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Coming Down The Pipeline...

INCOMING ART:

:iconcrys-art: - Zerro and Suriyawong/ Fullbody, Colored
Commissioned: March 13th, 2013
Status: Paid; Waiting...

:iconhaihovothan: - Valencia w/ BG
Commissioned: May 26th, 2013
Status: Paid; Waiting...

:iconm-o-c-h-a: Suriyawong/ Pixel
Commissioned: May 25th, 2013
Status: Paid; Waiting...

:iconoverlordjc: - Tactical Zerro and Suriyawong/ Full-body, Colored
Commissioned: August 29, 2013
Status: Paid, Waiting...

More to come and, hopefully, more to remove from this list. I've been waiting on several of these commissions for over 3 months now.

The Finish Line

A list of my latest completted commissions for future records.

:iconnekora907:
Commissioned: June 3rd, 2013
Received: July 28th, 2913
:thumb388842530:

:iconshibird:
Commissioned: June 3rd, 2013
Received: July 28th, 2013
www.deviantart.com/users/outgo…

:iconmieuchan: - Suriyawong/ Fullbody Pixel
Commissioned: July 11th, 2013
Received: July 29th, 2013
Suriyawong by MieuChan

:iconsabviee: - Kaciana, Valencia, Haliwyn, Vitani/ Full-body, Colored
Commissioned: August 3rd, 2013
Recieved: 1. (09AUG13) fav.me/d6hd53e 2. (11AUG13) fav.me/d6hm3b8
3. (22AUG13) fav.me/d6jbwo7 4. (25AUG13) fav.me/d6jr6ek

:iconmzzazn: Anime headshot of Umbra
Commissioned:September 2nd, 2013
Received: September 4th, 2013
fav.me/d6kya1r

:iconjanirotluvx: Umbra and Moana/ Fullbody, Colored, No BG
Commissioned: July 23rd, 2013
Recieved: September 10th, 2013
:thumb399369045:

:iconorichie: - Haliwyn and Fali (seperate)/ Headshot, Colored
Commissioned: June 30th, 2013
Recieved: September 12th, 2013
sta.sh/01d4f32gbxp8
sta.sh/02dyfxfv8nzt

:iconcookiehana: - Valencia
Won Raffle to Commission: May 18th, 2013
Recieved: September 12th, 2013
CM:: Zerro by CookieHana

If a tree falls down in the forest and there's not a single creature around, does it make a sound? 

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The Leopard Among The Ravens

    Suriyawong's first day alone in Tengu Village was as uneventful as most days tended to be for someone such as him. There was a good bit of exploring and getting lost within the many streets and alleyways of the walled city's Traditional district, but each mistep and dead end was easy for the trained solider to retrace and remedy. The thrill was almost completely absent from the beginning. Though it was still exciting to wander through unfamiliar territory, the fact that the citizens didn't seem too appreciative of his presence diminished this as well.

    Everytime he walked along a crowded path or well-traversed thouroughway, the people there suddenly made way for Suriyawong, giving him a much wider berth than he felt was warranted and any converstions that were being held were either quieted or halted all together. The first few times, he chalked this up to coincidence but, as he noticed it occuring more and more, he began to feel increasingly awkward. It was abundantly apparent that he was being treated differently. Not that he wasn't used to this; he had been given titles and positions of authority before, in the many other worlds that he'd visited; but this time, there was something off about the way the residents of Tengu meandered well out of his reach and silenced themselves in his presence.

    He had hoped that perhaps it was the fact that his borrowed kimono bore the seal of the village's royal family which kept people at bay. Something so simple could normally be overcome by presenting oneself in an eagerly friendly fashion, if his past experiences held any merit. So he began to smile his small, yet charming smile and greet oncomers with either a slight wave or nod of the head. However, it soon became obvious that being an official guest of the Lustmordes' held little meaning with the common people of the streets Suriyawong now gingerly walked.

    Wanting to continue learning the lay of the land, he resumed his strolling, all the while bearing the encroaching feeling of being avoided. Why were the people of Tengu ostracising him? He couldn't find any plausible reason. Yes, he was a solider in a foreign land, but they didn't know that about him. To them, he was just a stranger with neutral motives. He hadn't exactly earned anyone's trust but he also hadn't given anyone a single reason to suspect of malcontent. Yet they were treating him as if he were some hideous, dieseased-ridden fiend who was skulking about the roads of their homeland, intent performing evil deeds. Or, at least to him, that's how it felt. Even his rarely seen smile wasn't enough to ease the people whatever it was that repelled him from them. He just couldn't understand why.

    The answer came to him rather suddenly and from an unexpected source. He was walking, dejected, through a well-maintained alley, which led into a recreational area; a park parhaps; when his eyes met with that of a child, a little boy, who was being escorted along by his mother. Suriyawong could tell, almost at once, that the boy was of the precocious and curious type by the way he was looking to and fro with wide eyes and energetic enthusiam. When the boy's eyes settled upon Suriyawong, his little mouth opened wide and his rudy reds were the size of saucers.

    "Mother," the boy exclaimed as he looked up to his mother with ebullience while pointing his small finger at Suriyawong, "Mother, why is a cat walking here?"

    Suriyawong's eyes widened just as wide as that of the boy's mother's. Within an instant, she had her hand over her son's mouth, but it was too late. The truth had already slipped out and was now out in the open for all to hear. Suriyawong hadn't even noticed that he had come to a complete halt, in the middle of the ornated, stone walkway, his mouth a tight slit on his surprised face.

    Because he was Leonid; a 'cat'? That was the reason the bird-like people of Tengu Village had been avoiding him like a contagious leper?

    The mother quickly scooped up her outspoken child into her arms and just as quickly ran past Suriyawong, maintaining the same large amout of distance as all the other previous passers-by. His shimmering eyes followed her as she did and then he suddenly became aware of the dozens of pairs staring back at him. From all around; from behind doors and through windows, past the heads of accomplishes and around corners; the Tengu were staring at him. Their slanted, red eyes piercing into him like so many blood-stained daggers, silent in their judgement yet apparent in their hatred.

    Suriyawong could feel his heart begin to beat against the bones of his rig cage. Never one to prefer direct attention other than that of his closest friends, he now felt as if he were naked and helpless. A soldier completely surrounded by the enemy. Except, he didn't even have his greatsword, the carved and sharpened dorsal bone of his Faradin stepfather, there to comfort him with its size and strength.

    The feeling of estrangment swelled within him, gaving way to fear, and he soon began to feel as if the people were slowly converging towards him, readying themselves to rip him apart with their bare hands. He breathing grew shallow and his body began to respond visibly to his anxiety. His black-rimmed ears pressed flat against his head as he unconsciously began to lower himself into a semi-crouching stance, his spine arching everso slightly as he lowered his head below his shoulders. His well-defined muscles rippled and tensed underneath the fabric of his borrowed attire and his hands splayed wide in preparation for sudden combat. His face was a mask of calm that belayed just how frightened he obviously was.

    The Tengu nearest him, who were already a good deal away from him, responded immediately. Some were quick to retreat to a safer distance while the more obstinant among them stood their ground and instinctively made themselves appear bigger. A few even unfolded their large, black wings and spread them out wide.

    In only a few moments, Suriyawong had passed from diesease-ridden scum to Public Enemy: Number One. He had never intended for this to happen. All he had wanted was to explore the village and observe its culture. Now, here he was, being deliberately faced down by people who didn't know a single thing about him except that he resembled a cat and was, thus, worthy of some unexplained scorn. He didn't want these people glaring at him, he didn't want to be in that place, at that time and, at that moment, he didn't even want to be Leonid. He didn't even want to exist.

    As he stood there, blocking the walkway, in his defensive stance, some of his wits slowly began to return to him and he quickly noticed that he was severely outnumbered. Subconsciously, he had known this from the moment he entered the walls of Tengu Village, but now, with the brewing heat of a potential conflict whafting over the entire area, it was something that the more calculationg part of his mind took into account. Too many to fight with any hopes of winning. The only hope was to slowly, carefully retreat to a safe place.

    The afternoon sun was setting behind the walls of the city and soon the shadows would reach out farther from their point of origin, granting Suriyawong a much-needed avenue by which to escape. All he needed to do was stay low and slow and he might be able to escape this scene unharmed.

    Slowly, he began to set one foot behind the other. The braver Tengu, the ones with their chests out and their large wings fluttering imposingly in the light summer breeze, maintained cold, unflinching eye contact as the cat-like intruder slinked away towards the shadows. Suriyawong returned their glare through wide eyes that twitched to and fro as they discerned even the sligtest of movements.

    Inch by painful inch, he continued his slow ergess towards the looming shadows of a nearby alley and then, to his relief, he was suddenly basking in their shroud, his shimmering eyes the only thing visible to the few Tengu who were still maintaining their glares. For a moment he stood there in the darkness, watching to make sure no one had suddenly decided to follow, then he was off, running through the umbra of the lightless of the narrow passageways of the city in twilight. His heart now pumped heavily as it pulsed oxygen-rich blood throughout his entire body while he ran as fast as his conditioned body could move.

    Managing to retrace his steps while continuing to away the more well-lit sections of the Traditonal district, Suriyawong managed to return to the Lustmorde household just after night had fallen. Slipping from within the shadows, he made his presence well-known before approaching the guard-gate. After being challenged and allowed to enter, he noticed the way that the guards reguarded him. Though professional and fearless, Suriyawong noticed how the armed men stood a bit stiffer and clutched their weapons a tad harder as he passed by them. They too apparently held some deep-seated discontent with him.

    A maid was summoned soon after he enter the main courtyard and he was escorted to the room alloted to Zerro and he by Rioshi Lustmorde and, by that effect, the rest of her family. When he entered, he discovered that Zerro hadn't yet returned from his own day of exploration. Suriyawong was alone. It was more apparent now than it had been at the beginning of the day. Not just alone in the guest room, but alone in the city and maybe the whole world.

    Unlike Zerro, Suriyawong didn't have any old friends here to try and reconnect with. Nobody on Bird Island would be happy to see him again. If today's events were any indication, nobody would be happy to see him at all.

    An air of loneliness fell upon him, odd and unexpected in its entirety, and he decided against venturing out anymore that day, even if only to ask a maid where he might get some food. Instead, he took a short shower and turnt out the lights before laying onto one of the cushy sleeping mats prepared for he and Zerro by one of the Lustmordes' maids, presumably earlier in the day.

    The thick blankets felt warm and reassuring and he soon found himself teetering on the edge of consciousness. As his heavy eyelids began to falter and fall, he sighed and mumbled unconsciously to himself before sleep claimed him completely.

    "I want to go home..."

Those Days In Tengu - 1B
An actual canon submission for :icondafter-story:. It took three days for my OCs, Zerro and Suriyawong, to get the chance to have an audience with Tengu's leader, Stephan and they obviously didn't just sit in their guest's room, twiddling their thumbs the whole time. So, to expand on their experience within the walls of the mountain village as well as to help you understand the personalities of two characters who rarely speak, I decided to write up two, three-part stories.

I took artistic liberties but I don't think I'm too far off. I hope you all can enjoy this part of Suri's story~
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Small Talk With Vic

    The invasion and capture of Inu Village was, as expected, easier than any other assault The Alignment would attempt during their overall conquest of Bird Island. Because it was their first target, they had had the element of surprise when the bulk of their amphibious ships and ground-effect vehicles skimmed across the waters of the Southern River and opened their gates, releasing their stores of seasoned, highly-trained soldiers with technologically superior equipment within two miles of the small settlement. By the time the citizens of Inu could even notice, there was a large, mechanized force bearing down on their village and before the could begin to arm themselves, The Alignment had already breached the walls of the small settlement.
Telecommunications were targeted and seized immediately and the village was quickly cordoned shortly after the attack. Small, heated skirmishes were fought in response to the citizens mustering a counterattack as best they could, but they were swiftly and harshly dealt with.

    Zerro and Suriyawong were in the first squad to enter Inu Village, which was designated as 'Team Vic'. It was their job to use non-lethal arms and clear a path to the center of the fledging city so that Team Sinatra could install the special equipment; the Auditory Deterrence System; necessary to maintain a permanent hold in the area.

    "Hey, what's with the name Vic," Lieutenant Jensen asked on the bump-ridden ride over the curving waterway that led to the village.

    "I think it's a reference to the human athlete, Michael Vic, who was accused of illegally eating animals," replied Lieutenant Fivlo, one of the several hundred-thousand Zibnobic soldiers that comprised the bulk of the force invading Bird Island.

    Captain Chaplin looked up from the book he was reading on his handheld, "Michael Vic didn't get arrested for EATING animals Fiv', he was accused of starving and beating dogs so that they would fight one another to the death."

    "Is that a bad thing to do in your world," Fivlo asked, raising a bushy eyebrow, "We do so all the time in the Colosseums of Zibnobi. It is a trade that requires much skill and discipline so as not to kill the beasts before the spectacle."

    "Well," Sergeant Whatley, a good friend of Zerro's, interjected, "Hundreds of years ago, humans used to do the same thing. We even used to enslave, starve and beat EACH OTHER for the same purpose. But, as we grew as a species, bloodsports like that have lost their appeal and are now considered inhumane and unjust towards animals."

    "I see," Fivlo said, snorting in comprehension, "Human logic is often confusing but, perhaps there is merit in this way of thought."

    "Uh guys, I was just asking about why our team is called Vic. I didn't want a history lesson," said Jensen.

    "The name," Zerro answered, breaking his previous, long silence and causing several heads to turn in his direction, "comes from a series of short stories written by Harlan Ellison, revolving around a boy and his dog in a post-apocalyptic world. Blood, the dog, was genetically altered to be highly intelligent and was able telepathically communicate. While Vic, the boy, was uneducated and more concerned with fucking rather than improving the pair's chances at survival."

    "Wait," replied Jensen, "Then why are WE called Vic?"

    "He has a point," Chaplan said. "Both our technology and the vast amount of knowledge we've collected, from other worlds, far surpasses what we've seen here, on Bird."

    "Well, 'inu' means 'dog' in Japanese," Whatley explained.

    "So then we get the shittier name by default?" Jensen replied.

    "No," Zerro retorted, shaking his head, "It's a satirical statement about The Alignment and their decision to invade Bird Island. Our organization, in this instance, is more concerned with self-gratification than it is understanding and learning what this island truly has to offer. Since we're the tip of the spear, we represent this sentiment the most."

    There was silence for a moment as his statement settled.

    "Well shit," Jensen broke the discomfort, "I think I'm gonna stick with the Michael Vic story."

    Everyone burst into laughter at that. Even Zerro couldn't help but appreciate the timing.

    Eventually, everything went quiet again, except for the typical sounds of an armored personal carrier. The intrusive chorus of the numerous parts of its turbine engine, the creaking and clanking of its heavy metal plates, the growing growl as the large vehicle was shifted into a higher gear and its speed increased.
Thanks to the air-tight helmets of their militarized Hazardous Operations Exosuits, the members of Team Vic were spared the brunt of all the noise, but Zerro's heightened hearing once again proved more of a hindrance than a help. Fortunately, his H.O.E's internal communications system allowed for a bit of alteration and so he was able to manually dampen external sound without disrupting his ability to communicate with his squadmates.

    He had just done so when Jensen broke the silence of the comm way, "Hey Greer, did I ever tell you about the time a raghead tried to suicide-bomb my squad, back in Afghanistan?"

    "What's to tell," Zerro asked as he looked over in response, "They yell and run, you aim and shoot, they fall down."

    "No no," Jensen replied excitedly, "I mean, well, yeah that's pretty much what happened but, THIS one; THIS one could SING!"

    "What?" Whatley asked as he glanced over, being drawn into the story.

    "Yeah, seriously, I don't know if he went to the Durka-Durka school of Opera or some shit but, man, did that dude have some pipes on him!" Jensen replied, chuckling as he gestured.
    "So me and the gang were in Kandahar, running joint ops with a battalion of Afghani troops, ya know, doin' what we do: busting in doors and shit. We had just cleared one of three sectors; practically walking out of the last house; when, suddenly, we saw him. He was standing at the far end of the street with a detonator in his hand and his bomb-vest out for all the world to see. So, you know how this shit goes; we spread, aim at the fucker and start barking at him to get on the ground, but he just stands there."

    "What, did he lose his nerve or something?" Captain Chaplin asked, giving to curiosity as well.

    "See? That's what WE thought too. But no, cause, after about two minutes of us yelling at the bastard, he suddenly starts at it. This asshole spreads his legs apart, raises his hands, clenches his fists and fucking POSES before bellowing in the deepest, richest baritone I'd ever heard come out of one of those Sand Monekys"

    "Hey," Zerro interrupted, "Could we cool it with the racial slurs Jen'?"

    Though he had expected to be jeered and scoffed at for being the proverbial 'Buzz Kill', twice now, to his surprise, no one seemed opposed to his request. Jensen, himself, even surprised Zerro.

    "Oh, sorry Greg. I'm just used to telling this story to other Marines. You know how we talk, man." Jensen replied gesturing his surrender. "So, anyways, the guy's standing there, practically serenading us. I mean, he seriously hadn't moved an inch towards us since he started. Just that deep 'Ala-la-la-la~' of his, echoing through the street."

    Some of the other armor-clad men in the APC began snickering and chuckling as they imagined such a thing.

    Jensen continued, "Well, you know, it's pretty fucking hard to take a situation like that, even when the guy's got a bomb strapped to him. So, what do I do? I start clapping."

    Several of the men snorted and Zerro even giggled outright.

    "Hell," Jensen said as he gestured with a shrug and up-turned palms, "The guy was giving us a show. It would've been rude NOT to enjoy it. Anyways, so, apparently, the Afghanis were impressed too, cause they started clapping and smiling and chanting something to him in Arab, that I didn't understand.
The whole time, the guy's STILL standing in the middle of the road, singing the Prayer Of The Dead. And you know how, most of the time, the jihadists try to rush that shit? Well, not THIS guy. This mother-fucker was pausing, breathing and pronouncing EVERY syllable. First time I ever heard the whole, damn thing, especially like THAT!"

    "So what happened next?" Zerro asked, justifying his interest in the story to himself with the fact Jensen had originally addressed him.

    "Ah, yeah, well, the rest is pretty standard. After he finished his prayer, the guy runs towards us and, like you said, we aimed and fired and he fell and died. Personally though, I was aiming for his leg. Would've been nice if we could have taken him back to camp and had him sing for some extra food or something. Anyway, I talked to one of the Afghani soldiers afterwards; turns out the guy WAS an opera singer. Muhammad Kalim Tariq. Won some small-time awards in Afghanistan, a big one in Kuwait and was supposed to start doing gigs in the U.A.E, before 9/11."

    "Guess he never made it there, huh," Zerro asked rhetorically.

    "Guess not. Performed his last solo in the middle of some shitty, dirt road in Kandahar," Jensen answered in an almost solemn tone. Then he shrugged, "That's how it is sometimes, man. It's war, fuck it."

    There were several nods as that idea resonated with the combat hardened men within the armored personnel carrier.

    "Excuse me," Captain Fivlo interrupted sheepishly; or rather as sheepish as a Zibnobian male could, "What is a Kandahar?"

    There was another moment of silence as the other members of Team Vic all glanced at Fivlo then towards one another before bursting into laughter.
The Hypothetical War 2.b - Small Talk With Vic
An epilouge of sorts to part two of The Hypothetical War, in which The Alignment; the organization Zerro and Suriyawong work for; attempts tp conquer Bird Island.

I had to take a lot of liberties with this, since specifics aren't so readily available. If I got something wrong... Well...


Anyways, the invasion began on the same day as the Tengu Summer festival, which explains why no one's OCs are seen or mentioned.
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From A Hotel In Guam by Zerro

    Here I am again, in anther beautiful locale with free time and plenty of disposable income while also maintaining a substantial amount in my savings account. It's the same in other places I go; awe-inspiring locales, gorgeous women and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities being fulfilled. Yet, what does it all mean?
    I was walking down a bustling city sidewalk today, on foot because that's how I tend to enjoy the culture of a place, when I realized something: This isn't really fun anymore. It's become routine, mundane even. The thrill is gone out of this way of life for me yet, it's the only life I know. For 8 years, I've been travelling around the world, in service to my country, seeing and doing things that most people will never get the chance to. Dubai, Turkey, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, all these places and all these different faces. I've ridden camels and elephants, held baby tigers and fed crocodiles, eaten all sorts of strange foods and cuisines. I've watched the sunset behind mountains and the full-moon rise over oceans and beaches. I've stood a top the steps of temples that overlook cities and crawled through tunnels that have existed for centuries. But I've come to realize, all this means nothing.
    I am 27 years old and in my time on this planet, I have done much but achieved very little. If I were to die tomorrow, I would be leaving nothing behind except for some semi-decent photographs and half the amount of tuition for a 4-year stint at Virginia Medical University.
    People might remember me for a little while, but what stories there might be about me would eventually, if not quickly, fade into the currents of time. I have no wife, no children, no lasting accomplishments and no one who would care enough to keep my memory alive. I am the last male of my line. As epic/cliché as that might sound, it's very true. My family name has become my sole responsibility to pass on. Yet, here I am, no offspring and no prospective woman to help me create them.
    When I was younger; twelve years or so ago, so that would make me 14 or 15; I was rather aimless and reckless, only concerned with simply living life the way I wanted and not really caring about the consequences so long as they weren't immediate or physically painful. I was living with my father at the time and he was having to deal with the brunt of my misdemeanors and offenses. I was maturing too slowly for him; now that I'm a bit wiser I can see that now myself; so, one afternoon, he sat me down and had a man to man with me. Most of it was what one might expect a father to say to his disappointing son however, one point struck me with such power that it soon became one of my goals in life. He looked me square in the eyes, shook his head and said, "You are the last male of this family; you're supposed to carry on the family name. But, right now, I just don't think you can."
    Even now, as I think about it, a tear comes to my eye. My own father had told me that, as his son, he didn't think I could pass on our name. If words could cut, the injury I would have received from that statement would have killed me then and there. To this day, it still galls at me, like a red hot poker. I know my father didn't mean to wound me as deeply as he had (or maybe he did) but there is no way I will possibly forget that night or those words. Partly, because of the sting of them and partly because of how absolutely accurate the words had been.
    I envy the friends and loved ones I've left behind, in my home state. Though their worldly experience pale in comparison to my own, the majority of them have already surpassed the only goals that I see worth having. One of my truest friends, Billy, is married with two beautiful boys. He worked at factories and did odd jobs to get by before very recently joining the US Air Force. He and his wife, Vikky, have been together for as long as I've been globe-hopping; 8 years. Though the may never have the excess that I have accumulated, their lives are far more richer than two-fold of mine. They mean something to someone other than themselves. People look up to them, learn from them, depend on them for survival.
    But me? I could disappear tomorrow and the world would be none the lesser. Yes, my estranged mother and sisters might mourn for me and yes my father might actually cry, my internet pals would wonder where I went and my shipmates would lose a spare pair of hands, but once the ceremonies are over and the searches have been called off, the tiny disturbance would settle and their lives would run just as smoothly as they had. There would be no one asking for me and no one desperately wishing that I would miraculously reappear from the ether. No children would ask where I went or when'd I'd be coming back. No woman would cry herself to sleep as she lay her had on an the opposite side of a bed where I might have slept. The Navy would replace me almost immediately. Hell, my being gone might actually be celebrated because of the rank that I leave behind to get refilled.

    27 years of nothing.

    I say all that to say this: To all those who have blessed, little angels or twisted, miniature demons, know that you have value that far exceeds that of most. To those who have a wife, husband, partner or any variations of those, you too are appraised to be of a much better worth than someone who has sailed the seven seas, climbed mountains and won a boxing match with a kangaroo. And, though you might never get to do any of these things, your life is richer, your experiences more meaningful. For you are the seeds that have landed in the dirt and have grown roots in this ever-expanding thing we call life. Relish in that fact, no matter how hard things might get. And always remember that you are the fortunate ones, for the other seeds, like me, have become scattered in the wind.

    

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    "You wanted to see me, Commander?" Zerro said as he peeked his head through the office door of Field Commander Grace Philips, his superior and commanding officer of all Alignment personnel on Bird Island.


    "Greg! Hey, please come in!" The Commander replied from her seat.

    Zerro visibly relaxes after hearing the Commander's warm tone, "Phew! You had me scared for a minute there, ma'am. Thought you were pissed about the Tengu situation."

    "Well, it would have been nice to have a murder of crows as back up for when the Wildlings attack Castle Black."

    Zerro paused for a moment and raised and eyebrow,"...Seriously? A Game Of Thrones reference? Since when did you start nerdin' out?"

    "Aw, you know I can't help it with two teens already bogarting the television whenever I manage to get home to 'em."

    "But Game Of Thrones? Isn't that a bit... mature?"

    "Eh. Kids today have seen way more crap than we did when we their age. Oh, they did mention you again though."

    "Aw geez, what'd they say this time," Zerro scoff and asked.

    "Well, Amanda's hitting that age so she asked me to ask you if you'd consider going out on a date with her sometime. Mary Ann just wanted me to say hi for her and say thanks again for saving her life."

    "Heh! Tell Amanda I'll go if her mother says it's okay and you'd think Mary Ann would have forgotten by now. That was, what, eight years ago, Prime time?"

    "She'll probably never forget, as long as she lives. I know I won't." The Commander said with a suddenly serious tone as she held Zerro's gaze for moment too long for comfort.

    "It's what we do for each other, right? I mean, if I had kids, you'd do the same for me, right?" Zerro shrugged.

    "Yeesh, that's the corniest answer ever. Also, you've used that one before. Try again, solider."

    "Umm... I did it because their mom might one day save me during a tribunal and keep my sorry ass in The Alignment?"

    "...Hm. I liked the corny answer better," Grace said flatly.

    "Oh, come on, we both know I didn't know they were your girls."

    "Yeah yeah, that much was obvious when I stepped into the hospital that night." There was a small silence that followed as the Commander became lost in nostalgia.

    "So, ma'am, what did you want to talk to me about," Zerro asked, breaking said silence.

    "...How was your trip to Tengu, by the way?"

    "...It was fine... Why?"

    "Oh, just curious. Not every day you get to sleep in a palace, is it?"

    "Well, I mean, it was nice but I felt that we were being watched. Not used to being under the microscope, you know, being SpecWar and all."

    "Yeah, I can imagine."

    "Hey Gracy, okay, what's goin' on? I can tell you're dancing around something and now that you've taken this long, I can tell it's something I'm not gonna like. Could you just tell me so we can move on and I won't be so anxious?" Zerro was noticeably tense as he sat in the cushy chair. Quite the opposite of the furniture's intended purpose.

    "Dammit Greg," The Commander sighed, "You're right. This is absolutely something you will not like. In fact, I really wish I had ordered Captain Evans to give you the news but, then you would have come to me anyway and I can't keep hiding from all the disgruntled soldiers under my command who want to bite my ear off with complaints." She sighed again, "I'm gonna need you to put your big boy pants on for this one, so I gotta address you as Field Commander Philips, not Gracy, okay?"

    "...Yes ma'am." Zerro rose from his seat and stood at attention.

    "Lieutenant Greer, as of 2200, Reality Prime time, the order was given to all active Security personnel, operating in this area of operations, to begin the systematic invasion of Bird Island."

    Zerro's eyes widened and his jaw dropped. For a moment, there was only silence as the his heart pumped faster and faster, causing the blood to rush to his face and ears. His breathing grew shallow and the his pupils dilated, causing the room to shift in and out of focus. He felt like he was about to vomit but the rasps of air that he managed to intake only stuck to his throat. His lips felt dry and he began to shiver viciously.
He stumbled backwards when he realized that had began to fall and he clipped the arm of the chair he had been sitting in, knocking it over as he tried to reorient himself.

    He tried to speak, but had to swallow hard before the ability returned to him, "W-Why?"

    Commander Philips sighed, having already guessed at how Zerro would take the news, "After conducting numerous reconnaissance sorties, collecting samples and getting readings from probes, like the one you yourself set up in the swampland area, the powers that be have decided that Bird Island lacks any innovative properties that might be of use to us. The general population of each city-state appears to be on par with technology that we have already surpassed with our research and, though there are some exceptions, there is no plant life which we haven't already encounter in our other ventures. In other words, we've found another dud dimension."

    "But, then why invade? If there's nothing here, what's the point of trying to take over?"

    "As it was explained to me; though barren of individual properties, the island, itself, is apparently quite the catch. Have you seen a map of Bird, Lieutenant?"

    "Of course, I have. I... Oh God, I'm one of the people who helped you plan this! Wh-what have I done??" Zerro gripped at the sides of his head with his hands as he stared blankly at the floor, shock exuding from his body like a wave of heat.

    "You've followed orders and that's all." Activating the holo-display in her desk, Commander Philips presented a large, three-dimensional, topographic reimagining of Bird Island, "I want you to take a good look at Bird. Do you see it? It took me a while too but, if you manage to put your emotions aside for a minute, you might find the same conclusion."

    The Commander allowed Zerro several minutes of contemplation and, though he was still very much wound up, he actually did see what might make the island a tempting target for other-worldly conquers.

    "The biomes..."

    "That's right. For such a small mass of land, Bird Island possess all of the major biomes of our Earth. Taiga, Tundra, Desert, Arctic, etc. Our people in the Science department all agreed that we could use the island as a large petri dish for some of our more volatile research projects, without having to cover much distance or worry of fallout to a vast region or even a continent."

    "So, you're telling me we're going to attack an innocent population and take their land so we can use it for science projects??"

    "That... That's the gist of it, yes."

    "W-Was this... your idea, ma'am?"

    For a moment, the Commander looked extremely hurt but then she managed to compose herself, "Greg, do you really think that low of me? When have I ever expressed any emotion other than sheer disgust for the idea of going to war and dislocating generations of families from their home all for a measly few acres of land??"

    "But, you're leading the offensive... aren't you?"

    "Yes Lieutenant I will be leading the charge but, not because I want to; because I'm a soldier and I've been given an order. That's how this para-military organization works: Someone says do this and we do it. Aren't you already aware of that fact? Didn't you spend two years fighting in Queen Amelia's trenches because someone ordered you to? Didn't you help defend Dwi Terminus from sea bandits because someone ordered you too??"

    "This is completely different! I... I have fucking friends on this island! People who I've fought with, who've saved my life!"

    "God damn it, Greg, you are a soldier. You were literally born to be. You were raised by a soldier, you became a soldier yourself. By now you know damn well what that means. Do what's best for your side; for your family and neighbors."

    "...Is that how you justify what you're about to do, ma'am? Because they're not on our side we get to do whatever we want to them? Demonize them, tell lies about them to help inspire our folks to go out and slaughter and raid? Destroy their homes and their way of life and then, what? Deport them and plant giant, man-eating flower where the houses used to be?"

    "No Greg," Grace sighed, "There won't be any lies in my outfit. I'll tell the men exactly what I've told you and give them the same option that I'm about to extend to you."

    "...What option?"

    "Obviously, you want no part of this. So, just say the word and I can have you transfer on the next cargo run, back to R-Prime or Dwi or Amelialand or wherever the hell you want to go. There won't be any red tape; no hoops to jump through; no office bullshit to overcome. Just a piece of paper that's already on my desk and my signature going on in."

    Zerro was shocked. For all his contributions to the success of The Alignment, no one had ever given him the option to back out of something he didn't want to do.

    "However Greg, I need to tell you this; if you leave, someone else will take your place. Someone who might not necessarily have a problem murdering innocent children as they try to run away from the fighting that's made it's way down their street. Instead of you, who would spare priceless, traditional art that the people look to for comfort, there might be someone who's more alleged to simply torch the thing. Instead of you, who would show mercy to a former friend who've you fought into submission on the battlefield, there'll be-"

    "I get it, ma'am." Zerro stared at the Commander's desk, at the paper laying squarely on top of it. He wanted so badly to accept her offer. To run away from this completely bullshit idea. But the Commander was right. If he did leave, there would be some asshole to fill in his spot.
    It was one of the things he both hated and appreciated about being in a military-type organization; being replaceable. Except now, when he cared about the people he had been ordered to attack, both sides worked against him. On the one hand, if he stayed, he would have to purposefully assault the people here he had come to know and cherish. On the other hand, if he left, there'd be no telling what his replacement might do. Sure, you could talk to a person, teach them what to do and what not to do, run tests to see if their psyches were hardened enough but, war always manages to bring about the true nature of a person. The ugly beast that is well hidden under levels of "morals" and social conditioning. Mr. "I'm A Great Person" might go batshit crazy after clearing a village of resistance fighters and suddenly start raping the surviving children. Or he might promise them clemency only to set them on fire as they walk towards the demilitarized zone.
    Zerro himself had crossed a line once, during his days in the trenches, while serving in Queen Amelia's army. Both he and Suriyawong were backed into a corner while retreating from a freshly reclaimed enemy dugout. Surrounded, they managed to hold their own until reinforcements rallied together and re-retook the hole. The remaining enemy soldiers, of which their were only two able survivors, dropped their rifles and surrendered after the majority of their forces were decimated under the weight of a sudden two-prong attack but the fighting was very intense. Having used up all of their ammunition during the first offensive, both Suri and Zerro were forced to fight hand-to-hand with a equally desperate enemy. Violence and gore were fresh in Zerro's mind as his allies pulled him away from the piles of bodies he and Suri had left in their wake.
    As he began making his way back to an area more heavily occupied by the Queen's forces, he noticed the two prisoners from the assault. As he stared at the unarmed men, all Zerro could think about was how men just like those two continued to pour into his small, cramped and miserable hole to kill him. Hatred clouded his eyes as he picked up a nearby shovel, marched up directly to one of the two guarded men and began to bash the poor soul's skull in.
    He lost all control of himself at that moment and when he finally came to from his bloodlust, he was breathing heavily, with blood and bits of brain on his face and uniform as the second of the two POWs held his hands up over his head, begging for mercy.
    To this day, he still remember that moment. He was so astonished and embarrassed by his lapse of basic humanity that he dropped to his knees and began to cry. Right there in front of friends, comrades, his superiors and even the enemy soldier. He wailed and bawled until Suriyawong came and helped Zerro calm himself.

    How could he; who prided himself on being a professional, gentle soldier, that he had seen the depths of his own soul; trust anyone to show as much restraint as he himself had learnt to have? The taste of that horrid moment in his life still clung to him as if he had eaten something disgusting. How many other men and women could promise him that they too had been tried in the same fire and came out the same hue of gold? Truth be told, even though he had never once relapsed into that disturbing, animalistic state since that day, he still didn't trust himself. And he was actively trying not to become a monster again. He had met some people who enjoyed it; relished in the thrill of losing themselves to their inhumane instincts. They yearned for it, begged for it.
    How could he say he cared about Bird Island if he was willing to run away from the hard duty given to him and allow a potential maniac to run rampant with the permission to kill under the pretense of war?

    No, he thought to himself, it has to be me. If I run into any of my friends I'll beg them to surrender or retreat. But, even as Zerro thought this, he knew it was a pipe dream, at best, to believe that someone might listen to him. He, himself would never give up a place that his grandfather's grandfather settled and called home. If he was still fighting for the U.S. and someone with a technologically-advanced army from another world came to take over, he'd die fighting, taking as many with him till his last breath. There was no doubt that the citizens of Bird would do the exact same thing.

    "There's going to be heavy casualties, ma'am. On both sides. The people of Bird Island aren't ever going to give up their homeland without a fight. Most will resist until death."

    "I'm aware of that, Lieutenant. That's why I've chosen to stay in command. See, I've spent some time here too. The school system is a little different here than in Prime, but I was all set to enroll the girls. They would have loved the condo I was about to buy too. Right on the beach. Since it's pretty warm all year-round, they could be beach bums all they wanted. And when they hit the party age, all their high school friends could have come hung out at the 'Coolest Mom In the World''s house. Hell I had even planned how I might 'accidentally' leave some beer and condoms out one time." Commander Philips sighed and looked at the holo-display again, "But that's all over now. The best I can do is remain at my post and show leniency in battle to the stubborn locals. I've already tried to wave Them off of the idea of a hostile take over, by the way; in case you thought I hadn't."

    "What'd They say?"

    "You know Them. Once They've made a decision, you might as well get a stone tablet and a chisel cause that crap's set in stone."

    Zerro sighed, "...Fuck."
   
    "Greg... I know this is a hard thing that I'm asking of you, but I really need someone I trust. Someone I can rely on to do the right thing when the heat and stink of war washes over them." There was no secrets between the two when it came to Zerro's record of daring dos. The Commander knew full-well about his incident, "I need someone... Someone I would trust the lives of my girls with."

    "That's not fair Gracy..."

    "I know it's not but, I depend on you a great deal. The entire Alignment does. Stay. Stay here and do what you can to keep the innocent people of this island from suffering anymore than they have to."

    "The best way to do that would be to go to all the settlements, warn them about the attack and rally them against you-me-...us, before we can even attempt anything."

    "I wouldn't recommend that," The Commander said, laughing mirthlessly, "They always have contingency plans in case Their people go rouge. Remember, They know where you fiance lives."

    Zerro's eyes widen and he immediately grew tense, "Is that a threat?!"

    Gracy made a surrendering, calming gesture by moving his open hands up and down slowly, "No, that's just a fact. A very, unfortunate fact that They might decide to take advantage of. To be honest, though I hate it, it would be fair. We betray them, but we don't expect them to try and hurt us in return? Too naive."

"...Yeah, I guess you're right..."

    "So, Lieutenant, what is your decision? Will you stay and bare the load of this heavy burden or will you accept the transfer? There is no shame in either choice. In fact, if I were you, I'd take the transfer. Go someplace else until either we've won or we've gotten kick off-world. It might save you some sleepless nights."

    "I thought you wanted me to stay."

    "That's the soldier side. The friend side is screaming, 'Run you idiot! Run as fast as you fucking can!'"

    Zerro pondered for a moment, though in truth he had already made his decision. If the people he represented were going to stab his friends in the back, he'd rather it be him who held the knife. At least he could comfort them in their finally moments. Then, a sudden thought struck his mind.

    Hopefully, they'll do the same for me.

    "...I'll stay."

The Hypothetical War - 'And It Begins...'
My first literary submission to the group :icondafter-story:. Hope you guys li-... Hm. Hope you guys get something out of reading it.

    This is not canon, merely an alterative storyline to events that may occur in the group. This story takes place within a much more stringent basis than most of the role-playing that appears in the chatroom. Also the thoughts and ideas expressed are far more mature than would be allowed. So as not to infringe upon the sanctity of my fellow members and their more mild plotlines, I offer this only to those who are interested in conflict-driven story and "real world" problems that have a bleak outcome, no matter which path you take.

In short, this ain't for little kids to enjoy. This is adult time. 
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Sacred Stone 2 by Zerro
Sacred Stone 2
Taken by me using my Canon PowerShot710 HS at Tofukuji Temple in Kyoto, Japan on 21May2015
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Zerro
Commission Connoisseur
United States
:star:Every piece of art you see in my galleries, aside from literary entries, has been commissioned and crafted by other, highly talented deviants. I don't have an artistic bone in my body.:star:


PLEASE DO NOT ADVERTISE YOUR ART TO ME.
I only commission artists that fit my personal interests.

A Cornered Knife-Wielding Fox by Zerro

DO NOT ASK, BEG OR PLEAD FOR A PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP!
However, if you know of an amazing Deviant who you believe deserves one, please feel free to let me know~

Zerro = Zero + Rebirth. A long time ago, I felt like a nobody. A loser, a chump, a... zero. I was a sad, pitiful excuse for a man, a fact which I reveled in for the better part of the beginning of my life. I don't exactly remember how it happened but, I do remembr how it felt when I suddenly realized that my exsistence wasn't just that of a failure. I felt like I had been pardoned after commiting a murder. It was my rebirth.

From then on I decided that, in my personal life as well as that of the world wide web, I would have a name which reflected my past mistakes and deeds while, at the same time, conveying my newfound glory. Thus the moniker Zerro was born. Troubled past combined with unbridled future.

Later on, I joined the United States Navy and have served proudly ever since. I reemlisted July 24th.

I try to do things that I think wil make people happy. That doesn't make me a good person. Empathy is a nice quality for a person to have, but it isn't always a determining factor for someone intentions. Contrary to popular belief, you can't always judge a person purely on their actions.

Current Residence: USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Medium to Large
Print preference: Semi-gloss
Favourite genre of music: Alternative, Smooth Jazz, J-pop
Favourite photographer: Myself
Favourite style of art: Literature (Cause I can't really draw)
Operating System: Windows XP
MP3 player of choice: iPhone 4S
Shell of choice: Triple-Plated Titanium
Skin of choice: Active Camo
Favourite cartoon character: Huey, Heathcliff the Cat
Personal Quote: "Stranger things have happened..."

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From A Hotel In Guam by Zerro

    Here I am again, in anther beautiful locale with free time and plenty of disposable income while also maintaining a substantial amount in my savings account. It's the same in other places I go; awe-inspiring locales, gorgeous women and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities being fulfilled. Yet, what does it all mean?
    I was walking down a bustling city sidewalk today, on foot because that's how I tend to enjoy the culture of a place, when I realized something: This isn't really fun anymore. It's become routine, mundane even. The thrill is gone out of this way of life for me yet, it's the only life I know. For 8 years, I've been travelling around the world, in service to my country, seeing and doing things that most people will never get the chance to. Dubai, Turkey, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, all these places and all these different faces. I've ridden camels and elephants, held baby tigers and fed crocodiles, eaten all sorts of strange foods and cuisines. I've watched the sunset behind mountains and the full-moon rise over oceans and beaches. I've stood a top the steps of temples that overlook cities and crawled through tunnels that have existed for centuries. But I've come to realize, all this means nothing.
    I am 27 years old and in my time on this planet, I have done much but achieved very little. If I were to die tomorrow, I would be leaving nothing behind except for some semi-decent photographs and half the amount of tuition for a 4-year stint at Virginia Medical University.
    People might remember me for a little while, but what stories there might be about me would eventually, if not quickly, fade into the currents of time. I have no wife, no children, no lasting accomplishments and no one who would care enough to keep my memory alive. I am the last male of my line. As epic/cliché as that might sound, it's very true. My family name has become my sole responsibility to pass on. Yet, here I am, no offspring and no prospective woman to help me create them.
    When I was younger; twelve years or so ago, so that would make me 14 or 15; I was rather aimless and reckless, only concerned with simply living life the way I wanted and not really caring about the consequences so long as they weren't immediate or physically painful. I was living with my father at the time and he was having to deal with the brunt of my misdemeanors and offenses. I was maturing too slowly for him; now that I'm a bit wiser I can see that now myself; so, one afternoon, he sat me down and had a man to man with me. Most of it was what one might expect a father to say to his disappointing son however, one point struck me with such power that it soon became one of my goals in life. He looked me square in the eyes, shook his head and said, "You are the last male of this family; you're supposed to carry on the family name. But, right now, I just don't think you can."
    Even now, as I think about it, a tear comes to my eye. My own father had told me that, as his son, he didn't think I could pass on our name. If words could cut, the injury I would have received from that statement would have killed me then and there. To this day, it still galls at me, like a red hot poker. I know my father didn't mean to wound me as deeply as he had (or maybe he did) but there is no way I will possibly forget that night or those words. Partly, because of the sting of them and partly because of how absolutely accurate the words had been.
    I envy the friends and loved ones I've left behind, in my home state. Though their worldly experience pale in comparison to my own, the majority of them have already surpassed the only goals that I see worth having. One of my truest friends, Billy, is married with two beautiful boys. He worked at factories and did odd jobs to get by before very recently joining the US Air Force. He and his wife, Vikky, have been together for as long as I've been globe-hopping; 8 years. Though the may never have the excess that I have accumulated, their lives are far more richer than two-fold of mine. They mean something to someone other than themselves. People look up to them, learn from them, depend on them for survival.
    But me? I could disappear tomorrow and the world would be none the lesser. Yes, my estranged mother and sisters might mourn for me and yes my father might actually cry, my internet pals would wonder where I went and my shipmates would lose a spare pair of hands, but once the ceremonies are over and the searches have been called off, the tiny disturbance would settle and their lives would run just as smoothly as they had. There would be no one asking for me and no one desperately wishing that I would miraculously reappear from the ether. No children would ask where I went or when'd I'd be coming back. No woman would cry herself to sleep as she lay her had on an the opposite side of a bed where I might have slept. The Navy would replace me almost immediately. Hell, my being gone might actually be celebrated because of the rank that I leave behind to get refilled.

    27 years of nothing.

    I say all that to say this: To all those who have blessed, little angels or twisted, miniature demons, know that you have value that far exceeds that of most. To those who have a wife, husband, partner or any variations of those, you too are appraised to be of a much better worth than someone who has sailed the seven seas, climbed mountains and won a boxing match with a kangaroo. And, though you might never get to do any of these things, your life is richer, your experiences more meaningful. For you are the seeds that have landed in the dirt and have grown roots in this ever-expanding thing we call life. Relish in that fact, no matter how hard things might get. And always remember that you are the fortunate ones, for the other seeds, like me, have become scattered in the wind.

    

Okay, so I have an AMAZING chance to get a commission from :Ryuuka-Nagare:! Which of my OCs should I select for this prestigious honor? 

24%
16 deviants said Umbra Umbra by Zerro
19%
13 deviants said Adult Suriyawong Suriyawong (Adult) by Zerro
16%
11 deviants said Princess Cosette Princess Cosette by Zerro
13%
9 deviants said Adult Moana Moana (Debutant) by ZerroMoana (Adult) by Zerro
12%
8 deviants said The Goddess The Chains of Virtue and Order by Zerro
6%
4 deviants said Kaciana Kaciana (Adult) by Zerro
4%
3 deviants said Zerro Amidst The Fire And The Fear... by Zerro
3%
2 deviants said Sylvie Slammer COM - Sylvie by Wingsie
1%
1 deviant said Valencia Valencia by Zerro
1%
1 deviant said One of the many OCs that I didn't mention. (Leave a comment please)

~WINNER'S CIRCLE~

#1 Watchers' Favorite
:star:Suriyawong:star:
~:star:COMMISSION: Suriyawong by arekupacific:star:~

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:iconriki-to:
Riki-to Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Student Digital Artist
whoa , it's been the 2nd time you sent me the membership >_<
Thank you very much!
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:iconzerro:
Zerro Featured By Owner 1 day ago
No problem~! Just tell me when you're opening up commissions again and I'll call it even.
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:icontakkunotori:
TakkuNoTori Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2015  Student Digital Artist
I've been gone
sorry
sounds like you've been through a lot since we talked last
keep hanging in there
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:iconaka-shiro:
Aka-Shiro Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Uwah, thanks so much for another sub gift~! :heart: ;v;
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:iconzerro:
Zerro Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2015
Yerp
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Sword-Waltz Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2015
wow! thanks for the premium gift! really appreciate it :iconlachoirplz:
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Hews-HacK Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
 ayyyy u gave me another one premium

i dunno what to say man, its 3 strike already
i wanna be unique in responding but i cant think of anything haha

anyway thnx man, its been 2 years since
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:iconzerro:
Zerro Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2015
Yerp, it's been a while, neh?
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Hews-HacK Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
haha ye
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CherrysDesigns Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
just came to say hello  Llama Emoji-02 (Blush) [V1]
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