Nazca lines

Milo considered Dinkley, feeling sudden clarity as the acid washed from his system. He thought fast and decided he might have Dinkley's number. If he played it right.

"Uh huh," he finally said. "And that" -- he nodded toward the van -- "is the chariot of the gods..."

"Really?" said Dinkley, suddenly excited.

"Of course not, you idiot. We just drove out here in the night. I'm not sure what you saw through your telescope. It might've been some optical illusion associated with light bending over the horizon or something." As he spoke, Milo felt his confidence surge. It was bullshit, but semi-plausible and tangentially related to actual physics. He could do this. "But I'm betting that whatever chemical stimulants you were using to stay awake had something more to do with it. And just about now, I'd very much appreciate if you would lay a hit on me."

Dinkley's face was morose. But from various pockets in his safari suit he produced a largish glass vial full of white powder, a compact mirror and a razor blade. He handed them over.

"Cocaine," he said glumly. "Help yourself, but watch it. The stuff is dead cheap around here, and dead pure. Too much'll kill you."

Milo decided that, what with the last two days and all, discretion was the better part of valour. He cut two very small lines, just to stay perky, and inhaled. He giggled as it hit. He realized the stuff was extremely good indeed.

"Now these are the kind of Nazca lines I can get into," he said, handing the kit back to Dinkley.

Dinkley glumly cut and inhaled a massive pile of the powder, with little apparent effect. He'd obviously inured himself over quite a period. Milo warmed to Dinkley somewhat. Anybody with blow that kickass, and snorting that heavily, probably wasn't a CIA guy out to haul him back to Chicago for a date with a rubber hose, or worse.

And Milo calculated the drugs could make it a lot easier for him to persuade the guy that there had been no flying van at all. He sensed that obscuring the van's unusual entrance, even in this remote backwater, would be a really good idea.

"Have a seat," he said, gesturing to a rock beside his and doing his best to look kindly. "And how 'bout a shot of Guatamalan coffee?"