- “Something precious... that I harmed... and ruined. But something that always, always... helped me.”
- — Rachel about Zack
Zackray is the het ship between Isaac "Zack" Foster and Rachel "Ray" Gardner from the Angels of Death fandom.
FLOOR B6 : Zack
Rachel and Zack first meet on Floor B6, Zack's floor, where Zack kills a bird that Rachel was trying to help. He then tries to kill her, laughing maniacally the entire time as she runs away. Rachel manages to escape from him and goes up to floor B5.
FLOOR B5 : Danny
Zack "saves" Rachel by killing the resident of B5, Danny, who was about to take Rachel's eyes. Because Zack left his floor and attacked another resident, he became the sacrifice instead of Rachel, meaning that other floor masters will try to kill him. He tries to leave the floor and go back to his, but the elevator doesn't open. Rachel comes up behind
him and asks him to kill her, which disturbs Zack, they make a promise that if Rachel gets him out of the building, he'll kill her.
FLOOR B4 : Eddie
They arrive together on B4. Rachel tells Zack to look for a trigger that'll open a door outside as she looks inside, she also tells him that if possible, he didn't destroy her grave. Zack goes berserk and crushes all the gravestones with a pickaxe, accidentally hitting the trigger while he was at it. When Zack was about to destroy Rachel's grave, he thought of her request and reluctantly didn't destroy it .
Rachel learns more about Zack when she finds his file in the archive, she reads out loud to Zack, causing him to threaten her with his scythe. He asks Rachel if she's scared of him, she replies that she isn't.
Rachel is doubtful that Zack will kill her once they get out of the building, she asks him again if he will keep his word. He snaps back that he will and that if she wanted to die so badly why didn't she kill herself. The blond responds that suicide is bad, when asked why she says because god said so, as a question. Zack gets annoyed and tells her to make a face that'll make him want to kill her, like smiling. Rachel asks how, but after a moment, gives Zack a soft smile, which he complains that it isn't enough and that her eyes are dead.
Eddie, the floor master of B4, corners Rachel against a wall and wants her to agree to allow him to kill her. Zack bangs on the wall from the opposite and yells for Rachel, swearing by God that he would be the one to kill Rachel. Rachel then tells Zack to break the wall separating them, which he gladly does, smashing through the wall with his scythe.
They arrive to where Eddie is waiting for them, he asks Rachel who will be her killer, Zack or Eddie. When Rachel chooses Zack, Eddie snaps and attacks Zack with his shovel, then turning off the lights during their fight so that Zack couldn't see him, giving Eddie the advantage. Zack tells Rachel to find the light switch, but when she goes to find it, she gets cornered by Eddie. Rachel manages to turn the lights back on anyway, allowing Zack to come from behind and kill Eddie. As Eddie dies in the grave he made for Rachel, the lights shines on all the greenery and life that surrounded the grave. Butterflies fly around Zack and Rachel, after a moment of staring at the butterflies, Zack turns around and heads towards the elevator to the next floor, calling for Rachel that they're going. Rachel gives a brief, small smile before following.
In the elevator, Ray asks Zack if she's been useful to him. He replies that yes, she has, Rachel seems happy about this.
FLOOR B3 : Cathy
Upon arriving on Floor B3, Rachel and Zack are greeted with a prison.
Cathy provides them with two syringes, one filled with a lethal drug and the other with vitamins, when Rachel offers to take both, Zack asks if she'll live; she replies that likely not. Zack takes on an unreadable expression before saying he'll take them both, Rachel tries to stop him but he injects them before she can. Once Cathy opens the doors to let them pass to the next room, Rachel runs to Zack's side of the room and worriedly asks him if he's alright. He almost attacks her but restrains himself, rather than killing him, the "lethal" drug had enhanced his bloodlust and his urge to kill. Rachel stares at him and asks if he was alright with killing her while she still wore that boring face. This momentarily snaps Zack out of his bloodlust and he pulls Rachel towards himself, begging Rachel to not let him kill her just yet, before pushing her away.
Rachel runs to the next room, where she gets cornered by Zack and is about to be killed, but Cathy intervenes and shoots Zack's arm, making him drop his scythe. As Cathy laughs maniacally from above, Rachel runs over to Zack as he regains consciousness, he tries to attack Cathy but to avail due to the glass barrier. Cathy gloats at Zack and says that he's attacking the wrong person. In his bloodthirst, Zack turns to Rachel, about to attack her again. But when Rachel stands brave and openly says that she'll allow him to kill her, even if it meant Zack would be dissatisfied, Zack makes the decision to "kill" himself rather than Rachel, cutting himself open in the gut with his own scythe.
Shocked, Rachel watches Zack fall and runs to his side.
FLOOR B2 : Gray
Zack is heavily injured from his stomach wound and clenches his stomach as they are riding the elevator. As they're going up, he praises Rachel for her work, specifically shooting Cathy and saving him. Rachel is happy that she was able to help. Once they arrive to Floor B2, however, Zack is unresponsive when Rachel tries to get him to move and he collapses, blood pooling around him. Rachel half-carries and drags Zack out of the elevator and promises to find medicine for his wound, telling him to stay still and to not move. It's notable that at the point, Rachel has begun to actively worry about Zack's safety and care about him, even if she doesn't seem to realize it herself.
Doctor Danny finds Zack by himself after Rachel leaves to find the medicine, he asks Zack where is Rachel, to which the latter refuses to respond and tries to fight off despite severely weakened. As Zack collapses again from blood loss, it cuts back to Rachel wandering the floor in search of the medicine Zack needs.
Rachel returns to check on Zack after finding Abraham Gray, getting worried when she notices that he's moved. It is here that Zack tells Rachel if she can retrieve an important item of his, the first knife that he used for active killings. She agrees but not before telling him to not move and leaves again.
When Rachel goes to Zack's room in B6 to retrieve his knife, she looks around and realizes that she didn't know much about Zack afterall. Taking in the mess that was his room and resigning herself to learn more about him.
FLOOR B1 : Ray
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- Zack – “If you get caught in some trap and die, you'd better tell me!”
- Rachel – “I can't tell you if I'm dead.”
- — Floor B4
- “So.. c'mon, I'm begging you... don't let me kill you just yet.”
- — Zack to Rachel after he takes both syringes (Floor B3)
The ship between the two is known to be Semi-Canon with the final manga. However, there has been controversies about the ship regarding Rachel and Zack's age gap (~7 years, Rachel is 13 and Zack is assumed to be about 20), particularly when the ship is shipped romantically or even just platonically. In the manga it is shown for the two to be more intimate in the last final scenes. Most fans compensate by aging up the characters in fanworks to prevent arguments or drama. Or shipping it as a friendship or familyship. As a familyship, Zack and Rachel are like adoptive siblings to each other. The official art of them together looks as if the two are either platonically or romantically canon.
The ship was one of the first Angels of Death ships to exist, as it was between the protagonist and deuteragonist. It grew when fans noticed the metaphors in the story, how in a way, by meeting each other, Zack and Rachel saved each other. Their strengths and weaknesses complement each other, with Rachel's intelligence coupled with Zack's brute strength and fighting ability, they made it out of the building. What happened after Zack broke Rachel out of the mental facility is up to the speculation of the fans.
On AO3, Zackray is the most written ship for Zack and Rachel. It is also the most written ship in the Angels of Death tag.
Some popular fan theories as to what happened to Zack and Rachel.
- Zack doesn't kill Rachel and they run away together. The blood trail at the end of episode 16 is from Zack's wounds when he broke through the window, not Rachel's. The blood splatters don't make sense if he did kill her with his scythe since they were already outside the facility.
- Zack does kill Rachel, fulfilling their promise and continuing to live as a serial killer on the loose.
- Zack does kill Rachel, but while he does fulfill their promise, he kills himself as well or he dies from blood loss/execution.
- Rachel and Zack are the floor masters of the first and last floor of the Building, respectively.
- The opening song is Zack's theme, while the ending song is Rachel's; likely representing how Zack started a new life in the outside world while Rachel supposingly ended hers.
- There are two doves seen sitting and flying away together when Zack and Rachel finally get out of the Building. As doves are often associated with pureness and love; this can either represent the two as "angels" who have been freed, or have a more romantic meaning.
- Zack is the one to come up with Rachel's nickname, Ray.
- Zackray was listed as one of top seven anime ships on Fandom in 2018.