The Flying Pussyfoot was a luxury transcontinental express. On December 30, 1931 the train was hijacked en route from Chicago to New York City by three parties: the Lemures, demanding their leader Huey Laforet's release from prison in exchange for the passengers' lives; Ladd Russo and his White Suits, intending to kill many of the passengers and crash the train unless paid a ransom; and seven members of Jacuzzi's Gang, aiming to steal the explosives Czeslaw Meyer planned to sell to the Runorata Family.
The Flying Pussyfoot arrived two hours late at Pennsylvania Station at 2:00 PM, December 31, 1931. In the 2007 anime adaptation, the station was changed to Grand Central Station.
The train's greatest distinguishing feature was that it was "independent from the usual railway corporations' operation. It was run by borrowing the rails from the railway companies."
Design and FunctionEdit
The Flying Pussyfoot was owned by Nebula and designed after the British Royal Train, even functioning outside of the railway's normal operations. However, unlike its model, the exterior of the Flying Pussyfoot was also extravagantly decorated--ornamental features which resulted in the train's association with the nouveau riche. In other words, the train's design prioritized aesthetics over functionality.
One of the key distinguishing features of the Flying Pussyfoot was its system for generating electricity for the train's lights. On the Flying Pussyfoot, electricity was generated from the wheel axles, and the electric wiring for each car was independent. The Flying Pussyfoot's unique system generated more electricity than a typical train's electric system would, and it was technically possible to make the train's interior as bright as day. The generators' exchange switches were located under the cars, something that the Young Conductor regarded as a design flaw.
The train also had large lamps specially installed under the tail lamps attached to the exterior of its rear car, likely in accordance with the Flying Pussyfoot's operating procedures. These procedures required its conductors to periodically contact the engineers by turning the exterior lamps on and off. The scheduled light signals served as a way to reaffirm the status quo: in the event that a scheduled signal was not performed, it would theoretically indicate to the engineers that the rear car had been detached or that some other trouble had arisen.
Unlike many other trains, the Flying Pussyfoot divided its cars into classes according to their distances from the locomotive. The line-up was as follows: After the engine were three first-class carriages, a single dining car, three second-class carriages, one third-class carriage, three cars fitted with freight holds, and a rear car with a spare freight hold and the conductors' compartment.
All first-class compartment interiors were embellished with marble and similar materials; the second-class compartments were built in a corresponding fashion. Both first-class and second-class compartments came with beds, whereas third class compartments only had seats.
Except for the dining car, all cars had the corridor on the left according to the direction of travel.
The Flying Pussyfoot departs as scheduled and the plans of the Lemures, Ladd Russo and his men, and Jacuzzi's gang fall into motion. Jacuzzi's gang, Rachel, and Claire Stanfield prevent tragedy from befalling any of the innocent passengers. In addition, Jacuzzi's gang successfully pull off their robbery.
It should be noted that the train remarkably remains travelling at a constant speed despite the onboard chaos, and this may be attributed to Claire Stanfield. Not wanting to be late to a meeting with the Gandors, Claire informs the engineers (a pair of elderly brothers with failing hearing) that there are train robbers on horses trying to hijack the train, and that the two had better make the train go as fast as it is able, rather than slowing down. In the meantime, Claire regularly returns to the conductors' compartment to make the necessary scheduled light signals, ensuring that the train would continue to run.
All of the surviving Lemures and White Suits, excluding Chané Laforet, Upham, Spike, Lua Klein, Who, and Ladd, are arrested at a stop point prior some miles away from the Flying Pussyfoot's final destination. The police conduct a two hour investigation of the train at the stop point while its ornate carriages are switched out with ordinary ones.
The train ends up arriving at Pennsylvania Station two hours late, as the authorities were forced to transport the passengers in separate cars due to the heavy damage sustained in the brawl. Nebula and Senator Manfred Beriam bribe countless passengers and officials to cover up the incident and decommission the train, leaving its cars to rot in a junkyard.
Eventually, the abandoned cars are destroyed by civilians celebrating the end of Prohibition on December 5, 1933 and the Flying Pussyfoot is forever lost, save for a small part of the rear car's roof that was mysteriously torn off.
The events aboard the Flying Pussyfoot are finally declassified around seventy years later after the incident, and filmmaker John Drox secures the film rights to produce a film based off the (government-edited) declassified information.
Characters Involved in the Flying Pussyfoot IncidentEdit
- Claire Stanfield (Young Conductor)
- Fang Lin-Shan (assistant cook; member of Jacuzzi's gang)
- Jon Panel (bartender; member of Jacuzzi's gang)
- Gregoire (head chef of the dining car's kitchen)
- Unnamed second conductor (Lemur)
- Two engineers (a pair of elderly brothers; their hearing loss makes them unable to hear the slaughter in the other cars)
- Several other assistant cooks
- Goose Perkins
- Chané Laforet
- Unnamed second conductor
- Thirty in total, excluding the conductor
Ladd Russo and His Men ("White Suits")Edit
- Isaac Dian
- Miria Harvent
- Czeslaw Meyer
- Natalie Beriam
- Mary Beriam
- Elmer C. Albatross
- A Sham vessel
Characters who did not board the train Edit
- Jacques-Rosé Boronial (originally bought a second-class ticket)
- The owners of Dolce Restaurant (sold their tickets to Elmer at the platform)
Passengers Arranged by Class (where confirmed) Edit
First Class Edit
- Ten Lemures (including: Goose; Spike: Chané)
- Natalie Beriam; Mary Beriam; Czeslaw Meyer (sharing same compartment)
- Mr. Turner
- The Sham vessel
Second Class Edit
- Ten Lemures
- White Suits: (Ladd; Lua; Who; Dune; Vicky; and others) (located in room three)
- Fermet (stowed away; overheard Jacques-Rosé's conversation with Rosetta and snuck aboard the train, taking over the compartment Jacques-Rosé would have occupied)
Third Class Edit
- Ten Lemures
- Fred (moves to Ladd's room after given permission; treats patients there)
- Jacuzzi's Gang (Jacuzzi; Nice; Donny; Nick; Jack) (same cabin)
Flying is a slang term that could mean majestic or successful. Being a new transcontinental locomotive, this is fitting. Pussyfoot is another slang term that meant "to walk or go on carefully". Since the train was new, it is also fitting that the name is faring the passengers and crew well and telling them to have a safe trip.