Cortez worked as a metallurgist in a luxury vehicle factory on Moria, before being picked up by Bill "Pearly" Bousquette to join the SceeVee Corps. During their operation on Gurdlac, the Corps were ambushed by a zerglings swarm, which killed Petty Officer Wolfe. A zergling then pouched on Cortez's SCV and stabbed its claws into the cockpit. Cortez survived the ordeal, and helped plan and design the SceeVee Corps's trap for the zerglings, where they would lure them into a canyon and set off explosive and spike traps. The plan was successful, and the SceeVees reclaimed their mining base.