Build and Skin Color: While being extremely tall and muscular, her transformation also left her rather curvaceous and feminine, with smooth, tanned skin.
Eyes and Facial Features: Slightly tilted, sharp eyes that are a bright cyan or aqua. Her face is somewhat rugged, with a strong jawline.
Ears: Long, pointed, elfin ears lacking any fur or hair.
Hair Color and Style: She has long, bright red hair that is almost pink. It is generally left wild and untamed, although she sometimes pulls it back into a crude ponytail.
Distinguishing Features: She is a giant barbarian Neko who tends to run around in very little clothing. She's very easy to pick out in a crowd.
Personality: Ronald had always been a bit rough for a medic, and his adventure only accentuated this tendency. Shayla is blunt and rude, always ready to charge into battle and face problems head on. While she is more than familiar with stealth, subterfuge and planning, her days as a lone survivor made her realize how much she enjoys simply fighting.
However, she has fairly advanced leadership skills, and does know how to speak to people. She's simply been in a situation where might usually made right for many years. Once she's won someone over to her side, she's warm and jovial. Shayla is also quite loyal to her allies, as long as they remain loyal as well. Betrayal or disappointment triggers a harsh reaction.
Ronald McBelle Sr. (Father-deceased), Sonja McBelle (Mother), Rose McBelle(Sister)
Ronald McBelle Jr. was born in 09/06 to Nepleslian parents living on Yamatai. His father, who spent much of his time at work away from his family, was lost in The Great Plague of YE 08. The young Ronnie managed to survive, along with his mother and sister. Due to ID-SOL blood further back in their family tree, both Ronalds were larger and stronger than average. He grew up quickly, feeling the need to protect his family. He had a strong desire to join the military and seek revenge against the Elysians that were initially blamed for the Plauge, and therefore his father's death. His mother, a privately practicing doctor, wanted something more for him.
Thankfully, a compromise worked itself out. Ronnie had always shown the strength and determination of his father, but it took longer for his mother's influence to show itself. In the later years of his education, he demonstrated a knack for science and biology. A career in Star Army Medical would make them both happy. He joined in YE 24 and spent much of his time training on Yamatai and working at planetside hospitals. McBelle was assigned to his first ship in YE 26, just in time to serve during the First Mishhuvurthyar War.
In YE 30, after years of dedicated and decorated service, Shoi McBelle was serving aboard the YSS Nightingale, a new Jihi-Class Medical Ship when disaster struck. Fleeing SMX forces with serious injuries to the ship, a miscalculated hyperspace jump left them in what they thought was uncharted space. It was soon revealed that the SMX had beaten them to this system, and a tiny resupply base on an otherwise insignificant planet detected them. Their pursuers reappeared, and the Nightingale was soon shot down and sent plummeting towards the planet. It was apparently lost in a fiery crash with all crew perishing, the ship's Soul Savior Pod and several it had been carrying incorrectly ejecting and crashing uselessly onto the planet along with the wreckage.
But, one soldier survived. Although almost nothing was left of the ship, McBelle had somehow managed to remain on board and ride out the decent. Horribly injured, he laboriously dragged himself to the one remaining Hemosynthetic Reconstruction Tube. The charred remains of the Neko who had been inside during the crash were scattered across the remaining floor and planet's surface, along with the hemosynthetic fluid that had spilled out. With just enough fluid remaining for one attempt, and emergency power rapidly fading, Ronnie secured himself inside and restarted the healing procedure. Neither he nor any of the other professionals on board could have predicted what happened next.
With the Neko's medical information and scans still queued in the failing, malfunctioning systems, something went terribly wrong. Hours later, McBelle finally managed to gather enough strength to break free from the now dead machine. Although Ronnie's uniform was tattered and soaked with Nepleslian blood and hemosynthetic fluid, something else was keeping it from fitting properly. Automatically beginning a self-examination, the problem was quickly discovered: he was no longer a he. The 6'7“ tall soldier was now a giant-sized Neko. She quickly realized her new body looked suspiciously like the crew member who had been in the tank during the crash, only stretched and distorted over his large frame.
Everything had changed, not simply his gender. Her mind was different. She was able to demonstrate many of the standard Nekovalkyrja abilities. Confused and disoriented, McBelle pushed these worries aside and concentrated on survival. Supplies were gathered quickly and methodically, before she did her best to obscure the crash site in case any SMX patrols decided to double-check for survivors or salvage. Then, the journey began.
McBelle was trapped on this unknown planet for five years. It took five long years for her to trek from the crash site to the only way out : the SMX base that had detected her ship in the first place. Surprisingly, she'd have help along the way. The planet was inhabited by an intelligent, if extremely low-tech, species. At first, they simply ran. Or attacked. Once the comparatively tiny humanoids learned the giant could fend off dozens of them at a time, armed only with a large chunk of scrap from the Nightingale, they mostly ran. Eventually she found a few that were willing to talk to her. Or, at least attempt to learn how to talk to her.
By the end of the first year, she knew a good bit of the local language. There was also a growing number of alien groupies that now spoke a smattering of Nepleslian. Her new body could eat almost anything, process toxins nearly effortlessly. Her digital brain learned faster and retained knowledge nearly perfectly. McBelle wondered why she hadn't upgraded when she'd been offered the chance years ago. Just being a good, stubborn, prideful Nepleslian, she supposed.
Soon, the group of friendly, helpful aliens were more than that : they were a tiny army. She moved from village to town, town to city, as her legend grew. The locals called her Shayla, which simply meant 'giant' in a very derogatory way that she found incredibly amusing. Being able to fly, see impossibly far away or heal from almost any wound made her fairly impressive, of course. Just as important as her size, strength and new abilities was her mind. Simple engineering was nearly magical to the aliens, although the technology level rose steadily as she grew closer to the SMX base. Her medical knowledge helped win hearts and minds, though. Her minor in xenobiology suddenly became incredibly useful, as she applied her medical training on the aliens. Teaching their healers, explaining how to fight diseases and parasites, performing life-saving surgeries with bits of scrap metal and tools made of bone : this was what made them willing to follow her all the way to the SMX base.
With no power armor, no advanced weapons and no support, Shayla had no chance of taking the SMX base with an army of three foot tall aliens wielding spears, crude firearms and cannons. So, she fought dirty. All she needed was one shuttle, really. Overpowering a patrol of NMX Neko took planning, and cost her allies, but chopping up the twisted copycat Neko troops with the giant chunk of metal she'd fashioned into a makeshift sword was very satisfying. And empowering to the natives.
Her allies received a crash course in futuristic technology. Easily slipping inside the enemy compound in their own shuttle, the surprised SMX/NMX forces were slaughtered before they could reach the heavy weapons that would have easily cut down the invaders. Once Shayla had access to them herself, things were ended quickly. In YE 35 Shayla McBelle was nearly shot down by a Star Army ship before managing to hail them. The crew was quite surprised to find themselves speaking to a giant Neko wearing fur clothing, in a NMX shuttle being crewed by tiny, lagomorphic aliens. They were even more surprised when she claimed to be Shoi Ronald McBelle Jr., who had been listed as MIA for five years.
Shayla was welcomed back to Yamatai as a hero. The planet she'd 'liberated' and the aliens she'd befriended were fairly insignificant, but the wreck of the Nightingale was a huge find. Dozens of backups had been recovered from the Savior Pods that had survived the crash and years of exposure, including most of the ship's crew. Her fame wouldn't last forever, though. Uncomfortable returning to her family or to service after her change, the strange Neko was no longer sure where she fit in. Still on Yamatai in early YE 36, her resignation was pending as she considered her options.
Winding down her psychological examinations and reintroduction to society on Yamatai, Shayla slowly became comfortable with this hi-tech world once again. However, even though she understood it, and wasn't jumping at every telepathic message, holographic display or burst of music she overheard, she didn't exactly like it. Planning to leave civilized space and sign on as medic for some freshly settled backwater colony somewhere, she was making the best of the last week before her service formally ended. The Star Army was putting her up in the fancy Ishimura Heights Hotel and paying for her steaks, so she might as well try to enjoy it.
Heading out for some fresh air at the relatively natural Imperial Gardens, McBelle bumped into most of the crew of the ISC Phoenix - Volume 2, including their leader, Luca Pavone. She'd missed their adventures during her time away, so had no clue who she was sharing a hotel with. Her walk through the gardens and then to a local cafe gave her time to do some research, giving her some passing familiarity with them. They seemed to be Good Guys, but she wasn't as impressed as most, and found the large fanbase they seemed to have amusing.
Of course, fate kept pulling them back together, as several Phoenix members planned to surprise another customer at the restaurant she'd been frequenting during her time here. As seemed to be standard for them, mercenaries showed up soon after, looking for a fight. After tending to an employee the strangers had injured, it was clear whose side she should be on, and she launched herself into a brawl with one of the larger enemies. Once the bear-like Lmanel had been headbutted into submission, and the police showed up to handle the cleanup, she found only one Phoenix member remaining. Deciding to keep Echelon (in a Mimicom body) close, she carried the robot back to their hotel, planning to meet up with the others for an explanation. Not to mention more details on a possible job offer.
After joining the rest of the Phoenix crew in their captain's suite, a night of drinking and feasting helped convince her to throw in with the mercenaries. Once back on board their ship, she celebrated the holiday season with her new friends before investigating the Fruna Ruica, a pleasure cruise (emphasis on pleasure) hijacked by space pirates. Once the pirates had been cleared out and the friendly degenerates rescued, Shayla joined half of the Phoenix crew to inflitrated a resort in Albini. After their attempted kidnapping of two Yamataian senators turned into a rescue mission, she transferred to Sargasso to assist the locals. Eventually she parted ways with the Phoenix and returned to Planet Yamatai.
In late YE 38 Shayla was approached with the strange offer of a job as Principal of a relatively new school in Tsubomi. Once she investigated Zenjinkaze Fighting High School and learned the reason why they needed a person with her skills in charge of things, she was more than happy to take them up on the offer.
Shayla is familiar with basic radio operation and procedures and can make transmissions to and receive transmissions from other characters through headsets, starships, power armor, and shuttles in both combat and non-combat conditions. She is fluent in Nepleslian, Yamataian and an unnamed alien language. She can speak and write both correctly and efficiently and can write reports, fill forms, issue orders under fire, etc. She is somewhat out of practice, and even the training she remembers is a bit out of date.
McBelle received hand-to-hand combat training, followed up with a rigorous training program. She is skilled and experienced in combat both in Yamatai-like conditions and in zero-gravity, with and without weapons. Weapons she is formally trained in include energy pistols, knives, and power armor. She got in plenty of fistfights and wrestling matches growing up, and is definitely classified as a brawler. Five years of nearly constant fighting - albeit against much smaller, weaker foes - has given her plenty of experience with low-tech combat. She is particularly capable with large melee weapons and simple firearms.
Shayla is capable of operating any computer system that uses the Kessaku OS, found on all Star Army starships. She is proficient in entering and/or searching for information. She has been refamiliarizing herself since returning, but is still rather rusty and sometimes gets easily frustrated.
She received basic mathematics training, up to and including algebra and trigonometry. McBelle is particularly skilled at measurements and calculations involving medication and prescription.
Shayla had several years of training after entering service, leading to many more years of active duty as a medic. She worked her way up to officer/doctor status. She has cared for many species, including Neko, Nepleslian, Geshrin and Yamataian. She has performed triage and field medicine as well as worked in highly sophisticated and advanced medical ships. During her journey, she had many more years of experience with field medicine in extremely inhospitable conditions with extremely little technology available to her. She was capable and experienced enough to perform surgery and other advanced procedures on an entirely unknown alien species. Since her return to civilization she has been catching up on new medical practices, including Minkan bodies and other technical advancements.
She has all of the knowledge of biological science that one would expect for a highly trained doctor serving with the advanced technology of the Star Army. She had a 'minor' in xenobiology, which came in extremely handy during her journey. She had a unique opportunity to put her study into practice, and her experiences would probably make for some very interesting reading for xenobiologists.
Shayla is experienced with chemistry as far as it relates to medical practice, mostly dealing with drugs, poisons, etc.
Growing up Nepleslian, even on Yamatai, gave her the opportunity to learn a bit more about simple machines than some soldiers. Particularly other Neko. Combined with the common skills she learned in Star Army training, she had some knowledge to apply in interesting ways during her journey. With the help of local talent who could follow along, she was able to create crude firearms and explosives, as well as simple machines.
Shayla knows how to survive in hostile environments. She can build shelters, hunt and forage for food, build a fire, etc. She can camouflage herself, move with impressive stealth and is familiar with guerrilla warfare tactics. After so many years alone in unfriendly territory, McBelle's experience in this field is highly advanced.
Shayla can understand and give out tactical commands and work with her troop to follow those commands efficiently. She knows the importance of teamwork on the battlefield, has been intensively trained in discipline and morale, and is able to recognize the command structure even while under extreme pressure (combat, etc). She is able to recognize ambush points, knows basic math in order to calculate distances, etc., and can use a tactical map.
McBelle is a fairly capable leader. She had advanced through the ranks to officer standing, and had a bright future ahead of her. Her people skills degraded somewhat during her journey, as the natives were easy to intimidate and/or impress. She was still able to successfully lead them to victory over a superior force, although her tactics might not work so well on more civilized folk.
She is incredibly physically fit, even for a Neko, or someone with ID-SOL blood. She had to perform at peak levels for several years, and excels at all categories of physical activity. Running, leaping, swimming, lifting, etc. Beyond her Star Army training, her experience was all gained in the field, either as a child or adult. She is not particularly skilled as an instructor in any of this. Shayla is also well-rounded, and would likely fall well behind a true master in any one field.
Shayla McBelle has the following items: