Gustav St. Germain (ギュスターヴ・サンジェルマン, Gyusutāvu Senjeruman) is the Vice-President of the Daily Days newspaper and information brokerage. He works with his assistant Carol primarily on incidents involving the immortals.
Gustav is always shown wearing a shiny monocle on his left eye. He is typically depicted wearing a long black overcoat over a white shirt and black trousers. He wears a black bow tie and brown scarf, the latter of which he either tucks into his coat or drapes smoothly over his shoulders.
His clothes are both elegant and obviously expensive (as is his umbrella, which he carries with him constantly), and overall make him seem rather like a "wealthy entrepreneur."
He has sharp, hawkish eyes, and some of his brown hair is grey. It is difficult if not impossible to determine his exact age; on first glance, Gustav looks "rather young" but has also been described as "middle-aged," owing in part to the grey hairs.
Narita has also described his eyes as "looking nothing less than evil."
Gustav is a well-spoken individual: his speech is exceedingly fluid and polite in such a way that people don't dare to interrupt him (even when he rambles). His 'ramblings' tend to be a series of rhetorical suppositions (such as his musings on rainbows) leaning toward both the philosophical and practical.
One of Gustav's notable quirks is the points 'system' he has with Carol, awarding her a number of points for her answers to his rhetorical questions. It is unknown if he actually has some sort of system in mind when judging her answers, though it is likely the points are arbitrary. His emphasis on etiquette by modern standards is somewhat old-fashioned (as evidenced when he tells Carol that it is rude for ladies to point at people/objects). He is always extra-courteous to clients.
He is an experienced journalist and prefers investigating on-scene rather than from the comfort of his desk. He and Carol often travel as a result. Furthermore, he is competent in a fight, easily able to fend off Graham Specter's men when they hijack their westbound transcontinental train in 1934.
It is clear that he is protective of or otherwise cares about Carol to some extent, as seen when he carefully guards her from Renee Paramedes Branvillier in 1934.
(Note: Gustav's following conversation with Carol aboard the train was adapted for the anime in Episode 01)
In December 1934, Gustav and Carol board a westbound transcontinental train for Chicago, Illinois. Gustav intends to visit the Daily Days staff in other cities and to photograph them, and has opted to bring Carol along to further their training.
In their plainly furnished First Class compartment, Gustav reads a newspaper while Carol watches the passing scenery through the window. Carol excitedly exclaims when she sees a rainbow in the sky, and Gustav muses that a rainbow is indeed a wondrous occurrence that soothes its onlookers. He wonders why a phenomenon reminiscent of a child's thoughtless drawings draws such admiration from people.
Deepening his tone, he goes on to point out to Carol that people have thought definitively since their childhoods that rainbows are 'exquisite', and asks her why that is. She demurs, and he tosses his newspaper onto the desk. Gustav proceeds to consider the "sudden appearance of such an object in the sky," first noting that people who are ignorant of light refraction might see the rainbow as a harbinger of disaster. Several cultures do already. He suggests that perhaps the arc of a rainbow is the path along which disaster will 'rain down.' Perhaps the end of the rainbow has set vegetation ablaze.
He states that it isn't unusual at all for people to perceive things in this manner, and yet people still look at rainbows with a sense of "child-like wonder." He asks Carol if she's ever thought about such things. She hasn't, but from her perspective thinking about it won't get her closer to the answer. As far as she can tell, their job isn't to think about things, but to "report to others the outcome of what's already happened."
Gustav smiles faintly and shakes his head, informing her that her answer was "only" worth about three hundred and nineteen points ("Out of how many?"). He says that while she's correct that their job is to make the world aware of "the facts," she must never stop wondering about the authenticity of information, even after she has taken possession of it. Neither she nor he can allow themselves to be satisfied with "the mere knowledge of the veracity of the facts," for that is their responsibility as journalists.
Puzzled, Carol asks him what there is to think about - after all, she cannot change the facts just by thinking about them. Gustav gently argues the opposite: depending on how one thinks, the facts of both the past and future are both capable of changing. As he talks, he begins folding the newspaper on the table as if it were origami. He continues on to say that no matter what happened in the past, knowing the immediate future allows one to change an outcome entirely. After all, information only gains value after you think about it with your mind and your heart.
Their conversation is interrupted at the sound of a muffled racket in the corridor. The door to their cabin bursts open, and in file a group of men with bandannas over their mouths and knives in their hands. Carol flinches, and Gustav ("like clockwork") raises the folded newspaper above his head. Just as one of the men shouts for them to keep quiet, Gustav swings his right hand down with incredible force. An explosive noise "rather like the sound of fireworks" cracks through the air. It is ear-splitting.
Simultaneously, Gustav takes hold of the end of his umbrella (leaning against the chair) and uses the hooked handle to trip a man who has just entered the room. As the man falls backward, Gustav throws the newspaper at one of the two men in the hallway and proceeds to nail him with an "unusual uppercut" that sends him flying into the air. The third man aims his revolver at Gustav, but before he can pull the trigger Gustav covers the gun's magazine with his hand, sticking the cylinder. He snatches the gun away, and lands a powerful kick between the man's legs. The man crumples to the ground, eyes rolling back into his head. All this happens in just a few mere seconds.
Carol tentatively asks Gustav if he is all right as he stows the gun in his coat pocket. Gustav sends a sharp glance her way before smiling, and apologizes for using the newspaper before giving her a chance to read it (though if it is intact, it should still be readable). Gustav immediately uses the attack as a didactic example of what he'd been previously elaborating: In other words, it was because he had foreseen the possibility of an attack thanks to interpreting preexisting information that he was able to prepare himself and escape danger.
The girl realizes in astonishment that he knew from the start that they might be attacked, but Gustav modestly says that it was a very good educated guess. Bewildered, Carol asks why they boarded the train at all, and Gustav admits that he'd only arrived at such a conclusion when it was too late to return the tickets. He'd even given The President their receipt ahead of time. Or is Carol suggesting that they should follow Rachel's example and climb under the cars?
Their conversation is interrupted yet again when they hear someone outside the cabin door ask Gustav "...you...who the hell are you?" in a voice filled with malice. Gustav calmly sips his tea and introduces himself as Gustav St. Germain -- although he adds that "St. Germain" is a pseudonym he borrowed from the Count of St. Germain (see Trivia). He informs the stranger of his occupation, and adds that he'd greatly appreciate it if the man would consider subscribing to their tabloid. He slips in that he dabbles in information brokerage at the end.
The man's bloodlust does not dissipate, and he hisses "let me tell you...let me tell you an unfathomable story" ("I am listening," says Gustav). He says that he and his gang had determined to announce their arrival to Chicago with "a rather explosive bang" by robbing the bluebloods aboard the train, and he asks who led Gustav to make this "educated guess" about their attack. Gustav laughs lightly and asks if the man wouldn't mind letting it slide, given the virtue of Gustav's occupation; with a humble tone, Gustav adds that "the conclusion" will not change per the man's whims. There is no changing the past, no matter "how much you search for meaning in a completed action."
The man comments that the presence of Carol is making him feel far less inclined to continue on with the robbery, and tells Gustav that he doesn't like his roundabout way of answering things so could Gustav just actually answer the question instead of beating around the bush? The two of them negotiate, and after some snickering over his tea Gustav agrees to the man's terms and decides that he'll explain to the man the "details surrounding a certain incident." He advises Carol that this will be an excellent learning experience for her, and that he expects nothing less than her full attention.
After all, he thinks that it would behoove her to know the story surrounding a man named Claire Stanfield and the people associated with him -- although this particular tale is centered around a woman who is practically Claire's other half. Carol is surprised at Claire's name, and Gustav remarks that Claire's father was a rather old-fashioned man. As Gustav pours himself another cup of tea, he invites the man to come in and partake in tea as well, since it is chilly in the corridor. The man hesitates, but Gustav pours out some tea for him anyway.
Gustav proceeds to relay the events of 1931: Another Junk Railroad. He wraps up his story by discussing what happened to Graham Specter's gang in the two years since those events: how they (unlike Jacuzzi Splot's gang) made too much commotion in territory controlled by larger mafia families, how they'd become targets - and how the Russo Family made them a certain offer. The train Graham's gang chose to take from New York to Chicago had a security problem in that once the train passes a certain point, it is impossible to know that a robbery has taken place in First Class until the train reaches the station. The train is naturally the one that Gustav and Carol are currently travelling on. Not to mention - Graham's gang could boost their own morale by emulating their idol Ladd Russo (who'd hijacked a train back in 1931). Further still, they'd heard a rumor that one of the First Class passengers is an unpopular miser. Although Gustav had thought it was unlikely they'd take action, he'd been in the midst of preparing his newspaper gun when he'd heard them coming down the corridor.
The other man in the room is of course, Graham Specter himself. Gustav asks if his story has satisfied him, and Graham cackles that he understands everything now. He'd just been Gustav's tool through which he could tell the long, long story to Carol. Gustav suggests that he take it as a favor, gratis. He'd thought it would be useful for Graham to remember such a story. Graham continues to babble on about how he'd heard about these "Immortals" and "Huey Laforet," and how delicious his tea has been. As he promised, he'll let Gustav off the hook. At any rate, he doesn't feel like robbing them anymore.
Graham stands and makes to leave. Gustav takes a sip of his cold tea and says that as thanks for Graham's compliment towards the tea, he'll give him one more piece of information (also free of charge). According to Gustav, there happens to be a man with a thin mustache in the adjacent cabin who always carries around large amounts of cash and jewelry solely to be ostentatious. Indeed, he might just be the "unpopular miser" that Graham had heard rumors of. Graham frowns, and then smiles as he slams the cabin door open and shouts for his "lazy bastards" to get up. He knows damn well that they all roused while the story was ongoing.
The first of the men (Shaft) to get to his feet complains that they've surely had enough for today, but Graham points out that since he himself isn't injured, there isn't anything stopping them from the proverbial round two. Shaft asks how Graham can say such a thing, and then casually asks "Oh right, you mind givin' me a cup of tea too, Mr. Information Broker?" Graham tells Shaft to hurry up, and he and the other two delinquents step out into the hallway.
Left alone with the two occupants, Shaft pours himself a cup of tea, and with a grand smile and a bow (and cup in hand) he apologizes to Gustav for the trouble, not having known that Gustav would be on board today. Gustav surmises that Shaft must be one of Sham's vessels and admits that he's a tad surprised - he didn't expect to see Sham mingling with the likes of those delinquents. Sham quietly replies that this exchange should be kept secret, and that it's nothing that "Master Huey" should be made aware of.
Gustav is interested in this development. It seems that Sham has branched out from under Huey's command of his own free will. Taking into Sham's side job of providing the Daily Days/The Informer with information, does that mean he is planning to eventually seize power over Huey and Nebula? Sham denies this, and says that he is indebted to Huey and respects him very much. No, Sham merely wishes to have freedom; after all, Huey is not the only human that he has a personal interest in. Sham grins and says that while Graham can be terrifying, he is also intriguing. Yes, it is deathly painful when he slams his wrench into Sham's/Shaft's stomach, but in the man's terms - Graham is someone Sham both likes and dislikes.
Hearing Graham's voice in the hallway, Sham gulps down the rest of his tea and repeats his request that Gustav keeps the information exchange between them a secret from Huey. With that, Sham/Shaft opens the door and joins the others in flight.
In the ensuing quiet, Gustav asks Carol if she is confused, given that she's just been exposed to entirely new information (a lot of it). Sympathizing with her plight, he drinks a cup of newly-brewed tea and says that if there is anything she wants to ask, she may go ahead and ask it. Flustered, Carol asks if it is really alright for him to encourage robbery. Gustav informs her that the man in the cabin next door is called Mr. Turner and that in the past, he wheedled out of paying full price for data with the claim that he could not trust Gustav's information. He then proceeded to use that information to make a great deal of profit. As illegal as it might be, Gustav feels that the robber is justified. And furthermore -- that it serves Turner right.
Carol thinks that's somewhat of an abuse of power. They hear "vulgar yelling" from next door, and Carol quickly changes the subject by asking if Gustav would have been able to beat Graham if Graham became angry with him. Gustav's answer is frank: had he charged the two of them at full strength...well, setting himself aside, Carol would not have made it out alive. Gustav specializes in mental work, so he typically leaves this sort of thing to more capable hands.
The conversation derails, and Carol returns to looking at the rainbow outside their window. The moment the rainbow fades and the urban high-rises appear in the distance, Carol asks Gustav what will happen in Chicago. Gustav can only wonder. Not even their organization can gather information on events that have yet to occur. Thinking and theorizing is all they can do. He reminds Carol that the most accurate way to gather information is with their own two eyes, and that is their duty. He says that he expects great things from her. ...From her eyes, her camera, and her talents.
Once in Chicago, Gustav and Carol stay the night at the Gunslack Hotel. They have ham and eggs for breakfast, and the waiter (another vessel of Sham's) pours the hotel's 'special' bitter black coffee for Carol. She manages to finish it all.
Ten days later, the two visit Nebula's headquarters in downtown Chicago. Outside the building, Carol loudly admires the window designs and the "gorgeous" bronze statue out front. Gustav tells her about the decision process behind the building's design, and when Carol desires to take a photo of the building he says that there isn't a point to that and besides, she shouldn't waste film. He launches into another grand theory of his about how she shouldn't only consider his "humble opinion" and how it is important for a reporter to listen to a wide variety of ideas before deciding on one's own.
Carol squeals when she sees Senator Manfred Beriam pass them by, and when Gustav tells her to calm down exclaims how can he possibly be calm about such an encounter. He explains that everyone can be a valuable contact to the Daily Days - but regardless of their status Daily Days employees will meet them as equals, and not grovel or yield to them.
The two take the elevator up to the rooftop garden, where Carol meets Karl Muybridge. The meeting makes Carol highly nervous, given the man's fame. In the meantime, Gustav talks with their contact. Thirty minutes later, the two take the elevator back down to the first floor grand hall, where Gustav points out that the man is Nebula's chairman, not the president (and besides, he's not as famous as Manfred Beriam), and as he lectures as Carol he leads her to the benches. Gustav abruptly says that he is going to go buy a drink, and he leaves her alone.
As he reenters the grand hall holding a soft drink can, he spots Carol talking with Renee Paramedes Branvillier. He glares at the woman as he approaches and asks her what she is doing to his assistant. Renee replies that she was "totally not thinking about kidnapping her for an experiment or anything like that!" and Carol (thinking Renee is joking) asks in surprise if Gustav knows her. Gustav says that he doesn't no her personally, but the Daily Days president is in touch with her.
Gustav cooly comments that Renee doesn't normally come down to the building entrance. Renee acknowledges this to be so, but she'd heard that some Daily Days folks were gracing Nebula with a visit so she thought she should at least come and say hello. And who knew she'd find such a "cute assistant" too? Carol blushes and ducks her head, and Gustav lightly puts his hand on her head (it is a protective gesture, though Carol doesn't realize) and continues on to ask Renee what she has been up too. Renee laughs and says "same as before too -- doing research, failing, bothering everyone else."
Gustav asks if the one thousand and two hundred Nebula employees (who have become incomplete immortals) were a success or failure, and Renee answers that she doesn't know since she's not the only project director, and besides the experiments need more observation. Not to mention - tons of people are causing trouble for Nebula, including Mr. Homer and his men in New York, and the Russos in Chicago...
Gustav quietly points out that it sounds like she is dealing with top secret information that she should not divulge to others. Renee claps her hands over her mouth, and with a sheepish grin towards Carol she cheerfully says to the girl that that was a close one -- had she continued talking, she'd have to "finish [Carol] off to keep [her] quiet!"
Carol laughs at this, thinking it a joke. The three of them continue to chat a little while longer, and as the departing Renee waves at Carol she trips over a bench and sprawls onto the floor.
As Gustav and Carol leave the building, Gustav asks Carol "what did she do to you?" Carol is confused by the question, and Gustav warns her that she must be careful around Renee, and that she should try to never be alone with that woman. Carol asks why, but Gustav does not reply to her until they are clear of the building and close to the river. Even then, he does not look at her when he responds "when she said she would finish you off...she meant it."
Carol laughs as they approach the bridge over the Chicago river, exclaiming that she's never heard the Vice-president make a joke before. Gustav notes that he was not kidding, but supposes that if Carol chooses not to believe him he does not have the right to impose my will upon her. However, as her superior he cannot watch her walk blindly into danger.
Gustav walks by two individuals on the bridge, but Carol (who hadn't spotted them) blunders straight into the two and squeals. As she apologizes, she realizes that she has bumped into a rather giant-like person (Frank) and is scared into silence. Frank's companion (Rail) pops out from behind Frank's leg and Carol screams when she sees Rail's scars. Gustav (who'd been watching the exchange) returns to Carol's side and places his hand on her head to make her stop screaming. He points out that it is impolite for her to scream when she bumps into someone, and Carol apologizes as she calms down.
Removing his hat, Gustav apologizes to Rail and Frank for Carol's leave of manners, and assures them that he will soundly chastise her when they return home. Rail smiles lopsidedly and says that he's pretty brave to talk to two people like them so normally, and Gustav states that neither scars nor height would ever affect him in his conversations with others. Rail comments that most would think them monsters, but Gustav is unfazed, referring to his friend (a doctor) who has even more scars than Rail and covers them with bandages. As for Frank, Gustav is aware of the existence of many other giants, including Robert Wadlow.
Carol apologizes again and suggests that they buy Rail and Frank lunch as redress for her behavior. Frank worriedly points out that he's a big eater so it'll be a costly meal, but Carol says that isn't a problem at all. "Mr. St. Germain" is actually a vice-president, and a very generous one to boot. Gustav rubs his chin and coldly says "...you aren't saying that I will be paying the bill?"
Gustav leaves to buy a huge quantity of hot dogs, and returns to them by the Wrigley Building. He once again chastises Carol about having bumped into Frank - one must always look ahead when one is walking on the street. And what if she had damaged her camera? He adds that he will contact their accounting department so that the hotdogs will be deducted from her salary. In the meantime, Rail and Frank talk to each other about Christopher Shouldered and Gustav himself, and then Rail lies to Carol and says that the two of them escaped from a traveling circus.
The conversation is interrupted when a certain man - that is to say, Graham - overhears Rail talk about a "bomber chick" who is a wizard with explosives. and cuts in with his typical let me tell you a sad, sad story. He informs Rail that the bomber woman is no longer in Chicago, but New York. Carol screams at Graham, grabs Rail and hides behind Gustav, hollering that Graham is the robber from the train. Graham recognizes them as the information brokers from the train, and speculates that the two of them might be Sickle and the Poet. If he's right, that means that their 'reporter' jobs are just fake personas, and that they're really servants of Huey Laforet. Taking out a wanted poster from his breast pocket, Graham looks at the descriptions and concludes that Gustav does fit "the Poet"'s description as "pompous in is speech," so Carol as "Sickle" must be a capoeira master. He demands that she show her some capoeira moves.
Rail and Frank take the opportunity to thank Carol (and Gustav), and Rail warns her to leave Chicago as soon as possible - there's likely going to be a huge explosion. Graham leads Rail and Frank away, and Carol turns to Gustav seeking...something. Gustav says that it is not their place to force Rail and Frank to stay, although had they not been willing to leave ... well, Gustav would not have remained a bystander. If Carol is so worried, why doesn't she follow? He soothes Carol's nerves by considering what she can do as a journalist, and remarks that Rail and Frank are not the types who'd take insult or injury so easily.
There is one other thing - Gustav announces that they must remain in Chicago a while longer. Carol questions him, and he lets her know that he has predicted that "certain events" will take place in the city, and they have time before their departure to "enter the fray." It should be most interesting. Carol points out that he's contradicting himself, and he replies that "that is because I am the type to chase a story to the front lines. It is just that the front lines may not be where the two of them were headed."
Carol shivers and supposes that he won't order her to to leave first since they're not currently in danger. He asks if she'd like him to, and she loudly announces "absolutely not!" Gustav admits that he had indeed been wondering whether or not he should send her back to New York, but he has since decided that it would be more dangerous for her to be alone.
A man (Klik) with a scar on his face sidles up to Carol and sits down beside her. He unfolds a sheaf of newspaper with one hand, and with the other he moves one flap of his coat back just far enough for Gustav and Carol to see the gleam of his gun in an inner pocket. His eyes trained on the newspaper, he suggests that they come along with him since they don't have anything to do with Rail and Frank. The man tosses his cigarette to the ground and grins that it just isn't their lucky day.
Klik takes them to the Russo family mansion, where Placido Russo interrogates them. He asks how a vice-president and an intern from "some New York news agency" are connected to those "two freaks" (Rail and Frank), and Gustav peacefully says that the four of them became acquainted just today - though it seems that Placido does not like this answer. As Klik watches on, Gustav suggests to Placido that all he has to do is contact the parent company to ascertain their identities. And if he wants to know more about the two persons that Gustav and Carol had lunch with, then Gustav will tell him that as an information broker, he can divulge this information should Placido arrange an official meeting for that purpose.
Placido smiles in derision at the title "information broker," and he and Klik scoff in shared amusement. Klik swaggers up to Gustav (referring to him with profanity) and says that he ought to stop kidding around, thinking that he can "take the high hat" just because he knows more than they do. Does Gustav really think has one up on them based on some bushwa from his third-rate newspaper? After making sure that Klik is actually going to keep quiet, Gustav agrees with Placido that what he and Carol knows is limited. For example -- when Placido's nephew Ladd was arrested back at the tail end of 1931, the white suit he'd been wearing at the time had once belonged to Placido himself. Furthermore, the police officers noticed that the name embroidered on the suit was not Ladd's own, and prepared to investigate Placido's involvement. After all -- if Placido had indeed leant Ladd his suit, then perhaps he had foreknowledge of Ladd's train heist.
Placido is no longer smiling, and chokes out, "Who...who the hell are you?" Gustav repeats his introduction, and asks that Placido forgive his earlier conduct. If Gustav had not given proof of his knowledge as an information broker, then there was little chance that Placido would have believed him. He proceeds to correct Placido when the man accuses him of stealing information to use as blackmail.
Placido reveals that the day before Ladd's arrest, someone had stolen a huge amount of money from the Russos, and then some delinquents had put down one of Placido's best men. Placido knows that the "nancy boy" who killed his man is called Jacuzzi Splot (and knows what he looks like), but as for whomever stole the cash, he has no idea. With a low, threatening voice, Placido questions whether Gustav can still come up with facts "just like that," even when no one else has any leads. Gustav smoothly advises that they discuss payment first.
The deal is made, and Gustav informs Placido that the robbers were Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent, who also have connections to Jacuzzi Splot. Gustav reminds Placido that this intelligence is a month old, and for all he knows Isaac and Miria have become sworn enemies with Jacuzzi since that time. Placido states that the exchange does not mean that he trusts Gustav; he hasn't come across a single information broker who "ain't a turncoat," and besides - Gustav might have been trying to fool him. Therefore, Placido must ask Gustav and Carol to stick around a few days as his guests until they find Rail and Frank.
Carol whimpers, and Gustav tells her to calm herself. She protests that they won't be able to leave this place, and she turns to Placido and demands to know what he plans to do with Rail and the others. Placido says that before he'll answer that, he wants to ask her a question first as a trade. Carol agrees, and he asks what exactly Rail and company are to her. Carol stutters that they are her friends, and Placido recalls that Gustav had said they'd only met today. That may be so, but Carol has no other word to describe them.
Gustav sighs, and says to Carol that she really is quite obstinate. However, such stupidity might "count as a virtue, and therefore you earn close to full points." He sounds "almost happy." With a revolting smile, Placido says that when Rail and Frank arrive he'll let Carol see them...as long as she cooperates like a good little girl. Placido turns to Gustav, and says that in order to prevent any funny business, he'll be separating her from Carol. If he lets them "put [their' heads together" he'd be digging his own grave. He calls upon Klik, and orders him to put Gustav in a room (any will do) and to lock Carol up in Lua's room with Lua Klein herself, so that they can keep an eye on the two ladies.
Gustav is led to a room, where he stays until one or more of the Russo goons fetch him and take him back to Placido's office. Placido asks him if he knows anything (presumably about the Lamia's location), and Gustav placidly replies that he's not exactly sure what Placido wants from him, and asks how Placido suggests he proceed when he has been severed from his sources. Placido brusquely gives Gustav permission to reattach himself to said sources, and reminds him that the Russos still have the girl and the camera. Gustav answers "your humble servant understands this perfectly" and he leaves the Russo manor briskly.
During an uncertain amount of time, Gustav gathers the pertinent information, and calls the Russo Manor via telephone. Placido picks up, and Gustav greets him; he says that he has managed to find an urgent piece of information relevant to the Russo situation. Placido asks if it's about where "they" are (the Lamia), and Gustav denies this - though he goes on to say that the importance of this information far exceeds that of capturing those targets. Gustav warns Placido that he must immediately depart from the manor and trust no one if he wants to live. In fact, he must flee Illinois as soon as possible.
Placido demands that he explain himself, but Gustav ignores the question and expresses his gratitude for their "good rapport." He lets Placido know that he plans on collecting Carol shortly, and if Placido is still present he would be very happy to report to him the full details. With that, Gustav hangs up. He makes his way back to the mansion, and reaches Lua's quarters. He knocks on the door before opening it, and when he does he is greeted with Carol wailing Mr....Mr. Vice-presideeeennnt!. With exasperation, Gustav pats the weeping Carol on her head and recalls that he had told her a few days before that she shouldn't start screaming whenever she sees other people.
The three of them - Placido, Carol and Lua - start running through the hallways, and when an explosion somewhere in the vicinity rocks the walls Carol shrieks and cries out for answers, but Gustav curtly says "compose yourself." I can't, replies Carol, to which Gustav answers "if you cannot do so for your own sake, you must consider steeling your heart for the sake of others." Behind them, Lua asks if it's really alright for her to escape with the two of them, and Carol reaches back to squeeze her hand. She assures Lua that though they don't look like much, they're actually information brokers and they'll definitely find her a safe place to hide before her fiancé is released from prison.
Gustav informs Carol that charity is not a sin, but misfortune might behall all parties should she operate without a clear grasp of her own power. If she can remember this, he will aid her this time. Carol cheerfully responds that she has a really good sense of power with him around. Gustav sighs that she is certainly "quite impertinent," though it might not be an unsuitable quality for a Daily Days employee. The three make their escape from the collapsing manor, with Gustav taking the leading role amidst the smoke and gunfire. Afterwards they determine to find a safe place for Lua, but Carol uneasily points out that all the hotels and train stations are sure to be under surveillance. Gustav realizes that without a car they can't leave Chicago.
They flee to Nebula's headquarters, and meet with Muybridge in his office. He advises them that it would be best if they stay there for a while, and Gustav offers him a thousand thanks. Muybridge chuckles and says that he needn't be so formal. Carol and Lua sit on the sofa in the office, and Muybridge says to Carol that there's no need for her to be so nervous.
During the conversation, Muybridge asks Lua if she really is Ladd's girlfriend. When she looks up at him, Muybridge chuckles and reveals that when Ladd was but a child, he made a bet with a friend and broke into this very office and almost killed Muybridge himself. The reason Ladd did not kill him, he says, was that Ladd had determined that Muybridge was the type who did not care about his final hanging place. That it would be too boring to kill him.
Muybridge feels that it would be best if the three of them hide in the staff's living quarters until things call down, and Lua thanks him for helping them. Muybridge beams and says that if there is anyone Lua should thank, it should be "that evil-looking man" (Gustav) next to her. Given that Gustav had promised Muybridge priceless information, how could he refuse? With a faintly mocking tone, Gustav interjects with "you said not to speak of business, but it seems like you've struck quite a good deal here."
Muybridge laughs and replies that if he has any other questions he should ask "this fellow" from Security. Turning to look at a black-haired man standing by a nearby pillar, he says that this man used to work for the Runorata Family, so he should know about the type of mafia tricks the trio should guard themselves against. The man slowly chews on sugarcubes as he nods in reply to Muybridge's words.
After Muybridge leaves the room, Carol asks Gustav what exactly is going on. Gustav sidesteps the question, and says that there's something he'd like to check with her. What is it? Carol asks, and he narrows his eyes and he asks, "...Do I truly have an evil face?"
At some point during their stay in the guest room, Gustav steps out to peruse the art in the corridor when he catches sight of a group of men exiting the elevator. They walk much like predators - or at least, corporate joes, and Gustav sharpens his gaze when he spots a certain man within their midst. He mutters to himself he...why would he be here? and watches the group for a moment before returning to their guest room, intending to use the telephone inside.
Later he and Carol return to the halls, where the group of men murmur in surprise at their presence. Gustav adjusts his monocle and addresses the leader (the man he'd recognized before), stating that it really has been a while since they last met. The other man raises a hand in greeting, and steps to the front of the crowd. He agrees that it really has been a while, and asks if Gustav is here on business. Gustav answers that he thought he'd spotted him yesterday, so he thought it only polite to greet him. The other man affirms that they do need to discuss some matters...but not until after lunch.
Gustav retreats back into his corner to let the men continue on their way. Carol sighs in relief when they leave, and Gustav says to her: "For staying silent and panicking...plus thirty points." Carol asks if they were Mafia men, and what gang were they from specifically? Gustav sighs and strokes his chin as he sees her tremble, and deducts 527 points since she was so afraid of someone without knowing their identity. Gustav reveals that the leader of the group was Bartolo Runorata, the head of the most powerful mafia family on the East Coast.
At some point in the conference room corridor, Carol asks Gustav what's going on. He advises her to not speak so plainly when asking questions, since it makes her seem impatient. She exclaims that she is impatient - everything is a muddle! Gustav calmly gazes at the art on the wall, and muses that it must be Carnald's work again - just like all the art was Carnald's from the entrance. Nebula must be quite infatuated with the man (see Trivia). At Carol's blubbering, Gustav says that Renee and the Runoratas don't have ties to each other - whether Renee has arrived to offer them an alliance or trouble will be unknown until everything's sorted out.
In confusion, Carol wonders if Renee is making some sort of drug (given that the Runoratas are heavily involved with drugs), and Gustav awards her 1295 points for an excellent guess, but says that she is wrong. It would take too long to explain the details in full, he says, but it would probably be best for her to learn the gist of it before they take lunch with Bartolo himself. Carol pales and asks if that means she's expected to partake in the lunch, and Gustav says that he'd have to ask first. Panicked, Carol exclaims that she doesn't need lunch today, and Gustav reminds her that the entire purpose of this trip was to introduce her to their clients. Carol begins to shake, and an explosion sounds out from under the floor, followed by further explosions.
Fire bursts through the corridor, and Gustav grabs Carol by her collar and drags her behind a column. As Carol shouts, several figures emerge through the smoke...including Rail. They all head for the rooftops. Rail dreamily thanks Carol, and unable to catch Rail's words Gustav and Carol rush onto the roof. As he thanks her, he climbs over the rooftop railing and prepares to fall.
There, Gustav and Carol witness Jacuzzi run over to save Rail, and Miria running over to grab Rail's other hand (followed by Nice seizing Jacuzzi). As Miria's grip begins to slip, Gustav and the others race to the railing with the intention of saving her before she falls.
In the aftermath of the incident, Gustav and Carol dine with Bartolo and his mafiosi at an upscale restaurant - though Carol, unlike Gustav, hardly had an appetite in the face of such dangerous men. Though Gustav and Carol have already bought their departure tickets, they are to stay in Chicago for a few more days to scout out the general situation. Once the two part ways with the Runoratas, they head back to the Gunslack Hotel and find police standing on the corners of their hotel's street.
As they enter the hall, Carol mutters to herself that Gustav's ability to speak to anyone - mafiosi, politicians, businessmen included - borders on the unnatural. Gustav overhears and asks her whom she would actually be capable of talking to, and Carol thinks back to their lunch with Bartolo and the Runoratas. She remembers the man who had sat at the other end of the table with a bandage over her eye and announces that she would have been fine talking to him - innocently unaware that the man in question was actually Huey Laforet.
Gustav, despite knowing the identity whom she speaks, says nothing. Carol is sure that the bandaged man must be an important person thanks to her 'reporter instincts,' and urges Gustav to hurry - they just might be able to catch up to him. Gustav points out that the man had calmly been dining with mafiosi, and asks her if she does not think it would be dangerous to chase after such a man. After appraising her for a moment, Gustav says that he will not stop her if she does chase after that man, but warns her that things will not be as simple as she believes they will be.
Flustered, Carol insists that she knows they are not simple - though she stutters that, since the man was handsome, all the other girls who will probably be trying to get his attention will make her job harder. Gustav briefly considers telling her the truth about the man with the eyepatch, but decides to not agitate her further. Instead, he idly remarks that the recent events in Chicago reek of Sham and Hilton - and he is sure that Sham will contact him sooner or later.
Some time later, Gustav and Carol return to New York, arriving at Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan via the transcontinental railway. Carol cheerfully urges Gustav to hurry up and exit the train, and teases him about how all the various Daily Days employees (Nicholas Wayne, Elean Duga, Henry, Rachel and the President) will react if he oversleeps and misses the stop. Gustav finally descends from their carriage and advises her to not be in such a rush, and the two engage in spirited conversation. When Carol suggests that their lives are determined by speed, Gustav uses the opportunity to launch into a speech on what determines their lives as reporters.
Carol points at someone behind Gustav, puzzled that something seems out of place. Gustav reminds her that it is rude for a lady to point (as he jabs his own finger at her) as she affirms that it was just the two of them on their assignment and not someone else. Carol asks the person who they are, and Gustav turns to see a woman standing behind him.
The woman identifies him by name and occupation, and Gustav asks her why she wants to meet with them as he straightens his posture and smooths his collar. The woman says that she has heard the Daily Days can get its hands on all sorts of intelligence, prompting Gustav to expound in great detail upon their organization's policy on intelligence/information and prices and the difficulty of the business. The woman proceeds to act just as he has expected: with a soft smile and a repeat of her first greeting, she pulls a gun out of her bag and aims it at Gustav's chest.
With nary a reaction, Gustav affirms that since the woman is clearly not a customer, they both need not be civil any longer. As Carol trembles with fear, Gustav steps sideways to block her as he asks the 'robber' why she is risking arrest in order to steal information from them. He would very much like to know her name. Without hesitation, she introduces herself as "Hilton, one of the Twins." As it turns out, Gustav already knew she was Hilton, but what he meant was that he wants a more specific name. Hilton says that this is exactly the quality in Gustav that she finds intolerable. She complains about information brokers and their apparent ability to "see through everything" and she asks how much does Gustav know about "us, about me."
The conversation becomes an almost semantic one for a minute, and Hilton elaborates that she wants to know why Huey's left eye was taken, what happened in places that she or Sham weren't present, and so on. Gustav points out the nature of information brokers and how they act when their lives are in danger, and says that since Hilton is essentially mugging him for information, he won't hesitate to tell her everything. With eyes blazing, he suggests to Hilton that they ought to relocate before they catch the guards' attention. Hilton agrees, although she warns Gustav that he should not try to escape. He advises her that she ought to be "prepared" for whatever he has to say to her, and asks that she remember that she should not try to come crawling back to him if things go sour.
He proceeds to relate to Hilton the events that occurred in Chicago.
- "St. Germain" is a pseudonym that he has borrowed from "the famous immortal alchemist and peerless information broker," the Count of St. Germain. His real surname is unknown.
- According to his character sheet, he has an eidetic memory. This little tidbit is not brought up in the novels.
- The "Carnald" that Gustav references in 1934 is in fact Carnald Strassburg, a famous artist and inventor from the fictional island of Growerth. Growerth is the setting of Vamp!, another light novel series by Ryohgo Narita. It is also set in the Naritaverse.