Durarara!! Tell-All: Everyone is Good Friends Special Volume—Alternately, Baccano! 2021 is one of two short stories Ryohgo Narita wrote for the KADOKAWA Light Novel Expo 2020 Official Memorial Book (KADOKAWAライトノベルEXPO2020 公式記念本 サクラ コラボレーション！). The other is Baccano! 193X Cherry Blossom Circus.
In 2021, the dullahan Celty Sturluson travels to New York City despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in order to visit Nebula's NYC branch office on Shingen Kishitani's behalf. The office's lack of official designation on any maps means she is utterly reliant on Shingen's directions for navigation in such an unfamiliar city, but his directions are unhelpfully cryptic: From the queen cell placed in the small boot, proceed to the place where the moon sinks and dive into the red darkness.
Shingen does not respond to several emails seeking clarification, so Celty is left to guess that the small boot refers to Little Italy and to make her way there accordingly. She succeeds in this and becoming lost therein almost immediately, as she has gleaned little else from the directions besides the likelihood that 'queen cell' has something to do with beehives. Shortly after she sits on a handrail to take a break, she is approached by Ennis, a business suit, mask-wearing woman who asks her if something is wrong. Celty types that she is fine in Japanese then hurries to rewrite the message in English. Ennis happens to know Japanese, however, which comes as enough of a relief to Celty that she admits she is lost; Ennis moreover happens to have an extremely distant approximate time of death, which any dullahan would find extraordinarily curious. The two women introduce themselves.
Ennis thence leads Celty to the restaurant Alveare despite it being closed, explaining that her family owns the establishment. They sit at one of the many empty tables inside while maintaining social distance, which itself serves as a handy excuse for why Celty is wearing her helmet indoors. At least, it would, except Ennis can tell that Celty is not breathing, though she is neither bothered by this or how Celty communicates via text. Celty, she says, is one of many different people one can encounter in a city like New York.
Impressed, Celty supposes Ennis must be something-other-than-human, like her, considering Ennis evidently has lived an inhumanly long life; perhaps a vampire, though Ennis does not resemble one. Ennis remarks that "Isaac and Miria...ah, no, a couple of acquaintances" of hers have not only donned helmets to ward off COVID-19, but full-body NASA space suits, then smiles as she speaks of the way the two's very hearts seem to be interconnected. Celty, reminded of her own connection to Shinra Kishitani, types that she hopes a day comes when she meet Isaac and Miria; Ennis says that until that day arrives—and she believes it will—she will live her life in a way that keeps her good memories close:
“Just having good memories makes me feel fortunate… and to that good fortune, to the people who have given me those good memories… I am thankful. I’m going to keep living so that I can connect this good fortune to someone again.”
Celty, reminded once more of Shinra and others she left behind in Ikebukuro, says she understands what Ennis is feeling. Ennis encourages her to remember this meeting as such a memory, offering to assist Celty while she is in Manhattan, which serves as an entirely different reminder: Celty has a job to do.
Both agree that Alveare is likely the 'queen cell' from Shingen's directions and head to Nebula's hidden research facility once they ascertain its location. The narrative teases that they therein become involved in a ruckus with some young vampires they encounter in the facility and eventually face off against a "conspiracy of gigantic proportions" with the aid of the Camorra and information brokers in Japan.
All that, however, is another story.
- Unlike the other KADOKAWA EXPO 2020 Baccano! short story, Baccano! 193X Cherry Blossom Circus, this features no new artwork. The Celty illustration featured on this playing card that was used for Narita's short story in the Dengeki Gakuen RPG Bunko collection is reused here, sans the caution tape.
- In Irish folklore, dullahans are fairies that foretell the death dates of those whose deaths are nigh. Without her head, Celty cannot tell precise dates of death, but she is still able to sense an approximation of how far or near people are to their deaths. Ennis' death, it seems, is far, far, far away.