Mekton Zeta: Headhunters
Combat Archaeologist and Outlaw Scientist
Hair: Purple; Eye Color: Always Changing
Personality: Stable and Serious
Values most: Honesty
Valued possession: Mother’s Diary
Person most valued: Sammi Tonabe
|Expert: Ancient History||+9||19|
|Combat Knife||+0||1||1D6 AP||-||-||J||0.5||50|
|Multi-polymer plate vest||0.5||98¥|
|Flack Mesh Helmet||0.5||65¥|
Ash Juko was the 6th son of Tom and Sue Juko. Born into a predominately middle class family on their world. It was a pleasant life, and most of his brothers liked him, except for the second oldest, Keichi, and the youngest, Lu. He never did figure out why Keichi didn’t like him, but he knew why Lu didn’t: Ash was always showing him up. And things would have gone on this way until one fateful night.
Ash was only 5 when it happened and he has suppressed most of the memories of that night, but he was found under his dead mother’s body. The entire family had been horribly murdered and he was the lone survivor of the massacre. The police were never able to figure who did it or why. Ash found himself shuffled between relatives until he was sent to a boarding school.
At The Academy for Young Minds, he made friends with his fellow students and formed a good relationship with his homeroom teach, Mr. Ishiro. Ken Watanabe, an older student, was like an older brother to Ash. The two would work out any problems that Ash would bring up. Toki Gibi was his science lab partner and best friend. And little Ayeka Akira, an underclassman girl, treated Ash like a big brother. Over time, the relationship between the two changed from ersatz siblings to lovers.
After graduation, Ash went to work for Gigamon Dynamics, a research firm that helped him to hone his skills. It was when he was away at a conference, Ayeka mysterious vanished from his life. His investigations into her disappearance yielded no clues why she left. In an upset state of mind, Ash purposely applied for a job that a rival of his at work wanted. When Ash was picked, the fellow flew into a rage and threatened Ash with physical violence. That got them fired and Ash getting a restraining order against him.
Thinking that a change of scenery would help him clear his thoughts and emotions, Ash took a field job for Gigamon Dynamics searching for ancient artifacts and sites. Along the way, he became good friends with Sammi Tonabe, a field assistant assigned to his team. Again, friendship turned to love and soon the two were living together in the same tent out in the field.
H.R. found out about the relationship and separated the two. Sammi stayed in the field and Ash was sent to Mecha school and soon was operating mechs for Gigamon Dynamics. He soon became the shift leader and made friends with the folks working under him. One close friend he made was with Ji Noni, a good natured young man, who was a natural with mecha. Then the accident happened and Ji was crushed under a load his mecha wasn’t rated for. The investigation put the blame for the accident squarely on the shoulders of Ash, who didn’t dispute it, even though he knew that it was really Ji’s fault for trying to show off.
Ash found himself back out in the field again, but this time as a combat engineer, assisting Gigamon Dynamic extraction teams in the field. He pushed himself hard, trying to make amends for what happened to Ji. Sammi was worried about him, but he wouldn’t listen, until one time back from a brutal extraction, Sammi told him that she was looking at his mother’s diary and found a hidden photograph.* The revelation drove him on, to the point where he was particularly valorous during an extraction and helped save the team. That netted him a nice bonus check.
He finally made inroads with H.R. and got a job back in the lab. He was assigned to a special research project for a new type of Mecha. His relationship with Sammi couldn’t be better and it all looked like he was on top of the world.
It wasn’t exactly his fault, but when the new Gigamon Dynamics’ HyperT Combat Mecha went berserk and ended up injuring and killing two-thirds of a buyer’s board of directors, the company was sued out of business. Portions of the company were sold off, others were completely disbanded. And Ash? He found himself blacklisted from every research facility on the planet. He was labeled as a “Jinx” and couldn’t get hired as a scientist.
Sammi was able to pull a few strings and got Ash hired by the Weylon Group that had bought the Archaeological division of Gigamon Dynamics. He couldn’t work on the same team that Sammi led, but he did find a place on a team investigating old pre-Collapse sites. However, his boss, Mr. Yoshi, disliked him because of his relationship with Sammi. He ignored Ash and Ash returned the favor.
At a dig in the wilds of the planet, a new employee to the team, Jason Freeman, instantly became “friends” with Ash, though why, Ash couldn’t figure out. They just had “met” and now were friends.
* The photograph shows Ash’s parents in combat gear and they appear to be part of a security team or something. The team is posing in front of what looks like an aircraft hanger. Something big is covered up with a tarp and the Yoyodyne corporate logo can be clearly seen over the hanger door. When Sammi flips over the photo, she sees a string of numbers written in a woman’s hand writing.