Having him kept locked up instead of quietly disposing of him was quite stupid. It's not as if he's of any value by now, just a liability. Any high-level connections he once had are long gone now, and any knowledge of intel operations is now almost 20 years old and only of historical value. They should have expected the escape... for god's sake, he's French, so he knows his Count of Monte Christo.
 
Having him kept locked up instead of quietly disposing of him was quite stupid. It's not as if he's of any value by now, just a liability. Any high-level connections he once had are long gone now, and any knowledge of intel operations is now almost 20 years old and only of historical value. They should have expected the escape... for god's sake, he's French, so he knows his Count of Monte Christo.
Well, you make a TL were Germany is not led by psycopaths, then this is the kind of problems you end up with instead.
 
Psycopaths has nothing to do with it. There is probably no intelligence agency in the world that hasn't quietly vanished some people a few times. That's part of their job.
 
Psycopaths has nothing to do with it. There is probably no intelligence agency in the world that hasn't quietly vanished some people a few times. That's part of their job.
I guess the current OTL example is Guantanamo. Terrible mess for years to come, but they keep them locked up. people may vanish or get a drone visit if this can be done with an operational argument, but its much tougher to go through with when you have captured the enemy.
 
Part 17, Chapter 174
Chapter One Hundred Seventy-Four


2nd February 1939

Berlin

As Kat made her way up the stairs from the S-Bahn she thought about the party she had been invited to that evening. It was for the curious American holiday, Groundhog Day. She saw that it was one of those rare clear winter days with a blue sky that seemed to be made from crystal. Six more weeks of winter, Kat thought to herself with a smile.

“They’re debating Tsingtao in the Reichstag this afternoon” Maria said to Kat when she walked into the offices of the BT, “Want to come?”

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Schultz had suspected that the photographs in the shack had been a plant by Sauvageot but when he had reported on it the OKW had immediately began to cover their collective asses. They had been ordered to search the Hohenzollern Palace room by room, with the few explosive experts they had on hand, which had taken all night and was looking like it would consume most of the day. Couldn’t an Emperor live like an ordinary human being? And where was the help that the OKW had promised? If Schultz had to guess they were conducting a similar search in Wunsdorf, that’s where the extra help was.

The worst aspect was that the Wilhelm wasn’t even present. The Emperor had gone watch maneuvers of the 1st Foot Guard Regiment in Potsdam. That Regiment might only serve a mostly ceremonial function but that meant that the Emperor was surrounded by twelve hundred elite infantry personally loyal Wilhelm III himself. That was more than one French madman could ever hope to overcome. Schultz was perfectly aware of the fact that their rifles were exactly the same as those issued to frontline units.

Now Schultz had new headache, word had gotten out. The vultures from the press were circling and the Reichstag was in session so he was getting semi-threatening notes from politicians demanding to know what was going on. He looked over and was disgusted to see that Weise and Schaffer were just standing around doing nothing.

“You two go to the Reichstag and tell them that we are searching for an insane Frog with enough explosives to blow something into next week” Schultz figured that the two of them would enjoy doing that.

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Kat was taking notes about the debate that she was watching unfold. For her Japan and China might as well be on the moon. Tsingtao, a small German enclave in China that was used to facilitate business between the two nations. Especially important because China was a German ally. There were memories of Tsingtao being besieged in the Great War and the German Government wanted to avoid having something like that happen again if possible and a new Sino-Japanese war had broken out.

“Kat, there’s a situation across town that I need to cover” Maria whispered into Kat’s ear “Are you okay to stay here and take notes on this?”

“Yes” Kat said, overjoyed. Maria trusted her to take care of this “Thank you.”

“Not me, it’s Herr Lang you need to thank” Maria said. It had been her introduction to the politician earlier that day, Maria had been angling to get an official interview with. Kat got the impression that Maria already knew the man but was using introducing Kat as an excuse to get close. The result was that Kat and Maria had been able to push a couple of more established reporters out of the Press Gallery at Lang’s say so.

“I’ll do that” Kat said.

Maria smiled and was gone. Kat continued to take her notes.

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Sauvageot had spent all night in the basement of one of the monstrous piles of stone that the Germans liked to use for public buildings. He had it set up, all that remained was setting the timers and getting clear. He had piled the explosives against the back wall of the building in a disused room he’d found. As he set the timers he considered how this was revenge for all the years he’d lost, all the damage that the Boche had done to France and never payed the price for. When he entered Berlin the evening before he had seen to obvious prosperity of the city, something that he felt was an abomination. These people and this nation should lay in ruins.

By now even an oaf like Schultz would have figured out Sauvageot’s misdirection but Sauvageot didn’t care. A few more minutes and Sauvageot would be gone forever followed shortly after by a good portion of this building. He was whistling La Marseillaise as he walked up the stairs this drew a few confused stares once he entered the more populated ground floor. Well, who cares what they think, Sauvageot thought to himself. His goal was to decapitate the arrogant Boche that was what he was going to do as he looked across the Reichstag as it was in session. See you in Hell, he thought to himself.

That was when a girl in the press gallery caught his eye. She was intent on the debate that was taking place on the floor. She couldn’t be more than sixteen or seventeen though her delicate features made it difficult to judge her age. Her red hair made her stand out in these drab surroundings. Too bad she wasn’t going to get any older, Sauvageot thought to himself. Of course, he was saving her from the fate of becoming the mother of the next generation of the monstrous Boche.

Then she looked up and the unexpected happened, a flash of recognition.

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Kat had been trained not to ever ignore it when she had the feeling that something was off. She felt like someone was watching her and when she looked up she saw a man, grey hair and a beard. Something was off about how he was standing there, then it hit her, that was César Sauvageot. Kat dropped her forgotten notes had ran for the hallway and ran right into Schaffer and Weise.

“Sauvageot is here!” Kat yelled at them.

“You sure about that?” Schaffer asked.

“I just saw him” Kat said.

“Shit” Weise muttered “They had us searching the wrong building.”

“Doesn’t matter now” Schaffer said, “I’ll get the frog, you get the bomb.”

“Bomb?” Kat asked, clearly alarmed.

“Let Weise deal with that” Schaffer said as he led Kat down the hall at a brisk pace “You have any weapons on you?”

Schaffer was perfectly aware of the absurdity of the situation. Facing a dangerous French agent with only a teenaged girl as backup.

“No” Kat said, “I came from school and to the Reichstag, it wouldn’t be appropriate.”

“Bit late for that” Schaffer said as he pulled a pistol out from under his coat and handed it to her “My back up and just like the one we gave you last year.”

Kat shoved the pistol into the pocket of her coat before anyone saw it. “But I quit” Kat said.

“You heard Schultz a few months back” Schaffer said, “You don’t get to just walk away. Now you get to do what you were trained to do.”

Actually, in her training she had been told repeatedly that she was to avoid this sort of situation except in the direst need.

They caught sight of Sauvageot just as he was leaving the building. As they neared the door Schaffer said to Kat “I need you to hang back.” Kat just nodded, her face pale, nervously biting her lip. Schaffer only made it to the stairs before the bullet hit him.

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When Sauvageot realized that the girl had recognized him he headed for the nearest exit. No sooner than he caught sight of the door then he realized he was being followed. He caught sight of Fritz Schaffer behind him in a reflection. Years ago, an instructor of his had told him that whenever a crisis seemed to be offing look for the opportunity. Schaffer was someone who he had wanted to have a little word with anyway. When Schaffer charged out the door, Sauvageot shot him. It was the sort of shot meant to wound rather than kill but he wanted to say something to the German before he killed him. Sauvageot walked up to Schaffer as he was sprawled on the Reichstag steps.

“Not so funny, now is it?” Sauvageot snarled “You and your friends joked about throwing me from an airplane for hours when I was helpless. This time I’ve already won and it’s too…”

Sauvageot caught movement out of the corner of his eye and saw the girl from the gallery appear at the top of the stairs. Raising a pistol and she emptied the magazine into him. People might joke about how a 7.65 mm pistol was just a popgun but when all eight bullets hit Sauvageot fired from just a couple of meters away it didn’t matter. It wasn’t supposed to work out this way, Sauvageot thought as he faded out.

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Weise had searched the basement with how he would have done it in mind and he found Sauvageot’s handy work fairly quickly. He felt his mouth go dry when he had opened the door. How had the Frenchman managed to smuggle this into the building? He pushed all other thoughts out of his head and began his work.

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Kat had found herself grabbed by the police in their delayed response of the shooting as she was trying to help Schaffer who had a gunshot wound in his right shoulder. Schaffer had lost consciousness which left Kat with a serious problem. They took the pistol from her even though all she could have done with it was throw it at them. It was not until Augustus Lang came out of the building that the police finally listened to Kat about the bomb and realized that the Reichstag needed to be evacuated.

“Here, so you can wipe your hands off” Lang handed her a handkerchief, Kat realized that her hands were covered in Schaffer’s blood. Medics had come for Schaffer and were taking him to the nearest hospital. She was seated on the same bench near the victory column where she had talked to Maria months earlier.

“It will stain” Kat said, she couldn’t get her hands to stop shaking.

“I don’t care” Lang said.

Kat tried to get the tacky blood off her hands but it wasn’t working. She gave up and just stared at the ground.

“I wasn’t much older than you are in Verdun” Lang said with a smile “You will be alright, I swear.”

“You swear” Kat said, she just did not feel that was possible.

“Yes” Lang said.

Almost.
 
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Still in the middle of a major metropolitan area.

At least he doesn't have ANFO, otherwise he could cook up some really nasty explosives....

Seing as our friend has gotten his hand on a anti-shipping special combining a mix of RDX, aluminium powder and TNT i think he has more than enough oooomphhh to get the job done.
 
Seing as our friend has gotten his hand on a anti-shipping special combining a mix of RDX, aluminium powder and TNT i think he has more than enough oooomphhh to get the job done.
Yeah, but had he gotten some ANFO, well, he could've had Minol.
 
I somehow knew that Kat would get in the middle of things; Kats do that. Well written, and it all hangs together nicely.
Once she gets over killing the Frenchman, it could sink in that she saved a lot of lives with her actions, and could only do so because of her training. Without her being there, there would have been a big KABOOM in a full building; he had a LOT of explodium under there. Did he leave any other presents elsewhere with longer delays?

Now there might be a big Kaboom in an empty building...
 
I somehow knew that Kat would get in the middle of things; Kats do that. Well written, and it all hangs together nicely.
Once she gets over killing the Frenchman, it could sink in that she saved a lot of lives with her actions, and could only do so because of her training. Without her being there, there would have been a big KABOOM in a full building; he had a LOT of explodium under there. Did he leave any other presents elsewhere with longer delays?

Now there might be a big Kaboom in an empty building...


Spreading the love around the entire city is certainly what I would do in his shoes. 100 pounds here...100 pounds there...saving a ton perhaps for the Reichstag. I suspect that this is the end for poor Weisse.

Even if no foreign government is blamed, some might decide that the chaos makes it a good time to attack...
 
Spreading the love around the entire city is certainly what I would do in his shoes. 100 pounds here...100 pounds there...saving a ton perhaps for the Reichstag. I suspect that this is the end for poor Weisse.
Plus, why the Reichstag? If they're anything like Congress, it'd be welcomed in Germany.
 
Plus, why the Reichstag? If they're anything like Congress, it'd be welcomed in Germany.

If Congress collapsed, that would be one thing, but if it was BLOWN UP, then a lot of Americans would be out for blood.

Spreading the Kaboomite everywhere has its advantages, but also has the risk of one being stumbled over, and that's not a good thing for the bomber.
 
If Congress collapsed, that would be one thing, but if it was BLOWN UP, then a lot of Americans would be out for blood.

Spreading the Kaboomite everywhere has its advantages, but also has the risk of one being stumbled over, and that's not a good thing for the bomber.

True on both counts. The main advantage to spreading the explodium set to go off at say, noon all over the city would cause confusion and panic everywhere. It would also fit with the state of his mind, wanting Berlin to be a smoking ruin.

Blow up almost any nation's capital building, and there will be cries for blood. Sauvegot won't accomplish what he wanted, in beheading the government, but there will be anger. And no one to direct it at. I mean, an insane Frenchman managed to do all that he did? Assuming only the Reichstag goes. That's the meat of conspiracy theorists.

I don't know how effective it would be ITTL Germany, but imagine in the UK, Parliament and the Prime Minister blown up. I don't know what would happen in the chain of command then.
 
300px-Reichstag_und_Siegessäule_um_1900.jpg
ITTL the Victory Column was never moved so it sits one roman mile from the front of the Reichstag, as seen in picture. Kat Mischner and Augustus Lang are talking to each other near the base.
 
Part 17, Chapter 175
Chapter One Hundred Seventy-Five


2nd February 1939

Berlin

Weise was focused on the bomb, nearly two thousand kilos of Trialen, made to sink ships at sea, even with a miss. It was not the sort of thing that any sane man wanted to be anywhere near. Weise pushed that from his mind and focused on the task at hand.

Bombs, even ones on this scale were simple machines. The timer winds down hits zero and completes the circuit which sends electricity from the battery to the detonators. The problem that Weise had was that the timer Sauvageot had stolen was made for the German Military for use in war zones. Bad things happened if anyone tried to mess with those after they were set, by design.

If he cut the wires from the battery then a capacitor in the timer would still have enough juice to set the bomb off. Trying to cut the detonators off from the timer would have the same effect when a power surge hit the remaining detonators. Opening the case that held the timer resulted in it automatically resetting to zero. The means of opening the case without setting off the bomb involved sticking a wire through a hole drilled in the steel, that hit a catch that made it possible to open the case without zeroing the clock.

Weise paused to take a deep breath, he had drilled into the case and was now getting ready to insert the wire. He pressed it in until he heard the click and opened the case. He let out the breath that he hadn’t realized that he’d been holding. He was still here. He stopped the clock. He had one more thing to check because he doubted that Sauvageot had left anything to chance. To the side between the pile of explosives and the wall was a second timer. Weise cursed and started the process anew.

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Debate in the Reichstag had been stopped and the evacuation was proceeding. Out on the opposite side of Königsplatz Augustus Lang was trying to comfort Kat. Weise was cussing and frantically working at the second timer’s case when the clock inside reached zero…

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Almost. Almost was a word that would haunt Kat for the months and years that followed. They almost foiled Sauvageot’s plans. They almost evacuated the Reichstag in time. They almost prevented the calamities that followed. Almost. In the end, almost but just not enough.

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Kat was seated there with Augustus Lang talking to her clutching his bloodstained handkerchief in her hands. Steeling herself she looked up at Lang to at least thank him for his kindness. That was why she was looking over his shoulder when she saw it. The ground moved sickeningly under her and things seemed to move in slow motion, later she couldn’t remember hearing anything. She was told that it was because her senses where so overwhelmed that they couldn’t process what they were receiving.

She saw the dome of the Reichstag wreathed by fire as the explosion raced from the basement, the shockwave shattering the glass and powdered aluminum in the Trialen igniting. The concussion was massive, pieces of the back wall were found littering the streets on the other side of the River Spree kilometers away. Kat and Lang were sent sprawling and a wave of heat swept over them…

Kat didn’t know how long it had been when she came back to her senses. Her ears were ringing badly and she was having trouble breathing. The snow that had covered Königsplatz was gone, melted and the air was filled with smoke and dust. The dome atop the Reichstag was gone, the rest of the building was engulfed in fire. Kat brought herself unsteadily to her feet and just stared numbly. Later she would learn that having the bulk of the building between her and the bomb had saved her life but it had been a near run. A man wearing the uniform of a Police Officer came along and was talking to her but she couldn’t hear him.

“Fraulein, are you hurt?” The Policeman asked and watched as Kat looked at them with a look incomprehension on her face.

“Stop it” His partner said, “See that blood coming out of her ears, she can’t hear you.”

They found Lang who was still unconscious a minute later.

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Maria had gone across town to cover the rumored bomb that had supposedly been planted in the Hohenzollern Palace and found that there wasn’t a whole lot to report. The Emperor was out of the capital and the military was sweeping the Palace. Nothing to here, move along. A song and dance that Maria had heard a thousand times or more. On the way back to the Reichstag Maria started hearing the rumors that were spreading like wildfire. There had been a shootout on the steps of the Reichstag and a girl with red hair had somehow been involved. That caused Maria to try to go faster but the streets were filled with throngs of people who had just gotten off work and were headed home. She had left Kat there at the Reichstag and felt some responsibility if anything had happened to her.

Then the ground shook and windows rattled, in the distance Maria saw a column of flame and smoke rise over the city. What followed was anarchy. Crowds of people running away from the explosion others running towards it, some to help, some to satisfy a voyeuristic need. What should have taken minutes was taking hours. Maria just wanted to find Kat.

Finally, she came around a corner and saw a scene that might as well have been in Spain. Streets she had walked down her whole life rendered alien. Fallen masonry and shattered glass was everywhere. She heard the sound of an engine and saw boxy shape of a military APC roll down the street. The military had wasted no time getting into the city.

Maria stopped one of the soldiers “I need your help” She said to him.

“A lot of people need our help, ma’am” He said, “You’re not any different.”

“Please, I left a friend in the Reichstag” Maria said.

“That means that your friend is probably gone” The Soldier said, “I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you.”

Maria heard that and it took everything out of her. Had she just gotten Kat killed?

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Hans looked around at the trees in the Tiergarten, branches had been snapped off the trees and the ground was littered with debris. The 4th Division had been put on high alert and told to prepare for movement that morning. Then this afternoon the call had come in. There had been an explosion in Central Berlin, they were to enter the city, assist local Police in restoring order and to conduct search and rescue as needed. It had been noticeable that the APCs had been loaded with medical supplies rather than ammunition, showed exactly what was going to greet them when they got to the city. By the time they got to the Reichstag the firefighters had gotten the upper hand on the fire but everyone could see that the building had been gutted.

There in the Königsplatz a large number of survivors were sitting in shock, seemingly oblivious of the cold evening. Triage had been set up along with a number of tents. People were still coming in from the surrounding buildings. Lots of injuries from flying glass, falling debris and the blast itself.

“Shit, is that your sister?” Jost said.

There at the base of the victory column Kat was sitting wrapped in a blanket staring off into space, big chunks had been blown from the column. Hans ran over to her, he had talked to Aunt Marcella just a few days earlier about how she happy that Kat was finally finding herself, now this. When Hans got close he saw that Kat a yellow tag pinned to her, least concern but still in need of care. Kat wasn’t talking but she clung to Hans like if she were drowning.

Hans stopped a passing medic “Is there anything that can be done for her?” He asked.

“I checked her earlier” The Medic said “She’s got ruptured eardrums and possibly other blast injuries. She's not in danger of dying, she can wait.”

Hans considered protesting this but knew better, this was one of those situations where it was no longer about individuals. He hated it though.
 
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WOW!! An earth shattering KABOOM! in accordance with the prophesy from the gypsy. Kat, Hans, and so many others directly affected. Will the tryt come out about what happened? Kat deserves a medal for first picking up the threat, then acting. A fine troubleshooter--she found the trouble and shot it. I like the way you deal with both the big bang and the human feelings. Kat may be due for some survivor's guilt, especially over Weise, but also over everyone else.

Heads may roll over this; it'll be interesting to see the repercussions.
 
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