In Costume: Buckskin leggings and boots match the tunic top she wears as her battle outfit. Embroidery along the neck and sleeves is Japanese influenced, as is the sash that wraps about her waist. Twin braids hang over her shoulders while another, thicker braid falls down her back with feathers and beads woven into the strands. Around her right thigh is a thong which fits the elk-horn hilt of her knife. Her glasses remain even in this form.
Rifle – This is not a typical magical girl weapon; meaning no glitter or sparkles. In basic style it looks like the sort of rifle that any a rancher might have though the metal gleams like polished silver and the wooden butt has a glossy shine. The weapon is etched with the same design as her tattoo and fires bullets of magical energy attuned with the amount of force she calls upon. When needed it acts as a specialty weapon for sniper and sharpshooting.
Bow – A shift in focus transforms her weapon into a traditional Japanese style bow. The wood of the bow is made of what appears to be silvery-white wood with a string of gold. This weapon also uses magical power to form arrows that can pierce the darkest evil.
Knife – Pure energy forms a six inch blade in her hand for close quarters combat. The hilt of the weapon stays strapped to her thigh and is formed around an elk’s horn handle, though the original metal blade is long gone. This is not her weapon of choice a close-quarters-combat can be overwhelmingly dangerous; a single foe could easily become two or more.
Prayer beads and sutras – On her wrist Mayumi wears a set of prayer beads about her left wrist, given to her by her paternal grandfather. Jade beads, in a rich shade of green, are strung together and decorated with three hand-beaten, silver eagle feathers. She uses these to store an additional amount of magical energy mainly for healing, but also as last ditch attack. She carries with her, and has the ability to create, sutras (ink and paper) and minor charms. These may be handed out to those in need or left in places where bad energy tends to gather.
Digital Camera – She carries one with her at all times when it is possible. Besides being a hobby she has learned that she sometimes instinctually take photos of things of importance. Auras may be captured as well as people or places that are worthy of notice.
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James Gudahi Shaw, a full blooded member of the Apache Nation, was born near Las Vegas in 1924. After enlisting just after his 18thbirthday James became a member of the United States Armed Forces as they progressed towards Japan during WWII. One of the many troops who conquered Okinawa in May or 1945, James found himself appreciating the beauty surrounding him. While stationed on the island he grew friendly with a few of the natives, making friends and learning a smattering of the language. His favorite place to visit when off duty was the local shrine where he would quietly observe the priest and his family going about their daily lives. The reverence of the place stayed with him years after he was discharged in 1947 and returned home to start a family.
Many years later 20 year old Ethan, James’ grandson, was convinced to accompany his grandfather on a return trip to Okinawa so that the elder man could once more take in the beauty of the landscape from his youth. The pair toured the island and enjoyed the typical tourist attractions, but the shrine, still there after all these years, was the focus of their stay. The priest has passed away years ago, but his daughter was now priestess in his stead. She welcomed them both to share tea with her family and this is when Ethan met Yukiko. Despite the language barrier the pair managed to communicate quite well. It was a difficult parting when it was time to return to the States. Ethan decided to learn Japanese and Yukiko began to study English; the pair took to writing each other. Three years later Yukiko immigrated to the U.S. where she and Ethan married. Mayumi was born shortly thereafter.
Always a happy child, Mayumi grew up with the love of both her parents and her father’s extended family. One of her father’s family, a cousin some many times removed, gave her a camera when she was six and from that day on Maymi happily took photographs whenever she could. Her family made a point to visit the reservation at least twice each year and her mother taught her about the Eastern side of her heritage. Never did she feel the need to question where she belonged. Shortly after she turned 14 Mayumi and her family went to Japan for the summer. While there she learned a great deal about her heritage as a shrine guardian. Mayumi and her grandmother sat for hours talking about the spirit world as viewed through Shinto beliefs then comparing them to the spirituality of her father’s bloodline. At the end of their trip Mayumi’s grandmother presented her with a small statuette of an inugami (dog spirit), that looked curiously like a coyote to Mayumi. The little dog sat by her bed for the next year, reminding her of the pride she felt in her dual heritage.
The night of her 16th birthday something woke Mayumi from a deep sleep. She rolled over to see the statue shining with a soft golden glow and reached out to pick it up. That light spilled over her entire body and she could hear the spirit in the statue. Guided by the voice she dressed and quietly left her home, slipping onto the street and walking as if pulled by something. Several blocks later she realized that she was heading towards what looked like a dark cloud hanging low over a house a few doors away. As she came closer she could hear yelling, crying, and what sounded like something being hit. Without thinking she ran towards the sounds to find two men having a violent argument though only one seemed to be interested in continuing. Mayumi could tell that the darkness was coming from that man - or rather it was engulfing him; smothering him.
Filled with a protective instinct she’d never felt before, Mayumi called out and raced towards the pair. When the dark fog noticed her it seemed to leap from the affect man right at her. But the golden light still surrounding her blazed and the creature recoiled. Suddenly the statue grew hotter in her hand and Mayumi felt something hot slip up her arm and curl around her shoulder blade. The light blazed again and she found herself dressed in different clothes with a rifle in her hands. “Shoot it,” something whispered into her ear. Instinctively Mayumi raised the barrel and fired at the creature’s head. Her aim was true and the creature vanished with a cry of pained shock. The men ceased fighting as the cloud evaporated like smoke and Mayumi knew she had stopped them before things had gotten worse. Had she not stopped them one of the men would certainly have died.
Upon returning home Mayumi was greeted by her parents calmly sipping green tea at the kitchen table. Her mother smiled at her, a little sadly she thought. They motioned her to sit and said nothing about her being out in the middle of the night. Nor did they comment about the pale, golden tattoo on her right shoulder that looked distinctly like the inugami statue that lived by her bedside. Nearly every day after that first Mayumi encountered spirits that needed vanquishing, some weaker and some much, much stronger. As Mayumi’s powers grew her weapons evolved with her; Shinto teachings of her mother’s family and a bow. Running after the darkness that haunts human kind took Mayumi to some strange places, but one night she found herself following one of the demons into a place she had never before seen.
Darkness and light mingled into a swirl that made her dizzy and dangerously distracted. A sound alerted her and she twisted aside as the demon raked its ghostly claws across the spot she had just vacated. Crouching Mayumi reached for her blade and brought it up before her face in time to block another blow. The fiend howled in anger as the light burned its being, pulling away to make another pass. Dropping the hilt to the ground, its light fading as soon as she releases her concentration on it, she stretches out her right hand and brings up her left.
Instantly her rifle forms and she aims along the barrel at the demon, pulling the trigger from long practice rather than taking time to properly calculate. The first shot grazes the creature’s torso, the immediate second shot hitting solidly in the center of its mass. Enraged it releases a burst of energy that knocks her off her feet and sends her scrambling for her blade.
As she reaches for hilt she feels claws rake along her back, the sensation of bone deep cold fills her as the demon attempts to steal power. Grasping the hilt, half-blinded and choking, she feels the creature’s dark force pressing around her, blocking the air from her lungs. Calling upon the light she pushes her own aura outward in a short burst, buying her some space to maneuver. The blade returns, blazing and slices the creature cleanly, releasing a burst of semi-fluid gas and foul stench. Panting, Mayumi pushes to her feet and shuffles back to give herself room before pressing the hilt back into its holster and calling up her bow. Knowing she needs to cut this fight short she borrows power from her beads and channels it into the weapon.
Chanting as she forms the shape of the arrow in her mind, Mayumi draws back on the golden string, holding it for a heartbeat before letting it fly. Her aim is true, the arrow sinking into the negative energy that forms the demon and blasting it apart. The force of the blast lights the space around her like a small firework, dazzling the eyes for a few moments before falling to the ground like embers. Cleansed of the demon’s presence the immediate area takes on a lighter feeling, though it will fade as time passes. Finally able to take stock of the world around her, Mayumi walks a little ways off to look up at the sky, and knows it is not the one she slept before the night before. “Where exactly is this?”