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Submitted on
June 24, 2012
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435 KB
Mature Content


91 (who?)
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(Contains: violence/gore)
We are the harbinger of your perfection.

"The cycle repeated
As explosions broke in the sky
All that I needed
Was the
one thing I couldn't find
And you were there at the turn
Waiting to let me know

We're building it up
To break it back down
We're building it up
To burn it down
We can't wait
To burn it to the ground

colors conflicted
As the flames climbed into the clouds
I wanted to fix this
couldn't stop from tearing it down
And you were there at the turn
Caught in the burning glow...

You told me yes
You held me high
I believed when you told that lie
I played soldier, you played king
And struck me down when I kissed that ring...
I built you up, but you let me down
So when you fall, I'll take my turn..."
-- Burn it Down by Linkin Park

Something that's always creeped me out was that the Reapers' goal changed from wanting Shepard dead to wanting Shepard alive. Shepard was sedated for two days in the hands of indoctrinated scientists -- who knows what they did to her/him. Combined with reports of freaky noises on the Normandy, Shepard's decaying mental condition, hidden infrasound in certain ME3 audio files, and the scarily plausible Indoctrination Theory, Mass Effect from Arrival onwards becomes a frightening franchise. This was me trying to express that creepiness.

There's something mildly disturbing in doing this to my canon Shepard -- the one I've poured the most of my heart and soul into -- but it definitely adds to the creepiness. If it were your Shepard instead if mine this artwork might hit you a bit harder.

Take this as literally or symbolically as you please. A note on Shepard's eyes, though: you can't see it well, but the design of TIM's eyes was used. Why? As someone succinctly put it: not everyone who is indoctrinated has cybernetic blue eyes but every person who has those eyes is indoctrinated.

Thanks goes to the IT thread on the BSN that I've been lurking on for about three months now. Linkin Park's Burn it Down fits so well into ME3 (particularly Control and Synthesis endings if IT is true) that I was shocked the first time I heard it. The guitars even sound like Reaper horns! It was the primary inspiration song, while the other was Feel Something by Illy. If you want a kick to the gut, listen to Reignite ([link]) while viewing this -- the bitter irony is palpable.
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CharlieIndigoalpha76 Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Dragon-Claw666 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Professional Filmographer
This is really a great but disturbing picture. :wow:

Nice work! :thumbsup:
Ellagne Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It was disturbing creating it, but it kept haunting me until I capitulated.

Thanks! :D
ReVercetti Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I choose only Control. From my point of view - it's the most rational ending in the game. And I've also have suspicion that Shepard was partly indoctrinated. So - I'm very pleased with your picture) Very nice!
And I also like this song))
Ellagne Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Honestly, Control still scares me but still infinitely preferrable to Synthesis. Thank you! I'm glad you like it.

Yeah, Linkin Park rock, and Burn it Down fits eerily well.
Xelestial Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The story inspired by this ended up being well received, so I thank you for the inspiration.
Ellagne Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist

I am so sorry for dropping off the face of the earth (and for so long)! Real life has been crazy -- I even forgot dA even existed ^^; You are very welcome for the inspiration! My stupid browser isn't letting me open the pdf, which is really frustrating, but I'm already getting chills thinking about it. But I'll keep trying, because I really want to read it! :)

Xelestial Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem, I just did one of those dropping off the face of the earth bits myself! Disappeared for 5 months! You can also read the story here if you never got it!…
Ellagne Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cheers for the link. That was well written! I was shivering the whole way through. Your story gave me the same creepy vibe I had when I first thought of the idea.
Xelestial Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That's such an honor to hear that I captured it! It's odd how obsessed I was with the idea once I saw your work. I could do nothing until I write it, like I was possessed haha. Then half my followers on tumblr half hated me for the depressing story, but I have no regrets! 
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