|“||So at least now, at the very end, I’d like to die at the hands of the train. To be killed by somebody who gives everything in his work to the rails, as a proxy for the train itself. [...] So hurry, hurry up and kill me! Before this whiskered pig can do it! Kill me! Kill me! Red monster— no— Conductor!||”|
Rachel (レイチェル, Reicheru) is a freelancer for the Daily Days newspaper and information agency. As the daughter of a train engineer who was falsely accused of sabotaging the railroad, Rachel loves trains but is bitter towards the train industry. As such, she began stowing away on trains in a strange sort of 'revenge'.
Her vendetta came to a close when she stowed away aboard the Flying Pussyfoot and rescued several of the passengers. Confronted by train conductor Claire Stanfield, she promises not to stow away anymore. With Manfred Beriam's hush money, she purchases a vast quantity of train tickets as a way of paying off her 'debt' to the train industry.
In the aftermath, she vows to become a proper information broker.
She is aware of the existence of immortals.
Appearance [edit | edit source]
Rachel has an athletic figure and is normally depicted wearing dark green coveralls, though she wears a formal dress and hat in 1932 when meeting with Claire. She has dark blonde hair and hazel eyes.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Rachel is said to harbor a lot of anger towards the railroad company, which made life very hard for her father (who was falsely accused of sabotage). She suppresses her anger by stowing away on trains as an action of "self-satisfaction" and "self-harm". She is told by the President of the Daily Days that if she should ever find her purpose she should buy train tickets as a means of paying back her father and not the company. After the incident, she reflects that revenge had been a foolish reason to stowaway, and resolves not to stowaway anymore.
She is described as having a stubborn but very determined personality. She has good instincts, thanks to having dealt in all kinds of business in the underworld (such as sneaking into mafia hideouts) as a field agent. She can be reckless in her curiosity: on the Flying Pussyfoot she travelled the train collecting information rather than remaining in hiding. She is undoubtedly an inquisitive individual. During the Flying Pussyfoot incident she reflects that she had been in perilous situations and faced death several times but none of her past experiences had shaken her psyche to the point it did upon facing the Rail Tracer.
She claims that she (like her father) loves trains, perhaps even more than people. And it is apparent that this is very well the case; when she faces the Rail Tracer aboard the Flying Pussyfoot she starts sobbing, begging him to stop killing people and defiling the train.
Rachel can be considered a good person, if a rather unusual one.
Chronology[edit | edit source]
Pre-1931[edit | edit source]
In 1921, Rachel's engineer father is ruined when he is falsely accused of being responsible for a train accident. In fact, he had warned the company about the faulty train in the first place - but the company ignored his advice. When the accident happens, Turner pushes all the blame on him and the other engineers. As a direct consequence of this incident, Rachel never pays her train fares as a personal revenge against the train industry.
She eventually secures work as a freelancer for the Daily Days newspaper and information agency, taking on numerous dangerous assignments across the country.
1931[edit | edit source]
On December 30, 1931 Rachel stows away aboard the Flying Pussyfoot at Chicago's Union Station in order to travel to the Daily Days headquarters in New York. Several hours into the journey, she is eating in the dining car when three Lemures, Vicky, and Nick simultaneously and independently hijack the car.
In the midst of the confusion, Rachel escapes through a window and seeks refuge under the cars, where she observes the Rail Tracer (Claire) as he slaughters both the Russos and the Lemures, and later she sees him kill Czeslaw Meyer. Claire spots her and crawls alongside the train to whisper in her ear "your ticket please," prompting her to scream and flee.
Eventually, Rachel takes on a more active role as she frees Natalie and Mary Beriam; despite her common sense telling her to leave them be, she taps on the window where they are imprisoned, prompting the Lemur guarding them to check the disturbance. As soon as he does, she throws him out of the train and prays that he has survived.
She then leads Natalie and Mary out the window and onto the roof of the train, where she directs them to flee to safety beyond the dining car. As she does, Lemure sniper Spike shoots her in the thigh - however, at her urging, the Beriams escape to Second Class.
Following her capture at the hands of Spike, Goose Perkins has her tied up next to Nice Holystone and Nick and accuses her of being both the assassin Vino and the Rail Tracer. She laughs in his face, all the while using her serrated fingernail to cut the ropes binding her wrists. Once Goose and the other Lemures are called away, she immediately removes the ropes binding her legs and frees the others. After informing Nice of Czes' deaths, she escapes through the window.
Looking for a quiet place to rest, Rachel enters the Third Class carriage with the intention of claiming an empty compartment – however, she finds herself held at gunpoint by Turner, who accuses her of being one of the White Suits. When he claims that he has "never been wrong," Rachel asks him if "the accident back then" was not one of his mistakes.
At his confusion, she brings up a certain decade-old train accident - the one that had ruined her father's life. He becomes deranged when he realizes that she knows about his "dirty secret," and points the barrel of his rifle at her forehead. Rachel bitterly says that this must be her punishment for stowing away, and calls at the top of her lungs for the conductor (Claire) to kill her before Turner does. Claire forcibly dislocates Turner's shoulders, causing him to pass out, and is about to kill him when Rachel shouts at him to stop.
Rachel proceeds to beg that he stop killing people on the train; if he wants to kill someone, he should kill her instead and "end everything." Claire asks why she would go so far, and she replies that she and her father adore trains – perhaps even more than people. Sobbing, she begs him to stop "dirtying the pride of the train" and the pride of those who made it. He remarks that the request is rather sizable, coming from a stowaway, and she says that is why both he and she are guilty of the same thing. Claire grins and replies, "You're saying that murder and stowing away are the same crimes? You're a pretty funny lady."
Rachel realizes that Claire – whom she had always thought a monster – is just as human as she is. Claire hands her a half-bloodstained ticket, advising her to tell the police that the conductors must have forgot to put her name on the conductor list. He requests that she tell no one about him being the conductor; as he prepares to leave, he remarks that if he had not proposed to Chane, he might have proposed to Rachel instead. Furthermore, he has only killed the Black Suits and the White Suits – not the passengers. She accuses him of lying, recalling Czes' murder, and Claire suggests that she ask Czes personally for context.
The Flying Pussyfoot reaches the exchange site, where the cars will be switched out and the engine switched to a smokeless engine before it arrives at Pennsylvania Station. The train is delayed there for two hours while the police investigate, and the Nebula corporation gives each passenger a large sum of hush money. The police accept Rachel's ticket as proof of her passengership (her injury correlates with the blood on it), and give her thigh wound basic treatment. While she is sitting in a chair, she is approached by Senator Manfred Beriam, who expresses his thanks for her rescue of his wife and daughter.
He hands her a thick paper envelope containing a wad of hundred-dollar bills. She protests, but he ignores her and leaves without even asking her name. Rachel thinks he was rather rude (acting as if she'd just helped his family for the money) and she prepares to throw the money at his back. Mrs. Beriam gently takes her arm and apologizes on her husband's behalf. She'd like Rachel to take the money, and explains that Manfred isn't very good at expressing himself. Rachel wants to ask Natalie why she married Manfred, but she holds her tongue.
Natalie expresses deep gratitude for Rachel's actions, and Mary pokes her head out from behind her mother to offer her own thanks. She wants to grow up to be a "great person," just like Rachel. Rachel is taken aback, and she feels guilty that Mary is unknowingly looking up to a stowaway.
Upon arriving at Pennsylvania Station, Rachel heads straight for the ticketing booth and buys as many tickets as she can with about half the hush money in her possession. She then goes to a local doctor's office to have her injuries properly treated, using the rest of the money as payment.
1932[edit | edit source]
Rachel checks into the Daily Days office, where she reports everything she witnessed on the train to the President (and Nicholas, in the anime). At the President's remark that it was uncharacteristic of her to help the passengers, she explains that she did not want to see any more bloodshed. She admits that she regrets not attacking Turner with her own hands, and the President informs her gratis that Turner has been threatened into silence by Nebula, which has the power to reveal his true involvement in the train accident in 1921. The President admits that he was the one who sold the information about Turner's past to the company, and apologizes for using the information without her permission.
She pauses, and asks the President if she can charge the company for her transportation fees from this point on. Though she has no particular reason for it, she has decided to stop stowing away. The President agrees. During their talk, Rachel explains to the President that she believes the Rail Tracer to be the conductor. The President reveals that the Rail Tracer is in fact Claire Stanfield (aka Vino), an assassin for the Gandor Family who kills with his own peculiar sense of justice.
Troubled, Rachel informs him that she saw Claire kill a boy on the train, and asks the President if he knows anything about what happened to the boy. The President nonchalantly suggests that she ask the boy herself, and directs her to The Alveare (January 1932).
Several hours later, Rachel arrives at the speakeasy in formal attire and sits next to a young boy. Their eyes meet, and Rachel, recognizing his voice, admits that she saw him killed on the train. He tells the woman next to him that he's going for a walk, and puts down his honey juice before walking out of the speakeasy.
Once the two retire to an adjacent alleyway, Czes asks if she saw him die when he was shot in the head or when he was ground into the rail tracks. He introduces himself as Thomas, and Rachel introduces herself in turn. Looking relieved, he expresses his relief that she is not an immortal and reveals that his real name is Czeslaw Meyer.
Over the next thirty minutes, Czes explains the matter of immortals and proves his immortality by incising a large gash on his arm. It heals in a matter of seconds. When he wraps up the talk, Rachel thanks him (addressing him as 'sir'). Czes responds that although he is technically older than her, he'd prefer it if she continues to treat him like a child.
As a result of the conversation, Rachel has come to realize the true power of information and is certain she will remember the conversation for the rest of her life. She thanks Czeslaw profusely, and silently resolves to become a proper information broker - someone like the President or the Vice-President who deals with more information than she currently does. After all - as long as she has information at her disposal, she might be able to prevent things like what had happened to her father.
A strangely familiar man enters the alleyway and greets, them, prattling on about how he had been looking for his friend Firo before spotting Rachel and Czes in the alleyway. He asks what they are doing, and when they had become so friendly with each other. When Czes asks who he is, he quips that he thought, "Most people'd remember the voice of the guy who tried to kill 'em."
Rachel wavers, and the man cheerfully says that he will let Czes off the hook – and Rachel too, since he heard that she bought all her tickets properly in the end. Rachel and Czes finally realize that he is Claire, at which point Czes shrieks and runs away. Smiling, Claire suggests that they go eat at the speako, since he needs a woman's advice, and they reenter the speakeasy and place orders for lunch.
Rachel asks what she should call him, and he replies that while he used to be called Claire Stanfield, he now goes by "Felix Walken." As for the advice he needs, he explains that he is in love with a woman but does not know how to confess his love. He assures Rachel that he isn't talking about her. Rachel retorts that he should learn the meaning of tact, but thanks him for the warning anyway.
Eventually Rachel recommends that he should send the woman a gift and letter if he wants to know her thoughts – if he sends her something wearable and she wears it, it could be a sign of her favorable feelings. Claire praises the idea, and treats her to the meal by putting their lunch on Firo's tab.
After he leaves, Rachel finishes eating and exits the Alveare. At the same time, a group of four people enter the building - Firo, Isaac and Miria, and Czes. As the other three step inside, Czes lingers behind and asks if Claire is gone. Rachel nods, and as they share mutually relaxed smiles, comments that immortals and humans appear to by similar after all. She had thought immortals might be removed from such commonplace emotions. Once Czes leaves, she wonders what kind of woman "that monster" is in love with.
1933[edit | edit source]
Rachel takes an evening train back to New York in September, spotting the Lamia during her journey. Once she arrives in Little Italy, she makes her way to the President's office, where the President is holding court with Elean Duga, Nicholas Wayne, and Henry. Nicholas asks if something is wrong, and she explains that she encountered the Lamia on the train trip over. The President gleefully exclaims over the news that Christopher Shaldred and the Lamia have arrived in New York, and assumes that they must be here to join up with the Larva.
He wonders how Rachel recognized them, and she said that this was her first time seeing them in person. In fact, she had initially thought they were a circus troupe - but then she had remembered overhearing certain rumors during her travels that made them recognizable. She confirms that Christopher was with them, and confesses that the group reminded her of her time aboard the Flying Pussyfoot.
It is implied that by this time, Rachel has indeed become an information broker – gathering information by travelling all across the continent via the railroads.
1935[edit | edit source]
In February 1935, Rachel, Nicholas, Henry, and Elean gather in the President's office and review what they know about the upcoming casino party at Ra's Lance. Rachel contributes to the discussion by inquiring about the importance of Nader Schasschule, whose name has cropped up multiple times in the Daily Days' gathered intel documents.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
The President of the Daily Days - Rachel considers him a strange man, but she does not dislike him. She takes note of his eccentricities, but tries not to think too hard about them. He often asks Rachel questions about the city completely out of the blue; he claims that he asks in order to 'identify information that is difficult to identify at first glance.'
Felix Walken - Rachel first met him as the Rail Tracer, and was initially terrified of him. She doubts that he is even human on the train, and calls him the "ultimate monster" of the ordeal. The anime omits an important meeting between them on the train - a meeting that first allows her to see Claire as something approaching human. She is even willing to give him advice on his love life later on - during which time she regards him as completely insensitive.
Claire told her that had he not met Chané Laforet and proposed to her already, he might have fallen in love with Rachel instead.
Czeslaw Meyer - Rachel's conversation with Czes in January 1932 changes her life completely. The two seem to be on at least mildly friendly terms by the end of their conversation.
Henry - Rachel considers Henry arrogant and pretentious, and doesn't particularly care for him. However, he once told her that "information changes both the world and the fates of people," a statement that she comes to regard as absolutely right in 1932.
Nicholas Wayne - Nicholas and Rachel are colleagues. In the anime, he has a habit of teasing Rachel about her stowing away, though he ceases mocking her at the President's comments.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Rachel is physically fit and limber, able to move around and cling to the undersides of the Pussyfoot's cars with relative ease. This is owed to the fact that she spent many a day in her childhood clambering about the stationary trains in the yards. To make movement as easy as possible (and to protect her skin), she wears practical, functional coverall clothing when stowing away.
Rachel has at least some experience in basic combat, able to take down two or so Lemures during her rescue of the Beriams. She also keeps her nails serrated, in the event that she does not have a sharp object and needs to cut something.
As a field agent for the Daily Days, she also has good instincts and a sense for danger, with a strong will that allows her to only experience fear in the most extreme situations.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Rachel is a red herring. Narita wants people to suspect her as the Rail Tracer, and makes a point of only referring to her as the woman in coveralls throughout the first half of the 1931 arc. Not to mention, Goose Perkins accuses her of being Vino at gunpoint.
- The anime dub undermines this effort a little by using masculine pronouns when discussing Claire, though less attentive viewers may miss the slip or simply forget about it by the time such info becomes relevant.
- Before her true identity is revealed, she is known only to the reader as "the woman in coveralls." 'Fatigues' and 'work wear' have also been used, but 'coveralls' is the noun used by the official Yen Press translation.
- The sequence of events starting with Rachel's rescue of Mary and Natalie and ending with Nice and Nick differs in the anime. In Episode 12, Rachel is not injured and captured by Spike immediately following her rescue of the Beriams, as per the novels. Instead, she moves along the train and looks upside down into a cabin window, where she finds Nice and Nick sitting with their hands tied behind their back. She unties their ropes moments before Spike opens the door, and buys Nice and Nick time to run into the next room by using her body weight to push the door back. Spike shoots and injures her as she makes her getaway through the window back onto the roof.
- The location of the gunshot injury also differs between the novel and anime: her thigh is injured in the former, and her lower left leg is injured in the latter.