Isaac Dian (アイザック·ディアン Aizakku Dian) and Miria Harvent (ミリア·ハーヴェント Miria Hāvento) are a nonsensical thief duo who accidentally become complete immortals in November 1930. They are separated four years later in November 1934 when Isaac is incarcerated in Alcatraz, and reunite the same year.
On Misery's advice, the duo decide to forgo their thieving ways and undertake honest work. They eventually find jobs as transporters for Fred's Clinic in February 1935 through Molsa Martillo, and soon thereafter find themselves the targets of a kidnapping scheme that Ladd Russo foils. The same month, they attend the Runorata Family's three-day party at Ra's Lance.
They finally realize that they have not physically aged in 2001, seventy-one years after imbibing the Cure-All Elixir.
Isaac has bushy brown hair and brown eyes (blue in the anime and 2015 manga), while Miria has straight blonde hair and brown eyes. The two are famous for their propensity towards outlandish or otherwise abnormal choice of attire - having dressed up as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, mummies, a gunslinger and dancing girl, and Charlie Chaplin among other persons.
Isaac and Miria are both extremely charismatic and effervescent, spreading happiness to anyone and everyone they meet without conscious effort. In the process, they often befriend all manner of unlikely people - including the likes of famed hitman Ladd Russo and stoic assassin Chané Laforet. That their personalities remain unchanged into the early 2000s is a testament to their indomitable will.
While Miria tends to follow Isaac's lead, she does so not out of obligation or deference but simply because she wants to, delighted in how her partner can make her laugh. In fact, on at least one occasion, she takes the lead – when Isaac is trying to muster the courage to rescue Ennis, Miria grabs his hand and shouts that they "absolutely, positively have to save her" before taking off down the street with Isaac in tow.
When the two are involuntarily separated, Miria weeps when she is out of sight and away from others' prying eyes. With her friends, she puts on a brave front and acts like her typically cheerful self; though terribly sad, she remains sincere in her efforts and her belief that she will see Isaac again.
Isaac, meanwhile, thinks about Miria constantly and cannot wait to reunite with her. His conversation with Sham strongly implies that he values himself little in comparison to Miria, and he is persistently perplexed that Sham could possibly admire him when Miria exists; when Sham defends Isaac's actions aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, he immediately dismisses Sham's praise and insists that he must have borrowed Miria's strength on the train instead of possessing his own. While Isaac considers himself 'lucky' that someone like Miria actually wants to be by his side, Miria thinks the world of him in equal measure.
Whether working separately or together, Isaac and Miria are extraordinarily kind people at their cores. Throughout the 1930s, they put themselves in danger for the sake of their friends time and time again, believing themselves to be mortal all the while: when their rescue attempt of Czeslaw Meyer fails on board the train, they immediately close in around him to shield him from impacting against the ground; Isaac leaps in front of Who in 1935 to take a physical blow meant for him and is injured in the process; and, among other kindnesses, the two have encouraged the likes of Ennis and Jacuzzi Splot to be brave and face their worst troubles.
On the whole, the couple are wildly impulsive and follow whatever whim has caught their fancy. It should be noted that they are not completely oblivious and certainly not stupid, as others might say. Miria is observant enough that she notices what television channels Ennis pays attention to in 2002, and she has partially figured out Ronny Schiatto's identity by 1934. Isaac is also able to immediately identify a plainclothes man as an undercover cop in 1934, and acting quickly he lies and asks Miria to fetch his wallet for him at their apartment - he sends her away so that the cop could arrest him and only him alone.
Miria appears to have have been in a dark and troubled place before Isaac 'came to her rescue', as she had once believed that she would never be able to laugh again.
It is not known exactly how the two met, nor what their childhoods were like - Ryohgo Narita has been deliberately vague about their pasts. However, it is clear that Isaac grew up in San Francisco, since once he is released from Alcatraz in 1934 and set loose in the city he "[thinks] of his home, so close he [can] walk there" (it is also supported by the fact that their string of larcenies begins in San Francisco).
It has been implied in several respects that Isaac comes from a wealthy home: He describes the Genoard manor on Millionaires' Row as not "[looking] much different" to his parents' house; he constantly makes literary and mythological references that speak to a good education; not to mention the narrative itself suggests that since Isaac knows so much about odd things like Broadway musicals, "It was possible Isaac had been born into a fairly good family." Isaac actually briefly mentions his father in passing in The Rolling Bootlegs, when he says that he used to watch his "old man drive all the time."
It has also been implied that he has a bad relationship with his family, though how or why is not disclosed. He says of the Genoard manor that he did not "realize it was such a nice place" because it looked similar to his parents' house; and when he thinks of his San Franciscan home in 1934, he refrains from visiting because if "they caught him," they "might kill him" – 'they' being his family.
Even less can be inferred about Miria. She vaguely says at one point that she "should have died that day," but currently nothing is known about what transpired 'that day' - and she says that she had thought she would never be able to laugh 'again' before Isaac came along and made her "so, so happy." It is unknown if they met for the first time 'that day' or if they knew each other beforehand. However, like Isaac, Miria is implied to have come from a wealthy home: she agrees with Isaac that the Genoard manor looks like her family house.
Prior to their arrival in New York in 1930, they commit a string of eighty-seven larcenies "from San Francisco to New Jersey." According to the two, they first became "thieves of time" (meaning they first stole clocks). Other known larcenies include: a theft of a large museum door (they intended to steal the museum, but since that was impossible they stole the entrance instead) making it 'impossible' for others to enter, and the time they stole chocolate (they were attempting to become villains, so they stole the 'source of children's nourishment'; Miria thinks that the children starved to death because of them).
At some point they learned the Butterfly ritual dance from children of the Hopi tribe.
In October 1930, Isaac and Miria (dressed in traditional Native American clothing) scale the Genoard Mansion in western New Jersey. There, they empty out the safe of the family's fortune, leaving a note inside the safe. Eve Genoard catches them mid-flight; assuming that she is a Genoard, Isaac and Miria explain that they are here to take away the source of her misfortunes – her family fortune – thereby removing any reason for her family members to fight each other.
Eve falls to her knees, naïvely believing that Isaac and Miria are angels sent from heaven. Isaac and Miria are baffled, but decide that if someone is worshipping them then they ought to give something back to their worshipper in return. Their solution is to dance the Butterfly ritual dance as their gift, but when their dance is cut short by Eve's servants frantically knocking on the door, they climb out the French windows and make a speedy getaway.
One month later, the duo travel by train to New York in November and immediately declare upon arrival that the Depression-stricken city is overflowing with hope. Isaac is promptly punched by a passerby, but he springs right back onto his feet and exclaims that this is exactly how a city should be - the thrill of violence lurking just around the corner, waiting to strike at a moment's notice. There are senses one can feel only when one is living on the edge. Miria thinks it a little frightening, and he assures her that they must have God on their side. After all, God did not smite them for stealing religious garments, so He must indirectly be telling them their actions are just.
Isaac reminds Miria that they must not stand out too much – at least, not until their job starts – and the two head off in search of a haberdashery. The one they eventually find is empty of customers save for Firo Prochainezo and Maiza Avaro, who accidentally bump into them as they enter the shop. Once inside, Isaac and Miria collect an assortment of various hats – a black fedora, a woman's lace hat, a Japanese helmet and an odd wooden mask – and buy them all up for a sum equal to two months of a bank clerk's salary. Before they leave, they threaten the shopkeeper to keep silent about their visit.
With the threats safely delivered, they collect their purchases and make a hasty exit for a nearby alleyway. Isaac gasps that the shopkeeper was a tough man, but that he is sure that he would have beaten him had they fought – and he chose not to fight because he was not willing to risk Miria suffering injuries in the process. He asks her if he has ever put her in danger over the course of their eighty-seven robberies, and she answers to the effect of, "Only eighty-seven times." After a moment of silence, Isaac points out that that the count is not yet one-hundred.
Gleeful, Isaac and Miria start fantasizing about all the luxuries they will buy once they retire to Miami, from a large house with a large swimming pool to a private residential railway. Fantasizing leads to the two of them dancing in the street, which leads to an automobile striking them both. The automobile comes to a stop, only to drive away once Isaac and Miria show definite signs of life. The duo manage to pick themselves up and totter down Broadway soon enough, carrying their helmet and mask; Isaac rubs his bruised arm once the pain finally subsides, and groans that "things will get ugly" the next time he sees the hit-and-run automobile.Isaac and Miria retreat to a deserted alleyway, and reminisce about their more memorable thieving exploits of the past (see pre-1930). Isaac declares that their last caper must be a good one, and to Isaac that means they should steal the Mafia's black money. Miria finds this an excellent idea. During their conversation, they move to the side so that a group of four men can pass - but when the leader Dallas Genoard accidentally bumps into Miria, causing her to stagger, she and Isaac indignantly tell the quartet to be careful. One of the men restrains Miria with a full nelson while another punches Isaac in the stomach, sending him to the ground. Dallas and his two free followers proceed to kick him viciously, swearing at him throughout the assault.
The pair are saved when a suit-wearing woman arrives and single-handedly dispatches all four men. Clutching his shoulder, Isaac stands and joins Miria in enthusiastically thanking their rescuer; calling her their 'heroine', they promise to do anything she asks now that they owe her their lives. As such, they eagerly comply when the woman asks them to help her carry the unconscious men to her vehicle. While they rest, they remark that the woman's automobile looks similar to the one that hit them earlier.
When the woman explains that she plans on taking the men to the police, Isaac and Miria politely but firmly state that they can accompany her no further. The woman wonders if they have done something wrong, and they explain that they are on a 'journey of atonement', making up for all the awful deeds they committed in the past – the worst of their crimes being the mass murder of children – by committing nothing but good deeds from now on.
The woman quietly replies that someone like her, terrified as she is of her own sins, must be hopeless in comparison to people as strong as they. Isaac and Miria reassure her that they can all be 'bad' together, which only causes her to fall silent; once they regain her attention, Miria chirps that they may as well 'call it even' since the woman saved their lives. Isaac agrees, pointing out that no matter how many bad things a bad person does, if they do just one good deed - like with Capone - the world will start to think that "maybe they're actually a good guy." Now that the woman has saved them, she will become popular and live someplace warm, befriend boxers and meet a 'swell guy'.
Introductions are finally exchanged when they bid farewells, and Isaac and Miria learn that the woman's name is Ennis. As Ennis drives away, they shout good-byes tinged with the expectation that they will meet her again someday.
Ennis remains firmly on their minds once they reemerge onto the major streets of Little Italy, and they fall into discussion over what sort of crime she might have committed in her past. Miria suggests that Ennis might be a runaway, and the two admiringly recall the martial prowess Ennis had used to save them (Isaac suggests she was using the "Oriental Baritsu" used by Sherlock Holmes). Eventually the subject changes to their planned final caper, which Isaac has decided to carry out against a small Mafia outfit rather than a large one. According to an information broker he visited, the two smallest outfits worth targeting are the Martillo Family and the Gandor Family.
The two head to the Martillo-owned Alveare since it is the closer of the two hideouts, planning to case the joint. They are still dressed in their formal attire (in the anime they are wearing their priest and nun outfits) when they enter the specialty honey shop, the proprietress of which shows them the back door leading to luxurious Martillo speakeasy. A waitress escorts them to a table in a corner, and Isaac asks her to bring them the speakeasy's cheapest liquor. Once she leaves, he whispers to Miria that they should look for the safe in the most inconspicuous manner possible. They proceed to conspicuously prowl the establishment.
Isaac follows the faint sound of cheers back to the corner, where barrels are stacked by their table. Peering between the barrels, he makes out a particular patch of the floor where light seeps through several holes in the wood. Pushing aside a barrel, he determines that the office must be below his feet; the waitress screams at him to move, that it is dangerous, and as Miria hurries in his direction Isaac hears a bang from below. Looking down, he sees smoke rising from the gouged tip of his leather shoe, and looking up he sees a freshly smoking bullet hole in the ceiling. He faints on the spot, and Miria shrieks that he has been killed.
As Miria sobs the word murder over Isaac's prone form, the group from the basement room rushes upstairs to investigate the noise. Isaac proves to be uninjured, and once he wakes he and Miria are invited to join the celebration party the Family is having for Firo Prochainezo's promotion to executive. The two gladly accept.
Once everyone is settled in the basement room, Don Molsa Martillo leads all present in a toast honoring Firo. All mortals present thus become complete immortals, unaware that they have just imbibed the Cure-All Elixir. Isaac remarks that he really thought he had died earlier, and Molsa bows and apologizes for the scare. Isaac, flustered that someone older and dignified like Molsa is apologizing to him, stutters and says that it was only the tip of his shoe and Molsa ought not to worry.
Meanwhile, Miria tries the duck meat and finds it delicious, pleasing Lia greatly. Randy and Pezzo enter the room and are disappointed to find the liquor has already run out, though they quickly clam up when Firo remarks that his and Maiza's liquor 'shopping' had been delayed by a local conflagration. Miria feeds Isaac some of the duck, and he light-heartedly says that while the duck is certainly tasty, it pales in comparison to Miria's beauty. An onlooker wonders how he can compare taste to looks, but Miria is simply happy that Isaac complimented her.
The two party until they cannot eat another bite, say their goodbyes, and leave to wander the nighttime streets (carrying a jar of speciality honey that the Family gifted them). They are glad they failed to rob such nice people, and decide to scope out the Gandors' place instead. Watching the building from the distance, they see three people exit the door. Though their faces are obscured by shadow, the two can at least tell that the three men are handling a box with care. Isaac wrongly surmises that the box must be the Gandors' black money, and Isaac determines that if they're going to steal the box they need to do it today.
Isaac dons the wooden mask and the Japanese helmet, and leaps out to confront the men in an alleyway. He introduces himself as Professor Moriarty, returned alive from Reichenbach Falls. He holds the honey jar out as proof of his identity, claiming that Sherlock Holmes gave him some from his harvest (in Doyle's stories, Holmes becomes a beekeeper). At the men's scorn, he changes his mind and says he's actually Jack the Ripper. Again he is snarled at, and he asks what they'd prefer him to be: Uncle Tom's evil master or the Wicked Witch of the West.
The men draw their knives, growling that they do not have time to deal with him. Behind them, Miria trills, "what about me?" and as soon as the men turn she hurls a powdered mixture of pepper and lime at them (both ingredients they had stolen from the speakeasy). The men hunch over in a ubiquitous coughing fit. Isaac and Miria snatch the wooden crate and abscond. Neither group ever realize that they had encountered each other earlier that day (the men are Dallas and his two surviving goons).
At sunrise the next day, Isaac and Miria (who have changed into their priest and nun attire) lament their fate. The box does not contain cash after all; it contains two bottles of alcohol. They wonder why three men were carrying just two bottles of liquor in the dead of night, and figure that the alcohol must be high-grade alcohol, and Isaac asks Miria what they should do with it. At first she suggests drinking it (but two bottles is too much to drink) and then to sell it (but then again, a specialist would need to assess their goods).
Isaac decides that they should give the bottles to the Martillos as thanks for the honey, and Miria thinks they'll be thrilled since all their liquor is honeyed. Reassured that with this good deed the dead children will finally be able to pass on, the couple head for the Alveare. Entering the speakeasy, they are greeted by a bemused Firo, who comments that he had not realized Isaac was actually a priest. Confused, Isaac protests that he is not a priest - nor Miria a nun - and all three look at each other, perplexed. Isaac finally explains that he has brought them (what he assumes is) liquor as a thank-you for yesterday.
Firo accepts the crate, and Isaac and Miria part ways with him and the others. Pleased with their success the two head off for the station, intending to leave the city. The streets are filled with an unusual amount of cops, and the two approach a man issuing orders to his officers to ask what has happened. The inspector informs them that several Gandor men were gunned down the night before. Troubled, he turns to Isaac (believing him to be an actual priest) and confesses that he is a sinful man. He had thought that it would be best if criminals simply killed each other off, but looking at their corpses he finds that he has nothing but hatred for their murderers - just like he does when an ordinary citizen is killed. He asks that the two pray for the deceased's peace after death, and walks away.
Isaac and Miria are horrified. Having completely misunderstood the situation, they not only assume that the men from the night before had been Gandors, they assume that they killed the men with the pepper bombs. The two are horrified. Now they will not even be able to look those dead children in their faces, nor will they Ennis'. A thought occurs to Miria, and she exclaims in alarm that the police might find out that the Martillos have the Gandor crate and assume that the Martillos killed the Gandors. Aghast, Isaac and Miria run back toward the Alveare.
The two end up getting lost, finding themselves in a factory lot. Miria overhears some men talking about a mugging from behind a fence. She alerts Isaac, and they hide behind some oil drums. Isaac nervously wonders if they were talking about him and Miria or if they are police, and Miria climbs onto one of the oil drums to sneak a look at the men over the fence. Realizing that they are the men who assaulted Isaac up the day before, she leaps down and clings to Isaac, shivering. After she tells him who they are, Isaac thinks and concludes that they must have broken out of jail to take their revenge on Ennis. Miria shrieks that Ennis is going to die, and Isaac reminds her that Ennis is tough and can take them on no problem.
"No no no she can't," Miria says. The men have machine guns. Isaac goes pale, and looks down at the ground. He murmurs that by all rights he should have been killed by those thugs yesterday. The fact that Ennis had saved him meant that she was a hero, and heroes must not die. Grim-faced, Isaac broods over Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, muttering that Conan Doyle had never written nor would ever have written a story in which Holmes was killed by jailbirds he had previously captured. He believes it is likely because readers would be upset if Conan Doyle had written such a story. If Holmes is to be killed, he must be killed by a nemesis like Moriarty or it is 'no good'. And these thugs with machine guns are not nemeses.
Isaac's continued desperate attempts to embolden himself are cut short when Miria declares that the "absolutely positively have to save her," grabs his hand, and pulls him along as she takes off after Dallas' group. As they run, Isaac stutter-yells that he is the only one going, that they will be up against machine guns and that Miria will be killed and then he accidentally bites his tongue. Putting a hand to his mouth, he thinks, Oh, I'm so glad I'm with Miria, and finally smiles.
During the chase, they happen to come across the hit-and-run automobile from the day before. Isaac hotwires the engine and thus the two commandeer the vehicle, reasoning that they can easily overcome machine guns by running over the men who wield them. Hearing gunfire from a nearby alley, they turn into the alley, and accelerate straight into Dallas and his followers. Upon impact, the men are sent flying over the car and collapse behind it. The couple's victory is short-lived when Maiza bursts through a window and out into the alleyway in front of them, but Isaac slams on the brakes just in time to avoid hitting him. However, they do end up hitting Szilard Quates, the old man who had lunged through the window immediately afterwards (unknowingly taking their revenge for the hit-and-run). Isaac hastily reverses right over Dallas and his men, the tires pinning them to the ground.
Once Szilard recovers, he shatters the car's windshield and holds a knife to Isaac's throat so as to keep Maiza pliant, in the process recognizing Isaac from the hit-and-run. When Ennis rounds the corner, he orders her to take his place and hold Isaac hostage until he (Szilard) has finished devouring Maiza. If Maiza resists, she should kill Isaac immediately. She ignores Isaac and Miria's uneasy calling of her name, and uses Szilard's knife to restrain Isaac as ordered.
The two panic, but Ennis soon tells them that they must make a bid for escape as soon as Szilard touches Maiza. Though they are relieved that Ennis is really herself, they refuse to run away without first rescuing Maiza – since Maiza treated them to dinner the day prior, they are certain that he is a good person. They plead with Ennis to help them save their friend.
Ennis asks if they came intending to rescue Maiza, and is confused when they say that no, they came to save her. They explain that the men she took to the police broke out of jail and acquired machine guns, and that they were sure the men were intending to kill her. Indicating Dallas and the men trapped under the automobile, they assure her that their mission proved to be a success and she thus need worry no longer. After a moment of silence, Ennis thanks them; she is glad that she was able to talk with them "at the end," and she asks that they allow her to make one selfish request. Lowering the knife, she releases Isaac and with a forlorn smile, asks, "Please don't forget me." Alarmed, Isaac and Miria can only watch as she turns and charges toward Szilard, burying the knife in his back.
The two witness the ensuing events - Ennis collapsing, Firo's devourment of Szilard, and Ennis' revival along with the regenerated Martillo executives. When the police show up and the Inspector from earlier grabs Firo, Isaac and Miria snatch the thugs' machine guns and fire them towards the sky. Loudly proclaiming that the 'Martillo treasure' is theirs, they say "so long, incompetent policemen" and make a break for it, shouting that the Martillos have done no wrong. Their ploy to distract the police works, and Inspector Edward sends his officers after them.
The pair dart through the alleyways, moving in the direction of a major street. At the mouth of the final alley they see two policemen on guard and shriek for the men to save them. Miria dives into one of the officer's arms and exaggeratedly trembles as she cries that armed men are chasing them. The men tense, but by the time they realize the truth Isaac and Miria are already gone, weaving through the crowds.
Isaac reaches into his bag and pulls out wads of bills. Shouting Merrrrry Christmas! he flings the money into the air, scattering them to the ground as they run. Miria laughs that he is "a month too early!" while behind them people scramble to pick up the bills, blocking the police's path. The two watch the police out of the corners of their eyes as they race for the station; most of their stolen money (99% of which had been the Genoard fortune) is lost to the crowd by the time they arrive at their destination. Unconcerned, Isaac asks Miria where should they run next. Anywhere, she says. He suggest they head back to Los Angeles and dig for gold, which Miria observes does not sound much like a robbery, but he points out that by digging for gold they will be stealing a fortune from the earth itself.
The two pause at the station entrance, bothered that they were not able to say goodbye to Ennis and their other new friends. Looking towards the city, Isaac murmurs: "This was an interesting town, wasn't it?" and that they should come back to visit the others someday. Taking the last bundle of bills from his bag, Isaac steps inside to purchase two tickets to California, noting that he is about to spend the last of their money. Miria reminds him that giving away all the money was a good deed, and Isaac supposes she is right. He guesses that Mr. Genoard must be smiling in heaven, and Miria adds "and all the dead children!" The two compromise and wish happiness for Mr. Genoard's children, who must be living in peace and harmony now that they no longer have an inheritance to squabble over.
Right before they board the train, Isaac commemorates the occasion by graffiting a big bite mark on a picture of the apple representing New York on a WELCOME TO NYC! billboard. They arrive in California in either November or December, where they spend the next year digging for gold as intended.
Isaac and Miria spend most of 1931 digging for gold in their mineshaft, exchanging written correspondence with Ennis and other friends while supporting themselves with the occasional lapis lazuli that they mine. At some point, they try to pan for gold dust but are shooed away by men who are displeased that they are encroaching upon their territory.
In December 1931, Miria asks Isaac why they are mining for gold when the normal procedure is to pan for it. He reminds her that the last time they panned for gold they were kicked out (an experience she describes as humiliating), and claims that the average layman is ignorant to the reality than one can truly find gold in a mineshaft. Furthermore, he has recently had a stroke of good luck: earlier, he came across a centipede crawling around the abandoned mine (it was actually a millipede). In "the Orient" centipedes are the gods of gold mining, so the centipede's appearance must be a sign that they are close to hitting the jackpot. Miria claps in awe.
Miria remembers that they received a letter from Ennis and Firo, and she reads the letter out loud to Isaac by candlelight. Most of the letter is devoted to persuading the couple to come visit, but Isaac and Miria are bothered by one passage in particular. In the passage, Ennis writes that she thinks of them as her own siblings, and that she is sad when she thinks of her brothers she never knew. After reading the passage out-loud, Miria turns to Isaac with tears in her eyes and asks if the letter means that Ennis' brothers are dead.
Isaac is worried by her expression and quickly works to refute her conclusion. He claims that the passage actually means that Ennis wants a younger brother, instantly cheering Miria up. Since Isaac and Miria are not Ennis' parents they cannot give her a baby brother, so Isaac suggests that instead they buy her something expensive as a gift. The two make plans to travel to New York, acquiring funds for the journey via train robbery. According to Isaac, a train robbery consists of the robber taking a train to their destination, commiting a robbery there, and make their escape by train.
Isaac decides that they shall steal money from the mafia, just like they had back in 1930. As the duo deliberate on which mafia outfit should be their target, the flame of their lamp goes out, plunging them into darkness. Isaac nervously assures Miria not to worry, and tells her that they must stay put and wait for help to come. They eventually die of suffocation in the cave, and their prone bodies are later discovered by other people (possibly fellow miners) and carried away on stretchers in the morning. By the afternoon they have recovered completely, and set off for the train station to execute their plan.Russo Family transporter in Chicago. Dressed like a wild west gunslinger and a dancing girl, Isaac and Miria arrive at Union Station that very evening and head for their platform. There, they marvel at a large group of black-suited 'orchestra ensemble' boarding the train, and at a group of white-suited fellows who are also boarding their train. The two conclude that the white-suited folks are going to have a wedding on board the Flying Pussyfoot.
Once aboard the train, Isaac and Miria beeline for the bar of the dining car, where Isaac continually orders meat-based Chinese food from assistant cook Fang Lin-Shan. A tattooed youth also sitting at the bar eventually works up the nerve to approach them, stutters an almost intelligible greeting their way, and immediately apologizes. Swallowing his food, Isaac asks Miria what they should do - a stranger started apologizing to them! She exclaims that they must have "won." Isaac shamelessly admits he has no idea what just happened but a victory is a victory, and he firmly shakes the youth's hands as thanks for a "magnificent battle."
As the youth ums and uhs, Isaac compliments him on his tattoo and says this is the first time he has met someone with a facial tattoo. He asks him if he is a movie star, and the youth anxiously replies that he is a mere delinquent. And then he apologizes again. Miria takes the apology as another victory for team Isaac; Isaac compliments the youth on being a great person for letting them "win twice." Tears well up in the youth's eyes, and Isaac urges him not to cry - watching such a "good man" cry makes him and Miria want to cry in turn.
The duo hand him a handkerchief and invite him to partake in Chinese food. The youth accepts, introducing himself as Jacuzzi Splot and his partner as Nice Holystone. The four of them are soon joined by Czeslaw Meyer (who bumps into Jacuzzi), Mary Beriam and her mother Natalie Beriam; Natalie says that she and her daughter are on their way to see her husband, and came to have dinner with the boy sharing their cabin. Introductions are given, and the party-like atmosphere at the bar grows.
Czes apologizes for bumping into Jacuzzi, and Jacuzzi assures him it was not his fault. Isaac jumps on the opportunity to impart the legend of the Rail Tracer, a railroad bogeyman that he claims would have gobbled Czes whole if he was a bad child. Jacuzzi, nervous, wants to know how to stop the Rail Tracer from appearing, but Isaac doesn't remember the answer. Jon the bartender suggests that Jacuzzi ask the Young Conductor, from whom Jon heard the story earlier. Jacuzzi dashes down the aisle and out through the door leading to Second Class, and Nice hurries after him.
Not long after, a White Suit enters via the same doorway and comes to a stop in the middle of the car. He pulls out a handgun from his jacket and shouts for everyone to put their hands in the air: at the same time, three machine-gun toting Black Suits burst through the door leading to First Class and command everyone to lie on the floor, while a man in ragged clothes brandishing a knife bursts through the Second Class door and orders everyone to freeze.
Surprisingly, Isaac and Miria are the first passengers to react; they make Czes and Mary duck and cover onto the floor beside them. Once lying on the floor, the couple raise their hands and freeze, thus fulfilling all three hijacking groups' demands. The raggedy man falters, realizing that he has brought a knife to a gun-fight, apologizes, and leaves the car. The White Suit manages to shoot and wound one of the Black Suits before being shot dead by the Black Suit's two comrades, who proceed to threaten the frightened passengers.
A short while later, the White Suits' leader Ladd Russo enters the dining car and uses the machine gun of the nearest uninjured Lemur to shoot dead the other uninjured Lemur, allowing the wounded Lemur to escape. He then boxes the remaining Lemur to death in brutal fashion, his allies entering the dining car soon thereafter. Heading over to join them means passing by the counter, where Natalie Beriam is shielding Mary and Czes, and Ladd informs her that he now plans to collect her after he has killed the rest of the orchestra men.
The silence that falls over the dining car in his wake is promptly broken by Isaac and Miria, who finally stand once they ascertain that the danger is past. It does not take long for the other passengers rouse themselves and direct their fears towards Jon and Fang as the nearest available railroad employees, demanding that they stop the train. Jon and Fang lock themselves in the kitchen in response. The vilest complainer is a passenger called Mr. Turner, who calls the employees racist epithets (stinking Irish hick and yellow monkey respectively) as he demands a refund.
Having had enough of him, Isaac and Miria continuously shove wads of bills at Turner and lambast his personality. This is enough reason for Head Chef Gregoire to order Jon and Fang to throw Turner out of the car, and they do just that. Jon's quiet thanks to Isaac and Miria appear to go unnoticed on their part; welcoming him back, they sing the praises of the head chef and then return to insulting Turner. They simply cannot believe he was so horrendous to blame people so frivolously. After all, there are no monkeys to be seen in the car, and the car is not filthy in the slightest. The rest of the passengers finally settle down in Turner's absence, and Natalie orders Mary and Czes to find a hiding spot in Second or Third Class.
After the children leave, Isaac and Miria hop off their stools and prepare to follow, explaining to Fang that they plan to find Jacuzzi and Nice. Fang protests that it is dangerous, but they counter that is precisely why they are leaving - they need to rescue their new friends – and that Isaac will fend the "Black Suits" and the "White Suits" off with his gun (his holster is empty) if necessary. Isaac and Miria leave for Second Class right as Goose Perkins and several Lemures enter the car via First Class.
Walking through the Second Class car, Isaac feebly admits that the dim lighting makes him nervous. Miria agrees that it is cold and it is scary and he immediately boasts that he is neither cold nor scared so all Miria has to do is carefreely follow him. Finding the corridor to be unusually silent, they wonder if the Rail Tracer dealt with the White Suits they had expected to find in Second Class. At the sound of distant machine gun fire from a freight hold, they continue on to Third Class.
Reaching the sole Third Class car, Isaac opens the car door to see a large giant of a man standing in the corridor with a smaller bloodied man slung over his shoulder. Isaac excuses himself and slowly shuts the door. proceeding to panic that perhaps the giant is the Rail Tracer; at the same time, the large man mutters, "A r-red dress. That woman...Rail Tracer?" Both sides fall silent at the other's voices, and finally Isaac takes a deep breath and tentatively calls out a greeting. Both parties ask if each other is the Rail Tracer.
Silence ensues. Isaac asks Miria if she is the Rail Tracer, and she says she probably is not. Good news, Isaac says. Miria probably is not the Rail Tracer. It turns out that neither Isaac and the man are the Rail Tracer either, and the giant explains that the body over his shoulder is his hurt friend. Hugely relieved, Isaac and Miria open the door and apologize - clearly the large man is a good man after all. The two introduce themselves, and say that they're going to rescue their friends before the Rail Tracer eats them. The giant – Donny – calls them good people, and Isaac's face darkens. He contests that he and Miria are not good people, but that they hope to earn themselves the right to that title someday. Miria elaborates that they are currently trying to do good things, and even if nobody acknowledges them for it they will continue until they make up for all the bad they have caused.
The two groups eventually say their goodbyes, with Donny warning Isaac and Miria to avoid the White Suits. Reaching the first freight car, the two panic when they come across bloody corpses in one of the rooms but but calm down when they realize that Jacuzzi is not among the dead. Isaac draws a crucifix over his heart and sings a little hymn while Miria mourns them with the customs of a different denomination. Despite their calm, the two do honestly wish for the dead to rest in peace.
On the way to the next car, Isaac realizes in horror that they forgot to buy a gift for Ennis. Tears well in Miria's eyes, and he consoles her by saying that they can simply buy Ennis a gift in New York. They share a laugh as they reach the door to the second freight car; finding the corridor empty, Isaac sighs in relief and prepares to step inside when a single gunshot sounds off from the car's interior. The two recoil in terror and shut the door. Looking through the door window, they see three White Suits exit one of the freight holds, led by Ladd (they do not recognize him since they were on the floor during the dining car shootout). In Ladd's hands is a smoking rifle.
Isaac and Miria rush back into the first freight car, duck by the door, and hide. Isaac deduces that these must be the dangerous people the large man warned them about, but reassures Miria that they are no match for his billion guns. The two fall silent so that they can focus on the immediate situation, and soon hear the door to the second freight car opening, footsteps signalling the approach of the White Suits. A man asks Ladd why he "killed him," and Ladd replies that although 'his' offer was good, he (Ladd) couldn't stand the look in the other's eyes, how 'he' was acting like there was no way Ladd was going to kill 'him'. The voices fade away – oddly enough, they fade upwards, and the duo wait a little while before Isaac finally peeks through the door window. No one is on the coupling.
They open the door, the frigid night air helping to cool their heads. Isaac mulls over the White Suit's name "Ladd Russo," realizing that he has without a doubt come across the Russo name before. He asks Miria if she remembers which mafia Family they stole the money from that morning, and Miria replies that it was the Russo Family. Isaac's ill premonition is now a reality, and he deduces that the White Suits must be after them. Miria trembles. Embracing her tightly, Isaac declares that they will escape both the White Suits and the Rail Tracer.
Isaac remembers that the White Suits said Ladd had killed someone, but whom did he kill? Afraid that Ladd has killed Jacuzzi, they race inside the freight hold and and are surprised to find it not only empty, but clean of blood despite Ladd's claim of murder. Anxious, they pick up the pace of their search and head for the conductors' compartment, where they are confronted by the two conductors' corpses. Miria turns away and stands back to back with Isaac, unwilling to look further, and Isaac takes it upon himself to steadfastly survey the gruesome interior while they discuss the situation.
Somber, Miria considers the possibility that the Rail Tracer has already eaten Jacuzzi. Isaac is determined to keep her spirits up, and in a voice as bright as he can muster assures her that since he cannot see Jacuzzi's body, Jacuzzi must have been swallowed alive and whole and thus lives on inside the monster's stomach. Though they do not know where the monster is, the Rail Tracer's goal to devour the entire train means that they are guaranteed to encounter it eventually.
Miria shrieks Jacuzzi's name, and Isaac coolly interjects that their friend will not show up simply because they call for him. At her urging, he turns and sees Jacuzzi and Donny in the corridor. Isaac and Miria tell Jacuzzi how glad they are that he escaped the monster's stomach, and apologize three times in a row. With the 'score' at three-to-three, the two proceed to assault Jacuzzi with meaningless sorries so as to bolster their victory points. Jacuzzi, completely overwhelmed, apologizes over and over again in turn. Donny finally brings them back to reality, and the four leave to take refuge in one of the cargo holds.
After Jacuzzi explains his understanding of the situation on the train, and the duo fill him in on what they've witnessed, Isaac concludes that the the train has now become The Records of the Three Kingdoms (a misnomer: he is referring to The Romance of the Three Kingdoms). At Jacuzzi's confusion, he clarifies that the train is like a battlefield where three factions (the Black Suits/Lemures; the White Suits/Ladd's men; Jacuzzi's gang) all battle for dominance. He launches into a warped Romance-based pep-talk, urging Jacuzzi to 'upset the balance' and take over the train by becoming Yoshitsune, a famous historical figure who "defeated the three [Chinese] kingdoms and founded a country called Genghis Khan."
Despite the fact that Isaac's understanding of East Asian history is both wildly anachronistic and inaccurate, the energy in his voice serves as a glimmer of hope for Jacuzzi. He asks Isaac if he really thinks he can become as great as someone like Yoshitsune, and Isaac - momentarily silent - gives him a sober nod. He declares that Jacuzzi is their defending champion, who defeated them countless times (back in the dining car). Miria agrees; since Jacuzzi managed to beat an amazing person like Isaac, he must be really amazing.
Jacuzzi guiltily shakes his head, confessing that while he does want to save the passengers and defeat the Black Suits, he is not all that good of a person. As a bootlegger he breaks the law, and worst of all, he killed five people the day prior. Donny objects and clarifies that he and the rest of the gang were the ones who committed murder, not Jacuzzi, and that the men they killed were responsible for killing their friends. Morose, Jacuzzi shakes his head again and argues that if he had not bootlegged liquor in the first place, his friends and the mafiosi would all be alive.
Isaac grabs Jacuzzi by his collar and lifts him until they are at eye-level. Giving Jacuzzi a confident smile, he reassures him that as long as other people call him a good person, he will surely become a great person. The only thing that decides whether he is good or bad is the "feel of the moment." While he must have confidence in himself, he can only trigger a wave of change on the train if at least one other person believes him to be good. They pledge to make those waves for him, and Jacuzzi ends up thanking them.
He asks that if Isaac and Miria think him to be so great, what does that make them? The couple are taken aback, and admit that they are not certain. But what they do know is that they want to be a catalyst for good things, and they plan to bring the Flying Pussyfoot happiness by dealing with the Rail Tracer and the Russos. The two head for the door and when Jacuzzi asks where they're going, answer that they are going to find the Rail Tracer and ask it to go home. If it does not, they will fight it; if that fails, they will hide. Since it will vanish when the sun rises, all they need to do is hold out until then.
They are undeterred when Donny protests as well, and Isaac states that he plans to fight the Rail Tracer with his hundred guns. Jacuzzi observes that Isaac possesses exactly zero guns, and Isaac acknowledges the truth of it. He had not expected the train to turn out the way it did. With a deadly serious look on his face, Isaac says that it will all be all right: "A famous old gunman once told me this." Looking straight into Jacuzzi's eyes, he nods and finishes: "You know where a real man keeps his guns? His heart. Jacuzzi doubts that a famous gunman would have said anything like anything of the sort, and Isaac replies "That so? Then I'll become that famous gunman!"
As Miria and Isaac open the door, Isaac again asks Jacuzzi not to worry about them and urges him to go rescue Natalie while they distract the Rail Tracer. They promise him that they will not die at his request, with the caveat that Jacuzzi and Donny must return alive too. With that, they leave for the conductors' compartment.
Time passes. Isaac and Miria return to the conductors' compartment and search for clues, and on their way back through Third Class, discuss how odd it is that they have yet to run into either the White Suits or the Rail Tracer. Miria suggests that they search the cargo holds, but Isaac responds that since the Rail Tracer starts feasting from the the caboose he will not be further back than the cargo hold where they found the corpses. She asks why they returned to search the conductor's cabin if that is the case, and he answers that criminals always return to the scene of the crime.
The two check out each cabin they come across, untying the passengers along the way. Isaac is confused that none of the passengers tried to escape, but the passengers tell him that they had heard a child screaming for a long time from a nearby cabin. The screaming had stopped only when they heard a window shatter. Consequently, they were all too frightened to leave their rooms. Miria nervously wonders if the child could have been Mary or Czes.
They notice that one of the cabin doors is wide open and peek inside, spying two Lemures conversing by the cabin window. Isaac and Miria conclude that the men must have been the ones who hurt the child, and Isaac declares that he will challenge them to a duel. Even Miria tries to deter him this time, but Isaac insists that there are certain things a man must do even knowing that he will die. Miria announces that she will challenge the men by his side; they pull out their pouches of pepper and lime and throw them at the men, who drop their weapons in pain and struggle to breathe.
Isaac and Miria scramble for the men's machine guns, and challenge the duo to a duel. They announce that the duel will start as soon as "the coin drops," but remember that they currently lack a single coin to use. Miria asks the Lemures if they have a spare coin, but Isaac stops her and says that they cannot use the Lemur's coin - if he and Miria win the duel, then they'll be running off with a borrowed coin, unbecoming of a gunman. They decide that they will use the sound of machine gun fire as a starting signal instead. The Black Suits beg for their lives to be spared, tears springing to their eyes.
With the two men subsequently tied up and moved to the next door cabin, Isaac and Miria return to the original cabin and rush to the windowsill in search of the aforementioned child. Both are struck speechless at the sight of Czeslaw's corpse tied up and hanging by the wheels, legless and missing his right arm.
Isaac leans further and further out the window, Miria holding his legs as support, and at some point cuts his hand in the process. Unbeknownst to Miria, a certain someone enters the cabin just as she shrieks Isaac's name. Isaac finally exits the cabin altogether, clinging to the side ornamentation upside-down to lessen Miria's burden, and is relieved when Czes' eyelids flutter open. He shouts to Miria the good news, not realizing that blood is dripping from his hand onto Czes' face – or that it recedes back into his wound.
Isaac finally succeeds in reaching the metal piping between the wheels; Miria releases him and he slips under the car. Promising Czes that he will rescue him, he supports Czes' body with his torso as he works to untie the ropes binding him. Once successful, he reaches out to take hold of Czes with his right hand; Czes screams and slaps away the offending arm, and the momentum causes him to slip out of Isaac's hold and fall off the train.
In the blink of an eye Isaac lunges forward and pulls Czes toward him with his right hand, using his other to grab onto the train. The vibrations from the spurs of his cowboy boots bouncing against the ground make it all the more difficult for him to maintain his grip, and his fingers eventually slip. Miria climbs down to the wheels with more skill than Isaac had earlier and clutches his hand in the nick of time, her own hold on the train slipping as soon as she touches him.
The two embrace each other, shielding Czes between them to protect him from further harm. With his right hand, Isaac takes the rope hanging from his back (it is attached to his belt) and attempts and fails to lasso the train. They fall to the ground and bounce up again, and a woman clinging to the underside of the train snatches the lasso mid-air in a last-ditch attempt to save them.
Isaac and Miria continue to shield Czes even as they are dragged along the gravel. At the other end of the rope, a flare of pain from her bullet wound causes the woman to involuntarily lose her grip; the rope falls, but is saved at the last moment by Claire Stanfield (the man who had entered the cabin as Miria shrieked Isaac's name). Claire passes the rope on to Donny in the freight hold, and orders him to pull. Donny pulls with all his might, and Isaac and Miria scream as they are lifted into the air above the rooftop of the train (flying over Goose and Jacuzzi having their rooftop showdown) and over onto the other side of the fright car.
Isaac and Miria only barely manage to hoist themselves and Czes onto the roof, and collapse onto their backs for the briefest of moments before scrambling upright to check on Czes. Their efforts at CPR and heart massages are valiant, but fail to rouse him. At the sound of an explosion, Isaac and Miria turn to see a silhouetted Goose and Jacuzzi standing on the last car. One of the silhouettes falls off the roof, and another explosion sounds off behind the train.
Though Isaac and Miria would normally have lost their wits at such a sight, the severity of the situation is enough to keep them rational. Seconds later, the mass of bloodflesh comprising Czes' lost limbs streams across the roof in their direction. Assuming that it is the Rail Tracer, they first try to take Czes and run and then throw themselves over his body as a last defensive measure - but, despite their efforts, the flesh seeps between every gap in their defense. The silence is shattered by the sound of another huge explosion, and the two finally realize that the bloodflesh is gone. After a moment's hesitation, they look down and are overjoyed to find that Czes' limbs have been fully restored.
Weepy with relief, Isaac and Miria tell Czes how happy they are to see him alive and safe – though Miria wonders how his limbs came back. Isaac explains that the Rail Tracer only gobbles up the naughty children; it must have realized that Czes was a good boy after all and thus returned all that he stole. Czeslaw interjects that he is not a good boy, as he lied to everyone back at the dining car: He had told them he was traveling to meet with his family in New York, when in reality he has never had a family and he is just visiting an acquaintance.
His objection only further convinces them of his goodness; that he had lied to them so that they would not worry when all along he had been the one suffering the most. Isaac declares that Czes can "leave everything to your Uncle Isaac!" Miria pats Czes' cheek and says everything will be alright now that Isaac is on the case. The three make their way back to the dining car, where the Beriams are delighted to see them unharmed. Natalie thanks them for looking after Czes when she could not.
The Flying Pussyfoot makes a pit stop to switch out all the cars and undergo a police investigation, finally reaching Pennsylvania Station on December 31 at 2:00 PM, two hours late. Isaac and Miria are among the last passengers off the train, and though they look wretched they greet Firo, Ennis, Maiza and the three Gandor brothers with as much enthusiasm as ever. They inform Ennis that they have brought her a gift, and dart back inside the car to retrieve Czes;. Identically eager, they implore Ennis to take Czes as her new younger brother so that both she and Czes can have someone, and are present for Czes' tearful reunion with Maiza.
Later that day, the two visit a general goods store and buy a huge amount of dominos, to the store owner's bemusement.
On January 2, 1932, Isaac and Miria set up their dominos in the Alveare's basement room, with the help of Lia, Ennis, Yaguruma, Ronny Schiatto, and Randy and Pezzo (Maiza provided the design). Firo enters the room and asks in bewilderment what is going on, and they announce that they're setting up the dominos to knock them down. Once Isaac places the last domino on the ground, everyone cheers. The couple ask for complete silence, and together they knock down the first domino. Everyone watches gleefully as the dominoes fall, and Isaac and Miria dance the flamenco.
Afterwards (or perhaps on the 3rd or 4th of January), Isaac and Miria sit on the wine barrels upstairs (the barrels are stuffed with dominoes) and invite Firo to join them in knocking down dominoes next time. Firo refuses, and asks what's so fun about knocking down something that takes hours to set up, and the two simply say that watching all the dominoes fall is fun in itself. Faced with their infectious delight, Firo surrenders and promises that if he has the time to spare he'll help them out next time.
One day in the summer of 1932, Isaac and Miria (dressed in navy uniforms) are at the Alveare when Miria brightly calls out to Isaac that Ice Pick Thompson has struck again. The two unfold a newspaper over a decorative barrel, and Firo asks if they know something about Ice Pick Thompson. Isaac asks Miria what Ice Pick Thompson is. She isn't sure, but all the papers are saying that it is terrible news. Firo sighs that they've managed to get themselves worked up despite not actually knowing anything, and Isaac retorts that if Miria is terrified than that means there is absolutely something to fear.
Firo informs them that Ice Pick Thompson is a serial killer, and Isaac tells Miria that if they disguise themselves as non-humans they'll be safe, since serial killers only target humans. They launch into a nonsensical spiel about transforming into dragons, and through another warped logical thread conclude that they must become Time itself if they want to survive the serial killer (since time is the one thing that humans can never defeat). Firo impishly asks how they plan on becoming Time, and as Isaac thinks to himself - "Time...time is...time...is?" Miria chirps "time is money!" Well, now this obviously means that they must become money in order to defeat the serial killer but how do they do that? Firo gives up and leaves them to their own devices.
The two consider wearing clothes made out of coins, and as they continue talking Firo walks up (having finished his drink) and in exasperation asks if they're still at it. He asks what would they do after they blocked Ice Pick Thompson's attack, and Miria suggests that they get rid of the killer. Isaac argues that they still do not know if he is truly a bad person, and Miria agrees that that is a tough question. Firo cuts in that one would not really call a murderer a good person, but the pair counter that some people are nice even if they have killed others - like Jacuzzi! (Firo is unfamiliar with Jacuzzi).
Isaac and Miria warmly smile and say that even a camorrista like Firo and his camorristi friends are good people Firo wryly warns them that they should not assume people like him are all nice, and they advise him not to be so humble. They nonchalantly admit that at first they had thought the Martillos were all villains and attempted to steal money from the Family because they thought they wouldn't be scolded for it. But now look at where they are! The Martillos are their bosom friends. Firo splutters at the line about stealing from the Martillos, and the pair blithely assure him that it is all in the past. After all, instead of money they're stealing his time. Money is time!
At some point in 1932 or 1933, Isaac and Miria run into Jacuzzi on the streets of New York and reestablish contact with him.
1933 EditIn September 1933, an internally struggling Firo knocks down Isaac and Miria's dominoes at the Alveare. The two angrily berate him for his actions, causing him to snap and aggressively confront them. The two tremble, insult Firo in both English and Japanese and dash for the exit, audibly sobbing. They nearly bump into Maiza as they flee, and proceed to aimlessly wander the streets of Little Italy. Isaac vows to make Firo cry gyafun, but rejects Miria's suggestion that they make Firo cry gyafun and shed bitter tears as too cruel. The rest of the conversation derails into a few tangents about Arséne Lupin and old Japanese expressions before escalating into Isaac declaring all out war on Firo.
Miria worriedly asks where they are going to sleep since they left their money and possessions back at the bar, and Isaac (after a tangent about an Egyptian expression and Noah and the Ark) assures her that they have plenty of friends beside Firo and can ask one of them to open their door. They thus head over to a certain manor on Millionaires' Row where Jacuzzi's Gang is staying and ring its doorbell. Nice opens the door and welcomes them inside, where they are greeted by Jacuzzi and his gang in turn. Though Jacuzzi is happy to see them, he comments they should have told him they were coming in advance so that he could have prepared them something to eat.
That only sends Isaac off into another tangent about an old Japanese saying (he is rather hungry) and Jacuzzi chuckles at their ludicrous conversation. The two openly admire the large reception hall and praise Jacuzzi for hitting the jackpot (unaware that it is not his mansion). Isaac cryptically remarks that he was not expecting the house's interior to look nice, considering that its exterior looks like that of his family home. Miria agrees that the outside did look a lot like home.
As Jacuzzi dashes to the kitchen to prepare tea, Isaac and Miria return to disparaging Firo. Upon remembering that he is a robber by trade, Isaac slaps his knee, bolts upright, and proposes that they steal one of Firo's important possessions. However, since it is terrible to steal for personal motivation, they will "stage everything" – first they will commit the theft and send Firo a ransom letter...and then they will give him back his treasure. Firo will be so glad to have his treasure back that making amends will be no trouble at all.
Their bubble is burst when Jacuzzi blurts out that he thought they were planning on making this Firo person cry gyafun. After a bout of dramatic gasping, Isaac decides that gyafun will have to be a victory cry rather than a cry of defeat. Jacuzzi laughs that it sounds like they really like Firo, and the two proudly declare that sure, Firo might be their enemy now – but they like him all the same. No matter how much one tries, one cannot hate him.
The doorbell rings, and while Isaac and Miria debate what Firo holds closest to his heart, Jacuzzi joins Nice in the lobby to find a group of oddly dressed persons making their way into the house. Isaac and Miria soon join other curious members of Jacuzzi's gang as they file into the lobby to see what the commotion is. The two witness a woman (Adele) impale a rough-looking man with her spear (it is unknown if Isaac and Miria recognize that the man is Dallas). Jacuzzi screams and faints. The group leader (Tim) order Adele to remove her spear and she does, kicking Dallas' body away. Tim addresses the crowd and announces that they ought to pay attention. With a theatrical bow, he reminds them that he had said he would put on a magic show. He gestures to Dallas' corpse, and Isaac and Miria witness Dallas come back to life. Unnoticed, Chané Laforet descends from the upper floor and watches along.
Tim only manages to get a few words out before Isaac and Miria start enthusiastically applauding him for an excellent 'magic trick'. Tim offers Jacuzzi and his gang his proposal for the second time: he offers them immortality in exchange for their help in stealing a certain liquor. Chané then charges at him with malicious intent, only to be blocked by Adele, and a newly arrived Maria Barcelito intercepts them both. Everyone tenses at the newcomer, and tense further at the sound of the doorbell ringing again.
In walks a gentle-looking young man (Tick Jefferson) who grimaces as soon as he spots Maria wielding her katanas. He reminds her that they are not here to start a fight, as doing so might make Keith upset. As Maria sighs and sheathes her katanas, Tim stares at Tick and says that he and his group will return tomorrow to resume negotiations. Tick advises him to conduct whatever business he has with Jacuzzi now, as his own negotiations with Jacuzzi could result in the gang disappearing from the streets.
The doorbell rings for a fourth time, much to Nice's chagrin, whereas Isaac and Miria enthusiastically conclude that the new visitors are here to see the magic show. Tim signals for one of his Larva members to open the door when the doorbell rings again, revealing Ennis at the threshold. Isaac and Miria, delighted, wave at her and ask if she is here to see the magic show as well. When Ennis' companion enters the lobby, the atmosphere abruptly shifts – her companion is the Martillo Family's chiamatore Ronny Schiatto.
Isaac and Miria once again fail to notice the tension, buoyant as ever to see their friend Ronny; Isaac asks if Ronny by any chance brought Firo along, and Miria pleads for Ronny to stay and watch the magic show. Tick greets Ronny languidly as well, noting that he had not expected Ronny to personally visit the manor. Ronny replies that he is just doing his job, and frankly he didn't expect to see Tick. The crowd erupts into agitated mutters, but Isaac and Miria merely wait with bated breath for the next display of magic.
After Jacuzzi finally wakes up at Nice's urging, Isaac and Miria try to figure out why Ronny is talking so 'fancy' all of a sudden. It hits them that Ronny is both Firo's senior and the man who had taught him the art of knife-fighting – he and Ennis, then, are Firo's greatest treasures.
Meanwhile, Adele and Maria are on the verge of another fight. Ronny teleports their weapons out of their hands and into his own, after which he places the weapons on the ground. Isaac and Miria afford him vigorous applause, impressed that their friend has turned out to be a magician as well, and praise Adele for her own incredible magic. Adele picks up her spear, hefts it, and thrusts it just to the side of Isaac's head. One of the prongs nicks Isaac's ear as it passes, forming a small wound. Isaac claps a hand to his ear and Miria yelps in concern - only for Isaac to lower his hand in confusion, as the the pain has vanished. Miria is amazed to see that his cut has disappeared.
Adele hefts her spear again and aims directly at Isaac, but Ennis grabs the haft of her spear and coldly demands that the spearwoman apologize to Isaac. Isaac and Miria attempt to salvage the situation, assuring Ennis that there isn't a problem and that the spearwoman was just showing them a magic trick. As Dallas again gets to his feet, Nice pulls out a smoke bomb and throws it into the air. The room is filled with white smoke and everyone scatters. Isaac and Miria use the opportunity to seize Ennis and Ronny and drag them outside. Their plan is to kidnap Ennis and Ronny, and they apologize to Ennis and ask if they can please steal her for a while. At some point during this time Isaac writes the words WE HAVE ENNIS AND RONNY SCHIATTO in penmanship (that is obviously faked and still easily identifiable as Isaac's handwriting) and hands it over to Ronny, asking him to leave it at the Alveare for Firo to find.
At Ronny's suggestion, they head over to the Empire State Building. By now, half an hour has passed since Nice's smoke bomb. The four take the elevator to the offices halfway up the building, where Isaac and Miria are thrilled to look at the people down below them through the window while Ronny and Ennis softly converse behind them. Isaac turns and asks if Ronny remembered to deliver the letter like they told them, and he smirks that he'd taken care to leave the note on a counter where it would be sure to be seen. The two thank him, and explain that they've made a solemn oath not to go back to the Alveare themselves until Firo apologizes to them.
The two snicker and wonder what the expression on Firo's face looks like now that he has lost the things he treasures most. At their sinister grins (a rare sight), Ennis asks what they mean. The two do a little jig at her question and identify her and Ronny as Firo's faithful beloved and venerable old master: his two treasures. Ennis slowly says that they must be mistaken - she is not Firo's beloved, she only lives with him. Isaac comments that Ennis is a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to love, and Miria adds that Firo's love must be tragically unrequited. They pause in their teasing to giggle to themselves.
Some hours or so pass. Isaac and Miria tucker out from dancing and sprawl out on an expensive leather couch, leaning against each other as they sleep. The four of them – Ronny, Ennis, Isaac and Miria – end up spending the night at the office. The next morning, Ronny heads off to have a 'talk' with Jacuzzi. Isaac and Miria tag along, eager at the chance to talk with Jacuzzi again. Ennis leaves for the Alveare.
Isaac, Ronny and Miria head to the Babel restaurant at the top of the Mist Wall (a skyscraper owned by Nebula). Though the restaurant is full, Ronny insists to the waiter on entering, and he leads Isaac and Miria over to Jacuzzi and his friends' table (not noticing that Dallas is sitting with the group). Jacuzzi is surprised to see Ronny, and even more surprised when Isaac and Miria pop out from behind their friend and exclaim over how Ronny is so great a magician he didn't even need an abracadabra to find the youth. The three take their seats at the table, and Isaac and Miria chatter away happily to their friends.
Nearby, Firo is shocked when he spies his three friends and calls out to them, asking what they are all doing at the restaurant. Dallas howls Firo's name in rage, and everyone in the restaurant turn to stare at him as he gets up and stalks toward his hated nemesis. Firo matches Dallas' animosity and demands that Dallas tell him what he did with Ennis (Firo had wrongly assumed the day before that Dallas was responsible for the kidnapping). Dallas pauses, asks "...what?" and the silence is so deafening one can hear hear a pin drop.
The only one who dares to move is Isaac, who stares thoughtfully into space and then suddenly snaps his fingers as he remembers what happened the previous day. His exclamation draws the attention of everyone in the room, and he loudly reassures Firo that he and Miria saved Firo's precious Ennis. Firo relaxes and in visible relief asks "you're...you're really not kidding me are you. Ennis is really safe?" Dallas rushes towards Firo, and Firo casually slams his foot into Dallas' knee, flipping him midair and sending him tumbling to the ground.
A few of the restaurant patrons applaud, and Firo pins Dallas to the ground effortlessly. Ronny (who'd been watching the events with an amused smile) suddenly frowns, and Isaac and Miria ask what's wrong before immediately segwaying into their own surmisation which is that Ronny is jealous that Firo only cared about saving Ennis from the kidnapper's clutches. Ronny ignores them and informs Firo and Jacuzzi that he'd heard gunshots on the first floor (much to their astonishment).
The elevator door dings and out steps Adele and a peculiar red-eyed man named Christopher Shaldred. As Christopher loudly greets Firo, Isaac and Miria recognize Adele as the 'magician' from the mansion and assume that she has here to perform a magic show, especially since the red-eyed man looks like a wizard. Christopher demands to see the manager of the restaurant, and an old man raises his hand at the summons. Christopher draws his gun and shoots the man between his eyes. Chaos ensues, during which Ennis arrives at the restaurant, soon followed by Claire, Chané, Tick, and Maria. During the confusion, Isaac and Miria slip away to investigate the kitchen.
The two exclaim out loud in pleasant surprise when the manager shows signs of regeneration. Firo overhears them, looks over to see them crouching by the restaurant manager's 'corpse' and asks what they are doing. He is shocked when the manager's corpse groans and the man clambers to his feet, not a drop of blood staining his face. A series of revelations ensue, including the revelation that all one thousand and two hundred Nebula employees working at the Alveare are incomplete immortals. Isaac and Miria listen to the conversations in confusion and Miria asks Isaac what an immortal is. Well, judging from the word an immortal is someone who is not mortal, so clearly an immortal is someone who isn't dead. Ah, now Miria understands. In other words an immortal is someone who is alive, meaning that nobody in the building is dead. This is frabjous news.
After some physical alterations, Claire and Christopher break a window and exit to fight on the pyramid slope outside the restaurant. Chané and Hong Chi-Mei follow them outside. The only people left in the restaurant (the patrons have all escaped by now) are Jacuzzi in his friends, Firo and Ennis, Tim and Adele, Tick and Maria, Ronny, and Isaac and Miria - who are still for some reason inside the kitchen congratulating the manager. The duo listen from the kitchen to the goings on on the restaurant floor, where Adele and Maria are between fights (with each other). Adele tells Maria that she must be at least three times stronger than her (Adele) in order to stand a chance against her spear. Maria wagers that she is twice as skilled as Adele is, and exclaims that that means she wins. Why? Because she has two swords, and two time two equals four.
Awkward silence falls over the group. Isaac shouts that Maria is absolutely right - two times two is greater than three! Miria supposes that must mean that Maria is going to win. Just like Miria predicts, Maria ends up winning the fight, piercing her sword through Adele's shoulder. As Tim bandages Adele's shoulder, Dallas stalks up to Tim, intending to kill them. Adele spears Dallas in his chest and Tim aims his pistol at his forehead, but Dallas gives them a bloodstained grin and remarks on how lucky he was for having met Nice. Nice whips towards Dallas, spots a light spluttering underneath his jacket, and yells for everyone to hit the floor.
The ensuing explosion is loud and fiery, and the shockwave sends people flying. Isaac and Miria are knocked out and sent skidding into a corner along with Maria. In the aftermath, Firo and Ennis stumble to their feet and head over to the couple, lightly slapping their cheeks in order to bring them back into consciousness. Isaac groans and asks if someone pulled off an explosive disappearing act, and Miria coughs that it must have been the greatest explosion on Earth.
That afternoon, Isaac and Miria return to the Alveare and wax lyrical about the magic show they'd seen in the Babel Restaurant that morning, much to the disbelief of the Martillos. Firo and Ennis walk into the restaurant and are greeted by Ronny, Maiza, and the rest. The two sit at the counter and whisper about the 1200 Nebula employees only to be interrupted by Isaac and Miria, who would like to know twelve-hundred what, exactly. Firo awkwardly apologizes for the dominoes incident, but the two have already forgotten about the whole thing and ask if he means he wants to play dominoes. In the next moment, Isaac remembers his revenge and demands that Firo say gyafun.
Firo is confused, and asks "....uncle?" Isaac and Miria immediately celebrate, elated that they finally got him to say uncle. Firo bites into his sandwich only to spew a second later when Isaac and Miria casually reveal that they'd heard Firo had ran around in the pouring rain looking for Ennis, calling her name frantically. The two take up positions on either side of Firo and begin to poke him slyly with their elbows, fiercely waggling their eyebrows. Firo asks who exactly told them that, and Isaac tsks at his question, saying they'd "promised Czes very solemnly" not to tell anyone. Firo dashes out of the restaurant in search of the boy.
On a certain day in November, Isaac and Miria entertain the Alveare's tipsy patrons at the Alveare by recounting a few of their thieving exploits, taking in stride the patron's drunken retorts. Isaac and Miria's tall tales have made them a staple attraction at the restaurant over the years, and they are a familiar sight to many of it regulars.
A middle-aged man with a bushy mustache grins at them and says that he would like to hear more of their stories. He has been patronizing the restaurant for the past few days, now, and every time it seems to him they have new stories to tell. At his assumption they are famous with the police, Isaac and Miria proudly object their costumes are so perfect that no law enforcement agency could possible know who they are. Still smiling, the man recalls a newspaper article a few years back on a pair of robbers who had broken into a bank and stolen as many tissue boxes as they could carry, dressed up as Egyptian mummies. He wonders if the story sounds familiar.
Isaac and Miria gasp and look at each other, dismayed by the revelation that the newspapers know about them. There had been cameramen at the time, but Isaac had thought the cameramen were mere random photographers out for a stroll. How terrible – they clearly face masters of disguise even more skilled than they are. When the mustached man brings up the 1930 theft of the Genoard fortune, Isaac and Miria state that their lips are sealed. The man, undeterred, asks what the two happened to be wearing when the robbery occurred; they answer that they were dressed like Native Americans.
Now smirking, the man continues to ply them with very specific questions about their robberies for a little while. At last he claps in admiration at their feats, and the two blush and ask that he tell them a story of his own. Ever so amicably, the man invites them to come over to his store where he will happily tell them all the stories they want. Certain restaurant patrons shift in their seats, sensing something wrong; the Martillos in the room, meanwhile, have long since picked up on the fact that the man is an undercover policeman.
Isaac puts his hand inside his coat pocket and frowns; it seems that he accidentally left his wallet in the warehouse he and Miria were cleaning earlier today. Miria worriedly asks if that means they are bankrupt. Isaac says no, the wallet should probably still be there, and asks if Miria would be a dear fetch it for him. Miria dashes out of the store at once; the mustached man's smile sours and he says that Isaac must be lazier than he looks. Oddly terse, Isaac offers a curt "Maybe" as he stares at the door.
After a few seconds of silence, Isaac clears his throat and says that they ought to go see what the man has in his store. Taken aback, the man asks if he does not want to wait for his lady friend. Isaac grins, pats the man on the shoulder and says "of course not, silly. Why would I want to bring her along to the police station?" A hush falls over the restaurant as everyone turns to look at them. The man freezes because he had not expected in his wildest dreams that Isaac was capable of seeing through his cover, and all the Martillos freeze because they had not expected in their wildest dreams that Isaac had figured out the man's intentions like they had. It is obvious that Isaac deliberately sent Miria away to protect her.
The plainclothes officer grudgingly acknowledges Isaac's perceptiveness, and Isaac blithely says it is not the first time he has been interrogated by the police. Not by a long shot. Normally he would have given the man a pepper bomb to the face and scarpered, but he does not want to cause trouble for the Martillos after all their hospitality. The officer is forced to conclude that it was not mere dumb luck that kept Isaac and Miria away from the law, and he asks what Isaac really sent Miria to fetch. A pepper bomb? A gun?
Isaac is saved from having to answer when Randy and Pezzo swagger up to the pair, positioning themselves between Isaac and the undercover cop. Deliberately casual, they ask if Isaac has had an argument with Miria - she ran out the back door without looking back. A young man sitting at a nearby table swears and springs to his feet, but the mustached man shakes his head and gestures for him to stand down. The younger cop sinks back into his seat, glowering.
The mustached cop glowers in turn as he slaps a pair of handcuffs around Isaac's wrists, all too aware of just how vastly he underestimated him, and all too unhappy that he has been made to look the fool by someone he had thought a simpleton. The nearby camorrissti smirk at the clear humiliation in his expression; as he drags Isaac out of the Alveare, he promises that he will make Isaac tell them where his hideout is soon enough.
Miria returns to the Alveare a few minutes after Isaac's departure. Puzzled, she calls out to Isaac that she could not find his wallet anywhere, and trails off when she finds Isaac missing. Miria asks everyone where Isaac went, sensing that something is off. The others avoid her gaze; her smile fades, and she calls Isaac's name with palpable worry. Finally, someone breaks the news of Isaac's arrest. She falls silent, and leaves the restaurant. She does not return.
At some later point, Miria approaches Ronny and asks him to break Isaac out of prison. It is implied that she has figured out Ronny's nature to some extent, though it is unknown what she specifically says to him. He asks her if he is sure she should be asking him for aid, reminding her that there is nothing actually keeping him from exercising his power – he simply chooses to typically reserve them for the Martillos, to keep things interesting. What is more, he is never broken the rules on this scale, even for the Family. Breaking someone out of prison is breaking the law. Of course, he has visited Alcatraz in secret to meet "an acquaintance," but that is another matter.
Ronny warns her that rescuing Isaac with his powers will be crossing a line, making Isaac a true criminal in the vein of the Martillos and the rest of the underworld. He asks if she is prepared to accept such a consequence, and she hesitates, wondering if it is truly all right for her to decide Isaac's fate for him. Ronny remarks that Isaac must mean everything to her for her to hesitate like this, and says he will give her some time to think it over. However, she decides then and there that she will not go through with it after all. Ronny says believing in him and waiting is perfectly fine in its own right.
Before she leaves, he warns her that the police may have staked out her and Isaac's apartment and that she might be better off living elsewhere for the time being. He opines that what Isaac did may have been selfish, but qualities like that may have been what drew Miria to him in the first place. Taking heed of Ronny's advice, Miria heads to the Genoard mansion and moves in with Jacuzzi's gang, sobbing for three days straight over Isaac's arrest. Jacuzzi cries with her.
A couple days after her arrival, Chané slips into Miria's guest room and her red-eyed from crying. Chané asks if Miria is all right via her notepad, and Miria says that she is and apologizes for bothering Chané and her friends. At Miria's apology, Chané shakes her head and writes that the police have taken someone precious to her as well - her father. Having become fond of Miria, who has so readily accepted Chané's muteness and her notepad, she wants to help Miria however she can.
Miria learns that Chané has not seen her father for almost four years and asks if she is not sad. Chané writes that being sad will not return her father to her, an attitude which Miria commends as strong. With a soft smile, she says that Chané must be waiting for her father to return just like Miria is waiting for Isaac; therefore, the two of them are friends. With their camaraderie established, they converse throughout the night. The next day, Miria emerges from her room and offers Jacuzzi and his friend a bright smile. While from time to time she thinks of Isaac and cries, she is far more stable than she was before.
On the day of his arrest Isaac meets with DOI agent Victor Talbot, who tells him that for 'some reason' they cannot put Isaac in a normal prison and will have to incarcerate him in Alcatraz. In exchange, Victor will shorten Isaac's sentence to a mere fifty days. Isaac is promptly shunted off to Alcatraz, where he befriends fellow inmate Ladd Russo. Over the first thirty or so days of his sentence, Isaac is thrown into solitary confinement on nine separate occasions for causing commotions. His nights in solitary follow the same pattern: his feet are chained; he is given little food; and he is ensconced in darkness. Sometimes, but not always, he is visited by the voice of a 'fairy'.
About a month following Isaac's arrest, Isaac and Ladd are eating a meal together when Firo enters the mess hall. With a loud squawk, Isaac grins and vigorously waves at Firo, extremely pleased at the sight of his friend. The other inmates groan while the guards sigh, approaching Isaac in exasperated fashion. "You again?" One asks. ("Me again?" replies Isaac). Two of the guards snatch Isaac's hands mid-wave, and two others stoop and take hold of his legs ("Yeah. You again."). Isaac asks if they are joking, and one of them says that the only joke here is the one he is making of the rules.
The guard supposes that Isaac's tenth visit to the dungeons will refresh his memory, and promises that they will throw in an extra pair of chains gratis to celebrate the occasion. As all four guards haul Isaac toward the cafeteria doors, Isaac feebly complains that he was merely giving Firo a New York style 'hello' to celebration the occasion of their reunion. One of the men snidely remarks on how envious he is that Isaac will get a nice dark room all to himself. Isaac fails to see why, as there is not a whole lot of food in the dungeons and the chains make it awfully hard to move. The guard points out he can lose weight and exercise by pulling on the chains.
Isaac concedes that the guard has made a compelling point, though Isaac is not entirely sure that he is that overweight. The guards proceed to carry him down to the the dungeons, where Isaac's feet are once again chained and he is paid another visit by the 'fairy'.
Over in the Genoard Manor on Millionaires' Row, Jacuzzi weeps over the predicament his friend Graham Specter is in. Miria sternly bops him on the head with a book and says that if he continues to cry he will smudge the "pretty painting" on his face. Jacuzzi anxiously turns to Nice to make sure his tattoo is not actually smudged, and Miria says his face is so much prettier now that he is not crying. Jacuzzi wipes his eyes and says, "Of course! What was I thinking, sitting here crying over something like this when Isa-" He chokes on his own words, but the damage is already done.
At Isaac's name, Miria slumps and she bows her head. She whispers Isaac's name low like a prayer, one that goes unanswered. Forcing down a sob, she reaches for the doorknob and promises that she will not cry – it is not as if she will be able to solve anything by crying. She apologizes for making them worry, whirling around to give them her usual smile, but she is speaking so fast she is almost tripping over her words. She exclaims that Isaac likes her more when she smiles – and when Isaac is happy she is happy – and so she will not cry so there, and she flings open the door and dashes out of the room in a flurry of frenetic energy.
Morning dawns in Alcatraz, and Isaac is released from solitary confinement in time to have breakfast with Firo and Ladd in the mess hall. Wolfing his food down, Isaac asks Firo if he knows that he can ask for not only seconds but thirds in prison? As far as Isaac is concerned, the meals more than compensate for the low pay. Firo asks him if he slept all right, and Isaac admits that the guards may have scolded him, locked him up and chained his feet, but he is used to it by now.
Ladd explains to Firo that "[his] friend the genius" is dragged off to the Hole all the time for minor offenses - commotions and shouting, mostly. It is never anything serious so he is always out in no time, but...still, most people usually settle down after their first visit to the Hole. Firo asks if Ladd has ever been in solitary, and Ladd says his longest stay down there was ten days straight. He admits that it is not a good place to be, pitch black and so deep underground that the only audible sound is one's own breathing. One cannot move, see, or hear, and one's meals are skipped.
Firo pats Isaac on the shoulder and says he did not think Isaac had it in him to make it through something like that, even if it was only one night. Isaac muses that his stay was not so awful; the fairy kept him company last night, so he at the very least was not bored. At Firo's resigned, "Here we go again," Isaac protests that he is serious - he heard a little girl's voice and conversed with her all night long. Firo muses that all that time away from Miria finally 'got' to Isaac, and Isaac admits that not being able to see Miria makes him lonelier than anything. However, he insists the voice really was real; the girl asked him all sorts of questions including how Isaac know came to Firo and if Isaac had drunk the liquor too.
Firo freezes, and hastily brushes off Isaac's words. Isaac indignantly says that Firo does not believe him, and well - Firo must know what happens to people who do not believe in fairies. Firo does not. Isaac is shocked; he falls silent and stares thoughtfully at the ceiling, having forgotten what exactly happens to non-believers. When Isaac raises his voice the guards issue a warning and the three quiet down once more.
Isaac's behavior leads Firo to ask Ladd why he tolerates it, since Isaac is the sort of person that Ladd typically hates. Ladd grins and says that if he is being honest, something is wrong with Isaac's head. Getting mad at him would be like getting mad at a puppy – he does not have the brains to know any better. Isaac whispers, "What? What's that about my head?" and Firo smirks and taps Isaac's head with his spoon, replying that there is nothing it that would make Ladd angry. Isaac misunderstands and thinks that Ladd said he is willing to forgive him, and he thanks him for being a fine fellow.
The subject turns to New York, where Ladd says a pseudo-little brother of his who likes dismantling stuff with a wrench has set up shop. Isaac and Firo realize that they know Ladd's 'brother', much to his surprise, and Firo informs him that Graham is on the run from the Runoratas. Unusually serious, Ladd vows to help Graham once he is released maybe visit his fiancée while he is at it. Isaac declares that he will see Miria first thing, and his loud volume earns him a threatening growl from a nearby guard.
A commotion breaks out at a nearby table, where Gig has lifted up another inmate by his throat in a clear attempt to strangle him. Ladd stands and bids goodbye to Firo and Isaac, insinuating that he is about to purposefully do something that will warrant a trip to the Hole. He proceeds to knock Gig out and, at the guards' dirty looks, claims that he was just acting in self-defense. With a nod in Firo and Isaac's direction, he says that he will see them around sometime in the event they are all still alive.
As the guards escort Ladd out of the room, Isaac exclaims that he had no idea that the 'big guy' was trying to kill Ladd. Firo covers Isaac's mouth until the guards are gone, at which point he asks Isaac how in the hell he landed himself in Alcatraz. Isaac recounts his meeting with Victor.
That night, a guard visits Isaac's cell and says that he has been invited to meet someone. Isaac is led to a certain room and mets Huey Laforet, with whom he converses for a little while. At some point, Huey hides in shadows by the doorway; the door swings open, revealing Firo, and Isaac brightly asks him if he got an invitation as well. Shocked to see him, Firo takes a step back and narrowly evades Huey's outstretched hand. Huey applauds, deeming Firo's speed admirable and his reflexes and situational awareness commendable - perhaps even on par with the likes of Nile and Denkurō.
The two talk. Firo says that he is curious what Huey thinks his first question would be, and Huey replies that he thinks Firo would first ask why Mister Dian is with them. Tense silence follows the remark, and Isaac wonders if he has done something wrong. He explains that a guard summoned him to Huey's room when Firo asks why he is here, and that he had been talking with "this monster man" when Firo joined them. By 'monster man', Isaac is comparing Huey to a certain mythological Japanese beast that likes to live in secret rooms.
Huey steps forward and thanks Isaac for his time; while he highly enjoyed all of Isaac's stories, it is now time for them to part ways. He has very sensitive secrets to discuss with Firo, and hopes that Isaac understands. Regret flashes across Isaac's face, but it is gone in an instant and replaced with a smile. He agrees to leave, but asks that Huey do him a favor by making everyone in Alcatraz happy. For some reason, they all look sad – tragic pasts, no doubt.
Huey agrees that their happiness is important, and reminds Isaac that everything the two of them talked about must remain a secret. Isaac assures him that he will keep his secrets are safe as he follows the guard outside. He spends the rest of the night in solitary; the rest of Isaac's sentence is personally uneventful.
On Isaac's last day of his sentence he meets with Misery, who congratulates him for reaching the end of his term. Isaac smiles sheepishly and apologizes for all the trouble he has caused, and Misery informs him that he is the third person ever whose entry Misery has personally supervised. Furthermore, Isaac's fifty day sentence is the shortest in the prison's history, and Misery urges him to put aside his criminal ways and live for society, for America, for the people he loves. Isaac puffs out his chest and says that he will try to do his best.
Misery hands Isaac an envelope of money Isaac earned for his month of hard labor, and confides that he added a little extra as a farewell gift. Isaac thanks him before leaving the office to board one of the departing boats. Finding the island rather beautiful in the warm orange hues of sunset, he recalls how he often looked upon the island in his youth. A powerful urge to see Miria again overwhelms him in that moment, more potent than even his desire for freedom.
After he reaches California soil, he is subjected to a long series of procedures at a Division of Investigation office. Most inmates would have served the remainder of their sentences in normal prisons after being released from Alcatraz, but since Isaac was never actually tried, he is now a free man. Instead of meeting with Victor as initially planned, problems for Victor in New York lead Isaac to meet with Victor's boss throughout the proceedings. As soon as Isaac is handed the clothes he was wearing at the time of his arrest, he fishes out his wallet and pools its contents with the small sum of money Misery had given him.
He makes a beeline for the train station, ignoring urgent-sounding broadcasts on the radios he passes by. All he wants to do is see Miria as soon as possible, but he does not have enough money to take a transcontinental train all the way back to New York. Normally this would not have been a problem for him, as his typical solution would have been to liberate some money from a passing villain for a better cause, but Misery had told him to shed his criminal ways and live for the people he loves. With immense willpower, Isaac rejects thievery as an option.
With his options thus limited, Isaac briefly considers his home – so close that he could walk there if he wanted – but he pictures Miria's face and discards the option of home without a second thought. He murmurs to himself, "and besides, if they caught me... they might kill me..." before entering a booth and telephoning the Alveare, his mind made up. Through Seina's help and Ronny's advice, Isaac obtains the number to the Genoard Manor on Millionaires' Row. The operator patches him through to Jacuzzi, who blubbers and sobs how glad he is that Isaac is safe before handing the receiver to Miria, and Isaac is overjoyed to hear her voice, at how happy she is through her sobbing laughter.
Isaac finds that he is smiling as well, and he wonders what he should say. What could he say? He hesitates until a thought occurs to him. Before he can think it through, he blurts, "Sorry, Miria! Turns out my wallet was in my pocket all along." Miria accept his sincere apology, chirping that she forgot all about the wallet long ago. Sighing in relief, Isaac speaks the next words more slowly, reluctant to say them at all. He admits that he does not have enough money to return home, so Miria might have to scrounge up the money for the ticket and bring it to him.
Her eagerness to oblige is clear, but Isaac frowns as he listens to her, realizing that it would not be fair to make Miria come all the way to see him by herself. He decides that he will meet her partway, and after glancing at his schedule, decides that they should meet in Chicago. Miria thinks it a grand idea, and he grins at her approval. They arrange a time and place to meet in the city and Isaac stuffs the meeting information in his pocket, filled with hope at the thought of tomorrow.
Jacuzzi's gang accompanies Miria to Chicago's Union Station, as Jacuzzi is worried for her safety. She calls out Isaac's name as soon as she disembarks the train, craning her neck in search of him. Nice reminds her that Isaac's train is arriving tomorrow, not today; Miria knows it too, but she simply cannot help the urge to call out for him.
Miria's optimism at the promise of seeing Isaac soon is dampened by the sound of a sharp explosion about five hundred meters west, and she and the gang head in the sound's direction. The crowd of rubberneckers cordoned off by police lines causes her to lag behind, and an explosion sounds off from the alley which Jacuzzi and his friends entered a couple minutes prior.
When her friends do not immediate exit from the alleyway, Miria grows worried and is about to rush in after them when Donny emerges from the smoke, carrying Jacuzzi and a child over his shoulders. Nice rushes forward, grabs Miria's hand, and runs, shouting that they have got to escape the area as fast as possible. As they flee, she takes a cylindrical smoke bomb out of her pocket, tears it open with her teeth, and flings it behind her. Miria, momentarily separated from Nice in the ensuing confusion, catches sight of small groups of Jacuzzi's delinquents using the smoke as a cover to set off small distractions throughout the crowd.
Nice is embarrassed and apologizes to Miria for the situation they have dragged her into. As they slow their pace, Miria realizes that they must be going into hiding. She asks Nice what happened and what are they running from, and Nice wearily answers that they are running from the police, who very likely think that she is behind the explosions.
While Miria and Nice are making their escape, Isaac is safe and sound in an otherwise empty third class compartment aboard a transcontinental train making tracks for Chicago. He hums to himself as he readjusts his cowboy hat – which he bought with his leftover money – and considers decorating it for improvement's sake. The window's reflection betrays a man in a nice business suit standing behind him, and infers that the man must be a friend of his. The man shakes his head; he says that this is the first time they have spoken in person, and asks if Isaac is Mister Isaac. Isaac says that if they were not friends before, they will be friends starting from now and extends his right hand for a handshake.
The man claims the seat next to Isaac, and remarks that Isaac is exactly how everyone describes him. Isaac is surprised that the man knows who he is, and the man vaguely says that he has watched Isaac from a distance for some time. Simply put, he is a fan of Isaac and Miria both. Apparently not bothered by the implication he is being constantly watched, Isaac says that he understands why the man is a fan of Miria - she is "as pretty as any gal on Broadway" – but not why someone could possibly be a fan of him. The man evenly responds that he has no particular reason; it is only that he has come to be quite envious of the couple after hearing of their exploits. He has talked to the Martillos, the Russos, Eve Genoard, Jacuzzi Splot, Czeslaw Meyer...from all of them he has heard tales of Isaac.
Isaac's good mood intensifies and he cries that that settles it - if the man is friends with all these people then he is friends with Isaac too. He is sure that Miria will be happy to be his friend as well. The man says that he is grateful, at which point Isaac slaps his knee and realizes that he has yet to ask the man's name - how can he introduce him to everyone if he does not know his name? A nickname would suffice just as well. Giving Isaac another strained smile, the man mutters that it feels like he is some sort of spy before finally introducing himself as Sham.
Sham says that the first time he spotted Isaac was back in 1930, when he and Miria were scattering money onto the streets. He confesses that he picked up some of the money they had thrown, but Isaac is nothing but grateful at the news. The next time Sham saw them was back on the Flying Pussyfoot, and Isaac is amazed that Sham was on the very same train. He admits that he had tried to be brave so that Miria would not worry, but all his efforts were for naught in the end. Sham counters that a coward would not have been able to walk around that train as Isaac had done.
Isaac supposes that if Sham is right, Miria must have been so brave that he was borrowing her surplus strength. He asks Sham where he was located on the train, and Sham replies that he was in one of the First Class compartments before abruptly changing the topic to Isaac's friendship with Jacuzzi's gang. Isaac brings up the Romance of the Three Kingdoms and compares Jacuzzi to Alexander the Great, an evaluation that Sham finds 'lofty', but Isaac proudly stands his ground and insists that Jacuzzi truly is great.
Sham observes that Isaac and Miria have witnessed many incredible events, including the 1930 speakeasy incident and the Mist Wall bombings in 1933, but Isaac is honestly puzzled by why Sham finds this significant; as he points out, many other people were at those events. Sham finds himself speechless at Isaac's lack of self-awareness, at how the man has no idea as to how many lives he and Miria have changed and even saved, how if it had not been for their presence at the Alveare in 1930, history might have taken a drastic turn.
Oblivious, and mostly occupied by the prospect of reuniting of Miria, Isaac remarks on the awesome speed of a train and how remarkable it is that they will be reaching Chicago as early as that afternoon. Sham asks Isaac if he believes in God, fate, or some other higher power, and Isaac instantly replies that he does. He explains that he had overheard from a man in another car that this world has over eight million gods. It does not matter how many gods one worships as long as one is careful, because that will be the same number of gods that judge oneself.
Sham presents Isaac with a question: what if there was some hopeless situation that was satisfactorily resolved due to a 'certain extraordinary encounter' - if such a thing were to happen, would Isaac say that it was luck or fate? Isaac asks if in this scenario everything really does work out in the end, and Sham replies that it does. Then there's nothing to worry about, answers Isaac. Sham alters the premise: what if there was a man with the power of a god and could cause these encounters to happen – the type of power that can easily bring people together or separate them. However, this man is only interested in helping people he likes. Whether or not he uses his powers completely depends on his personal feelings. To what degree does Isaac think a person like that can be forgiven?
Isaac asks why Sham thinks people would need to forgive the man, and Sham asks him to imagine coming across a butterfly caught in a spider's web. Feeling sorry for it, he frees it and feels satisfied. Sham points out that while he might be saving the butterfly, but in doing so he is depriving the spider of nourishment. And because of the self-satisfying human who pities the prettier butterfly, the spider might starve to death.
Isaac finally understands: the butterfly's good fortune becomes the spider's bad luck. He comments that he and Miria used to go whole days without food, so he knows that the spider is definitely not in the wrong. Sham takes this to mean that Isaac sides with the spider, and mumbles "smug human self-satisfaction...that's what it all is." Isaac asks again what this has to do with saving butterflies; even if nobody saves the butterfly, it is possible that a bird will come along and eat the spider and perhaps even the butterfly as well. Or, a falling branch could simply destroy the spider's web on day. In such cases, the spider's fate would be due to bad luck rather than a person's choice.
Sham is thrown into confusion at Isaac's words, and privately wonders if he would have come to a different conclusion had Miria been with him. Out loud, he admonishes Isaac's type of thinking as far too simple. Isaac sheepishly replies that he must not be too good at this sort of thing, though he continues tackling Sham's quandary regardless. If one takes things like nature into account, hey says, humans really are like gods - at least when it comes to Sham's hypothetical situation.
While Isaac admits he may have 'this' wrong, he does know that if the spider tried to eat Miria, he would not care about it going hungry – he would care about saving Miria. He then notes that neither he nor Sham can truly tell how the spider and the butterfly are feeling, and that they probably have their own notions about Isaac and Sham. For instance, the creatures could very well view humans like lightning bolts.
Isaac realizes that he has gotten off track and apologizes, confirming with Sham that they had started out talking about God. He apologizes again and asks Sham to repeat the original question, and Sham gives him another supposition: Suppose this god had become attached to the idea of 'lasting bonds.' In order to bring people together, he would have to perform some miraculous event, all the while hiding the fact that he is not human from his friends. Isaac, surprised, asks why the god's friends cannot know the truth. Sham says that the god is afraid that the truth will scare his friends so much that they might not want to be his friends anymore. So what should the god do?
After mulling it over, Isaac asks, "So why doesn't this god just do what he thinks is best?" He says that he understands how irritating it would be to worry if people will hate you, as he worries daily how he could possibly go on if Miria did not like him. Isaac is truly troubled at the thought, a rare pensiveness momentarily shrouding his face. After confirming with Sham that the god wants to help people connect with each other, Isaac opines that fear in itself does not prevent the god from doing just that. It does not matter if others do end up hating the god, so as long as the god knows that his actions are the right thing to do. To not lend his aid and have his true nature discovered anyway would be the worst scenario of all.
Sham agrees. In the end, nothing would change for better or worse if the god did nothing. Isaac enthuses that while he still doesn't know if he has 'gotten' everything, Sham's conclusion sounds about right. The two talk for the rest of the trip.
Back in Chicago, Miria and Jacuzzi's gang reconvene in an abandoned warehouse on Friday, still shaken from what happened with the bomb. Miria sits by the side of Rail, the child whom Donny slung over his shoulder, and wakes for them to wake up. When Rail does, Miria wipes their face and introduces herself Miria and the others as friends. Nice pushes through the crowd to inform Rail that their bomb has forced the gang to go into hiding; at the sight of Nice holding their bag of bombs, Rail attempts and fails to stand. As Miria hurries to support them, they plead that Nice give the bombs back.
At Nice's urging, Rail says that they bought the bombs off a Hollywood filmmaker and modified them. The delinquents confer among themselves, as these bombs are almost certainly the stolen ones they sold after the Flying Pussyfoot incident, and one of the teenagers finally informs Rail that they are absolving Rail of blame. Miria remarks to a confused Rail that it sounds like they have been forgiven, so Rail will probably like whomever forgave him.
As evening falls, Nice regales Rail and other interested parties with passionate anecdotes about the various explosives she has designed. Miria is among those who are listening when two intruders grab her arms and restrain her. She screams and attempts to wrench herself free to no avail, and her captors advise the delinquents to not make any sudden movements. One of the men puts his gun to Miria's temple, and he and his colleague order Rail and Nice to come with them; Miria pleads for everyone to leave her and run, but Nice raises her hands in the air in surrender instead. Rather than flee or surrender, Rail rummage through their bag for a bomb.
Another intruder slips behind Rail, injects their neck with something that causes Rail to pass out, and scoops up Rail's body along with two others. Miria demands to be released, calling for Isaac to save her right before her manhandler clamps his hands over her mouth and leads her out of the factory. As Miria's voice chokes off, Nice glares at the men holding Rail and demands that they let Miria go. Another man assures her that everything will be 'fine', and pops a sugarcube into his mouth.
Back on the train, Sham seems troubled by something but refuses to elaborate when Isaac inquires into his mood. Unable to sleep in his excitement, Isaac watches the scenery pass and sees a flock of birds keeping up with the train. He points them out to Sham, impressed that they are flying at night and at such a speed, and Sham obligingly spares the birds a glance before falling into deep though.
Once they arrive at Chicago's Union Station, Isaac bounds onto the platform and calls Miria's name. She is nowhere to be found, but he assumes she simply has not arrived yet as neither of them where sure what time Isaac's train would arrive that morning. He then realizes that he has lost sight of Sham and does not know how to get in contact with him, but supposes he can simply ask Sham for his contact details next time. Upon noticing that there is someone standing behind him, he turns and smiles with the expectation of seeing Miria – only to be greeted by someone else entirely.
Unbeknownst to Isaac, Miria, Nice, and Rail have been taken to Nebula's headquarters, where Miria is isolated and kept gagged and bound to a chair for some amount of time. At the sound of gunfire and explosions, her guard orders her to remain on good behavior while he leaves to investigate. Miria's response is muffled by her gag. The guard sprints down the hallway in such haste that he forgets to close the door behind him, making the sound of gunfire and explosions that much more piercing and clear. At the sound of screams, Miria struggles so fiercely against her bonds that she sends shelves and chairs crashing down around her.
The door swings shut, but is soon opened once more when Lua Klein pushes it inward. She frees Miria from her bonds and gag, and the two women rush for the rooftop garden to find it in chaos; Miria screams when she sees Nice at gunpoint, and Jacuzzi - arriving at the same exact time from a different entrance - screams as well. The group of white-clad scientists ask their director Renee Paramedes Branvillier for orders, and she decides to have them seize the tattooed boy. Before the scientists can get anywhere near Jacuzzi, Graham steps in front of him like a shield and announces Jacuzzi is under his protection.
Rail takes a bomb from Nice's bag and climbs over the roof's railing, intending to to commit suicide. They activate the bomb and let go of both the bomb and railing, but Jacuzzi lungs over the railing and grabs Rail's arm in the nick of time. However, the shockwave from the bomb exploding below causes him to lose his grip on the guardrail. Nice manages to grasp his hand in time, but struggles to support the weight of two people. Miria darts to her aid, leaps over the guardrail, and tells Rail to take her hand. Rail does, but a inexorably strong gust of wind buffets them both; Miria's grip threatens to slip, and Carol, Lua, and Gustav all race toward the railing intending to try and save her.
Miria's grip fails, and she instinctively calls out Isaac's name. A voice tells her, Mortal, this time I will grant you your wish and in the next moment she is looking at Isaac's face. He takes Miria's arm, steady as a rock, and the realization that he is no illusion brings her to tears. Once Isaac and Nice successfully pull Rail, Jacuzzi, and Miria to safety, Miria throws herself into Isaac's embrace.
Their mutual joy is put on hold when Renee claps her hands and orders one of her researchers to shoot Graham's friend in the foot. The researcher takes aim at Shaft, only to shout in pain as Christopher twists his offending arm upward. His gun inadvertently fires, shooting him the head, and Christopher greets everyone with a smile.
Isaac and Miria recognize him as the 'magician' they had encountered in New York the previous year, and wonder if this is one of his magic tricks. Christopher, surprised, turns to find the dead researcher in the process of regenerating. That it 'is' a magic trick after all fills Isaac and Miria with relief, while Christopher – rather than being peeved – says that he is gladdened by the researchers' immunity. With a showman's patter, he announces that he is about to demonstrate a little trick called human regeneration; though the 'trick' really just amounts to him and Graham attacking the researchers, Isaac and Miria wildly applaud him nonetheless.
While the others fight, Jacuzzi and Nice approach Isaac and ask him how had he known to come to the Nebula building - did Nick and Jack lead him here? Isaac, bemused, says he never once caught sight of Nick. No, what happened was, "I made this new friend on the train...and there was another friend I made in prison...and when I got off, they took me here!"
Once everything is settled, Isaac, Miria, and Jacuzzi's gang board a transcontinental train to New York on third class tickets. During the journey, Isaac recounts a personal anecdote that Miria has heard multiple times already but enthusiastically listens to anyway, while Jacuzzi's friends tease him over his supposed jealousy toward Rail's bond with Nice.
In January, Isaac and Miria are at the Alveare with Maiza, Czes, and other Martillos when Annie announces that Firo has arrived home. They join the others in welcoming Firo back from Alcatraz.
One day in February, while the two of them are aimlessly wandering Manhattan's streets, Miria informs Isaac that she has just thought of something amazing, and Isaac cries, "You're incredible, Miria! I had no idea!" He asks what is so amazing, and she cheerfully says that "Isaac, we have no more money!" Isaac's automatically cheerful reply falters and he turns to look at her with wide, alarmed eyes.
As they have vowed to walk the straight and narrow following Isaac's stint in Alcatraz, their present course of action is to find legal salary-paying jobs. Isaac considers working at a bank, but then again, he does not know how to count money. Miria suggests that they fend off bank robbers on the bank's behalf, as they are experienced in such endeavors. The two gallantly head toward the nearest bank to offer their services, and proceed to be chased out of that bank as well as every bank in the area (averaging thirty seconds per talk).
With all of the banks having assured them they would be find without the couple's help, Isaac and Miria retreat to a nearby park and hold a conference on its lawn. Their rationalization of the banks' disinterest is that they did not "make it in time" to hlp, and suppose that the proverb time is money must be true after all. One of them mumbles that they have lost to the thief of time, and they both sigh gloomily and mutter about needing work.
Isaac and Miria head to the Genoard Manor on Millionaires' Row, where they greet a weepy Jacuzzi and inquire into his tears. He explains that he is planning on meeting someone tomorrow, and they conclude he must be shedding tears of anticipatory joy. They call for a celebration, encouraging Jacuzzi to let all his tears out like money falling from the sky. Jacuzzi apologizes and says that the gang currently has no money. Isaac assures him that this is perfect - he and Miria are just as broke.Jacuzzi is not so cavalier, fretting that "at this rate" he definitely will not have enough money to give the Martillos. Isaac asks if Jacuzzi has borrowed money from the Family; when Jacuzzi quasi-agrees, he laughs and explains that the whole reason for his and Miria's visit was to see if Jacuzzi had any jobs for them.
Clapping their arms around Jacuzzi, Isaac and Miria drag him toward the front door and instruct him to cooperate. At Jacuzzi's question, Isaac explains that he and Miria know a restaurant owner named Molsa who just happens to be a member of the Martillos. All they have to do is ask Molsa to give Jacuzzi more time to repay his debt - for all they know, Molsa might even forgive the debt entirely. If he does, chances are he might be willing to give Isaac and Miria a job as well.
Jacuzzi worries that Molsa might be mad at Isaac and Miria for bringing Jacuzzi along for financial talks, but Isaac points out that if Jacuzzi can find a job to work off his debt, Molsa ought to be happy. Rail catches up to them and tells Jacuzzi that it will be fine – though, since Jacuzzi is so nervous, they have no choice but to accompany the group as backup.
The quartet arrive at the Alveare twenty minutes later. Rail is made to wait outside Molsa's office while the others enter and see the man himself sitting at his desk, with Ronny Schiatto standing behind him. Jacuzzi's attempt to introduce himself fails, as he hyperventilates as soon as he opens his mouth. Molsa turns to Isaac and asks who the young man is, and Isaac introduces him as "our friend Jacuzzi." From what Isaac understands, Jacuzzi borrowed some money from the Martillos but does not have enough to pay it back. As such, he and Miria were hoping that Molsa could help them and Jacuzzi find jobs.
Molsa then introduces himself to Jacuzzi, who realizes in fright that Molsa is the Martillo don. He manages to properly introduce himself despite his trepidation, and Molsa declares that any friend of Isaac and Miria is a friend of the Martillos – they have done a lot for Molsa's boy Firo. However, he cannot condone failing to pay back owed money, and he asks who Jacuzzi borrowed it from.
Ronny says Jacuzzi is referring to him; after he explains Jacuzzi's tribute situation, Molsa turns to Jacuzzi and says that he hopes Jacuzzi is not thinking the Martillos will let his tribute slide. With conviction, Jacuzzi states that he will take full responsibility and settle the tribute. He asks Molsa not to hurt his friends, and also Jacuzzi would rather not die if possible...
Isaac and Miria witness the exchange and whisper that things are more complicated than they had thought. Politics, who would have thought. Molsa overhears them and remarks that they are right – this is a political issue. He opines that Jacuzzi might become a very fine statesman someday, a sentiment which Isaac and Miria agree with. Why, Jacuzzi has so many friends he just might become President someday, as far as they are concerned.
Molsa reassures Jacuzzi that he is under their patronage, and announces that he does indeed have a job for all of them. If they do it well, their pay will cover the tribute for half a year. The job he has in mind is for a 'special event' next week, a three day casino party in which Firo will be playing a key role. Molsa and Ronny want Jacuzzi and his friends to help Firo out by gambling throughout the course of the party.
Randy and Pezzo enter the office with urgent news: the don of the Russo Family is here and wishes to speak with Molsa. Isaac and Miria excuse themselves to wait outside so as to give the 'new customer' privacy; once Molsa is done with the Russo don and Jacuzzi, Isaac and Miria re-enter the office and are given jobs of their own.
With their jobs arranged, Isaac and Miria leave the Alveare and head for their new workplace. Along the way, they spot a seaplane weaving between the New York buildings at an incredibly close proximity to the ground. As the seaplane flies out of New York airspace, Isaac notes with some excitement that they have never robbed a plane before – though he is quick to reaffirm that they have "washed their feet" of the whole business. Miria asks Isaac how one robs an airplane anyway, and he replies that of course one would steal the plane's most important treasure: the sky.
Miria is impressed, because of course a plane cannot fly without the sky. Isaac continues - all they have to do is take the sky from the whole world. "Magnificent," cries Miria, but where does the sky begin? Where does it end? This time Isaac does not hesitate, answering, "Where the planes fly, of course!" Miria objects that the seaplane was flying awfully low, and Isaac has a revelation: they must be in the sky right now! One could even say that New York is the capital of the sky if planes are flying in it. The two decide that they should be grateful to the airplanes for making them able to feel the sky, and promise not to rob them. Isaac asks Miria if she is not glad that they have abandoned their life of crime, and they conclude that it is the best feeling in the world.
Breaking into a run, they wave and chase after the other seaplanes they see in the sky for some time. As a consequence, they become thoroughly lost and do not reach their new workplace until the middle of the night. They pace in front of Fred's Clinic for some time until a tall man appears in the window. He assumes they must be the new assistants the Alveare owner was sending the clinic's way.
The nurse pauses, peers at them, and almost asks if he has seen them before before letting the matter drop. Introducing himself as Who, he tells them that they will not have to worry about treating any patients for their jobs; at the sight of a new arrival behind them, he exclaims, "Perfect timing," and says that he will introduce Isaac and Miria to the person in question. Isaac and Miria eagerly turn around to greet the stranger, a young man who smiles mildly and remarks on their politeness. The man says that he is also indebted to Doctor Fred, and introduces himself as Le.....Le.....
He snaps his jaw shut, expression darkening for the briefest of moments. Then, he smiles and says: "Ah, sorry. My name is Lebreau Fermet Viralesque. Pleasure."
Isaac and Miria soon meet Fred himself, and are delighted when they recognize him as the "grey magician" from the Flying Pussyfoot. Fred reasons that their reunion must be fate; their shared past, coupled with the fact that Molsa personally recommended them for the job, is all the more reason he cannot refuse them as employees. He proceeds to induct them into their jobs.
Hours later, Miria asks Isaac why the two of them are dressed like doctors – at some point, she changed into an old-fashioned nurse's outfit while Isaac donned a white labcoat. He explains that as they are assisting a doctor, they have to dress the part. Miria points out that they are not actually helping anybody convalesce, but Isaac puffs out his chest and tells her not to worry. He has had plenty of colds before, but he always became hale again. Miria brightens and says that whenever she has bruises, she puts ice on them to stop them from swelling. Isaac exclaims that since he can make himself better, he must be a pretty good doctor.
Who thinks they need to get their heads 'checked out' but the two protest that their heads do not hurt. Oblivious to the fact that he was lightly mocking them, they cheer that he must be "a really good guy" to be so concerned about them.
According to Who, Isaac and Miria's main job for the day is to help transport materials from the clinic to a housing facility that Fred owns. Who says that Doctor Fred will show the two the apartments after they do a little more work, so they should help him load the goods until that time.
Lebreau enters the clinic and asks if Fred has not returned yet. Isaac and Miria greet him; though it has only been a few hours, they are happy to see him again. Lebreau flashes them a breezy smile and says he looks forward to working with them both from now on.
Once Who finishes packing the last food rations into boxes, he notices a car has parked in front of the clinic, blocking the entrance. Lebreau opens the front door with intention of asking the men to move their car, only for a man to immediately punch him in the stomach and kick him to the floor. As four more men exit the car and shuffle into the clinic, Who rushes over to Lebreau's side and demands that the men identify themselves. Ignoring him, the men survey the room and affirm that the "one broad" must be Miria. However, they are not sure which of the men is Isaac.
Isaac speaks up at his name (inadvertently confirming his identity) and asks what they did to Lebreau, while Miria chimes that they are against violence. The men whisper that yes, that duo must be Isaac and Miria, and decide that they will just capture everyone in the room – their plan will benefit from the inclusion of 'uninvolved' persons. This leads Isaac to ask if they are kidnappers ("a kidnapping ring! The N'drangheta!"), and then inform them that he and Miria have no money on them. Undeterred, the men take blackjacks (saps; leather bags filled with sand)from their breast pockets. One of them raises his weapon high above his head, clearly intending to smite Who with it.
Isaac moves between Who and the man just as the blackjack falls, intending to block the blow with his back in order to protect Who and Lebreau. He is a second too late, and the leather bag slams into his right wrist instead. The momentum carries him forward and causes him to fall to the ground, whereupon he clutches his right wrist and writhes at the pain. Miria cries his name, and when one of the men warns his comrades that they cannot risk outsiders hearing her screams, one of them advances toward Miria with his blackjack in hand.
Who hollers for Miria to run as he lurches to his feet, only for another man to swing his blackjack at the back of Who's head. He aborts the swing at the last second, caught off-guard by the the sound of metal against metal, and he and his comrades look toward the entrance as one. One of their number opens the door to reveal Grhaam dismantling their automobile; turning around, Graham announces that Ladd Russo had told him to see if the clinic was open. When Graham came upon the automobile blocking the entrance, he decided to dismantle the car instead of simply climbing over it.
Graham's predilection for wrenches and long-winded rambling lead the men to realize he must be Graham Specter. As Graham yanks off the car's bumper, Who takes the opportunity to help Lebreau to his feet and lead him to a back corner, away from the attackers. By this time Isaac has recovered from the pain in his hand; holding Miria close in an effort to protect her, he admiringly exclaims that Graham is "going to save the world!" Miria wonders if that means Graham will save them too, and Isaac hopes that he and Miria count as part of the world. ("What do we do if he thinks we're Martians?")
The leader of the thugs orders his men to silence Graham before he attracts rubberneckers, and two men climb over the car as bid. To the remaining two men, the leader says that they will have to leave the car behind and kidnap Isaac and Miria by escorting them through the back door or a window. As for Who and Lebreau, they will "disappear nice and quiet."
He pulls out a knife and advances on Who, but the sound of his men's screams give him pause. Looking over, he and the others spy the limp bodies of his men on the car and beside it. Just then, Ladd himself crawls through the car and toward the clinic entrance; spying Who at knifepoint, he loudly greets him and asks if he is in the middle of something. Upon spotting Isaac, Ladd cries "Oh? Isaac? Well, if it ain't Isaac!" Isaac is just as surprised to see Ladd as Ladd is to see him. Who wonders how they know each other, and Ladd chuckles that they spent time together in Alcatraz.
The leader cautiously pockets his knife and backs away. As soon as Ladd steps forward, the man pulls out a smoke grenade and throws it to the floor. By the time the white smoke clears, all the men - including the downed men by the car - have vanished.
With the immediate threat absconded, Ladd catches up with Isaac; while he knew Isaac was friends with Firo, he never thought he would run into him when he came looking for Who. Isaac explains they only met Who yesterday, and Miria asks who Ladd is. Ladd realizes she must be the Miria Isaac told him so much about, and the three of them fall into amicable conversation. Lebreau tells Who that he will check on the patients and the back door in the meantime, as he does not want to be a fifth wheel to their reunion. Who warns him to be careful, and Lebreau glibly replies that he will "scream as loud as [he] can" should he se the men before disappearing down the hallway.
Later, Ladd, Graham, Shaft, Isaac, and Miria head to the poorhouse and follow Fred to Nader Schasschule's room, where they discover Nader, Roy Maddock, and Upham. Roy and Upham leave shortly, leaving Ladd and Nader to talk alone while Graham attempts to entertain Isaac and Miria in the hall outside. At Graham's typical opening line let me tell you a sad, sad story, Isaac and Miria protest that he should not tell sad stories – if he tells sad stories, all his happiness will run away.
Graham mulls over this unusual response (nobody had ever responded to him like that before) and in a nicely warped bit of logic concludes that Isaac and Miria must be gods. A surprised Isaac asks Miria if it is true that they are gods, and Miria exclaims "Oh my God!". Isaac muses that he had had no idea, and asks what they are the gods of. Miria says they might be Japanese gods, since – according to Yaguruma – the Japanese have eight million of them. At their side, Shaft mutters in disbelief over their thought processes.
Graham ponders what story would be entertaining enough for a god. He knows that certain religions offer their gods sacrifices, but the only person he has to sacrifice is Shaft. Therefore, he will a story that will make Shaft literally die of laughter. Shaft argues with him, and Isaac tells Shaft to think positively - sacrifices are usually treated quite luxuriously. Like sons and goats! ("Abraham had seven kids!") Shaft retorts that sons and gods are completely different.
At the sound of a commotion from the first floor, the party of six heads down to the cafeteria to find Luck Gandor defusing a confrontation between Maria and Raz Smith. Luck offers a job to Smith and Alkins that catches Ladd's interest, and he emerges from the hallway outside the cafeteria to take Luck up on the offer. Once Ladd's group and Luck's people leave, Isaac and Miria overhear Nader and Roy talking about how Nader wants to meet with Eve Genoard, and how Roy does not know where she lives. Isaac interjects that he and Miria know the Genoards' home, and Miria adds that she remembers the Genoard residence perfectly due to the number of times they cased the residence itself.
At some later point, Firo is made aware of the clinic attack later. He makes up excuses to casually accompany them around the city from then on, effectively acting as a protective escort out of worry that they might be targeted again.
A few days later, Isaac and Miria pay another visit to Jacuzzi at the Genoard Manor. Jacuzzi wobbles away from Christopher to greet them, glad to see that they are all right; given that it has been a while since he last heard from them, he had started to worry that something happened to them. The two cheerfully explain that they have been doing transport work, which is so tough that they were even recently attacked by some men. Miria's clarification that these men actually landed hits on Who and Isaac fills Jacuzzi with alarm, so she and Isaac fill Jacuzzi in on what happened. Isaac sighs that he doesn't know what would have happened had Ladd not saved the day. Miria asks Isaac what should the do if the men were monsters, and Isaac worriedly hopes she is not referring to the Rail Tracer. Jacuzzi screeches at the Rail Tracer's name.
Once Nice calms Jacuzzi down, he says that Isaac and Miria's job sounds dangerous and advises them to quit. Miria asks if Jacuzzi's job is dangerous and he puts his head in his hands at the thought of what Molsa wants him to do. Isaac, misremembering a Japanese proverb, suggests that Jacuzzi should wrap himself up in metal so that God can pierce his heart and make fire feel cold and ice burn. Jacuzzi wonders if he really can become someone new, and Isaac reminds him that he already became a samurai on the Flying Pussyfoot. Jacuzzi still doesn't feel like he has gotten all that strong, and Isaac beats Nice to the punch by countering that a samurai should not worry about such 'little details' – Jacuzzi can just become stronger now.
Jacuzzi thanks them, and the two ask about his dangerous job again. Though he blanches, he manages to reluctantly explain his situation.
Once Isaac and Miria return to the clinic, they ask for three days off so that they can attend the casino party at Ra's Lance. On the day of the casino's grand opening, they arrive with Jacuzzi's gang in formal attire and are awed by the height and shape of the skyscraper. Jacuzzi drags his feet behind them, though the rest of his gang are as carefree as always. They spend the next several hours at the casino.
On the second morning of the casino party, Isaac and Miria walk to work and converse about Isaac's latest idea, a surefire method to win every time he gambles. His idea – effectively the martingale method – is quickly shot down by Firo, who is escorting them to work.
The three of them eventually arrive at Fred's clinic. Frowning, Firo asks Isaac who typically locks up the clinic, and Isaac replies that would be Who as Doctor Fred typically does not arrive at the clinic until after ten. Who is a live-in that takes care of the inpatients, though they currently have no in-patients at the moment. Firo points out that the door is half-open, which Isaac finds odd since Who is usually upset with him and Miria if they leave it open. Miria reminds him that the door has not fit in the frame since the fight.
Firo pushes past Isaac and Miria and into the clinic, who follow and are alarmed to see him crouching over a passed out Who by the reception desk. He reassures them that Who is breathing, and they wonder if he fell asleep from overwork.
Miria spots a "pile of blankets" in the clinic's inner corner and asks Isaac if those blankets are today's shipments. Isaac is impressed at the size of the 'pile' and leans against the 'blankets'; Miria joins him. A few second later, the 'blankets' move. A final violent shake sends Isaac and Miria careening to the ground. They finally realize that the 'blankets' are not 'blankets' at all, but a bear - one that proceeds to stand up on its hind legs and growl. Isaac and Miria shriek and sprawl out on their backs, folding their hands on their stomachs.
Firo nervously asks them what they are doing while the bear drops its front paws onto the floor. They explain – loudly – that they are playing dead on the advice of Yaguruma, who had told them that if they ever met a bear they should either play dead or suffocate it by sticking their hands down its throat. Isaac wonders how they can play more dead than they currently are now. "A moving corpse," Miria says, and the conclude that they must become vampires. Miria cautiously gets to her feet and draws a blanket around her shoulders as one would a cape; eyeing the bear, she asks Isaac how one plays at being a vampire. Isaac hesitates before replying that they will have to become bats and suck blood. He too stands up, fashions a blanket like a cape, and flaps the ends of the blanket in an imitation of bat wings.
Firo warns them to stop antagonizing the bear, shoving Who (who has passed out once again) into the adjacent room, and the bear scoops Isaac and Miria up by the legs and tries to toss them onto its back. They hit his back only to roll off it, so the bear lowers itself as much as it can in a clear invitation for them to climb aboard. Isaac and Miria scramble onto the bear's back obligingly, and celebrate their achievement.
Firo calls Victor in the meantime, partly as an excuse to bother him and partly because his only other option is to resign himself to being eaten by a bear. By the time Victor and a few policemen arrive, Isaac and Miria have dismounted the bear and fallen asleep against its flank. Fred arrives and a crowd of rubberneckers soon form outside the clinic while Firo and Victor talk, and Firo later leaves for work after Isaac and Miria wake up. When Ladd Russo enters the clinic and finds Isaac and Miria petting the bear. Isaac greets him and informs him of Firo's departure.
Victor is not pleased to see an uninvolved civilian inside the clinic, and his and Ladd's clashing personalities cause the the mood to turn south. Upon realizing that a fight is brewing, Isaac prepares to intervene – and the bear chooses that moment to stand. All present, puzzled, realize that the bear is reacting to a far-off artificial-sounding noise. The bear lumbers out through the door, and Victor shouts at the dumbstruck police guards to stop it before it causes a scene.
Isaac and Miria dart past him to protectively fling themselves in front of the bear, protesting that it is harmless. Ladd punches Victor in passing as he follows them toward the gate, where Graham, Gabriel and Juliano, and others are onlooking. As soon as Isaac and Miria settle themselves on the bear's back, it takes off as a breakneck pace for Central Park. Gabriel and Juliano follow on their motorbikes and Ladd, Lua, Shaft, and Graham follow in their car, while Victor grabs hold onto the car's bumper and is dragged along the asphalt throughout the entirety of the chase.
The envoy passes Luck, Maria, Alkins, Raz Smith, Mark Wilmans and the rest of Luck's entourage before eventually arriving at Central Park, where Salomé Carpenter and members of the Larva/Lamia have organized and Christopher and Ricardo Russo hover at the fringes. Salomé switches off the device emitting the strange sound and swiftly earns himself the enmity of Ladd, whom along with Graham engage the Larva in combat. Gabriel and Juliano circle the perimeter of the fray on their motorbikes, while Isaac, Miria, Lua, Shaft, Christopher, Ricardo, and Victor look on.
The bear roars, upset by the chaos, and the terrific noise brings all the combatants to a brief standstill until Chané arrives on the scene. Ladd immediately challenges her to a fight, she accepts, and a concerned Isaac and Miria wonder possible reason their respective friends could have for duelling. Things become more chaotic as a newly arrived Alkins intervenes in the duel, Maria squares off against Chané, and Smith meets The Poet. Isaac and Miria are convinced this is all a circus performance.
Claire Stanfield announces his arrival by way of Salomé's loudspeaker, and the bear immediately dumps Isaac and Miria in favor of scooping Claire onto its back instead. Via the loudspeaker, Claire informs Chané that he loves her no matter what she is going through, and then invites everyone who wants to fight him to do so while he is guarding a certain room at Ra's Lance at the casino party tomorrow. Tensions spike and 'battle lines' are designated: Those affiliated with Huey and the Runorata Family, including Salomé and the Larva, Claire and Chané, and the twins; and those against, including Luck's assassins, Ladd and Graham, and (technically) Victor, Isaac, and Miria. And, to the Lamia's shock, Chris.
With 'teams' designated, everyone scatters.
(From the Drama CD: Firo Prochainezo Witnesses the 53rd Death of Pietro Gonzales.)
In the Summer of 1936, Isaac and Miria travel to Mexico in pursuit of the Mexican Revolution. They ask a stranger where they can find the Revolution in San Miguel; when the man says that the Revolution ended a long time ago, Isaac wonders if the Revolution can truly end. The stranger remarks that Isaac's question is very philosophical, and after Isaac and Miria tell him they want to see men fighting, directs them to wher they can find third-rate guerillas.
Isaac and Miria have a conversation with another man, whose partial deafness leads to several pun-related misunderstands betwen them. The man finally surmises that they might be looking for Baro, and he tells them to head to Antonio Baro's theatre down the road. A guard at the theatre door asks for an offering before he will allow them to witness the Miracle, and Isaac and Miria are highly confused because they have come in search of the Revolution, not a Miracle. The guard counters that the miracle is revolutionary in its own way, and Isaac and Miria cannot argue with his point.
Once inside, Isaac and Miria watch a theatre performance which culminates in the real beheading of a man called Pietro, who is subsequently revived thanks to the prayers of his friend Dominico. Isaac and Miria are very impressed by the variety of revolutions in the world and resolve to go visit Pietro and Dominico and Baro (mistakenly calling him roba, Japanese for donkey).
They talk to one of Baro's flunkies, who leads them to Baro's office and informs Baro that an American couple is here to see him. Baro is uninterested until the man says they have been referring to him as his hated nickname roba; forcibly reminding his flunky just what he does to people who call him roba – he has them drowned – he allows the two to enter.
Isaac and Miria predictably call Baro roba a world-breaking record number of times in the span of a minute, telling him that they loved his revolution and that he would be a big hit in New York. The furious Baro tells his flunky to lock them up, as he intends to have them drowned in the ocean. The two are thrown into a dungeon where Pietro, Dominico and Firo are in shared captivity; Pietro and Dominico take two minutes before they are convinced that Isaac and Miria are the same Isaac and Miria they know from New York, and Firo broaches the topic of escape. He is, predictably, misunderstood.
It takes Firo an hour to straighten Pietro and Dominico out, at which point they hear gunshots from above. Firo realizes that if they can hear the gunshots this clearly the ceiling must be thin enough to break through, and he instructs the other four to listen for the thinnest part of the ceiling. Isaac and Miria understand what he means while Pietro and Dominico do not, and it is Isaac and Miria who find the weakest point. All five of them strike at the ceiling until it caves in, interrupting Baro's shootout with Luck. Firo takes the fallen Baro hostage, and convinces Luck to spare Pietro and Dominico's lives.
The six of them – Luck, Firo, Pietro, Dominico, Isaac, and Miria – head into to the desert with Baro in tow. They are almost upon Luck and Firo's parked car when Baro's girlfriend Elita lassos Pietro and Dominico, and then does the same to Isaac and Miria. Firo and Luck have no choice but to release Baro, and are shot dead by Elita's men.
Isaac and Miria pass out in horror, while Dominico desperately prays over Firo and Luck's bodies. When Firo and Luck regenerate, Elita and her men are so afraid that they abandon Baro and flee for their lives, leaving Baro at Firo and Luck's mercy. Afterward, Pietro and Dominico tell Firo that they plan to head south. Isaac and Miria announce that they plan to leave too, wanting to continue watching their revolution, and bid Firo farewell.
In the summer of 2001, Isaac realizes for the first time that he and Miria have not been aging. While he has no explanation for the how or why, he is at least sure that at this rate they will have to attend the funerals of all their friends. "Those who live forever are always the most unfortunate." Miria does not want to do such a thing, but Isaac calmly reassures her that loved ones die all the time, no matter how normal or abnormal a life one leads. Furthermore, he and Miria would be doing the dead a disservice by grieving for their own misfortune; after all, the very fact that they are sad means the deceased gave them all sorts of happiness while they were alive.
Isaac references a Shinto custom of ringing a large bell one hundred and eight times on New Year's Eve - each ring for every impure thought blocking one's way to Nirvana. Except - Isaac misunderstands the custom and tells Miria that she has to ring the bell 108 times in order for a person to be born again. Instead of simply watching people die, he and Miria should enjoy life with all the new people coming into the world. When Miria observes that their sadness and happiness will cancel each other out, Isaac declares that they must enjoy every new meeting even more. The two decide to string 108 bells onto their clothes (54 each) to show their determination.
In August, Isaac and Miria are watching a television special on Marie Antoinette's wedding in the Alveare when Miria asks Isaac what the time limit is on a honeymoon. Isaac replies that no such limit exists, as honeymoon is simply the first vacation a couple takes after the wedding. "No matter how long it's been?" asks Miria. Of course, replies Isaac. After all, two people in love will never run out of new things to discover together. Miria exclaims that that means Firo and Ennis are "still good to go," and Firo spits out his liquor. Randy, Pezzo and the other Martillos burst into laughter at the revelation that Firo has yet to go on his honeymoon, and tease him mercilessly.
An unusually serious Miria remarks that although Ennis might not say anything, she watches attentively whenever "stuff like that" (weddings and honeymoons) airs on television.
Some time later, Isaac and Miria gather with the rest of the Martillos to watch the departure of the cruise liner Entrance on the Alveare's television. Isaac informs Miria that Entrance is the cruise liner that Firo, Ennis and Firo are vacationing on, and bts that one could fit a hundred Yankee Stadiums inside it. Their conversation devolves into absurdity.
(This scene appears in 2001 The Children of Bottle)
In early February, the Fil/Feldt Nibiru vessel relates the events of 2001 The Children of Bottle to Isaac and Miria in the Alveare; that is, how they came to know Elmer C. Albatross and how it was thanks to Elmer that they were eventually able to leave their home village.
Once the story is over, Isaac and Miria express their desire to meet Elmer and the wish-granting 'demon'. Though Feldt/Fil finds the couple strange, they hope that they'll have the chance to meet Isaac and Miria again someday.
Feldt/Fil requests that Isaac and Miria give Elmer Feldt's regards should the duo meet Elmer before that time, and also ask that Isaac and Miria inform Elmer that Feldt is happy, despite everything. Feldt/Fil also promises to remember Isaac's and Miria's names.
Isaac and Miria both possess true immortality, meaning they cannot age, get sick, be injured, or die via conventional means. Immortality aside, they possess an endlessly large amount of good luck, having escaped numerous dangerous situations throughout the series without serious injury.
They are also fairly competent thieves, with their successful theft of the Genoard fortune one of the most significant testaments to their abilities. Isaac's skill at hotwiring automobiles has allowed them to steal multiple cars for their getaways, and they have concocted a special mixture of lime and pepper powder to use as an offensive tool during their heists.
- Isaac is a big fan of detective novels, such as the Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot stories.
- Isaac is flustered at Molsa's apology because it is the first time someone older than Isaac - much less someone with Molsa's dignity - has ever apologized to him.
- In the original text, Ladd refers to Isaac as Isaac-chan.
- They resemble the real-life thief duo Bonnie and Clyde to a more ridiculous extent, as Bonnie and Clyde's attempts at organized crime often went hilariously awry.
- Numerous publications in various media have been written on the subject of Isaac and Miria's characters. Most described them as the most entertaining characters and commented on how the series would not be the same without them. One reviewer felt that they are the protagonists of the series, which features an ensemble cast. They were awarded "Duo of the Year" in 2009 by Anime News Network.
- In an interview found in the Blu-Ray booklet, director of the 2007 anime adaptation Takahiro Omori remarks that Kiyotaka Obata, storyboard director for episodes 02, 08, and 10, was 'in charge' of Isaac and Miria. Omori adds that Obata was laughing to himself while drawing the animation for Episode 08.
- Isaac and Miria appear in the series' two audio dramas, where they survive the Flying Pussyfoot incident in 1931 Local Chapter ・ Express Chapter - Grand Punk Railroad and are searching for the Revolution when Firo Prochainezo Witnesses the 53rd Death of Pietro Gonzales.
- They are playable characters in the video game.
- Isaac and Miria comment on all but two of the Next Episode previews for the anime, with Graham replacing them for the two OVA previews.
- The pair have a brief cameo in Episode 11 of the Durarara!! anime as members of the Dollars, an anonymous online gang. They also appear in OVA episode 12.5 as tourists, where they comment on the supposed UFOs seen shooting across the sky. These are actually yakuza members covered in glowpaint whom Shizuo Heiwajima threw out of a three-storey window by.
- Now and then in Durarara!! and Durarara!!x2, posters and anime clips featuring Isaac and Miria are seen on display around Ikebukuro. These are promotional material for an upcoming film directed by John Drox, which is to be based on the recently declassified Flying Pussyfoot incident. The declassified version of the incident is not a true account of what happened.
- Due to hiring contracts, Isaac and Miria's English voice actors in Durarara!! differ to those in the Baccano! anime. Isaac's Japanese voice actor, Masaya Onosaka, also voices Max Sandshelt in Durarara!!x2.
- A still of Isaac and Miria from Episode 16 appears on the front cover and inside cover of オツベルと笑う水曜日 (Otsuberu to Warau Suiyobi "Wednesdays Smiling with Otsuberu"), a novel by Ryohgo Narita. A red marker heart is circled over their 'photograph', which is titled 激写 ("A photo taken at a sensual/at just the right moment"). Isaac's face is covered by the novel's title on the front cover, but is fully visible on the inside cover.