3 of a bunch.
Tomoe on the left, 13; Vanessa on the right 21.
Here we have Vanessa Silverlynn before and after she began shadow work. Silver was born Tomoe, youngest daughter of the prestigious Ryuzaki family, one who could trace its lineage back to Feudal Japan. She was born an elf and so didn't have as a rough a time adjusting to the Sixth World as those who went through goblinization. In her youth, she was a rowdy, unpredictable tomboy, hell bent on raising as much of it as she could. Her family considered her the 'black sheep' and more or less wrote her off until a high-ranking official in Renraku Corporation, the megacorp her father worked for, noticed her beauty and 'persuaded' her father to betroth her to him in exchange for an upper management position. Hearing this, Tomoe ran away, even against the tearful begging of her twin brother Tomonobu. She fled into the night, bringing great dishonor to her family. She discovered later that her father soon vanished under strange circumstances.
Soon she found she had a knack for stealth, having to sneak and steal to keep from being caught. After a year or so on the streets, she came across a group of men attacking a lone person. Planning on robbing the man to support herself, she joined the fight, completely unprepared as the group turned on her as well. Her superior agility, youth, and a heaping helping of luck saw her and the man turn the tide of the fight, leaving two dead, three injured, and two others fleeing for their lives.
As she tried to sneak off after a moments' rest, she found herself restrained by the one who would have been her next nuyen.
"I saw what you did, don't even try to leave as though nothing happened..." A harsh whisper in her native tongue.
She turned to strike and soon found herself looking up through a red haze as the night slowly closed in.
Days later, she woke to find herself in a dimly lit cell. A single door with a small window provided the only view inside and out. The walls were plasteel, yet carved and stamped to resemble traditional bamboo. Angry fists pounded against the impassive door, high pitched insults and demands for release echoing into the empty hallway and up the stairs. A few moments of this brought the man who abducted her down the stairs and up to her window.
"Release me! Now!" she screamed defiantly through the bars.
The man answered by unlocking the door and kicking it open, sending her sprawling on the floor. He stalked in and jerked her head up by the hair, forcing her to look at his face. He traced a line of stitches down from his hairline to the lower area of his right jaw. "Do you see this?" He bellowed.
She spat in his face. He slammed her into the floor and raised her up again, grinning at the trails of blood streaming from her forehead and lower lip. Still she snarled.
"Someone owes me this blood, and you shall not be freed until this debt is paid. Prepare yourself, young killer. You work for me now." And with that he threw her across the room, his stalking steps and guttural laughter the last things she experienced as the night swept in yet again.
Over the next several years, she was roughly and brutally trained, her slightest mistake being met with bone crushing force. Her identity was stripped away, and a new one, forged in blood, both her own and that of her victims, was put in it's place. She went from a lowly street thug, killing people with lead pipes and loud firearms, to an elite assassin and intelligence gatherer, killing silently with razor steel and silenced gun, slicing through matrix security like a scalpel through flesh and extracting data like a malignant growth. In time she came to rely on her masters, as they had given her empty life purpose, though it was purpose hard earned. Her family would not recognize the young woman standing before them today, so different from the rotten child who ran away so long ago.
As she approached her 20th birthday, she chanced to ask her abductor of so long ago if she had paid her debt. A punishing backhand that sent her sprawling across the chamber brought him to his feet. He drew forth an immense sword from next to the table at which he sat, walking calmly towards her.
"Yes, your debt is paid, and I have no further use for you." He brought the enormous two-handed sword up and swung it down, hitting only air and carpet as the nimble assassin rolled away. No words were spared, though a seething rage burned in her shining, cybernetic eyes, a 'gift' the Heishino thought would serve them well. She drew her own sword, a custom built Ninja-to, and engaged the immense human in melee. The only sound was that of steel on steel, the occasional grunt as a kick or elbow told. The fight lasted for almost an hour, the student finally besting the master with a slash to his left thigh and a knee-breaking kick to his right, the tip of her blade resting at his throat.
The man smiled. "Finish me, assassin. Finish this and you will become the new leader of the Heishino. End me with honor." And he leaned forward, allowing a clean shot to his neck.
"No." And she kicked him in his chest, sending him up against the desk. She drew her pistol and leveled it at his head. "You took my youth, my innocence. You even saw fit to take parts of my body. You have no honor, dog." She fired once into his chest, curling him over in agony. She kicked him on to his back and took steady, cold aim at his head.
"And my name is Tomoe."
She had already turned to leave before the empty brass shell had hit the ground.
She fled Japan to Detroit, assuming the name Vanessa Silverlynn and starting over. Soon, she got teamed with a pair of lovely trolls and a new friendship was born.