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Melinda Qiaolian May is an ace pilot, field agent and former administrator who works for S.H.I.E.L.D.. She acts as second-in-command in Agent Coulson's team.
May used to be a field agent for S.H.I.E.L.D., and was highly skilled at her job. During her time as a field agent, she became somewhat of a legend at the agency.
On a mission in Bahrain to make first contact with an unregistered gifted person, several of Agent May's colleagues and a young civilian girl were taken hostage by the man's followers. Agent May single-handedly stormed the building in which the hostages were being held and killed an unknown number of assailants, all while unarmed herself. She managed to free all of the hostages unharmed. However, the experiences May had on that mission, which she refused to fully disclose to Phil Coulson, left her emotionally scarred and caused a radical change in her personality. After this mission May attained almost legendary status within S.H.I.E.L.D. for her exploits, which earned her the nickname "The Cavalry." (Repairs)
In "Turn, Turn, Turn" May states that she put together the team, by essentially guiding Coulson to chose the people she would need, including the tech-bio combo of Fitz and Simmons and Ward as a specialist, if it became necessary to put Coulson down.
Throughout "Providence" and the early part of "The Only Light in the Darkness" May attempts to justify her actions to Coulson and rebuild at least a modicum of trust. "Phil", however, as she calls him during this endeavor, is having none of it, and by the end of the latter episode May has struck out on her own, leaving the base and meeting up with her mother, apparently with the intention of seeking out Maria Hill. This may, however, still be part of a last-ditch desperate effort to reconnect with Coulson. In that same episode it was revealed that she was once married.
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