Joe Hawke is an agent with ECHO.
Well, he will be a couple of adventures after we first encounter him. Initially neither he nor we are aware of the existence of the group that will become such a major part of his life.
At our first meeting, Hawke is recently retired after a long and storied career in the British military. He is dressed as a routine security guard protecting a brand new major exhibit. He was working hard to make sure he did not stand out in the impressive gathering of the rich and powerful, knowing that "like a servant, a security officer was there to be seen and not heard, and Hawke understood what this meant better than anyone. Spending so many years as a Royal Marines Commando in the notoriously tough Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre and then serving in the elite Special Boat Service meant he knew how to take orders and blend into the background."
The gig that Hawke is working is for one of those fich and powerful attendees, Sir Richard Eden, who was funding the gathering and would become one of the most important people in Hawke's life. Eden was a Member of Parliament as well as being highly connected with his nation's intelligence services. Being extremely, almost frighteningly, wealthy, Eden was a major force to be reckoned with.
In fact, the ECHO team that Hawke will soon be invited to join is named after Sir Richard. The acronym stands for "Eden Counter-Hostile Organization" and is a group that he "established it some time ago as a semi-autonomous unit to deal with threats like the ones [Hawke and others] have been handling over the past few weeks. It is, as you will appreciate, extremely covert, and not even the British Government knows about it." He would go on to explain that "our headquarters are based on a private island in the Caribbean - it's called Elysium, but we are a very fluid, and very rich, organization with safe-houses all over the world."
When he is not risking his life fighting enemies of democracy all over the world, many of whom seemed determined to use ancient technology or prophecy to accomplish their goals, Hawke is an avid practitioner of "parkour as a way of keeping fit after leaving the military, and it worked well, except he had learned the hard way to practice it at night when he couldn't be seen. For some reason, the authorities didn't take too kindly to people leaping from public buildings and doing handstands on the edges of high-rises, but that didn't stop him from freerunning." "He wasn't about to run on a treadmill in a gym like a hamster on a wheel."
Not that Hawke has that much free time. The number of people or groups out to cause trouble that ECHO must go up against is quite high, it seems, and includes a U.S. President who has his own designs for the future of the world. Hawke and ECHO team are kept quite busy.