Happy Holidays 2021! - Part 1

Hand-drawn or CGI. If you started with a blank screen or sheet of paper, it's cool to post it here!
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sixgunzloaded
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Happy Holidays 2021! - Part 1

Postby sixgunzloaded » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:38 pm

Happy Holidays again everybody!!
Hard to believe it's already been another year gone by.
Here is Part 1 of the new picture story I did this year. Part 2 will go up after New Year's.
Each part will have 115 separate frames, so make sure you don't miss any!
Hope you enjoy it and have a great Holiday Season!

Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj Part 1


At first, she'd thought they were playing a joke on her. They did that sometimes to the noobs in the field. And even though she'd been a field operative for almost a year now, the more tenured agents still liked to tease her occasionally. Susan didn't mind. It meant they were coming to accept her as one of the Guild. But, soon enough, she realized they were serious about this mission. It was for real. They really were searching for the lost city of Zinj.

It was Bryce who had convinced her. She was pretty sure he wouldn't prank her - he had a fairly obvious crush on her. She was pretty sure about that too. She wasn't entirely sure how she felt about it though just yet. He was cute, he was smart, and he was always there for her, helping with research in the Guild's vast library and especially as an experienced base contact when she was in the field. He was a steadying, calming presence in her ear through her headset. They were a good team. But as a romantic interest? hmmm... Maybe. Susan grinned to herself. She knew she was at least partly to blame. She had flirted with him more than once.

But all that could wait. ZINJ! The A.H.G. must have some pretty hefty evidence that it actually existed if they were sending multiple agents into the jungle to search for it! And she was one of them! The lost city was legendary. Sort of like El Dorado or Atlantis. It was said to be full of riches and technology far beyond anything known at the time of its disappearance thousands of years ago. According to the legend, the gods favored the city with good fortune until the people grew complacent in their wealth and power. They began to see themselves as gods and for that, they were punished. The 'real' gods decided to take the entire city into the heavens for themselves and the people of Zinj would all perish. And, in case any survived the cataclysm and came searching for it, traps would be placed throughout the city to prevent them from ever taking it back.

Traps. Of course there were traps. When were there ever not traps? But that was ok. The thought of actually finding the city far outweighed any potential danger. Or so she thought anyway.

Susan dressed, grabbed her pack, loaded her weapon and sound-checked her headset with Bryce. The van waited outside to take her and the other agents to the airport. When they got there, the plane was already loaded and ready for take-off. Bryce and three other base contacts were already seated when Susan and the three other field agents climbed aboard. Any lingering doubts about a prank left her mind as the plane taxied down the runway, lifted into the sky and headed south and east toward the coast of Africa. If this was a prank, it would go down in Guild history as the most elaborate and expensive one ever pulled.

They were briefed in the air. Each team would be choppered into the jungle and set down at four different points - north, south, east, and west - on a large grid overlaying a satellite photo of the area. Susan's would be to the south in what looked like a mountainous region. They were to scout their areas and report any discoveries to their base contacts. If the discovery looked promising enough, all four teams would converge on the site and a more thorough exploration would commence.

Susan napped the rest of the flight after the briefing and ate a high-energy meal so she'd be in prime condition when they landed. The plane landed in the wee hours of the morning and the teams climbed aboard the four waiting choppers. By the time they reached their respective destinations, the sun was peeking over the tree tops. Base camps were set, headsets were double-checked, and the explorers set off into their grids in hopes of making history.

Most of the morning went by uneventfully and around noon, local time, Susan stopped for a break and a quick snack. She discussed her progress with Bryce over the airwaves and learned the other teams weren't having any better luck than she was. But each square of the grid was large and it was still way early. The local government had given them almost a full week to conduct their search. By the time late afternoon rolled around she decided to call it a day and return to base camp. She didn't want to be stuck out here when darkness fell. The jungle at night was a bad place to be alone, even if you were armed and survival trained. They could pick this up again tomorrow and try another direction.

They planned out that direction over their campfire that evening, then retired to their tents for the night. They planned to be up early. When morning came they made coffee and a smart breakfast and went over the day's route one more time. Susan intended to head up one of the steeper slopes of a nearby peak. Something had occurred to her during the night - something about the legend - the gods 'taking the city into the heavens'. Some sort of natural upheaval? An earthquake perhaps? It seemed like the most likely candidate if it had happened quickly. Bryce agreed.

She set off into the jungle again and started her climb. The incline was a bit steeper than it looked from the jungle floor but nothing she couldn't handle. It did take a while though. The better part of the morning, in fact. But it paid off. As Susan neared a plateau, she began to notice shapes in the not-to-distant tree line - shapes that didn't look like they had occurred naturally. Man-made shapes... This was definitely a discovery of some sort. Could it be Zinj? Could she really be the one to find it??? Her heart beat a little quicker and a little surge of adrenaline propelled her up the last few yards to the summit of the peak... where she stopped in her tracks.

This was most definitely man-made! A few hundred yards away stood a stone wall with a large wooden gate set into it. Moving closer, Susan could see blue sky through the top of the gate. It almost looked like a fortress. It was remarkably well preserved - at least as far as she could tell from this distance - and had a number of columns and smaller structures situated near the path to the gate. The path itself was relatively clear except for a smallish overgrown patch about halfway in. Easy enough. What might be a little more challenging was the dilapidated rope bridge spanning a chasm that separated the path and structure from the rest of the plateau she was standing on.

"Bryce," she radioed in, "I found something."
"What is it?" came the reply.
"I don't know yet. It could be Zinj.
"Seriously???" The excitement in his voice matched her own.
"Maybe. It's old. Really old. But it's in really good condition from what I can see here. I'll have to get closer. There's an old rope bridge leading to a path with a little bit of overgrowth in the middle of it and after that, a big wooden gate. We might not be the first ones to find this."
"Ok," he said, "But be careful."
"Will do."

Susan walked closer and peeked over the edge. A narrow river was running through the bottom of the chasm and exiting over a waterfall in the distance to the east. The walls of the chasm were sheer cliffs almost down to the water. She looked again at the rotting bridge. If she fell here, her chances of climbing back out before she went over the falls were pretty slim.

So then, don't fall, she told herself. She gathered her calm and cautiously took the first step. The plank creaked beneath her weight but seemed to hold. Encouraged, she took another. So far, so good. Maybe this old thing was stronger than it looked. Gaining confidence, she pressed ahead. She was more than halfway across when she heard the crack. On pure reflex, her hands shot out in front of her...

Batch #1
Attachments
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 0l.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 0m.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 0n.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 0o.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 0p.jpg
Last edited by sixgunzloaded on Fri Dec 17, 2021 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
How long did Tarzan watch before deciding to save Jill..?

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sixgunzloaded
Posts: 618
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Re: Happy Holidays 2021! - Part 1

Postby sixgunzloaded » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:40 pm

Batch #2
Attachments
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1a.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1b.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1c.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1d.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1e.jpg
How long did Tarzan watch before deciding to save Jill..?

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sixgunzloaded
Posts: 618
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 8:16 pm

Re: Happy Holidays 2021! - Part 1

Postby sixgunzloaded » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:43 pm

Batch #3
Attachments
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1f.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1g.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1h.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1i.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1j.jpg
How long did Tarzan watch before deciding to save Jill..?

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sixgunzloaded
Posts: 618
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 8:16 pm

Re: Happy Holidays 2021! - Part 1

Postby sixgunzloaded » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:47 pm

Batch #4
Attachments
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1k.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1l.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1m.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1n.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1o.jpg
How long did Tarzan watch before deciding to save Jill..?

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sixgunzloaded
Posts: 618
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 8:16 pm

Re: Happy Holidays 2021! - Part 1

Postby sixgunzloaded » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:49 pm

Batch #5
Attachments
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1p.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1q.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1r.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1s.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1t.jpg
How long did Tarzan watch before deciding to save Jill..?

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sixgunzloaded
Posts: 618
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 8:16 pm

Re: Happy Holidays 2021! - Part 1

Postby sixgunzloaded » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:50 pm

Batch #6
Attachments
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1u.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1v.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1w.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1x.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1y.jpg
How long did Tarzan watch before deciding to save Jill..?

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sixgunzloaded
Posts: 618
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 8:16 pm

Re: Happy Holidays 2021! - Part 1

Postby sixgunzloaded » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:52 pm

Batch #7
Attachments
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 1z.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2a.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2b.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2c.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2d.jpg
How long did Tarzan watch before deciding to save Jill..?

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sixgunzloaded
Posts: 618
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 8:16 pm

Re: Happy Holidays 2021! - Part 1

Postby sixgunzloaded » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:54 pm

Batch #8
Attachments
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2e.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2f.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2g.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2h.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2i.jpg
How long did Tarzan watch before deciding to save Jill..?

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sixgunzloaded
Posts: 618
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 8:16 pm

Re: Happy Holidays 2021! - Part 1

Postby sixgunzloaded » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:55 pm

Batch #9
Attachments
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2j.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2k.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2l.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2m.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2n.jpg
How long did Tarzan watch before deciding to save Jill..?

User avatar
sixgunzloaded
Posts: 618
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 8:16 pm

Re: Happy Holidays 2021! - Part 1

Postby sixgunzloaded » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:57 pm

Batch #10
Attachments
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2o.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2p.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2q.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2r.jpg
Artifact Hunter - The Passage to Zinj 2s.jpg
How long did Tarzan watch before deciding to save Jill..?


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