Major Motoko Kusanagi is a cyborg special forces soldier turned paramilitary cop from a near-future Crapsack Japan. She arrived in-game on March 1, 2011 and currently lives in a state of heightened paranoia.
age: I dunno. 40-something, looks 20-something.
origins: Ghost in the Shell [movieverse]
app link: here (but I just copied it all to the wiki, anyway)
hmd: over here
played by: Carolyn
contact: See app or HMD.
- In the near future, corporate networks reach out to the stars. Electrons and light flow throughout the universe.
- The advance of computerization, however, has not yet wiped out nations and ethnic groups.
In the dark future of Ghost in the Shell, there is only war.
Well, okay, not quite, but the 21st century is barely a quarter over and there have been two more World Wars, the first of which went nuclear, and a second Korean War. Berlin was hit with a nuclear bomb. Africa and Latin America are dotted with constant smoldering low-level conflicts with no end in sight, proxy wars of the great powers. Even the stablest societies are starting to wobble.
Like Japan. Okinawa and Tokyo were nuked in World War III, with Japan not even a combatant. The so-called "Japanese Miracle," radiation scrubber micromachines, saved the country from the drawn-out horrors of fallout, but the bombings left a deep scar psychologically, and physically, in the bay where Tokyo used to be.
Japan's social safety net is straining under the weight of an aging population and millions of World War IV refugees from the Asian mainland. Terrorism is on the rise, and the government is corrupt at every level. On the verge of becoming a failed state, Japan is taking ever more draconian steps to bring affairs under control. One of these is a new Public Security division, Section 9. Ostensibly a small, elite hostage rescue team, the group is charged with combating terrorism, both of the conventional and cybernetic kinds.
And that brings us to the cybernetics revolution. In the late 20th century, the cyberbrain, a set of cybernetic augmentations that allow a person to interface directly with computers, was pioneered, and soon thereafter, the first successful mind transfer was performed: a human psyche was copied to a cyborg body. All that moved was information, yet the person survived. There was something, it turned out, detectable yet unquantifiable, that separated a human mind from a mere AI. The researchers who discovered it called the ghost.
Cybernetics are a great good--saving lives that could never have been saved before, making possible a degree of connectivity and communication unimaginable only a few decades ago. But it's also reshaping society and the very nature of humanity. What laws do you write to protect people from having their very minds hacked? What does it mean to be human when all that's left of yourself is your ghost? And what happens when a machine develops a ghost of its own?
Major Motoko Kusanagi, field commander of Public Security Section 9 and full-body cyborg, is on the vanguard of this changing world.
- "Togusa, if you're still alive, get off your ass and arrest those garbagemen!"
Kusanagi has the skill and drive to be much farther up the military and political heirarchy than she is, yet chooses to lead a handpicked field team. She could be making enormous amounts of money as a freelancer mercenary or corporate troubleshooter, yet she works for the government. Why?
She's not after power. She wants control. Her early life was one of chaos and uncertainty, and as an adult, Kusanagi is having none of that. Being a mercenary brings no institutional support. Working for the corporate world doesn't involve the force of the law. Any team larger than a squad is one she can't exert direct influence over, and anything Kusanagi can't watch like a hawk is something she doesn't want responsibility for.
Or, to put it more succinctly, she's a micromanaging perfectionist bitch who likes having a license to kill. She gets away with it because she's damn good at what she does, and she attracts subordinates of an equal caliber. Partly, people just plain like to play for the winning team, and partly, it's that Kusanagi's loyalty, once earned, is unshakable.
That loyalty is not given to institutions or ideologies, but individuals; Kusanagi's not interested in noble sentiments--she's gotten orders to shoot too many people in the face to think anyone believes the high ideals they espouse any more than she does. If she believes in anything, it's a grim acceptance of the fact that entropy increases. She'd rather be on the side fighting a holding action against chaos than the one making things worse, and when all your options suck, sometimes you end up shooting people in the face. If you're lucky, they're the ones that had it coming.
And that about does it for anything that might be considered her admirable qualities.
A full-body cyborg since childhood and a career special forces soldier, Kusanagi displays a degree of depersonalization and blunted affect, psychological characteristics that are handy for her job, but would be considered a problem in a civilian. She regards her body more as an article of clothing than as her self, and she's killed so often she doesn't care about it anymore. Combined with the fact that cybernetic bodies from her world are just slightly into the Uncanny Valley, this can make her unsettling to be around. She doesn't go out of her way to creep people out; she just lacks the emotional skill to realize she's doing it unless she's really trying to put someone at ease.
Kusanagi is not, however, a sociopath. She has the capacity to empathize and form emotional connections, but she's been in circumstances where that's a liability for so long that her skill in doing so has atrophied. About the only people she can empathize with in any fashion that might be considered to approach normal are fellow soldiers and children. She's not trying to antagonize (except when she is), she's just no good at the parts of life that don't involve hurting people.
In recent years, she has drifted away from her few remaining friends, increasingly alienated from society and her own humanity by existential questions. All that remains of her is her ghost. What does it mean to be the sum of one's experience if that experience can be re-written without one even knowing? What proof does she have that her memories are even real, and that her past ever existed at all? What is a ghost, and why do only humans have them? What if a machine could develop a ghost? What does being human mean then? Kusanagi wants answers, and will follow them where they lead, though the answers in the game will be different than the ones in her canon.
Abilities & WeaknessesEdit
- "Metabolic control. Enhanced sensory perception. Improved reflexes and muscle capacity. Vastly increased data processing speed and capacity. All improvements thanks to our cyberbrains and cyborg bodies. So what if we can't live without high-level maintenance? We have nothing to complain about."
Kusanagi's most obvious advantages come from her mil-spec cybernetic body. It's faster, stronger, and tougher than an unaugmented human could ever be, and the computerized portions of the brain are stuffed with all the state-of-the-art combat and tactics software the Japanese government has to give. The eyes see farther into both ends of the spectrum than normal, and can even be switched to perceive the EM spectrum. All the senses can be dialed up or down at will, including pain. The cyberbrain has a built-in radio, and can interface with computers either wirelessly or through the data jacks almost everyone from the Ghost in the Shell universe has on the back of their necks.
The cyberbrain is both a blessing and a curse. It accelerates the user's thoughts to computer speeds for certain tasks, and enables perfect memory and an intuitive understanding of computers, but it comes with drawbacks. The most obvious is that a cyberbrain is vulnerable to a skilled hacker (though in Kusanagi's case, only the very skilled need apply). There are subtler flaws as well. Full-body cyborgs are shut off from the world of sensation. The only sensory experiences they can have come from memories from before they underwent cyberization--anything new they have no neural pathways for, and experience as data with no visceral component. Their bodies are too dense to swim without buoyancy aids, which is a problem because they still have a biological portion of their brain that requires air. They are incapable of dreaming; memory sorting and categorization functions are handled by the cybernetic half of the brain.
As for Kusanagi personally, she's a career special forces soldier (turned paramilitary cop) with specialities in urban and information warfare, the best in Japan and among the best in the world. On the cyborg front, she's a skilled hacker and operator of prosthetic bodies, again among the best in the world. She may well qualify as the best cybershell operator. At anything related to her job, she's competent, efficient, and exactly the kind of person you want to have on your side.
At anything not related to her job, she's useless. Childhood trauma and a profession that requires you to be able to look someone in the eyes and then shoot them anyway have given her a host of psychological problems that would be considered pathological in anyone who wasn't supposed to be able to kill people without feeling bad about it. She has the emotional maturity of a middle schooler and the empathy of a bowl of room temperature tapioca pudding. On the bright side, she's sufficiently detatched that she doesn't go around actively alienating people. It's just sort of a side-effect of her brand of transhumanness.
She's very curious about the programs, since she's from a canon point where she's fixated on AI almost to the exclusion of anything else. Still, she's unlikely to tackle Anon in the future unless it's for his own good or he loses his mind and attacks her.
She kind of wants a program to attack her so she has an excuse to sit on 'em and get a look at one of those discs.
She understands brain-hacking, so if someone ever explains the rectification deal to her, she won't hold it against him. (She'll hold it against Flynn for not being totally paranoid like she is and making his security so shitty.)
Basically she's pretty horrid, but has no reason to be unusually horrid to Anon, which is all most people can hope for out of life.
Ed Dillinger, Jr.Edit
Reasonably competent. Probably up to something. American. Annoying. But she repeats herself.
Oh, Rinzler. So competent yet so incompetent at the same time. He doesn't confuse her so much as fill her with contempt for whoever did such an incredibly half-assed job on his combat programming, which is not entirely fair of her, but that's never slowed her down. She doesn't realize he's from the 80s, and all she knows about the Grid is that it's apparently a video game. The programs in general are relevant to her interests, because she is utterly focused on AI almost to the exclusion of anything else at her canon point.
Anyway, Rinzler's got the speed and strength, so she thinks she could make a half-decent fighter out of him as soon as he knocks off that flashy frisbee shit and learns some real combat styles.
Oh god she's such a bitch.
He was very polite when she showed up, so she's positively disposed toward him, but doesn't otherwise have much of an opinion. Still, given her stellar personality, having her sort of like you is big.
Embed video? Quote song lyrics? Trivia section? Whatever!