Akiyama Shiho

Tokiwadai Middle School, Level 6 Shift Project Assistant Researcher

Family Name Akiyama
Given Name Shiho
Aliases None
Level 4
Gender Female
Age 14
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Appearance

Shiho is about 5'2" in height, willowy in frame and decidedly nonathletic in nature. Her hair is a deep shade of black, cut to about neck length and often kept hidden under a white, cat-eared hooded jacket (worn over her uniform) and adorned with a pair of butterfly hairpins. When not attending school, her dress is usually more functional than stylish; a soft and comfortable t-shirt underneath her jacket, a plaid skirt, black tights, and red traditional girl's shoes.

Personality

Meek, quiet, and with just a touch of a nihilistic view on life; Shiho is a girl that is slow to make friends and has a difficult time keeping up with the social requirements, often unintentionally appearing confrontational and covering for any perceived mistakes - whether valid or imagined - with a stream of apologies. As she has only recently been allowed to attend Tokiwadai proper after serving for a few years as a laboratory rat, she is still a new student to many of the girls in the middle school; as such, she keeps to herself for the most part, although she will frequently also stumble forward in an awkward attempt at social interaction.

Shiho is a bit curious about the outside world; she's been exposed to many of the common courtesies and traditions of normal life in Academy City, although her reclusive life has given her few opportunities to explore the current fads and trends amongst Tokiwadai's students.

Abilities

Esper Ability

AIM Field Manipulation (AIM Resonance)

Basic Function

Shiho's AIM field allows her to create a resonance with the AIM fields of other espers within the area, and use the resulting link to partially manipulate their AIM fields.

As a level 4 user, Shiho can tap this resonance to directly interfere with the personal realities of the espers within an area in a more potent manner compared to a AIM Jammer. She can hinder or enhance up to five abilities within 250 meters; the impact is very noticeable even when used on five people, although her ability is stronger if she focuses on fewer targets. Shiho's ability works by enhancing ability uses rather than the esper herself. If an esper starts to create a ball of fire, for instance, Shiho can add her power to the ability to create a bigger, more accurate, less exhausting, and/or more powerful effect. There's some meta-wording in there about connecting personal realities, but that's mostly in there for future potential.

Shiho can't really turn an ability into a different or related ability. Hydro hands (Railgun) is a sub-type of telekinesis, but if she enhances the water control of a hydro hands user, the user may be able to control more (volume/clumps) of water, but she still cannot control other objects. Her enhancements and debuffs are all numerically related: range, accuracy, size, power, refire rate, voltage, volume, spectrum length, and the likes; it's possible to create other uses of an ability based on one of these increases (a lightning bolt user sending a smaller, more accurate bolt to break a precise part of a circuit), although that depends entirely on the coordination of the beneficiary and Shiho and, if it occurs, is basically a creative, on-the-spot use of a esper power.

Because the enhancement is on an ability rather than on the esper herself, this gives Shiho control on what type of enhancements she wants to add on to any ability use. It should be noted that "increasing accuracy" basically means that Shiho guides the ability closer to the target than the user would be capable of by himself, which does mean that if the user does

Additional Uses

AIM Field Detection: Shiho can identify the location, type, and estimated power of any ability users within a 250 meter radius.
Ability Control: This is the sub-power of AIM Manipulation that encompasses Shiho's "ability enhancement" and "ability jamming". Shiho can take limited control of another esper's AIM field and add her own personal reality to activations of the target's ability. As an example, if an esper can throw a fireball at poor accuracy, Shiho can make the fireball more powerful, shape it to be larger and look a bit more intimidating (like a flaming lion head instead of a plain fireball), and control its path so that it hits an intended target more closely. She could also, in theory, make the attack wildly inaccurate (make the fireball faster in a completely different direction) or otherwise "enhance" the attack by hindering its intended purpose. Whether Shiho's control is meant to enhance or hinder the effect, it would not work if it goes against the esper's wishes; instead, a jamming effect will activate on that particular ability activation (thus, against an esper in full control of his actions, hindering or non-beneficial enhancements will almost always result in a jamming effect).

Ability Control works at its best when Shiho is devoting her full concentration to the AIM field of that esper. While her enhancements and debuffs are usually invisible to the naked eye, full concentration causes both her AIM field and that of the target to become visible; strings and lines on the two fields connect together, and the two users seemingly act in Tandem. This phenomenon is called a "Perfect AIM Resonance" by researchers and is the only way to use her ability bridge the gap between level 4 and 5 (aside from very borderline level 4's). Note that even under a Perfect AIM Resonance, Jamming could still occur if the esper and Shiho are not acting in unison (so if Shiho tries to do something the Esper doesn't want, it will result in Jamming).
Ability Jamming: Ability jamming occurs when Shiho's enhancements produce an effect that is not desirable to the ability user. While things like making a fireball less accurate certainly counts, even enhancements could be undesirable (for example, if a fireball user is trying to limit the size of his projectile to not hit friends and Shiho tries to make the fireball bigger). When this happens, the esper will subconsciously resist the changes that Shiho is trying to make, which causes an ability jam. Effectively, the ability is reduced in general effectiveness by a large scale. Note that an invulentary ability jamming can only occur if the esper is willing to resist an activation; involuntary ability activations (such as RSPK-induced outbursts) or an attacks that an esper is making against his will can easily be deflected without a jamming effect. Shiho can also trigger an ability jam on her own accord.

Ability jamming reduces every general parameter of that attack ability. A level 1-2 ability is negated entirely. If Shiho puts some effort into the jamming, a level 3 ability is also negated, while a level 4 ability use is reduced to paltry (level 1) amounts of power. A tossed fireball at level 4, for instance, may turn into a small wisp of heat. If she concentrates all of her efforts into opposing the ability activation (invoke a Perfect AIM Resonance for the purpose of jamming an ability), she can even neutralize level 4 abilities. Level 5 abilities vary depending on the user, although jamming will have a significant effect on them as well.
AIM Field Distortion: In theory, Shiho should have the ability to fully manipulate the AIM field of herself and of other people. This ability currently does not work on any esper that is actually conscious and aware regardless of level, unless if the subject has no will or is not at all willing to resist; as a level 4, it's currently not possible for Shiho to fully control her ability, so it is practically guaranteed that she messes up with this ability. Despite its current state of non-functionality, this is the topic of some of the greatest research among the level 6 shift researchers.

Physical Traits

Stamina: Shiho has a lot of endurance for physical events, able to run for a longer distance than most without tiring out.
Weak Athletics: Despite her cardiovascular strength, Shiho is not overall very athletic. She's thin, relatively weak, and even if she could compute the trajectory of a basketball, she has very poor accuracy on matters not related to her powers.

Mental Traits

Superior Intellect and Knowledge: AIM Resonance is a very difficult power to master, requiring knowledge of more complex mathematics, physics, and other subjects to be able to direct the many different powers that she may come across. As a result of her training, Shiho is very intelligent; she's proficient in academics beyond her grade level and is an expert in many college-level and even graduate-level academic courses. This lends itself to other practical applications of academia as well - Shiho is good at quickly figuring out movement and performing the calculations behind an observed phenomena, which allows her to perform feats like predicting where a cannonball will land in mid-air or visualizing some of the bounces that a bullet will make at a certain angle.
Poker Face: Shiho, despite perceived social awkwardness and all, is very good at lying. It's something she has to do constantly as someone who is involved in the darker side of Academy City - lying about the extent of her powers, why she disappears from the Tokiwadai dorms ever-so-often at night, and why she could watch an act of terrorism and think only about the logistics behind the scene rather than the people that needs to be saved. In fact, her politeness is
Knowledge of AIM Fields Many of academy city's current knowledge of AIM fields was produced by studying Shiho's power; since she's allowed access to the results and because her ability pretty directly involves this, Shiho is knowledgeable in almost all areas of current AIM research. There are a number of current AIM theory papers with her name as a joint author.
Computer Sciences: Shiho is very good with a computer, as well. She's less versed in some of the WWW lingo, although she can program at an advanced level and perform a limited amount of hacking with computers.

Notable Equipment:

Money: Shiho is not poor even by her own means; she has a substantial inheritance from her father, and is actually paid a researcher's salary by the city itself. Both of these factors combined (along with Tokiwadai's general housing and rooming in with various professors/graduate students prior to her enrollment) means that she has too much disposable income.
Tazer: It's a standard tazer, usually kept in her coat pockets.
Mace: Carried around for self-defense purposes. It's the chemical spray, not the medieval bludgeoning weapon.
Violet Hairpin: A crystalline hairpin with a flower design, given to him by a professor that Shiho really likes. It's actually made out of inert crystallized Esper essence.
Laptop Computer: A standard, custom built laptop computer running the newest version of Microsoft Windows. Comes equipped with many moderl wireless technologies and dual boots into Linux.

Additional Information:

Academy City ESP Bank: Shiho's entry in the academy city ESP bank is incomplete; her power isn't hidden, but its effects are described relatively vaguely as "The ability to sense AIM fields and increase/decrease the magnitude of esper abilities." Anyone looking at her profile would see a watered-down version of her enhancement powers, never even mentioning going from level 4 -> 5, neutralizing level 4 esper abilities, or considerably weakening the powers of level 5's. The ascension from 4 -> 5 is a quasi-secret - although Shiho is not barred from using this ability outside of research purposes, she has been taught to not use it in public whenever possible, and only invoke it in times of needs on people that she fully trusts. During research where other espers are involved, she usually hides behind heavily tinted glass or otherwise conceals her identity to the subject.