- Narain? She's a classic. —Agent Rath Peterson, DF
Gauri Narain is a spy in the Department of Intelligence.
Gauri Narain was born in the New York City of Marvel Comics' primary universe: a New York guarded by superheroes and at the focal point of catastrophes and crises far greater than even the planet it sat on. And none of these heroes held a place in the hearts of young girls across the city as central as that of Spider-Man.
Born in 1978, Narain grew up idolizing the web-slinger, and failed to grow out of it as she passed through school and into college. She became a fanatic, obsessed with gathering all the information and knowledge she could about him—even when that information was often skewed, both by the press in-universe and by Spidey's often schizophrenic writing. This encyclopedic knowledge gave her one advantage: it allowed her to spot something going wrong when a Sue set her eyes on Spidey on New Years' Eve, 1999. She attacked the Sue—mostly out of jealousy, and incidentally playing into the Sue's story—and nearly wound up losing her life at the hands of her hero before the agent pair working the fic intervened. They killed the Sue, sent Spidey on his way, and—at her own repeated request—recruited Narain for training.
Narain was furious, developing a vendetta against Mary Sues who could corrupt "her Spidey"—and, once she learned of just how the Marvel universe worked, against a good number of the authors employed by Marvel as well. Despite her irritation, however, she recognized that since she wasn't writing Spider-Man, he wasn't hers to have, and never would be—and so she turned her fury into her work, focusing it like a laser.
Narain has black hair and light brown eyes, and the build of a classic runner: tall and thin, with little body fat or excess muscle, and powerful legs. She is a third-generation Indian-American, and was a member of the Manhattan High cross-country team before joining the PPC. Though her size makes hiding difficult, her build and practice, while making hand-to-hand combat impossible, make her an exceptionally fast runner, and her job has given her extremely sharp reflexes.
Narain is the textbook definition of a workaholic. Lacking a physical output for her frustrations (such as beating Sues to death) and having quite a few of those frustrations to deal with, she compensates by taking on a significant workload, including all the menial, mind-numbing tasks she can get her hands on. She is a vicarious completionist, refusing to put down or forget about a job until she's seen it through to the very end.
While this has made her a supremely useful member of the DoI, if a somewhat low-profile one, it has also put her on BOTH the Medical and FicPsych Departments' breakdown watchlists. Narain knows her limits, and takes caution not to go over them, but after six years of heavy work in Intelligence her limits are slipping. She has been hospitalized only once for overstressing herself, and has since been working within a hairsbreadth of her limits. It has gotten to the point of her being ordered to take a break from none less than the Sub Rosa, and it is hoped that her new partnership with Agent Snapshot will help dial her back somewhat—or at least split the workload so that Fitzgerald and Freedenberg can stop expecting her imminent collapse.
Narain's knowledge of canons is mostly restricted to the unreal—comics, cartoons, video games, anime, and the like—and varies from absolutely thorough to mostly general knowledge of about forty different continua. One of her specialties—and the one she was pursuing as a B.A. before she left her home continua—was and is journalism, and the study of the printed word fascinates her, not least because as a reader of The Daily Bugle she is all too familiar with how the news may not always be nothing but the news. She shows a remarkable talent for picking a story apart to find out what makes it tick as a result, which has earned her a number of citations for her work.
It remains to be seen how she will get along with her new partner.
Narain was one of the very few people Rath Peterson counted as a friend, due to their shared love of classic detective novels, particularly Spillane's Mike Hammer books.
None of Narain's own Intel reports have yet been made public; she has a long history of working with Fritz Sorgebrunnen and his various partners, and was mentioned several times before first appearing in person at the end of the mission report for "Cupcakes."