Max was bio-engineered in a government lab, at a facility called Manticore, sometime around the turn of the 21st century located in Gillette, Wyoming. As with all of their creations (exception of Joshua), Max has a barcode on the back of her neck, with her identifying number sequence (332960013452). This number is as stated on the official website, but is stated in the show as (332960073452). The latter is accurate. She is an X-5 model and is thus referred to as X5-452. Max and her unit, her `brothers and sisters,` named themselves back at Manticore, and sometime after she escapes, she assumes the surname Guevara.
Max and her unit were trained to be soldiers using harsh and brutal techniques, supervised by Colonel Lydecker (John Savage) designed for their special abilities. The genetically engineered supersoldiers had a design flaw though. They were missing the essential tryptophan aminoacid in the brain resulting in seizures. This led to the removal and death of some of their unit. When they learned this, and Max began to get the shakes, their protective unit leader, Zack (X5-599) (William Gregory Lee) decided they should escape, and led them through a snow-filled forest as they were being chased by Lydecker`s men. Max got separated from her unit when she fell into a frozen pond (having been trained to hold her breath underwater for long periods of time) allowing her to avoid the search party.
Several months after her escape, terrorists detonated an electromagnetic pulse in the atmosphere over the U.S., on June 1, 2009. This destroyed the vast majority of electrical systems, throwing the United States into chaos, and making it a third world country over night, which let corruption and crime flourish and eventually leading to a stricter martial control of the population.
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