Okay, that was bad. Really, really bad. "Heir" because my plan for Chapter 22 is road trip across America, with Lara doing some soul-searching and recapping about her life, including the nasty little inheritance battle she got involved in after Lord Croft vanished while on expedition.
And "Burke" for James Burke, of the Connections television show, because I'm following every trail off in whatever random direction they go.
There's three good reasons to close out this fanfic within the next few chapters. One is that it was shaped as a three-act structure and we've passed that critical Act II-III break (also, it's up over 100,000 words now and that's plenty for a one-joke story).
Another is that I should put this down and free up time to do other things. To do work that pays (even if the prop work doesn't pay much). Or if I'm to write, to go back to attempting to write for publication. Any lingering traces of the writer's block I had after sending out Shirato is gone now.
Lastly, it is that I didn't plan and it doesn't really come together properly. I could blame the sources for that; the Stargate universe is internally inconsistent, and it doesn't mesh as smoothly as it might with the Tomb Raider universe. My intent in starting out was just to have fun with the clash of characters. Unfortunately I realized shortly in that I cared about making the history right, and it became an increasingly onerous exercise in trying to reconcile these two ridiculous canons with something resembling our own world.
And even putting that aside; I have dangling plot lines that could be properly treated, but to really do justice to the history of the Ancients on Earth -- and especially to harmonize with Natla and the Atlantean Triumvirate -- I'd need a lot more pages. Enough perhaps to justify an entire sequel, especially if I simultaneously send Daniel Jackson to Syria to track down a Sumerian artifact that's passed through the hands of multiple conquerers through the tangled history of the ancient world.
But that's too much good money to throw into the bad of the ridiculous and bloated mess the source material already provides (not to mention my own confusing contributions).
And, yes; if I think of the current story in terms of Try-Fail structures, it looks right that the current arc is going to result in another failure for our heroes, another increasing of the stakes, and another full act of material as they go on for the big final try.
Except I don't really see it that way any more. Although I originally wrote this as "Tomb Raider and SG1 join forces to stop a villain" it actually reads more -- and I think will work better as -- "Tomb Raider and SG1 join forces." Full stop.
That is to say, the dramatic thrust is all about Lara finding out about SG1, losing their trust, then earning it back/becoming part of the team. It's the plot to every time a new character joins an existing cast, or two comic book titles meet (in the words of The Tick, "First we fight, then we are friends.") The template looks a lot like that of a Rom-Com.
So I don't actually have to save the world. I don't even have to stop the villain I introduced during the story. All I have to do is have Lara do something useful that will mend the temporarily broken fences between her and Stargate Command.
(She was brainwashed by a Goa'uld into letting him onto the base. That doesn't go down real well. Then the NID asked for her custody and she broke out. Also doesn't look that good. But the worst problem is she really doesn't know who she is now or where she is heading. She's having a mid-tomb crisis here.)
So only question now is, can I set Mount Shasta to ticking, get everyone else assembled there in time for a big showdown, and introduce some nice extra complications.....without going all Umberto Eco on Chief Victorio, the Silver Purchase Act, Solar Power, the Solutrean Hypothesis.........