Name: Shiho Haraguni
Alias(es): Strigidae One (formerly); Strix; The Youngest Impero; Little Death; The Last Impero
Weight: 110 lbs
Birthplace: The city of Kobe in the Hyōgo Prefecture, Honshu, Japan
Before joining with the Court of Arcani, I was birthed to a family in Japan, the youngest of six; two girls and four boys. My life was nothing special before my powers as a mutant manifested. I attended a public school, played sports, and practiced martial arts, as all of my siblings did. I did well in school, but physical activities, the sports and martial arts, were where I really excelled. I had a natural talent for things of the physical nature, especially those that involved heavy contact, and despite being the youngest, I quickly surpassed all of my siblings and the others around me.
My power first showed itself while I was sparring with my brother. We had been practicing as usual, with nothing out of the ordinary. It ended with a punch that caused his heart to fail. He didn’t die, but he wound up in the hospital. Though really abnormal, considering his age and physical condition, it was assumed natural causes; perhaps we had gotten too rough and he just needed a break. There was no trace back to me whatsoever. Even I suspected nothing of it. Still, it was hoped he would make a full recovery, his body being young and more able to repair itself after many events, at least better than an older person would.
The next time my powers showed would be much worse, and everyone would know about it. When everyone caught wind that I threw an exploding baseball that took away a boy’s hands, it was ascertained that I was a mutant. There was a bit of a mixed reaction. Okaasan never stopped caring and tried to show support any way she could, even though it was apparent she was masking fear. Chichi simply stopped talking to me, or interacting with me in any way whatsoever. He refused to be in the same room as me, under any circumstances. Among siblings and peers, it was somewhat similar. Mostly, I became something of a mythical figure. My brothers and sisters still cared, and often bragged the fact that they had a “super hero sister.” There were others who were fearful and avoided me (I heard they called me a freak when I was not around). Mostly, it just got me a lot of attention, from boys and other groups, people who wanted to be around the super girl. I was often used as a threat by others to get what they wanted or to settle fear into people’s hearts; often people who I didn’t even know.
Through all of this, I never got what I really wanted: a sense of normalcy.
Of course, stories like these never stayed stagnant. Chichi, out of some fear, made a few phone calls, and one day while at school, my siblings and I were called out early to go home. We arrived home and Chichi introduced us to a few men in suits who claimed to be agents of the government who had come with an offer. They said they would take me and help me learn to control what I had at their private school for people like me, so I didn’t hurt anyone else. I felt bad about what had happened, but I just didn’t think I could manage being away from home like that, so I respectfully declined. This outraged Chichi, who couldn’t stand having a danger to the house and the whole family just running around the city. He gave me an ultimatum: go with them, or go live on the streets. This, in turn, prompted an emotional response from the Okaasan, and they began arguing. The men in the suits proposed a solution; a tour of the facilities. They produced a brochure and it was eventually agreed on that the entire family would visit the grounds and the decision would be made then.
After the tour, I remained unconvinced and, to my surprise, Chichi did not object. We went home that day, and though he still wasn’t talking to me, I was feeling slightly better. I didn’t realize the truth until a week later.
I was alone in the bath, soaking in the warmth. It was very quiet that night. Nothing too special, since our house was a ways away from those of the other kids, but inside I could usually hear my brothers and sisters doing something. Slightly odd, but I hadn’t thought much of it at the time. But later, as I was getting out, I heart a bump and some rumbling, which was what I would typically expect. Then more, and more, and then I heard something outside the window and at the bathroom door. Before I could fully comprehend what was happening, the same men in black from before, along with a few others, burst in and set upon me. I fought and even managed a few hits, but someone must have hit me with a tranquilizer, because I felt a sharp prick in my neck before I lost consciousness and they took my naked ass out of there.
I awoke some time later in a van, surrounded by the rest of my family, all in cuffs and fitted with some kind of collar around our necks. It seems Chichi wasn’t truly satisfied and arranged for me to be kidnapped and to “mysteriously disappear.” He just didn’t count on them coming for everyone else as well. It also turns out they weren’t truly government agents, but some group from a “private organization devoted to research concerning the nature of and solution to the mutant issue.” That sparked another argument with Okaasan, which lasted until we arrived at some kind of building, a clandestine experimental facility far out into the woods of some place we didn’t know; it had been some hours. There we were herded inside like cows and shoved, at gunpoint, into large tube-like containers, where we were most often kept under heavy sedation.
I don’t really remember everything that happened there, or how much time passed (I’m not so good with time anymore), but I do remember fear, and pain, and an overwhelming sense of despair. I lost all of my family to those experiments over the span of…the time we were there. I had all but given up myself, but then it came.
I was only half-awake the first time I saw them. The vibrant violet robe, and the glorious golden mask. Silvery strands of hair, and worn, toughened features. I don’t know where they came from, or how they found out about that place, but I was happy, because hope was there. Watching them, the way they moved, even in that tank, I was never so happy as I was at that moment in all of my life. I didn’t see the full conclusion, due to fading in and out of consciousness, but sometime later, I was free.
Myself and another group of survivors were rescued and taken from that place by these people. They led us to the exit, and those who wanted to went back to their normal lives. The rest of us stayed with them and we were told to gather up any more information we could from the place. Disks, documents, we even snatched some technology. They came to us, freed our people, and we hanged the bastards in charge of keeping us there and burned the place to the goddamned ground.
From that moment on, I knew I owed these people my life. Kratesis, she was called, and he was Amaranth, the Tiger of Babylon. Fighting for a cause many of us didn’t even know existed. And now, it’s my cause too.
Though young and undeveloped she possesses a useful gift allowed by her X-gene. Shiho’s primary ability is a mutation that makes her body a natural conduit for energy. She can take it into her body, convert it to another form of energy, and redirect it through her body, or manipulate such energies in objects she comes into contact with. This encompasses all kinds of energy, from kinetic to thermal, bio-energy, and any other she should choose. A common possible use is to channel her bio-energy to increase the potency of physical attacks, or, as an added effect, cause internal malfunctions within other people or in the environment.
Also as a result of her mutation, her natural senses and levels of physical capabilities are enhanced beyond the peak human level, with possibilities for further improvements through her manipulation of her own energies. She could manipulate her own body and kinetic energy levels to increase her speed to insane degrees. Even now, she has yet to breach the surface of her capabilities. As time goes on, however, she continues experimenting with different energy types and applications, learning more and further integrating knowledge and growing power into a unique, explosive fighting style.
Energy fields/constructs - A relatively practice in the outward manifestation of her power, conceptualised after battle with Stark. Focusing her inner energy, she can manifest it outwardly, not just in the form of an energy blast, but in the way of constructs, usually a barrier around herself. Taking on various shapes, sizes, and sometimes alternative properties, these energy fields can be used as armor, absorbing energy in the same way her body does, but additionally prohibiting outside interferences, foreign substances from passing through or tampering, rendering them effectively impenetrable. Upon release, they may be absorbed back within her body, along with all energy collected by the barrier/construct itself, dissipated simply and harmlessly, or projected violently in a single direction or radially.
Training with the court has helped her excel in the art of stealth, and at times, she would seem to blend with the shadows themselves, or to travel directly through them.
Shiho's first contact with Impero Ishin and the Kejijo Clan came during the initial conflicts over the registration act, though initially she disliked him. The soon after disappearance of Kratesis and Amaranth left her largely confused as to her purpose in life, and how to go about it, and in that time, the masked martial arts grandmaster offer a mostly effective, even if unusual, form of solace. Though at the moment, she never would've seen herself being the last of his students.
Training with the Impero at the Reisho Monastery, she saw a great increase in physicality, her strength and conditioning reaching levels beyond her norm, further spurred by the harsh environment. Her senses saw fine tuning, experiencing a sharp increase. Quickly accustoming herself to the newfound esoteric energies, she learned to incorporate them into a type of spiritual defense system, aiding in her withstanding even the heightened spiritual pressures of the mountain on which the monastery rests.
Perhaps the most innovative of things learned from the Kejijo leader was Katai Ken, an offensive martial art used to overwhelm enemies with great speed and power, and Impero Ishin's personally developed style. It takes inspiration from Muay Thai and boxing, used to maximize the external damage exacted by the strikes. It bases its fundamental on ruthless training to toughen the fists, feet, and limbs, as well as incredible speeds and masterful martial technique to strike with unheard of force. Though it does not rely on chi, it was thought to be one of his most deadly arts, capable of overwhelming multitudes of opponents and smashing through mountains. In learning this, Shiho also learned to exploit a new way of sensing and attacking people and objects, a more unorthodox fundamental of the art. It is said, in every physical thing, living and non-living, there are very subtle, very minuscule vital points in their atomic structures, connected by "threads" of energy. By striking properly, precisely at these points, they become as weak points, and she is able to simulate blows far beyond what present natural physical capabilities allow, even shattering large and powerful structures with ease. Because the concept was already similar to the ZADKHIAU (shatterpoint) technique employed in the Arts of the Arcani, it was easy enough to adapt.
At around the same time she began studying under Impero Ishin, in addition to the things he would teach her, she began studying independently, opting to further her skills on her own time, rather than wait for what would or would not be handed to her. She began taking scrolls and various other texts to study from. First, she learned the history of the clan, and once finished, she started on techniques. For deliberate reasons, she was drawn to the Earth and Water Yoso, as well as the Kejijo Geijutsu. Though not a prodigy, per se, her strength lay in her ability and willingness to practice relentlessly, without pause, day after day. Whereas others devote time to sleep, eating, and social bonds, Shiho is completely, or practically so, without any of these. Many hours dedicated to studying, meditation, and practice, she made monumental gains within weeks, let alone months, in a private, time-distorted realm, previously used to train with the past Impero.
Through the channeling of seismic energies in the ground, Shiho could already simulate manipulations in the earth. Even still, she was purposefully drawn to study and master the Earth Yoso. With a heavy focus on strength, her already impressive physical attributes saw further increase as a result of this undertaking. As a style, it employs equal parts offense and defense, oft focusing on patience and waiting to counter an opponent’s strikes. Though vastly different than how Shiho typically approaches battle, and even antithetic to what is employed in Katai Ken, she was able to pick up on it through countless hours of nonstop practice and mental fortitude.
Among the capabilities gained by the Earth Yoso, Shiho may sense presence or movement over and through the earth, or other solid surfaces and the environment, detection like an alternative form of hyper-sensitive sonar. She may also be shown to anchor herself to surfaces as such that she may not be separated, adding an additional element of stability to combat and posturing.
Although she could already generate seismic activity through her mutation, her capability has since heightened to a point where she can maintain geokinetic control over earthen particles even disconnected with the ground. Elaborate formations are more controlled and intricate than previously, and may be utilized more quickly than before.
Similar to Earth Yoso, but to a more extreme degree, learning the technique behind the Water Yoso proved more difficult, due to its nature as an almost purely defensive art. Already learning the Earth Yoso meant the degree of difficulty was lessened, but by no means was it a simple endeavour. In physical movements, the opponents’ movements themselves are used against them, the practitioner controlling the flow of battle with intricate defensive counters.
In learning Water Yoso, Shiho has attained a connection with the element which allows her to manipulate water in all its forms - solid, liquid, or gas. This means controlling movement, shape formations, and even inducing rapid change in temperature and states.
One of the most prominent reasons behind Shiho’s decision to learn the Earth and Water Yosos was that she might also make use of the Wood Yoso. With it comes the ability to generate and manipulate trees and wood. These toughened trees are usually extremely durable, even by superhuman standards, often directly proportional to how much energy she places into its formation and cultivation. Used to toughen her natural body through hours of conditioning on these wooden constructs, she may also change parts of her body into
Tree formations may take on special properties, such as attracting or otherwise regulating ambient energy like a natural power plant, or exuding specialized pollens or pheromones designed to hamper performance in others. Or she may use the trees to conceal her presence, merging with surrounding trees in order to completely mask her presence.
Kejijo Geijutsu is a technique used to administer tattoos or symbols of metaphysical power on both living and non-living things. The most basic usage is imbuing objects or beings with varying amounts of chi, enhancing them. Because of this and her limitless reserves of all kinds of energy, her body as a natural conduit, it seemed a natural choice for Shiho to learn. She only needed to work on her atrocious scrawling, due to lack of practice and education. Through further experimentation, she has begun practicing the Kejijo Geijutsu as a means to teleport, marking many of her most treasured belongings and gear with the symbols for such a purpose.
Inside the gloves of her outfit are talons, composed of an extremely durable metal, said able to cut through virtually anything. Since facing and subsequently killing Anthony Stark, Shiho has taken and adapted his anti-metal claws into her armory, in itself more durable than diamond, and with the special property of allowing the piercing, severance, or otherwise destruction of any kind of metal, regardless of constitution.
The cloak she wears as Strigidae may also act as a glider that would allow her to fall safely from various different heights, slowing the descent so that she has more time to guide herself while falling.
Goggles that serve a multitude of functions in the advancement of her already impressive vision, providing further enhancement, x-ray, night vision, and tracking a person by the atmospheric heat their body leaves while moving through the air. They are linked to a quantum computer that keeps track of all of this data for the wearer, as well as additional known data on targets for hunting and reconnaissance.
She keeps stored on her persons, grenades, standard issue for all Strigidae. May contain toxic gas, flash grenades, smoke, freeze, incendiary, concussion, holy water, or whatever else one may think to store beforehand.
Though not standard issue, for her own personal use, Shiho keeps throwing knives stocked most of the time, used and often charged with energy, to cause an explosion on contact, or a few seconds after contact. Alternatively, she may also be seen with a pouch filled with marbles, if in a situation requiring more visual subtlety or she should run out of other tools.
With the aid of the Court’s resources, Shiho was able to construct two katana from Zythium Nth, made especially for her use. It isn’t quite tough as adamantium, but its energy storing properties make it perfect for what she intends. These blades are dangerous enough in the hands of any skilled user, but Euhedral crystals in the hilt attune the blade to her quantum harmonic state, allowing her the most efficient usage of anyone. In her hands, these katana are as extensions of her own body.
Used in conjunction with her powers, she charges the blades with energy that she has stored within herself. The blades, similar to herself, keep this energy stored inside, as well as energy stored from the environment, and she modifies functioning accordingly.
By converting to kinetic energy, she could vibrate the individual atoms of the blades at an extremely high frequency, allowing it to cut through objects at atomic level. This would allow for extremely precise and clean cuts, or with more sporadic vibrations, really messy but still precise cuts that shred through whatever it contacts, and because she destroys at such a precise level, healing becomes more difficult for even some with accelerated healing, perhaps never for those without.
By converting and charging thermal energy, she could heat the swords to insane degrees, hot enough to cut through steel like butter. They could draw in energy from the environment and Shiho herself, and radiating heat to the outside, allowing Shiho to draw even more, which in turn allows her to add more energy to the blades. In theory, she could go on like this and continue drawing and supplying energy indefinitely.
An energy-powered electromagnetic projectile launcher, most often used in the style of a collapsible rifle (scope use optional). Typically, when inactive, it is stored in a compact cube in her belt to make it less cumbersome. Like her katana, the gun contains Zythium and Euhedral, allowing for easier use in her own hands, and increased conductivity. Because of her unparalleled control over energy, as well as the properties of the Zythium Nth and the crystals, she herself can serve the purpose of the direct current power supply and the conductors, conducting the flow of energy, thereby conserving the need for parts, and the extra space that would otherwise go to the supply and lengthier conductor rails, conserving more space within the gun itself. This also means that in the hands of another, because of the missing extra parts (power generator and built in pulsed power supply), the rifle would be unusable.
Her railgun simulates those which use a magnetic field powered by electricity. Most rail guns use strong currents -- on the order of a million amps -- to generate tremendous force. Its maximum speed and range varies with Shiho’s own energy input, but in testing and under a standard charge, it has been known to strike targets as far as 250 miles away (though shots that far tend to suffer great accuracy loss), and to accelerate a projectile up to 55,500 feet (~16,916 meters) per second. It is thought that with practice and calculations, she could learn to surmount the problem with accuracy loss at these farther distances. At twelve rounds per minute at standard, it isn’t the fastest weapon around in terms of firing rate, but the actual speed of its projectiles, and different charges for variable speed and range make it more than formidable as a weapon. With a greater energy cost, the range, speed, and rate of fire could be increased.
In typical railguns manned by typical operators, problems often arise regarding generation of enough power to fire projectiles, and with heating. The high velocity of the armament and heat caused by resistive heating also damages the surface of the rails. Also, the current in each rail of a rail gun runs in opposite directions. This creates a repulsive force, proportional to the current, which attempts to push the rails apart. Because the currents in a rail gun are so large, the repulsion between the two rails is significant. Wear and tear is a significant problem, and many have been known to break, sometimes after a single use. Most of these problems are surmountable by Shiho’s mutation and the Zythium that make up her gun.
Her mutation and the Zythium allow easy generation of the power needed to fire the weapon, and the energy resistance means the rifle can withstand repulsion and kinetic energies from recoil, and store energies that would otherwise prove too much for other types of metals, and Shiho can draw on these at a later time or convert them, so there is actually less input by the Strigidae herself as the gun is used more.
For easiest usage, ammunition is kept light, easy to transport and handle. Because of their high velocities, these railgun rounds are less susceptible to bullet drop and wind shift than artillery shells, but may also serve as such, due to their high range and explosive power, with the added effect that they are harder to spot, even dropping in from above. These rounds are usually small, often made with sharper tips, and fired at higher speeds, to increase penetrating power, so even enemies resistant to blunt force but susceptible to penetration can be harmed, and armored targets can likewise be affected.
Her most typical ammunition types are rounds made of tungsten.
All types of ammunition can be charged and triggered to explode. The difference with incendiary rounds is a small chamber on the inside; filled with napalm, once the rounds hit and explode, the napalm ignites, engulfing a target with flame, burning them from the inside out.
Poison rounds, like incendiary rounds, hold an extra chamber and explode. These, however, are usually filled with lead or various other poisonous substances, which, along with shrapnel, remain within the body and the bloodstream, hampering performance more and more the longer the fight is drawn out.
High impact rounds, which serve as more blunt force objects. The back ends are made with more durable titanium, whilst the front is usually made of a softer metal. On impact, the softer metal from the tip and back gives way, flattening to the back, making a small, concentrated, but forceful impact on the target. They may cause internal damage, and often strike with enough force to throw a target backwards a few feet, but don't usually pierce targets.
Cryo-rounds contain extra chambers filled with liquid nitrogen, and hyper-stabilized energies. On impact, the energies of the rounds themselves and the liquid nitrogen work together, freezing a target from the point of impact. Even without the liquid nitrogen, the energies themselves can be known to produce a petrifying effect.
Destabilized rounds are as the opposite to the rounds that make up the cryo-rounds. On contact, they work at destabilizing the energy and atoms of whatever they come into contact with, causing it to explode entirely from its own particles. This allows them to bypass even targets resistant to normal armor-piercing rounds.
Irradiated rounds are those containing charged and volatile uranium, exploding and sending the stuff directly into the body. Short term, these rounds can work well enough to cause radiation sickness, hampering performance, and usually causing quick death in weaker targets. In those who survive the initial shot and short term effects, harmful mutations may occur, and they may incur the wrath of the slow-killing mistress, cancer. A mitosis disease, it's an ideal type for those with advanced regenerative properties, as the loss of control in their already rapidly reproducing cells means the effects work more quickly, directly in proportion to how well the target healed before being afflicted.
The most authentic Strigidae of them all
The product of months of hard work on behalf of Shiho and the Sophiornithidae. She herself took on the task of gathering most of the needed materials; people killed so she and her scientists could borrow equipment and facilities, for experimentation on a Eurasian Eagle-Owl she had caught. The DNA of various dinosaurs was brought to her as possible candidates for the genetic splicing.
In the end, after a long series of experiments, treatments, and trials, the mutated genes of each of the dinosaurs were fused into the bird. But it didn’t take well, and the bird died soon after the process was finished. Later, the genes were taken from that bird and fused into another owl at the start of conception. This bird survived, but exhibited no traits out of the ordinary; all tests came up negative for what she desired. It was a failure.
This bird, however, passed on its own genes, the mutated ones among them, into an offspring. This one was likewise tested, though they had calculated a miniscule probability of success, the variables were different enough that the chances were better by just enough to make it worth a try above all other options. Put through the tests, this bird passed each one in succession; the charm of the third try.
Because of the unique mutated genes, this Eurasian Eagle-Owl, already an impressive species, has risen to terrifying heights. Typical females of the species grow up to as big as 9.3 lbs, with a total length of approximately 30 inches at the most. Some can kill prey ranging from mice to fully grown foxes or young deer, if the larger prey is caught by surprise. Such is not the case here. Emma-hoo, a male (which usually tend to be smaller), has grown to 15 lbs, with a total length of approximately 48 inches, and can take down fully grown tigers and other more dangerous game under optimal circumstances. This is in part because he, for reasons unknown to most, displays a mental capacity on par with many genius human beings.
Physical advancements: Aside from his somewhat typical appearance, or from his freakishly large size, Emma-hoo possesses the mutated genes of many dinosaurs from various periods, and of a mutated predecessor. Because of this, he himself possesses a mutation the likes of which is normally only given special attention when occurring in a human mutant. He can adopt the parts of various dinosaurs, such as the teeth of an Allosaurus, wings of a Pterodactyl, or talons as sharps as the claws on a Dromaeosaurus. He is more than capable of defending himself against any threat in the wild.
Mental tampering: As soon as every test was run and the bird was judged sufficiently, he was released into the wild, and since then, Shiho has never seen him in person. This would be largely unnecessary and a waste of both his and her time, and only lead possible enemies to draw the connection between them. Through the same experimentation that gave Amaranth additional powers, Emma had his X-Gene altered to the point where he exhibits magnificent mental might.
Trained with the aid of the Eostrix Choir, he was linked to Shiho through both of their minds and they share a connection at all times. What one sees and hears, the other may as well. What one knows, so does the other. A language barrier is non-existent between the two, and they are as one mind. They have trained together mentally and tested one another, helping to build the defenses inside both minds even beyond what already was. In addition to Dante and Lyra, her personally assigned Choir aid, they present quite a formidable force for any telepathic force hoping to intrude, and may often be used in battle coordination. Since learning the Kejijo Geijutsu, Shiho has administered tattoos at a point of each of their mental chakras, expending a great deal of energy in making any one a match for even the most powerful psionic forces.
Emma has also demonstrated clairvoyance in other ways, at times seeming to scan the world as an astral body, that they may in fact be in practically three places at once.
Aside from his larger size and at times strange eating habits, Emma-hoo would appear to be a perfectly normal Eurasian Eagle-Owl. Because he is a psionic-capable bird and never meets with anyone in person, his involvement is a mystery to all except Shiho and those directly involved in his conception. His name comes from Emma-hoo, or Emma-O, the Japanese god of death, destruction, and revenge, all things for which she has a near limitless capacity.