Dr. Ivan Aleksandrov
Five Points swop-shop owner and surgeon
“Don’t vant to be you? Need a — how you say? — break from life? Come in, my friends, come in! Be someone else for a while…” – Dr. Ivan Aleksandrov
Dr. Ivan Aleksandrov is, above all, an opportunist. He was born and raised in St. Petersburg, where he became a famous surgeon. He was even summoned to Moscow to tend to the Tsar’s family. He was forced to flee the Russian Empire in 1879 after he was caught spying for the Ottomans during the recent war. He says he loves Russia, but obviously he loved Turkish gold even more.
After his exile he traveled to India, rooming with a British friend and fellow surgeon. There he learned the finer points of soul-shard surgery (still unpopular in Russia) by practicing on poor volunteers. Several had their bodies permanently swopped after he mistakenly fused the crystals to the brainstem.
He arrived in the United States in 1881 but has so far been unable to obtain a license to practice. To support himself, he established one of Manhattan’s two illegal “swop-shops.” His shop is located in the notorious Five Points slum, but is frequented by many rich and powerful “swoppers.” He pays his monthly dues to both the local gangs and local police, allowing him to continue his operation without harassment.
October 14, 1883 (Session 1) – The Triad visit Dr. Aleksandrov for the first time looking for their shards. He says a man gave him three, and paid him $5,000 to implant them into the Triad if they should come to the shop. The shards turn out to be those of condemned murderers.
October 18, 1883 (Session 3) – The Triad ask Dr. Aleksandrov to implant two shards they recovered from the Potter’s Ossuary on Hart’s Island into two hosts. The shards belong to the parents of Sarah MacCumill, who are able to say “good bye” to their daughter.