- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 195 lbs.
- Age: 37
- Proficient in:
- Sharp shooting
- Savate – French kickboxing
- Fencing – Italian Renaissance techniques
Ashiel Hammond is the son of popular movie stars Zack Hammond and Jillian Howe. Due to his parents’ whirlwind acting careers and a desire to keep their child with them as much as possible, Ashiel spent much of his youth traveling around the world on movie sets, being educated by tutors. When his parents were killed performing a dangerous stunt, Ashiel was taken in and raised by his paternal grandparents, James and Virginia Hammond. The Hammonds wanted nothing more than to protect their grandson from the world his parents lived in and the media that longed for his attention. James and Virginia used the family’s money to keep Ashiel in relative seclusion, raising him in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Seeking freedom and the chance to walk his own path, Ashiel joined the Marines at 18. In the Marines, Ashiel was a standout marksman and attended the Scout Sniper School in Quantico, Va. After re-enlisting for another four years, the young sniper was sent on operations for the CIA and NATO, working with CIA agent Gabriel Sexton twice. The two first met on an operation in Argentina, where Ashiel eventually purchased a well-preserved MG131 machine gun from an antiques dealer. Gabriel had to pull some strings to get it back into the country and held onto it for him. The old spook took an interest in the young sharpshooter and attempted to recruit him into the Company. Having seen enough military action by the age of 26, Ashiel retired from the Corps.
By this time, both of his grandparents had passed away so Ashiel took some time off to study fencing at an Italian school whose techniques derived from his namesake, Achille Marrozzo. This plan is somewhat derailed when the newly rich ex-Marine is “discovered” by photographer Mario Testino in Milan. After fourteen months modeling throughout Europe, Ashiel yearns to see as much of the world as possible. Influenced by his work on the other side of the lens, he decides to take up photo journalism. Ashiel soon discovers that the skills that made him an exceptional marksman also make him an ideal photographer.
Five years later, he is a prominent photo journalist, known for his ability to get pictures and stories that few others are willing to pursue. Ashiel has little contact with people outside his circle of editors, journalists, travel guides, and interpreters. When home in Manhattan, he lives with his former spotter, Tim, now legally blind, and the various lionfish in tanks throughout their apartment.
It is at this point when Gabriel Sexton, now retired, enters Ashiel’s life again. Gabriel has found a way to make a positive impact on the world without the problem of political red-tape as a Private Op through his own company, Archangel Security Consultants. He was nearly killed on his last job, though escaped with his life “thanks to a little cunning and a lot of luck.” Now, feeling his age, the old spy wants someone to take over for him as the next Private Op.
Gabriel offers to train Ashiel in the ways of espionage while managing Archangel SC clients. Intrigued, Ashiel agrees. Using some of his contacts with the CIA, Gabriel creates the alias “Anderson Howe” for Ashiel to work under. Gabriel plays many roles – principal/mentor/advisor but remains a mystery to his protégé. He operates within his own code of ethics and sometimes his choices of work seem questionable, leaving Ashiel to wonder what machinations Gabriel truly has for him. Ashiel continues his career as an international photo journalist because he loves it, and it makes for an invaluable cover for his Private Op work as well.