Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. (Joseph Conrad) Yeah, these Middle Africans… They had the knowledge and the equipment to produce nukes. But had they? – One didn’t know, said his staff. The potential was there, undeniably, yet there was no definitive proof. – Where would they test the stuff, provided they had it? In the Namib, in Southwest – nothing and no one was living there; they could test a thousand nukes – and nobody would ever know. – Did they have transport systems? Not really, no missiles, some antiquated bombers – and only few powerful multipurpose jet airplanes capable of carrying nukes. So, perhaps they didn’t have nukes – not yet… Okay, staff, study the problem and brief me. – The southern hemisphere seemed to be free of nukes still. The stuff was concentrated in the north. As were the thermonuclear bombs. Russia, Germany and the Ottoman Empire had fusion weapons. The Germans had never admitted to the fact, but one knew they had. What about the US? One didn’t know… Briefing to be forwarded. – Would they keep it secret? Well, not normally, but the Germans had – why not the US? On the other hand, fusion bombs were no weapons of war, they were political weapons. The Germans had concealed possession of them because of domestic reasons – one of the frequent riot sallies, no doubt, but had made damn sure the other powers knew they had them. Why should the US try to hide ownership? If other powers had them, the citizens would be reassured if their nation had them as well. So, perhaps they didn’t have the stuff… After all, nobody was threatening them, after Britain’s demise, and they were perfectly safe from invasion. Well, one was going to see… How would the formation of the Ottoman missile brigades been seen from abroad? It was introducing a new quality of deterrence – and a considerable strike capability. One was about to draw level with Russia and Germany. That was going to be hard for the Russians, who always had to reckon with a simultaneous war against Germany and the Ottoman Empire. – Did one have indications of increased Russian spy activity? One could trust the Aryans were going to sell their knowledge, but that process took time. It should be worthwhile to have a look into this affair… What did the esteemed colleague Sudoplatov in Moscow know? Could one find that out? Mirliva Çokbilmiş grabbed the telephone.