Abner Ravenwood looked around. He didn't know where he was. It just seemed to be some sort of endless abyss. He knew he was dead. There was no way that avalanche would have spared him.
'At least you're not disoriented.'
He turned around. There was a young man standing there. He had short, shaggy brown hair and light brown eyes. He was also standing like some sort of authority figure.
'Who are you?' Abner demanded.
'Nick Balinger,' the man answered. 'I'm the Sovereign of the 20th Century.'
'What does that mean?' Abner asked.
'Did you really love the sound of your own voice that much?' he asked. 'On more than one occasion, Jones explained who I am.'
'You knew the bum?' Abner demanded, wincing at having anything to do with him.
'I know him and I like him,' Nick explained. 'It's my job to preserve all reality for the duration of the 20th century. To do that properly, I have to know everything among other things. Now I'm going to explain something and you better damn well listen this time. In this domain, you're a novice. You don't know anything.'
Abner scowled. Nick clicked and a blackboard appeared. Nick picked up a piece of chalk. As he spoke, he wrote "Indiana Jones" on the blackboard and underlined it, followed by the two names he was speaking.
'Indiana Jones is actually remembered throughout history,' he said. 'To mortals, he's known as the Revolutionary Archaeologist. They call him that because he's the first to do a lot of things: fight Nazis, fight commies, conceive a kid about a week or so before he marries the mother. Most prominently, he's remembered for finding things that have not been seen in centuries, after searching for a short time.'
'You following me?' he asked.
'He's talented.' Abner scowled. 'I already know this.'
'To the immortals, he's got a very different name,' Nick went on. 'We don't care about those artifacts. They're nothing but trouble to us. It's the fact that he fights that we care about. We call him the Hero of the 20th Century.'
'Hero?' Abner demanded incredulously. 'Jones isn't a hero. Heroes are noble.'
'Only in fairytales,' Nick disputed. 'In reality, heroes are men who are jaded enough, and hurt enough and deprived enough and sick and tired enough not to give a damn.'
The look her gave Abner was scornful.
'Indy doesn't give a damn.' Nick turned back to the blackboard. 'Now to the main issue.'
Nick wrote "Marion Ravenwood" adjacent to Jones's name. Abner blanched.
'You know about the affair,' he stated.
'Outside of those involved in the whole drama,' Nick told him, 'only Marcus Brody and I know what happened. Neither of us have ever breathed a word of it in public. Indy told Marcus and Marcus listened as a friend. He didn't need to tell me. As I said, I know everything. Now, Marion is never really that well-known in the mortal world, but she is well-known in the immortal world as "the Drive".'
Nick wrote that under Marion's name.
'The Drive?' Abner asked. 'Why is she called that?'
'Heroes need a woman to keep them grounded and keep them on the correct path,' Nick explained. 'This woman is often referred to as "the Drive" because she drives him on. Marion is Indy's drive. Now, you know all about this.'
Nick drew a loop first out of Jones's name and then out of Marion's name. Once the loops crossed over, Nick turned the chalk on its side and drew a thick line down from the loops for a short way. He then drew a line through the crossing over of the two lines and wrote "1926" next to it.
'They met and they started their affair,' Nick said.
'Yes,' Abner grumbled. 'I know about it.'
'And you forced Indy away.' Nick glared at him. 'Do you realise, if you hadn't done that, you'd be the grandfather of Henry Walton Jones III and Hazel Anna Jones by now? Too late now. 'Cause this happened.'
He arched the lines on both sides away from each other. He continued speaking as he, to Abner's horror, began arching them back towards the middle.
'Thing is, they're being drawn back together again,' he said. 'Marion never really had an infatuation. A girl with an infatuation obsesses over her appearance, has a nerve-grating, never-ending giggle every time they're around the object of their infatuation and goes all googly-eyed everytime they look at the guy. Marion never did any of this. She's actually in love with Indy. And he's in love with her too, but he's not sure what to do with things like that.'
'Jones is a bum!' Abner exclaimed. 'Bums don't fall in love!'
'Abner, just because a man's lazy and gets a kick out of defying death doesn't mean he can't fall in love,' Nick groaned. 'It just means he's lazy and he gets a kick out of defying death.'
'He's a womaniser!' Abner objected.
'Yet, he never two-timed your daughter,' Nick pointed out. 'While he was dating her, he turned down every woman that showed an interest.'
Nick turned and drew a line through the second crossing and wrote "1936" at that line.
'This is when they meet again,' he said. He turned the chalk on its side again and drew a longer line down. At the end of that line, he drew the sign for infinity. 'They stay together this time. The infinity is up for debate. Some people in the higher realms think they should be immortalised and some think they deserve peace at the end.'
'Are you telling me that everyone but me is on side with this?' Abner demanded.
'Yes,' Nick agreed. 'You split them up the first time and my bosses are not happy with that. However, as far as most people went, you weren't really that bad. You're allowed into Heaven, but you can't ever see your daughter again.'
'That's not fair!' Abner yelled.
'Yes, it is,' Nick threw down the chalk and got in his face. 'It wasn't fair that you dragged Marion around the planet when all she wanted was a little simple stability. It wasn't fair that you didn't give Indy the benefit of the doubt. Nothing you ever did was done fairly. So, if you don't think your punishment is fair, sit on it! We could always send you to Hell, you know.'
Abner drew back. He bit his lip and glared at Nick. Nick shrugged and clicked again, sending Abner off.