Long live anarchy...

–Alexei Dolnikov's last words

Alexei Pyotrovich[1] Dolnikov was a Russian student and nobleman who held anarchist beliefs. He was extremely critical of authority despite his own heritage. He was Tatiana Obelenskya's childhood friend.

He travelled on the Orient Express alone, with secret plans to bomb the train and kill the Russian aristocrat Vassili Alexandrovich Obelensky.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

Dolnikov grew up in Odessa and lived near the Obelensky family. He was a friend to Tatiana, who developed mutual feelings for him, and had the respect of her grandfather, Vassili Alexandrovich Obelensky.

After leaving school in St. Petersburg, Alexei went to London for further study where he espoused the Anarchist movement and the abolishing of all authority, including the system in which he belongs. He left his education shortly thereafter.

Paris-Strasbourg[edit | edit source]

Alexei sat alone in the dining car on the first night aboard the Express, and exchanged glances with Tatiana despite her being with her grandfather. Robert Cath could have spoken with him in the restaurant. He lectured him briefly about Russian food shortages, then left, forgetting his book but returning shortly to pick it up. A train timetable was slipped inside, with the time "10:40" marked.

If Cath found the Russian poem scroll in Whitney's bag, he could later offer it to Alexei for an explanation. Alexei explained it is a children's fable about the Firebird, but dismissed fairy tales as propaganda and refused to translate it.

After the Count and Tatiana exited the dining room, Dolnikov picked an argument with the Count about his social status, upsetting Tatiana.

Strasbourg-Munich[edit | edit source]

Dolkniov remained in his compartment for the most part, reading and plotting. He briefly spoke with Tatiana, who confronted him about insulting her grandfather but also brought up their childhood together.

Munich-Vienna[edit | edit source]

Alexei and Tatiana played chess in the smoking room, somewhat reconciled. Tatiana playfully questioned the plausibility of Alexei's political views.

During Anna Wolff and Kronos' concert (which he was not invited to) he was chatted with by George Abbot who hinted about asking him to become a British spy, but was more likely trying to probe his activities.

Vienna-Budapest[edit | edit source]

Alexei asked Tatiana to elope with him in a secretive and emotional conversation. When she refused, he attempted to plant a bomb to kill Count Vassili Alexandrovich Obelensky whom he considered a relic of the Tsar's oppressive rule.

Tatiana spoke to Robert Cath worriedly about their conversation, mistakenly assuming that he had aborted the bomb plan on her insistence but still concerned that he would do "something crazy".

Cath managed to steal the bomb detonator from his luggage before retiring to bed. He had a strange dream in which Alexei burst into the Count's room to kill him but was held back by Tatiana, only to be killed by the delirious and unstable Count himself. He awoke to find his dream was true and Alexei was dying, living just long enough to ask Cath to take Tatiana somewhere safe and utter his last words: "Long live anarchy".

After death[edit | edit source]

Tatiana became very disturbed after witnessing Alexei's death, uninterested in any of the happenings aboard the train.

In the end, as the train reached its final destination, Tatiana found the gun cache. She decided destroying the weapons could prevent war, and blew them and the blew train up with what seemed to be Alexei's lighter.

Character[edit | edit source]

Alexei was an idealist and political radical, heavily opposing the Tsarist regime in his home country of Russia. He cared for Tatiana, but not enough to prevent him from wanting to blow the whole train and 'sacrifice' all their lives for a political statement.

He was quite well-read, fluent in at least English and Russian, and could often be seen reading Nietzsche.

Compartment[edit | edit source]

Alexei resides in compartment 2. Because it is right next to Cath's, he can spy on Alexei by hanging out of the window and looking into his. He is usually reading or assembling his bomb.

It occasionally contains a book by Nietzsche if he leaves it in his compartment, with the train timetable marked with his bombing time slipped inside if Cath has not already taken it. It also contains his suitcase, with the bomb detonator inside on the day he plans to use it.

  1. In a conversation with Count Obolensky, it's stated that his father's name was Pyotr, hence this would be his patronymic.
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