Is it plausible to have Flemming blame the yanks for the whole Aussie balls up and actually be grateful that Kat only lob a tear gas grenade rather than a Frag!
 
Actually, even disgraced. I wouldn't be surprised if Joe Kennedy was behind the waiting party as revenge for what a female did to his son, favor or no favor.
 
Fleming's report to British Intelligence about Kat is going to be that Kat is an Amateur, a well-connected Amateur, a deadly well-connected Amateur, but an amateur none the less. Kat is going to have an extremely extensive debriefing by Abwehr about what went wrong and what went right. Kat is going to learn about the concept of compartmentalized information and the "Need to Know". Abwehr is going to highly suggest to Kat that she needs more training because while she might not work for Abwehr, in the future she will work with Abwehr.
 
Fleming's report to British Intelligence about Kat is going to be that Kat is an Amateur, a well-connected Amateur, a deadly well-connected Amateur, but an amateur none the less. Kat is going to have an extremely extensive debriefing by Abwehr about what went wrong and what went right. Kat is going to learn about the concept of compartmentalized information and the "Need to Know". Abwehr is going to highly suggest to Kat that she needs more training because while she might not work for Abwehr, in the future she will work with Abwehr.

And this time, I think Kat will recognize the necessity to complete her training. Given the circumstances, Flemming is, in a perverse way, looking out for her by showing her greenness without badly exposing or harming her.
 
Part 20, Chapter 217
Chapter Two Hundred Seventeen


19th January 1941

Dublin, Ireland

Jack still walked with a limp but his leg was improving albeit at a frustrating pace. After he had gotten the boot for his role in the Australian mess he’d had a couple different choices and they were both bad. Stay in Boston and live under a bridge or go on to Dublin and improve himself with a graduate degree at Trinity College, while firmly under his father’s thumb. He also had his own version of the Sword of Damocles in the form of the Germans. They could come knocking at any second and it was Jack’s father who owed them. Jack had spent the last couple of months spending every night, and his father’s money to drown his sorrows in Dublin’s bar scene.

Sitting in the bar Jack gave his silent toast to General Holz and his little pet monster, may the two of them burn forever in Hell.

“It’s almost Shakespearian to see you laid low by a woman” A man in a grey suit said to him as he placed a newspaper on the bar “Considering some of the things your father is rumored to have done, many would call it justice.”

“Only an Englishman would consider having someone else paying for the crime justice” Jack said.

“Touché” The Englishman said, “Mister Donovan thought it was a bit tragedy that you got thrown away for something that wasn’t exactly your fault.”

“You talked to Bill Donovan?” Jack asked.

“No reason why I wouldn’t, talking to each other prevents a lot of shooting later.”

“Who the Hell are you?” Jack asked.

“You know better than to ask that question” The Englishman said, “You should learn to ask the right questions before you get yourself killed one day.”

“Then what’s the right question?” Jack asked.

“Like why our Continental friends were so keen on hushing up your mistakes” The Englishman said, “Or just who you attempted to kidnap.”

“That girl who was supposed to be an Abwehr agent” Jack said.

“I thought so too, at first” The Englishman said with chuckle “And when she threw a teargas grenade into my car it seemed to confirm it.”

Jack looked at the Englishman quizzically. “You know who she really is?”

“Now, yes” The Englishman said, “Let’s just say that there are more players in this game than you can imagine and none of them are monolithic, especially the Germans. We both had one put over on us by the favored catspaw of the German Empress.”

“You’re fine with her lobbing a grenade into your car?”

“I was careless and underestimated her, she paid me back for that” The Englishman said with a shrug, “She’s actually a very private person who doesn’t like to be watched.”

Jack couldn’t believe this, the Englishman was treating this like a game, with rules and formal players.

“What does that have to do with me?” Jack asked.

“Mister Donovan thought that you might be useful” The Englishman said, “Provided you aren’t being led around by an incompetent.”

“There is no way an American of Irish extraction would ever be useful for someone like you” Jack said.

“Normally” The Englishman said, “But these are not normal times.”

The Englishman was tapping the front page of the Newspaper, it was the lurid story out of Western Canada that had been dominating news over the last couple of days.

“Someone in my organization spilled the beans” The Englishman said, “And because it could be anyone there, an American of Irish extraction as you put it could just the sort to help put that someone’s head on a plate.”

So, this was only game until someone got killed, then it was lethal payback.

“If you need an outsider, why me?” Jack asked.

“Because you’re here, perfectly expendable” The Englishman said, “And the other outsiders are already playing their roles.”


20th January 1941

Berlin

Kat still hated the atmosphere of hospitals, particularly this one seeing to how it was the one she’d landed in a couple of times. She stood there studying the X-ray, the three metal pins intermingled with white of new bone. The bullet had shattered the scapula, the hole was still visible.

“I imposed this mess on you” Kat said to Marcella “I’m sorry.”

“A mess was finding myself unexpectedly with two children under three” Marcella said, “A polite girl who needs a place to go is not a hardship, you and your brother should pay attention.”

The Doctor was putting a fresh bandage around Jehane’s chest. Kat had seen the raw, angry looking scars on her back and side and the steel pins were sticking out of the skin of her back. Those would have to wait another few weeks before they could be removed. The sutures had been removed today.

“You look like you are healing nicely, Gianna” The Doctor said.

That got a bit of a smile from Jehane, the day after she’d arrived an envelope containing all the paperwork regarding the identity of Gianna Sandra Strobel had arrived. That effectively made her a made her a part of Kat’s family. All the real paperwork that had come back from Canada had been entrusted with the Empress. Of the few people who knew that Jehane was still alive, only Kat and Kira knew where she was.

The new name had become a game of sorts. Kat and Jehane had practiced selling the identity. Her mother had a Franco-Italian background, her father was a relative of Kat’s mother and Aunt Marcella. She was also to say she was from Alsace if anyone asked which was to explain her inability as yet to speak German, mostly spoke in French to Kat and would doubtlessly have a strange accent in the years to come. Kat had encouraged her to act shy to avoid too many questions.

Once they had helped Jehane get dressed and left the hospital Kat parted company with Jehane and Marcella. She headed towards central Berlin, for the first half the day she’d been getting death stares from her professors. They hadn’t appreciated how she’d taken the prior week off and they’d been forced to sit on their hands. She was so engrossed with her thoughts regarding the afternoon’s classes that it had taken her two blocks to realize she was being followed. She ambushed her pursuer a block further along, a nondescript man she’d never seen before.

“Herr Schultz said you need to come in, not this minute but in the next day or so” The man said nervous about the razor-sharp blade at his throat “He also said to tell you that Kira, whoever that is, is backing him on this.”

That had probably just ruined this entire week. Schultz could only want one thing and with the Empress backing him Kat couldn’t exactly say no this time. She’d rather face a thousand lecturers angry with her than listen to all the ways that the recent mission into Canada had been a sloppy clusterfuck and go over her mistakes in exhaustive detail.
 
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“Someone in my organization spilled the beans” The Englishman said, “And because it could be anyone there, an American of Irish extraction as you put it could just the sort to help put that someone’s head on a plate.”

I think that the "Cambridge Five" will have a much shorter career track than in our TL. British Intelligence is has been kicked into the shins and is looking to clean house before the "open war" with Russia starts.
 
And this time, I think Kat will recognize the necessity to complete her training. Given the circumstances, Flemming is, in a perverse way, looking out for her by showing her greenness without badly exposing or harming her.
Schultz and Co. wouldn't have been any better. They are a wetwork team, and that is the way they trained Kat. Ian Fleming and his m8s in the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, for example have completely different specializations. For example, you send one of them to seduce a (female) target, and they will have her wrapped around their finger and rogered silly in no time. Sending one of Schultz's merry band of psychopaths (including Kat) in such a mission is hoping the target falls in love with one of them despite themselves being, well, themselves. If you want someone dead though, no matter if he's a politician in his mansion or a general in the middle of his army, you talk to Schultz.
Kat and the Fallschrimjagers were sent to get the objective alive, even if they met resistance. If they wanted discrete, they would have sent a few people with more experience on that side of things.
 
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Another nice piece here, with the consequences of actions falling into place nicely. The team sent was not the right one if discretion and sneakiness were needed.
Little detail: Jack, being catholic, would need a special dispensation from someone in the church to go to Trinity; that restriction wasn't lifted in OTL until 1970.
 
Part 20, Chapter 218
Chapter Two Hundred Eighteen


20th January 1941

Berlin

Kat came home later than expected and didn’t say anything, just went up to her room and slammed the door.

“Something must have gone wrong this afternoon” Marcella said to Jehane “Kat’s having one of her moods, so you’d best avoid her.”

Klaus said something that Jehane couldn’t understand and Marcella responded with a sharp rebuke.

“He ought to know better than to poke fun at Kat” Marcella said.

Jehane liked these two people who had welcomed her into their house. She’d learned that Klaus was a tradesman of some kind and Marcella worked at the same company as a bookkeeper.

The parlor was filled with photographs; A much younger Klaus and Marcella on their wedding day. Kat at all stages of childhood from a cross looking infant to the most recent, a snapshot of her wading through the surf on a beach somewhere. Jehane needed to ask Kat about that, she’d never been to the beach. Seeing the ocean from the window of an airplane was as close as she’d ever gotten. There were also photographs of a boy, Jehane presumed that they were of Kat’s brother Hans. Some of the more resent photographs suggested that Hans was a soldier of some kind.

Jehane put down the book she’d been puzzling through and went up the stairs. She knocked on Kat’s door and got no answer. Eventually she opened the door with a bit of difficulty. She just couldn’t get used to using her left hand to do things and was getting impatient. The Doctor had said that she’d have to keep her arm in the sling for the next three weeks, an eternity.

She saw from the light of the hallway that Kat was laying on her bed. “You alright?” Jehane asked as she sat down on Kat’s bed.

“I’ll be fine” Kat said, “Just had a bad day is all.”

“What happened?”

“I had to go over at length everything I did when I came for you in Canada” Kat said, “Not everyone was happy with all I did, the phrase bull in a china shop got used a lot.”

“But I was there” Jehane said “You were incredible, strong and brave.”

It was obvious to Kat that Jehane had a serious case of hero worship going on when it came to her. She just hoped that Jehane would get over it before she learned the hard way that Kat was not only far from perfect, she was as deeply flawed as they came.

“Yes, but it got pointed out that one day I’m going to get myself into a sticky situation and no one’s going to want to start a war to get me out of it.” Kat said, “It was suggested that I spend next summer working at Auswärtiges Amt to learn some subtlety. Office work, slow and painful and only makes you wish you were dead.”

Kat saw that Jehane was smiling. “You sound just like Aunt Olga when she was complaining about how she couldn’t attend balls in Saint Petersburg like she used to” She said, then she remembered what had happened to Aunt Olga and the smile vanished. Kat felt a stab of guilt, here she was complaining about working a boring job over the summer to Jehane who had her whole life upended just weeks earlier. Kat knew very well she’d be a sobbing wreck if only half of that happened to her. Kat heard Jehane sniff in the dark. Doctor Holz had warned her that this would happen. Once Jehane was in a safe space and the physical demands of her injuries passed then the grief for her family would come out.

“You miss them, don’t you?” Kat asked as she sat up and hugged Jehane close.

A few minutes later Aunt Marcella poked her head in and saw what was happening. Kat noticed a slight smile on Marcella’s face as she backed out. One more person who thought that this was good for Kat.


Wunsdorf-Zossen

Kurt had been reassigned to the staff of General Guderian and firmly under the watchful eye Oberstlieutenant Wruck. His attempts to get transferred to a Panzer Brigade had been rebuffed and Wruck had promised that if he tried anything tricky he would himself as the liaison officer at a weather station somewhere well north of the arctic circle. Kurt knew that he should be thankful for this, but he just wanted to get back into the cupola of a tiger where he belonged. Strangely it was the esoteric and seemingly obsolete things that General von Wolvogle had insisted that he learn that had served him well since he had arrived. Just last week a Generalmajor had decided the he wanted to survey the area that troops would be doing winter maneuvers in. Kurt had accompanied him on horseback. He’d been pleased that Kurt was one of the few junior Officers willing to get out of a heated automobile and out into the countryside where things really happened. Kurt knew better than to say that if he’d known that the car was an option then it would have been his first choice.

After that Kurt had found himself in high demand and realized he was still learning. The Generals frequently pointed how small differences in the landscape could advance or hinder either offensive or defensive actions. One story that went around was how on the first day of the abortive Somme offensive a small gully had turned into a death trap for British soldiers attacking that section of the German lines. Another was how a steep hillside in the Verdun campaign caused the bulk of the shots to go over the heads of attacking forces. Kurt realized that they were talking about Souville hill. He’d seen that movie, some of these older officers had really been there. Now if he could just figure out how to be present for these conversations without freezing on the back of a horse.
 
Jack, you know this a test. British Intelligence already knows where the story came from, can you figure it out? In what newspaper was the story first published? Who is the head of that newspaper? Who is his star reporter? Who is the star reporter married to? Who was their guest a few months ago? What order is this guest a member of? Who is the head of this order? What family is she a member of?
 
Jack, you know this a test. British Intelligence already knows where the story came from, can you figure it out? In what newspaper was the story first published? Who is the head of that newspaper? Who is his star reporter? Who is the star reporter married to? Who was their guest a few months ago? What order is this guest a member of? Who is the head of this order? What family is she a member of?

Oh, that's an angle I didn't see. I thought Flemming was talking about the leak to the Russians about where the Russian royals were living, not about the story leak. I'm curious now which it will be.

Also, the fact Flemming talked to Donovan suggests that the marines weren't necessarily Donovan's idea. Hopefully Kat or her family don't get a mafia visit from a vengeful daddy in the same way Jacob did from Sauvegot.
 
Peabody-Martini has written a great story that allows us to have different views of the same facts. I thought that Flemming was talking about the newspaper article, but he could have been talking about where the Romanovs were stashed. But my question is why where the Romanovs targeted now when they were fading away quietly? I still think the main target is Empress Kira and her sons
 
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Peabody-Martini has written a great story that allows us to have different views of the same facts. I thought that Flemming was talking about the newspaper article, but he could have been talking about where the Romanovs were stashed. But my question is why where the Romanovs targeted now when they were fading away quietly? I still think the main target is Empress Kira and her sons

Any surviving legitimate heir to any throne is always a worry for an usurper, especially when the family was driven out by force. It becomes even more worrisome if the new regime is not popular with other nations, subjects of its own realm, or both.
 
I think that the "Cambridge Five" will have a much shorter career track than in our TL. British Intelligence is has been kicked into the shins and is looking to clean house before the "open war" with Russia starts.

I dunno, MI5 as I recall kinda didn't look hard at Philby, let alone anyone who was from the right family...
 
I think a key difference here is that one butterfly is the rescue of the royal family that was not attempted in OTL. In this case, His Majesty's government has failed to protect those who've sought asylum with it.

In a way, it's a worse betrayal than even the Tube Alloys ones or the Aldrich Ames/Robert Hanssen type because those relate to powerful military weapons or spies operating on enemy territory This betrayal relates to the territorial integrity of the British Empire to protect its citizens from foreign attack. It's a direct act of war and a betrayal on a Quisling scale.
 
I dunno, MI5 as I recall kinda didn't look hard at Philby, let alone anyone who was from the right family...

You a right, but only one of the "right people", could be the leak. And when the King has turned his gimlet eye on your organisation, you'll will try very hard to find somebody to take the blame.
 
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