Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Where'd my notebook go?

I have a plan for the new prop. And barely enough time. I worked out the schedule, and at least I know what I need to do by when to get it finished. Basic plan now -- this is scenery for a table-top role-playing game -- is create the shapes in (mostly) MDF, then vacuum-form ABS or styrene (which can be glued) and reinforce as necessary -- probably with laser-cut acrylic.

I've been meaning to do an MDF sculpt for a while, plus of course intending to use that for my vacuum forming bucks. Not entirely sure some of the steps -- going to try to find time to try laser engraving (tinkered with idea of CNC routing but doesn't look like the best option for this project).

Put up the latest Tomb Raider/SG1 chapter, and probably going to be a while before I actively work on it again. But I think I have some ideas now that would be fun to do, that give me opportunities to mix and match the casts a little and give them new challenges, gives me space to talk about stuff I'm interested...and doesn't abet the cause of pseudo-archaeology.

There are papers being written in mainstream journals now about pseudo-archaeology -- but not about the inane theories themselves: instead, about the history and anthropology of the beliefs and their creators.

And, yeah, I like that stuff too. The story of Mu is a fascinating one. How the Atlantis myth came to be is also interesting, although potentially more interesting is how it plays into various themes of diffusionism, racial superiority, millenialism, etc. And tucked under some of the same waters is Lemuria, a sad case of something that came about from doing actual good science but going too far (basically, inventing biogeography but, not having Continental Drift yet to explain some of the dispersion, inventing an entire new continent). Lemuria rapidly evolved from being a mere land bridge to being a lost civilization, and spawned its own parallel flock of Atlantis-like legends of super-science and hidden civilizations. One of which threads ended up in, of all places...Mount Shasta in California!

And, yeah, that's where I'm going, but it wouldn't be stretching to say I'm going to bring up and talk about these theories but not a single one will actually turn out to be true. I'm basically going full Eco here; they'll back into the real conspiracy while exploring the fake one. I haven't quite divvied up the cast yet. SG1 is a lot more of an ensemble show, when you get right down to it; Tomb Raider has a lot fewer available cast members (especially as I remain constrained mostly to the first two games of the Crystal Dynamics continuity, aka "Anniversary" and Legend.)

So here they are, in current sketch form:

Desert: Looking for alien interference (where none exists) in the brief but colorful reign of Akhenaten, I get to talk about our favorite Pharaoh. But eventually someone does some remote sensing and discovers a Tomb Raider scale buried temple complex out in the middle of nowhere. Possibly connected with Iram of the Pillars (because why wouldn't you?) and possibly containing some high tech other than the whiff of naquadah that first leads them to it, and almost certainly not Egyptian anyhow...Assyrian or Sumerian is leading right now by a Lammasu-length.

Underwater: Because the really good games have underwater sequences, right? All I've got right now is Yonaguni Monument but there are plenty of other places to look for something. And I don't have to stay there; many of these might only be the jumping-off point with the big "tomb" somewhere else.

Volcano Base: Mount Shasta, getting there via Mu and Lemuria naturally, but discovering something very different. Probably several layers; pre-contact indigenous civilizations, of course (perhaps touching on Mound Builders and Copper Culture?) up to something as Elon Musk-and-white-cat-ish as the ridiculously oversized and still oddly semi-functional remains of a gobsmackingly ill-conceived government plan to provide geothermal power to the entire Pacific Coast by monkeying around with a only-barely dormant volcano. And perhaps under all that is something akin to the Ring of Fire machinery Natla tried to start up in TRU?

Tomb Raider in Space! Start with the Antikythera Mechanism (hey, I've already used the Voynich...) and make one change; add a fragmentary and much-disputed extra dial that could be used to track...that variously named and never-goes-away tenth (ninth -- sorry, Pluto) planet between Jupiter and Mars. And where that ends up I don't know -- space is probably out -- but I can have Lara talking to astronomers, learning history of radio astronomy, hanging out at the VLA or, better yet, Jodrell Bank...

So the only game location I'm really missing here is Jungle. Did I mention I got a really, really wonderful gift? It is a hand-inked reproduction on animal skin (goat, I'm betting) of the King Pakal sarcophagus lid. Purchased in Palenque and to the best of my knowledge made there.

But, no, I can't go Pakal's Spaceship. Plato is fine, even Augustus le Plongeon is an interesting character, but I just can't bring myself to go full Von Dannikan.

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