Chapter One Thousand Eight Hundred Three
30th June 1967
Today was 11 Messidor, Year 175, and Andreas was seeking redemption as he rode the elevator to the top floor. He had been the one who had gotten shot on that night five years earlier when he had been with the group that had been shadowing the girl as she had made her way down a river. He had come to realize that had been the starting point for what had eventually become the downfall of the movement that he had been a part of as well. That incident had caused its leader to become obsessed with the girl who had shot him. That had also been the start of his own personal downfall. While he was recovering from his injuries, the movement had gone on without him. Later, the University he had attended had learned that he was a member of a proscribed group and had booted him out. He had been forced to work a series of menial jobs that had never lasted long. As he had watched, his future had disappeared.
“If the basis of Popular Government in peacetime is virtue, the basis of Popular Government during a revolution is both virtue and terror. Virtue without terror is baneful, terror without virtue is powerless. Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe, and inflexible justice. It is thus the emanation of virtue. It is less a principle in itself than a consequence of the general principle of Democracy applied to the most pressing wants of the Fatherland” Andreas whispered aloud the words that he had memorized years earlier as he stepped off the elevator and wedged the doors open. He had stolen a key that put elevators throughout the city into fire mode, something that had seemed too valuable to let pass years earlier. If everything went to plan, it would provide his escape route.
The exterior of the building was complete, the various floors were sitting empty waiting to be leased out. Andreas had noticed that the top floors were unoccupied when he had worked as a Janitor in this same building years earlier. The property owner was an unpleasant and greedy little man, so it wasn’t a surprise that this floor remained unoccupied. Looking out the window as he slid it open, Andreas looked out at the teeming streets of Berlin fifteen stories below. At that very moment thousands of commuters were on their way out to their vanilla existence out in the suburb, thousands more lived in the city or were planning on a night of frivolity.
When his movement had been strong, they had managed to steal several rifles from an Army Depot. Andreas had hidden one away against the day that the revolution would finally come. Somewhere along the line he had realized that he would wait forever unless he figured out a way to strike the first blow. It was the same rifle whose pieces he pulled from the case that he had used to sneak it into this building, he began to assemble it and pulled one of several 30-round magazines. Minutes later he was peering through the two-power scope at the crowded streets he saw that he would hardly have to aim.
“Pity is treason” Andreas muttered to himself as he started to squeeze the trigger. Again, echoing the words of a man who history had judged a tyrant, but those more open to what Andreas considered the truth knew was a misunderstood visionary.
The first shots announcing to the world that the Jacobin Club had not gone away like they wanted to think were glorious…
Vicky was trying to watch the evening news. Much to her annoyance, Kiki and Zella refused to leave and were talking to each other in the parlor while completely ignoring both her and the television. It had turned out that Zella had spent the previous weeks in France, she had reveled in the beach culture that she had encountered there. She had swung through Jena on her way back to Berlin to visit Kiki and had given her an earful about it. Zella had worn the latest barely there Atome swimsuit and had enjoyed showing off her body. Kiki had just shrugged in reply.
“Why do you act so nonchalant?” Zella asked when she saw that Kiki didn’t really care.
“Do I need to remind you that when I was in Korea, I spent a lot of time when I was off duty swimming in the creeks near the airfields I operated out of during the summer?” Kiki asked in reply “No one thought to issue us swimwear, so we just did without and no one made a big deal of it.”
“No one can imagine you going starkers” Zella said, “I have no idea how you were so bold.”
“I was wearing only slightly less that you are in these photographs” Kiki said.
“Yes” Zella replied, “But it was you who did that, as I said no one can imagine.”
“You are really funny” Kiki said, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
“What was this I saw about you and Ben going to a formal event as a couple?” Zella asked.
“It wasn’t something I planned” Kiki replied, “I had gotten a call from…”
Vicky made a choking sound, stopping Kiki midsentence. Zella and Kiki looked at her and saw that her face was white as a sheet. The news report had been abruptly interrupted…