Booker DeWitt, the player protagonist, is a disgraced former agent of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. As a soldier in the 7th Cavalry Regiment, he had performed brutal acts against native American Indians at the Battle of Wounded Knee to defend his own honor; these acts left him emotionally scarred, leading to excessive drinking and gambling. He was subsequently dismissed for behavior beyond the acceptable bounds of the Agency, but considers his actions with the Pinkertons in quelling labour strikes to be among his many sins. He continues to work as a private investigator from New York City, referring to himself as an "independent contractor". Outwardly, he cares little for the extraordinary, provided that it does not interfere with his ability to do his job; internally, he is disturbed by both his role in the events at Wounded Knee and recurring visions of New York City under attack from the air. Booker is skeptical of faith, unwilling to accept the idea that he can be absolved of his sins by embracing religion, as he considers his sins to be so extreme as to demand a penance rather than forgiveness.