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Portrayed by Mika Nakashima
|Affiliations:||New Mutants, Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters- student|
|Birthdate:||September 9, 1991|
|Player:||Available for applications|
Nori is an electrokinetic from Japan whose way of managing her powers left her with something of a drug problem. She was a reluctant student at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngstersfrom September 2007 until September 2009 when she returned home to Japan.
Character Journal: x_surge
Real Name: Ashida Noriko
Aliases: Nori, Noriko-chan, Nori-chan
First Appearance: September 4, 2007
Date of Birth: September 9, 1991
Place of Birth: Tokyo, Japan
Relatives: Ashida Kenta, (brother), Dr. Ashida Shinji, M.D., (father), Ashida Kazue, (mother),
Ashida Saburo, (grandfather), Ashida Ayako, (grandmother), Watanabe Ono, 64 (grandfather), Watanabe Eriko, deceased (grandmother)
Watahiki Keiko, 75 (great-grandmother), Logan (great-grandfather)
Education: Sophmore in high school
Relationship Status: Dated Julio Richter
Team: New Mutants
In 1948, Noriko's great-grandmother, Watahiki Keiko, had an affair with an American soldier she met in Kyoto where she lived and, unbeknownst to the soldier, became pregnant. Shocked that their daughter had gotten pregnant, her parents became even more scandalized when Keiko refused to tell them who her lover was and marry him. In order to avoid the shame, they took the girl to Tokyo and claimed to everyone that the baby's father had died in an accident. Of course, they were in for more of a shock when the baby was born and was clearly only half Japanese, but they stuck by the story. Keiko hated the deception and told her daughter Eriko the truth when she was twenty.
Eriko eventually married Watanabe Ono, who loved her despite her shameful history, and their daughter Kazue was raised in ignorance of her background. She went on to marry Kikuchi Shinji and became the (very traditional) mother of two children, Noriko and her older brother Kenta.
Watanabe Eriko was killed in the Tokyo subway bombing in 1995, but Keiko is still alive and she never married, preferring to live alone with her memories of the man who, unbeknownst to anyone, introduced the x-gene into her family, to manifest in Keiko's great-granddaughter.
Noriko was a perfectly normal Japanese junior high school student – cheerful, outgoing and energetic. A member of the volleyball club, she was more interested in hanging out with her class- and club-mates than actually studying at school, much to her mother's dismay. Because she had fallen so far behind, when entrance examinations rolled around Nori was under even more stress than most students. Her entire third year in junior high was very demanding and for the first time in her scholastic career she took her extra-curricular cram school seriously. It was this stress, then, rather than the normal puberty, which triggered her manifestation as a mutant, although she didn't know it.
Soon after the second term began in September, Noriko began absorbing electric power from nearby sources. Although she was only absorbing energy at a low rate, the abundance of power in her native Tokyo meant that the build up of energy in her system was extreme and by the middle of November she was having trouble sleeping and concentrating, as well as developing a tendency to twitch her fingers and jitter her legs, particularly when required to be still, as in school. To try and help her father, a doctor, prescribed some mild sleeping pills and muscle relaxants that did, indeed, calm her system. As the stress of tests (and the reservoir of energy) built up, though, the pills began to be less useful and, without telling her father, she began taking more and more. By the time the exam rolled around in March, Nori was well and truly addicted.
She managed to pass her exam, barely, and was accepted into a low level high school. However, during spring break her father discovered she'd been increasing her medications and, worried about addiction, took the pills away from her. No longer able to sleep at night, Nori stayed out later and later each night during the holiday, and it was then she met Mr. Ishii, a forty-something salary man. The two of them began dating, it being something of a status symbol for both of them – he to be dating a high schooler, and she to be involved with an older man.
School started up again and once more she couldn't concentrate or sit still during class, the energy coursing through her system becoming more and more impossible to control. Things finally came to a head in mid April on a date with Mr. Ishii. The older man pushed Nori to follow through on the "promise" that was implied by the gifts he'd given her, and took the girl to a love hotel. When she said no, though, he assaulted her. Nori fought back and accidentally triggered another facet of her mutation, discharging the power that had built up in her system in a single, strong burst of electrical energy, knocking Ishii out and severely burning him.
In the resulting clarity of thought, now that her mind was no longer buzzing with excess energy, Noriko realized she must be a mutant, and managed to connect the strange buzzing feeling she'd been living with since the prior September with her powers, making an intuitive jump to realize that the sleeping pills had been controlling it. Frightened of what Ishii would do when he woke up she fled the hotel, sneaked home, packed a bag, stole some money and one of the prescription pads from her father's office and left. She spent most of April and May living on the streets, avoiding police and other officials who might send her home or, she feared, arrest her for assault.
In order to control her powers she forged her father's signature on prescriptions she was writing for herself but, fearing they could be used to trace her, she was continually looking for other options. As the power built up she began thinking less and less logically and it soon became 'clear' that she needed to get in touch with Tokyo's underground and acquire stronger and less easily tracked chemicals. She began frequenting parties and events in Shibuya, Roppongi and Kabuki-cho, and indeed soon had found a number of willing sellers of less legal drugs.
Of course, neither the drugs nor the parties (and party clothes) at which she made the contacts to get the drugs were cheap. The money she'd stolen from her parents ran out quickly and soon Noriko needed to find a way to make money, and in large amounts. Luckily (or not, depending on how you look at it,) Japanese culture highly fetishizes high school students, and so it was a simple matter to pick up men who were willing to pay for sex, or to go into one of the sex shops in Akihabara and sell her underwear.
At one of the clubs she frequented in Kabuki-cho, Noriko met Takeshi, the Yakuza under-boss in charge of the local pachinko parlours, snack bars and drug and prostitution deals. He became curious about, and then attracted to, both her youth and her addiction. In exchange for lowered prices on the drugs she needed to control her powers, and to get out of the sweltering damp heat that is Tokyo summer, Noriko moved in with Takeshi in mid June. The rose tattoos are a symbol of Takeshi's Yakuza-gumi - although Nori is not a member, it was his way of claiming her.
She continued in this vein for the rest of summer, selling herself to pay for the chemically induced power control and spending her nights deep in the underbelly of Tokyo's party scene. On the whole, she wasn't unhappy, but she wasn't happy. This, then, was probably at the root of her eventual mistake – in late August taking a train from the store she sold her underwear to in Akihabara (for which she had to be wearing her old school uniform in order to get the best prices), she missed her exit and ended up getting off the train near Roppongi Hills, the upscale district of Tokyo where her parents' apartment is. An old classmate recognized her and, aware she'd been missing for months, alerted the police at the corner police box, who took her into custody. Luckily, none of the drugs in her bag at the time were actually illegal, although the quantity of sleeping pills raised several eyebrows, and the police returned her to her parents.
She admitted to her parents that she was a mutant and, worse, that she couldn't control it. Noriko's father had heard of Xavier's Institute and decided it would be best for everyone to send her there, particularly after the embarrassing news of Nori's addiction came to light – news he decided not to share with the school.
Life at Xavier's
Noriko arrived at the Xavier mansion in September of 2007, rooming with Jennie Stavros until September of 2008, when she moved in with Karolina Dean, with whom she formed a friendship. Shortly after her arrival, Nori became close to Julio Richter, using her powers to help Laurie Collins revive him when his heart had stopped trying to redirect an earthquake. Also in December, Nori discovered her great-grandmother had met Logan in Japan during his amnesiac years and that Logan was her great-grandfather, confirmed by a dna test in January 2008.
In February of 2008, Nori discovered she possessed super-speed, an aspect of her powers that led to bonds with Jean-Paul Beaubier and Crystal Amaquelin, who also helped Nori with her English. Nori began dating Julio Richter one month later, first sleeping with him after being seduced by Spanish poetry. After a shaky start, she developed a friendship with Kevin Ford.
In December 2008 Nori received a visit from her parents, who had a hard time understanding Nori and the environment she was in, prompting Nori to run away to New York where she sought out a drug dealer and defended herself with her powers, getting arrested for vagrancy while sleeping in the subway and being bailed out by Nathan Dayspring. The entire experience led her to take her life and responsibilities at the mansion more seriously as she realized just what she had to lose.
Though a reluctant member, Nori worked with the New Mutants, participating in a team-building exercise and aiding her classmates during the events of Day Zero and a forest fire that got out of control.
Nori returned home in September 2009 to be with her family.
Weight: 102 lbs
Hair: Cut short and spiky, currently black, frequently dyed.
Other Features: Two rose tattoos, one in black and white on her lower right back and one in color on her upper left arm.
Noriko is an electro-kinetic – she absorbs ambient electricity from nearby sources: lights, appliances, outlets, etc. The electricity she absorbs is stored in her body, like in a battery, and, also like a battery, there is a maximum of how much energy she can hold – something on the order of 400 million volts, or a little more than a standard lighting discharge. Noriko can not control or stop this absorption, either consciously or unconsciously – there simply is no method for her to do so. Forge undoubtedly could build something which would interfere with the absorption and provide external controls and, similarly, since it is possible to interrupt an electric current with a magnetic field, a magnokinetic could control her powers by preventing any charge from reaching her, but it would take continual attention and effort.
At the moment Noriko can only absorb energy instinctively, but with time and practice she will be able to do so intentionally. Her automatic absorption is fairly slow and does not cause a noticeable drain on resources – the power bill might go up slightly, but not excessively, she does not cause lights to flicker, nor insta-drain hand held electronics. The drain is increased by physical contact – she can't wear a wrist watch, since the small battery drains too quickly and the watch dies, she has to charge her cellphone every night, and the battery on an unplugged laptop will go dead in about an hour or two. Eventually, however, she will learn how to up her drain and to do it on purpose.
There are two ways for Nori to release the charge she inevitably builds up. First, and most simply, Noriko can zap energy out – she has already learned how to do this, although it's not a refined process and she is highly reluctant to practice, after the accident with Mr. Ishii. Like Alex, this discharge is focused from her hands, although with practice she can learn to focus down to individual fingers. Secondly, she will be able to channel the energy through her muscles into bursts of super speed. Her top speed will be around 60mph, and the speed at which she can go and the length of time she can maintain the speed depend greatly upon how much energy she has stored – even when fully charged she could not maintain her top speed for more than a few minutes.
Because of the way electricity works (and doesn't work) in a human body, Noriko's body has a few adaptations to survive her power. First, her heart is thicker and stronger than normal to cope with the erratic signals it can sometimes receive when she's overcharged, and to deal with the added stress of the superspeed application of her power. Secondly, the myelin sheathes on her nerves are thicker than usual to deal with the increased energy. As a side effect of this, her nerves react a little slower and less intensely than normal, particularly when she's uncharged. For example, her sense of touch is less sensitive than it ought to be. Thirdly, her brain is adapted to work on a higher than normal charge, and so if she's low on energy (particularly after zapping) it (and she) become slow and sluggish. Conversely, while she works on a higher than normal charge in her brain, there is a limit to that. When she stores too much energy without releasing it, her brain and nerves begin to react erratically – she has trouble concentrating, her ability to make long-term memories degrades, she can't sleep or sit still and, along with the lack of concentration she's prone to mood swings, as well as occasionally developing nervous tics. It is this overcharged state which she began using depressants to control, chemically slowing her mental activity back towards normal levels.
Noriko has a pair of electronic bracers Forge designed for her which help to limit the influx of power into her system. They severity of the dampening can be adjusted up or down, but it isn't possible to cut off her absorbtion entirely.
During her first weeks at the school, Nori spent the time in the infirmary and developed a lasting hatred of Jean. She also spent the time trying to get hold of medication to try and calm the jitters.
Player Icon Base: Mika Nakashima
In Marvel canon, Noriko's last name is Ashida. Cora changed it to Kikuchi and named all of Noriko's friends and relatives after her friends and students when she lived in Japan. After she left, the name was returned to canon, to prevent confusion in applications.