So Kurt just told the truth to the ultimate authority in a high stress environment, while making 3/4 of the General Staff laugh. While this won't go in his official record, whenever his name will pop up in reports or consideration for promotion they will remember
.

Not only this, he ticks all the boxes with the old warhorses, Has the proper (cavalry) views, can ride a horse, wants to be with the troops, listen/learns from the wisdom of his elders, has proven himself in combat. He will be tested of course but that is the proper way.
 
Not only this, he ticks all the boxes with the old warhorses, Has the proper (cavalry) views, can ride a horse, wants to be with the troops, listen/learns from the wisdom of his elders, has proven himself in combat. He will be tested of course but that is the proper way.

Ever hear the phrase "Here hold my beer"? Well Kurt was the beer holder for Kaiser Bill and General W. I would imagine there would be lots of higher ups wonder what they discussed, especially what was said about them.
 
Part 21, Chapter 225
Chapter Two Hundred Twenty-Five


6th June 1941

Berlin

Kat wasn’t really interested in the burial. She had found the events that had led up to it mildly interesting, but was having a hard time feeling anything other than apathy. Wilhelm II was to be buried with little ceremony, for royalty anyway, in a veteran’s cemetery in the section dedicated to the Kaiserliche Marine. The retired Emperor had been the great patron of the KLM his entire life so they were happy to have him. The subversive part of Kat’s mind noted that it seemed appropriate that Wilhelm would spent eternity amongst men who’d gone to their deaths because of his blunders. She watched the proceedings with the sort of detachment that came with her depression.

Kat felt something tug at her dress and looked down. Freddy had slipped away from his minders again. Not that there was any danger. The entire 1st Foot Guard Regiment was here today. While it was questionable if there was anyone sane left in the Soviet Union none of their agents were crazy enough to come here and try in get past twelve hundred elite infantry. They were saying goodbye to the man who’d been their Regimentschef for decades and guarding the life of the new one. With the death of Wilhelm, the Kingdom of Prussia and the House of Hohenzollern had passed to Louis Ferdinand. It truly was the passing of an era. Kat just couldn’t bring herself to care.

Freddy was still tugging on her dress. Kat relented and picked the Crown Prince up onto her lap. For some reason, he liked Kat and was fascinated by her hair. The little boy had proved particularly needy this afternoon, all he knew was that something had happened and that the adults had little time for him. In the future, his mother would have even less time for him because she had a third child on the way.

Freddy would probably have no real memory of his great grandfather but on some level, he’d remember the pitch of his voice or the smell of his clothes. That was far more than Kat had of her mother. When Doctor Holz had pointed out that Kat was a lot like Marcella it had been a reminder of how much Kat had lost. Marcella had described Souse Rosa as kind hearted, optimistic and one of those rare people who were beautiful all the way through. Far too good for this world according to her older sister, Aunt Marcella. Kat frequently wondered if she would have turned out so broken if her mother hadn’t died.

Kat noticed that Freddy had fallen asleep and off in the distance the press was aiming telephoto lenses at her. This would probably set off a new round of speculation as to the just who Kat was. They would hit the usual wall of Dame Katherine and not realize that it went nowhere because Kat had never been that person.

Kat felt other eyes upon her, Kat looked around until she noticed that it was the Empress was watching her with a look of relief on her face. There were jokes the occasionally were passed around in what was thought to be outside Kat’s hearing to the effect of who better to keep a child safe than arguably one of the most dangerous people in the Empire.

Kat noticed that Freddy had snapped awake as soon as the volleys started. Seven blank cartridges three times, astonishingly he didn’t start bawling over sudden noise. Instead he watched with delighted curiosity the practiced movements of the soldiers. No doubt as to who’s kid this is, Kat thought to herself.

The rest of the funeral passed without incident not that Kat cared.

“I see you have different company this time” A voice said cutting through Kat’s mental fog.

Kat blinked for a second, it was the boy who’d been the aide of Gerta’s father last year, Kat cast about in her mind for his name. All she drew up were the number of times that Gerta had poked fun at him. A dozen names passed through her mind before she settled on Kurt. That sounded right but she wasn’t sure.

“Freddy is actually quite the conversationalist if you are patient” Kat said as the infant became fixated on a silver medal pinned to the front of the Kurt’s tunic and tried to reach for it.

“Your other friends couldn’t make it?” Kurt asked.

“They had other things going on today and I didn’t have in me to beg off” Kat said, that was close to the truth. She just did not have the energy to say no when the Empress had asked her to attend. “And this not being a truly formal event they could.”

“I’m here to offer moral support for General von Wolvogle” Kurt said, “He lost an old friend and I’m sure you know the rest.”

Kat had seen that Emperor Louis and the old General had been seated as far apart as was practical and there were remarks about how it was a good thing that dueling had fallen out of favor. The Empress came and collected Freddy who wasn’t keen on the idea of leaving Kat as the royal family was hustled off to a more secure location. This also left Kat alone with Kurt, something that she was less than keen on. Kurt on the other hand couldn’t help but noticing that many of the people still present treated Kat with mix of disdain and fear.

“Never mind them” Kat said, “Being the royal assassin has its disadvantages.”

“That’s not particularly funny” Kurt said.

“It’s not being funny” Kat said, “I get sent to execute the will of the Empress, ever wonder what that means.”

“Surely there’s more to you than that?” Kurt asked.

“I wish there was” Kat answered sadly, “And if you were smart you’d forget you know me.”

Kurt watched as she walked away. The light cloth of her black dress ruffled slightly in the afternoon breeze.
 
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“Never mind them” Kat said, “Being the royal assassin has its disadvantages.”

“That’s not particularly funny” Kurt said.

“It’s not being funny” Kat said, “I get sent to execute the will of the Empress, ever wonder what that means.”

“Surely there’s more to you than that?” Kurt asked.

“I wish there was” Kat answered sadly, “And if you were smart you’d forget you know me.”

Kurt watched as she walked away. The light cloth of her black dress ruffled slightly in the afternoon breeze.


Its never that simple to forget an impression like that.
 
I have been watching World War II Soviet propaganda cartoons and I cannot believe how both surreal and direct to the point they are.

I think that ITTL Soviet propaganda will portray the Kaiser and Empress as casting their eyes over the Motherland with the shadow of the late Czar " Bloody Nicholas" looming over them in the background. Their children will be characterised as monstrous deformed destructive spoiled creatures.
The propaganda will also be very Anti-Semitic and show the Kaiser and Empress as being controlled by "International Jewish Bankers".

I think while the Imperial Family has the outside security in place,the NKVD may have infiltrated the palace household and any, attempt at the Imperial Family will be an inside job.
 
Part 21, Chapter 226
Chapter Two Hundred Twenty-Six


7th July 1941

Berlin

Kat had never once thought that she would long for the end of the summer holiday but here she was. The place she wanted to be was thousands of kilometers away, flying around the world to Australia where no one knew her and most of her problems would go away for a little while. Even the pesky Americans weren’t so bad once put in their place. Instead she was reading reports from capitals around the world where she wasn’t and flagging anything of relevance for people higher up the ladder.

The Department manager had made a point of taking Kat off the English desk and was instead having her read missives from the German Embassy in Switzerland. If one had no interest in international banking then it was as exciting as watching paint dry. Long lists of the names of people suspected of opening accounts to evade taxes or evidence of groups attempting to smuggle goods across the border again to evade taxes. As far as Kat could tell the police on both sides of the German-Swiss border were aware of what was going on but did little to actually stop it.

Kat stared at the two lists until her eyes started seeing double, it didn’t help. Then she noticed that a few of the names on the two lists were the same in the same manner that Johann, John, Juan and Ivan were all the same name. An Albrecht Peter was on one list and an Albert Perrót was on the other, there were some other examples of the same thing. This had the same feeling as when she had been reading about the mole hunt. There was something there.

Kat gathered the folders, got up and went to the supervisor’s desk. “Sir, there’s something that you need to see here” She said.

“Then you flag it and send it along” The supervisor said. He was a small fussy man who put Kat in mind of a nervous dog of an extremely inbred toy breed.

“But it’s something that’s not immediately obvious” Kat said, “You see…”

“No, I don’t see and that it not your job Fraulein Mischner”

“But, Sir…” Kat said.

He cut her off again “Do you think that the normal rules don’t apply to you?” He asked.

“No” Kat said, “I just think that…”

“I could have been fooled by your actions” The supervisor said, “With that little jaunt you took to England last spring, total breach of protocol and I understand you came close to causing an international incident last year on at least a couple different occasions.”

“That doesn’t change the…” Kat started to say.

The supervisor held up his hand, closed his eyes and shook his head until Kat stopped again. “I don’t care who your patrons are” He said “One more word on this matter and you’ll be dismissed with cause. Flag the documents and pass them along. It’s long past time that you followed the rules. Am I clear.”

Kat felt a flash of anger course through her. Who was this flunky to order her around like this? She could rip him to pieces with no effort. Here in his little fiefdom he had all the power and Kat was sick of dealing him. She had never gotten anywhere kowtowing to people like this and she was not about to start now.

“Very well, Sir” Kat said, “And you can go fuck yourself.”

“What did you just say to me?” The supervisor demanded, his eyes bulging out of his head.

“I said that you can go fuck yourself” Kat said practically yelling it “And you can take your precious rules and protocols and shove them up your ass.”

She watched as the supervisor’s face turned several shades of red before he suffered what could only described as a fit of apoplexy.

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A couple hours later Kat was walking in the direction of the S-Bahn station. Apparently, her former supervisor had been due to retire in few weeks, he’d worked in that department for decades and no one had challenged him since he’d been promoted to that position. Last Kat had seen of him he had been getting carted off by medics complaining of chest pain and unable to move his left arm. The feeling of triumph that had come from standing up to a bully had given way to the sinking feeling of dread that came from knowing that she’d probably just screwed up everything again. She pushed that aside. She could wait and huddle in the corner for Schultz or someone like him to find out about this and recall her to Zossen for a lecture about her failures or she could go on the offensive. Answers were in Switzerland and that was exactly where she intended to go.

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It was no surprise that no one was home when Kat got there. She went into her room gathered her tools, passport and emergency money. Then ran for the door.


Kiel, Germany

Jacob was sitting in his stateroom reading the orders he’d just been given. It struck him as a risk considering what had happened to von Spee’s squadron in the last war. He was to take the newly christened Pacific squadron and it’s supporting elements to West Samoa to join fleet elements already in place there.

Generallieutenant Holz was already in place in Sydney, Jacob was supposed to contact the Luftwaffe General at the earliest possible convenience. Jacob’s source inside Abwehr had passed to him that the listening posts in China had picked up that the Imperial Japanese Navy was on the move. The British had been appraised of the situation but didn’t seem to be taking it very seriously yet. It was the dark aspect of Germany spending the last several years improving diplomatic relations with the British, they were not within screaming distance of a war footing. Now with the India having flared into open rebellion it was suspected that the Japanese might make a grab for territories in the South Pacific while the Brits eyes were elsewhere.

Jacob had sent the last several months studying the Japanese military and history. The Japanese seemed to view surprise attacks as fair play and surrender as a disgraceful act. The Russians had learned this the hard way decades earlier. The British were likely to suddenly find themselves in a war on the scale of the Great War. Jacob’s job was to pull their fat out of the fire. If that was even possible.
 
But why do the Germans involve themselves?
Great Britain is one of the premier World Powers at this time along Germany, USSR, Japan and USA (once it gets on war footing), maybe France too. Why is Germany ready to intervene in its defence on literally the other side of the world, and not let it sort it out by itself? Especially now, when USSR seems to prepare to cause trouble much closer to home?
Taking on another Great Power on behalf of another, especially at the very edge of its logistic capabilities must come with a hell of a reasoning.
(Let it be clear, I'm not opposed to it, the European Powers versus USSR and Imperial Japan, while both sides trying to curtail US influence makes me shiver in anticipation, but I can't see a sufficient reason for Germany to implicate itself directly, and not just support GB and France industrially and economically.)
 
I guess if you think you're going to have the fight of your life against the Soviets, then it might be a good thing to have the British heavily in your debt. And it will also help if the British aren't up to their necks in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
 
Part 21, Chapter 227
Chapter Two Hundred Twenty-Seven


8th July 1941

Konstanz, Germany

It had been a matter bluffing her way into the customs house and into the records. Kat hit the usual wall of being both too young and of the wrong gender to be taken seriously. She’d had to lie to get in using a sob story about her father running off and leaving her family destitute. She needed to find out if he was still hiding in Switzerland or had returned to Germany where he could be arrested for nonsupport. It was a tearful performance that would have impressed Gerta.

Once Kat got into the registry she discovered that all six of the names on her list had crossed into Germany hours earlier and boarded the train to Berlin. While it was good news that she wouldn’t need to cross into Switzerland the feeling that she was on to something was getting stronger. There was also the feeling that she was running out of time.

With no small amount of exasperation, Kat bought a train ticket right back the way she’d came. She was faced with the prospect of finding out what was really going on with a handful of people in one of the largest cities in the world.

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Kat was a bundle of nerves by the time she reached Berlin. She could recall stories about how Schultz and Jacob Schmidt had chased Sauvageot across three countries. She had no idea where to even began. As the train pulled into Berlin Kat tried to figure out what resources she had here and drew a blank, if she didn’t think of something quick then she’d have to go home empty handed. There was a crowd of people standing around on the far end of the platform talking excitedly as Kat walked past, something about Hong Kong.

“That you Kat?” One of the porters asked as she walked by.

Kat looked over and saw that it was one of her father’s people.

“Yeah, I thought that was you” He said, “Barely recognized you.”

Kat got that a lot from this crowd, they still tended to think of her as a little girl.

“What can I do for you?” Kat asked.

“Nothing” The porter said with a smile “You looked like you were a thousand miles away.”

“I’m just trying to figure something out” Kat said.

“Anything I could help with?” The porter asked.

“Unless you’ve seen six men, possibly foreigners, traveling together through here a couple of hours ago then there’s not a whole lot that you can do” Kat answered.

The porter gave Kat a quizzical look “Why would you get mixed up with a rough looking bunch like that?” He asked.

“You saw them?” Kat asked.

“Course” The porter said, “I see everyone who comes through here and spend a lot of time pretending that I don’t to make life easier.”

It was Kat’s turn to give a quizzical look.

“If I had a pfennig for every time I've seen a man stepping out on his wife aboard one of the trains than I’d be a very rich man” The porter said. Kat heard that and realized that she should have known that already. Doctor Holz said that she was cynical about marriage, there were times when she wondered if she was cynical enough.

“Now that lot who passed through, did they say anything about where they were going?” Kat asked.

“One muttered something about getting at the whore and her whelp” The porter said, “And another said something to him that sounded like the name of a city, Zatkenees or something like that.”

“Thank you” Kat said, running for the doors into the station itself.

“Your welcome!” The porter said yelling after her “If you see your…” Kat didn’t catch the rest.

As she ran through the station she hoped she’d have time to head off what she feared. It hadn’t been the name of a city, it was Zatknis, Russian for shut up and they could only be here for one thing.

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As Kat used the industrial tunnels to get across town she was wracking her mind, everything she knew about tactics. A six-man team would have set up in Switzerland using phony documents to cross into the country and tap into prepositioned resources on both sides of the border. That would have required a great deal of planning a leg work. Something that would have come to the attention of officialdom except that they’d used different papers to access banks and cross the border. The thing was that whoever had set it up hadn’t been particularly imaginative in the selection of names. Kat had stumbled across it. Still, six men couldn’t hope to shoot their way into one of the most secure buildings in the world. They’d need someone on the inside to let them in. Which meant that Kat was limited as to who she could trust. They’d need somewhere forward to be the final staging area. A task that couldn’t take too long. Which meant that things were going to kick off any second.

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Flying up the stairs to the street level. The same stairs that she’d led Jehane up not so long ago. It being business hours she surprised a few of the workers of the museum complex as she ran by.

Once she was in the Palace she found the first body just inside the service entrance. One of the kitchen staff had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and gotten a bullet in the head, the body was still warm enough to suggest that they had passed through here only minutes earlier. It might not be too late. Kat was tempted to run as fast as her feet would take her in the probable direction of the attackers but her lessons came to her, never race rapidly into a situation when you have an incomplete understanding of it. Kat steadied her breathing, she’d need everything at her disposal for this. She was the little cat and needed to play on those strengths, stealth and surprise were her greatest weapons. She crept down hallways, she knew this place having been through it a thousand times. The first problem was that she was on the wrong floor and the staircases were natural choke points. The attackers were most likely going up the back stairs intended for servants, seen but not heard comes back to bite, Kat thought to herself.

She went to the stairwell keeping to the shadows and saw another body at the base of the stairs confirming her theory. There was at least one of the attackers at the top of the stairs. Kat’s mind raced, she couldn’t get up the stairs without taking a bullet then she’d need to lure them down.

It didn’t take much to make herself sound like one of the staff panicking after finding a body, still she’d positioned herself so that the attackers wouldn’t see her until they were just past her. “Dear God!” Kat yelled letting her fear into her voice and heavy footsteps came down the stairs. She punched the blade of her karambit into the jugular of the attacker on her left. The man went down clutching his throat. His partner started to turn in the direction of Kat but she rammed the hook-like blade into the back of his skull. There was a sickening sounding crunch and the man began to convulse. Kat twisted the blade and the convulsions abruptly stopped. Two down, four to go. They had been armed with guns of Italian manufacture, while unfamiliar with the design they worked exactly the same as the machine pistols she had trained with once upon a time. This at least equalized things a bit as far as fire power was concerned.

Kat crept up the stairs trying to use as many of her senses as possible as she tried to find any advantage she could and gain on the main body of the attackers. They would still be trying to preserve the element surprise, Kat didn’t care how loud she was, stopping them was all that was important.

There were five of them in the hallway trying to pry the nursery door open while standing over the bodies of two of the Empress’s body guards. Someone had seen them coming and barricaded the door. Kat recalled everything she knew about automatic weapons. Short bursts, aim low and most of all remember that you too are a target. She threw herself flat and fired down the hallway catching the two attackers closest to the door with the first burst. Of the three surviving attackers two turned and opened fire on Kat. Most of the shots tore into the walls and ceiling. Kat took them out with two more bursts. The last of the attackers, their insider was on the floor screaming as Kat walked up. The nurse who’d never been able to get a handle on Freddy. Kat silenced her with a brutal hit to the face with the butt of the machine pistol. “Worthless bitch” Kat muttered.

The door opened a crack and one of the body guards cautiously poked his head out. “It’s safe, I got them” Kat said.

They could hear the response coming, Kat realized that it had only been a few minutes. The Empress saw Kat and ran forward as if to hug her. Kat didn’t want to hear a bunch of thanks, that was all garbage, she’d had enough of that to last a life time.

Instead Kira looked at Kat with a terrified look on her face “You’re bleeding” She said. The pain hit Kat as soon as she said that.
 
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You know there is no way that Kat is ever going to be able to live down her offhand comment about being the empresses personal assassin now. She is going to be a bloody legend in the intelligence community, and everyone is going to wonder just what that middle manager on the Swiss desk did to collude with the soviet assassins, and how she tumbled onto the plot.
 
You know there is no way that Kat is ever going to be able to live down her offhand comment about being the empresses personal assassin now. She is going to be a bloody legend in the intelligence community, and everyone is going to wonder just what that middle manager on the Swiss desk did to collude with the soviet assassins, and how she tumbled onto the plot.
Indeed. Moreover, to Kat's dismay, she is more than likely to be FURTHER awarded. .More than likely with a FULL Nobility Title , in addition to be the first Female awarded with the Military Blue Max this time. So expect Kat to be likely nicknamed as the "Crimson Countess" or another title in addition to "The Empress's Hellcat" and other additions what will make her name quite a bit longer,
 
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Now, this is a anti-soviet propaganda goldmine. Sending assassins after a woman and her infant child (and failing)? The European communist parties common to the era will (only publicly, probably) distance themselves from Moscow as fast as possible, while the underground or unofficial Communist movements would lose quite a bit of steam. Even (Imperial) Japan would be repulsed by this act.
 
Now, this is a anti-soviet propaganda goldmine. Sending assassins after a woman and her infant child (and failing)? The European communist parties common to the era will (only publicly, probably) distance themselves from Moscow as fast as possible, while the underground or unofficial Communist movements would lose quite a bit of steam. Even (Imperial) Japan would be repulsed by this act.
Propaganda? After Kat captured the insider Alive? That its enough for Germany to drop all pretenses and prepare for a Declaration of War from here to a Month, MAX. That if the Assasination attempt doesn't enrages the British King to the point of openly declare an offer of a Military Alliance with Germany against the Soviets for the "Cowardly Murder attempt against a fellow Royal and her defenseless child, and a descendant of the House of Windsor by the line of Queen Victoria"

Stalin just created his own Sarajevo. . .and the countdown its clicking down towards this Timeline's World War II finally.
 
It is only two weeks to OTL Barrbarosa

Dame Katherine Mischner: The Empress' Lady in (Deadly) Waiting.
 
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It is only two weeks to OTL Barrbarosa

Dame Katherine Mischner: The Empress' Lady in (Deadly) Waiting.
More like "Former Dame" and soon to be known as " Katherine Mischner Freifräulein Von Berlin". . .The Crimson Baroness of Berlin. . .

. . .She's going to understand soon Emil's facepalming and groaning to a certain group of Movies. . .because she's likely to have movies having her as the "Last Valkyrie" or such drivel. . .for DECADES. . .
 
Propaganda? After Kat captured the insider Alive? That its enough for Germany to drop all pretenses and prepare for a Declaration of War from here to a Month, MAX. That if the Assasination attempt doesn't enrages the British King to the point of openly declare an offer of a Military Alliance with Germany against the Soviets for the "Cowardly Murder attempt against a fellow Royal and her defenseless child, and a descendant of the House of Windsor by the line of Queen Victoria"

Stalin just created his own Sarajevo. . .and the countdown its clicking down towards this Timeline's World War II finally.
Which again, assumes it's Stalin.
 
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