|“||But Ladd...he really remembers his promise... Oh... I wish everyone besides Ladd and me would reach the heights of bliss and just quietly pass away... Hee hee, I know that’s impossible, but I always think about it... I really would be better off dead...||”|
Lua Klein (ルーア・クライン Rūa Kurain) is a woman whose dream is to be killed by Ladd Russo, her lover and fiancé.
Lua accompanies Ladd and the rest of his White Suits in their hijacking of the Flying Pussyfoot over the course of December 30-31, 1931. She is one of two who are not arrested in the aftermath, and returns to Chicago while Ladd is sent to prison.
By December 1934, Placido Russo (Ladd's uncle) is keeping Lua under lock and key at his manor as future leverage against Ladd once Ladd is released from Alcatraz. However, Placido's untimely murder and subsequent events lead Lua and Ladd to reunite without incident in February 1935.
Lua has waist-length brown hair that has long bangs parted to the left, lifeless brown eyes (murky green in the anime) and sickly skin that gives her the appearance of an ephemeral specter, although Graham Specter has called her so pretty that she resembles an elegant fairy tale princess.
In accordance with Ladd Russo's white-themed dress code, Lua wears a formal sleeveless white dress for the Flying Pussyfoot journey, along with a white flower in her hair and long white gloves.
In 1934, she is seen wearing a necklace over a dark turtleneck when she meets Carol for the first time.
Lua is a somber young woman who is defined by her desire to die—or rather, her desire for someone to kill her and enjoy the act, since she disdains suicide—her desire for death so visceral that she has forgotten the reason she wanted to die in the first place. In meeting Ladd Russo, her desire has narrowed even further: she wants nothing more than for Ladd to be the one to kill her, as she is certain he will have fun in the process. He is no mere means to an end; she loves Ladd deeply, and can no longer imagine a world without him in it. No matter how odd their relationship seems, it is a consenting one; the idea of Lua dying at Ladd's hands is one that they both find genuinely romantic.
Lua's demeanor is one of elegant serenity as she steps as quietly whenever she talks and her placidness owed to her ability to 'accept everything'; no matter how grotesque or outrageous the situation, she confronts it head on. For all of Lua's pessimism, her steadfast ubiquitous acceptance leads her to "always [find] a way forward" no matter how bleak the situation. When Graham laments that a coward would never be able to become a hero and save the Earth from a hypothetical Martian invasion, it is Lua of all people who disagrees; in her opinion, a coward whose cowardice enables him to become the last man on Earth would be a hero just by being alive and retaining his humanity.
The sole time Lua has ever outwardly expressed strong emotion—and the only time she has ever been truly afraid—is when she encounters the 'red shadow', whom she believes is the only entity who poses a genuine threat to Ladd's life; not only does Fred observe clear life in her eyes when she realizes that Ladd is in serious danger, she even goes so far as to scream at the top of her lungs in her desperation for Ladd to flee.
However, this is not to imply that she never expresses emotion on a day-to-day basis. Her hybristophilia is evident every time she smiles and/or blushes at the thought of Ladd killing her, and she has a hobby she genuinely enjoys: assembling blank jigsaw puzzles. Once she assembles the puzzle, she will paint a picture over the pieces and then break the puzzle apart – after which she is said to give a 'hollow laugh'.
One might surmise from Lua's devotion to Ladd and occasional comments along the lines of, "I wish everyone besides Ladd and me would reach the heights of bliss and just quietly pass away..." that she is relatively indifferent to everyone else, but her 'fanaticism' is not the same as Chané Laforet’s once was. She has expressed concern for others' well-being (e.g. toward Shaft and Carol); she went out of her way to free Miria Harvent from captivity when she did not have to; and later on was one of several people who darted forward to try and rescue Miria and others from falling to their deaths.
On December 30, Ladd Russo introduces Lua and the White Suits to his uncle Placido Russo in Chicago and announces the group's intention to hijack the Flying Pussyfoot en route to New York City for ransom money. They leave the Russo manor and take a black double-decker bus to Chicago's Union Station, where they board the Flying Pussyfoot and occupy one of its Second Class cabins.
Several hours into the journey, Vicky wins a drawing of straws and leaves to take over the dining car. Ladd's disappointment is obvious and highly melodramatic, leading Lua to eventually suggest that he simply go 'appraise' the situation. Ladd cheers up and leaves to do just that – only to stick his head back inside the cabin shortly thereafter and ask Lua and Who to go check on the conductors' compartment for him. He adds that if they happen to spot a tattooed youth along the way, they should capture him on the spot.
Lua and Who head for the conductors' compartment at a moderate gait, paying little attention to the scarred woman and giant who run past them in the same direction, only for two Lemures ('Black Suits') to capture them in the first of the three freight cars. The Lemures lead them inside the car's second freight room, where a third Lemur stands guard over a bound captive named Jack. Once Lua and Who are bound with rope in the same manner, the first two Lemures return to guarding the corridor.
It is not long before Nick is captured and bound in the same fashion, making the total number of prisoners four and number of Lemures three. Lua and Who ignore all of Nick and Jack's attempts to engage them in conversation, and Nick and Jack eventually forgo conversing with each other when the guard glares at them. The guard eventually leaves the room, never to return, and the two Lemures in the corridor are nowhere to be found by the time Ladd eventually finds and frees Lua and Who.
Ladd refuses to untie Nick and Jack at Nick's behest, and beats Jack to a bloody pulp before leaving with Lua and Who to check out the first room in the chain of the three freight cars. The room is revealed to contain the legless corpse of a Lemur, with copious amounts of the Lemur's blood splattered on the walls and ceiling. When Jacuzzi's Gang spies Ladd in the corridor, Nick points him out to Jacuzzi Splot—the tattooed youth—as the man responsible for Jack's injuries. Ladd introduces himself to Jacuzzi as a member of the Russo Family, the Chicago mafia syndicate that has issued a bounty on Jacuzzi's head.
Jacuzzi accuses Ladd of having killed the two conductors, an accusation which genuinely takes Ladd aback; one of the White Suits, Dune, was meant to have masqueraded as a conductor as part of their hijacking plan. Perturbed, Ladd leads Lua and Who off toward the conductors' compartment to investigate the scene himself; as they leave, he shouts over his shoulder that his people are not responsible for the 'mess' in the freight room.
Upon reaching the conductors' compartment, the three are confronted with the grisly remains of the two conductors. Ladd is the only one of the three who actually enters the blood-soaked room to investigate; while the back of the older conductor's head has been blown off, he is still recognizable. The corpse in the middle of the room, however, is missing both its right arm and face, and Ladd concludes that the corpse must be Dune with manic fury and excitement all at once.
Calming down, Ladd warns Lua that whomever or whatever is responsible for such gore is a 'monster', and as such he wants her to hide while he kills both the monster and the Lemures. On a whim, he leads them back to Second Class over the cars' rooftops rather than through them, though both Lua and Who prove barely able to stand whereas he is able to traverse the rooftops with ease. Spotting several human figures in the distance, he instructs them to go rest back in Room Three while he goes on ahead to First Class.
Lua and Who dutifully climb down and return to their compartment, only to find it occupied by the gray magician they had encountered earlier that evening. Stranger still, the 'magician' is in the middle of medically treating Jack, the man whom Ladd had earlier assaulted. The gray magician – Fred – explains that Ladd gave him permission to use their room, and enlists Who's aid in treating Jack's wounds. While Lua looks on, she happens to notice a red shadow watching them from the other side of the exterior window.
The two of them make eye contact, and Lua recognizes the 'terrible light' in the shadow's eyes as a pure intent to kill. Though she remains outwardly calm, her heart swells with anxiety: she is utterly convinced that the red shadow is a being that could kill Ladd—and she cannot imagine a world without Ladd in it. Fred observes that her deadened eyes are suddenly filled with life, and advises her to carry out her newfound purpose while she still can. His words plunge her into further unease, and she darts from the room without hearing the rest of what he has to say.
Once she reaches the rear cars, she climbs up at the coupling to find Ladd mid-confrontation with the red shadow from before. Ladd is visibly upset to see her, but he cannot make out her desperate screams over the wind until he closes the distance between him and the red shadow; the second before Ladd's fist can strike the shadow's face, the shadow tosses the looped end of a rope around Lua's neck and the other looped end over a hook hanging from a trackside post.
With the rock's slack rapidly lessening, Ladd is forced to grab Lua with one arm and snatch the rope with his left hand. They are airborne seconds later, the rope tangling in such a way as to sever Ladd's ring finger, and then—the rope around Lua's neck unravels completely. The loop had been tied with a fake knot, a trap all along.
As they fall, Lua attempts to maneuver her body under his with the aim of taking the brunt of the incoming impact with the ground. Ladd, upon realizing that her back is far more likely to smash into an onrushing pole, uses the last of his strength to punch the pole with what is left of his maimed right hand.
In anticipation of Ladd's impending release from prison, Placido moves Lua into an opulent, reinforced room inside his manor with plans on using her as leverage against his nephew. She spends at least a week in captivity, with one guard assigned to keep watch outside her room and Placido's grandchild Ricardo put in charge looking after her. Lua never once attempts to escape, content to wait passively and occasionally completing puzzles with Christopher Shaldred to pass the time.
Lua spends the last few days of her confinement in the company of Carol, a teenaged intern photojournalist for the Daily Days whom Placido is holding as collateral to ensure that Gustav St. Germain does not betray him. Their captivity comes to an end when Nebula and the Lamia raid and infiltrate the manor respectively on the same night; Gustav returns in time to help them flee the premises, and they eventually seek refuge at Nebula's headquarters after Carol points out that all the hotels and train stations will almost certainly be watched.
In the morning, they explain their circumstances to Nebula Chairman Cal Muybridge at Nebula's headquarters. Cal agrees to shelter them without hesitation, and upon learning that Lua is Ladd's sweetheart remarks that Ladd once tried to murder him. He suggests that they hide in the staff's living quarters for the time being, and leaves them in Rubik's care while he attends to other business.
As Rubik leads the three back to the guest quarters they slept in the previous night, Gustav recalls that Rubik used to be a regular customer of the Daily Days. He asks why Rubik stopped selling information, and Rubik replies that he realized he had no chance at competing with the 'monstrous group of men' known as Sham.
In the guest quarters, Lua waits alone in one of the guest rooms while Gustav and Carol linger in the corridors. A mighty explosion soon rocks the floor, followed by further explosions and gunfire; unafraid, Lua is reminded of the moment in which Ladd leaped off the Flying Pussyfoot in order to save her from the 'red-eyed monster'. She smiles at the memory, only to frown in confusion when a great commotion sounds from an adjacent room.
Putting her ear to the wall, she makes out the sounds of crashing objects and strangled cries. Thinking that the room's occupant might be ill, she exits her room and knocks on the adjacent room's door to no avail. Upon opening the door, she discovers Miria tied to a chair in the middle of the room, fiercely struggling against the ropes which bind her.
Miria dashes off as soon as Lua frees her, and Lua follows her up to the top floor. They burst onto the rooftop garden at the same time that Jacuzzi does, where they discover Nice Holystone and Rail being held at riflepoint by several Nebula researchers. The researchers' leader, Renee Parmedes Branvillier, is unarmed. Nice's unique appearance is so familiar that Lua wonders if she was on the Flying Pussyfoot, but the urgency of the situation leaves no room for dwelling on the past.
Renee instructs her researchers to 'take' Jacuzzi, only for a 'silver disk' to hurtle through the air and smack the gun out of the nearest researcher's hand. In the next moment, Graham Specter moves in front of Jacuzzi as a protective wall; with an over-sized wrench in hand, he condemns the researchers for daring to threaten two of the most important people in his world.
Carol and Gustav finally join the others on the roof. At Carol's cry, Rail thanks her, jumps over the rail guard, and drops a primed bomb as they fall in an elaborate act of suicide. Jacuzzi hastily follows in their stead and manages to grab Rail's arm in the nick of time, but the force of the ensuing explosion from below causes him to lose his footing.
Nice grabs Jacuzzi's arm, having reached the guardrail, and Miria leaps over the railing so that Rail can take her hand. She cannot hold on for long, and Carol, Gustav, and even Lua rush toward the railing with the intention of pulling Miria back up—but Isaac Dian arrives in the nick of time to seize Miria's hand the very moment it slips.
Once Isaac and Nice successfully haul Miria, Jacuzzi, and Rail up to safety, Graham and Christopher Shaldred take on the Nebula researchers in gleeful fashion. Renee quietly flees the scene, and Graham's gang makes a belated entrance just as Graham and Christopher finish off stunning the last of the researchers.
Ricardo arrives not long after, and helps Jacuzzi, Lua and the others avoid police arrest by leading them to safety through a backdoor.
To be added.
- The name Lua means "moon" in Portuguese.
- In Roman mythology, a deity known as Lua Mater oversaw the destruction of enemies' weapons; Lua Mater's name is thus linked to lues ('destruction') .
- Lua's surname Klein means "small" in German, suggesting that Lua may be of German descent.
- Lua is said to possess 'keen instincts', or, more aptly, 'outstanding insights'. Her insights have saved Ladd Russo's life on multiple occasions, to the point where he trusts them far more than his own natural instincts.
- Versnel, H.S. Inconsistencies in Greek and Roman Religion. Vol. 2, Transition and Reversal in Myth and Ritual. Studies in Greek and Roman Religion, vol 6:2. (Leiden: Brill, 1994) 144, 180-183.