Near the end of the Combine Uprising, Michael was employed by The G-Man to assist Nathan Johnson in kidnapping Hannah Robertson and taking her to G-Man's hideout. Michael's purpose for taking part was to ensure the safety of his father Samuel and younger sister Vanessa, whom were both rogue and on the run from the Combine.
Investigating his father's death
Following the suicide of his father, Michael went to Samuel's apartment in City 17 to search over the place. At this point Michael worked as a private investigator and part-time journalist, and got the feeling there was something more to his dad's death than simply a suicide.
Michael was subsequently kidnapped by a serial killer/vigilante named Chicken Man, who Samuel had been investigating and even came into conflict with prior to his death. Chicken Man accused Michael of throwing away his life on obsession, so put him through a series of deadly games and tasks to see how willing Michael was to survive.
Michael managed to escape the deadly games, and despite escaping the experienced just fueled his desire further to find out the truth behind his father's death, and with that started an obsession with the Chicken Man.
Obsession with Nathan Johnson
Michael seemed to have a decent relationship with his late father's friend Nathan Johnson. Nathan was also the foster father to Vanessa, and about a year-and-a-half after his father's suicide Michael went to Nathan's apartment to collect Vanessa, whom Nathan rescued from a group of kidnappers. But during one of these visits Samuel noticed Nathan had a chicken mask in his keeping, one that resembled the one the killer wore during Michael's captivity. Michael didn't say a word, but left the premises with Vanessa.
Over the next couple of weeks Michael began to dig into Nathan's life, and came to realise he was a mob enforcer, and his mentor was Andrew Trapani - under-boss of the Simmons crime family as well as one of the chief suspects of the Chicken Man murders. Michael came to the belief that Nathan was responsible for Samuel's death, and seeing that Trapani was 'dead', focused all his efforts on making Nathan pay.
A few days later, Samuel sent Nathan a package containing a chicken mask, which unnerved Nathan slightly but he threw it out. Michael subsequently left City 17 with Vanessa, swearing to get vengeance on Nathan one day and chose to play the long game.
Michael settled down in another city nearby and worked as an investigative journalist, but at night operated under the guise of Chicken Man, but used the identity to become a vigilante and murder criminals. As Michael's murderous obsession got out of control, he developed a need to murder Nathan.
Confrontation with Nathan
Over three-years after his father's 'suicide', Michael decided it was time to kill Nathan. Making sure Vanessa was secure in case anything went wrong, Michael bought a taxi and picked Nathan up as a client. He knocked Nathan out and locked him in the trunk, taking him to the countryside and a quarry where he intended to kill Nathan and dump his body. Michael unlocked the trunk and forced Nathan at gunpoint to stand near the quarry. Nathan attempted to plead, assuring Michael he had nothing to do with Samuel's death. But Michael refused to listen, and putting on a chicken mask plotted to shoot Nathan. But Nathan untied his hands and disarmed Michael and tore off his chicken mask. The pair got into a fist fight, but during the confrontation Michael lost his footing and plunged down the quarry and into the river. Nathan scouted in panic to see if Michael died, but couldn't see him. Assuming he died, Nathan took Michael's taxi and drove off.
Michael had indeed survived the drop. He was swept away in a river, awakening a couple of miles away. Michael got taken to hospital, but amazingly only had a few scratches and scrapes. Not wanting to hang around long, Michael discharged himself before authorities showed up and left the city.
Partnership with Frank Blackstone
Seven years after his presumed death, Michael began working in another city doing numerous jobs. Due to the increase in criminality, Michael took on the guise of Chicken Man again, this time upgrading his gear and started working as a bounty hunter, putting his investigative skills to the test. This gained him the attention of Frank Blackstone (formerly G-Man), who need a "job done". Frank paid Michael to track down two men who were responsible for killing his wife and three daughters several years before. Frank gave him the order to bring the men to him alive, and in turn Frank would disclose the truth behind the death of Samuel.
Michael kidnapped the two men, whom Frank would torture and kill and dispose at his toxic waste site. Frank unveiled himself as The G-Man, and informed Michael that is highly skilled and that his talents are wasted on mere bounty hunting. Frank claims that things are changing in the world following the numerous alien attacks, and it is time for them to take control. Michael is adamant he just wants to bring his father's killer to justice, Frank informs him the time will come but the pair of them need to take control. But Frank does ensure Michael one thing, that Nathan was not responsible.