Name: Aki Shepard
Eye Colour: Dark brown
Hair Colour: Black with chestnut highlights
Ancestry: Mixed, mainly Japanese-American
Alignment: 100% Paragon
Pre-Service History: Colonist.
John Shepard and Michiko Ikeda met and married on Earth during the recruitment and training program for the colonisation of Mindoir. Michiko was three months pregnant with her first daughter when they finally departed from the Sol system with the first wave of settlers. An unexpected problem with the colony transport’s drive shielding en-route exposed several people on board, including John and Michiko, to element zero in dust form, but the hastily assembled medical team found nothing amiss with any of the victims of the accident. The transport proceeded to its destination without further incident and the colonists began the arduous process of establishing a viable settlement.
While Mindoir was essentially habitable by humans, the ecology was not entirely without problems – water required treatment in order to be potable, the soil had to be seeded with several trace elements before it was possible to grow crops and there were several native life forms which proved troublesome. Within a few years, however, stable self-sufficiency was achieved and the colony was opened to further applications. Much of Michiko’s extended family joined them and consequently it was her mother’s relatives who influenced Aki Shepard’s young life, most notably her grandfather. He was deeply interested in Japanese history and martial arts, and always had heroic stories of duty and honour to tell her and her siblings as they were growing up.
As the settlement developed and expanded, the community elected to use apprenticeships as part of their children’s education. At around fourteen, teenagers were asked to undertake ‘work experience’ in each different area of colony operations to help them decide where they wanted to take advanced on-the-job training. Whilst Aki was with an engineering team near one of the power plants, there was a minor containment breach. This was her second exposure to element zero, and the biotic inclination engendered by the initial in utero exposure became a permanent manifestation. Although biotics were now recognised by humanity in general, they weren’t a subject which had garnered much attention on Mindoir. Aki herself was completely unaware of her latent abilities and thus her occasional subconscious use of them remained unnoticed.
The attack by batarian slavers occurred when Aki had just turned sixteen. Arriving back at the farmstead from a hunting trip as a group of batarians were leaving, she was discovered by a single straggler from the raiding party. In a blind panic, she shot him with her hunting rifle and then, to her everlasting shame, ran away into the wilds surrounding the settlement without trying to find out what had become of her family. She was found nearly a week later, traumatised and suffering from serious dehydration, by the small Alliance patrol which had been sent to find out why the colony had been out of contact for so long.
Her biotic tendencies were finally detected during the physical and psychological therapy she went through following her rescue. Recognising her potential, the military doctor assigned to her care didn’t work as hard as he might have to find any family back on Earth, and easily persuaded the orphaned teenager to agree to biotic training. Aki was one of the first to receive the recently developed L3 implant and was a ‘test case’ for the initial military training program following the collapse of Conatix. With the successful development of her biotics there wasn’t ever really any question about her joining the Alliance military, and she formally enlisted on her eighteenth birthday.
Psychological Profile: War Hero.
Aki required several months of neurological treatment after Elysium, having overstrained her biotic capabilities during the fighting. Once recovered, she was assigned “light duties”, which meant being paraded around the Systems Alliance as their military poster girl. Aki absolutely loathed the publicity and being painted as a two-dimensional “perfect soldier”, and tried several times to get herself reassigned to regular military duties without success. She was seriously considering a career change when she was contacted by then-Lt. Commander David Anderson and offered the opportunity to join the elite ‘N’ programme. She jumped at the chance, proceeding to graduate with high levels of proficiency.
Her service record is over the next few years is heavily classified, although there are persistent rumours that she was involved in some way with the Alliance operations on Torfan and subsequent intelligence gathering missions inside batarian space before her assignment as XO to the newly commissioned Normandy SR-1.
Military Specialisation: Adept/Bastion
Love Interest: Kaidan Alenko.
Aki was raised to believe that relationships should be stable and treats them very seriously. It took her a while to recognise and accept the mutual attraction between her and Kaidan, but the resulting attachment is completely sincere. She remained faithful throughout her unwanted tenure with Cerberus and resumed the relationship after being released from house arrest on Earth.
Friendships: Aki was good friends with Ashley Williams. She understood what Ashley had been though with losing her entire unit on Eden Prime, and the two women bonded through their shared military experiences. Aki admired Ashley’s enthusiasm and zest for life, and envied her the relationship she had with her sisters. She deeply regrets that she was forced to leave Ashley behind on Virmire and hopes that wherever Ashley is now, she has some measure of peace since Sovereign was defeated.
Good development, I like it.