Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread II

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Peabody-Martini, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. Threadmarks: Part 99, Chapter 1569

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2010
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    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.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  2. NHBL Long Time Member, CMII

    Jan 1, 2004
    Railroads are a soft target--anything from a small bomb on the outside of a curve to a suitcase left under the seat.
  3. ferdi254 Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2018
    Folks you really do not understand how the RAF was more or less eradicated by the German police institutions in the 70s. It was near to Germany destroying large parts of the Grundgesetz which does not exist ITTL. Here we are talking about a Germany with capital punishment and torture and a lot of other instruments of the police still allowed.

    So a MUCH stronger government to react. Nobody would be able to interfere with the marriage.

    Ever been to school with 4 policemen covering your hide? Been there, done that, got the scars. And 4 was on lazy days. And a lot of my friends also. And there was never something even remotely close to the Berlin bombing.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  4. VanOwen Member

    Jun 10, 2019
    In a bar drinking gin
    It doesn't have to be that dramatic, get a clawbar and pull some spikes and unbolt the plates holding the rails together and voila, instant derailment.
    FickleCrossroad likes this.
  5. NHBL Long Time Member, CMII

    Jan 1, 2004
    That might work, if they unbolt the right plates, such as the outside of a curve, and enough of them. It is not easy. Depending on the signaling system, if they break contact between rails, it may turn signals red. Then there's a lot of spikes that need to be removed, and rail joiner bars to unbolt. Amateurs that don't know trains might get the project half done and have to leave due to an oncoming train, or cause a minor derailment. The crew on the scene to clean it up sees the obvious evidence of sabotage...
    Sir Omega and Peabody-Martini like this.
  6. FickleCrossroad Wrong on so Many Levels

    Oct 4, 2012
    Northwest Wawastan
    Threadmark, please?
  7. ejpsan Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2012
    Has the Jacobians issues a manifesto yet?
    If so that can tell the authorities a lot about the group by their use of terminology, certain phrasing of words in describing their ideas, by doing so that could lead to where the group was first formed and who were their instructors and class mates who will be able to identify them.
  8. EWilanO Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2017
    So we are dealing with a group that is at once highly competent (has enough insight on the exact procedures of the military rescue teams to execute an ambush on one specific team, has somehow gotten military demolitions training, in hard to trace,...) and shockingly incompetent (has mediocre fieldcraft as their agents were made by a well trained but not very attentive Kiki, had their ambush turned on them by said medics and the whole team, captured or killed).

    Sounds like someone is crafting disposable henchmen.

    If only one could find a connection between the different incidents.
  9. Loki-L Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2016
    With the security being as alert as it is. Anyone else other than Mithras gang, who wants to make trouble at the wedding for their own varied reasons, will run into an extreme amount of trouble.

    I imagine a would be radical from some rural place or some faraway pacific island coming to the big city to make a statement about their personal ideology or grievances at the wedding only to find themselves confronted the moment they open their mouths with more gun barrles than they thought existed pointed their way, ninjas jumping from the rafters and some harmless looking women in really expensive dresses breaking their limbs when they get to close to them.
  10. Rinasoir NOT Floyd Olson in a mask. Promise.

    Mar 22, 2014
    Vents of Waltz Industries
    So, how does one translate "Ted Kozenski" into German? :p
    Theoretical_TJ and ejpsan like this.
  11. Starslayer_D Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2011
    Is she really an enemy of the united states? What exactly is she supposed to have done to be wished such a fate? Please elaborate, all I could find below was not that inimical:

    - defended herself against an attacj by two grown-up men as a teenager.
    - Played cat and mouse with the FBI in Seatlle (ok, not nice but no one was harmed or killed)
    - Bodyguarded the royal family
    - helped a friend who was mobbed at work.
    I don't see her actively planning to destabilise or eliminate the united states here or such, so "wretched enemy" is a bit much imho.

    Unless not believing in manifest destiny is enough to make one such, then I plead guilty as well.
    Sir Omega, The Wooksta!, iani and 7 others like this.
  12. marcus_aurelius A BIRD and proud

    Sep 29, 2008
    Imperial City of Hong Kong, British Empire
    It’s less Grafin Katherine von Mischner, titles titles herself than the German foreign intelligence apparatus (be it Abwehr or BND), because Johann Schultz ran roughshod over the US so well over the past decades. And since Kat is so closely affiliated with that community...

    Marc A
    Knightmare likes this.
  13. Threadmarks: Part 99, Chapter 1570

    Peabody-Martini Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2010
    Portland, Oregon, Republic of Cascadia
    Chapter One Thousand Five Hundred Seventy

    21st June 1963

    Mitte, Berlin

    Mithras was sitting there seething as he watched what was on television. The news coverage of those parasites was pervasive. He had no choice but to watch with his mother who was just gushing over footage of the bride and groom as they made their way from a car into the hall where the rehearsal dinner was being held.

    “They were childhood sweethearts” His mother said.

    “I know” Mithras replied, “You said that five minutes ago.”

    “I know that your personal politics make it so that you cannot see this for what it is Lothar” His mother said, “But once upon a time, we felt like the rest of the world overshadowed us, they have no choice now. The whole globe is watching.”

    Mithras held his tongue. His mother was forgetting that the idea that Germany deserved a “place in the sun” had resulted in the deaths of millions. The Emperor who Germany had been saddled with at the time had been a petty tyrant and there was absolutely no guarantee that wouldn’t happen again in the future. The time for monarchies had passed. If Mithras had his way the wedding and the procession that was a part of it would have to be staged on the smoking ruins of Berlin. The most galling part was that the Financier had told him on no uncertain terms that he would be deliberately exposed if he even thought of conducting any operations at this time. That had come in the wake of the Hamburg bombing which Mithras had nothing to do with. The Financier hadn’t cared and if the authorities ever caught up with him, they wouldn’t either. Everything that had happened over the last couple years would be wrapped around his neck and used to strangle him.

    That was when Mithras saw her, she was clearly trying not to draw attention to herself, but she was unmistakable. He had felt a visceral hate towards her since he had learned that she had gotten a couple medals for foiling the ambush that he had gone to great lengths to set up. Her kind was rewarded just for showing up. Tonight, Kristina was wearing the dark blue tunic and black skirt that women in the Heer or attached Medical units wore. The extremely visible gold and white sash that had been given to her by the King of Saxony was like a slap across to the face by those who understood the meaning behind it. She was doing nothing less than daring him to act…


    They had made it into the reception hall where the reception dinner was being held after running a gauntlet of media. Television cameras and flash strobes. On a couple of occasions, Kiki had a microphone shoved in her face and a question asked of her. She didn’t feel like talking to them tonight any more than she ever did. Mostly she was worried about what was going to happen to Ben, Kiki didn’t think that he was necessarily aware of what he had been agreeing to by agreeing to attend this with her. It had been fortunate that all eyes had been on her and Ben had basically been ignored by the press. How long could that last though? When they were seated at the table, Ben beside Kiki for once they finally had a chance to talk, there wasn’t anything else to do while they waited for Friedrich and Suga as well as their respective fathers to make their entrance.

    “You look worried” Ben said. He had gotten a lot better at reading her lately, it was something that Kiki realized was a bit irksome at times.

    “I should be” Kiki replied, “Or should I say that we should be.”

    “You are overthinking things again” Ben said, “I’m here because I want to be. If I weren’t, you would be over there and probably hating every second of it.”

    Ben nodded towards the gaggle of girls who were surrounding Rea. Since her appointment as Kammerfräulein, Rea had discovered that the position gave her some real power within the Imperial Court. The problem as Kiki saw it was that of all the Maids of the Court who they could have introduced to her first was Josefine Falk, Tante Kat’s young ward. The two of them had ruthlessly bent the structure of the Court to their will. It had yet to become a problem, but without Vicky to contain her, Rea tended to give into her worst impulses. When Kiki had explained it to Ben he had asked if she was concerned that her little sister might lead a palace coup? Ben had been joking but Kiki didn’t consider that outside the realm of possibilities.

    “I know that you think I think too much about consequences” Kiki said, “But it has been something that I’ve been contending with my entire life. I have no idea what can set someone off.”

    Ben looked at her with a slight smile.

    “You’ve always cared about what other people think” Ben said, “If you ask them though, they would say that they want you to allow yourself to be happy. Even if it is just for an evening.”

    It was an attitude that Kiki had noticed that Ben had taken on since they had returned from Korea. She had seen a poster hanging on the wall of his bedroom that said; What would you do if you only had one day left to live and why aren’t you doing that? She had no idea where that had come from, but it seemed to encompass Ben’s thinking perfectly.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  14. ejpsan Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2012
    And that is why Ben is perfect for Kiki, he has the ability to put things in the right perspectives for Kiki.
  15. Jinx999 Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2013
    Mithras, that obsession of yours is not healthy.
  16. HaroldWinthrop Misguided missile

    Jan 22, 2012
    Canberra, Australia
    That's right. Stop spending so much time with Mother and find something else to do in life. The Oedipus Complex wrecks in the long run.
  17. Starslayer_D Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2011
    It could lead to paranoia, anxiety, fear of dogs, breathlessness, apprehension, bruises, sleepless nights, hearing voices yelling at you, judicial bills and possibly lead poisoning.
  18. Knightmare Well-Known Member

    Apr 5, 2012
    Maybe their sponsor isn't against the disruption of the wedding because it means Kat gets her claws on some would be attackers to squeeze for info, but because he/she's there?
  19. weasel_airlift Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2016
    "The doors of Mithras' workshop burst open in a billow of smoke. Blinking past the smoke he saw a red haired woman flanked by two ham-fisted, barrel-chested mountains of men. 'Herr Mithras, you've been a busy man. The Emperor requests you have a long vacation'. With that, the two neanderthals seized him, and dragged him away kicking and screaming to what he assumed was hell. He wasn't far off."

    That's my assumption. As a noble, his presence is quite required.
    HaroldWinthrop and A. Morgan like this.
  20. jonmb Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2014
    So other groups are getting active too. This will complicate matters for the investigators as they try to establish whether who is behind the attacks. The MOs are quite different which will help, but then Mithras has conducted very different attacks each time.
    Mithras is getting emotionally involved. This will affect his judgement and will probably be his downfall. If Mithras had an exit strategy, then he seems to be ignoring it.
    I wonder if the Sponsor is behind the other groups too.
    ejpsan and HaroldWinthrop like this.