Unfortunately German is difficult to employ for anything but proper titles. I've just given him a pass on any... awkwardness.... in his German.
He had learned as he had gotten to know Kat better that for her religion was a situational thing. Personally, she felt that she got more out of her Sunday breakfast meetings with Gerta and Helene. Lately her seven wards had been joining them. The expansion of the three furies into the Sisterhood of the Karambit, around them no man’s manhood was safe. Doug smiled at the thought and the notice of Kat sitting beside him, sound asleep.

I almost needed a new keyboard after reading that. Being sprayed with Diet Coke isn't good for electronics.
I think that Malcom Blackwood has been briefed by the Canadian Intelligence Corps in the kind of questions he should be asking, and that he should be somewhat subtle in doing so.
Part 40, Chapter 507
Chapter Five Hundred Seven

12th December 1945


Kat looked in the mirror and made sure that the maroon beret with the Fallschirmjäger badge on it was at the right angle. It had been adopted by the Fallschirmjäger, and the SKA by extension as nod of solidary to the British and French Paratroopers that they had worked closely with in Russia. She was allowed to wear it when in uniform having been in the SKA as opposed to the black beret worn by the others in the 1st Imperial Foot Guard who had not come from the Paras. The rest of her uniform was the blue tunic and black skirt that she had grown accustomed to. She adjusted the orange sash of the Black Eagle so that it settled properly. The PLM at her throat reflected the light of the lamp. The various orders and medals pinned to the left breast of her tunic looked right, they had to be overlapped to make them fit. Overall, it was pleasing to her, much as she disliked how she’d earned many of them.

The last few days had actually gone surprisingly well. Doug had been worried Kat wouldn’t get on with his parents, that had been a bit overblown from her perspective. Margot had yet to really warm to her, but Kat figured that it was simply a matter of time. Malcolm had been a bit easier to get on with, he’d been curious about her involvement in the war against the Soviets. He’d heard of her, but his information had been far from complete. She’d had to point out several times that the newspaper accounts of her actions frequently gave her far too much credit. In turn he’d told her about the debacle on the Somme and the battle of Arras that had followed. That was when she’d finally told him that her father would have been one of the Soldaten on the lines opposite him. Malcolm hadn’t seemed to mind, he’d said that the world had moved on.

Earlier that day they had gone to watch a parade. In Germany the Armistice Day parades were wild, raucous affairs. Here in Canada it was Remembrance Day and the parade was solemn. It was perfectly in keeping with the narratives surrounding the First Great War. For Germany the white peace had been seen as a victory while the rest of the world saw it as years of horrific sacrifice for what had seemed like very little gain. Sure, the British and the French had taken over most of Germany’s overseas colonies but that had turned out to be mixed blessing for them.

Tonight, there was a formal reception that they were invited to. Most of those present would be current or former military. Malcolm had said that it would actually be a good idea if Kat went in uniform, she should let the world see how accomplished she was. She had voiced her concerns, it wasn’t that long ago that uniform would have been seen as being one worn by the enemy. Malcolm had said that with Canadian forces having fought in the Soviet War and currently in the Pacific it shouldn’t be a problem.

There was a knock on the door which interrupted her thoughts. “Are you ready, Kat?” Doug asked through the door.

“Yeah” Kat said as she opened the door. Doug and Emma were standing there in formal attire. It was odd to see Doug in a suit and tie.

When Doug saw her, he asked, “Have you lost your mind?”

Emma was standing there with her jaw dropped.

A few minutes later, Doug was following Kat down the stairs and presumably out to the car. Kat was refusing to listen to him. To his mother that uniform would be a declaration of war. It told a story and there was far more that story then Kat herself probably wanted to reveal all at once.

“Your mother is going to have to accept me for who I am” Kat had said, “And that includes this as well as all the other things. You need to stop being afraid of her reaction all the time.”

That logic was impossible to argue with, but seeing the shocked look on his mother’s face suggested that this could get difficult later.


The reception had turned out far easier than Kat had figured it would. It had turned out that she wasn’t the only one wearing a foreign uniform here. There were many people present who were staff at the various consulates. Mostly she got questions on the nature of the medals she was wearing. The Black Eagle was for running through machinegun fire and attacking armed men with a small knife to save the Empress and her children, the PLM was for throwing herself in front of a sniper’s bullet meant for a Russian Prince, and the like. As it had turned out, the Surgeon who had operated on Jehane years earlier to reconstruct her shoulder blade was present. He asked how Jehane was doing. Kat told him that she was doing well and thanked him for his discretion. The night was going quite well as she sought out Doug.

“Are you going to stay angry with me?” Kat asked.

“No, but I just wished you had talked with me first” Doug said, “I’m worried about what my mother will have to say the more she learns about you.”

“If I’ve learned one thing Douglas” Kat replied, “It’s that hiding from things doesn’t work for long.”
Just thinking about the arms trade (again). Some of those futuristic looking British pusher designs might sell well as kind of poor man's jet fighters to Arab and Central American states who are also very interested in counter-insurgency. Martin-Baker Tankbuster, Boulton Paul P.99, Armstrong Whitworth AW.49
Since Margot is into seeing and being seen, why would she be hostile to Kat? Kat's acceptably good looking; a member of the aristocracy; she's close to the German and Russian Royal Families plus she may have been spotted associating with British Princess Elizabeth; she's one of the most recognizable women on the continent and probably Canada due to Maria's aricle in the Berliner Tageblatt and the publicity surrounding her feats of heroism. She's somewhat unpolished and not at ease in some social situations but those can be overcome with Margot's tutelage.

Margot's just going to have to overlook Kat's history of jumping out of perfectly functioning airplanes and killing people.
I think she's hostile to Kat because Kat doesn't conform to her idea of what a proper woman should be--a mirror to reflect well on the man. Since she can overshadow her son, Kat is, by definition, a bad thing to have around.
I think she's hostile to Kat because Kat doesn't conform to her idea of what a proper woman should be--a mirror to reflect well on the man. Since she can overshadow her son, Kat is, by definition, a bad thing to have around.

Let's see...a lady by British (Or Canadian) standards...

A lady mustn't curse or spit
A lady never scratches, sweats, or burps
She knows which knife and fork and spoon to use and when

Well, she knows what knife to and when, but other than that...
Part 40, Chapter 508
Chapter Five Hundred Eight

14th December 1945

North Pacific

The meeting between the two Emperors was going on in the formal wardroom. Tilo was wondering what was actually being discussed, he had read about how the shape of post-war Asia had been determined in Potsdam months earlier. The reason for this had everything to do with allowing the Japanese Emperor to end the war while saving face. Louis Ferdinand had come to meet with him personally, as an equal, ostensibly to ask him to end the war. With the Japanese Army and Navy currently going after each other in a no holds barred grudge match the Japanese Emperor was probably the only one left with enough authority to end this.

The Platoon was still stuck aboard the SMY Hohenzollern and worse all the alcohol was under lock and key. Reier had gotten so bored that he had taken up learning to play chess while they were waiting for something to happen. Tilo had learned that the Brass didn’t want anyone to know what was happening here until it was done with.

“Lieutenant Schultz to the fantail” Said a tinny voice over the intercom.

Tilo put his book down and walked towards the hatch grabbing his waterproofed coat. If nothing else, he’d get a chance to go up on deck and get some fresh air and not be riding herd on the Platoon like he did during the hour each day they were allowed out.

It was a grey day, a cold drop of rain hit Tilo’s nose as he thrust his hands into his pockets. Typical for this time of the year. He made his way back to the fantail where a helipad had been added to this ship. It was a good idea and Tilo had heard that it was an addition that was being made to other ships as they went in for refit. There were some Sailors around as well as the Hohenzollern’s Signals Officer. He didn’t see why they might have needed his presence. The was about to say something when he heard the sound of an approaching helicopter. It was probably just today’s supply run, sticking around to watch the show wouldn’t hurt him.

The helicopter flared and landed. As expected the Sailors started unloading crates. Then familiar figures started stepping off the helicopter. His Father, followed by Jost, Lenz and his sister Inga. When had Lenz become an Oberstlieutenant? Then they helped his mother off. He had not seen his mother or any of his sisters since right before he had been conscripted an eternity ago. It was Inga who reached him first. Tilo should have known what she’d say first. “That mustache is ridiculous” Inga said with a smile, “Ava and Hanna send their regards, they wanted to come, but you know.” She shrugged. His two oldest sisters had lives and families of their own that they couldn’t just step away from.

“I’m glad you did” Tilo said, “But why did the Brass bring you here?”

“No one told you?” Inga asked, “They anticipate that the medal you’re getting tomorrow will probably be the last Pour le Mérite of this war, so they want it to be special.”

That was a surprise to Tilo. It was nice to see everyone though.


Kat hadn’t said where she was going, just that she needed to run an errand. After one week, Margot was still avoiding being openly hostile to her, but it was a brittle politeness. There was a part of Kat that wished that she would just blow up and be done with it as opposed to this passive-aggressive sniping that she was doing. It was obvious that she had her own ideas of what constituted a respectable proper lady that didn’t include most of what Kat had done or would continue to do. There were also other things, apparently Margot was one of those people who subscribed to the notion that women should be pure unsullied vessels until their wedding night. Like if Kat had been given a choice.

Kat stepped off the train. She had dressed for the weather, fashion be damned, this was basically an operation even if she was doing it for personal reasons. It was already dark and most of the day’s commuters would have already passed through. She was left standing on an empty platform. On the street the businesses gave way to small wood-frame houses. She heard the sound of a train whistle nearby. It was the sort of neighborhood her parents had grown up in. The tracks ran parallel to the street meaning that the windows rattled with the passing of each train.

It was passing under one of the streetlights she checked the address that she had written on the back of an envelope. This was the right street but judging from the street numbers she was still off by a few blocks.

“Hey, pretty girl like you shouldn’t be out alone after dark” A man said in gutter French as he approached her. “You lost?” He asked with a leer that implied that he wasn’t interested in being helpful. As if the two men flanking him didn’t drive that point in firmly enough. This was an annoyance that Kat didn’t have time for. She gave them a look that would have frozen water.

“I do not need your help” She replied firmly.

“Why you got to be so rude?” The man asked, Kat caught a whiff of whiskey off of him even from more than two armlengths away. Few things made men more trouble than being drunk in groups.

“Move on” Kat replied, a final warning.

With that the man stepped forward “We’re only out to have some fun…” He started to say before the breath was blasted from his lungs by the heel of Kat’s boot driving into his solar plexus. She then gave him a blow to the side of the head that left him lying unconscious on the street. She hadn’t hurt him too badly but the speed with which she’d taken him down was evident as schadenfreude set in with his two friends who swiftly carried him off. After the week’s frustrations that had actually felt good.

Walking a few blocks further down the street, she came to the proper address. Kat noticed that the modest house was in good repair as she made her way across the yard. She knocked on the door and watched as the porch light vibrated as someone walked up to the door. She heard the bolt get drawn and the door opened just enough for a middle-aged man to stick his head out.

“What can I help you with?” He asked.

“Are you Raphael Marius Thomas?” Kat asked.

The man focused on her, “Yes” He said.

Kat sighed, this was not going to be easy. “I’ve news of your niece and I owe your family a terrible apology” She said.

“Really” The man, Raphael said, “You might as well come in, if you don’t know the neighborhood it might not be safe for you.”
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Chapter Five Hundred Eight


“Really” The man, Raphael said, “You might as well come in, if they don’t know you, it might not be safe for the neighbourhood.”

This is the more accurate version. Raphael just doesn't know it yet...
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