Years ago, a friend of mine moved into an old commercial office building in downtown L.A. that was getting converted into loft apartments. He had terrible credit and a couple of evictions on his record, so he was just glad to get a place. Thing was, the building wasn’t done when he moved in. There were long dark hallways of empty apartments, some with open doors, just waiting to be occupied by squatters. The lobby was cavernous, always under construction and you never saw any other tenants come and go. And, the building was in an urban deadzone — a huge parking lot on one side, blocks of abandoned warehouses on the other.

That’s when I started thinking about where secret operatives would stay if they were in town for a quick dangerous job. Someplace where no one would notice if you came home with a gunshot wound or had to unpack a rocket-launcher in your room. And it got me thinking about who would manage such enterprises. Now that I think about it, Orbit was really the first PROTEGE character I came up with.