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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Machiko Noguchi: A Profile

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Machiko Noguchi carries a rare trait within the Alien Universe, being one of very few

human beings to fight alongside a Yautja, and become blooded in the eyes of the predators.

A human being that moved beyond even being seen as a worthy trophy, but as - some ways

- an equal.

In the extended universe, Machiko is often in the middle of all-out wars between the

two deadly, alien species - even equipping the yautja's sacred technology in her role

within the hunters - conflicted as it may have been at times.

She carries the blooded symbol on her forehead, a significant mark taken on only by Yautja

who have slain the ultimate prey - the Xenomorph.

Machiko Noguchi, though going on to become a significant figure in the universe, she

came from humble enough beginnings, as supervisor of the the Ryushi ranching colony.

This was a duty taken on as a personal challenge and an opportunity to restore honor to her

family name.

Circumstance would pit Noguchi in the middle of a Yautja rite of passage gone terribly

awry- fighting alongside the hunter species in a last stand to save the colony.

Fighting off the infestation, and the xenomorph queen controlling her army, machiko would

earn her blooded status a hunter.

As a blooded hunter, honorary yautja, and skilled warrior in her own rites, Machiko

was driven by sense of honor - not unlike the yautja - and accepted the challenges that

came with this pursuit.

She hoped to attain this honor through her work at the colony, not expecting the unimaginable

challenge that found three species in a brutal, costly war to come.

Aliens Vs Predator: Prey, the first comic book crossover of the aliens and predators,

and also Machiko Noguchi's first appearance, depicts her origins on Ryushi.

The colony, Prosperity Wells, was in prepartions for its harvest with machiko overseeing the

operations.

When the opportunity had presented itself, she had not hesitated.

Only twenty-nine years old and already offered an overseer's post for the Chigusa Corporation.

Prosperity Wells, at the far edge of the Beta Cygni system, very quiet; "Sounds exhilarating,"

she'd said.

Rhynth - a species grown and grazed for their meat, was the main export of Prosperity Wells.

The novelization of Prey describes the species: The rhynth themselves seemed to be unlikely

meat animals.

They looked to Noguchi much like a beast she had seen in a zoo as a child, a rhinoceros.

The rhynth were slightly bigger than her memory of the gray-brown Terran creature, and they

had a mottled purple and ochre skin.

They walked on stumpy, oddly jointed legs that ended in nailed pads, and they had a

hooked, beak-like mouth above which were a pair of in-line hornns.

Ugly brutes, no brighter than cattle, but very tasty when cooked properly.

This was a duty that Noguchi took very seriously, - a stepping stone to greater opportunities,

she thought, though the adjustment to life on the colony was taking some getting used

to.

Her meticulous focus on her work, and her drive for perfection was isolating her.

The ranchers - cowboys, or, Rhynth-boys as they'd sometimes be called, didn't seem to

like her very much, but they would respect her-her honor would accept nothing less.

The corporation employees' living quarters were all in the same building as the offices

and mess hall, along with the community center and central operations; narrow passageways

connected this building to the equipment storage and the main garage.

To the east and south was open range; the north, mountains, and west was Iwa Gorge,

a canyon too deep and long to herd the rhynth-although it certainly kept them from wandering too

far in that direction.

One less fence to build.

She had, of course, spent time learning the layout of the complex when she'd first arrived;

it was an efficient setup.

A med center with helipad; there were quarantine and holding pens for the rhynth, a transmitter/communications

control shack, and a school connected to a rec center.

There was also a fairly decent, if very small, shopping mall, complete with two tiny restaurants

and a bar.

Not that any of these got much use.

Only the company people lived in the Wells, although most of the ranchers were in walking

distance-if you didn't mind a long and hot hike.

If it wasn't Earth, at least an attempt had been made to try to make it look like a town.

There were hardly enough people in the gene pool to turn the planet into anything civilized,

and even with more settlers, it wasn't likely to ever be a major population center; still,

the company had made a token effort to make it look like home.

Home had become a distant concept to Machiko since a past tragedy from her childhood haunted

her, serving as a constant reminder of her need for honor.

Wherever she went in the universe, the dream found a way to follow her.

Her first night on Ryushi, the dream found her and began its regular appearances once

more.

Always the same dream, except she had not had it for a long time.

She had been covered in her father's blood when her mother had found her.

There had been no note, only the Death Poem that her mother would not let her read until

years later, but the reason had come to light that same night: the esteemed Akira Noguchi,

an accountant for the Yashido Company, had been fired for embezzlement.

The same man who had scolded her when she had lied about stealing a piece of candy at

the age of five, the man who had taught her the value of order.

The father who had taught her honor . . . "Bastard," she murmured, angry.

Except her voice didn't sound angry at all.

The memories came back so easily when she let them, and now she was helpless to stop

them.

She had ripped up the dragon picture after the funeral; it had never been finished.

The stain on their family's name had eventually faded, and when she was in college, her mother

had remarried.

She had met her stepfather once.

He had seemed like a pleasant man, but she never got past the feeling that her mother

had married him so that she would no longer be a Noguchi.

She and her mother spoke occasionally, but any closeness they had once shared was gone.

Keiko Noguchi Ueda had never understood how her daughter had really felt.

When she had called her mother with the news of her move to Ryushi, her mother had been

so proud.

"Your father would have been pleased,"she had said.

Her father.

Noguchi took in a deep breath and closed her eyes.

None of that mattered anymore, she did not need to think of it.

She was a corporate overseer for a major corporation on a planet far from Earth, and she was good

at her job.

She would become better in time; she would earn the ranchers' trust and would carry out

her position with- with "Honor," she whispered.

And try as she might, she could not hold back the single tear that coursed down her cheek.

Six months had passed.

Her relationship with the ranchers and staff of Prosperity Wells had not improved, in fact,

most on the colony still looked to the previous holder of Machiko's position, Hiroki Shimura,

for the final say in operations.

This was a problem Machiko sought to correct, though she was not exactly sure how.

She reached out to Hiroki with an olive branch, seeking his opinion on the matter.

"The ranchers, even the staff treat me like a stranger."

She told him" I have done all I can think of to make this job mine"

"Maybe that is your problem, Machiko.

You're trying to adapt the job to you, rather than adapting yourself to it.

You can't run an operation like this and hide from it at the same time, no matter how nice

the office."

Noguchi nodded slightly, thoughtful.

This sounded like something he had been waiting to say until asked, which made her wonder

how long he had been holding his tongue.

Still, she needed an informed opinion.

The ranchers respected Shimura--no, even further, they trusted him.

She had not thought to find out how he had achieved their loyalty.

"There are only one hundred and thirteen civilians on Ryushi," he continued, "and besides the

thirty or so company staff, we are dealing with freelancers here-not men and women who

jump when the voice of the corporation speaks.

They are not drones looking for advancement; they are people with children and homes.

Quoting regulations will not get you very far."

Noguchi felt a flash of anger, but she fought to keep it under control.

"What would you suggest, Hiroki?

That I bake cookies and invite them on picnics?"

"I suggest that when you ask for an opinion, you should consider the advice you receive."

Hiroki picked up his sun helmet from the synth-marble coffee table and walked to the door.

He paused with his hand on the entry controls and looked back at her.

"Look, I'll be around for another two weeks, and then you're on your own.

I will do what I can to help in the meantime."

He smiled a little.

"I think you will do fine, Machiko."

She stood and nodded at him.

"Thank you for your . . . assistance, Hiroki."

"It is nothing.

Get out of the office once in a while, get your hands dirty."

He opened the door and then grinned easily.

"Get some rhynth shit between your toes."

Noguchi sat back down and rested her hands lightly on the black-lacquered surface of

her desk.

Hiroki's words had stung a bit, but perhaps because there was some truth there; it deserved

consideration.

Hiroki was, after all, being promoted off of Ryushi.

The ones who went up the ladder were generally not those that kept a low profile, as she

had been doing.

It was then was one of the scan watchers, a low-level company worker by the name of

Mason, reported an unusual occurance.

An unidentified flying object making its way into Ryushi's atmosphere.

"It's probably just a meteor," Mason reported, "but it's not breaking up, it is going to

hit-if it stays on its present course, it'll make planetfall about thirty klicks north

of here-open pasture.

Make a boom when it lands."

Machiko's first instinct, after insisting to hear the report directly when Mason requested

to speak to Hiroki, was to assess the potential damage - which, turned out to be a non-issue.

The UFO was small enough so that it would not cause any serious damage to the colony

if impacted.

This made it low priority for Machiko, though she began making arrangements to investigate

any crashup after the rynth roundup.

Her focus returned to the problem at hand, and Machiko meditated on Hiroki's advice.

Perhaps it's time to make some of my own moves . . . Noguchi took another cigarette from

the small silver case in her desk drawer and rolled it thoughtfully between her thumb and

forefinger.

What was the saying?

The journey of a thousand kilometers begins with one step . . .

Little did Machiko know that her journey was already well underway.

The object approaching Ryushi was, of course, NOT a meteorite, but an advanced spacel vessel,

equipped with technology beyond man's wildest dreams - it carried a race of alien hunters,

and dangerous prey.

It carried Machiko Noguchi's destiny, and when it came crashing down to the surface,

nothing would ever be the same.

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The Description of Machiko Noguchi: A Profile