Alejandro Garza was born in Chicago on the northwest side, in the neighborhood of Albany Park, to a Mexican father, and a white mother. His upbringing was diverse and rich in culture. When it came to describing himself, though, Alejandro said he was pure Chicago. He was an avid Bears and Bulls fan, but an even greater Cubs fan. He loved the local food spots that Chicago residents knew had the best food, not the tourist restaurants visitors frequented. He loved deep dish pizza, and Chicago style hot dogs with no ketchup. He knew when to hit the 94 highway, and when to use local streets. He knew the habits of CPD as well. Alejandro was as much of a part of his city as it was of him; a living, breathing extension of Chicago.
Growing up, Alejandro was close with a lot of gang members in his neighborhood. This often led him to getting in trouble with the police. His parents pushed him and his siblings to do great in school, and he was a bright kid, but the streets kept calling him. He struggled between doing right, and delving into the dark side of the community. It was when he was in high school that fate forced Alejandro to make a tough decision between the two.
The Asset has extensive military combat training and is a master covert operative.
Everything seemed to be going OK his junior and senior year. Alejandro’s grades were good, and he hadn’t been in trouble for quite some time; joining football, basketball and baseball again helped greatly with that. The relationship with his childhood crush turned high school sweetheart was blossoming as well. He was one month from graduating, and the University of California intended to offer him a full baseball scholarship. But then Alejandro’s girlfriend got pregnant, and things became difficult. He went back and forth on what to do, but ultimately he decided to forgo college, and stayed in Chicago to be a part of his daughter’s life. It was a decision that almost saw him slip back into his old ways.
Recreational baseball in adult leagues was not the same, and without the structure of school to adhere to, Alejandro fell back into the streets. This meant more run-ins with the cops, and more gang activity. He was hustling to feed his kid, as that was all he had. Jobs were not abundant for high school graduates, and those that were didn’t pay well. It was only a matter of time before he got locked up. However, a chance meeting with an old acquaintance would save his life.
One day, a young man by the name of Rashard Bonds was recruiting US Marine Corps candidates in his hometown of Chicago. Alejandro was dragged to the event by his father, who refused to allow his son to throw his life away. While there, Rashard recognized Alejandro from their days playing against each other in football and basketball throughout high school. Their teams had gone head to head in playoff games, and they’d even played together on a few Illinois State all-star squads. Rashard ran over to say hello.
Alejandro was caught off-guard at first, but the two soon fell back into their friendly trash-talking ways. Then, Rashard asked Alejandro why he was there, as last he heard, Alejandro was going to Univ. of California to play college ball. Alejandro explained about having a baby and deciding to stick around. His father told Rashard that over the last four years since they graduated, Alejandro had gotten back into the streets, and needed a way out. Rashard broke down all the details about enlisting in the Marines, and really sold it hard. He knew Alejandro would make a great addition to the Corp. And after listening for a while, Alejandro agreed. Making a living in the military would provide a stable environment for his girlfriend and daughter, and a steady income to boot. He would no longer have to hustle in the streets. He enlisted on the spot.
Over the next few years, Alejandro rose through the ranks. He was battle tested, having completed many successful missions, and been a part of numerous covert operations. His experience playing sports made him a good tactician and team player, and his athleticism helped him excel. Soon, Alejandro, along with Rashard, qualified for the first incarnation of the Alpha Initiative – a specialized military program, designed to create a squad of super-soldiers through a series of technological, psionic, and surgical procedures.
A few days before the first procedure was to take place, however, Alejandro injured his elbow. He was pitching a perfect game during their final free weekend at the Marine’s BBQ Outing, when he tweaked his arm. He required Tommy John’s surgery, and had to withdraw from the super-soldier program. However, it was a blessing in disguise, as his exclusion prevented him from suffering the fate of many of the others who would, after several years of service, end up going mad. In fact, all of them went insane, except Rashard, who was fortunate enough to have a run-in with a hyper-cog named Chineke. She was able to provide a psionic shield on Rashard’s brain, which kept the specialized super-soldier cells in his body from being affected by the psionic catastrophes that took hold of his fellow soldiers. Rashard ended up having to hunt them all down, and take them out.
Alejandro went on to become one of the Marines’ best intelligence officers, earning the nickname “The Asset”. Everyone wanted The Asset on their projects, as he grew incredibly proficient in the role, a byproduct of his inability to serve in the field.
From there, he rose through the position of Intelligence Specialist to Intelligence Chief. Alejandro commanded numerous divisions of human, geographic, and counter intelligence units. Thus, when the introduction of a controversial program called Project INTEL came about, he was called in to a meeting of VIPs to listen to the details. By this time, Rashard Bonds had risen to the rank of Lieutenant, but he also had special designation as the leader of a new Alpha Initiative team, which was comprised of superheroes and hyper-beings. Rashard had expressed weariness toward the general idea behind Project INTEL, as well as the man who had come up with it, Knox Hyde. But he did not have enough clearance to attend Hyde’s presentation, which included President Enid Remington, Vice President Lawrence Mitchell, as well as the entire cabinet. Alejandro, however, did have the clearance, and was more than happy to sit in, and report back to his friend, Lou.
After the meeting, Alejandro immediately met up with Lt. Rashard Bonds and General Hank Garrison, who was responsible for giving guidance and oversight to the Alpha Initiative. He told them everything Knox Hyde detailed in his presentation about INTEL, and that the POTUS was already on board. Lou, however, was not. The program was not only incredibly invasive physically, but was also beyond invasive from a surveillance standpoint. Furthermore, it actively restricted free thought and mental autonomy. Alejandro was just as outraged as Lou was, but the cabinet made it clear that, though they had some issues, they supported INTEL and President Remington in her decision to roll out the program.
Alejandro pinned the decision on it being an election year, to which Gen. Garrison responded there was no way the public would get behind a president who enforced such a program. Alejandro informed them of the statistics Knox shared with everyone, and that a recent study done after the release of the Edgar Lockhart files showed an enormous spike in the acceptance of the American people for more government control, and oversight with the wealthy and those deemed geniuses, whether they were artists, intellectuals, academics, or scientists. The public was also not against an implementation of IQ surveillance on a state level by their education systems. Whether or not the Congress could pass the bills necessary to make INTEL legal was another issue, but Lou knew even going down that road was dangerous, especially with the US facing heavy pressure by the United Nations. President Remington would most likely do whatever she had to, in order to make INTEL happen. Times were becoming very dangerous on multiple fronts.
Gen. Garrison instructed Alejandro to remain attached to the INTEL project personally, so they could keep tabs on the development of things. Meanwhile, Lou was preparing to head out with the Alpha Initiative, to confront the continued rising threats of London Omega and Edgar Lockhart, as well as Ramses Hondo. With his extended absence from the country around the corner, having allies inside the White House and the Dept. of Defense was more crucial now than ever for the super-soldier. Lou was grateful he had his mentor in the General, and a brother in Alejandro he could count on. With that, the super-soldier left to regroup with the Alpha Initiative, and The Asset was set into motion once again.