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Bounty Hunters 2

Trying simpler visuals for some original characters to be featured in my comic book story project, currently tentatively titled IN LAK'ECH Mythos.
This is a digital painting over this sketch, I sought to keep the lines and colors as clear as possible, yet keeping a somewhat dark environment and of course some contrast.
I didn't expect this style to be very challenging, however these latest works have been quite challenging for my schedule (still have a lot of stuff to do, especially studying other art techniques, yet I keep running into some old sketches and deciding to paint them). I guess I'm getting more comfortable with this kind of "style" and painting? Perhaps I should change that, but it's difficult when art takes too much time and absolutely no return. Enough of that, why don't you take a look at my work on other networks?

These guys are mercenaries or bounty hunters with very diverse backgrounds. There's another art featuring their portraits which description explores their background stories. The following is an overview of each character and their role in upcoming stories, containing HUGE SPOILERS of IN LAK'ECH.

Introduced in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos during a story arc set during June 2009, that time known as Agent Omicron.
Secret Identity: Douglas Ryder
    Also known as the traitor of AXIS, Ryder was an agent of an international private military institute that owned the super-powered Alpha/Omega armors between its official foundation, in 2000, and its dissolution in June 2010. He joined the institution in 2004, and after a series of intellectual and physical exams was appointed as the next official user of the Omicron armor (which super-power is that of teleportation). After series of missions for AXIS (most were neutralizing demons - humanoid creatures of unknown origin - in specific areas throughout the world), he realized several of the agents that applied in the same time as him (2004), years later, were disappearing, and the institution didn't give any satisfaction. During this time, one of the Omicron armor's leading developers, Howard Fang, became his mentor. Fang, who worked for the Ulhaden Corporation (a german enterprise that alongside the american ABEL Inc were the original developers of those armors, or so they say, before AXIS' foundation by treatises between both enterprises and other enterprises involved, secretly including a party within the catholic church), told him about the armor's properties, that it was designed in 1996, and also told about the fate of past users, how they died of side-effects caused by the armor's usage - the armors weren't completed, each user was a test subject giving the scientists of AXIS new data while accomplishing forged missions for other parties. The "demons" themselves were bred and controlled by some of AXIS' sponsors. Following these revelations, after years serving AXIS Ryder realized he would soon be killed, yet Fang pointed him a solution - because of personal reasons, ABEL Inc's CEO Joseph Bridges didn't like Howard Fang, and only accepted to keep him into AXIS because he was still an Ulhaden employee. Fang expected he'd be expelled one way or another, and in 2006 he left AXIS for another project he didn't publicly reveal. He started to work for a secret organization, the Saqraruna, that runs most of the technologically miraculous and futuristic Scientific Council of advanced technological, industrial and energetic development of the Republic of Tahuantinsuyu - the same credited with the creation of its unique Mallki generals, head of the national Tahuantinsuyuan military police forces. According to Fang, the Saqraruna were more responsible and could upgrade the armors, making them more powerful and stable, but they still needed them in first place. Since 2006, Ryder has become a double agent, leaking classified information from AXIS to Fang via a comm-link. Finally, in June 2009, after a failed mission which witnessed the death of AXIS professor Yao Wu (former Agent Theta), Ryder escaped, and arranged a pact with the Tahuantinsuyuan military, that allowed him to join and upgraded his armor - certifying his obedience. During this time, Ryder found out he wasn't the only double agent within AXIS benefitting the secret Saqraruna - Dylan Garrett, a.k.a Agent Digamma, has been leaking crucial information even before him, and that explains how the Saqraruna had information enough to work on upgrades for the armors even without materially owning them. In fact, the only Alpha-Omega armor owned by the Saqraruna are the modified Beta, in their possession since 1981, and the Digamma, a symbiotic synthoid they developed which Fang brought into AXIS as "a special project". Digamma's also known inside AXIS as Gamma, even though the original Gamma armor was still owned by ABEL Inc, but unlike the others was kept in a facility at New Mexico and had no users, for it was under test and examination since the side-effects that happened to agent Edwin Murdock during 1985 (in the Tahuantinsuyuan-Chilean conflict, in which ABEL arranged its own private agents to support Chilean right-wing paramilitary, the british and US armies against local socialist movements and the Tahuantinsuyuan forces). Digamma's power is believed to be transformation, however Digamma's true nature has largely escaped the sight of AXIS' scientists. Beta's current user, "Ichneumon", is one of the Mallki, the one responsible for overseeing security in Tahuantinsuyu's Chinchaysuyu region (Northwestern Peru and the Northern Peruvian Coast), and has become the superior of Ryder's new identity, the Firefly (a.k.a Luminoso or Ninakuru among the Tahuantinsuyuan population), as founding members of the semi-official Insect Syndicate, an international military organization headquartered in Chinchaysuyu that evolved into an agency of "private security"/bounty hunters, yet it's still completely headed by the secret Saqraruna organization.

    Eventually, in September 2011 the Saqraruna require of Firefly to capture two Cuetzpalin (from the nahuatl "lizard", a species of humanoid reptiles native to Aztlán. Some of them are actually humans who have lived in symbiosis with a Tonalcoatl - a symbiotic slug that's the latest stage of an elder Cuetzpalin's life - what allowed them the power to transform into new Cuetzpalin), "Paynal" and "Montezuma", spotted in New Mexico, where their actions disturbed the business of some allies of the Saqraruna (namely, Ometochtli, a Centzontotochtin - humanoid rabbits natives to Aztlán's city-state of Patemalinalli - drug-dealer who was at the time working in an operation to sell enhancers of Duskoplasm-binding into Earth [Duskoplasm is a form of materialised shadows, controlled by sorcerers, alchemists or people who activate and use the "hidden-element" Darr, a.k.a the Philosopher's Stone. Most of them are related to an old ally of the Saqraruna, the secret "Palarokhian Order" of magicians created in medieval Lithuania and based in nowadays Belarus. Through Duskoplasm, these magicians can control other objects and beings if the Duskoplasm attach to them, either turning them into undead, or acting as spy drones linked to the mage's consciousness. These enhancers increase the possibility that the Duskoplasm may attach to someone, and Ometochtli's work was leveling up to a global scale, in a profitable business unscathed by the local authorities, and likely all the authorities of the UN. In exchange, Ometochtli only wanted to keep his influence in Patemalinalli and buy some mansions in California]). Paynal is actually a 17 years old boy from Brazil, while Montezuma is a childhood friend of Ryder, the 26 years old Paul Powhatan, from Quebec, Canada. This ellaborate order of capture put Ryder at odds with his own memories, yet he wasn't the only one looking for them, what put him in another difficult position. They would escape, however Ryder's work as the Firefly would also resume.

Introduced in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos during a story arc set during October 2011

    The oldest founding member of the intergallactic association of assassins and a proudly labeled "king of thieves", Autolycus is reputedly the grandfather of legendary human/Triton Odysseus. A human who turned into a Triton (a species of powerful amphibian - yet reptilian or fish in appearance - beings natives to Helladeas, if evolved enough to develop a conch of Orichalcum, and possessing an Orichalcum or any hidden-element weapon, they're able to control the weather, generate storms, rain and channel thunder) for some time in his life, Autolycus has lately been a Glaucian (what stands between both human and Triton). A skilled warrior seemingly forgotten by the gods, he kept his immortality over the years and has hunt down magic artifacts which reputedly made him able to shapeshift and to become invisible. None of these powers are literal, however, they just reflect his reputation as a stealthy, yet brutal assassin. But his sharpest weapon isn't even his blades or shark-like teeth - it's his knowledge.
    In October 2011, after the Palarokhian Order failed to retrieve the Philosopher's Stone (also known by Eastern alchemists as Baihu or White Tiger, this is the most powerful piece of Darr, and is actually the dormant, diminished frozen form of the Baphomet entity) for an entire year from the hands of the reformed Black Knights (from the german Schwarze Ritter, a medieval-era band of bandits with international action and diverse background that during the Baltic Crusades and the major Black Death outbreaks fought against christian authorities, the Teutonic Knights and even the Palarokhian Order, to secure safety and freedom of wanderers, pagans, independent magicians and poor communities, harboring visions similar to that of later anarchists. Based in the borders of the city of Königsberg [nowadays Kaliningrad], the group has increasingly diminished over the years, facing persecution from the Prussian kingdom and the Russian Empire alike, before involving in conflicts against the Nazi germany, and ultimately dissolving during the Soviet occupation of Kaliningrad after the war. Some of their original 14th Century members, however, are still living in this day, through pacts of blood they forged with the Baphomet, granting them immortality and power, albeit a burden, for the Baphomet, or rather the Philosopher's Stone has fallen to the hands of the Palarokhian Order, their nemesis, at the time hiding beneath some semi-official Soviet-era research facilities). With new allies, in October 2010 the last Black Knights succesfully regrouped and led an operation which managed to destroy the facility where the Order held the Baphomet at Chernyakhovsk and to secure the ruins of their former base, the Black Knights' Castle, in northeastern Kaliningrad, and since then they've resisted several military campaigns sent by the Palarokhian and their "public face" - the Russian GRU and the Belarusian KGB.     After this failure, the Palarokhians sent two distinct fronts to take down the Palarokhians - one headed by the ancient Belobog ("White God", a spectral, gloomy head-like entity with abilities of gravity disruption, a veteran from wars dated to millennia ago, himself the Ta'tal [Ors Ohorela General] of the ancient alien Topakar nation of Palarokhiel which the medieval order named itself after), set to persecute the Black Knights standing at Kaliningrad; - another headed by Autolycus himself, to gather intelligence and hunt Black Knights outside their fortress. During the missions resulting from this job, Autolycus discovered the Baphomet wasn't even guarded by the Black Knights at the castle in Kaliningrad, it was instead in the private possession of a Belarusian anarchist girl, Alica Kozlovskaya, who was in some way a "Black Knight" herself, and despite a citizen, she managed to keep her pact with the Baphomet, or her support for the Black Knights in secret - until now. After Belobog destroyed the resistance at Kaliningrad and hunt down its survivors to the south, Autolycus has also unmasked the intentions of one of the Black Knights, Sorginak, in taking over Alica's form and keeping the Baphomet for her, in order to create her own "Baphomet soldiers" and overthrow the current Palarokhian order's leaders, yet Sorginak tried to keep it hidden and grant Autolycus a reward, which she claimed to be Mestra, one of Mestra's old mentors and also Autloycus' lovers, "revealed to be alive". Autolycus played along, but ultimately Sorginak was cornered by former allies (namely, the ancient Cuetzpalin Cuauhtemoc) and foes, and Autolycus, realizing she was bluffing, seemingly finished her - but he still needed to capture, or kill Alica and every remaining Black Knights, including Cuauhtemoc. Eventually, Autolycus and his fellow mercenary Axayacatl chased Alica and William M (Cuetzpalin Paynal) into the Belovezhskaya forest (bordering Poland), as Cuauhtemoc and some Leshy (plant-like humanoid giants, they used to be led by Veles before the greater "Forest of Iriy" was mostly destroyed by human intervention, and Veles was exiled in the far eastern remnants of the forest. Those that remained in Belovezhskaya died centuries ago, but were revived in late September 2009 when an operation involving Baphomet's awakening happened there) intervened. On the occasion, Sorginak was also revealed to be alive, part of her lived within a fraction of materialized elemental Duskoplasm within Alica, and she tried to manifest herself and lead the other belligerents against each other. Did they fail? Did they succeed? I won't reveal that now.

Introduced in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos during a story arc set during October 2008, that time known as "Ichtaca" - the Tonalcoatl whose symbiosis with Brazilian journalist Ian R. transformed him into the Cuetzpalin known as Omepaynal. Only introduced by his real name, Axayacatl, in April 2011.
The nemesis of the ancient Cuetzpalin Cuauhtemoc, Axayacatl used to be a 10th century Toltec Military leader, Cuauhtemoc's superior, before an interdimensional rift in the northern Atlantic pulled them, alongside dozens of human and Cuetzpalin Toltecs, to the other side, in Norrland (Norway). From there, they took a lot of different paths, Cuauhtemoc tried to help others, believing that would have them rewarding his fellows with information on how get back home, but ultimately adapting to live among a tribe of Banterans (ancestors to some Basque peoples) in the Alfheimr forest; while Axayacatl always made his way through violence, originally impatient and seeking to get back home, where he had titles and influence, yet ultimately gave up on returning, and started to make a new name as a bounty hunter. Their paths crossed and put each other at odds when Axayacatl sold the location of the Banterans to the Palarokhian Order and its dragon allies, the Vovin Brotherhood. After the hardships of becoming Cuauhtemoc's greatest enemy, Axayacatl adopted different human hosts and identities, such as Iguantus, and discovered many things - including the general hatred Palarokhians harbored for the Cuetzpalin, a kind they never seen before but already heard of, from the most shadowy of sources - that kept his guard, yet he still acted relentless as a mercenary for hire, what would put him against Cuauhtemoc again and again on several occasions - he was hired for example to attack the Black Knights, and he managed to take one of them, Bertilak, a close friend of Cuauhtemoc, as his host. As Bertilak, he killed Cuauhtemoc's family at the time, and despite that didn't end the Black Knights, it surely hurt them. On another occasion, he was hired to stop a slave rebellion in Hel, and while Cuauhtemoc was involved in the rebellion, taking the Jötunn Bragi as a host, Axayacatl took Vitharr as his, in the process developing regenerative powers, borrowed from Vitharr's DNA, something that he would keep years later. Realizing the origin of those powers was related to Audumla, a Quinametzin the Jötunn leader Ymir kept in captivity, he also found out Ymir's Einherjer, elite super-powered mercenaries, had powers (such as super speed, pyromancy, enhanced strength, endurance, unlimited water-breathing) derived from other ancient Cuetzpalin born with these powers, so he set out to gather these powers for his own, in order to become a god. Realizing his power started to manifest even while in human form, he has taken hosts from a specific lineage, and only altered these plans if it was extremely needed, like in the job he received from the Saqraruna organization to take Ian R; a Brazilian journalist currently working on a story about Paynal, as his latest host. His complete taking over of Ian only came around April, when as Omepaynal, and under control of the UATN-02 Boitatá Mech he massacred a community indigenous and landless workers that had just recently occupied a territory in northwesten Brazil, and were being trained to defend themselves with military training and stolen military equipment by Omepaynal and an independent committee of radical left-wing (from anarchists to anarcho-communists and anarcho-syndicalists) militants, including Paynal. Paynal and another ally, the Triton, came a little too late to prevent him, however they faced him, and Cuauhtemoc, thought to be dead since last month's attack on Toledo, Spain (in which Paynal, intending to kill the king, destroyed the governmental palace, albeit with Cuauhtemoc inside), has returned in a new host, just as Axayacatl revealed Paynal that Cuauhtemoc has never been Iñaki (his previous human host), like Paynal thought, but the ancient Cuetzpalin who's took his consciousness. Wondering what would be of his, who didn't have a Tonalcoatl anymore, Axayacatl and Cuauhtemoc exposed that if not by a physiological response to severe damage caused to its human form, the extensive usage of a Cuetzpalin transformation can render a human unable to return to its human form, what came as an ultimatum for William, who should decide for his humanity or for the dangerous freedom of being a Cuetzpalin. In a time when he felt Paynal was needed for the global resistance against authority, he still felt like his life as William was just about to flourish, and with hardships and some support from his militant friends he decided to use his Cuetzpalin form only when extremely needed, hoping they would come to a time it wasn't needed anymore.
    As for Axayacatl, he escaped and earned his reward, while the Tahuantinsuyuan military used the recently "expropriated area" as an excuse to send their own soldiers into Brazil. But this wasn't the last time he'd cross swords with Paynal, later that year, as previously stated, he'd join his long-time fellow mercenary Autolycus in hunting down Paynal and Alica. For more of Axayacatl's exploits, check his timeline. As a trivial fact, he's also participated in the Russian Revolution, the second world war and the Spanish Civil War, and also reached Mexico before Cortés. But as a Cuetzpalin, like some of its inhabitants, he was welcomed, alongside his ally Autolycus (there dubbed "Ahuitzotl", from the nahuatl "spiky water creature") to join their military, what they did for some years, until war broke against Tahuantinsuyu in 1481, forcing them to leave (who wants to fight dragons and shadow demons anyway? It's not in history books, but in this story, the Incas were allied to some really badass supernatural forces, it was hard even for the Mexican Cuetzpalin to fight them).

Introduced in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos during a story arc set during November 2011
This intergalactic bounty hunter is older than he looks. Created in 2006, he's a 100% super-smart artificial intelligence hid under a human-like appearance (BTW, hid under a helmet) especially designed for missions of military intelligence, espionage, hunt, capture and assassination, gathering information from a millennia-old database guarded by the Saqraruna Organization containing most of what all the individuals of the Yakuruna species (from the solar system of K Pacha, the founder of the Saqraruna, SPECTRO, is a Yakuruna himself and Corax's designer) knew. A stealth but ultimately brutal fighter, Corax has earned genetic credits through several missions - he often collects genes from victims and clients alike, and from then he tries to change his own skills. It may sound a little non-scientifical, however he accomplished lots of things most well trained humans and Yakuruna wouldn't do. One of his first fights against Paynal happened in a planet not so far from his solar system, when Paynal, who had infiltrated his ship, has surfaced to fight him and prevent him from finishing a hunt on the planet. During his infiltration, Paynal found out Corax isn't a human - he has a human-like face behind his helmet, but that, too, is a mask. He wanders around specific wealth sectors of human society as one of them, but he's not, he's a yakuruna like others Paynal met before. Paynal has also found Corax has several slaves jailed in his ship, and perhaps out of his genetic theft he developed peculiar tastes for human flesh other yakuruna wouldn't normally have. Corax sees Spectro like some sort of boss or mentor, and after some time he grew to look up to another yakuruna bounty hunter slightly older than him (some nine years, to be precise) in a similar way. Even though he's relatively young, he has made a great reputation in the galaxy, and though that could be a reason to be proud of among the galactic scum, Spectro prefer to keep Corax's origins in secrecy, as he acts more like a freelancer mercenary rather than a direct agent of Saqraruna. This lets Corax to work directly for some of Spectro's rivals and later report him (even if he doesn't thin about it).
    In November 2011, following William's constant meddling with Spectro's plans (even unknowingly), Corax was once again activated, this time to terminate William during one of his usual days after high school (by the time, he was just finishing high school), and that's when he met William's newest bodyguard, the controversial "avenging angel Vizaresh". That wouldn't be, however, Corax's last conflict against William. Corax would later be sent to capture some Alpha/Omega armors and its users, handling them to the Insect Syndicate, an activity which brought him closer to his colleague Firefly.

One can't just relativize the fact these are assassins for hire, whose interests aren't marked by consequences, but the acquisition of wealth and everything that comes with it - luckily, knowledge.
But aren't all "official military" like that, when all of the commands they follow and deeds they make are dictated by superiors, official or not, whose wealth determine their position of influence? When all they stand for isn't for the protection of anything but the maintenance of a social order based on privileges and concessions to a class of parasitical bourgeois and their increasing wealth?

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Mybanks101's avatar
They look so cool! ;0;