"Are you so fucking dumb that Jotunheim, a fucking planet, is hiding from you!?"
-Steele advising Ulysses Turner during WWIV
General Nigel Steele is a Frenkish soldier, and officer of the Ranger Corps. Considered one of Ranger Chief Sam Henshaw's "best, if...unconventional men", Steele is an infamous Ranger, regarded being as "deadly as he is flamboyant" and "being one of the gifted few who can somehow lead armies from the front". An ambitious rank climber, he has earned the wartime rank of General at the breakout of WWIV, and by the war's conclusion, his acts of heroism and "strange sort of competence" made him a candidate for the new Grand Marshal following Turner's death. He would eventually earn the office shortly after the war's end, the "boring desk job" calming him down considerably from his past antics. He would hold this position well into the 2170s.
Born in Cape Town in 2110, Steele was among the first South Africans produced via Frenkish Eugenics. A self-described "hellion", Steele would often get into fights throughout his childhood, often stating that he "had nothin' against the other kids - I just wanted to fucking fight!" Often considered the bane of his YDOs, he was dumped into the military as he possibly could be, which was, according to him at least, "part of my master plan". Denying all the "boring" logistical/desk jobs offered to him (which was standard for enlistees of his age), he demanded to be given immediate Ranger training. Although technically an illegal move for someone so young, the recruiters humored him, thinking the arrogant child wouldn't get past the first hour.
However, they were soon proved wrong, as he eventually became the youngest Ranger in military history at only 16. Records even indicate that he "chuckled the entire Hell's First Three away, especially the simulated interrogation". He served in the waning months of the Canal War, where his superiors noted that "while reckless, the kid certainly doesn't play around..."After the war, he was transferred back to his African homeland, where he fought in the many skirmishes against the raider forces of the Exclusion Zone.
By the outbreak of the Ten Years' War in 2136, the relatively young Steele had already become a Captain. Serving in every notable front, from Northwatch to Hokkaido to Korea, Steele would become a decorated war hero by the conflict's end - despite losing his leg to a PLA airstrike (simply claiming it "was a scratch"). He was back on his feet not even a week after losing it, sporting an advanced cybernetic. He himself even makes a (somewhat suspect) claim that he is the only Frenk outside of Harrigan's group to have ever killed a Chthonian.
Following the decade of relative peace between the 10YW and WWIV, Steele had risen to the rank of Colonel, and often set out on many "pet projects" in this time. One such project was bagging "The Arizona Scalper" in the Outlands outside New Vegas, which he claims he had come close to doing multiple times, only failing because of "bad weather" or "increased Legion activity".
With the outbreak of the Fourth World War in 2156, Steele became an extremely prominent figure within the military structure, and often advised Grand Marshal Turner on his strategy. With IIA support, he devised a plan to strike at the heart of Mecharussia - the out-of-dimension citadel-world of Jotunheim.
With almost two years of careful planning, Steele would lead the raid himself, along with thirty other Rangers, IIA SOG Agents Hadrian Kelly and Darcy Lawrence, and a "special gift" from spymistress Jane Smyth. Using personal teleportation devices designed after the similar gadgets utilized by Sidhae Judicators, Steele, Kelly, Lawrence, Kylie, and the Ranger task force warped directly onto Jotunheim and inside the citadel itself, bypassing the majority of the fortress-planet's formidable defenses. With only a brief window before their gadgets' failsafes would bring them back to Earth, Steele and his group attacked "whatever looked important" while remaining relatively unseen. With only moments left before the inevitable warp back, Steele hacked into the local security system, leaving a written message as both a taunt and indicator that their security had been compromised.
Lovely place ya got here, Elena. Really digging the trim.
The RangersAlthough the raid failed to do any sort of major damage, Steele accurately predicted that the raid would lower Mechanocratic morale and erase their perception of their secret base being unknown and completely invincible.
Steele served in various capacities for the remainder of the war, from command positions to the frontline. It was also here that he lost his other leg, finally acquiring a "matching set" of cybernetics. After this event, he was more often than not spotted in Turner's command centers, advising him. His finest hour arguably happened at one such time, during the Polish Campaign of 2160, which saw nearly all Imperial troops routed from Mecharussia, with a looming MAF counter-invasion force following them and threatening to overtake Europe once more. The invasion force was led by MAF Grand Marshal Anzhela Sokolova, who had, at this point, never lost even a single skirmish and had garnered a reputation for being practically invincible.
After suddenly losing almost a battalion-sized formation of troops in Suwalki, Turner abruptly stormed out, abandoning his post (despite Steele threatening to 'cut him balls to scalp' if he didn't "get back in his Goddess-be-fucking-damned chair") and leaving his advisory team to make "fools of themselves". With no options, a number of higher-ranking officers in the room offered to take over, but Steele threatened them with physical violence if they tried, stating that these "disciples of Turner have fucked it enough". Thinking he couldn't possibly do any worse, he took over command of the situation.
With Steele's abrupt seizing of the strategic reigns, all of Sokolova's deep, unblemished knowledge on Turner's command style was thrown out the window. With little left to lose, Steele commanded the huge Frenkish force of nearly a hundred thousand in much the same way he would command a platoon of Rangers. Tanks were taken out of huge formations and used for lightning jabs at exposed flanks in groups no larger than a platoon. Infantry were ordered to abandon their bunkers and entrenchments, and ambush approaching forces periodically from the urban waste. Drones were used as bait to reveal the positions of anti-air emplacements. Artillery was to be fired at unpredictable intervals, rather than at key suppression times, leading to mass casualties and disorientation within the Mecharussian force. After a long month of bloodshed, Steele's unprecedented command status and unpredictable style won out over Sokolova's thorough understanding of the (now dead) Turner's methods. MechIntern was successfully routed from Europe, leading to Sokolova's first major defeat and directly contributing to the end of the war.
Hailed as a strategic genius for defeating "that unbeatable snowflake of a woman", Steele actually had no idea he was fighting Sokolova, and merely "went through the motions". Still, his status as the victor sealed the deal, and his generally unpredictable command stylings seemed like a perfect counter to Sokolova's styles of observation and learning. Even before the war ended, he was made the acting Grand Marshal, becoming official shortly after the end.
"Oh, what's that now? Sorry, sorry, I can't hear him because the only part left of him is this little bit of his FUCKING BRAIN stuck to the bottom of my boot!"
-Steele taunts several Spetsnaz operatives during the raid on JotunheimSteele is a flamboyant, eccentric man, noted for his boldness, recklessness, and blunt manner of approaching things. His thick South African accent, paired with the tribal-pattern painted onto the visor of his nanosuit "flavors" his personality greatly. As Ranger culture dictates that even the highest of officers must still fight on the front line, provided they aren't too old or infirm, this gives Steele his excuse to turn every skirmish "into a show", and he often leads offensives with his favored PAX-IX and twin set of Kukris. He often relishes in the combat, laughing throughout and expressing gratitude for whenever he gets pushed into it. However, despite his penchant for violence, he does well in keeping it strictly on the battlefield. He is also alluded to being a shameless pervert, making various unwanted sexual advances towards Kelly, Lawrence, and even Kylie (the latter incapable of understanding).
However, despite his seemingly overly-brash behavior, Steele is known to be extremely intelligent and cunning, with a deep understanding of tactics and strategy. While eschewing traditional methods, he generally prefers to play into the strengths of his specialty - covert operations, special forces raids, and unconventional warfare. This contrasts greatly with his predecessor, Ulysses Turner, who was a much more conventional leader, relying on the open battlefield. It was for this reason that Steele was chosen for his position, since WWIV showed that such styles of warfare would be abandoned in favor of smaller-scale conflict.
Steele is a tall, imposing figure, standing at almost seven feet and ripped with muscle mass. His body is covered almost neck to toe in various tattoos, almost each and every one housing a story he can tell (from lost bets after drinking games to the marks given to him by tribals - marks normally reserved for their finest warriors). The years of constant fighting have also given him various scars all around his body, making him that much more of an intimidating sight. His handsome face also sports a thick, but well-trimmed beard, giving off an aura of charm masculinity. While he would eventually lose both legs, they are instead replaced by advanced augmentations, owing (again) to his hard look.
- Steele comes from a number of inspirations, including Contractor Vernon Locke from Payday 2, Trevor Phillips from GTA V, and Bambi "Buck" Hughes from Far Cry 3 (the latter's personality is loose, but the appearance stems from him).
- While he often makes exaggerated claims (killing a Chthonian back on Hokkaido, ripping apart "at least thirty Black Dragons" with his twin kukris alone, etc), his fierce skill combined with his competent mind could be using this to play to his advantage, as foes would often judge him "too arrogant to be a threat". However, considering his personality, this is only speculation.