Cecilia Cardinale was in her first of college at the University of Havana, when she fell in love with a man named Vassily, part of the Russian Embassy's military attaché. When their affair resulted in Cecilia's pregnancy, however, Vassily, possibly under coercion from his superiors, denounced her as a prostitute seeking political favors. Imprisoned under unsanitary and inhumane conditions, Cecilia contracted a debilitating disease. Deported to the U.S. as an "undesirable," she gave birth to her son Carlos in a Florida refugee camp, her illness worsened considerably. She was near death when the extra-dimensional, semi-tangible warrior Ylandris, stranded in the Earth dimension and at risk of dispersing into Earth's atmosphere, offered to merge with Cecilia and save both their lives. Although believing Ylandris, whose name meant "poison," to be a demon, Cecilia agreed, and Ylandris' life force eventually restored her to health. She and Carlos moved to Miami, where she became a hotel chambermaid and, empowered by Ylandris' alien energies, the vigilante Poison. Hunting any whom harmed the vulnerable; her battle thirst was driven partly by Ylandris and partly by her determination to never again be victimized.