Savage is an agent with The Committee.
The Committee is "a highest priority intelligence group. It was not listed on any government record or included in any budget. It had no official name or designation. It was responsible only to the Present of the United State". Its purpose was straightforward: "In the country's espionage dealings, when every other available avenue failed or could not be utilized, The Committee was called. The anonymous group of men who headed the organization would then select the agent best qualified for the job".
Headquarters for The Committee is a "small, shabby office building" a few blocks from the U.N. building. A lumbering freight elevator is capable of "dipping many levels below the building's basement" to the quite large and elegantly fitted offices.
When we first meet Savage, he is staring out a barred window looking at the scaffolding erected just for him the prison yard of the facility holding him. He muses that from the time he first started working for the organization, "he knew one day it might end like this". Furthermore, "Killings in the high-level espionage league could not always be explained or justified to local law enforcement agencies. Accepted policy for The Committee was to deny its assassin even existed". Such was the case with Savage which is why he was languishing in his cell. At least, that is, until The Committee decided they needed him again.
A bit of history that we learn about Savage has him as an impressionable and earnest soldier in a small select group of soldiers operating behind enemy lines under a Brigadier Simon Mace. They were the ones given the impossible missions with no chance of survival and yet through tenacity and toughness and pure spite, they pulled them off. After the War, Mace started a mercenary outfit and Savage went with him. As the people that Mace hired out to got more and more despotic and the work more disgusting, Savage finally had a break with his CO which meant leaving behind the only woman Savage ever cared for, the General's daughter, Sheila.
Ten years have passed since then and most of that time Savage has worked for The Committee. Being without any family to come home to and knowing he would never have one, Savage was a near perfect operative candidate for The Committee.
To get a good idea of what Savage looks like, think of the actor Lee Marvin and put an even more intense glare in his eyes and a sterner grimace on his lips. There can be little doubt looking at Savage that this is a very tough man who has seen very tough times and has survived them by being even tougher. Another telling passage came as Savage walked down a mid-Manhattan street, "Women gave him involuntary glances of mingled fear and excitement. Men tried to ignore him, yet felt relieved and safer when he'd past".