Code-name: Francis Gator
Full Name: Francis Gagnon
Faction: The Coven
Little Francis was a sickly child. When he was born, his wet nurse, Sister Mary, informed his mother the child was stillborn. Francine, whose face was marked with every experience of her long, hard and eventful life as a New Orleans mistress dabbling in the occult, sighed. “Thank you, God.”
But her prayers were unanswered as the infant suddenly heaved a breath, gulped in some air, and started crying. Francine grew silent and never spoke again. The ugly baby was born with a skin disease that covered most of his body: cracked skin, greenish complexion and tough hide around the knuckles and feet.
Three nights later, Francine was found dead, little Francis licking the blood that gushed from deep raking marks across her chest. The wet tracks of huge clawed feed suggested a ferocious reptile had walked in, killed the woman and walked out; at least that is what the investigating detectives claimed. Since Francine had no family and her well-deserved reputation of an old weird woman had scared off most of the neighbors, nobody asked any more questions. Her body was buried by the fence of the cemetery wall and her ugly child was placed in an orphanage.
Francis’ skin disease grew stronger with each passing month and year, and at five years old he was a terror to behold. When Scabs and wounds healed over, they formed scales over his arms and legs, while over time his nose flattened out. Those who bullied him finally gave up on beating him, and by the time he turned seven, whenever they would hear Francis’ shallow breathing, they would run in fear.
On the eve of his twelfth birthday, that nobody cared to celebrate, the almost-mute teenager spent many hours glued to the window, staring into the darkness as if looking out for something …or rather somebody. When one of the orphanage nuns tried to chase him off to evening prayers, Francis hissed, “This is the day to say goodbye, ma’am.”
As midnight was tolled, the door to the orphanage burst open and a huge, bipedal, albino alligator-like creature walked in, scattering everybody aside as it waded towards the teenager.
Sister Mary shuddered, as she realized that the hideous rumor of Francine bedding the ancient swamp devil under the guise of an albino gator had to be true, and so the soul of Francine was doomed to spend eternity in hell.
The giant beast grabbed the boy, jumped through the window and both disappeared into the black of the night.
Thirty years passed, and now calling himself Francis Gator, he returned to humanity and began a painful attempt to meld back into society and enjoy southern comfort and hospitality.
Forty five years after his return, Francis Gator finally realized that he would never be accepted, and that his natural talents, backed up with his ‘swamp years’ experience, predestined him to strike terror in the hearts of those who would reject him.
One of those behind the Coven had a vision of a gator-man who would be a key element to one of the organization’s agendas. Thus, Francis ended up on the Coven’s payroll. Even after many years of service to the shadowy organization, he was feared and rejected by most of the Strike Team, never getting along with likes of Rook or the enigmatic Twilight who could shed their Coven apparel and go out for a beer or other preoccupations in the evening. Papa Zombie, seeing that this distance could cause more trouble, but seeing how useful Francis could be, chose to let Gator return to the swamps and the ancient shack of his mother, a place that had become the refuge of a black magic user. Gator now boards the Coven jet only when the Strike Team needs him. Since the fall however, Gator has been spending more and more of his time in the Pulp City, as the Coven seeks to reestablish their power.
Gator’s powerful physique is only a host for a mysterious demonic soul able to control the forces of nature. When Gator mutters and hisses, enemies who have faced him before know it is time to duck. In his bag of dirty tricks is the ability to control swarms of mosquito and raise nearby water levels. Some claim that he is able to call upon the spirit of his sire but if so that has never been recorded. He is brutal and cruel but only as evil as the society and rejection that shaped him. The desire to belong and be loved by people rarely ever surfaces, but if it does, it places Francis into weird alliances. One such time, June Summers of Channel 4 shot some bizarre footage of Gator side by side with Stone Hawk and Seabolt, the force of elements battling the Zoidrod X, prototype experimental military robot, believed stolen by the Mysterious Man.
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