|“||So what if I'd spare him? In my mind, it's the certainty in myself that I possess which allows me to have that kind of mercy or compassion. There's no wavering on that point. It's fixed like the stars. The fact is, I'm never gonna be killed! So remember this: Mercy and compassion are virtues that only the strong are privileged to possess. And I...am strong.||”|
Felix Walken (フェリックス・ウォーケン Ferikkusu Wōken), formerly known as Rail Tracer (レールトレーサー Rērutorēsā), introduced as Young Conductor and born Claire Stanfield (クレア・スタンフィールド Kurea Sutanfīrudo) is the legendary freelance assassin Vino (ヴィーノ Vīno), and considered to be the best assassin in the world.
He will be referred to as Claire throughout the article, since that is how he is most commonly known.
Claire is a handsome man with blood-red hair and a lean build. Aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, he wore a custom-white conductor's uniform which was soon coated in the blood of those he killed aboard the train.
Claire is a solipsist. He believes that the world is a dream of his own creation, and all the people are figments of his own imagination. He cannot picture the world without him in it, and so in his mind he "can never be killed." If he does die, he'll simply 'wake up' from his dream. His solipsism has led him to eschew the idea of immortality, as "it can do nothing for him". He considers himself the centre of the world and takes pride in this.
Claire immensely dislikes it when people attribute his skill to God or natural talent. He emphasizes that he worked extremely hard to improve himself, and he wishes people would acknowledge the effort he put in rather than dismissively calling him a prodigy.
As The President of the Daily Days puts it, Claire operates outside the law through his own warped sense of justice.
Claire is considerate of those he deems innocent, going out of his way to ensure the safety of people who are not his targets and/or pose no danger. Claire takes pride in his work, and takes his responsibilities seriously. As a train conductor, his job is to protect the passengers and he does so with zeal, adopting the Rail Tracer persona in order to protect them. It can be argued that he can take his responsibilities too seriously (to the point of lucridity) -- for instance, when he encounters a stowaway on board the train he briefly considers dealing with her despite the fact that he is in the middle of a bloodbath.
Claire has stated that only the strong (like himself) are capable of possessing mercy or compassion.
He is not above putting down his fellow assassins after he defeats them, and on at least one occasion has directly asked people to praise him for his good work. This probably stems from the fact that he is a rather insensitive person (as noted by Rachel), though he doesn't really seem to be aware of how tactless and blunt he can be.
Claire admits he does not know where he should release his emotions and so piles it all up inside himself therefore, turning all the bloodlust born of tragedies and hypocrisies towards himself. He has no common sense when it comes to other people's hearts.
When it comes to love, Claire is very much a romantic. He blushes, he fumbles, he is always one hundred percent and never zero.
He is first introduced to the audience/reader as the Young Conductor - an enthusiastic and friendly young man with a penchant for storytelling.
(Note: this section will be completely revamped.)
Claire grew up in the same apartment as Firo Prochainezo and the Gandor family. The Gandors took him in after his parents died, and he spent much of his childhood playing with his foster brothers and Firo. After the death of the Gandor don Claire ran away and joined the circus as an acrobat, where he worked extremely hard to hone his athletic abilities. While it is uncertain when this event occurred, it is known that Claire joined the circus by 1920, assuming the date in 1931 ~ Winter: The Time of the Oasis is correct.
It is clear that Claire respects his fellow circus members. He calls them amazing - he calls the self-proclaimed vampire magician Doubs and his illusions 'incredible' (see Trivia); he admires the circus cook Gregoire's ability to twist manhole covers like one might a sponge. There was a pretty girl in boxing gloves at the circus; an audience member could challenge her to a match for a dollar a pop. If you won, you'd win a hundred bucks. Most of the time, nobody could land a hit on her. At one point, Claire challenges her and wins - that is to say, he stops just short of punching her (he wasn't about to punch a girl) and says, "if you want me to give you the hundred dollars back, go on a date with me."
The girl punched him smartly on the jaw immediately afterwards.
(as featured in Baccano! Manga Chapter 002)
In 1919, Claire runs off to play in a derelict building. Firo and the Gandor brothers (who are looking for Claire) eventually enter the building, calling for him. Hearing his name, Claire pops his head through a hole in the roof and greets them. Luck Gandor recoils and asks how Claire climbed all the way up there. Claire simply replies: "I tried real hard, and it worked." He adds that if you believe you can do something, you can do anything.
So saying, he flips off the roof beams (ignoring Berga Gandor shouting at him that it's dangerous) and lands safely on the ground. Luck remarks that Claire gets less human every time Luck sees him. Grinning, Claire points out that not even he can use magic. No matter how hard he tries, he'll never be Peter Pan. Firo wonders if Claire is implying that he can do everything except magic ("If I work hard," replies Claire).
Berga says that now that they've found Claire, they should head home since their father will bawl them out. Firo shivers and comments that the Gandor don is a real mafioso, so he means business. Claire and Firo agree in unison that "Old Man Gandor" is scary when he is mad - after all, "he doesn't even show us mercy."
Berga points out that of course his dad wouldn't. Firo and Claire are like family, which means no special treatment. The group heads home.
Claire related the following 1920 incident with Cookie the bear to Firo in 1927:
Claire was still just a boy when he joined the circus. In 1920, Cookie the bear has grown so ferocious that he has tried to attack his own trainers. Claire announces that he will make the bear (then unnamed) be quiet, and enters the bear's cage after making a bet with the circus Boss (a young man whose right eye is covered by a large scar; a red crystal is fitted into the socket). The specifics of the bet are unknown, but it can be inferred that if Claire 'lost', the circus would get rid of the bear.
Claire (who has doused his arm in hot sauce) declares that the bear's name will henceforth be Cookie. The bear sinks his teeth into Claire's arm in response. In the next moment, he releases Claire's arm and rolls on the ground, flailing his paws at the heat.
A clown wearing a mask asks what is going on, and Claire reveals that he'd doused his arm in hot sauce beforehand. A girl wearing a spiderweb-patterned leotard points out that the bear had bit Claire as hard as he (it) could, and Claire smiles and says it'll heal quickly. Although - Cookie would have broken Claire's bone had he bit any harder.
The Boss laughs that Claire has won the bet after all, and Claire reminds him of his promise not to get rid of Cookie. The Boss warns him not to let the wound get infected, and orders him to go get some cooking wine from Gregoire to treat the wound. Claire's circus mates cheer, and through the hubbub one of them praises Claire for being a genius ("Wow! That's the thing about a genius; no matter what they do, it always turns out!")
Claire sighs at that, and shakes his head. He's not a genius, he says. This was all the result of hard work. The Boss smiles and reminds him: "But your hard work has never been in vain, Claire, and I think that's a pretty legitimate talent."
After several years, the circus eventually has a run-in with a large gang. All the circus members scatter, in fear for their lives. Claire and the circus leader team up against the gang - by the time Claire and his boss take the gang down, there is "almost no one left."
After Claire leaves the circus he starts making a name for himself as the freelance assassin Vino, famous for his excessively brutal killing methods.
In 1927 (when specifically is unknown), Claire reunites with Firo and the Gandor brothers at a New York eatery (the eatery is under Gandor influence). When he easily catches the dishes a waitress dropped, Firo (sitting at a table) smirks that Claire is as "awesome as ever," though he doesn't look any different. The two converse, and fondly attribute any good qualities of theirs to Old Man Gandor (who'd looked out for them despite the lack of blood relation).
Firo recalls that Claire was in the circus, and Claire cheerfully says that place was full of party animals. He's "a normal guy" and they ran him ragged. The Gandor brothers arrive and Berga immediately calls Claire a liar - there "ain't anybody" less normal than he. Claire is pleased to see the trio - it has been a long time since he last saw them. The group talks about how Firo joined a different Family instead of the Gandor Family, and Claire wonders if they'll have to kill each other if there is a fight. Luck ends the conversation; they had promised not to talk about it.
Firo asks if Claire is going to the Feast of San Gennaro tomorrow. At Claire's confusion, Luck explains what the festival is, and what the Miracle of San Gennaro is. Speaking of miracles...the conversation turns to "The Phantom Father," the supposed serial killer menacing the streets of New York. Claire notes that Keith Gandor doesn't seem to be too interested in the festival, and Luck smiles and says that Keith prefers silent movies to festivals. Not to mention...he's taken a shine to a certain lady pianist (an accompanist for silent films).
The conversation is interrupted when two diners break out into a drunken brawl. Berga puts a quick and violent end to the fight and Luck intimidates the two men by reminding them who owns the establishment. Berga apologizes to Claire, but Claire doesn't mind and suggests that they go somewhere else. The group exits the eatery, and Luck and Firo's conversation is cut off when Claire throws his arm around Luck's shoulders and drags him away, demanding that Luck show him where the festival is being set up. Thus Claire, Luck, and Berga head off, leaving Keith and Firo to talk alone.
The next day, Luck contacts Claire with bad news. Apparently, Keith has been kidnapped - his bloody jacket and a smashed lollipop were found in an alleyway. Luck formally requests Claire to search for Keith in a professional capacity. Claire heads to the festival. In the crowd of people, he spots Firo hurrying through the throng. Claire calls out to Firo and says he's been looking for him. The two turn into an empty alleyway; as they walk, Claire asks if Firo has seen Keith. He tells Firo about Luck's call - when he mentions the lollipop, Firo pulls a lollipop out from his jacket. He says that a priest named Donatello gave him the candy yesterday.
Claire mutters that finding a priest in a [religious] festival will be difficult. Stretching his arms, he casually says that he'll look for Donatello 'up top' (to Firo's confusion). He nimbly uses the fire escape to reach the rooftops, and calls down to Firo that he'd better not push himself. After all, he has his own camorra position to worry about.
Claire proceeds to traverse the rooftops of Little Italy, looking for Donatello. Reaching an area on the outskirts of the festival, he spots the priest about to stab Firo with a metal stake. He swiftly reaches the ground and snatches Donatello's wrist, stopping him in his tracks. Having heard Donatello state his intention to hurt Firo, he coldly informs the priest that in that case he'll give him a 'pile driver.' So saying, he slams his knee into Donatello's arm, and sends the man to the ground with a punch.
Standing over the priest's prone body (his bloody face turned away), Claire says that he feels bad about hitting a priest, but there's no helping it since the man tried to mess with Claire's family. Firo thanks Claire but asks him to 'dial it back' - but Claire points out that as long as the man is alive, they can get Keith's location out of him any time they want. And besides, he's doing this as a 'job.'
They notice that Donatello has gotten to his knees. Claire remarks that the priest is tougher than he gave him credit for. Firo counters that something feels off as he stares at Donatello's face - there isn't a scratch on him. Donatello divulges that he is under divine protection. Just like San Gennaro was unscathed by fire, "the righteous will revive again and again."
As he charges at Claire with a stake, Donatello adds that that's why he continues to administer judgment to unpunished crimes. Claire kicks the stake out of Donatello's hand, grabs it and stabs Donatello through his right wrist with the metal.
Donatello leers at Claire, and shoves him away. Claire skids back but immediately rebounds with a blow that Donatello blocks. He compliments Donatello on his fighting moves before punching him in the face. Firo observes in astonishment that the priest's wounds are healing. He asks if Donatello really is the 'Phantom Father' and Claire brightly exclaims that [the healing] must be a magic trick.
Donatello spreads his arms and says that everything is a part of God's plan. Depraved New York will be reborn after the festival. He reveals that after the festival, the mafia will be given a warning. Claire stands with his arms akimbo and affirms that Donatello must be referring to Keith. Donatello says that he's being kind - he was advised to start out with weak mafia and thus chose the Gandors, although he could have chosen the Martillo Family instead.
At Firo's indignation over the misnomer, Claire waves his hand and says that he understands why Firo is mad, but the priest isn't too far off base. After all, they are with the mob! Donatello rushes Claire again (to reawaken his sense of guilt) and Claire drives his leg into Donatello's stomach, crashing him into a wall. The two (using the fire escapes) take their fight to the roof. Claire mercilessly inflicts more and more damage unto Donatello - two stakes through his right thigh, a hard blow to the jaw...with bloody lips, Donatello asks what on earth Claire is. Claire's reply is typical: "It's hard to sum me up in a word, but...well, I'm just a hitman. Don't worry about it."
With that, Claire delivers an uppercut to Donatello's jaw. A second later, Firo joins them on the rooftop. Donatello uses the opportunity to make a break for it, heading in the opposite direction of Little Italy. Claire is surprised, and then alarmed when he realizes Firo is chasing after the priest. He calls out, "Firo, don't!" but he is too late; Firo grabs the priest around his torso and uses his momentum to drive them both over the rooftop edge.
During the fall, Donatello is impaled through his torso thanks to a flagpole, and Firo lands safely in a pile of bags and boxes. Claire reaches the ground and asks if Firo is alright. At Firo's disgruntled reply, Claire is pleased that he is alright after all, and helps Firo to his feet. He sincerely tells Firo that he is a genius; as Firo nurses his bruised jaw, Claire silently contemplates Firo's nature. His musings are interrupted when Firo realizes that the priest is gone - which is odd, because he was definitely dead a minute ago.
Claire climbs up the fire escape to inspect the flagpole. It is devoid of blood. As Firo curses down on the street (how will they learn Keith's location now?) Claire shouts down at him to calm down - it's Keith, remember? Keith is not the type to just 'sit there'. He may be quiet, but "what he does is bigger and louder than anybody else." Claire jumps off the escape and lands on the ground, pointing out that thanks to Firo they have at least some idea of where the priest is headed. He tells Firo to leave Keith to him (Claire), and Firo grits his teeth and asks if Claire is implying that he won't be of any help.
Claire gently bumps Firo's chest with his fist, and says that he's worried about him (referring to his position as camorra associate). He says that Firo has done what he needed to do, and that he should trust his family to do the rest. After all...they're not that week. The two part ways.
Claire soon notices that a church is on fire. Heading there, he spots Keith emerging from the interior flames and walking unscathed through the double doors. Claire waves at him and happily says that Keith has pulled out all the stops yet again. He apologizes, and says that although Luck had hired him to find Keith, he (Claire) had managed to let the perpetrator escape. He promises that next time he sees Donatello, he'll kill him. He'll "end him so good, I'll leave a pool of blood..."
The two return to Coraggioso (a jazz hall and the Gandors' base of operations). They descend the basement stairs, and are immediately greeted by a relieved Luck and Berga. Keith reveals that he let himself be caught on purpose. Luck and Berga are horrified - what if Keith had been killed? (Keith succinctly replies: "We still had two.") As Luck clutches his head in frustration, Claire reminds him to thank Firo as well. Without Firo's efforts, Keith would have had a tougher time moving around. Berga asks if Firo is all right, and Claire grins and says that Firo is fine. After all, he's a popular fellow.
At some point during 1927, Claire begins training to become a train conductor under Tony's tutelage. He became a conductor because of his work as a hitman - as a conductor, he can travel all around the country (and find his targets) for free. He heard about the work from Gregwall.
Also at some point during 1927, Firo asks Claire why he became a conductor, and Claire reminisces about the circus. Firo marvels at Claire's confidence with women, and Claire reminds him that the people he meets are only characters in His world. He knows that he will run into them again if he needs to. If he doesn't, that just means they weren't that important to him. He says that he doesn't feel lonely, and he didn't feel that way even when the circus broke up. He'll see them all again someday; the boss, the others, Cookie...
Firo wonders what he means by Cookie, and Claire (realizing he only told Keith and his brothers about Cookie) talks about Cookie the bear and what happened in 1920.
In December 1931, Claire learns of the Gandors' ongoing turf war with the Runorata Family during a telephone call with Luck, and he promises to take a train over to New York at the end of the month to help them out. In the ensuing weeks, he secures a spot as one of the conductors on the New York-bound transcontinental luxury express Flying Pussyfoot - which is guaranteed to be one of the fastest trains available. He also contacts the railroad company to inform them that he will be taking leave once the Flying Pussyfoot arrives at its destination.
On the evening of December 30, Claire and an older conductor prepare for the departure of the Flying Pussyfoot from Chicago's Union Station, dressed in the Flying Pussyfoot's custom white uniforms. Claire is disappointed to learn that Tony - soon to retire - will not be working alongside him, but duly sees him off and focuses on monitoring his passenger list while passengers board. He stops a young boy who is evidently traveling by himself, and asks for his name; the boy introduces himself as Czeslaw Meyer. Later, when most of the passengers have boarded, he notices a young woman standing alone on the platform. Concerned, he warns her of their imminent departure and asks if she dropped something; she shakes her head, and boards the train.
Claire says to himself that with someone as pretty as that woman on board, he is suddenly much more eager to get to work. Stretching, he boards the last car and enters the conductor's compartment. Not long after, they depart for New York's Pennsylvania Station.
(At some point on December 30 or the day before, Claire shares the story of the Rail Tracer to the Flying Pussyfoot's bartender Jon Panel. Jon dismisses it as hogwash.)
Several hours into the journey, the middle-aged conductor speaks to Claire for the first time, prompting Claire to really look at him for the first time into the journey. The older conductor comments on the loneliness and fear that the receding landscapes and tunnels often inflict on those of their profession, and Claire emphatically agrees, confiding that he's heard so many scary stories from other conductors while on the job that it can be hard for him to fall asleep - and no matter how many times he tells them he's no good with scary stories, they just keep telling them. Despite his claim that he's 'no good' with such stories, his eyes shine brightly as he talks.
He brings up the story of the Rail Tracer, eagerly launching into it upon realizing that the older conductor is unfamiliar to the legend. Right before he can reveal the one way to prevent the Rail Tracer from coming, the older conductor stops him so that he can perform the period check-in with the engineers. Claire tries to resume his story once the conductor switches on-and-off the exterior lamps, but gamely agrees to listen to the story that the older conductor wants to tell first.
The older conductor's story involves a group of 'ghosts' called Lemures, whose leader was locked up by the United States' federal government. Outraged, the Lemures planned to take over a hundred people hostages - including a Senator's family - and privately negotiate an exchange with the feds, forcing them to make a decision before 'the train' reached New York.
Claire takes a step back, asking his superior if he means Senator Manfred Beriam and the Flying Pussyfoot. The conductor - revealing himself to be a Lemur - announces that the Lemures' plan on using the hostages as a shield once they reach New York while they make their escape. Claire retreats further, bumping into the wall, and when he asks who the Lemures' leader is the older conductor refers to one Master Huey, who is due to be interviewed by the US Department of Justice in one day - the same day the Flying Pussyfoot is due to arrive in New York.
When Claire asks why the Lemur is telling him all this, the Lemur explains that he is emulating Huey's mercy in informing Claire of the reason for his death. He pulls a handgun out of his coat and aims it at Claire's head - revealing that unlike Claire's story, his has no way for anyone to be spared. With that, he fires.
The instant the Lemur pulls the trigger, Claire kicks the gun out of his hand and catches it with his right hand, immediately aiming it at the man's head. He rejects the Lemur's statement, pointing out that a person can easily be spared if they kill their would-be murderers first, and then rejects the Lemur's plea for him to stop. Right before he kills the Lemur, he reveals that the only way to prevent the Rail Tracer from coming is to believe the story - and if the Rail Tracer is already present, to avoid it until sunrise. In a cold, dispassionate voice, he tells the Lemure that his death will awaken the Rail Tracer, and that the Rail Tracer will go after the Lemures.
Claire shoots his superior through the forehead. Blood splatters against the walls right as the compartment door opens, in walking a man dressed in the special white conductor's uniform. Claire points the gun at him and demands he identify himself, but the man is surprisingly nonchalant about both the gun and his disguise failing so quickly. Observing how calm the fake conductor is despite the clear threat to his life, Claire tosses the gun to the floor and announces he'll just have to torture him instead.
While the fake conductor laughs at the idea, Claire unlocks the door leading to the outside and crawls under the train, hooking his legs around metal fittings. The fake conductor follows after him, and he immediately reaches up and grabs the man's trousers, pulling him under the train and hooking his arms under the fake's shoulders in a full nelson. Claire proceeds to torture the fake by grinding his hand against the fast-moving ground - and then more and more of his arm when he refuses to talk.
By the time the fake conductor's arm is gone up to the shoulder, he has confessed almost everything about himself: his name is Dune, he belongs to the Russo Family, and that he and the rest of a Russo-expelled faction led by Ladd Russo plan to hijack the Flying Pussyfoot - the details of which he shares too. Claire has one final question: he wants to know where Dune got such an exclusive uniform. Snickering and pain-addled, Dune reveals that he killed a conductor named Tony in Chicago and stole his uniform.
Dune immediately realizes his mistake and tries to pass what he just said off as a lie, but his backpedaling comes far too late. Enraged, Claire presses his right hand to the back of Dune's head and pushes it toward the ground incrementally, giving Dune enough time to shout, "What the hell are you?" Claire gives Dune his full name and his alias 'Vino', and holds his face against the moving rails.
Once Dune is dead, Claire climbs back into the conductor's compartment and flings Dune's corpse down onto the floor. Coated in Dune's blood, he uses his finger to draw two bloody red stripes below his eyes and takes on the persona of the Rail Tracer.
Claire resolves to honor his two duties as a conductor and the Gandors' sworn brother to deal with both the Lemures and Ladd Russo's White Suits, protecting the passengers while ensuring that the train never stops or slows during transit - thereby making him late to meet up with his brothers and giving the Runoratas more time to chip away at them. He achieves the latter by repeatedly returning to the conductor's compartment to perform the scheduled light checks in-between killings throughout the journey. He mostly moves via the train's exterior rather the interior, picking off Lemures and White Suits by pulling them through open windows.
One of his first kills is done in this fashion: he pulls a Lemur called George through the open window of a freight car, killing him. He does the same to his horrified companion. Clinging to the side of the freight car, with one arm hooked around the Lemur's broken neck, Claire reflects on his upbringing with the Gandors and his promise to do his duty by them in New York. He reaffirms that he cannot afford to let the hijackers stop the train, only to realize that somewhere along the way he'd put the Gandors to the side in favor of the passengers, whom he is genuinely worried about.
He smiles bashfully at the thought that he has honestly liked his work as a conductor, and disposes of the Lemur's corpse. A problem quickly makes itself apparent: a third Lemur had witnessed him dispatch the second Lemur guarding the freight car and gone to contact his comrades via a transmitter in the freight room. Knowing that the room's lock is broken, Claire climbs inside the train and seizes the Lemur, hauling him through the window and under the train, holding him against the ground like he had Dune. In the process, he notices an unfamiliar woman poking her head out from underneath the fittings. Distracted at the thought that she might be a Lemur or a White Suit, Claire accidentally lets the Lemur's legs get caught in the wheels, causing his lower half to separate from his body.
Not entirely sure if the Lemur is dead or alive, Claire flings the body back into the car; his excessive force causes the torso to hit the ceiling before falling to the floor. Returning his attention to the woman, Claire decides that her clothes rule her out as one of the hijackers, and that since he doesn't recognize her she's probably a stowaway. His murderous intent briefly superseded by his role as a conductor, he asks her if she can see her ticket.
The woman screams and crawls away from him as fast as she can. Angered, Claire considers either tossing her off the train or publicly shaming her at the station before remembering that he's supposed to be a monster, not the conductor. He returns to the freight room and collects a few ropes, tying a long one around his waist and pocketing a thin, short rope inside his coat before returning to the hunt, passing the wireless transmitter on his way out.
Later on, Claire kills two white suits in a third-class compartment and tosses their corpses out the window, followed by three Lemur corpses which are also inside the room. From there, he prepares to return to the rear car for the periodic check-in - only to spot Czes and three White Suits heading inside a freight room. He climbs out of the train and enters the freight room through a trapdoor in its floor in order to eavesdrop. Czes reveals his true colors to the group's leader Ladd, proposing that in exchange for the White Suits killing all the passengers in the dining car, he will reward them with the profits he plans on earning off his smuggled explosives. Claire also learns that Czes intends to sell the explosives to the Runoratas - a move that would surely doom the Gandors.
Negotiations fall through, and Ladd blows Czes' head off with his shotgun. Claire is surprised that he completely failed to pick up on Czes' dark personality on the platform, no longer thinking of him as a child. At the sound of passengers talking outside the freight room, Claire retreats through the trapdoor to the underside of the car, positive that Czes has been killed. Reasoning that Czes' death is a good thing, he decides to head to second class in search of the White Suits...only to remember that he still has to make the scheduled signal.
He resumes course for the rear car, checking for Lemures along the way. For some reason a 'weird gunman' is hanging around the car, but a tattooed young man and a giant lead him away in time for Claire to make the signal. Afterwards, Claire crawls under the train back toward the second-class carriages, and upon peeking into one of their windows is perplexed to see two third-class passengers where he should have seen White Suits. One of them is Doctor Fred, attempting to treat the badly bloodied other third-class passenger.
The door opens and in walk two of the White Suits who were present when Czes died. While Fred and the male White Suit exchange words, the female White Suit makes eye contact with Claire and regards him quietly. Thinking her a little weird for her lack of reaction, Claire decides to leave the room be for the moment - only to hear two sets of footsteps pounding against the roof. He hoists himself upward to see a woman chasing after a man in white.
Claire descends under the car and returns to the connecting platform outside the third class carriage. Peeking into the third-class car, he frowns at the sight of Czes walking down the corridor - Czes, whom he saw die only a few minutes back - and enters the car, following the boy into the compartment he'd entered. He is inordinately pleased when Czes identifies him as the Rail Tracer, and promptly announces his intention to kill the false child.
Panicked, Czes shoves his sleeve up and takes out a sharp, scalpel-like blade, which he slashes at Claire's throat. Claire grabs the offending arm with his right hand, and uses his left to tear out a chunk of Czes' throat. Taking the scalpel, he kicks Czes' small body to the wall and prepares to leave, thinking that Czes is well and gone this time around. The sensation of Czes' blood shivering on his hand makes him stop, and he watches the blood return to Czes' body.
As soon as Czes' throat wound closes, he cheerfully remarks that he'd expected something far worse from the Rail Tracer, and with a giggle reveals that he is immortal. Claire cuts off and rejects his next question, correctly predicting that Czes was going to ask him to kill the dining car passengers, and with a well-practiced throw buries the scalpel into Czes' forehead. Once Czes regenerates, he sneers that there isn't anything Claire can do to him that he hasn't experienced already, having been tortured in the past.
Claire dismisses Czes' past experiences as 'hobbyist stuff', rattling off a list of counter-examples he has learned for the sake of his profession. He snatches the scalpel with his teeth when Czes tries to stab him with it along with the fingers that grip it, and bites Czes' fingers cleanly off. Spitting out the flesh and scalpel, Claire correctly deduces that Czes fears the unknown - that there is some unknown level of pain that he has yet to experience. Wiping away Czes' tears, he promises to inflict that unknown pain upon Czes until he forgets to come back to life.
Claire proceeds to torture Czes until he cannot take the pain anymore and tries to jump out the window. Claire manages to grab him just in time, only to fall out the window too - but he catches the piping between the train's wheels with his legs before he can hit the ground. Curious at what grinding off body parts would do to an immortal, Claire whittles off Claire's legs and right arm against the ground and is about to do the same to his remaining limb when he spots the stowaway woman from earlier. He calls out to her, causing her to scream and flee under the train at a speed that impresses even him.
The woman's presence reminds him of the main problem of the Lemures and White Suits; irritated at himself for getting distracted, Claire uses the thin rope to tie Czes into the space between the wheels and leaves him there. Figuring that he owes the woman for getting him back on track, he decides to let her live and turn her into the cops as thanks. However, he fully intends to return to punishing Czes to the point of insanity once things are resolved.
Reaching the dining car, Claire peeks through a window and finds two Lemures standing guard on opposite ends. Crawling under the car to turn off its electric generator, Claire climbs back up and pulls one Lemur out a window, and then runs along the ornamentation attached to the car's exterior wall to the other end, where he pulls out the second Lemur. Before he kills the man, he asks him to applaud Claire achieving such a feat on the first try.
After switching the generator back on, Claire peeks into the dining car again and is disconcerted to see more Lemures. He dispatches one on the coupling in view of the second Lemur, who flees for First Class. Claire decides to let him go and heads for the rear car to make another light signal. There are two passengers inside the conductors' compartment when he enters it - one a smiling blond, and the other a wounded man in a black suit.
Claire asks them not to enter the conductors' compartment without his permission, at which the blond apologizes and assures him they plan on leaving. Claire observes the second man's injury and wonders who he is - only for a knife to pierce through the wall and nick his ear. He excuses himself and climbs onto the roof of the rear car, where he finds Ladd Russo and the young woman who'd chased Ladd on the roof before - the same young woman he talked to on the platform - in a face-off. Through Ladd's recounting of the information he seems to have gleaned from a now dead Lemur, Claire learns that the young woman's name is Chané and that she is the daughter of Huey. Importantly, he learns that Huey did not order the hijacking, and that Chané was against the plan from the start.
Chané draws her knives back in anticipation of an attack, but Claire stops her in her tracks by merely pinching both blades between his fingers, announcing his presence to the two of them. Claire chastises her for poking a hole in the compartment - pointing out his nicked ear - and demands her to apologize. When she indicates that she is mute, he apologizes for being in the wrong. Walking past Ladd, he tells them to resume fighting, adding that he'll kill whomever survives.
Ladd demands that Claire explain himself, tossing a knife at him once Claire blows him off. Claire neatly catches the knife and proceeds to dodge every punch Ladd throws at him, landing a hit of his own in the process, and asks Chané if everything Ladd said was through. When she nods, he offers to help her out in the fight. Furious, Ladd points out that Claire has been killing off both his people and the Lemures so him helping out Chané makes no sense. Claire counters that after listening to Ladd earlier, Chané seems to be one of the good guys.
Increasingly upset, Ladd launches a tirade of character put-downs and accusations at Claire, accusing him of hypocrisy, of being the sort of guy who would save children shooting at him on a battlefield if he felt sorry for them. Claire agrees that he would do exactly that, because he is strong to the point where he never has to worry about the possibility that he might be killed. In accordance with solipsist philosophy, he explains that the world is his and that it revolves around him: as long as he believes he can do something, he can do it.
Soon pushed to the brink, Ladd attacks Claire again and again without success and is soon humiliated when Claire whips out his pistol and shoots Ladd's ear. Training the smoking muzzle on Ladd's forehead, he proclaims that he hadn't used the pistol until now because bare hands were enough for a 'nobody'. He tells Ladd to die wallowing in humiliation, in order to make amends for Tony. With a laugh, Ladd asks how Claire plans to 'slaughter' him.
Brooding, Claire looks toward the direction of the coupling and spots Lua Klein - the female White Suit - climbing up onto the roof. Grinning, he asks Ladd if the lady in the white dress from earlier is his gal, and Ladd confirms that she's his fiancée. With a vicious, cheerful smile, Claire predicts that Ladd will voluntarily jump off the train. Ladd turns, following Claire's gaze straight to Lua - and breaks out into a cold sweat. At the protective horror in Ladd's expression, Claire takes out a special rope looped at both ends from his pocket and reminds Ladd of his prediction.
Ladd rushes over to Lua while Claire unwinds the rope, but even with his head start he doesn't reach her in time; Claire flings one end of the rope and lassos Lua's neck, and then throws the other end and lassos a passing post with a hook on it. Just as he predicted, Ladd leaps toward Lua and wraps his arm around her, using his right hand to grab hold of the rope. The two of them are whisked off the train.
Claire watches Ladd punch the post and crumple to the ground along with Lua, and remarks to Chané that while Lua appears to be alive he can't make a judgment call on Ladd - and since he said earlier that he would kill whomever survived he isn't sure what to do. Upon confirming that Huey is Chané's father, he asks her if she'd rather fight him to the death or hire him to kill Huey's attackers.Chané's expression indicates that she is worried Claire might try to steal Huey's immortality, and he guesses that she feels like only she can truly protect her father since she is family - and thus, she can't trust Claire. Along with the options 'hire' and 'fight', Claire suggests a new option: marriage. If she and Claire marry, then they will be able to protect Huey together as family. He promises to sincerely love her (though if she prefers he supposes Huey could alternatively adopt him), and insists that he is serious: he won't sell her out, and he has no interest in becoming immortal.
A gunshot rings out, and Chané takes a bullet to her shoulder courtesy of her comrade Spike the sniper. Ensuring that her wound isn't life-threatening, Claire advises her to jump into the upcoming river to avoid rest after carving her response into the roof for him. Noting that Chané's eyes are similar to his, he points out that Chané left proof of her existence on him by nicking his ear, something he finds significant even if it was an accident. Inviting her to throw a knife at him, he takes off in the direction of Spike, dodging every bullet the sniper shoots at him.
After taking care of Spike and throwing him off the train, Claire heads straight for the locomotive to check on the situation, arriving there right as several explosions go off inside some of the first class cars. The train's elderly engineers ask him if they should bring the train to a halt and he emphatically tells them to do the exact opposite, lying that a posse of train robbers of horseback are currently following the train and firing. His lie works, and the brothers vow to run the engine at full speed.
Claire departs with the excuse that he needs to prepare to evacuate the passengers, thanking the engineers when they warn him to be careful. What he really wants to say is thank you for all you've done for me up till now, but he can't under the circumstances. He reflects that even though the world revolves around him there are a lot of people he is indebted to, and frets that he won't be able to look the Gandors in the face again if the train is late.
Claire heads back to the rear car via the train's exterior, pausing briefly to check on the dining car passengers and find that they are in the process of tying up several Lemures and White Suits. He comes across a passenger called Turner aiming a rifle at the stowaway and stops to observe the confrontation. Becoming increasingly angry with Turner, Claire decides to help out the stowaway by dropping him off the train. When the stowaway pleads with Claire to kill her before Turner can, Claire slips behind Turner and dislocates his shoulders.
Before he can dump Turner off the train, the stowaway picks up the rifle and pleads with him to spare Turner's life - his, and all the rest, offering her own life up in place of the others. Taken aback, Claire asks her why she would go so far, and she explains that thanks to her railroad technician father she loves trains and cannot bear to watch Claire sully the railroad's pride with all the blood he has spilt - without hesitation admitting that she is just as guilty of sullying its pride as he is.
Incredibly entertained and delighted by such logic, Claire notes that she has once again reminded him that he is conductor before pulling out a bloody, torn ticket from his pocket. He offers it to the stowaway with the condition that she keep quiet about his conductor gig. As he walks into the third-class carriage, he remarks that the stowaway is 'pretty amazing' and that he might have fallen for her had he not met Chané - though he muses it isn't unlikely that they'll meet again. He also adds that he's only killed Lemures and White Suits so far, at which Rachel invokes Czes and calls him a liar.
Czes vaguely suggests that she ask Czes about himself, pulling upon the door to the compartment where he'd tortured Czes earlier. There, he finds a woman in a bright dress leaning more than halfway out the window, crying out for her companion Isaac. In an ensuing series of events, Miria, Isaac, and Czes fall off the train, leading Isaac to try and lasso something - anything - only to fall short. Rachel grabs hold of his rope, but her injured leg cannot hold the weight and the lasso is torn from her grip.
Claire catches the lasso just in time, and ends up giving it to Donny the giant in a freight car, where Donny had been dumping the smuggled cargo into the river. He is surprised when Donny unexpectedly identifies him as the Rail Tracer; he also decides to turn a blind eye to him and his companions stealing the smuggled cargo for the sake of the Gandor Family.
With Isaac, Miria, and Czes taken care of, Claire arrives at the roof of the rear car and considers the tattooed youth Jacuzzi Splot and his girlfriend Nice Holystone before him. Recognizing Jacuzzi to be the leader of the robber gang, and that Jacuzzi intends to slay him, the Rail Tracer, Claire waxes lyrical over Jacuzzi's eyes as the sun rises and decides to let Jacuzzi defeat him and thus fulfill the legend of the Rail Tracer.
Jacuzzi charges forward and tackles Claire off the train, pulling the pin on a grenade as they fall. Claire halts their descent by hooking his legs between the wheels and urges Jacuzzi to throw away the grenade if he doesn't want to injure his girlfriend; Jacuzzi tosses it just in time. Claire enters the conductors' compartment through the window and sets Jacuzzi on his feet, muttering that only idiots think about going out in a blaze of glory before they start fighting.
He tells Jacuzzi to go see doctor Fred in second class, and sends him off with the advice to not keep women waiting. Once alone, he takes the intact grenade he'd claimed from Jacuzzi and empties its contents over Dune's faceless corpse, and then shoots at it with the Lemur conductor's pistol in order to ensure that the corpse will be mistaken for 'Claire Stanfield' by the police.
Claire returns to the roof and discovers Chané's message carved into it with the plea that he come find her in Manhattan. Though he's a little put out by how challenging it will be to find her - and that she didn't even directly answer his question - he's keen to consider her message his first love letter and removes it from the roof as a souvenir.
The Rail Tracer vanishes with December 31's morning light.
Once he arrives at Pennsylvania Station around 2:00 PM, he gives one of the station's staff a letter to the Gandors instructing them to meet him in an alley near the building. Claire wastes no time in getting down to business when they reunite, wanting to get to killing as soon as possible since he's in need of some 'real' exercise. That, and he has to go search for someone who might marry him.
When Luck refers to Claire as 'Claire', he responds by saying that Claire is officially dead, as far as the records are concerned. Luck points out that legally dead people cannot get married, and a dismayed Claire immediately wonders how much it costs to buy a new name before suggesting that his brothers call him Vino or Rail Tracer for now. Berga finds this unspeakably lame, and the two start brawling in the alleyway while Luck and Keith look on.
The fight eventually comes to an end; impressed, Claire remarks that Berga must have gotten tougher considering that he emerged from the fight unscathed. He follows the brothers back to the Coraggioso, where everyone else is absent except for Tick Jefferson, and once again asks who the brothers want dead. He warns them that he'll have to psyche himself up if they want Don Bartolo Runorata dead - since Bartolo once hired him for a few jobs - but he adds that he can kill capo Gustavo Bagetta with no problems.
Luck requests that Claire not do anything, clarifying that all he wants Claire to do for now is walk around town as a deterrent.
The next day, on January 01, 1932, Claire and Tick sit at a table together in the basement and spread Tick's new scissors that they bought between them. A Coraggioso waitress called Edith enters the basement, and Tick greets her while Claire takes one of the scissors and jabs its tips into the spaces between his five fingers, faster and faster, opening and closing the blades every time he strikes. Tick admiringly calls such a feat 'cool', and expresses an interest in attempting it himself. Claire advises him not to, warning that it is extremely painful if one accidentally cuts oneself. Convinced, Tick compromises by deciding to try it out on his next torture victim instead.
Tick then calls to the Gandors in the next room and informs them of Edith's presence. Edith confesses to the brothers that she has betrayed them, and Claire starts juggling five of Tick's scissors while the brothers huddle and try to figure out how they're supposed to publish a woman. Growing bored, Claire whispers something in Tick's ear that leads Tick to ask Luck if he can cut Edith's hair. The brothers settle on this as suitable punishment, causing Claire to reaffirm that they're really not cut out to be mafia bosses after all. He attempts to juggle twenty scissors while the haircut takes place.
After the haircut, Edith confides with the brothers that she is looking for a hitman named Vino; Claire stops juggling the scissors and says, "You rang?"
Edith explains that an information broker called Henry offered her a deal: he'd sell her information on her missing boyfriend Roy Maddock if she could scrounge up info on Vino and his connection to the Flying Pussyfoot. Claire follows her to The Daily Days, where he promptly kidnaps Henry and takes him for a joyride aboard a night train, dangling him off a platform like he had with Dune. Henry is forced to ask Claire his questions in that position.
Claire eventually hauls Henry up to the train's roof, where he proceeds to ask Henry two questions of his own: one involves the whereabouts of Chané; and the other involves information on how to buy a new name - Henry tells Claire all about a legendary assassin formerly named Felix Walken who's been selling his name to people (who in turn have sold the name 'Felix Walken' to others). He seeks out the original Felix Walken to negotiate buying his name. Old Felix receives a phone call in the midst of their talk from the Runoratas, who want to order a hit on the Gandors. Claire decides to see what's what with the Runoratas himself.
The morning of the next day (Jan 2), Claire buys the name 'Felix Walken' off Old Felix and later dons extremely thick glasses and a fake mustache and beard. Once disguised, he heads to Gustavo's meeting place (a Wall Street hotel) and enters the pertinent room, where Gustavo and his subordinates are meeting along with the hitmen Maria Barcelito, Alkins, and Raz Smith. Claire announces that while he is flattered they went to the trouble of calling him (believing him to be the legendary Felix), he already has a previous job that takes precedence (he doesn't believe in double-booking). Gustavo tries to appeal to him with the promise that he'll get to fight 'Vino', and when that fails decides to hire him to kidnap Roy and Eve Genoard instead. Claire agrees, and the two talk rates.
Gustavo gives Claire Roy's and Eve's location, which turns out to be the home of Keith and his wife Kate. Claire shows up at Keith's house, busts the door down to the room Roy and Eve are in, and asks if they are whom he believes they are. Roy demands to know what Claire did to Kate, but Claire responds by punching Roy's solar plexus. Roy passes out, and Eve runs to him in fright.
Claire tells Eve that he's impressed she ran over to him instead of away, and, jabbing his revolver into Roy's back, assures her that he did not hurt Kate - who is currently out. Claire has Eve stand; hoisting Roy over his shoulder, he mutters that they have to hurry so he can deliver them to the Daily Days building. Roy comes to during the trek, and Claire marches them both to the Daily Days' back door at gunpoint. He finds Smith and a Runorata subordinate talking outside the entrance, and Smith remarks to Claire that hitmen like himself and Claire are guaranteed to have a 'few screws loose' in their love for their job. Claire warns him that he sounds incredibly lame talking of sanity and craziness, and forces Roy and Eve through the doorway.The three head up to a third floor storeroom, where Luck, Berga, and Keith are confronting Gustavo, Maria, and various Runorata subordinates. Claire leads Roy and Eve inside the room, casually apologizing for interrupting. Gustavo thanks him, and proposes a new job for the famous handyman Felix Walken: that he tie up the Gandors so tight that they cannot move. Claire replies that such a job would require a fee of 'thirty quadrillion dollars' before shooing Roy and Eve out of the room with the warning, "hide, go hide." Disgusted, Berga wonders what Claire is doing in such a 'getup' while Maria asks Luck where Vino is. Claire raises his hand: "You rang?" The Runoratas freeze, and Claire takes off the glasses and fake bead; wincing, he introduces himself as Felix Walken (aka Vino, or the Rail Tracer), and recounts his meeting with Old Felix. In - interrupting himself to whip out a small pistol and fire it at Alkins just as another gunshot goes off. Alkins crumples to the floor, holding a smoking gun. His bullet buries itself into the wall behind Claire. Grinning, Claire attempts to look cool by quoting the movie The Jazz Singer: "You ain't heard nothin' yet!"
Maria is the first to break the ensuing silence, excited at the thought of being able to kill both the legendary Vino and Felix Walken in one swoop. Perplexed, Claire asks the Gandors whom he is supposed to kill anyway, to which Luck reminds him that he still wants the situation to be resolved peacefully - much to Claire's chagrin. Claire finally mentions that he thinks Roy and Eve were Kate's guests, so maybe Luck should try to keep them safe.
Luck instantly heads for the door to find the two, immensely irritated that Claire didn't tell him sooner. Claire notices that Keith frowned at the mention of Kate's name, but before he can comment on it Gustavo bolts for the door on the opposite side of the room. He tries to aim his gun at Gustavo's back, but Maria uses one of her katanas to knock the gun out of Claire's hand, giving Gustavo the chance to escape. Maria whistles at that, since she'd been aiming for Claire's wrist.
Claire asks her to knock it off, since he's not exactly keen on killing women. Mad that he's making fun of her for her gender, Maria slashes her katana down at him - only for Claire to whip out one of the scissors he'd nabbed off Tick earlier and use them to block the blade. As he catches the katana between the blades of Tick's scissors, he corrects Maria that he is not making fun of her because she's a woman, he is making fun of her because she is weak.
Maria draws her other katana and tries to stab Claire' stomach with it, but Claire takes out another pair of Tick's scissors and uses it to block that katana too - still holding off the other one. As the two hold their own against each other, Smith off to the side takes out his guns and prepares to open fire on both of them - only for Berga to step in and pummel Smith before he can shoot Claire.
The duel continues, culminating in Claire pressing the tips of Tick's scissors against Maria's throat. His upper hand assured, he looks over to the Runorata subordinates and asks what they plan on doing now. Several of them turn to Keith, click their heels together, and announce that they will be leaving now. Keith nods, and they exit the room. Claire and Maria are visibly dumbfounded, and Berga explains that half of the men were moles who helped secure an agreement between the Gandors and Bartolo.
Their exchange is interrupted when Claire leaps to the side, hurling the scissors in his right hand toward the opposite side of the room. A gunshot rings out, and a bullet grazes Maria's hair and buries itself into the wall as the scissors bury themselves into the shoulder of the out-cold Smith, whose body Alkins is using as a shield. Smoke curls upward from Alkins' gun.
Claire drops Tick's other pair of scissors and engages in a gun battle with Alkins, dodging every bullet the other assassin shoots. He exclaims that he thought Alkins looked like the strongest of the three assassins back at the hotel, and Alkins mutters that he's relieved the rumors about Vino don't seem to be faked. Claire points out that Alkins' hirer Gustavo seems to be all washed up, and wonders why Alkins is still carrying out his job orders. Alkins says that he has a personal interest in "Vino's head," and adds that he can't just up and betray his client even if he is gone.
Claire is mystified by this, considering that it only makes sense for someone 'weak' like the other assassins (compared to him, who is 'strong') to give up or run, then outright laughs when Alkins brings up the 'pride of a hitman.' Laughing and laughing, he argues that there is no pride in their profession - the second you kill somebody, you are scum to society. Nobody trusts a hitman.
Keith presses the muzzle of his handgun to the back of Claire's head, cutting his rant short with an order to not scoff at how others live. Claire attempts to counter with the point that Keith and his brother are different from the three assassins, but Keith denies this: he says that they are the same. Claire finally turns around, meets Keith's gaze, and apologizes - he had forgotten that Keith is a "stickler for that dumb pride stuff" too.
Murder alights in Keith's eyes and he slips past Claire to kick Alkins to the floor before he can take either of them out.
In the aftermath of the Runorata raid, Claire grumbles about how he'd gotten more exercise on the Flying Pussyfoot before wandering off to track down Chané.
(Rest under construction)
By 2002, Claire is in his nineties and the great-grandfather of Charon and Claudia Walken. In August 2002, Charon says that Claire and Chané are on vacation in the Caribbean, where Claire is apparently scuba-diving for treasure to find a pirate's sword for Chané.
(To be rewritten)
The name "Vino" is well feared in the criminal underworld, as exemplified by Gustavo Bagetta, who was terrified at the prospect of having to face the legendary killer and hired freelance assassins left and right just to stop him. Many powerful assassins would like nothing more than to defeat Vino in combat, since such a feat would prove their own strength.
His speed, strength and dexterity are far beyond the boundaries of an ordinary human, first showcased on the Flying Pussyfoot where he became the Rail Tracer and was enough of a threat to be considered an entire third faction of his own against several homicidal hitmen from the Russo Family and the Lemures that worshiped Huey - after all, he managed to take down and severely traumatize both parties. He defeated the highly dangerous and well feared hitman Ladd Russo, known for his ruthlessness and killing capability, and took down several assassins, even severely crippling the homunculus Christopher Shouldered.
Even at a young age, he showed such promise that he caught the attention of Huey Laforet.
Claire's time in the circus allowed him to pick up and hone acrobatic abilities that would later serve him well aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, where he was able to move effortlessly atop the roof and below the cars despite how fast the train was moving.
His solipsistic persona also gives him somewhat controversial, but effective and surprising ideas in the midst of battle. For example, Claire noticed that Liza had thrown chakrams at him from behind by spotting the chakrams' reflection in Christopher's eyes.
Chané Laforet - Claire is completely and utterly in love with Chané. He proposes to her minutes after meeting her for the first time--though it should be noted that he proposed to every girl he took a liking too. However, Claire doesn't move on when Chané initially rejects him (like he's done with all the other girls). Instead Claire pursues her in Manhattan and goes so far as to seek Rachel's advice on how to confess his love for her.
When Chané struggles with her feelings towards him, he informs her that he'll be happy to start out just as friends, so long as he can be by her side. It is unlikely that he would have done this with his other old flames - Chané is the first person who has 'engraved proof of her existence onto his world', referring to when she nicks his ear on board the train. Very few people have managed to lay a blow or cut on Claire, which is probably why he fixated on her rather than giving up.
Claudia Walken - Claudia has practically inherited her great-grandfather's personality - like Claire, she is a solipsist and extraordinarily confident in her own self.
Charon Walken - Claire's great-grandson. While Claudia takes after Claire in personality, Charon has followed in his athletic footsteps and works as a child stuntsman.
Huey Laforet - Huey is Claire's father-in-law. Huey and Claire meet in the '1935-B: Dr. Feelgreed' manga. Claire initially thinks that Huey must be Chané's brother; when Claire learns that Huey is her father he is extremely excited and thanks Huey for bringing Chané into Claire's world. Claire is clearly grateful to Huey for Chané.
Firo Prochainezo - Claire and Firo are childhood friends, and their interactions reflect that closeness. Claire cares about Firo and has saved him on at least one occasion (e.g. from Donatello in 1927).
Keith, Berga, and Luck Gandor - Claire clearly cares for his foster brothers, and in fact offered to work for them for free (though they refused; he works at a discount instead) when he became an assassin. The three brothers freely tease Claire and are generally relaxed around him. Claire and Berga often roughhoused as young boys, and continue to have friendly sparring matches in their adulthood. Perhaps most notable is that Claire holds a great deal of respect for Keith. Keith might be the only man who has ever gotten Claire Stanfield to sincerely apologize, and that in itself is awe-worthy.
Renee Paramedes Branvillier - Renee is Claire's mother-in-law. The two meet when Claire catches Renee attempting to break into the Runorata manor. Noticing that she resembles Chané somehow, he first thinks that Renee and Chané are sisters. He is soon corrected.
Rachel - Claire is initially a tad antagonistic towards Rachel on the train, given that she was a stowaway. However, he warms to her when she begs Claire to stop killing people on the Flying Pussyfoot, tearfully revealing her passion for the railroad. 'Warms' is an understatement - he falls a little in love with her and says that if he had not already proposed to Chané he might have proposed to Rachel instead. In 1932, Claire invites her out to lunch in order to ask her advice on the matter of love. The two have an amicable conversation, indicating that they are on friendly terms.
- Claire is deliberately not named in the opening of the anime, purposefully misleading viewers as to his importance and his real identity. He cameos in the opening as the young conductor.
- He is the franchise's most popular character. However, Narita has no intention about writing a story with him as the main character; he feels that such a story would "move too fast without any plot or action."
- Ryohgo Narita has described him as a "Baccano's Number One Problem Child".
- Claire Stanfield has many aliases throughout the franchise: Claire Stanfield; The Young Conductor; Felix Walken; Vino; The Rail Tracer; Red Shadow.
- In the ending credits, he is credited with Jerry Jewell as his voice for the Rail Tracer in the Funimation Dub, but only actually speaks once as the Rail Tracer before his identity was revealed. Furthermore he is the only character who has a two word name cited in the ending of Baccano (both when he is credited as the Young Conductor and Rail Tracer.)
- The red hue of his hair differs between adaptations. In the light novels his hair is blood-red, in the anime his hair is lighter in the first few episodes. Some official artwork depicts his hair with a rustier hue.
- His nickname 'Vino' is derived from the way he mutilates his targets, leaving them covered in blood as if they were soaked in wine.
- The 'vampire magician' Claire admiringly remembers in 1931 ~ Winter: The Time of the Oasis, remembered by Charkie as 'Mr. Doubs' is Doubs Hewley - a character from Vamp!, one of Narita's other light novel series set in the Naritaverse.
- As a child, Claire's role model was Peter Pan. (1934: Prison Episode Alice in Jails)
- Huey Laforet and Chané Laforet travelled to Manhattan in September 1925 in order to seek out Claire and potentially recruit him, having heard of his skills. By that time, he'd already joined the circus.