In 908, when Melinda was 9 years old, she emigrated with her parents to Woodstockade. There, her parents were soon killed in the crossfire of a gang war between LandOrder and InterGang. She was soon taken in by Silas Des'Caina, who had been taking in orphaned children for several years. One of them, a girl her age named Elinor, soon became a friend. Both of them wanted to run away together, and in 909, Melinda managed to escape, regretfully unable to bring Elinor with her. Melinda ended up in Tonad, where the following year she joined a local gang, Ass-kickers Unlimited (or Aku, for short), after befriending its leader, Frag Topdog, who recognized Melinda's incredible skill as a fighter (in spite of being only 11 at the time). Melinda is the subject of many rumors, including the possibility that she might be a spirit-talker or even a Sorreter, though the latter, at least, seems unlikely. Regardless, anyone she has come up against in battle has quickly learned not to underestimate her.
It's not known what her family's surname was; she adopted the name "Slingshot" herself sometime between coming to Tonad and joining Aku. She is known to be an expert marksman with the weapon, which is her favorite; though she's also proficient in the use of various other weapons, as well as hand-to-hand combat. She is also known to go by the nickname "Mel" among her friends.