A Siberian Lesson

Carmen

Queen of Crime
Best answers
0
AMA
findcarmen.com
Color #
850000
Something enlightening happened to me along the tracks of the Trans-Siberian. Awaiting departure from Sverdlovsk station, I was in my seat, reading an English-translated copy of 'Crime and Punishment'. Gratifyingly, I discovered the 1938 edition inside a used bookshop in Yekaterinburg.

I was barely past the introduction when an older man approached me. He looked distinctively local with a rounded nose, clear eyes, and a smile that worked genuinely to appear through his timeworn skin.

"Eto myesto, prinyatykh?" In Russian, he asked if the seat next to mine was available, then he repeated the same question in French. "Est-ce que la place est prise?"

"Non," I returned his French as politely as possible, "s’il vous plaît."

"Merci, c'est gentil," he sat down with a heavy sigh and pointed at the book in my hand. "En anglaise? You know, that doesn't read so good translated."

I apprehended that this was no ordinary Russian. Within the past few sentences, he had spoken three different languages. Some upper-class Russians command two, with French being the preferred foreign tongue.

"I am in no position to be reading it in Russian, I'm afraid," I acknowledged his attempt to start a conversation then showed my lack of interest by returning to my book. It would be fifty-five kilometers from Yekaterinburg to the next station in Beloyarskiy, and I preferred the silence.

As the train moved, he began to roll up one side of his trousers to reveal a prosthetic leg. I paused in the book as he went about his business brushing the metallic limb with a handkerchief. He grinned when he saw me, "Sorry, I should have warned you. I lost it in the war," he explained, "People say I lost more than my leg, but life goes on, you know. I not so much like war, or guns."

"I'm Anna Callas," Returning his smile with an introduction; false, as it was, seemed appropriately polite.

"Fedor Mikhailovich" He offered a handshake and I reciprocated, "I'm very good with guessing heritage, but you look difficult. With your French and your English, I guess: West Europe?"

I smiled, "España."

He laughed, "Ah, I am still good. Espagne, so far away, what are you doing out here?"

"My fiancé is in Omsk on business," by the end of that sentence, I had my fictional fiancé's name and profession ready for further interrogation.

"Congratulations."

"Thank you. What about you?"

"Weapons," He smiled honestly with his eyes. My perplexed reaction must have been sufficiently satisfying, for he chuckled. "I do salvaging and a little cleaning. Few goes to collectors, most goes to killing."

"I thought you didn't like guns."

"Since when does a man have to like something that keeps his wife happy and his children fed?" He had a look in his eyes while he thought about what he had said. "I was born in for this, you know, I was a soldier, then a merchant, I deal with weapons, I know this. This is all I know."

He seemed defensive or uncomfortable, so I put my book away to show that he had my full attention. In observation, 'Crime and Punishment' was enough an admonition.

"You know what it is?" He asked almost apologetically, "To know you do wrong but you do it because the day you wake up not doing it, you don't know yourself."

It is strange how one impression from a chance meeting could bring to light things I have been neglecting. I don't have to be on this path. I could disband V.I.L.E. and wait five years for the statute of limitations for all my crimes to dissipate. I might consider myself free of all this, but true to my nature, that felt like cheating.

"No," After a slow shrug and a smile, I lied, "I can't say I know."

He was quiet, and then began to laugh. "And you should never have to know! You'll get married, have the little children, and you never suffer the regrets. That is my wish for you." If he knew how empty that blessing appeared to me at the time, I may have felt less sinful for taking it graciously.

Hours later, he got off the train near Yalutorovsk and woke me up to say good-bye. "A young woman, travelling alone, here, very dangerous," he reached into his pocket and handed me a folding knife. "You learn how to use that from here to Omsk, very easy."

I thanked him and he gestured a light wave to signify the end of our journey. I don't often accept gifts of weapons but he was distinguished, a refusal would have been terribly rude.

Every train I entered thereafter held an achromatic reminder of Fedor Mikhailovich. I have since lost that knife, somewhere, but I do hope its previous owner found the same happiness he so generously wished for me.

[Text in italic has been transliterated. My thanks to Mr. Raine for checking the Russian accent.]
 

Patty

Valkyrie
Best answers
4
AMA
findcarmen.com
Known Aliases
Patt, Patts, Petite, Amber Cecelia Argos, Valkyrie
Color #
8d8844
I tots think it's awesome this is how you met Fedor Mikhailovich, before he went to Kamchatka with us and became our weapons-dealing-Russian-uncle-spy. I think that knife he gave you was in Antarctica, so it's probably kept in an ACME cache somewhere.
 

Carmen

Queen of Crime
Best answers
0
AMA
findcarmen.com
Color #
850000
@Neb, thank you kindly for posting this.

I tots think it's awesome this is how you met Fedor Mikhailovich, before he went to Kamchatka with us and became our weapons-dealing-Russian-uncle-spy. I think that knife he gave you was in Antarctica, so it's probably kept in an ACME cache somewhere.
The connections we make widen our world. I made Fedor a promise he can leave his weapons trade after that Kamchatka expedition, perhaps more on that some other time.
 

Contessa

Royalty
Best answers
0
AMA
findcarmen.com
Known Aliases
Adrianna Covrenzi, Tessa, Anna, La Contessa Covrenzi
Color #
9C3F84
Oh the sort of plebs that take the Trans-Siberian. Next time, “Anna”, do what I do, buy up the entire first class compartment so you won’t have to listen to chatty weapons dealers.
 

Joe Kerr

VILE Trickster
Best answers
6
AMA
findcarmen.com
Known Aliases
Joey, Joseph,
Color #
8a2be2
@Neb, thank you kindly for posting this.


The connections we make widen our world. I made Fedor a promise he can leave his weapons trade after that Kamchatka expedition, perhaps more on that some other time.
Hmm...I may have something up my sleeve that Fedor may like...depends on what his actual area of expertise is.
 

Eartha

Personal Trainer
Best answers
0
Known Aliases
Earth, Edyth, EB, Sheila Rose
Color #
C17E00
Oh the sort of plebs that take the Trans-Siberian. Next time, “Anna”, do what I do, buy up the entire first class compartment so you won’t have to listen to chatty weapons dealers.
LOL, you're so funny, Adrianna. Can we really do that?
 

Joe Kerr

VILE Trickster
Best answers
6
AMA
findcarmen.com
Known Aliases
Joey, Joseph,
Color #
8a2be2
@Eartha, darling, with enough money, you can buy anything! Carmen and I bought La Louvre for a few extravagant nights. It's really only 1/5 the price of one very well customised red trench coat.
1. Let's not give the secret of the trench coat away...

2. Have you ever thought of buying over ACME, Contessa? Would make things a whole lot easier for everyone.
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

New Journals

Neutral Grounds
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Charlet Charlet:
    Yup that’s the other charlet that was created
    Quote Link
  • Jules Jules:
    ...Ok.
    Quote Link
  • Charlet Charlet:
    Basically she died at a young age and was brought back as a cyborg. My imagination is weird
    Quote Link
  • Jules Jules:
    If you think yours is, you're not alone. I came up with this monstrosity:
    Quote Link
  • Jules Jules:
    Ina medieval world we open with a character who fall from a cliff and smacks her head losing her memory. when she wakes up she remembers nothing and is shown around a town by a hunter named Lydia. She goes to a inn and meets a girl named Alita, who's part of a rebellion against a evil king. She goes with Alita, after seeing the rebellion
    Quote Link
  • Jules Jules:
    symbol is painted on her cloths. They meet two other rebels tomas and Lizbet. Alita is half mermaid and Lizbet is a shapeshifter, but the girl is human. alita nearly gets captured by bounty hunters who see the girl and she remembers her name: ashni. Alita reveals that she knows Ashni before she lost her memory, but not enough, only having met her once. It's shown that Ashni is upset that Alita can't tell her more. She run off and is captured by the bounty hunters. she escape with alita' shelp and they find out she is the true heir and considered dead. She gets injured in a fight and decides to be a farmer so she won't be hurt again. Alita fights back is nearly killed before Ashni saves her, having returned after getting her memories,including the love of her kingdom back.
    Quote Link
  • Charlet Charlet:
    Wow
    Quote Link
  • Jules Jules:
    I wrote a 6- page script based off that, with one sequel finished and one still being worked on.
    Quote Link
  • Charlet Charlet:
    My orignal charlet was easily controlled without her own consent which gave her rage issues
    Quote Link
  • Charlet Charlet:
    but seriously being a robotic child doesn’t sound fun
    Quote Link
  • Jules Jules:
    It does not.
    Quote Link
  • Charlet Charlet:
    Mom: forces you to clean room by your robotic mind
    Quote Link
  • Charlet Charlet:
    you: help me. *cleans without permisison*
    Quote Link
  • Jules Jules:
    that does not sound fun.
    Quote Link
  • Charlet Charlet:
    Fun for the parent not fun for the kid
    Quote Link
  • Jules Jules:
    god point.
    Quote Link
  • Charlet Charlet:
    Since charlet in that story is carmens genetic clone it gets a little tricky
    Quote Link
  • Jules Jules:
    i'd bet.
    Quote Link
  • Charlet Charlet:
    So she could frame carmen just with her own dna :D
    Quote Link
  • Jules Jules:
    Oh no. Kinda doubt she's try it, though.
    Quote Link
  • Charlet Charlet:
    She would in that storyline she actually joined acme to bring her clone down. Under the worse ailias junior junior
    Quote Link
  • Charlet Charlet:
    So in another universe there’s a cybonic carmen clone acme detective :D
    Quote Link
  • Jules Jules:
    that is one sentience i but you thought you'd never type.
    Quote Link
  • Charlet Charlet:
    Nah I don’t think anything
    Quote Link
  • Jules Jules:
    mood.
    Quote Link
    Jules Jules: mood.
    Top