Lori BianchiCurrent Occupation:
Lori currently owns a small place called Iron Dora's. It's been a labor of love, really. She used money she used to earn street racing in Miami as capital to get the place up and going, trying to make one more shot at living a straight life. San Fran is a great place for talented musicians and the LA bound looking to get their start performing, but it's also hard to compete here as a cafe. Originally a coffee shop and jazz venue, Lori started to expand the business into serving alcohol and Italian Food, using her curious cooking talent to bolster the venture. But when the open direction business started to tank, especially when competing with other restaurants in the Bay, it was her other, more useful set of talents that saved the place.
Iron's Dora's is now an alcohol-friendly cafe and performance venue, with eclectic steam-punk undertones and a reputation for the discerning musical tastes of its proprietor. Those who came before notice the place is smaller than it used to be. Lori converted the back rooms into more comfortable private areas, allowing for the less-than-seelie clientele to meet and discuss things with a blind eye and plenty of sound proofing. Lori is also making a name for herself as a connection broker, tapping into the network of smugglers, hired guns, and specialist criminals that she used to run with.
Today she is above the black line, but not yet seeing any major profits. Lori is slowly and carefully building a smuggling and money laundering trade, patiently investing time and money into safe moves. Things are on the up, though. She gets to sit down and smoke any time she wants to at work. The place is just popular enough, with decent performers whenever she wants to book them. She's getting more business from the back rooms.. They even like her cooking. Imagine that.Appearance/Style Description:
Lori is a pale woman with jet black hair that stops just past her ears, and lazy green eyes. She has a long neck and a lithe, well-toned body, with flourishing hips. Lori favors dark colors, and tends to dress nicely, preferring dresses or form fitting suits that match her venue. She is extremely fond of fedoras and retro fashions, as well as gothic attire. However, when she's out and about, she will usually opt for something simple, dark, and easy to move around in. Sometimes this will show off the tattoo running from her right shoulder blade and down her left arm, of a stylized winter spirit roaring through the cold. Lori's most remarkable physical feature is the custom built clock-work leg brace on her left leg, and the limp in her walk.
While she has a little trouble moving across a room, Lori somehow seems to move with grace in every other aspect, exhibiting excellent muscle control in her arms and upper body. She has a lazy, almost apathetic way about her, usually conducting herself with a monotone voice and cynic comments. Those that have known her longer recognize her for the curious, art loving, and even theatrical woman is. Especially those that have seen her play her sax. Those that haven't only know her as the young, tough-as-nails bar keeper who has picky tastes in music and likes loud cars. Personality:
Lori's subdued and lazy-eyed disposition masks a veritable mosaic of interests, conflicts, and triggers. She is a confessed audiophile, whose tastes range from Smooth Jazz to Heavy Metal. In her office, she keeps a poster of her favorite metal band, Anarchy in Harmony, right beside the saxophone she'll occasionally use to run poor performers out of her establishment. Lori is also a passionate mechanic, who at one time broke into salvage yards to steal choice scrap, and who is fairly adept at street racing. She loves steam-punk, and has a kinkier side that she tried to keep under wraps. Be that as it may, Lori's first love will always be the criminal life. She has a certain sneer she wears when she is about to do something she'll probably regret later, and lately has made a habit of keeping count of them.History:
Lori was born as Lorelei Bianchi, to an Italian Immigrant Chef and an American Para-legal. She grew up enjoying fine cooking, accordion music, and the like. She was nerdy as a youth, smart and quiet, more prone to being lost in her own world than actually hanging out with others. When she started to hit her rebellious years, during which her temperamental father and ice-berg like mother got on her very last nerve, she began to seek companionship. She found music her calling card, at the time, going to jazz houses and coffee shops. After making some quirky friends that, while not nerdy, seemed to understand her for what she was, she was invited to the Maw, the parking garage that served as the headquarters for a gang called The Teeth. That was where she saw her first cover show concert.
Lori was already familiar with their leader, Kaitlin Naus, who had been part of an experimental rock band. The energy was entrancing, and she began to try to go to these cover shows as often as she could. Her grades suffered as she began to fall into various substance abuses and small acts of hoodlumism with her gang-member friends. A very confusing period followed, in which Lori teetered between giving up the gang for the life she'd had, or vice versa. This confusion ended rather suddenly one night when a member of a rival gang attempted to kill her. Naus herself was the one who saved her life, following it with hard but well-meaning advice to "fucking pick" where she stood. After this, Lori formally began her life as one of The Teeth.
While the nerdiness she'd carried as a youth had to be quickly beaten out of her, the gang members welcomed her curiosity. Various mentors appeared, teaching her music, mechanics, driving, and fighting. Under Naus's tutelage, Lori gained a deep appreciation for one on one fights. A tall and imposing woman named Silver taught her to drift during street races. And her first lover, a boy named French Fry, taught her the joys of junking. It was he who re-awakened her nerdier side by showing her how to craft junk-jewelry.
It was during one of these junking expeditions that Lori's leg was crushed by a falling car in a junk yard. Unable to walk under her own power, she fashioned a clock-work leg brace. Thereafter, even the other members of The Teeth had to respect her nerdiness. She started working more on steam-punk fashions in her spare time, running a profile on Etsy to raise money for the Gang. She also rekindled her love of Jazz Music, buying a saxophone and taking lessons in her spare time.
This was a fine time for her, but it was due to end. Sadly, a gang member's foremost skill must be the art of violence. Even with her brace, Lori no longer had the agility for it. After nearly getting herself killed for the second time, Naus threw her out, partly for her own protection, but mostly out of frustration. The event broke her heart. She took what money she had and moved to Miami, consoling herself for a time on the beaches, taking her leg brace off and letting the waves caress her.
Miami was a curious time in her life. She went from working at a BP station, to being drawn into a street racing team, to falling back into the habit of smuggling car parts through salvaged chrome-cadavers, and running afoul of the law. She had to go underground for a time, reconnecting with her old gang as she and her new racing crew dispersed around the country. She made a great deal of new contacts, however, and eventually settled into San Fran, attempting to try to go straight once again.
Things didn't pan out that way, and now she runs a small business that works as a cover for certain meetings and transactions that she doesn't officially know anything about. Somehow she thought the bay area climate would get to her more, after moving from Miami, but she's found that everything suits her just fine. Current Situation:
Building her connection broker, money laundering and smuggling operations, bit by bit. She has open mic night on Wednesdays, and being closed on Mondays and Tuesdays allows her to host a steam-punk gathering, a kink event or a prize fight once in a blue moon. Iron Dora's is fun like that. Primary Job:
Underworld ConnectionSecondary Job:
Equipment / Weapons (I can drive, too.)Gear: Iron Dora's, Refreshments and Live Music..
..Lori's place of business allows her to conduct meetings, import and sell a little of x and y without having to let it see the sunlight, launder a little money, and gives her a wall of liquor to play with. What's not to love? The Junk Monarch..
..a heavily modded El Camino that Lori keeps under a tarp, with the back outfitting for scrapping. The machine is incomplete, almost a hobby that Lori couldn't let go of, but the suspension is outfitted for heavy carting and getting away quickly. Neon Marine..
..Lori's primary mode of locomotion is a royal blue 1991 Nissan 300 ZX, built with every worthwhile sleeper mod that Lori could get her hands on. Neon doesn't make a lot of noise, but she has a great deal of power. And the sound system is simply exquisite. iPhone 4S w/ Case, 424 contacts and 73 Playlists..
..because when you bite off more than you can chew, you'd better have an Apple. Old 26..
..A Glock 26 with a silencer. Because you never know. Need to get that rifle, though.. Special Skill:
(Oh, dear!) A Sense of Timing:
Lori has a peculiar skill. One which makes her sneaky, one which got her out of dodge when things went south in Miami, and one which has kept her business alive. She understands 'timing.' Doing something at precisely the right moment to yield just the right result. Dropping the right words to make a deal, taking the right step behind a crowd to get away, giving the right wink to make the fellow follow you, or firing the right shot right when it matters. She calls it the luck of the audiophile, to be able to sense the rhythm of a situation. In truth, it's inexplicable, to the point of being occasionally unreliable. But it has kept her alive. Strengths: The Girl from Gang Land:
Lori was once a fighter, just as capable of trading blows as any street thug, and taught boxing theory by her fellow gang members. While her leg gives her some very obvious disabilities in a fight, her muscles remember the moves. That opening flurry can be doozy for those who don't expect it. More useful to her now, however, as the skills she learned with guns. As a former member of an arms and parts smuggling gang, she knows her weapons. And those are skills she keeps in practice with. There's a target sign hidden somewhere in Iron Dora's where she unloads a few rounds after hours.. Scion of the Silver Tooth:
Lori is an adept street racer, who favors drifting around tight corners and listening to mood music while she's on the road. She learned to do this by practicing in a huge abandoned parking garage, arguably making her more effective in such a place. KIT-dub:
Of all Lori's talents, mechanics comes most easily to her. She loves junking for parts, and if she can find the right stuff, she can modify a car extensively. That's only part of the story behind that particular nickname, however.. Sneaky Cripple:
No one suspects it, but Lori is actually pretty good at sneaking around places. If asked how someone with a leg brace gets by being stealthy, she will say her edge is just simple awareness. For knowing how to place her movements in sequence with ambient noise, for tracking the lighting, and gauging the space. Her innate grace takes it from there. It lets her get into tight spaces, although she has learned to be wise about getting back out again.. Spider's Art of Connection Weaving:
Lori doesn't give herself enough credit for being personable. But she grant that she understands the nature of the underworld business ethos. Favors for favors, words for words, and everything for a price. Lori seldom misses a chance to make one of these connections when they appear, keeping a massive mental tally of who is owed and who she needs to pay. Monochrome Muse:
Lori's artistic nature makes her a bit of a jack-of-all trades, a craftsy woman that imbues almost everything she creates with a subtle flavor of her own theatrical nature. This curious tendency also makes her an inspiration among other artists. She has a policy never to give a musician a reason to call her rude, but she doesn't realize that she does more than that to some of them. When life gives you lemons..:
Lori is a survivor, who once earned her place among The Teeth almost entirely on her ability to improvise an increasingly bad situation into something awesome! This trait is responsible for her junking skills, as well as many other things.Weaknesses: That damn leg:
Her most prominent weakness is also her most obvious. Lori's leg was crushed, and her entire kneecap broken into shards along with most of the bone in that area. Modern surgery can only do so much to rebuild it, and the fact that she can walk at all today is a miracle, and sadly, a temporary one. While Lori can get around, she simply lacks the agility for proper combat. That and, well, the brace locks up sometimes.. Snapping Turtle in a Porcelain Mask:
Lori's past is an intricate thing, but not entirely a pretty one. There are a large sum of insecurities, regrets, and fears for the future. It makes her hard to get close to, a fact she acknowledges in herself but makes little effort to change. For right now, arm's length suits her. That's her story, anyhow.. Taste for Trouble:
That smirk Lori gets when she's about to do something crazy is a symptom of a much deeper condition. She doesn't know if it's the thrill or the familiarity of the life style. Live fast, die young. Skid into your grave with a half drunk bottle of Yeager and flames in your wake. Her old Gang boss gave her the keys to get out, knowing she would need them. And she fell right back in. She loves it. And at this point in her life, she's decided the on-again-off-again relationship she has with it definitely needs to stay 'on.' Haughty:
If you called Lori stubborn and arrogant, she would argue with you, and tell you that arrogance was beneath her. And then leave you to wonder if she was kidding or not..