I'm finishing up the Holocron PCB; it should go out to the fab house Wed or Thursday. So no time to write fiction. (And no time to make short, clear, interesting blog posts, either).
But I was browsing random images today and ran into one end of a perfect string of what I need to do with the second next chapter of the fanfic. The picture was of one of the UFO-themed eateries in Roswell, NM. And an expansion of an existing search turned up petroglyphs not far away. And a glance at the map confirms New Mexico makes a lot more sense as the start of a road trip to Northern California from someone who started in Colorado (well, more sense than Raleigh, NC, which is where I had her before!)
And one of the bloggers I follow has just recapped an older post he had about the claims of medieval Europeans in Arizona by one of the two people who inspired the character Lara Croft will be encountering. So everything points towards the Four Corners, generically.
I'm going to miss the chance to check out the Indian Mounds of the Mississippian culture but I should be able to do all the stuff I want to about the racist underside of hyper-diffusionism and the actual (and impressive) cultures of North America, and the strange bedfellows between weird strains of American evangelicalism, UFO belief, and Atlantis...the way the need to believe that a Greek/Jewish/White European culture was behind the Pyramids, the bronzework of Benin, or Indian Mounds, which grew and morphed with much help from Theosophy to a "Atlanteans/Space Aliens were the seed of all world culture" (which in recent years has been re-costumed yet again with the influence of pre-millennial dispensationists and the like as "Atlanteans/Space Aliens/Angels" -- fused into a hybrid concept often given the name "Nephilim.")
I've always loved the desert -- took road trips out to Lassen and into Death Valley before, trained in that area as well -- and Roswell NM is just such a weird place in that American Roadside Attraction way it will be a lot simpler to make some memorable visuals as backdrop to the (also thematically very appropriate) long-distance road trek of the Damnation Alley- like "Ark III" they'll be riding in.
And I'm afraid I'm going to have to push back a little on the directions "Colonel" Newberry was moving. I still think he is wicked smart, and probably knows a lot of the pseudo-archaeology he's pushing is bullshit, but really he has two important jobs to do in the narrative. One is to be a foil, a devil's advocate; someone who can argue intelligently for the, shall we say, non-mainstream views. But the other and in my mind more important task is to amplify on my peculiar take on just what the relationship is between Lara Croft and real archaeology (for the purposes of this story, note. I firmly believe there are multiple valid takes one could make).
Basically, it is that her world is very close to ours. Almost every legend and myth and tall tale, almost every Bigfoot sighting and Coso Artifact and so forth are exactly what they are in our world; mistakes and hoaxes. Very, very rare are those things that are actually true. Lara has the seemingly magical talent (or maybe just sheer luck) to have found more than one of them. And in my construct, once you find one, your chances of finding others goes up. The Colonel is Lara Croft without that luck. He's smart, he's physically fit, he's got the money and the gear, the smarts and the determination....the only thing he lacks is one of those tremendously handy "tombs" to raid.