Jon Panel (ヨウン・パーネル, Youn Pāneru) is an Irish immigrant, and a member of Jacuzzi's Gang.
He works as a bartender on the Flying Pussyfoot in 1931, operating as Jacuzzi Splot and co.'s 'in' for their planned train heist along with Fang Lin-Shan, who works as an assistant cook. The subsequent cover-up of the Flying Pussyfoot incident by Senator Manfred Beriam and the Nebula corporation causes Jon and Fang to lose their jobs. Upon the recommendation of Chef Gregoire, they enter into the employment of Eve Genoard as private bartender and cook.
John has short greyish hair, and wears a standard bartender uniform: a black trousers and black vest over a white button-up shirt, with a bow tie over the collar.
Jon is very blunt and straightforward--the sort of person who gives his opinions straight rather than softening them. This is evident in how he talks to Jacuzzi, occasionally lecturing him or reprimanding him when he starts to complain or cry. In this regard, Jon stand out a little from the others in the gang, who are more prone to teasing Jacuzzi and giving him leeway than Jon is. Jon and Nice are perhaps the most hard on Jacuzzi of the gang: Jon for pointing out Jacuzzi's flaws and fallacies; and Nice for pushing him into uncomfortable situations. He is calm in the face of danger, as evidenced when he jokes in the faces of the Lemures when they invade the car.
1931: The Grand Punk Railroad Edit
Jon and Fang secure employment under Gregoire, head chef of the Flying Pussyfoot's kitchen, as bartender and assistant cook respectively. They are the ones who tip off Jacuzzi Splot and others on the potential for a train robbery, and on the evening of December 30 Jacuzzi and gang members Nice Holystone, Donny, Nick, and Jack board the train planning to steal explosives which have been smuggled into one of its trani holds. According to Jacuzzi, he hasn't seen Jon and Fang in a long time.
At some point off-screen and off-page prior to dinnertime, Jon and Claire Stanfield have a conversation in which Claire relays to Jon the legend of the Rail Tracer (which, according to Claire, Jon found "not very interesting"). This becomes important when Isaac and Miria tell the story to Jacuzzi in the dining car, some time after Jon warns Jacuzzi that the dining car is too public a place for them to talk about the planned robbery. Neither Isaac nor Jon can remember how to stop the Rail Tracer (much to Jacuzzi's horror), and it is Jon who suggests that Jacuzzi find the Young Conductor and ask him for the details.
After Ladd Russo's brutal assault against a hapless Lemur, and the subsequent clearance of the dining car, the passengers begin to become frightened and direct their fears against Jon and Fang, demanding that as employees they stop the train and let the passengers off. Jon and Fang determine that as immigrants nothing they say or do will help their situation, and they lock themselves in the kitchen.
One of the passengers, Mr. Turner, is particularly verbally abusive towards them: he refers to them with racial and ethnic slurs and demands a refund. Isaac and Miria spring to their defense, calling Turner rude and boorish for upsetting the other passengers' meals. They throw money at him, saying that they'll pay his ticket and he'd better leave before Isaac uses his 'billion guns' against him. Gregoire orders Jon and Fang to throw Turner out, which they do readily. As they manhandle him out of the car, he continues to verbally assault them, demanding they get their hands off him. Jon threatens him with an ice pick he's been carrying, uses Turner's own words against him, and says that if he tries to return to the dining car they'll kill him.
When Jon returns to the dining car (the blood already cleaned up by the other cooks), he quietly thanks Isaac and Miria for defending him and Fang. Neither of them appear to hear him and they proceed to exclaim over Turner, pointing out that there aren't any apes or monkeys in sight so how could he call the car filthy? - and Jon, disturbed by the idea that perhaps they hadn't been defending him but simply hadn't understood Turner's slang, decides to forget he overheard them at all.
When Natalie Beriam tells Czes and Mary to hide, Jon in a show of concern asks her if she is going to hide as well. A moment later, he and Fang try to discourage Isaac and Miria from leaving the dining car to no avail.
Later (when Jacuzzi reclaims the dining car as under his control) Jacuzzi asks Jon and Fang to take charge of the car in his stead, admitting to Jon that he thinks Jon would "be a better leader than me." To this, Jon replies, "Point taken. You do kind of get in the way at times like this." Jon and Fang proceed to arm the passengers with guns (though only the guns of Jon and Fang are loaded) and instruct them to aim at the door. Thus when the Lemures charge in, the men quickly surrender. Jon then proceeds to tie up the men with ripped tablecloths.
1931-1932 - Drug & The Dominos Edit
After the train arrives in New York in January 1932 and the police finish their investigation, Jon remains in the dining car along with Chef Gregoire and Fang. Jon and Fang discuss what will become of them now - it is very likely they will be fired, since there are plenty of witnesses who can tie them to Jacuzzi's gang. Fang suggests that they go find work at The Alveare, where his older sister Lia works, but their conversation is interrupted by Gregoire - who informs them that all the train's employees, including himself, are going to lose their jobs. Everything that happened on the train, he says, legally 'never happened'. He informs them that he has heard the Genoards are looking for a bartender and cook, and that he's going to use his personal connections to get Jon and Fang the jobs, as he is impressed by their skills and doesn't 'give a damn' about whether or not the two are criminals. Gregoire then proceeds to give them one hundred servings of stew, which they proceed to share with the rest of the gang once they arrive at Fred's medical clinic where Jacuzzi is hospitalized.
The next day, Jon accompanies Fang as he visits his sister Lia in her room. That evening Jon and Fang visit the Genoard manor on Millionaires' Row and present themselves to Benjamin (Eve's steward) as the new hires, ready to take on the proposed one-month probationary contract with the Genoards. If their performance for the next month proves satisfactory, they'll move to the New Jersey manor as the permanent staff. Benjamin and Eve's maid, Samantha both lead Jon and Fang to Eve's room to introduce them but find Eve missing. Fang finds a note that Eve wrote, explaining where she has gone and to not worry.
Jon and Fang follow Benjamin and Samantha to the Daily Days Newspaper Agency, where the four plan to spend the night in wait for news of Eve. There, they learn that the information broker Henry may have been the one who put Eve's life in danger; furious, Benjamin gives Henry a thrashing. Jon and Fang manage to pull him off Henry, only to see Samantha pick up where Benjamin left off.
Afterwards, Eve is safely ensconced back at the mansion, where Jon and Fang serve her food and drink.
1933 - The Slash Edit
Jon convinces Eve to let their friends stay and housesit at her manor on Millionaire Row, claiming that it will be too much work for just two men to maintain the manor alone when Eve eventually returns to her manor in New Jersey. Eve agrees to let them stay, not knowing just how many people the two mean by 'some friends'. Thus, about twenty members of the gang (but not all) move into the Genoard mansion in January 1932.
When Jacuzzi accidentally breaks a vase in the manor in September 1933, Jon berates Jacuzzi and is about to launch into a lecture when some of the others get him to back down, pointing out that he's "made Jacuzzi cry again." Jon informs Jacuzzi that he won't be angry with him anymore and that he'll be the one to break the news to Eve about the vase. When Jacuzzi tries to protest, Jon reminds him that it wouldn't do for someone sporting a fierce tattoo on their face to approach Eve.
The doorbell rings and Jacuzzi dives under a table in fright, and tells Jon and the others to hide when Jon asks him what he's doing. It turns out to be Isaac and Miria, there for a visit.
The Larvae, led by Tim (with Dallas Genoard in tow), show up and bring up the subject of immortality to Jacuzzi's gang. When Adele reveals that she knows the gang had been chased out of Chicago by the Russo family, both Nice and Jon, who had up to that point been watching the proceedings somewhat amusedly, tense at the name Russo. The idea, Tim and Adele explain, is that they want Jacuzzi's gang to join up with them. In return, Jacuzzi and his friends will become immortal. As a demonstration, Adele impales Dallas' throat with her spear. When Dallas revives, only Nice and Jon are unconvinced and serious about the situation, sharing a glance while the others in the gang chatter away frivolously.
With the arrival of five more people (Chané, Tick Jefferson, Maria Barcelito, Ronny Schiatto and Ennis), Jon and Nice both realize the full gravity of the situation (what with the Gandor torture specialist and the Martillo's Ronny Schiatto having appeared) and Jon attempts to wake up Jacuzzi from where he has fainted. Events ensue and Jacuzzi's gang escapes to a construction site near the Hudson river, only to have Dallas show up and starting smooth talking them, having decided to use them in his plan to get revenge against the Larvae. Jon, suspicious, asks Dallas, "you mean to tell us that you're Miss Eve's brother, then?" Dallas demands to know how Jon knows Eve, and Jon informs him of their relationship. Jon makes no attempt to hide his critical opinion of Dallas as a person, and along with Nice and Jacuzzi is one of the few who catches onto Dallas' real plans for them.
Later in the novel, Jon is worried and points out to Jacuzzi that they forgot about Fang, who had been left behind at the manor.
- Jon is an Irish immigrant.
- He had at some point been kicked out of his community for causing some sort of unspecified trouble prior to joining Jacuzzi's gang.
- Jon had once made his living in the "seedy underbelly of Chicago society," which is the reason why he isn't intimidated or cowed by Turner's words.
- It is possible that within the loose hierarchal organization of Jacuzzi's gang, Jon is somewhere near the top, as he is one of the most skeptical and vocal of the group, much less prone to gullibility or frivolity as are the majority of Jacuzzi's gang.
- Since the story is set during the Prohibition, Jon was serving non-alcoholic drinks to the passengers on the Flying Pussyfoot.
- He knows how to use a gun.