In Ciem: Inferno, the Purge-Flare teams up with Miriam Flippo to protect Gerosha when the police and Ciem are unable. He is also in Sodality, where he eventually joins the Sodality of Florence. He plays the largest role in that series in its fifth season: Vindication - which also chronicles his ultimate downfall.
He was originally co-created by the Dozerfleet founder and by Star Power Marketing and Entertainment founder / VH1 associate Chris Wilson, who portrayed an early version of Chris Kennal for the 2009 miniseries version of Blood Over Water.
Abilities and equipment
- Enhanced physical fitness: It is often very clear to friend and foe alike that Chris does his best to remain in excellent physical shape.
- Skilled tactician: Chris' determination to save Ashley drove him to learn how to elaborately plan how to infiltrate buildings and systematically eliminate enemies. His tactical skills only grow with his mission experience.
- Skilled street brawler: Before coming to Big Rapids and working at Sleet Mountain, Chris learned from the streets in Atlanta how to be tough to survive. He now uses this to gain the upperhand in a fight against Gleeful-N'-Young goons.
- Psychological manipulation: He is very talented at playing the emotions of others to get what he wants. He is also very talented at confusing others as to whose side he is on.
- Intimidation: Chris knows how to utilize his tall stature and violent tendencies to instill fear in others - even without his suit.
- Theatricality: He has learned how to use his special weaponry to play tricks on the minds of his targets, making them believe Extirpon is after them so that they'll freeze up rather than fight - making them easier targets.
- Seduction: Chris nearly succeeded in winning over Ashley, though she ultimately chose Mark over him. He has demonstrated having no trouble getting almost any woman he wants to do what he wants them to. This has included Sniperbadger and Feruga.
- Sticky grenades
- Stun grenades
- Sniper rifles
- Modified combat van
- Phosphorous rounds: Modified phosphorus round ammunition for his guns, laced with strontium and potassium chloride to produce purple flames
- Pyrophoric pellets: A custom design of Chris'. These semi-solid beads, when fired from a projector located inside his custom flamethrower, hit enemies with the impact of a paintball pellet fired from a paintball gun. However, the impact releases chemicals inside doughy outer shell of the pellet, leading to exposure to open air. The mixture then ignites, setting an enemy's skin on fire. Strontium and potassium compounds included in the mixture ensure purple flame - furthering the illusion that it is Extirpon's Marlquaanite Negative Battery causing the enemy to catch fire.
- Hidden knives
- Venom syringes: Requiring close combat, these can incapacitate an enemy the same way as Ciem's centilegs. When filled with Bezeetol, he can weaken enemies as powerful as Lava Tigre.
- Customized flamethrower and wand: Hydraulic-pneumatic gun that spews a controlled stream of pyrophoric chemicals mixed with potassium and strontium chlorides; yielding a spray that, upon contact with an enemy, erupts into purple fire. Long-term, low-throttle spraying into the air will allow for a continuous burn, allowing the thrower to behave like a more traditional flamethrower. He uses this to deliver finishing moves on enemies, especially after the has already fooled them into thinking he is Extirpon.
- Bulletproof vest: Made from kevlar stolen from Lambrelli Labs - along with a lot of his other equipment.
- Modified fireman coat: He uses this as much for aesthetics and irony as for practical armor purposes.
- Modified mask with glowing eyes: This further allows him to imitate Extirpon's Negative Battery Monster Mode, striking absolute fear into enemies of his that do not yet know the difference between the two purple-flame-loving serial killers.
- Alternate uniform: With Earwig project-based tech upgrades. This is given to him by Dolly Malestrom during the Vindication arc, when it is decided that his traditional uniform would be inadequate against the Society of the Icy Finger in Italy.
Chris, born in late 1982, grew up with a mixed family background in northern Georgia; learning pyrotechnics from his cousin Jamal and military tactics from his grandfather, Terrence "Roji" Kennal. With half his family religious and the other half not, Chris was often confused about what his purpose in life could be. However, he often saw Jamal finding "cheap-easy" ways to indulge in many things forbidden, igniting a hedonistic urge in Chris to do the same. Chris was always uneasy that eventually, Jamal's careless methods would catch up to him. Gangs began moving into Chris' neighborhood, prompting him to move out. He was repeatedly bullied, and even witnessed his cousin Anisha being arrested on drug charges. Police wanted to take him in, in spite him not possessing drugs and not being aware of Anisha's. However, he and Anisha both talked the officers into leaving him alone. The way they treated him regardless of this instilled in Chris a long-standing dislike for police - and determination to never be apprehended.
Things began falling apart for him in 2005, when he came home to discover that Roji had been raped and murdered by home invaders. Those home invaders were later discovered to have been members of the Kerpher Gang, and police were unable to catch them. The police captain in particular spat on Roji's coffin where Chris could see him do it, with Chris barely able to withhold the urge to exact vengeance. Later that same year, he was almost hit and killed by a car driving 200 MPH in a 25 MPH zone. However, he was rescued by a small boy that could fly. Over time, he tried to convince himself the whole incident was just a bad dream.
Jamal was able to get Chris connected with Mark Stefflin, and the two of them quickly became best friends. Both of them in 2006 took a job working for Bob Lusital at the Sleet Mountain Lower Northern bottling plant. While living in the Big Rapids area, Chris also got to know Mark's twin brother Aaron Stefflin - though Mark and Chris seldom spoke of Aaron at work. Jamal feared that Chris spending time with Mark was having a bad influence on Chris, even as Jamal began shaping up his own behavior. Aaron likewise feared that Chris was a bad influence on Mark. In Big Rapids - far away from the gangs in Georgia - Chris felt he could safely discover himself. He began living out all sorts of hedonistic ambitions, the likes of which he learned from Jamal. He was not deterred when Jamal was later killed in a drive-by shooting. However, in spite the parties, drinking, and sex; Chris decided that he needed to stay sharp and fit - in case his world should ever come crashing down
Blood Over Water
Main article: Blood Over Water (novel)
Chris and Mark climbed up the career ladder fairly quickly. They would often go up to Mark's cabin and enjoy the boating and loose women. In spite this lifestyle of drinking, partying, and sex; the two both harbored feelings toward fellow Sleet Mountain employee Ashley Phillips. Things changed rapidly when Sleet Mountain CEO Bob Lusital announced his retirement. Clyde Spendelworth, a member of the executive corporate board who had some rumors flying that he had some unsavory friends, managed to seize for himself the position of new company CEO. Not long after that, Bob went missing.
Clyde, trying to hide his real agenda and his ties to Gleeful-N-Young, lured Chris into helping him with a cleanup fraud scandal - along with co-conspirators George Lawence and Mark. When Vance Lingolin refused to be a part of anything pertaining to the scandal - and even threatened to expose everyone else - George was sent to assassinate him. Mark began to grow suspicious that Vance may have been murdered, especially when Aaron began complaining of Monica Shelly arguing that this was so.
When bribes didn't work, Mark did some investigating. He discovered the illegal activities that Clyde was engaged in that were in addition to the cleanup fraud that Sleet Mountain's bottling plant was guilty of. He tried to inform Chris, who acted concerned but also compliant. Mark tried but failed to steal some of the incriminating evidence of Clyde's involvement in the Gleeful-N-Young brothels. Unable, he decided to settle for stealing a manilla envelope containing folders full of confidential files about how Clyde was circumventing regulations and deceiving the EPA.
From there, Clyde decided to perform a power play on Chris. He peered into Chris' past in order to find every possible way to blackmail him, and found enough dirt to do so. Chris, being weak and greedy at the time, agreed to go along with Clyde's plan. George and Kyle Tugrass broke into Ashley's house and stole evidence that she'd had an affair with a minister. They used that to blackmail her into visiting Mark with the intent that she'd talk him out of exposing the company. Meanwhile, Clyde convinced Chris to follow Ashley there and kill Mark. Doubting himself the whole time, Chris went through with the assassination plot - Clyde having by this point successfully poisoned Chris against Mark.
Chris stalked Ashley and then waited until Mark and Ashley were busy having sex; then stormed the bedroom and shot Mark straight through the forehead. At gunpoint, he forced Ashley to assist him in hiding the evidence. However, he wasn't counting on Mark's twin brother Aaron getting involved. When he learned that Aaron had done his own investigating and now knew too much, Chris was forced to have to decide between friends and coworkers. He managed to steal some incriminating evidence against Clyde and the brothel, after being tricked into setting up Ashley to be kidnapped and taken to a brothel. He staged a plot with George and Kyle to assassinate Aaron and Monica, but then betrayed and murdered George and Kyle. He followed the evidence to find Ashley, and rescued her. At this point, he was wanted in connection with at least 28 homicide investigations. Chris vanished soon after, never to be apprehended by authorities as he went about his quest to destroy Clyde over what was done to Ashley.
There were rumors that one of the women he met on the beach was pregnant with his child, but he was unable to stick around long enough to learn the truth about whether he was a father or not.
Birth of the Purge-Flare
Chris eventually gets smart about his quest, after saving Ashley and supplying Aaron with sufficient evidence to bring down Sleet Mountain. He ups his firepower after stealing some technology from Lambrelli Labs, allowing him to use some of the same suit gear that Navyrope was given by Seth Lambrelli.
He makes upgrades to the suit following the revelation that Extirpon exists, and goes around as the "Purge-Flare." With this suit, he seeks to imitate some of Extirpon's abilities and impersonate the anti-hero. Chief among them is purple flame execution, imitating one of Extirpon's trademark moves. Authorities grow uncertain whether to hunt for Chris, or the goons Chris is targeting.
Main article: Ciem: Inferno
Chris gets a lead on Frank Morvel, an associate of Clyde's, setting up a shop to abduct women and young girls in Gerosha to use as fodder for Gleeful-N'-Young. He heads to the area, only to find out that the Hebbleskins have set up an ambush. The town gets trapped in a force field dome similar to the one that Fantisk had put around the city in late 1989. He also learns that the monster Lava Tigre had been sent to spread chaos, as well as rally a local gang called the Pyro Panthers to assist the Hebbleskins and Gleeful-N'-Young in their missions. Tigre's terror attacks had destroyed the city's fire department, and being cut off from the world outside the dome cut off the police from any backup resources they'd require.
However, the police squander their chance at a last stand by chasing after Chris' van, mistakenly believing him to be Extirpon. He is forced to abandon his van and uniform and flee into a neighborhood to avoid capture. Police fail to locate and impound his van, allowing him to return to it later. His efforts to get outside help are cut off. Worse, he overhears one of his comms associates being assassinated by a Gleeful-N'-Young associate. He determines that to continue on as the Purge-Flare, he needs to raid a local science center and steal the chemicals he needs to replenish and repair his Purge-Flare equipment.
He is approached by Miriam Flippo, who identifies herself to him as Sniperbadger and asks for his help. He is mistrusting of her at first, even kidnapping her at gunpoint. However, she gains his trust and takes him to Erin Flippo's house so that he and his van can hide. The two of them work out a deal to save the city together by sharing their limited resources. Miriam explains that her reasoning for this is due to her sister Candi having been mistaken for a Pyro Panther by police. Candi, having been arrested and taken to Madison, is unable to help in taking the city back.
Chris and Miriam successfully raid the chemical lab, and make off with the supplies they need. Chris learns how to utilize venom and freezing elements to counteract Lava Tigre - who is immune to Chris' fire-based weapons. This almost gets Tigre captured by police, but is not quite enough to subdue the monster sufficiently. Chris quickly grows fond of Miriam's persistence and bravery, as she begins crushing on him in return. However, the two of them realize that their romantic affair will be short-lived.
A few days later, a security leak in the dome is discovered. This allows a recently-released-on-signature-bond Candi to head to the outside of the dome and fight her way through the gate. Chris and Miriam work together to find a way to disable the power sources holding the dome together, allowing for outside law enforcement to raid the city.
Chris then heads out to find Frank Morvel and finish his original mission, while Miriam lays law as Sniperbadger and attempts to contact as many allies as she can - while informing Candi of everything that has been going on since she was arrested. Chris is initially unable to pinpoint Morvel's location, though he finds out that following Ciem around gives him an advantage. This leads to a final confrontation, as the National Guard fills the center of town and creates a roadblock along the southern entry points to keep Duke Araas from entering the town. Ciem battles Lava Tigre until Morvel concludes that it would be suicide to remain. Chris arrives on the scene in his newly-equipped Purge-Flare suit and battles Lava Tigre to the death. Ciem uses this diversion to hunt down Morvel and save the hostages.
With Lava Tigre dead, Chris realizes he has a very narrow window in which to escape before police and National Guard create a northern roadblock. Miriam kisses him goodbye, and shows him a secret route to avoid detection and flee town. Chris eventually drops her off at a motel in Princeton, with money so she can get a taxi and return home. She gives him one final kiss goodbye as the two part ways.
Chris continues his quest westward, systematically wiping out one Gleeful-N'-Young operation after another. His time with Miriam gives him insight into how lonely his road as the Purge-Flare will be. He attempts to establish contact with his surviving comm assistants, learning that two more of them have been murdered during his time in Gerosha. A few months later, he is displeased to learn that Miriam has been sent to do time for assisting him. He also learns that he is now on SCALLOP's latest revision of their SDCPM - which now correctly identifies him as the Purge-Flare rather than as Extirpon.
Main article: Sodality (series)
When the United States collapses in 2018, Chris goes deep underground. He takes a day job as a rancher, assuming his moonlighting job as Purge-Flare less and less often. Without an organized American FBI left to hunt him, he rests in the knowledge that he is not as likely to ever go to prison as he would have otherwise.
Chris eventually runs into the Sodality of Gerosha, namely Ciem and Earwig, when they seek his help in dealing with Victor Nanale. He periodically finds himself lending them assistance, at least until they are able to retrieve the real Extirpon and convince him to officially join their number. With Candi able to assume the Ciem identity again after Frank is born, Michelle relinquishes the mantle and instead becomes her own heroine: Feruga. She convinces Chris, Jordan Reddlewick, and Jordan's wife Celia "the Taterbug" Winehart-Reddlewick to join her in moving to Italy upon invitation from Angelo "Cocklebur" Abrami, thus forming the Sodality of Florence and granting all members a chance to start over from their old lives in Toklisana. He briefly has an affair with Michelle, but goes back to being solo when he realizes things would never work out between them in the long run. This sends Michelle into Angelo's arms, though she attempts also to keep that a secret from her teammates.
When the Beliah Amendments to the Kirby Act are put into full effect in Toklisana, more than half the members of the Sodality of Gerosha are turned into political prisoners. However, Botan the Plant-Man, the Gray Champion, Pilltar, Anna and Pablo Ramirez, Extirpon, and Black Rat manage to escape to Italy. They team up with Purge-Flare and with Sapphire King to form "Team Spaghetti Liberation," tasked with battling the Society of the Icy Finger and preventing them from harvesting a crop of Marlquaanite rubies rumored to be buried deep underground in Mozambique somewhere. This crop contained enough power to threaten both Earth and Phaelon, prompting the Phaemer Village Peacekeepers to join Spaghetti Liberation as well. In spite being far less powerful than Eric, Chris opts to handle the firepower end of missions and let Eric handle the stealth end. This is because as the only black member of Spaghetti Liberation, Chris stands out in Italy about as much as Keet Kabo. He and Eric switch roles in Mozambique, for much the same reason.
Chris also joins the Sodalities of Gerosha and Florence on Phaelon to battle the Phaletori-Icy Finger alliance and turn the tide in the Second Battle for Dephinapolis, preventing that city from being destroyed yet again after it was almost destroyed by Gosmerid once before. Following the mission on Phaelon, Chris heads back to Earth - where he promptly vanishes.
His teammates were not so fortunate. Celia was sent to prison in Texas for a time for burglary, before returning home to Italy after having secured safe passage for her mother Madeline. Both Celia and Jordan were placed under house arrest for a time, though Jordan was able to find work as an agent for Italian authorities while the women cared for the house. Angelo and Michelle were both also placed under house arrest, their support teams helping them out until they could resume normal operations.
Main article: Swappernetters
Wishing to keep the mythos of the Purge-Flare alive, Chris laid low until the heat dissipated - and he felt Purge-Flare could operate freely again. After the ban was lifted on Sodality operations five years later; nearly everyone was present at the Great Sodality Reconvention - except for Purge-Flare, Slip-Sadie, Pillcenary, and the five main Phaemer Village Peacekeepers. By then, there was talk of a revolution to reclaim Arkansas from the Icy Finger when it was clear that Tabitha Pang and the Swappernetters would need all the help they could get. The Florentines returned after the meeting, convinced that they and Chris needed to tend to affairs in Italy that were brewing. The McArthur and Freneti families were unable to provide assistance for Tabby's revolution either, though most of the other Geroshans who were still active found ways to help out.
Blood Over Water miniseries Chris Kennal (Earth-G5, Earth-G6)
Main article: Chris Kennal (Classic Gerosha)
A much simpler version of Chris as a character was first introduced in 2009 for the miniseries version of Blood Over Water. His relatives were never mentioned, nor is this version heard ever referencing anyone by name other than Mark and Aaron. Morality, Ashley and her fate, the quest to take down Clyde, and other key details of the greater Purge-Flare mythos are absent entirely from this version, as production was rushed and the creative team had little time to iron out the story enough to develop a proper mythology. As such, this version rarely rises above the rank of a petty criminal.
Percolation Purge-Flare (Earth-G7.2.1)
The version of Chris / Purge-Flare that featured in the Gerosha Crossover Gaming Universe was xeroxed a seemingly infinite number of times by the Percolation Wave. In the Percolation fanfic series, however, one of Chris' clones finds himself living inside the world of Marvel: Avengers Alliance on Facebook. This clone Chris joins the other clones of the Sodality of Florence to establish a version of their team in Earth-12131 Italy, where they occasionally find themselves working with the Avengers. Other clones of Chris in this version are capable of appearing almost anywhere, allowing a version of the Purge-Flare to exist in a variety of different games and formats. This, in turn, opens up licensing options for the character with game developers of a variety of different companies.
In Blood Over Water and Ciem: Inferno
Chris has always been greedy and hedonistic, but he's not entirely without a conscience. In this version, he is more conflicted about the decision to betray and murder Mark. He is viewed as a sort of "Judas" figure, almost immediately regretting his decision to betray shortly after making it. When he realizes what a creep Clyde truly is, however, Chris takes the money only to secure his life in exile. He begins plotting little-by-little how he will bring down Gleeful-N-Young, and the whole of Clyde's empire; making that his new reason for living in life.
He is insecure about letting anyone know his true feelings about any particular subject, and is good about putting on a false face. He is shown in this version to be at least as competent as his miniseries counterpart, and an even more efficient killer. His raid on Gleeful-N-Young took genuine heroics and skill; whereas the miniseries version only took cheap shots. That being said, this version is more prone to the use of violence than his predecessor. He is willing to blow Mark's head off, rather than merely strangle him like before.
This Chris is portrayed as more lecherous than his miniseries counterpart also. Even so, he has his limits. He insists that Ashley put her clothes on before helping him clean up the evidence of Mark's murder, though he does comment on her nude figure.
He also finds the Gleeful-N-Young brothels that Clyde secretly is affiliated with to be repulsive, given the young ages and slavery that go on in them. However, he is not above having a one night stand with any drunk woman who appears interested in him. He is also not above being seduced by Miriam Flippo, who was half his age at the time. However, he and Miriam realize their relationship is doomed, and call it off after they complete their mission together in Ciem: Inferno. He is impressed by how nervy Miriam proves to be - and with her near-suicidal determination to save Gerosha in spite losing her sister. It is Miriam that truly causes Chris to come in touch with his conscience again, though he fears he's gone too far already.
In keeping with his years of experience being Purge-Flare implied to have happened, Sodality portrays a version of Chris that is both an efficient killer and a broken man on the inside, torn apart with guilt over his actions that have doomed him to his current lifestyle. When he agrees to help the Sodality take down the Kerpher Gang, it is out of a sense of obligation to ensure that if the hard choices need to be made, that he make them - so the regular Sodality heroes don't have to. He has observed and listened to how SCALLOP has at times helped them and at other times ruined their lives, and doesn't wish for them to have to further ruin their own lives by soiling themselves with killing beyond what is necessary. He, on the other hand, views himself as being already-damned, and therefore, unable to be damaged by the kind of reputation further killing would bring him.
When Michelle and Angelo propose a new life for him in Italy, he jumps at the chance. However, his old demons refuse to go away. He initially turns to Michelle for comfort for his broken soul; but breaks off the affair when he realizes that all he will do is hurt her; and that she cannot bring him the inner peace his soul longs for.
The fact that she is only about 2/3 his age at best further makes him feel uncomfortable about being with her. When she gets together with Angelo, Chris is relieved. He feels that Angelo would make a much-better fit for her.
He longs to believe that salvation will find him anyway - in death; but feels that as long as he is on Earth, he is already in Hell.
Unable to deal with his tormented soul, and on the run from police in Italy for defying the Beliah Purge; Chris finds himself out of money and desperate. He is attacked in a bar by drug peddlers, who get him addicted to heroin. Their ringleader, Il Lateralo (Sideliner,) assures Chris that he can get him out of Italy and to a safe place - with drugs and booze enough to start over - if the helps bust a useful lady thug of his out of prison.
Chris, running out of options, agrees to attack the prison. However, it happens to be the very same one where Celia is being kept. She is mildly injured and her cellmate killed by a grenade tossed into the kitchen by Chris. Even though he leaves his Purge-Flare mask and suit out to commit the heist, Celia quickly deduces by his style of combat and careless use of a color-coded potassium chloride grenade when breaking Maria Trementina out that it had to have been Chris that was responsible.
The government gives Jordan a short break from his house arrest to hunt the Purge-Flare down. Jordan discovers that Chris is crafty, and is ultimately unable to take Chris in alive. To his regret, Jordan finds himself forced to kill Chris in a bloody battle that almost leads to his own demise. His betrayal shakes the Florentines, as well as the Geroshans once they are allowed to hear word of it.
The novelization of Blood Over Water works harder than the miniseries did to make Chris a bit more complex of a character, giving him a fleshed-out backstory and making his motivations relatable. He is tortured this time about the decisions he makes, resulting in his betrayal of Mark seeming more tragic, and his desire for redemption sincere. His quest to save Ashley near the end also carries with it the torment he feels that he is trapped: no amount by his own efforts at redemption will ever be enough; since he has to commit additional murders in order to pull off Ashley's rescue. The miniseries version, however, appears to have only a tinge of remorse at the murders he committed, and is otherwise happy to get his money and leave.
In Ciem: Inferno, Chris is portrayed as a mixture of obsession with taking Clyde's henchmen down and extreme paranoia about police catching him. This shows in how he abducted Miriam before he trusts her, scolding her for stalking him. He is already clearly a broken man, though not entirely without principle. Miriam's efforts to seduce him leave him both impressed and fearful for the young woman's future, as he doesn't want her to take a similar dark path to his own.
The toll taken on his soul by his remorse in Cataclysmic Gerosha is credited for his decision to become the Purge-Flare, which shows in regard to how kind he is to the Sodality when he encounters them and yet, how ruthless he is when helping them be rid of their common enemies in Clyde and Victor. His decision to join the Sodality of Florence further reveals that he has gained enough foresight to know that he has no real future with the Sodality of Gerosha, and that he senses the Beliah Amendments to the Kirby Act coming before anyone else does - in spite having no reason to.
He has grown a sense of loyalty not seen before, and cares deeply about his teammates in ways he didn't before. However, he still puts self-preservation near the top of his priorities list. He appears to have mostly abandoned his love of wine and women, though he does have an affair with Michelle. His humility is attributed to his years of experience in being Purge-Flare, as he would have been busy being such for about 17 years by the time the Vindication timeline catches up to him. Since he is about 27 in 2009 when Blood Over Water takes place, he'd be around 44 in Vindication.
It's stated that the Purge-Flare outfit evolves over time, as Chris comes up with improvements to it. However, Chris Kennal's out-of-costume appearance has always been modeled after the appearance of the real-life Chris Wilson. His trademark modified fireman outfit is a combination of various costume parts extracted from The Sims 3. His Mark III Purge-Flare outfit, however, is designed in-universe by Dolly Malestrom to be a modified, masculine take on the latest version of her Earwig armor. In reality, it was a blend of costume bits from Sims 3 modified to take advantage of Into the Future expansion pack material. A variation of this is used in The Sims 4, using a modified alien suit. Initial Sims 3 art showed flame spewers built into his mask. However, the lack of practical purpose for these meant that they were removed for his Sims 4 redesign.
- Chris' rap sheet
- Blood Over Water
- Aaron Stefflin
- Monica Shelly
- George Lawence
- Kyle Tugrass
- Ciem: Inferno
- Clyde Spendelworth
- Miriam Flippo
- The Earwig
- Sodality 2D concept art collection at DeviantArt
- Blood Over Water photo album at DeviantArt
Sodalities of Gerosha & Florence