Albert is a one man arsenal. He has a machine gun in his right arm with the fingers as barrels
, a combat knife he can flip out and retract at will in his left hand, mini rockets in each knee
, and his upper body from shoulders to waist is metal plated
, as well as his knees downward. He’s got a brilliant tactical mind, able to sort out opponents next moves or theorize on what will happen next in a given scenario. Because of his predominantly mechanical body, he is resistant to most toxins, poisons, and disease and on certain areas of his body – namely the ones housing weaponry – he can feel pressure but no pain. Lastly, his brain has been enhanced with a translator that can process any language so he can understand it. (I would say just Earth language, but they encounter aliens and can communicate just fine so it could be more akin to the Star Trek universal translator.)
Albert Heinrich’s backstory begins when he’s already in his 30’s and living in soviet-controlled East Germany. Based on this and through a little math, it’s safe to assume that he grew up during the Nazi regime and WWII. He was likely a member of the Jungvolk, a division of the Hitler Youth for 10-14 year olds. His family was also probably very poor, as was most of Germany at the time.
At some point after the war, Albert got engaged to a woman named Hilda and they made plans to escape to the other side of the Berlin Wall sometime around 1963 (date based on when the original Cyborg 009 manga was released), due to the extremely poor conditions in the communist controlled East Berlin. In order to do so, Albert posed as a circus worker and had Hilda hide in the back of the truck. Everything seemed to go smoothly as Hilda wasn’t discovered and the forged papers seemed to be in order to the border guard. Unfortunately, Albert started to drive off without his papers and when the guard attempted to flag him down to return them, he assumed they’d been found out and slammed on the gas, careening through the checkpoint and forcing the guards to fire upon the truck. The vehicle spun out of control, cashed, and caught fire. Hilda died in the event, having been shot by the border guards on accident as she hid in the back of the truck. Albert held her as she died, having been riddled with bullets and crash injuries himself so severe that he passed out soon after.
When he came to, Albert was more machine than man. Given the designation “004,” Albert found he had been taken and experimented on by the criminal organization Black Ghost. They replaced his right arm with a machine gun, his left with a laser combat knife he can flip out at will, and his upper legs and knees with missile launchers. His entire torso, because of the damage from the crash, was also replaced with cybernetic parts in order to keep him alive. During this time, 004 became incredibly cynical and hopeless. If it weren’t for the other two cyborgs created at the same time as he was, he likely would have simply allowed himself to be used for Black Ghost’s schemes and looked for an opportunity to die easy, but 002 and 003 helped him to regain some of his will to live.
Unfortunately, during a battle exercise, 004’s body began to reject some of the cybernetic implants, causing him extreme pain. Because the technology at the time was not advanced enough and the other 00 series cyborgs were also at risk for rejection, cyborgs 001 through 004 were placed in cryogenic sleep until such a time as the technology advanced enough to repair them.
Flash forward to 2001 and the first four are unfrozen by Doctor Gilmore, formerly the head of the cyborg soldier project who’d worked on them all and had a change of heart while the original four had been in stasis. Since then, five other 00 series cyborgs had been created and Gilmore convinced them all to escape together. Their freedom was hard won however, and the cyborg team remained under constant siege for quite some time before managing to infiltrate the Black Ghost’s main facility and do away with what they thought was the organization’s leader.
After Black Ghost’s defeat, there are still remnants of the cyborg soldier project to mop up. One of these remnants is the Mythos cyborgs, created by Doctor Gaia, who’s approach towards cybernetic augmentation differs theologically from Doctor Gilmore’s. While Gilmore sought to enhance and improve existing abilities and allow the cyborgs as people to determine how best to use these, Gaia thought a person’s past experiences would hinder their abilities as cyborgs and so wiped the memories of each subject in his experiments, instead leading them to believe they were the Grecian pantheon of gods. The truth is eventually discovered and the Mythos cyborgs die tragically.
For a time after that, the 00 cyborgs’ lives are relatively peaceful, some going back to their home countries and some staying together with Doctor Gilmore. 004 is one of the ones to go home. He works various blue-collar jobs, trucking and the like, and keeps a shabby but serviceable apartment without many creature comforts.
During this period 004 receives a call from who he thinks is Doctor Gilmore asking him to investigate some strange goings on in an old castle in the German countryside. Once there, 004 is forced to fight a robotic version of himself, a tireless juggernaut with all of the same weaponry and physical capabilities as 004. It’s a long and hard battle, but 004 finally wins not through overwhelming strength, but because he had the compassion to save a falling owl’s nest instead of dodging to where the robot thought he would be. The robot’s brain hiccupped and 004 was able to use the opening to destroy it. Standing over the sparking mess, 004 was confronted by Doctor Gilmore, who said he’d constructed the robot to prove to 004 that he could not compete with modern technology and that he should upgrade himself into a more powerful weapon. Convinced Gilmore would never do such a thing, 004 similarly executed the Doctor, which turned out to be a robot double as well.
After he thanks the owls for saving him (?!) and turns to dramatically walk out of the castle and not look back is when he appeared in Vatheon.
When Albert was pulled, it was from a point of recent major character development. He’s a little more accepting of himself as Human despite being a cyborg due to in canon events (see his Vatheon app) so when he appeared in Vatheon, waterlogged and damaged from his battle, he was less reticent to accept help from those around him than he normally would be. Unfortunately, what he didn’t know is that Jet Link – his teammate and partner in a romantic sense (again, see his Vatheon app) – had been drawn from a point later in their canon timeline and was at the point of death before he was saved by being drawn into the bubble. Unknowing, Albert began to look for a way to get himself and his teammates (Jet, and Pyunma who was also in the bubble at the time) home.
Over his stay in Vatheon, Albert learned of Jet’s fate and vowed to change it, looking even harder for a way out of the bubble just for himself and to his own place in the timeline while still retaining memory of events in his future so he could prevent them and save Jet’s life. He found hope in the form of the scientist Walter Bishop (Fringe), a specialist in time travel and dimension hopping, and even got Jet to agree to a very invasive procedure to record both of their memories digitally via the coaxial ports at the backs of their necks and ensure the success of the endeavor.
Unfortunately, Walter vanished before they could even begin to enact their plan and Albert despaired, throwing a table through a plate-glass door and losing all hope for a short time. Jet’s appearance on the scene however prompted him to continue to look for a way back and stop this unacceptable future from happening. In the meantime, however, he settled down at least a little bit, focusing more on his personal relationship and working through some of his intimacy issues. Quite forcibly, in fact, when he was body-swapped with Dirk Strider.
Soon after, on no important day in particular, Albert wakes up to find he's no longer in Vatheon...