Day 1 heading up the Saint Petersburg division of the LAPD Sister City Exchange Program, and already, I had a stiff one.
Whadda’ we got here, I ask, cuppa’ Joe in hand.
2 murdered females. Names: Alyona and Lizaveta Ivanovna. Definitely an axe job.
This fat bastard of a local detective– Porfiry– is pacing around the blood-splattered room, stroking his beard, trampling all over my goddamned crime scene, muttering some shit about an open flat and painters.
Beat it, Chubs, I says.
And who might you be, addressing me in such queer and insolent fashion? he asks.
I’m Detective Superstar, come to show you St. P boys how homicide investigation is done, or maybe I’m Mickey fucking Mouse, (I flash him my badge) or could be I’m the Pink Panther, see. Now get the fuck outa’ here with that deduction shit.
Takes me about 5 minutes to see where the killer messed up: a blood-stained bar of soap over by the kitchen bucket. Ironic. I pull the new fingerprint analysis app up on my smartphone. Takes about 1 minute to get a scan on a print. Another minute to run that against the Petersburg fingerprint database. A minute later, and I got a match:
Rodion Romanych Raskolnikov. Fingerprinted just earlier that day after fainting in a police station.
Booyah. Crime solved. With plenty of time to drink breakfast.
A crazy thing happens as I’m working on my fourth Vodka and Herring at a quaint little joint off X—- : turns out I’m sitting right next to the mother and sister of this Raskolnikov bastard. His sister– Dounia– was hot. My heart breaks when I overhear them talking about her engagement to some guy named Luzhin. I take a chance– turn around and lay it all on her.
Pardon me, I says, but your brother’s a murderer and this Luzhin guy you’re set to marry? Fuck him, along with the rest of these yokels.
I point to my ride, which by now is encircled by a crowd, drawing a lot of shouts of “marriage carriage” and “devilment.” I decide to run with it.
See that magic carriage out there? That’s s an Aston Martin DB9 with a 6.0-liter V12 engine, (her eyes glazed over at this information, but I continued) I think it looks sexy with a crowd around it, but you know what’d be even sexier? A hot little Russian doll in it. Whaddya’ think?
Between the Magic Carriage and a demonstration of my smartphone, Dounia and her mother quickly realized the future was with me– Avdotya Romanovna was now set to be mine. If only Raskolnikov could see this. Together, the three of us cruised the cobblestone streets of St. P, parting crowds, buggies and carriages like a preppy boy’s hairstyle.
I busted a left onto K—- Street. L, M, N and O were under construction. Figures. I made a right on Q—- Ave. and brought Magic bumping down alongside the Neva on Z—-. Good old Magic: she handled like a champ. It was there that I saw it: outside a tavern, a group of festive drunks had gathered, one of them lashing a dying mare over the eyes with a whip. Fucking animals.
I swung Magic around and rode up on the crowd, blasting my Glock skyward out the window like a goddamned cowboy. Yee fucking haw. The crowd broke fast, screaming. Only the guy beating the horse stuck around, shouting about it being “his property!”
I popped a cap in his leg and sent him hobbling away. You’re my property now, motherfucker. Then I put the poor mare out of her misery.
It was like something straight out of a nightmare.
After dropping my new fiancé and her mother off at some shitty motel, I happened to notice a hooker strolling down S—-. I slapped on the flasher and rolled up slow.
What’s your name, sweetheart?
Sonya. Sonya Semyonovna Marmeladova.
The terror in her eyes. The shame. The fucking names on these people.
Out here being a bad girl, huh? Trying to get yourself run over by a carriage? That your game? Make a libelous claim against a Gentleman of good standing? That what you’re all about? Trying to fake a carriage accident?
She was religious, I could tell.
You know, I could have you sent to Siberia for this. Godless country, I hear…
Sir, please, perhaps you could issue me a warning, and consider the matter settled? I beg of you…
You want a warning? Here’s a warning: you do something for me and I’ll do something for you. How ‘bout that. Get in. I’m Christian, too, you know. Now start by reading the story of Lazarus…
Turned out my perp was basically just a kid, living in a single room in a rundown building. More like a cupboard than a room. Wait. Back that up. That’s not a good way of describing it. The room was…small.
The room was small as shit.
Tell me where you hid the fucking goods, Raskolnikov, the old lady’s goods. Don’t make me do this.
You have no facts.
I brought the blue-hot flame closer; it was mirrored in his eyes now.
Fact: I got your sister. Fact: I got you on murder one.
He’d been unconscious when I walked in the room (fever, supposedly) coming in and out, and so I slapped the cuffs on him, splashed a glass of vodka in his face and fired up the blow torch.
So you think you’re someone to whom everything is permitted? You murdering bastard, I say what is and isn’t permitted. It’s my call. Now we can either have a Russian-style barbecue, or you can tell me where the goods are!
He quickly decided to play ball. Heaving a 60 pound rock aside in an abandoned lot that night– penlight clenched in my teeth, illuminating dirt and hollow– I saw I’d made out alright: gold watches, bracelets, chains, earrings, pins … enough to settle things with my bookie in Moscow.
Next morning at the Petersburg train station, I thought for one moment that Raskolnikov would throw himself on the tracks. He looked to be right on the edge– kept mumbling something about Napoleon and the “novel being over too early.”
No way in hell you’re gonna’ miss this train, Rodya. Make your way to America. Start over. Whatever. But you ain’t staying here. Your life ain’t worth shit in this town, now.
As the train pulled away, for just one moment, I swore I heard his tormented cry interwoven with the shriek of the train’s whistle. Dounia agreed, between sobs. Oh well. That’s what you get when you commit murder without putting any thought into it, first.
Welcome to homicide investigation– American style.