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Injustices and misdemeanors in agencies like the local police and the National Security Bureau (West Germany's equivalent of the American FBI) are featured in this highly politicized drama about Brasch, a teacher (Helmut Griem) and Koerner (Martin Benrath), a NSB agent. A polarized society is, at one end, terrified after a public official (Hanns Martin Schleyer) is kidnapped and at the other end, enraged by the mysterious, sudden deaths of members of the Baader-Meinhof leftist guerrillas in prison. Brasch sympathizes with the liberal causes, and after he implicates Koerner and the NSB in some dirty dealings that resulted in the suicide of a young teen, the schoolteacher is fired -- and so is Koerner for being caught out. Both men react combatively to their dismissals and the drama escalates.