Brade Shimabukuro

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Brade Shimabukuro
Brade by Jill Andersen.jpg
Abilities Cytonics
World Starsight
Universe Cytoverse
Featured In Skyward (series)

It seethed inside me for years, a molten pit, burning like destructor fire. That's when I realized the Superiority was right. I was dangerous. Very, very dangerous.

—Brade on how she felt after being taken from her biological parents.[1]

Brade Shimabukuro is a human woman licensed to Winzik, the head of the Superiority's Department of Protective Services.[2][1]

Brade was taken from her parents at the age of seven and her upbringing was overseen by Winzik.[1]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Brade is a human woman in her early twenties, is a couple of centimeters taller than Spensa, muscled, and wears her hair in a buzz cut. Brade has a lean face, severe beyond her age, and walks with a certain power in her step.[2] Brade's last name, Shimabukuro,[1] means "island bag" in Japanese and may suggest Japanese heritage,[3][4] specifically from the island of Okinawa. Brade has varvax mannerisms and uses their hand gestures due to her upbringing under Winzik.[5] She is also known to use dione hand gestures.[6]

What, and give up the fight? Admit it. You've been wondering all along, haven't you? Which of us is better? Well, let's find out.

—Brade, to Spensa, exhibiting her ultra competitive spirit.[7]

Brade has a forceful and domineering personality, constantly pushing hers and Winzik's views on people she hasn't even met.[2]

She is extremely aggressive, at times for little reason, such as when she light-lances Morriumur into an asteroid during the Superiority's Delver Resistance Program tryouts.[8] Whether she meant to slingshot Morriumur into an asteroid and condemn him to be destroyed by the drones, or rather she was just using him to accomplish the means of making an extremely sharp turn, is unclear. Her aggression is easily triggered, evident at the party aboard the Weights and Measures when she throws her drink against the wall after being annoyed by government officials.[6]

She is very competitive, always trying to outdo Spensa during their time training in the delver maze, and especially right before she summons a delver near Detritus, when she challenges Spensa to see who the better pilot is.[7]

Although she was raised by varvax, Brade still feels connected to humans, as she displays confliction when Spensa asks her how she feels about destroying the humans on Detritus.[6] She is loyal to Winzik to a fault, due him overseeing her upbringing, evident in her support of his coup[6] and her continual defense of his ideas and methods from Spensa's attacks.[1] 

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Pilot[edit]

Brade is an extremely talented pilot, considered by Spensa to be superior to her.[9] Brade flies a Krell interceptor[10], and is adept at using the light-lance[8], the destructors, and maneuvering in tight spaces. She is able to handle the stress of flying in the compact space of the delver maze while taking on dozens of embers at a time exceptionally well.[1] She is also well accomplished in dogfighting, being able to outmaneuver and stay ahead of an enemy at extreme speeds in the vacuum of space.[9]

Cytonics[edit]

Brade is a trained cytonic. Her training of these abilities allows her to sense other cytonics,[11] hyperjump,[12] perform mental prods,[2] picture cytonic coordinates and destinations in her mind, and more. She has not demonstrated the ability to use mindblades, but may already possess this ability.

Perhaps most frightening of all, Brade has displayed the ability to summon a delver from the nowhere by projecting a cytonic scream within her mind into the nowhere, thus attracting the baleful attention of the beings.[9]

Winzik took Brade from her parents at an early age, probably recognizing her cytonic abilities, to use her to form the secret core of the Delver Resistance Program. On its surface, the program espoused defense of the Superiority by fielding a fleet of pilots to navigate a delver maze, reach its heart, and detonate a weapon that feeds the delver the cytonic coordinates of the human preserve on Detritus. The true purpose of this program, however, was to provide Winzik with a core of powerful cytonics, such as Brade, with which he could summon delvers at will and direct them to wipe out rebellious groups.[13]

History[edit]

Brade was taken from her parents at the age of seven, with Winzik as her Keeper. [1]

At some point, she received extensive training as a pilot, especially in an interceptor.

During her time with Winzik, the Department of Protective Services studied her mind and used their findings to develop the delver coordinate feeder weapon.[6] 

Brade accompanied Winzik to inspect the UrDail embassy and intimidate Alanik into agreeing to not use her cytonic abilities on Starsight.[2]

Of course I knew. Winzik's scientists used my mind to develop the weapon. We've always known there was a connection between cytonics and the delvers. We cause them pain, Alanik. They hate us, maybe even fear us. We tried for years to exploit this, and came to the logical conclusion. If we can't destroy the delvers, we can at least divert them.

—Brade, explaining to Spensa her role in developing the cytonic coordinates weapon.[6]

Brade attended the Delver Resistance Program tryout, though for what reason, as Winzik knew she was an excellent pilot, is uncertain. She flew a black Krell interceptor, and pursued an aggressive, every man for himself strategy, flying through the battle, sowing confusion, and even light-lancing Morriumur into an asteroid. When Spensa tried to contact her over a private comm line and ask her to join her and Hesho's flight, Brade took a sharp right turn and blocked the line.[8] Brade survived the tryout and went with Winzik while her ship was returned to its hangar.[14]

Brade accompanied Winzik to a room near the mining facility's cafeteria, where he met with other Department of Protective Services officials, like Tizmar, and discussed the ethics of using live destructor fire on civilian pilots without military training. Brade sensed Spensa eavesdropping, and stood straight up, alert, and told Winzik, who went to check the cafeteria for Alanik.[11]

Brade accompanied Flowers of Night's Last Kiss in their jump room in the Weights and Measures and eyed Spensa after seeing her reaction to the nowhere[10]

Spensa tried to organize a flight and assign callsigns, but Brade informed the flight she would use her own name.[10]

On her first run through the maze, Brade broke formation and attempted to destroy all of the ember drones on her own, messing up the team's cohesion. She reluctantly followed Spensa's orders to exit the delver maze and practice basic flight patterns with the rest of Flowers of the Night's Last Kiss.[15]

A week later, Brade was wingmates with Spensa and the two flew like pilots who had been wingmates for decades, moving in perfect sync and anticipating each other's movements and decisions. After a short break, Spensa and Vapor decided that the flight had mastered its basic flight patterns, and that they could take a shot at the delver maze. As Spensa called out assignments, Brade told her she didn't need a wingmate and rushed into the maze on her own. Without a wingmate, she couldn't distinguish between the maze's holograms and reality, so she got stuck in the first few rooms.[16]

Brade and Spensa went on a run of the delver maze together and quickly got through the first few rooms and tunnels. They eventually reached an area that their starfighters' instruments told them has an artificial nitrogen oxygen atmosphere. Brade got out of her starfighter, and landed on the heart. She went over to what Spensa identified as the membrane, and told Spensa she's done training in the delver maze, as rooms will start to repeat and they will grow complacent, and then headed back to her ship. She activated the delver coordinate feeder weapon, and likely had the cytonic coordinates of Detritus burned into her mind. [1]

I'm not going to let it destroy my home. This wasn't supposed to happen. It was supposed to go after you.

—Brade, to Spensa, before confronting the delver outside Starsight.[17]

Brade and Spensa headed back to the Weights and Measures to attend a party hosted by Winzik to promote his defensive force. After being ogled over by various Superiority officials, Brade threw her drink against a wall and stormed off, back toward the jump room.[6]

After the klaxons on the Weights and Measures went off, Brade remained in the jump room as Spensa and the kitsen ran off. [18]

Brade reported to the Weights and Measures to be deployed, secretly knowing she was going to summon a delver near the human preserve of Detritus. "Alanik" approached her, tried to convince her to not attack her fellow humans, and then dropped her hologram and revealed she was actually a human woman named Spensa. Brade immediately sounded the alarm and ran to Winzik.[19]

Brade sat in her interceptor, away from the battle, cytonicly screaming into the nowhere, trying to summon a delver. She was confronted by Spensa, Hesho, and Vapor. Fighting ensued, and she crippled both Vapor and Hesho's starfighters, killing Hesho. She picked up a tail in Spensa, though, and engaged in a chase with her for a few minutes. Spensa broke off, and Brade followed, only to have her ship overridden by Vapor. As Spensa took a shot at her cockpit, Brade released a shrill cytonic scream that succeeded in summoning a delver.[9]

The emergence of the delver from the nowhere warped reality and threw Spensa's shot off.[20] Spensa sent the delver to Starsight, so Brade hyperjumped back to the station.[12]

Brade confronted Spensa outside the delver, wreaking havoc on Starsight, and told her that if she reached the heart first, she'd be forced to send the delver back to Detritus.[17]

After the delver disappeared, Winzik enacted his coup, in fear of the truth getting out about his summoning of the delver. Brade helped him with his coup, but decided to shoot down a military ship intended to kill Spensa because she believed Spensa to be too useful an asset to simply kill off. Their conversation ended when Spensa ran off to the Department of Protective Services' Special Projects building.[5]

Relationships[edit]

Winzik[edit]

Winzik is brilliant. He knows exactly what he's doing. Obviously, he understood our limits better than we did.

—Brade, defending Winzik from Spensa's verbal assault.[1]

Brade is loyal to Winzik to a fault, due to his oversight of her upbringing. He has brainwashed her into believing that he is a genius and cannot make mistakes, and that humans are vile and despicable creatures, and that he alone can save her from their savagery she would have fallen to had she stayed with her parents. Sometimes Winzik uses her to intimidate people[2] because she is a human being, and they collaborated to develop the cytonic coordinates planting weapon that was to be used on the delver.[6] Brade was also a conspirator in Winzik's planned coup, but believed that Winzik was getting rid of a valuable asset in Spensa by trying to have her killed.[5]

Spensa[edit]

Our people? What are they to me? You seem so hung up on the idea that I should owe those humans on Detritus something, just because we share a distant heritage. My opportunities are here. Winzik wants you dead. He rightly sees you as a threat. Your only hope is to come with me, and let me persuade him you can still be of use.

—Brade, to Spensa, after Brade shoots down the military ship to save Spensa's life.[5]

Brade is suspicious of Spensa because she is a project of the Department of Species Integration, and its minister, Cuna, is a powerful enemy of Winzik. Brade grows more suspicious of her, thinking she is a cytonic, as Spensa grows frightened whenever the Weights and Measures hyperjumps, indicating she is seeing the delvers in the nowhere during the jump.[10] She also feels Spensa eavesdropping on her Winzik, and Tizmar's conversation outside the cafeteria and grows even more suspicious.[11]

At the beginning of her time training for the delver maze, Brade flies on her own, even after Spensa is appointed assistant flightleader.[15][16] It is only when Spensa gets the flight organized and well drilled that Brade begins to see the value of working in a cohesive unit.[21] She grows closer to Spensa and the pair became two of the best wingmates in the program, becoming indistinguishable from wingmates who had been together for decades, covering each other at the right times, moving within centimeters of each other while still having enough space, and moving in perfect sync.[16]

Brade's relationship with Spensa shatters when Spensa drops her hologram and reveals she was never Alanik, and that she is the human spy, escaped from Detritus. Ever loyal to Winzik, Brade sounds the alarm, shouting that the human spy was actually Alanik masquerading as a human, and runs to inform Winzik.[19]

The pair find each other on opposite sides of the battlefield above Detritus, when Brade succeeds in summoning a delver.[9] They meet once again after Spensa moves the delver to Starsight, and race each other to the delver's heart.[17]

Brade's final confrontation with Spensa comes when she saves Spensa's life by shoots down a military plane targeting Spensa by firing a rocket launcher. Brade, seeing Spensa's value as a cytonic and fellow human, offers to deal with Winzik and allow Spensa to join them in their coup, and become a part of Winzik's defense force and rule the galaxy with him.[5]

Flowers of Night's Last Kiss Flight[edit]

Hey, nice work today, I think this group is finally getting it.

—Brade, to Spensa, complimenting Spensa's work to improve the flight.[21]

Brade enters the Delver Resistance Program with a poor opinion of flying with a flight, preferring to fly on her own and take on all of her enemies at once - a product of her arrogance and competitiveness. Brade is aloof while with her flight, not conversing with the rest of them in the jump room while waiting for the Weights and Measures to hyperjump, or on their general comm line while training at the delver maze. Gradually, she begins to see the value of being part of a flight, with structured leadership and flightmates who have different skill sets that cover her weaknesses.[21]

  • Morriumur: Brade light-lances Morriumur into an asteroid during the tryout for the Delver Resistance Program[8], whether they come to terms on this bad interaction, or whether either of them remembered who each other were when they were put in the flight is unclear.
  • Vapor: Brade and Vapor might have a strained relationship, due to Vapor being an agent of Cuna, Winzik's main rival. Vapor was Brade's flightleader in Flower's of Nights Last Kiss during their training period in the Delver Resistance Program.

Notes[edit]

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