Ernesto made a name for himself among hot-rodders when he was still in his teens, amazing others with his strange but highly effective engine modifications. Many of these were inspired by things he read in his uncle's collection of science magazines, including Popular Science and Paradigma. His parents feared he was too involved in the violence, drugs and sex of the hot-rod scene, but at sixteen he seemed to undergo a radical personality shift, shunning the streets for the classroom and throwing himself into his schoolwork. (This was triggered by a brush with fiery death in his experimental hot rod, La Fuerta, and a subsequent journey across time and space in the company of Yves Mercure.)
By age 21 he had a degree in engineering and had begun working as a designer for a major automobile manufacturer. According to Amanguale, his designs were too radical for the company, who suppressed his discoveries. Frustrated, Amanguale contacted the Sons of Ether to begin his formal tutelage. His dedication, and the enormous amounts of clean, safe power he could supply, earned him a reputation as whiz kid.
Ernesto maintains a lab somewhere in the Southwest, where he and his students work on alternative energy sources. Ernesto's main goal is to develop a means of extracting zero-point energy directly from the ether itself, thus freeing humankind from its destructive dependence on fossil fuels. He has already begun to share some of his research in the low-income Latino neighborhoods of his youth, but fears that disseminating it widely will attract the attention of the Technocratic Union.