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Tiv "Poke" Pocarno, a former starfighter pilot dishonorably discharged, used his savings to buy this Suwantek Systems TL-1800 freighter; at that point, the ship was already broken-down and badly maintained. Under Pocarno's ownership, it was ineptly upgraded and modified at great expense by outlaw techs. Pocarno used the ship to sell weapons to pirates and revolutionaries for thirty years, but he got only a slight profit from it.
Pocarno then asked Torel Vorne, a crimelord from Reuss VIII, for funds, and then tried to raise money with a smuggling run off Rampa. Pocarno failed to pay and was killed by Vorne. Vorne then requised the ship and had it partially repaired; from that moment on, the ship could at least make a run, although it still required constant maintenance and required a new port-side cargo pod capture mechanism.
The Broken 'Spanner was illegally modified to drastically increase the ship’s sub-light speed. A number of weapons were also added and the shield generators were replaced with a package from an Imperial gunboat. The ship also had a number of smuggling compartments installed. The ad-hoc nature of these modifications increased the ship's maintenance requirement; with the navigation systems in particular being rendered unreliable.