Build and Skin Color: With slightly longer and thicker legs than most neko, Toyoe's body has an athletic build with a lean sort of musculature. This isn't quite enough to be noticed at a distance, but in contrast with her thin waist, the shoulders do appear a bit more pronounced. More immediately noticeable is her skin tone, which is a vibrant, blood-like crimson hue.
Eyes and Facial Features: Large lime-green eyes and an attractively pointed jawline stand in contest with rather sharp cheek bones, giving her a rather predatory appearance when she smiles, and a runtish sort of charm when she's trying to look serious. Notably masculine eyebrows.
Ears: Cat-style with black fur covering all but the inside edge.
Hair Color and Style: A black pair of girlish braided loops. Hanging from the sides of the head, they swoop down to about shoulder length, before returning back there to be fastened end-to-base with jangily pearl-bearing hair ties.
Distinguishing Features: Large pairs of genetically imprinted blue-black triangles (Nekovalkyrja Facial Markings) mark both sides of her face, inclined between the lower temples and upper cheeks. Similar markings strategically placed on her upper back echo this.
Personality: Extremely loyal and respectful to the point of a fierce neurotic obsession, Tsuguka is so sternly entrenched in the military mindset that she has great difficulty seeing eye-to-eye with others. It's not that she is completely incapable of making friends, and can even be very proactive with returning acts of kindness made towards her. The problem is that every action she makes is extremely practical, logical, and impersonal in the extreme, a fact that makes her kind of inapproachable despite years of softening up by more humanitarian comrades.
In other words, Tsuguka still has trouble with conceiving of concepts like “overkill” and “taking it easy for a while”. She also has a habit of sneaking up on people unintentionally, and doesn't smile or blink nearly as much as she should. Tends to stomp rather loudly when she salutes, and in casual situations, punches one fist into the other palm to show enthusiasm.
Technically capable of acting independently but much happier when following the orders of others, they are renowned for pushing themselves to hazardous limits, and never giving up a mission once her teeth has been sunk into it. The flip side of this, however, is that they can become pretty introverted and depressed quite easily when they spend long periods with too much free time.
Through streaming through the practical portions of her training with a great deal of enthusiasm, her tutors began to suspect her over-zealous and pragmatic approach to everything might well be some form of obsessive–compulsive disorder. Subduing her cultural training and supplanting it with extra trips to the ecological obstacle course turned out to be a happy accident, however, as she ended up thriving in such a situation. Training from that point on was completely retooled to turning her into a dedicated infantry soldier.
Toyoe internally regretted sabotaging her own chances of a more technical position in hindsight, but respected her superiors enough not to argue with the decision.
Fresh out of training, she was determined to find a hardy front-line position she could really be proud of.
Being assigned to the Eucharis did not go down quite as Tsuguka had expected. Having been trained to be a selfless part of a dedicated unit, she was instead met by a crew of highly individual and independent personalities. The commanding officer Shosho Ketsurui Hanako was herself was very fierce and opinionated, not at all matching the legendary character that cultural training had pictured her as. This left her very unsure of how to proceed in her work or handle other people's renegade emotions.
Being forced to socialize was awkward and often alienating in particular, as shown in her relationship with the far more experienced former peacekeeper Akiashiro. Following procedure was practically in Tsuguka's lifeblood, after all, so being given control of the squad during the first mission (a salvage and body recovery detail in the Splorfin system) only seemed to put a rift between what was originally a promising friendship. A more similar-minded soldier was found in a fellow recruit called Mio Nunagawa for a short while, but things went sour quickly when the two were forced to investigate and recover corpses from the parasite-infested torture chambers of a large NMX vessel fragment.
Strain continued to build as more unexpected situations arose. Tsuguka was again put in charge of an investigation team whilst investigating a massive underground mass driver belonging to an unknown crystalline race, a mission that went spectacularly wrong. Almost the entire team was mortally wounded, with Tsuguka herself being outright crippled and only escaping due to the android Tankyusha “Tank” Hitotsu manually puppeteering her Daisy out of harm's way. The red-skinned neko never gave up fighting even spite such serious injuries, but couldn't help but feel like this was the turning point where her naivety and lack of tactical flexibility became obvious to the Shosho.
The next mission had her relegated back to the rank and file whilst providing aid to a downed Rixxikor vessel, and she could see why. Alrough she did her best to hide it from the others, her perfectionist personality was on the verge of meltdown.
Being sent back to training was a difficult time for Tsuguka, even if it was officially as that of a teacher's aide. The regimented environment she once loved felt alien, now that she had been exposed to the outside world. The fact that she wasn't even sure who made the final decision just made it more difficult.
Other recruits seemed far too similar to her original personality genotype… Was her entire purpose being called into question? Was she a walking mistake? Or did they honestly believe she was just better suited as a teacher, as the reports said? Transfer requests were put in almost monthly, but it was obvious that it all relied on some kind of hidden psyche report she wasn't privy to.
Eventually, at great effort, the command let up, and she was transferred back.
Now… Well, it was time to find out if they were actually right.
A skirmish with the Kuvexians had occurred on the Eucharis during Tsuguka's absence, meaning most of their missions were still occupied dealing with their flunkies, the Rixxikor, at this point. The crew makeup had also changed significantly, through the command crew and the medical staff remained the same.
Whilst they were investigating bugman colony ships near Sbuhfaba, she warped in via a hyperspace Mindy booster and was ordered to join the away team directly. Teaming up with Candon Suites, they retrieved a pair of Rixxikor bodies in secret, taking advantage of the commotion caused by other crew members boarding the vessel elsewhere. The red neko was less than impressed to find herself scrapping up bodies again, but the Shosho seemed to appreciate such efforts.
During the following downtime, she got to know Taharial a lot better, the Elysian medic who had saved her life during the encounter with the crystalline aliens. Attempting to adjust to girly talk was difficult, but the fondness grew.
Several crew members were promoted during a special ceremony on the surface of UX-1 I, which saw Tsuguka herself promoted to Joto Hei. Internally, depression was setting in regardless, over continuing feelings of self doubt. Interestingly, Candon was promoted to Nito Heisho, and it looked like the two would form a stronger duo for a while, at least…
Until a surprise ambush saw the entire ship stolen from right in front of them, and all of their priorities were completely shattered. With the barest of survival kits only, and nothing like a power armor or heavy weapon in sight, the situation looked desperate. The pilot Taii Umeshu, Murakami, Candon and herself made a mad dash to a Bisen lighthouse located three hours flight away. The original team came under fire while they were on their way, which they fought off despite several of them being non-nekovalkyrja.
Tsuguka's team were almost immediately assailed upon reaching the place, and despite fending them off successfully, were then nearly killed by a massive explosive trap the Rixxikor had left behind. The red neko was fighting mostly hand-to-hand at this point, and this eventually saw her fracturing her own leg when smashing through the airlocks in order to escape, in a desperate attempt to get Umeshu out of the way at least. Most of the team was then severely injured regardless, due to the sheer scale of the blast. It was only recovery by the command crew that got them out of harm's way, on a stolen Rixxikor shuttle.
The UX-3 star system bore another Bisen Lighthouse for them to take temporary refuge in, whilst they planned out how to recover their ship. Tsuguka healed relatively quickly, and ended up helping Taharial sort out the other injured crew members. They spent the short respite sleeping together, though Tsuguka's innate obsessiveness and remaining anger over their situation made it an uncomfortable situation for her.
Taharial, Akiashiro, and Mitsuko chose to stay behind during the coming operation, a fact that made the red neko suddenly rather vindictive in her own self-given responsibilities. It was difficult to know who really deserved her dedication, when this entire affair would need to remain off the record, just for them to retain their jobs… and that was if they even survived in the first place.
Within an unknown system, the tracked location of the Eucharis. The Kuvexians and their collaborators had taken it to some kind of huge ship scrapyard infested with Rixxikor and Graxlat. She helped Marcus Rodia effectively make a halo jump down to the surface, though her distaste of the man's idealism saw them never growing particularly close.
The desperate siege managed to push through to the ship rather quickly because of the confusion.
Certain crew members went missing, however, and Tsuguka ended up powerless to stop Rodia from going on a rampage in front of her eyes, one that ended with his untimely death from overuse of his own strange capabilities.
Candon also struck out on his own again. The command crew were already on board and taking off, but some dire sense of duty was still pulling her towards the man. Tsuguka made the risky decision to stay behind with him, providing them both with Mindy 2s, then telling the Eucharis to simply leave. They had unfinished business, namely the destruction of everything which could be used as evidence of their presence here…
In the aftermath of such events, the relationship between Tsuguka and Taharial greatly heated up. Whilst the ship was being repaired on Yamatai, they had been invited to go see the sakura blossoms in a double date with Jackson Howard and Hashimoto Umeshu. In the mean time, Candon, Wazu and Rodia travelled to the alternate dimension of Ayenee, something which the red neko felt great trepidation about not accompanying them with.
It was in these few days that Tsuguka was exposed to a lot more of the subtleties of acting like a normal human being, and even participating in an intimate relationship… But fate had other plans for the long run. Their position as the more conservative team leader within the PA units of the Eucharis also seen them boomeranging back into a more seriously personality, the minute they were put in charge of the new Ex-YSS Orochi stream of recruits. Being already hardened by a rather rash offensive action that got many of their comrades killed, these were soldiers that were not only more aggressive and fearless than the old guard, but also a lot of hang-ups to do with exactly why it was worth fighting for Yamatai…
A mission to attack a Kuvexian space station was the team's first baptism of fire. They followed a freighter in with the intent to steal information, but the situation ended up being more of a smash-andgrab. Only one team member was lost, Astridr Shigefumi , but Tsuguka still felt great guilt over her lack of ability to keep the squad coherently together and on task. Again, the ship was forced back to Yamatai for repairs.
In the months that followed, it seemed that the oni's relationship with Candon had become desperately distant. Taharial had also been transferred, ending any hope of a lasting relationship. A small fling with Jackson Howard at a drunken beach party added some intensity back into their life for a while, but the looming threat of annihilation from this great unknown enemy slowly consumed the solder's every waking hour. They even began learning how to fly a shuttle themselves, in order to avoid flying into combat without any transport capacity when it was so desperately required.
Shosho Hanako herself personally took Tsuguka aside to teach them some hand to hand techniques, as well as how to use the hard light abilities of the Mindy more effectively.
Intending to take the fight right to the heart of the enemy this time, Hanako led an expedition into Kuvexian space itself, months away from home. They encountered a giant alien machine planet of unknown manufacture on the outskirts, and decided to investigate it to determine what kind of weapons had caused catastrophic damage to it. Did the Kuvexians do this, too?…
The first incursion ended with a friendly fire incident. This place too was filled to the brim with Rixxikor, yet also robot drones that operated independently, seemingly independent even of the planet's own control systems. Tsuguka again called for limiting the weapons usage and taking a more scalpel-like approach in order to get to the truth of the situation, but of course this basically just alienated her to the rest of the squad by the second incursion, and she found herself operating alone sans backup from Wazu and the alien auxiliary Bronzi.
Soon, the Kuvexian fleet turned up, and the ship itself was forced to hide on the machine planet's tattered surface. The team smashed through the last of the defences with all they had, reactivating an ancient security system, which engaged the enemy ships for them. This left many questions in Tsuguka's mind as to what purpose exactly the overgrown machine planet was supposed to serve, but they simply didn't have time to sit around and investigate.
Optional section. Tsuguka Toyoe has the following notable skills:
Tsuguka, Toyoe has the Star Army Standard Issue Items, in addition to the following extra items;
Tsuguka Toyoe currently has 243,000 KS (Presuming a retirement three years ago).
This article was originally created on May/28/2014.
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