Gung Loi was born and raised in Gu Long Dux, the smallest of the towns, and the least visited. The other children of her age were mainly boys, and she learnt from an early age to hold her own against them.
This included learning to fight like the boys, and she was very good at it, often training to refine her skills. She started challenging the older boys to fights, and indulged at first, soon began to beat them.
She had seen a distant cousin visiting often, and they became friends. n'Gnung was four years older than her, and always beat her in challenges. However, he also coached her, and showing great promise, he invited her to return
with him to Forest Meade.
After meeting distant relations, n'Gnung introduced her to Xi Xah, who was training to be a ninja. The two got along well, and Xi Xah was amazed how good Gung Loi was. She persuaded the girl to join their female fight training,
which delighted Gung Loi.
At first, Gung Loi attended martial arts classes one day per week, her parents approving of her spending time with her relatives; they did not know the full extent of her training until much later. She
dedicated her free time to learning ninja skills, visiting for further instruction and practice as often as she was able. In time she was able to push the more advanced girls, including Xi Xah, and she even won on occasions.
The stealth of ninja was complemented by the furtive crafts of her parents, who specialised in catching delicacies in the waters of Long Lake. In her early teen years she spent much of her time helping her parents, and learning
all the tricks of the profession. One day she met n'Gnung, who visited less rarely since he had married, and she complained:
"I want to be the greatest ninja warrior, but instead I have to work in the water, catching what the nobility require. It's so unfair."
n'Gnung was thoughtful before replying, "Ninja and your work require similar skills. Why not apply ninja techniques when working, and vice verse."
Gung Loi did just that, and soon discovered that swapping techniques helped her excel in both fields. And, by completing her work quicker, she was able to spent more time practicing ninja.
As age sixteen approached she needed to find a husband, and the only person who measured up to her expectations was n'Gnung, who was already married. Without great heart, she married a good man from their clan whom her parents
proposed suitable. They were wed when she became sixteen, and he proved to be a good husband and homemaker.
She grew to respect him, and even love him in small ways, and their life settled into a routine. They had two children, boy first, and then a girl.
They usually worked as a team, but with a small order one day, her husband volunteered to do the work, leaving her free to practice in Forest Meade, her parents taking the opportunity to travel with her. Towards evening, a messenger
appeared and informed them her husband had suffered an accident, and had been badly injured; although he was being cared for by greater family, and would in time, recover.
Gung Loi was devastated, cursing herself for not being there, and blamed herself for the tragedy. She had one more bout to complete that day, but was given leave to return home. n'Gnung comforted her, and said a strange thing;
"It is wrong to blame yourself, Gung Loi. Take your frustrations out on others instead, and win the match."
It was a test of skill against the master ninja, and she attacked with fury, and won. She was immediately promoted to master ninja, but still had much to learn; she lost the next four bouts to her master, before her techniques
improved, and she became his equal.
About the Woman
Gung Loi joins the story when Jack tasks n'Gnung with recruiting fishermen. The warrior knows of an extended family in Gu Long Dux, related to that of his late wife, who possessed the relevant skills. Gung Loi was also recruited,
she insisting on joining the new team. Through endeavour and natural talent, she became their un-elected leader.
She settled to her new life, based mainly on the shore, but was always a tomboy at heart. One of her favourite pastimes was to take on any challenger at unarmed, no rules, combat. She remains undefeated, except for Aroweena, who
is her equal, but not her better.
Because of her fighting skills, she was chosen to lead the first of the Island's black ops platoons, eventually becoming an army General. She proved to have a natural flair for stealth warfare, and was the first to raise the alarm
concerning the invasion by Theodosius Quinn, immediately counterattacking with dedicated purpose.
She loses her husband and children due to the invasion at the end of Book One, and this triggered a natural response within her to fight back against any, and all oppressors; this becomes her form of self-healing and emotional
protection. In Book Two, she makes an unlikely bond with Aroweena of the Ddwyrth, the only person to match her in physical contact sport. She also bonds deeply with n'Gnung, the pair marrying at the end of that book.
During Book Three she produces several children, who grow up in the strangely mixed environment Jack's hamlet has become. Later, she becomes the effective third in command of the control centre, if simply because she is there when
others are not.
Her name literally means "Working Girl," which in Cantonese, refers to a professional female of high rank, like a leading government official or board member of an international company. It has no connotations with the
western meaning whatsoever. In Cantonese, the police are referred to as 'Gung An', or "workers of the people".
Languages: Second and good Ancestor.