Episodes 7 & 8 are our first two-parter. Episode 7 opens with Inapril throwing a thank you party for Vash, as he has now saved the city twice. He pretends to get drunk and pass out during or shortly after the party. The title card is shown, the episode title is B.D.N. (Brilliant Dynamite Neon is the name of the major bad guy.)
The next day the town is shocked to find that Vash has snuck onto the sand steamer without saying goodbye. Meryl and Millie hurriedly pack and prepare to leave, even though they do not have enough money for tickets. As the steamer is about to enter a canyon, Vash is approached by the train’s security officer to take a guard job in order to help them defend against the Bad Lad Thieves, who’s territory is the canyonlands. He refuses. As he is washing up, Vash encounters a boy who has stowed away on the train. The boy tells a sob story about his cruel relatives and begs not to be turned in, he is shocked when Vash falls for his lie. In the next scene, Vash is standing rather incredulously at the snack bar as Meryl & Millie, who he thought he had finally escaped, prepare his very large order (Kuroneko-sama is shown in a photo on a wall calendar in the snack bar.) When he asks about the girls being there, Millie mentions that because they could not afford tickets, they took a part-time job running the snack bar. She also mentions her surprise at Vash being so hungry just after dinner has been serves, saying that he has an appetite like a growing boy. Vash hurriedly leaves, muttering to himself over how persistent and smart Meryl and Millie are, and that thankfully Millie doesn’t seem to realise just how smart she is. When Vash gets back to his room it turns out that he’s taken the guard job after all, accepting the first class cabin as payment (before he was sleeping in a common/shared hall,) in order to hide the boy. Similarly the large amount of food he has just purchased is also for the boy.
The boy drugs Vash and the other guards just in time for the train to reach the point in the canyon where the Bad Lads are waiting to attack. He signals them and the attack begins. Meryl & Millie are awakened by the attack and hide out in the store room they have been allowed to sleep in. Still unconscious, Vash dreams of a tall woman named Rem, who asks him to decide his own destiny. He awakens crying. He sees one of the gand members, who is doing a cursory check on the rooms, pass by in the hall.
In the ballroom, the boy and the other gang members have gathered together the passengers in order to rob then, but Neon is not happy with the current hall, which is on the roulette table (along with Kuroneko-sama.) Taking one of the crew to the train’s safe, Neon demands that it be opened, only to find that it cannot, until they reach the city, as the key to the safe is not kept on board. Neon decides that the best way to get into the safe is to crack it open by driving the train off a cliff; in spite of the crews pleas he refuses to let them release the passenger cars.
Meryl and Millie, who are still hiding, decide that they’d better go look for Vash, who is at the same time trying to navigate the train’s ductwork, which he barely fits into. Just as the sand steamer begins to speed up in accordance with the Bad Lads new plan, one of the crewmen decides to defy the order and attempts to reach the brake. Neon kills him, and the boy is fetched to steer the train, but although he has a great deal of technical knowledge about how the train operates, he doesn’t know how to apply it. Astonished, the captain wonders who the boy is and how he knows so much about the sand steamer, but he remains silent. Neon tells the boy of the change in plan, and the boy first begs him not to crash it. As he is beaten, the boy continues to demand that their original deal be honored, saying that the sand steamer belongs to his father. Just as Neon is about to kill him, Vash shoots out the window in the control room and enters to retrieve the boy. They escape along the hull of the steamer, looking for a way in. Meryl and Millie, meanwhile, encounter two of the Bad Lads in the store room and take them out. Back in the control room, Neon has put a gun to the head of one of the young women among the passengers in order to force the captain to comply with his orders to speed up the train.
Episode Eight opens with the train speeding toward the cliff through the narrowing canyon. The title card is shown, the episode title is And Between The Wasteland And Sky.
Vash and the boy, in the ventilation shaft, watch as a troop of Bad Lads go by looking for them. The boy, whose name is Kite, tells Vash what the Bad Lads plan is as he slips into a memory of his father drawing up the blueprints of the sand steamer. Vash tells Kite that he’s going to stop the train and that he needs his help. Kite, who has a copy of his dad’s blueprints, remembers his dad telling him to always help other people and breaks into tears. Back in the corridors, Vash pulls a sneak attack on a group of the Bad Lads on his and Kite’s way to a room full of voice tubes. One of the Bad Lads, who was allowed to escape, reports on the ambush to Neon. Using the voice tubes, Neon orders his men to find Vash; Vash, who has been waiting for this reports a false sighting to lead the bad lads to where he wants them. He gives Kite a radio and heads off to take on the gang, but he is surprised by two of the Bad Lads and shots them, badly injuring them both. Trying to aid them, he is confronted by Kite, who doesn’t understand why Vash didn’t shoot to kill in the first place, or why he is trying to keep the men from dying now. As he is shouting at Vash, he notices that Vash is bleeding quite badly himself, something that had previously been hidden by his bright red coat. Vash’s only explanation to Kite is that he had made a promise to someone that he would never kill. As Vash moves through the train, guided by Kite, he returns to his usual methods of subduing without killing, which Kite continues to have trouble understanding. In the room with the speaking tubes, Kite thinks over the loss of his parents and the deal that he made with Neon for the train. He tells Vash that it is too late to do good, that too many betrayals are behind him. Vash urges him to start over, telling him that “the ticket to the future is always open.”
Figuring out that Vash has help, the Bad Lads lay a trap for both he and Kite, which Vash walks right into, due to Kite’s last few directions actually being one of the Bad Lads on Neon’s orders. The gang opens fire around Vash, who shows no sign of being intimidated by the show of force, even as the wall around him is riddled with bullets. As Neon is about to shoot Vash, Meryl and Millie both stop him and disable several of the remaining Bad Lads, revealing that they have been free and disguised the whole time, trying to minimize damage and loss of life during the robbery.
As the engine begins to melt down and the train hurtles towards the cliff, Vash and Neon face off on the deck. Neon opens fire on Vash with two machine guns, Vash, who has dived behind some of the fallen rocks, emerges and takes out the machine guns with five shots before collapsing. Neon, realizing that he never actually hit Vash and that the collapse was due to having torn open his earlier injuries, concedes the duel. Jubilant, the crew tries to apply the brakes, only to find that they won’t engage and that the boiler is about to explode from the heat and pressure. Hearing that they will have to shut the engine down manually, Kite approaches the crew and offers to help. Remembering their dead crewmate and Kite’s part in setting up the robbery with the Bad Lads, they refuse. Kite decides to help anyway and steals a fire suit. He vents the boiler and activates the emergency stop system, getting badly burned by the steam. He wakes up in Vash’s cabin, and Vash fills him in on what happened after he passed out. The sand steamer, too close to the end of the cliff to stop in time with the brake alone, was saved by Neon, who sacrificed his personal vehicle to keep the train from crashing so that he can face off against Vash again someday. Later, on the roof of the steamer, Vash is sitting with Kite (and Kuroneko-sama) when the boy begins to sing the song that Vash hears in his dreams.
For the first time, we begin to get a sense of the whys behind some of Vash's rather extreme attempts to get out of his various situations without bloodshed, and at the same time, we for the first time in the series, see that he can and will allow himself to be injured to achieve those goals. The reason for the bright red coat is beginning to become apparent, as a figure of hope, Vash does not want the cost of his exploits to be seen by those he helps.