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Shen, as she's grown used to people calling her, is a very outgoing teenager. She does believe in the principles of Buddhism her uncle has done his best to teach her, but she is still a teenager at heart. Living in the now is easier when times are easy, not so much when they are tough. And there are some earthly possessions she likes way too much. Nirvana is still a way away if she's supposed to ditch her smartphone to get there, is all she's saying.

She's a very independent girl, partly from having had to grow up without her parents, but she also loves her uncle very much. She also loves to have fun, and learning to fly is going to be a hoot. She really is a perfect mix of American teenager and Buddhist upbringing, and she likes where she's at.

Buddhism, at its heart, is about wisdom and compassion. She's starting off with a lot of the latter, and not so much of the former, she figures, but she plans on getting better. And in the meantime, her compassion often pushes her to help people without thinking twice about it - or try to, anyway. A little Oriental chick can't always do enough.

She's a vegan, and passionate about the fact that the food industry is hell on animals. Killing other living beings is wrong, and that is that. She's following in her parents' footsteps, she feels, by trying to educate herself and others in many of the fights that matter in their society. The girl has principles, and like most teenagers, she believes in them heart and soul, even a little too much at times, blocking any possible dialogue.

And she has a hell of a temper. She's zen and easy-going until she isn't anymore.


Shen is currently growing two huge brown wings out of her back. This will be, at first, a slow process, taking days, and not entirely painless. She'll think of it as growing pains. She will later realise that she can shed her wings, which then turn into goo, so she's quickly going to learn to do that in the bathroom. Each time she grows her wings back, it will go a little more quickly and easily. Eventually, the wings will come out in a matter of seconds, but we're really not there yet.

As she discovers her mutation, she will also realise that she can shift her hands and feet into talons, and then back again, at will.

Moreover, her sight is sharpening, as is her hearing, and her strength and durability are increasing. Eventually, she will be able to read some things in the air currents.

Once she has fully come into her mutation, she will be an incredibly fast flier, able to catch up with speedsters as long as she's in the air.

Because of her mutation, she will also make a very naturally skilled pilot, if she ever learns.


Cooking (you've gotta when you're a vegan), singing, speaking Chinese.


Buddhism. The fight against specism, racism, sexism, ablism, and all sorts of discriminations. Boys and girls. Music - pop in many of its forms, mostly, but when she gets contemplative she loves post rock. Social networks. Cute selfies (yes, she knows it goes against the essence of living in the now, but what can she say).


Shen was born to a happy, loving family, and taught about right and wrong from the start. When she thinks of her parents, she remembers being loved, when they weren't away fighting for one cause or another. She adored them, idealised them even, and did not mind how much time she spent with her mother's brother, Yang Tian. He loved her just as much.

But when she was six, her parents did not come back. They had gone to help the people of Tibet during their riots, and had been caught in the crossfire and killed by the Chinese oppressors. As soon as he could manage, Yang Tian found a way to get them out of the country and on their way to the US.

When she introduced herself as Shen Li-Men and Americans started calling her Shen as if it was her first name, the kid she was decided not to correct them. She liked being called Shen, and still does to this day; it is a link to her parents.

Yang Tian and she settled in Seattle and she fit in easily in American society, making friends and taking to the language and culture of her new country with ease. American society wasn't perfect, far from it, but Shen enjoyed the many freedoms it provided. Yang Tian, who had been an English teacher in Shanghai, now taught English to immigrants. When she was 13, Yang Tian and she saw the end of the arduous process of naturalization, turning from permanent residents into US citizens.

Now Shen was fifteen, and there were odd bone growths sprouting out of her shoulder blades. At first it was an itch, but then it started thrumming with a low, dull ache, and after a few days, they had grown enough that she could tell what they were: the beginnings of wings, brown wings. She didn't try to hide this from her uncle, of course, and they came to the obvious conclusion that she must be a mutant.

They were at a bit of a loss what to do about it, though, until an old Englishman in a wheelchair showed up with an offer. Shen jumped at the chance to attend a school for mutants, and Yang Tian decided to move to Salem Center, not so he could crowd her (that wasn't his style, and teenagers needed their space, he remembered very well), but simply to be close by when she needed him.