TrueAnybody in command has this problem on a Christmas party. You leave early and leave a bad impression or you stay longer and run the risk of loosing clout.
About the only things missing are a stint on Submarines and a stint on an aircraft carrier.Young Louis Ferdinand is checking off all the right boxes for advancement in the Navy from commanding a landing craft team in Korea to volunteering for a long stint in the Antarctic and then to the Balkens fighting pirates, going to the Grand Admiral staff, XO of a destroyer seeing combat operations in the Pantigonia War now to the command of a new top line destroyer he is definitely going places even if he wasn’t the brother of the Emperor.
All he needs now is a suitable wife to show that he is of stable character.
It is very rare for Naval Officers on the command track to go from Surface Fleet to the Submarine Service then to the Air Fleet, they will do cross training, liaison work, and serve on the various staff positions together but for the most part they will stick to their respective areas.About the only things missing are a stint on Submarines and a stint on an aircraft carrier.
Ooh, are the troubles about to start in Norn. Are Ian Paisley, Gerry Adams et al about to make an appearance?Chapter Two Thousand One Hundred Ninety-Three
31st December 1972
“I am surprised that you don’t have plans for tonight” Kat said into the phone to Jack Kennedy who had called from Dublin. She suspected that he made these calls to make sure that she was staying out of trouble while he was otherwise occupied. It was something that Kat likely shared with the criminals in Dublin who Jack normally represented in Court.
“I haven’t had time to make plans” Jack replied, “I was in China for six weeks and only made it back the day before Christmas Eve.”
“Your clients are still neck deep in that mess?” Kat asked.
“Here, there and everywhere” Jack answered, “Just like at any time in the last few hundred years. If there is a way to advance their interests, they got their greedy little fingers in it.”
“That certainly puts your own country’s history in perspective” Kat replied.
“Let’s just say that I prefer that someone else was on the receiving end of that sort of thing for once” Jack said. He may have been born in America but having spent most of his life in Ireland had given him the perspective of people from that island. Over the last couple decades there had been a quiet prosperity that had overtaken Ireland and Kat found it odd that no one there seemed to trust it. It was as if they expected to wake up tomorrow to find themselves divided and besieged by their former rulers.
“Bridget told me that you have taken on a new charge” Jack said, “I find just my own kids to be a handful, I don’t see how you do it.”
“It is no trouble for me” Kat replied, “Now that Josefine and Suse Rosa have moved out, I have the room.”
“The Valkyrie and the Midget?” Jack asked.
“Call them that when you are in the same room, I dare you” Kat replied, “More like a School Teacher and an Engineer.”
“Regardless” Jack said, “Tell me about this new girl.”
“Angelica is Cosimo de’ Medici’s daughter” Kat replied, “Her mother decided that she was no longer interested in being a mother and Cosimo’s wife put her foot down this time. She doesn’t want any of his indiscretions under her roof.”
Kat was aware of how she had let scorn creep into her voice when she had described Cosimo’s mistress. The sort who would abandon their own child because they wanted to pursue a different relationship deserved every bit of it as far as she was concerned.
“I see” Jack said guardedly. Kat was aware that Bridget had made it explicitly clear that if anything of his ever went anywhere it didn’t belong then she would reach for the hedge clippers, and he would have to learn to live without that part of himself. If she ever found out that he had fathered a child with another women, then Jack would simply vanish from the face of the Earth. “Does that mean that she has penchant for fedoras and cheap cigars?” Jack asked.
“She is ten years old” Kat replied, “And other than being extremely intelligent, I find she doesn’t have anywhere near that much in common with her father.”
“How is she adjusting?” Jack asked, “Berlin is a world away from Italy and where did she live before? Rome?”
“Florence and other than Petia having to chase her away from the thermostat, she is doing well” Kat replied, “She has already found out that she can converse with Marie Alexandra in Latin. That really was a surprise for both of them.”
“And the others?” Jack asked, “Your son, the two other girls in your household?”
“Malcolm is a good sort, and he has always liked playing the big brother” Kat replied, “Tatiana has a million other things going on and Sophie is being a teenager in that she is so self-involved that she probably has barely registered Angelica’s presence.”
She didn’t mention to Jack that Tatiana had been sent to Northern Ireland over the Summer Holiday by the BND. She was half tempted to ask him to look into what was going on there but had a feeling that she would not enjoy the answers.
“What about you?” Jack asked, “Have you got plans for tonight?”
“I was invited to the formal reception in the Old Winter Residence” Kat replied, “I’m going with Douglas in a few hours and leaving the Tatiana and Malcolm in charge. I just hope that the house is still intact when we get home.”
“You think that they would throw a wild party in your absence?”
“No, but with the presence of Ziska and Gabi, two dear friends of Sophie’s, and Marie cooking up wild ideas about what they could be doing, I have no idea what will greet me when I get home” Kat said. She hadn’t mentioned that Gabi was Sophie’s half-sister, but that wasn’t anything that Jack needed to know at this time.
“Never a dull moment I guess” Jack replied.
“That is sort of the idea” Kat said, “Last summer everyone was away doing various things and I was the only one here. The house was incredibly quiet, which was rather uncomfortable.”
“Did your Aunt have the same problem after you and your brother left?” Jack asked.
“The war had started by then, the Soviets were bombing the city on a regular basis and the house was located a few blocks from a railyard which was a frequent target” Kat replied, “She said that she had had enough of loud to last her the rest of her life after that.”
“Bombs falling from the sky or children?” Jack asked with a snort of laughter. “I can see the comparison.”
“Whatever” Kat said, “Give Bridget and your children my love.”
“Nothing for me?” Jack asked.
“I think that you love yourself enough for all of us” Kat replied.