Great Britain, 1932
Indiana Jones pushed back his hat as he worked his way further into the depths of the castle. The light from the torch he carried reflected dimly off of the dark, dank walls. He was followed closely by Regina, one of the students that was participating in the dig to earn some extra course credits. She shuddered as she looked around the eerie passageway... aside from what was illuminated by Indy's torch, the rest of the passageway was pitch black.
"No one has ever been in here before, Dr. Jones?" she whispered.
Indy glanced back at her. "Not since sometime in the fourteenth century," he said. "In all the time that this castle has been explored, this particular set of passageways has never been found."
"Is it true that this castle is actually Camelot?"
Indy laughed quietly before he answered.
"That's what the local legends say, but since there's no real evidence that King Arthur ever existed, I'm willing to accept that this was just the castle that belonged to the local lord of the land at the time. Concrete information on who was here in that time is scarce, obviously, so I'm not even sure who that was."
Indy stopped walking as they came to a fork in the passageway. Directly in front of them was a large iron door. Indy stepped up to it and tried to pull it open. After a minute or so, the door slowly opened. Slowly Indy stepped over the threshold, his torch in front of him. Regina followed him closely.
"It's some kind of alchemy lab," Indy whispered. The room in front of them was cluttered with all sorts of ancient instruments and texts, obviously last touched by some kind of alchemist or wise man. Indy and Regina took in the contents of the room silently for a few minutes.
"I wonder if we'll find the formula for turning lead into gold in here somewhere," Regina said as Indy lit another torch and handed it to her.
"I doubt it," Indy replied. With that, he began looking around the room, taking note of everything he saw in his notebook. This was a major find... an intact alchemy laboratory from the fourteenth century wasn't something you just stumbled across everyday. He was looking at one particularly interesting piece of parchment when Regina spoke up.
"Dr. Jones, I think you should take a look at this," she said, a faint tone of disgust evident in her voice.
Indy walked over to where Regina was standing. She was looking at some kind of book that was sitting on a stand that was propped against the wall.
"Have you ever seen anything like this?" she asked quietly as he raised his torch to get a closer look at the book.
The book was ugly, no questions about it. What looked to be a human face screaming in agony adorned the cover. In fact, it didn't look like the book was bound in leather at all... if Indy didn't know better, the book looked to be bound in human skin. He reached out and picked it up... it felt cold to the touch.
"Do you recognize it?" Regina asked.
Indy said nothing. He handed his torch to Regina and opened the book. The first thing he noticed was that all of the text and pictures he could see were red, like they had been inked in blood. The language it was written in looked to be ancient Sumerian.
"I don't believe it," Indy whispered after examining the book for a few minutes.
"Do you recognize it?" Regina repeated.
"I thought for sure this book was a myth," Indy said. "Unless I'm mistaken, this is the Necronomicon ex Mortis."
"The Necronomicon ex Mortis?"
"Roughly translated, the Book of the Dead."
"Oh," Regina said, then shuddered.
"Supposedly, this book contains ancient burial rites that were used by the ancient Sumerians. It's also supposed to contain translations of texts written by the so-called Dark Ones... evil gods that supposedly ruled over the world in ancient times."
Regina looked visibly disturbed by that revelation. "What did these texts contain?" she asked.
"No one really knows. All that's really known about the Necronomicon is that the texts were translated by Abdul Alzeez of Damascus sometime in the seventh century B.C., and then inscribed in this book. Other than that, I've heard rumors that the texts that Alzeez - otherwise known as the Mad Poet - translated included all sorts of dark rituals... like demon resurrection passages, for instance. It's been said that if this book truly did exist, it was never meant for the world of the living."
Regina shivered as she absorbed what Indy told her. "Do you really believe that this is that book?" she asked.
Indy grinned. "All I know for certain is that it's an ancient artifact, and it's in remarkably good shape for having been around for so long. Look, I don't believe in magic or any of that superstitious hocus pocus. If this is the Book of the Dead, then it's the Book of the Dead. It can't do any harm."
Indy straightened up. "We have to get everyone down here and get all of this stuff categorized," he said as he turned to face Regina. He noticed the look on Regina's face as she glanced at the book again.
"Look, there's nothing to worry about," he said. "It's just an old book, that's all. Come on, let's get back up there before they come looking for us."
"Right," Regina said, trying to reassure herself as the two of them exited the room.
Indy shoved the crowbar into a crack in the rockpile and pushed with all his strength. If the wise man's tome was correct, the stranger that fell from the sky was buried here, asleep, waiting for the potion to wear off so he would wake up in his own time. Indy wasn't sure exactly when that was - the wise man's tome hadn't mentioned what year the stranger had come from - but if he was still buried here, then he needed to be woken up. He would know how to deal with the threat that Indy had accidentally unleashed.
Slowly the rocks started to move. With one last push, one large rock tumbled free, and Indy jumped backwards as the rest of the rocks came crashing down. When the dust had cleared, Indy could see that a cave opening had been exposed. It was pitch black inside. Indy lit one of the torches that he had with him, stepped over the rocks, and into the cave.
It was a strange scene that flickered underneath the torchlight. Right in front of Indy was a car. At least it looked like a car, but one more futuristic than Indy had ever seen before. Adorning the car were what looked to be wooden attachments. He wasn't sure what they were for. He stepped over to the side of the car and looked inside.
In the front seat was a man. He was wearing what looked to be a combination of medieval armor and rotting twentieth century clothing, and his hair and beard were extremely long. Next to him, on the floor, was a shotgun and a chainsaw. This, Indy mused, must have been what Rip Van Winkle looked like after his twenty year long nap. At first, Indy couldn't tell if he was alive or dead. Then he could see the man's chest moving slightly. He was breathing.
Indy reached out and gently shook the man. He stirred slightly but did not wake up. Indy shook him again, harder this time. The man grumbled something unintelligible, but remained asleep.
"Come on, wake up," Indy muttered, then shook the man again even harder. This time he opened one eye - and suddenly sat straight up, wide awake. Surprised, Indy took a step backwards. The man grabbed his shotgun off the floor and pointed it straight at Indy.
"Who the hell are you?" he demanded to know.
"Calm down," Indy said, raising his hands in the air. "I'm a friend."
"Yeah?" the man said. "Really. I believe you." The shotgun didn't waver in the slightest.
"I'm an archeologist," Indy continued, trying not to focus his attention on the shotgun. "I read about you in a wise man's tome. I need your help."
The man seemed to take a really good look at Indy. He silently regarded him for a long moment. "What year is it?" he finally asked.
"DAMN IT!" the man yelled, throwing his shotgun to the ground. "I knew spinach-chin would screw this up somehow!" Indy wasn't sure who "spinach-chin" was, but at least the shotgun wasn't being aimed at him anymore. The man had turned around and started searching through the car, apparently forgetting about Indy.
"Who are you?" Indy asked. The man glanced up at him.
"I'm just trying to get home, and this is the closest I've gotten. Ever since I found that damned book, my life's gone straight to hell."
The book he was talking about, Indy realized, must be the Necronomicon. "I'm sorry, but I had to wake you-"
The man turned and stared at him. "What? You woke me up?"
"Yes. I need your help."
Without a word, the man lashed out and caught Indy square on the chin with a left hook! Indy dropped the torch and staggered backwards as the man advanced on him.
the reason I didn't wake up in my own time? Damn you!" he shouted, and took another swing at Indy. Indy blocked his punch with his right arm, then followed through with a left to the man's jaw. The man staggered backwards, blood trickling from the corner of his mouth. He composed himself, and started to rush Indy again - only to stop in mid-step. Indy had yanked his Webley from its holster and was aiming it straight at the man's chest.
"Look, I needed to wake you," Indy said. "You're the only man alive to have ever dealt with these Deadites. I need your help to stop them. They've already taken the life of a student, and-"
"Deadites?" the man said. "How the hell did they get out?"
"I was translating the book that I found in-"
"You let them loose?" the man asked. "I thought I was the only one stupid enough to do that. Well, you know what, pal? Forget it. You let them loose, you're on your own. I'm just going to find a way to get back to my own time. So why don't you get the hell out of my cave, and let me rest in peace like you should have."
The man turned his back on Indy and went back to the car. Indy lowered the Webley, but made no move to leave the cave.
"If you help me, I'll find out how to get you back to your time," Indy said. The man looked back at him and laughed, but it was a laugh without much humor.
"I've heard that story before," he said. "Yeah, I helped, but I'm not back yet - thank you
"That wasn't their fault," Indy said. "It was mine."
"Whatever," the man snorted. "Either way, I'm still not home." He then started to rummage through the car again. Then he glanced back at Indy.
"Are you still here?" he asked angrily. Indy took a step forward.
"Look, I did what I did. You don't have to be happy about it, but maybe we can help each other out," he said. The man stared at Indy for a long, hard moment.
Finally he muttered "Here we go again," under his breath, then in a louder voice said "Fine."
Indy extended his left hand. "My name is Indiana Jones."
The man warily reached up and grasped Indy's hand.
"Just call me Ash."