The Brooklyn Bombshell
Every Lensman dreams of meeting the perfect mate; a little lady he can take home to mother, then put on a pedestal and love. Naturally she must be quiet, sweet, and perfect in every way.
By Marcus L. Rowland
But perfect mates are few and far between, and often have dates with men who aren't away for months on end fighting the Boskone menace. What does a Lensman do for company when he has 48 hours leave and a few hundred credits burning a hole in his pocket?
Fortunately, there are other women around, slightly less perfect perhaps, and definitely not the type to take home to mother, but still pleasant company for a night on the town. One of them is Rachel Ginsberg, comedienne, better known as the Brooklyn Bombshell.
Formerly a magician's assistant, Rachel developed her own act and now works some of the most exclusive clubs in New York, where her beauty and talents as a singer and comedienne regularly pull in the crowds. She has toured extensively on Tellus, but is virtually unknown off-world since her brand of humor doesn't translate to other cultures very well; this might change if she toured in person and adapted her humor appropriately, but her Free Sickness makes this difficult.
Her act is risque, and usually includes jokes about the war and the Patrol. Despite this she's a patriot, and always sends a few free tickets to the local Patrol base. After the show she'll sometimes go out on the town with a handsome officer, especially a Lensman, and has been known to invite her escorts back to her apartment afterwards. She dates Anson Maynard (p. L46) on the rare occasions he's in town, although neither has any plans for a long-term relationship and their dates sometimes end in tumultuous arguments. He has painted her as "nose art" on several small craft; the "Party Doll" and "Miss Adventure" logos (p. L67 and p. L87) were both based on her.
While she has a reputation as a sexy comedienne, she has somehow avoided the stigma of promiscuity; this is mainly due to the discretion of her escorts, also her own care in selecting them, backed by her intuition. Paradoxically, any public proof that her behavior matched her jokes would probably cause her popularity to wane, since members of her audience would regard her as a "tramp". Naturally several members of the Patrol are aware of the truth, but appreciate the (relative) innocence of her motives, and won't rock the boat.
As Rachel's career develops she may go on tour to entertain the Patrol at bases across the galaxy (if she can get over her Free Sickness); the Patrol era naturally has equivalents of Bob Hope and the USO, and they are a recognized route to greater fame. She regularly appears at charitable events and Patrol functions in the New York area.
Rachel's peculiar mix of skills, the environment she works in, and her impulsiveness and short temper are a good springboard for adventures. For example, she learned to lip-read as a magician's assistant, and might easily "overhear" a zwilnik's conversation across a crowded room. She won't necessarily be discreet about what's said, especially if it arouses her anger.
Rachel might almost qualify as a femme fatale, except that she has no ulterior motives; she just likes men, and seems to have an unerring knack of picking prime specimens. Unfortunately many night clubs have criminal connections, and on two occasions her admirers have stumbled across Zwilnik operations while waiting for her after a show. If another incident occurs, it is possible that Boskone will decide that she is a Patrol agent or a police spy, and start to take a dangerous interest in her activities. They might even be right, since the Patrol could find uses for her connections and more unusual talents if the need arose.
Another danger is the possibility that one or another of her less savory employers might decide to force her into a more personal relationship; if this ever happened she would try to deal with it herself, but would probably seek the help of Maynard, or another influential lover, in preference to the local police.
Rachel Ginsberg, "The Brooklyn Bombshell", ComedienneAge 32; Brown hair, gray eyes, sultry voice (but her stage personality, when she isn't singing, has a caustic New York accent); 5' 10", 140 lbs.
ST 10, DX 12, IQ 12, HT 10
Speed 5.5, Move 5
Damage: Thrust 1D-2, Swing 1D
Advantages: Acute Hearing +2, Beautiful, Charisma+2, Double jointed, Intuition, Musical ability +4, Voice, Wealth: Comfortable
Disadvantages: Addiction (Tobacco)-5, Bad sight (farsighted, correctable with reading glasses but rarely wears them)-10, Bad temper, Free Sick, Impulsiveness, Lecherousness, Secret (promiscuous behavior)-5, Social Stigma (female)-5.
Quirks: Caffeine addict / Chocoholic; often combines the two by eating chocolate-coated coffee beans. Patriotic, but always cracks jokes about the Patrol. Calls Klono "Bozo." Her apartment is crammed with show business memorabilia, especially souvenirs of her own career.
Skills: Acrobatics-13, Bard-15, Carousing-13, Dancing-14, Escape-15, Juggling-15, Lip reading-10, Sex appeal-13 (+2 for Voice), Singing-17, Sleight of Hand-12.
Quotes: ". . . He told me that a Lensman always goes in, and I said 'not on a first date you don't . . .'"
". . . I won't say my brother is dumb, but fontemas call him 'daddy'"
". . . Alien shmalien, is it kosher?"
". . . Is that a pseudopod in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?"
Useful role models are the young Mae West, Jessica Rabbit, and Breathless Mahoney, as played by Madonna in Dick Tracy.
While this character was designed for the Lensman background, she is readily usable in other genres; her quirks and dialogue will no longer relate to the Patrol or Klono, but to some other topical theme. For a non-Lensman space background replace Free Sick with Space Sick. For Cliffhangers, Horror, etc. replace the Free Sick -10 disadvantage with Phobia (Oceans) -10. If gender and promiscuity are not an issue in a campaign, replace the Social Stigma (Female)-5 with Stubbornness-5 and give her another secret; she was once a notorious thief, but has reformed and is trying to hide her past.
Article publication date: December 11, 1998
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