Ars sine scienta nihil est

“So, you go around with knockout drops in your pocket?” [Daniil]

“You never know when you need them.” [Zoya]

“J’ai mal a la tete, donc je suis.” [Daniil]

“I am an angel of destruction in the lowest level of the hierarchy. The Party archangel, the Politburo seraphs, and the KGB cherubs dictate each and every move I make.” [Daniil]

Where The Fulcrum Lies

“It’s the prisoner’s duty to try to escape,” Antipov said.

“It’s our duty to make sure he won’t,” Churkin said.

“Daniil, come say hello to your little sister.”

He inched closer and looked. “It’s ugly.”

Here you are, right before me, you and your radioactive grin. You warm my skin with alpha particles and infuse my cells with gamma rays.

There must be life outside my vacuum. There’s a voice, faint, barely audible, the voice of . . . Why am I thinking about her? Forget that woman.


“She’s like an onion,” Igor said. “You peel off one layer, and you see the best of her. You peel another, and—”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Be careful, man.”


“How does it work?” she whispered into his ear. Her breath was hot and humid.
“It’s a medical mystery,” he said, lips grazing the pillow. “Doctors and scientists are working—”

“Not that thing, silly.” She bit his earlobe gently. “The telegraph key—how does it work?”