"Okay guys, let's get this over with," Kevin Richardson said as he adjusted his fedora.
"Where's Howie?" asked Nick Carter, attempting to tie his tie properly.
"He left a bit earlier to check out the stage," said Brian Littrell.
"Whose idea was it to dress up in thirties clothes for the video?" asked an agitated AJ Mclean.
"Why?" asked Kevin.
"Because I want to beat him up. It was a dumb idea." AJ grouched.
"Uh...I think it was Howie's idea..." Kevin said, trailing off.
A studio assistant poked her head in the dressing room door. "Time to go, guys." They nodded, and filed out of the room.
"I still think it's a dumb idea," mumbled AJ.
They looked around the sound stage. "Where's Howie?" asked Brian. "I thought you said he was out here."
"I thought he was," Kevin replied. The director wandered over.
"Ready, guys?" he asked.
"We can't find Howie." Brian said.
"Well, he's got five minutes to show up. Time is money, people." The director snorted. "Just get on the stage anyway, guys, and you can rehearse."
The Backstreet Boys all nodded, and headed onto the stage, looking for their lost comrade. The minute their feet touched the stage, however, they all disappeared, one by one. No sound, no sparkling lights, nothing; one minute they were there and the next they were not.
"What the hell...?" the director trailed off.
"Uh...is this some sort of publicity stunt?" wondered the assistant curiously.
"Come in," Jones yelled. The door creaked open, and Marcus Brody stumbled in, bearing a large package.
"Thanks, old boy," he said to the janitor holding the door for him. The janitor nodded slightly, and closed the door behind him.
"Hi Marcus," Jones said smiling. "What have you brought me this time?"
"Well," Brody said, setting down the box on the cluttered desk, "Some of the boys in Requisitions sent me this box, saying that I had to give it to you."
"Do you know what it is?" Jones asked, starting to rip open the package.
Jones unwrapped it to find a cardboard carton with a letter attached. He handed the letter to Brody, then opened the carton.
"`Dear Dr. Jones,'" Brody read. "`We found these artifacts in a Roman site. They are all--'"
"Toys," Jones said, confused. "Old Roman toys." He paused. "Why are they sending me toys, Marcus?"
Brody held a hand up while he finished reading the letter. "They said that one of the artifacts is a complete mystery to them. It seems to be a machine of some sort, but they've been afraid to activate it."
"Leaving me to do the dirty work," Jones chuckled. "I guess they've heard of my reputation of being--"
"Reckless?" inquired Brody. "They mention that in the letter."
"I was going to say `adventurous', myself," finished Jones. "I don't see why they want me to open the jack-in-the-box for them."
"It appears that the box--can you find it Indy?" Brody said, peering into the carton. Jones fished around, finally pulling out a small rectangular box, made of well-preserved wood. It had a large red button on the top, but unadorned by anything else except a strange Arabic scrip along the top of the button.
"Did they figure out the script, Marcus?" Jones asked.
"I believe that they did. It was an obscure 4th century Iraqi dialect. Quite unique, actually--"
"What does it say, Marcus?"
"What? Oh yes." Marcus paused to gather his thoughts. "It says `press here'."
Jones shrugged. "Okay then. I don't see why they need me to do this." He pressed the button.
He and Brody both stared intently at the machine. Nothing happened. No sounds, nothing.
Finally Brody looked up. "As fascinating as this has all been," he said slowly, "I have to be going, I have an appointment. I only meant to stay for a few moments."
Jones nodded, putting the defunct box on the desk. Brody opened the door, slamming it into the face of the janitor.
"I say," Brody exclaimed. " What were you doing?"
"I was...merely cleaning the door handle," the janitor said, holding up a cloth. Brody looked at him suspiciously, shot a look to Jones, and headed out the corridor. The janitor slunk off.
Jones got up, chuckled, closed the door and turned around to get back to his work. It was then that he saw the strange figure standing behind his desk.
The two men stared at each other for a few moments.
"Can I help you?" Jones asked slowly.
"I...don't know," the man stuttered. "This isn't the studio."
"Oh, you're an art student," Jones said. "You've taken a wrong turn. The art wing is down the hall."
"I'm not an art student," the young man said confusedly. He was looking around the room and at the desk as if he'd never seen such things before.
"What's your name?" Jones asked hesitantly. He didn't think he'd seen this person on campus before.
"What? Oh, my name's Howie Dorough," he replied. "I should be in Orlando."
"Orlando?!" Jones exclaimed.
"Yeah..I stepped on the stage and found myself here." Howie said, looking confused.
"But then, how did you get here--" Jones had a slight premonition, like that of someone walking over his grave. He backed away from the wall.
Suddenly, just springing into existence was Kevin Richardson, soon followed by AJ, Nick, and Brian.
Indy, old battle instincts kicking in, leapt over to his desk, and whipped out from a drawer his trusty revolver.
"All right, everybody. Show's over. You tell me where you're from, and you tell me now."
"WAAAAAAHHHH!" screamed Nick.
"I told you, we're from Orlando!" yelled Howie, making a grab for Indy's gun. However, he was no match for Doctor Jones, who threw him across the room.
"I have a very bad feeling about this," muttered Brian.
Jones straightened up and said: "Now. I want answers."
"I told you already," Howie said, sitting up and rubbing his head ruefully.
"You said you were in Orlando. That doesn't explain how you got here."
"One minute we were in Orlando, and the next we were here. We can't explain any more than you can." said AJ, with his hands up.
"Wait a minute--" Jones said suddenly with a flash of insight. "You, Howie, get that box on the desk."
Obediently, Howie got up, and picked up the box. "Hey!" he exclaimed. "The button on top is flashing. And it's kinda hot."
"It must have been what brought us here," said Brian.
"It is possible that the machine was able to open a temporal portal which created a tear in the fabric of space-time," Kevin said calmly. "Allowing us to slip through time to what I surmise is the thirties, judging from the surroundings. The only question remaining is why it brought us?"
Everybody stared at him. "What?" he exclaimed.
"What the hell kind of gibberish is that?!" Jones sneered.
"Hawking's Unified Theory Of Everything," Kevin replied smoothly.
"Who's Hawking? Sounds like a first class fruit loop to me," Jones continued. "Look, like he said--" gesturing with the gun to Brian, who flinched--"It's obvious that the machine brought you all here. I activated it a few moments before you showed up."
"So all we have to do is activate it again to send us home," AJ finished.
"Probably." Jones said. He was about to take the box from Howie when the door burst open. The janitor in the doorway fired his gun, blowing the gun out of Jones' hand. He ran in, and grabbed the box from Howie.
"You see, Howie Dorough," he said with a faint German accent, "There is nothing that you possess that I can not take away. Hahaha!" He quickly jumped out the open window before Jones could stop him.
"Damn!" Jones yelled. He slammed the window down in frustration, watching the `janitor' speed away in a get-away car. "He must have been listening at the door. I've got to talk to Marcus about that. I think that guy was a Nazi spy. The Nazis always like to keep a close eye on me."
"`There is nothing you possess that I can not take away'?" repeated Howie, confused.
"Don't worry about that," Jones said. "It happens to me all the time. Well, I guess you boys and I are both on the same team now."
"Can we put our arms down then?" asked Nick hopefully. Jones laughed.
"So, Marcus, I need you to cover my classes for me. I need to track down this artifact." Jones said.
"I don't know, Indy. How are you so sure that you know where the artifact is?" Brody asked.
"I know that the artifact will have to be sent through the bureaucracy. And where there's red tape, there will be a trail for me to follow. Don't worry, Marcus," Jones said, with a grin, "I've done this sort of thing before."
"What about us?" Howie piped up. "We're coming too."
"Sorry, Howie," Jones said, "I always work alone." He opened his drawer to pull out his whip. The Boys stared at it in frank curiosity. He grinned to himself, and tucked the whip in with his leather jacket, folded over his arm. "Marcus, could you get my hat?" Marcus handed him his hat from off the coat hook on the back on the door.
"But we need to go. You're getting the artifact for us, anyway." AJ pointed out.
Jones whirled to face him. "Look," he said, gesturing with his hat in AJ's face, "I always work alone. Always. I'm not going to get myself involved with a bunch of amateurs."
"You're going to need all the help you can get," Kevin said. "And it's not as if we're useless."
At that moment, there was a loud crash, as Nick accidentally knocked over Jones' filing cabinet. "Sorry!" he said, looking guilty.
"Well, not completely useless." admitted Kevin.
"Close enough," Jones growled.
"Look, you would have been an amateur at some point as well," Brian said. "You must have made mistakes as well."
"I did," admitted Jones, "And one of the mistakes was getting people involved who couldn't deal with it."
"We'll be able to deal with it," promised Howie. "Trust me."
"I should never have let you talk me into this," Indiana grumbled as they settled on their plane bound for Germany.
"I said trust me, and I mean it." Howie said firmly. Meanwhile, Brian and Nick had gotten up to find the washrooms.
"I'm sure I saw them over here," Brian said.
"But I saw them over there--" Nick started. "Hey, is that guy following us?" he asked in a whisper.
"Which guy?" whispered back Brian.
"That one sitting over there, behind the huge newspaper. I think I saw him sitting in three different seats already."
"Well, why don't we keep looking for the washrooms, and see if he keeps following us?"
"That's a good idea," agreed Nick. "Okay, Brian, let's go," he said, in a normal, loud voice.
"Yes, Nick. We should go now." Brian said loudly and slowly. They started to inch their way down the aisle, keeping a close eye on the newspaper guy. Sure enough, he got up and started to follow them.
"Uh, Brian? I think we should go back to the guys now." Nick said in a hushed whisper. "I have a bad feeling about this."
"I think we should go too," Brian answered. They began to edge their way towards Indiana and the others when the newspaper man rushed forward and grabbed Nick and held a gun against his head.
"WAAAAAAHHHH!" cried Nick, alerting everyone on the plane within earshot (all of them).
"Kevin!" Indy stood up and yelled.
"Yes?" Kevin asked sitting next to him.
Indy did a double take, then yelled: "AJ!"
"Yes?" said AJ, on the other side of Kevin.
"No! Not you! HIM!" he yelled, gesturing at Nick.
"NICK!" they all chorused.
"Whatever!" Indy leapt out of the seat and drew his whip. "Let the boy go!"
"I do not think so, mein Herr," the Nazi (for of course he was) rasped. Nick struggled, but the Nazi kept him in check. "You are, of course, looking for your artifact. But you will not find it."
"Why not? Where is it?" asked Nick.
"Ha ha! You think you can fool me, huh? Well, you will never get me to reveal the fact it is being flown to Berlin!" He paused. "Verdammt! Oh well, you will never guess in a million years that it will be held in a safe in the corner apartment on Mariastrasse! VERDAMMT! That is ALL you are getting out of me!"
"It's more than enough," said an overly smug Indiana Jones.
"Yes, for you will never leave this plane alive!" the Nazi chortled.
"We'll see." Indy cracked his whip, snapping the gun out of the Nazi's hand and flipping it over to him.
"You may have won this battle, but I will win the war!" the Nazi sneered. He pushed Nick away from him.
"You and what army?" Indy laughed.
"Will this one do?" The Nazi snapped his fingers. All the people on the plane stood up.
"Oh damn," Indy swore.
One of the Nazis sitting in the row in front of Howie grabbed Howie's drink away from him. "You see, American scum, there is nothing you possess that we cannot take away!"
"Hey, what gives!" yiped Howie.
The Nazis drew their weapons, and ordered Indiana to drop his weapons. Indy shrugged, and used his whip to grab hold of the main Nazi. "Let's see how well your boys take orders now," he said to his hostage. The Nazi laughed.
"Kill them!" he yelled. The Nazis opened fire, hitting their own leader, but Indy managed to rush toward the cock-pit. The rest of the Boys took their cue, and started running, dodging bullets.
"You guys wanted to learn fighting," yelled Indy. "Now's your chance!"
AJ suddenly tackled one of the Nazis, banging the Nazis head against one of the seats, knocking him unconscious. AJ grabbed the gun and started firing. "Normally I'm against senseless violence," he called out. "But these aren't normal circumstances."
"Great, keep it up!" yelled Indy, busy firing his own gun. "Hey, I have an idea!" Kevin yelled. "If we take control of the cock-pit, maybe we could make the cabins lose oxygen pressure and cause everyone to pass out." Brian, Nick and Howie stared at him. "I saw it on a movie once," he explained. They all nodded.
"Good idea. Me and Nick here will hold them off," Indiana said.
"Me?!" squeaked Nick.
"Not you! Him!" Indy said, inclining his head towards AJ.
"AJ," said AJ, calmly shooting random Nazis.
"Come on, Howie, I'll need your help!" Kevin said, starting to make his way to the cock-pit.
"You and Kevin go too," said Indy.
"What?" said Nick.
"You two blond ones!" Indy yelled. Brian and Nick started carefully making their way behind Kevin and Howie. They made their way up the plane. They dashed in the cock-pit, and locked the doors. "Make sure nobody but AJ and Indiana get in," Kevin ordered Brian and Nick. They both mock saluted him, and stood guard.
"Hey!" yelled the Pilot and Co-Pilot. "You can't come in here!"
"Oh yes we can!" yelled Kevin, punching one out and then the other. Howie helped him drag the unconscious bodies off the console, and he and Kevin sat down to fly the plane.
"You know how to fly planes, don't you?" Howie asked nervously.
"Of course." Kevin answered unhesitatingly. "Well, not seventy-year-old planes, of course, but I'm sure they're on the same principles."
"You're not instilling me with confidence," Howie said. "Ummm, why do the numbers on that flashy thingy keep going down?"
"What? Oh NO! The engines are dead!" Kevin yelped.
"What?! The engines are dead?! OMIGOD, WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!" screamed Brian, then fainted.
"Oh yeah, he's afraid of heights AND planes, isn't he?" said Kevin. "Oops."
"Okay, so start the engines, Kevin," Howie said anxiously.
"I'm trying, I'm trying. Just let me find the right control." He stared at all the switches and toggles. "Do you know what? This doesn't look AT ALL like Microsoft Flight Simulator."
"You're still not instilling me with confidence," Howie said. "Hey, what about that big green button? The one marked `Go'?"
"It's a long shot, but we can try it," Kevin said. He pushed the button, and the engines roared to life.
"Yay!" cheered Howie.
"I knew I could do it," Kevin said smugly.
Suddenly there was a great banging on the door. "Open up!" called Indy's voice. Nick unlocked the door, and Indiana and AJ rushed in. "I hope you can pull off that little stunt of yours," Indiana said to Kevin.
"I think I can," Kevin said.
"`I think I can' isn't very good," Indy said.
"What about the button saying `Depressurize Cabin'?" asked Howie, pointing.
"It's a long shot, but we can try it," Kevin said. He crossed his fingers and pressed the button. Almost as once there were clanking sounds followed by hisses.
"The cock-pit's been sealed and the cabin is depressurizing," Indy said. "We'll wait a few minutes for the Nazis to be out, then we'll make our escape."
"How are we going to do that?" asked Nick, trying to wake Brian up.
"We'll jump out of the plane," Indy said.
"Why? Why don't we just land it?"
"Because we want all the Nazis to blow up."
"But couldn't we try to find some non-violent solution to all of this?" asked Howie.
"No." Indy said flatly. He looked out the window. "Okay, we're over land. That makes this a little easier."
"You sound like you do this a lot," Kevin said. Indiana shrugged.
"It's a living."
"I can't hear any noise from the cabin," AJ said, his ear against the door. "I think they might be out."
Indy nodded. "Get ready, everybody. Brian--"
"Kevin," Kevin corrected him.
"Whatever. At my signal, you re-pressurize the cabin. As soon as that's done, we rush in there and drag all of the Nazis into the hold. Then we can make our escape. Ready?" Kevin nodded, and AJ waited by the door. Indy signalled, and Kevin pressed the button.
They waited for the cock-pit locks to unseal, then dashed in. Nick and Howie also rushed in to help. Soon all of the Nazis were safely stowed, just as some of them began to wake up. Indy locked the cargo hold doors.
"We won't have much time, they might blow the doors," he said. "Get ready. Here's your parachutes. Howie, get Kevin." Howie nodded and dashed off while Nick frantically shook Brian.
"Wake up!" he pleaded. "Wakeupwakeupwakeup..."
"Wha..." groaned Brian, coming to. "What's happening?"
"You have to put on this parachute and then jump out of the plane!" Nick said in a rush.
"WAAAAAAHHHH!" Brian yelled. Then he fainted again.
"It's okay," Indy said. "I'll just tie him to me when I go."
Just then, Kevin and Howie made their appearance. Indiana threw them their parachutes. "Time to go," he said.
Later, as they all got untangled from their parachutes, Indiana got up to survey the countryside. "I think we're in Germany," he said calmly.
"How can you tell?" asked Kevin.
"The sign on the fence over there," Indy said, pointing. The sign proudly proclaimed: "Achtung Hund".
"And that means...?"
"Beware of dog, I think."
Meanwhile, Nick was trying to wake up Brian, who was still unconscious. "Wake up," he said, shaking him. Indy wandered over.
"He woke up once when we were landing," Indy offered.
"Yeah? What happened?" asked Nick.
"He said, quote: `WAAAAAAHHHH', then fainted again." Indy replied with a smirk.
Brian was just beginning to come around. "Huh? Where are we?" he said groggily. He looked up at Nick. "Wow. I had the weirdest dream, that we went back in time and jumped out of a plane full of Nazis, and you were there, and you were there, and you--" he stopped when he got to Indy, who gave him a huge grin. "Oh God," Brian groaned.
Nearby, AJ was getting his parachute undone when he noticed someone was missing. "Hey!" he said puzzled. "Where's Howie?"
"Help!" came a muffled voice from under one of the parachutes. "I'm all tangled up and I can't get out!"
"Yes!" exclaimed Howie. "We're finally here!"
Indy, and the rest of the dusty, weary Boys looked in relief at the bar/hotel in front of them. It was slightly seedy-looking, but after walking for four hours, it looked like heaven. Indy had promised the Boys a full meal and a good night's rest.
"Ssshhh." hissed Indy at the overly-excited Howie. "This place is crawling with Nazis, so try not to attract attention to yourselves."
"How do we do that?" asked Brian, finally recovered from his plane ordeal.
"Well...don't act like yourselves," Indy said, staring hard at Howie. "And try not to attract suspicion."
"Let's go already!" said Nick, rushing in to the bar, followed closely by the rest of the Boys. Indy sighed and trudged after them wearily.
"No!" Brian cried, pushing the whisky away from Nick toward the barkeeper. "He's a minor! You can't sell him liquor!"
"BRIAN!" Nick yelled.
"Was ist `minor'?" asked the german barkeeper.
"Come on, Brian," Indy said. "I was drinking more than whisky when I was twelve."
"I'M NOT TWELVE!" Nick howled.
"Ssssh," Kevin ordered. "People are staring."
"I'M NOT TWELVE!" Nick repeated at high decibels.
"Fine, whatever. Just shut up and drink it." Indiana groused. He shoved the drink into Nick's hand. Nick was just about to drink when the door burst open, and several gun-toting Nazis burst in.
One of them fired, and the glass Nick was holding shattered. Another Nazi grabbed Howie's drink and tossed it in his face, then shoved him over to some of the henchmen.
"They've got Howie!" Kevin yelled. The Nazis began firing again, and Indy over-turned a table and ducked behind it. He was using his own gun, but he was extremely out manned. AJ contributed by throwing chairs, but he soon ran out of "ammunition".
"There's too many." Indy said. "I'm running low on ammo."
"We have to get Howie back!" Brian reminded them.
"Save yourselves!" shrieked Howie from the other end of the room. Some Nazis carted him off, struggling.
"You heard him. We'll rescue him later," Indy said. "Duck out the back door. I'll cover you."
The Boys began creeping out. Indy followed them, locking the door. "Hurry," he said. "That won't hold them for long. Aha!" he yelled. "There's our ride."
"What, a car?" asked AJ.
"Motorcycles?" asked Kevin.
"Nope," Indy said pointing to the horse and cart tethered next to the hotel. "That must be for tourists--but at least there's no ignition to hotwire."
They piled into the cart, and Indy started driving the horse when the Nazis poured out of the hotel.
"Quick!" the leader yelled. "Use that other cart!" The Nazis piled into the other cart, and the high-speed chase began.
Hardly. The horses of both carts where huge Clydesdale, and neither exceeded a leisurely mosey.
"Verdammt!" swore the Nazi. "They are very ...slowly... getting away!"
"We're losing them!" said Nick, in the back. "I think. No, wait, they're staying the exact same distance from us."
"It's enough," said Indy. "Damn horse! Go faster!" He cracked his whip close to its head. The horse flicked its ears back, but made no move to speed up. "Just my luck to get a Fascist sympathiser horse."
"Oh no!" cried Nick. "They're really catching up!"
"What?! How?!" asked AJ, turning around to see.
"They've gotten out and started running!"
"Okay, end of the trip," Indy declared, jumping out, and starting to run. The Boys followed him into a small alley.
"We'll jump 'em," Indy explained. "Get down."
"That's what we do, mostly," commented AJ dryly.
The Nazis crept into the alley clearly expecting some sort of trap. They were all watching each other's backs and had their guns out.
"We need a distraction," Brian whispered.
"What are we supposed to do? Jump out and start singing `Quit Playing Games'?" sneered Nick.
"Hmmm..." said Brian.
The Nazis were nearly past Indiana, Kevin and AJ when Nick and Brian popped up and started singing. At first, the Nazis were prepared to fire, but stopped after a moment, perplexed.
One of the Nazis spoke: "Oh! Das ist nicht schlecht."
Another piped up: "Das brauch mehr Jazz."
"Now!" yelled Indy. The Nazis were pulled down, and knocked out. Brian and Nick joined in the melee, and all five Nazis were soon out of commission.
"Great idea, guys," Kevin said, as he was pulling the jacket off one of the Nazi officers, "But you were a little off key."
"Bite me!" snapped Nick.
"So how are we going to rescue Howie?" asked AJ, getting his Nazi uniform on.
"Don't worry. I know where they would have taken him. I have a Plan." announced Indiana.
"Tell us where you really are from, and what you are doing here!" The Nazi yelled. "We know you are the ringleader."
"What?" squeaked Howie, bound to a chair in a room with a single uncovered lightbulb. "I'm not the ringleader!"
"Don't lie to us!" the Nazi smacked Howie across the cheeks. "You will tell us everything about the box!"
"I already told you all I know! You press the button! That's it!"
"Don't try to fool us with your idiotic trap. We know pushing the button will trigger the bomb inside."
"Don't try to act stupid, Herr Dorough! You do it too well." The Nazi snarled.
"I don't know anything! Really!" Howie protested. The Nazi scoffed.
"Quit playing games with us. Tell us the location of the Allied base."
Howie did a double take at the choice of words. The Nazi mistook Howie's double take for surprise.
"Yes, we know you have a secret base--if you do not tell us where it is, we will rock your body with many volts of electricity."
"Um, we're from Backstreet?" Howie offered.
"Backstreet?" sneered the Nazi.
"Our group--I'm in a band. The rest of the guys are in it too."
"I suppose you sing soprano," the Nazi said, rolling his eyes.
The Nazi smacked Howie again. "Still playing games, I see. So that's the way you like it." Howie winced from the pain of the blow. The Nazi laughed. "You handle pain like a child. If you don't want to be electrocuted, I would advise you to roll with it." He sighed. "Every time I close my eyes, darlin', I feel like you are giving me ten thousand promises."
"What?" asked Howie, thoroughly confused.
"I suppose this information is all you have to give?" The Nazi said suddenly, fixing his penetrating stare on the bound Boy. Howie said nothing. The Nazi yelled over to his comrade. "Have you got the shock machine ready?"
The subordinate yelled the question out the door and down the hall, listening for the response.
"Yes, we've got it going on." The lieutenant replied in his broken english. "At least, that's what she said."
The Nazi turned to face Howie. "On. Good. That's the way I like it."
Suddenly the door burst open and Indiana and AJ rushed in. AJ quickly shot the guard. "Oh look, everybody," the head Nazi said sarcastically before Indiana shot him. "Backstreet's back."
"Wow, Indiana." Kevin said, rushing in, with Brian and Nick at his back. "That was some plan."
"Yep, I have to say that it was definitely the best plan of my career." Indiana replied, untying Howie.
"Pulling off that sort of a plan happens once in a lifetime." AJ added, getting the clothes off the guard. "Here, Howie, put this uniform on."
"Thanks for coming after me, guys, but did you really have to shoot the guards?" Howie said, rubbing his cheek, and then getting the uniform on. It was a bit baggy, the guard being a large sort of fellow, and Howie looked a bit lost in it.
"Oh well. It'll do." Indiana commented, eyeing the uniform. "And don't worry about the rescue. Now come on, I know where the box is hidden. As for the guards," he shrugged, "I didn't tell AJ not to shoot him. Boys will be boys, after all."
"Yeah, don't worry about it, Howie." AJ said cheerfully. "After all, we'd go anywhere for you."
Howie stared at him. but AJ just headed out the door. Howie stopped for a minute, then shook his headed and left with the others.
They stood outside the door on Mariastrasse, looking at the street numbers emblazoned over their heads. "Are you sure this is the right house?" asked Brian to Indiana.
Indiana looked around. "Well," he answered. "I'm pretty sure--"
"There are four corners on this street." Nick pointed out. Indy glared at him.
"I know that." he snapped. "I guess we'll just pick one."
"Have you got a plan?" asked AJ, scanning the street for any Nazi guards.
"I always have a plan." Indiana responded determinedly.
"Is it as good as your other one?" asked Brian.
"Nothing is as good as his other plan." Kevin pointed out. Brian shrugged, conceding the point.
"Actually, I have a great plan." Indiana interjected. He strode forward and banged on the door.
He stepped back, and waited expectantly.
"This is his great plan?" asked Nick, in what was supposed to be a whisper to Brian. Brian shrugged.
Suddenly the door opened and a young woman's head poked out. She glared at Indiana and the others, but her eyes lit up with delight when she saw Kevin. Without warning, she grabbed his jacket lapels and pulled him into the house. The door slammed shut, and they heard a lock being fastened.
"They've got Howie!" Indiana yelled.
"No they don't!" Howie replied. "That was Kevin!"
"Whatever! They've got one of you people! AJ, help me break down the door!" Indiana yelled, pushing against the door. AJ and Nick both started helping, but the door was extremely heavy and refused to budge an inch.
Suddenly there was the sound of the locks being unfastened. The door opened, causing Indy, AJ and Nick to almost fall into the apartment. They were stopped, however, by Kevin being shoved out of the door, as it closed behind him. He and the others stumbled down the steps leading to the building entrance.
"Kevin!" Howie exclaimed. "What happened in there?!"
"Huh? What?!" Kevin shook his head, slightly confused, but much perkier than he had been before. "Oh. Nothing happened. Really." he added, staring at Howie.
"Okay," Howie answered, nodding slowly and glancing at Brian (who shrugged).
"That's not the person we're looking for." Kevin added, as Indy, AJ and Nick dusted themselves off.
"How are you so sure?" AJ asked.
"Trust me. She did mistake me for someone else, though." Kevin replied, giving a slightly dopey grin. The others stared at him. He caught himself, and resumed his normal deadpan expression. Indy sighed.
"Let's try the next house." he said, strolling across the street. The others followed, Kevin taking up the rear. He straightened his jacket and muttered: "Gotta love those German fans."
"All right, I'll take care of this one." Indy announced. "I think you guys should stay back to avoid another `incident'." He looked over at Kevin, who was intently staring off into space. Indy rang the doorbell, then waited as several loud footsteps betrayed the person walking to the door. It opened up.
"Uh, excuse me--" Indy said.
"Was? Who are you?" asked the large, irate man in a thick accent, dressed in a bright red dressing gown. "What do you want?"
"Uh, I think we have the wrong house," Nick stage-whispered to Indy. Jones glanced over at the blond Boy with a look of contempt. The man glowered at them. His arms were the approximate size of Indy's thighs.
"Sorry to bother you," Indy apologised, lifting his hat. A big, meaty hand reached out and grabbed Indy by the collar, dragging him up to eye level with the hand's owner. The man abruptly let Indy go, and the professor stumbled backwards, landing on Howie.
"Next house." AJ announced, heading across the next street. "Maybe we should try that house." Kevin suggested, pointing.
"We've done that house before." AJ replied, a bit confused.
"Are you sure? Maybe we should double check."
"I'm positive that was the first house we checked."
"Well, maybe I should go over there to make absolutely sure." Kevin tried to persuade AJ, but Indy grabbed Kevin's elbow, and led him towards the other house.
"I think this might be the one we're looking for." Brian said suddenly as they climbed the steps to the door.
"How do you know? Did you see a henchman go in?" asked Indy.
"Could you see someone in the window?" asked Nick.
"Uh, no. There's just that giant swastika in the window." Brian replied, gesturing to the large white, black and red symbol in the first floor window. Indy sighed.
"Okay, guys," he started. "Here's the plan."
"Is it as good as your first plan?" asked AJ. "That one was diabolical."
"It was brilliant." confirmed Nick.
Indy's eyes gleamed. "This one," he said with a confident smile, "is even better."
The Nazi henchman relaxed in his private study. He was on the third floor of his apartment, studying the strange contraption they had apprehended from the Americans when there was a loud knock at the door.
"Come in," he yelled. The help was all english, having been brought in from before the war.
Two maids tottered into the room. They were two that he hadn't seen before. One was an attractive tall leggy blond who walked a bit strangely, almost as if she was unused to wearing heels. The other, a shorter Hispanic looking woman seemed to be able to walk well enough, and she started dusting the shelves that lined his study.
The Nazi stared out of the window, not noticing the blond maid was edging closer and closer to his desk, whistling nonchalantly. Suddenly, she made a grab for the box on his desk.
"Was?!" he yelled, forgetting his english for the moment. She jumped away from the desk, and the other maid whipped out a gun from her apron. Just then the door blew off its hinges and Indiana Jones entered, flanked by two gun-toting men in uniforms.
"I can't believe you managed to do all that with a record player and a butter knife." whispered one of the "guards". Indiana shrugged. He trained his own gun on the Nazi, even as one of the maids stumbled over to give him the box.
"How did you get past the security?!" roared the Nazi, his language skills returning.
"I can only say that I have never seen a hamster and a banana used so ingeniously." the other "guard" replied. Indy grinned. He took the box from Nick, while giving the "maid" a long look.
"Don't say anything." Nick growled, crossing his arms. "If it wasn't for the fact that I needed to do this, I wouldn't have."
"Oh, I don't know. You're kinda cute." Indy replied with a smirk. Nick scowled.
"You will not get away with this," the Nazi fumed.
"I can, and I will." Indy replied when suddenly he felt a gun poke into his back. He craned his head to see an officer having sneaked up behind them.
"Move towards the window, and give the box to the captain." the officer said, nodding to his boss. "The rest of you, drop your guns." Indy nodded, scowling, and tossed the contraption to the elder Nazi. The captain caught it and as the others put down their weapons he picked up Howie's and grabbed the "maid" by the collar and grabbed him to the window, where the other Nazi had manoeuvred Indy.
"Now, the rest of you--" the captain started when suddenly there was a loud yell coming from outside the building. "Was--we're on the third floor--!" exclaimed the captain as Brian swung in the open window on a rope. He aimed directly for the Nazis, knocking them over.
"Did I miss anything?" asked Brian, landing perfectly on the carpet.
The box went flying, but Howie managed to catch it. Immediately the Nazi leapt up and tried to grab it from him, yelling: "There is nothing that you possess--"
"Oh, shut up!" Howie retorted, punching the Nazi with his free hand. The Nazi dropped, out cold.
"Didn't know you had it in you." Brian said, nudging the Nazi with his toe. Howie shrugged.
Indy knocked out the other guard, and got the box from Howie.
"From what you told us about your interrogation, Brian--"
"Howie. From what you've told us, Howie, they hadn't activated the box because they were afraid it was a bomb. So, that goes with my theory--"
"Which is?" asked AJ.
"That pressing the button will send you back home, to where ever home is." Indy replied.
"So that's it? You press the button and we leave?" clarified Nick.
"Pretty much. Why? Are you wanting to stay?" asked Indy.
"No--it's just that--" Nick faltered. "it's been an interesting few days."
"That it has." Indy said ruefully. "But I think we'll all be looking forward to a bit of normality."
"I thought you said you did this sort of stuff all the time." Howie pointed out.
Indy shrugged. "I'm not used to having partners."
"I guess we should get going," Kevin said in the awkward silence, "before someone else shows up. You wouldn't want to get stuck here."
"There's always Plan B." Indy said, pointing to the rope, hanging just outside the window.
"That reminds me," began Nick. "How did you get that rope to hang there?"
"Trust me, you don't want to know." Brian replied, shaking his head violently.
Indiana laughed and held the box up. The Backstreet Boys clustered together and waited. Indy pressed the button.
"What the hell?" asked Indy, looking down at the box, confused. Nothing on the box looked like it had done anything. He looked up again, but the group was gone.
Professor Jones sat down wearily at his desk, sighing heavily. He set the box down gingerly, as if he was afraid to touch it. There was a knock at the door, and Marcus Brody entered.
"Indy!" he said happily. "You're back. Good. We've missed you, you know."
Jones smiled wanly.
"I see you got the box back," Brody continued blithely. "I got another message from the boys in the lab--they said that there was actually another message on the bottom."
Jones flipped the box over. Sure enough, there was more of the Arabic scrawl along the bottom, covered with dust.
"It says `Do not ever use this machine--if you do, be prepared for dire consequences'." Brody quoted. Jones closed his eyes and sat back in the chair wearily. Brody got the message and walked back out of the office, closing the door quietly, leaving Jones to recuperate from his experience.
A few moments after Brody left, Jones returned his attention to the bottom of the box. He had thought he'd noticed something else engraved in the bottom. As he carefully wiped the dust from it, he realised it was in Roman script, not Arabic, but it was heavily worn away.
Getting out his magnifying glass, he realised that what it said was "Backstreet Boys rule! Nick Carter '98".
He set the bow down quickly, his mind whirling with question, but he decided that some things were better left unknown, and he placed the box gently in the bottom of his desk, and tried to forget about it.
They looked around the stage, everyone within viewing distance looking extremely stunned.
"Where did you guys come from?" asked the director walking up, flanked by the assistant. "And why did you change from the costumes? I don't think those Nazi uniforms send out the right message--they're not even from the thirties! The costumes must have been from the Forties Dept. And where did you get those guns? This is a non-violent video!"
"Uh--" AJ started, but he couldn't think of anything to say.
"And," continued the Director, obviously furious. "And, what do you two think you're doing in that get-up?!"
Howie and Nick glanced at each other in the maid uniforms, both going bright red.
"I don't know where you're getting all these ideas," fumed the director, "But I don't want any guns in the video, and absolutely nothing..." he faltered, "nothing so kinky. Alright?"
The five nodded furiously, then slunk off to the dressing rooms, without any further comments.
The Director sighed. He glared at the assistant. "Don't work in show business, Kimmy." he advised. "They're all nuts."