While earning his doctorate degree archaeology and a secondary degree in cultural anthropology Bryson originally specialized in palynology; the study of fossilized pollen to determine the age of the accompanying artefacts. This is more accurate than carbon dating and of more use on interstellar expeditions since the carbon values differ from planet to planet. As he was one of only a handful on Earth with such expertise Bryson found that his skills were in demand on interplanetary digs and so he eventually found himself working as a field archaeologist.
In 2243 Dr. Bryson began his lifelong search to extend human life beyond the 110 – 115 years that current Earth medicine could achieve. In his travels and exploration of many distant alien worlds and cultures Bryson picks up references to Soul Hunters and their Whisper Galleries.
In 2263, Bryson and his team finally discover a Soul Hunter Whisper Gallery on a seemingly abandoned and dead world. After two days of excavation they finally break into the sealed main vault, filled with Soul Globes, unaware they had triggered an ancient defence system. Most of the team are captured or killed after their skimmers are destroyed, leaving Bryson to escape alone with the Ralgan Soul Globe.
Shortly afterwards Bryson was contacted by Michael Garibaldi, the new CEO of Edgars Industries to meet him and explain exactly what the now deceased William Edgars had been paying him to do. Choosing Babylon 5 and an easy midway point between Mars and the rim, Bryson met with Garibaldi who was less than impressed with the nature of his programme.
Shortly afterwards a Soul Hunter arrives on the station, having tracked Bryson and demands the return of what he has taken. Bryson, who by how had fallen under the influence of the "mad ones", souls within the globe who had been driven insane by 10,000 years of imprisonment; they had Bryson hide them away in Brown Sector.