Doctor Sheng was a scientist stationed in Earth Empire's southern forces during the rule of Kuvira and continued to serve in an armed holdout outside Gaoling in the months following the latter's surrender. Sheng was instrumental in the development of highly effective brainwashing techniques, which were used by Commander Guan with the hope of influencing the Gaoling election of 174 AG.
Doctor Sheng worked very closely with Baatar Jr. before he left to become Kuvira's second-in-command. Afterward, Sheng began researching more effective methods to reeducate prisoners sent to camps, diving into the ancient indoctrination techniques used by the Dai Li. Upon realizing that their methods could be unreliable and ineffective in the long run, she combined them with modern technology and, by experimenting with magnetic waves to alter the brain, managed to drastically increase the effectiveness of brainwashing.
When the news broke of Kuvira's surrender, Sheng made her way to the tent where her commander was getting his morning shave. Guan immediately asked her if she had made progress with her brainwashing techniques, which she affirmed though continued to relay to him the news of the Earth Empire's defeat in Republic City and Kuvira's order to her forces to surrender as well. They both could not understand the reasoning behind Kuvira's command, and Sheng was ordered by Guan to continue her experiments. As they both watched the well-trained Earth Empire forces practice, Guan told her that while their soldiers were just shy from being hopeless when they first came to the camp, she had shown him otherwise and together they had turned them into a formidable fighting force.
Influencing the Gaoling election
After Guan was confronted by Kuvira three months later when he formally put forth his candidacy to rule the State of Gaoling, he told Sheng that Kuvira had been corrupted by the Avatar's influence, to which the doctor stated that perhaps they should recalibrate her mind. Pondering the possibility, Guan changed the topic to the election and the arrival of the campaign recruits that Shen had mentioned had arrived earlier. Leading the way to where she was holding her experiments, she updated her commander on her progress, telling him that their test subject to her brainwashing machine were responding quite well to their message, which was that "a vote for Guan is a vote for progress and prosperity". With this successful test, they repeated the process on most of Gaoling's populace, placing Guan in the lead in the election.
After Kuvira, Asami Sato, Mako, and Bolin were captured and brought to Sheng, she prepared to begin brainwashing Team Avatar's members. As she was calibrating her machine, she revealed to Kuvira that she had wanted to share her scientific breakthrough with her leader, but that she had surrendered before she could. When Kuvira stated that she had never authorized her inhumane experiments, Shen refuted the statement, pointing out that while Kuvira may not have directly authorized the experiments, she did demand results without caring how they were achieved. Sheng proceeded to successfully brainwash Asami, Mako, and Bolin, instilling within them the ideas that they had to obey Guan's every command and that Korra was no longer their friend but their enemy. Before she could subject Kuvira to the same treatment, however, her former leader managed to escape. Sheng later prepared to brainwash Earth King Wu after he had been successfully captured by Guan's forces.
When Guan brought Kuvira back to the Gaoling reeducation camp following her willing surrender, Sheng welcomed her back to the Earth Empire as she began the brainwashing process, pleased to finally share her invention with the former Great Uniter. However, as soon as she began the process, Kuvira used metalbending to levitate brainwashing helmets above Guan and Sheng, trapping their heads in them as she used metalbending to free herself from her restraints.
Kuvira told Guan and Sheng that she was beating them at their own game, and they would have no choice but to surrender and tell the world about how they stole the election. Sheng raised that Kuvira did not know how the machine operated, but she informed her that she did, as Baatar Jr. figured out how Sheng's brainwashing worked in a matter of hours. However, Mako and Bolin quickly entered, ordering Kuvira to release them, Mako shooting fire at her and giving enough time for Guan and Sheng to remove their helmets. Sheng tried to escape but was confronted by Asami. The businesswoman swiftly stunned Sheng with her electric glove, proclaiming that the attack was justice for Sheng zapping her brain.
Graphic novel trilogies
- Ruins of the Empire trilogy
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Wong, Michelle (artist), Ng, Killian (colorist). Ruins of the Empire Part Two (November 12, 2019), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Wong, Michelle (artist), Ng, Vivian (colorist). Ruins of the Empire Part One (May 21, 2019), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Wong, Michelle (artist), Ng, Killian (colorist). Ruins of the Empire Part Three (February 25, 2020), Dark Horse Comics.