Joe Lee served 6 terms in the government of Sorel - Glisten, a low-tech world. This military service was ended when Joe's matchlock rifle exploded, inflicting horrendous burns to his chest, arms and hands. Joe spent the next 8 years rehabilitating himself through the martial arts. He still carries the burn scars, a very high pain tolerance, and a profound aversion to firearms.
He studied with the Zen Master, Bruno, in the wilds of Regina Down - until Bruno's death. Bruno had commended Joe's mental disciple to his other students. Joe still immaculately maintains the grounds of Bruno's estate. Current rumors of another Zen Master on Regina probably refer to Joe.
He is currently employed on Regina Up at the park as a master gardener, assigned to the Japanese Garden. He has recently acquired his own efficiency apartment, formerly having roomed with The [former] Oracle, Michael Griffin.
Joe's obsession in life is the game of J'la. Whenever a game is in progress, Joe will probably be found nearby observing and studying the game. He usually sits in the same place for the entire (several day) length of games. Wild rumours have also reported a small oriental guy floating above the ground in the Japanese Garden.
Joe became one of the founders of the Regina J'la Society; at the opening of the Society, a Sengi Rik came to give the guest lecture. When Joe asked the Sengi about the "vision" he had during the Rik's sixth level game, the Sengi replied that "no, this doesn't happen all the time". Joe is then escorted to the Sengi ship, where they decide he is the new Oracle. After a brief test of combat prowess, Joe is given an "all expense paid" trip to Birabates to meet the Kaesthra, to undergo more "tests" and to see the Great Board.
After being scrutinized by the Birabatens, they agree that he is the new Oracle. After some time, at his demand he is shown the Great Board. However, his only memory of this is awakening to being given water by some jai, who are very suprised that he is "still alive". From his hair, beard and nail growth a long time has passed. He is then brought before an assembly of the Sengi Lords and the Kaesthra himself. The meeting doesn't go particularly well to begin with, however Joe does emerge with his head intact and a mandate to find Ghaer Raller, to exchange Knowledge (a Sengi book) for Ghere's "Wisdom". Joe needs the Wisdom to equip himself to understand what he has "seen" on the Great Board, according to the Sengi. He is returned to Regina via a rather unpleasant form of Barlow transport.
Once on Regina, a wild looking Joe Lee contacts Michael Griffin to inform him that he has returned from Birabates. He later learns of Theresa's death and visits Mikie in the hospital. Joe invites Mikie to spend some time with him at Bruno's place on Regina down. Joe then goes to Bruno's place. But although he's waiting, he's really not waiting; he's pruning trees, raking leaves, repairing the cottage roof and resculpting the rock garden. He's pruning when Ghaer finally locates him at Bruno's place. Joe Lee explains what happened to Ghaer and trades Ghaer the Book of Knowledge for the Ball of Wisdom (and his advice on wisdom). Ghaer then drops the book, which breaks into tiny fragments; Joe helps him pick up the pieces, so that he can take them with him. Joe continues to wait for Mikie, without actually expecting his arrival at any time, and to ponder the Ball of Wisdom, that when held makes him feel as satisfied as if he was chewing on a favorite shoe.
Return to Character Index