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Machiko Noguchi[1] (野口真千子), known as Da'dtou-di ("small knife")[2] by the Yautja, was a Chigusa Corporation employee and the administrator in charge of the Prosperity Wells colony on Ryushi. She was the daughter of Akira and Keiko Noguchi. Machiko had only recently taken up her position on Ryushi when it was subjected to a devastating assault by a group of Yautja and the Xenomorphs they had unleashed on the planet. The incident led to the destruction of the colony and the death of several of its inhabitants.

Machiko survived the incident, in the process earning the respect of the Yautja known as "Broken Tusk", to the point where she was Blooded by him and went on to join his clan.

Biography

Early life

Machiko was born in Japan to a moderately wealthy businessman and a loving mother. She spent much of her childhood alone at home and was forced to cope with loneliness. Her ability to adapt would come in handy later in her life.

On a summer day, when she was at home, she decided to draw a dragon picture for her parents. When she ventured around the house for a green crayon, she discovered that her father was home. She went to greet her father, when she realized that he was covered in blood. Upon hearing that he was fired from his job, her father (who felt dishonored) committed seppuku (ritual suicide). Seeing that his daughter was in the room, he told her with his dying breath to regain their family honor.

Machiko lived a bitter and cold childhood after that. Her mother remarried and became distant from her. They never hated each other, they just grew apart. This would only further alienate Machiko.

Regaining her honor

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Machiko before her enrollment into Predator culture.

Later in life, and determined to abide by her father's dying words, Machiko got a job at the Chigusa Corporation. She worked her way up the corporate ladder to a respectable position. One of her first major tasks would be to take the place of Hiroki Shimura as the administrator of the ranching colony of Ryushi. Stationed in Prosperity Wells, Noguchi spends three months in her customized office performing her duties in a self-described "by-the-book" fashion, making little to no effort to make friends among the colonists, with many of them openly expressing their disdain towards her behind her back.

Thanks to Hiroki's advice, she later decides to involve herself more with the workers and also managed to talk Chigusa Corp into giving them a rise in their payment, changing some hearts. When Prosperity Wells and the colonists with whom she lived with became embroiled into the hunt of a group of Predators, who are on the planet to hunt the Xenomorphs in order to attain warriorhood, Machiko risks her life and start a plan to evacuate the settlement, effectively gaining the respect of the colonists.

After many conflicts, Noguchi gains a friendship with the Yautja leader, Dachande. This relationship leads to Dachande giving Noguchi the Predator name Da'dtou-di (meaning "small knife") and Noguchi being accepted as a human Predator. Noguchi also managed to kill a Queen Alien via decapitation and kept her head as a trophy after the hunt. When the colony was abandoned, she stays at Ryushi waiting for Dachande's people for two years, in the belief that they deserve some kind of explanation. At that point she owns Roth O'Neil's dalmatian dog, Creep, and a rhynth called Milo.

Living with the Predators

"Sometimes I think that the hatred the bug-queen has for me is preferable to the indifference I get from my adopted companions."
Machiko, regarding her experience with her fellow hunters
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Machiko's privileged living quarters aboard the Predator ship.

Because she bore the mark of Dachande, Noguchi was allowed to join a clan of Predator hunters let by the clan leader Top-Knot, bearing the nickname "Little Knife". Despite being very skilled and deadly to both Xenomorphs and Predators alike, she was often ridiculed by bigoted Predators because she was the "token" human. However, she had won the respect of the Predators enough that she got her own armor and room inside the clan's ship unlike the lower ranked Predators forced to dwell in 'the pit'. During this time, a clan member known as "Shorty" made a habit of picking fights with Noguchi, redirecting his anger of his own poor treatment by his peers to her. During her time in the clan, Machiko took with her the queen's head and a leapwave receiver, with which she listened to pieces of conversations, her only remaining link with the humans.

She eventually partook in a hunt with the clan in a Xenomorph-dominated world. After landing, Machiko and the clan fight through a Xenomorph horde and reach the hive to capture the Queen. The more experienced hunters take the front during the raid whilst Machiko is stationed as rear guard at the back, "a necessary position, but not an honorable one..." She comes into conflict with Shorty, who steals her kill and mocks her by mimicking her human tongue. However, a Xenomorph quickly pounces on Shorty, with Machiko promptly saving him, embarrassing him in front of his peers.

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Machiko and the clan attempting to subdue the Queen.

The hunters finally reach the Queen and attempt to subdue it, but the mission goes awry, resulting in the hunter 'Three-Spot' getting killed. To prevent any more deaths, Machiko breaks formation and intervenes, successfully controlling the situation. However, a high-ranking Yautja is furious at this sight of insubordination and brutally scolds her for disobeying orders and violating Yautja trust, positioning her at the front whilst the others handle the Queen. Once inside the ship, the Queen escapes yet again and Shorty closes the hatch, trapping Machiko. She barely manages to escape with her life, cutting off the Queen's fingers in the process and proving herself among her peers once again. However, they are unimpressed, saying nothing and turning their backs on her; despite showing them her exceptional talent and skills, the hunters still refused to accept her as one of their own.[3]

Duel with Shorty and betrayal

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Machiko stands off against Shorty.

Machiko Noguchi AVP War

Machiko introduces herself to Jess and Lara.

Machiko comes across the "last stragglers of the clan" returning from their hunt. Machiko notices that the hunter Light-Stepper has a USCM flag over his severed arm, and makes a commotion about it. This greatly offends Light-Stepper who responds by striking Machiko to the floor, now disgraced for stepping out of line. Machiko makes the submissive gesture and the Yautja begrudgingly leave her. She is subsequently approached by Top-Knot who informs her that she must fight amongst the lower-ranking Yautja in the 'pit' to regain her status.

Down in the pit, Machiko is forced to fight against Shorty. Despite the difference in species, her martial arts training allows her to use his strength and rage against him, and Machiko swiftly overpowers him. As she prepares for the finishing blow, one of Shorty's comrades grabs Machiko's ankle from the arena. She returns by kicking the perpetrator in the face, but the act gives Shorty enough time to recover and brutally beat her down. Machiko contemplates what to do next - if she continues the fight, Shorty will kill her, but if backs down, she will be forever humiliated and shunned. Instead, she chooses to take a dive, and is kicked out of the arena by Shorty. With this loss, Machiko is excluded from the upcoming hunt on the planet Bunda, instead stationed in the food quarters, being forced to serve food to other lower-ranked hunters.

Machiko is later seen in her quarters. After hearing through the leapwave transmitter that the Yautja are attacking and killing humans, Machiko concludes that her true allegiances remain with humankind, and she subsequently betrays and kills several Yautja whilst freeing the Queen. She subsequently crashes the shuttle down to Brunta and greets herself towards Nemesis survivors Brian Ellis, Catherine Lara and Martin Jess. However, her introduction is brief, as soon the humans are surrounded by Top-knot and his clan and the Xenomorph Queen and her brood. However, they are saved by Ellis, using the Max unit suit. After reuniting with the Synthetic Nirasawa and recently Facehugged Lucas Briggs, the group are attacked by a group of Yautja, including Shorty.
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Killing Shorty.

Shorty and fellow hunter 'Freckles' attack Machiko, but Machiko's superior skills as a warrior results in her killing Freckles, leaving her and Shorty in a fight to the death. Without his comrades to assist him, Shorty is powerless against Machiko and bisects his left hand with her Wristblades after deeming him a "bully" and that she is a more worthy hunter than he is. Shorty calls her a "human" in retort, and Machiko admits that although she is indeed a human and that she would consider it wrong to kill him, the hunter side of her knows its the only smart thing to do. She then plunges the blades into his chest, ending him.

Following the fight, the group reach a Predator shuttle and promptly board it, leaving Briggs behind in the Berserker suit to slaughter Xenos and Predators alike. Machiko tells the others that they should leave before Top-Knot arrives. With the shuttle successfully lifting up from the planet and the survivors escaping the carnage, Machiko is relieved to finally return home, back with the species she belongs with.

Bellatrix 2

After her abandonment of Top-Knot's clan, Machiko eventually settled down in a quiet spot on Bellatrix 2, off of Orion's left shoulder. After returning to her life of boredom and work, Noguchi began to crave the freedom of the hunt. When Noguchi later received an offer from a wealthy man named Livermore Evanston, to return to her hunting life by attending his private hunting planet, she was compelled to accept. At this point in her life, she ran her own business as a safari guide to take people hunting, with three assistants.

Hunting the killers

"For now you need to understand that coming off as the biggest and the toughest doesn't play when you're up against somebody who's bigger and tougher. Make no mistake - these guys feed off that crap. The first sign you give them that you could take them, your skull's going on the wall above their mantle."
Machiko during briefing with the marines.
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Machiko talks to Colonel Rast.

When a group of Killer predators attacked a mining colony, the United States Colonial Marine Corps sought out Machiko's help. When she spoke to Colonel Rast, she initially refused to even negotiate with them due to prior treatment, but after she was shown footage of the attack on the colony, involving Predators killing unarmed civilians and controlling a brood of Xenomorphs, her interest was piqued. She recalled how Yautja stories told her of rogue clans known as Killers that killed for fun and not for the hunt. Although they were thought to have been wiped out, the footage suggests otherwise, and Machiko agrees to join forces with Rast and take the Killers down. However, she concludes that the marines will need serious assistance in hopes of combating the rogue clan, resulting in the marines taking the ship Tarawa to Ryushi, so that Machiko can return to her old clan and negotiate an alliance. During briefing with the marines, Machiko emphasizes to them to show restraint and not to antagonize the hunters, lest chaos breaks loose. She also deduces Colonel Rast to be a synthetic, as she could not sense any aggression or fear from him.

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Machiko and the marines stand off against her old clan.

Machiko, Ellis and the marines take a dropship down to the planet and reunite with her old clan. To display her dominance, she briskly surprise attacks a clan-member and kills him. Initially unsure of the result, Machiko and Rast are subsequently taken to the Predators ship where a negotiation takes place. The Predators are unaware of her betrayal on Bunda, leaving Machiko to assume that all hunters on the planet, including Top-Knot had died. After Machiko and the marines assist the Predators in subduing a Xenomorph Queen, the hunters accept to join the marines in their battle against the Killers, and seven weeks later, both marine and Predator fleets begin closing in on Caparis VII, the planet that consisted of one of the Killer's base of operations.

Machiko remains on a Yautja ship, serving as translator to the Hunter Captain. The marines and Predators land on the planet and begin skirmishing with the Killer's Xenomorphs and Machiko quickly follows suit, causing the Killers to retreat on a large ship and depart for their home base, but not before the ship being attached to a tracking device. During the three week-voyage of tracking the ship, when she wasn't serving as a translator, Machiko spent time bonding with Eliis and the marines. Machiko becomes torn between her human identity and remaining with the Predators, initially taking the mission out of loyalty to Broken Tusk and the clan, but later valuing the human camaraderie. Eventually arriving at an unknown planet, the human/Predator fleet are immediately met with artillery fire, causing the dropships fly down to the planet. Machiko decides to go planetside too, though the Hunting Captain protests, asking what there is to gain, Machiko signs "glory", immediately winning over the clan.

During a skirmish on the planet, a synthetic marine Sereda is taken to the Killers' base as prisoner. Sereda realizes that their base harbors hundreds of Eggs, but no Queen. Concluding that a Queen would regain control over the Xenomorphs, contacts the marines and suggests using the Queen the Predators had captured by dropping into the field and turning the Killer's Xenos against them. Although Machiko tells the captain to drop her off by Ellis' quarters, who landed safely on the planet away from the conflict, the captain laughs at Machiko's suggestion and signs "glory", citing that the Predators are taking the ship straight to the Killer's base. Machiko and the Predators arrive at the base and reveal the Queen to the Xenos, causing havoc and eventually resulting in the brood releasing the Queen.

Escape and leaving the clan

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Machiko has her mark removed.

After Ellis arrives in a dropship to rescue Machiko, who is with the Predators in a last stand, she is faced by the Hunter Captain, who would rather go down fighting than retreat. The captain grabs Machiko's sword, douses it in acid blood from a recently killed Xeno and removes the mark on her forehead given to her by Broken Tusk, showing that she is no longer part of the clan, choosing to live rather than die in glory. Machiko accepts her humanity and escapes with her comrades.

Machiko goes on to say that the military back on the Tarawa had scolded her for the loss of valuable extraterrestrial technology, as well as being unable to hold good relations with the hunters, that now wanted nothing to do with the marines and were done with treating them as "equals". Machiko also informed them of Sereda's report, and that another Killer base was located somewhere, with the off-chance of them raising a Xenomorph army. Regardless, Machiko did not care, citing that it was the marines problem now, and she was moreso thankful that she could return to the normal human life she had once taken for granted and given up.

Personality & Traits

"That's the first thing I learned about hunter culture - you're only as good as your last fight. And that goes for every member of the clan."
Machiko (from Aliens vs. Predator: War)
Despite a stern demeanor, Machiko Noguchi was intelligent and largely calculating, also strong-willed and tough enough to attempt to adapt to the brutal hunter-culture of the Yautja. Although short in stature, Machiko is well-trained in firearms and self-defense and is in top physical condition. However, she was a largely unsociable individual, believing herself to be an outcast who couldn't fully integrate with either her fellow humans or the bigoted Yautja whom she joined after the Ryushi incident. When the Predators embarked on a human hunt, she realized her true allegiances lay with humankind, and she subsequently betrayed the hunters.

Her best friend and first love interest was Hiroki Shimura. Her current love interest is Brian Ellis.

Equipment

Before her integration into Predator culture, Noguchi used a 12.5mm Smith revolver as her primary weapon. After becoming a hunter, Noguchi bore a customized Bio Mask and Predator Armor specifically made for her. She also utilized typical Yautja weaponry, including the Plasmacaster and Wristblades, alongside other weapons.

Trivia

  • Machiko was the first known human marked by the Predators in the continuity, but the second chronologically, the first being Lex Woods in the early 21st Century.
  • In Peter Briggs' unproduced Alien vs. Predator script, titled The Hunt: Alien vs. Predator, the lead character was named Hiroko Noguchi, a virtual amalgam of Machiko Noguchi and Hiroki Shimura from the comic book.

Appearances

Gallery

See Also

  • Eloise — A synthetic/Xenomorph hybrid possessing parallel traits to Machiko's Predator integration.

References

  1. Steve Perry, Stephani Perry. Aliens vs. Predator: Prey, p. 12 (1994), Bantam Spectra.
  2. Steve Perry, Stephani Perry. Aliens vs. Predator: Prey, p. 219 (1994), Bantam Spectra.
  3. Aliens vs. Predator: War Issue 0
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