Falling Toward Apotheosis
A.E.G.I.S. assault specialist
Name: Laurel Yokohama
Occupation: web designer, A.E.G.I.S. assault specialist
Appearance: An attractive young woman who appears slightly trendy/nerdy on first sight – the impression accentuated by black-rimmed glasses and a baggy, thrift-store wardrobe. However, she is exceptionally well-toned and -muscled, and sports a small scar on her forehead that her long bangs are designed to conceal. On operations, however, she ties the hair into a tight bun and dons yellow ski goggles, a dark turtleneck, jeans and Doc Martens.
Biography: A Seattle-born sansei – third-generation Japanese-American – Laurel Yokohama lived the fairly ordinary suburban life of a bright, creative tween with a knack for Photoshop. This changed, however, when her maternal grandfather Sho decided that, as his only grandchild, she should be initiated into the secrets of the Heavenly Sword martial art school – of which Sho was the last living practitioner. Unsure at first, but eager to please, she took up the sword and practiced rigorously with the old man after school. When he succumbed, ostensibly to liver failure, a few weeks before her high school graduation, she put the sword away and got ready for college; however, when a pair of thugs from Osaka arrived at the estate sale and menaced her mother for a written record of the Heavenly Sword technique, then revealed that they had murdered her grandfather on a Yakuza don’s orders, Laurel trounced them with her sword and thereby attracted the interest of both local authorities and Interpol. A special-forces colonel from the U.S. Defense Department offered Laurel his unit’s protection, information about her grandfather’s Yakuza enemies, and a job training his men in her grandfather’s techniques; she accepted, and when that man, Colonel Thomas Union, was made head of the newly-created A.E.G.I.S. group, she accepted membership as a part-time field agent, dividing her time between counterterrorism and her work as one of Seattle’s hippest web designers.
Skills and interests: Laurel is the only living master of the ancient Japanese Heavenly Sword technique – which enables its wielder to pierce even the strongest materials with a properly-forged katana – but, to her, it’s a burdensome family obligation rather than an actual interest. In her private life she’s much more fond of indie rock (including the late great Sleater-Kinney), the local art scene, and cyberspace activist groups like the Electric Freedom Foundation and BoingBoing.
Psych Profile: The initial profile of Laurel Yokohama was of a skilled dilettante whose interest in the counterterrorism game will end once she feels the men responsible for her grandfather’s death have been adequately brought to justice. Her left-leaning politics keep her suspicious of the motives both the U.S. government and A.E.G.I.S. and the occasions when Bushido has encountered terrorists using American training and equipment have only served to reinforce this. However, this appears to have in part been counterbalanced by a deep personal loyalty to Colonel Union, who has apparently replaced her grandfather as a mentor figure in her life, as well as a growing psychological dependency on her work as Bushido, which seems to offer a useful release from her often aimless and unfulfilling civilian life. Whether she is aware of this remains to be seen.