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The scene fades in on Prime Minister Kelly and his new Asari Girlfriend standing on a stage in front of what looks like a sea of humanity with some other races sprinkled in.  Delta was also standing on the stage although off to the left and though Eden Prime was considered safe Delta wasn’t about to let his guard down now.  Once a Salarian in a black cloak stepped onto the stage the crowd erupted in cheers.  Walking to the middle of the stage he gestures to Kelly who walks over and raises his right hand in the air.

“In accordance with Citadel law I certify that this election was held in true faith and allegiance of the laws in Council Space.  Please repeat after me. I … do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Alliance and the laws of Council Space.”  The Salarian said making sure he spoke slowly and clearly.

“I Richard Kelly do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Alliance and the laws of Council Space.”  Kelly repeated his voice trembling slighting as the enormity of the event began to sink in.

“Against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”  The Salarian countered the second Kelly finished his sentence.

“Against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”  Kelly responded his voice growing a little clearer and stronger.

“That I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”  Again the Salarian didn’t waste any time with the response.  

“That I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”  Kelly quickly responded.

“Then by the power given to me under Article one fifty six of Council Law I hereby recognize you as the sole leader and ruler supreme of the Human Race and The Alliance forces.  It is my duty to remind you that you have six months from now to send forth a Councilor to represent the humans on the Citadel Council.  Of course the acting Council members still must approve your selection.  Congratulations Prime Minster Kelly!”  With that the Salarian held out his right hand and shook Kelly’s hand before stepping off to the side.

Kelly shakes the Salarian’s hand he then slowly let his eyes take in the crowd in front of him, human, Asari, Turian, and Salarian.  Kelly then moves forward to a solid oak podium and sets his hands on the podium and takes a deep breath.  

A fire in his eyes is noticeable, his voice booms across the crowd “It is custom for the new Prime Minster to say a few words to those here, after the Oath of Office is finished.  I have chosen to craft this speech after a great leader.  A man from the late twentieth century who faced some of the same problems we face today.  Instead of the Ledan he stared down Communism and the Iron Curtin.  Instead of a self-inflected plague he faced the low morale of a disillusioned people.  Our problems are of our own doing and I think we can clean up our mess with the help of our allies.”  Kelly said to a roar of applause.    

Waiting for the cheers to calm he continued his speech. “Parliament Members, Council Members, and Alliance Command, I want our fellow citizens to know how much you did. By your gracious cooperation in the transition process, you have shown a watching galaxy that we are a united and pledged to maintaining a political system which guarantees individual liberty to a greater degree than any other, and I thank you and your people for all your help in maintaining the continuity which is the bulwark of our Republic.”  Kelly turned and nodded to the many dignitaries sitting or standing behind him.

Taking a breath Kelly continued his speech. “The business of our race goes forward. The Human Race confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions. We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our history.  It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of billions of our people.” Kelly says to a mostly silent crowd.

“Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, human misery, and personal indignity. Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.”  He continued.
Pausing for a moment before continuing “But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children's future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.  Our spending is now higher than the rebuilding years that occurred shortly after the end of the Reaper War.”  Kelly said to those in the crowd listening intently.

“The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we as humans have the capacity now, as we've had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve our bastion of freedom.”  Cheers of the crowds cause Kelly to pause.

Waiting for a moment Kelly continued “This time knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up from those who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we're sick -- professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and ship drivers. They are, in short, ‘We the people,’ this breed called Humanity.”

“So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a race that has a government -- not the other way around. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.”

“It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Alliance establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the Alliance Government and those reserved to the Countries or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the Alliance Government did not create the Countries; the Countries created the Alliance Government.” The crowd erupts in cheer again.

Once again pausing until the crowd settled Kelly continued “Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it's not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work… Work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.”

“If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people in the history of humanity, it was because here in this galaxy we unleashed the energy and individual genius of humanity to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.”

“It is time for us to realize that we're too great a race to limit ourselves to small dreams. We're not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope in each other.”

“We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we're in a time when there are not heroes, they just don't know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the worlds beyond. You meet heroes across a counter, and they're on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They're individuals and families whose taxes support the government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet, but deep. Their values sustain our way of life and others.”

“Now, I have used the words ``they'' and ``their'' in speaking of these heroes. I could say ``you'' and ``your,'' because I'm addressing the heroes of whom I speak -- you, the citizens of the human race and our allies. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me.”

“We shall reflect the compassion that is so much a part of your makeup. How can we love our Planets and Colonies and not love our countrymen and women; and loving them, reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they're sick, and provide opportunity to make them self-sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory?”

“Can we solve the problems confronting us? Well, the answer is an unequivocal and emphatic ‘yes.’ To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I did not take the oath I've just taken with the intention of presiding over the dissolution of the galaxy's strongest economy.”

“On the eve of struggle for the independence of the then United States, a man who might have been one of the greatest among the Founding Fathers, Dr. Joseph Warren, president of the Massachusetts Congress, said to his fellow Americans, ‘Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of . . . . On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important questions upon which rests the happiness and the liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.’  So let that be our rally call.”

“Well, I believe we, the humans of this time, are ready to act worthy of ourselves, ready to do what must be done to ensure happiness and liberty for ourselves, our children, and our children's children. And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the Galaxy. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom.”  The crowd again begins to cheer.
Pausing for a moment then Kelly continued “To those neighbors and allies who share our freedom, we will strengthen our historic ties and assure them of our support and firm commitment. We will match loyalty with loyalty. We will strive for mutually beneficial relations. We will not use our friendship to impose on their sovereignty, for our own sovereignty is not for sale.”

“As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the Human people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it, now or ever.”

“Our forbearance should never be misunderstood. Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our security, we will act. We will maintain sufficient strength to prevail if need be, knowing that if we do so we have the best chance of never having to use that strength.”

“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the galaxy is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free people humans and others. It is a weapon our adversaries today do not have. It is a weapon that we do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.”

“This is the first time in our history that this ceremony has been held, as you've been told, on this West Front of the Capitol here on Eden Prime. Standing here, one faces a magnificent vista, opening up on this city's special beauty and history. At the end of this open mall are those shrines to the giants on whose shoulders we stand.”

“Beyond those monuments to heroism, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Alliance National Cemetery, with its row upon row of simple white markers. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.”

“Each one of those markers is a monument to the kind of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called London, The Citadel, Eden Prime, Grissom Academy, Terra Nova, Virmire Beach, Frist Contact, and halfway around the galaxy on Omega, Ilos, Krios, the Keystone Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Earth.”  
Under one such marker lies a young woman, Marsha Trep, who left her job in a small town shop in 2183 to join the Alliance with the famed Fifth Fleet. Here, on the Eden Prime, she was killed trying to send a message between battalions under heavy Geth artillery fire.”
“We're told that on her body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, ‘My Pledge,’ he had written these words: ‘Humans must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if
the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.’  On her alone.”

“The crisis we are facing today may again require of us the kind of sacrifice that Marsha Trep and so many millions of others were called upon to make. It does requires, our best effort and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.”

“And after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are free.”  The crowd erupts with cheers and chants of freedom.

A few minutes pass before Kelly can continue “The time for inaction is over, Earth, the Sol system, and the Williams System which have fallen to disease, battles and strife but are in no way lost.  I have ordered my Commanders to make the retaking of these places and the defeat of the Ledan their highest priority.  In this time of need I will not turn away possible allies because of a checkered past.  Which is why I announce today of partnership between Cerberus and the Alliance.  I know this will cause pause from the other races but Cerberus isn’t the organization they once were.  I have received assurances that all hostile actions toward the Council races and the Alliance will stop.  So I say to you all we will take our home worlds back we will find a cure for the Red Death and we will defeat the Ledan.  We will push them back to their own system and farther if needed if War is their only goal.  Our tasks at hand are large but we once defeated the Reapers by working together so let us again foster that grit.  Bless you all, and bless the Alliance and Council.  Thank you all.”  With that Kelly steps back and waves a few times as the scene fades to black.
Mass Effect: Rise Act III Update 9
The time for a new leader of the human race has begun.


*Please do not redistribute, claim, copy or edit my art. I retain all copyrights. If you want to share this artwork, please use the SHARE buttons to the right. My art is not to be used for tubes, sig tags, web pages, or otherwise altered and is not to be published elsewhere unless given written permission by me. Using and/or publishing my art without my permission is art theft.*

*BioWare and EA own all rights to Mass Effect and it's universe, the story and original characters are owned by me.*


 5f9d918de107a07ddc7d8cd5b56a3197-d5iavv7 by ME-DarkSky 
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The scene fades in on a small city in upstate New York.  The snow is gently falling as winter has taken hold of the area.  Most of the buildings are burnt down or destroyed by the roving gangs in the area, the Alliance has long since pulled out leaving the people to fend for themselves and like every disaster the strong survive and the weak suffer.  A young teenage girl no older than sixteen walks down the frozen street in a city once called Utica.  It wasn’t a big city never fully reaching its potential, but it was at one point home to nearly two hundred thousand.  Her clothes were dirty but the M-12 Locust she had slung around her shoulder was as clean as the day it rolled off the assembly line.  The Kassa Fabrications Model 12 Locust was a compact submachine gun developed for the Alliance but now favored by gang enforcers and hit men. It was no wonder as it featured a complex recoil-reducing mechanism and high-grade auto-targeting software.  However she acquired this
weapon it was clear that she knew how special it was.  

“Hey you!”  Someone yelled out behind her.

The girl spun to see four large men walking toward her, they didn’t appear to have weapons but she knew that didn’t matter.  “Biotics” she thought putting a hand on her weapon.
The men saw this and stopped “whoa there kid we ain’t gonna hurt ya.” Only we sounded like wes as their New York accent colored the words.

“Leave me alone!”  She shouted back.  “I’m not afraid to use this!” She shouted raising the Locust and pointing at what looked like the leader.

“Okay, look we aren’t from around here, just looking for a place to get some rest.”  The man in the front said putting his hands behind his back singling the two behind him to get ready.  One man in the back smiled a bit focusing on the girl.  They continued to walk toward her “listen hows about you put that thing down before someone gets hurt.”  The leader said again taking a step toward her.

Before he could take another she fired her weapon six quick bursts all aimed at the leader.  
However her fears that they were biotics came true.  One of the men from behind shielded them with a barrier as the other hit her with a stasis field freezing her in place.  The rounds all bounced harmlessly off the barrier before the man lowered it and the leader walked up to the girl.  “Yes, you will do nicely. Say goodbye to this place you little bitch it will be the last time you step foot on Earth again.”  He said an evil grin on his face, and with that he punched her squarely in the jaw knocking her out cold.

She woke up in a small cargo hold on a ship that she didn’t recognize. “How long have I been out?” She wondered, her face hurt and her hands were bound behind her.  The room was dark but had some light, she could tell she was alone minus a few boxes the rope they used to tie her was old and frayed it was likely they under estimated her.  “All men do” she thought as she started to struggle slowly working back and forth until the rope started to loosen.  She heard the three men talking but one voice was getting closer she stopped moving and slumped over as the door opened and a man looked in on her.

“Yeah the bitch is still out, by the time she wakes up she will be on the Batarian’s home world and we will be long gone.”  He said shutting the door.  

She slowly opened her eyes, she had never left Utica let alone Earth.  She had dreamed of joining the Alliance but her grades were never that good and she wasn’t a biotic so those dreams faded as age and responsibilities took over. She once again struggled against the rope finally freeing her right hand which she instinctively brought to her swollen face checking the damage.  It didn’t feel broken but she would have a bruise that was for sure.  She pulled her other arm around and finished freeing herself.  She looked around for some sort of weapon then she spotted the medical kit.  Carefully and quietly she pulled it off the wall and opened it, she was in luck it was a military grade kit which meant it had a combat knife in it.  Pulling the knife out and inspecting it she closed the kit and set it aside.  She knew that if they landed she would be sold into slavery and she had no wish to play that game.  She guessed the men were drinking from the slurred words coming from the cabin in the front of the ship.  So she waited the drunker they got the better chance she had.  She took up a spot behind a box that was behind the door, if someone came in she could strike at them before they knew what hit them.  Sitting down she listened to all the pointless discussions drunk men had and she closed her eyes.

Her eyes snapped open she wondered how long she was out, there was no more talking but the engines were running which meant they were still flying.  Slowly she stood up and opened the door which of course the drunk idiots didn’t lock.  She winced as the light hit her eyes, then she saw three grown men all passed out drunk “waiting for the next relay no doubt” she thought stepping into the cabin.  Then she saw her Locust on the copilots chair and she looked at it.  She knew she had one chance to do this right.  She knew two of the men were biotic and was hoping the leader wasn’t.  First she picked out the guy who hit her with a stasis field and slowly walked toward him, if she was lucky the other guy couldn’t do the same thing if not well hopefully she wasn’t to be a sex slave.  Pressing the blade against the man’s throat she pushed down as hard as she could pulling it across the man’s skin.  In an instant blood flowed from the gaping wound and the man tried to scream out but his vocal cords were severed, and he quickly lost consciousness.  “One down” she thought making her way to the next biotic, he was somewhat sitting up so she couldn’t slit his throat.  This time she got behind the man and grabbed his forehead quickly thrusting the knife into the base of his skull he began to have a seizure and fell from the chair with a loud crash.

“What the fuck!” The leader said opening his eyes and seeing his two friends lying dead on the floor.  “You little cunt!  I don’t care how much money we were going to get for you, you’re dead!”  He screamed standing up and pulling his sidearm from his waist band.

She knew she had one shot at getting her weapon and made a dash for it.  The leader fired wildly a mixture of booze and rage preventing him from hitting the target.  She leaped forward grabbing her Locust and slapped a thermal clip into it.  Loaded weapon in head she squeezed the trigger and the auto targeting system did the rest.  All six rounds slammed into the leader’s chest turning it to raw hamburger meat.  He fell back grasping his chest his eyes wide with shock landing hard in the pool of his friends blood he gasped for air.

“Who, who… the ffffuuuckk are you?”  He asked as she stood over him.

“Jane Shepard, and you fucked with the wrong girl.”  With that she raised the weapon and fired six more shots into his skull.  

Her green eyes scanned the ship making sure no one else was left.  She was covered in sweat her bright red hair matted down against her wet forehead.  She moved quickly once she was convinced she was now alone, up to the pilot’s chair.  “Please have a VI” she said looking at the lights and gauges she had no idea what they meant.

“VI on.”  She said hoping it would work.

“Yes how can I help you?” A female voiced VI came over the speakers.

“Ummm, stop ship.” She said.

“Understood, do you need emergency assistance?” The VI asked.

She paused and thought “yes I do, but what if you call these dumb fucks friends” Thinking better of it “No, set new course.”  It worked on a Vid she once watched “Fleet and Flotilla” she thought with a smile.  She always wanted to meet a Quarian and Turian.  

“Understood, where do you wish to go?”  The VI asked her.

“Damn where do I want to go?  I’ve never been out of my hometown and now…” Her mind went blank.  Then a news vid popped into her head and before she realized it she said “Omega”.

“Understood, estimated time of arrival five hours and forty six minutes.”  The VI said and the engines fired back up.

Jane sat down her nerves were shot she smelled of sweat and her body felt numb.  She had killed before to survive but it didn’t make it easier and it was never up close like this.  She sank into the chair and closed her eyes.

In Afterlife Anima had finally shaken off the shock of seeing deceased father alive and talking.  They had been talking for five hours though it felt like five minutes for Anima.  They talked about old times and of course Anima had plenty of questions for Miranda and her father about his resurrection.  

“Have you talked to mom?”  Anima asked Sarha now sitting by her side.

“No, why would I?”  Shepard said in a manner of fact way.

“I figured you would want to see her.”  Anima said a little confused by his coldness toward his wife of twenty two years.  

“The same person who aloud Aria to watch our baby and disowned you, she isn’t the Asari I fell in love with anymore.”  Shepard responded again with a cold tone.

“Okay, so why come here to see me then?  If that part of your life is over why aren’t you turning your back on me too?  I mean isn’t that how it is done?”  Anima said a hint of anger in her voice.

“I love you, and I would never turn my back on you Anima.  Liara was raised very different by a single mother who she later had to watch me kill.  Perhaps she turned you away to spare you a similar fate, but I don’t know.  All I know is I am here now, and I could use your help.”  Shepard said his tone much warmer now.

Anima looked out at her club which was starting to fill up with the evening crowd.  Omega had no sun but it did maintain a sense of day and night.  “I wish I could, but I just got back here and if I leave on some crazy mission my rivals will take this over and I doubt I would be able to get it back.”  She said not looking at her father, she didn’t want to see disappointment.  After all she was his daughter and she never wanted to disappoint him.  

“I understand, I was never a big fan of you being in the Alliance but I supported it then and I support you on this.  Just try to be safe and call your old man every now and again.”  Shepard said with a smile.

“Old?  You are as young as me.  You have any idea how weird all of this is?”  Anima said smiling back at her father.

“Yes I do, and believe me it took some getting used to.”  Shepard said standing up and turning to leave but before he can Anima jumped up and hugged him so tightly he could hardly breathe.

“I love you Daddy.”  Anima said not caring that it made her sound like she was a little girl again.  Her father was alive and that was all that mattered.  

“I love you too, but you’re crushing my ribs.”  Shepard said with a little chuckle.
Anima smiled hugged him for a little bit longer then released him.  “Please be safe.”  She said knowing he couldn’t make that promise to her.

“I’ll do my best, the same goes for you and try not to become corrupt.”  Shepard said with a hint of a smile.

“Sarha here will keep me in line.”  Anima pointing back to her lover.

“Okay, well I got to go meet someone.  Remember what I said.”  With that he hugged her one more time and left the booth followed by Miranda and Kaidan as the scene fades to black.
Mass Effect Rise: Act III Update 8
Anima talks with her father and we meet a very special young girl.

*Please do not redistribute, claim, copy or edit my art. I retain all copyrights. If you want to share this artwork, please use the SHARE buttons to the right. My art is not to be used for tubes, sig tags, web pages, or otherwise altered and is not to be published elsewhere unless given written permission by me. Using and/or publishing my art without my permission is art theft.*

*BioWare and EA own all rights to Mass Effect and it's universe, the story and original characters are owned by me.*

5f9d918de107a07ddc7d8cd5b56a3197-d5iavv7 by ME-DarkSky 
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The scene fades in on Anima sitting in her office in Afterlife reading reports.  All morning it seemed, one after another reports about liquor sales, gang activities, and relay usage.  Setting the last data pad down Anima rubs her temples wishing the headache would go away.  She had been hung over before but this was far worse.  “Had I tried that Red Sand?”  She thought, but she already knew the answer was no and even if she had all it would do is mimic a strong drink.  Anima looked at her Omni tool and connected to Bray.  A few seconds past before Bray answered.  

“What can I do for you?”  Bray asked over the radio.

“Bray I need the reports from last night, I don’t see them.  Also get me the doctor when you get a moment.”  Anima said.

“Doctor?  Are you okay?  Have you been attacked?”  Bray asked in rapid order.

“Bray if I had been attacked or seriously hurt do you think I would want to look at reports first?  I just have a damn headache.” Anima said rapidly losing what little patients she had.

“Yes, of course, sorry.”  Bray said apolitically  

“No need to be sorry, just please bring me what I ask.  Also before I let you go I you to connect me to the SSV Bastogne.  An Asari by the name of Seryna is on board I need to speak with her.”  Anima said feeling a little bad for snapping at Bray but the damn headache.  

“At once.”  Bray said.

“Thank you Bray, I’ll need all those things quickly.”  With that Anima disconnected the call.

Leaning back in her chair closing her eyes hoping the pain would subside but no relief comes.  Suddenly a ping lets Anima know either the doctor or Seryna was on the line waiting.  Anima hoped it was the doctor.  Opening her eyes and turning on the vidcom she was disappointed.

“Anima, how are you?”  Seryna asked full of excitement to see an old friend.

“Been better, how is Delta and the gang?”  Anima asked trying to stall.

“They are fine, but that isn’t the reason you called me so stop stalling and get on with it.”  Seryna said.

“Sorry, I got a killer headache knocking me off my game I guess, sorry.”  Anima admitted, she could never fool Seryna.  “Can’t bullshit a bull shitter” she once said to Anima.  That thought brought a smile to Anima’s face.

“Headache?  Like before?” Seryna said concern in her voice.

“No, likely a hangover.  I need to ask some… well… embarrassing questions about Asari.”  Anima finally broke down and said.

“Of course what do you need to know?”  Seryna responded the mother in her voice was undeniable.

“I may have linked consciousness with Sarha, and I am hoping I didn’t… well you know… Make the next generation of Shepards.”  Anima said feeling the skin on her face blush and she was thankful this was a voice only call.

“Oh, well that would explain the headache, I take it this is the first time?”  Seryna said a slight giggle at the end.

“Well yes, I don’t even know how to do it sober.”  Anima said even more embarrassed now.

“Goddess, did you mother teach you nothing?”  Seryna responded a little annoyed now.

“Only to hate her.”  Anima said in a cold voice.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean…”

“It’s okay, I’ve dealt with it.” Anima cut her off.

“Right.”  Seryna said not believing her for a moment.  Some Asari still believed that once their daughters were of age that they should be cut off, forced to find their own path.  Seryna never bought that crap, “children always need their mother no matter the age.” She once told a Matriarch too much ridicule.  “Turns out I was right again” she thought.  
“Okay, well short answer no you can’t be carrying a child that is a conscious decision, also you would be puking your guts out right now.  The longer answer well the headache will go away once you get some rest call it a reminder from nature that you are still too young for such adventures.  Anima I know you were raised on Earth, with human values but you aren’t a human.  You need to slow down, the drinking isn’t helping.” Seryna said feeling horrible about the last part of her sentence but it needed to be said.

“I’ll likely die long before even you, so I’m not going to act like I’m a school girl.  Besides your daughters are the same age.”  Anima said.

“Yes and they are doing what twenty year old Asari do, dance, strip, and run around the galaxy.  None of that involves joining a military, meeting your bond mate, drinking till you black out, and least of all trying to get pregnant!”  This time Seryna was in full mother mode.

“I wasn’t trying to get…”

“Save it, you might not consciously want to, but you can’t just link without wanting to… What I mean is if you simply linked you would have had a headache well not much of one, you tried to randomize Sarha’s DNA which is much harder on your system and impossible to do before the age one hundred considering your… unique DNA make up it might be sooner or later who knows.  One thing is for sure it is not twenty two!”  Seryna emphasizing the last three words to drive her point home.

“Okay, I get your point… So how do I control it so I don’t end up a mother?”  Anima asked.

“For starters don’t get so drunk you don’t know what you are doing.  Failing that you will know when you link there is a point where you will feel a dull ach in your head.  As you randomize more DNA it will become rather pleasurable until well you know what happens.  Some Asari control it by showing a show in their partner’s mind it can be anything.  Some just ride it out but if you are stealing DNA best not to well you know.”  Seryna said sounding embarrassed.

“Who would steal DNA?”  Anima said.

“Well it isn’t stealing it more like copying and randomizing it.  Sometimes an Asari simply wants a child or a friend turned her down and she wanted to remember them.  Plenty do it the donor is none the wiser and all parties move on.”  Seryna says laughing a little at the end.

“Okay, well message received.  No babies for this girl not anytime soon anyway.  Is there anything I can do about this headache?”  Anima asks rubbing her temple again.  

“Rest, rest, and some more rest, have a doctor give you something to knock you out for a few hours.  Lay off the booze for a few days and for goddess sake talk to Sarha about this.”  Seryna back in mother mode now.

“Will do mom.”  Anima said playfully but with a smile.

“Don’t you forget it, I’ll take the job if you let me.  Might even get you and Delta to bury the ax is it?”  Seryna said.

“Hatchet, it’s bury the hatchet, and let him know I’m not mad at him anymore.  He was doing what was best for the crew.  I’m going to get some sleep, thanks for being the calm in the storm.” Anima said a tear forming in her eyes, she missed the crew of the Bastogne, she missed Delta, and she missed Seryna.  

“Don’t be sad, with every end there is a beginning.  Remember you can always call me anytime you need me.  Goodbye dear.”  Seryna said.

“Goodbye.”  With that Anima ended the call “never bullshit a bull shitter” She said out loud with a smile.  Pushing a button on her Omni tool Bray came on over the radio “Bray cancel the doctor and the data pads get me a sleeping pill I am taking the day off.”  She said before turning off the Omni tool and closing her eyes again.

Aboard a small shuttle Shepard is napping while Miranda and Kaidan look over the sprawling map that lays out Omega.  “I don’t think this is a good idea” Kaidan said in his low voice.  Kaidan was no nonsense and he knew Anima thought her father was dead.  

“It’s not our call, he has a right to see his daughter.”  Miranda responded still looking at the halo of Omega.  “Besides we need to me Erlik, she comes highly recommended if Alliance files are to be believed.”  Miranda pointed out.

“I’m never that asleep that you guys can question my orders.”  Shepard said opening his eyes and smiling.

“Sorry Shep, it’s just a big risk.  She just buried you, we don’t even know what she will do.”  Kaidan said looking at the floor.

“Kaidan she isn’t going to kill me if that is what you mean, besides I haven’t been to
Afterlife in years it should be fun… Always did have a thing for Asari.” Shepard said closing his eyes “Now please let me get some sleep… worry in silence if you must.”  With that the conversation was ended.

Sarha was walking down a random road on Omega, she was looking for the dealer that sold Anima the Red Sand yet she didn’t really know why.  Everything in her mind said to go home kiss her lover and have dinner yet she was still in the slums of a Talon controlled area of Omega.  Before she could go any further a ping came across her Omni tool.  “What is it Bray?  I am busy.”  She said in a dismissive fashion.

“Sorry to bother you, but Anima is sleeping and we are getting an odd request to dock.”  Bray said knowing Sarha was second in command.

“So let them dock, unless they are Asari military I don’t think we pissed anyone else off just yet.”  Sarha was cold and ruthless and she knew it, but she wanted to be back on the hunt for what she wanted… no what she needed.

“Understood, sorry to bother you… Oh Anima wanted to have dinner tonight at Arzak, should I RSVP for two or one?”  Bray said trying to bring Sarha back.

“Two Bray, make it eight and let me know when she wakes up.”  Sarha said feeling a little ashamed.

“Understood ma’am, Bray out” with that Bray ended the transmission.  He looked at the Turian manning Omega’s outer defenses and shook his head.  “Let them dock” he said before turning and leaving the room.

The shuttle softly docked with one of Omega’s docking bays.  Shepard stood up his Armor back and red with an N7 on his left chest just like he wore during the wars.  Kaidan was in a deep blue armor just as effective as the N7 model, Miranda was never much for bulky armor she was wearing a form fitting combat suit.  All three steeped off the shuttle and were greeted by the usual Omega welcoming crew.  Gangs, hustlers, thieves, and cheats.  At the end of the long line of the galaxy’s worse stood Bray and two human guards.  

“Welcome to Omega I…”  Before Bray can finish he notices Shepard and blinks all four eyes.

“Good to see you old friend, I was hoping to speak with my daughter.”  Shepard said extending his right hand.  

Bray still speechless he shakes Shepard’s hand. “We heard you died.”  He finally says after releasing Shepard’s hand.  

“I got better.”  Shepard replied with a smile.  “So can I see Anima?” He asked again his smile fading.

“Of course, she is asleep at the moment but I can set you up in her private booth while you wait if you like.”  Bray said.

“That will do nicely, just let her know she has some VIPs don’t tell her it is me.”  Shepard said and Bray nodded to one side as a sign of respect.  

The apartment was black and quiet Anima was laying asleep on her bed a peaceful slow and soft breathing is the only sound.  Sarha walked into the apartment quietly so not to wake Anima, she would have to soon enough but not before she hid her recent purchase a small clear bag filled with a red powder.  Looking around she sees a place where Anima would never look or use the oven on the apartment’s stove.  Before placing the bag away she opens it and takes a small pinch and snorts it quickly.  Closing the bag she placed it carefully inside her hiding place.  Feeling the wave of euphoria was over her she made her way into the bedroom.  She leaned in and softly kissed Anima on the cheek.  “Sweetie, they need you down stairs.”  Sarha said with her soft voice.  Anima slowly opened her eyes and kissed Sarha on the lips.

“How long have I been out?”  Anima asked sitting up happy to know her headache was now gone.

“Five hours.”  Sarha said walking over and turning the lights on low so not to blind her lover.  “I see you still like sleeping in the nude.”  Sarha said jokingly as she tosses Anima her robe.

“Well I know you like the show.”  Anima flashed a devilish smile as she put on her robe.

“What if it had been Bray that woke you up?”  Sarha said sitting down she can feel the effects of the Red Sand taking hold and she didn’t want Anima to notice.  

“If he woke me up with a kiss I would blind him one eye at a time.  I’m going to take a quick shower, then we will go and see what is so urgent I need to be there for.”  Anima said walking into the bathroom.

With that Sarha relaxed in the chair and finally let the sand take her away for a short time anyway.  

In Amina’s private booth Shepard sat back on the sofa and watched the Asari dancers go through their routine.  It was early but Afterlife never closed so there were still customers at the bar and a few at the many stages.  

“Enjoying the show John?”  Miranda asked with and eyebrow lifted.

“Unless you want to give me a private dance Miranda.”  Shepard replied smiling.

“Perhaps later.”  Miranda said smiling.

Kaidan shook his head and smiled “here she comes boss.” He said standing up as if to ready for a fight.  

“Relax Kaidan, she isn’t going to kill me.  Miranda on the other hand…”  Shepard said with a slight laugh.

“Damn it Bray VIP doesn’t tell me shit!” Anima yells loud enough that she could be heard over the music.

“I see Aria rubbed off on her.”  Miranda said now a little more uncomfortable.  

Before Bray could respond Anima walked up to her booth only seeing Miranda at first.  “You have a lot of nerve showing your face here!”  She said flaring her biotics as she does a low green energy field washed over her.

“She’s with me.”  Shepard said just behind Anima.

Anima spun to see a much younger version of her father standing in front of her, that was before everything went black and she collapsed to the floor as the scene fades to black.
Mass Effect: Rise Act III Update 7
Anima speaks to Seryna and learns some more about being an Asari and Shepard decides to stop by.

*Please do not redistribute, claim, copy or edit my art. I retain all copyrights. If you want to share this artwork, please use the SHARE buttons to the right. My art is not to be used for tubes, sig tags, web pages, or otherwise altered and is not to be published elsewhere unless given written permission by me. Using and/or publishing my art without my permission is art theft.*

*BioWare and EA own all rights to Mass Effect and it's universe, the story and original characters are owned by me.*



5f9d918de107a07ddc7d8cd5b56a3197-d5iavv7 by ME-DarkSky 
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The scene fades in to show Kaidan sitting at a small desk, an old looking book lay open as he studied the words intently.  “Still reading from books I see LT.”  Shepard said behind him which startled Kaidan slightly before he spun around.  

His eyes lit up “Commander Shepard as I live and breathe.”  He said standing up and saluting his old friend.

Shepard snapped off a salute before rushing in and shaking Kaidan’s hand “Oh it’s Admiral now, but who’s counting.  Cerberus has promoted you as well Captain.”  Shepard said tossing Kaidan a credit chit.  “Two million credits in back pay, all yours.  You can finally have a life away from fighting or…”  Shepard tailed of his words raising an eyebrow.

“Or can I fight alongside you again?”  Kaidan asked with a smile.

“Whichever you chose the money is still yours it is the least Cerberus could do.”  Shepard said sitting down in a chair on the far side of the room.  

“Yeah, but if they hadn’t grabbed me I would be dead.”  Kaidan said sitting down in the chair at his desk but spinning it first to face Shepard.

“The Ledan have to be stopped, they nearly killed off the entire human race with their damn virus.  The Alliance is doing nothing as usual and we have reports they are massing to invade first Ilos, then the Sol Relay, then Earth.  Then they will spread across the Galaxy like a plague killing all who stand in their way enslaving those who do not.  I’ll be putting a team together, the first order of business is to get a cure for the virus they unleashed.”  Shepard said in a business tone, the jovial nature now completely gone from his voice.

“How can we get a cure?”  Kaidan said.

“It would require us going to Krios in the Williams galaxy.  A small team should have no problem best we can tell that planet is their military HQ and a where a small science facility where the virus was made is located.” He continued “the science facility is a soft target it should be a straight forward mission.”  He finished then stood up “I understand if you turn this one down.” He added stepping toward the door.

“Not on your life Shepard, I with you one hundred percent.”  Kaidan said still sitting in the chair.

Shepard smiled and nodded “Good then, get some rest we go recruiting in the morning.”  With that he left the room and Kaidan returned to his book.  

On Omega, Anima is finally waking up in her bed.  Sarha lay by her side, they had way too much to drink and Anima was certain she gave Bray a pay raise but the night was blur.  “The brain is a blackboard, and booze was the eraser” an old war vet once told her when she was just a child.  She didn’t understand it then but Goddess it sure made sense now.  Her head throbbed, she slowly sat up and placed her feet on the cool floor.  She got out of bed slowly so not to wake Sarha and made her way into the bathroom.  Her belly gave a lurch and she burped up a sour tasting liquid of Asari whisky and whatever food she had eaten in her inebriated state.  She swallowed causing the noxious liquid to return to her stomach and it burned going back down.  She was hung over, her head was bursting, her gut was filled with whatever cheap food she had eaten last night to tamp down the booze but… she was still drunk.  Trying to remember the night she checked her credit chit “damn, no way had I spent 20,000 credits on booze” she thought.  The night was still a blur of booze and sex but pieces began to trickle back into her mind.

“No more drinking, no more booze.  I swear it.”  She said to herself for the hundredth time or was it the thousandth?  She couldn’t remember.  She finally turned on the lights which caused her bloodshot eyes to wince in pain as they protested against this new onslaught on them.  Finally after a moment they adjusted to the light though they continued to throb.  Splashing some water on her face Anima left the bathroom the lights turning off automatically behind her.  Walking into the living room she sat down on a large couch and places her head in her hands as she does something catches her eyes.  A clear bag of a fine red powder “What the fuck is Red Sand doing in here?”  She thinks though the memories were slowly coming back to her.  Yes it was slowly coming back, being an Asari the Red Sand didn’t do much for her but Sarha had heard it gave non-biotics a short bust of biotic ability although very weak ability.  “Explains the high cost of last night.”  Anima though picking up the bag and walking over to the sink in the kitchen.  Turning on the water, she then dumped the contents down the sink and watched it turn the water pink before swirling down the drain.  After that was finished Anima turned on the coffee pot and started on making coffee.

Sarha slowly opened her eyes her head was spinning her world slowly came into focus.  She reached for Anima but found the bed empty.  Anima never woke before her but then again she had never done Red Sand before either so it was a morning of firsts.  Slowly she untwined herself from the blanket and got out of bed.  Naked as the day she was born she shivered slightly in the cool air of the apartment bedroom.  She quickly walked over to the closet and put on a silk robe before leaving in search of Anima.  Walking down the hallway she could smell the coffee, but she didn’t think she could drink anything right now other than water.  Then something made her think of the Red Sand how good she felt the wave of euphoria that washed over her.  The warm waves took all the worry away the bitter taste from the sand still in her mouth.  The warm waves led to a feeling of static electricity washing over her.  She remembered giggling as she moved a book into the air with just her mind.  Then there was the sex “my god was that great” she thought.  It was always mind blowing but last night it was amazing.  Suddenly she wanted another hit, “just enough to dull this headache” she thought to herself as she walked into the kitchen seeing Anima standing naked drinking a cup of black coffee.    

“Sleep okay?”  Anima asked.

“Aren’t you cold?”  Sarha asked her in response.

“Byproduct of drinking all night is running a little warm.  We should probably talk about last night.”  Anima said taking a sip of coffee.  

“About the fact that we finally joined consciousness?  Or did you have something else in
mind?”  Sarha asked sitting down at the kitchen table.  

“About the Red Sand.”  Anima said bluntly.

“What about it?  I just wanted to do something stupid for once.” Sarha said knowing it was stupid but shit when did she ever do anything stupid?  If Anima can drink herself into oblivion why couldn’t she try a just as legal drug on Omega not that anything on Omega was illegal.

“I’ve seen people lose everything for that crap.  It was a big problem on Earth as I was growing up.  It always starts with I just want to try it.  I was drunk enough to go along with it.”  She said sitting down at the table next to Sarha.  

“Okay, I get it you don’t want me taking it no problem.”  Sarha said placing her hand on Anima’s.  

Anima smiled yet she wasn’t convinced completely but decides to let the subject drop.  
“We’ve had sex before you know.”  Anima said.

“Did you forget?  We have never linked consciousness before.”  Sarha said.  

Anima felt her heart in her throat “Goddess please tell me I didn’t do what I think I might have.” She thinks.  Being drunk Anima could have easily messed up and got herself pregnant.  She didn’t think she was old enough yet but seeing how her Mother of the year never really taught her anything she really had no idea.  “Well this will make for an awkward call to Seryna.”  She continued to think.  “Well I am glad you enjoyed last night as much as I did.”  Anima finally said. A few beads of sweat forming on her forehead.

On Eden Prime Delta sat next to the future Prime Minister sharping his sword “so you finished with that speech you have been working on yet?”  Delta asks not looking away from his sword.

“Not yet, but as they say the pen is mightier than the sword.”  Richard Kelly said with a smile.

“I can prove that false if you like Prime Minster.” Delta said back with a chuckle.  

“I am very sure you can, have you heard from my Asari bodyguard?” Kelly asks.

“Got a thing for her sir?”  Delta said smiling.

“Very cute Captain, she never lets me out of her sight.  The Asari claim she isn’t with them so what am I to think?”  Kelly replies.  

“I am sure once you are sworn in the Alliance will put an end to it if you want them to.”  
Delta says carefully sliding the sword back into its sheath.  “However I got a feeling you are sweet on her.” He said standing up.

“I get the feeling you don’t like it here on Eden Prime Captain.”  Kelly said standing up with him.  

“I don’t.”  Delta said coldly.

“Care to share?”  Kelly said not letting the issue go.

“I was trained on this planet, by a sadistic son of a bitch who enjoyed killing recruits.”  Delta said as his eyes lost focus and just stared out at the horizon of Eden Prime. “Gavin Jacks, an Alliance black ops leader, 201st Regiment.  He turned out to be a Cerberus mole, if someone had talent he was to recruit them.  If they said no… well we had a lot of ‘training accidents’.  He tried to recruit me but I was quicker on the draw, shot him across the right cheek.  Finished the job later on Earth during the Reaper invasion.”  Delta said finally blinking.  

“I never heard of the 201st Regiment.”  Kelly said.

“No you wouldn’t, it was black ops, very black ops.  Unless you had the highest clearance and now I am sure those records conveniently were lost.”  Delta said turning to the Prime Minster. “It was a long time ago I was young and foolish after Jacks ran off I was put in charge got three of my team members killed.”  Delta said.

“What happened?”  Kelly asked with concern in his voice.

“Got bloody cocky, ignored Alliance Intel, was just my time to lose take your pick?  We were tasked to check out a planet named Epsilon.  There were rumors of Yahg on the planet which had the Alliance Brass chomping at the bit.  They wanted to capture one to see if they could be trained as soldiers or at least so we could learn about their weaknesses in case we had to fight some.”  He said taking a knee and looking at the falling sun.  “Well I didn’t buy it, let the men get soft.  We landed the shuttle went on a patrol didn’t take armor we thought we were invincible.  Turns out we weren’t, and now I have the scars to prove it, I barely made it back my team wasn’t as lucky.”  Delta said quickly wiping a tear from his eye.  

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”  Kelly said resting his hand on Delta’s shoulder.

“Few people did, it was a huge failure I was sent to help train N7 cadets and it’s the reason I am still a Captain.  Anyway we better get you back to your room it’s getting dark.”  Delta said standing up.  Kelly nods and Delta looks over his should thinking he saw something but shrugged it off walking behind Kelly.

As the two men disappeared Agent Sapphire emerged from one of the shadows and turned on her Omni tool.  A ping sounds moments later and a voice comes over her radio.

“Report” the voice was female but nothing else was discernable.

“The Prime Minster doesn’t need me anymore, can I be reassigned?”  Sapphire said holding two fingers to her right temple.

“Negative, get comfortable you are in this for the long haul” the female voice said.

“But…” Sapphire protested.

“Your new cover will be to get him to fall for you, tell him your name and back story.”  The female voice interrupted.

“With a human?! And a male one at that?  Also you really want me to use my real name?”  Sapphire said in protest.

“Make something up, think on your feet for once.  I want you close to him very close, you’ll be well paid… Shadow Broker out!”  With that the connection was terminated.

Sapphire shook her head but she wasn’t about to defy her boss those who did had a habit of disappearing.  “Fine so be it, guess I’ll be the future Misses Kelly.”  Though the thought of being with a human male wasn’t ideal at least he wasn’t a Turian.  She takes a look at the skyline as the scene fades to black.
Mass Effect: Rise Act III Update 6
Shepard finally briefs Kaidan, as Anima and Sarha both make mistakes, and Delta relives the past.

*Please do not redistribute, claim, copy or edit my art. I retain all copyrights. If you want to share this artwork, please use the SHARE buttons to the right. My art is not to be used for tubes, sig tags, web pages, or otherwise altered and is not to be published elsewhere unless given written permission by me. Using and/or publishing my art without my permission is art theft.*

*BioWare and EA own all rights to Mass Effect and it's universe, the story and original characters are owned by me.*

5f9d918de107a07ddc7d8cd5b56a3197-d5iavv7 by ME-DarkSky 
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A Rant about Guardians of the Galaxy by ME-DarkSky
A Rant about Guardians of the Galaxy
Took a short break from Mass Effect: Rise to do a quick rant about Marvel's newest blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy. 
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Half way there

Journal Entry: Mon Feb 10, 2014, 10:38 AM
Hard to believe when the next update hits in the next few days I will be half way done with Mass Effect: Rise.  It has taken a little longer then I like but sometimes life gets in the way.  I want to thank all my watchers and fans for reading my work.  There are still two more books in the plans in order to bring Anima Shepard's story to a close, I look forward to bring them to you.

Journal design by Simmemann

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ME-DarkSky
Dennis Joslyn
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Mass Effect: Dark Sky Series is a five book series that takes place after the War with the Reapers. Follow some of your favorite characters and some new ones as a new threat to the galaxy is discovered. Find out why over 20,000 people on three different web sites have read the Dark Sky Series.
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:icontalon313:
Talon313 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014
Hey Dude, long time no speak!

Dont worry i had a legitimate reason
this time xD

Just to let you know, even though my account 
was locked ive been reading your story still.

Loving it still and cant wait for more.

On that note i can finally update mine
so keep a look out!

- Connor
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:iconme-darksky:
ME-DarkSky Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I will keep an eye out for it!  Glad you are enjoying the story! :happybounce: 
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:iconrihouston:
RiHouston Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi there!

Welcome to :iconbiowarefanclub:!  As a member, you can post your own deviations to show off to fellow Group members, create and submit blogs/news announcements, or suggest some of your favorite DA pieces here for inclusion in the Group favorites. 

For art, we have a set of illustrated guidelines here: biowarefanclub.deviantart.com/… 
For full submission rules, you can read the post here:
biowarefanclub.deviantart.com/…

Thank you so much for joining our group!

Best wishes,
RiHouston
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:iconeuderion:
Euderion Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a million for the Dev-Watch!
Very glad you like my artworks!!
Have a good Day!!! :-)
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:iconkadyshepard:
KadyShepard Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013
Followed your link from FB. Looking forward to watching
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:iconme-darksky:
ME-DarkSky Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks I hope you enjoy it.La la la la :happybounce:
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RottweilerRage Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanx for the fav 
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CurtisRU Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the fav!
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CyberII Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for you interest! :w00t:
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ReVercetti Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much for joining :iconmasseffect-place:-pLace :)
Shepard approves <3
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