|“||I am a sinful man, Father. I thought it would be best if people like them simply killed each other off. However, when actually confronted with corpses as miserable as those… I realized I felt a strong hatred for the culprits, just as I do when an ordinary citizen is killed. They were a foolish lot who steeped themselves in violence, but do at least pray for their peace after death.||”|
Edward Noah (エドワード・ノア, Edowādo Noa) is, together with his coworkers Donald Brown and Bill Sullivan, a federal agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation who deals with incidents involving immortals. He strongly dislikes Maiza Avaro and Firo Prochainezo and has a strong sense of justice.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
In 1930, Edward is described as a young man in his early to mid-twenties, wearing a knee-length black coat over a brown suit and new leather shoes.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Edward has a passionate hatred for all things criminal. His anathema is so absolute that he loathes the mafia and the camorra on principle, and refuses to view them as anything but scum. (His sense of justice has been described as 'somewhat skewed'). This has manifested into a superiority complex towards criminals like Firo, though his arrogance disappears a tad when dealing with the likes of those he considers dangerous, such as Maiza.
In spite of his hatred, Edward harbors the same feelings towards the corpses of criminals with the same feelings he has towards those of innocent civilians. He hates their killers equally, and wishes criminals peace after death despite their crimes.
Edward is absolutely incorruptible when it comes to bribes and violence, a trait that has earned him the favor of Victor Talbot.
Chronology[edit | edit source]
Pre-1930[edit | edit source]
Edward, an assistant inspector, inspects a crime scene on the outskirts of Little Italy during the feast of San-Gennaro in 1927. A man has been murdered and his corpse strung up a back alley (another victim of "The Phantom Father").
1930[edit | edit source]
Edward, now a police inspector, has been monitoring the actions of a particular murderer with his team for an unspecified amount of time prior to the start of the novel. Lacking hard evidence to convict the murderer, Edward and his co-workers watch Firo approach the murderer (who poses as a beggar and kills passersby) in an alleyway, waiting for the murderer to make his move. After Firo knocks out the murderer with a sound punch, Edward emerges from the shadows to stop Firo from contaminating what is now police evidence, calling him a 'pain.' Firo asks Edward what's going on, to which Edward arrogantly replies that Firo ought to address "those above [him]" as Mister or Miss," and that Firo should refer to him as either Mister or Inspector Edward. He condescendingly calls Firo a boy, despite the fact that he is relatively young himself. Edward raises his hand to signal his men to start collecting the evidence.
Firo asks if Edward takes him for an idiot, and Edward corrects him -- no, Firo is mere trash, a tick crawling on the streets. Edward finally explains the murderer's modus operandi and the police's plan to capture him. He freely admits that they were fine with Firo risking his life. Had anyone else traversed the alleyway, the police would have ensured their safety. The rest of their conversation is tainted by mutual dislike, throughout which Edward blithely mocks Firo and finally the Martillo Family itself. Their spiteful exchange is interrupted by the arrival of Maiza Avaro, the contaiuolo of the Martillo Family. Edward, his voice betraying his nervousness, greets Maiza dourly. Maiza takes the opportunity to bring up Edward's promotion, noting that as of next week, Edward will be known as "Special Agent Edward" rather than "Inspector Edward."
Edward is shocked, wondering how on earth the man was privy to information Edward hadn't even told his own lover or colleagues. Silently vowing to find the source the information leak, Edward decides to lecture Firo on the hypocrisy of a criminal giving alms. Before the two can get into another feud, Maiza tells Firo that they need to hurry, and the two depart. Edward realizes that Firo, a picciotto, is about to be promoted himself, and bursts into a sort of horrified laughter before lambasting Firo, crowing that the organization must be short of people. At his most nasty remark ("It's because you've got a girly face, right...Just how many executives did you sleep with to rise so high?") Maiza turns and says with a smile that they could choose to take Edward's words as an insult. Edward breaks out into a cold sweat and shuts his mouth, realizing that they might actually kill him. As the two move to leave, Edward works up the courage to proclaim that he'll never accept the existence of mafiosos like them, and that he'll someday get rid of "you all" for certain. Maiza corrects him -- they are Camorra, not Mafia.
Once the two leave, a police officer approaches Edward and suggests they return to the station. Edward, his fists shaking, accurately accuses the officers of cowardice, so scared of Maiza Avaro that they didn't dare emerge from their car. Furious, he points out that the police have a duty to the safety of the people and what would happen to the civilians if the police were scared by a few threats? in a litany directed at himself as much as at the policeman. He swears to destroy Maiza and Firo "with these own hands." The officer jokes that Edward sounds like a character from a mafia novel, at which Edward kicks him mercilessly in his shin.
Later that day, Edward is introduced to special agents Bill Sullivan and Donald Brown, both members of the Bureau of the Investigation -- and two of his new co-workers starting from next week. The two men are currently pursuing two criminals responsible for a string of robberies spanning the American continent, and Edward is to cooperate with them as a local officer. Edward is shown a photo of the robbers dressed entirely in bandages. Incredulous, he asks if this is all a joke. Bill and Donald explain the crimes in more detail -- mostly harmless robberies of sundries like candy and chocolate (with the exception of a museum door) -- and reveal that the Bureau was only taking an interest in the two now because last month the two had stolen the entire Genoard inheritance. The conversation turns to Chicago mobster Al Capone, and Edward can't help but compare Capone to Firo, who like Capone rose quickly in the criminal hierarchy at a young age. Would Firo become like Capone? Edward swears to incarcerate Firo before such a thing could pass.
The next day, Edward is leading the police investigation into a 'gang battle' that had taken place at the Gandor hideout the previous night, one that had resulted in the deaths of several Gandor mafiosos. At the crime scene, he is approached by Isaac and Miria (dressed like a Father and a nun), who would like to know what exactly is going on (they are concerned that the police might be looking for them). Edward does not realize that they are the very perpetrators of the string of robberies he is supposed to be investigating, and he buys into their disguises completely (in fact, had they been dressed normally Edward might not have given them the time of day). He tells them only what has been printed in the papers and then turns to Isaac. Driven by guilt, Edward divulges to Isaac that he has 'sinned', and confesses that he'd always thought that it would be better if criminals died in their turf wars. But to Edward, he feels the same grief towards the 'pitiful' corpses of the mafiosos as he does with civilian bodies, and the same anger towards their respective killers. Despite the criminals' bloodstained histories, he can't help but pray that they rest in peace in the afterlife. Edward quickly departs the scene following his confession.
Later that day (around 'lunchtime') Edward arrives with a large number of police officers in tow at the Alveare, having received a report of gunfire in the area. He orders his men to watch the exits, and instructs them not to act without his say-so. Edward enters the Alveare storefront and finds the shopkeeper Seina standing in confusion. The last thing she remembers is being dealt a blow by some 'weird geezer'. Edward warily moves into the bar, and is perturbed by the mess inside -- bullet holes pepper the walls, and broken chairs litter the floor. Edward realizes with relief that despite the gunfire, there isn't a trace of blood to be found in the room.
Edward reaches the back alleyway moments after Firo devoured Szilard Quates. Dumbfounded by the scene (aka the stench of fuel, a pair of shoes burning, the presence of all the Martillo executives, a battered car, and the Father and nun from earlier that day) before him, Edward grabs Firo by the collar and demands an explanation. Firo shrugs, and Edward orders him to drop the innocent act, threatening to arrest him for violating the Swords and Firearms Control Law. Suddenly, Isaac and Miria let loose a burst of gunfire from Dallas' and his cronies' tommy-guns, declare that they've taken the "Martillo family treasure" and that the Martillos are innocent before taking off down the alleyway, dropping the guns to the ground.
Edward considers the two's clothing and puts two and two together. They are the 'mummy robbers' from the museum robbery, and he orders his men to chase after the duo. Before Edward can resume interrogating Firo, Bill and Donald emerge from the shop and escort Edward away, explaining that they need his help. Accompanied by a few other police officers, the trio arrive at the meeting room of Szilard's elderly sponsors. Edward informs them that they are under suspicion for illegal alcohol production, and Bill produces an ash-covered bottle from Barnes' granary. He implies that he will throw the bottle to the floor, at which the men wail in horror. Bill and Donald reveal that they are aware of the real purpose of the sponsor's group, and that the two men's real purpose for coming to New York was to route out Szilard and the immortality elixir on the orders of their superior (an immortal himself).
One of the old men calls out to Edward, who recognizes him as Commander Veld -- one of Edward's superiors, and the man who topped Edward's 'most loathed' list of people. Veld pleads with Edward to stop the others--surely Edward would like the opportunity to become immortal himself? Despite his boiling anger (or because of it), Edward remains calm, and fights the urge to laugh. Smiling, he informs Veld that he has disappointed him greatly, and states that "between eternity for myself and my country for all time, I choose an everlasting nation...and more than just my duty as a police officer, I cannot tolerate any existence created by violating laws." Without hesitating, he hurls the bottle into a corner, where it shatters. Before some of the men can lap of the elixir, Donald lights a match and sets the liquid on fire, and an officer throws water on the flames before the fire can spread.
Edward, Donald, and Bill leave the scene. As Donald drives, Edward mutters resentfully that they had tricked him all that time, and he asks them why they decided to let him in on the actual goings-on. Donald replies that their superior likes Edward for his total resistance to all forms of bribery and violence, as well as his strong (albeit skewed) sense of justice. They say that they look forward to working with Edward, at which he quips they'd better not be hiding anything else from him.
1931[edit | edit source]
Edward (now a federal agent) interrupts Victor Talbot's interrogation of Huey Laforet to inform his superior that Huey's men have taken the transcontinental express the Flying Pussyfoot hostage in return for Huey's safe release.
He and Bill are soon tasked with the investigation of and cleanup duty for the grisly murders upon the Flying Pussyfoot. On the evening of December 31, 1931 Edward and Bill stand by the railroad tracks, looking down at one of the corpses from the train. Edward asks his colleague why they've been called to work on this case, which "isn't normally" their jurisdiction. Bill responds that one of the known immortals' names was on the passenger list in Chicago. Bill asks Edward if he remembers the characteristics of immortals, and Edward rattles off a detailed and lengthy four-part definition. Edward wants to know if the immortal is involved with the murders, and Bill replies that Donald is looking into the immortal as they speak. For all they know, the immortal has already given them the slip.
1934[edit | edit source]
In a Manhattan basement in 1934, Edward prepares to conduct an interrogation with Firo, having brought him in on the pretense of an eyewitness report. Both of them note that the other has changed -- Edward, Firo says, 'could never take a joke' back in the day. After a few minutes of antagonistic conversation, the two of them are joined by Bill, Donald, and a man whom the others call 'Alan Becker.' With their arrival, the interrogation officially begins. Firo soon realizes that he recognizes 'Alan's' face from Szilard's memories -- 'Alan Becker' is really 'Victor Talbot.' Edward and Donald move to flank both sides of the interrogation table, and Bill behind Firo, prepared to act should Firo try to devour their boss.
Part three of the novel opens in Victor's temporary office. Victor is holding court with Edward and Bill, high-strung with the information that Huey's followers are planning on making some sort of move. Firo's name is brought up and Victor dismisses him as no longer relevant or important. Edward seems on the verge of objecting, but he is interrupted at the sound of the telephone ringing. Victor picks up; it is Donald, who tells him to turn on the radio. Edward hurries over to the radio, which concurrently erupts into an emergency broadcast. Apparently three hundred explosives have been detonated in the Chicago area, and around two hundred people have disappeared. Edward freezes. A minute later, a vagrant man (wearing ragged clothes) with a lively expression pokes his head into the room and delivers a message from 'Master Huey'. He drops a live bomb onto the floor. Edward and the others dive behind their desks to avoid the blast, and as a result are unscathed from the explosion. At Victor's relieved sigh, Edward and Bill take the opportunity to glibly poke fun, commenting that they've never seen Victor express concern for them before.
The three of them are taken to the local police station and questioned about the explosion. Afterwords, Victor asks Edward what he had wanted to say back at the office. Edward hesitates, and then says that Firo didn't 'get to where he is' through luck or sycophancy. Firo, he says, is a "gangster...a villain through and through" and that they should all watch their backs.
By February 1935, Edward's fame has grown, thanks to his position in the FBI. He is now a veteran in Victor's forces.
In Victor's "investigation headquarters," (a warehouse) Victor has called his subordinates over for a meeting so that he can brief them on the 'status quo' of the immortal situation. Victor, upset that Huey is still at large, digresses to vent to Edward, Bill, and Donald and nearby recruits over their department's impotency. Bill indifferently asks if Victor wouldn't mind getting back to the meeting. Victor apologizes before brusquely questioning the department rookies' knowledgeability. He asks the nearby rookies "who are we up against," and when the rookie replies correctly Victor curses. Edward is by now quite familiar with Victor's personality, and thinks to himself that Victor had wanted the rookies to be wrong so he could "let them know who's boss." The meeting is interrupted minutes later at the sudden appearance of Ronny Schiatto, who had teleported into the room without their noticing. Victor accuses Ronny of trespassing, at which Ronny disappears and reappears outside the warehouse and peers at them through a window. Edward and the other men are shocked. Bill asks uneasily if that window "has always been there," exacerbating the tension in the room. When Ronny eventually departs, it takes two minutes for the department to calm down and for order to be restored. The meeting resumes. During the meeting, Edward concludes that compensating for Victor's weaknesses is part of his job.
Edward is one of the investigators assigned by Victor to investigate an airplane attack; while some of the investigators work through the night, Victor orders Edward and a couple of the others to take a nap before their noonday investigations at the harbor. He specifically told Edward to go nap at his apartment, since headquarters was in chaos.
Edward dutifully goes home to sleep. There, he is the victim of a brutal assault thanks to his connections with Firo, one that leaves him with numerous broken bones. The doctors estimate that it will take him at least half a year to fully recover. The Division of Investigation negotiates a VIP room for him in a major hospital, and it is there that Victor visits Edward (who had been unconscious until twenty minutes prior to his visit). Edward apologizes to Victor, who tells him "don't hurt yourself." Edward admits that if he breathes deeply or coughs he can feel it in his ribs, and Victor observes that Edward is covered in bandages - his face, and presumably his body under the blanket as well. Victor asks if he regrets not drinking the immortality elixir, and Edward without hesitation replies "no way," joking that he wouldn't have had this opportunity to take a load off had he not been mortal. He teasingly asks Victor if he is jealous, and the two lapse into silence. Edward then inquires about the men who attacked him, but much to Victor's chagrin, they had no good leads. However, Victor informs Edward that a hat just like Firo's fedora was left at the scene--probably a message for the Camorrista himself.
Edward lets out a bitter smile, darkly marveling at his attackers' decision to attack a man who hates Firo just as much as they do. Victor promises him that they'll nab the perpetrators. Edward asks about the airplane attack he'd been investigating--again, no progress. Victor wishes out loud that he'd made Edward work through the night, privately deeply regretting his order to send Edward home. The conversation turns to Szilard, and then back to the people who attacked Edward. Edward recalls that his attackers were wearing unusually expensive shoes, and says that he has a gut feeling that his attackers weren't connected to any of the organizations Victor had listed the day before yesterday, saying that their M.O doesn't match with the rest of them. It is clear that Edward is angry with himself and his situation--that he can no longer be on the front lines in such a turbulent time.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In 2002, a Japanese tourist's camera is stolen by Bobby Splot and his gang in Manhattan. He goes to the local police department, where the head of the investigative department (a middle-aged sergeant called Paul Noah) rings Firo on the tourist's behalf. Paul is confirmed to be Edward's son.
- The first time they met, Paul told Firo to "respect his elders" just like Edward had.
- Once Edward learns of Firo and Maiza's immortality, he falls into the habit of saying, “There are some fellas I have to put away for life and turn into permanent jailbirds.” Supposedly, every time he thinks of the two he repeats the phrase while laughing.