Alan Steel is an agent with the British Secret Service.
Operating with the codename of Number 222, Steel is considered one of the top agents working for Her Majesty's Secret Service. He is usually the man called when his boss, named Ransome but usually referred to as "R", has a particularly tricky assignment.
The department that Ransome runs does not have a name and is not known by many in the government. Ransome answers to “an all powerful, mystical person in direct contact with the Defence Ministries.” As a cover for this activities and those of his agents, he runs Anglo-Continental Canned Products Ltd., importers with their head offices in London but with branches all over Europe and beyond.
As the series starts, Steel is 34 years old, “loose limbed, heavy bones, yet almost dapper in appearance”. His style of dress and mannerisms often disguise the muscles that give him the ability to move fast and hit hard when needed. He was skilled in all manner of covet activities and very experienced at using them, having been working for Ransome for more than a decade. Before taking the job he had been a constable in the police for a couple years but left with no regrets when the chance for more action came. Now with fluency in four languages besides his own, he is able to move about Europe without hesitancy.
Considered a very handsome man by the ladies, even with a mouth that was said to always hint at ruthlessness, Steel “took like as it came, never planning far ahead” as he truly did not feel there was much of a chance for a long life for someone in his line of work. A man of action, Steel is easily bored and considered capable of rash moves but he gets the job done, while those who stand in his way usually get eliminated.