Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Part 129, Chapter 2188
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Eighty-Eight

19th November 1972

Plänterwald, Berlin

“I don’t think I need to tell you about things that sound too good to be true” Kat said to Freddy who nodded.

Kat had rarely taken on the role that she had occupied with his parents these days. He figured that between playing the role of Prefect of Berlin and her own life, she had little time to pay much attention beyond what was pressing at right that moment. Still, he remembered listening in on the briefings that she used to give his mother. Often there had been insights and connections that had emerged in those conversations that might have eluded the Annalists in the BND. Kat tended to look at things in a more practical way as opposed to manner of the BND which almost reminded Freddy of the box scores in the Newspaper Sports pages. Having her here to explain this latest odd development was a reminder of that.

Her Italian Counterpart had gotten himself into a jam here in Berlin. While he wasn’t about to sell out his own country, he was willing to trade information about the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean for Kat’s assistance. It seemed that the Greeks had been busy with their plans to push the Italians and the British out of what they regarded as their sphere of influence. It was easy to see why an Italian Agent would be perfectly happy to pass that information along to Germany. Suddenly, Freddy was reminded of Otto von Bismarck’s choice words about the Balkans came to mind. It was no accident that the Greeks, with backing of their Russian friends, chose this moment to act. The idea of the Heer deploying in a new conflict was about as popular as venereal disease with the German public at this time. The Italian had possibly given them enough of an advanced warning to head this off on the diplomatic front.

“This man, is he really a member of the Medici family?” Freddy asked.

“Like anything else about Cosimo it needs to be taken with a grain of salt” Kat replied, “I have known him for twenty years and it is difficult to sort out what is real from what isn’t.”

“You are suggesting that he might be for real?”

“He claims that he is descended from the original Medici family, that after they lost their banking fortune they faded from history” Kat replied, “But for what he says to be true he would need to be descended from the Patriarchal line, considered extinct for the last two hundred years. It is certainly possible that he is a part of that line to the same extent that at least half of Tuscany must be.”

“Or he could be someone who assumed a name for his own reasons?” Freddy asked, “Paul Mueller for example.”

Kat’s expression never changed. Freddy had assumed that he would see some sort of reaction since he had learned that little tidbit.

“I would suggest that you forget that you ever heard that name” Kat replied, “And please, never mention it in my presence again.”

North Sea, off Scotland

Having Admiral Reinhard Hardegen aboard had changed things radically. He was the head of the High Seas Fleet’s Submarine Service and somehow that included the Division of surface ships that SMS K24 Grindwal was a part of. He wanted to see for himself the latest equipment used to hunt the craft that had long been his specialty. He had been content to watch the crew of the Grindwal going about their training exercises until he got bored and ordered Louis to go where some real action was. It had taken a few minutes for him to realize what the Admiral was asking for until he had found himself looking at a map of the North Sea and Hardegen saying that Louis needed to live up to his reputation of having the balls to be a proper Captain.

That was how they had found themselves off Scotland. Carefully staying in International waters but close enough to the Firth of Forth to catch the British Royal Navy’s Subs coming or going. If any of them were careless enough to be on the surface, Hardegen had told everyone that he wanted a picture of that for his office wall.

That was why they were here. The crew in the Command-and-Control section were glued to their equipment. Listening for the faint sounds of a submarine trying to sneak past them and the newest bit of gear, the array designed to detect the metal of the hull was being towed a couple a couple hundred meters behind the Grindwal, far enough away to avoid interference by the Corvette’s own steel hull.

Over the last couple of hours Louis had been informed that they had repeatedly been painted by shore-based radar. That meant that the Brits knew that he was here and the ghostly figures he saw through the fog were the right size and shape to be the Destroyers sent out to chase him off should he cross the line into their territorial waters.

It was that moment when they got approached by a helicopter painted in British Fleet Air Arm colors. As it hovered a few hundred meters away, Louis saw that the crew on the deck were making obscene gestures as the men on the helicopter were doubtlessly taking photographs of the Grindwal.

“This is how you turn them into a crew, Herr von Preussen” Hardegen said, “Your men will be bragging about this to anyone who will listen once we get back to the Jade.”

Up until that moment, Louis had though that the Admiral was showboating.
This is the same Reinhard Hardegen who in OTL had his sub in the mouth of New York Harbor in early 1942 when he was the Captain of U123. It would hardly be a surprise that he would be up to his old tricks in TTL at the very end of his career.
This is the same Reinhard Hardegen who in OTL had his sub in the mouth of New York Harbor in early 1942 when he was the Captain of U123. It would hardly be a surprise that he would be up to his old tricks in TTL at the very end of his career.
And in OTL his naval career started as Marineflieger, in the era before Göring monopolized all planes under Luftwaffe. Hardegens reason to transfer to U-boots was whether the general reason not go to Luftwaffe or landing injuries, different sources describe it differently. In any case, as a submariner, he was always able to be one step ahead of his medical records.
There are so many different scenarios that are very logical and still will surprise us on the Otto Mischner-Paul Muller backstory, my own Two Pfennigs worth is that they are two separate people somehow connected to each other.

Once again Greece will start something in the Eastern Mediterranean probably test the waters with a Pro Greece campaign in Cyprus with protests in the streets demanding "enois" with Greece and the eventual violent anti-Turkish riots targeting first Turkish run businesses then the Turkish population.
The question is how the various powers in the region responds to it.
Turkey may want to do something but the reality is that after two wars in the past thirty years where Turkey lost big time they know they can't do anything.
Italy and Great Britain are the two biggest powers directly affected by Greek ambitions but don't want to be drawn in a direct conflict and try to find a diplomatic solution with Germany as the main go between.
There is one last mystery that surrounds Kat Mischner that has only been hinted at. Who exactly was Otto Mischner before 1914? And why would she want that history to remain buried forever?
Best guess: Ol' Paul murdered someone in [insert German place], ran off to Berlin and worked under the assumed identity of Otto Mischner (probably joined the Heer as well, just to make things even more complicated).

Marc A
Part 129, Chapter 2189
Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Eighty-Nine

25th November 1972

Mitte, Berlin

It was poor day for this sort of thing. It had been cold and rainy, with the threat of snow that evening, Kat had tried unsuccessfully to have this event moved indoors, but the City Government had wanted this event to be witnessed by as many people as was possible. At least this was a distraction from the complications of her life at home and what she had needed to offer Cosimo de’ Medici to secure his dubious cooperation.

At least the rain was holding off for the moment.

As the Prefect of Berlin, Kat was considered the Heir of a line that went back to Albrecht the Bear, the semi-legendary founder of the city in the Twelfth Century. His standard of a black bear still adorned the City Flag of Berlin. The bear appeared on one side of the Berliner Verdienstorden, the medal that Kat was supposed to present this afternoon. On the other side was an image of Berolina, the Goddess of the City. The Merit medal itself was a gold heptagram on a red and white ribbon and came in several different grades. There was another medal that the City Government had authorized, the Orden der Tigerin. In her role as Grand Mistress, Kat had made the criteria to get an Order of the Tigress extraordinarily difficult and had no plans to present one to anyone. She wasn’t so fortunate with the BV medal. The City Government set the criteria and had a list of the inductees who Kat was supposed to present medals to today.

In the days since her conversation with Freddy, Kat had been bothered by what she perceived at her own behaviors which were echoes of her father. Having Freddy, of all people, bringing up the name Paul Mueller was not a welcome development. Especially because once you knew that name it was short step to learn the rest and everything would become unraveled.

Years earlier, Kat had stumbled across Parrish records in Troisdorf in her search of her own origins. The half of her own family she didn’t know. What she had found was the identity of Paul Mueller and the story of how he had run off to join the Klondike Gold Rush, never to return. The same man apparently returned to Germany years later and for reasons that Kat had come to understand far too well, had joined the Heer under the name Otto Mischner at the start of the First World War.

While Kat found no evidence that her father had ever made it to Alaska, she had found evidence that he had crisscrossed the United States and wherever he went death and mayhem had followed. The same tactics he had used to gain power in Germany had been perfected in America. Strike swiftly and brutally, leave no witnesses. Then there were the other things he had been rumored to have done… Making sure that he kept the receipts of those in power whose vices he catered to so they feared moving against him would result in their exposure was a later innovation.

By the time she had made it to America, her father’s actions were the stories children whispered to each other on dark nights. The crimes themselves had been too dispersed with the State so decentralized at that time the authorities had been unable to see that a brutal spree had been conducted, lasting for more than a decade. Then the war and life had happened, he had met Kat’s mother and things had been good for a time. Then Suse Rosa had died and according to Otto’s own words he had gone into a dark place, disappearing for months at a time, and eventually starting what would become his illicit empire. Kat was aware of the implications of that. It was during one of those disappearances that one of the most infamous crimes in German history had happened. Kat had been afraid too look closely into that matter because she was afraid about what she might find. Just having Freddy knowing Otto Mischner’s real name was dangerous because it was an extremely short step to learning those other things. Otto was gone and Kat felt that his past needed to die with him.

Pulling the medal, that of a Dame Commander of the Order, from its case, Kiki looked at the woman who was there on behalf of the first person to receive it. Perhaps she was playing favorites here, but she didn’t care. It was also the first time Kat had seen Gia in months. These days Gia preferred to spend her summers in the Transbaikal Region of Siberia far from the politics and the contrivances of her extended family. Fyodor and Alexei were there with her, and Kat was rather surprised at how big Alexei had gotten. She was used to thinking of him as a baby and he was now eight years old. Aunt Marcella, Helene, Gerta, as well as all the younger members of the sisterhood were present in the crowd of onlookers.

Kat looked at the citation in her hand.

On the 1st of January 1941, Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna Romanova of Russia fired the first shots of the Second World War in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia…

It detailed how Tatiana had refused to run from the Soviets when they came for her. She had stood and fought, buying the time for her daughter, Gia, to escape at the cost of her own life. As Gia accepted the medal it, she smiled sadly. The citation would be read aloud in the Berlin House of Deputies and entered into the official record. For Kat it was what she wanted, someone who had sacrificed for something important to be remembered. Those who destroyed things out of mindless rage and greed deserved nothing less than to be forgotten.
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Wow, what a deeply seeded thread that makes John Ellis look tame.

It makes some of how the German Royal family treats Kat make more sense. She’s basically being given enormous power and the key leash on her is the fact that they (and the US too) could essentially punish her and her family for her father's crimes in terms of disgrace and maybe even more if she gets too out of line, which she definitely has shown signs of at times as a legal mob boss.
elicit empire
I believe you want the word "illicit" in front of empire. Though Otto certainly did want an empire.

"Elicit often mean 'to get something'. Illicit, on the other hand, describes something illegal. Because they are pronounced the same but have different meanings, we call these words homophones. These words are often confused – even by native English speakers."
With this revelation, I shudder to think what position of power, influence or fame Ted Bundy gets. D.B. Cooper could also be amusing. Though Ted Kaszincki would make quite the interesting politician or activist in this America.
With this revelation, I shudder to think what position of power, influence or fame Ted Bundy gets. D.B. Cooper could also be amusing. Though Ted Kaszincki would make quite the interesting politician or activist in this America.
Then again, take a look at the role that Charles Manson played. Gunned down by a Store Manager when he tried to pull a bluff robbery.
Given the butterflies so far, what are the odds that Kaczynski's parents returned to Poland in the late 30's?
If so, could we see Kaczynski either heading up Poland's Green party, or, if he follows OTL, deciding to send bombs out and targeting a certain Bohemian observatory?
With this revelation, I shudder to think what position of power, influence or fame Ted Bundy gets. D.B. Cooper could also be amusing. Though Ted Kaszincki would make quite the interesting politician or activist in this America.
Can't speak to Cooper cause, well, nobody knows what happened to him (I subscribe to the, "he died after the stunt" school) but if Ted Bundy winds up the exact same as he did OTL, he's not going to get into a position of power. Bundy never had the self-control necessary to truly rise to a position of power or authority, he also had issues with the diminishing returns of process (the act) serial killing, that is the next kill gives you a smaller buzz than the last one, which is when they start to make mistakes, and when even bumbling idiots like most US law enforcement in the 1970's can start catching on, they are big mistakes, or in Bundy's case, literal scenes from a slasher movie that are unavoidable.

Provided Kaszincki wasn't essentially tortured while still a minor at college by one of the masterminds behind MKultra, and otherwise follows the same path, you'd have a rather patriotically American math genius professor who is popular with his students. He may honestly even work for the CIA as an analyst or NSA as a cryptographer considering his intelligence and mathematical skills.

Now if we want to talk Serial Killers and what horrors they could be up to ITTL, my list is pretty simple:

Everyone's Favourite Party Clown: John Wayne Gacy
The Candyman of Dallas: Dean Corral
The Vampire of Sacramento: Richard Chase

And, of course:

Zodiac (whoever you want to think he was)

(Edit in later)

How the hell did I forget the Rostov Ripper in all this? I think I had misremembered Andrei Chikatilo being butterflied out during the Soviet War, but that wouldn't be a hard one to be fair.
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I hope that gets buried very very deeply. If that ever comes out there will be more than just a little bit of Flak.
Any shitstorm of today is a gentle breeze compared to what the tabloids can and will do.