Build and Skin Color: Fairly muscular and built out, Mao's build could almost be described as a mix of Norse or Slavic and Oriental influences. Her skin is a pale tone like her fellow Samurai, but her physique is noticeably more well-muscled than some of her sisters. This could probably explain in part why she takes so well to the odachi despite her short height. She has no tattoos and scant body hair, and beyond that her SPINE interface is a series of pink dots on her back - though those are almost always concealed.
Eyes and Facial Features: Mao has a softly heart-shaped face. Her complexion is unblemished safe for the freckles that are on her cheeks and run across the bridge of her nose, dark enough that they are noticeable from a conversational distance. Her eyes are distinctly almond-shaped and hazel with a distinct goldenrod accent at their edges.
Ears: Her ears are the common Neko-style cat-ears, with fur as black as her hair save for the inner fur being white.
Hair Color and Style: Mao allows herself on eccentricity in her appearance with her undercut braid that reaches several inches past her shoulders when she lets it down. Though like most Ketsurui Samurai, her hair is a dark black color. Nearly raven-black in her case.
Distinguishing Features: Mao has the same pale skin and dark hair as many of the other Ketsurui Samurai, her personal hairstyle aside. Besides this she is never seen in public without wearing the traditional cleanly pressed and well kept white yukata and red hakama. Beyond that is the SPINE interface sported by any NH-33 Nekovalkyrja and little else.
Personality: By the standards of the average citizen, Mao can be positively unreadable, and as unapproachable as any other Samurai they might catch sight of around the Star Empire. She can keep her eyes cold and distant, her body language that of a warrior just waiting for the order to strike out on command, and her face can be a totally stoic mask if its necessary. But by the standards of her fellow Samurai, she's positively outgoing.
Mao would best describe herself as wanting to be one of the best Samurai that her clan has - not necessarily the best known. She could have opted to become a power armor pilot working with the Star Army or a Marshal enforcing laws against dangerous criminal elements. But in her mind those are pursuits for the Samurai who seek to elevate their own name. She was born into the clan for the purpose of protecting its named members and as such has always seen it as her purpose in life to support and protect them from their enemies, following in the shadows of others to ensure their safety. To her, the Yojimbo is the ideal Samurai: putting the benefit of another above themselves entirely, even to the cost of their life.
She's had to make a habit of learning people. Reading the files on everybody her principals associate with, of individuals they might be meeting on any given day, and the staff they kept. Through it she learned of peoples aspirations and dreams and goals. She learned about their weaknesses and what they excelled at the most. She's learned to enjoy meeting new people and learning about them - encouraging them to pursue their strengths and having an empathetic joy when watching them fulfill their potential and achieve their goals. Much like she seeks excellence in herself, she seeks and encourages it in those around her. She's rarely happier than when others pursue their talents and make something of it.
A cold blade in hand Warmest heart and coldest eyes A warrior's soul
All Nekovalkyrja are created for a specific purpose to serve Yamatai, and for the Samurai this is especially true. Created by Ketsurui Zaibatsu, Mao's fate was decided before she'd even fully formed, or taken her first steps into the world. A Samurai has all she's ever wanted or been able to imagine becoming in life and the first five years of her life only reinforced that. From the very beginning her first formative days were spent at Samurai House training in the various budōs of the Ketsurui under the clan's Sensei-no-budô.
She took the first steps into her life, learning the responsibilities of a Samurai, and learning the various martial styles and skills she was required to know. She learned of the hierarchy of the Ketsurui clan, learned of Yamatai's history, practiced in the basics of each school of budô, practiced domestic duties, learned an interesting version of humanities, and spent long days and sleepless nights testing and training to earn her blue hakama. On schedule with her peers, she graduated to the rank of Journeywoman after one year, and began her probationary period.
As a Journeywoman to outsiders she was effectively a full Samurai, but among her fellows she had only just begun to earn the title. She was sent on numerous assignments over the years. At times she was expected to work with a fellow Jounreywoman to accomplish the mission, at others she was sent alongside a Samurai who acted as equal parts a partner and judge of her skills and knowledge, and a few times the situation she found herself sent into was so dire that she was armed to deal with the situation. She was sent on assignments to work as an Eihei-no-insen, an Eihei guarding the treasures of Yamatai, and even put her understanding and knowledge of the law to use assisting a Marshal on more than just a few assignments.
But in the end there was only one class among the Samurai that truly appealed to her: the Yojimbo, a protector and trusted associate of the clan's most valued members. So she found her most common work as an Eihei-no-insen taking part in guard details of Yamatai's diplomats, high-ranking members of the military, even serving for over a year in the Premier's personal protective detail. Following that was two more years spent focusing on training and assignments as an Eihei, where she of what it would take to become a Yojimbo, and practiced in the various skills and tenets of the Ketsurui Samurai almost religiously for her coming trial.
And it was finally after five long years training and practicing and taking the most challenging and worthwhile assignments that she was allowed when Mao finally faced her trial. She was tested for a final time in everything she had learned and in her budō of choice. It wasn't until the morning after the test, and a restless night, that she was informed she had passed and was going to become a Yojimbo.
A Ketsurui Samurai strives to achieve perfection in all things and language is not an exception to this. Mao is familiar with standard radio operations and can communicate with others through the systems provided by starships, power armors, and telepathy both in and out of combat conditions. She is fluent in Trade (language) and Yamataigo (邪馬台語) and she is skilled in calligraphy of both languages. Her fluency is such that if it weren't for her appearance, she could pass as a native Nepleslian.
All Samurai of the Ketsurui clan pride themselves as masters of melee combat. Mao has been trained to fight in Yamatai-like conditions and in a zero or near-zero-gravity environment, and either with or without weapons. She has been made in expert in the use of energy pistols and rifles, swords, spears, staves, knives, and power armor. She was also made familiar with grenades, Star Army explosives, rifles, machine guns, and a random variety of foreign and exotic weaponry. She's also intimately familiar with the use of power armor.
Mao was trained in budō Iaido: the focus of smooth and controlled movements to draw the blade, strike the opponent down, cleanse the blade, and return it to the sheath. Mao has specialized in the use of the odachi and supplements her weapon of choice with the katana, chisa katana, or wakizashi for times when a longer blade would be more of a hindrance. She's also trained to use manipulation of gravity to supplement her fighting style to give her an edge in a fight and is capable of using her blade against even a power armor-equipped enemy.
Mao may not much like computers but she knows how to use them. She can operate any computer that uses the Kessaku OS, found on all Star Army starships and many other Yamataian computer systems. She is fully capable of searching for, retrieving, or entering information into the system. Even if she'd really rather leave computers and their workings to somebody else.
Mao has direct-downloaded the laws of the Yamatai Star Empire so she can more or less recite the laws from memory. In addition like most all young Nekovalkyrja, she performed a direct-download of Yamataian history as a part of her learning and training early on. She took to them both so well in fact, that her Sensei often joked that had she not been a Samurai that she could have made an excellent historian or lawyer.
She never found this as funny as her Sensei did.
Mao has been trained in mathematics to the point that she has a comprehension of basic math: including algebra, statistics, and trigonometry.
While it wouldn't seem like something considered important for Ketsurui Samurai to outsiders, when a member of the Ketsurui clan brings a Yojimbo into their personal circle its effectively adopting an extended family member. As such the simplest of upkeep to anybody else is vitally important to an individual that values a sort of militant perfection and order. Mao can make her bed and clean her room, look after a house, handle laundry, help another dress should her charge require it, and even has some minor talent with children.
She's also a fairly talented cook - at least in her opinion - and can even mix a few drinks if pressed. She has also practiced the use of the shakuhachi on the encouragement of her Sensei during her training to transition from a Jounreywoman to a Yojimbo as a means to focus and practice beyond the use of a blade or weapon in the rare moments that a Samurai would consider “down-time”.
An assassin, or at the very least a smart assassin, will not approach in a power armor loaded down with more munitions than a Nepleslian armory. They will try to be subtle and try to “hide in plain sight”. Between express training and her time spent as a Eihei-no-insen, Mao has learned how to read the subtleties of body language, and has garnered a basic understanding of psychology - how most people could be expected to react under stress or when their facade is under scrutiny. She's developed a sort of empathy to see things from the opposite side and think of how she would approach the situation, more or less trying to think like the very attackers she would defend against.
Mao has the following items:
|3000 KS||Starting Funds|
|2630 KS||370 KS||Instrument purchase|