Post by Lao on Dec 29, 2019 6:07:32 GMT -6
ALIASES: "Uhh... Lao. What else would people call me? That's my name."
STARTING PLANET: Earth
Lao, at a glance, appears to be your archetypical wandering martial artist. That is to say, he's a smelly, unwashed vagrant who devotes too much time to training in the wilderness and not enough to showering. Once you get past the shaggy, unkempt black hair, the patchy beard, and the ratty clothes, underneath you'll find a pretty average-looking young man in his mid-twenties. Lao's skin is tanned in color, and he has a well-built, muscular body that stands at roughly five feet, eleven inches (or 180cm) tall. His eyes are dark brown, nearly black, and he has a somewhat prominent nose.
Lao's wardrobe and sense of style are, to say the least, a little lacking. The lifestyle he's chosen has precluded the regular use of cleaning facilities, and he's not a particularly adept hand with a needle and thread either. This dire combination has left his clothing in myriad states of disrepair, ranging from merely scruffy to completely ragged. And it's not like his wardrobe was particularly impressive to begin with, as every article of clothing he owns is some form of martial arts gi. They may have once come in different colors, but over time they have all, through years of neglect and hard living, faded to a fairly uniform tannish-brown. The overall impression he gives is not helped by the fact that Lao doesn't generally wear shoes, possibly out of some kind of ascetic practice of self-denial or possibly because he just can't afford any. At this point, it's not clear if even he knows anymore.
Lao's early life could be considered a master class in mundanity. He was raised by hardworking human parents who, although much of their time was taken up making a living, treated Lao with the care and love expected of any normal family. In school, Lao scored middle of the pack academically, but was talented in sports and spent much of his free time practicing. He had an average amount of friends, got into an average amount of trouble, and with his average grades managed to get an average office job after spending an average amount of time freeloading off of his parents. His life was safe, simple, and easy, and Lao knew a great many people would kill for that luxury. But deep down, Lao knew he was unsatisfied with this kind of life. A romantic at heart, he always believed he had some greater destiny awaiting him, some kind of higher purpose that would give his easygoing life meaning. He longed for adventure, high stakes, and danger. However, he felt content to keep coasting along in life and wait for destiny to come knocking for him, never able to work up the motivation to take that first step into adventure himself. That is, until a fateful near-death experience gave him the push he needed.
One day while Lao was at work, mindlessly plugging away at his desk, his small home city found itself in the midst of a great battle. Two aliens of immense power chose that of all places to have a scrap, and the conflict caused a great deal of collateral damage. Lao's building was in the blast zone of one particularly devastating attack, and cowering under his desk, staring out from the shattered walls of his office building, Lao had an epiphany. As he watched the two beings in their duel, admiring their blows so fast he couldn't even track them, Lao realized that destiny wasn't going to come to him. The high-stakes adventure he dreamed of was already out there, happening to other people while he was wasting his time sitting around. He would have to make the journey himself, not just wait around for circumstances to align in his favor. That was the day he resolved to leave his old life behind and find out for himself where his destiny lay. Of course, that was easier said than done. He didn't know the first thing about fighting, and he certainly couldn't fly at supersonic speeds or shoot frickin' laser beams from his eyes. But, he had some time off work while they rebuilt his office, so he decided to take the initiative. He couldn't really afford martial arts lessons, so he decided to teach himself from books and video tutorials. Progress was predictably very slow, and as a self-taught martial artist his form was mediocre at best. But at long last, after months of practice, he felt that he was finally proficient enough in the basics to test himself against human beings, and signed himself up for an amateur martial arts tournament.
Man, was that a terrible idea. Half-baked fundamentals and techniques bogarted from books and television couldn't carry Lao any farther than the preliminaries, and he was soundly defeated in his very first battle by somebody who had actually trained for this. But as he shuffled home from the arena, still leaking a little from his new broken nose, Lao found that he wasn't as disappointed as he thought he would be. In fact, he was still shivering with excitement, even after the adrenaline from his crushing loss had worn off. He had actually done it. He had gone out, and done something fully on his own initiative probably for the first time in his life. Granted, he fucked it up about as bad as somebody could possibly fuck something up, but the fact remained that he had done a thing. From that moment on, fighting was all Lao could think about. He still couldn't afford lessons, and he was just about at the end of his rope as far as work was concerned, if he missed any more he would certainly be fired. It was time to make a decision that could alter the very course of his life, and Lao felt prepared. So he sent in his two-weeks notice, and took some time to put his affairs in order and prepare himself for his grand journey. He gathered up all of his martial arts books and some essentials into a bag, threw it over his shoulder, and walked out of his life and into the countryside to train. And he didn't step back into the bounds of civilization for three years.
Lao did everything he could think of to strengthen his body and mind on his trek across the world. He climbed mountains, swam rivers, meditated under waterfalls, (usually after failing to swim the rivers and being washed to the bottom of said waterfalls) and most importantly picked as many fights as he possibly could. He challenged everyone from the local tough guys in every small town he passed through to the students of every dojo west of East City. And he mostly lost, but as time went on he found himself losing less and less. His new lifestyle of constant training and challenge had hardened his body and polished his sloppy form, and his pursuit of inner, spiritual strength awakened a new power within him: control of his body's energy, his Ki. It was slow going, but through determination, Lao built himself into a real fighter without a day of formal training. It had taken blood, sweat, tears, the utter abandonment of everything in his life other than fighting, and it took him three times as long as it would have if he had a teacher, but he did it. So with a few years of soul-searching, grueling training, and poor personal hygiene under his belt, Lao took his first steps back into civilization in order to test his strength and seek a grand new adventure.
Lao is, at his core, a pretty uncomplicated person. He's straightforward, earnest, and cool-headed, the kind of person who prefers to simply take life as it comes and not worry about the details. That's not to say he's unambitious however, his journey of self-actualization has brought out a deeply passionate side of Lao, long dormant beneath the monotony of daily life. Once he sets a goal for himself and visualizes his ideal means to reach it, Lao tends to doggedly pursue that path with unerring determination, even if it turns out there was a better, easier way. To Lao, bashing your head against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, even if they're ones you set for yourself through poor decision-making, is a necessary sacrifice on the path to greatness. Ironically, although it has allowed him to come as far as he has, Lao's obstinate refusal to alter his path once he's chosen it is also his greatest weakness. Since he tends to make these decisions without guidance or the necessary expertise to make an informed choice, he sometimes puts himself down the wrong path, wasting time and energy on an impossible task. Not even Lao is stubborn enough to keep treading an obviously dead-end road, but the extra time it takes for him to get it through his thick skull that he screwed up only wastes his time and hurts him in the long run.
When it comes to interpersonal relations, Lao is actually reasonably competent, if you can get past the stench he takes on after a long training outing. His earnest nature and easygoing temperament make him fairly easy to get along with, and he's open-minded enough to accept a wide variety of personalities. Although Lao doesn't really think of himself as a particularly morally upright person, he does have a sense of justice, setting him at natural opposition to those with exceedingly selfish or destructive agendas. He hasn't met very many people from outside Earth, and isn't very knowledgeable about galactic events, having spent most of his life sheltered from the goings-on of the wider universe, or out in the wilderness with no way to catch up with recent news.