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I am no guard dog. I am a hound. Even if my masters are all dead, I will tear out the throat of my prey.

–Angelo, 2002 (Side A): Bullet Garden

Angelo (アンジェロ, Anjero) is a Spanish-born professional assassin and bodyguard. When the Mask Makers murder the head of the cartel he works for in 2002, he boards the cruise liner Entrance in August on the advice of the Demolisher with the intention of identifying the Mask Makers' leader and client.

In the aftermath of the seajacking incident, Angelo joins the Martillo Family as a bodyguard by way of Firo Prochainezo's recommendation.

Appearance[]

Angelo looks about thirty years old and has brown skin, stubble lining his chin, and sharp narrow eyes that seem to "hold a fiery passion, hemmed in by a wall of ice meant to keep it in check." He keeps his black hair tied back with a blue band, save for two long locks that frame his face—a face that Firo describes as one of a "passionate and intense man" that he imagines would be "popular with the ladies." A dangerous air lingers about him, enough to give one the feeling he is not someone who makes an honest living.

Although the Entrance had requested passengers wear formal attire for its departure, Angelo boards the ship wearing a black jacket over a white shirt and black leather trousers; he also carries a black handgun with "gaudy gold-and-red ornamentation" and an attached silencer. He is usually seen wearing trademark blue sunglasses even when indoors.

Personality[]

Angelo embodies the gunslinger archetype from old westerns: rough yet dignified; stoic but intense; and stubborn to a fault. He pursues his foe to the end with unrelenting doggedness, likening himself to an obedient hound catching prey for his master, and like a hound is always alert to any nearby potential threats or similarly 'dishonest' men. However, he is more cautious and more circumspect than any thoughtless follower; his deliberately visible-yet-subtle display of cheating and deliberate loss during his blackjack game with Firo speak to a level of shrewdness and social skill beyond those of a mere guard dog.

Though Angelo often carries himself with a stoic coolness, he is not aloof or indifferent as the archetype might suggest; his grave demeanor on the Entrance may be partially attributed to the tension of his mission. His remorse when unrelated bystanders are caught up in 'his' business demonstrates a strong sense of personal responsibility, and his fury at the Demolisher for putting bystanders in danger suggests some moral boundaries. That he never once betrays his policy to never injure or kill women or children—even when adhering to the policy endangers his life—is a further testament to the strength of his convictions, old-fashioned as they may be.

Chronology[]

2002 (Side A): Bullet Garden[]

Angelo is born in a village in Spain sometime around 1972. As a street urchin, he lives in a corner of an alley for most of his childhood until the villagers—upset about the homeless "harming the town's aesthetics"—hire several officers to "clean up" the streets. The officers' do so by firing machine guns into the alleyways, indiscriminately killing men, women and children in cold blood until they have used up all their ammunition—which they do before reaching Angelo's corner. Angelo acquires his first gun during this incident, coming across it in one of the alleys the officers had neglected to 'cleanse'.

Twenty years later, someone eradicates the village's entire male population. This 'someone' is implied to be Angelo—"I forcibly put an end to this cycle of revenge"—who also claims most of the men were thieves and murderers.

Although Angelo travels where work takes him—including as far as South America at some point—he finds the time to take a wife back in Spain; however, he is absent when his wife gives birth to a boy named Carlos sometime in the latter half of 1999. Much to his wife's chagrin, he later returns to South America in search of an income and finds it in a bodyguard-cum-sniper job for one of the local drug cartels. In serving the cartel he makes the acquaintance of a freelancing demolition specialist who aids the cartel once or twice a year for big conflicts, and who falls into the habit of calling Angelo about once every two months for reasons Angelo cannot guess at.

That the cartel boss respects Angelo's policy against killing women and children and gives him a place to be earns him Angelo's loyalty, but everything changes in August 2002 when the boss is killed during a shootout against another organization. That he was shot in the back after Angelo defeated all of their opponents suggests that his killer must be a spy. In the wake of the attack, the Demolisher reveals he has a history with the mystery organization—which he calls the Mask Makers—and taps a few intelligence sources on the cartel's behalf.

With the Mask Makers ('businessmen') thought to be connected to the boss' death, forty or so remaining members of the drug cartel confront thirteen Businessmen at a restaurant several days later; the restaurant is still littered with the corpses of their comrades. All forty men are shot dead by Illness and Death, two of the Businessmen's dangerous weapons, so Angelo snipes Death dead as payback before entering the restaurant in person. There, he shoots dead four more Businessmen before escaping the restaurant via a window, seconds before the Demolisher demolishes the restaurant with an unmanned truck.

Angelo returns to the restaurant once it is safe and counts the corpses; though a few more Businessmen were killed in the collapse, others managed to escape. He then receives a call from the Demolisher, who passes him on to Carnea Kaufman—his deceased boss's twelve-year-old daughter and the new head of the drug cartel. While Angelo finds his boss' order to "take care of his daughter" a slight annoyance, his loyalty and debt owed to his former boss ensure he will not abandon Carnea to the new dangers she now faces.

Through the Demolisher's earlier intel gathering, Angelo learns that the Mask Makers plan to take a cruise liner called Entrance to Japan and let the smoke settle. Unwilling to let them 'escape' and risk never tracking them down, Angelo elects to give personal chase: wasting no time, he travels to the West Coast of North America in short order and purchases a moderately-priced ticket for a cabin aboard the ship.

While gazing at the Entrance from a coastal bar—a mere few days after the restaurant blowout—Angelo receives a call from the Demolisher, who skeptically remarks that the cartel is likely already done for but nonetheless assures Angelo he will board the ship and support him with his explosives. Angelo reminds him that their objective is to identify the Mask Makers' leader and client rather than start a war. After ending the call, he contemplates the Mask Makers' size and capabilities alongside the chance of his own death, and his thought turns to his soon to be soon to be three-years-old son Carlos, whom he still has yet to meet in person. Remaining confident in his survival, he entertains the idea of obtaining one of the Masks as a souvenir and thereafter vacationing with his wife and son in Venice.

Departure day soon arrives, and Angelo boards the Entrance dressed down for the occasion but without problems. He happens to bump into Czeslaw Meyer while walking down a corridor; in response to the boy's fear, Angelo apologizes for not looking where he was going before continuing on his way toward the lower decks, where the cheaper cabins are located.

Later, Angelo makes his way to the casino "Fontana di Trevi" after leaving his cabin door ajar per the Demolisher's instructions. His attention is soon drawn to Firo Prochainezo on account of the young man's impressive gambling ability; marking him at once as someone from the underworld, Angelo joins him at the card table and challenges him to a one-on-one game of Blackjack. Firo agrees. As a first test of Firo's abilities, Angelo slips a card from his sleeve into the deck while shuffling—so subtly no ordinary person would catch it, yet done intentionally so that Firo would see the cheat. Firo deliberately drops the same card when shuffling the deck himself, and Angelo returns the card to his sleeve again with the intention of Firo seeing the move.

Their subsequent game of blackjack begins as an intense neck-and-neck competition, but Angelo purposefully loses as soon as the stakes are high and introduces himself to Firo as someone in the export-import business; Firo in turn says he is a restaurant manager. Since his chips do not cover Firo's winnings, he invites Firo to his room for a drink in lieu of an apology—an invitation he had intended to extend from the start.

The Demolisher calls Angelo as the two reach his cabin door to say he has left Angelo a present inside, remarking first that he had not expected to see Angelo and Firo playing cards at the casino. Angelo replies as if talking to a family member about an unrelated subject; after the call, he explains to Firo he was just called by an uncle he is on bad terms with. They proceed to enter the cabin and sit at a round table, where Angelo offers Firo a glass of liquor.

Angelo then asks if the company who runs Firo's restaurant is called the "Mask Makers," and he takes Firo's ensuing silence as a tacit admission; withdrawing his silenced handgun, he aims it at Firo's chest and demands Firo disclose everything he knows about the Mask Makers and his leader—the man who ordered the death of Angelo's employer. Firo attempts to move the gun's barrel down, but Angelo assumes he is trying to snatch the gun away and shoots him several times the moment he reaches for the gun.

Firo regenerates before Angelo can begin interrogating him. Though Angelo is taken aback, he remains calm and asks what Firo is; he also says he intended to listen to Firo from the start and fired only because Firo tried to take his gun. Firo insists he is not a Mask Maker but that he will share what he knows regardless, though he first asks for a favor: that Angelo tell Ennis and Czes that Firo was shot in a tough fight. Angelo agrees and extends Firo his trust, leading to a conversation in which Firo explains his side and Angelo explains his mission on the ship. Firo volunteers to help Angelo once he has heard the whole story, and Angelo reluctantly agrees to let Firo help him solely with reconnaissance on the morrow.

The next day, Angelo meets with Firo and Ennis on the shopping mall's lowest floor and apologizes to Ennis for the bullet holes in Firo's clothes. The trio then retire to a nearby café for coffee and collusion on its terrace. While Angelo and Firo discuss a plan of action, Firo and Ennis spot Claudia Walken on the event stage on the other side of the central fountain; Angelo, a fan of Claudia's movies, admits he is a little envious they know her personally.

Angelo continues to scan the area for Mask Makers while Claudia is joined by 'The Gear' on the event stage to promote the Walken siblings' upcoming movie. As The Gear is played by Charon Walken, Firo and Ennis assume Charon is inside the costume when in reality the costume is being worn by Bobby Splot.

Angelo shoots from behind Firo.

Two Mask Makers sit down at an adjacent café table; Angelo, recognizing them as participants in the South American attacks, surreptitiously points them out Firo and Ennis. When the two Businessmen later stand and prepare to head for the second floor, Angelo prepares to follow—and Illness, having wandered out of the café with hot chocolate, stops in her tracks to loudly identify him as "the cool gunman" from the restaurant attack.

Angelo and the two Mask Makers draw their guns and fire at each other near-simultaneously: Firo leaps in front of Angelo; Angelo manages to shoot both men in their shoulders despite his vision being partially obscured; and the men's two bullets bury themselves into Firo's shoulder instead of Angelo's skull. Ennis kicks the café table up and mid-air at the Mask Maker duo in a proactive measure which becomes moot once they realize more Mask Makers are pushing through the fleeing crowd in their direction. In the meantime, Claudia, John Drox and their crew are evacuated.

Ennis, Firo, and Angelo take shelter in the café seconds before the newly arrived Mask makers shoot at and shatter the windows. The two wounded Mask Makers inside the café berate Illness until she leaves the establishment; they themselves do not linger in the area long; with the customers and employees fleeing due to the rest of the Mask Makers invading the shopping mall, Ennis, Firo and Angelo are soon the only ones left in the café.

Angelo, the only armed member of the trio, apologizes for dragging the Prochainezos into a shootout and asks after Firo's wounded shoulder; after apologizing again at Firo's self-deprecation, he leans around the café wall and shoots at one of the Mask Makers. Firo asks if the man is dead, but Angelo says that he specifically aimed for the man's arm as opposed to shooting to kill—however, if left untreated, the blood loss could still prove fatal.

In genuine admiration of and disbelief at Angelo's skill, Firo admits that he is tempted to hire Angelo as a bodyguard on the spot. Apologizing for a third time, Angelo reminds him that he has sworn loyalty to his current boss and returns his attention to the gun battle. The shootout between him and the Mask Makers continues for several minutes, with new reinforcements arriving for every Mask Maker Angelo injures.

At a deafening noise from the outside, Firo peeks over a windowsill and spots a man with an assault rifle standing in front of a fourth floor luxury boutique. He asks Angelo if he knows who the man is; Angelo says he remembers two people dressed in attire similar to the man's black combat suit at the South American restaurant. As one of them was Illness and the other since deceased at Angelo's hands, this person must be someone he does not know.

The Demolisher rings Angelo's cell phone to ask why "Mr. Casino" is with him; Angelo in turn asks if the Demolisher can provide combat support—tacitly implying the newcomer on the fourth floor. The Demolisher agrees that he can "since there are no civilians around" and he has "set these puppies up all over the boat," much to Angelo's alarm—and the call ends. Seconds later, a fierce explosion rocks the hull and collapses the boutique and the area on the fourth floor surrounding it, with the figure in the combat suit nowhere to be seen once the smoke clears. When Firo asks what Angelo's friend did, Angelo replies with cold fury that the Demolisher has apparently rigged similar explosives all over the ship.

Upon taking another look around the mall, Firo is horrified to see The Gear running toward the animatronic shark beside the fountain. He sprints outside the café, heedless of Angelo and Ennis's protests, and returns with a girl in his arms and The Gear following in his foosteps. Angelo, recognizing the girl at once, goes pale.

Firo lays the girl on the café floor once he re-enters the café, Angelo and Ennis hot on his heels; Angelo looks like he has seen a ghost. The girl stirs, leaps to her feet, and gives Angelo a tight hug; reeling from a shock far greater than what he had when first witnessing Firo's immortality, Angelo blurts, "Why are you here, Boss?"—leaving Firo and Ennis stunned in turn.

2002 (Side B): Blood Sabbath[]

The beginning of Blood Sabbath establishes that Angelo has made several miscalculations concerning his plan to corner the Mask Makers on the ship. The first is that the Mask Makers boarded the ship armed; the second is the series of coincidences that led to the mass shootout; the third is the Demolisher's ship-wide explosives; and the final mistake is Carnea Kaufman.

The group confers in the café.

In the café, Angelo informs Firo that there are only three official members surviving of the drug cartel he was working for. Letting out an "uncharacteristic, bitter laugh," he introduces Carnea as the Boss of his organization and implores her to explain how and why she boarded the ship.

Carnea replies that she did not want to see him and others be hurt because of her, a sentiment Angelo calls foolish, and she then confesses that the Demolisher helped her stow away: he had smuggled her into the States and onto the ship and promised her that Angelo would not dare cause a gunfight in her presence. Angelo's subsequent fury at his 'bastard' of a collaborator not only overwhelms Carnea, Firo, and Ennis but causes Bobby to yelp. Convinced that Charon is not inside the costume, Firo asks The Gear to identify himself. Bobby lies that he is Charon's stuntman.

The group retreat to Angelo's cabin and talk strategy. At sunset, Angelo returns to the shopping mall and looks around; upon spotting Illness hanging from the second floor, he withdraws his handgun and takes aim. Illness asks him how he knew she was here ("I had a feeling," he says) and, in quoting his policy not to kill women and children, opines that she could shoot him dead at any moment. Angelo merely grins and offers a one-off line in response.

Illness wonders why Angelo has such a policy in the first place, and Angelo recalls the indiscriminate killing of the officers in his youth. However, he insists that his policy stems from his own stubbornness and pride as a gunman rather than any lingering sense of revenge. Dissatisfied, Illness demands to know if he wants to take revenge at all, to which Angelo replies that he already has. He then informs her of what had befallen the village twenty years later, implying that he murdered the male villagers while sparing the women and children.

His words visibly affect her, but as he is avoiding looking at her, he continues talking: he says he is not "bragging about [his] misfortunes" and that it does not matter which of the two of them has had it worse. The only thing that matters, he concludes, is the fact that both of them are here and armed.

Illness decides to pull the trigger, but before she can, Czeslaw emerges from the shadows and implores Angelo not to shoot; like Illness, he cites Angelo's policy against killing children. When Illness addresses Czes by name, Angelo interrupts her to ask Czes if he is Firo's "little brother." Soon enough, he calls Firo to report that he has found Czes, and that Czes knows where Claudia is.

Angelo and Luchino confront "Life," aka Fermet.

At some point, Angelo separates from Czes and Claudia so that he can search for the Demolisher. Over thirty minutes later, presumably having made an agreement with Illness and the others, he boards Exit and joins a group of surviving Mask Makers and the Mask Maker leader Luchino B. Campanella. The latter has handcuffed a Mask Maker known as Life to a chair, and announces that he simply wants Life to confirm one thing.

Life squirms upon seeing Angelo and asks what is going on, but his associates—Aging, Luchino, and the other survivors—say nothing. With a melancholic look in his eyes, Angelo removes Life's goggles and chastises him for acting like a stranger; the two of them know each other quite well. He accuses Life and the Demolisher of being one and the same; cackling, Life guesses that it must have been Charon who alerted Angelo's suspicions.

Such a response is a clear admission that Life/the Demolisher really is a double-agent. Angelo asks if Demolisher personally shot Carnea's father, to which the Demolisher quips, "What do you think?" Angelo turns back toward the Entrance with surprising calm—save for the gritting of his teeth—and leaves Life to his Mask Maker comrades, explaining that his boss would prefer he refrain from killing people. With a "strangely satisfied look on his face," he cites his policy not to kill women and children with respect to Luchino's minor status.

Angelo remains on Exit so that he may return to America rather than continue on toward Japan, and visits Alveare in New York City on Firo's suggestion; unable to return to his hometown until the seajacking incidents are thoroughly investigated, and without a drug cartel to return to, he needs a place to lay low for a while. Inside Alveare, he turns to Maiza Avaro, explains that he is here on Firo's introduction, and asks if they have any need for a bodyguard.

The executives' guarded attitude gives way to one of good cheer once they realize Angelo must be the bodyguard Firo called them about, and they bombard Angelo with questions. Their atmosphere is different from the 'typical' criminal organizations Angelo is used to, but he recovers soon enough to ask a question of his own: as he is currently looking after an "acquaintance's daughter," he wants to know if the Martillos can help him find a safe place for her to stay.

Abilities[]

Angelo is an excellent shot, able to fire a gun with speed and accuracy so remarkable that the shots "almost appeared to be drawn to their targets." Angelo attributes his ability to pure experience rather than any special skill, remarking that he has simply 'happened' to survive for as long as he has.

Angelo is also highly adept at Blackjack and at cheating during card games, and has a keen eye for recognizing other members of the underworld.

Quotes[]

"I have no intention of bragging about my misfortunes. I'm sure you have your own past to contend with. Whether or not you've been through worse than myself is a trivial matter. Some people in this world die of starvation before they even have a drink of water. Others live unfortunate lives even if they have food, shelter, and a family. Happiness and misfortune--neither are ever significantly important, and they aren't reason enough for people to survive through bloodbaths."  - Angelo to Illness, 2002 (B-Side).


Trivia[]

  • Angelo has a wife and a son named Carlos ("turning three" in 2002) who live in Spain. He has yet to meet his son in person.
    • Angelo had originally turned down the woman who was to eventually become his wife out of the feeling that he "had no right to pursue happiness." However, she proved tenaciously formidable and skilled with a knife, and eventually won him over.
  • It is highly likely that Angelo's son is the same person as the young gunman Carlos, a Spanish-born sniper who lives on the artificial island in the Etsusa Bridge series.
  • It is implied that Angelo won his first shootout because his opponent tripped over a corpse.
  • When the Businessmen accuse him of acting like Chuck Norris in Hitman, Angelo replies that he thinks of himself as "more of a John Wayne."
    • Both the Businessmen and the narrative compare Angelo to Antonio Banderas, which may suggest Angelo's character was inspired by Banderas in particular.
  • Angelo's favorite film featuring Claudia is The Wild Dog in the Wind, in which Claudia played a girl whose parents were killed by a police officer.
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