I am Luc of the Street. It’s not my real name but that’s the name on my police badge. Luc de la Rue. I don’t know how I got the name but it’s been with me for as long as I can remember, and it’s good enough for an old gutter rat like me.

I didn’t exist until I was about 17 years old. At least as far as the French government was concerned. My mom was a prostitute so there was no birth certificate. I only have a vague memory of her; she was murdered when I was about two years old. I stayed in the bordel with the whores for a little bit after that then some man came and took me to some bullshit group home. I ran away when I was ten or eleven and I lived on the streets. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

How I ended up a cop, I owe to Bruno. We met on April 20, 1978. I remember because that was the date on my arrest report, which also happens to be the first official documentation of my existence. Inspector Bruno de Lappe of the 18th arrondissement became like a mentor and father to me. In the end, I didn’t go to prison; I went to the police academy instead. I hated it but that was the choice Bruno gave me then: prison or the academy. Merde, it didn’t feel like a choice at all.

Now here I am. And it’s not a bad life. Sometimes it’s damn good.


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