The Touch of the Orchid Phoenix (mature readers only)

A Tsoo warlord's quest for immortality changes People's Blade forever.

People's Blade

Group: CCCP

Server: Pinnacle

Rank: Tovarich

Security Level: 50

Online Name: People's Blade

Country of Origin: China

Origin of Powers: Magic

Archetype: Scrapper

Powers: Katana / Regeneration

Battle Cry: My sword thirsts for evil blood!

Movement: Super Leap

Favored Attack: Slash

Favored Defense: Parry

Hated Nemesis: Yellow Clock

Xiao Fei Li was the eighth child of a poor rural family in the People's Republic of China, in the province of Fujian. She saw little of the new prosperity that China was experiencing; instead, abject poverty surrounded her. Fei Li was a willful girl, even daring to fight back when her parents disciplined her for refusing to work the fields. She was shunned by her family, and eventually disowned.

She made her way to the city of Zhangzhou and stole from street vendors to feed herself. In order to escape the slavers and pimps that prowled the streets for urchins, Fei Li organized a street gang, the "Little Dragons." By her 13th birthday, Fei Li had the blood of six criminals on her hands, and the merchants of the neighborhood terrified.

The toll on their low-level operatives was not lost on the Triads. When they found out it was a teenaged girl responsible, it became a serious matter of face. Fei Li had to be killed at once. They dispatched their most heartless assassin, "The Comb" (known for his obsessive grooming habits, and a passion for meticulousness), to bring Fei Li's head back. But Fei Li was far more perceptive than the Triads guessed; seeing the new confidence in Triad-backed merchants when she tried to extort food from them, Fei Li knew a contract had been issued for her. She immediately fled Zhangzhou.

Her escape took her into the mountains, where she hoped The Comb would never follow. She strayed off the commonly used trails into deep woods. A week went by with no sign of the Comb or of civilization. Fei Li's meager rations were exhausted, and the city girl knew little about surviving in the woods. She was near starvation when she stumbled across an old temple.

The sole monk there took her in and restored her health. She lied about her story, casting herself as an innocent urchin who lost her way. The kindly monk allowed her to live at the temple, free to roam the decrepit grounds, on the condition that she never enter a particular holy shrine, where lied the bones of the great warrior to whom the shrine was dedicated. Fei Li embraced the quiet temple life, rejoicing in her apparent security.

Yet that security was not to last. The monk purchased some simple winter clothes for Fei Li on a trip to a nearby village. The Comb, true to his namesake, had combed the countryside for word of a stray teenaged girl. Following a hunch, the Comb tracked the monk back to the temple. Fei Li was tending the vegetable garden outside the temple. The Comb had found his prey.


Without hesitation, he drew his trademark knife, approached the monk, and stabbed him through the heart. The kind old man died instantly, with a look of utter surprise on his face. Fei Li heard the sound of his falling body, and looked up from the soil to see the immaculately coiffed assassin striding towards her, a bloody knife in his hand and a satisfied smile on his face. She dropped her hoe and ran.

Rounding the exterior of the temple, to block his sight, she racked her brain for a good hiding place. She had known such peace during her short time at the temple that she never sought out a secret spot, as teenagers do. The temple was all too open and familiar, except for the forbidden room. She quietly propped the door open and slipped into the dark shrine. The room was pitch black when she closed the door. Yet she saw something in the shrine: a glowing sword propped in a display rack. It was Jade Emperor's Whisper, the weapon of the great warrior, Shen Xue. A thousand years old, it shone with the light of a newly minted blade. No dust had settled upon it for centuries. Surely, Fei Li, thought, this will outdo that little knife of his.

When she grasped the hilt of the sword, the world exploded. A million images flooded her head: war, soldiers, horses, arrows, screaming women, quiet streams, children laughing, death. Holding the images together, like a tapestry, was Shen Xue, proud and confident, caring and merciless. His spirit lived on in Jade Emperor's Whisper, and now he had entered Fei Li's heart, and merged with her own spirit. She stood tall with the blade, holding it as if it had never left her hand in a dozen centuries.

The Comb died in the next five seconds. His face, too, bore a look of utter surprise.

Fei Li, in consultation with the spirit of Shen Xue over the next five years, decided to use her newfound abilities to fight the evil she had seen in the land. Meditations lasting days at a time were extensive teaching sessions with Shen Xue, who imparted to Fei Li secrets of martial combat that had been lost to the ages, as well as teaching her about honor and the warrior's code. She trained her body tirelessly unti she was at the peak of physical prowess. This strength was heightened by the strength of the spirit now living within her.

At last she left the temple and travelled to Beijing. In Beijing she became known as People's Blade, fighting for law and order and dealing swift justice to criminals, particularly the Triads. The Soviet heroine, Red Saviour, met People's Blade during her sojourn throughout the world, and the two became fast friends. People's Blade taught Red Saviour many combat techniques, and helped her formulate her sense of law enforcement. She found an unexpected new enemy in the Rikti, when a mothership descended on Beijing and disgorged thousands of armored alien soldiers. People's Blade was in the vanguard of the ad-hoc group of Chinese heroes that had formed to combat the invasion. After the invasion, Red Saviour invited People's Blade to Paragon City, to help the Americans rebuild.

People's Blade carries herself as a woman far older and wiser than her 24-year-old visage suggests. She is unfailingly courteous and considerate, but utterly ruthless in combat with her enemies. Her ferociousness in battle, and willingness to take the life of an opponent, often disturb erstwhile allies, who do not realize they have teamed up with a 10th century warrior.

Comments: People's Blade is a woman in conflict. On one hand, she is a self-educated street urchin. On the other, a legendary chinese hero, Shen Xue. While her personality is dominant, Shen Xue's experiences and memories of martial life impinge on her perception of modern life. While she has embraced a Communist ideology, Shen Xue cannot accept a classless society.

Under pressure, Shen Xue's military aspect asserts itself, and she begins to take on the behavior of an arrogant general, or "Shuai." In battle, the sweet girl exterior disappears and a disciplined and ferocious warrior emerges.

She nevertheless has a weakness for cute, small things, like Young Champion.

UPDATE: In "The Touch of the Orchid Phoenix", she and Shen Xue were reunited with the spirit of Lan Feng, Shen Xue's beloved second wife...in the body of a young woman. Fei Li and Qing are now a couple, as are Shen Xue and his wife again. It has given Fei Li access to a great wealth of Qi to draw from, with strange side effects.