Tony was raised in a traditional Southern Italian family. His parents, Marco and Rossana, owned Quantum Casinos, a gigantic, multistory corporate casino in the heart of corporate Italy. Wearing a pinstripe suit since as long as he could remember, young Tony was accustomed to rich, red velvet carpets and decadent buffets of food and drink. The social order was simple enough: to see the, you had to be rich and polite. If you weren’t rich, security threw you out. If you weren’t polite, security threw you out. If security felt like it, they threw you out. Or killed you. It depended on how security felt that day.
Today, Tony shows his upbringing with his signature black pinstripe suit with red vest and tie combo, black hair slicked-back with heavy grease. Equally skilled with guns and blades, he always keeps the rapier of his youth at his side. While he refuses to abandon his violent background as a solo hitman, he takes pride in professionalism and chivalry, always keeping multiple pairs of white dress gloves. He discards a worn pair after any bloodshed, keeping the delusion that doing so “cleanses himself” of any violence committed.
“A gentleman this morning, so too will I be a gentleman this evening.”
It turns out the customers “excused” by security at Quantum Casino don’t end up in the dumpsters out back. The Quantum Corporation (QCO), a computer chip company, owns not only Quantum Casino tower but also the 40 basement floors beneath the tower, the discreet home of Quantum Biotech Science (QBS). Casino troublemakers or simply those who look like they wouldn’t be missed volunteer themselves for a laboratory tour, namely as research specimens.
Like many research companies, QBS focuses on military-grade biotech and cybernetic customizations. However, where others see the loss of humanity as detrimental, QBS sees potential waiting to be harnessed. Inserting personality modulators, conscience inhibitors, and remote QBS transmitters into key parts of otherwise-normal cybernetic implants, the test-subjects have their lost humanity replaced by subtle QBS control.
Quantum Corporation plans to gradually release QBS patented chips into the cybernetics market, and in doing so inject their puppet technology into all cybernetics subscribers. There are no cliched goals of super villainy or world domination within the corporate ranks of QCO; rather, the executives say, if you there’s the choice of puppeting the world, why not take it? Why not have a voice in every ear, an eye on every corner?
Unfortunately for QBS, it’s no simple task to control a person’s psyche. Large or compounded installations of current QBS technology frequently cause unintended side-effects, sometimes doubling or even tripling expected humanity loss. Even restrained test subjects have to be declared failures when they’ve bitten themselves or others to death.
“You have to wonder why the security at Quantum Casino is so good, don’t you?”
The Capiolli family included my father and mother, Marco and Rossana, and us three children, Giovanni, Maria, and Antonio (me), along with our various cousins and distant relatives. Given that Giovanni and Maria wanted to take over the casino from our parents, I wasn’t surprised that when they left home for business college, they stopped calling. And honestly, I didn’t care. Unlike my siblings, I had no interest in corporate management or wealth. I only cared about how intimidating the casino’s security was, how even the wealthiest corporates didn’t dare go out of line while inside “il Casino di Capiolli”. I wanted everyone to look at me like they did at the security: awed and afraid.
I took up training with Lorenzo Escabonno, our family’s head bodyguard, master swordsman, and chief assassin. We transferred to a branch of Quantum Corporation in Night City for my training. While I was away, sometimes I thought it strange that I didn’t hear from my family. But my training was more important. I returned to Quantum Casino at 19 to join the security team.
Since I was part of security, I had to know what we were protecting. They sent me down for a tour of the Quantum Biotech Science lab. This was the first time I had heard about QBS since I was a kid, back when all my mind could imagine was they made super-science gumballs or something. I was a stupid kid.
Going down one floor after another, a chill ran down my spine. This place didn’t have the warmth or spirit of the casino. Every floor was the same, a long, white tiled corridor lined with doors. 10th floor, 11th floor…. 20th floor…. would they ever stop? Did they have to show me the whole thing, from the bottom up? Finally the elevator came to a halt. Basement 40. The very bottom. The doors opened. They led me down the hall. We came to an operating room when someone knocked me from behind. Lights out for me.
When I woke up, I was in a room with one of the steel doors, one of the holding cells. In there with me was a doctor; Dr. Obito Yukirmura, he called himself. He told me about the program they were running down here, replacing people’s body parts to make them faster, better, stronger. And how they didn’t always work the best. They also wanted to make humans with better genetics, better able to meld with QBS technology.
All the security had some upgrades, he said. “But you’re special, Tony,” he said. “You’re a Capiolli. You’re one of the stars of our genetics program. You’re faster, better, and stronger from the start. You’re destined to be down here, now and many times more. You’re our star.” He told me about my eye replacements, my first QBS upgrade. He told me the controls for how they worked, and how they’d added that little bit of unique QBS charm so that the Q doctors would always be with me, always be supporting. And how I’d always be here, working to protect QCO. “Wouldn’t you like that, Tony?” he asked. “You get to kill as much as you want. And free upgrades, even!”
The doc stood up and walked toward the door. Just before he left, he looked back at me. “Oh,” he said, “and don’t go looking for Giovanni, Maria, or your parents. They aren’t special like you, Tony. They didn’t take their upgrades so nicely.” And then he was gone.
Giving me killer’s eyes? Thanks doc. Telling me what to do? Telling me I’m going to be your little robot plaything, until I’m either inhuman or dead like the rest of my family? I don’t think so. I took the first chance I had to get out of the casino and visit my pal, Andrea Ascoli. It took a ton of willpower, but I stayed long enough for Ascoli to rip that QBS communicator and coordinator out of me. Unfortunately, he couldn’t do anything about the conscience inhibitors, since those were in the eyes themselves. I was free of QBS manipulation, but whenever I turned those eyes turned on, I heard the last voices they put in there.
“It’s fine, Tony. They don’t need to live. They’re not special. They’re not Capiolli. They’re not QBS.”
I’m rebellious, antisocial, and violent. I care the most about Janelle, though I won’t admit it for professional reasons, and I’ll always take it to the max to beat her to a kill. I value power and revenge most; someday I’ll destroy QBS with my own hands. People are obstacles to be destroyed if they cross me. Having a reputation as a killer is enjoyable, but I also have the tact to know when to keep a low profile. My most valued possession is the engagement ring I gave to Janelle, which she returned after our breakup.
Tony was born in Milan, Italy, rather than Night City. Four people I know in the city:
I own a small casino of my own in Night City. When I’m not working for Ariel Systems, I sometimes check in to make sure everything is running smoothly. Most of the time, though, I prefer to wander the streets, visiting run-down bars where I sometimes make money gambling on pool or cards. I’m also an amateur fencer.
I live in the apartment complex next to Ariel Systems, provided to their employees. It’s a little small, but I live alone and like the cozy vibe. I care the most about:
Three people I hate are:
Tony visits The Fat Penguin Lounge (usually just called Fat Penguin), a bar and lounge owned by namesake Molly Penguin. Fat Penguin is a mock of traditional 1920’s lounges, with a center stage surrounded by many sofas. Most of the time the blues band Alley Swag plays the stage, though sometimes instead comedians or other performers visit. Fat Penguin also has several private rooms for pool and gambling tables. Fat Penguin is most famous for the Deep Freeze, an alcoholic drink served at subzero temperature. The area is sometimes harassed by The Scarlet Angels, but the gang leaves the Fat Penguin alone after Tony had a little talk with the leader.
I am an amateur fencer and I follow professional classical fencing. Cybernetics are illegal in league tournaments, though like in any sport, some players try and do get away with it. Athletes compete one-on-one, but each country has a national team that competes against other teams for an international ranking. I follow Italy’s representatives, the Spadaccini Italiani (the Italian Swordsmen). My favorite athlete is Luigi Castaglioni, the team’s underdog.
The Spadacinni’s biggest rivals are the English Duelists, England’s national fencing team, with Edmund Drake usually compared to Luigi. I faithfully follow any matches with Luigi as well any of the league competitions with the Spadaccini Italiani, especially the yearly matches between the Spadacinni and the Duelists.