Part 20, Chapter 219
Chapter Two Hundred Nineteen


15th February 1941

London, England

For the last three weeks Jack had been doing the leg work while Fleming kept the list of names telling him as little as possible. He’d found the whole process incredibly frustrating. Finally, Jack walked in on Fleming with a drink in his hand smoking a cigarette and staring at the wall.

“We’re at an impasse” Fleming said, “Everyone who was judged as being compromised was on that list, all we’ve discovered is blackmail, alcoholism, a bit of moral depravity, a few girls on the side but nothing that rises to the level of selling secrets to the Russians.”

“We’re just going to give up?” Jack asked.

“Hardly” Fleming said, “But this bastard is smart, otherwise we would have caught him by now.”

Jack looked at the photograph that Fleming had, it was old style black & white of people wearing archaic looking clothes.

“This is them?” Jack asked, “The ones who fled to Canada?”

“In happier times” Fleming said “Most of them were dead even before the killings. The Czar and his wife died of natural causes, the Crown Prince died of the health problems that plagued him since birth, two of the Princesses were gone due to misadventure.”

“So, who died on New Year’s Day?”

Olga, Tatianna, Tatianna’s husband, a half dozen guards, a housemaid, a tutor…” Fleming said.

“A tutor?” Jack asked cutting Fleming off, “There were children there?”

“Just the one, Tatianna’s young daughter” Fleming said, “The investigation revealed that Tatianna attempted to buy time for the girl to escape at the cost of her own life.”

“What happened to the girl?”

“She was found shot in the back in the snow just down the road from a nearby town” Fleming said, “It was all in the papers.”

Fleming saw Jack’s expression darken. The man might have a very selective version of morality but it was a part of the fiber of his being that what had happened was beyond the pale. Jack didn’t need to know that the girl was still alive and Fleming intended to use Jack’s anger to fuel this investigation.

“Back from the top” Jack said, “We need to shake this tree until something falls out.”

Fleming maintained his poker face but that had worked out exactly as he had intended.


Berlin

Kat and Marcella did their best to keep Jehane distracted while the Surgeon removed the pins from her back with a pair of pliers. Judging by the pained expression on her face that it must be painful in spite of the drugs she’d been given.

“There that’s the last one” The Surgeon said. Kat couldn’t help but notice that he was holding a piece of gauze with blood that had soaked into it. “You’re a very brave little girl and I hope we don’t see you again anytime soon.” It was obvious that Jehane was not happy about being called a little girl.

While Jehane was left recovering the Surgeon took Kat and Marcella aside “I know that you were recommended to me because I’m discrete” He said, “But I must know because of the nature of that wound if this girl is in any sort of danger?”

Kat should have realized that this would come up and have an answer for it. Fortunately, Marcella saved her from having to lie by telling a version of the truth.

“We are trying to keep her safe after what happened to her family” Marcella said “It’s really a tragic story and we would prefer it didn’t become common knowledge. Gianna’s already had a lifetime’s grief so let’s not add to it.”

That seemed to satisfy the Surgeon who went back to check on Jehane.

“How did you know?” Kat whispered to Marcella.

“Give me a little credit” Marcella said “You’ve been walking in interesting circles the last few years and I figured that you took the girl as a favor to your patroness. Convincing the world that she was dead was a smart move on your part.”

“Are you worried that I put you in danger?” Kat asked.

“Hardly” Marcella said, “Our people control the neighborhood and you’ve seen to it that Gianna is one of us.”

“Thank you” Kat said.

“Actually, with Hans gone and it only being a matter of time before you leave I was worried about how quiet the house is getting” Marcella said, “This holds that reckoning off for a few more years.”

“Where do you think I’m going?” Kat asked.

“It’s not what I think, it’s what I know” Marcella said, “I expect that you’re going meet someone and want to start a life with them eventually.”

“That is not my plan.”

“We plan and God laughs” Marcella said, “Beyond University what are your plans?”

“This spring and summer I’m supposed to apply for a job at the Foreign Service or else” Kat said, “Beyond that, I don’t know but I think me falling in love is beyond unlikely.”

“You think that but love has nothing to do with thinking” Marcella said.

Kat was trying to consider how to answer that without the answer dripping with sarcasm when the Surgeon came back.

“She should be good to go now” He said, “If she has numbness or tingling in her arm please bring her in and try to get her to use the sling until you’re sure her shoulder blade is completely healed.” Judging by the way he said that he understood that it was easier said than done.

“Thank you, Doctor” Marcella said.

“Just make sure I never see Gianna again and that will be thanks enough” The Surgeon said.
 
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Love at first sight huh!...

With the way the last few chapters have been I am wondering if you want Jack Kennedy to get his ass beaten again by Kat, only for her to fall in love with him.
 
If it's JFK, she deserves so much better than that. Fleming, though, maybe he's not the philandering type TTL. My money's still on Kurt, though I did detect some playful banter in the scene with Kat and Ian.
 
Also, I have an idea for Helene to follow in her father's footsteps: Leader of the Nachthexen night fighter squadrons tasked with destroying Soviet or French bombers attacking Germany.
 
If it's JFK, she deserves so much better than that. Fleming, though, maybe he's not the philandering type TTL. My money's still on Kurt, though I did detect some playful banter in the scene with Kat and Ian.
Got to point out that JFK didn't ate a serious helping of Humility and crow until WWII during the OTL.

Here he is BEFORE becoming a playboy, And unlike OTL, he already has gotten a SERIOUS blow to his self and also got hammered in a painful way to NEVER look at a female and consider first hand that isn't a potential threat.

In addition he has practically forced to obey the Elder Kennedy's will like a bitch until recently.

And in other amusing way, it would be hilarious for Kennedy when asked why he does not go with his friends to hunt girls anymore he would say:

"First I have a Redhead German as a girlfriend. Second, she can keep my Old Man away from annoying me. And Third, she is Abwehr trained, a Knife specialist and can more than likely castrate a man in less of 3 minutes flat if pissed enough, so while I like females i love more to piss standing"
 
Got to point out that JFK didn't ate a serious helping of Humility and crow until WWII during the OTL.

Here he is BEFORE becoming a playboy, And unlike OTL, he already has gotten a SERIOUS blow to his self and also got hammered in a painful way to NEVER look at a female and consider first hand that isn't a potential threat.

In addition he has practically forced to obey the Elder Kennedy's will like a bitch until recently.

And in other amusing way, it would be hilarious for Kennedy when asked why he does not go with his friends to hunt girls anymore he would say:

"First I have a Redhead German as a girlfriend. Second, she can keep my Old Man away from annoying me. And Third, she is Abwehr trained, a Knife specialist and can more than likely castrate a man in less of 3 minutes flat if pissed enough, so while I like females i love more to piss standing"

You know, that's a great point. JFK-Kat makes sense in that context.
 
"First I have a Redhead German as a girlfriend. Second, she can keep my Old Man away from annoying me. And Third, she is Abwehr trained, a Knife specialist and can more than likely castrate a man in less of 3 minutes flat if pissed enough, so while I like females i love more to piss standing"

Why would it take her three minutes? I'd guess closer to three seconds if she's being efficient. If she is REALLY REALLY pissed, then it might take three minutes.
 
I wonder what the NKVD -Berlin section is up to? While they may not have Kat under constant surveillance, they may have her on some sort of watch list of connected people that if something out of the ordinary happens, the NKVD might take a closer look such as a student who has ties to the Imperial Family suddenly takes off a week of school at the insistence of the Imperial Palace. The NKVD could have members of the KPD-University chapter keep a loose watch on Kat and inform the NKVD case handler about Kat's activities.
 
Part 20, Chapter 220
Chapter Two Hundred Twenty


14th March 1941

Berlin

Kat was sitting in an airless room at one of thirty desks trying to stay awake. She was supposed to learn something from all this? Right now, she was expending a huge amount of effort just trying to stay awake. She was going over reports from embassies trying to find patterns that she would flag to be kicked up the ladder.

She was reading a report on the recent activities of the British SIS that had been detected. It looked like a mole hunt was going on…

“Katherine Mischner?” An uncertain voice asked.

Kat sighed “Right here” She said.

“Telegram for you” The messenger said and handed Kat the envelope before walking off. When she was working directly for the Empress or even with Abwehr she was given more respect. Here she was just another office drone and the very bottom of the social strata at that. She opened the envelope and saw what was typed there.

Sydney, Australia 7:41 AM

14th Mar 1941

To Katherine Mischner, AA Office, Berlin, Germany

Zella Marie Holz, 11:56 PM 13th March

Both Mother and Child doing well.

From GenLt. E. Holz

Kat let loose a breath that she hadn’t realized that she was holding. She’d been waiting for this for weeks, it looked like Emil had waited to make sure that everything was alright before sending the telegram, probably at Maria’s instruction. She was happy for them. They had debated what they wanted and it was clear that little Zella was being welcomed to the world by two parents who would love her without reservation. She put the telegram aside. Aunt Marcella would love to hear about this, Gerta and Helene as well.

Kat picked up the piece of paper that had mentioned the British mole hunt. It looked like they were concluding a second investigation. She noticed something that had obviously slipped by the investigator and wasn’t surprised by the name of the individual involved. Someone who happened to represent the worst aspects of his country from her perspective and unless Kat threw away her weekend on an unofficial mission leading him by the nose he’d just hit the same dead end. "Arrogant bastard" she muttered. Kat prepared a telegram of her own and sent it off to Ian Fleming. With any luck, she’d be back in time for dinner on Saturday night and would not be leaving a cooling body in London when she left.


15th March 1941

Great West Aerodrome

Fleming had to read the telegram twice to make sure he was reading it correctly. Dame Katherine had information relating to their mole hunt? Now she was coming here on her own time. He watched as she got off the airplane and walked towards the car. She was wearing her usual shapeless clothes and her hair was in a tight braid making her look severe.

“You should have seen how she was dressed down under” Jack said, “She’s actually sort of hot underneath all that when she chooses to let anyone see it.”

Fleming had a hard time picturing that “You actually saw that?” He asked.

“Yeah” Jack said, “Right before…” Jack stopped, the expression on him face suggesting that it was an embarrassing memory.

“…You nearly ruined her vacation” Fleming finished for him.

As soon as Katherine saw Jack she bristled. Considering what had happened the last time they had met it was hardly a surprise that she wouldn’t like being around him. Fleming was hoping that Jack would just drive and not cause much of a problem.

“Before we go anywhere what was so important that you had to come in person?” Jack asked, in English. Even Fleming had a hard time not showing annoyance over Jack’s behavior. At least the American wasn’t talking louder and slower in hopes that Katherine would understand if he did that.

“En ze list” Katherine said with an accent that was nearly impossible the understand, “Who a put et togezer?”

After puzzling that out Fleming opened his brief case and looked at letterhead on the list. “That’s Guy Burgess’s department” He said.

“Zed you investigate hem?” Katherine asked.

“He’s not the sort to be a Russian agent” Fleming said, “With his family and connections.”

“Kep zelling vourzelf zat” Katherine said with what Fleming suspected was a great deal of sarcasm “Ez bullzit, yeah.”

“Wait a damned minute” Fleming said switching to German, Jack could fend for himself “You think we should be taking a look at the people who put the lists together and how the Hell did you do find out about it?”

“Who guards the guards and who cares how I found out” Katherine said, “It was obvious, to me anyway, from Berlin how you were screwing up this investigation.”

Great, Fleming thought to himself. That meant there were Russian AND German agents about. Katherine, being a semi-public figure could come in here kick over the applecart for the Russians and not compromise any German operatives in the process. And because Dame Katherine was here as a private citizen lending a hand to a rival, albeit friendly at the moment, power none of this would reflect on the German Government no matter how it turned out.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Katherine didn’t even blink when she watched Jack and Fleming shove Guy Burgess into the trunk of the car. It was when they got him back to the safehouse that Katherine really surprised them. Jack saw her whisper something in Guy’s ear and he went white as a sheet.

“You can’t let her do this” Guy said on the verge of panic.

“What did you just say to him?” Jack asked.

“Men are zo seemple” Kat said pulling out a small knife that Jack realized instantly that he had been on the receiving end of “Cut eff zee right tezicle end dey svill dare gutz zo you vont cut eff zee left.”

“If you’ve not the stomach for this you can leave” Fleming said, “No one will hold it against you, Jack.”

Guy looked like he was about to piss himself. “Please” Guy said.

“Don’t expect a whole lot of mercy after the Tumbler Ridge massacre” Fleming said rolling up the sleeves of his shirt “And I expect that this will get a bit messy.”

Katherine was smiling sweetly, something that alarmed Jack to his core. This is the real Dame Katherine that no one gets to see, he realized, not the reserved ice queen. Somehow that was more disturbing than the things she was suggesting. If he’d seen this in Australia last year he’d have run screaming the other way.

“Tell them that it wasn’t me” Guy said as Fleming grabbed his shoulders.

“Hold hem zill” Katherine said nonchalantly “I get both wit ze firz cut end et doezn’t vork.”

“If you know who did it tell them now” Jack said to Guy.

The girl was reaching for the fly of Guys pants when Guy yelled out “It was Kim!” before he started sobbing.

Fleming and Katherine started laughing.

“You honestly think that’s enough to save your balls?” Fleming asked, “Aside from Kim who else is in you cell.”

Guy kept babbling for the next hour spilling everything. Names and contacts, dates and places. Finally, they left Guy tied to the chair as they went out to the parlor.

“That was a magnificent performance” Fleming said “I need to get the talented Miss Katherine back to the airport before someone realizes she’s in England. You can keep an eye on our canary until I get back, right Jack?”

“Yeah, sure” Jack said, “That was all a bluff?”

“Vhat bluff” Katherine said with that sweet smile.

Jack was glad that she was going back, presumably to whatever corner of Hell she presently ruled over. This girl was pure nightmare fuel.
 
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Wow, Stalin will start an NKVD purge if their most important networks in UK gets rolled up..

The Soviet embassy in England will be covered in blood
 
Well they will have to weigh the information source against the propaganda value I guess

Although it would be embarrassing for the UK to admit they had droves of traitors from the best families etc that conspired to kill the Russian imperial family on behalf of the soviets
 
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