THE VAULT

From Russia With Love
November 27, 2006 by Julius Serpentine

I'm dead, comrade.

Alexander Litvinenko, an outspoken critic of Russian President Putin and an ex-KGB spy, died from radioactive poisoning in London last Thursday. Traces of a rare radioactive element named polonium-210, which is produced in nuclear reactors and particle accelerators, was found in his body and, like a bad marriage, it slowly killed him.

How this substance found its way into Litvinenko has been the source of many questions in the media. We are here to give you the answers. Slantmouth operatives were able to intercept a series of classified emails between high-ranking Kremlin intelligence officers. We now present them to you unedited.

“Hello, comrade.

This is Boris from the assassination data entry team. I don’t know if you remember, but we spoke at last year’s Christmas party. I’m a big fan of your work.

I’m doing some paperwork on the Anna Politkovskay assassination and I have a few questions. You worked on that one, right?

-Boris”

“Anna Politkovskay was that Russian investigative journalist who was criticizing President Putin, right? No, sorry. I didn’t work on that assignment.

I wanted that one so badly, but I was in Switzerland taking in the slopes and beating a British secret agent to death with the corpse of a Swiss ski instructor. Using the instructor as a weapon was a little bit of improvisation. I was on vacation, so I didn’t have my tools. Luckily, I slept with the ski instructor before I snapped her neck and used her as a blunt instrument. Double score!

The Politkovskay assassination isn’t really my style. I’m more a giant laser to the crotch kind of guy. I’m not really into just shooting up a target. There’s no craft in that. It’s funny that you should mention Politkovskay, though. I’m been assigned to assassinate this exiled ex-KGB agent named Alexander Litvinenko. It seems he’s been investigating her murder and has been asking a few too many questions.

I’ve been asked to ‘take care of him’, if you know what I mean. I’m kind of struggling to come up with an interesting way to take him off the board and I think maybe you could help me come up with something original. I’m having a bit of assassin’s block. I figure you can provide a fresh perspective.

-The Other Boris

P.S. Stop calling me comrade. It makes you sound like a douche bag.”

“Sorry about all of the comrade stuff. It was something I read in the handbook when I was in data entry training. Old habits die hard, like a Chechen rebel.

And sorry that I thought you killed Politkovskay. I should have known once I read that the method of termination was guns. That was a dead give away! You’d never do something so boring. That’s why I’m shocked that you of all people would have assassin’s block. I don’t know if I’m the best person to help you since I don’t actually do any fieldwork, but I’ll do what I can. All these hours of staring at a computer make violent images pop into my head on occasion.

Actually, now that I think about it, I was chatting with Chad from accounting and he heard about this really rare radioactive element. It’s called something like polonium-210. If it’s ingested or inhaled it’ll poison the victim. It sounds like something right up your alley.

Or you could hang the guy upside down by his genitals and dip him in a vat of acid. That might work too.

-Boris”

“Thanks for the help, pal.

I’ve already hung a guy upside down by his genitals and dipped him in acid, so it looks like I’ll have to go with the radioactive poison. The thing is, it seems a little old school. Poisoning a guy’s food is something you’d learn in the old KGB assassin academy. Maybe we can spice it up.

How about we feed the radioactive stuff to a spider and have the spider bite Litvinenko? Would that work?

-The Other Boris”

“I don’t think that would work. The spider would definitely die from the poison. I think only an elephant would be able to handle the polonium-210 and live long enough to bite someone. Do elephants bite?

-Boris”

“Are you retarded? Elephants don’t bite. Even if they did, an elephant doesn’t exactly make an ideal stealth weapon.

I guess I’ll just use polonium-210 to poison Litvinenko’s food. This is pretty disappointing. Thanks anyways. I’m off to England on a ‘business trip’.

-The Other Boris”

“Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful. I hope the assassination goes well. Anyone that criticizes Putin and the Kremlin is better off dead. At least that’s what my training manual said.

Good luck, comrade!

-Boris”

“Well, thanks a bunch Boris, you idiot. You didn’t tell me that the polonium-210 would take a couple of weeks to kill the guy. I like being a little elaborate with my implements of death but if I wanted to watch a guy slowly dying I’d go to a cancer ward.

This is going to attract all kinds of media attention and ruin my reputation. I’ve spent years being an efficient assassin. Now you’ve gone and ruined it. No wonder you’re working in data entry.

Eat a Siberian turd, comrade!

-The Other Boris

P.S. I’m feeding a spider polonium-210 right now. Sleep with one eye open.”

If there is one thing we can take away from the tragic death of Alexander Litvinenko, it is this: When you talk about Putin and the Kremlin make sure it is completely unwarranted praise. They are the art school students of the international community and you never know how far they will go if you criticize their work. Stay on the safe side and just tell them how great they are and how anyone who criticizes their work just does not get it. It could save your life, and probably your genitals.

~Julius Serpentine