Karel Ranke is a former Captain of the Czechoslovakian Secret Police. He was involved in the reading seminars conducted by Franz Bonaparta and Peter Čapek, and remained the sole care-taker of the Red Rose Mansion until Inspector Heinrich Lunge asked to examine the house during his stay in Prague. He was also the uncle of Adolf Reinhardt, a boy with a fondness for cocoa and an old friend of Wolfgang Grimmer who had been one of the orphans interred at 511 Kinderheim in Germany, whose probable identity was possibly discerned at a later point.
Ranke was quite powerful during the old regime. If he and his people had managed to stay on the safe side during the democratization of Czechoslovakia, he could have still remained in power, making the president bow to their demands. He is an astute and perceptive character whom still holds many incriminating secrets regarding the new administration that the government doesn't want disclosed. After being imprisoned some time after the Velvet Revolution, he and his men went underground to continue their operations which closely resembled that of the Mafia. It is rumored he has a stronghold on the Eastern European black market and uses his ill-gotten money to purchase and own several companies, which makes him just as powerful as the ministers in the administration. Ranke was the one who closely monitored the investigation held over the death of Inspector Zeman and his colleagues. Knowing about the covert operations of the former Secret Police, he tried his best to keep them from being exposed. When Detective Jan Suk uncovered some facts about the involvement of his mentor Inspector Zeman with the former Secret Police, Ranke dispatched hitmen to somehow scare Suk away from finding out any more information. However, when Inspector Lunge visited Detective Suk in his patient's room at a good government hospital, he confronted the bodyguard Ranke left to watch Suk, and Lunge was able to place a request for an appointment with Ranke immediately.
Negotiation on Kinderheim 511 Document Evidence
Dr. Tenma and Grimmer visited the hospital where Suk must have been admitted, but as soon as they checked with the reception nurse, they found out that Suk and the policemen sent to acquire the tape from Suk was transferred to another hospital owned by the Czech Secret Police. Upon leaving, Tenma questioned Grimmer what Petrov left behind. Grimmer answered it was a paper documentation and a tape recording of an interview with a boy who called himself 'Johan'. When Tenma was hit by his realisation, a man appeared and asked them to accompany him for a business dealing.
Grimmer and Tenma agreed to go with him, and they arrived at a restaurant where only Colonel Ranke is seen inside. Ranke at once dispeled the wrong notion about the Secret Police. He also swore the 'blonde lady' who killed the two detectives sent to Suk's apartment had nothing to do with them and that a German friend asked him to acquire the tape for him. They were negotiating for those documents with Petrov before he was murdered. It is pure business for him. Then, Ranke gets to business, and asked Grimmer to hand over the tape and the document evidence kept by Mikhail Petrov in
exchange of Suk. Grimmer insisted he does not where they are and told Ranke not to do the experiment again. Ranke shoved it away, and insisted they talk about business. Grimmer then confesses that he himself is an alumni of 511 and for what he has become they should not replicate what has been done to him. Hearing this, Ranke handed out a photograph of his nephew and showed it to Grimmer and asked him if he happens to know him. He confessed that he signed for his newphew's attendance in 511. Grimmer answered no outright and told him ge does not have any memory of his attendance, and even his own name was purposefully taken away from him. It ended their negotiation and they are
to be hospitably taken away from the meeting place when Grimmer suddenly recalls about the boy in the photograph. He went back in the restaurant and told Ranke about the boy who dearly loved his cocoa and looked forward to it everyday. When he was sick with fever in the infirmary, the same boy brought his share of hot cocoa for the day and gave it to him and told him, "Remember me.". The boy told him that because everyday they would forget a bit about themselves and that the only way for their names to be remembered is through another person not forgetting it. Because of his kindness, he remembered the boy's memories, his dream to become an entomologist, and his name, Adolf Reinhart. After hearing what Grimmer said, Ranke told them that the same boy was his nephew and then left at once.
Meeting with Inspector Lunge
Before meeting with Inspector Lunge, Ranke did some in-depth research on Lunge. He learned a substantial amount of information
about the man, and he used it to impress inspector Lunge a little at the start of their conversation. He even mentioned how Lunge could afford to take such a long vacation: two years to be exact. He then asked Inspector Lunge why a clever man like the Inspector would want to see the former captain? Lunge replied that he was looking for some answers to various questions raised by his investigation in Prague. He explained how he came to discover the existence of the Red Rose Mansion and the most interesting person tied to that mansion, Franz Bonaparta. Lunge came to the conclusion that Bonaparta was part of the former Secret Police and that Captain Ranke could provide him access to one of the strangest houses in Prague, which Lunge
assessed would help him unearth more facts about Bonaparta. Lunge also demanded Ranke to disclose everything he knew about Bonaparta, but Ranke said he did not know anything at all. However, he mentioned that there was something in particular he was consciously trying to forget. He wanted to forget the existence of the Red Rose Mansion because all of the political prisoners and the research staff sent there disappeared all of a sudden one night. Ever since that night everyone all of a sudden disappeared, he left the Red Rose Mansion standing empty and untouched. He suddenly trembled once Lunge asked him why there was a plastered wall on the north wall of the second floor. When Lunge tried to solicit his permission to take the plastered wall down, Ranke interjected saying he was afraid that Lunge might die. He warned Lunge that if he should go any closer, both of them may just end up experiencing true fear. But regardless of all these peculiar warnings, he let Lunge enter the Red Rose Mansion.
Captain Ranke is a clever and calculating man. He is also a man with astounding will power as seen in his survival amidst the drastic changes in politics. He can be called a 'political survivor'.
- Main Article: Another Monster
Chapter 14 of Another Monster was dedicated to Karel Ranke. Werner Weber, through Detective Jan Suk's efforts, has secured an interview to this mysterious man. Although harmless as he was, Weber was blind-folded against his will so that he can meet Captain Ranke, which made Weber think that the man was still an important person in the underground society.
Weber described Ranke to be a large and stately man, but with deep-set eyes. Upon arrival, Ranke explained to Weber that his blind-folding was necessary for his own safety and that Ranke's current situation calls for caution on his part. Ranke also mentioned Wolfgang Grimmer visiting him for an interview, and that he and Dr. Tenma persuaded him not to sell Johan's cassette tape to some german buyer.
Disclosed facts on his interview
When Weber started the interview, these facts came to light:
- The police murders around Prague started after a German source requested Ranke some of Mikhail Petrov (Reinhart Biermann) research materials, Johan's audio recording being one of them, for a large amount of cash. This went wrong when Johan tried to prevent him from distributing his interview under hypnosis. Ranke declined to say who asked for the materials.
- Ranke is a communist and a patriot. Even after predicting that capotaism and liberalism would win at the end, he still held on to his ideals and protected the system.
- When asked about whether Bonaparta was a patriot, Ranke states that, Bonaparta's only goal was to control people. Bonaparta had the upper hand on the Czechoslovakian government, who gave him disposable cash to perform all his experiments in the Czechoslovakia. When Bonaparta moved to East Germany, it was evident that the East German government made his personality re-programming experiments a priority.
- The Red Rose Mansion reading seminars and the experiments at Kinderheim 511 were grounded on the same theory.
- Bonaparta had the favour of both governments because of his promising results offered by Bonaparta's personality changing experiments--at tool to stop the liberalists from taking control of both governments.
- Ranke's research on Bonaparta was quite futile, because what he only learned was that Bonaparta loves sweet bean cakes and black tea. He looks as if he is from a fine upbringing and has a good taste on clothes. Already apparent, he also learned that Bonaparta was a storybook writer working under multiple pen names. He is also a psychiatrist, a brain surgeon and a psychologist.
- His research brought him tot he conclusion that Klaus Poppe was Bonaparta's real name, because the surname 'Poppe' is a well-known anti-Nazi, anti-Facisi and Communist, all thanks to Terner Poppe--Bonaparta's father.
- Terner Poppe was, as rumors had it, killed by his son and was brainwashed by him to the point that the elder Poppe did not know who he was. He might have also been a communist hero, but his name was erased in the Czech history.
- The Secret Police had nothing to do with The Eugenics Experiment.
The interview was concluded, Ranke said to Weber:
- "So long as I have power, I will not be a public figure. If I lost my power, I could appear... but I would die," he said. "However, I only did what I thought was to the benefit of my country. I only did my job. When it came to controlling the fates of other men, I was not like Bonaparta. I never once enjoyed the act. I don't know how long I will continue to live like this... to be honest, I am weary of it. When will society forgive me...? There was a time when I truly thought that if the Czech Republic joined the EU, the hatred toward the old system would wane.The Eastern system set up a fence around the entire East. As a result, our way of life and 'value systems differed quite a lot from Western capitalism. And what would happen if a 'genius with peculiar and obscure ambitions existed in that narrow space surrounded by 'fences? We officers with no power of imagination would rely on his talent, without 'considering right or wrong or common sense. No matter what unsightly result waited for us 'at the end of that choice..."
Weber was again blind-folded and taken away from the former Captain.
- His first name Karel is possibly borrowed from Karel Čapek, a czech writer. Both Karel Ranke and Petr Čapek borrow his first and last name individually.