|“||I'm sorry! I’m so sorry! It was me! I was the one who wanted to kidnap Cazze after he got in our truck! B-but, they didn't know anything about it! I was the one who called, so, ah, u-um, er...please only turn me over to the police.||”|
In December 1931, she devises a plan to rob the transcontinental express Flying Pussyfoot as it travels from Chicago to New York City between Dec 30-31. Her plan is dropped when she and the others find Carzelio Runorata napping in the back of their truck and decide to hold him for ransom instead.
Following the ransom incident, she and her friends come across Spike collapsed on the side of the railroad tracks and take him to a doctor. After he recovers, he and the women find employment at Manfred Beriam's estate: Lana and Pamela as maids, and Spike and Sonja as sharpshooters.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Lana has medium-length brown hair and sharp brown eyes which make her look older than she really is She wears oval glasses, and a pink shawl over a mauve dress in official illustrations.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Lana is impractical and loose-tongued, simplistic and rash, contrasting to Pamela's practical and cautious demeanor. She is more emotional, excitable, and talkative, whereas Pamela is more level-headed and less likely to go off on a long winded lecture when she feels she has been slighted.
Her and Pamela's completely opposite personalities leads to the two frequently verbally sparring. Their arguments have never truly soured their friendship, however, and they complement each other well.
Lana has fainted at least twice at the sight of something extraordinary.
Chronology[edit | edit source]
Pre-1931[edit | edit source]
Lana starts out as a solo petty thief swiping unattended bags and other items from unsuspecting victims - until one day her actions catch the eye of a group of ill-natured men. The men capture her and attempt to kill her, but their murder attempt is thwarted when a passing-by Pamela jumps in and comes to Lana's rescue. Lana and Pamela join forces and together rob casinos and ticket windows all over the area.
During their thieving spree they come across a girl called Sonja Bake, shooting her guns off in the prairie next to her gun-laden wagon. Sonja is soon integrated into the group, and the robber duo becomes a nameless trio. Lana is responsible for coming up with a name for their group - Vanishing Bunny - and it ends up sticking.
The women continue committing robberies across the country, following in the footsteps of famed outlaw Myra Starr. First they commit small robberies, like petty thefts and stealing from gardens - and then they eventually start committing more major thefts that often result in shootouts with the police and the Mafia. One such incident involved an art museum; they'd stolen some of the museum's jewelry and tried to escape, only to find the museum door missing. They ended fleeing from the police and a mafia boss for two weeks straight.
1931-1932[edit | edit source]
In December 1931, Lana devises a plot to rob the luxury transcontinental express Flying Pussyfoot (somehow never learning the train's name while coming up with the plot). With Pamela reluctantly on board, the three women drive for the railroad route that the train is supposed to cross between Dec 30-31. During the drive, Pamela and Lana argue over Lana's plan - which is to stop the train with explosives as it passes over a bridge - and they pull over on the outskirts of Newark to look at a map.
Lana takes a full half-hour to lecture Pamela on why her plan is great, and Pamela gives in and agrees to at the very least scope out the bridge. They get back on the road and drive past a large villa for the highway. Several automobiles drive past them at unusually fast speeds.
The canopy truck runs out of gas after they've made some headway into New York, and Lana gets out to fill up the tank - only to come across an unfamiliar boy snoring away in the back of the truck. Her scream catches Pamela's attention, and the two women wake up the boy in search of answers. The boy's name is Carzelio "Cazze" Runorata, and he ran away from home and hid in their truck when they parked it in Newark.
Lana and Pamela move away to discuss the situation while Sonja looks after Cazze, and Lana points out that Cazze is wearing expensive clothing. She guesses that Cazze probably ran away from the villa they passed, and suggests that they kidnap him for ransom money from his rich folks. Pamela agrees only because she thinks it is a better plan than the train robbery idea.
Upon returning to the truck, Lana extracts Cazze's home's telephone number from him and proceeds to place a call to the villa. She informs the Runorata Family of the kidnapping, and demands that they deliver the ransom cash to a specific bungalow and not contact the police. On the way to the bungalow, Lana suggests that if everything goes well they can pocket not only the ransom but the passengers' money too. Pamela thumps her on the head.
When the group arrives at the bungalow, they are surprised to find two trucks already parked there and the bungalow light on. Pamela sighs and apologizes for not stopping Lana from calling them before they checked out the exchange place. Since several youths are currently occupying the bungalow they'd chosen, the group decides to move into the empty bungalow #3 instead. Outside the bungalow, Lana hears an animal's cry and stops briefly, wondering if there are coyotes around.
Pamela leaves Cazze with Sonja and pulls Lana away to privately ask her if they should just give up on their ransom plan, feeling guilty that they're taking advantage of a child. Lana impatiently points out that 'crimes are crimes' and that they're thieves - only to freeze when Pamela call her out on her own doubt regarding the plan. Still, Lana accuses Pamela of hypocrisy and pretentiousness, referring to all the employees that were hurt by Pamela's casino robbing. At that, Pamela reminds Lana that the two of them are lowlifes - on the wrong side of society. "Of course the bad guys are hypocrites." Lana relents, and replies that she'll think about what Pamela has said.
Their conversation is interrupted when one of the youths from the occupied bungalow compliments Lana's glasses and asks her to become his little sister - though she is in fact older than him. He calls Pamela his 'little sister' in turn. Pamela and Lana notice that he is not alone - all the young occupants of Bungalow #1 have emerged from the bungalow and are now watching them from the shadow of the truck. Lana screeches and ducks behind Pamela, who asks the kids if they're out here camping. One of the girls (Melody) nonchalantly calls Lana and Pamela out as kidnappers.
Lana's protests of denial are completely transparent, and Pamela has no choice but to own up to their kidnapping plot. Lana's group move into the delinquent's bungalow #1, where they learn all about the delinquents own plot to rob the Flying Pussyfoot over the next few hours. Sonja eventually wakes up during the commotion, and Lana - much to Pamela's dismay - enthusiastically asks her if she is going to go maintain her guns. The delinquents perk up at this, and follow Sonja and Pamela to the canopy truck to watch the guns unload.
Lana falls into self-loathing over her slip of the tongue, and while Sonja entertains the delinquents with her shooting prowess she morosely grumbles to herself that they should have gone with her train robbery idea from the start and avoided the whole kidnapping mess. When she mutters that they "should rob the train anyway," she seizes hold of the offhand idea and springs to her feet. Moving around to the back of the bungalow, she muses that they can just tag along with the delinquents' train robbery and escape during the confusion. As for Cazze, she figures they can just leave him at the bungalows.
As Lana worries about their footprints and fingerprints in the bungalows, she comes across two men dressed in military garb lying on the ground about twenty meters away from her, on the outskirts of the forest. Filled with dread, she approaches them cautiously, observing a lack of obvious injuries or torn clothing. An unmistakable animal odor assaults her nose, and at the sound of grass being trampled she turns to see an enormous shadow one meter away from her. At the same time, a gunshot rings out near the bungalows. Lana stands still as the 'thing' lumbers away. When it leaves her field of vision, she screams and faints on top of the men.
Pamela finds her and wakes her up, but Lana is not entirely clear about what happened to her - "something was there" but she cannot describe what that 'something' was. They move the two strange men to the back of their truck while the youths prepare to clear out of the bungalows, since they have just over half an hour until the train arrives. Pamela writes out a ransom note, puts it into an empty box, and leaves the box in front of the bungalow entrance. Lana is still more preoccupied with (and terrified by) whatever it was that she saw, but she manages to focus when Pamela recalls the significance of Cazze's last name - the Runoratas are a strong mafia family.
Even more frightened, Lana blanches and considers what the mafia will do to them should they catch Vanishing Bunny, and Pamela has to clamp her hand over Lana's mouth before she can start shrieking.
Once general preparations are complete, Pamela forces an ill-looking Lana into the passenger seat of their truck and gets into the driver's seat. Lana asks what they should do with the military men, and Pamela replies that they'll take the men to the river for now - and a doctor later if they don't show any signs of waking up. They follow the delinquents' two trucks down to the riverside, parking near the riverbanks with just twenty minutes to go before the Flying Pussyfoot shows up.
Lana and Pamela discuss their options in the truck while Cazze and Sonja exit to play with the delinquents, but end up exiting the truck themselves when Pamela hears screams in the distance. Upon heading up the hill towards the woods and the railroad trestle, they find several parked cars and a soot-stained military tent. Inside the tent are a table and chairs, along with a radio and some sort of military cipher. Lana is horrified at the sight of blood staining a corner of the tent, but she's distracted by the sight of a white grenade. She promptly steals it, thinking that they can use it to defeat the mysterious shadow.
The two women leave the campsite and descend the hill a little ways, only to stop at the sight of several men in military garb surrounding the delinquents, their leader having taken Cazze hostage. Before Pamela and Lana can do anything, a tailcoat-clad man standing behind them warns them against doing anything rash. The man - Gabriel - says that it is his job to bring back the 'young master' safely, not theirs. Pamela prevents Lana from using the grenade; when Gabriel reacts to the bear now approaching the group down below. Lana shrieks that that is what attacked her earlier, violently shaking Pamela's shoulders. Gabriel disappears from the hill.
Down below, the bear takes out one of the Lemures. Gabriel takes out two more. His twin Juliano bursts out of the undergrowth on his motorcycle, and Gabriel uses the opportunity to retrieve Cazze from the Lemures' leader Serges' grasp. The two men who Pamela had tied up and left in her truck show up wielding submachine guns, and before Pamela can stop her Lana pulls the pin on her grenade and lobs it at the fray. The grenade fills the area with white smoke.
Pamela and Lana descend the hill as the smoke clears, and find that Gabriel and Juliano have taken care of the rest of the Lemures. Juliano thanks them for the grenade, and leaves to fetch Cazze at Gabriel's word. Once they are alone, Gabriel asks Lana and Pamela to explain themselves.
Teary-eyed, Lana apologizes that the kidnapping plan was her idea alone and that Pamela and Sonja had nothing to do with it. She begs Gabriel to only turn her over to the police. Gabriel chuckles that his master has left the fate of the kidnappers entirely up to the twins, and he takes out the only money in his wallet - a half-dollar coin - and gives it to Lana as the ransom payment. Lana accepts the coin, and Gabriel asks her and Pamela to keep this exchange a secret between them.
A few more words are exchanged, and Gabriel eventually heads off to join his brother and Cazze. Sonja runs up to Lana and Pamela and asks if they were fighting. They deny the claim. Lana ends up fainting again at the sight of the bear.
Sooner or later, the three members of Vanishing bunny bid farewell to everyone and take off in their truck, wanting to leave the scene as fast as possible. While driving down a road parallel to the railroad tracks, Pamela and Lana argue over Lana's use of the smoke grenade; Sonja scolds them and points out that Nader would have saved them if they were really in trouble. Pamela admits that she was touched when Lana tried to protect her and Sonja earlier, much to Lana's embarrassment.
A few minutes later, they find a heavily injured man collapsed on the side of the road. They take him and his sniper rifle to a nearby doctor, who informs them that the man is now blind as a result of his injuries. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, the three women decide to stay until the man wakes up. Once he does - and once he calms down - he introduces himself as Spike and asks Lana if he can hitch a ride with them to a specific town, promising that if they do they'll be able to earn a nice sum of money. Lana agrees. On the way to his destination, Spike learns that Sonja is a gunwoman and begins teaching her sharpshooting.
At the town, Vanishing Bunny and Spike are embroiled in a series of incidents and eventually land themselves jobs working for Senator Manfred Beriam. Pamela and Lana become maids for his estate, while Spike ends up on Beriam's payroll and continues to train Sonja in sharpshooting. Eventually, he and Beriam start taking Sonja out on jobs.
1935[edit | edit source]
One day in early 1935, Lana and Pamela clap their hands over their ears and watch Sonja shoot at the Beriam estate's private shooting range. Once Sonja stops, Lana asks her if she doesn't get tired, shooting guns daily. She and Pamela end up verbally sparring, during which Pamela grumbles over how they haven't managed to save a single cent in the three years since becoming maids.
Triumphant, Lana reveals that she's been cozying up to Natalie and Mary Beriam as well as others involved with Senator Beriam, and in doing so she has learned of a big three-day party that's going to be held at a secret casino at the new building Ra's Lance in New York. Apparently lots of mafia families will be attending. She exclaims that Pamela could make a killing cheating the casino while she steals the proceeds. Pamela is uninterested, pointing out that Beriam may very well be planning on siccing the police at the party anyway.
Sonja pipes up that she may have a 'job' at Ra's Lance soon, much to Pamela's consternation. She resumes shooting, assuring Pamela and Lana that Nader will save her if something goes wrong.
In February, Lana, Sonja, Spike, and Pamela take a car and drive through the city. There are an unusual amount of birds flying outside, and Lana muses that they could make a lot of money if they trained birds to pick up shiny jewels and coins. Maybe even casino chips.
When the party at Ra's Lance starts, Pamela heads off on her own to go gamble at the casino while Lana and Sonja stay back at Beriam's manor. The night comes and goes, and as Lana tidies one of the rooms in the manor, Sonja looks up from the gun she is cleaning and comments on how Pamela hasn't come home yet. Lana shrugs and accuses the absent Pamela of staying out all night at 'some bar', but Sonja senses her unease and reassures her that nader will save Pamela if she really is in trouble.
Lana figures that Nader is a "convenient hero" to save a stranger like Pamela, and dryly adds that he must get pretty tired saving everyone in the world. Privately, she worries about Sonja's ability to think for herself. Sonja chirps that she needs to do her best to help Nader, since he'll try to save so many people out of the goodness of his heart that he'll never have the chance to take a break.