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122 Our Past, Our Foundation

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Book 2 emblem Book 2: Angleworm Page 122: Our Past, Our Foundation
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The background is black.

Panel 1

The panel is placed several inches down the screen, so that the reader is obliged to scroll past a field of black to reach it. A wide, diffuse glow of yellow light over the black background is visible on the right side, growing stronger as the reader scrolls down and joined by a second, weaker glow of white light. Both areas of light, at their strongest, appear to be made of several multicolored lines.

The actual panel is as large as a standard comic is. Zane, standing with one hand grasping his cord, is looking up at the cave wall in front of him. The wall is at least 20 feet tall, and suspended near the ceiling is a gigantic coin-like golden plaque. It's engraved with writing in an unknown language, has three large glowing crystals wrapped in thick chains and suspended from it, and has a large drawing that looks very similar to the Skull and Shovels logo. The skull part is even more stylized than the one on the society's logo, as it's just a circle with two round eyes and several short lines near the top that suggest teeth, while the shovel part is also very stylized, with the crossed lines looking almost more like arrows. The effect appears somewhat more primitive than the modern-day logo, but there's no doubt that there's a connection.

The plaque appears to be suspended from three large chains attached to the face of the plaque with three large square-shaped bolts. The writing is a series of stylized symbols that resemble some human writing systems but not any one particular language and are written in vertical lines. The three crystals are purple, red and green from the left, and are different shapes. Each of them is as large as a person and are hung at different angles and wrapped in different ways by thick chain hung from three other square-shaped bolts attached to the lower part of the plaque. The light from the crystals is what was illuminating the cave and casting the shadows in the previous strip. They're suspended over the portion of the cave wall visible underneath the huge plaque. The wall is smooth and dark, and drawn on it in yellow lines is a complex pattern of several different-sized circles, all either touching each other or overlapping each other, filled with detailed patterns made of several triangles, short lines and circles. The patterns seem jumbled and meaningless, and they cover the wall behind the hanging crystals.

Similar patterns also cover the smooth floor, although they're spaced further apart and connected with lines. In the middle of many of the circle patterns are several more cairns. They're similar to the one seen in the previous strip, but all of them have noticeably different shapes. On each pile of stones is a spindly, abstract pattern in red. The pattern is different for each cairn, and each seems to be fitted for the cairn on which it is drawn. Twelve of the cairns are wholly or partially visible, although there are some offscreen as indicated by the previous strip, and they don't appear to have been placed in any recognizable pattern, although each one is centered on a circle with different markings.

Each of the cairns has a soft blue light hovering at the top of the pile of stones, except for one X-shaped cairn which has two lights. The lights that are closer to the gigantic plaque appear stronger and more vivid, and each one casts a long, horizontal gleam over the scene. A few of the small, human-like drawings are drawn in white on the rock wall of the cave to Zane's left, and they gradually become more numerous until, on the areas of wall immediately to the right and left of the crystals and the golden plaque, there are a couple hundred of them drawn densely on the rock. They curve around the crystals and continue all the way up to the visible top of the wall, several feet above the ground. The ceiling itself is not visible, but loops of chain are mounted to it.

There is a fourth box-like crystal to the right of the plaque suspended from the ceiling by a thick chain, and it shines with white light. Near this crystal are three cage-like cylindrical structures, also suspended from the ceiling by thick chains. They look about big enough to fit a human, but are constructed with fairly large holes between the bars. One of them is intact, while two of them have areas where the bars have been broken outward or warped. A fourth cage, shorter than the other three, hangs to the left of the plaque.

The black field returns underneath the panel, and the softly shining yellow light from the crystals and plaque can be seen on it.

Panel 2.

This panel is a single square on the left half of a field of black, and the reader is obliged to scroll past the scene in Panel 1 to see it. Zane is standing up against the cave wall, his hands touching the rock. He turns his head quickly, thin lines from his head indicating his surprise, as what appears to be a semi-transparent bright blue hand touches his shoulder. The arm attached to the hand fades away near the elbow. Zane's eyes are two small white circles. It is unclear to me if the hand is pushing Zane onto the wall or if it is a gesture to get his attention.

Panel 3.

The reader has to scroll down to see this panel, a single square on the right half of a field of black, heightening the suspense. Zane trembles as he turns around, his hands in front of him with the palms raised and the fingers bent slightly in a protective gesture. His face isn't visible under the diving helmet, but his eyes, drawn normally, and his eyebrow indicate anxiety as he says "Is this a *dream* --"

Panel 4.

Another panel the size of a regular comic. A ghostly, semi-transparent Cadavre floats in front of Zane, glowing light blue and surrounded by darkness. He is dressed in his usual beret, striped shirt and black pants, but his usual cartoony appearance is combined with a realistic skeleton. This produces a ghastly effect, especially in the head, where Cadavre's large, cartoony head outline contains a heavily-shaded skull with large, dark eye sockets, a triangular nose hole and the top half of his jaw with a full row of teeth, instead of Cadavre's three stylized teeth. The lower half of his jaw is missing entirely. There is a large glowing point of light in each socket, and a long, thin horizontal beam of red light comes from them. Several shining drops of blood are coming from the bases of each socket, floating away from the skull out to each side of the skeleton. The skeleton is mostly visible in Cadavre's cartoony body, although it fades out at the elbows and calves, leaving only the cartoony hands and feet.

Cadavre is holding a lit cigarette in his left hand and is touching the index finger of his right hand to where his lips would be. The smoke from the cigarette trails up and to the right, drifting away from him. Zane is only visible from the side, and his reaction is unreadable although he appears to be leaning backward slightly. The front of his helmet and diving suit are blue with the reflected light from Cadavre.

Underneath this, in blue text over a black background, are the words "End of Book Two" over the Skull and Shovels logo.

page 121
Return to Book 2: Angleworm
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