|“||If you'll let me make one selfish request... Please don't forget me.||”|
Ennis Prochainezo (エニス・プロシェンツォ Enisu Puroshentso) is one of Szilard Quates' homunculi. Originally created with no thoughts or emotions, she experiences a sense of being 'human' for the first time after devouring an alchemist threatening Szilard's life.
Ennis betrays Szilard in November 1930 in order to protect Isaac and Miria and becomes a part of Firo Prochainezo after he devours Szilard in turn. She moves into Firo's apartment in the aftermath. A year later, she 'adopts' Czeslaw Meyer as her younger brother per Isaac and Miria's misguided wishes.
Ennis marries Firo in the early 1980s and takes his surname Prochainezo; two decades later, the couple honeymoon aboard the cruise ship Entrance in 2002 with Czes tagging along.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Ennis is a young woman with short, spiky red hair, red eyes and typically wears a two-piece black suit and sturdy boots. For the formal attire occasion of Entrance' departure, she wears a sleeveless black dress with a thin gold choker and smooths down her hair.
It is likely that her appearance takes after the woman whose genetic material Szilard Quates used to create her.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Ennis is little more than an emotionless tabula rasa until the day she devours an alchemist pursuing Szilard. As a result of absorbing the alchemist's memories and feelings, she comes to learn what it means to be "human" as well as the concepts of sin and morality.
Though plagued with guilt over her sins, Ennis continues to serve Szilard out of a deeply instilled fear of death and sense of futility in her own actions. She envies the people who complain that there is no meaning in their existence, because she is all too acutely aware of her purpose; she is the tool and weapon of a man she can never hope to escape, forever expected to fulfill her orders without thought or hesitation.
Ennis is able to live in such a manner for some time, tolerating her own existence more than anything else. Ever quiet and withdrawn, she speaks only when necessary and savors the moments of silence in-between orders whenever she can. She becomes skilled at suppressing her feelings while in Szilard's presence and while fulfilling his orders, able to set aside all personal thoughts in order to fully focus on one task at a time.
Isaac & Miria provide the catalyst for change in Ennis' life: not only do their kindness and encouragement lead her to sincerely smile and cry for the first time, they inspire her to betray Szilard – knowingly sacrificing her own life to protect those whom Szilard would harm.
Szilard's death provides Ennis the freedom to change—or rather, to continue changing as a person. As someone who is extremely intelligent and observant, a rational thinker above all else, she is acutely aware of her emotional immaturity; not only does she believe she still has much to learn, she considers it important that she does, refusing to take her nascent humanity for granted.
Though the process of her emotional development is long-term, she exhibits significant growth and unquestionable humanity in the first five years following Szilard's death. She is fiercely loyal toward those she considers friends from the outset; as early as 1933, she not only exhibits anger when her friends are hurt but goes so far as to seek justice from the offender.
One of her main challenges appears to be that of emotional nuance. For some time, she is unable to recognize others' romantic feelings toward her, much less realize whether or not her own feelings are platonic or romantic, and it is for this reason that she initially views her relationship to Firo as sibling in nature.
Chronology[edit | edit source]
Szilard Quates, having been betrayed by one male homunculus after the other, one day decides to kidnap a woman and use the woman's genetic material to create Ennis to see if a female homunculus will behave differently from her predecessors. Ennis emerges from her cultivation tank once she reaches the physical age of the kidnapped woman as little more than a blank slate; what information she learns is either directly transferred to her via Szilard, or filtered to her through pre-approved sources.
Ennis' emotional capacity and sense of morality first emerges after she devours an immortal alchemist per Szilard's orders. With morality comes a newfound sense of regret over her involvement with others' deaths, but she has no choice to obey Szilard's orders. To revolt would be futile, as he can kill her in an instant.
1930[edit | edit source]
Ennis and Szilard return to New York City in November 1930 for the first time in three years at the news that Barnes and his latest blender have completed the Cure-All Elixir, wasting no time in heading for one of Szilard's hideouts. While en route, Szilard remarks that he will have no further use for 'the elders' should the news be true—and should it be true, he will devour them and have Ennis hold the criers back. Ennis obediently agrees, privately musing that Szilard is a 'true egalitarian.'
A man and woman abruptly begin dancing in the middle of a narrow road—so abruptly that Ennis hits them with Szilard's car, having been unable to brake in time. Once she confirms that they are still alive, she exits the alley and drives down a broad street at Szilard's command. Both are puzzled by the couple's strange behavior, with Szilard concluding he does not understand modern youth.
They eventually arrive at and enter a building south of Grand Central Station, descending via trapdoor into Szilard's hideout to find his elderly followers already waiting for him—followers whom have not seen Szilard in twenty years. The men report that Barnes' blender—the man who personally completed the formula—was stabbed the day before by a certain robber, but that Barnes has been keeping a secure watch over three dozen bottles of the finished product in the interim. Szilard orders Ennis to fetch Barnes and the liquor, adding that she should kill Barnes if he has either consumed or poorly preserved the elixir.
Ennis is shocked and upset to find Barnes' 'granary storehouse' ablaze when she arrives at the scene, but takes solace in knowing Barnes may have escaped. A young man asks if she is in distress, given her expression, but she hastily brushes off his concern and hurries to search the surrounding streets. Barnes is injured and barely conscious when she eventually discovers him in an alleyway, and she decides to bring him back to the hideout rather than devour him on the spot.
After chastising Ennis for not devouring Barnes, Szilard does the deed in her stead and learns that Barnes rescued two bottles from the fire—but the crate containing those bottles has been stolen by a group of thugs. He promptly sends Ennis out on another retrieval mission, and it takes her several hours of wandering the streets before she encounters Dallas Genoard and two of his friends assaulting Isaac Dian in a side street while their fourth friend restrains Miria Harvent. She effortlessly knocks out all four delinquents.
Having failed to realize she was the driver from the hit-and-run, Isaac and Miria thank her profusely and ask if there is anything they can do for her in return; when she asks them to help her carry the men to her car, they eagerly comply. Upon learning of the couple's path of atonement, Ennis admires them for their strength and thinks of herself as weak and sinful in comparison.
When it comes time for both sides to bid farewell, Isaac and Miria shower her with kindness and promise that they will see her again someday. Ennis smiles naturally for the first time in her life in light of their kindness, and cries for the first time as she drives away.
Twenty minutes later, she arrives at the basement hideout and delivers the four hooligans to Szilard. At Szilard's instruction, she injects the incomplete immortality elixir into all four men's; through immediately devouring the one called Scott, Szilard learns that the elixir is now in the hands of the Gandor Family. He asks Ennis what happened to the witnesses, and she lies and says that the couple ran away; he also informs her that a young man has been searching for her. Deciding that he can use Dallas' group to his advantage, he then orders Ennis to offer the three men a reward in exchange for the men stealing the elixir from the Gandors. Ennis does so.
Not entirely trusting the trio to do the job (or do it well), Ennis later follows Dallas and his two cronies to the Gandor hideout. Although the trio do successfully retrieve the crate, they swiftly lose it a mere fifty yards into their escape when a disguised Isaac and Miria ambush and rob them. Ennis hesitates between assisting Dallas' pepper-bombed group or pursing Isaac and Miria before choosing the latter option, and runs through the alleyways until she comes across a discarded helmet, mask, and tuxedo jacket. Stunned, she realizes that the kind couple from earlier are the ones who have stolen the crate.
After some troubled contemplation, Ennis ultimately decides to search for the pair and hear their side of the story. Her search continues into the morning of the next day without success, and she is on the verge of giving up when she happens to spot a priest and nun in the distance. The priest is in fact Isaac, and Ennis tails him and Miria to the Alveare honey shop but does not follow them inside, intending to wait outside for them to reemerge into view. When they do, they are in the company of the young man who was searching for her—the same man who bumped into her—and Maiza Avaro, the immortal whom Szilard has wanted to devour for over two hundred years. Upon visually confirming that they have the crate, Ennis leaves immediately to return to the basement hideout.
Ennis thereupon reports to Szilard that she has located Maiza and frames Maiza for the liquor theft in lieu of Isaac and Miria, deliberately leaving the couple out of her story. Szilard, elated, demands Ennis fetch the car so he can go devour Maiza himself. Ennis cautiously points out Maiza may give the finished product to his friends, Szilard is certain that will not happen; Maiza hates immortality more than than anyone in the world, so much so that he just might destroy the elixir on the spot.
Szilard then tells Ennis she may bring a gun to the occasion, permitting her in his high spirit to "cut a little loose." His abnormal liveliness frightens her, but she nevertheless drives him to Alveare and does not follow him inside; instead, she stands guard outside the back entrance in case Maiza attempts to make his escape that way. When the back door does open and Ennis launches a surprise attack, however, the one she attacks is not Maiza but the young man—Firo Prochainezo—who has been searching for her.
Firo asks her to explain who she and the 'old man' are and what is happening while he and she fight, evidently frustrated he is the only one who knows nothing. His words remind Ennis of her life as a blank slate, back when she had known only what Szilard deigned to teach her. The memories leave her nauseated; knowing the pain of not knowing all too well—knowing all too well how Firo feels—she informs Firo of what transpired aboard the Advena Avis and thus of Maiza's immortality.
When Firo then inquires about Ennis herself, Ennis explains her homunculus nature and creation as best she can. This includes the fact that Szilard can essentially 'will' her to death (essentially fettering her to his will), something which particularly angers Firo; he rejects Ennis' weak objection that she is akin to Szilard's daughter on the grounds that Szilard is too cruel to be her father (and she too pretty to be his scion).
The two are then intruded upon by a vengeful Dallas and company, but the three men almost immediately find themselves at gunpoint by the three Gandor brothers, who have also just arrived on the scene. Dallas attempts to blame the murders of several Gandor men (ones he and his friends committed at the jazz hall when obtaining the crate) on Firo, but Luck, Berga, and Keith Gandor know he is lying and shoot each man in the head.
When Berga wonders what they should do with the corpses, Ennis urges the brothers to tie the bodies up. Her warning comes too late; the three regenerate and gun her down along with Firo and the Gandors. Before she dies, she wonders in shock as to how the three men regenerated so quickly.
As this is not Ennis' first death, she regenerates first and runs around the corner in pursuit of Dallas' group—only to freeze at an appalling sight: Szilard's vehicle is stopped down the narrow alley, with Isaac in its driver's seat and Miria in the passenger's seat; in front of the vehicle is Szilard, who has a knife to Isaac's throat. Isaac and Miria shriek Ennis' name, relieved, and Szilard suspiciously asks how they know her name before deciding to hear Ennis' excuses later.
At Szilard's instruction, Ennis takes over holding Isaac at knifepoint while Szilard approaches Maiza nearby, having additionally been instructed to kill Isaac and Miria should Maiza try to resist. Once Isaac and Miria calm down, Ennis tells them to flee as soon as Szilard touches Maiza—but they refuse to abandon Maiza, whom they consider a 'good guy' on account of him treating them to dinner. They beg Ennis to save him; she asks if they came intending to save Maiza in the first place, but they explain they came to save her.
She is overwhelmed by this revelation, and after some thought apologizes and says she is glad she could meet them one last time. After requesting that they remember her, she charges toward Szilard and stabs him in the back the very moment his hand touches Maiza's forehead. As Firo rounds the corner, Szilard reveals that he created several homunculi before Ennis and that each one betrayed him as soon as they had acquired "unnecessary knowledge."
In response to Ennis' betrayal, Szilard severs their 'lifeline' and Ennis immediately collapses to the ground as her physical functions begin shutting down; Szilard has opted to make her suffer first instead of killing her instantly. Isaac and Miria pelt Szilard with pepper bombs in their outrage, giving Firo the opportunity to drag Ennis and Maiza away from Szilard's immediate reach.
Pale and cloudy-eyed, a dying Ennis asks Firo to devour her so that he can convey her feelings to Isaac and Miria. She admits that she does not know if a homunculus like her will be able to go to heaven or hell, an uncertainty that had frightened her and prevented her from taking her own life in the past, and that Firo was the first person to ever call her 'pretty'—something which made her very happy at the time. Firo retorts that he has no obligation to deliver her message; Ennis, a little disappointed, can only weakly laugh and call him "harsh."
Randy and Pezzo, two Martillo Family executives, set Szilard's head ablaze while their fellow regenerated Martillos cheer and jeer on the sidelines. With Szilard literally hotheaded and vulnerable, Firo is ultimately able to devour Szilard despite Szilard's effort to devour him first.
Assistant Inspector Edward Noah and his police backup arrive at the scene shortly afterward, though Isaac and Miria distract him from interrogating Firo and take off running with the officers in hot pursuit. Bill Sullivan and Donald Brown arrive soon after and retreat with Edward into Alveare, Either at this point or before the police's arrival, Firo restores Ennis to life—Ennis, who is now irrevocably a part of him—with Szilard's knowledge.
When Ennis asks Firo why he saved her, he formally introduces himself as Firo Prochainezo and admits that he had been looking for her earlier because he had found her attractive...and that he saved her because he wanted to ask her name. Ennis points out that Szilard knew her name, and he awkwardly grins and says he wants to hear her say it.
It is later decided that Ennis will live with Firo, who cooks her a meal when she enters his apartment for the first time. Only then does Ennis conclude that Firo truly is a kind person, and his kindness is truly what led him to save her.
1931-1932[edit | edit source]
Ennis and Firo exchange regular written correspondence with Isaac and Miria over the following year. In one particular letter (which is delivered to the couple in December 1931), Ennis mentions that she thinks of the two as her own siblings. She writes that she is saddened when she think of her deceased brothers, but thinking about Isaac and Miria brings her great cheer.
On the night of December 30 Firo returns to their apartment after talking with Berga, and remarks to Ennis that he plans on heading over to the station the next day to welcome back Claire Stanfield along with the Gandor brothers and Maiza. Since Ennis is also planning on heading to the station to pick up Isaac and Miria, she and Firo agree that she should meet up with him and Maiza at the Martillo casino tomorrow so that they can head to the station together.
Late into the night, Firo mentions that he has heard Isaac and Miria have been mining for gold out in California. He finds the new baffling, wondering why they have been mining for gold instead of panning for it. Ennis corrects him - the mineshaft they have been digging used to churn out gold, so there is still a slight chance they will have found something. And at any rate, there are lapis lazuli veins in California as well, so they should be able to keep themselves fed at least.
Firo points out that they are immortals, so it is not as if they will starve. Ennis counters that it is generally more efficient for immortals to eat even if they cannot succumb to malnutrition. One should not forget the psychological effects of hunger either. Even a non-human like herself can feel hunger after an extended period of starvation...although she has gotten used to the feeling, since Szilard did not provide her with food unless she was accompanying him.
Firo stutters and apologizes for making her remember unpleasant memories, but Ennis is flustered and does not understand why he feels the need to apologize in the first place.
Ennis wakes up early on the morning of December 31, and Firo wakes up later (around five AM). Ennis cannot wait to see Isaac and Miria again. Firo comments that Claire will be coming in on the same train as they are travelling on, and Ennis remembers Claire as the childhood friend Firo had been telling her about the previous night. She asks what kind of person he is, and Firo says that she will find out his personality when she meets him. At any rate, he says that Claire is quick and strong, which Ennis interprets to mean that he is an athlete. Firo remarks that Claire used to be in the circus, so many a better word would be 'acrobat.'
Firo, Ennis, Maiza, and the Gandor brothers arrive at the Pennsylvania Station (Grand Central Station in the anime) a little ways before 12:00 PM, which is when the train is scheduled to arrive. They end up waiting over two hours for the train to arrive. Around 2:00 PM, Firo quietly asks the Gandors if it is safe for them to be out in the open like this, given their ongoing feud with the Runorata Family. Luck reminds him that they are immortal.
Luck asks Maiza who the alchemist friend of his is, and Maiza describes him as a loner who tries to shoulder everything upon himself. Berga (or Firo) says that Claire's like that, but in the opposite way. Ennis remarks that "Miss Claire must be a strong-willed, outgoing person," not realizing Claire's actual gender. At that moment, the arrival of the Flying Pussyfoot is announced, and the group makes their way to the platform.
They are shocked to find that the train before them is not the famed Flying Pussyfoot, but a completely normal train. Maiza informs them that due to some trouble, they'd had to switch out all the cars along the way. Firo asks if Maiza's heard that the terrorist Huey Laforet has been arrested, and Maiza confides that Huey is also an immortal. The car doors open, and the passengers spill out, looking either greatly relieved or greatly tired.
An injured woman in coveralls exits the car, and Ennis briefly wonders if she is Claire - but the woman limps away. A grey magician and his white-clad assistant follow, and the Gandors wonder if the magician is Maiza's alchemist friend - but he too heads down the platform. Magician and assistant are soon followed by an injured tattooed youth (supported by a scarred woman) whose cries ring out across the station. Eventually, the last of the passengers step out of the train: the first of the last are Isaac and Miria, dressed as a wild west gunslinger sheriff and dancing girl respectively.
Isaac exclaims that he and Ennis have brought Ennis a gift, and they re-enter the train and reemerge with a young boy. They introduce the boy as Czeslaw Meyer, and insist that Ennis take him as her new younger brother so that she and the boy can both "have someone." Czeslaw turns out to be Maiza's immortal alchemist friend, and he ends up moving in with Ennis and Firo as their third roommate.
On January 2, 1932, Ennis sets up dominos in Alveare alongside Lia Lin-Shan, Randy and Pezzo, Ronny Schiatto, Kanshichirou Yaguruma, and other Martillos. The event is masterminded by Isaac and Miria, with the Phoenix design that the group is setting up having been designed by Maiza. Isaac and Miria knock down the dominos once they are set up (Firo knocks them down in the anime), and Ennis exclaims over how pretty it all is as she watches the dominoes fall.
The domino craze sweeps through Alveare, and over the next few days the Martillos (including Firo and Ennis) set up a myriad of designs with their enormous dominoes collection. Firo tries to work up the courage to ask Ennis out to lunch on one such occasion, when the two of them are setting up another design. His plan falls through when Isaac and Miria show up, having just learned that Firo manages a casino. Resigned, Firo promises to take them to the casino; as he prepares to leave, Ennis stands and hopes that he has fun on the excursion.
September 1933[edit | edit source]
In the Alveare, Firo upsets Isaac and Miria by knocking their dominos down on purpose, and his ensuing tirade reduces them to tears. The two flee the Alveare, and when Firo confesses to Ronny what he has done, Ronny decides that he will keep an eye out for them while he is out. He mentions as an aside that he has heard some riverside construction workers were assaulted, so it will not hurt to be cautious.
Ennis elects to join Ronny on his search, bothered by his aside. Before she and Ronny leave, she advises Firo to come up with a proper apology to their friends.
She follows Ronny to a certain street until he stops and remarks that they are 'too late'. He closes his eyes and adds that Isaac and Miria 'appear' to be heading to the same place he had been planning to visit, and he sets off in a new direction. Ennis decides to follow him without asking how he knows what he knows.
The two arrive at the Genoard Mansion on Millionaires' Row, and are greeted by a strange sight when they are invited inside: Around thirty people have gathered in an opulent room, the majority dressed like "street rats and hoodlums" and others in business suits and assorted attire. In the middle of the room stand two women: one holds a spear, and the other a pair of knives.
Isaac and Miria wave frantically at Ennis and ask if she is here to see the magic show as well, much to her bewilderment. The room's atmosphere changes abruptly when Ronny follows Ennis inside, and Ennis (who had upon their first meeting quailed at his force of personality) herself only just manages to keep her composure. Unperturbed, Isaac and Miria ask Ronny if he has brought Firo along.
Tick Jefferson greets Ronny, admitting that he had not expected Ronny would come to the mansion in person. Ronny had not expected to see Tick here either, and figures the Gandors must have been impatient to send their infamous torture specialist to the scene. He informs the crowd that he is here both as the Martillo Family's representative and as an observer who intends to witness everything that will occur from this point on.
As Jacuzzi Splot and his friends nervously confer amongst themselves, Isaac and Miria belatedly remember that they had planned on stealing something precious to Firo. Isaac realizes that both Ronny and Ennis are Firo's 'treasures', and Miria grins once she catches on to Isaac's plan. Within the minute, a man lying limply on the ground regenerates and reaches out to grab Tim's neck, only to pause at the tense atmosphere.
After a moment, Ennis recognizes the man as Dallas, whose fate she had never been made privy to in 1930. Dallas remembers her in turn; furious, he charges towards Tick and snatches a pair of scissors from the man's belt, knocking him over in the process. On the floor, Tick grabs him to stop from attacking Ennis and cries out that Dallas cannot use his scissors "for hatred or revenge." Dallas raises the scissors high (intending to stab Tick's hand) but Maria Barcelito severs Dallas' hand with her katana. She is surprised when his arm regenerates, but laughs and says that he is just like her boss (Luck). The crowd titters, and she cheerfully cuts off Dallas' left hand.
Tim sidles up to the spear-woman Adele and quietly asks her to stop Maria, leading Adele to engage Maria in combat. As they fight, Ronny approaches Jacuzzi and asks him if he plans on becoming the Martillos' enemy or joining them. Jacuzzi chooses neither. The two talk for a moment longer, and Ronny decides to deal with the 'distraction'. He brings the women's fight to an end by teleporting the women's weapons into his own hands, and he places the weapons on the ground. Fear fills all the onlookers save for Isaac and Miria, who applaud Ronny for turning out to be a magician too.
The duo advance towards Adele as she picks up her spear, and compliment her earnestly for her 'magic'. Adele ignores them and thrusts the spear to the side of Isaac's head; one of the prongs nicks Isaac's ear and cuts it. Miria rushes to Isaac's side, and in the next moment the onlookers are shocked to see Isaac's wound has disappeared.
Ennis grabs the shaft of Adele's spear just as she is about to impale Isaac and coldly demands that she apologize to her friend. Adele jerks the spear back; Ennis somersaults over Adele and lands behind her, once again demanding that she apologize. Isaac and Miria argue that Adele was only showing them a magic trick. Adele furrows her brow at Ennis' name, and asks if she is involved with Szilard Quates.
Stunned, Ennis opens her mouth to grill Adele on what she knows about Szilard, but is foiled by Dallas regenerating. Jacuzzi hollers the house does not belong to him, which means that he and his friends will be in trouble if the women continue fighting. His partner Nice throws a smoke grenade high into the air, filling the lobby with white smoke. Everyone scatters, and Isaac and Miria grab Ronny and Ennis and lead them out of the mansion. They hand Ronny a note and ask him to leave it on a counter for Firo to find. He complies, and when he returns the couple promptly 'kidnap' him and Ennis.
Thirty minutes later, the eccentric duo take Ronny and Ennis halfway up the Empire State Building per Ronny's suggestion. Ronny explains to Ennis that the offices here deal in small goods and that he happens to be their director, though he hardly ever bothers coming to the building in person. Ennis cocks her head to the side, and he explains that the Martillos have to take care in hiding their less than legal businesses - but he did not come here to boast. He merely thought it would be a decent place to take shelter from the rain.
Ennis contemplates how different Ronny had been back in the mansion, how forceful and powerful he had felt. She wonders what exactly Ronny is: How had he found Isaac and Miria so easily? What had been the cause of the commotion at the mansion? How had he stepped in so easily and managed to take away weapons that had been in the middle of killing blows mid-strike? Most importantly, Ennis wonders how the spearwoman knew who she was. Had the woman meant to call her a secretary (which would not have been cause for alarm) or a homunculus? What bothers Ennis more than anything is that the woman did not know her face, but her name. She resolves to confront the woman for information should they ever meet again.
Isaac and Miria are pleased as punch over how events have turned out, having sworn that they will not return to the Alveare until Firo apologizes to them. The two proceed to cackle over their success at having stolen the things Firo treasures most. Ennis asks what they mean, and the pair dance a little jig and explain that they mean her and Ronny, of course: Firo's faithful beloved and his venerable old master. Ennis' eyes widen in surprise at the word 'beloved', and she says that they must be mistaken - she merely lives with Firo. Isaac calls her slow on the uptake when it comes to love, and Miria exclaims that Firo's love must be tragically unrequited.
Ennis has no idea what is going on; amused, Ronny heads into the offices to check in on their business and leaves her alone to ruminate. She had never even considered the possibility of her and Firo being lovers. Her life is in his hands - that should be the sum of their relationship. But Ennis cannot find a word to qualify what their relationship really is; it is not a master-servant relationship, and since she is part of Firo they cannot be called siblings, nor father and daughter - so perhaps it is no wonder others think of them as lovers. She nods, but finds that she cannot completely accept that conclusion.
The concept of romance is almost entirely foreign to her. Ennis knows what it means to cherish someone and to love them, but she still cannot fully comprehend the difference between her love for Firo and her love for Isaac and Miria. Regardless of others' opinions, what does Firo think? And what does she think of Firo? If Firo does love her, and she is incapable of thinking of Firo as a lover in return, would not that be a deep betrayal on her part? Not understanding her own emotions, Ennis is helpless in the face of Isaac and Miria's teasing. She wonders what Firo, the "owner of her life" is doing at the moment and how he would react if he knew she was kidnapped.
Time passes. Ronny eventually notes that he intends to find and talk with Jacuzzi tomorrow, and that Ennis is free to come along or not, as the case may be. At her confusion, Ronny looks down at the streets below and comments that she has some business "with that other group," does not she?
Time passes. Isaac and Miria fall asleep on the couch, Ronny continues muttering to himself, and Ennis continues to be at a loss as to what she should do. Ronny suggests she could simply return home and relieve Firo's worry if she does not feel like playing along with Isaac and Miria's games any further. Ennis is torn between fulfilling Isaac and Miria's request that she play along, and the increasing guilt she feels over having left Firo alone. Even stronger than her guilt, however, is the feeling that if she goes back to Firo as she is now she will lose sight of something important.
Ronny correctly identifies the root of her troubles as the conversation she had had with the spearwoman; he vaguely says that Szilard's mark still lurks in the shadows of the world, and comments that it might be faster to stand and confront them rather than running away. Ennis is even more confused, wondering how exactly Ronny knows who "Master Szilard" is.
The realization that she still calls Szilard 'Master' in her head complicates her heart even more. Ronny intones that he could tell her who the spearwoman is, but if she wants to find the answer for herself, she should visit the Mist Wall tomorrow, where she will find Adele and her friends. Ennis finally asks what Ronny is, and Ronny asks in turn which answer does she want. Does she want him to tell her that he is an omnipotent being, or a normal man? Perhaps she wants something else, for him to brush it off or say that it is a question he cannot answer. Whatever he chooses to say, it will be up to her to accept it or not accept it. In that case, it is pointless to tell her.
Ronny's answer, while seemingly deep at first glance, is in actuality deliberately obtuse and deliberately not a real answer. Ennis cannot find it in herself to press for one; she feels like something precious will break inside her if she learns the truth. Ennis is not unaffected by his words, but with great effort she puts them to the side in favor of Firo. The four spend the night together at the Empire State Building, and upon morning Isaac and Miria accompany Ronny to go find Jacuzzi while Ennis returns alone to the Alveare and reunites with the Martillos.
Ennis and Maiza talk for a little while, and Maiza notes that Firo is probably still out looking for her - considering that he took a whole day off. Newfound guilt surges in Ennis' heart as the phone rings. Seina picks up the phone, and after a moment holds it out to Ennis - it is for her. Thinking it might be Firo, Ennis takes the receiver, intending to apologize for the trouble she has caused.
The voice on the phone belongs to an unfamiliar woman, who expresses her disappointment in Ennis for having failed to return 'home'. Ennis is bewildered - to her, 'home' means the apartment she shares with Firo and Ennis. What had the woman been doing there? She hesitatingly asks who the woman is and what does she want, and the woman introduces herself as Leeza (note: she is speaking as Hilton, not with Leeza's typical speech mannerisms).
Leeza cuts to the chase: she and others currently have a hold of Firo. Shock rolls through Ennis, and Leeza clarifies that while they do not really have any business with Firo yet, one of Leeza's friends is simply dying to chat with Ennis, so will not she be a dear and come alone to the place Leeza's about to name?
Maiza notices the change in Ennis' demeanor and asks if something is wrong. Ennis cannot reply, and wonders desperately if there has been some sort of misunderstanding, if perhaps Firo is pranking her. Leeza adds that Ennis should meet her and the others on the restaurant on the top floor of the Mist Wall. Ennis recognizes the name instantly. The woman warns her not to bring any of her friends along; the invitation is for her and her alone. It is certainly not for the bespectacled man sitting next to her in the Alveare.
Ennis gasps and surreptitiously looks left and right, though she is sure that she will not see anything out of the ordinary. The woman advises her to keep in mind that the 'twins' are always watching; distressed, Ennis asks who she is. Tauntingly, the woman introduces herself as Leeza – but her friends are the successors of Szilard Quates' will."
The woman's words leave Ennis speechless, but she eventually recovers and beelines for the Mist Wall. She is soaked from the rain by the time she arrives, finding Fang Lin-Shan, Eve Genoard, Chané, Tick, and Maria standing by the entrance while Claire attempt to pick the lock on one of the two front doors. Running forward, Ennis jiggles the handles of the other front door. Locked. She steps back, jumps, and knocks the door off its hinges with a single kick. Once she steps inside, she surveys the people lying scattered about the lobby; failing to find Firo among them, she takes the elevator to the top floor's Babel Restaurant.
Anticipating trouble, Ennis braces herself against the elevator's walls and ceiling in order to get the drop on any potential attackers. When the elevator doors open, she kicks Christopher Shaldred in the face and causes a small panic amongst the restaurant patrons as a result. She and Firo have a relieved reunion as the diners funnel into the emergency exits, leaving only a few people behind: Firo and Ennis; Ronny; Jacuzzi; Christopher; and their respective companions.
Christopher stands and languidly groans over his aching jaw, complaining that "even [his] parents" never kicked him in the face. He looks altogether unfazed despite his words, and amends his statement: "Well, it's not like I actually have parents. Since I'm like you and all."
Ennis flinches, and Firo demands that Christopher explain himself. Christopher decides to cooperate in honor of meeting his "cute 'little sister'," and explains that he and his companions are failed byproducts of Szilard's research into homunculi creation. He says that although Ennis here is a far cry from being a perfect homunculus, she is at the very least both undying and unaging. Christopher and his friends on the other hand were manufactured based on research stolen before Szilard's final discovery, and as a result are only unaging. In exchange, he and his friends do not need a 'main body' to sustain them like Ennis does.
Firo asks if the 'stolen' nature of the research means that Szilard did not create Christopher. Christopher is pleased that Firo is talking about him and his fellow artificial life-forms like they are proper humans, but points out that Szilard's memories should already be enough to give Firo the clue he needs. Firo mumbles Huey Laforet's name just as the elevator bell rings; bored, Christopher reaches for three knives from a nearby table and hurls them in the direction of the doors.
Claire exits the elevator a moment later, juggling the knives in blasé fashion, and is followed by Chané, Maria, and Tick. Firo is shocked to see Claire (they have not seen each other for years), and Claire remarks that he is as much of a babyface as ever. Ennis is surprised at the banter, considering that Firo once broke all the fingers of a man who had dared to call him 'Baby Face'. Witnessing Firo laughing Claire's jibe off without a second thought is hard to take in.
Christopher, visibly cross for the first time, demands to know who Claire is and how he entered the building. Claire's dismissal of him is so peremptory that it stuns him into silence, and Claire looks over at Jacuzzi and guesses that something or other has gone wrong. From the way everyone down on the first floor was asleep, he surmises that the 'gas trick' has at the very least gone all right.
Isaac and Miria's loud applause draws everyone's attention to the kitchen, where the once-dead manager whom Christopher had previous shot is sitting up alive and well. From the emergency stairwell, Hong Chi-Mei shouts to Christopher that the building is dangerous and they must bid a retreat. Every single Nebula employee, Chi says, is an immortal.
A chill runs down Ennis' spine. The others' reactions are more varied, with Christopher loudly wondering why that means they should retreat. Chi argues that it will be impossible for them to massacre immortals, but Christopher points out that they have two people (Ennis and Firo) among them who are capable of permanently killing immortal beings. Firo mutters to Ennis that they should just go while they still can. Ennis is reluctant to leave; she is intrigued by the homunculi's similarities with her and would like to talk with them further. However, she feels like if she starts talking to them, she will never escape their clutches.
Christopher grins, and asks Ennis if she is sure she does not want to learn more. Ennis responds that she understands who they are, but she no longer has a connection with Szilard (even as she nearly calls him Master). Christopher replies that Huey is interested in her past rather than her present, as either she or Firo may know how to create a homunculus that is 'close to perfect'.
The inquiries into Ennis' origins shake her to her core, and Firo sharply advises her not to listen to a single thing Christopher says. Christopher asks Adele to keep Firo quiet for a while, but Claire stops her spearhead with her fingers before she can stab Firo with it. He realizes that Adele must be the woman who scratched Chané's face, and uses her spear to deflect all three bullets Christopher shoots at him.
Tim arrives on the scene and orders the Lamia to retreat. When Christopher refuses, Tim invokes his authority as the leader of Larva and pledges to take personal responsibility for the fallout.
Christopher finally lowers his knife-gun and agrees to give up on the mission. He proceeds to lunge at Claire, leaping over Claire's outstretched leg to slam his knee into Claire's exposed jaw. Claire's upper body reels back from the force of the blow, and he and Christopher eventually take their fight to the rooftop – a pyramid slope made all the more dangerous from the slick rain. Chi and Chané follow them outside, both intending to help their respective companions.
Left alone in the restaurant are Jacuzzi and company, Firo and Ennis, Isaac and Miria, Tim and Adele, Tick and Maria, and Ronny. Afraid, Adele swings her spear downwards towards Jacuzzi, only for Maria to block the blow.
On the sidelines, Firo leans over to Ennis and whispers that he will step in if it looks like Maria cannot handle the fight. When he grouses that Ennis' so-called 'siblings' are far too loony to be any way comparable to her, she realizes that the woman who called herself Leeza is not present and wonders where she is. She and Firo proceed to watch Adele and Maria duel, and eventually intervene to fight Adele two-on-one. Since neither of them have any experience countering a spear, Adele easily stands her ground.
They fall back once Maria declares that Adele is her opponent, allowing the two women to resume their duel. Maria ultimately emerges the victor once she stabs Adele's shoulder, and Ennis and the others turn their attention to the rooftop fight. None of them take any notice of Dallas (or Adele goring him) until they hear him and Tim shouting; when Nice Holystone looks over and sees lit explosives burning under Dallas' jacket, she shrieks for everyone to hit the floor.
In the aftermath of the explosion, Ennis and Firo shake Isaac and Miria back to consciousness. They turn to see Dallas dragging Tim and Adele over to one of the open windows, but Before Firo or Ennis can move to stop him, Tick walks up behind Dallas and stabs a pair of scissors into Dallas' spine. Another into his right shoulder. A third, into his left side. Tick quietly converses with Dallas for a while before retrieving the scissors from Dallas' spine. He nudges Dallas off the ledge, and Dallas falls to his temporary death.
Just after Tick defenestrates Dallas, Chi re-enters the restaurant with an unconscious Christopher slung over his shoulder. He asks Tim what happened, but Tim dismisses his own injuries and asks Chi to take care of Adele. Mulling over his options, Chi asks if either Sham or Hilton is present. A waiter emerges from the kitchen at Chi's call, and Chi (calling the man Sham) asks him to help with Adele. Sham nods, and he and Chi take the elevator down with Adele and Christopher draped over their respective shoulders.
Claire and Chané enter the restaurant moments later, and Claire asks what happened to Dallas. Tick simply replies, "He went down fiiirst."
Firo and Ennis enter the elevator once it returns, and as they descend to the first floor, Firo asks her if she thinks it is true that all the Nebula employees really are immortals. Ennis replies that she doubts there is much either of them can do in the event that Chi was not lying. Firo wonders if Lamia will ever return, assuring Ennis not to worry when she cautiously refers to them as her 'siblings'. Smiling, Ennis assures him that she will not; after all, Firo and Czes are already two wonderful brothers.
The two return to the Alveare to find Isaac and Miria regaling the Martillos with their unique interpretation of the Mist Wall incident. From where he sits next to Maiza, Ronny greets Firo by coolly remarking on Firo's lack of worry for him when the bomb exploded. Firo, embarrassed, asks how Ronny's negotiations with the "kids from Chicago" went, and Ronny replies that although they refuse to work for the Martillos, they have agreed to give the Martillos a cut of their profits in exchange for working on their turf. Firo is slightly confused, having thus far thought that Jacuzzi's gang had colluded with Dallas to kidnap Ronny and Ennis.
The Martillo members eavesdropping on the conversation snigger to each other, and Firo shrugs and goes over to the counter, ordering Ennis and himself sandwiches. Ennis sits next to him and she and Firo agree to keep quiet about the Nebula immortals for the time being. Firo finally apologizes to Isaac and Miria for the dominos incident when they approach him, but it turns out they have forgotten all about the dominos; however, Isaac is strangely insistent that Firo say the word gyafun ('uncle' in Japanese).
They are delighted when Firo does, oblivious to his bewilderment, and make the equally oblivious comment that they heard Firo had run around in the pouring rain calling out Ennis' name. Ennis' visible surprise leads Firo to demand the identity of whomever told Isaac and Miria such a thing, but Isaac and Miria refuse on the grounds that they promised Czes not to tell.
Firo tears out of the restaurant in search of Czes, leaving Seina to remark that she heard Ennis did exactly the same thing – that is, that Ennis had dashed off into the rain calling out Firo's name. She asks what Firo means to Ennis, and Ennis truthfully replies that Firo is her precious family.
1934[edit | edit source]
In November, plainclothes policemen arrest Isaac at the Alveare. One month later—December—Ennis learns that Firo has been arrested and is surprised to find herself greatly shaken at the news. Not to mention, picturing what Miria's face must have looked like in the wake of Isaac's arrest feels like a vise clamping down on her own heart.
A week after Firo's arrest finds Ennis moping about in the Alveare, frustrated beyond words at her own powerlessness. She knows that it will do her no good to wallow in depression, and attempts to think of something – anything – that she can do to ameliorate her situation. Czes approaches her and asks if she is all right, assuring her that there is no reason to be worried about the safety of her immortal friends. She asks if her worry was that obvious, and agrees that she should not let it get to her so much. Czes says that it is only natural that she is worried, but reminds her that she and Firo have all the time in the world to see each other again.
Ennis smiles and comments that Czes would know - it took him over a hundred years, but he did eventually have his own reunion with Maiza. Her smile falters when he looks away, and she wonders if she has made a mistake. Their attention is drawn to a commotion at the front door, where Seina is telling a man that the restaurant is not yet open for business. The man demands to know if Maiza is inside, claiming that he and Maiza go way back, and forces his way into the restaurant.
Ennis notices that Czes has gone white as a sheet, and she realizes that she recognizes the man's face from the alchemist's memories. A wave of regret and guilt washes over her, but Firo – the only person who could have lessened her pain – is of course nowhere in sight. If the man notices the emotions on her face, he ignores them in favor of Ennis; his face softening ever so slightly, he asks Czes how long it has been since they last saw each other - about two hundred and twenty three years, give or take?
The man - Victor Talbot - seats himself at Czes and Ennis' table and engages a reluctant Czes in conversation. When Czes is a little too pushy in regards to the news that Victor's men have been watching him, Victor asks him what happened to Fermet. At Czes' obvious horror, he points out that everyone has questions they do not want to be asked, so he will leave it be if Czes does the same.
Ennis wants to interject on Czes' behalf since he is clearly distressed, but every time she looks at Victor she backs down. To the alchemist she had devoured, Victor had been a fast friend - and knowing that Victor had been friends with the man whom she murdered makes it rather hard to think straight. For all she knows, Victor has come to kill her for revenge – or perhaps to claim his late friend's memories.
Victor glances over at her, but whatever he is about to say goes unsaid due to the arrival of Maiza. He and Maiza exchange strained greetings, and Maiza sighs and deliberately asks what business the Vice-Director of the Department of Justice has with the Martillos.
Maiza's words draw the attention of all the people in the restaurant, who turn to glare at Victor. Victor is unperturbed and brings up their mutual immortal Huey, who has somehow been issuing orders to his factions from the secure confines of Alcatraz. As Victor and his subordinates have thus far been unable to figure out how Huey is issuing his orders, they have sent "Maiza's boy Firo" into Alcatraz as a mole. The Martillos surge to their feet at Firo's name, and Maiza frigidly asks Victor to explain himself.
Victor stands as well and looks over at Ennis, a complex mix of emotions flashing across his face. He says that Firo took the fall for Ennis, agreeing to take on the federal job in exchange for the government 'erasing' Ennis' crimes. Ennis looks him squarely in the eyes for the first time, and Victor holds the gaze and keeps his expression carefully blank as he rattles off the crimes in question.
Victor finally moves to leave after warning Maiza to avoid whatever Huey has planned for the city over the next few days. His vitriolic disparagement of the mafia and camorra further antagonizes the Martillos, and Ronny and Yaguruma put him in his place before evicting him from the premises.
1935[edit | edit source]
In February, Ennis finishes helping the Alveare employees move some items and sits at the bar for a break. She notices an unfamiliar scarred child looking at her, and first wonders what the child's gender is and then why the child is staring at her so intensely. The child seems to be interested in Ennis herself more than the business suit she is wearing. As Ennis take a sip of herbal tea, the child speaks up and asks if her name is Ennis. Ennis acknowledges that it is, and asks who the child is.
The child remarks that Ennis is different from what they had been expecting - they had thought Ennis would look rougher like "old man Szilard." Szilard's name chills Ennis to the core, and she considers the possibility that the child is here to devour her. However, the child explains that they are a homunculus and thus on Ennis' 'side' – albeit a failed homunculus – and introduce themselves as Rail. Neither of them notice the pair who enter the restaurant until one of the newcomers calls out to Seina, asking to talk with the Martillo Family.
Ennis is troubled by Rail's lack of expression and turns to the source of the voice. It was a youth who had called out, one year or two older than Rail. The second newcomer sings the shop's praises, and Ennis stiffens when she recognizes him as Christopher. Thinking that he has come to harm the Alveare's patrons, Ennis stands and prepares to charge. She holds back only when Rail calls out Chris' name, and is confused at the tears in Rail's eyes.
The youth (Ricardo) enters the Martillo office, where Jacuzzi is currently speaking with Molsa Martillo. Ennis returns to her duties. Later, Jacuzzi, Rail, and Christopher head off towards Firo's casino at Molsa's suggestion. Ennis tails them, only for Czes to call out to her and ask if she is following the group for work. She vaguely replies that it is nothing like that, and Czes clarifies that he was talking to both of them. With her cover blown, Annie – an Alveare waitress – emerges from her hiding place.
Ennis asks her why she is here, and Annie says that since Ennis looked upset earlier she had followed her to see what was going on. Watching Jacuzzi disappear out of the corner of her eye, Ennis apologizes for possibly causing Annie trouble. Annie gets straight to the point and says that Firo's casino ought to be just up ahead, and Ennis falters, not wanting to lead Annie into trouble. Annie asks Ennis what Firo is to her, and Ennis tilts her head quizzically. She says that Firo is like her family, and Annie says that that is good.
The three reach the casino, and Annie asks if Ennis is going to enter. Ennis cautiously says that she does not want to interfere with Firo's work, and Annis pushes her a little, saying they can enter as regular customers. Ennis says that Czes and Annie should probably leave and not get involved; Annie pulls on her cheeks and points out that if it does get dangerous Ennis will be in equally as much trouble. The waitress stands arms akimbo and says that Ennis is a "frail, helpless girl, same as me! So the conditions should be the same!" Ennis asks what conditions, and Annie flushes a little.
Their silence is broken when a man dashes between them and disappears into the casino. Annie accuses her and Firo of "just not caring" and Ennis apologizes if they've caused some trouble for Annie. However, she knows that Firo does care. He is highly serious and considerate of those around him. Czes breaks the tension when he alerts them to the fact that the man who'd gone inside just now looked like he had a large gun.
Ennis hurries down the stairs and kicks the gunman's collarbone, whicks cracks with an audible snap, and plucks the gun out of his hand. She slams the butt of the gun into his open mouth, knocking out his teeth, and he collapses to the ground. The casino patrons applaud Ennis enthusiastically. Firo raises his voice and announces that the casino will conclude its business for the day since the police will likely come and investigate the gunshots, and promises to compensate the patrons the next day. The customers scramble for the exchange counter and out the door.
Firo and Ennis greet each other, and Ennis explains that she had thought someone may have been injured when she heard the gunshots earlier. Christopher pops out from behind Ennis and says hello to Firo, much to his lack of amusement, and engages in combat with Graham Specter when he enters the casino soon after.
Ricardo grabs Firo and draws his attention to newly arrived Ladd Russo (Firo's fellow inmate from Alcatraz) and Lua Klein. Ennis watches as Firo pleads with Ladd to make Graham stop, but Ladd says that the only thing that stops Graham when he is 'like this' is dousing him in alcohol. When Christopher lobs Graham's wrench at Ladd's head, Jacuzzi shouts a warning; Ladd grabs the wrench with his metal prosthetic and sends it flying, but Ennis kicks the wrench away before it can hit Rail. Rail thanks her, but dismisses Ennis' concern with the moody reply that Ennis did not have to act on their behalf. Ennis is relieved that Rail is all right after all, much to Rail's consternation.
Ladd asks if he can join in on Graham and Christopher's fight, and Ennis shivers at his bloodthirsty smile. The chaos in the casino becomes even more jumbled with the arrivals of Melvi Dormentaire and Claire, as well as Carzelio Runorata, the twins, and Cazze's entourage). Ennis witnesses the ensuing events without interfering.
Sometime after the casino incident, Melvi's men blow up Firo's apartment and kidnap Ennis, leaving Czes to regenerate in the apartment alone. She is taken to a warehouse basement and her hands are cuffed behind the back of a chair and her legs bound with barbed wire. Her clothes are scorched and torn.
Ennis asks who Melvi is, and he dourly reminds her that he introduced himself at Firo's casino as 'Melvi', a casino dealer for the Runoratas. Ennis says that if that is true she cannot think of a reason for her abduction, but Melvi retorts that he can think of plenty; for instance, the Runoratas could have kidnapped her in order to 'take the Martillos down'.
Ennis (who suspects that her kidnapping is immortal-related) calmly remembers the Runorata Family is large enough to have no need of such roundabout measures. Melvi spits out a question of his own - is her memory really her own memory, one that Szilard gave her?, or the memory of one she has devoured. He then asks if his face is familiar to her, and though she does find it vaguely familiar she cannot place it.
Bored, Melvi remarks that the alchemist she devoured must not have been very people-observant – given the alchemist's past, the alchemist ought to have recognized Melvi's face. It appears that this particular alchemist must have been a bit hazy on the details, though Melvi concedes that the alchemist would have seen 'the real face', as opposed to Melvi's. Ennis wonders if Melvi is implying he is one of the surviving alchemists from the Advena Avis, but she thinks there is something strange about him.
Melvi condescends that the situation really has nothing to do with a newly-born homunculus like Ennis. She asks what his connection to Szilard is, and his answer is instantaneous: "I am Szilard Quates." Or technically speaking, he should have been. He says that his full name is Melvi Dormentaire, and asks if the surname rings a bell. Ennis instinctively breathes House Dormentaire in recognition; Szilard ha once told her that the Dormentaires were nothing more than his stepping stones, and that he intended to crush them once he had taken control of the country.
Ennis says that she does not understand what Melvi means, and Melvi cradles her chin to ask if she thinks the alchemist she devoured is alive inside of her. He says that the question important, since Ennis has essentially stolen all the man's memories from him - whom he loved, what he felt and when, who humiliated him. Is Ennis the same person she was before she devoured the alchemist? Is her personality the same, her soul the same? Melvi eases up when Ennis refuses to look at him, promising that she can take as many days as she needs to think over her answer.
Walking a few steps up the stairs, he stops and says tonelessly that he was born as Szilard's "spare." Or to put it another way, a "new vessel." Ennis' question dies in her throat at the darkness in Melvi's eyes, and he affirms that in devouring Szilard, Firo "stole [his] future. He killed [him]." He had originally been sure it was Maiza who devoured Szilard, though - he would have never thought Firo would be the one responsible.
Melvi concludes that he has been far more concerned about Ennis than he should have been, and asks her how many years she thinks he spent investigating her. How many of his colleagues does she believe were watching her, and for how long? Ennis is shaken at the implication, and her good memories of her everyday life feel tainted with this new, ugly truth. Smirking, Melvi announces that his organization's reach is longer than she thinks, greater than even the Runoratas' power. He resumes his ascension up the staircase, threatening that he can cause an immortal like her as much pain as she likes; the only reason he has not done so already is because he is a gentleman.
Ennis protests that their conversation is not over, and he reminds her of what he had told her previously: a conversation is like a game of catch. If she wants to ask him something, she had better think long and hard about her answer to his question. It will help him continue to be kind to her. Ennis is doubtful at his words - if he frees her limbs from their bonds, she will have a much better chance of escaping. He warns her that if she tries to run, he will kill everyone he captured with her, immortal or otherwise. She immediately pictures Czes, and she pleads with Melvi to let him go, unaware that Czes is currently with Firo.
Melvi calls her an idiot, and repeats that he will only kill her friends if she tries to run away. And if she thinks that Czes will not die because of his immortality, she is mistaken; he (Melvi) is fully capable of devouring an immortal as well, and of course, Ennis knows how to kill an immortal intimately. Ennis' throat tightens at the implication that Melvi is an complete immortal homunculus like her, but she cannot tell how much of what he is saying she should believe. At the very least, she is sure that Melvi is capable of killing mercilessly just like Szilard was.
Several days pass, during which time Ennis is unbound and she moved to a first class cabin aboard a ship. She still has yet to find an easy answer to her situation, and she uneasily thinks back to what Melvi had said about sending spies to watch her. Rail's face comes to mind, but Ennis does not believe that Rail was one of the spies. Ennis regretfully thinks that she should have been more careful, should have realized that an immortal-related incident was imminent in the city.
If Melvi really is an immortal, then Ennis is just as capable of devouring him as he is her. Her gaze falls to her right hand, and she thinks back to the first time she had devoured someone. Can she devour another person again after such a traumatic experience? Would she even be able to reach Melvi's head in such an uncertain emotional state? She hears a knock at the door, and before she can answer it the door swings open anyway. In walks Melvi, and he makes a vulgar joke at her expense.
He asks if she has thought of an answer to his question, which he repeats verbatim from a fixed distance away. Ennis replies that she did not have a traditionally defined 'soul' prior to devouring the alchemist, and that she is an entirely different being to whom she was before. Melvi triumphantly declares that she just admitted her past self died, but she counters that she is also a different being today than what she was the day prior.
Melvi smiles a little and quizzically tilts his head. Ennis elaborates that people change thanks to accumulating knowledge and experience as they grow. Concepts like the heart and the soul are observed in others, rather than one's self. If there is nobody there to observe one's self, one may as well be dead. Melvi asks what she means, and Ennis continues that by devouring that alchemist, she had gained a link to the world through his knowledge. However, the first time she truly connected with the world was when Szilard died. The day she had met so many people...and her world expanded.
She adds that people can change in solitude as well, but she thinks it is because those people know what it is like to not be alone. "Life" is a well-defined concept, but the 'soul' is ambiguous. Her personal philosophy is that the countless connections she has to the world are what forms the thing Melvi calls her own soul. What makes her herself is the people who acknowledge her. As she continues to meet people, she will continue to change into someone new.
Melvi labels her answer as awfully convenient, and asks if she thinks that she is a different person from the person she was back when she did not know right from wrong, can she be forgiven for the things she did in the past? Ennis does not think so, and says that her connections now are the results of what she has done in the past. If someone who knew the alchemist accused her of being a murder, she would have nothing to say in her defense.
Melvi's smile is faint and devoid of humanity when he replies that by that logic, does she mean that she will not care if Firo calls her a murderer? It was Firo who killed Szilard, anyway. She states that Firo had been acting in justifiable self-defense and Melvi sneers that Firo is mafia. How can she want to claim justifiable anything for someone who has probably committed more crimes than she can count? His smile weakens when Ennis looks at him with her eyes shining with strength. She corrects him: Firo is not Mafia. He is Camorra. Melvi mumbles that she need not be so pedantic; nobody cares.
Ennis decisively says that Firo cares. it is very important to him. She continues her refutation: she will not deny that he is a Martillo, and she will acknowledge that he perpetuates illegal gambling and commits crimes. Yes, Firo's work may not be legitimate, but that is a completely separate matter from the Szilard incident. Melvie wants to know if she thinks it would have been better for the world if Szilard had wiped out an organization "like that" and Ennis admits that although Firo is her benefactor she cannot say that he is a good person for society in general. Firo is prepared and willing to do "certain things" but she does not believe he will have to act on that resolve.
In comparison, the Szilard she knew was horrifically evil and he had a will and action to match that evil. Melvi remarks that Szilard must have been a true monster if his own creation speaks of him in such a way. He reminds Ennis that Szilard's memories are inside Firo, and she does not know what they'll do to him. Has she never considered that those memories will corrupt him? Ennis shakes her head, and states that Firo is stronger than she is.
Melvi cracks his neck and heads for the door, saying that he did not come in to argue with her. He was just running an errand and decided to drop by. Ennis calls out to stop him and asks him "who are you...really?" He supposes that she did give him an answer after all, and decides that he will give her something in return. He reveals that although his name is Melvi Dormentaire, he does not actually have any Dormentaire blood. In fact, he is an homunculus created by House Dormentaire, immortal in the same manner as Ennis.
He divulges that House Dormentaire got its hands on some of the elixir, but only enough for a few people. One dose was for the "greedy woman," another for the woman's little toy, the injured girl. The last dose was for the head of a ruined aristocratic family, upon whom the Dormentaires experimented for two hundred years to eventually create Melvi, though the man had not known that when he had drunk it.
Melvi pats his face, and smugly remarks that Maiza reportedly took after his mother while Gretto looked just like his father when he was young. Ennis is speechless, and as Melvi leaves he says, "See you, puppet. It will not be long before I'm human. Just like I promised before...I'm going to be reborn as Szilard Quates."
Sometime later, Ennis reanalyzes her situation when she is alone. Melvi has threatened to kill those he has abducted alongside her should she make an attempt to escape - so she should not move carelessly. Still, she cannot help but wonder if she can really just sit in her room and do nothing. Can she afford to let herself fill the role of captive puppet, trouble the Martillos, Firo and Czes as a consequence?
She contemplates how accepting Firo, Isaac, Miria, and the rest of the Martillos had been of her, and how their acceptance could have only been rooted in strength. She cannot allow their strength to be harmed through her own 'weakness of will', so she resolves to do everything that she can in her present situation. And in order to carry out her resolution, she will use all the 'knowledge' that she has been avoiding up until now: the knowledge of Szilard Quates, that he had reaped through the deaths of others.
To be continued in 1935-E.
1980s-2001[edit | edit source]
Ennis marries Firo in the early 1980s, thus taking his surname and becoming Ennis Prochainezo. While she has developed romantic feelings for him, very little about their daily interactions and relationship has changed. Randy and Pezzo have implied their wedding was a 'bloody mess' thanks to 'some weirdos' who crashed the event; the use of 'weirdos' may be referring to Christopher and Rail, who are visible in Firo and Ennis' wedding photo.
2002[edit | edit source]
A few decades pass. In the first half of 2002, Ennis and Firo assist Maiza and his friends (who are in a certain European country) from New York via telephone; Maiza and his companions need Ennis' and Firo's advice on a solution that would ensure that certain homunculi could survive in the outside word (or in other words, to make them 'human').
In August 2002, Ennis is absent from the Alveare when Miria remarks that she often watches events like weddings and honeymoons whenever they are on television. That night, Firo returns to the apartment where Ennis is, and suggests they go on 'vacation.' Ennis says that she would love to go anywhere with him; when Czes enters the room, Firo panics and clarifies that it is a 'family vacation' instead of a honeymoon. Ennis had said that a Denkurō fellow might be in Japan, and well - Firo had made friends with a certain Japanese photographer earlier that month who said that Firo could visit him. It would be odd if Firo went by himself, so he thought all three of them could go together. The next day, Firo receives three suite room tickets from Molsa to a luxury cruise ship which cost over ten thousand dollars per person.
Two weeks later, Firo, Ennis, and Czes travel to the west coast and prepare to board the Entrance with falsified passports courtesy of Victor. Where Ennis is impressed by the ship's size and marvel's at the past century's rapid technological improvements, Czes quips that he was more impressed with the nineteenth century's railroads.
After the three make it past departure inspections and enter the ship, Ennis speaks to a staff member about having their luggage brought in. Once their luggage has been dropped off in their suite, the trio head to the desk to survey the harbor from the bow; when they, due, however, Firo spots a crane hoisting a large mechanical shark onto the deck. Both Ennis and Czeslaw comment on it being an animatronic: Czes explains to Firo that the shark is part of a publicity stunt a film crew intends to do in Japan, and Ennis chimes that the film crew may hold other publicity events during the cruise.
Firo pulls out his cruise pamphlet to check, but in the next moment, the three are joined by Claudia and Charon Walken. Ennis greets Claudia, who says it is nice to see her again and reports that her own great-grandparents are in as hale health as ever. A teenager in a yellow-and-black gothic dress soon approaches the group, and Claudia is immediately taken with her; they run off to look at the shark, while Charon talks about "Uncle Keith" with stoic admiration.
Ennis laughs that it looks like it will be a lively cruise, and Firo agrees.
Once the grandiose departure ceremony ends and Firo changes out of his tuxedo into a more comfortable jacket, the three walk back to their cabin and order dinner via room service. Afterwards, Ennis heads off to a beauty salon under Czes' advisement. She is curious to see if human treatments will have the same effects on a homunculus, though she is absurdly worried that the consultants will notice the differences in the makeup of her skin and accuse her of being non-human. Those worries do not come to pass; instead, the masseuse compliments her on how clear her skin is.
Three hours later, her treatment is done. Wondering if she looks strange, she returns to their cabin in order to ask Firo or Czes for their opinion, only to find the two missing. There is no sign of Firo at the casino when she leaves to check, so she returns to her room and waits until she cannot stand waiting. Firo walks in right when she is preparing to go out and search once more, but her sigh of relief is swiftly stifled when she takes in the bullet holes in his clothes.
Firo laughs bitterly, says that he took care of it, and that he is used to this sort of thing by now. He takes out his glasses from his breast pocket and is disappointed to find that they are mangled. Ennis answers their internal phone line while Firo buries himself in the couch; the caller is Czes, and Ennis tells Firo that Czes will be staying over at someone else's cabin tonight.
When Firo flushes red, he reddens all the more when she approaches to check if he has a fever. Assuring her he has not been poisoned or infected, he compliments her soft-looking skin and calls her beautiful. This only causes Ennis to blush in turn. Before they go to bed, Firo tells Ennis an edited version of the event that led to him being shot—including his meeting with a man called Angelo at the casino.
The next day, Firo and Ennis head to the ship's shopping mall and sit on a bench, people-watching. Firo remarks that he slept very well the night before, and Ennis agrees; she had been worried that it would be difficult to fall asleep in such an unfamiliar environment but the quality of the bed made things so much more comfortable.
Angelo walks up to them and apologizes for keeping them waiting. Firo laughs and introduces him to Ennis, whose beauty Angelo cannot help but remark on. He apologizes to her for the bullet holes in Firo's outfit before asking Firo if it is really all right to involve her, and Firo assures him that Ennis will not be in any danger. The Mask Makers have women on their team, so Ennis can check the places that only women can go to. Besides, neither he nor Ennis are happy about being on the same ship as those "creeps."
Ennis falls into thought as she listens to them talk. Neither of them had delved into the specifics of what had happened to Firo the night before. Firo had told her everything that occurred up to a gun being pointed at him, and Ennis could tell by the state of his clothes that he had been shot at least four times. But Firo had not told her anything else, nor how he had gotten out of that misunderstanding. All she knows is that Angelo found out about Firo's immortality and that Firo feels like he has to help him after everything Angelo had told him. That is reason enough for Ennis, and she has no intention of prying or getting angry as long as he can forgive the culprit with a grin.
Firo, she knows, always tries to take too much on by herself. And that is what draws her to him. So, she is not angry - but she is resolved to do whatever she can to ease the burdens Firo has taken upon himself while they live together, and that makes her happy. Still, something has occurred to Ennis as she watches Firo conversing with Firo, and that is that Firo is good at using people "without telling them the important things." Not manipulation, per se: rather, he has a knack for making other people think I want to help too. Ennis is not sure if this is all a calculated effort on Firo's part, or if he is just oblivious but competent - but she feels that this is something that Firo is exceedingly adept at.
No matter the case, she is certain that she likes Firo, the man who needs her and stays by her side even when he does not need her help. She had expressed these feelings to Czes in the past, and he had laughed and said that Firo probably thinks the same about her. "Like husband, like wife." Ennis had thought at the time is that what it means? Mulling over the thought now, Ennis recalls the moment when Firo had proposed, and her face turns bright red. Firo worriedly points out that she is flushing, and asks if she is okay.
The trio move to a nearby cafe and order coffee. As they talk, they overhear Claudia chatting away by the fountain, and Firo and Ennis cheerfully talk about how Claudia has always loved the limelight. Angelo curiously interrupts and asks if they know her, and Firo guesses he could say that they are family friends. Angelo admits that he is a bit envious, since he is a fan of her work. The three start scanning their surroundings for signs of the Mask Makers, and the animatronic shark is rolled into the hall. There they see a cog-clad hero waving beside the shark, and Ennis notices that Charon is acting more awkwardly than normal (the boy inside The Gear suit is actually Bobby Splot).
Angelo spots the Mask Makers and alerts Firo and Ennis to their presence - they are the two people who have just sat down at the table beside them. The three decide to tail the duo when they move to the second floor, but things go south when the 'gothic lolita' girl from before points at Angelo and asks excitedly if he was the gunman from the other day and is this not a neat coincidence? Unless he happens to be here to kill people. The trio's cover is blown, and the Mask Maker duo pull out their guns. Angelo draws his gun and shoots the shoulders of the men as they fire, and Firo just barely manages to block the two bullets from reaching Angelo's forehead with his shoulder.
Ennis is the first to react, standing and kicking the table in mid-air towards their enemies. The duo are thrown to the ground, and the hall is thrown into chaos as the passengers panic. Firo and Ennis dash inside the cafe, soon followed by Angelo. Gunshots follow, shattering the cafe windows, and the customers and employees vacate via the back door. Angelo, Firo, and Ennis are the only ones left. As they take cover, Angelo (the only one with a gun) apologizes for dragging them into a shootout after all, and asks about Firo's shoulder. Firo self-deprecatingly jokes that at this rate he will not have any clothes without bullet holes left over.
Angelo continues to coldly shoot their enemies down until he and Firo spot individual clad entirely in black on the fourth floor, holding an assault rifle and wearing a mask and goggles. Firo advises Ennis to stay back, since the man looks like a "serious sicko." Angelo does not think the man was one of the people he saw back in South America, and he receives a call from the Demolisher.
As soon as Angelo's caller hangs up, a powerful explosion rocks the hall. Firo peeks outside and sees that their enemies have gone, and he asks Angelo if his caller was responsible for the mess. Looking out again, Firo spots the Gear demon running toward the animatronic shark. Thinking it is Charon, Firo runs out from the cafe shelter and toward the Gear demon, ignoring Angelo's and Ennis' protests as they follow his lead. Firo sees a young girl inside the shark and pulls her out, by this time having realized that the boy inside The Gear is not Charon. Ennis and the others return to the cafe interior, where Firo lays the girl down.
When the girl comes to she cries out Angelo's name and embraces him, relieved that he is safe. Shocked, Angelo hugs her and asks, "how...how did you get here, boss?" Firo is flabbergasted that Angelo's 'boss' (Carnea Kaufman) is as young as she is; Carnea admits that she had stowed away thanks to "Mister Demolisher," who had promised her that if she were on board the ship Angelo would not start any gunfights.
Angelo's ice-cold fury overwhelms Ennis and the others, and the boy in the costume lets out a little scream and takes a step back. Firo takes the opportunity to ask the boy who he is, and the boy lies and says that he is Charon's stuntman. Ennis and the others take the two children back to the suite room, and the adults discusses their next course of action. Firo leaves the room to go find Czes.
In the aftermath of the events aboard the ship, Ennis approaches Czes and Firo, the latter of whom who lies spread-eagle on the topside deck. Czes leaves the two alone, and whatever happens next is left unsaid. Once the Entrance makes port Ennis and the rest of her family are excused from detainment thanks to Claudia, who asks her director John Drox to count the three as part of their publicity crew for Japan. The three subsequently fly with Claudia on a chartered plane to their destination, where they report to a beleaguered Victor. Firo and Czes then spend half a day enduring Victor's complaints and lectures.
Ennis, Firo and Czes later meet up with Firo's photographer friend, and the photographer returns to their hotel so he can prepare his camera. The three go off on their own to stroll around Kyoto, and since the three of them are well-versed in Japanese they do not need a translator to help them get around. As they walk, Firo apologizes and admits that all this time he's been scared of Szilard's memories, and that he had been confident he could protect them without resorting to that damn knowledge. He regrets not using the memories earlier - if he had, he feels like things would have been solved much quicker. At any rate, things will be different now.
Ennis is worried, but Firo nods resolutely and promises that he will always be himself. Even though he has Szilard's memories, he will never become "like that old bastard." Ennis is overjoyed at his confidence.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Ennis possesses absolute immortality, unable to die, age, get sick, or be permanently wounded. This is due to the fact that her cells are linked with complete immortals.
Despite the fact that she is a homunculus, Ennis is also subject to the 'rules' of immortal humans; she cannot use pseudonyms among other immortals, and she can 'devour' other immortals through her right hand by touching their head and wishing to 'eat' them, effectively ending the other immortal's life and granting her all of the deceased immortal's knowledge.
Ennis possess extremely sharp senses and quick reflexes. She is a capable fighter, easily combating multiple armed thugs without weapons of her own. She has extensive knowledge given to her by Szilard in order for her to carry out her duties.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Isaac & Miria: After getting off to a rough start when she almost runs them over, she meets them personally after saving the pair from Dallas Genoard and his gang. They thank her enthusiastically, becoming her first friends. The three reunite outside the Alveare, where Isaac and Miria steal Szilard's car and run over him, Dallas, and his gang. After recovering, Szilard orders Ennis to subdue the couple while he attempts to devour Maiza. Knowing that Szilard will kill her, Ennis asks Isaac and Miria to remember her before she turns and literally and figuratively stabs Szilard in the back. Ennis continues to be good friends with them from then on. In fact, Ennis has written that she thinks of the two as her own siblings.
Szilard Quates: Her creator and former master. He viewed her as a worthless insect, though she had thought she was something like a daughter to him. Their relationship was one of master and servant - cold and emotionless. He did not even provide her with food unless she was accompanying him on a trip.
Firo Prochainezo: Both met outside Barnes' burning house, bumping into each other. In the novels, Firo follows her simply because he finds her pretty, not because she loses her cufflink. Ennis moves into his place after 1930, and for a long while views him as a brother and not as a potential lover (stemming from her stunted emotional growth). She eventually develops feelings for him, and the two get married sometime in the early 1980s. They do not go on their honeymoon until 2002.
Czeslaw Meyer: Czes is Ennis' adopted 'younger' brother. He was given to her by Isaac and Miria as a 'gift', thanks to them misunderstanding a letter she had wrote to them about her deceased brothers. it is mentioned that Czes and Ennis frequently spend time together, so it is safe to assume that they have a close relationship. The fact that Czes is nearly two hundred years older than her does not seem to trouble her as he rarely acts his age around her in to avoid being awkward, making their role as siblings more enjoyable.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The name Ennis means "island" in Gaelic.
- According to 2002 (Side B): Blood Sabbath, Ennis is 'well-versed' in Japanese.
- In an interview available on the Dengeki Novel Prize website, Ryohgo Narita revealed that Ennis was originally conceived as a succubus who acts as the villain's familiar in his early ideas for Baccano! and that the main character was supposed to fall in love with her at first sight. The gangs were supposed to have several big fights with the 'evil sorcerer' (presumably the villain) and steal her away.