Chapter Two Thousand Two hundred Forty-Two
23rd August 1973
“I could say that we need to stop meeting this way” Peter said as he entered Kat’s home office. “Some of the things that you have been up to have been disturbing according to those closest to you.”
“I thought that you were retired” Kat replied, annoyed that someone had called Doctor Holz.
“You are lucky that I am” Peter said as he seated himself. “If I were active in my field of expertise, I would be legally compelled to report a patient who has met certain conditions, which you have.”
“Petia, Doug, now you” Kat muttered.
“And everyone is wrong but you” Peter said almost looking amused. “Some things never change.”
“I tried to make sure that everyone was out of the house before I dealt with the situation” Kat said angerly, “They refused to listen and made a mess of things.”
“If your plan had worked out the way you intended, everyone in the world would have seen your house become an abattoir with you at the center of it” Peter said, “Not even you had a chance in that situation.”
“Perhaps” Kat replied, “But it would have ended the cycle, my children wouldn’t have the curse that is following this family affect another generation.”
“That is a load of manure.”
“Is it though?” Kat said, “As we speak the man who sent those men into my house is not holding still. Care to guess what he will do if he gets another chance? Think that the house will be empty when that happens?”
“I think that you will find a way out of this situation that doesn’t end with your death” Peter replied, “Speaking of that. Where are your children?”
“Tatiana and Malcolm are off doing things that will advance them professionally” Kat answered, “Marie, Sophie, and Angelica are in a program I have sponsored for the last few years, getting disadvantaged children out of the City for the Summer Holiday. Sending them to live on the shore of a lake in the Spreewald and hopefully far away from the sort of trouble that they would get into on the streets. Sending my own children along with those of friends to be part of the program seemed like the right thing to do.”
“I see” Peter said, “Well clear of whatever you get up to here.”
They sat for a long moment in awkward silence.
“What do you intend to do?” Kat asked, breaking the silence.
“Me, nothing, provided that you actually do something for once” Peter replied.
“What am I supposed to do?” Kat said a bit exasperated. Everyone was telling her to do something without elaborating exactly what they wanted.
“Take a holiday in Switzerland” Peter replied, “Join the bored well-to-do housewives at one of the private clinics, except unlike them, take full advantage of the services offered as opposed to several weeks of drugged out bliss and extramarital affairs. That is far better than the alternative which ends with you being involuntarily committed here in Berlin and no one will think anything of it.”
“You seem to have thought this through” Kat said aware that this wasn’t an idle threat this time. Apparently, she had frightened Petia and Douglas with her recent behavior. There were also many who would delight in seeing her locked away, regardless of how it happened. Her spies in Franz Josef Strauss’ office said that the Head of Society of Silence was leaning hard on him to do exactly that now that brute force had failed. She had sent a message back to him with Tom, the sole survivor the attempt on Kat’s life, telling him that killing her would bring the wrath of the House of Hohenzollern. Even if he had successful, he wouldn’t have enjoyed it for long and just who had told him that she had her father’s lost fortune? She knew that the head of any criminal enterprise feared being made to look the part of a rube and had played on exactly that fear. It was looking like Strauss would be reaping the whirlwind because she had suggested that the Head of the GS had been played. Kat couldn’t think of anyone more deserving. When those two moved against each other it would be the sort of thing that spilled out of the shadows and into the streets. Perhaps getting out Berlin for a few months might be a good idea.
“Those who care about you do talk to each other” Peter said.
“Exactly what do you have in mind?” Kat asked.
On a whim, Kiki had redirected the SMS Epione up a different canal, to the White Sea. The whole idea of having the Epione was to explore the inland waterways and see exactly where they might take her. Oddly, it had been the Patriarch of Moscow who had given her the idea as he had been blessing the Epione. He had mentioned her continuing mission to bring healing and reconciliation to the corners of the globe.
It seemed like a wonderful idea, just the waters that the Epione could ply were somewhat limited. That had gotten Kiki to thinking about just where the Epione could go. Looking at the charts had revealed that there was a canal that led to a series of lakes and rivers to the White Sea and the City of Archangel which was just south of the Artic Circle. It seemed like an amazing trip to make.
Her arrival in Archangel was not what Kiki was expecting at all. She had been expecting it to be low key, like then she had been in Amsterdam or Prague. Instead, she had the City Mayor and the Local Council on the waterfront to greet her and they were treating it like it was a huge deal.