Chapter One Thousand Five Hundred Sixty-Nine 17th June 1963 Mitte, Berlin It was a small device according to the report that had just been placed on Kat’s desk. The pipe bomb that had gone off on the trading floor of the New Exchange in Hamburg had injured many people, several critically, but it had not actually killed anyone. There were questions being asked about the conduct of the police at every level and word was circulating that a special committee was being formed in the Reichstag to examine the issue. Just why these terrorists hadn’t been squashed like bugs yet, was what Kat had heard. If she had to guess it was because they had mostly been lucky and whoever was leading them was smart enough to limit his exposure in the event that they were not lucky. She also understood that their luck was going to run out soon enough. There was also the matter of the proposals on how to handle the matter. Many were surprised to learn that Kat wasn’t in favor of new powers being granted to the Police and Intelligence agencies. The truth was that she remembered being told stories by her Uncle Klaus about how those powers had a way of being used on people other than those it was originally intended for. A quick call the Anton Knoph had gone about as well as Kat had expected. He had told her that the police in Hamburg had found pieces of pipe of a type used in drains throughout Germany, the same thing could be said about the nails used as shrapnel. The laboratory had come back with word that the explosive used was the same nitrocellulose powder used in rifle cartridges issued to the military. The worrying anomaly was that bits of a plastic bag had been found among the other debris that had a wide dispersal area, meaning that it had been a part of the bomb. The reason that was cause for concern was that even though the bomb had been made from components that could be found anywhere, it suggested that whoever had made it had known exactly what they were doing. Knoph had said that if an amateur had assembled it in the manner that they might have seen in the movies, pouring the powder into a pipe with a funnel and then screwing the cap on, he would have been a self-correcting problem. Despite that, they now had a pretty good idea of how he operated, and any additional devices could be tied to him in the future. Kat knew that Knoph had worked closely with State Prosecutors in the past, so when they caught the suspect the case against him would be airtight. That was also the reason why Knoph had recently been placed in command of a police detachment that was focused solely on counterterrorism ahead of the royal wedding that was only a week away. The reason that Kat was involved was that it was felt by most of those involved that the date to the wedding was a factor that could not be ignored. According to Knoph, the problem that they had now was that the number of suspects was enormous. It seemed that they were having to look at every crank and malcontent in the Empire. Not to mention the large number of groups that were outspoken in their opposition to the Emperor, Capitalism, Modernity, the Government or what seemed like an endless list of petty grievances that people with too much time to waste came up with. In an absurd twist, the Crown Prince had been receiving threatening letters, some of which had come all the way from America, sent by people upset by his choosing Suga to be his bride. Another problem was that the stock exchange in Hamburg was a relatively soft target as opposed to Berlin, which was stitched up as tight as a drum in preparation for the wedding and its guest list. Closer to home, Tat and Kol were coming home for the Summer Holiday in only a few weeks. When Kat had picked them up for the weekend recently, she had noticed that both of them were clearly no longer children. That was especially true with Tatianna who looked well on her way towards making the transition towards being a young woman. The two of them had spent the prior academic year attending a boarding school and had very different experiences. Malcolm had discovered that he did well on the athletic field and the intense tutoring that he had been subjected to had finally made headway against the dyslexia that had troubled him. Tatianna however had never really gelled in the environment of the school and was slow to make friends. It was an aspect that Kat realized that Tat shared with her. At the end of the Christmas Holiday, Tat had not wanted to return with her brother, but Kat had stood firm with Doug backing her, that her daughter needed to follow through on the commitments that she made. Tat had got what she thought she had wanted when she had continued to attend the same school as Kol, it just hadn’t worked out the way that she thought it would. The deal that had been worked out was that Tat would complete the current academic year and would then attend the same school as Jo did. Now that was nearly here it had become apparent that Tat was looking forward to that just as much as Summer Holiday. Kat was looking forward to not having to think about another wedding for the foreseeable future.