Mike Recker is an agent with the CIA.
Was. Now, not so much.
Was as in the first page of the first recorded adventure but when you are shot, apparently by your own side, and you know they want to finish the job as quickly as they can find you, continued employment with them seems not such a good idea. He tells a tending nurse at a hospital in London after having a gun shot wound stitched up, "I used to be one of them. ... Up until last night."
Our first introduction has him calling himself 'John Smith' and not caring that it was a phoney sounding as it was. He would meet up with a man who would become his new employer, a man with an almost as phoney-sound name of David Jones. Jones is a computer expert who knows quite a bit about Smith and is kind enough to share his knowledge.
"You went into the military straight out of high school, became a member of Delta Force, spent eight years in the military, then when your enlistment ended, wound up at the CIA. I know you've been there the last six years, the last four of which you were in a top secret project called Centurion in which you were a foreign assassin. I also know that Centurion knew you were growing tired of your role in the agency and were seeking to get out, but with all you know about the organization, couldn't just let you leave and sought to terminate you in London six months ago."
Concerning the man named Jones, we learn from him that he has been with the NSA for quite a while as a computer expert with the highest of clearances and access. In that time he has come to the realization that most of the intelligence the NSA learns about normal citizens is ignored because it did not deal with national security. Jones was dismayed to realize that there was abundant evidence of people needing help which was not part of the mission therefore those people were left to suffer. [The invasion of privacy does not ever come up as an issue.]
Jones wants to do something about that lack of help but he has discovered having some muscle, especially experienced muscle like Smith, is needed more often that he would want. Smith, of course, is a bit interested in staying alive but also earning a living since his former employers want him dead.
Thus the job offer and the identity change. Smith had already taken care of the latter, having a new life prepared under the moniker of Mike Recker.
Oh, on the matter of money to pay salary and expenses, Jones has come up with a simple plan to start with. "I identified some individuals known for criminal activity, mostly drug players, and hacked into their bank accounts. I took around a million from five different people...I engineered it to look like the money went into accounts by their rivals, and sent anonymous messages stating that fact. Meanwhile, the money was transferred into several other accounts before finding its final resting spot in mine. I used some hacking skills to conceal the actual whereabouts of where the money went to. I then went into the rivals' accounts and made it look like they had additional money that they didn’t really have."
One small matter that concerns Mike Recker about his new employer is the fact that Jones might be a bit squeamish in Recker's approach to problems. "“I'm a little set in my ways. Violence tends to follow me around. I'm not a wallflower who believes in turning the other cheek," he tells Jones. Jones says he understands. Jones is about to get an awakening.