Satō-san was in the ninth issue of Global Frequency – one of the two GF stories without a title. It was published in 2003. This entry has S P O I L E R S for everything in it.
Global Frequency (written by Warren Ellis) only ran for 12 issues from 2002-2004. It used to be one of my all-time favourites before we learned things.
Essentially, it was X-Files done as short, high-tempo action thrillers depicting last-resort, high-competence efforts to deal with strange threats. Ellis’ later Injection drew from the same well.
For more context, you should read our Miranda Zero character profile.
- Real Name: Satō Takashi. It *might* be spelled 佐藤武.
- Known Relatives: None.
- Group Affiliation: Global Frequency associate.
- Base of Operations: Osaka, Japan.
- Height: 5’7″ (1.70m). Weight: 130 lbs. (59 Kg.).
- Eyes: Brown. Hair: Bleached.
Powers & Abilities
Takashi described his speciality as “infiltration”. He seems to be an expert in B&E, stealth and reconnaissance.
It is quite possible he’s a former thief, especially since he’s well familiar with narcotics.
Mr. Satō appears to be particularly capable, collected and courageous.
Takashi carries what seems to be a Sig-Sauer P225 pistol. This 9mm police handgun is meant for reliable, compact carry in peaceful countries. Since he operates in Japan, that he carries a gun is notable.
Though Sato-san isn’t primarily a gunfighter, he seems competent with his Sig. And by 2003, he was all out of inhibition against killing.
Let’s go with an obvious but working choice. This is a live, three-drummers version of Tomoyasu Hotei’s most famous tune, Battle Without Honour Or Humanity.
This video cuts right before the second, extended half of the tune. Which is where things get *serious*. But said full version was removed from YouTube yonks ago, and it’s not a long writeup.
Takashi Satō is a Global Frequency expert in Osaka, Japan.
However, his early 2000s missions took a severe psychological toll. There were apparently two separate engagements :
- One that ended with the discovery of the bodies of a class of schoolgirls. They all had committed suicide aboard a train.
- One where he was sent on an island to rescue children who had gone there to kill each other. But they turned against him, and he presumably had to kill them to survive.
(The latter is presumably a reference to Battle Royale. Which is a 1999 Japanese horror parable about children being turned into cannon fodder, particularly during WWII. Which was then rehashed into commercial entertainment products because we’re hopeless.)
The psychological damage meant that Takashi no longer considered himself fit for duty. His desensitisation was severe enough that he just didn’t care about human lives anymore.
Instead, he became a trainer for other GF operatives.
Flesh for fantasy
In 2003, the Osaka Prefectural Police requested Global Frequency support after losing two officers.
Satō-san had just the right skills and was nearby. Aleph forced the issue, since more than a hundred lives were at stake.
Furious, Takashi agreed to be on the Frequency one last time. But he told Aleph he’d kill her if they ever met.
The crisis site was some sort of research clinic. As Aleph hacked her ways into encrypted records and Mr. Satō snuck his way within, it became clear that it was the worst.
On the premises
This hospital was conducting a host of advanced research, most of it illegal. Bioreactors to mass-produce human tissues, unethical stem cell research, use of designer narcotics for anaesthesia, etc..
Takashi soon discovered that patients and vat-grown tissues had been turned into living, conscious human tapestries and statuaries. Stumbling upon these horrors was what had resulted in the suicide of one of the responding patrolmen.
Some of the biological ornaments that could speak begged for death. Mr. Satō thus shot dead what he could discern in the tangled spreads of flesh.
Though he was in shock, Takashi continued. He now was determined to end this, and himself.
The doors of perception
As he investigated, Mr. Satō put together what had happened. A small electrical fire had detonated experimental psychotropic gasses used for anaesthesia. This mix had severely warped the brains of the surgeons.
Using the patients and artificial tissues, they had been turning the facility into a sort of temple celebrating the beauty of the inside of human bodies.
Medical experts on the Frequency confirmed Takashi’s conclusions, using his HD footage of the demented surgeon’s altered eyes. Their best guess was that the damage was permanent, as the gasses likely bound directly to the brain.
Takashi advocated for an incendiary airstrike. By this point Aleph was also starting to go into shock.
The footage she sent to the Japanese authorities convinced even the JSDF (not the greatest fans of incendiary bombing ) to authorise an immediate strike.
Though Takashi was ordered out, he explained that it was too late. He then filmed his eyes to show Aleph that he too was now irreparably affected by the gasses in the air.
Satō-san killed himself as the bomb (presumably a 500 lbs. MK-77) was on its way down to sterilise the site.
Takashi appears to be 30-ish.
His swagger, bleached spiky hair, sharp features and leather motorbike jacket evoke the usual image of the Japanese street tough bad boy with mob connections.
Several aspects of Takashi are reminiscent of a young “Beat” Takeshi Kitano , an influential TV and cinema personality. Kitano-san also had a major role in Battle Royale.
When he appeared, Takashi was spent – and badly hurt. He also considered himself to be homicidally dangerous due to trauma, and thus refused to be in the field.
He had an uncaring, unfiltered, vaguely nihilistic attitude. He also evidenced paranoid reactions, briefly rambling and accusing the Frequency of being out to test and destroy his sanity.
However, his sense of responsibility and his duty to save lives were still stronger.
When on-site, he started going into shock. But his previous harrowing experiences meant that he instead went into a state of cold, collected, murderous hatred against whoever had done this.
This is also presumably the point at which he decided that he wouldn’t outlive the op.
(To Aleph) “Give me the briefing. But first, understand this: make very certain that I never meet you.”
(Approaching the Prefectural Police) “I’m the Global Frequency specialist. Tell me things.”
Cop: “What’s your expertise ?”
Takashi: “Infiltration. And never quite managing to go insane.”
Cop: “I don’t understand.”
Takashi: “Me neither […].”
Cop: “What do we do if you do not come out ?”
Takashi: “I have no idea.”
“You will tell me what you have done. Or I will kill you, and then kill all your friends, and then find your family. Because I genuinely no longer care whether anyone lives or dies. Which is why I am not supposed to be doing this job.”
DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
|Dex: 03||Str: 02||Bod: 03|
|Int: 05||Wil: 04||Min: 04|
|Inf: 03||Aur: 03||Spi: 04|
|Init: 013||HP: 015|
Acrobatics (Climbing): 04, Artist (Actor): 03, Charisma (Persuasion): 04, Martial Artist: 03, Thief (Stealth, L&S, Security): 05, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms): 03
Expertise (Narcotics), Language (Japanese).
Global Frequency (Low) and presumably Street (Low).
Serious Rage, and presumably a dependency on antidepressant drugs (legal or not).
- Sig-Sauer 9mm P225 [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 08, R#02] with four spare mags.
- Global Frequency Phone [BODY 04, Radio Communications (Scrambled): 19, Misc. Advantage (Allow Remote Sensing from Central Operations)].
As with John Stark, I went a bit long on skills he likely possesses but were not demonstrated.
Normally I’m conservative about these, but certain writeups are more useful when they do not strictly stick with observed performance.
Source of Character: Global Frequency Vol. 1 #9.
Writeup completed on the 28th of November, 2018.