Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread II

Mithras is screwed. He has no idea who took his envelope and he has no idea who von Papen wants neutralised. However, he DOES know that von Papen will be... displeased when he fails to carry out said neutralisation and that displeasure will result in a significant emotional event for himself.

Luckily, or unluckily, he thinks that the missing envelope means that the Powers-That-Be are unaware of his activities & identity, so... silver lining for him?

Looking forward to the combat boot dropping. On both of them.
Yay, a sailor with tank driving experience. Let's invent the Schwimmpanzer.;)
Remember, the current Kaiser has a passion for engineering. On hearing Louis Jr's comments, as you mention above, it could turn into organic armoured support for the Sealions...
Remember, the current Kaiser has a passion for engineering. On hearing Louis Jr's comments, as you mention above, it could turn into organic armoured support for the Sealions...
So long as it doesn't get known as Sinkpanzer or some such. An amphib is not a bad idea.
Did we just see Joe Biden?
If it was then it is classic Peabody-Martini, but more importantly Frank may be growing more aware of how the Americans are perceived in the world and the reason for it.
Frank and Midge our window in to the world of Middle Age Middle Class Americans.
The fact that Mithras hasn't been contacted by anyone in law enforcement should be a sign to him that something is not right in his world and he should be making plans to remove himself from the reach of the Financier maybe to some place tropical.

Franz von Papen is someone I really didn't want to know more about as I feel that people who thought they could control Hitler should have known better and that there is a special place in Hell for them.
IOTL von Papen was very power hungry and was delusional enough to think that the Allies would turn to him to lead Germany after the war and this aspect of him fits very neatly ITTL.
I find it very telling that both Mithras and the Financier who are on very opposite sides of the ideological spectrum both feel that the influx of immigrants to Berlin is basically destroying the German Empire from within.
Mithras is screwed. He has no idea who took his envelope and he has no idea who von Papen wants neutralised.
He can probably find out who the other involved party in the accident was. That would be the logical starting point for trying to trace the missing envelope.

Since he has been obsessing about the princess for quite some time now, he will probably recognize the name. I don't know what conclusions he'll draw from it by I think the game is afoot...
If only it was that easy. The person who took the money and the picture could have been anyone from the EMT, a hospital worker to a doctor. It could even be some random guy who decided to go through an unconscious person's pockets.

And so long as there is no court case, all he should have is the insurance information which doesn't include names to prevent the parties involved from going after each other.
So, Lee Harvey Oswald gets drunk with his Marine buddies on a rifle range next to a stationary plant when he fires an old Carcano into the air. The bullet then travels in a parabolic arc and hits von Papen, who was visiting the owner of the stationary plant because said owner also owns a right wing newspaper.
Part 101, Chapter 1618
Chapter One Thousand Six Hundred Eighteen

12th March 1964

Tempelhof, Berlin

Fleur was sniffing at the fence post in the alley, the little dog found it very interesting. Marie Alexandra wanted her to hurry up and finish because she wanted to go back inside. She had rediscovered her love of Alice in Wonderland in recent weeks and was reminded that the blue dress that she wore was completely impractical for the wintertime. Though the Weather Reporters were saying that it was spring, it certainly didn’t feel that way. She was reminded of that as she felt the cold wind on her bare calves.

Momma had said that Marie needed to walk Fleur after she had one of her usual spats with Tatiana, probably just to get her out of the house. Her older sister had been in a pensive mood since they had gotten home from school a couple hours earlier and had been quick to anger when Marie had bothered her. When she had asked Momma what was going on, Momma said was that Tatiana needed her space today. Then Momma had rebuffed further questions, just telling Marie that she would understand soon enough. Exactly what was that supposed to mean?

Marie heard a door slam and Nadine Hirsch walked out to her car. Momma had said that their neighbor didn’t approve of them because of events over the last several years and that Marie was to leave her alone.

“Good afternoon” Marie said with a smile only to have Nadine stare at her.

“Aren’t you cold?” Nadine asked, “Where is your coat?”

“Upstairs, on its hook” Marie answered.

“Didn’t your mother tell you to put it on?”

“She did” Marie replied, “But I didn’t feel like getting it.”

Nadine just shook her head and muttered something about Katherine’s children being just like Katherine before she got into her car and drove off. With that, Fleur lost interest in the fence post and sniffing around the side of the garage that Marie’s parents used.

It was probably just as well that it was taking them back towards the house. Nadine was right about Marie being cold. With any luck Babulya Petia wouldn’t see her come in, she had funny ideas about the weather and liked to bundle Tatiana and Marie up in enough clothes to kit out an arctic expedition if it was so much as overcast.

Jena, Thuringia

Life had returned somewhat to normal. Kiki had gotten Zella and Aurora to back off Mithras for now. They had enough to put him away forever, just there were those other photographs that complicated matters. Kiki had never been one of those people prone to wild speculation about Governments being run by shadowy cabals or international banking nonsense. To actually see evidence of a conspiracy was something that Kiki was still trying to process, and she understood just how dangerous the situation was. It was one thing to want to be independent of someone, it was something else entirely to become a potential threat to that person’s reputation, fortune or even their freedom. Kiki realized that even though she was a Princess, they would have only the slightest hesitation in taking whatever means to silence her. They would have even less regard for her friends. Getting Zella to understand that had been difficult.

Then today, news arrived that changed everything.

The announcement that Sony was conducting a joint venture in partnership with Telefunken to manufacture video equipment for the European market. This also included mention that they were planning on building an assembly plant in Hechingen. When Kiki learned of that she was happy. It was something that she had spent a lot of time working on months earlier. Unfortunately for her, the Mayor of Hechingen called her apartment less than thrilled about this development. It was because while Kiki didn’t have a whole lot of political power in the Hohenzollern State, she had been able lean on him and the rest town council to approve the building permits. This was happening faster than he had realized it would.

Kiki had pointed that as an incumbent politician, bringing dozens of well-paying jobs to his town would serve him extremely well when he had to run for reelection. The Mayor made a comment about having the Princess in the Castle who was a hardnosed cynical Berliner was something that would take time to get used to. Kiki understood, his real concern was that the new plant would change the character of his town. She didn’t tell him that change was inevitable.

The next call was one that Kiki had not even thought about until the phone rang. The Sony stock was surging in value because of the announcement. The financial advisor that had managing her business affairs now that she had largely broken with the family trust told her that the cash dividend was going to be far larger than anticipated and asked how she wanted to handle it. Kiki said that she would think about it and call him back tomorrow.

Hanging up the phone, Kiki realized that money was the last thing she wanted to think about right now. Looking at the table where she had the books and papers from her studies laid out, she realized that she would be too antsy to go back to that now. Looking at the couch she saw Rauchbier sprawled across it, enjoying his afternoon nap.

“Does someone want to go for a run?” Kiki asked.

Rauchbier head instantly snapped up. He might enjoy having a snooze but a chance to run wasn’t something he would ever pass up.
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Yep, All hail Kiki bringer of jobs and maker of fortunes.
I would invest part of that money with the Netherlands company Phillips because they are the world's leading magnetic audio tape manufacturer and going in to magnetic video tapes is a logical move for them, I would also look to see if any other formats are on the horizon for home recording because I doubt that Betamax could even win out this time as it lost IOTL.
Kiki was so right in not turning over the Sony stock certificates as they would have been sold already or the dividends siphoned off.
I am reminded of Star Wars, particularly "They let us go. It is the only reason for the ease of our escape." If Mithras comes to this conclusion first he could turn, try to run, double down on crazy, or do nothing at all in the expectation that he is being watched and might be safe from the Financier for now. If the Financier comes to the same conclusion it becomes "They let you go" and loose ends need tidying up. If the Financier learns who was involved in the accident ... hmmm... meeting of the trust over the Sony share matter with a briefcase under the table? [Also reminded of Red Storm Rising, car accidents, and shoddy dental work.]
Well, that last 923 pages took some reading through. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading this, but I'm certainly glad I did. Here's to many more chapters of this wonderful tale.
I nearly facepalmed myself out of frustration. The ominous tension building is doing its devious work.
Pleeeease tell me/us that Kiki has at least passed this info to her father or Kat.
Part 101, Chapter 1619
Chapter One Thousand Six Hundred Nineteen

27th March 1964

Mitte, Berlin

It came as a surprise on Friday afternoon.

The offices of the Hohenzollern Trust were locked down. All staff were directed to leave all documents in place and to proceed to the employee lounge or the conference room. The fact that it was armed members the BII’s Border Protection Group or Special Deployment Commandos as they were also called, asking made it so that there were few arguments.

The members of the board who were present were put out by having to join their employees and as Jack listened to their complaints, he was reminded of the Shakespeare about the Lady protesting too much. When Reinhard Goerdeler had been assigned to assist Jack with the task of auditing the Hohenzollern Trust, he had made clear to Jack that he was motivated by the possibility that he might get the chance to see some of the members of the board being led out in handcuffs at the process. The Kaiser had told him about the suspicions that his daughter Victoria had, and Jack knew that if they panned out Reinhard would very likely get what he wanted.

When Kat had arrived in Dublin aboard a private aircraft, she had approached the Partners of Jack’s Law firm and told them that he had landed a very exclusive client. All eyes had been on Kat, so until he had introduced himself no one had realized that the pilot who had flown her into Dublin was none other than Louis Ferdinand himself having come incognito for reasons that later became clear. While the Partners had always looked with amusement at what they had dubbed “Young Jack Kennedy’s foreign adventures” it had been over the last year or so that a large amount of the firm’s business had happened because of Jack’s travels. To have the Kaiser standing in their offices had driven that home in ways that few other things could have.

Over the next day, Jack had gotten an education in how the German Kaiser was regarded in Ireland. It was matter of historical record that the Irish War of Independence and the civil war that had followed had been bloody chaotic affairs. None of that would have been possible without the large amounts of arms captured after the Battle of the Somme had turned into a headlong retreat for the British that had been repurposed and passed to the IRA by the German Army in 1917. Jack had read accounts about how the Black and Tans had been shocked that they were on the receiving end of artillery fire during the final months of British Rule in Ireland. Decades later, many were suggesting with the benefit of hindsight that it was the moment that marked the beginning of the end of the British Empire. The Partners had been perfectly happy to have Jack go to Berlin.

This operation had been planned meticulously over the previous weeks. Jack had looked at how he would react if anyone ever found out he was cooking the books. He found himself supervising a large team of accountants and that was when Reinhard Goerdeler and Sven Werth entered the picture. The bad blood between Reinhard and some of the members of the Hohenzollern Trust’s board was well known.

Jack couldn’t read Werth though. The man seemed completely bloodless, but his reputation preceded him. Jack had heard from Kat that Werth had hunted some of the worst criminals that Germany had produced over the previous three decades. The Border Protection Group detachment showing up had cemented where he stood, they looked more like soldiers than police and the way they had stormed into the offices of the Trust reflected that.

Later as the hours ticked by, the team of accountants pored through the papers and everything quieted down. Still, Jack felt like he was missing something. Looking around the office of one of the Trustees, Jack realized what it was. Turning to Werth he said, “I want these rooms searched and leave no stone unturned.”

Minutes later, just as Franz von Papen was entering the offices to see what was going on, he was greeted by the sound of splintering wood and the sound of books being pulled off shelves. It was right at that moment that the first of several sets of books were found. It seemed that most of the Trustees were keeping a second set of books and that complicated the process of the audit. As the hours passed and the scale of the missing funds became clear the situation grew terser within the office. Word had leaked out to the newspapers about what was going on and reporters were turning up in the lobby.

Meeting with von Papen in the ruins of his office, Jack found the old man staring banefully at him.

“You have a lot of explaining to do Sir” Jack said mildly.

“Of all the times for that moron to fail at what he was paid to do” von Papen replied.

“What are you talking about?” Jack asked.

Instead of answering, von Papen just looked at him with a sneer and refused to answer any more questions.

It hardly mattered. Once they realized that they were screwed if they didn’t start talking, the other Trustees started trying to pin the blame on each other. Jack’s experience in Criminal Defense had taught him that there was truly no honor among thieves, it turned into an exercise in cynicism that even he found surprising.

In the following hours, the audit discovered many surprising details. Like just how long some of the Trustees had had their hands in the till and what they had blown the money on. Most surprising of all was that while the Trust’s principle was largely intact, the coffers of Hohenzollern family itself were nearly empty.
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Step One: Put a totally independent lawyer who has a known smuggler for a father, a skilled accountant with a grudge of epic proportions and a dedicated career cop with Cromwellian tendencies on the case.
Step Two: Arrest every Trustee and senior staffer on charges of fraud; embezzlement; breach of contract; theft; theft as a servant; lese majesty and Treason*.
Step Three: Seize all assets, personal and otherwise, of the Trustees. If you've got to refill those coffers, might as well do it with the cash they stole from you.
Step Four: Stock cells in Spandau with an assortment of the most uncomfortable prison furniture yet invented to ensure an appropriate environment for long term incarceration.
Step Five: Once links to Mithras discovered / proven, add attempted kidnapping, attempted murder, murder, accessory to kidnapping, accessory to murder, conspiracy to commit a crime, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, High Treason** and conspiracy to commit the same to the list of charges***. Hell, throw in cruelty to small animals as well. They've probably done that too.
Step Six (Optional): Have Jack ask them if they have ever heard of the favourite interrogation method of the Tigress.

* Embezzling from the Imperial Family
** Attempting to kidnap and kill Kiki (twice)
*** This will further encourage the mere thieves among them to spill their guts.
I'd say von Papen's funding of Mithras and his little terrorist cell came about mainly because their embezzlement was close to being discovered. If they've drained that much money, you can guarantee that something big was coming due. Like a payment that couldn't be missed or a dividend that had to be paid out. Something that would have people asking inconvenient questions in regards to little things along the lines of : "Where the Hell is MY money?!"

The sort of question that can tend to be overlooked when there are bombs going off in the street, or assassinations of important people are happening. The police tend to get so distracted by that sort of thing.

Hatred of the societal changes in Germany, as well, of course.