Jason Cash came to London in Japan in 2002. His history before that seems pretty normal... if you don't dig too deeply. If you were to dig deeper, though, you'd find that his past has been sanitized by the US government - and that there are some, shadowy branches of that government which still take an interest in him. And in anyone who seems too curious about him...
Rumours swarm around him like bees around honey - or perhaps, like less pleasant insects around less pleasant substances. He's said to be connected with the London Underworld. He's been arrested for gun violations, attempted murder, robbery, blackmail, public indecency, and fornication with an animal (though on the plus side, he's never been caught out in a parking violation). There are stories that he's made enemies out of a death cult operating in France and New Orleans, as well as a cabal of Sufi mystics. There are a great many stories, in fact, but there seem to be precious few facts.
Off the record, several police officers do speak well of him, as a stand up guy who will go to bat for someone who needs help. Quite often - albeit on a strictly unofficial basis - they refer the victims of "unusual crimes" to him
The truth about him goes back to the Vietnam War, and a classified U.S. government programme code-named Project: Born Again.
Project: Born Again (PBA) was established in the early 1950's, building upon research begun by the Nazi regime starting back in the 1930s. The ultimate goal of PBA was to develop a new form a soldier that would guarantee American victory in what was believed to be the inevitable war between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Established with Nazi "defectors", the program received various levels of support through multiple administrations. Progress was minor but steady, producing new chemicals and research to help with training and preparing U.S. soldiers for war.
It was in the early 60's, just as the Vietnam War was heating up, that things began to get interesting. By this time, Born Again had been relegated to the bureaucratic equivalent of No Man's Land within the Pentagon. Although this meant little funding, it also allowed for more freedom, so when Dr. Emerson was brought in to run the research, he opted for a broader approach.
Dr. Emerson was a student of history. He was fascinated by the warrior traditions of old: the Spartans, the Shoalin, the Zulu, and more. His hope was to create a modern equivalent of these great cultures, and to aid him he began researching the societies, cultures, and mythologies. Over time, he pieced together an alchemical formula that he hoped would produce dramatic results.
Twenty-five men and women were chosen for the procedure. All of them died. However, three days later, seven returned to the realm of the living, changed. No longer quite human, they had become creatures of both flesh and spirit, able to die and return to life, again and again and again. The few who know of the existence of their breed call their kind "the Purified".
It was during the research into the startling results of Emerson's experiment that the program was ultimately terminated.
Red Cell was a secret government agency designed to protect U.S. interests from itself. Operating on the assumption that conventional wisdom was wrong, it examined all data received by all other U.S. agencies to develop opposing arguments.
When Red Cell began examining Project: Born Again, it concluded that even if Dr. Emerson's procedure was feasible, no tactical advantage would be gained from the new soldiers. Although clearly superior to traditional soldiers, this new breed was not any harder to kill, just harder to kill permanently. Rather than assets on the battle field, they would prove a liability, as their corpses were seized by the enemy to become hostages and sources of intelligence
The high mortality rate made administration difficult, since the U.S. risked losing more material than it gained. And then there was the issue of what happened if the soldiers wished to be released from the military. They could not be denied the opportunity indefinitely, if only because of the Thirteenth Amendment, and their new abilities would make return to civilian life impossible.
Dr. Emerson disappeared with the bulk of his research shortly after the program was terminated. The seven soldiers did receive advanced training and served with distinction. Ultimately, four of them sought, and received discharge from the military. Falling under Red Cell's jurisdiction, these four are required to maintain the program's secrecy, and are considered permanent reservists (meaning they could be called to active duty at any time). Jason disappeared and has only recently resurfaced in London.