red_shoes: (sensei approves)
History:
Mako can be assumed to have had a fairly typical childhood, for a daughter of a traditional Japanese family of sword makers, up until the age of of 10. She remembers a youth in Tanegashima: attending school, dressing in a kimono, raking the zen garden, and watching her father forge swords. When Mako was ten-years-old, the first Kaiju emerged and destroyed much of San Francisco. Mako heard radio reports of the attack.

As other Kaiju attacks followed, society began to change: displaced refugees, Kaiju Blue related ailments, the destruction of major Pacific ports, and global funding and resources diverted to military operation and defense research. Only three years later, when Mako was thirteen-years-old, the Pan Pacific Defense Corps had already been formed and the Jaeger mechs were already in service. At this time, May 15, 2016, Mako was visiting Tokyo with her parents, when the crab-like Kaiju codenamed Onibaba attacked. In the destructive chaos that ensued, Mako lost both her mother and father, and was personally cornered by the gigantic beast. Mako survived thanks to the interference of the Japanese Jaeger, Coyote Tango, piloted by Stacker Pentecost and Tamsin Sevier.

The experience in Tokyo; including the death of her parents, a close encounter with a Kaiju, being saved by a Jaeger, and the following media attention; was deeply traumatic and affected Mako's future goals and life choices. There was also some conflict with her paternal relatives, taking out their own anger on Mako, because they did not a male heir to continue the swordmaking tradition. She ended up in an orphanage.

A short while after the attack, when Pentecost took a command position with the PPDC, Mako was adopted by her savior. Within a year, still a teenager, Mako was in Jaeger Ranger training, and determined to become a Jaeger pilot.

Mako, with Stacker Pentecost, traveled to various Shatterdomes, including Lima. They visited Tamsin, then suffering from cancer due to piloting one of the early Jaegers without adequate shielding.

Mako entered active service with the PPDC in 2020 at around 17-years old. (She was posted in Anchorage around the time that Raleigh Becket left active duty.) She became a martial arts expert in Jaeger Bushido, and a Ranger with a simulator record of 51 drops-51 kills. Mako also developed skill in mechanics and engineering related to the Jaeger Program.

In 2023, at the Age of 20, Mako was made the Technical Lead for the Mark III Restoration Project, based in Anchorage,(Tendo Choi, Staker Pentecost and Herc Hansen were present at some point during this time) in which she was in charge of the restoration and upgrading of the American Jaeger Gipsy Danger. One of Mako's personal additions to the mech was the Chain Sword (which another pilot will later note does carry on her father's tradition after all).

As support for the Jaeger program dwindled among the world's governments, as voiced by the United Nations, Mako and her crew transferred Gipsy Danger to the Hong Kong Shatterdome, as the Anchorage base was closed.

In 2025, Mako was assisting Pentecost in plans for an all out attack on the Kaiju. Part of her work was to review candidates to pilot Gipsy Danger. Feeling a bond with the mech, after working to restore it, and still wishing to avenge her family, Mako let it be known to Pentecost that she wished to pilot Gipsy Danger. Pentecost insisted that Mako's feelings of vengeance were too strong to take into the Drift - the 'mind meld' that allows co-pilots to share the neural load of piloting a Jaeger.

Pentecost brought in Ranger Raleigh Becket, who had piloted Gipsy Danger five-years-ago, previous to the loss of his brother. Mako had studied Ranger Becket's record during the restoration project, and in reviewing pilot candidates, but when she met him, Raleigh was not quite what she expected. (Five years had made him a lot more mellow and humble than his previous reputation, though he was still a little prone to insubordination.)

Mako was assigned to show Raleigh to his restored Jaeger and then to his room. She was visibly on edge, viewing Raleigh simultaneously as a potential co-pilot and rival for a spot in Gipsy's conn pod. He embarrassed her letting Mako know she'd underestimated him in thinking he wouldn't understand or speak Japanese. Like many soldiers, Raleigh was not adverse to undressing or dressing with Mako in his room. Mako was embarrassed again to be caught looking at his scars; earned five-years-ago when he solo-piloted Gipsy Danger for a time and his circuitry suit burned its pattern into his skin. She knew these were a sign he had once solo-piloted.

Yet, Raleigh was rather welcoming when he learned her simulator score, and even asked why she couldn't be one of the candidates. Mako indicated Pentecost was against it.

During the pilot candidate trials, Mako kept score as she observed each match between Raleigh and the other candidates. Mako noted that Raleigh was winning, but he wasn't scoring as soon as he could, as if he were lazy or not serious about the process. He saw Mako's disapproval and challenged her to fight him herself. Pentecost did not allow it at first, but then relented, as Raleigh and Mako both argued why they wished to fight the other; Jaeger Bushido matches were considered a good indicator of compatibility as co-pilots.

Their match was close, keeping the score tied much of the time. Finally, Mako and Raleigh proved able to anticipate each other's moves and exchanged rapid series of blocks and parries against each other. Mako was the first to score enough points to end the match, and pinned Raleigh to the floor. Quickly accepting the loss, Raleigh announced Mako was his co-pilot.

Pentecost said it would not work. Ordered Raleigh to report to Gipsy Danger to learn who his new co-pilot would be, while Mako left disappointed. But, Pentecost soon changed his mind and visited Mako to tell her he would honor his past promise and allow her to become a pilot.

Mako and Raleigh both seemed content to operate Gipsy Danger together. When they entered their first Drift, those monitoring from the LOCCENT control room indicated Mako and Raleigh were at 100% alignment, and then remarked that Mako had a very strong connection to Gipsy; the Neural Handshake was good.

During the trial, their Drift went out of alignment, indicating one or the other was not melding adequately with both Jaeger and co-pilot. Within the Drift, Mako felt Raleigh's experience of loosing his brother, and he saw how she had suffered the day of Onibaba's attack. Raleigh was able to regain control, but Mako, the less experienced of the two, "Chased the Rabbit", or mentally latched on to a Random Access Brain Impulse Trigger, focusing on a memory instead of the present.

Raleigh and the LOCCENT crew tried to get Mako to respond, but she was conscious only of Onibaba's attack. Because Mako did still have a strong connection to Gipsy Danger, the Jaeger responded to her fear by arming a plasma cannon at LOCCENT. The crew scambled to activate failsafes, but Mako's connection superseded them. When the crew finally cut power all together, Mako woke to find herself on the conn pod floor, Raleigh's arms around her. She realized what she had done and was very ashamed of her performance (she says so later).

Chuck Hansen, pilot of the Australian Jaeger Eureka Striker, went to complain to Pentecost that he did not trust Raleigh and Mako to be his support for the upcoming mission. Raleigh and Mako heard some of his loud complaints as they waited to speak to Marshal Pentecost. Chuck came out, while Pentecost spoke inside with Chuck's co-pilot, Hercules Hansen. Chuck said some accusing and insulting words to Mako and Raleigh; Mako stepped up to defend Raleigh. When Chuck said something about "bitch" and "leash", Raleigh punched him in the jaw and demanded he apologize to Mako.

A row ensued between Raleigh and Chuck, with other PPDC personnel and Mako watching. Mako assumed a fighting stance during the melee, similar to the stance Gipsy Danger took when she and Raleigh both piloted. The brawl was stopped by the arrival of Marshal Pentecost with Herc Hansen, and Mako and Raleigh were ordered inside immediately.

Raleigh spoke first, claiming it was his mistake for going out of alignment. Pentecost did not accept this, and announced it was his own mistake for putting Mako and Raleigh together. Mako was deeply shamed and embarrassed that she had done poorly and disappointed her adopted father. Tears welling up, she asked to be excused, and was dismissed with the understanding that she was grounded.

When Mako went to the mess hall, she noticed everyone staring and whispering. Raleigh approached and asked if she'd like to get out and eat with him. They took their trays to a gantry looking over Gipsy Danger's repair bay. Mako let Raleigh share her earphones and listen to some Japanese pop she liked. The co-pilots were able to talk about their shortcomings during the trial, especially how they had handled feeling eachother's past trauma. Mako voiced concern about the strength of their Drift. Raleigh, having at least the comparison of his brother's connection, assured Mako that "The Drift was strong". Lunch ended with the co-pilots on good terms, watching the technicians work on Gipsy's "Heart", her nuclear reactor.

Later, alarms sounded indicating a Kaiju attack. Mako reported with the others. Pentecost gave out orders for three Jaeger from their four mech strike team to be deployed, but did not include Gipsy Danger (he deployed the Russian Jaeger Cherno Alpha and the Chinese Jaeger Crimson Typhoon). Mako waited in LOCCENT as battle information came in from the deployed teams. Two Kaiju, codenamed Leatherback and Otachi, were attacking Hong Kong, and their new types of attacks were destroying or disabling other Jager. Raleigh reminded the Marshal that Gipsy Danger's particular nuclear power source would make the Jaeger immune to some of the new attacks. Mako got the go-ahead to pilot Gipsy Danger, this time in actual combat.

Gipsy, piloted by Mako and Raleigh, arrived in time to save Eureka Striker, though Herc was injured. They defeated Leatherback by removing its EMP weapon and then bashing it with cargo containers and finally shooting it a lot. Otachi they wrestled, beat with an oil tanker, froze with vented coolant, and finally dispatched with the Chain Sword. As Mako controlled the sword she shouted that the act was for her family.

Returning to the Shatterdome, Mako was greeted with cheers and praise, in great contrast to the previous treatment in the mess hall. Marshal Pentecost personally praised Mako and Raleigh before the onlookers saying he'd "never seen anything like it".

Gipsy had come out of battle mostly in one piece, but Cherno Alpha and Crimson Typhoon been lost, along with their pilots. Marshal Pentecost gave the crews little time to recover. He revised his plan for an all out result: Eureka Striker would carry a tactical nuke to the breach itself, with Gipsy Danger alone to run interference with any Kaiju.

Mako noticed blood running from Pentecost's nose and discreetly pointed it out. She already knew he was sick, like his former co-pilot Tamsin, he'd suffered too much radiation exposure. He'd strained his body and mind by solo-piloting the day he rescued her, and taken the anti-rad meds for years.

When the time came to deploy for this assault, Mako learned that Pentecost intended to pilot Eureka Striker in the stead of the injured Herc Hansen. Mako approached her adopted father privately and said that piloting again would mean his death. Pentecost realized this, but said that if he did not go, everyone would die. Mako became teary as Stacker Pentecost told her how honored he was to have seen her grow up, that she was brave, and that he wished for her to protect him now. Mako forced a smile.

The two Jaeger deployed to the Guam Sea area to make their underwater assault on the Breach. There they encountered two large Kaiju. Mako and Raleigh fought the pair of beasts codenamed Scunner and Raiju. A third, larger Kaiju they called Slattern rose from the Breach and threatened Eureka Striker. Just then a message came in that new data from Kaiju Science team indicated they needed to physically ride a Kaiju through the Breach opening before detonating for their plan to succeed. Eureka Striker was attacked by both Scunner and Slattern. Mako and Raleigh tried to reach them in Gipsy Danger, but their Jaeger had been crippled by Raiju.

Pentecost told Mako and Raleigh they had to complete the mission. Eureka Striker was blocked and had hull damage. Gipsy Danger must ride a Kaiju through the Breach and self destruct on the other side for the plan to work. Mako accepted this mission, along with Raleigh. As they moved Gipsy to the Breach, Chuck and Stacker detonated their payload to clear the Kaiju from Gipsy's path, sacrificing their own lives. Just before Eureka Striker exploded, Mako called out to say "Sensei, I love you".

Slattern somehow survived the explosion and tried to block Gipsy Danger. Using rear rockets and the Chain Sword, Mako and Raleigh managed to both push the Kaiju into the Breach, and injure it at the same time. As they fell through, Slattern struck Gipsy's back with her tail, severing Mako's oxygen line in the process.

Mako was semi-conscious as Raleigh attached his oxygen line to her Drive Suit, long enough to finish Slattern. Mako was somewhat aware of Raleigh explaining he could go on alone; they were connected until the point he activated the Crisis Command to solo-pilot. Mako was lifted from the conn pod into a smaller escape pod and launched up and out of the Breach. The escape pod had it's own internal air supply, so Mako was conscious again when her pod rose to the ocean surface.

She believed that Raleigh would make every attempt to activate Gipsy Danger's self-destruct and launch his own escape pod.

Personality:
Mako, from age 13 until she participates on the assault on the Breach, would admit to being rather single-minded. Her actions and choices are aimed toward the goal of becoming a Jaeger pilot in order to defeat the Kaiju, to both avenge her parents' deaths, and reflect well on the man who saved her life. This motivation is so strong that she continues to seek ways to prove herself, even if it means disregarding protocol or politeness she would otherwise show. Mako seems to understand herself when she explains to Raleigh, "It is not obedience; it is respect." She is not adverse to skipping protocol to press an issue with her Commanding Officer and father, but once a decision is made, Mako will not act against her orders; that would reflect badly on Pentecost and support rumors of his favoritism towards her.

Mako keeps few things around her that are not related to the Kaiju War. Her quarters are invariably decorated with Jaeger technical plans, and maps of Kaiju sightings, while there are other Rangers who show personal photos. The only personal items she keeps are the red shoes she wore the day Onibaba attacked, a few articles of civilian clothing, and a small music player with earbuds.

She does not keep close friends. Where Tendo and Raleigh might greet each other with a bro-hug, Mako is stand-offish despite having worked with Tendo nearly as long. She is on better terms with Chuck's dog than with Chuck himself, though the pilots are the same age. She often finds Raleigh irritating, especially when he's trying to be friendly or helpful. Mako's closest relationship is with Stacker Pentacost, who is saviour, mentor, hero and father to her. She's estranged from her surviving blood-relatives. Even in the trauma of losing her parents, Mako partly blamed her father for having told her monsters were not real.

Mako also holds herself to a higher standard that others might, being something of a perfectionist. Part of this is a conscious behavior intended to show those around her that she's earned her position, despite being the Marshal's daughter. But, Mako is also prone to becoming embarrassed, agitated or second guessing herself, when not so many people are watching. She second-guesses several decisions on whether or not she should speak with Raleigh. She's embarrassed to have assumed an American would not understand Japanese. She is as keenly aware of failure during a test, as loss of focus in a sparing match.

She seeks praise and acknowledgement. She smiles when Stacker Pentacost praises her success or bravery. She smiles when her comrades in the PPDC congratulate her on a job well done. She smiles when Raleigh assures her they have a strong connection.

But Mako also smiles when she greets the bulldog Max. She looks fondly at Gipsy Danger in the repair bay.

How much of Mako's personality is affected by her trauma and war-time experience is uncertain. In the Drift, she has flashes of happy times in her childhood. She had already a strong sense of honor and obligation, and was also curious about her father's work, and enjoyed dancing and listening to the radio. Music is one of the things she continues to enjoy; her player has some selection of Shibuya Pop. The curiosity and honor do seem to have stayed through her time with Pentecost.

Now that the Kaiju War seems to be ended, it is uncertain what will replace her previous, singular goal. Though it seems unlikely new Jaeger will be be built, Mako has experience enough to understand war-time technologies will find new applications in the private sector. It may take Mako some time to decide what she wants and which opportunities she will seek.

Abilities:
MASTER MARTIAL ARTIST Mako was trained in multiple martial arts by Stacker Pentacost and through the Jaeger Academy. The rigorous Ranger physical training includes Jaeger Bushido (52 poses or moves used to form a common experience to aide Drift compatibility), Greco-Roman/Sumo wrestling, Muay Thai, Krav Maga, boxing, and fencing. (Kwoon Combat Room wiki entry)

JAEGER PILOT Mako is a PPDC Jaeger Ranger, with simulator score of 51 drops to 51 kills, and a combat ratio of 2 drops to 4 kills (two multiple events). She has demonstrated a very strong connection with the Jaeger Gipsy Danger. Thus far Raleigh Becket has proven Drift compatible and is her conn-pod partner. Together their fighting style is a blend of street fighting incorporating found weaponry, and sword techniques; they have also used coolant systems and reactor purge offensively to freeze or burn opponents.

JAGER RESTORATION TECHNICAL LEAD Mako was trained within the Pan Pacific Defense Corps in Mechanics and Engineering related to Jaeger technology. She is able to design Jaeger components, such as the Chain Sword, and understands structure and function of Jaeger systems, including liquid circuitry, analog nuclear vs. digital plasma power sources, human-machine interface, and robotic motor functions.

MULTILINGUAL Mako is fluent in Japanese and English. She recognizes some words of Spanish and Chinese (those used around the Shatterdomes: Danger, Restricted, Personnel, Exit, etc.)

DRIFT SIDE-EFFECTS Mako has Drifted with Raleigh at least three times, and completed the Neural Handshake with Gypsy Danger as many times. Though Mako has not yet shown any overt symptoms, there is some evidence that Rangers may sometimes feel as if still connected, though Drift and Handshake are terminated.

"their cognitive systems are permanently altered by the experience known as the Drift. They report persistent perceptions that another consciousness is operating in tandem with their own, as well as feelings that each action they take is recreated on a larger scale somewhere else. Some Rangers call this the 'Drift hangover,' but unlike hangovers, it does not appear to diminish over time....Numerous anecdotal reports exist of Jaegers shifting with no Ranger in control of them, with attendant claims that these motions of the Rangers assigned to that particular Jaeger." (Pacific Rim novelization, Kaiju Magazine Editorial)

The effect is also known as Ghost-Drifting. The underlying theory is that the neural pathways formed while connected through the Pons remain within the architecture of an individual's brain.

Inventory:
DRIVE SUIT Consisting of: Circuitry Suit and Thinking Cap incorporating artificial synaptic processors; polycarbonate Battle Armor with ports for connecting to Motion Rig and life support lines, and built-in Drift Recorder; Helmet with comm, and relay gel to aide Drift; gauntlet Control Panel; and the neural transference plate, also known as feedback cradle or spine clamp.

ESCAPE POD Single-occupancy, pressurized pod of steel and polycarbonate, equipped with life support for an hour, homing beacon, green tracer dye, and inflatable flotation/shock absorption devices.

MUSIC PLAYER Basic digital music player with earbuds, mainly loaded with J-Pop, and a few tracks of Ukrainian Hard House or Berlin Techno. Battery life limited unless recharged.

Profile

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Mori Mako

August 2013

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