Name: Aiko Kobayashi Gender: Female Age: 19 Race: Human Place of Birth: Kurume, Japan Height: 5' 6 Weight: 110 lbs Status: Illegal Alien (Immigration Card Expired) Occupation: N/A
DescriptionEditNot very tall and very thin, Aiko is not a very impressive figure. In fact, she looks positively delicate. Her skin, as is usual for her race, is a creamy olive color, the almond-shaped eyes a very dark brown, the hair also dark brown. In complete contrast to her gentle, pliable personality, she has a many-layered, oddly cropped haircut that leaves many locks hanging down to either side of her face. It is the only edgy part of her though; she is very sensitive and prone to bursting into tears at the least provocation. However she is also very kind and giving, and would gladly do anything for anyone, though she is easily frightened, intimidated, and manipulated.
Aiko is an unusual person; she cannot read or write in her native tongue, though she is slowly learning to read English. She has never attended any formal schooling, thus having no ability in mathematics, no knowledge of history, or any of the expected skills. In fact, the only ability she has at all is inherent to her alone, and as ill-controlled as it is rare; Aiko is an empath, having the ability to pick up on the emotions of any creature within her range. It also gives her the ability to influence those emotions, creating or changing any feeling in others - though persons who have telepathic abilities have proven able to resist this. Unfortunately, it has powerful side-effects on her; large crowds of people, particularly panicked or otherwise distressed persons, can be overwhelming for her, as she shares everything that they feel. Without sufficient protection from her teacher, the intense emotions of others can cripple her, making her unable to speak, walk, or function, and even rarely rendering her unconscious for various periods of time. On one grave occasion, she nearly died to a combination of injuries and emotional strain, which drove up her heartrate to dangerous levels.
Born to a prominent college professor and an up and coming business woman with great potential in the electric industry, Aiko was a semi-wealthy child who nevertheless was withdrawn, shy, and ultimately very lonely. Even as a very small child, she showed an unusual capacity for picking up on the feelings of others, to the point where many of her peers and relatives began to fear her 'sixth sense', resulting in her further isolation, and the creation of her imaginary friend, Sueko - a kitten who, by Aiko's power, has crossed the border between the imaginary and the real, resulting in a pet that only a few people can see. From there, her past is ambiguous, and depends mainly upon whether one chooses to believe the girl's story or not - which, due to her memory problems, is a significantly awkward choice. Aiko asserts that at a young age, she was placed into an asylum for unusual and troublesome children, which had advertised itself as a live-in school for children who had difficulty fitting in a normal school setting. It is unknown whether her parents were aware of the underhanded secondary purpose of the 'school', but according to Aiko, she was kept in what amounted to a prison cell, heavily medicated to control her power, and allowed no contact with the outside world. During this time, she met Yuri, a fellow inmate of the asylum whom Aiko was immediately able to befriend, marking the first person who ever responded to Aiko's abiltiies without fear or anger. They soon became close, viewing one another as sisters, and began to plot their escape from the asylum.
Unfortunately, that was never to be. According to the girl, the asylum had a much darker purpose than simply kidnapping young gifted children and imprisoning them for the safety of the other creatures around them. Beneath the benevolent wrappings of the cause, the asylum's main purpose was to supply gifted, untrained persons to be offered up to the Soul-Eaters. The Soul-Eaters are ill-understood, even by those who have encountered them, but Aiko has described them as creatures who drain the power and soul from individuals, particularly young females. The still-living bodies of the girls are then sold for various purposes, ranging from slaves to mistresses, and the Soul-Eaters retain all power they have drained from their victim. Yuri fell victim to the Soul-Eaters only two years after meeting Aiko, and though they also attempted to steal Aiko's power, some unknown force prevented them from doing so; Aiko still does not know what it was. She retained her soul and her power, where Yuri lost it, but her memory was completely shredded. Now, her recollection of any events, past or present, is erratic - she will know someone one moment and forget them the next, or lose the knowledge of how to tie her shoes or speak English, and it can take anywhere from moments to years before her memory will recover.
Life in the VoidEdit
It remains unclear just how and when Aiko passed through the Void, and indeed she seems to be unique among the other Laissez Faire citizens, in that she seems to have always been on this side of the Void. It is unknown whether this is because she has never existed outside the Void, or because her ravaged memory will not produce the details of her travels here. After Aiko managed to escape the asylum - an event which she still cannot remember - she somehow managed to obtain a green card and immigrate to the United States, spending a great deal of time hitchhiking around the country and staying briefly with an uncle before finally stumbling into Laissez Faire. The first person to notice her was Ratchet, who became concerned by her erratic actions and her tendency for migraine headaches, as well as her inability to reliably explain to them who she was and where she had come from. He insisted that she stay until she was recovered - and during that time, she forged a strong emotional bond with Lutarez, the only creature in the room who did not immediately view her as a threat. Over time, their relationship developed and the dark templar resolved to teach her to control her unusual and potent gift, becoming her core supporter and also helping her to raise Little Friend.
Lutarez has become her teacher in the control of her power, and also her closest friend and confidante. He is her constant support and guide, helping to block out the 'noise' of emotions around her, while slowly offering her more and more to deal with in order to build her strength and resilience. Chief among all however, at least in her mind, he has been unquestioningly accepting of her unusual ability - which he persists in calling a 'gift' - and has never feared her or turned her away, even when her power is out of control or on the occasions when she bursts into tears or faints due to the emotions around her. Instead, he has remained her comforter, and she views herself as able to offer him very little in exchange for his tutoring and his friendship.
After he was brought to Laissez Faire by Niko, Little Friend had begun to prove skittish and troublesome to the general population, due to his lack of inclination to trust most humans, with adults definitely in that number. Through her ability to understand precisely what he is feeling, Aiko has managed to gain Friend's trust, and now serves as a mother figure to him.
Sueko is an imaginary kitten, created into reality by Aiko's power, due to an intense desire for a friend. Sueko holds all of Aiko's deepest secrets, her keenest fears, her happiness, her woe... she understands Aiko completely, and yet offers little to anyone because very few actually believe that Sueko is real, and not a figment of Aiko's damaged mind.
Datharil is teaching her to read.