Although the Special Forces is technically a separate part of Soul Society to the Gotei 13, it is also traditional that the Captain of the 2nd Division also serves as the Commander of the Special Forces - meaning the 2nd Division is privy to a lot of sensitive information, and takes many covert operations under their wing. This breeds both caution and resentment toward her, and various other shinigami – particularly nobles, or those trying to gain favour with them – put special effort into making things difficult for her.
Soifon was born Feng (Fon) Shaoling into the Fon house, one of the lower noble houses affiliated with the Shihouin noble house; her current name is one she took upon joining the special forces, a codename previously used by her grandmother. The Fon house traditionally serves the Shihouin house by joining the special forces, exiling any family member who doesn't pass the entry test, meaning that even as a child Soifon had a great deal of pressure placed on her. It is known that her five older brothers all served and died in the special forces.
Soifon worked hard and was eventually promoted to become the head of the guard for the leader of the special forces at the time, Shihouin Yoruichi. Yoruichi took the young Soifon under her wing as her protégé, and they developed a close relationship. When Yoruichi eventually left Soul Society with Urahara Kisuke (roughly 100 years ago) she was stripped of all her titles, leading to the promotion of Soifon shortly afterward.
Soifon is staunchly loyal, firm, and unbending in her beliefs. A hard worker who takes a strong moral stand, she particularly believes in the value of the law and following orders. She is generally reserved and not arrogant like her vice-captain, but also harsh – she will not hesitate in the slightest to strike down even her subordinates if they stand in her way.
Soifon is a slim and generally slightly-built young woman with dark hair and eyes. Underneath her standard shinigami captain uniform, Soifon wears the special forces leader's uniform, which has no sleeves or covering for the back. The reason for this is known to be that she is developing a method of combat called shunkou (flash cry), an advanced technique that combines hand to hand combat and kidou and causes high spiritual pressure to accumulate at the shoulders and back, blasting away the fabric there. Her hair is worn short with two long braids covered in cloth.
Zanpakutou: Suzumebachi (lit. "Sparrow Hornet").
In its sealed form, Suzumebachi resembles a wakizashi with a yellow hilt reminiscent of a Chinese dao. Unlike most shinigami, she wears it horizontally on her lower back. Its shikai is triggered by the command "Sting all enemies to death!". In its shikai, Suzumebachi shrinks into a stinger that is worn on the middle finger of Soifon's right hand. When Soifon stabs someone with Suzumebachi, a butterfly symbol called a hornet's crest spreads from the point of contact, its abdomen acting as the centre. If it strikes the same location again, the opponent dies, regardless of how powerful they may be. The crests are maintained by Soifon's will and are impossible to remove unless she wills it.
Former Captain: Shihouin Yoruichi
Shihouin Yoruichi was the 22nd generation head of the Shihouin family, one of the four noble families of Soul Society. She was also nicknamed "The God of Shunpo" for her mastery of such techniques, and is said to have pioneered some of the shunpo techniques currently used by high-ranking shinigami. She abandoned her post around 100 years ago, however – aiding in the escape of former 12th division captain Urahara Kisuke – and was thus relieved of her position. Yoruichi also served as mentor and master to the woman who would replace her as General of the Special Forces and Captain of the 2nd Division, Soifon; it is understood that the pair were very close in their youth.
Yoruichi recently returned to Soul Society – albeit briefly – during the commotion caused by Aizen Sousuke's plot, and aided in fighting his forces. She then vanished to the human world once more. Yoruichi is still technically banished, but seems to have been granted a partial pardon for her aid against Aizen.
Yoruichi is known to have had a zanpakutou, in the sealed form of a wakizashi or kodachi, before she left Soul Society. She seems to have deliberately kept its true nature a secret, and it was not seen during her brief recent return.
Vice-captain: Oomaeda Marechiyo
Oomaeda Marechiyo is a large man with an equally large mouth, who comes across as arrogant and dull. His skill level as a shinigami remains broadly unknown, so it is thought that he received his position as vice-captain because of his family's connections. He also has a reputation for cowardice, gluttony, and poor personal hygiene. Given captain Soifon's dislike of him, it's theorised that his placement was also deliberately intended to frustrate her.
Zanpakutou: Gegetsuburi (lit. "Five-form Head").
A normal katana in its sealed state. Its shikai command is "smash", which transforms it into an oversized spiked ball and chain. Its special abilities, if any, are unknown.