|Born to a surrogate mother sometime around the turn of the twenty-first century, Max was raised and trained as a soldier from a very young age by military handlers, under the command of Colonel Donald Lydecker, at a facility located in Gillette, Wyoming called Manticore. During this time, Max developed a very close bond with her unit-mates, and was considered to be the baby of their "family". |
From the beginning, the X5's training was harsh and rigorous, sometimes downright brutal. In addition, they were subjected to powerful psychological conditioning, as well as cruel medical experiments. As Max would later say, they didn't think to escape because, after all, they didn't know there was anything else to escape to.
Throughout their lives, the X5's were plagued by a design flaw: a neurological disorder that caused random and violent seizures. To temporarily suppress the seizures, they took Tryptophan, a neurotransmitter that replaced the serotonin that their brains were unable to produce. Max witnessed her brother Jack suffer from a seizure during a drill, and she and her other siblings watched as Jack was taken away. Later, she could not sleep and wandered out of their room, only to find Jack being autopsied by a team of doctors while Lydecker supervised them as he sipped calmly from a cup.
During this time, there was one incident that haunted the memories of the young soldiers: a training exercise requiring them to hunt down and kill a prisoner. They accomplished this with such ruthless effectiveness that even Lydecker was alarmed by their exhilaration and savagery. Years later, Max was greatly disturbed by what had happened and tried to forget about it, but never could.
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