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- "I'm with you every step of the way."
- ― Russell[src]
Before the catastrophic Black Mesa incident took place, Russell applied for a job at the organization. His application was rejected and he was told to try again next year. This proved to be a lucky break for him, as the aforementioned incident took place before he would have reapplied.
At some point, presumably after the Seven Hour War, he started working out of a lab set up in a City 17 apartment. In the lab he spent time working on his invention, the Gravity Gloves. Russell also modified a City Scanner to create the drone he uses to remotely carry out actions from the safety of his lab.
Russell is at this time a Resistance member who specializes in systems, robotics, and networks and works closely in conjunction with his friend, former Black Mesa scientist Eli Vance. He wears coveralls similar to a Combine Worker albeit orange in color, a brown jacket with several duct tape repairs and a yellow armband with the Russian word "ИНТЕНДАНТ" (translates to "INTENDANT"), and a green trapper hat with a brim.
At the start of the game, Eli, Russell and other resistance members are shown trying to steal a mini-reactor from the Combine. Russell is seen successfully hacking into the Combine construction network on-site, and in the network, he finds pictures of an unknown Combine building. The Combine get alerted by the network breach, causing them to launch a counter-operation that successfully captures both Eli and his daughter Alyx, though Russell manages to escape back to his lab.
Russell figures out that Eli and Alyx are being transported in two different vans, and he acts to intercept one of them, not knowing who is in which one. When Alyx wakes up in the van she is being held in, she finds that her dad is missing and that she is being transported by two Civil Protection officers. To stop them and let Alyx escape, Russell sends a grenade through the windshield with the help of a drone, which kills the officers, wrecks the van and stops it a few streets away from Russell's lab. The drone survives, and he later orders it to guide an unharmed Alyx back to the lab. Aware that he only saved Alyx and not Eli, he starts working on a plan to rescue Eli, whom he believes the Combine will send to Nova Prospekt by train to torture and kill.
When Alyx arrives in his lab, Russell briefs Alyx on the plan he has hatched to intercept the train and get her father out. Before Alyx heads out to intercept the train he lends her his Gravity Gloves as well as his pistol. For the rest of the game, Russell plays a remotely supporting role from his lab, and is never again seen in person. Providing Alyx with advice and intel, and generally conversing with her via radio. Their initial plan eventually succeeds, and Eli Vance returns to the lab.
Russell's fate after the events of the game is currently unknown.
|Eye of the Geiger|
|Measure Russell with the Geiger counter.|
|Catch Russell's ammo magazine before it hits the ground.|
Behind the scenes
In the game files, Russell is also internally referred to as "Jozef" or "Lazlo". The name Laszlo was first used for a Resistance member introduced in the Half-Life 2 chapter Sandtraps as "the finest mind of his generation." Russell bears a striking resemblance to the cut Half-Life 2 character Odell.