Antonia Travaglia, better known as Ruby to close friends (and closer enemies), is the secondary protagonist of Chatbox Shamus, and best friend of Bastion Crowley. She is the editor of the Police Blotter column of the Pacific Daily News.
- Full Name: Antonia Justine Travaglia
- Nicknames: Ruby, Toni (exclusively used by Albert)
- Birth Date: July 9, 1961 (age 23)
- Sign: Cancer
- Occupation: Newspaper columnist
- Race: 50% Italian, 50% Irish-American
- Hair: Long and flaming-red, tied into a ponytail just to get it out of her face.
- Build: Short and slender, 5'2", smaller-than-average bust
- Preferred clothing: Tan slacks, light-grey men's button shirt, dark brown sweater vest, argyle snap-brim hat (was Rick's).
- Personality: Impulsive, quick to anger, overly casual, holds grudges easily but genuinely worries about the people close to her.
- Misc: Loves cats, and her mother, though she would not admit to the latter.
Ruby is the only daughter of Vitalia Travaglia and Finlay Callahan. She has lived with her mother for most of her life. After Ruby's freshman year of high school, Vitalia was served papers by an attorney representing Finlay, and after a protracted court battle, custody of Ruby was awarded to Finlay, and she was suddenly sent to live on the Atlantic coast with her (unwed) father, cutting her off from the people she knew and had built trust with (especially Bastion). Ruby greatly dislikes her father, thinking of him as completely irresponsible and neglectful, and at some points, abusive. Ruby herself brings these allegations to police, and while this does not get Finlay arrested or even fined, it does reverse the custody decision, and she is sent back to the Pacific Southeast to live with her mother.
As a result of the legal battles and her troubling time on the east coast, Ruby despises talking about her father.
Ruby lives with her mother, and two cats, in a small-but-lavish house on the edge of a primarily-Mexican neighborhood in the inner city. She owns a 1965 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, inherited from her mother after leaving college.
The 1965 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, which she jokingly refers to as "my office," sports a 330 cubic inch Rocket V8 engine with a belt-driven fan. The starter slips half the time, and even if it works, it will flood if she pumps the gas pedal too many times. As far as fuel economy is concerned, the Cruiser's tendency towards running rich (a problem with the carburetor) gives it a gas mileage rating of "maybe," and a DEQ rating of "Why?"
Most of the car smells like a tar pit, at least the parts of the car that are not buried in empty paper cups and Pepsi cans ("You're sure it's clear? Because the last time I opened this door, an entire Pepsi factory spilled out the side."). Most of the vehicle's extra seating is occupied by assorted sweatshirts, coats, and discarded packaging. On that account, this specific Vista Cruiser seats one-and-a-half people, leaving enough seating space for Ruby, and Bastion's torso (because his legs will not fit comfortably with the floorboard being as full as it is).
All this said, though, it is by far significantly cheaper than taxi rides, even with Rick's "discount."
Friends and Relationships
Ruby's only remaining friend on the Pacific coast is Bastion Crowley. She was, for a time, in love with Rick the cab driver, who drove her to and from her classes at Pacific Southeast Community College until she ran out of fare money. She continued "paying" for her cab rides with her relationship and what she could manage with her feminine wiles, until her friendship with Rick became strained and was broken off on relatively peaceful terms.
Career and Education
Despite her fierce temper and overly casual demeanor, Ruby was always dead set on becoming an attorney, legal aide, or basically anything to do with law. To that respect, she was on the fast-track program at Pacific Southeast Community College, and ultimately did earn her law degree, with a minor in Journalism. However, Ruby's casual personality wound up being the end of her law career, since despite passing the bar exam, the city court circuit would not accept her application, and neither would several local law firms, due to "lack of professionality." Ruby was not altogether pleased with this, but without any options left, she used her Journalism minor to get a job with the Pacific Daily News, starting as a go-fer, then as a revision editor, then as a fact-checker, and finally climbing to Junior Editor at the Crime desk, where she was given the responsibility of writing and editing the Police Blotter column.
Likes & Dislikes
Ruby's musical tastes lean towards rock and heavy metal, in particular songs from the 1970s and 1980s. Anything "with an attitude" is fair game for her. While Ruby prefers faster-paced "actiony" music, she does occasionally like slower tracks. Her Mix Tape is below.
- Golden Earring - Twilight Zone - 
- Styx - Blue Collar Man - 
- Dokken - Mr. Scary - 
- Dick Dale - Misirlou - 
- Deep Purple - Burn - 
- Motley Crue - Live Wire - 
- Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks - 
- Foghat - Slow Ride - 
- Neil Young - My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) - 
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Bitches Crystal - 
- Rush - YYZ - 
- Adam & The Ants - Press Darlings - 
- Kansas - The Spider - 
- Focus - Hocus Pocus - 
- Alice Cooper - School's Out - 
- ZZ Top - Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers - 
- Hawkwind - Motorhead - 
- Kiss - Detroit Rock City - 
- Black Sabbath - Hand of Doom -