Giovanni Conti Bio
“Nutty, are you only going to show up to post about Archie Sonic and your OCs?” Yes, yes I am
Anyways, I decided to throw together a quick bio for Gambit’s dad because hey I figured his stuff out and I’m doing shit with him now.
Shoutouts to @pidgeonspen for doing his design for me.
Anyways, as always, everything’s under the readmore
Name: Giovanni Conti (Real name Brando Romilla)
Age: Approximately 50 years old
Occupation: Auto mechanic/Conman
Location: Unknown, last confirmed sighting in Westopolis. Originally born in Lugaio, Spagonia.
Sexuality: Bisexual, though greatly prefers women to the point of denying any male attraction
Personality: Giovanni's personality is what one would expect from a seasoned conman: charismatic, self-serving, and conniving, the weasel finds success in his trade thanks to his natural talent in dealing with others. To his victims, Giovanni appears to be a charming, compassionate, smooth-talking individual who seems to go out of his way to help others in their time of need. But of course it's all a farce, a way to con unsuspecting victims out of their hard-earned cash. In reality, the man formerly known as Brando Romilla is the exact opposite. A selfish, grumpy, and temperamental weasel "behind the scenes", Giovanni finds himself unwilling to engage with the world around him outside of whatever con he's cooked up or to get out of whatever mess he's gotten himself into this time.
Giovanni's most defining personality trait however, isn't his sardonic attitude or his smoothtalking ways, but instead his paranoia. Giovanni has spent the majority of his life on the run and it shows. He often finds himself looking over his shoulder both figuratively and quite literally, hoping that his latest victim hasn't found out about him or that the law or the mafia or whoever he's crossed hasn't tracked him down to enact their revenge. As such, Giovanni is extremely hesitant to give out his name unless absolutely necessary for the con, even going so far as to make up fake names in emergency situations, though the truth eventually comes out. In addition, he trusts absolutely nobody and almost always looks for a way to backstab/escape any sort of partnership he's found himself on the receiving end of, willing or otherwise.
All of this being said, it isn't *all* bad for Giovanni personality-wise, for when the weasel finds something he actually likes, one can see a softer, more eager side of him come out. Despite his professed hatred of his previous job, Giovanni has a rather deep appreciation for the intricacies of vehicles and vehicle repairs, even going so far as to sneak into antique car shows to gawk at the new vehicles and reminisce about the "good old days" before it "got so complicated" in terms of technology. Oddly enough, he also loves vinyl.
Skills: Giovanni is of course, an incredibly skilled con-man, imploying a variety of cons and scams to trick people out of their money, ranging from simple "tourist trap" tricks such as "no change", "toll booth", and "free gift", to more complicated ones such as "flat tire" schemes and even reselling stolen/counterfeit items at a significantly marked up price. His variety in terms of cons is helped by his ability to sell them thanks to his smooth-talking charismatic persona that he puts on during them. As a result of his occupation he's also extremely adept at pointing out other cons/knowing when he's being duped. Not only that, but he's even picked up some basic lockpicking/hotwiring and ID forging skills, though they aren't quite as honed as his other talents in the area.
Surprisingly enough, again despite his professed dislike of his childhood job, Giovanni is an incredibly skilled mechanic, being able to assess the issues with (mostly older) vehicles just from a few minutes of observation and testing alone and fixing it in record times. OF course he'll complain about how he's "too fuckin' old" for it, but he'll do a damn good job...and even enjoy himself somewhat. He claims he would be unable to work on "new-fangled" vehicles such as Extreme Gear but if he were to get the chance, would find that he'd be a natural at it.
Likes: Antique vehicles, wine, the feeling when he pulls of a con, vinyl records, fresh pressed suits, rare steak, expensive cigars, older women, working on antique vehicles.
Dislikes: The law, organized crime outfits, his ex-wife, his kid, getting caught, prison, cheap beer, "new" technology, people who talk too much, his grandfather, working on vehicles (his relationship with auto repair is..complicated), staying in one place for too long.
Backstory: Brando Rombilla was born into anything but normalcy: born to a pair of younger Spagonian lovers, the result of a tryst gone wrong, he was abandoned on the steps of his paternal grandfather, the widowed mechanic Angelo Rombilla, who would raise the weasel as his own.
Angelo was an old, stubborn, hardworking man who had spent his entire life toiling away as a mechanic, even coming to own his own shop...yet despite it all, he never quite had a lot to show for it, and Brando grew up in not quite poverty, but in...less than modest means
Despite this...unusual situation, Brando would, at least for a time, grow up as any other child would, going to school, making friends, and living as a normal Spagonian child would--at least until he hit the age of 12-13, where his father suddenly and inexplicably ground his childhood to a halt, pulling him out of school and telling him that he was going to be a "working man" from now on, that he'd have to help out at the shop and help put food at the table--and that is indeed what happened.
From then on, Brando found himself working at the modest repair shop, working the front desk, doing oil changes, and learning the ins and outs of auto repair--and he fucking hated it.
Not just because he'd been robbed of the experiences his peers were getting, but it served as a constant reminder of the (at least to him) pathetic conditions in which they lived and worked. In addition, it only served to exacerbate his sheer irritation at his father's stubbornness and near-perfectionist standards.
But over time, as he aged and saw his peers move on to bigger and better things, he realized something else: all this work, all this "good, honest, hard" work he'd been doing, that his grandfather had been doing, that he wanted him to inherit, it was getting them nowhere
The both of them spent years and years doing the same shit over and over, and they were no better off than when they'd started. They still lived like shit, ate like shit, and worked like dogs, and the idea of doing this his entire life revolted him. Yet when he'd bring this up, he'd just get shouted down, beaten down, and told to get back to work. He loathed it all.
Then one day, around the time Giovanni hit 19--it all changed. In a moment of what his grandfather would call laziness and what Brando would later call ingenuity, he accidentally charged a customer for something they hadn't done--and with it, more money than he should've had. It suddenly hit him, his way out, his way to actually do something about all of this. It started off slow, an overcharge here, a useless job done there, a job not done this way or that, even some front product sold off of lies. Before Brando knew it, the shop was actually making money for once, and more than that, he was making money. And the best part was, that for once, Angelo seemed like he didn't have a stick up his ass. He seemed...happy, over the moon really that things had begun to look up. Things seemed to finally be getting better!
....until Angelo caught Brando in the act, after which the mother of all shouting matches ensued, of the grandson and grandfather screaming at each other about this and that, about everything--and saw Brando being thrown out of the shop, out of his grandfather's home--and out of his life
Out on his ass with only the money he'd pocketed and the clothes on his back to his name, Brando by all rights should have been terrified about his future, livid about what had happened, but instead he found himself excited. Now that his grandpappy or his stupid shop wasn't a problem anymore, he could finally do something with himself, and he knew exactly what that'd be--putting to use the same bullshittery that'd gotten him here to begin with.
And so the young weasel found himself hopping all over Spagonia, honing his craft. Whether it be through pinching wares from stores and selling them nearby at an outrageously hiked price, snatching and selling bootleg items, or even using his mechanic skills to craft "wonder items" that were quite literally just old scrapyard junk, Brando soon became quite adept at the art of the con. However, with that adeptness came attention, and with that attention came the watchful eye of the law, which attempted to crack down on the weasel multiple times as he traveled about Spagonia.
Soon enough, his face and name were plastered on wanted signs, in local papers, and in time, he couldn't run any longer, finally being booked on fraud charges and placed in prison for ~ 3 years at the age of 22. Upon getting out, Brando realized that he couldn't exactly do his work here anymore, lest he get thrown back in for good.
But Soleanna wasn't exactly appealing either, especially since the SPD were notorious for cracking down on fraudsters. He was at a loss at what to do, until he managed to catch a TV broadcast talking about Empire City and it hit him- EC would be the perfect place to disappear and get a fresh start. It was big, it was far away, and it was full of suckers just waiting to be parted with their money
Forging himself a new identity (quite literally) as "Giovanni Conti" , he smuggled himself on board a ship and soon found himself in Empire City, where he almost immediately got to work--and found the results to be not what he expected
While the toursts were complete suckers as expected, the residents were anything but, and he found himself on the run from the law once more--and in addition, the various criminal orgs that made their homes there and had no tolerance for being scammed. Needless to say, the whole thing frustrated him, and with no other way to vent his frustrations, he turned to drinking, and with it, found himself at a small bar in downtown EC, drinking away his frustrations...and chatting up an equally frustrated, and rather attractive young woman. He didn't catch her last name, but certainly caught her first- Artemis
What should have just been a simple one night tryst suddenly got a lot more complicated once the young woman had tracked him down almost a week later with some soul-crushing news: She was pregnant, and it was almost certainly by him. To make matters worse, Artemis was an up and coming politician, someone in the running for the EC City Council, and she would be DAMNED if it came out that she got knocked up in a one night stand, that would ruin her career! Despite Giovanni's attempts at arguing otherwise, she also insisted on keeping the child, claiming that if word got out she got rid of it, it would ruin her career. Threatening to hand him over to authorities, she blackmailed him into sticking by her side for the following 9 months, appearing in front of the cameras as a pictureesque pair of parents-to-be, Artemis embracing the newfound attention and Giovanni absolutely loathing all the eyes on him, and not only that, but also moving in together to her (admittedly) lavish apartment.
This continued up on through the end of the pregnancy and into the birth of their son, who Artemis named "Tai", a (perhaps ironic) homage to an old Apotosian patron of Luck. From then, things continued normally, well as least as normal as could be for the unwitting parents-to-be, up until the child was around a year old, when Artemis went on a sudden vacation. Left alone with the child and feeling helplessly trapped, Giovanni contemplated making a break for it, perhaps faking his own death and figuring out the details later, when a hooded figure burst into the home and attempted to shoot both him and the child dead. Through a near-miraculous stroke of luck though, the intruder's gun jammed, giving Giovanni the chance to brandish a knife and stab them in the jugular. His heart pounding, his mind racing, Giovanni quickly put two and two together: someway, somehow, Artemis had tried to get the two of them whacked. Quickly disposing of the body and without really thinking about it, Giovanni grabbed the child and made a break for it, bolting from the apartment and leaving Empire City under cover of darkness, trying to make sure he left no trace that he had left--or was even still alive.
Soon arriving in Westopolis, Giovanni and Tai found a small apartment to squat in for the time being. Quickly settling in, Giovanni quickly fell back into his old ways, and found the people of Westopolis far more vulnerable to his schemes than in EC. Still, the weasel wasn't happy. His "new start" that he'd hoped for had fallen apart before it'd even gotten the chance to get off the ground because of *her*, Artemis. Giovanni's frustration gnawed away at him--not helped by the tiny weasel at home, his little boy--the *mistake* that'd gotten him into this mess. He often found himself verbally and physically taking out his frustrations on young Tai, even more so when it turned out the little brat wasn't even good enough to help him on cons. He wished he could get rid of the little bastard once and for all, but for some reason, he just couldn't bring himself to kill him despite his best efforts.
Years went by, but nothing truly changed for the pair, until young Tai was 8 years old and Giovanni found himself on the bad end of a con gone wrong, having inadvertently found himself attempting to swindle an undercover cop. Rushing back to the apartment he and Tai shared, he quickly grabbed whatever tools he could and attempted to disappear, leaving the young Tai behind for good.
Throwing himself out of the frying pan and into the proverbial fire, Giovanni had managed to disappear and evade the cops---and run right into one of his "victims": "Downtown" Ebony Hare--a "made man" in the Carnades, one of the major local outfits--and someone who he'd given a shoddy brake job. Ebony recognized the weasel almost immediately and motioned to off him for messing up his car, but after Giovanni pleaded for his life, Ebony spared him-- on the condition that he work off his "debts" to him and the Carnades.
Faced with either paying his dues or paying with his life, Giovanni made the obvious choice and ended up doing quite a few small jobs for Ebony over the course of the next decade and change (approx 13 years) not only fixing his car but also fixing the other vehicles in the outfit--and giving a disgustingly large portio nof the proceeds from his other "work" directly to Ebony. Once again, Giovanni was trapped doing the very thing he'd been stuck doing since childhood and not only that, but also indebted to a mobster who had no intention of letting him go. He desperately tried to find a way out, but it was to no avail--until a near miraculous stroke of "luck".
The Black Arms invasion decimated a significant portion of Mobius, especially Northamer, and no place found itself worse off than Westopolis. For most living there, it seemed like the end times as the city burned around them. But for Giovanni, it was an opportunity to finally disappear--and never come back.
The invasion soon ended, the repairs soon begun, and the Carnades began to operate once more--but Giovanni was nowhere to be found. Despite a thorough search of the city, the weasel had just...vanished, presumably killed by the aliens or escaping to parts unknown after.
Giovanni's current location is unknown and those who know of him believe him to be dead, but there have been some apparent sightings of the aged con-man. Some say they've seen him on the outskirts of Sand Blast City, others say they've seen him working his trade with another individual down in the Southern Baronies, and some even say that he's still in Westopolis, working his craft, and sticking close to the headquarters of the East Side Pack, a noted rival of the Carnades.
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