Shane Shepard spent his youth as a hacker, harmlessly exploring the cyber highway with no intention other than seeing how networks and systems were put together. To say he was a natural when it came to hacking would be putting it lightly, but one day when exploring the security network of a government system, Shane discovered a serious flaw. He could enter that system and view every private file they had. Being the upstanding citizen he was, Shane contacted his local government to inform them of the flaw he had found in the hope that they might recognise the flaw and protect it from those who may intend to use the information malevolently. With a profound lack of interest in Shane's intentions, this was seen as a serious criminal activity and Shane was arrested then sentenced to three life sentences in a maximum security prison.
Finding himself in a place he clearly doesn't belong, alongside murderers and mobsters, Shane quickly becomes victimised by his fellow inmates. Until one day he is taken under the wing of Bernard Royce, an eccentric and elderly man with a bushy grey beard. Clearly respected in the prison due to his long time serving, Bernard keeps Shane from any further harm. His reason for this being that he too is serving multiple life sentences for a similar crime. Bernard was once the legendary hacker known as THE MUSICIAN back in the fifties and is known for hacking his way into government system launch codes using nothing but a phone line and a telegraph machine. He too was just curious as Shane was and sympathises with his plight.
Upon discovery of who Bernard used to be, Shane begs him to train him in the legendary skill known as 'Hard Hacking', which was said to have been created by The Musician himself. Reluctantly, Bernard agrees to train Shane in the art of both recognising and using any technology from his surrounding to create useful and advanced tools. After years of training, Shane has become highly proficient with a natural flair and applying his own genius to the technique to take it further than Bernard had ever dreamed.
One day Shane comes to Bernard with a plan to create a network system with tech from around the prison, hack into the prison computers and set them both free. Bernard agrees and assists him in it's execution but before the plan is complete, Bernard is killed by the white supremacist gang that has been trying to get at Shane for months. Distraught by this, Shane completes his plan, hacking into the prison systems and setting himself for release that very day but not before taking his revenge on the white supremacists by registering them all for death row!
Now free, Shane finds himself lost in the world, using his talents to book himself into empty hotel rooms and onto Greyhound buses across America as he tries to figure out what to do with himself. One day, when exploring the local networks of the town he's staying in from and Internet cafe he is contacted by a notorious hacker group who call themselves 'LEGION'. Given a meeting place and a time, Shane arrives to see who these people are and what they want with him. Upon arrival he is met by the enigmatic leader of Legion only known as 'RAGUEL' who claims there is a conspiracy that goes to the core of all governments that he and his group intend to stop. He also claims to have been watching Shane for a while and now wants him to join them as to save the world, they will need his unique ability to Hardhack.
Lost and without a tribe, Shane joins the group to discover their intention is to stop the governments plan to start world war three and reduce the world population by a third, thus leaving more resource for the rest. He agree's to help and fight alongside a host of colourful characters, all with specialities in different types of hacking. RAGUEL reveals their plan is to steal the Amy's communication decoders, thus giving them the power to hijack all tactical communications and decide on or shut down any movements. The problem with this plan so far has been that the codes can only be accessed manually within a super high tech government building but that's where Shane comes in. With his ability to hard hack, he should be able to access the inaccessible building and uplink the codes back to base where they can then take control and save the world.
Shane agree's but needs time to build himself a technologically advanced suit that can help him get in. Once ready, Shane takes on the building only to find it's much more difficult than he thought it would be. After struggling through the technologically advanced labyrinth he manages to access the communication decoders and uplink them back to RAGUEL only to suddenly be shut into the building with no escape. RAGUEL locks all of Legion out from base and reveals that there was no government conspiracy and he used them all to take control of the army and hold the country ransom. He only wanted money.
Refusing to give up, Shane contacts the rest of Legion and using their help manages to escape the techno labyrinth RAGUEL trapped him in. He takes the fight directly to base, where he discovers that RAGUEL was behind the death of The Musician after he refused to join Legion, which set RAGUEL on to Shane's trail. In an attempt to stop Shane, RAGUEL orders a tactical missile strike on the small town he found him in but can't match Shane's abilities. Shane redirects the strike back onto their location for RAGUEL to realise only too late. Shane retreats to safety as the base is destroyed.
With RAGUEL defeated and control of the army returned to the government, Shane decides he can't just sit by in a world where people are in danger. He takes on a secret identity to protect the innocent and fight those who intend to harm them, with the help of Legion and his technologically advanced suit, Shane Shepard is now known as HARDWIRE.