- 8 Mission Posts
Sat Feb 5th, 2022 @ 11:58am
Name Young-Jae Ono
|Place of Birth||Human|
Young-Jae is a man in his twenties of Korean and Japanese descent. He has a wiry, deceptive appearance- quick to smile, not particularly tall, with wild shoulder-length hair that is somewhat reminiscent of the stories of the mountain Yamabushi. He is angular-faced with wavy black hair and dark eyes. He has a strong slope to his shoulders and looks too lean to be much of a threat to anyone. But again, that is deceptive. Young-Jae is both agile and dexterous and while wiry, his muscles are lean and strong. He can’t throw his bulk around but he knows leverage and momentum trump brawn- unless brawn gets its hands on your neck. Then you’re humped.
Young Jae tends to dress in simple attire- a wife beater or t-shirt under a hooded Tang jacket with a mandarin collar, and drop-crotch pants. He often wears conical rice hats, usually made of straw, when outside, or a straw Roningasa hat for when it rains. Like most people of the era, Young Jae has a gun belt with a revolver reminiscent of a Smith and Wesson model 3, and on his opposite side is a Sai and a Bi Su knife. He is more comfortable with the latter two than the former.
|Father||Ono Horiuchi: A Japanese Horumonyaki preparer from Miyazaki who fled to the Caitougong after disgrace and jail time. Missing and presumed deceased|
|Mother||Baek Ji-Ho: A Korean girl half Ono’s age, who waitressed and prepared Korean foods. Still lives in the Caitougong.|
|Brother(s)||Ono Ryuichi: His older brother by three years. Works on the docks of Kuan Lo.|
Personality & Traits
An ISTP. A charming man, quick to display a wide variety of smiles, who is not quick to pry into the affairs of others. Young-Jae has an insularity common to many from his cultures of origin. He is industrious, using his broad knowledge scope to do his work- and generally keeps his head down. But he does little to the level of mastery. Fierce perfectionism and passion were not driven into him with the skills he has. He was a laborer, a courier, a prostitute, a line cook, a deckhand, and a cargo hauler. All of these jobs Young-Jae saw as having one justifiable reason- survival.
So Young Jae comes off a young person with a very even keel. He’s not easily pushed into passions, trysts or vendettas. He was never allowed to develop many hobbies or passions because his life was work.
Young-Jae does not trust what he cannot see, hear, taste, feel, touch or analyze with a degree of dispassion. “Trust what is real,” and “trust facts,” make more sense to him than trusting spirits, gut feelings, intentions or emotions.
|Strengths & Weaknesses||+ Jack of All Trades…:
- … But a Master of None:
- Not Creative:
- Ends Justify the Means:
|Favorite Quotes||+ Survive, + Personal Freedom, - Alliance|
|Hobbies & Interests||Charcoal Drawing/Sketching:
Sho-Je Downs and the Rim
Sho-Je Downs, the first planet of the Kalidasa system, was a failed terraform. It’s a tidally locked world with a scalding hot face to Xuan Wu and a cold, storm-whipped expanse facing away from the star. Only a thin twilight perimeter is temperate enough for over 144 million Humans to inhabit: most of them live in warren colonies under the blasted regolith.
Light comes in the form of an aurora-whipped, perpetual dusk seen in the domes and greenhouses of this stratified culture. The wealthy Chinese and Malay oligarchs have the easiest access to the gardens, the domes, the sunsets. Caitougong, and the many favelas and ghettos for the ethnic minorities, don’t see much sun beyond shafts of light from kilometers up.
Caitougong is one of the Sho-Je Downs ghettoes for the Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean groups sidelined by the Chinese majority council, while the planet’s moon of Miyazaki is a gritty industrial hub dominated by people from ancient Hokkaido. Young-Jae’s father was a man from Miyazaki.
The ghetto-living minorities quickly learn who is in charge up top- money, and some of it is criminal money. The Chinese Triads are alive and well in the sunset-cast roses, rusts, and corals of the topside.
The largest city on Sho-Je Downs, Chengdu Sanxin-Qianjiao, houses fifteen million of Sho-Je Downs’ 144 million. It is an equatorial port in the twilight perimeter, and the principal port of the planet for outworlders. It also has the most extensive, most crowded slums and is where Caitougong resides.
The Ono are a small clan on Miyazaki, Sho-Je’s inner moon. Ono Horiuchi left Miyazaki in disgrace, in circumstances that he’s never shared with his new family. He is an older man who could be his childrens’ grandfather. He is a chef and on Sho-Je he opened a Horumonyaki restaurant. His wife meanwhile makes Kimchi and various other preserved foods in the Korean style. Young-Jae would one day pick up both skills. But they are useful skills, not his passion.
Ono Horiuchi was a frontman. He ran his Horumonyaki with a Japanese wife and had two children. He stiffly bent to the sway of the Bronze Tortoise TRIAD who had a beachhead on Miyazaki, and who exploited it for drug trades, smuggling, and other unlicensed imports. Horiuchi and several other Horumon sellers allowed their freezers and storehouses to be used by lower-level TRIAD, no questions asked.
This front was a front in itself: the Bronze Tortoise were a small-time TRIAD who had no ability to compete with the TRIAD on Sho-Je, Sihnon, or some of the other worlds. And they competed with equally small-time Yakuza on Miyazaki, all under the blissfully unaware noses of the legitimate export-import exchanges by the Japanese business majority.
When the bottom fell out of the whole operation in ’85, Horiuchi’s lifeline was cut. The Miyazaki council swiftly moved in to eradicate any unseemly borders as they were trying to impress The Alliance. Ono was one of several dozen “small-time operators” brought up on charges with plea bargains to name names and show faces.
Ono didn’t- not out of stubborn loyalty but sheer ignorance- and he served jail time. His wife and children distanced themselves from his shame. When Ono was paroled, he left Miyazaki and went next door to Sho-Je where the Bronze Tortoise were all too willing to have him back, doing the same work. After all, he didn’t snitch.
Young-Jae was born of a Korean mother whose family was relegated to the Caitougong (“Dirty Puzzle”) slum of Sho-Je Downs, and a disgraced Japanese father. Young-Jae grew up there, in the claustrophobic corridors and dirty alleyways of the deep levels.
There was very little Young-Jae was not exposed to from an early age: privacy was unusual, space was premium. Instead, he had to learn to be discreet and to “allow” privacy like the Samurai of old did behind their paper screens.
In such a world Young-Jae had to develop a thick skin as well. Open-air opium trades, extensive alcoholism, dens of inequity, theft, prostitution, even murder. There was little that his parents could- or seemingly would- do to shelter him or his older brother.
Young-Jae spent a vast majority of his youth helping around the hole in the wall shack that was his family’s Horumonyaki. It was one of the dozens of small eateries, brothels, and bars that lined the Yāodài (lit: Loinstrip).
He learned to cook, preserve kimchi, hang meat, prepare offal, make package deliveries, and ask few questions. He was taught how to defend himself against the drunk, the high and the insane- primarily with Hapkido but also improvised use of a Bi Su and a Sai. As he got older, receiving shipments became the responsibility of him and his brother. Occasionally men who looked different than the normal delivery men would come and hang meat in the freezer. Young-Jae asked about them only once- and it was the only time he was caned.
By 2504, Young-Jae had noticed his brother was stashing money and opium under his mattress, and, for a few months, he didn’t ask questions. But the curiosity got to be too much. He tailed Ryuichi one evening and discovered his brother had become an illicit entertainer and whore for Madame Jī. Ryuichi was engaging in a Drag pantomime of Geisha, and was a Kagesha. When Young-Jae asked his brother about it, all Ryuichi did was shake his head and say, “I’m getting out of here one day.”
Young-Jae tailed his brother several other times, eventually being discovered. He eventually made friends with some of whores and Kagesha there, who would allow him to draw them. They taught him more about how to use a Bi Su to protect oneself, and first exposed him to firearms- something his father had forbidden.
Madame Jī was tolerant of Young-Jae’s presence and whether he was being groomed for becoming a Kagesha himself was questionable but possible. If that was Jī’s plan, then The War threw all of that out of balance.
2506-2511: The Independents and Sho-Je
In true Civil War fashion, Sho-Je and its moons were divided along factions and wealth. The rich oligarchs of the upper crust of Sho-Je were keen to make ties with the Alliance and sought to ingratiate themselves as new magistrates and governors. But the underclasses were a far richer mosaic of opinion.
Sho-Je did not sign the Declaration of Independence and the Alliance sought to use it as a launchpad for attacks on the Independents. But that doesn’t mean the war didn’t come to Sho-Je. Kuan-Lo, the outer moon, did sign the Accords- and was put down violently within weeks. It remained a hotbed of guerilla warfare until the conclusion and from there, that popular revolution, insurrection-style resistance spread sporadically and violently to Miyazaki and Sho-Je.
The wild cards were the TRIAD of Sho-Je. They weren’t keen on Alliance control and thought the war was their moment to establish a free haven. But, like the Independents, had had no cohesion or ability to unite as a front beyond myopic acts of crime, violence, or assassination. They did, perhaps inadvertently, aid in slowing Alliance military responses from Sho-Je. And by 2509 the Alliance was shifting operations well away from unreliable Sho-Je- and withdrawing their benevolence toward the Oligarchs.
In response the Oligarchs used mercenaries and hired police to go after the TRIADS. And for the last years of the war, Sho-Je was embroiled in a civil war of its own. The TRIADS did surprisingly well- they knew the colony better than the off-world mercenaries.
Collateral damage became acceptable until the conclusion of the war when the Independents fell apart and the Alliance could swiftly move into control of everything on the Rim.
The promises to any Oligarch for magistrate or gubernatorial power went unfulfilled- the Alliance brought in men and women from the Core. The Oligarchs again had to play a long game. But neither were the TRIAD completely wiped out.
Like most of the Human race, Horiuchi Ono tried to navigate his family down a path of least resistance, a path that would leave what he had most intact. Just as before, Ono wasn’t a man of deep loyalties and strong opinions. But, by fiat, he fell into the camp of the TRIAD. They used his hole-in-the-wall Horumonyaki as a no-questions-asked place to stash weapons and the worst lube of all to fund the war. Ono Horiuchi was, inadvertently or by willful ignorance, an opium mule.
But the safest path was still a perilous one in a time of war. His children, Young-Jae being the younger, were drug mules as well. And while they wanted to ask questions- about the strange lengths of meat in the freezer his father never used and just up and disappeared some days- but were punished if they ever asked anything.
Young-Jae grew wise quickly. He was sixteen years old when the war began- still naïve enough to not understand that the war was on his shores but understanding that existentially something was threatening. He was too young to have a strong opinion- mostly because his world did not seem to be any better pre- or post-arrival of Alliance forces. The Alliance was omnipresent enough to hide the truth of the war, strangling it to a mere trickle of hearsay.
2511: Postwar Drift
By the close of the war, the Alliance was wise to several of the hidey-hole that the TRIAD had used to stash those that “disappeared” or had died mysteriously when their backs were turned. Horiuchi’s stand was one of them. Ono Horiuchi disappeared, like a carefully excised wart, one day. His wife, his children never learned where he went, if he is alive. Was it the Alliance? A rival TRIAD? Young-Jae has no idea. But it blasted a hole in the family and nobody offered recompense for it.
Young-Jae’s older brother left first- on a transport for Kuan Lo to work the shipyards there as a grunt laborer, or so he says. Young-Jae suspects otherwise. Young Jae’s mother went back to her family to help them rebuild inside Caitougong. Young-Jae, at twenty-one, had few prospects. He was a Jack of all Trades- few skills of great expertise, but broad knowledge.
Young-Jae was a little like water- he flowed along paths of least resistance in the six years after the war. He took odd jobs that closely mirrored his childhood and adolescence: waiting, working in warehouses, making deliveries with no questions asked. He dabbled in prostitution himself, as his brother had. It seemed an easy way to make money at first- until he had to use his Bi Su one evening.
What Young-Jae had to do, which his father never really scaffolded for him: develop his own morality, his own code of conduct. And he had to learn about what the propaganda painted over. He had to form opinions about Browncoats, about the Alliance, about the wider ‘Verse itself. He dabbled in Buddhism and Shinto but never seemed to make a close connection beyond a fondness for the concept that there was a way to escape suffering.
He came to understand that the Alliance was delusional at best and liars at worst: if they’d planned to unite Humanity in a great utopia of shared resources and hope, then their plans were go-se. The rest of the ‘Verse seems to mirror Sho-Je almost exactly- the Haves have it and won’t give it up. The Have-nots don’t and want it- and either the make do, or they resort to methods to get it. Crime exists out here in spades. To survive he needs to stay like water- and remain liquid.