Weapon Master: standard (rank 1)
Kyoto, Japan, 1862
Birth was difficult in those times. I remember siblings dying before I could even talk to them. However even though my father had two grown sons he felt compelled to treat me like his third. I never did complain about it. For me the warrior’s code was as pure a life style as one could ever lead. Today was my fiftieth sparring session with my father. As we held our kendo sticks out I quickly go into an offensive stance and remember the bushido code.
Rectitude – As I rush right at my father I think of how to overcome him. I slash forward, my aim true. The path of the samurai is that of the straight path. It is our duty to not venture off the righteous line set by great men before us and to give into the ease of the dark path.
Courage – I jab forward, hoping the speed of my thrust will outweigh the inherent dangers of such a forward attack. I don’t act without hesitation, because hesitation is fear. Fear should not enter the mind of the samurai for it is fear that causes us to succumb to the evils of the world. The samurai has no fear of death. Death is the final honor of a life lived well.
Benevolence – My father slashes down my strike causing my kendo stick’s tip against the ground. He has the advantage, he is by far stronger. With a flick of his wrist he pushes my stick aside and sends me spinning down onto the ground. My back is turned, surely in the field of combat I should be dead but my father stands back and lets me up. As samurai we are told to do good to other man. There is no good to come from stabbing your fellow man in the back. I quickly get to my feet and turn to face him.
Respect – It takes every ounce in my body because I am angry. Angry at me and angry at my father for bullying me down to the ground like that. However his technique was sound, his vision clear and my attack was foolhardy at best. I bow politely before taking my stick and getting into a defensive stance. You must respect your fellow man and your fellow warrior because if you don’t you’ll lose sight of who they are. Foolish is the one who underestimates the capacity of man, for it is man with the greatest capacity to achieve amazing feats.
Honesty – My stick is held back, pointing backwards, by my side as I let my father stalk me, his stick high up above his head. My long robes hit my old tantō, I could pull out the small knife and slash at a hand to disable him. However this fight is to simulate swords only, such a move would be dishonest. The truth is the most valuable commodity. Waste it and soon it’ll become worthless as no one will believe your false tongue. I resist the urge to take it out and keep this fight fair.
Honor – He comes slashing down at me as I quickly pull my stick up to block. Bamboo splinters all around us as we’re soon trading blocked slashes with one another. I roll back, trying to use my superior speed and small stature but soon I’m back up against the corner of the garden. I keep my sword held up, part of me wants to fight my way out, but I know I am defeated by a superior opponent. I drop to one knee and lay my kendo stick across my hands offering it to my father. Honor is something that seems to have disappeared in this world, but without a code of ethics how different is man from the beasts that roam the earth. My father stands over me approvingly as he disarms me.
Loyalty – My father helps me back to my feet as I look over and see the emperor and his son clapping at us. They certainly enjoyed the show but the sparring was more than that. My family’s clan of Samurai has long been loyal to the Emperor and him to us. Without the unconditional trust you have in other men you’ll be cursed with the lonely existence. Today’s sparring session was more than just training, it was a display of our loyalty, which we’ll fight as hard as we can and prepare as best we can to protect then.
The Unfettered Mind
Reaction Speed: standard (rank 1)
Over the India Ocean – 1864
Father grew afraid that retribution would be taken against him through me had I stayed in Nippon. As such I was made part of a cultural exchange program with the Kingdom of England. I was to spend my time there studying European culture and technology for use back in the home land. Secretly though I was sent to protect two things. The first was obviously I from men who would try to harm my father by killing me. The second however was Quincy Quinton. It became clear that Mr. Quinton had made several enemies in his life time and he needed an expert bodyguard. Because of the relations my father had with Mr. Quinton I had to honor the pact of loyalty.
We were heading our way back to England after resupplying in a hot nation known as India. It was mid day and Mr. Quinton had begun to instruct Quinne and I in the mechanics of the steam engines that ran these flying ships. I was on my knees, eyes wide, fascinated with every function as Quinne looked like she was about to fall asleep. Just as the lesson was getting interesting we heard screams from the deck when the door suddenly burst open.
Two men with dark skin and curved clumsy blades stepped in. They started to move their way towards Quinne and Mr. Quinton when suddenly I turned around, my tantō stabbed right through one man’s chest as he screamed, blood spurting out of his mouth. I quickly pulled it out of his chest as the other tried to slash against me. I pulled my tantō up to block his attack as my free hand reached for my katana, slashing upwards ripping a huge gash against his body.
Both men laid there bleeding to death as I put my weapons away. I believe Mr. Quinton was skeptical at first, but all skepticism was now gone.
Reflection: standard (rank 1)
London, England - 1864
Amongst westerners it’s often called a scabbard. Amongst my people it’s simply referred to as a saya. Mine always hung off my hip as I entered my first class at London’s School for Adventuring. Quinne attended with me and our bond grew during our time there. However classes we often didn’t have together as she was sent to the Operations and Mechanics portion of the school. Myself I was assigned to Combat and Enforcement.
The first day was nerve racking as the children were lined up to show their feats. Dozens upon dozens of kids were already ahead of me with their swords. While their blades were certainly not as good as mine and their technique resembling of the sloppy and undisciplined sword play of common Europeans I was nervous over the fact that even if I impressed with my sword it would seem too similar to the French fencer three spots ahead of me or the large Bulgarian behind me with his broad sword.
My turn was getting closer and closer as I watched a young boy from Scotland fire arrow after arrow into a bull’s eye, each one splitting the previous arrow till the target looked like a blossoming flower. He bowed to the judges as they called me in next. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do until I watched the archer pass me.
I grabbed him by his arm and said “excuse can you assist me with my demonstration?”
He looked at the judges who agreed. I walked to one end of the room and instructed him to go the other. “Ok, fire at my heart.”
There were murmurs among everyone and the boy shook his head. The judges all looked at one another speaking in a hushed tone before the head master said “do as she says boy, it won’t be the first fatality at these proceedings.”
I felt the sweat grow on my brow as the boy looked just as nervous as I was. I’m almost certain he’s fired an arrow in these conditions before as I watch him pull the string taut before letting it go. The glint of the arrow head catches my eyes as I grab my saya, quickly swinging it upwards as the arrow goes flying back towards the boy who’s able to duck in time before the arrow lodges in the wall where his head should’ve been.
Magnetism: standard (rank 1)
London, England - 1864
“Hey rich girl, catch!”
I remember seeing Quinne standing there as the boys threw screws and nuts at her. They were in steam shop class and I was on my way to hand to hand sparing. A young boy quickly ran up to defend her as I kept watching from the hall way.
“Hey leave her alone guys!”
“Hey look, rich boy is defending rich girl!” said one Bully.
“Hey Harvey, is Quinne your girlfriend or something?” added another.
“What no, I just think… OW hey stop it!
They started pelting the two of them with the little bolts and nails as I gripped the hilt of my katana. Thing began to escalate as I watched them start throwing copper piping and metal joints. Just as I saw one boy reach for a hammer I dashed into the room and stepped in front of Harvey and Quinne. The rest of the bullies looked on as one smiled.
“Hey it’s the tough girl who can’t speak English good!”
“Can’t speak English well,” I said to correct him.
“Whatever, eat this slag!” He threw the hammer at me as I swung my Katana out, they must’ve thought it’d cleave it in half, instead the hammer went flying back into the boy’s face as he screamed out and cried, blood pouring from his nose.
“Geez she is a freak, come on guys let’s get Richard to the nurse.” The bullies all looked back at me as I slide my sword back into my saya. Quinne and Harvey thanked me as I simply bowed out of respect.
“That’s some sword you have there,” said Harvey as he kept eyeing it.
“Father’s creation, Lodestone core, comes in handy in this world of metal you’ve created.”
Weather Control: standard (rank 1)
- Ranged Attack
- Long Ranged Attack
- Target Seeker
Tokyo Prefecture, Japan – 1868
I wish I could say I enjoyed my homecoming but in reality there were problems that the new empite had with the shogunate as they struggled to remain relevant. Hearing of my dad’s plight I took time off to come back to assist him. While I wanted to tell him the wonders of the world I had seen he instead put me to work right away. Roving groups of bandits were canvassing the country side around Tokyo, I had taken it upon myself to try and deal with them.
The morning mist had fallen upon the bamboo forest they had cornered me in. They were not samurai but rather ruthless mercenaries, possibly Chinese or Korean in origin as I saw their massive falchions flashing at me. One had a large kunai on a chain as I just ducked in the nick of time, seeing the chained blade tear through bamboo stalks before it was expertly pulled back to its owner.
I turn the first gear on my belt, a design of Quinne Quinton’s, as my sword began to vibrate. I quickly got back to my feet and leapt on one of the large bamboo stalks. The mist still obscured my vision but I heard a snap to my left. As I swung my katana I could feel the air well in front of me, forming a slashing blade that blew away the mist, cut through the bamboo and suddenly hit one of the bandits leaving a large gash on his back.
As I stood there I kept swinging my blade in every direction, causing the mist to dissipate as the bandits ran for their lives. Some made it, others felt the wind’s very own slash hit them, sending them sprawling to the ground bleeding.
I dropped from my perch and continued on my way, the mist covering the bamboo field again as the eerie sound of men wailing in pain echoed through the stalks.