Smith-Smith heads out

Copyright © Mark Langenhoven
Started: 21/05/2001

Chapter 1

Jefferson Smith-Smith was a man of principle. One of the main principles on his mind at this very moment was that nobody ever, ever, got away with robbing him. However, the rather uncomfortable feeling of having ones nostril dilated by a rather large, admittedly old, but nonetheless large, handgun brought into play another one of his principles. On principle he did not die for his principles. Thus it was with a fair degree of well hidden reluctance that he handed over the combination to his cargo hold. The onion-and-garlic smelling thug transmitted this information to his accomplices waiting outside and moments later the soft whirr of the cargo door opening could be heard inside.

Some twenty minutes later the thug removed the barrel from Smith-Smith's possibly permanently enlarged nose. The eyes revealed by the balaclava-type headgear that he was wearing, took on a disgusted look and he proceeded to rapidly wipe the end of the barrel on Smith-Smith's shirt.
"Sorry about that I have a bit of flu." Smith-Smith looked at the thug as apologetically as possible.
"Sorry doesn't quite cut it you know. This is a sodding collectors piece." The eyes continued to glare at Smith-Smith accusingly as if he had deliberately blocked his nose in case some unsuspecting individual came along and stuck a gun barrel up there.
"Well, maybe you should avoid robbing people with your collectors piece. That way you will be sure that it won't get damaged." The man looked down at Smith-Smith trying to figure out if he was being serious or not. At that very moment a rather large explosion was heard outside and parts of the vehicle that had been parked alongside by the robbers came flying past the window to Smith-Smith's left. Both of them contemplated the flying debris for a few moments. Then his unknown attacker turned back to Smith-Smith and almost stuck the barrel up his nose again, but thought better of it at the last moment and simply held it against his cheek in a suitably menacing manner.
"What the heck was that?"
"What was what?" The man made what appeared to be a superhuman effort to remain calm.
"What was the sodding explosion we just heard outside?"
"Ohhh .... that." Smith-Smith nodded to himself.
"Yes, that." replied the man sarcastically.
"Oh, nothing really. It was just your friends and your getaway vehicle blowing up. Nothing very important really."
"Nothing important?"
"No, you see, I have this principle that nobody ever gets away with robbing me. So I have two access codes for the cargo door. One I use and the other one I hand over to people like you. The second code opens the door after activating the detonation sequence on some explosives that I always hide in my cargo. Oh and did I mention that it also locks the doors to this chamber with another detonation sequence running as we amiably pass the time?"
Smith-Smith smiled up at the chap's thunderstruck eyes and casually levered himself off the floor where he had been pushed. As he raised himself fully, he found the gun barrel once again stuck up his nostril.  
"Yeth and what are you going to do? Thoot me? I don't fink so. The thecond bomb will go off in the next fifteen minutes and I can guarantee you won't find it before then."
"Well sod it, I'll shoot you anyway you sodding dog!" At this point the gun was abruptly pulled from his face and some interior part of it was hurriedly examined. The man's shoulders sagged and he sighed loudly. He looked over at Smith-Smith. "I loaded the original sodding collector's piece bullets. There are only fifteen of them left." He looked around the command console dejectedly and finally turned to Smith-Smith.
"I don't suppose you happen to have any 44 magnum slugs lying about in here do you." Smith-Smith smiled apologetically and shook his head.
"Fresh out I'm afraid."
"Sod it!" Looking around in frustration, he finally stuck the handgun in a leather holster under his arm.
"OK, open the doors up. I'll leave." Once again Smith-Smith shook his head apologetically and pointed at the handgun.
"I'm afraid I am going to have to ask you to leave that behind with me."
"This is a sodding collector's piece. It isn't just anybody that can handle one of these you know."
"Um, yes, you helpfully pointed that out to me earlier and as I have just lost a load of cargo I am afraid that I am going to have to do whatever I can to recover the costs. I would rather not recover it from the insurance if I could as I have just managed to reduce my payments last month." To speed things along Smith-Smith made a deliberate point of looking at his watch. For the second time in the space of a few minutes his would-be robber sighed heavily and pulled the handgun out of the holster. He lovingly placed it on the console next to Smith-Smith along with a little leather holder filled with spare bullets.
"You look after that thing. Don't go firing any of the bullets or anything like that do you hear? That thing is in mint condition." He then proceeded to pull out his wallet and handed over a business card to Smith-Smith. Dumbstruck Smith-Smith took the card and looked at it. Patrick W. Jackson III Entrepreneur Jackson shrugged his shoulders. "If you could drop me a line once you sell the gun I would appreciate it. It has been in our family for six generations and my father would kill me if he found out that I lost it." Smith-Smith nodded his head slowly while looking at the card. Clearing his throat he looked up at Jackson. "Uh, Mr. Jackson if you would be so kind as to take out your credit chip that I noticed in your wallet a moment ago." Jackson looked at him suspiciously. "Why?"
"Oh, I accept chips right here." Smith-Smith helpfully pointed out the device standing on the console next to the gun. Jackson's face visibly brightened. "Why that is very kind of you indeed, Mr...?"
"Smith-Smith." Jackson pulled his mask off and shook Smith-Smith's hand.
"I really appreciate the opportunity to buy the gun straight back from you. Cut out the middleman so to speak heh?" Jackson was all smiles now.   Smith-Smith shook his head once more.
"No, I'm afraid I am keeping the gun for now. You will merely be paying for my cargo with your chip." Jackson's expression changed instantly.
"Why you dirty sodding dog. That is theft!" Smith-Smith looked at him in a bemused manner.
"No, quite the contrary." He glanced down at the card in his hand.
"And as an entrepreneur you should know better. We are simply doing business. I give you some goods and in exchange you give me some money. Very basic principle you know." Smith-Smith tapped dramatically on his watch. Jackson furiously handed over the chip and watched as Smith-Smith tapped in the numbers. Afterwards Smith-Smith handed the chip back to Jackson.
"Pleasure doing business with you." A few taps on the central console and the door behind Jackson opened up. Jackson gave Smith-Smith a last furious look, turned and strode out into the desert atmosphere. Smith-Smith watched him trudge across the sand and stopping to inspect the remains of the getaway vehicle. After closing the door, he opened up his encrypted communications link with his agent.
"OK, all done. I am returning home for a couple of days."
"That was quick. I assume nobody saw you."
"Well, nobody that matters anyway. I got a couple of brainless locals to help me with the unloading."
"I assume you disposed of it properly?"
"Blew up it up on the ground just as you requested. You know that you can rely on me." There was a moment of silence as his agent breathed a sigh of relief.
"Yes, of course I know that. Let me know when you are available again and I will hook you up with a cargo again. I have just approved the transfer to your account." Smith-Smith took a last couple of moments to check his bank balance and noted with satisfaction that both payments had already been registered on his account. Smiling to himself he lifted his craft off in a smooth arc and headed home.

Chapter 2

"In a news report just in from KyberNews, we have heard of yet another death in the ongoing pre-paid protectosuit saga. The poor individual could not get back to her base building within the thirty minutes and the suit automatically powered down. It is reported that she was heading to a nearby clinic to get medication for her mother and was caught in serious downtown traffic."
The square jawed news reporter seemed to thrust himself almost through the holo-projector as he continued.
"When will this outrage be stopped? This is the fourth victim within the last six weeks to succumb to a suit powerdown. Will our government continue standing idly by while our citizens are mowed down by the large corporations? This is Karl Spanick reporting from downtown Central City."

It is a well known fact that young Praxian wine is one of the most sought after items in the lower left-hand quadrant of the galaxy. This was mainly due to the fact that no other wine could be combined with virtually any food to produce a richness and fullness of taste unparalleled by any other wine. Nobody knows quite why this is the case as chemical analysis has continually found nothing of any significance whatsoever in the wine's makeup. Unfortunately all attempts to clone the wine have failed dismally. This being the case, it rapidly became a very sought after commodity when no attempt to wrest the secret from the winemakers even came close to succeeding. In fact three minor and one major war (twenty six planets) was fought for control of the wine making process. All of this, however, led to nothing as the guardians of the process simply refused to make any more wine unless they could do so on their terms. After the Praxian wine shortage of '52 this led to such a hue-and-cry that the Supreme Assembly designated Praxia permanent neutral status which would be enforced by the Assembly if needed.
With nobody daring to interrupt the production again, this action has never been required. The one rather unfortunate fact about Praxian wine, as mentioned previously, is that it must be drunk young. Young being within seventy days after bottling. Within seventy five days - at most - after bottling it turns septic and not only tastes completely vile, it also does rather nasty things to most peoples digestive systems due to the very high acidic content present at this stage. This fact initially limited the distribution radius of the wine rather severely as the winemakers, with some understandable reluctance, refused to set up bottling plants anywhere else except Praxia. However, as with anything else of sufficient value, a way was found around this. Soon enough a very intricate network of interstellar jumps and supply lines had been set up radiating out from Praxia as far as the wine could be carried in the time available. For those unfortunate planets not within the delivery range, the only solution was to arrange a holiday to a planet within the Praxian sphere and enjoy the incomparable delights there.
Naturally, the connoisseurs insisted that the very best way to enjoy the wine was on the home planet itself at the room temperature of -5°C uncorking the bottle sixty two days and four hours (Praxian time) after bottling was completed. It was with thoughts of doing exactly this that Smith-Smith was sitting in the rather pleasant surroundings at Jake's. He was looking rather intently at his watch with a few calculations having been completed on his workpad lying next to him. As the watch beeped, he gave a firm tug on the corkscrew and pulled the cork out in an ungainly, but well timed, maneuver. He poured the first glassful and sat there sipping contentedly.
After a few days in port, waiting for the repairs to his ship to be completed, Smith-Smith was, as usual, ready to leave. Generally he found that he was not able to relax unless he had something constructive to do with his time. It seemed that he was in luck. Half way through the second glass, his comtech buzzed quietly. Checking the comstat he found his agent online, transferring information to his comtech. He thumbed the com open.
"Jasper, how good to hear from you again." Jasper smiled thinly.
"The usual client has once again requested your, ah, unusual abilities. I assumed that you would accept as the fee is the usual and you have been sitting in port for more than twelve consecutive hours." Smith-Smith gave his own acidic smile.
"How well we have grown to know each other. We should get together sometime."
"I doubt that would be a good idea."
"It was a figure of speech. I didn't mean it." Jasper gave him, what was to the best of Smith-Smith's limited observational powers after two glasses of Praxian, a rather cool stare.
"Yes, well. Once you have recovered from your present state, then please read the information that I just sent over. It is the standard setup. Attach your e-sig and we have a contract. I expect to have it by tomorrow morning."
"My present state..." Smith-Smith looked at the disconnected comtech.
"Agents! Somebody should send the whole lot off to the third spiral of the Archimedian galaxy somewhere." He suspiciously checked the level of the wine bottle to make sure that his agent hadn't somehow managed to extract a portion of that during the conversation.

Chapter 3

Despite the fact that Smith-Smith only managed to entice somebody to share his Praxian once he reached the last glass, he had nonetheless managed to read his way through the contract and e-sig it off to Jasper before setting of to the shipyard to have his stocks replenished. At present he was settled comfortably in his command chair studying the unfortunate Jackson's handgun. It was a rather fine specimen of the time period. He had done some research on it and found it to be a handmade Peacemaker. It had been valuable in its own time, now there was no way to estimate its value. He was dumbfounded as to how an obvious cretin like Jackson had managed to get hold of something like this in the first place and then take it along on a holdup. Anyway, that was better left to another time. For now Smith-Smith had to study the job at hand.

To fully understand the job at hand it might be better to give some background on Smith-Smith and his "client". This particular client had hired him as a freelance pilot some years before to transport a load of Juliar ferns to Molip. What he had omitted to tell Smith-Smith was that these particular plants were considered extremely valuable to smugglers as they required no import permit at Molip but extensive documentation was required to remove them from Juliar. Thus, when he was hijacked on his way to the destination, he was caught totally off guard. To make things worse, under the terms of the contract, he had been required to pay for the cargo out of his own pocket. This meant that he was now also hopelessly in debt. After racking his brains for a couple of terror-stricken days, he finally hit upon a plan. Smith-Smith phoned a friend of his, Janet Friedling, working at a genetics modification corporation. He confirmed that they needed a site to do large scale tests on modified bugs. He rustled up some documents through another friend of his and two weeks later Juliar was saturated with the feared Myxoian beetle. These beetles could destroy an average sized crop of Juliar ferns within forty-eight hours. Once news of the beetle infestation spread, panic spread through the planet even faster. The planet's entire lifeblood was tied into the famous ferns in one way or another. Smith-Smith, conveniently on hand immediately leapt into action and offered to airlift plants to protect them from the invasion. The offer was jumped at with such speed that Smith-Smith could not auction off payloads fast enough to match the incoming ships. Four hectic days later he had made enough money to clear his debt and pay off his ship. By then the entire bug confusion had been sorted out as well.
The company stepped in with a huge PR effort once they realised that their documentation had come from false sources. They explained, and proved, that the Myxoian beetles that they had dropped on the planet had been genetically modified to generate mulch from the dead fern leaves and leave the living plants alone. Once everybody was satisfied that this was in fact the case, all the airlifted plants could be returned safely to the ground again. That is to say aside from a single load that had annoyingly been hijacked off a well known hijacker's ship and sent to Smith-Smith's cargo hold. Upon his delivery of the ferns to Molip he had been rewarded with an additional bonus as his client had found out about the scheme that he had concocted to ensure the delivery of his cargo. Since then, the particular client had come to Smith-Smith at regular intervals requesting all manner of odd assignments from him. As the pay was always topnotch Smith-Smith found no reason to object. The only thing that made him slightly uneasy was the fact that he had never been able to find out more details about his client. Smith-Smith smiled quietly to himself as he recollected these events.
His new assignment was somewhat different. The authorities on Sawria took a somewhat dim view of all art imported from the Ferali spiral. This was all fine and well except for the fact that all the art impounded by the authorities somehow made it's way into the private gallery of the imperial ruler. It was this particular double standard that irked his client into the current assignment. A piece of his art had been impounded by the customs authorities and was presently sitting in their cargo area from where it would be shipped off to the imperial palace in three weeks time. Not only did his client want his item back, he also wanted to send a clear message to the ruler telling him what he thought of his double standards in relation to the acceptability of certain art being viewed by the people of Sawria. Smith-Smith looked at the holos of the customs cargo area that had been sent over to him yesterday. There was no doubt that security was incredibly tight in the entire area. Having looked at all of them and read the quite comprehensive report compiled by a security firm Smith-Smith was at a bit of a loss as how to proceed. This did not bother him unduly as he was sure that some scheme would come to mind during the next couple of days.

Happily sharing a bottle of mediocre cab' with a customs official a couple of days later he was able to discern that all art was initially impounded by the officials. After being studied by the relevant authorities it was deemed acceptable or not. Once deemed unfit it was never seen again. The item could not even be claimed back for removal off the planet. His client's inside sources had revealed what happened to these pieces instead, so it was not difficult to determine which pieces were deemed "unfit". A germ of a plan was brewing in the back of Smith-Smith's mind. However, a large headache was brewing in the front of his brain from the, recently downgraded to swill, bottle of cab'. Thus, he resigned himself to an evening of dull conversation interspersed with even worse wine. The next day, nursing his head, he started putting in motion the second part of his plan. He had to determine which items of art were allowed to go through the selection process. In other words he had to find out what the ruler did not like. After six days of carefully studying the items entering the customs hall and checking the return reciepts issued to the owners, he was satisfied that he had managed to discern a pattern. Two weeks later Smith-Smith delivered the relevant piece of art to Jasper's office. Jasper looked at the art and compared it with a holo on his workpad.
"Yep, it looks like the real thing." Jasper nodded. Smith-Smith looked at him disdainfully.
"Obviously it is the real thing or else I would not be here."
"Right. Before I can transfer the payment, I require details of how you managed this."
"It is part of the contract. The client wishes to revel in the details when he entertains his friends with this...uh...thing." Smith-Smith stared at Jasper for some time as if trying to ascertain whether he was having his chain yanked here or not. Finally he relented.
"Suffice it to say that it is somewhat surprising that customs officials who inspect art for a living have never heard of the trojan horse." Smith-Smith looked at Jasper's face and realised that it was in fact not sufficient to leave it at that, but left it there nonetheless, thereby forcing Jasper to ask him to elaborate. Eventually Jasper broke down.
"What do you mean by that?" Smith-Smith sighed, sat down again and proceeded to explain. After determining what the ruler liked and disliked, Smith-Smith had rapidly commissioned two pieces of art. Four days later these pieces were tagged, coincidentally by the very customs agent that Smith-Smith had spoken to previously, and moved into the storage area. That night, Smith-Smith opened a well hidden hatch and lowered himself from the cramped space inside his carbonium horse. He took a quick walk around the cavernous area and some five hours later managed to find his client's piece of art. He swapped it for the duplicate piece that he had brought with. The duplicate was a crude copy and would not stand up to any close inspection. That, however, was of academic interest.
The next morning, the horse was mercifully shipped off to its new owner. The mystified chap argued with the delivery guy, but the piece was left in front of his house anyway. In the afternoon he lugged the piece around to the back of his house away from the prying eyes of his neighbours. It is unlikely that he would ever discover the hidden space inside the horse and even if he did, he would not think it suspicious.
Twelve hours later Smith-Smith boarded a commercial flight to his home planet. Art being shipped from the planet was never inspected. Jasper nodded and quickly checked to see that his pad had recorded all of this.
"I see. As to the second part of the contract, the client contacted me this morning to say that his inside connections reported a large explosion in the west wing of the palace. There has been no mention of this in the local media." Smith-Smith smiled his customary thin "Jasper" smile.
"Yes, that sounds about right." Jasper glanced back-and-forth between his pad and Smith-Smith a couple of times before nodding to himself.
"Right, I guess that is it then. I will have the funds transferred over to you immediately."
"Ok, that will be all then I assume."
"Actually, no. The client has another contract lined up for you right away." Smith-Smith was actually caught slightly off guard by this. In the past the client had never contracted his services less than four months apart.
"I seeee. What does he want me to do for him this time? It is a him is it not?" Jasper looked up sharply at Smith-Smith.
"I don't know actually. The instructions are always sent by a courier who was sent by yet another courier. We will be returning the art in the same fashion."

Chapter 4

"Miss Riali?" The face on the little screen looked at him suspiciously.
"My name is Karl Spanick. I work at KyberNews. Maybe you have seen my news reports?"
"No, I have not."
"Oh, I see. Well, I am doing an investigative piece into SummitSuit. I believe your suit contract was just canceled." The face appeared even more suspicious now.
"How did you find out about that? It was only canceled two days ago."
"Let's just say that I have a number of friends who know quite a lot about quite a lot of people."
"Yes, so what about it?"
"I would like to come around and have more of a chat with you about it."
"What is in it for me?"
"Well, you help to expose the corrupt actions of a large corporation."
"I am so happy. That will really fill my stomach."
"You don't seem to understand. What they are doing is so wrong that it would be criminal if it were not for the fact that they happen to own enough judicial people to make sure that the definition of criminal cannot be applied to them."
"No, you don't seem to understand. As I said - what is in it for me?"
Spanick sighed. "Our company does not pay for interviews."
"Then sod off." Spanick stared at the disconnected comstat. He reconnected.
"Very well, this is coming out of my own pocket. I can only afford fifty credits."
"Very good, but don't bring credits. The things are useless to me since the suit men canceled my contract. I will phone in my order to Barki's. Go to the one on the corner of Long and Wilkinson. They will have it ready for your pickup when you get there."

"That will be sixty five point four credits sir." Spanick sighed in annoyance as he handed over his disk.
"So much for fifty bucks huh." The clerk looked at him.
"What you say man?"
"Nothing. I was just thinking aloud."

The apartment in the Ganoi high-rise looked considerably nicer than Spanick had expected.
"This is quite a nice place you have here Miss. Riali."
"Call me Kate. Yes, it is not quite what you would expect from a prepayer huh?"
"No, that is not what I meant."
"Yes, that is exactly what you meant. I am getting that sort of thing all the time these days. Anyway, it is not for much longer. The council contacted me about a week after my contract was canceled to notify me that I would not be eligible for a renewal of my rent. I have lived here for eleven years during which time I did not miss a single payment and now they kick me out just because I became a prepayer." Riali looked around her apartment with disgust.
"To think I was saving up to buy this place someday. Now, I will be lucky to rent a place like this again in the future."
"Surely, it cannot be as bleak as that."
"Oh yes it can. Do you know what happens to people who cannot get suit contracts?"
"Well, no actually you are the first such person that I have met. That is part of what I wanted to find out."
"I have studied this to some extent. I hope you have a lot of time at your disposal." Spanick nodded and pointed at his fully charged workpad. Riali settled back more comfortably and started recounting her own investigations.
"About one hundred and fifty years ago most of us realised that we had pushed the planet beyond its ability to sustain us. Unfortunately for us we had not been able to find a humanly habitable planet in the intervening time. So, with our options severely limited everybody set about trying to find out what could be done to improve the situation back home. History now clearly reveals that we waited far too long and continued in our excesses too heavily for the planet to be able to recover. It would be many generations before the planet stood any chance of recovery and then only with the severest restrictions in place. Additionally the planet had to be helped along in the recovery process as most of its natural systems had collapsed entirely leaving it completely unprotected. Shortly after this three companies came to the fore with technologies that would help us overcome the problem. FreshCor produced the commercial rebreather which allowed us to filter the air well enough to breathe and additionally cut down on the amount of carbon dioxide that we released into the atmosphere. SmartPaint produced the lightweight wearable shielding against the lethal UV radiation levels so that we could still move outside and finally MultiNat came up with a workable atmospheric scrubber that steadily worked to stabilize our planet's breathing apparatus. With the problem so dire, these corporations were given a free hand in their dealings to ensure that nothing stood in their way to save the planet. It was not until some years later that the public discovered that all of these corporations were owned by the conglomorate we know today as SummitSuit. Even so, public opinion was still behind them, especially when they combined the rebreather and ozone shielder into one convenient wearable suit. Over the years they continued insinuating themselves deeper and deeper into everyday life. Their technology appeared in buildings everywhere providing fresh air on the inside and scrubbing it before releasing it again. Similarly all forms of transport, public and private, were required by law to have the SummitSuit protectors installed. Over a period of approximately ten years SummitSuit managed to get themselves plugged into every area of our lives. At that stage some of the government officials started questioning the correctness of having one large corporation being allowed so much control over everyday life. Before they could do anything, however, SummitSuit rolled out their masterpiece. A suit with a transmitter and receiver built into it. Ostensibly it was to allow the SummitSuit technicians the ability to detect problems early on that had unfortunately killed some people when their suits had failed. In reality it was a mechanism to allow them to switch off your suit, your car's protection, or your building's protection whenever they felt like it. With this last step in place they had the dice not only loaded in their favour, all the numbers on it were preselected by them. When their vocal opponents later arranged a vote of no-confidence in SummitSuit, it was very coincidental that all the opponents had problems with their suits or vehicles that day and the bill was defeated unanimously. It had been a very clear signal - nobody was allowed to mess with SummitSuit's policies. From there it was a simple step to switch people's suits off when they did not make their monthly payments. If you annoyed the company even further then you were not allowed to get a proper suit. You had to get a so-called pre-paid suit. This meant that you had to pay for the protection beforehand. The clever aspect of this was that you could only load up thirty minutes at a time and then you had to be back at your base station to reload the next thirty minutes. Thus no holidays ever again. And you cannot move to another location unless SummitSuit agreed to move your base location for you as well."

 Continuing storyline SS and Jackson have a shootout with Jackson's weapon when SS is surprised during a job. Jackson counts the bullets and points out to SS that the gun is empty. SS shoots Jackson in foot after reloading the gun and points out that while his maths may be great, the same cannot be said for his logic. It turns out that SS's client is the president of SummitSuit. They make the environmental suits that everybody has to wear now because of the greenhouse effect gone wrong They also want to ensure that the greenhouse effect never goes right again or else they are out of business. Whenever people go against the company, then their suit contracts are canceled and they have to get pre-paid suits which can only be pre-paid to a maximum of 30 minutes and they must be loaded from their base stations. This ensures that nobody could ever move against the company as their HQ can only be approached on foot in a well timed 35 minute walk. Karl Spanick from KyberNews helps SS to overthrow SummitSuit.
Character profiles
Smith-Smith Main character.
Resourceful chap who can get himself out of most situations, but is not a smooth James Bond type of guy.

Jasper Smith-Smith's agent.
They do not get on well, but put up with each other because they both need each other to get their jobs done.

Karl Spanick News reporter at KyberNews. He can do some investigation into Summit and start uncovering the truth. When they discover this, they cancel his suit contract and he then gets hold of SS somehow and they start working together.

Patrick W. Jackson III A low-life criminal whose path crosses SS's on a reasonably regular basis as he tries to retrieve his grandfather's prize collector's handgun.

James Quisling The baddie. He owns SummitSuit. He is also SS's mystery client who sends him all over the place to do things which other people cannot do for him.

Blank character 1 We need somebody to talk to Spanick or SS to tell them what SummitSuit has done to them with their suits.

Blank character 2 A sometime romantic involvement for SS?