Champions of Pulp
Adventurous journalist and novelist
Lien is an attractive young woman of mixed Chinese and Irish descent. She has silky black hair she normally wears shoulder length and stands a mere five foot two inches. She possesses an athletic dancer’s build and grace and she can often be found wearing trousers more often than dresses (mostly because it is far more difficult to kick someone in the face while wearing a skirt.).
The place was China, the year 1915, and a young sailor named Rob Regan found himself in the middle of a revolution. Riots were rampant and Rob discovered that the slum where his girlfriend lived had been set on fire. Rob risked going AWOL to rescue her but he was too late; she had been killed and her tenement burned to the ground. Miraculously their daughter had survived, her body protected by her mother’s body. Rob now found himself in sole charge of a four year old girl and he had no idea what to do with her. However, he was a man who felt strongly about his duties and he made arrangements (involving many bribes) to be honorably discharged and got a ride back to the United States. A brother secured a job for him in the New York Police Department and he discovered he had quite a knack for the work. He was tough and sharp and when it came to accepting the odd payoff he was careful whom he took money from.
Lien was raised partly by aunts and uncles; her father was a distant person not by choice but by necessity due to his job. Still, he insured she received as good an education as possible. Lien learned a great deal from her family; they were cooks and maids in high society homes, she soaked up information and her fertile imagination led her to dream of someday being married to some rich dilettante. She spent plenty of spare time writing stories of being swept off her feet by some handsome American prince. And Lien was not forgotten by certain members of her mother’s side of the family, who were both impressed that a white man was willing to risk disfavor among his own kind to raise a “half breed”, and skeptical that they should have anything to do with her. Ultimately a few kept in touch with Lien, reminding her that while she might not be pure Chinese she was still better than the round eyes.
Lien made sure her Father and his kin never heard that part.
Lien met martial arts master and Tong leader “Master” Wu, who took her under his wing based on a bet with a rival that he could train her to be at least a competent martial artist. When she was old enough Lien, now a young woman attended college and took an interest, among other things, in theater. During her time there she took odd jobs to make some extra cash and during this time she met a reporter named Andy Stone who had been on the run from some mobsters. Lien put on a quick act to misdirect the mobsters and saved Andy’s life. Grateful, the reporter answered all of Lien’s questions about his occupation and she decided that is what she wanted to do for a living. When she graduated with a degree in English she sought Andy who by this time was now an editor. Andy was initially dismissive of the young woman, but when she broke a story about Chinese crooks smuggling dope through a food delivery service Andy gave her a job as a freelance reporter; if she delivered a story worth reading, he would publish it. Lien realized that it would be tough to sell stories using her real name, so she created the alter ego of “Len Regan” to use in the bylines.
In the mean time, Lien still needed to pay the bills. She tried to make a living as a writer but no one was interested in her stories. Then one day she tried an experiment; she had her father try to sell one and Carter Shea at High Street Publishing snatched it up. He was confronted and admittedly embarrassed, but he was also honest; the chances of a Chinese woman selling mystery stories was slim to none. So Lien created another alter ego: Louis Arland. Writing under this pen name, Lien has made a pretty decent living penning the tales of, among other characters, Johnny Mortis, Private Eye!
Lien is a halfway decent shot with a pistol, and is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. She is not a Master of disguise but has learned to make the most of her theatrical background, playing up Chinese stereotypes to appear sometimes as a young “coolie” or barely literate delivery person, or even as a maid or other servant.
Lien is a good writer, having mastered both the fact-based brevity of newspaper journalism as well as the salacious style of the pulps. She has connections in the Chinese community as well as the lower echelons of the New York Police Department.
Lien is an accomplished martial artist. Her Kung Fu is strong, consisting of powerful kicks, evasions, throws, with some nifty one-two American boxing thrown in (taught to her by her Uncle Roy, a featherweight, a wicked southpaw). Her Master has taught her certain mystical abilities, such as how to become amazingly stealthy and to perform acts of “chi healing”.