David Rivers is a mercenary.
He is not a spy. He does not work as one and would probably frown at you if you suggested it. He is a soldier first and only. He does not want to be anything else and really would have trouble doing anything else since he has been soldiering for nearly a decade, all of his adult life. As a soldier he would normally not belong in this compendium. As an operative for groups who work very diligently to keep their anonymity, going up against other groups who want to be just as unknown.
Rivers is a man obsessed with death, it seems, based on the writings he has stored in his laptop. Not the death of others, though, but of his own. His strange interest in suicide is fascinating as well as disturbing. And while he has not yet actually tried to end his life in a traditional way, though he has held his pistol ready on at least one occasion, he seems determined to do it with his hobby. He is into BASE jumping. Whether it is out of low-flying planes, off roofs of very tall buildings, or off cell towers, his love of putting his life at risk is as strong as his need to write about ending it all.
When we first meet Rivers he is a member of the prestigious Army Rangers. He joined as soon as he was able to after 9/11 at 19 years of age. After the requisite training he was was sent to serve in Afghanistan and saw a good amount of action in the combat there. As he fought in a good number of skirmishes, he was trying to improve his life by applying for admission to West Point. He was as surprised as any when he was accepted. A year of prep school followed by four years of college there and Rivers was ready for his next set of challenges.
Unfortunately, a routine pre-graduation physical divulged 'supraventricular tachycardia' and he was suddenly medically non-commissionable, as they put it. He was out.
What would follow is a very strange life for a product of the foster system with no family back home and nothing to come home to and an overriding devotion to putting his life in peril.
Postscript: Life will change for Rivers after a half-dozen adventures. His being alone in the world will not be the case anymore. Nor will his not being a spy, at least not in traditional sense, as Rivers will become part of a new CIA team targeting specific enemies of the country.