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The Spanachi Family

The various members of the Spanachi family were all born and raised in the Nguyen-Baurhaus Corporation’s massive arcology (Nguyen-Baurhaus are the manufacturer of ‘Earth Cola’, whose catchy ‘Earth First’ jingle is heard entirely too often everywhere) on the west edge of a large recreational area and bird sanctuary called ‘The People’s Park’, in the heart of 'Old Baltimore' (The city having lived past its original name ‘New Baltimore’ some eight hundred years ago) on ‘Driscoll’s World’ (A876A8C, Outworld Sector).

Del Spanachi, family bread-winner and runner for the local Triad (also secretly a Zhodani deep-cover Operative) was killed in an apparent industrial accident. Having had only the most minimal of life insurance, thanks to his continual resistance to undergoing even the most rudimentary of physical examinations, Del’s wife Ruth found herself in a financial bind almost immediately, and wound up having to go to work full time to support herself and her 3 kids. Mom, working nightshift at the ‘Earth Cola’ plant, ended up sleeping through most of the day; leaving the kids pretty much to their own devices once school let out. Not too surprisingly, roaming the streets at all hours of the day and night unsupervised tends to lead to trouble. Within a few years the three Spanachi kids had become out-and-out hoods; each with an alarming number of minor offenses (and in a few cases, a few major ones as well).

Unable to sentence such incorrigibles to hard time due to their ages, the local Duke decreed that the brothers, Josef and Jim, be remanded to the custody of the Court-appointed Marine Recruiter; to be summarily drafted into the Imperial Marines (at gunpoint, if necessary), where it was hoped some much-needed structure might be added to their lives.

Jacqueline, being still too young for the hard lesson that is Imperial Service, was remanded to the custody of the Court-appointed Child Reformation Officer; to spend the remainder of her adolescence at a local ‘Home for Troubled Girls’ (sponsored by the Nguyen-Baurhaus Corporation as part of its Community Outreach program), where it was hoped the structure, and the focus on academics (with everything thoughtfully provided by the ‘Earth Cola’ folks) might transform her into both a productive Citizen and a model consumer.

During Marine Basic Training, Jim’s left arm and collarbone were broken by a blindingly-fast blow from his Close Combat Instructor, Sgt Zbarro. Discussing it in the Infirmary with the Sgt later, Jim found that ‘Jeet Kune Do’ (a now almost unknown combat technique of Old Earth, practiced by the followers of ancient, atomic-age Prophet, Bruce Lee) was responsible. Several long conversations with the one-armed Zbarro later, Jimmy had just about made up his mind to join theranks of the ‘Leeists’ himself.

Some time after acquiring the sect’s peculiar haircut, Jimmy began giving his name as ‘Jimmy Lee’; today only grudgingly admitting that his surname had ever been anything but Lee.

Assigned to the IN Cruiser ‘Almighty’, the Spanachi brothers, like all Ship’s Troops, spent most of their time either bored, or gambling (or, in Jimmy’s case, meditating and training) when not otherwise involved in an almost endless string of Anti-Piracy operations and Merchant Escort duty.

While the brothers had dished-out some severe beatings (and even the occasional knifing) as young punks, nothing had prepared them for the hard reality of life in the Marines. While Jimmy seemed unfazed by it all (his focus concentrated on the Path of the Dragon, and shore-leave), Josef began to find it all very troubling. At one point, after being ordered to put his pistol against the base of a Pirate’s skull and execute him, Josef nervously stuttered that he just couldn’t do it, as he found something about it distasteful. When asked his name, as he was definitely going on report, Josef stammered again; the new Lieutenant misunderstood him, and asked loudly, “Joey Spinach? Mister, are you jerking my chain?”. Peals of laughter from the nearby troopers followed, and from that moment on Josef was known as ‘Joey Spinach’, a nickname he still answers to today.

After the minimum 12 years mandatory service spent in the Imperial Marines, the brothers, now official productive Imperial Citizens upon mustering out, decided to return to the familiar; traveling by Low berth home to Driscoll’s World, where they were reunited with their mom, Ruthie.

Ruthie had fought the heavy-handed Ducal Decrees tooth and nail, but there is only so much a single sophont can do, especially when contesting the legal judgments of someone holding an important Imperial Title. While she hated it, she eventually had to admit that the kids just plain needed more attention and supervision than she could, at that time, provide. She figured, with some small satisfaction, that they’d have more options opened to them as a result of the Decrees, than would the usual Driscoll native; whose choices tended towards hood, naturalist, fisherman, retail- or food-services worker, or ‘Earth Cola’ plant-worker.

Communication between Ruthie and Jacki was non-existent for the duration of the girl’s stay at the Reformatory. Communication between Ruthie and her boys, (fraternal twins), however, was pretty frequent at first, dropping off drastically once Basic Training was completed, and their Ship Assignments finalized.

With the sheer vastness of space, information can take quite some time to reach its destination; add to this the fact that people mature, change, and often end up growing apart over time, and it's not that hard to see why the communiqués became more and more infrequent, until they stopped altogether. Ruthie wished all good things for her family, and made the decision to get on with the business of living her life.

A valued employee repeatedly recognized for her exceptional work ethic over the years, and a real booster of both ‘Earth Cola’ and its parent corporation, Nguyen-Baurhaus, nobody was more surprised than Ruthie to find out she was let go; rated as suddenly ‘unsatisfactory’ in an evaluation only 8 months prior to her scheduled retirement date.

Getting the axe has, not surprisingly, turned Ruthie into something of a bitter old pill, who, given the opportunity, will go on and on about a specific group of particularly lousy executives at Nguyen-Baurhaus, while simultaneously keeping both Nguyen-Baurhaus and ‘Earth Cola’ blameless in her firing, as “they’d always done right” by her.

She still proudly wears the special ‘Earth Cola’ leather jacket (with a logo on back clearly visible at 2 blocks) awarded to her in recognition of winning the fork-lift races between ‘Earth Cola’ and ‘Galaxy Pizza’ at the company picnic 5 years in a row.

Even though cheated out of her retirement pension, Ruthie is still able to live a comfortable (though not luxurious) life thanks to the benefits of having purchased 80 shares of Nguyen-Baurhaus stock some 20 years back.

While images of women dressed in uniforms and acting (usually pretty poorly, in most cases) as if they were school girls locked in a Reformatory, tended towards hot and exciting in the ubiquitous Tri-V Adult features, the reality of such an arrangement is, not too surprisingly, far less erotic. While statistically a fair number of encounters occur (sophonts being sophonts, after all), things are more akin to being trapped inside a combination workplace/school/treatment center from which one is unable to leave for years on end - except for the odd field-trip to work as unpaid extras in the occasional ‘Earth Cola’ (or ‘Galaxy Pizza’ - yuk!) commercial. If ever successful at breaking out of the Reformatory, the escapee is, more often than not, quickly returned by Police or Nguyen-Baurhaus Security escort.

On reaching adulthood, Jacqueline was released. Getting a job working as a waitress at an ‘Olde Eryth’ restaurant (where the chain’s policy is ‘No Robots, Ever’), Jacki was more than a little surprised to find herself occasionally recognized as the girl from the old ‘Earth Cola’ commercials, which were currently enjoying something of a renaissance as part ofthe new ‘Earth Cola Classic’ campaign (‘Classic Taste - Classic Commercials’).

After a lengthy after-hours conversation with an ‘Olde Eryth’ customer who insisted he was an Artists’ Talent Representative over a bowl of Larb at a ‘Mr. Wu’s’ restaurant, Jacki let herself be talked into trying her hand at acting school.

Possessing a keen mind, charisma, and a natural gift for acting (as well as being exceedingly photogenic), Jacki excelled in her classes; so much so, that she was soon recommended by her instructors for admittance to the highly prestigious ISA (‘Imperial School for the Arts’) on ‘Old Earth’(A867A6F, Sol Sector).

Always a bit clumsy, as well as being self-conscious about coming up a street kid (plus always thinking she’s always had just too many teeth in her mouth), Jacki focused wholeheartedly on reinventing herself.

While an exceptionally talented actress, Jacki found herself being attracted, more and more, to the almost supernaturally graceful, charming, refined and serene auras of those students specializing in ‘The Arts of the Pillowed World’. The ISA’s policy of declaring a major by all 2nd year students gave Jacki just the push she needed, and with her double majors now finalized, she immersed herself completely.

On graduating, Jackie could pretty much write her own ticket; able to work as either an accredited Paid Companion, or an ISA-trained actress; both highly sought-after professions.

Jacki, following the long tradition of human entertainers of the past, changed her name. A few days later, ‘Bambi Pileggi’ went to work, having supporting roles in 8 features over the next 3 years, including her break-out (and award winning) performance in the Big-Budget Epic (reported by IT as costing a whopping 36 BCR to make) ‘Empire of Man’.

Following her newfound notoriety, Nguyen-Baurhaus lost no time in showing the woman now known as ‘Bambi’ in their commercials again: all of her old footage cut together, with a voice-over saying “While it can’t be proven that ‘Earth Cola’ is what got Miss Pileggi where she is today, we like to think that we helped.”, closing the commercial with a smiling picture of her accepting the ‘Sophonts’ Choice Award’ opposite a picture of her as a smiling child, an almost-hypnotic, ice-cold, frosty bottle of slowly-sweating ‘Earth Cola’ sitting upright between them.

While the Megacorp owned her past images, use of the new footage was in clear violation of her owning her own trademarked image. So, after a year-and-a-half’s legal wrangling, ‘Bambi’ was some 80MCR richer.

After years spent seeing Jacki in some incarnation as an ‘Earth Cola’ shill, and receiving their communiqués marked ‘Undeliverable. Returned to sender’, Jacki’s family followed news of ‘Ms. Pileggi’s’ lawsuit with the juggernaut that is Nguyen-Baurhaus with interest.

Getting together enough cash for them all to travel to Old Earth by First Class ticket, Ruthie and the twins were soon reunited with ‘Jacki’. After some time spent at her new Grav-Mans; enjoying the amenities (as well as seeing the fine Yacht she’d received with her ‘Sophonts’ Choice Award’ sitting out on the nearby landing pad), Jacki’s brothers, after much hemming and hawing, decided to hit her with a business proposition: Figuring that dealing with Pirates was really not too dissimilar to dealing with Ethically Challenged Merchants who skipped on their mortgages, the brothers were planning on pooling their resources and go into the Repossession/Skip-Tracer/Bounty Hunter business, using friends from their old Marine Company as employees in the process. All they needed to get their fledgling operation off the ground was to find someone to help bankroll it. Blood being thicker than water (besides, just what is a girl going to do with something in excess of 80MCR anyhow?), Jacki decided to join them, as a full partner, of course.

With new ships having ridiculously high prices, the kids, after insisting their mother stay behind, decided to visit the poor spacer’s friend, Mr. Wu, whose primary dealership was located near the great North American Rainforest Preserve, on the North American continent, right there on Old Earth.

After a few hours of banter and negotiating (during which all of Jacki’s unique and considerable powers of persuasion where employed), Mr. Wu ended up letting them have a total of five ships for only 45MCR. Jacki, smiling knowingly to herself, and pleased in her ability to manipulate, was surprised when Mr. Wu, suddenly coming out of his Companion-inspired daze, insisted that ‘Spanachi Brothers Repossessions’ must work for him exclusively for 5 years; receiving only half the going rate for Repossessions and the like during that period. It was only to be expected, after all; Wu was a very cagey businessman.

Jim Spanachi

Jim "Jimmy” Lee (formerly Jim "Jimmy” Spanachi)
Former teen hood and Imperial Marine
Currently one of the co-founders and an employee of ‘Spanachi Brothers Repossessions’.
Homeworld Driscoll’s World, but currently residing on Earth.
UPP C89656 Age 34
DET 14
EXP 11
Lifeforce 29
Hits 4/6
Martial Arts-4*, Philosophy-2, Streetwise-1, Battle Dress-1, Combat Rifleman-1, Large Blade-1, Zero-G Environ-1, Vacc Suit-0, Cargo Handling-0, Handgun-0, Grav Vehicle-0, Computer-0.

* Acts like 2 levels of Brawling per level; thus, treat this as if Jimmy has Brawling-8 to determine the chance to hit. Damage is as fist, +1 point per level of Martial Arts.

Jimmy is a tall, olive-skinned human male of Mediterranean descent, with a well-developed physique. His brilliant smile and rugged good looks make him very popular with the ladies. Jimmy is, unfortunately, an insufferable braggart, and fancies himself quite the wit (which he is decidedly not). He is clean-shaven, and his hair is cut in the easy-to-spot, simple bowl-cut of the ‘Leeists’

Having come to enjoy the decision-free emphasis on uniformity in the Marines, and wanting the same no-hassle feeling in his civilian life, Jimmy was adamant that while working, all employees of ‘Spanachi Brothers Repossessions’ needed to have some sort of uniform. Insisting on one of his own design, Jimmy will usually be found dressed in a zippered, multi-pocketed, green-gray utility coverall, covered by a flak vest that’s been worked on to resemble a letterman’s jacket (with a shoulder rig beneath, packing a 15mm Automag). He has a total of 7 magazines of 15mm, as well as a super-dense folding-knife, super-dense electro-knuckles, and a deck of pornographic playing cards (which, on closer inspection, are in fact made up of 3 different decks and have a total of 6 aces between them) in assorted pockets. A large pocket on his thigh is packed tight with about 40 sticks of beef jerky.

Jimmy speaks Anglic.

While never the Company’s finest shot, Jimmy’s training has assured that he can confidently handle most types of rifle. Jimmy has no qualms about putting the brakes on someone he feels needs it.

Jimmy refuses to work on the religious holidays of July 20 or November 27.

Josef Spanachi

Josef "Joey Spinach” Spanachi
Former teen hood and Imperial Marine
Currently one of the co-founders and an employee of ‘Spanachi Brothers Repossessions’.
Homeworld Driscoll’s World, but currently residing on Earth.
UPP 987C66 Age 34
DET 19
EXP 18
Lifeforce 24
Hits 4/5
Handgun-2, Large Blade-2, Blues Harmonica-2, Axe-1, Linguistics-1, Zero-G Environ-1, Stealth-1, Brawling-1, Streetwise-1, Battle Dress-1, Combat Rifleman-1, Gambling-1, Tactics-1, Demolition-1, Leader-1, Vacc Suit-0, Cargo Handling-0, Grav vehicle-0, Computer-0.

Joey is a wiry, olive-skinned human male of Mediterranean descent, with an ever-present 5 o’clock shadow. His eyes are a watery blue, and he doesn’t care for maintaining eye-contact with people for very long. He’s a nervous sort, and often fidgets while talking; his hand sometimes covering his mouth while he speaks. Joey, who’d always figured himself to be the brains of the Spanachi clan, is having trouble coming to grips with the fact that his kid sister is, in fact, both more intelligent, (as well as being highly educated) and the real brains behind ‘Spanachi Brothers Repossessions’.

While Joey loathes the outfit his brother has designed for ‘Spanachi Repossessions’ employees, he will, nevertheless, usually be found wearing the zippered, multi-pocketed, green-gray utility coverall, covered by the letterman’s-jacket flak vest (with a shoulder rig beneath, packing a heavy laser pistol). A grimy ‘Olde Eryth’ cap (a gift from his sister); usually worn backwards, is found covering his balding head. A vibro-bladed cutlass hangs at his right hip. He has 3 laser pistol energy packs, as well as a super-dense folding-knife, a collapsible pair of heavy bolt-cutters, insulated work gloves, and a 1kg piece of explosive putty in assorted pockets. He keeps a large, powerful stunner in a holster at his left hip,and a smaller, weaker one in his left boot. An assortment of ‘Everfresh Sandwiches’ (guaranteed to stay fresh for 40 years, provided their seals remain intact) are stuffed into various pockets (his favorite, by far, being the ‘buffalo-chicken bacon reuben’), along with a small bottle of ‘Old Cleon’s’ vermouth-soaked, habanero-stuffed olives. He carries a large can of ‘Sleepanol’ spray clipped to a strap on his flak vest. He has a heavy, Super-dense, Marine-surplus ‘Space Axe’ on a sling, which he’ll carry along if the action is expected to get close.

As long as he has fairly regular access to some form of alcohol (‘Old Newshound’ being his favorite), Joey is as content as the proverbial kitten. Should Joey ever inadvertently empty (or lose) the silver flask stuck in his back pocket someplace not conveniently near a source of more liquor, there’ll be hell to pay.

Joey speaks Anglic, and also knows Zhodani (having been taught it by his father while only a child). He can also play a mean blues harmonica.

Because of his training, Joey can use a rifle quite handily, but remains a better shot with a pistol. While the Repossession business can, on occasion, be quite lethal, Joey would prefer using non-lethal methods of dealing with problems. This doesn’t mean that he’s any sort of pacifist, and will use deadly force quite effectively if he has to.

Each year, Joey takes the week of the Hurling championships off from work; following the coverage on the Tri-V and generally relaxing.

Joey’s almost constant companion is a small, 6-limbed (7 if you count the tail), vaguely monkeylike, metallic-green, one-eyed Engineering/Maintenance Robot he calls ‘Sgt Major Maelcom, after a Marine Sergeant Major of his acquaintance. The ‘Sgt Major’ (or just ‘Sarge’) has been loaded with both non-standard equipment (including a 1 liter decanter, filled with the previously-mentioned ‘Old Newshound’), as well as non-standard programming.

Jacqueline Spanachi

Bambi Pileggi (Formerly Jacqueline "Jackie” Spanachi).
Former incorrigible child and schoolgirl. Former award-winning Tri-V actress.
Currently a certified Paid Companion, and the public representative of (as well as being a full partner and the real brains behind) ‘Spanachi Brothers Repossessions’.
Homeworld Driscoll’s World, but currently residing on Earth.
DET 25
EXP 25
Lifeforce 31
Hits 4/7
Geisha-5*, Act-3, Trader-3, Linguistics-3, Swim-2, Hairpins-2, Acrobatics-2, History-1, Intrusion-1, Streetwise-1, Handgun-1, Write-1, Brawling-0, Grav vehicle-0, Vacc Suit-0, Computer-0.

* Geisha is a skill covering not only an encyclopedic knowledge of the erotic arts, but also practical experience with the physical application of such techniques. In addition, Geisha also includes aspects of Acting, Carousing, Interview, Liaison, Psychology, Persuasion, and Steward skills. Geisha can thus be used instead of (or in addition to) any of the previously-mentioned skills, but with a DM-1.

Bambi (or ‘Jacki’, as she is known to her family) is a human female of less-than-average height. Of Mediterranean descent, her once olive skin has, thanks to high-tech cosmetic surgery, been transformed into the most amazing and luminous Nordic/Celtic pale-white. Her large doe-eyes are a stunning light blue (like the now-famous photo of that middle-eastern woman on the cover of ‘National Geographic’ some years back). Her hair is a shiny, deep blue-black, and curls down past her shoulder blades, though she usually wears it gathered up and kept in place by several long, apparently silver hairpins. She is poised, gentle, soft spoken, and almost always has a slight Mona Lisa-like smile. She has an amazing physique; both rock hard and jiggly in all the right places.

When accompanying someone in public as a Paid Companion (or at some function related to her acting career), Bambi will dress in the best, though slightly understated fashions. In private she’ll be dressed in something simple; casual clothes usually consisting of some type of sweatshirt, and either denim jeans, fatigue pants, or shorts; and any of an absolutely bewildering number of different pairs of shoes (she loves shopping for shoes). A zippered, multi-pocketed, tech vest (with the ‘Spanachi Brothers Repossessions’ logo on the back) is often worn over the sweatshirt if she needs to go out on errands. She keeps several long, razor-sharp, Super-dense hairpins in her hair (just in case), and carries a large, powerful stunner in her shoulder bag. A small, derringer-sized, 2-shot plasma pistol is kept secreted somewhere on Bambi’s person.

Bambi speaks Anglic, and also knows Zhodani (having been taught it by her father while only a child). During her years at the ISA, she picked up Chinese and Arabic as well.

Bambi is a prolific writer of poetry; but has yet to share any of it with others.

Bambi isn’t a violent person by any stretch of the imagination. Aside from biting a few hands to escape sticky situations as a kid, or hair-pulling and the occasional knuckle sandwich dished out in her teens, she’s mostly harmless. Her brother Joey has made sure she’s received some training in the use of handguns, however.

Bambi’s almost constant companion for the last few years has been a small, graceful, almost ethereally beautiful Asian women of undetermined age, most often encountered dressed in a chauffeur’s uniform, whom she calls either ‘Dawn’ or ‘Miss Nakahara’. Dawn is, in fact, a top-of-the-line Pleasurebot, almost identical to those seen accompanying well-known Mercantile Icon, Mr. “Tex” Wu. The old charlatan, in fact, suggesting Bambi get one for herself after she’d confided in him just how stunning she found his ‘nieces’ to be.

Bambi uses Dawn primarily for companionship, as a valet, hairdresser & make-up girl, chauffer, and, should the need arise, personal bodyguard.

Dawn has a gauss pistol built into her left hand, which holds 20 AP needles that’ve been double-coated in a heavy sedative. Other modifications include a combination storage and heating unit which can hold 8 personal-sized pizzas. If Miss Nakahara is called on to provide her boss with pizza, those encountering her later will often be heard muttering “Do you smell pizza?”---to which Dawn gives a slight smile; usually saying “Its my new perfume.”

Dawn’s Pleasurebot features and programming have occasionally come into play when one of Bambi’s clients has taken a liking to Dawn, and asked Bambi if her ‘friend’ could join them for a night on the town.

Ruth Spanachi

Mrs. Ruthie Spanachi
Former factory-worker and inattentive mother.
Currently retiree now living with her children at her daughter’s Grav-Mans.
Homeworld Driscoll’s World, but currently residing on Earth.
UPP 456876 Age 70
DET 15
EXP 15
Lifeforce 15
Hits 3/3
History & Storyline of popular Tri-V show ‘Vanguard Reaches’-4, ‘Earth Cola’ factory procedures-2, Carousing-2, Streetwise-1, History-1, Mechanical-1, Admin-1, Bowling-1, Mah Jong-1, Heavy Loader-1, Computer-0, Cargo Handling-0, Grav vehicle-0,Vacc Suit-0.

Ruthie is an extremely short, gnome-like human female of Mediterranean descent, with large, blue-green eyes and a prominent hawk-like nose. Her gray-white hair, if let down, would reach mid calf; it having been cut only once that she can remember; though she usually wears it gathered up in a very large bun, and kept in place by several very ancient-looking art nouveau-style butterfly clips. She is loud, boisterous, and the possessor of a sometimes-withering rapier-sharp wit. She can usually be found wearing something garish; regardless of cut or design, and carrying her ever-present, oddly-shaped, bulbous, metallic shoulder bag in which she keeps her wallet (upended, with its contents spilled out), two and a half bags of ‘O’Reilly’s Mincemeat Wonder-cookies’, a hammer, a small can of ‘Sleepanol’ spray, and her bowling shoes.

When not honing her passive-aggressive manipulation skills on her children, Ruthie will usually be found sitting on the couch at her daughter’s Grav-Mans, watching her favorite program, “Vanguard Reaches”.

When out on the town, she can also be found bowling, having lunch with friends, or sitting at a table in the Starport lounge playing Mah Jong and smoking entirely too many short, thick, mildly-euphoric ‘Morkebla Morrabrod’ cigarettes (sold in the distinctive blue-pinstriped white package with a stylized blue Viking, fully erect, flying over a cloud).

Ruthie speaks Anglic, as well as knowing a surprisingly wide range of Zhodani obscenities.