FBKampfer

Banned
The King was informed she was still alive, and being sent into hiding, but given no details.

Until Gianna started playing fast and loose, only Kat, Kira, Marcella, and Fedora von Saxe-Meiningen knew who Princess Jehanne was.
 
The Gia plotline is very well done :)
It feels real--like a piece of reality ripped from the timestream and preserved for posterity. I just started rereading the series, and I can see the 8 year old Kat riding around on her father's trains in Berlin.
I'm wondering about the events in the USA--there's more complications about to spring out of the mess. Also, what's the current status of rocketry among the various powers? I know Germany has some scary missiles, but is anyone contemplating shooting for the endless night beyond the bounds of Terra?
 
I'm wondering about the events in the USA--there's more complications about to spring out of the mess.
Yeah. Didn't some of the Augusta Conspiracy Members worked with the smuggling of weapons to South Africa, or before in the Argentina Fiasco? They are certainly going to sing that crap if only to get a better deal in the case of the most implicated in the mess.

The news of the South Africa mess alone would make Truman order the OSS to find Bush, then drag him kicking and screaming all the way from his latest residence in South America, if only to have someone to throttle.
 
Yeah. Didn't some of the Augusta Conspiracy Members worked with the smuggling of weapons to South Africa, or before in the Argentina Fiasco? They are certainly going to sing that crap if only to get a better deal in the case of the most implicated in the mess.

The news of the South Africa mess alone would make Truman order the OSS to find Bush, then drag him kicking and screaming all the way from his latest residence in South America, if only to have someone to throttle.
Truman after the discovery of the "Augusta Conspiracy" has probably ordered a review of the actions carried out by the OSS during the last administration and uncovered the links between the conspirators, the OSS, and the Argentina coup.
 
Part 53, Chapter 730
Chapter Seven Hundred Thirty


30th April 1949

Pskov Oblast, Russia

This was obviously the wrath of the Empress. Gia knew that Kat would settle for yelling at you until she thought she’d gotten the message across. Kira however, liked to be subtle with her displeasure and tended to give the subjects of that displeasure an extended period to think about what they’d done.


Gia had spent a couple days in Montreal at her Uncle Raphael’s house. He and Aunt Theodora had welcomed Gia and Asia with open arms. They had been incredibly sympathetic to Gia’s aims, giving her access to photo albums, the family documents and answering any questions she had. Gia had learned more about her father in those two days than she had in the prior eight years, how he’d led an incredible life even before he’d married her mother. Then, as Sir Malcolm had put it, it was time to face the music.

“Not one word” Was all that a furious Kat said to Asia when they had gotten off the airplane in Berlin. She had refused to even acknowledge Gia’s presence. It was noticeable that her suitcase had been left with Asia’s when she had been shoved onto another airplane. That was the moment when she’d realized that she was being forcibly separated from everything she’d known in Berlin.

Gia had arrived here, and she had no idea where here even was, with just the clothes she was wearing. Not that she’d had even those for long. The morning after she’d arrived Gia had been given a dress made of rough cloth and watched as her clothes had been burnt, she presumed that it had been done to let her know exactly where she stood here. Only then had the Abbess wanted to speak with her to let her know that Kira, without mentioning the name of the Empress, had felt her arrogance and pride had become matters that needed to be corrected. Here she was to just be addressed simply as Alexandra, nothing more. The Abbess had patted her affectionately on the arm and told her that everyone stumbled occasionally and learning a bit of humility would be good for her.

That was also when Gia had learned that she wouldn’t be making it back to University in Berlin for the Summer Term. If she behaved herself then perhaps she would be allowed to return in the fall in time for the Winter Term. Over the following days the reality of her situation was driven home. She’d thought that she’d messed things up before, now she was learning how wrong she’d been.

Gia looked at the two dozen orphans, mostly five or six years old, that she was now the minder of as she led them in for breakfast. She was expected to play the role of a Novice in this recently reestablished Convent in some unknown corner the Russian countryside. Kira really had gone out of her way to make her point and it was going to be an extremely long summer. Then something struck her, it had not occurred to her until now because she’d been kept so busy all week. The trip to Tumbler Ridge, now this and the likely spin Georgy was going to put on it all. This year was a complete train wreck and it still had another two thirds to go.


Cam Ranh, Vietnam

The rail link and seaport had eased the construction of the facility but Wernher von Braun was getting impatient. They had spent nearly a year building all of this from scratch. Some things could be sourced locally but much of it had to be shipped in. The cryogenic fuels that they had perfected in Germany were not the sort of things that could be shipped any distance. The infrastructure required was extensive, not to mention expensive and Wernher had been required to oversee it. The climate didn’t help but that was what came from working in the tropics.

If the physics didn’t prove that launching over the Pacific near the Equator would make it easier to get a rocket into orbit, then Wernher wouldn’t have thought it was worth the effort. There was also the enthusiastic support that they were receiving from the Vietnamese Government. They saw the launch facility as something that was extremely desirable to have in their country, far more than the Government back in Pomerania ever was. It seemed that all they cared about in Germany was that thousands of windows were rattling when one of the launches went awry.


Kimberly, South Africa

The final reports were being typed up as Bas was handed over to the South African Government. He had started talking to Hans about the role he’d played among the Boer guerrillas and the governance among Dutch South Africans themselves. The British had been concealing just how significant Sebastiaan Botha was, that was hardly a surprise. It was something that Hans had gotten to know extremely well in the brief time he’d been an Intelligence Officer, British Military Intelligence considered them rivals first and allies second. Apparently, the Brits were miffed that Hans had made sure that Bas Botha was listed as a Prisoner of War, the South African Government was obligated to treat him as such. What the British didn’t seem to understand was that the mission here was to bring peace, not sow the seeds for additional bloodshed down the line.

There was also what had been happening at home. Kat had been feeling guilty because she had gone along with what the Empress had felt was suitable punishment for Gia after she’d run off a couple weeks earlier. Wherever the girl had been sent it was the same as if she’d been pushed off the edge of the Earth. It was always something. Helene finally starts doing better and now it was his sister. There were some days when Hans thought that he might have been happier if they could just go back to letters and telegrams.
 
Chapter Seven Hundred Twenty-Eight





“Figured that you should know that this property extends from the top of the ridge to the road” Malcolm said.

“So” Gianna replied, she didn’t see the importance of that.

“It’s a couple hundred acres of forest, not worth much presently but you don’t want to sell it” Malcolm said, “There’s a proposed highway that will pass near here and the value will go up because of that.”

Gia nodded indifferently. She understood that Sir Malcolm was just trying to look out for her but all the money in the world wasn’t going to bring her family or childhood back.

Not to sell, but to have a place in the backwoods with easy access for someone who wanted to get away from it all. Would be able to keep folks from making a shrine out of it if they have someone living in the area to watch over the place and keep the curious folks out.
 
Jehane is going to be a pop culture phenomenon, a real life orphaned princess in hiding amongst the common people.
Anybody who has the slightest connection with her will be sought out for interviews and have offers to sell their story to the Movie Studios.
Once Nancy is found out to have lived with Jehane during her year in Berlin, dump trucks full of money is going to come her way, but I think that Nancy has too much character and is too much a friend to Jehane to do that (plus what do you think Kat will do to her, if she betrays Jehane?).

Jehane becomes the number one princess for Kings and Crown Princes to wed now that Elizabeth is off the market.

I see Elizabeth Taylor playing Jehane in a Hollywood version of this story she is about the right age for this, she would be eighteen in 1950.
 
Part 53, Chapter 731
Chapter Seven Hundred Thirty-One


15th May 1949

Berlin

“Bomb rips through predominately black church in Greenville Alabama” Kat read aloud, “Fifteen killed, forty-one injured. Local authorities warn of unrest.”

The events she’d read about had come a week earlier, it seemed in keeping with how the world seemed to be going insane. Kira said nothing as Kat moved on to the next story.

“Rioting and fires in Bilbao, Spanish Government appealing for calm, this follows the recent…”

“For God’s sake Katherine” Kira exclaimed cutting Kat off, “Did you go through the week’s events with nothing but death and destruction in mind.”

Kat looked at the typewritten pages that she’d prepared. Had she done that? She’d dragged herself out of bed that morning, threw everything together and came here. Kira was lucky that Kat hadn’t shown up in her nightgown.

“I know that you feel guilty about what happened, but you know that having Gia run off like that is intolerable” Kira said, “It had a happy outcome this time, but next time…”

Kat felt a renewed stab of guilt. Gia had enjoyed a life of her own, free of those sorts of restrictions. The instant she’d been required to be taken in by palace security she’d lost that freedom. Kira understandably feared that Gia was vulnerable to kidnapping and worse in her old life. It was what Kat had spent eight years trying to prevent. Now, she had the girls led by Ilse leaning on her to tell them where Gia was so that they could stage a rescue. That would create a huge uproar if that happened, which was all they needed right now. Kat knew that Gia was at the Yelizarov Convent near Pskov and was expected to stay there until she was recalled to Berlin at the end of the Summer. Aside from Kira, Kat and the Abbess, no one, not even the Czar of Russia knew that she was there.

“Did we do the right thing?” Kat asked.

“She’ll be unhappy with us when she gets back” Kira said, “But the worst that happens is that she’s required to be Alexandra for a few months, is involved in more physical labor than she’s used to and care for some children who have no one else. That might actually be good for her.”

The set of Kat’s jaw suggested that she got the point the Empress was making. That didn’t mean she was happy about it. Except for the name, Kira might as well have described what Kat had been doing for the last several years.


Kimberly, South Africa

The Ar-318 was possibly one of the ugliest airplanes ever built, the Infantry certainly loved them. Its origins were in a contract to build a close air support aircraft that could survive for extended missions over the front lines during the Soviet War and its appearance reflected that. Heavily armored, high winged, built around a powerful radial engine and the high lift devices in the wings. It had been jokingly referred to as a flying tank. The staggering load in bombs, machine guns and cannons that it could carry certainly buttressed that. They were slow, but they could linger over the battlefield for an extended period. It was said that the Boers had forbidden their people from shooting at Ar-318s and artillery spotters for different reasons. These had joined the Ju-287s and Fw-190s in the close air support missions here in South Africa.

The turbo-jet powered FW-270s did make a mark, few things scared the enemy more than having their hair parted by a low flying aircraft going just under the speed of sound. Their inability to linger over the battlefield for any length of time however had proven to be their Achilles heel. One thing that Hans included in his report was that the sonic booms that heralded the arrival the jets had proven good for the men’s morale. Knowledge that someone deserving is about to get pasted tends to do that, Hans thought to himself. Now that he was not currently conducting interrogations or trying to wrangle the ANC into not doing something stupid. He was writing up reports on the effectiveness of CAS operations. All in a day’s work.


Pskov Oblast, Russia

“Keep where I can see you” Gia said to the children, even though there was nowhere for them to go. It was however a reminder that she was watching them.

“Yes, Gospozha Sasha” A few of them said. A reminder that she’d even lost her name when she’d been brought here. They did what children did, playing games and running around, being children. With this lot it was nice to see, which was why Gia had been encouraging them to just play.

She was getting an education in what her mother had described as going through the motions as she did what was expected of her every day. The perfect picture of piety at that, even though she didn’t really believe in anything. A week earlier she’d made the mistake of mentioning that she’d traveled to Tumbler Ridge and had not gotten the reaction that she’d expected. Gia had been questioned about what she’d found there, she’d answered truthfully enough without revealing her identity or mention the story she’d told Asia. That was when she’d gotten a taste of the reverence that the Russians had for her family. That they had fled persecution by the Bolsheviks, lived a humble, austere life in British Columbia before the last of them had died at the hands of Soviet Agents. That narrative struck her as distorted, but Gia knew better than to try to correct it. Then she’d heard how she was described and it sounded like someone else entirely. What would they make of what she’d actually said to Stalin? It was not forgiveness, like what Georgy had told the world. In that brief conversation she’d had with the despot, she’d told the man who had repeatedly ordered her family to be killed that she would always be angry about what had happened. Increasingly she found she didn’t have it in her to continue to be angry, if she thought about it at all. She suspected that if the Russians knew of that exchange, they would focus on her realization that the poor condition of Stalin had reminded her of the treatment of her mother…

“Sasha!” A child’s voice called out, full of pain. She saw that one of them, a little girl, had skinned her knee and was crying. It was time to go back to doing what was expected of her.
 
Part 54, Chapter 732
Chapter Seven Hundred Thirty-Two


25th May 1949

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Flying while looking through the thick tempered glass of the windscreen and windows was something that took some getting used to even if it gave a commanding view of ground underneath. Even with the latest and most powerful 18-cylinder BMW 802 engine, the Arado Ar-318 was still sluggish in flight which was oddly in contrast with the maneuverability that it had until it stalled. Climbing out of the airfield at Port Elizabeth over the ocean was how Stabsunteroffizier Darius Petrauskas started each day, no point in getting shot at while doing that. He reached up and pulled the levers that retracted the leading-edge slats and folded the slotted flaps up into the wings. He was strapped into the armored cockpit and light from the overhead windows was on the instrument panel and the butts of the two 13mm machine guns that protruded slightly into the cockpit. There was room behind the cockpit for a dorsal gunner, but Darius had never flown with one and couldn’t imagine how the plane would handle the extra weight.

Flying north along the highway at a 350 meters Darius looked for the telltale signs of hostile activity but they had gotten good at concealing their movements from aircraft, even on the open grasslands. Darius was also listening to the radio in case one of the convoys of lories on the road came under attack. As Darius had learned in recent months, it was getting harder and harder to take the groups ambushing their convoys by surprise. There was also word that the Boer Commanders had expressly forbidden shooting at Ar-318s, it made for very uneventful patrols.


Seattle, Washington

Nancy had finally gotten the last of the paperwork done to line up her career after graduation. Just the thought of that, a career, gave her pause. Now, she had a couple weeks until Commencement and she was finding it anything but relaxing. She’d gotten a letter from Kat where her friend had spent the entire letter trying to justify her recent course of actions and was feeling guilty about how things had turned out. Then she’d gotten letters from Ilse and Anne giving her the other side of the story that left Nancy confused. Gia had been taken into custody because there was a credible threat? Then she’d run away with Asia and they’d made it all the way to British Columbia before they’d gotten caught. Now Gia was missing, and everyone was in a panic except for Kat who wouldn’t tell anyone where Gia was. As much as Nancy loved her friends, there were times when she simply did not like all the drama that they engaged in.

Then she saw Beatrice out of the corner of her eye looking through a bridal magazine and making cooing noises. At least her friends in Berlin didn’t seem like they were senile at the age of twenty-two.

In exasperation, Nancy got up and walked out of the dorm room. Finding her way out of the dorm, she made her way to the edge of the drill field where a couple years earlier Kat had given her lessons on how easily men were snowed, complete with a practical demonstration. Since then Nancy had realized that she was no better than the cadets that had their military drill messed up by the presence of Kat or Beatrice up in their dorm room convincing herself that getting married right out of school would make her happy. Nancy just was fooling herself in other ways. Sitting on the bench watching the clouds Nancy tried to still her mind without much luck.

The field was empty, and it was a partly cloudy day. Other than the sound of traffic and distant blast of a train whistle it was quiet. Which was what she needed. Nancy was going to be the first person in her entire family to get a College Degree and she couldn’t help but see that as a widening gap between herself and them. Her father had spent his adult life first in the Army, then printing adverts and mailers when he’d returned to Seattle after the First World War. Her mother had stayed home while Nancy and Alan had been little but when Alan went to school she’d gotten a job working as a Cashier at the local market. It was a safe prediction that Alan’s life was on a similar trajectory as her Father’s. In a couple months Nancy would fly to Washington D.C. and that gap she sensed would just grow wider. She feared that one day she’d return to Seattle and her family would have become strangers that she had no idea how to talk to. It was an ironic thing to be happening to someone who had majored in International Communications.

Then a jet from the nearby Boeing factory streaked by overhead. Nancy remembered that Kat had always frowned whenever that happened. Like if it was a message she didn’t want to hear being yelled at her. Months later in Berlin, Nancy had been told that the presence of the jet planes over Seattle was something that Kat was required to report to her Government, even though she had been on vacation. Was that the sort thing that Nancy could look forward to? Gianna had complained in her last letter about how she felt that her life was no longer her own. Kat’s own time certainly didn’t seem to belong to her. That probably was why Kat didn’t seem to mind getting tossed out of the BND when that happened. In a few years would Nancy be like Kat? Getting fired from her job just so she could feel like she was back in control of her life? Nancy didn’t know.
 
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Nice to get the AR-318 POV. Also I like the way we're reminded of the scope of the German Empire with a Lithuanian pilot.
 
Very good and engaging run.
What would be very interesting, at least for me, would be a summary what is happening in Europe and the world. Even if it is sprinkeld over various POV points, like Truman and others, like that the unlamented German Emperor was only nominaly interested in Poland and such.
The thing that this is interesting is that we know little on how the wider European situation developed after the Soviet War.
 
It seems to me that Nancy has not made the connection that Gia is Jehane the last Romanov.
I thought that it is known to the world who Jehane is?
Nancy after her year in Berlin can not understand how someone like Beatrice would settle for marriage when there is a big world out there just waiting to be explored.

I wonder if there is escalating tension between the British and the Germans over what look likes how the Germans are making their own deals with the different factions in South Africa?

Kira has the right idea in dealing with Jehane and maybe Jehane will accept the fact that Gianna is no more.
I think that after a couple of months the intense interest in the discovery of who Jehane is will die down and she can get on with her life with minimal security.
 

FBKampfer

Banned
Jehanne can be Gia if she wants. We all are only the sum of our choices. The past might influence us, but there are always choices.

I think simple refusal to play along is something that Kira is not going to handle well. The reasons for pushing her to be Jehanne are political and personal, not reasons of necessity, and Kira's ends are only served by cooperation. The only alternatives are granting Gia the freedom she wants, or petty revenge against a one-time-friend.

Jehanne being the one that actually holds the power in this case, combined with growing irrelevance of monarchy the world over, means she's just as free as she has ever been. Freedom may bring inconvenience, but it is freedom none the less. And Gianna, the clever girl that she is, may very well recognize this.
 
Now we need either the Afrikaans, the ANC People or the British giving the Ar-318 a peculiar nickname in the lines of "Puff the Magic Dragon" like the Marines and soldiers nicknamed the converted Cargo Airplanes doing Gunship support in Vietnam....
 
Jehanne can be Gia if she wants. We all are only the sum of our choices. The past might influence us, but there are always choices.

I think simple refusal to play along is something that Kira is not going to handle well. The reasons for pushing her to be Jehanne are political and personal, not reasons of necessity, and Kira's ends are only served by cooperation. The only alternatives are granting Gia the freedom she wants, or petty revenge against a one-time-friend.

Jehanne being the one that actually holds the power in this case, combined with growing irrelevance of monarchy the world over, means she's just as free as she has ever been. Freedom may bring inconvenience, but it is freedom none the less. And Gianna, the clever girl that she is, may very well recognize this.

I think that she can be either Jehanne or she can be Gia but she can't keep tap dancing between the two. If she had embraced Gia and forgotten about Jehanne (or the reverse) then she wouldn't be in this situation and I think Kira would have accepted her choice but by fan dancing her identity and refusing to fully commit to one or the other has landed her in her current position.
 
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