, but that is where the Sam-taui
come from." He had a thought. "Besides that's where the Joneses are
going, and we are on assignment to escort them ..."

Marion said, "I happen to agree with you, Karen. Remember, the last
time I was there, I got trapped in a basket, tied up, and thrown
into a pit of snakes. This is when the local males weren't busy just
leering. No thanks to *this* guy" - she elbowed Jones in the ribs -
"who was too busy running around playing with that headpiece he
tried to steal from me in Tibet."

Karen laughed. "I'll match my year in Arabia and Kuwait against that
any day. O.K., just this time. But this is it. You find anything
else weird, please pick some normal part of the world?"

"Not too many of those left," said Dennis. "O.K., coming into the
Flughafen ..."

* * *

As promised, Roland Winkhart was there to meet them at the Lufthansa
desk. After greeting Dennis and Karen warmly, he shook hands with
the Joneses in obvious puzzlement. Then he brightened. "I thought I
recognized you. You're the two film actors from _Raiders of the Lost
Ark_, aren't you? Harrison Ford and Karen Allen? Here are your
tickets - for Dr. and Mrs. Harry Jones, as Dennis said. I saw Mr.
Ford in the other two films too. Are you making another movie in
Germany?"

Indiana Jones cleared his throat uncomfortably. "Um - We look a
little like them, but we're really not those actors," he said. "I'm
just a professor from North Carolina, and she's my wife, and we were
just, uh, doing some research at Berchtesgaden."

"Well, we're glad to have you visit our country anyway. Dennis and
Karen always know such interesting people. If you ever pass through
Stuttgart, you must visit with me."

"We'll do that," smiled Jones. "As a matter of fact, I have been
thinking of checking into something I had heard about the
Externsteine ..."

"One thing at a time, dear," said Marion.

* * *

Unfortunately the Audi had been seen speeding down the hill from the
Obersalzberg. Since that didn't seem at all like tourist behavior,
the MOSSAD agent at the General Walker asked the desk clerk about
the party in suite 3. When the clerk responded that they had checked
out, the agent politely asked to borrow the phone and proceeded to
alert his backup in Berchtesgaden. The Audi was followed to Munich,
and note was made of the flight to Cairo. Then more telephone calls
were made.

* * *

Dennis and Karen's first impression of the Arab Republic of Egypt
was that it was uncomfortable: hot, humid, and noisy. The Cairo
Airport seemed out of place: a bizarre marriage of the jet age to a
society more comfortable with camels and the small sailing vessels
that glided up and down the Nile.

Indiana Jones got them a rather alarming-looking taxicab, whose
equally-alarming-looking driver maneuvered them nonchalantly through
some of the most terrifying traffic Karen had ever seen. Dennis,
perhaps more prudently, kept his eyes shut. "At least we know the
horn works," commented Marion, "even if the brakes don't!"

The cab careened along the Sharic El Uruba and Sharic El Nahda
expressways past the old Boulak railway station which, in an earlier
age, had been Cairo's most fashionable point of entry.

"Take Sharic 26 July," shouted Jones to the driver over the general
din, "and drop us at the Continental Savoy." He glanced over at
Dennis and Karen. "26 July: named after the '52 revolution when they
kicked out Farouk, not to mention the British. The Savoy used to be
a posh hangout in the old days. Hardly that now, but it's got more
atmosphere than the Hilton."

Karen recognized the Savoy immediately when the taxi finally
screeched to a halt in front of it; its facade had been showcased in
many films such as _Death on the Nile_ and _Sphinx_. But she also
noticed a second reason why Jones had selected it: The famous
terraces were overrun with scores of little shops and stalls. The
hotel itself swarmed with Kenyans, South Africans, young Americans,
and other non-Arab students and tourists who either didn't want or
couldn't afford more modern accommodations.

The next morning they assembled on the Manns' veranda to decide what
to do next.

"I don't know what to do next," said Indiana Jones. "I keep trying
to figure this out as I go."

"We looked through a directory of antiquities this morning,"
explained Marion, "and there is no such thing as a 'Temple of Khnum'
among the landmarks most commonly associated with the Nineteenth
Dynasty."

"Khnum was an interesting and rather unusual god," commented
Indiana. "His name means 'Creator' in a very literal sense. He
created himself, as well as the heavens and the earth and all of
nature, and the gods, and mankind. He was depicted as a ram or ram-
headed man with horizontal, wavy horns, and was also associated with
the elder Horus and with Amon-Ra. His cult center was located in
Elephantine near the First Cataract of the Nile in southern Egypt.
What makes the legends concerning him unusual is that he was said to
have fashioned mankind and animals out of the mud of the Nile. You
can see the parallel to the Genesis mythology of the Bible. But as
Marion said, none of this squares very well with the Nineteenth
Dynasty, which was a Setian dynasty following one of Amon-Ra."

"What about talking with someone in the Cairo Museum?" suggested
Karen. "They might know of some association that isn't in the usual
sources."

Jones sighed. "I guess that's all we can do. I hate to get them
involved if I don't have to, however. Next thing you know they'll
start nosing around for themselves. After the original Ark business
back in the thirties I'm not exactly their favorite foreign
archaeologist."

"So nobody has to know you're involved. Dennis and I will visit the
museum and see what kind of Khnum-references we can turn up. You and
Marion can be tourists this time, or go look up old friends or
whatever. We'll see you for dinner this evening."

* * *

"Any luck?" inquired Marion over a glass of mineral water. Across
the terrace at the Savoy the Sun was setting over Giza, and the
famous outlines of the three pyramids were dramatically silhouetted.

"Nothing that jumped right out at us," admitted Dennis, taking
another bite of the lamb and wrapped grape-leaf concoction that he
had ordered. "Just as you said, Khnum is considered to be a somewhat
minor god and not really in the swing of things by the time of the
nineteenth dynasty."

"We did find one oddity, though," added Karen. "We asked some
questions about the pyramids, because we thought we might like to
visit them tomorrow. So we asked the fellow we were talking with at
the museum some questions about them. And he said, 'Do you know that
there's an obscure link between Khnum and the Great Pyramid?'"

Indiana sat up and stared at her. "What *kind* of link?"

"As you know," she said, "the Great Pyramid is bare of any
inscriptions. A rather conspicuous phenomenon in Egypt, where tombs,
temples, and monuments generally are covered with hieroglyphs and
artwork inside and out. When we asked how that particular pyramid
had been traced to the Pharaoh Khufu, he said that Khufu's cartouche
had been found scratched or painted roughly in one of the stress-
relieving cavities inside. Usually assumed to be a quarry-mark, he
said."

"And?"

"And he said that only a few pyramid specialists are aware that
there was another cartouche found there too: that of 'Khnum-Khuf'.
He photocopied a passage from Flinders Petrie's History of Egypt for
us - here it is:

-----
"This raises a difficult question, to which no historian has yet
given a satisfactory answer. Who was the person designated as Khnum-
Khuf? That he was not a successor is evident by the name being used
indifferently with that of Khufu in the quarry marks inside the
Pyramid, and by his not appearing in any of the lists.

"The name is found in five places. The addition of Khnum cannot be
merely a flight of orthography ... The two names being placed in
succession in one inscription cannot be mere chance variants of the
same. Either they must be two distinct and independent names of one
king, or else two separate kings. If they were separate kings,
Khnum-Kuf must have been the more important."
-----

"Or 'Khnum-Kuf' could have been the name of a god, and so on. But no
one really knows."

"As it happens, I can add something to that," said Indiana. "Khufu's
cartouche by itself is almost worthless as a dating or identifying
device, because like Imhotep he had become a semi-legendary figure
by the later eras of Egypt. His cartouche was used as a charm or
decoration on architecture right up to the Ptolemaic period.
Furthermore, outside of one statuette about the size of your hand,
no images of him have survived at all. The blunt truth of the matter
is that the scrawled cartouche inside the Great Pyramid is probably
nothing more than graffiti. We cannot date the Great Pyramid to him,
nor even to the Fourth Dynasty, nor even to dynastic Egypt. It's
simply one of those architectural phenomena which defies
explanation. But because it's smack in the middle of Egypt, and
because someone found some Khufu graffiti in it, it's become the
accepted convention to call it Khufu's tomb. Asinine. That thing
could have been erected in the Fourth Dynasty, or twenty thousand
years earlier for all we know. The only certain fact about the Great
Pyramid is simply that the damned thing *is* there. Right now -" and
he waved his hand at the dark shape across the Nile.

"And it also has this 'Khnum-Khuf' cartouche in it, doesn't it?"
said Karen. "Ever think that it might be your 'Temple of Khnum'?"

Indiana stared at her a second time. Then he gazed at the Great
Pyramid. Then back at her. "Now that would be a long shot," he said.
"But who knows? Let's trot out there tomorrow and take a look."

* * *

After breakfast the next morning a battered Renault took them down
the east bank of the Nile past the ruins of the old Shepheard's
Hotel on Sharic Corniche an-Nil to the El Giza Bridge and thence
along the road that led out into the desert to the Giza Plateau.

The Manns had looked forward to a close-up view of the famous
monuments, but they were destined to be disappointed. By the time
the little car reached Giza, the winds had whipped up the sand to
near-storm levels. They had to roll up the Renault's windows to
protect their eyes, with the result that they were soon bathed in
perspiration from the heat. Karen said evil things under her breath
to Dennis. Indiana Jones, on the other hand, was pleased. "Looks
like everyone has gone back to the city. Good. All we need is the
usual crowd of tourists and guides getting underfoot."

And he was correct, for when the cab deposited them at the base of
the Great Pyramid and drove off into the sand-clouds, it was
apparent that even the so-called "guides" who normally cluster at
the Pyramid's entrance to badger visitors into hiring them had
departed pending better weather. The Americans scrambled up the
first several layers of stone to the entrance of Al Mamoon's tunnel,
still the most convenient access to the interior. By the time they
gained the entrance, the full force of the sandstorm was howling
across the entire plateau. They felt reasonably certain of not being
interrupted.

By unspoken agreement they proceeded to the Ascending Passage, up to
the Grand Gallery, and finally into the King's Chamber, where Jones
set the case containing the Sam-taui and the tablets down on the
floor. They paused to catch their breath. Dennis had expected to
visit the Great Pyramid some day, but he had always supposed that he
would enter it slowly and reverently. A mad scramble through the
cramped passages of the monument on the heels of an impatient
Indiana Jones was not what he had had in mind.

He and Karen peered over the edge of the dark granite coffer, then
looked curiously around the room. Here on August 12, 1799 Napoleon
Bonaparte had insisted upon being left alone. Much later, according
to witnesses, he emerged from the Pyramid pale and trembling. At St.
Helena, shortly before the end of his life, he had seemed on the
verge of breaking his mysterious silence to Las Cases - but then
shook his head and said, "No, what's the use? You'd never believe
me!"

Here too, shortly before his infamous Cairo Working of 1904,
Aleister Crowley had come with his first wife Rose to celebrate a
secret magical ritual. According to Crowley's diary, the incantation
had caused the interior of the King's Chamber to glow with an
iridescent, ultraviolet light. What *was* this place? Were they now
finally close to its secret?

Here, deep within the Pyramid, the howl of the storm could no longer
be heard; the only sound was the hiss of the ugly florescent lights
which had been added to the passageways and to the ceiling of the
King's Chamber itself. But then there was another sound: the cocking
of an automatic pistol.

Four pairs of eyes jerked round to the entrance to the chamber -
through which there now emerged a short, swarthy man in an open-
fabric shirt and jeans. In his right hand he held the weapon which
had announced his presence. He peered at each of them in turn. Then,
in a quiet but clear voice he nodded at Karen: "You - Bring that
case over here."

She looked at him, then at Indiana. The archaeologist nodded slowly.

"Good," said the visitor. "Now listen very carefully. The lady and I
are leaving here with the case. When we reach Cairo safely, I will
allow her to return to the Savoy to await you. But if you hinder me
in any way, or if I even see any of you emerge from this pyramid
before we are away from here, I will kill her. Then, of course, I
will also have to kill the three of you."

"What do you want?" said Indiana Jones evenly. "I can offer -" But
the other shook his head.

"I'm not interested in anything you might have to offer, Doctor
Jones, but rather what you have found for us at long last. A
priceless national treasure - the tablets of the law."

"'Us'?" said Jones.

"Israel. Or, more precisely in my case, MOSSAD. You will be
flattered to know that we have been watching you for many decades,
against the possibility that you might come upon some lead like
this. You know that we are very efficient, and you know what this
means to our country. So no heroics, please. After all, you have
done us a great favor. Perhaps you will even be properly honored for
it - after the tablets are restored to us. They were, as you know,
originally intended for us."

Inching slightly back from his side, Karen quietly released the
catch of the suitcase.

"Now please remember what I have said. In an hour it will be safe
for the three of you to leave this place. In the meantime, you may
enjoy such an undisturbed tourist opportunity."

He smiled ironically and indicated the expanse of the King's Chamber
with a contemptuous arc of the automatic. As soon as its barrel was
no longer pointing at Indiana, Marion, or Dennis, however, Karen
swiftly reached into the suitcase, drew out one of the tablets, and
swung it at the agent. He saw it coming and dodged, but not quite
fast enough. It glanced off his head above his left ear, spun out of
Karen's grip, and landed with a sharp clack on the stone floor.

The MOSSAD agent reeled, dropped his gun, and sank to his knees.
Blood dripped from the corner of his mouth. Then he collapsed
unconscious.

Karen calmly kicked the gun over to Dennis, then regarded the large
welt she had raised behind the agent's ear. "Indiana Jones and the
'temple' of doom?" she proposed.

Dennis groaned and rolled his eyes.

"Now we've got to do something with him," said Marion. "He's
obviously hurt. We can't just leave him here."

"Why not?" countered her husband. "None of us is going anywhere
outside during this sandstorm. We have no transportation. And I
didn't see a phone on our way up here. Believe me, the moment the
storm's over, there will be plenty of people swarming through the
Pyramid who can worry about him. Oh, and nice shot, Karen!"

Ignoring the slumped form on the floor, he walked back over to the
granite coffer. "Something look familiar about this to you, Dennis?"
he inquired.

Mann looked at it, shook his head. "I don't frequent pyramids."

"Right. No, I mean its size and shape. As in the last week. As in
your warehouse."

Mann realized what he was getting at. "The Ark. It's about the same
size as the Ark."

"Let's see how much the same size ..." Jones produced a small
measuring tape from his pocket and took a brisk sample of the
coffer's dimensions. "Well, well, what do you know? Ninety inches by
thirty-eight and a half inches by a little over forty-one inches."

"So?"

"So, my friend, it's not just approximate - it's *identical*."

"You mean the Ark is an exact image of this coffer?" said Marion.

"That's right. Now I have to think this through. That was obviously
an additional key to where the Sam-taui came from, for someone
seeking to return them to Egypt. All of the gold and such on the Ark
was just camouflage, like the Hebrew laws on the front of the
tablets. So now what happens if we ..."

"If we?"

"If we put the Sam-taui back on top of this coffer. I wonder ..."

Jones opened the suitcase and carefully extracted the gleaming
figures. He centered Horus on the south end of the coffer, then Set
on the north end.

"Tsk, tsk," said Dennis. "Some Egyptologist. You've got them
backwards."

Jones gave him an irritated look, then exchanged the location of the
statues.

Absolutely nothing happened.

After a moment of anticipation, they looked at one another with mild
embarrassment. "Where's Industrial Light and Magic when you need
it?" commented Dennis.

Suddenly the florescent lights flickered out; evidently the still-
raging sandstorm was affecting the power-lines. Marion groped for
the suitcase to fumble for the flashlight it contained, found it,
switched it on.

Jones said, "Turn it off, Marion."

"What?"

"Turn it off. *Now*."

She did. Once again they were enveloped by the darkness.

But not quite.

As her eyes became accustomed to the dark, Marion saw two faint
streams of light flowing into the King's Chamber. The air-shafts,
she realized, the two air shafts that extended in a straight line to
the outer walls of the Pyramid.

All of them followed the streams of light. Each one glanced off a
wing of the statuette nearest to it, and then the two deflected
beams intersected at a spot on the east wall. Jones ran over to it,
marked it lightly with a pencil.

"Marion, turn the light on now. Let's see what we have here -"

The four of them clustered around the mark on the wall. It was about
a foot above the floor, and perhaps two feet from the entrance.
Nothing besides the mark itself was visible. Just the large expanse
of stone.

With both hands Indiana Jones pushed against the stone. Nothing.

Then he reached out a finger and pressed it against the penciled
mark. And jumped back as there was a faint creaking and scraping
from behind the wall.

Slowly, with a grinding noise, an irregular pattern of stones began
to move straight backward from the plane of the wall. After the
section of stone had traveled about four feet, it came to an abrupt
halt.

Cautiously the four ventured forward, and Marion directed the
flashlight around the exposed cavity. On three sides were merely the
surrounding stone; on the right side a ramp descended into the
depths. Marion pointed the flashlight directly into it and drew in
her breath.

CONTINUED IN PART 5 ...

Xeper

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Apr 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/21/97
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SECRET OF THE LOST ARK
(c) Xe...@aol.com 1981, 1992
----------------------------
PART 5

An entirely different order of architecture leapt back at them.
Instead of the rough-hewn granite of the known parts of the Pyramid,
this passage was constructed of gleaming white limestone, polished
to a mirrorlike brilliance. There were no side-rails, but every few
steps were miniature reproductions of the two large Sam-taui, each
supporting a highly-burnished metal disk. As the flashlight beam
played down the tunnel, the disks caught its beam and played with it
into the distance: a clever arrangement for enabling a single, small
light source to illuminate the entire expanse of the passage.

Dennis started forward, but was stopped by a cautionary hand on his
shoulder. "Let me take the lead. There may be traps, and I'm more
familiar with what to look for."

"*I'll* say," added Marion.

Jones had another thought. "Take the Sam-taui. They might be
necessary."

Dennis returned to the coffer and took one of the golden statues
under each arm. The moment he touched them there was a snap and a
hiss from the florescents as they flickered on again. He rejoined
the party as they entered the passageway. The old leather case
containing the tablets rested against the side of the coffer,
forgotten.

The ramp continued at a mild incline for some distance, then
switched back to the left. As soon as they turned the corner and the
flashlight illuminated another row of mirrored statuettes, they
heard a grinding noise in the distance. It was, they realized after
a moment, the stone panel returning to the wall of the King's
Chamber. Since they couldn't possibly return to it in time to pass
through before it closed, they exchanged apprehensive glances and
continued downward into the depths of the Pyramid.

* * *

As the stone panel shuddered to a halt, once more indistinguishable
from the surrounding masonry, there was a groan from the MOSSAD
agent. Then, fighting his way back to consciousness, he looked
dazedly around him at the empty chamber. The lights continued to
flicker on and off irregularly, testifying to the continuing fury of
the sandstorm sweeping the plateau. But he did see the suitcase.
Lurching to his feet, he staggered over to it, ripped it open, saw
the two stone tablets. He had enough presence of mind to wipe as
much of the blood from his hands as he could before reaching in and
carefully picking them up. An involuntary shudder went through him;
despite the pain in his head, he was uncomfortably aware that he was
now holding in his hands the Tablets of the Law that Yahweh himself
had forbidden to be touched. But they were what he had been sent to
find; he had to get them out, get them to the embassy before Jones
and the others came back. And now they had his gun. Clutching them
to his chest, he reeled out of the King's Chamber and half-slid,
half-fell down through the Grand Gallery and the Ascending Passage.
He rested for a moment, his breath coming in painful spasms. Then he
crawled up the length of the Descending Passage and out of the
Pyramid through Al Mamoon's tunnel.

He was greeted by the full force of the sandstorm. He paused,
wavering between the safety of the Pyramid and the fear that at any
moment the Americans might discover their loss and come after him.
Clenching his jaws against the throbbing pain in his head and the
sting of the sand against his skin, he clambered down the stones to
the desert floor. Then he took five or six steps away from the giant
edifice into the sandstorm, sank to his knees, and relapsed into
unconsciousness. The two tablets tumbled to the ground beside him.

* * *

They had now counted five switchbacks in the passageway; Jones
speculated that by now they must have passed below the Great Pyramid
itself and into the depths of the Giza Plateau. "In the King's
Chamber we were about forty-three meters above the surface. We must
be getting very close to the water-level of the Nile."

"What difference does that make?" asked Karen. "The plateau is
solid, isn't it?"

Jones stopped and pulled his notebook from a pocket. "Since we
eventually want to get out of here, and since I haven't the faintest
idea how to open that stone door from the inside, let's hope that on
this point Herodotus was right. Here's what he said in his _History
II_:

-----
"So the ten years were for this, and also for the underground
chambers on the hill where the pyramids stand, which he made as a
tomb for himself in an island, bringing a channel from the Nile."
-----

"And this, further on down, where he's talking about the Second
Pyramid:

-----
"... for there are neither chambers under the earth beneath it, nor
doth a channel come into it from the Nile, like that which floweth
into the other through a conduit of masonry and encircleth an island
within, where Cheops himself is said to lie ..."
-----

"Records from the Fourth Dynasty are virtually nonexistent. The
simple truth is that we aren't even sure there *were* Fourth Dynasty
kings named Khufu, Sneferu, Dedefra, Khafra, or Menkaura. And even
if there were, that still doesn't help us much with this particular
Pyramid."

"But it's well known that the early Egyptians constructed a lot of
pyramids," objected Marion.

"Not like this one. There are about thirty to eighty pyramids in
Egypt - depending on how fancy a mound has to be to be called a
pyramid. All of the ones that are even partially standing were built
with much smaller stones and had elaborate stone infrastructures to
keep them from collapsing. Only these three Giza ones don't; they're
constructed so well that they don't need them.

"Incidentally an original burial has never been found in *any*
Egyptian pyramid. I was here in the '50s when the Pyramid of
Sekhemket was uncovered at Saqqara. Inviolated central chamber -
sealed stone 'sarcophagus' like the one in the King's Chamber here,"
- Indiana nodded upwards - "again empty. So we're looking at the
possibility that the other pyramids were copies of these three at
Giza, and that even the chambers of the others were designed for
something altogether different than mummies."

"That Herodotus business," mused Dennis. "That might explain why
we're breathing fresh air here. If this were a dead-end into rock,
we wouldn't have been able to take more than a few steps past the
panel without passing out."

"Right you are, but at this particular point we might also be
underwater. In Herodotus' time the Nile would have been about fifty-
eight meters below the plateau bedrock. Today, however, the bed of
the Nile is about ten meters above that; and the water-level is two
to ten meters above the bed, depending upon the season."

"Great," said Karen. "So we hold our breaths and swim several miles
underwater back to the Nile?"

"Doesn't figure that whoever built all this with such precision
would not have anticipated changes in water-tables. I'm betting
there will be some sort of air-trap to protect the island. If in
fact there is an island."

"One thing is for certain," observed Marion. "We won't find out just
standing here."

A few minutes later they did find out. Ahead of them they began to
smell water, and then, oddly, the mirrored statuettes ahead of them
began to reflect light from some source in the distance - first
faintly, then with such strength that Marion switched off the now-
unnecessary flashlight. Ahead of them they could finally see the end
of the tunnel; it opened into a much larger space from which the
light could now be seen to be shimmering with a blue-greenish hue.

* * *

Far above, on the Giza Plateau, the sandstorm had finally spent its
strength. The normal daily population, impatient at the delay and
lost tourist revenue, was hastening to return. In due course the
unconscious form of the MOSSAD agent was discovered. An ambulance
was quickly summoned. As a small crowd gathered to watch, oxygen was
administered - and there was a burst of delighted clapping and
cheering when he coughed and began to sit up. But despite the
protests of the medics, he refused transport to Cairo until he
found, as he haltingly told them, two tablets containing copies of
the Ten Commandments which he had had carved by a local craftsman.
The crowd obligingly fanned out to search, and after a few moments
they were duly discovered and presented to him. He quickly examined
them with an apparent casualness that belied the panic he felt
inside. Then he sighed in relief. By good fortune both tablets had
landed face-down in the sand. The sandstorm had cut deeply into
their backs, razing them to a smooth surface. But the sacred laws on
their faces were completely untouched. Wordlessly he clutched the
tablets to him and gave thanks to Yahweh for this miracle.

* * *

And far below four human beings stood together on a stone balcony
and marveled at the sight before them. The cavern that stretched
before them was immense, at least the size of the Giza Plateau
itself. It was clearly not the product of any human engineering; it
appeared to be a natural formation of the surrounding rock. The
platform upon which they stood had been constructed of the same
white, polished limestone as the passage; at either side of it was a
dark granite pillar - apparently the same deep brown stone as the
coffer in the King's Chamber - about five feet tall. Atop each one
was a circular platform of metal: gold on the right-hand pillar,
silver on the left.

The waves of an underground lake lapped quietly against the edge of
the balcony, which was only about a foot above the level of the
water. Almost the entire cavern was embraced by this lake, which
they could only assume came from the Nile by some hidden labyrinth
of locks.

But what riveted their attention was what occupied the very center
of the vast cavern. It seemed to be a small, circular island
surfaced entirely with a rippling silvery metal. It looked like
nothing so much as the top of a large sphere that had been almost
completely submerged in the water. If so, the mild slope of the
island suggested a gigantic size for the entire sphere and a
correspondingly impressive depth for the lake in which it rested.
But it was what was positioned on this unearthly, artificial island
that overwhelmed all of the other features of the cavern.

In a loose ring encircling the apex of the island were statues of
the principal gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. But what statues!
All were of some onyx-like, black stone. All were cut and polished
to such perfection that the slightest light upon them sent bursts of
prismatic flame glancing and sparkling from the figures as though
they possessed a radiant energy of their own. They ranged in height
from about thirty to fifty feet.

Within the ring of colossi, at the very apex of the island, was
something unlike anything they had ever seen before or could even
imagine to exist. Utterly silent, and neither solid nor gaseous: One
moment it appeared as a nova-like starburst of flame, the next as a
crystalline solid of ever-changing facets, with tongues of the flame
playing gracefully over its shifting angles and planes. Because of
its brilliance they were unable to look at it for any length of
time; they could not see if it were attached to the island or simply
floating in the atmosphere above it. It was the light which reached
out to the ring of onyx statues, which illuminated the entire cavern
in a blue/green aura.

How long they stared at this sight they couldn't guess. Finally
Indiana Jones led them back from the edge of the balcony to the
tunnel opening, where they huddled together, their hearts pounding
and involuntary tears washing from their eyes. The sensation was
exhilarating, overwhelming, and frightening all at once; it was as
though their entire sensation of being had been multiplied a
thousandfold merely by the sight of the island.

"Dennis," gasped Indiana, "did you see the tops of the two columns?
The gold and the silver? They have to be the 'holy places' for the
Sam-taui: gold for Horus, silver for Set. We've got to try it."

Mann tried to steady his own breathing. He placed his hands over his
face, pressed against his skull, and drew air into his lungs. Then
opened his eyes, stared back at the archaeologist, and nodded
slowly.

Jones picked up the hawk-headed statue, Mann the one with the head
of Set. Slowly they retraced their steps to the edge of the platform
and carefully lifted the statues into place atop the two columns.
Each settled into the center of the disk with a soft click.

The lake began to move toward them, foaming and bubbling around the
edge of the platform. No, they saw as the four of them looked
around; it was the platform itself which had begun to move,
detaching from the tunnel entrance and gliding out towards the
island. How long it took to traverse the entire distance they had no
way of guessing; the closer they came, the more the fiery thing at
its center seemed to reach out to embrace their minds. At the same
time they were strangely without fear. Whatever was happening, they
seemed instinctively to sense, was not a thing of evil.

Finally the platform lay adjacent to the island; days or minutes
might have passed; they could not be sure. They did not care. Alive,
their hair waving softly against their heads, their senses gorged in
an entire universe of color, form, and sound, they seemed to float
from the platform towards the center of the island. They could not
tell if they were standing upon it or soaring in the air high above
it.

The gods and goddesses were moving now, alive with them, and it
seemed as normal and natural as their own ethereal state of
existence. They were drawn to the center of the ever-changing
polyhedron, bathed in its fire. Drawn deeper into its center, where
the blue and green of the light softened to violet; drawn finally to
its ultimate center, where the light surpassed all color in an
endless, limitless darkness. For them time shot simultaneously
backward and forward to infinity. Now their breath became the
oscillation of the cosmos itself, expanding into millions of
galaxies and slipping back through itself into a mist of plasma,
then a mirror-image of its expansion.

They were spinning on a wheel, being shaped, the hands of Khnum
gliding over the glittery, fragile things that marked their
extension in time and space. Then, suspended, they saw the Sam-taui
emerging from the indistinction before them. No, not the Sam-taui,
but the onyx statues of Horus and Set.

And still no, because these were not the statues at all, but the
very neters themselves, bolts of light and darkness flashing over
bodies which could not be seen, hands which were not hands but eyes
reaching out to touch them, see them. Their souls were sucked from
their shapes, energized, purified, returned in a painful, beautiful
perfection.

The wheel of Khnum spun. The wheel of Khnum spun.

And then it was over.

They were Created.

* * *

They lay on the island.

Blood ran from their eyes and ears.

As they struggled to raise themselves, their hands pressed against
the silver metal with an exquisite sensitivity.

They managed to return to the platform. Above them the Sam-taui
pulsed, and they covered their ears as the sound cut through them.
Finally Indiana Jones and Dennis Mann - for they had begun to
remember who they were, reached up without knowing why and removed
the golden statues from the pedestals.

And then they fell to the cool stone of the platform and slept.

* * *

Karen awoke first. It seemed to her that she had been asleep a very
long time indeed, but she felt nothing but the warm pleasure of
dawn. Yes, it was a dawn; she could see between the two expanses of
stone the first rays of the Sun as it rose over the Nile. She looked
around her, saw Dennis and the Joneses lying beside her. She rolled
over, nudged each of them in turn, and watched while they sat up and
looked around them.

Then they looked up and saw a very large chin. And realized where
they were: between the outstretched paws of the Great Sphinx.

There were too many things to say, so by tacit understanding they
said nothing. They stood up, dusted themselves off, and walked
forward - back to the world of Cairo and other things with shapes
and limits.

That evening, as they packed in preparation for their return flight
to the United States the following morning, they saw a news bulletin
on television. The original tablets of the Ten Commandments had been
discovered by the state of Israel. An ornate Ark of the Covenant was
shown on camera; even so it was said that this was merely a
temporary repository for the tablets and that an even more opulent
Ark would be constructed to be their permanent home. A rabbi almost
submerged behind an array of microphones explained that,
unfortunately, the tablets themselves could never be shown to the
public. But he and other privileged elders had seen them and could
testify to their authenticity.

Dennis Mann shook his head. Indiana Jones gave a short, amused
grunt. Karen and Marion looked at one another without comment. Then
they all went down to the dining room for a very expensive dinner,
during which a series of vaguely shocking toasts were proposed which
utterly confused and mildly offended Mr. and Mrs. Fred Carson at the
next table, a couple who had just arrived that afternoon from
Wichita with a travel club and were looking forward to their tour of
the Great Pyramid of Giza the next day.

* * *

At Kennedy Airport they separated, Karen going back upstate to Utica
and her regular Army assignment, Indiana and Marion Jones
transferring to a commuter flight to Raleigh, and Dennis continuing
on to San Francisco. As he walked off the plane into the terminal,
he was met by a very impatient Peter Rivera. "Well? What happened?
What did you find? Have you heard in the news -?"

Mann regarded him for a long moment, then smiled.

"My friend, it was a long flight and the food was abysmal. I am
going to treat both of us to brunch at the Airport Hilton, and then
I will tell you an interesting story about Napoleon."

THE END

Xeper

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Apr 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/22/97
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In article <19970422052...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,
doc3r...@aol.com wrote:

>what is this from?

I saw _Raiders_ while assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency
in Washington in 1981. That got me curious - I am always restless
with unresolved endings - so I decided to do a little research at DIA,
CIA, the Archives, and DoS. _SLA_ was the [unexpected] result.

Xeper

Doc3rdkind

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Apr 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/22/97
to

what is this from?

Doc3rdkind

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Apr 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/22/97
to

Chuck Kahn wrote:

<<I remember the THUMP of the big bible and I remember the introduction
of John Williams' Ark theme and I remember that they seemed interested
in what Indy was showing them. But the focus of the scene had left the
bureaucrats at this point and fixed entirely on Indy's enthusiasm for
archaelogy and the mystery of the Ark.>>

but at the same time, i think it did show enough of the bureaucrats being
amazed by the picture of the ark and its powers that they understood its
powers.

<<>so i think they do realize the true mean and power of the ark. i'm not
sure
>why, i'd have to watch the ending scene closely again, but that was
always
>my impression from how the whole thing worked.

Maybe the trouble is that the end meeting was a rather tame scene. In
the script, the third bureaucrat in the room was described as a
mysterious figure looming in the background, something akin to "the
Smoking Man" in the X-files. In the movie, he looks about as
mysterious as Bob from Accounting. (Actually, he looks kinda like the
autopsy guy from JAWS.) So the movie leaves me with the impression
that the bureaucrats are the no-nothing "fools" Indy labels them. A
"Smoking Man" character would have cast a whole new light on the
bureaucrats and their knowledge of the Ark.>>

thats interesting. does anyone know why this was changed? my only guess
would be that spielberg mighta thought it was too strong or cheesy, though
i think it couldve worked. or perhaps he wanted there to be this kind of
debate over the ending, and having a character like the smoking man
wouldve been to obviouse. at the same time, i do think that that this was
in the original script indicates that perhaps they did intend for the
goverment man to understand the true meaning of the ark's powers.

in any case, now that weve finally brought the smoking man into this
newsgroup, we can discuss the smoking man's spoof of forrest gump. gump
was directed by zemekis after all, a good friend of spielberg's, so it has
some kind of relevency to this newsgroup.

Doc3rdkind

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Apr 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM4/23/97
to

xeper wrote:

<<I saw _Raiders_ while assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency
in Washington in 1981. That got me curious - I am always restless
with unresolved endings - so I decided to do a little research at DIA,
CIA, the Archives, and DoS. _SLA_ was the [unexpected] result.

Xeper>>

cool, i really liked it. twas interesting and fun.

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