|“||"I might be saved." Dying in an instant while harboring that hope is a truly happy thing, wouldn't you say?||”|
Goose Perkins (グース・パーキンズ, Gūsu Pākinzu) is the leader of the Lemures. On the evening of December 30, 1931, he hijacks the transcontinental express Flying Pussyfoot as part of a plot to free Huey Laforet from prison, but several independent factors cause his plans to go awry. When he realizes that his plot has failed beyond the point of salvation, he commits suicide following his duel with Jacuzzi Splot.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Goose has slicked-back sandy blond hair, narrow eyes, and a grave, stone-faced countenance. He normally wears the black unmarked military uniform of the Lemures, but dons a tuxedo for the hijacking as part of the Lemures' orchestra ruse.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Goose is a ruthless man who trusts no one. Unable to pursue an official military career, he still conducts himself with a soldier's bearing and treats the Lemures as a military cell. Despite his bitterness toward the military, he is aware why he was rejected: unlike a true soldier, he treats the Flying Pussyfoot as a game to be won. His lack of regret or repentance when he aborts the hijacking mission signal his acceptance of his status as a terrorist.
For all his emulation of military structure, tactics, and appearance, his actions aboard the Flying Pussyfoot prove the difference between playing at being a soldier – and being one. As a non-soldier, Goose's naïveté leads him unable to adequately cope with and adapt to the abnormal circumstances aboard the train, and he constantly allows his hubris and emotions to get the better of him. His predilection for drawing out his opponent's death rather than outright killing them proves his undoing with both Nader Schasschule and Jacuzzi, and ultimately leads to his own demise.
Goose has no qualms when it comes to using or killing children and innocent bystanders for the sake of his goals, and does not particularly care for his comrades on any meaningful level. He wants to rescue Huey because he wants Huey's immortality, and plans to kill Chané Laforet – a comrade who has worked alongside him for some time – because she is an obstacle to that end. Though he views his opponents aboard the Flying Pussyfoot with hatred, he never dwells on or express remorse over the deaths of his comrades even when on death's door – where it is only his sheer ambition that keeps him alive.
Chronology[edit | edit source]
Pre-1931[edit | edit source]
In his younger years, Goose attempts and ultimately fails to join the military. Developing a complex over his inability to become a 'military man', he turns to terrorism and eventually becomes Huey's right-hand man. Either at their first meeting or sometime afterward, Huey cuts open his carotid artery as proof of his immortality. The demonstration is so visceral that Goose is visibly shocked.
As the leader of the Lemures, Goose maintains contact with Huey through Hilton – a messenger whose identity is usually revealed on a need-to-know basis. He does not inform Hilton of his plan to hijack the Flying Pussyfoot, intending to carry it out without Huey's permission. In the weeks prior to the Flying Pussyfoot's departure, Upham, Spike and other Lemures report to Goose that their comrade Nader intends to stage a coup and defect to the Russo Family.
On December 29, fifty Lemures gather in an abandoned factory south of Chicago. There, Goose informs his followers that the federal government's recent arrest of Huey is the fault of a traitor in their ranks. Though he already knows the identity of the traitor, he requests that the traitor voluntarily step forward and recognise the error of their ways.
All fifty Lemures step forward as one. At their head is Nader, who mockingly asks Goose how it feels to be betrayed by everyone. Unfazed, Goose reveals that he knew of Nader's traitorous actions beforehand; at his signal, all thirty-odd loyal Lemures gun down all the traitors sans Nader. Before Nader can draw his gun, Chané cuts off his right hand.
Though Chané wants to kill Nader posthaste, Goose is of the mind that Nader's death should be long and full of suffering. He proceeds to tie Nader up, stop his wrist from bleeding, weld the factory doors shut, and destroy the non-essential vehicles parked outside the building. As he and the rest of the Lemures make their getaway in the remaining vehicles, he has Spike shoot a white box next to the factory. With the factory imploding behind them, he orders his men to make their way to Chicago's Union Station tomorrow once their preparations are complete.
Passing themselves off as affiliates of the Chicago Paysage Philharmonic Orchestra, Goose and the Lemures arrive at Chicago's Union Station on the evening of December 30 in black formal attire. The Lemures sign the passenger's list with pseudonyms, smuggle their weapons and ammunition past the luggage checks by hiding them in the packing material of their musical instruments, and board the Flying Pussyfoot in groups of ten (one group per class). Goose receives confirmation that Senator Manfred Beriam's wife Natalie and daughter Mary are on board as he Chané head for their own First Class compartment.
Right after he and Chané check the coupling connecting a freight car to a passenger car, he notices Rachel standing on the train's other side and is immediately struck by her practical attire. As soon as their eyes meet, he realizes that she is not an honest citizen. Once he ensures that the coupling has not been tampered with, he finally leaves for First Class.
Several hours into the journey, all the Lemures (save for three in Second Class, three in Third Class, and three guarding their weapons in the freight hold) congregate in First Class at a prearranged time. Upon confirming that the Beriams are in the dining car, and after ordering Spike to relay his speech to the absent units, Goose instructs his men to gain control over all passengers and cars before the cars are switched. The locomotive is to be their last target, with their allied conductor taking care of the rear car.
The mission commences, and the three Lemures in Second Class hijack the dining car as instructed. When one of them straggles back to First Class with a wounded shoulder, he reports that two men dressed in white suits and a raggedy man with a knife thwarted the hijacking: not only did the White Suits kill at least one of his comrades, they prevented the Lemures from capturing the Beriams.
Goose orders his subordinates to temporarily call back all available men to First Class via their wireless transmitters. With Nader and now the White Suits posing an obstacle to Goose's plans, he wonders if he is undergoing some sort of 'trial' as part of his quest for immortality.
Once the Lemures regroup, Goose and several armed Lemures enter the dining car in search of the Beriams. Spotting Natalie by the bar, he asks her to accompany them back to First Class for the sake of her husband's cooperation, and requests information regarding her daughter's whereabouts. Weepy-eyed and biting her lip hard enough to draw blood, she claims that the White Suits took Mary and left her behind.
At Goose's signal, a few of his subordinates escort Natalie back to First Class. He orders teams of two to watch the dining car in shifts from here on out, and is about to exit the car himself when he notices an open window by one of the tables. Immediately suspicious, he questions the man at the table at gunpoint; the man says that a "woman in coveralls" (Rachel) had escaped through the window during the earlier shootout. Sure that the woman must be the woman he'd seen by the coupling, Goose adds her to his mental list of dangerous people as he returns to First Class.
When Goose and his men return to their First Class compartment, they find a disgruntled-looking Spike sitting by the wireless transmitter. After sending Beriam into the next room, Goose learns that Spike has yet to receive word from the three men guarding the freight hold. Spike assumes that they were killed by the White Suits, but Goose warns him against speculation and sends three Lemures to investigate the hold in question. It is only then that he notices Chané is gone, and Spike explains that she has left to hunt the 'albinos'. Goose has no problem with this, remarking that they should wring as must use out of her as they can before she dies by tomorrow's noontime.
Static and screaming crackle to life over the wireless transmitter, and Spike hurries to reduce the extraneous noise. One of the original three Lemures guarding the freight hold desperately calls for reinforcements, reporting that his two comrades are presumed dead at the hands of a 'monster'. Seconds later, he pleads for somebody to 'stop' and fires his machine-gun – but the gunfire stops almost instantly. The sound of his gun clattering to the floor is followed by moaning, and then that too fades into silence. As the sound of wet footsteps fills the room, Goose orders his men to recall the unit he sent to the freight hold; privately, he suspects that the 'monster' is the woman in coveralls.
Not long after, Chané rescues Mary from a White Suit and brings her back to First Class. Once Mary's hands are tied behind her back, she is thrown into the room where they are keeping Natalie captive. Goose explains to Natalie that if a signal rocket sounds off by the bridge they will cross in the morning, both she and her daughter will be temporarily saved. However, if her husband fails to cooperate with the Lemures' negotiation team, he will abandon Mary's corpse on the rails.
When Spike later captures Nick and Nice Holystone, Goose takes it upon himself to interrogate the two while they are tied up in one of the First Class compartments. Dubious at Nick's insistence that a red monster prowls the train, he questions Nice on the pair's connection to the White Suits – an assumption he has made based on the report that Nick threatened the dining car. Nice claims that Nick is a marijuana addict, and that he must have been accosting the car during a hallucination fit; when Goose remains unmoved, she admits that she and Nick are actually train robbers and recounts their actions up until now. Losing interest, Goose leaves the room.
In the corridor, he mulls over Nice's statement that they saw a corpse in a freight room on the way back from the conductors' compartment. It occurs to him that his conductor comrade should have killed her if she really did visit the rear car; troubled, he reenters the room and asks Nice if there was anything abnormal about the conductors' compartment. Nice recalls that they found both conductors dead, and that the gruesome condition of the corpses was what finally convinced her that the Rail Tracer is real.
Another doubt crosses Goose's mind: if the conductors are dead, then there is no longer anyone left to perform the scheduled light signals. The train should have stopped in such a case, but the locomotive shows no signs of stopping – and the Lemures have yet to occupy the engine room. He leaves the room, and dispatches five men to check the conductors' compartment. With Nick's description of a legless Lemur corpse ringing in his head, a nascent fear of the Rail Tracer worms its way into his heart.
Some time later, Rachel frees the Beriams and helps them escape past the dining car. Believing a recapture attempt to be futile, Goose mulls over the prospect of an escape plan of his own and initiates Code Beta: before they sound the retreat, Spike and the others must kill Chané.
When Rachel is captured by the Lemures and brought to lie by Nice and Nick, Goose accuses her of being both 'Vino' and the 'Rail Tracer'. Rachel laughs in his face. The interrogation is interrupted by a Lemur, who informs Goose that their comrades guarding the dining car have vanished. Once Goose and his companions leave, Rachel frees herself, Nick, and Nice from their bonds.
Having had no contact from the five men who went to check the rear car, and with the sound of Spike's rifle ceasing overhead, Goose is forced to assume that Spike and the others are dead. With only six Lemures left standing, as far as he knows, he finds himself more worried about staying alive than taking over the train. He orders his men to abort the mission and retreat, killing the remaining passengers along the way so as to leave no witnesses.
At that moment, Nice opens the door and rolls a dynamite stick into the room. Goose smashes the nearest window and throws the cylinder outside, the ensuing explosion rocking the train. He shuts the door just as another dynamite stick rolls down the corridor, blasting the door off its frame, and orders his men to fetch their equipment and wait while he deals with their attackers.
Goose slips outside and moves to the window of Nick and Nice's cabin, kicking Nick back before he can climb outside. With a pistol in either hand, he slides into the cabin and orders Nice to hand over all her explosives. She initially refuses, but eventually relents after seeing his hand tense around the gun pointed at Nick. Once she places her twelve sticks of dynamite on the floor, Goose decks her with the butt of his gun. In a rage, NIck prepares to slash Goose with his knife – only for Goose to shoot his raised arm. Right before Goose can shoot him in the head, Jacuzzi bursts into the room and fires off his machine gun. Nice and Nick take their opportunity to escape while Goose is hiding under the bed.
Now only further resolved to overcome the 'trials' set before him, Goose reconvenes with his surviving subordinates and shoulders the 1918 German flamethrower they had retrieved for him. He exits the car onto the exterior platform just as Jacuzzi makes it onto the roof of the dining car, and orders his men to go through the dining car and head Jacuzzi off on the other side.
Once Goose climbs the ladder, he surprises Jacuzzi with a long jet of flames from his nozzle and forces him to flee. During the chase, Jacuzzi attempts to shoot back at Goose but ends up discarding his machine gun when he runs out of ammunition. Eventually, Goose manages to corner Jacuzzi by the coupling of the second-last car. With his men having failed to appear as planned, he is forced to fight Jacuzzi alone.
All of a sudden, a piercing scream rings out from underneath the train. Goose makes the mistake of approaching the train's side to investigate, and in that instant, Isaac, Miria, and Czeslaw Meyer unexpectedly swing up and over the train via a rope; Goose's legs are swept out from under him, and his back slams into the roof. Though he is initially terrified that the impact may have broken the flamethrower tank, he relaxes when he does not hear the sound of leaking hydrogen gas.
Standing once more, Goose leaps over the coupling to the last car where Jacuzzi is waiting. He aims the nozzle at Jacuzzi, confident in his victory – only to curse at the weakness of the emergent flames. arely any fire emerges. As it turns out, the impact of his fall had permanently twisted the valve at an odd angle.
Absorbed in his attempts to fix the valve, Goose fails to notice Jacuzzi running at him headfirst, and is subjected to a ferocious headbutt. Despite his broken nose and loss of several front teeth, he manages to shoot Jacuzzi once in either thigh and graze his side with a third bullet courtesy of a self-firing gun attached to the back of his hand. Despite the unbearable pain from Goose jamming his fingers into the bullet wounds, Jacuzzi continues to headbutt him repeatedly.
Goose kicks Jacuzzi away, and is about to kill him when a mass of flesh and blood oozes onto the roof in their direction. He assumes that the mass is the 'Rail Tracer' responsible for killing his comrades. Frustrated and full of fear, he is so preoccupied with trying to burn the mass that he does not notice the cherry bomb that Jacuzzi hurls in his direction. The cherry bomb ignites, and the force of its explosion thrusts Goose toward the rear of the train.
With Jacuzzi barring his path, Goose produces a knife from his pocket and manages to stab him in the arm. Jacuzzi deliberately flops down, causing Goose to lose his balance, and then delivers a kick to his stomach that sends him plummeting over the end of the car. The flamethrower explodes upon contact with the ground.
Goose is revealed to have survived the explosion with severe injuries, clinging to life purely by the thread of his obsession. As he crawls along the railroad tracks, he recalls having seen the signal rocket flare by the bridge – meaning that the government must accepted their negotiations. Convinced that he can regain his balance if he can only find his ten negotiators, Goose's first thought is that he is 'saved' when a figure blocks his way. He raises his head, full of hope, but his hope turns to shock when the figure immediately spits in his face.
Instead of one of his negotiators, Goose has come face-to-face with Nader – burned, scarred, but unmistakably his ex-subordinate. Triumphant, Nader explains that he had used his comrades' corpses to shield himself during the blast, but that he would have died anyway had it not been for the aid of a doctor passing through the area. Indicating the police searching the underbrush nearby and the handcuff on his wrist, he adds that he made a deal with the police: a suspended sentence in exchange for everything he knows about the Lemures and the negotiators. He imparts the news of the negotiators' arrest with the most sarcastic of condolences.
Goose falls into despair over the news, his desolation obvious. Crouching by his side, Nader hisses that Goose not outright killing him in the first place is proof that he was never cut out for the military. His cold condemnation of Goose as a pathetic failure are the final straw; with all hope lost, Goose commits suicide by biting through his tongue. His corpse is left to freeze in the December cold, blood and flesh spilling from his mouth.
A little over three years after his death, Goose makes an appearance in Nader's nightmarish lucid dream as he was when he died: crawling on the ground, his torn tongue dangling as blood pours from his mouth. His speech is understandable despite the circumstances, and he remarks that Sonja Bake – who sits on a swing in the dream – is "just in [Nader's] way." Without her, Nader would have no reason to feel guilt over his lapsed promises; without her, he could continue taking advantage of others for his own pleasure.
Nader kicks Goose away and runs in slow-motion toward the swing, intending to rescue Sonja before she is crushed by the trains hurtling toward her. From where he lies on the ground, Goose warns him that he will not make it in time and accuses him of pretending to have done all he could. He then says that Nader has done all he could, but that he has simply lost to fate.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- A descendant of Huey's handheld firing mechanism – the one Goose employs in his duel with Jacuzzi – is used by Mikado Ryuugamine during his fight with Masaomi Kida in the early 2000s.
- Nader uses Goose's first name as a pseudonym when he first encounters Roy Maddock at Fred's Poorhouse in 1935. This leads to trouble when he encounters Upham, who recognizes Goose's name as that of his former boss.
- Goose's voice actor Susumu Chiba for the first audio drama would go on to voice Huey Laforet in the 2007 anime adaptation.