Chapter Two thousand One Hundred Sixty-Two
7th August 1972
“I leave town for a few days, and you entirely take leave of your senses?” Kat asked.
“We have the matter well in hand” Freddy replied, “Manfred von Richthofen agreed to take the girl in until September and she is said to be enjoying herself there.”
“That is not the problem” Kat said, “The girl’s father is one of those people who blend Nationalism, Nordic Paganism, and crass bigotry into a religion. Even the fringe right Nationalists and Royalists think those people are nuts. And you just poked one of them in the eye.”
“We had to do what was best for the child” Freddy said, “Especially after she broke into what was supposed to be a high security facility and we found out what had been done to her.”
“I don’t disagree” Kat replied, “Just you should have thought this through before you acted. The BII are going to have their hands full containing this and the First Foot… Are you certain that the son can be trusted?”
“Unteroffizer Wulfstan Auer finds his father to be an embarrassment” Freddy said, “And even if he didn’t, you should know better than anyone that the conduct of one’s parent is hardly a reflection on them personally. When he was questioned regarding his father’s activities the investigators got the impression that in his personal beliefs keeping an oath is something Auer takes very seriously. As in, he would sooner kill himself than break the oath he swore to the Realm and Emperor when he joined the Heer.”
Kat was a bit stung by that, Freddy had never brought up what must be common knowledge about Kat’s father before. He did have a good point though. Children were not their parents, still she figured that she would need to have Wulfstan Auer subtly watched, just in case.
“Did you enjoy your birthday?” Freddy asked, changing the subject. “This is one of those that is considered a milestone, normally spent with close friends and family.”
“I spent it quietly with my husband at my house on Langeoog” Kat replied, “I didn’t want a big production and my children would have insisted that it became exactly that. It would have been even worse if I had involved my closest friends.”
“Doctor Holz did mention something about how you tend to get melancholy at times” Freddy said, “And like to be left alone.” That was a bit of an understatement. Kat wished that Peter had not said that though. She had not had a truly black mood in some time, but with the children getting older there would soon be less to occupy her mind. Would she find herself having the sort of depression that she’d had endured just after the Soviet War, when she had been unable to get out of bed for days at a time?
“That is not something that you need to concern yourself with” Kat replied.
“Very well then” Freddy said, “As you know President Rockefeller is coming in a couple days. Have you thought about what you intend to discuss with him?”
For the first time since Kat had been in school, faking illness suddenly held a lot of appeal.
Women have a special connection to the Earth, that was what Mathilda’s mother had always told her. Laying on the grass on the edge of the forest having kicked off her sandals was a good way to feel that connection. The forest here being truly ancient, her nose was filled with the scent of soil, damp, and what could only be described as the green smell of growing things. Looking up through the trees at the sun, she listened to the wind and tried to discern if there were whispers riding on it. Instead, she could hear Anna and Gretchen listening to Rock & Roll music in the garden on the portable radio they had. Occasionally she heard the sound of Nikolaus and Sabastian debating this or that odd thing, sports, movies, or comic books were popular with those two. To Mathilda’s amusement, the two boys fancied themselves great outdoorsmen. Their inability to go more than five minutes without talking and they made enough noise tromping around that everyone and everything could hear them for kilometers all around.
That was when Mathilda felt something warm and wet touch her ear and had to stifle a giggle as the dog withdrew its nose. Turning her head, she saw that Freyja was visiting along with her seven puppies in tow. The Siberian Husky bitch had had no name a week earlier when Mathilda arrived, just a number, but she had decided that wouldn’t do and decided that naming her for the Goddess of Beauty was a good choice. She was beautiful, with silvery white fur where it wasn’t copper-red, and Freyja seemed to like the name, answering to it the instant Mathilda started calling her that. The puppies were offspring of Freyja and Opa’s dog Rust. Part of a program to improve upon bloodline of the Akita, a breed that Mathilda had never heard of before coming here, which was in danger of becoming inbred due to the small numbers within Germany.
It was then that Mathilda was swarmed by the puppies who were in a frenzy to be the first to kiss her face. Despite her desire not to make noise, she couldn’t help but laugh as this was happening.