Liu Meiying

Owner:
Sofia Lindstrom
Art Approval:
Feel free to draw my character, but I want to approve it before publication, please!
Name:
Liu Meiying
Gender:
Male
Age:
23
Date of birth:
2490-05-28
World of birth:
Sihnon
Position:
Passenger (Companion on sabbatical)
Physical Appearance:
Meiying puts much care and work into his appearance, for understandable reasons. He's 5'8" with black straight hair that goes to his mid back, usually kept loose, but he can put it up in some quite elaborate styles. A simple ponytail is his solution when he needs it out of the way, but he tends to avoid tying it back if he doesn't have to because that causes some wear and tear on hair. His eyes are a very dark brown.
Clothing:
Meiying always worries about the way he looks. Even when relaxing in his quarters he makes sure to dress to the nines, if comfortably. Being on sabbatical he hasn't brought his full wardrobe (which is extensive) but it's all of fine make. Style-wise it's a mix; vests, tuxedos, changshan, hanfu, and some other cultural influences, plus a handful of clothing options that aren't traditionally made for men.
Possessions:
Meiying brings what you'd expect a "vacationing" fairly new Companion with a limit amount of space to bring along. Of note among those possessions are a (by Rim standards) quite expensive & extensive wardrobe; a communication tablet device; three books (he mostly reads digital media, but he's sentimental about these three as they all were gifts from his brother); five small plants, two of them edible (as tokens from his family in combination with helping them test the plants' viability to grow during space travel); tools and equipment for artistic work on a smaller scale (smaller sheets of paper, some colors and pencils, tools for simple jewelry work with soft metals, some clay for sculpting that's able to be re-sculpted unless heated, if it's kept in the right conditions); a fancy tea set;
a portable electronic piano (looks like a thick scarf, sounds like a "regular" piano); a make-up set.
Family:
Mother: Qian Yaping
Father: Liu Yuanren
Older brother: Liu Baoying
Maternal aunt: Qian Hao

Meiying has always been close with his family. He looks up to his brother Baoying (whose nickname is Yingying and who calls his little brother Xiao Mei), both deeply admiring him and enjoying his company as a dear friend. Baoying has followed in the footsteps of their parents, becoming an accomplished botanist, but also dabbles in mechanics. Meiying is close with both his mother and father, and has always felt encouraged by them and wants to make them proud. He knows they're not too comfortable with the path he's chosen in life, mostly due to the fame it brings and his current situation, but he also knows they'll always have his back. His relationship with his aunt Hao is...more rocky. He wants to make her proud too, wants to impress her, but doesn't know how. Meiying has no living grandparents.

Meiying and his family are of mostly of Chinese descent, though the 'Verse being what it is it's hard to trace every branch of the family tree.
Friends/Other:
Most of the people Meiying are close to, outside of his family, are other Companions and Companion students. He doesn't really have any close confidants but many people he gets along with. He would want closer friends, but hasn't had the opportunity to develop such close bonds since he's been very focused on his education and work. There is one childhood friend, Chen Tao, who Meiying has stayed in sporadic contact with, but he grew up to be a politically active journalist. Those rarely last long in Core space, unless they're subtle. Chen Tao has never been subtle. A few years ago, after publishing an article that blew the whistle on the horrible conditions for Rim-situated works of a far too powerful company, Chen Tao ended up more or less exiled from Core space. Meying has tried to keep track of him, but they haven't spoken in years.
Skills:
- Acting (and thus a quite skilled liar)
- Botany (taught by his parents and brother)
- Crafts (not an expert in any one field, but likes to dabble with all manner of artistry - drawing, painting, dancing, singing, sculpting, knows how to play a few instruments)
- Drugs/poisons/antidotes (some for medicinal use, most for defense)
- Jewelry making (taught by his aunt - doesn't think he's any good at it, but enjoys it)
- Massage (and other such helpful things. He won't tell you what other things he knows about the human body since they are trade secrets ;) )
- People-reading (by no means any kind of mind-reader, but he's good at telling when someone is lying and good at reading the room - he's used to spending a lot of time around politicians, so to speak, and his education as Companion has been focused on preparing him for that. His work is 99% reading people and adapting to them, after all.)
- Psychology (even took some extra courses while still a student)
- Self-defense training (not a fighter, but if worst comes to worst he can get away from danger. Prefers to rely on talking. No training with weapons other than fencing, and that has been for sport not true fighting.)
- Speaks Swedish in addition to the standard Core languages (learned during Companion training). Also understands Norwegian, Danish and German, but isn't fluent in those.
Hobbies:
Gardening; making shiny things (jewelry, tiny metal sculptures, painting); reading (he pretends to mostly read history books but is secretly super weak for fantasy novels and teeth-rotting-ly sweet romance stories; he also likes ghost stories and unsolved real life mysteries, though he's less embarrassed about that and always ready to share or listen to such tales); singing; talking (he will listen to your life's story and honestly enjoy every minute of it).
Personality:
Meiying has always been an extrovert, a social butterfly who loves to get to know people and spend time around and with others. He is happiest when surrounded by people and is good at keeping a balance between talking and listening. Being left alone is close to painful for him. While knowledgeable about manipulation through his Companion training, and not too bad at it, it's as far from his actual personality as one can get. This said, manipulation has its place and Meiying isn't above using such a skill if he thinks the ends justify the means.

Meiying tends to get along with cats; he knows their body language and behavior and enjoys their company whether they be a lapcat or a more distant sort. Dogs he also understands, but he tends to not click with them - he has nothing against dogs, he just feels that spending time with them requires constant thought and effort he doesn't have to consciously put in when he spends time with cats. Other animals he's mostly only seen in vids or from a distance, or as a client's exotic pet. He will defer to anyone else as an expert in the case of interaction with not-dogs/cats and prefers to admire from a distance rather than accidentally do something to upset or distress the animals in question. Meiying's relationship with children is similar to that between him and dogs; he doesn't dislike them but he doesn't seek out their company either and needs to put effort into how he interacts with them.

At the moment, Meiying is feeling a little betrayed and shellshocked, and will do anything he can to not rub anyone the wrong way. He blames himself for what's happened with Beck, for not seeing the warning signs, so he'll second-guess himself a lot. Reading people in a short-term situation like a trade he's still confident about, but he'll be unsure of any more long-term interaction, for the foreseeable future.

Meiying hates how the Guild has handled his situation but with no better solution at hand he feels he has no leg to stand on when it comes to protesting. Also, he hates not being active and useful. Whatever assistance his status can bring the <i>Jin Dui</i> crew he'll gladly lend, as well as anything outside of that (though he will not be mixing business with friendship, so there will be no suggestions of "servicing the crew"). He's pretty much terrified of romance, since he's both seen and heard of that ending in heart-break for colleges.
History:
Meiying was born in 2490.05.28, the second child to the happily married couple Qian Yaping and Liu Yuanren, well-off botanists of some skill and renown. His brother Baoying, being older by four years, was at first not too pleased at the new family addition, but that soon passed.

Growing up in the Core equivalent of the upper middle class Meiying had a happy, if not too exciting childhood. While his parents had no higher ambitions, his mother's sister Qian Hao did. The moment Meiying started showing a natural inclination for acting his aunt began to encourage his parents to sign him up for Companion training. Eventually they relented, thinking at first that he wouldn't be accepted and then that he wouldn't make it to full Companion.

This might sound like less than great parenting, but their motives weren't intentionally cruel - they just thought Companion life a stressful and fame-heavy job, a lifestyle they themselves never would have sought for either of their children. Meiying's good relationship with his parents has lasted because they've always been both supportive of him and open with their worries.

His relationship with his aunt Hao has, however, been less close since he earned the title of Companion. She was more surprised than anyone to see him graduate, despite at first being his most avid supporter. Meiying was deeply hurt to learn - through an overheard conversation between her and his mother - that his aunt had planned on bringing Meiying under her wing at her jewelry company the moment he was rejected from Companion training, which she saw as an inevitable outcome but great PR.

With this unpleasant surprise as a graduation present, Meiying more or less threw himself into his work. Too busy to keep up more than business contacts, and having spent most of his schooling fixated on doing well and rocking no boats, he has ended up a well-liked Companion by both colleges and clients, but rather lonely outside of the support of his family.

Maybe this is what left him open to what happened next. At least, that's how Meiying sees it. Early spring in the year 2514, Meiying was requested by Leif Beck, the owner of a huge insurance company (and, as it would turn out, a man with his fingers in many political pies). Meiying accepted and they started up a semi-regular contact, despite some vague words of warning from colleges. Meiying thought them well-intentioned but misguided attempts at advice from older Companions to not take on a tricky client, instead of the actual red flags they were.

A Companion is not unused to the occasional marriage proposal, but this...this was nothing like that. Beck's behavior soon bordered on and crossed into words and acts of possessiveness that should lead to blacklisting. Meiying, trusting in the safety net that the Companion Guild is supposed to be, reported said behavior.

That, if you ask Meiying, was when things truly started going downhill.

The Companion Guild is a force to be reckoned with, but it's not all-powerful. Beck turned out to have many friends, in many high places, and there were no witnesses to his misconduct other than Meiying himself, and the odd servant in Beck's employ. This left the Guild in a precarious situation with much political favor in the balance.

The solution the Companion Guild came up with was to get Meiying out of Core space until they could figure things out on their end. Meiying, now on "sabbatical", is at the (admittedly fairly generous) mercy of the Guild's generosity, given an allowance and a promise of help finding transport. He's unsure of how long this forced vacation will last, having orders to avoid promoting himself too openly until given the all clear, but determined to not disgrace himself anymore than he thinks he already has.
Blurb:
5'8", E=dark brown, H=black. Companion on sabbatical, traveling with the Jin Dui as a passenger. A social person who lives to listen to other's talk about themselves. Good at reading people and situations.

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