What did it mean that Gianna had gained such ready acceptance among them? They had seen the scars on Gianna’s back and side and had only asked where those had come from once. Gianna had answered honestly, they were from when the NKVD had shot her after wiping out her family. There were no more questions at all after that. She was one of them and to Gianna’s surprise she had actually found that she enjoyed their company.

Now Kat had sent word that they needed to be prepared for travel tomorrow morning. It was time for the trip to Saint Petersburg. Gianna looked at it with trepidation, the prospect of traveling to a city in a foreign country was exciting but she was going to be burying her parents. How would the others react when they found out that she was actually Jehane Thomas?

I bet at least one has already figured it out.
 

Md139115

Banned
Why do I have an awful feeling that some die-hard communist is going to attack the ceremony, killing George and at least one of the girls, and it will be Jehane/Gianna getting crowned Tsarina?
 
Yeah, that wouldn't surprise me a bit. Poor girl.
The title of the Thread itself points to that.

Also Gianna unfortunately was enough around Kat and the others to get "Infected" with the "Stupid Luck".... Like the Czar being mortally wounded instants after his crowning and investing Gianna as HIS Chosen Heiress, ensuring that Vladimir wouldn't see the Russian Crown except in photos.
 
Yeah, that wouldn't surprise me a bit. Poor girl.

The title of the Thread itself points to that.

Also Gianna unfortunately was enough around Kat and the others to get "Infected" with the "Stupid Luck".... Like the Czar being mortally wounded instants after his crowning and investing Gianna as HIS Chosen Heiress, ensuring that Vladimir wouldn't see the Russian Crown except in photos.

Given the "training" with the "body doubles", that seem likes its the obvious route with the way things are going.
 
Part 39, Chapter 482
Chapter Four Hundred Eighty-Two


15th August 1945

Berlin

The train had been rearranged and had a couple of new additions since they had collected it from Zossen. The command car had been replaced, the curators from the museum had taken one look at it and declared too valuable for use. A different command car had been found, apparently someone had attempted to copy von Wolvogle. The only real difference was that this one had a different radio set up. Currently it was being used to coordinate the security for this trip. Kat had also requested a car with a medical suite, something that she felt was an oversight on the original train. The assumption was that as soon they crossed into Poland they would be in potentially hostile territory, so they had to be prepared for anything.

The platform had been closed with the boarding of the train taking place outside of commuter hours still there were quite a few rail passengers watching curiously as the phalanx of security swept through the station itself. One of the things that bothered Kira was that she felt totally removed from the people when she was consort of the Emperor. The problem was that it couldn’t be helped that she wasn’t universally loved, Kat was aware of at least a dozen credible threats right this minute. Kira was also not thrilled about leaving her children behind. This would be the first time that the three youngest would have been without her for any length of time.

Kat had a clipboard with the names of everyone authorized to be aboard the train on the pages. There would be a Company of infantry along, crammed into two of the cars. She would bring along a Division it that were possible. Several nations had sent representatives to accompany them to Saint Petersburg, much to Kat’s displeasure that included Fleming who had somehow weaseled his way in. There was nothing else to do but put him in with the Soldaten. Kat hoped he enjoyed having a hundred odd extremely close new friends. Right then Fleming came walking down the platform, followed by her foundlings. This might actually be enjoyable after all.

---------------------------------------------------------------

As they walked up the platform they saw couple photographers shooting pictures of the train. From this angle it just looked like any other passenger train, Gianna failed to see what the big deal was. One of the photographers started to take pictures of them and Tilde made a rude gesture. They all laughed at that. It was the whole point for their presence, to hide the Grand Duchess who no one had seen since she was eleven or twelve. Kat had briefed them on what was expected of them for this trip. They were going to a funeral as cover for the Grand Duchess and if anything happened then they were to duck and wait for help to arrive.

Kat was talking to a man who sounded English, she turned to them. “Girls, this is Herr Fleming, imagine the perfect man” She said, and Fleming gave them a smile of the sort that Kat had expressly warned Gianna about. “Herr Fleming is the exact opposite of that in every conceivable way. He is a rake, who drinks, smokes and gambles.”

“Hey” Fleming said, the smile having vanished in an instant. That was met with giggling which only made it worse, Kat obviously had his number.

“Am I wrong?” They heard Kat ask a now fuming Fleming as they boarded the train.

They were directed into a car that was divided between individual rooms and shown to their seats, the others were gawking at the Empress who they walked past. They were excited to be at the center of things as the train pulled out of the station. Gianna still looked at this with mixed emotions, she was going to the place that her mother had considered home but stored elsewhere on this very train was her own family's bodies. She was having trouble wrapping her head around that. The others were chatting about what they were doing and speculating about where Grand Duchess Jehane was until they learned that the car ahead of theirs had this lounge that they had to see. Gianna was left sitting with Asia who was watching the Berlin suburbs pass in her usual apathic way.

“I’m not going to tell them” Asia said. Gianna was shocked, Asia had never said a word in the entire time they had been training over the summer. Everyone had assumed that she was a mute.

“Tell them what?” Gianna asked, startled.

“That you’re her” Asia said, “Jehane.”

“What gives you that idea?” Gianna asked.

“You got shot in the back by the Russians like she did in the movie and you have her name” Asia said, “Jehane and Gianna are the same name depending on what language you're speaking.”

“That is a good theory” Gianna said.

“But that’s not what gave you away” Asia said, “Your reaction to the Empress, familiar, she would be your cousin, right?”

For almost two months Asia had never said a word, now Gianna wished she would shut up. “That’s enough” She said.

“But you are her?” Asia asked, she obviously wasn’t about to let this go.

“Yes” Gianna said, getting annoyed, “My real name is Jehane Thomas-Romanova, and this is going to be my parent’s funeral that we’re going to. Satisfied?”

Asia had a surprised look on her face, Gianna had probably come across too strong “What’s it like?” She asked.

“What is what like?”

“The whole princess thing?” Asia asked earnestly.

“I wouldn’t know” Gianna said, “My mother was an Imperial Princess and all it brought her was misery and got her killed.”

“That’s why you prefer to be Gianna?” Asia asked.

“Exactly” Gianna said, “As Gianna I can be whatever I want, Jehane can only be a Grand Duchess.”

“I understand” Asia said, “And you don’t have to worry about me telling the others.”

With that Leni and Kristine came back, Asia was back to her usual silent apathetic self. Gianna was reminded of how Kat had once told her that everyone wears masks.
 
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Hmm... Given the attributions of Kat, i would have thought that she would have taken her pick of veteran Soldaten and even whatever SKA fresh graduates she had available for increased protection.
The command car had been replaced, the curators from the museum had taken one look at it and declared too valuable for use.

When Kira declared that the naked woman painting was the only piece of civilized culture in the car..... WHAT painting had Willy acquired for the Command Car exactly? Because I'm getting the clue that Willy bought THIS piece and put it on the Command Car

MOD EDIT: semi NSFW/School image deleted

Modigliani's legendary "Nu Couche".... Given that the first time that was shown in a gallery around 1918, the gallery was closed by the French Police, i can imagine that Willy CERTAINLY got interested in the piece as it was a nice painting of a female and it pissed off the Frogs.
 
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Hmm... Given the attributions of Kat, i would have thought that she would have taken her pick of veteran Soldaten and even whatever SKA fresh graduates she had available for increased protection.


When Kira declared that the naked woman painting was the only piece of civilized culture in the car..... WHAT painting had Willy acquired for the Command Car exactly? Because I'm getting the clue that Willy bought THIS piece and put it on the Command Car

MOD EDIT

Semi NSFW/School image deleted

Modigliani's legendary "Nu Couche".... Given that the first time that was shown in a gallery around 1918, the gallery was closed by the French Police, i can imagine that Willy CERTAINLY got interested in the piece as it was a nice painting of a female and it pissed off the Frogs.

I've not said yet who's coming along with that Infantry Company but Fleming is going to get to know them very well. With what's known about Wilhelm the 2nd, his character and taste I wouldn't put it past him. And its in the lounge car.
 
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Hmm... Given the attributions of Kat, i would have thought that she would have taken her pick of veteran Soldaten and even whatever SKA fresh graduates she had available for increased protection.

I think it highly likely the Infantry Company is from the 1st Foot, who have the training, experience and the uniforms for ceremonial guard duties. That's not to say that they're not also veteran Soldaten or SKA graduates. The 3rd US Infantry Regiment ("The Old Guard") performs these same duties and personnel get rotated in and out all the time.
 
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CalBear

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Hmm... Given the attributions of Kat, i would have thought that she would have taken her pick of veteran Soldaten and even whatever SKA fresh graduates she had available for increased protection.


When Kira declared that the naked woman painting was the only piece of civilized culture in the car..... WHAT painting had Willy acquired for the Command Car exactly? Because I'm getting the clue that Willy bought THIS piece and put it on the Command Car

MOD EDIT: semi NSFW/School image deleted

Modigliani's legendary "Nu Couche".... Given that the first time that was shown in a gallery around 1918, the gallery was closed by the French Police, i can imagine that Willy CERTAINLY got interested in the piece as it was a nice painting of a female and it pissed off the Frogs.
Please note that many people access this site from work/school/public wi-fi. Blocking software could block the entire site due to images like the one posted.

Please keep this in mind going forward.
 
Please note that many people access this site from work/school/public wi-fi. Blocking software could block the entire site due to images like the one posted.

Please keep this in mind going forward.
Sorry. Although we're referring to a piece of recognized MODERN Art, not pornography for chrissakes. The very image that i posted could be found in WIKIPEDIA for EDUCATIONAL purposes, so classifying it as NSFW its downright absurd, with all due respect
 
Sorry. Although we're referring to a piece of recognized MODERN Art, not pornography for chrissakes. The very image that i posted could be found in WIKIPEDIA for EDUCATIONAL purposes, so classifying it as NSFW its downright absurd, with all due respect

Actually it's not. Given the absolute paranoia about sexual harassment and "unsafe" workspaces in corporations and educational institutions these days it's amazing what gets lumped into "inappropriate". Any nude or semi-nude is generally absolutely verboten regardless of provenance or artistic merit. Accessing it on your work computer is, in many places, a guarantee of an interview with a very unfriendly HR rep (and generally someone who makes no difference between a painting in the Louvre and a picture in Playboy)
 
Actually it's not. Given the absolute paranoia about sexual harassment and "unsafe" workspaces in corporations and educational institutions these days it's amazing what gets lumped into "inappropriate". Any nude or semi-nude is generally absolutely verboten regardless of provenance or artistic merit. Accessing it on your work computer is, in many places, a guarantee of an interview with a very unfriendly HR rep (and generally someone who makes no difference between a painting in the Louvre and a picture in Playboy)

Yes, even Wiki is dangerous
If you take a look at the photograps of Wilhelm von Gloeden (German WW I fighter Ace in China. Escaped and got back to Europe via US.) found on Wiki Commons, I think a good case could be made that you where watching nude pictures that could be viewed as child pornography.
 
Part 38, Chapter 483
Chapter Four Hundred Eighty-Three


16th August 1945

Munster

Kurt was looking at the blueprints for one of the proposed successors for the Panther II, so new that it didn’t even have a name yet. He wondered what that would be, Panther and Tiger were already taken, so Lion? No, that wasn’t right, this one would be fleet like the panther which meant the new name would be something like Cougar, Leopard, Jaguar or Lynx would all work.

One of the first things Kurt noticed was that the dedicated radio operator/bow gunner had been deleted. Fritz Kolbe was not going to like that, he’d always had that position in the crew. Kurt had no doubt that someone as good with electronics as he was would always have a place in the Panzer Corps and this new Panzer was loaded with them. Gun stabilization. An improved fire control and range finding. The troublesome Sperber night vision device, useful at night until it unexpectedly wasn’t, was still there but hopefully it was a newer version that could withstand the main gun’s recoil. There was also supposed to be improved optics to go along with the now standard 8.8cm main gun.

“This looks pretty good, Sir” Kurt said, “When do you think that we might see delivery?”

“The time table is in eighteen months to two years depending on funding” The Generalmajor said.

“Oh” Kurt said. That generally meant the day after never. He remembered hearing about this from his original PC in Spain, Justyn Piontek. A new design would come along, the Brigade would get excited about it. Then there would be no funding, so they would stick to the obsolescent Panzer I and IIs while they waited for something better. That was also the reason why the Panzer III had been a private venture that had originally been built for export to China. Kurt was hoping that the Heer wasn’t going into another period of time like that, but it was looking like that was exactly what was going to happen.


Near Krasnaya Gorka, Smolensk Oblast, Russian-Belarus Frontier

They had been sitting here for hours, the passport check had been taken care of already. Kat was wondering what the delay was. The train had made good time through Poland and Belarus but when they had reached the Russian border things had gotten complicated. Kat remembered that her father had magically appeared in Saint Petersburg a few hours after she had gotten shot there. She had suspected at the time that Otto Mischner had flown, something that he’d sworn that he’d never do. This sort of confirmed that. It wasn’t really a surprise considering that he had quite literally killed for her in the past.

Ian Fleming was sitting in the lounge car looking decidedly worse for wear. Evidently, he hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. He had commented that trying to sleep in the presence of the Infantry Company had been a touch difficult. The Infantry in question were of the 1st Foot Regiment but most of the Officers and all the Noncoms had been through Judenbach and had spent time in the SKA. They were not known for playing nice and all the things that Fleming liked to do to pass time were blood sports the way they did them.

“You know that’s a priceless piece of artwork” Fleming said to Kat as soon as he sat down referring to the painting behind the bar. “I believe that the painter died in 1920.”

“If it hadn’t belonged to Louis Ferdinand’s Grandfather then I’m sure that the Empress would give it to you” Kat remarked before looking back to her newspaper. The stories were about events in the Far East, she supposed that she should be reading them. Instead Kat was looking at the photo credits, trying to see if any of them were taken by Doug. That was the sort of thing that she thought she would have gotten past doing when she was still a teenager, yet here she was.

“Shouldn’t you be teaching your little covey the fine art of misandry?” Fleming asked. They were on the other side of the railcar eating breakfast, they were talking excitedly about things. A carefree moment of the sort that they seldom had.

“I don’t hate men, not even you” Kat said, “I just don’t like the way you act.”

“And I suppose your photographer friend is different?”

Kat smiled at that, “What Douglas has going for him is that he respects me as a person. You on the other hand, only respect the skills that I have.”

“What makes you sure about that?” Fleming asked offhandedly.

“The fact that you are undressing me in your imagination right now” Kat replied.

Kat saw the look on Fleming’s face when she said that, guilty as charged. Men were so predictable. She had heard stories about how he enjoyed making suggestive comments to the secretaries at the SIS. It was their job, so they put up with him. The reason he had never attempted to do that to her is that he knew that Kat would make his personal life a whole lot less interesting with her karambit if he ever did.

There was a stir and a few Russian soldiers entered the lounge car led by a high-ranking Officer, an Oberst. No, a Polkovnik, Kat corrected herself. “Is one of you Major von Mischner?” he demanded in barely comprehensible German.

A minor annoyance. “Right here” Kat said in Russian, “What can I help you with?”

He turned to one of his men, “Give it to her” He said.

One of the soldiers pulled out one of the scare cats, it was pitted with rust and most of the paint was gone along with one of the marble eyes. The Polkovnik handed Kat a white grease pencil, “It would be an honor” He said with a shy smile.

Kat wrote Pleased to be meeting in peace. on the scare cat and signed her name. The Polkovnik thanked her when she handed it back.

“Aren’t you full of surprises” Fleming said as the Russians left the train. About twenty minutes later the train finally started to move.
 
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Small geographic detail:
Münster is the dome capital and bishop residence in Nordrhein-Westfalen.
Munster ist the panzer training area in lower saxonie south of Hamburg.

It had me confused for a while myself.
 
There was a stir and a few Russian soldiers entered the lounge car led by a high-ranking Officer, an Oberst. No, a Polkovnik, Kat corrected herself. “Is one of you Major von Mischner?” he demanded in barely comprehensible German.

A minor annoyance. “Right here” Kat said in Russian, “What can I help you with?”

He turned to one of his men, “Give it to her” He said.

One of the soldiers pulled out one of the scare cats, it was pitted with rust and most of the paint was gone along with one of the marble eyes. The Polkovnik handed Kat a white grease pencil, “It would be an honor” He said with a shy smile.

Kat wrote Pleased to be meeting in peace. on the scare cat and signed her name. The Polkovnik thanked her when she handed it back.

The value of that cat has just exploded.

In large part because the cat didn't. x'D

I'd bet that it was originally wired to an S-mine. The rust pits and the missing marble kinda indicate that it did explode. Now, exactly what it might have signified to the Polkovnik is a mystery :cool:.
 
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