Part 40, Chapter 509
Chapter Five Hundred Nine


14th December 1945

Montreal

The house itself was small but like on the outside everything was in good repair. The people who lived here might not have had a whole lot of money but that didn’t mean that they lived in poor surroundings. Kat followed Raphael through the house back to the kitchen. Two girls who looked like they were ten and twelve were doing the dishes and squabbling with each other. A careworn woman was helping a teenaged son with homework at the kitchen table. As Kat had intended, she had caught them just after dinner. If she had come earlier, they would have felt compelled to have her for a guest which wouldn’t have been right. Kat knew from the files that Abwehr had that Raphael’s wife was Theodora, the son was Lucas, the two girls were Lorne and Zoé. Even so she let Raphael introduce them.

“Katrina here says she has news of Henry’s daughter” Raphael said before asking “Can I get you something Miss?”

Kat felt a stab of guilt. These were good people, they had been lied to, spied on for years and she was one of the people responsible for that.

“If you have coffee that would be good” Kat said. That wasn’t asking for too much. As Kat watched Raphael prepare that, Theodora shooed her children out of the room. That was probably for the best.

“What can you tell us?” Theodora asked. She was a woman of Greek extraction who had been married to Raphael for the last fifteen years. Raphael worked for the city though the files didn’t say what he did. The files didn’t mention what Theodora did for work. Raphael handed Kat a cup of what was instant coffee, she didn’t object. She’d drunk it many times during the war and it was delightfully hot.

“Five years ago, when your brother was killed I was the one sent here to collect Jehane” Kat said, “Canada was compromised, the British foreign office had a leak, so it wasn’t safe to keep her here.”

“We were told she’d died” Theodora said, in spite of the friendly face she was putting forward, clearly, she was not happy about having been lied to.

“That is why I must apologize, I'm the one responsible for spreading that story” Kat said, “Kira and I needed to get the teams of Russian killers off her trail and that was the easiest way to make that happen.”

“Just who is this Kira?” Theodora demanded as Raphael tried to get her to calm down.

“Jehane’s cousin on the other side of her family” Kat said, “The Kaiserin of Germany.” That wasn’t the answer that Theodora was expecting, and it caught her up short. These were extremely deep waters.

“How is Jehane?” Raphael asked.

“She’s well” Kat said thankful that he’d changed the subject. She dug through her purse until she found a wallet sized photograph that she carried of Jehane with Asia that Doug had taken in Werder and handed it to them. “She’s the one on the right.”

Raphael looked sadly at the photograph. “She doesn’t look a whole lot like Henry” He said handing it to Theodora.

“She favors her mother” Kat said, “She has beautiful blue-black hair which I understand is from her father.”

Theodora handed the photograph back to Kat. “Thank you for doing this” She said, “Would your bosses approve of what you are doing?”

Kat shook her head. “They’d tell me I was endangering you and compromising Jehane, the more people who know what she looks like the greater the chances of her exposure become.”

“Still though, you righted a wrong tonight” Raphael said, "Was Jehane able to attend her parent’s funeral?”

“Yes” Kat replied.

“Good” Theodora said, “We would have liked to have attended ourselves but, Russia.”

“I understand” Kat said. Saint Petersburg might as well be on the moon for them. “Henry was laid to rest with full military honors beside Tatiana in the Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral.”

There was something about that Raphael and Theodora found amusing. “There were a lot of arguments about religion in their respective families” Theodora said, “And they end up getting buried in an Russian Orthodox Cathedral, it looks like Tatiana had the last word.”

Later Raphael insisted that he walk Kat back to the train station. As they walked they noticed that there were a number of patrol cars roving the neighborhood. Raphael spoke to one of the police officers for a moment before they resumed walking.

“What was that about” Kat asked.

“Someone kicked the shit out of one of the Pouliot brothers” Raphael said, “Something that’s been overdue.”

“What did they say about who did it?”

“Apparently Jean Pouliot won’t talk about it and his brothers are following his lead” Raphael replied, “They’re a tough lot, but it’s the way these things work. Someone’s always tougher.”

Kat just shrugged, it never occurred to Raphael that it had been her. If she ever got the chance, she would need to thank Fritz Schafer and Emrich Lichtenfeld for teaching her to protect herself.

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While riding across town on the train Kat noticed that there seemed to be a particular buzzing in the air that was just below her hearing. Something was going on, but she didn’t know what. Eventually she made it back to the Blackwood house. Only a dozen or so kilometers from the house belonging to the Thomas family but it felt like a whole lot farther than that.

“You’re back” Doug said with a smile.

“Yeah, I had something important to take care of” Kat said. If he asked, could she tell him that she’d met with the family of Gianna’s father? Would he understand that was a loose end that it had been necessary for her to take care of? Would it lead to difficult questions regarding Gianna and what she truly did for the Empress?

“You’re just in time” Doug said, “There’s going to be an announcement.”

She followed Doug into the living room where the rest of his family was gathered in front of the television set. It was a newscast and a man was reading aloud “Today as of noon local time a ceasefire was agreed to between the Empire of Japan and the Allied forces in the Pacific Theater of Operations…”
 
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This will gain the Hozenhollern Family a few Brownie points in the eyes of the public, because it will show that royalty still has it uses even if it just for symbolism.
 
Standard butterflies. No technical reason why it couldn't have been introduced earlier just that war tied up a lot of manufacturing and technical resource (and financial investment) in Britain and the USA. There was a limited TV service in Britain in 1939 OTL.
 
a ceasefire
It parade and metal time, which in this situation is actually a bit of a problem. Now I think we are all familiar that is SOP to hand out medals and honours to the commanders of the allied forces. This means that France and England need to invite some very unpopular people over for the ceremony:
  1. Kaiser LF you know Kaiser Bill's grandson, and current evil incarnate for a significant portion of France and England.
  2. Chancellor Lang, a socialist jew. (he married a jewish wife and I don't think the anti-semites will make a distinction.)
  3. Grand Admiral Schmidt, an actual jew. And did you forget that he is a German Admiral that the RN is going to be forced to give full honours.
  4. Field Marshall Holz, another socialist and current holder of the title Greatest Living German Conqueror(Liberator but again distinctions without meaning). Worse he was the Lieutenant that took Verdun.
Reactions of English Government.
  1. Hell no
  2. F*ck that
  3. I will burn in hell before I salute a German Admiral
  4. Why don't I just drop my pants and bend over, if you are going to bugger me like that.
The French Government reaction to all four:

Fortunately there is a solution, in the form of Gerta and Kat.
Gerta being the heir of the old wolf, makes the best recipient of the Grand Cross to the Legion of Honour. (Still with 1870 engraved in the reverse)
  • The actual guy is dead and buried(France rejoices)
  • She is an actress, makes for pretty pictures.
  • She was legitimised, so very very scandalous the housewives of Paris will be absolutely in a titer for weeks.
Then there is our little Kat. A shoe in for the Thistle.(Also Thistle is given by the King not the government.)
  • With the new appointments of the British Commanders plus Kat will fill up the orders to the maximum of two dozen and a dozen. So sad :closedtongue:no room for the four mentioned above.
  • Actual deserving on personal title
  • Friend of the Princes of Wales
  • Also pretty pictures
This way they can have the parade and ball for the ladies and just have the ambassador hand out the lesser honours for the four without starting a diplomatic crisis.
 
Britain isn't that anti-Semitic. Herbert Samuel headed the Liberal party fairly recently. Monash is a respected WW1 general, Ewen Montagu a respected figure in Naval Intelligence, Leo Marks in Signals Intelligence, Cabinet Minister Leo Amery of partly Jewish descent, Sir Harry d'Averigdor-Goldsmib a rising Tory grandee. Herbert Morrison deputy leader of the Labour party.
 
  • Kaiser LF you know Kaiser Bill's grandson, and current evil incarnate for a significant portion of France and England.
I doubt Louis Ferdinand is that hated, especially because he's far from his grandfather and is close to the British royal family:
  • Chancellor Lang, a socialist jew. (he married a jewish wife and I don't think the anti-semites will make a distinction.)
This is more a problem in France than Britain. With some, the Quartum orders will also add to the unpopularity.
  • Grand Admiral Schmidt, an actual jew. And did you forget that he is a German Admiral that the RN is going to be forced to give full honours.
Re: Jew, more of a problem for French than British. As an Admiral, yeah...
  • Field Marshall Holz, another socialist and current holder of the title Greatest Living German Conqueror (Liberator but again distinctions without meaning). Worse he was the Lieutenant that took Verdun.
Yeah, he won't be too popular for the latter, but he's the furthest thing from a glory hound.
 
Admiral von Schmidt has already been honored by the French after the Battle of the South China Sea, and GFM Holz had a reunion with both German and French veterans of Verdun, as for Emperor Louis Ferdinand he is probably seen in Europe as the Anti-Whilheilm II and is popular with the middle class.

As for Great Britain, Admiral von Schmidt is a reminder of the Royal Navy failure to be a factor in the Battle of the South China Sea and this making in the eyes of the world the KLM the predominant navy instead of the Royal Navy.

As a follow on effect, this probably increases the pool of eligible Protestant Princes for Princess Elizabeth to choose from as I think that Prince Phillip was basically the only choice that was there, and he was not popular because of him being Greek Orthodox and being pushed by his Uncle Lord Mountbatten.

I would like to think that Lord Mountbatten was sidelined in this war by commanding the Joint Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy Task Force that shut down Japanese shipping from the West Coast of North America.
 

Md139115

Banned
As a follow on effect, this probably increases the pool of eligible Protestant Princes for Princess Elizabeth to choose from as I think that Prince Phillip was basically the only choice that was there, and he was not popular because of him being Greek Orthodox and being pushed by his Uncle Lord Mountbatten.

Well, these are all good points, but I think I need to point out that Prince Phillip was still a solid eligible candidate, he did offer to convert to Anglicanism, and he and Elizabeth do seem to genuinely love one another (and keep in mind that King George VI would sort of understand as he courted his future wife with some persistence himself ).
 
Well, these are all good points, but I think I need to point out that Prince Phillip was still a solid eligible candidate, he did offer to convert to Anglicanism, and he and Elizabeth do seem to genuinely love one another (and keep in mind that King George VI would sort of understand as he courted his future wife with some persistence himself ).
As I remembered the Elizabeth - Phillip match was set up and heavily influenced by Lord Mountbatten, with other candidates available there might be a different course that was taken, but then again if Elizabeth and Phillip are truly in love then nothing else matters.
 
Chapter Five Hundred Eight...


“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.”

If you don't know Kat, any neighborhood she is in might not be safe. That encounter could have been a lot worse. Some thugs, when embarrassed like that, might pull knives or otherwise not back down. Kat knows not to fool around in a case like that. Dead thugs would get the thanks of the locals, but not of the German or Canadian foreign service.
 
Part 40, Chapter 510
Chapter Five Hundred Ten


16th December 1945

North Pacific

The party the day before had been fun, Tilo had to admit that. But eventually fun comes to an end. Today, more and more of the bigwigs were coming aboard the Hohenzollern and Tilo’s Marine Platoon had been pressed into service in the traditional role of shipboard Marines in the various ceremonial functions. There was a great deal of grumbling because that involved the detested blue and white wool dress uniforms, and everything polished to perfection. Toy soldier suits they were called.

It had turned out that Inga had gotten a few things wrong. Tilo was to just one of several Officers decorated today. When Tilo had it explained to him that the medal he got would be reflected on the Regimental Banner at the Military Museum in Berlin he had been surprised. He hadn’t known that the Marine Infantry had any banners at a Museum in Berlin. Reier had told him it was true, they were way in back where no one had to look at them. They had all gotten a good laugh about that until the next helicopter came in, Field Marshal Holz and Generaloberst Horst arrived. The look of pure loathing that Horst gave them suggested that he had somehow known that they had been joking around moments earlier. Not that Marines weren’t automatically suspect in the eyes of someone like Horst. It was said that Horst was a Stabsfeldwebel once upon a time, he lived for making life pure Hell for Junior Officers and Enlisted. At the same time, he was more than happy to have the Divisions he’d commanded grind their enemies to dust. The Japanese Army in Manchuria had effectively ceased to exist by the time he was through with them. The scuttlebutt was that there were another couple Grand Crosses of the Pour le Mérite that were going to be handed out today.

“Is one of you Dietrich Schultz?” One of the Emperor’s Aides asked.

“Here” Tilo said, and then he was listening to the protocols regarding what was expected of him.

Reier caught his eye, the Unteroffizer had a smirk on his face that said, “Better you than me, Kid.”


17th December 1945

Montreal

It was a typical Monday morning but not such a typical situation. Malcolm Blackwood was learning that. He had come into his office within the Longue-Pointe Army Depot to find out that his staff should have called him on Friday night but with the sudden conclusion of hostilities in the Far East everyone had been distracted. As far as Malcolm’s family was concerned he was a retired Colonel and still employed as a consultant by the Government. The truth was he wasn’t as retired as he let on, after he had left the Army he had been asked to head the RCMP Special Branch. It had been particularly ironic that his son had fallen for an Abwehr Team Leader, exactly the sort of person that Malcolm was supposed to keep track of.

All evidence had suggested that Katherine von Mischner was on personal business. However, Malcolm had known that such a thing hardly existed for such people. Then on Friday evening she had made a move. His people had been led on a chase across Montreal as she employed every counter surveillance measure they had known of plus a few new ones they hadn’t.

“She had lost us entirely, Sir” The Corporal was saying, “We only caught up because we knew where she might be going.”

There were a series of photographs, Katherine standing under a street light reading from a piece of paper. Then she was approached by three men. “Was she meeting someone?” Malcolm asked.

“No, Sir” The Corporal said, “She was accosted by some local hooligans, apparently it was nothing she couldn’t handle.”

The next three photographs were in succession of her leveling the lead hooligan. The other two recoiling in fear and shock at the sudden violence.

“We’ve never seen anything like that, it was unexpected” The Corporal concluded. Malcolm had to agree with that assessment. A few local toughs never stood a chance against an Old-World assassin. If the two others had continued to escalate the fight they would have learned the hard way what Customs had learned, Katherine von Mischner was never unarmed. They would have gotten carved up like turkeys if they were lucky.

“It was to Raphael Thomas’ house that she went to?” Malcolm asked. The Thomas family had been under observation for some time, or more correctly the NKVD agents that had been watching the family had been under observation. After the Tumbler Ridge Massacre the house had been watched in case any survivors turned up there.

“Yes, Sir” The Corporal said, “The woman wasn’t there for long.” Katherine wouldn’t have needed to be there for any length of time. Just long enough to tell them about the current status of their niece. The Special Branch had been formed in reaction to what had happened at Tumbler Ridge. Matters had not been helped by having an agent of the German Kaiserin pass through like a hurricane with an escort of a dozen paratroopers. Later, an inquiry had discovered that while Katherine had all eyes on her, a team of German agents had quietly entered Canada and had spirited the remains of the Romanovs out of the country. The description to the man who’d led that team matched that of the man who was rumored to be the Head of the Americas Desk at Abwehr. Much later, Malcolm’s office had received word that Jehane Thomas was still alive, living quietly in Germany and had arranged to have her parent’s personal effects shipped to her at what had turned out to be the personal address of Katherine herself.

Then Malcolm had learned that Douglas was involved with her.
 
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If you don't know Kat, any neighborhood she is in might not be safe. That encounter could have been a lot worse. Some thugs, when embarrassed like that, might pull knives or otherwise not back down. Kat knows not to fool around in a case like that. Dead thugs would get the thanks of the locals, but not of the German or Canadian foreign service.

If the remaining thugs had moved in she would have carved them up with her kerambit; if they had pulled knives she would have shot them - ISTR that she usually carried the kerambit, a dagger and a pistol.

Note that she's travelling on a diplomatic passport and has diplomatic immunity. AFAIK if she violates Canada's laws they can A) declare her persona non grata and expel her from the counry; B) ask Germany to waive her immunity so she can be tried in Canada; C) get Germany to recall her and try her in German court; or D) do nothing. In this case I don't think they'd do anything.
 
Well, maybe not dead but like two american agents in Australia a bit too carved up to offer further danger?
If they'd pulled knives, I think she wouldn't have messed around; she would have been perfectly justified in demonstrating why you don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Anyone can get lucky, and if she's close enough to stab, the people (bigger than she is) are close enough to grab. Might have hit the papers (BAD!) but justified. (It's only in Star Wars where bringing a gun to a sword fight is unwise, as Jango Fett discovered...)

We are getting into some interesting intrigue for later...
 
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