"Using the truth well is more dangerous than any lie you can tell.""
Aino Neitola is a young woman shaped by tragedy. Happily married and with a child prior to the Maverick occupation, Aino systematically lost anything and everything of value to her while traveling Europe and fighting to survive. Leaving Ragnarok a bitter, angry woman, she threw herself fully into the seedy criminal underworld as a mercenary for hire, buying tattoo cybernetics to go with skills she had developed during her travels. Now having finally found a place again through Grave, Aino hopes she may finally have the power to protect herself and her loved ones, and will use any means to see that end. While typically polite, considerate, and extremely patient, Aino's presentation conceals a vicious woman shaped heavily by her fear of loneliness. Her tattoo cybernetics let her mix sonic vibrations with her close ranged combat, as well as the ability to siphon the life energy out of her opponents to fuel herself. Though a competent fighter as such, Aino prides herself more on her skills in subterfuge, making one wonder how much of her real self she shows on any given occasion.
The Nice Girl (Sometimes), Little Sister, Deceptively Polite, Equally Vicious, Keeping Her Head Down, Martial Arts (MMA), Determined Widow, Hartman Hips, Abusing Disguise, Killing World Leaders You Don't Care About, The Fifth Wheel(?), History Always Repeats Itself
Aino Hyvarinta was born to a pair of veterans. Her father, Elias, was a military ranger and sniper who served for over a decade in the battlefields of China. Her mother, Henrietta, was a psychiatric nurse working at a veterans hospital, where she met Aino's father. Aino and her younger brother Frederick (five years her junior) grew up in rural east Finland, near the Russian border. They lived a calm, simple life that was, by some definitions, out of its time. Aino learned the value of hard-work and earnesty watching (and helping) her father raise or hunt much of their food supply. From the time she was little, Aino had a deep concern for other people instilled in her by mother, though her father much preferred to keep to himself after his experiences in the war.
Despite growing up in the shadow of the Robot Wars, Aino had a nice childhood. Her family lived so far away from everything that their biggest fear when she was a child was the occasional spillover of Russian conflicts from the frequently unstable nation. Even so, Aino grew up resentful of the Mavericks and Robot Masters and the suffering that they inflicted upon the people of the world. As the Mavericks rose to power in Europe, Aino went off to college--not by her own desire, admittedly, but by the insistence of her parents. Aino was a willful, determined young woman. She was physically and intellectually blessed and wanted to put those blessing to use helping save the world from evil robots just as her father saved it from Chinese invaders. Out of love and respect for her mother and father, Aino followed their advice and enrolled in the University of Helsinki. She expected to spend a year there, hate it, and enlist in the United Nations military.
Instead, Aino found love at university. She met a kind young man named Hans Neitola who wanted little more out of life than peace and the opportunity to make art. He found Aino inspiring; to him, Aino was like someone out of a fairy tale. A powerful, idealistic young woman who was ready to charge in headfirst and save the world. Hans fell for her immediately, but it took some convincing to get Aino to feel the same way about him. Once he succeeded, however, the two were inseparable. A year quickly became two, and before long Aino had decided maybe she could be more useful to the world as a doctor. Her relationship deepened, and she decided maybe a nurse was acceptable, because it would get her out of school sooner to start a family with the man she loved.
Aino and Hans had a daughter, Anni, not long after Aino finished nursing school. They were a happy young couple, even with the Mavericks slowly advancing across the continent. Aino wanted to return home where she could more readily protect her family. Hans convinced her otherwise, pleading with her that there were people in Helsinki that needed her help. The two of them stayed, lending a hand to resistance groups as best they could while the Mavericks drew every closer. Eventually, Hans left one day, as he did many days, to lend a hand to people in need. He never returned. Aino waited for him as long as she could, but in her heart she knew what had happened. It felt like part of her soul had been ripped out, but Aino still had a daughter to care for. She would live, and she would not stop. She fled Helsinki in search of higher ground.
For the next few years, Aino and Anni traveled Europe and tried to stay one step ahead of the Mavericks. Aino worked with resistance groups, Juggalos, and even criminals to find some means to protect herself and her daughter. She tried to return home, but found it too dangerous to do so. It was a hellish time that Aino only survived through her indomitable will to live and her considerable craftiness. She considered, at least once, fleeing to Neo-Arcadia and getting revenge on the Mavericks for what they did to her--but she never went through with it. Aino refused to give in to that sort of wickedness because she had a daughter who needed her. She considered fleeing to Australia, but the opportunity never presented itself. There was too much that needed doing in Europe.
When Ragnarok happened, Aino lost the one thing which she cared about most in the world. Despite her best efforts Aino was unable to save Anni from the zombie hordes of Alexia Ashford. It was a horrible, gruesome scene, and something in Aino snapped. She had fought so long to survive that she knew nothing else. She became like a machine, fighting her way through the tide of undead because she didn't know what else to do. When she was safe again, Aino was broken. She felt as though she'd lost everything important to her and that she had not been strong enough to protect the people she moved the most. For a few months, Aino fell into a deep depression.
When she came out of it, Aino was bitter and jaded. She felt like the world owed her something for all that she'd been put through. She threw himself into the criminal underworld, acquiring tattoo cybernetics from a criminal doctor and honing her skills as a mercenary. She put herself to work in the underworld as a professional thug and assassin, taking work from anyone who could pay her fees and give him some semblance of stability. This work eventually led her into the spotlight when she assassinated the Prime Minister of Indonesia under a contract from Matic, and later when she found work as a potential new hire (on Daryn's recommendation).
Along the way, Aino met a man named Andruw Nisse who acted as a painful reminder that there were still decent people in the world. Aino and Feste had a whirlwind romance that started from her taking a job (in disguise) as a cast member on Z!TV's attempt at a "Big Brother" style reality show. For a short time, Aino led a double life romancing Feste (then a Hunter) and moonlighting as an agent of Grave. That is, until an attempt on the life of Dr. Caskett led to Aino being ousted as a Grave agent. Despite Andruw's attempts to get Aino to turn herself in, she did not relent and had to be rescued from a violent attack on her home by [Dash].
From there, Aino fell more deeply into Grave's affairs. During the FMian invasion, she was briefly possessed by [Scutum Bulwark], who exploited Aino's desire for more power to protect herself and her newfound friends. It was through those same friends (with help from Geo Stelar) that Aino ousted Scutum from herself and went on to run operations as one of Grave's most valuable assets during the rest of the conflict.
Slowly, Aino's time with Grave started to bring back the person she once was. Though she was still engaging in rampantly criminal behavior, Aino had people to care about and who would care for her. She found herself most frequently acting as moral support for her fellow operatives, especially the young members of the organization. For better or worse, Aino started to love he coworkers and tried her best to care for them and help them against the impossible odds they were sometimes forced to face.
But they were not the only ones, because Aino also found a kindred spirit. Kraft had suffered much as she had, though his destiny seemed much darker. Aino reached out to the man despite his best attempts to turn her away, and gradually the two fell in love. The longer their relationship continues, however, the more Aino fears just what kind forces are using Kraft and what exactly they are trying to turn him into. It seems like every new crisis brings more questions, leaving Aino to wonder just how deep this particular rabbit hole goes...
- Aino is Grave's den mom. It's in her nature. She tries very hard to take care of people, especially young people.
- Aino has her clothing specially tailored by the same store which does work for Madeline, but for entirely different reasons.
- Though she is largely non-practicing, Aino still considers herself to be a Juggalo when it comes to religion.
- Aino is an accomplished motorcycle and ride chaser driver.
May be destined for a rivalry with Web Spider.