| Vincent Volaju |
|Date Of Birth||Unknown, 2044|
|Height||6'4" (193 cm)|
|Weight||176 lbs (78.9 kg)|
Daran Norris (English)
Tsutomu Isobe (Japanese)
- "I have no fear of death. It just means dreaming in silence. A dream that lasts for eternity."
- ―Vincent Volaju to Spike Spiegal
- "Know much about purgatory? It's the place between heaven and hell, where those who were left behind, unable to get into heaven continue to suffer, a place of struggle and pain. In other words, the world that we're in now."
- ―Vincent Volaju on his view of the world
Vincent Volaju (ヴィンセント・ボラージュ) is the main antagonist of Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door. He is a former experimental project done on soldiers on the moon Titan. Vincent has since devoted himself to finding the gateway to heaven at any cost.
Vincent Volaju does not remember most of his past, so in turn he does not remember his relationship with Electra. All he remembers is his involvement in the war on Titan, where his unit were subjected to weaponized nanomachines; being made of protein and programmed to mimic lymphocytes when outside a source of body heat, they are virtually impossible to detect. The nanomachines replicate and spread like a virus; when inside a host they attack the brain and central nervous system, before breaking down into proteins and leaving the body. Vincent was given host to an experimental counter-nanomachine, which saved his life, but only just. He suffered extensive damage to his mind. He has no memory of his past, he cannot distinguish dreams from reality, and he perpetually sees glowing yellow butterflies in his vision, a symptom other victims suffer as the virus takes effect.
His plans involve freeing himself from what he calls life and taking down everyone else with him; the purgatory, getting his lost memories back, and finding out where the butterflies he seems to see constantly came from. Vincent's devious plans lead to his most well known achievement: being able to beat Spike in a one on one fight.
Knockin' On Heaven's DoorEdit
- "No one can draw a clear line between sane and insane. You move that line as you see fit for yourself. No one else can. You'll understand soon... that the one that's insane is this world."
- ―Vincent Volaju
Vincent Volaju is first seen parking a fuel tanker on the side of a freeway before it explodes, releasing the nanomachine virus on the people caught in the accident. Faye Valentine witnesses this while she was looking for a bounty head that was supposed to be driving the truck.
Once Vincent flees the scene, Faye goes back to the Bebop to show the crew what she had just witnessed. After reviewing the recording via The Redtail, they see an episode of Big Shot which explains the Mars government has put the biggest bounty in history of 300 million Woolongs on the man behind the attack. The crew sees this as their big break and traces a tattoo they saw on Vincent in the video back to a squad that had all been killed on Titan during the war. Seeing no leads to finding Vincent, Spike looks into the virus lead. Jet follows up with his own contacts, leading them to the Cherious Medical Pharmaceutical Company. As this is happening, Vincent has a meeting with his associates, Lee Samson (the original bounty head who was supposed to be driving the tanker), and another unnamed man who works in a parade float company. Vincent reveals that the marbles he carries around hold the nanomachine virus in it, and that the unnamed man is being paid well for his assistance, meanwhile Lee is motivated to become a terrorist 'just to try it once' as an escalation of his usual black-hat hacking.
Once Spike looks around in the Pharmaceutical Company he meets a girl named Electra Oviroa who has the same tattoo as Vincent. Seeing this as suspicious Spike plants a bug her on before escaping. Later, Edward and Faye attempt to track down and arrest Lee as a suspected associate of Vincent. He evades Faye once before Ein and Edward track his scent to Vincent's appartment. Lee finds Vincent playing marble Solitaire, who quickly 'wins' and destroys the final marble, which resembles a virus container. Lee asks in horror if it really was a virus container before beginning to convulse and choke. Vincent restates the game's objective, "When the game is over there is only one left." to which Lee realizes in horror that Vincent had always intended on killing him. Faye hears the commotion and investigates, finding Lee dying and quickly succumbs to the virus herself, but not before shooting Vincent through the hand. Vincent sucks the blood from his wound and roughly kisses Faye before she passes out.
A short time later Vincent is spotted by one of Electra's spies, and she goes to arrest him, with Spike not far behind thanks to the bug on her person. Vincent boards a train, with Spike and Electra right behind him. Spike encounters Vincent first, who opens fire at the first opportunity, killing at least one civilian in the crossfire. Electra is held up by passengers fleeing the gunfight. Meanwhile, Spike confronts Vincent at gunpoint. Vincent asks why Spike doesn't shoot him, to which Spike replies that he needs Vincent alive for the bounty. Vincent states he has no fear of death, for it means only dreaming in silence. Electra comes running to intervene, and Vincent adjusts his aim, firing past Spike's head and wounding Electra. Spike returns fire before engaging Vincent in hand-to-hand. After taking a phenomenal beating and faking unconsciousness, Vincent disables Spike with a claw strike to the chest. Vincent smashes Spike through one of the train's windows, holding him at gunpoint before Electra, wounded through the arm, calls out asking Vincent if he recognizes her. Vincent ignores her, shooting Spike through the chest and letting him fall to his apparant death. Vincent arms a grenade and holds it aloft before it explodes, destroying the front of the train and unleashing more of the virus, killing the rest of the passengers. Electra somehow survives to her own berwilderment, and Vincent has seemingly vanished.
Spike survives the incident, and is later captured along with Electra by Cherious Medical; Spike for knowing too much about the nanoweapon, and Electra for having the counter-nanomachines in her blood, which makes Cherious' directors suspect she is in league with Vincent. Electra reveals to Spike that she and Vincent were lovers before his fateful mission on Titan (which is how she contracted the vaccine); she wishes to stop Vincent without killing him so she can help him regain his memories.
Faye awakens to find Vincent watching her; she asks how she survived and Vincent informs her that by giving her some of his blood he has transmitted the counter-nanomachine to her. He asks her to join him, stating they will be the last two people alive when it is all over. Faye rejects his advances claiming she'd rather die. Vincent appears to consider raping her before being interrupted by his unnamed associate. He has come for the remaining share of his money after being spooked by police activity around the warehouses (no doubt as a result of Vincent murdering a security guard earlier). Vincent kills the man before telling Faye he will be at the bridge that links heaven and earth, and that she will remain here to watch the world die.
The ISSP, having also suspected Lee as an associate in the virus attack, have traced his hacking to an attack on the security systems at a water treatment plant. They suspect there is a plan to infect Mars' water supply and immediately engage a full-scale assault, locating a device shaped like a Jack-O'-Lantern. The military, worried they will be implicated along with Cherious Medical for the illegal nanoweapons, arrive and attempt to take over the ISSP's investigation, before learning the lantern is filled with normal air and that the device and hacking were a decoy.
Meanwhile, Spike and Electra have escaped Cherious Medical, and gathered the vaccine for the virus. They are working on a plan to spray it over the city to counter Vincent's virus attack when Faye contacts them. Spike deduces from Vincent's parting message to Faye that he will be at the Eiffel Tower replica built on Mars, and leaves Faye and Jet to carry out the plan. Electra draws the same conclusion and also goes after Vincent. Spike arrives first, and a dramatic fistfight occurs between him and Vincent. The two reach an impasse; Spike is the superior combatant but Vincent can take far greater punishment. Vincent taunts Spike's attempts to be the hero, to which Spike replies he's just a bounty hunter here to pay Vincent back for nearly killing him, and doesn't really give a damn what happens to the world. Vincent detonates the Halloween parade floats, unleashing the virus. He and Spike begin fighting again, before Spike begins to succumb to the virus. Before Vincent can execute Spike, Electra appears. She has given up hope that Vincent will remember, and wants Vincent to kill her as she shoots him, so they will go together. Something makes Vincent hesitate, and he does not fire before Electra fatally shoots him. He reveals that he can finally remember, and laments since Titan that he was looking for a way out of the nightmare, when he was awake all along. Before dying, he recommits his love for Electra, saying the days he was with her were the only ones that felt real.