Name: Layla Arai
System: Gaera MAC
Birthdate/place: Western Solasia, 27 years ago.
Residence: Mac Igala UGB (Under Ground Bunkers)
Occupation: Cryptographer, Cryptanalyst, and Deep Recon
Family: Arai Sunzo, father; Arai Minako, mother
Layla has black chin-length hair, olive skin, and a green eye. She stands 5'4" (162 cm) tall and is fairly thin.
As a result of a terrorist attack, Layla is missing her left eye and three fingers from her left hand. Her left leg, lung, and kidney are damaged and not fully functional, and she is scarred down the left side of her body where the shrapnel entered her body. Obviously, this affects her health.
Layla walks with a black cane (which is actually a single-shot rifle) and has a glass eye. It matches her other one most days.
Typical Clothing: Layla wears her uniform to work, and usually wears evening wear otherwise, which would be very James Bond-esque if Layla weren't a scarred, crippled, short woman.
No matter what mood Layla is in, a few things never change. If she feels that a rule makes sense, she will not break it. She does not take shortcuts in security procedures, and keeps everyone else honest about them. She has a habit of bringing in her archery club ID card just to keep the security staff in the MAC Intel division honest. Her coworkers have described her as "robotic" in her ability not to get bored. This capacity mostly stems from her paranoia, which developed after the attack which left her scarred.
Layla has very few attachments outside MAC, and has come to associate MAC with everything she really cares about: The preservation of order on Gaera, the protection of the innocent, her livelihood, and the opportunity to do wha she does best. As a result, she is extremely dedicated to her work.
After the attack, Layla became more eccentric than she was before. Now, on seemingly random days, she comes to work with her chest bound, her hair in a topknot, and with an extra pair of socks on in a strategic position. On these days, she answers to male pronouns. She realizes what she is doing, but does not seem to think it is odd of her to do it.
When Layla is in a "working mood," she is exceedingly calm and direct, though she avoids being rude by virtue of proper military decorum. She has no tolerance for stupidity, but does have some "pity" for it, and will gladly dive into raw number theory for an hour to prove a point. She enjoys her work, and hates being taken out of it for silly things like meetings (which she considers a barely-necessary evil).
When she is on missions, Layla takes on the personna of a mysterious, masked man in a mysterious, masked mecha. Who sings. A lot. Not only is this fun for her, but probably confounds the enemy as to her identity.
When Layla is off-duty, she tends to be very silly. It has been suggested that this is because she has to suppress her silliness on the job, and this may be right.
Religious beliefs: Layla worships Exinde, because when you deal with secrets and knowledges as important as military intelligence, this is probably a good idea.
Drunk Type: Very, very silly. And loud. Still paranoid, though.
"MOM!" Layla nearly slammed the door behind her as she ran in with the letter.
"Yes, what is it? Slow down!" Layla nearly cannoned into her poor mother, but she stepped out of the way in time.
"Look! The Solasian Journal of Mathematics published my proof."
"Um. Good for you?" While happy for her daughter, Arai Minako had no real idea what her daughter had actually done. Some kind of math problem, wasn't it?
"Yeah! If it survives peer review, I might just have proven Grushmak's Conjecture!"
... fast forward...
"Yes, hello- Who are you?"
The man in the door was tall for an elf, and was wearing a suit and sunglasses. This spelled trouble, but he was even now taking off the glasses, and smiling. "I am Agent Glorfinborndell. I work for the Magitek Armored Corps Intel Division. May I come in?"
Glorfinborndell entered the Arai living room, and sat Layla's mother down. "As you probably know, Mrs. Arai, your daughter published a rather interesting mathematical proof in the Solasian Journal of Mathematics."
"She's not in any trouble, is she?"
"No, no. Far from it. Your daughter, while only seventeen years old, proved a conjecture which has been on the books for over a hundred years. She has a head for math, to say the least. MAC has a need for people who are good at math."
"You're... offering Layla a job?"
"Not just a job. Training. Education. The best. And more than that, a chance to do things most people only read about." Usually about fifty years after the fact, the agent did not say.
"Well, it's ultimately up to her."
"Indeed it is. When is it she gets home?"
... fast forward...
Layla stepped off the bus and onto the MAC Igala base, and was immediately struck by the size of the place. It had infrastructure. It was practically a city all by itself, at least by Layla's standards. They'd already shipped her her uniform and papers, so that was that out of the way. "You have been accelerated immediately to the rank of Corporal," the letter had said, "and the Intelligence Division has requested that you be put through Basic Training with their staff. Report to Major Gunther Marshall in MAG UGB upon arrival."
And so it began.
... fast forward...
One hand held up briefly. The message was a short, but complex one: "Wait. I will acknowledge your existence in a minute. If you get bored, you may walk away."
When she was ready, Layla turned away from the screen and discovered that there was a pair of her fellow students behind her desk.
The lanky... half-elf? Didn't look quite angular enough to be a whole one... attracted her attention first. He had Nordic blond hair and brown eyes, and roguish good looks. Mmmm. "Hi. I'm Eldorfdellinwilt. This is my friend Jen." Jen was a human, and looked to be about twenty-two. Great, am I the youngest person on this base?, Layla thought, considering that she would be eighteen in a few months.
"Hi. I'm Layla Arai. Nice to meet you."
... fast forward...
"We can't, Layla. I mean, I'm like fifty years older than you."
"Oh, hush. That didn't stop your parents, now did it?"
"Even if I were a human, I'd be like thirty or something! That's still almost ten years."
"Oh, I know you want to, and you wouldn't have gone out with me if the age gap bothered you that much. Now help me up onto this mainframe."
"... I have a thing for supercomputers. I'm not sure why."
"Hey, Layla! I heard you got your Deep Recon certification."
"Hey, Jen. Yeah, I did. And I'm going to be piloting... this."
"Wow. Did you design that yourself? Those drive specs look... eeevil!"
"Yes, I did, as a matter of fact."
"What are you calling the model?"
"Well, as it's an advanced stealth model that can MOVE, I was thinking of calling it... The Phantom. Ahahahaha. Hahahaha! MUAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!"
"... You're weird, you know that?"
... fast forward...
"This has been great, Jen. It's nice to get off-base once in a while." Layla looked in her purse. Yup, there were the keys.
"You're dodging my question, girl!"
"Well, to be honest, I feel a little weird about it. I did date him for quite a while, you know."
"I wouldn't worry about it, Lei. From where I'm standing, having an old flame as your boss can't be all bad."
"Did he ever say why they're promoting him?"
"People skills. You know. I mean, you're a genius when it comes to codebreaking, and you're not bad in the field, but you can't really progress much past Captain without learning how to play politics. Here, let me drive."
"Okay." Layla handed over the keys, and got in the passenger seat.
"So, we're headed-"
"We need some O-negative! Stat!"
"Which one is this?"
"Master Sergeant Arai."
"... serious damage to the kidney and lung..."
"We've lost her. There's just too much damage. Time of death 0320."
"Blood pressure's dropping! Clamp!"
"The spell isn't working!"
"I don't know!"
"Love remains long after pain, and even when their grieving eases, you will remain in them."
"But what about her?"
"Reshtaha has not yet sent for her."
"She's coming to."
Tubes. Machines. A blindingly bright light and the weight of unresponsive limbs. A silhouette, fading into focus.
"Good enough. You've been unconscious for three days. Your car was rigged with a bomb. We think-"
Layla managed to find enough strength to grab the good Doctor by the throat and pull him close. After a coughing fit, she managed to find her voice.
"Has this room been cleared?"
"Have you had the ICU checked for bugs?"
"Then for Exinde's sake shut your mouth until you have."
The sudden shock of a faint...
"Feeling better?" The voice a bit hoarser this time.
"Please don't try that again. You nearly ruptured all that nice suturing I did."
"I understand, now. Major Eldorfdellinwilt explained matters. The room is cleared."
"You don't want all the news in one dose, so I'll start slow. Your car had a bomb in it. Right behind the steering column, in fact. We think it may have been the Drow."
So our counterintelligence failed. "Jen?"
The doctor remained silent, until he noticed that Layla was trying to strangle him again. "I... I'm sorry. She was in the driver's seat, and... She never really had much of a chance. We did everything we could."
Layla managed a nod. "I -" cough "-know."
This, at least, seemed to make the doctor feel a little better. "You were fairly badly damaged, and our healers weren't able to help. We suspect the bomb was infused with some sort of blighting spell. I'll be overseeing your therapy. For now, though, you need sleep."
"He's here. I'll let him in."
... fast forward...
Major Eldorfdellinwilt returned Layla's salute as she entered his office. "Welcome back, Master Sergeant. I trust your physical therapy went well?"
"Yes, sir. I am ready to resume my duties, sir."
"Very well. Now, as you may know, typically a physical examination is required for any injured personnel to return to field duty."
"Yes, sir." A sinking feeling entered Layla's gut.
"However, as I am your CO, this is up to my discretion. As far as I am concerned, provided you make proper modifications to your mecha to ensure you can adequately pilot it, only a piloting test will be required. Is that understood?" A smile briefly croseed Layla's old flame's lips.
"Yes, sir! Thank you, sir!"
... fast forward...
"... Master Sergeant?"
"... um... What happened to your... um..."
"Oh, my chest? I'm just dressd as a guy today. Don't worry."
"... Yes, ma'am."
"... Yes, sir?"
end pointilistic history.
What rank would she have achieved? Would her alternate identity have a higher one (typically they do, as intelligence units tend to have a desire to "grease the wheels" for their agents when they have to deal with other branches)? As a fairly prominent crypto expert, but still a specialist, I figured she would be somewhere between Sergeant and Captain or so, but I could be wrong.
Is there a wayu to increase the land speed of a mecha without increasing its DX? It seems counterintuitive that putting in a larger motor would automatically increase its ability to dodge. It also seems counterintuitive that increasing the mecha's top speed by 4 MPH would cost 20 points.
How does stealth actually work in MAC? Could I roll Stealth to help conceal a mecha? What would it be opposed by? How much do the mecha's stealth/jamming systems help? Would I even need to roll?
Could her mecha have experimental/classified/whatever stealth and/or crypto systems onboard, perhaps via High TL?
Could I use her crypto-type skills to help ensure the security of her transmissions and/or break into enemy ones?
10/9: As I've now made up enough data about Layla, I'm reformatting this page to fit the template. There wasn't enough here before, but now there is so there.