This article or section contains major spoilers for the plot of Blood is Mine Chapter 1: The Hospital and onward. New readers are advised to proceed with caution.
"FINCH THERE'S NO TIME, WE GOTTA KIDNAP A GUY!" ― Michelle [[source]]
Michelle is a lab-grown human woman originally under the employ of Vazquez Law Enforcement, a private police firm run by Mr. Vasquez. She is very large and incredibly strong, her lab-grown nature granting her the strength to wield massive guns and kick down barricades with ease.
Michelle was originally sent to the hospital to apprehend Jane Doe dead or alive, however when Jane showed compassion and kindness to her, Michelle quickly decided that she didn't want to make a "big, bad" situation "bigger and more bad". She instead quit her job and set about helping Jane Doe and Dr. Finch find and destroy the out of control bio-printer that was rampaging through the hospital.
Michelle's outward appearance has not changed much over the course of the story. The only major change is some scarring over one side of her face following the conclusion of Chapter 1, a remnant of when she was attacked by the bio-printer monster. Also, Michelle was not injected with Jane's blood until Chapter 2: Blood on Mars, making her the third person to be injected.
Michelle enjoys playing jokes on her friends and is also very fond of birds, and likely cute animals in general. She is terrified of spiders.
As Michelle was grown to full maturity in a lab setting, she does not have any family or even a childhood. She was created along with nine others who looked exactly like her, and then sold off to the highest bidder. Michelle's contract was bought by Mr. Vasquez, and she was quickly put to work for him.
At some point prior to the story, Vasquez revealed to her that, as "lab meat", she had a limited lifespan. She was only expected to live for ten years, if she did not get killed in the line of duty first. He also forced her to quit smoking, likely to make sure he would get his money's worth, as lab-grown humans are prone to lung cancer. Her treatment at the hands of Mr. Vasquez is likely a driving factor in why she was so quick to betray him and side with Jane Doe, who had been nothing but kind to her from the start.
Main article: Chapter 1: The Hospital
Likely a few hours before the start of the story, Michelle and Vasquez were offered a large sum of money to retrieve Jane Doe from the hospital, dead or alive. Vasquez sent in Michelle, who somehow became injured and was subsequently trapped in the break room when a car ran through the front door and pinned a large monster to the door of the break room. Eventually, she would be found by Jane Doe in her exploration of the hospital. Originally she lied to Jane, claiming that the person she was sent to rescue had been dead when she got to the hospital. She then cut a deal with Jane, offering to get her out of the hospital safely if Jane could get Michelle out of the break room.
Eventually, Jane ran across Mr. Vasquez, who assisted in unblocking the break room door. It was then revealed that Michelle's target was actually Jane. As Vasquez prepared to take Jane into custody, Michelle turned her gun on him and killed him. The two then retrieved Dr. Finch from the laundry room, and set about destroying the bio-printer monster.
In the month following these events, Michelle took up the position of Jane Doe's bodyguard while Dr. Finch attempted to help the three of them begin to understand Jane's newfound abilities.
Injection with Jane Doe's Blood
While exploring Jane Doe's house in the upper tiers, Michelle was left upstairs while Fuse and Jane explored the secret vent in Jane's parents' bed room. Here, she was ambushed by a pair of dirty cops and injected with Save the Queen, through which she was commanded to kill Jane Doe. Jane's quick thinking and manipulation of a blood-soaked sheet from her room allowed her to restrain Michelle just long enough to inject Michelle with her own blood and free her from Queen's control.
Michelle is an uncompromising optimist, and always tries to see the bright side of things. She is also fiercely loyal, going to great lengths to protect her friends, most specifically Jane. She enjoys playing jokes on people and poking fun at her friends, with Fuse being her favourite target due to his cynical attitude and very strict aesthetic.
Under this, however, Michelle has been shown to struggle with her self-worth, a problem owing largely to her being lab meat and therefore largely viewed as "expendable", and also in part to how she was treated by Vasquez. She viewed herself as unimportant, even going so far as to tell Jane that if she ever died, Jane could just go find one of the other lab-grown clones who looks like her and replace her easily. Over time, and with help from Jane Doe, this mentality has lessened, but she does still struggle with it.
The process of creating lab-grown police officers has afforded Michelle several abilities that have been of great use to her companions. Aside from her tremendous strength, she has a vast knowledge of firearms and their use. She also has roughly ten years of combat experience pulled from various sources that was given to her in the process of her being grown. On top of this, she has knowledge of military technology, such as shield generators and military grade locks.
Michelle and Mr. Vasquez had a relationship that was tenuous at best. He was shown to be very cruel to her, and tended to not see her as any more than a commodity to be used, or an investment to be cashed in on. He often mocked her desire to be more than just "lab meat" and made sure that she knew he saw her as expendable. Michelle has described him as "a trash excuse for a person".
Michelle and Jane are very close. Michelle grew fond of Jane rather quickly following their meeting in the hospital, giving her the nickname "Blondie", and since then Michelle has been shown to care immensely for her. She will go to great lengths to protect her, often times disregarding her own personal safety to keep Jane from greater harm. Jane has, likewise, grown very protective and attached to Michelle, and makes absolutely certain Michelle knows how much she means to Jane. It is rare to see the two apart, and Michelle will often follow Jane around without question.
Michelle and Fuse have become fast friends since meeting in Howler's apartment. They get along remarkably well and often have the same reaction to things. Fuse tends to keep Michelle grounded, while Michelle helps keep Fuse's cynicism in check. Michelle also often pokes fun at Fuse in little ways, like making fun of him for always wearing a visor, and buying him a tropical shirt when he needed new clothes. She expressed a great deal of concern when he was badly burnt from his foray into Macland's mindscape. Fuse was doodled in pictures on the door of her mental locker, when Jane visited her mindscape during a forced sync - implying her fondness for him. When Michelle talked to Jane about her self-value, she spoke of Fuse very highly and clearly has a great deal of respect for him and his abilities/skills. They share a lot in common, such as being from the Lower Tiers, bordering on broke, being casual smokers, and sharing a similar sense of humour - though Michelle's humour is less dry or self-deprecating, and oftentimes more silly or affectionate.
Michelle is fond of Dr. Finch, enough so that doodles of Dr. Finch were in her mental locker when Jane visited her mindscape during a forced sync. While their meeting in the hospital involved a moment where Michelle actually pinned Dr. Finch to the wall in frustration, in the time lapse that followed it is clear that some time was spent between the three survivors (Jane Doe, Michelle and Dr. Finch). While it is unstated how much time was spent together, Michelle recalled a moment Jane knew Dr. Finch's social security number (while syncing by accident) and knew where Dr. Finch lived, so they could surprise him. On that note, Michelle knows Dr. Finch's personality well enough to know he would jump out of his skin if they barged in on him - and enjoyed his reaction. She has expressed mild exasperation at one of his self-proclamations of genius, but clearly respects his intellect and opinion and told Jane straight-up that she thinks Dr. Finch is (indeed) a genius. She is protective towards him, and was indignant when informed of the break-in into Dr. Finch's apartment ("Nobody messes with the Finch.") and during the drive to Jane's home after Dr. Finch was taken in by the Feds, stated right off the bat that they would rescue him as soon as they could, brooking no arguments. She expressed her relief when the group was able to bring him back safely into the fold, telling him it was good to have him back. When told that Dr. Finch does not like an audience during surgical procedures, Michelle thought he was a lone wolf type to take the world on his shoulders.
Michelle was initially suspicious of Caius and his intentions, deliberately staying awake for some time when Caius was first brought into Dr. Finch's house after recovering him from the warehouse - in case he wanted to hurt Jane Doe. The ensuing night-time conversation with him and Fuse, however, clearly relaxed Michelle and she stopped harbouring suspicions. Michelle gets along well enough with Caius, and given they are both 'lab meat', the two have had some (off-screen) deeper conversations about their life span and thoughts on the future, indicating they are comfortable enough with each other to do so. When they are sent on missions together, they have no problems working together and often do the job efficiently and quickly. They have also had bonding time while drinking beers and inspecting flowers on Mars. There are several moments Caius makes very blunt statements about their unique makeup that bemuse (and sometimes disturb) Michelle. While Michelle doesn't poke as much fun at Caius as she does with Fuse, she still amused herself (to great extent) by messing Caius around in the car with Fuse, when intoning the infamous 'The blood, the blood' chant. When Caius was dying after the raid on the magic mushroom producing abandoned power plant, Michelle had tears in her eyes, and while procuring Caius's clone and calling Macland Row to borrow hospital space, exhibited a powerful, single-minded drive to save him no matter what.
- Michelle is disgusted by biopaste. It is unknown if this was a original trait of hers or happen after the hospital when she was blasted by a biopaste stream
- She is less skilled in hand-to-hand combat than she is in firearms.
- Michelle used to have a digital pet bird that she invested a great deal of time into, before it was broken.
- Her eyes are brown.
- In the night-time conversation on Caius' first night with the party, it was heavily implied (and pretty much confirmed) that Michelle is gay.
- In earlier drafts of the story, Michelle was a soldier, not a police officer.
- Michelle was also originally supposed to turn on Jane, and chase her around the hospital, but was meant to eventually maybe be convinced to turn on Vasquez. However, because readers were so focused on saving Michelle, Morgenstern has said he couldn't justify the betrayal.
- A hint of this can be seen in the comic on page 75 when Michelle says that she couldn't bring herself to turn on Jane because Jane was so nice and so focused on helping her.
- Michelle is named for actress Michelle Rodriguez, and inspired by the character of Vasquez from the film Alien.
- This, coupled with the name of the police company she worked for, was a reference to the trope "Vasquez Always Dies".
- This, according to Morgenstern, was to make trope-savvy readers think Michelle was going to die. Instead, she ends up subverting this trope, by surviving the hospital and disintegrating the main source of her tell as "tough latina chick who dies" with a laser cannon.