Surrounded by crew-mates with checkered pasts, and others outlining the notorious seas and ports she often finds herself in, Ami has an unexpectedly favorable background. Ae Mi Seong is the fifth child, and youngest daughter, of Hyun-Ki Seong, an entrepreneurial magnate who has been benefiting for decades under the industrialization of South Korea over the recent years. While many households have found plenty of disorder with the sudden formations of cities, and the clashing of rural, traditional roots meeting with the emerging economic and political realities, Ae Mi grew up in a life of virtual luxury and affluence for a Korean household, stable and up to date with the first world technologies, expensive cars, even their own private dock and a large yacht, which the family often used, enjoying their sea-front estate on the outskirts of bustling Busan.
While Hyun-Ki was happy to pursue the monetary value of the new ways, his own upbringing was still rooted with traditions, and he expected his children to follow suit. His sons would be heir to his financial empire, tasked with helping their family fortune grow and forging new opportunities for the family, and his daughters were to remain pure, feminine, and eligible to be married off to help unite ties with other heads of industry. Taking after after the patriach, his progeny were all resourceful and competitive souls, each striving to be the best, and to win their father's favor and support. He might had gifted his sons and daughters with luxeries from the East and West alike, private tutors, vehicles and toys as varied as the imagination, but he expected results from them. Affections were secondary to success and prestige that his family name should carry.
But, that's not quite how it worked out in Ae Mi's case. She was an academic, for sure, but she wasn't particularly competitive, nor concerned with perceived perfection. A tomboy, and troublesomely awkward in social situations, she was hardly the attractive garden of flowers her parents were hoping to cultivate, nor very assertive towards putting her mind towards the family business. She was unusually affectionate, naively trusting, and a bit of a push-over to her more aggressive siblings. She scored excellently on academic exams, but had little ambition towards finances or political goals, instead preferring to keep her nose in books and her hands dipped in mechanization of a more literal nature.
Ae-Mi had an avid interest in machines, engines, and electronics of all sorts. She read books and manuals on the subject in her free time, and relished the opportunity to witness the inner workings. While her kin were keen to enjoy the new computers of the age, she wanted to know how they worked, and spent hours understanding the hardware and coding. While her older siblings were happy to own and drive fancy cars to show off, she was with their mechanic, getting under the hood and watching him work. While the family sailed the nearby seas, relaxed with the scenic ocean, fished and worked on their tans, Ae-Mi was often in the helmsman or studying the engine, usually with the amusement of her crew. She loved to talk with other mechanics and operators, and learn about the occupational realities and substance of their training, and often, they were happy to indulge her, as most were rather impressed a young lady would actually bother themselves with getting their hands dirty and actually learning a bit of self-sufficiency.
At first, Hyun-Ki was happy to have her so enthused about mechanics, seeing as he didn't have much of a mind for it himself, and found her grasp of technology to be cute and handy. Not only did she enjoy herself, but she often helped the family learn their devices, helped recommend modifications for their vehicles and appliances, and informed them of the market realities of the technology of the day. They'd finally found a use for her unusual interests, and even her brothers and sisters tended to use her talents for machines and mathematics for their own purposes. It wasn't until Hyun-Ki came one one evening and discovered his pre-teen daughter working on his eldest son's car, smiling at him, unconcerned that her fair skin and delicate clothes soaked were soaked in grease and oil, that he realized that things were going as they were supposed to. The way she looked, talked, and even a bit of how she acted, reminded him of the pleabians he hired to maintain his expensive equipment. Once he discovered that she'd actually been joining their family mechanic in all kinds of private jobs, some for his friends and coworkers, he'd had enough. His daughter's reputation would not be tarnished on her silly hobby any longer, and with a stern ultimatum, he ordered her to stop with her work, stay at the mansion, and start focusing on making herself a reputable daughter for him. This was not something a powerful magnate's daughter to do.
Of course, teens are a rebellious sort, and Ae-Mi was no different. This was her fascination, after all. She reluctantly made her promise, but secretly continued on anyway. It wasn't too hard, seeing as she was quiet and her father was gone much of the time anyway. The bespectacled brunette continued to work with dock workers and mechanics, sneaking off at unusual hours to get time and practice on working on appliances, cars, and even some of their side-jobs, and they were happy to have her, if mostly for the free help on paid commissions. However, as it turned out, it might had been wiser for her to listen to her father's warnings, and stay away from the docks.
Hyun-Ki Seong was not a nice man. He was a cutthroat entrepreneur, one of the richest men in the new South Korea, and was quickly making Buson his personal domain, literally writing the rules and laws to his favor with his influence. Naturally, some people were going to take exception to that, people who were desperate and didn't have many means to get to him. Once one of the workers with a loose mouth started to talk to people with said interests, she became a juicy target. And, when she was fourteen, as she came into the workshop one evening, she was met with a cadre of gunslingers, along with the dead bodies of her mentors, and abducted, swept away on a private ship.
After being locked away for hours while they sailed away, her captors stripped her of clothes and tormented her, making her squeal for an audiotape they made for her father, so they could use her for ransom, hoping to get large sums of cash and a few influential changes from Hyun-Ki. They stopped shy of actually raping her, figuring she was more valuable for them undefiled, but that didn't mean they didn't derive some personal pleasure from brutalizing and humiliating her. Once they moved her to a remote warehouse on some unknown shore, they preached on about the crimes of her father, but sympathy was hard to reach when some of the crew laughed at her pain and openly talked about killing her after her father paid up, using her for their pleasures, or selling her off to some other organization. Her cries of anguish and fear rang out commonly through her chamber, with little attention, other than the occasional boot to shut her up. It was the darkest, scariest moments of her life, where she spent every day wondering if it would be her last.
Then, one day, Ae-Mi awoke to an explosion, ringing in from corridors. She couldn't see what was happening, but she soon recognized the cacophony as gunfire, mixed in with the occasional screams as orders were shouted in the distance. During the chaos, a foreign man, a Westerner whom she didn't recognize as part her kidnappers, dressed in a Kevlar vest, snuck into the chambers where she was held. Even when he untied her, she was weary of this new man, not sure what kind of fate he presented, but when he shot back at one of the men who came through the door, one whom she recognized putting the pain to her days earlier, she quietly decided to come along, joining him as they made their way back to their own war vessel. She passed countless men whom she recognized on the way back, all viscerally slumped on the ground and bloodied, as she passed along, following only by the insistent tun on her hand, as they raced to the boat. Once on, the man called back their men, shunted her into a chamber in the hull, and took off. Several small boats followed in tow, but her current captors managed to fend them off and lose their trail.
It was explained to her that they were mercenaries, working for her father, hired with the intention of getting her back. That, they did, exceptionally well, and she couldn't be grateful enough for saving her from whatever fate they had in mind for her. But, she wasn't sure what to make of them. She learned she couldn't trust people too easily, thanks to this whole mess, and they had an even harder look than the ones who kidnapped her. Were they really looking out for her safety?
Fortune stepped in one last time, as their engine petered out half-way to their destination point, leaving them stranded on open waters. While they were baking in the humidity of the Summer sea for hours, cautious teen was let out of her chamber, once it got too hot. She got a chance to listen to them bitch and complain, moan their worries off one another. For some reason, she found it funny that a bunch of amazing warriors, who pair top-dollar and obviously operated outside the law, killing people for money and taking adventurous jobs, were all thwarted by a little engine trouble, with not a one who could knew how to handle it. It humanized them, in her own weird way. So, she offered to have a look at it. It took some convincing, but the helmsman eventually let her have a look, and was a little impressed with how familiar she was with what she found. At her recommendation, they made a small trip at a nearby port for some parts, and within a few hours, she had it working. The crew of hardened killers and veterans of combat praised her and openly expressed their appreciation, making for a rather pleasant trip the rest of the way. They didn't chide her like a child, or patronize her with cute comments. It earnest praise, given from a group of hard-asses who certainly didn't have to mind their manners. They gave her a chance to shoot a couple of their guns that night, and even gave the young lady have her first taste of beer, and laughed when she got a little light-headed. Despite being born from a horrible experience, it was quite the enjoyable time, and one that left a lasting impression on her.
Of course, after she got back, everything didn't exactly go hunky-dory for her. Her family was happy to have her back, with relief and joy thrown around, as one would expect. But Hyun-Ki was a shrewd man, and it didn't take him long to figure out just how she had gotten kidnapped, and her accountability for it. For several years, she was on a rather tight leash, where she didn't have much of a choice but to obey her father. But, despite her gratitude for hiring the crew to save her, the his rebellious daughter was more assured than ever of what she wanted to do. Her calling was as a mechanic and engineer, a practical physicist, and even her father, nor a traumatic experience, could dissuade her from this. She pursued her ambition in secret even still, albeit in a more low-key fashion within her private school and home compound. It was inevitable her father would find out, however, and she knew it wouldn't go well.
How does that explain why she's out on a pirate's vessel, living like an outlaw? A girl's gotta work somehow, and the world still place too many restrictions on female mechanics and engineers of a certain variety. Besides, who wouldn't want to enjoy the open seas and keep a steady boat up in tip top shape while venturing off on some of the most adventurous work still available in an age increasingly moving towards order and world unity? Of course, few people really believe that's her only reason for being out here. Perhaps more truths will come out eventually. But, in the mean time, it's easy to see why Ami enjoys the life on the open waters, living away from "proper" society. Freedom is what she values. To live life the way she wants, and pursue the tracts she chooses. That is the ideological benefit of being a pirate, something normal society doesn't really offer, and it's ultimately the reason she chooses to stay, despite it's difficulties. It's dangerous, but Ami is a stubborn soul when it comes to that which she truly believes in, and isn't easily deterred from the path she has chosen, despite her inadequacies.