Night's Black Agents: Dracula Dossier
Franco Draga Selvaggio
AKA, Frankie Savage; AKA, The Dragon
Edom Codename: LAMB
Franco remembers nothing of his origins, other than he doesn’t have any. Growing up in an orphanage seemed to be quite an ordeal for some children, but Franco knew no other alternative, so he lived his life happily. His calm, cool demeanor, and level head earned him many friends and admirers. Even older children respected Franco and sought his intelligent advice. Friends at the orphanage lovingly nicknamed him Draga – The Dragon – for his protective nature, his rare hot temper that slept quietly until he witnessed cruelty (which he has since learned to harness and control), and his odd talent (or possibly luck) for acquiring rare and valuable treasures through legitimate means, which were always well hidden or guarded. He took the nickname as his youthful surname.
When he was ten he befriended by a young girl from a high society Italian family at a charity gala for orphans. She had been told by a nanny, who was fired soon after, to sit quietly on the floor at the base of a ten foot tall painting and wait while the nanny flirted with the lad who was operating the coat room. Being a precocious, albeit bored child, she resorted to carving a profane Latin phrase into the ornate frame. Franco, who loved language and often read from one of his treasures – a Latin bible – corrected her Latin profanity to its proper conjugation, and convinced her to halt the destruction of such a treasure by explaining what he knew of the “vampire painting” as she called it.
He explained that although Dante and Virgil in Hell by William Adolphe Bouguereau shares traits common with contemporary vampire stories, this painting by Bouguereau is 50 years older than even Stoker’s Dracula, and is essentially an exact interpretation of an event described in Canto XXX of Dante’s Inferno. While touring the eighth circle of Hell, Dante and Virgil look on as Capocchio, a heretical alchemist, is bitten on the neck during a fight with Gianni Schicchi, a con artist who stole a dead man’s inheritance.
The young girl was Aria Cardellini. Her father, a progressive Italian government official (equivalent of a US Senator) and his loving wife (a humanitarian aid worker and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador) recognized Franco’s fierce intelligence, striking good looks, and unusually advanced social skills and welcomed his presence and the loyal and protective friendship he provided to their twelve children. The family accepted him as one of their own when Franco and Aria announced their plans to wed at the ages of 17 (her), and 18. Her brother (age 19), and by then Franco’s best friend, Luigi Cardellini served as his Best Man.
His new family assisted Franco in reuniting with his father – Arturo Selvaggio, a half Italian, half Russian intelligence agent working for [an agency?]. He was a captivating man, who earned trust quickly. Arturo insisted on teaching Franco to defend himself properly, and not the scrappy streetwise fighting Franco had learned growing up as an orphan. Arturo started to teach him hand-to-hand and shooting skills.
It seemed as though Franco had everything he had always wanted. A beautiful wife with a child on the way, a wonderfully loving extended family, a growing relationship with his biological father, and the ability to study languages, art, and combat.
… or Not…
From what he learned during his short time with Arturo, Franco suspects Victoria Cavanaugh may be his mother, and Elizabeth Cavenaugh may be his sister. [Not sure if half/full/twin/etc], and that his Arturo Selvaggio’s lineage was somehow connected to Italian religious nobility [not sure how to phrase that] through his mother’s side (the Selvaggio family – Arturo took his mother’s family name after a falling out with his father).
At age 23, just six short happy months after reuniting with his father, and before the secrets of Franco’s early life story could be revealed, Arturo Selvaggio was tragically killed in the line of duty while [doing something seemingly heroic that actually wasn’t.] Despite the love and affection that Franco quickly developed for his father, he discovers over time that Arturo was actually an exceptionally horrible person. If they are related, it is clear from whom Elizabeth Cavenaugh inherited her psychopathy.
In the days leading up to Arturo’s funeral, the Cardillini family mysteriously vanished, with the exception of Luigi and Franco. Thirteen people were lost, fourteen if you count Franco and Aria’s unborn child.
Though Franco had been away finalizing the details of Arturo’s funeral, Luigi witnessed whatever atrocity had befallen his family. Struck dumb, he was committed for a time until it was determined that although he no longer spoke, he was otherwise functional and not a danger to himself or others. [This information about Luigi being struck dumb and temporarily committed was never released to the public. All that is publically known is that he was a survivor.]
The hype surrounding the disappearance of the Cardellini family was quickly overshadowed by the death of a beloved Italian Opera singer and was quietly forgotten. It was assumed by anyone who remembered that they had gone into hiding for political reasons. Franco assisted Luigi in relocating to central Europe where he lives a quiet, comfortable life in the countryside. He is supportive of Franco using his likeness as cover and is relieved not to carry the responsibility of upholding the Cardellini legacy.
As he approached Arturo’s mausoleum one year to the day after his father’s death, Franco saw an old man, clearly mourning at his father’s grave. Eddie Muskva was former partner to Arturo for a time. They worked for KGB Intelligence. Eddie shared beautiful, vibrant tales of his and Arturo’s adventures. He spared Franco the knowledge that Arturo had been working as a double agent for [Agency] and had fallen in with the likes on one Victoria Cavanaugh – a Mrs. Robinson in her own right, even thirty years ago. He also spared Franco the knowledge that they made such a great team because back then, Franco’s father was known as Arturo Muskva. They were a father/son duo known for kicking ass and getting information.
Arturo’s mother, Eddie’s beloved wife Gianara Maria Selvaggio, was a beautiful Italian model and actress of the silver screen. Her family was descended from Italian nobility- the comital House of Pecci. . Gianara was tragically killed in a house fire when Arturo was seven. Her remains were never found.
Gianara’s maternal great uncle Vincenzo Pecci , passed down the chiseled Papal Ring “The Ring of the Fisherman” which he wore and used during his time as Pope Leo XIII from 1878 to 1903. At the end of his Papacy, the Church chiseled a cross into the ring to destroy the seal to ensure it could not be used to falsify Papal communication. Leo insisted on his deathbed that it must forever be kept by a blood relative. After Gianara’s death, the ring was passed to Arturo. Upon Arturo’s death, Eddie kept the ring safe until he returned it to its rightful owner, Franco.
It was Eddie Muskva who introduced Franco to his dear old friend Edward Bentley, a retired Rome Chief of Station for MI6. “The Uncles Ed”, as Franco endearingly called them, unaware of how close to the truth he was in Muskva’s case, could often be found playing chess in the park together or getting gelato in matching bowler hats. These old men have a friendship to rival the dream-team of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.
The Uncles Ed became sound mentors for young Franco. They encouraged him to develop his athleticism, shooting, and combat skills, as well as sharpen his already advanced interpersonal skills. It was only natural for Franco to join the military.
Franco thrived in the military. His work there was meticulous and intelligent. His quick wit and silver tongue (along with his mates finding out that Selvaggio is an old word for savage, ferocious, or wild) earned him the moniker Frankie Savage.
Upon first entering the service, Franco became friends the enigmatically charming Constantino Jacopo. Nicknamed “The Cannibal” by Franco for his preference for eating undercooked meat (nearly raw in some cases), Franco always joked that if it were socially acceptable, Constantino would probably enjoy human flesh. Unfortunately, Constantino Jacopo slipped so deep into a cover, as, apparently, a serial killer (perhaps to cover hits against actual targets), that he began to believe he was the monster he was assigned to be. Jacopo began targeting attractive young nurses as apparently nurses are clean, unlike the filthy, filthy prostitutes. He found that in fact, Franco was correct. He is at large.