Robert Chase is an agent with the CIA.
Born and raised in Illinois, about an hour south of Chicago, Chase had lost his father in the waning years of the Vietnam Conflict having hardly been old enough to remember the man. Mom's sorrow resulted in a procession of different men until she landed on an old acquaintance who proved to be mean-spirited with little use for the young teen except as a way to work off anger and frustration. Relegated to a small storage room in the garage, Chase quickly learned to be self-sufficient and how to be alone.
Chase also learned the best way to survive was to not get hit, to "keep about twelve inches out of his reach at all times." He grew adept at staying just inches from where the swing would occur thus being able to dodge without running away. To do this, he needed to learn the facial ticks and often subtle tells that were indications as to when the blow was coming. Exercise and personal training got him strong enough to be very fast and agile. He moved on to other sources of this peculiar education, non-poisonous snakes being a good way of learning when the strike was coming and how to either elude it or to use it to get a strike of his own in.
In school, his "animal quickness" and his reading ability made him a natural for the wrestling team and he seldom lost a match but Chase was not interested in winning so much as being able to not lose.
His sharp mind made other skills come more easily. He had a terrific memory which in turn gave him a gift for languages and its many nuances. In college, financed by his own hard work, he enjoyed spending his time watching people, sitting on a bench or a table and just observing. He got better and better at gaining information about motives and likely actions from observing carefully but unobtrusively.
During this time, he had been slowly recruited by a professor who saw exceptional talent in the young man. He graduated after four years and left the region, telling his mom he was joining "something like the Peace Corps" and heading to CIA training. He has been an agent for 27 years.
As an agent living most of his time alone on assignments in Europe, Chase's constant traveling made a long term relationship next to impossible and his loner personality made that not a problem. Until he met the lovely Samantha and learned that working as a team could also be enjoyable.