Mitsuko Yamato (born 401 IE) was a Navy Special Forces officer from Bonaparte. A member of the royal family on the throne in 430 IE, she trained with the Chrysanthemum Guard and the Sappers, both divisions of the planet’s Household Guards before the Navy invited her to join Special Forces.
During childhood, her father did not permit her to ride horses as he thought they were filthy animals. Mistuko spoke with a slight French accent despite adhering to many of her ancestral Japanese cultural norms. She could speak French fluently.
In 430 IE, Yamato served as head of a unit stationed aboard the CNS Cygnus. Her NCOIC was Staff Sergeant Bernie Washington, a Marine. While aboard the Cygnus, she led an assault on a mining asteroid owned by the Khamad Corporation. Goshenite holdouts had squatted there and refused to leave.
The squatters blew an internal airlock, making leaving the mining station difficult, and fired a Gelt weapon at their assault shuttle. As Modesto brought in the shuttle to create a loose seal over the now damaged lock, Mitsuko had her prisoners stunned and passed her one wounded team member first. One prisoner recovered and fought with Mitsuko as the hatch nearly closed on them. One of the squatters told her on his world, she would be pregnant most of the time. This, despite hostility from Modesto, earned the prisoner some abuse.
Mitsuko considered the destruction of the mining station a failure. However, Captain Durant assured her the fault fell to the Khamad Corporation for expecting the Navy to be its security force. Durant reassigned her to the Challenger for a mission to Hanar via Metis. She would travel over Demeter with Modesto to her new assignment. Modesto, however, crashed their shuttle on Demeter showing off for her. They were rescued by an automated mining truck. Peter Lancaster came down from the Challenger to retrieve them. Peter Lancaster came down from the Challenger to retrieve them.
Lancaster expressed admiration for her as she could use a sword in combat. He also revealed to her and Modesto that the Challenger had warp drive. Aboard the Challenger, she trained against a holographic Gelt Warrior with Security Chief Aracebus and O-4 Weiss. She also roomed with Modesto for the mission. Admiral Burke assigned her to provide security for the Metisian representative Athena Jovann on the mission to Hanar. She and Modesto foiled an assassination attempt against Athena Jovann, Mitsuko subduing the suicide bomber while Modesto disarmed him. Jovann expressed surprised that Mitsuko carried a sword on a regular basis.
Aboard the Challenger, she escorted Modesto back to their quarters once he was released from Medbay. She detoured to an observation deck to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel” from the ship’s active. Both were so overcome by the sight that she let him kiss her. They agreed it was nothing and would remain friends.
En route to Hanar, Mitsuko began training with her new Special Forces unit. Her NCOIC hailed, to her surprise, from Amargosa, unusual for a senior NCO. However, she impressed him by beating his record for a takedown, despite being considerable smaller in size to him.
As the Challenger prepared to jump to Hanar, Burke assigned her handle Athena Jovann’s security. She stood guard at Jovann’s meeting with Lattus Tishla alongside Bornag. The Gelt Warrior told her he looked forward to sparring with her as the local human swordwork was lacking.
Mitsuko led a Compact team escorting Admirals Burke and Austin to meet with separatists. Modesto went with her, as did Suicide and JT Austin, both of whom had been on Hanar for some time. Bornag and Trevor Colt kept their team to the rear as backup, allowing the admirals to address the separatists as the Compact. However, the team was ambushed and scattered, with the admirals abducted.
Separated from their unit, Mitsuko and Modesto spent a night in a hut hiding out. During the night, they became intimate. However, JT Austin and a group of Hanarians found the pair in a rather compromising situation. Mitsuko became infuriated when Modesto referred to the previous night as “combat sex.” It had been Mitsuko’s first time ever.
Upon her return, Admiral Austin ordered her to take over JT’s combat training. JT had to explain why the Hanarians were training with blunt swords for the Gelt and paintballs for everyone. Amargosan rebels did not have real swords or smart bullets. She also learned about JT’s late wife, which endeared him to her.
However, while chasing local renegade, she had to stop Austin from killing the insurgent. His actions forced her to arrest him.
Later, at a mixer between Hanarian personnel and Compact forces, a fellow Bonapartan royal named Cormac kept hitting on her, hoping to lure her into a marriage. She recalled a conversation with the Duke of Windsor stating that those in line for the throne did not want to marry royals for fear of turning all seven royal houses into one giant house of Habsburg, the Earth royal family famous for in-breeding and its attendant genetic damage. She blew off Cormac and spent the rest of the evening hanging out with JT and Connor Duffy
The following morning, she found Modesto staggering and disoriented trying to get back to his shuttle where he slept. He passed out. She left him where he lay.
She sparred with Suicide, after which, she assessed JT Austin as mercurial but loyal and dedicated. Suicide asked her to take him under her wing personally on top of her professional mentoring. Addtionally, Admirals Burke and Austin assigned her to Austin’s assault craft for the liberation.
She also reconciled with Modesto. She made love to him but stopped before either of them finished on the eve of the liberation of Amargosa. Her reasoning was that they should finish after the battle, so they had to survive. They agreed to make bullet lockets like JT and Suicide wore in case one of them died in battle. After an embarrassing training exercise for JT, she told Modesto he was cute when he got jealous.
When the Liberation of Amargosa began, Mitsuko served as JT Austin’s copilot while leading her platoon. They flew aboard the Falcon Dunkirk, renamed Normandy 6 for the mission. During the flight, she called Austin and Duffy “her brothers” and made them swear loyalty to her and each other. She lost four troops when the ship went down during the destruction of Riverside. Mitsuko herself suffered a severely bruised hip, but insisted on accompanying Austin in an assault on Lucius Kray‘s rear. They ran into Admirals Burke and Austin, looking for JT. The admirals joined the assault, and the team rescued Boone and Eric Yuwono. They also discovered Kray holding Davra Andraste hostage in an ill-fated attempt to get the Northern Resistance to surrender. She fell back, her injuries too painful to attack Kray unless attacked, and tended to Duffy, whose concussion began causing problems again.
As the cease-fire began, Mitsuko learned from Edward Windsor* of Modesto’s death by friendly fire. JT and Tishla saw her and comforted her. She later burned a shirt of Modesto’s to create a bullet locket. JT walked her through the process. Before returning to duty, she attended a ceremony where she received the Compact Medal of Honor and the Order of Hanar.
Sometime after the liberation, Mitsuko accepted a marriage proposal from Edward. She also took a command position with the Sappers, the House of Windsor’s Household Guard. When her personal unit was elevated to Navy Special Forces, she went along as its commander, retaining her Navy rank of lieutenant. Admiral Burke detached the unit to assist Suicide and JT Austin in their search for Jayne Best.
Suicide and JT abducted the Governor McLaren, still Grand Dimaj of the Marilynist Temple, to interrogate him about Jayne Best. Through threats and intimidation, including political intimidation from Mitusko, he revealed he had sent Jayne to Walton. McLaren resisted revealing this until Yamato invoked her relation to the King Yanuhito and her engagement to his heir, Edward Windsor, promising his refusal to cooperate would result in Bonaparte declaring Marilynism a cult. This would have a domino effect in the Compact. With Jayne’s whereabouts revealed, they cut him loose.
Once Madam Best had been traced to Walton, Mitsuko had her Household Guard unit elevated to Navy Special Forces to assist in the extraction. Best was tracked to the planet’s dangerous District 19. She and her NCOIC Partlow went with Suicide and JT to scope out the district. She was aboard their fixed-wing craft when it was shot down over District 19. As they headed toward Bennaville, Partlow neutralized a local shooter menacing the team. He also found the path leading to the dead soldier’s vehicle.
They took the abandoned vehicle into Bennaville, passing through a village on the outskirts. There, they spotted several instances of the symbol for Juno, including clothing worn by the few locals they spotted. They headed for Koch Medical Center, the only functioning hospital outside of Samueltown, as it was the likeliest place where Jayne Best would be held. They attacked the entrance, facing and local soldiers. Drawing first blood, the audreys went into a feeding frenzy and ate the soldiers defending the hospital. This allowed them to neutralize enough plants to enter the lobby. The penetrated the facility but were captured by Jez Salamacis.
She escaped captivity and linked back up with a wounded JT. They arrived to neutralize a squad of local security attempting to recapture Jayne Best. Mitsuko killed one guard by beheading him. They had to support Jayne as they fled the building. They escaped to the border of District 19 and nearly ran out of ammunition while awaiting extraction. The Goldeneye appeared as they used their last rounds.
In 433, Mitsuko and a squad of Bonapartan Household Guards were attached to the Queen Maria Sophia. The squad had been elevated to Navy Special Forces. Aboard ship, she shared a cabin with JT, though their relationship remained platonic. Their deployment to Mud was interrupted when Queen Reiko and Princess Elizabeth arrived to announce that King Yanuhito had died. Her fiancé, Edward Windsor immediately became King Edward.
As Windsor proved reluctant to leave his post, the Queen Widow and Elizabeth Windsor suggested Mitsuko and JT formally notify him of his new status. They reasoned Windsor would listen to his soldier fiancée and a fellow veteran from the Amargosan liberation. Mitsuko copiloted, but, as the mission likely would end her service with Navy Special Forces, she felt profound sadness.
On Mud, Mitsuko delivered the formal notice to Windsor that King Yanuhito had passed. When Windsor showed reluctance to leave, JT less formally ordered him onto his Falcon for transport back to the Queen Maria Sophia, then the Marcus Aurelius, to return to Bonaparte. When mechs boarded the Sophie, she went into action, letting JT take the lead and taking point. Eventually, when they became trapped in Medbay, they had to defer to Edward a he was relieved, but not formally discharged, nor had he accepted his new role. However, when they watched a live feed of Mitsuko’s team getting slaughtered by the mechs and an unknown human female controlling them, Mitsuko invoked Edward’s status as a high-value target and resumed command. She declared command would pass to JT as soon as they boarded a Falcon to leave. To keep Edward in line, she told JT to declare “sky law.” Along the way to the hangar, Mitsuko cleared a wave of insect drones with Gelt stun grenades. She then handed off command to JT as they boarded his ship.
Vernis, the terrorist responsible for disabling the Sophie, managed to lock down the hangar and forced the party to watch the destruction of the Marcus Aurelius, then demanded Edward surrender. He refused.
When the crew and that of First Officer Friese released spider drones to disrupt the mechs with stun grenades, Vernis hacked them and sent them to attack the Falcons. JT was hit by a stun pulse through the ship’s transparent bulkheads. Mitsuko revived him in time for Chief Engineer Peddig to reboot the ship by jettisoning the EM drive reactor. They escaped with Friese’s Falcon close behind. But while the Sophie remained disabled, Vernis’s ship fired. Friese, Stephanie Mercado, and Flight Commander Kamal died by a direct hit on their Falcon. Mitsuko copiloted with JT to hide the ship in the debris from the Marcus Aurelius.
When Vernis’s ship began firing on the debris field, Mitsuko got the royals into pressure suits. JT and Edward used chafe, junk, and drive plasma to simulate the Falcon’s destruction. They then hatched a plan to make a deal with the Gelt to get to Hanar.
With the truce negotiated, Mitsuko accompanied both human and Gelt forces to a cave near the battlefield. There, they found a giant Ares. When JT asked about her dealings with Edward’s sister, she said she seldom talked to Elizabeth. In addition, she avoided speaking with Alexander, the second oldest brother, preferring to socialize with Archie, who eschewed his royal status, and Victoria, who seemed apathetic to it., which Elizabeth revealed came from the same aliens who attempted to terraform Mud and
*While not mentioned in any current or planned book, the backstory plays a role in Edward and Mitusko’s eventual relationship as a “bonding under fire” moment.