Shan, Meilong

617
Fourth Division
Lieutenant

Placid and composed, Meilong has a very calm and serene presence that makes her appear either tranquil or unnerving. Somethings, it may be both. Practical and down to earth, she prefers to deal with the facts and is a realist more than an optimist or pessimist. A very laid-back and go with the flow type, Meilong handles life’s curveballs with an easy grace. Rarely will she be seen in a panicked or frazzled state, and it is hard to judge how stressed she is based off of her external cues. No matter how dire the situation, Meilong keeps a cool head and acts according to logic rather than momentary emotional flights of fancy. Private but not cagey, she naturally keeps her thoughts to herself, not because she is suspicious but because she feels no need to intrude where she is unwanted. She doesn’t tend to care about rumours and gossip, and prefers to focus on what is true now rather than speculating on what may be true in the future.

Actually not as standoffish as she can appear to be sometimes, Meilong does talk in her own way. A lot of how reserved she seems stems from most people not knowing sign language; her InVisor and prosthetics are all capable of displaying words, but still, it becomes tiring having to think that hard about every thought. By necessity, a lot of her communication is nonverbal, and she is not shy about physical touches even with those who she may not be 100% comfortable with. She also communicates a lot using facial expressions. Still, even when talking with others in sign language, rarely will her gestures be animated or expansive, and her body language and expressions still veer to the subtle side. While she does feel her emotions, sometimes very strongly, Meilong tends to internalize rather than externalize and will rarely tell, or even show them to anyone unless she is outright asked.

This isn’t because of some inborne anxiety or because she doesn’t want to inconvenience others with her pesky feelings; simply, the thought of doing so just never applies to her. Despite the fact that it is not purposeful, this does lead her to having a tendency to bottle and to not talk to people even when she does actually want to. Again, it’s not due to anxiety and more due to the fact that she doesn’t really know how to. One may expect her to be prone to overstimulation, with how fast her mind works, but Meilong doesn’t pay too much attention to her external environment and has a tendency to dissociate rather than panic. A bit of a daydreamer, she focuses her energy inwardly rather than outwardly and tends to withdraw into her own mind when she feels stressed. This makes her appear to handle stress better than she actually does, as the more she panics, the more she shuts down, the less emotional she gets. … this does occasionally make one wonder about the cool, detached, unflappable persona she usually has.

Because of her reliance on facts and logic, Meilong does occasionally come off as cold and uncaring. She does care, she just values logic over emotions and may occasionally become impatient with those who are overly emotional. Which isn’t to say that she is incapable of understanding them, simply, that she feels they shouldn’t get in the way of work and should be considered second to cold, hard facts. While generally okay when dealing with the feelings of others, she is often blind to her own as she doesn’t spend a lot of time examining them and rarely ever acts on them. There are probably a lot of subconscious cues and hidden patterns in her actions that other, more perceptive people may pick up on, and it is very possible that friends may know her better than she knows herself. Perhaps a bit too practical, she isn’t one for daydreaming or fanciful flights of the imagination and doesn’t see the point of focusing on maybes instead of will-bes.  Although she is smart in the more conventional sense, easily making sense of facts and equations and logical sequences, Meilong is not a people person and flounders when it comes to more qualitative measures. She doesn’t like guesswork or dealing with what can’t be constrained within defined borders.

Which isn’t to say that she is inflexible or set in her ways. Meilong deals with facts, and facts only, and she is very careful about not forming any type of internal bias. Every situation is judged on a case-by-case basis, and if she does allow herself to have an opinion, she will do so only after knowing all the facts. She can be considered amoral, as she is somewhat detached from the world and from many conventional ways of thinking. Instead of allowing others to influence her, Meilong is very adamant about forming her own opinions based off of objective principles. Sometimes, this is not as objective as she would like to believe, as she has a stronger independent streak than even she herself is aware of. Her careful scrutiny of the mainstream occasionally evolves into outright rejection of the mainstream, and she is actually somewhat proud of her unique nature and hates to be considered ordinary. Still, it never goes so far that she starts to outright reject facts or focuses on only what she wants to focus on.

A bit of a perfectionist, Meilong has fairly high standards for herself and has a mild tendency to overwork or hyperfocus, though not so much that it would affect her in any long-lasting, detrimental way. Occasionally, these high standards may leak onto others, but more often than not it is self-contained. As one of the youngest lieutenants serving within Valkyrie, Meilong is very aware of the power and experience gap that exists between her and the other leaders, and may occasionally come off as overly serious in order to compensate. Despite this, she isn’t too critical of herself or others and recognizes the reasons why someone might not be performing to their full potential. Her high standards for others are less about the results she expects from them and more about their work ethic, more about everyone reaching their full potential without overtaxing their mind and body. Yes, deliberately overworking yourself does count as failing those standards, and while she won’t lecture anyone, she will force them to take time off if needed. … and yes, her captain does drive her batty. Why is he like this.

Rarely will she warn you when doling out punishment or reprimands. She sees no need when, in her mind, this is just a logical consequence of your actions. Meilong doesn’t give warnings; she acts, and she expects you to extrapolate from her actions. Unfortunately, her lessons are not always as clear as she thinks. Her mind works at a very fast pace, and sometimes she has difficulty recognizing that it may not be the same for everyone. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, Meilong has a knack for seeing the hidden talents and capabilities of others. In the right mood, she can be fairly motivational and uplifting, not in a way that is loud and boisterous but in the same quiet, deliberate, consistent way as the rest of her. She won’t be your cheerleader, but she will always be able to remind you of at least one good trait of yours no matter what you’ve done. Despite her objective nature and wavering morals, Meilong leans towards mercy and forgiveness.  Instead of underestimating people, she has a tendency towards overestimating them and believes in the inherent good of human nature (or the nature of human-like beings), and that even the worst criminals could be reformed given enough time and patience. Although not quick to trust, she is not quick to distrust, either, and she is always willing to hear someone out.

Rarely does this veer into rose-coloured glasses, however, as she recognizes that for some, enough time and patience might be a lot. Actually somewhat of a ruthless person, Meilong is quick to make the hard decisions that can be difficult for others to make, and if she has any grievances about being seen as the villain, you won’t hear it from her mouth. … or hands, rather. While she is willing and eager to help others back to their feet, she won’t overextend herself, and she will not save those who cannot or do not want to be saved. There may be the occasional miracle, but, well. Miracles are called miracles for a reason, and she won’t waste time and energy on a maybe. Certainly, there is the potential for Meilong to go the wrong way. Or was, rather. She adapts to her environment, and if her environment were the type to nurture her pride and curiosity and fluid morality rather than her kindness, well… Thankfully, she has served within the Fourth for a long, long time, and while she may still be molded into someone ruthless and cruel, that would only transpire under very exceptional and unusual circumstances. Though she may occasionally come off as cold, at her core Meilong has a charitable nature. While she herself might not have a solid concept of right and wrong, she tries to do right by others, and she will always try to go the path of most lives saved.

Friends
While Meilong doesn’t shy away from emotional connections, neither does she easily let others in. She’s kind enough, but her reticence with emoting makes her appear distant and occasionally cold. Communication can also be difficult as she is completely mute and only able to sign with one hand. Her replacement hand can generate a floating screen that she can type into, and she can make words on her InVisor, but it won’t be the seamless type of talk that can be had with most others. Still, Meilong makes a good listener and she will try to help you if you go to her for help. Try being the operative word; deeper emotional intricacies tend to fly right over her head. At least she won’t try to pretend otherwise and offer unhelpful advice. While honest, she is not blunt and does know how to cushion hard truths, and she is not as cold and uncaring as she seems.

If you do manage to get through to her, Meilong won’t overextend herself to help you but she won’t forget you, either. She doesn’t have a lot of friends and doesn’t neglect the ones she does have, and though she may not maintain constant communication she’ll try to be there when you need her. Again, try being the operative word, as work comes first and the Fourth Division is always busy. Her not stepping out of her way to help someone who obviously needs help usually has less to do with her being callous and more to do with her being respectful of their privacy. Meilong does not poke her nose where she is not invited and probably won’t do well with others who are similarly closed off. People who say one thing and mean another also won’t get along with her; she doesn’t have a mind for these types of emotional word games, and, frankly, won’t bother even if she does. Basically, if you bring any unnecessary drama into her life, don’t expect her to stay. Meilong is a busy person, and she has more than enough to deal with already without other unneeded complications.

It can take a while to get through to her, as Meilong takes longer to form attachments than most. Thus, for the first while there, and probably for a fair bit afterwards, you’ll probably be closer to her than she is to you. Depending on the situation, it may never equalize, but it almost doesn’t matter as most of her friends aren’t aware of it, anyway, because of how composed she is. There may be some subtle, unconscious cues that may tip a more perceptive person off, but, again, if you make a big deal out of it she is more likely to go looking for others than to apologize. Don’t get her wrong; Meilong will try to fix fixable problems, but things like emotional attachment tend to be tricky to quantify and she doesn’t like dealing with messy nebulous things.

Basically, Meilong is a good friend to have if you value honesty and intelligence or need a calming presence in your life. She’s too logical to be strongly loyal or defensive, and too curious to be overprotective. She will listen to your problems, and offer whatever help she can, but won’t push you into making the right decision. At the end of the day, what you do is up to you and she won’t make it her business. Meilong does have a knack for calming others down and has a very even-tempered, deliberate disposition, so she’ll probably be a good friend to those who can’t deal with pushy, hot-tempered people. And she does keep a very open mind, perhaps too open, so if your character is stigmatized or outcasted for some previous misdeed Meilong will still approach them from an unbiased perspective.

Along with members of her division, Meilong is probably also very familiar with some of the Eleventh who deal primarily in electronics or bioengineering. Both her legs and her right hand require prosthetics, and she has a bunch of computerized ones that she swaps between. Basic maintenance and repairs she can do herself, but sometimes a bigger issue comes up, or she needs special replacement parts. None of them look like the body parts they’re replacing; she doesn’t see the point of making them look realistic when they can look like whatever she wants. Hah.

Enemies
I can’t see her having too many enemies. Meilong keeps her head down and doesn’t make waves, and she is a lieutenant but she’s the lieutenant of probably one of the least controversial divisions in Valkyrie. Some people might want to target her, but more likely by virtue of her position rather than her as a person.

Lovers
Look, there is being blind to feelings, and then there is Mei. If she likes anyone, she probably won’t realize. I… have no idea to her sexuality or orientation or whether she is poly or not, as she is so Bad at this. Apparently a fair bit of her division believe her to be either asexual, aromantic, or both. She’s actually not, despite appearances otherwise, she is just, very bad at emotions. And romance is advanced emotions so she is triple bad at it. At any rate, she’s usually kept busy enough that she can’t even start to think of it, so eh. I guess some people might find her aloofness attractive? You know, if you’re into that type of stuff. No judgement. Whatever the case, good luck.
Shan Meilong253 | Diablo-Daeni | Chinese-Japanese | ShirokiriValkyrie Fourth Division