Background: When Jill and Andy Chappell entered the hut around which the fighting had seemed centred -- the sounds of the Indonesian jungle still muted after the guerilla's attack -- they expected to find dead bodies, and they did. From the equipment within the hut, it seemed to belong to a poacher, and they assumed it was his corpse beside the door. They also found a little baby girl, who regarded them silently, and with whom they fell in love. Nobody knew who she was, or much cared as far as the Chappells could see, so they brought her home with them to Australia and named her Sheona. That was in 1978.
Sheona was an unusual child when growing up, although with a ravenous appetite, endless energy and a short-lived attention span, she wasn't that unusual. Her adopted parents were home as often as they could be, but more and more often were called overseas again for their various causes. After being bored with school she joined the army (her parents tried to talk her out of it from Mexico), finding the enforced discipline and practical lessons more to her liking. But within a year she found herself rebelling more and more -- against the pointless games, institutionalised stupidity and, finally, against the discipline itself. The real problems were in the cities, and she already knew that the police were worse than the army. Her solution was to keep the day job but take to the streets herself, at night, and do some damage to the people peddling drugs and young lives. She was Black Betty, a vigilante who soon had the police after her for her uncompromising methods -- although the two outstanding murder charges against her are part of an elaborate frame she has not been able to shake. And even that allowed Betty (named from one of her favourite albums) more chance to add fear into the criminal equation.
It couldn't last, but the breaking point wasn't what she had expected. She had been careful to avoid feline imagery in her vigilante persona, because certain members of the army knew what she had known all her life -- that the spirit of the tiger was within her. Those people referred her to Lucy Lorenz, and she suddenly found herself even deeper in contradiction.
Despite her youthful looks, Sheona was one of the original three members of Phalanx, with two years experience in the army before that. She has still managed to maintain her triple life, because although she recognises Phalanx is doing good work, she knows that Betty is still needed -- and although the other members of the team know her real name, she doesn't want it going any further than that. Sometimes she suspects that Collins at least knows more than she has told him, and although Betty is on Phalanx's wanted list, he has seemed carefully neutral on the matter.
Quote: "Sure I believe in rehabilitation. I'm just providing some incentive."
Personality: It just happens to be that the two youngest members of Phalanx have the most fear-inspiring reputations. In Sheona's case, that reputation is deserved. Whilst not a killer, she nonetheless holds little else back when she gets into combat, particularly if her sense of injustice has been riled. Outside of combat she never seems to keep still, and even her mind moves restlessly over whatever problems are being faced, and other things besides. Whenever she fixes her attention on you, however, you know about it -- like the rest of her, her stare is intense and direct. She has been in some tough situations in her time, and in the backstreets of the city she has witnessed heartbreaking degradation and misery. She doesn't let herself forget.
Although on good terms with the group and her superiors, she keeps few close friends, even as Sheona (while, last she heard, her parents were doing humanitarian work in the Balkans somewhere). She does enjoy hanging out with Dylan for the occasional stress-free afternoon or evening, when even she slows down. But, although very protective of him, she acknowledges to herself that it is the being within him that fascinates her more, with its healing touch and control over the terrible beauty of flames.
Powers/Tactics: Tiger is part of Phalanx's front line, though she normally prefers going round the side. She especially likes to know the layout and defences of anywhere she is attacking, and tries to reduce the mobility of those within, likewise lessening any chances of escape or movement towards any captives or hostages that might exist. It's not always possible, but at least it's a plan. She exerts good control over her fighting, and uses her claws only if necessary. She also tries to ensure that anybody viewing Sun Strike as the Avatar is taken down quickly. She spurns the protective combat suits that others within Phalanx use, saying it is too constrictive -- her theory is to attack them before they can attack you.
As Black Betty, she uses similar tactics, although her preparation is usually a little more thorough (since there is generally nobody to back her up). She makes a greater effort to restrain the use of her claws, as she believes they may lead investigators to Tiger, but the balance between calm tactician and righteous punisher is one she is not always able to maintain.
Appearance: Sheona is of Indonesian heritage, with green eyes and black hair that always seems to have a fading orange rinse through it. She is not tall (5'5"), but with a strange combination of litheness and stockiness, she weighs in at a surprising 150 kg. As Tiger she wears a dark suit with subdued tiger stripes, with hands and feet bare. As Betty she goes for full-body dark, including eye-protection and gloves (with space for the claws to emerge). Even in jeans and shirt she can bring forth the beast at will -- her eyes turn catlike, her claws springing from beneath her false nails, her teeth seem sharper and her stance becomes predatory. Although this effect is startling, physically very little seems to change.
* Modifiers for density increase already added
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