|“||I don't care what happens to me. As long as my world stays peaceful, it doesn't matter who I am—or even if I don't exist at all, even if I'm just some dream that someone I know is dreaming.||”|
Firo Prochainezo (フィーロ・プロシェンツォ Fīro Puroshentso) is the youngest executive of Manhattan's Martillo Family camorra. He became a complete immortal in November 1930 after accidentally drinking Szilard Quates' immortality elixir at a party celebrating his own promotion.
In 1933, Firo is one of the people involved in the incident at the Mist Wall's Babel Restaurant.
He is incarcerated in Alcatraz in 1934 by Victor Talbot in order to investigate fellow inmate Huey Laforet. While there, he runs into Isaac Dian, meets Ladd Russo, and has his eye plucked out by Hilton.
He marries Ennis in the early 1980s and the two honeymoon aboard the yacht ship Entrance in 2002, with Czes tagging along. There, they are caught up in the seajacking plots of SAMPLE and The Mask Makers.
Firo has brown hair and brown eyes (sometimes depicted as red), and commonly wears a green suit in the 1930s. He is very self-conscious about his youthful, "baby-face" appearance, and he starts wearing glasses by 2002 to appear older and more mature, as befitting his role as contaiuolo.
For a member of the Camorra, Firo can be a surprisingly friendly, humorous and compassionate person. According to the Gandor brothers, Firo is brash and naive, and in a way someone who fits in with being a Camorrista but is unsuited towards being a criminal. He isn't afraid to confront people, nor is he worried about the impression he leaves since he's simply being himself. Anyone who knows anything of the Martillos knows well not to bother Firo, or they'll find out just how much trouble they've gotten themselves into.
More often than not though, Firo is an excessively blunt person, and can be extremely negative towards others to the point of being shockingly cruel. Violence comes easy to him, in short and highly brutal spurts.
He is a little insecure, especially since he is surrounded by exceedingly talented people. Furthermore, he does not have a very high opinion of his own intelligence, constantly calling himself "dumb" and not book-smart in the slightest.
Notably, Firo has some deep-seated issues with femininity, stemming from a childhood incident wherein he was mistaken for a girl and nearly molested. He generally avoids what he perceives to be 'feminine' and has an extremely negative reaction whenever he is called 'girly' or is mistaken for a woman, suggesting that feminine traits carry some stigma for him. This does not mean he dislikes women - on the contrary, he views and treats women with chivalric intentions: he will not hit a woman and considers any man who lays a hand on a woman as 'scum'. In addition, he is incredibly shy when it comes to romance and refrains from taking the initiative even when his feelings are obvious. All of these traits can be traced back to the aforementioned incident, making it one of the most formative events of his childhood.
Firo considers himself neither to be a "do-gooder" nor a "fiend" as he himself noted on his way to Alcatraz, instead placing himself in the middle. Occasionally he performs good deeds, such as rushing to a fire or donating money, but he is still ruthless and can be vengeful to an extent (as per the above). When Barnes was ungrateful towards Firo after he rescued him from Dallas Genoard, Firo switched the immortality elixir Barnes was carrying with regular alcohol.
Firo does not actively look for trouble himself. However, he does have a tendency to meddle: If something's going on and he happens to be around, more often than not he'll either investigate or forcibly involve himself in the situation. Even before becoming immortal, Firo was never afraid to take risks. He didn't hesitate to join the Camorra, and he'd never been one to back out on anything. His slightly reckless tendencies and his near suicidal loyalty to the Martillos has led him to say that he does not care what happens to him. However, as noted by Ladd Russo, Firo does fear death and does not consider himself invincible.
Devouring Szilard Quates takes its toll on Firo, who worries that one day he'll become as sadistic as the old man.. After acting rather nastily towards Isaac and Miria in 1933, Firo is relieved that he did not enjoy causing Isaac and Miria pain.
Firo was born in May 1912 in a slum in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan. His father, who died from tuberculosis around the time of Firo's birth, was an Italian immigrant from Naples (where he'd been part of the Camorra). After his father's Camorra had lost in a gang war, he fled to America. Firo grew up in the same building as the Gandor Brothers and Claire Stanfield, forming a close friendship with them in childhood.
In 1919, Firo and the Gandor Brothers go looking for Claire, who has run off to play. They eventually find him in the rafters of a derelict building, which Claire descends from without trouble. After a small chat, Berga Gandor reminds them all that they'd better get home as per the Gandor patriarch's rule that the children must be home before dark. Firo points out that the Gandors' father is a real mafioso, so he's definitely serious when he says things like that - 'old man Gandor' is scary when he is mad. Claire and Firo are in agreement.
Berga replies that of course their father doesn't give Claire and Firo special treatment - they're part of the family, after all. The Gandor brothers and Claire head for the exit. As they walk through the doors, Firo stands behind, contemplating his future. The Gandor brothers will probably take over the family territory, and Claire...will probably do just fine for himself. So where does that leave Firo?
At some point in Firo's childhood, he is kidnapped by a person who mistakes him for a young girl. He is saved at the 'last second' by Keith Gandor and the Gandor don. It is implied that this incident was somewhat traumatic - and it is highly likely that this incident is a major reason why Firo has issues with effeminacy.
His mother (an American with English ancestry) died from tuberculosis before Firo had reached his tenth birthday.
Now an orphan, Firo drifted the Manhattan streets and was picked up by the head of the Martillo Family (becoming a Martillo associate) after he attempted to rob Martillo primo voto Kanshichirou Yaguruma. He was tasked with monitoring casinos to prevent cheating, and later would manage those casinos after becoming an executive of the family.
In 1927, Firo visits an eatery under Gandor influence and takes a seat at a table. He is awaiting the arrival of the Gandor brothers and of Claire Stanfield, the latter of whom he has not seen in several years. Claire's arrival is typically flashy: in the nick of time, he saves several dishes from breaking after a waitress trips (and balances them on both his hands and one shoe). Firo greets him and says that he is as 'awesome as ever'. The two tease each other some, and fondly recall how 'old man Gandor' is likely responsible for their good qualities. Firo asks Claire about the circus, and the Gandor brothers show up on cue. The five exchange greetings.
Claire figures that Firo would have joined the Gandors, and Berga crossly says that Firo has instead joined the camorra. Claire worries about what might happen should the camorra and the Gandors come to blows, and when Berga suggests they wrangle Firo to their side right now Luck Gandor reminds him that they promised not to talk about such things. Firo brushes the matter aside, and eagerly asks Claire if he is going to the feast of San Gennaro tomorrow. Luck explains the festival to Claire, and ('speaking of miracles') has he read the tabloids? Firo realizes that he is alluding to 'the Phantom Father' - the supposed serial killer who doesn't die if he is stabbed. Claire remarks that Keith Gandor doesn't look to interested, and Luck blithely says that Keith prefers silent movies to festivals (as of late, Keith has taken shine to a certain lady pianist).
Moments later, the conversation is interrupted by two diners engaging in a drunken brawl. Berga violently brings the fight to a halt, and after a few threatening words from Luck the two brawlers flee into the streets. Before they leave, Luck reminds the business owner that he expects him to do good business tomorrow. The five exit the eatery, and Firo asks him what he meant. Luck answers that the Gandors plan to use the festival to make a little extra cash via liquor. Firo says that Luck is a 'smart guy...just like always'.
Claire butts in and throws an arm over Luck's shoulder. With Luck's neck entrapped in the crook of his elbow, Claire brightly demands that Luck show him where the festival is being set up. He drags Luck away. As Berga, Luck, and Claire go off, Firo and Keith are left alone. As they walk, Keith takes a drag of his cigarette and asks Firo "are you okay?" Firo stutters "I...I'm not not okay or anything. And, uh, geez, Keith, I haven't heard you talk in forever!!" After a pause, he clenches his fist. Although he is not like the others, he still plans to make it on his own as Firo Prochainezo, without relying on either the Gandors or God.
In the next second, a thief roughly runs past them, shoving Firo towards Keith in the process. He knocks over a priest in the crowd as he makes his getaway, and a man in an apron shouts at the thief to stop. Firo heads over to the fallen priest, and offers him a hand up. The priest takes his hand, thanks him, and gets to his feet. He offers Firo a lollipop as thanks, and introduces himself as Donatello. Donatello asks Firo if he'd like to join a little audience -- all kids -- to watch a puppet show. Firo (offended that Donatello has mistaken him for a child) stiffly says that he'll pass.
A nearby man requests Donatello's assistance with the festival, and he warns Firo and Keith to be careful. He hopes that the two will enjoy the festival to the fullest, and heads off through the crowd. Firo and Keith watch him depart, and Firo tentatively wonders if the priest will be alright as he watches the man trip and fall to the ground. The two resume walking through the crowd.
The next morning, Firo heads off for the festival. He spots Maiza walking down a street, and calls out to him - isn't he going to the festival today? No, says Maiza. He has to work. He advises Firo not to be too careless today, and Firo says that he'll be fine. He isn't a kid. The pair part ways, and Firo decides to head for The Alveare and to take a shortcut via the alleys. As he turns into an alleyway, he stops in shock when he sees a man strung up between the two parallel walls from multiple stakes (pierced through his neck, his arms, his side...).
Firo recognizes the man as the thief from the day prior, and wonders if this is a warning from another mafia or camorra outfit. Not wanting to get involved in police business, he takes off running through the streets with the intention of reporting the incident to the Martillos at the Alveare. When he arrives, he finds Yaguruma in the middle of addressing the Martillo associates (picciottos). Yaguruma spots him -- good timing, he says. He informs the group of young Martillo members that 'a Gandor boss' got himself kidnapped by someone. Not only don't they have any details on the situation, the Gandors haven't been fighting with other outfits recently.
Yaguruma proceeds to give a big speech on the criminal life, and after his speech is over Firo places a hand on his chest and asks that Yaguruma give him permission to help the Gandors. Yaguruma turns away, and Firo reaches out to him imploringly. The primo voto turns, grabs Firo's outstretched arm and flips him over onto the ground. He reminds Firo of his place, and Firo forces himself up onto his knees. Kneeling, he slowly responds that he does not plan to help 'the Gandors'. But the brothers are like family to him, and he begs Yaguruma to let him go make sure his 'brother' is safe. If he does not go now, the regret will kill him.
Yaguruma swiftly draws his knife and holds it to Firo's throat, asking him if he'd rather just die here and now. Firo draws his own knife and drives it down into the floorboards. He announces that he will leave his knife here; if Yaguruma turns Firo's own knife on him when he returns then he will gladly accept his punishment. But he cannot die yet. Yaguruma calls him a 'blasted idiot' before leaving. Firo remains kneeling on one knee as Yaguruma leaves; he turns his head to the side as he thanks him.
With the confrontation out of the way, Firo races through the streets of Little Italy with the intention of finding out about the Gandor situation. He stops when he hears Claire shouting at him through the throng. Claire says that he has been looking everywhere for Firo, and the two turn into a deserted alleyway. As they walk, Claire asks Firo if he has seen Keith today. At Firo's query, Claire explains that he received a call from Luck, who informed him that the Gandors found Keith's bloody jacket and a smashed lollipop in a nearby alley.
At that, Firo quizzically draws the lollipop (still in its wrapper) that Donatello gave him from his jacket, and explains that a priest gave it to him when he was with Keith yesterday. Claire mutters at the difficulty of finding a specific priest in a religious festival, and casually says that he'll look for the priest 'up top.' Firo watches him as he uses a fire escape to ascend to the rooftops. Once safely above, Claire shouts down at Firo not to push himself, since he has his own position to worry about.
Firo silently affirms that he knows he can't do anything special like Claire, but even so -- he'll do what he can. If he doesn't, there was no point in risking his life when he confronted Yaguruma. He spends some amount of time asking festival goers and various priests if they have seen Donatello, and at one point approaches the window of a truck. He asks the truck driver (not knowing that the driver is in cahoots with Donatello and Szilard) if he has seen a priest, and at the driver's denial he takes off down the streets. Firo observes that there are more cops on the streets than usual, and wonders if the priest really is in fact the 'Phantom Father.'
Attempting to analyze the priest's movements, he heads for the streets a little ways outside the borders of Little Italy. He notes that the children on the sidewalks are all sucking on lollipops, and asks them who gave them their candy. At their replies, he hunts down and confronts Donatello in an empty street. Pulling out the lollipop Donatello gave him, he drops it to the ground, stomps on it with his foot and reintroduces himself as Firo Prochainezo, one of the camorra and a Martillo associate. He demands to know what Donatello has done with Keith.
At the revelation that Firo is a criminal, Donatello strides toward him and a stake slides out of his sleeve. He grabs the stake and raises it high above his head, intending to stab Firo. A sudden force stops his wrist mid-movement: it is Claire, who has grabbed the priest's wrist with one hand. He slams a knee up into Donatello's arm/elbow, and knocks him out with a single punch. Firo thanks him, but advises him to tone it down somewhat. As they talk, the priest gets to his knees. Claire concedes that the priest is tougher than he thought, and Firo warily notes that something is off - the priest is completely uninjured.
Donatello states that he is under divine protection, and darts towards Claire with stake in hand. Claire kicks the stake out of his hand, grabs it and drives the metal into Donatello's arm/wrist. As the two continue to exchange blows, Firo stares at the priest as his wounds continue to heal up. He asks if Donatello is the Phantom Father, and the priest replies that the depraved New York will be reborn after the festival. He will give the mafia a warning at the end of it - a warning that Claire correctly infers must be Keith Gandor.
Donatello continues to bait Firo by insulting the Martillo Family (and calling them mafia), and Claire shrugs it off before driving his leg into Donatello's stomach. The two take their fight to the rooftops (via fire escape) and Firo tsks and runs around the corner. He takes the interior stairs; when Firo arrives at the rooftop he calls out Claire's name. Donatello uses the opportunity to make a break for the edge of the roof, and Firo takes chase. He ignores Claire's alarmed warning, and tackles Donatello by the waist. The two plummet over the edge and to the ground; Donatello dislodges Firo with an elbow to his face. Firo crash-lands into a collection of boxes and sandbags. The priest is not so lucky; he is impaled on a flagpole.
Claire descends the fire escape and helps Firo out of the mess. Firo nurses his facial bruise and looks up, expecting to see the priest's body dangling from the flagpole. To his shock, the body is gone. Claire clambers up the fire escape to examine the flagpole - it is devoid of blood. Firo curses, realizing that with the priest gone they will be unable to find Keith's location. Claire advises him not to sweat it - this is Keith they are talking about, after all. And besides - thanks to Firo, they know where Donatello is roughly headed. Leaping onto the ground, he tells Firo to leave Keith to him. Firo accuses him of implying that he (Firo) would not be of any help, and Claire denies this. He says that he's worried about Firo too, and says that he should just leave the rest to his family.
Firo begrudgingly accepts his situation, and the two part ways. Returning to the Alveare, he stands outside the entrance to the honey shop, unsure of whether or not he should go inside. He is startled by Maiza's alarmed shout ("Firo! What happened to your face?"), and Maiza urges him to head on inside to treat his wounds. Firo gathers his resolve, and tells Maiza that he'll be right back. He enters the speakeasy, resigned to take on whatever punishment he deserves. He stops at Molsa Martillo's greeting; the Martillo don sits at a nearby booth across from Yaguruma. while Ronny Schiatto lights his (Molsa's) cigarette.
In the ensuing conversation Molsa thinks that Firo's actions were fine since he only intended to save his family, and calls out to Lia Lin-Shan to get Firo some food (and maybe treat his wounds). Molsa confides in Firo that he has no use for fellows who will not risk their lives for their family. Yaguruma returns Firo's knife to him, and suggests that next time he at least leave the sheath out of consideration for the man who has to hold the knife for him. Ronny lets Firo know that Keith is fine, much to Firo's relief. He adds that Firo is 'quite clumsy' - had he just insinuated that he could put the Gandors in the Martillos' debt, he could have mobilized the entire Martillo family.
Firo is stunned at this revelation, and Maiza drags him off to get his wounds treated. Lia and others chat with Firo as they see to his bruises.
The next day, Firo arrives at the Alveare. He, Randy, and Pezzo greet Maiza when he arrives at the speakeasy, and cheerfully tells Maiza that he is fine when the man inquires about his injuries. Randy and Pezzo remark that Firo is always getting himself 'busted up,' and Maiza quietly reminds Firo that "people...die quite easily, you know." Firo sheepishly scratches his neck, smiles, and replies that he isn't that fragile.
At that, Randy recalls how Firo was telling them about the priest who didn't die from his injuries - the so-called Phantom Father. Randy laughs and says that he figured that Firo wasn't actually going to be able to do anything when he high-tailed it out of the Alveare yesterday. The two demand to know what the Phantom Father was like, and if he had anything to do with the church fire the day before. Firo remembers how the priest would be fine even after they hurt him.
Maiza tightly grasps Firo's arm and asks him to describe the priest for him. Firo describes him as best he can, but Maiza does not recognize him. Randy, Pezzo, and Firo continue light-heartedly talking about the events, and Maiza brings the conversation to a halt when Pezzo happily dreams about how he certainly wouldn't mind living forever. He mentions that he has business at the church the others mentioned, and Firo offers to take him there.
The two leave and walk through the streets. At some distance away from the church, the two stop and Firo advises him on the rest of the way. Maiza dismisses him, and Firo blurts out a "Wait! Can I help you with anything?" Maiza firmly states that this has nothing to do with Firo, and turns away. Firo clenches his fist and says that he's prepared to take a beating for the Family just as he had for the Gandors, so if there's anything that he can do, Maiza should tell him.
Maiza looks at him, and comments that Firo faces everything straight-on. He wonders if that is why Firo is always getting hurt, and when Firo grumbles that Maiza is calling him simple, Maiza corrects him. He is saying that Firo grows faster with every injury. He only thought that he should...confront matters as well.
The two part ways a minute later, and Firo heads back toward the Alveare.
In November 1930, Firo gives some money to a beggar on the street and knocks him unconscious after he attempts to rob Firo of his money. Firo is then confronted by an antagonistic Edward Noah, who reveals that he was using Firo in order to catch the beggar (really a murderer) in the act. Afterwards, Firo goes to a local haberdashery with Maiza to pick out a new hat. At the haberdashery, the two run into Isaac and Miria. Soon after the two leave the shop, Firo spots smoke rising in the distance. He runs off towards the scene to find the Barnes Company Granary on fire. There, he bumps into Ennis and follows after her into the alleyways purely because he finds her pretty.
While searching for Ennis in the alleyways, Firo comes across Dallas Genoard and his goons in the act of robbing Barnes, an older man who they had beaten into unconsciousness. Firo single-handedly takes out the four thugs, after which he opens Barnes' crate and finds two bottles nestled inside it. Believing the bottles to contain high-quality liquor, Firo empties two of the four wine bottles he is carrying and then fills them with Barnes' liquor. He then gives his remaining wine to Barnes. Once Barnes wakes up, Firo asks him if he has seen a redheaded girl run by. Barnes replies that he has not, and Firo continues on his way.
That night, Firo undergoes his initiation ceremony, headed by Molsa Martillo and witnessed by the other executives. The ceremony culminates in a knife match between Firo and Maiza, which Firo wins and signals his full promotion to executive. Firo serves the two bottles he stole from Barnes at the ensuing party, ignorant that the bottles actually contain the Cure-All Elixir instead of liquor. Consequently, everyone present becomes a complete immortal.
The next day, Firo is having lunch at The Alveare when Szilard Quates arrives and greets Maiza, much to Maiza's alarm. Firo and the surrounding executives quickly come to Maiza's defense, and Firo even tries to attack Szilard when he reaches for his tommy gun. Szilard easily deflects Firo's attacks, and Maiza orders Firo to flee. Firo reluctantly does as instructed, escaping through the back door just as Szilard opens fire on him. Maiza leaps between them to block the bullets.
Ennis attacks Firo as soon as he exits the door, initially believing him to be Maiza. During the ensuing tussle and conversation, Firo learns that Ennis is a homunculus created by Szilard, who is immortal along with Maiza. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Dallas and his two surviving goons, and a couple minutes later by the Gandor brothers, who interrogate the thugs at gunpoint and eventually kill them. Ennis' warning to tie the thugs up comes too late, and they regenerate and kill the Gandors, Firo, and Ennis.
Immediately after regenerating, Firo takes off and returns to the back-alley just as Ennis stabs Szilard in the back, with Isaac and Miria and an injured Maiza looking on. Ennis collapses backward a moment later, dying a slow death by Szilard's will. Firo dashes forward and drags both Ennis and Maiza far away from Szilard while Isaac and Miria pelt the old man with pepper bombs, assuring Ennis that he won't let her die. So saying, he takes out his knife and approaches Szilard - whose head is promptly drenched in lamp fuel courtesy of Randy. Pezzo throws a lit match at Szilard's head, and as it burns Firo charges towards Szilard and devours him, saving the day. He uses his newfound knowledge to restore Ennis' cells to life.
Donald Brown, Bill Sullivan, and Edward soon arrive on the scene, having heard reports of gunshots by civilians. Edward's interrogation of Firo is cut short thanks to Isaac and Miria taking off down the alley; after the investigators leave, Firo casually confesses to meddling with Barnes' bottles to Maiza. Overcome, Maiza collapses to his knees, lamenting that his friends are now burdened with the curse of immortality. His plea for Firo to devour him is adamantly denied, and Fiiro joins the other executives in celebrating.
On the evening of December 30, 1931 Berga drops by Firo's casino for an impromptu visit. Still on the job, Firo surreptitiously monitors a man on a huge winning streak at the poker table while conversing with his childhood friend. Berga good-naturedly complains about how the roulettes are hard to win, at which Firo asks if he really has the time to be hanging out at the casino - after all, Firo has heard that the Gandors are nearly at all-out war with the Runorata Family. Berga replies that the whole reason he is at Firo's casino is because he knows the Runoratas won't go after the Martillos, whereas there is still a danger of being attacked on Gandor turf.
Firo warns Berga not to get the Martillos involved, and raises his right hand to signal security. A group of his employees surround the poker player, exposing the cards hidden up the player's sleeve. The cheater is accordingly dragged away into a small room. Firo informs Berga that he has to be getting home soon, since he's picking up "someone" at Pennsylvania Station tomorrow. He advises Berga to return home before the Runoratas find him here.
Berga is surprised - he and his brothers are going to the station tomorrow because they thought pick-up duty was their job. The two are sufficiently muddled until Firo explains that he's picking up Isaac and Miria, and he asks who the Gandors are planning to pick up. This person turns out to be Claire, much to Firo's delight. He figures that the Gandors will have nothing to worry about with the Runoratas now, since there is no possible way the Gandors can lose with 'Vino' on their side.
The two whisper about Claire for a little while, and Firo is bemused to learn that Claire is coming in on the Flying Pussyfoot - the same train as Isaac and Miria. He tells Berga that Maiza is coming along tomorrow as well in order to pick up an old immortal alchemist friend of his who is arriving on the very same train. During their conversation, Firo brings up Berga's marriage to Kalia Gandor the year before last (it appears that Berga and Kalia have had a fight again) and asks how their marriage came about - that is, how did Berga propose.
Berga admits that Kalia was the one who proposed marriage instead, much to Firo's consternation. He immediately begins teasing Firo over Ennis, and Firo blushes, objecting that they are only roommates. Berga recalls Firo's kidnapping and wonders if Firo is still 'hung up' on that, before mentioning that Luck once said that Firo is so timid because any man who "lays a hand" on a woman is scum to him. Firo is embarrassed and outraged at the mention of Luck, and Berga suggests that Firo act more like Claire when it comes to women.
When Firo returns home, he greets Ennis and learns that she is also planning on picking up Isaac and Miria tomorrow. They decide that she should meet Firo and Maiza at the casino tomorrow, and then head to the station together. Firo complains incredulously about Isaac and Miria, who have apparently been 'mining' for gold in California. Ennis thinks that they should at least have been able to keep themselves fed thanks to the lapis lazuli veins, and Firo muses that since they're immortal they don't really need to eat.
Ennis replies that it is more efficient to feed oneself, and hunger has psychological effects as well. She remarks that she is used to the feeling of hunger, since Szilard did not feed her unless she was accompanying him. Firo apologizes for making her recall unpleasant memories, but she is untroubled.
Firo wakes on December 31 around five AM, It turns out that Ennis is already awake herself out of excitement over reuniting with Isaac and Miria. Firo mentions that Claire is coming in on the same train, and Ennis asks what Claire is like. Later that day, Firo and the others head to Pennsylvania Station, where the Flying Pussyfoot is scheduled to arrive at 12 PM. They end up waiting - the train is late. At 2 PM Berga grouses about the delay, and Firo wonders if it is safe for the Gandors to be out in the open. Luck asks Maiza about his alchemist friend, and at Maiza's description Berga compares the alchemist to Claire.
Ennis comments on "Miss Claire," and before Firo can correct her the speakers announce the train's arrival. The group heads to the platform, where they watch a wide variety of odd passengers disembark the train. Isaac and Miria are some of the last passengers to disembark, and after they embrace their friends (Firo is bemused by their wild west outfits) Isaac exclaims that he has brought Ennis a gift. He and Miria dart back into the train, and reemerge with Czeslaw Meyer. They present the boy to Ennis as her new younger brother. It turns out that Czes is Maiza's old friend, and the two reunite on the platform.
The Gandors receive an envelope and Berga excuses themselves to Firo - Claire is waiting outside.
Czeslaw moves in with Firo and Ennis as their roommate.
A few days later on January 2, 1932, Firo watches in astonishment as Ennis, Maiza, Isaac and Miria and several other Martillo members set up an elaborate domino design on the floor. He gets caught up in the excitement despite himself. A domino craze sweeps the Alveare over the next few days, and on once occasion Firo helps to set up the dominoes, Ennis kneeling across from him. When Ennis notices that he is staring at her, he attempts to work up the courage to ask her out to lunch. Isaac and Miria interrupt him before he can, and he is forced to take them to his casino.
When the three of them return, Firo is disconcerted to learn that someone called "Felix Walken" (Claire) has left his lunch on Firo's tab.
Several months later (in the summer, perhaps August) Firo overhears Isaac and Miria loudly commenting on a newspaper article about "Ice Pick Thompson," a serial killer who has been haunting the local streets. He asks if they know something, and at their ignorance he sighs and wonders why they got so worked up over something they don't even know anything about. Isaac retorts that if Miria is terrified then there is absolutely something to fear. Firo explains that Ice Pick Thompson is a serial killer, and when Isaac and Miria spout off a nonsensical dialogue about how to protect themselves he gives up and walks away.
Czes offers an explanation for their talk, and Firo silently wonders at Czes' attitude - it is as if he has built a wall between himself and others. He half-heartedly engages Isaac and Miria in conversation once more, and falls back into thought when they call him a good person. He considers the fact that he is a murderer and a criminal.
In September 1933, Firo is deeply troubled by Szilard's memories, afraid that they will taint him to the point where he enjoys inflicting misery upon his friends. As an experiment, he knocks over Isaac and Miria's dominoes to see whether or not he enjoys it. He reacts rudely to Isaac and Miria's furious beratement of him; once he snaps, they rush out of the Alveare, sobbing. Maiza (who had caught on to Firo's true intentions) asks him if he enjoyed doing what he did, to which Firo answers that he did not.
Later, Firo receives a note declaring that Ennis and Ronny have been kidnapped. Not realizing that the note is from Isaac and Miria, he runs around Manhattan frantically searching for Ennis. During his search he meets Christopher Shouldered. Firo eventually reunites with Ennis in the Babel Restaurant on top of the Mist Wall skyscraper, and is caught up in the ensuing showdown between factions.
(rest of 1933 to be added)
In 1934, he is arrested by Victor Talbot for the destruction of public property during the bombing of the Mist Wall and is imprisoned on Alcatraz, where he meets Ladd Russo and Sham (through Sham's vessel Dragon) and runs into Isaac, a fellow prisoner. Firo's arrest is in actuality a pretext -- Victor is sending him to Alcatraz to keep an eye on Huey Laforet because Victor cannot figure out how Huey is controlling his factions from Alcatraz of all places (Isaac was incarcerated as a means of preventing Firo from trying anything funny. Victor's original intention was to arrest both Isaac and Miria, but Isaac caught on and prevented Miria's arrest).
(1935 under construction)
(From the Drama CD: Firo Witnesses the 53rd Death of Pietro Gonzales)
In the summer of 1936, Molsa informs Firo that Pietro Gonzales and Dominico Fuentes have robbed both the Martillo Family and the Gandor Family and have fled to Mexico. He orders Firo to catch them; Firo expresses his disbelief that the two men (neither malicious nor all that bright) would have done such a thing, and Molsa counters that it's the family's fault for being careless that they ended up being betrayed. Luck elects to accompany Firo on the journey, and Molsa leaves it up to them to decide what ought to be done with Pietro and Dominico (and to show no mercy).
During the drive to Mexico, Luck and Firo both agree that they would never have dreamed that Pietro and Dominico would betray them, since the pair are so good-natured they put Isaac and Miria to shame. Luck wonders what Isaac and Miria are up to, since he has not seen them in a while.
The two eventually arrive at San Miguel, Pietro and Dominico's hometown. They are surprised at how modern the place is, and enter a nearby bar with the intention of asking around for the pair. It is clear that the patrons and bartender do not want Firo and Luck in the bar -- the bartender gives Luck a glass of dirty water when he asks for something to drink. At the slight, Luck pulls out his gun and demands the whereabouts of Pietro and Dominico. The patrons erupt, and before the bartender kicks them out one of the customers calls Pietro and Dominico 'inhuman.'
Outside, a Mexican girl approaches Firo, who remarks afterwards that she reminds him of someone (aka Maria, who constantly refers to people as amigo). She introduces herself as Elita, a village nobody, and informs them that she knows where Pietro and Dominico are and that she will disclose this information for money. Firo gives her some money, and says that he'll pay the other half once he sees Pietro and Dominico.
Elita leads Firo to Antonio Baro's theatre. They wait in the wings for a show to start - a show in which Pietro and Dominico are supposed to be acting. An announcer introduces Dominico to the audience as a man who has accomplished several wonders over his lifetime (including how he split the Grand Canyon when he was thirty years old), and then Pietro as someone who perpetually experiences a certain 'miracle.' Firo is confused -- why is Dominico dressed like a minister? Pietro and Dominico are accompanied by men in black on stage, one of whom carries a huge katana; he promptly uses the katana to decapitate Pietro.
The announcer has the audience pray alongside Dominico (who doesn't really know how to pray), and they just end up copying everything he says - including his mistakes. Still, Pietro comes back to life, causing the audience to whisper in astonishment. Firo realizes that Pietro is an immortal like he is - immensely agitated, he demands to meet with them as he has a lot of questions. Elita promptly knocks him out and informs his prone body that he was going to meet them anyway.
Firo wakes up when cold water is thrown over him. A man (accompanied by Elita) asks if Firo (he refers to Firo as 'American') is awake, and then punches him in the stomach when he asks where he is. The man introduces himself as Antonio Baro, and as he interrogates Firo he punches him more than once at Firo's smart remarks. It turns out that Antonio is the leader of a human trafficking ring - Elita lures unsuspecting people to them and they sell those people to their customers.
Antonio thinks that Firo will be a valuable commodity, thanks to his slender figure and youthful face. He says that he'll relish watching Firo cry when the 'rich perverts' come to harass him, and Firo replies that Antonio must really hate him. Antonio agrees: he especially hates Firo's eyes, which are so calm and unafraid no matter what. He cannot wait to make Firo cry.
Firo is subsequently locked up in their 'dungeon'. He does not resist - he knows that he can escape at any time, and he knows that he cannot leave until he finds Pietro and Dominico. Later, Antonio enters the dungeon with Pietro and Dominico in tow; he locks them up and leaves. Firo attempts to introduce himself, but Pietro and Dominico refuse to believe that the Firo they know - the Firo from the Martillo Family in New York - can be this Firo, in Mexico.
It takes him an hour to convince the two that he really is the Firo they know, and they are overjoyed at the unexpected reunion. He asks them why they stole from the Martillos and the Gandors; Pietro explains that it's because he wants to die, and Dominico explains that he did it because he wants Pietro to die. Firo is completely confused, but they eventually manage to give him the story.
Pietro had been present when Barnes' granary burned down in 1930, and had plucked an intact bottle out from the wreckage and drunk it, thinking it liquor. The bottle, of course, actually contained Szilard's immortality elixir. When Pietro realized he could not die he was horrified at the thought that he would never see his dead grandparents, dog, or donkey again. Pietro had met someone claiming to be a childhood acquaintance: this 'someone' said they knew a witch doctor in Mexico who could 'seal away' Pietro's immortality for money.
The two promptly stole from the mafia and camorra in order to pay the witch doctor. The informant led them to Mexico, and Antonio confiscated their money and had them perform at his theatre. They are still waiting for the witch doctor to show up. The two still believe that Antonio will give them their money back when the witch doctor arrives. Firo tries to convince them that they have been scammed, but to no avail.
The door to the room opens, and Isaac and Miria are flung inside the dungeon alongside the three occupants. Pietro and Dominico are at first skeptical that these are the Isaac and Miria that they know from New York, but it only takes two minutes this time to confirm that they are who they say they are. Firo announces that they should try and escape, but he is misunderstood...it takes him another hour to explain what he means. Pietro asks if he can go see the witch doctor and die after they escape, and Firo comments that he really does not see what the problem is with living forever.
Their conversation is interrupted at the sound of gunshots from the room above them. Firo realizes that if they can hear the sound of gunshots so clearly there must be a weak point in the ceiling that is strong enough for them to break through. He orders the other four to help him listen for the thinnest part of the ceiling. Pietro and Dominico don't understand, but Isaac and Miria eagerly comply -- and they find the spot in question. The group pounds at the weak spot, causing the ceiling to cave in. Baro falls through the ceiling and onto the floor, where Firo promptly takes him hostage.
Luck - who had been fighting Antonio in the room above - greets Firo, who is glad to see him. Isaac, Miria, Pietro, and Dominico are also happy to see Luck, who upon seeing Pietro and Dominico considers killing them. Firo heads him off. Elita (who'd been involved in the fight above) asks what Firo plans to do with her boss, and he states that he'll hold on to him as long as he has to in order to get away. Amigo.
The large group - Luck, Isaac, Pietro, Miria, Dominico, and Firo (with Baro in tow) head out into the desert. Just before they reach Luck and Firo's car, Elita and her men show up and she lassos Pietro and Dominico, followed by Miria and Isaac. With their friends held hostage, Luck and Firo are forced to release Antonio. Surrounded and with no escape, Luck indicates to Firo that they should just let themselves die. Firo is not happy about this, but complies. They are promptly shot dead. Isaac and Miria pass out in horror.
Firo and Luck soon regenerate (as Dominico leads a desperate prayer over their bodies), and Firo tells Antonio to curse his luck that he ever met them. Elita and all of Antonio's henchmen run away, not wanting to die. Firo does not reveal what he and Luck did with Antonio, and encourages the listener to use their imagination.
Firo explains everything to Luck. Luck decides that he'll just blame everything on Antonio, use the stolen money as recompense, and say no more about it (he'll let Pietro and Dominico go). Pietro and Dominico misunderstand Luck's idiom and figure that they have to leave. Besides, they still need to find the witch doctor and make Pietro mortal again. Pietro and Dominico set off across the desert, and Isaac and Miria decide to leave too, since they are still searching for the Revolution. Firo tells them to hurry back, and as he watches them leave he wonders why Pietro wanted to die so badly.
Pietro comes running back his way, and gives Firo his reason: he does not want to keep on living without Dominico, whom he's been together with since childhood. This is something Firo has never considered, since he became immortal with friends and family. Luck thinks of Claire; Firo knows that wherever Claire is right now, he's definitely alive. He'll never die.
As they get back into their car and drive off, Firo starts really thinking about Claire and what Pietro said. The truth is that Claire is mortal, and that he will die one day and Firo the others will have to live on without him. The thought makes Firo's chest tighten, and he resolves not to think about such things - it's too early to dream of a world without Claire in it. He silently wishes Pietro and Dominico good luck, and looks forward to seeing Claire again soon.
When Maiza leaves the Martillo in the 1970s, Firo takes over as the family's contaiuolo in his absence. During this time, Firo wears glasses in an attempt to look smarter. Firo marries Ennis in the early 1980s when her feelings develop, and the two (accompanied by Czes) honeymoon aboard the cruise liner Entrance in August 2002.
In the first half of 2002, Firo and Ennis are contacted via phone by Maiza - who is in a certain European country along with other immortals working on a solution that woul allow certain homunculi to exist outside their forest. Firo and Ennis assist him as best they can from New York (presumably, Firo consults Szilard's memories and knowledge).
(August 2002 under construction)
Maiza Avaro - Firo and Maiza are both members of the Martillo Family, and have a mentor-protege relationship. Firo greatly respects Maiza's wisdom, and he cares about him very much - for example, Firo is furious when he learns that Maiza was ambushed in his apartment building in 1935. Maiza similarly cares for Firo, going so far as to use his own body to shield Firo from a hail of bullets in 1930 (granted, Maiza thought Firo was mortal at the time). Both Sylvie Lumiere and Victor Talbot have noted that Firo resembles Maiza's younger brother Gretto, and Victor speculates that Maiza might view Firo in a similar light. Firo trusts Maiza enough to confide in him and share his own insecurities.
Ronny Schiatto - Ronny taught Firo how to fight with a knife, and has a soft spot for him. Firo meanwhile admires Ronny greatly. Firo is unaware of Ronny's true nature as of 1935-D, but given that the Japanese tourist in 2002 discerns Ronny's nature from the story that Firo tells, it may be inferred that Firo has figured it out sometime in the intervening seventy years.
Molsa Martillo - Firo respects Molsa as a man, and is absolutely loyal to him. Molsa apparently also instructed Firo in knife technique.
Isaac & Miria - Firo is constantly exasperated by Isaac and Miria, finding their absurd tangents and logic hard to follow or otherwise inane. That being said, Firo is ultimately fond of the two, and feels guilty for hurting their feelings after he knocks their dominoes down in 1933. In 1934, Isaac is incarcerated in Alcatraz in order to keep Firo on a tight leash, and Firo is clearly unhappy that his friend is being used against him.
Ennis - Ennis caught Firo's romantic interest the moment he first laid eyes on her. His crush on her only grew after she moved into his apartment. At the time, Ennis had only a minimal understanding of romantic love, and as such was not able to reciprocate let alone understand or even notice his feelings for her. Firo himself was both too shy and embarrassed to confess his feelings, so the two spent many years together living in what Ennis almost regarded as a 'sibling-like' relationship. Eventually their relationship did progress romantically, leading to their marriage in the 1980s.
Despite the fact that Ennis is a capable fighter in her own right, Firo constantly worries about her and prefers her to be out of the way of danger.
Firo is formidable with a knife, having been taught knife-fighting by Ronny and Molsa during his years as a Martillo associate. He is also quite capable in unarmed combat, thanks to Yaguruma teaching him wrestling moves. He is also a talented gambler, and is extremely good at catching others at cheating.
In devouring Szilard, Firo gained all the knowledge and memories that Szilard had accumulated over the centuries.
As a complete immortal, the only way Firo can 'die' is if another immortal devours him. He can also transmit information to Ennis, since she is his linked homunculus.
- Firo is fluent in Japanese, having learned the language through Japanese film and manga, as well as through Yaguruma. Because he learned some Japanese through Yaguruma, his Japanese has an old-fashioned flavor to it.
- Firo is an atheist.